Imatges de pÓgina

pher, do not deserve more Credit. But above all, you may observe the inconsistency of the Author, who, when he allows Apollonius the Miraculous Gift of Tongues, noc long after forgets himself, and makes him stand in need of an Interpreter to Talk to Phraotes. And, as for the Miracles he is reported to have done, they are all idle inconsistent Tales, which are sufficiently exposed by Eusebius, in his Answer to Hierocles's Philalethe. It would be endless to make all the Remarks, that might be made upon the Lies and Inconsistences of this silly Author; and perhaps, if Mr. Blount had translated the whole History, as he has done the two First Books for the use of the Infidels, he had done us no great Mischief; for the Follies of this affected Romance, compared with the plain History of the New Testament, demonstrate, to all sensible Men, how those Writings, though composed by unlearned Men, do infinitely furpass the Composition of this Book-read Philosopher. For, granting the Gospel only a Romance; the Apostles, in Writing it, have given, Ten times a better Picture of a Philofophick Mind, in the History of Jesus Christ, then Philostratus has given in the

wretched Pedantick Character of Apollonius. Philoftra

But 'tis plain that Philostratus either undertook, or was on to forge put upon Writing this History, to confront the Mirabis History, cles of our Blessed Lord. The Heathen of that Age

perceived the quick Growth of Christianity, and the incontestable Proof of the Miracles of Christ and his Apostles, which brought so many over to that Faith, and therefore the best way they had, for the Support of their Superstition, was to trump up a Philosopher, who did as many Miracles for the Support of Paganism, as Chrift had done for those of the Gospel. So that, by this Fraud, they got an Apollonius to compare with the Miracles, and a Sanchoniathon with the Antiquity of the Bible. But the mishap was, Philoftratus could not play his Game fo cunningly as Philo Biblius did. For his Romantick Tales, which every Traveller can disprove, betray the Cheat, as allo the Affectation of coining Miracles fo justly parallel 10 those of our Saviour, he seeming to have had the Gospel lying before him, when he wrote his Book.


tus fet

He found there our Saviour to be called the Son of Forgelit
God, and therefore he makes his Philosophick Hero to be in imita,
reputed the Son of Jupiter. And the cunning. Sophift Cel Mi-
thought it a mighty Fetch, that he would not file him racles.
the Son of Apollo or Neptune, because that would be to
render him leis than Jesus Christ, who was reputed the
Son of the most High God, and therefore he chufes fua
piter above all others to entitle him to. But then, beo
cause the Jews and Heathens usually blamed our Saviour
for pretending to the Divine Nature, or to be the Son of
God; therefore our Sophifts's Hero must be so modeft, as
to refuse this great 'Title, which the Inhabitants of Tyana
gave him, and own himself only to be Apollonius's Son.
He finds in the Gospel, that Christ cured several Demonia
acks, and therefore Apollonius must break off the Cora
respondence and Congress which a Man frequently had with
a Lamia, and by good Counsel de hort him from such a
wicked Consuerude. And that the Author of this Story
had an Eye upon the Gospel is evident, from the ingenions
Remark of Huerius, who observes that Philostratus uses the
very words of St. Luke, chap. viii. 28. speaking of the
Devil which our Saviour cast out. Upon these words of
Apollonius, says Philostratus, The Spirit was like to one that
wept, Kawidzio kai Besar il-v UTC, and beseeched him not to
torment it; which is the same which the wicked Spirit
in Scriptures cries out, farei os w Beraviln:, I beseech thee

Now any one who considers the great
Latitude of Expression in the Greek Tongue, and the pe-
culiar Phraseology of the New Testament, can hardly think
Philostratus lighted upon this Expression by chance.

From the same History of this Demoniack in the Gospel,
he borrows his Fable of the young Man of Corcyra,
who was possessed by a Spirit. The Devil which was
in the Gadarene of the Gospel, after he was gone out of
the Man, had a License to enter into the Herd of Swine:
And fo Apollonius is made to command the Spirit, when
it left the Corcyrcan, to tumble down a Statue. And
I doubt not, but, upon the fame Account, Apollonius
is feigned to raise

the Maid at Rome, almost in the


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fame Manner which our Saviour did Jairus's Daughter, And because our Saviour fhew'd a magnanimous Contempt of Death, by resolving to go to Jerusalem, where he was fure to be betray'd, and from which some of his Disciples dissuaded him; therefore, Apollonius must not come behind-hand in that Bra 'ery neither, but Demetrius muft .tell him, how dangerous it was to come to Rome, for fear of Domitian, who was noted for his ill Treatment of Philosophers; and then, after this Dehortation, he is made courageously to resolve upon it. The like foolish Affectation of a Parity with Christ, was the Occasion of the Fable of this Man's appearing after Death, which was only to a young Man, who had long watched, and prayed to Apollonites

, Thai be would appear to him, and give him Satisfaétion concerning the Immortality of the Soul, after which he fell asleep, and on a sudden cries out, I believe thee, O Tyaneus. And when his Company asked him what he meant by this. Oh! says he, Do you not fee Apollonius? And when they said No, but they would give any thing to see him; he replied, He appeared to to him for his Satisfaction, being invisible to others, and fo goes on to tell them what Apollonius said of a future State. And this is the Substance of the History of this Man of Straw, which the Heathens thought fit to set up against our Blessed Saviour; but how filly the Impofture looks, and how wretched the Parallel is, I leave any one to judge, who will give himself the Pains to read Phibostrarus's Book. But I cannot but wonder at the Partiality of some of you Deifts, to make such a Stir in crying up this History of Philostratus, and running down the Scriptures; when, I am sure, you would never let us be quiet, if yru could find in the Gospel such strange Staries of Magical Feafts, of Griffins, Dragons, &c. as you

do in him. Apollonius

But I pray, Sir, with what Confidence, can you comno good pare a Man, whom you can't call a good man, with

Jesus Christ, whose Life was a Pattern of unspotted Pue ily? Apollonins can never be excufat, for ip nding so may Yars in an idle vagrant Lie; hur what can you


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Jay in behalf of his common Swearing, it being his usage to swear by Jupiler, at all turns? Or how can you excuse him from idolatry in Sacrificing to the Sun? And where was his Justice in adjudging another Man's Poffeffion to his Adversary, because he was a wiser Man, and a more devout Worshiper of the Gods? Phil. lib. 2. cap 15:

As for the Argument of Hicrocles, who afferts, That Apollés the Gospel is lefs to be believed than this History, because this more crediwas wrote by learned Men, but that by illiterate Men and Juglers. 1 say, that it is only a malicious Cavil; for we tus, because defy the whole Tribe of Infidels to find any Juggle in Unlearned. the Gospel History; a Book, which is full of plain unaffected Relations of Matter of Fact. But any body, but who can digeft Sir John Mandevil's Travels, or Orlando Furioso, will be sick of Philostratus. And I must farther add, that this Moralist is very much out in his Logick to fay, That an History is at all the more questionable, because it was wrote by á plain illiterate Man. For if it had been wrote by a Man of Letters, by a cuming Sophist, who had been used to counterfeit Stiles, to feign Letters and Speeches, and to make Epopopæia's ; a Man might be apt to suspect that all was forged by the Wit of this Scholar, who could make all the Parts of a Romance hang together, and look like a true History; but no reasonable Man can suspect such a Fraud to be plaid fuccessfully, by uneducated Publicans or Fishermen.

And Lastly, as for the Story of Abaris which you Story of A- • mention, it is one of the Pythagorick Tescorcoíes, or wonderful Tales, which that şečt, as we observed before, above all others, were fond of; and is altogether as ridiculous as our common People's Talk of Witches riding upon Broomsticks.

When Celsus compares Abaris with Christ, Origen asks the question, What was Mankind benefited by Abaris's riding upon a'i Arrow? It was not worth the while, that Om nipotence fhould exert it felf, for fuch an, idle Miracle. But wiben (fays be) we say our Hesus-was taken up into Glory; I fee an Institution of Religion, the Author of which God Al


baris Ridia culous.

Gg 2

mighly by his Miracles does recommend; that Men contending

for this, not as for human Disciplines, but as for a Devine Doctrine, they may dedicate themselves to God over all, and do all things to please him.

Phil. Having now done with the Life and Adions of Christ, I beg leave to speak a Word or two of his Apostles *. For my part, I am not satisfied of the Sincerity of their proceedings, and I'm apt to suspect, that they put a Trick upon the World in coining a number of strange Stories to amuse Mankind, the better to make the Doctrine they preached to be believed. There is a great Itch in Mankind after Applause and Admiration; and I doubt not, but that these Men were set mightily agog to be Ringleaders of a new Sect; and when they found the People fo very forward to believe what they said, they would be sure not to be wanting in Variety of strange Tales to impose upon their Credulity. And this I take to be a fair Account of many of those repeated Miracles, which they vouched, to support the Do&trine of their Master.

Cred. You call in question the Truth of Matters of Fact, which passed above 1600 Years ago, which to be sure were examined when they were first reported; which were acquiesced in by unprejudic'd Men; and the Belief of which great part of the World have stood in Possession of, ever since. It is usually a difficult ching, to prove Matters of Fact of so long standing; and 'tis hardly ingenuous to desire the Proof of what was well look'd into at first, and has so long a time been unquestioned.. Suppose your Great-Grandfather had lost an Éstate by a Suit of Law in Queen Elizabeth's Time, thro' the positive unexceptionable Evidence of his Adversary's Witnesses, and that none of your Family had ever questioned the Poffessor's Title fince; Do you think it fair for you, now to arraign the Integrity of those Witnesses, which your Predecessors, at that Time, were better able, and altogether as willing to do, if they had any Pretence for

* Celfus apud Origen, lib. 1. Fudeus apud Limborch in difput.cum Erud. ffud. p. 133. Blount's Notes on Philoft. p. 28.

The Apo

files not Counterfeits.


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