« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Concessions of the most ancient Adversaries, Jews and Pagans, Philosophers and Historians: by Gregory Sharpe L. L. D. Fellow of the Royal Society, and of the Society of Antiquarians.” I am indebted to this learned author, and shall quote him sometimes. In 1725 J. A. Fabricius published a volume in quarto, concerning the Truth of the Christian Religion." In the 32d chapter of which volume is a catalogue of authors, who have supported the evidence of the Jewish and christian religion by testimonies of heathen writers:" where are mentioned many authors, with whom I am unacquainted, as well as others, whom I have seen, and of whom I shall take notice presently. Le Clerc, who, in the year 1727, revised that work of Fabricius, in his Bibliotheque Ancienne et Moderne, observes, that ‘ ‘there are in Pagan authors, still remaining, “testimonies and events, which may be of great use to con‘ firm the truth of the christian religion. The same is said
* A small volume of 166 pages, published in 1755. ° Delectus argumentorum, et syllabus scriptorum, qui veritatem religionis christianæ adversus atheos deistas, lucubrationibus suis asseruerunt.
Hamb. 1725. * Cap. xxxii. Ethnicorum testimonia, veritati religionis naturalis, judaicae, et christianae suffragantia. Ibid. p. 634–643. * Il y a dans les auteurs Payens quinous restent
des témoignages et des événemens, qui peuvent beaucoup Servir à confirmer la vérité de la réligion chrétienne, C' étoit le sentiment d'Herman Conringius, qui étoit, comme l’on fait, un très-Savant homme. Bib. A. et M. T. 27. P. i. p. 71. Le Clerc here follows the modern way of speaking; which indeed is now in use with all learned men in general. But heathen people were not called Pagans, “Pagani, before the year of Christ 365, about which time, and afterwards, that denomination became common in Latin authors, as Prudentius, Salvian, Orosius, Augustin. That denomination is supposed to have had its rise from the state of things at that time. Sacrifices were prohibited by christian emperors in cities, but allowed of for a while in villages and country-places. But I do not recollect that this way of speaking is adopted by the Greek ecclesiastical historians, Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret; though they wrote after this style was common in Latin authors. To me it seems not quite proper to call those writers Pagans, who lived before the times of the christian emperors. I therefore generally say, Heathens, Gentiles, Greeks; Heathenism, Gentilism, Hellenism. Haec omnia, ut in urbibus primo sublata, sic permissa ad tempus in pagis et vicis, ubi templa aliquamdiu Gentilibus patuere.—Unde Paganorum nomen enatum est, primum auditum sub imperatoribus christianis, primaque Paganorum mentio exstat in L. xviii. Cod. Theod. De Episcopis, &c. Valentiano et Valente. A. A. Coss. Spanhem. Hist. Christ. Sec. iv. T. i. p. 836. Vid. et Jac. Gothofred. in notis in Tit. de Paganis. Et Conf. Pagi ann. 351. num. v. Praeceperas mihi, ut scriberem adversus vaniloquam pravitatem eorum, qui alieni a civitate Dei, ex locorum agrestium compitis et pagis, Pagani vocantur, sive Gentiles. Oros. Hist. l. 1. cap. 1.
“by Herman Conringius, who, as is well known, was a very “ learned man.” Unquestionably, Conringius of Brunswick was a very learned man, author of many valuable works, and in great esteem with divers princes" of Germany. But I wish that Le Clerc had quoted his words at length, or referred to the work in which Conringius delivered judgment upon this point, and where, possibly, he so enlargeth upon it, as to afford us some instruction. Houtteville, in his work entitled, The Christian Religion proved by Facts; and in his Historical and Critical Discourse, prefixed to it,” has alleged the testimonies of many Jewish and heathen writers: Celsus, the emperor Julian, Porphyry, Jamblicus, the Talmud, and the Rabbins. Fabricius, in the fore-cited volume, has given a large account of this performance. I may not omit Tobias Eckhard, who has published a learned and useful work, entitled," The Testimonies of such as are not Christians, collected from ancient Monuments. Of which there have been two editions, both in my hands, and from which I have reaped benefit. This author also is in the fore-mentioned catalogue of Fabricius. The Christian Religion confirmed by the Testimonies of ancient Pagan authors; by Dominique Colonia, of the Society of Jesus. This author likewise is in the catalogue of Fabricius, who “ calls him a polite and eloquent writer. This work has a nearer resemblance with mine, than any other which I have met with. Many authors are here' quoted: and Colonia gives some account of them, for showing the value of their testimony. I shall often quote f See the Dictionary and Supplement of Moreri. & A large volume in quarto, at Paris in 1722. * Non Christianorum de Christo Testimonia, ex antiquis Monumentis proposita et dijudicata. Quarto. 1725, et 1736. La Réligion Chrétienne autorisée par le Témoignage des anciens Auteurs Payens. Par le P. Dominique de Colonia, de la Compagnie de Jesus. A Lyon. 1718. * —elegans ac disertus scriptor. Fabr. ubi supra, p. 635. | Tom. 1. ch. I. Phlegon, et Thallus, ch. II. Ammianus Marcellinus. III. Marcus Antoninus, Dion, Capitolinus, Claudian, Themistius. IV. Plutarch ; where comes in the pilot Thamus, Strabo, Lucan, Juvenal. W. Claudian. Again, WI. Chalcidius, Amelius, and Macrobius. VII. Cornelius Tacitus. VIII. Celsus, the epicurean. IX. The philosopher Porphyry—Tom. 2. ch. I. Lampridius. II. The younger Pliny. III. The sophist Libanius. IV. The emperor Julian the apostate. V. Lucian, of Samosata. VI. Rutilius Claudius Numatianus. VII. The emperor Antoninus the pious. VIII. The emperor Marcus Antoninus again. IX. The false prophet, Mahomet. X. Josephus the historian. XI. The true acts of Pilate.
him, or refer to him; whereby the character of the work, and the judgment of the author, will be apparent to my readers. Undoubtedly, he has learning and zeal, but some allowances must be made for the credulity of his church. However, it can little become me to pass censures upon others, who am as liable to be censured ; and may fall into mistakes, nowithstanding my best care to avoid them. One fault in my work may be reckoned to be very obvious, which is the prolixity of it. In regard to which I beg leave to say beforehand, that I am to be distinct and particular. These things have been already slightly touched upon by many. I propose to enlarge, and set them in a fuller light. I allege passages of ancient authors, at length : I settle their time: I distinguish their works, and endeavour to show the value of their testimonies. I intend likewise to allege the judgments of divers learned moderns, who have gone before me in this service. All the persecutions of this time are a part of my subject, as they were appointed by edicts of heathen emperors, and were carried on by heathen governors of provinces, and officers under them. I shall have an opportunity to show the patience and fortitude of the primitive christians; and the state of judaism, gentilism, and christianity, in the first four centuries. As most of the authors to be quoted by me, are men of great distinction in the republic of letters, some occasions will offer for critical observations, which cannot be all declined : but nice and intricate questions will be carefully avoided, that the whole may be upon the level with the capacities of all who are inquisitive, and disposed to read with attention. In the first volume are the Jewish Testimonies, and the Testimonies of Heathen Authors, who lived in the first century. In the second volume are Heathen Writings of the second century: among which are the letter of the younger Pliny to Trajan, and that emperor's rescript; which will give occasion for many observations concerning the sufferings of the christians at that time, and afterwards; and the remains of the work of Celsus against the christians, preserved in Origen ; which afford an early and very valuable testimony to the genuineness of the books of the New Testament, and to the truth of the evangelical history In the third volume will be Ulpian, Dion Cassius, Porphyry, Hierocles, and other heathen writers, and a history of the several persecutions of the christians in the third century, conciuding with that of the emperor Diocletian.
The fourth and last volume, in which will be the emperor Julian, Ammianus Marcellinus, Libanius, and other heathen writers of the fourth and fifth centuries, may be as entertaining as any of the rest; but it cannot be so important. Julian, in his work against the christians, may mention the names of the evangelists, and of the other writers of the New Testament, and quote the books more distinctly than Celsus; but his testimony to the scriptures, in the fourth century, cannot be so valuable as that of Celsus in the second. However, these also deserve to be collected, and put together in their proper order. We shall there see the last struggles of expiring gentilism, and some attempts to restore it, after it had been for a while exploded with scorn and disdain. And we may meet with more than a few men of great learning, and fine abilities, who were still tenacious of the ancient rites, and fond of all the fables upon which they were founded, and by which they had been long upheld and encouraged.
The author professes great impartiality: for which reason he is not without hopes that his work, notwithstanding some imperfections, may be approved by the candid of . denomination. If it shall be of some use to promote good learning, and true religion, he will have great reason to be well pleased.
WOL, WI, 2 p.