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Our Author complains, That several unworthy Bi. shops were elected at random ; which occafioned great Disorders in the Churches; and, thar some Ecclefiafticks, to satisfy their Ambition, fill'd the House of God with Blood, and destroyed several Towns. The Bishops of those Times were frequently turn'd out ; and therefore St. Chryfoftome' thinks it highly expedient, that no Clergyman should be fond of getting a Bishoprick, that he may be the more willing to relign that Dignity, when he is promoted to it. I must observe, That St. Chryfoftome makes all along several excellent Observations relating to the Conduct and Behaviour of a good Bishop; but I cannot enlarge upon ir.
It appears from this Treatise, that the Greek Clergy in former Times were as Factious, and made as many Cabals to supplant one another, as they do now. I have glven elsewhere some remarkable Instances of the fcandalous Behaviour of the modern Greeks in that Respect. See the Word Greeks in the Index. St. Chryfoftome tells us what was practic'd in his own Time. Envy, (Says be) and Ambition move several
Clergymen to attack a Bishop: And as some Children
are uneasy, when their Parents attain to a great old“Age ; in like manner, when a Bishop enjoys his Bi
shoprick a long Time, thoseMen who cannot deprive him of his Life, endeavour to turn him out, and co succeed him. If
desire see another Instance * of the same Nature, go to those Asemblies where
Bishops are elected, and you will see as many “ Accusations raised against a Priet, as there are Men ” in the Assembly. All those who have a Right to
give their Vores, are divided into Factions; nor
can the Presbyters agree about the Election, but " some vote for one Man, and some for another. The “ Reason of it is, That the Virtue and Merit of a $ Candidate are not the only Things they have “ in View. Some will have a Man to be made a “ Bishop, because he is of noble Extraction; others, s because he is Rich, and does not want to live
upon the Revenues of the Church ; others, be. “ cause he has forsaken their Enemies, and is come
over to them; others, because he is related to
them ; others prefer a Flatrerer : None make it “ their Business to elect a Man truly qualified for
the Episcopal Dignity". The Author adds, That Good Bishops were frequently turned out, to make Room for others. Any one who considers the State of the Greek Church at that Time, will not wonder that Good Men should run away, or conceal themselves, to avoid being made Bishops.
The Christians of those Times expected to be fre. quently visited by their Bishops, out of a Principle of Vanity. If a Bishop gave several Visits to Rich and Powerful Men, tho? he did it for the Good of the Church, he was accounted a Flarterer. All his Acti. ons were narrowly observed : The Greeks were so nice as to examine how he spoke, how he look'd, and how much he laugh’d. The Bishop, said they, laugh'd heartily with such a one, and spoke to him more lovingly than he did to me. When several Peopla fat together in the same Place, if a Bishop, did noç look upon them all, they took it as an Afront.
St. Chrysostome observes, that the Care of Virgins. and Widows was a heavy Burden upon the Bishops, The Widows were peevisa, craving, talkative, and impudent, and gave no small Trouble to a Prelate.
It appears from Two Passages of our Author, that no Body wrought Miracles in his time : They could not so much as caît out Devils. If any one (lays he) had the Sword of the Spirit, and the Shield of Faith, to such a Degree as to be able to work Miracles, and by that Means stop the Mouth of an Impudent Adversary, he would not want to be well skill'd in the Art of Speaking : But there is no Trace of any such Power among us. The Second Passage is expressed in these Words : “ Paul had a Faculty much more excellent " than that of Speaking : His Presence was sufficient
to fright Devils. But if all the Christians of our “ Time should meet together, they could not do fo “ much with all their Prayers and Tears as Paul's Hand. " kerchiefs did ”. The Roman Catholicks should mind these Two Pallages,
Some Clergymen were not ashamed to profess a great Ignorance, under Pretence that St. Paul says he did not come with excellency, of Speech, or of Wisdom, and determined not to know any thing, Save J E S U.S CHRIST, and him crucified, and that his Speech and Preaching was not with enticing Words of Man's Wisdom. Chryfoftome owns, that St. Paul had not the Smoothness of Isocrates, the Majesty of Demofthenes, the Gra vity of Thucydides, and the Sublimity of Plato; he grants that the Apostle was not skilld in Greek Learning; but at the same Time he maintains that this Holy Man had a great Knowledge *, and was able to Preach the Gospel with great Strength of Argument. He makes an admirable Apology for St. Paul, and confutes with a noble Eloquence those Ecclefiafticks, who deprived that great Apostle of his due Ģlory, to excuse their shameful Ignorance.
Qur judicious Author knew St. Paul's Character much better than Beza, who precends + that the ApoAtle is more Sublime than Plato, more Vehement than Demosthenes, and more Methodical than Aristotle and Galen, Castalio made the following Observation
Beza (Says he H) is like those Painters, $o* who, out of Respect to the Holy Virgin, represent “ her dress'd like a Queen, and at the same Time
paint a Manger by her, in which the Child J e sus s lies ; which is a great Solecism in painting. How
* 2 Cor. xi. 6. Bnt though I be rude in Speech, yet, not in Knowledge.
+ Beza, Not. in 2 Cor. xi. 6. Ht Paulum & glandiquentia Platoni, & vehementia Demoftheni, & methodo Ariftoteli atque Galeno anteponit (Beza). In quo mihi videtur pictores imitari, qui Christi Matrem, dum honorare volunt, regio ver ficu pingunt, & eidem tamen ita cogente historia) præfepe, in quo jacet Christus infans, appingunt, nox bili fane Soloecismo. Quid enim mundanis Reginis cum
comes a Queen to have a Manger by her ? Poverty " is the Glory of Mary; bur Painters are resolved to “ bestow Riches upon her. In like manner, St. Paul “ declares that he is rude in Speech, and glories in it; “ bur Beza will have him to be a very Police Writer. “ I am of a quite different Opinion, c.” See the Marginal Note.
Castalio maintains in the same Page, that St. Paul committed two Solecisms; one in the jith Verse of the IXth Chapter of the second Epistle to the Corinthins ; and the other in the sild Chapter of the Epiftle to the Colossians. Upon the first Paflage, he says: Eft enim ibi Soloecifmus, à Paulo alioquin non alienus, &c.
St. Chrisostome relates a Story, whereby it appears that he was somewhat credulous. When the Priest (says he) performs Divine Service, the Angels are present at it, and the whole Sanctuary is filled with the Heavenly Powers. One may very well believe it, considering the Mysteries that are then celebrated. I heard a certain Person fay, That an admirable Old Man, who used to have several Revelations, had such a Vision, and saw at that Time all of a sudden a Multitude of Angels, in White Garments, surrounding the Altar, and bending their Heads, like so many Soldiers standing before a King. St. Chryfoftome
præsepibus ? Mariæ gloria eft paupertas, & pi&tores eam divitiis ornant. Sic Pauli gloriatio eft fermonis imperitia, & ifti eum etiam arte comunt. Ego vero longè aliter judico. Videtur enim mihi de Pauli oratione aptiflimè id dici poffe, quod dicit Deus do ligno vitis, Ezech. 13.' Ut enim ligno vitis nihil vilius est, si fructu careat : Sic oracione Pauli nihil ab omni arte remotius, nihil abjectius, fi ei ritum detraxeris. Rursumque, quemadmodum fru&ụ vitius nihil suavius, fic Pauli spiricu nihil excellentius. Sebaft. Caftellionis Defenfio Suarum Translationum Bibliorum, & maximè Novi Federiz. Bafileæ, ex officina Johan. Oporini. 1562, Pag, 203. ''Tis a Book of 237 Pages in
says, he believes that Story. Kai 'tywye ao Souad, That Father goes on thus : Another Person told me, not upon a Hear-say, (for he was thought worthy of seeing it,) that those, who depart this Life, after they have been made Partakers of those Mysteries, are carried into Heaven by Angels, because of THAT which they have received, di enero ano .
Among the Dangers (says St. Chryfoftom) to which the Virtue of a Bishop is daily exposed, that which arises from his frequent conversing with Women, is none of the least.
" Whilft he visits fick Women, " whilft he comforts those that are afflicted, and re.
proves the Lazy, &c. the Devil may easily find seve“ ral Ways to get in, unless he be very careful to stand
upon his Guard. For the Eyes of Women, whe" ther they be Virtuous or Unchast, make a quick
Impression upon the Heart: Their Flatteries are very
engaging, &c. Nay, a fervent Charity, which is " the Cause of all good things, occasions a thousand “ Evils to those, who know not how to make a right “ Use of it.
St. Chryfoftom does ingenuously confess that he is subject to several Paffions, which render him unworthy of the Episcopal Dignity. That Father was a Man of great Parts, and his Writings are generally very much esteemed,
He is called un orgueilleux Villain (a proud Rascal) in the Scaligerana ; but I cannot believe that Scaliger was guilty of all the scandalous Reflexions upon leve. ral Authors, that are to be found in that Book. I have a better Opinion of his Morality. Whoever has an ill Tongue, cannot be an honest Man.
Some Men are strangely prepossest against the Fathers, so far as to say that they are more foolish than the Rabbins. Others admire them to such a Degree, that they can hardly find any Mistake in their Writings. Those Two Extremities ought to be avoided : Otherwise we shall never be able to make a good Use of the Fathers. How many useful Discoveries might have been made, if their Works had been read without any Prejudice !