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from the dead on the third day , as the divine prophets had foretold this and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him . " Now , Josephus was either a Jew , or he was not : if he was not a Jew , then his testimony loses its chief value ;
because that value is grounded on his having been an Anti-Christian . If , however , he was a Jew , ( and we have the assertions of all the early Christians that he was , ) then it is indisputably
certain , that he was not the author of the passage in' question , but that it must have been a forgery ; and for this obvious reason , because that passage strikes at the very root of Judaism . The Jews contended that Jesus was
not the Christ ; but the passage alluded to plainly recognizes him in that capacity . The difficulty which thu 3 attaches itself to Josephus ' s testimony has not passed wholly unperceived . Some have
tried to get over it by alleging that Josephus was an Ebionite Jew ; that is , he believed Christ to be the Messiah , but denied that he was more than human .
This , however , is no answer to the difficulty ; for the essential distinction between Judaism and Christianity is not whether Christ was human or divine , but whether he was the Messiah or not : he who confesses Je 6 us to be
the Christ cannot be a Jew ; and he who rejects that belief cannot be a Christian . It would be not less absurd to say that a passage confessing the Trinity could have been written by a Socinian , than to say that a passage confessing Jesus to be the Christ could have been
written by a Jew . The Jews in contemplating the predictions of their ancient prophets , denied that Jesus was the Messiah ; but Josephus declares , or is made to de- > ciare , that he was the Messiah ; he plainly identifies Christ with the whole line of prophecies which preceded his
coming . Thus Josephus is p laced in the character of a Jew , striking at the foundation of his own religion : a circumstance which obviously creates a
suspicion that the passage in question must have been a forgery , slipped into his writings by 8 onie impostor : and what seems to favour this suspicion is , that scarcely in any other part of his writings does Josephus make ny allu-
sion to the subject ; although had he believed the resurrection , and that Christ was the Messiah , one would naturally imagine he would often allude to a subject by far the most important of any in the annals of his country . Excepting , however , this one passage
one would scarcely know from Josephus that such a person as Christ ever existed . But what makes the passage to look still more like an interpolation is , that there is nothing immediately
preceding or subsequent to it , which might be supposed either to lead the author to mention it , or to follow it by any matter connected with the subject . The passage stands solitarily by itself .
It is of the more importance that that these difficulties should be . obviated ; because if the " suspicion should remain that this passage is a forgery , no one can satisfy himself to what
extent the system has not been carried . If a forgery be practised in one instance , it may be in a hundred , for it does not necessarily follow that it must be confined to this instance in Josephus . R . C .
448 Attempt to distinguish between Genuine and Spurious Christianity .
Hackney , Sir , February 10 , 1820 . WITHOUT having mixed with any sect or party , I have been a silent , but not inattentive , observer of
the passing events that have lately so much agitated the public mind , and they have led me to a train of reflections , which , if you should think them worthy of a place in your valuable Repository , I will thank you to admit . In the opinion of the most candid and judicious , the cheap publications of Carlile and others , have had a
strong tendency to inflame the passions of the more ignorant and lower orders of the people , already smarting under privations from the want of emp loyment ; to destroy in them a belief in the Christian religion and submissipn to the laws of their country . To
stop this torrent , which threatened to overwhelm the peace and security of the nation , Government , as the guardian of the public tranquillity , seems to have thought there was no remedy but the powetful arm of tl je law . In opposition to this remedy it has been strongly contended both from the puk pit and the press * that Government
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Aug. 2, 1820, page 448, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2491/page/4/