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CHAP. III. nigb his time, Socrates, Sozomen!, Theodoreto, Year after &c., have given a larger account of him than of any
other man. And in the middle ages, there are abundance that have wrote tracts of the same : but these latter have intermixed several fables, which are disproved by the elder.
Of these Palladius says', that he was baptized by Meletius, bishop of Antioch, after he had been instructed by him three years in the Christian religion. And though none of the other ancient writers do mention this lis baptism at man's age; yet it is very probable, since, as far as we can learn, his
parents were heathens at the time of his birth. 520. Georgius, patriarch of Alexandrias, and Metaphras
tes, do say they were; and they are not in this contradicted by those elder.
II. His father Secundus died presently after he was born; as he himself intimates, lib. i. de Sacer
dotio. His mother Anthusa was a Christian when 27+ this her son was twenty years old: but that is no
argument that she or her husband were so at the 254. time of his birth. At that time the heathens turned
Christians as fast as the papists in England turned protestants, in the time of the reformation. And even at that time, when her son was twenty years old, though she was then a Christian in belief, yet the aforesaid historians, Georgius and Metaphrastes,
c Lib. vi. [cap. 2, &c.]
d Lib. viii. cap. 2, &c.] e Lib. v. [cap. 27, &c.]
Dial. de vita Chrysostomi, [apud Chrysost. Op. tom. xiii. edit Montf.)
& Vita Chrysostomi, [apud Chrysost. Op. tom. viii. p. 157. edit. Saville.)
say, that she was not baptized till her son was CHAP. III. baptized first. They say it of his parents in the year after foresaid life, that they were baptized by Meletius the apo
stles after their son. But it could be true only of his mother, his father being dead long before.
I believe the antipædobaptists would not have conceived that they had ground enough to make Chrysostom one of their instances, if they had not been encouraged thereto by Grotius. And what he sars is, that he being born of Christian parents, * as the truer opinion is, and educated by Meletius, · ret was not baptized till the twenty-first year of · his age 1
That he was born of Christian parents he brings no proof at all. And it is little to the purpose
that he was educated by Meletius. As bishops do not use to take infants to nurse, (though lads or young men to educate they may,) so in this case it appears that Chrysostom was twenty, or at least eighteen years old, before he came to Meletius. And then Meletius did with him as any bishop pow would do with a young man that had been brought up in heathenism : he instructed him, and when he had continued a catechumen three years, baptized him.
That he was so old as I say, before he came to Meletius, is plain; because by all the accounts he came not to him till he forsook the school of Libanius. the heathen master of rhetoric. And that he continued his hearer till that age, appears by what he bimself writes, Oratione 1. ad riduam juniorem; where speaking in praise of those women that continue widows, and how they are valued even among heathens, he tells this story; · For I formerly, when
b Annot. in Matth. vix. 13
CHAP. III.“ I was young, took notice that my master, who was
one of the most superstitious men that ever lived, • did much admire my mother. For as he asked
some that were about him who I was, and one • made answer that I was a widow-woman's son; he • asked me, how old my mother was, and how long • she had been a widow. And when I told him that • she was forty years old, and that it was twenty ' years since she buried my father; he was much • affected at it, and speaking aloud to those that ' were present, “ Strange,” says he,“ what brave women there are among the Christians !"
Some chronologers find it more agreeable with the computation of time to suppose that it was not full twenty, but eighteen; which by a round number he here calls twenty. But it is much one to this purpose.
The saying of Libanius seems to suppose that Anthusa had been a Christian now for a considerable time, or at least that he took it so. he knew nothing of her concerns till that moment; her professing of Christianity at that time was enough to make him say what he did, without making any inquiry how long she had been of that profession.
Some readers also will be apt to conclude, that Chrysostom had been at that time but a little while a hearer of Libanius, (from whence it would follow probably that Anthusa was a Christian when she first sent her son to this school,) because Libanius did not at this time know who he was. But the nature of those auditories or lectures was, that one from one part of the city, and another from another, came on the weekly lecture days to hear, and sent
their contributions: so that a lad or a man might CHAP. III. be a hearer for a long time before the master had year after any personal knowledge of him. The word (school] therapan being otherwise used in our time, might be apt to make this mistake. But it is to be taken in the ancient sense, as in Acts xix. 9. The school of Tyrannus was not a college of lads under his care, but a place of public lectures that he kept.
III. There is on the contrary, reason to think that she was not a Christian when she consented that her son should hear this master, who was a spiteful enemy to the Christian religion. And as this is probable of itself, so it is made more than probable, that not only she, but her son himself also, was a heathen when he came first to hear him, by what Sozomen affirms, viz. that On a time when • Lihanius was like to die, some of his friends asked • him who he thought fit should be his successor? * And he answered, “ John” (meaning this John, “who came afterward to be called Chrysostom) • * should have been the man, if the Christians • had not stole him away from usi." The word is 85720ar, robbed us of him:' which argues that he was a heathen before.
IV. Mr. Du Pin, in the notes he gives upon wbat he had said of Chrysostom, sars, that some • writers make his parents to be heathens; but . tbat he himself, in the first sermon against the • Aroucou, sars that "he was bred up and nourished
in the church ;" and that it appears out of his first • book de Sacerdotio, c. 1. that his mother was a • Christian when his father died, which was quickly • after she was delivered of him." i Hist. la rm. c. 2. Nouvelle Biblioth. tom. ii in Chrysost.
CHAP.III. Having a great regard to every thing that this Year after excellent author says, I read over on purpose both
those tracts. And in the sermon found nothing that stles.
seemed to relate any thing at all to this matter; so
But here is nothing but what might be properly said by a Christian woman in reference to those times in which she had been a heathen: since God almighty employs his providence in relieving the necessities not only of Christians, but of all men and other creatures that know him not. She does not mention in all that long speech any praying to God, or use of his word, that she had made in those days; which to me is a greater proof that she was not at that time a Christian, than the foresaid words are that she was.
At least here is nothing that can nigh countervail the argument from the foresaid words of Libanius concerning this John's heathen profession at first, rehearsed by Sozomen. And Sozomen is a