Imágenes de página

autem Adana ab omni hominum memoria fuiffet, voluere Cilices videri effe opus primi hominis five Saturni vel Adami. Thus Stephanus fays, that as memory failed relative to the name of the city of Adana, the Cililians would have it derived either from the first man, whether Saturn or Adam.

Philofophers alfo had an idea, and a strong one too, of the immortality of the foul; how fimilar to the facred text are the expreffions of Epicharmes in Plutarch : Συνεκρίθη, και διε Хрията και απηλθεν οτεν ηλθε παλιν γη μεν εις γην, πνευμα δε ανώ which fignify, that the human body being compofed, is also subject to de-compofition, and to return to the earth from whence it came; but the spirit afcends towards heaven, This fentiment is exactly correfpondent with these words in Ecclefiaftes-" Then fhall the duft return to the earth as it was; and the spirit to God who gave it."

Plato places the fimilitude of man to God in juftice, fanctity, and prudence, agreeable to the doctrine of Scripture; hence it is, perhaps, that Numenius, the Pythagorean, exclaimed,-Quid enim aliud eft Plato quam Mofes Attica lingua loquens: To Jap 851 Twy ή Μωσης Ατίσκιζων

It would fill whole volumes to relate all that has been faid by learned men, to prove



and difprove, the probability of the heathen philofophers having interpolated the Mosaic writings. It is afferted on the one hand, that previous to the tranflation of the Law of Mofes by the LXXII, the heathen philofophers were intirely ignorant of the works of Mofes and to confirm this, a paffage is quoted from Philo, wherein he seems to alledge that the laws of Mofes were first tranflated at the request of Ptolemy Philadelphus; but this is completely answered by Is. Voffius, who establishes the opinion or testimony of Ariftobulus, who fays, "that before Eleazer had tranfmitted an amended book of the law to Ptolomy, there had been another tranflation in the Alexandrian library, which appears by the letter of Demetrius to Ptolemy; which copy was carelefly written that this version appearing rather inaccurate, was the reafon it was thought necessary to make a translation from a copy more to be depended on.'

The teftimony of Ariftobulus, who lived under Ptolemy Philometor, in a fragment quoted by Eufebius, fays, "it is fully evident that Plato not only copied after the laws of Mofes, but also had carefully perufed every chapter: For before Demetrius Phale



fus, and before the empire of Alexander and the Perfians, nay, he says, that there was at that time a Greek tranflation from whence the philofophers borrowed, that Pythagoras was acquainted with it, as alfo Socrates and Plato."-Eufe. pre. xiii. 2.

Many things recorded in the history of Mofes, are obfervable in the fable of Bacchus: if we suppose him, according to the fiction of fome authors, to have been born in Egypt, to have been immediately expofed to perish in an ark committed to the waters; that he was of a beautiful form, and educated in Arabia; that he was a renowned warrior, and had women in his camp. That Orpheus calls Bacchus Min, for Mofes, fays he was a lawgiver, and imputes to him na diques a twofold law, as it were the two tables. That he was called bicornis, which word has been taken, improperly, to fignify what happened to Mofes when his face fhone.


That ferpents were used in the mysteries of Bacchus, and that a dog always accompa nied him, as Caleb, (which word in Hebrew fignifies a dog) was attendant on Mofes. In Euripides, Bacchus is reprefented as having produced water from a rock after striking it with his Thyrfus; and the earth is faid to


have yielded milk, wine and honey wherefoever he travelled. Add, that Nonnus relates, that Bacchus having touched the rivers Orontes and Hydafpes at different times with his Thyrfus, paffed on dry land thro' the midst of them; that having caft his stick intwined with ivy on the ground, it crept like a ferpent: that while the Indians were involved in darkness, the attendants of Bacchus enjoyed the light. The learned Bochart fays, after having made many obfervations to this purpose, "Ex mirabile illo concentu vel cæcis apparebit prifcos Fabularum architectos e fcriptoribus facris multa effe mutuatos"




SEEING that Mofes muft undoubtedly have learned (among other branches of useful knowledge which he certainly taught) the science of aftronomy, why did he not inftruct his disciples in this alfo? the folution of which queftion is easily deducible from the following reafons.

From the first feeble attempts of genius to cultivate a science, which in its present improved ftate, of all others, tends moft to raife in the mind the nobleft ideas of the fupreme Being, originated idolatry and superftition. Sirius, and other constellations, became the objects of religious worship, under various forms and representations, which multiplied without end; and it is extremely probable, that to avoid fuch inconsiderate and


« AnteriorContinuar »