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one, who was acquainted with the Mosaick Genealogy. That Adam was the Apostle of the Moon, and exhorted Men to her Worship; that Seth was a Renegado to his Father's Worship, and so was Noah, who condemned Image-worship. That Adam went into a far Country nigh India, and brought home a Tree with Flowers, Leaves, and Branches of Gold; and likewise a. Tree of Stone, with the Leaves of another green Tree, whose Leaves would not burn in the Fire ; that was so large, that ten thousand Men of the Bigness of Adam might shelter themselves under it, and that the two Leaves which he brought with him were so large, that each of them would cloath two Men. But I will tire you no longer with these insipid Talmudical Lies, which methinks any Body might guess a Jew to be the Author of. But however, what rare Stuff is this to explain Scripture by? One would wonder how it should come into the Heads of learned Men, to think, that God in framing his sacred Laws, should have any Regard to such idle Tales. For my Part, I pity them, when I see them so sweating themselves in such a filly Enterprise, and throwing away so much Labour and Learning to no Manner of Purpose ; and besides the
great Advantage they give to the Infidels, to expose the Laws of God, when they see that Christians settle them upon so slender a Foundation. Phil. It behoves you to be as zealous for your
Religion as you can, for you find we get Ground upon you every Day. We live in a very prying Generation, and 'tis not laying your Hand over a fore Place in your Religion, that will secure it now, you must maintain your Cause by pure Dint of Argument, or lose it. But what say you now to your great Legislator, when we shall prove, that all his celebrared Religion which he pretended to give the Jews from Heaven, was only pinched from the Worship of the Heathen Ægyptians? And this your own Divines are sensible of at last, and, by Reason of the plain Evidence of the Case, have given over the Cause to ụs. For some of them have proved the Christian Religion to be all Jewish ; and others the Jewish Religion to
be derived from the Heathen: And therefore, for my Part, I am for taking my Religion at the Fountain-head, and so will continue a primitive Heathen in Defiance to all Innovation. I have nothing to say to Christianity, for the Judaical Laws are the Matter now in Hand, and these I lay were most of them (the Ceremonial especially) nothing but Ægyptian Rites, which Mofes brought over with him thence; which is a considerable Argument against the Divinity of them; for to be sure God Almighty would never have copied his Laws from a Parcel of simple Idolaters. To begin with Circumcision, which is pretended to be the Characteristick of the Jews, that to be fure was taken from the Ægyptians, or some other Nation; that Ceremony being used not only in Ægypt, but in Æthiopia, by the Colchi and Arabians. Thus the Crim and Thummim was enjoined in Imitation of that Locket of Jewels, which hung from the Neck of the Ægyptian High-Priest, mentioned by * Diodorus Siculuss.The Linen Garments, which the Jewish High-Priest and other inferior ones wore, were copied from the Ægyptian Priests who wore the like, as Herodotus 1 and Plutarch relate. The Cherubim were only the Imitation of Apis's Hieroglyphick or Image, the Bull, or of those sneia nonúkospas fo much in Fashion among the Ægyptians; as the Image of Sphinx upon their Temple-doors does evince. And so was the Ark of the Covenant ferched from the Use of the Cista, in the Rites of the Ægyptian Osiris
, the Orgia of Bacchus, and the Eleusinian Sacra. The Feafts of New Moons were taken from the like Practice among the Heathens ; and so were the Jewish Purifications from their Lustrations. And lastly, the Temple of Jerufalem was but, a Copy of those Ægyprians, who are observed by Herodorus I, to be the first Authors of Altars, Images and Temples. And what I pray becomes of your Religion now, when the Foundation of it was borrowed, you fee, from the most stupid of all the Heathen Idolaters, that
# Hift. Fab. Lib. I. cap. 37. Plutarch de Iside & Olyr.
+ Herod. Hist. Lib. 2, cap. 37. Herod. cap. 4.
fell down and worshiped the very Pot-herbs of their
Cred. I am heartily sorry that the learned Author De Fewilly
from the blunt Arguments would have been lefs able to do. Not
Ægyptian. that I think, if Dr. Spencer's Supposition should be true, that the Judaical Rites were derived from the Ægyptian; that the Infidels would absolutely get the better of us. For 'tis possible that God Almighty might make such Condescensions to the Hardness of the Jews Hearts, and their Navish hankering after the Pomp of the Ægyptian Worships, as to allow them in some Particulars of their Ceremonies. But I think there is no Necessity of granting this ; for all the Rites commanded by the Jewish Law seem either perfectly set up in Opposition to their Superstitions, or are such as were practised in common with them and the ancient Patriarchs, or else were such ordinary Performances in religious Worship, as no Nation could easily avoid. I confess, I am far from the other Opinion of those who assert, That the Ægyptians, and others of the Heathen World, learned all these religious Acts from the Jesus, because some of them they might learn from their common Fore-Fathers, and others they might jump upon by Chance, or be led to them by the natural Tendency of the Thing. There are a thousand Things which Men do very much alike, and yet neither of them can be faid to learn or copy from one another ; nor can be fo much as said to dream of what the other did. Indeed Men of Wit and Learning may make a Pother about them, shew their own Parts in maintaining a Paradox, and amuse unwary People; but they can make nothing solidly our in such a Matter. To make use of an odd Instance. I will undertake to take an ordinary Scrivener's Conveyance, that is drawn up after the most blundering Rate, and put it into a learned Hand that will vouchsafe to lay out Time this Way; and he shall fetch you parallel Cases for every Period or Word out of the Antiquities of Greece and Rome, bring like Quotations to
every Line out of the Codes and Pandects, alledge apposite Sayings out of Tully and Demofthenes, Libanius and Themistius ; so that the Scrivener might almost seem to have stollen the Conveyance out of these Books: whereas perhaps the poor Man never heard a Word of them in all his Life. And truly I think Dr. Spencer's Book is but a Project of the fame Narure. He finds that some Things in the Jewish and the Heathen Ceremonies' agree, and therefore resolves the first was derived from the latter: Now 'tis an easy Thing for a learned Man, that has Leisure enough, to pick up out of such a Number of Heathen Books, which are extant, a great many Expressions in their Explication of Heathen Rites, which may make them look Tomething like the Jewish Ceremonies; and yet in Reality they might be no more alike than the Scrivener's Conveyance to Cicero's Oration pro Milone. But to speak to the Particulars which you have menti oned :
1. Circumcifion, though it were not a Rite purely Judaical
, yet it was first given to Abrahan, and to descended down to all his Posterity'; and as to what other Use of it there was in other Nations, it was learned from him and his Off-spring. As for the Use of Circumcifion among all the Ifraelitish Race in Arabia, and among the Edomites and other Defcendents from Efan and Abraham's Sons by Keturah, they being of the Seed of Abraham as well as the Fevs, it is no wonder that they maintained their
paternal Rites as well as the other. As for the Colchi, Grotius has proved them to be probably of the ten Tribes carried away by Salmanaffer; for the Scholiaft upon Aristophanes declares, that they own themselves to be of Jewish Extraction. And if the Testimony of Al xander Pobyhistor, quoted by Josephus *, be to be credited, that the Name of Africa came from Afer, the Son of Abraham, by Ko turah, who planted a Colony there ; then we have an easy Account how Circumcifion came to the Athiopians also. There remain then only the Ægyptians, and why they
Circumcifion not from the Ægypti
* Jof. Lib. 1. cap. 16.
might not learn it from Abraham, or Joseph, especially
2. And so for the Urim and Thummim, although the Nor Urim Heatheni Ægyptians might use something like it, yet ’tis and Thum more probable; as Grotius fays, that they did it ut pueri virorum res imitantur, imitate this as Boys use to do what is done by Men ; than that this Usage should be taken from the Heathen : This being the Custom of malicious Dæmons, to put their idolatrous Worshipers upon, as may be seen in many Particulars, as learned Meni have proved at large. There are two Authors which make mention * Epiph. Hær. 30.
+ Diod. Hift. Fab. Lib. 1. ÉL Var. Hist. Lib. 14. cap. 24.