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conclusion can be founded upon it. Fabricius i thinks that Agobardus refers to nothing else but the version of the Old Testament,
Hody k supposes likewise, that' Jerom speaks of some work of Symmachus written in the Latin tongue. Fabricius apprehends, that Jerom's words are not to be understood of Symmachus. This is a matter of no great consequence; but Hody's seems to be the most natural interpretation of Jerom. If this were a clear point, it would be an additional argument of the abilities and diligence of this Ebionite; who then would be reckoned a master of more languages, than the most learned generally were at that time.
SUPPOSITITIOUS WRITINGS OF THE SECOND CENTURY.
1. The Acts of Paul and Thecla. II. The Sibylline
Oracles. II. The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. IV. The Recognitions. V. The Clementine Ilomilies. VI. The Clementine Epitome. VII. Remarks upon the three last pieces. VIII. The Conclusion of the second Century.
THERE were, before the end of the second century, several writings composed and published under the names of eminent persons, to whom they do not really belong; as • tius, quoscunque interpretes atque expositores coæquatis apostolis et evan
gelistis ; cum Symmachum, et Paulum, et Didymum, et Joannem una • defensione indifferentique laude dignos ducitis.'Respicere videtur ad expositionem epistolarum Paulinarum ab eo conscriptam. Hodius, ibid. p. 587.
Neque Agobardum vel catenarum compositores aliud opus Symmachi quam Versionem Bibliorum respicere existimo, quemadmodum Hodius ipse probe animadvertit Symmachum inter Latinos patres quandoque referri, quod Latini ecclesiæ doctores ejus translatione usi fuerunt. Fabric. Bibl. Gr. I. iii. cap. 12. T. ii. p. 349,
* Ibid. p. 587. Symmachus igitur pro eo quod [Ps. cxxxv.] est in Græco tepidolov, in Hebræo • Segula,' expressit eğalperov, id est ; egregium ' vel præcipuum :' pro quo verbo, in alio volumine, Latino sermone utens, ' peculiarem ' interpretatus est. Hieron. Comm. in Ep. ad Tit. c. 2.
m Sed videtur Hieronymus loqui de Latino veteri interprete, qui in alio volumine,' h. e. non in Psalmis, sed in alio libro Biblico 7Epirolov reddiderit peculiarem.' Fabric. ibid. p. 339.
is generally allowed. I need not inquire what were the views of the authors of these works. Some might design thereby the advancement of the christian religion in general; others might intend to recommend, together with that, some particular notions and sentiments which they had entertained. Whatever were the views of the authors, I have thought the writings themselves might be of some use to us at this time. If in these pieces, published under borrowed names, the main facts and principles of the New Testament are asserted; this may be esteemed an additional confirmation of the truth of the christian doctrine, beside what is afforded in the genuine writings of this early age. For this reason I have made some extracts out of divers supposititious pieces, and here propose them to the reader's consideration.
I. The Acts, or Travels, of Paul and Thecla have been already shown not to be a work of the apostle Paul, but of some weak presbyter of Asia, and never to have had any authority in the church of Christ. It is not certainly known when they were composed : it may be however reckoned probable, that they were written in the latter part of the first, or the beginning of the second century.
There is still extant a book with that title, both in Greek and Latin, published by the late Doctor Grabe from manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. That learned man supposes it to be the work itself of the fore-mentioned presbyter, with only some b few interpolations. That there are interpolations, cannot be well disputed; even allowing it to be, for the main part, the ancient piece published under this title. The Old Latin version appears to me more sincere and incorrupt than the Greek copy; but I think them both to have been oftener interpolated than Grabe supposed, and in things of great consequence.
I shall take a few passages of this book, containing, as I suppose, allusions, or imitations of some parts of the New Testament.
1. And in the first place I observe, that in this book Onesiphorus and Titus are introduced, as admirers and friends of the apostle Paul; and Demas, Hermogenes, Alexander the coppersmith, are represented as his prea Chap. 27. num. xxii.
b Tandem etiamsi concedatur antiqua Acta Theclæ quibusdam in locis interpolata esse, nihilominus ipsa in lucem edere operæ pretium existimavi, quia paucissima sunt quæ in suspicionem corruptionis trahi queant, eaque haud magni momenti
. Grabe, Spicil. T. i. p. 94.
c At the beginning of these Acts, in the Greek copy, Demas and Hermogenes only are mentioned, which iast is called a coppersmith. Αναβαινοντος τε Παυλα εις Ικονιον-εγενηθησαν
tended friends, but real enemies: and, whereas St. Paul, 2 Tim. ii. 17, speaks of some, particularly Hymeneus and Philetus, “ who concerning the truth have erred, saying, That the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some;" so bere these enemies of the apostle, Demas and Hermogenes, are brought in saying, “Thatd they will show that the resurrection, which Paul says is to be, is already past [' made '] in the children which they have, and that they have risen by knowing the truth. I put down now two or three other passages.
2. Paul is said to have preached at Iconium, in the house of Onesiphorus, in this manner : " Blessed e are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” Matth. v. 8.
“ Blessed are they who shall keep the flesh undefiled, for they shall be the temples of God. _Blessed are they who have wives, as though they had none, for they shall become angels of God," I Cor. vii. 29.“ Blessed are they that receive the wisdom of Jesus Christ, for they shall be called the sons of the Ilighest,” Luke vi. 35.- “ Blessed are they who for the love of Christ forsake the fashion of this world, for they shall judge angels, and shall be placed at the right hand of Christ, and shall not see a severe day of judgment,” 1 Cor. vii. 31 ; vi. 3.
In the old Latin version this last sentence is divided, as it were, into two; for after the sitting at the right hand of Christ,' or God, it is added, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall not see a severe day of judgment :' which is equivalent to those words, Matth. v. 7, “ they shall obtain mercy.”
And divers other expressions are here put into the mouth of Paul, which, though different from our Lord's Beatitudes in St. Matthew and St. Luke, are a plain imitation of them; as some of these, which I have here put down, are exactly the same.
3. Paul is brought before the Roman governor at Icoαυτή συνοδοιποροι Δημας και Ερμογένης ο χαλκευς, υποκρισεως γεμοντες. Spicil. p. 93. In the Latin version • Alexander the coppersmith' is joined with the other two : • Facti sunt ei comites Demas, Ermogenes, Alexander ærarius, repleti simulatione. Ibid. p. 120.
Και ημεις διδαξομεν, ότι ην λεγει ουτος ανασασιν γενεσθαι, ηδη γεγονεν εφ' οίς εχομεν τεκνοις, και ανεσημεν, θεον επιγνοντες. p. 101. init. Confer Ver. Lat. p. 122.
• Μακαριοι οι καθαροι τη καρδια, ότι αυτοι τον θεον οψονται. Μακάριοι οι άγνην την σαρκα τηρησαντες, οτι αυτοι ναοι θεε γενησονται.--Μακάριοι οι εχοντες γυναικας ως μη έχοντες, ότι αυτοι αγγελοι θεου γενησονται. -Μακάριοι οι σοφιαν λαβοντες Ιησου Χριςου, ότι αυτοι υιοι υψις κληθησονται.---Μακάριοι οι δι’ αγαπην Χρισ8 εξελθοντες τ8 σχηματος του κοσμε, ότι αυτοι αγγελες κρινουσιν, και εν δεξια του Χριςου καθησονται, και εκ οψονται ημεραν κρισεως πικραν. Ιbid. p. 97.
Beati misericordes, quoniam ipsi non videbunt diem judicii amarum. p. 121.
nium, who asks him: Who ares you? what do you teach? for they grievously accuse you. And Paul lift up his voice, saying: If I this day be called in question what 1 teach, hear, proconsul : God is jealous, a God of vengeance: God, that needeth nothing but the salvation of men, has sent me to deliver men from vice and impurity,
that they may not sin. Therefore God has sent his son Jesus Christ, whom I preach, and teach men to have their hope in him, who alone has had compassion on an ignorant errmg world, that they may be no longer exposed to condemnation, O proconsul, but might have faith, and the fear of God, and a knowledge of virtue, and a love of truth. If therefore I speak those things which have been revealed to me by God, proconsul, what crime am I guilty of? But the proconsul, having heard these things, commanded Paul to be bound, and to be cast into prison, till he should be at leisure to hear him more carefully.'
I suppose that here are references, or allusions, to several things in the Acts of the Apostles, [Acts xxiv. 21; xxiii. 6; xvii. 3, 25, 30, 31 ;] and that in some other places of this work the author refers to other things in the New Testament. But I shall not detain the reader any longer in this book, which really is of no great importance; though Dr. Grabe does undoubtedly deserve commendation, for publishing it in the greatest perfection he was able.
II. That the Sibylline Verses, or Oracles, which we now have in eight books, are not the same which were kept at Rome with so much care and veneration, nor any other heathen collection of Sibylline Oracles, but a christian forgery ; has been so often and so clearly shown, and is so generally allowed by learned men, that I shall here take it for granted. However, I may have another opportunity, in the course of this work, of showing this particularly, if it should be needful,
We may take a general account of this collection of pretended Oracles in the words of Mr. Turner. . We there • find,' says h he,' an account of the creation of the world, * the fall of our first parents, the ark of Noah, the deluge • of waters, the tower of Babel and other matters, all un
doubtedly taken from the book of Genesis. The histori• cal books of the New Testament have also furnished the
forger of these Oracles with several pretended prophecies concerning our Saviour. The manner of our Lord's nati• vity, his life and actions, his trial and sufferings, his resur& Ibid. p. 101, 102.
h • The Calumnies upon the Primitive Christians accounted for.' Chap. ll. p. 201. London, 1727.
* rection and ascension, are described with much plaipness * and particularity: which makes it more than probable, • that several of those Oracles, relating to our blessed • Saviour, are not predictions of future events, but historical * narrations of facts that were already past and gone. The
autbor, in order to disguise the imposture, is somewhat * enigmatical in his account of the Roman emperors. He • describes them all, from Julius to Adrian, chiefly by the o initial letters of their names.' So far Mr. Turner. But the author has made use of more than one artifice to disc guise the imposture. It may be justly supposed, that with this view he inserted in his work several things taken from the ancient heathen oracles, and from Orpheus, Homer, and other poets.
I shall add little more preliminary to my extracts, but to show when these Oracles were composed.
Cave, who is well satisfiedk of their being a forgery, supposes that a large part of them were composed in the time of Adrian, about the year 130, they being quoted by Justin Martyr; that others were added in the time of the Antonines; and the whole work completed in the reign of Commodus. Prideaux says, This collection must have been made
• • between the year of our Lord 138 and the year 167. It • could not be earlier, for therein is mention made of the • next successor of Adrian, that is, Antoninus Pius, who • did not succeed him till the year 138: and it could not be • later, because Justin Martyr in his writings several times • quotes it, and appeals to it, who did not outlive the year • 167.
Fabricius m is of opinion, that this collection does not contain all the Sibylline Oracles which were used by the ancient fathers; but that, nevertheless, it contains a great part of them. He supposes, likewise, that several parts of the collection have been transposed, and placed in a wrong order by transcribers. He farther thinks, that the most ancient christian writers, who have quoted the Sibylline Oracles, had not the whole collection which we have, but only a part; which, together with additions made afterwards, compose the collection which we have.
Sunt nonnulla in hac collectione, quæ auctor de industriâ inspersit ex antiquis oraculis Ethnicis, ex Orpheo, Homero, et aliis poëtis. Fabric. Bib. Gr. T. i. I. i. c. 33. p. 217. Vid. et quæ sequuntur.
k Conficta esse, idque in gratiam christianæ fidei, nemo non videt. Hist. Lit. P. i. p. 34.
i Connection, &c. Part ii. book ix. p. 626. first ed. m Bibl. Gr. ut supra, p. 219-221.