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to his whole kingdom, and appointed overseers over all the people, commanding the cities of Judah to sacrifice, city by city." And afterwards it is particularly said, 1 Macc. ii. 25, "that' Mattathias slew the king's commissioner at Modin, who compelled men to sacrifice."
5. It is not said, or hinted, where these persons suffered. Here is a very extraordinary transaction, seven men, all brothers, the sons of one mother, tried, tortured, put to death, one after another, in the presence of a great king. But where, is not said, whether at Jerusalem, or in some other city of Judea. As it is not said, where all this happened, we may not unreasonably infer, it never happened, or was done any where.
For these reasons this history appears so much like a fiction, that I do not see, how it can be relied upon as true. Many acts of Christian martyrs, which had been received for a while, have since been examined by learned men, and rejected, some as spurious, others as very much interpolated: why then should we be afraid to examine a like narrative in a Jewish apocryphal. book, of little credit?
Obj. It will be said: does not the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews refer to this history, and thereby assure us of the truth of it? Heb. xi. 35. " And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection." To which I answer. It is not clear, or certain, that there is a reference to this history in that text. And I shall add a part of what Mr. Hallett says upon this place, in his paraphrase and notes upon the three last chapters of the epistle to the Hebrews. All the commentators agree in supposing, that the apostle here refers to the history of the martyrdom of Eleazar, and the mother, and her seven sons, mentioned in the second book of the Maccabees. And I was once carried away with the stream; but I am now persuaded, that the apostle, in this whole chapter, does not refer to any examples that are • recommended by any other book, beside the holy scripture. Estius goes upon this same general
principle: and therefore concludes from the common application of this passage, that it affords • more than a probable argument for the sacred authority of the second book of the Maccabees. For,' says he, "all the examples of the saints mentioned, either expressly, or tacitly, in this chapter, are taken from the sacred scriptures, that is, from those books, which were in the days of the writer of this epistle esteemed to be sacred by Christians." Yet still how a man ⚫ of Estius's excellent good sense could have a notion, that the second book of the Maccabees, was a part of sacred scripture, when it was confessedly written after the spirit of prophecy ceased in Malachi, and before it was restored in John the Baptist, is not a little surprising.
'But there is no more need to go to the Apocrypha, than to Fox's Book of Martyrs, for • instances of men, 66 being tortured, not accepting deliverance." There are confessedly severał instances of this kind in the Old Testament. The apostle, just after, more particularly points • at the persons he means, viz. such as "were stoned, sawn asunder, or slain with the sword," · ver. 37. "These were tortured. These did not accept deliverance." And these refused to ← accept of deliverance upon sinful terms, for this very end, "that they might obtain a blessed. "resurrection" to eternal life. These therefore may be the persons here meant.'
I am not fond of singularity: yet I hope I can follow truth alone, with a view of increasing her train, and having more company in time, attracted by the same reasons and arguments, by which I have been swayed myself.
We have just seen how Mr. Hallett argues, and that these persons are not referred to in the epistle to the Hebrews; but I do not say that he denied the fact, since he has not expressly told us.
I once thought that Dr. Prideaux doubted of the truth of this history, because he has not particularly related it; and because he points at the want of a material circumstance, the place of this transaction. But perhaps I was mistaken; however I shall transcribe here what he says: Conn. year before Christ 167, p. 181. On this occasion happened the martyrdom of Eleazar, and of the mother and her seven sons, which we have described to us by the author of the ⚫ second book of the Maccabees, and by Josephus: by both of which a full account having been given of this matter, especially the latter; I refer my readers to them. Rufinus, in his Latin paraphrase of this book of Josephus, concerning the Maccabees, gives us the names of these seven brothers, and of their mother. [Maccabees, Aber, Machir, Judas, Achaz, Aseth, Jacob: and their mother's name Solomona: but the later Jewish historians call her. Anna.] And he tells us, that as well they as Eleazar were carried from Judea to Antioch: and that it was there • that they were judged by Antiochus; but without any authority that we know of for either,
except his own invention. The reason of the thing, as well as the tenor of the history, which is given us of it by both the authors I have mentioned, make it much more likely, that Jerusalem, and not Antioch, was made the scene of this cruelty: and that, especially, since it being designed for an example of terror unto the Jews of Judea, it would have lost its force, if ' executed any where else than in that country.'
So says that eminent writer: but, I presume, that no modern, however learned and eminent, can determine the place of an event, which is entirely omitted by all ancient writers. If Rufinus had no authority for placing this transaction at Antioch, except his own invention; Prideaux can have no better authority in behalf of Jerusalem. And if these brothers were tortured, and slain in the presence of Antiochus, Rufinus's conjecture would be as plausible as any other. But all conjectures of this sort are vain and groundless. And they should be declined, and never be proposed, or mentioned by wise and sedate men. We cannot now add to what ancient authors have delivered. In history there is no room for invention.
I am desirous, gentlemen, if you please, by your means, to recommend these thoughts to the consideration of the public.
TO THE AUTHOR OF THE
REMARKS UPON THE INQUIRY INTO THE TRUTH OF THE HISTORY OF THE SEVEN BROTHERS IN THE MACCABEES."
I AM obliged to you for your Remarks, as they will give me an opportunity farther to clear up the point.
You chiefly object to what I have alleged from Mr. Hallett, relating to Heb. xi. 35.
You say, There are no instances in the Old Testament of any persons, who, on account of 'their faith in God, were sawn asunder, or wandered about in sheep-skins or goat-skins, or were ' afflicted by other instances of distress or persecution, mentioned in the three verses above mentioned,' viz. 35, 36, 37.
But I somewhat wonder that you should say so. Is it not the opinion of all interpreters in general, that by the persons "who wandered about in sheep-skins, and goat-skins," are intended Elijah and Elisha, and other prophets of the Old Testament? And, says Clement of Rome, a companion of St. Paul, in his epistle to the church of Corinth, ch. xvii. Let us be imitators of those who went about in goat-skins and sheep-skins, preaching the coming of Christ: we mean the prophets, Elijah, and Elisha, and Ezekiel, &c. which passage is largely quoted by Clement of Alexandria in the fourth book of his Stromata. And see 1 Kings xix. 13, 19. and 2 Kings ii. 8, 13, 14, in the Greek version, where Elijah's mantle is called a melote.
And Estius and Grotius have referred to persons in the Old Testament, who were instances of all the several sorts of distress and persecution, mentioned in ver. 36 and 37, though they also take notice of other like examples in later times.
Dr. Owen's observation upon ver. 36, which also may be applied elsewhere, is to this purpose: It is of no use to fix the particulars here mentioned to certain determinate persons. For seeing the apostle has left that undetermined, so may we do also. Certain it is, that there
First published in the LIBRARY for May 1762.
• were in these days believers, who through faith, patiently and victoriously underwent these things.'
You presently after say, Much less are there any instances of persons in these calamitous circumstances, to whom deliverance was offered on sinful conditions, in any of the canonical books of the Old Testament. Nor are there any persons mentioned in the said scriptures, to have expressed their hopes of obtaining a better resurrection, either in these, or any other circumstances.'
Here, Sir, you should have attended to what Mr. Hallett says, as quoted by me in the Inquiry. But there is no more need to go to the Apocrypha, than to Fox's Book of Martyrs, for instances of men, being tortured, not accepting deliverance. There are, confessedly, ⚫ several instances of this kind in the Old Testament. The apostle, just after, particularly points
at the persons he means. And these refused to accept deliverance upon sinful terms, for that very end, that they might obtain a blessed resurrection to eternal life.'
This appears to me very right. The persons, just referred to, and many others, who suffered death in the times of the Old Testament, might have avoided it, if they would have practised sinful compliances; but they refused so to do, in hopes of future recompenses.
Mr. Hallett's observation, so far as I am able to judge, is agreeable to the style of the apostle in this epistle, and particularly in this chapter: thus at ver. 24. " By faith Moses, when he came to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter." Moses did not tell her, nor any one else, that he would no more be called or reckoned her son; but he showed his refusal of that character by his conduct. As St. Stephen says, Acts vii. 23. "And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel." Non legitur eam adoptionem Moses verbis respuisse sed facto satis respuit, quando relicta aula regia ad fratres suos in afflictione egressus est, nec ad aulæ delicias ultra reversus, ut legitur. Exod. cap. ii. and Acts vii. Estius.
In like manner, ver. 14. "For they that say such things, declare plainly, that they seek a country.' Ver. 16. "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly." They declared and manifested this by their conduct, and by some of their words. Nevertheless, they never expressly said, that they sought, or desired, a better, and a heavenly country.
You observe, that the noun TuμTavov, as it stands for an instrument of torture, occurs not in any part of the canonical Greek scriptures.' You mean I think, of the Old Testament. I therefore add: nor is that word in St. Paul. But the word tuμtavigoμai, used by him Heb. xi. 35, is in 1 Sam. xxi. 13, a part of canonical Greek scripture.
You add Neither is any inflection of the word TuμTaviouα, signifying torturing in general, 'to be found any where, but in this single passage of the epistle to the Hebrews.
On the contrary Gataker, in his laboured Disquisition concerning this noun and verb, expressly says, that the verb is often used in that larger sense. Sed illud adjicere non abs usu fuerit, To axolupraviecba, latiori etiam significatu non raro usurpari. Quum enim modus iste tollendi miseros mortales, utpote qui promptus nimis & proclivis esset, frequentius adhiberetur, inde natum est, ut тupravičεcoαi nai aтoluμтavigerfz dicerentur, qui vi aliqua e medio tollebantur, sive fuste, sive reste, sive ferro, id fieret. Misc. cap. 46. p. 912. Vid. & Poli Synops. in loc. p. 1375. M.
I shall allege one place where it is so used. It is in the epistle of the churches of Vienne and Lyons concerning their martyrs and confessors. The governor wrote to the emperor for directions concerning some who were in prison. The emperor directed, that they, who still confessed Christ should be put to death, [T8 μLev Toluμaviva, ut confidentes gladio cæderentur Vales.] and that they who renounced the faith should be set at liberty. When there⚫fore the governor had again interrogated them, as many as were found to be Roman citizens, 6 he ordered to be beheaded, the rest were cast to the wild beasts.'
The apostle,' you say, or whoever wrote the epistle to the Hebrews, mentions the matter in very general terms, and with no other circumstances, than what might very naturally and probably happen to some martyrs in the persecution under Antiochus.”
But the history, to which you suppose the apostle to refer, is unnatural, and improbable, and very unlikely to happen under the persecution of Antiochus, or any other persecution whatever, as was before shown in the Inquiry.
You proceed. And as no critic seems to doubt but the history was extant, when the
epistle to the Hebrews was written, we may be sure, that whatever the writer of that epistle though, the Hebrews, to whom he wrote, believed an history so honourable to their 'countrymen.'
But I do not see how we can be sure of that. This history is omitted in the first book of the Maccabees, where it might have been properly inserted, and probably would have been inserted, if it had been true and generally credited and respected by the Jewish people.
Josephus was contemporary with the apostle, and the Hebrews, to whom he wrote. But he did not write till after St. Paul's martyrdom, and after the death of many of the Hebrews, to whom he wrote. He has never taken any notice of these martyrs, though he had twice a fair occasion for it. How then can we be sure, that the history of the martyrs, in the second book of Maccabees, was generally believed and respected by the Hebrews?
I do not know when the second book of the Maccabees was published; but Mr. Whiston, who was well acquainted with the writings of Josephus, says, that he never made use of it. If therefore it was extant in his time, it was very obscure, and in little or no credit. Nor do we at all want it for explaining the epistle to the Hebrews.
Once more, Mr. Hallett, as you observe, affirms, that they who were tortured not accepting ' deliverance, ver. 35, and they who were stoned, sawn asunder, &c. ver. 37, were the same persons.' Whereas the text assures us, ver. 36, that they were not the same persons,
But here you seem to me, partly, to mistake both St. Paul, and Mr. Hallett. The others are those next mentioned, who did not suffer death. And they are of four sorts. Some were exposed to "mockings," some to "scourgings," some to "bonds," some to "imprisonment." After which such are mentioned as suffered death: of which also, according to our present reading, there are four sorts. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword." To these, and others, the apostle may refer. For there were many prophets and other good men, who suffered death, among the Jewish people, who might have saved their lives by sinful compliances. See Neh. ix. 26, and 1 Kings xviii. xix. There were, particularly, many such patient and victorious sufferers, in the times of the two prophets, Elijah and Elisha, from whom the "women," mentioned ver. 35, "received their dead raised to life again." After which therefore the apostle adds, most beautifully, and agreeably to the force and elegance, for which this epistle is so remarkable: "And others were put to death, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection."
I have allowed myself to be very minute and particular in my answer to your remarks, considering the uncommonness of the subject: for which reason I hope it will be excused by yourself and others.
Mr. Hallett says, All the commentators agree in supposing, that the apostle here refers to the histories in the second book of the Maccabees.' But perhaps he there allows more than he needed to do. Wolfius expresses himself in this cold and general manner: There are, who think there is here a reference to the seven brothers in the Maccabees. Ad septem fratres Mac'cabeos respici, sunt, qui existiment.'
St. Chrysostom, in a homily upon part of this chapter, says, he thinks the persons here intended are John and James: for oтuμvious denotes beheading. They might have lived longer but they who had raised up others to life, chose to die, that they might obtain a better
' resurrection.' In Hebr. Hom. 27, tom. XII. p. 248. I do not think this interpretation to be right: for St. Paul refers to such as lived before the coming of Christ. But we hence discern, that Chrysostom did not then think of the Maccabees, or that the apostle referred to them. Theophylact, following Chrysostom, says, they were beheaded,' meaning John, and James the son of Zebedee. But others by that word understand being beaten with clubs.
UPON THE PERSONALITY OF THE SPIRIT,
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1762, TO THE REV. MR. CALEB FLEMING.
You refer me to John xvi. 13, as a difficult text relating to the personality of the spirit. I must refer you to the letter written in 1730, p. 141, 145, and p. 148, 150.-At p. 141, that and other texts are proposed; and in the same place follow explications of those texts sufficient to remove all difficulties.
Christ's promise of the spirit, and all his expressions made use of about it, as recorded in St. John's gospel, are explained in the Acts, where is the history of the accomplishment of all these promises. The fulfilment plainly shows, that by the spirit, to be sent, is meant an effusion of spiritual gifts of power, knowledge and understanding.
Our Lord himself has explained it thus, John vii. 38. "He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." There is the plentiful effusion of knowledge, &c. It follows, ver. 39. "But this he spake of the spirit, which they that believe on him should receive for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given], because Jesus was not yet glorified." Miraculous gifts are the spirit. That is what Christ promised when he spoke of the spirit. So Mark xvi. 17, 18. "And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall they cast out dæmons: they shall speak with tongues: they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. These are the "living waters" promised John vii. 38, which at ver. 39, are said to be the spirit.
Acts v. 32, is a remarkable text, and is explained in the above letter, p. 150. "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him:" that is, these are the miraculous gifts which God has bestowed upon us, and upon others, who believe in Jesus, &c. These miraculous gifts, bestowed upon believers, are the promised spirit, of which Christ told, John xv. 26, “He shall testify of me."
John xvi. 12. "I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." However, be easy, in a short time you shall be so illuminated from above, as to know all those things distinctly.
Ver. 13. "Howbeit, when the spirit of truth is come," or when the divine miraculous powers and gifts, which are to testify to the truth of my mission and doctrine, are poured out upon you," He will guide you into all truth." You will be enabled to understand every thing relating to the institution which God is setting up by me, &c. So we find, that gradually the apostles were able to speak properly to Jews and Gentiles, as they were instructed in the right manner of receiving the Gentiles, of which they had no notion, whilst Christ was with them, nor till after they were illuminated from above, after his ascension.
It is certain that the Holy Ghost is often mentioned as a gift or power plainly. These texts may enable us to understand others, if we will exercise our reason. Dr. Ward says, p. 159, that the term, the "Holy Ghost," often denotes a power, cannot be questioned; as where the apostles and other Christians at that time, are said to be filled with the Holy Ghost.
There are no wishes of peace from the Spirit at the beginning or ending of the apostolical epistles; nor any where ascriptions of glory to the Spirit.
There are also other texts, leading us to think that the apostles knew not of