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the very thing that induced the Romans to choose him, the better to curb this seditious people. The Romans supported a king of their own nomination with an army; and Jerusalem was once more taken by assault, sacked and pillaged.

Herod, being afterwards supported by Augustus, became one of the most powerful princes among all the petty princes of Arabia. He repaired Jerusalem, and rebuilt the fortress that surrounded the temple, for which the Jews had so great a veneration. He even began to build the temple anew; but could not bring the work to perfection, for want of money and workmen. Hence it appears, that, after all, Herod was far from being rich, and that the Jews, though fond of their temple, were still fonder of their money:

The name of a king was merely a favour granted by the Romaps, and by no means a title of succession; for soon after Herod's death, Judea was reduced into the form of a lesser Roman province, and governed by the proconsul of Syria; though the title of king was sold, sometimes to a Jew, and sometimes to one of another country; as it was to Agrippa the Jew, under the Emperor Claudius. Bernice, so famous for having engaged the affections of one of the best of Roman emperors, was a daughter of Agrippa. This was the lady who, on account of the bad treatmeat which she suffered from her countrymen, drew upon Jerusalem the vengeance of the Roman arms. She demanded justice; but the factions in the city prevented her from obtaining her request. The seditious spirit of the people carried them into new excesses. Cruelty hath ever been their distinguishing characteristic, and severe exemplary punishinents their invariable lot.

The memorable siege which ended in the destruction of the city, was conducted by: Titus Vespasian. It is alleged by Jo sephus, that in the course of this short war, a million of Jews, and upwards, were put to the sword: what remained of the people, were exposed in the public markets, and every Jew was sold for much the same price that is usually paid for the unclean animal which they dare not eat.

From this short sketch, it appears that the Jews have always been either fugitives, free-booters, slaves, or rebels. At this very day they are vagabonds in the earth, and detested by the rest. of mankind; confident as they yet are, that the heaven and the earth and all its inhabitants were created for them alone.

It is evident, as well from the situation of Judea, as from the genius of this people, that they must ever have been exposed to a state of subjection. Surrounded as they were by strong and warlike nations, which they abhorred, they could neither enter

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into an alliance with them, nor receive any protection from them. They could not possibly detend themselves by a naval force, having soon lost the harbour which in Solomon's time they had in the Red Sea; and Solomon himself having always employ. ed Tyrians to build and navigate his ships, as well as to raise the temple and his own palace. Hence too it appears that Hebrews were strangers to industry, and could never compose a flourishing nation. They had to regular troops. Their mountains were not sufficiently high, neither sufficiently contiguous to defend the entry into their country. The greatest part of the nation being transported to Babylon, to Persia, or the Indies, or settled in Alexandria, were too closely engaged in trade and brokerage, to think of war. Their civil government, whether republican, pontifical, monarchial, or reduced, as it often was, to a state of anarchy, was as imperfect as their military discipline.

It is commonly supposed, that the hatred which the Jews bore to all other nations, was owing to their detestation of idolatry; but it is more probable that it proceeded from the barbarous manner in which they extirpated some colonies of the Canaanites, and the indignation which the neighbouring nations must, of course, have conceived against them. As they did not know of any other nations but such as bordered on their own country, they imagined that in hating them they hated the whole earth, and thus accustomed themselves to become the general enemies of makind.

To be convinced that idolatry was not the true cause of their hatred, we need only consult the history of the Jews, where we shall see that they themselves were frequently idolaters. Solomon sacrificed to strange gods, nor can we hardly find one king after him that did not permit the worship of these gods, and offer them incense. The province of Israel preserved its two calves, or sacred groves, or adored other deities.

This idolatry, of which the heathens are commonly accused, is a subject but little understood. . Perhaps it would be no difficult matter to clear the theology of the ancients from this aspersion. All civilized nations have ever had a knowledge of one Supreme Being, the Sovereign Lord of Gods and men. The Egyptians themselves acknowledged a first principle, which they called Knef, and to which every thing besides was subordinate. The ancient Persians adored the good principle Oramasdes, and were very far from sacrificing to the bad principle, Arimanis; whom they considered in much the same light as we do the devil. The ancient Brachmans acknowledged one Supreme Being. The Chinese never joined any inferior being with the Deity, nor had they any idol till the worship of Fohi, and the superstition

of the Bonzes corrupted the minds of the people. The Greeks and Romans, notwithstanding the great number of their gods, acknowledged Jupiter as the absolute sovereign of heaven and earth. Nor does Homer himself, in his most absurd poetical fictions, so much as once deviate from this truth. He always represents Jupiter as the only omnipotent Being, who sends good and evil upon the earth, and who by a single motion of his eyebrows makes both gods and men tremble. It is true they raised altars and offered sacrifices to other Gods, but then they always considered them as of an inferior order and dependant on the Supreme Being. There is not a single instance in all the records of antiquity, where the name of the sovereign of heaven and earth is given to an inferior deity. The thunder hath ever been an attribute of the Supreme Lord of all.

The notion of a Supreme Being, and of bis providence and eternal decrees, is to be found in the works of all the poets and philosopliers. In a word, it would perhaps be as unreasonable to suppose that the ancients equalled their heroes, their genii and inferior deities, to that Being whom they called the father and sovereign of the gods, as it would be to imagine that we had conceived an idea, and considered saints and angels as equal to the Deity.

Should it be asked whether the ancient philosophers and le. gislators derived their knowledge from the Jews, or the Jews from then, we may for an answer to this question consult PhiloJudeus, who owns, that before the Septuagint translation of the Bible, the books of the Jewish nation were entirely unknown to foreigners; add to this, that the Jews had no books in the time of Josiah. Under his reign the only remaining copy of the law was found by accident. From the time of the Babylonish captivity, they understood no alphabet but that of the Chaldeans. They were not famous for any art or manufactures; and even in the time of Solomon, they were obliged to hire foreign workmen at a high price.

To close this chapter:-it may be observed that after the most exact scrutiny, we will find the Jews to be an ignorant and barbarous people, who have long joined the most sordid avarice to the most abominable superstition, and to an implacable hatred of all other nations; amorig which, however, they are allowed to reside, and to acquire immense fortures. And yet we cannot for a moment think that they should be committed to the flames.

CHAPTER LVII.

BIBLE-THE BOOK.

Bible is a name given by Christians, by way of eminencé, to a collection of the sacred writings. The collection of the sacred writings, containing those of the Old and New Testaments, is justly looked upon as the foundation of the Jewish as well as the Christian religion. The Jews, it is true, acknowledge only the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the correcting and publishing of which, are unanimously ascribed, both by Jews and Christians, to Ezra. Some of the ancient Fathers, on no other foundation than that fabulous and apochryphal book, the second book of Esdras, pretend that the Scriptures were entirely lost in the Babylonish captivity, and that Ezra had restored them again by divine revelation. What is curtain, is, that in the reign of Josiah there were no other books of the law extant, besides that found in the temple of Hilkiah; from which original, that pious king ordered copies to be immediately written out, and search made for all the parts of the Scriptures; by which means copies of the whole became pretty numerous among the people, who carried them with them into captivity.

After the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, Ezra got together as many copies as he could of the sacred writings, and out of them all prepared a correct edition, disposing the several books in their correct order, and settling the canon of the Scripture for his time; having published them, according to the opinion of most learned men, in the Chaldee character; as the Jews upon their return from captivity, brought with them the Chaldee language, which from that time became their mother tongue, and probably gave birth to the Chaldee translation of their Scripture.

The Chaldee Bible is only the glosses, or expositions made by the Jews when they spoke the Chaldee tongue; whence it is called targumim, or paraphrases, as not being a strict version of the Scriptures.

Hebrew Bible. There is in the church of St. Dominic, in Bononia, a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures, which they pretend is the original copy, written by Ezra himself. * It is written in a fair character, upon a sort of leather, and made up into a roll, after the ancient manner; but having the vowel points annexed, and the writing being fresh and fair without any decay, are circumstances which prove the novelty of the copy,

Greek Bible.--It is a dispute among authors, whether there was a Greek versioo of the Old Testament, more ancient than that of the seventy-two Jews employed by Ptolemy Piladelphus to translate that book. Before our Saviour's time, there was no other version of the Old Testament besides that which went under the name of the LXX. But after the establishment of Christianity, some authors undertook new translations of the Bible, under pretence of making them more conformable to the Hebrew text. There have been about six of these, some of whom are charged with having corrupted several passages of the prophets relating to Jesus Christ; others have been thought too free in their version, and others have been found fault with, for having confined themselves too severely to the letter.

Bible, Latin.-It is beyond dispute, that the Latin churches had, even in the first ages, a translation of the Bible in their language, which being the vulgar language, and consequently understood by every body, occasioned a vast number of Latin versions. Among these there was one which was generally received and called by St. Jerome, the vulgar or common translation. St. Austin gives this version the name of the Italic, and prefers it to all the rest. There were several other translations of the Bible in Latin, the most remarkable of which are the versioris of St. Jerome, Sanctes Pagninus, Cardinal Cajetan, and Isidore Clarius, all from the Hebrew text. Besides these translations by Catholic authors, there are some made by Protestant translators from the Hebrew. The most eminent of their versions are those of Sebastian Munster, Lco Juda, Sebastian Castalio, Theodore Beza, Le Clerc, &c.

Bible, Syriac.—The Syrians have in their language a version of the Old Testament, which they pretend to be of great antiquity, most part of which they say was made in Solomon's time, and the rest in the time of Abgarus king of Edesa.

Bible, Arabic.-The Arabic versions of the Bible are of two kinds, the one done by the Christians, the other by the Jews. There are also several Arabic versions of particular books of Scripture, as a translation of the Pentateuch from the Syriac, and another of the same from the Septuagint, and two other versions of the Pentateuch, the manuscripts of which are in the Bodleian Library.

The Gospel being preached in all nations, the Bible, which is the foudation of the Christian religion, was translated into the respective language of each nation; as the Egyptian or Coptic, the Indian. Persian. Arminiar, Ethiopic, Scythian, Sarmatian, Sclavonia , Polish, Bohemian, Germar, English, &c.

The books of the Bible are divided by the Jews into three

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