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world, and the judgment at the last day, and which are manifestly the manufacture of a Christian :
'Αλλ' οπότ' ήδη σανία τέφρά σποδοέσσα γένηαι,
Κρίνων κόσμογ–is ecclesiastical Greek. V. 7. It is remarkable that the author of the Constitutions, who thus cites the Sibyl, as a prophetess of good authority, at least as one fit to convince the Pagans, yet treats her with contempt (according to some copies) and calls her, not Σιβύλλα, bit 'Αβύλλα, Or crazy tool, which teading Cotelerius has admitted into the text. If the old woman had been alive, she might have replied to Pseudu-Clemens,
Parcius ista, Pater, tamen objicienda memento. It would not be suitable to good manners to reproach a lady for pronouncing or spelling a word wrong, and therefore I am alınost afraid to observe, that in the second line the prophetess has made a false quantity, for the penultima in xorpion is short. Perhaps the place was corrupted by the librarian, with whom we make free, and call him a blunderer. He should have written xowuron, or xouison. In Homer Odyss. M. 372, some editions give us
Η με μαλ' εις άτην κοιμίσαθε νηλεϊ ύπνω. . But there it has been changed into xoruncałe. Menander also, Fragm. p. 2. has
“Εκασος ημών, και συνηγωνίσατο. Which Bently changed into ournywvíteto. Le Clerc endeavoured in vain to defend the common reading against him by the passage in Homer cited above. Le Clere has committed some faults in his edition of Menander and Philemon, because he had not sufficiently considered the laws of prosody: but they who made those laws their study, and reproached him for his ignorance of them, were not able to keep themselves free from such faults, as might easily be shewed. The small and trilling blemishes of this kind in Le Clerc are covered and amply compensated by other productions, for which he deserves, and will receive praise and honour :
Th' estate which zits inherit after death. It were easy to make many more objections to the Constitutions, but others * have done it sufficiently, and perhaps it is not right to wage war with the dead :
Nullum cum victis certamen et cethere cassis.
The Apostolical Canons, though some of them may be ancient, and composed in the second and third centuries, are not apostolical in the strict sense of the
word, See Turner's Discourse on the Constitutions.
word, and are interpolated in several places, as Beverege himself confesses, who undertook their detence, and made the most he could of them. See his Cod. Can. l'indic. L. I. cap. x. 4.
Canon I. Επίσκοπος υπο Επισκόπων χαρόζονείσθω δύο ή τριών. .
Quinque doctores et prophetus Antiochice congregatos esse traditur. Act, xiii. 1. Burnabam, Symeonem Nigrum, Lucium, Manuhem, et Sulum.—Dicebut Spiritus sanctus, Αφορίσατε δή μοι τόν τε Βαρνάβας και την Σαύλον---nt rotinus subjungitur, τότε νησεύσαντες και προσευξάμενοι και επιθέντες τας χείρας αυτούς απέλυσαν. Ε quinque igitur: hic congregatis duo, Burnabas et Saulus, ordinati sunt: reliqui sunt ergo tres soli qui ordinarunt. Chrysostomus autem in locum it, όρα σάλιν υπό τίνων χειροτονάται, υπό Λουκείου και Μα1zi, ac si Symeon ordinationi non interesset. Sed intercrat haud dubie ; quod etiam exinde constat, quod non in duali sed plurali η:mero dicitur, νηςεύσαντες, προσευξάμενοι, επιθέν7:5, adeo ut tres tunc temporis, non plures, nec pauciores, ordines conferebant. Beverege.
To all these arguments I chuse to say nothing : I only make a small grammatical remark, that in Greek, a verb in the plural is frequently joined to two nominative cases singular, and a participle plural with two substantives singular, and that the dual number is not once used in all the New Testament, which Beverege had forgotten, or had not observed.
What sort of opinion Beverege had concerning the anthority of these Canons, and whether he thought that Christians were obliged to observe them, is not very material to know: he seems to have entertained a great veneration for them. He says, that by establishing the antiquity of the Canons, hoc etium boni commodique et nobis et alis quibuscunque, se primiticorum Christianorum moribus conformes gerere cupientibus, emerget ; quod pre oculis habeamus, qua ratione vitam nostram ad earum exemplar instituamus--p. 76,
The primitive Christians deserve to be honoured on many accounts, and imitated in many things, and the same ought to be said of this learned and pious bishop; but, after all that can be said, the authors of these Canons were fallible men ; and it would be better for a Christian to take the precepts of Christ, and the undoubted writings of the apostles for the rule of his faith and practice, and to conform to primitive Christianity, just as far as primitive Christianity is conformable to scripture and to reason, and not to ascribe a sacred and apostolical authority to a set of unknown Canon and Constitution-makers,
Beverege ascribes a kind of apostolical authority to the L. Canon, which requires of the bishops and presbyters that they should make use of a threefold immersion in baptism, under pain of being deposed. Aliquo tamen modo, says he, id ab apostolis traditum negare non ausi sumus ; utpute quod 4 sunctis Patribus nec semel assertum legimus. The testimony of the fathers in matters of tradition, is not always to be depended up
But did our author himself use to conform to this Canon?
The LXIX. Canon strictly requires the observa. tion of the Quadragesimal fast under spiritual pains ind penalties : and this, together with other stated fasts, Beverege takes to have been of apostolical institution. It is not probable that the apostles enjoined such things as absolutely necessary ; things of that kind are more properly subjects for counsels than for precepts. To be temperate, and to keep the passions and appetites in due subjection, is the duty of all men :
abstinence from food is so far good as it is found to conduce to this end; but what suits one climate and one constitution, and one age of life, suits not another,
The legislative spirit began to operate betimes, and when the church made laws, relating to doctrines and opinions, which were not to be found in the New Testament, the Codex became very bulky, and there was no end of law-making : How should there?
Some body once asked a scholar, what was the meaning of fj; which stands for the Digests, or Pandects, and was told that it meant Farrago Farraginum. The answerer was not in earnest : nor am I..but Tacitus says somewhere : Corruptissima Republica plurimce leges. And so much for this subject.
The Sibylline oracles were composed at different times, by different persons, first by Pagans, and then perhaps by Jews, and certainly by Christians. See the collections concerning them made by Fabricius Bibl. Gr. i. p. 167. an author, whose memory all the learned world ought to bless, and to whom they should wish
--tenuem et sine pondere terram, Spirantesque crocos, et in urna perpetuum rer. Justin Martyr, Cohort. ad Græcos 38, mentions the Sibyl as clearly foretelling the coming and the actions of Christ. His verbis, says the last editor, Sibyllini, quales hodie extant, libri indicantur, in quibus tum aperta est rerum a Christo gerendarum predictio, ut eam ex eventis fictam fuisse vix quisquam hodie non fatentur. Præf.
P. 70. and in the notes, Nihil sune suspicatus est Justinus quamvis omnes horum librorum pagin'e
fraudem clamitent. Thus the Benedictin, compelled by hard necessity, who would have defended both the Sibylline oracles,