« ForrigeFortsett »
• apostles, but by elders only. They argue in this manner: The epistles of John are numbered, • the first, second, and third; as being all three written by one and the same person. Others • receive the epistle of James, together with those two (that is, the first of Peter, and the first of • John]. Among the Syrians are found only the three before mentioned; I mean, the epistle • of James, the epistle of Peter, and the epistle of John: they have not the rest. Upon the « whole, it does not become a perfect Christian, to endeavour to confirm any thing by doubtful • books; when the books in the Testament acknowledged by all, have sufficiently declared all
things needful to be known, concerning the heavens, and the earth, and the elements, and * the whole Christian doctrine.'
Upon this passage of Cosmas, many remarks might be made; I shall mention these following:
(1.) His expressions are in some places ambiguous, and therefore obscure: it is not always certain, whether he intends to be understood of all the catholic epistles in general, or of some only.
(2.) Cosmas betrays an inclination to represent all the catholic epistles as doubtful, and to diminish their authority:
(3.) But that is unreasonable: all ancient Christians, in general, received one epistle of Peter, and one epistle of John.
(4.) Cosmas says, that not one of the ancient commentators of sacred scripture had written a commentary upon the catholic epistles: which, as Montfaucon observes, is not rightly said; for Didymus of Alexandria wrote commentaries upon all the seven catholic epistles.
(5.) It is not needful for us now to consider the accounts here given of the sentiments of Irenæus, Eusebius, Athanasius, Amphilochius, and others; or to examine whether these accounts be right or not: forasmuch as their testimony to the sacred scripture has been already observed, in their several chapters.
(6.). The seven catholic epistles were all well known in Egypt, where Cosmas lived, and were all received by many. So much is manifest from himself.
(7.) The Christians in Syria received three only of the catholic epistles. Of this Cosmas speaks positively: it may be supposed, therefore, that is a thing about which he was well assured, and for the truth of which he may be relied upon. So thought · Montfaucon and Beausobre.
(8.) Though Cosmas was shy of quoting the catholic epistles, because, from the second epistle of Peter a strong objection was brought against one of his opinions ; yet I think, he must have received three of them; the epistle of James, the first of Peter, and the first of John; for, to the epistle of James he has a respectful reference in the introduction to his work, which is to this purpose : • In 'the name of the one God...from whom descends to us, from above, every • good and perfect gift. See James i. 17. And she quotes the conclusion of the first epistle of Peter, the church, “ which is at Babylon, saluteth you,” as a proof of the early progress of the Christian religion, without the bounds of the Roman empire; by which, therefore, we perceive; that by Babylon he did not understand Rome. He has also quoted 1 Pet. i. 12.
(9.) We here see plainly expressed, that opinion of the ancient Christians, that no book, doctrinal or epistolary, ought to be received as of authority, unless written by an apostle and known to be so. All the catholic epistles bore the names of apostles: but whilst it was doubtful; with regard to several of them whether they were written by apostles, so long they were of doubtful authority.
p. 292. E.
* Ou xey OUY TOY TELELOY Xpistavov EX TWO que ficaraquerwy apud Syros, atque adeo in ecclesiâ Antiochena, receptas Episngiteatas, Twv svòiabelwv xai xowyws duonoyeuerwe ypapwe fuisse. Montf. Diatrib. in Synops. S. S. ap. Chrys. T. 0. ικανως πανια μηνυονίων σερι τε των ερανων και της γης, και των σοιχειων, και παντος τε δογματος των Χριςιανων. Ιb. a Cet auteur, qui étoit Egyptien, et qui florissoit dans le vi,
siècle, assure que les Syriens n'ont que la 1. epitre de S. Jean, Hic sane Cosmas non accurate rem agit. . . Didymus enim la 1. de Pierre, et celle de Jaques : qu' à l'égard des quatre Alexandrinus integros in septem illas epistolas commentarios autres, elles ne se trouvent pas même dans leurs églises. Hist. edidit, teste Hieronymo. Præf. in Cosm. Topogr. p. 17. de Manich. T. i.
Secundam item Petri, et epistolam Judæ apostoli, perinde • Ομοιας και εν ταις καθολικαις. το ειρημενον, εν η έρανοι atque secundam et tertiam Joannis, a Syris, atque adeo ab συρεμενοι λυθησονlαι. κ. κ. [2.Pet. iii. 12.] L. vii. p. 2. Ε. Antiochenis, non admissas fuisse, diserte docet Cosmas Ægyp- Conf. p. 291. E. tius, qui tempore Justiniani Imperatoris scribebat. Sic autem L. 113. A.
8 L. ii. p. 147. E. habet. p. 292. .. . Hinc manifeste vides, etiam tempore Jus- L. vii. p. 289. A. tiniani Imperatoris, ex catholicis illis epistolis nonnisi tres
(10.) Lastly, we cannot omit to observe what is said at the end of this passage: that no • perfect,' or well instructed • Christian, should endeavour to prove any thing, but by the canoni• cal books of scripture, acknowledged by all ; which books have sufficiently declared whatever * is needful to be known concerning the doctrines of religion. A very valuable testimony to the sufficiency of scripture; and agreeable to the sentiments of all ancient Christians, in general, as we have seen!
10. Hitherto we have seen nothing concerning the book of the Revelation; nor do I remember that there is any notice taken of it in this remaining work of Cosmas; and as it is a work of some length, and much is there said about the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, the entire omission of this book must be an argument, that it was not received by him. But whether the Revelation was received by Cosmas, or not, it is very likely that it was received by many Christians in Egypt.
11. These then, as at first said, are the books of the New Testament, received by Cosmas : the four gospels; the Acts of the apostles; fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, and three catholic epistles; the epistle of James; one epistle of the apostle Peter ; and one epistle of the apostle John.
IV. I would willingly observe the general titles and divisions of the books of sacred scripture, and the tokens of high respect for them, manifest in this writer.
1. • This * is the design of all the divinely inspired scripture, both of the Old and the New · Testament.'
2. • Moses and the prophets, Christ and his disciples, the evangelists and apostles, say nothing else.
3. • You should observe the harmony of Moses, and all the prophets; and of the evangelists • and apostles.'
4. · Moses and the prophets said nothing of themselves, but only as inspired by divine • revelation.' Some may think that our author had here an eye to 2 Pet. i. 21.
5. In some places already mentioned, and in many others, the whole of the New Testament is comprehended in the expression of evangelists and apostles.
6. He' relies, he says, entirely, upon the truly divine scripture for what he advances. 7. • Moses' and the prophets, the Lord Christ, and the apostles.'
8. · Blessed therefore are all they, who, by the divine scriptures of the Old and New Testa. ment, know the one God, Creator of all.'
V. I would now mention two observations :
1. The canon of the New Testament had not been settled in the time of this writer, by any authority that was decisive and universally acknowledged. The long passage concerning the catholic epistles, which we have seen, seems to afford full proof of this : for determining the regard due to those epistles, he appeals to the testimony of the church in early times, the commentators upon scripture, and divers ancient writers; and, in the end, mentions different opinions about them in his own time, and speaks of those epistles, or several of them, as of doubtful authority, whilst other parts of scripture were universally acknowledged; all which tends to shew, that the canon of the scriptures of the New Testament had not been settled, and decided by any authority in which all acquiesced. But Christian people were at liberty to judge for themselves, concerning the genuineness of writings proposed to them as apostolical; and to determine according to evidence.
2. I think that the work of this learned man, who had travelled, and seen divers parts of the world; and had also read, and was acquainted with the writings of ancient Christians, affords a good argument, that there never were any books of authority with Christians, beside those books of the Old and New Testament which are now received by us: and as, in the Old Testament, the writers are prophets ; so, in the New, the writers are apostles and evangelists. This appears from his quotations, and from the titles and divisions of scripture just transcribed: moreover, after having supported his opinions, as he was able, by the writings of the prophets and
* Ούτος ο σκοπος σπασης της θεοπνευσε γραφης, παλαιας τε «...αλλ' εκ θειας αποκαλύψεως εμπνευσθενlες. L. i. p. και καινης διαθηκης. L. ν.
L. i. p. 115. E. L. v. 245. A. * Ο κοσμογραφος τοινυν Μωϋσης, και οι λοιποι σανlες προ- "L. i. p. 115. E. Vid. et p. 116. A... E. φησαι... αλλα και οι κυριω παραγεγονοτες, και οι τεθε μαθηίαι, τον δε δεσποτην Χριςον και της αποστολες. L. 1. p. 117. Α. ευαγγελισαι και αποστολοι, ουδεν έτερον ανεκηρυξαν. L. ν. * L. vi. p. 271. E. P. 243. A.
L. v. p. 255. D.
p. 208. B.
apostles, for farther satisfaction, he alleges passages of divers writers who had lived before him. Some, it seems, after the publication of the former part of this work, in which are so many quotations of the several parts of canonical scripture, said, that his interpretations of scripture were different from those of our fathers, who might be reasonably supposed to have understood the true meaning of scripture. Well, what authors does he now allege ? Does he produce passages of Hermas, Clement, Ignatius, the Recognitions, the Clementines, the Constitutions, the Acts or Preaching of Paul, or Peter, or Matthias, or any other like writings? No: his first author is Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria; and, after that, Gregory Nazianzen, and some others; which, I think, must be allowed to be a good argument, that the writings of early Christians, after the apostles, never were of authority. Cosmas alleges none of them; nor did they, who made exceptions to the first edition of his work, expect such citations from him; for he makes no apology for taking no notice of them; but immediately proceeds to writers of the fourth century, whose works never could make any pretensions to be part of the rule of faith. So now in a like case, a writer of the present time, after proofs from the Old and the New Testament, might for the satisfaction of some objectors, quote Stillingfleet, and Tillotson, and Burnet, or Owen, and Baxter, and Manton.
VI. I shall add a few select passages :
1. He says, that all Christ's miracles were suited to his excellent and gracious doctrine, being healing and beneficial. If any should object the loss of the swine, and the fig-tree; those miracles were not wrought on men, but only on brutes and a vegetable plant. He afterwards considers also the action of Christ's driving the buyers and sellers out of the temple; and says, that even then Christ did not strike any man with the whip which he had in his hand, but the brute animals only,
2. Cosmas speaks very agreeably of the progress of the Christian religion: he observes, that a the gospel was first preached by the apostles with great success, in the Roman empire; soon after that it was preached in Persia, by the apostle Thaddeus. Accordingly, it is written in the catholic epistles: • The church, which is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth • you.' In another place he enlarges upon the wonderful progress of the Christian religion, as agreeable to what Christ had foretold. [John xvi. 33. Matth. xvi. 18. xiii. 33. xxiv. 14.] • For,' says he, though from the beginning Christians were persecuted by the Greeks and Jews, they • overcame, and drew over their enemies to themselves: accordingly, we see, the church has not • been destroyed, but still subsisting and multiplied; and the whole earth filled, and still more • and more filling, with the doctrine of the Lord Christ, and the gospel preached in all the • world; which says he, I myself have seen in many places, and therefore can bear witness to • the truth of it. He here mentions a great many countries, remote from each other, where the gospel had been planted; and particularly several places in the Indies, where he had been, in which were many churches. He expressly says, that in Persia were many churches and bishops, and people, and many martyrs; as also in Ethiopia and Arabia..
1. Facundus, a learned African bishop, flourished about the year of Christ 540.
2. I need not take notice of quotations of the Gospels, and Acts, and other books of the New Testament, which were always received by all Christians in general, in every part of the world.
• L. 10. p. 315. C. D.
• Παρίλω δε εις μεσον πρωτος ο μεγας Αθανασιος, τα αυθα ju jy unpurlwy. Ibid E. • L. ii. p. 164, 165.
L. . p. 147. E. 148. A.
L. iii. p. 178. C. D. E. et p. 179. " Ib. p. 179. E.
& Vid. Cav. H. L. Du Pin. Bib. T. y. p. 75. Fabric. Bib. Ec. ad Isidor. de Scr. Ec. c. 18. et 19.
3. He quotes the epistle to the. Hebrews, as the apostle Paul's.
4. He likewise quotes b the epistle of the apostle James, and the second epistle of the apostle Peter, and the epistle of the apostle Jude, and also the book of the Revelation.
5. It is likely, therefore, that he received all the books of the New Testament, which we do, and no other.
6. His general division of the books of the New Testament is, that' of gospels and apostles: for all which he has the greatest ® regard.
7. He quotes the epistle to the Ephesians with that title.
8. He cites Tit. ii. 13. after this manner : · Looking, for the blessed hope, and the appearing • of the glory of the great God, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
9. Facundus, citing the fifth chapter of the first epistle of St. John, does not mention the heavenly witnesses, but says, that k « the spirit' denotes the Father, the water' the Holy Spirit, and the blood' Jesus Christ.
1.' Arethas,' says' Du Pin, “who wrote a Commentary upon the Revelation, extracted from • that of Andrew of Cæsarea, is placed in the sixth century, and reckoned to have been bishop of • Cæsarea ; but there is no proof, neither of the one, nor the other.'
2. By Cave TM Arethas is placed at the year 540. And he is somewhat displeased with Casimire Oudin, for supposing him to have lived much later, about the year 920. Nevertheless Fabricius favours Oudin's conjecture, that Arethas was a writer of the tenth century; however, he calls his Commentary upon the Apocalypse an excellent work.
3. Millo speaks of him, together with other writers, of the sixth century, about 540, and calls
a Sic etiam, cum Paulus ejus [Petri] coapostolus Christianis maritanæ, secundum ipsius Johannis Evangelium, loquitur, omnibus legitur, dicens : Obedite præpositis vestris.'. dicens... (Joh. iv. 21... 24.] In ‘aquâ' vero Spiritum Sanc(Hebr. xiii. 17.) Facund. I. xii. c. 3. p. 195. C. Paris. 1679.. tum significans, sicut in eodem suo evangelio exposuit verba ad Hebræos dicit apostolus. L. iii. c. 6. p. 47. D. et alibi. Domini.. [cap. vii. 37. ..39.] In sanguine' vero Filium
Jacobus apostolus dicit : ' Nolite plures magistri fieri.' significans, quoniam ipse ex Sanctâ Trinitate communicavit (Cap. iii. 1.) L. X. c. 2. p. 151. C. Vid. et. I. vi.c. 5. p.93.C. carni et sanguivi. L. i. c. 3. p. 7. C.
• Attendant, quod Petrus apostolus dicat : Dilectissimus Nam si ecclesia Christi..i tres credidit et prædicavit, Pafrater noster Paulus, secundum eam, quæ data est illi, sa- trem, et Filium, et Spiritum Sanctum, sicut testimonio Johan• pientiam, scripsit vobis.'... [2 Fet. iii. 15, 16.] L. xii. c. 2. nis
docuimus, quo dictum est : «Tres sunt, qui testip. 187. D.
'monium dant in terra, spiritus, aqua, et sanguis; et hi tres d Quem Spiritum illi non habent, qui se ab ecclesià segre- unum sunt.' Ib. p. 8. C. D. gant, apostolo Judâ dicente : "Hi sunt qui segregant semet- | Bib. des Aut. Ec. T. v. p. 74.
ipsos, animales, Spiritum non habentes.' (ver. 19.) l. xii. c. m Arethas, Cæsareæ Cappadociæ Archiepiscopus, claruit, 1. p. 186. B.
uti vult Coccius, et post eum alii (qui tamen incertis prorsus • L. ii. c. 5. p. 30. ' A. et passim.'
nituntur conjecturis) circa annum 540. Longe vero recentior, Evangelicæ et apostolicæ de Domino voces. L. i. c. 5. si modo verum sit, quod vult Casimirus Oudin, eumdem sciP. 17. B.
licet fuisse nostrum cum Arethâ, presbytero Cæsariensi, qui & Hanc autem reverentiam ipsi divinæ scripturæ deferimus, circa annum 920, scripsit Translationem Euthymii Patriarut non credamus quod aliquid indigne laudavit. Et ideo cum chæ, C. P. apud Lippomanum Tomo 3 repertam. Verum audiamus apostolum inter alios justos Samson quoque laudan- id gratis affirmat Oudinus. Nec enim præsto ei est argu. tem, atque dicentem (Hebr. xi. 32.] intelligimus, quod... I. mentum, quo sententiam suam copfirmet. Cav. H. L. T. i. xii. c. 1. p. 186. D.
Audiant apostolum scribentem Ephesiis, 1. iii. c. 6. p. " Arethas, qui et ipse post Andream Cæsareæ ejusdem in 48. C.
Cappadociâ Archiepiscopus fuisse traditur, forte haud diversus ... expectantes beatam spem, et adventum gloriæ magni est ab Aretha, qui adhuc presbyter Cæsariensis scripsit de Dei salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi. I. i. c. 1. p. 3.
translatione Euthymii C. P. A. C. 911. defuncti. Neque imNam et Johannes in epistolâ suâ de Patre et Filio et probabilis hæc mihi videtur C. V. Casimiri Oudini conjectura Spiritu Sancto sic dicit : • Tres sunt, qui testimonium dant ejus insigne in Apocalypsin opus prodiit, &c. Bib. Gr. T. • in terrâ, spiritus, aqua, et sanguis ; et bi tres unum sunt; vii. p. 791.792. in Spiritu' significans Patrem, sicut Dominus mulieri Sa- • Proleg. n. 1007.
his work a chain, collected out of the Commentary of his predecessor Andrew, and the works of Irenæus, Hippolytus, Gregory Nazianzen, Cyril of Alexandria, and others.
4. Arethas, at the beginning of his Commentary, upon ch. i. ver. 1, 3, says, " That* some of the ancients looked upon this book as spurious, and because it differed from the style of the • beloved disciple in his other writings, ascribed it to another. But Gregory, called also the
divine, reckons it among the genuine writings of the evangelist : and in the preface, agreeably • to what had been before written by Andrew, he says, it had been received as inspired scripture
by Basil, Gregory, Cyril [of Alexandria,] Papias, Irenæus, and Hippolytus, orthodox fathers; • and, therefore, it ought to be received in a like manner by us.'
5. Possibly, some may think, that the writers here named, afford an argument, that Arethas did not live later than the sixth century.
6. I would briefly observe, that in this work are quoted most or all the books of the New Testament, particularly, the gospel of Mark, and the Acts, written by Luke; the epistle to the Hebrews ° as Paul's, expressly, and often ; the epistle of James, and the second of Peter : he received all the three epistles of John; for he often quotes the first, and once in this manner : John' in the first of his catholic epistles. It is likely, therefore, that he received all the same books of the New Testament that we do; nor have I observed any marks of peculiar respect for any other Christian writings; and may I add here, though somewhat out of place, thatthis writer quotes Solomon's song.
7. Upon Rev. i. 5. “Unto him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” he says, that was written two ways, in some copies washed,' in others delivered' or redeemed.' Millí has taken notice of this place, and prefers the latter reading.
CHA P. CLI.
1. ARATOR," at first an advocate, then a soldier, afterwards a ° courtier, thought fit at length to retire from the world, and was appointed sub-deacon in the church of Rome.
2. He composed a work, entitled The Apostolical History, in verse, in two books, composed out of the Acts of the apostles, ' which he ascribes to St. Luke.
3. In Acts xx. 28, he seems to have read the church of the Lord:' for he speaks only' of the church which Christ, the Lord and master, had purchased with the price of his blood. Arator
• Τινες των αρχαιολερων νοθευεσι ταυτην της Ιωαννε το ηγα- luraylı. Certe ob sequens sy tw aiuali, aeraylı jam in codd. peye yaaurins, klepw Taulyy avalıbeyles. Oux 851 de dlws." o plerosque omnes invasit
. Sed auraylı genuinum est.... γαρ, συνεπωνυμος τελω Γρηγόριος ανέκρινε ταυτην τοις ανοθευθους: * Λυσανθι hic est λυτρωσαν7ι: quomodo Apocalyptes infra, C. 5. ως η Ιωαννε, φησας, διδασκει με Αποκαλυψις. Areth. Comm. v. 9. Hyoparas jpas ey aiualı ca. Proleg. n. 1007. in Apocalyps. p. 645. B. ad calcem, Comment Oecumen. n Vid. Trithem. De Scr. Ec. cap. 213. Baron. Ann. 5-14. T. 2.
n. 1, 2. Pagi Ann. 544. n. 3. Basnag. Ann. 544. n. 10. Cav. Proæm. ib. p. 640. B. c Vid. Not.
H. L. T. i. p. 523. Du Pin. Bib. T. v. p. 73. • Λυκας γαρ εν ταις Πραξεσι γραφει, νεφελην τον κυριον
• Ecclesiam subeo, dimissâ naufragus aula, υπολαβειν, Μαρκος δε εν τω υπ' αυ78 γραφεντι ευαγγελιω. κ. λ.
Perfida mundani desero vela freti. p. 652. B.
Transferor ad niveas Petri sine turbine caulas, • Ειχε Παυλω σεισεον 'Εβραιοις ουτω διεξιον1ι ταυλα λαθυ
Et fruor optati jam statione soli. Tepov. Ibid. p. 762. B.
Arat. ad Vigil. p. 125. F. 1 P. 659, B. 729. C. 732. D. 762. C. et passim.
P Historia Apostolica. Ap. Bib. PP. Lugd. T. x. p. 125. & P. 668. B. h P. 675. D.
... 142. 5 Ο παρων θεοσοφος ευαγγελισης προηνεγκεν ενδε τω ευαγ- 4 Versibus ergo canam, quos Lucas retulit, actus. Ib. γελια αυθα... και εν τη πρωίη των καθολικων αυθα επιςολων. Ib. p. 648. D.
* Perpetuo pro rege pati, servare Magistri } P. 658. B. C.
Ecclesiam, Christus pretium quam sanguine nobis 1 Δισσογραφείθαι τυλο προς διαφορον εννοιαν, Л8:1а: fler
Fecit in orbe suo, famuli retinere laborent, γαρ και τας κηλιδας και της σπιλές αποκαθαιρομενος. Λυέλαι
Quæ Dominus de morte dedit. ... δε ό των εγκλημαίων εαυθα απαλλαττομενος. p. 650. D.
Hist. Ap. I. ii. p. 138. F. In Memorat Arethas duplicem fectionem, decayli, et VOL. III.