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severally about the same time, and all published at no great distance of time from each other, near the end of the reign of Theodosius, as before said.
II. Socrates was born and educated at Constantinople: he studied under the grammarians Helladius and Ammonius, both heathens, who, when their temples were destroyed at Alexandria, in 391, left that city, and came to reside at Constantinople. For a while Socrates pleaded causes: afterwards, leaving the bar, he set about writing his Ecclesiastical History, which comprehends, in seven books, the space of about a hundred and three and thirty years, from the year 306, when Constantine was declared emperor, to the seventeenth consulship of Theodosius, or the year of Christ 439; and he is spoken of by Cave as flourishing in that year.
Socrates is particularly esteemed for his judicious observations upon men and things. Every reader of this work is able to form some notion of his judgment, by recollecting the passages that have been alleged from him upon divers occasions; wherein he shows himself to have been a man of great moderation, and an enemy to persecution, which also he defines in this manner: he is speaking of Julian: he says, 'thath emperor avoided the excessive cruelty that was 'practised in the times of Dioclesian: nevertheless he per'secuted; for that I call persecution, when any disturbance 'is given to men that live peaceably and quietly. The
tres isti scriptores, qui omnes sibi idem argumentum proposuere, non solum sub extremis Theodosii Junioris temporibus, quod de Socrate et Sozomeno infra videbitur, sed etiam eodem tempore historias suas ecclesiasticas in lucem emiserint. Ita non audiendus Valesius in eo quod autumat, ex tribus historiæ ecclesiasticae scriptoribus alterum alterius scrinia compilâsse, et ex illis eum, qui alteri aliquid addidit, aut alterum interdum emendavit, hunc posteriorem videri scripsisse. Id. ib. n. xvi.
Socrat. 1. v. cap. 24.
e Vid. lib. vii. cap. ult.
d Ibid. cap. 16.
Tandem vero abjectâ causidicinâ, ad scribendam ecclesiasticam historiam se contulit. Quâ in re et judicio et diligentiâ usus est singulari. Ac judicium quidem declarant observationes et sententiæ passim in libris ejus intextæ, quibus, meo judicio, nihil est illustrius. H. Vales. de Vitâ et Scriptis Socrat. et Sozomen.
Sed quantum dictionis elegantiâ vincit Sozomenus, tantum Socrates judicio vincit. Nam Socrates quidem tum de viris, tum de rebus ac negotiis ecclesiasticis, optime judicat. Id. ibid.
8 See vol. iii. p. 99, 100, 104, 105. Vol. iv. p. 63, &c.
* Και την μεν ύπερβαλλεσαν επί Διοκλητιανε ωμοτητα υπερέθετο. Ου μην παντη τε διώκειν απέσχετο. Διωγμον δε λεγω το ὁπωσεν ταράττειν τες ήσυχαζοντας. Εταραττε δε ώδε. Νομῳ εκελευσε χρισιανος παιδεύσεως μη μετεχειν. Socr. 1. iii. c. 12.
' particular, in which he instanceth, is Julian's edict, prohibiting christians to read the ancient Greek and Roman authors. And there are in him many other places well worthy of observation; in some of which he makes very free remarks upon the squabbles and contentions of the christian clergy of those times.
Socrates always speaks with great respect of the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and has expressly quoted the Acts of the Apostles,' epistles to the Romans," the Corinthians, the Galatians, Colossians, and Hebrews: he likewise takes notice of a various reading in 1 John iv. 3, or John's catholic epistle,' as his expression is; upon which Mill and others may be consulted.
III. HERMIAS SOZOMENP was born of reputable parents in Palestine, and in early life was educated in a monastery; afterwards he studied the law at Berytus, and then went to Constantinople, where he was an advocate, and continued to plead causes, whilst at his leisure hours he wrote his Ecclesiastical History: which contains, in nine books, an account of affairs from the third consulship of Crispus and Constantine, Cæsars, to the seventeenth consulship of Theodosius, emperor, in whose time he wrote, and to whom his work is dedicated, that is, from the year 324 to the year 439, or one hundred and fifteen years. He is placed by Cave as flourishing about the year 440.
Beside the history of which I have been speaking, Sozomens had before written, in two books, a summary account of the affairs of the church, from the ascension of Christ to the defeat of Licinius; but that work is not now extant.
Sozomen likewise, as well as Socrates, was a man of moderation, as must have been perceived by all from several passages alleged from him in this work."
It may be also observed of him, that" he always speaks with great respect of the sacred scriptures.
i Vid. 1. v. cap. 22. l. i. c. 24. in c. xxvii. p. 64. B. l. iii. cap. 24. et 25. in.
1. iv. cap. 1. et 6, 1. v. in Pr.
* L. v. cap. 22. p. 288, 289.
L. iv. cap. 23. p. 232. A.
• Ότι εν τῇ καθολική Ιωαννα γεγραπτο εν τοις παλαιοις αντιγράφοις, ότι παν
πνευμα, ὁ λύει τον Ιησεν, απο τα θες ουκ εςι.
P Sozom. 1. v. cap. 15. p. 617.
Ib. 1. ii. cap. 3. p. 446. A. B.
Vid. Sozom. Pr. p. 397.
See vol. iii. p. 98, 99. Vol. iv. 63.
L. vii. cap. 32. p. 374.
• Vid. l. i. сар. 1. p. 401.
u Vid. Soz. 1. v. cap. 15. p. 617. cap. 21. p. 629. D. l. vii. cap. 12. p. 718.
C. 1. vii. cap. 19. p. 735. A.
What he says of the Revelation of Peter and the Revelation of Paul, was taken notice of formerly.
IV. THEODORET wrote, in five books, the history of things from the rise of the Arian controversy, or where Eusebius left off, to the death of Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia, that is, from the year of Christ 324 to 429, being the space of one hundred and five years.
Theodoret's testimony to the scriptures was exhibited formerly.
See vol. iv. p. 132.
w Vid. Theodoret. H. E. 1. i. cap. 1. et 2. et 1. v. cap. ult.
* See p. 14, &c. of this volume.
THIS WHOLE WORK,
THE SECOND PART.
THE design of this work, from the beginning, and all along, has been, to show the truth of the evangelical history, and thereby the truth of the christian religion; for if the facts related in the gospels, and confirmed by the epistles of the New Testament, may be relied upon, the christian religion is from Heaven.
The things there related to have been done by Jesus, and by his disciples by virtue of powers derived from him, must be allowed to afford good proof that he came from God, and that his doctrine is true and divine: and as Jesus, in the circumstances of his birth, life, and death, and exaltation, and in the success and progress of the principles taught by him, answers the description of the great person foretold and promised in the Old Testament, he is at the same time shown to be the Messiah.
In the former part of this work the facts occasionally mentioned in the New Testament were confirmed by passages of ancient authors; and a long deduction there is in that part of various particulars concerning the estate and character of the princes and governors, in whose time these things are said to have happened, and concerning the state of the Jews at that time in Judea, and out of it, and their religious opinions, customs, and practices, as also of other people to whom the apostles went; all found to be agree
able to the accounts of Josephus and Philo, and many heathen authors of the best note, and contemporary with our Saviour and his apostles, or living very near their time.
We have supposed this to be a very cogent argument, that the books of the New Testament were written before, or soon after, the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened in the 70th year of the christian æra.
And if these books were written by persons who lived before the destruction of Jerusalem, that is, if they were written at the time in which they are supposed to have been written, the things related in them are true and incontestable. The force of this argument may be seen represented in the conclusion of that part.
Consequently, the former part of this work, though it immediately and directly concerned only those facts which are occasionally mentioned in the New Testament, affords a very forcible argument for the truth of the principal facts of the New Testament; by which all know to be intended the miraculous though mean birth of Jesus, and all the wonders of his life and ministry, his death, resurrection, and ascension; the effusion of the Holy Ghost upon his apostles afterwards, their preaching in his name the doctrine received from him, and confirming it by miraculous works, and planting the gospel, and forming, in a short space of time, churches of disciples at Jerusalem, and in all the parts of Judea, and in many other cities and countries.
In this second part we have proceeded to show more directly the truth of the evangelical history, by producing testimonies to the antiquity, genuineness, and authority of the books of the New Testament, now generally received by christians, as containing an authentic account of the religion taught by Christ and his apostles.
And in this book is a history of all, or almost all, the catholic writers of the first four centuries, and of the principal christian writers of the following centuries, to the beginning of the twelfth; with an article, by way of conclusion, from Nicephorus Callisti, a learned author at the beginning of the fourteenth century, containing a summary account of all that has been said, and representing what was to be proved; which, I hope, has been proved.
And whoever is desirous to know what books were received as sacred scripture, by any writers of the church in past ages, may here find a distinct account of it in the chapters that bear their names.
1. As we are now to review this book, the first observation which offers is this: We have seen a goodly catalogue