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“ That he is the Word, a living animal;" the latter is borrowed from a most ridiculous history, which is still extant in the fabulous Lives of the Apostles under the name of Abdias, (viz. in the Life of Peter, c. 19.) The story in short is, “ That after the decree of Nero to apprehend Peter at Rome, “ he was at length prevailed upon by his friends, contrary to “ his own inclinations, to endeavour his escape ; accordingly “ having in the night fled as far as the city gates, he saw “ Christ coming to meet him: to whom he said, Lord! Whi“ther art thou going? Christ answered, I come to Rome to “ be crucified again :" (which are the words of the passage in Origen :) “ Peter understood this as an intimation that he “ ought to suffer, and thereupon returned, and was crucified."
Upon the whole, then, it is reasonable to conclude these Acts of Paul apocryphal, by Prop. IV. V. VI. and IX; and therefore that Mr. Whiston is much mistaken, when he says it is to be looked upon in some sense as a sacred book n.
No. XLV. The Preaching of Paul and Peter. THIS ancient apocryphal book appears very clearly to have been the same with that entitled, The Preaching of Peter; not only from some passages in Clemens Alexandrinus, but from the account which Lactantiuso gives of it. “Peter and Paul,” says he,“ preached at Rome, and that preaching continues “ still, being committed to writing :” but though it went under both the name of Paul and Peter, yet it generally was called by the name of Peter; and therefore I shall defer the consideration of it, till I come to consider the books under his name in the ensuing chapters. See Chap. XXXIII. No. LII.
No. XLVI. A book under the name of Paul. AS for this book, although I indeed placed it in the catalogue, Part I. yet upon an after and more careful inquiry into it, I find it so evident, that it was a book forged by one Lucian, a confessor, in the middle of the third century, in the name of Paul the martyr, and not St. Paul the apostle, as some have thought, that I shall think it enough to refer the reader to the places in Cyprian where this is most manifest. See Epist. 22, 23. in the beginning of each. Essay on Constit. p. 24.
· Lib. 4. c. 21.
No. XLVII. The Revelation, or Anabaticon of Paul. I HAVE given this book these two different titles, because I find it went under both among the ancients; though it has been thought by several learned men, that they were the titles of two different books. How true this is, I shall inquire, after I have first produced the places where it is mentioned by the ancients. These are, 1. Epiphanius P, who gives us the following account of it:
speaking concerning the ridiculous sect of the Caianites 9,
and an absurd book of their tenets, adds; Πάλιν δε άλλο συνταγμάτιον That they forged besides another πλάττουσιν εξ ονόματος Παύλου book, under the name of Paul του αποστόλου άρρητουργίας έμ- the apostle, full of things which πλεον, ώ και οι Γνωστικοί λεγό- it was not lawful to utter; which μενοι χρώνται, ο 'Αναβατικόν they who are called the Gnosticks Παύλου καλούσι, την πρόφασιν also use, which they entitle, The
Anabaticon of Paul ; taking the ευρόντες από του λέγειν τον απόστολον αναβεβηκέναι έως τρίτου that saying of the apostle, that
occasion [of the forgery] from ουρανού, και ακηκοέναι άρρητα ρή- he ascended up into the third heaματα & ουκ έξον ανθρώπω λαλή
ven, and heard things which it was Και ταύτα, φασίν, έστι τα
not lawful for men to utter. And άρρητα ρήματα. .
these, say they, are the things. 2. Austin', speaking of the different attainments of some good
men in knowledge, adds; Quidam spiritualium ad ea per- Some Christians arrived to the venerunt, quæ non licet homini knowledge of those things which loqui; qua occasione vani qui- cannot be uttered: on which ocdam Apocalypsin Pauli, quam casion some vain persons, with a sana non recipit ecclesia, nescio most ridiculous impudence, forged quibus fabulis plenam stultissima [a book entitled] The Revelation præsumptione finxerunt, dicentes of Paul, which the true church hanc esse unde dixerat raptum se doth not receive; it being filled fuisse in tertium coelum, et illic with I know not what sort of audisse ineffabilia verba, quæ non strange stories; pretending that licet homini loqui. Utcunque il- it was on account of the things lorum tolerabilis esset audacia, si contained in this book, that he se audisse dixisset, quæ adhuc said he was taken up into the
p Hæres. 38. §. 2.
9 Concerning these monstrous heretics, see above, Chap. XX. No. XXVIII.
Tractat. xcviii. in Joan. in ipso extremo. T. Opp. 9.
non licet homini loqui; cum vero third heavens, and there heard undixerit quæ non licet homini lo- utterable words, which it was not qui ; isti qui sunt, qui hæc au- lawful for a man to speak. Their deant impudenter et infeliciter impudence had indeed been toloqui ?
lerable, if he had said that he heard things which it was not lawful as yet for a man to utter ; but since he speaks [absolutely] of things which it was not lawful at all to utter, what strange sort of persons must they be, who would thus impudently
3. Gelasius, in his Decree. Revelatio, quæ appellatur Pauli The Revelation under the name apostoli apocrypha.
of Paul the apostle, is apocry
phal. These are all the places within my limited time, in which this book is mentioned; though it was in being some ages after, as I shall shew presently. I have joined these places together, as supposing the Anabaticon of Paul mentioned by Epiphanius, and the Revelation of Paul mentioned by Austin and pope Gelasius, to be only one and the same book, under two different (and indeed scarce different) titles. I confess, most of the learned writers that I have seen, who have mentioned any thing of this matter, suppose them to have been two different books. Thus Dr. Cave, enumerating the spurious pieces fathered upon St. Pauls, first recites the Anabaticon mentioned by Epiphanius, and then, as distinct from it, the Revelation mentioned by Austin: so Du Pin also recites them distinctlyt, though in a note at the bottom of the page he seems to think they were the same.
Dr. Grabeu not only supposes them different books, but made at very different times, viz. the Anabaticon in the second century, and the Revelation in the latter end of the fourth, between the years 396 and 392. Mr. Spanheim * also, and father Simon y, recite them as two different books. So also (as one would imagine) after these
Histor. Liter. in Paulo, p. 7. · Hist. of the Canon, vol. 2. chap. 6. §. 6. p. 129, 130.
Spicileg. Patr. Sæcul. I. p. 84, 85. x Histor. Christ. Sæcul. I. p. 58. y Crit. Hist. of New Test. c. 3. p. 26.
does Mr. Toland, to augment his cataloguez; but nothing can be more humorous than to observe his blunder herein. He first places the Revelation of Paul, and refers to Epiphanius, Hæres. 38. §. 2. which is the place where he mentions the Anabaticon, and then in the next page recites the Anabaticon of St. Paul, and refers to the same place of Epiphanius (viz. Hæres. 38. §. 2.); which is, as if he had said, The Anabaticon and Revelation of Paul are two distinct books, and they are so, because Epiphanius mentions but one. Such mistakes, so frequent, are, to say no worse, unbecoming any man that pretends to learning. I desire Mr. Toland to be more careful and honest in the future attacks he threatens to make upon the canon. But to leave him. Mr. Fabritius a, following Dr. Grabe, supposes the Revelation and Anabaticon books of two different subjects, viz. the latter containing the fancies of the Gnosticks, and the former made not till the end of the fourth century by some Christian monks, containing the rules of their way of life.
Notwithstanding this so great agreement of learned writers in this matter, I think the contrary opinion most undeniable, viz. that. the Anabaticon of Paul mentioned by Epiphanius, and the Revelation mentioned by Austin and Gelasius, were one and the same book. And this I
argue, First, From the consideration that the design, occasion of writing, as well as the main subject of the Anabaticon, and the Revelation were the same. This will appear by a comparison of Epiphanius and Austin together b. Epiphanius concerning the
St. Austin concerning the
Revelation of Paul. The occasion of this forgery was The occasion of this Revelation St. Paul's saying, He ascended was, that some Christians had arinto the third heavens, and heard rived to the knowledge of things things which it was not lawful to which it was not lawful to utter.
That he means Paul, is plain by what follows. This book pretended to give an
The contents of this book were
b See the places above in this chap.
2 Amyntor, p. 32.
a Cod. Apocr. Nov. Testam. par. 2. p. 945
the unutterable things which account of those things which Paul heard in the third heavens. St. Paul heard, and said, were και ταύτα, φασίν, &c.
unutterable. These must be the contents of the same book; agreeable to which,
Secondly, The titles Anabaticon and Apocalypsis were both adjusted; the former denoting Paul's ascent and the visions he had in the third heavens ; or, as Mr. Du Pin's English translator renders it, The rapture of Paul: the latter denoting the visions or revelations, as in that book discovered. So that if we were to translate these two titles into English, one might not unjustly do it thus: The History of St. Paul's Ascent into the third Heavens; or, An Account of the Visions and Revelations which he had there.
This may suffice to prove these only two different titles of one book; which difference is very well conjecturedc by Dr. Mill “ to have happened when this book was afterwards trans6 lated into Latin."
All that is urged to prove them distinct books is by. Dr. Grabe and Mr. Fabritiusd, viz. “ that the Revelation is not “ mentioned till St. Austin, and therefore probably was not “ made before his time, whereas the Anabaticon was made by “the Caianites in the second century; and whereas the former “ contained the principles of the Gnosticks, the latter contained “ the rules of the monastic life.” But both these objections are founded upon the most precarious foundation: for as to the first, viz. the books not being mentioned before, it is a plain begging of the question ; first supposing them two distinct books, and then proving they are so by that supposition. Besides, if the silence of the writers of the age, in or after which any book be supposed to be made, be a good argument that it was not then made, then must a great number of books be brought many years back; and particularly what will become of the antiquity of the Gospel of the Nazarenes, and the Gospel of the Egyptians ? which, though Dr. Grabe supposes to be written before St. Luke's Gospel, are not either of them mentioned by name till near three hundred years after Christ.
Prolegom. in Nov. Testam. $. 364. Locis supra allegatis in hoc capite.