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Old, and the New. In the Old are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the son of Nun, the Judges, Ruth, four books of the Kings, two books of the Chronicles, one book of the Psalter, five books of Solomon, that is, the Proverbs, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Ecclesiastes, the Canticles: The prophets, that is, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, 'Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, who is also called the Angel, Job, Tobit, Esther, Judith, two books of Ezra, two books of the Maccabees. After these follow the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the Acts of the apostles, the epistles of Peter to the Gentiles, the epistle of Jude, of James to the twelve tribes, of John to the Parthians, the epistles of Paul; to the Romans


one; to the Corinthians two; to the Galatians one; [to the Ephesians one;] to the Philip


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pians one; to the Colossians one; to the Hebrews one; to the Thessalonians two; to Timothy two; to Titus, one; to Philemon one; the Revelation of John.'


This catalogue, so far as relates to the Old Testament, should be compared with the canon of the third council of Carthage, formerly transcribed, with which it mightily agrees. Here, as well as there, are reckoned five books of Solomon: in both catalogues are placed Tobit, Judith, and the two books of the Maccabees: in both are reckoned two books of Ezra, meaning our Ezra and Nehemiah, without any notice of other books ascribed to Ezra. But with regard to the New Testament, there are several differences in the two catalogues, and particularly in the order of the books, as may be observed by any one.

III. Upon these catalogues, so far as relates to the New Testament, I would make two


In the first place, it seems hence to appear, that the number of books to be received as canonical scripture, had not then been determined by any authority, universally acknowledged, and submitted to by Christians: for Cassiodorius does not say so. And his manner of delivering these several catalogues seems to shew, that he had no knowledge of any such determination.

Secondly, Nevertheless there was a very general agreement among Christians concerning the books of the New Testament, which ought to be received as canonical, or the rule of faith. There is no remarkable difference in any of these catalogues: the first two have all the books of the New Testament, which are now generally received by us. And if St. John's first epistle only be mentioned in the third and last, possibly, the omission of the other two epistles is only a fault of the transcriber. However, it is well known, and allowed, that the second and third epistle of John were not universally received in the first ages. Once more, for shewing the harmony of these three catalogues, it ought to be observed, that here is no mention 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 were not any other Christian writings, which were placed by the churches upon a level with those in these catalogues.


IV. In 1721, Signor Scipio Maffei published a work of Cassiodorius, which had been long missing and in the following year the same work was published at London by my learned friend, Mr. Samuel Chandler, with the addition of a judicious preface. It is entitled, Complexions or short Commentaries upon the Epistles, the Acts of the apostles, and the Revelation.' To be more particular: These notes or complexions are upon the epistles of Paul in the following order: the epistle to the Romans, first and second to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, first and second to the Thessalonians, to the Colossians, the first and second to Timothy, to Titus, Philemon, the Hebrews. And the seven catholic epistles in this order: the first and second of Peter, the three epistles of John, the epistles of James, and Jude: the Acts of the apostles, and the Revelation.

menôn libros duos, Psalterii librum unum, Salomonis libros quinque, id est, Proverbia, Sapientiam, Ecclesiasticum, Ecclesiasten, Canticum Canticorum, Prophetas, id est, Isaïam, Jeremiam, Ezechielem, Danielem, Osee, Amos, Michæam, Joël, Abdiam, Jonam, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophoniam, Aggæum, Zachariam, Malachiam, qui et Angelus, Job, Tobiam, Esther, Judith, Esdræ duos, Maccabæorum duos. Post hæc sequuntur evangelistæ quatuor, id est, Matthæus, Marcus, Lucas, Johannes, Actus apostolorum, epistolæ Petri ad Gentes, Judæ, Jacobi ad duodecim tribus, Johannis ad Parthos, epistola

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Pauli ad Romanos una, ad Corinthios duæ, ad Galatas una [ad
Ephesios una], ad Philippenses una, ad Colossenses una, ad
Hebræos una, ad Thessalonicenses duæ, ad Timotheum duæ,
ad Titum una, ad Philemonem una, Apocalypsis Joannis.
Ibid. cap. 14. p. 516.

The epistle to the Ephesians is wanting in the edition of
Cassiodorius, which I make use of: but I suppose it to be
only an error of the press.
b Vol. ii. p. 574, 575,
Cassiodorii Senatoris Complexiones in Epistolas et Acta
Apostolorum et Apocalypsim. Florentiæ M,DOC.XXI.

1. By which it is manifest, that Cassiodorius received all the books of the New Testament which we do: for about the four gospels there can be no question. The order of the books here, and in the catalogues before transcribed, I leave to be observed by the reader: I shall, however, take notice of a few other things.

2. Cassiodorius expressly ascribes the Acts of the apostles to Luke the evangelist.

3. He seems to have had a clause in Acts viii. 39, that the Holy Ghost descended upon the Eunuch after he had been baptized by Philip.


· c

4. At Acts xiv. 19, he seems to have read a word or two wanting in our copies: And ⚫ whilst they tarried, and taught, there came from Antioch certain Jews.' Those expressions are of use to abate the surprize at the sudden change in the people at Lystra.


5. In the title prefixed to the first epistle of Peter, it is said to be written ad Gentes to [Gentiles]: but in the explication Cassiodorius speaks of Peter's writing to believing Jews in Pontus, Galatia, and Cappadocia.



6. Signor Maffei thinks, that our author had the heavenly witnesses in the fifth chapter of the first epistle of John: but that does not appear certain to me. I place the passage below: and would refer to Mr. Wetstein's observations upon it.


7. Cassiodorius says, that John had his revelation in the isle of Patmos, where he had been banished by the emperor Domitian.



I. The author's time. II. He was an Arian, and a bishop. His censures of the Homoüsians, and of all heresies in general. III. Books of the Old Testament received by him. IV. Books of the New Testament received by him. V. Books quoted which are not in our canon. VI. Select passages.


I. THE Imperfect Work upon Matthew, so called, because it has not come down to us entire, has been mentioned already. It is usually joined with St. Chrysostom's works, because it was formerly ascribed to him; though now it is generally, or universally allowed not to be a work of that eminent man.


The time of the work cannot be exactly determined: but it was written after the reigns of Constantine and Theodosius the first, of both whom the author complains, as having gone measures, by which the interests of the true principles of Christianity had been opposed and discouraged from that time to his own. In one place he speaks, as if the space of time,



Lucas, unus evangelistarum, qui doctrinam Domini cœlesti veritate conscripsit, Actus quoque apostolorum fideli narratione complexus est. Præf. in Act. Ap.

b... et ardore mentis incensus, baptizari se protinus postulavit. Quo facto, Spiritus Sanctus supra eunuchum cecidit, et Philippus subitâ translatione disparuit. In Act. viii. 38, 39. c Cumque ibi commorarentur, et docerent, supervenerunt quidam ab Antiochia. In Act. xiv. 18.

Petri apostoli ad Gentes.

* Sanctissimæ regulæ instituta concelebrans, et Petrus Apostolus Jesu Christi scribit absentibus Hebræis, qui impiâ persecutione Judæorum dispersi fuerant, et advenæ facti per Pontum, per Galatiam, per Cappadociam, per Asiam, et Bithyniam, sed tamen in Christo Jesu correctâ mente crediderant, &c. In 1 Pet. cap. i. in. f P. 251.

Cui rei testificantur in terrâ tria mysteria, aqua, sanguis, et Spiritus, quæ in passione Domini leguntur impleta; in coelo autem Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus. Et hi tres unus est Deus. In Johan. cap. v.


h Vid. Wetsten. N. T. Gr. T. ii. p. 726.

i Cum esset in insulâ Pathmo, a Domitiano Principe propter verbum Domini in exilium feliciter destinatus, Dominico die voce magnâ commonitus, &c. In Apoc. i. 9.

*See vol. ii. p. 429.

1 Opus Imperfectum in Matthæum. Tom. ìì. in Nov. Testam. edit. Morell. Toni, vi. edit. Benedictin.

Vid. Hom. 49. p. 202.

"Sic ille afflictas res Arianorum deplorat, quæ sub Constantino per Nicænam fidem depulsæ, sub Theodosio autem Magno prostratæ sunt, ita ut ab illo tempore' usque nunc,' sive usque ad auctoris tempus pessum semper ierint. Hoc autem decantat ille fere per totum librum. Montfauc. Diatrib. ad Op. Imp. n. v. p. 6. in App. Chrys. Opp. T. vi.

Et vere tardat, sed quantum ad nostram inconstantiam tardare videtur. Nam si consideremus, ex quo Christus in cœlum ascendit, et quantum vivebant homines ante diluvium, et prope tantum spatium est, quanto tempore erat uniuscujusque eorum. Hom. 52. p. 218. B..


between the ascension of Christ and his writing, was almost equal to the life of an antediluvian : which induced Mill to place this author as low as the middle of the tenth century; whereas he may be supposed to amplify beyond the truth. And in another place he speaks, as if there were still heathens, and the rights of Gentilism were still performed in the Roman empire: which, with other things, induced Montfaucon, who has carefully examined this work, to conclude it probable, that the author lived before the end of the sixth century.


II. The author seems to have been a bishop: but of what place, or of what country, is

not known.


1. He wrote not in Greek, but, probably, in Latin, the language in which we have his work.


2. The author was an Arian: he plainly condemns the Homoüsian doctrine, or the sect that believed three equal persons in the Deity, and of the same substance: where he compares them to heathen idolaters.

3. As this author often speaks very harshly of the Homoüsians, and others, whom he calls heretics, I think it not amiss to take some of those passages.


4. All heretics, he says, are armies of antichrist, but especially that, which has seized the


place of the church, and stands in the holy place, so as to seem to have the word of truth, but is indeed the abomination of desolation, and the army of antichrist, which has ruined many 'souls. Insomuch that, perhaps, this is what the apostle means in those words: "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God • sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." 2 Thess. ii. 4.

5. The heresy of the Homoüsians, he says, persecutes not only the church of Christ, meaning the author's own church, but likewise all other heresies that differ from them.

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6. He says, that his ancestors, of the same sect, had suffered greatly from heretics: meaning the Homoüsians. This he speaks of as a thing well known.

7. And now I shall transcribe below, somewhat at length, the passage before referred to, where the author complains of the proceedings in the reigns of Constantine and Theodosius.


8. The Lord represents all heresies as briars and thorns; but especially the triangular, impiety, which he foresaw would most the world.'



9. Heresies have the outward appearance of churches: but they are not churches, any more than apes are men.'

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a Jam ultra partem seculi decimi mediam provecti sumus ... sub hæc tempora, Auctor Operis Imperfecti in Matthæum, episcopus Latinus, quisquis ille (qui paulo ante etiam in evangelia Marci et Lucæ commentatus fuerat), homilias conscripsit in Matthæum, ut apparet ex suo ipsius calculo. &c. Proleg. n. 1037. Vid. eund. Proleg. n. 1360. et in Matth. vi. 13.

b Ut puta, si bene doceant Sacerdotes, et melius vivant, videntes Gentiles dicunt: Benedictus Deus, qui tales habet 'servos.'... Nam disciplina domini ex moribus familiæ demonstratur. Non sicut nostri philosophi, qui magna loquuntur, et nec modica faciunt. Hom. 10. p. 60. B.-Quos orant Gentiles, videamus, ut sciamus quare sic orant. Orant dæmones, qui etsi audiunt, exaudire non possunt... orant reges mortuos, Jovem, Mercurium... cæterosque.... Orant idola insensata. . . . Hom. 13. p. 75. E. 76. A.

< Ad hæc autem illa quæ de Theodosio Magno, et de tempore subsequenti, de Gentilium Religione quasi adhuc vigente, deque Arianismo ecclesias, episcopos, atque presbyteros passim habente. Hæc, inquam, omnia non ad nonum vel octavum, imo vix ad septimum seculum referri posse videntur. Diatrib. ibid.

d Vid. Hom. 8. p. 54. B. Hom. 32. p. 133. A.

Unde in Græco non dicit Beati pauperes,' sed egeni; vel 'beati mendici.' Hom. 9. p. 56. E.

Consequenter et hæreticis dicitur hoc. Quando enim vides hæreticos tres per omnia æquales dicentes, ejusdem esse substantiæ, ejusdem esse auctoritatis, sine principio omnes .... Implent enim mensuram patrum suorum Gentilium, quoniam et illi similiter multos deos colebant. Quando vides eos, tres unam personam dicentes, et ipsam esse Deum.... Quando vides eos confitentes, ac dicentes, quia Filius de ipsâ Patris substantiâ processit... cognosce, quia mensuram implent

patrum suorum Gentilium. Et illi enim tales Deos colebant, qui secundum carnem et generabantur, et generabant. Hom 45. p. 190. C. D.

Exercitus autem Antichristi sunt omnes hæreses, præcipue ista quæ obtinuit ecclesiæ locum, et stetit in sancto loco, ita ut videatur verbum veritatis stetisse, cum non sit verbum veritatis, sed abominatio desolationis, id est, exercitus Antichristi, qui multorum animas reddidit desolatas a Deo. Et hoc est forte quod apostolus dicit: qui adversatur, et extollitur supra omne quod dicitur Deus,' &c. m. 49. p. 202.


C. D.

" Hæresis Homoüsianorum non solum Christi ecclesiæ adversatur, sed et omnibus hæresibus non similiter sentientibus. Hom. 48. p. 200. D.

Quanta passi sunt ab hæreticis patres nostri, nullus ignorat. Hom. 46. p. 194. D.

* Et nos exposuimus hic auditiones præliorum, et fames, et terræ motus.... et concussiones Christianorum. . . . quæ ante præcesserant a tempore Constantini usque ad tempus Theodosii. Abominationem autem desolationis diximus hanc hæresim, quæ occupavit sanctæ ecclesiæ loca, et multos desolavit a fide, et ipsum exercitum Antichristi. ... intelligat esse omnia hæc mala spiritualia, quæ facta sunt tempore Constantini simul et Theodosii nsque nunc. In Matth. xxiv. Hom. 49. 202. E.

Et verum est quidem, quia spinas et tribulos omnes iniquos hæreticos appellavit. Tamen forsitan sciens Dominus hanc hæresim prævalituram præ omnibus tribulos eos apellavit, quasi Trinitatis professores, et triangulain impietatem in suâ perfidiâ bajulantes. Hom. 19. p. 95. D.

m Quoniam et simia hominis habet membra, et per omnia hominem imitatur, numquid propterea dicenda est homo?

10. Heretics are worse than heathens: for heathens blaspheme Christ ignorantly; "heretics, knowingly, oppose the true doctrine of Christ.' He speaks to the like purpose in another place.


11. As a member cut off from the body cannot live, in like manner all heretics cut off from the body of the one church, cannot have the life of Christ, nor any spiritual good things. • But their church is deserted, not by men indeed, for it abounds with evil men, who are always the most; but it is deserted by all good men, and by God himself, and all the things that are ' of God.'


12. Explaining the parable of the virgins in Matth. xxv. he says: The foolish virgins are such as have the faith entire, but want works of righteousness. Whereas Jews and heretics ⚫ have not faith, nor works; nor can have them: and if they had the oil of works, it could not 'profit them, because they have not faith to enkindle it.'

13. Upon Matth. vii. 27. " And great was the fall of it:" he says, that heresy is worse than fornication, adultery, or murder. For if a Christian should offend in any of those points, he may repent, as David did: but if a Christian turns Gentile, or heretic, his fall is great and his ruin complete and final.

14. Descanting upon Matth. xxii. 33. "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers:" he' resembles heretics to serpents on more accounts than one. Where he also observes, what is com ommonly said of heretics, that they are not uniform and consistent, but very various and unsteady in their sentiments.

15. He decries the baptism of heretics, as altogether invalid, and of no use to them who have it: upon this point he declares his opinion again and again.


16. I do not transcribe these things with approbation, nor with a view of recommendation: far from it. I think that severity of judgment, and bitterness of spirit, toward people of different sentiments ought to be disliked in all men, whatever be their denomination. But as I have taken the liberty in the course of this work, to observe the defects of moderation in Amphilochius, Gregory Nazianzen, Jerom, 'Cassian, and others; I have thought it not improper to transcribe all these passages, for shewing the temper of this writer also: which appears to me to be far from being commendable, or deserving imitation.



III. My chief concern is with the New Testament: nevertheless I shall take some notice of this writer's regard for the Old Testament also.

1. He has quoted most or all the books of the Old Testament: particularly" the book of Ruth, and the Canticles.


Sic et hæresis omnia ecclesiæ habet et imitatur mysteria. Sed non sunt ecclesiæ. Hom. 19. p. 93. C.

a Hæreticos Gentibus esse pejores, dubitat nemo; primum, quia Gentiles per ignorantiam Christum blasphemant, hæretici autem scientes Christi laniant veritatem. Hom, 30. p. 128. C. b Quoniam Gentiles veritatem spernunt, quam non audierunt; Judæi autem, quam non crediderunt; Hæretici autem, quam audierunt et didicerunt. Hom. 41. p. 176. C.

* Sicut autem membrum, a corpore præcisum vivere non potest.. sic et omnes hæretici, præcisi a corpore unius ecclesiæ, nec vitam Christi in se habere possunt, nec viriditatem gratiæ spiritualis: sed est ecclesia eorum deserta; non ab hominibus; abundat enim perversis hominibus, quomodo semper malorum major est copia quam bonorum: sed deserta est a sanctis, deserta est a sanctitate, a fide, a veritate, a gratiâ, a Spiritu, deserta denique est ab ipso Deo, et a bonis omnibus quæ sunt Dei, &c. Hom. 46. p. 197. B. C. D.

Fatuæ autem virgines sunt, quia fidem Christi integram habent, opera autem justitiæ non habent. Judæi vero et hæretici neque fidem habent, neque opera possunt habere. Sed etsi operum oleum habent, nihil eis prodest, quia lampades fidei non habent, quas accendant. Hom. 52. p. 217. E.

Et erit ruina ejus magna. .. sic et Christianus, si aut fornicatus fuerit, aut adulteratus, aut homicidium fecerit, cecidit quidem; tamen ruina ejus magna non est, quia iterum pœnitentiâ surgere potest, sicut David. Si autem de fundamento fidei aliquid fuerit passus; id est, si prævaricatus fuerit, et ad Gentiles aut hæreticos transierit, tunc est ruina ejus magna, quia totus funditus ruit. Hom. 20. p. 99. C. D.

'Serpentes enim sunt et omnes hæretici, prudentes in malo, et stulti in bono. Et sicut serpentes varii sunt in corpore suo, sic hæretici varii sunt in erroribus suis, et multiplices in malignitate. Hom. 41. p. 191. D. E.

8 Vide, doctores hæretici quid dicuntur a Christo? Devoratores. Si ergo eruditus es ab hæreticis, raptus es, non eruditus, non pastus. Si baptizatus ab eis es, devoratus es, non salvatus. Nam luporum est devorare, non salvare. Hom. 19. p. 94. C. D.-Quomodo autem nudus vestiat nudum, aut quomodo mendicus faciat alterum divitem? Sic et ipse," qui baptizatus non est, quomodo alteri potest baptismum dare? Secundum hoc et de hæreticis dicimus: Quia ubi est fides, illic est ecclesia: ubi ecclesia, ibi Sacerdos: ubi Sacerdos, ibi baptismus: ubi baptismus, ibi Christianus. Ubi autem fides non est, ibi nec ecclesia est: ubi ecclesia non est, nec Sacerdos est: ubi Sacerdos non est, nec baptismus: ubi baptismus non est, nec Christianus fit aliquis. Hom. 6. p. 51. B. C. Vid. et Hom. 3. p. 38. B.

↳ See val. ii. p. 473, 474.

i The same, p. 471.

* Vol. ii. p. 536, 537.

1 See this vol. p. 18.

m Hic itaque Booz accepit uxorem Moabitidem, nomine Ruth. Quomodo accepit eam, exponere existimavi_superfluum, cum de his scriptura sit omnibus manifesta. Hom. 1. p. 16. C.

"Sic in ecclesiâ, quæ hortus est Christi, Salomone dicente. [Cant. iv. 12.] Hom. 20. p. 95. C.-Sicut in Canticis ex personâ ecclesiæ Sapientia dicit. Hom. 13. p. 75. E.


2. The book of Ecclesiasticus is often quoted in this work: sometimes as Sirach's, several times as Solomon's.

3. The book of Wisdom is quoted as Solomon's.


4. This author quotes the second book of the Maccabees.


5. He has also quoted Tobit.

6. There are several other apocryphal books, relating to the Old Testament quoted by him. 7. As the book of Seth.

8. Another book, how called, is not quite clear; whether Isaiah, or Hezekiah.

9. From some apocryphal book, though not expressly named by him, he had learned the names of the two daughters of Adam, married to Cain and Ábel.

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IV. I now proceed to take this writer's testimony to the books of the New Testament.

1. It may be worth while to observe somewhat particularly what he says of the evangelists Matthew and John in the Prologue or Introduction to his Commentary upon St. Matthew's gospel.

2. The occasion of Matthew's writing was said to be this; There being a great persecution • in Palestine, so that there was danger, lest all the faithful should be dispersed; that they might ⚫ not be without teaching, though they should have no teachers, they requested Matthew to write ⚫ for them a history of all Christ's words and works, that wherever they should be, they might ⚫ have with them the ground of their faith. That he began with Christ's nativity, according to the flesh, was owing to the unbelieving Jews, who denied Jesus to be descended from David. The body of his history is disposed in this manner; First, he relates Christ's nativity, then his baptism, after that his temptation, in the fourth place his doctrine, in the fifth place his miracles, in the sixth his passion, in the seventh his resurrection, and ascension. Matthew is an evange⚫ list of saints, but more especially of sinners; who preached the gospel to sinners not only in word, but by the example also of his own repentance; nor would he, who had been a publican, • employed in collecting perishable riches, have been made an evangelist, to write words that • should endure for ever, unless by his example he had encouraged sinners to hope for mercy.'


3. In his first homily upon St. Matthew, that is, in the beginning of his Commentary, he



• John wrote for the Gentiles, when he was in banishment among them. He wrote for Gentiles ⚫ and therefore he wrote in Greek. Matthew wrote in Hebrew for the Jews, that they might be edified in the faith. John began his gospel as he does, because the Gentiles did not know, ⚫ that God had a Son, nor how he was begotten.' So this writer.

4. I would observe farther, that in this work all the four gospels are largely quoted; and that

• Nam in Sirach Libro adventum Christi sic deprecatur. Hom. 30. p. 126. C.

Vid. Hom. 2. p. 33. C. Hom. 12. p. 67. D. Hom. 17. p. 89. B. C. Hom. 28. p. 120. D. E. Hom. 29. p. 123. A. Hom. 36. p. 154. C. Hom. 41. p. 174. E. Hom. 51. p. 215. D. Hom. 1. p. 25. C.

Hom. 39. p. 163. B. Hom. 24. p. 105. A.

d Hom. 25. p. 112. C.

e Hom. 26. p. 115. B. Hom. 1. p. 26. C. Hom. 13. p. 74.

C. D.

f Audivi aliquos referentes de quâdam scripturâ, etsi non certâ, tamen non destruente fidem, sed potius delectante, quoniam erat quædam gens sita in ipso principio Orientis juxta Oceanum, apud quos ferebatur quædam scriptura, inscripta nomine Seth, de appariturâ hac stellâ et muneribus ei hujusmodi offerendis. Hom. 2. p. 28. D. E.

Denique cum ægrotâsset Ezechias in tempore quodam, et venisset ad eum Esaïas propheta visitandum, vocavit Ezechias filium suum Manassen, et cœpit ei mandare, quod debeat Deum timere, quomodo regere regnum, et alia multa. Et dixit ed eum Esaïas: Vere quia non descendunt verba tua in cor ejus; sed et meipsum oportet per manum ejus interfici. Quod audiens Ezechias, volebat filium suum interficere, &c. Hom. 1. p. 21. A.

-quomodo aliquando licuit et sorores habere uxores ? quomodo habuerunt Caïn et Abel? Hæc nomina filiarum. Adam, quas in initio habuit post Caïn et Abel, Risam et Edoclam, et non peccaverunt. Hom. 1. p. 24. A.


'Sicut referunt, Matthæum conscribere evangelium causa compulit talis. Cum facta fuisset in Palæstinâ persecutio gravis, et periclitarentur dispergi omnes, ut carentes forte doctoribus fidei non carerent doctrinâ, petierunt Matthæum, ut omnium verborum et operum Christi conscriberet eis historiam, ut, ubicumque essent futuri, totius secum haberent fidei statum. Quod autem ab humanâ ejus cœpit nativitate, et humanam ejus generationem exposuit, compulit impia impudentia Judæorum, denegantium Jesum Christum de David semine ducere genus. Corpus autem narrationis suæ ordinavit hoc modo. Primum nativitatem, deinde baptismum, tertio tentationem, in quarto doctrinam, in quinto miracula, in sexto passionem, in septimo resurrectionem et ascensionem ejus... Matthæus, sanctorum quidem, præcipue tamen peccatorum evangelista, qui non solum sermone, sed etiam ipsâ vitæ suæ correctione peccatoribus evangelium prædicavit. Nunquam enim telonarius constitutus, qui consueverat pecunias colligere perituras, factus fuisset evangelista, ut sermones conscriberet in æternum mansuros, nisi suo exemplo peccatores ad misericordiam pœnitentiæ invitaret, &c. Prolog ib. p. 11.

* Quoniam Joannes, inter Gentes in exilio constitutus, Græco sermone evangelium causâ Gentium scripsit: quæ non cognoscebant, si Deus filium habet, aut quomodo genitumi habet.... Matthæus autem evangelium Judæis Hebraico sermone conscripsit, sicut jam diximus supra, ut Judæi legentes ædificarentur in fide. Hom. 1. p. 11. et 12.


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