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tivators of sacred literature, and of peculiar importance to those whose duty it is to inculcate and defend the contents of the inspired volumes. Who can, without sorrow, hear such a man say of two works of considerable magnitude which were at the press and nearly completed a fire which happened a few days ago in the printing office, has consumed the labour and hopes of some years, and left not one wreck behind.” To this he adds, with the coolness of a philosopher—we should say, with the composure of a Christian,-“ this circumstance has given me the opportunity of completing the present volume.” That he may long live in bealth and peace, to repair this unfortunate loss, will be the earnest wish of every intelligent reader.
The present work is introduced by some Remarks on the Origin of Language, and of Alpliabetical Characters; the strange conjectures formed by learned men on which subjects, as well as on the formation of society, and of the human race itself, prove in no slight degree the advantages, if not the necessity of Revelation, as a means of imparting knowledge to the understanding, as well as purity to the affections of mankind. Mr. C. sums up his observations on the origin of letters in these words : “ as there is no evidence whatever, that there was any WRITING before the giving of the law; and as then God is said to have written the Decalogue with his own finger; and as, after this time, writing is always mentioned, when a suitable occasion offers; I conclude, that God himself taught the use of alphabetical characters to man." In this decision we should very possibly have acquiesced, had we not remembered that a passage existed in the book of Exodus, which implies, at least, that Moses was previously acquainted with the art of writing: Exod. xvii. 14. " write this for a memorial in a 'book, &c." This command, we presume, was given immediately after the victory over Amalek, and consequently prior to the promulgation of the law at Sinai. That the knowledge of writing was a divine grant we readily admit, but why it should be so distinguished from other “ good and perfect gifts," as to be the subject of a precise and personal communication from God, is not apparent. There is no necessity for such a solution ; for the ordinary influences of the divine spirit upon human intellect, in kind if not in degree, are doubtless adequate to account for the fact. Probably, all that can with propriety be said on the subject is, that God, having determined to give to mankind a written revelation of his will, took care, in the dispensations, of his providence, that the art of writing should be sufficiently known to his servants who were to fulfil his pleasure, at the appointed period. Whatever may be thought, however, on its origin, this is clear, that the Scriptures afford
of the the seco obserwiends, and the cos muebund in the 15th
notices of this necessary art, beyond comparison more ancient than any human record. :
The account given of the several writers whose works are admitted into the canon of the Old Testament, and also of the apocryphal authors, is concise and judicious; it is 'accompanied with useful information on the subject of the Sep-. tuagint, the Masorah, and the Jewish Targums and Talmuds. We heartily concur with Mr. C. in wishing that Christian divines were better acquainted with these stores of Jewish learning, which would doubtless assist them in their discussions with the Jews. We will enforce his opinion and our own, by a quotation from a converted Jew on that subject. « Optarem, potius, omnes inter Christianos eruditi Talmud legere queant, quo Judæos etiam ex ipso eorundein Talmude convincere, et religionem Christianam inde tueri ac defendere illis liceat. Hac ratione sine dubio plures Judæi ad Christum perducerentur, quam nunc, proh dolor ! fieri contingit.” Gerson, quoted by Wagenseil.
We pass on through the Account of the “ Sacred Classics of the New Testament,” in which the same plan is continued, to the section on the 1st Epistle of John ; this contains the interesting observations, printed a few years since for the use of Mr. C.'s friends, and referred to in Butler's Horæ Biblicæ, (Vol. II. p. 263.). on the controverted text, i John v. 7. The value of the dissertation is much enhanced by engraven fac-similes of the passage, as it is found in the Codex Montfortii, (supposed by Mr. C. to be a MS. not of the 15th or 16th, but of the 13th century,) and in the Complutensian Polyglot, printed 1514," which are properly the only Greek authorities on which the authenticity of the text of the three witnesses depends.” He takes occasion to correct some inaccuracies into which Michaelis, and his translator Mr. Marsh, have fallen, in their observations on this. MS., . (the date of which he fixes, we think, satisfactorily,) although he coincides upon the whole with these learned men, and with Griesbach and others, in concluding the passage to be spurious. " At the same time,” he observes, “ I would not have my readers to imagine, that the proofs against the authenticity of the passage, are demonstrative to me they are not so; yet they are strongly presumptive.” A remarkable and evident allusion to the passage, in the writings of Cyprian, who died A. D. 258, is quoted p. 203; “ Dicit Dominus, Ego et Pater unum sumus. Et iterum, de Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto scriptum est, Et hi Tres unum sunt.” As Mr. C. asks, " where is this written except in the above text ?”—Mr. Clarke mentions in his preface the confession of faith by the Orthodox Bishops, presented to King Huneric, å. D. 484, and agrees with Mr. Butler in admitting it as an
argument highly deserving attention. It had also been urged by Bossuet in a letter to Leibnitz.
On the controversy relative to the authenticity of the Apocalypse, the author is altogether silent, which we are sorry for, on account of the importance which it has recently acquired from the endeavours made by two learned Germans, whose works are extensively circulated in this country, to discredit the authority of this portion of the sacred canon. To what is it owing, that while the objections of Michaelis and Less are in the hands of every student, the .answers of Storr * and Reuss are unknown in our language ? We are happy, however, to refer our readers, who wish for information on the subject, to the able dissertation of Archdeacon Woodhouse, (Vide Ecl. Rev. Vol. II. p. 914).
We have now reached that part of the volume which presents the succession of Ecclesiastical Writers from the times of the Apostles: and by this, we conceive, the merit and value of the performance are chiefly to be appreciated. The authorities necessary for competent information on the preceding subjects are readily to be obtained; but the whole compass of literature will be searched in vain for so concise and useful an epitome as may be found between the 105th and 312th pages of this volume, comprising the Ecclesiastical Authors from Barnabas A. D. 71, to Julius Firmicus Maternus A. D. 345. The reader is not presented with a mere bibliographical account of the names of the writers and the editions of their works, but he will find a brief narration of their lives, and such "a faithful and distinct analysis” of their writings, às will present " in a few pages the substance of immense volumes." · Mr. C. justly adds, :The labour that this has occasioned, can only be appreciated by those who consider the ponderous volumes of Writers in different languages, which, in order to compose this Work, it was necessary not merely to read in their titles or indexes, but in most cases 10 examine in every page, that a true synopsis of the Author's opinions might be laid before the Reader. As proofs of this, I may refer to what is written on the articles Justin Martyr, Irenæus, Theophilus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertullian, Origen, Gregory Thaumaturgus, Cyprian, Arnobius, Lactantius, Eusebius, and Athanasius ; under each of which, may I not venture to say, that the intelligent Reader will find something to amuse, much to please, and not a little to profit him? It is a matter of no small utility, to be able to tell with little or no labour, what the subjects were, on which so many eminent men in various ages have employed their pens.' pp. iv.--V.
Indeed, had the indefatigable author contented himself with repeating what he might have found in former compilers, the labour would appear formidable to those who consider, that the
* Of this venerable divine, the reader will find a copious and authentic memoir in our first volume, pp. 707_710.
« Bibliothéque des Auteurs Ecclesiastiques" of Du Pin was published in 58 vols. 870., and that the more accurate, though less agreeable, “ Histoire générale des Auteurs Sacrés et Ecclésiastiques” of Cellier extended to 23 vols. 4to.
From the review of such an interesting period of ecclesiastical literature, conducted with so much industry and judgement, Mr. C.'s readers will naturally look for much to instruct and entertain them ; nor will their expectations be disappointed. We acknowledge that amidst the profusion of attractive matter, we have felt some difficulty to determine upon what passage our choice should fall, in order to present a specimen of the manner in which the work is executed. While reading the volume, we 'marked for that purpose the account of the interesting dialogue of Justin with Trypho the Jew; Tatian's oration against the Greeks; the reveries of , . the Valentinians on the subject of the Eons; the apology of Tertullian, and his observations on theatrical representations ; Arnobius's admirable arguments in favour of Christianity ; Origen's allegorical interpretations of Scripture; the lively biographical account of Gregory Thaumaturgus ; the reasonings of Lactantius “ de ira Diz;" and various others of less considerable extent. We had even fixed upon the view given of the “ Præparatio Evangelica” of Eusebius, as it affords a natural opportunity of repeating a wish of Mr. C.'s, in which we readily concur, that some able person would undertake “ a new translation of the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, with the notes of Valesius, Drs, Lardner and Jortin, and others.” But as the following article is a complete specimen of the execution of the book, giving an account of the writer, and of his work, and noticing the Editio princeps, the Editio optima, and the best translation of it into English, we are inclined to think it will be the most satis. . factory and acceptable to the reader.
• THEOPHILUS, A. D. 181. Originally a heathen, was converted to the christian faith, and became bishop of Antioch in the eighth year of Marcus Antoninus, having suca ceeded Eros, the fifth bishop of that see, in 168. He died in the beginning of the reign of Commodus, about A. D. 181.
• He wrote three books concerning the christian religion to a heatben, named Autolycus, who had exultingly said, Shew me thy God?. In this work he has proved himself to be a man of extensive learning, and well acquainted with all the ancient Greek writers, from whom he has made frequent and valuable quotations.
. In answer to the above question of Autolycus, he shews in the first book, 1. That the true God cannot be seen but by the eyes of the un. derstanding when purified from sin. 2. That God cannot be expressed by any corporeal representation, because his perfections infinitely surpass all our conceptions. 3. That though he cannot be discerned by the eyes of the body, yet he may be known by his works and providence. And,
4. that God shall be seen, when men are delivered from mortality and corruption.
. He next argues in behalf of the resurrection : proves the reasonableness of believing it; shews that in many arts and matters which concern - the support and comfort of life nothing is brought to an issue without faith :
shews that the succession of day and night, the destruction and production of plants and fruits, the change and full of the moon, and restoration to health from a state of sickness, are all so many images of the resurrection. In the fourth section of this book he gives a curious definition of some of the principal names by which God was acknowledged among the christians. He is called Aydexos, Anarchus, because he is without beginning, unbegotten, immutable and immortal. God, eos, does to TsDesdevas because he places all things on his own stability. And he has this name of Geos also from Deeds, which signifies to run, move, operate, nourish, rescue, govern and vivify. He is also named Kugros, the Lord ; draco to xuglevev, because he is the ruler of all things.--Darng, Father, because he is before all things.-Anusoveyos, Demiurgus, and Iloitus, the Framer, because he is the creator and former of all things. IlayTougatwe, the Almighty, because he possesses and comprehends all things.
As Autolycus had desired a fuller account of the christian faith, &c., Theophilus resumes the subject in the second” book, and begins by shewing the absurdity of that worship to which his friend had been addicted : ridicules the accounts the poets and historians give of their gods ; and quotes several passages from Hesiod, Homer, Simonides, Archilochus, Pindar, Aratus, Sophocles, Euripides, Thestius, Satyrus and Plato. He compares these with the rational accounts given by Moses and the Prophets ; takes a view of the six days work in the creation the formation and fall of man--the birth of Cain and Abel-the invention of arts by the first inhabitants of the world ;--the building of cities origin of government-division of tongues, &c. &c. concerning which the Greeks have nothing but fabulous accounts. In speaking of the three days which preceded the formation of the luminaries, he says, at trans ημεραι- τυποι εισιν της ΤΡΙΑΔΟΣ, του θεου και του λογου αυτου, και της Godias autov. These three days were tynes of the TRINITY, of God, and his Word, and his Wisdom.
I think this is the first place, where the word teias, or Trinity, occurs in the writings of the primitive fathers ; if so, it is worthy of remark, that in the same city (Antioch ) where the disciples were first called christians, the sacred persons in the godhead were first termed The Trinity.
' Autolycus remaining still unconvinced, Theophilus writes the third book, in which he proves the antiquity of the sacred scriptures ; shews that the Greek writers had no correct notion either of God or his provi. dence, sometimes asserting and sometimes denying both; that their system of morality was very impure, for they commend prostitution and adultery, and attribute the same to their gods. He then defends the christians against the calumnies fabricated against them by the heathens, relative to impure intercourse and eating human flesh. (This last charge seems to have been brought against them on account of their doctrine of the Eucharist, which the heathens could not understand..) Theophilus shews that these were neither doctrines nor practices of christianity, but . they were both among the heathers : proves that the philosophers taught