Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

have commanded you to sacrifice. Cyprian the bishop answered: I do not sacrifice. Galerius • Maximus said : Be well advised. Cyprian the bishop answered : Do as thou art commanded. • In so just a cause there needs no consultation. The proconsul having advised with his council, 'spoke to Cyprian in angry terms, as being an enemy to the gods, and a seducer of the people. · And then read his sentence out of a tablet: It is decreed, that Thascius Cyprian be beheaded. Cyprian the bishop said : God be praised.'

That is the account in the Acts of his Passion, which I have translated literally: and Pontius · writes to the like purpose. Cyprian was then led away to the field of Sexti, a large level spot of ground, encompassed with trees, the boughs of which were then loaded with spectators

. And in the presence of a great multitude of people Cyprian was there beheaded, according to the sentence pronounced upon him on Sept. 14, in the year of Christ 258.

VII. Ì have set before my readers some authentic memoirs of Valerian's persecution from Dionysius of Alexandria, and Cyprian of Carthage. There is another remarkable story in Eusebius, which must not be omitted.

• In° the mean time,' says Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, 'when peace had been re• stored to all the churches every where, Marinus, a military man, and eminent upon account of • his birth and riches, suffered martyrdom for Christ at Cæsarea in Palestine. A centurion's place

was vacant; he put up for that office, to which he had a claim by the order of his promotions. • When he was about to receive that honour, another appeared before the tribunal, asserting, * that according to the ancient laws of the Romans, Marinus could not be admitted into that

office, forasmuch as he was a Christian, and did not sacrifice to the emperors; and that the • office did of right belong to him. Achæus the judge, being much moved, asked Marinus what · were his sentiments. Perceiving, that he confidently affirmed he was a Christian, he allowed • him the space of three hours to consider of the matter. When the three hours were expired, • he returned to the tribunal. And when called upon again to deliver his sentiments, he made • a profession of the faith with greater cheerfulness than before. Whereupon he was immediately • had out to be put to death, and so was perfected.'

Eusebius adds, Then Asturius, who is still celebrated for religious zeal and courage, a Ro* man senator, and in esteem with the emperors, who was present at the death of the martyr, taking up

the body, laid it upon his shoulders, and covering it with a rich cloth carried it off, - and interred him in a decent manner.'

Mr. Mosheim's observations upon this remarkable history are to this purpose. · Marinus · was not condemned by the edict of Valerian, which had been abrogated by Gallienus, but by • the ancient law of Trajan : for an accuser was received. The man who confessed himself to • be a Christian was required to renounce the faith : when he would not, he was without delay • led out to punishment. In this instance therefore it is apparent, that the ancient laws of the emperors against the Christians still retained their force, though milder had been enacted: And therefore under merciful emperors, who were lovers of peace, the presidents might punish • Christians, who were accused, and confessed themselves such. The body of Marinus was car• ried off by Asturius, a Roman senator, and buried : nor did he suffer for it: the reason is, that .by Trajan's law the judge had no right to punish any but such as were accused: and there was

nobody who was willing, or who dared to accuse so considerable and honourable a man as «Asturius was.'

[ocr errors]

a S. Cyprian. Vit. p. 9, 10.

tinaisse, et Præsides proprerea etiam sub clementibus Impera6 If any are desirous to see the history of this bishop of toribiis, pacisque temporibus, in Christianos accusatos et tassos Carthage more at large, they may consult Vol. ii. p. 3–9. animadvertere potuisse. Caclarer Marini Asturius, Senator ° L. vii. cap. 15.

Romanus, vir maximæ auctoritatis, humeris suis auferebat, et d Xpslarw ye oyli, xal tous BacheUCT uy Juoyti. Ib. p. sepulturæ tradebat; idque faciebat impune ac sine periculo. 203. C.

Ratio in promptu est.

Sine accusatore judici non licebat pue Ibid. cap. 16.

nire ex Trajani lege. Tanti autem nominis et dignitatis viruny, i De Reb. &c. p. 557.

amicum præterea Imperatorum, nemo accusare vel volebat 6 Ex hoc igitur exemplo liquet, antiquas Imperatorum in vel audebat. Moshen. ibid. Christianos leges, aliis etiam et mitioribus latis, vim suam re

C Η Α Ρ. ΧΧΧΙΙΙ.

A A MELIUS.

1. His history and time. II. His testimony to St. John's gospel

, with remarks.

1. The next testimony will be the noted passage of Amelius, a Platonic philosopher, fellowdisciple and intimate acquaintance of Porphyry, who wrote against the Christians. Amelius, as Suidas says, was of Apamea. Porphyry in the Life of Plotinus calls him a Tuscan : but then he expressly says, that " when Plotinus died, Amelius was at Apamea in Syria : which may give occasion to think, that he was originally of that place, though perhaps he was born in Tuscany. Moreover Porphyry mentions a book of his inscribed to Hesychius of Apamea, whom he had adopted for his son.

His

proper name, as we also learn from Porphyry, was Gentilian : and he chose to have his surname written with an r, Amerius, as indeed it is in Eunapius, and not Amelius: the last in Greek denoting negligence, the former integrity. According to Porphyry's account, he was the most' studious and laborious of all the disciples of Plotinus, with whom he spent twenty-four years at Rome, from the third year of Philip to the first of Claudius, that is, from the year of Christ 246, to the beginning of the year 269. Amelius was a diligent observer of the sacred rites, which his master Plotinus regarded very little. I have placed Amelius at the year 263, because Porphyry' intimates, that he published little or nothing before the tenth year of Gallienus, when he had been eighteen years with Plotinus. This will suffice for his history.

II. · Moreover,' says Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical Preparation, · Ameliusk a celebrated philosopher among the moderns, and a great admirer of the Platonic philosophy, though he • has not mentioned the evangelist's name, bears testimony to his doctrine, saying, in these

very words: And this plainly was the Word, by whom, he being himself eternal, were made * all things that are, as Heraclitus also would say: and by Jove the same, whom the barbarian

affirms to have been in the place and dignity of a principal, and to be with God, and to be God: by whom all things were made, and in whom every thing that was made has its life and * being: Who descending into body, and putting on flesh, took the form of man; though even “then he gave proof of the majesty of his nature: nay, and after his dissolution he was deified * again, and is God, the same he was before he descended into body, and flesh, and man.'

I suppose that all will agree with Eusebius, and other ancient Christian writers, that by • the barbarian' Amelius intended the evangelist John, and that he here refers to his gospel.

b

a Vid. Eunap. de Vita Porphyr. p. 19, 20.

Αμελιος, Απαμευς, φιλοσοφος, μαθητης Πλλινε, διδασκαλος Πορφυριο, συχρονισας Αμμονια και Ωριγενη. Suid.

* Εσχε δε ακροαίας μεν πλειές: ζηλωθας δε και δια φιλοσοφιαν συνονίας, Αμελιoν τε απο της Τυσκιας, και το ονομα ην Γενζιλιανος το κυριον αυθος δε δια το PAμεριoν αυθον καλει, απο της Αμεριας "η της Αμελειας πρεπειν αυθω καλεισθαι λείων. Porph. de vita Plotin. cap. vii. ap. Fabr. Bib. Gr. T. iv. p. 104.

4 Τελευδωνι δε αυθω εδω μεν ο Πορφυριος ευχανον εν Λιλυβαιω διαίριζων, Αμελιος δε εν Απαμεία της Συρίας. Ιb. cap. 2. p. 95.

αΙεςινω Ησυχιω τω Απαμει, αν υιον εθελο, κεχαριςαι. 1b. cap. 3. p. 98.

φιλοπονια δε υπερβαλλομενος των κατ' αυλον σανίων. Ib. cap. 3. p. 98.

8 Προηλθε δε αυτω ο Αμελιος, τριλον ελος αξονίι εν Ραμη καλα το τρίλον της Φιλιππε βασιλειας ελος, και αχρι του πρωθε της Κλαυδια βασιλειας παραμείνας, είη ολα συύγείονεν εικοσι και τεσσαρα. Ιbid.

h Φιλοθυλα δε γείoνoίoς τα Αμελιε, και τα ιερα καλα νεμενια», και τας εορίας εκπερμονίος και ποτε αξιανθος τον Πλωλινον συν αυτω παραζαλειν, εφη: εκεινες δει προς εμε ερχεσθαι, εμε προς εκείνες. κ. λ. Ib. cap. Χ. 1, 112. 1 Ιbid. cap. 4. p. 99. Et Conf. cap. 3. p. 98.

* Εικόλως δηλα και των νεων φιλοσοφων διαφανης γείονως Αμελιος,ει και μη επ' ονοματος ηξιωσε το ευαγελιες Ιωαννα μνημην ποιησασθαι, επιμαρτυρει δ' αν όμως ταις αυθε φωναις, αυλα δε ταυλα προς ρημα γραφων. Καν 87ος αρα » ο Λούος, καθ' ον αιει ονία τα γινομενα εδινείο, ως αν και ο “Ηρακλείθος αξιωσειε" και νη Δι' όν ο βαρβαρος αξιοι εν τη της αρχης ταξει τε και αξια καθεσηκολα προς Θεον ειναι δι' ε σανθ' απλως γεψενησθαι· εν ω το γενομενον ζων και ζωην, και αν αεφυκεναι· και εις σωμαία πιπίειν, και σαρκα ενδυσαμενον, φανταζενθαι ανθρωπον μελα και το τηνικαύτα δεικνυειν της φυσεως το μεταλειον» αμελει και αναλυθενία παλιν αναθεσθαι, και Θεον ειναι, διος ην προ το εις σωμα, και την σαρκα, και τον ανθρωπον καλαχθειναι. Εuseb. Ρr. Εν. L. xi. cap. 19. p. 540.

[ocr errors]

manner.

[ocr errors]

He calls him · barbarian,' because, though he wrote in Greek, that was not his native language, and he was of Jewish or Hebrew extraction: or, as Cyril expresseth it, he was a Hebrew of Hebrews, and not a Greek.

This passage of Amelius is a testimony to St. John's whole gospel, which, I think, he had read.

1. That he refers to the beginning of St. John's gospel is manifest. See ch. i. 1-4, and ver. 14.

2dly. He also says, that the Word, after he had descended into body, and had put on flesh, · even then he gave proof of the majesty of his nature.' Here Amelius must refer to the great works performed by our Lord, as related in the following parts of that gospel.

3. Finally, Amelius says, that after his dissolution he was deified again, and was the same that he was before he descended into body:' Here, I think, he had in his eye, John xvii. 5. “ And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thy own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” And ch. xvi. 5. “ But now I go my way to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?” Comp. ch. xiy. 4–8; and xx. 17; and other places.

Upon the whole I cannot but think, that Amelius had read over St. John's gospel from the beginning to the end.

This same passage is also quoted at length by• Cyril of Alexandria, in his answer to the emperor Julian. It is likewise quoted by Theodoret in his work against the gentiles: he introduceth it in this

« Plutarcho also and Plotinus had heard of the sacred gospels. This is apparent from · Amelius, who presided in the school of Porphyry: for he greatly admires the proëm to John's theology, saying, in these very words : “ And this plainly was the Word.” »

Here is some inaccuracy. Amelius did not preside in the school of Porphyry :' but he was an eminent man of the school of Plotinus, where Porphyry was also in great repute.

Theodoret from this passage of Amelius concluded, that · Plutarch and Plotinus were acquainted with our gospels. It is, I suppose, no more than a probable supposition. Theodoret might be hence led to think as much of Plutarch : but we cannot affirm it. We see no proofs of it in his works : nor can we certainly say, that Plotinus was acquainted with our gospels, or had read them. But I suppose it may be reckoned certain, that he had heard of the Christians, and had some knowledge of them. It is manifest from a passage of Porphyry, in his life of Plotinus," which will be alleged in the chapter of Porphyry.

And it may be reckoned somewhat remarkable, that from the school of Plotinus we have so many testimonies to Christianity. One of his disciples was Porphyry, who wrote so learnedly and so bitterly against the Christians. Amelius, just quoted, who had read St. John's gospel, was another of the same school. And Longinus, from whom we shall also have a testimony, was well acquainted with those two disciples, and their master Plotinus. I think it may be hence concluded, that the learned men of that time had some knowledge of the Christians. Their reading and considering the sacred' books of the Christians, depended upon their inquisitiveness, and openness to conviction, in things of religion.

• Augustine speaks of a Platonic philosopher, who greatly admired the beginning of St. • John's gospel, and said, “ It deserved to be written in letters of gold, and to be set up in the • most conspicuous place in every church.”' Whether that Platonic philosopher was Amelius, or another, we cannot say certainly.

Basil, in a homily upon the beginning of St. John's gospel, “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, says, “I have known many, who Βαρβαρον , ως γε οιμαι, τον θεσπεσιον Ιααννην αποκαλεί,

Quod initium sancti Evangelii, cui nomen est Seδια του της γλωττης ταχα πε το ετεροθρον. Εραιος γαρ ην εξ rindım Joannem, q:idam Platonicus, sicut a sancto sene 'Espawy, x21 8x a to ye rys 'EXW 7525 Të 221795. Cyr. Simpliciano, qui postea Mediolanensi ecclesiæ præsedit episcontr. Julian. I. viii. p. 283.

copus, solebamus audire, aureis literis conscribendum, et per b. Contr. Jul. viii. p. 283.

omnes ecclesias in locis eminentissimis proponendum esse di“Και μεν δη και των θειών ευαίγελιων οίε Π: οίαρχος και ο

De Civ. Dei. 1. x. cap. 29. Πλωτινος υπηκεσαίην. Δηλοι δε τολο σαφως ο Αμελιος, της 1 Ταυτα οιδα πολλές και των εξω το λοία της αληθειας, μεία Πορφυρια πρωτευσας διατριξης, Υπεραίαίαι γαρ το της Ιωαννα φρονούλων επι σοφια κοσμικη, και θαυμασαντας, και τους εαυSeongyras te pogiqesov Slwci nelwv. x. a. Theod.' Gr. Að. Serm. Τιν συνταΓιασιν είκαιαλ.εξαι τολμησανίας. Βasil. hom. 16. 2. p. 500. Tom.iv.

in Blud, In Principio erai Verbuni. Tom. ii, p. 134. A. B. Porphyr. de Vitâ Plotin, cap. xvi. p. 11S. ubi supra.

Edit. Bened. 1722.

e

cebat.

d

VOL. IV.

2 D

• are aliens from the word of truth, and boast themselves of their worldly wisdom, who have • admired this text, and have also dared to insert it in their own writings.' 'Basil does not name them, and therefore we cannot say who they were.

CHA P. XXXIV.

LONGINUS,

1. His time and character. II. His testimony to the scriptures, with a curious observation upon a

fragment ascribed to him.

[ocr errors]

man

1. Says Suidas: · Longinus · Cassius, a philosopher, master of Porphyry the philosopher, a

of great learning and exact judgment in things of literature. He fourished in the time of the emperor Aurelian, by whom he was put to death, as an accomplice with Zenobia wife of Odunatus.' After which Suidas mentions the titles of several of his works, and says, he wrote many others.

Longinus Cassius. He is generally called Dionysius Longinus.

Suidas says, he lived in the time of Aurelian, who did not begin to reign before the year of Christ 270, and by whom Longinus was put to death. Tanaquil Faber says, that Suidas would have expressed himself more accurately if he had said, that · Longinus flourished under Gordian, • Decius, Valerian, Gallienus, and Claudius. For, indeed, the reigns of most of the Roman emperors about that time were very short. Tanaquil Faber adds : * and therefore Longinus

was contemporary with Origen:' which also is another just observation. Photius says, that d Longinus flourished in the time of Claudius, whose reign began in the year 628. I place him at the year of Christ 264, the twelfth of Gallienus : for he did not die before the year 273; and he could not then be young, as may be concluded from the number of his works : and he is always reckoned one of Porphyry's masters.

His father's name is not known. • His mother was Frontonis, sister of Fronto, of Emesa, * the orator, who was at Rome in the time of the emperor Severus, and afterwards taught rhe* torick at Athens : where he died when he was about sixty years of age, leaving' Longinus the * critic his heir.' So says Suidas. Nevertheless Longinus did not lose his parents whilst very young: they accompanied him in his travels; as we learn from a letter of his to Marcellus, a part of which is preserved in Porphyry's Life of Plotinus; whom he saw, and continued some while with Ammonius and Origen, probably meaning Ammonius Saccus, and our Origen, called Adamantius.

Learned men are not agreed about the place of his nativity. Some think he was an Athenian: others think it more likely, that he was born at Emesa in Syria, the place of his uncle's, and probably of his mother's nativity. His connexions with Zenobia, to whom he was master in the Greek language, and privy-counsellor, are proofs of his being in that part of the world in

[blocks in formation]

* Λοίγινος ο Κασσιος, φιλοσοφος, διδασκαλος Πορφυρια το Φιλοσοφο, πολυμαθης και κριτικος γενομενος. Hy ETT! Αυρηλιανα τ8 Καισαρος, και ανηρεθη υπ' αυ78, ως συμπνες Ζηνοβια, τη Oδυνατe γυναικι. Suid.

Tanaquilli Fabri notæ. ad Suidæ testimonium. Vid. Longin. ex editione Jac. Tollii.

ETI Klaudie de alos mxuala. Phot. cod. 265. p. 1470. • Suid. V. Φρονίων, Εμισηνος.

Και αδελφης Φρονlωνιδος παιδα ονlα Λούγινον τον κρίδικον κληρονομον malenoten. Suid. ut supr.

ες απανίας μεν υπηρξεν ιδειν ημιν, δια την εκ παιδων επι πολλές τοπος αμα τους γονευσιν επιδημιαν. De Vit. Plot. cap. 20. p. 127.

• Itaque Origeni cul poros fuit Longinus. Fab. ibid. And Longinus is reckoned by Porphyry among the other gentile writers, which had been read and studied by Origen. Vid. Euseb. H. E. 1. vi. cap. 19. p. 220. C.

h Vid. ib. p. 128. De patriâ Longini inter doctos multum disputatur : sed mihi quidem placet J. Jonsiiconjectura, qui eum Atheniensem censet fuisse. 2. Pearce de Vita et scriptis Longini. p. 1.

the latter part of his life: and there is a letter of his written to Porphyry, when in Sicily, desiring him to come to him in Phænicia. In his excellent remaining work, Of the Sublime, lieb reckons himself among the Greeks: and so he might do, and be born in Syria; the people of that country being often called Greeks by ancient writers.

Eunapius says, that` Longinus was esteemed a living library, and walking museum. He • had a kind of established authority to judge of ancient authors. If“ any man presumed to • remark upon an ancient author, his sentence was not allowed of till the judgment of Longinus * was known.' Porphyry and Zosimus' extol Longinus in the like manner.

I must add, that Longinus is quoted by Eusebius in his Evangelical Preparation, where he calls him a writer of our time. By Photins,“ in the place before referred to, he is called Longinus the Critic. He is also mentioned by Jerom' and Theophylact;k and with a view to his distinguishing excellence, his critical skill, upon whose judgment the sentences of all others depended. Not now to repeat any thing of Suidas, I take notice of this as a proof of the taste and candour of our Christian ancestors; among whom, as well as among others, a judgment according to Longinus was a proverbial expression, denoting a right judgment.

Zenobia queen of the Palmyrens, who also called herself • queen of the east,' contended with the Roman emperors after the death of her husband Odenatus, which happened in the year 207. In the end she was overcome, Palmyra was taken, and she also was taken prisoner: Aurelian' then sat in judgment upon her and her people in a place near the city Emesa ; " when he determined to give Zenobia her life, and reserve her to do honour to his triumph. Many of her officers and counsellors were condemned to suffer death, and among them Longinus, who was supposed to have dictated a letter of Zenobia to Aurelian, written, as the emperor thought, in a haughty strain. It is manifest from Vopiscus, that this judgment of Aurelian was disliked by many. However, at this time Longinus shewed himself to be" not a philologer only, but a philosopher, and so died as to comfort those who bewailed his fate.

II. I now proceed to observe some testimonies in the writings of this great critic. .

1. In his treatise of the Sublime, which we still have, but not complete, he says: “So the • lawgiver of the Jews, who was no ordinary man, having formed a just sentiment concerning the

power of the Deity, he also declared it in a suitable manner, thus writing in the beginning of - his laws : “God said : Let there be light, and there was light. Let the dry land appear, and it was so.

Undoubtedly Longinus refers to the first chapter of the book of Genesis : and as he was convinced, that Moses · was no ordinary man,' and openly declared his high opinion concerning him, it may be reckoned not unlikely that he had read over his Pentateuch.

From this passage Casaubon, in his notes upon Vopiscus argues, that Longinus ? was a Christian, or much inclined to be so. But that does not appear: for Longinus' swears by the

[ocr errors]

a

b

e

Αξιων γαρ με απο της Σικελιας καθιεναι προς αυτον εις bellum moverat, paraverat, gesserat, triumpho mulierem την Φοινικης κ. λ. Porph. de Vit. Plotin. cap. 19. p. 123. reservavit, ut populi Romani esset ostentui. Grave inter eos

ει και ημιν ως Ελλησιν εφείσαι τι γινώσκειν. κ. λ. qui cæsi sunt, de Longino philosopho fuisse perhibetur, quo De Sublim. cap. xii. 6. p. 92. Tollii.

illa magistro usa esse ad Græcas literas dicitur; quem quidem Λογινος δε καλα τον χρονον εκεινον βιβλιοθηκη τις ην

Aurelianus idcirco dicitur occidisse, quod superbior illa episεμψυχος, και περιπαθαν μεσειον" και κρινειν γε τες παλαιάς tola ipsius dictata consilio, quamvis Syro esset sermone con¿Teletaxlo. Eunap. de Vit. Porph. p. 16.

texta. Vopisc. Aurelian. cap. 30. p. 486. Και ει τις καλείνω τινος των παλαιων, και το δοξασθεν εκραζει n I allude to a passage in Porphyry's Life of Plotinus : προτερον, αλλ' η Λούγινα παντως εκραζει κρισις. Ιb. p. 17.

αναλνωσθενιος δε αυτα τα τε σερι αρχων Λογινε, και τα Porph. de Vit. Plotin. cap. 14. p. 116. Cap. 21. p. 135. Φιλαρχειe, φιλολοίος μεν, εφη, ο Λοίγινος, φιλοσοφος δε εδαμως. f Zos. lib. i. p. 659.

De Vit. Plotin. cap. 14. p. 116.

• Zos. I. i. p. 659. τα παρα Λογινω τω καθ' ημας. Ρr. Εν. lib. Χν. • Ταυλη και ο των Ιεδαιων θεσμοθετης, εχ ο τυχων ανηρ, p. 822. &c. Vid. et lib. x. cap. 3.

επειδη την τ8 Θεια δυναμιν καια την αξιαν είναρισε, καξεφηνεν, Η Ου το προοιμιον Λούγινος μεν ο κρίλικος αδωνιςικον νομιζει. ευθυς εν τη εισβολη γραψας των νόμων. Ειπεν ο Θεος, φησι. Cod. 265. p. 1470.

Τι, Γενεσθω φως, και είπενετο· γενεσβυ γη, και εξενείο. De Criticum diceres esse Longinum, Censoremque Romanæ Sublim. cap. ix. p. 60. Toll. facundiæ. Ad Rusticum ep. 95. al. 4. p. 776.

. Extat hodieque Longini wapi uves libellus vere aureolus, * Μη μοι εν τας Λούγινε κρισεις περιαπλε, μη και δοξης τισιν ex quo semi-christianum fuisse, non male fortasse colligas, αυλος γε και καλα Λούγινον κρινειν. Τheophyl. ep. xvii.

propter illud quod facit de Mosis scriptis judicium. Casaub. επανελθων εις την Εμισαν, εις κρισιν η ΓαΓε Ζηνοβιαν ad Vopisc. cap. 30. p. 486. τε και τες ταυλη συναραμενες. Ζos. 1. i. p. 659. in.

WSE 785 025i Ep. ad Porph. De Vitâ Plotini. Ingens tamen strepitus militum fuit omuium, Zenobiam cap. 19. p. 122. Et inter Fragment. ap. Tolliuin. p. 250. pænam poscentium. Sed Aurelianus, indignum existimans To yap w wpis Oswy. Ap. Euseb. Pr. Ev. l. xv. p. 323, et mulierem interimi, occisis plerisque, quibus auctoribus illa inter fragm. p. 254. Toll.

P. 464.

1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ad

« AnteriorContinuar »