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καλούντι προθυμότερον επερρώσθην. "Ετι κακείνο προς τοϊς ειρημένους λογισάμενος ου παρεργώς περί τε των ημετερών προγόνων, οι μεταδιδόναι των τουτων ηθελον, και περί των Ελλήνων, εί τινες αυτών grcóvei tà tag' juğv fotoúdaoay, i. e. There were some, who from their love to this subject have encouraged me to undertake it, and beyond all others Epaphroditus, a man who excels in every branch of literature, and especially in the knowledge of historical facts; as having been himself engaged in the management of important affairs, and having experienced various vicissitudes of fortune ; in all which he has displayed the captivating energies of a mighty genius, and an inflexible adherence to virtue. By the admonition of this man, whose example and persuasion call upon all who have the power to engage in whatever is honorable and useful, I prosecuted this undertaking with more alacrity and decision, being at the same time not unmindful of my ancestors, who cheerfully imparted the knowledge of these things, nor of those Gentiles, who are eager to know the customs established among us.
This must be deemed a paragraph singularly beautiful and important; as it presents us with a fine portrait of the man, who at the hazard of his life and fortune sided with the Apostle in the court of Nero. Such a character, drawn by the impartial pen of the Jewish historian, is itself an eloquent volume in favor of St. Paul and of the sacred cause, in which he was engaged. But the words of Josephus have a peculiar propriety, if considered in reference to the situation, which Epaphroditus occupied in the household of Cæsar. See Phil. iv. 23. As the Secretary or Minister of Nero, and perhaps of the succeeding emperors, he was himself engaged in important affairs. As he had been brought a slave from Colossi to Rome, where by his unspotted integrity and splendid talents, he reached a place of great trust and eminence, where, after he had been disgraced by persecution, he was again restored to honor; he had truly experienced various vicissitudes of fortune. He displayed an inflexible adherence to virtue ; as in circumstances which menaced his fame, his property, and even his life, he embraced the gospel, and remained attached to it, displaying its happy influence on his temper and conduct, in the most cruel and profligate court, unawed by the terrors of ignominy and persecution
on one hand, and unseduced by the allurements of pleasure on the other. The pagan historians Suetonius, Tacitus, and Dion, envying Chıristianity the fame of this man's talents, and the lustre of his character, have not even hinted that he was believer in it; though this was a fact, of which they could not possibly have been ignorant, and their apprehension of it appears evident from the context, in which they speak of his death.
It remains, after these noble testimonies to the character of Epaphroditus, to consider what an enemy has said of him. He is said to have been the master of the celebrated. Epictetus ; and in this relation his name has been handed down with infamy. Arrian represents Epictetus, c. 1. as treating Epaphroditus with great contempt, when interrogating him about a certain conspiracy against Nero ; “ If I have a mind,” replied he, “ to say any thing, I will tell it to your master.” In c. 26. the same writer farther says, “I once saw a person weeping and embracing the knees of Epaphroditus, and deploring his hard fortune that he bad not fifty thousand pounds left.” What said Epaphroditus then did he laugh at him as we should do? No, but he cried out with astonishment, “poor man! how could you be silent? how could you bear it?” Again in c. 19. we read, “ Epaphroditus had a slave that was a shoemaker, whom, because he was good for nothing, he sold. This very fellow, being bought by a courtier, became shoemaker to Cæsar. Then you might have seen how Epaphroditus honored him.” To these malicious representations may be added the following well-known story told by Celsus, that when his master (meaning Epaphroditus) tortured his leg, he, smiling, and not at all discomposed, said, you will break it: and when it was broken, he said, did not I tell you that you would break it?” These stories have been gravely believed by modern critics: and Epaphroditus has been roundly called a brute and a monster, of whom nothing is known worthy of remembrance, but that he was once the master of so renowned a slave. The early believers regarded slavery with the utmost abhorrence, as utterly repugnant to the dictates of nature and of the gospel. Epaphroditus must therefore have given Epictetus his freedom as soon as he had embraced Christianity.
As Epaphroditus was a grammarian and a man of learning,
Epictetus owed to him probably not only his liberty, but also his education, and the elements of his reputation as a philo-. sopher.
Moreover, as Epictetus was brought up under a master who was a Christian, he must through him have been made acquainted with the doctrines of the gospel : he must have been taught and invited to read its records, and study the character of its Founder, not to mention that he must have seen and heard the Apostle Paul, who was the bosom friend of his master. These particulars will account for a leading feature, which distinguishes the discourses of Epictetus. They abound not only with the virtues and the sentiments, but even with the fundamental doctrines respecting God and Providence, which were taught by Christ and his apostles; though he continued to the last an enemy to them, and to their cause. And here two questions may be asked: If Epictetus had such obligations to Epaphroditus, how came he, and he alone, to place his character in such false and invidious light? and if he was so deeply indebted to the Jewish and Christian scriptures, how came he not to acknowledge it, nor even to take any notice of those scriptures ? The reply to these questions, if it should appear to be founded in truth, will draw aside the thick veil which has hitherto concealed the deformities of Epictetus's character; and he will henceforth appear not the great philosopher and the wise man he was thought to be, but a DEFAMER, a VAGABOND, and IMPOSTOR; and his own discourses, and these only, shall be the criterion by which he shall be judged. At present I shall merely stute ny answer to the above questions. Epictetus has vilified Epaphroditus though intitled to his gratitude by his generosity, and to his reverence by his virtue and shining talents, because the latter embraced and endeavoured to propagate a religion, which the former despised. To use the language of an epigram, which was adopted by him, or applied to him by his friends, Epictetus was a friend of the gods, pinos dbxvdétous, and he thought himself free in common with others to hate and malign one however distinguished, who sought to bring them into contempt. To aggravate his ingratitude and his baseness, he calumniated only when dead, and as such no longer capable of defending himself, a man, whom not one even among his
enemies presumed to reproach while yet living, and whom from the purity and greatness of his character the emperor himself destroyed under a frivolous and false pretence.
Epictetus was sensible that the moral code of the gospel far surpassed in excellence any system of virtue or duties taught by the philosophers of Greece and Rome: but not having the humility or 'magnanimity to profess hiniself the disciple of a crucified master, he has imitated and copied that code without acknowledging his obligations; and thus he endeavours to check the progress, and to defeat the end of the gospel, by clandestinely holding himself forth to the Pagan world as the rival of its Founders. This is the object which Arrian had in publishing, and Simplicius in commenting upon the discourses of Epictetus; and they have artfully applied to Epictetus virtues and sayings, which with little variation belonged to Jesus Christ. This is an assertion of great consequence, and on a future occasion, I shall substantiate it by proofs from their writings. Celsus in the above passage is an instance of the use,
which the enemies of the gospel made of Epictetus in endeavouring to check its progress; as he there asserts that the patience, with which he endured the wrenching of his leg by his cruel master, exceeded the resignation, with which Jesus suffered death. It is here hardly necessary to add that the boasted qualities ascribed to Epictetus will in this view appear either altogether fictitious or greatly exaggerated.
THE BRITONS OF THE CLASSICS.
Strabo observes in his Geography, that “ the woods are their towns ; for, having fenced round a wide circular space with trees hewn down, they there place their huts, and fix stalls for their cattle; but not of long duration. They have dwellings of
'L. iv. p. 306. of the Amsterdam ed.
? P, 197, 301,
a round form, constructed of poles and wattled work, with very high pointed coverings of beams united at a point.” Diodorus Siculus' asserts, that “they inhabit very wretched dwellings, composed for the most part of reeds (or straw) and wood.” Cæsar? thus describes, not Londinium, but the capital of Cassivellaunus : “ The Britons call a place, a town, when they have fortified thick impassable woods by means of a vallum and fosse, or a high bank and a ditch; in which sort of a place they are accustomed to assemble together, to avoid the invasion of enemies." Tacitus describing the strong holds, to which Caractacus resorted, observes: “ They then fortified themselves on steep mountains; and, wherever there was any possibility of access in any part, he constructed a great bank of stones, like a vallum.” I must refer the curious to the first volume of King's Munimenta Antiqua for prints and plans, both of the Welsh houses and fortresses, of which some are yet entire, and others in ruins, in every part of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. No book, either in our tongue, or in any of the European languages, is so complete and satisfactory on this interesting and domestic subject: the prints are excellent. Diodorus Siculus 3 also notices, that “ the Britons laid up their corn in subterranean repositories, whence they used to take a portion every day; and, having bruised and dried the grain, made a kind of food from it of immediate use.” Martin, in his description of the Western Isles, (p. 204.) describes this sort of diet, and the quick mode of preparing it, as yet continued. King, in the 48th, and following pages, of his first volume, has detected, and delineated, these rude monuments of our ancestors.
It is highly curious to trace the appearance of the persons of our forefathers and their manners. Cæsar remarks that “they painted themselves with vitrum, or woad;” and Herodian, that
· Diod. Sic. l. v. 209. p. 349. ed. Wess.
2 Cæs. Bell. Gall. I. v. sect 17.
3 L. V. p. 347. ed. Wess.
4 Bell. Gall. l. v. sect. 10.
s In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1790. p. 718. is the following passage, signed H. O. which deserves the notice of antiquaries and critics ; “ There a passage in Cæsar's Commentaries relating to the ancient Britons, which has often engaged the attention of critics, but is not yet, I believe, clearly