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with his wife, who insisted that he should make use of their maid Hagar, in order to raise up children; the covenant God made with him, sealed with the ceremony of circumcision, his obedience to the command of God, who ordered him to offer up his only son as a sacrifice; and how this bloody act was prevented ; his marriage with Keturah; his death at the age of 175 years; and his interment at the cave of Macphelahs. near the body of Sarah, his first wife. It would be of little use to dwell lang upon these particulars, since they are so well known to all Christians. .

Many extraordinary particulars have been told relating to: Abraham's, conversion from idolatry. 'Tis generally believed that he fucked in the poison with his milk; that his father

made ftatues, and taught that they were to be worshipped as Suidas in gods. Some Jewish authors relate,, that Abraham followede Zapoux: the same trade as. Terah for a confiderable time. MaimoApud Gene: nides says, that he was bred up in the religion of the Sabai

ard. 'n ans, who acknowledged no deity but the stars; that his ne. Chron. More Ni. Alections on the nature of the planets, his admiration of their vock. cap. motions, beauty, and order, made him conclude there muft. xxix. p. 3. be a being superior to the machine of the universe, as being

who created and governed it: however, according to an old

tradition, he did not renounce paganism till the fiftieth year Hift. Patri- of his age. 'Tis related that his father, being gone. a jour- . arch, tom. ney, left him to sell the statues in his absence;, and that a II. p. 36.

man, who pretended to be a purchaser, asked him how old he
was? Abraham answered, “Fifty Wretch that thou art,
said the other, for adoring, at such an age, a being which is
but a day old." These words, greatly confounded Abraham
Some time afterwards, a woman brought him some flour that
he might give it as an offering to the statues ;, but Abraham, :-
instead of doing so,, took up a hatchet and broke them all tou
pieces, excepting the largesty, into the hand of which he put
the weapon. Terah, at his returns asked whence: came alti
this havock! Abraham made answer, that the statues had hade
a great conteft which should eat first of the oblation ;. “Upore
which, said he, the god you see there, being the stoutefte
hewed the others to pieces with that hatchet.” Terah told
him this was bantering; for those idols had not the senfe to:
act in this manner. Abraham retorted these words upon hisér.
father against the worshiping of such gods. Terah could not.
stand this raillery, but delivered up his son to the inquifition.
Nimrod was the chief inquisitor, and sovereign of the country;
and, according to St. Jerome, he exhoptedy Abraham to

worship

yold." This, a woman beheftatues ; bere. them al

worship the fire; and, upon his refusal, commanded him to be thrown into the midst of the flames : “Now let your God, said he come and deliver you.” Haran, Abraham's brother, was fpectator of this scene; and he resolved to declare for Nimrod's religon, if the fire consumed Abraham; and for that of his brother, if he escaped unhurt. The tradition, according to St. Jerome, adds, that Abraham came safe and sound out of the flames; and Nimrod asking Haran who he believed in? he answered, in the God of Abraham ; upon which the king ordered him to be thrown into a furnace : but, his faith not being so strong as that of Abraham's, the fire had power over him, and scorched him so feverely that he expired foon after. Abraham is said to have been well skilled in many sciences (c), and to have wrote several books (d). The Mahometans have related several fictions concerning this patriarch, as may be seen in the Alcoran, and in Keffæus, one of their principal authors. They say that he took a journey to Mecca, and that he began to build the temple there. The Christians have also propagated idle stories concerning Abraham ; for they tell us that he planted trees of a very extraordinary nature (e). The Rabbis say, that the

(c) We are told that he was versed posed to be wrote By this patriin astronomy, (Joseph, Antiq. lib. i. arch. All the several works which c. 7.) and that he taught the Egyptians Abraham composed in the plains arithmetic and geometry (ib. c. 8.); of Marme, are said to be con. and, according to Eupolemus and tained in the library of the mo. Artapan, he instructed the Phæ- nastry of the Holy Cross on Mount nicians, as well as the Egyptians, in Amaria, in Ethiopia. (Kirchem's treaaftronomy.

tise of libraries, p. 142. Paris edit.) (d) A work which treats of the The book on the creation was printed creation has been long ascribed to at Paris 1552, and translated into La. bim; 'tis mentioned in the 'Tal- tin by Postel. Rittangel, a converted mud, (Heidegger Hist. Patriarch. Jew, and professor at Konigsberg, tom. II. p. 143.) and the Rabbis gave also a Latin translation of it, Chanina and Hoschaia used to read with remarks, in 1642. it on the eve before the fabbath. (e) Gretzer says, that he read in a Some of the Jewish authors have de- Greek manuscript, in the Augustin nied this to be Abraham's: they have library, that Abraham planted a cypublickly asserted Rabbi Akiba to be press-tree, a pine-tree, and a cedarthe author, and they greatly condemn tree, and that all of them united into this Rabbi for presuming to make it one, each of them, however, still pass for Abraham's production, retaining their particular roots and (Abraham Zachut, in libro Juchafin. branches ; that this tree was cut p. 52.) In the first ages of Christi-, down when the temple of Solomon anity, according to St. Epiphanius, was building, but the workmen (Epiph, advers, hæres, p. 286.) a could not fix it any where; that Sokeretical sect, called Sethinians, lomon furrounded it with thirty fildispersed a piece which had the ver crosses, in which form it contititle of Abraham's Revelation. On nued till the death of Christ. De rigen mentions also a treatise fupe Cruce, lib. i, Vol. I,

D

fight

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fight only of

every difeate': They are for fome faut widom

A BRA H A M. fight only of a precious stone, which Abraham wore upon

his neck, cured every disease; and that, after his death, God Bartolocci hung this jewel on the sun. They affirm that the Egyptian Biblioth. Rabbio, tom. bondage was inflicted as a punishment for some faults comIII. p. 562. mitted by Abraham; for his having forced the sons of wisdom.

to take up arms; and for having allowed those who were in

structed in the law of God to fall again into idolatry ; and 1b. 529. for delivering up those persons whom the king of Sodom de

manded.

Then

ABSTEMIUS (Laurentius) an Italian writer, born at Macerata, in La Marca de Ancona, who devoted himself early to the study of polite literature, and made a surprising

progress therein. He taught the Belles Lettres at Urbino, Gruteri where he was librarian to duke Guido Ubaldo, to whom

he dedicated a small piece, explaining fome dark passages in Critic. tom, i 8-8. the ancient authors : he published it under the pontificate of

Alexander Vs. and another treatise also, entitled Hecatomythium, from its containing a hundred fables, which he inscribed to Octavian Ubaldini, count de Mercatelli. His Fables have been often printed with those of Æfop, Phædrus, Gabrias, Avienus, &c. He has these ancient mythologists generally in view, but does not always Atrictly follow their manner; sometimes intermixing his fable with a merry story, and now and then he is somewhat satyrical upon the clergy (a). Some of his conjectures on particular passages in the ancients are inserted in the first volume of Gruterus's Thesaurus Criticus, under the title of Annotationes variæ; but they are but few in number. He wrote alfo a preface to that edition of Aurelius Victor published at Venice, 1505.

(a) His 104th fable of the Talents him a perfidious facrilegious villain, Multiplied is a proof of this. A for having thus defiled the temple of priest, as we are there told, was or- the Holy Ghost. “ Lord, said the dered by his bishop to superintend a priest, thou deliveredst . unto me monastery, where there were five five talents; behold I have gained, nuns, by each of whom he had a son besides them, five talents more.” before the year was out. This com- The prelate was so taken with this ing to the bishop's ear, he was highly facecious answer, that he gave the inraged ; and, sending for the priest, priest plenary absolution. reprimanded him severely, calling

ABUCARAS

relate (a), as the Jews, blees. Genebis, an

ABUCARAS (Theodore) a moft zealous and orthodox prelate (a), as appears by above forty dissertations written by him against the Jews, the Mahometans, the heretics, and in general on religious subjects. Genebrard published a Latin translation of fifteen of his dissertations, and Gretser having added these to what he and father Turrien had translated, published an edition of all his works, which was then thought, to be a complete one; but in 1685 there appeared a trea- Grecke tise of his, never before printed, published by Arnoldus, from Lacin, printe a manuscript in the Bodleian library. He does not illustrate ed at logol

ftadt, in 410. it with notes, not daring, as he tells us in the preface, to 1606. touch upon the mysteries of the incarnation and the hypoftatic union, which Abucaras examined in that treatise. Authors have not agreed in regard to the age wherein he lived; . Turrien the Jesuit is of opinion he was a disciple of John Damascenus, which places him in the eighth century. Gretser makes him later (b), supposing him to be the person of that name who had so great a share in the troubles of the church of Conftantinople, during the time of the patriarchs Photius and Ignatius. This Abucaras first adhered to Photius, and had undertaken to go with Zachary bishop of Chalcedon as embassador to the emperor Lewis II. to whom he was to have presented Photius's book against pope Nicholas, and to dispose him to thake off the papal yoke ; but he had scarce fet out, when Bafil the Macedonian having murdered the emperor Michael, and usurped the crown, recalled him, and prevented his journey. Two years afterwards he presented himself before the council of Conftantinople, humbly imploring pardon for taking part with Photius, and protesting that both force and stratagem had been used to draw him into that party. His fubmislion was received by the patriarch, who

(a) Some call him Archiepischopus Abucaras, quo fæculo floruerit, ab Chariæ (Cave historia literaria, Scrip- Antonio Velfero SS. Theol. D. Eotor Ecclef. p. 557) and others Epif. c!efiæ Frifingensis Canonico, Præpocopus Cariæ, Kapay ETIXOTOS. (Spi- fito Spaltenfi, cujus honori librum suzelii fpecim. biblioth.) Arnoldus um dedicavit, discere volebat," i. e. thinks that Abucaras was bishop of “But Gretserus desired to know whe Haran, and Simlerus is of the same Atucaras was, and the age he lived Opinion. (Simleri epit, biblioth. Ge- in, from Anthony Vollerus, doctor sneri.) Dr. Cave observes, that Pho- of divinity, canon of the church of tius had nominated Abucaras to the Frisingen, and provost of Spalta, to see of Laodicea.

whom he dedicated his book," (6) The preface of Arnoldus seems A learned man, with whom Arto thew pretty plainly, that Gretser noldus got acquainted in England, could not advance any thing certain was of opinion that Abucaras lived in regard to the age when Abucaras in the seventh century. Ibid. lived. “Gretierus vero quis fuerit

admitted

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2

admitted him again into the church, and gave him a place in
the assembly. The works of this author are inserted in the
supplement to the Bibliotheque des Peres, of the Paris edition
in 1624.
. ABUL FARAGIUS (Gregory) (c) son to Aaron a Phoeni-
cian, born in 1226, in the city of Malatia, near the source of
the Euphrates in Armenia. He followed the profession of his
father, and practised with great success, numbers of people
coming from the most remote parts to ask his advice. How-
ever, he would hardly have been known at this time had his
knowledge been confined to physic; but he applied himself
to the study of the Greek, Syriac, and Arabic languages, as
well as philosophy and divinity; and he wrote a history which
does honour to his memory. It is written in Arabic, and di-
vided into dynasties. It consists of ten parts, being an epi-
tome of universal history from the creation of the world to
his own time. Dr. Pocock published it with a Latin transla-
tion in 1663, and added, by way of supplement, a short con-
tinuation relating to the History of the Eastern Princes.

i Abul Faragius was ordained bishop of Guba at twenty See his Sy. years of age, by Ignatius, the patriarch of the Jacobites. In riac chron. 1247 he was promoted to the fee of Lacabena, and some years

322. after to that of Aleppo. About the year 1266 he was elected Affem. Bib. primate of the jacobites in the East(). As Abul Faragius Orient, tom. lived in the thirteenth century, an age famous for miracles, it II. p. 245.

. would seem strange if some had not been wrought by him,

or in his behalf: he himself mentions two. When, in the Easter holidays, he was consecrating the chrism or holy oint. ment, which though before the confecration it did not fill the

vessel in which it was contained, yet encreased so much after In tert. parte confecration, that it would have run over the vessel, had they not Chronici. p. immediately poured it into another(c). The other happened in

'1285. The church of St. Barnagore having been destroyed by some robbers, Abul Faragius built a new one, with a monastery,

263.

(a) Pocock mentions two passages Biblioth, Orient. tom. II. p. 344. wherein our author is called Mar (c) Affemanus endeavonrs to acGregorius, and another where he has count for this miracle in a natural the name of Mor Gregorius. Others way: “ The temple being little, says have called him Mark Gregory. Mr. he, and full of people, this, with Bayle says, they have mistaken Mar, the wax tapers and burning of in. a title of honour answering to fir, for cense, might heat the air to such a Mark.

degree as to dilute and rarify the bal. (6) The Assyrians called Chaldea sam, that it might run over the verand Assyria the East, and Syria and sel without any miracle.” Affeman. Mesopotamia the West, Allemanus Biblioth. p, 250,

in

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