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Socrates is particularly esteemed · for his judicious observations upon men and things. Every reader of this work is able to form some notion of his judgment, by recollecting the passages that have been alleged from him upon divers occasions; wherein he shews himself to have been a man of great moderation, and an enemy to persecution, which also he defines in this manner: he is speaking of Julian: he says, that emperor avoided the excessive cruelty that • was practised in the times of Dioclesian: nevertheless he persecuted; for that I call persecu• tion, when any disturbance is given to men that live peaceably and quietly. The particular, in • which he instanceth, is Julian's edict, prohibiting Christians to read the ancient Greek and • Roman authors.' And there are in him many other places a well worthy of observation; in some of which he makes very free remarks upon the squabbles and contentions of the Christian clergy of those times.
Socrates always speaks with great respect of the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and has expressly quoted the Acts of the apostles,' epistles to the Romans, & the Corinthians, the Galatians, Colossians, and Hebrews: he likewise takes notice' of a various reading in 1 John iv. 3, or . John's catholic epistle,' as his expression is; upon which Mill and others may be consulted. III. HERMIAS Sozomen was born of reputable parents in Palestine, and in early
life was educated in a monastery; afterwards he studied the law at Berytus, and then went to Constantinople, where he was an advocate, and continued to plead causes, whilst at his leisure hours he wrote his Ecclesiastical History: which contains, in nine books, an account of affairs from the third consulship of Crispus and Constantine, Cæsars, to the seventeenth consulship of Theodoşius, emperor, in whose time he wrote, and to whom his work is dedicated, that is, from the year 324 to the year 439, or one hundred and fifteen years. He is placed by Cave as flourishing about the year 440.
Beside the history of which I have been speaking, Sozomen " had before written, in two books, a summary account of the affairs of the church, from the ascension of Christ to the defeat of Licinius; but that work is not now extant.
Sozomen likewise, as well as Socrates, was a man of moderation, as must have been perceived by all from several passages alleged from him o in this work.
It may be also observed of him, that ' he always speaks with great respect of the sacred scriptures.
What he says of the Revelation of Peter and the Revelation of Paul, was taken notice of ? formerly.
IV. THEODORET wrote, in five looks, the history of things from 'the rise of the Arian controversy, or where Eusebius left off, to the death of Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia, that is, from the year of Christ 324 to 429, being the space of one hundred and five years. .
Theodoret's testimony to the scriptures was exhibited formerly.
* Tandem vero abjectâ causidicinâ, ad scribendam ecclesi- L. iii. cap. 16. p. 188. C.
L. vii. cap. 32. p. 374.
* Sozom. I. v.
cap. 15. p.
n Vid. 1. i.
d Vid. I. v. cap. 22. 1. i. c. 24. in. c. xxvii. p. 64. B. I. iii. s Vid. Theodoret. H. E. 1. i. cap. 1 et 2. et I. v. cap. ult. cap. 24. et 25. in. I. iv. cap. 1. et 6. 1. v. in Pr.
• See p. 10, &c. of this volume. L. . cap. 22. p. 288, 289.
THIS WHOLE WORK,
THE SECOND PART.
The design of this work, from the beginning, and all along, has been to shew the truth of the evangelical history, and thereby the truth of the Christian religion ; for if the facts related in the gospels, and confirmed by the epistles of the New Testament, may be relied upon, the Christian religion is from Heaven.
The things there related to have been done by Jesus, and by his disciples by virtue of powers derived from him, must be allowed to afford good proof that he came from God, and that his doctrine is true and divine: and as Jesus, in the circumstances of his birth, life, and death, and exaltation, and in the success and progress of the principles taught by him, answers the description of the great person foretold and promised in the Old Testament, he is at the same time shewn to be the Messiah.
In the former part of this work the facts occasionally mentioned in the New Testament were confirmed by passages of ancient authors; and a long deduction there is in that part of various particulars concerning the estate and character of the princes and governors, in whose time these things are said to have happened, and concerning the state of the Jews at that time in Judea, and out of it, and their religious opinions, customs and practices, as also of other people to whom the apostles went; all found to be agreeable to the accounts of Josephus and Philo, and many heathen authors of the best note, and contemporary with our Saviour and his apostles, or living very near their time.
We have supposed this to be a very cogent argument, that the books of the New Testament were written before, or soon after, the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened in the 70th year of the Christian æra.
And if these books were written by persons who lived before the destruction of Jerusalem, that is, if they were written at the time in which they are supposed to have been written, the things related in them are true and incontestable. The force of this argument may be seen represented in the conclusion of that part.
Consequently the former part of this work, though it immediately and directly concerned only those facts which are occasionally mentioned in the New Testament, affords a very forcible argument for the truth of the principal facts of the New Testament; by which all know to be intended the miraculous though mean birth of Jesus, and all the wonders of his life and ministry, his death, resurrection and ascension; the effusion of the Holy Ghost upon his apostles afterwards, their preaching in his name the doctrine received from him and confirming it by miraculous works, and planting the gospel, and forming, in a short space of time, churches of disciples at Jerusalem, and in all the parts of Judea, and in many other cities and countries.
In this second part we have proceeded to shew more directly the truth of the evangelical history, by producing testimonies to the antiquity, genuineness, and authority of the books of the New Testament, now generally received by Christians, as containing an authentic account of the religion taught by Christ and his apostles. And in this book is a history of all, or almost all
, the catholic writers of the first four centuries, and of the principal Christian writers of the following centuries, to the beginning of the twelfth; with an article, by way of conclusion, from Nicephorus Callisti, a learned author at the beginning of the fourteenth century, containing a summary account of all that has been said, and
representing what was to be proved; which, I hope, has been proved.
And whoever is desirous to know what books were received as sacred scripture, by any writers of the church in past ages, may here find a distinct account of it in the chapters that bear their names.
1. As we are now to review this book, the first observation which offers is this: We have seen a goodly catalogue of eminent men, who have believed in Jesus as the Christ, and their Lord and Master, whose religion was not set up with worldly allurements. Says Jerom, in the prologue to his book of Ecclesiastical writers, · Let the enemies of our religion, who say the * church had no philosophers, nor eloquent and learned men, observe who and what they were • who founded, established, and adorned it: let them cease to accuse our faith of rusticity, and • confess their mistake.' So said Jerom with regard to Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian, who had been the most noted adversaries of the Christian religion in the first four centuries. The same may be still said to those called deists in our time. And may I not add, Let those conceited Christians, who unmeasurably despise the primitive times of Christianity, learn to pay some respect to their Christian ancestors, in whom both learning, and an honest, fervent zeal, were united. They are not the rule of our faith, but they have directed us to the sacred scriptures, where it may be found: and they have borne testimony to the truth of the things contained therein, by an open and stedfast profession, amidst a great variety of difficulties and discouragements, reproaches and sufferings.
And though every one who has read this work is able to supply a fuller catalogue, I shall also rehearse in part the names of eminent Christians of the early ages, from an epistle of the same masterly hand to Magnus, a Roman orator, upon a different occasion. • Jerom, having at • the beginning of his epistle observed the learning of Moses, Solomon and Paul, in the next
a Discant ergo Celsus, Porphyrius, Julianus, rabidi adversus senatores, propria opuscula condiderunt. Extant et Julii Christum canes ; discant eorum sectatores, qui putant eccle- Africani libri, qui temporum scripsit historias, et Theodori, siam nullos philosophos, et eloquentes, nullos habuisse doc- qui postea Gregorius appellatus est, viri apostolicorum signotores, quanti et quales viri eam fundaverint, exstruxerint, et rum atque virtutum, et Dionysii Alexandrini episcopi ; Anaadornaverint; et desinant fidem nostram rusticæ tantum sim- tolii quoque Laodicenæ ecclesiæ sacerdotis, necnon presbyteplicitatis 'arguere, suamque potius imperitiam agnoscant. rorum Pamphili, Pierii, Luciani, Malchionis, Eusebii Cæsari. Proleg. in libr. de Scr. Ec.
ensis episcopi, et Eustathii Antiocheni, et Athanasii Alexan• Curram per singulos. Quadratus, apostolorum discipulus, drini; Eusebii quoque Emeseni, et Triphyllii Cyprii, et et Atheniensis pontifex ecclesiæ, nonne Adriano principi, Asterii Scythopolitæ, et Serapionis confessoris; Titi quoque Eleusine sacra visenti, librum pro nostra religione tradidit ? et Bostrensis episcopi, Cappadocumque Basilii, Gregorii
, Amphitantæ admirationi omnibus fuit, ut persecutionem gravissimam lochii; Qui omnes in tantum philosophorum doctrinis atque illius sedaret ingenium. Aristides philosophus, vir eloquen- sententiis suos refarciunt libros, ut nescias quid in illis primum tissimus, eidem principi apologeticum pro Christianis obtulit, admirari debeas, eruditionem seculi, an scientiam scripturacontextum philosophorum sententiis. Quem imitatus postea Justinus, et ipse philosophus, Antonino Pio et filiis ejus sena- Veniam ad Latinos. Quid Tertulliano eruditius, quid acutuique librum contra Gentiles tradidit, defendens ignominiam tius ? Apologeticus ejus, et contra Gentes liber, cunctam crucis, et resurrectionem Cbristi totâ prædicans libertate. seculi obtinent disciplinam. Minucius Felix, causidicus Quid loquar de Melitone Sardensi episcopo? Quid de Apol- Romani fori, in libro, cui titulus Octavius est,... qoid gentilinario Hieropolitanæ ecclesiæ sacerdote, Dionysioque Corin- lium literarum reliquit intactum? Septem libros adversus thiorum episcopo, et Tatiano, et Bardesane, et Irenæo, Gentes Arnobius edidit, totidemque discipulus ejus Lactantius, Pothini Martyris successore, qui origines hæreseôn singula- qui de Irà quoque et Opificio Dei duo volumina condidit. rum, et ex quibus philosophorum fontibus emanârint, multis Quos si legere volueris, Dialogorum Ciceronis in eis stilout volumicibus explicârunt? Pantænus Stoicæ sectæ philosophus, reperies. Victorino Martyri in libris suis, licet deşit eruditio, ob præcipuæ eruditionis gloriam, a Demetrio Alexandriæ tamen non deest eruditionis voluntas. Cyprianus, quod idola episcopo missus est in Indiam, ut Christum
apud Brachmanas dii non sunt, quâ brevitate, quâ historiarum omnium scientiâ, et istius gentis philosophos prædicaret. Clemens, Alexan- quorum verborum et sensuum splendore perstrinxit? Hilarius, drinæ ecclesiæ presbyter, meo judicio omnium eruditissimus, meorum confessor temporum et episcopus, duodecim Quintiocto scripsit Stromatum libros..... Quid in illis indoctum, liani libros et stylo imitatus est et numero.... Juvencus presimo quid non de mediâ philosophiâ est ? Hunc imitatus byter sub Constantino historiam Domini Salvatoris versibus Origenes decem scripsit Stromateas, Christianorum et philo- explicavit; nec pertimuit evangelii majestatem sub metri leges sophorum inter se sententias comparans et omnia nostræ reli- mittere. De cæteris vel mortuis vel viventibus taceo, quorun gionis dogmata de Platone, et Aristotele, Numenio, Cornu- in scriptis suis et vires manifestæ sunt et voluntas. Ad Mag. toque confirmans. Scripsit et Miltiades contra Gentes volumen Orat. ep. 83. al. 84. T. 4. egregium. Hippolytus quoque et Apollonius, Romanæ urbis
place mentions two apologists for the Christian religion in the time of Adrian, Quadratus, and · Aristides. The next to them is Justin, also a philosopher, who presented an apology to : Antoninus the Pious, and his sons, and the whole senate, against the Gentiles, warding off the
ignominy of the cross, and with full freedom and undaunted courage asserting the resurrection of Christ. Why should I speak of Melito bishop of Sardis, and Apollinarius bishop of Hierapolis, and Dionysius bishop of Corinth, and Tatian, and Bardesanes, and Irenæus successor of • Pothinus the martyr; who, in many volumes, have detected the origin of every heresy, and • shewed from what philosophers they were derived ? Next, Pantænus a philosopher of the Stoic * sect, and a man of great reputation for learning. Clement, presbyter of the church of • Alexandria, in my opinion the most learned of all men, wrote eight books of Stromata, or • Miscellanies, and other works, in which there is nothing unlearned, nothing which is not • fetched from the depths of philosophy; who was also followed and imitated by his disciple Origen......Miltiades likewise wrote an excellent book against the Gentiles. Hippolytus and Apollonius, senators of Rome, published some works suitable to their character. There are • also the works of Julius Africanus the chronologer, and of Theodore, afterwards called
Gregory, a man of apostolical gifts and virtues, and of Dionysius bishop of Alexandria ; as also • of Anatolius bishop of the church of Laodicea; likewise of the presbyters Pamphilus, Pierius, • Lucian, Malchion ; Eusebius bishop of Cæsarea, Eustathius bishop of Antioch, Athanasius bishop of Alexandria, Eusebius of Emesa, Triphyllius of Cyprus, Asterius, and Serapion, Titus bishop of Bostra, and the Cappadocian bishops, Basil, Gregory, Amphilochius ; who all have so • filled their books with the sentiments of the philosophers, and quotations from them, that it is • not easy to say, which is more conspicuous and admirable in them, whether skill in profane • learning, or the knowledge of the scriptures.
• I come now to the Latins. Who more learned, who more acute than Tertullian? His • Apology and book against the Gentiles are filled with all manner of learning. Minucius Felix
a Roman advocate, author of the book entitled Octavius, has left untouched no part of human • literature. Arnobius wrote seven books against the Gentiles, and his disciple Lactantius as
many, beside two other volumes Of the Wrath of God, and the Creation of the World; which • whoever reads, will see in them an epitome of the Dialogues of Cicero. If Victorinus was not « learned, he did not want a good will to learning, as appears from his works. Cyprian demon• strated the vanity of idols in a concise manner, shewing great knowledge of history, and good • sense; after whom follow Hilary and Juvencus: and he omits others,' he says, 'both living and • dead, whose performances manifest the like abilities.'
So writes Jerom about the year 400, in defence of himself, and · in answer to a question put to him by Magnus, at the instigation of Rufinus, Why he often quoted heathen authors in his works?
Jerom, in vindication of himself, was led to such writers of the church as were remarkable for learning, and had made use of their learning in their writings: he therefore here begins with Quadratus and Aristides. We have written the history of some more early Christian writers, which also are in Jerom's catalogue; and we have likewise proceeded lower, and have taken in Jerom himself, his contemporary Rufinus, and Augustine, Chrysostom, Theodoret, and many others, all joining in the same testimony, and some way or other doing honour to Christianity, Moreover we have taken a good number of others in several ages, who, in some respects, differed from the catholics : some of which deserve to be here mentioned, a large account having been given of them; such as Noetus, Paul of Samosata, Sabellius, Marcellus, Photinus, the Novatians, Donatists, Manichees, Priscillianists, beside Artemon, the Audians, the Aërians, and divers others, of whom a brief notice has been taken ; all receiving most, or all the same books of the New Testament, which the catholics received, and agreeing in a like respect for them, as written by apostles, or their disciples and companions.
2. The next thing fit to be observed here, in the review of our work, is, that all along great care has been taken to distinguish genuine and supposititious writings, and to assign the true time time of the authors and writings that have been alleged.
Thus, for instance, we have separated the epistle written by Clement to the Corinthians, in
* Quod autem quæris in calce epistolæ tuæ, cur in opusculis nostris secularium literarum interdum ponamus exempla, et
candorem ecclesiæ ethnicorum sordibus polluamus. Ead. Ep. sub in.
the name of the church of Rome, from a fragment sometimes ascribed to him. If that fragment is not Clement's, nor written before the third century (which seems very probable) the alleging it as his might have been of bad consequence, and have led us into divers mistakes.
And how many mistakes might have been made upon receiving the Apostolical Constitutions, as they are called, as a work of the same bishop of Rome, who died before the end of the first century ? Certainly they are better spoken of near the end of the fourth century, as we have done.
We have also supposed the smaller, and not the larger or interpolated epistles of Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, to be genuine. The admitting these to be genuine, and alleging them as such, would have made a great alteration in the testimony of the most early age, and the apostolical fathers themselves, which must have had a very bad effect.
It is no small pleasure to me to find that, beside others formerly mentioned, Mr. Jortin also, who has been lately examining the writings of the first ages, approves the smaller epistles and rejects the larger. A part of what he says may be very pertinently alleged here for confirming the observation just made: • Thus the shorter epistles of Ignatius allude to the writings of the • apostles; but in the larger epistles, which are generally supposed to be interpolated, the
passages of the Old and New Testament are more numerous, and are cited more accurately • and distinctly, and sometimes impertinently, as in the Constitutions, and are introduced with, “ Thus saith the Lord, thus says Paul, and Peter, and Luke, and thus say the scriptures." • The apostolical fathers rather allude than cite; and therefore the hand of the forger discovers • itself in these epistles.'
Ignatius wrote his letters, when he was condemned, and chained, and guarded, and con• ducted by soldiers, who were brutes, and used him ill...... Therefore it is more probable that • the shorter epistles should be genuine than the larger, with their pomp and parade of passages • from the Old and New Testament, which secessum scribentis et otia quærunt.'
The same learned and ingenious writer rejects also the Apostolical Constitutions, which he considers as an imposture.
There is another work, which may be not improperly mentioned here, though we omit many others. I mean particularly a tract of St. Cyprian, entitled, · Testimonies against the Jews, to • Quirinus,' in three books in which many texts of the Old and New Testament are cited: I do not dispute the genuineness of that work; but I suppose it to be interpolated, and therefore have argued that it ought to be quoted with caution.
Another thing, by which learned men, as I apprehend, suffer themselves to be sometimes misled, is ascribing too early a date to the Latin translation of the work of Irenæus concerning heresies. This also was taken notice of in some observations upon that tract of St. Cyprian; where we mentioned Mr. Dodwell's opinion, that it was not published till after the year 385; whilst some others have imagined that translation to have been made during the life-time of Irenæus himself.
And I here cheerfully acknowledge the assistances received from Cave, Fabricius, Tillemont, Pagi, Basnage, and other learned critics among the moderns; whereby I have been enabled to produce authors in their true time, and to distinguish genuine and supposititious writings, which cannot but contribute to the value of their testimony, and I hope has rendered it irrefragable.
3. I mention another thing, as some compensation of the long labours of this inquiry, that we have observed several authors, so early as the third century, who received the epistle to the Hebrews, who have been generally overlooked by learned men, and even by those who have written dissertations upon that epistle. I intends Theognostus an Alexandrian, who flourished about the year 280, and Methodius, who flourished about 290, and the author of a poem against the Marcionites, whose age is uncertain, and probably * Pamphilus. I suppose likewise, that there may be seen in this book more quotations of ancient authors, who speak of St. Peter's epistles as written to the Gentiles, than in any work hitherto written upon the canon of the New Testament.
· See vol. i.
Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, vol. . (11.] 2. 61...63. See also p. 361.
< Remarks as before, vol. i. p. 228...259.
None of the authors there mentioned are in Fr. Spanhem. Dissert. de Auctore epistolæ ad Hebræos. Opp. T. ii. p. 171, &c. or in Mr. Hallet's Introduction to the epistle to the Hebrews.
& See vol. i. p. 83. " Ibid. p. 105, 106.
P. 121. 0
i P. 93.