Изображения страниц

that thereby my defects may be supplied, and that some things may be better expressed by them than they have been by me.


I. His time, and works. ... II. A passage from him concerning Peregrinus, in which is a copious testimony to the christians of that time, with remarks. III. His account of Alea’ander, who set up an oracle in Paphlagonia, with remarks. IV. Passages from his True History. W. Eatracts from the Dialogue, called Philopatris, ascribed to him, with remarks.

I. LUCIAN" was a native of Samosata in Syria. According to Suidas" he flourished in the time of Trajan and afterwards; but” that is placing him too early. It is more probable, that" he was born under Adrian ; and he may be more properly said to have flourished in the reigns of Antoninus the pious, and M. Antoninus the philosopher; which last he survived, as appears from his Pseudomantis, where" he speaks of that emperor as already deified. Some have supposed, that in the latter part of his life Lucian was governor of Egypt; on the other hand, divers learned ment have shown, that he was only register of Alexandria. However, he speaks of that post £ as both honourable and profitable, and a step to higher preferment, no less than the government of a province. Some have spoken of Lucian, as an apostate from christianity, but" there is no sufficient reason to believe that ever he was a christian. Lucian is placed by Cave' at the year 176; and I shall place him there likewise ; which is some while after writing his Peregrinus, and several years before publishing his Pseudomantis, another work to be quoted hereafter. II. The work to be first quoted by me is a Letter to Cronius, concerning the death of Peregrinus, called also Proteus; who publicly burnt himself in the sight of all Greece, soon after the Olympic games were over, in the year of our Lord * 165, or as others say in the year 169; not long after which this history of him was written by Lucian. Peregrinus, according to Lucian’s character of him, was a person who rambled from place to place, and from one sect of philosophy to another. Having been guilty of parricide, and other crimes, as our author says, he was obliged for a while to leave his native country, and travel abroad. • At" which time,’ as Lucian says, “he learned the wonder“ful doctrine of the christians, by conversing with their priests and scribes near Palestine; and in a short time he “showed, they were but children to him; for he was pro‘phet, high-priest, ruler of a synagogue, uniting all offices ‘ in himself alone. Some books he interpreted and ex‘plained, others he wrote ; and they spoke of him as a god, ‘ and took him for a lawgiver, and honoured him with the ‘ title of master." They therefore still worship that great

* Vid. Fabric. Bib. Gr. l. iv. c. 16. T. iii. p. 485, &c. et Lux. Evangel. p. 152. Tillem. L'Emp. M. Aurele. art. 20. * Aeriavoc.

* Voss. de Hist. Gr. l. ii. cap. 15, et Tillem. ubi supra.

* “I have taken some pains to adjust the age of Lucian. And from some “notes of time, which are preserved in his works, I have fixed the 40th year ‘ of his age to the 164th year of Christ, the fourth of M. Antoninus; and con‘sequently his birth to the 124th year of Christ, and the eighth of Adrian.’ Moyle's Works, Vol. ii. p. 363. Diss. upon the age of the Philopatris.

e ërs 080g Mapkog møm roug Mapkoplavoug kat Kaadoug ovvstråskero. Pseud. p. 775. vol. i. f See Moyle, as before, vol. i. p. 298. et Valesii Annot. in Euseb. H. E. l. vii. cap. 11. p. 147. et Annot. in Marcellin. l. xxviii. cap. i. And Tillem. as before quoted, calls him Greffier du Prefet. d'Egypte. & Apol. pro mercede conduct. T. i. p. 491, 492.

[ocr errors]

" Luciani Samosatensis clarum inter sophistas nomen est, quem fidei christianæ fuisse desertorem, misereque periisse, quippe discerptum a canibus, e Suida nonnulli tradiderunt, sed sine suffragio eruditorum. Tob. Eckhard. Non. Christian. Testimon. cap. vi. Sect. 9, p. 158.

Hist. Lit. T. i. p. 96. * Vid. Pagi ann. 165. n. 3. Basnag. ann. 165. iv. Cleric. ann. 165. vi. | Fabric. Bib. Gr. T. iii. p. 500.

" 'Orstep cat ruv Savuagm, awquay Tov Xptstavov séeptabs, rept triv IIaÅatsuumv touc ispevot kat Ypappuarsvow avrov ovyyevous voc. Kat to Yap; sv {3paxst trauðag avrag atropyvs, trpospyrmg, kat Swagapyng, kav Švvaywysvg, kat Travra provog avrog (ov. Kat Twy 343Nov tag usv sémystro, kav ćtégapst' troXAag ös avrog kav ćvysypasps' cat dog Seow avrov skewoi sãunyevro, Kat vouc0:rg exptovro, kat Tposarmy stroypaspov. Tov pisyav Yav čkeuvov eru ass}souv av6owTroy, row ev Ty IIa)\at-wn avagkokotrio Bevra, Öru kawn v Tavrmy réxermy

stanyayev sc Tov (3tov. De Morte Peregrin. T. i. p. 565, &c. edit. Graev. Amst. 1687.

" I have rendered that paragraph as it stands in Lucian; but those titles seem not to belong to Peregrinus; and it may be suspected, that somewhat is wanting hereabout. Tanaquil Faber, in his notes upon this place, conjectures that there were here some expressions injurious to our Saviour, which a christian copyist, more pious than wise, left out. However, of that we cannot be certain. Perhaps the place is genuine and pure, as written by Lucian: but

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

man who was crucified in Palestine, because he introduced into the world this new religion. For this reason Proteus was taken up, and put into prison; which very thing was of no small service to him afterwards, for giving reputation to his impostures, and gratifying his vanity. The christians were much grieved for his imprisonment, and tried all ways to procure his liberty. Not being able to effect that, they did him all sorts of kind offices, and that not in a careless manner, but with the greatest assiduity; for even betimes in the morning there would be at the prison old women, some widows, and also little orphan children: and some of the chief of their men, by corrupting the keepers, would get into prison, and stay the whole night there with him; there they had a good supper together, and their sacred discourses. And this excellent Peregrinus (for so he was still called) was thought by them to be an extraordinary person, no less than another Socrates; even from the cities of Asia some christians came to him by an order of the body, to relieve, encourage, and comfort him. For it is incredible what expedition they use when any of their friends are known to be in trouble. In a word, they spare nothing upon such an occasion; and Peregrinus's chain brought him in a good sum of money from them; for these miserable men have no doubt but they shall be immortal, and live for ever; therefore they contemn death, and many surrender themselves to sufferings. Moreover" their first lawgiver has taught them that they are all brethren, when once they have turned, and renounced the gods of the Greeks, and worship that master of theirs who was crucified, and engage to live according to his laws. They have also a sovereign contempt for all the things of this world, and look upon them as common, and trust one another with them without any particular security; for which reason any subtil fellow, by good management, may impose upon this simple people, and grow rich among them. But Peregrinus was set at liberty by the governor of Syria, who was a favourer of philosophy: who, perceiving his madness, and that he had a mind to die, in order to get a name, let him out, not

‘judging him so much as worthy of punishment.’ ‘Then,” as our author says, “Peregrinus returned to his native place

then, here are inaccuracies, owing to ignorance and mistake, or to design and malice. The christians did not speak of Peregrinus in those high terms: but Lucian, as it seems, magnifies the respect which the christians showed to Peregrinus, the more to expose them to ridicule. See Fabric. Lux Evangelii. p. 152. ° ETsura Ös 6 vopodstoc & Trporog. K. A. p. 567.

* Parium, in hopes of recovering his father's estate; but ‘meeting with difficulties, he made over to the Parians all “ the estate he might expect from his father; who then ex“tolled him as the greatest of philosophers, a lover of his ‘ country, and another Diogenes, or Crates. He then went ‘ abroad again, well supplied by the christians with all ‘ travelling charges, by whom also he was accompanied ; ‘ and he lived in great plenty. Thus it went with him for “some while. AtP length they parted, having given them ‘ also some offence, by eating, as I suppose, some things not ‘ allowed of by them.’ I now make remarks upon this passage. 1. Peregrinus is mentioned by many authors; but I do not recollect any remaining writer, either heathen or christian, beside Lucian, who has said any thing of his christianity. His death is mentioned by a Tertullian, and by Athenagoras, who likewise says he had a statue. erected to him at Parium, his native place, situated in Mysia, not far from Lampsacus, which was supposed to give out oracles. Several heathen authors mention him, and speak honourably of him. Aulus Gellius' saw him at Athens, and was acquainted with him ; he calls him a famous philosopher, commends him, and ascribes to him some good maxims; but he says nothing of his death. Probably Peregrinus, called also Proteus, was still living when he wrote. Ammianus Marcellinus' mentions his death, and calls him an illustrious philosopher. Philostratus," who also mentions his death, calls him a cynic; and that he maintained that character, appears also

P —w?0m Yap ru, ag oual, so 0twv row atroßnrov avrotc. p. 570. " Minus fecerunt philosophi, Heraclitus, quise bubulo stercore oblitum ex . ussit, item Empedocles, qui in ignes AEtnaei montis dissiluit; et Peregrinus, quinon olim se rogo immisit. Tertull. ad Mart. cap. 4. p. 157. * Kat 6 Te Isparsog (tarov 3' ak ayvogurs jubavra Šavrov sug to orvp trept rmy OAwportav) 6 asv Kat aroc Asyera, Xomparičew. Athenag. p. 30. Par. Sect. 26. p. 304. Bened. * Philosophum nomine Peregrinum, cui postea cognomentum Proteas factum est, virum gravem atque constantem vidimus, quum Athenis essemus, diversantem in quodam tugurio extra urbem. Quumque ad eum frequenter ventitaremus, multa hercle dicere eum utiliter et honeste audivimus, &c. Noct. Att. l. xii. cap. 11. Wid. et l. viii. cap. 3. * Peregrinum illum imitatus, Protea cognomine, philosophum clarum; qui cum mundo digredi statuisset, Olympiae quinquennali certamine, sub Graecia conspectu totius, adscenso rogo, quem ipse construxit, flammis absumtus est. Amm. l. xxix. Cap. 1. " —-- kau ra troog Tov kvva IIpwrea Aex0svra, Trors jir' avre A0m/mauv

Phil. de. Wit. Sophistar, l. ii. m. 1. sect. 13. p. 563.

from Lucian, who, in the account of his death, often" rallies him as a celebrated cynic. And when Lucian ridiculed his vanity, he was" like to be torn to pieces by the cynics, who also were spectators of that transaction. Peregrinus” was an old man when he threw himself into the flames in the year 165, or 169. I apprehend, that the time of his christianity was the early part of his life; and that his imprisonment upon that account must y have been in the time of Trajan, or Adrian at the latest. He was best known by the name of Proteus; but, as Lucian says, whilst he was with the christians he was called Peregrinus. And it is manifest, from all the remaining writers who mention him, that he sustained the character of a philosopher and a cynic. It is probable therefore, that in the greatest, and the latest part of his life, he was a mere heathen philosopher, and it is reasonable, that a man's denomination should be taken from that part of his life which was best known. Lucian himself allows, that after having been some while among the christians, he and they parted. 2. Having observed all these things relating to the history of Peregrinus, I proceed to some other remarks. Here is an authentic testimony to some of the main facts and principles of christianity from a man of free sentiments not long after the middle of the second century, who knew the world, and was well acquainted with mankind. That the founder of the christian religion was crucified in Palestime; That he was the great master of the christians, and the first author of the principles received by them; That those men, called christians, had peculiarly strong hopes of immortal life, and a great contempt for this world and its enjoyments; That they courageously endured many afflictions upon account of their principles, and sometimes surrendered themselves to sufferings. Honesty and probity prevailed so much among them, that they trusted each other without security. Their master had earnestly recommended to all his followers mutual love; by which also they were much distinguished. And their assiduity in relieving and comforting one another, when under affliction, was known to all men; nor is it, I presume, any disparagement to them

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »