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“ was a follower of Marcion, who lived in the second century, “ and had the same peculiar doctrines which are ascribed to “ Lucianus, who was a companion of Marcion >, and therefore “ that he probably was the very same person as Lucianus, who “ was most certainly a remarkable interpolator of the canonical
Gospels, and a forger of apocryphal Gospels y."
This conjecture, I confess, shews not only much learning and ingenious criticism, but at first view seems very probable; but upon a strict inquiry will, I believe, appear to be groundless : for,
1. Leucius, of whom I am writing, the author of these apocryphal Acts now under consideration, was a Manichee; so he is expressly called by St. Austin and pope Gelasius," and his
spurious writings contained the peculiar favourite doctrines z “ of the Manichees :" now it is a matter well known, that the Manichees were not in being till the a time of Aurelius Probus, or Dioclesian, i. e. not till the latter end of the third century; wherefore it is evident, either that the Montanists were mistaken in saying Leucius was a favourite of their sect, which are indeed the words of Pacianus, (Phryges animatos se a Leucio mentiri,) or else the Leucius there mentioned must be a different person from him of that name, of whom we are speaking; or else, which perhaps may be the truth of the case, the word animatos means the reviving or encouraging their principles, and not, as Dr. Mill thinks, the first spreading of them. Whichever it be, it is plain, Leucius did not live before the latter end of the third, or beginning of the fourth century after Christ; and consequently, that Leucius and Lucianus were really different persons, who lived at above an hundred years distance from each other.
2. Whereas Dr. Mill says, Leucius was the follower of Marcion as well as Lucianus, and therefore probably the same person, living in the second century, and for this cites Photius, Cod. 114. “ This, I aver, is utterly false," there being no such thing said in that place of Photius, nor the name of Marcion so much as mentioned there. But that learned doctor seems to have been led into this mistake for want of consulting Photius himself, and by misunderstanding the following words of Dr. Grabe b. Leucius, Marcionis successor, Secul. II. cujus actus summatim perstrinxit Photius, Cod. 114. The reason of
* Prolegom. in Nov. Test. $. 334.
Cyril of Jerusalem says, the Manichees arose seventy years before him, p. 141.
my mentioning this is, to give the reader a specimen of Dr. Mill's negligence in citations, which is but too visible in other parts of his famous work on the New Testament: as for instance, I remember, somewhere he collects a various reading from the Syriac version, whereas that most perfectly agrees
in that place with our present Greek: but the doctor, either not understanding the Syriac language, or not consulting it, made only use of the Latin translation of the Syriac, which indeed is in that place faulty, and not only different from the Greek, but its original, viz. Syriac.
3. As to the agreement of the sentiments of Leucius and Lucianus, which the doctor urges to prove them to have been the same persons, it is easily answered, that Leucius adopted into his scheme the principles of most of the former heretics, as I have above shewed out of Photius, and will appear more fully hereafter; and therefore nothing can be concluded hence to prove Leucius to have been the same with Lucianus, or to have lived in the second century.
Leucius therefore living in the fourth century, we are from the writers of that later age to take all our accounts of him; and indeed we do not find his name in any one before Austin, Jerome, and Philastrius, who all lived towards the latter end of that age. He seems to me to have been the father of those heretics, who are called by St. Austinc Seleuciani, from his name Seleucus, (which I above proved to be the same name with Leucius,) who were also called Hermiani. They held, that the world was not made by God, but co-eternal with him; that God did not make men's souls, but angels, out of fire and air; that Christ does not sit at the right hand of the Father in a human body, but that he lodged his body in the sun accord ing to that, Psalm xix. 4. He hath set his tabernacle in the
They deny any future resurrection, and place it only in the daily procreation of children. These seem to have been the followers of this heretic, and these his principles, if he may be said to have had any, who received those of all sects.
i Spicileg. Patr. to.n. 1. p. 78. © De Hæres. Num. 59. T. Opp. 6.
As to these Acts, published by Leucius, there needs little more to be said to prove them spurious. They are asserted to be so by all who mention them, and rejected as monstrous and impious forgeries: apocryphal therefore by Prop. IV. V. and VI. I add also by Prop. VIII. and IX. as containing things false and fabulous, trifles contrary to truth; such are those stories of Maximilla and Iphidamia, in the fragment produced out of St. Austin ; such especially is that in the same fragment, of God's appearing in the form of a little boy, und feigning the voice of a woman : such, lastly, is that mentioned by Philastrius, that the souls of men were like the souls of dogs and beasts.
. Thus much may be sufficient concerning these apocryphal Acts; of which I should now add no more, if I did not think it would be as entertaining to my readers, as myself, to transcribe the judgment of Photius concerning them, who, though a writer of the ninth century, well deserves regarding, not only because he had read the book, but that his judgment is always valuable. After he had said he perused these Acts, and that they appeared to be wrote by Leucius Charinus, he adds, (Cod. 114.) Η δε φράσις εις το παντελώς ανώ- The style of it is irregular and inμαλός τε και παραλλαγμένη. Και consistent. He uses phrases and συντάξεσι γαρ και λέξεσι κέχρηται words sometimes, which are not ενίοτε μεν ουκ ήμελημέναις, κατά mean, but for the most part such δε το πλείστον αγοραίους και πε
as are bald and common. There πατημέναις. Και ουδέν της ομα
is not in it the least sign of an λής και αυτοσχεδίου φράσεως, και
even free style, or of that beauty
that attends such a natural style, της εκείθεν εμφύτου χάριτος, καθ'
in which the writings of the evanήν ο ευαγγελικός τε και αποστολικός διαμεμόρφωται λόγος, ουδ' έχ- gelists and apostles are composed.
It abounds with foolish and
many νος εμφαίνων. Γέμει δε και μω- silly contradictions. For he says, , ρίας πολλής, και της προς εαυτήν
that the God of the Jews, whose μάχης και έναντιώσεως. Φησί γαρ
minister Simon Magus was, was a άλλον είναι τόν των Ιουδαίων θεών, ad God, and that Christ was a και κακόν, ου και Σίμωνα τον diferent God from him, and a Μάγον υπηρέτην καθεστάναι, άλ
good God: and then again perλον δε τον Χριστόν, όν φησιν άγα- verting and confounding every θόν και φυρών άπαντα και συγ- thing, he calls the Father and the χέων, καλεί αυτόν και πατέρα και Son one and the same : but he υιόν λέγει δε, μηδ' ενανθρωπήσαι adds, that Christ was not really α αληθώς, αλλά δόξαι: και πολλά man, but only appeared to be so, πολλάκις φανήναι τους μαθηταίς,
and that he appeared often in vaνέον, και πρεσβύτην πάλιν, και
rious shapes to his disciples, someπάλιν παίδα e, και μείζονα, και
times as a young man, sometimes ελάττονα, και μέγιστον, ώς τε την αgain as an old man, and someκορυφήν διήκειν, έσθ' ότε μέχρις όetimes less; sometimes so tall, as
times as a child ; sometimes larger, ουρανού. Πολλάς δε και περί του
that his head would reach up to the σταυρού κενολογίας και ατοπίας
heavens. Besides, he has invented αναπλάττει, και τον Χριστόν μη
many idle and ridiculous stories σταυρωθήναι, αλλ' έτερον αντ' αυ
about the cross; and that Christ τού, και καταγελάν δια τούτο των
was not crucified himself, but anσταυρούντων. Γάμους δε νομίμους other in his stead, for which he άθετεί, και πάσαν γένεσιν πονηράν Ιαughed at the crucifters. He deτε και του πονηρού λέγει. και nies the use of lawful marriages, πλάστης των δαιμόνων άλλον έκ- and makes all generation to be κληροί νεκρών δε ανθρώπων και evil, and from the Devil. He supβοών και κτηνών παραλογωτάτας poses another creator of the deκαι μειρακιώδεις τερατεύεται ανα- vils. He held a most prodigiously στάσεις. δοκεί δε και κατ' εικόνων absurd sort of resurrection, both of τοϊς εικονομάχοις εν ταϊς Ιωάννου men and oxen, and all cattle. He
seems also in the Acts of John πράξεσι δογματίζειν» και απλώς αύτη ή βίβλος μυρία παιδαριώδη
with the [Iconomachi] enemies και απίθανα και κακοπλαστα και
of images, to dispute against the ψευδή και μωρά και άλλους μαχό- book contains ten thousand child
use of them. In a word, that μενα, και ασεβή και άθεα περίεχει. 1sh, incredible, ill-designing, Iyην είπών τις πάσης αιρέσεως πηγήν ing, foolish, contradictions, proκαι μητέρα, ουκ αν αποσφαλείη fane and impious stories ; so that του είκότος.
one may not unjustly say, he
e Dr. Mill supposes a fragment of these Acts extant in a manuscript in the Bodleian, Cod. Barocc. n. 180. fol. I11. For in that, Christ is said sometimes to have appeared in the form of a boy.
fThis passage inclines me to coujecture, that these books were interpo
lated, seeing in the time of Leucius, the controversy about images was unknown, it not arising until the eighth century. But perhaps Photius, living in the time when this dispute was hot, might imagine more than Leucius in tended. He only says, Δοκεί δε και κατ' εικόνων, &c.
Besides the above-cited places of the fathers, where these Acts are expressly mentioned, they seem to be referred to in that passage of Epiphanius above produced, No. XXV. where speaking of the Ebionites, he says,
apo“ stles' names they counterfeited the names of Matthew, James, “ and also John;" as also in that of St. Austin in his dispute against the anonymous author (whether Marcionite or Manichee, or both, is not certain) whom he calls, “the enemy of the “ law and the prophets :” in that book, against which he writes, he says, the author 8 De apocryphis posuit testimonia, Made citations out of the apoquæ sub nominibus apostolorum cryphal books under the names Andreæ Joannisque conscripta of the apostles Andrew and John; sunt; quæ si illorunı essent, re- which, if they were really theirs, cepta essent ab ecclesia, quæ would have been received by the illorum temporibus per episcopo- church, which has continued rum successiones certissimas, us- under an uninterrupted succession que ad nostra et deinceps tempora of bishops, from their time to perseverat.
There can scarce be any reason to doubt, but these were the same Acts which were composed by Leucius, if we consider what is above said, as also that they are the same mentioned in the Decree of pope Innocent I. h Cætera auten, quæ sub nomine But the other books under the Petri et Joannis, quæ a quodam name of Peter and John, which Leucio scripta sunt, vel sub no- were written by one Leucius, or mine Andreæ, quæ a Nexocharide under the name of Andrew, which et Leonide philosophis ; non so- were written by Nexocharides lum repudianda, verum etiam no- and Leonides philosophers; know, veris esse damnanda.
that they are not only to be re
jected, but condemned. I confess, in this Decree the books of Andrew, and those of Peter and John, are made different, as wrote by different authors, viz. the latter by Leucius, and the former by Leonides and Nexocharides: but nothing is more probable than the conjecture of Mr. Fabritius, “that Innocent was mistaken in these
names, and that they were no other than the name of Leu“ cius Charinus corruptly written.” It seems to me to be ac
& Contr. Advers. Leg. et Proph. lib.1. h Epist. ad Exuper. 3. c. 7. cap. 20. T. Opp. 6.