Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

He, according to ancient law and custom, convened her whole family and relations; and having, in their presence, tried her for her life and fame, pronounced her innocent of any thing immoral. Pomponia lived many years after this trial, but always led a gloomy melancholy kind of life." Tacit. Annal. 1. 13. c. 32. Tacitus, no doubt, deemed the lives of the primitive christians gloomy and melancholy; and had he been called upon to describe them, be would, in all probability, have represented their religion as a vile foreign superstition, and the sobrity and severity of their lives (abstaining from ragan rites and excesses) as a continual solitude, dismal duness, and intolerable austerity: “ It was the way, says Bishop Stillingfleet, “ of the men of that time, such as' Suetonius and Pliny, as well as Tacitus, to speak of christianity as a barbarous and wicked superstition (as appears by their writings) being forbidden by their laws, which they made the only rule of their religion.” Orig. Britannice, p. 44. This trial of Pomponia happened, it seems, while Nero and Calphurnus Piso were consuls, after the apostle Paul's coming to Rome the first time; and therefore she may not unreasonably be supposed one of his converts. It appears that there were other persons of distinction among the apostle's converts then at Rome ; of which number we may reckon those of Cæsar's household, mentioned in the Epistle to the Philippians; among whom night be some of those British captives who had accompanied Caractacus, and who, it seems like Daniel and his companions at Babylon), had long before found favour with the emperor and his court, and probably now composed a part of the imperial household. Other authorities render it highly probable that some of those captives had embraced christianity during their residence at Rome; but the Triades above mentioned som to reduce the matter to a certainty : hence the conversion of Brân, or Brennus, and family, has been there commemorated ever since, as a most memorable and interesting matter of fact. The point, therefore, may be considered as pretty well and firmly established, that christianity was actually introduced into this island as carly as between the rears 60 and 70 of the christian era : but we ought to consider and conclude at the same time, that the religion of the first British christians was most beautifully simple, pure, and perfect; and alas ! considerably and very widely different from that which is in vogue among the present generation of Britons.

It does not appear, I think, by the Triades, that the whole of Caractacus's family embraced christianity at Rome, or even that he himself did so: a son and a daughter of his are mentioned, as well as his father, as very eminent christians. The name of the son was Cyllin, and that of the daughter Eigen; both classed among the British Saints. That son is said to be the grandfather of Lleurwg, commonly called King Lucius, who greatly exerted himself at a later period, to promote christianity in Britain, or at least in Siluria, the country of his ancestors, and where he himself also reigned by the favour or permission of the Romans. Even the famous King Arthur likewise appears to have been a descendant of this same illustrious family. Eigen, the above mentioned daughter of Caractacus, is said to have been married to a British chieftain, who was lord of Caer Sarllog, the present Old Sarum. It seems doubtful whether Caractacus himself ever returned to his native country. The rest of the family that staid behind might be chiefly females ; and Claudia, who has been said to be one of his daughters, has been mentioned by some as the wife of Pudens, a Roman senator and the mother of Linus, whom the apostle Paul mentions along with them, as was before observed.

(To be concluded in our nert.)

MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS.

FURTHER ACCOUNT OF M. PILLONIERE, BY DR. TOULMIN,

To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. Sir, Your correspondent T. B. in p. 7. of your useful Miscellany for January, (vol. i.) owns himself unable to answer all the questions proposed by the “ Inquirer,” in the Repository for November, 1806, concerning Mons. Pilloniere : “ How long he lived, where he died, and whether he continued a Protestant to the end of his life," it is not in my power to satisfy the “ Inquirer."

This being the case I promise myself, that the following extracts from the works of Bp. HOADLY, the patron of Mons. Pilloniere, will be an acceptable communication to both your correspondents and to your other readers, whose curiosity has been awakened by the partial account already given of this. proselyte to Protestantisın.

It is in the recollection of many, that the venerable Prelate, who shewed friendship to Mons. Pilloniere, had, in the very decline of life, a remarkable suit with another convert from Popery, BERNARD FOURNIERE; who had the audacity and villainy to set up a note, written over a frank * of his Lordship's, and bearing date the 4th of September, 1740, against the Bp. of Winchester, for 8,3001. This note underwent a strict examination in the Court of Chancery: and after a long trial, which took up several hours of two days, judgment was given on July 23, 1752. That the said note appears to be, and is, a gross fraui arid contrivance of the defendant Fourniere. But, as after this decree, this man had the villainy to add to his former perjuries new acts of chichanery and iniquity, and continued to be troublesome to the Bishop, his Lordship found it necessary to publish a detail of the proceedings in this business and his reasonings upon them, in 1754. He did this in “ A Letter to Clement Chevalier, Esq. of Aspal-Hall, in Suffolk, the Patron of Fourniere, a gentleman before esteemed of good character. This was looked upon as an astonishing performance of a Divine of eighty-one years of age. Mr. Horace Walpole, of Strawberry-Hill, after Lord Orford, humorously said, “The Bishop had not only got the better of his adversary, (Fourniere,) but of his old age.

This affair, however, brought some reflections on the Bishop, on account of Pilloniere as well as Fourniere, as too easily prevailed upon to take designing men into his friendship and confidence. This led his Lordship to give that account of Pilloniere, which now offers itsclf for a republication in your

Miscellany.

Birmingham, Feb. 26, 1807. JOSHUA TOULMIN.

Bishop Hoadly on M. Pilioniere. 66 As Fourniere's affair has given occasion to many to make very particular enquiries about another concert from Popery, (I mean Mr. Pilloniere) who once lived with me, with regard to his character and whole behaviour ; it may not be improper to speak a word or two about him; by which I may satisfy the curiosity of some, and rectify the mistakes of others, who, I find, have confounded them.

" Mr. P. was of the Society of Jesus ; and a Priest. He came to England at the end of the year 17!4; but not in such haste, as to forget his instruments of orders ; or, as if he was flying from justice. He was recommended by several learned and great men abroad, to their friends here; and to me, by the most unexceptionable persons at home;

At that time a member was required only to write his name; the direction might be added by any person. Notes and Bills not then being on stamps, such a fraud as this on the Bishop might be easily accomplished. In.

as a man of parts and learning, and good character. What greatly con firnied the first good opinion of him was, that his own account of lear ing that Society, and their Church, was confirmed by every one, both friends and enemies, at Paris : where the whole was so public, that it was known and attested by many travellers, who happened to be there at that time. In this account every step by which he was gradu. ally led to take his resolution, was laid before the world, with so many minute particulars, that the deceit must have been discovered, if there had been any. And in his private conversation, he was, from the begining, always ready, without reserve, to name every place, in which he had lived, through his whole education, and residence, amongst the Jesuits.

“ I will not conceal from the reader that Mr. Pilloniere, did not, for some part of his time, behave towards me agreeably to his obliga. tions. This, I soon found, was occasioned by my not judging it proper for me to interest myself at all, by any solicitations of mine, for promoting and increasing a collection of money, set on foot by some worthy gentlemen in his favour, without the least motion from me. And this by degrees put an end to all direct correspondence between us. After this, he was very profuse in giving away to others, in appearance of want, that competency which had been most kindly provided for him by his friends. By this weakness he soon found himself reduced to great necessities, and then accepted from me, through a friend's hands, a small yearly allowance. But without any attempt, or suspicion of attempt, to supply his wants by forging money-potesy over the names of others.

" At length from the study of mathematical, and other useful branches of learning, he suddenly departed into the golden dreams of the lowest Chemical Projectors. This change was suceceded by a sort of religious madness, in which he was not content with his usual great temperance, but brought himself to believe that by the promises of God, in Scripture, a good man might, by degrees, come to live without taking any sustenance at all. In this attempt, he went to such excess, that his condition at last could not receive any benefit from a contrary regimen. And by this management he brought himself to death, in the midst of imaginary visions, and nightly conversations with heaven." Bp. Hoadly's WorkS, Vol. iii. p. 9:28, 929; or Vol.i. the Life, p. 24. Note, being an Article in the Supplement to the BIOGRAPHIA BRITANNICA.

AN EXAMINATION OF THE CLERGYMAN'S REMARKS ON

STONE'S SERMON.-LETTER II.

To the Editor of the Monihly Repository. SIR, IN a former Letter * I made some observations on a piece which appeared in the Repository for Feb. last f entitled # Vol. II. p. 176.

+ Vol. II. p. 69. YOL, II,

2 1

-66 Remarks on Mr. Stone's Visitation Sermon,” in which he is charged with rejecuing all those parts of the scriptures which declare the divin'y of Christ and the atonement as spurious interpolations. We have examined some of the passages produced by this writer as asserting the former of those doctrines,

and have, it is presumed, shewn that such a doctrine cannot be fairly inferred from any one of them. Those passages were taken from the Old Testament. Let us now proceed to examine what he has advanced from the New Testament in support of the divinity of Jesus Christ, where if it be a truih we may expect to find it more clearly revealed.

“He it is," says our author, “whom the writers of the New Testament asseri to be God, manifest in the flesh-God, who hath purchased the Church with his own blood ; the pre-existent Creator of the universe, equal with God the Father. King of kings and Lord of lords. ' Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the cud, the first and the last."

The first of these assertions that Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh,(1 Tim. iii. 16.) is not, as he musi know, a fair . citation of the passage, which as it now stands is, “ God zas manifest in the flesh," thereby confining this manifestation to a certain period, that is, the time of our Lord's ministry, by which this mystery was revealed and not by a mysterious conjunction of divinity and humanity in his person, of which neither this passage nor any other in the New Testament gives us the most dis, tant intimation.

But let us ask, does not this learned divine know that the word Geos in this text is not to be found in any greek copy before the fourth or fifth century? Is he ignorant that it was never cited cr alluded to in the Arian controversy? Has he never heard of Sir Isaac Newton's letter to Le Clerc, in which he has deinonstated that that word is an interpolation, and that the original reading wis, " The mystery of godliness, 6, which was manifest in the Aesh.” The word flesh in the scriptures frequently signifies man, as when it is said, "All Hesh have corrupted their way"_" The end of all Hesh is come before me”- Cursed be the man who trusteh in man and maketh flesh his arm; whose heart di parteih from the living God.” The natural iinport, then, of the words is, “ Great is the mystery of godliness which was manifested ev by man,” in or by the inan Christ Jesus. So ..ohni. 14. it is said, 6. The word was flesh,that is, was man. The same writer, directing Christians to try the spirits, whe. her il: -y are of vod lays it down as a criterion by -which they were lo judge of the spirit of truth and the spirit of

[ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »