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of Zoroaster, for this is both the sentiment and the very phraseology which he uses as has been seen above from Prideaux. It cannot be questioned, that the phrase "the day of judgment" does not once occur in the Old Testament in this sense. If it is denied that they learned this sentiment and language from the creed of Zoroaster, let the denier show from what Divine source they could learn it? As Christians could not learn either this sentiment or the language in which it is expressed from the Old Testament, we ask how came they by such sentiments and language, unless they derived it from Zoroaster's creed or at second hand from the Apocrypha. It will not answer to say, Jesus Christ and his apostles used the phrase "the day of judgment," and Christians have borrowed the language and sentiment from them. No, this will never do, for first, we have shown in our answer to Mr. Sabine, that in no text where this language is used is such a sentiment conveyed by it. But second, if we were even to grant this, what would follow from it. It would follow, that Jesus Christ and his apostles adopted the sentiments and language of the Apocryphal writers, or to speak all the truth, that both were indebted to the great impostor Zoroaster, for inventing both the sentiment and language for them some hundred years before. Yea, that all of them, were indebted to the ancient creed of the Magians for this doctrine and the language in which it is expressed, for both are found there. Let our brethren then, who contend for this doctrine consider its origin; for to build their faith on the New Testament as its source, is worse than the Old; for it makes the writers not revealers of a new doctrine, nor teaching one before revealed in the Old Testament, but adopting a sentiment and language, which originated in the Magian creed, was transmitted by the great impostor Zoroaster, and
the Apocryphal writers to Jesus Christ and his apostles, and from them to all Christians ever since.
6th. What are the opinions taught by the Apocryphal writers, respecting the duration of future punishment? Their opinion about this was, that it should never end. Thus in Judith, 16, 17. where, speaking of the wicked it is said "The Lord Almighty will take vengeance of them in the day of judgment, in putting fire and worms in their flesh; and they shall feel them and weep forever." Bad as the ancient Magian religion was, it does not appear to have taught the endless duration of punishment. And, if Jahn is to be believed, as quoted above, Zoroaster's disciples taught that the wicked were to be purified by fire at the day of judgment, and made happy with the good. It is certain the ancient Greeks believed in endless punishment, and from this source, or the creed of Zoroaster, the Apocryphal writers I think must have derived it. They could not learn such a doctrine from the Old Testament scriptures, for it is not taught there. Many contend that it is taught in the New Testament. Allowing it is, I ask how the writers of the Apocrypha came to believe it and teach it long before the New Testament was written? Did the New Testament writers adopt a doctrine, taught by Apocryphal writers, which they derived from the heathen? This to be sure would be doing great honor to them, but what comes of the honor, or credit of Christ and his apostles if this was admitted?
Such are the religious opinions found in the Apocrypha, all closely connected with our present inquiry. We would candidly ask our orthodox brethren, how those writers came to speak so clearly and explicitly on these topics, long before the New Testament was written? As their information could not be derived from the Old Testament, where did they
obtain it? Did Daniel reveal it to the Jews while they were in Babylon? If he did, why was it mixed up with such fables as are found in the Apocrypha, and transmitted to posterity by Apocryphal writers? And, if such opinions be true, why did the New Testament writers not avail themselves of such explicit information, and teach them to the world? No man, we think, will affirm that such opinions are taught so clearly and explicitly in the New Testament as they are in the Apocrypha. And Christians cannot well deny, that the sentiments and even the language of their creeds, bear a greater resemblance to what is found in the Apocrypha, than any thing taught either in the Old or New Testament. Many doubt the truth of such articles. But could any man have disputed their truth, had the Apocrypha been a part of divine revelation? To make sure of such articles being found in Scripture, we propose that further search be made for proof that the Apocryphal books are truly divine, and that they be bound up as formerly with the allowed canonical books. This will save such articles from oblivion, and in all coming time no Christian can be at a loss to prove them from the Bible.
7th. What were the religious opinions among the Jews not found in Scripture, during the days of Christ and his apostles? The New Testament itself affords evidence, that opinions prevailed not found in their Scriptures. For example, our Lord told the Jews in general terms, that they had made God's law void, through their traditions. See some of these opinions noticed in the quotations from L'Enfant, Jahn and others, above. Other opinions we shall have occasion. to notice in succeeding Sections. See also Whitby on Rom. 2. referred to above. The opinions of Josephus concerning a state of future rewards and punishments are well known, and need not be quoted.
Those who wish to see a pretty full account of the opinions of the Sadducees, Pharisees, and other sects. among the Jews, may consult Prideaux, vol. iii. p. 353-389. See also Jahn's Arch. p. 402-404. 411. which my limits forbid quoting. Nor is it necessary for it would only be to repeat opinions already noticed.
8th. The history of the Christian church shows, that many heathen opinions were incorporated with Christianity, and increased from bad to worse, until what was called Christianity, became worse than heathenism itself. The first converts were Jews, and vast multitudes of converts were also made from among the Gentiles. Such continued to retain many of their former false opinions. When Christianity became the religion of the Roman empire, men, formerly heathen priests and philosophers, became teachers in the Christian church, so that it soon became popular but greatly corrupted. Those who wish to see this gradual corruption traced and exposed, may consult Dr. Campbell's Ecclesiastical history, Mosheim's church history, Milner's, and others. The fact is notorious, and universally admitted, and my limits forbid a more particular statement. We shall conclude this Section by noticing the following facts.
1st. The whole ecclesiastical hierarchy, which has so long been the Diana of the religious world was the invention of Zoroaster. Prideaux, vol. i. p. 230. thus writes. "And whether it were, that these Magians thought it would bring the greater credit to them, or the kings, that it would add a greater sacredness to their persons, or whether it were from both these causes, the royal family among the Persians, as long as this sect prevailed among them, was always reckoned of the sacerdotal tribe. They were divided into three orders. The lowest were the inferior clergy, who served in all the common offices of their di
vine worship: next above them were the superintendents, who in their several districts governed the inferior clergy, as the bishops do with us; and above all was the Archimagus, or arch-priest, who, in the same manner as the high priest among the Jews, or the Pope now among the Romanists, was the head of the whole religion. And, according to the number of their orders, the churches or temples in which they officiated were also of three sorts. The lowest sort were the parochial churches, or oratories, which were served by the inferior clergy, as the parochial churches are now with us; and the duties which they there performed were to read the daily offices out of their liturgy, and, at stated and solemn times, to read some part of their sacred writings to the people. In these churches there were no fire altars; but the sacred fire, before which they here worshipped, was maintained only in a lamp. Next above these were their fire temples, in which fire was continually kept burning on a sacred altar. And these were, in the same manner as cathedrals with us, the churches or temples where the superintendents resided. In every one of these were also several of the inferior clergy entertained, who, in the same manner as the choral vicars among us, performed all the divine offices under the superintendent, and also took care of the sacred fire, which they constantly watched day and night by four and four in their turns, that it might always be kept burning, and never go out. The highest church above all was the fire temple, where the Archimagus resided, which was had in the same veneration with them as the temple of Mecca among the Mahometans, to which every one of that sect thought themselves obliged to make a pilgrimage once in their lives. Zoroaster, first settled it at Balch, and there he, as their Archimagus, usually had his residence. But after the Mahometans had overrun Persia, in the 7th century