- to the philosophy of Pythagoras. “In his travels through Italy and Sicily,” say they, “whatever states he found enslaved by others, these he restored to independence; the lectures which he addressed to them, having filled them with the love of liberty. Thus he liberated Croton, and Sybaris, and Catane, and Rhegium, and Hymera, and Agragas, and Tauromenium, and other cities. To these he gave laws, which were received by them, and copied by their neighbours for many ages. Symichus, sovereign of the Centorupini, on hearing him, laid aside his

sovereignty, and divided his possessions between his sisters and his subjects. There came to him, as is said by Aristoxenus, also the Lucarians, the Messapians, the Pacenians, and Romans. He eradicated discord not only from among his followers, but also from their descendants for many generations; and universally from allthe cities in Italy and Sicily, which were induced by him to unitein external and domestic harmony. For the maxim was ever on his tongue, which indeed he addressed to those around him, whether few or many, We must banish by all means, we must exterminate with fire and sword, disease from the body, ignorance from the mind, luxury from the table, commotions from cities, divisions from families, and extravagance froin all *.'

It is worthy of remark that Porphyry has here an eye to the influence of Christianity as displayed in the lives and character of the Esseans. Of these

" they evince their attachment to virtue by their freedom from avarice, from ambition, from sensual pleasure; by their temperance and patience; by their frugality, simplicity, and contentment; by

* Forpb. de Vit. Pyth. p. 29, 30.

Philo says,

their humility, regard to the laws, and other similar virtues. Their love to men is evinced by their benignity, their equity, and their liberality, which no language can adequately describe.” Josephus also speaks of them,"It is fit to admire those men beyond all others who profess virtue, for their liberality, nothing like to which was ever practised by any of the Greeks or Barbarians."

Porphyry makes his reference to the first Jewish Christians more clear by the following passage : * More than two thousand in his first public disa course were arrested by his doctrine; who, together with their wives and children, forming an immense auditory, and having founded the community called Græcia Magna, received from him (viz. Pythagoras) laws and ordinances, which they regarded as maxims of divine authority, and which in no instance they transgressed, but which the whole assembly with one accord obeyed; being admired and proclaimed blessed by all around. They had their goods in common *." The passage against which the above narrative is levelled, is the following: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers; and fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need. And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, ate their bread with gladness and singleness of heart."

* lamb. de Vit. Pyth. 22. c. 6.

Acts ii. 41-47. John thus concludes his Gospel: " And there are many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I think that the world would scarcely contain the books which might be written." Porphyry seemingly al. ludes to this very verse, when, after he had given an account of a prediction of Pythagoras, he adds, “ Ten thousand other things more wonderful and divine are with consistency* and with harmony related of this man; so that, in one word, greater and more extraordinary things are not believed of any other person f.."

* A fling at some apparent inconsistencies in the four Gospels.

Porph. de Vit. Pyth. p. 34. Muplce Stepa Savuas otepa και θειοτερα περι του ανδρος ομαλως και συμφωνως είρηται ως απλως ειπειν κατ' ουδενος υπονοηθη πλειονα ουδ' σεριττοτερα.




In the order of time Philo first claims our attention. From this author we have learned that the Almighty, in compassion to our race, sent his Son into the world; that the object of his mission was “to wash away from the minds of men the impurities of sin, and thus to raise them to the hope of a divine inheritance.” The same writer has further described a body of people in Judea, whose character forms a singular phænomenon in the moral world. Under the example and instruction of the Son of God, they raised themselves in an extraordinary manner above the ignorance and vices which debased the rest of makind; abolishing tyranny and slavery, as inconsistent with the dictates of reason and nature; eradicating pride, envy, and malice; banishing luxury and extravagance, as vices hostile to the happiness of society, unbecoming the worshippers of an all-wise and benevolent Being, and subversive of their hopes as candidates for immortality; parting with their goods to supply the wants of those who needed them; and submitting themselves to tortures and to death, in order to establish the great cause in which they were engaged. Guided by the wisdom of God, they regarded the wisdom of the

reputed wise as folly; and became wise unto salvation without the eloquence or the philosophy of the Greeks. They were reviled, they were calumniated, they were accused; yet their accusers could not substantiate one charge against this band of holy men. Choosing to obey God rather than men, they were persecuted, they were destroyed; they were sacri. ficed in whole flocks by men in power, yet their numbers were not diminished. They derived strength and increase from opposition; their doctrine ran and was glorified in the midst of trials and sufferings; and though surrounded as it were by flames, though raised, like their divine Master, on a cross, they drew all men unto them: “All men, captivated by their integrity and honour, united with them, as with those who truly enjoy the freedom and independence of nature; admiring their communion and liberality, which language cannot describe, and which is thesurest pledge of a perfect and happy life.” Philo, their historian, says nothing personally of their divine Master, and little of their religious sentiments; but it is clear they looked on no profession, no external homage, no rite or ceremony, as of any value in itself, unless it were conducive to moral virtue. The light, indeed, which their apologist throws around them in this respect, shines with unrivalled lustre. Stripping them of all that was peculiar to them as the disciples of Moses, or the followers of Jesus, he recommends their creed to the notice and adıniration of the world, solely by its effects on their temper and conduct; and thus invites all who

pretended to honour virtue among Jews, Greeks, or Barbarians, to adopt that creed

as the richest gift of God to man. Such was the character of those who received instruction from the lips, and witnessed

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