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again in the observation of our times of reft; while those that can use their swords in war, and can put their enemies to flight when they attack them, cannot bear to fubinit to such laws a. bout their way of living : Whereas our being accustomed willingly to submit to laws in these instances, renders us fit so shew our fortitude upon other occasions allo.
34. Yet do the Lyfimachi and the Molones, and some other weaters (unskilful fophifts as they are) and the deceivers of young men, reproach us as the vilelt of mankind. Now I have no mind to make an inquiry into the laws of other 12 tions; for the custom of our country is to keep our own laws, but not to bring accusations against the laws of others. And indeed our legislator hath exprefsly forbidden us to laugh at and revile thofe that are eficemed gods by other people, on account of the very name of God alcribed to them. But fince our ariagonifts think to run us down upon the comparison of their religion and ours, it is not poslible to keep bleace here, especially while what I shall say io confule these men will rrot he now first said, but hath been already said by many, and these of the highelt reputation also: For who is there among those that have been adınired among the Greeks for wildod, who hath not greatly
blamed both the most famous poets, and most celebrated legislators for spreading uch notions origin. ally among the body of the people concerning the gods ? ucb as ihese, that they may be allowed to be as numerous as they have a mind to have them; that they are begotten one by nother, and that alter all the kinds of generation you can inagine. They also diftinguish them in their places and ways ol living as they would diftinguish several sorts of animals: As some to be under the earth; as some to be in the fea; and the ancienteft of them all to be bound in hell: And for those to whom they have allotted heaven, they have let over them one, who in iitle is their father, but in his attions a tyrant and a lord ; whence it came to pass that his wife, and brother, and daughter (which daughter he brought forth from his own head) made a conspiracy againft him to seize upon him and eontine him, as he had himielt seized upon, and confined bis own father betore.
35. And justly have the wiseft men thought these notions deterved severe rebukes; they also laugh at them for determining that we ought to believe some of the gods to be beardless and young, and others of them to be old, and to have beards accordingly : That some are set to trades; that one god is a smith, and another guddels is a weaver; that one god is a warrior, and fights with men ; that some ot them are barpers or delight in archery ; and betides, that muttal feditions arise among them, and that they quarrel about men, and this lo far, that they not only, lay hands upon one another, but
* See Antiq. B. IV. ch xiii, fucke 10. Vol. I. and ite nota
that they are wounded by then, and lament, and take on fot fuch their afflictions. But what is the grosset of all in, point of lasciviousness, are those unbounded lufts afcribed to almost all of them, and iheir amours; which how can it be other than a most ablurd supposal, especially when it reaches to the male gods, and to the female goddesses also ? Moreover, the chief of all their gods, and their first father himself, overlooks those goddesses whom he hath deluded and begotten with child, and luffers them to be kept in prison, or drowned in the sea. He is also so bound up by tale, that he cannot save his own offspring, nor can he bear their deaths without shedding of tears. Thele are fine things indeed! as are the rest that follow. A. dulteries truly are so impudently looked in heaven by the gods, that some of them have contefled they envied thole that were found in the very act. And why should they not do to, when the eldeft of them, who is their king also, hath not been able to restrain himself, in the violence of his luft, from lying with his wife so long as they might get into their bed chamber. Now fome of the gods are servants to inen, and will sometimes be builders for a reward, and fometimes will be fhepherds; while others of them, like malefactors, are bound in a prison of brass. And what lobèr person is there who would not be provoked at such stories, and rebuke those that forged them, and condemn the great filliness of those that ad. mit them for true ? Nay, others there are that have advanced a certain timorousness and fear, as allo madness and fraud, and any other of the vilelt passions into the nature and form of gods, and have perfuaded whole cities to offer sacrifice to the better fort of them; on which account they have been ab. folutely forced to esteem fome gods as the givers of good things, and to call others of them averters of evil. They also endeavour to move them, as they would tlie vileft of men, by gitts and presents, as looking for nothing elle than to receive ionie great mischiet from them, unless they pay them such wages.
36. Wherefore it deserves our inquiry, what should be the occasion of this unjust management, and of thele Scandals from the Deity ? And truly I suppose it to be derived from the im. perteat knowledge the heathen legislators had at first of the true nature of God; nor did they explain to the people even so far as they did comprehend of it; nor did they compose the other parts of their political fetilemenis according to it, but omitted it as a thing of very little consequence, and gave leave both to the poets to introduce what gods they pleaied, and those subject to all forts of passions, and to the orators to procure political decrees from the people for the admillion of Juch foreign gods as they thought proper. The painters allo, and statuaries of Greece had herein great power, as cach of them could contrive a shape (proper for a god]; the one to be formed out of clay, and the other by making a bare picture of Such a one. But those workmen that were principally admired bad the use of ivory and ot gold as the constant materials for their new statues : TWhereby it comes to pass, that some temples are quite deferted, while others are in great esteem, and adorned with all the rites of all kinds of purifications. Be fides this, the first gods, who have long flourished in the honours done them, are now grown old, I while those that flourilhed after them are come in their room as a second rank, that I may speak the most honourable of them I canj: Nay, certan other gods there are who are newly introduced, and newly worshipped, (as we by way of digresion have said already. and yet have left their places of worship desolate]; and for their temples, some of them are already lett desolate, and others are built anew, according to the pleasure of men; whereas they ought to have preserved their opinion about God, and that worship which is due to him, always and immutably the fame.
37. But now, this Apollonius Molo was one of thele foolish and proud men. However, nothing that I have said was un. known to thole that were real philolophers among the Greeks, nor were they unacquainted with thole frigid pretences of allegories, which
had been alledged for such things]; on which account they justly despiled them, but have still agreed with us as to the true and becoming notions of God; wbence it was that Plato would not have political settlements admit of any one of the other poets, and dismisses even Homer himself, with a garland on his head, and with ointment poured upon him, and this because he should not destroy the right notions of God with his tables. Nay, Plato principally iinitated our legislator in this point, that he injoined his citizens to have the main regard to this precepi, That every one of them should learn their laws accurately. He also ordained, that they should not admit of foreigners intermixing with their own people at random; and provided that the commonwealth should keep itself pure, and consist of such only as persevered in their own laws. "Apollonius Molo did no way coolder this, when he made it one branch of his accusation against us, that we do not admit of such as have different nutions about God, nor will we have fellowship with thole that choose to observe a way of living different from ourselves ; yet is not this meth. od peculiar to us, but common to all other men; nor among the ordinary Grecians only, but among such of those Grecians as are of the greatelt reputation among them. Moreo. ver, the Lacedemonians continued in their way of expelling foreigners, and would not indeed, give leave to their own people to travel abroad, as suipecting that those two things would introduce a dissolution of their own laws : And perhaps there may be some reason to blame the rigid severity of the Lacedemonians, for they bestowed the privilege of their city no foreigners, nor indeed would give leave to them to Aay among them : Whereas we, though we do not think fit to imitate other inftitutions, yet do we willingly admit of those that desire to partake of ours, which, I think, I may reckon to be a plain indication of our humanity, and at the lame time of our magnanimity also.
38. But I shall fay no more of the Lacedemonians. As for the Athenians, who glory in having made their city to be common to all men, what their behaviour was, Apollonius did not know, while they punished thofe that did but speak one word contrary to their laws about the gods, without any mer. cy: For on what other account was it that Socrates was put to death by them? For certainly he neither betrayed their city to its enemies, nor was he guilty of any facrilege with regard to any of their temples ; but it was on this account, that he swore certain new oaths,* and that be affirmed either in earnest, or, as some fay, only in jest, that a certain demon ut fed to make ligns to him (what he should not dol. For thefe
casons he was condemned to drink poison, and kill himself. His accuser also complained, that he corrupted the young men, by inducing them to defpise the political settlement, and laws of their city; and thus was Socrates, the citizen of Athens punilhed. There was also Anaxagorus, who although he was of Clazomenæ, was within a few suffrages of being condemned to die, becaule he said the fun, which the Alhe. nians thought to be a god, was a ball of fire. They also made this proclamation, That they would give a talent to any one who would kill Diagorus of Melos, because it was reported of hirr that he laughed at their mysteries : Protagoras also, who was thought to have written somewhat that was not owned tor truth by the Athenians, about the gods, had been seized upon, and put to death, if he had not fled immediately away. Nor need we at all wonder that they thus treated such considerable men, when they did not spare even women allo; for they ver ry lately sew a certain priestess, because she was accused by fomebody that the initiated people into the worship of strange gods, it having been forbidden so to do by one of their laws : And a capital punishment had been decreed to such as introduced a strange god; it being manifeft, that they who make use of such a law, do not believe those of other nations to be really gods, otherwise they had not envied themselves the ad. vantage of more gods than they already had. And this was the happy administration of the affairs of the Athenians! Now as to the Scythians, they take a pleasure in killing men, and differ little from brute beasts, yet do they think it reasonable to have their inftitutions observed. They also flew Anacharfis, a person greatly admired for his wisdom among the Greeks, when he returned to them, because he appeared to come
* See what these novel oaths were in Ds Hudson's note, viz To swoor: by an sak, by a goat, and by a dog, as also by a gander, as says Philostratus and others. This swearing ftrange oaths was alto forbidden by the Iyrians, B 1. sect. 22. Vol. I. as Spachcia here notes:
fraught with Grecian customs ; one may allo find many to have been punished among the Per Gans, on the very fame account. And to be fure Apollonius was greatly pleased with the laws of the Persians, and was an admirer of them, because the Greeks enjoyed the advantage of their courage, and had the very fame opinion about the gods which they had! This last was exemplified in the temples which they burnt, and their courage in coming, and almost entirely enflaving the Gre, cians. However, Apollonius has imitared all the Per han in. ftitutions, and that by his offering violence to other men's wives, and gelding his own sons. Now with us it is a capital crime, if any one does thus abuse even a brute beast : And as for us, neither hath the fear of our governors, nor a desire of following what other nations have in so great esteem, been a. ble to withdraw us from our own laws; nor have we exerted our courage ir ailing up wars to increase our wealth, but only for the obtervation of our laws: And when we with patience bear other lofles, yet when any persons would compel us to break our laws, then it is that we choole to go to war, though it be beyond our ability to pursue it, and bear the greatest ca. lamities to the last with much fortitude. And indeed, what reason can there be why we should desire to imitate the laws of other nations, while we see they are not observed by their own legislators ? And why do not the Lacedemonians think of abolishing that form of their government, which suffers them not in associate with any others, as well as their contempt of matrimony? And why do not the Eleans and Thebans abolish that unnatural and impudent luft, which makes them lic with males ? For they will not shew a fuffi. cient sign of their repentance of what ihey of old thought to be very excellent, and very advantageous in their practices, unless they entirely avoid all such actions for the time to come : Nay, such things are inserted into the body of their laws, and had once such a power among the Greeks, that they ascribed thele Sodomitical practices to the gods thenselves, as a part of their good character ; and indeed it was according to the same manner that the gods married their own fil. ters. This the Greeks contrived as an apology for their own absurd and unnatural pleasures.
39. I omit 10 fpeak concerning punishments, and how many ways of escaping them the greatest part of the legislators have afforded maletactors, by ordaining that for adulteries, fines in money should be allowed, and for corrupting* (vir.
* Why Josephus here shall blame fome heathen legislators, when they allowed fo casy a composition for simple fornication, as an obligation to marry the virgin that was corrupted, is hard to say, seeing he had himself truly informed us, that it was a law of the Jews, Antiq. B. IV.ch. viii. fe&t. 19. vol III. as it is the law of Christianity also ; fee Koreb Covenant ; page 61. I am almost ready to suípe&t. that for yzeqes, we should here read yauw, and that corrupting wedlock, or other men's wives, is the crime for whicta che le heathens wickedly allowed this compofition in- mony.