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and there is an ancient (k) book yet extant treating exprelly of the allegories of Homer, written by the famous HERACLIDES of Pona, tus.
(1) The antient grcek poets were reputed to involve divine, and natural, and historical notions of their gods under mystical and parabolical expresions; and are accordingly so interpreted by the greek scholiafts.
The Sybilline verses, the answers given at Oracles, Sayings deliver'd under agitation, and dreams (all which the antients call'd (m) divinations by fury) were seldom or ever plain, and usually receiv'd fome al-legorical interpretation by the skilful in dia vination; as did also the numerous signs and prodigies, which, in the course of things of ten happen'd.
The pythagorean philofophy was wholly deliver'd in mystical language; the signification whereof was intirely unknown to the world abroad, and but gradually explain’d to those of the fect, as they grew into years, or were proper to be inform d. And in this PYTHAGORAS came up to SOLOMON's character of wife men, (n) who dealt in dark
(k) Apud Gale Opuscula Mythologica. in (1) Dodwell's Letters of Advice, &c. p. 172.1 (m) Cicero de Divinatione. (n) Prov. I. Q. ... . .. .vis
Sayings, and acted not much unlike the most divine teacher that ever was Our Saviour (0) Spake with many parables the word unto the multitude, as they were able to bear it but without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, be expounded all things to his disciples. Di beso - The stoick philofophers are particularly famous for allegorizing the whole heathen theology, and all the fables of the poets. And Cicero, in the person of Balbus, (p) the stoick, gives us a curious specimen of their method in his books of the nature of the gods. It ist, ist betoond ; bil
We haye feveral (9) treatises of heathen philosophers on the subjeđt of allegorical interpretation from one of which, written by Cornutus the stoick, and from some other philosophers, Platonists and Stoicks, the famous ORIGEN is faid (r) to have deriv'd a great deal of his skill in allegorizing the books of the Old Testament. And ORIGEN thought the allegorical method not only just and true in it self, but (s) proper to give the Pagans a more exalted notion of the holy Scriptures, which fecm'd too logo and
(0) Mark 4. 33, 34. () Cicero De Nat. Deorum, l. 2.':, ...da 12 (9) Gale Opuscula Myrhologica, &c. () Porphyrius apud Euseb. Hif. Eccl. 1. 6.c. 19.? (9) Simon Hist. Crit. du V. Test. p. 391.''Die inn
mean to them, and useful to convert the learned of his time to the christian religion. Nor was the great St. Austin less allegorical (t) than ORIGEN in his interpretations of scripture ; in which method he greatly improv'd himself by studying platonickauthors. ,
Many of the primitive fathers, and apo, logists for christianity, who for the most part wholly address themselves to Pagans, reason allegorically, not only from natural and artificial things (proving ; that CHRIST was to suffer on the cross, from things (6) made after the famion of a cross; that there must be (w) four gospels and no more, from the four winds and four corners of the earth; and that CHRIST was to have (2) twelve apostles, because the gospel was to be preach'd in the four parts of the world, in the name of the Trinity, three times four making twelve ; and because there were (9) twelve bells which hung at the bottom of the jewish high priest's garment) but from
G4 r. the
(t) Ib. p. 399.
(g) Justin Martyris Opera, p. 260. See also Mo NTAG v Origines Ecclefiafticæ, wherein there is a learned Dissertation upon the Type TWELVE, P. 121. &c. pars pofterior.
the Old Testament exactly in the fame manner with the apostles; which implies, that they look'd on allegories to be proper topicks · for Pagans: and some of them had particuIar reason to do so from their own experience,
who while they were philosophers them• selves, and before they (z) became christi
ans, were accustom'd to it. It is also well known, that (a) THEOPHILUS ANTIOCHENUS, CLEMENS of Alexandria, (who was the disciple of PANTÆNUS) and ORIGEN, as well as the Gnosticks, allegoriz’d, in their explications and commentaries, the books of the New Testament; which commentaries may be justly suppos'd written for the use of Pagans as well as Jews and Christians, in ore der to give them all a more exalted notion of christianity, and of the New Testament.. ! In a word, (b) this method of writing in matters of religion, (practis'd by apostles, companions of the apostles, and most primitive fathers) was generally used, not only among the Jews, but among the wifer and more philosophical part of the Gentiles too : and from both came to be almost universally receiv'd among the primitive christians :
-(z) Wake's Prelim. to Genuine Epistles of St. Clement, &c. p. 95.
(a) Simon Hist, des Comment. p. 3; 4; 5.C. IN A
(b) Wake, Ib. p. 41-75. See alfo Lenfant. Preface Gen, sur son Nov. Teft. p. 3.
as fays our most learned and judicious archbishop WAKE." And our learned (c) DodWELL says, that Oneirocriticks and Hieroglyphicks, and other Pagan mystical arts of concealment, are of use towards underftanding the prophetical books of the Old Testament (the (d) whole indulgence of God in granting the spirit of prophery to the Jews being plainly accommodated to the heathen praštise of divination); and that (e) the revelations of the gospel being made for the fake of all mankind, its reasonings (which for the most part are allegorical) were suited to the understanding of the generality of the people of that age (and by consequence to the people of future ages) and in particular to that of the pbilosophers, who were the leaders among the Gentiles. Wherefore the arguments of the 'apostles were so far from being arguments ad hominem to the Jews, that they were then equally conclusive to great numbers among the Gentiles : and the prophecies cited from the Old in the New Testament, tho' (f) hining in a dark place, were a light both to Jews and Gentiles,
.() Dodwell's Letters of Advice, &c. p. 208.
(d) Ib. p. 113.
je) Dodwelli Prolegomena ad Stearn de Obflina. tione.
(f) 2 Pet. I. 19.