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they were designed by the Sovereign. Monarch on Mordecai, he ordered More than forty tailors were always him to be clothed with his own royal employed in this service. In Turkey apparel. (Esther vi. 8, 9; viii. 15.) they do not attend so much to the The same honour was granted by the richness as to the number of the King of Babylon to Daniel, who for dresses, giving more or fewer, ac. his excellent wisdom was commanded cording to the dignity of the persons to be clothed in scarlet, and to have to whom they are presented, or the a chain of gold about his neck. marks of favour ihe Prince would (Dan. v. 29.) In modern times, copfer on his guests. Thus in pri- when Charles the Twelfth was made neval times, Joseph gave to each of prisoner by the Turks setting fire to his brethren changes of raiment; his house at Bender, the dresses, but to his favourite Benjamin he tents, horse-caparisons richly ornagave three hundred pieces of silver, mented with gold and jewels, and and five changes of raiment. (Gen. other valuable articles which had xlv. 22.) Among the honourable been given him in presents, amounted distinctions conferred by a Persian to fifty thousand pounds.-Ibid.
THE TESTIMONY OF JOSEPHUS RESPECTING CHRIST.
Translated from the Latin of C. G. Bretschneider,
BY EDWARD ROBINSON, D. D., OF ANDOVER, IN AMERICA. Two passages are found in the having accused them of violating writings of Josephus, in which he the laws, he delivered them over speaks of Jesus Christ; one of to be stoned.” (Antiq. xx. 9. 1.) whicb, being of considerable length, The great dispute has been whether is called by way of eminence, the the former of these passages be gen. testimony of Josephus respecting wine or not. Many learned men have Christ, and has given rise to many supposed, that some Christian trandisputes among learned men. The scriber, out of a pious regard for following are the passages in ques- the interests of Christianity, and in tion :
order to afford an argument against “At this time lived Jesus, a wise the unbelieving Jews, inserted the man; if indeed it be proper to call whole passage; or that, at least, if him a man. For he performed asto- Josephus did make any mention of nisbing works, and was a teacher of Christ, much of the language, as it such as delight in receiving the now stands, has been thus interpo. truth ; and drew to himself many of Jated. Although it is not my intenthe Jews, and many also of the tion to decide upon this controversy, Gentiles. This is he who is scalled] nor to repeat all that has been urged Christ. And when Pilate, at the in- on both sides of the question ; yet stance of the chief men among us, I have thought that it inight be had caused him to be crucified, still neither uninteresting nor unuseful those who had once loved him did to suggest very briefly some things not cease to love him. For on the on this subject, which seem to me third day he appeared unto them not to have received sufficient conalive; divine Prophets having fore sideration. The passage in question told these and ten thousand other may indeed well cause the reader to wonderful things respecting him. hesitate; but if all the circumstances And even to this day, that class of be duly weighed, I do not apprehend persons who are called from him that it can be considered either spu. CHRISTIANS have not become ex rious, or as baving suffered any tinct." (Antiq. xviii. 3. 3.)
change from the hands of Christian "Ananus assembled a Council of transcribers. Judges, and having brought before 1. If we were to decide the ques. them the brother of Jesus, called tion by the authority of manuscripts, Christ, (whose own name was there can be no doubt but that the James,) and certain others, and passage was written by Josephus, and has never been corrupted. All yet publish this passage as genthe manuscripts which are known uine and true, though he knew it exhibit the same words, in the same was wanting in many manuscripts, place and order ; and they are also or was written only in the marquoted, first by Eusebius, and after- gin? Is it credible, moreover, wards by Jerome, Suidas, and that this interpolation, which was others. But if all the manuscripts unknown to Origen, should have uniformly agree, and we have, be immediately crept into all the manusides, testimonies of great antiquity scripts; so that neither Jerome, nor to the genuineness of the passage, Sozomen, nor Suidas, nor any other it surely cannot justly be called in early writer, should have stumbled question, except upon the strength upon a manuscript in which it was of very weighty arguments. They not contained ? are drawn partly from the silence of 2. It is objected further, that by certain writers, and partly from the this testimony respecting Jesus the character of the passage itself. order of the narrative is interrupted ;
1. The most ancient Christian but if this be taken away, the prowriters, it is said, and especially per order will be restored. The cirJustin Martyr, Tertullian, and Ori- cumstances are just these : In chap. gen, have never employed this pas. iii., sect. 1, Josephus relates that sage against the Jews; which they Pilate introduced images of Cæsar certainly would have done, had it into Jerusalem; but that when a been then extant. But from the tumult had been excited on account mere silence of a few writers, in a of them, he ordered them to be recase of this kind, can we draw any moved. In sect. 2, Pilate attempted certain conclusion which shall over to bring water into Jerusalem, at turn the credit of all the manu- the expense of the temple, &c.; and scripts? No one will affirm this. in a tumult which arises he puts to But Origen has expressly said, “Jo. death many of the Jews. In sect. sephus did not believe on Jesus as 3, he crucifies Jesus who is called the Messiah ;" (lib. i. contra Cels. ;) Christ, a wise and holy man. In and again," he did not receive our sect. 4, it is narrated that another Jesus as the Messiah.” (Com. in evil (@repoy deivov) occasioned trouble Matt.) Origen, therefore, it is said, to the Jews ; viz., a flagitious crime could not have known of the passage committed in the temple of Isis at in question, in which Josephus cer. Rome; as connected with which, tainly acknowledges Jesus as the sect. 5 relates that all the Jews were Messiah ; and hence it is manifest banished by Tiberius from Rome. that the manuscripts of Josephus in The writer then goes on, in chap. 4, the time of Origen (who died A. D. to describe the sedition of the Sama254) could not have contained those ritans, and the suppression of it by words. On the other hand, others Pilate. Now can any one justly have very justly suggested, that affirm that the history of Josephus Origen means only to affirm, that is in any way interrupted by the Josephus did not become a follower of passage in question? Can any one Christ. But passing over this sug. show what connexion would be regestion, we find that between the stored, if this were omitted ? Most death of Origen and the time of evidently Josephus has narrated the Eusebius there was an interval of events in the order in which they only fifty years. Is it possible that occurred, and intended to give them in so short a time all the manu. no other connexion than that of scripts, or even many of them, succession of time. If, therefore, should have been thus interpolated ? it was his purpose to make any Can we suppose that Eusebius was mention of the fate of Jesus, he hurried on against the Jews by a could have done it with propriety zeal so blind, that, although he does in no other place. not seek to conceal the doubts which 3. Another, and a most plausible were raised respecting the sacred objection is, that it is impossible to books of the Scriptures, he should suppose that Josephus would speak of Jesus in this manner, and ac- fullest force, are yet uncertain; and knowledge him as the Messiah, and surely they are not of sufficient yet not have embraced his religion, weight to weaken the credit of all and become a Christian. But this the manuscripts, and so many of objection seems to be grounded on a the early Fathers ; much less to de. misapprehension of the language of stroy it. Josephus ; for Xprotós is here not a Nor indeed does the opinion, that doctrinal appellation, but merely a the passage was inserted by some proper name, and is to be translated, Christian transcriber, in itself consi. bot the Christ ; that is, the Messiah, dered, carry with it much appear. bat simply, Christ : as it is read in ance of truth. A transcriber of this the other passage, “ This was he who sort would hardly have been conis known by the name of Christ, and tented with the language as it now chose followers are still called from stands. He would have introduced kin, Christians.” It is likewise to more facts respecting the life of be remembered, that Josephus was Jesus; he would have dwelt with writing not to Jews, but to Greeks, more prolixity on all the circumwho were unacquainted with the stances; and would have noted more doctrinal meaning of ó Xplorós among particularly his innocence, his resurthe former people. He therefore rection from the dead, bis ascension undoubtedly wrote the words & Xplotos into heaven. We have but to glance evros hy, to signify to the Greeks, at the spurious narratives which were that the Jesus of whom he was manufactured in the second and speaking was the same person of third centuries, to rest satisfied that whom they had heard so much, un- a writer of this sort would not have der the name of Christ ; and that restrained himself to expressions so the name of Christians, which was moderate as, “a wise man, if it be then well known to the Greeks, was proper to call him a man; a doer of derived from the surname of the wonderful works, a teacher of men.” same Jesus. And because he would What unheard-of moderation in a assign a reason why the disciples of writer, desirous of palming upon the Jesus adhered to him so strongly world a pious fraud! Can we for a after his crucifixion, he states that moment suppose that such a writer Jesus, after his death, appeared would merely have said, “This was again to his followers alive, and that he who is called] Christo" Or, that many prophecies were accomplished he would not have more accurately in him. Josephus therefore does described “those chief men among not say this, as expressing his own the Jews?” or “ those who loved him belief, for he had never known Je- from the first " sus; but he describes in these words II. It was manifestly the object of the belief of the Christians, the cre- Josephus to comprise in his narradibility of which he either did not tive all that was memorable in the wish, or was unable, to impugn. It history of his nation. Is it then sbould, moreover, be borne in mind, probable that he should not have that Josephus appears not to have said a word respecting the origin of adopted the notions respecting the the order of Christians, who at that Messiah, which were current among time had become numerous even the Jews; nor yet to have exhibited among the Greeks ? Why, I ask, any higher views or hopes respecting should he adopt such a course ? any Saviour. If then he did actually Perhaps through hatred of the esteem Jesus as a copos århp, a wise Christians, like the rest of his counman, as be calls him, whose deeds trymen. This, however, no one and fate were remarkable and unu- will believe, who has read the writsual, he would yet, merely in this ings of Josephus; he will not even view, have no reason for changing suspect it. Or perhaps it was through his religion.
fear of the Jews, lest by narrating All the arguments, then, which the truth, he should give them ofare urged against the passage under fence, and excite their hatred. If such consideration, even if we allow their had been his fear, he ought not to have written at all ; much less to have not call him by his proper name, but depicted, as he has done, the perverse gives him the title of “the brother obstinacy and depravity of his coun. of Jesus who is called Christ.” Josetrymen. How then can we suppose phus has therefore made use of that it possible, that a writer like Jose- which was common and well known, phus, of real diligence, who had in order to explain and describe what treated with considerable copiousness was unknown. Suppose now that of the life and death of John the he had not previously spoken of that Baptist, (Antiq. xviii. 5. 3,) should Jesus, but had passed over his life pass over in entire silence a person and fortunes in silence, how then 80 remarkable as Jesus, and not be could he now simply say, “Jesus stow a single word on the origin of who is called Christ " I can see no the sect called Christians, a name reason to doubt that Josephus took which already had become common it for granted that his readers knew and well known? Yet unless this and remembered, from what he had passage be genuine, there is no place already said, who this Jesus was, that in the writings of Josephus, where was surnamed Christ; for who would · he speaks of the life and character suppose that a writer like Josephus of Christ; and this affords a ground would narrate the circumstances of of persuasion in favour of its genuine- the death of James, a person of far ness.
less celebrity, and yet be silent in reIII. This persuasion is confirmed spect to Jesus? Or who would not by another passage quoted at the deem it a mark of weakness in a head of tbis article, where mention is writer, that in order more definitely made of the death of the brother of to describe an unknown man, he Jesus, “called Christ.” In this lat- should introduce the name of anoter passage, I cannot help believing ther person, whom, although posthat Josephus refers to what he had sessed of the highest claims to notice, before related respecting this same he had every where else passed over Jesus. For when he wishes to ex. without the slightest mention ?plain who this James was, who was American Biblical Repository. unknown to Greek readers, he does
SPIRITUAL LETTERS. No. VII.
From the Rev. — , to a Friend. To my dear friend in Christ Jesus, Holy Ghost is a loving Spirit; and may pure and undefiled religion be love is the first fruit he produces in made to abound, so that he may be the heart where he has taken up his glorified now and evermore!
abode, from which, as a seed, all Agreeably to your wish, I would other graces arise. It is the only put down a few thoughts upon the foundation upon which true religion necessity of “keeping ourselves un- can be built; if that be wanting, all spotted from the world,” (Jam.i.27,) must tumble into ruin ere long, when if we would worship God in spirit the winds blow, and the rain de and in truth, walking as children of scends, and the floods rise. Nor can the light and of the day. May the that religion be pure, which is with. Holy Ghost, the Author and Giver of out love : for God is love; and bepurity, speak to my heart, and guide cause he is love, all light, and no my pen, that what shall be written darkness at all. As the least tinge may be profitable!
of any colouring matter in a diamond • God is love ;” and love is the spoils its beauty, so the least mixend of every precept, and promise, ture of what is earthly in our religion and threatening in his word. Christ makes it defiled. If love do not hath loved us; and love is the law of lead us to the abodes of misery, his kingdom ; the standing ordinance wretchedness, and sin, it is not from of his house, and the great bond of pure religion we go, and so will not union among his followers. The profit us at all. If it do not teach
us to care for the things of others, A sight of any object out of God is and bear their burdens, and carry enough to draw the heart away from their sorrows, our doing so will not him, as appears by the case of Eve; meet with the approbation of God. and in order to be safe, we must not If it do not make us willing to forego look aside one moment. our own ease and convenience, to It is necessary, too, that the mind minister to the wants of other men, should he kept from idly wishing for no other principle will call forth the many things, and being troubled “ well done” of the heavenly King, about many things, if we would on the great day of account. It is keep ourselves“ unspotted from the divine love, therefore, which must world.” The fancy, also, should not keep us "unspotted from the world,” be left to range as it pleases in a unior our separation from it will be only verse of its own creation; which if it in show and appearance, not in truth do, we shall be sadly defiled indeed. and reality. We shall be in it and of Nor may our reason, full of activity, it, while we profess to be out of it and eagerly inquiring after what is and above it, if the love of Christ is novel, and profound, and fitted to not at all times the constraining prin- its capacity, have the rein, or it will ciple under which we live, and move, carry us through foul ways, quite and act, leading us to do all to the away from the path of life. The glory of God only.
world, from which we are called to What, then, is this state of purity, live separate, is all opposed to God; but a state of perfect love, in which all apart from God; all that is not the soul finds God to be all-sufficient? God. We are bidden to crucify the It looks at none, it desires none, it flesh with its affections and lusts, as lives for none, but God, who is its well as to forsake the company of all. To such a soul it is enough foolish persons. We are told to cease that God is great, and good, and full from all vain thoughts, empty specuof compassion, and rich in mercy, lations, and sinful reasonings, as well and unchangeable in his being, and as to turn away our ears from listeneverlasting, without any variation at ing to fables, and philosophy, so all. While its eye is fixed upon Him, called, and the show of science. We it is kept unspotted from the world, are to put a yoke upon the wanderdrinking in light, and life, and ings of desire, no less than to bridle blessedness from their overflowing the tongue, and maintain silence in fountain in the heart of the Most an evil time. All that is contrary High. Every thing it may need to love is forbidden to have a place and all its desire, is in Him whose de. in our heart; and if any thing of light is to communicate richly out the kind steal in, it will defile it asof his fulness to the “poor in spi- suredly. rit."
To keep ourselves “unspotted “Looking to Jesus," we shall es from the world,” we must live in our cape the pollution which is in the heart alone with God. If we dwell world through lust. But to look only with him, there we shall not look on at the wickedness which may abound things after the outward appearance, in our day, among all classes and but as they show themselves in the persons, is to become spotted with it. light of his countenance. If we To view only the evils existing in the take his counsel given us, there we church, and running through every shall not disquiet ourselves in vain, section of it, is to come under their or trouble ourselves to no purpose. influence. To notice the faults of If we forsake all to enjoy fellowship our neighbour, is to lay ourselves with Him in our own bosom, we shall open to the bad impression they are find all in Him; yea, an abundance, fitted to make on all around. We superabounding all thought, all cannot see these things in themselves desire. Our life then will be hid apart from God, without receiving with Christ in God; so as to be their tincture. We cannot look upon safely kept from all pollutions of them in their native hue without being idols, all earthly affections, and all infected by them ere we are aware the fiery darts of the enemy. He
Vol. XIV. Third Series. March, 1835.