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In Epiphanius” the books of the New Testament are enumerated in this order: “the four sacred gospels, the four‘ teen epistles of the apostle Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, ‘the seven catholic epistles, and the Revelation.’ I imagine that this must have been the order of Euthalius. For he is supposed to have first published an edition of Paul's epistles, and afterwards an edition of the Acts, and the catholic epistles, about the year 490. In his prologue to the Acts of the Apostles, addressed to Athanasius, then bishop of Alexandria, he says: ‘Having " formerly divided ‘the epistles of Paul into sections, I have now done the like ‘in the book of the Acts, and the seven catholic epistles.’ Hence I am led to argue that this was his order: Paul's epistles, the Acts, and the catholic epistles. Jerom’s order, in his letter to Paulinus, is " “the four ‘gospels, St. Paul's epistles, the Acts, the catholic epistles, ‘and the Revelation.’ Which is very agreeable to the order of Epiphanius, and also of Euthalius, if I understand him aright. But in Jerom's work of the interpretation of Hebrew names the order is thus: “The "gospels, the Acts of the ‘Apostles, the seven catholic epistles, the fourteen epistles of * Paul, and the Revelation.” In the letter to Laeta, the order is, ‘the “gospels, the Acts, and the epistles of the apostles.’ Augustine varies. In his work of the Christian Doctrine, the scriptures of the New Testament are rehearsed in this manner: “The y four books of the gospels, fourteen epistles ‘ of the apostle Paul, the seven catholic epistles, the Acts ‘ of the apostles in one book, and the Revelation of John in ‘one book.” In another work: “the gospels,” the epistles of “apostles, [meaning Paul's epistles, and the catholic epis‘tles, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Revelation of John.’ In one of his works he quotes texts from the books of the New Testament in this order: first " from the gospels, next from several of the catholic epistles, then from almost all the epistles of Paul, after that from the Revelation, and lastly from the Acts of the Apostles. In the catalogue of Innocent the first, bishop of Rome, this order is observable: ‘The " four gospels, St. Paul's “fourteen epistles, seven catholic epistles, the Acts, and the
* Cited, vol. iv. p. 436. w P. 437.
x P. 471, 472. J. P. 494. 2 P. 512.
a P. 514. b P. 586.
* Revelation.” Isidore of Seville, in his several works, has three or four catalogues of the books of the New Testament. In " all of them we see this order: ‘first, the gos‘pels, then the epistles of the apostle Paul, then the catholic “ epistles, after them the Acts, and then the Revelation.’ There were, according to him, two parts or divisions of the New Testament, one called the gospels or the evangelists, the other the apostles or the epistles. And in this last part the book of the Acts was placed. The same is the order in the Complexions or short Commentaries of Cassiodorius: they " are upon St. Paul's epistles, the catholic epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Revelation. The three writers, alleged in this last paragraph, agree very much with Augustine in the two passages first cited from him in the preceding paragraph. Chrysostom's order in the Synopsis ascribed to him, as formerly observed, is very singular: “the * fourteen epistles ‘ of the apostle Paul, the four gospels, the book of the Acts, ‘ and three catholic epistles.’ The catalogue of Gelasius also is particular for the place of the Revelation. For he enumerates the books in this order: ‘thef four gospels, the Acts, St. Paul’s fourteen ‘ epistles, the Revelation, and the catholic epistles.” I suppose I ought not to omit the order of the books in the 85th Apostolical Canon, as it is called, which is this. “The # four gospels, Paul’s fourteen epistles, seven catholic “ epistles, two epistles of Clement, the Constitutions, the ‘Acts of the Apostles.’ I shall transcribe nothing more of this kind. They who are desirous to see more examples may consult the alphabetical table at the end of the last volume, in that article, “The New Testament.” Here is enough to be a foundation for such remarks as are proper to be made, relating to this point. II. It is obvious to remark upon what we have now seen, that in the several ages of christianity, and in several parts of the world, there has been some variety in the disposition of the books of the New Testament, in two particulars especially. . For in some catalogues St. Paul's epistles precede the catholic epistles, in others they follow them. And the book of the Acts is sometimes placed next after the gospels, in other catalogues it follows all the epistles. Dr. Mill, who, in his Prolegomena, has an article concern
* Vol. v. p. 139. d P. 113. * Vol. iv. p. 537. f Vol. v. p. 76. 8 Vol. iv. p. 230.
ing the order of the books of the New Testament, with regard to the first particular, the placing in divers catalogues the catholic epistles before St. Paul's, says, “that" possibly ‘the christians of those times supposed them to deserve ‘precedence, because they were not directed to one church “ or person only, as St. Paul's are, but to christians in gene‘ral, and many churches scattered over the world. Some “might also think the catholic epistles entitled to prece‘dence, because they were written by those who were apos‘tles before Paul, and had accompanied our Lord in his ‘personal ministry here on earth.” Mill likewise argues, that this was the most ancient order, because it is that of the Alexandrian, and some other ancient manuscripts. . But I do not think that to be full proof. For Eusebius is older, and his order is the same as ours. The same order is in the catalogues of Rufin, the council of Carthage, Gregory Nazianzen, Amphilochius, and divers others, very probably older than any manuscripts now in being. And in many other writers likewise of great antiquity, St. Paul's epistles precede the catholic epistles. Whereby I am induced to think this must have been the most ancient order. The reason why the book of the Acts was sometimes placed after all the epistles, some may think was because it was not so generally received as the gospels, the thirteen epistles of Paul, and some of the catholic epistles. Mr. Wetstein hints at that reason. But I rather think, that by some it was judged proper, that the epistles of apostles should immediately follow the gospels, containing the history of our Lord himself: and that the history of the apostles and of their preaching, written by an apostolical man, should not precede, but rather follow their writings. For by Eusebius, as we have seen, the book of the Acts of the Apostles is reckoned among scriptures universally acknow
* In epistolarum quidem dispositione variatum est. In antiquissimis qucs habemus manuscriptis, etiam Alexandrino nostro, Paulinis praemissae sunt catholicae; eo quod hae Judaeis per orbem quaquaversum dispersis, adeoque pluribus ecclesiis, inscriptae sint; illae vero singulis sive ecclesiis, sive etiam hominibus. Nedicam, quod in isthac dispositione rationem forsan habuerint dignitatis apostolorum, a quibus scriptae sunt; ut nempe apostoli Judaeorum, iique jam ab initio electia Domino, ac cum eo per Omne ministerii ipsius tempus versati, præponerentur Paulo, apostolo gentium, ac cui novissime omnium Christus visus erat. Postea autem Paulinae positae sunt ante catholicas. Mill. Proleg. num. 236.
' Apud orthodoxos vero hic Actuum liber non videtur eodem loco fuisse habitus, quo reliqui N. T. libri. Wetstem. N. T. tom. II. p. 455.
ledged by catholic christians. It is so considered likewise by “Origen. And indeed, that this has been all along an universally-acknowledged sacred book of the New Testament, appears from our collections from every age of christianity from the beginning. See “Acts of the Apostles” in the alphabetical table of matters at the end of the last volume. Mr. Wetstein' argues from the 85th Apostolical Canon, where the Acts of the Apostles are mentioned last. To which I answer, first, that the age, when those canons were composed, is uncertain. And secondly, that order may have been there chosen out of a regard to the common rules of modesty. For it is thus: ‘the "gospels, Paul’s epistles, ‘the catholic epistles, two epistles of Clement, the Consti“tutions, and " the Acts of us the apostles.” When a man took upon himself the character of the apostles, and expressed himself in that manner, it was natural enough to reckon the book, which contained the history of their own actions, last of all. Surely it is trifling to form an argument from that position in this canon. And Mr. Wetstein might have observed, that in many catalogues, undoubtedly ancient, the Acts immediately follow the gospels: and that, not only in those catalogues where St. Paul’s epistles have the precedence before the catholic epistles, but in divers others likewise, where the catholic epistles precede. III. Having made these general observations, I now propose to consider distinctly the order of these several parts of the New Testament: the gospels, the Acts, St. Paul’s epistles, the catholic epistles, and the Revelation. 1. The order of the four gospels has generally been this, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. This is their order in "Irenaeus, P Origen, " Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, and in his ten Canons, as represented in his letter to Carpian, Athanasius, * the council of Laodicea,
* Epiphanius, " the 85th Apostolical Canon, V Gregory Na
* Vol. ii. ch. xxxviii. num, viii.
' In. Can. Ap. 85. Ordo librorum iste reperitur. iv. Evangelia, Epistolae Pauli Xiv. Petri, Joannis, Jacobi, Judae, Clementis dua, Constitutiones, Acta. Wetst, ubi supr. p. 455.
" See Vol. iv. p. 230.
" Kat IIpaësig inwy rov atrosokov.
° Vol. ii. p. 170. P P. 493. * Vol. iv. p. 95. * P. 155, 163. s P. 182. t P. 188.
u P. 230. v P. 285.
zianzen, "Amphilochius, * the Syrian catalogue, y Jerom, * Rufin, Augustine, " the Alexandrian manuscript, “ the Stichometry of Nicephorus, “Cosmas of Alexandria, " Jumilius, an African bishop, ‘ Isidore of Seville, & Leontius of Constantinople. And in like manner in all authors and catalogues in general, distinctly taken notice of in the several volumes of this work. Nevertheless, in considering the testimony of Tertullian, we thought we saw reason to apprehend, that" in his time, in the African churches at least, the gospels were disposed according to the quality of the writers: in the first place those two, which were written by apostles, then the other two, written by apostolical men. This was inferred from some expressions in his works. , But perhaps the argument is not conclusive. However the four gospels are in the same order in * some Latin manuscripts, still in being, and also in the Cambridge manuscript, which is Greek and Latin: Matthew, John, Luke, Mark. But by Mr Wetstein, we are assured, that " it is the only Greek manuscript in which the evangelists are so disposed. For certain the other order must have generally prevailed. 2. Concerning the Acts the question is, in which part of the New Testament it was generally placed by the ancients: whether in the Evangelicon, or the Apostolicon. And undoubtedly, by those who mention it after St. Paul's epistles, or after all the epistles of the apostles, it was placed in the latter part. But, as we have seen, it is often mentioned by ancient writers next after the four gospels. Was it then reckoned a part of the Evangelicon, or of the Apostolicon ? From some passages of Tertullian it was formerly argued by us, that " the book of the Acts was placed in the second part of the New Testament, and at the beginning of it. I would now add, that I think the same may be argued from Irenaeus, who,” having alleged passages from the four gos
w P. 292, 293. × P. 321. J. P. 436, 437, 439, 441 * P. 483. a P. 494. * Vol. v. p. 82. c P. 86. d P. 93, 94. e P. 106. f P. 138. g P. 142. * See vol. ii. p. 301.
* Denique nobis fidem ex apostolis Joannes et Matthaeus insinuant; ex apostolicis Lucas et Marcus instaurant, iisdem regulis exorsi. Adv. Marcion. 1. 4. cap. 2. p. 503. A. Vid. et ibid. cap. 5. p. 505. C. D.
* Vid. Joseph Blanchini Evangeliarium Quadruplex Latinae Versionis Antiquae. * Vid. Mill, Prolegom. num. 1269.
m Vidit tamen, nisi admodum fallor, hunc ipsum codicem Cantabrigiensem, qui unus et solus omnium codicum Græce Scriptorum hunc ordinem servat. Wetstem. Prolegom, p. 28.
* Vol. ii. p. 300.
• Vid. Iren. contr. Haer. l. 3. cap. xi. fin. et cap. xii. in.