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Greek writers themselves, that they knew but little on any good foundation when they set to write, but rather wrote their histories from their own conje&tures ? Accordingly, they confute one another in their own books to purpose, and are not alhamed to give us the most contradi&ory accounts of the same things.; And I should spend my time to little purpole, if I fhould pretend to teach the Greeks that which they know beta ter than I already, what a great disagreement there is between Hellanicus and AcuGlaus about their genealogies ; in how many cases Aguslaus: carre&ts Hesiod; or after what manner Ephorus demonstrates Hellanicus to have told lies in the greatest part of his history; as does Timeus in like manner as to Ephorus, and the succeeding writers do to Temeus, and all the later writers do to Herodotus*; nor could Temeus agree with Antiochus and Philistius, or with Callias, about the Sicilian hiftory, no more than do the several writers of the Athidæ fol. low one another about the Athenian affairs; nor do the histori. ans the like, that wrote the Argolics, about the affairs of the Argives, And now what need I say any more about particuIar cities and Imaller places, while in the most approved writ. ers of the expedition of the Persians, and of the actions which were therein performed, there are lo great differences ? Nay, Thucydides himself is accused of some as writing what is false, although he seems to have given us the exacteft history of the affairs of his own time.

4. As for the occasions of so great disagreement of theirs, there may be assigned many that are very probable, it any have a mind to make an inquiry about them; but I ascribe these contradi&iong chiefly to two gauses which I will now Inention, and fill think what I shall mention in the first place, to be the principal of all, For it we remember, that in the beginning the Greeks had taken no- care to have public records of their several transactions preserved, this must for cer

pin have afforded those, that would afterward write about those ancient transacions, the opportunity of making inistakes, and the power of making lies allo; for this original record

* It well deserves to be considered, that Josephus here fays, how all the followJing Greek hiftorians looked on Herodotus as a fabulous author, and presently, $ . 14, how Manetho, that most authentic writer of the Egyptian history, greatly complains of his unistakes in the Egyptian affairs; as al so that Strabo, B. XI.P 507. the molt accyrate geographer and historian, esteemed him such ; that Xenophon, the much more aceurate historian in the affairs of Cyrus, implies, that Horodotus's accounts of chat great man are almolt entirely romantic. See the note on Antiq B. XI. ch ii. & 1. Vol. I. and Hutchison's Prolegomena to his edition of Xenophon's Kyxsl aidem, that we have already feen the role on Antig. B, VIII. ch. x. sect. 3. how very little Herodotus knew about the Jewish affairs and country, and that he greatly affected what we call the marvellous, as Mongeur Rollin has lately and jufly determined : Whence we are not always to depend on the authority of Herodotus, where it is unfupported by other evidence, but ought to compare the other > evidence with his, and, if it preponderate, to prefer it before his I do not mean by this, that Herodotus wilfully related what he believed to be falle, (as Ctelias seems to have done), but that he often wanted evidence, and sometimes preferred what was marvellous to what was best attested as really true,

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ing of such ancient transa£tions hath not only been neglected by the other states of Greece, but even among the Athenians themselves also, who pretend to be aborigines, and to have ap. plied them!elves to learning, there are no such records extant; nay, they say themselves, that the laws of Draco concerning murders, which are now extant in writing, are the most an. cient of their public records ; which Draco yet lived but a little before the tyrant Pififtratus.* For as to the Arcadians, who make such boasts of their antiquity, what need I speak of them in particular, fince it was still later before they got their letters, and learned them, and that with difficulty allo?

5. There must therefore naturally arise great differences ac mong writers, when they had no original records to lay for their foundation, which might at once inform thole who had an inclination to learn, and contradi&t those that would tell lies. However, we are to suppose a fecond occasion besides the former of these contradictions ; it is this : That those who were the most zealous to write history were not solicitous for the discovery of truth, t although it was very easy for them always to make such a profeflion ; but their business was to demonstrate that they could write well, and make an impref. fion upon mankind thereby; and in what manner of writing they thought they were able to exceed others, to that did they apply themselves. Some of them betook themselves to the writing of fabulous narrations; some of them endeavoured to pleate the cities or their kings, by writing in their conmendation ; others of them fell to finding faults with transac. tions or with the writers of luch transactions, and thought to make a great figure by lo doing. And indeed thefe do what is of all things the most contrary to true history ; for it is the great character of true history, that all concerned therein both speak and write the same things ; while thele men, by writing dit. ferently about the same things, think they thall be believed to write with the greatest regard to truth. We therefore [who are Jews muft yield to the Grecian writers as to language

* About the days of Cyrus and Daniel. + It is here well worth our obfervation, what the reasons are that such ancient authors as Herodotus, Josephus and others, have been read to fo little purpose by many learned critics ; viz. that their main aim has not been chonology or history, but philology, to know words, and not things, they not much entering oftentimes into the real contents of their authors, and judging which were the most accurate discoverers of truth, and mot to be depended on in their several hiftories, but rae ther inquiring who wrote the finelt ftyle, and had the greatest elegance in their expressions; which are things of small consequence in comparison of the other. Thus you will sometimes find great debates among the learned, whether Herodo. tus or Thucydides were the finest historians in the Tonic and Attic ways of writing ; which lignify little, as to the real value of each of their histories; while it would te of much moment to let the reader know, that as the consequence of He. sodotus's history, which begins so much earlier, and reaches lo much wider than that of Thucydides, is therefore vaftly greater ; so is the most part of Thucydides, which belongs to his own limes, and fell under his own obiervation, much ube most certain.

and eloquence of composition ; but then we shall give them no fuch preference as to the verity of ancient history, and least of all as to that part which concerns the affairs of our own feveral countries.

6. As to the care of writing down the records from the earliest antiquity among the Egyptians and Babylonians; that the priests were intrusted therewith, and employed a philosophical concern about it ; that they were the Chaldean priests that did so among the Babylonians, and that the Phenicians, who were mingled among the Greeks, did especially make use of their letters, both for the common affairs of life, and for the delivering down the history of common transactions, I think I may omit any proot, because all men allow it so to be. But now as to our forefathers, that they took no less care about writing such records (for I will not say they took greater care than the others I spoke of) and that they committed that matter to their high-priests and to their prophets, and that these records have been written all along down to our own times with che utiroft accuracy; nay, it it be not too bold for me to say it, our history will be so written hereafter, I shall endeavour briefly to inform you.

7. For our foretaihers did not only appoint the best of these priests, and those that attended upon the divine worship, for that design from the beginning, but made provision that the stock of the priests should continue unmixed and pure ; for he who is partaker of the priesthood must propagate of a wife of the same nation, without having any regard to money, or any other dignities ; but he is to make a scrutiny, and take his wite's genealogy from the ancient tables, * and procure many witnesses to it. And this is our practice not only in Judea, but whereroever any body of men of our nation do live ; and even there an exact catalogue of our priest's marriages are kept; I mean at Egypt and Babylon, or in any other place of the rest of the habitable earth, whitherloever our priests are scattered; for they send to Jerusalemn the ancient names of their parents in writing, as well as those of their remoter anceftors, and signity who are the witnesses allo. But if any war falls out, such as have fallen out a great many of them already, when Antiochus Epiphanes made an invasion upon our country, as also when Pompey the Great and Quintilius Varus did so also, and principally in the wars that have happened in our own times ; thote priests that survive them compole new tables of genealogy out of the old records, and examine the circumstances of the women that remain ; for ftill they do not admit of those that have been captives, as suspelling that they had conversation with soine foreigners. But what is the ing of such ancient transations hath not only been regie by the other states of Greece, but even among the Atheni themselves also, who pretend to be aborigines, and to base plied themelves to learning, there are no fach recordsexta nay, they say themselves, that the laws of Draco concert murders, which are now extant in writing, are the moft cient of their public records; which Draco yet lived to little before the tyrant Pififtratus,* For as to the Arcadia who make such boasts of their antiquity, what need I speal them in particular, fince it was still later before they got ab leiters, and learned them, and that with difficul'y allo?

* Of this accuracy of the Jews before, and in our Saviour's time, in carefully preserving their genealogies all along, particularly thole of the priests, see Josephus's Life, $ a. Vol. II. Tinis accuracy seems to have ended at the destruction of Jerufalem by Titus, or however at that by Adrian.

5. There must therefore naturally arise great differences mong writers, when they had no original records to lay f their foundation, which might at once inform thole who bu an inclination to learn, and contradi&t those that would tell lie However, we are to suppose a fecond occafion besides that former of these contradictions ; it is this: That those wb: were the most zealous to write history were not solicitous fa the discovery of truth, t although it was very easy for the always to make such a profeflion ; but their business was tu demonstrate that they could write well, and make an impre! fion upon mankind thereby ; and in what manner of writing they thought they were able to exceed others, to that did ther apply themselves. Some of them betook themselves to the writing of fabulous narrations; some of them endeavoured to pleate the cities or their kings, by writing in their cesi mendation ; others of them fell to finding faults with transac. tions or with the writers of such transactions, and thougbo la make a great figure by lo doing. And indeed thefe do wbat is of all things the most contrary to true hiftory ; for it is the great character of true history, that all concerned therein both speak and write the same things ; 'while thele men, by writing dit. ferently about the same things, think they shall be believed write with the greatest regard to truth. We therefore who

Jews yield to the Grecian writers as to language

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ut the days of Cyrus and Daniel.
srth our óbfervation, what the reasons are that such ancient

Jofephus and others, have been read to fo little purpole by : viz. that their main aim has not been chonology or hiftory, now

and not things, they not much entering oftentimes thors, and judging which were the most accurate

be depended on in their several histories, but she nel ftyle, and had the greatest elegance in their ex

fmall consequence in comparison of the other. a great debates among the learned, whether Herodo treft historians in the Ionic and Attic ways of writto the real value of each of their histories; while

to let the reader know, that as the conlequence of He. Legins so much earlier, and reaches fo much wider than therefore vastly greater; fo is the most part of Tlucydides, own times, and fell under his own obiervation, much the

la Ll' and eloquence of composition ; but then we shall give them I no such preference as to the verity of ancient history, and least EI of all as to that part which concerns the affairs of our own

several countries. Iz · 6. As to the care of writing down the records from the ear. * LTE, Z liest antiquity among the Egyptians and Babylonians; that me the priests were intrusted therewith, and employed a philoso12:? phical concern about it ; that they were the Chaldean priests vzr that did so among the Babylonians, and that the Phenicians,

who were mingled among the Greeks, did especially make So 'use of their letters, both for the common affairs of life, and for

the delivering down the history of common transactions, I think I may omit any proot, because all men allow it so to be. But now as to our forefathers, that they took no less care about writing such records (for I will not say they took greater care than the others I spoke of) and that they committed that matter to their high-priests and to their prophets, and that these records have been written all along down to our own times with the utmost accuracy; nay, it it be not too bold for me to say it, our history will be so written hereafter, I shall endeavour briefly to inform you.

7. For our forefathers did not only appoint the best of these priests, and those that attended upon the divine worship, for that delign from the beginning, but made provision that the stock of the priests should continue unmixed and pure ; for he who is partaker of the priesthood must propagate of a wife of the same nation, without having any regard to money, or any other dignities; but he is to make a scrutiny, and take his wife's genealogy from the ancient tables, * and procure many witnefles to it. And this is our practice not only in Judea, but wheresoever any body of men of our nation do live; and even there an exact catalogue of our priest's marriages are kept; I mean at Egypt and Babylon, or in any other place of the rest of the habitable earth, whitherloever our priests are scattered; for they send to Jerusalein the ancient names of their parents in writing, as well as those of their remoter ancestors, and fignity who are the witnesses also. But if any war falls out, such as have fallen out a great many of them already, when Antiochus Epiphanes made an invasion upon our country, as also when Pompey the Great and Quintilius Varus did so also, and principally in the wars that have happened in our own times ; those priests that survive them compose new tables of genealogy out of the old records, and examine the circumftances of the women that remain ; for ftill they do not admit of those that have been captives, as suspecting th they had conversation with soine foreigners.

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