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a learned eclectic philosopher and voluminous author. He published a work in opposition to the Christians, in fifteen books, which was replied to, at great length, by Methodius, Eusebius the historian, and Apollinaris of Laodicea. Through the mistaken zeal of some of the Christian Emperors, particularly of Theodosius, the work of Porphyry was suppressed and extirpated, so that no copies of it were left. We can judge of it, therefore, only from some scattered fragments, which may be collected from Eusebius, Jerome, and other ancient writers. It seems that Porphyry had strong objections to the prophecies of Daniel. These productions were so remarkable, and had been so remarkably fulfilled, that Porphyry insisted, in opposition to the strongest historical proofs, that the book of Daniel must have been written subsequent to the reign of Alexander, and after the principal events purporting to be foretold in it, had been accomplished.

At the period of which we now speak (the middle and latter part of the third century), when Christianity had made great progress, and was exciting attention and interest every where, numerous heathen philosophers and rhetoricians took

pens in earnest to refute it ; but in most instances, not only their works, but their names have perished! I shall notice but two or three of them—the only ones, however, of whose writings we have any knowledge.

Hierocles flourished near the beginning of the fourth century, and was a principal adviser and promoter of the Diocletian persecution. Not content with destroying the innocent Christians, he took up his pen to oppose and revile them. He endeavored to show, that the sacred Scriptures destroy themselves, by means of their numerous self-contradictions. He reviled the Apostles as ignorant and illiterate propagators of falsehood, some of whom got their livelihood by fishing. He does not deny our Saviour's miracles, but supposes, with Celsus, that they were performed by magic; alleging that Apollonius Tyanæus was as great a magician and miracle-worker as he. In proof of this, Hierocles abridged and republished a life of Apollonius, which had been previ. ously written by Philostratus, an Athenian.

As much was said of this Apollonius, at the period of which we here speak, and as he has been referred to by infidels in modern times as the rival and compeer of our Sav

up their

iour, it may not be improper to annex a brief account of him. He was born at Tyana, a city of Cappadocia, near the commencement of the Christian era. He early joined himself to the Pythagoreans, and faithfully practised all the requisite austerities, in order to an initiation into that community. He endeavored to imitate Pythagoras as closely as possible, and like him travelled extensively in foreign lands. At length, he established himself at Ephesus, and there gathered a school after the manner of the ancient Pythagorean college. He practised magical arts, and professed to have much intercourse with the gods; but the wonders recorded of him, and the stories which he told, are so absolutely incredible and ridiculous, as to render him entirely unworthy of confidence. Thus he affirms, that the Bramins of India, among whom he travelled, keep tubs full of rain, wind, and thunder, constantly by them, which they bestow upon their friends, or inflict upon their enemies, according to their pleasure that the earth swells and rolls, like the waves of the sea, only with the touch of a Bramin's wand; --that at the feasts of the Bramins, there is no need of servants, since the chairs, stools, pots, cups, dishes and plates understand every one its own office, and move spontaneously, hither and thither, as the case requires. He asserts that, in the course of his travels, he found, in one country, the women half black and half white; in another, a nation of pigmies, living underground ; in another, apes as large as men, and a kind of beasts which had faces like men, and bodies like lions. In another country which he visited, he found wool growing out of the ground like grass, and dragons as plenty as sheep in other places. Apollonius pretended to be familiar, not only with all the languages of men, but also with those of beasts and birds ; which gift he assures us he acquired instantly, in consequence of eating a dragon's heart. Such are some of the narrations of Apollonius; all gravely related by his veracious biographer; and this is the man whom unbelievers, in ancient and in modern times, have undertaken to hold


our blessed Saviour. I shall notice but another of the ancient enemies of Christianity, and this is the Emperor Julian. This man was born, A. D. 331, and educated among the Christians. He was a nephew of Constantine the great, and upon the death of the sons of Constantine, became sole Emperor of Rome. In the time


up, as the

of his prosperity, Julian renounced the Christian faith, became bigotedly attached to the Pagan theology, and near the close of life published a book, with the design of overthrowing Christianity. Like most who had preceded him on the same side of the question, Julian admits the authenticity of the sacred books of the Christians, and the miracles of our Saviour, and urges various objections drawn from the books themselves. These objections were replied to, at great length, by Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem.

From the death of Julian, which took place, A. D. 363, there was no longer any organized opposition to the Christian faith in the Roman empire ; and no writer of any note appeared in opposition to Christianity for the next thousand years. The Christian world was agitated with various internal controversies; but the great controversy respecting the foundations of the Christian faith was permitted to slumber.

In the thirteenth century, there were those in Italy, who were regarded as enemies of the Christian religion ; but whether they were Deists, or Atheists, or what form their infidelity assumed, it is not easy to determine.

In the sixteenth century, complaints were again made of Deists in different parts of Europe, particularly in Italy and Germany. Among these, we find the name of no less a personage than Leo X. He is reported to have said, that he “considered the Christian religion a fable, though a very gainful one." Another of the infidels of this age was that impersonation of vanity, and of literary and medical quackery, Paracelsus.

The first in the ranks of English Deists, who have appeared in modern times, was Lord Edward Herbert, Baron of Cherbury. He published his book, de Veritate, in the year 1624, and several works subsequent to this, in all of which he asserts the sufficiency, universality, and absolute perfection of the religion of nature. This universal religion he reduces to the five following articles : “1. There is one Supreme God. 2. He is chiefly to be worshipped. 3. Piety and virtue constitute the principal part of his worship. 4. If we repent of our sins, God will pardon them. 5. There is a future state of rewards and punishments.”

Lord Herbert is represented as being himself an amiable, moral man; although the morality which he inculcated was of a very loose character. In his book de Veritate, he inSECOND SERIES, VOL. III. NO, II.


sists that those are not to be condemned, who are urged to sin by any thing growing out of their particular bodily constitution, more than a dropsical person is to be condemned for immoderate thirst.

With all his philosophy, Lord Herbert was not wholly free from the charge of superstition. When he had prepared his book de Veritate, he was still uncertain whether to publish it; and he prayed to God, that if it was his will the book should be published, he would deign to give him a sign from heaven. * Immediately,” he says, “I received a sign. A loud though gentle noise came forth from the heavens, (for it was like nothing on earth,) which so cheered and comforted me, that I could but regard my petition as granted. Whereupon I resolved to print my book.”—Thus this impugner of all revelation professed to have received a direct revelation, and to have been governed by it in an important question of duty.

Charles Blount was a follower of Lord Herbert, and published a translation of one of his books. He also published a translation of Philostratus' life of Apollonius Tyanæus, with Notes, designing to hold him up as a rival magician and worker of miracles, in opposition to our Lord Jesus Christ. Blount became desperately in love with his own sister-in-law, and wished to marry her; and because she refused him, he put an end to his life, about the year 1690.

Of Hobbes, some notice was taken in a previous article. I regard him as rather an Atheist, than a Deist.—The same may be said of Toland, who lived at about the same time with Hobbes. He published a work, entitled Pantheisticon, in which he avows himself an admirer of the philosophy of Spinoza, which really acknowledges no God but the universe. He published another work, called Amyntor, in which he endeavors to show that the apocryphal books of the New Testament have as high claims to be considered of Divine authority, as any of those belonging to the canon.

Among the infidels of Great Britain, who have appeared successively during the last hundred and fifty years, are the Earl of Shaftesbury, the Earl of Rochester, Collins, Woolston, Tindall, Morgan, Neville, Harrington, Chubb, Dodwell, Hume, Lord Bolingbroke, and more recently, Gibbon and Thomas Paine.

Lord Shaftesbury published his characteristics in the year

1711, in which, notwithstanding his efforts at concealment, his opposition to Christianity is sufficiently manifest.

The Earl of Rochester, after having done more than almost any other man to corrupt the age in which he lived, and having ruined his own health by a life of debauchery, became at length a hopeful penitent and convert, and ended his days a very decided believer. Among the last acts of his life was a request and an injunction, that all his profane and lewd writings should be burned.

Anthony Collins published a discourse on Free Thinking, in 1707; and afterwards a book entitled, "The Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion.” In this latter work, he allows Christianity no other foundation than the allegorical, or (as he understood it) the false sense of the Jewish prophecies.

Woolston published several discourses on the miracles of our Saviour, in which, under pretence of defending the allegorical sense of Scripture, he endeavors utterly to destroy the truth of the facts recorded in the gospels. He asserts that the four gospels, taken in a literal sense, are “full of improbabilities, incredibilities, and gross absurdities; that they are like Gulliverian tales of persons and things which, out of the romance, never had a being ; that neither the Fathers, the Apostles, nor Jesus himself ever intended that his miracles should be taken in the literal, but in the mystical and parabolical sense." He casts base and scurrilous reflections on the character of our blessed Lord ; and yet he charges the bishop of London with ignorance or malice, in representing him as a promoter of infidelity. Woolston was a clergyman of the church of England.

Dr. Tindall discovered his infidelity, in a work entitled, “ Christianity as old as the Creation;" in which, though he pretends a high regard for the Christian religion, he uses his utmost efforts to discard all revelation, as useless and needless, and sets himself to expose and subvert the revelations contained in the Holy Scriptures. Those who wish for positive precepts in religion, Tindall honors with the name of Demonists, representing them as enemies to the exercise of reason, and even below the brutes.

Another attempt against religion was made in England by Dr. Morgan, in his book entitled, “The Moral Philosopher.' Though he professes himself a Christian, "on the footing,"

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