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11. But, supposing that these things do not at all hinder or prevent your being bound to believe and hearken to them in great measure;34683468 Heraldus has well suggested that plurimum is a gloss arising out of its being met with in the next clause. and what reason is there either that you should have more liberty in this respect, or that we should have less? You believe Plato,34693469 So the ms. and edd., reading Platoni; but Ursinus suggested Plotino, which Heraldus thinks most probably correct. There is, indeed, an evident suitableness in introducing here the later rather than the earlier philosopher, which has great weight in dealing with the next name, and should therefore, perhaps, have some in this case also. Cronius,34703470 The ms. and both Roman edd. give Crotonio, rejected by the others because no Crotonius is known (it has been referred, however, to Pythagoras, on the ground of his having taught in Croton). In the margin of Ursinus Cronius was suggested, received by LB. and Orelli, who is mentioned by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., vi. 19, 3) with Numenius and others as an eminent Pythagorean, and by Porphyry (de Ant. Nymph., xxi.), as a friend of Numenius, and one of those who treated the Homeric poems as allegories. Gelenius substitutes Plotinus, followed by most edd. Numenius, or any one you please; we believe and confide in Christ.34713471 [Thus everywhere he writes as a Christian.] How unreasonable it is, that when we both abide34723472 Stemus, the admirable correction of Gelenius for the ms. tem-p-us. by teachers, and have one and the same thing, belief, in common, you should wish it to be granted to you to receive what is so34733473 Orelli, following Stewechius, would omit ita. said by them, but should be unwilling to hear and see what is brought forward by Christ! And yet, if we chose to compare cause with cause, we are better able to point out what we have followed in Christ, than you to point out what you have followed in the philosophers. And we, indeed, have followed in him these things—those glorious works and most potent virtues which he manifested and displayed in diverse miracles, by which any one might be led to feel the necessity of believing, and might decide with confidence that they were not such as might be regarded as man’s, but such as showed some divine and unknown power. What virtues 438did you follow in the philosophers, that it was more reasonable for you to believe them than for us to believe Christ? Was any one of them ever able by one word, or by a single command, I will not say to restrain, to check34743474 Hildebrand thinks compescere here a gloss, but it must be remembered that redundancy is a characteristic of Arnobius. the madness of the sea or the fury of the storm; to restore their sight to the blind, or give it to men blind from their birth; to call the dead back to life; to put an end to the sufferings of years; but—and this is much easier34753475 The superlative is here, as elsewhere, used by Arnobius instead of the comparative.—to heal by one rebuke a boil, a scab, or a thorn fixed in the skin? Not that we deny either that they are worthy of praise for the soundness of their morals, or that they are skilled in all kinds of studies and learning; for we know that they both speak in the most elegant language, and that their words flow in polished periods; that they reason in syllogisms with the utmost acuteness; that they arrange their inferences in due order;34763476 i.e., so as to show the relations existing between them. that they express, divide, distinguish principles by definitions; that they say many things about the different kinds of numbers, many things about music; that by their maxims and precepts34773477 Perhaps “axioms and postulates.” they settle the problems of geometry also. But what has that to do with the case? Do enthymemes, syllogisms, and other such things, assure us that these men know what is true? or are they therefore such that credence should necessarily be given to them with regard to very obscure subjects? A comparison of persons must be decided, not by vigour of eloquence, but by the excellence of the works which they have done. He must not34783478 According to Crusius, non is not found in the ms. be called a good teacher who has expressed himself clearly,34793479 White and Riddle translate candidule, “sincerely,” but give no other instance of its use, and here the reference is plainly to the previous statement of the literary excellence of the philosophers. Heraldus suggests callidule, “cunningly,” of which Orelli approves; but by referring the adv. to this well-known meaning of its primitive, all necessity for emendation is obviated. but he who accompanies his promises with the guarantee of divine works.
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