Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

is,

6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

' answers: By * the most High God, great, immortal, celestial, Son of the Father, the Spirit

proceeding from the Father, one out of three, and three out of one. These do you think • to be Jupiter, him do you esteem to be God.-Crit. You teach me numbers: that is an • arithmetical oath- I do not know what you mean. One three, three one.—Trieph. Hold your peace : you are not to measure the steps of feas. I will teach you what the universe

who was before all things, and what is the system of the universe: for it is but the other day that I was as ignorant as yourself. But when the Galilean, half bald, long nosed, who • travelled through the air to the third heaven, and there learned the most extraordinary things, came to me, he renewed us by water, he introduced us into the regions of the

blessed, and redeemed us from the regions of the wicked. And if you will hearken to me, • I will make you likewise a man indeed. -Soon after this Triephon tells Critias of the crea• tion, and other things in a ludicrous way. By a word he dispelled the darkness, as the slowtongued writer assures us, and founded the earth upon the waters. He stretched out the heavens, formed the fixed stars, and ordered the course of things, which you worship for 'gods. The earth he adorned with flowers: man he brought out of things that were not: • and he is in heaven, beholding the just and the unjust, and writes in books the actions of * all, and will accordingly render to all in the day that he has appointed. After other things, · Critias says: Wherefore, • Triephon, I entreat you to say nothing more of the fates, though

with your master you should be taken up, and admitted to unspeakable mysteries. After• wards Triephon says : Do not you see, how inaccurate, and ambiguous and uncertain, all • the sayings of the poets are? Wherefore lay aside all those things, that you may be en

rolled in the celestial books of the righteous.-Crit. But tell me, Triephon, are the affairs • of the Scythians also registered in heaven ?-Trieph. All.' For Chrestus has been among " the nations. [Or, as others understand this place : Yes, all

, provided there is any good man among the nations.] Crit. There must be a multitude of scribes in heaven, according • to your account.--Trieph. I "pray, forbear your jests, and say nothing contemptuous of the dexterous God; but become a catechumen, and be persuaded by me, if you have a mind to live for ever. Since he has stretched out the heavens like a curtain, and founded the earth • upon water, and produced man out of nothing, what is there wonderful in his registering the

actions of all men? Afterwards Triephon desires Critias to give him an account of what he • had heard in the assembly of the Christians, and which had so discomposed him. Critias an• swers: By k the Son out of the Father, it shall never be done. Trieph. Do, tell me, receiving • from the Spirit the power of speech. Critias at length tells him what a beggarly, sorrowful company of

of people he had met with : insinuates their disaffection to the government, and " that they wished for bad news, and delighted in public calamities. Some of them spoke of * their fasting ten whole days without eating—and of spending whole nights in singing hymns.

Triephon " then bids him to have done with those stories, and begin with the prayer from the • Father, adding at the end the hymn with many names. They conclude: But " let us find out • the unknown God at Athens, and stretching out our hands to heaven, offer to him our praises - and thanksgivings, that we are worthy to live under so great an empire, and leave others • to trifle as they please.'

[ocr errors]

a Και τινα επoμoσωμαι γε. -Τρι. Υψιμεδονία Θεον, μελαν, 1 Πανία, ει τυχοι γε Χρησος και εν εθνεσι. Ιbid. αμζροίον, ερανιωνα, υίον ταίρος, πνευμα εκ παίρος εκπορευομενον, 8 Et omnes quidem, si modo bonum aliquem esse inter έν εκ τριων, και εξ ενος τρια. Ταυλα νομιζε Ζηνα, τον δήμα gentes contingat. Conf. J. M. Gesneri Diss. de auctore et Osov. p. 770. in.

ætate Philop. sect. 21. p. 717* Ηνικά δε μοι Γαλιλαιος ενέθυχεν, αναφαλανδιας, επιρρινος, Η Ευσομει, και μηδεν ειπης φλαυρον Θεο δεξια. p. 773. ες τριλον ερανον αεροζαλησας, και τα καλλισα εκμεμαθηκως, δι' 1 Αλλ' αψε δη το θαυμασιον εκείνο ακεσμαλον αεισαν. υδαίος ημας ανεκαινισεν, ες τα των μακαρων ιχνια παρεισωδευσε

p.774. -X. 2. p. 770.

Νη τον υιον τον εκ πατρος, 8 τειο γενήσεται. Τρι. Λείπε, Ανθρωπον εκ μη οντων ες το ειναι παρηλαξε. και εςιν εν ερανω,

wapa

τα πνευμαλος δυναμιν τε λοξο λαβων. p. 774. βλεπων δικαιες τε καδικες, και εν βιλοις τας πραξεις αποτρα- ' Eλείον γαρ, ήλιες δεκα ασιλοι διαμενεμεν και επι παννυχες φομενος. Ανταποδωσει δε πασιν, ην ημεραν αυτος ενετειλαίο. υμνωδιας επαγρυπνείες ονειρωτιομεν τα τοιαύτα. Ρ. 778. p. 771.

m' Ωςε εασον τείες, την ευχήν απο ταίρος αρξαμενος, και 1 Ωσε, ων Τριεφων, δια τείο μηδεν προσθειναι περι των μοιρων την πολυωνυμον ωδην εις τελος επιθεις. p. 779. εθελησης, ει και ταχα σεδαρσιος είείονεις μεία τα διδασκαλά, και Ημεις δε τον εν Αθήναις αίνωςον εφευρονίες, και προσκυνητα απορρητα εμυηθης. p. 772.

σανlες, χειρας εις ερανον εκλεινανίες, τελω ευχαρισησομεν, ως ως και σε εν ταις επερανιοις βιτλους των απαθων καταξιωθενίες τoιals κραίες υπηκοοι γενεσθαι. Ρ. 780. απο ραψωνίαι. p. 773.

[ocr errors]

n

[ocr errors]

It is now time to make remarks upon this dialogue.

1. There is a general observation very obvious to be made here: Thatthe writer of this dia. logue appears much better acquainted with the affairs of the Christians, and their sacred scriptures, than Lucian.

2. We may hence perceive, that the Christians and their principles were in old times ridiculed by their ancient adversaries. It is therefore a mistake of those moderns, who have imaginet!, that the old heathens neglected this method of opposing Christianity. Nor is this the only instance of the kind which we have met with : Lucian 's writings before rehearsed in this chapter are another instance; and, unquestionably, some such writings have been lost, the Christians of later times not thinking them fit, or worthy to be preserved.

3. We see how poorly some men reasoned who opposed Christianity, and still continued to be heathens. . They ridiculed the most just and reasonable doctrines; such as the creation of the * world, a Divine Providence, or observance of the actions of men, in order to a future retribu* tion.' Whilst they rejected the Christian revelation, they rejected also, and endeavoured to expose and weaken those principles of religion, which reason alone, if attended to, and improved, might have taught them, with a good degree of evidence and certainty. And the like things may be found in old heathen authors, who have spoken of Jupiter's · registering things on his

tablets, and consulting his parchments,' that all men, good and bad, may be recompensed in due time.

4. It is fit that we should observe the notice which is taken in this work of Christian writings, and principles, and practices.

Here are references to the book of Genesis, and the Psalms, and the Acts of the apostles, and St. Paul's epistles, and the Revelation, in which last is frequent mention made of “the book of life," and writing men's names in it, and of books in which the actions of good and bad are recorded. As Rev. iii. 5; xiii. 8; xvii. 8; xx. 12. 15; xxi. 27'; xxii. 19. The phrase, the book of life,” is also in Philip. iv. 3. And in Heb. xii. 23, some are spoken of, as written, or enrolled, in heaven.

When Triephon says, that the Galilean, half-bald, -who travelled through the air, to the third heaven, and there learned the most extraordinary things, came to me, he renewed . us with water :' there is certainly a reference to 2 Cor. xii. 12. 1-4, and, possibly, to Tit. iii. 5. and Eph. v. 3, or some other like text. But it cannot be thence inferred, that the writer of this book was a disciple of Paul, or was baptized by him, or was contemporary with him. For, as Mr. Moyle observes: • This writer speaks of Christians, throughout « his dialogue, as aslepios, aobepobæievies, desde ovioi, depo Balsvies, &c. that is, a company of dream• ing enthusiasts, who, like St. Paul, pretended to a power of flying to heaven when they pleased.

In this dialogue is also a reference to the Lord's Prayer, and, as often used by Christians. Begin with the prayer from the Father, says he, adding at the end the hymn with many * names.' That the Lord's Prayer is here referred to, is allowed by learned men: what is intended by the hymn at the end, is doubtful. Some have argued, that thereby is meant the doxology at the end of the Lord's Prayer in Matt. vi. 13. But to me, as well as to some e others, it seems more probable, that some other doxology, more verbose and intricate, is here intended.

6

P. 504.

* Mihi vero causa esse nulla videtur, cur Luciano non tri. Gregorio. Fabric. Bib. Gr. T. iii. p. 504. Conf. annot, in buatur, licet fateor in aliis ejus scriptis non observari tantam loc. Philop. T. iii. p. 616. ed. Anst, 1743, Christianismi peritiam ; quo argumento illum Luciano abju- Nay, we know, that in fact it had another doxology dicat Huetius. p. 61. Dem. Evan. Fabric. Bib. Gr. Tom. iii. sometimes added to it, as we learn from the author of the

• Books concerning the Sacraments, among the works of Am. • Και παροιμια. Ο Ζευς καλειδε χρονιος εις τας διφθερας 'brose ; (Lib. vi. ad fin.] who, having recited the Lord's επι των ποτε αμειζομενων υπερ ων αραίτεσι καλων η κακων ότι • Prayer, as it is in St. Matthew's gospel, immediately adds : απρονοητα φασι τα σανία, αλλα τον Δια εις διφθερας τινας • What follows? Hear what the priest says: “Through our απoίραφεσθαι, και πολε επεξιεναι. Suidas. V. Ζευς. Ubi Αη- Lord Jesus Christ, in whom to thee, with whom to thee, is notator. Huc spectat illud Euripidis apud Stobæum, &c. 'honour, praise, glory, majesty, power, with the Holy Spirit, As before, p. 287, 288.

' from the beginning, now, and for ever. Amen." • Of this d. Per arveyxnvato Walpos. p.779, Orationem Dominicam

sort of doxology I suppose the author of the Philopatris Lucianus intelligit, ut recte notatum Rigaltio ad Tertullianum. speaks. This kind of doxology is nuch more agreeable to Sed per Woluwrumoy wory superadditam non existimaverim other passages in that dialogue, than the plain one in St. notari clausulam, quia iuum est regnum,' ut persuasum Jo. • Matthew.' Hallett's Notes and Discourses, Vol.i. p. 144, 145. • V. Αριστειδης.

There seems to be an allusion to the gift of tongues, or some other gift of the Spirit, with which Christians were favoured in the more early ages of the church, in those words ; • Do, tell 'me, receiving from the Spirit the power of speech.'

Here are also plain references to the Christian custom of initiating by baptism, and of preparing men for it by instruction, or catechizing. The author likewise ridicules the Christian fastings, and singing hymns in the night.

It might carry me too far to remark distinctly upon his ridicule of the doctrine of the Trinity, as represented by him, or as held by the Christians at the time of this author. None of my readers can omit to take notice of this, which comes over so often: and I should think, that this may afford a good argument against the supposition, that this dialogue was written by Lucian, or any other author about his time: for it does not appear, that in the reign of Marcus Antoninus there were any controversies among Christians upon this point. What is here said upon this subject, appears to be more suitable to the fourth century of the Christian epoch.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

I. Aristides, his life, and time, and works. II. Select passages from him. III. Passages con

cerning the Christians, and illustrating the books of the N. T. IV. His character and im. portance. V. The sophist Dion Chrysostom: His time, and works, and a passage concerning the Christians.

1. ‘ARISTIDEs the sophist, says * Suidas, a native of Adriani a small town in Mysia, now belonging to Bithynia, was a disciple of Polemon the rhetorician of Smyrna, son of Eudaimon, a philosopher and priest of Jupiter in his own country. He also heard Herod at Athens, and • Aristocles at Pergamus. He flourished in the time of the emperor Antoninus, and reached ' to the reign of Commodus : he published many orations; the number of them is not exactly known.'

Philostratus confirms that account of Suidas, and farther says, • That from his childhood • Aristides had an infirın state of health: nevertheless he did not neglect labour. The people of • Smyrna erected to him a brass statue, which they set up in their forum: and when they called • him the founder of their city, it was no flattery, but a just and true commendation. For when * their city had been overthrown, and almost destroyed by earthquakes, he so pathetically repre• sented their calamities in a letter to the emperor, that he could not forbear weeping at some * parts of it, and presently promised to restore it. And, as I have been informed by Damian of

Ephesus, Aristides had before that had some conversation with Marcus in Ionia. That emperor • came to Smyrna, and was there three days before Aristides came to pay his respects to him:

the emperor did not then know Aristides personally: he asked of some present, whether Aris* tides was in the company? They said, they had not seen him. Afterwards they brought him. • The emperor' then said to him: How comes it to pass, that it is so long before I could see you? • He answered, I was employed about a work: and the mind is not easily diverted from what it * is engaged in. The emperor, pleased with his ingenuity, and his diligence, said, And when

shall I hear you? Appoint a time, says Aristides, and you shall hear me tomorrow, if you * please. But I must desire, that my friends may be present, and that they may have leave to applaud, and clap their hands, with all their might. The emperor smiling told him, That would depend upon himself.'

Î forbear to add the critical remarks upon Aristides's Orations, which follow in Philostratus.

[ocr errors]

1 De Vit. Sophist. 1. ii. cap. ix. C. 249, p. 1271.

There are in Photius large extracts out of several of them.

Suidas says, that Aristides flourished in the time of the emperor Antoninus, probably meaning the Pious. Nevertheless, as he was also well acquainted with his successor, and is said to have reached to the time of Commodus, I place him at the year 176, in which, as it seems, he saw Marcus Antoninus at Smyrna. Though his constitution was infirm, it is supposed that he did not die before he was 60 or 70 years of age.

II. It is allowed that Aristides was very superstitious, a humble and devout worshipper of all the gods, especially Esculapius, to whom, as he believed, he was much indebted for the useful instructions which that god gave him, in his dreams, concerning his health.

I think it cannot be amiss to transcribe some passages containing a mixture of good sense and superstition, right sentiments, and absurd and foolish respect for all the deities which were then in repute.

• Jupiter" made all things: all things whatever are the works of Jupiter, rivers, and the earth, . and the sea, and the heaven: and whatever things are between them, or are above, or under • them: and gods, and men, and all living things, and all things obvious to our sight, or that can be perceived by our understanding. First of all he made himself: nor was he

brought up • in the odoriferous caverns of Crete : nor did Saturn ever intend to devour him; nor did • he swallow a stone in his stead: nor was Jupiter' ever in any danger; nor will he ever be • in danger :- nor is there any thing more ancient than Jupiter; as children cannot be • older than their parents ; nor things made than they who made them: but he is the first,

and the most ancient, and the prince of all things, and himself from himself. When he was • made cannot be said ; forasmuch as he has been from the beginning, and will always be ; his

own father, and greater than to be made by any: and as he brought forth Minerva out of his • head, without need of marriage, so he had before made himself, of himself, not needing any to

bring him into being : on the contrary, all things have had their beginning from himn.' And what follows.

This is taken from a hymn to Jupiter, and is the first oration in the first volume of this work. He speaks somewhat to the like purpose near the end of the same oration : but I must not allow myself to take it at length.

In the conclusion of an oration to the honour of Neptune, which is the third in the same volume, he speaks to this purpose: • Thesed things are pleasant to see, and hear, and the painting

of the sea reduced to a calm, with the boy from under the sail smiling upon Neptune. But there are other things, which ought never to have been in pictures, which are impious and hor• rible. And I wonder how it came to pass, that they who first saw them, did not presently fly • upon the makers, and tear them to pieces: nevertheless they are still to be seen in the temples. • But it is not my business to censure such things. Let us therefore offer up our prayers to Nep• tune, and Amphitrite, and Leucothea, and Palemon, and the Nereids, and all the marine gods • and goddesses, to give health and safety, both by land and by sea, to the great emperor, and to • all his family, and to the whole nation of the Greeks, and to grant all happiness to us all, suited to our condition.'

III. But the passage which I principally aim at, and for the sake of which Aristides is here brought in among other witnesses, is to this purpose. He is displeased with some sophists, whom he compares, as I apprehend, to Christians. • But who can avoid being filled with indignation, • that men of no worth should censure Demosthenes, whom I look upon as a Mercury come down from heaven to afford us an example of eloquence? What living man can bear this in people who utter more solecisms than words; who contemn others as much as they deserve to be con• temned; who extol virtue, but do not practise it? There is no need to mention their insatiable avarice, when they catch at every thing they can get: who call indigence by the name of coma Cod. 246. p. 1211. C. 247. p. 1235.

μην την γ απλησιαν και πλεονεξιαν αυλων- οι τω μεν αποφεb They who desire to know more of Aristides, may consult ρειν κοινωνείν ονομα τιθενται, τα δε φθονειν φιλοσοφειν, τα δ' Fabric. Bib. Gr. I. iv. cap. 30. sect. 4. Tom. iv. p. 373—409. απορειν υπεροραν χρηματων--p. 307, 308. al. p. 511, 512. Basnag. Ann. 176. 1. v. Dr. Chapman's Charge. p. 91. Til- Here, probably, Aristides refers to the provision made by lemont. M. Aurele, art. 31. Hymnus in Jovem. Tom. i. Christians for the poor and necessitous among them. And p. 2. al. p. 5. d In Neptunum Oratio. T. i. p. 28. al. 50. in ridiculing that custom he approacheth at least to some

с

e Orat. Platonic. ü. Tom. ii. p. 307, &c. al. p. 511, &c. scripture-phrases. See Acts iv. 44, 45. and ii. 42. And Rom.

* Αλλ' ότι και των κομιδη τινες αδενος αξιων.. -T. ii. p. 307. xii. 13. “ Distributing to the necessities of the saints.". Tais in al. p. 511..

χρειαις των αξιων κοινωνανίες. Communicating to the necessi8 Και σεμνυνάσι μεν την αρείην, ασκοσι δε και πασι Αλλα

ties of the saints.

[ocr errors]

munion, who call singularity philosophy, and poverty a contempt of riches. They make great pretensions to humanity, and yet never were beneficial to any, and are injurious to them who • would do them a kindness : who are scarcely civil to others; and yet for the sake of rich men

they travel to the ends of the earth: and when they have got them they promise to teach * them virtue-who shew more regard to porters at the door than to their masters— These • are they, who call impudence freedom, and to oppose others is reckoned a laudable boldness

Moreover they are arrived at a sort of wisdom, which consists in a pretence of neglecting money,

whilst they do not refuse to receive what is worth money. They have invented a new * sort of generosity, not to give largely, but to take little. These men are neither servile • flatterers, nor free-men: for they deceive as flatterers, and correct men as their superiorsjoining together two extreme and contrary evils, meanness and confidence. In % manners not

unlike the impious people in Palestine; for they acknowledge not the gods. They differ from * the Greeks, and all good men. Very dexterous in subverting houses, and disturbing families,

setting the members of them one against another, and getting the management of their affairs • into their own hands. Who never said or did any good thing: who never contributed any * thing to the public festivals, nor have honoured the gods, nor have promoted the welfare of • the cities, nor have comforted the afflicted, nor have reconciled such as were at variance, nor • have instructed youth, nor any others, nor adorned language: but dwelling in corners, they • are wonderfully wise-As much as they advance in wisdom on one hand, they lose on the • other : mightily pleasing themselves in disparaging the art of rhetorick: as if slaves, and

especially such as are often and deservedly beaten, did not oftentimes secretly curse their s masters.

By the wicked men in Palestine,' I suppose Aristides to intend Christians who lived in Palestine, and whose religion had its original in that country. He calls them wicked, or profane and atheistical, because they did not worship the established deities, the same that were worshipped by the Greeks and Romans. Masson here understands Jews living in Palestine, and squabbles with Tertullian, and other Christian writers, who say, that after Adrian's victory, Jewish people were forbidden to come into Judea : but Carterus understands Aristides as I have done : and in his notes has illustrated this passage with good observations. Indeed we can here trace most of the common reflections which were then made upon the Christians, and are parti. cularly taken notice of in our ancient apologists. They were called atheistical :' they were complained of as . unprofitable: they are represented ask mean and obscure,' who neverthe. less took great liberties in remarking upon the popular deities, and the worship paid to them. They had then no schools of rhetoric for instructing youth, or others, and sometimes spoke slightly of the ornaments of language. Such things offended our sophist. And yet before the end of the third century, there were among the Christians divers learned men and good writers; and some men of great eminence in our author's own time, or before it.

2. Beside the letter 'sent to the emperor Marcus, and his son Commodus, imploring their

• Και παραλαζονίες αξεσι, και την αρετην παραδωσειν υπισ. 6 Τοις εν Παλαιστινη δυσσεβεσι παραπλήσιοι τες τροπος xvoylas. p. 308. al. p. 512.

και γαρ εκεινοις τετ' εςι συμβολον της δυσσεβειας, ότι τας Εις τεθ' ήκασι της σοφιας, ως αρίυριον μεν 8 αραίτονίαι, κρειτίες και νομιζεσι, και ετοι τροπον τινα αφεσασι των Ελλήνων, αρίυριο δ' αξιως λαμβανειν επιςανται. p. 308. al. p. 513. μαλλον δε και πανίων των κρείττονων,-πανίων αχρησολαίου

• It is very likely that Aristides here refers to the revenues διορυξαι δ' οικιαν, και ταραξαι και συνκρεσαι τες ενθεν προς of the Christian clergy in ancient times, which depended αλληλες, και φησαι παντ' αυλες διοικησειν, πανιων δεινολαίου: οι upon the oblations made by the faithful of bread and wine, λοον μεν εύκαρπον εδενα πωποτ' εθ' εύρον ετ' εποιησαν, και πανηand fruits, and other necessaries---ne molestiis et negotiis Γυρεις εκοσμησαν, 8 θεες εθιμησαν, 8 πόλεσι συνεξελευσαν, 8 secularibus alligentur, sed in honore sportulantium fratrum, λυπόμενες παρεμυθησανίο, 8 γασιαζονίας διηλλαξαν, και προtamquam decimas ex fructibus accipientes, ab altari et sacri- Πρεψαν νεες, εκ αλλος αδενας, και κοσμον τοις λοξοις αρενοη. fcis non recedant, sed die ac nocte celestibus rebus et spiri- σανίο: καλαδυνθες δε εις τες χηραμος, εκει τα θαυματα σοφιtalibus serviant. Cyprian. Ep. i. p. 3. Oxon.

ζονται- όσον γαρ αν προκόψωσι της σοφιας, τοσατ' ανταφαιΚαινολαλην δε μοι δοκοσι μεγαλοψυχιαν οριζεσθαι, εκ ει ρεσι μεταλα φρονανίες, εαν ρητορικην ειπωσι κακως, ώσπερ 8 και μεταλα δωσεσιν, αλλ' ει μικρα ληψονίαι εδη. p. 309. al. τας δελες τους δεσποίαις υπ' οδονία πολλακις καθαρωμενες, και

d

μαλισα δη τες μας ιδιας αυλων. p. 309, 310. al. p. 514, 515. but to take little,' that is, I think, to be contented h De Aristidis Vita Collectanea Historica. Sect. vi. n. 8. with a little. Which is true magnanimity, to be as contented Sed alio quoque injuriarum titulo postulamur, et infrucin a low station, as if they enjoyed affluence, and could dazzle tuosi in negotiis dicimur. Tertull. Ap. cap. 42. p. 38. mankind in a profuse way of living, and gratify them with -homines, inquam, deploratæ, illicitæ, ac desperatæ expensive donatives.

factionis, grassari in deos non ingemiscendum est ? Latebrosa 1 Δυο τοις εσχαίους και τους εναντιωλαθοις ενοχοι κακοις ονλες, et lucifugax natio-Minuc. Fel. cap. viii. ταπεινοθηλι και αυθαδεια. p. 309.

| Tom. i. p. 512. al. Tom. ii. p. 289.

p. 514.

« AnteriorContinuar »