Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Julian attempts to rebuild the touple

necessary to account for its extraordinary preservation and
seasonable discovery were gradually propagated without opposi-
tion. The custody of the true cross, which on Easter Sunday
was solemnly exposed to the people, was entrusted to the bishop
of Jerusalem; and he alone might gratify the curious devotion
of the pilgrims, by the gift of small pieces, which they enchased
in gold or gems, and carried away in triumph to their respective
countries. But, as this gainful branch of commerce must soon
have been annihilated, it was found convenient to suppose that
the marvellous wood possessed a secret power of vegetation;
and that its substance, though continually diminished, still
remained entire and unimpaired." It might perhaps have been
expected that the influence of the place, and the belief of a
perpetual miracle, should have produced some salutary effects
on the morals as well as on the faith of the people. Yet the
most respectable of the ecclesiastical writers have been obliged
to confess, not only that the streets of Jerusalem were filled
with the incessant tumult of business and pleasure,” but that
every species of vice, adultery, theft, idolatry, poisoning,
murder, was familiar to the inhabitants of the holy city.” The
wealth and pre-eminence of the church of Jerusalem excited
the ambition of Arian, as well as orthodox, candidates; and the
virtues of Cyril, who, since his death, has been honoured with
the title of Saint, were displayed in the exercise, rather than in
the acquisition, of his episcopal dignity.”
The vain and ambitious mind of Julian mignt aspire to
restore the ancient glory of the temple of Jerusalem.” As the

Sulpicius Severus, Rufinus, Ambrose, and perhaps .." of Jerusalem. The silence
of Eusebius and the Bourdeaux pilgrim, which satisfies those who think, perplexes
those who believe. See Jortin's sensible remarks, vol. ii. p. 238-248. [Cp. App. 21.]
*7 This multiplication is asserted by Paulinus (epist. xxxvii. See Dupin, Biblioth.
Ecclés, tom. iii. p. 149), who seems to have improved a rhetorical flourish of Cyril
into a real fact. The same supernatural privilege must have been communicated
to the Virgin's milk (Erasmi Opera, tom. i. p. 778. Lug. Bat. 1703, in Colloq. de
Peregrinat. Religionis ergo), saints' heads, &c. and other relics, which were
repeated in so many different churches.
* Jerom (tom. i. p. 103), who resided in the neighbouring village of Bethlem,
describes the vices of erusalem from his personal experience.
* Gregor. Nyssen, apud Wesseling, p. 539. The whole epistle, which condemns
either the use or the abuse of religious pilgrimage, is painful to the Catholic divines,
while it is dear and familiar to our Protestant polemics.
7" He renounced his orthodox ordination, officiated as a deacon, and was re-
ordained by the hands of the Arians. But Cyril afterwards changed with the times,
and prudently conformed to the Nicene faith. Tillemont (Mém. Ecclés, tom. viii.),
who treats his memory with tenderness and respect, has thrown his virtues into the
text, and his faults into the notes, in decent obscurity, at the end of the volume.
* Imperii sui memoriam magnitudine operum gestiens propagare. Ammian.
xxiii. 1. The temple of Jerusalem had been famous even among the Gentiles.

Christians were firmly persuaded that a sentence of everlasting destruction had been pronounced against the whole fabric of the Mosaic law, the imperial sophist would have converted the success of his undertaking into a specious argument against the faith of the prophecy and the truth of revelation.” He was displeased with the spiritual worship of the synagogue; but he approved the institutions of Moses, who had not disdained to adopt many of the rites and ceremonies of Egypt.” The local and national deity of the Jews was sincerely adored by a polytheist who desired only to multiply the number of the gods;” and such was the appetite of Julian for bloody sacrifice that his emulation might be excited by the piety of Solomon, who had offered, at the feast of the dedication, twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep.” These considerations might influence his designs; but the prospect of an immediate and important advantage would not suffer the impatient monarch to expect the remote and uncertain event of the Persian war. He resolved to erect, without delay, on the commanding eminence of Moriah, a stately temple which might eclipse the splendour of the church of the Resurrection on the adjacent hill of Calvary; to establish an order of priests, whose interested zeal would detect the arts, and resist the ambition, of their Christian rivals; and to invite a numerous colony of Jews, whose stern fanaticism would be always prepared to second, and even to anticipate, the hostile

measures of the pagan government. Among the friends of the emperor (if the names of emperor and of friend are not incompatible) the first place was assigned, by Julian himself, to the

They had many temples in each city (at Sichem five, at Gaza eight, at Rome four hundred and twenty-four); but the wealth and religion of the o nation was centered in one spot. 72 The secret intentions of Julian are revealed by the late bishop of Gloucester, the learned and dogmatic Warburton; who, with the authority of a theologian, prescribes the motives and conduct of the Supreme Being. The discourse entitled Julian (2d edition, London, 1751) is strongly marked with all the peculiarities which are imputed to the Warburtonian school. 78 I shelter myself behind Maimonides, Marsham, Spencer, Le Clerc, Warburton, &c. who have fairly derided the fears, the folly, and the falsehood of some superstitious divines. See Divine Legation, vol. iv. p. 25, &c. 74 Julian (Fragment, p. 295) respectfully styles him uéyas 9eós, and mentions him elsewhere (epist. lxiii) with still higher reverence. He doubly condemns the Christians: for believing and for renouncing the religion of the Jews. Their Deity was a true, but not the only, God. Apud Cyril. 1. ix. p. 305, 306. 7; 1 Kings, viii. 63. 2 Chronicles vii. 5. Joseph. Antiquitat. Judaic. l. viii. c. 4, p. 431, edit. Havercamp. As the blood and smoke of so many hecatombs might be inconvenient, Lightfoot, the Christian Rabbi, removes them by a miracle. Le Clerc (ad loca) is bold enough to suspect the fidelity of the numbers.

virtuous and learned Alypius.” The humanity of Alypius was tempered by severe justice and manly fortitude; and, while he exercised his abilities in the civil administration of Britain, he imitated, in his poetical compositions, the harmony and softness of the odes of Sappho. This minister, to whom Julian communicated, without reserve, his most careless levities and his most serious counsels, received an extraordinary commission to restore, in its pristine beauty, the temple of Jerusalem; and the diligence of Alypius required and obtained the strenuous support of the governor of Palestine. At the call of their great deliverer, the Jews, from all the provinces of the empire, assembled on the holy mountain of their fathers; and their insolent triumph alarmed and exasperated the Christian inhabitants of Jerusalem. The desire of rebuilding the temple has, in every age, been the ruling passion of the children of Israel. In this propitious moment the men forgot their avarice, and the women their delicacy; spades and pickaxes of silver were provided by the vanity of the rich, and the rubbish was transported in mantles of silk and purple. Every purse was opened in liberal contributions, every hand claimed a share in the pious labour; and the commands of a great monarch were executed by the enthusiasm of a whole people.77 Yet, on this occasion, the joint efforts of power and enthusiasm were unsuccessful; and the ground of the Jewish temple, which is now covered by a Mahometan mosque,’s still continued to exhibit the same edifying spectacle of ruin and desolation. | Perhaps the absence and death of the emperor, and the new maxims of a Christian reign, might explain the interruption of an arduous work, which was attempted only in the last six months of the life of Julian.79 But the Christians entertained

The enterrise is efeated

78 Julian, epist. xxix. xxx. La Bléterie has neglected to translate the second of these epistles.

77 See the zeal and impatience of the Jews in Gregory Nazianzen (Orat. iv. p. 111 [v., c. 4]) and Theodoret (l. iii. c. 20).

78 Built by Omar, the second Khalif, who died A.D. 644. This great mosque covers the whole consecrated ground of the Jewish temple, and constitutes almost a square of 760 toises, or one Roman mile in circumference. See d'Anville, Jérusalem,

p #Ammianus records the consuls of the year 363, before he proceeds to mention the thoughts of Julian. Templum . . . instaurare sumptibus cogitabat immodicis, Warburton has a secret wish to anticipate the design : but he must have understood, from former examples, that the execution of such a work would have demanded many years. [An examination of the evidence,—especially of Julian's own statement (ep. 25, p. 514, l. 8) that he intends to rebuild Jerusalem when he has finished the Persian War (&op000 duevos)—leads us to believe that the work of building was never even begun. The whole story seems to have been (as Dr. Adler concludes in his full discussion of the subject, Jewish Quarterly Review, 1893, p. 615

a natural and pious expectation that, in this memorable contest,

the honour of religion would be vindicated by some signal miracle. An earthquake, a whirlwind, and a fiery eruption, which overturned and scattered the new foundations of the temple, are attested, with some variations, by contemporary and

respectable evidence.” This public event is described by

Ambrose,” bishop of Milan, in an epistle to the emperor Theodosius, which must provoke the severe animadversion of the Jews; by the eloquent Chrysostom,” who might appeal to the memory of the elder part of his congregation at Antioch; and by Gregory Nazianzen,” who published his account of the miracle before the expiration o

was not disputed by the infidels; and his assertion, strange as it may seem, is confirmed by the unexceptionable testimony of Ammianus Marcellinus.* The philosophic soldier, who loved the virtues, without adopting the prejudices, of his master, has recorded, in his judicious and candid history of his own times, the extraordinary obstacles which interrupted the restoration of the temple of Jerusalem. “Whilst Alypius, assisted by the governor of the province, urged with vigour and diligence the execution of the work, horrible balls of fire breaking out near

sqq.) a deliberate fiction of Gregory Nazianzen, from whose Invective against Julian it passed into Ambrose, Chrysostom, and then (embellished with contradictions) into the ecclesiastical historians Socrates, &c. (see next notes). Ammianus, who liked a miracle, can have got the tale from the same source. Dr. Adler has disposed of the late Jewish authorities who are mustered in Wagenseil's Tela Ignea Satanae.] 80 The subsequent witnesses, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Philostorgius, &c. add contradictions rather than authority. Compare the objections of nage (Hist. des Juifs, tom. viii. p. 157-168) with Warburton's answer (Julian, p. 174-258). The bishop has ingeniously explained the miraculous crosses which appeared on the garments of the spectators by a similar instance, and the natural effects of lightning. go Ambros. tom. ii. epist. xl. p. 946, edit. Benedictin. He composed this fanatic epistle (A.D. 388) to justify a bishop, who had been condemned by the civil magistrate for burning a synagogue. * Chrysostom, tom. i. p. 580, advers. Judaeos et Gentes; tom. ii. p. 574, de Sancto Babylä, edit. Montfaucon. I have followed the common and natural supposition; but the learned Benedictine, who dates the composition of these sermons in the year 383, is confident they were never pronounced from the pulpit. *Greg. Nazianzen, Qrat. iv, p. 110-113 [v., c. 2 sqq.). To be obv reponroy rāort 9avua, kai ow88 rois à9éots atrols into rosuevov Aéčov ioxouai. *Ammian. xxiii. 1. Cum itaquerei fortiter instaret Alypius, juvaretgue provinciae rector, metuendi globi flammarum prope fundamenta crebris assultibus erumpentes fecere locum exustis aliquoties operantibus inaccessum : hocque modo elemento destinatius repellente, cessavit inceptum. Warburton labours (p. 60-90) to extort a confession of the miracle from the mouths of Julian and Libanius, and to employ the evidence of a rabbi who lived in the fifteenth century. Such witnesses can only be received by a very favourable judge.

the same year. The last of perhaps by a these writers has boldly declared that this preternatural event #: “

the foundations with frequent and reiterated attacks, rendered the place, from time to time, inaccessible to the scorched and blasted workmen; and, the victorious element continuing in this manner obstinately and resolutely bent, as it were, to drive them to a distance, the undertaking was abandoned.” Such authority should satisfy a believing, and must astonish an incredulous, mind. Yet a philosopher may still require the original evidence of impartial and intelligent spectators. At this important crisis, any singular accident of nature would assume the appearance, and produce the effects, of a real prodigy. This glorious deliverance would be speedily improved and magnified by the pious art of the clergy of Jerusalem and the active credulity of the Christian world; and, at the distance of twenty years, a Roman historian, careless of theological disputes, might adorn his work with the specious and splendid miracle.* The restoration of the Jewish temple was secretly connected with the ruin of the Christian church. Julian still continued to maintain the freedom of religious worship, without distinguishing whether this universal toleration proceeded from his justice or his clemency. He affected to pity the unhappy Christians, who were mistaken in the most important object of their lives; but his pity was degraded by contempt, his contempt was embittered by hatred; and the sentiments of Julian were expressed in a style of sarcastic wit, which inflicts a deep and deadly wound whenever it issues from the mouth of a sovereign. As he was sensible that the Christians gloried in the name of their Redeemer, he countenanced, and perhaps enjoined, the use of the less honourable appellation of GALILEANs.” He declared that, by the folly of the Galilaeans, whom he describes as a sect of fanatics, contemptible to men, and odious to the gods, the empire had been reduced to the brink of destruction; and he insinuates in a public edict that a frantic patient might sometimes be of by salutary violence.” An ungenerous

Partiality of
Julian

* Dr. Lardner, perhaps alone of the Christian critics, presumes to doubt the

truth of this famous miracle (Jewish and Heathen Testimonies, vol. iv. p. 47–71)

The silence of Jerom would lead to a suspicion that the same story, which was celebrated at a distance, might be despised on the spot. [Dr. Adler (loc. cit.) also notices the silence of Prudentius, Orosius (7, 30) and the two Cyrils.]

* Greg. Naz. Orat. iii. p. 81. And this 3. was confirmed by the invariable practice of Julian himself. arburton has justly observed (p. i. the Platonists believed in the mysterious virtue of words; and Julian's dislike for the name of Christ might proceed from superstition, as well as from contempt.

87 Fragment. Julian. p. 288 [371, ed. Hertl.] He derides the uwpia Taxi.Aater (epist. vii), and so far loses sight of the principles of toleration as to wish (epist. xlii) āxovras taotai.

« ForrigeFortsett »