Imagini ale paginilor

such as he would prepare to be read by numbers after6 wards.'

Here therefore it should be observed, that what I ain about to transcribe from this work ought not to be considered as said by Arrian, but by Epictetus himself, whose sentiments Arrian has recorded in his own words, as near as could be done.

For this reason I have been careful to settle the time of Epictetus. About the time of Arrian I have not been so solicitous: but I am inclined to believe that he published these discourses of his master soon after his death, about the year of our Lord 120, and the fourth of the emperor Adrian. VI. In these discourses there are two passages

which have been supposed by many learned men to relate to the christians,

1. In the first, Epictetus blames those who assume the profession of philosophy, or any other character, without

acting up to it. Why,' says he, do you call yourself a • stoic? Why do you deceive the multitude? Why should you pretend to be a Greek, when you are a Jew ? Do you not perceive upon what terms a man is called a Jew, a Syrian, an Egyptian? When we see a man inconstant to • his principles, we say he is not a Jew, but only pretends to • be so: but when he has the temper of a man dipped, y * and professed, then he is indeed, and is called, a Jew. * Even so we are counterfeits, Jews in name, but in reality * something else.

It appears to me doubtful whether christians are here i tended, or only Jews, and proselytes to Judaism: wlo sometimes lived like Jews, and sometimes like Greeks. It is reasonable to think that many did so in the time of Epica tetus, when Jews were hardly treated by Domitian.

2. In the other place Epictetus is speaking of intrepidity, or fearlessness, and particularly with regard to a tyrant, surrounded by his guards and officers, and says: " Isit possible that a man may arrive at this temper, and become indifferent to those things from madness, or from

[ocr errors]


Ιεδαιοι, εργο

* L. 2. c. 9. p. 192—214. Upton.

* Οταν δ' αναλαβη το παθος, το τ8 βεβαμμενα και ηρημενο, τοτε και εσι τω όντι, και καλειται Ιεδαιος. Ουτω και ημεις παραβαπτισαι λογω μεν

δ' αλλο τι. Ιb. 3 Instead of ηρημενο, Mr. Upton and Petavius would read περιηρημενε, : circumcised.' But it is a mere conjecture, without the authority of any manuscript, or ancient printed edition. See Upton's notes, p. 124.

3 Eιτα υπο μανιας μεν δυναται τις 8τω διατιθηναι προς ταυτα και υπο εθες, üç Ór l'alimaloi. L. 4. c. 7. p. 400. Cantabr. p. 621. Úpton.


[ocr errors]


habit, as the Galileans, and yet that no one should be able ' to know by reason and demonstration that God made all things in the world?

' Some have thought that by the Galileans are here meant the followers of Judas of Galilee. I should rather think that christians are intended; of whose sufferings there are such accounts in Tacitus and Suetonius, as may assure us that Epictetus and Arrian could not be unacquainted with them. The followers of Judas of Galilee were extinct before this time. Our Lord had dwelt in Galilee the greatest part of his life here on earth. He was called " the prophet of Galilee."a Most of his wonderful works were wrought in that country, or near it; and his disciples were called Galileans. Such things often occur in our gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles. So that it is not at all unlikely that in early days, as well as afterwards, the christians might be opprobriously called by some Galileans.

Suidas says, that, ' in the tiine of the emperor Claudius, they who before had been called Nazarenes and Galileans, * received a new name at Antioch, and were called christians. Mani, in the third century, sometimes called the catholics, Galileans, as appears from one of his epistles still extant. I think there can be no question made but that the christians, in general, were sometimes called Galileans before the time of the emperor Julian.

It is however very observable, that this stoic is much displeased with some people who had exceeded his own sect in fortitude and patience. A like reflection we shall meet with hereafter in a passage of the emperor Marcus Antoninus, likewise a stoic philosopher, by whom the christians are expressly named.

Mrs. Carter, who by her translation of the discourses of Epictetus has done honour to herself and to her sex, has a note upon this place, which deserves to be transcribed here. Epictetus,' says she, probably means not any remaining disciples of Judas of Galilee, but the christians, whom • Julian afterwards affected to call Galileans. It helps to * confirm this opinion that M. Antoninus [l. 2. sect. 3.] * mentions them by their proper name of Christians, as suf



a Matt. xxi. 11.

o Acts i. 11; ii. 7. ο Ισεον δε, οτι επι Κλαυδια βασιλεως Ρωμης-εν Αντιοχεια μετονομασθησαν οι παλαι λεγομενοι Ναζαραιοι και Γαλιλαιοι, Χριστιανοι. Suid. V. Nαζη

Vid. et V. Γαλιλαια, et Χριςιανοι. ραιος. .

Των Γαλιλαιων, δυο φυσεις ονομαζoντων εχειν τον Χριςον, πλατυν καταXEO LEV yɛdwra, k... Mani. ap. Fab. B. Gr. Tom. v. p. 285.


fering death out of mere obstinacy. It would have been more reasonable, and more worthy the character of these great men, to have inquired into the principles on which the christians refused to worship heathen deities, and by * which they were enabled to support their sufferings with * such amazing constancy, than rashly to pronounce their be

haviour the effect of obstinacy and habit. Epictetus and • Antoninus were too exact judges of human nature, not to • know that ignominy, tortures, and death, are not merely on • their own account objects of choice. Nor could the re• cords of any time or nation furnish them with an example

of multitudes of persons of both sexes, of all ages, ranks, 6 and natural dispositions, in distant countries, and succes• sive periods, resigning whatever is most valuable and dear

to the heart of man from a principle of obstinacy, or the mere force of habit; not to say that habit could have no • influence on the first sufferers.'

I shall just add, it was the opinion of Tanaquil Faber, thate by Galileans the christians are here intended.

3. Some may think I might conclude here; but I must proceed. Epictetus's discourses, as was observed above, abound with quotations of Greek authors, and references to ancient history. Nevertheless, we observe not any mention made of Moses, or David, or Solomon, or any of the Jewish prophets, nor yet of Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, or John, or Paul, or Peter. The disciples of Jesus wrote in Greek; and the books of Moses and the Jewish prophets had been before his time translated into the Greek language. I do not say he had read them ; but he could not be altogether ignorant of them. Nor were any of them undeserving the regard of a moral philosopher. But they were Unitarians. Nor could they be alleged or taken notice of without hurting, if not overthrowing, the polytheistic scheme.

4. In the sixteenth chapter of the first book of his Discourses, Epictetus has such expressions as these. • What else can I, a lame old man, do, but sing hymns to God ? Since I am a reasonable creature, it is my duty to praise God. And I exhort you to join in the same song. No christian can read this passage without thinking of David's psalms, and perhaps some other parts of scripture. Justly therefore does Mrs. Carter observe, in a note




e 'Exovteç &AUT85 dedoaoiv.] Martyres nostros designat, quos Epictetus, vel Arrianus, aiebat id facere ůto uavias n no 85. Quos enim ibi Galilæos vocat, nullus dubito, quin sint christiani. Lib. 4. cap. vii. T. Fab. annot. ad. Lucian. de Morte Peregrini. T. 2. p. 567. Græv.

sage, Beautiful and affecting examples of such praise and

exhortation may be seen in Psalms xxxiv. civ. cxlv. • and other parts of the sacred writings.

5. In the time of Epictetus, and his disciple Arrian, christians were numerous and well known at Rome, and most parts of the Roman empire, as we are assured by what Tacitus, Pliny, and Suetonius have written concerning them : not now to insist upon any Christian writers, however celebrated or however credible they may be.

Nor was Epictetus unattentive to things that passed in the world about him in his own time, as all must be sensible who read his discourses. Nevertheless, the christians are not inentioned at all, or very seldom, It is hard to believe that this silence was not affected. Epictetus, I apprehend, was high-minded, and the christians were contemptible. He had his share of the common philosophic pride. He did not think it worth the while to inquire into their principles : nor was it proper to mention them often in his discourses, lest the curiosity of his hearers should be excited, and they should be induced to make more particular inquiries after them.

6. However, let him have due praise for all the good he has said or done. Origen, that great christian philosopher, whose mind was contracted by no narrow sentiments, who read all sorts of writings himself, and advised others to do the same who had leisure and abilities, assures us that Epictetus was more acceptable to people of lower rank than Plato, who was more polite.

7. The whole design of his philosophy is said to h have been comprehended in this short and fine maxim, consisting only of two words: • Bear and forbear,' Avex 8 kai ateX8.

Which I have not observed among his Fragments, neither in Mr. Upton, nor in Mrs. Carter; though it is particularly mentioned by Aulus Gellius, and ascribed by him to Epictetus himself.

f See Vol. ii. ch. 42.

8 Contr. Cels. 1. 6. sub fin. h Præterea idem ille Epictetus, quod ex eodem Favorino audivimus, solitus dicere est, duo esse vitia multo omnium gravissima ac teterrima, intolerantiam et incontinentiam; quum aut injurias, quæ sunt ferendæ, non toleramus, neque ferimus; aut, a quibus rebus voluptatibusque nos tenere debemus, non tenemus. Itaque, inquit, si quis hæc duo verba cordi habeat, eaque sibi imperando, atque observando curet, is erit pleraque impeccabilis, vitamque vivet tranquillissi

Verba duo hæc dicebat: AvexKAL ATEX8. A. Gell. 1. 17. cap. 19.





I. His time and character. II. His rescript in favour of

the christians to Minucius Fundanus, proconsul of Asia, III. His letter to Servianus, concerning the christians in Egypt. IV. Whether he erected, and intended to conse

crate, temples to the honour of Jesus Christ. I. PUBLIUS ALIUS ADRIANUS, or the emperor Adrian, was born at Rome on the twenty-fourth day of January, in the year of Christ 76, and died on the tenth day of July, in the year 138, being then more than sixty-two years of age. He reigned twenty years and eleven months, from the death of Trajan, on the tenth or eleventh day of August in 117.

As I may not enlarge either on his character or history, it may be best for me to be quite silent. I shall only say that both have been written by ancient Roman and Greek authors with great freedom; and that he is reckoned one of those princes who had great virtues and great vices. He is also represented to have been very various and inconstant.

II. Adrian is not generally reckoned among the persecuting emperors, because he published no new edicts against them. “But Trajan's edict was still in force. Many christians therefore might suffer in his reign, as there certainly did. Jerom supposeth that the persecutione in his reign was for a while very violent, and that it was moderated upon occasion of the apologies which Quadratus and Aristides presented to Adrian at Athens. These apologies we have

a Vide Dion. Cass. lib. 69. Spartian. in Adriano. Eutrop. 1. 8. c. vi. vii. Victor. de Cæsar, c. xiv. Victor. Epit. c. xiv.

b Vide Pagi ann. 138. n. iii. Basnag. ann. 117. viii. Tillemont, L'Emp. Adrian. art. i. and Crevier's History of the Roman Emperors, vol. vii. p. 213. Dictionnaire de Bayle, Hadrien.

c Idem severus, lætus; comis, gravis; lascivus, cunctator; tenax, liberalis simulator, sævus, clemens, et semper in omnibus varius. Spartian. Adrian.

-Quas [legas] nullas Hadrianus, quanquam curiositatum omnium explorator-impressit. Tertull

. Ap. c. 5. p. 7. e Quadratus, Apostolorum discipulus; et Atheniensis Pontifex ecclesiæ, nonne Adriano principi, Eleusinia sacra invisenti, librum pro nostrâ religione tradidit? Et tantæ admirationi omnibus fuit, ut persecutionem gravissimam illius excellens sedaret ingenium ? Aristides Philosophus, vir eloquentissimus, eidem principi apologeticum pro christianis obtulit, &c.Hieron. ep. 83. al. 84.



c. 14.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »