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ist. Additional references and observations on different fads and paljages

of scripture, alluded to in the preceding work.

2d. Observations on the objections which have been advanced against the

moraliiy of the gospel as being extravagant and fanatical.

3d. Examples to confirm the description which has been given of enthu-

fiafin in ihe preceding work.


That Christianity was founded on enthusiasmi, tvas one of the earliest imputations thrown upon it: The politicians and philosophers of the Heathen world regarded the steadiness with which the primitive Christians sustained persecution, and the zeal they displayed in making profelytes; as certain proofs of obstinate fanaticism, and they conceived that the faith required as essential to the Christian profession was founded on blind credulity ; disdaining to examine the doctrines, or weigh the evidence of an upstart Jewish sect, they satisfied themselves with such distant views, and such superficial objections as these, and too frequently dismissed the religion of the gospel as a sordid and gross superstition, unworthy the attention of a philosophic mind. We find the antient apologists complaining of this proceeding, as most uncandid and irrational, and surely with good cause. “ Some (säys Tertullian) look upon it as “ madness, that when we might sacrifice at the mo“ ment and depart uninjured, retaining in our mind " a fixed resolution to continue firm to our religion,

a Tertulliani Apologeticus; cap. xxvii. edit. Havercampi, Lugduni, 1718, p. 259.

we should prefer our obstinacy to our lives ;” and in the conclusion of his apology, “b That, says he, “ which you call madness and despair in us, are the very actions which, under virtue's standard, lift

up your fons to fame and glory, and emblazon them “ to future ages.”_He then adduces the examples of Mutius Scævola, Regulus, the stoick Zeno, and the Lacedemonian youths, with some others, and he proceeds, 6. Not one of these contemners of death “ and cruelty, in its several shapes, have had their “ actions sullied with the imputation of madness and

despair. A man shall suffer with honour for his

country, for the empire, for a friend, what he is “ not tolerated to suffer for his God. Strange! that

you should look on the patience of Christians, as “ such, as an inglorious thing, and yet “ sons I have mentioned, cast statues and adorn;

figures with inscriptions and magnificent titles, “ to perpetuate the memory of their actions to eter

nity—to such an eternity as monuments can be. “ stow, and by this means give them a kind' of re" surrection from the dead ; on the contrary, he - who expects a real resurrection, and in hopes of " this suffers for the word of God, shall pass among

you for a fot and a madman.” And in the next paragraph he states,

“ That which you reproach in us as stubbornness, has been the most instructive

for the per

b Ib. p. 429. I have here adopted Reeves's Translation, which, though sometimes vulgar, is here fpirited and faithful. Vid. Reeves's Apologies, vol. I, p. 296.

« mistress

6 mistress in profelyting the world ; for who has not “ been struck with the fight of what you call stub< bornness, and from thence been pushed on to look < into the reality and reason of it, and who ever look“ ed well into our religion but came over to it, and 56 who ever came over to it, but was ready to suffer 36 for it, to purchase the favour of God, and obtain " the pardon of all his fins, though at the price of “ his blood, for niartyrdom is sure of mercy.”

Thus in the Octavius of Minucius Felix, Cæcilius, the advocate for idolatry, is introduced as reproaching the Christians with being “a cola “lection of fools only and credulous women, who " by the weakness of their sex lie faireft for delusion.” Celsus urged the same objection; he advises, says * Origen, “ that we should adopt opinions following " the guidance of reason, since every deception " arises from men not being thus disposed ; and he

compares such as believe without reason, to those “ who are delighted with observers of omens, and

jugglers, with magicians and bacchanalians, and with " the visions of Hecate, and of other dæmons, for

by such means artful men working on the simpli“ city of those who are deceived, lead them which

c Vid. Editionem Ouzeli, 4to. Lugduni, 1652, p. 8. Reeves's Apologies, vol. 2, p. 42.

Origen Contra Cellum, *p. 8; in fine, Spencer's Edition, Cambridge, 1677, or Origenis Opera Studio Caroli Delarue, Paris, 1733, vol. 1, P: 327: à 2


way they will, and this is the case among Chrif “ tians : for, (says Celsus) fome of them do not “ choose to give or receive a reason for their faith, “ but employ this maxim-do not enquire but believe; and your faith will save you ; and this, the wisdont

of the world is evil, but folly is good.In this passage we discover the ingenuity of the sophist milquoting the scripture he wishes to misrepresent; and in other passages he compares the “

appearances of our Lord, after his resurrection, to vulgar spectres “ and visions.” Thus alfo Eusebius, in the preface to his demonstration of the truth of the gospel; “ This work fhould be acceptable to the Greeks, if « they would be reasonable, from the wonderful

foreknowledge of futurity, and the accomplish“ ment of events, according to predictions : thus “ at once shewing the divinity and certainty of the “ truth with us, and stopping the mouths of the

patrons of falsehood by a rational proof, which “ these calumniators contend we cannot fupply, “ maintaining every day, in their disputes with us, “ with their utmoit strength, and insisting on this “ accufation, that we are able to establish nothing

e Vid. Ibid. p. 984354 and 355. Vid. in answer. Infra, chap. i. sect. 5.

{ Vid. this preface first printed by Fabricius in Greek and Latin, and prefixed to his Dele&us Argumentorum, and Syllabus Scriptorum qui Veritatem Religionis Chriftianæ Afseruere. Hamburgi, 1725, p. 8 and 9.

The same assertion is repeated, chap. i. Vid. Eufeb. Præp. Evangel. Translated by Vigerus. Paris, 1628.



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