Page images

concerning such as were in a great agony of mind. So likewise it is said of such as are in great grief, that they weep tears of blood : nor does St. Luke say that Christ did sweat drops of blood ; but that “ his sweat was as it were drops of blood;" to signify, that it was not a slight sweat, and that our Lord's whole body was covered over with large and thick drops of sweat, issuing from it, and falling down to the ground. In this letter it is likewise, that he observes the omission of this paragraph of St. Luke's gospel in some copies, of which notice was taken by us y formerly.

9. In another epistle, considering Rom. ix. 3, “ For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ,” he observes, “ theapostle does not say, “ I wish,” but, “ I could wish,” if it were possible:' and afterwards, • I could wish, if it were fit, if it were lawful, and if my fall and misery might be beneficial to others. This I take to be right; and, so far as I can see, this explication removes all the difficulties of that text.

10. There are many excellent counsels and observations to be found in Photius's epistles.

(1.) In the first epistle, which is addressed to Michael, king of Bulgaria : * It is one of the commands of Christ, our common Lord, that we should bring forth fruits of righteousness, and not disgrace our faith by our works : so likewise directs Paul, the great master of the church ; so Peter, the chief of the apostles, who was entrusted with the keys of the kingdom of heaven ; and so the whole choir of the apostles taught the world.'

(2.) In the same epistle : • Some say, it is the main office of a prince to make a small city, or commonwealth, great : but he says, he should estcem it a greater thing to make it good.'

(3.) To the same prince: Ifè you receive a benefit, be sure to remember it ; if you confer a benefit, you will do well soon to forget it. This is an indication of a great mind, and raiseth the value of the benefit conferred.'

(4.) I refer to two other places concerninge friendship and ingratitude. θρομβοι αίματος, ειπων, και θρομβες ίδρωσαι απεφηματο αίματος, κ.λ.

Eph. 138. y See vol. ii. ch. xxxvi, num, iii. 9. 1 Ουδε γαρ ειπεν, Ευχομαι χορισθηναι, αλλ' ηυχoμην αν" τατ' εσιν ει δυνατον nu, k. d. Ép. 216. p. 319.

Ηυχoμην αν, ει ενεδεχετο, ει ενεχωρει, ει τις ην αποφασις σωτηριος, κ. λ. Ιb. p. 320. Ep. i. p. 21. Ep. i. p. 30.

d Ib. p. 34. e P. 27.

P. 37.

p. 193.


[ocr errors]



1. CAVEspeaks of Ecumenius as writing about the year 990, but without being certain of his time : and that he has not placed this author too soon, may be argued from Montfaucon's Bibliotheca Coisliniana, who there informs us of a manuscript chain or comment on St. Paul's epistles of the tenth century, in which the name of Ecumenius is mentioned, among other writers out of whom that comment was collected : I therefore place him a little bigher, but still in the same century.

2. Montfaucono assures us, from a passage found in a manuscript of the tenth or eleventh century, that Ecumenius was bishop of Tricca in Thessaly ; which was not known before.

3. We have Commentaries of this writer upon the Acts, St. Paul's fourteen epistles, and the seven catholic epistles. The Commentaries upon the epistles, if not also upon

the Acts, are a chain, consisting of notes and observations of several, beside his own; as John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, Gregory Nazianzen, Isidore of Pelusium, Theodoret, Photius, and others. At the end of the second volume of Ecumenius is placed the Commentary of Arethas upon the Revelation.

4. In this work, in the edition at Paris, in 1631, which I make use of, the books of the New Testament are placed in the order now generally used ; first the Acts of the Apostles, next St. Paul's fourteen epistles, and then the catholic epistles: but there is prefixed to those Commentaries a short copy of verses, representing the contents of

* Ecumenius, scriptor admodum incertæ ætatis, de quo altum apud veteres silentium. Id modo constat, post annum 800 claruisse. Adeoque hoc loco ipsum reponimus ad annum 990, donec veram ejus ætatem expiscari liceat, H. L. T. ii. p. 112.

þBib. Cois. p. 82. M. c Vid. Bib. Coisl. in Præf. et p. 277.

d In Acta apostolorum catenæ vicem exhibit Ecumenii, incertæ ætatis scriptoris, sed judicio ac perspicuitate commendabilis, Commentarius, qui cum ejusdem Commentariis similibus in epistolas septem catholicas, epistolas sancti Pauli apostoli, et cum Aretha in Apocalypsin, prodiit Græce Veronæ typis luculentis 1532. fol. Hæc editio mihi ad manus est. Fabr. Bib. Gr. T. vii. p. 788. Vid. eund. T. xiii. p. 845.

the whole work, in this manner : · The e book of the Acts, written by Luke; the epistle of James, written to believing Hebrews; the first epistle of Peter, written to believers ; the second epistle of Peter, also written to christians; three epistles of John, one of Jude, to all christians in general ; then St. Paul's fourteen epistles, all enumerated in our present order : Jastly, John's mysterious Revelation. This, I suppose, was the order of the books, particularly of the Acts and the epistles, in the manuscript; it is also the order observed in the first printed edition of these Commentaries, in Greek only, at Verona in 1532, described by Fabricius, which I likewise bave. As for the Commentary upon the Revelation by Arethas, in all probability it was added to make a full volume: moreover, Aretbas might be reckoned to be very little distant in time from& Ecumenius.

-5. James Le Long says, thath Ecumenius wrote a Commentary also upon the four gospels; and that he himself says so ; but I do not find it in the place to which Le Long refers.

6. Whether Ecumenius received or wrote Commentaries upon the Revelation, will be considered by and by.

7. Upon St. Luke's introduction to the Acts, “ The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus," Ecumenius observes, • Hei calls it a treatise, and not a gospel, avoiding ostentation; as indeed do the rest likewise.

Matthew says, “ The book of the generation of Jesus Christ;" Mark indeed says, “ The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ ;" but be does not, by “ gospel," intend his own writing, but Christ's preaching. The faithful afterwards called them gospels, as truly containing the gospel, that is, the doctrine of Christ.'

8. Upon Acts xiii. 13, he says, Thisk John, who is also called Mark, nephew to Barnabas, wrote the gospel entitled

Των Πραξεων η βιβλος, ας Λακας γραφει
Πισοις Εβραιων εξ Ιακωβε λογοι.
Πισοις ό ΙΠετρος πρωτα συνταττει ταδε.
Χρισωνυμοισι δευτεροι Πετρε λογοι. .

[ocr errors]

Κλητοις άπασι ταυτα μυσης Ιαδας. .

Ιωαννα μυησις ή κεκρυμμενη.. See before, note d.

& See before, p. 103. 1. Annotationum Commentarii in quatuor Evangelia, ex dictis veterum patrum Græcorum; quos commentarios in epistolam ad Hebræos, cap. 6. se scripsisse testatur. J. Le Long. B. T. ii. p. 883.

Λογον ειπε πρωτον, εκ ευαγγελιoν, κ. λ. In Act. Αp. T. 1. p. 1, 2.
Ibid. p. 111. c.

according to him, and was also disciple of Peter, of whom he says, in his epistle, “ Mark, my son, saluteth you."

9. Upon Acts xv. 13. • This' James, appointed bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord, was son of Joseph the carpenter, and brother of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.'

10. I need not put down the prefaces to St. Paul's several epistles, in which are observed the places where they were written, sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

11. Upon those words of Col. iv. 16, “ the epistle from Laodicea," is a note of Photius. Somem say, this was not an epistle of Paul to them, but from them to him ; for he does not say, the epistle to the Laodiceans, but the epistle from Laodicea.'

12. In the argument or preface to the epistle of James, it is said to be written to those of the twelve tribes scattered abroad, who had believed in our Lord Jesus Christ.

13. The argument to the first epistle of Peter says, ' it is written to the believing Jews scattered abroad in several places.'

14. Upon 2 Pet. iii, 1, he observes, as I understand him, to this effect : Hence we perceive that Peter wrote only two epistles.'

15. In a note upon the beginning of St. John's second epistle he says, “Someo bad thought that this and the following epistle were not written by John the apostle, but by another of the same name, who calls himself Elder. Our author, however, receives both these, as well as the first.

16. Jude's' epistle is said to be written to believers.

17. In a note upon the first epistle to the Corinthians, the Revelation is quoted as written by John the evangelist.

18. As a farther proof, that Ecumenius received the book of the Revelation, I refer to an anecdote, published by Montfaucon, of which he speaks very magpificently in his preface to the Coislinian library; but when he sets about translating the passage, he says, it is written in so obscure a style as to be scarce intelligible. 1 P. 122. C.

m T. ii. p. 146. B. " T. ii. p. 438.

• Ib. p. 479. P Εκ τατων μανθανομεν, δυο τας πασας ειναι το Πετρό επισολας. p. 548. D. 9 P. 605.

P. 619. A. * Ο ευαγγελισης Ιωαννης φησιν εν τη Αποκαλυψει. Τ. i. p. 578. C.

Vigesimum quartum ex eodem codice prodit, estque longe præstantius opusculum Ecumenii, episcopi Triccæ in Thessaliâ. Notes velim, antehac, cujus civitatis episcopus esset Ecumenius, ignotum fuisse. Is auctoritate patrum, ineluctabilibusque argumentis, probat Apocalypsin esse veram et canonicam scripturam. Præf.

Sequens autem opusculum stylo


It is said to be the Synopsis of the labours of the blessed Ecumenius, bishop of Tricca, upon the Revelation of John the divine ;' and it begins in this manner : • That" this writing is the mystical instruction of the disciple who rested in the bosom of Jesus, and is divinely inspired, and useful, as has been indisputably proved ; and that it is not spurious, as some have profanely said, but a genuine writing of the son of thunder :' and the author then proceeds to argue this from the testimonies of Athanasius, Basil, Gregory, Methodius, Cyril of Alexandria, Hippolytus, and from other considerations.

19. I shall now make a few remarks. First, from the passage above cited from the Commentary upon the

epistle to the Corinthians, it appears to be probable, that (Ecumenius received the book of the Revelation; and this passage may be allowed to afford some additional evidence. Nevertheless, secondly, this writer being unknown and anonymous, what he says cannot be admitted as full proof that Ecumenius ever wrote a Commentary upon the Revelation. Thirdly, the argument for the genuineness of the Revelation, bere ascribed to Ecumenius, is much the same with what is to be found in the prefaces of* Andrew, andy Arethas, to their Commentaries upon that book.



1. THEOPHYLACT, archbishop of the chief city of Bulgaria, wrote Commentaries upon the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and St. Paul's fourtcen epistles. He is spoken of by Cavet as flourishing about the year 1077, by

tam perplexo scriptum est, ut vix intelligi possit. Aliquot etiam in locis vitiatum videtur. Ipsum tamen pro facultate meà Latine interpretari studui. Bibl. Coisl. p. 277.

' Εκ των Οικομενιω τα μακαριω επισκοπη Τρικκης θεσσαλιας θεοφιλως πεπονημενων εις την Αποκαλυψιν Ιωαννα τα θεολογ8, συνοψις σχολικη, κ. λ. Ib. P: 277. F.

w P. 277. F. et. 278. * See before in this work, vol. i. p. 124, Andrew cited from Prolog. ad Apoc. p. 3. B. ad Calc. T. viii. Opp. S. Chrysostom. Ed. Morell. y Vid. Areth. ap. Ecumen. T. ii. p. 640.

H. L. T. ii. p. 153.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »