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the Church, and this perhaps may be a Temptation to you to do the like. In short, you will find some stark naught, and worse than Heathens, who go by the Name of Christians ; but let me tell you, that if your coming to be baptiz’d into Christ's Religion, be with a design to live like these Men, your coming will be to no purpose; for the Name of Christian will be of no Service to an unrepenting finner ; according to that of our Master, not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but be that doth the will of my Father. Place not your confidence in good Works, nor look upon any thing you can do as Meritorious, for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. If you fúffer for Christ, great will be your Reward in Heaven; but from him, who giveth place to the Devil, and misemploys his Talent, shall be taken even that he hath. Walk humbly with thy God, that he permit thee not to be tempted above what thou art able; for God refifteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.
After these Instructions, the Catechumen is interrogated, whether he believes the things aforesaid, and heartily desires to observe 'em; and when he has solemnly profess’d his Faith and Sincerity, he is to be Baptiz'd, and fign'd with the sign of the Cross, and then treated as a Member of the Christian Church.
This Digression from Minucius to St. Austin, is not going much out of my way, because it not only gives the Reader a beautiful Scheme of the Divine Oeconomy in Man's Salvation from the first to the second Adam, the Lord from Heaven, but in some measure supplies the want of the next Day's Catechetical Conference, which from the Taft we have of this Author, we may well judge wou'd have been a very desirable piece of Christian Antiquity; for the Dialogue as we now have it concludes abruptly, and is rather a
Confutation of Heathenism from Heathen Writers, than a Proof and Explanation of the Christian DoEtrine. But I cannot, with the Learned Du Pir, think this a fault in my Author; for certainly, Cecilius the Heathen was to be convinced of the Folly of his own Religion, before he was particularly to be instructed in the Mysteries of the Christian Faith. Mr. Du Pin's Chara&ter of the Treatise before us is this, The Dialogue is Elegant, the Expressions are well chofen, the Words proper, the Turn agreeable, the Reasons are set forih io Advantage, and beautify'd with a great deal of Learning : But he does not appear to be very well skilld in the Mysteries of Religion, and be seems to have believ'd that the Soul mou'd dye with the Body. Now for my part, with all the Eyes I have, I cannot see where he does not appear to be very well skilld in the Mysteries of Religion, for he has hardly said a word about 'em, this being left for the Subject of the following day's Conference, which is not now extant. And for his seeming to have believ'd that the Soul shou'd dye with the Body, this seems to me to be a mistake both of Du Pin and his Commentator ; for he seems to believe no such thing, nor can it fairly be deduced from this Expression, Nihil effe poft obitum, & ante ortum nibil fuise, as I have observ'd upon the Passage. For this is no more than · Tertullian had said before him, no more than St. Austin said after him in the summary before us, and in short is this. He is Arguing with the Heathen the possibility of the Resurrection, and therefore, supposing with you, that Man after Death is just such a nothing as be was before his Cono ception, yet you must grant it as easy for God to raise him again, as to make him at first. And this is
Apol. c. 48.
the Argument the Fathers all make use of, for the 33 proof of a Resurrection.
This Dialogue O&avius, pass’d a great while for the Eighth Book of Arnobius, it being found together with the - seven Books of Arnobius, in an ancient Manuscript of the Vatican Library, till the Famous Lawyer Balduinus discover'd the Error, and in a learned Preface restor'd it to its true Author, Minucius.
The Edition I have follow'd, is that of Mr. Davies, it being not only the last, but the correctest I think by much, and illustrated with ingenious Notes, and some very happy Conjectures; where I have dissent. ed from him, I have given my Reasons for so doing. In the Translation, I have made it my business not only to be True and Just to the Sense of my Author, but to his Air and Sweetness of Expression, and to render him agreably and like himself: But after all, there are some peculiar Graces in one Language, which in another can hardly be preserv'd in their en. tire Beauty; and Minucius, I fear, will never be made to speak so finely in English, as he does in Latin. In my Notes, I have forbore medling much with dry Criticism, and chiefly observ'd what I thought might be of most service to Religion, and because my Author has borrow'd so much from Tully's Quiver, and batter'd down the wickedness in high Places, from the very Forts of Philosophy, I have set down, or referr'd to those beautiful Passages he has made use of in defence of Christianity, where the Commentators have been filent. And now I have nothing more to add, but only a wish, that this Discourse which made so glorious à Convert of Cæcilius the Heathen, may have some good effe&t in this Age, as well by convincing our Scepticks and Infidels, as by confirming the Faithful.
OCTAVI U S
Marcus Minucius Felix. .
HILE I was musing, and my Mind
taken all up with the Thoughts of
my faithful Comerade, my good O&avins, I was under so sweet a suspense, and so ravilh'd with the pleasing Reflection, that I fancy'd my self in a manner really got back again into the agreeable Hours I once enjoy'd, and not under the imaginary Possession of Pleasures past and gone. Tbus my O&avius, tho' withdrawn from my Eyes, still dwelt in my Breast, and I saw that Absence had but wrapt him'the faster about the Strings of my Heart. Nor was it without reason, that this
cxcellent and a holy Person at his departure out of this World left such eager Desires and Longings for him in my Soul; for he always
• Nec immerito discedens vir eximius do fan&tus.] From these and the words foregoing, I am inclin'd to believe, that O&avius departed this Life some time after the Conversion of Cecilius; buc to go about to distinguish the distance between the Conference with Cecilius, and the composing of this Dialogue by Minucius, wou'd be rather to divine than co conjecture. The Loss of fach an old and agreeable Companion, of so good a Friend, and to good a Christian, our Author cook extremely
to Heart; and the way he cook to supply his Absence, was to make him as present to his Mind as he cou'd, by recalling the pleasing Hours he once enjoy'd, and by preserving his excellent Discourses alive and warm in his Soul, and by inscribing his Book, O&avius, in honour of his deparced Friend. And here I cannot buc say, that as the Primitive Chriftians met at the Martyrs Tombs to celebrate their Memories, to bless God for their Examples, to reinflame their own Devocions, and wean 'em from the World ; so I think it the Dury of every Christian now to thank God frequently in private for their Dead, as well as living Benefactors, to cherish their Memories, to ruminate on their Virtues, and go after them in their Thoughts, and not to leave 'em ar che Grave, and take all the Pains we can to forget 'em ; for this is not only a Piece of sacred Graticude, buc of mighty advantage to our own Souls, tho' of none to the Souls departed; for the Thoughts of a dead, as well as the Sighc of a dying Friend, do strangely open the Mind, and soften it for heavenly Impressions. And were ic noc for going coo much abroad from our selves, and wearing off these Thoughts among the Live ing, we shou'd find our Minds oft'ner upon their journey to the other World, and in a much better Disposition to leave this than we generally find they are : And there is an excellent Office to this purpose added to the Reformed Devotions, by Dr. Hickes. The Word Sanctus, or Saint, not only here, but among all the Primitive Writers, and in many places of the New Testament, is but another word for Christian, and stands oppos'd not to unsound Christians, but to Heathens. Thas, 1 Cor. 1. 2. To them that are San&tified in Christ Jesus, called to be Saints (or racher called the Saints) with
all that in every place call upon the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. The San&tified in Christ Jesus, and the Saints called, seem to be Words of the same import, denoting such as were called forch, and separated from the World, chro' Faith in Chrift; for 'tis certain, that many Members of the Church of Corinth wanted the inward Sanctification of the Spirit, but O&avius was l'ir eximius o sanctus, a Christian in Life, as well as Profeffion.