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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 swearing them.selves in such a silly 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 sore 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 celebrated Religion which he pretended to give the Fews 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 us. 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 Fews, that to be fure was taken from the Ægyptians, or some other Nation ; that Ceremony being uted 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 Æg yptians High-Priest, mentioned by * Diodorus Siculus. The Linen Garments, which the Jewish High-Priest and other inferior ones wore, were copied from the e Ægyptian Priests who wore the like, as Herodotus: and Plutarch || relate. The Cherubim were only the Imitation of Apis's Hieroglyphick or Image, the Bull, or of those Sneia Menú LOS DE 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 Ofiris, 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 Luftrations. 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
of those mai as the le And
: * Hift. Fab. Lib. 1. cap. 37.
Plutarch de Iside & Ofyr.
+ Herod. Hist. Lib. 2, cap. 37. Herod. cap. 4.
fell fell down and worshiped the very Pot-herbs of their Garden?
Cred. I am heartily sorry that the learned Author De Femilla Legibus Hebræorum has put a keen Sword into the Infidels Rzes not Hands, the better to attack Religion with, which their derived
from the blunt Arguments would have been less able to do. Not" 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 slavish 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 prdinary 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 thele religious Acts from the Ferus, 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 so 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 U 4
every Line out of the Codes and Pandects, alledge apposite Sayings out of Tully and Demofthenes, Libanius and Themistins ; 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 Hea: then Books, which are extant, a great many Expressions in their Explication of Heathen Rites, which may make them look something 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. Circumcision, though it were not a Rite purely Judaical, yet it was first given to Abrahan, and so 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-Ipring. As for the Use of Circumcision among all the Ifraelitis Race in Arabia, and among the E danite's and other Defcendents from Efan and Abraham's Sons by Keturah, they being of the Seed of Abraham as well as the Fervs, it is no Wonder that they maintained their paternal Rites as well as the other. As for the Colchi, Grotinis has proved them to be probably of the ten Tribes carried away by Salmanaffer; for the Scholiast upon Aristophanes declares, that they own themselves to be of Jewish Extraction. And if the Testimony of Alexander Pobyhistor, quoted by Josephus *, be to be credited, that the Name of Africa came from Afer, the Son of Abrahams, by Kos turah, who planted a Colony there ; then we have an easy Account how Circumcision came to the Athiopians also. There remain then only the Ægyptians, and why they,
from the Ægyptians, .
* Jof. Lib. 1. cap. 16.
mong thieved that else thole Fuch a careials an Rigmat Matter
only of a ford that Circums evident that their dreame of
might not learn it from Abraham, or Joseph, especially when he was in his Grandeur in Pharaoh's Court, I confefs I could never see any good Reason. Indeed it is something difficult to think, that a whole Nation fhould learn such a troublesome Rite of a Stranger. But the whole People of the Ægyptians were not circumcised, only the Hierophantæ and the Priests. * And they might take this up in Emulation to Foseph, that they might not seem to be outdone by him in any extraordinary Mark of Holiness, as the Magicians vied with Mofes in pretending to do the fame Miracles with him. And I take it to be plain, that no other Nation made use of an universal Circumcision of all their Males, but the Jews only. The Ægyptians had among them a Sort of a Female Circumcision mentioned by Strabo, a Custom never dreamt of among the Fervus. 'And 'tis evident that the Gentiles gené. rally believed that Circumcifion was the Characteristick only of a Few, or else those reproachful Names given to the Fews upon this Account, such as verpus, recutitus, curtus, &c. mentioned by Juvenal, Martial, and others, have no Sense in them; they being designed to stigmatise the
Fewus by them, for a particular Singularity in this Matter above other Nations; which if so many Nations, as you pretend, had used, there would be no Ground for. But we never find, that these odd Names were given to the
Ægyptians, Arabians, the Colchi, or the Æthiopians; and therefore 'tis plain, that they were not universally circum.. cised, as the Jews were. . 2.' And so for the Urim and Thummim, although the Nor Urim Heather Ægyptians might use something like it, yet 'tis and Thum more probable; as Grotius fays, that they did it ut pueri
berdia ir et mese: mim... 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 Meri have proved at large. There are t two Authors which make mention ( * Epiph. Hær. 30. ' + Diod. Hift. Fab. Lib. 1. ÉL Var. Hift. Lib. 14. cap. 24. ''