John Toland.

Nazarenus, or, Jewish, gentile, and Mahometan Christianity : containing the history of the antient Gospel of Barnabas, and the modern Gospel of the Mahometans ... also the original plan of Christianit online

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Online LibraryJohn TolandNazarenus, or, Jewish, gentile, and Mahometan Christianity : containing the history of the antient Gospel of Barnabas, and the modern Gospel of the Mahometans ... also the original plan of Christianit → online text (page 1 of 14)
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ncTll ^^0 .


O R,

Jemjh-, Gentile^ and Mahometan



The hiftoiy of the anticnt Gospel of Barnabas^

and the modem Gospel of the Mahome-
tans, attributed to the fame Apostle: this kit
Gospel being now firft made known among


The ORitJiNAL Plan bp Christianity

occafionally explained in the hiflory of the N a z a-
R e N Sj wherby diverfe Controversies about
this divine (but highly perverted) Institution
may be happily terminated.

The relation of an Irish Manuscript of the
four Gospels, as likewife a Summaiy of the
antient Irish Christianity, and the reality

of the K E L D e E s (an order of Lay-rehgious) againlt
the two laft Bifliops of Worcefter.

By Mr. T O L A N "D.

Inta^a ^ Nova ? graves Offet^fae^ levis Gratia, riin. lib, 5. Epift. 8.

Afi Ego Coelicolis gratum reor ire per omnes

Hoc opus, Qsf Sacras populis mtefcere Leges. mean. lib. 10. ver. 157.

The Second Edition Rcvifed.

LO NDO N, Printed: And Sold by J. Brotherton at

the Black Ball in Cornhill, J. Roberts in Warwick-Iyitie,

and A. D ODD at the Peacock without Temple-Bar. 171 8.

[Price Two ShiiliDgs Sdtch'd,]

There is an

A P P E N D I X,


I. Two Problems, hiftorical, political, and theo-
logical, concerning the Jewish Nation and
Re LI gi o n.

II. A further account of the Mahometan Go-
spel of Barnabas, by Moniieur d e la
M o N N o Y E of the French Academy.

III. Qjj E R I E s to be fent to Christians travel-
ling or refideing in M a h o m e t a n Countries.



Mr. D. S.

INC E you are deUrminW to
continue in town this whole
Winter i^ and that I know none
of my friends to he a nicer judge
of exaB Printings I muft beg
the faz'or of you ^ to convey (du^
ring my necejfary ahfence^ for
fome time^ in the country) the
inclos'd DISSER TA "flQN
to the Prefs^ and to fee it every way correBly finifh'd :
tho I hope to he with you again^ before you have half
done. But tis zood to provide azainft all chances.
I dejign to publifrj it next fpring^ for the fame reafon
that all books are or ought to be publifh^d : namely^
that I may inform others of what I know^ which in
many things I apprehend to he my duty 5 or that^ if
mifinform'dj I may be fet right by thofe^ who fhow
themfelves rather lovers of 'Truth than of Contention.
A % They



^bey are^ for the moft partj eafily diftinguijh'' d : tho^
thro feme 'men's management^ even 'Truth does often
wear the badges of FalJJoood, I have in the firft chap-
ter fo farr declared the Contents of the Jirfi Letter,
as to render any other Preface (/ once thought) en^
tirely unnecejfary^ at kaji a very long one. But the
hetter neverthelefs to prepare you for the reading of
iV, as alfo, of the fecond Letter, efpecially fince they
are both fwelVd beyond their original bulk > and that
you may not pojfibly ly under any mijiake by that too
Jhort Introduftion, I fhall reduce the fum of what
you are to expedi to the following heads : not think-
ing it needful to indicate every particular ^ no nor
every general fuhje^l^ in a work of fo moderate a

I. IN the firft place youll find the fuccin6i hi"
Jlory of a 1>^ -EW Gospel, which I difcover'd at
jlmfterdam^ in the year 1 709. // is a Mahometan
Gofpel, never before publicly made known among
Chriftians^ tho they have much talkt about the Ma-
hometans acknowledging the Gofpel. I ftrait fent
an account of this difcovery to his moft ferene High-
nefs^ the ever vi6lorious Prince Eugene of
Savoy, to whom I had the honour of writing fom-
timeSj by the way of his Jdjutant General the Baron
de HoHENDORF, who co'mes behind very few in
the knowledge of all curious and ufeful books : and
$is really furprizeing how much the Prince himfelf
has read^ how minutely^ how critically^ in how ma -
ny languages-, conftdering his perpetual feries of aEli^
en as well in the Court as in the Camp, He's now
tnafter of this hook^ as may be feen in the Appcn*
dix. But our Turkifh Gofpel being fathered up'
ow Barnabas, and all Chriftians agreeing that-
Mahomet acknowledged the Gofpel j / have
fhown by unexceptionable authorities,^ that Eccleftafti'.
cal writers did antiently attribute a Gofpel to Bar-


N A B A s, ivhether there be any remains of it in this
ne-iV'found Gofpel, or i7ot : and therfore upon this
occafion I have given a clearer account^ than is com*
rnonly to he met^ of the Mahometan fentiments with
relation to Jesus and the Gofpcl > infomuch that
it is not ( / believe ) without fuffcient ground^ that I
have reprefented them as a fort of Chrifiians^ and
not the worfi fort neither^ tho farr from being the

II. BUT happening to fpend that fummer in the

delicious gardens of Honflaerdyk {a palace formerly
belonging to King William of immortal memo"
ry) from which I cou^d eafily make an excurfton to
Leyden^ upon any occafion of confulting the public
Library y I was naturally led by the Gofpel of Bar-
nabas to re fume foyne former confiderations I had
about /Z;^ N A Z A R E N S 5 as being the Primitive
Chriftians raofi properly fo calVd^ and the onely Chri*
fiians for fo7ne time, fheir Hifiory I have here fet
in a truer light than other writers^ who are gene*
rally full of confufion and mifreprefentation concern*
ing them ; making them the fir ft ^ if not the worftj
of all Heretics : nor did they want their miftakes^
to be fur e^ ayiy more than the Apoftles themfelves^
who were often reprehended by their mafter and by
one another. One of their miftakes^ in common zvith
the ApoMcs for fo?ne time^ was a grofs and world-
ly notion of the perfon and fpiritual kingdom of
Christ 3 which ^ with fome opinions falfly i?nputed
to them^ and others as falfly held by thcm^ are not
the immediate fiibjcB of their Hiftory {thcfe requiring
too nice a difcuffion for this place ) but tis the very
groundwork of the Chriftian Economy^ of which I
fljall prefently give you the detail 1 was long be*
fore dire5led to my materials by the celebrated Fre-
DERic Spanhemius, when I fludy'd Eccle*
fiaftical Hiftory under him at Leyden^ tho I differ

A 3 widely


widely from my mafter in this point. But the Bible
and the Fathers, the Hebrew and the Greec Origi-
nals, being what he ever exhorted his difciples to
confult as their fountains^ without giving up their
judgements to any thing Jhort of truth 5 / have foh
low^d his excellent advice to the beft of my power^
and tis for the able and equitable readers to decide^
how I have profited by it. They who have read the
fame hiftory and languages in tJ^e fame Clafs with
me^ have not (that I can fee) received any fuch
change of organs or undcrftanding from any of the
Profefftons they have fence efpous'd^ as to capacitate
them for comprehending thefe things better than one
without any Profejfion : and therfore the more likely
to be freer from prejudices^ as he has more leifure
maturely to confider j neither being tfd down by Ar-
ticles upon Oath^ too frequently produUive of per^
jury^ nor crampt by any other partial or politic re -
ftraint. But fuch reflections not being always fo juftly
made as they ought to be^ men of candor will accu-
rately judge of the things themfelves^ without regard-^
ing whether he be a Clergyman or a Layman that de^
livers them.

III. FR O M the hiftory of the NAZARE NS^

and more particularly from the evident words of
Scripture, / iyiferr in this difcourfe a diftin6ii-
on of two forts of Chriftians^ viz. thofe from
among the Jews^ and thofe from a?nong the Gentiles :
not onely that in fa6l there was fuch a diftinction
{which no body denies) but likewife that of right it
Qught to have been fo (which every body denies) and
that it was fo deftgn'd in THE ORIGINAL
that the Jews^ tho ajfociating with the converted
Gentiles^ and acknowledging them for brethren^ were
fiill to obferve their own Law thro-out all generati-
ons j and that the Gentiles^ who became fo far r Jews



tis to acknowledge ONE GOD^ were not howe-
"uer to obferve the JewiJJj Law : but that both of
them were to he for ever after united into one body
or fellowflnp^ and in that part of Chriftianity par-
ticularly^ which^ better than all the preparative pur-
gations of the Philofophers^ requires the fan^tfica-
tion of the fpirit^ or the renovation of the inward
man ^ and wherin alone the Jew and the Gentile^ Rom.x.ii."
the Civilized and the Barbarian^ the Freeman ^W^

^ ,^ 11 ■ r< 1 Col. 111.11.

the Bondjlave^ are all one 111 Christ, however
ctherwife differing in their circumftances. In corn-
par ifon of the New Creature, Circumcifion and Un-
circumcifion are as nothing : which yet no more takes
away the diflin^ion of Jewifh and Gentile Chrifti-
ans^ than the diftin6iion of [exes s fence it ts likewife
faid in the fame fenfe^ and in the fame place^ that
'in Christ there is neither Male nor Female. Gal. iii. 28.
57:?/^ fellowfiip in Piety and Virtue is the Myftery
that Paul rightly fays was hid from all other Rom. xvl
ages^ till the manifeftation of it by ] Esvs^y and Ms Y' Ep^e^
Union without Urtiformity^ between Jew and Gen- |jj^^^^°^,^^
tile^ is the admirable Economy df the Gofpel. Now^ Col.'i.'26,
this Golpel confifts not in words but in virtue-, tis-t-t,
inward and fpirltual^ abflracled from all formal and
outward performances : for the moft exa^ obfervati-
on of externals^ may be without one grain of religion,
ylll this is mechanically done by the help of a little
hook-crafty wheras true religion is inward life and
fpirit. So that fomthing elfe befides the Legal Ordi-
nances^ mofi of 'em political^ was neceffary to render
a Jew religious : even that Faith, which is an
internal participation of the divine nature^ irradi-
ating the foul'y and externally appearing in benefi-
cence^ juftice^ fanci:ity^ and thofe other virtues by
which we refemhle God^ who is himfelf all Goodnefs.
But the Jews generally miftook the means for the
end: as others^ who better under flood the end^ wou''d
not onely abfurdly take away the means > hut even

A 4 i^^


thofe other civil and national rites which were to con-
tinue always in the Jewijh Repuhlick (as I particu-
larly prove) thus confounding political with religious
performances. From this doBrine it follozvs {its true)
that Jesus did not take away or cancel the
Jewish Law in any fenfe whatfoever, Sacri-
fices only excepted y hut neither does this affedi any
of the Gentile Chrijiians now in the world^ who have;
nothing at all to do with that Law. It follows in-
deed that the Jews, whether becoming Chri-
stians or not, are for ever bound to the Law
OF Moses, as now limited : and he that thinks
they were ahfoWd from the ohfervation of it by
Jesus, or that tis a fault in them fiill to adhere to
it^ does err not knowing the Scriptures > as did moft
of the converts from the Gentiles^ who gave their
hare names to Christ, hut referv'd their Idola-
trous hearts for their native fuperftitions. 7'hefe did
almoft wholly fuhvert the tR UE CHRIS TIA-
]SI ITT^ which in the following Treatife I vindi-
cate > drawing it out from under the ruhhifl) of their
endlefs divifions^ and clearing it from the almofi im-
penetrahle mifts of their fophifiry. So inveterate was
their hatred of the Jews (tho indebted to them for
the Gofpel) that their obferving of any things how-
ever reafonahle or necejfary^ was a fufficient motive
for thefe Gentile converts to reje^ it. Theywou'd
neither fafi nor pray at the fame time with them^
where they could poffihly avoid it. They had no
ether reafon for changing the time of Ealler, to the
dividing and di ft racing of all Chriftian Churches -,
hut that they might have nothing in common with
the Jews^ as being fo exprefty commanded by C o N-
s T A N T I N e //:7^ great^ which we are told by E u-
sebius in the ijth chapter of the ^h hook of
that Evfiperofs Life. And all Chrijiians are enjoined.
hy the 1 1 th Canon of the 6th General Council (in
Trullo) 10 have no familiarity or commerce with the
Jews^ not to call for their affi fiance when fick^ nei-


iher to receive any phyfic from them^ ?wr to waJJj
in the fame hath with them. I do here teach a 'very
different do^rine^ more confonant (/ am perfuaded)
to the 7nind of Christ and his Apoftles, as tis
more agreeable to the Law of nature and the dictates
of Humanity. As for what J think of Chrijiiamty
in general^ contrary to the malicious fuggeftions of
wicked men (whofe Godlinefs is Gain) I referr you to
the perpetual tenor of this prefent book. Tet they are
in the right of it^ if they mean that I disbelie've their
fort of Chriftianity > which no good man can appro've
inpra^ice^ no more than any wife man canunderfland
in theory. T'is Paganifm or Policy^ hut not Chrifti-
anity or Humanity. 'This will he cjident from the
account I give 0/ C H r i s t i A N i t y in general in
the fir ft Letter, and after a more particular manner
in the fecond Letter.

IV. VARIOUS difficulties^ and fuch as have
hitherto exercis''d many Pens to no purpofe^ or to the
had purpofe of needlefty divideing mankind^ are rea-
dily foWd hy this healing and uniteing SCHEME ;
not that I have arbitrarily contrived it^ tho for fo
good an end^ as feveral Syftems have upon other oc-
cafions been merely coined for accommodation : but I
maintain it^ hecaufc I judge it to be moft right and
true^ the genuin primary Chriftianity ; and therfore
produceing the promised effeEis of the Gofpel, Glo- Luc.ii.i^..
RY TO God qn high, Peace on earth.
Goo D-w ILL TOWARDS MEN. Among thofe
feemingly infoluhle difficulties cleared by it^ is that of
eating blood, and things fti'angl'd, and things dead
of themfelves > which I have brought (/ fancy) to
he no longer a fubjecl of doubt or fcruple to any one.
I have moreover prov'^d^ that the diftincftion of
Jewifh and Gentile Chriftians, and this diftinUion
onely^ reconciles Peter and Paul about Circum-
cifion and the other Legal Ceremonies.^ as it does
Paul ^«^ J a m e s about Juftification by Faith



cr by M^orks 3 // makes the Gofpcls to agree with
the Ads and the Epiilles, and the Epiftles with the
Adis and one another : but^ what is more than allj
it jJoows a perfeU accord between the Old Teftament
and the New 3 and proves that God did not give
two LawSy wherof the one was to cancel the other ^
which is no fmall flumbling block to the oppofers of
Chriftianityj as the refolviyig of this difficulty is nofign^
I hope ^ of my want of Religion. Many are the falu-
tary fruits I fore fee from the obtaining of this
S C HE ME in the worlds and but one fad con-
fequence 3 / mean the turning to wafle paper an infi-
nite number of volums^ particularly on Juflification
in the modern fenfe^ on the feveral meanings of the
Law {a things by the way^ inconjiftent with all Law)
on- the calling of the Jews to quit the Religion they re-
ceived fro7n Moses, and the utter exploding of
tbofe forc'd or unintelligible j4llegories^ which have
no inanner of foundation in the Scriptures, but are
the precarious inventions of fanciful or worfe men^
fit only to puzzle the curious^ to amuze the indiferent^
and to diftraci the ignorant. One main obje^ion
againfi C^artefianifin in its infancy^ was^ that a great
many bookfellers woiCd be undone^ and cart-loads of
books become ufelefs in Libraries^ fhou'd this pernici-
ous feci prevail. But they need not be alarmed,

V. / SHALL mention here no other difficulty
removed by the SCHEME I ef^oufe^ but onely
two more J which I have barely toucht as I go along :
for the mafier-key being once found^ tis eafy opening
all the doors. 'The firft of thefe regards the con-
troverfy about the Seventh dav, or Saturday-Sab-
bath 5 and the fecond^ that ^/anointing fick per-
fons ; points which fome of late have labofd to in-
troduce .^ and which I have no lefs clearly than
briefly terminated. I ?night have inftanc'd feveral
others^ ccu'd the circ urn fiances of ?ny writeing this



DISSERTJtlON have admitted it: nor an?
I 'wilUng to inlarge it at prefent fo very much beyond
its primitive ftze^ tho fever al things I have occafio-
nally added^ amounting at leaft to a third part of the
mihole. Whatever may he the reception of this piece
at the heginniyig^ I doubt not hut after a while the
Tnoft judicious and ynoderate will approve of thoje
Explications^ which appear to be the moft fingular
in it : for this is not the firft time I have known-
ihem^ who were the for war deft to write againft me^
afterwards to fall in themfelves with the fame fen-
timents > which has not paft tmobferv'd by the public^
efpecially with regard to certain late co?npounders for
M Y s T E RY. Tet I might hazard to prophefy^ that
fome of the fe fame gentlemen 7nay now be among the fore-
moft to conteft my explications j merely becaufe they are
mine^ or rather becaufe they are not originally theirs :
as others will oppofe them^ becaufe contrary to fome of
the received opinions^ or not precifely futeing with
their intereft. I onely deftre that in doing this they
wou'd deal cautioufly^ and not commit fuch miftakes^
as Dr. Blackhall did formerly^ expos d in A-
myntor. / made no obje^ions then^ nor do I make
any now^ to invalidate or deftroy^ but in order to /7-
luftrate and confirm the Canon of the New Tefta-
ment -, wherof I have written the Hillory in two
parts^ to be publifb'd in convenient time. And as
for my being fo particular in relating^ what the Na-
zarens or Ebionites objected againft Pa u l, befides
that my fubjeH manifeftly required it ; tis likewife as
jnanifeft that it was to ftoow their mi flakes^ which I
have done^ and that they had unjuftly charged him
with aboliftoing the Law. Let others make his Apo-
logy better if they can.

VI. T'HIS much I had to fay to you^ Sir^ in
relation to the firft Letter of the book you are to
fee printed. But^ as to the fecond Letter^ be pleas' d




to under fiand^ that in the heginning of the fame year
170P5 / difcover'd at the Hague a manuTcript of
the four Gofpels (then lately brought from France )
all 'written in Iriflo charaUers^ which "were rnifiaken
for Anglofaxon^ hut yet the 'whole text in the Latin
tongue. Some little thing in Irifl) it felf is here and
there 7nixt among the NOTES, which are very
numerous, and other paffages in the Irifl) language
occur r alfo elfewhere. Of what age or importance
this hook may be, and what Father Simon has
faid ah out it, with my ccnfure of him j yoiCll find
fo particularly difcufs'd in their due place, that I
need fay no more of thefe things here. However, be-
fides doing juftice on this occafton to the Learning and
florifjing Schools of the antient Irish, while the
rcfi of Europe coiztinu'd dijlradled by warrs and over -^
fjjadoiv'd with ignorance j / have fet in its true
light, beyond what moft others had an opportunity of
doing, the Chriftianity originally profeft in that na-
tion (wherof I have given a diflinct S U MM A-
RY in \'j paragraphs) and which appears to be ex-
tremely different from the religion of the prefent
h ijh . / mean the poflerity of the aboriginal Proprie-
tors, to whom, as my countrymen and fellow-fubjeBs,
I do moft earneftly recom?nend the impartial confide-
ration of this matter. If they are fond of antiqui-
ty, this Religion is much ancienter than the Popery
which moft of ^em now profefs : it haveing been the
peculiar honor of Ireland, as they'll find in perufing
this Letter, to have afferted their Independency
more ftrenuoufty agai?ift the ufurpatians of Rome,
and to have preferv'd their Faith unpolluted againft
the corruptions of it longer, than any other nation.
But truth being what people ought to value more than
either country or kindred, as I have not been want-
ing to commend whatever I thought deferving s fo I
have never palliated what I judge blame-worthy in'
Irelandy no. more than in any other country : nor




ha've I any "where exceeded the reverend Dr. V r i-
D E A u X 'j expreffions^ -who {in the 241/ page of the The 189th
firft part of the id vohime of his excellent pcrfor-^^f^^^^^
mance^ The Old and New Teflament con-,°^'^
ncfted) fays^ that^ in the ages I mention^ Ireland
was the prime feat of Learning in all Chriltcn-
dom. What he has f aid I have prov^d^ and thi^
from Authors unexceptionable^ many of ^em conteyn-
poraries^ and -none of ''em Irip. I floall difpatch
with the APPENDIX^ which confifis of three
fniall pieces, the two PROBLE M S ( whcrof
the firfi piece confifis ) are preparatory to a Treatife
concerning the Republic of Moses, a^
bout which few men have hitherto written coimnon
fenfe : not excepting Sigonius, or Cuneus,
or even Harrington the author of Oceana j
who^ tho the hefl of \m^ is yet very defective^ and in
many things erroneous. Next follows an account of the
"TURKISH GOSPEL by Monfieur de la
M o N N o Y E [to whom the Baron d e H o h e n-
D o R F fhow'd it^ after the owner had parted with
it /d? P R I N c e E u G e N e) and which I have ad-
ded^ as a further illufiration of the book ; and withall
as a conjirmatiGn of my own defcription of it^ which
I am perfuaded the Baron did not fJjow to that inge^
nioHS Academician. Lafily^ come certain QJUE-
RIES / drew up for my private fatisfa6lion^ and
that of fome others -y haveing already fent diver fe
copies of them to Afia and Africa^ as well as to

VII. IN the marginal NO T'ES I have cord-
wonly expreft my [elf in Latin^ the obvioufefi lan-
guage on fuch occaftons : befides that it is intelligible
to all who are converfant with fuch paffdges^ and ^-
hout which others muft rely on the skill of thofe they
can trufl. But my text is plain and perfpicuous e-
noughy even to the meanefl capacity, haveing^ after



the great example of the antients^ interwo'ven thofe
paffages into my oimi difcourfe in a continued thread:
and not onely being of opinion that the Jimpleft Stile
{not incompatible with the politeft) is in teaching the
heft -y but that every man^ who clearly concehi'es any
fubjecl^ may as clearly exprefs it. M^itty conceits
and harmonious florifloes are for another -giiefs fort of
writing : but obfcurity is to be avoided in all forts^
and nothing to be affe^ed but 'not to be mifunderftood^
if too great a care of being intelligible^ can he reckon d
aff elation. In the Greec NO I'E S at the foot of the
page^ I floou^d have avoided ligatures and contract-
ons^ which are no more ufeful in this Tfongue than
in the Latin 5 or rather they are fill as troblefom
and deform'd in the one^ as they were once in the 0-
ther. I admire t her fore that We t s t e i nV ex-
ample is not more follow'' d by other printers. For
the fame reafon the Greec is printed without Accents^
which are a ufelefs., perplexing^ and no very ancient
invention^ on the foot they now ftand. But let it
be fpecially remembef d^ with regard to all citations
of Authors^ that I give them onely for what they
are y haveing always had recourfe to the Originals,
whether quoted by others or not^ except where I hint
the contrary for want of fuch Originals, and neither
wilfully curtailings garbling^ or mifreprefenting any
of them : produceing Fathers as Fathers, Heretics
es Heretics, Antients and Moderns for juft fuch -^
and therfore not anfwerable for any thing they fay^
unlefs where I exprefly approve it^ as I may proba-
bly dif approve them on other accounts. I anfwer in
others for no more than what I fay with them^
which is nothing the worfe for what they may elf-
wh ere fay againft it. Their judgement of things can-
not alter the nature of them. I allow all of ''em to
he judges of the opinions of their own times as tofa^
(if they be any thing fair or accurate) but not al-
ways to reafon for me^ much lefs implicitly to lead




I hope will be read at lengthy in the few places
where I have not quoted them fo^ particularly thofe
in the beginning of the twelfth chapter : and I ha-ve
taken care in general not to overbnrthen the reader
with citations of any fort ^ contenting my felf to prove
or illufirate my allegations by no more authorities
than are neceffary y tho I often abound with others^
which I judge needlefs^ or referve againfi Anfwerers.

VIII. THE S E Anfwerers naturally put me in
mind of Cavillers^ whom I woiCd not have to run
away with a notion^ as if I thought Faith did
every where fignify the Chriflian Infiitution > he-
caufe^ in the 1 6th chapter of the firfi Diirertation,

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Online LibraryJohn TolandNazarenus, or, Jewish, gentile, and Mahometan Christianity : containing the history of the antient Gospel of Barnabas, and the modern Gospel of the Mahometans ... also the original plan of Christianit → online text (page 1 of 14)