(3 syl.), in Dryden's satire of Absalom and Achitophel,
stands for the Roman Catholics; so called because England was Roman
Catholic before the Reformation, and Jerusalem was called Jebus before
the time of David.
In this poem, the Jebusites are the Catholics, and the
Levites the dissenting clergy.
Succeeding times did equal folly call,
Believing nothing, or believing all.
The Egyptian rites the Jebusites embraced,
When gods were recommended by their taste. [Transubstantiation.]
Dryden: Abenium and Achitophel, Part i. 117-123.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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