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24. By the samek. In Evangelio, cujus sæpe fecimus In the Gospel, which I have often mentionem, superliminare templi mentioned, we read, that a lintel infinitæ magnitudinis fractum esse of the temple of an immense size atque divisum legimus.
was broken and rent (viz. at our
25. By the samel. In Evangelio autem, quod He- In that Gospel, which is written braicis literis scriptum est, legi- in Hebrew letters, we read, not mus non velum templi scissum, that the veil of the temple was sed superliminare templi miræ rent, but that a lintel (or beam] magnitudinis corruisse.
of a prodigious size fell down.
26. By the samem. In Hebraico quoque Evangelio In the Hebrew Gospel we read, legimus, Dominum ad discipulos that our Lord said to his disciloquentem, et Nunquam, inquit, ples, “ Be ye never cheerful, unlæti sitis, nisi cum fratrem ve- “ less when you can see your brostrum videritis in charitate.
" ther in love."
27. By the samen Cum enim apostoli eum putarent For when the apostles supposed spiritum, vel, juxta Evangelium him to be a spirit, or, according quod lectitant Nazaræi, incorpo- to the Gospel which the Nazarale dæmonium, dixit eis, Quid renes read, an incorporeal demon, turbati estis, &c.
he said to them, Why are ye
troubled, &c. 28. By the same, concerning Ignatius. In Epistola ad Smyrnæos—de E- In the Epistle to the Smyrneans, vangelio quod nuper a me trans- he takes a testimony from the latum est, super persona Christi Gospel which I lately translated, ponit testimonium dicens, Ego as spoken by Christ; he says, I vero et post resurrectionem in saw Christ in the flesh ter the carne eum vidi, et credo quia sit: resurrection, and believe that it et quando venit ad Petrum, et ad was he; and when he came to eos qui cum Petro erant, dixit Peter, and to those who were eis, Ecce palpate me, et videte, with Peter, he said unto them, quia non sum dæmonium incor- Behold, feel me, and see that I porale ; et statim tetigerunt eum, am not an incorporeal spirit; and et crediderunt.
presently they touched him, and believed.
m Lib. 3. Comm. in Ep. ad Eph. v.4. Præfat. lib. 18. Comment. in Jesai.
These are all the places I have met with in the writers within the limits of my time, except that Epiphanius tells us, that a certain Jew, called Joseph, found in a cell at Tiberias, in the time of Constantine, το κατά Ματθαίον Εβραϊκών φυτών, viz. “the Hebrew Gospel ascribed to Matthewo."
CHAP. XXVI. The various sentiments of later writers concerning the Gospel
of the Nazarenes. The opinions of Beda, Sixtus Senensis, cardinal Baronius, Casaubon, Grotius, father Simon, Du Pin, Dr. Grabe, Mr. Toland, Mr. Nye, Mr. Richardson, Dr. Mill, Dr. Whitby, Mr. Fabritius, Mr. Le Clerc, and
Dr. Mangey. HAVING in the preceding chapter produced the ancient testimonies and fragments of the Hebrew Gospel of the Nazarenes, I proceed as I proposed;
II. To give as succinct an account as I can of the opinions of later writers concerning it. And to this I am the rather induced, because several men of learning have entertained so high sentiments of this ancient book, as not only to make it canonical, but thereby also more valuable than our present Greek Gospel of St. Matthew, which in consequence must be rejected as apocryphal.--I design here all possible brevity, and therefore shall not produce the authors' words at large, as in the former chapter, but only give a compendious abstract account of what they have said; for the justness of which I shall refer the readers to the books themselves, as cited at the bottom of the page. The authors which I have selected I have placed in the following order, according to the time of their writing, viz. Beda, Sixtus Senensis, Baronius, Casaubon, Grotius, father Simon, Du Pin, Dr. Grabe, Mr. Toland, Mr. Nye, Mr. Richardson, Dr. Mill, Dr. Whitby, Mr. Fabritius, Mr. Le Clerc, and Dr. Mangey.
1. Bedap, a writer of the seventh century, saith, “ that the “Gospel according to the Hebrews is not to be esteemed
among the apocryphal, but ecclesiastical histories, because “ Jerome himself, who translated the sacred scriptures, has • Hæres. 30. Ebion. $. 6. p Comment, in Luc. i. apud Sixt. Senens. p. 64.
testimonies out of it, and translated it into Greek « and Latin."
2. Sixtus Senensis, in his excellent Bibliotheca 4, is of opinion, that the Gospel of the Ebionites “ was only the Gospel of “ Matthew in Hebrew interpolated and corrupted by those “ heretics, and that the Nazarene Gospel was received by the “most ancient fathers among other sacred (venerandas] scrip“tures, for the edification of the church."
3. Baronius (as Casaubon interprets his words) saith", " The
present Greek text of St. Matthew is of no value nor au“thority, unless it were to be compared with the Hebrew Gos“ pel of the Nazarenes, which he looks upon as the true original."
4. Casaubon s affirms and proves the contrary, viz. That if the Hebrew Gospel were still extant, “ it were not to be “ looked upon as the original authentic text of St. Matthew, “ because it was only made use of by the Nazarenes and Ebi" onites, heretics, and a work full of fables and corruptions of 66 various sorts.”
5. “Grotius supposes this Gospel to have been made out of “ the original Hebrew of St. Matthew, and that in it were
some accounts not written by him, but such as the Naza
renes received by tradition, and by degrees inserted into “ their copies; from whence the difference arose between the 66 Greek and Hebrew books t."
6. Father Simon has carried the authority of this Gospel to a very great height; and spent two whole chapters u in endeavouring to support it. The substance of what he says is; “ That St. Matthew first wrote his Gospel in Hebrew; that it “ was composed for the primitive Christians of Palestine, called “ Nazarenes, who are not to be looked upon as heretics; that “ if this their Hebrew copy were extant, it were to be pre“ ferred to the Greek version which we now have; that it is “ not to be looked upon as apocryphal, or a false book, nor to “ be compared with the Gospel according to the Egyptians, “ the Acts of Barnabas, the Prophecy of Cham, and other
4 Biblioth. Sanct. lib. 2. p. 63, 64. s Loc. jam citat. et exercit. 15. C. 12.
r Annal. ad Ann. Cti. XXXIV. No. + Annot. in Titul. Matth. 175. and Casaub. advers. Baron. An- u Critic. Histor. of the New Test, nal. exercit. 16. c. 115.
part 1. c. 7, 9.
“ books that have been forged by impostors, but really a com
posure of St. Matthew; and as for the additions afterwards “ inserted in it, they are not false, but annexed by the Naza“ renes, as what they had from good and undoubted testimo“ nies, and therefore not to be rejected.” He heartily “ wishes “ it were now extant, even with all the interpolations of the Na
zarenes and Ebionites;” and adds, that “even thus it should “ not be reckoned among the forgeries of impostors, but as the “ most ancient act of the Christian religion, and consequently
preferable to our present Greek copies of St. Matthew, which “ are not a very just translation."
7. Mr. Du Pin x has very much the same sentiments with father Simon, only with this difference, (which is indeed every where visible in the writings of those two French critics,) that he delivers his thoughts with a more becoming softness and modesty.
8. Dr. Grabe y seems to have treated the subject with more accuracy, and supposes, that the Gospel of the Nazareness was “ not a forgery of those heretics, because it was not only trans“ lated by Jerome, but appealed to or cited by many of the old “ Christian writers, Ignatius, Papias, Justin Martyr, &c. That 6 it was not any Gospel of St. Matthew's altered, corrupted, “ and interpolated; but an honest composure of the Jewish “ converts at Jerusalem, soon after our Saviour's ascension, and some time before
canonical Gospels were 66 written; that it afterwards had affixed to it the title of Mat“thew by the artifice of the Nazarenes and Ebionites, who
knowing St. Matthew's Gospel was wrote in Hebrew, thereby “ more easily imposed their own upon the world, which was “ written in that language under his name."
9. Mr. Toland z tells us, the Ebionites or Nazarenes, “ who “ were the oldest Christians, had a different copy of St. Mat“ thew's Gospel, and that this is by several maintained to be “ the original of St. Matthew a.” This author has given us his opinion more largely in a late disingenuous tract against the Christian religion b. Having described his Nazarenes (who denied the godhead of Christ) as the original and only true * Hist. of the Canon, vol. 2. c. 2. 2 Amyntor, p. 64.
Ibid. p. 35. y Spicileg. Patr. Sæcul. I. p. 15, &c. b Nazarenus.
Christians, and such as could not be mistaken, he mentions their books c. Among others, “ they had,” says he, “a Gospel “ of their own, sometimes called by ecclesiastical writers, The “ Gospel of the Hebrews, and sometimes The Gospel of the “ Twelve Apostles, but ignorantly mistaken by Irenæus, Epi
phanius, and others, for the Gospel of Matthew interpolated. “ This Gospel was publicly read in their churches, as au" thentic, for three hundred years; which might very well be “ for the most part, and yet the other Gospels be neverthe“ less authentic also. It might be one of those many men“ tioned by St. Luke, as written before his own, and which he “ does not reject as false or erroneous, or for any
other reason -Divers pious and learned men regret highly the loss of “ it-It was translated into Greek and Latin by Jerome, who “ very often makes use of it, as likewise did Origen and Euse“ bius, not rejecting it as apocryphal, nor receiving it as canon“ ical, but placing it among what they called ecclesiastical books, “ i. e. books whose antiquity they were not able to deny, but “ whose authority they were not willing to acknowledge. Long “ before these, the Gospel of the Hebrews was by Papias, Ig“ natius, Clemens Alexandrinus, and others, alleged as a true
Gospel. So it seems to have been by Justin Martyr. So it was by Hegesippus,” &c. 10. Mr. Nye supposes d, not only that the Ebionites and Nawere different
sects, but that they had different Gospels.” He blames Epiphanius for calling the “ things added “ in this Gospel adulterations. That they are preserved by “Eusebius, Jerome, Austin, Photius," (which by the way is so very false, that neither Austin nor Photius have once mentioned this Gospel, nor Eusebius preserved one fragment:) “That it “ were highly to be valued, if extant.” He adds a conjecture concerning the difference between St. Matthew's and the Ebionites' copies, more ingenious than well-grounded, viz. “That “ St. Matthew published two editions of his Gospel. In the “ first he began at the baptism of John, which is now chap. 3. “ In the second he began, as our present copies, with the gene“ alogy.” The Ebionites made their copies from the first edition, and thence proceeded the difference. Chap. XX.
Answer to Amyntor, p. 76, &c.