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M. MINUCII FELICIS

OCTAVIUS

Quid o participes rationis audetis homines proloqui, quid effutire, quid promere temerarice vocis desperatione tentatis ? Deum principem, rerum cunctarum quæcunque sunt dominum, summitatem omnium summorum obtinentem, adorare, obsequio venerabili invocare, in rebus fessis totis ut ita dixerim sensibus amplexari, amare, suspicere, execrabilis religio est et infausta, impietatis et sacrilegii plena, coerimonias antiquitus institutas novitatis suce suspicione contaminans ?—ARNOBIUS adversus Nationes, Liber I. cap. XXV.

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PREFACE.

A

MONG the writings of the early Apologists of

Christianity, it may be doubted whether (excepting the eight books of Origen against Celsus) there be any which has much stronger claims to our notice, it is certain that none has gained more admirers, than the Dialogue of Minucius Felix, which is known by the name of Octavius.

Considering the universal testimony which has been borne to the peculiar elegance, if not classical purity, of its style, it is only surprising that so valuable a treatise should have hitherto failed to find a place, as a Class-book, in our Schools and Universities, by the side of or as a substitute for some Pagan writer, of inferior claims?.

1 The remarks of CELLARIUS in the Introduction to his Edition of this Dialogue, (A.D. 1726), where he is speaking de usu antiquitatis Ecclesiasticce Christianis scholis commendanda, will, I trust, be considered pertinent.

“Quapropter ita sentio, atque sic animum induco, non bene consuli Christianorum scholis, si ecclesiastici veteres scriptores, iique puri ac elegantes, in iis omnes prætereantur: nec illarum fructus magnos esse experimur, ex quibus omnes sæcu

lares sive ethnici exterminantur ; sed
utriusque generis auctores conjun-
gendos esse censeo, ut ex Romanis
priscis vera indoles Latinitatis, ex
Christianis, ejusdem usus melior per-
spiciatur; quippe sancti quoque viri,
quamquam quæ sæculi sunt, con-
temserunt, sermonis tamen copiam
et stili nitorem nequaquam neg-
lexere, ut non tantum ad civiles res
suas, sed ipsas etiam sacras, nec sine
fructu eximio usi fuerint."
And again :

“Non puto multos esse qui con

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