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the same, I suppose, who is mention’d by * Ælian. * Ælian; and by Suidas, faid to be descended 1.12. C.35: from Noah, and named Sambethe, call’d the
Chaldæan, and by some the Hebrew, and also * Alexand.
the Persian Sibyl ; whom | Alexander ab A13.C.16. - lexandro calls Sibylla Judæa.
But if these were only Heathen Oracles, yet there is reason to believe that the Predictions concerning Christ were very plain, though not so particular as thofe now fet down in the Sibylline Books ;
both because the Heathen having but few Oracles of this nature, and so many of a quite contrary Nature, it was the more necessary that these Nhould be plain ; and because we find, that when God, in his infinite Wisdom, faw it fitting to reveal himself to others, he did it in as plain a manner, and sometimes in a plainer, than he did to his own People in any one Prophecy.
Thus Bataam's Prophecy is as plain as any Prophecy of that time at least ; and our Saviour discovered himself more plainly to the Woman of Samaria, than he had yet done to any of his Disciples, John-iv. 26. Not to mention the Dreams of Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar, or the Message of Jonah to the Ninevitës. And as Balaam, an Inchanter, or Sorcerer, delivered a true and famous Prophecy of Christ, and the Devils were forced to confess him to be the Son of God; so it is reasonable to believe, that God
flated into na
might ordain, that these celebrated Prophe,
5. The difference which there is between
rather an argument for the Authority of the ? Sibylline Oracles, than against it. : For Con
ftantine was wont to compose his Orations
It is well known that the Ancients took
Virgil had made, and to shew how easily thele parts of his Poem might be supplied from the Original Greek : And perhaps this was a known Translation of that Eclogue which had been made with this design.
It were no difficult matter to Answer all the other Objections which are wont to be brought against the Sibylline Oracles, so far as the Notion here proposed is concerned in them. For though the Books which we have now, contain manifest Falsifications and Forgeries ; yet there must have been something real, to give a pretence and countes nance to so many elaborate Forgeries of this nature, and that was the Sibylline Oracles mention'd in Tully, Sallust, Virgil, &c. We may therefore conclude, that the True Religion received a considerable Promulgation from these Oracles, which served to awaken in the Gentiles an Expectation of a King to be born in Judæa.
As soon as the Gospel appeared in the World, like the Rising Sun, it defused its Divine Light and Influence into all Parts of the Earth; its Propagation was it self a Miracle, and answerable to that miraculous Power of Languages, and other means by
which it was accomplished. Tertullian, acTertul
. quaints us, (h) that it was soon propagadæos,c., gated beyond the Bounds of the Roman Em
. pire ; he speaks of the Northern Parts .cof.
Britain : and we know it received as early
C. I. &1.5. and to the Scythians by St. Andrew. :
In St. Augustine's time (k) the Christians (6)St. Augi were more numerous in all the known Parts de Vrilir. of the World, than the fews and Heathens
Credendig together : And we have reafon to believe, that the Zeal of the Apostles, and their im
mediate Disciples and Followers, had care d ried the glad Tidings of the Gospel farther
than either Ambition or Avarice it self, till of late years, had made any. Discovery ; which Tertullian likewise sufficiently intimates.
The Cross was found to be in use among the Chineses, by those who first went from Europe (1) into China ; and a Béll was seen (4) Irizaut,
de Chrift. there, which had Greek Characters engraven Expedit. a. on it. And those who honour'd the Crosspud Sinasa were in so great numbers in the Northern Alvar. Sen Provinces, that they gave Jealousie to the medo Hift. Infidels. The Christians there were calld of China, Isai, from the Name Jefus : And from the c. 31. Chaldee Books which were found upon the Coasts of Malabar, it appears that St. Thou mas preach'd the Gospel in China, and founded many Churches there. The Passages which prove this, may be seen in Trigautius and Semedo, translated out of those Books.
The Gentiles of Indoftan (q) retain some
(m)Purch. Nicolas de Conti (m) faith of the Chinese, pare 1.1.4. that when they rise in the Morning, they
turn their faces to the East, and with their Hands joined, fay, God in Trinity keep us in
this Law. (n) Le The Gospel was preach'd in China (n) by Compte's some who came from Judæa, and seem to have Memoirs,
been Monks, A. D. DCXXXVI, as it appears p. 342 Sernedo, ibé by a Marble Table erected A. D. DCCLXXXII,
and found A. D. MDCXXV. This Monument contains the principal Articles of the Christian Faith : the substance of the Inscription may be seen in Le Compte's Memoirs, and
the whole is translated by Semedo. Hor) Horn. nius (0) indeed rejects this Inscription ; de orig.A- which was likewise produced by Kircher, 1.4. CIS. as counterfeit ; but without any cause, that
I can perceive : For if it were a fraud, there is no reason to think that we should not find all the Points of Popery inserted
in it. (0) .
Hieron. Oforius writes, (p) that the Brachmans Rebus e believed a Trinity in the Divine Nature, man. Luft- and a God Incarnate to procure the Salvatan. Regis, tion of Mankind; and that the Church of
St. Thomas was esteemed most Holy among the Saracens, and other Nations, for the re
port of Miracles wrought there. (9) Contio muat of the Notion of the Trinity, and of the IncarnaM.Bernier, tion of the Second Perfon, though corrupted Tom. 4. with fabulous Stories.