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respect for scripture running through the writings of all early christians in general.
Ch. L. Malchion, some time, as it seems, a heathen, who taught rhetoric at Antioch, afterwards presbyter of the church in that city under Paul of Samosata. There are in this chapter divers remarks, to which the reader is referred: I do not think it needful to transcribe them here.
Ch. LI. Anatolius and three others, bishops of Laodicea in Syria. A. D. 270.
Anatolius, a native of Alexandria, bishop of Laodicea, was a man of uncommon learning, and in great repute with the people of Alexandria, so long as he lived there: having great skill in philosophy and the Greek literature, and being a complete master of arithmetic, geometry, logic, and rhetoric. He published a work concerning Easter, and also the Principles of Arithmetic in ten books, and likewise other works, monuments of his diligence in studying the divine scriptures, and of his understanding therein, as we are assured by Eusebius.
The history of the other three bishops of Laodicea, in this chapter, is of use to represent the state of christianity at that time.
Ch. LII. Theognostus, a learned Alexandrian, remarkable, as for other things deserving notice, so particularly for affording us an early testimony to the epistle to the Hebrews. A. D. 282.
Ch. LIII. Theonas was bishop of Alexandria about nineteen years. After Dionysius, of whom before, was Maximus, next Theonas, about 282, who was succeeded by Peter, of whom hereafter. In a letter ascribed to Theonas are mentioned the gospel and apostle,' as divine oracles.
writer also recommends the daily reading the sacred scriptures, as the best means of improving the mind in every virtue.
Ch. LIV. Pierius,' says Jerom, 'presbyter of the church ' of Alexandria, taught the people with great reputation in the time of the emperors Carus and Dioclesian, when Theonas was bishop of that church. Such was the elegance of his discourses and treatises, that he was called the younger Origen. And Eusebius says, he was cele'brated for his strict course of life, and philosophical learning. He was likewise admired for his diligence in the study of the scriptures, and his expositions of them, and his public discourses to the people.' None of his works remain but from what has been just now seen by us, we
can conclude, that in his time he adorned the christian profession by his piety, learning, and public labours. His canon of scripture may be supposed to have been the same as Origen's, or very little different.
Ch. LV. Dorotheus,' says Eusebius, presbyter of the 'church of Antioch, a learned man, whom we knew; he was very studious in the sacred scriptures, and acquainted himself so far with Hebrew, as to be able to read the an'cient scriptures in their own language with understanding: 'he was a man of a liberal mind, [or of high birth,] and 'was not unskilled in Greek literature.' Which shows, that christianity did not discourage useful knowledge: though we have here, and often elsewhere, occasion to observe, that the scriptures were their principal study.
In this chapter is added an account of a late and fabulous author, called Dorotheus, whose work is entitled, A Sy⚫nopsis of the Life and Death of the Prophets, and also of the 'Apostles and Disciples of Jesus Christ.'
Ch. LVI. Victorinus bishop of Pettaw upon the Drave, in Germany, had the honour to die a martyr for Christ in the persecution of Dioclesian, and, as is supposed, in the year 303. He wrote,' as Jerom says, Commentaries upon Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Ecclesi'astes, the Canticles, and the Revelation of John, Against all Heresies, and many other works: at last he was crowned 'with martyrdom.' In his remaining works and fragments are expressly quoted the four evangelists, with the beginnings of their several gospels: he likewise quotes expressly the Acts of the Apostles: he speaks of the seven churches to which Paul wrote, the Romans, the Corinthians, the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, the Thessalonians. Afterwards, as he says, Paul wrote to particular persons, undoubtedly meaning Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. So that he received thirteen epistles of the apostle Paul. Whether also that to the Hebrews is doubtful; though there are in him some expressions, in which he may be thought to refer, or allude to that epistle: he has quoted the first epistle of Peter: he supposed that John had his revelation in Patmos, where he had been condemned to the mines by the emperor Domitian; and that his gospel was written still later. 'Afterwards,' says he, he wrote his gospel. When Valentinus, and Cerinthus, and Ebion, and others of the school of Satan, were spread over the 'world, many from the neighbouring provinces came to him, and earnestly entreated him to put down his testi'mony in writing. in writing. These are the books of the New Testa
ment, of which we perceive express notice in him. There might be other books received by him, though not expressly mentioned in his few remaining works: unquestionably he received all those scriptures, which were generally received by christians in all times, and over all the world.
In this chapter are also extracts from a poem in five books against Marcion, sometimes ascribed to Victorinus, though probably not his, usually joined with Tertullian's works. This writer distinctly mentions the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John: he expressly quotes several of St. Paul's epistles, and refers to others among them, to the Hebrews several times: he likewise frequently quotes the Revelation as written by John, the disciple and apostle of Christ.
Ch. LVII. Methodius,' says Jerom, bishop of Olympus in Lycia, a man of a neat and correct style, composed a 'work against Porphyry in several books. He also wrote Commentaries upon Genesis, and the Canticles, and many ' other works. He obtained the crown of martyrdom at the ' end of the last persecution,' meaning Dioclesian's.
His testimony to the books of the New Testament is to this purpose: He expressly says, there have been four gospels delivered to us.' He refers to the Acts. He has quoted or alluded to many of St. Paul's epistles, particularly that to the Hebrews. In his remaining works there is little notice taken of the catholic epistles; though, unquestionably, he received the first of Peter, and the first of John: the Revelation is often quoted by him.
There are in him clear proofs, that the scriptures of the New Testament, generally received by christians, were well known, much used, and highly esteemed, being books of authority, and appealed to in all points of dispute and controversy. I have not observed in this Greek writer of the third century, any quotations of christian apocryphal writings; nor do his works afford any the least ground to suppose, that there were any writings of ancient christian authors, that were esteemed sacred and of authority, beside those which are now generally received as such by us, namely, the writings of apostles and evangelists.
Ch. LVIII. Lucian, presbyter of Antioch, as Eusebius writes, celebrated for his piety and his knowledge of the 'scriptures, was carried from Antioch to Nicomedia, where the emperor [Maximin] then was; and having made an apology before the governor for the doctrine professed by him, was sent to prison, and there put to death.' He and Hesychius, probably of Egypt, published an edition of the
Greek version of the Old Testament, called that of the Seventy, and likewise an edition of the New Testament: but their editions seem not to have been much esteemed.
Ch. LIX. Pamphilus, presbyter in the church of Cæsarea, admirer of Origen, and friend of Eusebius, afterwards bishop of that church, had the honour of martyrdom, in the persecution begun by Dioclesian. He was put in prison in 307, and accomplished his testimony in 309, 'a man, who,' as his friend, our ecclesiastical historian, says, throughout his whole life excelled in every virtue; but was especially ' eminent and remarkable for an unfeigned zeal for the holy 'scriptures, and for unwearied application in whatever he ' undertook. If he saw any in straits he gave bountifully, he was able: he not only lent out copies of the sacred 'scriptures to be read, but he cheerfully gave them to be kept; and that not only to men, but to women likewise, 'whom he found disposed to read; for which reason he 'took care to have by him many copies of the scriptures, 'that when there should be occasion he might furnish those 'who were willing to make use of them.' His canon of scripture may be supposed to be the same with that of Origen and Eusebius. Pamphilus erected a library at Cæsarea, which he furnished at great expense with manuscript copies of the scriptures, and of the works of Origen and other ecclesiastical writers of which library great care was afterwards taken by the bishops of Cæsarea; by which means it was kept up and subsisted in good order for a great while.
Besides Pamphilus, the history of some others is related in this chapter, who were remarkable for their affection for the revealed will and word of God. The second person, ' and next after Pamphilus, was Valens, a deacon of Ælia, [that is, Jerusalem,] an old man,' says Eusebius, of grey hairs, and venerable aspect, exceedingly well skilled in 'the divine scriptures; and they were so fixed in his memory, that there was no discernible difference between his reading and reciting them by heart, though it were 'whole pages together.' That person suffered with Pamphilus.
Afterwards, among divers other martyrs in 310, was John, who had lost his sight, who,' as Eusebius goes on, in 'strength of memory surpassed all men of our time.--He had whole books of the divine scriptures, not written in tables of stone, nor on parchments and papers, which are devoured by moths and time, but on the living tables of his heart, even his pure and enlightened mind;
insomuch that whenever he pleased, he brought out, as from a treasury of knowledge, sometimes the books of Moses, at other times those of the prophets, or some 'sacred history, sometimes the gospels, sometimes the epistles of the apostles. I must own,' says the historian, 'that I was much surprised the first time I saw him he was in 'the midst of a large congregation, reciting a portion of scripture. Whilst I only heard his voice, I thought he was reading, as is common in our assemblies; but when I came near and saw this person, who had no other light but that of the mind, instructing like a prophet those 'whose bodily eyes were clear and perfect, I could not forbear to praise and glorify God.'
Ch. LX. Phileas, bishop of Thmuis in Egypt, was a man of noble family, and great estate. There is in Eusebius a part of a letter of his, quoting divers books of the New Testament, and showing great regard for the scriptures. He and Philoromus, who had been the emperor's receivergeneral, were beheaded at Alexandria, in the same persecution, in the year 311, or 312, by order of the emperor Maximin.
Ch. LXI. In the year of Christ 300 Peter succeeded Theonas at Alexandria. Eusebius says, he obtained great 'honour during his episcopate, which he held twelve years: he governed the church three years before the persecution. In the ninth year of the persecution he was beheaded, ' and obtained the crown of martyrdom.' In another place the same historian says, ' About the same time Peter also, an ornament of the episcopal character, both for the holi'ness of his life, and his laborious application in studying and explaining the scriptures, was on a sudden apprehended and beheaded.' I forbear to transcribe any thing here from his writings.
Ch. LXII. A work ascribed to Archelaus bishop of Mesopotamia, containing an account of a conference with Mani, and his principles: which work probably was composed near the beginning of the fourth century. Herein are quoted the gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and divers of St. Paul's epistles; and there are references to the epistle to the Hebrews.
Ch. LXIII. Here is a history of Mani and his followers, who is supposed first to have appeared as author of a sect near the end of the third century, and a large though not complete account of their principles and worship, and their doctrine concerning the scriptures: in which last, exactness has been aimed at. These people always rejected the