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Christianity & Science
A Series of Ten Lectures
by Andrew P. Peabody, D.D., LL.D.
Professor of Christian Morals in Harvard University · 1875
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" [HEROD'S] wife having discovered the agreement he had made with Herodias, and having learned it before he had notice of her knowledge of the whole design, she desired him to send her to Macherus, which was subject to her father, and so all things necessary to her journey were made ready for her by the general of Aretas's army; and by that means she soon came into Arabia, under the conduct of several generals, who carried her from one to another till she reached her father, and told him of Herod's intentions. Aretas made this the occasion of hostility against Herod, who had also some quarrel with him about their limits in the territory of Gamalitis. So they raised armies on both sides, prepared for war, and sent their generals to fight instead of themselves; and when they had joined battle, all Herod's army was destroyed by the treachery of certain fugitives, who, though they were of the tetrarchy of Philip, had joined Herod's army." - JOSEPHUS, Jewish Antiquities, xviii. 5. I.

Several of Justin's alleged additions to the narrative of the canonical Gospels were probably only his own amplification or exposition of that narrative. Thus, when he quotes the Jews as saying of the miracles of Christ " that they were a magical delusion," he but expresses in different words the charge, " He is casting out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons." Thus also, when he says, that " Christ, being regarded as a worker in wood, made, while among men, ploughs and yokes," he is simply drawing a natural inference from Christ's being called a carpenter in Mark's Gospel.

In describing the birth of Christ, he says, that " as Joseph could find no room in any inn at Bethlehem, he lodged in a cave near the village, and while they were there, Mary brought forth the Messiah, and laid him in a stall." This is not by any means inconsistent with the narrative of St. Luke, nor with probability. The (so-called) Cave of the Nativity was shown at a very early period, and the frequent use of caves as stables in the East is attested by modern travellers, as well as by several passages that might be cited from ancient writers. Such knowledge of the local fact or tradition concerning the cave needs no written authority to account for it, as Justin was not a stranger in Palestine.

In his account of the baptism of Jesus, Justin varies from the Gospels, as we read them, in two particulars. One is the statement that "when Jesus came to the river Jordan where John was baptizing, upon his entering the water, a fire was kindled in the Jordan." This must have been a very early tradition; for, though there is no reason to belie re that it was put on record by the author of the first Gospel, it is found in the oldest extant manuscript of the earliest Latin version of that Gospel (Matt. iii. 15), and in one or more other old Latin manuscripts, having been, no doubt, first written in the margin of some Greek copy, and rendered by the translator as a part of the text. It is, however, manifest that Justin derived it from unwritten tradition; for he adds: " The apostles of this same person, our Messiah, have written that when he came out of the water, the Holy Spirit, like a dove alighted upon him." The other deviation from the narrative of the Gospels concerns the voice from heaven at the baptism, which Justin twice quotes as having uttered the words, " Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." These words may have been in Justin's copy of St. Luke's Gospel; for they are found (Luke iii. 22) in the Cambridge Manuscript of the Greek text, - one of the oldest authorities, - and (translated) in several of the earliest Latin manuscripts extant.
Justin, while he quotes very largely from our Saviour's own words, quotes as his but one saying, not found in the Gospels, namely, " In whatever actions I apprehend you, by those will I judge you." This may have originated from a lapse of memory in quoting some one of the not unlike recorded sayings of Jesus, or it may have been one of the many utterances which were repeated as his among his disciples without being recorded by his biographers.
It is certain that Justin had in his hands the fourth and latest Gospel; for he quotes as a saying of Christ, " Unless ye be born again, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven," - a text in which the common editions of the New Testament read " the kingdom of God," but which in the Sinaitic manuscript - the oldest and highest authority - (and according to several other early authorities), is written " the kingdom of heaven." (See Norton's " Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospels," Part I. chap. ii., and Tischendorff's " Origin of the Four Gospels.")


Justin's writings afford conclusive proof that what are commonly called the "Apocryphal Gospels," if already written in his time, had no authority among intelligent Christians. Had he possessed them, and regarded them as authentic, it is impossible that, with his full and minute citations of Christ's words and deeds, he should not have quoted from them. There is, indeed, no trace of their existence during the first three centuries, and in the fourth century they are expressly referred to as late compositions, by unknown persons, and of no historical value. They are not in a single instance quoted with approval within the period in which their sanction by a Christian writer could have any bearing on the question of their authenticity or early antiquity. They are, however, of great worth, as showing what kinds of traditions must have found ready circulation among the more ignorant Christians, and thus by their contrast with our canonical Gospels enhancing the presumption in favor of the latter as authentic. The Apocryphal Gospels seem to have been written by sincerely devout Christians, of large credulity and little spiritual discernment, who thought to do honor to Christ by ascribing to him marvellous acts of whatever kind, frivolous, useless, or mischievous, equally with those worthy of " a Teacher sent from God."


The chapter of Eusebius with reference to Papias is so admirable a specimen of candid and cautious criticism, as to deserve to be quoted in part, in order to correct the common impression that the early Christian writers exercised no discrimination as to the testimony offered them in behalf of what they wanted to believe.

"There are said to be five Books of Papias, which bear the title ' Interpretation of our Lord's Declarations.' Ire-nseus makes mention of them as the only works written by him, in the following terms : ' These things are attested by Papias, who was John's hearer and the associate of Polycarp, an ancient writer. They are spoken of in his fourth Book, for he has written a work in five Books.' But Papias himself, in the preface to his discourses, by no means asserts that he was a hearer and an eye-witness of the holy apostles, but informs us that he received the doctrines of faith from their intimate friends, which he states as follows : ' I shall not regret to subjoin to my interpretations, for your benefit, whatever I have at any time accurately ascertained and treasured up in my memory, as I received it from the elders, and have recorded it in order to give additional confirmation to the truth by my testimony. For I have never, like many, delighted to hear those that tell many things, but those that teach the truth; neither those that record precepts from other sources, but those who report precepts that are given by the Lord for our faith, and that came from the Truth itself. But if I met with any one who had been a follower of the elders anywhere, I made it a point to inquire what were the declarations of the elders; what was said by Andrew, Peter, or Philip; what by Thomas, James, John, Matthew, or any other of the disciples [i.e., apostles] of our Lord; what was said by Aristion, and the presbyter John, disciples of the Lord, - for I do not think that I derived so much benefit from books as from the living voice of those that were still surviving.'

" Here it is proper to observe that the name of John is twice mentioned. He first mentions John with Peter, James, and Matthew, and the other apostles, evidently meaning the evangelist. Again he ranks the other John with those not included in the number of apostles, placing Aristion before him. This man he distinguishes plainly by the name of presbyter. Thus it is here proved that the statement of those is true who assert that there were two of the same name in Asia, and that there were also two tombs at Ephesus, both of which bear the name of John even to this day, - which it is particularly necessary to observe; for it is probable that the second John - if it be not allowed that it was the first - saw the Revelation (i.e., wrote the Apocalypse) ascribed to John. The same Papias, of whom we now speak, professes to have received the declarations of the apostles from those that were in company with them, and says also that he was a hearer of Aristion and the presbyter John; for, as he has often mentioned them by name, he also gives their statement in his books. ...

" He also gives other accounts which he adds as received by him from unwritten tradition, likewise certain strange parables of our Lord, and statements of his doctrine, and some other matters rather too fabulous. In these he says that there will be a certain millennium after the resurrection, and that there will be a corporeal reign of Christ on this very earth, which things he appears to have imagined as if they were authorized by the apostolic narratives, not understanding correctly what they propounded obscurely in their representations. For he was very limited in his comprehension, as is evident from his discourses; yet he was the cause why most of the writers of the Church, relying on his having lived at so early a time, were carried away by a similar opinion; as, for instance, Irenaeus, and others that adopted such sentiments. ...

"We shall now subjoin to the extracts already given a tradition concerning Mark, who wrote the Gospel, in the following words: ' John the presbyter also said this: Mark being the interpreter of Peter, whatsoever he recorded he wrote with great accuracy, but not, however in the order in which it was spoken or done by our Lord; for he neither heard nor followed our Lord, but, as before said, he was the companion of Peter, who gave him such instruction as was necessary, but not a full account of our Lord's discourses. Wherefore Mark has not erred in any thing, by writing things as he has recorded them; for he was careful not to omit anything that he heard, or to state anything falsely.' Such is the account of Papias respecting Mark. Of Matthew he has stated as follows : ' Matthew wrote his history in the Hebrew dialect (i.e., the Syro-Chaldaic), and every one translated it as he was able.' " - EUSEBIUS, Ecclesiastical History, iii. 39.

It is very probable that Matthew's Gospel - designed for Jewish readers - was originally written in the then vernacular language of Palestine, and that Papias had never seen a translation of it; yet there is strong internal evidence that our present Greek Gospel of Matthew - if a translation - is nearly as old as the original; while abundant testimony, both direct and indirect, points to it as undoubtedly the oldest book in the canon of the New Testament.


One of Justin's works is a Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew, - an imaginary personage, who, however, is supposed to maintain, after the fashion of his own time, the Jewish side in the controversy with Christianity. In this, though the Jewish interlocutor does not make the charge, his opponent refers to the hypothesis of magic as the common Jewish mode of accounting for the miracles of Christ.

The Babylonian Talmud says that Jesus was condemned to death "because he dealt in sorceries, and persuaded and seduced Israel." In another passage it is said that the son of Stada (by which name Mary is called) brought enchantments from Egypt in an incision in his flesh, the native magicians being on their guard to prevent the exportation of magic books. His miracles are also ascribed to magic arts learned in Egypt, in a Jewish work of the twelfth century, which consists in great part of a running commentary on the Gospel history from the Hebrew point of view; and also in a similar work of the fifteenth century.

In a Jewish Life of Jesus, extant a century or two earlier, and regarded with high favor by the mediaeval Jews, it is mentioned as the common belief that Jesus, entering the temple clandestinely, stole the stone on which was engraven the ineffable name of God, copied the name on parchment, and concealed the parchment in a hole cut by himself in his own flesh, and immediately healed by the might of that name. The author of the Life dissents from this theory, saying that without magic and incantation he could not have obtained entrance to the holy place where the sacred name was kept, whence it is manifest that all that he did was performed by the spell of an impure name and by magic art. (See Wagenseil's " Tela Ignea Satanae.")


John vii. 53-viii. II is wanting in the four oldest manuscripts extant, - the Sinaitic, the Alexandrine, the Vatican, and the Parisian (Codex Ephraemi), and indeed in all the manuscripts of an earlier date than the eighth century, except the Cambridge, which, though in some respects of high authority, shows evident tokens of a transcriber who understood his work but imperfectly. It is either wanting, or inserted in the margin, in all manuscripts of the earlier versions that can claim high antiquity or authority. No reference is made to it either by Origen or by Chrysostom, both of whom cover by their quotations almost the entire Gospels. Ambrose speaks of it as undoubtedly spurious. In many of the manuscripts in which it occurs, when not inserted in the margin, it is marked with an asterisk or an obelisk. In some it is found at the end of the Gospel, and in some between chapters xxi. and xxii. of Luke's Gospel, which it resembles in style more than it resembles John's.

There is in this short passage a designation of a place, and there is also a mode of describing certain persons, neither of which occurs elsewhere in the Gospel of John, while it frequently makes mention of that place and of those persons. The place is "the Mount of Olives," - a name belonging to a considerable tract of country in the environs of Jerusalem, which is often used by the synoptic evangelists. John never uses it, but instead of it uses the name of some one of the divisions of that district,, as Geth-semane, Bethany. The persons are " the Scribes," who - so called by the synoptics - are nowhere else mentioned under that name in the fourth Gospel, though the persons so termed are often mentioned by John under the more general designation of " the Jews," which with him denotes the captious or hostile part of them. He wrote his Gospel at Ephesus, where the term (scribe) bore an entirely different meaning.

The context of this passage also plainly shows that it does not belong where it is found. If we omit it, we have a connected narrative of a series of conversations held by our Saviour, on the same day, in the same place, with the same persons, and in the same tone on his part and on theirs. If we insert it, we have to suppose that those who were disputing with him went home, that he spent the night somewhere on the Mount of Olives, that the guilty woman was brought to him in the temple on the following morn ing, that her conscience-stricken accusers left him alone with her, that on his dismissing her a company identical with that of the preceding day gathered about him, and that he and they resumed the discussion suspended on the previous day. Moreover, the transition from the suspected passage to the next sentence is abrupt and unnatural, and supposes a series of intervening incidents of which we have not the slightest trace. The close of the doubtful passage leaves Jesus alone. The next verse begins, "Therefore (ovv, E. T. then) spake Jesus again to them." Wherefore? to whom? why " again," if not with reference to a preceding conversation? The sentence thus beginning obviously has no connection with the suspected passage; it as obviously implies a connection with something preceding; and, unless we omit this passage, it is impossible to define the circumstances that led to the ensuing conversation. But if we omit this passage, vii. 52 and viii. 12 run together by a perfectly natural and easy connection, as successive sentences in a continuous narrative.


" It must be borne in mind that there exists in the Bible an element foreign to the Aryan races, to be found neither in the books of Zoroaster, nor in Brahmanism, nor in the Veda, namely, the personality of God. Although the problem of the Divine nature does not present itself as entirely solved in the Vedic hymns, yet many of them tend strongly to pantheism. A little later, pantheism was established in India as a fundamental theory, together with Brahmanism, and it has never ceased to be the religious doctrine of the Hindoos. It is known that in Persia the highest divine person is Ormuzd, who was the Asura of the primitive age, and in the celestial hierarchy of Zoroaster was the first of the Amschaspands; but above this personal and living God, supreme agent of the creation and governor of the world, the magi, as well as the brahmins, conceived of the absolute and eternal being, in whose unity all living beings, and Ormuzd himself, are merged. There is, then, no essential difference between the metaphysic of the Persians and that of the Hindoos.

"The scholars of our day who have occupied themselves on the Semitic races, and among them M. Renan, who is an authority in these matters, have shown that Semitism, on the contrary, rests on the Divine personality, and in this respect diverges from the Aryan dogmas. We must recognize in this conception of God an element introduced into the doctrine of God by that race. It is recognized in the Bible from its very first words, and it served as a support for the entire political system of the people of Israel. If the prophets had not yielded to its influence, and had preserved in its integrity the doctrine of the Aryans, it is probable that they would have had only a very limited hold on the Jewish people, the Semitic majority of which would have had no comprehension of a metaphysic so high. The cerebral and intellectual development of the Semitic race is arrested before the age at which man is able to understand these transcendental speculations. The Aryan alone can attain to them; the history of religions and that of philosophies show us that he alone has risen high enough. What the young Idumaean cannot comprehend he will not teach to his sons; the inaptness of the race will be perpetuated by natural descent; and their God, however separate from the world, will always have the characteristics of a great man, of a mighty prince, of a king of the desert....

" As to the fundamental doctrine, one can hardly be mistaken in admitting that it tends to return to its absolute [i.e. pantheistic] form, and that, in spite of all the modifications which transient causes may impose upon it, it persists, like the race that first conceived it, in its transparency and spontaneity. Thence comes it that when we, Aryans, give ourselves the pains to make a comparative study of the Koran, the Bible, and the Veda, we reject the first as the work of a race inferior to ours; the second astonishes at the outset, yet without having much attraction for us, as we perceive that the men concerned in it were not of the same race with ourselves and did not think as we do; in the third, all modern science recognizes its own veritable ancestry. It is thence, consequently, that the light was born, and, in spite of refracting media, has been transmitted even to us. Some of these media have let the ray pass scarcely bent; others have broken it, decomposed it, discolored it; there are those which have almost quenched it, and which have remained opaque. It is to science that it belongs to survey the routes which the religious idea, that took its departure from central Asia, has followed over the world, and to determine the causes which in every country have more or less essentially modified it. It is for science to reconstruct the primitive idea of the doctrine, and to enunciate the laws that have governed its transmission." - EMILE BURNOUF, La Science des Religions, Ch. XI.

These extracts indicate the views professed by a large school of continental savants, of which Burnouf is a fair representative. They regard belief in the divine personality as the birth of an inferior order of intellectual development, and maintain that it will yield place to pantheism with the growing ascendency of the Aryan races.


Cicero in his De Offidis (III. 32) quotes Polybius, who was regarded as of the highest authority in his history of this war, as telling the story of one perjured soldier sent back to Hannibal in chains; and cites Acilius, another historian of approved credit, as telling a similar story of several captives, who were suffered to remain at Rome, but were degraded from citizenship. In an earlier part of the De Offidis (I. 13) Cicero without quoting any authority, says that ten were sent back to Rome, and staid there in degradation; and that one of those ten unsuccessfully claimed immunity for his violated oath by a " constructive return." This confusion of accounts as to the details of a well-known passage of history is to be ascribed to the fact that it was so well known, and that so intense stress was laid in the popular speech and memory on the central incident of a shameless and till then unprecedented perjury.


"When I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealius, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place for a camp, as I came back I saw many captives crucified, and I recog-nized three of them as among my former acquaintance. I was very much grieved at this, and went in tears to Titus, and told him of them. He immediately ordered that they should be taken clown, and that every thing possible should be done for their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician's hands, while the third recovered."-Life of Josephus, § 75.


The churches of Asia Minor seem to have celebrated the crucifixion and the resurrection on their reputed anniversaries, on whatever days of the week they might occur, and they appealed for this usage to the authority of the apostle John. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, alleged that he had himself thus observed the sacred season with the apostle John. Anicetus, Bishop of Rome, also claimed apostolic authority for dissent from this practice. Both may have been in the right; for it is by no means improbable that in a matter in itself unessential a diversity of practice might have grown up under the auspices of different members of the apostolic college. The controversy, which was sometimes waged with no little acrimony in the primitive Church, is of importance only as establishing the antiquity of the celebration, and thus confirming the authenticity of the resurrection, no less than that of the crucifixion which no one doubts. (See Neander's " Church History," vol. i., section 3.)


"The future world has been placed by the wisdom of God, just in that light in which it is most for our benefit that it should be placed. Were we fixed in the situation of the apostle John, were the heavenly state continually laid open to our view, religion would be no longer a voluntary service; we should be forced to attend to objects so transcendently glorious brought thus near to us. Could we distinctly hear the voices, like mighty thunderings, heard within the vail, they would render us deaf to every earthly sound: religion would be no longer matter of choice; and consequently faith would be no longer matter of virtue. The preference of present to future interests, and therefore the exercise of self-denial, would be impossible. But the Divine Being has been pleased to throw over the heavenly world a great degree of obscurity. Jesus Christ has, indeed, brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel; has raised our hopes to the highest point, by investing the future state of glory with unspeakable elevation and grandeur, but has not explicitly taught in what that state will consist. ' It doth not yet appear what we shall be.' We know enough of futurity to make it become the great object of our attention; although it does not so press upon our organs as to render us insensible to present scenes and interests." - ROBERT HALL, Works (Gregory's edition), vol. iii. p. 326.

"In a divine revelation, we must expect many points of information to be reserved. You send a child, for instance, on an errand to a distant street; and you give him the street's name, and the number of the crossings, and repeat to him perhaps more than once his particular business; but you do not detain and perplex him by either a history or a panoramic exhibition of the city he visits. 'When I was a child, I spake as a child;' and the converse is also true: 'When I was a child, I was spoken to as a child: such knowledge was given to me as was proper for my childhood's estate.' And even in our manhood, and with reference to our fellow-men, there are always topics as to which we are more or less ignorant, and as to which speculative information is withheld. Thus a government sends forth a colonist; but gives him just information enough to enable him to perform his particular work. A general charges an inferior officer with a special duty; but here, too, there is silence as to whatever does not belong to this duty. To enlarge the official directions given in either case, so as to include all the knowledge the superior may possess, would perplex the agent, and withdraw his attention from that which concerned his work to that which did not concern it. And if we are to expect such silence in a parent's dealings with a child, and in a government's dealings with a subaltern, how much more reason have we to expect it in the dealings of God with man ! God knows all things and endures from eternity to eternity; man comes into the world knowing nothing; lives at the best a life which endures for a few years; and in this short life is charged with the momentous question of settling his own destiny for the eternity to come. Silence, then, on all irrelevant questions is what we would expect in the revelation of an all-wise God; and of the irrelevancy, He is the sole judge."-Rev. FRANCIS WHARTON, D.D., LL.D., The Silence of Scripture, chap. i.


"Valor, or active courage, is for the most part constitutional, and therefore can have no more claim to moral merit than wit, beauty, health, strength, or any other endowment of the mind or body; and so far is it from producing any salutary effects by introducing peace, order, or happiness into society, that it is the usual perpetrator of all the violences which from retaliated injuries distract the world with bloodshed and devastation. It is the engine by which the strong are enabled to plunder the weak, the proud to trample upon the humble, and the guilty to oppress the innocent; it is the chief instrument which ambition employs in her unjust pursuits of wealth and power, and is therefore so much extolled by her votaries. It was, indeed, congenial with the religion of pagans, whose gods were, for the most part, made out of deceased heroes, exalted to heaven as a reward for the mischiefs which they had perpetrated upon earth, and therefore with them this was the first of virtues, and had even engrossed that denomination to itself; but whatever merit it may have assumed among pagans, with Christians it Ran pretend to none, and few or none are the occasions in which they are permitted to exert it. They are so far from being allowed to inflict evil, that they are forbid even to resist it; they are so far from being encouraged to revenge injuries, that one of their first duties is to forgive them; so far from being incited to destroy their enemies, that they are commanded to love them, and to serve them to the utmost of their power. If Christian nations therefore were nations of Christians, all war would be impossible and unknown amongst them, and valor could be neither of use or estimation, and therefore could never have a place in the catalogue of Christian virtues, being irreconcilable with all its precepts. I object not to the praise and honors bestowed on the valiant, - they are the least tribute which can be paid them by those who enjoy safety and affluence by the intervention of their dangers and sufferings, - and assert only, that active courage can never be a Christian virtue, because a Christian can have nothing to do with it. Passive courage, is indeed frequently and properly inculcated by this meek and suffering religion, under the titles of patience and resignation : a real and substantial virtue this, and a direct contrast to the former; for passive courage arises from the noblest dispositions of the human mind, from a contempt of misfortunes, pain, and death, and a confidence in the protection of the Almighty; active, from the meanest, - from passion, vanity, and self-dependence: passive courage is derived from a zeal for truth, and a perseverance in duty; active is the offspring of pride and revenge, and the parent of cruelty and injustice : in short, passive courage is the consolation of a philosopher; active, the ferocity of a savage. Nor is this more incompatible with the precepts, than with the object of this religion, which is the attainment of the kingdom of heaven; for valor is not that sort of violence by which that kingdom is to be taken; nor are the turbulent spirits of heroes and conquerors admissible into those regions of peace, subordination, and tranquillity.

"Patriotism, also, that celebrated virtue, so much practised in ancient, and so much professed in modern times, that virtue, which so long preserved the liberties of Greece, and exalted Rome to the empire of the world, - this celebrated virtue, I say, must also be excluded; because it not only falls short of, but directly counteracts, the extensive benevolence of this religion. A Christian is of no country; he is a citizen of the world; and his neighbors and countrymen are the inhabitants of the remotest regions, whenever their distresses demand his friendly assistance. Christianity enjoins us to imitate the universal benevolence of our Creator, who pours forth his blessings on every nation upon earth; patriotism, to copy the mean partiality of an English parish officer, who thinks injustice and cruelty meritorious, whenever they promote the interests of his own inconsiderable village. This has ever been a favorite virtue with mankind, because it conceals self interest under the mask of public spirit, not only from others, but even from themselves, and gives a license to inflict wrongs and injuries, not only with impunity, but with applause; but it is so diametrically opposite to the great characteristic of this institution, that it never could have been admitted into the list of Christian virtues.

"Friendship, likewise, although more congenial to the principles of Christianity, arising from more tender and amiable dispositions, could never gain admittance amongst her benevolent precepts for the same reason; because it is so narrow and confined, and appropriates that benevolence to a single object, which is here commanded to be extended over all. Where friendships arise from similarity of sentiments, and disinterested affections, they are advantageous, agreeable, and innocent, but have little pretensions to merit; for it is justly observed, ' If ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.' But if they are formed from alliances in parties, factions, and interests, or from a participation of vices, the usual parents of what are called friendships among mankind, they are then both mischievous and criminal, and consequently forbidden; but in their utmost purity deserve no recommendation from this religion." - SOAME JENYNS, Internal Evidence of the Christian Religion.


We have in the synoptic Gospels the record of but two passovers during the public portion of our Saviour's life, the last being that made memorable by his death and resurrection. We have the record of but three feasts other than passovers; namely, that of Tabernacles, that of the Dedication, and one earlier than these, not designated by name, at which occurred the cure of the infirm man at the pool of Bethesda. The fourth Gospel (vi. 4) seems to refer to another passover as near at hand at the time of the feeding of the five thousand. If this narrative holds in John's Gospel its true chronological place, he certainly describes three passovers. On the bipaschal hypothesis the narrative of the five thousand must belong in the order of time between the eleventh and twelfth chapters. To have placed it there would have separated two narratives which for aesthetic and spiritual reasons the author may have specially desired to present in close connection; namely, the raising of Lazarus, and Christ's next meeting with Lazarus and his sisters at their house in Bethany, on the first day of the crucifixion-week. This transposition of the sixth chapter brings John's chronology into harmony with that of the synoptics; and we then have no great feast that occurred during our Saviour's ministry without some record of him in connection with it. There seems to have been no unanimous tradition in the early Church as to the length of our Lord's ministry. Irenaeus, however, recognized three passovers; while most of the Fathers speak of Christ's ministry as having embraced but one full year, quoting as literally applicable to it the words of the Messianic prediction, "The acceptable year of the Lord." Whether they drew their chronology from the single noun in the prediction, or whether they quoted that noun in confirmation of knowledge elsewhere acquired, it is impossible to say. They were entirely capable of the former.


The flagitious facility and frequency of divorce in the latter days of the republic, and under the earlier emperors, cannot be overstated. The most virtuous men in the city did not regard the wanton, arbitrary repudiation of a wife as a stain on their virtue. Cato Uticensis, a man of incorruptible integrity, and deemed a paragon of excellence, did not hesitate to give his wife and the mother of his children in marriage to his friend Hortensius, so far as it appears without even asking her consent, taking her again as a wife when she became the rich widow of Hortensius. Æmilius Paulus divorced a wife whom he confessed to be blameless, without so much as giving a reason for his conduct. Cicero, after a married life of thirty years or more, divorced the mother of his children, at best, on account of a quarrel about property, - according to the statement of his less partial biographers, in order to marry the young heiress, his ward, whom he shortly afterward did marry. The divorce to which the emperor Augustus compelled Livia, that she might become his wife, is even more revolting in its circumstances than either of the above-named instances. " Caesar cupidine formæ aufert marito, incer-tmn nam invitam; adeo properus, ut, ne spatio quidem ad enitendum dato, Penatibus suis gravidam induxerit." - TACITUS, Annal., V.I.

Cicero, in his Oration for Cluentius, relates a case, which must even then have indicated abnormal depravity, but which was fully within the legal rights of the parties to the transaction. The mother of his client had induced her own son-in-law to repudiate his but recently married wife that she might take her daughter's place in his household. "Lectum ilium genialem, quern biennio ante filiæ suæ nubenti straverit, in eadem domo sibi ornari et sterni, expulsa atque exturbata filia, jubet." - CICERO. pro A. Cluentio Avito, § 5.

The following passage from Seneca indicates the profligate extent to which the mania for divorce had diffused itself among the women of his time: " Pudorem rei tollit multitude peccantium; et desinet esse probri loco commune maledictum. Numquid jam ulla repudio erubescit, postquam illustres quædam ac nobiles feminæ, non con-sulum numero, sed maritorum, annos suos computant, et exeunt matrimonii causa, nubunt repudii? Tamdiu illud timebatur, quamdiu rarum erat. Quia vero nulla sine divortio acta sunt, quod sæpe audiebant, facere didicerunt. Numquid jam ullus adulterii pudor est, postquam eo ven-tum est, ut nulla virum habeat, nisi ut aduterum irritet? Argumentum est deformitatis pudicitia."-De Beneficiis, iii. 16.


The latest instance of the extreme exercise of the power of life and death by the father of which we have record is a case recorded by Seneca; and in this instance it would seem that public sentiment had already outgrown the law. He writes : " Within our memory the people in the forum stabbed with their stili Erixo, a Roman knight, who had whipped his son to death. The authority of Augustus Cæsar hardly sufficed to rescue him from the hostile hands of fathers, no less than of sons."-De Clementia, i. 14.

We have no intimation that Erixo's act was illegal, nor have we proof that it would have been so at any period prior to the conversion of Constantine.


The law of divorce in the Code of Theodosius annexes some similar crimes to those specified in Constantine's edict of 331. The following are its provisions as regards the wife's and the husband's right to divorce.

"Si maritum suum adulterum, aut parricidam, aut venefi-cum, vel certe contra nostrum imperium molientem, vel falsitatis crimine condemnatum invenerit, si sepulchrorum dissolutorem, si sacris ædibus aliquid subtrahentem, si latronem, vel latronum susceptorem, vel abactorem, aut plagiarium, vel ad contemptum sui domusve suae ipsa inspi-ciente cum impudicis mulieribus (quod maxime etiam castas exasperat) coetum ineuntem, si suae vitæ veneno, aut gladio, aut alio simili modo insidiantem, in se verberibus (quæ in-genuis aliena sunt) afficientem probaverit, tunc repudii aux-ilio uti necessario permittimus libertatem, et causa dissidii, legibus comprobare."

"Vir quoque pari fine clauditur, nee licebit ei sine causis apertius designatis propriam repudiate jugalem; nec ullo modo expellat nisi adulteram, vel veneficam, aut homi-cidam, aut plagiariam, aut sepulchrorum dissolutricem, aut ex sacris ædibus aliquid subtrahentem, aut latronum fau-tricem, aut extraneorum virorum, se ignorante vel nolente, convivia appetentem; aut ipso invito sine justa et proba-bili causa foris scilicet pernoctantem, vel circensibus, vel theatralibus, ludis, vel arenarum spectaculis in ipsis locis, in quibus hæc adsolent celebrari, se prohibente, gaudentem, vel sibi veneno, vel gladio, aut alio simili modo insidiatri-cem, vel contra nostrum imperium aliquid machinantibus consciam, seu falsitatis se crimini immiscentem, invenerit, aut manus audaces sibi probaverit ingerentem, - tunc enim necessario ei discedendi permittimus facultatem, et causas dissidii legibus comprobare."

The Church from the very first adhered to the stricter evangelic law of divorce, which, with the growing ascendency of the Church, prevailed in the legislation of the empire, as it did in the codes of all Christian nations till a comparatively recent period.


The first law annulling the power of the father over the child's life is an edict of Constantine (A.D. 318), which subjects the father who kills his child to the normal punishment of the parricide; namely, being sewed up in a bag with a cock, an ape, and a viper, and thrown into the sea, or the nearest river.

With regard to infanticide, we have from Lactantius ample proof that the practice prevailed without reproach or shame until the beginning of the fourth century. In A.D. 315 we find an edict of Constantine recognizing the practice as prevalent. "Let all the cities of Italy ' take note of this law, which is designed to turn aside the hands of fathers from child-murder, and to inspire them with a better mind. If any father has children whom he is too poor to feed and clothe, let food and clothing be furnished without delay from our treasury and our domain; for aid to be given to new-born children does not admit of delay." [This, we believe, was the earliest poor-law in the Roman empire.] Theodosius subsequently made the exposure of children a capital crime.

In addition to the quasi-castrense peculium, which under Constantine was made to include the income of various offices, Constantine sanctioned by his imperial edict the peculium adventitium, which embraced whatever came to the son from his mother, whether by will or by inheritance. Subsequent Christian emperors enlarged this peculium, so as to include whatever might come by bequest, succession, or gift from the child's maternal kindred, as also gifts from the wife to the husband or from the husband to the wife; and Justinian, finally, extended it to whatever came to the child from any source other than the father himself.


The following is the edict of Constantine (A.D. 312) referred to in the text: " Nec immoderate jure suo utatur [dominus] : sed tunc reus homicidii sit, si voluntate eum [servum] ictu fustis aut lapidis cæciderit; vel certe telo usus, lethale vulnus inflixerit, aut suspendi laqueo præcep-erit, vel jussione tetra præcipitandum esse mandaverit, aut veneni virus infuderit, vel dilaniaverit poenis publicis corpus, ferarum unguibus latera persecando, vel exurendo oblatis ignibus membra, aut tabescentes artus atro sanguine permixta sanie defluentes, prope in ipsis adegerit cruciatibus vitam relinquere sævitia immanium Barbarorum."

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