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thought he had the ass's head in his hand. Whether, therefore, he returned it to us again, or whether Apion took it and brought it into the temple again, that Antiochus might find it, and afford an handle for a second fable of Apion's, is uncertain.
II. Apion also tells a false story, when he mentions an oath of ours, as it we“ swore by God, the maker of the heaven. and earth, and sea, to bear no good-will to any foreigner, and particularly to none of the Greeks.” Now this liar ought to have laid dire&tly, That " we would bear no good will to any foreigner, and particularly to none of the Egyprians." For then his story about the oath would have Iquared with the rest of his original forgeries, in case our forefathers had been driv. en away by their kinsmen, the Egyptians, not on account of any wickedness they had been guilty ot, but on account of the calamities they were under ; for as to the Grecians, we are rather remote from them in place, than different from them in our inftitutions, insomuch that we have no enmity with them, nor any jealousy of them. On the contrary, it hath so happened, that many of them have come over to our laws, and some of them have continued in their observation, although others of them had not courage enough to persevere and so de. parted trom them again; nur did any body ever hear this oath sworn by us; Apion, it seems, was the only perion that heard it, for he indeed was the first composer of it.
12. However, Apion deterves to be admired for his great prudence, as to what I am going to say, which is this, That “there is a plain mark among us, that we neither have just laws, nor worship God as we ought to do, becaule we are not gov. ernors, but are rather in subjection to Gentiles, sometimes to one nation, and lometimes to another; and that our city hath been liable to several calamities, while their ciiy | Alexandria] hath been ot old time an imperial city, and not uied to be in subjection to the Romans.” But now this man had better leave off his bragging, for every body but himselt would think, that Apion said what he hath said against himselt; for there are very few nations that have had the good fortune to continue many generations in the principality, but still the mutations in hu. man affairs have put them into subjection under others; and most nations have been often fubdued, and brought into lubjection by others. Now for the Egyptians, perhaps they are the only nation that have had this extraordinary privilege, to have never served any of those monarchs who subdued Asia and Europe, and this on account as they pretend, that the gods fled into their country, and saved themielves by being chang. ed into the shapes of wild beasts! Whereas these Egyptians*
. This potorious disgrace belonging peculiarly to the people of Egypt, ever since the times of the old prophets of the Jews, noted both tec 4 already, and here, may be confirmed by the reltimony of Tudorus, an Egyptian of Pelusi im, Epift. lib. I. Ep. 489 And this is a remarkable completion of the ancient prediction of God, by Ezek. xxix. 14. 15 " That the Esyptsans should be a baie kingdom, the bascit of the kingdoms, and that is * fhould not exalt itle.f any more above are the very people that appear to have never, in all the pak ages, had one day of freedom, no not fo much as from their own lords. For I will not reproach them with relating the manper how the PerGans uled them, and this not once only, but many times, when they laid their cities waste, dernolited their temples, and cut the throats of thole animals whoin they esteemed to be gods ; for it is not realonable to initate the clownila ignorance of Apion, who hath no regard to the mis. tortunes of the Athenians, or of the Lacedemonians, the latter of which were ftyled by all men the most courageous, and the former the most religious of the Grecians. I say nothing of such kings as have been famous for piety particularly ot one of them whole name was Cresus, nor what calamities he met with in his life ; I say nothing of the citadel ol Atheos, of the temple at Ephesus, of that at Delphi, nor of ten thoulandothers which have been burnt down while nobody call reproaches on those that were the lufferers, but on those that were the actors therein. But now we have met with Apion, an acculer of our nation, though one that still forgets the mileries of his own people, the Egyptians ; but it is that Selosiris, who was once so celebrated a king of Egypt, that bath blinded him: Now we will not brąg of our kings David and Solomon, though they conquered many nations ; accordingly we will let them alone. However, Apion is ignorant of what every body knows, that the Egyptians were !ervants to the Perians, and afterward to the Macedonians when they were lords of Aha, and were no better than llaves, while we have enjoyed liberty formerly ; nay, more than that, bave had the dominion of the cities that lie round about us, and this nearly for an hundred and twenty years together, unul Pompeius Magnus. And when all the kings every where were conquered by the Roznans, our ancedors were the only people who contiaued to be efteemed their contederates and friends, on account of their fidelity to them.
13. But, says Apion, “ we Jews have not had any wonder. tul men amongst us, not any inventors of arts, nor any eminent for wisdom.” He then enuinerates Socrates, and Zene, and Cleanthes, and fome others of the same fort ; and, alter all, he adds himself to them, which is the most wondertul ching of all that he says, and pronounces Alexandria to be happy, because it hash such a citizen as he is in it: For he was the finteft man to be a witness to his own deserts, although he hath appeared to all others no better than a wicked mountebank. of a corrupt lile and ill ditcourses ; on which account ORC the nations." The truth of which till farther appears by the present observation of Josephus, that thele Egyptians had never, in all the past ages fince Sefoftris, kad one day of liberty, no not fo much as to have been free from despatic power USder any of the monarchs to that day. And all this has been found equally true se the latter ages, under the Romans, Saracens, Mammalukes and Turks, from the days of Jotephas till she present age also.
may juftly pity Alexandria, if it should value itself upon fuch a citizen as he is. But as to our own men, we have had those who have been as deserving of commendation as any other whosoever, and such as have perused our antiquities cannot be ignorant of them.
14. As to the other things which he sets down as blame. worthy, it may perhaps be the best way to let them pass witha out apology, that he may be allowed to be his own accuser, and the accuser of the reft of the Egyptians. However, he accules us for sacrificing animals, and for abstaining from swine's flesh, and laughs at us for the circumcifion of our pri. vy members. Now, as for our faughter of tamé animals for facrifices, it is common to us and to all other men : But this Apion, by making it a crime to facrifice them, demonstrates himself to be an Egyptian ; tor had he been either a Grecian, or a Macedonian l as he pretends to be he had not shewed any uneasiness at it, for thofe people glory in lacrificing whole hecatombs to the gods, and make use of those facrifices for jeafting; and yet is not the world thereby rendered deftitute of cattle, as Apion was afraid would come to pass. Yet if all men had followed the manners of the Egyptians, the world had certainly been made desolate as to mankind, but had been filled full of the wildest sort of brute-beasts, which, because they suppose them to be gods, they carelully nourish. However, if any one should ask Apion, which of the Egyptians he thinks to be the most wise, and most pious of them all, he would certainly acknowledge the priests to be fo; for the hif. tories say, that two things were originally committed to their eare by their king's injunétions the worship of the gods, and the support of wisdom and philosophy. Accordingly these priests are all circumcised, and abstain froin swine's flesh : Nor does any one of the other Egyptians affist them in slaying ihose sacrifices they offer to the gods. Apion was therefore quite blinded in his mind, when, for the sake of the Egyp. tians, he contrived to reproach us, and to accufe such others as not only make ule of that conduct of life which he so much abuses, but have also taught other men to be circumcised, as says Herodotus, which makes me think that Apion is hereby justly punished for his casting such reproaches on the laws of his own country; for he was circumcised himself of necessity on account of an ulcer in his privy member ; and when he received no benefit by such circumcision, but his member became putrid, he died in great torment. Now men of good tempers ought to observe their own laws concerning religion accurately and to perfevere therein, but not presently to abuse the laws of other nations, while this a pion deserted his own laws, and told lies about ours. And this was the end of Apion's life, and this shall be the conclusion of our discourse about him.
15. But now, fince Appollonius Molo, and Lysimachus, and some others write treatises about our law.giver Moses, and about our laws, which are neither just nor true, and this part. ly out of ignorance, but chiefly out of ill-will to us, while they calumniate Moses as an impostor and deceiver, and pre. tend that our laws teach us wickedness, but nothing that is virtuous; I have a mind to discourle briefly, according to my ability, about our whole confticution of government, and about the particular branches of it. For I suppose it will thence become evident, that the laws we have given us are disposed after the best manner tor the advancement of piety, for mutual communion with one another, for a general love of mankind, as also for justice, and for sustaining labours with fortitude, and for a contempt of death. And I beg of those that will peruse this writing of mine, to read it without partiality ; for it is not my purpole to write an encomium upon ourselves, but I shall esteem this as a most just apology for us, and taken from those our laws, according to which we lead our lives, against the many and the lying objections that have been made against us. Moreover, since this Appollonius does not do like Apion, and lay a continued accusation against us, but does it only by starts, andup and down his discourse, while helometimesreproach es us as atheists, and man-haters, and sometime hits us in the teeth with our want of courage, and yet sometimes, on the contra. ry, accules us of too great boldness, and madness in our condud: Nay, he says, that we are the weakest of all the barbarians, and that this is the reason why we are the only people which have made no improvements in human life. Now I think I lhall have then sufhciently disproved all these bis allegations, when it shall appear that our laws enjoin the very reverse of what he says, and that we very carefully observe those laws ourselves. And if I be compelled to make mention of the laws of other nations, that are contrary to ours, those ought deservedly to thank themselves for it, who have pretended to depreciate our laws in comparison of their own; nor will there, I think, be any room after that for them to pretend, either that we have no such laws ourselves, an epitome of which I will present to the reader, or that we do not, above all men, continue in the observation of them.
16. To begin then a good way backward ; I would advance this in the first place, that those who have been admirers of good order, and of living under common laws, and who be. gan to introduce them, may well have this teftimony that they are better than other men, both for moderation, and luch virtue as is agreeable to nature, Indeed their endeavour was to have every thing they ordained believed to be very ancient, that thcy might not be thought to imitate others, but might appear to have delivered a regular way of living to others after them. Since then, this is the case, the excellency of a legisla. tor is seen in providing for the people's living after the bed manner, and in prevailing with those that are to use the laws he
ordains for them, to have a good opinion of them, and in on bliging the multitude to persevere in them, and to make no changes in them, neitherin profperity nor adversity. Now I venture to say, that our legislator is the most ancient of all the legislators whom we have any where heard of : for as for the Lycurguses, and Solons and Zaleucus Locrenfis, and all those legislators which are so admired by the Greeks, they seem to be of yesterday, if compared with our legislator, insomuch as the very name of a law was not so much as known in old times among ihe Grecians. Homer is a witness to the truth of this observation, who never uses that term in all his poems; for indeed there was then no such thing among them, but the mul. titude was governed by wise maxims, and by the injuncions of their king. It was also a long time* that they continued in the use of thele unwritten cultoms, although they were al. ways changing them upon several occasions. But for our legislator, who was of so much greater antiquity than the rest, (as even those that speak against us upon all occasions do always confess) he exhibited himself to the people as their beft governor and counsellor, and included in his legislation the entire conduct of their lives, and prevailed with them to receive it, and brought it fo to pals, that thole that were made acquainted with his laws, did molt carefully observe them.
iz But let us consider his first and greatest work : For when it was relolved on by our forefathers to leave Egypt, and return to their own country, this Moses took the many ten thousands that were of the people, and saved them out of many desperate distresses, and broaght them home in safety. And certainly it was here necessary to travel over a country without water, and full of fand, to overcome their enemies, and, during these battles, to preserve their children and their wives, and their prey ; on all which occafions he became an excellent general of an army, and a most prudent counsellor, and one that took the truett care of them all; he also to brought it about, that the whole multitude depended upon him. And while he had them always obedient to what he enjoined, he made no manner of use of his authority, for his own pri. vate advantage, which is the usual time when governors gain great powers to themselves, and pave the way for tyranny, and accuftom the multitude to live very disolutely : Whereas, when our legislator was in fo great authority, he, on the contrary, thought he ought to have regard to piety, and to shew his great good will to the people ; and by this means he thought he might shew the greai degree of virtue that was in him, and might procure the most lasting security to those who had made him their governor. When he had therefore come to fuch a good resolution, and had performed such wonderful
Viz. After the greatest part of the world had left off their obedience to God their original legislator. Sec Scripture Politics, page 6, 7. VOL. III.