Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/146

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130
SIMON, RICHARD

recantation of his aspersions on Peter, giving as a reason that he had been soundly scourged by angels during the preceding night. Now here, we are told, there is a malicious allusion to the " messenger of Satan to buffet me " of 2 Cor. xii. 6. We do not think that this conjecture will commend itself to the unprejudiced, especially in view of the fact that scourging by angels is a well-known piece of supernatural machinery (cf. 2 Macc. iii. 26; Eus. H.E. v. 28, § 12; Tert. De idol. 15). Yet Schmiedel speaks of this as " a well ascertained case in which an utterance of Paul regarding himself is spitefully twisted to his discredit." There is more plausibility in connecting Simon's assumed knowledge of things above the heavens {Recog. ii. 65) with St Paul's claim to have been “caught up even to the third heaven” (2 Cor. xii. 2). But the passage is much more appropriate to Simon of Gitta. From the height in which he claimed to dwell even the third heaven would have seemed quite the lower regions. The question of meat offered to idols was a burning one, in every sense of the term, long after Paul's day. We need not, therefore, see a reference to the Apostle's laxity on this crucial point in the story (Horn. iv. 4, vii. 3) that Simon Magus had entertained the people of Antioch on a sacrificial ox, and so subjected them to the evil influence of demons. The non-necessity of martyrdom is mentioned as a feature of early Gnosticism.[1]

The miracles which St Paul claims for himself in 2 Cor. xii. 12, Rom. xv. 19, must doubtless have led to his being regarded as a magician by those who did not accept him as divinely commissioned; but, as we have seen throughout, magic was the salient feature about the Samaritan Messiah, who is the real enemy aimed at in the Clementine literature. The opening of doors of their own accord no more connects Simon Magus with Paul than with Peter. We need not, therefore, see in Recog. ii. 9 a reference to Acts xvi. 26. As to the use of bad language, people in the 2nd century were glad to avail themselves of such missiles as ψευδαπόστολοι, which had been manufactured for them in the 1st (Horn. xvi. 21; 2 Cor. xi. 13). That the homo quidam inimicus of the Recognitions (i. 70) is intended for Paul is plain, but then, as Schmiedel points out in a note, he is not identified with Simon. " Even the style of Paul," Schmiedel assures us, " is plainly imitated in a mocking way." The reference is to the recantation in Horn. xx. 19, which is like the rest of the treatise and quite unlike Paul, but Schmiedel's familiarity with Paul's writings enables him to collect phrases therefrom which occur also in the Homilies.

When the Tübingen School turn their attention to the Apocryphal Acts and Martyrdoms, the image of Paul still obsesses their mental gaze. There is indeed one passage which may plausibly be adduced in favour of their contention. In the Martyrdom of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul (ch. 45), Paul is made to put this question — " If then circumcision is a good thing, why did you, Simon, deliver up circumcised men and compel them to be condemned and put to death?" We must let the Tubingen School have this passage for what it is worth, only remarking that it was not on the ground of circumcision that Paul persecuted the Church, and that it is impossible to extract history out of these fictions. We certainly cannot subscribe to the conjecture of Lipsius that " the story of the seeming beheading of Simon has at its root malicious misrepresentations of the beheading of Paul." The climax of absurdity seems to be reached when we are informed that the story of Simon offering money to the Apostles for the gift of the Holy Ghost arose out of Jewish-Christian scandal about Paul's " collection for the Saints " (1 Cor. xvi. 1). Yet Schmiedel follows Lipsius " in his latest treatment of the subject " in recognizing " a Samaritan γόης named Simon as historical." But the part which he played in history is thus taken away from him. He was there, it seems, but he did not do what he is said to have done. Only the author of Acts, wishing to obviate the reproach against Paul of offering money to the Apostles, attributed the like conduct to Simon.

In conclusion, there are of course some grounds for the Tübingen view, but they are wholly inadequate to bear the structure that has been raised upon them. St Paul was a hard hitter, and Jewish Christians, who still clung to James and Peter as the only true pillars of the Church, are not likely to have cherished any love for his memory. This is enough to account for the hostility displayed against St Paul in the Clementines. But to push the equation of St Paul with Simon Magus further than we are forced to by the facts of the case is to lose sight of the real character of the Clementines as the counterblast of Jewish to Samaritan Gnosticism and to obscure the greatness of Simon of Gitta, who was really the father of all heresy, a character which has been erroneously attributed to Simon Magus.

Literature.—Harnack, Lehr. d. Dogmengesch., 2nd ed., 204-209, 264-270; Salmon in Dict. Chr. Biog. iv. 681; Hort, Notes Introductory to the Study of the Clem. Recog. (1902); Bigg in Stud. Bib. (1890), 2, 157-193; Headlam in Hastings’ Dict. of the Bible; P. W. Schmiedel in Encyc. Bibl.  (St. G. S.) 


SIMON, RICHARD (1638–1712), French biblical critic, was born at Dieppe on the 13th of May 1638. His early studies were carried on at the college of the Fathers of the Oratory in that city. He was soon, by the kindness of a friend, enabled to enter upon the study of theology at Paris, where he early displayed a taste for Hebrew and other Oriental languages. At the end of his theological course he was sent, according to custom, to teach philosophy at Juilly, where there was one of the colleges of the Oratory. But he was soon recalled to Paris, and employed in the congenial labour of preparing a catalogue of the Oriental books in the library of the Oratory. His first publication was his Fides Ecclesiac orientalis, seu Gabrielis Metropolitae Philadelphiensis opuscula, cum interpretation Latina, cum notis (Paris, 1671), the object of which was to demonstrate that the belief of the Greek Church regarding the Eucharist was the same as that of the Church of Rome. Simon entered the priesthood in 1670, and the same year wrote a pamphlet in defence of the Jews of Metz, who had been accused of having murdered a Christian child. It was shortly before this time that there were sown the seeds of that enmity with the Port Royalists which filled Simon's after life with many bitter troubles. Antoine Arnauld (161 2-1694) had written a work on the Perpetuity of the Faith, the first volume of which treated of the Eucharist. The criticisms of Simon excited lasting indignation among Arnauld's friends and admirers. Another matter was the cause of inciting against him the ill-will of the monks of the Benedictine order. In support of a friend who was engaged in a lawsuit with the Benedictine monks of Fecamp, Simon composed a strongly-worded memorandum. The monks were greatly exasperated, and made loud complaints to the new general of the Oratory. The charge of Jesuitism was also brought against Simon, apparently on no other ground than that his friend's brother was an eminent member of that order. The commotion in ecclesiastical circles was great, and Simon's removal not only from Paris but from France was seriously considered. A mission to Rome was proposed to him, but he saw through the design, and, after a short delay dictated by prudential motives, declined the proposal. He was engaged at the time in superintending the printing of his Histoire critique du Vieux Testament. He had hoped, through the influence of Pere la Chaise, the king's confessor, and the due de Montausier, to be allowed to dedicate the work to Louis XIV., but, as the king was absent in Flanders at the time, the volume could not be published until he had accepted the dedication, though it had passed the censorship of the Sorbonne, and the chancellor of the Oratory had given his imprimatur. The printer of the book, in order to promote the sale, had caused the titles of the various chapters to be printed separately, and to be put in circulation. These, or possibly a copy of the work itself, had happened to come into the hands of the Port Royalists. It seems that, with a view to injure the sale of the work, which it was well known in theological circles had been long in preparation by Simon, the Messieurs de Port Royal had undertaken a translation into French of the Prolegomena to Walton’s Polyglott. To counteract this proceeding Simon announced his intention of publishing

  1. Pseudo-Tertullian says of Basilides, “Martyria negat esse facienda.”