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cultivated lands. It was not only those who aspired to seignories that kept up a spirit of discontent among the wild Irish, but the priests, who, though, during the reigns of James and Charles, they had been indulged with a connivance amounting to a toleration, yet, as they were deprived of their ecclefiaftical revenues, they took effectual means to communicate their dife: pleasure, and prevent any cordial reconciliation between the old and new inhabitants. The successive adıninistrations of Chichester, Grandifon, and Falkland, though attended with some circumstances arbitrary and unjust, had been upon the whole very advantageous to the native Irish, and the favourable inclination of the Stewart family to the principles of the Roman-Catholic faith had occafioned them uncommon indulgences in the article of religion ; yet such was the power, and fuch the intriguing spirit, of the priests, that in the short space between the years 1603 and 1615, three different conspiracies were raised against the English governinent.
" When the earl of Strafford was entrusted with the administration of the affairs of Ireland, he, for the better accomplishment of his purpose to establish a tyranny, endeavoured to make a balance in parliament between the Protestants and Papists, that both parties, intent on thwarting each other, and thus diverted from the objects of their inutual interest, might become an easy prey. By his means the Recusants were not only poffefsed of an equal share of the legislative power, but were treated with much more mildness and distinction than the diflenters. Notwithstanding these advantages, so obvious grew his diabolical purpose, so tyrannical were the means he was necessitated to use, such was the provoking insolence of the man, that these very Papists on whom he seemed to have conferred obligations, these very Papifts whom he judged the properest to be trusted with arms to scourge the Scots for their generous endeavours to maintain their Liberty, these very Papists for whole ease and emolument he had so heavily taxed the Protestants, joined in the prosecution against him, and became the chief instruments of his death. The difficulties with which the king, by his ill conduct, was entangled, proved as advantageous to Irish as to British Liberty.'
[ To be continued and concluded in our next. )
II. A Large
II. A Large Collection of Ancient Jewish and Heathen Teffimonies to
the Truth of the Christian Religion, with Notes and Observations. Vol. IV. Containing the Testimonies of Heathen Writers of the fourth, fifth, and fixth Centuries. To rubich is added the State of Gentilism under Chriflian Emperours. By Nathaniel Lardner, D.D. 410. Pr. 1os. 6d. Cadell.
E have already reviewed three volumes of this learned
and useful work; we now proceed to the fourth and last, containing the following testimonies of heathen writers in the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries of the christian æra.
Chalcidius, a Platonic philofopher, about the year 330, bears testimony to the appearance of an extraordinary star at the time of our Saviour's nativity ; thereby confirming the history which is in the second chapter of St. Matthew's Gofpel.
Alexander of Lycopolis in Egypt, about the year 350, speaks honourably of Jesus Christ, and his religion, or the christian philofophy, as he calls it, commending it as “ plain and fimple, and designed to reform the manners of men of all ranks :"> and he has some references to the scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
Praxagoras, an Athenian, about 350, published several hiftorical works, and among others the history of Constantine the Great, in two books, in which he gives that emperor a great character.
Bemarchius of Cæfarea in Cappadocia, sophist, about the fame time, wrote the history of Constantine in ten books. Nothing of that history now remains, but it was a large work; and there is reason to believe, that it was favourable to that emperor.
The emperor Julian, who succeeded Conftantius in the year 361, in his work against the christians, has borne a valuable testimony to the history and the books of the New Testament. He allows, that Jesus was born in the reign of Augustus, at the time of a taxing made in Judea by Cyrenius * : that the christian religion had its rise, and began to be propagated in the times of the Roman emperors, Tiberius and Claudius. He bears witness to the authenticity of the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the Acts of the Apostles; and he fo quotes them, as to intimate, that these were the only historical books received by christians as of authority, and the only authentic memoirs of Jesus Christ and his apostles, and the doctrine preached by them. He al.
lows the early date of the Gospels, and even argues for it. He quotes, or plainly refers to the Acts of the Apostles, as already said, to St. Paul's Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, and Galatians. He does not deny the miracles of Jesus Christ, but allows him to have healed the blind, and the laine, and demoniacs; and to have rebuked the winds, and walked upon the waves of the sea. He endeavours, indeed, to diminish those works, but in vain. The consequence is undeniable. Such works are good proofs of a divine mission. He endeavours also to lessen the number of the early believers in Jesus ; and yet acknowledges, that there were multitudes of such men in Greece and Italy, before St. John wrote his gespel. He likewise affects to diminish the quality of the early believers ; and yet allows, that besides men-servants and maid-fervants, Cornelius, a Roman centurion at Cæsarea, and Sergius Paulus, proconful of Cyprus, were converted to the faith of Christ, before the end of the reign of Claudius. And he often speaks with great indigna:ion of Peter and Paul, those two great apostles, and successful preachers of the Gospel. So that upon the whole he has undesignedly borne witness to the truth of many things recorded in the books of the New Testament, He airned to overthrow the christian religion, but has confirmed it. His arguments against it are perfe&tly harmless, and insufficient to unsettle the weakest christian.
We are informed by several ancient writers, that Julian gave orders for rebuilding the temple at Jernfalem, and that the attempt was defeated by divine interpo !tin. This is mentioned by three contemporary writers, Gregory Nazianzen, Chryfoftom, and Ambrose, bifhop of Milan, all christians; and also by Ammianus Marcellinus *, a learned heathen, and afterwards by Rufinus, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Phi. lojtorgius, as well as by later writers. Accordingly the truth of this piece of history is maintained by Fabricius, Witius, the learned bishop of Gloucester, and others. Bainage, however, has made fome objeclions, and Dr. Lardner proposes the following:
"1. Julian's own writings may difpofe us to think, that he never attempted to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. He defigned it. But it is not so clear that he attempted it, or actially set about it, or gave orders for it. In his letter to the
* Cum rei fortiter inftaret Alypius, juvaretque provinciæ rector, metuendi globi flammarum prope fundamenta crebris assultibus erumpentos, fecere locum exuftis aliquoties operantibus inacceffum. Hocque modo elemento destinatius repellente, ceflavit inceptum. L. 23. cap. 1.
community of the Jews he desires their prayers for the prosperity of his reign, “ and the rather, forasmuch as, if he fucceeded in his war with the Persians, he would rebuild their holy city of Jerusalem.” But he did not succeed in the war ; and he never returned from Persia; therefore he never fet about rebuilding Jerusalem, or the temple there. Nor did he, at the time of writing that letter, intend to set about it, unless he first fucceeded in the war with the Persians. He seems to have fupposed it to be a work which he should not be able to undertake, till after the Persian war was over, and had a good issue.
• 2. That Julian should give orders for building the temple, and allot money for it out of the public treasurie, when he was setting out for Persia, is very unlikely. It is not easily credible, that he should at that time do any thing that might at all impede the expedition against the Persians, upon which he had been so long intent. We may reasonably suppose, that when he wrote his letter to the Community of the Jews, and told them, he would build their temple, if be returned victorious; he was then sensible, he could not attempt it sooner : and that he should want all the resources of money and treasure, for that one design. Which seems actually to have been the case. And when Marcellinus speaks of Julian's attempt, he appears to Blave been very sensible, that the emperour's hands were full, and that there was at that time no room for
expenfive undertaking, beside the Persian war.
• 3. Great weight is laid upon the testimonie of Ammianus Marcellinus, who was a heathen, and an impartial historian.
• But then, it has been said by some, that he had his acfount from the christians, and took it up without examination. To which I would add, that he was credulous, as appears from 'many things in his historie. He might therefore without scruple record a miraculous interpofition, which had been reported to him. Indeed, he appears very ready to receive the reports of extraordinarie things. Some things are mentioned by him * which we cannot but wonder to see related by a man of gravity, and with plain marks of affent.
4. The historie of this event, as related by christian writers, is loaded with miracles or pretended miracles, which appear to be incredible. For it is not easie to believe, that by Divine interposition crosses were formed in the air, and impressed with a fine embroderie, or painting, upon mens bodies, or garments. Not now to mention any other of the strange things, most of them filly and trifling, inserted in the accounts
V.1. 18 cap. 3•
of this affair. But all God's works have a dignity becoming himself.
• Mr. Mosheim having largely considered the storie of the crosse appearing to Constantin in the air, or in a dream, with a direction from Christ, that he should make use of that sign in his wars, and assuring him of victorie thereby, concludes, that it is not a thing worthie of Christ: and says, that “it could be nothing more than the natural dream of a general and an emperour, who fell asleep, as he was thinking of the impending war, and the best method of overcoming his enemies. Let us take heed, says he, left by too stilly defending the narratives of the ancient christians concerning the miracles of their time, we should offend against the majesty of God himself, and against our most holy religion, which teacheth us, not to overcome our cnemies, but ourselves.” A fage observation! which may be juftly applied upon divers occafions, and upon this in particular, as I apprehend.
5. There was at that time no occasion for such miraculous interpositions. Undoubtedly, the Jewith Temple was not to be re-built. It is not to be thought, that Divine Providence would.permit it to be done at that time. But there was no need of such miracles to hinder it. Julian did not live long. Supposing the Jews to have begun in his reign to erect the temple at Jerusalem ; the christian emperours, who succeeded him, would take care, that they should not proceed. The rebuilding the temple was not a work of a few weeks, or months, no, nor years. Supposing, they had set about the work at the begining of the year 363, they could not have done a great deal, before Julian died, and then their work would be effe&ually obstructed.
66. Once more. There are several christian writers, who have said nothing about this affair, who were very likely to mention it, if any thing of this kind had been done. I shall instance in three : Jerome, Prudentius, and Orofius.
Jerome was a contemporarie. He was a young man, when Julian died.
A great part of his time he lived at Bethlehem, and had travelled over the land of Israel, or Palestine. But never takes notice of this uncommon event. Dan. xi, 34. Now when they shall fall, they shall be bolpen with a little help. In his comment upon that verse, “ he mentions several, to whom that prophecie had been applied. Some, he says, understood thereby the emperour Julian, who pretended to love the Jews, and promised to offer facrifices in their temple.” It is allowed by all, that Julian favored the Jews, and pretended to love them, though he bore them no good will, and that he likewise talked of rebuilding their temple, and facrificing there. But