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them to those emperors who had learning and humanity. And indeed, which is very remarkable, the apologies are addressed to such sort of emperors, to Adrian, Titus Antonimus, Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, and perlaps to Commodus, * who, bad as he was, yet shewed kindness to the Christians. The emperors commonly were accessible enough, and did not use to hide themselves like eastern monarchs. Augustus, for example, suffered all persons to approach him, and when a poor man once offered him a petition in a timorous manner, with a hand half extended and half drawn back, the emperor jested with him, and told him that he looked as if he was giving a halfpenny to an elephant, Promiscuis salutationibus admittebat et plebem, tanta comitate adeuntium desideria excipiens, ut quendam joco corripuerit, quod sic sibi libellum porrigere dubitaret, quasi elephanto stipem. Suet. Aug. 53. Nor was the style of the apologists such as could disgust the readers. They wrote in general as well, and with as much learning, elegance, vivacity, and good sense, as their pagan contemporaries, These Christians were by no means obscure and contemptible persons ; they had enjoyed a liberal education, they were learned, and some of them had been philosophers, and retained the habit of philosophers ; and in those days a philosopher and a man of letters inight have access to persons of the highest rank and quality : Le Clerc was far from thinking that the ancient defenders of Christianity were quite despised by the heathen, as some are willing to imagine. On the contrary, he supposes that their arguments against
paganism paganism contributed greatly to its destruction. “ It " is very necessary for those who would be well ac
* Tillemont, Hist. Eccl. č. p. 631, and Justin M, Ed. Paris 1742. Praf p, cxii.
quainted with ecclesiastical history, to read the au“thors who in the early ages composed apologies for “ Christianity, and at the same time overset the re
ligion of the heathen. These were the first attacks
which were made on paganism, and which gave for the very pagans such a disgust for it, that almost “ the whole Roman empire declared for Christianity, " as soon as it was safe to do so.” Bibl. Chois. xxvii, 426.
Under Adrian the Jews revolted, and were severely handled, and Jerusalem was again taken and sacked and burnt, and totally destroyed, according to several writers. The melancholy view of its ruinous condition caused an infinite number of people to embrace Christianity, as it set before their eyes the truth of Christ's predictions, says Tillemont, Hist, des Emp. ii. 295. for which he refers us to Eusebius, Demonstr. Evang. p. 407. Ed. Par. But this accurate author is here mistaken, I think, and makes Eusebius say more than can fairly be inferred from his words. See the pas sage, which is too long to be here inserted.
At this time lived Aquila, who translated the Bible into Greek. He was converted from paganism by the piety and miracles of the Christians, says Epiphanius De Mens. c. 14, 15. and afterwards apostatized, and went over to Judaism. But Epiphanius was made up of hastiness and credulity, and is never to be trusted where he speaks of a miracle. For example :
He relates that many fountains and rivers were annually turned into wine on the same day, and at the same lour when Christ 'wrought his miracle at
Cana in Galilee ; that this wonder continued at Cibyra in Caria, where he himself had drunk out of the foun. tain, and at Gerasa in Arabia, and that many testified the same of the river Nile.
The pagans had miracles of the same kind. Ia Andro insula, templo Liberi Patris, fontem Nonis Jans uarüs semper vini sapore fluere Mucianus ter Consul credit. Plinius ii. 106. p. 121.
Mucianus Andri, e fonte Liberi Patris, statis diebus septenis ejus Dei vinum fluere, si auferatur a conspecto templi, sapore
in aquam transeunte. Idem; xxxi. 13.
drank a cup
Baronius was either so credulous, or so disingenuous, as to urge this miracle at Andros in confirmation of those which are attested by Epiphanius. It was an artifice of the priests of Bacchus, and served to delude silly pagans, as S. Basnage observes Ann. i. 217.
We may conjecture, from the relation of Epis phanius, that there were in his time, i. e. in the fourth century, pious knaves, who once a year conveyed wine into the fountain at Cibyra, and that the father
of this adulterated liquor, and was imposed upon by these jugglers. The trick might serve for other purposes besides those of a godly nature ; it might draw company to the Wells of Cibyra once a year, and enrich the neighbourhood, and the proprietors of the holy water.
This is the civilest thing that we can say of Epiphanius, since he must have been either a dupe or a deceiver. Learned and judicious men, who have examined his writings, have been forced to conclude that, with all his learning and piety, he was credulous, careless, censorious, and one who made no scruple of romancing and misrepresenting.
The miracle of the fountains is just as good as that recorded by Orosius, that the tracks of Pharaoh's chariotwheels remained in the sand of the Red-sea, and that neither the winds nor the waves could efface them.
Here is another tradition of the same kind from Epiphanius. Jerom mentions a particularity of the fountain Siloam, that it flows not regularly, but bursts out with great violence at different times. Siloam autem fontem esse ad radices montis Sion, qui non jugibus aquis, sed in certis horis diebusque ebulliat, et per terrarum concava et antra saxi durissimi cum magno impetu veniat, dubitare non possumus, nos presertim qui in hac habitamus provincia. In Esai. viii.
· If we may believe Epiphanius, God produced this fountain at the prayer of Isaiah, a little before the death of that prophet, when he was just expiring, and wanted water to drink, and thence it was called Siloam or Sent.
He adds, that when the Jews were besieged, if they went to draw water there, it sprang up in great abundance ; but if their enemies approached to it, it withdrew itself: in testimony of which, says he, the fountain still bursts out at intervals, and suddenly. De Vit. Proph. This fable also is transcribed by Baronius, as a thing to be credited, for which he is justly censured by S. Basnage Ann. i. p. 334. . whom the reader may consult.
But what Josephus affirms concerning this fountain at the time when Jerusalem was besieged by the Romans, and which is also taken notice of by Basnage, is extremely remarkable, and should be added to what has been said, Book I. p. 38. concerning the wonders which happened at the destruction of Jerusalem, and
which shewed that God had forsaken the Jews: Títu μεν και και τηγαι αλυσιώτεραι ρέουσιν, αι ξηρανθεϊσαι πρότερον υμίν. τρο και της αυτο παρουσίας, τήν τε Σιλωάμ επιλιπεσαν σε, και τας έξω τα άσιος απάσας, ώςε προς αμφορείς ωνείσθαι το ύδωρ. το δε νύν έτω αληθύουσι τοϊς πολεμίοις υμών, ως μή μόνον αυτούς και κτήνεσιν, αλλά και κήποις διαρκείr. Even the fountains flow profusely for Titus, which refused their streams to you : for this you know, that before his coming; Siloam, and all the springs without the city, failed to such a degree, that water was bought by the pitcher, but now they are so profusely liberal to your enemies, as to supply not only them and their beasts, but the gardens also. Bell. Jud. Ed. Hav. v. 9.
In the time of Domitian, Trajan, and Adrian, lived Plutarch. In his numerous writings he never makes any mention of the Christian religion, perhaps not daring to speak well, and not caring to speak ill of it, says Tillemont. I rather think that he had never examined it, or concerned himself about it. Philosophy and history engrossed his thoughts and his time.
A little earlier Aourished Quintilian, who hath made a slight mention of Judaism. Et est conditoribus urbium infume contraxisse aliquam perniciosum c«teris gentem, qualis est primus Judaicæ superstitionis auctor. iii. 7. p. 270. Ed. Burm. Some have imagined that he meant Christ and the Christians, but it is plain to the last degree that he reflects
Moses. He had probably in view the conquest which that people made under Moses and Joshua, and their war with Vespasian and the Romans.
Polycarp suffered under Marcus Aurelius, about A. D. 169. of whose martyrdom we have an account in Eusebius, iv. 15. who took it from an epistle of the church of Smyrna, of which he inserted the greater