Imatges de pàgina

To which I answer, That though the bulk of Christians cannot themselves have recourse to these original evidences; yet there are many, who have with a great deal of diligence and impartiality made it their business to do it, whose testimonies they have, and may safely depend upon, as they neither can nor would deceive in a matter of such importance. Nor does it follow from hence, that their faith is ill grounded, because it relies on the testimony of fallible men, and so is but a human faith; for this is no more than what equally follows from their not knowing the original languages, and so being in consequence obliged to depend upon the veracity and judgment of others, for the truth and goodness of itn.

If any, after all, oppose their own experience to what I above said; I desire them to consider, 1. That this can be no argument to prove the scriptures to another; and, 2. Whether the utmost he can infer from his experience with reason be not this, That he has felt the powerful influences of the Christian religion, revealed in the New Testament, upon his heart, without having ever been made to know, at any particular time, that such books and such passages were of divine original, or to distinguish what is genuine in them, from what is spuriouso?

CHAP. VIII. A large account of all the places in the Christian writers of

the four first centuries, where catalogues are to be found of the books of the New Testament.

PROP. IV. Those books, which are mentioned in the catalogues made by

the most ancient Christian writers, of the sacred and inspired books, are to be esteemed canonical; and those which are not found in any of these catalogues, must be esteemed

apocryphal. THIS proposition does necessarily depend upon, and follow from the foregoing one; for if the tradition or testimony of the most early writers of Christianity be, as was there proved, n Saints' Rest, part 2. C. 4. §. 6. the tradition, that establishes the ca

They are bishop Burnet's words non of the New Testament, may read on Art. VI. p. 79. He who would see Mr. Dodwell's Dissert. in Iren. 1. more of the necessity and nature of §. 35, 36, 37.

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the method, by which we are to determine concerning the authority of any book, their evidence can never be more clear or material, than when they purposely give us lists or catalogues of those books, which are to be received as sacred and canonical. All these catalogues I have with much labour endeavoured to collect, and shall presently produce; premising only, that the omission of a book in some one or two particular catalogues, cannot with any reason be urged against its canonical authority, if it be found in all, or most of the others; and any good reasons can be assigned for the omission where it is. Thus, for instance, the Revelation is omitted, either because it was not perhaps known to the author, or its credit not sufficiently established in the country where he lived; or, which perhaps may be as probable as the other, because it being so full of mysteries, few or none were judged proper or able to read it to any purpose. This was certainly the case in England; this book being, for this reason, omitted in the public calendar for reading the scriptures, though it be received into the canon. If therefore these, or any such good reasons can be assigned for the omission of a book in a particular catalogue, (as, I hope, will appear in the particular examination of the books,) it will be very unfair to infer, from my proposition, that such book is apocryphal, especially when it is to be found in many, or most other catalogues. This premised, I shall now produce the catalogues themselves, not at length, which would be a needless transcribing the same things many times over; but only citing the several places in the authors where they are, and noting the least difference from our present canon, and withal adding the year of their writing.

A LIST of all those places in the Christian writers of the four first centuries, in which are to be found catalogues of the books of the New Testament.

N. B. In most of these places the reader may also see catalogues of

the books of the Old Testament; and, for the benefit of those, who may

desire to know which those places are, I have marked them thus *.

The names of the


The times in
which they lived.

The variation or agreement The places of their of their catalogues with ours writings, in which now received.

these catalogues are.



A. C. * ORIGEN, a pres- 210. Omits the Epistles of Comment, in byter of Alexan- James and Jude, though Matth. apud Eudria, who

he owns them both in seb. Hist. Eccl. l. ployed incredible other parts of his writ- 6. c. 25. Exposit. pains in knowing ings.

in Joan. 1.5. apud the scriptures.

Euseb. ibid. II. EUSEBIUS PAM- 315. His catalogue is exactly Hist. Eccl. l. 3. C. PHILUS,

whose the same with the modern 25. confer ejuswritings evidence one; only he says, the dem lib. c. 3. his zeal about the Epistles of James, Jude, sacred writings, the 2d of Peter, the ad and his great care

and 3d of John, though to be informed, they were generally rewhich were ge

ceived, yet had been by nuine, and which some doubted of. As to not.

the Revelation, though he
says some rejected it, yet
he says others received
it; and himself places it
among those, which are
to be received without

dispute. III. * ATHANASIUS, 315. The same perfectly with Fragment. Epist. bishop of Alexan- ours now received.

Festal. et in Sydria.

nops. Scriptur.

Sacr. IV. * Cyril, bishop 340. The same with ours, only Catech. IV. §. 36. of Jerusalem.

the Revelation is omitted.

The names of the


The times in
which they lived.

The variation or agreement The places of their of their catalogues with ours writings, in which now received.

these catalogues are.


A. C. * The bishops as - 364. The Revelation is omit- Canon. LX. sembled in the ted.

N.B. The canons of council of Lao

this council were not dicea.

long afterwards received into the body of the canons of the

universal church. VI. EPIPHANIUS, bp. 370. The same with ours now Hæres. 76. c. 5. of Salamis in Cy

received. prus.

VII. GREGORY Nazi- 375. Omits the Revelation. Carm. de veris et ANZEN, bishop of

genuin. Scriptur. Constantinople.

VIII. PHILASTRIUS, bp. 380. The same with ours now Lib. de Hæres. of Brixia in Ve- received ; except that he 87. nice.

mentions only thirteen of
St. Paul's Epistles, (omit-
ting, very probably, the
Epistle to the Hebrews,)
and leaves out the Reve-


382. The same with ours; ex- Ep. ad Paulin. de

cept that he speaks du- stud. Script. Also
biously of the Epistle to commonly pre-
the Hebrews; though in fixed to the Latin
other parts of his writings Vulgate.
he receives it as canoni-
cal; as hereafter will ap-

pear. X. * Ruffin, pres- 390. It perfectly agrees with Expos. in Symb. byter of Aquile

Apostol. $. 36. grum.

int. Op. Hieron.

et inter Op. Cypr. XI. * Austin, bp. of 394. It perfectly agrees with De Doct. Christ. Hippo in Africa.


1. 2. c. 8.


p The papists generally place this council before the council of Nice.

The names of the


The times in
which they lived.

The variation or agreement The places of their of their catalogues with ours writings, in which now received.

these catalogues are.



XII. A. C. * The xliv. bps. St. It perfectly agrees with Vid. Canon. assembled in the Au

XLVII. et cap. ult. stin third council of Carthage.


at it. XIII. The anonymous 390. It seems perfectly to agree Lib. de Hierarch. author of the with ours : for though he Eccl. c. 3. works under the doth not, for good reaname of Diony- sons, produce the names SIUS the Areopa- of the books; yet (as the gite.

learned Daillé says, De
Script. supposit. Dionys.
1. 1. C. 16.) he so clearly
describes them, as that he
has left out no divine
book, may be easily per-

These are the principal catalogues of the books of the New Testament, that are to be found before the fifth century. Some perhaps have escaped my knowledge; and some, pretending to this age, I have purposely omitted : as that in the Constitutions under the apostles' names, and that in the 85th canon, under the said name 9; taking it here for granted, that they are not only spurious, but of uncertain original; and that attributed by Pappus, in his Synodicon, to the council of Nice', with this relation, That the bishops there assembled were, by a very extraordinary miracle, convinced which were inspired, and which were apocryphal books, after this manner: Having put all the books, that laid claim to inspiration, under the communion-table in a church, they prayed to God, that those which were of divine inspiration might be found above, or upon, the

4 Constit. Apost. c. 57. ' 'Εν γάρ τώ οίκο του Θεού κάτω παρά τη θεία τραπέζη αυτάς παραθεμένη προσηύξατο, ως ευρεθήναι τας θεοπνεύστoυς επ.

άνω, τον Κύριον εξαιτησαμένη, και τας κιβδήλους, δ και γέγονεν, υποκάτωθεν. Syn. 34.

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