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Brachmans like the Levites must go into the inward Parts of the Temple. They are defiled by a dead Body, and have Cakes before their Idols like the shew Bread; and the Brachmans like the Jewish High-Priests must marry Virgins. And the Inhabitants of the Country of * Tangath redeem their First-born with a Ram. Now when the Jewish and the Indian Rites are fo very like, why might not I assert, that Moses had them from India, as well as you from Agypt? Nay, even the barbarous Tartars have many Things not unlike the Jews *. They celebrate the New-Moons with Songs and Compotations; they bewail their Dead thirty Days, they breed no Hogs, and punish Adultery with Death. And fo as to the new World, the Children of the People of Mexico and Jucat an are circumcised; and the Mexican's keep in a perpetual Fire.
The Charibeans celebrate the New Mcon with the Sound of a Trumpet, and abstain from Swine's Flesh. Those of Mechoacana are defiled by dead Bodies; and those of Peru, and new Spain, marry their Brother's Wives. And in Nicaragua, Women after Child-birth are unclean. Besides, the Attick and Roman Laws and Rites are in many Things, as like the Jewish as the Ægyptian. The Attick Laws establish, that no ’Ezinampos or Heiress should marry out of her own Tribe; their fansè, or Cakes answer to the shew Bread; and the Law of Solon , that Women in Grief should not tear their Cheeks is not unlike that of Moses, Lev. xix. 28. Their Priests were to marry Virgins and Citizens ; and no Lamb was to be a Sacrifice less than a Year old. And we may say the same of the Romans. Their Sacrifices bore a great Correspondence with the Jewish, the burning the Holocausta, their Mola Salsa, Lustrations, &c. Their Nadipedales feem very like the Eastern Devotion of pulling off the Shoes
. Their Puerpere, abstaining forty Days from the Temple, the Fron'dee Case in the Feasts of Anna Perenna, and the Neptu
* Vid. Thevenot. Huet. Dem. Prop. 4. Cap. 6. + Vid. Conping. Thef. Rerump. | Plut. Sol,
nalia, so like the Feast of Tabernacles; the unhallowing of a Priest that touched a dead Body, or who associated with his Wife before Sacrifice; all look as like the Jewish Laws, as any. Custom in Ægypt. From all which I conclude, that since so many Nations, in so different Parts of the World, have the same Rites with the Jews, either by Chance or Tradition, or it by the Mimickry of the Devil; I am sure it is very great Boldness to say, that all these came to the Jews from the Ægyptians.
Phil. Well, Credentius, you have made a fine learned Harangue upon the Matter, if we Infidels were to be convinced by that. But I have a notable Objection which lies both against Mofes and all the Sons of the Prophets. And that is, they appear to be like the rest of the Jews, miserable ignorant People, and after all. their mighty Pretences to the Knowledge of the divine Nature, are scandalously ignorant concerning it. They every where seem to be gross Anthropomorphites
, representing God as having Eyes, and Hands, and Feet. Adam, to whom God made his first. Revelation, knew nothing of God's Omnipresence, or. Omniscience, but pretended to hide himself from him, and to make a simple Excuse to himn. And Moses
, who relates the Story, brings in God like a Man walking in the Garden. The same Moses was so silly as to fancy God visible, and to desire to see him, Exod. xxxiii. And some of the Prophets endow God with human Passions, and make him to repent, to be sorry, and to be glad. But above all the Contrivance of the Prophet Fonah is the wisest, who thought to run away to Tarshish out of God Almighty's Reach, as if God had no Power out of the Country of Judea. Now who can expect Revelation to come from those Heads, which were not furnished with the common Notions of Natural Religion?
Cred. You do a great Injury to the holy Scriptures, and to the Memory of the holy Men, recorded there, to conceive such an extravagant Opinion of them; especially when it is taught there, that God is a Spirit, that
he beholds all Things, is prefent every where, that he is Jews far not a Man, and the like. And therefore you ought in from being all Candour to suppose, that these Expressions which atBurghies. tribute Hands, Eyes, &c. to God, are only to be taken
metaphorically, and are fpoke only 'Av@gwrotatūs, after the manner as Men speak. And to this the Jewish Writers, who are supposed to understand their own Language best, do unanimously agree. This Maimonides spends several Chapters in his first Book of his More Nevochim to prove. So the Targum, when the Scripture seems to iinpute any corporeal Adion to the Deiry, interprets it in a Way more agreeable to the divine Na
As Gen. xxviii. And behold the Lord stood above it. Onkelos Paraphrases, The Glory of the Lord stood afore it. So Gen. xxxi. 49. The Lord watch between me and thee. The Targum says, The Word of the Lord watch between me and thee. And this is the constant Use of that Interpreter, says Maimonides More Nev. Lib. I. Cap. 46. And a Jewith Rabbin * writes, that when they meet with any Expression or Metaphor, concerning the Deity', of this Natpre, they are used to interpose Cabiacol, If Í may lo speak, Vid. Buxtorf. Lexicon Talm. Rad. '23. Now the true Reason why the Scripture does exprefs the Attributes of God by bodily Actions and Properties, is not, that those Writers thought God of a bodily Shape, but by the Reason of the Narrownefs of the Hebrew Tongue, they wanted abstracted Terms to express them by. And when these corporeal Terms were applied to God, the People of that Nation knew as well what was meant by them, as the Schools do by all their Quiddities. Thus the Eye of God, is the fame as the Providence of God. Só Jer. xxxix. 12. Caft thine Eye sipon bim, (i. c.) take Care of him. And 2 Chr. xvi. 9. The Eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole Earth, (i. c.) God takes Care of all People in it. So the Heart of God was as well understood by the Jews,
* Author Halic. Ol. c. 1. quoted by Hottinger in his Dissertat. Theolog. Philolog.
as if it had in more scholastick Language been called his
, or Laws. By the Month of God they
rather great Reason to bless his Goodness in ordering it to be explained in such a Way as is intelligible to the meanest People, who would have been but amused and distracted at the abftrufe Niceties and Explications which philosophick and scholastick Brains would have made concerning it. This I take to be a very proper Explication of those human Parts and Affections which are in many Places of Scripture attributed to God.
But as concerning some natural A&ions which are applied to him, as his walking, coming, going, wrestling, oc. this is to be attributed to the Angel which did represent the Deity in those Appearances. And I doubt not but it was such a vicarious Angel which appeared frequently before the Fall to Adam and Eve in Paradise. And that it was the Voice, or Sound of him whom they beard walking in the Garden in the Cool of the Day. That is, they heard that Wind or Voice which used to go before the representing Angel which they were sufficient ly acquainted with. For with this Circumstance the divine Appearance used to be attended. As the Lord answered Job out of the Whirlwind, Job xxxviii. And 1 Kings xix. And behold, the Lard passed by, and a great and strong Wind rent the Mountains ; and after that, an Earthquake, and a Fire, and a still small Voice. Now the guilty Couple understanding by these Preludes, the coming of the vicarious Angel, "hid themselves for Fear. Nor did they pretend to make simple Excuses to God Almighty out of Ignorance of his Omniscience, as you falsely imagine. For they are so far from that, that they unhappy Creatures plainly confess the Fact upon the first Charge, in all the naked Circumstances of it. The Wom man whom thon gavest me, to be with me, gave me of the Tree, and I did eat. The Serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. There is nothing in these Words which implies any Thing like fuch absurd Excuses. Only some fanciful Expositors will make Adam here to shift off the Crime
upon his Wife, which God bad given him, and to cast a severe Reflexion upon God's Ordinance of Wedlock, which they say he here flily infinuates to be