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things (for he freely gives to all, and that unasked); but that by asking, we may become fit to receive, and having received, to keep them.”
Josephus next enumerates the duties which the law enjoins in the more important relations of life, in order to show how superior the Jewish were to all other laws.
“The law does not allow them at the birth of any of their children to indulge in expensive festivals, and thus give occasion to excess and drunkenness; but commands them from the beginning to bring them up in habits of sobriety, to teach them letters, to make them conversant with our institutions, to study the deeds of their ancestors, that they may imitate them; and that being educated in the laws, they may not transgress them; or that, if they did, they may have no excuse from ignorance. - It provides also for the decent interment of the dead, prohibiting expensive funerals or costly monuments.-It enjoins the duty of burying the deceased only on the nearest relatives, but recommends it as a laudable act in all who pass a funeral to accompany it, and join in the lamentation.
“ It enforces the reverence of parents next to that of God; and him who does not repay their kindness, or who in any wise neglects them, it delivers over to be stoned. It requires the young to honour their elders; it suffers us to conceal nothing from friends,—for that is not friendship which does not feel complete confidence; and it prohibits the revealing of secrets, though it should even end in enmity. If a judge receives bribes, his punishment is death. He who neglects a suppliant when he has power to relieve him, is criminal. No one shall demand a trust which he had never deposited, nor
touch any thing belonging to others. He who lends is not to receive interest. These, and many other similar to these, are the regulations which mutually bind us in social harmony."
Josephus, conformably to the instruction and example of Christ, strips the law of Moses of all its ritual incumbrances, which had hitherto limited it to the Jewish nation; and identifies it with the Gospel as a system of refined morality, worthy the reception of all mankind. On the other hand, he dignifies and recommends the Gospel by ascribing to it the appellation and antiquity of the law of Moses.
THE TESTIMONY OF JOSEPHUS IN FAVOUR OF JESUS
In the Jewish Antiquities, Josephus has a passage concerning Jesus Christ to the following effect :
« And about this time existed Jesus, a wise man, if indeed he might be called a man; for he was the author of wonderful works, and the teacher of such men as embrace the truth with delight. He united to himself many Jews, and many among the Gentiles. This was the Christ: and those, who from the first had been attached to him, continued their attachment, though he was condemned by our great men, and crucified by Pilate. For he appeared to them alive again the third day :-these, with innumerable other marvellous things concerning him, having been foretold by the divine prophets. And the people who from him still call themselves Christians, have not fallen away.
This short paragraph gives a correct but concise view of the great truths stated in the New Testament. It unequivocally attests the wisdom of our Lord, the miraculous works which he performed,—the love of truth which actuated him and his immediate followers. It goes on to say that he attracted many men among the Jews and many of the Greeks; that he was the Messiah, whom the Jews expected, and that, though crucified, he rose again from the dead the third day; and that in this and other innumerable circumstances of his life he corresponded
to the predictions of the prophets. But this testi. mony to the claims and character of Jesus has been given up as spurious by learned men, because Josephus is supposed not to have been a Christian, having taken no notice of Christ, nor of his followers nor of their affairs in any other part of his voluminous works. But his answer to Apion demonstrates that the ground on which this objection rests is altogether erroneous. We have then an unequivocal evidence that the author was a champion of the Gospel, and that he employed his splendid talents, his vast learning, and high character for honour and veracity, in support of it against its ablest and most virulent enemies. The objection therefore falls to the ground; and the evidence which proves the Jewish Antiquities to be the work of Josephus, proves also this passage to be the production of his pen: as no manuscript, no version, no copy of the Jewish Antiquities was ever known to exist without this celebrated paragraph.
It will however be deemed more satisfactory to show how the leading facts contained in this paragraph are virtually asserted in other parts of the writings of Josephus.
1. In his reply to Apion, Josephus affirms that God has given a mighty proof of a future state, and that this had been predicted by Moses. In his testimony in favour of Christ, the same author affirms that he appeared again after death, with other innumerable things respecting him, and that this had been foretold by the divine prophets. That these assertions are strictly true we are assured by our Lord himself: And Jesus said unto them, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which are written
in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in
and Antioch, preaching the word to none but to the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them; and a great number (Tonu 2990s, the very words used by Josephus) believed and turned unto