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men and gods, he told them, that if they did not repose their confidence in him, as their chief by divine commission, they had no resource left. His offer was accepted. Their march began, they knew not whither. Want of water was their chief distress. Worn out with fatigue, they lay stretched on the bare earth, heart-broken, ready to expire, when a troop of wild asses, returning from pasture, went up the steep ascent of a rock covered with a grove of trees.

The verdure of the herbage round the place suggested the idea of springs near at hand, Moses traced the steps of the animals, and discovered a plentiful vein of water. By this relief the fainting multitude was raised from despair. They pursued their journey for six days without intermission. On the seventh they made halt, and, having expelled the natives, took possession of the country, where they built their city, and dedicated their temple.” Histor. lib. v, c. 2, 3.

CHAPTER XIV.

PHILOSTRATUS BEING UNABLE TO CONTRADICT THE

MIRACLES OF CHRIST, ASSERTS THINGS WHICH HE KNEW TO BE FALSE, IN ORDER TO UNDERMINE THEM.

This man wrote the Life of Apollonius Tyaneus, a philosopher of some eminence in the days of Nero and afterwards. Vespasian, in his return to Rome, met him at Alexandria, and consulted him as one who pretended to know future events. Josephus had already assured the Roman general that he would be made emperor; and his solicitude on this subject made him consult Apollonius, who arrogantly said, “ I have made thee an emperor.” Philost. de Vit. Apoll. lib. v. cap. 28. His reply, if true, on this occasion, shows that, however eminent as a philosopher, he was in reality an impostor. -Mæragenes indeed represents him as a man of this description : and so skilful was he in the arts of magic, that distinguished philosophers were in the number of his admirers. Orig. contra Cels. p. 302.

The object of Philostratus in writing the life of this man is thus stated by Dr. Cudworth in his Intellectual System, p. 268. “ Among the many writers of this philosopher's life, some, and particularly Philostratus, seem to have had no other aim in their undertaking, than only to dress up Apollonius in such a garb and manner as might make him best seem to be a fit co-rival with our Saviour Jesus Christ, both in respect of sanctity and miracles .... And it is well known that Hierocles, to whom Eusebius gives the character of a very learned man, wrote a book against the Christians, the chief design of which was to compare this Apollonius Tyaneus with, and to prefer him before, our Saviour: and that this was the use commonly made by the Pagans of this history of Philostratus appears in sundry ways."

Lardner, however, is of opinion that Philostratus had no such end in view. But in deference to this honest man I will select a few facts, to show that the contrary notion, entertained by Cudworth and Huet, is quite correct.

It is said that Jesus was born in a manger; that a star appeared at his birth; that Joseph was warned in a dream to flee into Egypt; and that a heavenly host sung at his birth, proclaiming peace on earth and good-will in heaven. The birth of Apollonius was attended with events equally marvellous. His mother was warned in a dream, when near her delivery, to go into a meadow to gather flowers: there she fell asleep: an assemblage of swans surrounded her : their song awakes her : she is delivered with ease and without pain. A thunderbolt fell on the spot of his birth, and rebounding towards heaven with superior lustre, marked the future pre-eminence of the child, and his intercourse with the gods.

It is written that an angel appeared to Mary, informing her that she would be with child, and bring forth the son of the Most High. Luke i. 28–38. To the mother of Apollonius the god Proteus presents himself on a similar occasion, assuring her that she should give birth to a god. The mother of

M

of man.

Jesus is alarmed; but the mother of Apollonius converses with her divine visitant without terror. lib. i. cap. 4.

Jesus though proclaimed the beloved Son of God by a voice from heaven, yet called himself the Son

Apollonius was called by the natives the son of Jupiter ; but he called himself the son of Apollonius. cap. 6.

The object for which our Lord came into the world was to reform mankind : and though he himself seems not to have left his native land, yet he visited all the parts of the habitable globe in the person of his apostles. Apollonius travels on a similar errand : he passes from one country to another, from Spain to the Indies. lib. i. cap. 18. The first heathen converts to the Gospel were made at Antioch : and this was the city in which Apollonius' made a signal display of his wisdom, having converted to him men the most remote from knowledge and refinement. cap. 17. His departure from Antioch is marked by a close imitation of the de. parture of Paul from Ephesus: “And now behold I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there; save that the holy spirit warneth me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me....Wherefore I call you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts xx, 22-28. When he (Apollonius) laid before his disciples his design, namely, that of visiting the Indians,--they endeavoured to dissuade him from this purpose: he said to them, “I have the gods for my 'advisers, and I have revealed to you their will. I find on trial that you are not prepared to endure the same things with myself, but are weak. Strive then to be in a sound state, and continue in my philosophy. I must go whither divine wisdom guides me. Having said these things he hastily left Antioch.” cap. 18.

Jesus was meek, temperate, and free from every stain of moral impurity. Apollonius was distinguished by the same purity of conduct. lib. i. c. 13. “Our Saviour increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” So Apollonius is described as giving, in his rising years, extraordinary, proofs of genius and memory, and turning upon him the eyes of all men by the graces of his person, Jesus wrote no book: neither did Apollonius. cap. 14. The former taught with authority, and not as the Scribes; conveyed much meaning in a few emphatic words; rendered his ideas familiar and easy to be remembered, by condensing them into short maxims or familiar proverbs, or illustrating them by simple parables. In this respect also Apollonius resembled or rather excelled the Son of God; for he spoke with the authority of an oracle: his sentences were short, and had the force of adamant; his words select and appropriate to the subject; and his utterance had a sweetness and dignity that would have graced a sceptre. lib. i. c. 17.

Jesus moreover was acquainted with the thoughts of those friends and enemies who surrounded him. Apollonius pretended to have the same supernatural knowledge. His words are, “I know even what men think in silence.” The holy spirit enabled the apostles to converse with different nations, each in his own tongue. Acts ii. 4. Apollonius possessed the same high endowment; “having a knowledge of all languages, though he had learned none.” On hear

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