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conduct in the affair of the Interim, howcver, drew down on him the heaviest censures, and excited against him the most violent and inveterate opposition. From this time the comfort and tranquillity of his life were des: troyed, in consequence of his being involved in perpetual controversies, which were carrici on with that keenness and animosity, that were peculiar to all the debates of a religious nature during this century. He was persecuted also by the most malignant calumny, detraction, and ingratitude, and even his personal s, fety was threatened. Well, therefore, might he say in the prospect of his last moments, that one circumstance which made him to look upon death as a happiness, was, that he should no longer be exposed to the vexations and rage of divines. While he met with this treatment from his own countrymen and fellow Protestants, learned foreigners, and even Catholics, entertained a due respect for his exalted inerits, as may be illustrated by a curious anecdote which Melchior Adam relates, not to mention the encomiums on him which he has quoted from Scaliger the elderand Erasmus. According to this story, when his son in law Sabinus went to Italy for literary improvement, Melancthon gave him a letter of recommendation to the famous cardinal Bembo at Rome, who had been secretary to pope Leo X. To this letter the cardinal paid great regard; for however he differed from Melancthon in religion, he entertained a great respect for his abilities and learning, and often spoke of him in high terms of praise. He therefore received Sabinus with great civility and politeness, and invited him to his table. In the course of conversation at dinner, among other questions the cardinal asked Sabinus, “what salary Melancthon had 2 what was the number of his hearers ? and what he thought concerning the resurrection of the dead, and a future state f" when in reply to the first Sabinus answered, “ that Melancthon's salary was not more than three hundred florins a year:” “Ungrateful Germany l’ exclaimed the cardinal, “to hold in so little estimation, the various and extraordinary labours of so great a man.” Upon Sabinus's stating in answer to the second question, “that Melancthon had commonly more than fifteen-hundred hearers:” “I cannot tell how to believe it,” said the cardinal ; “for I know not of any university, excepting that of Paris, where the auditory of any one professor is so numerous.” . And yet, says the relater, Melancthon had often two thousand
five-hundred persons at his lectures. To the third question Sabinus having answered, “tha Melancthon's works sufficiently prove his
belief in both those articles of religion:” “I
should have thought him a wiser man,” observed the cardinal, “if he had not believed any thing about them.”
To Michancthon philosophy was much indebted, for the pains which he took to correct its éccentricities, and to adorn it with the graces of eloquence. It is true that, on setting out on their carecr, he and Luther seemed resolved to banish all philosophy from the church, out of disgust at the conduct of the scholastic doctors, who by a miserable abuse of the subtile precepts of Aristotle, had perverted the dictates of common sense, and introduced the greatest obscurity and confusion both into phi^ losophy and religion. But they both perceived, before it was too late, that they were in danger of falling into an opposite extreme, which ought to be avoided with equal care; and they became sensible that true philosophy was necessary to restrain the licentious flights of mere genius and fancy, and to guard the sanctuary of religion against the inroads of superstition and enthusiasm. In consequence of this persuasion, Melancthon frequently delivered public discourses on the best method of prosecuting the study of philosophy, which abounded with good sense and sound learning. He also wrote, in a plain and familiar style, compendiums of dialectics, ethics, and physics, which, during many years, were explained publicly to the studious youth in all the Lutheran academics and schools of learning. Though he possessed a sound understanding, and drew many things from the fecundity of his own genius, yet he wanted that strength and hardiness of spirit, which might have done in philosophy, what Luther did in religion. He therefore chose rather to correct the established mode of philosophising, than to introduce a method entirely new. In most points he followed Aristotle, and had often recourse also to the doctrines of the Platonists and Stoics; but always in due subordination to revelation, and only so far as was likely to answer some valuable purpose. “I would have no one,” says he, “trifle in philosophising, lest he should at length even lose sight of common sense ; rather let him be careful both in the study of physics and morals, to select the best things from the best sources.” He may not, therefore, improperly be considered as an eclectic. The number of works which he published, considering his other avocations, and the controversies in which he was engaged, is astonishing. The principal of them are, his “ Loci Communes,” consisting of a digest of the doctrines of the Lutheran church, long held in the highest repute ; “Commentarius in Genesim ;” “Argumentum in Esaiam ;” “Argumentum in Jeremiam;” “A gumentum in Threnos Jeremiae;” “Comentarius in Danielem;” “Argumentum Concionum Haggei;" “Commentarius in Zachariam ;” “Explicationes in Initium Malachiae;” “Commentarii in Psalmos;” Explicatio Proverbiorum Salomonis ;” “Enarratio Libri Salomonis cui Titulus Ecclesiastes;” “Argumentum in Cantica Canticorum ;" “Enarratio Evangeliorum Dominicalium ;” “Enarratio Evangelii secundum Mathæum ;” “Enarratio Evangelii secundum Joannen) ;” “Enarrationes Epistolarum Pauli ad Romanos, ad Corinthos, ad Colossenses, ad Timotheum ;” * Propositiones Theologicæ; “Anologia Protestantium ;" “Concilia, Judicia Theologica, et Responsiones ad varias o: ;” “Causa cur retinenda Doctrina Confessionis Augustance, et cur judicibus Synodi Tridentini non assentiendum ;” “Epitomae renovatae Ecclesiasticae Doctrinae;” “Ratio brevis sacrarum Concionum tractandarum ;” “De I.cclesia, et Autoritate Verbi Dei;” “Enarrationes Symbol. Nicaen. prior. et postr.” “Historia de Vita, et Obitu Martini Lutheri;” “Commentarius de Anima;” “ In Ethica Aristotelis;” “Epitome Philosophiæ Moralis;” “In Politica Aristotelis;” “Ethicae Doctrinae Llement. ;” “Dialectica 5’ “Physica;” “Gram. Lat, ;” “Gram. Graec.;” “Rhetorica;” “ In Hesiodi Opera Enarratio;” “Annotationes in Lib. de Amicitia, de Senectute, et Officia Ciceronis;” “Argumenta et Scholia in Epist. Famil. Ciceronis;” “Comment, in plurimas Orationes Ciceronis;” “In Historias Salustii;” “In Terentii Fabulas;” “In Ovidii Fastos;” “In Virgilium;” “Epist.” Tom. II. &c. The most complete edition of them was published by the author's son in law, Jasper Peucer, in the year 1601, in four volumes folio. Camerarii Vit. Phil. Melanct. Melchior. Adam. Wit. Germ. Theol. Dupin. Moth. Hist. Eccl. sacc. xvi. Ject i.- iii. passim, with Maclaime's notes. Robert.cn’s Hist. Charles V. books v. x. passim. Enfiela's Hist. Phil. vol. II. b. viii. ch. iii. sect. 2. Tei, fier's Eloges der Hommes Savan's tirez de l’Hirt. de M. de Thou.-M. MELEAGER, a Greek epigrammatic poet,
was a native of Gadara in Syria, or of Atthis, a village in its territory. His father's name was Eucrates. The time when he flourished has been matter of dispute; but the authority of a Greek scholiast places him under the last of the Seleucidae, about B. C. 96. He spent his youth chiefly at Gadara, where he formed himself upon the style and manner of Menippus, an elder poet of that place. He afterwards resided at Tyre; and he finally passed over to the isle of Cosby way of refuge from the wars which ravaged Syria, and died there at an advanced age. There was a cynic philo- . sopher of his name at Gadara, whom some suppose to have been the same person; but it seems improbable that one of that austere sect should have been attached to elegant poetry. Meleager was the first who made a collection of the short poems called by the Greeks epigrams. Of these he formed two sets, under the title of “Anthologia,” the first of which was a lamentable proof of the impure licentiousness of that age and country, being entirely devoted to a passion unfit to be named. The second, consisting of miscellaneous pieces, has formed the basis of the later anthologics of Agathias and Planudes. Many of the poems are his own, and possess much elegance; and he prefixed some verses descriptive of the work, and of the authors who contributed to it. An edition of the poems of Meleager by Brunck, Lips. 1709, octavo, gives the number of 129, most of them epigrams. Biogr. Dict. Bibliogr. Dict. Monthly Mag.—A. MELETIUS, the author of a controversy which divided the church in the fourth century, after whom his adherents and followers were called Meletians. He was bishop of Lycopolis, in Upper Egypt, and was deposed from the episcopal office by Peter, bishop of Alexandria, for reasons of which very diferent accounts are given by ecclesiastical writers. Athanasius says, that he was convicted of several crimes, particularly of sacrificing, that is to idols in the time of persecution; and he adds that his followers, instead of Christians, were called Meletians. Socrates also, who has followed Athanasius, gives the same account of him. There are several considerations, however, which tend to weaken the credit of this representation. In the first place, Athanasius was a bitter enemy to the Meletians, who were also always his enemies, and joined the Arians in opposition to him ; whence it may fairly be suspected that his account is that of a prejudiced person. This suspicion is also
strengthened by the invidious remark, that instead of Christians they were called Meletians; when no charge is brought forwards against them of having departed from the standard of erthodox belief, and it is expressly asserted by Tpiphanius, to whom others assent, and from whom Athanasius himself does not differ, that Meletius made a schism, but attempted not any innovation in the faith. Again, Epiphanius and others attribute the dissentions between Peter and Meletius, and the proceeding of the former in deposing the latter, to their
difference in opinion concerning such ashadlaps
ed during the time of persecution; Peter being disposed to be mild and merciful, while Meletius refused to re-admit into the church those who had so fallen from the faith, before their penitential trial was entirely finished. Besides, Sozomen makes the fault of Meletius to consist in his having, on the flight of Peter, usurped., a power of sordaining where he had no right: and Theodoret, though he says, after Athanasius, that it is likely that Meletius was convicted of some crimes, does not seem to know what they were; and all that he lays to his charge is ambition, or love of dominion, in ordaining, bishops and other clergy out of his own province. Further, when the council of Nice condemned him and his adherents, the sentence did not lay any thing to his charge but the rashness and presumption of his ordinations, together with his obstinacy in maintaining them ; and it permitted him to remain in Lycopolis, to retain the name of bishop as well as the honour annexed to that office, though it forbad him to ordain any person: which would not have been so mild, had he been convicted of apostacy, or of sacrificing to idols in time of persecution. It is moreover worthy of notice, that Meletius always complained of the injustice with which he was treated; and that his cause was espoused by a numerous body of Christians, no less than twenty-eight bishops, and many good men deAtlaring for him. From the considerations above-mentioned it seems reasonable to conclude, that Athanasius's account of the rise and occasion of the Meletian controversy is not true; and also that this schism originated either in a dispute respecting a point of ecclesiastical discipline, or a contest for ecclesiastical authority and jurisdiction. Be that as it may, Peter's violent act of authority in pronouncing sentence of deposition against Meletius, was treated by the latter with the utmost contempt, who not only continued to exercise
all the duties of the episcopal function, but assumed the right of consecrating presbyters; a privilege which, by the laws of Egypt, belonged only to the bishop of Alexandria. This schism commenced about the year 306; and though the council of Nice, by the comparatively mild sentence of condemnation which they passed on the author, endeavoured to heal it, their attempt was ineffectual, since it subsisted for the space of a hundred and fifty years. After the council of Nice, if not before, the Meletians joined their interests with those of the Arians, in opposition to the bishops of Alexandria. Athanasii Apologia secunda, p. 413. Versio. Nannian. Socrat. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. cap. 6. Sozomen. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. cap. 24. Epiphanii Harrer. Irvili. Theodoret. Hist. Eccl. lib. i. cap. 9. et Heret. Fab. lib. iv. cap. 7. Dupin. Moth. Hist. Eccl.
MELETIUS, SYRIGUs, a Greek monk who is said to have flourished in the early part of the seventeenth century, and to whom is attributed an answer to Cyril Lucar's “Confession of Faith.” A copy of his treatise, which has not been printed entire, was transmitted by the marquis de Nointel, ambassador of France at Constantinople, to M. M. Arnauld and Nicole, who have quoted extracts from it in the third volume of their work “De la Perpétuité de la Foi,” with the intention of proving the belief of the Greek church in the doctrine of transubstantiation. . With the same design father Simon appeals to it, when undertaking to refute the arguments advanced by Mr. Thomas Smith, in his “Account of the Greek Church,” published in 168c, to prove that the doctrine of transubstantiation was not admitted amon the Greeks till of late years. By the Protestants this production has been classed among those testimonies in favour of the conformity in sentiment between the Greek and Romis churches, which have been obtained by bribery from the indigent Greeks, whose deplorable poverty made them sacrifice truth to lucre. Whether, however, their representation be well founded, or otherwise, is of no importance in determining the cause at issue between the Protestants and Catholics, which must be decided by other evidence. Extracts from this MS. in Greek and Latin, are inserted at the end of father Simon's “Créance de l'Eglise Orientale sur la Transubstantiation. Moreri...—M.
MELITO, an ancient Christian father who flourished in the second century, was bishop of Sardis in Lydia, and is placed by Cave at the year 17o. Some moderns have supposed that he was the angel of the church of Sardis, to whom the epistle in the book of Revelation was directed; but this hypothesis assigns to him an earlier date, and a longer life, than are reconcileable either with probability, or the testimony of antiquity. , Eusebius places him after several others who flourished about the middle of the second century. Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, calls him an eunuch, on account, as is generally imagined, of his having devoted himself to a life of celibacy and self-denial in the service of the gospel. From St. Jerome we learn, that “Tertullian in one of his books, praises Melito's elegant and oratorical genius, and says, that he was esteemed a prophet by many of our people.” He travelled into Palestine for the purpose of ascertaining the number of the books of the Old Testament ; and it is deserving of remark, that he is the first Christian writer who has given us a catalogue of those books, which is preserved by Eusebius, and agrees with that of the Jews, excepting that it does not contain the book of Esther. Melito was in the number of those fathers who wrote in defence of the Christian faith, and he presented, or at least addressed an “Apology” to the emperor Marcus, Antominus in behalf of the persecuted Christians, of which a fragment is preserved by Eusebius. In that piece he humbly besought the emperor, “to examine the accusations which were preferred against the Christians, and to put an end to the persecution under which they were then suffering, by revoking the edict that he had published against them.” He represented to him, that “so far was the Roman empire from having been injured or weakened by Christianity, that it was the more firmly established, and its boundaries considerably extended, since the introduction of that religion into it.” He took the freedom of stating, that “ the Christian religion had been persecuted only by wicked emperors, such as Nero and IDomitian, while Adrian and Antoninus had isssued several letters in its favour; and that, therefore, they indulged the hope, that from his clemency and goodness, they should receive the same protection and countenance.” . The date of this “ Apology” is fixed by Eusebius in his chronicle at the year 1795 with which that given in the Alexandrian chronicle corresponds. Modern critics, however, frcon a passage which it contains relating to "VOL. WII.
Commodus the emperor's son, have been induced to give it a later date; some placing it in 175, and others, among whom is Lardner, in 177. Melito was the author of various works, the titles of which may be seen in Eusebius, and also in Jerome, whose catalogue differs in some trifling respects from that of the former father; but of all these writings there only remain a few fragments, preserved in Eusebius and the Alexandrian chronicle. From the title of one of those pieces, “ concerning the Revelation of John,” it seems very probable that he ascribed that book to John the apostle, and that he esteen k d it to be a book of canonical authority. Some other passages have been attributed to Melito, which are taken out of a catena of the Greek fathers upon Genesis, but are unworthy of him; and in the second volume of the “Bibl. Patr.” is a treatise under his name, entitled, “Of the Passage or Death of the Virgin Mary,” which is inserted by pope Gelasius among the apocryphal writings, and is now generally allowed to be supposititious. Concerning the time of Melito's death we have no certain information, excepting what we may gather from a letter of Polycrates to Victor, bishop of Rome, which proves that it took place before the election of that pontiff in the year 192. Eusebi: Hist. Eccl. Jib. iv. cap. 26. et lib. v. cap. 24. Fabricii. Bibl. Eccl. Sub. Hieron. cap. 24. Cave's Hist. Lit. vol. I. Sub Sac. Gnost. Dupin. Lardner's Cred, part II. vol. I. chap. 15.-M. MELISSUS, of Samos, a Greek philosopher ofthe Eleatic sect who flourished about the eighty
fourth Olympiad, or the year 444 B. C. He
was a disciple of Parmenides, to whose doctrines he closely adhered, and he was an acquaintance of Heraclitus, who is said to have recommended him to the Ephesians, in a way similar to that in which it is pretended that Hippocrates recommended Democritus to the citizens of Abdera. He was conversant in public affairs, and acquired great influence among his countrymen, who highly respected his talents and virtues. Being appointed by them to the command of a fleet, he obtained a victory in a naval engagement with the Athenians. He held, that the principle of all things is one and immutable, or that whatever exists is one being ; that this one being includes all things, and is infinite, without beginning or end ; that there is neither vacuum nor motion in the universe, nor any such thing as production or decay; that the changes which it seems - E
to suffer, are no more than illusions of our senses, and mere appearances ; and that we ought not to lay down any thing positively concerning the gods, since our knowledge of them is so uncertain. His opinion that all things are one, and immutable, has been so explained by several learned men, and particularly Dr. Cudworth, as if by the universe he did not mean the material principle of which all things are composed, but that one simple principle, whence all things had their original, that is the deity, whom he speaks of as incorporeal, and unlimited with respect to power or perfection. They also are of opinion, that by asserting that there is no motion in nature, he probably understood the term motion metaphysically, and only meant that there is no such thing in nature as passing from nonentity to entity, or the reverse : but that his writings and those of the other philosophers of the Eleatic school, being not without obscurity, some of the ancients, who were less acquainted with metaphysical speculations, understood them physically; on which account their meaning has been misrepresented, not only by Pagans, but also by Christians. Those of our readers who wish to see these points profoundly discussed, we refer to Cudworth's Intellectual .. book i. chap. iv. sect. 21. I)iogen. Laert. lib. ix. cap. 4. Enfield's Hist. Phil. vol. 1. hook ii. ch. 13.—M. MELMOTH, WILLIAM, an elegant writer, was the son of Mr. Melmoth, an eminent advocate, and the author of a pious and popular work entitled “The Great Importance of a Religious Life.” He was born in 1710, and first appeared before the public as a writer about 1742, in a volume of “Letters” under the name of “Fitzosborne,” which were much admired for the elegance of their language, and
their just and liberal remarks on various to
pics, moral and literary. In 1747 he gave a “Translation of the Letters of Pliny” in two volumes octavo, which was regarded as one of the happiest versions of a Latin author that had appeared in the English language. In this and his later translations it seems to have been his object to obliterate every trace of a Latin style, and render the construction and phraseology purely English. In effecting this he necessarily sunk every characteristic of his author's manner, and perhaps enfeebled the energy of Latin diction by expansion ; , but he produced a very polished and agreeable specimen of epistolary writing. In 1753 he published a translation of “The Letters of Cicero
to several of his Friends, with Remarks,” three volumes octavo. This, like the former, was well reeeived, and added to his reputation, both as a writer and a scholar. He afterwards proceeded to translations of two of the most pleasing and popular of Cicero's compositions, his “Cato, or an Essay of Old Age,” and his co Lelius, or an Essay on Friendship;” the first of which he published in 1773, and the second in 1777. Both of these he enriched with remarks, literary and philosophical, which greatly added to their value. In the latter, particularly, he ingeniously refuted both Shaftesbury, who had imputed it as a defect to Christianity, that it gave no precepts in favour of friendship, and Soame Jenyns, who had represented that very omission as a proof of its divine origin. The concluding work of Mr. Melmoth was a tribute of filial affection in “Memoirs of a late eminent Advocate and Member of the Hon. Society of Lincoln's Inn,” octavo 1796; by whom his father was intended, though, through a singular delicacy, his name was not mentioned in the delineation of his character. ... After a long and respectable life passed in literary pursuits and the practice of private virtue, Mr. Melmoth died at Bath in 1799, at the age of eighty-nine. He was twice married ; first to the daughter of the celebrated Dr. King, principal of St. Mary's-hall, Oxford, and secondly to Mrs. Ogle, an Irish lady. Gent. Magaz. Monthl. Rev.–A. - MELVIL, SIR JAMEs, a statesman and historian, descended from an honourable family in Scotland, was born at Hall-hill in Fifeshire, in 1530. At the age of fourteen he was recommended by the queen-regent to be page to her daughter Mary, then wife to the dauphin of France. After passing some time in her service, she permitted him to enter into that of the constable Montmorenci, who confided so much in his discretion,that he sent him over to Scotland in 1559, in order to bring back, a faithful report of the state of parties in that kingdom. He remained nine years in the employment of that nobleman, and was then allowed to travel. He visited the court of the elector Palatine, who detained him three years, during which he was employed in variosis negotiations with the German princes. He then travelled through Italy and Switzerland, and returned to the elector's court, where he found a summons from Mary, who had now returned to take possession of the crown of her native country. He followed her to Scotland in 1561, was made her privy-counsellor and gen