Abbildungen der Seite




I. His time. II. His works. III. Select
III. Select passages.
IV. Books of the Old and New Testament
received by him. V. His respect for the scriptures, and exhortations to read and study them.
VI. Various readings, and observations upon scripture.


I. ISIDORE, of PELUSIUM in Egypt, is spoken of by Mill, next after Nonnus, as being his contemporary and he is placed, by Cave, at the year 412. Basnage speaks of him at the year 427: it is likely, that he died before the middle of the fifth century. Pagi says, We hear nothing of him after the year 433.

II. Facundus says, he wrote two thousand epistles for the edification of the church: Suidas says three thousand, explaining the divine scriptures.' There are still extant above two thousand; but they are most of them very short, and not a few of them coincident, treating the same question, and in a like manner. Dr. Heumann has a Dissertation on Isidore, of Pelusium, which well deserves to be read. He rectifies divers mistakes of learned moderns; and argues, that most of his letters are fictitious, and not a real correspondence: and he seems to have proved what he advances.


III. I shall, in the first place, take some select passages of Isidore; and then observe his testimony to the scriptures.



1. A cloak and staff,' says he, do not make a philosopher; but freedom of speech, and a suitable life. In like manner, habit and profession do not make a Christian; but a life and conversation agreeable to right reason.'

2. Nothing is so dear to God as love: for the sake of which he became man, and was obedient unto death. And the first two disciples, called by our all-wise Saviour, were brothers; to shew, that all his disciples should live together in a brotherly manner.'

3. It was not, my dear friend, because our Lord foresaw the design of Judas, that he was guilty of treachery; but because that wretch had conceived the design to betray him, therefore, he, who knew the secret motions of the heart, spake before-hand of future things, as if they were present.'



4. You seem to wonder, that Christ did not persuade the traitor to the love of virtue, when he heard him so often speaking of it in his discourses; or rather of nothing else. On the other hand, I think it strange, that you should wonder at it, when you know the powers of free-will: for man's salvation is not accomplished by force and violence, but by gentleness and persuasion. Therefore, the salvation of every man is in his own power; that they who are rewarded, and they who are punished, may justly receive what they have chosen.'

[blocks in formation]


Cæterum etsi fictitiæ sunt hæ epistolæ, ficta tamen non sunt quæ in iis leguntur, sed ex animi sententiâ scripta ab Isidoro. Ib. n. 13. p. 228.

1 Ωσπερ τον φιλοσοφον εχ' ἡ πόλη και η βακτηρια δεικνυσιν, αλλ' ή παῤῥησια και ή πολίτεια όλω και τον Χρισιανον ο σχημα και λόγος, αλλά τρόπος και βιος τῳ ορθῳ λόγῳ εφάμιλλος. L. iv. Ep. 34.

k L. i. Ep. 10.

1 L. i. Ep. 57.

m L. ii. Ep. 129.


n Εγω δε θαυμάζω, πως τον όρον της αυτεξεσιοτητας επισαμενος, πέζι τελ8 έθαύμασας. Ου γαρ βια και τυραννίδι, αλλα πειθοι και προσηνεια ή των ανθρώπων σωτηρια κατασκευαζεται. Διο και το κύρος έχει έκασος της οικείας σωληρίας· ἵνα καὶ οἱ σεφανεμενοι, και οι τιμωρεμενοι, δικαιως ὑπομενοῖεν ὑπες ἠρηνται




5. He says, that piety is natural to us; that the human nature has in it seeds of goodness.


• Men are neither above temptation, nor is evil natural to them; but for want of due care they

• fall from virtue, as did the first man.' To the like purpose in other places; to some of which I refer.

6. He sometimes argues very well for our Saviour's resurrection, and the truth of the Christian religion, against both Jews and Gentiles.

7. He' magnifies the progress of the Christian religion, notwithstanding many difficulties, by unlikely instruments.

IV. Isidore has largely quoted all, or most of the canonical books of the Old Testament. Apocryphal books are quoted by him very seldom.

1. He says, there are three books of Solomon; and that they should be read in this order: first, the Proverbs; then Ecclesiastes; and, last of all, the Canticles. He who has well digested the first two, may read the third safely and profitably.


2. He calls the author of the book of Ecclesiasticus, a certain wise man. It is likely, that is the highest character which he ascribed to him; and not that of prophet.

3. He often quotes the four gospels; the Acts of the apostles; and all St. Paul's epistles, except that to Philemon.

4. The Acts of the apostles is ascribed by him to Luke, as the writer.

5. He several times quotes the epistle to the Hebrews, and' as Paul's.

6. He likewise quotes all, or most of the catholic epistles. However, to be here a little more particular, may not be improper.




7. He quotes, and explains passages of the epistle of James, expressly calling it his. He quotes the first, and the second epistle of Peter; as also the first epistle of John. He explains the eighth verse of the second epistle of John: there can be no reason to doubt whether he received the other. He explains a passage of the epistle of Jude.

8. He has several expressions which seem to be taken from the book of the Revelation; I do not recollect that he has any where mentioned the title of the book, or the name of the writer.

9. If Isidore received the book of the Revelation (which may be reckoned probable,) his canon of scripture was the same as ours.



V. He had a great respect for the scriptures, and often recommends the reading of them. 1. Writing to a heathen, or supposed heathen, he says: Two volumes, one called the Old, the other the New Testament, which I have sent to you, are sufficient to teach you our religion.' In another letter he shews the complete harmony of the Old and the New Testament, or the law and the prophets, and the gospel. He calls the scriptures,* the divine oracles; the divine and heavenly oracles: the sacred gospels is another expression of his. He speaks very honourably of Paul, calling him a most wise instructor; and the excellent apostle. Some,' he says, blame the divine scriptures, because they have not all the ornaments of eloquence to be found in some heathen writings; but we know that is no disparagement to them. Those admired authors, among the Greeks, sought their own glory; but the truly divine scriptures aim at the





• Οτι φυσικως ἐςιν εν ημιν ευσέβεια. L. i. Εμ. 431.

• Ει παλαι είχεν ή των ανθρωπων φυσις τα εις καλοκαγαθίαν σπερμαία. κ. λ. L. ii. Ep. 2. in Conf. Ep. 167.

· Ἡ φυσις η ανθρώπεια, θαυμασίε, ουτε ανεπιδεκλος εςι κακών, εἶε φυσικως κεκληίαι τα κακα, αλλα γνώμη και ῥαθυμίᾳ την αποπίωσιν ὑπομενει των χρησων· ὅπερ καὶ ὁ πρωτος πεπονθεν avipuros. L. iii. Ep. 303.


Vid. 1. i. Ep. 435, 436 1. ii. Ep. 72. et 79. 1. iii. Ep. 335. 1. iv. Ep. 12. et. 51.

e L. i. Ep. 18. 1. ii. Ep. 99. 1. iv. Ep. 27. 30, 31.

f L. i. Ep. 168. 170. 1. ii. Ep. 251. 1. iii. Ep. 182. * L. iv. Ep. 40.

Η Σοφος τις ανηρ, ὁ το Σιραχ, φημι, ὁ την Σοφίαν εκείνην σύγγραψας. L. iv. Ep. 228.

1 Βλεπε και τον μεγαλοφρονα και θεοφόρος Λεκαν τον Ηρωδε Tupov isopouvra. x. λ. 1. i. Ep. 74. Conf. ib. 'Ep. 500. А×8ε тв παναρι58 Λ8κα εν ταις Πραξεσι γεγραφολος. L. i. Ep. 448.

* L. iv. Ep. 112. p. 473. D.

L. i. Ep. 7. Vid. ib. Ep. 94. et 234.

m L. i. Ep. 93. Conf. 1. ii. Ep. 158. et l. iv. Ep. 10. et 65.
n L. i. Ep. 119. et 139. 1. iv. Ep. 218. J. v.
Ep. 362.
• L. i. Ep. 140. 143. 188. P L. i. Ep. 58.
↑ L. ii. Ep. 380.
L. iv. Ep. 58.

· Ὁ μισθός μετ' αυτ8 εςιν, ὧν ἕκαστος λήψεται προς τον ίδιον XOTOν. [Vid. Apoc. xxii. 12.] L. i. Ep. 13. E i spavos s βιβλιον ελισσεται, και τα αςρα πιπίει. κ. λ. [Vid. Αpoc. vi. 13, 14.] L. i. Ep. 188. Vid. et I. ii. Ep. 175.

* Την ἡμεῖραν δε θρησκειαν δυο πυκlαι διδαξεσιν, ἃς επεμψας μην, ὧν ἡ μὲν πρεσβύτερα, ή δε νέα διαθηκή προσαγορεύεται. L. i. Ep. 7.

"L. i. Ep. 107. * Θείοι χρησμοί. L. i. Ep. 5.

* Οἱ θείοι και ερανιοι χρησμοι. L. iii. Ep. 138.


... εν τοις ίεροις ευαγγελίοις. L. iv. Ep. 216.



παρα Παυλ8 τ8 σοφε διδασκαλ8. L. i. Ep. 49.

υ Φιλιππήσιοις γράφει ὁ θείος αποςολος. L. i. Ep. 139.
Και ὁ θεσπεσίος Παύλος. L. iv. Ep. 88.
co L. iv. Ep. 67.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

salvation of men. The scriptures teach true religion in a plain style; that the ignorant as well as the knowing, and even children and women, may understand. Nor is that any injury to the

knowing whereas the contrary method would have been detrimental to the greatest part of the world. And, by consulting the benefit of the most, or rather of all, the scriptures evidently manifest themselves to be divine and heavenly.'


2. I refer to divers other places, where he exhorts to the reading the scriptures, orb_commends them; and lays down rules for the right reading them, so as to understand them. James Basnage says, All that can be offered upon this subject, may be seen in Isidore of Pelusium. VI. 1. He had the first chapter of St. Matthew's gospel and says, that the sacred volume of the gospels brings down the genealogy of Joseph from David; and thereby shews, that Mary likewise was of the tribe of Judah.



2. Isidore had the doxology at the end of the Lord's Prayer.



3. He explains Rom. i. 32, according to our present common reading, which he prefers. But some were rather for the other; and not only they who do them, but they also who have pleasure in them that do them :' and they said it was the ancient reading. I do not suppose that Philo ever read any of St. Paul's epistles; but there is in him a passage very agreeable to the sense of this last mentioned reading. They are wicked,' says he, not only that do such things, but they also who willingly approve of those who do them : however, his expressions are very different from St. Paul's. Philo, in approving,' seems to include flattery.




4. As some unbelievers absurdly and wickedly deny the prophets to have spoken at all of Christ, so he thinks, they are blameable, who endeavour to explain all the Old Testament, as


relating to him; for, by forced applications of texts, which do not speak of Christ, they cause those to be suspected, where he is really intended; and so hurt the cause of truth, and strengthen the adversary.'

[ocr errors]

5. The excellent Paul, though enriched with spiritual gifts, employed some time in reading; and therefore he writes to that eminent disciple of his: "Give attendance to reading." 1 Tim. iv. 13.

6. Some,' in his time, wore about them small gospels, or some portions of the gospels; which he blames, as resembling the Jewish superstition, in wearing phylacteries. This kind of superstition we have already seen censured by Jerom, and Chrysostom.




1. CYRIL, born at Alexandria, was made bishop of his native city in the year 412. Beside other things, he wrote commentaries upon the five books of Moses, Isaiah, the twelve lesser prophets, and St. John's gospel.

[blocks in formation]

■ Vid. l. i. Ep. 18.

· Η μεν ἱερα των ευαγγελιων πυκλη. κ. λ. L. i. Ep. 7. L. iv. Ep. 24. fin.

L. iv. Ep. 60 Conf. 1. v. Ep. 74. et 159.

* Ασεβωσι γάρ εχ' οἱ δρωνίες μονοί, αλλα και όσοι τοις δρωσιν ἑκάσιῳ γνώμῃ συν τη των δρωνίων εξάσιᾳ συνεπιγραφονται. De Special. Leg. p. 779. C.

όλως τις πασαν παλαιάν εις αυτον μεταφέρειν πειρω μενες εκ εξω αιτίας τιθημι... Τῳ γαρ ελεγχέσθαι παρ' εκείνων


περι τοτε μη ειρημενα εις αυτόν έλκειν εκβιαζόμενοι, τυλων καν τοις περί αυτό άλ και διαξέηδην ειρημενοις ὑπονοιαν τικλεσι. L. 3. Ep. 339. Conf. 1. 1. Ep. 107. 1. 2. Ep. 195.

* Και ὁ Θεσπέσιος Παυλος, και τον πνευματικοις κόμων χα ρισμασι, της αναγνώσεως 8 μικραν εποιειίο σπεδην. Δίο καὶ τῷ θρέμματι αυτό το περιβλεπίῳ ἔγραφε. προσεχε τη αναγνώσει. L. 4. Ep. 88. in.

' .. . άπερ εφορων οἱ των Ιεδαίων καθηγηται, ὥσπερ νυν αἱ γυναίκες τα ευαγγελια τα μικρα. L. 2. Ep. 150. Vol. ii. p. 610.

in Vol ii. p. 572.

• Vid. Cav. H L. Du Pin. Bib. T. iv. Tillem. Mem. T. xiv. Fabr. Bib. Gr. T. viii. p. 553, &c. Pagi in Baron. an. 412. n. 23, 24, et passim. Basnag. Ann. 412. n. 12. et alibi. Et Conf. Socrat. H. E. 1. 7. c. 17. 13.. 15.

2. It is needless to say, that all the books of the New Testament, commonly received, are frequently quoted by him: I therefore observe only a few things.

3. The epistle to the Hebrews is often quoted in Cyril's works, as written by Paul.


4. The epistle of James also is often quoted by him; once after this manner: As' says a disciple of Christ.'

[ocr errors]

5. The second epistle of Peter is quoted by Cyril," sometimes.


6. Once at least he has quoted the second epistle of John; whether the third also, I cannot say certainly.

7. The epistle of Jude is quoted by him divers times.


8. The book of the Revelation is quoted as St. John's several times; once after this manner: This we are taught by the wise man John, who wrote the book of the Revelation, which has ⚫ had the approbation of the fathers.' Possibly that expression may denote, that the Revelation was a book about which there were disputes or different opinions.

9. From these quotations we may perceive that Cyril received all the books of the New Testament which we do; nor did he receive any other.


10. We meet with the Lord's prayer in Cyril, exactly as we now have it in St. Matthew; except that it wants the doxology.


11. Cyril commends all the evangelists; but speaks of John as superior to the rest: he likewise calls him,' the Divine.

12. He recommends the studying of the scriptures; and says, 'that' from the holy prophets, apostles, and evangelists, we may learn how to attain to piety, and may secure to ourselves true 'peace of mind.'

13. I formerly referred" to several places of Cyril, for an explication of 2 Thess. ii. 1....12. and many good interpretations of texts of the New Testament may be found in him; but I forbear to take any notice of them at present.

14. How this bishop of Alexandria treated the Novatians, in his diocese, was shewn some while ago," from Socrates.



II. His works.

I. His time. II. His works. III. Books of the Old Testament received by him. IV. Books of the New Testament received by him. V. General titles and divisions of the scriptures. VI. Marks of respect for them, and exhortations to read them. VII. Explications of texts, and remarkable observations. VIII. The swift and wonderful progress of the Gospel.

I. THEODORET, as is computed, was born at Antioch, about 386; made bishop of Cyrus, in Syria, in the Euphratesian province, in 420, or 423; and died in 457, or 458.


λέγων ὁ Χρισε μαθητής. De Adorat. in Spirit. et Verit. 1. 1. T. i. p. 10. E. Par. 1638.

b Αλλα τελων ἁπανίων λυομενων, καθα και το σωτηρος δισ χυρισαίο μαθητής, πολαπες δει εὑρεθηναι ήμας. . [2 Pet. iii. 11.] Ib. 1. 9. p. 288. A. Vid. et Glaph. in Exod. 1. 3. 1. P. ii. p. 329. A. Thesaur. T. v. P. i. p. 368. C. De. Recta Fid. T. v. P. ii. p. 77.

ε Τοις τοιδίοις μηδε χαιρειν λεγετε, φησι το σωληρος ἡμῶν patris x. λ. De Ador. in Spirit. et Verit. 1. 8. T. i. p. 255. E.

4 Τι γαρ Ιeδας ἡμιν επιτέλλει, το σωτηρος ὁ μαθητης ; κ. λ. In Joan. Ev. 1. 9. T. iv. p. 798. C. Vid. et Thesaur. T. v. p. 302. C. De Recta Fid. T. v. P. ii. p. 77.


• Ταύτης γαρ ένεκα της αιτίας οιηθείην της αιτίας οιηθείην αν εγωγε, τον Ιωάννην είπειν Ο ων, ὁ ην, ὁ ερχόμενος. Glaph. in Exod. 1. 2. Τ. i. P. ii. p. 273. A. Vid. et Thesaur. T. v. P. i. p. 20. et p. 149. C. Καιοι το της Αποκαλύψεως βιβλιον ἡμῖν συντίθεις ὁ σοφος


[blocks in formation]

II. Beside his Ecclesiastical History, and divers other useful works, he wrote Commentaries upon most parts of the sacred scripture; particularly, the five books of Moses, Joshua, the Judges, Ruth, Samuel, the Kings, the Chronicles, the Psalms, the Canticles, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch, the Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, the twelve lesser prophets, and St. Paul's fourteen epistles.

Most of the writings ascribed to him are generally allowed to be his; but Pagi, and some others say, the letter to Sporacius was not written by him: and the late Mr. Barratier disputes the genuineness of the Dialogues on the Incarnation, and of the Philotheus; and he seems to me to have proved those Dialogues to be supposititious. As for the Philotheus, it is unquestioned that Theodoret wrote a book with that title; it is referred to, and quoted by him, several times, in his Ecclesiastical History: but Mr. Barratier asserts, that the Philotheus, which we have, was not written by Theodoret: he says, that divers things are wanting in our copy, which were in the original work; and other things have been added: moreover there are in it many mistakes in historical facts, unworthy of Theodoret, and contrary to what he writes in his Ecclesiastical History. Upon the whole, if Mr. Barratier has not demonstrated this point, what he says is material, and deserves the consideration of the learned. As both those writings, therefore, may be reckoned doubtful, I shall never take any thing from them, without giving particular notice of it.

III. 1. He speaks of the great care, which Ezra had taken, to publish exact copies of the sacred scriptures of the Old Testament, one hundred and fifty years before the Greek version had been made by the Seventy. In another place he supposeth, that Ezra restored all the books of the Old Testament, which had been lost. Though that be not a right sentiment, I observe, that the books here mentioned by him, are the five books of Moses, Joshua, the Judges, the Kings, Job, David's Psalms, the sixteen prophets and three books of Solomon, the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Canticles; which passage alone is sufficient to shew what was Theodoret's canon of the Old Testament.

2. He vindicates the spirituality, and the divine mystery, of the book of Canticles.

3. Theodoret explains Baruch; but his Commentary concludes with the end of the fifth chapter: he takes no notice of the epistle of Jeremiah, in the sixth chapter of that book, as it is divided by us.

4. In his Commentary upon Daniel, he takes no notice of the stories of Susannah, or of Bel and the Dragon, as is owned by Tillemont; but he has the Song of the Three Children, inserted in the third chapter of the book of Daniel.

5. He says, that * Ezekiel was the last prophet, during the captivity; and that Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, prophesied after the return. Again, he says: After the return from the captivity, the Jewish people had but three prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi; and then the gift of prophecy ceased among them: but after the coming of our Saviour, and after his ascension, the Holy Ghost came down upon the holy apostles, and by them the like gift was bestowed, not upon Jews only, but also upon all the Gentiles that believed. In another place, he says: As Moses is the first who committed to writing the divine oracles; so Malachi is the last of the prophets that wrote.'


6. Whence it is apparent, that Theodoret's canon of the Old Testament was very little, if at all, different from that of the Jews.


7. We plainly perceive, from Theodoret as well as from others, that " what we call the books of the Kings, were in those times generally called, the books of the Kingdoms.

8. He thinks it probable, that the books of the Chronicles were written after the return from the Babylonish captivity.

IV. 1. It is almost needless to observe, that

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Theodoret received four gospels only; of

* In Ezech. T. ii. p. 304. D.

In Ez. ib. p. 501. A. B.

m Pr. in Malach. T. ii. p. 931. B.

[blocks in formation]
« ZurückWeiter »