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christians, speaks to this purpose. • Asi for the feast, it is • a well-known thing. Every body talks of it. They come ' together, upon an appointed day, with all their children,
their sisters, and mothers; persons of each sex, and of every • condition. And after feeding plentifully, when the lights are put out, they practise promiscuously incest, and all inanner of uncleanness.'
To this Octavius refers, when it comes to his turn to speak. • The story,' saysk he, 6 of the incestuous mixtures is a mere fiction, a lic invented by demons. Nor does
your Fronto attest it as a positive witness; but he flings . it out in the way of reproach as an orator.'
It hence plainly appears, that one Fronto had published an oration against the christians, in which was that odious calumny, particularly taken notice of by Tertullian, and other ancient christian apologists. Several learned men! have been of opinion, that this Fronto is the same, who was master in the Latin tongue to Marcus Antoninus them philosopher. If so, we may the less wonder at that emperor's antipathy to the christians; forn Fronto was one of his masters, for whom he had a high respect. As Antoninus's master was a professed orator and rhetorician, the conjecture that he is the same who published the oration here mentioned, is very probable.
But beside this Fronto, who was of Cirtha in Numidia, expressly mentioned both by Cæcilius and Octavius in their
· Et de convivio notum est. Passim omnes loquuntur. Id etiam Cirtensis nostri testatur oratio. Ad epulas solemni die coëunt, cum omnibus liberis, sororibus, matribus, sexûs omnis homines, et omnis ætatis. Illic, post multas epulas, ubi convivium caluit, et incestæ libidini ebrietatis fervor exarsit, canis, qui candelabro nexus est, jactu ossulæ ultra spatium lineæ, quâ vinctus est, ad impetum et saltum provocatur. Sic everso et exstincto conscio lumine, impudentibus tenebris nexus infandæ cupiditatis involvunt per incertum sortis. Et si non omnes operâ, conscientiâ tamen pariter incesti; quoniam voto universorum appetitur, quidquid accidere potest in actu singulorum. Min. Fel. cap. 9.
k Et de incesto convivio fabulam grandem adversum nos dæmonum coitio mentita est, ut gloriam pudicitiæ deformis infamiæ aversione [f. aspersione] macularet --Sic de isto et tuus Fronto, non, ut affirmator, testimonium fecit, sed convivium, ut orator, inspersit. Ib. cap. 31.
| Nam et ex eâdem Africâ prodibant hostes minime ignavi, neque improbi minus, quam vehementer calumniatores. Qualis, ne longius abeam, fuit ille, cujus jam memini, Fronto-Nollem hunc fuisse Papirium Frontonem jurisconsultum, qui in Pandectis laudatur. Suspicor potius fuisse Cornelium Frontonem rhetorem, quem Capitolinus narrat fuisse præceptorem M. Antonini Philosophi Imp. -Balduín. in Præf. ad Min. Felic. cap. iii. Vid. et annotata a Rigaltio, in cap. ix.
m Latinas autem literas eum Fronto orator nobilissimus docuit. Eutrop. lib. viii. cap. 12.
n Sed multum ex his Frontoni detulit, cui et statuam in Senatu petit. Jul. Capitol. M. Antonin. cap. 2.
conference, there seem to be references to one or two more, who are anonymous. For before Octavius mentions Fronto, he says: 'Ando he who tells against us the fiction of our ' worshipping the priest's secret parts, only strives to throw * scandals upon us, which are his own, and belong to his own people.
And soon afterwards : AndP now,' says Octavius, “I • would willingly speak to him, who says, or believes, that we are initiated with the murder and blood of a child.'
Here seem to me to be two different writers, who had aspersed the christians, beside Fronto. But whether they were professed adversaries, who wrote a book against the christians, as Fronto did; or whether they only occasionally flung out reflections upon the christians in some work, the principal part of which was some other subject, does not clearly appear. But they are authors. And as they are both taken notice of by Octavius, before he comes to Fronto, it is not unlikely, that they were at least as ancient as he; and probably not very remote in time from Celsus, of whom we are now to speak more distinctly.
I have not particularly mentioned Autolycus, to whom Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, near the end of the second century, addressed three books in the way of apology for the christians.
Nor Demetrian, to whom Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, about the middle of the third century, wrote a letter, with the same view ; because, though they were men of some learning, and of some consideration upon account of their worldly condition, it does not appear that they ever wrote against the christians, but only, so far as we can discern, cast reflections upon them in their discourses, and sometimes even in the presence of the above-mentioned bishops, to whom they were not absolute strangers.
• Etiam ille, qui de adoratis sacerdotis virilibus adversus nos fabulatur, tentat in nos conferre quæ sua sunt. Cap. 28.
o Illum jam convenire, qui initiari nos dicit, aut credit, de cæde infantis et sanguine. Cap. 30. in.
I. His time, and character, and his work against the chris
tians. JI. Passages in Celsus, representing the Jewish expectation of the Messiah. III. Passages of Celsus, containing references to the books of the N. T. IV. Passages of Čelsus concerning christian facts, chiefly such as are recorded in the N. T. V. Passages of Celsus relating to the christian principles. VI. Passages relating to the progress of the christian religion. VII. Passages of Celsus, in which he chargeth the christians with magical practices. VIII. Passages relating to christian worship, and their religious assemblies. IX. Passages in Celsus concerning those called heretics. X. Passages in Celsus, containing calumnies, or injurious reflections upon the christians. XI. Remarks upon the work of Celsus against the christians, and upon Origen's answer to it. XII. A Recapitulation of the preceding extracts. XIII. Three summaries of the fragments of the work of Celsus preserved in Origen, made by three several learned men.
His time, and character, and his work against the
THE book, which Celsus wrote against the christians, wasa entitled . The true Word.' Origen says, he had understood, that there were two of this name, who were Epicureans: one lived in the time of Nero, the other in the time of Adrian, and afterwards. Him he takes to be the person who had written against us.
Aoyov Annon, ús Etteypayev ó Keloos. Orig. contr. Cels. in Pr. sect. 4. Bened. p. 3. Spencer. seu Cant.
Και περιεγραψαμεν εν οκτω βιβλιοις παντα, οσα πρεπον ειναι ενομισαμεν υπαγόρευσαι προς τον επιγεγραμμενον Κελσε Αληθη Λογον. L. viii. sect. 76. p. 428. et passim.
b Contra Cels. 1 i. c. 8. p. 9
Concerning Celsus, and his work, divers learned moderns may be consulted.
It was a time of persecution when he wrote; for he several times speaks of the christians teaching their principles privately, and holding assemblies contrary to law, and hiding themselves, because they were sought for to be put to death. This leads us to the reign of Marcus Antoninus the philosopher. It is also very probable, that this Celsus is the same, to whom Lucian' inscribed his f Alexander or Pseudomantis, which was not written until after the death of the fore-mentioned emperor. He therefore reached to the time of Commodus. I choose, therefore, upon the whole, to place him with his friend Lucian, (who will be in the next chapter,) in the year of Christ 176, not far from the end of the reign of Marcus, who died in March, in the year 180.
Against this adversary of our religion, Origen, ats the desire of his friend Ambrose, wrote an answer. published, as some think, in the year 246, according to others in 249, an excellent work, greatly esteemed and celebrated, not only by Eusebius and Jerom, but also by many judicious moderns, particularly Du Pin; who says, *ith is polite and methodical; not only the best work of
Origen, but the completest and best written apology for ' the christian religion, which the ancients have left us.
This apology of Origen consists of eight books, undoubtedly thus (livided by that great master himself, that each
Cav. H. L. p. 96. Fabr. B. Gr. 1. iii. cap. 33. T. ii. p. 809. et Lux Evangel. p. 151. Tillem. Origene, art. 34.
Πρωτον τω Κελση κεφαλαιον εσι βελομενω διαβαλειν χριστιανισμον, ως συνθηκας κρυβδην προς αλληλες ποιoμενων χριςιανων παρα τα νενομισμενα. . L. i. sect. 1. Ben. p. 4. Cant.
Μετα ταυτα, περι το κρυφα χρισιανες τα αρέσκοντα εαυτοις ποιειν και διδασκειν ειπων, και ότι 8 ματην τετο ποιεσιν, ατε διαθεμενοι την επηρτημενην αυτοις δικην το θανατο. L. i. sect. 3. p. 5.
Υμων δε καν πλαναται τις ετι λανθανων, αλλα ζητειται προς θανατε δικην. L. viii. sect. 69. p. 424.
e Ut ut est, Celsus, quem confutat Origenes, suum Annon Aoyov scribere non potuit ante Marci Aurelii imperium, quandoquidem, teste Origene, l. v. n. 62, non solum in eo opere meminerat Marcionitarum, qui circa annum Christi 142 orti sunt, sed et Marcellianorum, qui nomen trahebant a Marcellinâ, quâu dam ex Carpocratianorum sectâ muliere, quæ, teste Irenæo, lib. i. cap. 24, Romam venit sub Aniceto post annum Christi 157. Verisimile autem admodum est illum hoc opus composuisse ardente Marci Aurelii adversus christianos persecutione, siquidem, teste Origene, lib. viii. num. 69, christianos asserit ubique latere, ut mortis
, ad quam quærebantur, periculum evaderent. Benedictin. Monitum ad libros Origenis contr. Cels. p. 313. Lucian. T. i. p. 746. edit. Gr.
& Contr. Cels, in Pr. et sub fin. libri octavi et ultimi.
b See Vol. i. ch. xxxviii.
book might be perused at a single reading, without disgust or weariness. But the Benedictines have now divided the books into sections; which is a very useful and acceptable service.
As Celsus undertook a laboured argument against the christians, and he wrote so late as the time of Marcus Antoninus, when too the christians were openly persecuted, and their affairs were rendered better known by the persecution itself, and by the apologies then made for them; we may reasonably expect to find in his work many things which may be now of great use to us; none, however, more valuable, than the testimony here given to the books of the New Testament. As Chrysostom says : Celsus' and Bataneotes, (meaning Porphyry,) are sufficient witnesses to the antiquity of our books. For, I presume, they did not op
pose writings which have been published since their own 6 time.'
As our collections from the remains of Celsus, preserved in Origen, will be large and various, it is very proper to divide them into several sections.
Passages in Celsus, representing the Jewish expectation of
NOR ought it to be thought at all strange, that we find some things in Celsus concerning this matter, because in a large part of his work he personated a Jew.
1. "Buta my propbet said formerly at Jerusalem, that • the Son of God will come a judge of good men, and a punisher of the wicked.'
Upon this Origen has divers observations, showing, that these words are improperly put in the mouth of a Jew. First, he says, that the Christ was not prophesied of by one, but by many. Secondly, if by my prophet' be ineant Moses, here is another absurdity; for the name of Jerusalem was not known in his time. Thirdly, no Jew would say, that any prophet foretold the coming of the Son of
1 Ικανοι δε και αι καθ' ημων ειρηκοτες την αρχαιοτητα μαρτυρήσαι τοις βιβλιοις, οι περι Κελσον και τον Βατανεωτης τον μετ' εκεινον. Ου γαρ δη τους μετ' avT8g OUVTEDELOLV UVTɛlɛyov. Chrys. in ep. i. ad Cor. hom. vi. T. x. p. 47.
εμος προφητης εν Ιεροσολυμοις ποτη, ότι ηξει θεα Υιος, των dowy KPITns, kau twv adikwv kołasns. Contr. Čels. 1. i. sect. 40. p. 38.
a Αλλ' ειπεν