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To the Rev. Mr. FORSTER, Fellow of Corpus
Christi College, in Oxford. Dear Sir, Bedford-row, Feb. 7, 1748-9. FROM the exceeding clearness and closeness of a pamphlet just now brought to me, intituled,“ A Dissertation on Josephus's account of Jesus Christ, &c.” I think I cannot be deceived in the Author; and that it is to you that I am indebted for so valuable a present, and for so advantageous a mention of the Author of the “ Divine Legation.”
I have read it over with great pleasure, and will tell you my sentiments of it with a friendly freedom. I think it one of the most ingenious and chaste pieces of criticism that ever was written. I think that ο Χριςός έτος ήν can adnuit of no sense but the common one, especially while Qelwv Ilgo@ntov stand their ground. But how far the liberty of altering the text by conjecture only, when the sense does not require it, without support of MSS. is to be indulged, where the question is concerning the genuineness of a whole paragraph, I leave to your consideration. So far on our side ; then, on yours, it must be owned, that your very fine emendation
* From the Originals, obligingly communicated by the Rev. Thomas Crompton, of Cranworth, Norfolk.
+ Of Dr. Nathaniel Forster, who was an excellent man, and an extraordinary good scholar, see an accurate and particular account in the “ Literary Anecdotes," vol. IX. p. 289.
of tà ánon not only greatly mends the sense, but the expression. It is now really elegant, which before, I agree with Faber, was tristis ac putida elegantia ; anc, admitting this emendation, it must be confessed it seems to require the following. Wherever the truth really lies, I am persuaded that every true scholar will as much admire your critique, as every candid man will be pleased with the modesty of your preface. However, no one has more reason to return you his hearty thanks, for this service you have done to Literature and Religion, than, Sir, Your very faithful and affectionate humble servant,
W. WARBURTON. P. S. If I be mistaken in my conjectures of the Author, as they are without any authority, you will
To the Rev. Mr. FORSTER. DEAR SIR, Prior Park, Oct. 8, 1749. I am extremely obliged to you for your kind Letter, which is as accurate and ingenious, as it is friendly: I saw in p. 6. ude aytilegalny was wrong. It is plainly so. But I left it as I found it. You have corrected it right, twvòe. I have, I think, taken it for granted, that Julian must commend Plato for that maxim. And if you ground what you say to the contrary on Julian's thinking there was no such difficulty in the case, I apprehend these may be consistent. He might think Plato acted wisely in observing the maxim with regard to the people, though he, Julian, as an enlightened Philosopher, found none of these difficulties in the search) which the people encountered. — But I will consult Julian, which I have not here.
P. 22. Constantine for the Cruelties. — It is plain by Julian's CÆSARS that he bore much ill-will to Constantine. - His denial to the Athenians goes
for for little. He denied too that his cousin Constantius was the author of several hardships to himself, which
yet he detested him for. But, by these cruelties, I mean in general those to his own family, as to his son and wife.
P. 24. What you are so kind to take notice of concerning the Printer's carelessness is too true. But I have found it irremediable, as I never correct the sheets myself *.
P. 25. The doubtfulness of the word Karsavlie was the reason I said, Uncle and Cousin. However, I make no manner of question they were both very liberal to the Clergy, in this kind.
P. 35. I said obstinacy and perseverance, to explain the same thing by the two different words given it by Gentiles and Christians. But, I remember, it stuck with myself when I used it.
P. 37. If Julian believed the God of the Jews was a tutelary deity, he must be at least as blind as Plato's mob in that search. It is certain, the earlier Gentiles, in the neighbourhood of Judea, and those who had transactions with them, thought so. As I have shewn in the Divine Legation, in the quotation which you refer to in these sheets, p. 6. he only seems to question whether Moses was right in supposing him to be the God of the Universe. However, I entirely agree with you, that one of his ends might be, to sacrifice and appease that unknown (iod, whoever he was. And I should have taken notice of it.
P. 44. Ammianus says--though he foresaw with an anxious mind the variety of accidents [to which his affairs were subject.] I thought I had tolerably well expressed this sense in my words ; for foreseeing was only his being sensible of the turns of chance ;—and foreseeing with an anxious mind was only being anxious for the future. – Many
* How much he was indebted to the accuracy of his learned Printer Mr. Bowyer, he has elsewhere frequently and gratefully acknowledged.
and great events are indifferent to good and bad : and so are the variety of accidents.
I do not wonder what Basnage says, about Cyrill, should strike you. But a man so excellently learned could not but know we have nothing of this Father but what is prior to the time in question.--He must therefore mean that the wonder lies in Cyrill's not mentioning it in his after writings, as the glory of the event reflected so much back upon himself by his predictions. - And he concludes he did not mention it, from the silence of antiquity. What there is in this insinuated reasoning I shall endeavour to shew.
P. 45. Operum, atchievements. Now I will tell you truly why I translated the word thus. Julian did not attempt to raise a fame by this specific atchievement of building only, but this amongst others. Ammianus speaks of this amongst others. Had the like observation been made upon Justinian by Procopius, I should have translated it, edifices, because he affected to immortalize himself by that species of graudeur.
Your observation of maturandum is just. It is not (as it should have been) expressed in the translation, and forgot I do not know how.
P. 5. LuvTecla. I have only one objection to your
observation as to the sense Julian was likely to give to the passage — An end shall be put to the desolation. 'He could not, I think, properly urge himself, as the person foretold, by what he would do, but by what he had done. Besides, he pretended to give a mark to the Jews, that the time of their restoration was come: this mark must be something distinct from the restoration itself. Otherwise, whenever the Jews, or any body for them, had such desire or intentions, that might be brought as a proof that the time was come: - which would be absurd.
: P. 57. Your conjecture that Julian alludes to the prophecy by Antiochus, I like full as well, or better
than my conjecture of Herod's pulling it down ; and, if I can contrive to reprint this leaf, I will take notice of it.
Ρ. 58. Κληθεντος επ' αυτω, who takes his style and title, &c. is finely observed, and shews indeed he was thinking here of a local God.
P. 59. Your interpretation of Ows jeya is wonderfully ingenious (and especially as the Persians, in their encampment, carried a vast light over the imperial tént). But I am afraid the chronology of the writing will not allow it. I think I have shewn that the discourse was composed during his expedition into Persia. But it is impossible to conceive it written at the time you mention, when he was so dreadfully harassed and distressed by the Persian. He had something else to do, without question, at that time. Besides, this happened late in the Expedition. He rejected all terms of Peace, and went triumphantly to the Invasion. His course was successful; he passed the Euphrates; took towns; and himself ravaged all the flat country of Assyria with fire and sword, for fifteen days together. After this, the first rencounter between Hormesdes and Surena was happy. He passes the second branch of the Euphrates ; cuts in pieces all that opposed his passage; takes, after a vigorous resistance, the second town in the Enpire. Hitherto his soldiers were in the highest spirits; but, a check they meet with soon after, by the carelessness of a party, being severely punished by Julian, the army grows out of humour. He harangues them into temper. He takes another town. He forces the passes of rivers, beats the Persians before him even to the gates of Ctesiphon. They lose six thousand men; the Romans about seventy. He lays siege to it. Ambassadors come to beg Peace. It is refused. He is betrayed by a false fugitive, and finds himself involved in distress all at once. He finds himself in the midst of an open country destroyed by the