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Christian Era 29. Sigonius does not extend his Chronology beyond the year u. c. 766, but it is evident that he perfectly agrees with Pi. ghius ; for in the year 766 he places the Consuls Sextus Pompeius and Sextus Apuleius, whom Petavius and Noris place as Consuls in the year u. c. 767.” It was during their Consulship that Augustus died. So much for " the dates fixed beyond controversy." Professor Kingsley, it seems, has not extended his vision beyond Petavius, Noris and Panvinius, and is utterly in the dark as to Sigonius, Pi. ghius and Bianchini.
Let us now see why Muratori was so embarrassed between these conflicting opinions." This disagreement of Bianchini,” he ob. serves, "from Petavius, Noris, and Almeloveen, is continued to the year 41 of the common Christian Era, in which Bianchini places no Consuls, since they were erased from the Fasti, and were, perhaps, as Bianchini thinks, T. Catius and P. Cærellius. And hence it proceeds that after the year 41 of the common Christian Era, Bianchini always agrees with Petavius, Noris, Almeloveen, and lastly with Pe. ter Reland, who agrees with Almeloveen,” &c. Muratori then re. fers to the Notes of Bianchini, Tom. 2. p. 18 of his edition of Anastasius, " which, however,” he says, “ are not satisfactory, because they subvert the opinion of the most celebrated writers, who without hesitation make the series of Consuls continuous.” Here was the stumbling block of Muratori, that Bianchini thus violently separated the series of Consuls by the untenable opinion of Consuls erased from the Fasti in A. D. 41. Every other argument of Bianchini he is disposed to admit; for he proceeds to show, that if Christ was crucified, as the ancients agree, in the Consulship of the two Gemini, all the Astronomical computations agree with A. D. 28 and not with a. D. 29.
" In this year, (A. D. 28) he (Bianchini) shows from the Astronomical Tables of De la Hire, that the fourteenth day of the moon fell on Friday, the seventh before the Calends of April, March 26th,) and the fifteenth day of the moon on Saturday, the sixth before the Calends of April, (March 27th;) so that Christ ate the Lamb with his disciples on the evening of Thursday, that is, on the eigthh before the Calends of April, (March 25th,) when according to the Jewish custom, the fourteenth day of the moon began ; and after his Supper he began his passion in the garden. How well the opinion of Bianchini agrees in this one truth with the testimonies of the ancients, which concur in placing the death of Christ in the Consulship of the two Gemini, and with the opinion of St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom, who relate that CHRIST suffered on the eighth before the Calends of April, appears from the year 4741 of the Julian period, which is assigned to the year 28 of the common era of Christ, by Bianchini and all other modern chronologers. For the year 4741 being divided by 19, the remainder 10, is the golden number for that year to which the Epact 16 answers. The same number 4741, being divided by 28, the number 9 is left as the number of the Solar or Dominical Cycle, to which answers the double Sunday letter, D. C.;" VOL. 1.—NO. I.
proving it to have been a Bissextile year. Muratori then refers to certain Tables of the Sunday Letters, after which he adds: “But since from the same Table it appears that the month of March in that year began on Monday, therefore the first Sunday of the month of March, of the year 28 of our vulgar era, falls on the seventh ; and so the fourteenth, the twenty-first, and the twenty-eighth of the same month and year will be Sunday.” Muratori continues at some length to show that Sunday, March 21, was the tenth, Monday the eleventh, &c., and Thursday the fourteenth day of the moon, and consequently that the Paschal Lamb was slain in that evening.
He was in doubt how or why our LORD ate the Passover on the evening of Thursday, when the actual full moon was on Friday; a circumstance which proves, as I have shown, the exact truth of the gospel narrative ; for the Ecclesiastical full moon fell on Thursday, and the Astronomical full moon on Friday. CHRIST, therefore, ate the Passover on the evening in which the nation observed it, and yet died on the cross, at the true time of the Paschal full moon; and this concurrence presents the strongest circumstantial evidence in favor of its being the true year. Finally, Muratori sums up his entire argument by observing that “Bianchini seems to be right in placing the crucifixion in the Consulship of the two Gemini ; and he, therefore, lays his opinion before the reader's judgment, that he may embrace that which seems to him most probable."*
If it be asked why I did not refer to the work of Bianchini, I answer that I had it not, and had never read it, but was obliged myself to work out the whole problem. With what success, I leave those who will study my book to determine. Its merit, if merit it has, in deciding this controversy, consists in the discovery of the lost Consulship; not as Bianchini conjectured, in the year 41, but in the year 160, of the common era. After the year 160, there is no controversy; and this I think I have proved beyond the possibility of dispute.
The year 29 of the common Christian Era was the year 4742 of the Julian Period ; its golden number xi, and its Solar Cycle 10, corresponding with the Sunday letter B. With these data, and the Cal. ender in my Introduction, (pp. 87-92,) the reader may easily satisfy himself that the Passover was eaten by the Jewish nation on the eve. ning of Friday, April 15th, which, if that had been the year, would have placed the Crucifixion on Saturday, April 16th, the Jewish Sabbath! Behold the consequence of Prof. Kingsley's system, if the Consulship of the two Gemini be adhered to as the year of the Cru. cifixion!! For this reason the Moderns, who have placed the Consulship of the two Gemini in the year 29 of the common era, have been compelled to depart from it, and to launch without a rudder on the sea of conjecture. The learned writers for example of “ L'art
* Car. Sigonii in Fastos Comment, Not. 33. Opera ed. Muratori Tom. I col. 67-74 fol.
de vérifier les dates," have yielded to the force of evidence in placing the birth of our Saviour where I place it, that is in a. v. C. 747, and in the Consulship of Caius Antistius Vetus, and Decimus Lælius Balbus, which was six years earlier than the common era; and yet they place his Crucifixion on Friday, April 3d, in the year 33 of that era! This, according to their scheme, would make our LORD at that time 39 years old! How contrary this would be to the judgment of all who make his ministry embrace four Passovers, I need not add. It is true that April 3d was Friday in A. D. 33 ; but in that year the golden number was xv, and the Sunday letter D.; and by referring to the Calendar, the reader will find that Friday was the sixteenth and not the fifteenth of Nisan. Thus it is that a small devi. ation from truth, will make Chronology to halt. By settling the true arrangement of the Consulships, the only discovery which I myself claim, I have removed the discord and confusion which previously prevailed. For this I ought to have received the thanks of Professor Kingsley, and not his opposition.
TO JAMES L. KINGSLEY, ESQ., Professor of the Latin language and literature in Yale College, New Haven, Ct.
“Homine imperito nunquam quidquam injustius
Qui, nisi quod ipse fecit, nil rectum putat.”—Ter. SIR,—After my answer had appeared to your first attack on the principles of Chronology maintained by me, you saw fit to write me a private letter professing your personal respect for me, and disclaiming all hostility to the Church of England and the Churches in her communion. I rejoiced to receive it, and answered you in terms of corresponding friendliness. As you spoke of the July number of the New Englander as already made up, and that you must defer your remarks on my preface until the October number, I availed myself of so favorable an opportunity to express the hope that your reply would be amicable and candid. I urged you to consider that we are divided only on matters of religious faith, which were not now in controversy
that we are united as Americans, as New Englanders, as Alumni of Yale College, and, I would fain hope, as friends; that you could gain no advantage from the contest, because I am too strongly entrenched to be overcome by you; and that no good purpose could possibly be served, even if you should succeed for a time in creating doubt and distrust in the public mind. I entreated you, therefore, to take a magnanimous course, by admitting at once that you had paid little attention to the subject, and were glad to have your mistakes pointed out. I was led the more to hope for this by subsequent information, on which I thought I could depend, that you were in the first place urged to attack me by others, and that you finally consented to do so with reluctance.
To acknowledge your errors, I repeat it, would have been magnanimous, and would have exalted you in the estimation of all persons of real knowledge; but perhaps it was too much to expect from our infirm nature. Certainly you have not shown yourself capable of such a course ; for in the Oc. tober number of the New Englander, you have again attacked me in a somewhat flippant manner, taking no notice of the strong points in my answer, reiterating the assertions contained in your first Article, and availing yourself of all the little arts of special pleading to gain the semblance of a triumph, by hiding from the view of your readers the real state of the controversy.
It is neither arrogant in me, nor disrespectful to you, to say that your last number plunges you deeper and deeper into the quagmire of error. You may be, and doubtless are, very learned on some subjects; and wherever you are learned, I shall be among the first to acknowledge your claims. But Chronology is not one of your strong holds. Your whole course, to my mind, clearly shows it. You first opened my book without even knowing where to direct your attack. You had been accustomed to see certain dates in the margin of the classical books which you had studied, and from these you found that I had departed. Instantly you jumped to the conclusion, that I was the author of a novelty-a thing unheard of before. Under this impression you wrote your first Article. You had not even studied my book; for if you had, and had taken the pains to turn to my authorities, you could not possibly have so blundered. I thought I was acting kindly in attributing this to the influence of the school in which you have been educated. The reviewer of Emerson, in Blackwood's Magazine, has made the mistake of attributing to the American mind, what I conceive belongs only to the Puritan.
“I have no expectation,” says Emerson, “that any man will read history aright, who thinks that what was done in a remote age by men whose names have resounded far, has any deeper sense than what he is doing to-day." The Puritan is, as Emerson describes himself, “an endless seeker of truth with NO PAST AT HIS BACK.” (Blackwood's Mag. Dec. 1847.) This is exactly what the New Englander triumphantly claims as the Puritan badge, Individuality opposed to Catholicity. Your tendencies are habitually that way. Authorities, especially those of ancient Christian writers, are not at all to your taste; and you are more ready to consider my work as the production of Individual opinion, than as being what it is, a chain of conclusions drawn from facts established by competent testimony. Hence you represent (p. 533) the process of my mind exactly in the inverse order from what it was in reality. You talk of my reasons for wishing this thing and that; of my plans which obliged me to depart from the ablest chronologers; of the difficulties in which I found myself, and by which I was forced to bring forward“ the names of Bianchini and some others” (!!!) All this may do very well to make ignorant and undiscerning readers imagine that mine is an untenable theory, the offspring of my own brain; but never in your life were you more mistaken. I followed strictly the rules of evidence laid down in the Introduction to my work. Of those rules, the third is as follows_“ No theory before examination is to be assumed. Testimony is to be followed, whithersoever it may lead. The two great objects to be constantly kept in view must be the investigation of truth for its own sake, and the lucid communication of that truth to others.” Such having been my real plan, I shall pass without notice, every sly inuendo and merry quip in your last article, and confine my observations to points of real importance.
If you had done me the justice to read my work carefully, you would have seen that every step, from beginning to end, is secured before I proceed to another; secured without any reference to succeeding steps, and examined carefully on its own merits, excluding all conjecture. One of these steps you have now attempted to destroy, by levelling your blows at the calculations of the Paschal full moon, A. D. 28.
I had treated the subject historically; and I thought that when the greatest Astronomers of ancient and modern times had perfectly agreed that the Sunday after the Paschal full moon in that year fell on the 28th of March; when this coincided with the strong and uniform testimony that our Saviour's passion commenced on the 25th of March, which would bring his resurrection to the 28th ; when I had shown by a long and laborious induction that the Consulship of the two Gemini, in which all enlightened antiquity agreed that the crucifixion took place, was in A. D. 28 and not in A. D. 29; when I thought that in doing all this I had bestowed a benefit upon the world, by adjusting great points of history, and that America, and New England and Yale College would look with an approving smile upon their son ; forth steps my learned professor of Yale College, and begins to nibble at a