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, or Hieronymus, a very celebrated father of the church, was born of Christian

, or Hieronymus, a very celebrated father of the church, was born of Christian parents at Stridon, a town situated upon the confines of Pannoniaand Dalmatia, in the year 331. His father Eusebius, who was a man of rank and substance, took the greatest care of his education; and, after grounding him well in the language of his own country, sent him to Rome, where he was placed under the best masters in every branch of literature. Donatus, well known for his “Commentaries upon Virgil anfl Terence,” was his master in grammar, as Jerom himself tells us: and under this master he made a prodigious progress in every thing relating to the belles lettres. He had also masters in rhetoric, Hebrew, and in divinity, who conducted him through all parts of learning, sacred and profane; through history, antiquity, the knowledge of languages, and of the discipline and doctrines of the various sects in philosophy; so that he might say of himself, as he afterwards did, with some reason, “Ego philosophus, rhetor, grammaticus, dialecticus, Hebraeus, Groecus, Latinus, &c.” He was particularly careful to accomplish himself in rhetoric, or the art of speaking, because, as Erasmus says in the life which he prefixed to his works, he had observed, that the generality of Christians were despised as a rude illiterate set of people; on which account he thought, that the unconverted part of the world would sooner be drawn over to Christianity, if it were but set off and enforced in a manner suitable to the dignity and majesty of it. But though he was so conversant with profane learning in his youth, he renounced it entirely afterwards, and did all he could to make others renounce it also; for he relates a vision, which he pretended was given to him, “in which he was dragged to the tribunal of Christ, and terribly threatened, and even scourged, for the grievous sin of reading secular and profane writers, Cicero, Virgil, and Horace, whom for that reason he resolved never to take into his hands any more.