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wrote, viz. on tables of stone a. In succeeding ages they were wont to write, in several countries, upon leaves of some certain trees, which they found most convenient to their purpose. Pliny tells us, these were made use of for writing before the invention of paper, and particularly the leaves of palm-treesb; and that afterwards they wrotè upon the inner bark of fonse trees. What these trees were, we are informed by that learned antiquary Alexander ab Alexandros. Afterwards, they wrote their publiék récords in volumes or rolls of lead, and their private matters on fine linen and wax, as the same authors tell us d; hence Suidas also tells us of writing upon plates or leaves of lead. And this (if I may be allowed to guess) seems to be a method of writing, which was in use in the time of Job, as is intimated in these words, ch. xix. 23, 24. Oh that my words were now written; oh that they were printed in a book; that they were graven with an iron pen and lead, in the rock for ever. Hence we read in Suetonius, that Nero made use of a plumbea charta, a platé of lead, called charta, not only because it was like it in form, but because they used to write not only on paper, but on plates of lead f.

Afterwards, viz. about the time when Alexander the Great was in Egypt; the use of paper was first found out; I do not mean such fort of paper as we now use, but the inner coat or kin of the great Ægyptian rush, which they called papyrus, from whence comes our prefent English word paper. The coats or thin skins of this rush, when duly dried and prepared

itip de toő pin dia puyer res divo geómeg te sienuévashaas No ποιησάμενοι, τήν μεν εκ πλίνθο, την diftépav éx aí wv, an Potépais évén ypatan ta súpnuévæ, &c. Antiq. Jud. I. 1. c. 2. §. 3.

a Exod. xxxi. 18. and xxxii. 16.

0 Antea non fuisse chartarum ufum ; palmarum foliis primo scriptitatuin, deinde quarundam arborum libris. Plin. Nat. Hift. 1. 13. c. 11.

• Hæ fuere a principio ex cortice platåni, fraxini, aceris, populi albæ, item fagi et ulni ; aut, ficut Ulpianus censuit, ex tilia, philyra,

et papyro. Liber enim interior pars eft corticis, quæ,ligno cohæret. Alex, ab Alexand, Gen. Dier. l. 2. c. 30.

a Pliny, and Alexand, ab Alexand. ibid.

+ Eisenacollès Morúcdwr ypáposleg. Suid. ad voc. fórudos.

f In Ner. c. 20. Quid autem fimilius, quam plumbi lamina et chartæ expanfäe pagina ? quin etiam in plurnbi laminis interdum ita scribebant, ut in chartæ paginis. Calaub. ad loc. Vid, Tacit. Annal. 1. 2. C. 69.

for

for use, they called chartæ. A larger account of the nature of this material for writing, the reader may see in the place of Pliny last referred toa, and concerning the time of its invention, Polydore Vergil 6. Now if indeed any of those forementioned had been the method of writing in use among the Jews, when St. Matthew wrote his Gospel, there had then been a much better foundation for the conjecture of Mr. Whiston and Mr. Toinard, than there really is. Had it been then the custom to write upon the leaves of palm-trees, or the little skin or inner bark of any other trees, the leaves of their books must have been very small, and consequently must consist of a great number of separate pieces and scraps; and so perhaps, by reason of the difficulty of fastening them together, would be more liable to confusion and misplacing. But it is very vertain none of these methods were then in use amongst the Jews. If ever they were in use among them, they had now for a long time been disused, and another more expedient, and får more commodious invented, as will appear in the following chapter.

* Priufquam digrediamur ab' auctor et M. Varro, condita in Ægypto, et papyri natura dicetur, Ægypto Alexandria, &c. Plin. cum chartæ usu maxime humanitas ubi lup. vitæ constet et memoria. Et hanc .De inventor. Rerum, l. 2. c. 8. Alexandri magni victoria repertam

CHAP. CHA P. xv. That St. Matthew did not write his Gospel on small Preces of

Paper, proved by a large Dissertation on the Manner, in which the Antients wrote their Books. The ordinary Method was to write on large Skins, which were fastened together, and rolled up. This the Practice of the Jews long before, and in our Saviour's Time. The Words opened and closed the Book, Luke iv. 17, 20. discussed. The Words, Bring the Parchments, 2 Tim. iv. 13. considered. It does not appear that the Jews made use of Paper, or any other Material

besides that mentioned, to write their Books upon. L AVING, in the foregoing Chapter, premised some short Il account of the various methods of writing in use among the antients, I come now to consider, that which was of all the most common, viz. the writing on large skins of parchment, which they rolled up. This was the way, in which the Jews, Greeks, and Romans, wrote their books, both before, and in our Saviour's time; and therefore it is very probable, this was the way St. Matthew wrote his Gospel, and not on small scraps or scrolls of paper. For the manifesting of this matter, I will endeavour to shew,

1. That the antients did very much make use of parchment, or large skins, to write upon.

2. That when they had wrote on these, they were wont to faften them together, and roll them up.

3. That the Jews long before our Saviour's time did write their books after this manner.

4. That the Jews usually wrote thus about the time, when St. Matthew wrote his Gospel.

These things fully shewn, will make the supposition of St. Matthew's writing his book upon small pieces, or scraps of paper (some of which would not contain above a line or two), very absurd and unreasonable.

1. The antients did very much use parchment, or large skins,

to write upon. This is a matter of fact so very well known, that there needs not be much said to prove it. Herodotus, who lived above four hundred years before our Saviour's time, mentions it as a very antient custom among the Ionians; “ The “ Ionians,” says he “ have for a long time called their books, “ skins, because in the scarcity of (Egyptian) paper, they « made use of goat-skins, and sheep-skins; nay, and even in “ our time, many foreign nations write upon such skins a.”. Suidas cites out of some antient author an account, probably older than the time of Herodotus, in these words "; “Hermion, « writing down their determinations upon skins, sent them to « the enemy.” Pliny indeed, out of Varro, gives us an account of the original of this sort of writing on parchment a long time afterwards, viz, in the time of Eumenes; which I think was near three hundred years before our Saviour's time. The account is this, that there being an emulation or strife between Eumenes and Ptolemy concerning their libraries (viz, whose Mould be the largest), the latter being the King of Egypt, forbad the exportation of the Egyptian paper; whereupon Eumenes, King of Pergamus, first invented the use of parchment, and so from Pergamus that material for writing was called Pergamena. The same account, a little more full, is given us by Alexander ab Alexandro, in the place before cited d. I shall not now dispute concerning the time and antiquity of this invention: if it was even so late as Varro's account, it is sufficient for my present purpose; for as soon as

• • Ka : BCAM Đẹ9ía; xe-
hiyor amò rã mahaiã oi "Iwves, őtt
κοτέ εν σπάνει βίβλων έχρέωντο διφ-
θέgησι αίγειησί τε και οιέησι' έτι δε
και το κατ' εμέ πολλοί των βαρβάρων
ές τοιαύτας διφθέρας γράφεσι. 1. 5.
c. 58. I translate év otáve Bilawr,
in the scarcity of Egyptiar, paper ;
because the word commonly fig-
nifies so, and nothing else can he
meant. So the Latin translator
paraphrases it: Bilawv, i.e. Scir-
porum ; per Biblum videtur poti.
us intelligenda papyrus Ægypti;

though this overthrows Varro's account, that this material for writing was found out, when Alexander was in Egypt.

6 Εις διφθέρας γαρ τας διανοίας αυτων γράψας ο Ερμίων έπεμπε τοίς @onepioss. Suid. ad A.pdépa.!

c Mox æmulatione circa bibliothecas regum Ptolemæi et Eumenis, supprimente chartas Ptolemæo, idem Varro membranas Pergami tradidit repertas. Plin. Nat. Hift. 1. 13. C. II.

d Genial. Dier. I. 2. c. 30.

it was found out, the use of it became very common ; al. though I rather incline to think, Varro's story not to be true, as to the time, as Polydore Vergil has well observed b; and Dr. Edwards, and after him Dr. Prideaux d. have more largely proved. . 2. When they had wrote upon these skins of parchment, they were wont to faften them together, and roll them up. They did not cut the parchment into small pieces, as we now do our books; but all the book was wrote on one long continued page, consisting of several skins fastened together. To the end of the skins was fastened a large staff or stick, round about which they rolled up the skins : this, when so rolled up, they called Volumen, a volvendo, i. c. a volume or roll, and the staff about which it was rolled, they called Umbilicus. And hence we so frequently in the Roman authors meet with Membrana, for the material on which they wrote, Volumen, for the book itself when wrote, and ad Umbilicum ducere, to come to the end of the book. So Martial, in the last epigram of his fourth book, speaking to his book, says,

Obe jam fatis eft, obe Libelle, .

Jam pervenimus ufque ad Umbilicos. And, in another place', says of his book, i Pittis luxurieris Umbilicis.

So also when he is fpeaking to a plagiary, that had stole his poems, he tells him, he should have rather made choice of a more obscure book; Nec Umbilicis cultus atque Membrana".

I will

2 Postea promifcue patuit usus rei, qua constat hominum immortalitas. Plin. ibid.

0 Verum ego affirmarem membranas, multo ante quam tradit Varro, esse repertas. De Invento ribus Rer. 1. 2. C. 8.

c Of the Authority and Style of the Holy Scriptures, vol. 2. c. 3.

d Connect: of the History of the Old and New Testament, vol. 1..

bant in membranis aut chartis, quæ
in rotundum complicabantur-A-
pud Ethnicos voluminum fuiffe u-
sum satis indicat proverbium illud,
Ad Umbilicum ducere. Erat enim
Umbilicus lignum, circa quod
chartæ descriptæ convolvebantur.
Jansen. ad Psal. xxxix. II.

f Lib. 3. Epig. 2.
8 Lib. 1. Epig. 67.

Nec Umbilicis cultus, i. e. cujus Umbilicus, is eft bacillus cedriņus, buxeus, cupreslinus, &c. extremäe paginæ, absoluto jam opere,

aflutus;

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