Слике страница
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and the Acts, he says: · Therefore the Travels of Paul • and Thecla, and the whole fable of the baptized lion, we • reckon among the apocryphal scriptures. For how should • the constant companion of the apostle, who knew bis other affairs so well, be ignorant of this alone? Moreover Tertullian, who lived near those times, relates that a cer• tain presbyter in Asia, an admirer of the apostle Paul,

was convicted before John to be the author of it; and that • he confessed he had done it out of love to Paul, and that • for that reason he was deposed.'

Jerom bere ascribes to Tertullian more than we have in his treatise of Baptism, where this relation is; for Tertullian there makes no mention of the person before whom this presbyter was convicted. Ernestus Soloman Cyprianus, in his notes P upon the fore-cited place of Jerom has an ingenious conjecture, that Jerom took his account of this matter from the Greek edition of Tertullian's treatise of Baptism. He thinks this supposition the more probable, because Jerom gives us a Greek title of that book forged by the presbyter, and uses a Greek word likewise when he calls him an admirer of Paul; neither of which Greek words is in our Latin text. And we know from 9 Tertullian himself, that before he wrote the Latin treatise of Baptism which we have, he had treated the same argument in the Greek tongue.

However this be, it is plain the forgery was detected, and the author degraded ; and the whole affair was notified to the churches, that they might be upon their guard : Tertullian, in Africa, was not ignorant of it. It is an argument of the vigilance and scrupulosity of the christians about the writings wbich they received in the name of apostles.

XXIII. We have now seen a very valuable testimony to the scriptures of the New Testament in the remaining works of Tertullian, written in the latter part of the second, and the beginning of the third century. It is considerable for the number of the books cited by him, almost all those which are now received by christians as canonical, without so much as a suspicion of placing any other in the saine

Igitur IIeplodes Pauli et Theclæ, et totam baptizati leonis fabulam, inter apocryphas scripturas computamus. Quale enim est, ut individuus comes apostoli, inter cæteras ejus res, hoc solum ignoraverit ? Sed et Tertullianus, vicinus eorum temporum, refert presbyterum quendam in Asiâ, orodasnv apostoli

Pauli, convictum apud Joannem, quod auctor esset libri, et confessum se hoc Pauli amore fecisse, et ob id de loco excidisse. De Vir. i. c. 7.

P Apud Fabricii Bibliothecam Ecclesiasticam, p. 50.
9 De Baptismo, cap. 13.

[ocr errors]



rank with them, and for the large and numerous quotations of them. There are perhaps more and larger quotations of the small volume of the New Testament in this one christian author, than of all the works of Cicero, though of so uncommon excellence for thought and style, in the writers of all characters for several ages. And there is a like number of quotations of the New Testament in St. Irenæus, and St. Clement of Alexandria, both writers of the second century. Tertullian's testimony is considerable too for the evident tokens of that high respect which was paid to these scriptures. Indeed they would not have been so much quoted, if they had not been greatly esteemed. Nor have the differing sentiments of those called heretics done us any lasting prejudice. The contest which they occasioned has increased our proofs of the genuineness, authority, and integrity of the evangelical and apostolical scriptures. It is easy for every one to observe the value of this testimony upon some other accounts, which I therefore need not mention. The whole which we have transcribed from Tertullian may

afford satisfaction to a serious christian, as confirming his faith in the holy scriptures; and enabling hin, if there be occasion, to convince, or at least to confute and silence, adversaries with abundance of evidence.



1. Quadratus. II. Aristides. III. Agrippa Castor. IV.

Aristo of Pella. V. Soter. VI. Pinytus. VII. Philip. VIII. Palmas. IX. Modestus. X. Musanus. XI. Claudius Apollinaris. XII. Bardesanes. XIII. Apollonius. XIV. Rhodon. XV. Victor. XVI. Bacchylus. XVII. Theophilus and Narcissus. XVIII. Symmachus.


BESIDE those writers which I have quoted, there were many others in the second century, whose works are now lost. I choose to give here a short history of the chief of them, that my readers may have the clearer idea of the learning and labours of the christians of that time; and inay the better judge what disadvantage we lie under for




want of their writings. It is a necessary part of our design, and will not take up a great deal of room.

I. Quadratus is first mentioned by Eusebius,a in his Ecclesiastical History, in the reign of Trajan. He ascribes to him the gift of prophecy, and reckons him among the evangelists of that time, in a passage b. which we have already transcribed. In his Chronicle" he gives Quadratus the title of a disciple of apostles.' Quadratus is also reckoned among the prophets of the New Testament, in a fragment of an anonymous author preserved in Eusebius. We are farther informed, by the same ecclesiastical historian, that Quadratus presented an Apology for the christian religion to the emperor Adrian, which was then extant, ' containing evident marks of his ability, and of the true apostolical doctrine. There is nothing now remaining of Quadratus, beside a short but very valuable fragment of his Apology, concerning the miracles of our Saviour ; which we shall not fail to produce upon a proper occasion.

This writer is placed by Cave at the year 123, about which time undoubtedly he flourished. We here choose to follow the Chronicle of Eusebius, according to which bis Apology was presented 5 in the year 126. He seems to be the first christian who presented a written Apology to any of the Roman emperors; in whose dominions the christian religion had its rise, and in which it long struggled under difficulties, but continually prevailed, till it became the religion of the empire. According to h Jerom, this Apology had a good effect upon the emperor; which is also intiinated by Eusebius in his Chronicle.

Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, who flourished about the year 170, in his letter to the Athenians, makes i mention of one Quadratus, who was bishop of that church after the martyrdom of Publius ; and informs us, that by his care • the christians' of that city, 'which had been scattered by H. E. 1. iii, c. 37. in.

b Ch. viii. p.

115. € Κοδρατος ο ιερος των αποσολων ακεσης. p. 81. Vid. et p. 211. d H. E. 1. v. cap. 17. p. 183. C. D.

Τουτο [Αδριανή] Κοδρατος λογος προσφωνησας αναδιδωσιν, απολογιας συνταξας υπερ της καθ' ημας θεοσεβειας---εξ ου [συγγραμματος) κατιδειν εσι λαμπρα τεκμηρια, της τε τα ανδρος διανοιας, και της αποσoλικης ορθοτομιας. L. iv. cap. 3.

Hist. Lit. 8 Tillemont, Mem. Ec. T. ii. La Persecution d'Adrien, note 6. Basnage, Ann, P. E. 126. sect. 3.

h Quadratus apostolorum discipulus, et Atheniensis pontifex ecclesiæ, nonne Adriano principi, Eleusinæ sacra invisenti, librum pro nostrâ religione tradidit ? et tantæ admirationi omnibus fuit, ut persecutionem gravissimam_illius sedaret ingenium. Ad Magnum, ep. 83. al. 84.

i Eus. H. E. 1. iv. c. 23. p. 143. D.

[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]


• the persecution, were brought together again, and the • ardour of their faith was revived. But it is disputed whether this be the same person with Quadratus the apologist. It is plain that k Jerom supposed the apologist to have been bishop of Athens. But Valesius' supposing that the words of Dionysius imply, that Quadratus, bishop of Athens, was his contemporary; and observing that Eusebius has never called Quadratus, author of the Apology, . bishop ;' nor Quadratus, bishop of Athens, disciple • of the apostles,' concludes that they are different persons: in which he is followed by 'divers learned men,

m Du Pin, n Tillemont, o Basnage. Nevertheless Caver is of opinion that Quadratus, bishop of Athens after Publius, is the same with the apologist. Grabe 9 approves of his arguments for that opinion, and has supported it with some additional considerations. It

may be best not to be positive on either side. If the words of Dionysius imply that Quadratus was then living, and lately made bishop of Athens, we must needs suppose them two different persons. But if he can be supposed to mean no more than that Quadratus had been some time bishop of Athens; and it could be allowed that Publius suffered martyrdom so early as the time of Trajan or Adrian (which is not improbable); Quadratus the apologist might then be his successor, but not otherwise ; for the

age of Quadratus the apologist is sufficiently settled by Eusebius. He was an eminent man in the time of Trajan, and probably did not outlive the reign of Adrian, or however not long

II. Aristides is more than once mentioned, together with Quadratus, by Eusebius and Jerom. In his Ecclesiastical Flistory Eusebius adds to his account of the forementioned apologist: “And Aristides, a faithful man of our religion, • left an Apology for our faith, as Quadratus did, addressed • to Adrian :' which he says too was then extant. In his Chronicle he places this Apology in the same year with



*Quadratus, apostolorum discipulus, Publio Athenarum episcopo ob Christi fidem martyrio coronato, in locum ejus substituitur.- -Cumque Hadrianus Athenis exegisset hyemen— porrexit ei librum pro religione nostrâ compositum, valde utilem, plenumque rationis et fidei, et apostolicâ doctrinâ dignum. De V. I. cap. 19. Vid. supra 6. 1 Annot. in Euseb.

m Bibliotheque, Quadratus. n As before, note vii.

o Annal. 126. sect. 3. p Hist. Lit. P. 1. p. 32.

9 Spic. T. ii. p. 120, 121. Και Αριστειδης δε, πισος ανηρ, της καθ' ημας όρμωμενος ευσεβειας, τα Κοδρατω παραπλησιως υπερ της πιςεως απολογιας επιφωνησας Αδριανη, καταλελοιπε. Η. Ε. 1. iv. cap. 3. fin.

p. 81.

[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

that of Quadratus; and informs & us of one particular more concerning Aristides, that he was an Athenian philosopher. Jerom,t in his book of Illustrious Men, confirms this account; with the addition of another circumstance; that after his conversion he continued to wear his former habit of a philosopher : Aristides,' says he, “a most eloquent • Athenian philosopher, and in his former habit a disciple • of Christ, presented to the emperor Adrian, at the same 6 time with Quadratus, a book containing an account of our • sect, that is, an Apology for the christians, which is still

extant, a monument with the learned of his ingenuity.' In another place, after he had spoken of Quadratus, he commends the learning of this Apology; and says, that afterwards, - Justin o imitated Aristides in the book which • he presented to Antoninus Pius, and his sons, and the • Roman senate. This is all we have to say of Aristides; for, to our great regret, there is nothing of him remaining.

III. Agrippa Castor flourished, according to Cave, about the year 132. Eusebius speaks of him in his account of things near the end of the reign of Adrian. He wrote against Basilides, who, as' Eusebius informs us, was an · Alexandrian, and erected schools of his impious doc* trines in Egypt? That ecclesiastical historian says, there

.' were at that time a great many

ecclesiastical men,

defenders of the apostolical doctrine against the heresies of Saturninus, and Basilides, and others. He adds: • Of • these there w is come down to us an ample confutation of • Basilides by Agrippa Castor, a most eminent writer of * that time, where he discovers the subtilty of his imposture. • Laying open his secret mysteries, he says that he compos• ed four and twenty books upon the gospel ; and that he • taught it to be an indifferent thing to eat meat offered to • idols : and that, in time of persecution, men might with• out scruple abjure the faith.'

Τατω και Αριστειδης Αθηναιος φιλοσοφος υπερ χρισιανων ακολgθα τη αυτοκρατορι προσεφωνησεν Αδριανω. Chr. p. 81.

Aristides, Atheniensis philosophus eloquentissimus, et sub pristino habitu discipulus Christi, volumen nostri dogmatis rationem continens, eodem tempore quo et Quadratus, Hadriano principi dedit, id est, Apologeticum pro christianis, &c. De V. I. c. 20.

u Aristides philosophus, vir eloquentissimus, eidem principi apologeticum pro christianis obtulit, contextum philosophorum sententiis ; quem imitatus postea Justinus, et ipse philosophus, Antonino Pio, et filiis ejus senatuique, librum contra gentiles tradidit. Ad Magnum Or. ep. 84.

H. E. 1. iv. c. 7. p. 119. C. D. * Ων εις ήμας κατηλθεν εν τοις το τε γνωριμωτατο συγγραφεως Αγριππα Κασυρος έκανωτατος κατα Βασιλειδα ελεγχος, την δεινοτητα της τ' ανδρος αποκαλυπτων γοητειας. Εκφαινων δ' αν αυτά τα απορρητα, φησιν αυτον εις μεν το ευαγγελιoν τεσσαρα προς τους εικοσι συνταξαι Βιβλια. Ιb. p. 120. Α. Β.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »