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is evident that those which he mentions were derived from the Ophites, as Origen plainly · informs
This is confirmed by the fifteenth figure in Chifflet, and by Beausobre's observations, to which I refer for particulars.
Conclusions drawn from the foregoing Observations.
Uron a review therefore of the whole of this long discourse, concerning the Abraxas of the Basilidians, and the figures which have been attributed to them, I cannot help concluding, very much in the words of Beausobre: 1. That Abraxas was not the god of the Basilidians. 2. That this name signifies nothing but the sun, which was never worshipped by them. 3. That the figures both in Chifflet and Montfaucon are, for the most part, Ægyptian. 4. That there is no kind of proof that any of them belonged to the Basilidians. 5. That those which have lao, Sabaoth, &c. upon them, were the works of magicians, who never made any profession of Chrise tianity. 6. That some of these figures derived their origin from the Simonians and Ophites, who were not Christians either in belief or profession.
Of the Scriptures received by Basilides.
I suall finish this article by giving an account of the scriptures which were received by Basilides.
According to Irenæus ' he must have disregarded the Old Testament; or at least he could not give the same authority to that, as he did to the New : because he asserted that the prophecies in the Old Testament were given by those angels who were the makers and princes of the world, and that the law in particular was promulgated by their chief, by him who brought the people of Israel out of the land of Ægypt. Since therefore Jesus Christ, according to him, came to deliver the human race from the power of the princes of the world, and to destroy their works, there must be a kind of opposition between the law and the gospel. As a Christian therefore he could pay no great regard to it. But he looked upon the law as a proper rule, established by the Creator, for the direction of the people of Israel; and though he did not believe it to come from the true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, yet he considered it as a revelation given by an angel, of whom he spoke with respect.
As to the New Testament, it doth not appear but he received the whole, or at least the greater part of it.
Jerom indeed says' that both Marcion and Basilides were not content with rejecting the • Old Testament, but that they also disputed some parts of the New, corrupting the gospels, • and cutting off from St. Paul the two epistles to Timothy, the epistle to Titus, and the epistle
hæc etiam ignota Avaraya, 1170505&ira,' K8517), Logiya Esse autem principem ipsorum (angelorum) eum qui Juquibus addas Satouiel, ut Latine in gemmå quadam legitur. dæorum putatur esse Deus. Et quondam is suis bominibus, Pal. Græ. lib. 2. cip. S. p. 177.
id est Judæis, voluit subjicere reliquas gentes, &c. Ibid. * Μηδαμως μεν υπο Χριςιανυν ονομαζομενων, οιμαι δε ιπο e Beausobre, Hist. du Maurich. Tom. ii. c. 1. 1. iv. p. 5. Οδιανων παραλαμβανόμενων. κ. τ. λ. Con. Cel. lib. 5. p. c. iv. n. iii. p. 51. 295. ed. Cantab. Opp. 1. p. 653. D. Bened.
Marcionen, loquor et Basilidem- -qui vetus laviant tes• Hist. du Manich. Tom. ii. n. xiii. p. 64, 65.
tamentum: tamen eos aliquâ ex parte ferrenius, si saltem in c Prophetias autem et ipsas a mundi fabricatoribus fuisse ait novo continerent malus suas ; et non auderent vel evangeprincipibus, proprie autem legem a principe eorum, eum qui listas violare, vel apostolos-Nonnullas (epistolas) integras eduxerit populum de terrâ AEgypti -Patrem misisse Nûn repudiandas crediderunt: ad Timotheum videlicet utramque, suum (et hunc esse qui dicitur Christus) in libertatem creden- ad Hebræos, et ad Titum. Hieron. in ep. ad Tit. in Proem. tium ei a potestate eorum qui inunduin fabricaverunt- -Et
Vol. 4. p. 407. Martiaraynay. liberatos igitur cos a mundi fabricatoribus. Ad. Hær. lib. . cap. 23. p. 98.
«to the Hebrews.' But Jerom frequently wrote with precipitation and passion when he was reproaching heretics. It ought also to be observed that Marcion and Basilides were very different in their opinions on many points. Marciono received only the gospel of St. Luke. Basilides certainly received the gospel of St. Matthew ; for there are several references to it in his explanations of doctrines or practices, which are given us by Clement of Alexandria, and there is no proof that he rejected the other three. Neither Irenæus, Tertullian, Clement, Origen, or Theodoret, accuse him of this, or of rejecting any of St. Paul's epistles. On the contrary, there is positive evidence from the same Clement that Isidore, his son, received the first epistle to : the Corinthians. And there is from Origen a clear proof to the contrary of what Jerom lays to
liis charge, when he ranks Basilides with Marcion as a corrupter of the gospel ; for the former writer, in his answer to Celsus, who accused the Christians in general of corrupting the scriptures, says that · he knew of no Christians who had altered the text of the gospel
, except the • followers of Valentinus and Marcion, and perhaps those of Lucan.' This confirms the explanation hereafter given of that passage of Origen, where mention is made of the gospel of Basilides; that Origen means nothing more by that expression than his commentaries upon the gospel. Ambrose and Jerom copied from Origen.
That Basilides paid great respect to the gospel, is evident from his writing commentaries o upon it, which he divided into twenty-four books. Two fragments of these may be seen in Grabe,' one taken from the thirteenth, the other from the twenty-third book of these commentaries.
He also certainly received the epistle to the Romans, as appears from Origen's commentary upon the fifth chapter, where he qnotes the words of chap. vii. 9, “ when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." Upon this he observes that • Basilides, without attending to • the sense and connection, endeavoured to deduce from the former part of the verse, yiz. «« I was alive without the law once,” his absurd and nonsensical notion of a Pythagorean me• tempsychosis ;' therefore he must have allowed the authority of this epistle; and as he is not accused of rejecting any other of the books of the New Testament, except by St. Jerom, and this in a cursory manner, his name being joined with that of Marcion, there is reason to believe that he received the whole New Testament as authentic, though he perverted the meaning of many places, and drew from many others very absurd and foolish consequences.
of the Gospel of Basilides.
Tuere is mention made in Origen's Commentary on Luke of a gospel of Basilides. Ambrose has spoken' of the same, as hath Jerom * also. The two last undoubtedly copied it from Origen. The most probable opinion is, that the twenty-four books of Commentaries which Agrippa Castor speaks of,' were the very gospel of Basilides. This is the opinion of Beausobre,
* Μονω δε κεχρηται τ8τω τα χαρακτηρι τω κατα Λεκαν toli dicto conatur adstruere. Orig. Com. in Epis. ad Rom. Ευαγγελιω. Εpi. ad Ηer. 42. p. 309. D. Ούτος εκ μεν των cap. 5. Tom. ii. p. 530. Basil. 1571. Vid. etiam Grab. Spici. ευαγγελιών το κατα Λεκαν εδεξατο μονον. Τheo. Ηer. Fab. T. ii. p. lib. 1. cap. 24. p. 210. D.
h Ausus est Basilides scribere Evangelium, et suo illud Strom. lib. 4. p. 506. C. & lib. 3. p. 426. A. B. See p. nomine titulare. Homil. in Luc. l. 1. in init. 542, of this chapter notes d and e.
Ausus est etiam Basilides scribere, quod dicitur, secun• Strom. lib. 3. p. 427. A. & D.
dum Basilidem. Ambro. Prref, iu Com. in Luc. init. d Contra Cels. lib. 2. p. 77. Can. p. 411. Ben. See the k Hæresium fuere principia, ut est illud
-Basilidis atque passage at length under Lucian, p. 5. note 2.
Apellis, &c. Hieron. Præf. in Comm. in Mat. • Φησιν αυτον εις μεν το Ευαγγελιoν τεσσαρα προς τους
| Eus. His. Ecc. lib. 4. c. 7. p. 120. A. FIX901 Ourtažai Birna. Eus. Ecc. Hist. lib. 4. cap. 7. p. 120. A. Origène appelle ce livre l'Evangile de Basilide Mais i Spicileg. Tom. ii. p, 39, &c.
S. Clément d'Alexandrie ne nous permet pas de douter, que 8 Ego inqnit (Paulus) mortuus sum, cæpit enim mihi jam ce ne fût simplement un commentaire sur l'Evangile qu' reputari peccatum. Sed hæc Basilides non advertens de lege Origène a jugé à-propus d'appeler l'Evangile de Basilide. 'naturali debere intelligi, ad ineptas et impias fabulas sermo- Hist. Man. T. ii. n. 2. p. 3, 4. On parle d'un Evangile de nem apostolicum traxit in Pythagoricum dogma: id est, quod Basilide; c'étoit un commentaire sur les Evangiles. ibid. animæ in alia atque alia corpora transfundantur, ex hoc apos- Tom. i. p. 45+, and p. 39.
of Fabricius,' and of Mr. Jones. It indeed appears improbable that he should compose an apocryphal history of our Saviour, and give it his own name, when he received the other authentic gospels.
Of the Prophets Barcabbas and Barcoph. As to the prophecies of the prophets Barcabbas and Barcoph, or Parchor, they were undoubtedly some oriental books which Basilides met with in his journey into the East, and brought with him to Alexandria ; and not forgeries of his own, as Eusebius would have us believe.
Of the Odes of Basilides.
Caved makes him, on the authority of Origen, the author of some odes. Grabe seems to doubt the exactness of the reference, but he afterwards says that he found in a manuscript copy some words of Origen to this purpose, that they,' the heretics, “repeat the hymns of Valen• tinus and the odes of Basilides,"
These Things prove the Authenticity and wide Spread of the Scriptures of the New Testament.
From this whole chapter it appears that the writings of the New Testament were early spread abroad among Christians, and that commentaries and expositions were very soon written on different parts of them, particularly on the gospels. This would tend to make the knowledge of them more general, and to keep them uncorrupted; for by this means those who might attempt to falsify them in any respect would be the sooner and the more easily detected.
CHA P. III.
OF CARPOCRATES AND HIS FOLLOWERS.
Some Account of Carpocrates and Epiphanes from Clement of Alexandria and other
We come now to the Carpocratians. I shall observe their history and time, their principles in general, their moral principles and manners, and, lastly, their testimony to the scriptures.
Clement of Alexandria says of them in these very words: • The followers of Carpocrates
. Sed potuit etiam Origenes hos libros Commentariorum in Evangelium appellare Evangelium Basilidis. Cod. Ap. N. T. Tom. I. p. 343. b Canon of the N.T. V. 1. p. 217, 18.
Προφητας δε εαυτω ονομασαι Βαρκαβαν και Βαρχωφ, και αλλάς ανυπαρκτος τινας εαυτω συσησαμενον. Εus. Hist. Ecc. lib. 4. cap. 7. p. 120. Α. Ισιδωρος τε, ο βασιλειδε υίος αμα
και μαθητης, εν τω πρωτω των προφητε Παρχαρ εξηγετικα,
d His. Lit. Basilides, p.31. Geneva.
* Οι δε απο Καρποκρατες και Επιφανές αναγομενοι, κοιτας είναι τας γυναικας αξιεσιν. Str. lib. 3. p. 428. Α.
and Epiphanes think that women ought to be common : from whom much reproach has been • derived to the Christian name.' He informs us that Epiphanes, whose works also are extant, was the son of Carpocrates, who was an Alexandrian ; his mother's name was Alexandria, born in the island of Cephalene. He lived to be seventeen years of age only; and after his death was honoured as a god at Sama, in the afore-mentioned island. There they erected to him a temple made of stone, with altars, a grove, and a museum. And every new moon, on the day when Epiphanes was consecrated, the Cephalenians met together, and celebrated that birth-day of his with hymns, libations, sacrifices and feastings. He was instructed by his father in the whole circle of sciences, particularly the Platonic philosophy. He was the author of the mo. nadic science, from whom arose the heresy of the Carpocratians. Clement then proceeds to quote a long passage out of a book of Epiphanes, entitled, Of Justice, or Righteousness; which passage Clement
supposes to teach licentiousness, contrary to the doctrine of the gospel. Theodoret too says that • Carpocrates was an Alexandrian; but Epiphanius calls him a Ce, phalenian, probably by mistake, his wife having been of that country. Epiphanius gives the like account that Clement does of the worship paid to Epiphanes by the Cephalenians ; and says that his vast learning was a great inducement to that people to pay him such honour.?
May I be permitted to question the truth of this ? Surely it could not be a Christian to whose honour these idolatrous rites were practised; nor could they be Christians that performed them; that temple must have been raised by heathens. Probably therefore the Epiphanes to whoin those honours were given, was some other person, and not Epiphanes the son of Carpocrates, the Christian heretic. Theodoret takes no notice of these things in his chapter of Carpocrates; though Epiphanes is there mentioned ; and of whom he says that he' amplified or
improved upon his father's doctrine.' Nor does Irenæus say any thing of this matter. Indeed Epiphanes is but once mentioned, or occasionally referred to by • Irenæus. Nor is he at all mentioned by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, though he has twice mentioned the Carpocratians; and in one of those places, beside Jewish and Samaritan heresies, all these following, the 'Menandrians, the Marcionites, the Carpocratians, the Valentinians, the Basilidians, and Saturnilians. I might add that it was not customary for Christians to erect temples in the former part of the second century, in which time Epiphanes is supposed to have died.
That I may at once take in the chief things relating to Epiphanes, I would now farther observe thats Epiphanius speaks of Epiphanes in the chapter of Secundus the Valentinian. And it is now common with learned "moderns, to consider him as a Valentinian ; whether rightly or not, I cannot stay to inquire.
Of the Time in which Carpocrates lived.
BARONIUS speaks of the Carpocratians at the year 120: Basnage at the year 122 ; Tillemonti thinks they might appear about the year 130; Dodwell conjectures that * Épiphanes died about the year 140; Irenæus says that. Marcellina came to Rome in the time of Anicetus, which Dodwell" computes to have been about the year 142; Massuet about the year 160; Theodoret expressly placetho Carpocrates and Epiphanes in the reign of Adrian. By all ancient writers of heresies in general, the Carpocratians are reckoned an carly heresy; for they are the twentyseventh in Epiphanius, or the seventh Christian heresy. The order is the same in Augustine, who follows Epiphanius. They are supposed by some to have been mentioned" by Celsus; but that is not certain. How long they subsisted I do not know: but they are continually spoken of by Irenæus, as in being in his time.
* Επαιδευθη μεν 8ν παρα τω πατρι την τε εγκυκλιον παιδειαν, και τα Πλατωνος. Καθηγησατο δε της μοναδικης γνωσεως. x. a. Ibid. C.
• H. F. lib. i. cap. 5. in.
* Και Επιφανης δε, τοτε παις, δια Πλατωνικης ηγμενες παιδειας,
και την τοτε μυθολογιας επλατυνεν. Ιbid. p. 107. Β. • Vid! 1. i. c. xi. [al. v.) p. 52. Mass. p. 51. Gr. et conf. Epiph. H. 32. 11. vii.
Lib. 4. cap, 22. p. 142, 143. Conf. cap. 7. p. 120
& Vid. H. 32.
Diss. Iren. iv. n. 25, 26.
m Ib. 1. 26.
Of the Principles of the Carpocratians concerning the Creation.
THE Carpocratians are often mentioned by Irenæus ; but there are only two or three pas. sages of his containing divers particulars relating to them, on which I shall chiefly insist.
He there assures us that Carpocrates and his followers say the world was made by angels, much inferior to the eternal Father. To the like purpose "'Theodoret: and Epiphanius, that • he held one supreme principle, the Father of all, unknown and unnamed, or incomprehensi• ble; and that the world, and the things therein were made by angels, much inferior to the • unknown Father.' The author of the Additions to Tertullian's Book of Prescriptions does not much differ from the authors already quoted.
Of their Opinion concerning the Person of Jesus Christ.
IRENÆus immediately proceeds to say what they thought of the person of Jesus : that he • was born of Joseph, and was like other men, except that his soul was more firm and pure, and • that he remembered what he had seen with the eternal Father: that he was educated among • the Jews, and obtained power to surmount his sufferings, and after that ascended to the Father: - and that those souls who believed in him should do so likewise ; that is, only as to their souls.
Epiphanius says, their " opinion concerning Christ was that he was born of Joseph and Mary; - but excelled other men in temperance, and the holiness and virtue of his life. He also speaks of their supposing the mind of Christ to have had a wonderful strength, or firmness, and to have remembered what he saw in his pre-existent state, and the like. Theodoret's account likewise is, 'that they ' believed Jesus to have been a man, born of Joseph and Mary, like other men: * but that he excelled in virtue; and having a pure soul, he remembered his conversation with
2 Κελσος μεν εν οιδε--Καρποκρατιανες απο Σαλώμης. tutibus mundum istum in inferioribus partibus condidisse. De Orig.c. Cels. I. v. p. 272. Sp. 620. Ben.
Pr. cap. 48. p. 252. A. 216. 7 Fran. b Et adversus eos qui sunt a Saturnino, et Basilide, et Car- 8 Jesum autem e Joseph natum, et, cum similis reliquis pocrate, et reliquos Gnosticorum, qui eadem similiter dicunt, bominibus fuerit, distâsse a reliquis secundum id, quod aniidem dicatur. lib. 2. cap. 31. al. 56. p. 164. Mass. 185. Gr. ma ejus firma et munda cum esset, commemorata fuerit quæ Super bæc arguentur qui sunt a Simone, et Carpocrate, et si visa essent sibi in eâ circumlatione, quæ fuisset ingenito Deos qui alii virtutes operari dicuntur. Ibid. Mass. p. 186. Gr. Si et propter hoc ab eo missam esse ei virtuteni, uti mundi faitaque et nunc nomen Domini nostri Jesu Christi beneficia bricatores effugere posset, et ascenderet ad eum : et eas, præstaty--ged non Sinonis, neque Menandri, neqne Carpo- qui similia ei amplecterentur, similiter. Jesu autem dicunt anicratis. Ibid. cap. 32. al. 57. p. 166. Mass. p. 189. Gr. inam in Judæorum consuetudine nutritam contenisisse ecs,
c Carpocrates autem, et qui ab eo, mundum quidein, et ea et propter hoc virtutes accepisse, per quas evacuavit que fuequæ in eo sunt, ab angelis multo interioribus ingenito patre runt in pænis passiones, que inerant hominibus. Ibid. p. 203. factum esse dicunt. lib. i. cap. 25. al. 24. p. 103. Mass. Η Ιησεν δε τον κυριον ήμαν από Ιωσηφ λεγει γεγενησθαι,
καθαπερ και παντες ανθρωποι εκ σπερματος ανδρος και γυναικός, , 4 Υπο μεν των αγγελων και αυτος κτισιν εφησε γεγενησθαι. -Βιω δε διενήνεχεται, σωφροσυνη τε και αρετη και δεν διp. 1.96. B.
καιοσυνης. Επειδη δε, φησιν, ευτονον ειχε ψυχην παρα τες H. 27. n. ï. p. 102. C. D.
άλλες ανθρωπος, κ. λ. H. 27. n. ii. p. 102. D. ' Carpocrates prætereà hanc tulit sectam. Unam esse di- Ο Αρείη δε αυτον διαπρεψαι, και καθαραν εσχηκοτα ψυχή, cit virtutem in superioribus principalem : ex hac prolatos an- και μεμνημένης της μετα το αγέννητο διαγωγης. p. 196. Β. gelus, atque virtutes : quos distantes longe a superioribus vir