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he had worn them for two or three years, they made comfortable and decent garments for the poor. He once informed a young friend, that his memory began to fail him; “ but this,” said he, “ gives me one great advantage over you; for you can find entertainment in reading a good book only once—but I enjoy that pleasure as often as I read it; for it is always new to me.
Few men since the days of the apostles ever lived a more disinterested life; and yet upon his death-bed" he said, he wished to live a little longer, that “ he might bring down self.” The last time he ever walked across his room, was to take from his desk six dollars, which he gave to a poor widow whom he had long assisted to maintain. He died at Philadelphia in 1784. His funeral was attended by persons of all religious denominations, and by many hundred negroes. An offi. cer, who had served in the American army during the late war, in returning from the funeral, pronounced an eulogium upon him. It consisted only of the following words : * I would rather,” said he, “ be Anthony Benezet in that coffin, than George Washington with all his fame." I
BENGEL, or BENGELIUS (JOHN ALBERT), a learned German divine, principally known in this country for his excellent edition of the Greek Testament, was born June 24, 1687, at Winneden in the duchy of Wirtemberg. He was, says the writer of the meagre. account in the Dict. Hist. the first of the Lutheran divines who published a learned, profound, and complete criticism on the New Testament, or rather an accurate edition. He became a critic from motives purely conscientious. The various and anxious doubts which he entertained, from the deviations exhibited in preceding editions, induced him to exanine the sacred text with great care and attention, and the result of his labours was, 1. his “ Novi Testamenti Græci recte cauteque adornandi prodromus,” Stutgard, 1725, 8vo. 2. “ Notitia Nov. Test. Græc. recte cauteque adornati,” ibid. 1731, 8vo, and 3. his edition entitled “Novum Test. Græc. cum introductione in Crisin N. T. Apparatu Critico, et Epilogo,” ibid. 1734, 4to. He afterwards published, 4.“ Gnomon Nov. Test, in quo ex nativa verborum vi simplicitas, profunditas, concinnitas sensuum cælestium indicatur,” ibid. 1742, and 1759, and lastly in 1763, at Ulm, in which same year, a new edition of his “ Apparatus Cri
1 From the preceding edition of this Dietionary,
ticus” was published, with many additions, by Phil. D: Burkius, 4to. Bengel's most formidable eneinies were Ernesti and Wetstein, neither of whom treated him with the courtesy that becomes men of letters. His edition of the New Testament is unquestionably a lasting monument of the author's profound learning and solid piety, and has often been reprinted to gratify the public demand. In 1745, Bengel published “Cyclus, sive de anno magno solis, lunæ, stellarum consideratio, ad incrementum doctrinæ propheticæ atque astronomicæ accommodata," Ulm, 8vo, and after his death, which took place in 1752, appeared his “ Ordo temporum, a principio per periodos æconomiæ divinæ historicas atque propheticas, at finem usque ita deductus, ut tota series et quarumvis partium analogia sempiternæ virtutis ac sapientiæ cultoribus ex script. Vet. et Nov. Test, tanquam uno revera documento proponatur," Stutgard, 1753. Bengel maintained the doctrine of the millenium, or second appearance of Christ upon earth to reign with his saints a thousand years. His
"Introduction to his Exposition to the Apocalypse,” was translated and published by John Robertson, M. D. London, 1757.1
BENI (PAUL), professor of eloquence in the university of Padua, was a native of Candia, where he was born in 1553, and whence he was brought in his infancy to Gubio in the duchy of Urbino. He was in the society of Jesuits for some time, but quitted them upon their refusing him permission to publish a commentary on the banquet of Plato. He was fond of critical controversy, and maintained a dispute with the academy della Crusca of Florence, publishing a treatise against their Italian dictionary, under the title of “ Anti-Crusca." He had likewise another contest with the same academy with respect to Tasso, whose defence he undertook, and published two pieces on this subject. In one of these he compares Tasso to Virgil, and Ariosto to Homer, in some particulars giving Tasso the preference to these two ancients : in the other he answers the critical censures which had been made against this author. He published also some discourses upon the Pastor Fido of Guarini. These pieces were in Italian; but he has left a greater number of works in Latin, among which are, 1. “ Commentarii in 6 lib. priores Virgilii.” 2. « Com
1 Dict. Hist.Dibdin's Classics.---Saxii Onomasticon.
mentarii in Aristotelis poeticam et lib. Rhetor.” 3.5 Com. mentarii in Sallustium.” 4.“ Platonis Poetica ex dialogis collecta." 5.“ Dispensatio de Baronii annalibus." 6.“ Disputatio de historia.” 7. “Disputatio de auxiliis.” 8.“ Orationes 75." 9.“ Decades tres in Platonis Timæum ;" all collected in 5 vols. fol. Venice, 1622. He died the 12th of February 1625. He was undoubtedly a man of extenşive learning, but loquacious and prolix.
BENJAMIN of Tudela, a Jewish rabbi, and author of the “ Itinerary," was the son of Jonas of Tudela, and born in the kingdom of Navarre. He flourished about the year 1170. He travelled over several of the most remote countries, and wherever he came, wrote a particular account of what he either saw himself, or was informed of by persons of credit. He died in 1173, not long after his return from his travels. Casimir Oudin tells us, that he was a man of great sagacity and judgment, and well skilled in the sacred laws; and that his observations and accounts have been generally found to be exact upon examination, our author being remarkable for his love of truth. There have been several editions of his “ Itinerarium.” It was translated from the Hebrew into Latin by Benedict Arius Montanus, and printed by Plantin at Antwerp in 1575, 8vo. Constantine l'Empereur likewise published it with a Latin version, and a preliminary dissertation, and large notes; which was printed by Elzevir in 1633, 8vo. J. P. Baratier translated it into French, 1734, 2 vols. 8vo, but the most remarkable translation is that published at London in 1783 by the Rev. B. Gerrans, lecturer of St. Catherine Cole-. man, and second master of Queen Elizabeth's Free Grammar school, St. Olave, Southwark. The author of this translation, which is taken from the Elzevir edition abovementioned, hesitates not to speak of Benjamin as contemptible, doubts whether he ever left his native Tudela, but allows, although with some reluctance, that he may have travelled through Spain and some part of Italy. Mr. Gerrans, having thus, as he says, “ unmasked, chastised, and humbled his author," allows that as he wrote in a century so obscure, we ought to be glad of the least monument to cast a glimmering light on it. He allows also that the pure and simple style in which the book is written,
1 Gen. Dict.- Baillet Jugemens des Savans.--Freherị Theatrum.--Saxii Ononasticon.
renders it one of the best introductions to the Rabinical dialect: it throws more light on the times than a whole catalogue of monkish writers: it shews the ignorance of the Jewish teachers in matters of geography and history, and the state and numbers of their own people. The chief use, the translator adds, which he wishes to make of the book, is to confirm lukewarm and indifferent Christians, in the principles of their religion, and to combat the errors and inpenitence of the Jews by their own weapons. This work is no doubt a curiosity, as the production of a Jew in the twelfth century, and the translator's observations also may be allowed to have some weight: but considered in itself, the rabbi's book has only a small portion of real worth; for in addition to the fabulous narrations, which lead the reader to suspect him even when he speaks truth, there are many other errors, omissions, and mistakes. Benjamin's principal view seems to have been to represent the number and state of his brethren in different parts of the world, and accordingly he mentions merely the names of many places to which we are to suppose he travelled, furnishing no remark, except, perhaps, a brief account of the Jews to be found there. When he relates any thing farther, it is often trifling, or fictitious, or mistaken, as he frequently is, even in numbering his countrymen.'
BENIGNUS (St.) archbishop of Armagh in Ireland, was the immediate successor of St. Patrick in that see, anno 455; though it must be confessed, that this is a point which has afforded some controversy. Writers differ as to his name: some call him Stephen, some Beneneus, others Beona, and by an Irish termination of the word Benin, in Latin Benig
It is probable that St. Patrick baptized him by the name of Stephen, and that he obtained the name of Benin from his sweet disposition, and his great affection to St. Patrick, the word bin, in the Irish language, signifying sweet; and that from thence the other names flowed. Не was the son of Sesgnen, a man of wealth and power in Meath, who, in the war in 433, hospitably entertained St. Patrick in his journey from the port of Colp, where he landed, to the court of king Leogair at Tarah, and, with his whole family, embraced Christianity and received baptism. The youth grew so fond of his father's guest, that he could not be separated from his company. St. Patrick
i Gen. Dict. --Month. Rev, vol. LXX.-Saxi; Onomasticon.
took liun away with him at his departure, and taught him his first rudimients of learning and religion: Benin profited greatly under such a master, and became afterwards a man eminent for piety and virtue, whom St. Patrick thought worthy to fill the see of Armagh, which he resigned to him in the
year 455. Eenin died in the year 468, on the ninth of November, having also resigned his see three years before his death. The writers of the dark ages, however different they are from one another in other particulars, yet in the main agree as to the succession of St. Begin in the government of the see of Armagh, but there is some discordance among them as to the place of his death and burial, which we shall not attempt to reconcile; some contending he died and was buried at Armagh, and others at Glastonbury. The following writings are ascribed to him : 1.“ A book partly in Latin, and partly in Irish, on the virtues and miracles of St. Patrick ;" to which Jocelin confesses he was indebted. 2. “ An Irish Poem, written on the Conversion of the people of Dublin to the Christian Faith.” 3. “ The Munster Book of reigns,” called by some Leabhar Bening, or Bening's Book, and by others Leabhar na Geart, qu. d. the book of Genealogy, which is ascribed to him by Nicolson.
BENIVIENI (JEROME), a celebrated poct of Florence, who died in 1542, aged eighty-nine, was one of the first who, following Lorenzo de Medici and Politian, contributed essentially to the advancement of Italian poetry. The greater part of his poems turn upon divine love. His “Canzone dell'Amor celeste e divino" was in great esteem, as containing, what now is thought its chief defect, the sublime ideas of the philosophy of Plato, on love. This work was printed at Florence in 1519, in Svo, with other poetical pieces of the same author. There had already been an edition of his works, at Florence, in folio, 1500, which is extremely scarce. Another performance of his is entitled, “ Commento di Hieronimo Benivieni, cittadino Fiorentino, sopra a più sue Canzone e Sonnetti dello amore e della belleza divina,” &c. printed at Flo. rence in 1500, in folio: an edition much prized by the curious. Benivieni, not less estiinable for the purity of his inanners than for the extent of his talents, was intimately connected with the celebrate) John Pico de Miran.