Imatges de pÓgina

As to the latter, viz. the monks using it, and being delighted with it, it is much weaker than the former. The argument stands fairly thus: the monks of the fourth century were much delighted with the Revelation of Paul, therefore it was made then: they used it, therefore they forged it. Sozomen indeed relates a fabulous account of this Revelation “ being found in “ the time of Theodosius the emperor, in a marble chest, hid “ under ground at the house of St. Paul, at Tarsus in Cilicia, “ to which they were directed by God;” but he adds, “ that “ he was assured by a presbyter of Tarsus, who was very old, “ that this was not fact; but he supposed the book forged by “ the heretics.” He further says, “ it was a book much com“mended by the monks e;" but there is nothing in this story that will prove it a forgery of that time; for the book may be supposed extant long before, but by this artifice of the monks imposed upon the world, as more valuable and extraordinary.

The Anabaticon therefore, and the Revelation of Paul, being one and the same book, it only remains now, that I endeavour to prove it apocryphal: and that it is so, is evident by Prop. IV. V. and VI. I add also, by Prop. VIII. as the whole design of it was contrary to a known and undoubted fact. 2 Cor. xii. 4. &c. St. Paul there says, he heard unutterable words (άρρητα ρήματα & ουκ έξον ανθρώπω λαλήσαι) τωhich it was not in the power of any man to declare: which if it be true, (as the book itself supposes,) then they attempted in writing what was utterly impossible to be wrote, and so unhappily blundered, as that the whole design of their work was a mere contradiction to the title. (See Austin above.)

Tertullian f has a passage in his Book against the Heretics, which (if my judgment do not much fail me) may be very justly applied to this Revelation of Paul; and if it may, will afford a good argument to prove it apocryphal. He is treating concerning the harmony of the apostles' doctrines; and then adds , Sed et si in tertium usque cælum Yea, and though Paul was taken ereptus Paulus, et in paradisum up to the third heavens, and bedelatus, audiit quædam illic; non ing brought into paradise, heard possunt videri ea fuisse, quæ il- some certain things there, they

• Hist. Eccles. I. vii. c. 19. De Præscript. adv. Hæret. c. 24.

Loc. cit.

lum in aliam doctrinam instruc- cannot be thought such, as would tiorem præstarent; cum ita fue- make him capable of preaching rit conditio eorum, ạt nulli ho- any new doctrines; seeing they minum proderentur. Quod si ad were of that sort, that they could alicujus conscientiam manavit not be revealed or communicated nescio quid illud, et hoc se ali- to any man. But if any one imaqua hæresis sequi affirmat, aut gine he have the knowledge of Paulus secreti proditi reus est, these strange revelations, and there aut et alius postea in paradisum be

апу sort of heretics, who declare ereptus debet ostendi, cui per- they will be governed by them, missum sit eloqui quæ

Paulo mu

[let them consider,] that either tire non licuit.

Paul must have been guilty of betraying the secret committed to him, or else they must produce some other person, who has since been taken up to paradise, who had permission to speak those things freely, of which St.

Paul durst not utter a word. Nothing can be more probable, than that these words have a reference to the written Revelations we are treating of. It is certain by the passage, that there were some who pretended to know what St. Paul saw in the third heavens, and that there were a peculiar sort of heretics, who governed themselves according to them. How little different this is from what Epiphanius above says of the Gnosticks and Caianites, every unprejudiced reader will acknowledge, who compares the places. In this interpretation I have the satisfaction to agree with Pamelius h, who remarks on these words of Tertullian thus: “ You see there have been some who affirmed they both knew “ and read in a writing of St. Paul's own, the secrets he heard “ in heaven; affirming that he both preached them, and com“ mitted them to writing." This learned writer afterwards cites the place of Epiphanius concerning the Anabaticon, that of Austin and Gelasius concerning the Revelation, as all speaking of one and the same book.

Upon the whole then, it is evident it was a spurious piece ; and that as neither Paul did nor could write it, so neither could any one else give any true account of what that book pre

h Annot. in loc. Tertull.

[ocr errors]

tended to. I only add, that Dionysius Alexandrinus, a noted writer early in the third century, assures usi, Haúnou Esà tūv επιστολών υπoφήναντός τι και περί των αποκαλύψεων αυτού, ας ουκ ενέypaws xall'autás. That “though Paul in his Epistles has made “ some mention of his revelations, yet he never committed “ them to writing;” and that as Mr. Du Pin says, the “ Egyp“ tians boast of having this Revelation by them to this very

day k." so Dr. Grabel tells us of a manuscript in the library of Merton college in Oxford, entitled thus, The Revelation of Paul, (containing what passed) in those three days; when upon his being called and converted by Christ, he fell upon the ground, and saw nothing; being an account of the revelations he had from St. Michael, concerning the various and dreadful punishments of purgatory and hell, and who it was that first prevailed upon the Lord to grant rest to the souls in purgatory on every Lord's day afterwards, to the end of the world. But neither of these were the old Revelation, of which I have been treating, but much later forgeries.

CHAP. XXXI. The Acts of Peter; or, the Travels of Peter, and the Recog

nitions of Clemens, differing titles of the same book now extant. The Preaching and Doctrine of Peter the same book. The Gospel of Peter. Mark's Gospel formerly ascribed to Peter; and the reasons of it. Peter's Gospel not composed by Leucius, as Dr. Grabe and Dr. Mill suppose, but a forgery of the heretics called Docete, and perhaps the same as the Gospel of Basilides. This proved probable by several arguments.

No. XLVIII. The Acts of Peter. UNDER the name of this apostle I find mention among the ancients of several spurious pieces; and particularly by several of certain Acts; viz.

1. By Eusebius m. Τόγε μην των επικεκλημένων Πέ- It is certain, that the book enTgou Apágewoud ows & Tois titled, The Acts of Peter-is not

i Apud Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib, vii. c. 25.

Hist. of the Canon, vol. 2. c. 6.

f. 6. p. 130.

Spicileg. Patr. t. 1. p.85. m Hist. Eccl. I. 3. C. 3.


καθολικούς ισμεν παραδεδομένον· by any means to be reckoned ότι μήτε αρχαίων μήτε των καθ' among the canonical books; inημάς τις εκκλησιαστικός συγγρα

asmuch as none of the ancients, φεύς ταϊς εξ αυτού συνεχρήσατο nor any of our ecclesiastical writμαρτυρίαις.

ers, have taken testimonies out

of it.

2. By Athanasius n. Tα της νέας διαθήκης αντιλεγό- The apocryphal books of the New μενα ταύτα, περίοδοι Πέτρου--- Testament are these, The Acts παραγεγραμμένα είσί πάντως και [or Journeys] of Peter, &c. νόθα και απόβλητα, και ουδέν τού- They are all false, spurious, and των των αποκρύφων μάλιστα έγ- to be rejected; none of those aκριτον και επωφελές, εξαιρέτως της pocryphal books of the New Tesνέας διαθήκης, αλλά πάντα δίχα tament have been either approved, των ανωτέρω διαληφθέντων και έγ

or are useful, but they have all κριθέντων παρά τους παλαιούς σο

been judged apocryphal, i. e. ra

ther to be concealed than read, φούς, αποκρυφής μάλλον ή ανα

by the ancient wise men and faγνώσεως ως αληθώς άξια, τα τε

thers, which contain any thing άλλα, και αυτά τα καλούμενα εν

contrary to the books above reαυτοϊς Ευαγγέλια, εκτός των πα

cited o; as also all other Gospels ραδοθέντων ημϊν τεσσάρων τούτων.

besides those four delivered to us. 3. By Jerome in the Life of Peter. Libri autem ejus, e quibus unus But those [other] books [called] Actorum ejus inscribitur, alius Peter's, among which one is his Evangelii, tertius Prædicationis, Acts, another his Gospel, a third quartus Apocalypseos, quintus his Preaching, a fourth his ReveJudicii, inter apocryphas scriptu- lation, a fifth his Judgment, are ras reputantur.

reckoned among the apocryphal

scriptures. 4. By Epiphanius9, concerning the Ebionites. Χρώνται δε και άλλαις τισί βί- They make use of some other βλοις, δήθεν ταϊς περιόδους καλου- books, such as those called The μέναις Πέτρου, ταϊς δια Κλή- Acts [or Journeys] of Peter, wrote μεντος γραφείσαις, νοθεύσαντες μέν by Clemens, in which they have τα εν αυταίς, ολίγα δε αληθινά left very little that is true, but εάσαντες.

inserted many spurious accounts.

n In Synops. versus fin.

He alludes to his catalogue of the canonical books, which he had be


fore given.

p Catal. vir. illustr. in Petro.
q Heres. 30. S. 15.

5. By Gelasius, in his Decree. Itinerarium nomine Petri apo- The Journeys under the name of stoli, quod appellatur sancti Cle- Peter the apostle, which are callmentis libri octo (alii decem) ed The eight (other copies read apocryphum.

ten) Books of Clemens, are apo

cryphal. 6. By the same, a little after. Actus nomine Petri apostoli apo- The Acts under the name of Peter cryphi.

the apostle are apocryphal. Concerning these Acts of Peter it seems very hard to form any certain determination: I have here recited the testimonies of the Acts and Periods, or Travels of Peter, together, as of one book. The latter title undoubtedly belongs to that book now extant, called The Recognitions of Clement; and whether the former also did not, I confess I cannot tell. For though Gelasius does indeed mention them as distinct, yet it is observable, that in the first editions of that pope's Decree there was no such distinction, nor any mention at all of the Acts of Peter. Dr. Graber supposes them to have been different books, not only because of this passage of Gelasius, but because the Periods or Travels never went under the name of Peter, but Clemens; whereas the Acts always did. But in this he is mistaken, the Travels being as expressly attributed to Peter, in the place now cited of Athanasius, as the Acts can be any where else; so that, for ought I am able yet to see to the contrary, these Acts of Peter, and the Travels of Peter, written by Clemens, were the same book; and so being now extant, do not fall any further under consideration here, but must be referred to their proper place in the next volume.

No. XLIX. The Doctrine of Peter. THIS has been clearly proved by Dr. Caves and Dr. Grabe, to be the same book with that entitled, The Preaching of Peter; and therefore shall be considered there, N°. LII. and the place of Origen, where it is mentioned, produced.

No. L. The Gospel of Peter. THIS apocryphal Gospel has been taken notice of by many r Spicileg. Patr. t. 1. p. 78.

+ Lib. jam cit. tom. I. p. 56. · Hist. Liter. in Petro, p. 5.

« AnteriorContinua »