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to its authenticity, by admitting it amongst the Apocryphal books, while the modern Papists, for obvious reasons, reject it.

Likewise it must not be forgotten, that Leo Juda is said to have translated the book from the Hebrew.

But of all modern witnesses, Picus Mirandula is the most important. He asserts that a spiritual interpretation of the law was given to Moses, called the Cabala, because handed down from father to son; but that after the captivity, when Esdras had re-published the law, fearing lest the traditional interpretation should be lost, he convened the learned elders, and collected their traditions, which he publislied in 70 volumes, corresponding to the number of the elders. He then uses the following expressions: "Quâ de re qui mihi non credunt, audiant Esdram ipsum sic loquentem, eractis quadraginta diebus locutus est Altissimus dicens, priora quæ scripsisti, in palan pone, legunt digni et indigni, novissimos autem septuaginta libros conservabis ut tradas eos sapientibus de populo tuo; in his enim est vena intellectus, et sapientiæ fons, et scientiæ flu. men ; atque ita feci. Hac Esdras ad verbum. Hi sunt libri scientiæ Cabale in quibus meritò Esdras venam intellectus, id est, ineffabilem de supersubstantiali Deitate theologiam ; sapientiæ fontem, id est, de intelligibilibus angelicisque formis exactam metaphysicam; et scicntiæ flumen, id est, de rebus naturalibus firmissimam philosophiam esse, clain primis voce pronunciavit. Hi libri Sixtus IV. Pontifex Maximus, qui hunc, sub quo vivimus, felicit Innocentium VIII. proximè antecessit, murimà curâ studioque curavit ut in publicam fidei nostra utilitatem Latinis literis mandarentur. Jamque cùm ille decessit, tres ex illis pervenerant ad Lutinos. Hi libri apud Hebræos hâc tempestate tanta religione coluntur; ut neminem liceat nisi XL annos natum illos attingere. Hos ego libros non mediocri impensa mihi cum comparassem, summa diligentia indefessis laboribus cùm perlegissem, vidi in illis (testis est Deus) religionem non tam Mosaicam

quam

Christianam. Ibi Trinitatis mysterium, ibi Verbi Incarnatio, ibi Messiæ Divinitas, ibi de peccato originali, de illius per Christum expiatione, de cælesti Hierusalem, de casu dæmoniorum, de ordinibus angelorum, de purgatoriis, de inferorum panis.

Eadem legi que apud Paulum et Dionysium, apud Hieronymum et Augustinum quotidiè legimus. In his verò quæ spectant ad Philosophiam Pythoporum prorsus audias

et Platonem, quorum decreta ita sunt fidei Christiane effinia, ut Augustinus noster immensas Deo grutias agat quod nd ejus manus pervenerint libri Platonicorum. In plenum, nulla est firme de re nobis cum Hebraicis controversia, de quâ er libris Cabalistarum ita redargue convincique non possint, ut ne angulus quidem reliquus sit in quem se condunt, cujus rei testem habeo gravissimum Antonium Croniсит.(Pici Mirandulæ opera, p. 123.)

From this extraordinary passage it may be collected, that the second book of Esdras, which is divisible into three books, two of which consist of the two first and the two last chapters, formed a part of the book seen by Picus. And if we compare the passage with the quotation of St. Ambrose with which my second letter concludes, we may perhaps find reason to infer that St. Ambrose possessed the very book described by Picus. It is not my intention here to discuss the subject of the Oral ław, said to have been given to Moses; but I cannot help observing, that it is by no means inconsistent to suppose that such a thing might have existed, and have been preserved in the schools of the prophets, and yet have been so far corrupted in the time of our Saviour as to become the object of his fervent reprehension. Nor is it at all unaccountable that Christians should not have known the Hebrew original of this book, if it really existed; for if we believe the author, he meant part of his works to be secret and apocryphal, and perhaps, his other works to be canonical. And if his works were possessed only by the enemies of Christianity, they might easily have destroyed them, or have kept them secret from Christians. It is certain that many Jewish books have perished, and others have been kept secret. (Critical observations on books, ancient and modern, number x. p. 13.) And it is observable that the Jews themselves believe that the Oral traditions passed from Ezra to the inen of the great synagogue; which exactly coincides with, and supports the statement in 2d Esdras. “ The Jews" (says Calmet) “have pretended that Esdras was the prophet Malachi, that he invented points, that he was the restorer of the Scriptures, settled the canon, and introduced the Chaldean characters.”

Prideaux himself is of opinion that Ezra made additions in several parts of the Bible, where any thing appeared necessary for illustrating, connecting, or complet

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ing the work, in which he appears to have been assisted by the same spirit in which they were first written.

These opinions either originaie in, or illustrate and confirm, the book in question. Nor must it be omitted that Josephus bimself, speaking of Esdras (Ant. xi. v. 2.) gives an account of the ten tribes, and of the restoration of some of their members by Esdras to their own land, in a manner very similar to the thirteenth chapter of second Esdras.

One might almost be induced to think that Esdras predicted that partial restoration of those tribes, as a type or earnest of their final restoration, predicted by St. John in the same words, (Rev. xvi. 12.) Many commentators indeed explain the sixth vial in such a manner that 2 Esdras xiii. must appear either the ground-work or the best explanation of Rev. xvi. 12, &c. This is the passage in Esdras which struck Sir W. Jones' so forcibly, and which he certainly thought to have been in a great measure accomplished.

I have now brought the external evidences to a close. The most important conclusion to be drawn is this, that if the passages in Esdras parallel to passages in the New Testament were borrowed thence, they prove that the book was written after the time of St. John's death, because many of them coincide exactly with the Apocalypse. But if the book was consequently forged in the second century, how can we suppose that within another century it should have been received by the fathers with the highest veneration ? For within a century from the death of St. John, Clemens Alexandrinus, who probably possessed a Greek copy, expressly quoted the prophet Esdras. This position is the jugulum causa. This is the issue to which I bring the external evidence, and with which I shall conclude the first part of my enquiry.

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EXTRACTS.

The

A Survey of the Seven CHURCHES of Asia, as they

uore lie in their Ruins. [From Travels in the East by THOMAS SMITH, B. D. Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. Sro. 1678.] THE curious surveys every where extant of Bethle

hem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem, places so fainous for the birth, education,' and sufferings of our Blessed Saviour, (which are owing to the industry, and learning, and curiosity of devout pilgrims, who, from the first ages of Christianity to this present, not without the desigu of Providence, as I verily believe, have visited Mount Calvary and the Holy Sepulch re) suffer us not to be unacquainted with their situation and state: every one who has but the least gust for antiquity, or history, or travel, or insight into books, greedily catching at such relations. But a sadder fate seemed to hang over the Seven Churches of Asia, founded by the Apostles, and to which the eternal Son of God vouchsafed io send those episiles recorded in the book of the Revelation of St. John, which, by the unpardonable carelessness of the Greeks (unless that horrid stupidity into which their slavery has cast them, may plead some excuse herein) have lain so long neglected; they giving us no account of their ruins; and the Westeri Christians, either not caring, or not daring to visit them. The English gentilemen who live in Smyrna, out of a pious zeal, and a justly commendable curiosity, some few years since were the first who made a voyage thither, to see the remainders of that magnificence, for which those cities were so renowned in the histories of ancient times.

During my stay at Smyrna, where I arrived about the middle of February, 1670, from Constantinople, in order to get a safe passage for Christendom in our fleet of merchants ships, then lading at that place, I was seized with the same curiosity. But an opportunity did not so easily present itself: the waters were not then quite

and the plains in several places scarce passable ; besides, I wanted company, which is highly necessary in those countries, both for security and convenience;

Vol. XI. Churchm. Mag. for Aug. 1806 R having

down;

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having bad sad experience by my travels in other part3 of Turkey, of the difficulties and hazards of such voyages.

But our ships not departing till July following, the love and respect I had to antiquity, and to the memory of those churches, once so famous, made ine not only forget, but despise danger : and it happened very luckily, that three worthy English gentlemen had taken up the same resolution, and would risque it too. The spring was now advanced ; and we were to set out with all convenient speed, before the heats increased and grew excessive; and for our better safety, we hired two stout and honest Janizaries, well known to our nation ; two Armenian Christians, a cook, and three grooms to look 10 our horses : in all, twelve of us. Which number was but necessary : for at that time of the year when there is grass in the fields for their horses, the roads are infested with robbers in strong and numerous parties, well mounted and armed, who take all advantages of assaulting passengers; and kill first, and rob afterwards : soinetimes coming twenty or thirty days journey out of the mountains of Cilicia, and from Georgia, to the furthermost provinces of the Lesser Asia, lying toward the Archipelago for this purpose.

April the third, 1671, we set out from Smyrna, and went about to the northern side of the bay, which runs in a good way to the north-east, riding for several hours near the shore, under the rocky mountains of Gordilen, which, with the opposite mountain Mimas, there being high bills also to the east, makes the haven so secure for ships, which lye, as it were, land-!ockt. Our way lay northward, and somewhat to the west. For that we might the better observe the turnings and windings of our journey, and the bearings of places, we took a seacompass with us. Leaving Menamen, which I suppose is the Temnos of the ancients, on the right hand, a town well situated, and considerable for the trade of diinity and scamity, we rode down to the river Hermus, not far distant from it (having in our way a very pleasant prospect of rich plains and ineadows) where we arrived, after six hours and a half.

Hermus bath its rise in the greater Phrygia; and, passing through Lydia and Æolis, pours its waters into the bay of Smyrna, over against Surlare (famous for its hot waters, mentioned by Strubo under the name of Biquie i'Pala, and much frequented by Turks and Greeks,

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