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• make use of books called apocryphal, being deceived by the similitude of their names, resembe
ling the true or genuine books. By which expressions we are led to think, he intends books forged in the names of the apostles of Christ, and their companions; whose titles we find in Eusebius, and other ancient writers. His general divisions of scriptures, avhich were of authority, are such as these : Gospels and apostles : gospel, apostles, and prophets.' The sufficiency of these scriptures is strongly declared by him. Having enumerated the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, he adds, Vol. ii. p. 400. These are fountains of salvation, that he who thirsts
may be satisfied with the oracles contained in them. In these alone the doctrine of salvation • is proclaimed: let no man add to them, or take any thing from them.' Condemning the multitude of Arian synods of that age, he says, “ The divine scripture is fully sufficient : but if there be
any occasion for a synod, let them observe the determinations of the Council of Nice,' Vol. ii. p. 403. It may be worth while to observe likewise, that he useth the word ' canonical :'it occurs several times in his Festal Epistle. The books delivered down to them, and believed to be divine • scripture,' he calls canonical books.' Others " he speaks of as 'without,' or not in the canon
though allowed to be read :' the rest are apocryphal. And in another work, speaking of the Shepherd of Hermas, he says, it was not in the canon.'
This testimony of Athanasius to the scriptures is very valuable. It appears from his Festal Epistle, and also from his other works, that he received all the books of the New Testament that we do, and no other, as of authority: and considering the time in which he lived, the acquaintance he had with the several parts of the Christian church, and the bishops of it, in Egypt and its neighbourhood, in Europe, and Asia, and the knowledge he had of ancient Christian writings, it must be of great use to satisfy us, that notwithstanding the frequent quotations of other books in the writings of divers ancient Christians, they did always make a distinction, and did not design to allege as of authority, and a part of the rule of faith, any books but those which were in the highest sense sacred and divine.
In the same chapter is an account of the Synopsis of sacred scripture, sometimes ascribed to Athanasius, but probably not written till above a century after his time. It is, in the main, agreeable to what we have just seen in Athanasius : but for particulars the reader is referred to the chapter itself.
Ch. LXXVI. A Dialogue against the Marcionites, ascribed to Adamantius, whoever he was. In this work are cited the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, most of St. Paul's epistles, par. ticularly that to the Hebrews, and the second epistle of St. Peter. He computes St. Mark and St. Luke to have been two of our Saviour's seventy disciples.
Ch. LXXVII. C. Vettius Juvencus, a Spaniard of a good family in the time of the emperor Constantine, published a work in hexameter verse, in four books, containing the history of our Lord, as recorded in the four gospels. A. D. 330.
Ch. LXXVIII. Julius Firmicus Maternus, a convert from Gentilism and a man of quality, and probably always a layman, in the reign of Constantius published a work entitled, Of the Error of Profane Religions. He quotes many books of the Old and New Testament, particularly the gospels and the Revelation, with marks of great respect. A. D. 345.
Ch. LXXIX. Cyril bishop of Jerusalem has a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament. In the latter part are the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, the seven catholic epistles, and the fourteen epistles of Paul, without any express notice taken of the Revelation, A. D. 348.
Ch. LXXX. The Audiąns, followers of Audius a pious and zealous bishop of Syria in Mesopotamia. They are said by Epiphanius to have used, beside the other scriptures, some apocry. phal books; but he does not mention their titles. A. D. 350.
Ch. LXXXI. Hilary of Poictiers in Gaul wrote a Commentary upon St. Matthew's gospel and divers books of the Old Testament. He quotes the epistle to the Hebrews as St. Paul's, and the Revelation as St. John's. A. D. 354.
Ch. LXXXII. The Aërians were so called from Aërius of Lesser Armenia. They denied the obligation of set fasts and feasts: the keeping of Easter they said was unnecessary; and they Απαλωμενοι τη ομωνυμια των αληθινων βιβλιων. Quoted
και έτερα βιβλια τελων εξωθεν" ου κανονιζομενα μεν... Vol. ii. p. 399.
και τελων κανονιζομενων, και τελων αναγινωσκομενων. Vol. ii. • Εσι μεν γαρ ικανωτερα πανίων η θεια γραφη. κ. λ. Citat. Vol. ii. p. 403.
• Καιλοι μη ον εκ τ8 κανονος. Cit. Vol. ii. p. 402. τα κανονιζομενα, και παραδοθενία, σιδευθενία τε θεια Etváo Bibaca. Vol. I. p. 399, 400.
argued from scripture in behalf of their peculiar sentiments. These people met with great difficulties, and may induce us to think, that in most times there have been some who opposed growing superstition in the church; but being generally opposed, and with much violence, they could not increase to any great number, and in time were quite reduced. A. D. 360.
Ch. LXXXIII. The Council of Laodicea in one of its canons has a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament. That for the Old Testament is much the same with that of the Jews : that for the New Testament has the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, the seven catholic epistles, and fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul: thus including all the books of the New Testament now received by us, except the book of the Revelation ; which perhaps is omitted for no other reason but because it was the design of the council to mention such books only as should be publickly read. A. D. 363.
Ch. LXXXIV. Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis in Cyprus, has three catalogues of the Old, and one of the books of the New Testament, which he rehearseth in this order : the four gospels, fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, the Acts of the apostles, seven catholic epistles, and the Revelation, without any other books as of authority: his canon therefore was the same as ours. He supposes St. Mark and St. Luke to have been of the number of Christ's seventy disciples. The Acts of the apostles he ascribes to St. Luke, as the writer. It appears that the book of the Revelation was not universally received in his time. A. D. 368.
Ch. LXXXV. In this chapter is shewn from evidence internal and external, that the Apostolical Constitutions, in eight books, were not composed by the apostles, nor by Clement of Rome, but are a work of the fourth or fifth century. Though this work is an imposture, the writer's testimony to the scriptures ought not to be overlooked; for it appears that he received our four gospels, the Acts, and the epistles of St. Paul, particularly that to the Hebrews, and the first epistle of St. Peter. He might receive all the catholic epistles, though little notice is here taken of them : but probably he did not receive the book of the Revelation.
At the end of that chapter are remarks upon the apostolical canons.
Ch. LXXXVI. Rheticius bishop of Autun, a man of great note in Gaul in the time of the emperor Constantine, published a Commentary upon the Canticles, and some other works not now extant. A. D. 313.
Ch. LXXXVII. Tryphillius, bishop of a city in Cyprus a man of great repute for eloquence in the reign of Constantius, and well acquainted with the Roman laws, published, besides other works, a Commentary upon the Canticles. He was once blamed for affecting to use a more elegant phrase in quoting Mark ii. 9, in one of his sermons, than that of the original. A. D. 340.
Ch. LXXXVIII. 'Fortunatianus, born in Africa, bishop of Aquileia in Italy, in the reign of Constantius wrote short Commentaries upon the gospels in a plain style. A. D. 340.
Ch. LXXXIX. Photinus, bishop of Sirmium, disciple of Marcellus of Galatia and his follower in the principles of Sabellianism and Unitarianism, published divers books against the errors of Gentilism and in favour of his own opinions. He died in 375 or 376: he received the scriptures of the Old and New Testament as other Christians did.
Ch. XC. Eusebius, born in Sardinia, made bishop of Vercelli in 354, died in 370, or soon after. He translated out of Greek into Latin the Commentary of Eusebius of Cæsarea upon the Psalms.
Ch. XCI. Lucifer, bishop of Cagliari in Sardinia, was author of divers works; which consist very much of passages of the Old and New Testament, cited one after another, with marks of great respect; particularly, he has largely quoted the book of the Acts, the epistle to the Hebrews, the second epistle of St. John, and the epistle of St. Jude; and there is reason to think, that he and his followers received the Revelation : whence it may be argued, that his canon of the New Testament was the same with ours. A. D. 354.
Ch. XCII. Gregory, bishop of Illiberis in the province of Bætica in Spain, was author of several works, of which very little now remains. A. D. 355.
Ch. XCIII. Phçebadius, bishop of Agen in Gaul, published a book against the Arians, still extant, and some other small treatises. In that book his respect for the scriptures of the prophets, evangelists, and apostles, is very conspicuous. A. D. 359.
Ch. XCIV. Ć. Marius Victorinus, an African, an illustrious convert to the Christian religion, who for a good while had taught rhetoric at Rome, wrote some books against the Arians and a Commentary upon the apostle Paul's epistles. In his remaining works most of the books of the
New Testament are frequently quoted, particularly the Acts, the epistle to the Hebrews, and the Revelation. A. D. 360.
Ch. XCV. Apollinarius, bishop of Laodicea in Syria, a very learned man, besides his Confu- . tation of Porphyry in thirty books, and other works by which he was very useful to the Christians in the time of the emperor Julian, published also many volumes of Commentaries upon the scriptures, monuments of his zeal and affection for them, and of his diligence in studying them.
Ch. XCVI. Damasus, bishop of Rome, had a great regard for Jerom on account of his learning and knowledge of the scriptures. At his desire Jerom corrected the Latin version of the New Testament, then in use. In a letter to Jerom he says, “ There can be no higher entertain* ment than to confer together upon the holy scriptures.' A. D. 366.
Ch. XCVII. Basil, commonly called the Great, bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, besides the gospels, and the Acts, has quoted all St. Paul's epistles, particularly that to the Hebrews. He does not much cite the catholic epistles ; however, he has several times quoted the first epistle of St. Peter, and the first epistle of St. John. The epistle of St. James is very seldom quoted: the second of St. Peter, the epistle of St. Jude, the first and second of St. John, not at all in any
of his genuine works that I remember. Though there is very little notice taken of the book of the Kevelation, there is not sufficient reason to say it was rejected by him. See Vol. ii. p. 466. For the scriptures of the Old and New Testament he had the greatest regard: he bears witness, that they were read in every assembly of Christians for public worship, and he recommends the reading them in private to all sorts of people.
Ch. XCVIII. Gregory Nazianzen. Among his poems is a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament. The former is agreeable to that of the Jews: in the latter are expressly mentioned the gospels of the four evangelists, the Acts, fourteen epistles of Paul, seven catholic epistles, without any other. The Revelation is wanting ; nevertheless it may have been received by him, but not reckoned proper to be publicly read. A. D. 370.
Ch. XCIX. Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium the chief city of Lycaonia,'has an iambic poem, in which is a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament. The former is agreeable to the Jewish canon: the books of the New Testament are the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles written by Luke, then fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul. • But some say, the epistle to the Hebrews is spurious, not speaking rightly. Then the catholic epistles: of which some • receive seven, others three only; one of James, one of Peter, one of John : whilst others receive
three of John, and two of Peter, and Jude's the seventh. The Revelation of John is approved by 'some; but many say it is spurious. Let this be the most certain canon of the divinely inspired scriptures. Só Amphilochius. A. D. 370.
Ch. C. Gregory, younger brother of St. Basil bishop of Nyssa in Cappadocia, quotes the gospels, the Acts, which he ascribes to St. Luke, St. Paul's epistles, particularly that to the Hebrews. Concerning the catholic epistles it may be observed, that the first epistle of St. Peter, and the first epistle of St. John are quoted by him several times : the epistle of St. James may be thought to be quoted in a place, to which I refer below. What respect he had for the other catholic does not clearly appear from his works, so far as I can now recollect. He has quoted the book of the Revelation; though but very seldom.
seldom. In one of Gregory Nyssen's books against Eunomius are these words, deserving notice : « Whence,'d says he, did ** those things, and from whom had you those expressions ? They are not in Moses: you did not • learn them from the prophets, or apostles: the evangelists likewise are silent here: we discern
them not in any part of scripture: they must therefore be your own invention. Certainly this shews, that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament were then esteemed by Christians to be the rule of their faith. This passage, now alleged, is additional to another to the like purpose formerly quoted from another work of this writer. See Vol. ii. p. 175.
Ch. CI. Didymus, master of the catechetical school at Alexandria, wrote Commentaries upon divers books of the Old Testament, and upon the gospels of Matthew and John, and brief
the seven catholic epistles. He received the epistle to the Hebrews, and, probably, the book of the Revelation. A. D. 370.
In Cant. Hom. 13. T. i. p. 669. A Hom. J4. p. 678. A. In diem Nat. Chr. T. jïip. 348. D. et alibi.
\ De Vit. Mos. T. i. p. 220. D. In Cant. Hom. 7. T.i. 126 A. Hom. 12. p. 057. De Scop. Christian T. iii. p. 302, et alibi.
" In 1 Cor. xv. 28. Orate D.i. p. 19. B.
* Ποθεν ταυλα μαθων, και παρα τινος τα σημαία και Μωύσης 82 ειπε: προφήλων και αποστολων εκ ήκεσεν ευαγγελισαι τας τοιαυλας φωνας σεσιγήκασιν. Ουδεμιας εςι γραφης ταυλα διδασ xoons ualeiv. x. i. Contr. Eunoni. Orat. 12. T. ii. p. 794.B.
Ch. CII. Ephrem, called the Syrian, deacon in the church of Edessa, wrote Commentaries in Syriac upon many books of the Old Testament.
He has frequently quoted the four gospels, the Acts, and St. Paul's epistles, particularly that to the Hebrews: he has quoted likewise the first epistle of St. Peter, and the first of St. John. Whether he received any of the five catholic epistles, which were sometimes doubted of, does not appear from his Syriac works, which are more to be relied upon than the Greek and Latin translations. Whether he received the book of the Revelation, may be determined by those who are pleased to observe what is said, Vol. ii.
His respect for the scriptures is manifest. A. D. 370. Ch. CIII. Ebedjesu, a learned Syrian writer of the sect of the Nestorians, bishop of Nisibis, called also Soba, in the thirteenth century, flourished about the year 1285. He has a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament: that of the New has the four gospels, the Acts written by Luke, three catholic epistles, and fourteen epistles of St. Paul, without any notice of the Revelation. They who are desirous to know more of the canon of the Syrian Christians, may do well to observe also the chapter of St. Chrysostom, a native of Antioch and for a good while presbyter in that church: and the chapter of Severian bishop of Gabala in Syria, and likewise the chapter of Cosmas of Alexandria.
Ch. CIV. Pacian, bishop of Barcelona, has quoted in his remaining works the commonly received books of the New Testament, particularly the Acts of the apostles, and likewise the book of the Revelation: but I have not observed in him any quotation of the epistle to the Hebrews, nor any plain reference to it. A. D. 370.
Ch. CV. Optatus, a convert from Gentilism, and bishop of Milevi in Africa, beside the gospels has quoted the book of the Acts, and several of St. Paul's epistles, and the first and second epistles of St. John: whether he received the epistle to the Hebrews, is not certain. A. D. 370.
Ch. CVI. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, expressly rejects the gospel according to the twelve, the gospels according to Basilides, Thomas, and Matthias; and says, that the church has one gospel in four books, spread all over the world, and written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He often quotes the Acts, as written by St. Luke: he likewise received all St. Paul's fourteen epistles, and the seven catholic epistles, and the Revelation; consequently his canon of the New Testament was the same as ours: for there appears not in his works any particular regard to the writings of Barnabas, or Clement, or Ignatius, or to the Recognitions, or Constitutions: from whence it may be reasonably concluded, that these writings were not esteemed of authority by himself, or other Christians at that time. His respect for the sacred scripture is very manifest": he wrote Commentaries upon divers of the Psalms, and upon St. Luke's gospel: he speaks of it as the practice of the Christians in ancient times, as well as in his own, to form their belief by the holy scriptures.
Ch. CVIÍ. The Priscillianists, followers of Priscillian bishop of Abila, prevailed chiefly in Spain: they received all the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, making use likewise of some apocryphal books. Herein they differed from the Manichees, who rejected the scrip. tures of the Old Testament. It is generally supposed likewise, that some of the Manichees rejected the Acts of the apostles: if they did, here is another thing in which the Priscillianists differed from the Manichees, whom they are said to have resembled very much; for we know from Augustine, that · the Priscillianists received that book. A. D. 378.
Ch. ČVIII. Diodorus native of Antioch, and bishop of Tarsus in Cilicia, wrote many books, most of which are now lost. He is said to have written Commentaries upon divers books of the Old Testament, and upon the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles, and St. John's first epistle. A. D. 378.
Ch. CIX. A Commentary upon thirteen of St. Paul's epistles, by many ascribed to Hilary deacon of Rome. In this work are quoted the four gospels, the Acts of the apostles written by Luke, the first and second epistle of St. Peter; the first and the third epistle of St. John, and the Revelation. Whether the writer received the epistle to the Hebrews, may be justly questioned, as he did not write any commentary upon it.
Ch. CX. Philaster, bishop of Brescia, author of a work concerning Heresies, received the
* Nec illud moveat, quod Priscillianistæ, Manichæorum simillimi, ad jejunandum die Dominico solent testimonium de apostolorum Actibus adhibere, cum esset apostolus Paulus in Troade. Sic enim scriptum est ... Acts xx. 7. Ad Casulan. Ep. 36. cap. 12. n. 28. T. ii.
same books of the New Testament that we do, but we learn from him that there were then some who did not receive the epistle to the Hebrews, nor the Revelation. A. D. 380.
Ch. CXI. Gaudentius, successor of Philaster in the bishoprick of Brescia, appears to have had the canon of scripture as his predecessor. A. D. 387.
Ch. CXII. Sophronius, a learned man, friend of St. Jerom, who translated several of his works into the Greek language, and was himself likewise an author. A. D. 390.
Ch. CXIII. Theodore, native of_Antioch, bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia, wrote Commentaries upon divers books of the Old Testament, and upon the gospels of St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. John, and St. Paul's fourteen epistles; which of the catholic epistles were received by him, and whether he received the book of the Revelation, are things not certainly known. There is a fragment of one of his works containing a noble testimony to the four gospels; where he supposeth the first three gospels not to have been written till after St. Paul had openly preached the doctrine of the gospel to the Gentiles, nor till after the other apostles had left Judea to go upon the same service. A. D. 394.
Ch. CXIV. St. Jerom's canon of the Old Testament was that of the Jews; and he received all the books of the New Testament which are now received by us, and no other. However, he lets us know that in his time many Latins did not receive the epistle to the Hebrews as St. Paul's, and that many Greek churches rejected the book of the Revelation. In him are histories of the several writers of the books of the New Testament, and many observations upon the scriptures, with testimonies of high respect for them, and exhortations to read and study them, and, indeed, many other things deserving notice; to which the reader is referred, for they cannot be repeated here.
That chapter concludes with a passage, wherein Jerom triumphs on account of the remarkable progress of the gospel. I here add another passage to the like purpose, from a letter written in 396, in which he says : · Until the resurrection of Christ,“ in Judah,” only "
known, and his name was great in Israel.” Ps. lxxvi. 1. The men of all the earth, from India * to Britain, and from the cold regions of the north to the warm climates of the Atlantic Ocean, • with the numberless people dwelling in that large tract, were no better than beasts, being
ignorant of their Creator. But now the passion and resurrection of Christ are celebrated in • the discourses and writings of all nations: I need not mention Jews, Greeks, and Latins. The • Indians, Persians, Goths, and Egyptians, philosophize, and firmly believe the immortality of • the soul, and future recompences; which before, the greatest philosophers had denied, or • doubted of, or perplexed with their disputes. The fierceness of Thracians and Scythians is • now softened by the gentle sound of the gospel, and every where Christ is all in all.'
Ch. CXV. Rufinus has a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament. His canon of the ancient scriptures likewise is the same as that of the Jews; and his catalogue of the books of the New Testament contains all those which are now received by us, and no other, as of authority. Having recited them, he adds, • These are the volumes which the fathers have • included in the canon, and out of which they would have us prove the doctrines of our faith.' A. D. 397.
Ch. CXVI. In one of the canons of the third council of Carthage is a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament. The latter part of it contains all the books of the New Testament which are now received by us, without any other as sacred and canonical; but the manner in which the epistle to the Hebrews is mentioned, affords reason to think that it was not so generally received in that country as the other thirteen epistles of St. Paul. A. D. 397.
Ch. CXVII. In Augustine likewise is a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament, and his canon is the same as ours; however, sometimes he quotes the epistle to the
* Vid. Pagi ann. 396. n. 3, 4.
Latinis: quas nationes fidei suæ in crucis titulo Dominus dediAdde, quod ante resurrectionem Christi, notus tantum cavit. Immortalem animam, et post dissolutionem corporis in Judæâ erat Deus, in Israël magnum nomen ejus. ... Ubi subsistentem, quod Pythagoras somniavit, Democritus non tunc totius orbis homines, ab Indiâ usque ad Britanniam, a credidit, in consolationem damnationis suæ Socrates disputarit rigidâ septentrionis plagâ usque ad fervores Atlantici Oceani, in carcere, Indus, Persa, Gottus, Ægyptius, philosophantar. tam innumerabiles populi, et tantarum gentium multitudines? Bessorum feritas, et pellitorum turba populorum, qui mortuoQuam variæ linguis, habitu tam vestis, et armis: piscium ritu rum quondam inferiis homines immolabant, stridorem suum et locustarum, et velut muscæ et culices conterebantur. in dulce crucis fregerunt melos, et totius mundi una vox Absque notitia etenim Creatoris sui omnis homo pecus est. Christus est. Ep. 35. al. 3. ad Heliodor. Epitaph. Nepotian. Nunc passionem Christi, et resurrectionem ejus cunctarum gen- T. i. p. 267, 268. tium et voces et literæ sonant. Taceo de Hebræis, Græcis, et