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short notes, which are published by Dr. Felld, under the name of Clemens Alexandrinus, upon the first Epistle of Peter, the Epistle of Jude, the first and second Epistles of John, were part of these old Hypotyposes, that went under the name of Clemens, which, if it be right, we shall be able to form another very good argument against them, viz. that Cassiodoruse, who translated them into Latin, says, he found them so heterodox, that he thought proper to exclude a very large part of them from his translation. If then the book of Hypotyposes was not really wrote by Clemens, it is plain, nothing can be hence gathered for the authority of the Revelation of Peter, which was made use of, or noted upon in it.
II. As to this Revelation being cited in the Eclogues of Theodotus, which are at the end of Clemens Alexandrinus; I think, that as its being cited there will be no credit to it, so the fragment there cited will be of itself sufficient to evidence that it was a most egregiously silly and apocryphal book. That it will gain no credit by being cited in these Eclogues, or Excerpta, is plain; for though they go under the name of Clemens, yet they are not his, nor is he any further concerned with them than as a mere abbreviator; if he had indeed any concern at all with them, which I can hardly persuade myself that he had, when I observe that the whole design of these Eclogæ is directly opposite to all the known books of Clemens; the former being intended to countenance the errors of Valentinus and Basilides, as is well observed by Sylburgius and the learned archbishop Usherf; but the latter, viz. the genuine works of Clemens, in many places are designed to confute the errors of those two heretics 8; which is, I think, a convictive argument, either that Clemens had no concern in these Eclogæ, or Abridgment of Theodotus, or at least that he was no favourer of the doctrines therein contained ; and consequently not Clemens Alexandrinus, but Theodotus, and some heretic of his mind, cited this. Revelation of Peter. And if this be the case, I am sure it will add no credit to this book, that it is here cited, in the judgment of any one that will consider the wretched principles of that 'heretic above produced, near the beginning of Chap. XXXIV. To which now I add these further out of the same Eclogue, That Christ was not only made by the Father, but made flesh at the beginning of the world ; that he himself had need of redemption, which he obtained by the descent of the dove upon him after his baptism ; that God the Father suffered with the Son; yet that the divinity recedéd from Christ before his passion, &c. If such an author be allowed to have cited the Revelation of Peter, it will rather be an evidence against, than for its authority. I must not leave this head, without observing, that Valesiush has imagined these Excerpta, or Eclogues, to have been part of the Hypotyposes, or Commentaries, of which I treated in the foregoing section; because the same things were contained in both, and the Revelation of Peter was made use of in both; and because Pantænus, who was the master of Clemens, is called by that author of the Eclogues his master. To all which I answer, that if it should be true, that these Eclogues were part of the Commentaries, or Hypotyposes, yet nothing can be gathered thence for the credit of the Revelation of Peter, because I have proved even the Hypoty poses not to have been the books of Clemens. Nor are Valesius's arguments of any weight, seeing it is a thing very probable, that these two books might be the work of two other scholars of Pantænus, who had the same principles : besides, there is an unanswerable argument against his opinion, that the Hypotyposes consisted of short notes, or commentaries, upon all the parts of scripture; but there is not any thing like this to be found in the Eclogues, or Excerpta Theodoti. And hence it follows, that the conjecture of Heinsius, concerning these Hypotyposes, being a part of the last book of the Stromata, is also entirely groundless.
d In the end of his edition of that little tract ascribed to Clemens Alexandrinus, entitled, Quis Dives Salvetur?
e Lib. 1. De Institut. Script. Divin.
apud Rivet. Critic. Sacr. l. 2. c. 8.
f In a manuscript of his, entitled, Bibliotheca Theologica, cited by Dr. Cave, Histor. Liter. p. 56. 8 See especially l. 3, 4.
Upon the whole then I conclude, that as Clemens has no where cited the Revelation of Peter, so neither is it of any credit to it, that Theodotus, or his abbreviator, did.
III. But the main thing that is urged for the Revelation of Peter is, that Eusebius did not reject it, but places it in the same class with the Epistle of Jude, and the other catholic Epistles. This is urged by Dr. Grabe with a great deal of assurance; in which nevertheless he is most egregiously mistaken, as he is more than once in his judgment on those words of Eusebius; for in both those places where he mentions it, he absolutely rejects it. (See above in this Chapter, N°. IV. and V.) In the first he affirms, that he certainly knew it was not delivered to the church as a canonical or catholic book; and in the latter he places it among the worst sort of books, which he calls vódous, i. e. spurious. That which Eusebius made his rule to judge by, (which is indeed the only rule in the case,) was the testimony of the ancients, i.e. the tradition of those who lived nearer to the time when the books were written. This he urges against this book, and saith, that it was not delivered as canonical, and that no ecclesiastical writer has taken any testimonies out of it. But in this, says Mr. Tolandi, Eusebius is mistaken; for the contrary appears by the testimonies marked in the catalogue, which any body may compare with the originals. Valesiusk, and after him father Simon!, Dr. Grabem, and others, go further, and charge Eusebius with contradicting himself; because himself, say they, in another place (viz. that above, No. I.) owns, that Clemens Alexandrinus cited it in the book of his Hypotyposes. Simon indeed attempts to say something in favour of Eusebius, adding, that perhaps Eusebius only intended, that no ecclesiastical author had quoted these books as divine and canonical. And herein he is followed by Mr. Richardson, in his Answer to Mr. Toland, p. 75. But this is not likely, and I must confess is no other than what we commonly call, begging the question. Dr. Grabe accounts for it thus, viz. that Eusebius in the beginning of his book had not sufficiently acquainted himself with those things, and therefore said, no ecclesiastical writer had cited this book ; but, upon further inquiry into the old books, he found his mistake, and so owned what before he denied. But this is a very precarious and groundless supposition; inasmuch as it is certain that Eusebius had read the works of Clemens
h Annot. in Euseb. 1. 5. c. 11. et 1. 6. c. 14.
Alexandrinus, and made large use even of the Hypotyposes under his name n, before he had wrote this third book, where he says,
that no ecclesiastical writer took testimonies out of this book under the name of Peter. Besides, had Eusebius thus in the sixth book perceived the mistake he was guilty of in the third book, (which Dr. Grabe supposes he did,) it was easy for him to have corrected it, by erasing what he had wrote falsely in the former place; but he not having done this, I conclude he was of the same mind, when he wrote both books. And though upon this hypothesis it may be thought, that Eusebius is ehargeable with contradiction to himself; yet, with submission to these learned men, I think the charge most unjustly laid; for though he says, no ecclesiastical writer has taken testimonies out of the Revelation of Peter in one place, he does not say that Clemens Alexandrinus did take testimonies out of it in another: all that he says is, that he wrote Some short notes upon it, (επιτετμημένας διηγήσεις πεποίηται,) which is a very different thing from μαρτυριαϊς συνεχρήσατο, i. e. taking testimonies out of it, or appealing to it as of any authority. Had the learned writers abovenamed observed this, I am persuaded Eusebius had not been suspected of a contradiction; after all which I may fairly conclude, there is nothing to be gathered from Eusebius for the credit or authority of the Revelation of Peter.
IV. The last thing urged for this Revelation is, that Sozomen, a writer of the fifth century, says, it was read in some churches of Palestine once yearly, viz. the day of Christ's passiono. Mr. Toland P refers to this place of Sozomen in his Catalogue; and Dr. Grabe 9 concludes from it, that it was not a book of the heretics, else it would not have thus been read. But inasmuch as Sozomen does not mention what sort of churches these were, whether of the heretics or catholics; it is most reasonable to conclude the former, not only because of the known heterodoxy of the book, but because Sozomen in the very same place tells us, that it was rejected by the ancients universally, as a spurious piece.
n Vid. Hist. Eccl. 1. 1. C. 12. 1. 2. c. 1. 9. 15.
o Hist. Eccl. 1.7. C. 19.
p Amyntor, p. 23.
Thus I have largely considered this Revelation that went under the name of Peter: whether it was a prophetic book concerning the miserable state of the Jews, and the state of the church to the time of antichrist, as Dr. Graber and Dr. Mills suppose, I shall not now inquire; only observe, that it was certainly apocryphal by Prop. IV. V. and VI. I add also the IXth, as it contained things ludicrous and trifling, fabulous and silly relations ; of which sort those are, produced above, No. II. III. concerning abortive children, the milk of women producing animals, &c.
CHAP. XXXVII. Other books under the name of Peter, viz. T'he Acts of Peter
by Leucius Charinus. The Gospel of Perfection, a forgery of the Gnosticks. A conjecture concerning the reason of the title, and the contents of the book. The Acts of Philip now extant in the Vatican. The Gospel of Philip. A fragment of it. Its contents, and abominable doctrines. A mistake of Mr. Du Pin concerning it.
No. LIV. Other books under the name of Peter. I HAVE given these, for method sake, a distinct title, because I find them so mentioned by pope Innocent I. His
Cætera, quæ sub nomine Mat- But the other books under the thæi, sive Jacobi minoris, vel sub name of Matthew, or James the nomine Petri et Joannis, quæ a Less, or under the name of Peter quodam Leucio scripta sunt- and John, which were written non solum repudianda, verum et- by one Leucius; know, that they iam noveris esse damnanda. are not only to be rejected, but
condemned. There can be no reason to doubt, but these were the same with those apocryphal Acts, of which I have largely treated above, as being forged under the apostles' names by Leucius Charinus, as will evidently appear from what is said Chap. XXI. especially from the passage of Photius.
r Lib. cit. p. 74.
t In Decret. sive Epist. ad Exuper. Episc. Tholos, c. 7.