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it was any more than a popular charge against men who studied mathematics, and particularly astronomy? In this manner thought so grave a writer as Vitringa. *
I may hereafter examine the charge against Marc. As Beausobre has considered this matter very particularly, so far as relates to the Basilidians, I shall represent his thoughts here as concisely as I can.
Ás o for the charge of magic, it appears to be very doubtful. For, first, it is really attested by Irenæus only, his work being the source from which all others have borrowed. Secondly, Tertullian, his most ancient copyist, says nothing of it. Thirdly, Clement of Alexandria too is silent here, as also Origen, though he omits no opportunity to reprehend Basilides, Valentinus, and Marcion. Fourthly, the ancient fathers perpetually, confound astronomy and astrology with magic. Mathematician and magician are with them the same things. All this is sufficient to render the magic of these men doubtful. Nevertheless I do not absolutely deny that the Basilidians had some superstitious practices among them, which are a natural consequence of supposing the stars to be animated, and that the spirits which reside in them, and conduct them, do govern also this lower world; with an exception however to the wills of men, which the philosophers never subjected to the power of the stars. I say, I do not positively deny that they had some such superstitions; and yet I would not be understood to affirm it.
These are superstitions which have indeed some resemblance to magic; but yet cannot be so termed without manifest injustice. When men make use of rites and ceremonies which are in themselves criminal, or when they propose to obtain the assistance of dæmons, this is magic. Magicians, says · Clement of Alexandria, boast that they have dæmons to assist them, and that by some certain enchantments they can compel them to serve them. This is what makes a magicianBut the followers of Basilides did no less detest dæmons than other Christians did; and possibly made use of no other preservative against them than baptism, faith, and the name of Jesus. The Valentinians at least, with whom these had a great agreement, were of opinion that baptism in the name of Jesus was sufficient to deliver a Christian from subjection to the stars and dæmons, and to enable him to tread on scorpions and adders, that is, all malignant powers.
More follows there to the like purpose, to which the reader is referred. And this last-mentioned observation may clear others, particularly Saturninus, who in Theodoret is the third after Simon, and taught, that whereas evil dæmons assist bad men, Christ came to succour good men against such dæmons.
Another thing often laid to the charge of heretics is lewdness, and all manner of wickedness, and likewise teaching it: so says Theodoret in the preface to his work of Heretical Fables. He seems to represent this as general among them, though perhaps not as universal. The ' lewd. ness both taught and practised by them, according to him, was such that even stage-players were too modest to describe it, or to hear it described; and he asserts that they had exceeded and gone beyond the greatest proficients in wickedness.
But surely this must be exaggeration. It is improbable that these men should have exceeded all others in vice. Neither can it be to the honour of Christians, or their religion, to multiply sects and divisions among them, or to aggravate and magnify their faults. In all bodies of men, which are numerous, there will be some lewd and profligate persons; but that whole sects and parties should practise and teach wickedness is very unlikely, and ought to be well attested before it is believed.
Eusebius says of the Carpocratians 8 that they gave occasion to the Gentiles to reproach the
• Veteres enim omnes fere Pythagoricæ et Platonicæ Phi- κασμενες δελες ταις επαοιδαις πεποιηκοτες. Clem. A. Adm. losophiæ illustriores doctores de magià suspectos habuerunt; ad. Gent. p. 39. C. tum quod mystice fere omnia, et per numeros et formulas, d Vid. Eclog. Theod. sect. 74. et seq. apud Clem. Alexan. quasi arcana quædam et secretior vis in iis recondita esset, Ed. Par. 1641. p. 800, 1. tradiderint; tum quod vere illi apud suos auditores hanc sus- • Των δε πονηριων δαιμονων τους πονηροις συμπραττόντων, citârint et soverint credulitatem, quasi secretius sibi cum diis jabe, çyoiv, ó owTyp et au uva. Tois aya9ois. H. Fab? 1. i. c. iii. commercium esset- -Nec alio pertinet, quod Irenæus Me- Την δε και γενομοθετημενην παρ' αυτων και πραττομενην vandrum, Marcum, aliosque Gnosticæ disciplinæ auctores, rayvelav, odɛ Twv 'Ex oxun Tis Tebpa pe pierwv avarxhito ay 7 passim fædi magiæ criminis insimulat. Vitring. Obsery. Sacr. Φρασαι, η λεγόντων αλλων ακεσαι τοσοτον απολειπει και τις 1. v. cap. xii. n. ix. p. 160.
επισημος της ασελγειας εργατας. H. Fab. in Ρr. Τ. 4. p. 188. • Hist. de Manich. T. 2. p. 46, 47.
και Τοις δε απιςοις εθνεσι πολλης παρεχειν κατα το θεια λογα “ Μαγοι δε ηδη ασεβειας της σφων αυτων υπηρετας δαιμονας δυσφημιας περιεσιαν: της εξ αυτων φημης εις την τε παντος αυχεσιν, οικείας αυτες εαυτοις καταγραψαντες, τις κατηναγ- Χριστιανων εθνες διαβολην καταχεομενης. Ταυτη δ' αν επιπλει
gospel, and to form a disadvantageous opinion of all Christians, as if they had been generally such as they were; and that to them it was chiefly owing that Christians were charged with promiscuous lewdness, and other crimes in their assemblies. Irenæus has somewhat of this kind, but not so full and strong. He says that these men seem to have been formed by Satan on purpose that we might be slandered; but he does not positively say that other Christians had been reproached upon their account, or that for their sake the common stories about Christian assemblies had been credited.
Here then are two things: first the wickedness of the ancient heretics, particularly the Carpocratians: Secondly, that their excesses were the occasion of the disrepute which other Christians, their assemblies especially, lay under.
It is this second particular that I propose to consider at present: and shall hereafter, in the history of the several heretics who are accused of so much extravagance, have an article concerning their manners and moral principles; say nothing more relative to that point at this time, than may be needful for clearing the present question.
I. Then I observe, there is no small agreement between the charges brought against the first Christians in the beginning of the second century, and the charges against the heretics in later authors; which may create a suspicion that these last were formed upon the model of the former, and consequently are without ground. What the crimes were which were laid to the charge of the primitive Christians we know from divers writers, Greek and Latin. I shall put in the margin passages of “ Justin Martyr, 4 Athenagoras, · Theophilus of Antioch, 'Minucius Felix, and Tertullian, from whom it appears that, beside atheism, or impiety towards the established deities, they were charged with having their wives in common, with promiscuous lewdness in their assemblies, with incest, and eating human flesh, especially young children, whom they first killed, and then ate at their nocturnal meetings, where persons of each sex, and every age, were present.
II. These scandalous reflections were cast upon the Christians before the appearance of the Carpocratians, who were not known till the time of Adrian. Mr. Turner says these " calumnies seem to have begun with Christianity itself. There are proofs of their being very early. Tacitus, speaking of the Christians in the time of Nero, says they were generally hated for their wickedness; that is, they lay under a bad character with the people. And, as Mr. Turner observes,
σον συνεβαινε την περι ημων παρα τους τοτε απιςοις υπονοιαν διαφορα μιξει ξυνοντας, ετι μην και ταις ιδιαις αδελφαις συμμιγδυσσεζη και ατοπωτατην διαδιδοσθαι ως δη αθεμιτους προς νυσθαι, και, το αθεωτατον και ωμοτατον παντων, σαρκων ανμητερας και αδελφας μιξεσιν, ανοσιαις τε τρoφαις χρωμενων. θρωπινων εφαπτεσθαι ημας. Τheoph. ad Aut. 1. iii. p. 19. Β. Eus. L. IV. cap. vii. p. 120. D.
f Jam de initiandis tirunculis fabula tam detestanda, quam a Qui et ipsi ad detractionem divini ecclesiæ nominis, nota est. Infans farre contectus, ut decipiat incautos, appoquemadmodum et gentes, a Satanâ præmissi sunt, ubi secun- nitur ei qui sacris imbuatur. Is infans a tirunculo farris sudum alium et alium modum, quæ sunt illorum audientes ho- perficie, quasi ad inngxios ictus provocato, cæcis occultisque mines, et putantes omnes nos tales esse, avertant aures suas a vulneribus occiditur. Hujus, proh nefas ! sitienter sanguinem præconio veritatis: aut et [f. ut] videntes quæ sunt illorum, lambunt: hujus certatim membra dispertiunt-Et de convivio omnes nos blasphement, in nullo eis communicantes, neque notum est. Passim omnes loquuntur-Ad epulas solenni die in doctrinâ, neque in moribus, neque in quotidiana conversa- coëunt, cum omnibus liberis, sororibus, matribus, sexûs tione. Iræn. lib. i. cap. xxv. n. iii. al. c. xxiv. p. 100. Gr. omnis homines, et omnis ætatis. Illic post multas epulas, ubi
• Quæ nocturnis congregationibus, et jejuniis solennibus, convivium caluit, et incestæ libidinis fervor ebrietaie exarsit, et inhumanis cibis. Min. Fel. cap. viii. p. 72. Lug. 1672. canis, qui candelabro nexus est, jactu ossule—ad impetum et Occultis se notis et insignibus noscunt, et amant mutuo pene saltum provocatur. Sic everso et exstincto conscio lumine, antequam noverint: passim etiam inter eos quædam libidi-. impudentibus tenebris nexus infandæ cupiditatis involvunt num religio miscetur: ac se promiscue appellant fratres et per incertum sortis. Et si non omnes operâ, conscientiâ tamen sorores, ut etiam non insolens stuprum intercessione sacri no- pariter incesti; quoniam voto universorum appetitur, quidminis fiat incestum. Ib. c. ix. p. 81, 2. Lug. 1672.
quid accidere potest in actu singulorum. Min. Fel. cap. ix. p. • Ει δε και τα δυσφημα εκεινα μυθολογεμενα εργα πρατ- 86-90. τεσι, λυχνιας μεν ανατροπην, και τας ανεδην μιξεις, και ανθρω- 8 Dicimur sceleratissimi, de sacramento infanticidii, et paπειων σαρκων βορας, 8 γινωσκομεν. J. M. Ap. 1. p. 70. Β. C. bulo inde, et post convivium incesto; quod eversores luminum
-μη και υμεις πεπιςευκατε σερι ημαν, ότι δη εσθιομεν αν- canes, lenones scilicet, tenebras, tum et libidinum impiarum θρωπες, και μετα την ειλαπινην αποσβεννύντες τες λυχνες inverecundiam procurent. Tertul. Αp. cap. vii. in. p. 8–24. αθεσμοις μιξεσιν εγκυλιομεθα; Dialog. Tr. p. 227. Β.
h The Calumnies upon the Primitive Christians accounted 4 Τρια επιφημίζεσιν ημιν εγκληματα, αθεοτητα, Θυεςεια for, p. 2. London, 1727. CELTYA, Old To82185 pateis. Athen. Leg. p. d. c. Ed. Par. No. i Quos, per flagitia invisos, vulgus Christianos appellabativ. p. 15, 16. Ox. 1706. Er de, xai Tomas mai muižeis 2070- Repressaque in præsens exitiabilis superstitio rursus erumpebat. ποιασιν αθεες καθ' ημων, ίνα τε μισεις νομιζομεν μετα λογο. Tacit. Ann. l. xv. c. xliv. Ams. Elz. 1762. p. 1059, 60. Ib. p. 34. d. No. xxvii. p. 123. Ox.
• Φασκόντων, ως κοινας απαντων εσας γυναικας ημων, και
* Ib. p. 4.
Melito of Sardis, o an apologist for the Christian religion about the year 170, lays the foundation of these lying accusations in the reigns of Nero and Domitian. I shall transcribe largely at the bottom of the page a passage of Mr. Turner upon this subject. For certain these accusations were in being and prevailed before Justin became a Christian; for he assures us that in the time of his heathenism he thought it impossible that the Christians should suffer with such constancy and resolution as they did if they had been men-eaters, and had been addicted to lewdness.
III. Notwithstanding Eusebius mentions' the Carpocratians as the heretics on whose account the primitive Christians were slandered, yet the ancient writers are not all agreed in this point. Epiphanius indeed joins with Eusebius in saying that the Carpocratians were principally the cause of this: but Cyril,' the deacon, lays it on the Montanists; and Touttee on the Ophians or Ophites, and quotes Origen for it; who indeed says, in more places than one, that Celsus objected against the Christians holding several absurd and impious tenets, peculiar to the Ophians, called otherwise Cainites: but these, he' adds were no Christians, for they hated Jesus no less than Celsus himself did ; and admitted no one into their society unless he would abjure him. But I shall speak of this hereafter under the chapter assigned to them.
IV. Justin Martyr, in his second Apology, expressly says that he did not know whether those scandalous things, which were commonly laid to the charge of the true Christians, were done by the heretics or not. That apology was written, as some think, in the year 145, or about 140 at the soonest. The Valentinians, Carpocratians, and other heretics, were in being before that time; and Justin had written against all heretics in general ; and yet he freely owns he did know them to be guilty of the crimes so much talked of at that time.
V. The most ancient Christian apologists do generally ascribe the calumnies then cast upon the Christians to other causes, and not to the wickedness of any among them called heretics. Justin Martyr, as was formerly observed,' says that their accusers themselves scarcely believed the charges brought against them: and where these had in some measure been credited it arose from the wickedness of the heathens, which disposed them to believe such things of other people as they practised themselves. Tatian * and Theophilus of Antioch °
of Antioch o speak of these calumnies without making heretics the occasion of them. · Athenagoras plainly says " that the
1-τον καθ' ημας εν διαβολη καταστησαι λογον ηθελησαν ' Διο μεχρις πρωην εν τω διωγμα, τοτο ποιειν υποπτευομεθα. Νερων και Δομετιανος: αφ' ων και το της συκοφαντιας αλογω δια το κακείνες τις Μοντανες, ψευδως μεν, ομωνυμως δε κασυνηθεια τσερι τες τοιέτες ρυηναι συμβεζηκε ψευδος. Αp. λεισθαι Χριςιανες. Cat. xvi. n. viii. p. 247. Euseb. 1. iv. c. xxvi. p. 148. Β.
& Id dedecus contra Ophitas suggessit Origenes. Toutee, x. b I can by no means allow that the lewdness of Carpocrates, h Δοκει δε
floob ο Κελσος εγνωκεναι τινας αιρεσεις μηδε τα Epiphanes, and their followers, gave the first occasion for ac- ονοματος το Ιησε κοινωνες ημιν. ταχα γαρ αεριηχειτο περι cusing the Christians of promiscuous and incestuous lust. For των καλεμενων Οφιανων και των Καιανων, και ει τις αλλη it is generally agreed that Carpocrates began to be a heretic τοιαυτη εξ ολων αποφοιτήσασα τα Ιησού συνεση γνωμη. πλην in Adrian's reign, about the same time that Justin became a αδες τετο προς το εγκλητον ειναι τον Χριστιανων λογον. Contra convert to Christianity, A. D. 130. And therefore the im. Celsum. 1. iii. p. 119 ... XX. Ed. Spenceri. Δοκειν δε μου putation of lewdness and incest was prior to Carpocrates. For εκ τοτων εκπαρακοσματων ασημοτατης αίρεσεως Οφιανων οιμαι Justin, whose authority is undeniably good, acquaints us, that εκτεθεισθαι τα τα διαγράμματος απο μερους. κ. τ. λ. Ιb. 1. vi. the Christians were accused of abominable uncleanness before p. 291.1. xlv. Τι εν ειη αν ηλιθωτερον η μανικώτερον, 8 μονον he was a convert. Nay, he dates the three original calumnies των απο το οφεως- αλλα και Κελσε νομισαντες κατα Χρισof incest, infanticide, and atheism, from our Lord's ascension, τιανων ειναι κατηγοριας τας κατα των Οφιανων. Ιbid. 1. vi. or very soon after. If Carpocrates had given the first handle
p. 294. for aspersing Christians, how could Justin be ignorant of it, 1 Και Οφιανοι δια τοτο καλεμενοι τοσοτον αποδεεσι τα ειναι who lived at the same time? and especially, since he wrote Χριςιανοι, ώςε εκ ελαττον Κελσε κατηγορειν αυτες τε Ιησε, a confutation of all heretics; and therefore must be presumed και μη προτερον προσιεσθαι τινα επι το συνεδριον εαυτων, εαν to be tolerably acquainted with their errors and immoralities. μη αρας θηται κατα το Ιησε. Ιbid. 1. vi. p. 294. As before, p, 31, 32. See him again, p. 51, 52.
& Vid. supra, not. p. 515.
1 Vid. ibid. • Και γαρ αυτος εγω τοις Πλατωνος χαιρων διδαγμασι, Αp. ii. p. 70. Β. C. 71. A. Vid. Credibility, Vol. i. διαβαλλομενες ακρων Χριστιανες, όρων δε αφοξες προς θανατον p. 452, notes ,. και παντα τα αλλα νομιζομενα φοβερα, ενενο8ν, αδυνατον ειναι η Παρ' ημιν εκ εσιν ανθρωποφαγια, Ψευδομαρτυρες οι επιτηεν κακια και φιληδονια υπαρχειν αυτες τις γαρ φιληδονος, η δευομενοι γεγονατε. Oratio ad Grecos. No. 42. p. 90. Ed. ακρατης, και ανθρωπινων σαρκων βοραν αγαθον ηγεμενος, Worth. Ox. 1700. p. 162. D. Par. 1636. Cred. V. 1. p. 452, δυναιτο αν θανατον ασπαζεσθαι; Αp. ii. p. 50. Α. Β.
note 4. d Vid. supra. not.'p. 25.
° Ad Au. 1. iii. p. 119. B. C. Vid. supra, nole?: p. 240. et • Εισι δε εκ τ8 Σατανα παρασκευασμενοι και προβεβλημενοι Ad. Aut. 1. iii. p. 126. D. 127. A. Vid. Cred. Vol. 1. p. 452. εις ονειδος και σκανδαλον της τε Θε8 εκκλησιας επεθεντο γαρ note e. εαυτοις επικλην Χριστιανοι προς το σκανδαλιζεσθαι την της Legat. p. 4. C. et p. 34. D. ad fin. Vid. supra, note d. p. αγιας το Θεο εκκλησιας ωφελειαν. κ. τ. λ. Εpi. Ηer. Χxvii. 515. Ει δε λογοποιιαι ταυτα και διαβολαι κεναι (φυσικα 21. iii. p. 104. Β. C.
λογω προς την αρετήν της κακιας αντικειμενης, και πολεμεντων
general wickedness of the heathen people was the ground of their charging such base practices upon the Christians, who were exemplarily virtuous : and exactly in the same manner speaks the pretended Sibyl.: Ireneus likewise, in a place before cited, hints και at this cause, as does also Minutius Felix, “ and Tertullian. Sometimes Justin Martyr says “ that the Jews had raised and spread these vile reports concerning the first Christians: and Tertullian speaks to the like purpose. Origen," in a still stronger manner, brings home this charge to the Jews. Heraldus long ago observed that the ancient apologists, who confuted these calumnies, did not charge the heretics with the like crimes.
VI. It appears from Tertullian ' that, in his time, it was not known that any among Christians were guilty of such crimes as were imputed to them by their adversaries. The only ground of these charges, according to him, was common fame, and uncertain report, * without any proof. Whereas if such things had been done by any assuming the name of Christians, and known to have been done by them, his plea would have been that, though indeed there were instances of such abominable practices among heretics, yet there was no instance of any thing of the kind among genuine Christians. Since, therefore, he absolutely denies the charge without any such distinction, it is plain he knew of no heretics who were guilty of such abominations. Theophi. lus of Antioch likewise says 'that these reproaches had no other support than common fame. Nor was it known to the martyrs of Jesus " that the heretics, or any men whatever, were guilty of the vices then laid to the charge of the Christians.
VII. Another argument against the truth of these accounts is that they are incredible. Trypho the Jew being asked by Justin whether he believed the common reports concerning
αλληλοις των εναντιων θεια νομω) και το μηδεν τατων αδικειν υμεις μαρτυρες. Ιbid. p. 4. D. p. 16, 17. Ox. Αλλα οι τοιοτοι (ω τι αν ειπoιμι τα απορρητα) ακοομεν τα της παροιμιας, η πορνη την σωφρονα-ετοι δε ασυνισασιν αυτοις, και τες σφετερες λεγεσι θεος- -ταυτα ημας λοιδορονται: κακιζοντες οι μοιχοι και παιδερασαι τας ευνοχος και μονογαμος. κ. τ.λ. Ιbid. p. 37. C. D. No. 29. p. 131, 2. Ox.
* Ολβιοι ανθρωπων κεινοι κατα γαιαν εσονται,
Οσσοι δη στερξασι Θεον μεγαν ευλογεοντες
142. Οr. thodoxogr. Basil 1569.
6 Vid. sup. p. 515. note 8.
© Hæc enim potius de vestris gentibus nata sunt. Min. Fel. c. xxxi, in. p 303.
• Hæc quo magis refutaverim, a vobis fieri ostendam par: tim in aperio, et partim in occulto. Per quod forsitan ei de nobis credistis. Ap. c. ix. in.
•-Αλλα ανδρας εκλεκτος απο Ιερεσαλημ εκλεξαμενοι τοτε, εξεπεμψατε εις πασαν την γην, λεγοντες αίρεσιν αθεον Χρισιανων πεφηνεναι, καταλεγοντες ταυτα απερ καθ' ημων οι αγνοεντες ημας σαντες λεγεσιν. Dial. cum. Try. p. 234. Ε. --Κατειποντες δεδιδαχεναι και ταυτα απερ κατα των ομολογυντων Χριςον-παντι γενει ανθρωπων αθεα, και ανομα, και ανοσια λεγετε. Ιb. p. 335. C. D.
' Et credidit vulgus Judæo. Quod enim aliud genus seminarium est infamix nostræ? Ad. Nal. L. i. p. 59. D.
8 Και δοκει μοι παραπλησιον leδαιοις πεποιηκεναι, τοις κατα την αρχην το Χριστιανισμο διδασκαλιας κατασκεδασασι δυσφημιαν το λογο, ως αρα καταθυσαντες παιδον μεταλαμβανεσι αυτ8 των σαρκων. και παλιν, ότι οι απο το λογα, τα τα σκοτα παραττειν βελομενοι, στεννυσι μεν το φως, έκαςος δε τη παρατυχεση μιγνυται. Con. Celsum. 1. vi. c. xxvii. p. 651. Bened. p. 293. Spen.
• Calumnia ista (de initiandis tirunculis) omnibus Chris
tianorum apologiis confutata. Nec inventus quisquam est, qui ejus immanitatis sectam ullam hæreticorum vel lenissima suspicione asperserit; ut existimem quæ de Grosticis et Quintilianis Epiphanius et alii nonnulli postea tradiderunt, ea omnia falsa esse, et in odium sectarum illarum ab hominibus perverse religiosis conficta. Num enim id tacuissent Apologeticorum scriptores ? Num tantâ confidentiâ horrendam illam caluma niam, tamquam commentun vere diabolicum, confutâssent? -Quæ igitur posterioribus seculis de hæreticis tradita sunt ejusmodi, ea non dubitamus falsa esse. Heraldus ad Minutium, c. ix. p. 86. Lugd. Bat. 1672.
i Dicimur sceleratissimi de saoramento infanticidii, et pabulo inde, et post convivium incesto ; quod eversores luminum canes, lenones scilicet, tenebras, tum et libidinum impiarum inverecundiam procurent. Dicimur tamen semper, nec vos quod tamdiu dicimur, eruere curatis. Apol. c. vii. p. 8. Bene autem quod omnia tempus revelat, testibus etiam vestris proverbiis atque sententiis, ex dispositione naturæ, quæ ita ordinavit ut nihil diu lateat, etiain quod fama non distulit. Merito igitur fama tam din sola conscia est scelerum Christianorum. Hanc indicem adversus nos profertis, quæ, quod aliquando jactavit, tantoque spatio in opinionem corroboravit, usque adhuc probare non valuit. Ibid. p. 9. Initio.
* Ideo ei credunt de nobis quæ non probantur, et nolunt inquiri, ne probentur non esse. Ibid. c. ii. p. 4. B. Quid aliud negotium patitur Christianus, nisi suæ sectæ ? quam
in. cestam, quam crudelem, tanto tempore nemo probavit. Ad Scap. c. iv. p. 87. Fin.
''Και φημη σειθεσθαι-Σοματων αθεων ψευδας συκοφαντοντων ημας-φασκόντων ως κοινας απαντων ουσας τας γυναικας ήμων, και διαφορα μιξει ξύνοντας, ετι μην και ταις ιδιαις αδελφεις συμμιγνυσθαι, και, το αθεωτατον και ωμοτατον παντων, σαρκων ανθρωπινων εφαπτεσθαι ημας. Αd. Aut. 1. iii. p. 19. Β. p. 382. Bened.
Η Κατεψευσαντο ημων Θυεςεια δειπνα και Οιδιπόδειες μιξεις, και όσα μητε λαλείν μητε νοειν θεμις ημιν, αλλα μηδε τις ευειν ειτι τοιοτο πωποτε παρα ανθρωπους εγενετο. Εuse. Eccl. His. lib. ν. cap. 1. p. 156. D.
» Τετο δε εσιν ο λεγω, μη και υμεις πεπιςευκατε περι ημων ότι δη εσθιομεν ανθρωπες, και μετα την ειλαπινην αποσβέννυντες τες λυχνες, αθεσμοις μιξεσιν εγκυλιομεθα - Περι δε ων οι πολλοι λεγεσιν, (εφη ο Τρυφων) 8 πιςευσαι αξιον πορρω γαρ κεχωρηκε της ανθρωπινης φυσεως. Dial. cum Try. p. 227. Β.
the Christians, readily answers, they were incredible; for human nature was not capable of such things. This is also largely shewn by · Minutius Felix and · Tertullian, who sometimes appeal to the heathen people, whether they were able to do the like things as they charged upon the Christians, with the same circumstances attending them: and at other times ridicule the credulity of those who believed them of others, when they themselves were unable to do the like. In this last argument Tertullian appears to triumph beyond control. With a peculiar energy of expression he challenges any one of the heathen to come into Christian assemblies and try whe. ther he could perform such an action himself, or even bear to be present while it was perpetrated by others. He enters minutely into the particular parts of the heinous charge; and proves, by a direct appeal to the human heart, that no creature, constituted as we are, can possibly be guilty of such abominations. On the subject of infanticide he shews the utter incredibility of a charge, directly inconsistent with some of the distinguishing tenets of the Christians of those days, who would not at their entertainments make use of blood mixed with any eatables; and who abstained from things strangled, and that died of themselves, lest they should be defiled.
The same argument will serve for the heretics, for they are " charged by later writers with the same things which were before imputed to the primitive Christians.
If then they are incredible with regard to the one, they are so likewise with regard to the other. Besides, there are some things related of the Gnostics by Epiphanius 8 and Theodoret, which in all probability were never practised by any individuals, not even the most vicious and abandoned; much less were they the rites or sacraments of any religious sect. When all this is considered, I cannot help thinking that there is too much justice in Mons. Bayle’s satire:
* Illum jam velim convenire, qui initiari nos dicit, aut cre- child out of its mother's womb, and beat it to pieces in a dit de cæde infantis et sanguine. Putas posse fieri, ut tam mortar, and lest this odd sort of food should be nauseous to a molle, tam parvulum corpus fata vulnerum capiat ? ut quis- squeamish stomach, they mixed it with honey and pepper, and quam illum rudem sanguinem novelli, et vix dum hominis, other spices: when this was done they all tasted of it: and cædat, fundat, exhauriat? Nemo hoc potest credere, nisi qui • this they called a perfect passover. Upon this monstrous possit audere. Minut. Fel. cap. xxx. p. 288-9.
• and incredible story I observe,' &c. &c. Calumnies upon b O quanta illius præsidis gloria, si eruisset aliquem, qui the Primitive Christians, p. 54, 55. The like things were centum jam infantes comedisset! Ap. c. ii. p. 2. D. Ut also said of the Montanists, as we shall see bereafter, fidem naturæ ipsius appellem adversus eos, qui talia credenda e Vid. supra, p. 515. note'. The English part of that esse præsumunt: Ecce proponimus horum facinorum mer, quotation I shall give in the words of Mr. Turner. They, cedem, vitam æternam. Repromittunt. Credite interim. the primitive Christians, 'were charged with infanticide, or De hoc enim quæro, an et qui credideris, tanti habeas ad eam murdering infants, and with eating them. A very young tali conscientia pervenire : Veni; demerge ferrum in infan- sucking infant was brought covered over with paste, lest tem, nullius inimicum, nullius reum, omnium filium. Vel, any one should be shocked at the intended barbarity. Then si alterius officium est, tu modo assiste morienti honini • the child was pricked all over with pins or bodkins, and as excipe rudem sanguinem : eo panem, tuum satia ; vescere li- soon as it was dead, they cut the body in pieces and ate it. benter. Interea discumbens dinumera loca, ubi mater, ubi • This was said to be the Christian method of initiation.' soror. Nota diligenter, ut, cum tenebræ ceciderint caninæ, Calumnies, p. 10. non erres- -Talia initiatus et consignatus, vives in ævum. f Tετες (τος Καρποκρατιανες) φασι, και τινας αλλες ζηλωCupio, respondeas, sit tanti æternitas ? Aut si non, ideo non τας των ομοιων κακων, εις τα δειπνα αθροιζομενες γαρ αγαπης credenda. Etiam si credideris, nego te velle. Etiam si volu- ειποιμι αν εγωγε την συνελυσιν αυτων ανδρας όμα και γυναικας, eris, nego te posse. Cur ergo alii, si vos non potestis. Cur μετα δη το κορεσθηναι, εν πλησμονη τη κυπριση, φασιnon possitis, si alii possunt ? Aliâ nos, opinor, naturâ, Cyno- ποδων ποιησαμενες φως τη τε λυχνά περιτροπη, μιγνυσθαι όπως phanes aut Sciapodes; alii ordines dentium ; alii ad incestam €D€aoley ais Benoito. Clem. Alexan. Strom. I. iii. p. 430. libidinem nervi? Qui ista credis de homine, potes et facere. C. D. Αυτην γαρ την συναξιν αυτων εν αισχρότητι σολυμιHomo es et ipse, quod Christianus. Qui non potes facere, ξιας φυρεσιν εσθιοντες τε και παραπτομενοι και ανθρωπινων non debes credere. Homo est enim et Christianus, et quod σαρκων και ακαθαρσιων, ως οτε τολμησω το σαν εξειπειν. κ.τ.λ. et tu. Ib. cap. viii.
Epiphan. Hær. xxvi. No. iii. p. 84. D. c Erubescat error vester Christianis, qui ne animalium qui- 8 Και ο μεν ανηρ της γυναικος υποχωρησας, φασκει λεγων dem sanguinem in epulis esculentis habemus, qui propterea τη εαυτ8 γυναικι, ότι ανασα, λεγων, ποιησον την αγαπην μετα quoque suffocatis et morticinis abstinemus, ne quo modo san- τα αδελφέ. οι δε ταλανες μιγεντες αλληλοις, και ως επι αληguine contaminemur, vel intra viscera sepulto- Porro quale θειας αισχυνομαι ειπειν τα ταρ τοις αυτοις αισχρα πραττομέα. est, ut quos sanguinem pecoris horrere confiditis, humano in- Ep. Hæ. xxvi. No. iv. p. 88. A. B. see also No. viii. ix. x. hiare credatis. Ib. c. ix.
&c. where a multitude of incredible things are related of them 4 Εαν δε εγκυμονηση η γυνη, -κατασπασαντες το εμβρυον, to the last degree shocking and absurd. εν ολμω τινι κοπτασιν υπερω, και εγκαταμιξαντες μελι και Οι γαρ τρισάθλιοι την σαρκικης και την συνοικιασικης αεπερί και αλλα τινα αρωματα, και μυρα προς το μη ναυτιαν κοινωνιαν ιεροφαντασι, και ταυτην οιoνται εις την βασιλείαν QUT85- μεταλαμβανεσιν έκαςος των δακτυλφ απο το κατα- αυτες αναγειν τε Χριςο-ειεν δε αν εν ταις μειζοσιν παρ' κοπεντος παιδια, και έτως την ανθρωπολοριαν απεργασαμενοι αυτοις ελπισιν αι προερωσαι το τεγες πορναι ανεδείν εκδεχόευχονται λοιπον τω Θεω- και δηθεν τοτο το τελειον πασχα μεναι τες βελομενες απαντας τοιαυτα δε οίψεδωνυμως yeyta.. Epiph. Hær. xxvi. No. v. p. 87. B. C. I give the
Γνωσικες σφας αυτες αναγορευοντες δογματιζοσιν. Ηer. F. English of
in Mr. Turner's words : « The Gnostics,' says lib. i. No. vi. Tom. iv. p. 197. D. Epiphanius, 'by some violent method or other used to draw a