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blood shall come. Now this, I say, is Talmudick. For we find both in the Jerusalem and Babylonish Talmud, as they are cited by Dr. Lightfoot, that the blood of Zacharias continued, and was not wiped away till Nebuzaradan, the Babylonish general, came to Jerusalem, and became a remarkable avenger of his blood. The whole history is this, Talmud. Hierosol. in Taanith (fol. 69.) and Talmud. Babyl. in Sanhedr. fol. 96. “ R. Jochanan said, Eighty thousand priests were “ Nain for the blood of Zacharias. R. Judas asked R. Achan,
Where did they kill Zacharias? Was it in the women's « court, or in the court of Israel? He answered, Neither in “ the court of Israel, nor in the court of women, but in the court “ of the priests ; and they did not treat his blood in the same
manner as they were wont to treat the blood of a ram or
young goat. For of these it is written, He shall pour out « his blood, and cover it with duft. But it is written here, « The blood is in the midst of her; the fet it upon the top “ of a rock; fhe poured it not upon the ground (Ezek. xxiv. « 7.) But why was this? That it might cause fury to come up “ to take vengeance : I have set his blood upon the top of a " rock, that it hould not be covered. They committed seven “ evils that day : they murdered a priest, a prophet, and a “ king : they shed the blood of the innocent: they polluted the
court: that day was the Sabbath : and the day of expiation, « When therefore Nebuzaradan came there (viz. to Jerusalem), “ he saw his blood bubbling, and said to them, What meaneth “ this? They answered, It is the blood of calves, lambs, and “ rams, which we have offered upon the altar. He commanded " then, that they should bring calves, and lambs, and rams, and
said, I will try whether this be their blood : accordingly they « brought and new them, but the blood (of Zacharias) fill « bubbled, but the blood of these did not bubble. Then he said, « Declare to me the truth of this matter, or else I will comb
your flesh with iron combs. Then said they to him, He was a pricft, prophet, and judge, who prophesied to Israel all thefe
de Arcan. Cathol.Verit. I. 4. C. 23
· Hor. Hebr. et Talmud'. in Matt. xxiii. 35. See also Galatin.
« calamities which we have suffered from you'; but we arose
against him, and flew him. Then faid be, I will appease “ him : then he took the rabbins, and New them upon his (viz. “ Zacharias's) blood, and he was not yet appeased. Next he " took the young boys from the schools, and new them upon his « blood, and yet it bubbled. Then he brought the young priests, “ and few them in the same place, and yet it still bubbled. So “ be few at length ninety-four thousand persons upon his blood, " and it did not as yet cease bubbling. Then he drew near to " it, and said, O Zacharias, Zacharias, thou hast occasioned " the death of the chief of thy countrymen, shall I flay them « all? Then the blood ceased, and did bubble no more, &c.” This is very evidently the fame story which we find in the Protevangelion, though applied to a different person there under the same name ; from which being a plain Jewish or Talmudick story, and also common among the Jewish writers, as in Midrasch. Coheleth, fol. 93. and Midrasch. Echah. fol. 69, it is most evident the author of this spurious Gospel was a Jew.
3. It seems to me not unreasonable to conclude, that the author of this Gospel was a Jew, because Epiphanius relates the same things which are in this Gospel, as taken ix tñs twv lea daw tapadócews, out of the accounts or traditions of the Jews h. The things I mean are the relations of Joseph's former wife, and children, and age, &c. (as above, Obf. VIII.) Now these being also in this Apocryphal Gospel, what can be more evident froin what I have above faid, than that he thought the author of this history to be a Jew?
4. The Epistle of Chromatius and Heliodorus to Jerome, and his Answers (which I have above produced after the Gofpel of the Birth of Mary), do expressly affert that Gospel to bave been originally written in Hebrew; and though indeed perhaps those Epistles may be fuppofititious (for which I am not able yet to see that clear evidence which the writers abovementioned pretend, fee Obf. IV.), yet I think their antiquity
See Lightfoot Hor. Hebr. et Talmud. in Luc. xi. 51.
b Hæref. 78. contr. Antidico.. mar. $. 7.
will be no small collateral evidence, with my foregoing arguments, to prove the author of this Gospel was a Jew, or Hellenist.
CHA P. XIX.
The Protevangelion of James and the Gospel of Mary are Apo
cryphal, because they were not acknowledged by the Antients, but expressly rejected. They contain several Things contrary
to known Truths. Instances produced out of both. OBS. XI.
HE Protevangelion of James, and the Gospel
of the Birth of Mary, are supposititious and Apocryphal. I have above shewn (Obf. V.), that most of the Gospel of Mary is contained in the Protevangelion; though it seems hard to determine which was compiled out of the other, or which of the two was the original composure. If I were to conjecture, I should rather imagine that the Protevangelion was the older book, and that of the Birth of Mary made out of it, because its relations seem more compendious, and the author omits many circumstances which are in the Protevangelion. However this be, they are both spurious and Apocryphal, as will appear by the following arguments.
ARG. I. By Prop. IV. because they are not to be found in any of the catalogues of sacred loaks which are in the writings of the primitive Christians.
ARG. II. By Prop. V. because they are not cited in any of the first Christian writings, but on the contrary rejected. The only writers who have mentioned them within my time are Epiphanius, Austin, and Pope Gelasius ; each of which looked upon the composure as trifling and ridiculous, as well as (pu, rious and Apocryphal. Epiphanius places it among the impudent forgeries of the Gnosticks, Hærel. 26. g. 12.
*Αλλα δε μυρία σαρ' αυτούς Belides, they have among πεπλασμένα γραφεία τετόλ them ten thousand spurious and puntase révrov prèv yap Ma- impudent writings; such is ρίας βιβλίον τί φασιν είναι, εν
that book entitled, Of the Na
tivity of Mary, in which they ώ δενά τε και ολέθρια υπο
have forged the most dreadful βάλλοντές τινα εκείσε λέγα- and damnable ftories. .
An instance of which he produces, fee above Obf. III. viz, concerning the Jews worthipping an ass in the Temple. Austin as expressly rejects it, contr. Fauft. Manich.
1. 23. c. 9. See Casaub. adv. Apparat. Annal. Baron. Exercit. 1. No. 44.
Nos ergo credimus Mariam But we believe, that Mary was fuiffe in cognatione David, of the family of David, because quia Scripturis eis credimus, we believe those Scriptures, quæ utrumque dicunt, et which affirm, both that Christ Chriftum ex semine David re was of the feed of David, and
et ejus ma his mother--a virgin. He trem virginem. Quisquis who afferts that Mary did not itaque dicit Mariam ad con belong to the family of Dasanguinitatem David non per vid - let him prove it, not tinuiffe hoc oftendat, non
by any sort of writings, but by ex quibuscunque literis, sed the Ecclefiaftical, Canonical, Ecclesiasticis, Canonicis, et and Catholick Scriptures. For Catholicis. Aliæ quippe apud other Scriptures have nos non habent ad has res ul- weight at all with us in things lum pondus auctoritatis ; ipfae of this fort, but those only sunt enim quas recepit et tenet which are received by the uniEcclefia toto orbe diffusa. versal Church.
So that as Ac per hoc illud quod de Ge to what Fauftus urges from neratione Mariæ Faustus po the book, entitled Of the Nasuit, quod patrem habuerit ex tivity (or Pedigree) of Mary, , tribu Levi quendam facerdo viz. that her father was a
Priest of the tribe of Levi,
tem, nomine Joachim, quia named Joachim, is of na manCanonicum non eft, non me ner of authority with me, beconftringit.
cause it is not Canonical. Pope Gelasius, in his Decree of Apocryphal Books, rejects it
thus : Liber de Nativitate Salvatoris, The book of the Birth of our et de Maria, et obftetrice Sal- Saviour, and of Mary, and vatoris, Apocryphus. the Midwife of our Saviour, is
Apocryphal. Although we meet not here with the title of the Protevangelion, yet there can be no doubt it is the book which is here meant, because it has the title from the three most considerable heads of that Gospel.
Thus all the antient writers, who have mentioned it, have agreed to condemn this history as spurious and fictitious. It is true indeed, some parts of it have been credited (see above, Obr. VIII.), yet it does not appear they were the more credited, because contained in either of these volumes; and though particularly the story of Joseph's former wife and children was so universally received, this seems to have been owing to the universally prevailing opinion of the perpetual vir. ginity of Mary, which the antients were exceedingly fond of, as founded upon what they thought a credible tradition. I will only add here, that I have observed one place in Jerome's Commentary on Matthew", where he seems to have had reference to one of these books, and condemned it as Apocryphal. Some, says he, suppose the brethren of our Lord (spoken of in the Gospel) to be the sons of Joseph by a former wife, following the idle fancies of some Apocryphal books, and feign her name to bave been Escha, &c. and another in his Epistle against Helvidius b, in which he plainly seems to reflect upon the History of the Midwife, in the Protevangelion, as false, and rejeet the book as Apocryphal. His words are, Let us not entertain such thoughts of the mother of our Saviour and her pious husband.