Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Eusebius, both in his Demonstration, and in his Ecclesiastical History, bears witness to the same things. Not now to insist on his Chronicle. In the former, ' he says, that Peter was • crucified at Rome with his head downward, and Paul beheaded.' In his ecclesiastical history, speaking of Nero, as the first persecutor of the Christians,' he says, that he put to death the • apostles, at which time Paul was beheaded at Rome, and Peter crucified, as history relates. • And the account,” he says, 'is confirmed by the monuments still seen in the cemeteries of that • city, with their names inscribed upon them. And what follows. In another chapter of the same work, he says: “ that Linus was the first bishop of Rome after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter. It is needless to refer to any more of the many places of this learned bishop of Cæsarea, where he appears to have been fully persuaded that these two apostles accomplished their martyrdom at Rome.

Athanasius supposes both Peter and Paul to have suffered martyrdom in that city.
Ephrem the Syrian, about 370, says, that · Peter tanght at Rome.

Epiphanius, as may be remembered, says, “ that Matthew wrote first, and Mark soon after, • being a companion of Peter at Rome. În another place ? he speaks of Peter and Paul as the first apostles and bishops of Rome. After whom, he says, were Linus, ('letus, Cleinent.

Jérom's opinion is well known from his article of St. Peter in his book of Illustrious Men, where he says, “ that Peter was crucified at Rome in the fourteenth year of Nero's reign:' and from his chapter of St. Mark, whom he calls the disciple and interpreter of Peter, and says, • that at the desire of the brethren at Rome, he wrote a short gospel, according to what he had • heard from Peter. Not now to refer to any other places.

We lately saw how" Chrysostom says, that Peter having been at Antioch, afterwards went to Rome. In another place he says, that after Peter and Paul, Ignatius also suffered martyrdom at Rome. And he thinks it a wise disposal of Providence, that so many should bear the most signal testimony to truth in a place which was then the chief seat of impiety and superstition.

According to Sulpicius Severus, who wrote about the year 401, Paul Rand Peter suffered: martyrdom at Rome in Nero's persecution.

Prudentius, about 405, has several times celebrated the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul at Rome. One place was transcribed from him not long " ago.

To him I subjoin P. Orosius ° about 416.

And Theodoret, about 423, well observes, that ” though Nero put to death two of the principal Christian lawgivers, Peter and Paul, he could not abolish their laws.

I omit Augustine, and many others, who speak to the like purpose. But I would add, for showing how general this tradition is, that Abdias Babylonius, as he is called in his Apostolical history, supposes Peter 9 to have been at Rome, and to have suffered martyrdom there.

Nor can any of my readers forbear to recollect the general, and almost unanimous testimony of ancient writers concerning St. Mark: that he was a disciple of St. Peter, that his gospel is the substance of St. Peter's preaching, and that it was written at Rome.

It is not needful to make many remarks upon this tradition. But it is easy to observe, that

[ocr errors]

b

с

2 Και Πετρος δε επι Ρωμης κατα κεφαλης σαυρεται, Παυλος h See Vol. ii. p. 560.

The

same, p. 551. DE OTTOTEUVETA.. Dem. Ev. 1. 3. p. 116. C.

* See before, p. 406. Ταυτη γεν ουτος θεομαχος εν τοις μαλισα πρωτος ανακη- . 1 Οι δε την Ρωμην οικοντες, ατε πολλης τοτε ασεβειας 8σης ρυχθεις, επι τας κατα των αποσολων επηρθη σφαγας. Παυλος εκει, πλειονος έχρηζον βοηθειας. Δια τετο και Πετρος και δη ουν επ' αυτης Ρωμης την κεφαλην αποτμηθηναι, και Πετρος Παυλος, και μετ' εκεινες ουτος εκει παντες εθυθησαν. Ch. hom, ωσαύτως ανασκολοπισθηναι κατ' αυτον ισορενται. κ. λ. Η. Ε. in S. Ig. Mart. T. II. p. 599. A. 1. 2. c. 25. p. 67. Vid. et. 1. 2. cap. 22. fin. p. 62. D.

m Tum Paulus ac Petrus capitis damnati. Quorum uni * Της δε Ρωμαιων εκκλησιας μετα την Παυλο και Πετρο cervix gladio desesta, Petrus in crucem sublatus est. Sul. μαρτυριαν, πρωτος κληρεται την επισκοπην Λινος. Η. Ε. 1. 3. Sev. Hist. Sacra. l. 2. cap. 29. al. 41.

n See before, p. 408. Πετρος δε, ο δια τον φοβον των Ιεδαιων κρυπτομενος, και • Nam primus Romæ Christianos suppliciis et mortibus Παυλος εν σαργανη χαλασθεις, και φυγων, ακέσαντες, εις adfecit;, ac per omnes provincias pari persecutione excruciari “Ρωμην δει υμάς μαρτυρησαι, εκ ανεβαλόντο την αποδημιαν. imperavit Ipsumque nomen extirpare conatus, beatissimos Apol. pro fugâ suā, p. 331.

cap. 2.

d

Christi apostolos, Petrum cruce, Paulum gladio occidit. Oros. e See in this work, Vol. ii. p. 487. et opp. syr. tom. I.

Hist. 1. 7. cap. 7.

P See of this Vol. p. 15. from Theod. Serm. 9. De Legibus, i See Vol. ii. p. 418. from Hær. 51. num. vi.

tom. IV. p. 611. D. * Εν Ρωμη γαρ γεγoνασι πρωτοι Πετρος και Παυλος οι 9 Apostol. Hist. de Petro, sect. xri. &c. Ap. Fabr. tom. I. ανοσολοι και επισκοποι, ειτα Λιγος, κ. λ. Ηer. 27. μum. vi.

p. 553.

it is the general, uncontradicted, disinterested testimony of ancient writers, in the several parts of the world, Greeks, Latins, Syrians. As onr Lord's prediction concerning the death of Peter is recorded in one of the four gospels, it is very likely, that * Christians would observe the accomplishment of it. Which must have been in some place. And about this place there is no difference among Christian writers of ancient times. Never any other place was named, beside Rome. Nor did any other city ever glory in the martyrdom of Peter. There were in the second and third centuries disputes between the bishop of Rome and other bishops and churches about the time of keeping Easter, and about the baptism of heretics. Yet ' none denied the bishop of Rome to have what they called the chair of Peter.

It is not for our honour, nor our interest, either as Christians, or protestants, to deny the truth of events, ascertained by early and well attested tradition. If any make an ill use of such facts, we are not accountable for it. We d are not from a dread of such abuses, to overthrow the credit of all history: the consequence of which would be fatal.

Fables and fictions have been mixed with the accounts of Peter's being at Rome. But they are not in the most early writers. They have been added since. And it is well known that fictions have been joined with histories of the most certain and important facts.

The traditions, concerning Peter's being at Rome and Paul's preaching in Spain, ought not to be compared together. They are not at all alike. The latter is not attested by so many, nor so early writers, as the other: and is, probably, a mere conjecture, without any foundation, but the words of Rom. xv. 28, which are no proof at all.

This argument may be censured by some as prolix, and even needless. But as some of our own times, as well as formerly, have denied, or disputed this point; I have thought it expedient to let my readers see the evidences of what appears to myself, as well as to many other protestants, very certain: that St. Peter was at Rome, and suffered martyrdom there.

CHAP. XIX.

THE TWO EPISTLES OF ST. PETER.

I. Their Genuineness shown from Testimony and internal Characters. II, The People to whom

they were sent. III. The Place where. "IV. The time when they were written, V. Remarks upon 1 Pet. v. 13.

HAVING written the history of the apostle Peter, I now proceed to his epistles. Concerning which three or four things are to be considered by us: their genuineness, the persons to whom they were sent, the place where, and the time when they were written.

• Non infirmanda esse es de re antiquitatis testimonia, multa 4 Neque ulla unquam traditio fuit, quze majore testiune monent. 1. Convenientissimum

sane fuit sciri locam, ubi numero cingatur; ut de Petri in urbem adventu dubitari non Petro mors oblata est, ad illustrandum Christi de servi sui possit, quin omnia historiæ fundamenta convellantur. Baso. martyrio oraculum.Loeus autem in ignoratione jacet, si ann. 64. n. ix. in Romanà civitate Petrus cruci suffisus non fuit. Basnag. Tantus hac in re omnium consensus fuit, ut sare miraculo ann. 64. n. *.

debuerit esse, quosdami nostris seculis ortos, factum adeo 6 Gloriæ decorique maximo ecclesiis fuit, quod et doctrina manifestum negare præsumsisse. Barrat. de Success. Ep. Rom. et sanguine Apostolorum conderentur. Hinc exclamabat

cap. i. num. i. olim Tertullianus: Felix ecclesia, cui totam doctrinam Verum hi omnium veterum patrum testimonio refelluntur. Apostoli cum sanguine suo profuderunt? Qui fit ergo, ut -Quæ (malum !) impudentia est, id quidem quod nemo nulla, præter Romanam, ecclesia in morte Petri exultărit et veterum dixit, temere affirmare, Petrum scilicet sedem fixisse triumphärit? Id. ib.

Babylone; id vero quod veteres omnes ecclesiastici scriptores e Cam gravissimos in adversarios inciderint olim Episcopi disertissime prodiderunt, adventum videlicet Petri Apostoli in Romani, Cyprianos, Firmilianos, aliosque bene multos, nonne urbem Romam, pertinaciter negare! Atqui nibil in tota eorum aliquis eam perstrinxisset ; et gloriationem, qua historia ecclesiasticâ illustrius, nihil certius, atque testatius, Romana se efferebat ecclesia, utpote quæ nunquam præsentia quam adventus Petri Apostoli in urbem Romam. Vales. Petri, sanguineque floruerit, etsi ad ravim usque utroque Annot. ad Euseb. 1. 2. c. 15. ornamento superbiret? Id. ib.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1. The first epistle was all along received by catholic Christians as authentic and genuine. This we learn from · Eusebius. Who likewise says: “Of the controverted books of the New • Testament, but yet well known, and approved by many, are that called the epistle of James, • and that of Jude, and the second of Peter, and the second and third of John.' And in another place: • One epistle of Peter, called the first, is universally received. This the presbyters of * ancient times have quoted in their writings, as undoubtedly genuine. But that called his

second, we have been informed, [by tradition] has not been received as a part of the New • Testament. Nevertheless appearing to many to be useful, it has been carefully studied with • the other scriptures. By which, I think, we may be assured, that a great regard was shown to this epistle by many Christians in the time of our learned Ecclesiastical Historian.

Jerom says: • Peter wrote two epistles, called catholic: the second of which is denied by • many to be his, because of the difference of the style from the former.'

And Origen before them, in his Commentaries upon the gospel of St. Matthew, as cited by Eusebius, says: . Peter' on whom the church is built, has left one epistle, [universally) ac• knowledged. Let it be granted, that he also wrote a second. For it is doubted of.'

What those learned writers of the third and fourth centuries say of these two epistles, we have found agreeable to the testimony of more ancient writers, whom we have consulted. For the first epistle seems to be referred to by . Clement of Rome. It is plainly referred to by Polycarp several times. It is also referred to by the martyrs at Lyons. It was received by Theophylus, bishop of Antioch. It was quoted' by Papias. It is quoted in the remaining writings of " Irenæus, · Clement of Alexandria, and • Tertullian. Consequently, it was all along received. But we do not perceive the second epistle to be quoted by · Papias, nor 9 by Irenæus, nor' Tertullian, nor Cyprian.

However, both these epistles were generally received in the fourth, and following centuries, by all Christians, except the Syrians. For they were received by Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, the council of Laodicea, Epiphanius, Jerom, Rufin, Augustine, and others. As may be seen in the alphabetical table, in St. Peter, at the end of the eleventh volume, to which the reader is referred.

Such are the testimonies of ancient writers concerning these two epistles. If we consult the epistles themselves, and endeavour to form a judgment by internal evidence: I suppose it will appear very probable that both are of the same author. And it may seem somewhat strange, that any of the ancients hesitated about it, who had the two epistles before them. For with regard to some of the most ancient writers, it may be supposed that the second epistle had not been seen by them, it not having come to their hands together with the first.

The first epistle being allowed to be St. Peter's, we can argue in favour of the other also after this manner. It bears in the inscription the name of the same apostle. · For so it begins : “ Şimon Peter, a servant, and an apostle of Jesus Christ.” And in ch. i. 14, are these words: “ Knowing, that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has showed me.” The writer of this epistle may have had a particular revelation concerning the time of his death, not long before writing this. But it is probable, that here is a reference to our Lord's predictions concerning St. Peter's death, and the manner of it, which are recorded in John xxi. 18, 19.

From ch. i. 16, 17, 18, it appears, that the writer was one of the disciples, who were with Jesus in the mount, when he was transfigured in a glorious manner. This certainly leads us to Peter, who was there, and whose name the epistle bears-in the inscription.

Ch. iii. 1. “ This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you: in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:" plainly referring to the former epistle, which has been always acknowledged for Peter's. These words are express. But it might have been argued with some degree of probability from ch. i. 12-15, that he had before written to the same persons. Once more, ch. iii

. 15, 16, he calls Paul brother, and otherwise so speaks of him and his epistles, as must needs be reckoned most suitable to an apostle. a See Vol. ii. p. 369, 370. 383.

• P. 369.

i P. 362.

* P. 385 and 388. P. 370. d Vol. ii. p. 560.

?P. 338, 340, 341, •H. E. 1. 6. cap. 25, p. 227. A. See Vol. i, p. 532.

с

9 P. 370, 372. h P. 331, 332. See also p. 325.

* P. 429, 430. • Vol. ii. p. 25.

m P. 370.

• P. 428.

8 P. 302

n P. 403. P P. 340.

[ocr errors]

The writer therefore is the apostle Peter, whose name the epistle bears in the inscription.

So that we are here led to that observation, which Wall placed at the head of his notes upon this second epistle. • It is,' says . he, • a good proof of the cautiousness of the ancient Chris* tians in receiving any book for canonical, that they not only rejected all those pieces forged

by heretics, under the names of apostles: but also, if any good book affirmed by some men, • or by some churches, to have been written and sent by some apostle, were offered to them, ' they would not, till fully satisfied of the fact, receive it into their canon.' He adds: “There • is more hazard in denying this to be Peter's, than there is in denying some other books to be

of that author, to whom they are by tradition ascribed. For they, if they be not of that apostle, * to whom they are imputed, yet may be of some other apostle, or apostolical man. But this • author is either the apostle, or else by setting his name, and by other circumstances, he does

designedly personate him; which no man of piety and truth would do.' And then he concludes: This epistle being written by him but a little before his death, ch. i. 14, and perhaps no - more than one copy sent; it might be a good while before a number of copies well attested, • came abroad to the generality of the Christian churches.'

What has been just said is sufficient to confute the opinion advanced by Grotius, that this second epistle was written by Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem, after James, the Lord's brother. Indeed that opinion cannot be admitted. It is destitute of all authority from antiquity, and is inconsistent with the whole tenour of the epistle itself, or at least with many things in it. As has been well observed by · Vitringa, and has been now shewn by us.

Jerom, in his article of St. Peter, in his book of Illustrious Men, as already seen, says: • Peter 4 wrote two episties, called catholic: the second of which was by many denied to be his, • because of its differing in style from the former.' Of this he speaks likewise in his epistle to Hedibia. Basnage says, he is not able to discern such difference of style in the two epistles. However, Dr. Sherlock, now bishop of London, has largely treated of this point in his Dissertation concerning the authority of the second epistle of St. Peter. Who observes, p. 203, that

the first and third of the three chapters, into which this epistle is now divided, agree in style ' with the first epistle. The only difference is in the second chapter, the style of which is no

more like to that of the other two, than it is to that of the first epistle. The occasion of this • difference seems to be this, that in the second chapter there is a description of the false * prophets and teachers, who infested the church, and perverted the doctrines of the gospel. • Some ancient Jewish writer had left behind him a description of the false prophets of his own, • or perhaps earlier times. Which description is applied, both by St. Peter and St. Jude, to the • false teachers of their own times. It is added by his Lordship, p. 204. St. Jerom supposed, and others have followed his opinion, that St. Peter made use of different interpreters, to express his sense in his two epistles. But had that been the case, the difference of style would · have appeared in the whole, and not in one part of it only: which is the present case.

And I ..see no reason to think that St. Peter did not write both his epistles himself.'

This is the account which his lordship gives of the difference of the style, which all will allow to be ingenious, whether they admit it to be right, or not. For some may think, that 8 all this difference of style arises from the subject treated of in the second chapter.

I conclude therefore, that the two epistles, generally ascribed to the apostle Peter, are indeed his.

• Critical Notes upon the N. T. p. 358, 359.

quarum secunda a plerisque ejus esse negatur, propter styli • Scriptorem autem hujus epistolae arbitror esse Simeonem, cum priore dissonantiam. De V. I cap. i. Episcopum post Jacobi mortem Hierosolymis, ejusdemque e Habebat ergo Titum interpretem, sicut et beatus Petrus Jacobi, cujus epistolam habemus, successorem et imitatorem, Marcum; cujus Evangelium, Petro narrante, et illo scribente, &c. Grot in 2. ep. S. Petri.

compositum est. Denique et duæ epistolæ, quæ feruntur • Verum quacumque etiam specie se commendet conjec- Petri, stylo inter se et charactere discrepant, structurâque tatio hæc Grotiana, hactenus animum inducere non potui, ut verborum. Ex quo intelligimus, pro necessitate rerum cam probem. Epistola Petri posterior talis est, ut scripta diversis eum usum interpretibus. Ad Hedib. Qu. xi. T. IV. censeri nequeat ab impostore. Est enim gravis, 'et sancto · P. I. p. 183. al. ep 150 viro dignissima. Quod si ita est, certissime Petro erit vindi- 'Nos styli discrimen deprehendere non possumus. Neque canda, quia præter præfationem, non temere rejiciendam, alia continet aliquid, quod Apostolo sit indignum. Baspag. A. 63. per hanc epistolam sparsa sunt, quæ personam Petri nobis num. iii. digito quasi monstrant, ut cap. i. 18. ii. 15. Vitring. observat. Sacr. I. 4. cap. 9. num xlii.

8 Concerning this see more hereafter in the remarks upon

St. Jude's epistle, chap. xxi. near the end. • Scripsit duas epistolas, quæ catholicæ nominantur :

Mr. Ostervald, of Neufchatel, speaking of the first of these epistles, says: . It contains very ' weighty instructions, and is one of the finest books of the New Testament.' Of the second he says: • It is a most excellent epistle, as well as the foregoing, and is written with great strength • and majesty.'

Certainly, these epistles, and the discourses of Peter recorded in the Acts, together with the effects of them, are monuments of a divine inspiration, and of the fulfilment of the promise which Clirist made to him, when he saw him and his brother Andrew employed in their trade, and casting a net into the sea: “ Follow me,” said he, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt. iv. 19.

II. Concerning the persons, to whom these epistles were sent, there have been different opinions among both ancients and moderns.

Eusebius, speaking of St. Peter's first epistle, as universally acknowledged, says: . It is • inscribed by him to the Hebrews, “ scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, • and Bithynia.”! They who are desirous to know Jerom's opinion, may consider what is transcribed from him, Vol. ii, p. 560, 561. For he does not seem to me to have any settled judg. ment about the persons to whom Peter wrote. Didymus of Alexandria supposed St. Peter's first epistle to have been sent to Jews scattered abroad in several countries; to the same purpose Ecumenius, not only in his argument of the epistle, referred to by me' formerly, but also in his commentary « upon the beginning of the epistle.

Among the moderns not a few are of the same opinion, as Beza and Grotius in their notes upon the first verse of the first epistle, and Mill in his Prolegomena. Cave says, St. Peter's ', two epistles were written chiefly to Jewish Christians. Tillemont, speaking of the first epistle, says it is addressed particularly to the converted Jews in those countries, but it speaks also to the Gentiles, who had embraced the faith.

But though some of the ancients, as just seen, say, that St. Peter wrote to the believers of the circumcision, we have in the course of this work observed divers others, who say he wrote to Gentiles : as the author of the calling of the Gentiles, by some supposed to be Prosper of Aquitain: the author of the Divine Promises and Predictions, * Junilius. Cassiodorius in one place' speaks of Peter's writing to the Gentiles, in another to believing Jews. Augustine has, twice said, that “ Peter wrote to Gentiles. In like manner another author o in a sermon, joined with his works, who may be supposed to have been his disciple. Gregory, the first bishop of Rome, expresseth himself as if he thought that St. Peter's epistles were sent to all Christians in general, both Jews and Gentiles, in the countries mentioned at the beginning of the first epistle. Bede, in his prologue to the seven catholic epistles, largely cited by us formerly, says, that · St. Peter's epistles were sent to such as had been proselyted from. Gentilism to Judaism, and after that were converted to the Christian religion. He speaks again to the like purpose at the beginning of his Exposition of St. Peter's first epistle. But the Greek word, rendered by us.“ strangers,” is not equivalent to proselytes: as was observed long ago by' (Ecumenius upon the place, and since by · Basnage.

Mr. Wetstein argues from divers texts, that' the first epistle was sent to Gentiles. Mr. Hallet in his learned Introduction to the epistle to the Hebrews observes : Some,' says he,

go upon the supposition, that St. Peter's epistles were written to Jews. But it seems to me • abundantly more natural to suppose, that they were written to Gentile Christians, if we consider • many passages of the epistles themselves. Where " he proceeds to allege many passages, and, in my opinion, very pertinently. Some of which will be also alleged by me by and by.

k P. 59.

d

4 P. 79.

a See Vol. ii. p. 371.
• See p. 478.

1 P. 61. © This Vol. p. 85.

m P. 62.

n Vol. ii. p. 587. Τοις εκ περιτομης ούτος επιςελλει, ως ο μακαριος Ιακωβος: o The same.

p This Vol. p.71. αλλ' εκεινος αορισως πασι τοις υπό την οικεμενην κατοικουσιν Σημαινει δε το ονομα ταυτον τω προσηλυτω, κ. λ. Ιεδαιοις όπεδηποτε ουσιν. . Ούτος δε αφωρισμενως τοις κλιμασι cum. vol. II. p. 483. D. IlovT3. %. i. (Ecumn. T. ii. p. 482. C. D.

• Fallitur egregie Beda. -A quâ se sententiâ revocàsset, e Num. 60.

si vocem a Petro adhibitam, smide,uos, attendisset, quà reli' Reliquit post se epistolas duas, Judæis Christianis præcipue gionis proselytus nunquam designatur. Basn. An. 57. n. iv. inscriptas. H.L. T. I. p. 5.

! Ad eos, qui ex Gentibus electi sunt, ut Christo et veritati $ Il l'addresse particulièrement aux Juifs convertis dans obedirent. Cap. j. 8, 18, 21, 22, ii. 10. iv. 3. Wetsten, toutes cespr ovinces, quoiqu'elle parle aussi aux Gentils qui N. T. tom. II. p. 681. avoient enibrassé la foi. S. Pierre art. 33. Mem. T. I.

u See his introduction, p. 23-25. h This Vol. p. 22.

i P. 22, 23. VOL. III.

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »