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were esteemed of authority, and decisive in all points of a religious nature: they were publicly read and explained in the assemblies of christian people, and they were open to be freely read by all sorts of persons in private, for their instruction and improvement in religious knowledge, and their edification in virtue. They were now also translated into many languages; for he says, vol. iv. p. 144, that Greeks and Barbarians had the scriptures concerning Jesus in their own letters and dialect. Finally, it may be observed, that this learned author makes little use in his works of apocryphal scriptures of the Old Testament: none at all of christian writings forged with the names of Christ's apostles, or their companions.

Upon the whole, the chapter of this bishop of Cæsarea, with the select passages alleged from him, and his several passages concerning the books of the New Testament, and observations upon them, may be reckoned as important a chapter as any in this work, if not the principal of all. As such, it is recommended to the consideration of those who are desirous to form a right judgment concerning the evidences there are of the genuineness, antiquity, and authority of the books of the New Testament now received by us.

Ch. LXXIII. Marcellus, a learned man, bishop of Ancyra in Galatia, was present at the council of Nice in 325. In 334 or 335, he published a book against Asterius and other Arians; whereby he brought upon himself a charge of Sabellianism or Unitarianism, for which he was deposed by the Arians in a council held at Constantinople in 336, and Basil was put in his room. He appears to have received the scriptures of the Old and New Testament as other christians did, and to have had the same respect for them.

Ch. LXXIV. Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, and a principal part of the council of Nice, author of divers works, (some written against the Arian doctrine by the intrigues of Eusebius of Nicomedia, and those who adbered to him,) was deposed by a synod at Antioch in the year 328, or soon after, as a Sabellian, and otherwise unworthy of the pastoral office after which he was banished. As little of him remains, we can only say, that he received the same scriptures which other christians did.

Ch. LXXV. Athanasius succeeded Alexander in the see of Alexandria in the year 326, and died in 373, when he had been bishop 46 years complete. From his Festal Epistle, and his other works, he appears to have received, as divine scripture, all the same books of the New Testa


ment which we do, and no other: the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles written by Luke, the seven catholic epistles, fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, and the Revelation. Beside these, there are others of which he speaks, as being without, not canonical,' but allowed to be read by those who are newly converted, and are desirous to be instructed in the doctrines of religion. He mentions but two only, the Doctrine of the Apostles, and the Shepherd, meaning Hermas. Afterwards at the end of his Festal Epistle he speaks of apocryphal books, which he censures in general, as the inventions,' or forgeries, of heretics;' but does not name any one of them. So at the end of the Festal Epistle: and at the beginning of it he cautions men not to be 'seduced to make use of books called apocryphal, being k ' deceived by the similitude of their names, resembling the 'true or genuine books.' By which expressions we are led to think, he intends books forged in the names of the apostles of Christ, and their companions; whose titles we find in Eusebius, and other ancient writers. His general divisions of scriptures, which were of authority, are such as these: Gospels and apostles: gospel, apostles, and pro'phets.' The sufficiency of these scriptures is strongly declared by him. Having enumerated the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, he adds, vol. iv. p. 52, 'These are fountains of salvation, that he who thirsts may 'be satisfied with the oracles contained in them. In these ' alone the doctrine of salvation is proclaimed: let no man 'add to them, or take any thing from them.' Condemning the multitude of Arian synods of that age, he says, The' 'divine scripture is fully sufficient: but if there be any 'occasion for a synod, let them observe the determinations ' of the Council of Nice,' vol. iv. p. 160. It may be worth while to observe likewise, that he useth the word canoni'cal' it occurs several times in his Festal Epistle. The 'books delivered down to them, and believed to be divine ' scripture,' he calls canonical books.' Others" he speaks of as without,' or 'not in the canon, though allowed to be 'read' the rest are apocryphal. And in another work, speaking of the Shepherd of Hermas, he says, it was not in the canon.'





Απατωμενοι τη όμωνυμιᾳ των αληθινων βιβλίων.

Quoted vol. iv. p. 154.


Εσι μεν γαρ ἱκανωτερα πάντων ἡ θεια γραφή, κ. λ.

Citat. vol. iv. p. 159.



τα κανονιζόμενα, και παραδοθεντα, πιςευθεντα τε θεια ειναι βιβλια. Vol. iv. p. 154. – και έτερα βιβλια τέτων εξωθεν' ου κανονιζόμενα μεν—και τετων κανονιζομενων, και τέτων αναγινωσκομενων. Vol. iv. p. 155. ο Καιτοι μη ον εκ τ8 κανόνος. Cit. vol. iv. p. 159.

This testimony of Athanasius to the scriptures is very valuable. It appears from his Festal Epistle, and also from his other works, that be received all the books of the New Testament that we do, and no other, as of authority: and considering the time in which he lived, the acquaintance he had with the several parts of the christian church, and the bishops of it, in Egypt and its neighbourhood, in Europe, and Asia, and the knowledge he had of ancient christian writings, it must be of great use to satisfy us, that notwithstanding the frequent quotations of other books in the writings of divers ancient christians, they did always make a distinction, and did not design to allege as of authority, and a part of the rule of faith, any books but those which were in the highest sense sacred and divine.

In the same chapter is an account of the Synopsis of sacred scripture, sometimes ascribed to Athanasius, but probably not written till above a century after his time. It is, in the main, agreeable to what we have just seen in Athanasius: but for particulars the reader is referred to the chapter itself.

Ch. LXXVI. A Dialogue against the Marcionites, ascribed to Adamantius, whoever he was. In this work are cited the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, most of St. Paul's epistles, particularly that to the Hebrews, and the second epistle of St. Peter. He computes St. Mark and St. Luke to have been two of our Saviour's seventy disciples.

Ch. LXXVII. C. Vettius Juvencus, a Spaniard of a good family in the time of the emperor Constantine, published a work in hexameter verse in four books, containing the history of our Lord, as recorded in the four gospels. A. D. 330.

Ch. LXXVIII. Julius Firmicus Maternus, a convert from Gentilism and a man of quality, and probably always a layman, in the reign of Constantius published a work entitled, Of the Error of Profane Religions. He quotes many books of the Old and New Testament, particularly the gospels and the Revelation, with marks of great respect. A. D. 345.

Ch. LXXIX. Cyril bishop of Jerusalem has a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament. In the latter part are the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the seven catholic epistles, and the fourteen epistles of Paul, without any express notice taken of the Revelation. A. D.


Ch. LXXX. The Audians, followers of Audius, a pious

and zealous bishop of Syria in Mesopotamia. They are said by Epiphanius to have used, beside the other scriptures, some apocryphal books; but he does not mention their titles. A. D. 350.

Ch. LXXXI. Hilary of Poictiers in Gaul wrote a Commentary upon St. Matthew's gospel and divers books of the Old Testament. He quotes the epistle to the Hebrews as St. Paul's and the Revelation as St. John's. A. D. 354.

Ch. LXXXII. The Aerians were so called from Aerius of Lesser Armenia. They denied the obligation of set fasts and feasts: the keeping of Easter they said was unnecessary; and they argued from scripture in behalf of their peculiar sentiments. These people met with great difficulties, and may induce us to think, that in most times there have been some who opposed growing superstition in the church; but being generally opposed, and with much violence, they could not increase to any great number, and in time were quite reduced. A. D. 360.

Ch. LXXXIII. The Council of Laodicea in one of its canons has a catalogue of the books of the Old and New Testament. That for the Old Testament is much the same with that of the Jews: that for the New Testament has the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the seven catholic epistles, and fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul: thus including all the books of the New Testament now received by us, except the book of the Revelation; which perhaps is omitted for no other reason but because it was the design of the council to mention such books only as should be publicly read. A. D. 363.

Ch. LXXXIV. Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis in Cyprus, has three catalogues of the Old, and one of the books of the New Testament, which he rehearseth in this order: the four gospels, fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, seven catholic epistles, and the Revelation, without any other books as of authority: his canon therefore was the same as ours. He supposes St. Mark and St. Luke to have been of the number of Christ's seventy disciples. The Acts of the Apostles he ascribes to St. Luke, as the writer. It appears that the book of the Revelation was not universally received in his time. A. D. 368.

Ch. LXXXV. In this chapter is shown from evidence internal and external, that the Apostolical Constitutions, in eight books, were not composed by the apostles, nor by Clement of Rome, but are a work of the fourth or fifth century. Though this work is an imposture, the writer's testimony to the scriptures ought not to be overlooked; for it

appears that he received our four gospels, the Acts, and the epistles of St. Paul, particularly that to the Hebrews, and the first epistle of St. Peter. He might receive all the catholic epistles, though little notice is here taken of them but probably he did not receive the book of the Revelation.

At the end of that chapter are remarks upon the Apostolical Canons.

Ch. LXXXVI. Rheticius bishop of Autun, a man of great note in Gaul in the time of the emperor Constantine, published a Commentary upon the Canticles, and some other works not now extant. A. D. 313.

Ch. LXXXVII. Tryphillius, bishop of a city in Cyprus, a man of great repute for eloquence in the reign of Constantius, and well'acquainted with the Roman laws, published, besides other works, a Commentary upon the Canticles. He was once blamed for affecting to use a more elegant phrase in quoting Mark ii. 2, in one of his sermons, than that of the original. A. D. 340.

Ch. LXXXVIII. Fortunatianus, born in Africa, bishop of Aquileia in Italy, in the reign of Constantius wrote short Commentaries upon the gospels in a plain style. A. D. 340.

Ch. LXXXIX. Photinus, bishop of Sirmium, disciple of Marcellus of Galatia, and his follower in the principles of Sabellianism and Unitarianism, published divers books against the errors of gentilism and in favour of his own opinions. He died in 375 or 376: he received the scriptures of the Old and New Testament as other christians did.

Ch. XC. Eusebius, born in Sardinia, made bishop of Vercelli in 354, died in 370, or soon after. He translated out of Greek into Latin the Commentary of Eusebius of Cæsarea upon the Psalms.

Ch. XCI. Lucifer, bishop of Cagliari in Sardinia, was author of divers works; which consist very much of passages of the Old and New Testament, cited one after another, with marks of great respect; particularly, he has largely quoted the book of the Acts, the epistle to the Hebrews, the second epistle of St. John, and the epistle of St. Jude; and there is reason to think, that he and his followers received the Revelation: whence it may be argued, that his canon of the New Testament was the same with ours. A. D. 354.

Ch. XCII. Gregory, bishop of Illiberis in the province of Bætica in Spain, was author of several works, of which very little now remains. A. D. 355.

Ch. XCIII. Phœbadius, bishop of Agen in Gaul, pub

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