ePub 版

quam ut veris, propter falsa, adimatur fides, et quce severe ab auctoribus plane veracibus edita sunt, ea etium revocentur in dubium.

The words of Ludovicus Vives, to which Melchior Canus refers us are tliese : Quce de (Sanctis) sunt scripta, printer pauca quaedam, multis sunt commentis fædatu, dum qui scribit ajjectui suo indulget, et non quce egit Divus, sed que ille cuisse eum vellet, exponit ; ut vitum dictet animus scribentis, non veritas. Fuere qui magne pietatis loco ducerent mendaciola pro religione confingere : quod et periculosum est, ne veris adimatur fides propter fulsa , et minime necessurium, quoniam pro pietate nostra tam multa sunt vera, ut fulsa tanquam ignavi milites atque inutiles oneri sint magis quam auxilio. De Tradendis Disciplinis L. V.

By all which I have ever read of the old, and " have seen of the modern monks, I take the prefer“ ence to be clearly due to the last, as having a more

regular discipline, more good learning, and less “ superstition amongst them than the first.” Thus Middleton ; and what he says of the modern monks is just and reasonable. Many of them are to be honoured for their abilities, erudition, good sense, and humanity.

About A. D. 300, or somewhat sooner, arose a sect called Hypsistarii, and afterwards Cælicola, who are mentioned in the Theodosian Code, as heretics. They seem to have been persons who, rejecting idolatry, and polytheism, and all revealed religions, admitted only natural religion.

Dixi Cælicolas fuisse homines nullam religionem revelatam sire veram sive falsain adinittentes, sed solam naturalem, quam Ratio dictat, colentes. Contra quam



[ocr errors]

pretationem vir ductus objecit, tales homines ab ovo condito semper extitisse, Honorium vero atque Augustinum de Caliculis loqui, tanquam de secta nova. At non difjicile est hæc in concordiam redigere : Homines quidem singulares, ita de religione sentientes, a priscis temporibus fuerunt ; sed secta fuit nova, i.e. seculo demum tertio Cælicolæ seipsos a Gentibus, Judwis et Christianis segregure, et in societatem coire cæperunt, electo Majore sen Patriarcha, et ritu baptismi instituto, quo in Ecclesiam istum novam admitterentur. In his, quos Græci 'Y4152pins vocarunt, nomen suum professus erat in jurentute Gregorius, pater Gregorii Naciunzeni. Wetstenius Proleg. in N. T. p. 35. Tillemont hath collected what he could find concerning this sect of Deists with their Grund Muster, II. E. xiii. 315. It is a wonder that they should have adopted the rite of baptism, unless they did it to appear to the world as a sect of Christians, and to draw in silly people.

Diocletian's persecution began A. D. 302. It was preceded by a great depravation of manners in the Christian church, both of the clergy and of the laity, says Eusebius. In these times of distress, as many worthy and pious bishops became martyrs and confessors, many unworthy ones were involved in the common calamity, and condemned to servile and infamous employments : and before the rage of the persecution was entirely abated, the Christian church suffered much from internal dissensions, from the cabals of ambitious men who wanted to be bishops, from irregular ordinations, and from schisms even amongst the orthodox and the confessors. Of these evils Eusebius makes slight and cursory mention, declaring that he chose to drop so melancholy a theme. He

domus illa a fundamentis convulsa de nocte repente concidit, fatalique, nec penitus improvisa Guionio ruina suos incolas oppressit : cujus rei historiam eleganti carmine (ut audio) Guionius postea cecinit, quo tam charum Regi et Reipublicæ caput jure merito e tanta clade ereptum fuisse sibi et bonis omnibus gratulabatur, minime omissa, ut debuit, Socratis et Bruti Geniorum mentione.

Memorabilis hæc sane historia est, quce, etsi ad Guionii personam non pertineret, occasione tamen a Guionio data inductus, minime prætermittendam existimavit Philibertus De la Mare : atque exemplo aliis fuit, quomodo in hoc argumento sit versandum. Morhof. Polyhist. i. 19.p. 217.

This seems to be the original (and a well attested) story, whence the accounts of Grotius, Salmasius, and La Mothe le Vayer were derived. I am obliged to Mr Samuel Johnson for referring me to this place in Morhof,


Josephus. Bell. Jud. iv. 6. Oις ουκ άπιςήσαντες οι ζηλώθαι διακόνες εαυθες

επέδοσαν. . This place, says a friend, wants emendation, as you have observed, Remarks, book i, p. 69. Perhaps it should be οις ουκ επισήσαντες. Εφίσημι, amongst other things, means animum intendere, animadvertere, and the sense will bewhich predictions the Zealots not considering, or observing, or regarding, they caused them to be fulfilled

Vol. I. p. 282. Such were Van Dale and Moyle.

Van Dale hath not declared himself fully of that 0pinion : but he rejected all the Pagan accounts of ma



gicians, incantations, prophecies, oracles, miracles, &e. and he gave no credit to the ejections of dæmons after the age of the apostles and of the apostolical men, and to the stories which the fathers have related concerning dæmoniacs. He observes, that in the days of the apostles, the gift of casting out evil spirits, like other miraculous powers, was conferred upon a few persons, and to them only for great and special purposes ; whence he concludes, against Tertullian and others, that in the subsequent ages every Christian could not have been endued with this power. According to his system, dæmons not being any longer permitted to take possession of human bodies, there was no occasion for exorcists. Every example of this kind, which might have been alledged, he would either have called in question, as not well attested, or would have ascribed to a divine power and to good angels.

In Gerard Brant's History of the Reformation it is related, that in the year 1566 the boys and girls who were educated in the charity school at Amsterdam, were possessed with evil spirits, and agitated and turmented to such degree as to feel the ill effects of it all their lives after; and that during this disorder they spake new languages, and revealed the secret counsels and designs carried on against the Protestants.

Upon which Van Dale thus delivers his opinion : Historiam hanc revera contigisse minime nego. enimvero unde habent hi, prudentes alias et sinceri scriptores, hæc Diaboli, in his pueris supernaturali modo operantis, opera atque effecta fuisse? --Nam si hic aliquid super aut præternaturale statuendum, considerandum est, minime pueros illos, Diabolica quadam malignitate, in homines quosvis involasse, ipsosze pulsasse aut lacerasse, Gliiste maniacorum furoribus incensos ulla mala perpetrasse, dum ipsi tam dira paterentur; sed ex adverso, Alirabilia multa, de rebus præsentibus et plane occultis, manifestasse, ac quidem talia, quæ Protestantibus, qui tunc premebantur summis angustis, nitilia possent esse ac salutaria, contra persecutores, qui omni astu Diabolico et crudelitate ipsos dispergere ac disperdere conabun




Pietati certe ac rectre rationi, ipsique Sacre Scriptu. , malorumque istorum temporum stutui, longe magis convenit, talia nos providentice Divine Majestatis, attribuere, ut quæ in illus rerum angustis, per talia, ut sibi caverent, piis ac probis Reformatie vitre et ductrinæ hominibus qurilio esse voluit. Dissert. de Idol.

Van Dale, a man not inclined to credulity, a scholar and a physician, moved by the authority of wise and worthy persons, and candid historians, was willing to admit the fact, and inclined to account it preternatural. He will not allow it to have been by the operation of evil dæmons; and yet, on the contrary, there are reasons, though he takes no notice of them, to think that a good spirit would not afflict children in such a manner; and therefore some will be of opinion that the case of these young persons was a bodily disorder, and a species of enthusiastic madness, exaggerated by the first relaters, and by common fame.

A reformation is seldom carried on without a heat and a vehemence which borders upon enthusiasm, and as Cicero hath observed, that there never was a great man sine afflatu divino, so in times of religious contests, there seldom was a man very zealous for liberty, civil and evangelical, and a declared and active enemy to insolent tyranny, blind superstition, political godliness, bigotry, and pious frauds, who had not a firven


[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »