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• been among the nations. ror, as others understand this * place; Yes," all, provided there is any good man among the nations.] Crit. There must be a inultitude of scribes in heaven, according to your account.—Trieph. Ia pray, • forbear your jests, and say nothing contemptuous of the • dexterous God; but become a catechumen, and be per• suaded by me, if you have a mind to live for ever. Since * he has stretched out the heavens like a curtain, and found6ed 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 Critiasb to give • him an account of what he had heard in the assembly of * the christians, and which had so discomposed him. Critias
answers, Byo 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 bad 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: • Buti let us find out the unknown God at Athens, and • stretching out our hands to heaven, offer to him our praises and thanksgiving's, 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 ætate Philop. sect. 21. p. 717.
Ευξομει, και μηδεν ειπης φλαυρον θεε δεξια. p. 773. • Αλλ' αγε δη το θαυμασιον εκεινο ακέσματιον αεισον. p. 774.
ο Νη τον υιον τον εκ πατρος, 8 τ8το γενησεται. Τρι. Λεγε, παρα τ8 πνευματος δυναμιν τε λογα λαβων. p. 774.
d Eleyov yap vlees δεκα ασιτοι διαμενομεν και επι παννυχες υμνωδιας επαγρυπνεντες ονειρωττομεν τα τοιαυτα. p. 778.
• Ωςε εασον τ8τ8ς, την ευχην απο πατρος αρξαμενος, και την πολυωνυμον ρδην εις τελος επιθεις. p. 779. Ημεις δε τον εν Αθηναις αγνωςον επευροντες, και προσκυνησαντες, χειρας
, , εις ερανον εκτειναντες, τετω ευχαρισησομεν, ώς καταξιωθεντες τοι8τε κρατες υπηκοοι γενεσθαι. p. 780.
8 Mihi vero 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. ii. 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
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, whoh 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 sbould 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. ii. 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 beaven, and there learned the most extraordinary things, came to me,
Και παροιμια. .
Ο Ζευς κατειλε χρονιος εις τας διφθερας" επι των ποτε αμειβομενων υπερ ών πραττεσι καλων η κακων ότι εκ απρονοητα φασι τα παντα, αλλα τον Δια εις διφθερας, τινας απογραφεσθαι, και ποτε επεξιεναι. Suidas. V. Zeus. Ubi Annotator. Huc spectat illud Euripidis apud Stobæum, &c.
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 a10eprot, aidepoßa
τεντες, δαιμονιοι, αεροβατεντες, &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, isk 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
i As before, p. 287, 288.
* Per την ευχην απο πατρος, p. 779, Orationem Dominicam Lucianus intelligit, ut recte notatum Rigaltio ad Tertullianum. Sed per tolvwvvuov qonv superadditam non existimaverim 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? 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, : than the plain one in St. Matthew. Hallett's Notes and Discourses, vol. i. p. 144, 145,
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.
ÆLIUS ARISTIDES THE SOPHIST, AND DION CHRYSOSTOM.
1. Aristides, his life, and time, and works. II. Select passages from him. Ill. Passages concerning the christians, and illustrating the books of the N. Ï. IV. His character and importance. V. The sophist Dion Chrysostom: His time, and works, and a passage concerning the christians.
1. “ ARISTIDES the sophist,' saysa 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 "actly known
Philostratus confirms that account of Suidas, and farther says,
• Thatb 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, 6 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. Αρισειδης.
. * De Vit. Sophist. I. 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 empe
ror came to Smyrna, and was there three days before • Aristides came to pay his respects to bim; 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 bim. 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 answer.ed, I was employed about a work; and the mind is not * easily diverted from what it is engaged in. The emperor, ,
pleased with his ingenuity, and his diligence, said, And • when shall I hear you? Appoint a time, says Aristides, 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 Photiuse 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 place 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.
Jupitere 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. I. iv. cap. 30. sect. 4. T. iv. p. 373_-409. Basnag. Ann. 176. n. v. Dr. Chapman's Charge, p. 91. Tillemont. M. Aurele. art. 31.
e Hymnus in Joven, T. i. p. 2. al. p. 5.