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Art . I , EccksiastkalResearches ; or , Philo aud Josephus proved to be Historians and Apologists of Christ , of his Followers and of the Gospel . By John Jones . 8 vo . pp . 596 . ' Mawman . 1812 .
Mr , John Jones is well-known to our readers as a learned and laborious searcher into ecclesias ticai antiquity ; who with the ingenuousness and courage svhich so eminently distinguished Dr .
Priestley , communicates at once , and without reserve , the fruits of his researches to the public . It is not our province to decide peremptorily upon the numerous interesting inquiries which be
proposes to the Christian world ; t ) ut we feel it a duty to recommend his volumes to the perusal of such as are seeking truth , and are not stopped in their progress by the conceit that whatever is new must be false . He will of
course be misrepresented and censtired by that numerous class of men who hold , that in the church , 4 whatever is , is right ; " he has therefore a claim , which we trust will be practically allowed- upon
the notice of the friends of free inquiry . As the Ecclesiastical Researches contain much matter that is novel , and quite opposite to the judgment of the learned , we think it
right in critical justice to give a concise , analytical view of the work , so that our readers may judge for themselves . The principal object of the' v ^ ltime is to
prove that Philo and Josephus were not only believers in the gosptl , but historians and apologists of it and its professors among the Jews . The following are the arguments which Ml ' . Jones offers in support of thisliypothesis .
1 . The gospel is not a religion distinct from Judaism , but the soul , the essence of it perfected by Christ . It is the religion of Abra ^ - bam , of Moses , and the prophets ,
refined ^ spiritualized , and rendered interesting to all mankind ^ by stripping it of those rites which hitherto limited it to the Jews ! ,
This Mr . J . thinks is the notion which Jesus and his apostles had of Christianity ; and there is sufficient reason to believe that Philo and Josephus , when speaking of Judaism , always mean Judaism ; a £ it was carried to perfection by the Son of God .
2 . If these writers were not for Christ , they must have been against him . The claims of Jesus necessarily rendered every Jew an eti ^ my who was not subdued by-evi * dence to become his friend . Thfc
very existence of the Jewish community was involved in the question ; none , much less such exalted men as Philo and Josephus , who by their rank were called upon to take an active part in the distracted state of their country , could feave remained indifferent Or neutral .
if , therefore , they did not write with favourable views towards the gospel , they wrote with hostile views . From pride or policy they might not mention Jesus and hfe
( 48 )
« Still pleas'd to praise , yet not afraid to blame . —PbPE .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1814, page 46, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2436/page/46/