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done so for four thousand years. They assert that they hold from their ancestors that man has fallen from communion with God, is entirely separated from God, but that he has promised to redeem them, that their doctrine shall always exist on the earth;
That their law has a twofold sense, that during sixteen hundred years they have had people whom they believed prophets foretelling both the time and the manner;
That four hundred years after they were scattered everywhere in order that Jesus Christ should be everywhere announced, Jesus Christ came in the manner and time foretold;
That the Jews have since been scattered abroad under a curse, yet nevertheless still exist.
The creation and the deluge being past, and God not intending any more to destroy the world, nor to create it anew, nor to give any such great proofs of himself, he began to establish a people on the earth, formed of set purpose, which should last until the coming of that people whom Messiah should mould by his spirit.
The Jews who were called to subdue the nations and their kings were slaves of sin, and the Christians whose calling has been to be servants and subjects, are free children.
The devil troubled the zeal of the Jews before Jesus Christ, because he would have been their salvation, but not since.
The Jewish people mocked of the Gentiles, the Christian people persecuted.
Republic. The Christian and even the Jewish Republic has only had God for master, as Philo the Jew notices, On Monarchy.
When they fought, they did so for God alone, their chief hope was in God alone, they considered their towns as belonging to God, and they kept them for God. 1 Chron. xix. 13.
The sceptre was not interrupted by the carrying away into Babylon, because the return was promised and foretold.
A single phrase of David or of Moses, as for instance that God will circumcise the heart, enables us to judge of their spirit. If all the rest of their language was ambiguous, and left it doubtful whether they were philosophers or Christians, one single sentence of this kind would determine all the rest, as one sentence of Epictetus determines the character of the rest to be the contrary. So far we may be in doubt, but not afterwards.
While the prophets were for maintaining the law, the people was negligent, but since there have been no more prophets, zeal has taken their place.
The zeal of the Jewish people for the law, especially since there have been no more prophets.
Maccabees after they had no more prophets. The
Masorah after Jesus Christ.
THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE SACRED
HE Premiss.-Moses was a man of genius. If then he ruled himself by his reason, he should say nothing clearly which was directly against reason.
So all the apparent weaknesses are strength. Example: the two genealogies in Saint Matthew and Saint Luke. What can be more clear than that this was not concerted?
Proof of Moses.-Why should Moses make the lives of men so long, and their generations so few?
Because it is not the length of years, but the number of generations which renders matters obscure.
For truth is impaired only by the change of men. And yet Moses places two things, the most memorable that can be imagined, that is to say the creation and the deluge, so near that we can reach from one to the other.
Another proof. The longevity of the patriarchs, instead of causing the loss of past history, was the rather serviceable for its preservation. For if we are not always well instructed in the history of our ancestors, it is because we have never lived much with them, and because they are often dead before we have ourselves attained the age of reason. But when men lived so long, children lived long with their parents, and long conversed with them. Now, their conversation could only be of the history of their ancestors, since to that all history was reduced, and men did not study science or art, which now take up so much
of our daily discourse.
We see also that at that time
men took special care to preserve their genealogies.
Shem, who saw Lamech, who saw Adam, saw also Jacob, who saw those who saw Moses; therefore the deluge and the creation are true. This is conclusive among certain people who clearly understand it.
Josephus conceals the shame of his nation.
He was tired of the people.
When the creation of the people began to stand at a distance, God provided a single contemporary historian, and appointed a whole people as the guardians of this book, in order that the history might be the most authentic in all the world, that all men might learn a thing so necessary to know, yet so impossible to be known in any other way.
If the story in Esdras is credible, then it must be believed that Scripture is Holy Scripture. For this story is founded only on the authority of those who allege that of the Seventy, which shows that the Scripture is holy. Therefore if the tale be true, we find our proof therein, if not we have it elsewhere. Thus those who would ruin the truth of our Religion, founded on Moses, establish it by the same authority by which they attack it. Thus by this providence it still exists.
On Esdras.-The story that the books were burnt with the temple shown to be false by The Book of Maccabees. Jeremiah gave them the law.
The story that he recited the whole by heart. Josephus and Esdras note that he read the book. Baronius, Ann. 180. Nullus penitus Hebræorum antiquorum reperitur qui tradiderit libros periisse et per Esdram esse restitutos, nisi in IV. Esdræ.
The story that he changed the letters.
Philo, in Vita Moysis: Illa lingua ac charactere quo antiquitus scripta est lex, sic permansit usque ad LXX.
Josephus says the Law was in Hebrew when it was translated by the Seventy.
Under Antiochus and Vespasian, when they wished to abolish the books, and when there was no prophet, they could not do so. And under the Babylonians when there had been no persecution, and when there were so many prophets, would they have allowed them to be burnt?
Josephus derides the Greeks who would not allow .
Tertullian.-Perinde potuit abolefactam eam violentia cataclysmi in spiritu rursus reformare, quemadmodum et Hierosolymis Babylonia expugnatione deletis, omne instrumentum Judaicæ literaturæ per Esdram constat restauratum. Lib. I. De Cultu fœmin. cap. iii.
He says that Noah might as easily have restored by the spirit the book of Enoch, destroyed by the deluge, as Esdras have restored the Scriptures lost during the Captivity.
Θεὸς ἐν τῇ ἐπὶ Ναβουκοδονόσορ αἰχμαλωσίᾳ τοῦ λαοῦ διαφθα ρεισῶν τῶν γραφῶν, ἐνέπνευσε Εσδρᾷ τῷ ἱερεῖ ἐκ τῆς φυλῆς Λεοὶ τοῖς τῶν προγεγονότων προφητῶν πάντας ἀναταξασται λόγους, καὶ ἀποκαταστῆσαι τῷ λαῷ τὴν διά Μωσέως νομοθησίαν. He alleges this to prove that it is not incredible that the Seventy should have explained the holy Scriptures with that uniformity which we admire in them. Euseb. lib. v. Hist. And he took that from Saint Irenæus. Saint Hilary in his preface to the Psalms says that Esdras arranged the Psalms in order.
The origin of this tradition comes from the Book of Esdras.
Deus glorificatus est, et Scripturæ veræ divinæ creditæ sunt, omnibus eandem et eisdem verbis et eisdem nominibus recitantibus ab initio usque ad finem, uti et præsentes gentes cognoscerent quoniam per inspirationem Dei interpretatæ sunt Scripturæ, et non esset mirabile Deum hoc in eis operatum, quando in ea captivitate populi quæ facta est a Nabuchodonosor corruptis Scripturis et post septuaginta annos Judæis descendentibus in regionem suam, et post deinde temporibus