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Cappadocia and Armenia, if not also in Ethiopia, and suffered martyrdom. Barnabas preached in Lyguria and Millan, and in Cyprus, his native place, where he was stoned. Matthew preach. ed eight years in Judea, and wrote his gospel by the desire of the Jewish converts, before he left it; he propagated the gos. pel in Parthia and Ethiopia, where he established churches, and suffered martyrdom. ..
There were several called Marcus or Mark, as Barnabas' sister's son, Paul's fellow-labourer at Rome; one was in Chaldea with Peter, being his disciple, and John Mark. The evangelist is said to have preached in Italy, and to have written his gospel by desire there; tho' he seems rather to have done it in Egypt, at Alexandria, where he suffered, after preaching westward in Marmarica, Pentapolis, and unto Lybia; and having returned to Alexandria, at the passion time, it being the festival of their god Serapis, he was dragged by the feet thro' the streets and rugged places, and imprisoned till next day, when they dragged him again till the Aesh was torn from his body, and his veins were emptied of blood and he expired, but they burnt his remains. .
John abode at Jerusalem fifteen years, even whilst the blessed virgin lived, John xix. 27.; then he went to the Lesser Asia, and resided chiefly at Ephesus the capital, a number of years, till he was cast into a caldron of oil set on fire, by Domitian the emperor, which having no effect on him, as has been related, he was banished to Patmos, a desert island in the Archipelago, where in a cave yet seen, he wrote the Revelation. After the tyrant's death he returned to Asia, resided chiefly at Ephesus where he was before; and it seems that he was also in Parthia and India. He doubtless saw and approved of all the other books of the New Testament, before he wrote his Gospel, which contains some of Christ's discourses omitted by the rest, chiefly between his bap. tism and the Baptist's death; and the farewel sermon, xiv.-xvii.; , and also some miracles. The errors of Cerinthus, Ebion, &c. denying Christ's divinity, and even the reality of his human nature and sufferings, occasioned it: as his epistles were written before, against the Gnostics, 1 John iv, who imagined they could be saved by knowledge without practice, like the Antinomians, by faith without works. He outlived Jerusalem's destruction, before which, the gospel's sound was heard thro' the world by the apostles, and the Christians scattered by persecution, Matth. xxiy. 14. At the alarm of its ruin, the Christians in it taking : warning by the signs Christ gave them, fled from it to a little
city called Pella, beyond Jordan, and were all saved from the havoc; the Roman general having besieged the city, raised the siege a little, for no sensible reason, but providentially to let the Christians escape at the signs and warnings given them, when they saw Jerusalem encompassed with armies. John was the only
apostle who died a natural death, A. D. 99; but he suffered equal to martyrdom.
Since miraculous gifts ceased to be conferred as evidences of inspiration and a divine commission, viz, speaking foreign languages without learning them, &c. &c. or needing interpreters, Dr Owen, the greatest divine since the apostles, has shewn that those who go to convert pagans to Christianity, run unsent, till the Jews be converted and do it, as the apostles who were Jews, did at first; and that there is no foundation for such a practice in scripture, nor in the conduct of the primitive church, except with those that live in their neighbourhood. And their unsuccessful. ness, with all other means, as learning, riches, power, &c. is given as an evidence, by the very learned Lardner and Paley, as the apostles succeeded not only without all these, but in opposition to all their efforts. Christianity seemed to have been settled in the large empires of China, Japan, &c. but they soon fell off from it: and of twelve congregations of American natives, which the first settlers, refugees from persecution, reared in their neighbourhood, scarce one continued. Professors of Christianity being most wicked every way, as by slavery, wars, knavery, &c. &c. &c.; their religion is supposed to teach them so to do, and called the Devil's religion: they were the best at first; the learned apologist Tertullian, challenged the emperor to mention a Christian who had suffered for a crime, except the crime of being a Chris. tian.
Dr. Bray, in his systematic lectures on the English church catechism shews, that the theatrical pomps and vanities of the wicked world, were the first things the first converts to Christi. anity renounced at their baptism; and that some of the fathers mention one, seized with a curiosity to go once back to see the theatre, and immediately he was possessed by the devil, having a right to seize him when he entered into his territories and temple.
That sudden, violent species of the plague, called the yellow fever, came the first time known, to five capitals of five American states, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk; wherein theatres were first built, before they were fully finished for use, as we saw in some; which confounded all the infidels.
Jeremiah Collier shews that the pagan philosophers, from Aris. totle the prince of the Greeks, down to Cicero the prince of the Romans, with one consent, condemn theatrical follies as nurse. ries of vice, corrupting the morals of youth. Let such as go to both them and the church ponder, 2 Cor. vi. 14, &c. Gal. vi. 14. All amusements render the mind giddy, vain, and self-conceited, not humble and serious.-Can joys like these bear accidents inshocked, or death's alarms?-Dr. Young
None of the inspired books are lost. The first epistle to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. v. 9. was a letter of introduction to Timothy, VOL. III. X x
but not inspired; and as he did not reach Corinth then, he could not deliver it; but Paul's care to guard them against whoredom, makes him mention that he wrote to them against it. The Laodicean epistle, Col. iv, 16. was not from Paul to that church, pros ten Laodikeian, but from it, ek tes Laodikeias, to Paul; telling him the state of religion there, which was then so good, that he wished it to be read in other churches for an example. It was not inspired. The books of Adam, Enoch, and the twelve patriarchs, are fictions. Solomon's Psalter, bis Natural and Moral Philosophy, viz. his botany, zoology, proverbs, and poetry or songs; and those, Joshua x. 13. Sam. xvii. 18. Num. xxi. 14. and the annals or records of the kings of Judah and Israel, &c. which were not inspired, are lost.
S. PAUL'S EPISTLE TO THE
ROM AN S. (HE LEARNED THE GREEK PHILOSOPHY, AND
CHAP. I. PAUL COMMENDS HIS CALLING. PAUL, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the work of the gospel of God, 2. Which he formerly promised by bis prophets in the holy.scriptures, 3. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who was David's offspring as to the flesh, 4. And powerfully manifested to be the Son of God by the Holy Spirit, in bis resurrection from the dead; 5. By whom we have received grace and apostlesbip, in order to teach all nations the obedience of the Christian faith, to the glory of his name, 6. Among whom ye also are a people called of Jesus Christ; 7. To all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be saints; grace be to you, and peacc, from God our father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8. First, I thank my God, through Jesus Christ
for you all, that your faith is declared thro' the whole world.
9. For God is my witness, whom I sincerely serve in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers; 10. Requesting if by any means, now at length, I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come to you. 11. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, (by laying on of hands) in order to confirm you in the faith. 12. That we may be comforted together by the mutual exercise of our faith..
13. Now, I let you know, brethren, that I often proposed to come to you, but hitherto was hindered; that I might have some satisfaction to see the fruits of my labours among you, as among other Gentiles. 14. For the office and talents I received lay me under the obligations of a debtor, both to the Greeks and all others, whom they call Barba. rians, to both the learned and ignorant nations. 15. So with all my ability, I am ready to preach the gospel to you at Rome also. 16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, (Gal. vi. 14.); for it is the power of God to salvation, to all who believe; to the Jews first, and also to the Gentiles. 17. For therein is God's mercy revealed from his faithful covenant, in order to his people's faith, as it is written, The justified by faith shall live. 18. For the wrath of God is revealed froin heaven against all impiety and unrighteousness of men, who, knowing the truth, act contrary to it by un. righteous deeds. 19. For what may be known of God by the light of nature, even his power, wisdom and goodness, is manifested among them (by his works of creation and providence) for God hath manifested it to them (by a light as universal as the sun). 20. For his invisible nature and perfections, as his eternal power and divinity, are clearly pera ceived from the creation of the world duly attend.
ed to, being manifested by the things that are made, so that they are without excuse; 21. Because when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, nor were thankful (for his benefits), but became vain in their imaginations, and their incon. siderate heart became darkened. 22. Professing to be wise they became fools; 23. And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. 24. Therefore God also suffered them to fall into uncleanness, thro' the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their bodies among themselves; (Psalm lxxxi. 12.) 25. Who changed the truth of God into lying idolatry, and worshipping and serving the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26. [Therefore God abandoned them to the vilest passions; for even their women changed the natural use of their sex to what is against nature. 27. And likewise the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one toward an. other; doing what is unseemly, and receiving in, themselves the due recompense of their error.]
28. And as they cared not to retain the knowledge of God, he abandoned them to an incon. siderate mind, to do things not expedient; 29. Being full of all whoredom, wickedness, injustice, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, contention, deceit, depravity; whisperers, 30. Lying on the absent, haters of God, spiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents; 31. Without consideration, covenant-breakers, withont natural affection, implacable, without pity; 32. Who, knowing the just judgment of God, that they who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do them, but consent to those that do them.