網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

fice; but in the verses it is ’Aluvates, God, which may scem better to agree with ueyono. Jeg that went before. One might conjecture that at first it was thus :

Αυτίκα δ' ΑΘΑΝΑΤΟΙ μεγάλης ΕΠΕΘΗΚΑΝ ανάγκης
Πνεύμασιν, αυταρ έπατάνεμοι μέγαν υψόθι σύργου

Ρίψαν, και θνητοίσιν επ' αλλήλοις έριν αρσαν. By this change, 'Atvata may be the nominative case to åpsar, instead of reor

, and it seems more reasonable that the gods than the winds should set the men at variance. It is in a Pagan style, and yet a Jewish forger might write it, and take the bold liberty to say 'Alévatoi, meaning God and his angels, or the angels. Angels are sometimes called gods, and in Genesis xi. 7. whence this account is taken, The Lord said, Let us go down, and there confound their language; in which words, according to many of the Rabbins, God speaks to his angels. Josephus himself now and then uses expressions bordering upon Paganism.

It is not safe to trust one's memory in things of this kind ; but I think that profane authors, though they sometimes say 'Ald:2701, for the gods, and make it a substantive, yet never say ’Abivatos, simply, for God, or the supreme God. The Sibylline oracles more than once use this word in this manner, and shew by it that they are not the work of a Pagan.

The supposition which some have made, that Justin Martyr was guilty of forging the Sibylline oracles, is groundless and perverse. Justin has written his own character in every page of his works, and shews himself pious, warm, sprightly, fearless, open, hasty, honest, inquisitive, sincere, and as void of dissimulation and hypocrisy as a child. Add to this, that he writes like a man who had no turn for such things, and was not only no poet, but not a

verse-maker. But though he was incapable of forgery, he was deluded by these forged oracles, and perhaps by his authority led the fathers who lived after him into the same error.

Tatian makes no use of the Sibylline oracles, and only just mentions the Sibyl amongst the writers who were before Homer, and after Moses. Orat. contr. Græc. § 41.'

Athenagoras, to shew that the gods of the Gentiles were men, produces six verses from the Sibyl. Legat. $ 30. · Theophilus gives us no less than eighty-four Sibylline verses, ad Autol. ii. the same which stand in the beginning of the editions of these oracles, and which are mere patch-work of Scripture-phrase. When the Greek poets said things consonant to the holy Scriptures, Theophilus observes that they stole their knowledge from the law and the prophets, κλέψαντες ταύτα εκ vous xei Traspoptūr. It is strange that he did not suspect the same thing of the Sibyl, wliose thefts are so open and glaring. ii. 37.

The Sibylline verses cited by the fathers, and those which are preserved in our present collection, are of ten the same, and always of the same stamp and value, and liable to the same objections. It is a vain thing to receive the one, and reject the other: it is better to defend them all heroically in the lump, and not to do the work by halves, nor make a distinction where there is no difference.

Clemens Alexandrinus was learned, and willing to shew his learning, and to let the world see that he had perused all sorts of authors; and therefore could not possibly omit the Sibyl.

lle

[ocr errors]

He produces these verses (from the Sibyl, though he names her not) in praise of the Hebrews, Cohort. 60.

Οι τινες ουκ απάτησι κεναΐς, δ' έργ ανθρώπων
Χρύσεα και χάλκεια, και αργύρω, ήδ' ελέφαλος,
Και ξυλίνων λιθίνων τε, βροτών άδωλα θανόντων,
Τιμωσιν, όσαπέρ τε βροτόι, κενεόφρονι βουλή.
'Αλλα και αίρουσιν προς έρανόν ωλένας αγνας,
"Όρθριοι εξ ευνής, αιεί χρόα αγνίζοντες
Υδασι, και τιμώσι μόνον τον αεί μεδέονα
'Αθαναλον.
Qui nusquam vanis erroribus inducti, hominum opera
Ex ebore argentoque, ex auro denique et ære,
E saxis lignoque hominum simulacra peremptorum,
Horrent, et qucecumque alü, vanissima turba.
At contra puras tollunt ad sidera palmas,
Mane ubi membra levant strato, quæ virgine lympha
Perfundunt: unumque colunt, qui cuncta gubernat,

Usque immortalem. I give this version, as I find it in the Oxford edition, and shall not trouble myself to mend it. The fifth verse seems to be taken from St Paul-Taiperles οσίας χειρας. 1 Τim. ii. 8. Perhaps, πρός γ' έρανόν, for the sake of metre, and also ωλένας αγνές, from ωλήν ; for the last syllable of wréras from wrémn is long. In the last verse for 'Αθάνατον, Sylburgius would read 'Αθανάτων, I know not why. This passage may be found in the Sybill. Or. L. iii.

Amongst the Sibylline verses cited by Theophile and Clemens, are these :

Είς Θεός έσι, βροχας, ανέμους, (εσμες επιπέμπων,
'Ασεροτας, λιμες, λοιμες, και κηδεα λυγρά,..
Και νιφέτες, κρύσταλλα τι δή καθ' εν εξαγορεύω ;

Unus

[ocr errors]

Unus Deus est, imbres, ventos, terrce motus in

mittens,
Fulgura, fumes, pestes, et luctus tristes,

Et nives, et glaciem. Et quid singula commemoro? This is taken from the Psalms. To Sekówłos xüwaβάλλοήθος κρύφαλλον αυταΧάλαζα, χών, κρύφαλλος, ανεύμα καTaryiños—cxlvii. cxlviii.

Minucius Felix mentions not the Sibyl, though he was invited to it by his subject, where he defends the Christians for teaching the doctrine of a conflagration ånd a future judgment, and appeals to the poets and philosophers who had said the same thing. c. xxxiv. &c. I am glad of it, for the sake of that ingenious and agreeable autlior.

The Phrygian Sibyl is said to have been called Diana, "Agreus, and to have uttered these verses at Delphi :

Ω Δελφοί θεράποντες εκηβόλου Απόλλωνος,
Ηλθον εγω χρήσoυσα Διός νόον αιγιόχοιο, ,
Αυτοκασίγνήτω κεχυλωμένη 'Απόλλωτι.
O Delphi, Phabi ferientis qui eminus estis
Servi, veni ad vos Jovis expositura potentis

Mentem, germano succensens plurima Phæbo. Thus Clemens Strom. i. p. 384, and Pausanias also says that the Sibyl calls herself Herophile, and Diana, and the sister, and sometimes the wife, and sometimes the daughter of Apollo. Sec the notes.

We have here, I think, the fragment of a true old Sibylline oracle made by a Pagan. It looks as if it were composed by some priest, who had a mind to set up an oracle in opposition to the Delphic, and to draw the trade to another shop.

Pausa

Pausanius in Phoc. gives us this Sibylline oraclé pre.
dicting a defeat of the Athenians, and made, I sup-
pose, after the event ;

Και τότ' Αθηναίοισι βαρύτονα κήδεα θήσ4
Ζευς υψιβρεμέτης, όπερ κράτος έσι μέγισον.
'Νηυσι φέρ σολέμοιο μάχης και δηϊοτητα
'Ολλυμέναις δολεροΐσι τρόποις, κακότητι νομίων.
Ac tum Cecropidis luctum gemitusque ciebit
Jupiter altitonans, rerum cui summa potestas.
Navibus exitium, et crudelia funera bello

Ille feret, culpaque ducum dabit omnia pessum. . Dio, or Xiphiline, mentions a verse, pretended to be a Sibylline oracle, concerning Nero, which was handed about when Nero had burnt the city of Rome ; and which, to be sure, was composed after he had killed his mother *

Εσχαίος Αίνιαδών μητροκτόνος ηγεμονεύση. .

Ultimus Æneadum matrem necat induperator. But, says the historian, it was really fulfilled. Indeed! As if it required divination, to foresee that such a debauched, miserable, odious wretch as Nero would in all probability die without heirs, or be cut off by some conspiracy, and that with him the Julian family would be extinguished ! Nero married Sporus, upon which one of the wits of those days observed, that it had been well for mankind, Si pater ejus Domitius talem ducisset uxorem.

–έτερον λόγιον, ως και Σιβύλλειον ένως όν, ήδον. έσι δε τετο,

" "EtxalosΚαι έσχεν έτως. ε' τε και ως αληθώς θεομαντεία τινί τρολεχθέν, είτε και τότε υπό το ομίλα προς τα σαράντα θειασθέν. τελευταίος και των

Ιουλίων

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

· Nero killed his mother, A. D. 59, and burnt the city A. D. 64

« 上一頁繼續 »