Andrew Thomson John Owen.

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guage," when there is nothing in the text but nnvP^ « Jehudith, Ju-



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THE LATDT 8EKVIGK 471

daice,'" that k, ** In Hebrew/' 6, Some difference yon suppose there
was between tiie Assyrian and Syrian in " sonnd and name, though
trandalors hare not heeded to deliTer it^" when there waa no agree*
ment atall between them; but you st^therewas'^moce in nature/' when
there waa none at all ^t^, {^^/'LasfaonArami^ the tongue of Aram/*
was the language of Assyria^ Ashur being but a odony of Aram. 6k
So you think that Shibboleth and Sibboleth may differ more in '' signi-
fication than sound." But, pray, what do you think is the significa-
tion of ^?39, aa the Ephraimites pronounoed ^?^? Just as much as
a word falsely pronounced signifieth, and no mcnre^ — ^that is, of itself
just nothing at all; for n^D, << Sibboleth/' is no Hebrew word, but
merely ^T^V, *^ Shibboleth,'' falsely pronounced. 7. You imagine that
the language spoken by Christ wd his fq)ostles was the same that
was spoken in the days of Hezekiah; and this you would proTe, firom
those words, " Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani/' to be that which is now
commonly called Syriac, and &ney an Assyrian tongue, aa much di^
fering firom it as EVench differs from English: which manifests your
skin in the oriental languages; for want whereof I do not blame you,
for what is that to me? But I cannot take it well that you should
choose me out to trouble me with talking about that whkh you do
not understand ; far here you give us two languages, the Syriac and
Assyriac, which names in the original differed but little in sound,
but the languages themselves did as much in nature as French and
English. And the Syriac, you tell us, was that which is now so pe-
culiarly called ; but what the Assyriac was you tell us not, but only that
when the princes persuade Eabshakeh to speak ^VH^^ " Aramith,"
they intended an Assyrian language that was not Syrian. The boys
that grind colours in our grammar schools laugh at these ** mormoe&"
8. Neither do you know well what you say when you affirm that the
language of Christ and his apostles was the same that was ever since
called the Syriac; for the very instance you give manifests it to have
been a different dialect fixmi it, — ^the words, as recorded by the evan-
gelists, being absolutely the same neither with the Hebrew, nor Tkr-
gum, nor Syriac translation of the Old Testament; that wherein we
have the translation of the Scripture, and which prevailed in the
eastern church, being a peculiar Antiochian dialect of the old Ara-
mean tongue. And that whole language called the Syriac peculiariy
now, and whereof there were various dialects of old, seems to have
had its beginning after the Jews' return fi^om their captiviiy, being
but a degenerate mixture of the Hebrew and Chaldee; whereinto,
also, after the prevalency of the Macedonian empire, many Greek
words were admitted, and some Latin ones also afterward. 9. You
advantage not yourself by affirming that Assyria and Syria were
several kingdoms; for, as Strabo will inform you, Aey were both



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472 A VINDICATION OF THE ANIMADVERSIONS ON FIAT LUX.

originallj called Syrian, and, indeed, were one and the same nntil the
more eastern provinces about Babylon obtaining their peculiar deno-
minations, that part of Asia which contains Comagena, Phoenicia,
Palestina, and Coelo-syria became to be especially called Syria. Ori-
ginally they were all Aramites, as every one knows that can but
read Uie Scripture in its original languaga

And now I suppose you may see bow little you have advantaged
yourself or your cause by this maze of mistakes and contradictions;
for no error can be so thick covered with others but that it will rain
ihrougL The Jews you suppose to have lost their own language in
the days of Hezekiah, and to have spoken Syriac; the Syrian and
Assyrian to have been languages as hr distant as French and English ;
that when the princes entreated Babshakeh to speak the Syrian lan-
guage, '^^IS, they intended not the Syrian language, whidi was in-
deed the Jews', but the Asqnian, quite differing from it; and so,
when they desired him not to speak '^^^"^^^ but ^^P1^, you suppose
them to lutve desired him not to speak in the Jews' language, but to
speak in the Jews' language, which you say was the Syriaa And
sundiy other no less unhappy absurdities have you amassed together.

But you will retrieve us out of this labyrinth by a story of what a
Greek bishop did and said at Paris in the presence of Dr Cousins,
now bishop of Durham; how he refused the articles of the English
church, and did all things according to the Roman mode; asserting
the use of liturgies in the vulgar Greek. Unto which I shall say no
more but that it was at Paris, and not at Durham.

"Qndculus eeoriena, in ccelnm jusseris, ibit" — Juv. iil 78.

I have myself known some eminent members of that church in
England, two especially, — one many years ago, called Conopius, who,
if I mistake not, upon his return obtained the^honour of a patri-
archate, being sent hither by the then patriarch of Constantinople;
the other not many years ago, called Anastatius Comnenus, archi-
mandrite, as his testimonials bespake him, of a monasteiy on mount
SinaL Both these, I am sure, made it their business to inveigh
against your church and practices, having the ai^guments of Nilus
against your supremacy at their fingers' ends. And if the Greek
church and you are so well agreed as you pretend, why do you cen-
sure them as heretics and schismatics, and receive only some few of
them who are runagates from their own tents ? What may those
whom you proclaim to be your enemies expect from you, when you
deal thus severely with those whom you give out to be your friends?
But as for this matter of the Scripture, and prayers in an unknown
tongue, they transgress not with so high a hand as you do, the old
Greek being not so absolutely remote from the present vulgar as



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THE LATIN SERVICE. 473

tbe Latin ib from onr English and the languages of divers other na-
tions whom you compel to your chnrdi-service in that tongue; and,
besides, they have the Scripture translated into their present vulgar
tongue for the use of private persons: yet we approve not their prac-
tice, but look upon it as a great means of continuing that ignorance
and darkness which is unquestionably spread over the major part of
that church; which in some places, as in Russia^ is to such a degree
as to dispose the people unto barbarism. We know, also, that herein
they are gone off from the constant and catholic usage of their fore-
&thersy who for some centuries of years, from the days of the apostles
themselves^ who planted churches amongst them, both had the Bible
in their own vulgar tongue, and made no use of any other in the
public service of their assemblies And that their example, in their
present d^enerate condition, which in some things you as little ap-
prove of as we do in others, should have any great power upon us, I
know as yet littie reason to judge.

Your last attempt in this matter is to vindicate what you have
said in your '^ Fiat,'' as you now affirm, " That the Bible was kept
in an ark or tabernacle, not touched by the people, but brought out
at times to the priest, that he might instruct the people out of if
To which you say I answer, " That the ark was placed in the ' sanc-
tum sanctorum,' which was not entered into but by the priest, and
that only once a year;" and reply, '*But^ sir, I speak not there of any
' sanctum sanctorum,' or of any ark in that place. Was there, or
could there be, no more arks but one? If you had been only, in
these latter days, in any synagogue or convention of the Jews, you
might have seen even now how the Bible is still kept with them in
an ark or tabernacle, in imitation of their forefathers, when they have
no 'sanctum sanctorum' amongst them. Tou may also discern
how, according to your custom, they cringe and prostrate at the
bringmg out of the Bible; which is the only solemn- adoration left
amongst them. There be more arks than that in the 'sanctum
sanctorum.' If I had called it a box, or a chest, or a cupboard, you
had let it pass; but I used that word, as more sacred."

The oftener that you touch upon this string, the harsher is the
sound that it yields. I would desire you to free yourself from the
unhappiness of supposing that it tends unto your disreputation to be
esteemed unacquainted with the Jews' language and customa If
you cannot do so, you will not be able to avoid suffering from your
own thoughts, especially if you cannot forbear talking about them.
This was all that in your former discourse you were obnoxious unto,
but this renewal of it hath rendered your condition somewhat worse
than it was; for failures in skill and science are not in demerit to
be compared with those in morality, which are voluntary, and of



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474 A VINDICATION OF THE INIMIBTIBSIONS ON FIAT LUX.

dioica Your woids in y(nir^^ Fiat/' after you had leaniedlyob^
that the Bible was never in liosea' tune^ nor afterward by any high
priest, translated into Syriac for the nae of the people, axe: ^ Nay, ii
was so &r from that, that it was not touched nor looked upon by the
people, but kept privately in the ark or tabemade, and brought forth
at times by the priest, who might upon the Sabbath-day read some
part of it to the peopla'' I confess^ your esqxression, ^ In the ark or
tabemade," waa somewhat unoooth, and dracov^^ed that you did but
obscurely guej» at the thing you ventured to diaoouzse about Bat
I took your woords in that only aeose they wa» capable o^ — ^namely,
that the Bible waa kept in the ark, or at least in liie tabemade; that
is, some part of it, whereunto the people bad no acceia And he
must be a man devoid of reason and common aenae who oould ima*
gine that you intended any tixing bat the sacred adc and tabemade,
when you said that it was kept in the ark cr tabernacle; for not
only, by all rules of interpretation, is the word used indefinitdy to be
taken ^* in sensu fionosiori," but also your maimer of expression will
admit of no other sense or intention. Now, herein, in the '^ Amrnadver-
sion%" I minded you of your failure, and UM you that not the whole
BihUy as you imagined, but only the Pentateuch, was plaeed, not tii,but
(xt the eidea of the ark; that the ark was kept in the sanctuary; that
no priest w^t in thither but only the high priest^ and that but omoe
a year; that the book of the law waa never brought forth firomthenoe
to be read to the people; and, lasUy, that whatever of this kind you
might fancy, yet it would not in the least conduce ta your purpose,
it being openly evident that^ besides the pubUc lections out of the
law, th^ people had all of them the Scripture in their houses^ and
were bound by the command of Qod to re^d and meditate in them
continually. What say you now to these things! — 1. You diange
your words, and aSrm that you said it was kept ^'in an ark or taber-
nacle;" as though you meant any ark or chest But you too mudi
wrong yourself. Tour words are, as before represoated, " In the ark or
tabernacle:" and you remembeired them well enough to be so, whidi
so perplexeth you in your attempt to rectify what you said ; for after
you have changed the first word, the addition of the next leaves you
in the briers of nonsense, '' In an ark or tabemade," as though they
were terms convertible, — a chest car a tent t wish you would make
an end of this fond shooting at roveirs. 2. Yqu apply that to the
practice of the present Jews in their synagogues which you plainly
spake of the ancient Jews whilst their temple and church-state con-
tinued; wherein again you intrencih upon morality for an evasion.
And, besides, you cast yourself upon new mistakes; for, — (1.) The
book kept in a chest by them, and brought forth with the venisrar-
tion you speak of, is not the whole Bible, as you im^giiie, but only



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THfi LATIN SEBVICS. 475

the Pentatenoh, which W9d read in their tynagogues on the Sabbath-
days, U ytHuv &px<»ioif, as James tdls us, Aets rv. 21 ; only, whereas
their law was particularly sought after to be destroyed by Antiochus
Epiphanes, they supplied the room of it with the other parts of the
Scripture divided into chapters, answerable unto the sections of the
law. Nor, (2.) Is that brought out to or 6y a priest, but to any rabbi
that presides in their synagogue worship; for they have no priest
amongst them, nor certain distinction of tribes: so that if you your-
self have been in any synagogue or convention of the Jews, it is evi-
dent that you understood little of what you saw them do. (3.) For
ih&x prottraiicm at the bringing out ot the book^ which you seem to
conunend aa a solenm adoration, it is downright idolatrous; for in it
they openly worship the material roll or book that they keep.

But what is it tiiat you would firom hence conclude? Is it that
which youattempted in your^Fiat,^'— namely, thatthe people amongst
the Jews had not the Bible in their own language, and in common
use among them? You may as easily prove that the sun shines not
at noon-day. The Scripture was committed unto them in their own
mother-tongue, and they were commanded of Ood to read and study
it continually, the psalmist pronouncing them blessed who did ac*
oordingly ; and the present Jews make the same duty of indispensable
necessity tmto every one amongst them after he comes to be '' filius
prsBcepti,'^ or liable to the keeping of any command of God. The
rules they give for all sorts of persons, high and low, rich and poor,
young and old, sick and in heateh, for the performance of this duty,
are known to all who have any acquaintance with their present prin-
eijdes, practices, state, and conditi<m; and yoti shall scarcely meet
with a child amongst them of nine years old who is not exercised to
the reading of the Bible in Hebrew; — ^and yet, though they all gene-
rally learn the Hebrew tongue for this purpose in their in&ncy,
lest they should neglect it, or through trouble be kept from it, they
have translated the whole Old Testament into all the languages of
the nations amongst whom in any numbers they are scattered. The
Arabic translation of the Mauritanian Jews, the Spanish of the
Spaniards and Portuguese, I can show you if you please. Upon the
whole matter, I wish you knew how great the work is wherein you
are engaged, and how contemptible the engines are whereby you
hope to effect it But such positions and such confirmations are
very well suited. And this is the sum of what you plead afresh in
vindication of your Latin service, and keeping the Scripture from
the use of the people. If you suppose yourself armed hereby against
the express institution of Christ by his apostles, the example of God's
dealing with his people of old, the nature of the things themselves,
and universal practice of the primitive church, I really pity you^



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476 A VINDICATION OP THE ANDCADVEBSIONS ON FIAT LUX.

and shall oontinae to pray for you, that you may not any longer
bring upon yourself the blood of soula



CHAPTER XXIIL

Commanion.

The defence of your paragraph about communion in one kind is
totally deserted by you. I know no other cause of your so doing
but a sense of your incompetency for its defence, seeing you expend
words enough about things of less importance. But you pleaae your-
self with the commendation of what you had written on this subject
in your " Fiat/' as fiill of '^ Christian reason, convincing reason and
sobriety, and how it would have prevailed upon your own judgment
had you been otherwise minded." You seem to dweU fisu: fixwn
neighbours, and to be a very easy man to be entreated unto what
you have a mind unto. But you might not have done amiss to have
waited a Uttle for the praise of others; this out of your own mouth
is not very comely. And I shall only take leave once more to in-
form you, that an opposition to the institution of Christ, the camr
mand of the apostle, the practice of the primitive church, with the
faith and consolation of believers, such as is your paiagraph about
communion in one kind, whatever overweening thoughts you may
have of the product of your own fEuicy, cannot, indeed, have any one
grain in it of sobriety or Christian reason.



CHAPTER XXIV.

Heroes — Of the ass's head, whose worship was objected to Jews a^d Christiaiis.

YouB last endeavour consists in an exception to somewhat a£Brmed
in the 19th chapter of the "Animadversions," directed unto your
paragraph about saints and heroes; and I am sorry that I must
close with the consideration of it, because I would willingly have
taken my leave of you upon better terms than your discourse will
allow me to do. But I shall as speedily represent you unto yourself
as I am able, and then give you my " salve setemumque vale.''



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ANCIENT WORSHIP OP JEWS AND CHRISTIANS. 477

You tell us in your " Fiat" that the " Pagans defamed the Chris-
tians for the worship of an ass's head;" and you give this reason of
it, '' Because the Jews had defamed our Lord Jesus Christ, whose
head and half-portraiture Christians used upon their altars, even as
they do at this day, of his great amplicity and ignorance/' Two
things you suppose, — 1. That the Christians placed the head and
half-portraiture of our Saviour in those days on their altars; which
is alone to your purposa 2. That this gave occasion to the Pagans
to defame them with the worship of an ass's head, because the Jews
had so blasphemed the Lord Christ, as you say. These things I told
you are fond and fedse, and destitute of all colour of testimony from
antiquity; that the worship of an ass's head was originally charged
on the Jews themselves, and on Christians no otherwise but as they
were accounted a sect of them, or their offspring; and that what in
the same place you assert, of '' the Jews accusmg the Christians for
the worship of images," or ''the Christians using the picture of Christ's
head or his half-portraiture on their altars," are monsters that none
of the ancients ever dreamed of What plead you now in your vin-
dication? Quite omitting that wherein alone you are concerned, you
only undertake to prove that the worship of an ass's head was im-
puted to the Christians as well as to the Jews, which you say '' I
deny, and say that it was not charged on the Jews at all" And the
reason of this charge, you say, was, " Because they were reckoned
among the Jews ' in odiosis,' and accounted of them." So well do
you mind what you had said before of the rise of that imputation on
the Christians, from the blasphemy of the Jews! So, — 1. In your
" Fiat" you say nothing of the Jews at all, but only that by their
calumnies the Pagans took occasion to slander the Christians; being
now better instructed by the " AnimadversionSy" in the rise of that
foolish calumny, you change your note, and close in with what is in
them asserted. 2. You unduly aflSrm that " I deny this to have
been charged on the Christians," when I grant it was, and that in
the very same manner and on the same account that yourself now,
contrary to what you had written before, acknowledge it to have
been. He must be as much unacquainted with these things as some-
body else whom I shall not name, '^ honoris gratia," seems to be,
who knows not that this foolish impiety was imputed, in process
of time, to the Christians by the Pagans, among a litter of other
follies, as well as unto the Jew& Caecilius, in Minucius, tells us,
" Audio eos ineptissimse pecudis caput asini consecratum inepta nes-
cio qua persuasione venerari;" — " I hear that by a foolish persuasion
they worship the head of an ass, a vile beast." And TertuUian,
ApoL, cap. xvi, " Nam quidam somniastis caput asininum esse Deum
nostrum;" — " Some of you dream that an ass's head is our God;" —



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478 A VINDICATIOK OF THE AKIMADVraSIOVS ON FULT LUX.

presently deolaring thereon, that this imputation was derived on
them from the Jews, who first suflered imder that faiUe. And if
any thing gave new occasion woAo it among the C9iristian% it ms
not the picture of Ohrist despised by ihe Jews, as yon imaj^e, bat
the report of his riding on an ass; whidi Athanastiie takes notice of,
Homil. ad Pagan. They said, 'Ort 6 ef^ XpufriavSh i nnXobfUHi iLfti-'
rhQ %U hm^m ixd^i^^ — " That the God of the Christians, iwho is ci^
Christ, sat on an'asa" But you will prove what yon say oot of Tcr-
tullian. Say you, "The sanieTeitullian, in his .Apologetic, adds these
words: 'The calumnies (saith he) inrented to cry down our retigim
grew to such an excess of impiety, that not long ago, in this Tery city,
a picture of our Qod was 8lK)wn, by a certain infiunous persoa, irith
the ears of an ass, and a hoof on one foot, clothed with a gown, aad
a book in his hand, with this inscription, ' Onochod;ee, the God of tk
Christians."' And he adds, 'That the Chrisdans in the <nty, asth^
were nnich offended with the impiety, so did they not a Httle wonder
at the strange, uncouth name the Tillaia had put iq>on our L«rd and
Master. Onoohoetes, fonooih! he must be called Onochoetesr'' Is
this testimony of you know not what, you triumph, and oondode,
" Are you not a strange man, to teD me that what I qieak of tiuB
business is notoriously Sedse, nay, and that I know it is fisdse, and that
I cannot produoe one authentic testimony, no not one, of any such
thing? But this is your ordinary oonfidenca^' Seriously, sir, I wonder
where you got this quotation out of TertuUian. Let me desire yoa
to be wary in receiving any thing hereafter from the same hand, out
of authors that you want the confidence to venture upon yours^
The words of Tertullian, which your translator hath abtued yon in,
are these:—'' Sed nova jam Dei nostri in ista dvitate proxime editio
publicata est, ex quo quidam in frustrandis bestiis mercenarius noxiaB
picturam proposuit cum ejusmodi inscriptione, ' Beus Christismorum
Ononychites.' Is erat aonbus asininis, ahero pede ungulatus, libnun
gestans et togatu& Bisimus et nomen et Ibrmam. Sed iUi debebant
adorare statim biforme numen qui canine et leonino capite conunistM
decs receperunt;" — ^"Lately in that dty'^ (that is. Borne) "there
was a public show made of our God, wherein a guilty peiBcm Ured
to fight with wild beasts, and to -cozen their rage, proposed a picture
with this inscription, ' (^onychites, the God of the Christiana' He
had ass's eaes, hoofed on one foot, carrying a book, and in a gown.
We laughed at the name and shape. But they ought immediately to
have adored this doublenshaped deity, who hare received gods mingled
witii dogs' and lions' heada" Tou see how well you have given us
the words of Tertullian, whidi you pretend to do, saying, " He adds
these words." But I oonfeas, diough he saj^ no suoh matter, it is
like enough he would have wondered at the name of Onodioet^



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JkNGIENT WOBSHIP OF Jf^WB AND CHBISTIANa 479

had the villain gLveik it unto his picture; &r a^ither he nor any
man dse knows what it should mean. He knew well enough whaJb
Ononychites signified, and lauded at it. It k but Asinungulus;
whid), it may be, comes neM^ their understanding. I confess some
would read it Onochoerites, as if it wene compounded of Svk asid
X^P^c, because of these words of Epiphanius concerning the Gnostics,
^airi Si rhv 2alUii^, W Aiiv hov /Jb$pfiv e^^mr, 0/ ih XoifW — '' Some say thmr
Sabaoth had the form of an ass, some of a hog/' But Tertullian, in
the description of the picture, mentions no part of a hog, Qor rejects
the abomination of the Gnostics, as was the manner of the Christians
when charged with their silliness and folly, as may be seen abim-
dantly in Origen against Celsua But who or what your Onochoetes
should be, no man knowa But see your farther unhappiness. You
prove not by your quotation that which no man denies, namely, that
the Christians also were charged with the worship of an ass's head;
which, if you had but looked into TertuUian himself, you must have
found him expressly affirming it in the beginning of that chapter
from whence your story is taken. Much less do you prove any thing
of the Christians placing the head and half-portraiture of our Saviour
upon their altars before or in the days of Constantino ; which was that
alone that was incumbent on you to have done. And now, to give
a brief view of that whole portraiture that you have drawn of your-



Online LibraryAndrew Thomson John OwenThe works of John Owen, Volume 14 → online text (page 58 of 67)