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of eminent men, who have believed in Jesus as the Christ, and their Lord and Master, whose religion was not set up with worldly allurements. Says Jerom, in the prologue to his book of Ecclesiastical writers, Let the enemies of our religion, who say the church had no philosophers, nor 'eloquent and learned men, observe who and what they were who founded, established, and adorned it let them cease to accuse our faith of rusticity, and confess their mis'take.' So said Jerom with regard to Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian, who had been the most noted adversaries of the christian religion in the first four centuries. The same may be still said to those called deists in our time. And may I not add, Let those conceited christians, who unmeasurably despise the primitive times of christianity, learn to pay some respect to their christian ancestors, in whom both learning, and an honest, fervent zeal, were united. They are not the rule of our faith, but they have directed us to the sacred scriptures, where it may be found: and they have borne testimony to the truth of the things contained therein, by an open and stedfast profession, amidst a great variety of difficulties and discouragements, reproaches and sufferings.
And though every one who has read this work is able to supply a fuller catalogue, I shall here also rehearse in part the names of eminent christians of the early ages, from an epistle of the same masterly hand to Magnus, a Roman orator, upon a different occasion. Jerom, having at the begin
a Discant ergo Celsus, Porphyrius, Julianus, rabidi adversus Christum canes; discant eorum sectatores, qui putant ecclesiam nullos philosophos, et eloquentes, nullos habuisse doctores, quanti et quales viri eam fundaverint, exstruxerint, et adornaverint, et desinant fidem nostram rusticæ tantum simplicitatis arguere, suamque potius imperitiam agnoscant. Proleg. in. libr. de Scr. Ec.
Curram per singulos. Quadratus, apostolorum discipulus, et Atheniensis pontifex ecclesiæ, nonne Adriano principi, Eleusinæ sacra visenti, librum pro nostrâ religione tradidit? et tantæ admirationi omnibus fuit, ut persecutionem gravissimam illius sedaret ingenium. Aristides philosophus, vir eloquentissimus, eidem principi apologeticum pro christianis obtulit, contextum philosophorum sententiis. Quem imitatus postea Justinus, et ipse philosophus, Antonino Pio et filiis ejus senatuique librum contra Gentiles tradidit, defendens ignominiam crucis, et resurrectionem Christi totâ prædicans libertate. Quid loquar de Melitone_Sardensi episcopo? Quid de Apollinario Hieropolitanæ ecclesiæ sacerdote, Dionysioque Corinthiorum episcopo, et Tatiano, et Bardesane, et Irenæo, Pothini Martyris successore, qui origines hæreseôn singularum, et ex quibus philosophorum fontibus emanârint, multis voluminibus explicârunt? Pantænus Stoicæ sectæ philosophus, ob præcipuæ eruditionis gloriam, a Demetrio Alexandriæ episcopo missus est in Indiam, ut Christum apud Brachmanas et istius gentis philosophos prædicaret. Clemens, Alexandrinæ ecclesiæ presbyter, meo judicio omnium eruditissimus, octo scripsit Stromatum libros.-Quid in illis indoctum, imo quid non de mediâ philosophiâ est ? Hunc imitatus Origines decem scripsit Stromateas, christianorum et philoso
ning of his epistle observed the learning of Moses, Solo'mon, and Paul, in the next place mentions two apologists 'for the christian religion in the time of Adrian, Quadratus, ⚫ and Aristides. The next to them is Justin, also a philosopher, who presented an apology to Antoninus the Pious, and his sons, and the whole senate, against the Gentiles, warding off the ignominy of the cross, and with full free'dom and undaunted courage asserting the resurrection of Christ. Why should I speak of Melito bishop of Sardis, and Apollinarius bishop of Hierapolis, and Dionysius bishop of Corinth, and Tatian, and Bardesanes, and Ire'næus successor of Pothinus the martyr; who, in many ' volumes, have detected the origin of every heresy, and showed from what philosophers they were derived? Next, • Pantænus a philosopher of the Stoic sect, and a man of great reputation for learning. Clement, presbyter of the church of Alexandria, in my opinion the most learned of 'all men, wrote eight books of Stromata, or Miscellanies, ' and other works, in which there is nothing unlearned, nothing which is not fetched from the depths of philosophy; who was also followed and imitated by his disciple
phorum inter se sententias comparans et omnia nostræ religionis dogmata de Platone, et Aristotele, Numenio, Cornutoque confirmans. Scripsit et Miltiades contra Gentes volumen egregium. Hippolytus quoque et Apollonius, Romanæ urbis senatores, propria opuscula condiderunt. Extant et Julii Africani libri, qui temporum scripsit historias, et Theodori, qui postea Gregorius appellatus est, viri apostolicorum signorum atque virtutum, et Dionysii Alexandrini episcopi; Anatolii quoque Laodicenæ ecclesiæ sacerdotis, necnon presbyterorum Pamphili, Pierii, Luciani, Malchionis, Eusebii Cæsariensis episcopi, et Eustathii Antiocheni, et Athanasii Alexandrini; Eusebii quoque Emesseni, et Triphyllii Cyprii, et Asterii Scythopolitæ, et Serapionis confessoris; Titi quoque Bostrensis episcopi, Cappadocumque Basilii, Gregorii, Amphilochii. Qui omnes in tantum philosophorum doctrinis atque sententiis suos refarciunt libros, ut nescias quid in illis primum admirari debeas, eruditionem seculi, an scientiam scripturarum.
Veniam ad Latinos. Quid Tertulliano eruditius, quid acutius? Apologeticus ejus, et contra Gentes liber, cunctam seculi obtinent disciplinam. Minucius Felix, causidicus Romani fori, in libro, cui titulus Octavius est,quid gentilium literarum reliquit intactum? Septem libros adversus Gentes Arnobius edidit, totidemque discipulus ejus Lactantius, qui de Irâ quoque et Opificio Dei duo volumina condidit. Quos si legere volueris, Dialogorum Ciceronis in eis εñтoμηy reperies. Victorino Martyri in libris suis, licet desit eruditio, tamen non deest eruditionis voluntas. Cyprianus, quod idola dii non sunt, quâ brevitate, quâ historiarum omnium scientiâ, quorum verborum et sensuum splendore perstrinxit? Hilarius, meorum confessor temporum et episcopus, duodecim Quintiliani libros et stylo imitatus est et numero. Juvencus presbyter sub Constantino historiam Domini Salvatoris versibus explicavit; nec pertimuit evangelii majestatem sub metri leges mittere. De cæteris vel mortuis vel viventibus taceo, quorum in scriptis suis et vires manifestæ sint et voluntas. Ad Mag. Orat. ep. 83. [al. 84.] T. 4.
Origen. Miltiades likewise wrote an excellent book ' against the Gentiles. Hippolytus and Apollonius, senators of Rome, published some works suitable to their cha⚫racter. There are also the works of Julius Africanus the chronologer, and of Theodore, afterwards called Gregory, a man of apostolical gifts and virtues, and of Dionysius bishop of Alexandria; as also of Anatolius bishop of the 'church of Laodicea; likewise of the presbyters Pamphi lus, Pierius, Lucian, Malchion; Eusebius bishop of • Cæsarea, Eustathius bishop of Antioch, Athanasius bishop of Alexandria, Eusebius of Emesa, Triphyllius of Cyprus, 'Asterius, and Serapion, Titus bishop of Bostra, and the Cappadocian bishops, Basil, Gregory, Amphilochius; who 'all have so filled their books with sentiments of the philosophers, and quotations from them, that it is not easy to say, which is more conspicuous and admirable in them, whether skill in profane learning, or the knowledge of the scriptures.
I come now to the Latins. Who more learned, who more acute than Tertullian? His Apology and book against the Gentiles are filled with all manner of learning. 'Minucius Felix a Roman advocate, author of the book entitled Octavius, has left untouched no part of human literature. Arnobius wrote seven books against the Gen'tiles, and his disciple Lactantius as many, beside two other volumes Of the Wrath of God, and the Creation of 'the World; which whoever reads, will see in them an 'epitome of the Dialogues of Cicero. If Victorinus was not learned, he did not want a good will to learning, as appears from his works. Cyprian demonstrated the va'nity of idols in a concise manner, showing great knowledge ' of history, and good sense; after whom follow Hilary and Juvencus: and he omits others,' he says, both living and dead, whose performances manifest the like abilities."
So writes Jerom about the year 400, in defence of himself, and in answer to a question put to him by Magnus, at the instigation of Rufinus, Why he often quoted heathen authors in his works?
Jerom, in vindication of himself, was led to such writers of the church as were remarkable for learning, and had made use of their learning in their writings: he therefore here begins with Quadratus and Aristides. We have written the history of some more early christian writers, which
Quod autem quæris in calce epistolæ tuæ, cur in opusculis nostris secularium literarum interdum ponamus exempla, et candorem ecclesiæ ethnicorum sordibus polluamus. Ead. Ep. sub in.
also are in Jerom's catalogue; and we have likewise proceeded lower, and have taken in Jerom himself, his contemporary Rufinus, and Augustine, Chrysostom, Theodoret, and many others, all joining in the same testimony, and some way or other doing honour to christianity. Moreover we have taken a good number of others in several ages, who, in some respects, differed from the catholics: some of which deserve to be here mentioned, a large account having been given of them; such as Noetus, Paul of Samosata, Sabellius, Marcellus, Photinus, the Novatians, Donatists, Manichees, Priscillianists, beside Artemon, the Audians, the Aërians, and divers others, of whom a brief notice has been taken; all receiving most, or all the same books of the New Testament, which the catholics received, and agreeing in a like respect for them, as written by apostles, or their disciples and companions.
2. The next thing fit to be observed here, in the review of our work, is, that all along great care has been taken to distinguish genuine and supposititious writings, and to assign the true time of the authors and writings that have been alleged.
Thus, for instance, we have separated the epistle written by Clement to the Corinthians, in the name of the church of Rome, from a fragment sometimes ascribed to him. If that fragment is not Clement's, nor written before the third century, (which seems very probable,) the alleging it as his might have been of bad consequence, and have led us into divers mistakes.
And how many mistakes might have been made upon receiving the Apostolical Constitutions, as they are called, as a work of the same bishop of Rome, who died before the end of the first century? Certainly they are better spoken of near the end of the fourth century, as we have done.
We have also supposed the smaller, and not the larger or interpolated epistles of Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, to be genuine. The admitting these to be genuine, and alleging them as such, would have made a great alteration in the testimony of the most early ages, and the apostolical fathers themselves, which must have had a very bad effect.
It is no small pleasure to me to find that, beside others d formerly mentioned, Mr. Jortin also, who has been lately examining the writings of the first ages, approves the smaller epistles and rejects the larger. A part of what he says may be very pertinently alleged here for confirming the observation just made: Thus the shorter epistles of d See vol. ii. p. 76.
e Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, vol. i. [1751.] p. 61-63. See also p. 361.
• Ignatius allude to the writings of the apostles; but in the larger epistles, which are generally supposed to be inter'polated, the passages of the Old and New Testament are * more numerous, and are cited more accurately and distinctly, and sometimes impertinently, as in the Constitutions, and are introduced with, " Thus saith the Lord, thus 'says Paul, and Peter, and Luke, and thus say the scriptures." The apostolical fathers rather allude than cite; and therefore the hand of the forger discovers itself in these epistles.'
Ignatius wrote his letters, when he was condemned, and 'chained, and guarded, and conducted by soldiers, who ' were brutes, and used him ill.-Therefore it is more pro'bable that the shorter epistles should be genuine than the larger, with their pomp and parade of passages from the Old and New Testament, which secessum scribentis et otia quærunt.'
The same learned and ingenious writer rejects also the Apostolical Constitutions, which he considers as an imposture.
There is another work, which may be not improperly mentioned here, though we omit many others. I mean particularly a tract of St. Cyprian, entitled, Testimonies against the Jews, to Quirinus,' in three books, in which many texts of the Old and New Testament are cited: I do not dispute the genuineness of that work; but I suppose it to be interpolated, and therefore have argued thats it ought to be quoted with caution.
Another thing, by which learned men, as I apprehend, suffer themselves to be sometimes misled, is ascribing too early a date to the Latin translation of the work of Irenæus concerning heresies. This also was taken notice of in some observations upon that tract of St. Cyprian; where we mentioned Mr. Dodwell's opinion, that it was not published till after the year 385; whilst some others have imagined that translation to have been made during the lifetime of Irenæus himself.
And I here cheerfully acknowledge the assistances received from Cave, Fabricius, Tillemont, Pagi, Basnage, and other learned critics among the moderns; whereby I have been enabled to produce authors in their true time, and to distinguish genuine and supposititious writings, which cannot but contribute to the value of their testimony, and I hope has rendered it irrefragable.
f Remarks as before, vol. i. p. 228-259. Vol. iii. p. 16-19.
Vol. iii. p. 23. See also p. 25. note 8.