THE FIFTH BOOK OF (EUSEBIUS) OF CAESAREA.
1. SUCH as these (then), are the proofs of the Divine manifestation of the common Saviour of all, Jesus the Christ, which have been thus far visible to the eyes, shewing forth at once the Divine words and deeds. For in ancient times, the words, of which we have already spoken, as to things which should come to pass, were simply heard ; those (I say) which He prophesied to His disciples when He was near, (and) in their presence. But now, in our times, the fulfilment of these words is openly viewed in fact, with powers eclipsing that of all mortal nature. And, if men will not be persuaded of these things, we ought not to wonder: because man is accustomed so to resist the clearest things (possible,) as to dare to oppose in his assertions even the existence of an universal Providence, and thus also even to deny God Himself! And thus disingenuously, will he also contend against many other things, to which the truth (itself) 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 wickedness of the unbelief of men, injure in no respect the evident excellency of the Godhead of our Saviour. Let us not deign therefore, even in word to attach ourselves to these. For those, whom the works of God will not persuade, the word of man will be (too) abject to move. Nevertheless, let us again take up the more vigorously, those things against such, which we formerly investigated by questions1, in proof of the Gospels. If therefore ally one should, after all this, impugn the truth and dare disingenuously to affirm, that the Christ of God was not (such) as we believe He was, but was a magician, seducer, and |286 impostor; we would present to him, as an infant in mind, those things which we also formerly investigated:--
Against those who suppose that the Christ of God was a magician and deceiver.
2. 2 Let us now ask then, Whether there ever was a man heard of at any period, who (as) a magician and deceiver, was (also) a teacher of humility, meekness, purity, and of every other virtue? And, Whether it is just to call by these names, Him who would not allow, that (men) should even look upon women with evil desire? And, Whether he could be a magician, who delivered the chief philosophy by teaching His disciples, that the indigent should of their wealth3 adhere to Him, and that compassion and liberality should abound with them? And, Whether He could be a magician, who forbade the assembling together of ferocious and tumultuous inhabitants, and taught them to love the retirement only, which devotes itself to the word of God ? How could He,--who deterred from every species of falsehood, and commanded that men should so honour truth above all things, that they should not stand in need of a true oath, much less of a false one,--be justly named a magician? But, What need can there be, that I should now say many |287 things (on this point,) since we may readily inform ourselves from His own words,--which have, even to this day, been preached throughout the whole earth,--what the sort of conduct was, which was disseminated by Him in the world ? Every one who loves the truth will confess of Him, not only that He was neither magician nor deceiver, but was THE WORD OF GOD in truth, and the teacher of the divine philosophy and righteousness; and not of this common philosophy of the world ;--
3. But the things pertaining to His form of doctrine were such as these.--Come then, let us enquire whether this His error, consisted in (any of) the many things of His teaching. Observe then, 4Was it not God, the King of all, Him alone, of whom it is written that He is the cause of every good thing, that He taught and presented to His disciples ? And, Do not the words of His doctrine to this very time, raise the mind of every Greek and Barbarian in existence, to the God who is supreme, to Him (I say) who is the maker of the heavens and of the earth, and of the whole world; making (them) overleap all visible nature, and every thing fabricated ? Was this then His error ? or, Was it, that He did not allow those to worship many gods,--to whom it had been made clear, from this worship of God only, that He could not be convicted of falsehood:--(and) who had fallen after their Head, on account of this real error? But this was not new, nor was it His word (only), but that of those Hebrews, friends of God, who arose in ancient times. And from them it was, that these recent (true) philosophers were aided in these great (performances), and gave in to their doctrines: the wise men of Greece too, glorying in the divinations of their |288 deities, have put it thus on record of the Hebrews, that "wisdom came to the Chaldeans alone, and the Hebrews purely worshipped the Essence of the person of God, the King of all5."
4. If then those ancient friends of God,--those to whom (these) divinations have more particularly home testimony,--did raise the act of worship (directing it) to the God who is over all; How should we confess of Him, that He was a deceiver, and not a most wonderful teacher, who has extended this worship of God--as to the things which were known only in former times to these descendants of the Heads of the Hebrew fathers,--to all mankind ! And this to such a degree, that no more, as in those times, a few, and those easy to be numbered, hold the orthodox faith respecting God; but thousands of congregations of barbarians at once, and of those who in ancient times were perfectly savage, also of the wise, and men of Greece,--of those (I say) who now, like the prophets and just men of old, have been taught in the worship of God, solely by means of His power, and of His instruction !
5. But, let us also investigate this third (consideration). Was it then for this, that they called Him a deceiver (viz.), because He taught, that men should no more honour God with the slaughter of bulls, or with the sacrifices of irrational animals ? Neither with blood and fire, nor with |289 incense, which are of the earth, because these things are of small value and earthly ; and shewed that they never could comport with the nature which is immortal and incorporeal?-- determined also that to keep the commandments of God, and by their means to purify both the soul and body, was more acceptable and becoming to God, than any sort of sacrifice ?--inculcated too that men should be careful to become like God, both in enlightenment of mind, and in the knowledge of his worship ? And, should any one of the Greeks find fault with these things, let him know that it is not to be imagined, that the things (so) received are against (even) those of His own teachers, who have put much together on this (matter,) viz.; That (men) should not suppose they honoured God by means of blood and the sacrifices of irrational animals, or by those of fire, smoke, and the fumes of fat6.
6. We know too that we are, after these things, taught by Him that the world was made; and that these Heavens, the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, are the work of God; and that it is not right we should worship these, and not Him who is the Maker and Creator of them all. It may be well therefore for us to see, how He could have deceived men, from whom we have learned to think that this system (of things) is nothing new, but is that of the Hebrews, the ancient friends of God. Even this sentiment was also from these famous philosophers;--they delivered these same (particulars), affirming that these beavens, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the whole world, were also made by Him, who is the Creator of all things. He also taught us to believe, that the soul which we possess is immortal, and that it is in no respect like the animals that are irrational, but that (the faculties) within it resemble the powers of God. He likewise taught, that all those who were barbarian and ignorant, should (at once) make this their own, and be, and know. And, How was it, that we were not made wise by those sages among the Egyptians, |290 or by those Greeks who made broad their foreheads7; those who said that the soul which was in man, was in no respect better in its essence than were gnats, fleas, worms, or reptiles; nor even, than the soul of the serpent, the viper, the bear, or the panther? and that swine, as to their soul, differed in no respect, (from men) ?--
7. And, that after these things, He perseveringly admonished (men) of the judgment of God, and of the punishments and vengeance,--things from which we cannot be exempt,--which are recorded against the wicked; also, of the promises of eternal life, of the kingdom of heaven, and of the life of happiness with God, respecting the just. Whom then did He deceive ? Did He not rather stimulate (men) to hasten on to virtue, because of the victories reserved for the righteous ? and, to flee from, and repel from them, every vice, because of the punishments to be inflicted on the wicked ? Such then, being the instructions contained in the doctrinal ordinances of our Saviour; What room does there remain for imagining, that we should suppose Him to have been a Deceiver and Magician ?--But, let us also investigate these things.--
8. When a magician associates his companions with the things of this vice, Like to what men does he make |291 them ? Is it not to magicians, deceivers, and fabricators of magical drugs,--in all respects like himself ? Was there ever, then, a man found among the whole Christian race, who fabricated magical rites or drugs, from the doctrine of our Saviour ? There is no (such thing) existing for any man to say; but, the contrary to this, that they have been seen passing over to the precepts of the philosophy which is Divine. How then, can He be justly styled other, in truth, than the Teacher of the life which worships God, the common Saviour of all,--who became throughout the whole habitable world, and to all nations, the (sole) cause of purity and of holiness of life, and of the knowledge (inculcating) the worship of the Creator of all things ?
9. Those too, who adhered to Him from the first, as well as those who afterwards received the traditionary account of the manner of their conversation, were, as to all these matters, so far removed from suspicion of evil and bitterness, that they did not even allow the sick to do many things which the many dared to do; either, that they should write (charms) upon tablets, or make use of amulets; or, that they should in their minds have respect to those who promised to use enchantments; or, that they should prescribe for the persons (of the sick), as cures for complaints, either the fumes of roots, or of apples, or of any other similar things. All these things were therefore, excluded from the doctrine of our Saviour: nor was there ever a Christian to be found who used amulets, or |292 enchantments, or the means of written tablets, or, indeed, any other forms allied to these; the indiscriminate use of which was in repute among the many. What then can be said against the men who had been instructed in these things, so as to cast the imputation on them, of their having been the disciples of a master who was a magician ? when, behold, the association of any one among the disciples, who promised any (new) doctrine, was severely reprehended! Those men therefore both of art and science, to whom He was the cause of their (christian) instruction, fully confessed of Him, that He was much their superior (in these respects). For, even as physicians are witnesses of the goodness of the doctrine of their master ; so, of geometricians, Who has assigned any other instructing heads, except geometricians ? and of arithmeticians, except arithmeticians ? And in like manner, of the magician, the best witnesses as to these things have been His disciples, who have (always) fully resembled their Master, and have done (as he did). But no man has ever been found, during all these years, a magician and (at the same time a) Disciple of our Saviour; when, behold, kings and governours have, during the whole of these times, made the most careful inquiries into (these) things by means of the worst of torments !
10. And thus indeed, neither was there (ever) any magician His Disciple, so as to be left free and exempt from every (sort) of condemnation; being only reduced by them (the persecuting emperors) to sacrifice8.
11. But, that our discourse may not wander from Scripture, take the proof of these things even from the writings of those primitive acquaintances and Disciples of our Saviour, (as found) in the book of their own "Acts." They so wrought upon those of the Gentiles who received their doctrine, that many of these,--who formerly accused them of magic,--so entirely changed their conduct, that they boldly brought forward the abominable books which they had formerly kept secret, to them into the midst of the |293 assemblies, and threw them into the fire in the presence of all. Hear then the statement of these things, which runs thus:--
12. "The9 greater part then of those who practised magic brought in their books, and burnt them in the presence of all men; and they reckoned their price, and it was found, that they were worth fifty thousand" (pieces of silver).
13. Such10 therefore were the Disciples of our Saviour, and such was the entire power of the word, which they put forth in their discourses with (their) hearers, that it became fixed in the depths of their souls;--were so struck and inclined, that every one took up the resolution no more to suffer those things to remain hidden, by which the many had formerly been implicated in error, but that these secret things should be brought out into the light, and that they should become witnesses against themselves, of their own former wickedness. Such also were those who became their Disciples, so pure, noble in soul, and abundant in love, that they allowed nothing impure to remain concealed within them, but, on the contrary, they gloried and exulted in their change from vice to virtue. Since11 therefore, the Disciples of our Saviour were seen to be such, Must not their Master have first been much more excellent? But, if you wish to know from those who are Disciples, of what sort their Master was, you have tens of thousands of the Disciples of the precepts of our Saviour even to this time; of whom there are multitudes of congregations of men, who have armed themselves against the lusts of the nature of the body, and have accustomed themselves to preserve their minds uninjured by any of the evil passions : those (I say), who have passed their whole lives, (and) grown old in purity ; and have put forth, from the provisions of His word, the most brilliant examples (to others).
14. Nor12 was it that men only were in this manner (attached) to Him, and became Philosophers; but also |294 tens of thousands of women throughout the whole creation; those (I say), who like Priestesses of the supreme God, attached themselves to the most exalted service, and applied themselves to the love of the wisdom which is heavenly. On the generation of the body they cast contempt, giving all care to their soul, keeping themselves in purity from every thing sordid and unclean, and extending their desires to all holiness and to virginity13. The Greeks, indeed, sing of one shepherd who left his place for the sake of philosophy, and him they hawk about here and there. This was Democritus14. They also express their astonishment at one Crates15, who gave his possessions to his citizens. He then |295 took with him himself alone, and boasted in the provisions of liberty. But these counterparts of the word of our Saviour, are tens of thousands in number; nor was it one, or two (only), who sold their possessions and distributed them to the poor and needy: indeed we ourselves are witnesses, that these were even such among men ; and, in the effects themselves, we have seen the righteousness of the doctrine of our Saviour. And, What need can there be that we should say, how many myriads even of the barbarians themselves, and not (of these) only, but also of the Greeks, have, by the doctrine of the words of our Saviour, been raised above every error of a plurality of gods, and have recognized and confessed the one only God, the Father and Creator of this whole world? Him (I say), whom one Plato formerly knew, but confessed that he durst not speak of Him before all men; because such power as all this of God's worship was not with him: but to these the Disciples of our Saviour it was, through the help of their Lord, easy to acknowledge Him, and to find Him (at hand as) the Father and Creator of all. To every race of men did they reveal Him, and so preached the knowledge of Him to all, throughout the whole creation, that, from their teaching, there are even to this time, among all nations, tens of thousands of congregations, not only of men, but also of women, children, slaves, and villagers! All this (then accrued to them) from this philosopher, so that |296 they were not wanting, not only to make Him known (as) the Maker and Creator of this whole world, but they also became his ambassadors in every place. Such were the victories of the common Saviour of all; these, the deceptions of Him who was thought to be a Deceiver16! While, behold, such alone were His Disciples and acquaintances; from whom it was (but) right, we should learn of what sort their Master was.
15. Come17 then, let us again try the matter thus,-- You say of Him that He was a magician; and not (only so,) but, that He was a maker of magicians. You style Him cunning, and a deceiver. How then was it, that He was the first, and the only one, who has arisen capable of this matter? Or, Is it (not) right we should, according to custom, ascribe the cause to the Teachers ? If then He was the first and only one capable of this;--no one having taught Him, and He having never learned any thing from others, nor yet derived it from the ancients;-- How is it not then incumbent on us to confess of Him, that His nature was Divine? He (I say), who without book, without precepts, and without teachers, (so) learned of Himself, and was seen to know from Himself, the Maker of all these things? when, observe, it is impossible for any one to acquire a knowledge of the art of the goldsmith, of logic, or of the primitive elements (of the world), without some one to instruct and teach him. But, if He was out of nature;--and no one ever, (so) taught of himself, came out a teacher of grammar, or of rhetoric; not having previously been taught; nor, has there been a physician, or builder, or practitioner of any other art: these things being but small, and belonging to men; but this, one might say, is of the Teacher of the whole habitable world; (viz.) that He performed the miracles recorded in the Scriptures, (and) |297 whose Disciples (taught) by Himself were such; having received nothing from the ancients, neither having had any help from those moderns who performed things not unlike what others had done, who had preceded Him;--What other thing can we testify or confess, but that the matter is in truth Divine, and such as exceeds all human nature18?
16. But. you say of Him that He had deceiving teachers, and that neither the sciences of the Egyptians, nor those mysteries which were formerly preached among them, escaped Him: that from these He collected together (His doctrines), and that He seems to have been a man of this description19.--If then others, His superiors, appeared before Him, and were His teachers, whether in Egypt or elsewhere20; Why did not the fame of these also run forth, prior to His name among all men, just as His has done? and, Why is not the praise of them also proclaimed, even to this time, just as His has been ? and, Who is the magician, of those who arose at any time, Barbarian or Greek, who was the teacher of such disciples; the originator of all such laws and precepts as these are; and has shewed forth the power of (this) the common Saviour of all ? and, of Whom has it ever been written, that He did such cures as those which have been recorded of our Saviour?--The knowledge too of something to come to pass, with all those |298 predictions ? those too, which like these, have by their means been laid down as principles, What other has, either before, or after Him, been memorialized as having delivered ? and, Who is it that has promised that he would effect those things, throughout the whole habitable world, which he had (so) predicted, and has, in fact, so confirmed His words, that, even to these our times, the fulfilment of His predictions is visible to our own eyes ? And, Whose disciples and eye-witnesses of the things themselves (here had in view), have ever so sealed the truth regarding those which they attested of their Lord, by the trial of both fire and sword, as these Disciples of our Saviour have done ?--who (indeed) bore the reproach of all men, for the sake of the things which they had seen and witnessed of Him, and submitted to every species of torment; while the end of their testimony respecting Him was, as that of the Son of God ! How much less would magicians seal with their blood their testimonies? And, Which of the magicians, even if it ever came into his mind to set up a new people in his own name, did not only think of doing this, but also gave effect to his project ? How would not this eclipse all human nature, that he should also frame laws opposed to the error of a plurality of Gods, and adverse to the ordinances of Kings, Legislators, Philosophers, Poets, and Theologians? and, that he should send these forth and shew, through the period of a long life, that they were (at once) triumphant and faultless?
17. Which21 of the magicians is it, who ever projected that which our Saviour did ? But, if one did so project; still he dared not to advance this. But, if one so dared; still he brought not the matter to effect. He (the Saviour) said in one word and enouncement to His Disciples, "Go and make disciples of all nations in my name, and teach ye them every thing that I have commanded you22." And the deed He made to follow the word. For thence, every race of the Greeks and Barbarians became at once, and in a short space of time, (His) Disciples: The laws too of our |299 Saviour were not written in any Book of His; but, without book23, were disseminated at His command among all nations; (and) these were opposed to the ancient worship of a plurality of Gods:--laws at enmity with the Demons, and unfriendly to every error of a multitude of Deities :--laws purifying the Scythians, the Persians, and other Barbarians, and converting (them) from every savage, and lawless sort of life:--laws subversive of the customs, which had obtained from ancient times among the Greeks, and teaching the new and genuine worship of God. How then have they dared so (to advance) such things as these, that one should say of Him, that He was probably aided (in) this magic by others,--the ancient magicians,--who were before His times24? But, if there was no other person, whom any one could say resembled Him ; neither was there consequently, who could have been the cause of His possessing all this superiority.--It is now time therefore that we should confess, that an extraordinary and Divine Nature came into the world, which first and alone performed the things which had never before been commemorated among men.
18. Let us again ask, after these things, Whether any one ever saw with his eyes, or learned by hearing, that there were magicians such as He was, and composers of |300 (magical) drugs, who, without libations, sacrifices, and invocations of Demons, performed the rites of magic ? When, behold, it is well known and clear to every one, that the whole process of magic is usually effected by these things. For, How can any one bring an accusation of this sort either against our Saviour, or against his Disciples, or against those who are, even to these times led by His doctrine ? Is there a man who can bring such an accusation as this against them? Is it not evident, even to the blind, that we are prepared for every thing the reverse of these things ? And that we dare to surrender up ourselves to death in an instant ? but that we will not sacrifice to Demons :--that we instantly submit to be put out of life; but do not submit to be subjected to Demons! And, Who is he who knows not how delightful it is to us, that, through the name of our Saviour, (coupled) with prayers that are pure, we cast out every kind of Demon ? And thus the word of our Saviour, and the doctrine which is from Him, have made us all to be greatly superior to the power which is invisible, and impervious to inquiry; and, (such) that we are ready to be enemies and haters of the Demons, but not that we should be friends, or followers, of (their) customs; much less be subjected and obedient (to them). How then could He have been a slave to the Demons, who delivered such things as these, to those who were devoted to Himself? And, How could He have sacrificed to evil spirits? Or, How could He have called upon the Demons (as His) assistants and helpers, when all the Demons and impure spirits have been agitated, as by some torment or punishment even to this very time, at the mention of His name ? (and) have departed and fled before His power, as it was the case in former times, when He conversed with men, when they could not bear to see Him ; (one and) another, crying out from another place, and saying, " What have we to do with thee, thou Son of God ? Art thou come to torment us before the time?" |301
19. Now, Is not the man whose mind is intent on magic only,--and is wholly addicted to things (thus) base,-- in his character openly odious, vile, corrupt, iniquitous, ungodly, and impious ? And being such, Whence, and How, can he teach others, either the things which pertain to the worship of God, or which respect purity ? or, which concern the knowledge of God ? or, which are on the immortality of the soul ? or, which inculcate righteousness, and the judgment of God who is over all? Would he not be an ambassador of the things which are opposed to all these? persevering in those that attend on hatred, and the denial of God ? and rooting up as fabulous the (doctrine of a) general providence of God ? and laughing at the words which treat of virtue, and (affirm) of the soul that it is immortal ? If indeed, such things as these had been witnessed (of Him), then would there have been nothing, even respecting this our (Teacher), which we could have said to the contrary25. But, if in all His words and His deeds, He was seen to call upon God who is over all, and King of all; and prepared his Disciples to be such; and, if He was Himself temperate, and a Teacher of temperance ; if too, He was a doer and a preacher of righteousness, of truth, of mercy, and of every virtue; and, if He shewed forth the worship of God, the King of all; How does it indeed not follow upon these things that we should think of Him, that not one of those wonderful acts which He did was done by magic ? and confess that it was, in truth, by the unseen power of God26 ?
20. These things then, are directed (against) those who dare, with ungodly mouths, to blaspheme against Him. But if they change and confess of Him, that He was a teacher of purity and sobriety of life, and a bringer in of the doctrine of the (true) worship of God; still, that He was no doer of those wonderful, powerful, and miraculous works which are recorded of Him, or of those divine deeds which are superior to man; and, that His Disciples |302 have fabricated these same; it is now time that we should also meet this accusation.
Against those who do not believe the testimony of the Disciples of our Saviour, respecting His miraculous deeds.
21. If 27 then (these) should say of Him, that He wrought no complete miracle, nor yet any of those wonderful works of which His disciples bore testimony, but that His disciples have otherwise falsely stated them, and have lied for the purpose of putting forth miraculous relations about Him ; let us see whether the word of these is to be taken as satisfactory: there being no (earthly) cause that they can assign, why they the Disciples, and He their master, went forth into the world. For He who teaches, gives a promise of some doctrine: and they again, the Disciples, love both the precepts and doctrines, as if (conveying) some (valuable) art28, and give themselves up (accordingly) to the Teacher. What ground therefore, can there be for any one to speak against the disciples of our Saviour, on account of their conversation with Him ? And, What could have pressed them to this care respecting Him, and that they should have recorded Him (as) the teacher of such doctrines to themselves ? Or, Is (not) this clear ? For the things which they learned of Him, they also declared fully to others: and these were the appointments of this His philosophy. They29 were too, the first ambassadors of God |303 who is over all, of the providence of God, of the righteous judgment (of God,) of the soul's being immortal, of the distinction between the life of the good and the bad, and of other things of this kind, which are written in their Scripture. It was also a precept pertaining to the life of this philosophy, which He laid down for them when He said, "Possess ye neither gold nor silver in your purses, neither scrip for the way30,''? with other similar things: but (His great precept was), that they should give up their souls, only to the providential care of the Governour of all, and not be anxious on account of want. And He so instructed them, that they should consider (His precepts) much better than those which Moses delivered to the Jews. For he laid down a law for them, --as for men to whom murder would be easy,--that they should not kill. And in like manner, that they should not commit adultery, as to men dissolute and adulterous. And again, that they should not steal, as to men to whom slavery would be suitable; and, that they should not injure, as to men who were fraudulent31. But of these, He knew that it was desirable they should stand in need of no such laws; but that this should above all things be precious in their sight, (viz.) that their soul should be subject to no (evil) passion; and that they should root up and expel from the bottom of their heart, as from its root, the germ of (every) vice; (and,) that they should be superior to wrath, and every base desire: that is to say, that they should not even be angry, because of the superiority of their soul, as being free from passion ; that they should not look upon a woman with evil desire; that they should so labour against theft, that they should give of their own to them that needed; and further, that they should not glory in this, that they injured none, |304 but (rather) in this, that those who wished to injure them, they bore with without anger32. But, What need is there that I should collect together all the things which He, and they, taught ? He also counselled them,--together, with all these things,--that they should be so confirmed in the truth, as not to be under the necessity of giving even a true oath, much less a false one: but that they should so form their character, that in it, apart from every sort of oath, they should appear as true, and should proceed no farther than "yea33" (yea), and should in their conversation truly apply this.
22. We34 may ask therefore, whether there is any thing--whatever it might be--against those who were the hearers of these things, and who forthwith arose as teachers of them to other Disciples, (out) of which we may suppose they fabricated all the things, which they attested their Master had done. And, What is there in this leading us to suppose, that they all thoroughly lied ? They were, in number, the Twelve who had been chosen, and the remaining Seventy of whom it is said, that He sent them before Him, two and two, into every place and part to which He was about to go. But, there is not so much as a word that can be said of this whole company, (shewing) that they belied Him :--of men, who loved the life that was pure, and the worship of the (true) God ; who cared but little for all the children of their own families; and who instead of their friends, their wives I say, their children and all belonging to them, took to the life which had no possessions; and fully gave their testimony to their Lord, as from one mouth, among all mankind.
23. This35 is therefore, the leading, primary, and true reason. Let us then, also investigate that which is opposed (to it). Let Him therefore be (considered) the Teacher, and them the Disciples ; and so, as it were in a relation of |305 hypothesis that He taught none of the things already mentioned, but those opposed to them (viz.); that they should forthwith be transgressors of the Law; should act impiously, iniquitously, fraudulently, and falsely; should swear falsely, and do (many) hateful things, and if there be any other vice that can be named. Now, all these things are wholly foreign to the doctrines of our Saviour; they are opposed (to them,) and would be the (offspring) of arrogance and impudence. Nor, are they only opposed to His words and doctrines, but also to the mode of life which has hitherto been delivered to all nations; that which is practised in all His Churches. But, even if the matter be (wholly) false, then cannot its like be advanced; (viz.) that we should have been a race so negligent, as not even to have examined the things now before us!--Let Him then be (supposed to have been) the Teacher of every vice, and iniquity; and that the chief care was, that they should after all these things remain concealed. And such custom is most wisely concealed under the form of a doctrine which is pure, and putting forth a new (mode) of worship. These then, were led by such things, and by others still worse. For vice previously ensnares, and it constitutes the teaching of itself. They would (then,) exalt their Master to a state of greatness by lying words, and spare not even one expression of falsehood; and falsely ascribe to Him every sort of miracle and wonderful work, that (men) might |306 wonder at them and felicitate them, that they were dignified by being the Disciples of such a Master.
24. Come then, let us now see,--if they really were such, --whether it was possible that could have been established, which they endeavoured to do for Him. For they say, that "Evil is friendly to evil, but not to good36." Whence then, is this agreement in vice to be discovered in the multitudes of all these men ? And, Whence this testimony respecting them (viz.), that the object of them all was in unison ? And, Whence this doctrine about the Divine appointments, and the teaching of the (true) Philosophy ? Whence also, the mind (intent) on the life of virtue ? And, Whence the doctrine (inculcating) flight from every vice ? Whence also, the knowledge and recording of precepts such as these ? And, Whence the glory of the conduct and conversation which was delivered by them, throughout the whole creation of man ? Whence too, all this power ? Whence this courage ? Whence this confidence ? Whence this resignation even to death?--But, Who would at the first, even in opinion, have had respect to the man who taught vice and bitterness,--as it is (here) said of Him,-- and who promised such things ? They would surely say (such were the deeds) of a Magician. But, the Disciples of this Leader were in nothing vicious. And, Must not they have understood these things at the end of their Master ? and, by what sort of Death he was affected ? Why then, after such an end of shame, did they continue in these things ? and affirm of Him who was then among the dead, that He was God, unless they thought it a thing of no moment, that they themselves should suffer similar things ? Now, Who is it that has voluntarily and openly ever chosen punishment for the sake of nothing profitable ? For, had they been desirous of possessions, so would they also of |307 profit: and, if they had been abominable in character, they would have been lustful. We may then think of them perhaps, that they had thus dealt with the matter for the sake of these things, and intrepidly exposed37 themselves even to death ! But, if they preached what was adverse to these, and fully proclaimed (it) in the hearing of all the congregations (of Christians); and also, immediately instructed (men) in the doctrine of the Scriptures, (viz.) that they should flee from every vicious and base desire; should avoid every thing fraudulent; should overcome every sort of lust, and the love of money; and that they did moreover, so teach those who became their disciples; it will be likely that they carried on no merchandize, collected no wealth, and took no part in a life either of ease, or of pleasure. Since therefore, they were led by none of these things; How could they have been induced to suffer, for no object, the worst of punishments and of vengeance, for the testimony given of their Master, which, again, had no foundation in fact? |308
25. But let it be granted, that they honoured Him while He was yet with them, and had His conversation among them, and led them astray by deception, as it has been affirmed; How38 was it then, that even after His death, and then much more strenuously than before, they went on calling Him God ? Because, while He was yet among men, it is said that they even forsook and denied Him, at the time when His deceivers were ready (to take Him); but, after His departure from among men, they joyfully chose death, rather than relinquish the good testimony they had given respecting Him ! Those (Disciples) therefore, who formerly knew no good thing of their Master, neither the life, deed, doctrine, nor work, that was worthy of praise; and, who had received no advantage from Him, except indeed vice, and the leading astray of men; How was it, that they so easily gave themselves up to death, not, because they were in any respect guilty, but because they had attested things so glorious and praise-worthy of Him; when behold, it was in the power of every one of them to live in safety, and to lead a life of comfort at home with his friends39? But, How could men, who were themselves deceived and deceiving, submit willingly to death for another, who, as they knew with certainty, (and) better than all others, had not been in any one thing the cause of good to them, but--as men say,--the Teacher of every evil ? A man endued with mind and virtue, may indeed for some noble conquest, or for some excellent person, occasionally with propriety, and even with glory, submit to death. But he, who is so base in character as to have been in pursuit only of the things of a temporal life, and the enjoyment of lusts, has never chosen death rather than life; nor has suffered severe punishment for the sake of his friends, much less for one convicted of vice. How then, could the Disciples of the (Person) mentioned,--who could not have been ignorant that He was a deceiver and magician, if He really had been such, and even retaining in |309 themselves every vice that was hateful,--have willingly undergone every species of torment and of punishment from their countrymen, on account of the testimony they had given of Him ? But this is by no means, the disposition of the vicious. For40 I myself have seen many, who have faithfully kept society and oath with the living; but who, as soon as these died, dissolved every compact of this sort entered into between them. And we all know accurately how the Sophists,--brought together in the cities (generally), and in glorious repute for their erudition and display of words,--load with praises the governors, and those vested with great power and rule, just so long as they retain this; but, as soon as any change (in this respect) happens to them, these also change their words; and no more will they willingly memorialize those whom they formerly did, purely from the fear of those (now) in power.
26. If41 then, these Disciples of our Saviour were deceived and deceiving, I would add this also: They were unlearned, and altogether illiterate; that is, they were even barbarians, and understood no language except the Syriac. How then did they, after the departure of their Lord from among men, go forth into the whole creation, and give their testimony to His Godhead ? And, by What sort of advice were they prevailed on to attempt this ? By What power too, did they effect that which they undertook? It might have happened indeed, that some rustics at their own homes would be perverted and led astray. But, that they (the Disciples) should be sent forth into foreign countries, and should not relinquish their object through remissness, but should preach the name of our Saviour to every man42, together with His deeds of wonder; and not this only, but should also teach His commandments both in the villages and cities;--some of them to the Roman power (itself), and (so) apportion to themselves this city of the empire: others also, to the Persians; others, to those among the Armenians; others, to the nation of the Parthians; and again, to that also of the Scythians: (that) some of these |310 should go forth, even as far as the extremities of the creation, and arrive at the country of the Hindoos; others pass over to the Islands beyond the ocean, and which are called Britain;--could not, I think, have been the things of men; How much less, of those who were deficient and illiterate? How much still less, of deceivers and magicians?
27. How then could those, whose experience of their Master was, that He was vicious and a perverter,-- and who had with their own eyes witnessed His departure by death,--have used such terms with each other, for this (viz.), that they should unanimously lie respecting Him ? For they all attested as with one mouth, the cleansing of lepers, the casting out of Demons, the raising of the dead, (the restoring of) sight to the blind, and many other instances of cure, which were effected by Him :--
28. And after these things, His resurrection after the death which they had previously witnessed? For, to such things, not happening, nor even being heard of in their times, How could they, with one mouth, have given testimony, and convinced (themselves) that they came to pass ? and have continued to place faith in (this) their testimony, even to death ? Was it, either that they were brought together, and that they swore to do this ? and that they entered into compact with one another, to fabricate, and falsely to put forth, things which never came to pass? And shall we say, that they used terms to this effect as the pretence for such compact? or, such as these? Men, our friends!--Him who was, (as it were) yesterday or the day before, a Deceiver and Teacher of error,--who suffered extreme punishment before the eyes of us all,--we know better and more accurately than any other, how far He excelled, because we were the Disciples of His secret mysteries. He appeared as pure to the many, and thought that He possessed something better than the many. But |311 He possessed nothing great, nor yet any thing worthy of (that) His resurrection ; unless one might say, that He was cunning and impure in character, and that those were perversions which He taught us, and the false boastings which was favourable to such things;--come, let us give the right hand to one another, and let us all at once enter into compact among ourselves, that we will unanimously put forth, among all mankind, falsehood respecting Him, and will say, that we saw " Him give sight to the blind,'' a thing which no one (of us) ever heard of; and that " He cleansed the lepers" and "Raised the dead." And we will in a body affirm, that things were done by Him which we (indeed) never saw; and were said (by Him) which we likewise never heard. Those things too which were done, as it were in reality, we will contend for (as such). And, if this His last end has been published, and He so openly received His death that no one can conceal it, we will nevertheless, impudently make this of no effect; attesting pertinaciously that He rose from the dead; was also with all of us, and accompanied us both in conversation and in the usual meals. Let this then, be pertinaciously and shamelessly retained in all these things, and so remain with us, that we persist in it even to death !--For, Why might we (not) expose ourselves to death for nothing7 ? And, Why should it molest us, willingly to receive stripes and torments in our persons, for nothing that is necessary ? And, if it be required that we should suffer imprisonment, injury, and affliction, for nothing that is true; should submit instantaneously to this; should all of us together lie by consent, and put forth falsehood for no profit whatever, either to ourselves or to those who may be deceived by us; or, to Him, of whom these lies have been told by us; affirming that He was God: and that we should extend this falsehood, not only to our own people, but should also go out among all mankind, and fill the whole creation with the |312 things we have (thus) laid down respecting Him; and should thence proceed forthwith, to make laws for all nations, subversive of the opinions respecting the Gods of their forefathers; those (I say), which had from ancient times been established among them : and, that we should first of all lay our commands upon the Romans, not to worship those whom their forefathers supposed to be Gods; that we should then also pass off to the Greeks, and preach that which is also adverse to their wise men : that we should not neglect the Egyptians, but contend also with their Deities, but should not draw out against them the things of Moses, which were in former times adverse to them, but place against them the Death of our Teacher as something terrific: and should destroy that fame respecting the Gods, which formerly went out from among them to all mankind, not by mere words, and stories, but by the power of our Lord, of Him who was crucified; and, that we should again proceed even to the extremities of the land of the Barbarians, and subvert the things (prevailing) with all men: and for this purpose not one of us should be wanting : For the reward pertaining to the things which we (so) attempted, would not be small, since the triumphs to which we should present ourselves, would not be simple ones; but, as it is likely, (would be) punishments awarded by the laws of every place; open bonds, torments, imprisonments, fire, sword, (death by) the cross and (by) wild beasts: but, because we would acquire a likeness to our Teacher, we would willingly rather, and with joyfulness one and all, continue (partaking) in these calamities! For, What can there be better than this, that we should be found enemies to both God and man, for no one thing profitable ? And also, that we should obtain nothing of ease ? neither should see our friends, nor in any way increase our wealth ? nor even possess the hope of any good to perfection ? but should, on the contrary, vainly and without any object err |313 ourselves, and lead others (also) astray ? For this is the helpful thing (had in view), that we should both be opposed to all nations, and also engaged in contention with those Gods, whom all men have from ancient times confessed: and, that we should preach of Him who was our Teacher, and who died before our eyes, that He was God, and the Son of God : and that we ourselves should be ready to die for Him, having learned from him nothing true, and nothing advantageous! And that we should particularly honour Him, because He aided us in nothing excellent: and should moreover do every thing in order to glorify His name; suffer every sort of injury and vengeance, and willingly receive every form of punishment for nothing that is true! For, evil certainly is truth, and falsehood has that which is opposed to vice. On this account we say, that "He even raised the dead, also cleansed the lepers, also cast out Demons, and was the doer of other wonderful works," when we know of no such things done by Him, but have fabricated all these things for ourselves; and (thus) led all astray, on whom we could prevail to do so ! But, if any one would not be (so) persuaded, still we ourselves should,-- for the sake of the things which we had (so) bargained upon among ourselves,--have brought forth upon ourselves the things worthy of such a system of error.
29. And Do these things appear to you as convincing ? And, Can you so far persuade yourself, that they (His Disciples) did falsely put forth such things as these ? And, that men so deficient and unlettered, did actually make (such) compact among themselves, and (triumphantly) walk over the power of the Romans ? Could human nature, possessed as it is with the love of life, have ever submitted, for no object and of its own will, to death ? Or, Could the Disciples of our Saviour have been carried on to such an excess of madness, that they should at once,--when they had seen no act of a miraculous character performed by Him, --have falsely put forth by compact such things as these? |314 And again, Could they have put together such lying statements respecting Him, and then have readily submitted to death in support of them?
30. But they went not forth by compact, to this (work of) preaching respecting Him; nor did they make (any compact) among themselves. Whence then, had they this perfect agreement of testimony respecting His deeds ? Is it (not) likely, from seeing the things which were done by Him ?--For one of (these) two things must be the fact: (viz.) Either, they made compact among themselves, and lied; or else, they attested (what) they had seen with their eyes. If then, they really saw (the things), and preached (them) to all men; they were worthy of credit when they said of our Saviour, that He was God; and, that He permitted them to see with their eyes, (the putting forth of) Divine powers, Miracles, and wonderful Works. If however they really saw none of the things (so) recorded, but put together false statements; and accordingly made oath, and sworn covenant, on this, (viz.) that they would say nothing true, and (then) lied, and attested of their Lord what was false; How could they in reality have submitted to death, for nothing true ? and, that neither fire, nor sword, nor fierce beasts, nor the depth of the sea, could make them falsify the accounts, which they had (thus) falsely put forth respecting their Lord ?
31. But, How can you say that they neither expected nor hoped, that they should suffer any calamity from this their testimony respecting Him; and, that they therefore went out, even boldly, to the (work of) preaching about Him ? On the contrary, it was impossible they should not have hoped, that they should suffer every sort of calamity: superinducing as they did the destruction of the Gods, at once of the Romans, the Greeks, and the Barbarians. Now the Book itself, which (speaks) of them, shews plainly, that after the death of their Lord certain men, enemies of the word and who lay in wait for it, laid hands on them; delivering them first to imprisonment, and then strictly |315 commanding them, that they should speak to none in the name of Jesus43. And, when they found them afterwards openly teaching the multitudes the things respecting Him, they violently seized, and scourged (them), and forbade them (so) to teach ; Simon Peter answering said to them, "It is right that we should rather hearken to God, and not to men44." After these things too, Stephen was stoned with stones, and died; because he had openly spoken (of Him) in the assembly of the Jews45. And there arose no small persecution46 against those, who were the ambassadors of the name of Jesus. And again at another time, when Herod the king of the Jews slew James the brother of John with the sword, he, the same, confined Simon Peter in bonds, as it is written in the Acts of the Apostles47. And, while these suffered such things, the rest of the Disciples persevered, grew strong, and remained in the doctrine of our Saviour ; and again preached to all men more particularly respecting Him, and His wonderful works. After these things, James--whom those who formerly resided at Jerusalem called "the Just" on account of his great excellence,--was interrogated of the chief priests and doctors of the Jewish people, as to what he thought of Jesus; and, when he returned answer to them, that " He was the Son of God48," he was also stoned with stones by them49. Simon Peter too, was, after his50 Head (i.e. Christ), crucified at Rome. Paul also was taken off51 (slain,) and John was committed to the island (Patmos in banishment). And, while these suffered such things, not so much as one of the |316 rest forsook His (Christ's) doctrine; and (indeed) all of them prayed, that such things might befall them, in order that they might, for the sake of the worship of God, be like to those already mentioned. And, on this account again, they openly gave their testimony of our Saviour, and of His wonderful works, the more abundantly.
32. And observe, If the things which they preached respecting Him were lies, and they had fabricated them by compact; we ought to wonder how this whole company could have observed this agreement, in what they had fabricated, even to death. And no one of them ever betrayed any fear, on account of the things that had happened to those who had previously been slain; or left their society; or preached that which opposed what his companion had; or brought to light the things they had (so) agreed upon. But even he, who,--filled with the love of money,--dared to deliver Him up to (His) enemies, did forthwith, and with his own hands, inflict punishment on himself52 !
33. Now, Is not this replete with wonder, that men, who were deceivers and unlettered53, knowing neither how to speak, or understand, any language beyond that of their fathers, should not only undertake to go forth and to pass into all nations, but should also (so) go forth and effect (their) purpose ? And, let this also be considered, that not even one of them ever uttered a word adverse to the marvellous deeds of their Lord ! If then, the agreement of witnesses is sufficient to settle any of those things, about which there is doubt, and which is commonly brought into dispute in the courts of law;--and the law of God has declared that54 "in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every matter shall be established55,"--Shall not the truth also be established by these, who were the chosen twelve, and |317 the Disciples seventy in number, and thousands of others besides these, all of whom at once exhibited (so) wonderful an agreement, and who have (so) given their testimony to the things done by our Saviour ? This too they did, not without affliction56; but in the suffering of torments, and of every species of injury, of scourgings, imprisonment, and deaths! On this account they were through God believed, in order that (He) might everywhere confirm the word preached, by their means, throughout the whole habitable world, even to this day !
34. Let57 it be considered then, that we have granted these things, by connivance at an unjust principle. For (in) this, that a man might imagine that which is adverse to the Scripture, and, that we should say of the common Saviour of all that He was a Teacher, not of righteous precepts, but of those of vice, fraud, and of every sort of abomination; and, that these His Disciples learned the same from Him, and were all lustful and vicious in every thing, beyond all men that ever existed; we allowed, by connivance, according to the statement (supposed), that which is of all things the most improper. For this would be, as if one should in a similar manner, injuriously accuse Moses who said in the law, "Thou shalt, not kill; neither shalt thou commit adultery ; neither shalt thou steal; neither shalt thou bear false witness;" and should say, that he uttered these things by way of irony and in hypocrisy; for, it was his wish (nevertheless) that his hearers should kill, commit adultery, |318 and act in direct opposition to the things, which he himself shewed the Law laid down; and put forth (merely) the form of an approach to purity of life!--But there is nothing so shameless as this ! In like manner also, might any one arraign the positions58 of the Philosophers among the Greeks, whose lives were those of patience, as were all their words, and might say, that they were in their conduct opposed to what they wrote; and so shewed themselves to have made a mere (hypocritical) approach to the life, which belongs to philosophy. And thus, we affirm, might any one simply arraign all the writings of the ancients, and shew cause against the truth which they contain; and might Himself receive that, which is diametrically opposed to these! But, as it cannot be difficult to any one possessed of common sense, to pronounce of this that it would be madness; so also, of the precepts of our Saviour and of His Disciples, should any one pervert the truth which is (found) in these, and then attempt to fix upon Him the things diametrically opposed to His teaching.-- But, let that be granted which the statement itself requires. How much more will it then appear, that the assertion of the opponent cannot stand, as (being grounded) in a connivance (concession) which it is improper to (allow) ?
35. These59 things being then refuted, let us also consider the testimony of the Scriptures of the Divinity, and the spotless and truth-loving manner of the Disciples, of our Saviour. Any one therefore, who chooses (to exercise) a sound mind, may hence see, that they were worthy of all dignity, since they confessed that they were mean and unlettered in their discourse, and betook themselves to a love for the doctrine of the worship of God, and of philosophy. They also desired the life, capable of submitting to sufferings, and afflicted by fasting, (by) abstinence from wine and from flesh, and (by) many other humiliating things of the body; by prayer and supplication to God, and more particularly by temperance, and the chief holiness of body. |319 and soul3. And, Who is not astonished at this, that they should, for the sake of the excellency of wisdom, have even separated themselves from the wives that had been lawfully given to them ? and that they were led by no natural desire, and subdued by no love of children; since they desired not the children that were mortal, but those which were immortal ? And, How can any one fail to wonder at this their character, that they desired no money ? or (How) imagine this, that they fled not from, but loved, a Teacher who despised the possessions of gold and silver ? and the Lawgiver, who laid it down that they should not enlarge their possessions even to two coats60? which any one hearing, would doubtless seek excuse from its severe requirements; while they were seen to act upon it, even to the letter ! For, upon a certain occasion a lame man--one of those who begged, on account of the extreme doubt as to provision,--asked (alms) of those who were about Simon Peter: and, when Simon Peter had nothing that he could give, he confessed that he was destitute (lit. clean) of every sort of possession of silver and gold, and said, "Silver and gold have I none61." After this he brought forth the precious name,--which is of all things the most precious,--and said, "This which I have give I to thee. In the name of Jesus the Christ, arise and walk."
36. And62, when they attended to their Teacher, (Jesus) enjoined upon them the grievous things, (which should happen to them) in these words which He said to them, (viz.) "In the world ye shall have tribulation63;" and again--" Ye shall weep and mourn, but the world shall |320 rejoice64," How plainly did the firmness and deep (sincerity) of their character not appear, since they fled not from these (severe) exercises of the soul, nor betook themselves to the things of the desires ? nor did their Lord moreover allure them by way of deception, or make them His by promising them the things which supply ease and comfort; but, truly and freely foretold to them those which should happen to them; and enabled them to choose for themselves the sort of conduct, which He had laid down for them. Of this sort were the things, which He foretold and attested, respecting the persecutions that were to happen to them, because of His name, (viz.) "that they should come before governours, and even kings65;" and, that they should suffer every sort of punishment and vengeance, not on account of any thing hateful, nor for any other just cause ; but for this only, (viz.), for their testimony respecting Him; which (indeed), we have seen with our own eyes, has happened even to this time ? His prediction moreover, is worthy of our admiration ; for the testimony (given) respecting the name of our Saviour, and the confessing of Him, had usually the effect of inflaming the anger of the Rulers. And, even if nothing hateful had been perpetrated by any one confessing Christ, they punished and injuriously treated him, on account of His name, as evil, and more evil than any other thing: but, if any one did not confess His name, but denied that he was a Disciple of Christ, he was immediately set at liberty, even if he were implicated in many things which were abominable! But, What necessity can there be, that I should collect and endeavour to record, the many things relating to the lives of the Disciples of our Saviour, when the things already advanced, will be sufficient proof of (all) that is before us ? To these (however) we will again add the things (following), here in (their) place; and with these we will conclude our discussion.
37. As to Matthew the Apostle66 his former manner |321 of life was not that which was excellent; on the contrary, he was one of those whose business was tax-gathering and fraud. This however, not one of the rest of the Apostles has laid open to us, neither John the Apostle who was with him, nor Luke, nor Mark, the writers of the rest of the Gospels: but Matthew, recording his own manner of life, has become his own accuser ! Hear then, how openly he has memorialized his own name against himself in his own writing, and has thus spoken :--
38. "67And, when Jesus passed from thence, He saw a man sitting among the Tax-gatherers, whose name was Matthew; and He said to him, Follow me: and he arose (and) followed Him. And it came to pass that when He was sitting in the house, Behold many Tax-gatherers and Sinners were sitting with Jesus, and with His Disciples." And again, after these things, when passing away, and reciting the number of the rest of the Disciples, He added respecting Himself the name of Tax-gatherer, and spoke thus: "The68 names of the twelve Apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Cephas, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, and Thomas and Matthew the Tax-gatherer." Thus therefore Matthew evinces, through the greatness of (his) humility, his truth-loving character, calls himself a Tax-gatherer; conceals not his former mode of life, and counts himself among sinners ! He also numbers himself second to the Apostle who was with him; for he associated (himself) with Thomas, as (he did) Simon with Andrew, James with John, and Philip with Bartholomew ; placing Thomas first, and honouring him as the more excellent Apostle with himself; while the rest of the Evangelists have done the reverse of this69. Hear therefore how Luke |322 bears record of Matthew, not giving him the appellation of Tax-gatherer, nor placing him after Thomas; but, because he considered him the more worthy, numbering him first, and placing Thomas after him, just as Mark has done: His words then, are these: "And70, when it was day, He called His Disciples, and chose twelve out of them, those whom He named Apostles: Simon, whom He named Cephas; and |323 Andrew his brother2, James and John, and Philip and Bartholomew, and Matthew and Thomas." Thus therefore Luke honoured Matthew, just as they, who had from the first been eye-witnesses and hearers of the word, had delivered to him71. 72And thus Matthew, through his humility, made little of himself, confessed that he was a Tax-gatherer, and numbered himself the second (in order), after the Apostle who was (named) with him.
39. You73 will also find that John is like Matthew (in this respect) ; for in his Epistle74 he does not so much as make mention of himself, or call himself Elder75 or Apostle, or Evangelist. In the Gospel too, which was written by him, he says of himself that Jesus loved him, but he does not reveal his own name.
40. Simon Peter moreover, did not so much as attempt the writing of a Gospel, on account of his great fear (of responsibility). But Mark, they say, who, being well known to him and his Disciple, put on record the declarations of Simon respecting the deeds of our Saviour. Who,--when |324 he betook himself to the recording of these things, (viz.) when Jesus asked what men said of Him, and the Disciples themselves what they thought of Him; Simon answered and said to Him, "Thou76 art the Christ;"--made the statement that Jesus did not even answer him, or say any thing to him; but that He forbade their telling this to any man. Now Mark committed these things to writing, although he was not present with Jesus when He said them; but he had heard them from Peter, when he taught them. Peter however, was unwilling to state the things which Jesus had said either to him, or about him, by way of testimony (favourable) to himself. But, the things which were said of him are these, (which) Matthew has put forth in these (words): "But77 you, Whom say ye that I am ? Simon said to Him, Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said to him; Blessed art thou Simon son of Jonas, since flesh and blood have not revealed (this) to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I also say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock78 will I build my Church, and the gate-bars of hell shall not prevail against it. And I give to thee the keys79 of the kingdom of heaven; and every one whom thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and every one whom thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven" When (therefore), all these things were said to Simon Peter by Jesus, Mark did not record so much as |325 one of them ; because, as it is probable, neither did Peter mention them in his teaching80. These things therefore, Simon Peter well kept silent, and thence Mark omitted them. But the things of his denial (of Christ), he preached to all men; and (so) caused an accusation to be recorded against himself! That he wept bitterly too, over this, you will find Mark to have given the record in these (words): "And81, when Peter was in the court, one of the maid-servants of the High Priest came to him; and, when she saw that he was warming (himself), she looked upon him and said to him, Thou also wast with Jesus the Nazarene. But he denied and said, I know (him) not, nor do I perceive what thou sayest: and he went out into the outer court; and the cock crew. And again a maid saw him, and began to say to those who were standing (by) ; |326 This (man) also is (one) of them. And he again denied. And again a little after, those who were standing (by) said to Simon, Truly thou art (one) of them; for thou art also a Galilean. But he began to curse and to say, I know not this man of whom ye speak. And immediately, the cock crew the second time" These things Mark wrote; and these, Simon Peter witnessed against himself. For all these things of Mark are, they say, the memorials of the declarations of Peter himself82.
41. Of83 those therefore, who excused themselves from saying the things which would contribute to their own good fame, and who recorded against themselves accusations which can never be forgotten, charging themselves with their own foolishness, in things which none of those who came afterwards could have known, had they not been recorded by themselves; How (shall we not assert) they were free from every feeling of self-love, and lying statement ? and justly confess of them, that they openly and clearly put forth the proof of an ardent love of truth? Those therefore, who evinced such a character as this,--of whom men thought that they were the authors of falsehood and of lying, and whom they endeavoured to malign as Deceivers ;--How are these not (now) found to be a laughing-stock, lovers of hatred and envy, and enemies to the truth ? For, How should not those be such, who (insisted) on the things which were guileless, and of no hateful observance; these same (I say), whose characters were true and pure, and who shewed forth their habitual dispositions by their words ?--(not) that (men) should say of them, that they were cunning and wily Sophists, and fabricators of things that had no existence, and laid upon their Lord, by way of favour, things which He never did. It does appear to me, that we may well put the question to these, Whether84 it be right we should give credence to the Disciples of our Saviour, or not ? And, if we are not |327 to give credence to these only, Whether we should to all those also, who have long ago preached the memorial of their conduct and precepts, (both) among the Greeks and the Barbarians; and have committed to writing time after time the victories attending this ? And also, Whether it be just to extend credence to others; but to withhold it from them only?--How clearly then, does not the malice of such (opponents) appear!
42. But85, Why should these have lied respecting their Lord ? and have delivered down, in their writings, things of Him which had no existence, as if they had really happened ? Why too, should they have falsely stated of Him the sufferings, and (other) grievous things (which He bore) ? His betrayal by one word of His Disciple (Judas) ? the accusation of those who criminated Him ? the ridicule ? the contempt of the judgment (passed on Him) ? the reproach ? the smitings on the face ? the scourges laid upon His loins ? the crown of thorns which was placed upon Him in reproach ? the purple robe which they put upon Him after the manner of a cloke ? and, at last, the bearing of His cross, the signal mark of His victory ? that He was then affixed to this? that He was pierced both in His hands and feet ? that they gave Him vinegar to drink ? that one struck Him on the head with a reed ? that He was derided of those who looked on Him ? Is it right (I say), that we should suppose His Disciples to have falsely stated even these, and many other similar things that are written about Him ? Or, that we should believe they truly stated these (disreputable) things ? but, that we should not give credence to those which are honourable (to Him)? But, How can this system of contrariety be supported ? |328 For this, that (men) should affirm that these same persons were true; and again this, that they were false, would be nothing else but to affirm of them, that which is in itself contradictory ! Of What sort then, should the reprehension of these be ? For, if this stigma is to be fixed upon them, (viz.) that they propagated falsehood, and exalted their Lord by lying statements, and adorned Him by means of (fabricated) miracles; they surely never would have committed to writing the things already mentioned, which were adverse to themselves; nor would they have made it known to those, who should come afterwards, that He, whose ambassadors they were, was "oppressed and " exceedingly sorrowful" and was perturbed in his soul: or, that they "forsook Him and fled-" or, that he, who was the chosen of all the Apostles, and His Disciple, the same Simon Peter (I say),--who is preached of,--did, without either pain (inflicted), or torment threatened, deny Him three times! For these things, even if said by others, it was necessary they should deny; they (I say), who betook themselves to nothing else, except the fabrication of false statements favourable to Him, and magnifying both themselves and their Lord.
43. If86 then, they appear to be lovers of truth in those grievous accounts (which they give) of Him ; much more are they so in those glorious ones. For those, who chose to lie on any one occasion, would the more particularly avoid those things which brought difficulty with them, either by silence or denial of them : because, those who should come after, would not have it in their power to blame the things, which they had (so) kept silent. Why then, did they not lie and say that Judas who betrayed Him, forthwith became a stone, when he dared to give the kiss--the signal of betrayal? And, that he who dared to strike Him on the cheek, had his right hand immediately withered ? And the High Priest of the Jews, because he ran along with those who criminated Him, became blind in his eyes? But, Why did not they all lie, (and say) that, in |329 truth, no grievance (whatsoever) happened to Him ? but, that He concealed Himself from men, and laughed at their judgment-hall? and, that those who accused Him, were deceived by spectres sent from God ; thinking that they were doing something adverse to one who was not near them ? And, Why should not this have been (deemed) more glorious, than their falsely stating that "He raised the dead," and was the doer of wonderful works ? This, that they should have recorded, that nothing either human or mortal happened to him; but, that He did every thing by the Divine power ?--That He made His ascension to heaven in the Divine glory ? For those, who gave credence to their other accounts, could not have with-holden their belief from these. How then, should those be (deemed) worthy of exemption from every suspicion of vice, who concealed nothing of the truth, as to the difficulties and calamities (so happening); and not also worthy of all credit, as to the other miraculous deeds which they attested respecting Him ? The testimony therefore, of these men respecting our Saviour, is sufficient. There is nevertheless, nothing to prohibit our availing ourselves, even the more abundantly, of the Hebrew witness Josephus; who, in the Eighteenth Book of his Antiquities of the Jews, writing the things that belonged to the times of Pilate, commemorates our Saviour in these words: --
(The testimony) of Josephus respecting the Christ.
44. " At87 this period then was Jesus, a wise man, if it be right to call Him a man; for He was the doer of |330 wonderful works, and the Teacher of those men who, with pleasure, received Him in truth. And He brought together many (both) of the Jews, and many of the profane (Gentiles). And this was the Messiah (Christ). And, when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal ancient men among ourselves, laid on Him the punishment of the Cross, those who formerly loved Him were not reduced to silence. For He appeared again to them, on the third day, alive: things which, with many others, the Prophets had said respecting Him : so that from thence, and even until now, the race of the Christians has not been wanting to Him."
45. If88 therefore, as (this) author attests of Him, |331 He was the doer of wonderful works, and that He made His Disciples,--not only the twelve Apostles, or the seventy Disciples, but also attached to Himself,--myriads of others both of the Jews and Gentiles; it is clear, that He possessed something excellent beyond the rest of mankind. For, How could He have otherwise attached to Himself the many, both of the Jews and Gentiles, unless He had made use of miracles and astonishing deeds, and of doctrines (till then) unknown ? The Book of the Acts of the Apostles also attests, that there were many thousands of the Jews, who were persuaded that He was that Christ of God, who had been preached of by the Prophets. It is also on record, that there was a great Church of Christ at Jerusalem; which had been collected from among the Jews, even to the times of its reduction by Hadrian. The first Bishops too who were there, are said to have been, one after another, fifteen (in number), who were Jews89; the names of whom are published to the men of that place, even until now. So that by these, every accusation against the Disciples may be undone; since, what was prior to them, and independent of their testimony, these attest of Him, (viz.), that He, the Christ of God, did by means of these wondrous works which He performed, reduce many, both of the Jews and of the Gentiles, beneath His power90.
46. You91 will also be made acquainted with the Divinity of His power, if you will consider of what nature He was; and how it was that all this superiority of the Divine power (operated) in the overcoming of tilings exceeding all description. For let it be considered, No one--who ever wished to disseminate his laws, or any strange doctrine among all nations, and, who would shew himself to be a Teacher of the worship of the one supreme God, to all races of men,--would be willing to make use of those as the ministers of his will, who were of all men the most rustic and deficient. And it is likely, one might |332 think, he would attempt this with the greatest impropriety. For, How could they who could scarcely open their lips, ever be the Teachers of any one man, much less of multitudes ? And, How could they,--destitute of every sort of erudition,--address whole assemblies, unless this were indeed a shewing forth of the will of God ? For He called them, as we have already shewn, and said in the first place "Follow me, and I will make you Fishers of men92." And, because He thenceforth made them His own, and they adhered to Him, He breathed into them the Divine power93, and filled them both with strength and courage: and, as He was THE WORD or GOD in truth, and the Doer of all these miracles, He made them the Fishermen of intellectual and reasonable souls; adding, at once to the word "Follow me, and I will make you" the Deed, making them both the Doers, and Teachers, of the worship of His God94. And thus He sent them forth into all nations throughout the whole creation, and demonstrated that they were the Preachers of His doctrine. And, Who is not astonished, and probably incredulous, as to this miracle,-- which could scarcely (indeed) have been imagined ? Since no one, of those who have been eminent, has ever been commemorated as having had recourse to any such thing as this; or has come up to any thing resembling it95. For it has been the desire of each one of these, to set up something promising to himself, in his own land only; or, to be able to establish such laws as seemed to him good, among some one people of his own. But observe of Him, who availed himself of nothing either human or mortal, how, in reality, He again put forth the word of God in the precept, which He gave |333 to these His powerless Disciples, (viz.) "Go ye and make Disciples of all nations96!" It is likely too, His Disciples would thus address their Lord, by way of answer: How can we do this ? For, How can we preach to the Romans ? And, How can we discourse with the Egyptians? What diction can we use against the Greeks; being brought up in the Syrian language only ? How can we persuade the Persians, the Armenians, the Chaldeans, the Scythians, the Hindoos, and other nations called Barbarians, to desert the gods of their forefathers, and to worship the one Creator of all things? And, upon What superiority of words can we rely, that we shall succeed in this ? Or. How can we hope, that we shall prevail in the things attempted ? (viz.) that we shall legislate for all nations, in direct opposition to the laws laid down from ancient times, (and this) against their gods ? And, What power have we upon which to trust, that we shall succeed in this enterprise ? These things therefore, the Disciples of our Saviour would either have thought, or said. But He who was their Lord solved, by one additional word, the aggregate of the things of which they doubted, (and) pledged them by saying, '' Ye shall conquer in my name." For it was not that He commanded them, simply and indiscriminately, to go and make Disciples of all nations; but with this excellent addition which He delivered, (viz): "In my name." Since it was by the power of His name that all this came to pass ; as the Apostle has said, "God has given Him a name, which is superior to every name: that, at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow which is in heaven, and which is in earth, and which is beneath the earth." It is likely therefore, that He would shew forth the excellency of the unseen power, which was |334 hidden from the many, by His name; and, (accordingly) He made the addition, "In my name." He thus accurately foretold moreover, something which should come to pass, (when) He said, "It is expedient that this my Gospel be preached in the whole world, for the testimony of all nations97." Now, this matter was then declared in a corner of the earth, so that those only who were at hand could have heard it. But, How could they have believed Him when He said this, unless they had taken experiment as to the truth of His words, from the other Divine acts which were done by Him ? For this, you are compelled to confess when it is considered, that they gave credence to what He said. For, when He gave them the command, not so much as one sought to be excused; but they confided in what He had intimated : and, just as His promises had been, so DID they make Disciples of the whole race of men ! They did go forth from their own land into all nations ; and, in a short time, His words were seen in effect! His Gospel was therefore shortly preached, throughout the whole creation, for the testimony of all nations, so that the Barbarians and Greeks received the Scriptures, respecting the common Saviour of all, in the handwriting of their Progenitors, and in the words of their spiritual Fathers.
47. A man might therefore well stand in doubt, as to what the form of the doctrine of our Saviour's Disciples was; how they passed on into the midst of cities, and so proclaimed (it) in the middle of the streets; lifting up their voices, calling to those with whom they met, and thence conversing with the people: also, of what sort the language was in which they addressed them, so that we can imagine the hearers were persuaded thereby: and (again), how (such) men, inexperienced in words and far removed from every sort of erudition, could speak before the people ; and (this), if not in large assemblies, still with the few with |335 whom they met, and then addressed: and, of what, and of what sort of terms, they made use for persuading (their) hearers. Nor was their effort small, since they by no means denied the ignominious death of Him, whom they preached. But, even if they concealed this, and did not confess before all, what, and how many, things He suffered of the Jews, but put forth only those splendid and glorious things--I say indeed,--His wondrous works, His miraculous operations, and His doctrines of the (true) Philosophy; still, the matter will not thus be made easy, (viz.) how they could make those who heard them, easily to give in to their declarations: because their diction would be foreign. They would too, now be listening to declarations entirely new, (coming) from men, who possessed nothing worthy of truth, in testimony of the things affirmed by them.
48. But98, let it be supposed that the persuasives now put forth were these, (viz.) that those who were His ambassadors, should at one time preach that He was God ; that, in body, He was human ; and that, in his nature, He was no other than THE WORD OF GOD: on which account also, He performed all these miracles, and (put forth these) powers: but, that at another time, He suffered reproach and infamy, and at last the capital and shameful punishment of the Cross; which is inflicted on those (only), who are in their deeds the worst of all men. Who then, would not (now) properly treat them with ridicule, as affirming things opposed to each other ? And, Who is he, whose intellect would (partake) so much of stone, as readily to believe them, when they said that they saw Him after His death ? that He rose from the dead?--Him (I say), who could not help Himself when among the living99? And (again), Who would ever be persuaded by men so illiterate and |336 deficient as these, when saying; You should despise the things of your own forefathers; charge as folly those of the wise of ancient times; suffer yourselves to be persuaded by us alone, and to be commanded by the precepts of Him who was crucified: for He only is the beloved, and only (begotten) of that God alone, who is over all ?
49. I myself however, investigating for myself with effort100, and in the love of truth, this same thing (singly), should perceive not one virtue in it (making it) credible, nor even any thing great, or worthy of faith, nor so persuasive, as adequate to the persuading of even one illiterate person, much less men wise and intellectual. Nevertheless, when again I view its power, and the result of its doings; how the many myriads have given their assent to it, and how Churches of tens of thousands of men have been brought together, by these very deficient and rustic persons; --nor that these were built in obscure places, nor in those which are unknown, but rather in the greatest cities, I say in the Imperial city of Rome itself, in Alexandria, in Antioch, in all Egypt, in Libya, in Europe, in Asia, both in the villages and (other) places, and among all nations; I am again compelled to recur to the question of (its) cause, and to confess, that they (the Disciples) could not otherwise have undertaken this enterprise, than by a Divine power which exceeds that of man, and by the assistance of Him who said to them, "Go101, and make Disciples of all nations in my name." And, when He had said this to them, He attached to it the promise, by which they should be so encouraged, as readily to give themselves up to the things commanded. For He said to them, "Behold102 I am with you always, even to the end of the world." It is stated, |337 moreover, that He breathed into them the Holy Ghost with the Divine power; (thus) giving them the power to work miracles, saying at one time, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost103;" and at another, commanding them, to "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and cast out Demons:---freely ye have received, freely give104."
50. Even you yourself see therefore, how this their word took effect; since even the Book of their Acts attests things like to these, and which accord with them ; how,-- (for example,) when writing also of those by whom miraculous deeds were done in the name of Jesus105,--those, who were present and saw, were astonished. They were astonished, as it should seem, at those who had formerly seen (this power) by means of deeds ; and who then made them (i. e. the chief Priests,) readily to ask, Who this was, by whose power and name the miracle had been wrought ?--And thus, as they taught, they found that these had in faith (even) run before their instruction. For, it was not by words that they were persuaded; but it was by the deeds which preceded these, that they were readily prevailed upon to accede to the things said. It is also said, that men suddenly brought to them sacrifices and libations, as if they had been Gods ; thinking that one of them was Mercury, the other Jupiter: and the whole of this astonishment was, to their minds, a demonstration that the deeds done were miraculous. And, as all those which they preached respecting our Saviour, were such as these, they were thenceforth quickly, and with propriety, received. Nor did they give their testimony of His resurrection from the dead, by mere words and without proofs; but, by their power and by deeds did they persuade, and shew forth the works of the living (God).
51. If106 then, they preached that He was God, and the Son of God, and that He was with the Father before He came among men ; Why should they not have especially added to this, that they believed what was adverse to have been impossible and incredible ? For they must have justly thought it impossible, that these acts could have been |338 those of men ; but, on the contrary, those of God, even the more though no one would say (this).
52. And this, and nothing else, is indeed the thing required, (viz.) by what power the Disciples of our Saviour gained credit from those, who had from the first heard them: and how they persuaded both Greeks and Barbarians to think of Him, as of THE WORD OF GOD: and how they set up in the midst of the cities, and in all villages, Houses107 (appropriated to) the Doctrine of the worship of the supreme God. And, Who is not also astonished at this, when he considers with himself, and feels satisfied, that this could not have been of man ; that never at any former time, were the many nations of the whole creation subject to the one sovereign rule of the Romans, except only since the time of our Saviour? For it happened, immediately upon His passing about among men, that the affairs of the Romans became great108;--that, at that time, Augustus was primarily the sole Sovereign of many nations; and that in his time Cleopatra was inflamed with love; and the traditionary (kingdom) of the Ptolemies in Egypt was dissolved109. For, from that time, and until now, that kingdom which was from ancient time; and of it, as one might say, the ancient germ of men which was established in Egypt, have been rooted up. From |339 that period too, have the Jewish people been in subjection to the Romans; as has that, in like manner, of the Syrians, the Cappadocians, the Macedonians, the Bithynians, and the Greeks; and, to speak collectively, all the rest of those subject to the rule of the Romans; and, that this did not come to pass without regard to the Divine teaching of our Saviour, Who will not confess, when He has considered, that it would not have been easy for His Disciples to be sent forth, and to pass into foreign parts, when all the nations were divided one against another ? and when there was no one uniting element among them, on account of the many Satraps (stationed) in every place, and in every city ? But, in the extirpation of these, they immediately, fearlessly, and with pleasure, set about doing that which had been placed before them; because God, who is over all, had previously made their course peaceful, and had restrained the wrath of the worshippers of Demons in the cities, by the fear of the great Empire. Consider then, If there had not been something to restrain those who had been stupified with the error of a plurality of Gods, how they would have contended with the Doctrine of Christ. For, you would doubtless have seen in every city and village, commotions (stirred up) against each other, with persecutions and wars of no mean description 110, had the worshippers of the Demons possessed the sovereign rule over us. But now, this also is a work of the God who is over all, that He might subdue |340 the enemies of His word, by the greater fear of a superior kingdom. For it was His will, that (His word) should daily increase and extend itself to all mankind : and again, so, that it should not be thought, that, it was by the connivance of the Rulers, and not by the superior power of God, it took effect.--When any one of the tyrants was so elated by wickedness, as to set about resisting the word of Christ, the God of all even allowed such at once to do his will; because he would afford proof to those combatants for (establishing) the worship of God, and also that it might be seen clearly by all men, that it was not by the will of man that the word was established, but by the power of God himself. And, Who is not instantly amazed at the things which usually come to pass in times such as these111 ? For, those ancient combatants from among men for the worship of God, kept secret112 the nature of their superiority ; at that time they became known and seen by all, when they were adorned with the victories which were from God : while those, who were the enemies of the worship of God, received the punishments which were justly their due: chastized (as they were) by strokes sent from God, and their entire bodies wasted by grievous and incurable diseases, so as to have been speedily driven to confess |341 their wickedness in opposing our Saviour113! But these, the rest of all those who were worthy of the Divine name (Christian), and who gloried in thinking of the things which belonged to Christ, did in a short time shew,--being brought through trials,--the purity and refining of their minds, and that they had thus also obtained freedom for their souls. And soon did God cause, that, by their means, THE WORD, the Saviour, should arise (as the sun) on tens of thousands.
The End of writing the Five Books of Eusebius of Caesarea, which are called "The Divine Manifestation."
[Selected footnotes. Notes concerned only with points of the Syriac and large chunks of Greek have been omitted]
1. 1 Alluding to the interrogative mode of inquiry pursued in the former Books of this work.
2. 1 This place occurs also in the Demonstr. Evang. Lib. in. iii. p. 102. D. seq.--The charge of our Lord's being a magician is often advanced by Celsus, Origen contra Cels. Lib. i. pp. 7, 30, 65, &c. See sect. 16, below, and Spencer's notes on Origen contra Cels. Lib. i. p. 7, notes.
3. 2 Syr. [Syriac]. The meaning of which I suppose is, that he wished His followers to be, those who most felt their wants of His aid. The Syriac is probably defective here.
4. 8 Comp. also, ib. p. 106. seq.
5. 1 [...] It is cited again, Prep. Evang. Lib. ix. cap. x. p. 413. C. [...]. Other oracles are given from Porphyry, Demonstr. .Evang. Lib. iii. cap. vi. p. 134. B. C.
6. 4 Abundant testimony, to this effect, is adduced, Prep. Evang. Lib. iv. capp. x. xi. &c. from Porphyry and Theophrastus; and again, Demonstr. Evang. Lib. in. cap. iii. p. 105, &c.
7. 1 Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iii. cap. iii. p. 106. C.[...]
8. 1 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 128. A., but much more full in the Greek. Our author seems to mean; No magician would have ever suffered martyrdom, as His Disciples did, because he could have experienced no difficulty in sacrificing to idols.
9. 2 Acts xix. 19. The citation agrees neither with the Peschito, nor the Philoxenian Version; but, as before, was translated afresh from the Greek. Demonstr. Evang. ib. B. C.
10. 3 Demonstr. Evang. ib. C.
11. 4 Ib. D.
12. 5 Ib. p. 129. A. B.
13. 2 Demonstr. Evang. [Greek] which, it must be confessed, savours, to some extent, of the attachment to monastic institutions so unhappily prevalent in the days of our author.
14. 3 He was, as some think, the real originator of the Epicurean sect, and author of the doctrine of Atoms. Cicero says of him, (Tusc. Quest. Lib. v. c. xxxix.) just as Eusebius does here: "An, ni ita se res haberet, Anaxagoras, aut hic ipse Democritus, agros at patrimonia sua reliquissent; huic discendi quaerendique divinae delectationi toto se animo dedissent." And Horace, (Epist. Lib. 1.12,12.) speaking of him as a shepherd; "Miramur, si Democriti pecus edit agellos cultaque, dum peregre est animus sine corpore velox." See also his life by Diogenes Laertius: whence it should seem that he was a man of most extensive erudition, having written books on Morality, Physics, Mathematics, Geometry, Astronomy, Geography, Music, Poetry, Medicine, Agriculture, Painting, Tactics, on the Sacred Literature of Babylon, Chaldean History, Navigation, &c.
15. 4 [...]. This is, no doubt, the Theban Crates whose life is given in Diogenes Laertius, (Lib. vi. segm. 85). [Greek] - "Hunc ait Antisthenes in successionibus, cum in Tragoedia quadam cerneret Telephum sportulam tenentem, ad cynicam philosophiam prorupisse, illumque patrimonio vendito, erat quippe vir nobilis, cum congregasset circiter ducenta talenta, civibus ea divisisse: adeoque constanter philosophatum esse, ut et Philemon comicus ipsius mentionem fecerit: ait nempe:
" Aestate crassum vestiebat pallium
Sed hyeme pannum, ut temperans evaderet."
See also Plutarch, " De vitando aere alieno," p. mihi, 831. ib. p. 466. His love of liberty, ib. p. 499. Tom. ii. Edit. 1620. Bruckeri Hist. Philosoph. Crit. Tom. i. p. 888, &c. The whole of this is also found in the Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iii. vi. p. 129. C. Ed. 1628. Origen is, perhaps, the first among the Fathers who cites both these cases: i. e. that of Democritus and that of Crates, Contra Celsum. Lib. ii. p. 84. On both, see also, notae Hoeschelii ad Orig. ib. Edit. Spencer.
16. 1 Ib. p. 130. B.
17. 2 Ib. p. 130. B.C., &c.
18. 5 The Mohammedans urge an argument of this sort in favour of their Prophet, from a fancied inimitability in the elegance of the Koran; which, it is not impossible, they might originally have taken from this, or some similar Christian, work.
19. 6 Ib. p. 131. A. seq.
20. 7 This is, by no means, a supposititious case. "Celsus," says Mr Bingham, (Antiq. Vol. i. Book i. c. ii. sect. 5.) "and others pretended that our Saviour studied magic in Egypt; and St Austin says, it was generally believed among the heathen, that he wrote some books about magic too, which be delivered to Peter and Paul for the use of his disciples. Hence it was that Suetonius, speaking in the language of his party, calls the Christians, Genus homimem superstitionis maleficae, the men of magical superstition. As Asclepiades, the judge in Prudentius, styles St Romanus the martyr, the Arch-magician. And St Ambrose observes in the Passion of St Agnes, how the people cried out against her, "away with the sorceress! away with the enchanter !" See also the note to Book iv. sect. 31, above. Origen contra Cels. Lib. i. pp. 22, 30. Lib. ii. p. 89, &c.
21. 1 Demonstr. Evang. p. 131. D.
22. 2 Matt, xxviii. 19--20. Cited evidently from memory.
23. 3 Let it not be imagined that this favours the modern doctrines about unwritten tradition. The Apostles were,--be it remembered,-- divinely inspired expressly for this work, and for inditing those Scriptures which are the main sources of divine truth to the Christian Church. And, although Irenaeus (Lib. ii. cap. ii. p. 200. Edit. Grabe) speaks of Tradition, not written, but delivered viva voce; it is evident enough, that he intends to ascribe to this no independent authority: for in the very same context he informs us, that the Heretics, against whom he was writing, were found, when opposing this Tradition, resisting the declarations also of the Scriptures. Ancient Tradition, when found accordant with the Scriptures, may indeed be relied on; but, it is from an examination of it by the Scriptures alone, that we can know it to be good.
24. 4 Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iii. cap. vi. p. 132. B. where the Gr. stands thus: [Greek] of which the Syriac is as servile a rendering, and, at the same time, as obscure an one, as perhaps can be imagined.
25. 3 The Greek here, as often in other places, exceeds our Syriac text, which induces me to believe, that our work was written prior to this. Ib. p. 133. C.
26. 4 The Greek leaves us here, ib. D.
27. 1 Demonstr. Evang. Evang. Lib. iii. cap. v. p. 109. C. seq. with some slight variations. A similar argument is pressed by Arnobius adversus Gentes. Lib. i. p. 32. Edit. 1604.
28. 3 This does not occur in the Greek.
29. 4 This does not occur in the Greek, ib.
30. 5 Matt. x. 10. Differing, as before, from the Peschito.
31. 6 This last clause is not found in the Greek, ib. p. 110. A., where the rest is found.
32. 1 So the Sermon on the mount, generally, Matt. v. seq.
33. 3 Matt. v. 37. The Greek however has, [Greek]
34. 4 Ib. Demonstr. Evang. Lib. in. cap. v. p. 110. C. seq.
35. 5 Ib. D. seq.
36. 1 [...] A sentiment not unlike this occurs in Origen, contra Cels. Lib. i. p. 11.
37. 5 Syr. [Syriac]. This word occurs in no Syriac Lexicon accessible to me. It is, however, beyond all doubt, the "Parabolarii," i. q. "Parabolani" of the Latins, and Para&boloi of the Greeks. The following is Bingham's account of the term. (Ant. Christ. Church, Book i. c. ii. sect. 9.)..."They" (the heathen) "gave them" (the Christians) " the names of Parabolarii and Desperati, the bold and desperate men, The Parabolarii or Parabolani among the Romans, were those bold adventurous men who hired out themselves to fight with wild beasts, upon the stage or amphitheatre, whence they had also the name of Bestiarii and Confectores. Now, because the Christians were put to fight for their lives in the same manner, and they rather chose to do it than deny their religion, they therefore got the name of Paraboli and Parabolani; which, though it was intended as a name of reproach and mockery, yet the Christians were not unwilling to take it to themselves, being one of the truest characters that the heathens ever gave them," &c. And, again, (Book iii. c. ix. sect. 3.) " These were those whom the Romans called Bestiarii, and sometimes Paraboli and Parabolarii, from the Greek word Paraba&llesqai, which signifies exposing a man's life to danger, as they that fought with wild beasts did...and it is the opinion of Gothofred and some other learned critics, that the ancient reading of the Greek copies of... Phil. ii. 30, was [Greek], exposing his life to danger, as an old Latin interpreter of Puteanus renders it, 'Parabolatus de anima sua.' See also Wetstein on the place. This name was also given to some officers of the Church, who thus adventured their lives in visiting the sick." Bingham, ib.
38. 1 Gr. ib. D. The arguments here replied to, will generally be found in Origen contra Cels. Lib. ii. p. 87, &c.
39. 2 Ib. p. 112. A.
40. 4 Not in the Gr. ib. C.
41. 5 Ib. (Demonstr. Evang.) p. 112. C., with some variations.
42. 6 Comp. Ep. Col. i. 23, and see the note above, Book iv. par. 36.
43. 4 Acts iv. 17, 18.
44. 5 Ib. 19.
45. 6 Ib. ch. vii.
46. 7 Ib. ch. viii. 1. seq.
47. 8 Ib. ch. xii. 2. seq.
48. 9 So Origen contra Cels. Lib. ii. p. 69.
49. 10 Euseb. Eccl. Hist. cap. xxiii. Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iii. v. p. 116, B. C. [...]
50. 11 Eccl. Hist. cap. xxv. [...]
51. 12 Ib. cap. xviii. [...]
52. 1 This was Judas, Matt. xxvi. 14; xxvii. 3, &c. [...]
53. 2 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 117. [...]
54. 3 This clause does not appear in the Greek.
55. 4 Deut. xvii. 6; xix. 15. 2 Cor. xiii. 1.
56. 5 Demonstr. Evang. ib. B. Gr. [Greek].
57. 7 Ib. p. 117. C. The Syriac is obscure here, which stands thus: [Syriac], lit. These things then, have been investigated, or, let them be (thought) investigated, (as) that we have given to them, by connivance, a beginning which is not in propriety. [...]
58. 1 Demonstr. Evang. p. 117. D.
59. 2 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 118. B.
60. 4 Matt. x. 10, &c.
61. 6 Acts iii. 6.
62. 7 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 119. A.
63. 8 John xvi. 33.
64. 1 John xvi. 20.
65. 2 Mark ix. 13. Luke xxi. 12.
66. 4 See the note to the next paragraph. Demonst. Evang. Lib. iii. p. 119. D. seq. with certain variations.
67. 5 Matt. ix. 9-11. As before, differing considerably from the Peschito.
68. 6 Matt. x. 2, 3.
69. 7 An extract from the original Greek of this place, having been preserved in the Imperial Library at Vienna, and kindly communicated to me, (see Book iv. sect. 6, above,) I shall now give it as before (1. c.) " Fol. 375. v. EuseB. eu0aggel-qeofa&: (haec rubrica excipit locum Lucae de vocatione Levi:) 1Acion qanma&sai to_ a1plaston kai\ fila&lhqej h]qoj.. kai\ th_n filosofi/an tou~ eu0aggelistou~ matqai/ou. ou[toj ga_r to_n pro&teron bi/on, ou0k a0po_ semnh~j diatribh~j w9rma~to, e0k de\ tw~n a0mfi\ ta_j telwni/aj kai\ pleoneci/aj sxolazo&ntwn. kai\ tou~to tw~n loipw~n eu0aggelistw~n ou0dei\j dh~lon h9mi~n e0poi/hsen. ou0k o9 snnapo&stoloj au0tou~ 'Iwa&nnhj. a0lla0 o9 me\n louka~j sugkallu&ptwn to_ o1noma th~ a0rxaiote/ra proshgori/a katexrh&sato. au0to_j d' o9 matqai~oj. to_n e9autou~ sthliteu/wn u9ion" (lego bi/on.) "kai\ kath&goroj e9autou~ gino&menoj, o0nomasti\, au0to_j e9autou~ memnhme/noj. e0n tw~ oi0kei~w suggra&mmati to&nd' i9storei~ to_u tro&pon. kai\ para&gwn e0kei~qen o9 i0c. ei]den a1non'' ( a1vqrwpon) kaqh&menon e0pi\ to_ telw&nion matqai~on o0no&mati, e0le/gxwn e9autou~ to_ trau~ma i3na qauma&shj th_n te/xnhn tou~ i0atreu/santoj. kai\ pa&lin prow_n e9ch~j, to&n te kata&logon tw~n loipw~n maqhtw~n e0cariqmou&menoj, au0to_j e9autw~ to_ tou~ telw&nou prosti/qhsin o1noma. di0 u9perbolh_n e0pieikei/aj. mh_ e0pikru&ptwn to_n pro&teron au0tou~ bi/on. (Fol. 376 r.) kai\ a9martwloi~j e9auto_u sunariqmei~. kai\ tou~ sunaposto&lou, deu&teron e9auto_n katale/gei. sunezeugme/noj gou~n tw~ qwma~, w9j petroj a0ndre/a. kai\ i0a&kwboj i0wa&nnh, fi/lippo&j te kai\ barqolomai~oj. prota&ttei e9autou~ to_n qwma~n. protimw~n w9j krei/ttona to_n sunapo&stolon. tw~n loipw~n eu0aggelistw~n tounanti/on pepoihko&twn:-- Sequitur et hoc loco rubrica: grhgori/ou qeolo&g." Dr Kopitar adds, "Nota quid si sub Corderii Eusebio et Theophane, quem ille e Bessarionis codice citat, nec definit, lateat Eusebii qeofa&neia ? E nostro nil amplius apparet. Sed video a Kollarii nota ad Lambecii recensionem, Rich. Simonem laudare similem catenam Bibliothecae Parisinae." -- The Parisian Catena I have no means of examining. The query respecting the Codex of Cardinal Bessarion, I must leave to those who have access to that Codex. On other extracts, found by Signor Mai, see p. 225, above, note. The learned reader will perceive, that in this, as well as the former extract, the "Iota subscriptum" is everywhere omitted : and that, in this extract, a few words have been added by the compiler of the Catena in which it is found. The whole passage is also found, with some variations, in the Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iii. v. p. 119. D. seq.
70. 1 Luke vi. 13. seq.
71. 3 Luke i. 2.
72. 4 Wanting in the Greek.
73. 5 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 120. D.
74. 6 Our author speaks here of the First Epistle of John only: the second and third,--in each of which the Apostle is indeed styled "Elder," --being suspected as spurious for some time in the Church. See Euseb. Eccl. Hist. Lib. vi. cap. xxv.--" In the fourth century, when Eusebius wrote his Ecclesiastical History, the Second and Third Epistles of St John were not reckoned among the o9mologoumena, but were in the number of the antilegomena, or books received by some, and rejected by others." Marsh's Michaelis, Vol. vi. sect. i. chap, xxxii,
75. 7 Ib. "The author neither calls himself John, nor assumes the title of Apostle; but names himself simply 'the Elder,' ( o9 presbuteroj)... St John might with the same propriety call himself presbuteroj, as St Peter called himself sumpresbuteroj; and after the death of St Peter, the title o9 presbuteroj might have been applied exclusively to St John, who was the only Apostle then living." See the whole of this: it. Proleg. Mill, in N.T. Edit. Kuster, sect. 151, 222: also Hammond's and Whitby's Prefaces to the Second Epistle of St John. [...].
76. 1 Mark viii. 29.
77. 2 Matt. xvi. 15-20. Disagreeing in many respects with the Peschito, as before. Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 121. A. B.
78. 3 See above, Book iv. sect. 2, where we have a good explanation of this passage. It is also cited Prep. Evang. Lib. i. cap. iii. p. mihi. 8. C., also Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iii. cap. v. p. 121. B.
79. 4 I would remark here, that by "binding and loosing," can only be meant, the office,--committed primarily to the Apostles, and secondarily to all duly authorized Ministers of Christ--of preaching, ministerially, the remission of sins through faith in Him: the fact being, that no one of the Apostles ever did, in his own person, proceed to pronounce pardon of sin on any man, nor, on the other hand, to denounce damnation : this mode of speaking of any thing as done, when the enunciation of it only is intended, being very frequently had recourse to in the Scriptures. See my Heb. Gram. Art. 154, 8; 157, 6, second or third edit.
80. 5 Both Estius (in difficil. Script. loc. in Marc. viii. 29.) and Dr Hammond (Annot. on the title of Matt.) have also noticed this, as Eusebius has. (Prep. Evang. Lib. iii. cap. vii.) "St Peter's humility," says the former, "would not suffer him to tell these" (honourable) "things to St Mark, when he was writing his Gospel"..."which evidences the great modesty of the Apostle." Dr Hammond:..."He (Peter, and after Him Mark) doth it, (mentions his denial, &c.) more coldly than Matthew had done, only e1klaie... Matthew, e1klaie pikrw~j." Jones (on the Canon, Vol. in. p. 65.) well remarks,..."There is not any one single instance in all his Gospel (i.e. Mark's) which tends to advance the honour...of Peter above the rest of the Apostles;...which cannot be accounted for by any way more probable, than supposing that the Apostle did not publish those circumstances which were so much in his favour." He also remarks, that, Peter's working a miracle, in order to pay the tribute, is omitted by Mark. See Matt. xvii. 24. Mark ix. 30-33. Our Lord's saying he would pray for Peter, Luke xxii. 31--32, is also omitted. Peter's humility in not allowing Christ to wash his feet, is also omitted. (John xiii. 6.). Peter's zeal in cutting off the High Priest's servant's ear, John xviii. 10, is also omitted, as is his faith in leaping into the sea, John xxi. 7: also the particular charge to feed His sheep, John xxi. 15: as also the prediction of his martyrdom, John xxi. 18. It is worthy of remark too, that all these omissions were made in the city of Rome, where Peter taught, and where Mark, most likely, wrote his Gospel! Surely the Apostle never could have intended to be elevated there as superior to all the Apostles, and head of the whole Christian Church ! Is it not probable that his intention was, to guard against the assumption, which he foresaw would be had recourse to ?
81. 6 Mark xiv. 66, to the end: differing from the Peschito, as before.
82. 1 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 122. A.
83. 2 Ib. A. seq.
84. 4 Ib. p. 122. C., with some variations.
85. 5 Demonstr. Evang. ib. D.
86. 1 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 123. B. C. with some variations.
87. 3 Antiq. Jud. Lib. xviu. cap. iv. sect. 3. Edit. Hudson, p. 798. where the passage is thus given, [Greek]. Hudson has given (ib.) a good list of various readings. It will be sufficient for me to notice those observed by our Syrian translator. This passage is cited by Eusebius both in his Ecclesiastical History (Lib. i. cap. xi.), and in his Demonstratio Evangelica (Lib. in. v. p. 124. B.) as may be seen in Hudson, a. So the Syr.[Syriac] b. So the Syr. c. Syr. kai\ dida&skaloj. d. Syr. th~| a0lhqei/a| dexome/nwn. e. So the Syr. not "pellexit," as in the Latin of Hudson's Edit. f. Syr. kai\ o9 xristo&j. g. Syr. [Syriac], insimulatione? This word I have never met with before in this sense, h. the Syr. adds [Syriac], oi9 pa&lai, palai~oi, or a0rxai~oi, if we have not two translations here of the Greek, tw~n prw&twn, which I suspect is the case. i. The Syr. seems to have had tw~n par' h9mi~n. j. Syr. seems to have had, oi9 to_ prw~ton. k. Probably not in the Greek of our translator. 1. Not in the copy of our Syrian, m. The Syr. seems to have read, o3qen ei0j e1ti. n. Did not exist in the Greek of our translator.--See also Fabricii Salutaris Lux Evangelii, cap. ii. p. 16. seq.--It has been very common to suspect this passage as spurious, or as partly so; and some have gone so far as to charge Eusebius with the fraud. See the notes of Valesius to the Eccl. Hist. l. c. above. The chief ground for this suspicion appears to be, Josephus's saying, This was the Christ, when, in fact, he was no Christian. But, Is it necessary to suppose this ? The Rulers of the Jews must have known that Jesus was the Christ; and yet, they resisted Him, even to the uttermost! They were acquainted with His miracles, and His resurrection. Did they act accordingly? Quite the contrary! Much the same might be said of thousands among ourselves, who willingly give their testimony to the historical fact of Jesus being the Christ, but who are still as little friends to His cause as Josephus was. Whatever may, therefore, be the fact of the case, as to this reading, I do not see how it can be impugned on grounds so fallacious as these. My own impression is, that it is not spurious.
88. 1 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 124. C. D.
89. 2 So also p. 259, see the note.
90. 3 The Demonstr. Evang. leaves us here. Ib. p. 125. A.
91. 4 Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iii. cap. vi. p. 185. A., but with considerable variation.
92. 3 See Book iv. par. 6, above. This matter occurs also in the Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iii. cap. v. p. 135. B. C. seq.
93. 4 John xx. 22.
94. 5 The Greek is different here, ib. C.
95. 6 The Greek has much more here, ib. D.
96. 7 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 136. A.
97. 1 Cited also above, p. 159.
98. 5 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 137. C. D.
99. 8 This argument is advanced by Celsus: Origen contra Cels. Lib. ii. p. 94. seq.
100. 1 [...] All our author means is probably this, that, looking at such a project of converting the world, with such means simply, how much soever he might be disposed to look candidly on the thing; yet he could not but conclude, that it really promised nothing: i. e. provided other and almighty powers had not been put forth in it.
101. 2 Matt, xxviii. 19.
102. 3 Ib. ver. 20.
103. 4 John xx. 22.
104. 5 Matt. x. 8, &c.
105. 6 This seems to refer to Acts iii. 7, &c. iv. 7, &c. 7 Acts xiv. 12, &c.
106. 8 Demonstr. Evang. ib. p. 139. B. C.
107. 4 Gr. "Didaskalei~a." Lat. "schola atque auditoria:" generally, as places of Christian instruction.
108. 5 See Book iii. sect. i. seq. above.
109. 7 The authors of "The Universal History," tells us, after reciting the amours of Julius Caesar and of Mark Anthony with Cleopatra, (Vol. ix. p. 480, Edit. 1747,) that "In her ended the family of Ptolemy Lagus, the founder of the Egyptian monarchy, after it had ruled over Egypt, from the death of Alexander, two hundred and ninety four years, or, as others will have it, two hundred and ninety three, and three months. For from this time Egypt was reduced to a Roman province, and governed by a praetor sent thither from Rome."--On the prophecies of Daniel relating to this period, the work of Sir Isaac Newton on this subject, or Rollin's Ancient History, may be consulted with advantage.
110. 8 It must be borne in mind, that this refers solely to the times in which the Apostles preached: for, in these, they generally suffered no persecutions, except from the unbelieving Jews. We have a remarkable instance illustrative of this argument recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, (ch. xxii. 23--30): where it is evident that, if Paul had not been a Roman, or had omitted to stand upon his privilege as such, he would have been scourged, if not put to death, by the Centurion: and also, that if no Centurion had been there, he would have been stoned to death by the Jews. The Roman power therefore, although afterwards a persecuting one, did contribute certainly to the furtherance of the Gospel.--This argument is urged also above, Book in. sect, l. seq.; and in the Prep. Evang. Lib. i. cap. iv. p. 10, also in the Orat. de laudd. Constant. Cap. xvi. p. 541.
111. 3 Reference (see also Eccl. Hist. Lib. ix. cap. ix. p. 293. B.) is probably here made to some of those marvellous things done in ancient times in favour of God's Church. In the Ecclesiastical History of our Author, the deliverance from Egypt is thus compared with the erection of the Christian Church. Paulus Orosius makes a similar comparison, (Lib. vii. cap. xxvii. See my Sermons and Dissertations, Lond. 1830, pp. 309--10.), and Lactantius treats this matter much at length in his admirable Tract, "De mortibus Persecutorum." See also, on the death of Domitian, Suetonius, Lib. xi. cap. xvi. seq. Galerius was the instigator of the last persecution. See his miserable end. Hist. Eccl. Lib. viii. cap. xvi. p. 257. seq. See also, ib. Lib. ix. cap. vi. p. 287. ib. cap. x. p. 297. B. C. ib. p. 298. D. seq. also Constantini orat. ad Sanct. coet. cap. xxiv. xxv.
112. 4 Wanting in the Greek, ib. p. 140. D.
113. 6 This, although hinting--it may be--at the plagues of Egypt, and the fall of Pharaoh and his host, has more immediate reference to the Roman Emperors, who took an active part in the persecutions of the Church. See the authorities just referred to, particularly Euseb. Hist. Eccl. Lib. viii. cap. xvii. p. 257. This part closes with Demonstr. Evang. Lib. iii. ib. p. 141. A.
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 5th 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|