On this page
- Text (3)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
( m ) -
THE CHRONICON OF EUSEBIUS , * #
In every point of view , the recovery of a long-lost treasure of antiquity , the work of a man so justly celebrated as Eusebius , the Bishop of Caesarea * is an event highly interesting to the literary world . The result of the rer
searches of a distinguished writer and indefatigable inquirer to whom the long-lost stores of antiquity lay open , and who knew how to employ those stores to the best account , must at all times be valuable , and still more whew it preserves considerable portions of the very authorities from which he drew .
Eusebius lived at a most important era . Christianity had begun to rear her established head in courts and palaces . From being regarded as the depraved superstition of rebels and schismatics , it became the favourite relir gion of the state ; councils were assembling under temporal authority to give Jaw in matters of faith ; and Christians , who had just escaped from the persejcutions of Heathens , began to whet the sword of religious zeal in the hands of
the magistrates against their fellow-worshipers . But there was still a literary warfare to maintain , with the votaries of ancient superstitions , and the opponents of every system of revealed religion . Even Paganism had been pu « r rified to a certain extent in the conflict , and its philosophers maintained a vigorous literary warfare on the merits and preliminary principles and opinions held up by the Christians for their adoption . It was obviously the time for talent and research to come forward in the foremost ranks of the
defenders of the newly-adopted faith of the state , and a fitter champion could hardly be found than the Bishop of Caesarea . When we consider the impediments which must have lain in the way of an extensive cultivation of any pursuits that required an acquaintance with the works of many authors of various ages , at a time when such works existed only in scattered manuscripts ,
and could only be perused with severe labour , the extent of his acquirements seems prodigious . Besides a personal acquaintance with all the learned men of his time , his writings shew that he had read the works of every species of Crreek writers , philosophers , historians , or divines , and the catalogue of his productions is a sufficient demonstration of the indefatigable industry with which he dovoted himself to the support of the cause he had at heart .
The general scope of the arguments used by Eusebius in discussing in his principal works the respective claims of the rival systems of religion in point of authority and antiquity , naturally led him into historical and chronological investigations . The Christian religion , he argued , ( without much notion apparently of what are now called its peculiar doctrines , ) though new in name , w as instituted and observed from the beginning of the world by g ood men accepted of God , from those natural notions which are implanted in men ' s minds . The patriarchs were Christians in reality , though not in name . For what else , he said , did the name of Christian denote , but a man
who by the knowledge and doctrine of Christ is brought to the practice of sobriety , righteousness , patience , fortitude , and the religious worship of the one and 6 nly God over all ? Christianity was anterior to Judaism . Judaism was a republic , established according to the law delivered by Moses . It was anterior to Heathenism , which was a superstition consisting of the worship of many gods and deified men . Anterior to either of these there was a third
religion , neither Judaism nor Heathenism , the most ancient institution , the oldest p hilosophy , which had lain dormant but had been lately declared and revived agreeably to the predictions of Moses and the prophets ; ani he who
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), May 2, 1827, page 322, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1796/page/10/