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We owe to him a debt of gratitude, great beyond expression, for the preservation of many extracts from aulhors whose works are lost. Eusebius copied much from contemporary and earlier writers; and these collections remain in his works, while the originals from which they were taken, have disappeared successively as they have drifted onward on the troubled tides of ages past. Such as we still possess are but scattered remnants, rari nantes in gurgite vaslo, which have survived the general wreck. Scanty and few as are these broken fragments, all thanks to the diligent hands that gathered and garnered them up for the instruction of future generations.

Eusebius lived in one of the most eventful periods of the world. The church, just coming out of great tribulation, wasted by persecutions, torn by factions, sects, and heresies without number, ascended the throne of the Caesars, invested with imperial power, ecclesiastical and secular, to encounter trials infinitely more searching, severe, and disastrous than those of the deepest and darkest oppression. Never could the life of an historian have been cast upon a period more auspicious for the production of an immortal work, a thesaurus of ecclesiastical history for all time to come. The effacing hand of time had not yet erased the choicest records of the past which subsequent historians labor in vain to decipher or restore. The treasures of all recorded history were open to him by imperial wealth and power, and writers of every age, those present or past, waited as willing servitors to lend their contributions to enrich his pages. Had he possessed the patience to sift the wheat from the chaff; the discrimination to separate the fables of that fabulous age from authentic facts and documents; the discernment to discover the religious elements of the heresies and sects of the age which were continually surging up in forms ever new and endlessly diversified; had he entered into the interior of christian life and sketched with a master's hand the portraiture in the strange vicissitudes of light and shade in which it passed before him ; or had he faithfully delineated the mysterious character even of Constantine the Great, "grand, glowing and peculiar, wrapped in the solitude of his own originality," insomuch that we know not whether he most deserves our execrations as a bloody tyrant, or our admiration as a christian prince graciously leading forth the people of God out of their captivity, and establishing them in the enjoyment of the most enlarged religious liberty; — had he employed all his learning and industry, to produce a just, impartial, discriminating history of the church; how deservedly then would our historian have won for himself in all the earth the honored title which now, with questionable propriety he receives, of the Father of Ecclesiastical History.

With all due deference to the verdict of ages, we must pronounce our author deficient in the essential elements of an original reliable historian, while we lament that this important branch of history has not a parentage more honorable and trustworthy.

The verdict of past ages has not, indeed, been uniformly in favor of Eusebius as an historian. He has been found wanting in accuracy, candor, impartiality, and sound judgment, by men of piety and learning, whose decision is worthy of the highest respect. To say nothing of Epiphanius, Aihanasius, Antipater of Bostra, Jerome, and others, Joseph Scaliger, near two centuries since, subjected the works of Eusebius to various severe and searching criticisms. For this service he was singularly qualified, both by his vast and varied learning, and his amazing powers of memory, which enabled him to contrast and compare the writings of Eusebius with all that remains of history, legend, and fable, out of which Eusebius hastily gathered his crude, incongruous compilations. Casaubon, another of the giants of those days, sets forth the qualifications of Scaliger in the following terms: "There was nothing that any one would desire to know which he was not competent to teach; nothing that he had ever read (and what had he not read) which he could not immediately recall; nothing obscure or recondite in any ancient author, whether Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, respecting which, on inquiry, he was not prepared at once to reply. The history of all nations and states, the succession of their rulers, and all that pertained to the ancient church were to him familiarly known. His acquaintance with the topography and geography of kingdoms, countries, and provinces, with their boundaries, and the variations of their political divisions from age to age, was minute and unapproachable. He left no department of literature or science unexplored; and yet, such was his turn for the langguages, that if he had given attention to those alone through life, his attainments would have seemed almost miraculous." >

We cannot follow Scaliger at length in his "animadversions," "annotations," and criticisms upon the works of Eusebius. Let the following suffice: "Many are the hallucinations, many the errors of Eusebius. No one has written with less caution, none has presumed more on the indulgence of his readers than our author — time would fail to enumerate his errors."3 These animadversions he writes "That those who stand exposed to danger from this author may shun the rocks, which, without such admonition, they will hardly escape."

Among the specific charges of Scaliger against Eusebius may be noticed that of plagiarism, in his Chronicon. The first book is little else than a transcript, without acknowledgment, from his countryman Julius Africanus. "The writers on this subject, after the age of Constantine, were almost infinite in number; but previous to that, Julius Africanus alone comes to me at present, and Eusebius Pamphilus has followed so closely in his footsteps as to copy his work almost entire in his Chronicon. There is in it nothing lucid, graceful, or elegant which was not derived from Africanus. Such, for example, as that admirable and incomparable memorial of the Dynasties of Egypt, of the kings of Assyria, of Sicyonia, of the Greeks, the Athenians and many others which he has furnished in the first book of his Chronology. These, all, Eusebius derived from Africanus without mentioning his author except to express some dis

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sent from his conclusions. Such is the wonderful assurance with which he appropriates to himself the industry of another, regardless of the sentiments of those who were in the habit of perusing daily the writings of Africanus." 1

Eusebius is charged, moreover, by Scaliger, with great carelessness and gross anachronisms. The death of Herod the Great, he dates seven years after the decease of that monarch. The Essenes, a sect of Jewish anchorets, he finds to be an order of Christian monks. He supposes Philo at one time to be discoursing of an order of monks in Egypt, and at another, so far forgets himself as to represent Philo as only speaking of the Essenes, in the same passage. The authority of Josephus he so carelessly cites, as to represent him as saying that the priests in the temple, in the time of the Pentecost, succeeding our Lord's crucifixion, perceived certain commotions in the temple, and a rushing sound as of something hastily passing by them, and then a sudden exclamation,—" Let us depart hence!" Whereas, this occurred more than thirty years later, at the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem. At another time he himself cites correctly this very passage from Josephus, alleging that this voice was heard by priests just before the destruction of Jerusalem, as is also reported by Tacitus.2

The prepossessions of Eusebius in favor of prelacy are to be distinctly noticed. He is himself a bishop at an age when prelacy had changed, totally corrupted the government of the church originally established by the Apostles. The apostolical succession, that figment of prelatical pride and ghostly superstition, was an established canon of the church.

1 l'rolcgom. iti Kuseb., pp. 2, 5. Amst. oil.

'* EiiM-biii!. ail annum IIII. Olympiads CCII. In liis Ecclesiastical History Eusebius {rives ilic following account of tliis prodigy: ''Indeed that wliieli I am about to tell would appear a prodigy, were it not related liy those who hail seen it, and unless the subsequent tumeric's had corresponded to the signs. For In-fore tli'j setting ol the sun there were seen chariots and armed troops on high, wheeling through the clouds mound the whole region, and surrounding the cities. And at the festival called Pentecost the priests entering the temple at night, according to their custom, to perform the service, stiid they lirst perceived a motion and noise, and after this n confused voice saying ' Let us go hence.' " — Ecel. Hist., III. e. 8. Comp. Josephus, Wars, VI. c. 5. Tacitus, Hist.,. V. c. 13. The clergy had become a mediatory priesthood between God and man, receiving office, authority, and power, not from the church as the servants of the church, but from God as his ministers, and medium of grace to man. The authority of councils, the power, ecclesiastical and civil, of the bishops,the honor due to them and their orders,exclusive episcopal ordination,confirmation,exorcism, the prayers of saints, the power of their intercessions in behalf of the lapsed, the sanctity of the martyrs' tombs, and of the relics of saints;— all are accredited by the approbation and authority of Eusebius. He announces in the first sentence of his history his intention " to record the successions of the holy apostles, together with the times since our Saviour, down to the present; to recount how many and important transactions are said to have occurred in ecclesiastical history; what individuals in the most noted places eminently governed and presided over the church, etc. In the execution of this work, we shall be happy to rescue from oblivion the successions, if not of all, at least of the most noted apostles of our Lord, in those churches which, even at this day, are accounted the most eminent; a labor which has appeared to me necessary in the highest degree, as I have not yet been able to find that any of the ecclesiastical writers have directed their efforts to present any thing complete in this department of writing."

Confessedly, therefore, we are to receive, at the hands of our ancient historian, a history, not of Christianity, but of the church and the apostolical succession. In accordance with this design, we have the succession of the bishops of the church at Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Caesarea, Laodicea, Rome, and of others more or less in detail.

Simon Magus, who, according to our author, had been acknowledged as the " Supreme God," and honored with a statue at Rome, was humbled and cast down by the apostle Peter, who was divinely directed to Rome for this very purpose. This is related as an undoubted fact, when there is no reliable evidence that Peter ever visited Rome on any occasion. The whole fable is founded on a mistake of Jus

Vol. XV. Mo. 57. 8

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