Obrazy na stronie

"also walkest orderly and keepest the law." So great a resemblance in some things, viz. their attachment to the law, and their prejudices against Paul, cannot but lead us to imagine, that they were the fame in other respects also, both being equally zealous observers of the law, and equally strangers to the doctrine of the divinity of Christ. In that age all the Jews were equally zealous for the great doctrine of the unity of God, and their peculiar customs. Can it be supposed then that they would so obstinately retain the one, and so readily abandon the other?

I have not met with any mention of more than one orthodox Jewish christian in the course of my reading, and that is one whose name was Joseph, whom Epiphanius fays he met with at Scythopolis, when all the other inhabitants of the place were Arians. Hær. 30. Opera, vol, 1. p. 129.

[merged small][graphic]


Of the supposed Church of Orthodox Jews at Jerusalem, subsequent to the Time of Adrian.

liyTOSHEIM speaks of a church of trinitarian Jews, who had abandoned the law of Moses, and resided at Jerusalem; subsequent to the time of Adrian. Origen, who asserts that all the Jewish christians of his time conformed to the law of Moses, he fays, must have known of this church ; and therefore he does not hesitate to tax him with asserting a wilful falsehood. Error was often ascribed to this great man by the later Fathers, but never before, I believe, was his veracity called in question. And least of all can it be supposed, that he would have dared to assert a notorious untruth in a public controversy. He must have been a fool, as well as a knave, to have ventured upon it.


Bodies of men do not suddenly change their opinions, and much less their customs and habits; least of all would an act of violence produce that effect; and of all mankind the experiment was the least likely to answer with the Jews. If it had produced any effect for a time, their old customs and habits would certainly have returned when the danger was over. It might just as well be supposed that all the Jews in Jerusalem began at that time to speak Greek, as well as that they abandoned their ancient customs. And this might have been alledged in favour of it, that from that time the bishops of Jerusalem were all Greeks, the public offices were no doubt performed in the Greek language, and the church of Jerusalem was indeed, in all respects, as much a Greek' church as that of Antioch.

Mosheim produces no authority in his' Dissertations for his assertion. He only says, that he cannot reconcile the fact that Origen mentions, with his seeming unwillingness to allow the Ebionites to be christians. But this is easily accounted for from the attachment which he himself had to the

doctrine doctrine of the divinity of Christ, which they denied; and from their holding no communion with other christians.

All the appearance of authority that I can find in any ancient writer, of the Jewish christians deserting the law of their ancestors, is in Sulpicius Severus, to whom I am referred by Mostieim in his History. But what he fays on the subject is only what follows: "At this time Adrian, thinking «' that he should destroy Christianity by "destroying the place, erected the images of ** dæmons in the church, and in the place '* of our Lord's sufferings; and because the "christians were thought to consist chiefly "of Jews (for then the church at Jerusalem 14 had all its clergy of the circumcision) "ordered a cohort of soldiers to keep con"stant guard, and drive all Jews from any "access to Jerusalem; which was of service ** to the christian faith. For at that time "they almost all believed Christ to be God, "but with the observance of the law; the "Lord so disposing it, that the servitude "of the law should be removed from the "liberty of the faith and of the church.


[ocr errors]

«« Then was Marc the first bishop of the "Gentiles at Jerusalem*." Here the historian says, that the object of Adrian was to overturn Christianity, and that the Jews were banished because the christians there were chiefly of that nation. According to this account, all the Jews, christians, as well as others, were driven out of Jerusalem, and nothing is said of any of them forsaking the law of Moses. Euscbius mentions the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem, but says not a word of any of the christians there abandoning circumcision, and their other ceremonies, on that occasion. Indeed, such a thing was in the highest de

* Qua tempestate Adrianus, existimans fe chriflianam fidem loci injuria perempturum, et in templo ac loco dominicæ passionis dæmonum simulachra constituit. Et quia christiani ex Judæis potissimum. putabantur (namque , turn Hierosolymæ non nisi ex circumcisione habebat ec clesia Sacerdotem) militum cohortem custodias in perpetuum agitare jussit, quæ Judæos omnes Hierosolymæ aditus arceret. Quod quidem christianæ fidei proficiebat; quia turn pene omnes Christum Deum sub legis observations credebant, Nimirum id domino ordinante difpositum, ut legis servitus a libertate fidei atque ecclefiæ tolleretur. Itatum primum Marcus ex Gentibus apuJ Hierosolymani episcopus suit. Hist, lib,2. cap. 31. p. 215.

Voi,. III. O grce

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »