ePub 版


the Dualists seem also to have supposed that all moral and natural evil should cease at last, and the evil principle be abolished. But this opinion, if strictly considered, is by no means consistent with the doctrine of two principles ; for if evil be unoriginated and self-existing, it must be indestructible, and though its modifications may be varied, it will remain in one shape or other : yet the destruction of Arimanius and Hudes, and the future felicity of mankind is so set forth by some Dualists*,

The perfect Manichæans abhorred wine, which they called the gall of the prince of darkness. Others before them had held wine in abomination, as being the Blood of the giants. "Η ξανθο δε πίνειν από Ψαμμή έκα, προτερον

δε ουκ έπινον οίνον, έδε εσσινδον, ώς, φίλιον θεοίς, αλλ' ως αίτων πολέμησανων πότε τους θεούς, εξ ών οίονται πεσόντων και τη γη Γυμμιγέντων αμπέλες γενέσθαι. διό και το μεθύειν έκφρoνας σοιεί και σαραπλήγας, άτε δή των προγόνων τ8 αίματος εμπιπλαμένες. Βibere autem cæperunt a Psammeticho, cum neque bibissent ante, neque Däs libassent vinum, non id gratum Diis rati, sed sanguinem eorum qui aliquando belluin Diis intulissent : er quorum cadaveribus terræ permixtis putant vites esse ortus. Itaque etiam ebrietas insanos facit et abalienat mente, impletis hominibus sanguine suorum majorum. Plutarch de Iside.

Perhaps * "Επεισι δε χρόνος ιμαρμένος, έκ ω τον 'Αρειμανιον λοιμόν επά. γονα και λιμόν, υπό τέτων ανάγκη φθαρήναι σαν άπασι και αφανισθήναι, της δε γής επιπέδε και ομαλής γενομένης, ένα βίον και μίαν σολίειαν ανθρώπων μακαρίων και ομωγλώσσων απάντων γενέσθαι. Plutarch. de Isid.

Τέλος απολείπεσθαι [απολείσθαι] τον "Αδην, και τες μιν ανθρώπες ευδαίμονας έσεσθαι, μήτε τροφής δεομένες μήτε σκιαν ποιανίας: τον δε ταύτα μηχανησάμενον [μηχανησόμενον] θεόν ήρεμαν και αναπαύεσθαι χρόνο καλώς [χρόνον άλλως] μεν και πολύν το θεώ, ώσσερ δε ανθρώπω κοιμωμένα μέτριον, Theopompus, Ibid.

Perhaps Androcydes had this fable in view ; Androcydes sapientia clarus ad Alexundrum Magnum scripsit, intemperantiam ejus cohibens : Vinum poturus, Rer, memento te bibere sanguinem Terræ. Plinius xiv. 5.

Jerom, Ambrose, and other fathers have declaimed against matrimony, and recommended monkish abstinence, almost as much as Manes, and have employed arguments as insignificant as those of the heretic.

Philosophy, natural, moral, and theological, hath received such great improvements in this and the last century, by the labours of the learned, and particularly the learned of this nation, * and the Manichæan hypothesis is so very weak in all its parts, that there is no danger in exposing it fairly and impartially to public view, and no occasion for tlie mean artifice of misrepresenting it, and of charging its favourers with † follies and enormities of which they were not guilty. Το

suppose that matter, which is limited, dispersed, passive, and ever-divisible, is self-existing, independent, endued with sense, perception, life, and motion, essentially evil, and necessarily vitious : to add to this the spontaneous generation of evil dæmons and other evil beings out of this matter: to suppose God corporeally extended, and excluded from those parts of space which are occupied by body, but in all other respects perfect, is a system so unphilosophical, that it can never hold up its head or make its fortune in these days, or, at least, it can never be adopted by men of any sense and judgment.


Cudworth, Boyle, Locke, Newton, 60, + See in Bayle's Dict. the Adamites and the Turlupins, who probably have been wronged as well as the Manichæans.

Milton judiciously introduces Satan talking of his origin and generation according to the Manichæan system : v. That we were form'd then, say'st thou .? and the

Of secondary hands, by task transferred
From Father to his Son.? stranye point and new !
Doctrine chich we would know whence learned :

cho sao

When this creation was? remember'st thou
Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being?
We knoty no time when we were not as now ;
K now none before us: self-begot, self-raised
By our own quickeniny power, zchen futal course,
Had circled his full orb, the birth mature

Of this our native heav'n. Bayle took a singular delight in adorning and improving the Manichæan objections against the doctrine of one self-existing principle, and endeavoured to shew, that, upon the supposition that God is the author of all things, it is impossible to defend his wisdom and his goodness against the difficulties which arise from his causing or permitting natural and moral evil. On the other hand he was very willing to allow that the Manichæan system was indefensible. The result of all this was, according to him, the triumph of scepticism, and the futility of human reason.

Many replies were made, and amongst others Le Clerc undertook to defend the justice, wisdom, and goodness of God against him, tirst in his Parrhusiana, and then in his Bibliotheque Choisie : in which controversy he had manifestly the advantage over Bayle.

A. D. 250.


A. D. 250. Dionysius bishop of Alexandria, in a letter to Fabius bishop of Antioch, relates to him the following story : “ There was in our city an old “ Christian, one Serapion, whose conduct in other “ respects had ever been unblameable and exemplary, “ but who in the persecution had deserted, and after“ wards had often begged to be forgiven and re-ad“ mitted. His petition was rejected, and no regard

was shewed to him, because he had sacrificed. 6. Some time after he was taken very ill, and lay for “ three days senseless and speechless. On the fourth

day he came to himself a little, and calling to him “ his grandson, Child, said he, how long will you “ detain me here? hasten, I beseech you, and release

Go, call me one of the presbyters. When " he had said this, he lost his speech again. The “ boy hastened to call a presbyter. It was in the “ night time, and the presbyter himself was sick. “ But as I had ordered that pardon should be

granted to all those who lay a dying, (especially “ if they had humbly begged it before) that they

might depart in faith and hope, he gave the child a “ portion of the Eucharist, and ordered him to * dip " it in wine, and give it to the dying man. As the “ youth was drawing near, the old man recovered his

and said, You are come, my child, but the presbyter, I know, could not come himself. Do as

you were ordered, and give me my dismission. So “ he received the eucharist, and instantly gave up the

ghost. Doth it not appear from this that he had “ his time prolonged till he was thus dismissed in



áro@pičce xeheuocs. Valesius, aqua intinctam. But I think, with Louth, it should rather be rendered, vino tinctam,


and that his crime was remitted for the sake “ of the many good actions which he had performed “ in the long course of a virtuous life ?” Apud Euseb. vi. 44.

If this wonderful thing happened just as Dionysius hath related it, it tended to a good and edifying purpose, at a time when it was matter of debate in what manner lapsed Christians should be treated by the church ; and it shewed that sinners truly penitent were not to be harshly used by their brethren, and excluded from the hopes of salvation, and that God was ready to receive those who with humility, and sorrow, and resolutions of amendment returned to him.

This Dionysius of Alexandria was one of Origen's disciples; he is called by Jerom, Vir eloquentissimus, he was held in great esteem by Eusebius, and by all the ancient Christians; and from the large extracts of his writings produced by Eusebius, he appears to have been a learned, critical, acute, ingenious, elegant author. He was of an illustrious family, had received a polite education, had been a professor of rhetoric in the days of his Paganism, and afterwards was a bishop and a confessor.

He pretends to have had some visions and revelations; but whether it was really so, or whether he thought such sort of fictions harmless and lawful, or whether he had a warm imagination and was a little enthusiastical, it is impossible now to determine.

Some of the visions and revelations of those days seem to have been vouchsafed, to teach men that they might fly in time of persecution ; but such admonitions were not extremely necessary, since the dictates


« 上一頁繼續 »