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Title: Arguments Of Celsus, Porphyry, And The Emperor Julian, Against The Christians - Also Extracts from Diodorus Siculus, Josephus, and Tacitus, - Relating to the Jews, Together with an Appendix
Author: Taylor, Thomas, 1758-1835
Language: English
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ARGUMENTS OF CELSUS, PORPHYRY, and THE EMPEROR JULIAN, AGAINST THE
CHRISTIANS;

ALSO EXTRACTS FROM DIODORUS SICULUS, JOSEPHUS, AND TACITUS, RELATING TO
THE JEWS, TOGETHER WITH AN APPENDIX;

CONTAINING:

THE ORATION OF LIBANIUS IN DEFENCE OF THE TEMPLES

OF THE HEATHENS, TRANSLATED BY DR. LARDNER;

AND EXTRACTS FROM BINGHAM'S ANTIQUITIES

OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.


By [Thomas Taylor]


MDCCCXXX.


"For if indeed Julian had caused all those that were under his dominion
to be richer than Midas, and each of the cities greater than Babylon
once was, and had also surrounded each of them with a golden wall, but
had corrected none of the existing errors respecting divinity, he would
have acted in a manner similar to a physician, who receiving a body
full of evils in each of its parts, should cure all of them except the
eyes."--Liban. Parental, in Julian, p. 285.



INTRODUCTION.

"I HAVE often wished," says Warburton in a letter to Dr. Forster,
October 15, 1749, "for a hand capable of collecting all the fragments
remaining of Porphyry, Celsus, Hierocles, and Julian, and giving them
to us with a just, critical and theological comment, as a defy to
infidelity. It is certain we want something more than what their ancient
answerers have given us. This would be a very noble work*."

The author of the following Collectanea has partially effected what Dr.
Warburton wished

     * See Barker's Parriana, vol. ii. p. 48.

{iv}

to see accomplished; for as he is not a _divine_, he has not attempted
in his Notes to confute Celsus, but has confined himself solely to an
illustration of his meaning, by a citation of parallel passages in other
ancient authors.

As the answer, however, of Origen to the arguments of Celsus is very
futile and inefficient, it would be admirable to see some one of the
learned divines with which the church at present abounds, leap into the
arena, and by vanquishing Celsus, prove that the Christian religion
is peculiarly adapted to the present times, and to the interest of the
priests by whom it is professed and disseminated.

The Marquis D'Argens published a translation in French, accompanied
by the Greek text, of the arguments of the Emperor Julian against
the Christians; and as an apology for the present work, I subjoin the
following translation of a part of his preliminary discourse, in which
he defends that publication.

"It may be that certain half-witted gentleman

{v}

may reproach me for having brought forward a work composed in former
times against the Christians, in the vulgar tongue. To such I might
at once simply reply, that the work was preserved by a Father of the
Church; but I will go further, and tell them with Father Petau, who gave
a Greek edition of the works of Julian, that if those who condemn the
authors that have published these works, will temper the ardour of their
zeal with reason and judgement, they will think differently, and will
distinguish between the good use that may be made of the book, and the
bad intentions of the writer.

"Father Petau also judiciously remarks, that if the times were not gone
by when dæmons took the advantage of idolatry to seduce mankind, it
would be prudent not to afford any aid, or give the benefit of any
invective against Jesus, or the Christian religion to the organs of
those dæmons; but since by the blessing of God and the help of the
cross, which have brought about our salvation, the monstrous dogmas of
Paganism are buried in oblivion,

{vi}

we have nothing to fear from that pest; there is no weighty reason for
our rising up against the monuments of Pagan aberration that now remain,
and totally destroying them. On the contrary, the same Father Petau
says, that it is better to treat them as the ancient Christians treated
the images and temples of the gods. At first, in the provinces in
which they were in power, they razed them to the very foundations, that
nothing might be visible to posterity that could perpetuate impiety, or
the sight of which could recall mankind to an abominable worship. But
when the same Christians had firmly established their religion, it
appeared more rational to them, after destroying the altars and statues
of the gods, to preserve the temples, and by purifying them, to make
them serviceable for the worship of the true God. The same Christians
also, not only discontinued to break the statues and images of the
gods, but they took the choicest of them, that were the work of the most
celebrated artists, and set them up in public places to ornament their
cities, as well as to recall to the memory of those who beheld them, how
gross

{vii}

the blindness* of their ancestors had been, and how powerful the grace
that had delivered them from it."

The Marquis d'Argens further observes: "It were to be wished, that
Father Petau, having so judiciously considered the works of Julian, had
formed an equally correct idea of the person of that Emperor. I cannot
discover through what caprice he takes it amiss, that a certain learned
Professor** has praised the civil virtues of Julian, and condemned the
evidently false calumnies that almost all the ecclesiastical authors
have lavished upon him; and amongst the rest Gregory and Cyril, who
to the good arguments they have adduced against the false reasoning of
Julian, have added insults which ought never to have been used by any
defender of truth. They have cruelly

     * The Heathens would here reply to Father Petau. Which is
     the greater blindness of the two,-- ours, in worshipping the
     images of deiform processions from the ineffable principle
     of things, and who are eternally united to him; or that of
     the Papists, in worshipping the images of worthless men

     ** Monsieur de la Bletric.

{viii}

calumniated this Emperor to favour _their good cause_, and confounded
the just, wise, clement, and most courageous prince, with the Pagan
philosopher and theologian; when they ought simply to have refuted him
with argument, in no case with insult, and still less with calumnies so
evidently false, that during fourteen centuries, in which they have
been so often repeated, they have never been accredited, nor enabled to
assume even an air of truth."

A wise Christian philosopher, La Mothe, Le Vayer, in reflecting on
the great virtues with which Julian was endowed, on the contempt he
manifested for death, on the firmness with which he consoled those who
wept around him, and on his last conversation with Maximus and Priscus
on the immortality of the soul, says, "that after such testimonies of
a virtue, to which _nothing appears to be wanting but the faith to give
its professor a place amongst the blessed_*, we have cause to wonder
that

     * According to this _wise Christian philosopher_ therefore,
     not only all the confessedly wise and virtuous

Heathens that lived posterior, but those also who lived anterior to the
promulgation of the Christian religion, will have no place hereafter
among the blessed.

{ix}

Cyril should have tried to make us believe, that Julian was a mean and
cowardly prince*. Those who judge of men that lived in former ages by
those who have lived in more recent times, may feel little surprise at
the proceedings of Cyril. It has rarely happened that long animosity and
abuse have not been introduced into religious controversies."

After what has been above said of Julian, I deem it necessary to
observe, that Father Petau is egregiously mistaken in supposing that
Cyril has preserved the whole of that Emperor's arguments against the
Christians: and the Marquis D'Argêns is also mistaken when he says, that
"the passages of Julian's text which are

     * This is by no means wonderful in Cyril, when we consider
     that he is, with the strongest reason, suspected of being
     the cause of the murder of Hypatia, who was one of the
     brightest ornaments of the Alexandrian school, and who was
     not only a prodigy of learning, but also a paragon of
     beauty.

{x}

abridged or omitted, aire very few." For Hieronymus in Epist. 83. _Ad
Magnum Oratorem Romanum_, testifies that this work consisted of seven
books; three of which only Cyril attempted to confute, as is evident
from his own words, [--Greek--] "Julian wrote three books against the
holy Evangelists." But as Fabricius observes, (in Biblioth. Græc. tom.
vii. p. 89.) in the other four books, he appears to have attacked the
remaining books of the Scriptures, i. e. the books of the Old Testament.

With respect, however, to the three books which Cyril has endeavoured to
confute, it appears to me, that he has only selected such parts of these
books as he thought he could most easily answer. For that he has not
given even the substance of these three books, is evident from the
words of Julian himself, as recorded by Cyril. For Julian, after certain
invectives both against Christ and John, says, "These things, therefore,
we shall shortly discuss, when we come particularly to consider

{xi}

the monstrous deeds and fraudulent machinations of the Evangelists*."
There is no particular discussion however of these in any part of the
extracts preserved by Cyril.

That the work, indeed, of Julian against the Christians was of
considerable extent, is evident from the testimony of his contemporary,
Libanius; who, in his admirable funeral oration on this most
extraordinary man, has the following remarkable passage: "But when the
winter had extended the nights, Julian, besides many other beautiful
works, attacked the books which make a man of Palestine to be a God, and
the son of God; and in _a long contest_, and with strenuous arguments,
evinced that what is said in these writings is ridiculous and nugatory.
And in the execution of this work he appears to have excelled in wisdom
the Tyrian old man.**

     * [--Greek--]

     ** viz. Porphyry, who was of Tyre, and who, as is well
     known, wrote a work against the Christians, which was
     publicly burnt by order of the Emperor Constantine.

{xii}

In asserting this however, may the Tyrian be propitious to me, and
benevolently receive what I have said, he having been vanquished by his
son*."

With respect to Celsus, the author of the following Fragments, he lived
in the time of the Emperor Adrian. and was, if Origen may be credited,
an Epicurean philosopher. That he might indeed, at some former period of
his life, have been an Epicurean maybe admitted; but it would be highly
absurd to suppose that he was so when he wrote this invective against
the Christians; for the arguments which he mostly employs show that he
was well skilled m the philosophy of Plato: and to suppose, as Origen
does, that he availed himself of arguments in

     * [--Greek--]

[xiii]

which he did not believe, and consequently conceived to be erroneous, in
order to confute doctrines which he was persuaded are false, would be
to make him, instead of a philosopher, a fool. As to Origen, though he
abandoned philosophy for Christianity, he was considered as heterodox
by many of the Christian sect. Hence, with some of the Catholics,
his future salvation became a matter of doubt*; and this induced the
celebrated Johannes Picus Mirandulanus, in the last of his _Theological
conclusions according to his own opinion_, to say: "Rationabilius est
credere Uriginem esse salvum, quam credere ipsum esse damnatum," _i. e.
It is more reasonable to believe that Origen is saved, than that he is
damned._

I shall conclude this Introduction with the following extract.

     * 'In Prato Spiritual!, c. 26, quod citatur, à VIL Synodo,
     et à Johanne Diacono, lib. ii. c. 45. vitas B. Gregorii
     narratur fevelatio, qua Origines viras est in Gehenna ignis
     cum Alio et Netftorio."*--Fobric. BMiotk Grate torn. v. p.
     216

{xiv}

Directions of Dr. Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln, to a young divine.

"It will be of great use for a divine to be acquainted with the arts,
knavery, and fraud of the Roman inquisitor, in purging, correcting, or
rather corrupting authors in all arts and faculties. For this purpose
we may consult the _Index Expurgatorius_. By considering this Index, we
come to know the best editions of many good books.

"1st. The best books; that is, those that are condemned.

"2nd. The best editions; viz. those that are dated before the _Index_,
and consequently not altered.

"3rd. The _Index_ is a good common place book, to point out who has
written well against the Church, p. 70.

"Ockam is damned in the _Index_, and therefore we may be sure he was
guilty of telling some great truth, p. 41.*"

     * The Bishop's rule is as good for one church as for
     another, and every church has its Index.



THE ARGUMENTS OF CELSUS AGAINST THE CHRISTIANS

[Illustration: Celsus]

"THE Christians are accustomed to have private assemblies, which are
forbidden by the law. For of assemblies some are public, and these are
conformable to the law of the land; but others are secret, and these are
such as are hostile to the laws; among which are the Love Feasts of the
Christians *.

      * Why the Romans punished the Christians:

     "It is commonly regarded as a very curious and remarkable
     fact, that, although the Romans were disposed to tolerate
     every other religious sect, yet they frequently persecuted
     the Christians with unrelenting cruelty. This exception, so
     fatal to a peaceable and harmless sect, must have originated
     in circumstances which materially distin-...

{2}

"Men who irrationally assent to anything, resemble those who are
delighted with jugglers and enchanters, &c. For as most of these are
depraved characters, who deceive the vulgar, and persuade them to assent
to whatever they please, this also takes place with the Christians. Some
of these are not willing either to give or receive a reason for what
they believe; but are accustomed to say, 'Do not investigate, but
believe, your faith will save you.

     ...guished them from the votaries of every other religion. The
     causes and the pretexts of persecution may have varied at
     various periods; but there seems to have been one general
     cause which will readily be apprehended by those who are
     intimately acquainted with the Roman jurisprudence. From the
     most remote period of their history, the Romans had
     conceived extreme horror against all nocturnal meetings of a
     secret and mysterious nature. A law prohibiting nightly
     vigils in a temple has even been ascribed, perhaps with
     little probability, to the founder of their state. The laws
     of the twelve tables declared it a capital offence to attend
     nocturnal assemblies in the city. This, then, being the
     spirit of the law, it is obvious that the nocturnal meetings
     of the primitive Christians must have rendered them objects
     of peculiar suspicion, and exposed them to the animadversion
     of the magistrate. It was during the night that they usually
     held their most solemn and religious assemblies; for a
     practice which may be supposed to have arisen from their
     fears, seems to have been continued from the operation of
     other causes. Misunderstanding the purport of certain
     passages of Scripture, they were...

{3}

'For the wisdom of the world is bad, but folly is good*,'

"The world, according to Moses, was created at a certain time, and has
from its commencement existed for a period far short of ten thousand
years,--The world, however, is without a beginning; in consequence of
which there have been from all eternity many conflagrations, and
many deluges, among the latter of which the most recent is that of
Deucalion**.

     ...led to imagine that the second advent, of which they lived
     in constant expectation, would take place during the night;
     and they were accustomed to celebrate nightly vigils at the
     tombs of the saints and martyrs. In this case, therefore,
     they incurred no penalties peculiar to the votaries of a new
     religion, but only such as equally attached to those who,
     professing the public religion of the state, were yet guilty
     of this undoubted violation of its laws."--Observations on
     the Study of the Civil Law, by Dr. Irving, Edin. 1820. p.
     11.

"It is not true that the primitive Christians held their assemblies in
the night time to avoid the interruptions of the civil power: but the
converse of that proposition is true in the utmost latitude; viz. that
they met with molestations from that quarter, because their assemblies
were nocturnal."--Elements of Civil Law, by Dr. Taylor, p. 579.

     * See Erasmus's Praise of Folly, towards the end.

     ** See on this subject the Tinusus of Plato.

{4}

"Goatherds and shepherds among the Jews, following Moses as their
leader, and being allured by rustic deceptions, conceived that there is
[only] one God.

"These goatherds and shepherds were of opinion that there is one God,
whether they delight to call him the Most High, or Adonai, or Celestial,
or Sabaoth, or to celebrate by any other name the fabricator of this
world*; for they knew nothing farther. For it is of no consequence,
whether the God who is above all things, is denominated, after the
accustomed manner of the Greeks, Jupiter, or is called by any other
name, such as that which is given to him by the Indians or Egyptians."

Celsus, assuming the person of a Jew, represents him as speaking to
Jesus, and reprehending him for many things. And in the first place he
reproaches him with feigning that he was born of a virgin; and says,
that to his disgrace he was born in a Judaic village from a poor Jewess,
who obtained the means

     * In the original there is nothing more than [--------] i.
     e. this world; but it is necessary to read, conformably to
     the above translation, [--------]. For the Jews did not
     celebrate the world, but the Maker of the world, by these
     names.

{5}

of subsistence by manual labour. He adds, That she was abandoned by her
husband, who was a carpenter, because she had been found by him to
have committed adultery. Hence, in consequence of being expelled by her
husband, becoming an ignominious vagabond, she was secretly delivered
of Jesus, who, through poverty being obliged to serve as a hireling in
Egypt, learnt there certain arts for which the Egyptians are famous.
Afterwards, returning from thence, he thought so highly of himself,
on account of the possession of these [magical] arts, as to proclaim
himself to be a God. Celsus also adds, That the mother of Jesus became
pregnant with him through a soldier, whose name was Panthera*.

"Was therefore the mother of Jesus beautiful, and was God connected with
her on account of her beauty, though he is not adapted to be in love
with a corruptible body? Or is it not absurd to suppose that God
would be enamoured of a woman who was neither fortunate nor of royal
extraction, nor even scarcely known to her neighbours; and who was also
hated and ejected by the carpenter her

     * The same thing is said of Jesus in a work called "The
     Gospel according to the Jews, or Toldoth Jesu." See Chap. I.
     and II. of that work.

{6}

husband, so as neither to be saved by her own credulity nor by divine
power? These things, therefore, do not at all pertain to the kingdom of
God."

Celsus, again personifying a Jew, says to Christ, "When you were washed
by John, you say that the spectre of a bird flew to you from the air.
But what witness worthy of belief saw this spectre? Or who heard a voice
from heaven, adopting you for a son of God, except yourself, and some
one of your associates, who was equally a partaker of your wickedness
and punishment?

"Jesus having collected as his associates ten or eleven infamous men,
consisting of the most wicked publicans and sailors, fled into different
places, obtaining food with difficulty, and in a disgraceful manner."

Again, in the person of a Jew, Celsus says to Christ, "What occasion
was there, while you were yet an infant, that you should be brought to
Egypt, in order that you might not be slain? For it was not fit that a
God should be afraid of death. But an angel came from heaven, ordering
you and your associates to fly, lest being taken you should be put to
death. For the great God [it seems] could not

{7}

preserve you, his own son, m your own country, but sent two angels on
your account."

The same Jew in Celsus also adds, "Though we do not believe in the
ancient fables, which ascribe a divine origin to Perseus, Amphion,
Æacus, and Minos, yet at the same time their deeds are demonstrated to
be mighty and admirable, and truly superhuman, in order that what
is narrated of their origin may not appear to be improbable." But
(speak-ing to Jesus) he says, "What beautiful or admirable thing have
you said or done, though you was (sp) called upon in the temple to give
some manifest sign that you were the son of God?"

Celsus, pretending not to disbelieve in the miracles ascribed to Christ,
says to him, "Let us grant that these things were performed by you; but
they are common with the works of enchanters, who promise to effect
more wonderful deeds than these, and also with what those who have been
taught by the Egyptians to perform in the middle of the forum for a
few oboli; such as expelling dæmons from men, dissipating diseases by a
puff, evocating the souls of heroes, exhibiting sumptuous suppers, and
tables covered with food, which have no reality. These magicians also
represent animals as moving, which are not in reality animals, but
merely appear

{8}

to the imagination to be such.--Is it fit, therefore» that we should
believe these men to be the sons of God, because they worked these
wonders? Or ought we not rather to say, that these are the arts of
depraved and unhappy men!"

Again the Jew says, "It is but recently, and as it were yesterday, since
we punished Christ; and you, who are [in no respect superior to] keepers
of oxen, have abandoned the laws of your ancestors and country. Why
likewise do you begin from our sacred institutions, but afterwards in
the progress [of your iniquity] despise them? For you have no other
origin of your dogma, than our law. Many. other such persons also as
Jesus was, may be seen by those who wish to be deceived. How too is it
probable that we, who have declared to all men that a person would be
sent by God as a punisher of the unjust, should treat him ignominiously,
if such a person had appeared among us? Again: How can we think him to
be a God, who, that I may omit other things, performed, as we learn,
nothing that was promised? And when, being condemned by us, he was
thought worthy of punishment, having concealed himself and fled, was
most disgracefully made a prisoner; being betrayed by those whom he
called his disciples? If, however, he was a God, it was not proper that
he should either fly, or be led

{9]

away captive. And much less was it fit, that, being considered as a
saviour and the son of the greatest God, and; also the messenger of this
God, by his familiars and private associates, he should be deserted and
betrayed by them. But what _excellent_ general, who was the leader of
many myriads of men, was ever betrayed by his soldiers? Indeed, this
has not happened even to the chief of a band of robbers, though a man
depraved, and the captain of men still more depraved than himself, when
to his associates he appeared to be useful. But Christ, who was betrayed
by those of whom he was the leader, though not as a good commander, nor
in such a way as robbers would behave to their captain, could not obtain
the benevolence of his deluded followers.--Many other things also, and
such as are true, respecting Jesus might be adduced, though they are not
committed to writing by his disciples; but these I willingly omit. His
disciples also falsely pretended, that he foreknew and foretold every
thing that happened to him.

"The disciples of Jesus, not being able to adduce any thing respecting
him that was obviously manifest, falsely assert that he foreknew all
things; and have written other things of a similar kind respecting lum.
This, however, is just the same as if some one should assert that a
certain person is a just

{10}

man, and notwithstanding this should show that he acted unjustly; that
he is a pious man, and yet a murderer; and, though immortal, died;
at the same time adding to all these assertions, that he had a
foreknowledge of all things.

"These things Jesus said after he had previously declared that he was
God, and it was entirely necessary that what he had predicted should
take place. He therefore, though a God, induced his disciples and
prophets, with whom he ate and drank, to become impious. It was,
however, requisite that he should have been beneficial to all men, and
particularly to his associates. No one likewise would think of betraying
the man, of whose table he had been a partaker. But here the associate
of the table of God became treacherous to him; God himself, which is
still more absurd, making those who had been hospitably entertained by
him to be his impious betrayers."

The Jew in Celsus also says, that "What is asserted by the Jewish
prophets may be much more probably adapted to ten thousand other persons
than to Jesus. Besides, the prophets say, that he who was to come would
be a great and powerful king, and would be the lord of the whole earth,
and of all nations and armies: but no one would

{11}

infer from such like symbols and rumours, and from such ignoble
arguments, that Christ is the son of God.

"As the sun, which illuminates all other things, first shows himself [to
be the cause of light], thus also it is fit that this should have been
done by the son of God*. But the Christians argue sophistically, when
they say that the son of God is _the word itself_. And the accusation
is strengthened by this, that _the word_ which was announced by the
Christians to be the son of God, was not a pure and holy _word_, but a
man who was most disgracefully punished and put to death.

"What illustrious deed did Jesus accomplish worthy of a God, who beholds
from on high with contempt [the trifling pursuits of] men, and derides
and considers as sport terrestrial events?

"Why too did not Jesus, if not before, yet now at least, [i. e. when he
was brought before Pilate,] exhibit some divine indication respecting
himself; liberate himself from this ignominy, and punish those

     * Celsus means that Christ should have given indubitable
     evidence, by his sayings, his deeds, and by all that
     happened to him, that he was the son of God.

{12}

who had insulted both him and his father? What kind of ichör also or
blood dropped from his crucified body? was it,.....such as from the
blest immortals flows?"*

The Jew in Celsus further adds: "Do you reproach us with this, O most
faithful men, that we do not conceive Christ to be God, and that we do
not accord with you in believing that he suffered these things for the
benefit of mankind, in order that we also might despise punishment?
Neither did he persuade any one while he lived, not even his own
disciples, that he should be punished, and suffer as he did: nor did he
exhibit himself [though a God] as one liberated from all evils.

"Certainly you Christians will not say, that Christ, when he found
that he could not induce the inhabitants on the surface of the earth to
believe in his doctrines, descended to the infernal regions, in order
that he might persuade those that dwelt there. But if inventing absurd
apologies by which you are ridiculously deceived, what should hinder
others also, who have perished miserably, from being ranked among angels
of a more divine order?"

     * See Iliad, V, ver. S40.

{13}

The Jew in Celsus further observes, on comparing Christ with robbers,
"Some might in a similar manner unblushingly say of a robber and a
homicide, who was punished for his crimes, that he was not a robber but
a God; for he predicted to his associates that he should suffer what he
did suffer.

"The disciples of Jesus, living with him, hearing his voice, and
embracing his doctrines, when they saw that he was punished and put to
death, neither died with nor for him, nor could be persuaded to despise
punishment; but denied that they were his disciples. Why, therefore, do
not you Christians [voluntarily] die with your master?"

The Jew in Celsus also says, that "Jesus made converts of ten sailors,
and most abandoned publicans; but did not even persuade all these to
embrace his doctrines.

"Is it not also absurd in the extreme, that so many should believe
in the doctrines of Christ now he is dead, though he was not able to
persuade any one [genuinely] while he was living?

"But the Christians will say, We believe Jesus to be the son of God,
because he cured the lame and the blind, and, as you assert, raised the
dead.

{14}

"O light and truth, which clearly proclaims in its own words, as you
write, that other men, and these depraved and enchanters, will come
among you, possessing similar miraculous powers! Christ also feigns that
a certain being, whom he denominates Satan, will be the source of these
nefarious characters: so that Christ himself does not deny that these
arts possess nothing divine, and acknowledges that they are the works
of depraved men. At the same time likewise, being compelled by truth, he
discloses both the arts of others and his own. Is it not, therefore, a
miserable thing, to consider, from the performance of the same deeds,
this man to be a God, but others to be nothing more than enchanters? For
why, employing his testimony, should we rather think those other workers
of miracles to be more depraved than himself? Indeed Christ confesses
that these arts are not indications of a divine nature, but of certain
impostors, and perfectly wicked characters."

After this, the Jew in Celsus says to his fellow-citizens who believed
in Jesus, as follows: "Let us grant you that Jesus predicted his
resurrection: but how many others have employed such-like prodigies,
in order by a fabulous narration to effect what they wished; persuading
stupid auditors to believe in these miracles? Zamolxis among the

{15}

Scythians, who was a slave of Pythagoras, used this artifice; Pythagoras
also himself, in Italy; and in Egypt, Rhampsinitus. For it is related
of the latter that he played at dice with Ceres in Hades, and that
he brought back with him as a gift from her a golden towel. Similar
artifices were likewise employed by Orpheus among the Odryssians;
by Protesilaus among the Thessalians; and by Hercules and Theseus in
Tænarus. This, however, is to be considered,--whether any one who in
reality died, ever rose again in the same body: unless you think that
the narrations of others are fables,but that your catastrophe of the
drama will be found to be either elegant or probable, respecting what
was said by him who expired on the cross, and the earthquake, and the
darkness, which then according to you ensued. To which may be added,
that he who when living could not help himself, arose, as you say, after
he was dead, and exhibited the marks of his punishment, and his hands
which had been perforated on the cross. But who was it that saw this?
A furious woman, as you acknowledge, or some other of the same magical
sect; or one who was under the delusion of dreams, and who voluntarily
subjected himself to fallacious phantasms,--a thing which happens
to myriads of the human race. Or, which is more probable, those who
pretended to see this were such as wished to astonish others by

{16}

this prodigy, and, through a false narration of this kind, to give
assistance to the frauds of other impostors.

"Is it to be believed that Christ, when he was alive, openly announced
to all men what he was; but when it became requisite that he should
procure a strong belief of his resurrection from the dead, he should
only show himself secretly to one woman and to his associates?

"If also Christ wished to be concealed, why was a voice heard from
heaven, proclaiming him to be the son of God? Or, if he did not wish
to be concealed, why did he suffer punishment, and why did, he
[ignominiously] die?"

The Jew in Celsus likewise adds, "These things therefore we have adduced
to you from your own writings, than which we have employed no other
testimony, for you yourselves are by them confuted. Besides, what God
that ever appeared to men, did not procure belief that he was a God,
particularly when he appeared to those who expected his advent? Or why
was he not acknowledged by those, by whom he had been for a long time
expected? We certainly hope for a resurrection in the body, and that we
shall have eternal life. We

{17}

also believe that the paradigm and primary leader of this, will be he
who is to be sent to us; and who will show that it is not impossible for
God to raise _any one_ with his body that he pleases."

After this, Celsus in his own person says, "The Christians and Jews most
stupidly contend with each other, and this controversy of theirs about
Christ differs in nothing from the proverb about the contention for the
shadow of an ass*. There is also nothing venerable in the investigation
of the Jews and Christians with each other; both of them believing that
there was a certain prophecy from a divine spirit, that a saviour of the
human race would appear on the earth, but disagreeing in their opinion
whether he who was predicted had appeared or not.

"The Jews originating from the Egyptians deserted Egypt through
sedition, at the same time despising the religion of the Egyptians.
Hence the

     * This proverb is mentioned by Apuleius at the end of the
     Ninth Book of his Metamorphosis. There is also another Greek
     proverb mentioned by Menander, Plato, and many others,
     [--------], concerning the shadow of an ass, which is said of
     those who are anxious to know things futile, frivolous, and
     entirely useless. These two proverbs Apuleius has merged
     into one.

{18}

same thing happened to the Christians afterwards, who abandoned the
religion of the Jews, as to the Jews who revolted from the Egyptians;
for the cause to both of their innovation was a seditious opposition to
the common* and established rites of their country.

"The Christians at first, when they were few, had but one opinion; but
when they became scattered through their multitude, they were again and
again divided into sects, and each sect wished to have an establishment
of its own. For this was what they desired to effect from the beginning.

"But after they were widely dispersed one sect opposed the other, nor
did any thing remain common

to them except the name of Christians; and even this they were at the
same time ashamed to leave as a common appellation: but as to other
things, they were the ordinances of men of a different persuasion.

"What however is still more wonderful is this, that their doctrine may
be [easily] confuted, as consisting of no hypothesis worthy of belief.
But their

     * In the original  [--------], but it is necessary to read,
     conformably to the above translation,  [--------]

{19}

dissension among themselves, the advantage they derive from it, and
their dread of those who are not of their belief, give stability to
their faith.

"The Christians ridicule the Egyptians, though they indicated many and
by no means contemptible things through enigmas, when they taught that
honours should be paid to _eternal_ ideas, and not, as it appears to the
vulgar, to diurnal animals*." Celsus adds, that "The Christians
stupidly introduce nothing more venerable than the goats and dogs of the
Egyptians in their narrations respecting Jesus.

"What is said by a few who are considered as Christians, concerning the
doctrine of Jesus and the precepts of Christianity, is not designed for
the wiser, but for the more unlearned and ignorant part of mankind. For
the following are their precepts: 'Let no one who is erudite accede
to us, no one who is wise, no one who is prudent (for these things are
thought by us to be evil); but let any one who is unlearned, who is
stupid, who is an infant in understanding boldly come to us.' For the
Christians openly acknowledge that such as these are worthy

     *  See on this subject the Treatise of Plutarch respecting
     Isis and Osiris.

{20}

to be noticed by their God; manifesting by this, that they alone wish
and are able to persuade the ignoble, the insensate, slaves, stupid
women, and little children and fools.

"We may see in the forum infamous characters and jugglers* collected
together, who dare not show their tricks to intelligent men; but
when they perceive a lad, and a crowd of slaves and stupid men, they
endeavour to ingratiate themselves with such characters as these.

"We also may see in their own houses, wool-weavers, shoemakers,
fullers, and the most illiterate and rustic men, who dare not say any
thing in the presence of more elderly and wiser fathers of families;
but when they meet with children apart from their parents, and certain
stupid women with them, then they discuss something of a wonderful
nature; such as that it is not proper to pay attention to parents and
preceptors, but that they should be persuaded by them. For, say they,
your parents and preceptors are delirious and stupid, and neither know
what is truly good, nor are able to effect it, being prepossessed with
trifles of an unusual nature. They

     * Celsus, as we are informed by Origen, compares the
     Christians with men of this description.

{21}

add, that they alone know how it is proper to live, and that if children
are persuaded by them, they will be blessed, and also the family to
which they belong. At the same time likewise that they say this, if
they see any one of the wiser teachers of erudition approaching, or the
father of the child to whom they are speaking, such of them as are more
cautious defer their discussion to another time; but those that are
more audacious, urge the children to shake off the reins of parental
authority, whispering to them, that when their fathers and preceptors
are present, they neither wish nor are able to unfold to children what
is good, as they are deterred by the folly and rusticity of these men,
who are entirely corrupted, are excessively depraved, and would punish
them [their true admonishers]. They further add, that if they wish
to be instructed by them, it is requisite that they should leave their
parents and preceptors, and go with women and little children, who are
their playfellows, to the conclave of women, or to the shoemaker's
or fuller's shop, that they may obtain perfection [by embracing their
doctrines].

"That I do not however accuse the Christians more bitterly than truth
compels, may be conjectured from hence, that the criers who call men to
other mysteries proclaim as follows: 'Let him approach,

{22}

whose hands are pure, and whose words are wise.' And again, others
proclaim: 'Let him approach, who is pure from all wickedness, whose soul
is not conscious of any evil, and who leads a just and upright life.'
And these things are proclaimed by those who promise a purification from
error. Let us now hear who those are that are called to the Christian
mysteries. '_Whoever is a sinner, whoever is unwise, whoever is a
fool, and whoever, in short, is miserable, him the kingdom of God will
receive_.' Do you not therefore call a sinner, an unjust man, a thief,
a housebreaker, a wizard, one who is sacrilegious, and a robber of
sepulchres? What other persons would the crier nominate, who should call
robbers together?

"God, according to the Christians, descended to men; and, as consequent
to this, it was fancied that he had left his own proper abode.

"God, however, being unknown among men [as the Christians say], and in
consequence of this appearing to be in a condition inferior to that of
a divine being, was not willing to be known, and therefore made trial of
those who believed and of those who did not believe in him; just as
men who have become recently rich, call on God as a witness of their
abundant and entirely mortal ambition.

{23}

"The Christians have asserted nothing paradoxical or new concerning a
deluge or a conflagration, but have perverted the doctrine of the
Greeks and barbarians, that in long periods of time, and recursions and
concursions of the stars, conflagrations and deluges take place; and
also that after the last deluge, which was that of Deucalion, the period
required, conformably to the mutation of wholes, a conflagration*.
This the Christians, however, have perverted by representing God as
descending with fire as a spy.

"Again, we will repeat and confirm by many arguments, an assertion which
has nothing in it novel, but was formerly universally acknowledged. God
is good, is beautiful and blessed, and his very nature consists in that
which is most beautiful and the best. If therefore he descended to men,
his nature must necessarily be changed. But the change must be from good
to evil, and from the beautiful to the base, from felicity to
infelicity, and from that which is most excellent to that which is most
worthless. Who, however, would choose to be thus changed? Besides, to be
changed and transformed pertains to that which is naturally mortal; but
an invariable

     * See Taylor's translation of Proclus on the Timæus of
     Plato, Book I.

{24}

sameness of subsistence is the prerogative of an immortal nature. Hence
God could never receive a mutation of this kind*.

"Either God is in reality changed, as the Christians say, into a mortal
body,--and we have before shown that this is impossible; or he himself
is not changed, but he causes those who behold him to think that he is,
and thus falsifies himself, and involves others in error. Deception,
however, and falsehood are indeed otherwise evil, and can only be
[properly] employed by any one as a medicine, either in curing friends
that are diseased or have some vicious propensity, or those that are
insane, or for the purpose of avoiding danger from enemies. But no one
who has vicious propensities, or is insane, is dear to Divinity.
Nor does God fear any one, in order that by wandering he may escape
danger**.

     * See a most admirable defence of the immutability of
     Divinity, by Proclus, in Taylor's Introduction to the Second
     and Third Books of Plato's Republic, in vol. i. of his
     translation of Plato's Works. See also Taylor's note at the
     end of vol. iii. of his translation of Pausanias, p. 235.

     ** The original of this sentence is, [--------] the latter
     part of which, [--------], is thus, erroneously translated
     by Spencer, "ut imposture opus habeat ad evadendum
     periculum."

{25}

"The Christians, adding to the assertions of the Jews, say that the
son of God came on account of the sins of the Jews; and that the Jews,
punishing Jesus and causing him to drink _gall_, raised the _bile_ of
God against them."

Celsus after this, in his usual way deriding both Jews and Christians,
compares all of them to a multitude of bats, or to ants coming out of
their holes, or to frogs seated about a marsh, or to earthworms that
assemble in a corner of some muddy place, and contend with each other
which of them are most noxious. He likewise represents them as saying,
"God has manifested and predicted all things to us; and deserting
the whole world and the celestial circulation, and likewise paying no
attention to the widely-extended earth, he regards our concerns alone,
to us alone sends messengers, and he will never cease to explore by what
means we may always associate with him." He likewise resembles us
to earthworms acknowledging that God exists; and he says that we
earthworms, i. e. the Jews and Christians, being produced by God after
him, are entirely similar to him. All things too are subject to
us, earth and water, the air and the stars, and are ordained to be
subservient to us*. Afterwards

     * This reminds me of the following beautiful lines in...

{26}

these earthworms add: "Now because some of us have sinned, God will
come, or he will send his son, in order that he may burn the unjust,
and that those who are not so may live eternally with him." And Celsus
concludes with observing that "such assertions would be more tolerable
if they were made by earthworms or frogs, than by Jews or Christians
contending with each other."

Celsus, after having adduced, from the writings of the heathens,
instances of those who contended for the antiquity of their race, such
as the Athenians, Egyptians, Arcadians, and Phrygians, and also of those
who have asserted that some among them were aborigines, says, that
"the Jews being concealed in a corner of Palestine, men perfectly
in-erudite, and who never had previously heard the same things
celebrated by Hesiod and innumerable

     ...Epistle I. of Pope's Essay on Man, in which Pride is
     represented as saying:

     "For me kind nature wakes her genial power,
     Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower;
     Annual for me the grape, the rose, renew
     The juice nectarious and the balmy dew.
     For me the mine a thousand treasures brings:
     For me health gushes from a thousand springs;
     Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise,
     My footstool earth, my canopy the skies."

{27}

other divine men, composed a most incredible and inelegant narration,
that a certain man was fashioned by the hands of God, and inspired by
him with the breath of life; that a woman was taken from the side of
the man; that precepts were given to them by God; and that a serpent was
adverse to these precepts. Lastly, they make the serpent to frustrate
the commands of God: in all this, narrating a certain fable worthy only
of being told by old women, and which most impiously makes God to be
from the first imbecile, and incapable of persuading one man fashioned
by himself to act in a way conformable to his will.

"The Christians are most impiously deceived and involved in error,
through the greatest ignorance of the meaning of divine enigmas. For
they make a certain being whom they call the Devil, and who in the
Hebrew tongue is denominated Satan, hostile to God. It is therefore
perfectly stupid and unholy to assert that the greatest God, wishing to
benefit mankind, was incapable of accomplishing what he wished, through
having one that opposed him, and acted contrary to his will. The son of
God, therefore, was vanquished by the devil; and being punished by him,
teaches us also to despise the punishments inflicted by him; Christ at
the same time predicting that Satan would appear on

{28}

the earth, and, like himself, would exhibit great and admirable works,
usurping to himself the glory of God. The son of God also adds, that it
is not fit to pay attention to Satan, because he is a seducer, but
that himself alone is worthy of belief. This, however, is evidently the
language of a man who is an impostor earnestly endeavouring to prevent,
and previously guarding himself against, the attempts of those who think
differently from and oppose him. But, according to the Christians, the
son of God is punished by the devil, who also punishes us in order
that through this we may be exercised in endurance. These assertions,
however, are perfectly ridiculous. For it is fit, I think, that the
devil should be punished, and not that men should be threatened with
punishment who are calumniated by him.

"Further still: If God, like Jupiter in the comedy, being roused from
a long sleep, wished to liberate the human race from evils, why did
he send only into a corner of the earth this spirit of whom you boast?
though he ought in a similar manner to have animated many other bodies,
and to have sent them to every part of the habitable globe. The comic
poet indeed, in order to excite the laughter of the audience in the
theatre, says that Jupiter, after he was roused from his sleep, sent
Mercury to the Athenians and Lacedæmonsians:--but do not

{29}

you think that it is a much more ridiculous fiction to assert that God
sent his son to the Jews?

"Many--and these, men whose names are not known,--both in temples and
out of temples, and some also assembling in cities or armies, are easily
excited from any casual cause, as if they possessed a prophetic power.
Each of these likewise is readily accustomed to say, 'I am God, or the
son of God, or a divine spirit. But I came because the world will soon
be destroyed, and you, O men! on account of your iniquities will perish.
I wish, however, to save you, and you shall again see me, returning with
a celestial army. Blessed is he who now worships me; but I will cast
all those who do not, into eternal fire, together with the cities and
regions to which they belong. Those men also that do not now know the
punishments which are reserved for them, shall afterwards repent and
lament in vain: but those who believe in me I will for ever save.'
Extending to the multitude these insane and perfectly obscure
assertions, the meaning of which no intelligent man is able to
discover,--for they are unintelligible and a mere nothing,--they afford
an occasion to the stupid and to jugglers of giving to them whatever
interpretation they please.

"Again, they do not consider, if the prophets of

{30}

the God of the Jews had predicted that this would be his son, why did
this God legislatively ordain through Moses, that the Jews should enrich
themselves and acquire power; should fill the earth with their progeny;
and should slay and cut off the whole race of their enemies, which Moses
did, as he says, in the sight of the Jews; and besides this, threatening
that unless they were obedient to these his commands, he should consider
them as his enemies;--why, after these things had been promulgated by
God, did his son, a Nazarean man, exclude from any access to his father,
the rich and powerful, the wise and renowned? For he says that we ought
to pay no more attention than ravens do, to food and the necessaries of
life*, and that we should be less concerned about our clothing than the
lilies of the field. Again, he asserts, that to him who smites us on
one cheek we should likewise turn the other**. Whether, therefore, does
Moses or Jesus lie? Or, was the Father who sent Jesus forgetful of what
he had formerly said to Moses? Or, condemning his own laws, did he alter
his opinion, and send a messenger to mankind with mandates of a contrary
nature?

     * Luke xii. 24.

     ** Luke vi. 29.

{31}

"The Christians again will say, How can God be known unless he can be
apprehended by sense? To this we reply, that such a question is not the
interrogation of man, nor of soul, but of _the flesh_. At the same time,
therefore, let them hear, if they are capable of hearing any thing, _as
being a miserable worthless race, and lovers of body!_ If, closing the
perceptive organs of sense, you look upward with the visive power of
intellect, and, averting the eye of the _flesh,_ you excite the eye
of the soul, you will thus alone behold God*. And if you seek for the
leader of this path, you must avoid impostors and enchanters, and those
who persuade you to pay attention to [real] idols; in order that you may
not be entirely ridiculous, by blaspheming as idols other things which
are manifestly Gods**, and venerating that which is in reality more
worthless than any image, and which is not even an image, but _a dead
body_***; and by investigating a Father similar to it.

     * This is most Platonically said by Celsus.

     ** Such as the sun and moon, and the other heavenly bodies.

     *** The Emperor Julian in the fragments of his Arguments
     against the Christians, 'preserved by Cyril, says, speaking
     to the Christians: "You do not notice whether any thing is
     said by the Jews about holiness; but you emulate their rage
     and their bitterness, overturning temples and altars, and
     cutting the throats not only of those who remain firm in
     paternal institutes, but also of...

{32}

"There are essence and generation, the intelligible and the visible.
And truth indeed subsists with essence, but error with generation*.
Science, therefore, is conversant with truth, but opinion with
generation. Intelligence also pertains to, or has the intelligible for
its object; but what is visible is the object of sight. And intellect
indeed knows the intelligible; but the eye knows that which is visible.
What the sun therefore is in the visible region,--being neither the eye,
nor sight, but the cause to the eye of seeing, and to the sight of its
visive power, to all sensibles of their being generated, and to
himself of being perceived;--this the supreme God [or _the good_] is
in intelligibles: since he is neither intellect, nor intelligence, nor
science, but is the cause, to intellect, of intellectual perception;

     ...those heretics who are equally erroneous with yourselves,
     and who do not lament a dead body in the same manner as you
     do. For neither Jesus nor Paul exhorted you to act in this
     manner. But the reason is, that they did not expect you
     would arrive at the power which you have obtained. For they
     were satisfied if they could deceive maid-servants and
     slaves, and through these married women, and such men as
     Cornelius and Sergius; among whom, if you can mention one
     that was at that time an illustrious character, (and these
     things were transacted under the reign of Tiberius or
     Claudius,) believe that I am a liar in all things."

     * Generation signifies the whole of that which is visible.

{33}

to intelligence, of its subsistence on account of him; to science, for
its possession of knowledge for his sake, and to all intelligibles for
their existence as such. He is likewise the cause to truth itself and
to essence itself, of their existence, being himself beyond all
intelligibles, by a certain ineffable power*. And these are the
assertions of men who possess intellect. But if you understand any thing
of what is here said, you are indebted to us for it. If, likewise, you
think that a certain spirit descending from God announced to you things
of a divine nature, this will be the spirit which proclaimed what I have
above said, and with which ancient men being replete, have unfolded so
many things of a most beneficial nature. If, therefore, you are unable
to understand these assertions, be silent, and conceal your ignorance,
and do not say that those are blind who see, and that those are lame who
run,

     * This sentence in the original is as follows: [--------].
     But it is requisite to read, conformably to the above
     translation, [--------]. Celsus has derived what he here
     says from the Sixth Book of Plato's Republic, and what he
     says previous to this from the Timæeus of Plato.--See
     Taylor's translation of these Dialogues.

{34}

you at the same time possessing souls that are in every respect lame and
mutilated, and living in body, viz. in that which is dead.

"How much better would it be for you, since you are desirous of
innovation, to direct your attention to some one of the illustrious
dead, and concerning whom a divine fable may be properly admitted! And
if Hercules and Esculapius do not please you, and other renowned men of
great antiquity, you may have Orpheus, a man confessedly inspired by a
sacred spirit, and who suffered a violent death. But he perhaps has been
adopted as a leader formerly by others. Consider Anaxarchus, therefore,
who being thrown into a mortar, and bruised in the cruellest manner,
most courageously despised the punishment, exclaiming, 'Bruise, bruise
the sack of Anaxarchus, for you cannot bruise him.' This, indeed,
was uttered by a certain truly divine spirit. Him, however, some
physiologists have already vindicated to themselves. In the next place,
consider Epictetus, who when his master twisted his leg violently, said,
smiling gently and without being terrified, 'You will break my leg;' and
when his master had broken his leg, only observed, 'Did I not tell you
that you would break it? What thing of this kind did your God utter when

{35}

he was punished*? The sibyl, likewise, whose verses are used by some of
you, is far more worthy to be regarded by you as the daughter of God.
_But now you have fraudulently and rashly inserted in her verses many
things of a blasphemous nature_**; and Christ, who in his life was most
reprehensible, and in his death most miserable, you reverence as a God.
How much more appropriately might you have bestowed this honour on Jonas
when he was under the gourd, or on Daniel who was saved in the den
of lions, or on others of whom more prodigious things than these are
narrated!

"This is one of the precepts of the Christians: 'Do not revenge yourself
on him who injures you; and if any person strikes you on one cheek,
turn the other to him also.' And this precept indeed is of very great
antiquity, but is recorded in a more rustic

     * Christ when on the cross exclaimed, "My God, my God, why
     hast thou forsaken me?" But Socrates in his Apology to his
     Judges, as recorded by Plato, most magnanimously said,
     "Anytus and Melitus may indeed put me to death, but they
     cannot injure me."

     ** The collection of the Sibylline Oracles which are now
     extant, are acknowledged by all intelligent men among the
     learned to be for the most part forgeries.--See the account
     of them by Fabricius in vol. i. of his Bibliootheca Græca,

{36}

manner by Christ. For Socrates is made by Plata in the Crito to speak
as follows: 'It is by no means therefore proper to do an injury. By no
means. Hence neither is it proper for him who is injured to revenge the
injury, as the multitude think it is; since it is by no means fit to do
an injury. It does not appear that it is. But what! is it proper or
not, O Crito, to be malific? It certainly is not proper, Socrates. Is it
therefore just or unjust for a man to be malific to him by whom he has
been hurt? for in the opinion of the vulgar it is just. It is by
no means just. For to be hurtful to men does not at all differ from
injuring them. You speak the truth. Neither, therefore, is it proper to
revenge an injury, nor to be hurtful to any man, whatever evil we may
suffer from him.' These things are asserted by Plato, who also adds:
'Consider, therefore, well, whether you agree, and are of the same
opinion with me in this; and we will begin with admitting, that it is
never right either to do an injury, or revenge an injury on him who has
acted badly towards us. Do you assent to this principle? For formerly it
appeared, and now still appears, to me to be true.' Such, therefore,
was the opinion of Plato, and which also was the doctrine of divine men
prior to him. Concerning these, however, and other particulars which the
Christians have corrupted, enough has been said. For he who

{37}

desires to search further into them, may easily be satisfied.

"But why is it requisite to enumerate how many things have been
foretold with a divinely inspired voice, partly by prophetesses and
prophets, and partly by other men and women under the influence of
inspiration? What wonderful things they have heard from the adyta
themselves! How many things have been rendered manifest from victims and
sacrifices to those who have used them! How many from other prodigious
symbols! And to some persons, divinely luminous appearances have been
manifestly present. Of these things indeed the life of every one is
full. How many cities, likewise, have been raised from oracles, and
liberated from disease and pestilence! And how many, neglecting these,
or forgetting them, have perished miserably! How many colonies have been
founded from these, and by observing their mandates have been rendered
happy! How many potentates and private persons have, from attending to
or neglecting these, obtained a better or a worse condition! How many,
lamenting their want of children, have through these obtained the object
of their wishes! How many have escaped the anger of dæmons! How many
mutilated bodies have been healed! And again, how many have immediately
suffered for insolent behaviour in

{38}

sacred concerns! some indeed becoming insane on the very spot; others
proclaiming their impious deeds, but others not proclaiming them before
they perished; some destroying themselves, and others becoming a prey
to incurable diseases. And sometimes a dreadful voice issuing from the
adyta has destroyed them*.

"In the next place, is it not absurd that you should desire and hope
for the resurrection of the body, as if nothing was more excellent or
more honourable to us than this; and yet again, that you should hurl
this same body into punishments, as a thing of a vile nature? To men,
however, who are persuaded that this is true, and who are conglutinated
to body, it is not worth while to speak of things of this kind. For
these are men who in other respects are rustic and impure, without
reason, and labouring under the disease of sedition. Indeed, those who
hope that the soul or intellect will exist eternally, whether they
are willing to call it pneumatic**, or an intellectual spirit holy and
blessed, or a living soul, or the supercelestial and

     * See the scientific theory of Oracles unfolded in the Notes
     to Taylor's translation of Pausanias, vol. iii. p. 259.

     ** This is said conformably to the opinion of the Stoics.

{39}

incorruptible progeny of a divine and incorporeal nature*, or whatever
other appellation they may think fit to give it; those who thus hope,
(but I say this in accordance with Divinity,) in this respect think
rightly, that those who have lived well in this life will be blessed,
but that those who have been entirely unjust, will be involved in
endless evils. And neither the Christians nor any other man were ever
hostile to this dogma.

"Since men are bound to body, whether they are so for the sake of the
dispensation of the whole of things, or in order that they may suffer
the punishment of their offences, or in consequence of the soul through
certain passions becoming heavy and tending downwards, till through
certain orderly periods it becomes purified;--for according to
Empedocles, it is necessary that

          'From the blest wandering thrice ten thousand times,
          Through various mortal forms the soul should pass.'--

     * This is asserted in accordance with the doctrine of the
     Platonists.

     ** This 30,000 times must not be considered mathematically;
     since it symbolically indicates a certain appropriate
     measure of perfection. For in units S is a perfect number,
     as having a beginning, middle, and end. And again, 10 is
     perfect, because it comprehends all numbers in itself.
     These numbers, however, were call-...

{40}

This being the case, it is requisite to believe that men are committed
to the care of certain inspective guardians of this prison the body.

"That to the least of things, however, are allotted guardian powers,
may be learnt from the Egyptians, who say that the human body is divided
into thirty-six parts, and that dæmons* or certain etherial gods who are
distributed into the same number of parts, are the guardians of these
divisions of the body. Some also assert, that there is a much greater
number of these presiding powers; different corporeal parts being under
the inspection of different powers. The names of these also in the
vernacular tongue of the Egyptians are Chnoumën, Chnachoumën, Knat,
Sicat, Biou, Erou, Erebiou, Ramanor, Reianoor. What, therefore, should
prevent him from making use of these and other powers, who wishes
rather to be well than to be ill, to be fortunate rather than to be
unfortunate, and to be liberated from such

     ...ed by the ancients perfect, in a different way from 6, 28,
     &c.; for these were thus denominated because they are equal
     to the sum of their parts.

     * i. e. beneficent dæmonss; for the ancients divided
     dæmonss into the beneficent and malevolent. They also
     considered the former as assisting the soul in its ascent to
     its pristine state of felicity; but the latter as of a
     punishing and avenging characteristic.

{41}

tormentors and castigators as these things are thought to be?*

"He, however, who invokes these powers ought to be careful, lest being
conglutinated [as it were] to the worship of them, and to a love of
the body, he should turn from and become oblivious of more excellent
natures. For it is perhaps requisite not to disbelieve in wise men, who
say that the greater part of circumterrestrial dæmons are conglutinated
to generation, and are delighted with blood, with the odour and vapour
of flesh, with melodies and with other things of the like kind**; to
which being bound, they are unable to effect any thing superior to the
sanction of the body, and the prediction of future events to men and
cities. Whatever also pertains to mortal actions they know, and are able
to bring to pass.

"If some one should command a worshiper of God either to act impiously,
or to say any thing of a most disgraceful nature, he is in no respect
whatever to be obeyed; but all trial and every kind of death are to be
endured rather than to meditate,

     * Vid. Salmas.   In fine libri He Annis climactericis.

     ** See Book II. of Taylor's translation of Porphyry,--On
     Abstinence from Animal Food.

{42}

and much more to assert, any thing impious concerning God. But if any
one should order us to celebrate the Sun or Minerva, we ought most
gladly to sing hymns to their praise. For thus you will appear to
venerate the supreme God in a greater degree *, if you also celebrate
these powers: for piety when it passes through all things becomes more
perfect."



EXTRACTS FROM, AND INFORMATION RELATIVE TO, THE TREATISE OF PORPHYRY
AGAINST THE CHRISTIANS

[Illustration: Porphyry]

This work of Porphyry consisted of Fifteen Books, and is unfortunately
lost. It is frequently mentioned by the Fathers of the Church, from
whose writings the following particulars are collected.

The First Book appears to have contained a development of the
contrariety of the Scriptures, and proofs that they did not proceed from
Divinity, but from men. To this end Porphyry especially adduces what
Paul writes to the Galatians, chap. ii.

     * For as the ineffable principle of things possesses all
     power and the highest power, he first produced from himself
     beings most transcendently allied to himself; and therefore,
     by venerating these, the highest God will be in a greater
     degree venerated, as being a greater veneration of his
     power.

{43}

viz. that "when Peter came to Antioch, he withstood him to his face,
because he was to be blamed." Hence Porphyry infers, "that the Apostles,
and indeed the chief of them, did not publicly study the salvation
of all men, but that each of them was privately attentive to his own
renown." This the Fathers testify in more than one place. See the
Commentary of Jerome on the above-mentioned Epistle. Jerome also, in his
89th Epistle to Augustin, informs us that Porphyry says, "that Peter and
Paul opposed each other in a puerile contest, and that Paul was envious
of the virtue of Peter."

The Third Book treated of the interpretation of the Scriptures, in
which Porphyry condemned the mode of explaining them adopted by the
commentators, and especially the allegories of Origen. This is evident
from a long extract from this work of Porphyry given by Eusebius in
Hist. Eccl. lib. i. cap. 13.

The Fourth Book treated of the Mosaic history and the antiquities of the
Jews, as we learn from Eusebius, Proep. Evang. lib. i. cap. 9, and from
Theo-doret, Serm. ii. Therap.

But the Twelfth Book was the most celebrated of all, in which Porphyry
strenuously opposes the

{44}

prophecy of Daniel. Of this work Jerome thus speaks in the Preface to
his Commentary on that prophet: "Porphyry's twelfth book is against the
prophet Daniel, as he was unwilling to admit that it was written by that
prophet, but contends that it was composed by a person in Judæa named
Epiphanes, and who lived in the time of Antiochus. Hence he says,
that Daniel does not so much narrate future as past events. Lastly, he
asserts, that whatever is related as far as to the reign of Antiochus
contains a true history; but that all that is said posterior to this
time, as the writer was ignorant of futurity, is false."

The Thirteenth Book also, according to Jerome*, was written against
the same prophet; in which book, speaking of the "abomination of
desolation," as it is called by Daniel, (when standing in the sacred
place,) he says many reproachful things of the Christians.

The same Jerome likewise, in Epist. ci., ad Pam-machium, testifies, that
Porphyry accuses the history of the Evangelists of falsehood, and says**
that Christ, after he had told his brethren that he should

     * Vid. lib. iv. Comment, in 24 Cap. Matth.

     ** Lib. ii. adversus Pelagianos.

{45}

not go up to the feast of tabernacles, yet afterwards went up to it
(John vii.). Hence Porphyry accuses him of inconstancy and mutability.
Jerome's observation on this is curious, viz. "Nesciens omnia scandala
ad carnem esse referenda."

Jerome adds (in Lib. Quasst. Hebraic, in Genesin) "that Porphyry
calumniates the Evangelists for making a miracle to the ignorant, by
asserting that Christ walked on the sea, calling the lake Genezareth
the sea." He likewise says, that Porphyry called the miracles which
were performed at the sepulchres of the martyrs, "the delusions of evil
demons."

The following remarkable passage from one of the lost writings of
Porphyry relative to the Christians, is preserved by Augustin in his
Treatise De Civit. lib. xix. cap. 23.

"Sunt spiritus terreni minimi loco terreno quodam malorum dæmonum
potestati subjecti. Ab his sapientes Hebræorum, quorum unus iste etiam
Jesus fuit, sicut audivisti divina Apollonis oracula quæ superius dicta
sunt. Ab his ergo _Hebæi_ dsemonibus pessimis et minoribus spiritibus
vetabant religiosos, et ipsis vacare prohibebant: venerari autem magis
coelestes Deos, amplius autem venerari Deum patrem. Hoc autem et Dii
præcipiunt, et in

{40}

superioibus ostendimus, quemadmodum animadvertere ad Deum monent, et
ilium colère ubique imperant. Verum indocti et impiæ naturae, quibus
vere Fatum non concessit a Dius dona obtinere, neque habere Jovis
immortalis notitiam, non audientes Deos et divinos viros; Deos quidem
omnes recusaverunt, prohibitos autem dæmones non solum nullis odiis
insequi, sed etiam revereri delegerunt. Deum autem simulantes se colère,
ea sola per quae Deus adoratur, non agunt. Nam Deus quidem utpote omnium
pater nullius indiget: sed nobis est bene, cum eum per justitiam et
castitatem, aliasque virtutes adoramus, ipsam vitam precem ad ipsum
fa-cientes, per imitationem et inquisitionem de ipso. Inquisitio enim
purgat, imitatio deificat affectionem ad ipsum operando."

i. e. "There are terrene spirits of the lowest order, who in a certain
terrene place are subject to the power of evil demons. From these were
derived the wise men of the Hebrews, of whom Jesus also was one; as you
have heard the divine oracles of Apollo above mentioned assert. From
these worst of demons therefore, and lesser spirits of the _Hebrew_,
the oracles forbid the religious, and prohibit from paying attention to
them, but exhort them rather to venerate the celestial gods, and still
more the father of the gods. And we have above

{47}

shown how the gods admonish us to look to Divinity, and everywhere
command us to worship him. But the unlearned and impious natures, to
whom Fate has not granted truly to obtain gifts from the gods, and to
have a knowledge of immortal Jupiter,--these not attending to the gods
and divine men, reject indeed all the gods, and are so far from hating
prohibited demons, that they even choose to reverence them*. But
pretending that they worship God, they do not perform those things
through which alone God is adored. For God, indeed, as being the father
of all things, is not in want of any thing; but it is well with us when
we adore him through justice and continence, and the other

     *The Platonic philosopher Sallust, in his golden book On the
     Gods and the World, says, alluding to the Christians, cap.
     18, "Impiety, which invades some places of the earth, and
     which will often subsist in future, ought not to give any
     disturbance to the worthy mind; for things of this kind do
     not affect, nor can religious honours be of any advantage to
     the gods; and the soul from its middle nature is not always
     able to pursue that which is right Besides, it is not
     improbable that impiety is a species of punishment; for
     those who have known and at the same time despised the gods,
     we may reasonably suppose will in another life be deprived
     of the knowledge of their nature. And those who have
     honoured their proper sovereigns as gods, shall be cut off
     from the divinities, as the punishment of their impiety."

{48}

virtues, making our life a prayer to him through the imitation and
investigation of him. For investigation purifies, but imitation deifies
the affection of the mind by energizing about divinity."

The following extract from Porphyry concerning a pestilence which raged
for many years at Rome, and could not be mitigated by any sacrifices, is
preserved by Theodoret: "[--------]." i. e. "The Christians now wonder
that the city has been for so many years attacked by disease, the advent
[or manifest appearance] of Esculapius and the other gods no longer
existing. For Jesus being now reverenced and worshiped, no one any
longer derives any public benefit from the gods."



A FRAGMENT OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH BOOK OF DIODORUS SICULUS.

"King Antiochus besieged Jerusalem; but the Jews resisted him for some
time. When, however, all their provision was spent, they were forced to
send ambassadors to him to treat on terms. Many of his friends persuaded
him to storm the city, and

{49}

to root out the whole nation of the Jews; because they only, of all
people, hated to converse with any of another nation, and treated all of
them as enemies. They likewise suggested to him, that the ancestors of
the Jews were driven out of Egypt as impious and hateful to the Gods.
For their bodies being overspread and infected with the itch and
leprosy, they brought them together into one place by way of expiation,
and as profane and wicked wretches expelled them from their coasts.
Those too that were thus expelled seated themselves about Jerusalem,
and being afterwards embodied into one nation, called the nation of
the Jews, their hatred of all other men descended with their blood to
posterity. Hence they made strange laws, entirely different from those
of other nations. In consequence of this, they will neither eat nor
drink with any one of a different nation, nor wish him any prosperity.
For, say they, Antiochus, surnamed Epiphanes, having subdued the Jews,
entered into the temple of God, into which by their law no one was
permitted to enter but the priest. Here, when he found the image of a
man with a long beard carved in stone sitting on an ass, he conceived
it to be Moses who built Jerusalem, established the nation, and made all
their impious customs and practises legal: for these abound in hatred
and enmity to all other men. Antiochus, therefore, abhorring this

{50}

their contrariety to all other nations, used his utmost endeavour to
abrogate their laws. In order to effect this, he sacrificed a large hog
at the image of Moses and at the altar of God that stood in the outward
court, and sprinkled them with the blood of the sacrifice. He commanded
likewise that the sacred books, whereby they were taught to hate all
other nations, should be sprinkled with the broth made of the hog's
flesh. And he extinguished the lamp called by them immortal, which was
continually burning in the temple. Lastly, he compelled the high priest
and the other Jews to eat swine's flesh. Afterwards, when Antiochus and
his friends had deliberately considered these things, they urged him to
root out the whole nation, or at least to abrogate their laws and compel
them to change their former mode of conducting themselves in common
life. But the king being generous and of a mild disposition, received
hostages and pardoned the Jews. He demolished, however, the walls of
Jerusalem, and took the tribute that was due."



FROM MANETHO RESPECTING THE ISRAELITES.

"While such was the state of things in Ethiopia, the people of
Jerusalem, having come down with the defiled of the Egyptians, treated
the inhabitants in such an unholy manner, that those who witnessed

{51}

their impieties, believed that their joint sway was more execrable than
that which the shepherds had formerly exercised. For they not only set
fire to the cities and villages, but committed every kind of sacrilege,
and destroyed the images of the gods, and roasted and fed upon those
sacred animals that were worshipped; and having compelled the priests
and prophets to kill and sacrifice them, they cast them naked out of the
country. It is said also that the priest who ordained their polity and
laws was by birth of Heliopolis, and his name Osarsiph, from Osons the
god of Heliopolis; but that when he went over to these people, his name
was changed, and he was called Moÿses."

Manetho again says: "After this, Amenophis returned from Ethiopia with
a great force, and Rampses also his son with other forces; and
encountering the shepherds and defiled people, they defeated and slew
multitudes of them, add pursued them to the bounds of Syria."--Joseph
contn App. lib. i. cap. 26, & 27.

"Cherilus also, a still more ancient writer [than Herodotus], and a
poet, makes mention of our nation, and informs us that it came to the
assistance of king Xerxes in his expedition against Greece. For in his
enumeration of all those nations, he last of

{52}

all inserts ours among the rest, when he says: "At the last, there
passed over a people wonderful to behold; for they spake the Phoenician
tongue, and dwelt in the Solymæan mountains, near a broad lake. Their
heads were sooty; they had round rasures on them; their heads and
faces were like nasty horse heads, also, that had been hardened in the
smoke."--Whiston's Josephus, vol. iv. p. 299.



EXTRACTS FROM THE FIFTH BOOK OF TACITUS RESPECTING THE JEWS, AS
TRANSLATED BY MURPHY.

"Being now to relate the progress of a siege that terminated in the
destruction of that once celebrated city [Jerusalem], it may be proper
to go back to its first foundation, and to trace the origin of the
people. The Jews we are told were natives of the Isle of Crete. At the
time when Saturn was driven from his throne by the violence of Jupiter,
they abandoned their habitations, and gained a settlement at the
extremity of Libya. In support of this tradition, the etymology of their
name is adduced as a proof. Mount Ida, well known to fame, stands in
the Isle of Crete: the inhabitants are called Idæans; and the word by
a barbarous corruption was changed afterwards to that of Judæans.
According to others they were a colony from Egypt, when that country,
during the reign of Isis,

{53}

overflowing with inhabitants poured forth its redundant numbers under
the conduct of Hierosolymus and Juda. A third hypothesis makes them
originally Ethiopians, compelled by the tyranny of Cepheus, the reigning
monarch, to abandon their country. Some authors contend that they were
a tribe of Assyrians, who for some time occupied a portion of Egypt, and
afterwards transplanting themselves into Syria, acquired in their own
right a number of cities, together with the territories of the Hebrews.
There is still another tradition, which ascribes to the Jews a more
illustrious origin, deriving them from the ancient Solymans, so highly
celebrated in the poetry of Homer. By that people the city was built,
and from its founder received the name of Hierosolyma.

"In this clash of opinions, one point seems to be universally admitted.
A pestilential disease, disfiguring the race of man, and making the body
an object of loathsome deformity, spread all over Egypt. Bocchoris, at
that time the reigning monarch, consulted the oracle of Jupiter
Ammon, and received for answer that the kingdom must be purified by
exterminating the infected multitude as a race of men detested by the
gods. After diligent search, the wretched sufferers were collected
together, and in a wild and barren desert abandoned to their misery.

In that distress, while the vulgar herd was

{54}

sunk in deep despair, Moses, one of their number, reminded them, that
by the wisdom of his counsels they had been already rescued out of
impending danger. Deserted as they were by men and gods, he told them
that if they did not repose their confidence in him, as their chief by
divine commission, they had no resource left. His offer was accepted.
Their march began they knew not whither. Want of water was their chief
distress. Worn out with fatigue they lay stretched out on the bare
earth, heart-broken, ready to expire; when a troop of wild asses,
returning from pasture, went up the steep ascent of a rock covered with
a grove of trees. The verdure of the herbage round the place, suggested
the idea of springs near at hand. Moses traced the steps of the animals,
and discovered a plentiful vein of water. By this relief the fainting
multitude was raised from despair. They pursued their journey for six
days without intermission. On the seventh they made a halt, and having
expelled the natives took possession of the country, where they built
their city and dedicated their temple.

"In order to draw the bond of union closer, and to establish his own
authority, Moses gave a new form of worship, and a system of religious
ceremonies, the reverse of every thing known to any other age or
country. _Whatever is held sacred by_

{55}

_the Romans, with the Jews is profane: and what in other nations is
unlawful and impure, with them is fully established_. The figure of
the animal that guided them to refreshing springs is consecrated in the
sanctuary of their temple*. In contempt of Jupiter Hammon they sacrifice
a ram. The ox worshiped in Egypt for the god Apis is slain as a victim
by the Jews. From the flesh of swine they abstain altogether. An animal
subject to the same leprous disease that infected their whole nation, is
not deemed proper food. The famine with which they were for a long time
afflicted, is frequently commemorated by a solemn fast. Their bread,
in memory of their having seized a quantity of grain to relieve their
wants, is made without leaven. The seventh day is sacred to rest, for
on that day their labours ended; and such is their natural propensity to
sloth, that in consequence of it every seventh year is devoted to repose
and sluggish inactivity. For this septennial custom some account in a

     * Conformably to this, see what Diodorus Siculus says (in
     the extract given from him, p. 49.): Josephus denies that
     the figure of an ass was consecrated in the sanctuary of the
     Jewish temple. But this does not invalidate the testimony of
     Diodorus Siculus to the contrary. For Antiochus when he
     subdued the Jews might have found the image of this animal
     in their temple; but in the time of Josephus the ass might
     not have been consecrated by them.

{56}

different manner: they tell us that it is an institution in honour of
Saturn; either because the Idæans, expelled, as has been mentioned,
from the Isle of Crete, transmitted to their posterity the principles
of their religious creed; or because among the seven planets that govern
the universe, Saturn moves in the highest orbit, and acts with the
greatest energy. It may be added that the period in which the heavenly
bodies perform their revolutions is regulated by the number seven.

"These rites and ceremonies, from whatever source derived, owe their
chief support to their antiquity.

They have other institutions, in themselves corrupt, impure, and even
abominable; but eagerly embraced, as if their very depravity were a
recommendation. The scum and refuse of other nations, renouncing the
religion of their country, flocked in crowds to Jerusalem, enriching
the place with gifts and offerings. Hence the wealth and grandeur of the
state. Connected amongst themselves by the most obstinate and inflexible
faith, the Jews extend their charity to all of their own persuasion,
while towards the rest of mankind they nourish a sullen and inveterate
hatred. Strangers are excluded from their tables. Unsociable to all
others, they eat and lodge with one another only; and though addicted to
sensuality, they admit no intercourse with women

{57}

from other nations. Among themselves their passions are without
restraint. Vice itself is lawful. That they may know each other by
distinctive marks, they have established the practice of circumcision.
All who embrace their faith, submit to the same operation. The first
elements of their religion teach their proselytes to despise the gods,
to abjure their country, and forget their parents, their brothers,
and their children. With the Egyptians they agree in their belief of a
future state; they have the same notion of departed spirits, the same
solicitude, and the same doctrine. With regard to the Deity their creed
is different. The Egyptians worship various animals, and also symbolical
representations, which are the work of man: the Jews acknowledge one
God only, and him they adore in contemplation; condemning as impious
idolaters all who, with perishable materials wrought into the human
form, attempt to give a representation of the Deity. Their priests made
use of fifes and cymbals; they were crowned with wreaths of ivy, and a
vine wrought in gold was seen in their temple. Hence some have inferred
that Bacchus, the conqueror of the East, was the object of their
adoration. But the Jewish forms of worship have no conformity to the
rites of Bacchus. The latter have their festive days which are always
celebrated with mirth and carousing banquets. Those of the Jews are a
gloomy ceremony,

{58}

fall of absurd enthusiasm, rueful, mean, and sordid."



                             --------



"Chæremon *, professing to write the history of Egypt, says, that under
Amenophis and his son Ramessis two hundred and fifty thousand leprous
and polluted men were cast out of Egypt. Their leaders were Moses the
scribe, and Josephus, who was also a sacred scribe. The Egyptian name
of Moses was Tisithen, of Joseph Peteseph. These coming to Pelusium, and
finding there 380,000 men left by Amenophis, which he would not admit
into Egypt, making a league with them, they undertook an expedition
against Egypt. Upon this Amenophis flies into Ethiopia, and his son
Messenes drives out the Jews into Syria, in number about 200,000, and
receives his father Amenophis out of Ethiopia. I know Lysimachus**
assigns another king and another time in which Moses led the Israelites
out of Egypt, and that was when Bocchoris reigned in Egypt; the nation
of the Jews, being infected with leprosies and scabs and other diseases,
betook themselves to the temples to beg their living, and many being
tainted with the disease, there happened a dearth in Egypt. Whereupon
Bocchoris consulting

     * Joseph, lib. i. contra Apionem.

     ** Idem.

{59}

with the oracle of Ammon, received for answer that the leprous people
were to be drowned in the sea, in sheets of lead, and the scabbed were
to be carried into the wilderness; who choosing Moses for their
leader, conquered that country which is now called Judæa."--Greaves
Pyramidograpkia, p. 26.



EXTRACTS FROM THE WORKS OF THE EMPEROR JULIAN RELATIVE TO THE
CHRISTIANS.


[Illustration: Julian]


EXTRACT FROM EPISTLE LI. TO THE ALEXANDRIANS.

"As the founder of your city was Alexander, and your ruler and tutelar
deity King Serapis, together with the virgin his associate, and the
queen of all Egypt, Isis, * * *, you do not emulate a healthy city, but
the diseased part dares to arrogate to itself the name of [the whole]
city. By the gods, Men of Alexandria, I should be very much ashamed, if,
in short, any Alexandrian should acknowledge himself to be a Galilæan.

"The ancestors of the Hebrews were formerly slaves to the Egyptians.
But now, Men of Alexandria, you, the conquerors of Egypt (for Egypt
was conquered by your founder), sustain a voluntary servitude to the
despisers of your national dogmas, in opposition to your ancient sacred
institutions. And you do not recollect your former

{60}

felicity, when all Egypt had communion with the gods, and we enjoyed an
abundance of good. But, tell me, what advantage has accrued to your city
from those who now introduce among you a new religion? Your founder was
that pious man Alexander of Macedon, who did not, by Jupiter! resemble
any one of these, or any of the Hebrews, who far excelled them. Even
Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, was also superior to them. As to Alexander,
if he had encountered, he would have endangered even the Romans. What
then did the Ptolemies, who succeeded your founder? Educating your city,
like their own daughter, from her infancy, they did not bring her to
maturity by the discourses of Jesus, nor did they construct the form
of government, through which she is now happy, by the doctrine of the
odious Galilæans.

"Thirdly: After the Romans became its masters, taking it from the
bad government of the Ptolemies, Augustus visited your city, and thus
addressed the citizens: 'Men of Alexandria, I acquit your city of all
blame, out of regard to the great god Serapis,

and also for the sake of the people, and the grandeur of the city. A
third cause of my kindness to you is my friend Areus.' This Areus,
the companion of Augustus Caesar, and a philosopher, was your
fellow-citizen.

{61}

"The particular favours conferred on your city by the Olympic gods
were, in short, such as these. Many more, not to be prolix, I omit. But
those blessings which the apparent gods bestow in common every day, not
on one family, nor on a single city, but on the whole world, why do you
not acknowledge? Are you alone insensible of the splendour that flows
from the sun? Are you alone ignorant that summer and winter are produced
by him, and that all things are alone vivified and alone germinate from
him? Do you not, also, perceive the great advantages that accrue to your
city from the moon, from him and by him the fabricator of all things?
Yet you dare not worship either of these deities; but this Jesus, whom
neither you nor your fathers have seen, you think must necessarily be
God the word, while him, whom from eternity every generation of mankind
has seen, and sees and venerates, and by venerating lives happily, I
mean the mighty sun, a living, animated, intellectual, and beneficent
image of the intelligible Father, you despise. If, however, you listen
to my admonitions, you will by degrees return to truth. You will not
wander from the right path, if you will be guided by him, who to the
twentieth year of his age pursued that road, but has now worshiped the
gods for near twelve years."

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EXTRACTS FROM THE FRAGMENT OF AN ORATION OR EPISTLE ON THE DUTIES OF A
PRIEST.

"If any are detected behaving disorderly to their prince, they are
immediately punished; but those who refuse to approach the gods, are
possessed by a tribe of evil dæmons, who driving many of the atheists
[i. e. of the Christians] to distraction, make them think death
desirable, that they may fly up into heaven, after having forcibly
dislodged their souls. Some of them prefer deserts to towns; but man,
being by nature a gentle and social animal, they also are abandoned to
evil dæmons, who urge them to this misanthropy; and many of them*
have had recourse to chains and collars. Thus, on all sides, they are
impelled by an evil dæmons, to whom they have voluntarily surrendered
themselves, by forsaking the eternal and saviour gods.

"Statues and altars, and the preservation of the unextinguished fire,
and in short all such particulars, have been established by our fathers,
as symbols of the presence of the gods; not that we should believe that
these symbols are gods, but that through these we should worship the
gods. For since we are connected with body, it is also

     * i. e. The Cappadocian monks and hermits.

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necessary that our worship of the gods should be performed in a
corporeal manner; but they are incorporeal. And they, indeed, have
exhibited to us as the first of statues, that which ranks as the second
genus of gods from the first, and which circularly revolves round the
whole of heaven*. Since, however, a corporeal worship cannot even be
paid to these, because they are naturally unindigent, a third kind of
statues was devised in the earth, by the worship of which we render the
gods propitious to us. For as those who reverence the images of kings,
who are not in want of any such reverence, at the same time attract to
themselves their benevolence; thus, also, those who venerate the statues
of the gods, who are not in want of any thing, persuade the gods by
this veneration to assist and be favourable to them. For alacrity in the
performance of things in our power is a document of true sanctity;
and it is very evident that he who accomplishes the former, will in a
greater degree possess the latter. But he who despises things in his
power, and afterwards pretends to desire impossibilities, evidently does
not pursue the

     * Meaning those divine bodies the celestial orbs, which in
     consequence of participating a divine life from the
     incorporeal powers from which they are suspended, may be
     very properly called secondary gods.

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latter, but overlooks the former. For though divinity is not in want
of any thing, it does not follow that on this account nothing is to be
offered to him. For neither is he in want of celebration through the
ministry of _words_. What then? Is it, therefore, reasonable that he
should also be deprived of this? By no means. Neither, therefore, is he
to be deprived of the honour which is paid him through _works_; which
honour has been legally established, not for three or for three thousand
years, but in all preceding ages, among all nations of the earth.

"But [the Galilaeans will say], O! you who have admitted into your
soul every multitude of dæmons, whom, though according to you they are
formless and unfigured, you have fashioned in a corporeal resemblance,
it is not fit that honour should be paid to divinity through such works.
How, then, do we not consider as wood and stones those statues which
are fashioned by the hands of men? O more stupid than even stones
themselves! Do you fancy that all men are to be drawn by the nose as
you are drawn by execrable dæmonss, so as to think that the artificial
resemblances of the gods are the gods themselves? Looking, therefore, to
the resemblances of the gods, we do not think them to be either stones
or wood; for neither do we

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think that the gods are these resemblances; since neither do we say that
royal images are wood, or stone, or brass, nor that they are the kings
therefore, but the images of kings. Whoever, therefore, loves his king,
beholds with pleasure the image of his king; whoever loves his child is
delighted with his image; and whoever loves his father surveys his image
with delight. Hence, also, he who is a lover of divinity gladly surveys
the statues and images of the gods; at the same time venerating and
fearing with a holy dread the gods who invisibly behold him*. If,
therefore, some

     * The Catholics have employed similar arguments in defence
     of the reverence which they pay to the images of the men
     whom they call saints. But the intelligent reader need not
     be told, that it is one thing to venerate the images of
     those divine powers which proceed from the great first Cause
     of all things, and eternally subsist concentrated and rooted
     in him, and another to reverence the images of men, who when
     living were the disgrace of human nature. In addition to
     what is said by Julian on this subject, the following
     extract from the treatise of Sallust, on the Gods, and the
     World, is well worthy the attentive perusal of the reader:
     "A divine nature is not indigent of any thing; but the
     honours which we pay to the gods are performed for the sake
     of our advantage. And since the providence of the gods is
     everywhere extended, a certain habitude or fitness is all
     that is requisite, in order to receive their beneficent
     communications. But all habitude is produced through
     imitation and similitude.    Hence temples imitate the
     heavens, but altars,...

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one should fancy that these ought never to be corrupted, because they
were once called the images of the gods, such a one appears to me to
be perfectly void of intellect. For if this were admitted, it is also
requisite that they should not be made by men. That, however, which
is produced by a wise and good man may be corrupted by a depraved and
ignorant man. But the gods which circularly revolve about the heavens,
and which are living statues, fashioned by the gods themselves as
resemblances of their unapparent essence,--these remain for ever. No
one, therefore, should disbelieve in the gods, in consequence of seeing
and hearing that some persons have behaved insolently towards statues
and temples. For have there not been many who have destroyed good men,
such as Socrates and Dion, and the great Empedotimus? And who, I well
know, have, more than statues or temples, been taken care of by the
gods. See, however, that the gods, knowing the body of these to

     ...the earth; statues resemble life, and on this account
     they are similar to animals. Prayers imitate that which is
     intellectual; but characters, superior ineffable powers.
     Herbs and stones resemble matter; and animals which are
     sacrificed, the irrational life of our souls. But, from all
     these, nothing happens to the gods beyond what they already
     possess; for what accession can be made to a divine nature?
     But a conjunction with our souls and the gods is by these
     means produced.

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be corruptible, have granted that it should yield and be subservient
to nature, but afterwards have punished those by whom it was destroyed;
which clearly happened to be the case with all the sacrilegious of our
time.

"Let no one, therefore, deceive us by words, nor disturb us with
respect to providential interference. For as to the prophets of the
Jews, who reproach us with things of this kind, what will they say of
their own temple, which has been thrice destroyed, but has not been
since, even to the present time, rebuilt? I do not, however, say this as
reproaching them; for I have thought of rebuilding it, after so long
a period, in honour of the divinity who is invoked in it. But I have
mentioned this, being willing to show, that it is not possible for any
thing human to be incorruptible; and that the prophets who wrote things
of this kind were delirious, and the associates of stupid old women.
Nothing, however, hinders, I think, but that God may be great, and yet
he may not have worthy interpreters [of his will]. But this is because
they have not delivered their soul to be purified by the liberal
disciplines; nor their eyes, which are profoundly closed, to be opened;
nor the darkness which oppresses them to be purged away. Hence, like men
who survey a great light through thick darkness,

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neither see purely nor genuinely, and in consequence of this do not
conceive it to be a pure light, but a fire, and likewise perceiving
nothing of all that surrounds it, they loudly exclaim, _Be seized with
horror, be afraid, fire, flame, death, a knife, a two-edged sword_;
expressing by many names the one noxious power of fire. Of these men,
however, it is better peculiarly to observe how much inferior their
teachers of the words of God are to our poets."


AN EDICT, FORBIDDING THE CHRISTIANS TO TEACH THE LIFE-RATURE OF THE
HEATHENS.

"We are of opinion that proper erudition consists not in words, nor
in elegant and magnificent language, but in the sane disposition of an
intelligent soul, and in true opinions of good and evil, and of what is
beautiful and base. Whoever, therefore, thinks one thing, and teaches
another to his followers, appears to be no less destitute of erudition
than he is of virtue. Even in trifles, if the mind and tongue be
at variance, there is some kind of improbity. But in affairs of the
greatest consequence, if a man thinks one thing, and teaches another
contrary to what he thinks, in what respect does this differ from the
conduct of those mean-spirited, dishonest, and abandoned traders, who
generally affirm what they know to be false, in order to deceive and
inveigle customers?

{60}

"All, therefore, who profess to teach, ought to possess worthy manners,
and should never entertain opinions opposite to those of the public;
but such especially, I think, ought to be those who instruct youth, and
explain to them the works of the ancients, whether they are orators
or grammarians; but particularly if they are sophists. For these last
affect to be the teachers, not only of words, but of manners, and
assert that political philosophy is their peculiar province. Whether,
therefore, this be true or not, I shall not at present consider. I
commend those who make such specious promises, and should commend
them much more, if they did not falsify and contradict themselves, by
thinking one thing, and teaching their scholars another. What then? Were
not Homer, Hesiod, Demosthenes, Herodotus, Thucydides, Isocrates, and
Lysias, the leaders of all erudition? And did not some of them
consider themselves sacred to Mercury, but others to the Muses? I think,
therefore, it is absurd for those who explain their works to despise the
gods whom they honoured.

"I do not mean (for I think it would be absurd) that they should change
their opinions for the sake of instructing youth; but I give them their
option, either not to teach what they do not approve, or, if they choose
to teach, first to persuade their

{70}

scholars that neither Homer, nor Hesiod, nor any of those whom they
expound and charge with impiety, madness, and error concerning the gods,
are really such as they represent them to be. For as they receive a
stipend, and are maintained by their works, if they can act with such
duplicity for a few drachms, they confess themselves guilty of the most
sordid avarice.

"Hitherto, indeed, many causes have prevented their resorting to the
temples; and the dangers that everywhere impended, were a plea for
concealing the most true opinions of the gods. But now, since the gods
have granted us liberty, it seems to me absurd for any to teach those
things to men which they do not approve. And if they think that those
writers whom they expound, and of whom they sit as interpreters, are
wise, let them first zealously imitate their piety towards the gods.
But if they think they have erred in their conceptions of the most
honourable natures [the gods], let them go into the churches of the
Galilæans, and there expound Matthew and Luke, by whom being persuaded
you forbid sacrifices. I wish that your ears and your tongues were (as
you express it) regenerated in those things of which I wish that myself,
and all who in thought and deed are my friends, may always be partakers.

{71}

"To masters and teachers let this be a common law. But let no youths be
prevented from resorting to whatever schools they please. It would be
as unreasonable to exclude children, who know not yet what road to
take, from the right path, as it would be to lead them by fear and with
reluctance to the religious rites of their country. And though it would
be just to cure such reluctance, like madness, even by force, yet
let all be indulged with that disease. For I think it is requisite to
instruct, and not to punish the ignorant."

{72}



APPENDIX


LIBANIUS'S ORATION FOR THE TEMPLES*.

[The occasion of the oration was this. In the reign of Theodosius
several heathen temples, some of them very magnificent, were pulled down
and destroyed in the cities, and especially in country-places, by the
monks, with the consent and connivance, as Libanius intimates, of the
bishops, and without express order of the Emperor to that purpose. Of
this Libanius complains, and implores the Emperor's protection, that the
temples may be preserved.]

"Having already, O Emperor, often offered advice which has been approved
by you, even when others have advised contrary things, I come to you now
upon the same design, and with the same hopes, that now especially you
will be persuaded by me. But if not, do not judge the speaker an

     * From Dr. Lardner's Heathen Testimonies.

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enemy to your interests, considering, beside other things, the great
honour* which you have conferred upon me, and that it is not likely that
he who is under so great obligations should not love his benefactor.
And, for that very reason, I think it my duty to advise, where I
apprehend I have somewhat to offer which may be of advantage; for I have
no other way of showing my gratitude to the Emperor but by orations, and
the counsel delivered in them.

"I shall, indeed, appear to many to undertake a matter full of danger
in pleading with you for the temples, that they may suffer no injury, as
they now do. But they who have such apprehensions seem to me to be very
ignorant of your true character. For I esteem it the part of an angry
and severe disposition, for any one to resent the proposal of counsel
which he does not approve of: but the part of a mild and gentle and
equitable disposition, such as yours is, barely to reject counsel not
approved of. For when it is in the power of him to whom the address is
made to embrace any counsel or not, it is not reasonable to refuse a
hearing which can do no harm; nor yet to resent and punish the proposal
of counsel, if it appear contrary to his own judgment;

     * The office of Præfectus Prætorio.

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when the only thing that induced the adviser to mention it, was a
persuasion of its usefulness.

"I entreat you, therefore, O Emperor, to turn your countenance to me
while I am speaking, and not to cast your eyes upon those who in many
things aim to molest both you and me; forasmuch as oftentimes a look is
of greater effect than all the force of truth. I would further insist,
that they ought to permit me to deliver my discourse quietly and without

interruption; and then, afterwards, they may do their best to confute us
by what they have to say. [Here is a small breach in the Oration. But
he seems to have begun his argument with an account of the origin of
temples, that they were first of all erected in country places.] Men
then having at first secured themselves in dens and cottages, and having
there experienced the protection of the gods, they soon perceived how
beneficial to mankind their favour must be: they therefore, as may be
sup-, posed, erected to them statues and temples, such as they could
in those early times. And when they began to build cities, upon the
increase of arts and sciences, there were many temples on the sides of
mountains and in plains: and in every city [as they built it] next to
the walls were temples and sacred edifices raised, as the beginning of
the rest of the body. For from such governors they expected the

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greatest security: and, if you survey the whole Roman empire, you
will find this to be the case every where. For in the city next to the
greatest * there are still some temples**, though they are deprived
of their honours; a few indeed out of many, but yet it is not quite
destitute. And with the aid of these gods the Romans fought and
conquered their enemies; and having conquered them, they improved their
condition, and made them happier than they were before their defeat;
lessening their fears and making them partners in the privileges of
the commonwealth. And when I was a child, he*** led the Gallic army
overthrew him that had affronted him; they having first prayed to the
gods for success before they engaged. But having prevailed over him who
at that time gave prosperity to the cities, judging it for his advantage
to have another deity, for the building of the city which he then
designed he made use of the sacred money, but made no alteration in the
legal worship. The temples indeed were impoverished, but the rites
were still performed there. But when the empire came to his son****, or
rather the form of empire, for the government was really in the hands of
others, who

     * He means Constantinople.

     ** He alludes to the ancient temples of Byzantium.

     *** Constantine.

     **** Constantius.

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from the beginning had been his masters, and to whom he vouchsafed equal
power with himself: he therefore being governed by them, even when he
was Emperor, was led into many wrong actions, and among others to forbid
sacrifices. These his cousin*, possessed of every virtue, restored: what
he did otherwise, or intended to do, I omit at present. After his death
in Persia, the liberty of sacrificing remained for some time: but at
the instigation of some innovators, sacrifices were forbidden by the
two brothers**, but not incense;--which state of things your law has
ratified. So that we have not more reason to be uneasy for what is
denied us, than to be thankful for what is allowed. You, therefore, have
not ordered the temples to be shut up, nor forbidden any to frequent
them: nor have you driven from the temples or the altars, fire or
frankincense, or other honours of incense. But those black-garbed
people***, who eat more than elephants, and demand a large quantity of
liquor from the people who send them drink for their chantings, but who
hide their luxury by their pale artificial countenances,--these men, O
Emperor, even whilst your law is in force, run to the temples, bringing
with them wood, and stones, and iron, and

     * Julian.

     **Valentinian and Valens.

     *** The monks.

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when they have not these, hands and feet. Then follows a Mysian prey*,
the roofs are uncovered, walls are pulled down, images are carried off,
and altars are overturned: the priests all the while must be silent upon
pain of death. When they have destroyed one temple they run to another,
and a third, and trophies are erected upon trophies: which are all
contrary to [your] law. This is the practice in cities, but especially
in the countries. And there are many enemies every where. After
innumerable mischiefs have been perpetrated, the scattered multitude
unites and comes together, and they require of each other an account
of what they have done; and he is ashamed who cannot tell of some great
injury which he has been guilty of. They, therefore, spread themselves
over the country like torrents, wasting the countries together with the
temples: for wherever they demolish the temple of a country, at the same
time the country itself is blinded, declines, and dies. For, O Emperor,
the temples are the soul of the country; they have been the first
original of the buildings in the country, and they have subsisted for
many ages to this time; and in

     * This proverbial expression took its rise from the Mysians,
     who, in the absence of their king Telephus, being plundered
     by their neighbours, made no resistance. Hence it came to be
     applied to any persons who were passive under injuries.

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them are all the husbandman's hopes, concerning men, and women, and
children, and oxen, and the seeds and the plants of the ground. Wherever
any country has lost its temples, that country is lost, and the hopes of
the husbandmen, and with them all their alacrity: for they suppose they
shall labour in vain, when they are deprived of the gods who should
bless their labours; and the country not being cultivated as usual, the
tribute is diminished. This being the state of things, the husbandman
is impoverished, and the revenue suffers. For, be the will ever so
good, impossibilities are not to be surmounted. Of such mischievous
consequence are the arbitrary proceedings of those persons in the
country, who say, 'they fight with the temples.' But that war is the
gain of those who oppress the inhabitants: and robbing these miserable
people of their goods, and what they had laid up of the fruits of the
earth for their sustenance, they go off as with the spoils of those whom
they have conquered. Nor are they satisfied with this, for they also
seize the lands of some, saying it is sacred: and many are deprived of
their paternal inheritance upon a false pretence. Thus these men riot
upon other people's misfortunes, who say they worship God with fasting.
And if they who are abused come to the pastor in the city, (for so they
call a man who is not one of the meekest,) complaining of the injustice
that has been done

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them, this pastor commends these, but rejects the others, as if they
ought to think themselves happy that they have suffered no more.
Although, O Emperor, these also are your subjects, and so much more
profitable than those who injure them, as laborious men are than the
idle: for they are like bees, these like drones. Moreover, if they
hear of any land which has any thing that can be plundered, they cry
presently, 'Such an one sacrificeth, and does abominable things, and
an army ought to be sent against him.' And presently the reformers are
there: for by this name they call their depredators, if I have not used
too soft a word. Some of these strive to conceal themselves and deny
their proceedings; and if you call them robbers, you affront them.
Others glory and boast, and tell their exploits to those who are
ignorant of them, and say they are more deserving than the husbandmen.
Nevertheless, what is this but in time of peace to wage war with the
husbandmen? For it by no means lessens these evils that they suffer from
their countrymen. But it is really more grievous to suffer the things
which I have mentioned in a time of quiet, from those who ought to
assist them in a time of trouble. For you, O Emperor, in case of a war
collect an army, give out orders, and do every thing suitable to the
emergency. And the new works which you now carry on are designed as a
further

{80}

security against our enemies, that all may be safe in their habitations,
both in the cities and in the country: and then if any enemies should
attempt inroads, they may be sensible they must suffer loss rather than
gain any advantage. How is it, then, that some under your government
disturb others equally under your government, and permit them not to
enjoy the common benefits of it? How do they not defeat your own care
and providence and labours, O Emperor? How do they not fight against
your law by what they do?

"But they say, 'We have only punished those who sacrifice, and thereby
transgress the law, which forbids sacrifices.' O Emperor, when they
say this they lie. For no one is so audacious, and so ignorant of the
proceedings of the courts, as to think himself more powerful than the
law. When 1 say the law, I mean the law against sacrifice». Can it be
thought, that they who are not able to bear the sight of a collector s
cloak, should despise the power of your government? This is what
they say for themselves. And they have been often alleged to Flavian*
himself, and never have been confuted, no not yet. For I appeal to the
guardians of this law: Who has known any of those whom you have

     * Bishop of Antioch

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plundered to have sacrificed upon the altars, so as the law does not
permit? What young or old person, what man, what woman? Who of those
inhabiting the same country, and not agreeing with the sacrificers in
the worship of the gods? Who of their neighbours? For envy and jealousy
are common in neighbourhoods. Whence some would gladly come as an
evidence if any such thing had been done: and yet no one has appeared,
neither from the one nor from the other: [that is, neither from the
country, nor from the neighbourhood.] Nor will there ever appear, for
fear of perjury, not to say the punishment of it. Where then is the
truth of this charge, when they accuse those men of sacrificing contrary
to law?

"But this shall not suffice for an excuse to the Emperor. Some one
therefore may say: 'They have not sacrificed.' Let it be granted. But
oxen have been killed at feasts and entertainments and merry meetings.
Still there is no altar to receive the blood, nor a part burned, nor do
salt-cakes precede, nor any libation follow. But if some persons meeting
together in some pleasant field kill a calf, or a sheep, or both, and
roasting part and broiling the rest, have eat it under a shade upon the
ground, I do not know that they have acted contrary to any laws. For
neither have you, O Emperor, forbid

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these things by your law; but mentioning one thing, which ought not to
be done, you have permitted every thing else. So that though they
should have feasted together with all sorts of incense, they have not
transgressed the law, even though in that feast they should all have
sung and invoked the gods. Unless you think fit to accuse even their
private method of eating, by which it has been customary for the
inhabitants of several places in the country to assemble together in
those [places] which are the more considerable, on holidays, and having
sacrificed, to feast together. This they did whilst the law permitted
them to do it. Since that, the liberty has continued for all the rest
except sacrificing. When, therefore, a festival day invited them, they
accepted the invitation, and with those things which might be done
without offence or danger, they have honoured both the day and the
place. But that they ventured to sacrifice, no one has said, nor heard,
nor proved, nor been credited: nor have any of their enemies pretended
to affirm it upon the ground of his own sight, nor any credible account
he has received of it.

"They will further say: 'By this means some have been converted, and
brought to embrace the same religious sentiments with themselves.'
Be not deceived by what they say; they only pretend it, but are not
convinced: for they are averse to

{83}

nothing more than this, though they say the contrary. For the truth is,
they have not changed the objects of their worship, but only appear
to have done so. They join themselves with them in appearance, and
outwardly perform the same things that they do: but when they are in a
praying posture, they address to no one, or else they invoke the gods;
not rightly indeed in such a place, but yet they invoke them. Wherefore
as in a tragedy he who acts the part of a king is not a king, but the
same person he was before he assumed the character, so every one of
these keeps himself the same he was, though he seems to them to be
changed. And what advantage have they by this, when the profession only
is the same with theirs, but a real agreement with them is wanting? for
these are things to which men ought to be persuaded, not compelled. And
when a man cannot accomplish that, and yet will practise this, nothing
is effected, and he may perceive the weakness of the attempt. It is said
that this is not permitted by their own laws, which commend persuasion,
and condemn compulsion. Why then do you run mad against the temples?
When you cannot persuade, you use force. In this you evidently
transgress your own laws.

"But they say: 'It is for the good of the world, and the men in it, that
there should be no temples.'

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Here, O Emperor, I need freedom of speech; for I fear lest I should
offend. Let then any of them tell me, who have left the tongs and the
hammer and the anvil, and pretend to talk of the heavens, and of them
that dwell there, what rites the Romans followed, who arose from small
and mean beginnings, and went on prevailing, and grew great; theirs, or
these, whose are the temples and the altars, from whom they knew by
the soothsayers, what they ought to do, or not to do? [Here Libanius
instanceth in the successes of Agamemnon against Troy; and of Hercules
before, against the same place; and some other things.] And many other
wars might be mentioned, which have been successfully conducted, and
after that peace obtained, by the favour and under the direction of
the gods. But, what is the most considerable of all, they who seemed to
despise this way of worship, have honoured it against their will. Who
are they? They who have not ventured to forbid sacrifices at Rome. But
if all this affair of sacrifices be a vain thing, why has not this vain
thing been prohibited? And if it be hurtful likewise, why not much more?
But if in the sacrifices there performed consists the stability of the
empire, it ought to be reckoned beneficial to sacrifice every where; and
to be allowed that the dæmonss at Rome confer greater benefits, these in
the country and other cities less. This is

{85}

what may be reasonably granted: for in an army all are not equal; yet in
a battle the help of each one is of use: the like may be said of rowers
in a vessel. So one [dæmons] defends the sceptre of Rome, another
protects a city subject to it, another preserves the country and gives
it felicity. Let there then be temples every where. Or let those men
confess, that you are not well affected to Rome in permitting her to do
things by which she suffers damage. But neither is it at Rome only that
the liberty of sacrificing remains, but also in the city of Serapis*,
that great and populous city, which has a multitude of temples, by which
it renders the plenty of Egypt common to all men. This [plenty] is the
work of the Nile. It therefore celebrates the Nile, and persuades him
to rise and overflow the fields. If those rites were not performed, when
and by whom they ought, he would not do so. Which they themselves seem
to be sensible of, who willingly enough abolish such things, but do not
abolish these; but permit the river to enjoy his ancient rites, for the
sake of the benefit he affords.

"'What then,' some will say: 'Since there is not in every country a
river to do what the Nile does

     *  i. e. Alexandria. The temple of Serapis was destroyed in 391.

{86}

for the earth, there is no reason for temples in those places. Let
them therefore suffer what these good people think fit.' Whom I would
willingly ask this question: Whether, changing their mind, they will
dare to say, Let there be an end of these things done by [or for] the
Nile: let not the earth partake of his waters: let nothing be sown nor
reaped: let him afford no corn, nor any other product, nor let the mud
overflow the whole land, as at present. If they dare not own this, by
what they forbear to say they confute what they do say: for they who do
not affirm that the Nile ought to be deprived of his honours, confess
that the honours paid to the temples are useful.

"And since they mention him* who spoiled the temples [of their revenues
and gifts], we shall omit observing that he did not proceed to the
taking away the sacrifices. But who ever suffered a greater punishment
for taking away the sacred money [out of the temples], partly in what
he brought upon himself; partly in what he suffered after his death,
insomuch that his family destroyed one another, till there were none
left? And it had been much better for him that some of his posterity
should reign, than to enlarge with buildings a city of

     * Constantine

{87}

his own name: for the sake of which city itself all men still curse his
memory, except those who live there in wicked luxury, because by their
poverty these have their abundance.

"And since next to him they mention his son *, and how he destroyed the
temples, when they who polled them down took no less pains in destroying
them, than the builders had done in raising them,---so laborious a work
was it to separate the stones cemented by the strongest bands;--since,
I say, they mention these things, I will mention somewhat yet more
considerable. That he indeed made presents of the temples to those who
were about him, just as he might give a horse, or a slave, or a dog, or
a golden cup; but they were unhappy presents to both the giver and the
receivers of them: for he spent all his life in fear of the Persians,
dreading all their motions as children do bugbears. Of whom, some were
childless, and died miserably intestate; and others had better never
have had children: with such infamy and mutual discord do they live
together who descend from them, whilst they dwell among sacred pillars
taken from the temples. To whom I think these things are owing, who
knowing how to enrich themselves, have taught

     * Constantius.

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their children this way to happiness! And at this time their distempers
carry some of them to Cilicia, needing the help of Æsculapius. But
instead of obtaining relief, they meet with affronts only for the injury
done to the place. How can such return without cursing the author of
these evils? But let the conduct of this Emperor be such as to deserve
praises living and dead; such as we know he* was who succeeded him; who
had overturned the Persian empire if treachery had not prevented it.
Nevertheless he was great in his death, for he was killed by treachery,
as Achilles also was; and is applauded for that, as well as for what
he did before his death. This has he from the gods, to whom he restored
their rites, and honours, and temples, and altars, and blood: from whom
having heard,« that he should humble the pride of Persia, and then die,'
he purchased the glory of his life, taking many cities, subduing a large
tract of land, teaching his pursuers to fly; and was about to receive,
as all know, an embassy which would have brought the submission of the
enemy. Wherefore he was pleased with his wound, and looking upon it
rejoiced, and without any tears rebuked those who wept, for not thinking
that a wound was better to him than any old age. So that the embassies
sent after his death were all

     * Julian.

{80}

his right. And the reason why the Achemenidæ* for the future made use
of entreaties instead of arms, was that the fear of him still possessed
their minds. Such an one was he who restored to us the temples of
the gods, who did things too good to be forgotten, himself above all
oblivion.

"But I thought that he** who reigned lately would pull down and burn
the temples of those who were of the opposite sentiment, as he knew how
to despise the gods. But he was better than expectation, sparing the
temples of the enemies, and not disdaining to run some hazards for
preserving those of his own dominions, which had long since been erected
with much labour and at vast expense. For if cities are to be preserved
every where, and some cities outshine others by means of their temples,
and these are their chief ornaments, next to the Emperor's palaces,--how
is it that no care must be taken of these, nor any endeavours used to
preserve them in the body of the cities?

"But it is said: 'There will be other edifices, though there should be
no temples.' But I think tribute to be of importance to the treasury.
Let

     * Another name for the Persians.

     ** Valens.

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these stand then, and be taxed. Do we think it a cruel thing to cut off
a man's hand, and a small matter to pluck out the eyes of cities? And
do we not lament the ruins made by earthquakes? and when there are no
earthquakes, nor other accidents, shall we ourselves do what they are
wont to effect? Are not the temples the possession of the Emperors
as well as other things? Is it the part of wise men to sink their own
goods? Does not every one suppose him to be distracted, who throws his
purse into the sea? Or if the master of the ship was to cut those ropes
which are of use to the ship; or if any one should order a mariner to
throw away his oar,--would you think it an absurdity? and yet think it
proper for a magistrate to deprive a city of such a part of it? What
reason is there for destroying that, the use of which may be changed?
Would it not be shameful for an army to fight against its own walls? and
for a general to excite them against what they have raised with great
labour; the finishing of which was a festival for those who then
reigned? Let no man think, Emperor, that this is a charge brought
against you. For there lies in ruins, in the Persian borders, a temple*,
to which there is none like, as may be learned from those who saw it, so
magnificent the stone work, and in

     * Probably the temple at Odessa.

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compass equal to the city. Therefore in time of war the citizens thought
their enemies would gain nothing by taking the town, since they could
not take that likewise, as the strength of its fortifications bid
defiance to all their attacks. At length, however, it was attacked, and
with a fury equal to the greatest enemies, animated by the hopes of the
richest plunder. I have heard it disputed,by some, in which state it
was the greatest wonder; whether now that it is no more, or when it
had suffered nothing of this kind, like the temple of Serapis. But
that temple, so magnificent and so large, not to mention the wonderful
structure of the roof, and the many brass statues, now hid in darkness
out of the light of the sun, is quite perished; a lamentation to them
who have seen it, a pleasure to them who never saw it. For the eyes and
ears are not alike affected with these things. Or rather to those who
have not seen it, it is both sorrow and pleasure: the one because of its
fall, the other because their eyes never saw it. Nevertheless, if it be
rightly considered, this work is not yours, but the work of a man *
who has deceived you; a profane wretch, an enemy of the gods, base,
covetous, ungrateful to the earth that received him when born, advanced
without merit, and abusing his greatness, when advanced;

     * Probably Cynegius, the Emperor's lieutenant.

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a slave to his wife, gratifying her in any thing, and esteeming her all
things, in perfect subjection to them* who direct these things, whose
only virtue lies in wearing the habit of mourners; but especially to
those of them who also weave coarse garments. This workhouse** deluded,
imposed upon him, and misled him; [and it is said that many gods have
been deceived by gods;] for they gave out, 'that the priests sacrificed,
and so near them that the smoke reached their noses:' and after the
manner of some simple people, they enlarge and heighten matters, and
vaunt themselves as if they thought nothing was above their power. By
such fiction, and contrivance, and artful stories, proper to excite
displeasure, they persuaded the mildest father [of his people] among the
Emperors***. For these were really his virtues, humanity, tenderness,
compassion, mildness, equity, who had rather save than destroy. But
there were those who gave lister counsel; that if such a thing had
been done, the attempt should be punished, and care taken to prevent
the like for time to come. Yet he who thought he ought to have a
Cadmean victory, carried on his conquest. But after he had taken his own
pleasures, he should have provided for his

     * The monks.

     **The monastery.

     *** Probably Valens.

{93}

people, and not have desired to appear great to those who shun the
labours of the country, and converse in the mountains *, as they say,
with the Maker of all things. But let your actions appear excellent and
praiseworthy to all men. There are at this time many, so far friends as
to receive and empty your treasures, and to whom your empire is dearer
than their own souls; but when the time comes that good counsel and real
services are wanted, they have no concern upon them but to take care of
themselves; and if any one comes to them, and inquires what this means,
they excuse themselves as free from all fault. They disown what they
have done, or pretend 'that they have obeyed the Emperor's order; and if
there is any blame, he must see to it.' Such things they say, when it is
they who are found guilty, who can give no account of their actions.
For what account can be given of such mischiefs? These men before others
deny this to be their own work. But when they address you alone, without
witnesses, they say, 'they have been in this war serving your family.'
They would deliver your house from those who by land and sea endeavour
to defend your person; than which there is nothing greater you can
receive from them. For these men, under the name of friends and
protectors,

     * He refers to the monks near Antioch,

{94}

telling stories of those by whom they say they have been injured,
improve your credulity into an occasion of doing more mischief.

"But I return to them, to demonstrate their injustice by what they have
said: Say then, for what reason you destroyed that great temple? Not
because the Emperor approved the doing it. They who pull down a temple
have done no wrong if the Emperor has ordered it to be done. Therefore
they who pulled it down did not do wrong by doing what the Emperor
approved of. But he who does that which is not approved by the Emperor,
does Wrong; does he not? You, then, are the men who have nothing of this
to say for what you have done. Tell me why this temple of Fortune is
safe? and the temple of Jupiter, and of Minerva, and of Bacchus? Is it
because you would have them remain? No, but because no one has given
you power over them; which, nevertheless, you have assumed against those
which you have destroyed. How, then, are you not liable to punishment?
or how can you pretend that what you have done is right, when the
sufferers have done no wrong? Of which charge there would have been some
appearance, if you, O Emperor, had published an edict to their purpose:
'Let no man within my empire believe in the gods, nor worship them, nor
ask any

{95}

good thing of them, neither for himself, nor for his children, unless it
be done in silence and privately: but let all present themselves at the
places where I worship, and join in the rites there performed. And let
them offer the same prayers which they do, and bow the head at the hand
of him who directs the multitude. Whoever transgresses this law, shall
be put to death.' It was easy for you to publish such a law as this; but
you have not done it; nor have you in this matter laid a yoke upon the
souls of men. But though you think one way better than the other, yet
you do not judge that other to be an impiety, for which a man may be
justly punished. Nor have you excluded those of that sentiment from
honours, but have conferred upon them the highest offices, and have
given them access to your table, to eat and drink with you. This you
have done formerly, and at this time; beside others, you have associated
to yourself (thinking it advantageous to your government) a man, who
swears by the gods, both before others, and before yourself: and you are
not offended at it; nor do you think yourself injured by those oaths:
nor do you account him a wicked man who placeth his best hopes in the
gods. When, therefore, you do not reject us, as neither did he who
subdued the Persians by arms reject those of his subjects who differed
from him in this matter, what pretence have these to reject us?

{96}

How can these men reject their fellow-subjects, differing from them in
this matter? By what right do they make these incursions? How do they
seize other men's goods with the indignation of the countries? How do
they destroy some things, and carry off others? adding to the injury of
their actions the insolence of glorying in them. We, O Emperor, if
you approve and permit these things, will bear them; not without grief
indeed; but yet we will show that we have learned to obey. But if you
give them no power, and yet they come and invade our small remaining
substance, or our walls: Know, that the owners of the countries will
defend themselves."



EXTRACTS FROM BINGHAM'S ANTIQUITIES OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH*,

OF THE NAMES OF REPROACH WHICH THE JEWS, INFIDELS, AND HERETICS CAST
UPON THE CHRISTIANS.


"Besides the names already spoken of, there were some other reproachful
names cast upon them by their adversaries, which it will not be improper
here to mention. The first of these was Nazarens, a

     * The edition from which these Extracts are taken it in one
     vol. 8vo, London, 1708, and begins at p. 13.

{97}

name of reproach given them first by the Jews, by whom they are styled
the sect of the Nazarens, Acts xxiv. 5. There was indeed a particular
heresy, who called themselves [--------]: and Epiphanius* thinks the
Jews had a more especial spite at them, because they were a sort of
Jewish apostates, who kept circumcision and the Mosaical rites together
with the Christian religion: and therefore, he says, they were used
to curse and anathematize them three times a day, morning, noon, and
evening, when they met in their synagogues to pray, in this direful form
of execration,' [--------], 'Send thy curse, O God, upon the Nazarens.'
But St. Jerome** says this was levelled at Christians in general, whom
they thus anathematized under the name of Nazarens. And this seems
most probable, because both as St. Jerome*** and Epiphanius himself****
observe, the Jews termed all Christians by way of reproach, Nazarens.
And the Gentiles took it from the Jews, as appears from that of

     * Epiphan. Haer. 29. n. 9.

     ** Hieron. Com. in Esa. xlix. t 5. p. 178. Ter per tingulos
     dies sub nomine Nazaienorum maledicunt in synagogis suis.

     *** Id. de loc. Hebr. t. 3. p. 289. Nos apnd veterei» quasi
     opprobrio Nazaraei dicebamur, quos nunc Christianos vocant.

     **** Epiphan. ibid.

{98}

Datianus the praetor in Prudentius*, where speaking to the Christians
he gives them the name of Nazarens. Some** think the Christians at first
were very free to own this name, and esteemed it no reproach, till such
time as the heresy of the Nazarens broke out, and then in detestation
of that heresy they forsook that name, and called themselves Christians.
Acts xi. 26. But whether this be said according to the exact rules of
chronology, I leave those that are better skilled to determine.

Another name of reproach was that of Galilæans, which was Julian's
ordinary style, whenever he spake of Christ or Christians. Thus in
his Dialogue with old Maris a blind Christian bishop, mentioned by
Sozomen***, he told him by way of scoff, "Thy Galilæan God will not cure
thee." And again, in his epistle**** to Arsacius high-priest of Galatia,
"The Galilæans maintain their own poor and ours also." The like may be
observed in Socrates(v), Theodoret (vi),

     * Prudent. ---------].    Carm. 5. de S. Vincent.
         Vos Nazareni assistite,
         Rudemque ritum spernite.

         Id. Hymno 9. de Rom. Mart.

     ** Junius, Parallel, lib. 1. c. 8. Godwyn, Jew.
     Rites, lib. 1. c. 8.

     *** Sozom. lib. 5. c. 4.

     **** A p. Sozom. lib. 5. c. 16.

     (v) Socrat. lib. 3. c. 12.

     (vi) Theodor. lib. 3. c 7. & 31.

{90}

Chrysostom*, and Gregory Nazianzen**, who adds, that he not only called
them Galilæans himself, but made a law that no one should call them by
any other name; thinking thereby to abolish the name of Christians.

They also called them Atheists, and their religion the Atheism or
Impiety, because they derided the worship of the heathen gods. Dio***
says, Acilius

Glabrio was put to death for atheism, meaning the Christian religion.
And the Christian apologists, Athenagoras**** Justin Martyr(v),
Arnobius(vi), and others, reckon this among the crimes which the
heathens usually lay to their charge. Eusebius says(vii) the name was
become so common, that when the persecuting magistrates would oblige
a Christian to renounce his religion, they bade him abjure it in
this form, by saying among other things, [--------] 'Confusion to the
atheists, Away with the impious,' meaning the Christians.

To this they added the name of Greeks and Impostors. Which is noted by
St. Jerome(viii) who says

     * Chrys. Horn. 63. torn. 5.

     ** Naz. i. Invectiv.

     *** Dio in Domitian.

     **** Athen. Legat. pro Christ.

     (v) Just. Apol. i. p. 47.

     (vi) Arnob. lib. i.

     (vii) Euseb. lib. iv. c. 15.

     (viii) Hieron. Ep. 10. ad Furiara. Ubicunque viderint

{100}

wheresoever they saw a Christian, they would presently cry out,
'[--------], 'Behold a Grecian impostor.' This was the character which
the Jews gave our Saviour, [--------]' that deceiver*, Matt, xxvii. 63.
And Justin Martyr** says, they endeavoured to propagate it to posterity,
sending their apostles or emissaries from Jerusalem to all the
synagogues in the world, to bid them beware of a certain impious,
lawless sect, lately risen up under one Jesus, a Galilæan impostor.
Hence Lucian*** took occasion in his blasphemous raillery to style
him The crucified sophister. And Celsus**** commonly gives him and his
followers the name of [--------] 'deceivers.' So Asclepiades the judge
in Prudentius**** compliments them with the appellation of sophisters;
and Ulpian(v) proscribes them in a law by the name of impostors.

The reason why they added the name of Greeks

     * Christianum, statim illud de Trivio, [--------] vocant
     Impostorem.

     ** Justin. Dial. c. Tryph. p. 335.

     ***  Lucian. Peregrin.

     **** Cels. ap. Orig. lib. i. et lib. 6.

     (v) Prudent. [--------]. Carm. 9. de Romano Marty. Quis hos
     Sophistas error invexit novus, &c.

     (vi) Digest, lib. 50. tit. 13. c 1. Si incantavit, si in-
     precatus est, si (ut vulgari verbo Impostoruxn utar) si
     exorcisavit

{101}

to that of impostors, was (as learned men* conjecture) because many of
the Christian philosophers took upon them the Grecian or philosophic
habit, which was the [--------] or pallium: whence the Greeks were
called Pallitati, as the Romans were called Togati, or Gens togata, from
their proper habit, which was the toga. Now it being some offence to the
Romans to see the Christians quit the Roman gown, to wear the Grecian
cloak; they thence took occasion, to mock and deride them with the
scurrilous names of Greeks, and Grecian impostors. Tertullian s book
_de Pallio_ was written to show the spiteful malice of this foolish
objection.

But the heathens went one step further in their malice; and because our
Saviour and his followers did many miracles, which they imputed to evil
arts and the power of magic, they therefore generally declaimed against
them as magicians, and under that character exposed them to the fury of
the vulgar. Celsus** and others pretended that our Saviour studied magic
in Egypt: and St. Austin*** says, it was generally believed among the
heathens, that he

     * Kortholt de Morib. Christian, c. 3. p. 23.    Baron an.
     56. n. 11.

     ** Origen. cont. Cels. lib. 2. Arrobius, lib. 1. p. 36.

     *** Aug. de Consensu Evang. lib. 1. c. 9.

{102}

wrote some books about magic too, which he delivered to Peter and Paul
for the use of his disciples. Hence it was that Suetonius* speaking in
the language of his party, calls the Christians _Genus hominum
superstionis maleficae_, 'the men of the magical superstition.' As
Asclepiades the judge in Prudentius** styles St. Romanus the martyr,
Arch-magician.

And St. Ambrose observes in the Passion of St. Agnes*** how the
people cried out against her, 'Away with the sorceress! Away with the
enchanter! 'Nothing being more common than to term all Christians,
especially such as wrought miracles, by the odious name of sorcerers
and magicians.'

The New Superstition was another name of reproach for the Christian
religion. Suetonius gives it that title****, and Pliny and Tacitus add
to it(v) the opprobrious terms of wicked and unreasonable

     * Sueton. Neron. c. 16.

     ** Prudent. Hymn. 9. de S. Romano. Quousque tandem
     su m m us hic nobis Magus illudit.

     *** Ambr. Serm. 90. in S. Agnen. Tolle Magam! Tolle
     Maleticam!

     ****  See Kortholt de Morib. Christ, c. 4.

     (v) Sueton. Nero. c. 16.

     (vi) Plin. lib. 10. ep. 97. Nihil aliud inveni, quam
     superstitionem pravam et immodicara. Tacit. Annal. 15. c.
     44.   Exitiabilis superstitio.

{103}

superstition. By which name also Nero triumphed over it in his trophies
which he set up at Rome, when he had harassed the Christians with a
most severe persecution. He gloried that he had purged the country of
robbers, and those that obtruded and inculcated the new superstition*
upon mankind. By this, there can be no doubt he meant the Christians,
whose religion is called the superstition in other inscriptions of the
like nature. See that of Diocletian cited in Baronius, Ann. 304. from
Occo. "Superstitione Christianorum ubique deleta," &c.

Not much unlike this was that other name which Porphyry** and some
others give it, when they call it the barbarous, new, and strange
religion. In the acts of the famous martyrs of Lyons, who suffered under
Antoninus Pius, the heathens scornfully insult it with this character.
For having burnt the martyrs to ashes, and scattered their remains into
the river Rhone, they said, they did it 'to cut off their hopes of a
resurrection, upon the

     * Inscript. Antiq. ad Calcem Sueton. Oxon. NERONI. CLAUD.
     CAIS. AUG. PONT. MAX. OB. PROVING. LATRONIB. ET. HIS. QUI.
     NOVAM. GENERI. HUM.   SUPERSTITION. INCULCAB. PURGAT.

     ** Ap. Euseb. Hist Eccl, lib* 6, c 19,  [--------]

{104}

strength of which they sought to obtrude* the new and strange religion
upon mankind. But now let us see whether they will rise again, and
whether their God can help and deliver them out of our hands.'

Celsus gives them the name of Sibyllists**, because the Christians in
their disputes with the heathens sometimes made use of the authority of
Sibylla their own prophetess against them; whose writing they urged with
so much advantage to the Christian cause, and prejudice to the heathen,
that Justin Martyr*** says, the Roman governors made it death for any
one to read them, or Hystaspes, or the writings of the prophets.

They also reproached them with the appellation of [--------],
'self-murderers,' because they readily offered themselves up to
martyrdom, and cheerfully underwent any violent death, which the
heathens could inflict upon them. With what eagerness they courted
death, we learn not only from the Christian writers**** themselves, but
from the testimonies

     * Act. Mart. Lugd. ap. Euseb. lib. 5. c. 1. [--------]

     ** Origen. c. Cels. lib. 5. p. 272.

     ***  Just Apol. 2. p. 82.

     **** See these collected in Pearson, Vind. Ignat. Par. 2. c.
     9. p. 384.

{105}

of the heathens* concerning them. Lucian** says they not only despised
death, but many of them voluntarily offered themselves to it, out of a
persuasion that they should be made immortal and live forever. This he
reckons folly, and therefore gives them the name of [--------], 'The
miserable wretches, that threw away their lives,' In which sense
Porphyry*** also styles, the Christian religion, [--------] the
barbarous boldness.' As Arrjus Antoninus**** terms the professors of
it, [--------], The stupid wretches, that had such a mind to die; and
the heathen in Minucius(v), homines deploratae ac desperate factionis,
'the men of the forlorn and desperate faction.' All which agrees with
the name Biothanati, or Biaeothanati, as Baronius(vi) understands
it* Though it may signify not only self-murderers, but (as a learned
critic(xii) notes) men that expect to live after death. In which sense
the heathens probably might use it likewise to ridicule the Christian
doctrine of the resurrection; on which, they

     *  Arrius Antonin. ap. Tertul. ad Scap. c. 4.    Tiberias, in
     Joh. Malela Chronic.

     ** Lucian. de Mort Peregrin.

     *** Porphyr. ap. Euseb. Hist Eccl. 1. 6. c 19.

     **** Tertul. ibid.

     (v) Minuc. Octav. p. 25.

     (vi) Baron, an. 138. n. 5.

     (vii) Suicer. Thesaur. Ecclesiast 1.1. p. 690.

{106}

knew, all their fearless and undaunted courage was founded. For so
the same heathen in Minucius endeavours to expose at once both their
resolution and their belief: "O strange folly, and incredible madness!"
says he; "they despise all present torments, and yet fear those that are
future and uncertain: they are afraid of dying after death, but in the
mean time do not fear to die. So vainly do they flatter themselves,
and allay their fears, with the hopes of some reviving comforts after
death." For one of these reasons then they gave them the name of
_Biothanati_,

which word expressly occurs in some of the acts of the ancient martyrs.
Baronius observes* out of Bede's Martyrology, that when the seven sons
of Symphorosa were martyred under Hadrian, their bodies were all cast
into one pit together, which the temple-priests named from them, _Ad
Septem Biothanatos_, 'The grave of the seven Biothanati.'

For the same reasons they gave them the names of _Parabolarii and
Desperati_, 'The bold and desperate men.' The Parabolarii, or Parabolani
among the Romans were those bold adventurous men, who hired out
themselves to fight with wild beasts upon the stage or amphitheatre,
whence they had also the name of _Bestiarii, and Confectores_. Now
because the

    * Baron, an. 138. n. 5.

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Christians were put to fight for their lives in the same manner, and
they rather chose to do it than deny their religion, they therefore got
the name of _Paraboli and Parabolani_: which, though it was intended as
a name of reproach and mockery, yet the Christians were not unwilling to
take to themselves, being one of the truest characters that the heathens
ever gave them. And therefore they sometimes gave themselves this name
by way of allusion to the Roman Paraboli. As in the Passion of Abdo
and Senne* in the time of Valerian, the martyrs who were exposed to be
devoured by wild beasts in the amphitheatre, are said to enter, '_ut
audacissimi Parabolani_,' as most resolute champions, that despised
their own lives for their religion's sake. But the other name of
_Desperati_ they rejected as a calumny, retorting it back upon their
adversaries, who more justly deserved it. "Those," says Lactantius***,
"who set a value upon their faith, and will not deny their God, they
first torment and butcher with all their might, and then call them
desperados, because they will not spare their bodies: as if any thing
could be more desperate, than to torture and tear in pieces those whom
you cannot but know to be innocent."

     * Acta Abdon. et Sennes ap. Suicer.

     ** Lact. Instil, lib. 5. c. 9.   Desperates vocant, quia
     corpori suo minime parcunt, &c.

{108}

Tertullian mentions another name, which was likewise occasioned by their
sufferings. The martyrs which were burnt alive, were usually tied to
a board or stake of about six foot long, which the Romans called
_semaxis_; and then they were surrounded or covered with faggots of
small wood, which they called _sarmenia_. From this their punishment,
the heathens, who turned every thing into mockery, gave all Christians
the despiteful name of _Sarmentitii_ and _Semaxii_*.

The heathen in Minucius*** takes occasion also to reproach them under
the name of the sculking generation, or the men that loved to prate in
corners and the dark. The ground of which scurrilous reflection was only
this, that they were forced to hold their religious assemblies in the
night to avoid the fury of the persecutions. Which Celsus**** himself
owns, though otherwise prone enough to load them with hard names and
odious reflections.

The same heathen in Minucius gives them one

     * Tertul. Apol. t, 50. Licet nunc Sarmentitios et Semaxios
     appelletis, quia ad stipitem dimidii axis re-vincti,
     sarmentorum ambitu exurimur.

     ** Minuc. Octav. p. 25. Latebrosa et lucifugax natio, in
     publicum muta, in angulis garrula.

     *** Origen. c. Cel. lib. 1. p. 5.

{109}

scurrilous name more, which it is not very easy to guess the meaning of.
He calls them _Plautinians_*,--_homines Plautinæ prosapiæ_. Rigaltius**
takes it for a ridicule upon the poverty and simplicity of the
Christians, whom the heathens commonly represented as a company of
poor ignorant mechanics, bakers, tailors, and the like; men of the same
quality with Plautus, who, as St. Jerome*** observes, was so poor, that
at a time of famine he was forced to hire out himself to a baker to
grind at his mill, during which time he wrote three of his Plays in the
intervals of his labour. Such sort of men Coecilius says the Christians
were; and therefore he styles Octavius in the dialogue, _homo Plautinæ
prosapiæ et pistorum præcipuus_, 'a Plautinian, a chief man among the
illiterate bakers,' but no philosopher. The same reflection is often
made by Celsus. "You shall see," says he****, "weavers, tailors,fullers,
and the most illiterate and rustic fellows, who dare not speak a word
before wise men, when they can get a company of children and silly women
together, set up to teach strange paradoxes amongst

     * Minuc. p. 37. Quid ad hæc audet Octavius homo Plautinæ
     Prosapiæ, ut Pistorum præcipuus ita postremus
     Philosophorum?

     ** Rigalt. in loc.

     *** Hieron. Chronic, an. 1.   Olymp. 145.

     **** Origen. c Cels. lib. 3. p. 144.

{110}

them." "This is one of their rules," says he again*,--"Let no man that
is learned, wise, or prudent come among us; but if any be unlearned, or
a child, or an ideot, let him freely come. So they openly declare, that
none but fools and sots, and such as want sense, slaves, women, and
children, are fit disciples for the God they worship***."

Nor was it only the heathens that thus reviled them, but commonly every
perverse sect among the Christians had some reproachful name to cast
upon them. The Novatian party called them _Cornelieans_*** because they
communicated with Cornelius bishop of Rome, rather than with Novatianus
his antagonist. They also termed them _Apostates, Capitolins,
Synedrians_, because**** they charitably decreed in their synods to
receive apostates, and such as went to the Capitol to sacrifice, into
their communion again upon their sincere repentance. The Nestorians(v)
termed the orthodox _Cyrillians_; and the Arians(vi) called them
_Eustathians_ and

     * Origen. c. Cels. lib. 3. p. 137. f See the preceding
     translation of Celsus, p. 19. f Eulog. ap. Phot. Cod. 280. §
     Facian. Ep. 2. ad Sympronian. || Ep. Legat. Schismat ad suos
     in Epheso in Act. Con. Ephes. Con. t S. p. 746. f Sozora,
     lib, 6. c. 21.

{111}

_Paulinions_, from Eustathius and Paulin us bishops of Antioch. As also
_Homousians_, because they kept to the doctrine of the [--------], which
declared the Son of God to be of the same substance with the Father.
The author of the _Opus Imperfection_ on St. Matthew, under the name
of Chrysostom*, styles them expressly, _Hæresis Homoousianorum_,'
the heresy of the Homoousians.' And so Serapion in his conflict with
Arnobius** calls them _Homousianates_,which the printed copy reads
corruptly _Homuncionates_, which was a name for the Nestorians.

The Cataphrygians or Montanists commonly called the orthodox
[--------], 'carnal'; because they rejected the prophecies and pretexted
inspirations of Montanus, and would not receive his rigid laws about
fasting, nor abstain from second marriages, and observe four Lents in a
year, &c. This was Tertullian's ordinary compliment to the Christians in
all his books** written after he was fallen into the errors of Montanus.
He calls his own party the _spiritual_, and the orthodox the _carnal_:
and

     * Opus Imperf. Horn. 48.

     **  Conflict. Arnob. et Serap. ad cakem Irenæi, p. 519.

     *** Tertul. adv. Prax. c. 1. Nos quidem agnitio Paracleti
     disjunxit à Psychicis. Id. de Monogam. c. 1. Haeretici
     nuptias auferunt, Psychici ingerunt. See also c. 11. and 16.

{112}

some of his books* are expressly entitled, _Adversus Psychicos_. Clemens
Alexandrinus** observes, the same reproach was also used by other
heretics beside the Montanists. And it appears from Irenæus, that this
was an ancient calumny of the Valentînîans, who styled themselves
the _spiritual_ and the _perfect_, and the orthodox the _secular and
carnal_***, who had need of abstinence and good works, which were not
necessary for them that were perfect.

The Millenaries styled them _Allegorists_, because they expounded the
prophecy of the saints reigning a thousand years with Christ, (Rev. xx.
4.) to a mystical and allegorical sense. Whence Euseubius**** observes
of Nepos the Egyptian bishop, who wrote for the Millenium, that he
entitled his book, [--------], 'A confutation of the Allegorists.'

Aetius the Arian gives them the abusive name of [--------]; by which he
seems to intimate, that their religion was but temporary, and would

     * De Jejuniis adv. Psychicos.    De Pudicitia, &c.

     ** Clem. Alex. Strom, lib. 4. p. 511.

     *** Iren. lib. 1. c 1. p. 29. Nobis quidem, quos Psychicos
     vocant, et de sæculo esse dicunt, necessarian) con-
     tinentiam, &c.

     **** Euseb. lib. 7. c. 24.

{113} ,

shortly have an end; whereas the character was much more applicable to
the Arians themselves, whose faith was so lately sprung up in the
world; as the author of the dialogues _de Trinitate_, under the name of
Athanasius, who confutes Aetius *, justly retorts upon him.

The Manichees, as they gave themselves the most glorious names of
_Electi, Macarii, Catharistæ_, mentioned by St. Austin**; so they
reproached the Catholics with the most contemptible name of _Simplices_,
'ideots,' which is the term that Manichæus himself used in his
dispute*** with Archelaus, the Mesopotamian bishop, styling the
Christian teachers, _Simpliciorum magistri_, 'guides of the simple;'
because they could not relish his execrable doctrine concerning two
principles of good and evil.

The Apollinarians were no less injurious to the Catholics, in fixing on
them the odious name of _Anthropolatræ_, 'man-worshippers'; because they
maintained that Christ was a perfect man, and had a reasonable soul and
body, of the same nature with ours; which Apollinarius denied. Gregory

     * Athan. Dial. 2. de Trinit. t. 2. p. 193.

     ** Aug. de Hær. c. 46.

     *** Archel. Disp. adv. Manichaeum adcalcem Sozomen. Ed.
     Vales, p. 197.

{114}

Nazianzen* takes notice of this abuse, and sharply replies to it;
telling the Apollinarians, that they themselves much better deserved the
name of _Sarcolatræ_, 'flesh-worshippers': for if Christ had no human
soul, they must be concluded to worship his flesh only.

The Origenians, who denied the truth of the resurrection, and asserted
that men should have only aerial and spiritual bodies in the next world,
made jests upon the Catholics, because they maintained the contrary,
that our bodies should be the same individual bodies, and of the same
nature that they are now, with flesh and bones, and all the members in
the same form and structure, only altered in quality, not in substance.
For this they gave them the opprobrious names of _Simplices_ and
_Philosarcæ**, 'ideots' and 'lovers of the flesh'; _Carnei, Animales,
Jumenta_, 'carnal, sensual, animals'; _Lutei, 'earthy', Pilosiotæ***,
which Erasmus's edition reads

     * Naz. Ep. 1. ad Cledon.

     ** Hieron. Ep. 61. ad Pammach. t. 2. p. 171. Nos Simplices
     et Philosarcas dicere, quod eadem ossa, et sanguis, et caro,
     id est, vultus et membra, totiusque compago corporis
     resurgat in novissima die.

     *** Id. Ep. 65, ad Pam. et Ocean, de Error. Orig. p. 192.
     Pelusiotas (leg. Pilosiotas) nos appellant, et Luteos,
     Animalesque, et Cameos, quod non recipiamus ea quae Spiritus
     sunt.

{115}

corruptly _Pelusiotæ_, instead of _Pilonotæ_; which seems to be a name
formed from _pili_, (hair); because the Catholics asserted, that the
body would rise perfect in all its parts, even with the hair itself to
beautify and adorn it.

But of all others the Luciferians gave the church the rudest language;
styling her the brothel-house, and synagogue of Antichrist and Satan;
because she allowed those bishops to retain their honour and places, who
were cajoled by the Arians to subscribe the fraudulent confession of
the Council of Ariminum. The Luciferian in St. Jerome runs out in this
manner against the church; and St. Jerome says, he spake but the sense
of the whole party, for this was the ordinary style and language of all
the rest.--Hieron. Dial. adv. Lucifer, t. ii. p. 135."

Thus far Bingham: to whose extracts may appropriately be added, what the
Emperor Julian says reproachfully of the Christians, in the fragments
which Cyril has preserved of his Treatise against them. "You do not take
notice (says he) whether any mention is made by the Jews of holiness;
but you emulate their rage and their bitterness, overturning temples and
altars, and cutting the throats, not only of those who remain firm in
paternal

{116}

institutes, but also of those heretics who are equally erroneous with
yourselves, and who do not lament a dead body [i. e. the body of Christ]
in the same manner as you do*. For neither Jesus nor Paul exhorted you
to act in this manner. But the reason is, that neither did they expect
that you would ever arrive at the power which you have obtained. For
they were satisfied if they could deceive maidservants and slaves, and
through these married women, and such men as Cornelius and Sergius;
among whom if you can mention one that was at that time an illustrious
character, (and these things were transacted under the reign of Tiberius
or Claudius) believe that I am a liar in all things**."

     * Julian here alludes to the contests between the Arians and
     Trinitarians.

     ** Vid. Cyril, apud Spanh.

THE END.





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