C. Dodgson, Tertullian Vol. 1. Apologetic and Practical Treatises. (1842). pp.187-219. De Spectaculis.
OF PUBLIC SHOWS 1.
[The "De Spectaculis" was written previously to the "De Corona" and the "De Idololatria;" in the latter of which T. expressly refers to it, (c. 13.) and, by implication, in the former also; since, saying that he had written on shows "in Greek also," (c. 8.) he implies that he had written in Latin. The "De Corona" fixes it before A.D. 201: (see Notice to it:) the "De Idololatria," probably, in an earlier part of A.D. 198, (see Notice, below.) It is quoted also in the De Cultu Fem. i. 7. which books were written during a severe persecution, (ii. 13.) probably that under Severus, (Lumper l. c. Art. ii. §. 6.) Of internal evidence, it has been noticed, that it was probably written when some great shows were being given, the chief occasion of which, about this period, was Severus's return to Rome, after his victory over Albinus, A.D. 198. (see Notice on Apol.) The "secular games," A.D. 204, fell too late. It was also written apparently before the edict of Severus against the Christians, since T. ascribes the persecution to the populace only, (c. 26.) or the governors of the provinces, (c. 30.) (see Lumper l. c. Art. i. §. xiv.) Neander also, (Tertullian S. 22.) supposes it to have been written on occasion of this victory of Severus. It has no trace of Montanism; for not the expectation of a "new Jerusalem," (c. ult.) of which the Apocalypse also speaks, is Montanistic; but the affirmation that such a city had been actually seen in the air for forty days. adv. Marc. iii. ult.]
I. What state of faith, what argument of truth, what rule of discipline, barreth, among other errors of the world, the |188 pleasures 2 also of the public shows, hear, ye servants of God, who are coming 3 very nigh unto God; hear again, ye who have witnessed and professed that ye have already come unto Him 4, that none may sin either from real or pretended ignorance. For so great is the influence of pleasures, that it maketh ignorance linger to take advantage of it, and bribeth knowledge to dissemble itself. In either case to some, perchance, the opinions of those heathens have still a charm, who, on this question, have been accustomed to argue against us thus: 'that these great refreshments of the eyes or the ears from without are no hindrance to religion in the mind and in the conscience; and that God is not offended by such gratification of a man as there is no sin in his enjoying at its proper time and in its proper place, saving always the fear and the honour due unto God.' But this is what we are prepared especially to prove, how it is that these things do not accord with true religion, and with the true service of the true God. There are who think that the Christians, a people ever ready 5 for death, are trained up to this obstinacy 6, by the renouncement of pleasures, so that they may the more easily despise life, having, as it were, cut its bonds asunder; and may not pine after that, which they have already rendered superfluous to themselves; that so |189 this rule may be thought to be laid down rather by man's wisdom and provision, than by the law of God. It was grievous forsooth to them, while they yet continued in pleasures, to die for God. And yet even were it so, to a counsel so fitting, 'obstinacy' in such a religion ought to make us obedient 7.
II. But besides there is not a man who putteth not forth this pretence likewise: "that all things were formed by God and given unto man, (as we teach,) and so are good, as coming all from a good Author: that among such are to be reckoned all those by which the public shows are furnished, the horse for instance, and the lion, and the powers of the body, and the sweet music of the voice 8: that therefore nothing can be deemed foreign from nor hateful to God, which is a part of His own creation, and that that must not be reckoned as a sin, which is not hateful to God, because not foreign from Him. Clearly also even the buildings of these places, as the stones, the mortar, the marble, the columns, are things of God, Who hath given them to be the furniture of the earth: nay, the very performances themselves are enacted under God's own Heaven. How wise a reasoner doth human ignorance seem to herself to be! especially when she feareth to lose any of these delights and enjoyments of the world! In brief, you may find very many whom the risk of losing pleasure, more than that of losing life, keepeth back from this religion. For even the fool dreadeth not death, being a debt which he oweth; and even the wise man despiseth not pleasure, being a thing of so great value, because both to the fool and the wise man there is no other charm in life save pleasure. No one denieth, because no one is ignorant of that which nature of herself teacheth, that God is the Maker of the whole world, and that that world is both good, and placed under the dominion of man. But because they know not God thoroughly, save by the law of Nature, not as being also of His household; beholding Him at a distance, not nigh; they must needs be ignorant in what manner, when He made His works, He commanded that they should be used; and also, what rival force from the |190 other side acteth in corrupting the uses of the creatures of God: for thou canst not know either the will, or that which resisteth the will, of Him of Whom thou knowest nothing. We must therefore consider not only by Whom all things were made, but from what they are turned away; for so will it be seen to what use they were, if it be seen to what they were not, made. There is much difference between a corrupt and an uncorrupt state of things, because there is much difference between the Maker and the corrupter. Again, evils of every sort, such as even the heathens forbid and guard against, as undoubted evils, are made up of the works of God. Wouldest have murder committed by steel, by poison, by magic spells? Steel is a creature of God, as are herbs, as are angels. And yet did the Maker provide these things for the death of man? on the contrary, He doeth away with every sort of manslaying by one chief commandment, Thou shalt not kill.9 Then again gold, brass, silver, ivory, wood, and whatever material is laid hold of for making idols, Who hath placed these in the world save the Maker of the world, God? But did He make these things that they might be worshipped in opposition to Himself? on the contrary, idolatry is the highest offence in His sight. What is there that offendeth God which is not of God? but when it offendeth, it hath ceased to be of God, and when it hath ceased, it offendeth. Man himself, the author 10 of all crimes, is not only the work, but also the image of God, and yet both in body, and spirit, he hath fallen away from his Maker. For we received not the eyes for lust, nor the tongue for evil-speaking, nor the ears for a receptacle of evil-speaking, nor the gorge for gorging, nor the belly to abet the gorge, nor the loins for excess of uncleanness, nor the hands for violence, nor the feet for a vagabond life: nor was the spirit therefore implanted in the body that it might become a mental storehouse for snares, for deceits, for iniquities: I trow not. For if God, that requireth innocency, hateth all wickedness and malice, when only conceived in the thoughts, doubtless it followeth, that whatsoever He hath created He created not to end in such works as He condemneth, although these same works be done through the things |191 which He hath created, seeing that the whole ground of the condemnation is the wrong use of the creature by the created 11. We therefore who, knowing God, have seen also His adversary, who having found out the Maker have found; at the same time the corrupter likewise, ought not to wonder nor doubt in this matter 12. When the power of that corrupting and adverse angel in the. beginning cast down from his innocency man himself, the work and the image of God, the lord of the whole world, he changed like himself, into perverseness against his Maker, the whole substance of man, made, like himself, for innocency: so that in that very thing, which it had grieved 13 him should be granted to man and not to himself, he might make man guilty before God, and establish his own dominion.
III. This our consciousness being arrayed against the opinion of the Heathen, let us turn more particularly to the discussions of our own brethren. For the faith of certain persons, being either more simple or more cautious than common, demandeth authority from the Scriptures for this renouncing of the public shows, and standeth upon doubts, because abstinence of this sort is not plainly and by name commanded to the servants of God 14. Without question we do not find it any where set out in exact terms, 'Thou shalt not go to the circus, nor to the theatre; thou shalt not wait upon the exercise 15 or the service 16,' in the same way in which it is plainly laid down, Thou shalt not kill; 'thou shalt not worship an idol;' thou shalt not commit adultery, 'nor theft.' But we find that the very first words of David relates to this kind of thing amongst others.17 Blessed is the man, saith he, who hath not gone into the council of the ungodly, and hath not stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of pestilences 18. For although he seemeth to have foretold of |192 that just man 19, that he had no part in the council and the sitting of the Jews, when consulting about denying 20 the Lord 21, yet Divine Scripture hath always a wide bearing; every where there is, after the sense of the immediate subject, a rule of duty also supported 22; so that even this passage is not foreign from the purpose of forbidding the public shows. For if he then called a few only of the Jews the council of the ungodly, how much rather so great an assemblage of Heathen people! Are the Heathen less ungodly, less sinners, less enemies of Christ, than were then the Jews? What if the rest also agreeth herewith? For at the shows men stand 23 in the way; for they call both the cardinal passages of the barriers 24 going round the circus, and the divisions separating the commons going down it, 'the ways:' and the place itself for sitting down in the circle is called 'the seat 25.' Wherefore on the contrary, 'Wretched is the man that hath gone into any council of the ungodly, and hath stood in any way of sinners, and hath sat in any seat of pestilences.' Let us understand it as spoken generally, although a thing admit also of a special interpretation; for in some instances, where the terms are special, the sense is general. When God putteth the Israelites in mind of their law or duty, or reproveth them, surely it concerneth all men: when He threateneth destruction to Aegypt and Aethiopia, He |193 fore-judgeth every sinful nation 26; and so, ascending from special to general, Aegypt and Aethiopia are every nation that sinneth; as also with respect to the origin of the public shows, He calleth every show the council of the ungodly, descending from general to special.
IV. Lest any one should think that we are cavilling, I will turn to our chief authority, that of our very seal. When, having entered into the water, we profess the Christian Faith according to the words of its own appointment, we bear witness with our mouth that we have renounced the devil, his pomp, and his angels 27. Now what will be the chief and principal thing in which 'the devil and his pomp and his angels' are accounted to be? what but idolatry? from whence (so to speak, for I shall dwell no longer on this point) cometh every unclean and evil spirit. Wherefore if it shall be proved that the whole apparatus of the shows consisteth in idolatry 28, without doubt it will be already determined that the renouncement which we profess at our washing 29 pertaineth to the shows 30 also, which are put in subjection to 'the devil, and his pomp, and his angels,' to wit, through idolatry. We will declare the 'origin' of each, in what cradles they have grown up in the world; next the 'titles' of some, by what names they are called; next the 'equipments,' with what superstitions they are fitted out; then the 'places,' to what patrons they are dedicated; the 'performances,' to what authors they are attributed. If there be any of these things which appertained not to an idol, this will neither appertain to idolatry, nor to our abjuration.
V. Touching the 'origin,' as being somewhat obscure and unknown amongst the greater part of our brethren, we must carry our search higher, and to no other source than the materials of Heathen writings. There are many authors in our hands, who have put forth notices on this matter. By these the origin of games is thus handed down to us. |194 Timaeus 31 relateth that the Lydians, passing over from Asia, settled in Etruria under their leader Tyrrhenus 32, who had yielded to his brother in the contest for the kingdom. Wherefore they establish in Etruria, among other rites of their own superstition, public shows also, in the name of Religion. Thence the Romans 33 fetch and borrow their players, the season of their games, and their name, so that they were called from the Lydians 'ludi.' And although Varro deriveth the sense of 'ludi' from 'ludus,' that is from sport, as also they were wont to call the Lupercal rites 'games,' because they ran about in game, yet he accounteth this sport of the young men 34 as belonging to holy days, and temples, and solemnities. Nothing need now be said of the reason of the name, so long as the reason of the thing is idolatry. For whereas games were called, in the mass, 'Liberalia,' they manifestly in their name spoke of honour done to father Liber; for they were first established in honour of Bacchus by the countrymen, in return for the benefit which they ascribe to him in discovering 35 to them the gift of wine. Next were games called Consualia, which in the beginning were in honour of Neptune; for him they call also Consus. After that a certain Romulus appointed the Equiria in honour of Mars, though they claim the Consualia also for Romulus, because he dedicated them to Consus, the God, as they will have it, of counsel 36; to wit, that counsel 37 whereby he devised at that time the rape of the Sabine virgins, as wives for his soldiers. A righteous counsel truly! and even at this day a thing just and lawful in the eyes of the Romans themselves; I would not say in the eyes of God. For this also helpeth to stain the 'origin,' so that thou canst not deem that good which took its rise from evil, from shamelessness, from violence, from hatred, from a fratricide, from a son of Mars, as its author. And at this day there is in the Circus, at the head of the |195 course, an altar to this Consus buried under ground 38, with an inscription to this effect: 'Consus lord of counsel, Mars of war 39, the Lares of the inmost chambers.' At this altar the public priests sacrifice on the nones of July, the priest of Romulus and the virgins on the twelfth day before the kalends of September. Next, this same Romulus established games for Jupiter Feretrius on the Tarpeian hill, which Piso saith were called the Tarpeian and the Capitoline games. After him, Numa Pompilius did the same for Mars and Rubigo 40, for they feigned that even Rust 41 was a goddess. Next, Tullus Hostilius, then Ancus Martius, and the rest. Who they were, and how many, that one after another established games, and in honour of what idols, is set forth in Suetonius Tranquillus, or those from whom Tranquillus had his story. But this will be enough to convict the 'origin' of idolatry.
VI. To this testimony of ancient times, is added that of the posterity following in its turn; shewing the character of the 'origin' on the very face of the 'titles' used even in the present day, by which it is stamped upon them to what idol, and to what superstition, the games of either sort 42 were distinguished as belonging. For the Megalensian, the Apollinarian, the Cerealian also, and the Neptunalian, the Latiarian and the Floralian are celebrated in common; the rest of the games owe their superstitious observance to the birth-days and other solemn days of kings, and public successes 43, and municipal festivals; among which, the exhibitions enjoined by wills pay funeral honours to the memories even of private men, and this too according to ancient custom; for from the very beginning the games were reckoned of two sorts, the sacred and the funereal, in honour, that is, of the gods of the nations and of the dead. But as touching idolatry it maketh no difference to us. under what |196 name and 'title' it is, so long as it appertaineth to the same spirits, which we renounce, although dead. They may pay honours to their gods, just as well as they pay them to their dead. The real nature of the two cases is the same, the idolatry is the same, and our renouncement of the idolatry is the same.
VII. The games of either sort have a common 'origin' and common 'titles,' as arising from common causes; for the same reason they must needs have common 'equipments,' derived from the general guilt of the idolatry which founded them. But to whom belongeth the somewhat more pompous outfit of the games of the Circus, (which the name of 'pomp 44' well befitteth,) the pomp which goeth before them doth in itself prove 45, by the long line of images 46, by the host of statues, by the chariots, by the sacred carriages, by the cars, by the chairs 47, by the crowns, by the robes 48. What rites besides, what sacrifices go before, come between, and follow after; how many colleges, how many priesthoods, how many offices are set in motion, the men of that city know, in which the council of the daemons sitteth 49. If these things are performed in the provinces with inferior pains, in proportion to their inferior means, yet are all the games of the Circus everywhere to be accounted of, according to the source whence they are derived; they are defiled by that from which they are taken. For the narrow streamlet from its own fountain, the little twig from its own tree, containeth the quality of its source. No matter for its grandeur or its cheapness; the pomp of the Circus, be it what it may, offendeth God. Though there be but few images carried |197 about in it, there is idolatry in even one: though there be but one sacred carriage drawn, it is nevertheless the carriage of Jupiter. Every idolatrous show, however meanly or frugally furnished, is sumptuous and gorgeous in the amount of its sinfulness.
VIII. To treat of 'places' also 50, according to my plan, the Circus is chiefly dedicated to the Sun, whose temple is in the midst of the ground 51, and whose image riseth conspicuous above the roof of the temple, because they did not think that he, whom they have in the open air, ought to have his image consecrated under a covering 52. Those who derive the first of these shows from Circe 53, affirm that it was celebrated in honour of her own father the Sun; from her also they contend that the name of Circus cometh. Well then, the enchantress did, under the name, the work of those surely whose priestess she was; to wit, the daemons and the angels. How many idolatries then dost thou observe in the fashion of the place itself? each single ornament of the Circus is in itself a temple. The eggs 54 those assign to the honour of Castor and Pollux, who blush not in believing that these were born of an egg from a swan which was Jupiter. The pillars vomit forth their dolphins 55 in honour of Neptune; they support their Sessiae, so called from the sowing of the seed, their Messiae from the harvest, their Tutelinae from the protection of the fruits 56. In front of these appear three altars to three gods, mighty and powerful 57: these they consider to be of Samothrace. The enormous obelisk, as Hermateles affirmeth, is publicly exposed in honour of the Sun 58: its inscription is a superstition from Aegypt, whence also its origin. The council of the gods were dull without their Great Mother: she therefore presideth there over the Euripus 59. Consus, as we have said, lieth buried beneath the earth at the Murcian goal: even |198 this goal he maketh an idol, for they will have it that Murcia is the Goddess of languor 60, to whom they have devoted a temple in that spot. Think, O Christian, how many unclean names possess the Circus! Foreign to thee is that religion, which so many spirits of the Devil have taken unto themselves. The subject of places we have here a place for discussing, in anticipation of a question from certain persons. For thou sayest, 'Well: if I should go to the Circus at any other time, shall I be in danger of defilement?' There is no prescription against particular places: for the servant of God can approach not only these meeting-places for the shows, but even the temples themselves, without peril to his religion, so that the cause which calleth him thither be an honest one, and one which appertaineth not to the proper business or duties of the place. Besides, the streets 61, the forum 62, the baths 63, the stables 64, nay our very dwellings 65, are not altogether free from idols. Satan and his angels have filled the whole world. It is not however because we are in the world, that we fall from God, but when we touch aught of the sinful things of the world. Wherefore, if I enter the Capitol, or the temple of Serapis, as a sacrificer or a worshipper, I shall fall from God, as also if I enter the Circus or the theatre as a spectator. It is not the places in themselves that defile, but the things which are done in the places, by which we have argued that the places are themselves defiled: they are defiled by the defiled. It is for this reason that we declare, to whom such places are dedicated, that we may shew that the things which are done in those places appertain to those to whom the places are dedicated.
IX. Now for the 'performances' wherewith the games of the Circus are exhibited. In older times equestrian exercise was practised simply on horseback 66, and certainly the common use thereof was without guilt. But when it was |199 pressed into the games, from being a gift of God it passed over to the service of devils. Wherefore this department is assigned to Castor and Pollux 67, to whom Stesichorus teacheth that horses were given by Mercury. But Neptune is also a god of horses, whom the Greeks call Hippius. Chariots with four horses they have consecrated to the Sun, those with two to the Moon. Verily also
"First 68 to his chariots Ericthonius dared
"To yoke four horses, and on rapid wheels
"Upborne, to ride a victor."
Ericthonius, the son of Minerva and Vulcan, engendered too by mishap upon the earth, is a devilish monster, yea a very devil himself, and not a serpent 69. But if Trochilus of Argos be the inventor of the chariot, he hath consecrated this his work to Juno, the guardian of his country. If Romulus first shewed at Rome the carriage with four horses, methinks he also is enrolled among the idols, if he be the same as Quirinus. Chariots, being by such inventors brought into use, with good reason caused the charioteers also to be clothed in the colours of idolatry. For at the first there were two horses only, white and red 70. The white was sacred to the winter because of the white snow, the red to the summer because of the redness of the Sun. But afterwards, when luxury as well as superstition had advanced in growth, some consecrated the red to Mars, others the white to the Zephyrs, and a green one moreover to the Mother Earth or to the Spring, an azure one to the Heaven and the Sea or to the Autumn 71. But seeing that every sort of idolatry is condemned of God, surely this also is condemned, which is the unhallowed offering to the elements of the universe.
X. Pass we now to the stage, which we have already shewn to have the same 'origin' and like 'titles,' according as the names and the performance of the games were from |200 the beginning conjoined with the exercises of horsemanship. The 'equipments' also are of the same sort in that department which belongeth to the stage. For men go from the temples and the altars and that unhappy scene of incense and blood, amid pipes and trumpets, and with those two most filthy masters of funeral rites and sacrifices, the undertaker 72 and the soothsayer. Wherefore as from the 'origin' of games we pass to the games of the circus, so now we bend our course to the plays of the stage, beginning with the evil 73 of the 'place.' The theatre is especially the shrine of Venus. In fact it was in this manner that this sort of performance came up in the world. For the censors 74 were often wont to destroy, in their very birth, the theatres more than any other thing, consulting for the morals of the people, as foreseeing a great peril accruing to them from licentiousness. So that from this very fact their own opinion, which maketh for us, may serve as a testimony to the Gentiles, and this precedent of even a human rule of duty may serve to strengthen our own. And therefore Pompey the Great, less only than his own theatre, when he had built up that strong-hold of every vice, fearing that the censors might one day cast reflections on his memory, placed over it a temple of Venus 75, and summoning the people by a proclamation to the dedication 76, called it not a theatre, but a temple of Venus, 'under which,' said he, 'we have put rows of seats for the shows.' Thus did he cloak this damned and damnable work under the name of a temple, and by the aid of superstition eluded the rule. But there is fellowship between Venus and Bacchus: these two daemons of drunkenness and lust have conspired and leagued together. Wherefore the theatre of Venus is also the house of Bacchus. For they called by the special name 'Liberalia' others also of the sports of the stage, besides those which were consecrated to Bacchus, (as there are |201 also the Dionysia among the Greeks,) those namely which were instituted by Bacchus. And clearly the patronage of Bacchus and of Venus is likewise over the 'performances' of the stage. Whatever there be peculiar and proper to the stage, with respect to the dissoluteness 77 and postures of the body, they consecrate to the soft nature of Venus and of Bacchus, the one dissolute though her sex, the other through his wantonness; while such things as are done by the voice, by music, by wind and stringed instruments, have for their patrons Apollos and Muses and Minervas and Mercuries. Thou must hate, Christian, those things, the inventors whereof thou canst not but hate. We would now subjoin somewhat concerning the 'performances,' and the things, the inventors whereof we detest even in their names. We know that the names of the dead are nothing, as are their images; but we are not ignorant who those are, that, when images are set up under these names, work, and rejoice, and pretend to a divine nature, namely wicked spirits, daemons. We see therefore that the 'performances' also are dedicated to the honour of those who occupy the names of the inventors, and are not free from idolatry, seeing that even those who instituted them are on that account esteemed gods. Indeed as concerning the 'performances,' we ought to have taken our rule from an earlier source, and to have said that the daemons, from the beginning, providing for themselves, among other appurtenances of idolatry, the defilements also of the shows, whereby they might draw away man from God, and bind him to their own service, inspired him also with the genius for this sort of handiwork. For that which was to belong to them, would not have been provided by any others; nor would they at the time have brought them into the world by means of any other men, than those very persons in whose names, images, and histories, they had, with the view of trafficking for themselves, set up the cheat of a consecration.
XI. To proceed in order, let us enter upon an examination of the agonistic games likewise. Their 'origin' is akin to that of the games afore-mentioned, wherefore these also are either sacred or funeral 78 institutions, and consecrated |202 either to the gods of the nations or the dead. Hence their 'titles:' the Olympian, (which at Rome are the Capitoline) to Jupiter: likewise the Nemean to Hercules, the Isthmian to Neptune: the rest of the games, to the dead. What wonder then if idolatry defile the 'equipments' of the games with its profane crowns, with its presiding priests, with its collegiate ministers, and lastly with the blood of bulls itself. Let me add also as touching the 'place,'----used as it is as the common place, in the stead of a college of the Arts, of the Muses, and of Minerva, and of Apollo; of Mars likewise, by means of the battle and the trumpet,----they strive to imitate the circus in their stadium, which in fact is itself 79 also a temple, of that idol whose solemn rites it celebrateth. Moreover the rites of their Castors, their Hercules's, and their Mercuries have brought gymnastic 'performances' also into practice.
XII. It remaineth to consider the show, the most acceptable to the most illustrious. It is called a 'service 80' from the 'office' performed, since 'office 81' is another word for 'service;' and the ancients considered that in this show they performed an office towards the dead, after that they had tempered it by a more humanized cruelty. For formerly, since it was believed that the souls of the dead were propitiated by human blood, they bought and sacrificed, during their funeral rites, captives or slaves of a bad description. Afterwards it was thought fit to disguise this impiety under the cloak of pleasure. Those therefore whom they had prepared, trained up in such arms and in such manner as they were then able, provided only they learned how to be killed 82, on the appointed day of the funeral----sacrifices they consumed at the place of burial. Thus they consoled themselves for death by murders. Such is the 'origin' of this service. But by degrees they advanced to that which was charming in proportion as it was cruel, for beasts could not be sufficiently pleased, unless it were by beasts too that the bodies of men were torn in pieces. |203 What therefore was offered to appease the dead, was put forsooth to the account of funeral obsequies, which kind of thing is idolatry, since idolatry also is a kind of funeral obsequy 83: the one ministereth as much, as the other to the dead. But in the images of the dead, if we consider the 'titles' too, daemons exist: although this kind of public exhibition hath passed from the honours of the dead to the honours of the living,----I mean to Quaestorships 84 and Magistracies, and the offices of Flamens and Priests: yet since the dignity of the name lieth under the charge of idolatry 85, it must needs be that whatsoever is performed in the name of that dignity, shares also the defilements of that from which it taketh its rise. We will take the same view of the 'equipments,' which are to be accounted among the appendages of these very honours, since their purple robes, their bands, their fillets, their crowns, finally their speeches 86 and edicts 87, and their messes the day before 88, are not without the pomp of the Devil, and the bidding of daemons. Why should I speak at length of the horrid 89 'place' of the show, which even false oaths cannot abide 90? For the amphitheatre is consecrated to deities more numerous and more barbarous than the Capitol. It is the temple of all daemons. As many unclean spirits there sit together as the place containeth men. To speak finally of the 'performances' also, we know that Mars and Diana are the presiding deities of each game. |204
XIII. We have, methinks, sufficiently completed our course of proof, in how many and in what ways the shows are guilty of idolatry, in respect of their 'origins,' 'titles,' 'equipments,' 'places,' 'sacrifices,' whereby 91 we are well assured that they do in no wise assort with us, who have twice' 92 renounced idols; not that an idol is any thing, (as saith the Apostle,) but that the things which they sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils 93, who dwell (that is) in the consecrated images, whether of dead men, or, as they suppose, of gods. On this account therefore, since both kinds of idols are of one class, seeing that their dead and their gods are one, we abstain from both kinds of idolatry, and abominate temples no less than monuments: we acknowledge neither altar; adore neither image; offer no sacrifice; make no oblation to the dead: nay we eat not of that which hath been sacrificed or offered to the dead, because we cannot eat of the Supper of God and the supper of devils 94. If therefore we keep the throat and the belly free from defilements, how much rather do we refrain our more honourable parts, the eyes and the ears, from the pleasures dedicated to idols and to the dead, which are not carried through us by the stomach, but are digested within the very spirit and soul, the cleanness of which pertaineth more to God than doth that of the stomach!
XIV. Having thus introduced the name of idolatry, the suggestion of which alone ought to be enough to make us renounce these shows, let us now treat the question superfluously, in another way, for the sake of those especially, who flatter themselves on the ground that such abstinence is not enjoined by name, as though sufficient declaration were not made touching the shows, when the lusts of the world 95 are condemned. For as there is a lust of money, or of honour, or of gluttony, or of lasciviousness, or of glory, so likewise is there a lust of pleasure. But the shows are a kind of pleasure. Methinks the general name of lusts |205 containeth in itself pleasures also: in like manner pleasures, generally understood, embrace the special division of shows. But we have before made mention of the character of the 'places' for the shows, that they do not of themselves defile us, but by reason of the things which are done therein, through which as soon as they have drank in defilement, they straightway cast it forth again in the other direction.
XV. To speak no more then (as we have before said) of their chief title, idolatry, let us contrast the other qualities of the things themselves with all those of God. God hath taught us to deal with the Holy Spirit,---as being according to the goodness of His Nature, tender and delicate---tranquilly, and gently, and quietly, and peaceably: not to disquiet Him by madness, nor by wrath, nor by anger, nor by grief 96. How shall this possibly accord with the shows? For there is no show without disturbance of spirit. For where there is pleasure there is also partiality, through means of which, in fact, pleasure hath its relish. Where there is partiality, there is also rivalry, through which partiality hath its relish. Moreover also where there is rivalry, there is both madness, and wrath, and anger, and grief, and all the rest that cometh of these, which, like these, assort not with the rule of religion. For even though one enjoy the shows moderately and virtuously, according to the character of his rank, or age, or even natural disposition, yet is he not of an imperturbable mind and without some hidden passion of the spirit. No one cometh unto pleasure without affection. No one feeleth affection without its incidents. These very incidents are the incitements of the affection. But if the affection faileth, there is no pleasure, and he is now guilty of trifling in going thither where he gaineth nothing: and I think that with us, even trifling hath no place. What if he himself judge himself in sitting amongst those, whom, not wishing to be like them, he, without doubt, confesseth that he doth abominate! It is not enough for us that we ourselves do no such thing, unless we shun the conversation of those who do such things. When thou sawest a thief, saith the Scripture, thou consentedst unto him. I would that we did not even dwell with such in the world; but yet in the things of the world 97 |206 we are separate from them; for the world is of God, but the things of the world are of the Devil.
XVI. When therefore madness is forbidden us, we are prohibited every show, even the Circus, where madness peculiarly presideth 98. Behold the people coming to the show, already full of madness, already tumultuous, already blind, already agitated about their wagers 99. The Praetor is too slow for them. Their eyes are ever rolling with the lots within his urn. Then they are in anxious suspense for the signal. The common madness hath a common voice. I perceive their madness from their trifling. 'He hath thrown it,' they say, and announce to each other what was seen at once by all. I possess the evidence of their blindness. They see not what is thrown: they think it a handkerchief; but it is the gullet of the Devil cast down from on high. From thence therefore they go on to fury, passions, and dissensions, and whatsoever is unlawful for priests 100 of peace. Then come cursings, revilings, without just cause of hatred; and so too approving voices without just cause of favour. For what good can those, who are therein engaged, gain to |207 themselves, who are not themselves, unless perchance it be that alone, by means of which they are not themselves? By the ill fortune of another are they grieved: by the good fortune of another are they rejoiced. All that they desire, all that they abominate, is foreign to themselves: so that with them love is idle, and hatred unjust. Can it haply 101 be as lawful to love without a cause, as to hate without a cause? Of a surety, God, Who commandeth that enemies be loved,102 forbiddeth to hate even with a cause: God, Who teacheth that those who curse should be blessed, suffereth not to curse even with a cause. But what is more bitter than the Circus, wherein they spare not even their rulers nor their own citizens 103? If any of those doings, wherewith the Circus hath gone mad, be elsewhere fitting for the saints, it will be lawful in the Circus also: but if no where, therefore not in the Circus.
XVII. In like manner also we are commanded to love no immodesty. By this means therefore we are cut off from the theatre 104 likewise, which is the private council-chamber of immodesty, wherein nothing is approved save that which elsewhere is disapproved. Wherefore its chief grace is for the most part finely framed out of filthy lewdness, such as the Atellan acteth, such as the buffoon representeth even under the character of women, banishing their distinctive modesty, so that they may blush at home more easily than at the theatre; such as finally the pantomime submitteth to in his own body from his childhood, that he may be able to be an actor. The very harlots also, the victims of the public lust, are brought forward on the stage, more wretched in the presence of women, from whom alone they were wont to conceal themselves, and are bandied about by the mouths of every age and every rank: their abode, their price, their description, even in matters of which it is not good to speak, is proclaimed. I pass over the rest in silence 105, which indeed |208 it were fitting should remain hid in its own darkness and dens, lest it pollute the day. Blush the senate! Blush all ranks! let the very women, the destroyers of their own modesty, shudder 106 at their doings before the light and the public, and blush this once within the year 107. But if all immodesty is to be abominated by us, why should it be lawful to hear those things, which it is not lawful to speak,108 when we know that even foolish jesting 109 and every vain word is judged,110 by God? Why in like manner should it be lawful to behold the things, which it is sin to do? Why are those things, which when coming forth from the mouth, defile the man,111 thought not to defile the man when entering in by the eyes and the ears? seeing that the eyes and the ears wait upon the spirit, and one cannot be presented clean, whose attendants are unclean.
XVIII. Thou hast therefore, in the prohibition of immodesty, the prohibition of the theatre also. But if we despise likewise the teaching of this world's learning, as being accounted foolishness before God,112 we have here a sufficient rule concerning those kinds of shows also, which, by means of the writings of this world, make up the plays or the games of the stage. But if tragedies and comedies are the originators 113 of crimes and lusts, bloody and lascivious, impious and extravagant, that which commemorateth a thing atrocious and vile, is itself in no wise better. That which is rejected in the doing, ought not to be listened to in the recital. But if thou contendest that the race course is even named in the Scriptures, thou shalt have that indeed granted:114 but thou wilt not deny that the things are unfit for thee to behold, which are enacted in the race course, the blows, and the kicks, and the buffets, and all the wantonness of the hand, and all the battering of the face of man, that is, of the image of God. Thou wilt not approve in any case of vain runnings, and yet vainer shootings and leapings: strength used for an hurtful purpose, or for no purpose, will in no case please thee; nor again the training of an artificial body, as over-stepping the workmanship of God. And thou wilt |209 hate men who are fattened up 115, because of the idleness of Greece. Moreover the art of wrestling is a work of the Devil. It was the Devil who hugged the first human beings to death. The very attitude is the power of the serpent, firm for taking hold, tortuous for binding fast, supple for gliding away. Thou hast no need of crowns. Why seekest thou thy pleasures in crowns?
XIX. We will now look for a reproof of the amphitheatre also from the Scriptures. If we maintain that cruelty, that impiety 116, that brutality is permitted us, let us go to the amphitheatre. If we be such as we are reported to be 117, let us delight ourselves with human blood. 'It is a good thing when the guilty are punished.' Who but a guilty man will deny this? And yet an innocent man cannot rejoice in the punishment of another, for it more befitteth the innocent to grieve, because that a man like unto himself hath become so guilty as to be so cruelly punished. But who shall be my warrant that the guilty are always sentenced to the beasts or whatever the punishment be, so that no violence is done to innocence also, either from the vengeance of the judge, or the weakness of the advocate, or the urgency of the torture? How much better therefore is it not to know when the wicked are punished, lest I should know also when the good perish, if indeed there be any savour of good among them. At all events unconvicted gladiators come to the sports, that they may become the victims of public amusement. But even as respecteth those who are condemned to the sport, what manner of thing is this that, from a lesser fault, they go on, in the way of correction, to be murderers? But this is my reply to Heathens. Far be It from my wish that the Christian should be taught at greater length how to hate this show. Although no one is able to describe all these things more completely than myself 118, unless it be one who is still a spectator, I would rather not complete the tale than call it to mind.
XX. How vain therefore, yea, how desperate, is the |210 reasoning of those, who, hanging back doubtless to gain admission 119 for their pleasure, plead that no mention of such abstinence is specially marked out in the Scriptures, which directly forbiddeth the servant of God to mix with assemblages of this kind. I heard lately a new defence of a certain play-lover. 'The sun,' saith he, 'yea, even God Himself, is a spectator from Heaven, and is not defiled.' In truth the sun carrieth his rays even into the common sewer and receiveth no pollution: and would that God beheld none of the crimes of men, that we might all escape His judgments! But He beholdeth even robberies; He beholdeth also falsehoods, and adulteries, and deceits, and idolatries, and these very shows themselves! And therefore it is that we will not behold them, lest we be seen by Him, Who beholdeth all things. Thou distinguishest, O man, between the accused and the judge: the accused, who is accused because he is seen, the judge, who is the judge because he seeth. Do we therefore give our minds to madness beyond the boundaries of the circus also, and bend our thoughts to immodesty beyond the doors of the theatre, and to insolence beyond the race-course, and to merciless cruelty beyond the amphitheatre, because God hath His eyes also beyond the chambers, and the tiers, and the curtains? We do err: in no place and at no time is that excused which God condemneth: in no place and at no time is that lawful, which is not lawful at all times and in all places. Herein is the perfectness of Truth, and hence the complete subordination, and the uniform reverence, and the constant obedience which is due to it, that it changeth not its opinion, nor varieth its judgment. That, which in real truth is either good or bad, cannot be otherwise. But all things are determined by the Truth of God.
XXI. The Heathens, with whom there is no perfection of truth, because God is not their teacher of truth, define good and evil according to their own will and pleasure, making that in one case good, which in another is bad, and that in one case bad, which in another is good. Thus therefore it hath come to pass, that the very man who would hardly lift |211 up his cloak in public for his bodily necessity, cannot in the circus disport himself in any other way than by obtruding all his shame upon the eyes of all: and he, who guardeth the ears of his virgin daughter from every lewd word, doth himself carry her to the theatre to such words and actions: and the very man, who in the streets restraineth or protesteth against one that carrieth on a quarrel by blows, doth in the race-course give his voice in favour of more serious battles: and he who shuddereth at the corpse of a man that hath died in common course, doth in the amphitheatre bend down most enduring eyes upon bodies mangled and torn in pieces and begrimed with their own blood: nay he who cometh to the show to testify his approval of the punishment of a murderer, doth himself with whips and rods urge on the gladiator to murder against his will: he too who demandeth the lion for each more notable murderer, demandeth for the atrocious gladiator the staff and the hat 120: while he sendeth for him back again who is slain, for a near view of his countenance, more pleased to examine him closely whom he wished to put to death at a distance; so much the more cruel if he wished it not.
XXII. What wonder are these inconsistencies in men, who confound and interchange the nature of good and evil, through the inconstancy of their feelings, and the variableness of their judgment? The very patrons and managers of the shows degrade 121, on account of the very profession for which they honour them, the charioteers, the players, the wrestlers, and those most loving men of the arena, to whom men surrender their souls, women, or even men, their persons, |212 and for the sake of whom they commit the things which they condemn: yea they openly sentence them to disgrace and degradation, excluding them from the council-chamber, from the rostra, from the senate, from the knighthood, and from all other honours, and some outward adornings 122. What perverseness! they love those whom they punish, they degrade those whom they approve; they honour the craft, they disgrace the craftsman. What sort of a judgment is this, that one should be blackened for the things whereby he hath his merit? nay, what a confession is it of the evil of a thing, when the authors of it, even when they are most approved, are not without disgrace!
XXIII. Seeing then that the reflecting mind of man, even in spite of the opposing interest of pleasure, judgeth that such persons ought to be condemned to a sort of rack of infamy, with the forfeiture of the advantages of worldly honours, how much more doth the justice of God punish the workers of such things! Shall that charioteer please God, the disquieter of so many souls, the minister to so many evil passions, to so many humours 123: crowned like a priest, or coloured like a pimp, whom the Devil hath dressed up to be caught away, in rivalry of Elias, in a chariot 124. Shall that man please Him, who with a razor changeth his features, an infidel towards his own countenance, which, not content with making it approximate to Saturn and Isis and Bacchus, he so submitteth to the insults of buffets, as though he were mocking the commandment of the Lord 125? Even the Devil, forsooth, teacheth men to give their cheek patiently to be smitten. So too he hath, by means of shoes, made the Tragoedians taller, because no man can add one cubit to his stature.126 He would make Christ a liar. But again I ask, whether the very use of masks can be pleasing to God, Who, forbiddeth the likeness of any thing 127, how much more of His own image 128, to be made 129? The Author of Truth loveth not that which is false. Every thing which is feigned is adultery in His sight. Wherefore He, Who condemneth all |213 hypocrisy, will not approve of one that counterfeiteth a voice, different sexes or ages, or that maketh a show of loves, passions, groanings, tears. But when He declareth in the law that he is accursed who putteth on a woman's garments,130 how shall He judge the pantomime, who is also trained in all things pertaining to a woman! And shall that boxer forsooth escape unpunished? those scars from the caestus, those lumps on his fists, those swellings on his ears, he received from God when he was formed! God committed those eyes to him in order that they might be put out with blows! I say nothing of him, who putteth another man in the lion's way before himself, lest he be less a murderer than 131 he who afterwards slayeth the same.
XXIV. In how many more ways must we go on to argue, that not one of those things, which come under the head of shows, is pleasing to God, and that that which is not pleasing to God doth not befit the servant of God? If we have shewn that all these things have been ordained for the sake of the Devil, and have been furnished forth from the things of the Devil, (for all things, whatsoever are not of God, or are displeasing to God, are of the Devil,) this will be that 'pomp of the Devil,' against which we make our vow in receiving the sign of Faith 132: and of that, which we abjure, we ought not to be partakers neither in deed, nor in word, nor in beholding nigh nor afar off. But do we not renounce and rescind that sign in rescinding the testimony thereof? Doth it therefore remain that we demand an answer from the Heathens themselves? Let these now tell us in their turn, whether it be lawful for Christians to deal with a show. But hereby do they chiefly discover that a man hath become a Christian, from his renouncing the shows. He therefore clearly denieth himself to be such, who taketh away the mark whereby he is known. And what hope remaineth in a man of this sort? No one goeth over to the camp of the enemies, unless he hath thrown down his own arms, unless he hath deserted the standard of his own chief and his oaths to him, unless he hath made a covenant to perish together with them.
XXV. Will he at that season think upon God, seated where there is nothing that cometh of God? He will |214 have, I suppose, peace in his mind, while battling for the charioteer! He will learn modesty while gaping upon the buffoons! Nay in all the show, no offence will more meet us, than that very over-careful adorning of the men and women. The very community of feeling, their very agreement or disagreement in party-spirit, doth, by their intercourse, fan the sparks of carnal lusts. Finally, no one in entering the show, thinketh of any thing more than to be seen and to see. But while the tragoedian is ranting, will he be considering the crying aloud of some Prophet? And amidst the music of the effeminate player will he be meditating a psalm within himself? and when the wrestlers shall be acting, will he be ready to say that a man must not strike again? will he moreover be able to be moved with pity, whose eyes are fastened on the bites of bears, and the sponges 133 of them that fight with nets? God avert from His people so great a desire after murderous pleasure! for what manner of thing is it to go from the Church of God into the Church of the Devil? from the sky (as they say) to the stye 134? to weary afterward, in applauding a player, those hands, which thou hast lifted up to God? to give thy testimony for the gladiator out of the mouth, with which thou hast uttered Amen to That Holy Thing 135? to say, for ever |215 and ever to any being whatsoever, save to God and Christ 136?
XXVI. Why may not such men be in danger of devils entering into them? for the case hath happened, the Lord is witness, of that woman who went to the theatre, and returned thence with a devil. Wherefore when the unclean spirit, in the exorcism 137, was hard pressed because he had dared to attack a believer, he boldly said, 'and most righteously I did it, for I found her in mine own place.' It is well known also that there was shewn to another in her sleep, on the night of the day in which she had heard a tragedian, a linen cloth 138 upbraiding her with that tragedian by name, and that this woman at the end of five days was no longer in the world. How many other examples also have been furnished in those, who by communion with the Devil in the shows, have fallen away from the Lord! For no man can serve two masters. What communion hath light with darkness? 139 What hath life with death? We ought to hate these assemblies and meetings of the Gentiles, were it only that the name of God is there blasphemed, that the lions are there every day called for against us 140, that it is thence that persecutions are decreed, thence that temptations are sent forth.
XXVII. What wilt thou do, when discovered in this estuary of impious voices? not that thou canst suffer any thing there from men: no one knoweth thee for a Christian: but think what becometh of thee in Heaven. Doubtest thou that in this crisis, in which the Devil is raging against the Church, all the Angels are looking down from Heaven, and marking every man, whosoever hath spoken blasphemy, whosoever hath listened to it, whosoever hath ministered |216 with his tongue, or with his ears, to the Devil against God? wilt thou not then flee from these chairs of the enemies of Christ, this seat of pestilences,141 and the very air which resteth upon it, defiled with the voices of the wicked? It may be that sweet things are there, and such as be pleasing, and sincere, and some which are even good. No one mixeth poison with gall and hellebore, but throweth in the evil thing amidst seasoned dainties, and things of exceeding sweet savour. So also, whatsoever deadly thing the Devil contriveth, he mixeth with the things of God, such as are most pleasing and acceptable. All things therefore which are therein, whether they be brave, or honest, or high-sounding, or melodious, or refined, account of them forthwith as of drops of honey from a venomous reptile; and deem not thy greediness after pleasure of so much moment as the danger which cometh by its sweetness.
XXVIII. On such sweets let his own guests be fattened; the places, and the times, and the bidder to the feast, are their own. Our feasts, our marriage, are not yet; we cannot sit down with them, for neither can they with us. The thing is ordered by turns. Now are they glad, we afflicted; the world, He saith, shall rejoice; ye shall be sorrowful.142 Let us mourn therefore, whilst the heathen rejoice, that we may rejoice, when they shall begin to mourn; lest if we now rejoice together with them, we may then mourn together with them likewise. Thou art too nice, O Christian, if thou desirest pleasure in this world also; nay thou art exceeding foolish if thou thinkest this pleasure. Certain philosophers have given this name to peace and quietness 143; herein is their joy, herein their avocation 144, herein also their boast. Dost thou breathe me a sigh for goals and theatres, and dust and sand? Prithee tell me: cannot we live without pleasure, who are to die with pleasure? for what else is our desire but that which is the Apostle's also, to depart from the world and to be received with the Lord? 145 Here is our pleasure, where is also our desire. |217
XXIX. But now suppose that thou art to pass this life in delights. Why art thou so ungrateful as not to be content with, and not to acknowledge, the pleasures, so many and such as they are, which God bestoweth upon thee? For what can be more delightful than reconciliation with God the Father and our Lord? than the revelation of the Truth? 146 than the discovery of errors? than the forgivenesss of so many past sins? What greater pleasure than a disgust for pleasure itself? than a contempt for the whole world? than true liberty? than a pure conscience? than a sufficiency of life? than the absence of all fear of death? to beat down, as thou dost, under thy feet the gods of the nations? to cast out devils? to do cures? to seek for revelations 147? to live unto God? These are the pleasures, these the shows of the Christians 148, holy, everlasting, free. In these, view thy games of the Circus: behold the courses of the world, the seasons gliding by; count the spaces of time; look to the goal of the consummation of all things; defend the companies of the Churches; bestir thyself at the signal of God; rise up at the trumpet of the Angel; glory in the palms of the martyrs. If knowledge, if learning delight thee, we have enough of books, we have enough of verses, enough of sentences, enough also of songs, enough of voices; not fables, but verities; not cunningly wrought, but simple strains. Wouldest thou both fightings and wrestlings? Cases are at hand, not slight but manifold 149. Behold uncleanness thrown down by chastity, perfidiousness slain by faithfulness, cruelty beaten by mercy, wantonness overlaid by modesty: and such are our games, in which we ourselves are crowned. Wouldest thou also somewhat of blood? thou hast Christ's.
XXX. But what sort of show is that near at hand 150? the Coming of the Lord, now confessed, now glorious, now triumphant. What is that joy of the Angels? what the glory of the rising saints? what the kingdom of the |218 righteous which followeth 151? what the city of the new Jerusalem? And yet there remain other shows: that last and eternal Day of Judgment, the unlooked for, the scorned 152 of the Nations, when all the ancient things of the world, and all that are rising into life, shall be consumed in one fire? what shall then be the expanse of the show? whereat shall I wonder 153? whereat laugh? whereat rejoice? whereat exult? beholding so many kings, who were declared to be admitted into Heaven, with Jupiter himself and all that testify of him 154, groaning together in the lowest darkness? 155 those rulers too, the persecutors of the Name of the Lord, melting amid insulting fires more raging than those wherewith themselves raged against the Christians: those wise philosophers moreover reddening before their own disciples, now burning together with them, whom they persuaded that there was nothing which appertained to God 156, before whom they affirmed that there were either no souls, or that they should not return again to their former bodies 157: poets too trembling before the judgment-seat, not of Rhadamanthus, not of Minos 158, but of the unlooked-for Christ. Then will the tragic actors be the more to be heard, because more loud in their cries amidst real affliction of their own: then the players to be recognized, more dissolute by far when dissolved by fire: then the charioteer to be gazed on, all red 159 upon his fiery wheel: then the wrestlers to be viewed tossing about, not in |219 the theatre, but in the fire----unless perchance I may even then not desire to see them, as wishing rather to fix my gaze, never to be satisfied, on those who have furiously raged against the Lord.160 This, I shall say, is He, the son of the carpenter or the harlot 161, the destroyer of the Sabbath, the Samaritan and Who had a devil.162 This is He, Whom ye bought of Judas: this is He, Who was smitten with a reed and with bufferings, dishonoured with spittings, drugged with gall and vinegar. This is He, Whom the disciples stole secretly away, that it might be said that He had risen again,163 or Whom the gardener removed, lest his lettuces should be injured by the crowds of visitors 164. Such shows as these, such triumphs as these, what praetor, or consul 165, or quaestor, or priest, shall of his own bounty bestow upon thee? and yet we have them even now in some sort present to us, through Faith, in the imagination of the spirit. But what are those things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man? 166 Greater joys, methinks, than the circus, and both the theatres 167, and any race-course.
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1. a Pamelius (drawing, as he says, in much from the Author of the Obss. Div. et Hum. Jur.) shews at length that T. almost uniformly combines the condemnation of the four sorts of shows, 1. racing, in the Circus, 2. plays, in the Theatre, 3. gymnastics, in the Stadium, 4. gladiators and fighting with beasts, in the Amphitheatre; thus c. 2. he instances the things abused, 1. the horse, 2. melody of voice, 3. bodily strength, 4. the lion. The places are named in the same order,c.20.21.28. the actors, c.22. 23. 25. ult. the games, c. 3. circus, theatrum, agon, (gymnastics,) munus, (sc. gladiatorium,) and 29. and Apol. c. 38. Isidor. Etym. xviii. 16. (copying T.): in a different order, de Pudic. c. 7. and perhaps ad Mart. c. 2. auct. de Spect. ap. Cypr. c. 3-6. In the de Cult. Fem. i. 7. and adv. Marc. i. 7. T. only mentions the 1st, 2d, and 4th, as do the later writers, Arnob. ii. after mid. iv and vii. end. Lact. vi. 20. Jerome in Vit. Hilar. and Ep. 69. ad Ocean. §. 9. The 1st and 2d are spoken against for the most part by S. Chrysostom and S. Augustine, (imitating Tertullian); by S. Chrysostome in almost all his writings; the 1st by S. Aug. de Civ. D. ii. 6. the 2d de Cons. Ev. i. 37. de Civ. D. ii. 4-8. 10-14. yet also the 4th, Conf. vi. 8. The same two were prohibited by Theodosius the younger (on the Lord's day, the Festivals of our Lord, and between Easter and Whitsunday, de Spect.in Cod. Theodos.) as though the others were disused; and Zeno, in forbidding the theatre and the circus on the Lord's day, adds only the "pitiable spectacles of the wild beasts," ex ult. cod. de Feriis, ib.
188 Rejection of pleasure training to Christian firmness.
2. b The term "pleasures" was almost technically applied to the "shows," Trebell. in Gallien. "public pleasures," Caecilius ap. Minuc. F. "ye abstain from lawful pleasures;" in like way in Greek, "the phrenzied pleasures (ἡδοναὶ) of the theatres," Hom. de Semente, §. 11. ap. Athanas. t. ii. p. 66. see La C. On the strange fascination even of the gladiatorial shows, see S. Aug. Conf. l. c. who complains, Hom. in Ps.80. "how many baptized persons have preferred to-day to throng the Circus, rather than this Basilica." (see Rig.) add Auct. de Spect. ap. S. Cypr. §. 4, 5. In later times, there was even a "tribunus voluptatum," Cassiod. l. vii. ep. 10. ap. Lips. de Amphith. c. 15.
3. c The Catechumens, candidates for Baptism.
4. d The baptized.
5. e "A man may, by phrenzy, be so disposed thereto [to death], and the Galilaeans by habit" Arr. ad Epict. iv. 7. ap. Rig.
6. f T. uses the received heathen term of reproach, "obstinacy," see ad Nat. i. 17, 18. Apol. c.27. Plin. Ep. ad Trajan, "For I doubted not that, whatever they might be, contumacy and inflexible obstinacy ought to be punished," add Diocletian Edict. ap. Hermog. Coll. Legg. Jud. et Rom. vii. lit. 14. heathen ap. Lact. v. 9. 11. Prudent. hymn. de Vincent. ii. 17. in ag. Rom. xiv. 63. 581. Arn. l. vi. beg. ap. Kortholt. ad Epp. Traj. et Plin. p. 57 sqq. The charge chiefly related (as here) to their suffering rather than abjuring the faith; but their uniform stedfastness is attested by the proverb, "Sooner might one unteach the disciples of Moses and Christ," ap. Galen. de Diff. Puls. 1. 3. and the Pythian oracle given to Porphyry,"Sooner may you write, stamping letters on the water, or filling light wings fly as a bird through the air, than recall the mind of the defiled, impious woman." Porph. ἐκ λογίων φιλος. ap. Aug. de Civ. D. xix. 23. quoted by Rig.
Actions not therefore good, because using good things of God. 189
7. g i. e. it were well worth the cost.
8. h De Cult. Fem. i. 7. and above, c. 1. n. a.
190 Every creature of God, and man himself, abused by man to sin.
9. Gen. 1, 27.
10. i actor, "the enacter," cod. Angl. ap. Pam., Satan being the author.
Demand of express prohibition of shows in Scr. cannot be met. 191
11. 1 a conditis restored
12. k According to another reading, "We ought not to doubt but that, when the power, &c. he changed, &c."
13. l See on S. Cyprian. de Patient. c. 12. p. 261. not. a. Oxf. Tr. and de Zelo, c. 3. p. 268.
14. m The same objection is quoted in the de Spectac. ap. S. Cypr. §. 2. Pam. alleges S. Chrysostome as meeting the same argument with the same Ps.; which he applies also to the theatre, Hom. 6. de Poenit. t. ii. p. 317. as does S. Clem. Alex. Paed. iii. 11. v. fin. p. 109. ed. Sylb. and S. Basil, Hom. in Gord. Mart. §. 3.
15. n i. e. gymnastic.
16. o "munus" the special name for shows of gladiators, though used to include fighting with beasts. On the origin of the name, see c. 12.
17. Ps. 1,1.
18. p as in LXX. λοιμῶν.
192 Script. gives rules of duty, when speaking directly on other points.
19. q Joseph of Arimathea. adv. Marc. iv. ult. In the Breviarium in Psalt. ap. Hieron. (Opp. t. vii. App.) this interpretation is cited as peculiar to T.
20. r negando Edd. and Cod. Ag. Rig. corrects "necando," "putting to death," which is the more obvious word, and which may be intended by "negando," the g being substituted for the c in MSS. Still it was the final act of "denying the Holy One and the Just," Acts 3, 13. 14. so "negando" has been retained.
21. Luke 23, 50.
22. s i. e. besides, and presupposing the particular application of any passage in H. Scripture, it involves certain principles of moral duty, looking every way.
23. t The people stood, the knights sat; hence below, "the seat."
24. u The "barriers," balthei, "belts," seem to have been a solid fence round the part of the circus where the spectator stood, (cunei,) and to have been the same as the "praecinctiones," Vitruv. iii. 5. Calpurn. in Amphith. Carini (ap. Lips. de Amphith. c. 13.) speaks of their being ornamented with gems, (Baltheus en gemmis, en illita porticus auro,) whence it appears that they were solid. The "cardines," according to T. here, were the ways round them; perhaps so called from being the chief ways; else, in dividing land in colonies, the cardo maximus was a line at right angles to the Decumanus (the line drawn from E. to W.) and the other Cardines parallel to it, (Salmas. ad Solin.p. 675 sqq.) Salmasius (ib. p. 919.) supposes that the Cardines were so called, as not simply encircling, but intersecting, the "wedges," (cunei); but T. seems to speak of the "ways per proclivum," "going down the steps of the amphitheatre," as distinct.
25. x Women's seats, "foemineae cathedrae", are mentioned by Calpurnius ap. Lips. c. 13.
Shows idolatrous in all their circumstances; line of proof. 193
26. y See adv. Jud. c. 9.
27. z See on de Cor. c. 3. Auct. de Spect. ap. Cypr. c. 5. S. Chrys. (Hom. 3. c. Ignav. init. t. ii. p. 265.) calls them "the pomp of the devil."
28. a Apol. c. 38. "idolatry, the mother of all games," de Spect. c. 3.
29. Tit. 3, 5.
30. b Chrys. and Salvian, de Gub. 1. 6. ap. Lac.
194 Idolatrous 'origin' of shows.
31. c Siculus; "longe eruditissimus," Cic. de Orat. ii. 14.
32. d Herod. i. 94. Plin.iii.5.
33. e Liv. vii. 2.
34. f Plutarch in Caec. ap. Her. Digr. i. 19.
35. g Apol. c. 11.
36. h Arnob. iii. p. 113. Aug. de Civ. D. iv. 11.
37. i Liv. i. 9. Plut. in Rom. Varro de Ling. Lat. l. v. Cypr. de Idol. Van. c. 2. p. 14. Oxf. Tr. Jerome in Vit. Hilar. §. 20.
Titles of shows idolatrous, as derived from gods or dead men. 195
38. k Plut. in Rom.
39. l duello, the old name (as being in an inscription) for bellum Varro de L. L. l. vi.
40. m Plin. xviii. 29.
41. n Robigo; supposed to affect iron as well as corn, Ov. Fast. iv. 923 sqq. [Tr.] Lact. i. 20. Aug. de Civ. D. iv. 22. a god Robigus is named by Varro de L. L. l. 5. A. Gell. v. 12.
42. o The Theatre and the Circus, see c. 10. beg. They are joined by S.Chrys. Hom. 15. ad Pop. Ant. init. t. ii. p. 152. Salvian de Gub. 1. 6. Juv. Sat. 8, 118. ap. Lac.
43. p Suet. in Vesp. "extraordinary games for his German victory."
196 Idolatry in outfit of the games, whether splendid or poor.
44. q Probat, a conjecture, seemingly, of Rig. The Edd. have "Circ. suggestus, quibus proprie hoc nomen 'pompa,' praecedit, quorum sit in semet ipsa probans." "But the somewhat more pompous apparatus of the games of the circus, (to which this name 'pomp' specially belongeth,) holds the first place, proving whose it is, by the long line," &c. Praecedit, however, can scarcely be so used, when nothing followeth. A. has "praecedens" with Rig. but "probans" with the Edd. This might be rendered; "but somewhat more pompous is the apparatus, &c.----a pomp preceding," [i. e. before the games themselves,] "proving of itself by the long line," &c.
45. r Ov. Fast. iv. 391. Varro de L. L. iv. p. 37. ed. Var. Cic. Off. 1. 1. 36. Suet. Aug. c. 16. ap. Lac. see also, very fully, Onesiphor. Panvin. de ludis Circ. ii. 2. ap. Graev. t. ix. Bulenger de Circo Rom. c.38. Facciol. v. pompa.
46. s of the gods, Dion. Hal. l. vii.
47. t of the gods, Appian. de Bell. Civ. l. 3. c. 28. Dio. l. 43. 44. ap. Her. l. c.
48. u exuviae. T. uses it of more splendid apparel, (de Pall. c. 4.) and peculiarly of the gods. Festus v. Tensa. Apul. Miles. xi. ap. Her.
49. x Rome and the Capitol, see Apol. c. 6. p. 16. c. 13. fin. p. 32.
All the fabrics of the Circus, idolatrous in origin. 197
50. 1 Ut et restored
51. y Tac. l. xv. fin.
52. z Vitruv. i. 2.
53. a The Greeks; the Romans from the "circuit." Isidor. xviii. 28.
54. b Whereby the close of the course was marked (Varro de Re Rust. i. 2. Dio xlix. fin. ap. Lac.) introduced A. U. C. 581. Liv. 41, 27.
55. c Dio l. c. Juv. vi. 589.
56. d Plin. xviii. 2. Macrob. Sat. i. 16. Aug. de Civ. D. iv. 8. ib.
57. e Macr. Sat. iii. 4. Varro de Ling. Lat. iv. p. 37. ib.
58. f Plin. xxxvi. 9. Cassiod. l. iii. Ep. 51. Amm. Marc. l. xvii. ib.
59. g An artificial lake for naval games. Cassiod. l. c. Spartian in Heliog. ib.
198 All places full of idols; any may be entered, if not for idolatry.
60. h Aug. de Civ. D. iv. 16. Arnob. iv. p. 132.
61. i Lucian in Prometh. (ap. Her. Digr. i. 14.) "All the streets are full of Jove."
62. k "The gods----the guardians of the forum." Aesch. Sept. c. Theb. 258. ed. Blomf. and others in the note ib. n.
63. l S. Ambr. Ep. 18. ad Valentin. §.31. "Suffice them not, the baths, the porticoes, the streets thronged with images?"
64. m See Apol. c. 17. as to the Goddess Hippona or Epona.
65. n See de Idol. c. 15.
66. 1 de dorso restored
'Performances' in the Circus idolatrous. 199
67. o Virg. Georg. iii. 89.
68. p Virg. Georg. iii. 113 sq.
69. q He was represented with serpents for feet; emblems, T. implies, of Satan.
70. r The colours were those of the trappings of the horses.
71. s Joannes Antioch. (ap. Salmas. ad Solin. p. 902.) Cedrenus, p. 231. Isidorus xviii. 41. says that the four colours had reference to the four elements; so the Chron. Alex. ap. Lac. Cassiodorus, l. 3. Ep. 51. mentions the reference to the seasons, (ib.)
200 Romans witnesses against their theatres----temples of Venus.
72. t The designator (designator Praetor, Plaut. Paenul. Prol.) in the theatre kept order and assigned the seats; T. takes occasion of the other use of the term in funeral rites (see Hor. Ep. i. 7. 6.) to hint that the gods in whose honour the games were, were dead men, see Apol. c. 13. below, c. 10. 13.
73. 1 vitio restored
74. u Val. Max. ii. 4. Aug. de Civ. D. ii. 5.
75. x Venus Victrix, Plut. in Vit. Plin. viii. 7. Suet. Claud. c. 21. ap Lac.
76. y Plin. l. c.
'Performances' of stage dedicated to, and invented by, daemons. 201
77. 1 fluxu restored
78. z See above, c. 6.
202 Shows of gladiators, human sacrifices to appease the dead;
79. a Interpunction changed; "quod utique templum est et ipsum, ejus idoli." T. means that the "stadium" was itself a place of idolatry, but rendered yet more so by the imitation of the Circus.
80. 1 munus
81. 2 officium
82. b Cypr. ad Don. §. 6.
when in honor of the living, still idolatrous; temples of daemons. 203
83. c since the idols were of the dead, as above, c. 10.
84. d in that shows of gladiators were given on the appointment to the Quaestorship, (Capitol. in Anton. Spartian in Get., by law, Tac. Ann. xi. 22. abolished, ib. xiii. 5.) and the other offices, see in Lips. Sat. i. 9. quoted by Lac.
85. e since all these dignities were in some way subservient to idolatry. Lac.
86. f in which notice was given of the shows, perhaps with some reference to the occasion, as in Suet. in Jul. c. 26. "he solemnly announced (pronuntiavit) a show to the people in memory of his daughter."
87. g in which the details of the show were given, "edictum et ludorum ordinem," Sen. Ep. 119. ap. Lips. Sat. ii. 18.
88. h i. e the day before the show, when those who fought with beasts supped publicly, see Apol. c. 42. Pultes, the ancient food of the Romans, were specially used in the funeral feasts, see Arn. vii. v. fin. p. 249.
89. i i. e. (as note d,) φρικωδὴς, whereat men would shudder.
90. k i. e. as follows, on account of the number and dreadfulness of the daemons then assembled, it being the custom of false-swearers to heap up the names of the gods and the most aweful invocations, (τὰς φρικωδεστάτας κλήσεις, Philo in Decal. ap. Her. Digr. i. 5.) The dreadfulness of the daemons T. infers from the dreadfulness of the sins concentrated there; their number from the number of those whom they beset.
204 Shows more directly pollute the soul than things offered to idols.
91. l "de sacrificiis, quo" Edd. "quod" A whence Rig. conjectures, "desacrificiis quidem," "As to sacrifices indeed." The preceding however is no precise enumeration of the heads, to which he had referred the idolatry of the shows, (the 'artes' being omitted,) and sacrifices had been mentioned, c. 7. 10. and indeed the shows of gladiators (c. 12.) were founded on human sacrifices.
92. m when admitted as Catechumens, and at Baptism, see de Cor. c. 3.
93. 1 Cor 10, 19, 20.
94. ver. 21.
95. 1 John 2, 16.
Peace and gentleness due, where Holy Spirit is; disturbed by shows; 205
96. Eph. 4, 30. 31.
97. 1 John 2, 15.
206 'Madness' specially belongs to the shows.
98. n "Madness" became a technical term in designating the Circus. Thus, Apol. c. 38. &c. Minut. F. p. 344. Salvian, l. vi. Jer. Ep. 43. (ol. 18.) ad Marcell. fin. Lact. vi. 20. ap. Lac. and Arnob. vii. "insaniam;" Sil. Ital.
Fluctuat aequoreo fremitu rabieque faventum,
Carceribus nondum resolutis, mobile vulgus.
S. Ambr. in Ps. 39. §. 4. "False phrenzies are, either----or the dissensions in the theatrical contests, or the party-eagerness of the games of the Circus, full of fury," [furoris.] Dio Chrys. ad Alex. (ap. Panvin. ii. 16.) "But we leaping, mad (μαινόμενοι), striking each other, speaking things not to be uttered, and often railing against the very gods, and sometimes going naked from the show." So S. Greg. Naz. Or. 36. (al. 27.) de se-ipso fin. μεμηνέναι. Instances are given by Onuphr. Panvin. de Lud. Circ. i. 10, 11. from the times of the first Emperors; and Bulenger de Circ. Rom. c. 47-49. (ap. Graev. Thes. t. ix.) The author of de Spect. ap. Cypr. c. 6. speaks of the "lites in coloribus." Vitellius massacred some of the people because they cursed the faction, which he favoured, (Suet. Vit. c. 14.) Caracalla did the same for ,some jest on a favourite charioteer, (Herodian. iv. p. 95. ed. Steph.) Gibbon also relates the savageness of the period which led to the abolition of the "factions," in his painful way, c. 40. §. 2.
99. o Amm. Marc. l. 28. "On the longed-for day of the Equestrian games, ere the clear ray of the sun yet shine, all hurry headlong, outpoured, as though they would out-speed the very chariots which are to contend, on the issue of which their eager longings being torn different ways, very many from anxiety pass sleepless nights," &c.
100. p All Christians being a "royal priesthood." 1 Pet. 2, 9. Rev. 1,6. to which T. refers, de Monog. c. 7. de Exh. Cast. c. 7. (comp. adv. Marc. iii. 7. adv. Jud. c. 14.) The promotion of "peace" being one object of their office, he may call them "priests of peace" as Christian women, "priestesses of chastity," (de Cult. Fem. ii. 12.) without excluding the priestly character of all Christians, as distinct from the priestly office, (de Virg. Vel. c. 9. de Praescr. c. 41. fin.)
Immodesty of theatres too shocking to be spoken of 207
101. 1 forsitan restored
102. Mat. 5, 24.
103. q Apol. c. 35. Lact. l. vi. Theodoric Ep. ad Specios. ap. Cassiod. Variar. l. 1. (quoted by Panvin. c. 11.) "Cato's come not to shows.----The place pleads for excess, whose garrulity if they bear patiently, it is a glory to princes themselves."
104. r Apol. c. 38.
105. s "Who without violating modesty could speak of those imitations of foul things, those obscenities of words, those revolting motions, that foulness of gestures? Whose exceeding sinfulness may be collected even from this, that they preclude even their being spoken of! The impurities of the theatres alone are such, that they admit not even of being censured with purity." Salvian, 1. 6. comp. de Spect. ap. Cypr. c. 8.
208 What may not be done, should not be looked on, or listened to.
106. t de Spect. ap. Cypr. c. 9.
107. u because so produced once in the year at the Floralia.
108. Eph. 5, 12.
109. ver. 4.
110. Mat. 12, 36.
111. Mark 7, 20.
112. 1 Cor. 3, 19.
113. x auctrices. Rig. (from conjecture apparently) actrices "enacters." comp. Theoph. ad Autol. iii. 15. Auct. de Spect. ap. Cypr. c. 7. Lact. vi. 20. Arnob. iv. fin.
114. 1 Cor. 10, 24.
Good, that the bad be punished; not, to see their punishment. 209
115. y See Cypr. ad Donat. §. 6.
116. z Ib. p. 6. ed. Oxf. "Fathers are spectators of their own sons; a brother is in the ring, his sister close by." Impietas includes want of natural affection, natural piety.
117. a Apol. c. 9.
118. b as having been born a Heathen, see Apol. c. 18. and probably de Poenit. c. 1. as also of Gentile sins, de Res. Carn. c. 59.
210 If phrenzy, cruelty, immodesty, sin out of shows, then in shows also.
119. c admittenda. Cod. Ag. Edd. Rig. conjectures "amittendae," needlessly.
Inconsistent to endure in theatres, things shunned in private life. 211
120. d The "staff" (rudis) freeing from the necessity of fighting; the "cap" (pileus) if slaves, freeing them wholly. The staff might be given after 3, the cap after 5, years. Ulpian ap. Lips. Sat. ii. 23. These being demanded by the people for distinguished gladiators, were, as T. says, the rewards of bloodshedding.
121. e See Ulpian ap. Bulenger de Theatro i. 50. (de infamia theatri) Aug. de Civ. D. ii. 14. "The Romans reject players from all honours." and 27. "The actors whereof the praiseworthy temper of Roman virtue deprived of honours, degraded from the tribes, acknowledged as foul, made infamous." This seems to have been relaxed as to the "wrestlers" and "charioteers," on the very ground of their not being players; they were "inhonestae personae," not "infames." Ulp. ib. A soldier, who acted, was capitally punished. (ib.) see also Bulenger de Circo, c. 50. de venat. circi c. ult. They were mostly slaves; whence Adrian refused the people's request to set one free, as unjust to his master. Dio ap. Onuphr. Panvin. de Lud. Circ. i. 11.
212 Infamy of players condemns plays; unreality displeases God.
122. f Insignia of rank.
123. 1 statuum restored
124. g The history of Elijah seems to have been used as a serious defence of the shows. See de Spect. ap. Cypr. c. 2. 3.
125. Matt. 5, 29.
126. Matt. 6, 27.
127. h See note B. on Apol. p. 110.
128. i The human countenance.
129. Ex. 20, 4.
Christian converts known to Heathen by renouncing shows. 213
130. Deut. 22,5.
131. 1 quam restored
132. k See above, c. 4.
214 Shows opposed to and drive out all subjects of Christian thought.
133. l Probably to staunch the blood.
134. m De caelo, ut aiunt, in caenum.
135. n Sanctum. The holy Eucharist, derived probably (as has been suggested to me) from S. Matt. 7, 5. as a reverent title, which should be understood only by Communicants, not by strangers. The name occurs, with the addition "Sanctum Domini" in S. Cyprian, de Unit. c. 7. de Lapsis, c. 11. and 16 bis. In the de Spectac. ap. Cypr. c. 7. ed. Bened., "Sanctum" occurs alone, explained shortly afterwards by "Eucharistiam, Christi sanctum Corpus." And this is a sort of comment on T. since the author imitates him throughout. The words are, "daring to bear with him, if he could, That Holy Thing into a brothel [the Theatre], who when dismissed from the Church hastening to the show, and yet bearing with him, after his wont, the Eucharist, carried around the Holy Body of Christ amidst the impure bodies of harlots." (In Fell's edition, (which is here altogether less accurate,) and in some MSS. "Spiritum" is inserted before "Sanctum" "bearing with him the Holy Spirit, if he could," and "Christi Sanctum Corpus" omitted. This may have been occasioned by a difficulty in the words, "if he could;" in that the Holy Eucharist would remain with him, whereas the Holy Spirit might depart from him. The author may mean, however, that although he bore about with him "That Holy Thing," it ceased to be such to him.) S. Cyprian ad Demetr. c. 1. uses "Sanctum" absolutely, in reference to S. Matt, but not to the Eucharist. S. Augustine (quoted by Rig.) speaks of the "Amen" in reference to the Holy Eucharist, Serm. ad Inf. ante Altare de Sacr. [Serm. 272. in die Peut. postrem.] "If then ye are the Body and Members of Christ, your mystery is placed on the Table of the Lord; ye receive your own mystery. To that which ye are, ye answer Amen, and by answering, subscribe. For thou hearest, THE BODY OF CHRIST, and answerest, AMEN. Be thou a member of the Body of Christ, that true be thy Amen." [add Serm. 334. in Nat. Mart. "To His Pledge thou sayest daily, Amen,"] and S. Ambrose de Sacr. iv. 5. "The priest saith to thee, THE BODY OF CHRIST, and thou sayest, AMEN, that is, True. What the tongue confesses, let the affections retain."
Visitations on Xtian play-goers; persecutions require earnestness.215
136. o "Conquests shalt thou conquer from everlasting," exclamation to Commodus, Dio 1. 72. (Rig.) "O king Artaxerxes, reign for ever." (di0 ai0a~noj Aelian. Var. Hist. i. 32. (ap. Lac. ad Apol. c. 34.) The words, "O king, live for ever," would have a different meaning, as spoken by Daniel, who believed in a "life everlasting."
137. p See on Apol. c. 23. p. 57 and 60.
138. q perhaps, as a winding-sheet.
139. Matt. 6, 24. 2 Cor. 6. 14.
140. r See Apol. c. 35. 40. Ferrar. de Vet. Acclam. et plausu, l. 8. c. 18. (ap. Hav.)
216 Good in plays drugs poison; Xtian's joy and grief not with world.
141. Ps. 1, 1.
142. John 16, 20.
143. s Apol. c. 38.
144. t including, by the force of the term, being "called away" from the world.
145. Phil. 1, 23.
Christian's joys and spectacles. 217
146. Rom. 5, 10.
147. u 1 Cor. 12, 9. 10. "To another, the gifts of healing,----to another the working of miracles, to another, prophecy." See on Apol. c. 23. p. 57. S. Cyprian speaks of revelations to himself after this; Allix singularly finds in this mention of "revelations" a trace of Montanism. Our own Bp. Andrews has the Evening Prayer, "Visit me with the visitation of Thine own; reveal to me wisdom in the visions of the night. If not, for I am not worthy, &c."
148. v imitated in the de Spect. ap. Cypr. c. penult.
149. 1 non parva sed multa restored.
150. x the end of the world being looked for as at hand.
218 Terrors of the Day of Judgment.
151. y probably the Millennium, as in Apol. c. 48.
152. z See on de Test. An. c. 4. p. 136. n. s and t.
153. a A truth lies at the basis of the following painful description, since Scripture says, "The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance;" Tertullian, however, seems to have been hurried away by his imagination, and (as happens not uncommonly to people) in the vehemence of his description to have forgotten what he was describing----endless misery. Certainly, the righteous will "rejoice" in God's vengeance upon His enemies, (Ps. 58, 10, &c. Rev. 18, 20. xix. 1-3.) but it is not for the uninspired, to joy beforehand in the justice of God of which they must stand in awe, and to expand hints, which are given for their own warning. There appears, however, throughout these treatises, an intention to act upon the minds of the heathen, (as even Gibbon implies in this case,) so that he may have used this unsubdued and fearfully vivid description, in order to impress them the more.
154. b Apol. c. 21.
155. Is. 14, 9 sqq. Ps. 52, 6. Ps. 58, 10. Rev. 18, 20.
156. c i. e. that He was unconcerned about the things of this world, Apol. c. 47.
157. d Apol. c. 48.
158. e Apol. c. 23.
159. f In allusion to the colours worn by the different factions, of which red was one.
Sight of the LORD: if things future such, what when come? 219
161. g Alluding to the Jewish blasphemy under the title of Panthera, Orig. c. Cels. i. 28. 32. Schabbat fol. 104, b. and Sanhedrin f. 67. a. ap. Wagenseil conf. lib. Toled. Jesch. p. 15. ubi pl. S. Jerome Ep. 14. (al. l.) ad Heliod. §. ult. in part imitates this passage, and retains the word.
162. John 5, 18. John 8, 48.
163. Mat. 28, 13. Mat. 27, 64.
164. h This last seems to be irony of Tertullian's.
165. i "This is a spectacle, which not praetor or consul exhibiteth to them, but He Who is Alone both before all things, and above all things, yea and of Whom are all things, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." de Spect. ap. Cypr. fin.
166. 1 Cor. 2, 9.
167. k Theatre and Amphitheatre.
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