Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

relates how great a share the grandfathers of Basil CHAP.III. Lad in it. Whereas if St. Basil himself had then year stier been about ten years old, (as he must have been br the apo the fint account,) his father, rather than his grand- 210. Aihes would have been likely to be mentioned. I said in the former editions, that that one plain place aforesaid, which makes this Gregory born ater his father's baptism and ordination, did seem to orenwas all the reasons of chronologers to the contrary. But I hare since minded another abanity that attends it. St. Hierome de Scriptori3a Ed. speaks of Gregory as having been his asser: • Prareptor meus quo seripturas expla

carte, didici, Now St. Ilierome himself was born in the year 329, and it is not likely that he would speak so of one that was but four years older than Himself. Perhaps it may be more likely that a wini may be misprinted, than so many absurlities allered. I shall determine nothing, but leave it to

ters

VII. The antipædobaptists have taken notice of Do other children of that Gregory the elder, but this his son Gregory. But he had two other childen, a daughter Gorgonia, and a son Cæsarius. Toere is no account whether Gorgonia were elder or Founger than her brother Gregory: save that Elias Cretensis (if he knew any better than we) makes Ler to be younger. If she were elder, she must Lare been born before her father was a Christian ; since it is the hardest matter that may be to bring her brother Gregory's years within that compass. Ilamerer that were, she was not baptized in in

Comm. in Greg. Naz. Orat. 19. apud Greg. Op. tom. ii. pol. edit. Paris. 1630.)

che apo

stles.

CHAP.111. fancy; and being afterward left to her own discreYear after tion, she did not receive baptism till a little before

she died', wben she was so old as to have grandchildren, whom she had instructed in the Christian faith. Her husband also, whom she had married (as it seems by her brother's words at her funeral) while he was a heathen, was by her prevailed on to be baptized with her. She died before her father, who died before St. Basil. And since St. Basil died, as was said, on New Year's Day 379, it seems to have been 375 at the soonest, when she died. Her brother Gregory was then, by the last account of his age, but forty-eight. It is very unlikely then that she was younger, having then grandchildren of such an age.

Cæsarius was younger than either of them, and died the first of them. And though Gregory's words at his funeral u, concerning his baptism, are not very plain for the time of it: yet they seem to intimate that he had then lately received it. And indeed (to observe this here once for all) the far greatest part of those that were not baptized in infancy, but were left to take their own time for it, we find to have put it off from time to time till they were apprehensive of death, excepting such as went into orders, or the like. But we find no baptized person, except this Gregory, that did so leave his children unbaptized.

If all the children of this elder Gregory were born after their father's Christianity, and yet left unbaptized; it is the instance but of one man's practice. And there is some more excuse for a

t Naz. Orat, in Laudem Gorgoniæ, (Orat. 8. edit. Benedict.] u Orat. in Laudem Cæsarii. [Orat. 7. edit. Benedict.]

bishop, or other minister to do this, than for other CHAP.III. men: because if his children fall sick, or into any year after sudden danger of death, he is ready at hand in the home on house to give them baptism.

It was probably from some compliance with this practice of his father, that St. Gregory, in one of the places that I quoted gires that opinion, which is singular in him ; that it is a good way if a child * appear not to be in any danger of death, to defer • his baptism for some time. He mentions three years or thereabouts. And as he, at the same place, advises and counts it necessary, if it be in danger • of death, to baptize it immediately: so it is probable the same was his father's opinion ; and that this his son had no sickness in his infaney, and so he thought he might defer the baptizing him.

That many people in this time delayed and put off the baptizing of their children something longer than ordinary, not out of prineiple that so they ought to do, but out of negligence, and a procrastication which ther themselves owned to be blameable: appears plainly by that common and proTerbial speech, which Isidore (speaking of Zippo- 312. rah's cireumeising her child) mentions"; and says,

was used to be said in time of danger: “ God's * judgments come upon us; let us baptize our chil• dren out of hand."

Sect. 7. Of Nectarius.
There is no appearance of his parents being Chris-

tians, nor knowing who they were.
1. Though St. Gregory Nazianzen, who, after
his father's death, was bishop of Constantinople,

• Part i. ch. 11.5.;

y Isidor. Pelusiot. lib. i. Ep. 125.

the apo

stles.

CHAP.III. had done more for the restoring the catholic faith Year after there, than had been done by any man in so short

a time; yet he found a necessity of resigning the place. Partly by reason of his age and infirmity; and partly for that there was such a contention in the council of bishops about him. Some said it was not canonical, that he, having once accepted another bishopric formerly, should remove from it. Others, that he living as a hermit, wholly given to study and prayers, was not at all dexterous in making his court with the emperor for the good of the church : neither had he any good mien, but a contemptible presence.

To allay these heats, he did what St. Clementz had advised in such a case to be done. He willingly abdicated, and said, 'If this contention be upon my ' account, I am ready to depart; only let the flock of • Christ be in peace a.?

And when they were in consultation about another to be chosen; whom should they light on but one Nectarius, a layman of Tarsus, of a senator's rank, remarkable for a grave and comely presence, but of no learning or skill in divinity! The emperor liked this man so well, that he was finally chosen. They did the gentleman a great diskindness; for of a creditable and graceful alderman, they made of him a very insipid bishop.

But what is to our purpose is this; Nectarius, though he was by belief and profession a Christian, yet had not been as yet baptized b. They were forced, having baptized him, to give him ordination

z Clemens Romanus, Epist. 1. ad Corinth. 54.
a Naz. Orat. ad 150 Episcopos. [Or. 43. edit. Benedict.]
b Socrat. Hist. Eccles. lib. v. [cap. 8.) Sozom. lib. vii. [cap. 8.]

a few days after, notwithstanding the apostolical CHAP.11I. ezza ainst choosing a novice for a bishop.

Tear after II. The antipalokaptists would make an arguments recs from hence, that his parents must have been ef:eir persuasion, since ther had not baptized him is ibizar. But in ther ought to shew that his parts were Christians: since, as I said before, half he world at this time were such as had been, since ter came to age, converted from heathenism, and Bei Christianity; but the greater part of them did ici of their baptism from time to time for a long

And one might name several beside this En ikat were pitched on by the people for bishops bere ther were laptized; some, whose parents are Down to be heathers; and some, whose parents sre not at all mentioned in history; so that it is impossible to know what religion ther were of. But es do not make instances for this purpose, urless

T are proved, at least by probable arguments to kave been bom of Christians

Is for Vectarius' parents, we know nothing of teir religion. And I believe it is as hard to find coiber were, as it is to know who was Homer's Or Job's father.

Sert. 8. Of St. John Chrysostom. parents were probably heathens at the time

of his birth, 1. Among all the ancient Fathers there is nene 31 Ess had so many to write his life as St. Chrysetom. For, besides that Palladius who lived in

ter with him, has wrote his Dialogue purpurely ca test subject; the ancient historians who lived

« AnteriorContinuar »