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FALSE TEACHERS DESCRIBED AND CONDEMNED.
Julian Pe. riod, 4779. VulgarÆra, 66.
ers, like the Antediluvians, murmur at the Allotments of Probably Providence and the Restraints imposed on them ; but they Syria. are also proud and rebellious, flattering Men for their
12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds ; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots ;
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame ; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these %, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all; and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after
Teachers, to remember the Doctrines taught them by the
of these lascivi-
33 Dr. Doddridge remarks on this verse" Mr. Blackwall (Sacr. Class. vol. i. p. 164,) has shown by adequate authorities, that a poeontevOE TOUTOUS may be rendered prophesied against these (see ver. 4.) Some have thought the coming of the Lord here mentioned, was his coming attended with angels, to bring on the deluge. If it refers to his coming to the universal judge ment, it is a most remarkable testimony to a future state ; not indeed in the Mosaic economy, but previous to it. And perbaps Moses omitting this (as I think it almost certain be knew it) is to be resolved into the restriction under which he wrote, agreeable to the principles which the learned Dr. Warburton has so largely stated in bis Divine Legation,” &c. &c.
Julian Pe Weakness, and those who have erred from Pride and Cor- Probably riod, 4779. Vulgar Æra,
ruption of Heart - They are gently to reprove the for- Syria. 66.
mer, and save others from the Destruction of Sin, by the
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a differ
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the
JUDE 24, to the end.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
34 As the Scripture is silent with respect to the martyrdom of St. Peter at Rome, many Protestant writers, Salmasius, Spanheim, Dr. Barrow, with Bishop Marsh, in his comparative view of the Churches of England and Rome, have endeavoured to prove that St. Peter was never in that city. Upon this point we have already made some observations; the evidence from the Father's is too decisive to pernit us to suppose there was no foundation for the general tradition that he was martyred in that city; neither are we even justified in attempting to weaken that ovi. dence of the fathers, which we are willing to receivo in otber instances, when it confirms our opinions. The arrogant claims of the Church of Rome, that the bishop of that city is entitled, as the successor of St. Peter, to a spiritual supromacy over the other Churches and Bishops of the Christian world, bas not the shadow of support in Scripture, nor any
ST. PETER PROBABLY MARTYRED AT ROME.
Julian Pe- solid foundation among the fathers of the three first centuries, Rome.
testimony has been perverted by a corrupt and apostate Church.
Some circumstances are related wbich are not supported by
Omitting all such narratives, there is sufficient evidence to induce us to receive the common opinion, that having saluted his brethren, and taken bis farewell of St. Paul, he was brought out of prison, and led to the top of the Vatican mount, where he was to be crucified. On his arrival there, be intreated the favour of the officers, that he might not be crucified in the usual manner, but with his head downwards, for he was unworthy to suffer in the same manner in which our Lord had suffered.
There is sufficient traditionary evidence also, to render it highly probable that the anticipations of St. Paul were realized, and that he was sacrificed in the reign of Nero. Three of the soldiers who conducted him to execution are said to have been converted by his discourse, and became themselves martyrs for the faith. He was beheaded with a sword, crucifixion being esteemed a death too disgraceful for a Roman citizen. Some have asserted that be suffered on the same day with St. Peter ; others, tbat he was executed the year after; others, that several years elapsed before his death. Bishop Pearson is of opinion ibat St. Paul was martyred during the absence of Nero in Greece, wben the command of the Pretorian Guards was left to Tigellinus and the government of the empire to Helius Cesari. anus, one of the most profligate and abandoned men of that wicked age, Clemens Romanus affirms that St. Paul suffered death under the Governors, and not under Nero; and Bishop Pearson places the utmost confidence in bis testimony.
Jerusalem. riod, 4783. Vulgar Æra,
Destruction of Jerusalem. A.D. 70. 70.
Cave quotes in confirmation of the tradition concerning St. Peter, Orig. lib. iii. in Genes. apud Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib.iii. c. 1. p. 71; Hieron. de Script. Eccl. in Petr. p. 262; Heges. p. 279; Prudent. Peristeph. Hymn xi. in Pass. Petri, et Pauli ; and Chrysostom Serm. in Petr. et Pauli, p. 267, t. 6, and an equal number respecting St. Paul.-See his lives of the apostles, and the account in Dr. Lardner's Supplement to the Credibility.
As our Lord's prediction concerning the death of St. Peter is recorded in one of the four Gospels, it is very likely that Christians would observe the accomplishment of it, which must have been in some place; and, among Christian writers of ancient times, no other place was named beside Rome; por did any other city ever glory in the martyrdom of St. Peter. There were in the second and third centuries disputes between the Bishop of Rome and other Bishops and Churches, about the time of keeping Easter, and about the baptism of heretics, yet none denied the Bishop of Rome to have, what they called the chair of St. Peter.
Eusebius, both in bis Demonstration and in his Ecclesiastical History, bears witness to the same things-not now to insist on his Chronicle. In the former he says, “That St. Peter was crucified at Rome, with his head downwards, and St. Paul beheaded.” In bis Ecclesiastical History, speaking of Nero as the first persecutor of the Christians, he says, “ that he put to death the apostles, at which time St. Paul was beheaded at Rome, and St. Peter crucified, as history relates. And the account,” he says, “is confirmed by the monuments still seen in the cemeteries of that city, with their names inscribed upon them.” And in another chapter of the same work he says, “ that Linus was the first Bishop of Rome after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter.” It is needless to refer to any more of the many places of this learned Bishop of Cesarea, where he appears to have been fully persuaded, that these two apostles accomplished their martyrdom at Rome.
35 Our Lord had solemnly declared, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven in this world, &c. The expression “ in this world," may possibly refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. After the ascension of Christ, the Jews lived under the miraculous dispensation of the Holy Spirit, which constantly appealed to them by miracles, and by prophecy, as it had occasionally done among their fathers. They persevered, bowever, for forty years, wilfully and obstinately rejecting the truth of God, till the prediction of their rejected Messiab was fulfilled, and wrath came upon them to the uttermost. The accounts which are given to us by Josephus of the dreadful devastation of their country, the famine and bloodshed, the distress and total ruin of the whole nation, by which the prophecies of Moses and Christ were fulfilled, are so familiar, that it cannot be necessary to enter into the narrative. The fall of Jerusalem has left this memorable lesson to the worldthat nations and churches, however highly they may have been favoured by the protecting Providence of God, will assuredly be laid aside, and fall from their political greatness, if they neglect the servico and obedience of him by whom kings reign, and empires flourish or decay.
THE APOCALYPSE SUPPLIES THE PLACE
Asia Minor. riod, 4799. Valgar Æra, St. John writes the Apocalypse, (probably in the Year 96.
A.D. 96.) to supply the Place of a continued Succession
36 “ The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” After the deluge, and before the corruption of man became again universal, the receiving the divine influence by the spirit of prophecy, was common to the heads of the patriarchal families; and when the descendants of Abraham were set apart from tbe rest of the nations, to preserve the kuowledge of the true God, a continued succession of prophels, from the time of Abraham to Malachi, predicted, with gradually increasing clearness, the minutest events of the life, death, and sufferings of Christ, and the fortunes and enlargement of the visible Church, in a manner wbich, to the ancient Jews themselves, must frequently have appeared contradictory and incomprehensible.
As the same contest between good and evil is still proceeding in the world, wbich commenced with the fall of man, the observer of the plans of divine wisdom might naturally infer, that the same testimony of Jesus would in some manner be continued. The office of the ancient prophets was two-fold. They were the instructors and preachers to the people, and they were empowered to work miracles, or to foretel future events, to demonstrate the divine authority of their mission : and, as the probability of the distant fulfilment of their predictions was not uniformly effectual with the multitude, they predicted circumstances which should take place within a short time, and thus left the people without excuse, if they longer rejected the divine annunciation of distant predicted events. The Christian Church was provided with a succession of prophets in the first of these offices, but of the second it is left entirely destitute. No man has appeared in the Christian Church, since the death of the last of the apostles, who has been able certainly to predict the future, and yet the two former dispensations abounded with this proof of the divine origin of the one true religion. It does not seem probable that the best, and perhaps the last dispensation, sbould be thus deprived of one important branch of evidence, unless some adequate substitute were provided in its room; and we know of no other than the book of the Apocalypse, which, we might therefore inser, would abound with predictions to be gradually fulfilled, even if we had not been informed that it was a volume of prophecies. We are justified, therefore, in considering this book, with Lowman, Clarko, and others, as designed to supply the place of that continued succession of prophets, wbich demonstrated the continued providence of God to the Jewish and patriarchal churches.
The superiority of prophecy over miracles, as an evidence of Christianity, has been asserted by Bishop Warburton, and by many learned writers, as a continually increasing evidence. The great peculiarity of the prophecies of the Old Testament, is their gradual developement of the system of truth, as the world was able to bear it. The first prophecy of the seed of_the woman, that is, of some one family of the descendants of Eve, was less definite than those which predicted in their order that he should descend from Abraham, from Isaac, rather than from Esau; from Judah, than from the other patriarchs; from