Paradoxon, is a forme of speech by which the Orator affirmeth some thing to be true, by saying he would not have beleeved it, or that it is so straunge, so great, or so wonderfull, that it may appeare to be incredible.
Paul being accused to King Agrippa, as a teacher of erronious doctrine, made his answer in this forme: “For the which hopes sake, O king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jewes, why should it be thought a thing incredible unto you: that God should raise againe the dead. I also thought in my selfe that I ought to do many contray things against the name of Jesus of Nazareth, which thing I did also in Jerusalem, for many of the Saints I shut up in prison, having received authoritie of the high Priest, and when they were put to death I gave the sentence.” Act.22.214.171.124.10.
Here Paul sheweth, that not long before he was of the same opinion that his adversaries and the judge were now of, and was in the like maner an open enemy to the professor of that name.
The use of this figure.
This figure is then to be used, when the thing which is to be
taught is new, straunge, incredible, and repugnant to the
opinion of the hearer, which this exornation confirmeth by the formes of speech before rehearsed. It is well resembled in two
3. Compared by similitudes.
kindes of men, that is, in old men and travellers, from the one sort we have the benefit of tradition, and from the other the frute of Geographie, the one kind of these men are messengers of auncient times, the other are Ambassadors of farre places.
In the use of this figure the speaker ought to be a man knowne
1. A man of credit, & experience.
& of credit, lest ye which he affirmeth be either lightly regarded, or or ridiculously scorned: also regard ought to be had, that ye things
which we report or teach by the forme of this figure be true. A far traveller that is a lyar, filleth the world full of wonders, and an old man delighting in reporting untruthes, leaveth many vanities
3. Seminaries of untruthes evill weedes.
, and false traditions behind him.