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greatest enemy, were condemned in turn by a man who was not yet a Christian.
The two factions alike employed artifice, fraud, and calumny, according to the old and eternal usage. Constantine left them to dispute and cabal; for he had other occupations. It was at that time that this good prince assassinated his son, his wife, and his nephew the young Licinius, the hope of the empire, who was not yet twelve years old.
Under Constantine, Arius's party was constantly victorious. The opposite party have unblushingly written, that one day St. Macarius, one of the most ardent followers of Athanasius, knowing that Arius was on the way to the cathedral of Constantinople followed by several of his brethren, prayed so ardently to God to confound this heresiarch, that God could not resist the prayer; and immediately all Arius's bowels passed through his fundament—which is impos, sible. But at length Arius died.
Constantine followed him a year afterwards; and, it is said, he died of leprosy. Julian, in his Cæsars, says that baptism, which this emperor received a few hours before his death, cured no one of this distemper.
As his children reigned after him, the flattery of the Roman people, who had long been slaves, was carried to such an excess, that those of the old religion made him a god, and those of the new made him a saint, His feast was long kept, together with that of his mother..
After his death, the troubles occasioned by the single word consubstantial, agitated the empire with renewed violence. Constantius, son and successor to Constantine, imitated all his father's cruelties, and like him held councils; which councils anathematized one another. Athanasias went over all Europe and Asia, to support
his party; but the Eusebians overwhelmed him. Banishment, imprisonment, tumult, murder, and assassination, signalized the close of the reign of Constantius. Julian, the Church's mortal enemy, did his utmost to restore peace to the Church, but was unsuccessful. Jovian, and after him Valentinian, gave entire
liberty of conscience; but the two parties accepted it
only as the liberty to exercise their hatred and their u fury.
Theodosius declared for the Council of Nice: but the Empress Justina, who reigned in Italy, Illyria, and Africa, as guardian of the young Valentinian, proscribed
the great Council of Nice; and soon after, the Goths, i Vandals, and Burgundians, who spread themselves
over so many provinces, finding Arianism established in them, embraced it in order to govern the conquered nations by the religion of those nations.
But the Nicean faith having been received by the the Gauls, their conqueror Clovis followed that commu
nion for the very same reason that the other barbarians Bele had professed the faith of Arius. JM In Italy, the great Theodoric kept peace between the to two parties; and, at last, the Nicean formula prevailed $ in the East and in the West.
Arianism reappeared about the middle of the sixteenth century, favoured by the religious disputes which Ce then divided Europe; and it reappeared armed with
new strength and a still greater incredulity. Forty Sie gentlemen of Vicenza formed an academy, in which
such tenets only were established as appeared necessary to make men Christians. Jesus was acknowledged
as the Word, as Saviour, and as judge; but his diviniity, his consubstantiality, and even the Trinity, were denied.
Of these dogmatisers, the principal were Lælius tale Socinus, Ochin, Pazuta, and Gentilis, who were joined
by Servetus. The unfortunate dispute of the latter with Calvin is well known; they carried on for some time an interchange of abuse by letter. Servetus was so imprudent as to pass through Geneva, on his way to Germany. Calvin was cowardly enough to have him arrested, and barbarous enough to have him condemned to be roasted by a slow fire-the same punishment which Calvin himself had narrowly escaped in France. Nearly all the theologians of that time were by turns persecuting and persecuted, executioners and victims.
The same Calvin solicited the death of Gentilis at Geneva. He found five advocates to subscribe that Gentilis deserved to perish in the flames. Such horrors were worthy of that abominable age. Gentilis was put in prison, and was on the point of being burned like Servetus: but he was better advised than the Spaniard; he retracted, bestowed the most ridiculous praises on Calvin, and was saved. But he had afterwards the ill fortune, through not having made terms with a bailiff of the canton of Berne, to be arrested as an Arian. There were witnesses who deposed that he had said that the words trinity, essence, hypostasis, were not to be found in the Scriptures; and, on this deposition, the judges, who were as ignorant of the meaning of hypostasis as himself, condemned him, without at all arguing the question, to lose his head.
Faustus Socinus, nephew to Lælius Socinus, and his companions, were more fortunate in Germany; they penetrated into Silesia and Poland, founded churches there, wrote, preached, and were successful: but at length, their religion being divested of almost every mystery, and a philosophical and peaceful rather than a militant sect, they were abandoned; and the jesuits, who had more influence, persecuted and dispersed them.
The remains of this sect in Poland, Germany, and Holland, keep quiet and concealed; but in England the sect has re-appeared with greater strength and eclât. The great Newton and Locke embraced it. Samuel Clarke, the celebrated rector of St. James's, and author of an excellent book on the existence of God, openly declared himself an Arian, and his disciples are very numerous. He would never attend his parish-church on the day when the Athanasian creed was recited. In the course of this work will be seen the subtleties which all these obstinate
who were not so much Christians as philosophers, opposed to the purity of the Catholic faith.
Although among the theologians of London there was a large flock of Arians, the public mind there has been more occupied by the great mathematical truths
discovered by Newton, and the metaphysical wisdom of Locke. Disputes on consubstantiality appear very dull to philosophers. The same thing happened to Newton in England as to Corneille in France, whose Pertharite, Théodore, and Récueil de Vers, were forgotten, while Cinna was alone thought of. Newton was looked upon as God's interpreter, in the calculation of fluxions, the laws of gravitation, and the nature of light. On his death, his pall was borne by the peers and the chancellor of the realm, and his remains were laid near the tombs of the kings—than whom he is more revered. Servetus, who is said to have discovered the circulation of the blood, was roasted by a slow fire, in a little town of the Allobroges, ruled by a theologian of Picardy.
ARISTEAS. SHALL men for ever be deceived in the most indifferent as well as the most serious things ? A pretended Aristeas would make us believe that he had the Old Testament translated into Greek for the use of Ptolemy Philadelphus-—just as the Duke de Montausier had commentaries written on the best Latin authors for the use of the Dauphin, who made no use of them.
According to this Aristeas, Ptolemy, burning with desire to be acquainted with the Jewish books, and to know those laws which the meanest Jew in Alexandria could have translated for fifty crowns, determined to send a solemn embassy to the high-priest of the Jews of Jerusalem; to deliver a hundred and twenty thousand Jewish slaves, whom his father Ptolemy Soter had made prisoners in Judea; and, in order to assist them in performing the journey agreeably, to give them about forty crowns each of our money-amounting in the whole to fourteen millions, four hundred thousand of our livres.*
Ptolemy did not content himself with this unheardof liberality: he sent to the temple a large table of
massive gold, enriched all over with precious stones, and had engraved upon it a chart of the Meander, a river of Phrygia,* the course of which river was marked with rubies and emeralds. It is obvious how charming such a chart of the Meander must have been to the Jews. This table was loaded with two immense golden vases, still more richly worked. He also gave thirty other golden and an infinite number of silver vases. Never was a book so dearly paid for; the whole. Vatican library might be had for å less amount.
Eleazar, the pretended high-priest of Jerusalem, sent ambassadors in his turn, who presented only a letter written upon fine vellum in characters of gold. It was an act worthy of the Jews, to give a bit of parchment for about thirty millions of livres.
Ptolemy was so much delighted with Eleazar's style, that he shed tears of joy.
The ambassador dined with the king and the chief priests of Egypt. When grace was to be said, the Egyptians yielded the honour to the Jews.
With these ambassadors came seventy-two interpreters, six from each of the twelve tribes, who had all learned Greek perfectly at Jerusalem. It is really a pity that of these twelve tribes ten were entirely lost and had disappeared from the face of the earth so many ages before; but Eleazar the high-priest found them again, on purpose to send translators to Ptolemy.
The seventy-two interpreters were shut up in the island of Pharos; each of them completed his translation in seventy-two days, and all the translations were found to be word for word alike. This is called the Septuagint or translation of the Seventy, though it should have been called the translation of the Seventytwo.
As soon as the king had received these books, he worshipped them—he was so good a Jew. Each in
* It is, however, not at all unlikely that instead of a plan of tbe course of the Meander, it was that which in Greek was called a meander—a koot of precious stones. Still, it was a very fine present.
† 1,200,0001. sterling.-T.