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fully sustained ; and that bears me out in the application which I made of it. Of course neither that fact, nor any other passage in which I spoke of Puritan animosity towards the Church, had any thing to do with the proper chronological argument of my preface. I wished to satisfy my own mind if I could, why an old friend should have lent his pen to the New Englander; and I did it to my own honest conviction, by attributing the gall, not to my friend himself, but the company which he kept. This was a relief to me. With these declarations, I now ask the favor of you to insert on the pages
of your Review so much of the Vindication as I now send, followed by a letter containing strictures on the article “Chronology,” in the October number of the New Englander. This will put the whole subject before your readers, and will, I hope, be considered as settling the truth of my chronology on a permanent basis. I call it my chronology, though it is rather the Church's chronology, which my work has finally extricated from the confusion introduced by modern computists.
Though I waived the subject of Christmas, Prof. Kingsley has thought proper to return to the attack, and, therefore, before I conclude, it may be proper to remark, that I did not mean to surrender a single iota, but merely to avoid useless discussion. Common sense is slowly making its way, and will finally triumph over the little prejudices of party. But it is curious to see how the old leaven of Puritanism is still working. “Is there any thing in the New Testament," exclaims the Professor, “either in the Evangelists, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, or the Apocalypse from which the exact time of the Nativity can be deduced ? NO.” But I think there is; and what is more, the ancient Church thought so. The Evangelists tell of Joseph and Mary's arrival in Bethlehem. St. Luke says that they went to be enrolled ; and no sooner had they arrived, than the child Jesus was born, so that he also might be enrolled. The registers would show the date of his birth ; and they were kept in Rome in the public archives, to which any one could have access. The Church at Rome knew the day of his birth, and observed it. From these archives, the Church Catholic learned the true date, and the day became generally known, and as generally observed. But at the close of the sixteenth century, the Puritans determined that they would not observe it, because there was not chapter and verse in the New Testament which said, in so many words, that Christ was born on the twenty-fifth of December! Yet these same Puritans kept
the first day of the week, and called it the Sabbath! Let Prof. Kingsley show chapter and verse for calling Sunday the Sabbath day, and then he shall hear from me again on the observance of Christmas.
The Professor proceeds—“Is there any thing in the writings of the Fathers, who are called Apostolical, which has any reference to the twenty-fifth of December, as the time of the Nativity? NO. In the account given by Justin Martyr, of Christian worship about the middle of the second century, is there any mention of this same day, either as the day of the Nativity, or as a day of any peculiar religious observance ? NO. Is there any reference to this day, in the celebrated letter respecting the Christians, of the younger Pliny to the Emperor Trojan? NO. And more particularly,—Is there reason to believe, when Pliny says, that the Christians were accustomed to assemble "stato dei," that he meant Christmas? NO. Does St. Augustine in his enumeration of the Christian Festivals of his time, make particular mention of Christmas! NO. Is there any thing in the customs of the Jews, as we learn them from the Old Testament, which would lead us to believe, that the Apostles were careful to ascertain the day of the Nativity, or to set it apart, if known, for a special religious service ? NO. Is there any tradition as the day of the Nativity, which, in the opinion of the ablest ecclesiastical annalists, either Catholic or Protestant, has a proper historical foundation ? NO."
To what does all this flourish amount ? As to what he of the Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, and the younger Pliny, it is purely ridiculous. And when he ventures to name St. Augustine, it is more than ridiculous, it is sheer ig
What connection, let me ask, had the Epistles of St. Clement, St Ignatius, or St., Polycarp, or the Apology of Justin Martyr, with the celebration of our Lord's Nativity ? As for St. Augustine, there are extant thirteen of his Sermons for that festival, preached on the 25th of December, in which he speaks of the date of the Nativity, as perfectly known and always observed from the begining: Professor Kingsley might have learned this even from my book, pages, 380 and 539. “ It is evident under what Consul and on what day the Virgin Mary brought forth Christ, conceived of the Holy Ghost.” And again: “ That Christ was conceived and that he suffered in the same month is shown by the observance of Easter, and the day of his Nativity must certainly be known by the Churches. For he who was born on the eighth day before the Calends of January” (December 25th] " in the
ninth month, was conceived surely about the eighth day before the Calends of April,” [March 28th] “ in the first month, which was also the time of his passion.”
I remain, dear Messrs. Editors,
Yours faithfully, S. F. J.
V, p. 225.
DR. JARVIS VINDICATION, Of his Chronology from the aspersions of Prof. Kingsley, in the last April
No. of the New Englander, being part of the Preface to his Sermon lately published on the Presence of God in His Church.
Theological Controversy is to be avoided, because of the bad pass. ions it is apt to engender. For this reason the Author has never replied to any attacks made on him. After a most anxious scrutiny into the motives of his own heart, he can conscientiously declare, with the meek and learned Joseph Mede, that he can with much patience endure a man to be contrary minded.” It is only for the sake of Truth, that he has any inclination to contend; and on that account, and that only, does he avail himself of this opportunity to notice the article on Chronology in the “ New Englander” for April, 1847, vol.
The Church of which the writer, if God spares his life, is to be the Historiographer, is that which began when sin rendered redemption necessary, and that which will not end till Curist shall come again in His Glory, It has no connection with the minute wranglings of sects and parties, any farther than to record their miserable and la. mentable existence. The central point of this Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth, was the incarnation of our blessed Redeemer; and to determine with precision the place of that center on the scale of time, and to furnish every reader of history with a sure and certain guide, in the calculation of dates, was the object of the “ Chronological Introduction to the History of the Church.” The use of this work will be perfectly apparent, even to the most unlettered reader of history, when the subsequent volumes shall display its practical application. In the mean time the author must content himself with the approbation of those who do not look to the pages of the New Englander, for their estimate of its worth. Several lay gentlemen in the United Slates of distinguished abilities and learn ing, have spontaneously offered to him their thanks. One of them, a lawyer of eminence, has taken the pains to examine every authority, to verify every calculation, and to weigh every argument; and he has risen from the study with so full a conviction of its accuracy, that he declares it amounts to a demonstration.
Here it may well be asked, What object could Prof. Kingsley have had, in disparaging a work of this nature? What could it be, but to prevent the readers of the New Englander, from buying and making it their study? If its author had been a warm admirer of " the pil. grim fathers,” he doubtless would have been applauded and encouraged. As it is, he must be content to endure the consequences of the New Englander's hostility. Yet he can not but be pleased that Prof. Kingsley has been chosen to be the executioner. An old friend would be less likely than Dr. Bacon or Mr. Dutton, to put the victim to unnecessary torture ; and his learning would enable him to do his work in a more dexterous manner, and at least secundum artem.
As to the learned Professor's objections to Christmas as being the day of the Nativity, the writer thinks it hardly necessary to say any thing. A sect, who appointed a fast-day on the 25th of December, when all the rest of the world were rejoicing in the commemoration of the blessed event to which we owe all our hopes of salvation, may well be allowed to enjoy their own little peculiarity. He has not an. swered my arguments, as any one may see who will take the pains to
are his review, with the chapter on the day of the Nativity in my work. Until the opponents of Christmas day can agree upon some other day, instead of wandering through every month in the calendar, we choose to be guided by the testimony of the Church. I shall confine my remarks, therefore, to the question concerning the year in which our LORD was crucified.
Prof. Kingsley has expended all his strength upon two points of minor importance, the futility of which I shall presently show; and he has committed several errors, which I shall endeavor to point out as briefly as possible, hoping that his candor as a learned man, will triumph over his zeal as a sectarian.
He assumes throughout that the year 14 of the common Christian era, had been acknowledged by all chronologers of note to be the year in which Augustus died, till I had the presumption to differ from them. This assumption is totally unfounded. I lay no claim to be the discoverer of this error. It was the eminent Astronomer and profoundly learned Francis Bianchini, who in the year 1703 published bis two Dissertations on the Kalendar and Cycle of Julius Cæsar and the Paschal Canon of St. Hippolytus. Bianchini proved to demonstration, that the year of Cæsar's war in Spain with the sons of Pompey, was the last year of confusion, and not, as Calvisius, Pe. tavius, and others, had asserted, the year which followed it, or the first year of his reformed Calendar. This discovery alone threw back all the Consulships of that period one year. But Bianchini did not sustain his discovery by a complete examination of the succeed. ing Consulships ; and he had recourse to a most untenable hypothesis, that in the last year of Caligula, the names of the Consuls were effaced from the public Fasti. In this way he violated the truth of history, making the reign of Caligula one year longer than it was. Had it not been for this, his correction would have been generally received. His argument was so powerful that the learned Muratori, in his edition of the works of Sigonius, published at Milan, in 1732, was evidently embarrassed and would not decide the point, only because he hesitated concerning the supposed erasure in the Fasti. "His note occupies nearly three closely printed folio pages. It is too long, there. fore, for insertion here ; and I can only refer the learned Professor to it, that he may correct his own blunder. To my readers I shall exhibit a few extracts which will enable them to see that the Professor's confident assertions in the Review as to “the dates fixed beyond controversy” were uttered without that careful research and consideration which the importance of the question at issue demanded. All the testimony of antiquity goes to show that our Lord's crucifixion took place in the Consulship of Lucius Rubellius Geminus and Caius Fufius Geminus. To reduce the question then to its simplest form : Did the Consulship of the two Gemini coincide with the year 28, or the year 29 of the common Christian Era ? If it coincided with A. D. 28, then Augustus died Augustus 19th, A. D. 13; if it coincided with A. D. 29, then Augustus died August 19th, A. D. 14. Dion Cassius, a man of consular dignity, and a most accurate historian, asserts the fact that a total eclipse of the sun took place in the year in which Augustus died. Eusebius also records the same fact, and places it in A. d. 13. There was no such eclipse in A. D. 14. Prof. Kingsley, following Petavius, wishes to prove that Dion and Eusebius were mistaken, and devotes a part of two pages to this object. Again :
: Tacitus speaks of an eclipse of the moon in the year
when Augustus died. Prof. Kingsley devotes nearly five out of sixteen pages to prove that it could not have been the eclipse of A. D. 13, but must have been the eclipse of A. D. 14. What egregious trifling is this, if it can be shown that Augustus died A. D. 13, as must have been the fact if the Consulship of the two Gemini was in A. D. 28! I am obliged to him for the valuable evidence that a Roman army could march at the rate of from forty-five to fifty miles a day. Fine fel. lows to endure fatigue undoubtedly they were. Still I can not believe that they marched seven hundred miles at this rate. Supposing they did, however, what does all this help Prof. Kingsley? To superficial thinkers, it may seem like a demonstration ; but if Augustus really died a. v. c. 766, A. D. 13, it is labor thrown away.
But the learned Professor asserts that "the ablest Chronologers and Annalists place his death in A. v. 14,” and that this is so generally admitted as to be “ the common opinion.” He wishes, therefore to make his readers believe, that I have departed from a date " fixed beyond controversy.” I proceed then to state from Muratori's Synopsis of the Argument, what the actual opinions of the “ablest," Chronologers have been. “In the arrangement of the Consulships" he observes, “ Bianchini anticpates Petavius and Noris a whole year, following Sigonius and Pighius, who place the Consulship of Julius Cæsar and M. Antonius in the year u. c. 709, whereas Petavius and Noris and Panvinius place this Consulship in the year u. c. 710.” And again : “ Pighius places the Consulship of Fufius Geminus and Rubellius Geminus in the year u. c. 781, that is in the year 28 from the common Christian Era; whereas Petavius and Noris place this Consulship in the year u. c. 782, that is in the year of the common