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. IV. In 1721, Signor Scipio Maffei published a work of Cassiodorius, which had been long missing and in the following year the same work was published at London by my learned friend, Mr. Samuel Chandler, with the addition of a judicious preface. It is entitled, Complexions, or 'short Commentaries upon the Epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Revelation.' To be more particular: These notes or complexions are upon the epistles of Paul in the following order: the epistle to the Romans, first and second to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, first and second to the Thessalonians, to the Colossians, the first and second to Timothy, to Titus, Philemon, the Hebrews. And the seven catholic epistles in this order the first and second of Peter, the three epistles of John, the epistles of James, and Jude: the Acts of the Apostles, and the Revelation.
1. By which it is manifest, that Cassiodorius received all the books of the New Testament which we do: for about the four gospels there can be no question. The order of the books here, and in the catalogues before transcribed, I leave to be observed by the reader: I shall, however, take notice of a few other things.
2. Cassiodorius expressly ascribes the Acts of the Apostles to Luke the evangelist.
3. He seems to have had a clause in Acts viii. 39, thatTM the Holy Ghost descended upon the Eunuch after he had been baptized by Philip.
4. At Acts xiv. 19, he seems to have read a word or two wanting in our copies: And whilst they tarried, and taught, there came from Antioch certain Jews. Those expressions are of use to abate the surprise at the sudden change in the people at Lystra.
5. In the title prefixed to the first epistle of Peter, it is said to be written ad Gentes [to Gentiles]: but" in the
P Cassiodorii Senatoris Complexiones in Epistolas et Acta Apostolorum et Apocalypsim. Florentiæ. M.DCC.xxi.
Lucas unus evangelistarum, qui doctrinam Domini cœlesti veritate conscripsit, Actus quoque Apostolorum fideli narratione complexus est. Præf. in Act. Ap. et ardore mentis incensus, baptizari se protinus postulavit. Quo facto, Spiritus Sanctus supra eunuchum cecidit, et Philippus subitâ translatione disparuit. In Act. viii. 38, 39.
Cumque ibi commorentur, et docerent, supervenerunt quidam ab Antiochià. In Act. xiv. 18. 'Petri apostoli ad Gentes.
"Sanctissimæ regulæ instituta concelebrans, et Petrus Apostolus Jesu Christi scribit absentibus Hebræis, qui impiâ persecutione Judæorum dispersi fuerant, et advenæ facti per Pontum, per Galatiam, per Cappadociam, per Asiam, et Bithyniam, sed tamen in Christo Jesu correctâ mente crediderant, &c. In 1 Pet. cap. i. in.
explication Cassiodorius speaks of Peter's writing to believing Jews in Pontus, Galatia, and Cappadocia.
6. Signor Maffei thinks, that our author had the heavenly witnesses in the fifth chapter of the first epistle of John but that does not appear certain to me. I place the passage" below and would refer to Mr. Wetstein's observations upon it.
7. Cassiodorius says, that John had his revelation in the isle of Patmos, where he had been banished by the emperor Domitian.
THE IMPERFECT WORK UPON ST. MATTHEW
I. The author's time. 11. He was an Arian, and a bishop. His censures of the Homoüsians, and of all heresies in general. III. Books of the Old Testament received by him. IV. Books of the New Testament received by him. V. Books quoted which are not in our canon. VI. Select passages.
I. THE Imperfect Work upon Matthew, so called, because it has not come down to us entire, has been mentioned already. It is usually joined with St. Chrysostom's works, because it was formerly ascribed to him; though now it is generally, or universally, allowed not to be a work of that eminent man,
The time of the work cannot be exactly determined: but it was written after the reigns of Constantine and Theodosius the first, of both whom the author complains, as having gone into measures, by which the interests of the true
▾ P. 251.
w Cui rei testificantur in terrà tria mysteria, aqua, sanguis, et Spiritus, quæ in passione Domini leguntur impleta; in cœlo autem Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus. Et hi tres unus est Deus. In Johan. cap. v. * Vid. Wetsten. N. T. Gr. T. ii. p. 726. y Cum esset in insulâ Pathmo, a Domitiano Principe propter verbum Domini in exilium feliciter destinatus, Dominico die voce magnâ commonitus, &c. In Apoc. i. 9. a See vol. iv. ch. lxxxv. num. v. 15. b Opus Imperfectum in Matthæum. Tom. ii. in Nov. Testam. edit. Morell. Tom. vi. edit. Benedictin.
Vid. Hom. 49. p. 202. d Sic ille afflictas res Arianorum deplorat, quæ sub Constantino per Nicænam fidem depulsæ, sub Theodosio
principles of christianity had been opposed and discouraged from that time to his own. In one place he speaks, as if the space of time, between the ascension of Christ and his writing, was almost equal to the life of an antediluvian : which induced Mill to place this authorf as low as the middle of the tenth century; whereas he may be supposed to amplify beyond the truth. And in another places he speaks, as if there were still heathens, and the rites of Gentilism were still performed in the Roman empire: which, with other things, induced Montfauçon, who has carefully examined this work, to conclude it probable, that the author lived before the end of the sixth century.
II. The author seems to have been a bishop: but of what place, or of what country, is not known.
1. He wrotek not in Greek, but, probably, in Latin, the language in which we have his work.
2. The author was an Arian: he' plainly condemns the
autem Magno prostratæ sunt, ita ut ab illo tempore usque nunc,' sive usque ad auctoris tempus pessum semper ierint. Hoc autem decantat ille fere per totum librum. Montfauç. Diatrib. ad Op. Imp. n. v. p. 6. in App. Chrys. Opp. T. vi. * Et vere tardat, sed quantum ad nostram inconstantiam tardare videtur. Nam si consideremus, ex quo Christus in cœlum ascendit, et quantum vivebant homines ante diluvium, et prope tantum spatium est, quanto tempore erat uniuscujusque eorum. Hom. 52. p. 218. B.
f Jam ultra partem seculi decimi mediam provecti sumus-sub hæc tempora, Auctor Operis Imperfecti in Matthæum, episcopus Latinus, quisquis ille, (qui paulo ante etiam in evangelia Marci et Lucæ commentatus fuerat,) homilias conscripsit in Matthæum, ut apparet ex suo ipsius calculo, &c. Proleg. n. 1037. Vid. eund. Proleg. n. 1360. et in Matth. vi. 13.
8 Ut puta, si bene doceant sacerdotes, et melius vivant, videntes Gentiles dicunt: Benedictus Deus, qui tales habet servos.'---Nam disciplina domini ex moribus familia demonstratur. Non sicut nostri philosophi, qui magna loquuntur, et nec modica faciunt. Hom. 10. p. 60. B.-Quos orant Gentiles, videamus, ut sciamus quare sic orant. Orant dæmones, qui etsi audiunt, exaudire non possunt-orant reges mortuos, Jovem, Mercurium-cæterosqueOrant idola insensata. Hom. 13. p. 75. E. 76. A.
h Ad hæc autem illa quæ de Theodosio Magno, et de tempore subsequenti, de Gentilium religione quasi adhuc vigente, deque Arianismo ecclesias, episcopos, atque presbyteros passim habente. Hæc, inquam, omnia non ad nonum vel octavum, imo vix ad septimum seculum referri posse videntur. Diatrib. ibid. Vid. Hom. 8. p. 54. B. Hom. 32. p. 133. A. Unde in Græco non dicit, 'Beati pauperes,' sed egeni; vel 'beati mendici.' Hom. 9. p. 56. E.
'Consequenter et hæreticis dicitur hoc. Quando enim vides hæreticos tres per omnia æquales dicentes, ejusdem esse substantiæ, ejusdem esse auctoritatis, sine principio omnes--Implent enim mensuram patrum suorum Gentilium, quoniam et illi similiter multos deos colebant. Quando vides eos, tres unam personam dicentes, et ipsam esse Deum.—Quando vides eos confitentes, ac dicentes, quia Filius de ipsâ Patris substantiâ processit-cognosce, quia mensuram implent patrum suorum Gentilum. Et illi enim tales Deos colebant, qui secundum carnem et generabantur, et generabant. Hom. 45. p. 190. C. D.
Homoüsian doctrine, or the sect that believed three equal persons in the Deity, and of the same substance: where he compares them to heathen idolaters.
3. As this author often speaks very harshly of the Homoüsians, and others, whom he calls heretics, I think it not amiss to take some of those passages.
4. All heretics, he says, are armies of antichrist, but especially that, which has seized the place of the church, and stands in the holy place, so as to seem to have the word of truth, but is indeed the abomination of desolation, and the army of antichrist, which has ruined many souls. Insomuch that, perhaps, this is what the apostle means in those words: "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God," 2 Thess. ii. 4.
5. The heresy of the Homoüsians, he says, persecutes not only the church of Christ, meaning the author's own church, but likewise all other heresies that differ from them.
6. He says, that his ancestors, of the same sect, had suffered greatly from heretics: meaning the Homoüsians. This he speaks of as a thing well known.
7. And now I shall transcribe below, somewhat at length, the passage before referred to, where the author complains of the proceedings in the reigns of Constantine and Theodosius.
8. The Lord represents all heresies as briars and thorns; but especially the triangular impiety, which he foresaw would most prevail in the world.'
m Exercitus autem antichristi sunt omnes hæreses, præcipue ista quæ obtinuit ecclesiæ locum, et stetit in sancto loco, ita ut videatur verbuia veritatis stetisse, cum non sit verbum veritatis, sed abominatio desolationis, id est, exercitus antichristi, qui multorum animas reddidit desolatas a Deo. Et hoc est forte quod apostolus dicit: qui adversatur, et extollitur supra omne quod dicitur Deus,' &c. Hom. 49. p. 202. C. D.
Hæresis Homoüsianorum non solum Christi ecclesiæ adversatur, sed et omnibus hæresibus non similiter sentientibus. Hom. 48. p. 200. D.
Quanta passi sunt ab hæreticis patres nostri, nullus ignorat. Hom. 46. p. 194. D. P Et nos exposuimus hic auditiones prœliorum, et fames, et terræ motus-et concussiones christianorum-quæ ante præcesserant a tempore Constantini usque ad tempus Theodosii. Abominationem autem desolationis diximus hanc hæresim, quæ occupavit sanctæ ecclesiæ loca, et multos desolavit a fide, et ipsum exercitum antichristi-intelligat esse omnia hæc mala spiritualia, quæ facta sunt tempore Constantini simul et Theodosii usque nunc. In Matth. xxiv. Hom. 49. 202. E.
Et verum est quidem, quia spinas et tribulos omnes iniquos hæreticos appellavit. Tamen forsitan sciens Dominus hanc hæresim prævalituram præ omnibus tribulos eos appellavit, quasi Trinitatis professores, et triangulam inipietatem in suâ perfidiâ bajulantes. Hom. 19. p. 95. D.
9. Heresies have the outward appearance of churches: but they are not churches, any more than apes are men.' 10. Heretics are worse than heathens: for heathens blaspheme Christ ignorantly; heretics knowingly oppose the true doctrine of Christ.' He speaks to the like purpose
in another place.
11. As a member cut off from the body cannot live, in like manner all heretics cut off from the body of the one church, cannot have the life of Christ, nor any spiritual good things. But their church is deserted, not by men indeed, for it abounds with evil men, who are always the most; but it is deserted by all good men, and by God himself, and all the things that are of God.'
12. Explaining the parable of the virgins in Matth. xxv. he says: The foolish virgins are such as have the faith entire, but want works of righteousness. Whereas Jews and heretics have not faith, nor works; nor can have them: and if they had the oil of works, it could not profit them, because they have not faith to enkindle it.'
13. Upon Matth. vii. 27. "And great was the fall of it:" he says, that heresy is worse than fornication, adultery, or murder. For if a christian should offend in any of those points, he may repent, as David did: but if a christian.
* Quoniam et simia hominis habet membra, et per omnia hominem imitatur, numquid propterea dicenda est homo? Sic et hæresis omnia ecclesiæ habet et imitatur mysteria. Sed non sunt ecclesiæ. Hom. 19. p. 93. C.
Hæreticos Gentibus esse pejores, dubitat nemo; primum, quia Gentiles per ignorantiam Christum blasphemant, hæretici autem scientes Christi laniant veritatem. Hom. 30. p. 128. C.
Quoniam Gentiles veritatem spernunt, quam non audierunt; Judæi autem, quam non crediderunt; Hæretici autem, quam audierunt et didicerunt. Hom. 41. p. 176. C. "Sicut autem membrum, a corpore præcisum, vivere non potest-sic et omnes hæretici, præcisi a corpore unius ecclesiæ, nec vitam Christi in se habere possunt, nec viriditatem gratiæ spiritualis sed est ecclesia eorum deserta; non ab hominibus; abundat enim perversis hominibus, quomodo semper malorum major est copia quam bonorum : sed deserta est a sanctis, deserta est a sanctitate, a fide, a veritate, a gratiâ, a Spiritu, deserta denique est ab ipso Deo, et a bonis omnibus quæ sunt Dei, &c. Hom. 46. p. 197. B. C. D.
▾ Fatuæ autem virgines sunt, quia fidem Christi integram habent, opera autem justitiæ non habent. Judæi vero et hæretici neque fidem habent, neque opera possunt habere. Sed etsi operum oleum habent, nihil eis prodest, quia lampades fidei non habent, quas accendant. Hom. 52. p. 217. È.
Et erit ruina ejus magna-sic et christianus, aut fornicatus fuerit, aut adulteratus, aut homicidium fecerit, cecidit quidem; tamen ruina ejus magna non est, quia iterum pœnitentiâ surgere potest, sicut David. Si autem de fundamento fidei aliquid fuerit passus; id est, si prævaricatus fuerit, et ad Gentiles aut hæreticos transierit, tunc est ruina ejus magna, quia totus funditus ruit. Hom. 20. p. 99. C. D.