25, when he entered Pisces; St. Mark on Apr. 25, when he entered Taurus; Corpus Christi on May 26, when he entered Gemini; St. James on July 25, when he entered Cancer; St. Bartholomew on Aug. 24, when he entered Virgo; Simon and Jude on Octob. 28, when he entered Scorpius: and if there were any other remarkable days in the Julian Calendar, they placed the Saints upon them, as St. Barnabas on June 1, where Ovid seems to place the feast of Vesta and Fortuna, and the goddess Matuta; and St.

Philip and James on the first of May, a day dedicated both to the Bona Dea, or Magna Mater, and to the goddess Flora, and still celebrated with her rites. All which shows that these days were fixed in the first Christian Calendars by Mathematicians at pleasure, without any ground in tradition; and that the Christians afterwards took up with what they found in the Calendars.

Neither was there any certain tradition about the years of Christ. For the Christians who first began to enquire into these things, as Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, Tertullian, Julius Africanus, Lactantius, Jerome, St.

Austin, Sulpicius Severus, Prosper, and as many as place the death of Christ in the 15th or 16th year of Tiberius, make Christ to have preached but one year, or at most but two. At length Eusebius discovered four successive Passovers in the Gospel of John, and thereupon set on foot an opinion that he preached three years and an half; and so died in the 19th year of tiberius. Others afterwards, finding the opinion that he died in the Equinox Mar. 25, more consonant to the times of the Jewish Passover, in the 17th and 20th years, have placed his death in one of those two years.

Neither is there any greater certainty in the opinions about the time of his birth. The first Christians placed his baptism near the beginning of the 15th year of Tiberius; and thence reckoning thirty years backwards, placed his birth in the 43d Julian year, the 42d of Augustus and the 28th of the Actiac victory. This was the opinion which obtained in the first ages, till Dionysius Exiguus, placing the baptism of Christ in the 16th year of Tiberius, and misinterpreting the text of Luke 3:23. as if Jesus was only beginning to be 30 years old when he was baptized, invented the vulgar account, in which his birth is placed two years later than before. As therefore relating to these things there is no tradition worth considering; let us lay aside all and examine what prejudices can be gathered from records of good account.