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vouring by all means which may be consistent with their station and ability, to maintain and uphold the purity and authority of thatvenerable establishment to which they belong. This the author urges in a most impressive manner, and pays a very deserved tribute of praise to those distinguished laymen who have advocated the cause of sound religion by their writings. He shews the incalculable value of such support given to Christianity. The works of such authors he considers tơ have had a peculiarly beneficial effect in contributing to draw attention to the subject in many who perhaps would not have listened to instruction from another source. He is very

liberal in the commendations bestowed upon benevolent Dissenters, whose virtues he contends we may admire, whilst we strongly object to their opinions. The Socinian errors, or rather the tendency to a Socinian spirit, so prevalent in the present day, are combated with great spirit and ability. We agree with our author in fearing, that the general principle upon which the Socinian proceeds, if not his actual doctrines, have but too great an influence among some who outwardly, profess reverence to the church, and rank themselves among her members. The principle of reducing, everything to the confined standard of our ideas of congruity and reasonableness, is one which is a priori a very fallacious principle as applied to any subject, and becomes doubly dangerous when adopted as the test of religious truth. The author has acutely remarked, that it is not in professedly Socinian works only that their errors are inculcated; the enemy lies in ambush in a variety of publications of different descriptions, which the unwary reader may take up for the sake of instruction or amusement, and thus have his mind corrupted and biassed in its principles of investigating religious truth, almost without being aware of it. The duty of contending for the truth with zeal and discrimination is imperatively urged upon the clergy, and the author points out also the great influence which the laity may exercise, in the encouragement and superintendence of schools, as well as the circulation among the poor of the numerous excellent tracts and small periodical publications, now so abundantly supplied, expressly adapted to their use.

The concluding Letter touches upon a variety of topics; and several passages of considerable length are appropriately introduced from the writings of Horne, Paley, &c. The gradual progress of religious knowledge among the heathen nations is adverted to in connection with the aecomplishment of prophecy, as is also the downfal of the Roman Catholic faith. The author speaks of the Dissenters with great elrarity

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and moderation, without the least compromising his own faith. He considers their various errors to be “as demonstrable as a proposition in geometry,yet contends that they must assent voluntarily to that demonstration, or not at all. In this free and enlightened country, he deprecates all persecution or compulsion; the futility of a variety of cavils against the providence of God is clearly pointed out, and a very simple and concise statement given of the introduction of sin by the Fall, by which the attributes of the Deity are shewn to be in no degree contradicted.

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Art. III. Helon's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem. A Picture of

Judaism in the Century which preceded the Advent of our
Saviour. Translated from the German of Frederick Strauss,

with Notes and Illustrations, by the Translator. Mawman. The argument for Christianity, which is drawn from the time when Christ came into the world, loses much of its strength with those persons who do not take the trouble to inquire, how far it applies to the Jews. But as the books where the detail of this information is to be found, are little consulted by general readers, and their substance has rarely been compiled, except in works professedly theological, a work which should in a clear and popular light, place before Christians the strength of this testimony to the truth of their faith was a desideratum. The author of this work, as he informs us in the Preface, was long impressed with the importance of supplying this link in the chain of Christian evidence; and no model appeared better calculated for his adoption, than the celebrated tour of Anacharsis. which has collected in an elegant and amusing tale, the information which was formerly sought from lexicons and books of antiquities. On this plan, he had made a general sketch of a work, and even partially filled up the outline, when an accession of occupations compelled him to relinquish his task. Amidst all his employments and avocations, however, he never lost sight of his favourite idea; and at last, finding his leisure insufficient for executing his original design, he has produced the work now before us, from the general recollections which the authors of his study had left in his mind.

In almost all ages of their history, the Jews furnish an ima pressive commentary on that remarkable expression of our Lord, that those who will not hear Moses and the Prophets,

would not be persuaded though one rose from the dead. They had the very evidences which modern unbelievers proclaim sufficient; they had not only Moses and the Prophets, but they beheld all the miracles wrought by all; they lived under perpetual demonstrations of the power of God, and yet they as perpetually were rebels and idolators, clearly evincing that no evidence whatever can convince a corrupted heart. The idolatries of Egypt, Canaan, Assyria, successively engaged their affections; but as long as the dispensations of a peculiar providence were conspicuous among them, and the prophetic spirit remained, their infidelity never took a systematic or a metaphysical form; it was an obstinate sinning against conviction, but it adopted no arguments, it offered no palliations.

When the warnings of prophecy had ceased to break in on their guilty slumbers, it was not to be expected that their conduct would improve; and besides their natural corruption, there were circumstances which more than ever favoured the national propensity to secession from the law. The Assyrian settlers, who had taken possession of their land during the captivity in Babylon, had engrafted the Levitical law on their own superstitions; and thus prepared the way for heathen corruptions. When the conquests of Alexander had opened a free communication between the East and the Grecian states, the mythology of Greece, and afterwards its philosophy, became generally circulated; and when Antiochus Epiphanes attempted the entire hellenization of the Jews, the attempt was seconded by many of the nation; and from the infection of the Antiochian times Israel never completely recovered. The government of Egypt and Syria were essentially Greek, and it was impossible but the Greek, manners should in some degree at least, be found in Palestine.

The general prevalence of the Greek language produced in the different countries to which it extended, a dissatisfaction with the native names. Even Josephus was sensible, of the necessity of hellenizing the Jewish names before they could be tolerated by Grecian ears. In their commerce with the Greeks, the Jews found themselves perpetually mortified by being regarded as barbarians, and such of them'as, though bred in the Jewish customs, were Greeks in heart, accordingly adopted Grecian names. Hence among Jonathan and Judas, and John, we find Simon, (a Grecism of Simeon), Jason, and Menelaus, which last names were adopted by two brothers severally named Joshua and Oniah. The conduct of these brethren had an important influence on the national character of the Jews. For not only did their authority go

K YOL, XXIII. FEBRUARY,

1825,

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får towards enforcing their example, but their tyranny gave
rise to à circumstance whose effects were of more permanent
duration.
: The brother of Oniah and Joshua, also named Oniah, who
was in his right high priest, on the secession of Antiochus,
was supplanted by his brother Joshua, afterwards Jason, who
purchased the priesthood of the king. Oniah was afterwards
strictly confined to Antioch, where after having been twenty-
four years high priest de jure, he was put to death by his
brother Menelaus, then in possession of the priesthood, for
having warmly resisted his sacrilegious conduct. On the
death of Menelaus, which occurred some time after, and the
succession of Alcimus to the priesthood, the son of Oniah, also
called Oniah, disgusted with the injustice of the prevailing
faction, retired into Egypt, where he so far ingratiated him-
self with Ptolemy Philometer, and his Queen Cleopatra, that
he obtained permission to build a temple at Leontopolis, in
the 'nome of Heliopolis, on the model of the temple of Jeru-
salem, for the use of the Jews in Egypt, of which he and his
descendents were to be high priests, and which he called the
Oneion. After the positive declaration of the Jewish law in
favour of Jerusalem, it was necessary to propitiate the Jews
by some further allegation of Scripture. Accordingly Oniah
adduced Isaiah, xix. 18, 19 : « In that day shall five cities
in the land of Egypt, speak the language of Canaan, and
swear to the Lord of Hosts : ONE SHALL BE CALLED THE
CITY OF DESTRUCTION. . In that day shall there be altar
to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar
at the border thereof unto the Lord.” The

original words translated, “ city of destruction,” are Dint 7'y; probably, as Scaliger conjectures, Oniah read Don Jy, which slight alteration would make the words signify “ city of the Sun," or Heliopolis. The LXX. read: tóns Agedès, Sc. Don'" the city of righteousness,” which seems to indicate that their translation was made after the erection of this temple to which they wished to do honour. Whether this were the case or not, the scheme of Onias became popular, the very language of the Egyptian Jews was exchanged for Greek, and the king was pleased to find the almost proverbial reserve and moroseness of the Jewish character replaced by Grecian indifference and sociality. The Jews of Egypt having now a rallying point and regular ritual founded on prophecy, and administered by him who was unquestionably hereditary high priest, made a schism with the Aramæans, or those who were still attached to Jerusalem, and thus became still further alienated from the ancient manners and worship, and still

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more attached to the people among whom they resided. The mystic character of the Platonic doctrines, borrowed from the East, and partly collected from traces of Revelation, seized on the Alexandrian Jews, and their opinions, as the Apocryphal books of Scripture sufficiently testify, may be described as Scripture impregnated with heathenism.

In the mean time, the Aramæan Jews themselves were split into philosophical sects, in imitation of the Greeks. Philosophy and religion could never be distinct among a people like the Jews; and religious difference accordingly followed. The pure precepts of Antigonus Sochæus, which only taught a disinterested service of God, were converted by his pupil Sadok to a negation of future retribution, and a doctrine always too popular among the vicious, was not without its supporters in the sect of the Sadducees. They were, however, tenacious supporters of the integrity of Scripture, than which they acknowledged no other divine law, although it is difficult to imagine how they could reconcile their tenets with its declarations. The Pharisees, in the meanwhile, opposed the whole discipline and doctrine of the Sadducees, and maintained a cumbersome system of pretended traditions, which, in reality, like the metaphysics of their Alexandrian brethren, were only ill-assorted compilations from the Greek philosophers. With much of the outward demeanour of the stoicks, they “ made the word of "God of none effect,” through a doctrine principally derived from the Pythagoreans and the more mysterious reveries of Plato.

As regards the Jews, therefore, as we!l as the Gentiles, it was impossible, even on considerations merely human, that our Saviour could have appeared at a more eligible period for proving the truth of the religion which he came to announce. The prevalence of philosophical error afforded the best opportunity of establishing the truth of the Gospel; for as almost every conceivable perversion of religious truth prevailed at that time, the refutations which our Saviour gave the opinions of the different sects supply the most complete demonstration of the truth of his own doctrine. All the arguments which have been drawn from the contemporary state of the Gentiles apply with still greater force to the Jews: for it was among them that the Gospel was first proclaimed, and it is therefore of greater importance to shew that the public mind was just so circumstanced, that the evidence on which it rested would be necessarily examined. And even the short view which we have been enabled to take of the character of the two principal sects in Judea,

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