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gratify his poor brethren at an easy rate, why did he clog his Epitome, both before and behind, with two long Discourses of his own ? Sure this was not to make it cheaper, but to put them to more expense, in being obliged to buy his discourses, if they were minded to read any thing of mine. The fair way of epitomizing, had been to have given an abstract of my books by themselves, and printed his own separate from them: this had been more for the interest of his indigent readers, and I believe he will find, it would have been more for the interest of his booksellers: I know not what authority he or his booksellers had to reprint my books in effect, which my property by law. But I argue not with him at present upon that point. If he had done it in a genteel way, by asking leave, and under direction, he should have had my leave and encouragement also. Or, if he had done it usefully, so as truly to answer the end he pretends, even without leave, he should have had my pardon. But now, he has defeated his own design, both by unnecessary and hurtful additions of his own, which will not only incommode and incumber his books, bnt render them dangerous and pernicious to unwary readers, unless timely antidoted and corrected by some more skilful hand. For which reason, since they are sent into the world together with an Abstract of my Antiquities, I have thought it just both to the world and myself to make some proper animadver-, sions on them. I freely own, that a just and authentic Account of Ancient and Modern Sects and Heresies, done by a learned and judicious hand, would be a very useful work: and it is what has been long wanted, and long desired by many learned men, who observe the failings of the common Heresiologists on all sides: but I cannot see what an Account of Modern Heresies has to do with the Antiquities of the Church, or how the knowledge of modern sectaries can help to explain the ancient usages and practices of the Catholics in former ages. For which reason our author
might have dropped that part of his work without any detriment, to have made his book the cheaper. But whether it was proper or improper to elog his work with any account of heresies ancient or modern ; what had been done in either kind, should have been done with care and judgment, and something of exactness, which, after all the compliments he passes on my work, I cannot say of his, and I am heartily sorry, that in justice to the world I cannot do it. For some of his accounts are very trifling and jejune, and such as give no light or information to a reader: others are very false and injurious to great men, whom he makes heretics, when they were really the great defenders of the Catholic Faith: and his whole account is very imperfect, omitting some of the most considerable sects and errors, whilst his title page. pretends to be an Account of all the Principal Heresies since the rise of Christianity. I love not to censure any man without reason, and therefore I will give some evident proof of each particular I lay to his charge: only premising one thing, which I believe will make the Grammarians smile: the running title of his treatise is, Index Hæreticus, which in English is not what he calls it, An Account of Heresies; but, An Heretical Index. Which I believe he did not intend should be its character: but if we soften the meaning of the word Heretical, and take it only for erroneous; however ominous it be, it is a very just character indeed. For besides its other faults, it is very erroneous in the characters he gives of very Great and Orthodox and Eminent Saints of God, who in his account are some of the worst of heretics. I will make good in order the several charges I bring against him.
1. Some of his accounts are very trifling and jejune, and such as give no light or information to a reader. In speaking of the Hypsistarians, all that he says of them, is only this: “ That they were Maintainers of an heresy in the Fourth Century, made up of Judaism and Paganism.” Now what
is a reader the wiser for all this? This character, being in such general terms only, would serve at least twenty heresies, and a reader would not know how to distinguish them, seeing no particular opinions or practices of Jews or Gentiles are here ascribed to the Hypsistarians, whereby to discern them from other heretics that mixed Judaism and Paganism in one common religion. He says in his Preface, one of the chief reasons for drawing up his Index Hæreticus was, because in my books I had only touched lightly and in transitu upon heresies, as they made for my purpose, without giving any perfect description of them. Which is very true. But why then did not he give a perfect description of those Hypsistarians, or at least a more perfect one than I had done? He could not be ignorant, whilst he was epitomizing my books, that I had given a pretty good description of them, Book XVI. chap. 6. sect. 2. p. 306. Vol. VII. where I say, they called themselves Hypsistarians, that is, worshippers of the Most High God, whom they worshipped, as the Jews did, only in one person, and they observed their Sabbaths, and used distinction of meats, clean and unclean, though they did not regard circumcision, as Gregory Nazianzen, whose father was once of this sect, gives the account of them. This is some account of them if it be not a perfect one. Why then did he not give the same or a better account of them, or at least refer bis reader to my book, or his own Epitome, p. 335. where he transcribes my account of them ? The gentleman was in haste when he wrote his Index, and could not stand to do justice either to me or his readers. I could add something more concerning these Hypsistarians out of Gregory Nyssen, Hesychius and Suidas : but it will be time enough to do that, if I live to give the reader an Epitome of my own with some additions. I only remark here, that there is no notice taken of these Hypsistarians in Epiphanius, Theodoret, Philastrius, or St Austin, or any other of the common Heresiologists; and that they, who speak of them, say nothing of their Paganism, however our author came to blunder upon it.
His account of the Colicoloe is much such another as the former: “ Cælicolæ, or Worshippers of Heaven, an heretical sect in the Fifth Century, at which time they were condemned by the Rescripts of Honorius the Emperor.” It is hard again, that he could not have referred his readers to the same place of my book, or his own Epitome, where they might have found a much better account of them. But this gentleman was to magnify his own Index, and make his readers believe, that he had done great feats and wonders in discovering the tenets of ancient heretics, where I had been silent, or but lightly touched upon them; though by these instances the reader will now be able to judge of the perfection and excellency of his performance.
I will give but one instance more of this kind out of many that might be added. In speaking of Ethnophrones, he says They were heretics of the Seventh Century, who taught that some Pagan superstitions were to be retained together with Christianity.” But why did he not inform his reader what these Pagan superstitions were? Is there no author that speaks particularly of them ? The learned reader may please to take this account from me in the words of Damascen. de Hæresibus, p. 585. Ethnophrones cum Gentium Instituta sequantur, in cæteris sunt Christiani. Hi Natales dies, Fortunam, Fatum, omnem Astronomiam, et Astrologiam, omnemque Divinationem et Auspicia probant : Auguria, Expiationes, et Placationes, Sortes, Prodigiorum et Portentorum Inspectiones, Veneficia, aliasque ejusdem generis impias fabulas adhibent : iisdemque, quibus Gentes, utuntur Institutis. Dies etiam festos quosdam Græcorum probant : Dies denique, et Menses, et Annos, et T'empora observant et notant. In short, they were the same with those superstitious Christians, who followed the forbidden heathen arts of divination, magic, and enchantment, judicial astrology, calculation of nativities, augury, soothsaying, divination by lots, observation of days and accidents, and the observation of heathen festivals, of whom I have
so largely and particularly treated in two whole chapters Book XVI. chap. iv and v. where I speak of the discipline and laws of the Church made against them. And yet this gentleman will bear his readers in hand, that he has given a perfect account of those ancient Sects and Heresies, which I only occasionally and lightly touch upon.
2. The second charge I have against his Index is more weighty, that many of his Accounts of Heresies and Heretics are very false, and highly injurious to the character and memory of great, and good, and excellent men, whom he makes heretics, when they were really noble confessors and brave defenders of the catholic faith. For proof of this I will not insist upon the characters he gives of Melito Bishop of Sardes, or of Nicholas the Deacon; but only observe, thata prudent writer might have softened his character of each. For though Valesius* bears hard upon Melito, and says, with our author, that he asserted God to be Corporeal
Book which he wrote περί θε8 ενσωμάτε, which Valesius translates, De Deo Corporeo, yet other learned personst think this to be a mistake; since Ocos évowuároç does not signify a Corporeal God; but God Incarnate, or made Flesh, or dwelling in the body; which is a quite different thing from God's being Corporeal in his Divine Nature. And therefore, since thus much might justly have been said, by way of Apology, for Melito, our author should not have been so severe upon him, as to style him an heretic of the first ages, who held, that God was Corporeal; but have alleged in his favour what so many learned men have said in justification of him: especially considering what both Polycrates* in Eusebius, and Tertulliant in St. Jerom, say of him, that he was a man filled with the Holy Ghost, and generally believed to be a prophet among Christians.
* Vales. Not. in Euseb. lib. iv. cap. 26.
+ Cave Histor. Literar. Vol. 1. p. 43. Du Pin, in the Life of Melito. Suicer. Thesaur. Eccles. voce 'Evowpátwois.
* Ap. Euseb. lib. 5. cap. 24. + Tertul. ap. Hieron. de Scriptor. cap. 24.