Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

thing farther to be observed concerning Aurelian, that by divers christian authors he is reckoned among the persecutors of the church. Sulpicius Severus quite omits him in his catalogue. Nevertheless Eusebius, presently after the place just cited, adds: “Thus" was Aurelian affected toward us ‘ at that time, but in the farther advances of his empire his “mind was alteréd towards us, owing to the advices of some “men about him, so that he raised a persecution against us. “Much discourse there was every where about it. But the ‘ divine justice arrested him, when he was just signing the ‘edicts against us; so, as it were, holding his hand, that he “should not perform what he had designed; and thereby ‘manifesting to all men, that the princes of this world can ‘ do nothing against the churches of Christ, but when God * allows it for our correction and amendment.” In Jerom's Latin edition of the Chronicle of Eusebius it is said, ‘ that when" Aurelian had raised a persecution * against us, he was terrified by lightning that fell near him ‘ and his companions, and soon after he was slain between * Constantinople and Heraclea.’ Orosius P speaks much to the like purpose, and makes this the ninth persecution. The author of the Deaths of Persecutors says, “that's ‘ though Aurelian was not ignorant of Valerian's captivity, * yet as if he had forgot his guilt and punishment, he pro‘ voked the anger of God by his cruel proceedings. How* ever, he was not able to finish what he designed, but ‘perished in the beginnings of his fury. And before his * cruel edicts had reached the more distant provinces, he ‘ was slain at a place in Thrace.” o Augustine" expressly mentions this among the other heathen persecutions of the christians, and reckons it the ninth.

* H. E. l. vii. cap. 30. p. 283. B. * Aurelianus quum adversum nos persecutionem movisset, fulmen juxta eum comitesque ejus ruit; ac non multo post inter Constantinopolim et Heracleam in Coenophrurio viae veteris occiditur. Chr. p. 177.

P Novissime, cum persecutionem adversus christianos agi monus a Nerone decerneret, fulmen ante eum magno pavore circumstantium ruit; ac non multo post in itinere occisus est. Oros. l. vii. cap. 23.

* Aurelianus, qui esset naturâ vasanus et praeceps, quamvis captivitatem Valeriani meminisset, tamen, oblitus sceleris ejus et poenae, iram Dei crudelibus factis lacessivit. Verum ille ne perficere quidem quae cogitaverat licuit, sed protinus inter initia sui furoris extinctus est. Nondum ad provincias ulteriores cruenta scripta pervenerant; et jam Coenophrurio, qui locusest Thracia, cruentus ipse humijacebat, falsā quâdam suspicione ab amicis suis interemptus. De M. P. cap. 6. Conf. Eutrop. l. ix. cap. 15. et Victor. Epit. c. 35.

r Ab Aureliano nomam. De Civ. Dei, l. xviii. cap. 52.

Mr. Dodwello supposeth that Aurelian's persecution was only intended, and not put in execution; and indeed Eusebius has so expressed himself about this matter in his Ecclesiastical History, as has occasioned some learned men to hesitate about it. But upon more carefully examining his words, and observing the accounts of other authors, learned men" have generally, and, as I think, very judiciously determined, that Aurelian not only intended but did actually persecute ; but his persecution was short, he having died soon after the publication of his edicts.

Mr. Mosheim is of opinion, that many christians did not suffer at this time; but" considering Aurelian's cruel temper, and how much he was addicted to the superstitions of Gentilism, he thinks that if he had lived, his persecution would have exceeded all the former persecutions in severity.

The author of the Deaths of Persecutors before cited, says, that Aurelian provoked God by his “cruel proceed‘ings,’ and calls his ‘edict cruel, “ or bloody, cruenta scripta.” Possibly that author, who did not live very long after Aurelian, had seen some copies of his edicts; if so, I wish he had inserted in his volume one of them, or only the substance of them; it would have been esteemed very curious by some in our times. By such neglects, and such want of accuracy, we suffer greatly.

* Intentata enim duntaxaterat ab Aureliano, non item executioni mandata. De Paucitate M. sect. lxiv. in.

* Non intentatam modo, sed executioni quoque brevissimo tempore mandatam, nobis est infixum in animo, &c. Basnag. ann. 275. n. ii. Et conf. Pagi ann. 272. n. iv.—xii. et 273. ii.

* Aurelianus, qui Claudium excipiebat, A. cclxx. etsi Diis immodice serviens, et inique de christianissentiens, nihil tamen in eos noxium per quadriennium moliebatur. Quinto vero imperii anno, sive propriá Superstitione, sive alienā motus, bellum in eos parabat; quod, si vixisset, ut crudelis erat, ferocisque ingenii, deorumque amicis et sacerdotibusque obnoxius, praeteritis atrocius futurum fuisset, &c. Mosh. De. Reb. &c. p. 558.

CHAP. XXXVII.
PORPHYRY.

I. His time and history, and works. II. A passage, from Eusebius, of Porphyry in his third book against the christians, concerning Origen, with remarks. III. Porphyry's objections against the book of Daniel, in the twelfth book of his work against the christians, ea tracted from Jerom's Commentary upon the book of Daniel. TV. Remarks upon those objections, and upon the answers made to them. V. Passages of Porphyry in the fourth book of his work against the christians, where he acsenowledgeth the great antiquity of Moses. VI. An objection of Porphyry against the prohibition to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Gen. iii. 5. VII. Passages of Porphyry containing quotations of the books of the JV. T. VIII. A review of his testimony to the scriptures of the O. and N. T. IX. Passages of Porphyry concerning the christian religion, and the affairs of christians. X. Of the work ascribed to Porphyry, and entitled, The Philosophy from Oracles.

I. I HAVE already observed several things relating to Porphyry in the introduction to the chapter of Celsus; where is a general account of all such heathen authors as had written against the christians. Porphyry's history may be collected from his Life written by Eunapius, and from the Life of Plotinus written by himself; however, I refer " also to divers learned moderns, who ought to be consulted by such as are inquisitive. Porphyry was born at Tyre in Phoenicia, as we are assured by" himself, and by * Libanius and Eunapius," who also say, that he was descended from honourable ancestors. It

* Vid. Suid. Voss. de Hist. Graecis, l. ii. cap. 16. Luc. Holsten. de Vit. et Scriptis Porphyrii. Cav. Hist. Lit. Pagi in Baron. Ann. 262. iv. 263. iii. iv. et alibi. Basnag. ann. 278. n. iii. Fabr. Bib. Gr. l. iv. cap. 27. Tom. iv. p. 180, &c. Tillemont, Diocletien. art. 28–31. Hist, des Emp. Tom. iv.

* Egyé às kat sps IIopovptov, Tuptov ovra, ev roug uaktsa trapov, Porphyr. Vit. Plotin. cap. vii. p. 107. ap. Fabr. Bib. Gr. T. iv. p. 107.

* IIoppvpup Twpog usv my trarpug is trporn ran apxawy Potvikov h toxic” rat trarépég 6s ak aomptot. Eunap. p. 16. ra Tvote yepovroc. Liban. ap. Socrat. H. E. l. iii. cap. 23. p. 196.

is computed, that he was born in the twelfth year of Alexander Severus, of Christ 233. His original name was Meleck, which in the Syriac language signifies King, and with a Latin termination is Machus; and sometimes he was called in Greek BagiNevs, King. Longinus, under whom he studied some time, changed his name into Porphyry, signifying in Greek, Purple, which was usually worn by kings and princes. He was at Rome in the year 253, but made no long stay there. He came thither again in the tenth year of the emperor Gallienus, when he was thirty years of age, as he says himself. As the tenth year of that emperor answers to the year of our Lord 262, or 263, it is concluded, that Porphyry was born in the year of Christ 233. At that time Plotinus had a school at Rome; and Porphyry, being much taken with him, spent thereo six years under his in. structions; at the end of which term, as " he says himself, he had a strong propensity to put an end to his own life. Plotinus perceiving it, told him that thought did not proceed from reason, but from a melancholic disorder, and advised him to leave the city. . Whereupon in the year 268 he went into Sicily, where he was in the second year of the emperor Claudius, in the year 270, when Plotinus died in Campania. How long he staid in Sicily is not certain; but Eunapius says, he k afterwards returned to Rome, where he acquired great fame for his learning and eloquence. Eunapius says likewise, that he' lived to a great age. And Porphyry" himself, in his Life of Plotinus, mentions something which happened to him in the sixty-eighth year of his age; at which time, probably, he was about seventy years old. There can therefore be no reason to doubt, that he reached to the latter part of the reign of Dioclesian, and died, as may be supposed, in the year of Christ 302, or 303. Eunapius supposeth, that" he ended his days at Rome. Suidas says truly, but without much accuracy, that” he * Maxxog 6s kara rmv Xupov troXuy 6 IIoppuptog ska)\etro Ta trpora. Tart 6s 8vvarat 6agiXsa Asystv. IIoppvptov Šs avrov wwouage Aoyywoc, etc ri 6agiXtrov rmg so.6mroç trapagnuov rmv orpoomyoptav strirpsibag. Eunap. ib. p 16. f Vid. Plotin. cap. 4. p. 99. & Cap. 5. p. 101. * Ib. cap. 11, p. 113. Conf. Eunap. p. 17. * Porph. de Vitā Plotini, cap. 2. 6. 7. * Avroc usvay stri rmv ‘Papumv straum)0s, kat rmg rept Aoyotc exero attsong, dos trappel, kat sic ro &muoguov kar’ striëstév. Eunap. Porph. p. 19. | Patveraw ös aptkopswoc stg yspac {3aôv. p. 21. m De Vitā Plotin. cap. 23. " Ev ‘Papp 6: Asystal pusta\\attsw rov (3tov. Eun. ib. ° —yeyovac stri Twy Xpovov Avg.mxtava, kal Tapatswag we Atok\mrtava ra

8agiNewg. Suid. V. Isoppvptoc.

lived in the time of Aurelian, and reached to the emperor Dioclesian. Nor is Eunapius much more exact, who, speaking of Porphyry, and some others, says, they P. flourished in the times of Gallienus, Claudius, Tacitus, Aurelian, and Probus. Porphyry, as Eunapius' assures us, had a wife named Marcella, a widow with five children, to whom he inscribed one of his books; in which he says, he married her, not for the sake of having children by her himself, but that he might educate the children which she had by her former husband, who was his friend ; which showed a virtuous and generous disposition; nor indeed do we meet with any reflections made upon his conduct of life. Cyril of Alexandria, in his answer to Julian, makes honourable mention of Marcella, as a woman of a philosophical turn of mind, and for that reason esteemed by Porphyry. Porphyry is called Bataneotes" by Jerom and t Chrysostom. Baronius" hence argued, that Porphyry was a Jew, and was so called from Batanea, a city in Palestine; which opinion is rejected by his learned" annotator. Porphyry certainly was a Syrian, as was shown above from unquestioned authority. Fabricius" suspects that Porphyry was born at Batanea, a town in Syria, which might be a colony wf the Tyrians. Heuman thought, that * Porphyry did not put his own name to the work against the christians, but published it under the borrowed and fictitious name of Bataneotes. There are divers other conjectures concerning the original of this appellation, which may be seen in y Lucas Holstenius, and” Tanaquil Faber, and other learned men. Which of them is right, or whether any one of them be so, I cannot say. Socrates, in his Ecclesiastical History, represents" Por

P Eunap. p. 21. * Kat orpog MapksXXavys, avra yuvauka yevopsymv, 31(3)\tov psperat, jv pnow a yayêoffat, kat ravra eoav Trêvre puntspa Tskvov. K. A. Id. ib. * Contr. Julian. 1. vi. p. 209. * Quod nequaquam intelligens Bataneotes, et sceleratus ille Porphyrius, &c. Pr. in Comment. in ep. ad Galat. T. iv. p. 223. * Oi Trept KEXgov kat rov Baravewrmy rov per' sksivov. In 1 Cor. hom. 6. p. 47. T. x. " Porro eum constat natione Judaeum, Bataneae, quae est in Judaea civitas, natum. Hincaue est quod S. Hieronymus eum Bataneotem appellat. Baron. ann. 203. m. li. " Pagi. ann. 302. n. viii. " Suspicor patriam veram ejus fuisse Bataneam, oppidum Syriae, -Tyriorum forte coloniam. Bib. Gr. T. iv. p. 181. * Heuman. Poe, seu Epist. Miscell. T. iii. p. 251. * De Vitā Porph. cap. 4. * Fab. Ep. 1. ep. 64. * Erewoc piev Yap tromyag ev Kato apeig rmg IIa)\avouvng ito runwu xptstavov et\mpoc, Kat um eveykov rmv opymv, so us\ayxoMac row psy Xptotavtopov

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »