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and immediately he will become equitable, prudent, and inoffensive. For by this purification alone all his wickedness will be washed away.
Now it is demonstrable, that the people of whom Philo speaks were engaged in the commission which the apostles had received from their divine master to accomplish, namely, the recovery of the world from vice and superstition. Let us hear Philo's own words on this interesting subject : “ God, the au. thor of divine virtue, determined to send his image from heaven to the earth in compassion on our race, that he might wash away the impurities which filled this world with guilt and misery, and thus secure to us a better inheritance.” Vol. ii. p. 669. By the term image, the author means him who was the image of God, and whom elsewhere he calls the word of God, and the son of God, as in the follow. ing passage: “ It becomes him, who devotes him. self to the father of the world, to employ as his intercessor his own son, who is most perfect in vir. tue, in order that he might obtain forgiveness of his síns, and the supply of every good,” Vol, ii, p. 155 or 673.
Here it is asserted, that God has sent his image, his word, or his son, into the world, that the world through him might be washed from the impurities of sin, and obtain a nobler inheritance. Speaking of the same people, their apologist expressly declares that the society which they composed now prevailed throughout the habitable globe; the members of it thinking it their duty to share with Greeks and bar, barians the consummate blessing which themselves enjoy. And this blessing was no other than the reformation of morals which they held forth to mankind, and the hope of immortality. For Philo
says, “ they called themselves healers, and this with propriety, as professing a medical art superior to that which is practised by men of the world: for the latter profess to heal only the bodies, while the former cure the souls of men, when seized by disorders fierce and scarcely remediable, when occupied by lusts and depraved indulgences, by ignorance, iniquity, and an innumerable multitude of other vices and bad passions." Vol.ii. p. 471 or 889.
Jesus Christ enjoined on his disciples the neces. sity of displaying the happy influence of his Gospel, as the best and most effectual means of recommending it to others. His maxim was, “Let your light so shine before men, that seeing your good works they may glorify your Father which is in heaven.” And it is certain that the sublime effects of Christi. anity on the tempers and conduct of its first preachers, contributed more than any other to disarm opposition, and to give it a rapid and welcome reception among men : hence Justin Martyr truly asserts that Christ “ hath admonished us not to imitate the wicked, but to lead them by patience and meekness from whatever is base and evil in conduct; and we can point out many instances among us of men, who ceased to be violent and immoral, being overcome by the sobriety of neighbours, or by the unexampled patience of injured sojourners, or by the tried integrity of merchants, that were Christians.” Apol. i. p. 14.
The words of Philo on this subject are still more emphatic and eloquent: “ The children of wisdom resemble the sand; because the sand is uncircumscribed in number; and because, as the sand which lines the shore repels the incursions of the sea, 50 the divine word of instruction does the sins of men.
This word, according to the promises of God, spreads to every corner of the universe, and renders him who receives it the heir of all things, extending in every way to the east, and to the west, to the north, and to the south. For it is written, • It shall expand to the sea, to the south, to the north, and to the east.' (Gen. xxviii. 14.) A good man is not a blessing only to himself, but the common benefit of all other men; as he readily communicates to all others the advantages which himself enjoys. For as the sun is a light to all those who have eyes, so the divinely wise are the light of all rational beings. For in thee,' says the scripture, shall all the tribes of men be blessed. If any one therefore in a house, or a city, or a country, or a nation, is become enamoured of wisdom, those who live in that house, or city, or country, or nation, must learn from him to mend their lives. For as the aromatic spices, which exhaling spread on the breeze, fill with their sweet odour those who are near; in the same manner the friends and acquaintances of a good man derive from the breath of virtue, which emanates far and wide from his character, a perfume that adorns and enriches their own.” Vol. i. p. 647 or 592.
It must be allowed that Philo does not say that the Esseans were disciples of Jesus, neither does he say that they were the disciples of Moses; for his object was not to represent them as professing the peculiar truths, but as practising the unrivalled vir. tues of the Gospel. His conduct in this respect, as I have already observed, shows the greatest wisdom, The Greeks and Egyptians, however debased, while they hated alike the rites of the Jews and the doctrines of the Christians, pretended to respect the duties of morality, · He therefore holds up to their acceptance a divine system, embodied in the conduct of its professors, in the highest degree subservient to the moral duties, yet stripped of that exterior which might excite the aversion of unbelievers. By this measure, he also coinplied with the solemn injunction virtually given by Jesus himself, namely, to make known his disciples to the world by their mutual love, and by the fruits which they produced, in order to glorify God, rather than by any peculiar creed or forms of worship.
THE PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS IN EGYPT IN CON
SEQUENCE OF THE INTRODUCTION OF THE GOSPEL*.
The Jews who inhabited Alexandria and Egypt from Libya to the confines of Ethiopia, amounted, as Philo informs us, to the astonishing number of one million. Their ancestors had received from Alexander the free privileges of citizens in Alexandria, and they had enjoyed those privileges, without interruption and unmolested, from that period to the reign of Caligula, when Flaccus, the prefect of Egypt, without any apparent cause, published an edict, in which he branded the Jews as intruders and strangers in Alexandria. By this outrage, they were deprived of their civil rights and protection of the laws, without appeal, and even without any offence being alleged against them,-a proceeding the most cruel and arbitrary ;-the governor, to use the language of our author, being at once their enemy, their persecutor, their judge, and their executioner. “ The prefect," adds he, “ after this permitted every one who had a mind, to plunder and destroy the Jews, as if they were captives taken in war. And what was the conduct of those who received this
* The sufferings of the Jews in Egypt are detailed by Philo in his book against Flaccus, and that entitled De Virtutibus. But the whole of this chapter is but an abridgement of chapters 13 and 14 in my Ecclesiastical Researches.