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vision, or to use your phrase, the revelation at the tanner's, why should you believe hiin in a thing of that vature ?'
I'his is really trifling; but it serves to show, that the books of the Acts was generally received by christians. It also show's what was Julian's manner of reasoning: he wanted to forin an objection here, but knew not how.
18. · We are also expressly assured by Cyril, that' Julian quoted the epistle of the apostles, which they wrote to the converted from among the gentiles who had lately embraced christianity. “It has seemed good unto the Holy Ghost, and to as, to impose upon you no other burden than these necessary thing's --"' 'Acts xv. 23—29.
19. Cyril, toward the end of his work, where he abridgeth, has these words: • And moreover this daring gentleman reviles the chief of the apostles, Peter, and says he was
a hypocrite, and was reproved by Paul, for living some• times after the manner of the Greeks, and at other times * after the manner of the Jews:' referring to what is written in the second chapter of the epistle to the Galatians.
We might wish that Cyril had here transcribed Julian more distinctly. However, this is an old objection, which had been made before by Porphyry, and has been also carefully considered byt us: and therefore I do not now enlarge any farther upon this point.
20. · But u omitting many other things,' says Julian, · by which I might show the law of Moses to be perpetual, do you show me some place where that is said, which is afa firmed by Paul with so much assurance : “ that Christ is the end of the law,”: Rom. X. 4.
21. . But now I must again return to them. Why then are you not circumcised ? To which they answer : Paul says, it is “ the circumcision of the heart,” which was required, not “ that of the flesh," ' Rom. ii. 28, 29.
22. • To w which he adds,' says Cyril, ó that Christ also has said, that the law ought to be kept, saying at one time, “ I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it." And
66 Whosoever shall break one of these least com. mandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven,"' Matt. v. 17, 19.
23. - Wex cannot, say they, keep the feast of unleavened
Διαμεμνηται δε και της των αγιων αποσολων επιςολης, ήν γεγραφασιντοις εξ εθνων κεκλημενοις. L. ix. p. 324. Ε.
5 Κατασκωπτει δε προς τατους των αποσολων εκκριτον ΙΙετρον ο γενναδας, και υποκριτην ειναι φησι, και εληλεγχεσθαι δια τα ΙΙαυλα, κ. λ. Ιbid. p. 325.C.D. + See p. 432, 433.
u L. ix. p. 320. A. " L. X. p. 351. A.
W lbid. C.
* L. X. p. 354. A.
bread, or the passover, “ because Christ bas been once sacrificed for us," ' 1 Cor. v. 7.
24. • Since Y you have forsaken us, why do you not adhere to the Jews-_? And why do you not sacrifice? The Jews indeed are hindered, because they have no temple or altar; butyou, who have a new sacrifice, have no need of Jerusalem. But it is superfluous for me now to enlarge upon this, having before a spoken of this matter : when I undertook to show, that the Jews agree with the Greeks, except that they think that there is but one God only. That is peculiar to them, and in that they differ from us: but as to other things, they are, in a manner, all cominon to us both; temples, slırines, altars, purifications, certain ritual observances. In all which things there is little or no difference between them and us.'
(1.) Here seems to be a reference to the ordinance of the Lord's Supper, in that phrase, a new sacrifice.' (2.) In this passage is a general and just description of christianity: it is a plain, simple worship, without sacrifices of animals, without external purifications, and other ritual observations. It is a character of the christian religion which is very honourable to it. It is truly rational and philosophical, consisting in the practice of virtue, and the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise, and other good works. (3.) Here is a popular argument against the christians, taken from their singularity, and their difference from all other people: it was, indeed, a popular prejudice, and had been of great force in former times; but there were men who withstood it, and professed the just sentiments of religion, whilst the greatest numbers rejected them, and were much incensed against men upon that account. But in Julian's time the force of it was much abated, though he was willing to set it up again.
25. · And that not only they of this time, but that some of those who at the beginning received the word from Paul, were such, is apparent from what Paul himself says, writing to them. For I presume he was not so void of shame, as to send them such reproaches in his letter to them, if he had not known them to be just. These are the things which he writes of his disciples, and to themselves : “ Be not deceived: neither idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, por extortioners, shall inherit the y L. ix. p. 305, 306.
Υμεις δε οι την καινην θυσιαν εύροντες, δεν δεομενοι της Ιερεσαλην, αντι τινος και θυεσθε ; p. 306. Α. Vid. I. vii. p. 238.
b L. vii. p. 245.
kingdom of God. And you are not ignorant, brethren, that such were you also. But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, in the name of Jesus Christ," 1 Cor. vi. 11. You see,' he says, they were such; but they had been sanctified, and washed, having been cleansed and scoured with water, which penetrates even to the soul. And baptism, which cannot heal the leprosy, nor the gout, nor the dysentery, nor any other distemper of the body, takes away adulteries, extortions, and all other sins of the soul.'
So writes Julian, and with great assurance: nevertheless it is not very easy to say upon what this argument is founded : perhaps it is built upon some extravagant assertions of christians of that time concerning the value and efficacy of baptism : for I see no ground for it in the New Testament. Jesus, and his forerunner, preached, that men should " repent, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance. After his resurrection, when his apostles were to go abroad in the world, he told them, " that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations,” Luke xxiv. 47. And says St. Peter, Acts ii. 38, “ Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.” See also ch. iij, 26, and likewise ch. xx. 21, and xxvi. 20, and elsewhere: and St. Peter says, 1 ep. iii. 21, " that putting away the filth of the flesh does not save, but the answer of a good conscience toward God."
In the text quoted by Julian from the first epistle to the Corinthians, St. Paul speaks of a real change made in those converts. It is not certain that baptism is there at all referred to; if it is, it is not the only, nor the principal thing. They had been some of them such sinners as are there mentioned, but they were now changed and reformed : and if they were not, neither baptism, nor the profession of christianity, nor any external privileges, would be of advantage to them. For he there says to them, and with great seriousness and earnestness; “ Know ye not, that unrighteous men shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived," and what there follows.
If men were turned from error and vice by the preaching of the gospel, it was the greatest honour to it that could be: the great design of Christ's coming was to save men from their sins,” Matt. i. 21, from the practice of them, and from the misery to which they had been exposed by them. When that end is obtained, his joy and the joy of the faithful preachers of the gospel are fulfilled. Ορας, ότι και τ8τες γενεσθαι φησι τοι8τ8ς
--St. Paul's words are, “ such were some of you;" kai tavTA TIVES 17€.
26. There is another like passage of Julian in his Cæsars, which may not be quite omitted; and it may be as well taken now as hereafter. In his satire upon Constantine, le brings in his son Constantius, in the presence of bis father, proclaiming to all in this manner : Whosoeverd is a ravisher, a murderer, guilty of sacrilege, or any other abomi. nation, let him come boldly. For when I have washed bim with this water, I will immediately make him clean and innocent: and if he commits the same crimes again, I will make bim, after he has thumped his breast, and beat bis head, as clean as before.'
Upon this I need not say any thing myself, after all that has been said just now. I may answer it in the words of Dr. Bentley, whose remarks upon it, in the borrowed name of Phileleutherus Lipsiensis, are to this purpose.
ridiculous and stale banter, used by Celsus and others be· fore Julian, upon the christian doctrines of baptism, and * repentance, and remission of sins. Baptism is rallied, as
"mere washing,” and repentance, as “thumping the breast," and other outward grimace: the inward grace, and the ' intrinsic change of mind, are left out of the character. And • whom are we to believe? these pagans, or our ownselves ? • Are we to fetch our notions of the sacraments from scraps • of Julian and Celsus? or from the scripture, the pure fountain, and from what we read, know, and profess? And yet the banter came more decently out of Celsus, an Epi* curean's mouth, than out of Julian's, the most bigoted creature in the world. He to laugh at expiation by baptism, whose whole life, after his apostasy, was a continued * course of kallapuot, washings, purgations, expiations, with • the most absurd ceremonies ! addicted to the whole train of superstitions, omens, presages, prodigies, spectres, • dreams, visions, auguries, oracles, magic, theurgic, psy• chomantic: whose whole court in a manner consisted of haruspices, and sacrificuli, and philosophers as silly as they : who was always poring in the entrails of cattle, to • find futurities there : wlio, if he had returned victor out of
Persia, (as bis very pagan friends jested on him,) would * bave extinguished the whole species of bulls and cows by the number of his sacrifices? I have drawn this character of him from his own writings, and the heathens bis contemporaries, that I might not bring suspected testimonies • from christian authors. So that learned man.
27. - Thatf evil had its rise from John. But who can
d Julian. Cæsares. p. 336. edit. Spanhem. a late Discourse of Free-thinking, sect. 43.
e See Remarks upon f Lib. x. p. 335. B. C.
sufficiently express his indignation against all your following inventions, in adding many more dead men to him who died so long ago ? So that you have filled all places with sepulchres and monuments; though it has been no where coinmanded you to wallow in sepulchres, and worship there. But you are arrived at such perverseness, as to think, that in this matter you need not regard the words of Jesus of Nazareth. Hear, therefore, what he says of
“ Woe unto you scribes and plarisees, bypocrites. For ye are like unto whited sepulchres. The sepulchre appears beautiful outward, but within it is full of dead men's bones, and all uncleanness.” If then Jesus has said, that sepulchres are “full of uncleanness," why do you pray to God over them ?' Matt. xxiii. 27.
To this, says Cyril, he adds: “Thats - when a certain disciple said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father, he answered : Follow thou me, and let the dead bury their dead." ' Matt. vii, 21, 22. Luke ix. 58, 60.
Julian might be justly offended at that superstitious custom of the christians which he here censures, and which we do not justify. However be here cites our Lord's words.from our gospels, in a manner that puts their genuineness out of question : and he bears witness, that our Lord, Jesus of Nazareth, taught and said the things there recorded.
28. Having quoted froin Moses those words of Deut. vi. 13, “ Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve," he goes on :
• How h then is Jesus said in the gospels to command; “Go, teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,"' Matt, xxxviii. 19.
To which I think I may say, though christians have formed different interpretations of this text, it cannot be reasonably supposed, that our Lord would command his apostles to begin with teaching any mysterious doctrine to their converts. Nor does any thing of that kind appear in the book of the Acts, where we have the history of their preaching in many places, in obedience to their Lord and Master, to all sorts of men, Jews, Samaritans, and gentiles.
The design of the words is this: “That they should teach men to receive and profess the doctrine which Jesus had taught with authority from God the Father, and confirmed by miracles done by the finger, the power, or the Spirit of
8 P. 335. D.
h TIως αν ο Ιησες εν τοις ευαγγελιoις παραδεδοται προςαττων: Πορευθέντες μαθητευσατε, κ. λ. L. ix. p. 291. A.