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much as it can. There may be some foundation for this conjecture, since Clement has never called this book scripture, nor mentioned the name of the author or com
poser of it.
Upon the whole, it must be allowed to be difficult to decide, what authority Clement assigned to this book ; but, at the same time, I see no proofs of his esteeming it a book of sacred scripture, in the highest meaning of these terms.
I would observe in general, concerning the Preaching of Peter, which contained, as it seems, a history of the preaching of Peter chiefly, but also of the preaching of Paul, and perhaps of some others : that if it had been composed by an apostolical man, a disciple of apostles, intimately acquainted with them, and there had been a credible tradition concerning the book, and the author of it; it might be a book of sacred authority, like the Acts of the apostles, written by Luke, an apostolical man: provided also, that it had in it nothing manifestly false and absurd
d; as I suppose it would not, if it had been written by such a person, and credibly witnessed to as such. But hitherto we have not met with, as I apprehend, any testimony to this book, the Preaching of Peter, that it was written by an apostle, or an apostolical man.
No one, I hope, will be offended at the prolixity of the argument upon this question, who considers the importance of it.
' I have discoursed largely of St. Clement's opinion of the authority of this book : I add a conjecture concerning the age of it. It was written before the end of the second century, as appears from Clement's quotations of it; it was written after the Sibylline Verses, because it refers to them. If therefore they were composed about the middle of the second century, this book was written somewhat later. That the Sibylline Verses are referred to in this book, the Preaching of Peter, appears to me probable from two quotations of it in St. Clement, which I here put down. · That, as God desired the salvation of the Jews, giving them prophets ; so, likewise, raising up the most approved of the Greeks to be prophets to them in their own language, as they were able to receive the divine beneficence, he distinguished them from the bulk of mankind, the apostle Paul will manifest in the Preaching of Peter, saying : “ Take likewise the Greek books. Consider the Sybil, how she declares the one God, and things future. Take also and read Hystaspes, and you will there find the Son of God most clearly and evidently described?” Str. I. vi. p. 636. C. D. See Blondel Des Sibylles, 1. i. cap. 5. This suits our Sibylline Verses ; beside that it also shows, that the Preaching of Peter was written after Hystaspes, another forgery. In the other passage the Sibylline Verses are plainly described : • Whence also Peter in The Preaching, speaking of the apostles, says: “ But when we had perused the books which we had of the prophets, mentioning Jesus Christ sometimes in parables, sometimes enigmatically, sometimes clearly and expressly; we found his coming, and death, and cross, and all the other sufferings which the Jews inflicted on him, and his resurrection and assump
3. The Revelation of Peter is to be next considered. Of this Eusebius has informed us, that Clement in his Institutions, where he had written notes upon divers books of scripture that were contradicted, had written notes also upon this. And it still appears quoted_twice or thrice in the Extracts of The Scriptures of the Prophets, supposed to be a fragment of Clement's Institutions, or collected out of them. But that this was not esteemed by Clement a book of authority, may be concluded froin what Eusebius says in the passage lately cited from him, that it had not been delivered as a catholic writing' or scripture: and
• secondly, in that it is not quoted in any of the remaining works of Clement. If it had been reckoned by him a book of that character, it is very probable it would have been there quoted.
4. Clement has a passage too, which Grabe * supposes to have been in a book called the Acts of Peter: but if it was, it is plain this book was not owned by Clement, as a book of scripture; since he has never quoted it, and this passage is introduced by Clement as an uncertain report. They say y therefore of Peter,' and what follows: which shows, it is a matter of which he was not well assured.
5. Clement has likewise cited a book called Traditions
tion to heaven, before the building of Jerusalem, as all these things had been written, which he was to suffer, and which should be after him." Str. 1. vi. p. 678. Α. Β. [καθως εγεγραπτο ταυτα παντα, α εδει αυτον παθειν, και μετ' αυτον α εςαι. So I propose these words should be pointed, and I have translated them accordingly.] For the original words I must refer the more learned and inquisitive to St. Clement himself : but.every one may judge of the probability of this argument from what we shall hereafter produce out of the Sibylline books. I would only observe farther at present, that whereas Peter in this second passage speaks of the books of the prophets, in the style of the christian writers about this time, the Sibyl is often called a prophet or prophetess, particularly by St. Clement himself. Adm. ad Gent. p. 17. B. 32. D. 33. A. In the first of these quotations likewise he calls the Sibyls, prophets. So also Theoph. ad Aut. I. ii. p. 112. A. B. Nor ought it to be reckoned any objection against this opinion, that this book was cited by Heracleon, a follower of Valentinus, as we learn from Origen. Comm. in Johan. T. xiv. p. 211. E. Indeed, Heracleon is placed by Grabe at the year 123. Spic. T. i. p. 62. But his age is not certain. Vid. Massuet, Dissert. præv. in Irenæ. p. 52. sect. 93. He might live much longer. His master Valentinus continued to the time of Anicetus, as we are assured by so good authority as that of St. Irenæus, I. iii. cap. 4. sect. 3. It is needless to guess at the writer of the Preaching of Peter ; but possibly he is the author of the Sibylline Verses. He might well be fond of so curious a work, and recommend it in his following performances : it is very likely they were not his only forgery. See Jones, New and Full Method, vol. i. p. 453—456. w Sect. 41, 48, 49.
* Vid. Spic. Patr. T. i. p. 79. Y Φασι γουν τον μακαριον Πετρον, κ. λ. Str. 1. vii. p. 736. Β. * Ματθιας εν ταις παραδοσεσι παραινων. Str. 1. ii. p. 380. Α.
of Matthias, or Traditions in general, in which are some words ascribed to Matthias. But, from the places in which he mentions these Traditions, it is evidenta he did not rely upon them, if he did not think them forged by some heretics. The passages of Clement, in which he mentions or refers to these Traditions, are collected by Grabe b and • Jones, to whom the reader is referred. There is no need we should insist any longer upon them here.
But, beside the passages collected by those learned men from Clement's remaining Greek works, there is another passage
in the Latin Adumbrations upon the first epistle of St. John, taken from some traditions : which passage_supposeth the genuineness of that epistle of St. John. Beausobre is of opinion, thate this passage was in a work of Leucius, called Travels of the Apostles.”
6. Clement has also a saying, which he is supposed to ascribe to our Lord : • Ask,'s says he, ‘ great things, and the small shall be added to you. These words are not exactly in any of our gospels, and it has been suspected that he took them out of some other gospel ; but it has been sufficiently shown, that Clement owned only our four gospels. This passage may be allowed then to be a loose quotation of the sense of Matt. vi. 33, without confining himself exactly to the words of the text. Mr. Jonesh was much of this opinion, when he says : Clement rather
• . • chose to expound the words, [of Matt. vi. 33.] than
literally to cite them. And this is most undeniably • proved by another place, which I find in the same Clement, where he both produces the text, and these words
Λεγάσι γεν (Carpocratiani] και τον Ματθιαν ουτως διδαξαι. Str. 1. iii. p. 436. D. Vid. et Str. I. vii. p. 765. B.
b Spic. Patr. T. ii. p. 117, 118.
© New and Full Method of settling the canonical Authority of the N. T. vol. i. p. 316. et seq.
Fertur ergo in traditionibus, quoniam Joannes ipsum corpus quod crat extrinsecus tangens manum suam in profunda misisse, et ei duritiam carnis nullo modo reluctatam esse, sed locum manui præbuisse discipuli. Propter quod et infert : Et manus nostræ contrectaverunt de verbo vitæ, &c. Adumbr. in 1 Joh. i. 1. p. 1009.
e Comnie on opposoit aux Docetes la prédication et les écrits des apôtres, il y en eut d'assez hardis pour composer de faux Actes de ces saints hommes, où ils les faisoient parler conformément à leurs erreurs. C'est ce que fit en particulier Leuce Carin, dans un livre, qu'il intitula Les Voyages des Apôtres. Clement d'Alexandrie l'a cité sous le nom de Traditions, dans un petit Commentaire sur la 1 Ep. de S. Jean.—Nous verrons tout à l'heure, que cette fable se trouvoit dans Les Voyages de S. Jean par Leuce. Beaus. Hist. de Manich. T. i. p. 383.
f See ch. Ixii. sect. vi. numb. ix. 8 Αιτεισθε γαρ, φησι, τα μεγαλα, και τα μικρα υμιν προσεθησεται. Str. 1. i. p. 346. B.
ń As before, p. 553. VOL. II.
as an exposition. Seek ye first the i kingdom of heaven • and its righteousness, “ for these are the great things; • but the small things,” and things relating to this life, • these shall be added to you.' Perhaps this exposition was added to the 33d verse of the sixth chapter of Matthew, in some copies of that gospel. The curious may do well to consult Mill upon the place.
This is the only saying of Christ,' not in our gospels, taken out of Clement, in Grabe's collection k of these things. As for any quotations of words of Christ from the gospel according to the Hebrews, or the gospel according to the Egyptians, we have sufficiently considered them already, in what has been said of those gospels.
I think, upon the whole, it appears that there is no good reason to suppose
that St. Clement received as 'scripture,' in the highest sense of the word, any christian writings beside the books of the New Testament, now commonly received by us.
XIV. I have as yet taken no particular notice of St. Clement's opinion of the Sibylline books : for, if they are genuine, they are not a christian, but a Jewish or a heathen writing, published long before the nativity of our Saviour. However, I think myself obliged to acknowledge, before I conclude this chapter, that St. Clement, St. Theophilus, and some other Greek fathers of the second century, had a much greater respect for the Sibyls than they deserved : for I am well satisficd that the Sibylline Verses quoted by them are the forgery of some christian. The ancient Sibylline Verses did not recommend the worship of the one God alone, condemning all manner of idolatry, as these do which are cited by Justin, m Theophilus, and Clement: not to mention at present any other things. Nevertheless it must be owned, that Clement calls the Sibyl a prophetess, and seems to quote her verses as scripture, in the strictest sense of the word, P together with the scriptures of
Ζητειτε δε πρωτον την βασιλειαν των ερανων, και την δικαιοσυνην ταυτα γαρ μεγαλα τα δε μικρα, και περι τον βιον, ταυτα προστιθησεται υμιν. Str. 1. iv. p. 488. A.
Spic. Patr. T. i. p. 14. | Cohort. ad Gr. p. 16, 17.
m Ad Autol. 1. ii. p. 112, 113. Admon. ad Gent. p. 32. D. 41. ß. et alibi.
“Ωρα τοινυν,-επι τας προφητικας ειναι γραφας-γραφαι δε αι θειαι, και πολιτειαι σωφρονες, συντομοι σωτηριας οδοι.----αυτικα γεν η προφητις ημιν ασατω πρωτη Σιβυλλα το ασμα το σωτηριον-ενθεως σφοδρα την μεν απατην απεικαζεσα τη σκοτει.---- -Ιερεμιας δε ο προφητης, ο πανσοφος, μαλλον
ó δε εν Ιερεμια το άγιον πνευμα. κ. λ. Adm. ad G. p. 50. C. D. 51. Α.
p If the Sibylline Verses are the prophetical books recommended in the Preaching of Peter, as appears probable from what has been said at note", p. 255, 256, they seem to be represented also as ancient and divine scripture by the author
the Old Testament: so that if there be any books improperly advanced by him into the rank of sacred scripture, we may say that the Sibylline are the books. But yet, after all, I think it not likely that he did esteem them of equal authority with the books of the Jewish canon.
I shall observe but one thing more : That Clement himself affords us evidence, that those verses, which he quotes to the Greeks, were rejected by them in his time. For having proposed to them the • Sibylo prophetess, as a mistress' to teach them, and quoted some verses from her, he adds: “ But if you do not choose to hearken to a prophetess, hear your philosopher, the Ephesian Heraclitus. Why should they not hearken to a prophetess as readily as to a philosopher ? Clement gives us the reason : the philosopher was theirs, the prophetess not. The heathen people therefore knew nothing of these verses till they were found out, or rather forged, by some christian, and then incautiously and imprudently recommended by others.
POLYCRATES. HIS HISTORY.
POLYCRATESa was bishop of the church of Ephesus, the latter part of the second century. He was the eighth christian bishop of his family. About the year 196, he called a numerous synod of the bishops of Asia, upon occasion of the controversy about the time of celebrating Easter, which was then kept by the churches of Asia Minor on the fourteenth day of the moon, on whatever day of the week it happened; but by the Romans, and most other churches, on the Lord's day following. Victor, bishop of of that work. I shall transcribe his words, to be considered by those who are so disposed. So Peter goes on in the place there cited: KaOws eyeypanto ταυτα παντα, α εδει αυτον παθειν, και μετ' αυτον α εσαι. Ταυτα 8ν επιγνοντες, επιςευσαμεν τω θεώ δια των γεγραμμενων εις αυτον. Και μετ' ολιγα επιφερει παλιν, θεια προνοια τας προφητειας γεγενησθαι παρισας ώδε Εγνωμεν γαρ ότι ο θεος αυτα προσεταξεν οντως, και εδεν ατερ γραφης λεγομεν. Str. 1. vi. p. 678. B.
Διδασκαλον δε υμιν παραθησομαι την TT popntiv X:Bullav. Adm. ad G. p. 32. D.
Συ δε, αλλ' ει μη προφητεδος επακοεις, το γε σε ακεσον φιλοσοφο το Εφεσια Ηρακλειτε. Ιbid. p. 33. Β. a Vid. Fus. H. E. l. iii. cap. 31. 1. v. cap. 24.