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utinam ipfe fecisset! Dignia enim fuit illa natūra,quæ meliora vellet, quæ quod voluit effecit.” And again, " Velles eum fuo ingenio dixiffe, alieno judicio."
Now, by way of contrast, behold the character of the same persons, from the masterly and impartial hand of South:
“ The Socinians are impious blasphemers, whose “ infamous pedigree runs back [from wretch to “ wretch] in a direct line to the devil himself; and “ who are fitter to be crushed by the civil magistrate, “ as destructive to government and society, than to “ be confuted as merely heretics in religion.”
Such is the true agonistic style and intolerant Spirit; such the courage of a champion, who challenges his adversary, and then calls upon the constable to come and help him.
An tibi Mavors
“ Josephus flattered Vespasian so far, as to make him believe, that he was the man (the Messias]; and thereupon persuaded him to destroy the line of David, out of which the tradition was, that the Messias should spring, &c.”
Josephus did not give this wicked advice. Our Prelate perhaps had in his thoughts what Eusebius relates of Domitian, “ that he ordered all the family of David to be destroyed; and that some вь
of our Lord's kinsmen were feized, and brought before him; and upon examination difiniffed, as poor and inconsiderable persons.
Afterwards, in the cine of Trajan, fome herecies lạid an information against Symeon, the son of Cleopas, as being of the family of David, and also a Christian : and, for this, Symeon was put to death, when he was an hundred and twenty years old. But these very accusers of the Martyr were also convicted of belonging to the royal tribe, diligent fearch being made at that time for such perfons.”
Eufebius had thefe accounts from Hegefippus, and Hegesippus is far enough from infallibility. So the Stories rest upon his authority, such as it is. Eufeb. Evang. Hist. III. 19, 20, 32.
SERMON LXX. “ We must be serious in our instructions :“ to which nothing can be more contrary, than
to trifle with the word of God; and to speak of “ the weightiest matters in the world, the great " and everlasting concernments of the souls of
men, in so flight and indecent a manner, as is not only beneath the gravity of the pulpit, but
even of a well-regulated fage. Can any thing “ be more unsuitable, than to hear a Minister of “ God, from this folemn place, to break Jefts
upon Sin, and to quibble with the vices of the « age? This is to shoot without a bullet ; as if we “ had no mind to do execution, but only to make
men smile at the mention of their faults : This
“ is so nauseous a folly, and of so pernicious con“ sequence to religion, that hardly any thing too 6 fevere can be said of it.”
This was undoubtedly designed as a censure upon South, for saying, “ that there is no fluxing a foul out of its immortality,” and a hundred things of the same kind.
“ The Being of God is so comfortable, fo consi venient, so neceffary to the felicity of mankind, " that (as Tully admirably says) Dii immortales " ad ufum hominum fabricati pene videantur : If God “ were not a neceffary being of himself, he might “ almost seem to be made on purpose for the use " and benefit of men."
A learned person, who shall not be named observed, that Tillotson, taking the verb fabricati in a passive sense, grossly misunderstood Cicero; whose words are these: “Sunt autem alii philosophi, et hi quidem magni atquë nobiles, qui Deorum mente atque ratione omnem mundum administrari atque regi censeant: neque verò id folum, fed etiam ab iisdem vitæ hominum confuli et provideri : Nam, et fruges, et reliqua quæ terra pariat, et tempeftates, ac temporum varietates, cælique mutationes, quibus omnia quæ terra gig. nat, maturata pubescánt, a Dîs immortalibus tribui humano generi putant ; multaque, quæ talia sunt, ut ea ipfa Di immortales ad ufum hominum fabricati pene videantur.' videantur." De Nat. Deor. L. I. 2. B b 2
It is certain that these words, as they stand in Cicero, will not admit of the sense wliich Tillotson gives them : but Tillotson, in all probability, cited by memory, and without consulting the context; and put that meaning upon the words, which feemed the most reasonable and elegant : and, perhaps his good sense led him here to the true interpretation. Boherius, a learned French critic, understood this paffage just as Tillotson has taken it; and to accommodate the sentence to this purpose, he proposed a flight emendation, which is approved by Davies. “ Clariss. Boherius legit,
- ut ET IPSI Dir immortales ad ufum hominum fabricati pene videantur.
Audax fanè videtur loquendi ratio ; fed fensus facit, ut ei conjecturæ faveam.”
In favour of this conjecture and interpretation it niay be observed, that, according to the Pagan Theology, the Dii immortales are the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, and the earth, who furnish us with the comforts and conveniencies of life ; and, so highly beneficial are they to mortal men, that, although they be Gods, yet they seem almost to have been made for the use of man.
If you ask, “ by whom were the Gods made ?" the Pagan answer is, “ by Nature, or by the Supreme God; who drew them out of chaos, and who is called by Ovid, Mundi Fabricator.".
Hanc Deus, et melior litem Natura diremit:
Ovid, Met. I. 73.
Cicero advanced somewhat that was bold, and therefore qualified it with a penè videantur.
VOL. III, " I know not what some men may find in theinsi selves; but I must freely acknowledge, that I “could neyep yet attain to that bold and hardy de“gree of faith, as to believe any thing for this “ reason-because it was imposible. So that I am
very far from being of his mind, that wanted, not “ only more difficulties, but even impoffibilities, in the “ Christian religion, to exercise hụs fạith upon.'
The person whom Tillotson had in view, was the author of Religio Medici. But by imposibilities, Sir Thomas Brown, as well as Tertullian, meant seeming, not real impossibilities; and what he says should be looked upon as a verbum ardens, a rhetorical flourish, and a trial of skill with Tertullian; in which however he had little chance to come off superior. Both of them were lively and ingenious; but the African had a warmer complexion than the Briton.
“ Methinks there be not impossibilities enough “ in religion, for an active faith.—I can answer all " the objections of Satan and my rebellious reason,