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Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies, and Seleucide his successors, who reigned in Egypt and Syria." Those who wish to see more authorities in proof of this point may consult Dr. Campbell's 6th Dissertation, part i. sect. 19. quoted in my First Inquiry, chap.i. sect. 3. See also Jahn's Archae.. .p. 235. 396. The Jews then had two sources from which they derived opinions in religion not taught in their Scriptures : the opinions of Zoroaster, and those of the Greek philosophers.
8th. What conclusively proves, that the Jews brought back from their captivity many opinions not learned from their sacred books, are the Apocryphal writings. The books called Apocrypha, though not canonical, are allowed to be the best writings extant, relative to the Jews after the captivity. To these I shall now call the attention of the reader, collecting from them, what were the religious opinions of the Jews in the times to which they relate. Let us consider
1st. What were their opinions respecting evil beings or spirits? We shall begin with their use of the term satan. It occurs only in Eccles. 21: 27. It is doubtful what idea the writer attached to this word. The word diabolos occurs frequently in the original, but is rendered slanderer, accusation, &c. in the English version. See Eccles. 19: 15. 26: 5. 28: 9. 38: 19. and 51: 2. 1 Mac. 1: 36. 2 Mac. 14: 27. The only place where it is rendered devil, and which has a connexion with our present subject, is Wisdom of Solomon, 2: 24. "Nevertheless, through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it." The allusion here is to Genesis 3. and from this passage Christians have derived the idea that it was the devil that deceived Eve. If they can show a better source for this opinion, we hope it will be done. Paul says, death en
tered by sin, Rom. 5: 12. and it was shown, Sect. 2. that no Old Testament writer intimates that death entered by the devil. Where then did the Apocryphal writers get this opinion? It must have been from the heathen, and it is evident this idea agrees to Zoroaster's angel of darkness, who was the author and director of all evil, death not excepted. In the Apocrypha evil spirits are frequently mentioned. What child has not been amused with the account of "Asmodeus the evil spirit" killing Sara's seven husbands? Also, of Raphael curing Tobit's eyes, and binding Asmodeus. And of the wonderful efficacy of the heart, liver and gall of a fish, which leaped out of the Tigris, the smoke of which smelled by the evil spirit, he fled into the utmost parts of Egypt, where the angel bound him. See Tobit, chaps. 3. 6. 8. 11. In Baruch 4: 7. 35. we read of devils, but the original word is not diabolos but daimonion, the same which is rendered so in the New Testament. But as it is admitted on all hands, that demons, and the being Christians call the devil, are very different, it requires no attention from me in the present investigation. I would only remark in passing, that people's notions about satan, the devil, evil spirits, witches and wizzards must be from a heathen source, for none of them are admitted to be real beings in the Old Testament. On the contrary they are there condemned as superstitions, and the Jews commanded to give no heed to them. Where then could the Jews learn such opinions but from their intercourse with the heathen? If the Jews imbibed the idea of witches in Canaan, and that of the devil and evil spirits at Babylon, and such beings are mentioned in the Apocrypha, are these sufficient reasons for our believing their existence? And is it possible that such beings can be recognized as real in the New Testa
2d. What are the opinions taught in the Apocrypha about Hell? The Greek word Hades, rendered hell, occurs, Eccles. 21: 10. and 51: 5, 6. Song of the three children, verse 66. Tobit 13: 2. 2 Esd. 4: 8. 8: 53. and 2: 29. It is the same word which is frequently rendered hell in the New Testament, and is synonimous with Sheol, also rendered hell in the Öld. The word Gehenna, also rendered hell in the New Testament, does not occur in any of the books of the Apocrypha. By hell, in all the above texts, seems meant the same as Sheol, the grave, or state of the dead. The idea of a place of endless punishment, does not appear to be meant in any one of them. Indeed such a place of punishment could not be learned by the Jews, either from the ancient Magian religion or from Zoroaster's improvements of it, for not a word is said about hell in either. I have shown, in my Inquiry into the words Sheol, &c. that Hades or hell as a place of future punishment was learned by the Jews from their intercourse with the Greeks. See chap. i. sect. 3.
3d. What were the opinions of the Apocryphal writers, concerning the number that should be saved? Their opinion was that all men "shall not be saved.” See 2 Esdras 8: 38-42. On the contrary, the Most High-" made this world for many, but the world to come for few." See 2 Esd. 8: 1. And in verse 3. it is said "there be many created, but few shall be saved." And chap. 9: 15. "there be many more of them which perish, than of them which shall be saved." No sentiment like this is to be found in the Magian creed, or in its improvements by Zoroaster, so far as my knowledge of them extends. Where the Apocryphal writers learned it I am unable to say with certainty; but Whitby on Rom. 2. shows that the Jews in our Lord's day, believed that none but Jews were to be saved, and they were all to be
saved. See this quotation from Whitby in my first. Inquiry. They believed that all the Gentiles were fuel for hell-fire. My opinion is, that this idea originated among the Jews, from their hatred of the Gentiles, and the high opinion which they entertained of themselves as the seed of Abraham. See Matth. ch. 3. No one we think will contend, that they learned such an opinion from their Scriptures. Christians in time past, have not only believed that few will be saved, but they express themselves pretty much in the language of the Apocryphal writers on the subject. Of late, Dr. Woods, Mr. Emerson, and some other orthodox writers aver, that the greater part of the human race will be saved. The number, who shall suffer eternal punishment, will not be more in proportion to the whole human race, than those who suffer capital punishment in any country, are to that of the whole community. We ought not to despise the day of small things. But this is a great thing, for not long ago, it was the orthodox faith, that comparatively few of the human race would be saved.
4th. What were the opinions of the Apocryphal writers concerning immediate punishment after death? That they believed the wicked were punished after death is evident from 2 Esdras, 7: 47. And that it commenced immediately after death seems also evident from verse 56. and 9: 12. Compare also Eccles. 18: 22-25. This is precisely the doctrine of immediate punishment after death taught in our day. But I would ask, from what source did the Apocryphal writers learn this doctrine? Not from the Old Testament scriptures, for it is now conceded by intelligent orthodox men that the Old Testament does not teach it. It was impossible they could learn it from the New, for when they wrote, it was not in existence. Not from Zoroaster's creed, for 1
do not find that his creed contained the doctrine of immediate punishment after death. Where could the Jews then learn such a doctrine? I answer, from the Greeks, from whom also they learned that Hades or Hell was the place where this punishment was to be suffered. See Inquiry into the words Sheol, Hades, &c. chap. i. sect. 3. The Old Testament writers, so far from teaching the doctrine of immediate punishment after death, describe this state, as a state of darkness, silence, insensibility, and that there the very best of men cannot praise God or give him thanks. Nor is a single individual, ever represented as in pain or misery in this state. But the Greeks, from whom they learned this doctrine, believed in immediate happiness as well as misery after death, and the Apocryphal writers believed both. See Eccles. 1: 13. 2 Esdras, 14: 34. and 7: 28, 35. 2 Mac. 7: 14. Wisdom of Sol. chap. 2. See Jahn's Arch. p. 398, quoted above.
5th. What were the opinions entertained by the writers of the Apocrypha concerning "the day of judgment?" The phrase, "the day of judgment," only occurs once in the Old Testament, Prov. 6: 34. where no one ever supposed it referred to a day of general judgment at the end of this world. But in this sense, the phrase," the day of judgment" is used by Zoroaster in his creed. And in this sense also it is used by the Apocryphal writers; 2 Esdras, 12: 34. Esther, 1:11. That they meant a day of judgment after the resurrection of the dead seems evident from the following passages. The torment of the wicked at this period they believed to be-"fire and worms in their fiesh; and they shall feel them, and weep forever." See Judith, 16: 17. Eccles. 7: 17. Comp. 2 Esdras, 2: 34. and 6: 9, 25. Suffer me now to ask, where could the writers of the Apocrypha learn the doctrine of "the day of judgment" but from the creed