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apostles, and particularly how apt they were to be alarmed at the introduction of any thing that was new to them, and had the least appearance of contrariety to the law of Moses, it will both supply a strong argument in favour of the truth of christianity, and against their receiving the doctrine of the divinity or pre-existence of Christ either then or afterwards. Their rooted prejudices against the apostle Paul (whose conversion to christianity must have given them great satisfaction) merely on account of his activity in preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised Gentiles (though with the approbation of the rest of the apostles) shows that they would not receive any novelty without the strongest evidence. Their dislike of the apostle Paul, we know from ecclesiastical history, continued to the lateit period of their existence as a church, and they would never make use of his writings. But to the very last, their objections to him amounted to nothing more than his being no friend to the law of Moses.
The resemblance between the character of the Ebionites, as given by the early chris
tian Fathers, and that of the Jewith chris. tians at the time of Paul's last journey to Jerusalem, is very striking. After he had given an account of his conduct to the more intelligent of them, they were satisfied with it; but they thought there would be great difficulty in satisfying others.
* Thou “ seest brother,” say they to him, Acts xxi. 20.
“ how many thousands of Jews “ there are who believe, and they are all “ zealous of the law. And they are in“ formed of thee, that thou teachest all the " Jews who are among the Gentiles, to for“ sake Moses; saying that they ought not “ to circumcise their children, neither to ©walk after the customs. What is it “ therefore? The multitudes must needs “ come together, for they will hear that “ thou art come. Do therefore this that “ we say unto thee : We have four men who " have a vow on them; them take, and pu"rify thyself with them, and be at charges " with them, that they may Mhave their ç hcads, and all may know that those things ` whereof they were informed concerning “thce are nothing, but that thou thyself 2
“ also walkest orderly and keepest the law.”
I have not met with any mention of more
CH A P T E R IX.
Of the supposed Church of Orthodox Jews
at Jerusalem, subsequent to the Time of Adrian,
OSHEIM speaks of a church of trini
tarian 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 says, 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 affert a notorious untruth in a public controversy. He must have been a fool, as well as a knave, to have ventured
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 Differtations 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 chrif-' tians. But this is easily accounted for from the attachment which he himself had to the