« AnteriorContinuar »
Hebrews, as if he was not fully satisfied that it was St. Paul's. We perceive from him, that with some Latins it was of doubtful authority, whilst it was readily received by the churches in the east, whose opinions he was inclined to follow. We can perceive from him also, that the book of the Revelation was not universally received in his time. He strongly asserts in almost innumerable places, the high authority of the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testament above all the determinations of bishops and councils. We are assured by him, that the scriptures were read in all the assemblies of Christians. He has many just observations concerning the genuineness and authority of the books of the New Testament, the credibility of the evangelical history, the truth of the Christian religion, and its wonderful progress. A. D. 395.
At p. 395, Vol. ii. is an account of a conjecture of Dr. Bentley, for amending a suspected passage in Augustine, with remarks. Since the publication of that volume, I have had the honour to receive from the bishop of Oxford another conjecture: • For “ Itala,” his lordship I would read “usitata:" so Augustine himself elsewhere * calls the old Latin version, and also so vulgata, as does © Jerom. The first syllable,,“ us,” might easily be swallowed up by the end • of the word immediately preceding, which is “interpretationibus," and the remaining difference
is only that between a i and ap l; and thus there is no need of changing “nam” into “quæ;
Ch. CXVIII. The books of the New Testament received by St. Chrysostom are the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles written by St. Luke, St. Paul's fourteen epistles, the epistle of St. James, one epistle of St. Peter, and one epistle of St. John, without any the least appearance of an especial respect for any Christian writings after the times of the apostles. For the scriptures of the Old and New Testament he has the greatest regard: they were read in the public assemblies of Christian worship; and he recommends the reading thein to all in private, as likely to answer the most valuable ends and purposes. In his works are many agreeable observations concerning the credibility of the evangelical history, and the swift and wonderful progress of the gospel. A. D. 398.
I add here only one testimony of respect for the scriptures: You see,' says he, “into how great absurdity they fall, who will not follow the rule of the divine scripture, but trust entirely • to their own reasonings.'
Ch. CXIX. Severian, bishop of Gabala in Syria, received the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, and three of the catholic epistles; and for the scriptures of the Old and the New Testament he shews the highest regard. A. D. 401.
Ch. CXX. Sulpicius Severus, of Aquitain in Gaul, an enemy to all persecution, quotes the four gospels, the Acts written by Luke, and other books of the New Testament, particularly the epistle of St. James, and the Revelation, which he ascribes to the apostle John; but, he says, it was either foolishly or wickedly rejected by many. His general divisions of the books of scripture are such as these: the law, the prophets, the gospels and apostles; the law and the apostles; s the Old and New Testament.' A. D. 401.
Ch. CXXI. Chromatius, bishop of Aquileia, a learned man, and a patron of learning, wrote but little. In what remains of him we see quoted most of the generally received books of the New Testament, in particular the Acts of the apostles, the epistle to the Hebrews, and the Revelation. He has also expressly quoted the epistle of James
, the first epistle of Peter, and the first epistle of John; and probably he received the rest of the catholic epistles. He compares scripture to a lamp: he says, it ought not to be hid, but set up in the church, that thereby all • may be enlightened, and guided in the way of salvation. A. D. 401.
Ch. CXXII. Victor of Antioch wrote a commentary upon St. Mark's gospel, collected out of the works of Origen and other ancient writers. He supposes Mark to be son of Mary, mentioned Acts xii. For a while he accompanied his uncle Barnabas, and Paul. When he came to Rome, he joined Peter, and followed him; for which reason he is particularly mentioned by that apostle, 1 Ep. v. 13. His gospel, he says, was written at Rome, at the request of the believers there. At the beginning of his work he says, that many had written commentaries upon the gospels of Matthew and John, a few only upon Luke's, none at all upon Mark's; which determined him to attempt it. Thus he bears testimony to the four gospels. He has also quotations of the Acts, several of St. Paul's epistles, particularly that to the Hebrews, the epistle of James, and the first of Peter. A. D. 401.
a Non autem ita se habet, vel quod Joannes interponit, vel codices ecclesiastici interpretationis usitatæ. Aug. de Consens. Evang. cap. 66, T. ii. P. ii. edit. Berted,
• Fiunt itaque anni a diluvio usque ad Abraham, mille septuaginta duo, secundum vulgatam editionem, hoc est, interpretum Septuaginta. De Civ. Dei. l. xvi. cap. 10. Tom. vii.
• Legi in nonnullis codicibus, et studiosus lector forte repe.
riet id ipsum in eo loco, ubi nos posuimus, et volgata habet editio: ut impleretur quod dictum est per prophetam dicen' tem,' ibi scriptum, per Isaïam prophetam dicentem. Hier. in Matt. cap. xiii. 35. T. iv. P. i. p. 58. ed Bened.
« Ορας εις όσην ατοπιαν εκπιπλεσιν οι μη βολομενοι τω της θειας γραφης καίακολοθειν κανονι, αλλα τοις οικειούς λογισμοις ETT 11PETovies. In Gen. cap. 33. Hon. 58. T. iv. p. 356. B.
Ch. CXXIII. Innocent bishop of Rome has a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament, which were in the canon, and is exactly the same as ours. A. D. 402.
Ch. CXXIV. Paulinus was bishop of Nola in Italy. His works abound with quotations or allusions to texts of scripture. He says, John wrote the last of the four evangelists; and he extols the beginning of his gospel as confuting all heretics: he celebrates St. Luke as a physician for soul and body, and ascribes to him two books, unquestionably meaning his gospel, and the Acts. He has quoted all St. Paul's epistles, particularly that to the Hebrews: he likewise frequently quotes the epistle of St. James, the first of St. Peter, the first of St. John, and the Revelation. A. D. 103.
Ch. CXXV. Pelagius wrote a commentary upon all St. Paul's epistles, excepting that to the Hebrews: he quotes also the Acts, the epistle of James, both the epistles of Peter, and the Revelation. He expresses the greatest regard for the authority of the scriptures, and recommends the reading them to all. A. D. 405.
Ch. CXXVI. Prudentius, an elegant Latin poet of an honourable family in Spain, refers to the gospels, the Acts, and other books of the New Testament, particularly the Revelation of John the apostle and evangelist. A. D. 405.
Ch. CXXVII. Palladius, friend of Chrysostom, and author of a dialogue concerning his life, freely quotes the gospels, the Acts, and St. Paul's epistles. He seems to have received all the catholic epistles; but whether he received the Revelation does not appear. A. D. 408.
Ch. CXXVIII. Nonnus, of Panopolis in Egypt, wrote in Greek verse a paraphrase of St. John's gospel, still extant. A. D. 410.
Ch. CXXIX. Isidorus, of Pelusium in Egypt, a man of good judgment, and exemplary virtue, and a polite and agreeable writer, often quotes with great respect the four gospels, the book of the Acts, which he ascribes to St. Luke, all St. Paul's epistles, divers of the catholic epistles; and seems to have had the same canon of the New Testament with us. He justifies the plain and familiar style of the scriptures, as most conducive to the edification and salvation of men of all conditions. A. D. 412.
Ch. CXXX. Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, his native city, received all the books of the New Testament which we do, and no other as of authority. He commends all the evangelists: but speaks of John as superior to the rest. He recommends the studying of the scriptures, and says, * that from the holy prophets, apostles, and evangelists, we may learn how to attain to piety, and secure to ourselves true peace of mind.' A. D. 412.
Ch. CXXXI. Theodoret, native of Antioch, bishop of Cyrus in Syria, a man of extensive learning, and a fine writer, author of commentaries upon most of the books of the Old Testament, and divers other works, received the four gospels, the Acts which he ascribes to St. Luke, St. Paul's fourteen epistles, upon which he wrote commentaries; the epistle of James, the first of Peter, and the first of John; but there is no clear proof that he received the other catholic epistles, or the Revelation; insomuch that there is reason to think that his canon of the New Testament was that of the Syrian Christians. He has digested St. Paul's epistles according to the order of time in which they were written. The general titles and divisions of scripture used by him are these: "gospels, prophets, and apostles; the books of the sacred gospels, the writings of • the holy apostles, and the oracles of the thrice blessed prophets; evangelists and apostles, • the prophets, and Moses the chief of the prophets.' He recommends the reading and studying them; and shews the benefit of so doing. This learned author vindicates the popular style of the scriptures, and admirably represents, and expatiates upon, the swift progress and wonderful success of the gospel, in converting men in great numbers, in almost every part of the world, from idolatry and vice; which had been effected, not by arms and legions of soldiers, but by the preaching of Christ's apostles, destitute of worldly supports, and undergoing many difficulties and discouragements. A. D. 423.
Ch. CXXXII. John Cassian quotes not only the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, and other books of the New Testament universally received by catholic Christians; but likewise the epistle to the Hebrews as Paul's, the epistle of James, the second of Peter, the epistle of Jude, and the Revelation: whence we may conclude, that he received all the books of the New Testament which we receive; which is worthy of observation. Cassian, who had been in Egypt and Palestine, and at Constantinople, as well as in the western part of the Roman empire, did not follow the peculiar opinion of any of those places, but received all those books of the New Testament which appeared to have been received upon good ground by Christians. These he quotes as of authority, and with tokens of great respect. A. D. 424.
Ch. CXXXIII. Eutherius was bishop of Tyana, in Cappadocia. In the little that remains of him the books of the New Testament are often quoted, particularly the beginning of St. John's gospel, the Acts, and the epistle to the Hebrews as St. Paul's. He has
He has two remarkable arguments discourses; one against such as judged of principles by the multitude of those who embraced them; the other against some who discouraged the reading the scriptures. A. D. 431.
Ch. CXXXIV. Prosper of Aquitain, by some said to have been a bishop, by others reckoned more probably a layman, quotes not only the gospels, and the Acts, and other books of the New Testament universally received; but likewise the epistle to the Hebrews, the epistle of James, the second of Peter, and the Revelation. He expressly rejects the book of Hermas as of no authority. A. D. 434.
Ch. CXXXV. Works ascribed to Prosper. All the books of the New Testament seem to have been received by the authors of these several works. In one of them, entitled, Of the Calling of the Gentiles, the epistles of St. Peter are quoted as written to Gentile Christians; and in another, entitled, Of the Divine Promises and Predictions, written by an African, the second epistle of the same apostle is quoted as written to Gentiles. A. D. 434.
Ch. CXXXVI. Vincentius Lirinensis, or Vincent, monk and presbyter of the monastery of Lerins, an island on the south coast of France, wrote a Memoir or Commonitorium for the catholic faith, against the novelties of all heretics. He says, that he who would avoid the errors of heretics and be preserved in the right faith should secure himself by this twofold method ; • first, by the authority of the divine law, and then by the tradition of the catholic church; upon which doctrine divers remarks have been made by us : and it appears from himself to have been a general opinion, that the scripture is perfect, and abundantly sufficient,' for all the purposes of a rule.
He seems to have received all the books of the New Testament that we do, except the epistle to the Hebrews, which may be questioned. He lets us know, that heretics received the same scriptures with the catholics; and that they quoted them much in their discourses and writings, even the Law, the Prophets, the Gospels, and the Apostles.' A. D. 434.
Ch. CXXXVII. Eucherius bishop of Lyons in Gaul. It appears from the quotations of scripture in his remaining works, that he received all the books of the New Testament which are now received by us. A. D. 434.
Ch. CXXXVIII. Cæcilius Sedulius presbyter, a man of great ingenuity, published two works, one in verse, the other in prose, both having the same design; and each exhibiting, in the former part, the most remarkable things of the Old Testament, and in the latter the history of our Saviour, taken from the four gospels. A. D. 434.
Ch. CXXXIX. In a later age, another Sedulius, of Ireland as it seems, a man well skilled in the Greek language, published in Latin a Commentary upon St. Paul's fourteen epistles, collected out of Origen, Jerom, and other ancient writers. That Commentary affords many useful observations, divers of which have been selected by us. The author received all the books of the New Testament, the Revelation in particular. A. D. 818.
Ch. CXL. Leo bishop of Rome received all the books of the New Testament which are now received by us.
He says, “ This is the cause of errors and heresies, that men follow their own • fancies, and attend not as they ought to the doctrine of the prophets, apostles, and evangelists.? Again: • The Holy Ghost instructs us in the law, the prophets, the gospels, and the apostles.” Once more: • What reason can there be, why we should receive what is not taught by the law or the prophets, the evangelists or apostles? Here we see it was then the prevailing sentiment
of Christians in general, that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the only rule of faith. For other things I refer to the chapter itself. A. D. 4.40.
Ch. CXLI. Salvian presbyter of Marseilles, a very agreeable writer, seems to have received all the books of the New Testament; for beside the gospels and the book of the Acts, often and largely quoted by him, he quotes the epistle to the Hebrews, the epistle of James, the second of Peter, and the Revelation. His general divisions of the såcred scriptures are such as these : First the Law, then the Prophets
, thirdly the Gospel, fourthly the Apostles ; the • Old and New Testament; the Prophets, the Apostles, the Gospels:' and the like: and he bears witness, that they who were called heretics received the same scriptures that other Christians did, the same prophets, the same apostles and evangelists. A. D. 410.
Ch. CXLII. Euthalius, at first deacon at Alexandria, afterwards bishop of Sulca in Egypt, published an edition of St. Paul's epistles, and afterwards an edition of the Acts of the apostles, and the seven Catholic epistles, having first compared them with the exact copies in the library of Cæsarea in Palestine. All the books of the New Testament were at first written by the apostles and evangelists in one continued tenor, without any sections or chapters. In the year 396, some learned Christian, whose name is not known, divided St. Paul's epistles into chapters or lessons: these Euthalius made use of in his own edition of the same epistles, adding some other lesser sections or subdivisions. This he is supposed to have done about the year 458. Afterwards, in the year 4:90, he published an edition of the Acts of the apostles, and the seven Catholic epistles; now dividing these also into lessons, chapters, and verses, which had never been done before ; and to the several parts of this work he prefixed a prologue. As Euthalius confined his labours to those parts of the New Testament, it may be argued that the Revelation was not publicly read in the churches at Alexandria ; though it might be received as sacred scripture. There are divers other things observable in that chapter, but they cannot be repeated here.
Ch. CXLIII. Dionysius, falsely called the Areopagite, author of divers works, has a catam logue of the books of the Old and New Testament, very agreeable to what is the present canon. He received the Revelation : and it is probable, that he thought St. John's gospel to be the last written book of the New Testament; it being mentioned last, and next after the Revelation. A. D. 490.
Ch. CXLIV. Gennadius presbyter of Marseilles, beside the other scriptures, received the Revelation as a writing of John the apostle and evangelist. A. D. 494.
Ch. CXLV. Gelasius bishop of Rome has a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament: that of the New is exactly the same as ours. Having recited these catalogues, it is added, that upon the prophetical, evangelical, and apostolical scriptures, the catholic church * is built by the grace of God.' Afterwards follows an enumeration of many ecclesiastical writings, which are allowed to be read as conducive to edification ; and then a long catalogue of apocryphal books, which are rejected. All which is of use to shew, that the books now received by us as canonical, are of a superior character to all others; and that none beside them ever were esteemed to be of authority, or decisive in things of religion. A. D. 540.
Ch. CXLVI. Andrew bishop of Cæsarea, in Cappadocia, wrote a Commentary upon the Revelation. He plainly received all the books of the New Testament which are now received by us. A. D. 500.
Ch. CXLVII. In this chapter is an account of the Alexandrian manuscript, and divers stichometries.
The Alexandrian manuscript, written as is supposed before the end of the fifth century, consists of four volumes in folio, or large quarto : three of which contain the scriptures of the Old Testament in the Greek version of the Seventy, and the fourth the scriptures of the New Testament, but not quite complete. For more particulars I must refer to the chapter itself.
Afterwards follows the Stichometry of Nicephorus patriarch of Constantinople. A. D. 806, A stichometry is a catalogue of books of scripiure, to which is added the number of verses in each book. In the stichometry of Nicephorus is a catalogue of the books of the Old Testament, very agreeable to the Jewish canon; and then a catalogue of the books of the New Tes. tament, exactly the same with our present canon, except that the Revelation is wanting, at least in some copies. Afterwards follow catalogues of contradicted and apocryphal books: which afford evidence, that there never were any Christian writings, which were esteemed to
be of authority, beside those which are now reckoned by us sacred and canonical. The same observation is confirmed by the stichometries from Cotelerius, which are subjoined in the same chapter.
Ch. CXLVIII. Cosmas of Alexandria, called Indicopleustes on account of a voyage which he made to the Indies, was at first a merchant, afterwards monk, and author. Matthew, he says, is the first evangelist; and he supposeth him to have written his gospel in Judea soon after the martyrdom of St. Stephen : Mark, the second evangelist, wrote his gospel at Rome, by the direction of Peter: Luke is the third evangelist, who likewise wrote the Acts : John, the fourth and chief of the evangelists, as he is here called, wrote his gospel at Ephesus after that the faithful writings of the other evangelists had been brought to him. The books of the New Testament received by Cosmas, are the four gospels, the Acts, St. Paul's fourteen epistles, and three Catholic epistles, as it seems that of James, the first of Peter, and the first of John, agreeably to the sentiment of the Syrian Christians. And he says, “that no perfect or well • instructed Christian should endeavour to prove any thing but by the canonical books of scrip• ture acknowledged by all: which books have sufficiently declared what is needful to be known • concerning the doctrines of religion.' A. D. 535.
Ch. CXLIX. Facundus, a learned African bishop, appears to have received all the books of the New Testament which we receive, and no other. His general division of the scriptures of the New Testament is that of “gospels and apostles:' for which he has the greatest regard. A. D. 540.
Ch. CL. Arethas, generally supposed to have been bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, wrote a Commentary upon the book of the Revelation, extracted out of the Commentary of his predecessor Andrew, and the works of Irenæus, Hippolytus, Gregory Nazianzen, Cyril of Alexandria, and others. It appears by his quotations, that he received the same books of the New Testament that we do. A. D. 550.
Ch. CLI. Arator, sub-deacon in the Church of Rome, published a work, entitled the Apostolical History in verse, in two books, composed out of the Acts of the apostles, which he ascribes to St. Luke. A. D. 514.
Ch. CLII. Junilius was an African bishop, but of what place is uncertain. He is very particular in his manner of dividing the books of scripture : Some,' he says, are of perfect, • others of middle authority, others of none at all; and some are historical, some prophetical, • some proverbial, and some teach simply. The historical books of the New Testament, of
perfect and canonical authority, are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the • Acts of the Apostles: the books that teach simply, or plainly, are the epistles of the apostle Paul • to the Romans, the Corinthians, the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, • the Thessalonians, to Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Hebrews; one of the blessed Peter to the • Gentiles, and the first epistle of the blessed John. To these many add five more, oné epistle of • James, a second of Peter, one of Jude, and two of John.' He likewise says, that the Revelation of John was doubted of generally by the Christians in the east, which may imply, that it was generally received in Africa, as indeed it was. The books last mentioned which were not received by all, seem to be reckoned by him of middle authority' only; the rest were of perfect and canonical authority. And it is observable, that he says St. Peter's first epistle was written to Gentiles ; it will follow that the second also was written to Gentiles; for very probably they were both written to the same people. A. D. 550.
Ch. CLIII. M. A. Cassiodorius in his Institutions has three catalogues of the Old and New Testament; one called by him Jerom's, the second Augustine's, the third that of the ancient translation : and it is very observable, that in none of these catalogues mention is made of any books of the New Testament as canonical which are not received as such by us. There are not inserted in any of these catalogues Barnabas, or Clement, or Ignatius, or any other Christian writers whatever; which affords a cogent argument, that there never were any other Christian writings, which were placed by the churches upon a level with those now received by us as canonical. A. D. 556.
Cassiodorius published likewise a work called Complexions, or Short Commentaries upon the epistles, the Acts of the apostles, and the Revelation; they are upon St. Paul's fourteen epistles, the seven catholic epistles, the Acts, and the Revelation : by which it is manifest, that he received all the books of the New Testament which are now received by us, and no other.