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‘ been among the nations. . [Or, as others understand this “ place; Yes,’ all, provided there is any good man among “ the nations.] Crit. There must be a multitude of scribes in heaven, according to your account.--Trieph. I* pray, forbear your jests, and say nothing contemptuous of the dexterous God; but become a catechumen, and be persuaded by me, if you have a mind to live for ever. Since he has stretched out the heavens like a curtain, and founded the earth upon water, and produced man out of nothing, what is there wonderful in his registering the actions of all men? Afterwards Triephon desires Critias" to give him an account of what he had heard in the assembly of the christians, and which had so discomposed him. Critias answers; By" the Son out of the Father, it shall never be done. Trieph. , Do, tell me, receiving from the Spirit the power of speech. Critias at length tells him what a beggarly, sorrowful company of people he had met with ; insinuates their disaffection to the government, and that they wished for bad news, and delighted in public calamities. Some" of them spoke of their fasting ten whole days without eating—and of spending whole nights in singing hymns. Triephone then bids him to have done with those stories, and begin with the prayer from the Father, adding at the end the hymn with many names. They conclude: But let us find out the unknown God at Athens, and stretching out our hands to heaven, offer to him our praises and thanksgivings, that we are worthy to live under so ‘great an empire, and leave others to trifle as they please.”
It is now time to make remarks upon this dialogue.
1. There is a general observation very obvious to be made here; Thats the writer of this dialogue appears much
* Et omnes quidem, si modo bonum aliquem esse inter gentes contingat. Conf. J. M. Gesneri Diss. de auctore et aetate Philop. sect. 21. p. 717.
* Evoroust, cat pumösv sitrong goavpov 088 08:18, p. 773.
* AAA’ ays 6m to Savuaguov sksivo akaopartov astoov. p. 774.
° Nm Tov viov Tov sk Tarpoc, a Taro Yevnostat. Tot. Asys, trapa ra Trvevuarog dwyapuv re \oya Aagwu. p. 774. * EAeyov Yap \tec Öska aotrol duapuswap.sv' kal stri travvux8ç ipvpôtag straypwirvevrég ovetportopisv ta rouavra. p. 778.
* Qors eagov retag, triv swyny atro Tarpog apčapevog, kal Tnv troXvøvvuov opômv sug teNog stru0sug. p. 779. e
Husic de Tov čv A0mvaig ayvorov Etreupov.rsc, kat Trpookvymoravréc, x&lpag
sug spavov skrewavrég, rattp evyapusoma opus v, dig karaśw.08wreg rotate kpatag itmkoot ysvéoéat. p. 780.
* Mihivero causa esse nulla videtur, cur Luciano non tribuatur, licet fateor in aliis ejus scriptis non observari tantam christianismi peritiam : quo argumento illum Luciano abjudicat Huetius. p. 61. Dem. Evan. Fabric. Bib. Gr T. iii. p. 504.
better acquainted with the affairs of the christians, and their sacred scriptures, than Lucian. 2. We may hence perceive, that the christians and their principles were in old times ridiculed by their ancient adversaries. It is therefore a mistake of those moderns, who have imagined, that the old heathens neglected this method of opposing christianity. Nor is this the only instance of the kind which we have met with ; Lucian's writings before rehearsed in this chapter are another instance; and unquestionably some such writings have been lost, the christians of later times not thinking them fit or worthy to be preserved. 3. We see how poorly some men reasoned who opposed christianity, and still continued to be heathens. They ridiculed the most just and reasonable doctrines; such as ‘the creation of the world, a Divine Providence, or observance of the actions of men, in order to a future retribution.’ Whilst they rejected the christian revelation, they rejected also, and endeavoured to expose and weaken, those principles of religion, which reason alone, if attended to and improved, might have taught them, with a good degree of evidence and certainty. And the like things may be found in old heathen authors, who" have spoken of Jupiter's * registering things on his tablets, and consulting his parch‘ments,’ that all men, good and bad, may be recompensed in due time. 4. It is fit that we should observe the notice which is taken in this work of christian writings, and principles, and practices. Here are references to the book of Genesis, and the Psalms, and the Acts of the Apostles, and St. Paul's epistles, and the Revelation, in which last is frequent mention made of “the book of life,” and writing men's names in it, and of books in which the actions of good and bad are recorded. As Rev. iii. 5; xiii. 8; xvii. S.; xx. 12, 15; xxi. 27; xxii. 19. The phrase, “ the book of life,” is also in Philip. iv. 3. And in Heb. xii. 23, some are spoken of, as written, or enrolled, in heaven. When Triephon says, that ‘ the Galilean, half bald, who travelled through the air, to the third heaven, and there learned the most extraordinary things, came to me, he renewed us with water:” there is certainly a reference to 2 Cor. xii. 1–4, and, possibly, to Tit. iii. 5; and Eph. v. 3, or some other like text. But it cannot be thence inferred, that the writer of this book was a disciple of Paul, or was baptized by him, or was contemporary with him. For, as Mr. Moyle' observes; ‘This writer speaks of ‘ christians, throughout his dialogue, as adeptot, atóeposła* Tevres, 6alpovot, ačposłatevres, &c. that is, a company of “dreaming enthusiasts, who, like St. Paul, pretended to a ‘power of flying to heaven when they pleased.’ In this dialogue is also a reference to the Lord's Prayer, and, as often used by christians. “Begin with the prayer from the Father,’ says he, ‘adding at the end the hymn with many names.” That the Lord’s Prayer is here referred to, is" allowed by learned men; what is intended by the hymn at the end, is doubtful. Some have argued, that thereby is meant the doxology at the end of the Lord's Prayer in Matt. vi. 13. But to me, as well as to some' others, it seems more probable, that some other doxology, more verbose and intricate, is here intended. There seems to be an allusion to the gift of tongues, or some other gift of the Spirit, with which christians were favoured in the more early ages of the church in those words; ‘Do, tell me, receiving from the Spirit the power of speech.” Here are also plain references to the christian custom of initiating by baptism, and of preparing men for it by instruction, or catechizing. The author likewise ridicules the christian fastings, and singing hymns in the night. It might carry me too far to remark distinctly upon his ridicule of the doctrine of the Trinity, as represented by him, or as held by the christians at the time of this author. None
* Kat trapopta. "O Zeug karstós Xpovuoc stc rac Čup6spaço & Ti roy Tors apistóopievow itsp (ov trpatteot kakov m kakav ćrt ak attpovomra Östol Ta Travra, a\\a row Ata etc Čup6spac, rivac atroypaspsg0at, Kai Trors strečisvat. Suidas. V. Zevg. Ubi Annotator. Huc spectat illud Euripidis apud Stobæum, &c.
VO L. VII, U
* As before, p. 287, 288. * Per rmy evyny atro trarpoc, p. 779, Orationem Dominicam Lucianus intelligit, ut recte notatum Rigaltio ad Tertullianum. Sed per troAvovvuov (póny superadditam non existimaverin notari clausulam, “quia tuum est regnum,’ ut persuasum Jo. Gregorio. Fabric. Bib. Gr. T. iii. p. 504. Conf. annot. in loc. Philop. T. iii. p. 616. ed. Amst. 1743.
' ' Nay, we know, that in fact it had another doxology sometimes added to * it, as we learn from the author of the Books concerning the Sacraments, “among the works of Ambrose; [Lib. vi. ad fin.] who, having recited the ‘Lord's Prayer, as it is in St. Matthew's gospel, immediately adds: “What “follows 2 Hear what the priest says: “Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in “whom to thee, with whom to thee, is honour, praise, glory, majesty, power, ‘with the Holy Spirit, from the beginning, now, and for ever. Amen.”’ Of “this sort of doxology I suppose the author of the Philopatris speaks. This “kind of doxology is much more agreeable to other passages in that dialogue, s o: plain one in St. Matthew.’ Hallett's Notes and Discourses, vol. i. p. 144, 145.
of my readers can omit to take notice of this, which comes over so often ; and I should think, that this may afford a good argument against the supposition, that this dialogue was written by Lucian, or any other author about his time; for it does not appear, that in the reign of Marcus Antoninus there were any controversies among christians upon this point. What is here said upon this subject, appears to be more suitable to the fourth century of the christian epoch.
CHAP. XX, AELIUS ARISTIDES THE SOPHIST, AND DION CHRYSOSTOM,
H. Aristides, his life, and time, and works. II. Select passages from him. III. Passages concerning the christians, and illustrating the books of the JW. T. IV. His character and importance. W. The sophist Dion Chrysostom : His time, and works, and a passage concerning the christians.
1. ‘ARISTIDES the sophist,” says" Suidas, ‘a native of Adri‘ani, a small town in Mysia, now belonging to Bithynia, was “a disciple of Polemon the rhetorician of Smyrna, son of * Eudaimon, a philosopher and priest of Jupiter in his own * country. He also heard Herod at Athens, and Aristocles ‘ at Pergamus. He flourished in the time of the emperor ‘Antoninus, and reached to the reign of Commodus; he * published many orations; the number of them is not ex“actly known.”
Philostratus confirms that account of Suidas, and farther says, “That" from his childhood Aristides had an infirm “state of health; nevertheless he did not neglect labour. “The people of Smyrna erected to him a brass statue, which * they set up in their forum; and when they called him the ‘ founder of their city, it was no flattery, but a just and true ‘commendation. For when their city had been overthrown, ‘and almost destroyed by earthquakes, he so pathetically “represented their calamities in a letter to the emperor, that ‘ he could not forbear weeping at some parts of it, and
* V. Aptosiónç. * De Wit. sout 1. ii, cap. ix. C. 248. p. 1271.
“ presently promised to restore it. And, as I have been in• formed by Damian of Ephesus, Aristides had before that “ had some conversation with Marcus in Ionia. That emperor came to Smyrna, and was there three days before Aristides came to pay his respects to him; the emperor did not then know Aristides personally; he asked of some present, whether Aristides was in the company ? They said, they had not seen him. Afterwards they brought him. The emperor then said to him; How comes it to pass, that it is so long before I could see you? He answered, I was employed about a work; and the mind is not easily diverted from what it is engaged in. The emperor, leased with his ingenuity, and his diligence, said, And when shall I hear you? Appoint a time, says Aristides, and you shall hear me to-morrow, if you please. But I must desire, that my friends may be present, and that they may have leave to applaud, and clap their hands, with all their might. The emperor smiling told him, That would depend upon himself.” I forbear to add the critical remarks upon Aristides's Orations, which follow in Philostratus. There are in Photius' large extracts out of several of them. Suidas says, that Aristides flourished in the time of the emperor Antoninus, probably meaning the Pious. Nevertheless, as he was also well acquainted with his successor, and is said to have reached to the time of Commodus, I Dlace him at the year 176, in which, as it seems, he saw Marcus Antoninus at Smyrna. Though his constitution was infirm, it is supposed that he did not die before he was 60 or 70 years of age." II. It is allowed that Aristides was very superstitious, a humble and devout worshipper of all the gods, especially Esculapius, to whom, as he believed, he was much indebted for the useful instructions which that god gave him, in his dreams, concerning his health. I think it cannot be amiss to transcribe some passages containing a mixture of good sense and superstition, right sentiments and absurd and foolish respect for all the deities which were then in repute. “Jupiter* made all things; all things whatever are the
* Cod. 246. p. 1211. C. 247. p. 1235. * They who desire to know more of Aristides, may consult Fabric. Bib. Gr. l. iv. cap. 30. Sect. 4. T. iv. p. 373–409. Basnag. Ann. 176. n. v. Dr. Chapman's Charge, p. 91. o M. Aurele, art. 31. * Hymnus in Jovem, T. i. p. 2. al. p. 5.