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guided to the proper spot in the commentaries of Grotius, Va. lefius or Godefroy, by the more accurate citation of their original author. 5. The idea which I was defirous of communicating to the reader, was sometimes the general result of the author or treatise that I had quoted ; nor was it posible to confine, within the narrow limits of a particular reference, the sense or spirit which was mingled with he whole mass. These motives are either laudable or at least innocent. In two of these exceptions my ordinary mode of citation was fuperfluous; in the other three it was impracticable.'
The author illustrates these remarks by fome examples, which for the sake of brevity we are obliged to omit.
The following paragraph is worthy of notice, as it not only gives a proper account of a celebrated work, intitled, The saurus Temporum Eusebii Pamphili, interprete Hieronymo, &c. bat completely vindicates Mr. Gibbon against the accusation of his adversary
• A gross blunder is imputed to me by this polite antagonist, for quoting under the name of Jerom, the chronicle which i ought to have described as the work and property of Eufebius; . and Mr. Davis kindly points out the occasion of my blunder, that it was the consequence of my looking no farther than Dodwell for this remark, and of not rightly understanding his reference. Perhaps the historian of the Roman empire may be credited, when he affirms, that he frequently consulted a Latin chronicle of the affairs of that empire; and he may the fooner be cředited, if he shews that he knows something more of this chronicle besides the name and the title-page.
• Mr. Davis, who talks so familiarly of the Chronicle of Eu. febius, will be surprised to hear that the Greek original no longer exifts. Some chronological fragments, which had fuccessively passed through the hands of Africanus and Eufebius, are still extant, though in a very corrupt and mutilated state, in the compilations of Syncellus and Cedrepus. They have been collected, and disposed by the labour and ingenuity of Jofeph Scaliger ; but that proud critic, always ready to applaud his own success, did not fatter himself, that he had restored the hundredth part of the genuine Chronicle of Eufebius. (Syncello) omnia Eusebiana excerpfimus quæ quidem deprehendere potuimus ; quæ, quanquam ne centefima quidem pars eorum effe videtur quæ ab Eufebio relicta funt, aliquod tamen juftum volumen explere possunt.” (Jos. Scaliger Animadverfiones in Græca Eusebii in Thesauro Temporum, p. 401. Amftelod. 1658. While the chronicle of £usebius was perfect and entire, the fecond book was tranlated into Latin by Jerom, with the freedom, or rather licence, which that voluminous author, as well as his friend or enemy Rufinus, always assumed. " Plurima in vertendo mutat, infulcit, præterit,” says Scaliger himself, in the Prolegomena, p. 22. In the persecution of Aurelian, which
6. Ex eo
has so much offended Mr. Davis, we are able to distinguish the work of Eusebius from that of Jerom, by comparing the expressions of the Ecclesiastical History with those of the Chronicle. The former affirms, that, towards the end of his reign, Aurelian was moved by some councils to excite a persecution against the Christians; that his design occasioned a great and general sumour;
but that when the letters were prepared, and as it were figned, divine justice dismissed him from the world. Hon τισι βελαις ως αν διωγμον καθ' ημων εγείρειν ανεκινειτο. πολυς τε ην ခံ
Trapa πασι σερι τοτε λογος. μελλοντα δε ηδη και σχεδον ειπείν της καθ' ημων speedcov UTOCNLLEVELLevov, Jens HETEVON dinn." Eufeb. Hift. Ecclef. 1. vii. c. 30. Whereas the Chronicle relates, that Aurelian was killed after he had excited or moved a persecution against the Christians, cum adversum nos perfecutionem movisfer."
• From this manifest difference I assume a right to, first, the expression of the chronicle of Jerom, which is always proper, became in this inftance necessary; and secondly, that the language of the fathers is so ambiguous and incorrect, that wc are at a loss how to determine how far Aurelian had carried his intention, before he was asiassinated. I have neither perverted the fact, nor have I been guilty of a gross blunder.'
An observation, which has been already mentioned, is very properly illustrated by Mr. Gibbon in the following extra& :
• After a short description of the unworthy conduct of those apoftates who, in a time of persecution, deserted the faith of Chrift, I produced the evidence of a Pagan proconsul, and of two Chriftian bishops, Pliny, Dionyfius of Alexandria, and Cyprian. And here the unforgiving critic remarks, " that Pliny has not particularized that difference of conduct (in the different apoftates) which Mr. Gibbon here describes; yet his name stands at the head of those authors whom he has cited on the occasion. It is allowed indeed that this distinction is made by the other authors; but as Pliny, the first referred to by Mr. Gibbon, gives him no cause or reason to use them,” (I cannot help Mr. Davis's bad English) “ it is certainly very reprehensible in our author, thus to confound their teftimony, and to make a needless and improper reference.”
A criticism of this fort can only tend to expose Mr. Davis's total ignorance of historical composition. The writer who aspires to the name of historian, is obliged to consult a variety of original testimonies, each of which, taken separately, is perhaps imperfect and partial. By a judicious re-union and arrangement of these dispersed materials, he endeavours to forni a confiftent and interefling narrative. Nothing ought to be inserted which is not proved by some one of the witnesses; but their evidence must be so intimately blended together, that as it is unreasonable to expect that each of them fhould vouch for the whole, so it would be imposible to define the boundaries of their respecive property. Neither Pliny, nor Dionylius, nor Cyprian,
mention all the circumstances and distinctions of the conduct of the Christian apostates; but if any of them was withdrawn, the account which I have given would, in some instance, be defe&tive.
• Thus much I thought necessary to say, as several of the subsequent misrepresentations of Orofius, of Bayle, of Fabricius, of Gregory of Tours, &c. which provoked the fury of Mr. Davis, are derived only from the ignorance of this common historical principle.'
Having, in a variety of instances, repelled the furious, and, as he calls them, the feeble attacks of Mr. Davis, the author thus proceeds to the rest of his antagonists,
If I am not mistaken, Mr. Apthorpe was the first who announced to the public his intention of examining the interesting subject which I had treated in the two last chapters of my History. The multitude of collateral and accessary ideas which presented themselves to the author insensibly swelled the bulk of his papers to the size of a large volume in octavo ; the publication was delayed many months beyond ihe time of the first advertise. ment; and when Mr. Apthorpe's Letters appeared. I was surprised to find, that I had scarcely any interest or concern in their contents. They are filled with general observations on the study of history, with a large and useful catalogue of histosians, and with a variety of reflections, moral and religious, all preparatory to the direct and formal consideration of my two last chapters, which Mr. Apthorpe seems to reserve for the subject of a second volume. I sincerely respect the learning, the piety, and the candour of this gentleman, and must consider it as a mark of his esteem, that he has thought proper to begin his approaches at so great a distance from the fortifications which he designed to attack.
• When Dr. Watson gave to the public his Apology for Christianity, in a series of letters, he addressed them to the author of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, with a just confidence that he had confidered this important object in a manner not unworthy of his antagonift or of himself. Dr. Watson's mode of thinking bears a liberal and philosophical caft; his thoughts are expressed with spirit, and that spirit is always tempered by politeness and moderation. Such is the man whom I hould be happy to call my friend, and whom I should not blush to call my antagonist. But the same motives which might tempt me to accept, or even to folicit, a private and amicable conference, diffuaded me from entering into a public controversy with a writer of fo respectable a character; and I embraced the earlieft opportunity of expressing to Dr. Watson himself, how fincerely I agreed 'with him in thinking, “that as the world is now possessed of the opinion of us both upon the subject in question, it may be perhaps as proper for us both to leave it in this fate.”
The author vindicates himself against this polite and ingenuous adversary, in one or two iniiances, and then goes on in this manner :
• Far be it from me, or from any faithful historian, ito impute to respectable societies the faults of some individual members. Our two universities most undoubtedly contain the fame mixture, and most probably the same proportions, of zeal and moderation, of reason and superstition. Yet there is much less difference between the smoothness of the lonic and the roughness of the Doric dialect, than may be found between the polished style of Dr. Watson, and the coarse language of Mr. Davis, Dr. Cheilum, or Dr. Randolpi. The second of these critics, Dr. Chelsum of Christ Church, is unwilling that the world should forget that he was the firit who founded to arms, that he was the first who furnished the antidote to the poison, and who, as early as the month of October of the year 1776, published his Striatures on the Two laft Chapters of Mr. Giba bon's History, The success of a pamphlet, which he modestly styles imperfect and ill-digested, encouraged him to resume the controversy. In the beginning of the prelent year, his Remarks made their second appearance, with some alteration of form, and a large increase of bulk : and the author, who seems to fight under the protection of two episcopal banners, has prefixed, in the front of his volume, his name and titles, which in the former edition he had less honourably suppressed. His confidence is fortified by the alliance and communications of a distinguished writer, Dr. Randolph, &c. who, on a proper occasion, would, no doubi, be ready to bear as honourable testimony to the merit and reputation of Dr. Chelsum. The two friends are indeed fo happily united by art and nature, that if the author of the Remarks had not pointed out the valuable communications of the Margaret profeffor, it would have been impossible to separate their respective property. Writers who posts any freedom of mind, may be known from each other by the peculiar character of their style and sentiments : but the champions who are inlifted in the service of authority, commonly wear the uniform of the regiment. Oppressed with the fame yoke, covered with the same trappings, they heavily move along, perhaps not with an equal pace, in the same beaten track of prejudice and prefera
Yet I should expose my own injustice, were I absolutely to confound with Mr. Davis the two doctors in divinity, who are joined in one volume. The three critics appear to be ani. mated by the fame implacable resentment againit the historian of the Roman empire ; they are alike disposed to support the fame opinions by the farne arts; and if in the language of the two latier the disregard of politeness is somewhat lets grofs and indecent, the difference is not of such a magnitude as to excite in my breast any lively sensations of gratitude. It was the misfortune of Mr. Davis that he undertook to write before he had read. He set out with the stock of authorities which he found
in my quotations, and boldly ventured to play his reputation against mine. Perhaps he may now repent of a loss which is not easily recovered; but if I had not surmounted my almoft infuperable reluctance to a public dispute, mary a reader might still be dazzled by..the vehemence of his affertions, and might still believe that Mr. Davis had detected several wilful and important misrepresentations in my two laft Chapters. Bet the confederate doctors appear to be scholars of a higher form and Jonger experience; they enjoy a certain rank in their academi. cal world; and as their zeal is enlightened by some rays of knowlege, so their desire to ruin the credit of their adversary is occafionally checked by the apprehension of injuring their own. These restraints,, to which Mr. Davis was a stranger, have confined them to a very narrow and humble path of historical cri. ticism, and if I were to correct, according to their wishes, all the particular facts against which they have advanced any objections, these corrections, admitted in their fullest extent; would hardly furnish materials for a decent list of errata.'
In a poftfcript the author takes notice of an anonymous pamphlet, which was published against his History in the course of the last summer, under the title of A Few Remarks, &c. by a Gentleman. But his animadversions are confined to
few pages; as he observes, that the heavy mist of prejudice and superstition, which has in a great measure been dirpelled by the free enquiries of the present age, still continue 10 involve the mind of his adversary; that he fondly embraces those phantoms (for instance an imaginary Pilate) which can scarcely find a shelter in the gloom of an Italian convent; and that the resentment which he points against him, might frequently be extended to the inoit enlightened of the protestant, or, in his opinion, of the heretical critics.'
The admirers of our excellent historian cannot fail of being extremely pleased with this masterly Vindication.
FOREIGN ARTICLES. Corn. Wilh. de Rhoer, Ikti et Advocati Groningo Omland. Difer
tationes de Effe&tu Religionis Chriftianæ in Jurisprudentiam Romanam.
Fasciculus Primus. 8vo. Groningã. THAT Christianity has influenced the Roman legislation, is ge
nerally known ; but to take an accurate survey of the causes and effects of this influence, requires not only an intimate acquaintance with the legal polity of ihe Roman itate, and with bittory, but also a long and laborious investigation. This task has been luccessfully performed in the present work, whose author has blended the fruits of a well-digested and extensive erudition, with the result of profound meditation. He accordingly deserves the attention of lawyers, historians, and politicians., VOL. XLVII. Jan. 1779.