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pel of Truth, made use of by his followers; because the one was used, and so probably forged by Valentinus, but the other more lately made by his followers; yet it is very probable they were both designed for the same purposes, and therefore both by the same reason to be esteemed apocryphal, by Prop. IV. V. VI. VIII. and IX.
OF ALL THE
SAYINGS AND HISTORIES
WHICH ARE TO BE FOUND IN THE WRITERS OF THE
FIRST FOUR CENTURIES.
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
A Collection of the Discourses, Histories, &c. of Christ and his
Apostles, which are to be found in the Alcoran of Mahomet.
ALTHOUGH I cannot but hope that I have in the foregoing part of this work sufficiently disproved the claim of any of the lost books under the name of Christ, his apostles, &c. whose names are yet preserved, to canonical authority; yet I judged it necessary to add the following Appendix : the design of which will be evident from what follows.
Besides the apocryphal gospels, whose names are still extant, and of which I have produced all the remaining fragments, it has been thought, and may seem probable, that there have been several others, whose names are now quite lost; because there are cited in the writings of the primitive fathers several sayings and histories of Christ and his apostles, which are not to be found in any of our present Gospels. Now, inasmuch as these are generally supposed to be taken out of apocryphal gospels by several learned men, such as Mr. Dodwell, Dr. Mill, Dr. Grabe, Mr. Fabritius, and others, as will appear in
the sequel of this discourse: what I propose here is, to make as large a collection as I can of all those Accounts, Sayings, Histories, Doctrines, &c. of Christ and his apostles, which are not in any of our present Gospels, but either are, or may be supposed to have been taken out of some apocryphal books, and which are mentioned by any writer of the first four centuries after Christ; and withal to make it appear, that none of these accounts were taken out of apocryphal books. And as in this laborious attempt I proposed the establishing the credit of our present canon, so also the entertainment of the curious in Christian antiquities. The reader learned in these things will easily observe, that there are many accounts of the apostles omitted in this collection, that are in the writings of the first four centuries; but I desire it may be considered, that these are purposely omitted here, because I take in none but such as may, or have been supposed to, have been in some apocryphal books; whereas these are generally traditions not written, and of which perhaps hereafter, in a more convenient place, I may make a full collection.
Two or three things I must premise to this work; viz.
I. That I do not propose to transcribe the various lections of our Gospels, that are to be gathered out of the writings of the fathers, nor to make those pass for sayings of Christ, different from any in our Gospels, which are only the memoriter citations of the ancient writers. To do this would be a work of endless trouble, and of very little advantage; and I cannot but think the labours of Dr. Mill, in his collections of this sort, were very triflingly employed, as Dr. Whitbyf has sufficiently shewn. It is a matter past all doubt, that all the primitive writers cited the scripture memoriter, or by memory, without consulting their copies; which is not at all strange, if we consider the forms of their volumes, being large skins of parchment rolled up together, (as I have elsewhere shewns,) and that their books were not divided into chapters and verses, as
Hence I say, they cited memoriter frequently, and consequently expressed rather the sense and meaning, than the words of the author they cite; (1.) Sometimes quite changing his words, and substituting those of their own, which
fExamen variant. Lection. Mill. sect. 1-6. 8 Vindic. of Matthew, chap. xv.
ours now are.
they thought equivalent ; (2.) Sometimes inserting their own glosses and explications, and what they imagined needful to make the sense of the sentence complete ; (3.) Sometimes leaving out what was not to their purpose ; and nothing more commonly, than (4.) joining several different texts of scripture together, and which are related by several evangelists, as though spoken by Christ at one time. All this it were easy to demon- . strate by a thousand instances; and besides, the fact being so notorious, I shall here take it for granted: he who has a-mind may see very many examples of all these, collected by the learned Heinsiush and Dr. Whitby, in the place cited.
II. I purpose not to collect the differences of ancient manuscripts, nor to lay down, as sayings or histories of Christ, any of those which are to be found in any manuscripts now extant, and not in our present Gospels, unless perhaps in one or two instances, where the difference will appear to have been in manuscripts before the end of the fourth century. This I propose not here, because it is a work rather belonging to the integrity of the text, than the establishment of the canon.
III. I premise it as very probable, that many accounts and sayings of our Saviour were conveyed by tradition through the first and second centuries. St. John tells us, that our Saviour did many other things, which, if they should be written every one, he supposes that even the world itself would not contain the books which should be written. Some of these it is impossible, in the nature of things, but must be transmitted to the succeeding ages; especially if we consider how remarkable our Saviour's sayings and actions were, and how much taken notice of. These Papias, Irenæus, and many others sought after; and indeed we can hardly suppose any one of so little curiosity as not to desire the knowledge of them, and consequently of these it is very probable several are to be found in the most ancient monuments of Christianity.
These things premised, I come to consider the passages themselves, which are in the ancient writers, relating to Christ and his apostles; and which not being to be found in any of our Gospels, are or may be suspected to be taken out of some others.
1 Prolegom. in Exercit. Sacr. ad Nov. Test. p. 4, 5, &c.
i Joh. xxi. 25.
[N. B. I shall produce these passages according to the order
of time in which the writers are supposed to have lived, who
mention them.] I. A Saying of Christ mentioned by St. Paul, Acts xx. 35. not
to be found in any of our Gospels. Πάντα υπέδειξα υμίν, ότι ούτω I have shewed you all things, κοπιώντας δεί αντιλαμβάνεσθαι how that so labouring you ought των ασθενούντων, μνημονεύειν τε to support the weak, and to reτων λόγων του Κυρίου Ιησού, ότι
member the words of the Lord αυτός είπε, Μακάριόν εστι διδόναι
Jesus, how he said, It is more μάλλον ή λαμβάνειν.
blessed to give than to receive. This saying of Christ has been supposed by some to be taken out of some apocryphal gospel now lostk; by others, to. be taken out of a book entitled, The Book of the Sayings of Christ, which is cited in The Recognitions of Clemens'; and by Turrianusm, to be taken out of the Constitutions of the Apo stles, for which opinion he also cites Euthalius, a bishop cotemporary with Athanasius: but there is not the least evidence for the truth of either of these opinions, because had St. Paul really cited any book, he would, according to his custom, have given some intimation that he did so, either by mentioning the author's name, or the title of the book, &c. Besides, as to the first of these opinions, it has not the least appearance of truth; and as to the two latter, I shall think it enough at present to say, the books, from whence the passage is supposed to be cited, were made long after St. Paul's time. Neither of these conjectures being probable, several learned men, as Beza”, Chemnitiuso, Heinsius P, &c. have thought that the apostle does not refer to any particular saying of Christ, but to several of our Lord's sayings in the Gospels, which he intended to comprise or abridge in this; such as that, Matt. xix. 21. that Luke xvi. 9. and the parable of the talents, Matt. xxv. But this opinion seems very improbable, because the apostle expressly refers to the very words of Christ, and says not only λόγων του Κυρίου Ιησού, but αυτός είπε. That which seems
k Vid. Heins. Exercit. Sacr. in Act. xx. 35.
Sixt. Senens. Biblioth, Sanct. lib. 2. p. 130. ad Voc. Verborum Dom. Lib.
m Præfat. in Constit. Apostol.