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which they had received, upon the ground of a very sure and credible testimony of the churches, from the time of writing them to his own age.
In° a word,' says he, if it be certain, that is most genuine which is most ancient, that most ancient which is from the beginning, and that from the beginning which is from the apostles; in like manner it will be also certain, that has been delivered from the apostles which is held sacred in the churches of the apostles. Let us then see, what milk the Corinthians received from Paul; to what the Galatians were reduced ; what the Philippians read; what the Thessalonians, the Ephesians, and likewise what the Romans recite, who are near to us, with whom both Peter and Paul left the gospel sealed with their blood. We have also churches which are the disciples of John: for though Marcion rejects his Revelation, the succession of bishops traced up to the beginning will show it to have John for its author. We know also the original of other churches (that is, that they are apostolical]. I say then, that with thern, but not with them only which are apostolical, but with all who have fellowship with them in the same faith, is that gospel of Luke received from its first publication, which we so zealously maintain :' that is, the genuine entire gospel of Luke, not that which had been curtailed and altered by Marcion. He adds presently afterwards : • The same
P authority of the apostolical churches will support the other gospels, which we have from thein, and according to them (that is, according to their copies] : I mean John's and Matthew's; although that likewise which Mark published may be said to be Peter's, whose interpreter Mark
• In summâ, si constat id verius quod prius, id prius quod et ab initio, id ab initio quod ab apostolis ; pariter utique constabit, id esse ab apostolis traditum, quod apud ecclesias apostolorum fuerit sacrosanctum. Videamus, quod lac a Paulo Corinthii hauserint; ad quam regulam Galatæ sint recorrecti; quid legant Philippenses, Thessalonicenses, Ephesii; quid etiam Romani de proximo sonent; quibus evangelium et Petrus et Paulus sanguine quoque suo signatum reliquerunt. Habemus et Joannis alumnas ecclesias. Nam, etsi Apocalypsin ejus Marcion respuit, ordo tamen episcoporum ad originem recensus in Joannem stabit auctorem. Sic et cæterarum generositas recognoscitur. Dico itaque apud illas, nec solas jam apostolicas, sed apud universas, quæ illis de societate sacramenti confæderantur, id evangelium Lucæ ab initio editionis suæ stare, quod cum maxime tuemur. Adv. Marcion, 1. iv. cap. 5. p. 505. B.
p Eadem auctoritas ecclesiarum apostolicarum cæteris quoque patrocinabitur evangeliis, quæ proinde per illas, et secundum illas habemus ; Joannis dico et Matthæi; licct et Marcus quod edidit, Petri adfirmetur, cujus interpres Marcus : iam et Lucæ Digestum Paulo adscribere solent. Capit magis trorum videri, quæ discipuli promulgârint. Ibid. c. 5. p. 505. C. D.
For Luke's Digest also is often ascribed to Paul. And indeed it is easy to take that for the master's, which the disciples have published.'
IV. It has been sometimes said, that Tertullian here supposes the gospels of Mark and Luke to have been reviewed, and then approved and confirmed, by the apostles Peter and Paul; since he is willing to allow them to be the gospels of those apostles, though written by apostolical men.
But I think that Tertullian means no more, than that they were the gospels of these apostles for the matter or substance of them. He had just before mentioned particularly the authority of the gospels written by Matthew and John, who were apostles : he adds, that the other two, though written by apostolical men, were of the like authority ; because it is reasonable to suppose that what the disciples published is the same that was taught by their masters, or perfectly agreeable to their doctrine : and therefore what they have published has in it the very authority of those apostles.
He supposes, likewise, that the gospels of Mark and Luke are confirmed and authorized by the gospels of Matthew and John, without intimating in the least that they were reviewed, and expressly approved, by either of these apostles. This is apparent from what he says at the beginning of the first passage here cited : · If also apostolical men, not them alone, but with apostles, and after apostles. Forasmuch as the preaching or work] of the disciples inight have been suspected as liable to the charge of a desire of glory, if not supported by the authority of the masters, yea of Christ, who made the apostles masters.'
This is still more apparent from what follows in the same book against Marcion, when he says, that if 9 · Marcion had introduced a gospel under the name of Paul bimself, that work alone would not be of sufficient credit, if u
unsupported by his predecessors. For it would be reasonable to
9 Ut et si sub ipsius Pauli nomine evangelium Marcion intulisset, non sufficeret ad fidem singularitas instrumenti, destituto patrocinio antecessorum. Exigeretur enim id quoque evangelium quod Paulus invenit, cui fidem dedit, cui mox suum congruere gestiit. Siquidem propterea Hierosolymam ascendit ad cognoscendos apostolos et consultandos.--Igitur si ipse illuminator Lucæ auctoritatem antecessorum et fidei et prædicationi suæ optavit, quanto magis eam evangelio Lucæ ex postulem, quæ evangelio magistri ejus fuit necessaria? Aliud est, si penes Marcionem a discipulatu Lucæ cæpit religionis christianæ sacramentum. Cæterum, si et retro decucurrit, habuit utique authenticam paraturam, per quam ad Lucam usque pervenit, cujus testimonio adsistente, Lucas quoque possit admitti. Adv. Marcion, 1. iv. c. 2.
p. 503. C.
consider what was that gospel wbich was in being before Paul. He then insists on Paul's journey to Jerusalem, to confer with those who were apostles before him, and says: • If even Luke's instructor wished to have the authority of his predecessors for his faith and preaching, how much more may I desire it [their authority, the authority of the former apostles] for Luke's gospel, which was necessary for the gospel of his master ?' And more follows there to the like purpose. That is, I may justly expect that Luke's gospel be found agreeable to the gospels written by apostles, or I cannot receive it as of authority.
And he supposes that the preaching and gospels of apostles derive their authority from Christ himself, who made them masters : not that their gospels were reviewed and approved by Christ, but because it is reasonable to conclude, that what they bave written is no other than the doctrine which they received from him, and which he cominanded them to publish to the world. So in another place!
r he calls the whole collection of the gospels, the gospel of the Lord.' They are his gospel for the matter and substance, not as written, or expressly approved by him after they were written.
Exactly in this manner had Justin Martyr spoke before, calling the gospelss the • Commentaries,' or histories, of • the apostles of Christ :' not that they were all written by apostles, but because they contain the doctrines and sense of the apostles, as u Dodwell justly explains him. Justin also calls them. His,'" that is, Christ's commentaries, [not Peter's commentaries, meaning St. Mark's gospel, as Mr. Jones " supposed,] as containing the doctrine preached by Cbrist during his ministry here upon earth. .
Tertullian's opinion then was this: That the gospels of Mark and Luke are supported by the authority of the
"Unus omnino baptismus est nobis, tam ex Domini evangelio, quam ex apostoli literis. De Baptismo, c. 15. p. 262. C. And see before, n. ii.
“Ως εν τοις απομνημονευμασι των αποσολων αυτο 8ednlwrat. Justin. p. 559. C.
! See before, ch. x. n. iii. p. 132. u Sic autem illa tribuit [Justinus] apostolis, quod apostolorum dogmata mentemque complecterentur, ut una tamen aliorum agnoscat in scriptione operam qui fuerint apostolos sectati. Dissert. Iren. i. sect. 40. p. 70.
Και το ειπειν μετωνoμακεναι αυτον Πετρον ενα των αποσολων, και γεγραφθαι εν τοις απομνημονευμασιν αυτ8 γεγενημενον και τετο. 333. D.
w New and Full Method, &c. vol. iii. p. 92. If there be any difficulty in understanding this of Christ, it might be conjectured, that, instead of avt8, Justin wrote avrwv, meaning the apostles : but I see no difficulty herein, as we find the scriptures of the New Testament in general sometimes called the scriptures of the Lord, [See ch. xii. p. 146,] and the collection of gospels, “ the gospel of the Lord.”
apostles; forasmuch as it is reasonable to think that they contain the very doctrine of the apostles Peter and Paul, whom they particularly attended ; and are also agreeable to the gospels written by the apostles Matthew and John; and have the testimony of the churches that they are genuine : and all the gospels are authorized by Christ, as truly representing his doctrine. Or : It may be depended upon that the gospels were written by the persons whose names they bear. "The apostles have truly preached and written the doctrine they received from Christ. The apostolical men have also faithfully published in writing what they received from apostles. All the gospels are therefore supported by the authority of apostles, yea, of Jesus Christ.
It is likewise plain why this high authority is ascribed to the apostles above all others : they were immediately appointed by Cbrist to publish the gospel to the world"; and * had the largest measure of the gifts of the Spirit, a measure peculiar to themselves.
V. In these passages we have seen the authority, genuineness, and sincerity of all the four gospels asserted with the fullest assurance, and upon the best ground. I shall nevertheless add a few more concerning the gospels of St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. John.
1. “And y especially Matthew, the most faithful historian of the gospel, as being a companion of the Lord, for no other reason than that we might be informed of the origin of Christ according to the flesh, began in this manner : “ The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”' He quotes likewise some of the last words of this gospel : · Baptism? is appointed, and the form prescribed : “Go ye,” says he,“ teach the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”' 2. • Moreover, Lukea was not an apostle, but apostolical ;
Sequere admonitionem cui divinitas patrocinatur. Spiritum quidem Dei etiam fideles habent, sed non omnes fideles apostoli. Cum ergo qui se fidelem dixerat, adjecit postea, Spiritum Dei se habere, quod nemo dubitaret etiam de fideli; idcirco id dixit, ut sibi apostoli fastigium redderet. Proprie enim apostoli Spiritum Sanctum habent in operibus prophetiæ et efficacià virtutum, documentisque linguarum, non ex parte, quod cæteri
. De Exhort. Cast. c. 4. p. 667. B.
y Ipse in primis Matthæus, fidelissimus evangelii
commentator, it comes Domini, non aliam ob causam quam ut nos originis Christi carnalis compotes faceret, ita exorsus est: Liber genituræ Jesu Christi, filii David, filii Abraham. De Carne Christi, c. 22. p. 376. C.
> Lex enim tinguendi imposita est, et forma præscripta. Ite, inquit, docete nationes, tinguentes eas in nomen Patris et Filii et Spiritûs Sancti. De Baptismo, cap. 13. p. 262. B.
a Porro Lucas non apostolus, sed apostolicus ; non magister sed discipulus;
not a master, but a disciple; certainly less than his master; certainly so inuch later, as he is a follower of Paul, the last of the apostles. I have put down this passage, as expressing
' I again the true character of Luke: but Tertullian does not say this with a design to diminish St. Luke's testimony, whose gospel he just now said he and all christians in general • zealously maintained ;' but because Marcion, with whom he is here arguing, received Luke's gospel only, and b curtailed even that.
3. Having quoted many passages out of St. John's gospel, he adds: “ How e these things were spoken, certainly so famous an evangelist and disciple as John knew better than Praxeas.'
VI. The Acts of the Apostles are often quoted by Tertullian under that title.
1. • So that d afterwards,' says he,we find, in the Acts of the Apostles, that they who had John's baptism had not received the Holy Ghost, nor so much as heard whether there was any, Acts xix. 1, 2, 3. Once, and I think but once, he has expressly ascribed this book to St. Luke; calling ite • Luke's commentary,' or history. 2. He had a great respect for this book. And trulyf
• he [Christ] fulfilled the promise he had made; [of sending the Spirit, who should lead the disciples into all truth ;] the Acts of the Apostles attesting the descent of the Holy Spirit. Which scripture they who do not receive, cannot be of the Holy Spirit; nor can they prove the Holy Spirit to have been sent to the disciples, nor can they defend the church : forasmuch as they have nothing to show, when, and with what beginnings, this body was formed.'
This passage shows the great authority and usefulness of utique magistro minor; certe tanto posterior, quanto posterioris apostoli sectator Pauli sine dubio. Adv. Marc. I. iv. c. 2. p. 503. B.
• Nam ex iis commentatoribus quos habemus, Lucam videtur Marcion elegisse, quem cæderet. Ibid.
© Hæc quomodo dicta sint, evangelizator, et utique tam clarus discipulus Joannes, magis quam Praxeas novit. Adv. Praxeam. cap. 23. p. 655. D.
d Adeo postea in Actis apostolorum invenimus, quoniam qui Joannis baptismum habebant, non accepissent Spiritum Sanctum, quem ne auditu quidem noverant. De Baptismo, cap. 10. p. 260. B.
e Porro, cum in eodem commentario Lucæ, et tertia hora orationis demonstretur, sub quâ Spiritu Sancto initiati, pro ebriis habebantur ; et sexta, quà Petrus ascendit in superiora, &c. De Jejuniis, c. 10. p. 708. B.
Et utique implevit repromissum, probantibus Actis apostolorum descensum Spiritûs Sancti. Quam Scripturam qui non recipiunt, nec Spiritûs Sancti esse possunt, qui necdum Spiritum possint agnoscere discentibus missum, sed nec ecclesiam defendere, qui quando, et quibus incunabulis institutum est hoc corpus, probare non habent. De Præscript. Hæret. cap. 22. p. 239. A. Possumus et hic Acta apostolorum repudiantibus dicere. Ibid. B.