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to Christianity, in his own works, or in any ancient writers who have mentioned him; I rather think, (though without being positive,) that he was from the beginning educated in the Christian religion. Nourry · was of the same opinion: and herein I thought I had the honour to agree likewise with Dr. Heumann, who has 6 lately given us a very valuable edition of Lactantius, and been long before acquainted with his works. But in his preface to that edition, he has let fall some expressions on the other side; as if he had altered his opinion, or forgot what he had well and largely argued o formerly.
II. We have seen in Jerom a catalogue of the works of Lactantius: the catalogues in Honorius of Autun and Trithemius are very little different.
1. The last-mentioned writer adds, that beside the books enumerated by him, it was said, that Lactantius had written not a few more, but he had not seen them.
2. Lactantius himself in his Institutions, and in his book Of the Wrath of God, mentions a design to write against all heresies; which we do not know that he ever did, being perhaps prevented by death. I thought it proper, however, to take notice of it in this place, as a proof of our author's zeal for truth, with which he was greatly enamoured, (as some other expressions also of his elsewhere 'shew,) and his readiness to employ his time in the defence of it.
3. And at the beginning of the seventh book of his Institutions, he promises * somewhat against the Jews, which we have not, unless it be in the latter part of that very book.
4. Two of the three books first mentioned by Jerom, the Itinerary and Grammaticus, seem to be irrecoverably lost. And it has been generally thought, that the third, the Symposium, or Banquet, was lost likewise. But Dr. Heumann, who not very long since published an edition of a work with that title, asserts its genuineness. It is a collection of a hundred tristich epigrams, with a prologue. I do not dispute the favourable judgment, which the learned editor forins of this work. But I shall have no occasion to quote it at present.
5. All our author's book of Epistles are entirely lost. Pope Damascus, as ' before shewn, did not read them with pleasure, and seems to have set but little value upon them; nevertheless some learned moderns " regret the loss of them..
According to the passage before cited from Jerom's Catalogue, there were only two books of Epistles to Demetrian. Nevertheless, in " another place Jerom quotes the eighth book of Lactantius's Epistles to. Demetrian. I fancy the reason is this; there were in all eight books of Epistles, and those to Demetrian were placed last in the collection. Quoting therefore the second book to Demetrian, he calls it the eighth to him; meaning, however, no more than the eighth book of this writer's epistles, which book was to Demetrian.
6. We still have the treatise Of the Workmanship of God, addressed to Demetrian, whom o he had taught rhetoric. Demetrian P seems to have been a man of fortune, and to have had then some public employment. Lactantius commends him: but he likewise admonisheth him to be upon his guard against the snares of his prosperous condition. And yet it must have been a time of persecution. For with regard to himself, he speaks of the difficulty both of his own!
* Nourr. Diss. in Lact. cap. i. p. 578.
* Sed erit nobis contra Judæos separata materia, in qua Gottingæ MDCCXXXVI.
illos erroris & sceleris revincemus. Inst. I. vii. c. 1. ad fin. © The Symposium of Lactantius, with a long preface, was · See p. 260. published by Dr. Heumann at HANOVER, in the year 1722. m Utinam eas epistolas tempus rerum edax nobis non invi
- Cum enim nec philosophus esset, nec diu sacris versa- disset. Nos libenter legeremus. Basn. Ann. 320. n. iv. tus in literis, (a puero enim sacra coluerat illa cum suis paren
-quod & Firmianus in octavo ad Demetrianum tibus, quæ postea exsecrabatur, illatâ menti suæ luce divinæ epistolarum libro facit. In Galat. c. iv. p. 268. sapientiæ :) ne satis quidem perceperat ecclesiæ doctrinas, &c. Nam, si te in literis nihil aliud quam linguam instruentiHeuman. Præf. ad opp. Lactant, p, ante f. quart.
bus auditorem satis strenuum præbuisti; quanto magis in his • Several of his passages are alleged above at noteo and P: veris, & ad vitam pertinentibus, docilior esse debebis ? De Op.
* Alia insuper non pauca scripsisse dicitur. Sed in manus Dei, c. i. p. 829. nostras non venerunt. Trithem. cap. 56.
P Nam, licet te publicæ rei necessitas a veris & justis operi& Postea plenius & uberius contra omnes mendaciorum bus avertat; tamen fieri non potest, quin subinde in cæluni .. sectas proprio separatoque opere pugnabimus. Inst. I. iv. c. aspiciat mens sibi conscia recti, ibid. ult. in fin.
9 Ego quidem lætor, omnia tibi, quæ pro bonis habentur, & refutabimus postea diligentius, cum respondere prospere fluere: vereor enim-Ideoque te moneo, repetens ad omnes sectas cæperimus, quæ veritatem, dum disputant, iterumque monebo, ne oblectamenta ista terræ pro magnis aut perdiderunt. De Irâ Dei. c. 2. p. 767.
veris bonis habere te credas, ibid. Nullus enim suavior animo cibus est, quam cognitio veri- Apud quem nunc profiteor, nullâ me necessitate vel rei, tatis, cujus asserendæ, atque illustrandæ septem volumina vel temporis impediri, quo minus aliquid excudam. De Op. destinavimus, I. i. c. 1. p. 9.
Dei, cap. i. p. 829.
circumstances, and of the times: and he says, that a the devil then acted as a roaring lion Tillemont thinks, that this was the first of our author's public labours in the service of religion, because he here expresseth a resolution to employ his time for the future in the defence of truth. But that argument is but barely probable, since Lactantius expresseth himself much after the same manner again in the introduction to his Divine Institutions.
7. As those Institutions against the Gentiles, in seven books, are the principal work of Lactantius, we should be glad to settle the time of writing and publishing them. As we now have them, they are inscribed to Constantine. And it is thought that he refers to the Licinian persecution, which began in the year 319. They were not therefore published before the year 320. So say · Basnage and · Pagi, whose arguments I have briefly placed in the margin, for the sake of such readers as may not have their works at hand. Du Pin says, that Lactantius wrote his Institutions in the time of Licinius's persecution, which began in 320, and that'he undertook that work about the year of Christ 320, if his numbers are rightly printed, which I think cannot be properly said. For it is not a work which could be composed in a short time; and we have proofs of his designing it 8 at the very beginning of Dioclesian's persecution. Tillemont says, that " in the condition we now have it, it seems not to have been published before the year 321; and therefore it might be the fruit of the time that Lactantius spent with Crispus in Gaul. Nourry's ' opinion concerning the time of this work is very little different from theirs : (though in one place he says, that * the Institutions were composed a little after the year 311.) He observes, that 'Lactantius seems not to have been in Bithynia, when he composed this work ; therefore he might be in Gaul with Crispus, who was not placed under his tuition, before the year 318.
He too supposeth, that “ Lactantius in this work speaks of the Licinian persecution. He does not insist upon the passage in the inscription of the Institutions to Constantine, which is wanting in some manuscripts, but upon some other passages in other parts of that work: where, however, I must own, I cannot yet discern a reference to any persecution, different from that of Dioclesian.
Cave was rather of opinion that · Lactantius composed the Institutions in the time of this last mentioned persecution. And I beg leave to enlarge in support of his opinion. This work was occasioned by the writings of two heathens of note, who published their pieces against the Christians at the very beginning of the persecution under Dioclesian, as Lactantius expressly assures us. It seems not reasonable to think, that a design, formed by him in 302, or 303, should not be executed before 320. And in several passages of his Institutions, he speaks as ? if the
a Nam & ille colluctator & adversarius noster, scis, quam disciplinam. At id anno 318, aut paulo post contigit. Nourry, sit astutus, & idem ipse violentus, sicuti nunc videmus, ib. App. T. ii. p. 632. A. B.
* Si verior sit secunda opinio, certe Lactantius, qui paulo b See Tillem. as before, p. 349, and Lact. de Op. Dei, Cap. post annum 311, Divinas Institutiones composuit-ib. p. ult.
628. B. quem hoc anno [320.] Divinarum Institutionum ' Inst. 1. v. c. xi. p. 490. The words will be cited below libros Constantino nuncupâsse existimamus. Ardente quidem at Note m. Liciniana persecutione editos esse, verbis monemur auctoris : m Et certe Lactantius Diocletiani in Christianos sævientis (Inst. 1. i. cap. 1.] Nam malis qui adversus justos in aliis ter- immanem crudelitatem depinxit. Lib. v. Inst. cap. xi. rarum partibus sæviunt, quanto serius, tanto vehementius p. 490. & seqq. Ast alia his plane similia aut prorsus eadem, idem Omnipotens mercedem sceleris exsolvet, &c. Basn. adhuc cum hos libros exararet, inflicta sic alibi memorat: Ann. 320. n. iv.
Cultores Dei summi, hoc est, justos homines, torquent, interd Sæviebat itaque tunc Licinii persecutio, quando Lactantius ficiunt, &c. ib. cap. i. p. 456. Vid. & cap. 12. p. 493. I. vi. c. opus illud Constantino dicarit, ideoque non anno 316, ut cre- 17. p. 603. Nourry ubi supr. p. 631. didit Baronius, sed post annum 319, in lucem emissum. Pag. Scripti sunt hi libri sub Diocletiani persecutione, quod in Bar. Ann. 315. n. vii. vid. & 316. n. vi.
ipse Lactantius, 1. v. c. 2, 4. satis aperte testatur: non, quod e-il a donc écrit du temps de la persécution de l'empe- multi volunt, sub Liciniana. Inscriptiones enim ad Constantia reur Licinius, qui a commencé en 320. Du Pin. Bib. T. i. num M. quæ in librorum 1, 2, 4, & 5, fronte comparent, nec p. 209.
antiquiores editiones, nec melioris notæ codicesMSS. agnoscunt; ' Il entreprit ensuite les sept livres des Institutions vers l'an ideoque ab alienâ manu fluxisse censendæ sunt. Aliter a stylo 320 de Jésus Christ. Id. ib. p. 205.
Lactantiano non multum abhorrent. Cav. H. L. T. i. p. 162. & Vid. Inst. I. v. cap. 2. p. 460. & c. 4. p. 470.
• Ego cum in Bithynià oratorias literas accitus docerem, h Tillem. T. 6. P. i. p. 349.
contigissetque, ut eodem tempore Dei templum everteretur, i Lactantius igitur non ante hunc annum 319, Divinarum duo exstiterunt ibidem, qui jacenti atque abjectæ veritati, Institutionum libros edidit. Nonne autem roboris ac firma- nescio utrum superbius an importunius, insultarent. Inst. 1. menti aliquid huic posteriori opinioni inde accedit, quod v. c. 2. p. 460. li ergo, de quibus dixi, cum, præsente me ac Lactantius significare videtur se ex Bithynia — prius seces- dolente, sacrilegas suas literas explicassent ; & illorum superba sisse, quam
-hos libros emisisset in lucem? Non enim prorsus impietate stimulatus, -suscepi hoc munus- ib. c. 4, inepte colligi inde potest eos ab illo compositos, postquam se contulisset in Gallias, atque ibi Crispus in ejus traditus fuisset P Hæc enim populus noster patitur omnia, errantium pra
Christians then suffered under a general persecution, all over the world; whereas the Licinian persecution was in the east only.
Lactantius does indeed speak of some sufferings in the persecution of Dioclesian as “ past. Which however, I think, is not strange: for though he formed the design of this work at the beginning of that persecution, and carried it on as he had opportunity in those difficult times ; the persecution might be coming to an end, or be quite concluded before his work was finished and published. By which means he certainly would be able to reflect upon, and take notice of divers events in several parts of the world, during that long scene of affliction and distress.
And when I read the Institutions, I am disposed to consider them, as a work composed, for the most part at least, under the persecution of Dioclesian; though perhaps they were not published till after it was over. It is likely, that others in reading this work, experience the like sentiments. For some have supposed, that there were two editions of this work; that is, one before that which we now have, with the inscriptions to Constantine: and others, supported by the authority of a good number of manuscript copies, think those inscriptions not genuine.
Before I proceed, I would observe one thing more; that it is not likely, the long argument against persecution, in the fifth book of the Institutions, should be written after Dioclesian's
persecution was over. And the last chapter of that book seems to shew, that as yet there was no Christian emperor: that the persecuting princes were still living, and that their persecutions were not yet come to an end. And in the Epitome of the same work there are expressions, intimating, that's some of those persecuting princes, or chief instruments in Dioclesian's persecution, had died miserably, whilst one or more of them still survived: which might lead us to think, that the Epitome itself was composed not later than the year 311, 312, or 313.
As for the mention which is made of the Arians in one place, it was an easy addition. But it is difficult to defend the genuineness of that clause upon any supposition concerning the date of the Institutions.
vitate. Ecce in eo est errore civitas, vel potius orbis ipse Josephus Isæus non unâ ratione, quasi non congruentia temtotus, ut bonos & justos viros, tamquam malos & impios, per- poribus. Tuetur Stephanus Baluzius & tristibus temporisequatur, excruciet, damnet, occidat, ib. I. v. c. 12. p. 493. bus scriptas Institutiones putat, lætioribus autem emendatas, Spectatæ sunt enim, spectanturque adhuc per orbem, pænæ auctas, & Constantino dedicatas. Cellar. ad eund. loc. ap. cultorum Dei, in quibus excruciandis nova & inusitata tor- Heumann ed.
6. menta excogitata sunt, I. vi. c. 17. p. 603.
* Quidquid vero adversum nos mali principes moliuntur, * Quæ autem per totum orbem singuli gesserint, enarrare im- fieri ipse permittit. Et tamen injustissimi persecutores, quibus possibile est. Quis enim voluminum numerus capiet tam in- Dei nomen contumeliæ ac ludibrio fuit, non se putent impune finita, tam varia genera crudelitatis ? Acceptâ enim potestate, laturos, quia indignationis adversus nos ejus quasi ministri fuepro suis viribus quisque sævivit, ib. 1. v. c. 11. p. 490.
runt. Punientur enim judicio Dei, qui accepta potestate supra Si vobis sapientes videmur, imitamini: si stulti, contemnite, humanum modum fueriot abusi.- -Quapropter non sperent aut etiam ridete, si libet.Quid laceratis? quid affligitis? sacrilegæ animæ, contemtos & inultos fore, quos sic obterunt. 1. v. c. 12. sub in. Cur enim tam crudeliter sæviant, nisi quia Inst. I. v. c. 23. metuunt, ne, in dies invalescente justitia, cum diis suis arane
nec re nec verbo pugnamus; sed mites & taciti, & osis relinquantur? eod. cap. sub fin.
patientes perferimus omnia-Habemus enim fiduciam in · Dici etiam potest, Lactantium bis hoc opus edidisse, (quod Deo, a quo expectamus secuturam protinus ultionem. Nec idem Tertulliani Apologetico factum 'esse constat) prius ante est inanis ista fiducia; siquidem eorum omnium, qui hoc regnum Constantini, iterum eo rerum potito. Heumani. ad facinus ausi sunt, miserabiles exitus partim cognovimus, parInst. 1. i. c. 1. p. 6.
tim videmus. Epit. c. 53. p. 150. ed. Davids. Sane Lactantius libros Divinarum Institutionum scripsit & Cum enim Phryges, aut ---Marcionitæ aut Anthropiani, furente persecutione, in ipsis ejus initiis, ut ex capite secundo aut Ariani, seu quilibet alii nominantur. Inst. I. iv. c. 30. & quarto libri quinti colligitur: sed non emisit, impeditus p. 449. "videlicet & rei & temporis necessitate.-At, quum data Mais en quelque temps qu'on dise qu'a écrit Lactance, il esset pax-Itaque tum Lactantius Divinarum Institutionum est bien difficile de croire qu'il ait pû parler des Ariens comme libros, in quibus loca quædam sparsim reperiuntur, quæ mani- d'hérétiques déclarés ; ce qu'on ne peut presque pas dire avoir festo constat scripta esse post bellum sedatum atque extinc- été avant le concile de Nicée, & après toutes les persecutions. tum, recensuit, pleraque addidit, in primis vero ea quæ in Il seroit même assez aisé de montrer par la lettre de Constaninitiis librorum & in epilogo dicuntur ad Constantinum, quæ tin à S. Alexandre & à Arius, que jusqu'à la fin de l'ann. perperam nonnulli judicant notha esse & supposititia. Sed 323. l'hérésie d'Arius n'avoit encore fait que peu ou point de haud dubie duæ antiquitus fuere Divinarum Institutionum bruit dans l'Occident. De sorte que pour soutenir que le mot editiones.
-Qui vero priore editione usi sunt; ea profecto d' Ariani est veritablement de Lactance, il faudoit rapnon habuerunt quæ postea de Constantino addita sunt. Baluz.
porter ce qu'il dit de la persécution qui duroit encore alors annot. ad lib. de M. P. sub. in. Et Conf. Tillem. ubi supr. en quelques endroits, non à celle de Licinius, mais à celle de p. 349. & 466. &c. Vid. & Thomas. not. ad Inst. I. i. c. 1. Sapor, &c. Tillem. Note iv. sur Lactance. Mem. T. 6. P. i. p. 6. edit. Heumanni.
p. 469. So Tillemont. However they who are desirous of Inclusa de Constantino ad num. 17, absunt a pluribus seeing somewhat on the other side may consult Dr. Heumann's MSS. quinque Vaticanis, & duobus Bononiensibus, Mich. note upon the passage of Lactantius, where the Arians are Thomasio teste: ab Anglicanis aliquot, & primo Lipsiensi. mentioned. Habent Gothanus, reliqui Lipsienses, alii codices. Damnat
After all, how much soever I have desired it, I do not imagine that I have clearly fixed the time of writing and publishing this work; but yet I was willing to set before my readers a state of the question. And I persuade myself, that in the year 306, Lactantius had begun the work, the design of which was formed in 303. I therefore choose to consider him as flourishing in the quality of a Christian writer about the year 306.
This work Lactantius intended not only as an answer to the two authors before taken notice of, but · as a general answer, and full confutation of all others, who already had, or hereafter might oppose the Christian doctrine.
It is a noble work, and has received just praises from • Jerom. I put in the margin a passage of Lactantius, which that author refers to. Nevertheless, perhaps this work would have been more curious and entertaining to us now, if he had inserted more particularly the objections of those two writers, that were the first occasion of it. But Lactantius despised them too much to do them that honour. And, as before observed, he intended his work should contain a general confutation of all objectors and adversaries whatever.
8. We have also the Epitome of the Divine Institutions, inscribed by Lactantius to his brother Pentadius; which was imperfect at the beginning in St. Jerom's copy, and was so likewise in ours, until it was found in the library of the king of Sardinia at Turin, by Dr. Christopher Matthew Pfaff, and published by him entire, or nearly so, at Paris in 1712, to the great joy of the learned world. A curious account of the manuscript, and the fortunate discovery of it, may be read in Dr. Pfaft's Preliminary Dissertation, and in Mr. La Roche's " Memoirs of Literature. This abridgment is an useful book, containing in it some things not to be found in the Institutions themselves.
9. The book of the Wrath or Anger of God, is likewise still extant. It is particularly commended by Jerom, as a learned and elegant piece, and a complete treatise upon the subject.
10. Beside these there is a well-known book of the Deaths of Persecutors, which was first published by Stephen Baluze in the second volume of his Miscellanea, in the year 1679. But this has not been so universally reckoned genuine, as the beginning of the Epitome, published by Dr. Pfaff.
It is however a very valuable work, containing a short account of the sufferings of Christians under several of the Roman emperors, from the death and resurrection of Christ to Dioclesian: and then a particular history of the persecution raised by that emperor, and the causes and springs of it; as likewise the miserable deaths of the chief instruments therein. Here we learn divers remarkable facts, recorded no where else..
It would be tedious to observe particularly all that might be said relating to the dispute concerning the author of this work. I therefore refer to' Baluze, : Fabricius, - Heumann, and' some others, for the arguments, that it is a work of Lactantius, and to k Nourry on the other side.
Fabricius, in particular, thinks Nourry's reasons for robbing Lactantius of this piece to be of little weight; far from being sufficient ground for introducing a new author, named Lucius Cecilius, unknown to all antiquity. However, as I am obliged to deliver my opinion, I shall support it with a few observations, referring to Nourry for the rest.
-suscepi hoc opus, ut omnibus ingenii mei 'viribus • Vol. v. p. 184, and 395, &c. in the second edition. accusatores justitize vindicarem: non ut contra hos scriberem, e Firmianus noster librum de Irâ Dei docto pariter & eloqui paucis verbis obteri poterant; sed ut omnes, qui ubique quenti sermone conscripsit, quem qui legerit, puto ei ad iræ idem operis efficiunt aut effecerunt, uno simul impetu profli- intellectum satis abundeque posse sufficere. Hieron Comm. · garem. Inst. I. v. c. 4. p. 470.
in Ephes. cap. iv. ver. 26. p. 373, • Firmianus quoque noster, in præclaro Institutionum sua- Baluz. Miscell. I. ii. p. 351, 352, & in not. ad libr. de · rum opere, Y literæ meminit; & de dextris ac sinistris, hoc M. P. p. 7, 8, &c. edit. Ultraj. 1693. est, de virtutibus & vitiis plenissime disputat. Hieron. Comm. 8 Fabric. not. b & & ad Hieron. de V. I. cap. 80, in in Ecc. cap. x. T. 2. p.770. Quis mihi interdicere potest, ne Biblioth. Ecc. p. 165, 166. Vid. & ejusd. Bibl. Lact. Vol. iii. · legam Institutionum ejus libros, quibus contra gentes scripsit p. 403, 404. fortissime? Id. ad Pamm. & Oc. Ep. 41. al. 65. T. 4. p. 345. + Vid. Heumann. App. i. ad symp. Lact: di ejus. Præf. ad
c Omnis hæc de duabus viis disputatio ad frugalitatem ac Lactant. Opp. · luxuriam spectat. Dicunt enim humanæ vitæ cursum Y i Dan Maichelli Introduct. ad Hist. Lit. p. 187, &c. Canliteræ esse similem, quod unusquisque hominum, cum primum tabr. 1721, & Journal. Literaire. Toin. 7. P. i. p. 1-29, à adolescentiæ limen attigerit, & in eum locum venerit, “partes la Haye, 1715. ubi se via findit in ambas;" hæreat nutabundus, ac nesciat in * Diss. in L. Cecil. de M. P. Paris. 1710, & in App. ad quam se partem inclinet. Si ducem nactus fuerit, qui dirigat Bib. P. P. p. 1042, &c. ad meliora titubantem, &c. Inst. l. vi. c. 3. p. 550, 551.
The book, published by Baluze, is ascribed in the Colbertine manuscript, the only one of it in being, to Lucius Cecilius. It is not easy to conceive, why the transcriber of this book should not have added Firmianus Lactantius, if it is his. And the forenames, Lucius Cælius, or Cæcilius, are very rarely given to Lactantius. Fabricius mentions only one author, Bernardinus de Bustis, of the fifteenth century, and two manuscripts; one of the books commonly ascribed to Lactantius, the other of his book, Of the Workmanship of God; in which Lactantius is called at length Lucius Cælius, or Cæcilius Firmianus Lactantius. Methinks, this is not sufficient ground for giving those two names to this learned ancient; when he is called only Firmianus Lactantius, or Firmianus, or Lactantius singly, by Jerom, Eucherius, 4 Augustine," • Apollinaris. Sidonius, Honorius of Autun, Trithemius. Not to say any thing of Freculph's and Ado's Chronicles, though they also use the same way of writing. And moreover, in almost all the manuscript copies of his works, or of some part of them (as is owned) he is called only Firmianus Lactantius.
Then the title of the book, published by Baluze, is different from that of Lactantius in Jerom. It is intitled, Of the Deaths of Persecutors: but that mentioned by Jerom is, Of the Persecution: so likewise in Honorius and Trithemius, without any variation. This appears to me considerable. If Lactantius's book had been intitled, Of the Deaths of Persecutors, it would have been so described by Jerom. If it had obtained that title, and had been ever so called in a few ages after, either in manuscripts, or in learned writers who quoted it; it is reasonable to suppose that so late writers as Honorius and Trithemius, one of the twelfth, the other of the fifteenth century, would have mentioned it by that title alone; or else would have mentioned the two titles together.
This book, Of the Deaths of Persecutors, is inscribed to Donatus, a confessor, who had suffered six years imprisonment, and other hardships for the sake of Christianity, in Dioclesian's persecution. And the book of Lactantius concerning the Wrath of God, is dedicated to one Donatus, a friend of his. This therefore has been reckoned an argument, that Lactantius must be the author of the book, of which we are speaking. But I should rather think it an arz gument on the other side: for as 8 Tillemont observes, (though he makes no doubt of its being a genuine work of Lactantius,) the book, Of the Wrath of God, was written after
the Institutions, and consequently after the persecution. But yet Lactantius does not there call Donatus an illustrious confessor. He even speaks to him, as to a novice, “who needed to be instructed and fortified, lest he should be misled by the authority of the wise men of the world.'
Finally, not to mention other things, the style of this book appears to me far from equalling that of Lactantius. Nevertheless' Baluze, and others are of a different opinion. Every one must judge for himself: but for my own part, I cannot here discern the style of Lactantius; nor does Pfaff
, nor yet Dr. Heumann, though he maintains the genuineness of the book. As for the words and phrases found both in this book, and in the undisputed writings of Lactantius, which have been observed by Columbus in his notes upon this book, and have been since put together, and insisted on by La Croze, the author of a Dissertation, or Letter, printed
• Lucii Cæcilii. Incipit liber ad Donatuin Confessorem de c. 16. Tunc apertis carceribus, Donate carissime, cum cæteris Mortibus Persecutorum.
confessoribus e custodiâ liberatus es, cum tibi carcer sex annis licet in Sermonibus Bernardini de Bustis nomina
domicilio fuerit, ib. c. 35. Vid. & cap. i. tus Lucius Cæcilius Firmianus, teste Bernardo Moneto, T. 4. $ Mem. Ec. T. 6. P. i. p. 352. Menagiorum p. 85. Fabr. ubi supr. in Bib. Ecc. p. 165. h Quorum error, quia maxinius est, & ad evertendum vitæ Cum denique Lactantium & in Sermonibus Bernardini de humanæ statum spectat, coarguendus est a nobis, ne ipse Bustis, quos paulo ante memorabam, & in Codice Colbertino fallaris, impulsus auctoritate hominum, qui se putant esse 507, & Codice Taurinensi libri de Opificio Dei, quem inspexit sapientes. Lact. De Ira Dei. Cap. i. p. 764. Pfaffius, Lucium Cælium Lactantium appellari, non possit Nam & stylus omnino Laciantianus est, ut facile periti negari. Id. ib. p. 166. Conf. Baluz. Misc. T. ii. p. 352. istarum rerum agnoscent. Baluz. Misc. ib. p. 315.
Ausim & hoc dicere, Firmianum Lactantium Lucii Cæ- Non hic eam eloquentiæ dicendique vim, non eum oracili nomine numquam appellatum fuisse, quod nullâ quidem tionis florem, verborumque copiam inveneris
, quæ passim in probatione indigere videtur, utpote nulla antiquioris Ms. Epitome apparet ; cum e contrario Lucii Cæcilii stylus sit Codicis auctoritate nixuin. Pfaft. Diss. Præl. sect. 12, p. 16. inæqualis, lentus, & mediocris. Pfaff. ib. sect. xi. p. 15. Quid si dixerim, nec Lucium Calium nomen esse ad F. Lac- • Illud ad ultimum celare meos lectores nolo, nondum tantium pertinens; sed a recentioribus solum librariis, nimis videri mihi librum hunc satis emendavisse & exasciâsse Lacsæpius, ut par est, sapientibus, additum? Id. ib. sect. 13, tantium-Ac hanc ipsam esse causam existimo, cur hujus p. 17. d De Civ. Dei. ). xviii. c. 23.
libri stylus non ubique æquet elegantiam cæterorum Lactantii -instruit ut Hieronymus, destruit ut Lactantius. librorum.Nec ex oratione solum negligentiore apparet, Sidon. lib. iv. Ep. 3. p. 92.
primam quasi delineationem libri, non librum satis perpolitum, Novies enim tormentis cruciatibusque variis subjectus, nos habere; sed ex ipsa quoque tractatione, quæ passim mulmovies adversarium gloriosâ confessione vicisti, &c. de M. P. tum obscuritatis habct, &c, Heaman, in Præf. ad Lact. VOL. II.