THE FOURTH BOOK OF (EUSEBIUS) OF CAESAREA.
1. IT is desirable then, that we should hear from the common Saviour of all himself, who, speaking with men after the manner of a good Parent, became as a child, and gave (his) answers, as the nature of mortals was able to hear, by means of the vessel which he assumed, as through an Interpreter. For, when he made his Divine manifestation among men, he gave many other proofs of the power of his Godhead, by means of deeds which any one who chooses may collect, from the Books (that have been written) about Him. Nor will that again, be a trifling conviction as to His truth, which takes its stand on the words which he uttered, and which it is necessary we should bring forward against those, who do not readily give credence to his astonishing Divine performances. Even in those other things which have been preached respecting Him,--which (consist) in the power of His words,--there is no small proof afforded to those who possess mind. For, as on many occasions, we know those whom we have never seen with our eyes, and whose words only we have heard ; and distinguish the speaker by what we hear, whether he be Greek, --as the case may be,--or Roman, or even Egyptian; or, whether in age old, or young; or, whether the strain be that of man, or woman ; or, the enunciation that of the wise and rational, or, on the contrary, of the foolish or ignorant; so also, although we might not have happened to see with our eyes those Divine acts which THE WORD OF GOD performed, when He made His conversation on earth; still, from the teaching of His words, the enunciation of which was foreign, and surpassing general apprehension;--also, from the foreknowledge of things to come to pass which he predicted ;--and, from the things which he promised he would do in after times ;--as well as from the issue of the things (so) predicted, the |210 fulfilment of which is now before our eyes, (and) brought about by his power;--there must result no mean proof, as to those (declarations) which bear testimony to His Godhead. For, the miracles which were performed by Him may he divided into (two) periods; that, in which the conversations He made on earth are commemorated, and that which succeeded, and extends to our times. Those great acts then, which he formerly did when he was with the men who happened to exist at that time, it was in their power openly to view ; but to us, these were unseen ; and they are laid down, (as) having been unseen. And thus again also, the things which have been fulfilled in our times,--in the order in which His words foretold them, and are even to this present witnessed by us in the very facts,--could not, to those of the times in which they were foretold, have yet been known as to their results; and they were, no doubt, considered by them, who believed not, as impossible. It is nevertheless likely that even then, those whose character was that of sound judgment,--although not witnessing the results of the predictions,--did still believe in them, on account of His other acts. For, Is it likely that they who saw with their eyes the evident powers of God, the miracles and astonishing acts and deeds which eclipsed all mortal nature, believed only the things which were then seen, but, (as) confirmed by these of his foreknowledge, did not (as) readily also believe those which were afterwards to come to pass ?--So that again, it is right that we should, from those miracles which we ourselves have seen, also give our credence to the things which were then witnessed by his Disciples. For, the very things which were delivered in the hearing only of (our) predecessors, are (now) visible to our own eyes: and, they are sufficient for those whose judgment is incorrupt, as proofs setting a seal on the things which have been recorded. And these are the things which then existed not; nor had they yet been set up; nor had they so much as ever entered into the minds of men: but they were foretold by Him, from His divine foreknowledge of the future ; and, in after times, they have been fulfilled, and are in (these) our times seen by us, even to this very day.--Of these, our means of knowledge are at hand. |211
2. A certain man, illustrious from (his) service to the rule and power of the Romans, was in a state of suspense, because his favourite boy1 had become paralytic in his limbs, and was laid (up) in his house; who, when he saw that our Saviour shewed forth such powers upon others,--healing the sick, and curing every pain and infirmity,--he perceived in his own mind, that this miracle was not of man. He approached Him accordingly as God;--not looking to the vessel of the Body which was visible, and by means of which He carried on His discourses with men, but to that God who was unseen ; to Him, who by means of a mortal being, made known these His excellent doings;--he fell down and worshipped Him, praying and striving2 (with Him), that He would afford to him for his boy the aid which is from God. And, when our Saviour said to him, "I will come and heal him," the Chiliarch3 answered Him,--for he had been considered worthy of this rule among the Romans;--and said to him, " Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but, speak the word only, and the child shall be healed. For, I am a man in authority, and there are soldiers under my hands; and I say to this, Go; and he goeth: and, to another, Come; and he cometh: and, to my servant I say, Do such a thing: and he doeth it." Hear therefore what our Saviour did upon this request, not from me, but from the Writer himself,--teaching (us) thus--in the very words : "But, when Jesus heard it, He wondered, and said to those who |212 followed Him, Not even in Israel have I found such faith as this. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the East and from the West, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall go out into outer darkness." And, after these words, He thus spoke to the Chiliarch: "Go: as thou hast believed, shall it be unto thee. And his boy was healed from that hour." And, when the Chiliarch returned to his house, in that very hour he found his boy well.
3. With so much power therefore, did the word of our Saviour go forth, and shewed so much virtue, and so replete was it with power and with so much mercy, and with such ease were the good aids (it afforded given), that He readily promised He would come. And such indeed was the miracle which accompanied the act, that it is impossible to conceive of it as we ought. For this, that He said to the Chiliarch no more than, "As thou hast believed, so shall it be unto thee," and, with the word, gave health to his son, How effectually does it shew, that it was God who spoke in mortal voice ! But, should any one be persuaded of this with difficulty, on account of the greatness of the miracle; still, such cannot fairly be excused as to His prediction, in which a powerful argument will be afforded in favour of the deed, if any one will consider that at this period, the Roman who drew near to our Saviour, was ONE (only), namely, the Chiliarch, who made a greater and better profession of Him, than (did the whole) Jewish people; and, that our Saviour prophesied that instead of ONE, those, who should like this man draw near to Him, should be MANY ; and, that these should be of those residing in the East, and in the West4:--those (I say), who, by means of the |213 knowledge of Him, and of the confession (made) of Him, should be considered worthy of honour with God, equal to that of the Hebrew Fathers:--even of him who is preached of as being the Father of their Fathers, Abraham, who went forth from among his idolatrous forefathers, and changed his manner of life; and, leaving the error of many Gods, recognized the ONE GOD who is over all. He also foretold, that like to this (man), and to his sons Isaac and Jacob, there should be myriads of men throughout the whole creation; and particularly of those who resided both in the East, and the West. To these things He added,--and this (constitutes) the greatness of the prediction,--that these very Jews, the descendants of these Friends of God, who make their boast of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, should, on account of their resistance to Him, and their want of belief in Him,--as if cut off from the light of knowledge,--go forth into outer darkness : and, because of their extreme ignorance and foolishness, (be consigned to) an entire disseverance from the light of salvation. Thus He predicted.--It is now right we should consider the fulfilment of these things, and receive from the testimony of our eyes how these very Jews, who boasted of their descent from the family of those called the Friends of God, have been cast out, not only from the kingdom of God, but also from their own metropolis, the most excellent place of rule, in which the law appointed that their noblest service should be performed ! and (how) those who were formerly free, and the virtuous children of these Fathers, have become slaves; and, being mixed with foreign nations,--a thing unlawful with them,--wander about in lands not their own, and are not permitted to view, even from a distance, the land of their own religious worship! Being moreover, deprived of those princes and kings, who were vested with |214 rule by traditionary right, they now remain in subjection to those who have rased their temple to the ground, and have subdued their whole nation ! Nor is there, as formerly, either prophet or revelation; nor is there help, or act of God. Of all these things, not one existed from ancient times; it was (only) after our Saviour had turned away His face from them that these came upon them, according to His predictions; and such are the things respecting the Jews.
4. Instead then, of that one Chiliarch who drew near to our Saviour at that period, a number of men exceeding description has, from all nations, drawn near to Him, not of Chiliarchs only, but also of the mass of the Roman armies; so that even myriads of princes and governours bearing rule among the nations, and in the (various) regions; and also of others, much more honourable and exalted than these,--those who are great, and glory in the royal apartments,--have like the Chiliarch approached the Christ of God ; and have, by means of his doctrine, acknowledged the God of those Friends of the Deity, who (formerly) arose among the Hebrews; and they have accordingly, been considered worthy of a return from God the supreme King, equal to that afforded to these. If indeed any one will consider, what numbers of Christians and of churches, and of vast congregations, are said to be in the country of the Persians and of the Hindoos, residing in the East; and, how there are with these, through the words of our Saviour, women, virgins desiring, and men coming over to, holiness, and to the provisions which are for the life of philosophy and of purity, and how numerous the confessors are, who live among these:--
5. Also, how those very persons who confess Him who has arisen from the seed of Abraham, and that He is the Christ of God; and have become, by means of the new birth which is in Him, the children of Abraham ; and have (thus) set their seal to the prophetic Word of our Saviour: and this also, that, in like manner, in the western parts of the world, the whole of Spain and Gaul 5, in the countries of the |215 Moors and Africans, in the (Islands of the) Ocean itself, and in Britain6, men subscribe to Christ, and even acknowledge the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: upon Him also they call in their prayers, and are looked upon (as) partakers with these same (Fathers) in the worship of God:-- If (I say), any one will therefore take these things into his consideration, he will then understand what the power of the prophetic word (was) that declared and said, "Many7 shall come from the East and the West, and shall sit down in the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." These things therefore, He said, and foretold to the Chiliarch : and, on many other occasions, things not unlike these to the Jewish Doctors. And in this manner He spoke: "When8 ye see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the Prophets, in the kingdom of God, and yourselves going out. And they shall come from the East, and from the West, and from the South, and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God." Of these things an open confirmation is afforded by the fact, of all nations having been converted to the God who is over all. These, He therefore said to them, respecting the conversion of all nations to God, who is over all.
6. Thou wilt learn moreover, from the writings of His Disciples,--that it was by their means He was about soon to call in the nations--which are to this effect: " When9 Jesus passed over a part of the sea of Galilee, he saw two brethren, Simon who is called Cephas, and Andrew his brother, casting nets into the sea :--for they were fishers. -- He said to them, Follow me; and I will make you fishers of men. And they, in the same hour, left their nets and followed him. And, when he departed thence, He saw two brethren, James the son of Zebedee and John Ms brother, in the ship with Zebedee their Father, and He called them ; and they, in the same hour, left the ship and |216 their Father, and followed Him." Another writer too has left it on record, that He spoke to Simon on two occasions, a prediction similar to this: "When a great multitude was standing over against Jesus" He (this writer) has said, that " He went up into one of the ships, which was Simon's; and, when He had sat down in it, He interpreted to the multitude." But, after the teaching which was sufficient,--because it was suitable that He should add some Divine work to His words, for the advantage of those who were looking on,--He 10 commanded Simon to "cast forth his net for a draught: and he said to Him, We have toiled the whole night, and have found nothing ; nevertheless at thy word, I will cast out the net." And, what He had been commanded, he did. And, when he had taken a great number of fishes, their nets were breaking,--because they were heavy with the many (fishes),--and they called to those who were in the ship at their side, to help them. And thus, when they had drawn up the fishes, they filled both their ships, insomuch that they were pressed to sinking; and, upon these things, Simon was astonished and wondered, confessing that he was not worthy, that our Saviour should come near him11. But, when He had thus shewn him a representation of what |217 was about to take place, He also gave its explanation (thus); "and Jesus said to him, Fear not; Thou shalt henceforth be a fisher of men unto life." It was to Galileans,--men unacquainted with any thing beyond the Syriac language, and this mean profession and necessity of fishing, by which they were driven,--that our Saviour well promised, that He would "make them fishers of men" and preachers of His doctrine. And, He made them (such). Nor did He belie His promise; but He shewed forth the "POWER OF GOD," the Doer of a thing, which eclipsed every human excellence! For, had He brought near to Him the Intellectual and the Wise, the Rich, and Illustrious, among the Jews; and had made use of these (as) the Teachers of His words; it would indeed have been likely, that men would have supposed this matter to have been brought about by human means only. For thus are most men usually overcome; (namely), they are either wrought upon by the gifts of the rich, or, they are led astray by excellency of speech, or, by the phantasms of science : or, they fear the power of illustrious personages. But He made use of no such disciples as these: on the contrary, by the poor, the despised ;--by men ignorant as to speech, Syrians in language, and in their character humble and mean,--did He openly manifest His work (of redemption). It was the Divine Power alone, which He made use of;--that which He evinced when He previously called them, and made them go forth ; and so promised that He would make them both "Fishers of men," and Preachers; that, instead of the nets which they then had, they should receive from Him the net, which should comprehend in its texture, an aggregate of the declarations of both the Law and the Prophets, as well as of those comprehended in (all) the Divine teaching. This they should cast into the sea of mankind as existing in the world, and inclose (therein) as many as they could; filling these their rational nets |218 with every sort of the fish that are rational. But these things, which were then heard by word, were words and sounds, and nothing more: it was an effort of the Divine Power itself, which, at no distant time, brought them to pass; and so fulfilled by deeds the things which had been foretold, that, in a short time, He made His own possession the whole creation of mankind,--congregations innumerable,--by means of these poor and illiterate men; and, that His Churches were every where filled, both with Greeks and Barbarians. For, it was not by that one Divine word of promise, that He would teach His Disciples, but, that He would MAKE them Fishers of men. Nor was it therefore, that He knew only, what should come to pass; nor, that He foretold this; but, that He should also be looked upon (as) the Effectuator of all this knowledge.--He spoke in word, and He performed and established the deed:-- that something (I say), which was to be brought about, (He foretold) by demonstration and representation; and of this He gave the fulfilment in the fact itself! For, to them who formerly toiled throughout the lengthened night, which was dark and destitute of the true light and knowledge of God, and could find nothing which they could take, (leading) to salvation, He arose (as the sun) in His brightness, and commanded those who were in the light and the day,--not by their art, but by trusting in his word,--to cast out their nets into the deep. And they so enclosed this great multitude of fish, that their fishing vessels were pressed to breaking, and the ships themselves to remaining in the deep from their weight. And, because these things were so done, astonishment and great fear came upon Simon. But, our Saviour said (as it were) these things to him, Let not these things alarm thee: they are (but as) recitations for the present, and representations of something hereafter to come to pass: for, these are fish unendued with either voice, or reason; these too, are ships and nets, composed of (earthly) material, and are inanimate; but, not as these things, are those of which these are the representations : for shortly afterwards,--that is, immediately, nmv, and forthwith,--thou shall be a fisher of men unto life (eternal). This laborious fishing which returns no profit, thou shalt relinquish; and, thou shall become a |219 fisherman of reasonable creatures, in place of these which are irrational. Nor shalt thou again draw up those whom thou shalt catch from the depths of the sea, but from the bitterness of the life that is hateful; from the chambers of ungodly darkness and from sin, into the light which is intellectual; and to the elevation of purity. That is, thou shalt catch them for life, by means of that which is of life: it is not death that thou preparest for them. These first indeed, which are drawn up out of the sea, and which formerly enjoyed life in darkness and the deep, perish immediately on their ascending and receiving the light. But, those who shall be caught by thee from among men, shall be caught up out of the darkness of ignorance, and shall be changed to the life that is of God. These things therefore, (namely,) " Thou shalt henceforth catch men unto life," our Saviour foretold by the Divine power: and the same, our Saviour shewed by very deed, were sure and true. This Syrian fisherman therefore, this net-caster,--did by means of his net,--the texture of which was by the Divine power composed of the words of mystery,--catch innumerable multitudes of men. And, " The visual perception of something hidden, is something visible12." The things therefore, which the long life of the world,-- and which from the first experienced not the rising (as of the Sun) of our Saviour,--could not effect:--the things which neither Moses who gave the law to the Hebrews, nor the Prophets who came after Moses, could ; nor yet the multitmdes of others, who from ancient times carried as fishermen the doctrine of God to man, and who toiled throughout the whole night which preceded his manifestation,--could do, this Galilean, this Pauper, this Barbarian, this Simon did, by means of his voice bring to pass. The demonstrations indeed, then given of Simon as to these things, are the Churches which up to this time have arisen, far more in number than the ships (then present), and these, filled with fish that are rational. Such is this of Caesarea of Palestine13, and such is that of Antioch of Syria; and such is that of Rome; for, by |220 these Churches--which Simon set up, and by all those near them,--are these things commemorated. Those too that are in Egypt and in Alexandria itself, did he again, not by his own means, but by those of Mark, his disciple, erect. Of those also, that are in Italy and among the nations adjoining, he was the Steward (Dispenser): and he made his disciple Mark the Teacher and Fisherman of those in Egypt. Now, give thy consideration likewise, to the rest of our Saviour's Disciples, on those whom He said He would make Fishers of men;--and this his word He has shewn forth by deeds. For up to this time He did, and caused, that, forthwith, and throughout the whole creation of man,-- His rational net should be filled with every sort of rational fish, Barbarian and Greek ; and that He should draw up from the depths of evil, and the darkness of ungodliness, the souls of men ; turning these daily and hourly to the light and knowledge of God which had been delivered by Himself. Which things, seen as they are with our own eyes, establish,--as it appears to me,--beyond (all) doubt, the Divine manifestation of our Saviour.
7. Art thou desirous then, of hearing a third declaration of the Divine word, which foretold that His Disciples should arise (as the Sun) throughout the whole world ? Hear this also, for it is after this manner : "Ye14 are the light of the world:" and, "A city that is built on a hill cannot lie hidden:" "nor do men light a candle, and place it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick; and it giveth light to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Here again, these very fishermen, who went forth from Galilee, --a corner of Judea so called, which is situate on the sea; and of which Isaiah,--one of the Prophets,--making known at once its obscurity, and at the same time, the rising (as of the Sun) of our Saviour, which he announced should take place there,--proclaimed (saying), "Galilee15 of the Gentiles, a people sitting in |221 darkness have seen a great light:"--those (I say) who went forth from thence; men, mean, necessitous, illiterate in speech, and poor in circumstances;--those very fishermen He said, should be the light of the world; and this promise He confirmed by deed ; (namely), that this same Simon who was called Cephas, (and) who went forth from Capernaum which is a village of Galilee,--should enlighten many souls of men with the light of the knowledge of God ; and should himself become known throughout the whole creation, even to the regions of the West: and, that even to this time, his memory should be more celebrated among the Romans, than that of those of former times, so that he should be considered worthy of an honourable sepulchre in the very front of their city ; and, that great multitudes of the Roman Empire should run to it, as to a great asylum and temple of God. How then, Does not the truth bear testimony to Him, who said to his Disciples, "Ye are the light of the world?" So again, the name of John the son of Zebedee also,--who (was engaged) in fishing with his father and brethren, and mending the net, whom He (Jesus) saw, and considered worthy both of this call and promise,--arose (as the Sun) throughout the whole creation ; and whose words have, through the Gospel which was delivered by him, also enlightened the souls of men !-- which has been translated into all languages, both of the Greeks and Barbarians, and is daily preached in the ears of all nations ! And more particularly, the sepulchre of this (Disciple) which is in Ephesus of Asia, does glorious honour to his death, and shews to the world the memorial of that light which cannot be hidden. In like manner also, the writings of the apostle Paul are preached throughout the whole creation, and they enlighten the souls of men. The martyrdom of his death, and the sepulchre which (is erected) over him, are, even to this day, greatly and abundantly honoured in the city of Rome. And, What need is there we should say, that the mode of life set up by means of the Disciples of our Saviour throughout the whole creation,--like the exhibition of a banner of victory,--is as a famous city which has nothing hidden within it ? but which is in authority in the midst of all other cities, (and) according to the enouncement of our |222 Saviour, "Is like to a city placed upon a hill?" And this is the very word, which they preached respecting their master. It was not, as (if) hidden under a bushel, or given up to error and darkness; but, as upon a lofty candlestick, and lifted up to an exalted eminence, and giving light to all that were in the house of the whole world ! And this, (viz.) "Let your light so shine before men" evinced (both) foreknowledge and prophecy; not precept only, but also intimation of what should come to pass. He fully too named them all (here), the light when He said, "YE are the light of the world." Not, that they were many lights; but, that they all together (constituted) one light: as if from an equality16 of them all, there should be at once an arising (of light as of the Sun) to the whole world. For, it was His alone to say, "I AM17 the light of the world." And of Him it has been truly said, that "He18 is the light that came into the world, which enlighteneth every man." But, since these things have been thus foretold, and fulfilled; observe how He again spoke of, and explained, them to His Disciples: "That19 which I say to you in darkness, speak ye in the light; and, that which ye hear in your ears, preach ye on the housetops. And fear not those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. But fear ye Him rather, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." He also promised by these things, in the very beginnings (of the ministration) of His Disciples,--when they knew nothing of them, but were as if they had been in the dark,--the knowledge of the light. He prophesied also, to those (then) hearing His precepts, that they should preach openly to all men that which was (now) secret, in darkness, and invisible. He taught them too, not to be perplexed, but to suffer affliction with all |223 their soul; to preach Him in the ears of all; and not to fear those, who would kill the mortal body: the soul not being subject to loss of life by men, because it is incorporeal and immortal. For it is God only, who is able to inflict punishment and death, at once on both body and soul. It may be observed therefore, that He taught by these things, that the soul is incorporeal; and set up, in a few words, the ordinances of (true) philosophy,--
In that He foretold at the outset to His Disciples, that He would make them Fishers of men; and, that they should eventually, openly, immediately, (and) through His power, make Disciples of all nations. From the Gospel of Matthew20.
8. After his resurrection from the dead, all of them,-- being together as they had been commanded,--went to Galilee, as He had said to them. But, when they saw Him, some worshipped Him, but others doubted. But He drew near to them, spoke with them, and said: "All power (both) in heaven and earth, is given to me of my Father. Go ye and make Disciples of all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And, behold! I am with you always even to the end of the world." Observe now, in these things, the consideration and caution evinced by the Disciples: (viz.) that they did not all worship Him when they saw Him. Some of them indeed did this faithfully and devotedly, but others refrained for the present. It was not easily and suddenly, that they gave in to this miracle; but, it was after much investigation and with every caution they were so at last persuaded, that they went out to all mankind. They became too, the Preachers of His |224 Resurrection; because it had prophetically said in the Scriptures of the Prophets, in His Person, "Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and (for thy) possessions, the uttermost parts of the earth21." Just as the testimony of this prophecy has now been fulfilled in fact, He said to His Disciples; "All power is given to me, as in heaven, so in earth." For, He had possessed the sovereignty of the things which are in heaven from eternity22; but now, He said was given to Him, by His Father, those upon earth, in conformity with this (viz.) "Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thy possession. For, from ancient times,--as Moses attests,--" The most High, when dividing the nations, appointed the boundary of the people, according to the number of the angels23." |225 So that the Angels of God were, from ancient times, Rulers over all that was on the earth. But, when mankind had been perverted to the error of many Gods, and the Angels, who were the Rulers, were unable to afford any remedy for this; the common Saviour of all Himself taught, by means of His Divine manifestation, and after His victory over Death, that the empire of the nations upon earth, should no more be given by his Father to the Angels, but to Himself. And on this account, He commanded his Disciples,--not from ancient times--but now, that they should make the circuit, and make Disciples, of all nations. And He necessarily added the mystery of cleansing. For it was necessary to those, who should be converted from among the heathen, that they should be cleansed by His power from every pollution and uncleanness; because they had been defiled by the error of Demons, and had been holden by the worship of Idols, and by uncleanness of every sort, but had now first been changed from that life of abomination, and of lawless practices. These very persons then, did He direct to teach,--after this cleansing, which is by the mystery of His doctrine,--not, that they should observe the precepts of the Jews, nor yet the Law of Moses, but all those which He commanded them to observe. And these |226 are those which the whole of the Disciples,--making severally the circuit of all the nations,--equally delivered to every Church throughout the whole creation. He necessarily therefore, stirred them up, and made them readily to confide,--to undertake the circuit of all nations, and to make Disciples of all races of men, through the promise by which He counselled them, saying: "Behold, I myself am with you." To this word of promise, He also superadded the performance. He was present in the Divine Power with each and every one of them; to the whole of them was He at once present, and with them He acted and wrought. He confirmed too, even to victory, (the promise) constituting them Teachers to all nations, of that fear of God24 which was delivered by Himself. In this promise therefore, they trusted; and forthwith, did they fulfil His words by deeds: nor did they in any thing hesitate; hut they (so) went forth with all readiness to the disciplining of all nations, that they engaged in the work. With their eyes they had seen Him who was a little while before dead, then living: and, Him whom they had denied with cursing25,--on account of what then happened to them,--they had seen openly, present, and in his own person; and, as His custom was, He had conversed with them, and promised them the things of which we have already spoken. Nor could they disbelieve His promises, because of His appearing (to them); which (appearing) they bad investigated. Now in this precept, there must have been (much) that was discouraging to them, knowing as they did in themselves the rusticity and illiterate character which they sustained; on account of which, they might indeed have sought to be excused, and have well imagined it impossible that those, whose Language was the Syriac (only), and who knew nothing beyond the art of catching fish, could he Teachers both of the Greeks and Romans, of the Egyptians also, the Persians, and the rest of the barbarous nations : and set about to legislate,--in opposition to all other Legislators and Kings throughout the whole |227 creation,---that which was opposed to the things delivered to them from all ages, respecting the Gods of their Forefathers. But it was not possible for them to think such things, who had heard the voice of God saying to them, "Behold, I myself am with you always." They had too, openly viewed the Godhead of Him who spoke with them. It had been seen to be superior to Death : respecting which however they had entertained fear. On the contrary they (now) hear, that henceforth they shall, with all their soul, undergo afflictions. They had now taken up from their Master, the certainty of life after death ; they went out tllerefore, with confidence to make the circuit of all nations, that they might confirm by fact, the promises of Him their Lord. But He attached to the promises made to them, a more excellent word ; and,--what exceeds all wonder,-- this He shews forth even to this present time; (viz.) " Behold, I myself am with you always" He added also, "even to the end of the world" And this applies, not only to them, but also to all those who came after them, and from them received His doctrine; and, thenceforward, even to this time, is He present to all those who have become His Disciples. Hence, His Church, which is kept by Himself, is daily increasing and multiplying to myriads; and by His Power shall it be congregated, even to the end of the world !
On the conversion of all nations to God. From the Gospel of Luke.
9. Again, upon another occasion after His resurrection from the dead, He appeared to the other disciples, and to them,--yet doubting and not believing in Him,--He put forth and said these words: "26These are the words which I said, to you, when I was yet with you; that it is necessary every thing should be fulfilled which is written respecting me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms. Then He opened their understandings that they should understand the Scriptures : and He said, Thus it was right that Christ should suffer, and that He should rise from the dead on the third day; and (that) repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning from |228 Jerusalem. And ye are the witnesses of these things." On one occasion indeed, He said, that "in His name should be preached repentance to all nations." (Now), if the Deed did not follow upon the Word; neither can His resurrection from the dead be credited. But if, even up to this time, the things which His prediction foretold, remain in fact, so that His lively, (energetic) and operative word is visible (in effect) throughout the whole creation to our eyes; then is it unbecoming we should disbelieve Him who spoke this. For He, whose power is living (energetic,) operative, and visible to the eyes, powerfully impels us first of all to confess thereupon, that He is living; and that He brings to effect the living things of God, whose living (actual) deeds are seen fulfilling His words. These His words then, --being varied and translated into all languages, both of the Greeks and the Barbarians,--has He made intelligible to all27, so that His doctrine is heard by all nations, and has stirred up myriads of congregations of those, who were formerly wickedly led on in the error of many Gods, in the worship of Idols, and in (the course of life) which was unbecoming, to conversion and repentance. He did not command them first to preach remission of sins, and then repentance; but first, repentance, and then remission. For it was to those, who evinced a sincere repentance of former sins, that our Saviour's grace gave the pardon of their deeds;--on whose account indeed He suffered Death, and gave His soul a ransom for the souls of those, who should be saved through Him. Thus therefore, these His disciples,--men rude of speech and altogether illiterate, poor and needy, (as) they were in their character,--trusted in the power of Him who appeared to them after Death, and openly held converse with them. And they began from Jerusalem according to His commands, and went forth into all nations; the things too, which they were commanded, they performed, and preached repentance to all men, and |229 remission of the former sins of the soul. And such was the entire superiority which they evinced, that, even to these our times, the doctrine of these poor and illiterate men, is in active operation throughout the whole creation of man. How His acts should be heard, and preached of, throughout the whole world. From the Gospel of Matthew and of Mark.
10. When our Saviour was in Bethany, a village not far from Jerusalem;--having been invited by one who was (named) Simon, and sitting down there ;--a certain woman took an alabaster box of balsam (ointment), which was very precious, and came and poured it out upon his feet: but His Disciples forbade her ; complaining of what had happened. But He received the tiling done as a sign, and intimated that this act should be preached of, and heard, throughout the whole world. He prophesied accordingly, and said: "I say unto you, that wheresoever this my Gospel shall be preached in the whole world, what this (woman) hath done, shall also be spoken of for a memorial of her28." Now these things He foretold, when, at that time, the writing of the Gospel had yet entered into the mind of none, nor had it come to the hearing of any. Nor, as it is likely, had what was then done, been learned by any who resided in the neighbourhood, but by those only who were present. Nevertheless, He left this whole enouncement in word, and prophesied that the Gospels, which should be written by His Disciples, should be preached throughout the whole world. And to the word He at once also superadded the deed, and said, that with His acts should be written in the Gospel, and spoken of throughout the whole world, even that which had been done by this woman, for a memorial of her:--which same thing has (now) been seen confirmed by Him in very deed! For there is neither people, region, nor place, in which the memorial of this woman, as recorded in the Gospel, has not been mentioned; and, together, with the doctrine respecting Him, is it preached throughout the |230 whole world.--Of the things therefore, respecting this29 (Gospel,) and respecting His Church, hear (now) how He made His promises : --
How He mentioned His church by name, when yet it had no existence: and how He declared, that the gates of Hell should never prevail against it. From the Gospel of Matthew.
11. When asking His Disciples on a certain occasion, what men said of Him, and they answering according to the opinion of the many, He asked them the second time, "But30 what say ye?" and, when Simon had said unto Him, "Thou art the Christ of the living God" He answered him, and said : "Blessed art thou Simon son of Jonas, since flesh and blood hath not revealed (this) to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I also say to thee, Thou art Cephas: and upon this rock do I build my Church, and the gate-bars of Hell shall not prevail against it." The (term) "this" He took (as implying) the knowledge, that He was the Messiah, the Son of the living God ; and Cephas (the rock), because it should neither be rent nor moved. It is not unlikely, that He named (in) " THIS" |231 the whole sense comprised here. On this account too, He designated that same Disciple, who had formerly been called Simon, Cephas (Peter), with reference to this knowledge; (and) of which He afterwards prophesied, and said: "On this rock do I build my Church, and the gate-bars of Hell shall not prevail against it." He foretold at once something to come to pass, and promised, that Himself would build it (the Church), and bring the work to completion, by the things of this knowledge which had now been |232 given concerning Himself; that it should be made firm as on a confirmed foundation ; and that His Church should be built, solely by means of His own power which is everlasting, and that the gates of Hell should never overcome it. He himself afforded a proof (of this) in the fulfilment, better than any (that) words (can give). For innumerable persecutions, and many forms of death, have sprung up against His Church, but in nothing could they prevail against it. He has therefore, openly confirmed the enouncement of His prediction, by deeds; its truth He has shewn, by the fulfilment. The Church too, which He called the congregation, about to be set up in His name, evinced no small foreknowledge: for the congregations of the Jews had been termed Synagogues; and, during the time of His going about among men, He frequented the Synagogue of the Jews. Nor was there hitherto, so much as one Synagogue only, set apart to Him. And, Who is not astonished, that He so foreknew those congregations which should afterwards be set up, at a great distance of time, in His name, and, that He should not name them, after the Jewish custom, Synagogues, but Churches ? He added too, that the gate-bars of Hell should not prevail against them:-- things, which we perceive with our own eyes ! Nor should we wonder at the prediction only, but also at His promise, namely, "I build my Church upon the rock, and the gate-bars of Hell shall not prevail against it:" which is (all) so brought near in fact, that we can see it ! For it was not by the power of men, nor yet by the superiority of the Teachers (employed), that His Church was raised ; but, it was He who promised, and in deed fulfilled His promise ! --He (I say) who up to this time has, by the Divine Power, built up, and enlarged, His Church throughout the whole creation of man !
On the divisions which are in Houses and Families up to this time, on account of His doctrine. From the Gospel of Matthew.
12. 31 Think not, that I am come to send forth peace upon earth : I am not come to send forth peace, but a sword. For I am come to divide a man against his Father, |233 and the Daughter against her Mother, and the Daughter in law against her Mother in law : and the enemies of a man (shall be) those of his own house. (Or), as Luke enounced (it) ; " 32 Think ye then, that I am come to send forth peace on earth ? I say unto you, No ; but divisions. For, there shall be henceforth five in one house, who (shall be) divided, three against two, and two against three. And the Father shall be divided against his Son, and the Son, against his Father; and the Mother shall be divided against her Daughter, and the Daughter, against her Mother; and the Mother in law, against her Daughter in law ; and the Daughter in law, against her Mother in law." And, Who is not astonished, that the things which should take place in every individual house, in times far removed (from those of the prediction), and even up to this time, did not remain hidden to the foreknowledge of our Saviour ? For He foretold to His disciples, the things which up to this time are taking place, just as one present to the things themselves, and making the circuit of the dwellings of all the children of men :--things which hitherto have not existed, nor did they at the period in which He enounced these words. Nor, were there yet any such doings; they were then heard only in the ear. But now, that the prediction has in fact come to its completion, and is visible to the eyes, How can any one, who would think justly, but confess that they are in truth the words of God ? And again in these things also,--"For I am come to divide and to send forth a sword, and divisions among the children of men,""--we likewise see with our own eyes, that no word of man, either of philosopher or prophet, whether Greek or Barbarian, ever shewed forth power such as this, that he should so hold the whole creation, that there should be divisions in every house; that he should pass through and distinguish every race, throughout all their families ; and, that of these some should be considered as his own, and others as opposed to these ! But it was our Saviour alone, and this WORD OF GOD, who promised to do this, and He confirmed the promise, in very deed ! The cause therefore, of the divisions of soul that came to |234 pass in houses He Himself taught, as we have found in a place in the Gospel existing among the Jews in the Hebrew language33, in which it is said: "I will select to myself these things: very very excellent are those whom my Father, who is in heaven, has given to me." And, one may learn from this, how in every house in which the word of Jesus should prevail, the excellent would be distinguished from the vile. For, if a man make a comparison among brothers, or servants, or in families generally, as to the customs, forms, manner of life, and the purity and meekness of those, who have chosen the doctrine of our Saviour;--for this is |235 what is meant by those who have been selected by Him :-- and, of those who have not yet become worthy of Him ; --he will perceive what sort of power that is, of which He has made use; and, that He did not only foretel what should come to pass, but that He has, according to the prediction, also brought the works to pass : and, with other things, these also in which it is written that He said, "I will select to myself the34 very excellent, those whom my Father who is in heaven has given to me." Nevertheless, (what He) now (said), " I am not come to send forth peace on earth," with other things, He explained to the Disciples themselves and said; "I leave peace with you, my own peace give I unto you: it is not as the world giveth peace, that I also so give peace." It was the knowledge and love of God, which He had prepared for His disciples ; and this, that the soul should not be perturbed. And in this way, He named the light, and confirmation of the mind. These things therefore He foretold, and also respecting these (men) : but, of those which He foreknew and foretold respecting the Jewish People, (the time) is at hand that we should enquire.
On the things which He prophesied against the Jewish people in parables. From the Gospel of Matthew.
13. When the Rulers of the Jewish people, the chief Priests, and the Doctors of the Law, were assembled together in Jerusalem, and He was in the Temple; He foretold covertly and by parable, the things they were about to dare against Him, and the destruction which should overtake them on account of this daring, in this manner : " There was 35a certain master of a house, (who) planted a vineyard, and surrounded it with a fence, and digged a wine-press therein, and built in it a tower, and delivered it to husbandmen, and departed. And, when the fruit-season drew |236 near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen that they might bring to him the fruit. But these husbandmen seized his servants, and some of them they smote, and some they stoned, and some they killed. And again, he sent other servants, more than the former; and to these, they did in like manner. But at last, he sent his Son, and said, Surely they will reverence my Son. But these husbandmen, when they saw the Son, said among themselves : This is his heir ; come let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours. So they took him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore, the Lord of the vineyard shall come, What shall he do to those husbandmen? They say to him, he shall most miserably destroy them; and his vineyard he shall deliver to other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus himself said to them, Have ye never read in the Scripture, 'The stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief corner stone of the building: This is of the Lord, and it is a miracle in our eyes?' Wherefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a people which shall render the fruits" (thereof.) And this parable is of a sort with that, which is in the Prophet Isaiah, which is (given) in this manner: "My beloved had a vineyard on the horn of a fat place. And he cultivated it, and surrounded it with a fence, and planted in it vines, and built a Tower within it. He also made a wine-press in it. And he expected that it would produce grapes; but it produced wild grapes." But this that is in the Prophet, accuses the vineyard; which he thus interprets, as to who was (really) intended, when he says, "For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house that is in Israel, and the men of Judah are (His) one beloved plant. I looked for judgment, but there was rapine; and for righteousness, but behold, howling!"
14. The parable then, spoken by our Saviour, was so like to that of the Prophet, that it was known to point out those who were present and heard (it). But, it was not of the vineyard that it was spoken, because the Prophet |237 had already made his prediction of this. The things however, which were not mentioned in the Prophet, He supplied in His parable: those, I say, which respected the husbandmen of the vineyard; and these were the Elders of the people, the chief Priests, the Rulers, and Doctors: those, who indeed were the cause to the whole congregation, that they should render evil fruit, and, on whose account, the vineyard itself was left to destruction. That is, the whole of their people, with their fence, was rooted up; those who formerly contended for the people, and watched over the people, together with their place. The Tower that was in it, was the Temple; the wine-press, the Altar. And all these were therefore, wholly taken away, even to their foundations ; because the husbandmen had become polluted with blood ; those (I say), who had openly slain the servants first and last; those Prophets, who had, time after time, been sent unto them. The Old Testament also gives its testimony (otherwise) to this matter; and, of the Prophets, Elias who in his prayer to God says, "Lord, they have slain thy Prophets, and broken down thy Altar: and I am left alone, and they seek to take my life36." Of these things therefore does this Prophet, by his prayer, accuse the rulers of the Jewish people. These however, the pollution of the Prophets' blood had not satisfied, and at last they slew the Son himself, that is, the Son of God! Nor was it that they knew Him not; but, when they knew fully and accurately, that He was the heir ! These things then, our Saviour Himself delivered by parable, respecting Himself, before His suffering. He also foretold,--by His foreknowledge, what should come to pass; (viz.) these things when walking in the Temple,--to those husbandmen of the vineyard of His times, the Chief Priests, the Doctors, and the rest of those who were at the head of the people. And much (and) openly did He, in the parable, prepare them to pronounce condemnation against themselves : asking them in the close of the parable, and saying, "What shall the Lord of the vineyard, when He comes, do to those husbandmen?" |238 And they, not yet understanding that it had been spoken of themselves, gave judgment against themselves, saying, "He shall most miserably destroy them, and shall give up the vineyard to other husbandmen, who shall render to Him the fruits in their seasons." Jesus then said to them : " 37 Have ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief corner (stone) of the building: This is from the Lord, and is a miracle in our eyes?" Very consistently after the prediction of His death, He pointed out, from the testimony of the prophets, His own resurrection from the dead. For He had previously taught, that the Son of the Lord of the vineyard should be slain by the wicked husbandmen, and had obtained from themselves (their own) condemnation. After that, He brought this forward : " The stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief corner (stone) of the building:" which, in the prophecy, had been given by way of parable on His resurrection. For,--after He had been rejected by those husbandmen who were also the builders, He (I say), who was (as) a precious stone, and of whom the Prophet Isaiah says, "38Behold, I lay in Zion a choice and precious stone, the chief corner (stone) of the foundation: And he, who believeth in it, shall not be ashamed,"--He became the chief corner (stone) of another building, of which the (divine) word has said: "39And this is a miracle in our eyes:" by which He meant His Church. And thus deservedly did He, according to their own judgment on themselves, repay them, saying, " The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a people, that will render the fruits" (thereof) : which corresponds to this declaration (already) mentioned, (viz.) "from them;" that He would " give the vineyard to other husbandmen, who should render to Him the fruits in their seasons." For He named the "kingdom of God," those observances in which the worship of God consisted; and these Hedeclared, should be taken away from those husbandmen: and (this) He has most openly shewn, and brought to effect; |239 giving (the vineyard) to another people, which does bring forth its fruits. And this is the Christian people, which docs, throughout the whole creation, bring forth the fruits, that are both conformable, and suitable, to the observances of God; and shews this daily, both in words and works.
On the rejection of the Jews at once, and the calling of the Gentiles: also on those who should unworthily be gathered into His Church ; and on the end of these, From the Gospel of Matthew.
15. After the Parable which has already been mentioned, the word of the Divine Scripture states, that "40When the chief Priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they knew that He spake against themselves, and they sought to take Him: but they feared the people, because they held Him as a Prophet." "41And Jesus answered them, and said again in a parable: The kingdom of heaven is like to a (certain) man, a king, who made a (marriage) feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who had been bidden to the feast; but they would not come. And again, he sent out other servants, and commanded them to say to those who had been bidden: Behold, my dinner is ready, my fatted oxen are slain, and every thing is prepared for you : Come to the feast. But they disregarded and went away, One to the village (farm), and Another to (his) merchandise. But they who remained seized his servants, and abused and slew (them). And the king was enraged, and sent his army and slew those murderers, and burnt up their city. He then said to his servants, My dinner is ready, but those who were bidden were unworthy of it. Go ye out therefore, into the ways and paths, and every one that ye find, call to the feast. So those servants went out into the ways, and they brought together all they could find, (both) bad and good." Now, in the former Parable, the Vineyard, the Tower, the Winepress, and the Husbandmen, were evil: and the servants |240 sent, first and last, were killed. And, at last, even the Son of the Lord of the vineyard was himself slain : by which were pointed out, the People, the Temple, the Altar, and the Rulers of the Jews; and also those wicked husbandmen, who, standing at the head of the people, slew both the former and latter Prophets, and at last the Son of God Himself!
16. Now the Parable before our eyes, obviously introduces the familiar feast, and bringing together, of the Bridegroom and Bride, with a marriage-supper: and again the servants also, who are here destroyed and slain, and the former and latter persons bidden. By means of these again, He points out covertly, the things that happened after His resurrection from the dead. For the Bridegroom is, THE WORD OF GOD ; the Bride, the rational soul, which is associated with Him, and receives the Divine seed that is of Him. And (this) Divine and rational association, (represents) that of His Church : and, consequent upon these things, the rational feast and marriage supper, (represent) the Divine and heavenly aliments (so prepared). He does not here speak of the inviting servants, with reference to those who were formerly sent to the vineyard, but, with reference to the latter ones. For those were the Prophets; but these, His own Apostles, who were sent forth to make the call, (and) first, of those who were of the circumcision. For, when He first sent these forth, He charged them, saying, "42Into the way of the Gentiles go ye not; and into a city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but rather go ye to the wandering sheep of the house of Israel." These same persons therefore, the servants did first invite; but, when they hearkened not to the call, He sent also, the second time, many Evangelists and Preachers of the Gospel ; those whom He chose, after the twelve Apostles, the seventy other Disciples, who also first preached the Gospel to the Jewish people, and called them to the feast of the New Testament. But they availed nothing, because they, who had been bidden, were busied with their merchandise; and who, after they had heard the |241 call of the servants, abused some, and killed others. And it is in our power to find from the Scriptures, how many of the Disciples of our Saviour they afterwards killed, both in Jerusalem and in the rest of Judea. Stephen then was, in the first place, forthwith slain by them by stoning. After him, James the brother of John43. And again after them, he who first chose (to accept) the throne44 of the Church of that place, James who was called the Brother of our Lord: whom, on account of his great excellence, they called "the Just45." Him too, the Jews of those times killed by stoning. How they abused the Apostles by stripes, the Book of the Acts relates. And these things did He, by His divine knowledge, foretel before they happened; He also foretold the things which should befall them from the Jews. By means of a parable too, He predicted what should come to pass before these things took place, by these expressions, (viz.) "The king was enraged" at the abuse and slaughter of his servants, " and sent his army, and slew those murderers, and burnt up their city." And, What can be more obvious than this foreknowledge, and the fulfilment of the things themselves (so predicted) ? For the army of the Romans came soon after, and took the city, and destroyed the Temple itself by fire. And, of Whom was it, except of Him who is King of all, God over all, that it was thus said, that "the King shall send his army, and shall slay those murderers, and shall burn up their |242 city?" To this very time indeed, the remnants of the conflagration which took place in various parts of the city, are obvious to the sight of those who travel thither. But, how those murderers of the Apostles were taken in the reduction (of the city), and suffered the punishment which they deserved, it is not necessary we should say, as the things which were done to them, may readily be found in the record of the Romans46 by Flavius Josephus47. After the slaughter of these therefore, and the reduction of the metropolis of their kingdom, they,--who remained of those servants that had first heard it said by their Lord, "They who were first called were not worthy; but go ye out into the ways and paths, and all that ye find, call to the feast"--performed even the thing commanded. Our Saviour said to them therefore, after His resurrection, " Go ye and make Disciples of all nations in my name," And these things He said, who formerly had commanded: " In the way of the Gentiles go ye not" but (enjoined) that they should preach to the Jews only. But, when these had abused (their) Inviters, then He dismissed the servants the second time, and said, " Those that were called were not worthy. Go ye out into the ways and paths, and all that ye find call to the feast." And this they fulfilled in deed. They went out into the whole creation, and they preached to all nations, the divine and heavenly calling; and " they collected together as many as they could find, (both) bad and good." Let no one therefore wonder, that, of those, who are collected into the Church of Christ, all are not good; but, that in the mixture together with the good, the evil will also be collected. Nor did this escape the foreknowledge of our Saviour. And it is accordingly seen to remain in fact, in conformity with that foreknowledge : and, what the end of those will be, who are brought together unworthily in His Church, He Himself shews; for He afterwards teaches these things in the |243 parable, saying, "And48 the feast was filled with guests: but, when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who had not (on) wedding garments. And he said to him, My friend! how earnest thou in hither not having put on wedding garments ? And he was silent. Then the king said to the ministers: Bind him hands and feet, and cast him out into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are the called, but few the chosen." He likewise previously rebuked, with these predictive words, those who should conduct themselves unrighteously in His Church.
Again, on the rejection of the Jewish people. From the Gospel of Matthew.
17. " Ye49 serpents, ye generation of vipers, How shall ye escape hell ? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you Prophets, and Wise men, and Scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and some of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues, and shall persecute them from city to city; so that there shall come upon you, all the blood of the Righteous, which has been shed upon the land, from the blood of Abel, even to the blood of Zecharias the son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the steps and the altar. I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation." There is no need we should affirm, that all these things are so plain, as to require no explanation whatever; which, being afterwards fulfilled in very deed, confirmed by (their) open fulfilment, the foreknowledge of our Saviour. For the Apostles were scourged by the Jews at a subsequent period, in Jerusalem itself; when also, they went forth from their synagogues, "rejoicing50 that they were found worthy to be reproached for his name's sake that they were found worthy to be reproached for his name's sake." Stephen also was stoned by them; and James was slain with the sword51; and again, the second |244 James was put to death with stones52. And Simeon, who after James held the Episcopal chair in Jerusalem53, was given up to crucifixion, as the history reminds (us). And many others again, who were slain by the Jews, have (thus) set their seal to the foreknowledge of our Saviour. On account of all which, the judgment of God took vengeance on the generation that dared to do all this: and, upon it turned back the (just) consequence of all its deeds. For it was of that generation that their Temple and altar were rooted up, and the kingdom, which had, by tradition from their forefathers, been preserved to that very time, was dissolved. And of the same, was their freedom taken away: and, from the effects themselves it was evident, that the avenging of the blood of all the Righteous was on that generation, in conformity with the words of our Saviour. It is necessary then we should see, with what entire power, and by what sort of force, it was said, "Behold I send to you Prophets, and Wise men." For (this), "Behold I send" is an intimation of the power of God. And, that He called the Rulers of the Jews to their face, a "generation of vipers," affords no proof of deficiency (in this respect). The prediction too, of the destruction which should overtake them, does, after all the rest, afford ample confirmation as to these declarations; and this their complete fulfilment proves54. These things are therefore sufficient (here). Let us then, |245 now enquire accordingly, how it happened to the land which had always been precious to them, and to those glories of the metropolis of the kingdom which had been (so) famous with them; of which, by His divine foreknowledge He attested ;--weeping bitterly as He did over them of his mercy,--that the whole should undergo a change to the extremes of calamity, because of the insolence of its inhabitants against Him.
On the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.
18. What the end of those things should be, which had been foretold respecting the Jewish people, has (already) been said and shewn. But, as He, THE WORD OF GOD, prophesied also respecting these places themselves, it is necessary we should see His words on them. Now, when the Rulers of the Jews would not bear the purity of His Doctrine, its publication, nor His rebukes, they so acted as to rid their city of Him. He then, leaving Jerusalem, pronounced these words over their city: "55Jerusalem, Jerusalem! that hast killed the Prophets, and stoned them that were sent unto thee, How often would I have gathered thy children together, as the hen gathereth her chickens under her wings : but ye would not. Behold I your house is left desolate. For I say unto you, that ye shall not see me henceforth until ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Impurity (and) pollution afterwards marked their doings: and this was the sin in which they dared to persist against our Saviour. And it was right, not only that the Inhabitants of the city, but also the land itself,--in which they so greatly boasted.--should be made to suffer the things, which the deeds of its inhabitants deserved. And these they did suffer ! For it was not long, before the Romans came against the city: and, of the inhabitants, some they killed by the law of war; others they destroyed by famine; others they led away captive ; and others they persecuted. The captive56 (City) and Temple they burnt, and reduced to utter |246 desolation ! But the things which took place afterwards, did our Saviour, from his foreknowledge as THE WORD or GOD, foretel should come to pass, by means of those which are (now) before us. For He named the whole Jewish people, the children of the City; and the Temple, He styled their House. And thus He testified, that they should, on their own wicked account, bear the vengeance thus to be inflicted. For many times would He have gathered their children together beneath the yoke of the worship of God, just as all formerly was; even as He had from ancient times been careful for them, and had, during all ages, instructed them by one or other of the Prophets, and called them, but they would not hearken to his call;--on this account, He gave judgment against them, and said, "Behold your house is left desolate." It was therefore with special care that He said, not (only) the City itself should be desolate, but the House that was within it: that is, the Temple; (and) which He was unwilling should again be called His, or yet "the House of God," but theirs (only). He prophesied too, that it should be desolate in no other way, than as deprived of that providential care, which was formerly exerted over it: hence He said, "Behold your house is left desolate." And, it is right we should wonder at the fulfilment of this prediction, since at no time did this place undergo such an entire desolation as this was. Not at the time when it was rased to its foundations by the Babylonians, on account of their great wickedness, their worshipping of Idols, and pollution in the blood of the Prophets. For seventy years was the whole period of the desolation of the place in those times: because it was not (thus) fully said to them at that time, "Behold your House is left desolate." Nor was it (then so) forsaken; an event happening soon after, which dignified it with a renewal much more illustrious than its former state, as one of the Prophets had foretold : (viz.) "The glory of this latter House shall be greater than that of the former57." After the enouncement therefore of our Saviour,--that they should so be left, and their house come, by the judgment of God, to utter desolation ;--to |247 those who visit these places, the sight itself affords the most complete fulfilment of the prediction. The period too has been that of many years, and (of duration) so long, as not only to be double of the desolation of seventy years,-- which was that in the time of the Babylonians,--but even to surpass four times (its duration) ; and (thus) confirming the judgment pronounced by our Saviour. Again, on another occasion, our Saviour--walking by the side of the Temple, just mentioned, and His Disciples wondering at the building which surrounded it, and pointing out to Him the greatness and beauty of the same Temple;--returned to them answer and said, "Behold! see ye not all these things ? I say unto you, stone shall not be left here upon stone, which shall not be thrown down." The Scriptures do moreover shew, that the whole building and the extreme ornamenting of the Temple there, were indeed thus worthy of being considered miraculous: and, for proof (of this), there are preserved, even to this time, some remaining vestiges of these its ancient decorations. But, of these ancient things, the greatest miracle of all is, the Divine word (declaring) the foreknowledge of our Saviour, which fully enounced to those, who were wondering at the buildings (of the Temple), the judgment, that there should not be left in the place at which they were wondering, "one stone upon another which should not be rased" For it was right, that this place should undergo an entire destruction and desolation, on account of the audacity of its Inhabitants; because it was the residence of impious men. And, just as the prediction was, are the results in fact remaining: the whole Temple, and its walls,--as well as those ornamented and beautiful buildings which were within it, and which exceeded all description,--have suffered desolation from that time to this! With time too, this increases : and, so has the power of THE WORD gone on destroying, that, in many places, no vestige of their foundations is now visible! which any one who desires it, may see with his own eyes58. And, should any |248 one say, that a few of the places are still existing; we may nevertheless, justly expect the destruction of these also, as their ruin is daily increasing: the predicting word, just mentioned, daily operating by a power which is unseen. I know too--for I have heard it from persons who interpret the passage before us differently,--that this was not said on all the buildings, except only on that place which the Disciples, when expressing their wonder upon it, pointed out to Him ; for it was upon this that He spoke the predicting word. Again, the Scriptures of His Disciples which teach respecting Him, (teach) us these things (following), on the utter destruction of the place.--
On the taking of the City. From the Gospel of Luke.
19. "And59, when He saw the city, He wept over it, and said, If thou hadst known, even in this day the things of thy peace.--But now, they are (so) hidden from thine eyes, that the days shall come upon thee, in which thine enemies shall surround thee, and shall press upon thee from every part of thee: and they shall utterly root thee up, and thy children within thee." The things, prior to these, were predicted respecting the Temple; these, which are now before us, respecting the City itself; which the Jews named the City of God, because of the Temple of God that had been built within it. Over the whole of this then, the compassionate (Saviour) wept. It was not, that He had so much pity on the buildings, nor indeed upon the land, as He had first upon the souls of its inhabitants, and (then) upon (the prospect of) their destruction. He pointed out moreover, the cause of their desolation when He said, "If thou hadst known, even in this day, the things of thy peace:" intimating too His own coming, which should be for the peace of the whole world. For |249 this is He, of whom it was said, "In his days shall righteousness arise (as the sun), and abundance of peace60. He came also for this purpose, that "He61 might preach peace to them that were near, and to them that were afar off." And, of them who received Him, He said, "Peace62 I leave to you I leave to you; my peace give I unto you:" the peace, which all nations who believed on Him throughout the whole creation, have received. But the people, who were of the circumcision and believed not on Him, knew not the things of their peace : and, on this account, He said afterwards, "It is now (so) hidden from thine eyes, that the days shall come upon thee, (in which) thine enemies shall surround thee63." The things (I say), which were therefore to take hold on them, a short time after, in the reduction (of the city) : (and), because they had no previous perception of the peace, that had been formerly preached to them, it should now be concealed from their eyes. They had therefore, no previous perception of any thing, which should afterwards befall them; He then plainly foretold these things by His foreknowledge, and gave open intimation of the reduction (of the city), which should come upon them through the Romans, (when saying), "The days shall come upon thee...because thou knewest not the things of thy peace." For, for this cause "there shall come upon thee the days, (in which) thine enemies shall surround thee, and shall go round about thee, and shall press upon thee from every quarter of thee; and they shall root thee out, and thy children within thee64." In these (words) then, has been recorded the form of war which should come upon them. And, how they were fulfilled, we shall presently find from the writings of Josephus, who was himself a Jew, and descended from a tribe of the Jews ;--one of the well known and famous men among that people. At the time of the reduction (of the place), he committed to writing every thing that was done among them; and (so) shewed, that the predictions before us were, in their facts, fulfilled. |250
Again, on the reduction of the City. From the Gospel of Luke.
20. "65When ye shall see Jerusalem surrounded by an army, know ye that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. And let those that are within it (Jerusalem) give up66: and let not those that are in its borders, enter into it. Because these are the days of vengeance, that all which has been written should be fulfilled. But, woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days; for there shall be great tribulation upon the land, and great wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive into all nations. And Jerusalem shall be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled." Previous to this He said, "Behold your house is left desolate." He now gives by the words before us, the signs of the times of the final destruction of the place; and these He shews, saying, "When ye shall see Jerusalem surrounded by an army, thence know ye that its desolation is near." Now, let no one imagine, that, after the reduction of the place, and the desolation that should be in it, another renewal of it shall take place, as it was in the times of Cyrus, king of the Persians; and afterwards in those of Antiochus Epiphanes; |251 and again, in those of Pompey. For many times did this place suffer reduction, and was afterwards dignified by a more excellent restoration. But, when ye shall see it reduced by armies, know ye that which comes upon it, to be a final and full desolation and destruction67. He designates the desolation of Jerusalem, by the destruction of the Temple, and the laying aside of those services which were, according to the law of Moses, formerly performed within it. You are not to suppose, that the desolation of the city, mentioned in these (words), was to be such that no one should any more reside in it: for He says after this, that the city shall be inhabited, not by the Jews, but by the Gentiles, when speaking thus, "And Jerusalem shall be trampled on by the Gentiles68." It was known therefore to Him, that it should be inhabited by the Gentiles. But He styled this its desolation (viz), because it should no more (be inhabited) |252 by its own children, nor should the service of the law he established within it. And, how these things have been fulfilled, many words are not wanted (to shew) ; because, we can easily see with our own eyes, how the Jews are dispersed into all nations; and, how the inhabitants of that which was formerly Jerusalem,--but is now named Aelia by Aelius Hadrian,--are foreigners, and the descendants of another race. The wonder therefore of the prophecy is this, that He said of the Jews, "they should be led captive into all nations;" and, of the Gentiles, "that Jerusalem should be trampled on by them." This miracle is then complete : the Jews being now fully (dispersed) throughout the whole creation, so that they are (found) remaining among the Ethiopians, the Scythians, and in the extremities of the earth. It is only their own city, and the place in which their worship formerly was (carried on), that they cannot enter69! But, if the city itself had been utterly desolated, and without inhabitants, men would have thought that this was the cause (of their exclusion from it). Now however, that the place is inhabited by foreigners, the descendants of a different race, and that it is not allowed to them alone even to set a foot in it, so that they cannot view even from a distance the land of their forefathers70; the things foretold of it are fulfilled, in exact accordance with the prediction: (viz). "They shall be led captive into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trampled on by the Gentiles" The manner moreover of the captivity, points out the war. of which He spoke; "For (said He) there shall be (great)71 tribulation upon the land, and great wrath upon this people : and they shall fall by the edge of the sword." We |253 can learn too, from the writings of Flavius Josephus, how these things took place in their localities, and how those, which had been foretold by our Saviour, were, in fact, fulfilled. He also shews plainly the fulfilment of the prediction of our Saviour, when He said, "Woe to those that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days72." For he has put it on record, how the women roasted their children by the fire and ate them, on account of the pressure of the famine which prevailed in the city. This famine therefore, which took place in the city, our Saviour foresaw, and counselled His Disciples that, in the reduction which was about to come upon the Jews, it was not for them to take refuge in the city as in a place guarded and preserved by God, but in which many should suffer ; but, that they should depart thence, and "flee to the mountains;" and, that those, who should be within Judea, should give up to the Gentiles; and those, who were in its lands, should not take refuge in it as in a fortified place. On this account He said, "Let those who are in its borders73 not enter into it, since these are the days of vengeance, that all may be fulfilled which has been written." Any one therefore, who desires it, may learn the results of these things from the writings of Josephus. And, if it is right we should lay down a few things from him in this book, by way of testimony, there is nothing that should hinder us from hearing the historian himself, who writes in this manner;--
From the sixth Book of Josephus74.
21. "And, How can it be necessary, that I should describe the severity of the famine, as to things inanimate? I come then to the making known of a fact, the like of which has not been recorded, either among the Greeks, or the Barbarians : one which, it is shocking to mention, and, to the hearing, incredible. I myself indeed, would |254 gladly have left this calamity (unmentioned)--that I might not be thought by those who shall come after, to have related falsehoods,--had I not had many witnesses among those of our own times. I should indeed otherwise have rendered but a doubtful good, as to the land of my fathers, had I omitted to mention the things which, it has, in fact, suffered. A certain woman, of those who resided on the other side of the Jordan,--whose name was Mirian, well known on account of her family and wealth,--took refuge with many (others) in Jerusalem, and with them was shut up (in the siege). This woman's other possessions, as they were after she left the passage (of the Jordan) and came into the city, the Tyrants seized. The residue of her treasures moreover, should it have sufficed for her daily sustenance, was invaded and seized by the attendant soldiers. Grievous indignation therefore, took possession of her; and many times did she excite the robbers against herself, by curses and reproaches. But, when no one put her to death.--either on account of her indignation or in mercy; and she became weary of seeking sustenance for others from every quarter, and (as) suspicion was excited against her, even if she found (it) : hunger, at the same time, remaining in her bowels, and indignation inflaming her more than hunger;--she took for her counsellor impetuosity and necessity, and dared to do that which was contrary to nature. She seized upon her son,--for she had a sucking infant,--and said, "Wretched (babe) ! for Whom do I preserve thee in war, famine, and tumult?-- that thou shouldest be a slave to the Romans ? If thou shouldest indeed live happily with them, still famine precedes (this) servitude ; and the seditious are cruel. Come ; be thou thou to me for food; to the seditious, the vengeance;--and to the world, the tale which alone is wanting to (complete) the sufferings of the Jews ! And, saying this, she at once killed her son. She then roasted him, and ate a part of him ! the rest she hid, and kept75!" |255 These sufferings out of many, I have here set down on account of the Divine prediction of our Saviour, which declared, "Woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days:" and because it adds this also to the predictive words of our Saviour, "There shall be great tribulation on the land, and great wrath upon this people:" or, as Matthew has said76, "For there shall be at that time great tribulation, the like of which has not been since the beginning of the world, even until now ; nor shall be" (hereafter). It will be well therefore, to hear this writer himself, when thus putting on record the fulfilment of these same things.
From the fifth Book of Josephus77.
22. "It would be impossible to give an account of each and every of their iniquities singly; we say then summarily, that no (other) city (ever) suffered all these things; and, that there never was a generation so fruitful in vices as this78 : for they destroyed the city itself79! and (were the cause) that the Romans should be recorded,-- as forced by them against their own wills,--to this sad |256 victory ! They accordingly dragged them on forthwith, unopposed, to the Temple ; and viewed from the upper city, the fire that was burning within it." Nor were they pained, nor did they weep at these things ! Because, "there should be at that time great tribulation, such, that its like existed not since the beginning of the world." This very thing was foretold by our Saviour, which this writer attests ! the whole of which was fully brought to pass1 forty years afterwards, in the times of Vespasian the Roman Emperor. Our Saviour moreover, added to His predictions,--determining the time,--how long Jerusalem should be trampled on by the Gentiles; for He said, "Until the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled:" intimating by this, the end80 of the world.
Again, on the laws of the Jews, (viz.) that they should no more be observed, either on mount Gerizim, or in Jerusalem. And, on the service worthy of God, which should be set up in His Church. From the Gospel of John.
23. On the side of this our neighbouring city Neapolis of Palestine,--which was not small, but is even (now) a city of celebrity,--a woman of Samaria drew near to Him ; and, after other words, said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that thou art a Prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this |257 mountain; but ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where (men) ought to worship." Upon which, our Saviour returning this answer, said to her, "Believe me woman, the hour cometh (in) which, neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem shall they worship the Father." And, after a few other things, He said : "The hour cometh, and now is, (in) which the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh even such as these to worship Him. God is a, spirit, and it is right that those who worship Him, should worship him in spirit and in truth81." And, by these things also, He fully proved that His foreknowledge was not small. For formerly, in the days of Tiberius the Roman Emperor,--in whose times these things were said,--the Jews were particularly collected together in Jerusalem, for the observance of the precepts of their Law; and the Samaritans, on the mount called Gerizim which they honoured, on the side of Neapolis, affirming that it was right the Law of Moses should there be observed. Now, these mounts are, as it were, anathemas of God. With both, certain parts were honoured; and of both, the Scripture of each bears record ; that of Moses, respecting Gerizim ; and those of the Hebrew Prophets, respecting Jerusalem82. The sentence of judgment therefore, put forth in the Divine enouncement of our Saviour was, That no more, either in Jerusalem, or on mount Gerizim, should those henceforth worship, who then adhered so pertinaciously to these places : which came to pass soon after. (For), in the days of Titus Vespasian, and in the reduction which happened in those of Hadrian, both these mounts were, according to His words, desolated. That on the side of the city Neapolis, was defiled by unbecoming Images, by Idols, |258 by Sacrifices, and the shedding of blood, and (thus) rendered abominable. The Temple also of Jerusalem was rased to the foundations, and has remained, during the whole of the time mentioned, in utter desolation and (destruction by) burning. And, from that time and even until now, has the prediction of our Saviour been fulfilled, which declared, " The hour cometh, (in) which neither in this mount, nor in Jerusalem shall they worship," He terms the time (meant) "the hour;" which was not yet at hand, but was about to be. And, speaking to His Disciples on the rational service to be completed by Himself, He added, " The hour cometh, and now is, that the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth." He necessarily added therefore here, It "now is." For immediately, from the very hour (in) which he said these words, (viz.) " The true worshippers"--of whom He was the Head and Teacher,--His Disciples, who received the rational service,--from Him, did perform the service of God, "in spirit and in truth." But the thing, above all (others) prophesied of in these words, implies, that no more on any mount, nor in any distinct corner of the earth, but throughout the whole creation, should those " true worshippers" worship the God who is above all, and should present to Him the Divine services, which should be performed without blood, "in spirit and truth." Not by similitude, nor by those things of which He was the antitype, as were those of Moses observed by both Jews and Samaritans, in slaughter, sacrifices, incense, fire, and many other bodily modes;--that all of these should be abolished through the things now before us, did THE WORD OF GOD here predict. He also said, henceforth "in spirit and truth." That is, "the true worshippers" shall render to God, the service which is worthy of Him, in a manner divine and with both the soul and mind.
On the people which should be set up out of foreign nations, by means of his teaching. From the Gospel of John.
24. "I am83 the good Shepherd, and I know my own, and my own know me. Even as the Father hath |259 known me, so know I the Father....And I lay down my life (lit. self) for my sheep. And I have other sheep, those who were not of this fold; and it is necessary that I should bring in these, and that they should hear my voice. And there shall be one flock and one shepherd." By other words (too) He taught and said, "I am not come, but to the sheep that have strayed of the house of Israel84." It was the Jewish people then, that He named under this figure; but, by the things before us, He predicted, that it was not those only who had become His disciples from among the Jews, that were considered (as) of the number of His flock; but those also who were without this fold. For thus, the word (Scripture) usually names at one time, the whole Jewish people; at another, Jerusalem, and the service there performed according to the Law of Moses.--That "He would collect other sheep which were not of that fold" implies the whole creation; and He foretold by these things, that out of them (this) rational flock should be so brought together to Him, that to the one and self-same worship of God, all, (both) Jews85 and Idolaters believing in Him, should come over; and, that there should be " one flock and one Shepherd." This is His Church, which has been established both from among the Jews, and Gentiles. And thus, has it come to pass ! For at once, at the outset of the preaching of the Gospel, great multitudes of the Jews were convinced that He was the Christ of God, who had been preached of by the Prophets. And with these, (those), who believed on Him from among the Gentiles, were brought together in one Church, under the hand of the one Shepherd,--of Him who is THE WORD or GOD. For in Jerusalem itself arose, from among the Jews, one after another fifteen bishops of the Church there, from James who was the first86. There were too thousands, at once both of Jews and Gentiles there, who had been brought together, even to the time of |260 its reduction in the days of Hadrian. And, that He was the (good) Shepherd who had been many times preached of in the words of the Prophets, it is obvious to us: the words (I say), which mention THE WORD OF GOD and teach, that He is the Shepherd of the souls of men, as of rational flocks. For it is thus said on one occasion by the Prophets: " The Lord feedeth me (as a shepherd), and I shall lack nothing87." And on another; "Shepherd of Israel look, (thou) who leadest Joseph as a flock88:" and, on another, He introduces (one) saying, "He is the Lord, and the Shepherd of the sheep89." He therefore alone, is truly declared to be the Shepherd of rational souls. For, just as the case is among men, the nature of the sheep is one, and that of the shepherd another; and, (as) the rational nature rules and leads that which is irrational; so also is it with respect to the superiority of the Shepherd (here), THE WORD OF GOD, the nature far excels that of man. We indeed are His flock, and, as compared with His power, we are less rational than any sheep. But He is in truth the good and pure Shepherd, who does not so neglect His flock, that it may be devoured by the wolves; that is to say, by the wicked demons, the corrupters of souls. This constrains us to look to His word which declared, with great power and might, "I am the good Shepherd;" and which also said, "I lay down my life for my sheep." (This) He said in a mystery respecting His death. He also taught at the same time the cause; viz. that it was for the redemption of the souls of the rational flocks, that He (so) gave His life. And this also: "I have other sheep," shews, that the Jews were not His only possession; but also, that the whole of the nations had been given to Him of His Father, according to this (declaration), "Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance." |261
How His death was the cause of the redemption of many. From the Gospel of John.
25. He was often with the Jews, because to them were known the predictions of the Prophets respecting Him. But, because the Greeks upon one occasion also approached His Disciples, desiring to see Him,--it is written, that, when they had told Him this, He said: "90The hour is come, that the Son of Man should be glorified. I say unto you, that unless the grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it will remain alone; but if it (so) die, it will bring forth much fruit." By these things also) He obviously declared in a mystery, that, among the Greeks, among foreign nations and the children of a different generation, those things which comprehended the praises of His Godhead should be embraced. For it was not when He was among the Jews that he said, "His hour had come that He should be glorified," but, when the Greeks91 drew near to Him. After this, he necessarily continued shewing of His own death, His resurrection, and of the calling of the people, among whom He then was. For, just as the grain of wheat, before it falls into the earth, remains alone, but contains the life-producing-power, with the energies92 of the seed included within it, (and) which the ears shall produce; but, after falling into the earth,--just as that which lives after death,--it will increase, and, from the power vested within it, produce many ears of corn; so did He also declare respecting Himself, that the things should be. And this indeed, the result of them has plainly evinced. |262 For, it was not the Greeks alone who, after His death, received of His power and of the provisions of His Godhead, but also many nations. He was therefore, that seed which fell, and sprang up again, "He who was dead, but is alive93." He, who after His fall which was by death, increased greatly, is He who has, by His resurrection, filled the lands of the heathen, as it were cultivated fields, with the Divine unutterable power. On this account He said, "The harvest94 is great, but the labourers are few." And again, "Lift95 up your eyes and see the fields, that they are white for the harvest." These things He also foretold (figuratively), of those who should after His death establish themselves in Him, through the pure faith which is by Him; the multitude of whom should, throughout the whole creation both of Greeks and Barbarians, constitute the Church to be established in myriads of congregations ;--collected together, as it were, (the produce of) rational well-cultured fields, into one place ; (that is) the souls of men, into the granaries of His Church. Hence it has been said, "He96 whose fan is in His hand, and who will cleanse His floor, and collect the wheat into (His) treasuries: but the straw He will burn with fire unquenchable."
How Simon the chief of the Disciples, should, like his Master, be given up to crucifixion, and depart this life. From the Gospel of John.
26. "My97 children, a little while I am with you; and ye shall seek me: even as I said to the Jews, whither I go, ye cannot come; and thus also I say again unto you. Simon98 Peter said unto Him, Whither goest Thou ? And Jesus answered him: Whither I go, thou canst not now come, but, after a time, thou shalt come." And again, in the latter part of the book, Jesus, after his resurrection from the dead, said to Peter: "99I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thy loins, and wentest whither |263 thou wouldest ; but, when thou shalt have become old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and others shall gird thy loins for thee, and shall lead thee whither thou shalt not be willing. And these things which He said (were) to shew, by what death he should glorify God. And, when He had said this, He said to him, Follow me" And, Who is not astonished, that, when He said these things to His Disciples, they should be prepared and ready to adhere to Him even to death ? For He did not deceive them by intimating, or promising to them, the things considered good in this life ; nor did He by any such means, allure them to give their adhesion to Him ; but, He simply foretold those obvious tortures which should, on His account, befall them. And (so) He previously shewed to Simon the mode of crucifixion, by which he afterwards closed his life in the city of Rome, in this which He said, "When thou shalt have become old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and others shall gird thy loins for thee." And similarly, He also shewed mystically in this which He said, "Whither I go. thou canst not now come; but, after a time, thou shalt come." Now, these things were not said to them all, but only to Peter ; because it is he alone, who, in the Scripture, (is said) should end his life after the manner of the suffering of our Saviour.
How He foretold to the rest of His Disciples, the persecutions which were about to arise time after time against them. From the Gospel of Matthew100.
27. "Beware of men, for they shall deliver you up to their Rulers, and shall scourge you in their Synagogues, and shall bring you, before governours and kings for my sake, for a testimony to themselves, and to the Gentiles." And again101, "Blessed are ye when they persecute you, and revile you, and say every evil (thing) against you, for my sake. Rejoice and exult, since great is your reward in heaven ; for so they persecuted the Prophets who were before you." Now, the wonder is this, (viz.) the additional word here saying, "for my sake." For it was not sufficient, that He should only foreknow and foretel the persecutions |264 which should arise against His Disciples; but, that He might also shew the cause of these, He said, they should suffer these things for His sake. Nor was it on account of any evil practices, nor yet for any other fault; but,--(as) He previously testified,--that every thing (of this sort) should befall them for His sake: which is present in the fact for our information ! For if any one, during the time of the persecutions, denied only that he was a Christian, he was released from all blame and cause of accusation. But, so irreprehensible and sinless were the lives of His Disciples to be, that they should suffer every sort of calamity for no other cause, except only their confessing, and giving testimony to, Him. He did indeed, fully stir up and make'them ready (for this), by comparing them with the ancient Prophets and Friends of God ; for102, (said He), even as they persecuted the Prophets who were before you, so shall they, without cause, drive you out; and, after the manner of the Prophets, shall ye be punished, because ye worship the God who is over all; on which account, they also persecuted the Prophets. Now that He should foretel, that even governours and kings should be moved by these things; that the time was then at hand; that He should (so) speak with His Disciples; and that His words should so come to pass and remain in fact, How greatly does it exceed (all) wonder ? For there have been many others, both Barbarians and Greeks, who have said and promised many wise things to their Disciples. Of these, some supposed that there was no God; others annihilated every consideration about Providence; and others (received) those who were thought Gods by the many: others arose (as) the leaders of vicious factions; others (who thought), that Rest103 was the extreme (good) : and others, that Rest indiscriminately was; and who indeed talked just as they might be circumstanced. But never did any one of these, |265 previously determine such things for His Disciples. Nor do we know of any persecutions that opposed them, such as those were that opposed the teaching of our Saviour. How then shall we not wonder, and confess, that these are indeed the words of God ?--these (I say), which not only previously attested, through the Divine foreknowledge, the persecutions which should come upon His Disciples; but also, previously pointed out the cause of these, by this which He said, that these things should happen to them, for His sake?
How those also who were equals should arise, and persecute each other, in the times of the persecutions. From the Gospel of Matthew104.
28. "The brother shall deliver his brother to death, and the father his son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake; but he, who shall bear even to the end, shall live." Now, how these things have, even to the present time, been fulfilled in fact, What need is there that we should shew at length, since these facts are superior to all report ? We have seen too with our own eyes, how many things of this sort took place, both during the persecutions, and in our own times. Nor do you simply hear this, that "the brother should deliver his brother to death;" for even this might have been as any mere matter of opinion. But we can investigate (the case), and inform ourselves how it was, that "the brother delivered his brother to death."-- When one surrenders himself to fraternal affection, and chooses the love of life, and denies God, and particularly with respect to his brother, whom he will solicit and persuade to worship idols; will excite and inveigle, putting forth (his) fraternal affection, so as to make him disregard the command of our Saviour; then indeed, will the |266 brother deliver up his brother to the death of his soul. In like manner also, will the father cause his son to err (by enticing), and will persuade him to worship the idols, and (so) deliver him to death. So also the children, their parents: they will, through their affection for them, (so) lead them on, that they will choose the mortal life which now is, rather than that which is with God; and will (so) become the cause, both of the death and perdition of the soul of their parents105. And many such things as these, did we witness with our own eyes, during the times of the persecutions ; so that in them was fulfilled the (prediction) : "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." In this place also was this addition carefully made, teaching the Disciples that, it should not be for any hateful deed, but for His name's sake, they should be hated.
On those who should impurely collect themselves into His Church, and on the punishment that should come upon them. From the Gospel of Matthew106.
29. "The kingdom of heaven is like a net that fell into the sea, and collected of every sort (of fish) ; and, when it was full, they drew it up to the shore, and sitting down they selected those that were good, and put them into vessels; but the bad, they threw away. Thus shall it be in the end of this world: the angels shall go forth, and shall separate the evil from among the just, and shall cast them into a fiery oven: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." The "net"--which is here (put) by a figure for the word,-- and which is woven (as it were) from the various mind of the old and new Scriptures, He names His own doctrine : the fluctuating life of man, which is subject to hardship in its doings on account of the calamities attending it, "the sea." Out of this (sort of) life, as from the sea, the "net," so foretold, was to catch up tens of thousands. And under it were to be (taken), the various multitudes of those opposed |267 to each other in their characters; and of these, the good and bad in their dispositions. Of these too he spoke mystically, as being caught up from the sea after the manner of fish, when He said in the first calling of His Disciples, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men107." This collecting together therefore of such men, bad and good, in His Church,--assembled (as they are) to this very time,-- was not unknown to Him : for He taught, that these same should at last be separated by the Angels, who should be appointed to this (work) ; and (so) should the punishment, due to the disposition of each one, be awarded.
How Impostors and Seducers should invest themselves with His Doctrine, and formally present themselves to Him. From the Gospel of Matthew 108.
30. "Beware of lying Prophets who come to you in lambs' clothing, but inwardly (are) rapacious wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them. For men do not gather grapes from thorns, nor figs from thistles. So every good tree produceth good fruit, but an evil tree giveth forth evil fruit." He (here) counselled (them) by His foreknowledge, to beware of those ungodly persons, who, availing themselves of the 109opinions of others, and of the words of the Scriptures of His Divinity, should in after times formally assume the name of Christianity. He also shews the marks and vouchers of the evil concealed within them, and which should deceive the many, when saying, "By their fruits ye shall know them." Now the fruits of such are these ; the ungodly words uttered by them; their unrighteous and perverse manner of life. These things then, when uttered and foretold by our Saviour, afforded at that time no visible testimony whatever to those who heard them, (as to their truth) ; but, in after times, the facts (so) declared became openly visible to all: the followers accordingly of |268 Marcion110, Valentinus111, Basilides112, and those other corrupters of souls, sprang up, (viz.) Bardesanes113, and that madman in opinion of yesterday, and of our own times, whose name became the titular badge of the Manichean114 |269 heresy; who all became the sources of lying and ungodly doctrine. Nor did they otherwise come to light, but as outwardly clothed with the skins of our Saviour's lambs. And He plainly styled His Disciples "sheep;" saying, "My sheep hear my voice115:" and again, "Behold, I send you as sheep among wolves116." Of these then they outwardly assumed the manner, while in themselves they were "rapacious wolves." (And), How many thousands of the sheep of our Saviour, did these Deceivers snatch away ? Who, presenting their persons in form as to Christ, attached themselves to His instruction, and to the terms of the doctrines relating to His Godhead, and exhibited themselves as (His) lambs ! But, that ungodly bitterness117 which lay (as) in ambush within them, adhered secretly to those who had been ensnared by them. These, therefore, who were now thought to be "sheep," because of their (thus) drawing near (to Him), openly appeared afterwards to be "rapacious wolves." |270 And hence, our Saviour taught us previously to beware of them, when He said by way of instruction, "By their fruits ye shall know them."
How even He and His Disciples should be thought to have taken men, by means of Magicians, and of intercourse with Demons.
31. "The disciple is not greater than his master, nor the servant than his lord. It is sufficient for the disciple that he be as his master, and for the servant, as his lord. And, if they have called the Lord of the house Beelzebub, How much more the children of his household? Fear them not therefore, for there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed; nor concealed that shall not be made known118." The Jews held that Beelzebub was an evil Demon, and prince of the Demons: they blasphemed our Saviour accordingly, (affirming) that by the power of this, He expelled the rest of the Demons from men 119. But, He returned the true answer to those who thought this, which is also written among His words. He foretold too, to His Disciples, that they also should be thought to overcome men, through intercourse with Demons and Magicians: which very thing, now affirmed by the many, has sealed and confirmed the prediction of our Saviour. He also gave His testimony, that this notion, (so) ascribed to them, should come to nothing, from (the consideration) of their lives, and conduct; their purity of doctrine, and that (inculcating) |271 the worship of God. He said therefore, "Fear them not; for there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed, nor concealed that shall not be made known." He therefore reproved these (Disciples), for a considerable time, because the things formerly escaping the many, had, on this account, been supposed (by them) to be incapable of publication; as also those, belonging to the doctrines of the (true) worship of God, of being made openly known. But, His ordinances and precepts have now been made known to every man ; and He has extinguished that (injurious) opinion respecting them, (His Disciples) which had formerly been held by the many120.
On those who should remain in complete holiness in His Church, and in the life inexperienced (in conjugal) Society. From the Gospel of Matthew.
32. When He determined for them, that (one) should not leave his wife except in the matter of fornication 121, and His Disciples said to Him, "If the cause of a man with the wife be thus, it is not advantageous to take wives;" It is written, that He said upon these things, "Every man is not sufficient for this matter, except those to whom it is given. There are eunuchs, who were, thus from their mothers' womb; and there are eunuchs, who were (made) eunuchs by men ; and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs, for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who can bear (it) let him bear (it)." It is evident from the context of the Scriptures, that there never was among men, and particularly among the Jews, any one who uttered by revelation any thing like this ; or, who did any thing like it: or that, throughout the whole creation and among all nations, whether in the cities or villages, there were multitudes, not of men (only), but also of women, who |272 kept122 themselves in perfect holiness, and the state of virginity, through the hope and expectation of the kingdom of heaven. We have seen in the very experiment itself, that they learned they should soon be prepared for this. The fulfilment however, of the claim to foreknowledge, was not simply (realized here); for we have seen many men, well known to us, who (actually) availed themselves of the iron (knife,) and made eunuchs of themselves for no other cause, except that of the hope of the kingdom of heaven: who neither hesitated, nor were weak in the doctrine of our Saviour, but simply and boldly betook themselves to the thing itself123. So that the foreknowledge of our Saviour, even respecting these things, sets to its seal, that His word was in truth the word of God. |273
On the distinction of those who should not worthily receive the seed of His doctrine. From the Gospel of Matthew.
33. When a great multitude of men had come near Him, He thus foretold by a parable what those should be, who should receive the seed of His doctrine, saying : "124Behold, a sower went forth to sow: and, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of heaven came and devoured it: and some fell on the rock, where there was not much earth, and immediately it sprang forth ; and, because there was no depth of earth beneath its root, it dried up. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up, and choked it: and some fell upon good ground, and it gave forth fruit, some an hundred, some sixty, and some thirty-fold. After these things He cried out and said, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" After this also, He was asked by His Disciples, what the interpretation of the parable should be; and He taught them, saying, " Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. Every one that heareth the word of the kingdom, but understandeth it not,--the Evil one cometh, and snatcheth the seed out of his heart. This is that which is sown by the ivay side. And that which is sown upon the rock, is he who heareth the word, and with readiness receiveth it: but, not being confirmed therein, he is offended by a little affliction. And that which fell among the thorns, is he who heareth the word, but the care of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and it remaineth without fruit. But that which is sown on good ground, is he who heareth the word, and understandeth it, and produceth fruit, some an hundred, some sixty, and some thirty-fold." Now, Whence could it have happened to human nature, not only to declare bv (one's) foreknowledge something that should come into being; but also, to determine the kinds and sorts of persons (who should), unless indeed He were truly THE WORD of God ?--He (I say), who at that time (so) prophesied and taught;--of whom it is said, "The WORD OF GOD is lively (energetic), and more sharp and cutting than the two-edged sword, and passeth even to the parts of the |274 soul and of the body, and of the joints and marrow; and is the Judge of the thoughts and intentions of the heart, and from whom no creature is hidden125?" He well declared therefore, the distinguishing marks of those who should afterwards receive His doctrines; and He also foretold, that those who should in impurity receive the seed of His instruction, should be of three kinds; as should in like manner the good, who should like good ground hear much, and give great increase to the word itself. Of those corrupters of the seed too, which should fall into their souls, He declared there should be three (moving) causes : Either from the considerations of life, and the care of things not (absolutely) necessary, and from riches and pleasures, immersing (as it were) the seed sown within them, and making it resemble the seed choked by thorns: or, others not receiving it into the depth of the mind, but immediately extinguishing it when affliction overtakes them: or, the third cause may be, that the source of the destructions of the seed within them is, the surrendering of a lax and ready hearing to (men) wishing to seduce them, and to snatch away the seed that had fallen into their souls. And these same are, in no other way cut off from bearing the fruit that is of God, except as by one or other of the means just mentioned. But those who are opposed to these, and receive the seed of salvation into a soul that is pure, and a mind that is devoted, do again, as their power may be, greatly increase their fruits. He moreover assimilates the distinctions of these, to those of good and excellent lands which bring forth some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred-fold. For such as these powers are, are those occasionally found in the souls of men. These things therefore, He prophesied on these matters. But, of the |275 multitude of those who should in after-times bear (much) fruit, through the instruction of His words, He thus cried out and said, "The harvest is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth labourers into His harvest126." And again, of these same He said on another occasion : "Do not ye yourselves say, that there are yet four months, and the harvest cometh ? Lift up your eyes, and see the fields that they are white for the harvest127!" And, Who does not wonder, that He should shew even the fewness of those who should in purity be the chiefs of His word, for He said, "The labourers are few?" And, as prayer was necessary for the obtaining of these, He said therefore, "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that He send forth labourers into His harvest." When He said therefore, "The sower went out to sow," He also said, that there was another sower, and another seed ; and He also shewed and taught, whence, and whither, he went forth by the things said in the parable immediately following this, which is in this form:--
On the teaching of Heterodoxy128, which should be sown together with His word in the souls of men. From the Gospel of Matthew.
34. He added another Parable, and said: "The kingdom of heaven is like to a man, who sowed good seed in his field. But, when men slept, the Enemy came and sowed Tares among the wheat, and departed. When therefore, the wheat sprang forth and produced fruit, the Tares appeared in like manner. And his servants drew near and said to him : Our Lord, Didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? Whence are there Tares in it ? But he said to them, The man (who is) the Enemy hath done this. They say to him: Is it thy will therefore, that we go (and) gather them ? But he |276 said to them, No; lest, while ye gather the Tares, ye also root up the wheat with them. Let them both grow until the harvest. And at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather up first the Tares, and bind them in bundles for burning; but gather ye the wheat into the granaries129" (lit. treasuries). This same Parable too, He explained to His Disciples in the house, when they drew near to Him and said, "Explain to us the Parable of the Tares of the field. And He answered them, and said: The sower of the good seed is the Son of man; and the field is the world. (As to) the good seed, these are the children of the kingdom; and the Tares, those are the children of the wicked one; and the Enemy, who sowed them, is the Accuser. And the harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the Angels. Even therefore, as the Tares are gathered up, and fall into the fire; so shall it be at the end of this world. The Son of man shall send His Angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all offences, and those that do evil, and shall cast them into the Gehenna130 of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And then shall the righteous shine in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Our Saviour shewed therefore, by His explanation of the Parable, these things (viz.), who the sower that went out to sow the seed was, and what the seed was which He cast forth, in the expressions: "The sower of the good seed is the Son of man ; and the field is the world." For He usually called Himself the "Son of man," on account of His going about among men131. He therefore went forth from |277 within132, and came out. Where then was He within, but above the world ? where (indeed) He existed; and in the end of the world133 He came forth, and came down to us, who were without (out of) the kingdom of heaven. And with Him He brought the heavenly seed, which He sowed in the souls of men as in distinguished lands. For the Parable placed before us teaches respecting the field, as of what sort it is, into which He cast the seed;--which says, "The field is the world;" and it shews of this field, that it belongs to none but Himself;--to Him who came forth from the inner part of His kingdom, to those who were "without" (out of it), when saying, "the servants drew near and said to Him, "Our Lord, didst not thou sow good seed in THY field?" He therefore taught plainly, that even this field is His own : and this He interpreted and shewed, was the world. In the former Parable therefore, He shewed His foreknowledge as to what the distinctions of those would be, who should receive the seed into their souls; but in this, which is placed before us, the perverse doctrines and errors of the ungodly Hereticks: when not one of them had yet so established himself among men! Nevertheless, it was not unknown to Him that this should come to pass. For, as false scriptures were scattered as seed in succeeding times throughout the whole earth, with enouncements assimilated to those of His doctrine, by an opposing nature, not unlike the Tares (sown) among His pure words and life-giving doctrines134;--and there are myriads even to this time, some of whom make their boast of Manes, some of Marcion, and some of others, of those (I say) who put forth ungodly heterodoxy, and "Tares" (as it were), assimilated to the doctrine of our Saviour; making use of His name, and holding false books of the Gospels:--but he who was the Father of these things; |278 --he who first sowed them in the souls of those who received him, was the Accuser himself: so He (our Saviour) well evinced, by the Divine power, the foreknowledge of what should come to pass; and these things He previously testified, which have been thus fulfilled in fact; and accordingly their fulfilment was, as His words (had foreshewn). As He therefore truly shewed forth these things, and as we see in the facts themselves, the fulfilment of these predictions of our Saviour; so ought we also to think, that the rest shall come to pass. And these are, "the harvest,"" "the end," and "the angels the reapers:" also that the Tares shall be gathered, and shall fall into the fire:--the extreme good things too of those, who shall have preserved and multiplied the living, pure, and life-giving seed ; of whom it is said, "Then shall the righteous shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father."
On those who should falsely name themselves the Christ. From the Gospel of Matthew135.
35. "When He sat on the mount of Olives, His Disciples drew near, saying between themselves and Him, Tell us, When shall these things be ? and What is the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world ? And Jesus answered them, and said, See that no man deceive you: for many shall come in my name, and shall say, I am the Christ; and shall deceive many" And again, after a few things He said, "136If at that time any one say to you, the Christ is here, or there; believe ye not. For false Christs shall arise, and false Prophets, and shall give great signs and wonders, so that if it were possible they should deceive even the elect. Behold, I have foretold (it) to you137. If therefore they shall say to you, Behold, He is in the desert, go not forth; or, Behold, He is in the chamber, (it) not. For, as the lightning shineth from the |279 East, and is seen even to the West; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be" And on another occasion, when speaking with the Jews, He added these things and said, "138I am come in the name of my Father, and ye receive me not; but, if another come in his own name, him ye will receive." These things He foretold when warning His Disciples against the lying Antichrist, whom they were expecting: and one (of these) shewed of another in the Epistle to the Thessalonians, who (should be) in (the time of) the end139. But, that others also should be before this, our Saviour Himself foretold in several places: "For many," said He, "shall come in my name, and shall say, I am the Christ, and shall deceive many." And there were many (such) after (these) His words. And so the Samaritans were forthwith persuaded that Dositheus140, who was after the times of our Saviour, was the prophet of whom |280 Moses predicted 141. And he so deceived them, that they declared he was the Christ. Others again, in the times of the Apostles, named Simon Magus "the great power of God142" and thought that he was the Christ. Others (thought the same) of Montanus143 in Phrygia: and others again, of others, in another place. Nor did the deceivers cease. And it is necessary we should suppose, that there were many such as these; so that even from them, testimony may be had, as to the reality of our Saviour's foreknowledge. Our Saviour taught moreover, that His glorious second coming should not again be, as it was at the first, in some one place, so that it may be supposed to be visible in some corner of the earth: and, that no one should thus think, He said, "If any one shall say to you, Behold, the Christ is here, or is there, believe ye not." For opinions such as these comport by no means with Him, but with those false Christs and false Prophets. He indeed appeared once in the form of man, and in a certain district. But, of what sort his glorious second coming from heaven should be, He taught and said, "For, as the lightning goeth forth144 |281 from the East, and is seen even to the West; so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be."
On the events that should happen at the end of things. From the Gospel of Matthew145.
36. "Ye shall hear indeed of wars, and rumours of wars: see that ye be not moved, for it is necessary they should be; but the End is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there shall be famines and pestilences, and commotions6 in divers places. And all these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they give you up to affliction, and shall kill you in divers places. And all these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they give you up to affliction, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake." And after this He added, and said, "146Then shall many stumble, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. And, because of the abundance of iniquity, the love of many shall wax cold. But he, who shall bear until the End, shall live. And the Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for the testimony of all nations; and then cometh the End." He clearly foretold also by these things, that His |282 Gospel should, of necessity, first be preached in the whole creation, for the testimony of all nations, "and then should the END come." For the END of the world should not come, before (the Gospel) had been preached; but, when His word should have so taken effect among all nations, that the people should be few, among whom His Gospel had not been preached; so also should the time of the END 147 be short (in its coming). He further teaches and |283 says, "Ye shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars: see that ye be not moved, for it is necessary they should be; but the End is not yet." He also shews when this shall be, for He says, "The Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole creation, for the testimony of all nations: and then cometh the end." When also, "famines and pestilences, and commotions (shall be) in divers places, and nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" and there shall be overwhelming persecutions, and great afflictions. After these things too, He says, "And ye shall be hated of all nations" not on account of any other hateful acts, but "for my name's sake148."
37. These proofs of the Divine manifestation of our Saviour, which we have thus far seen, are at the same time demonstrative, that both the words and deeds (had in view) are Divine. For in former times, the words were simply heard; but now, in our times, the fulfilment of these words is openly visible in deed, together with powers eclipsing those of all mortal nature. And, if men will not be persuaded by these, we ought not to wonder: because it is usual with man so to resist things the most plain, as even to dare to oppose by his words the existence of an universal Providence; and hence also, to deny God himself! And thus also, will he disingenuously contend against many other things, to which the truth bears testimony. But, as the injurious conduct of these detracts in no respect from the word, which is in its own nature true; so also will the wicked unbelief of men, in no way injure the evident excellency of the Godhead of our Saviour. But, if it is right |284 that we should compose, for these also, a form (of prescription) conducing to intellectual health ; it is time that we should here again present, for their use, (other) proofs of the (truth of the) Gospel, and now also recite the things, which have formerly been investigated with reference to other (objectors), as to those who will not be persuaded by the things (hitherto) said.
The End of the Fourth Book (of Eusebius) of Caesarea.
[Selected footnotes. Notes concerned only with points of the Syriac and large chunks of Greek have been omitted]
1. 1 Syr. [Syriac], lit. his child: but, as this is probably a translation of the Greek pai~j, which signifies boy, and thence either child or servant-boy, I have thought it best to render it by the English, boy, which is equally indefinite with the Greek.
2. 2 Alluding, perhaps, to Gen. xxxii. 25-28, comp. with Hos. xii. 4.
3. 3 This and the following recital are taken, in the main, from Matt, viii. 5. seq. with the addition of "beloved," (Syr. [Syriac]) from the parallel passage in Luke vii. 2. It differs considerably from the Peschito, and is probably the rendering of our Syriac Translator, with the words of the Peschito, however, in his memory. The greatest variety consists in this, that our text has here, Chiliarch (Syr. [Syriac]) Captain of a thousand, instead of Centurion of the Greek and Syriac Scriptures. I have accordingly given Chiliarch in my translation. This reading is certainly extraordinary.
4. 2 I have not thought it necessary here to follow the verbiage of the Syriac, which gives, [Syriac]. Of those who reside at the risings of the day, and in quarters of the East, and at the settings of the Sun. I add this merely for the sake of the Student of the Syriac.
5. 1 Lit. Spaniards and Gauls.
6. 2 It is commonly assumed by the Roman Catholics, that Christianity was unknown in Britain until Austin the Monk introduced it at the command of Gregory the Great. With how much truth this is done the reader will see, when he finds that the Fathers generally asserted the contrary. See the "Lux Evangelica" of Fabricius, and Stillingfleet's " Origines Ecclesiae Britannicae."
7. 3 Matt. viii. 11.
8. 4 Luke xiii. 28, 29.
9. 5 Matt. iv. 18.
10. 1 As an extract from the Greek original of this place has been preserved in the Imperial Library of Vienna (Lambecii xlii. Nesselii lxxi.) and which has been kindly communicated to me by its learned Librarian Dr Kopitar, through the intervention of the Right Honourable Lord Napier, I shall here give it. I give Dr Kopitar's whole transcript. " Exscriptum e Codice Theol. graeco. Vindob. fol. 240. v. ad Luc. v. 6. de reti rupto: Eu0sebi/ou ev0aggelik~ qeofa& .:. -- rubro colore. Parakeleu&etai me\n pe&trw o9 KC. xala&sai ei0j a1gran ta_ di/ktua. o9 de\ to_ prostetagme/non e0poi/ei: w9j de\ sune/kleisan plh~qoj i0xqu&wn polu_. kai\ dierrh&gnuto ta_ di/ktua tw~ plh&qei barou&mena, proskalou~ntai me\n ei0j boh&qeian tou_j e0n tw~ geitniw~ni+ ploi/w. ei0t a0nelku&santej tou_j i0xqu&aj, plhrou~sin a1mfw ta_ ska&fh. w9j ki+nduneu&ein au0ta_ budi+sqh~nai: e0f0 oi[j o9 pe&troj a0poqauma&saj e0cepla&gh. a0na&cio&n te e9auto_n th~j srio&n (?) e0piba&sewj w9molo&gei :-- seq. rub. grh& qeolog.:."
Another extract, with which I was favoured through the same channnel, will be found in Book v. sect. 38.
11. 2 The Greek Orat. de laudd. Constant. extract extends to this place.
12. 1 This is given above as a principle.
13. 2 Our author here speaks as an inhabitant of Caesarea.
14. 1 Matt. v. 14-16.
15. 3 Is. ix. 1, 2.
16. 1 If it should be imagined, that Eusebius intended above to assign any preeminence to Peter in the work of evangelizing the world, this place would be sufficient to correct any such notion. Peter was, as the primary Apostle of the Gentiles, very highly honoured: it was Paul nevertheless, who, after his conversion, became the most abundant labourer of them all.
17. 2 John viii. 12, &c.
18. 3 Ib. i. 9.
19. 4 Matt. x. 27, 28.
20. 6 Matt, xxviii. 18, to the end. The differences from the Peschito are slight, and such as to shew, as before, that the Translator having the words of the Peschito in his mind, rather translated afresh than followed it literally.--All these headings following are, in the MS. given as Rubrics.
21. 1 Ps. ii. 8. Cited also, Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iv. cap. x. p. 162. D.
22. 2 I do not see how this could come out of the mouth of an Arian.
23. 3 The place here referred to is Deut. xxxii. 8, as given in the Version of the Septuagint: where we have, [Greek] Out of this seems to have originated the notion of Angels presiding over the several regions of the Earth: and, thence, among the heathen, of Demons doing this: a notion prevailing far and wide in the East at this very day. The Hebrew has here, "Children of Israel;" whence the notion among the Jews, that there were 72 nations on the earth, and as many languages; because this was the number supposed to have gone down with Jacob into Egypt. The whole however, is a gross mistake, which has arisen out of a false interpretation of the Hebrew term [Hebrew], signifying enumeration, as well as number. The sense of the place will then be, according to the enumeration, (account or statement) of the children of Israel: i. e. as found in their Scriptures. This Scripture is also quoted, Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iv. cap. vii; but the reasoning differs. See also ib. cap. x. p. 163. See also Origen contra Cels. Lib. v. p. 250, &c. An extract is given from the Theophania, in the "Scriptorum Veterum Nova Collectio," Tom. viii. p. 91, by Signior Angelo Mai in these words: [Greek] If this extract belongs to any part of this work, it must, I suppose, be to this; as I know of no other place at all like it, From the letter Beta being attached to the extract, one would imagine that the second Book was meant; but certainly, our second Book contains no such matter. All I can see in it, I must confess, is, that the writer of the Codex mentioned by Signior Mai only intended to give a sort of Comment on this place of the Theophania, and one which seems to have come originally from the Jews: it being much of a piece with the traditionary nonsense entertained by that people, but quite foreign to the manner of Eusebius, who never indulges in cabbalistic reasoning of this sort. Nor is the Signior (now Cardinal) correct when he says:--"Theophania, seu publica Christi vita, (Luc. cap. 3 )": neither the term, nor the contents of the work, nor the Scripture cited, justifying such an assertion. Nor does the word a0nefa&nh|, referred to, even hint at the existence of this work. All the passage in the Chronicon intends evidently is, that our Lord appeared (a0nefa&nh|) in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar. The Cardinal tells us moreover, that he has discovered xviii. other fragments of this work, which he has printed in the second edition of his first volume. But this edition I have not yet been able to find in this country; I can say nothing therefore about these extracts.
24. 1 A very common term, used to designate the true religion: it is also frequently used in the Hebrew Bible in this sense.
25. 2 Alluding to the denial of Peter. Matt. xxvi. 74.
26. 3 Luke xxiv. 44. seq.
27. 1 The phraseology of the Syriac deserves notice here. It runs thus, literally, In the whole hearing (i. e. understanding) therefore of all the nations has He made these His words ; being varied and translated, &c. The term [Syriac] is used here, and signifies, as it does also above, Book in. sect. 39, the understanding of languages.
28. 4 Matt. xxvi. 13, &c. cited by Theodoret. Gr. affect. curat. Ed. Gaisford, p. 448. Chrysost. Hom. Matt. 81. Edit. Montf. Tom. vii. p. 705.
29. 1 The term this (Syr. [Syriac]) may, indeed, here refer to the woman just named : I am disposed rather to think that it refers to this gospel, or doctrine, termed [Syriac] above.
30. 2 Matt. xvi. 15. seq. As this passage is important, I give the Syriac of it here, which stands thus: [Syriac]. Justin Martyr takes this passage in the same way : (Dialog. cum Tryphone. p. 255. 48. Ed. Sylburg,) [Greek]. Euthymius gives the sense thus: Thou art Peter, as about to be a rock of the faith, after the denial (of Christ); or, as already being firm in mind: thence, upon this firmness I will build my Church,, or, I will lay thee (as) a foundation of the Believers. For the Church are the Believers, &c. [Greek] See Hammond's admirable note on this place. It is also thus given in the Syriac, (in this MS.) in the work of Titus Bishop of Bozrah on the Manicheans, near the end. [Syriac] That is: " On this rock do I build my Church, and the gate-bars of Hull shall not prevail against it." 'He calls every thing therefore gate-bars, by means of which those, who should take upon themselves a complete readiness to encounter the death of martyrdom, for the sake of the fear of God. And, after a few other things, when Simon said to Him,' " Thou art the Christ," 'He returned the answer,' " Upon this rock do I build my Church." -- 'Upon what? Upon this faith, that' "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God." -- He goes on to say, not as the mad Manes affirms of Him, that the Messiah is the five elements. -- He might have added, -- and probably would, had the thing existed in his days, -- nor as the arrogant Papists do, that by "Cephas" (Peter), is here meant the Popes of Rome.
31. 1 Matt. x. 34. seq.
32. 2 Luke xii. 51. seq.
33. 1 Eusebius has, in his Eccl. Hist. occasionally mentioned this
Gospel: e. g. as apocryphal, Lib. iii. cap. xxv. [Greek]. " Sed et in eundem ordinem (i.e. apocr.) jam a quibusdam relatum est
Evangelium secundum Hebraeos, quo maxime delectantur Hebraei illi qui Christi
fidem susceperunt." Again, as retained by the Ebionites and their
followers, ib. cap. xxvii. And again, as spoken of by Papias, and said by him to
have been written by Matthew, and to have contained the history of the
adulteress (John viii.) ib. cap. xxxix. And again, (Lib. iv. cap. xxii.)
Hegesippus is said to have cited some things from the Gospel of the Hebrews, and
also the Syriac one. This last however was, no doubt, one and the same with the
Hebrew one, and so called because written in the Syro-Chaldaic dialect in Hebrew
letters. It was by Jerome translated, into both the Greek and Latin languages :
a copy of the original being, in his days, preserved in the Library of Caesarea,
which had been formed by Pamphilus the Martyr and Friend of Eusebius. See Jerome
on Isaiah, cap. xi. and Matt. xviii. And the note of Valesius, p. 47. See also
Jones on the Canon of the New Testament, Vol. i. pt. 2. cap. xxv. seq. -- As
this passage of the Gospel (so called) of the Hebrews, does not appear to have
been cited by any ecclesiastical or other writer, 1 have thought it right to
give it as it stands in the Syriac.
It may be remarked, that Eusebius does here cite this passage as worthy of credit, although he does not ascribe any divine authority directly to it. Mr Jones has, in his very excellent work on the Canon of the New Testament, affimed that Eusebius had never so cited this Gospel--which, indeed, had not appeared in the then known works of Eusebius. Still, this cannot be adduced, as in any way affecting the character of our acknowledged Gospels. I am very much disposed to think with Grotius, &c. that this was the original Gospel of St. Matthew, greatly interpolated by the heretical Jews who had received it. See Jones, l. c.
34. 2 The passage differs here from the citation above, in the omission of [Syriac], these things; which might have been omitted as unnecessary to the argument.
35. 3 Matt. xxi. 33. seq. This subject is prosecuted much at length on the predictions given from the Old Testament, in the Demonstr. Evang. Lib, ii. cap. iii. seq.
36. 3 1 Kings xix. 10-14. Rom. xi. 3.
37. 1 Matt. xxi. 42. Mark xii. 10, 11. Luke xx. 17; comp. Acts iv. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 7.
38. 2 Is. xxviii. 16. 1 Pet. ii. 6.
39. 3 Ps. cxviii. 22, 23.
40. 4 Matt. xxi. 45. seq. with a few unimportant varieties from the Peschito: and the same may be said generally of all these quotations from Scripture.
41. 5 Matt. xxii. 1-10, with some unimportant varieties from the Peschito, as before.
42. 1 Matt. x. 5, 6.
43. 2 [Greek] Sophronius, as cited by Fabricius, Salut. Lux Evang. p. 101, who shews that it was Herod Agrippa who put him to death, in the 44th year of Claudius. Acts xii. 2.
44. 3 The Syr. has [Syriac]. By ([Syriac]) "throne" is here necessarily meant the Episcopal chair of that Church: which agrees well with the judgment which James is said to have given, Acts xv. 19; and where Peter gives his opinion, not as a Judge, but as a mere individual concerned in the question at issue. See also Fabricii Salutaris Lux Evang. p. 47, &c.
45. 4 Hist. Eccl. Euseb. Lib. ii. cap. xxiii.
46. 1 So styled here perhaps, because written by Josephus after he had attached himself to the Romans, and had dedicated it to the Roman Emperor.
47. 2 His History of the Jewish Wars.
48. 4 Matt, xxii, 10-14.
49. 5 Matt, xxiii. 33. seq. agreeing, with a few variations, with the Peschito.
50. 7 Acts v. 41.
51. 9 See sect. 10, above, note.
52. 1 James the Less, called the " Brother of the Lord" in the Scripture. See Euseb. Hist. Eccles. Lib. ii. cap. xxiii.
53. 2 According to some this was Simon Peter, others say that Simon the son of Cleopas was the person; and this is the account of Hegesippus, as preserved by Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. Lib. iv. cap. xxii. [...]
54. 3 The meaning of our author is,--according to the principle formerly laid down,--that, as that prediction had been completely fulfilled, we can entertain no reasonable doubt as to other declarations then made.
55. 4 Matt, xxiii. 37. Luke xiii. 34.
56. 5 Syr. [Syriac], lit. and the. captivity and Temple they burnt.; which must, I suppose, mean the City.
57. 1 Haggai ii, 9
58. 2 Imitated by Theodoret (Gr. affect. curat. Ed. Gaisford, p. 446.) [...]
59. 1 Luke xix. 41. seq.
60. 2 Ps. lxxii. 7.
61. 3 Eph. ii. 17.
62. 4 John xiv. 27.
63. 5 Luke xix. 42, 43.
64. 6 Ib. ver. 44.
65. 1 Luke xxi. 20. seq.
66. 2 Ver. 21. [...] Cited also by Origen (contra Cels. Lib. ii. p. 69,) and ably commented upon. He also says (ib.), that Phlegon allows in his Chronicon that our Lord's predictions did come to pass. This author moreover gave an account of the eclipse of the Sun which took place at the crucifixion. See Spencer's note on the place, (p. 35, notes.)
67. 4 Our author might have added much, if he had chosen to do so, from the Prophets, confirmatory of this position. I will supply an instance or two. In Isaiah xxiv. 1. we are told that " the. Lord maketh the earth (read, the land, i.e. of Judea) empty, and maketh it waste...and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof." 3. " The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled."...5 because they have transgressed the laws,... broken the everlasting covenant." 6. "Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth (the land).. .therefore the inhabitants of the earth (land) are burned (comp. Deut. xxxii. 22--27) . . . 20. "And it shall fall, and NOT RISE AGAIN." Verse 23. identifies this prediction with those here cited by Eusebius, viz. Matt. xxiv. and Luke xxi. The conversion of the Gentiles is, moreover, beautifully touched upon ib. ver. 13-16. Comp. ch. xxv. 1. seq. In ch. xxvi. the same subject is taken up, and in ver. 5, 6, we have literally described, the TRAMPLING DOWN of this impious city. See also xxvi. ver. 10, 11, and xxviii. 18, also xxix. 1--7: 9--20, which are all obvious and direct predictions of these times: and to these many similar ones might be added. Let those who hold a restoration of the Jews look to this. See also Ezek. v, vi, vii, throughout with the parallel places, as given in the margins of the common Bibles. A large number of passages to this effect are cited from Isaiah, by our author, Demonstr. Evang. Lib. ii. xxx.--xxxvii. &c.
68. 5 Luke xxi. 24. But, because a1xri, " until," occurs here, many have been induced to think and to argue, that, still there must be a restoration of the Jews to satisfy this ! See Demonstr. Evang. Lib. vii. p. 321. D. and Origen contra Cels. Lib. ii. p. 62, &c. it. Lib. iv. pp. 174-5, [...]
69. 1 So also Eccl. Hist. Lib. iv. cap. vi. (Edit. 1G95.) p. 95. seq. where (p. 96 B.) the words used are an echo of these: [...] The testimony of Tertullian, very much to the same effect, will be found in the Bishop of Lincoln's valuable work, " The Eccles. Hist, of the second and third Centuries;" &c. Camb. 1826. p. 162.
70. 2 Ib. B.
71. 3 The word "great" (Syr. [Syriac]) used above, is omitted here. Luke xxi. 23,24.
72. 4 Luke ib. ver. 23.
73. 6 [...] Luke xxi. 21, 22.
74. 7 Hudson's edition. Tom. ii. Lib. vi. p. 3274, line 27.
75. 2 Deut, xxviii. 56, 57. "The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, and toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee." See all the preceding verses, 52 seq. Comp. Lam. ii. 11; iv. 3, 10, 11. Ezek. v. 9, 13, 16, 17. These predictions were, indeed, dreadfully fulfilled to the very letter !
76. 3 Matt. xxiv. 21.
77. 4 Hudson's Josephus, Tom. ii. Lib. v. cap. 10, p. 1246, line 41.
78. 5 There is a considerable omission here in our Syriac text of Josephus: but, as the matter omitted could have but little reference to the objects had in view by Eusebius; there is no reason to suppose, the text of Josephus himself to be redundant on this account.
79. 6 The Syriac is worded rather extraordinarily here ; which I notice for the mere sake of the Student. It stands thus : [Syriac]. Lit, For they destroyed the city, and forced the Romans, when they were unwilling, to be recorded (as having taken part) in a sad victory.
80. 2 "The times of the Gentiles" must, I think, mean those times previously spoken of in the Scriptures, during which the Gentiles should retain their ancient state and power. That is, during the last part of Daniel's fourth monarchy, in which it is foretold they should have the rule. After this, during the fifth kingdom the saints are to have the rule, these therefore, must be their times, not, scripturally speaking, "the times of the Gentiles." Our author is therefore, wrong in this place. See the Introduction to his work. He is not the only one who has taken it in this sense, as may be seen by referring to Poole's Synopsis, &c.
81. 3 John iv. 19-24.
82. 4 The places had here in view are Deut. xi. 29; xxvii. 4. seq. Josh, viii. 30. seq. The Samaritans, it appears, have introduced a large number of spurious readings into the Text of their edition of the Hebrew Pentateuch, and, among others, one ascribing a higher degree of honour to mount Gerizim, than to Hebal: for which Dr Kennicott, some years ago, considered it his duty to contend. See my Prolegomena to Mr Bagster's Polyglott Bible, Prolog, ii. sect. i. xxi. seq. where I have shewn that much relating to this controversy had not been duly understood.
83. 1 John x. 14-17.
84. 2 Matt. xv. 24.
85. 3 These Jews, according to our author, Demonstr. Evang. Lib. ii. xxxvi. cap. iv. p. 63. seq. constituted the Remnant, which it had frequently been foretold should be saved. And in this he was certainly right. Examine these places, and comp. Rom. xi. 5, &c.
86. 4 So also in our author's Eccles. Hist. Book, Lib. iv. cap. v.
87. 1 Ps. xxiii. 1.
88. 2 Ps. LXXX. 1.
89. 3 This is no direct citation of Scripture: it is perhaps, as on a former occasion, (above p. 18, note,) the general sense only of some one or two verses. The most likely appear to me to be Is. XL. 10, 11.
90. 4 John xii. 23, 24.
91. 5 These however were probably Hellenistic Jews; for we are told that "there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast." They might, indeed, have been proselytes: but the former supposition is the most probable.
92. 7 Syr. [Syriac] lit. words, or reasons, of the seed. The reader will bear in mind, that [Syriac], has often been used, in this work, in the sense of invigorating, efficient, cause, and the like, as derived from Him who is termed THE WORD, [Syriac]. See Book i. sect. 76. above, with the note.
93. 1 Alluding perhaps to Luke xv. 32.
94. 2 Matt. ix. 37. Luke x. 2.
95. 3 2 John iv. 35.
96. 4 Matt. iii. 12. Luke iii. 17.
97. 5 John xiii. 33.
98. 6 Ib. ver. 30.
99. 7 John xxi. 18, 19.
100. 8 Chap. x. 17.
101. 9 Chap. v. 11, 12.
102. 1 A paraphrastical exposition of Matt. v. 12. Luke vi. 23.
103. 3 See above, Book ii. par. 19, p. 80. with the notes.
104. 4 Chap. x. 21. seq. This place, as in other instances, differs slightly from the Peschito. It is cited for the same purpose by Theodoret, Graec. affect, curat. p. 446. Ed. Gaisford. [...]
105. 1 This is a far-fetched, and unnecessary, interpretation. The intention of the passage seems to be,--what indeed the commentators usually make it,--that, as there should be divisions in families, (Luke xii. 52, 53,) those who were opposed to our Lord, should betray and give up those who were His followers: a thing which in all probability took place.
106. 2 Chap. xiii. 47. seq.
107. 3 See above, par. 6.
108. 4 Chap. vii. 1.5, 16, 17, and as before, differing slightly from the Peschito.
109. 6 I. e. Heterodoxy.
110. 1 Syr. [Syriac]. Marcion himself was a native of Pontus, and lived in the times of Anicetus the eleventh Bishop of Rome. He enlarged upon the errors of Cerdon his immediate predecessor, who had espoused and laboured to propagate the opinions of Simon Magus. Marcion was an open blasphemer of God, and corrupter of the Scriptures. He was one of those who forbade marriage, and urged the abstaining from certain meats, and in this, he seems to have agreed with the Manicheans and Saturninians: in many things with the Simonians, Basilidians, Bogomilians, Audeans, &c. This heresy had, in the times of Epiphanius, extended itself to Italy, Egypt, Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Cyprus, and Persia. See Grabe's Irenaeus, p. 104, with the notes and references.
111. 2 Syr. [Syriac]. So called after their leader Valentinus, who came to Rome in the times of Hyginus, and lived during those of Pius, and to those of Anicetus. His doctrines had originated in Simon Magus, which he very gradually and cautiously endeavoured to introduce into the Church. For which he was eventually deprived of communion. See Euseb. Hist. Eccl. Index. It. Grabe.
112. 3 Syr. [Syriac]. So called after Basilides their leader. He waa a native of Alexandria, and flourished in the times of Hadrian. He received his doctrines, which were those of Simon Magus, from Menander, in which marriage was forbidden, and the abstaining from certain meats was urged. See Grabe's Irenaeus, p. 96, with the notes and I ndex.
113. 4 He was a native of Mesopotamia, and flourished in the times of M. Aurelius and L. Verus. He first attached himself to Valentinus; but afterwards wrote against him and his doctrines. He is said to have been a very elegant and acute writer: but he never purged himself, as it should seem, from the Gnostic heresy. See Euseb. Eccl. Hist. Lib. iv. cap. xxx. Asseman. Bible. Orient. Tom. i. p. 47, &c. as marked in the Index: particularly p. 389, note.
114. 6 Manes, (or, as the modern Persians name him, [Persian], Mani, the Syrians [Syriac] Manni,) was a Persian by birth, and, according to the Chronicon of Edessa (Asseman. Bibl. Orient. Tom. i. p. 393, note) was born A. D. 240. He entered Mesopotamia in A. D. 261, when he came to Archelaus Bishop of the Caschari, for the purpose of disputing on the subject of religion: but, being overcome, he secretly withdrew himself to Persia. He was there taken by the king, flayed alive, and exposed to dogs. He was strenuous in advancing the old oriental doctrine of the two Principles, good, and bad, among Christians; of which marked traces remain to this day among the Mohammedans of Persia, as may be seen in the celebrated work of Kuleini, under the figures of Intellect and Folly, (see my Persian Controversies, p. 175, and note,) as also in the Dabistan, ascribed to Mohsin Fani. He held with the Gnostics, that Christ was a mere Phantom; he put it forth that himself was the Christ, and the Comforter (Paraclete): and his twelve Disciples accordingly proscribed marriage as being of the Devil, &c. See Theodoret, Haeret. Fab. i. xxvi. Tom. iv. with the Index. Epiphan. de Mens. et Pond. as cited by Asseman. A Syriac translation of the work of Titus, Bishop of Bozra, against this heresy, is to be found in the volume from which I take this work of Eusebius. All these, according to Hegesippus, as preserved by Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. Lib. iv. cap. xxii.) originated from Thebuthis, who, being mortified because not made a Bishop, set about secretly to corrupt the Church. He was of one of the seven sects then spread abroad among the Jews. Out of which also arose Simon, whence the Simonians: also Cleobius, Dositheus, Gortheus, Masbotheus; whence also Menander, Marcion, Carpocrates, Valentinus, Basilides, &c. &c. Hence also the false Christs, false Apostles, false Prophets, &c. See the notes of Valesius, Ed. 1695, p. 69. seq.
115. 6 John x. 27.
116. 7 Matt. x. 16: comp. Luke x. 3. Cited also by Theodoret, Gr. affect. curat. Ed. Gaisford, p. 446.
117. 8 Syr. [Syriac], which, I think, should be read [Syriac]: the intention of our author evidently being, to give an equivalent to the "amarum et maligni principis apostasies serpentis venenum" of Irenaeus, Edit. Grabe. p. 105.
118. 1 Matt. x. 24, 25, 26. Differing slightly from the Peschito, as before. Cited partly by Theodoret, Gr. affect. curat. Ed. Gaisford, p. 447.
119. 2 Matt. ix. 84; xii. 34. Mark iii. 22. Nothing was more common, among both the Jews and heathens, than the accusation of Magic against the miraculous powers of Christ, and of His immediate followers. (See Wetstein on Matt. xii. 24.) "The Heathen," says Bingham,..."because our Saviour and his followers did many miracles, which they imputed to evil arts, and the power of magic,....therefore generally declaimed against them as magicians, and under that character exposed them to the fury of the vulgar," &c. From the prevalence of a belief in magic still in the East, the Mohammedans strongly object to the manner in which we speak of miracles; because, say they, it might still follow, that such miracles proceeded from skill in magic. See my Persian Controversies, Camb. 1824, sect. ii. p. 191. seq. and Book v. sect. 2. below.
120. 3 This place, which is obscure, seems to me to mean this: He bore long with the ignorance of His disciples, seeing as they did His divine power, and blamed their doubting as to the ultimate results of His Gospel. The chief difficulty in the Syriac is, the introduction of the interrogative [Syriac], How ? intended apparently to have the force of a strong negative.
121. 4 Matt. xix. 9. Differing from the Peschito as before.
122. 1 Syr. [Syriac] against which some pious monk has written in the margin [Syriac], see and desire: as if this were an essential of Christianity !
123. 3 It need not be supposed that our author mentions this, for the purpose of praising it: his object probably was to shew, that, as our Lord foretold this, its coming to pass-- a thing most unnatural and unheard of, -- was sufficient to shew His foreknowledge. In his Ecclesiastical History (Lib. vi. cap. viii.) he has mentioned this, as the daring act of an inexperienced young man, resulting from a simple and juvenile method of interpreting the passage referred to : which he says was, nevertheless, a proof of continence and of a strong faith ; and this is perhaps, a main part of his object here. See also Book v. sect. 14. below.
124. 4 Matt. xiii. 3-9.
125. 1 Heb. iv. 12. seq. Differing considerably from the Peschito, as before. The ancients, as it will be seen in Poole (Synopsis), generally referred this passage to Christ, just as Eusebius does here; and, it must be confessed, the matter contained in the 13th verse, powerfully supports this view. The exegetical sense however, comes to the same under either view: for, whether we take the word of Christ, with the moderns; or, the Word, Christ, with the ancients, the effects, here spoken of, must all be eventually referred to Him. I prefer the former view, as being the more obvious and simple.
126. 2 Matt. ix. 37.
127. 3 John iv. 35. Differing in each case from the Peschito, as before.
128. 4 Syr. [Syriac], lit. other opinions: which is probably put for the Greek e9terodoci/a; it being customary with the Syrians so to translate Greek compounds. See above, Book ii. par. 19, note, and ib. 69.
129. 1 Matt. xiii. 24--31. Differing from the Peschito, as before. 2 Ib. 36-43.
130. 3 The Greek has here ka&minon, and the Peschito [Syriac], its literal translation: no MS. has gee/nna, whence it appears very likely, that Eusebius cited the passage from memory: a thing very common with the Fathers.
131. 6 Rather, one would think, from his being born as a man.
132. 7 See above, Book i. sectt. 27, 37, with the notes.
133. 8 It will be sufficient to remark here that, by the "end of the world," must be meant in this place,--as in very many passages of Scripture,-- that period in which the old system passed away, and the new one-- the Christian Church was established. But of this, more in our Introduction to this work.
134. 9 Much to the same effect, Eccles. Hist. Lib. iv. cap. xxiii. near the end.
135. 2 Chap. xxiv. 3. seq.
136. 3 Ib. ver. 23-27.
137. 4 "Behold, I have told you before," of the authorized version is ambiguous. I have therefore avoided this.
138. 5 John v. 43.
139. 7 The place here alluded to is, most probably, 2 Thess. ii. 3. seq. The person who should withhold ([Greek], ver. 6.) was, most probably Nero. (See Wetstein on the place); and "the man of sin," generally, each of the several Roman Emperors who became persecutors of the Church. Such was the opinion, -- and no doubt the true one -- of many of the Fathers : which is grounded on Dan. vii. 8; ix. 27; and xi. 36. See also my Sermons and Dissertations, Lond. 1830, pp. 235, 237, note, and ib. p. 326. seq. with the Introduction to this work.
140. 8 He was, according to some, as ancient as the times of Sennacherib ; which appears to be quite visionary. Jerome places him before the times of our Lord, and makes him the author of the sect of the Pharisees. Origen however affirms, that he was contemporary with the Apostles, and that he declared himself to be the Christ. This, Origen probably grounded on a passage in the Recognitions ascribed to Clemens Romanus, which informs us, that upon the death of John the Baptist Dositheus set up his claim ; appointed thirty disciples, and took a woman whom he named the moon -- (considering the Sun probably as his own representative). To this man Simon Magus attached himself, and obtained a place among the thirty, on the first vacancy that afterwards occurred ; and soon after he fell in love with this woman. Hegesippus too, makes Dositheus contemporary with the Apostles, as also does Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria. See the note of Valesius to the Eccl. Hist. Lib. iv. cap. xxii. And the note above, sect. 30. On the other hand, Theodoret makes Simon Magus the leader. Tom. iv. p. 193.
141. 1 Deut. xviii. 15, 18, 19.
142. 2 Acts viii. 10.
143. 3 He commenced his career of heresy in a village of Mysia named Ardaba, situate on the borders of Phrygia. He took to him two women, named Priscilla and Maximilla; gave out that he was the Paraclete, and that his women were Prophetesses. His sect, which was the Cataphrygian, was large, and, at one time, reckoned Tertullian among its supporters. Among other things, the dissolution of marriages and new sorts of fastings were inculcated as necessary. See Euseb. Eccl. Hist. Lib. v. capp. iii. xiv. xvi. xviii. and the notes of Valesius. See also Theodoret. Haeret. Fab. Lib. iii. cap. ii. Tom. iv. p. 227.
144. 4 As these citations were probably all made from memory, the reader must not be surprised in finding that they occasionally differ, even in the same context.--These passages would, one would think, be sufficient to satisfy those who are so intent on the personal reign of Christ on earth, that their notions are perfectly groundless. For, if He is not to be seen either here, there; either, in the desert, or in the secret chamber, as the false Christs were; but, whose coming was rather to be as the lightning in rapidity and effect,--as indeed was the case in the overthrow of the Jews, the spread of Christianity, and the fall of the Roman Empire; and as particularly foretold in Dan. vii. 13,14: comp. Matt. xxiv. 24, 30; xxvi. 64. Ephes. i. 22. Col. i. 23, also Zech. ix. 14, with the preceding context from ver. 9;--then must all speculations about a personal reign on earth be visionary and false. Our author however, seems to understand this, as referring to our Lord's coming to judgment at the last day. If so, I have no doubt he is wrong.
145. 5 Chap. xxiv. 6-9. ib. ver. 10-14.
146. 7 Cited by Origen (contra Cels. Lib. ii. p. 68.), with this remark: [Greek] "Quis item non mirabitur, ascendens contemplatione ad illud vaticinium.....cum vidcat juxta illam pradictionem jam praedicatum in omnibus, quae sub coelo sunt, terris Graecorum barbarorumque tum sapientibus, tum insipientibus ? Omnem enim humanam naturam vicit sermo praedicatus cum potentia, nec est videre ullum genus hominum, a quo haec doctrina recepta non sit."
147. 1 This argument is urged by Origen (contra Cels. Lib. ii. p. 68. Edit. Spencer). From this reasoning of Eusebius, it is evident that he believed that the End had come. And in this there can be no doubt, I think, he was right; but as this involves a question very ill understood at this day, it may be right to offer a few words here, as to what is meant by the End. This, I think, Daniel (ix. 27.) terms the "consummation:" (comp. ver. 26 and vii. 26, 28,) that is, the End of his seventy weeks, (ib. ver. 24. seq.) when "vision and prophecy" should be sealed: i.e. completed. In chap. viii. 19, it is said, "at the time appointed the End shall be." Again, ib. chap. 27, 28. The End of the matter is said to be, when the kingdom under the whole heaven shall have been given to the Saints (i.e.) the Christians: in other words, when the Kings of the earth shall have become its nursing fathers, and Queens its nursing mothers, (Is. xlix. 23.) Again, Dan. xii. 7. When the power of the holy people shall have been scattered, "all these things shall be finished:" i.e. when the power of the new Church shall be spread abroad far and wide, then shall the End of all these thimgs be. (Comp. Is. lxii. 12, &c. Dan. viii. 24.) In Rev. x. 6, 7, which is an exact parallel of Dan. xii. 7, it is sworn by the angel, that time shall be no longer, and that the mystery of God, as declared by the Prophets, shall be finished. Now, our Lord has identified his predictions (Matt. xxiv. and Luke xxi.) with these of Daniel. In the former (ver. 14.) He says: " then shall the END come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination... spoken of by Daniel the prophet" (ix. 27; xii. 11.)..." then shall be great tribulation" (ver. 21. comp. Dan. ix. 26; xii. 1.) ', ver. 34, "This generation shall not pass till all these things be," i. e. commenced (comp. ver. 8.). In the latter (Luke xxi. ver. 22.) " These be the days of vengeance, that ALL THINGS which are written MAY BE FULFILLED" (i. e. in them). That the terms, latter days, last days, end of the world, ends of the world, the fulness of time, refer to the times of the Apostles, and those immediately subsequent to these, the Concordance, with the parallels marked in our common Bibles, will be sufficient to shew.--But the kingdom of the saints is never to end (i. e. as far as pre-diction is concerned); it can therefore, have no last days, latter days, or the like. When any such terms are referred to the last judgment, the language is doctrinal, not prophetical. I conclude, therefore, that this End did come, when the persecution of Diocletian ceased: for then all the conditions of prophecy had been fulfilled. Eusebius is therefore right. See also my Sermons and Dissertations, London, 1831, and the Introduction to this work.
148. 2 He proved in sect. 28, above, that this had taken place, as he affirms in other places, that the Gospel had been received throughout the whole world. And so says the Apostle, "Yes, verily their sound went out into ALL THE EARTH, and their words unto the END OP THE WORLD." Rom. x. 18; and ib. xvi. 26.--" made known to ALL NATIONS FOR THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH." And again, Col. i. 23...."The Gospel, which was preached to EVERY CREATURE WHICH is UNDER HEAVEN." To the same effect is the testimony of the Fathers generally. See the "Salutaris Lux Evangelica" of Fabricius: and the Introduction to this work.
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 1st August 2002. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.
|Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts|