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St. Augustine, in bis 6 Retractations, entirely approves of this method of reconciling the genealogies in St. Matthew and St. Luke; and Dr. Wall says, The best hypothesis

• , • that has been given for reconciling the two catalogues, • is the old one of Africanus. I persuade myself therefore, that it will not be disapproved by any, that I have set it so much at large before my readers. I would add, that Mr. Richardson has a dissertation upon this subject, which well deserves to be read by the curious.

But, whatever becomes of this method of reconciling the two evangelists, here is a very valuable testimony to their gospels, and in particular a cogent argument for the genuineness of the beginning of St. Matthew's. It does not plainly appear that any whom Africanus disputed with, rejected it; though some may be ready to suspect this from those words: For which reason neither is that genealogy destitute of authority, which the evangelist Matthew rehearses ;' which words possibly may be thought to imply, that St. Matthew's genealogy was not altogether unquestioned, or reputed of equal authority with St. Luke's. But I do not take that to be the design of those words, Africanus afterwards expressing bimself in a like mannere also of St. Luke's genealogy; his intention therefore is only to assert the truth and propriety of both. But if there were any whom Africanus argued against, who took this method of solving or evading the difficulty, it must be one of those opinions which, as Eusebius says, "Africanus rejected as • false;' since it is evident that he maintains the truth, authority, and usefulness of both the genealogies.

Considering then the learning and the age of Africanus, and the country in which he resided, and the history he had received from some of the kinsmen of Jesus according to the flesh; and that he made a particular inquiry into this matter, and appears to have been fully satisfied about it; it must be reckoned that we have here all the evidence for the genuineness of this part of St. Matthew's gospel that can be well desired.

V. The letter to Origen concerning the history of Susanna, is generally supposed to have been written about the year 228, though there are some learned men who are • Syriacis, qui apud nos extant, saneti Luoæ, quinto loco numeratur : “ Joseph filius Heli, filii Matath, filii Levi, filii Melchi." Asseman, Bib. Or. Tom. ii. cap. 32. p. 161, 162.

b Retract. 1. ii. cap. 7. c Brief Critical Notes upon the N. T. p. 65. d Joan. Richardson. Prælect. Ecclesiast. I. de Christi Genealogiâ.

Ουδε μην αναποδεικτον η εσχεδιασμενον εςι τατο, p. 22. C. * Vid. Fabric. Bib. Gr: T. v. p. 236. Tillemont, Mem. Ec. T. Ü. P. ü. p.


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rather inclined to the year 240, twelve years after. The occasion of it was this: Origen, in a conference with one Bassus, where Africanus was present, made use of that bistory. Africanus, thinking it spurious and forged, took an opportunity some while after to write to Origen upon that point. It is a fine letter, learned and critical; and though short, does a great deal of honour to its author.

As the question in dispute relates only to a part of a book of the Old Testament, and the letter is very short, here are no quotations of the New Testament. However, Africanus here observes, that h all the books of the Old Testament were written in Hebrew, and from thence were translated into Greek;' which shows that there was a collection of books, called the New Testament, for which he had the like respect with that paid to the books of the Old Testament, written in Hebrew.

VI. But it will be worth the while to observe what books Origen quotes to Africanus in his answer, which is long. Here then are several quotations of the gospels ofi St. Matthew and St. Luke. The Acts of the Apostlesk are expressly quoted. Here are words of the epistle to the Romans, and first to the Corinthians; and m St. Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians is expressly quoted at length. The epistle to the Hebrews is cited in this manner : Origen says, "That the story of Susanna being dishonourable to

, • the Jewish elders, it was suppressed by their great men; • and that there were many things kept as much as might . be from the knowledge of the people, some of which • nevertheless were preserved in some apocryphal books. • Of this,' says he, ' I shall give an instance in some things * related of Isaiah, and mentioned in the epistle to the He• brews, though not written in any of their open books. • For the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, discoursing • of the prophets and their sufferings, says, they were sawn asunder, they were slain by the sword.” To what person, I pray, does that relate, “ they were sawn asun• der ?” according to an ancient custom, not only of the 38. Jule Africain ; et T. iii. P. iii. p. 263.

& Vid. Huet. Origenian. 1. iii. cap. 4. sect. 1. et Admon. in African. Ep. ed. Bened. T. i. p. 8.

ή Εξ Εβραιων δε τους Έλλησι μετεβληθη πανθ' όσα Tng Talatas dianens peperat. African. Ep. ad Orig. sect. 1.

cVid. Orig. Ep. ad Af. sect. 7. P. 18. D. E. Tom. i. Bened. sect. 9. p. 20. B. C. D.

Κ Και εν Πραξεσι δε των Αποσολων ο Στεφανος μαρτυρων επι πολλοις και ταυτα λεγει. κ. λ. Ιbid. sect. 9. p. 22. Α. 1 Ibid. sect. 4. p. 16. C.

m Και ο Παυλος εν τη προτερα της προς θεσσαλονικείς επισολης ταυτα περι Ιεδαιων μαρτύρων φησιν. Ιbid. sect. 9. p. 22. B. C.


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• Jews but also of the Greeks, expressed indeed in the . plural number, but meant of one. It is certain that tra• ditions say, Isaiah the prophet was sawn asunder; and it • is mentioned in an apocryphal (or secret'] book, which

perhaps some of the Jews have designedly corrupted; inserting in that piece some unbecoming things, that the whole might be discredited. But possibly some" one, • pressed with this argument, will take refuge in the opinion

of those who reject this epistle as not written by Paul. • , In answer to such a one we design [or, had need '] to

• * write a distinct discourse, to show that epistle to be • Paul's.'

Hence it appears, that there were some in the eastern part of the world, as well as in the west, who rejected the epistle to the Hebrews: and it may be suspected, at least, that Origen did not know that Africanus received it as the apostle Paul's.

VII. However, we have seen in Africanus an uncommon attestation to the two gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke, and especially to their genealogies. Several books of the New Testament are alleged and quoted to him by Origen, as of authority. He plainly had a volume, or collection of books, with the title and denomination of the New Testament, of equal authority with the Jewish sacred and canonical scriptures, written originally in Hebrew. There is therefore no ground to doubt, but sufficient reason to believe, that this great and learned man received as scripture the books generally received by christians in his time, and particularly by Origen, with whom he was well acquainted. Whether he received the epistle to the Hebrews as the apostle Paul's, we cannot certainly say ; nor have we any good ground to suppose he rejected it. The same may be said with regard to the other books of the New Testament, which were doubted of by some at that time. We do not know his opinion concerning them. In these, and some other matters, we should have had fuller satisfaction, if more of his learned and elaborate performances had come down to us.

As it is, we may glory in Africanus as a christian. For it cannot but be a pleasure to observe, that in those early days there were some within the inclosure of the church of Christ, whose shining abilities rendered them the ornament

η Αλλ' εικος τινα θλιβομενον απο της εις ταυτα αποδειξεως, συγχρησασθαι το βεληματι των αθετωντων την επιςολην, ώς ο Παυλφ γεγραμμενην. Προς ον αλλων λογων κατ' ιδίαν χρηζομεν εις αποδειξιν ειναι Παυλό την επισoλην. Ibid. sect. 9. p. 19, 20.

of the age in which they lived; when they appear also to have been men of unspotted characters, and give evident proofs of honesty and integrity.



1. His history and character. II. JII. Select passages of

. Origen. IV. V. VI. Three catalogues of the books of the N. T. VII. Of the four gospels.

VIII. Acts of the Apostles. IX. St. Paul's epistles. X. The epistle to the Hebrews. XI. The epistle of St. James. XII, First and second of St. Peter. XIII, St. John's three epistles. XIV. St. Jude's epistle. XV. The Revelation. XVI. Whether Origen says, that from the beginning christians were divided about the books of scripture. XVII. A passage containing a general enumeration of the books of the New Testament. XVIII. General titles and divisions of the books of scripture. XIX. Respect for them. XX. Reading them recommended. XXI. . Publicly read. XXII. The inquiry, whether Origen received as scripture any books not in the present canon, proposed. XXIII. Of ecclesiastical writings cited by Origen, St. Barnabas's epistle; St. Clements ; The Recognitions ; the Shepherd of Hermas ; St. Ignatius, XXIV. Spurious and apocryphal writings ; apocryphal gospels in general ; the gospel according to the Hebrews ; the gospel according to Peter ; the doctrine and preaching of Peter ; Acts of Paul; an anonymous book. XXV. Jewish apocryphal books ; Tobit, Judith, Ecclesiasticus, Susanna, Maccabees; the books of Enoch ; the Twelve Patriarchs ; the Ascension of Moses ; anonymous pieces : apocryphal writings said to be referred to in the N. T. *XXVI, Remarks upon the foregoing citations. XXVII. Select various readings. °XXVIII. Explications of texts. XXIX. General observations upon the scriptures of the New T'estament. XXX. Whether Origen thought that St. Matthew wrote in Hebrew. XXXI. Sum of his testimony.


I. ORIGEN was born in Egypt, in the year of our Lord * 184, orb 185, that is, the fifth, or the sixth of the emperor Commodus, and died in the sixty-ninth or seventieth a year of his age, in the year of Christe 253. Porphyryf affirms, that Origen was born of Gentile parents, and educated in the Gentile religion; but that afterwards, when he was grown up, he embraced the christian religion. This is flatly contradicted by Eusebius, who was a great admirer of Origen, and wrote his history at large, which h he collected partly from Origen's own epistles, and partly from the relations of his scholars, who lived to his time. And I suppose that none have observed in Origen's remaining works any evidences of his having been a heathen ; which certainly would have appeared, if Porphyry had spoken truth in this matter.

Eusebius informs us, that Leonides, Origen's father, took great care of his education; and that in his childhood he

1 raised the greatest expectations from his quick improvement in several parts of knowledge, especially of the holy scriptures; so that i he often gave his father some trouble by his inquiries into the profounder meaning of them. His father seemingly reproved him before his face, bidding him to content himself with the plain obvious sense of the words, and not to aspire to things above his age; but at the same time he was exceedingly pleased : and it is reported that Leonides has stood by his son as he slept, and uncovering his breast kissed it with reverence, as honoured with the indwelling of the divine spirit, accounting himself extremely happy in a child of such attainments. We have no

very particular information who were


Pagi, Crit. in Baron. 202. n, vi. b Basnag. Ann. 203. n. xii. Tillemont, Origene, art. ii.

© Vixit usque ad Gallum et Volusianum, id est, usque ad lxix. ætatis suæ annum, et mortuus est Tyri, in quâ urbe et sepultus est. Hieron. de Vir. Ill. cap. 54. Vid. et Phot. Cod. 118. col. 297.

Ωριγενης εν τετφ [Γαλλω] ενος δεοντα της ζωης έβδομηκοντα αποπλησας ETN TENEUTĄ. Eus. H. E. 1. vii. cap. 1.

Pagi, 253. n. 23. Basn. 203. n. xii. Tillem. Mem. Origene, art. 25.

Ωριγενης δε Ελλην εν ελλησι παιδευθεις λογοις, προς το βαρβαρον εξωKELNE rolunua. Ap. Eus. vi. cap. 19. p. 220. B.

& Vevoajevy de oapws. Eus. ibid. p. 220. D. h L. vi. c. 2. p. 201. C.

i Vid. Eus. ibid. c. 2. p. 202. C. D. 203. A.



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