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- polated: for Jerom informs us, that Victorinus held the millenarian opinion, which the author
of this work dislikes. Basnage rejected this Commentary. Lampe • thought the more probable opinion to be that it is not his. Du Pin, after having observed the arguments for and against the genuineness of this work, concludes: · We cannot therefore be positive that this
Commentary is not a work of Victorinus: on the contrary, there is some probability that it is « his.' Tillemont has treated this question modestly, and carefully as usual. He owns that there are some reasons to doubt of it: but it seems that there are yet more to believe it a
genuine remain of the many works of this holy martyr; only it must be allowed that what he had written in favour of the millenarian opinion has been altered: and he & offers some reasons for thinking that what is now found in this Commentary upon that point is an interpolation, or addition. That passage is at the end of the piece, and it appears to be of a different style from the rest of the work, Moreover there is some reason to suspect that alterations have been made in divers ancient writers who held that opinion: and what may more especially increase the suspicion here, is, that in this very Commentary there still seem to be some traces of that sentiment; where i it is said that all the saints shall be assembled together in Judea to worship Christ. Whether it be Victorinus's or not, it is supposed to have in it divers marks of antiquity. Tillemont k understands the author to speak of the senate of Rome, as still employing its name and authority for persecuting the church. What he says of Nero, that' he is to be raised up to be antichrist, is a more common notion of the first than of the latter ages. The author, * reckoning up the epistles of Paul, says nothing of the epistle to the Hebrews: and in the time of our bishop it was common in the West not to consider that as an epistle of St. Paul. It may be also observed that speaking of the prophet who is to come with Elias, he says nothing of Enoch; but informs us that some suppose him to be Moses, others Elisha; as for the author himself, he thinks it must be Jeremiah, whose death is not related in the scriptures: these may be reckoned marks of antiquity: and the style of the work answers very well to the character which Jerom gives of Victorinus's, as low and mean. So Tillemont: who nevertheless says, the safest way is not to be positive who is the author; and I assent to him. Though therefore I intend to make extraets out of this work, I desire it may be remembered that I do not quote it as certainly, but only probably, Victorinus's. I am willing to allow that in some places it has been interpolated and altered; but I am inclined to think it genuine in the main.
To this Commentary, as we now have it, is usually prefixed ' a prologue ascribed to St. Jerom: but there is so little reason to think it is, that no one, so far as I know, believes it to be authentic.
7. Beside these Commentaries Jerom says that Victorinus wrote against all heresies. This book, or these books, if they were several, seem to be referred to by Optatus in Africa, who flourished not long before the year 370.
8. Jerom concludes in this manner: Victorinus wrote many other things. But we have no certain knowledge of any more than those named by him.
9. Cave' mentions two poems which have been published as his; but he thinks altogether without ground.
• A Victorino tamen abjudicandum esse existimamus. mortis ejus curata est, Neronem dicit. Constat enim, dum Basnag. Ann. 303, n. xvi.
insequeretur eum equitatus missus a senatu, ipsum sibi gulam • Quod eo minus congruum, cum librum hunc falso ad- succidisse. Hunc ergo suscitatum Deus mittet regem dignum scribi Victorino Pictaviensi, seu, ut aliis potius videtur, Peta- dignis, et Christum qualem meruerunt Judæi: ib. p. 420, D. bionensi, qui sub fine seculi tertii floruit, valde sit probabile. m Id. ib. p. 415, E. Lampe Proleg. in Joan. I. i. c. 4, n. xii. p. 66.
n Multi putant eum Eliam esse, aut Elizæum, aut Möysen. Du Pin Bib. des Ant. Ec. T. i. p. 194.
Sed utrique mortui sunt. Hieremiæ autem mors non inveni• Au contraire il y a quelque apparence qu'il est de lui. ibid. tur, quia omnes veteres nostri tradiderunt illum esse Hiere
• See St. Victorin de Pettau, Mem. Ec. T. v. P. ii. p. 218, miam. p. 418. D. et note 2. F Ib. p. 218.
• Ubi supra, p.
P Ap. Bib. P. P. ib. . Ib. note ji. p. 444, et 445.
9 Marcion, Praxeas, Sabellius, Valentinus, et cæteri, usque See Les Millenaires in Mem. Ec. T. ii. P. ii. p. 251. ad Cataphrygas, temporibus suis a Victorino Petavionensi, et i-in Judæa, ubi omnes sancti conventuri sunt, et Domi- Zephyrino. Urbico, et a Tertulliano Carthaginensi, et ab aliis num suum adoraturi. Victorin. ap. Bib. Patr. T. iii. p. 415. D.' adsertoribus ecclesiæ catholicæ superati sunt. Optat. I. i. cap. 9.
* Et vidi, inquit, mulierem ebriam de sanguine-sanctorum, Tribuuntur autem ei carmina duo, quæ habentur in sacrodecreto senatûs illius consummatæ nequitiæ, et omnem contra rum poëtarum collectione Fabriciana. De Jesu Christo Deo fidei prædicationem etiam latam indulgentiam ipse dedit de- et homine, unum. Alteri titulus est, Lignum Vitæ. Sed oretum in universis gentibus. Id. ib. p. 420. H.
conjectura plane incerta, et, ut mihi videtur, falsa. Cav, in i Unum autem de capitibus occisum in morte, et plaga Victor. H.L. T. i. p. 147, Oxon.
10. Tillemont says, “ that * many manuscripts ascribe to St. Victorinus of Pettaw a hymn upon the cross, or upon Easter, or baptism; which is among St. Cyprian's works. It has been observed that · Bede cites it as Victorinus's. It is a fine poem, and perhaps too fine for him. • We thence perceive that many persons pretended to embrace the Christian religion, who did * not persevere until baptism.'' This is but a short poem: I do not intend to quote any thing out of it.
11. Tillemont adds, that the poem against the Marcionites, among the works of Tertullian, may be ascribed to Victorinus: and this piece answers well enough to what Jerom says • of Victorinus's small skill in the Latin tongue.' This piece is of some considerable length.
Indeed what Jerom says of our author might dispose us not to expect from him any Latin poetry: however, Bede has actually quoted some verses as his. And, since it is allowed that Victorinus did once teach rhetoric, possibly he might think fit sometimes to exercise his pen in verse as well as prose: but, when he writes Latin verse, we are not to expect that his style should appear very beautiful. This
poem is joined with Tertullian's works, but fully shewn, by · Rigaltius in his preface to it, not to be his : it stands there' with this title, Five books of an uncertain author against Mar. cion. Pearson quotes it as a piece whose age is unknown; but yet, as it seems, not reckoning it to have been written till after the middle of the fifth century. From · Cave we understand that Allix supposed this work was not published till after the time of Jerom. Bull ' asserted it to be a genuine work of Tertullian; which induced Tillemont to say, that k by many instances it • may be shewn, a critical skill in authors was not Bull's talent.
I certainly do not think that this poem was written by Tertullian ; nor do I perceive that we have sufficient evidence to ascribe it to our Victorinus: but as it is of some considerable length, and I do not now think of a better place for it, I shall here make some extracts, and take notice of several things in it.
1. This writer has a catalogue of the early' bishops of Rome, among whom is Clement; who, he says, was acquainted with the apostles, or apostolical men.
2. He mentions " Hermas, author of the Shepherd, whom he placeth in the time of pope Pius.
3. He takes notice of divers ancient" heretics.
4. Speaking of Isaiah and Jeremiah, he says that ° the former was sawn asunder, and that the latter never died.
* Mem. E. T. v. P. ii. p. 218, 219, S. Victorin.
per in Chronico a Labbéo edito. Quem secutus est Catalogus b De Cruce Domini. p. 4. App. Cypr. Oxon. 1682. tertius Pseudo-Tertullianus, cujus
ætas ignota est, lib. iii. ¿ Quâ ductus opinione Victorinus Pictaviensis, antistes ec- Pears. Opp. Post. p. 266, 267. clesiæ, de Golgotha scribens ita inchoat, &c. Bed. de locis h Doctissimus Allix libros adversum Marcionem post Hiesanct. c. 2. p. 317, Cantabr. 1722.
ronymi ævum natos arbitratur. Cav. in Tertulliano. Hist. Tillem. ib. p. 219.
L. T. i. p. 93. f. e Apud Tertullian. p. 796. Paris. 1634.
Def. Fid. Nic. Sect. iii. cap. 10. n. xix, p. 217. ? Incerti auctoris adversus Marcionem Libri quinque. * On pourroit montrer par divers exemples, que la critique Ib. p. 797
des ouvrages n'est pas le fort de Bullus. Mem. Ec. T. iii & Primus inter Latinos qui Pium suo loco posuit, erat Pros- P. i. p. 564,
| Maxima Roma Linum primum considere jussit:
Quem sequitur Clemens : is apostolicis bene potus. Adv. Marcion. I. iii. p. 803. ap. Tertullian.
Angelicus pastor, quia tradita verba locutus. ib. p. 803.
Tantos esse deos Basilidem credere jussit,
Quem populus sectum ligno, sine labe repertum,
; 5. His canon of the Old Testament a seems to have been much the same with that of the Jews and protestants.
6. He often speaks of the Old and New Testament, and of their entire agreement together; and that the law and the prophets and the apostles of Christ say one and the same thing.
7. He distinctly mentions the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
8. He speaks of the sages that o came to Jerusalem after our Saviour's birth; and of the star. that conducted them, as recorded in Matt. ii; and he seems to have thought that they were priests.
9. He speaks of John the baptist, our Lord's forerunner, and calls him apostle. 10. He' enumerates many of our Lord's miracles.
of our Lord's miracles. I omit other references to the gospels, for the sake of brevity.
11. This author in his poem expressly, and by name, quotes several of St. Paul's epistles, and plainly refers to divers others.
12. He also often refers to the epistle to the Hebrews; and probably esteemed it an epistle of St. Paul.
13. He likewise frequently quotes the book of the Revelation, and calls it John's, and John's the disciple or apostle of Christ.
14. I need not take any thing more from this unknown author of the five books against Marcion: from what has been transcribed, it may be reckoned undoubted that he received all the books of the New Testament, generally received by Christians, and esteemed by them of authority: nor does there appear any sign of his receiving any other Christian writings in that manner.
IV. We return to Victorinus himself; to whom I intend to produce some more testimonies chiefly taken from Jerom: my readers will not be displeased to see them, as they will help them to some knowledge of this good man's character; which otherwise we could never be acquainted with, since the loss of the greatest part of his works. We saw in the passage transcribed from Jerom’s Catalogue, at the beginning of this chapter,
Sanctus Hieremias, quem gentibus esse prophetam
Sic et apostolicæ voces testantur ubique.
Fit mare tranquillum jussu, ventique quiescunt. I. i. p. 797. b:
Discipulus Joannes animas pro nomine passas
he said that Victorinus understood Greek better than Latin; and that " his works, though ' valuable for the sense, were mean as to the style.' In another place he says, ' that Victorinuš • who was crowned with a glorious martyrdom, was not able to express his thoughts.' In that place Jerom passeth his judgment upon several other Latin writers of the church; such as Tertullian, Cyprian, Lactantius, Arnobius, and Hilary. In his letter to Magnus he says, “ that I though the writings of the martyr Victorinus are not learned, they shew a good will to learning.' In another place he calls Victorinus a martyr of blessed memory, who could say with the apostle:
though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge :” 2 Cor. xi. 6. He also informs us that Victorinus, as well as many others, made great use of Origen's Commentaries upon the scriptures : he speaks of this again ; at the same time giving Victorinus the character of a man of renowned integrity. Once more, Victorinus' is mentioned with divers others, who are represented as very eminent persons, or pillars of the church: where the martyr Victorinus is again distinguished for his uncommon simplicity.
V. I shall make another short article of this writer's opinions.
1. He was a millenarian ; as Jerom says, in his 3 chapter concerning Papias, and in his Com. mentary upon Ezekiel.
2. It was formerly observed that the author of the Commentary upon the Revelation supposed that Nero should be raised up from the dead to be antichrist. Since, therefore, this expected antichrist would be the Messiah and king of the Jews, we may conclude that this writer did not suppose the famous antichrist would be an erroneous, or heretical and imperious domineering Christian ; but a man of another religion, particularly the Jewish religion. Consequently, since the author likewise.' understood the man of sin, and son of perdition, in 2 Thess: ii. 3, to be the same as antichrist, he must have supposed the apostle there to speak of a man who is a Jew by religion at least.
Mr. La Roche published, in his New Memoirs of Literature, * a curious dissertation upon antichrist; where the author argues that the Jewish people were antichrist; and largely explains 2 Thess. ii. 1-12. And there are in St. Cyril of Alexandria " many passages favouring that supposition.
I shall here insert in the margin, for the sake of inquisitive readers, passages of some other
: Inclyto Victorinus martyrio coronatus, quod intelligit, * Et bestia, quam vidisti, inquit, de septem est; quoniam eloqui non potest. Ad Paulin. Ep. 49, (al. 13), T. iv. P. ii.
ante istos reges Nero regnavit.--Hunc ergo suscitatum Deus p. 567. m.
mittet regem dignum dignis, et Christum qualem meruerunt b Victorino martyri in libris suis licet desit eruditio, tamen Judai. Et quoniam aliud nomen allaturus est, aliam etiam non deest eruditionis voluntas. Ep. 83, [al. 84,] ib.
p. 656, f.
vitam instituturus, ut sic eum tamquam Christum excipiant c Cæterum apud Latinos grande silentium est, præter Judæi. Denique et sanctos non ad idola colenda revocaturus sanctæ memoriæ martyrem Victorinum, qui cum apostolo est, sed ad circumcisionem colendam. Victorin, ap. B. P. P. dicere poterat : Etsi imperitus sermone, non tamen scientiâ. T. iii. p. 420. D. In Is. Pr. p. 3. f.
"Et Paulus contra antichristum ad Thessalonicenses ait : a Taceo de Victorino Pictabionensi, et cæteris, qui Orige- Quem Dominus interficiet spiritu oris sui. Id. ib. p. 415. C. nem in explanatione dumtaxat scripturarum sequuti sunt, et m Vol. iv. p. 176-200. expresserunt. Ad Vigilant. Ep. 36, [al. 75,] p. 279, sub fin. » Vid. Cyril. A. Comm. in Zach. T. iii. p. 769. C. D.
• Nec disertiores sumus Hilario, nec fideliores Victorino, p. 770. C. D. p. 773, D. Comm. in Joapn. T. iv. p. 262. qui ejus (Origenis) tractatus, non ut interpretes, sed ut aucto- A. B. Vid. et. T. v. p.370. E. Et Conf. Dodw. Diss. i. in. res proprii operis, transtulerunt. Ad. Pam, et Ocean. Ep. 4). Iren, n. xiii. [al. 65,) p. 346 in.
• Unde illum quidam deliri credunt esse translatum ac I Si auctoritatem suo operi præstruebat,habuit in vivum reservatum, Sibyllà dicente, matricidam profugum a promptu Hilarium Confessorem,-----habuit Ambrosium, cu- finibus esse venturum, ut, quia primus persecutus est, novis. jus pene onines libri hujus sermonibus pleni sunt: et marty- simus persequatur, et antichristi præcedat adventum. Lacrem Victorinem, qui simplicitateni suam in eo probat, dum tant, vel Cæcil. de Mort. Persec. cap. 2.
Cæterum ait nulli molitur insidias. De his omnibus tacet, et, quasi colum- nobis, ---Neronem in Occidentali plagâ regibus subactis bis ecclesize prætermissis, me solum pulicem et nibili homi
Ab autichristo vero Orientale nem consectatur. Ady. Ruf. 1. i. p. 351.
imperium esse capiendum: qui quidem sedem et caput % Hic dicitur mille annorum Judaïcam edidisse dEUTEPWCIV, regni Hierosolymam esset babiturus; ab illo urbem et temquam sequuti sunt Irenæus,
-et cæteri qui post resurrectionem plum esse reparandum. Illius eam persecutionem futuram aiunt in carne cum sanctis Dominum regnaturum. Tertullia- esse, ut Christum Dominum cogat negari, se potius Christum nus quoque in libro de spe fidelium, et Victorinus Petabionen,
esse confirmans: omnesque secundum legem circumcidi sis, et Lactantius, hac opinione ducuntur. De V. I. cap. 18. jubeat. Sulpic. Sever. Dial. 2. cap. ult. Vid. et. ejusd. Sacer.
* Quod et multi nostrorum, et præcipue Tertulliani liber, Hist. 1. ii. c. 28. et 29. Unde et multi nostrorum putant ob qui inscribitur de Spe Fidelium, et Lactantii Institutionum sævitiæ
et turpitudinis magnitudinem Neronem antichristum volumen septinium pollicetur, et Victorini Pecabionensis
epis- fore. Hiere, in Dan. xi. 27. Op. T. iii. p. 1129. Cor. copi crebræ expositiones. Hier. in Ezech, cap. 36. T. iii. Aug. de Civ. Dei. L xx. c. 19. et Comm. Łostr, n. xli.
i See p. 91.
P. 952. in.
ancient Christians beside Victorinus, who speaks of Nero's appearing as antichrist, or his forerunner; for they express themselves differently. The author of the Computation of Easter, of whom I gave an account formerly, did not suppose that antichrist would be a Christian.
3. Helvidius . alleged Victorinus as favouring his opinion, that Mary had children by Joseph after the birth of Jesus : but Jerom affirms that Victorinus did not understand by the Lord's brethren, mentioned in the gospels, sons of Mary, but in general relations or kindred.
VI. We are now to observe Victorinus's testimony to the scriptures, chiefly to the books of the New Testament: and the two pieces I shall make use of are the Commentary upon the Revelation, and the Fragment published by Cave, between both which there is a remarkable agreement.
1. In the Fragment, discoursing on the fourth day's work, he observes, beside other things, that there are four living creatures before the throne of God, four gospels, four rivers in paradise. St. John's gospel is here quoted in this manner : • The evangelist John thus speaks: “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
2. In the Commentary upon the Revelation he speaks of the gospels in this manner: • Thef • four living creatures (see Rev. iv. 6, 7,) are the four gospels : “ The first," says he, “was like • a lion, the second was like a calf, the third like a man, and the fourth like a flying eagle." • These living creatures have different faces, which have a meaning : for the living creature like • a lion denotes Mark, in whom the voice of a lion roaring in the wilderness is heard : “ A voice * crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord.” Matthew, who has the resemblance
of a man, shews the family of Mary, from whom Christ took flesh; and, while he computes his genealogy from Abraham to David and Joseph, he speaks of him as a man; therefore his preaching is represented by the face of a man. Luke, who relates the priesthood of Zacharias offer
ing sacrifice for the people, and the angel that appeared to him, because of the priesthood and • the mention of the sacrifice, has the resemblance of a calf. The evangelist John, like an • eagle with stretched-out wings mounting on high, speaks of the Word of God. The evangelist • Mark commences thus: “ The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is written in • Isaiah the prophet; the voice of one crying in the wilderness : ” this is the face of a lion. • Matthew
says : “ The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of « Abraham :" this is the face of a man. But Luke says:
“ There was a priest, named Zacharias, of the course of Abia ; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron :” this is the form of • a calf. John begins thus: “In the beginning was the Word, the same was in the beginning « with God:” this is the similitude of a flying eagle.'
Thus in this passage we have the four evangelists, and the beginnings of their several gospels, or at least what is near the beginning of each of them. This passage, therefore, if it be really Victorinus's, as I see no reason to doubt, is very valuable.
3. He speaks of the time and of the occasion of St. John's writing his gospel : it was written after he had been confined in Patmos, and to confute and overthrow heresies then sprung up.
a See p. 39–41.
animal, Evangelium secundum Marcum, in quo vox leonis in • In quibus diebus ille antichristus magnam faciet vastatio- eremo rugientis auditur : Vox clamantis in deserto, Parate nem. Et idea tunc nemo Christianorum
poterit Deo sacrifi- viam Domini. Hominis autem figurâ Matthæus enititur cium offerre. De Pascha Comput, ap. Cypr. in App. p. 68. enuntiare nobis genus Mariæ, unde carnem accepit Christus. Ed. Oxon.
Ergo dum enumerat ab Abraham usque ad David, et usque • Sed quoniam -Tertullianum in testimonium vocat, et ad Joseph, tamquam de homine locutus est. Ideo prædicatio Victorini Petabionensis episcopi verba proponit : Et de Ter- ejus hominis effigiem ostendit. Lucas sacerdotium Zachariæ talliano quidem nibil amplius dico, quam ecclesiæ hominem offerentis hostiam pro populo, et apparentem sibi angelum non fuisse. De Victorino autem id assero, quod et de evan- dum enarrat, propter sacerdotium, et hostiæ conscriptionem, gelistis, fratres enm dixisse Domini, non filios Mariæ : fratres vituli imaginationem tenet. Joannes evangelista, aquilæ simiautem eo sensu, quem superjus exposuimus, propinquitate, lis, assumtis pennis ad altiora festinans, de verbo Dei disputat. son natura. Adv. Helvid. T. iv. p. 141.
Marcus evangelista sic incipit: Initium evangelii Jesu Christi, Ecce quatuor animalia ante thronum Dei, quatuor evan- sicut scriptum est in Isarà prophetâ, Vox clamantis in deserto. gelia, quatuor flumina in paradiso fluentia. Victorin. de Fa- Hæc est leonis effigies. Matthæus: Liber generationis Jesu bricà Mundi ap. Cav. H. L. T. i. p. 148. a.
Christi, filii David, filii Abraham. Hæc est facies hominis. • Joannes evangelista sic dicit: In principio erat Verbum, Lucas autem dicit: Fuit sacerdos nomine Zacharias, de vice et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum, &c. ib. Abia, et Mulier ei de filiabus Aaron. Hæc est imago vituli. p. 149. a.
Joannes sic incipit: In principio erat Verbum, hoc erat in Quatuor animalia, quatuor sunt evangelia. Primum in- principio apud Deum. Hæc est similitudo aquilæ volantis. quit, simile leoni, secundum simile vitulo, tertium simile ho- Victorin. Comm. in Apoc. ap. Bib. P. P. T. iii. p. 416. mini, quartum simile aquilæ volantı-Animalia igitur quod F. G. H. differentia vultibus sunt, hanc habet rationem. Simile leoni