« السابقةمتابعة »
marriage; and designed it for mutual comfort, as well as for the preservation of the species. For certain, Lactantius," the most learned Latin Christian of his time, knew nothing of this Constitution. And though he was a great admirer of purity, and all virtue, he has argued against the restraint here enjoined. This one Constitution, if strictly enforced, would render the gospel a heavier yoke than all the ordinances of the law of Moses. And wherever such an appointment should be reckoned a part of any religious institution, there would be frequent occasions for dispensations : and the rule would prove detrimental to the interests of religion and virtue, without benefit to any, but those who could get the dispensing power into their hands.
(4.) Once more: Concerning bishops, we have heard from our Lord, that a person, appointed pastor or bishop in any parish should be unblameable, and not under fifty years of age....But in a small parish, if one advanced in years cannot be found, let a younger person • who is of good character be admitted. For Solomon at twelve years of age was king of Israel, • and Josiah at eight years of age reigned righteously, and Joash began to reign at seven years of . age.' This is tying and loosing, saying and unsaying, all at once; that is, it is saying nothing at all. This therefore appears to me unworthy of the apostles; for I cannot think, that they would say and unsay, all in a breath.
If any should understand this otherwise, and say, this Constitution requires that no man be ordained bishop in a city, or large parish, under fifty years of age; it is obvious to answer, that it is an absurd appointment, and therefore unworthy of the apostles. Nor do we know, that. the Christians of the first three centuries acted by this rule: nor, finally, is there any such canon among those which are called apostolical.
4. Inconsistencies are a disparagement to any writings: this work is not free from them.
(1.) These Constitutions mention the martyrdom of Stephen, and James the son of Zebedee, which are well known from the Acts; as also, that Stephen was stoned before Paul's conversion. And yet all the twelve apostles, and Paul, and the seven deacons, are said to join together in these Constitutions. The inconsistence is manifest to every body : I need not say any thing to make it evident.
(2.) In the eighth chapter of the fifth book the apostles ordain, that martyrs be honoured, and particularly James and Stephen. And yet in the twelfth chapter of the sixth book, giving an account of the council of Jerusalem, the history of which we have in Acts xv. on occasion of the controversy concerning the method of receiving the Gentiles, it is said, “ that all the twelve • apostles were then gathered together at Jerusalem, with James the Lord's brother. Here, I. think, is an inconsistence with what had been before said of the death of James, son of Zebedee: moreover here is also certainly a mistake, or false history; for the apostle James, just mentioned, had been beheaded by order of Herod Agrippa, before the meeting of the said council.
(3.) At the end of that twelfth chapter, having inserted the epistle to the church of Antioch and other churches, it is said by the apostles: • This letter we sent to them; but we ourselves • stayed some time at Jerusalem, consulting together about the public good, and the well order
ing of all things.' Then in the thirteenth chapter : • But after a long time we visited the brethren, confirming them in the word, and exhorting them to be upon their guard against • heretics.' Then at the beginning of ch. xiv. • On" whose account we now being all met • together, Peter and Andrew, James and John, sons of Zebedee, Philip and Bartholomew, • Thomas and Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, and Lebbeus surnamed Thaddeus, and Simon • the Canaanite, and Matthias chosen in the room of Judas, and James the Lord's brother, and • Paul, the chosen vessel and master of the Gentiles : we being all gathered together have written • to you this catholic doctrine.' Surely I need not harangue to shew the absurdity of this. How could James brother of John, and son of Zebedee, who had been beheaded before the above-men
* Nec ob aliam causam Deus, cum cæteras animantes, sus- d L. viii. c. 4. Conf. 1. ii. c. 55. cepto fetu, maribus repugnare voluisset, solam omnium mulie- • Ημεις οι δωδεκα συνελθοντες εις Ιερεσαλήμ. κ. λ. L. vi. c. rem patientem viri fecit; scilicet, ne, feminis repugnantibus, 12. p. 341. in. libido cogeret viros aliam appetere, eoque facto castitatis glo- Την μεν εν επιςολην εξαπέςειλαμεν αυτοι δε εν ικαναις riam non ienerent. Inst. 1. vi. cap. 23. p. 628.
ημεραις εν Ιεροσολύμοις επεμειναμεν, αμα συζηλονίες προς το τον ποιμενα τον καθισαμενον επισκοπον εις τας εκκλη- κοινωφελες εις διορθωσιν. p. 342. sub. in. σιας εν πάση παροικία --Bκ ελαττον είων πεντηκοντα. Ει δε 8 Μελα δε χρονον ικανον επισκεψαμενοι της αδελφος. κ. λ. και εν παροικια μικρα.
•%. a. L. ii.
Δι ές και ημεις νυν επι το αυτο γενομενοι, εδραψαμεν υμίν © This is particularly mentioned by. Dů Pin p. 17. as one of thv xagonxov raviny osoaoxahay. p. 343. the absurdities found in the Apostolical Constitutions.
tioned council, be present at another, not held until a good while after it? Such things almost render the writer's abilities doubtful : and may make us question, whether he was not rather ignorant than learned, as some indeed have thought.
5. The style, or manner of expression, seems sometimes to betray a later time than is pre« tended.
(1.) • Now.concerning the bishops, which were or have been ordained in our life-time, we • let
you know that they are these: James, bishop of Jerusalem, brother of our Lord : upon • whose death the second was Simeon the son of Cleophas; after him Judas the son of James.' And what follows. To speak of things done by the apostles in their life-time, is rather the style of an historian after their death, than of the apostles themselves. Nor is it easy to conceive, that any number of apostles should be living to ordain a successor to Simeon ; who according to Eusebius's history, died in the 120th year of his age: and according to Eusebius's, or Jerom’s. · Chronicle; in the reign of Trajan, and the year of our Lord's nativity 107, or thereabout.
(2.) To the like purpose in another place: · You are not ignorant of the things done by us. • Doubtless you know the bishops nominated by us, and the presbyters and deacons appointed by prayer and imposition of hands.'
(3). • For · as we passed through the nations, and confirmed the churches, some we cured • with healing words but those who were incurable we cast out from the flock. These
things we did in every city, every where throughout the whole world.' This is not written by the apostles, but by some historian after their time.
(4.) Again, " for' by the laying on of our hands, the Holy Ghost was given to believers.' But if the apostles had spoke, they would have said: • The Holy Ghost is given by us. The expression in the Constitutions shews, they were written at a time when spiritual gifts were no longer bestowed by the apostles.
(5.) Speaking of heretics : • All these had one and the same design. Afterwards, Others" • said, and others taught.? Here the writer betrays himself: this is the style of an historian who writes of things past; not of one who relates things then doing, or gives an account of persons then in being. I put in the margin a remark of* Daillé upon some of the expressions.
VII. All these things must be more than sufficient to satisfy us, that the Constitutions, in eight books, are not a work of the apostles : and since they bear their name, without reason, we are unavoidably constrained to own, they are an imposture. The nature of such a crime is well known, and I need not aggravate it. The character of a writer of this kind may be better taken from Abp. Usher, than from me. But I think, that any man may justly recommend to the contrivers and patrons of such works, the serious consideration of those words of Solomon, Prov.
“ Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." The exact time of the work cannot be determined: but as divers learned men have delivered their conjectures, I may take the liberty to say, I incline to their opinion, who think it was composed in the latter part of the fourth, or the beginning of the fifth century. The author, probably, was a bishop of a proud and haughty spirit, who was fond of church power, and loved pomp and ceremony in religious worship. Many learned moderns think he was an Arian; but I do not concern myself about that; the passages which have been supposed to favour Arianism, make a very small
, or no part of the preceding collections : I have no reason, therefore, to bring that point into the conclusion. But I presume, that none ever suspected the author to be a Homoüsian.
VIII. Whoever was the author of this work, it is fit we should observe his testimony to the scriptures : for as the work is of some length, we may expect to see therein, in some measure, the sentiments and practice of the Christians of his time concerning them.
Περι δε των υφ' ημων χειροτονηθελουν επισκοπων εν τη ζωη τη ημετερα. κ. λ. L. vii. c. 46. in.
Η Ετεροι δε εξ αυλων ελείον. Ιb. i Αλλοι δε-εδιδασκον. Ιbid. * Nimirum iis temporibus vixit impostor, quibus utrique illi hæretici apud Christianos esse desierant. De Pseudep. Ap. 1. i. c. 6. p. 96.
bH. E. 1. ii. c. 32. p. 104. C.
* Και γαρ δια της επιθεσεως των ημετερων χειρων εδιδοίο πνευ- • μα αξιον τοις πιςευασι. L. ii. c. 41. p. 250.
8 Τελοις δε σασιν – σκοπος ην είς. L. vi. c. 10. in.
| Ita enim bipedum nequissimus, qui Clementis personam quinto post excessum ipsius seculo, induit. &c. Dissertat. Ignat. cap. vi. fin.
1. · And the reader standing upon an eminence, in the middle of the church : let him read • the books of Moses, and of Joshua the son of Nun, the Judges, the Kingdoms, and the • Chronicles, and those concerning the return from the captivity, and beside these the book
of Job, and Solomon, and the sixteen prophets. And when there have been two readings, [or • when two readings are over] let another sing (or read in a chanting manner) the hymns of * David ;* and let the people repeat the conclusions in a chanting voice. Afterwards let our Acts be read, and the epistles of Paul, our fellow-worker, which he sent to the churches under the conduct of the Holy Spirit. And afterwards let a deacon, or a presbyter, read the gospels · which I Matthew, and 'I John, delivered to you, and those which the fellow-workers of Paul, • Mark, and Luke received and left to you. After this let one of the presbyters exhort the * people, and last of all the bishop.'
Many remarks might be made here; but the most important are obvious, and cannot well be overlooked by any. The author received four gospels, and no more; also the Acts of the apostles, and St. Paul's epistles. Why the epistles of James, Peter, Jude, and John, are omitted may not be easy to say; but that he received others, beside those here mentioned, will appear presently. As Mark is here considered as a fellow-labourer of the apostle Paul, it is likely, the writer means Mark, nephew to Barnabas,' often mentioned in the Acts, and in several of St. Paul's epistles, Col. iv. 10. 2 Tim. iv. 11, Philem. 24.
2. In the above passage, the names of all the evangelists, writers of the four gospels, are expressly named. The Acts of the apostles likewise is in this work ascribed to St. Luke.
3. All St. Paul's epistles are here quoted, and most of them several times, particularly that to the Hebrews.
4. The writer received 'other epistles of apostles, beside those of Paul, as appears from those words, · And after the reading of the law, and the prophets, and our epistles, and the Acts of * the apostles.' That direction is given in the name of the twelve' apostles.
5. There are supposed to be four or five quotations or references to the epistle of St. James; but they are not all clear.
6. It should be here observed by us, that this writer did not esteem James, brother of the Lord, and bishop of Jerusalem, one of the twelve apostles. He is distinguished from them in several places of this work.
7. There are several plain quotations of the first epistle of Peter. I put in the margin' one or two: I transcribe one here for the sake of its singularity. • You k therefore are the holy and • sacred church of God," written” or inrolled “ in heaven, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a
peculiar people,” a bride adorned for the Lord God. Here is a reference to Heb. xii. 23. and 1 Pet. ii. 9. Whether there be in the last words a reference to the Revelation, deserves to be considered; he may refer to' Rev. xxi. 2. Or, perhaps he has no text of scripture at all in
8. There are no “ clear references to the second epistle of St. Peter.
9. There are not in the Constitutions any quotations of the three epistles of St. John, or of the epistle of St. Jude.
10. Some may wonder, that when there are so many quotations of St. Paul's epistles, and of most other books of the New Testament, there should be so-few quotations of the catholic epistles. But that wonder may be abated, when we consider how little notice is taken of the catholic epistles, in comparison with Paul's, by divers learned Christian writers of the fourth and fifth centuries, who lived in the east.
St. Chrysostom, of the fourth century, has left homilies, or commentaries, upon the gospels of St. Matthew and St. John, the Acts of the apostles, and St. Paul's fourteen epistles, but none
· L. ii. c. 57. p. 261, 262.
& Vid. I. ii. c. 8. et c. 58. p. 266. I. vii. c. 5. I. viii. c. 2. 5 Και τα της επανοδε. Ιb.
h Vid. 1. ii. c. 55. I. vi. cap. 12. in. & c. 14. 1. viii. c. 46. • Aνα δυο δε γενομενων αναΓνωσμαλων, έτερος τις τας τα ii Lib. ii. c. 15. sub fin. I. vii. c. 2. I. v. c. 16. p. 321. I. vi. Δαβιδ ψαλλείω υμνες, και ο λαος τα ακροστιχία υποψαλλείο. c. 29. Ibid.
• Και υμεις αν εσε αξια το θεα ιερα εκκλησια αποψείραμμενη « Ως σε λεξει ο Λεκας. Ων ηρξατο ο Ιησες ποιειν και διδασ- «εν ερανω, βασιλειον ιερατευμα, εθνος αξιον, λαος εις περιποιησιν, [Act. i. 1.) L. ii. c. 6. p. 217. in.
νυμφη κεκαλλωπισμενη κυρίω τω θεω. L. ii. c. 25. p. 238. m. • Και μετα την αναλνωσιν τ8 νομο, και των προφητων, των τε - ήτοιμασμενην ως νυμφην κεκοσμημενην το ανδρι αυλης. . επιςολων ημων, και των Πραξεων, και των ευαγίελιων. L. viii. Αpoc. cap. xxi. 2. c.5. p. 392.
m Vid. 1. vii, c.14. i Vid. ib. c. 4. in.
upon the catholic epistles. And there are in his homilies and commentaries, few quotations of the catholic epistles, in comparison of St. Paul's. In the index of scriptures, at the end of the tenth tome of his works, of the Benedictine edition, a large volume of 730 pages, containing homilies upon the first and second to the Corinthians, and commentaries upon the epistle to the Galatians, there is not one text from the catholic epistles, though there are quotations of the four gospels, the Acts, and all Paul's epistles, except that to Philemon: and of most of them several
, or many quotations. In the index at the end of the eleventh tome is but one text of the first epistle of St. Peter, and one of the first epistles of St. John : whereas all St. Paul's epistles, without exception, are there quoted, and most of them often. In the index at the end of the twelfth tome there is not one text from the catholic epistles, though there are quotations of all the preceding books, or epistles of the New Testament, and several quotations of most of them. Those indexes indeed, may not be complete ; I believe they are not; though, I think, they are exacter than such things generally are. However, undoubtedly texts are not omitted designedly. The Benedictine editors of St. Chrysostom's works, were as willing to collect the quotations of the catholic epistles, as of any other books of the New Testament.
Theodoret, in the fifth century, who has questions, or commentaries, upon all, or most of the books of the Old Testament, and commentaries upon St. Paul's fourteen epistles, has none upon
the catholic epistles. Nor does he in his works quote the catholic epistles oftener thạn St. Chrysostom has done. It is not needful to mention more particulars of this kind.
11. If the Revelation is not quoted here, that affords no argument that the Constitutions were composed before the publishing of that book. If the Constitutions were drawn
in the latter part of the fourth, or in the fifth century, there would be little reason to expect in them any quotation of the Revelation ; because at that time it was received by few Greek writers, or Christians who lived in the eastern part of the Roman empire.
12. There can be no question made, but the writer of the Constitutions received all those books of the New Testament, which were all along generally received by Christians. Whether he received those catholic epistles, which were at some times doubted of, we cannot say certainly; but it appears to me somewhat probable, that he received all those books of the New Testament, which are commonly received now by us, except the Revelation : concerning which, it is likely, he was of the same opinion with many other Greek writers of the time above-mentioned, by whom it was not received.
13. This · author had the history of the woman taken in adultery, which we now have in St. John's gospel, chap. viii. at the beginning.
14. The common titles and divisions of the books of scripture occur here frequently: the • Law, the Prophets, and the Gospel; the Law, the Prophets, the Psalms, and the Gospel, and the like.
15. The respect of the writer, and of Christians in his time, for the sacred scripture, is manifest from many passages above transcribed, where they are quoted, and where the public reading of them in the assemblies of Christians is spoken of.
16. Christians in general are exhorted to private reading the scriptures in this manner: Sitting « at home, read the Law, the Kingdoms, the Prophets, sing the hymns of David ; and * with care peruse the gospel, which is the completion of them.' More to the like purpose follows there in the next chapter.
17. When a bishop is ordained, it is appointed by all the apostles met together, • that the • divine gospels be held open over his head by the deacons.'
IX. Concerning the Canons, the judgment of Cotelerius is, that they cannot be ascribed to the apostles, or Clement, because they are not received with other books of scripture, are not quoted by the writers of the first ages, and contain in them many things not agreeable to the apostolical times.
1. I do not think myself obliged to enlarge here: they who are curious may consult & Beve
2 Vid. l. ji: c. 25.
L. ii. c. 39. p. 249. c L. V. c. 19. p. 323.
d L. i. c. 5. Vid. et cap. 6. των δε διακονων τα θεια ευαίγελια επι της το χειρο1ονεμενε κεφαλης ανεπτυμενα κατεχόντων. L. viii. c. 4. p. 391.
cit, quod cum aliis sacræ scripturæ voluminibus non legantur, quod a primorum seculorum scriptoribus non laudentur, quodque
multa contineant nondum temporibus apostolicis recepta. Cotel. Jud. de Canon. Ap. ap. Patr. Ap. T. i.
Decreta ista apostolis et CI enti tribui non debere evin
6 Codex Canon. Illustrat.
ridge, · Daillé, • Turner, - Sam. Basnage, and also James Basnage: which last says, that some of them are ancient, others not older than the seventh century. Not now particularly to mention any more authors.
2. The 85th canon contains a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament: I take only the latter part of it. • But our sacred books, that is, of the New Testament, are the * four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; fourteen epistles of Paul; two epistles of Peter; - three of John; one of James, one of Jude; two epistles of Clement; and the Constitutions " inscribed to you bishops, by me Clement, in eight books; which ought not to be divulged be* fore all, because of the mystical things in them; and the Acts of us the apostles.'
3. Upon this canon I need not say any thing more, than that it is not ancient, or drawn up till after the end of the third century; which I think will appear from the following observations.
(1.) The epistle to the Hebrews was rejected, or doubted of by many in the first three centuries, and also in the fourth century: but if this canon had been then in being, and acknowledged as apostolical, that epistle would have been received by all.
(2.) Several of the catholic epistles, that of James, the second of Peter, the second and third of John, and that of Jude, were rejected, or doubted of by many in the early times of Christianity: whereas they would have been received by all if this canon had been in being, and had been acknowledged to be apostolical. Mill' has already argued in this manner, and, I think, invincibly.
(3.) The Revelation was received by many in the second, and third, and following centuries; which it would not have been, if there had been a canon composed by the apostles, or Clement their companion, in which all other books of scripture were distinctly enumerated, and that omitted.
Baronius has very good observations, in my opinion, upon this 85th, or last canon of the apostles. How could so many of the Latin and Greek writers, says he, receive the Revelation, which was wanting in an apostolical canon? And how could there have been such different opinions about the epistle to the Hebrews, and several of the catholic epistles, if they had been made canonical by an apostolical decree.
(4.) The first epistle of Clement was reckoned canonical by a very few, if any of the writers of the first three centuries: therefore this pretended apostolical canon, which placeth it among books of sacred scripture, was not in being.
(5.) The second epistle, called Clement's was not esteemed his in the third century: and that it is not a genuine work of his, has been clearly shewn.
(6.) The Constitutions are never reckoned among canonical books of scripture by any writers of the first three centuries.
(7.) Finally, the silence here enjoined with regard to the Constitutions, because of the mystical things' contained in them, is another argument, that this canon was not drawn ир
in the early days of Christianity. For the Disciplina arcani, or Doctrine of Arcanism, has no countenance from the authentic books of the New Testament: and was also unknown to Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Minucius Felix, and other primitive Christian writers; who declare freely, and without reserve, before all the world, the principles of their religion, and their method of wor
a De Pseudep. Ap. p. 581--593.
nicas recensentur, haud genuinum esse, neque primis sæculis + As before, p. 279. &c.
exstitisse. -Certe, si canon iste mox ab initio exstitisset, ecc Canonum, qui Apostolici usurpantur, von Clementem clesiæ ab apostolis fundatæ epistolas isto canone approbatas peRom, non Alexandrinum, sed anonymum quinto seculo col- quâquam repudiâssent, aut in dubium vocassent. Proleg. lectorem fuisse existimamus. Qui, corrasis complurium synodorum decretis, seculis secundo, tertio, quarto labentibus & Rursum vero, quod ad novissimum illum canonem speccongregatarum, synodicon confecit suum.
Ann. 300. n. 14. tat, quo libri canonici recensentur; ecquis unquam antiquorum Vid. et 15–17.
Latinorum atque Græcorum adnumerare inter canonicos libros d On peut ajouter à ce recueil les canones des Apôtres, præsumsisset Apocalypsim, quam scisset in apostolorum canone dont quelques uns sont assez anciens, et les autres ne sont faits
prætermissam, qui vel saltem causam aliquam ejusmodi silentii qu'au septième siècle. Hist. de l'Egl. I. ix. c. 7. n. 5. non adduxisset ? Vel quid quod cum de his frequens inter
• Και αι Διαιααι υμιν τους επισκoπoις δι' εμε Κλημεντος εν patres oborta sit controversia, 'nemo penitus reperiatur, qui οκλου βιβλιοις προσπεφωνημεναι, ας και χρη δημοσιευειν επι παν- ejusmodi canonis vel saltem obiter meminerit Ann, 102. των, δια τα εν αυλαις μυστικα και αι Πραξεις ημων των αποσο- n. 15, 16. awy. Can. 85.
h Vid. Euseb. H. E. 1. iii. c. 38. et Hieron. de. V. I. cap. 15. f Unde constat, canonem 85 ex his qui Apostolici dicuntur, i See vol. i. p.291-293. in quo epistola Jacobi, cæteræque supra memoratæ inter cano