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be read (for the Jews all hold that name ineffable, and not to be pronounced). Now the efficacy of this name was such, that whoever learned the pronunciation of it, became thereby able to work all sorts of miracles. But the wise men among them, fearing left an ill use pould be made hereof, appointed brazen dogs to keep the gate, which were formed with such exquisite art, that if any should learn the name, and be going away with it in his memory, they Bould be so affrighted with the terrible barkings of the dogs, as to forget it; but that Jesus knowing this, wrote it down in parchment, and sewed it up in a wound which he made in his thigh for that purpose, and so, after he went out of the temple, taking forth the parchment, recovered the name again which he had forgot, and by virtue of it wrought all his miracles.
Such were the despicable objections the Jews and Heathens made against our Saviour; the confutation of which in a very just and clear manner may be read in the fore-cited places of Origen, Eusebius, Austin, and especially Arnobius ; and among the moderns in the celebrated Huetius a; and Dr. Parker's Demonstration of the Divine Authority of the Christian Religion b.
• Demonstrat. Evang. Prop. IX. c. 39.
C H A P.
CHA P. xv.
A spurious Epistle of Christ among the Manichees. ' A notorious
Blunder of Mr. Toland. . A Hymn which Christ taught his
· Numb. XIV. The EPISTLE of CHRIST produced
by the MANICHEES.
THE only account which we have of this Letter is in 1 St. Austin's Disputation with Fauftus the Manichee a.
Quis eft ergo tam demens, Can any one be so wild, as
trines of Christ, which are
Mr. Fabritius b supposes, that this passage does not fully prove, that the Manichees really had any such Epistle under the name of Christ, but that St. Austin only, for argument's fake, makes such a supposition; but the whole series of the Father's reasoning seems to prove the contrary. He is endeavouring to prove the reasonableness of the Manichees submitting to the authority of St. Matthew's Gospel; and his argument stands fairly thus: “ You boast of an Epistle, which « you have, written by Christ: this, if it were really fo,
O must needs have been read and received with the utmost « veneration in the Church, that has a continued succession « of Bishops from the Apostles' time: but it has no such evio dence of its being genuine, and yet you believe it rather
than Matthew's Gospel, which was always received by the
a Contr. Fauft. Manich. lib. 28. 6.4. T. Opp. 6.
o Cod. Apoc. N. T. Pars 1. p. 306. in Notis.
« Church. Besides, your pretended Epistle receives all its “ credit from an obscure man of Persia, who lived two hun« dred years or more after Christ; and is he likely to give a c. better account of what Christ said and did than Matthew, “ who was one of his Apostles and companions?”
Thus far he; which reasoning neceflarily fupposes a real Epistle under Christ's name, among the Manichees : what doctrines it contained, I cannot guess, any farther, than that it is probable they were such as peculiarly suited to the opinions of Manes and his followers, of which a specimen is given above, Chap. V. It was certainly a fpurious piece, as ap.pears by St. Austin's reasoning and Prop. IV, V, VI.
I scarce know whether it be worth while to trouble the reader with the following remark on Mr. Toland's inaccuracy in quotations, unless it may be looked upon as (which I think I may justly say it is) a specimen of his constant foul dealing in these matters. In his catalogue of books reported to be written by Christ (Amynt. p. 21.) he refers his reader to this book of St. Austin for an Epistle of Christ to Peter and Paul; and quotes lib. 28. c. 13. Now in all this book there is not one fyllable of any such Epistle; and whereas he cites the thirteenth chapter, there are but five chapters in that book: but this is not all; he produces another book, which he calls, A Book of the Magick of Christ, and for this refers the reader to August. de Consens. Evang. lib. I. cap. 9, 10. and then adds, If it be not the same with the. Epistle to Peter and Paul, i. e, the Epistle which he thought had been mentioned in the twenty-eighth book against Fauftus: a learned note indeed! In the first place to guess this the same with a book which was not mentioned in the place cited, and then to guess it to be the very fame with itself; for had this blunderer but cast his eye upon the place he refers to in St. Austin de Consens. he must have seen that the book of the Magick of Christ was in that very place said to be wrote in form of an Epistle to Peter and Paul. But it is plain he cited from others, and was glad to say any thing which would sound bad against Christianity, though so plainly at the expence of his ingenuity and integrity.
Numb. XV. A HYMN which CHRIST taught his
M R. TOLAND in his fore-mentioned catalogue,
IV and Mr. Fabritius a have observed this spurious piece in an Epistle under St. Austin's name, inscribed to a Bishop called Ceretius. But as this Epistle is not in my edition of that Father's works, I am obliged entirely to depend on Mr. Fabritius's quotation out of him, which, that nothing may be wanting here, I shall transcribe with the addition of a few remarks.
Hymnus fanè quem dicunt As for that hymn which the
Lib. fup. cit. p. 307..
qui me vides—Janua sum tibi, I will be bound. I will save, quicunque me pulfas — Qui and I will be saved. I will vides quod ago, tace opera adorn, and I will be adorned. mean
I am a light to thee, who feest me. I am a gate to thee, who knockest at me. Thou who feeft
what I do, conceal my works. From this account we see what gave occasion to this impious forgery, viz. our Saviour's singing a hymn with his Apostles after the paschal supper, and their going thereupon up to the mount of Olives, Matt. xxvi. 30. The hereticks, who esteemed it, were an impious sort of Christians, in the middle of the fourth century, so called from Priscillianus, a Spaniarda, who jumbled together and adopted the filly and ridiculous tenets of the Gnosticks and Montanists. That this hymn was forged by Priscillian himself, or some of his followers, seems to me probable, from the last words of it in the foregoing . fragment, Thou, who feeft what I do, conceal my works. For concealing their mysteries and secrecy of their doctrines was enjoined all the fect; and St. Austin tells us, this was one of their maxims b;
Jura; perjura; secretum prodere noli. Swear; forfwear; but be careful of your fecrets. However it may be, as to this conjecture, the hymn was certainly spurious, for the same reasons as the former pieces falsely ascribed to Christ, Prop. IV, V, and VI. But befides, the short fragment given us by St. Austin undeniably proves it; for there cannot be any thing more disagreeable to the style of Christ than it is; in which there are no where such jingles and playing with sounds, as appear to be in this. Moreover, if I mistake not, the jingle in the two first sena tences proves this hymn to be first written in the Latin tongue; for though indeed it is possible they may be a trans·lation, yet nothing can be more improbable, than that two
* Vid. Auguft. de Hæref. Num. De Häres. ad Quody. Num. 70. T. Opp. 6.
70. T. Opp. 6.