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server of the sacred rites, which his master Plotinus regarded very little. I have placed Amelius at the year 263, because Porphyry intimates, that he published little or nothing before the tenth year of Gallienus, when he had been eighteen years with Plotinus. This will suffice for his history. .
11. . Moreover,' says Eusebius, in his Evangelical Preparation, Amelius,k a celebrated philosopher among the * moderns, and a great admirer of the Platonic philosophy,
though he has not mentioned the evangelist's name, bears testimony to his doctrine, saying, in these very words; . And this plainly was the Word, by whom, he being him“ self eternal, were made all things that are, as Heraclitus . also would say; and by Jove the same, whom the barba
rian affirms to have been in the place and dignity of a “ principal, and to be with God, and to be God; by whom • all things were made, and in whom every thing that was made has its life and being. Who descending into body, and putting on flesh, took the form of man; though even • then he gave proof of the inajesty of bis nature; nay, and after his dissolution he was deified again, and is God, the same he was before he descended into body, and flesh, • and man.'
Ι I suppose that all will agree with Eusebius, and other ancient christian writers, that by the barbarian’ Amelius intended the evangelist John, and that he here refers to his gospel. He calls him • barbarian, because, though he wrote in Greek, that was not his native language, and he was of Jewish or Hebrew extraction ; or, as Cyril' expresseth it, he was a Hebrew of Hebrews, and not a Greek.
This passage of Amelius is a testimony to St. John's whole gospel, which, I think, he had read.
1 Ιbid. cap. 4. p. 99. Et conf. cap. 3. p. 98.
Κ Εικοτως δητα και των νεων φιλοσοφων διαφανης γεγονως Αμελιος, ει και μη επ' ονοματος ηξιωσε τ8 ευαγγελισ8 Ιωανν8 μνημην ποιησασθαι, επιμαρτυρεί
δ' εν όμως ταις αυτ8 φωναις, αυτα δε ταυτα προς ρημα γραφων. Και ετος αρα ην ο Λογος, καθ' ον αιει οντα τα γινομενα εγινετο, ώς αν και ο “Ηρακλειτος αξιωσειες και νη Δι' όν ο βαρβαρος αξιοι εν τη της αρχης ταξει τε και αξια καθεσηκοτα προς θεον ειναι δι' 8 πανΟ' απλως γεγενησθαι" ενώ το γενομενον ζων και ζωην, και ον πεφυκεναι και εις σωματα πιπτειν, και σαρκα ενδυσαμενον, φανταζεσθαι ανθρωπον μετα και τα τηνικαυτα δεικνυειν της φυσεως το μεγαλειον" αμελει και αναλυθεντα παλιν αναθεεσθαι και θεον ειναι οιος ην προ το εις σωμα, και την σαρκα, και τον ανθρωπον καταχθειναι. Εuseb. Pr. Εν. L. xi. cap. 19. 540.
Βαρβαρον Bν, ως γε οιμαι, τον θεσπεσιον Ιωαννην αποκαλει, διατοι της γλωττης ταχα πε το ετεροθρεν Εβραιος γαρ ην εξ Εβραιων, και εκ απο γε της Ελληνων χωρας τε και γης. Cyr. contr. Julian. 1. viii. p. 283.
1. That he refers to the beginning of St. John's gospel is manifest. See cb, i, 1–4, and ver. 14.
2. He also says, “that the Word, after he had de* scended into body, and had put on flesh, even then he
gave proof of the inajesty of bis nature. Here Amelius must refer to the great works performed by our Lord, as related in the following parts of that gospel.
3. Finally, Amelius says, that after his dissolution he was deified again, and was the same that he was before he descended into body. Here, I think, he had in his eye John xvii. 5, “ And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thy own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” And ch. xvi. 5,
And ch. xvi. 5, “ But now I
“ But now I go my way to him that sent me, and none of
W bither goest thou ?” Comp. ch. xiv. 4-8; and xx. 17; and other places.
Upon the whole I cannot but think, that Amelius had read over St. John's gospel from the beginning to the end.
This same passage is also quoted at length bym Cyril of Alexandria, in his answer to the emperor Julian.
It is likewise quoted by Theodoret in his work against the gentiles; he introduceth it in this manner; · Plutarch • also and Plotinus had heard of the sacred gospels. This ' is apparent from Amelius, who presided in the school of Porphyry; for he greatly admires the proëm to John's theology, saying, in these very words: “And this plainly was the Word.'
Here is some inaccuracy. Amelius did not preside in the school of Porphyry; but he was an eminent man of the school of Plotinus, where Porphyry was also in great repute.
Theodoret from this passage of Amelius concluded, that • Plutarch and Plotinus were acquainted with our gospels.' It is, I suppose, no more than a probable supposition. Theodoret might be hence led to think as much of Plutarch; but we cannot affirm it. We see no proofs of it in his works; nor can we certainly say, that Plotinus was acquainted with our gospels, or had read them. But I suppose it may be reckoned certain, that he had heard of the christians, and had some koowledge of them. It is manifest from a passage of Porphyry, in his life of Plotinus, which will be alleged in the chapter of Porphyry.
m Cont. Jul. I. viii. p. 283.
Και μεν δη και των θειων ευαγγελιων οτε Πλαταρχος και ο Πλωτινος υπηκοσατην. Δηλοι δε τετο σαφως ο Αμελιος, της Πορφυριε πρωτευσας διατριβης. Υπεραγαται γαρ το της Ιωαννα Deploylas arpooluiov etwoi lɛywv. K. . Theod. Gr. Att. Serm. 2. p. 500. T. iv
Porphyr. de Vitâ Plotin. cap. xvi. p. 118. ubi supra.
And it may be reckoned somewhat remarkable, that froin the school of Plotinus we have so many testiinonies to christianity. One of his disciples was Porphyry, who wrote so learnedly and so bitterly against the christians. Amelius, just quoted, who had read St. John's gospel, was another of the same school. And Longinus, froin whom we shall also have a testimony, was well acquainted with those two disciples, and their master Plotinus. I think it may be hence concluded, that the learned men of that time had some knowledge of the christians. Their reading and considering the sacred books of the christians, depended upon their inquisitiveness, and openness to conviction, in things of religion.
Augustine speaks of a Platonic philosopher, who greatly admired the beginning of St. John's gospel, and said, " It deserved to be written in letters of gold, and to * be set up in the most conspicuous place in every church. " Whether that Platonic philosopher was Amelius, or another, we cannot say certainly.
Basil, in a homily upon the beginning of St. John's gospel, “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was · with God, and the Word was God,” I says, ' I have known
many, wbo are aliens from the word of truth, and boast • themselves of their worldly wisdom, who have admired • this text, and have also dared to insert it in their own • writings. Basil does not name them, and therefore we cannot say who they were.
Quod initium sancti evangelii, cui nomen est Secundum Joannem, quidam Platonicus, sicut a sancto sene Simpliciano, qui postea Mediolanensis ecclesiæ præsedit episcopus, solebamus audire, aureis literis conscribendum, et per omnes ecclesias in locis eminentissimis proponendum esse dicebat. De Civ. Dei, l. x. cap. 29.
Ταυτα οιδα πολλες και των εξω το λογο της αληθειας μεγα φρονεντων επι σοφια κοσμικη, και θαυμασαντας, και τοις εαυτων συνταγμασιν εγκαταλεξαι Toljnoavras. Basil
. hom. 16. in illud, in Principio erat Verbum. Tom. ii. p. 134. A. B. Edit. Bened. 1722.
I. His time and character. II. His testimony to the scrip
tures, with a curious observation upon a fragment ascribed to him.
I. SAYS Suidas ; Longinus a Cassius, a philosopher, • master of Porphyry the philosopher, a man of great learn*ing and exact judgment in things of literature. He • flourished in the time of the emperor Aurelian, by whom
he was put to death, as an accomplice with Zenobia wife • of Odunatus.' After which Suidas mentions the titles of several of his works, and says, he wrote many others.
Longinus Cassius. He is generally called Dionysius Longinus.
Suidas says, he lived in the time of Aurelian, who did not begin to reign before the year of Christ 270, and by whom Longinus was put to death. Tanaquil Faber says, that Suidas would have expressed bimself more accurately if he had said, that · Longinus flourished under Gordian, · Decius, Valerian, Gallienus, and Claudius.' For, indeed, the reigns of most of the Roman emperors about that time were very short. Tanaquil Faber adds: And therefore • Longinus was contemporary with Origen:' which also is another just observation. Photius says, thata Longinus flourished in the time of Claudius, whose reign began in the year 268. I place him at the year of Christ 264, the twelfth of Gallienus; for he did not die before the year 273; and he could not then be young, as may be concluded from the number of his works; and he is always reckoned one of Porphyry's masters.
Λογγινος ο Κασσιος, φιλοσοφος, διδασκαλος Πορφυριε τε φιλοσοφέ, πολυμαθης και κριτικος γενομενος. Ην δε επι Αυρηλιανα τ8 Καισαρος, και ανηρεθη υπ' αυτ8, ώς συμπνες Ζηνοβια, τη Oδυνατά
Tanaquilli Fabr. notæ ad Suidæ testimonium. Vid. Longin. ex editione Jac. Tollii.
Itaque Origeni ovyxpovog fuit Longinus. Fab. ibid. And Longinus is reckoned by Porphyry among the other gentile writers, which had been read and studied by Origen. Vid. Ěuseb. H. E. 1. vi. cap. 19. p. 220. C.
--Ene Klavdis de BToç nkuasa. Phot. cod. 265. p. 1470.
His father's naine is not known. Hise mother was · Frontonis, sister of Fronto, of Emesa, the orator, who was ' at Rome in the time of the emperor Severus, and afterwards
taught rhetoric at Athens; where he died when he was • about sixty years of age, leaving f Longinus the critic bis · heir.' So says Suidas. Nevertheless Longinus did not lose his parents whilst very young; they accompanied him in his travels; as we learn from a letter of his to Marcellus, a part of which is preserved in Porphyry's Life of Plotinus; whom" he saw, and continued some while with Ammonius and Origen, probably meaning Ammonius Saccus, and our Origen, called Adamantius.
Learned meni are not agreed about the place of bis nativity. Some think he was an Athenian; others think it more likely, that he was born at Emesa in Syria, the place of his uncle's, and probably of his mother's nativity. His connexions with Zenobia, to whom he was master in the Greek language, and privy-counsellor, are proofs of his being in that part of the world in the latter part of his life; and there is a letterk of his written to Porphyry, when in Sicily, desiring him to come to himn in Phænicia. In his excellent remaining work, Of the Sublime, hel reckons biinself among the Greeks; and so he might do, and be born in Syria; the people of that country being often called Greeks by ancient writers.
Eunapius says, “ thatm Longinus was esteemed a living • library, and walking museum.
He had a kind of estab• lished authority to judge of ancient authors. If any man ' presumed to remark upon an ancient author, his sentence • was not allowed of till the judgment of Longinus was • known.' Porphyry and Zosimus extol Longinus in the like manner.
• Suid. V. Φροντων, Εμισηνος.
Και αδελφης Φροντωνιδος παιδα οντα Λογγινον τον κριτικον κληρονομον κατελιπεν. Suid. ut supr.
----8ς απαντας μεν υπηρξεν ιδειν ημιν, δια την εκ παιδων επι πολλες TOTeS àua Tous Yovevolv Etiònjlav. De Vit. Plot. cap. 20. p. 127. h Vid. ib. p. 128.
i De patriâ Longini inter doctos multum disputatur ; sed mihi quidem placet J. Jonsii conjectura, qui eum Atheniensem censet fuisse. Z. Pearce de Vitâ et Scriptis Longini, p. 1.
Αξιων γαρ με απο της Σικελιας κατιεναι προς αυτον εις την Φοινικην. κ. λ. Porph. de Vit. Plotin. cap. 19. p. 123.
––ει και ημιν ως ‘EXAyol speltal TI YLVWOKELV. k. N. De Sublim. cap. xii, 6. p. 92. Tollii.
Λογγινος δε κατα τον χρονον εκεινον βιβλιοθηκη τις ην εμψυχος, και περιπατον μεσειον" και κρινειν γε τ8ς παλαιας επετετακτο. Eunap. de Vit. Porph. p. 16.
Π Και ει τις κατεγνω τινος των παλαιων, και το δοξασθεν εκρατει προτερον, αλλ' η Λογγινε παντως εκρατει κρισις. Ιb. p. 17.
Porph. de Vit. Plotin, cap. 14. p. 116. Cap. 21. p. 135. p Zos. lib. i. p. 659.