Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

then, it seems, that he was grown more indifferent about rebuilding the Jewish temple than he had formerly been. The words to which I refer stand thus: “But this per‘son,’ says Cyril, ‘ I know not how, sometimes approves of “ the Jewish customs; at other times he blames them, as “separate from all other men; and as having most un‘reasonably given over sacrificing, though Elias, as he says, “sacrificed in Carmel, and not in the holy city Jerusalem.” It appears to me very unlikely, that Julian should be disposed to gratify the Jews at a vast, and then unseasonable, and inconvenient expense, in what he reckoned an unreasonable fancy. If Julian's work against the christians, as Libanius says, was composed ‘in the winter-season, during the long nights,” that is, near the end of the year 362, and the beginning of 363, it is not at all likely, that he should in the beginning of the same year 363, issue out orders for rebuilding the Jewish temple at Jerusalem. In that oration, or epistle, to which we have referred several times, at p. 295, are these expressions:— What will the Jews say to their own temple, which has been thrice demolished, and is not raised again to this day ? T. Tept T8 1/e (t) Ømagot, T8 Tap' avTots, Tpatov avatpattevros, eyeupopoeve ôe e86 vov. Some learned men have supposed, that here is a reference to the defeat of Julian's attempt to rebuild the temple, and that Julian himself here acknowledgeth it. But the bishop of Gloucester, p. 74, in the notes, has candidly and judiciously shown that to be a mistake. For, I. De‘ feating an attempt to rebuild cannot, in any known figure ‘ of speech, be called the overthrow of a building. 2. And “is not raised again to this day, cannot be said of a building ‘ that had been destroyed but two months before.’ And by the three subversions here spoken of his lordship supposes may be meant that by the Assyrians, and that by the Romans: and by the third may be meant the profanation of the temple by Antiochus. If I should allow myself to represent this a little differently, it would be after this manner: The case was this ; the temple was then in ruins, and had been so for a long time; it had been demolished more than once ; Julian did

[ocr errors]

not think himself obliged to say how often ; and it was to his purpose to augment, rather than diminish the number of its subversions. Indeed, it had been demolished but twice; that is, by the Assyrians, and then by the Romans; the emperor says thrice, not being careful to be exact. Or, if it be needful to understand Julian literally, we may suppose, that he refers to the subversion of Jerusalem, and the Jewish people, in the time of Adrian, spoken of by Eusebius in his History," and in his Chronicle," and by other writers elsewhere." This Julian might compute for the third. 2. That Julian should give orders for building the temple, and allotted money for it out of the public treasury, when he was setting out for Persia, is very unlikely. It is not easily credible, that he could at that time do any thing that might at all impede the expedition against the Persians, upon which he had been so long intent. We may reasonably suppose, that when he wrote his letter to the Community of the Jews, and told them “he would rebuild their temple, if he returned victorious ;’ he was then sensible he could not attempt it sooner; and that he should want all the resources of money and treasure for that one design: which seems actually to have been the case. And when Marcellinus speaks of Julian's attempt, he appears to have been very sensible that the emperor's hands were full, and that there was at that time no room for any other expensive undertaking, beside the Persian war. 3. Great weight is laid upon the testimony of Ammianus Marcellinus, who was a heathen, and an impartial historian. But then, it has been said by some, that he had his account from the christians, and took it up without examination. To which I would add, that he was credulous, as appears from many things in his history ; P he might, therefore, without scruple, record a miraculous interposition, which had been reported to him. Indeed, he appears very ready to receive the reports of extraordinary things. Some

* Eus. H. E. l. iv. cap. 6.

" Bellum judaicum, quod in Palaestiná gerebatur, finem accipit, rebus Judaeorum penitus oppressis; ex quo tempore etiam introeundi eis Jerosolymam Picentia ablata, &c. Chron. p. 167. ° Vid. Wales. in Euseb. . H. E. and see here in this work, Vol. vi. p. 510–513.

P Nocte tamen, quae declarationis Augustae praecesserat diem, junctionibus proximis retulerat imperator, per quietem aliquem visum, ut formari Genius publicus solet, haec objurgando dixisse.—Ammian. l. xx. cap. 5. fin.

— vidit Squalidius, ut confessus est proximis, speciem illam Genii publici, quam, cum ad Augustum surgeret culmen, conspexit in Galliá. Id. l. xxv. cap. 2. p. 451.

things are mentioned by him " which we cannot but wonder to see related by a man of gravity, and with plain marks of assent. 4. The history of this event, as related by christian writers, is loaded with miracles, or pretended miracles, which appear to be incredible. For it is not easy to believe that by divine interposition crosses were formed in the air, and impressed with a ‘fine embroidery or painting' upon men's bodies or garments. Not now to mention any other of the strange things, most of them silly and trifling, inserted in the accounts of this affair, and which the reader doubtless well remembers. But all God’s works have a dignity becoming himself. Mr. Mosheim having largely considered the story of the cross appearing to Constantine in the air, or in a dream, with a direction from Christ, that he should make use of that sign in his wars, and assuring him of victory thereby, concludes that it is not a thing worthy of Christ: and says, that ‘ ‘it ‘ could be nothing more than the natural dream of a general ‘and an emperor, who fell asleep, as he was thinking of the “impending war, and the best method of overcoming his “enemies. Let us take heed, says he, lest by too stiffly de“fending the narratives of the ancient christians, concerning ‘the miracles of their time, we should offend against the ‘ majesty of God himself, and against our most holy religion, ‘which teacheth us, not to overcome our enemies, but our“selves.” A sage observation' which may be justly applied

* Ne sit hoc mirum, homines profutura discernere et nocentia, quorum mentes cognatas coelestibus arbitramur, animalia ratione carentia salutem suam interdum alto tueri silentio solent; ut exemplum est hoc perquam notum. Linquentes Orientem anseres ob calorem, plagamdue petentes Occiduam, cum montem penetrare coeperint Taurum aquilis abundantem, timentes fortissimas volucres, rostra lapillis occludunt, ne eis eliciat vel necessitas extrema clangorem: iisdemdue collibus agiliore volatu transcursis projiciunt calculos, atque ita securius pergunt. Amm. l. xviii. cap. 3. p. 209.

* Quid, quaeso, dicit Num Constantinum exhortatur, ut credat, atque sanctitati studeat P Num superstitionem et impietatem fugere et oppugnare, rempublicam juste ac sapienter administrare, num poenitentiam admissorum facinorum agere, atque civium salutem rebus omnibus antepomere jubet Nihil vero horum. Quid igitur P Monstrat rationem victoriae obtinendae, docetdue Constantinum, quali signo militari uti debeat in procliis. Haeccine oratio Servatore generis humani, qui peccata hominum morte suá expiavit, haeccine oratio illo digna est, qui pacis auctor mortalibus est, et Suos hostibus ignoscere vult? Quid multa ? Naturale hoc somnium est militis et imperatoris, quem de impendente bello, et optimá hostes superandi ratione cogitantem somnus invaserat. Caveamus, ne veterum christianorum narrationibus de aetatis suae miraculis acrius defendendis in ipsam majestatem Dei, et sanctissimam religionem, quae non hostes, sed nos ipsos debellare docet, injurii simus. Moshem. de Reb. Christian, ante Const. M. p. 984, 985.

upon divers occasions, and upon this in particular, as I apprehend. 5. There was at that time no occasion for such miraculous interpositions. Undoubtedly, the Jewish temple was not to be rebuilt; it is not to be thought, that Divine Providence would permit it to be done at that time; that there was no need of such miracles to hinder it; Julian did not live long ; supposing the Jews to have begun in his reign to erect the temple at Jerusalem, the christian emperors, who succeeded him, would take care, that they should not proceed. The rebuilding the temple was not a work of a few weeks, or months, no, nor years. Supposing they had set about the work at the beginning of the year 363, they could not have done a great deal before Julian died, and then their work would be effectually obstructed. 6. Once more. There are several christian writers, who have said nothing about this affair, who were very likely to mention it, if any thing of this kind had been done. I shall instance in three: Jerom, Prudentius, and Orosius. Jerom was a contemporary; he was a young man when Julian died; a great part of his time he lived at Bethlehem, and he had travelled over the land of Israel or Palestine ; but never takes notice of this uncommon event. Dan. xi. 34, “Now when they shall fall they shall be holpen with a little help.” In his comment upon that verse, “he” men‘tions several, to whom that prophecy had been applied. * Some, he says, “understood thereby the emperor Julian, ‘ who pretended to love the Jews, and promised to offer “sacrifices in their temple.’ It is allowed by all that Julian favoured the Jews, and pretended to love them, though he bore them no good-will, and that he likewise talked of rebuilding their temple, and sacrificing there. But Jerom says nothing here (though there was so fit an occasion) nor elsewhere, of his attempting it, and then, being defeated by such miraculous interpositions, as those related by some above-quoted. He has often spoken of the overthrow of the temple by Vespasian and Titus, which he calls the last." He " has often mentioned Julian as an adversary to the christians, and has quoted his work against them. He has

* Alii vero de Juliano imperatore: quod quando oppressi fuerint a Caio Caesare, et a captivitatis angustiis multa perpessi, ille consurget, Judaeos amare se simulans, et in templo eorum immolaturum se promittens; in quo parvam spen auxilii habebunt, et applicabunturillis Gentilium plurimi non in veritate, sed in mendacio. In Dan. cap. xi. Tom. 3. p. 1130.

* Quae Hebraei in ultimã eversione templi, quae Sub Vespasiano et Tito accidit, interpretantur.—In Dan. cap. xi. ver, 33. Tom. 3. p. 1130.

* Wid. Prol. in libr. de Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis, Tom. 4. p. 98. et alibi. JULIAN. His Regard for the Jewish People. A. D. 361. 617

likewise often appealed to Josephus’s history of the Jewish Y War; but says nothing of any attempt to rebuild Jerusalem, and the temple there, in his own time. It is inconceivable that he should omit it, though he insists, as he does more than once, on the ruinous condition in which the temple had been to that time, ever since the days of Titus and Adrian. Prudentius was another contemporary of Julian; for he was born in the year 348; and did not write till a good while after the death of that emperor. He w has gone over the history of Julian's reign ; he * has also insisted upon the ruin of Solomon's temple; the y long captivity of the Jewish people ever since the time of Titus; and with him he mentions Pompey, who first brought the Jewish people into subjection to the Romans. But he says nothing of any attempt made in his time by Julian to rebuild Jerusalem, or the temple there. If he had known of it, and had been acquainted with credible accounts of miraculous interpositions to defeat it, I do not see how he could omit to mention it. Orosius was an historian, who lived not far below the be

* —ad tempus Romanæ victoriae universa referimus, quae Josephus, judaicae scriptor historiae, Septem explicat voluminibus, quibus imposuit titulum captivitatis judaicae.-Et superfluum est ea sermone disserere, quae oculis pateant, quum omnia desiderabilia eorum versa sint in ruinas: et templum in toto orbe celebratum, in sterQuilinium urbis novae, quae a conditore appellatur AElia, et in habitaculum transivit noctuarum. Hieron. in. Is. cap. lxiv. 10–12. T. 3. p. 476.

Ad extremum, Sub Vespasiano et Tito urbs capta, templumque subversum est. Deinde civitatis usque ad Hadrianum principem per quinquaginta annos mansere reliquiae. Post eversionem templi paullo minus per quadringentos annos urbis et templi ruinae permanent. Ad Dardan. Tom. 2. p. 610.

Scribit plenius Josephus, Septem voluminibus Vespasiani et Titi narrans triumphos. AElii quoque Adriani contra Judaeos expeditionem legimus, qui ita Jerusalem murosque subvertit, ut de urbis reliquiis et favillis sui nominis AEliam conderet civitatem. Id. in Joel, cap. i. Tom. 3. p. 1340.

* Me puero, ut memini, ductor fortissimus armis.

Perfidus ille Deo Apoth. ver. 450, &c.

* Destructione jacent Salomonia saxa metallo, AEdificata manu Jacet illud nobile templum. Curjacet * Ib. ver. 512, &c.

J Quid mereare, Titus docuit: docuere rapinis Pompeianae acies: quibus extirpata per omnes Terrarum pelagique plagas tua membra feruntur. Exillis vagus huc illuc fluitantibus errat Judaeus.--Ibid. ver, 538, &c.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »