網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

form us.

to Adrian, A. D. 126. So Eusebius and Jerom in

See Tillemont H. E. ii. p. 232. - τύτω Κοδράτος λόγος προσφωνήσας αναδίδωσιν, απολογίας συνάξας.-και Αριστείδης-απολογίαν επιφωνήσας 'Αδριανώ, καλαré2017. Euseb. iv. 3. Quadratus nonne Adriano Eleusince sacra invisenti librum pro nostra rcligione tradidit, et tantæ admirationi omnibus fuit, ut persecutionem gru. vissimam illius excellens sedaret ingenium? Hieron. Ep. 84. Tiposouveīv is to dedicate a book, which may indeed be done without presenting it. Tοσαύτα βιβλία γράψας, αδενί των βασιλέων σροσεφώνησε, says Diogenes Laertius of Chrysippus. Some of the Pagan philosophers dedicated some of their books to Origen, says Eusebius vi, 19.τότε μεν αυτώ προσφωνήνίων της εαυτών λόγες,-see also Euseb. vii, 20.

Unfortunately these apologies are lost. could be retrieved even at the expence of some homilies, and creeds, and controversial writings of the fourth and fifth centuries, it would be a cheap bargain,

It is not to be imagined that all the works of this kind, which were addressed to the emperors, were presented by the authors, or that books in those days were as much spread and as well known as they are now, since the art of printing ; and yet the genteel civility and decency and politeness which is so observable in the apology of Athenagoras *, and in that of Melito (of which a fragment is preserved in Eusebius), seems to imply that they had a design to offer them, or that they expected to have them perused by the emperor. See Fabricius Bibl. Gr. v. 36. and Bayle's Dict. ATHENAGORAS.

If they Præsentem sane Cæsaribus fuisse Athenagoram, verba deprecantis ostendunt : Tutīs &è, oavia iv a pust ja alδεία χρησοι και μέτριοι και φιλάνθρωποι, και της βασιλείας άξιοι, διαλελυμένω μεν τα εγκλήματα-Την βασιλικήν κεφαλήν έπινεύσατε. Του tero, ο undequaque in omnibus naturú simul et disciplindi boni, modesati, benigni, et imperio digni Principes, mihi obsecro, qui crimina nobis objecta dissolvi, capitibus regiis annuite. S. Basnage, Anna!. ii. p. 101. A weak argument to prove that Athenagoras pronounced his apology before the emperor ! If Basnage had thought twice upon it, he would have blotted it out.

Præsentem

* Tertullian compared to these two fathers in point of address and courtesy is a very clown, and so is Justin Martyr.

But it is not at all improbable that Quadratus and Aristides delivered their apologies into Adrian's hand, or at least that those apologies were seen by him ; for besides the testimonies of Eusebius and Jerom, which favour that opinion, it is to be observed, that Adrian is represented in history as one whose knowledge was various and extensive, and who was excessively curi, ous and inquisitive, curiositatem omnium explorator ; Tertullian, Apol. He had studied all magical arts, he had been initiated into Pagan mysteries, and he must have been inclined to know the true nature of Christianity, and to see what the learned of that sect liad to say for themselves. Julian, in his Cæsars, banters Adrian for his pragmatical disposition, little thinking that he was drawing his own picture, and not considering that he was just such another as Adrian in many respects.

There was then no edict or law which particularly forbad Christians to write in their own defence, or to read this or that book. Justin Martyr was probably mistaken in some of his assertions on this point, as Le Clerc observes, Hist. Eccl. p. 624. The last editor of Justin takes this point under consideration, but

Ţ 4

he

he hath hardly given a satisfactory account of it, or removed the difficulties. Præf p. 84.

If there had been any danger in presenting an apology to Adrian, yet every one who knows ecclesiasti cal history, must know that the Christians of those times were men whom the fear of death would not have deterred. But the danger perhaps was not sQ great: Adrian seldom acted cruelly, except when he was moved by suspicion, jealousy, or envy, and whatsoever his temper was, he ever affected to appear generous, mild, open, gentle, and affable : in colloquüs etiam humillimorum civilissimus fuit, says Spartian, Adr. 20. much more might he admit Aristides, who was a learned man, an Athenian, and a philosopher ; for he loved to converse with men of letters, and he was by incorporation an Athenian ; he had been at Athens before he was emperor, and the Athenians had paid him the compliment of making him their Archon *, and he was always kind to them,

Adrian seems to have had no hatred for the Christians, or for any other religious sects, and to have been more disposed to banter than to persecute them, In a letter to Servianus, in which he gives the Egyptians a very bad character, he observes that Alexandria was inhabited by Jews, Samaritans, Christians, and worshippers of the Egyptian deities, and that all these people, notwithstanding their diversity of opinions, and their religious squabbles, in reality worshipped only one God, and that God was money. See Vopiscus, Saturnin. 8. p. 719. and the Miscell. Observ. ii. p. 309. The Egyptians had no extraordinary character with many people. Vid. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 1128.

Adrian

Tillemont, Hist. des Emp.ii. p, 197.

Adrian gave a rescript to Minucius Fundanus concerning the Christians (preserved in Eusebius iv. 9. and at the end of Justin's first Apology) which is obscure. It is probable that he composed it so on purpose, for the same reason that moved his predecessor Trajan to grant the Christians only an half-favour, and a sort of connivence. Thus Severus Alexander paid divine honours to Christ, and was very kind to the Christians, and yet, as Lampridius expresses it pretty accurately, Judæis privilegia reservait ; Christianos esse passus est. 22. 29.

Adrian's rescript, though it doth not manifestly exempt Christians from punishment, yet seems in some degree to favour them, and might have been so interpreted by a judge who was disposed to put the mildest construction upon it, The Christians therefore made their use of it, and often appealed to it,

Lampridius, who was a pagan, mentions a report that Adrian had a design to deify Jesus Christ, and to build him a temple ; but he positively affirms that Severus Alexander intended it. He adds that the emperor (I suppose he means Alexander) was deterred by some persons, probably pagan priests, who consulting the gods, found, as they said, tliat, if such a thing were executed, Christianity would be established and paganism abolished. Christo templum facere voluit (Severus Alexander] eumque inter deos recipere. Quod et Adrianus cogitasse fertur, qui templa in omnibus civitatibus sine simulacris * jusserat fieri :

jusserat fieri : que hodie

idcirco

Interea ea traditio Lampridii nobis lucro est. Etenim si imaginibus referta tum temporis fuissent templa Christianorum, fingi nullo potuisset modo, Adriania numinibus vacua Christo fuisse posita. Ne.

que

idcirco quia non habent numina, dicuntur Adriani, que ille ad hoc parasse dicebatur. Sed prohibitus est ab iis qui consulentes sacra, repererant omnes Christianos fufuros si id optato evenisset, et templa reliqua deserenda. 43. The report concerning Adrian's design was groundless in all probability. See Spartian. Adr. 13. and Basnage. Annal. ii. p. 59. and yet it evidently shews that he never passed for an enemy to Christianity.

Since the Christian apologists * reproach the pagans for their human sacrifices, Quadratus and Aristides may be supposed to have touched upon that subject. Adrian † forbad this wicked practice, and also made laws in favour of slaves.

Several apologies were afterwards made by Christians, addressed sometimes to the emperors and the senate. Pagans of rank and quality were perhaps not much moved by them, yet they must have had some knowledge of them ; for doubtless the Christians, who valued neither danger nor money nor labour, when the common cause required it, and of whom some were of good families and fortunes, got them transcribed, and handed them about to persons of eminence, and it could be no difficult thing to give

them

que Adriano aliquid caussæ fuisset cur ejusmodi templa conderet, expertia simulacrorum, si Ecclesia in more habuit imagines in templis collocare. Nullæ quoque, Constantino imperante, imagines Christianorum in Basilicis videbantur, utpote quæ ad similitudinem Adrianiorum accedebant, Basrage Annal. ii. p. 60,

* Dr Middleton, and many besides him, have observed that of the Christian Apologists the latter often copy the earlier ; and a man who reads them must be blind not to see it, or perverse not to own it.

+ Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. j. 262, &c. See also Eusebius Præp. Ev. iv. 16. 17.

« 上一頁繼續 »