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THE

CREDIBILITY

OF THE

GOSPEL HISTORY,

OR,

THE PRINCIPAL FACTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CONBY PASSAGES OF ANCIENT AUTHORS WHO

FIRMED

WERE CONTEMPORARY WITH OUR Saviour,
OR HIS APOSTLES, OR LIVED NEAR
THEIR TIME.

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THE

PRINCIPAL FACTS

OF THE

NEW TESTAMENT

CONFIRMED, &c.

PART II. CHAP. CXXVI.

PRUDENTIUS.

1. AURELIUS PRUDENTIUS CLEMENS, an elegant Latin poet, descended of an honourable family, was born at Saragossa in Spain, in the year 348, when Fl. Salia, or Salias, was consul. He wrote the preface to his Cathemerinon, in the fifty-seventh year of his age; as he says himself in that preface, where his other writings also are briefly enumerated: consequently he is well placed as flourishing about the year 405.

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2. I put below Gennadius's chapter of Prudentius, in

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< Prudentius, vir seculari literaturâ eruditus, composuit Atroxaiov, [Aiπtuxov,] de toto Veteri et Novo Testamento, personis exceptis. Commentatus est autem

his book of Illustrious Men, published in 494; and 1 refer tod some learned moderns, such as are desirous of a more particular account of this writer.

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3. Some have thought that Prudentius was consul; but without any good reason. Others have supposed that he was præfect of the Prætorium, or præfect of Rome: but there is no full proof of either. Gennadius, however, says, that he had a military employment at court. What Prudentius says of himself, in the forementioned preface, I transcribe below: from whence it appears, I think, that for a while he studied the law, and was a pleader; and that he had been a civil magistrate in some cities: after which he took to the profession of arms, and was honoured with some high military preferment under the emperor, either Theodosius, or Honorius: and, before he was very old, he retired from the world.

4. Prudentius celebrates, in his poems, our Lord's nativity, and the circumstances of it; and also, his miracles, death, and resurrection.

in morem Græcorum Hexaëmeron de Mundi Fabricâ usque ad conditionem primi hominis, et prevaricationem ejus. Composuit et libellos, quos Græcâ appellatione attitulavit, Apotheosis, Psychomachia, Hamartigenia, id est, de Divinitate, de Compugnantiâ Animæ, De Origine Peccatorum. Fecit et in Laudem Martyrum, sub aliorum nominibus, invitationem ad Martyrium, librum unum, et Hymnorum alterum: speciali tamen intentione adversus Symmachum, idololatriam defendentem. Ex quorum lectione agnoscitur Palatinus miles fuisse. Gennad. de V. I. cap. 13.

d Cav. H. L. T. i. Fabr. ad Gennad. cap. 13. ap. Bib. Ec. Voss. de Hist. Lat. l. ii. c. 10. Tillem. Mem. T. x. Du Pin. Bib. T. iii. p. 5. J. Le Clerc. Bib. Univ. T. xii. p. 135-193. Pagi. Ann. 405. n. 19.

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Cantharis infusa lympha fit Falernum nobile.

Nuntiat vinum minister esse promtum ex hydriâ.

Ipse rex sapore tinctis obstupescit poculis, &c.

Cathem. Hymn. ix. ver. 19, &c. Vid. et Cath. Hymn. xii.

5. There is a book, called his Enchiridion, consisting of small poems, celebrating many remarkable events of the Old and the New Testament. Those of the New are taken out of the gospels, the Acts, and the Revelation.

6. Some have hesitated about the genuineness of that work, because it is not taken notice of by Prudentius in the preface before cited: nevertheless, it is particularly mentioned by Gennadius, by the title of Diptychon. Whether it be genuine, or not, the same things occur in the other unquestioned writings of Prudentius.

7. In particular, the Revelation is plainly referred to in some of the hymns in the Cathemerinon. And he seems to have supposed, that St. John had his visions in sleep.

8. I add one thing more: Prudentius considers martyrs as intercessors; and hopes, through them, to obtain of Christ the forgiveness of his sins.

8 Bis duodena senum sedes, pateris citharisque,
Totque coronarum fulgens insignibus, agnum,
Cæde cruentatum laudat: qui evolvere librum,
Et septem potuit signacula pandere solus.

Enchir. Num. 49. seu ult.
Corde fusus ex Parentis, ante mundi exordium

Alpha et cognominatus: ipse fons et clausula

Omnium, quæ sunt, fuerunt, quæque post futura sunt.
Cathem. Hymn. ix. 5. 10-12. Vid. Apoc. i. 8.
O quam profunda justis

Arcana per soporem
Aperit tuenda Christus!

Quam clara, quam tacenda,

Evangelista summi

Fidissimus magistri,

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