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The Course of Alexander's Victories was so unexpected, so sudden, and every way so wonderful, that it alarm'd the World: And no Man can believe that this was defign'd by Providence only to gratifie the Ambition and Vanity of a rash Youth, but to open a way for a Communication between the several Parts of the Earth, to the Benefit of Mankind, in the Improvement of all useful Knowledge \ and when this Work was done, he was no longer the fame Man he had been before, but soon refign'd his Conquests with his Life.
It is observable, that Alexander was exceedingly addicted to Learning, that he had Philosophers with him, and delign'd to introduce the Greek Tongue by.
'his Conquests, and establish it, as the Universal Language. For e when he left the Mother and Children
•of Darius at Susa , he took care to appoint them Instructors in this Tongue. He f erected above Seventy Cities among the Barbarous Nations , mixing Greeks with the Natives; and 8 order'd Thirty thousand Boys to be educated in the Greek Learning.
Alexander is said, by " Josef bus, to have gone to the Temple at Jerusalem, and offer'd Sacrifice, and to have been mightily encourag'd in his Enterprize against Persia, by the Prophecy of Daniel: He remitted the Tribute of every Seventh Year, in which, by their Law, they were oblig'd not to sow their Ground, 'Which was afterwards remitted to them likewise by the Romans: He granted the Jews, who in great numbers listed themselves in his Army, the free Exercise of their Religion, and promis'd to grant the fame to the Jews of Babylon and Media ; and those of Sanballat's Faction, who follow'd him into zAigfft, he plac'd, in Tbebais. "•
Hecatttw, who liv'd in Alexanders time, wrote k a Book concerning the Jews, in which he took notice of their great Zeal for their Law ; which he proves by this Instance, That when Alexander repair'd the Temple of Belm, at Babylon, his Soldiers, who were Jews, could by no means be brought to help forward that Work; and at last the King excus'd them. He related, that Hez.echias the High-Prie'st of the Jews, a Venerable Man of about Sixty six Years of Age, of great Prudence and Experience, and withal very Eloquent, whom he knew, and had convers'd with, was
. one , amongst others , who follow'd Ptolematts Lagi, after the Battle at Gaz.a; in which he overcame Demetrius Poliorcetes. He mention'd likewise, that Masollamus, a Jew, marching with him, when the rest made a stand, by reason of a Bird, the Stay or Flight whereof, the Augur said, was to be a Direction to them in their March; shot that Bird in the Sight of them all, and defended what he had done, by Argument.. And indeed, the Jews wanted neither Zeal, nor Wit, nor Courage, upon every occasion, to appear in behalf of their own Religion, against the Superstitions and Idolatries of the Heathen. This Book of Hecatans was extant in the time of Josef has, who refers his Reader to it, and remain'd till ' Eusebius'% time, who cites a large Passage out of it, in which is related this Action of Mofollamtis. And Josephus appeals to the Letters of
■ Alexander the.Great , and of Ptolemaus Lagi, and the Kings of tÆgypt his Successors, in favour of the Jews.
When Ptolem&us Lagi m took Jerusalem >, he transplanted the J%>s in great Multitudes into JSgypt, put
ting many of them into his Garrisons, and allowing them equal Privileges with the Macedonians; by which Encouragement, many, besides those whom he transported, voluntarily went to dwell there. And the Captives of that Nation, set at liberty by Ptolemaus Philadelpbus, were 120000. And besides the signal Favours and Honour's bestow'd upon the Jews-, by Ttolem&Hs Philadelphus (who likewise caus'd the Holy Scriptures to be translated into the Greek Tongue, which was an exceeding great furtherance to the Propagation of Religion,) "Seleucus Nicanor granted them the Freedom of Amioch, and of the Cities which he had founded in Asia, and the Lower Syria; and these Privileges remain'd to them till Josef hush time, after all which the Jews had done to deserve to be depriv'd of them.
Antiochus the Great sent forth his Letters and Edicts, which are to be seen in * Josephas , in favour of the Jews, more especially in what related to their Religious Worship. And Seleucus, Son to this Antiochus , after his Father's Example, out of his own Revenues, bore the Cost belonging to the Sacrifices, 2 Mac. iii. 3. Antiochus Epiphanes himself at last, under the avenging Hand of God upon him for all his impious Cruelties, acknowledg'd himself punish'd for his Sacrilege and other Mischiefs committed at Jerusalem, 1 Mac. vi. 12,13. and 2 Mac. ix. 17.
Antiochus Pius, when he besieged Jerusalem , p not only granted a Truce for Seven Days, during the Feast of Tabernacles, but sent rich and noble Presents for Sacrifices; and a Peace being concluded upon honourable Conditions, with regard particularly to Religion , Johannes Hyrcanus accompany'd Antiochus in his Parthian Expedition \ and the Feast of Pentecost fal
Ib. c. 3. • Ib.
Ib. 1.13. c. 16. Plutarch. Apothegm, p. 184. Edit. Par.
G 4 ling ling the Day after the Sabbath , Antiochus stopt his Army those two Days, for the fake of the Jews.
The Lacedemonians claim'd q Kindred with the Jews, and 'are supposed to be partly descended from Abraham by Hagar or Kethura, and partly from the Canaanites, who fled for fear of Joshua, and both They and the Athenians arW Romans enter'd into Leagues with them , which from time to time were continued and renew'd. Josephus mentions a Pillar then standing at Alexandria, containing the Privileges ""granted to the Jews by Julius Cesar, '.whose Death was much lamented by that People.. A" great part of the City beyond the Tiber was. inhabited by Jewj, and most of them had the Freedom of the^City granted to them. * Dio observes, that they prevail'd so far as to make Laws for themselves. And when no other Rer jigian was tolerated, except those establifh'd by the -Laws of the Empire, the Jews only had Allowance for a free Exercise of their Religion even in Rome it self; and for this and-many other Edicts and Decrees of the Senate in-favour of the Jews, Josephusy appeals to she Tables of Brafe then extant, arid prescrv'd in the Capitol, and other places in whicn they were engraven^ ?Most of which Decrees are wanting in the Printed Editipns of Josephus, but are inserted in the MSS. Cor ,pies3 and in the-Old Version, tho' very imperfect.
The Sufferings and Martyrdoms under the Maccar bees; and the Resolution and Constancy which they •fliew'd upon all occasions, in defence of their Rejigir pn, rendred the Jews renowned overall Nations: and besides, their Conquests were very considerable, and $he Advantages which accrued; to Religion by reason
of them. In the time of Johannes Hyrcanus, a all Idumaa embraced the Jemjh Religion. Aristobulus having conquer'd great part of Itnr&a , caus'd all their Males b to be circumcised, and to observe the Law of Moses, as Strabo testifies. Under Alexander Jann&us, c the Jews took twelve Cities from the Arabians, and became pofless'd of many Cities in Syria-, Idum&a, and Phœnicia, all which they brought over to the Profession of their own Religion, and demolilh'd Fella, for refusing to embrace it
Thed Temple built by Sanballat, for Manages, who had marry'd his Daughter, was an occasion ©f the Samaritans leaving their False Gods. e Epiphanius clears them from the Imputation of Idolatry, and .' that they now are either Idolaters or Sadducees, is a Calumny of the Jews. And after the Building of the Temple in tÆgypt, the Babylonian Talmud fays 8 that the Jews there were double the number of those that came out from thence under Moses. The Zeal of the Scribes and Pharisees, though they were Hypocrites, did exceedingly conduce to the Propagation of their Religion ; for they compajsed sea and land to make one Proselyte, and so far they were to be commended; but then they made him two-sold more the child os hell than, themselves, Mat. xxiii. 15. yet still they taught the necessary Points of Doctrine, tho'in Hypocrisie, and with the Mixtures of Superstition ; and our Saviour commands his Disciples to observe .and do what they bid them, but not to do aster their works* And it was required of the Fathers of the Sanhedrin, h that they mould understand many Languages; that the Sanhedrin might hear nothing by an Interpreter j which qualify'd the Scribes and Pharisees, who aspired to that Dignity, to be the better able to make Proselytes.
* Jos. Ant. hi 3. ca7. bIb. Nig. c.19. 'Ib.I.13. c. 23.1.14. c.2. d See Mr. Mead'* Discourse112. e Epiphan. Hær. 9. §. 2.. f F. Siipon'f Suppl. so Leo of Modena. B Lights*/farm. p. 205. ,* Lights. J^xtrciP. in 1 Cor.xiii. 1. p.783. * \ . °