Imatges de pÓgina
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angels, Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel; that he should “ not die until the end of the world, and that it was Judas “ who was crucified instead of him, God permitting that this “ traitor should appear to the eyes of the Jews so very

like to Jesus Christ, that they apprehended him instead of him, and “as such delivered him to Pilate; that the resemblance be“tween them was so great, that the Virgin Mary and the “apostles were even deceived, but that afterwards Jesus “ Christ had obtained of God permission to come and comfort " them.”

What passed after this, we shall find in the following fragment, for which we are also obliged to Mr. La Monnoy, as well as the former.

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A large Fragment of the Gospel of Barnabas y. “ The Virgin returned to Jerusalem together with the “ author [Barnabas), James and John, upon the same day in “ which the decree of the high priest came forth. The Virgin, “ who feared God, although she knew the injustice of the high

priest's decree, gave a charge to all her particular acquaint

ance (or family), that they would forget her son. But God, “ who is acquainted with the temper of all men's minds, knew “ how we and the mother of Jesus were very miserably dis“ tressed between sorrow for the death of Judas, (whom we « believed to have been Jesus our master,) and expectations of

seeing him risen again from the dead. The guardian angels “ therefore of the Virgin Mary ascended into the third hea“ ven, where Jesus was in the society of angels, and related to “ him all the affair. Hereupon Jesus entreated God, that he “ would permit him to go and see his mother and his disciples. “ Then God, being merciful, commanded four of his most be“ loved angels, viz, Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel, that “ they should carry Jesus to his mother's house, and there be “ his guard for three successive days, and suffer no persons to “ see him, who did not believe his doctrine. So Jesus, en“ circled with glory, came into the parlour, wherein were

* La Monnoy loc. cit. p. 376, 377.

y Not understanding thoroughly the Italian itself, I am obliged in this Eng

lish translation to follow and depend upon the Latin one of Mr. Fabritius.

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“ Mary the virgin, with her two sisters, Martha, with Mary “ Magdalen, Lazarus, with the author (Barnabas), and John, “ with James and Peter; who, when they saw him, fell down

on the ground almost dead with the surprise. Whereupon “ Jesus, lifting up his mother and the rest of them from the “ ground, said, 'Fear not, for I am Jesus; mourn not, for I

am alive, and not dead.' But still they all stood perfectly “ astonished at the sight of Jesus, whom they really believed “ to have been dead. At length the Virgin very mournfully 66 addressed herself to him, and said, “I beseech you, my son, « how came it to pass, that since God had given you power of

raising up the dead to life, he should permit you to be so “ betrayed to death, to the disgrace of your relations and “ friends, as well as the reproach of your doctrine, inasmuch as all that had

any kindness for you were astonished even “ almost unto death ?" Then Jesus embracing his mother, “ said, “ Believe me, my mother, for I positively affirm that I

was never dead, for God has reserved me even to the end of 66 the world. When he had thus said, he desired the four an

gels that they would shew themselves, and testify how the “ whole affair was managed. The angels then appeared like “ four suns in their greatest brightness, whereupon they all “ fell down again upon the ground at the surprise, as persons “ that were dead. Then Jesus gave them four linen cloths, “ that being covered with them, his mother and the rest of the

company might be able to bear the sight of them, and hear “ them speak. Lifting them then all from the ground, he en“ couraged them, and said, “These are the ministers of God, “ Gabriel, who carries and delivers the secret messages of “ God; Michael, who battles against the enemies of God;

Raphael, who takes charge of the souls of them who die; 6. Uriel, who on the last day shall gather all to judgment.' “ Then the angels declared to the Virgin, (that which God “ had commanded them by Jesus,) how that Judas was trans- formed into the likeness of Jesus], that so himself might suf“ fer the punishment, which he designed to have brought upon “ another. Hereupon the author [Barnabas] spake, and said, "Master, may I have the same liberty of proposing a ques“ tion to you now, which I heretofore had when you conversed

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“ with us?” Jesus answered, Barnabas, propose what ques“ tions you have a mind, and I will reply to them. The au“thor (Barnabas) then said, 'O my master, since God is mer“ciful, why would he so torment us, and make us to believe

you were really dead, and your mother to grieve almost to “ death ? And as to yourself, who are the holy one of God, why “ would God permit you to be brought under such disgrace, “ as though you had been executed with felons in mount Cal“ vary?' Jesus answered, 'Oh, Barnabas, believe me, every “ sin, though it be a small one, is very severely punished by “ God, to whom it is offensive. Inasmuch therefore as my “ mother and my faithful disciples loved me with some mix“ ture of earthly love, the righteous God was pleased now to

punish them for that love, that they might not hereafter 66 suffer for it in the flames of hell. And as for my part, al“ though I lived a very blameless life in the world, yet since

men called me God, and the son of God, it pleased God, in “ order to prevent my being mocked by devils in the judgment “ day, that I should suffer disgrace in this world by the death “ of Judas, all men being persuaded that I really died on the

Wherefore this reproach shall last till the coming of “ Mahomet, who, when he shall come into the world, will de6 liver all those who believe the law of God from this error.'

In another part of this Gospel, Mahomet is expressly named for the Paraclete or Comforter promised to come, John xiv. 16, 26. and xvi. 7. and in several places foretold as the designed accomplisher of God's economy towards men. It is, in short, says Mr. Toland , the ancient Ebionite or Nazarene system, “as to the making Jesus a mere man, (though not “ with them the son of Joseph, but divinely conceived by the “ Virgin Mary,) and agrees in every thing almost with the “ scheme of our modern Unitarians, excepting the history of “ his death and resurrection, about which a very different ac“count is given from that in our Gospels, but perfectly con“ formable to the tradition of the Mahometans, who maintain “ that another was crucified in his stead, and that Jesus slip

ping through the hands of the Jews, preached afterwards to “ bis disciples, and then was taken into heaven.”

2 Nazaren. p. 16.

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The last words of this Gospel area,

“ Jesus being gone [into heaven], the disciples scattered “ themselves into many parts of Israel, and of the rest of the “ world, and the truth being hated of Satan was persecuted “ by falsehood, as it ever happens. For certain wicked men, “ under pretence of being disciples, preached that Jesus was “ dead, and not risen again ; others preached, that Jesus was

truly dead, and risen again; others preached, and still con“tinue to preach, that Jesus is the Son of God, among which

persons Paul has been deceived. We therefore, according “ to the measure of our knowledge, do preach to those who “ fear God, to the end they may be saved at the last day of his “ divine judgment. Amen. The end of the Gospel.”

I believe every impartial reader, upon a bare view of these fragments, will be soon persuaded to conclude this some late Mahometan forgery, and therefore could not be the Gospel under Barnabas's name which is rejected by pope Gelasius ; nor need I make any further remarks upon it, or Mr. Toland's unfair conclusions from it. This is very well done by Dr. Mangey; one thing only falls in my way, because it relates to the passage which is above produced out of the Baroccian manuscript. Mr. Toland affirms, “ he found it almost in terms “ in this Mahometan Gospel of prince Eugene; and the sense “ there in more places than one, which," as he says, made “ him believe this to be the same with the Gospel anciently “ attributed to Barnabas, though interpolated.” A strange inference indeed! Because these words are in a Gospel evidently the composure of some late Mahometan, under the name of Barnabas, therefore this Gospel must be as old as Gelasius's time at least; i. e. a hundred and fifty years, or more, before the Mahometan religion was known in the world. But, for my part, I cannot but declare my suspicion, that there is no such passage as this in the Italian Gospel; for, had it really been, Mr. Toland would not have omitted that which he thought so much to his purpose; and therefore considering that writer's frequent unfairness in all his writings, and his numerous attempts to impose upon his readers, where he thinks he can safely do it; I do not at all wonder, that Dr. Mangey

a Nazaren. p. 22.

does with the utmost assurance affirm, that his omitting this passage is a strong presumption that it was not in his copy, and that he has not given so good proofs of his ingenuity or skill in this matter, as to be believed upon his own bare assertion. Mr. Toland cannot think it hard, that any one should believe this charge of the doctor against him; because in his Answer he has not said one word to justify himself in this matter, nor to clear his reputation, attacked so severely, and in so tender and valuable a part.

CHAP. IX. A conjecture concerning the true original of the Gospel of Bar

nabas, from a history in the fifth century. HAVING in the preceding chapter given some account of the Gospel of Barnabas, I shall close it with a conjecture concerning its true original, which I found upon a known history in the fifth century related by Theodorus Lector b, Nicephorusc, Suidas d, and others, to this purpose: “That in the “ reign of the emperor Zeno, the relicks of Barnabas the apo“stle and companion of Paul were found in Cyprus under a “ tree called ceratiae, and upon the breast the Gospel of Mat

thew, wrote with Barnabas's own hand, on account of which “ the inhabitants of Cyprus prevailed in their contest with the

bishop of Antioch, that their own metropolis should have

an independent bishop, not subject to the jurisdiction of An6 tioch. The book was carried to the emperor, and

very “ highly esteemed by him, and put under a crown in his pa“ lace.” Now, I say, whether this is a true relation of fact, or otherwise, it seems clearly to intimate to us, what that Gospel was, which went under the name of Barnabas in the time of pope Gelasius, viz. that it was no other than some interpolated corrupted Gospel of St. Matthew.

If the fact was true, nothing can be more reasonably supposed, than that this book should afterwards be called the Gospel of Barnabas; because,

1. The book is said to be written with Barnabas's own hand. by Collectan. 1. 2. in ipso init.

e I know not how to translate the c Hist. Eccl. l. 16. C. 37.

Greek repééria, and therefore have put d In voc. úrva.

the original name.

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