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them still worse than they otherwise would have been. If any others have since resembled them therein, they are far from deserving commendation.


I SHALL now, according to my promise at p. 503, transcribe the observations of Dr. S. Parker" upon the character of Apollonius Tyanaeus, and the history of him written by Philostratus. His observations, I believe, will be generally allowed to be right and pertinent. They are particularly remarkable upon two accounts: First, he considers Apollonius as a professed and conceited Pythagoraean philosopher, or, as his terms are, ‘a mere fanatic and pedantic Pythagoraean.” Secondly, he rejects the parallelisms of Huet, and shows their futility. Consequently he did not embrace the opinion of Dr. Cudworth, and divers other learned men, who have supposed, that ‘ Philostratus intended to set up Apollonius ‘as a corrival with our Saviour.' I thought I had been singular in the opinion which I received from Mr. La Roche, but here is a learned man who wrote almost an hundred years ago, and thought in the same manner. His words are these: “But the man of wonders is Apollo‘nius Tyanaeus, of whom they boast and insult as the true “heathen Messias: in that he wrought not, as Vespasian ‘ did, one or two chance miracles, but his whole life was all ‘prodigy, and equal to our Saviour's both for the number ‘ and the wonder of his works. But here, first, we have in ‘part shown what undoubted records we have of the ‘life of Jesus: whereas all the credit of Apollonius his ‘ history depends upon the authority of one single man, who, “beside that he lived an hundred years after him, ventured “nothing, as the apostles did, in confirmation of the truth, “but only composed it in his study : thereby, as appears ‘ from his frequent digressions, to take occasion of commu* A Demonstration of the Divine Authority of the Law of Nature, and of the Christian Religion, in two parts. By Samuel Parker, D. D. Archdeacon of Canterbury. 1681. Dr. Parker was afterwards bishop of Oxford. The passage to be quoted by me is taken from P. 2. sect. xxvii. p. 293–-300. I leave his references as they are, made to the Paris edition of Philostratus in

1608. And in some places I add, at the bottom of the page, references to the edition of Olearius at Leipsic, in 1709.

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nicating to the world all the learning which he had raked together. Nay, so far was he from incurring any loss by the work, that he was set upon it by a great empress, whose religious zeal in the cause would be sure to see him well rewarded. And though he made use of the Commentaries of Damis, the inseparable companion of Apollonius, yet he confesses, that Damis himself never published his own Commentaries, but that a friend of Damis communicated them to the empress, which himself might probably have forged (as is common in courts) to pick her pocket. However, as for Damis himself, it is evident from Philostratus his whole story, that he was a very simple man, and that Apollonius only picked him up as a fit Sancho Pancha to exercise his wit upon ; so that upon all occasions we find him not only baffling the esquire in disputes, but breaking jests upon him, which he always takes with much thankfulness, and more humility, still admiring his master's wisdom, but much more his wit.” “But after all, what the story of Damis was, or whether there were ever any such story, we have no account, unless from Philostratus himself; and therefore we must resolve it all into his authority alone. And there it is evident, that Apollonius was neither a god nor a divine man, as his friends boasted, nor a magician or conjuror, as his enemies imagined, but a mere fanatic and pedantic Pythagoraean : who for the honour of his sect travelled, as many others have done, into all parts of the world: and when he returned home told his countrymen, that all men renowned for wisdom all the world over were of the sect of the Pythagoraeans; and then for advancement of their authority told strange and prodigious tales of their wonder-working power. Though here either he, or his historian, has acQuitted himself so awkwardly, as utterly to spoil the tale and defeat the design. This Eusebius has shown at large in his book against Hierocles, by taking to pieces all parts of the story, and discovering all its flaws and incoherences.” “But I shall content myself with proving the vanity of the whole from the notorious falsehood of one particular narration, upon which depends all that extraordinary power which he pretends to ; and that is his conversation with the Indian Brachmans, from whom, if we may believe his account of himself, he learned all that he could do more than the common philosophers of Greece. And if this prove a romance, all the rest of his history must unavoidably follow its fortune. And for this little proof will serve,

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when most of the stories are so very mean and childish, as to be more contemptible than those little tales wherewith nurses are wont to quiet their children.’ “For what could be contrived more unphilosophically, than the Brachmans keeping tubs of rain, wind, and thunder by them, which they bestow upon their friends as their necessities" required ? I. iii. c. 3. And the swelling of the earth like the waves of the sea, only with the stroke of a Brachman’s wand 3 c. 5. Though “the most pleasant scene of the whole comedy was their feast, in which there was no need of any attendants; but the chairs and the stools, the pots and the cups, the dishes and the plates, understood every one their own offices : and so served in the entertainment themselves, and ran hither and thither as the guests commanded, or their attendance required.’ c. 8. “But of all lies the geographical lie is the most unhappy: for the matter of them being perpetual, and not, as the actions of men are, transient, they may be confuted in any age. And yet in this very thing he has outdone Sir John Mandevil himself, for incredible monsters and fables, describing men and beasts of strange shapes, that were never seen by any man but himself; as " a sort of women half black, half white, a nation of pigmies, living under ground, c. 14; griffins, apes as big as men, beasts with the faces of men, and bodies of lions, wool growing like grass out of the earth, and dragons' almost as common as sheep in other countries, c. 2. All which being so vulgarly known at this day to be mere fables, they cannot but overthrow the credit of the whole story. For either he wandered as far as the Indies, or not : if not, then his saying that he did is one lie for all : if he did, then it is evident from these particulars that he made no conscience of truth or falsehood, but designed only to amuse the world with strange and prodigious reports of the power of Pythagorism.’ “And that is the most that I can make of the story; though I know that Huetius é is of opinion, that all the substantial miracles are stolen out of the gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, and that, for the most part, in the words and phrases of St. Luke. And this he has endeavoured to make good by a great variety of parallel instances; and then thinks it a manifest discovery both of ‘the vanity of Philostratus, and the imposture of Apollonius, when he is only adorned with borrowed feathers, but a great accession to the credit of our Saviour, that when his enemies would frame the idea of a divine man, they were forced to steal their best feathers from his picture. So that, he says, it was no wonder, that Hierocles should so confidently compare the miracles of Apollonius to those of JEsus, when those of JESUs were with so little disguise clapped upon Apollonius.”



* L. iii. cap. xiv. p. 104. Olear. edit. ° L. iii. cap. xxvii.

p. 117, 118. * L. iii. cap. 3. p. 96, 99, 100, 101.

* L. iii. cap. 47, p. 133. * L. iii, cap. 6, 7, 8. 8 Demonstr. Evang, c. 147, sect. 4.

‘This were a pretty discovery if it stood upon good grounds: but, alas ! most of the parallelisms are so forced, or so slender, or so far fetched, that it were easy to make as many, and as probable, between any other histories whatever. And indeed, in such a design as this of Philostratus, viz. to make up a story as full of strange things as he could contrive, it is scarce possible not to have hit upon some things like some of those miracles which are recorded in the gospels; so that in some few of them there may be some resemblance, as particularly there seems to be in that of the Gadarene daemoniae and the Corcyrean youth; yet it is very obvious to apprehend, that this might happen not by design but by chance. Propos. i. sect. 5. And whereas Huetius will needs have it, that Philostratus has stolen not only the stories but the very words of St. Luke, I find no instance of it but only in this one relation, where they both, it seems, use the word Bagavigetv; and this they might easily do without theft or imitation, it being the common Greek word that signifies to torment: so that they could no more avoid that in Greek, than we could this in rendering it into English. Nay, setting aside this one story, I find so little resemblance between the history of Philostratus and that of the gospels, that I scarce know any two histories more unlike : for it is obvious to any man that reads Philostratus, that his whole design was to follow the train of the old heathen mythology; and that is the bottom of his folly, by his story to gain historical credit to the fables of the poets. So that it is a very true and just censure which Ludovicus Vives has given of him, that as he had endeavoured to imitate Homer, so he had abundantly out-lied him. For there is scarce any thing extraordinary reported in the whole history, in which he does not apparently design either to verify or to rectify some of that blind ballad-singer's tales: but especially in conjuring Achilles out of his tomb, and discoursing with him about the old stories that were told of ‘the Trojan war.”

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“And yet after all, few of Apollonius his miracles are sufficiently vouched, even in his own history: v.g. the last that I mentioned, of the apparition" of Achilles: which had no other testimony but of Apollonius himself, who stubbornly refused to have any companion or witness of the fact: beside many other absurdities in the story itself; as his rising out of the tomb five foot long, and then swelling to twice the length; his being forced to vanish away at cock-crowing, and the nymphs constantly visiting him.’ “And so again, he pretended to understand all languages without learning any : and yet, when he came to the Indian king, he was forced to converse with him by an interpreter. And * whereas the story tells us of the devil's being cast out of a young man by a mandate from the Brachmans, yet it gives us no account of the event of it, only they pretended to do it: but whether it was effectually done we do not find that either Apollonius or Damis ever inquired.’ “But the great faculty which he pretended to was the understanding of the languages of birds and beasts; which he says he learned from the Arabians, and the citizens of Paraea in India, who acquired it by eating dragons” hearts. Now all stories of dragons are hard of belief, but especially of his Indian dragons; which he says were as commonly " hunted by the inhabitants as hares in other countries. |But granting that there were so great numbers of them in his time, though since that they were never seen by any man, it is very hard to believe, that the mere eating a piece of their hearts should inspire men with such an odd and singular faculty.’ “But the great miracle of all was his vanishing away at his trial before Domitian in the presence of all the great men of Rome. But then, though our historian be very desirous we should believe it, yet he falters afterwards, like a guilty liar, in his confidence. For whereas " at first he positively affirms moavtoton Te 6ticagomple, that he quite vanished away; at last he only ” says, arm).0e, that he went away, I. viii. c. 4. And this, though he would seem to affirm that it was after a wonderful manner, and

* L. iv. cap. 15, 16. p. 151—154. L. ii. cap. 26, p. 77. et conf. l. i. c. 27. et l. ii. cap. 23. * L. iii. cap. 38. p. 128. * L. iii., cap. 9. p. 101. Conf. l. i. cap. 20. p. 25. * See the references at note 5. * L. viii. cap. 5, p. 326 ° Ib. cap. 8. p. 353. f. et cap. 10, p. 354.

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