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Nicolaus of Damascus mentions Abraham as a stranger who had rule in Damascus, to which city he came from Chaldea, and that upon a tumult he went to Canaan, where he had a numerous offspring *.

Tacitus admits that distinguished cities had been burnt by fire from Heaven on the plains where Sodom and Gomorrah stood †.

Josephus refers to writers who speak of the race of giants in Assyria and Canaan, and Eusebius presents us with passages which repeat accounts concerning them, particularly from Abydenus § and Eupolemus .

The passage through the Red Sea was remembered among the people of the Syrian Hierapolis, and is related by Artapanus ¶. Numberless writers speak of Moses as a distinguished legislator; some advert to the sublimity of his writings **, and others describe the excellence and permanent influence of his laws.


*Euseb. præp. Evan. lib. ix. c. 16.

+ Hist. lib. v. §. 7.

Lib. v. c. 2. lib. vii. c. 12.

Evan. lib. ix. c. 14. Grot. de Verit, lib. i. note xl.

Tist. lib. vii. c. 16.

. lib. ix. c. 17.

Evan. lib. ix. c. 27.

Tacitus mentions the Exodus from Egypt, and the abode of the Israelites in the wilderness, but he mingles many absurd reports with his account *.

Menander, relating the acts of Ithobal, king of the Tyrians, mentions the drought which happened in the time of Elias †.

Josephus, in describing the events of sacred history, repeats, in a continued relation, almost all the leading circumstances which are recorded by Moses, and by the inspired Penmen, confirming his account from time to time, by a reference to other writers; most of the great events of the Jewish history are thus supported, and with regard to particulars recorded in the New Testament the witnesses are still more numerous.

Hist. lib. v. §. 3.

+ Joseph. Antiq. lib. viii. c. 13. p. 378.


On Deities and fictitious Heroes in Heathen Fable, who seem to represent real Characters and Persons mentioned in Sacred History.

In the biography of the East, we discover every where the lineaments of men, who are mentioned in Scripture as the inventors of useful arts; and the Pagan mythology shadows out the personages of Sacred Writ, pourtrayed with such consistency as might be expected, where both drew from originals without copying from each other, and where changes were frequently produced, representations which rested for many ages only on tradition.

When heroes and benefactors conferred obligations on society, they naturally became objects of veneration, and their fame extended with the dispersion of mankind.

Noah is celebrated in the history of many countries, sometimes under the name of Janus, Saturn, and Prometheus *.


Bryant's Mythology, vol. ii.

The names of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were well known among Heathen nations*. The Egyptians were accustomed to invoke the God of Abraham. Japhet is supposed to have been celebrated as Neptune, Ammon+ was esteemed the son of Ham.

These, having been once consecrated, continued to be regarded as divine, not only in the countries, in which their apotheosis took place, but wherever colonies emigrated, or superstition spread; hence it is, that we find the same deities worshipped in different countries, under the same symbols with different names.

Plato, adopting a notion alluded to by Hesiod, supposes the race of heroes to be derived from the intermixture of Gods with women; others imagined that the giants were a race expelled from heaven; accounts which appear to be grounded on the relation in Genesis vi. 2. Some writers speak of the giants as sons of the earth §.

* Origen cont. Cels. lib. i. c. 22. p. 339. Edit. Benedict. Grotius ad Matt. xii. 23.

+ Grotius de Veritat. lib. i. c. 16. 62.

Selden. de Diis Syris. Syntag. ii. cap. 8. p. 247. Gale's Court of the Gentiles, vol. i. cap. 11. p. 72.

§ Pausanius Attic. c. xxxv. p. 87. Edit. Lips. p. 169. comp. with Gen. v. 4.

Cicero, in speaking of the different opinions which prevailed among the philosophers, with respect to the origin of the gods, observes, that Chrysippus represented some to have been men who had obtained immortality; he remarks upon the absur dity of those representations, which had resulted in great measure from the deification of mortals, and which had been described with such extravagant and incongruous fictions by the Poets. Qui et iâ inflammatos, et libidine furentes induxerunt deos: fecerúntque, ut eorum beila, pugnas, prælia, vulnera videremus; odia præterea, dissidia, discordias, ortus, interitus, querelas, lamentationes, effusas in omni intemperantia libidines, adulteria, vincula, cum humano genere concubitus, mortalèsque ex immortali procreatos. Cum poëtarum autem errore conjungere licet portenta Magorum, Egyptiorúmque in eodem genere dementiam: tum etiam vulgi opiniones, quæ in maxima inconstantia, veri

tatis ignoratione, versantur*.

It would be useless to prosecute this subject, as it has been so fully investigated by Bryant and other writers.

Cicero de Natura Deorum, lib. i. sect. 16.

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