Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Since Noab liv'd in both Worlds, that bem fore,and that after the Flood, he and hisChile dren did convey the History,Customs, Manners, and Religion of the Antediluvian World to their Posterity, who dividing themselves into three Kingdoms, carried those Traditions and Precepts with 'en into all Parts; Sem into the East, Japhet into the West, and Cham into the South : Thus all Arts, Sciences, and Religion were convey'd into every Country. But when these Traditions were corrupted by Idolatry, and other Wickednelles, God sent the old Prophets to the Jews, to reform their Idolatrous Worship and Manners; and among Japhet's Posterity some Prophetesses were sent, to warn them against Idolatry and all sorts of Vice; these the Grecians, in the Æolic Dialect, callid Sibyls; and the Devil, in imitation of these, made use of Women in his Oracles.

That some Wonen were inspir'd among the Jewis, is evident from Scripture; Deborab (Fudg. 4.) ; Miriam the Sister of Mofes, (Exod. 22). Huldah under Fosiah: Elizabeth, Anna the Virgin; Mary, and the Daughters of Philip.

That there were many inspir'd Women among the Gentiles, appears by the Histories of all Nations: Plato, in his Phadrus, calls the Sibyls Propheteffes. Aristotle (Probl. 30)

says the Sibyls were inspir'd, and, that one Lib. 4. liv'd in a Cave at Cuma in Italy.

Diodor. Siculus affirms, that the Sibyl was a&tuated by the Spirit of God, and the Name

the SibySibyls were ma in Italy.the Sibyl wale

Sibyl signifies being full of God; and, that Homer borrow'd many of his Verses of Dapbne, a Sibyl,who liv'd at the taking of Thebes.

Strabo calls the Erythrean Sibyl parlexsi gurit, and another Sibyl was born in the same place, call'd Athenais, the liv'd in Alexander's time.

Plutarch observ'd, that the Sibyls predicted the Destruction of Cities, the Irruption of the Armies of Barbarians, the Eversion of Empire, which came to pass in Greece ; and the Eruption of Ætna was foretold by 'em, which came lately to pass, and destroy'd many Cities.

Pausanias says, that Herophile of Marpesus in Phrygia foretold the Trojan War, and its Event : She liv’d most in Samos, and prophesied at Delphos, and was furens divino spiritu afflata.

Cicero, de Divinatione, mentions two forts of Divination, one by Fury, by which the Sibylline Oracles were made, the second by Sleep. Varro, Virgil, Ovid, and Tacitus acknowledg the Sibyls, and Juvenal mentions the Cumaan. Pliny acknowledges the Divinity of the Sibyls.

The Apostolic Constitutions quote the Lib. s. of the 4th Book of the Sibylline Oracies, to prove Martyrs. the Resurrection, in these words, which are thus translated: And when all things shall be reduc'd to Dust and Afhes, and the Immortal God, who kindled the Fire, shall have quench'd it, God hall form those Bones and Ashes inta Man again, and Mall place mortal Men as they

were

mere before a Nyall do this the Ref

-5. 6.

were before ; and then mall be the Fudgment, -wherein God Mall do Justice. If therefore the Prophetess confesles the Resurrection, and does not deny the restoration of all things, and distinguishes the Godly from the Ungodly, 'tis in vain for them to deny our

Doctrin.
Antiq. lib. i, Fosephus quote's the Sibylline Oracles con-

cerning the building the Tower of Babylon,
and says, 'twas thrown down by the Winds,
as the Oracles say: And he says the Sibyls
speak of the Confufion of Tongues. These
Accounts are still in our Copy of the Ora-
cles. That the Books we have of the Sibyls
are the sanie as were providentially collect-
ed by the Romans, appears by the Testimony
of the ancient Writers, who quote many
parts of 'em against the Gentiles, as Justin
Martyr, Theophilus Antiochenus, Athenagoras,
Cl. Alexandrinus, Firmianus, Lactantius, Eu-
sebius, St. Austin, &c.
· Juliin Martyr tells the Greeks, they may
find the true Religion in the ancient Babylo-
nian Sibyl, who came to Cuma, and there
gave her Oracles, which Plato admir'd, as
divine; and tho’they foretold many great
things, they did not understand 'em ; and
for this cause their Verses are imperfect, or
because the hearers mistook 'em : And they
plainly foretold the coming of Jesus Christ,
by which means the Gentiles were more easi-
ly converted. He concludes that the Pro-
phets, by a divine afflatus, can best instruct
us concerning God and the true Religion. .

Clem. · Clem. Alexandrinus quotes Heraclitus, who says the Sibyls were inspir'd by God. He says, St. Paul quoted the Sibyls. : : .

Theophilus quotes the Sibyls, to prove that Lib. 2, ad A there would be more Gods than Men, if the tolicum. Gods generated : And Athenagoras quotes the Sibyls, in his Embassy to Antoninus for the Christians. Both these, as well as Justin and Cl. Alexandrinus, liv'd in the second Century, and all quoted the Oracles as die vine Prophesies.j' . .

St. Austin fays, the Sibyls; Orpheus, and Homer, spoke truly of God and his Son.

Since the Inspiration of the Sibyls is so well attested by all the Greek and Roman Writers, and all the Fathers of the four first Centuries, I think these Oracles have a sufficient Testimony, on which we may depend. This will be farther prov?d by the Prophe. fies of certain Events which have come to pass, and that will convince the most Incredulous, that these Oracles had a Divine Original.... ... .. . ..

St. Austin farther says, 'Tis no Error to St. Auftin. believe that to some of the Gentiles the My- lib. 18, ch.22 stery of Christ was reveaľd, and they were of the City o inspir'd by the Spirit of Prophecy to declare God. it. And he says of the Erythrean Sibyl, the wrote some apparent Prophesies of Christ; and he makes her a Citizen of God's City.

5. I observe, that Greek was not the original Language in which the Oracles were given, but some Eastern Language, from which there were divers Greek Translations; for the Sibylline Verses in Lactantius differ

from

from those in Opfopaus in many words, from whence I may conjecture, that there were different Greek Copies of them, which would not have happend if that had been the Original. The Erythrean Sibyl, who wrote the three first Books, canie from Babylon, and therefore 'tis probable she writ in Chaldee, Syriac, or Hebrew; and the Names of God, Sabaoth, Adonai, and the Words Cherubim and Belial, are true signs of its being a TranNation, because we do not change proper Names in a Translation. And in Book II. we find these Names, Mores, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Fasus, Daniel, Elias, Ambacoum, Fonas.

Since these Oracles were colle&ted from Africa, Sicily, Italy, as well as Samos, Ilium, Erythris, they might probably be writ in the Language of those Countries; besides, the numeral Letters in the Name of God will not agree with any Greek we know of. The Hebrew Prophets writ in different Stiles; and since there were many Sibyls of different Countries, they could not write in the same Dialect and Stile in which we find the Oracles. We may observe the Latin Translation in many places not so fully expressing the Sense in the Greek, because the Translator was hinder'd by the Measure of his Latin Verse; and we may well expect the same Imperfection by a Translation of the Verses into Greek. The Grecian Poet who translated the Oracles did not alter the Subje&t of the Prophesies, but took the liberty to use the more modern Names, Phrases, and Opinions; As for instance, Noah tells the Peo

ple

« AnteriorContinuar »