Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

evidence. By Hegesippus he is “ said to have been son of Cleophas, brother of Joseph; and therefore was our Lord's cousin-german. But Eusebius mentions that in a doubtful manner. We should therefore, as I apprehend, be cautious of being too particular in our decisions about it. However, Eusebius' justly reckons him among the eye and ear-wit– messes of the Lord : and according" to Hegesippus, whose ecclesiastical history Eusebius had before him, he suffered martyrdom in Trajan's persecution. We therefore without hesitation, place his death at the year of our Lord 107; where also it is placed by Eusebius in " his Chronicle. Simeon was then 120 years old. . By order of Atticus, president of Syria, he was crucified; he must therefore have been born several years before our Lord ; and supposing him chosen bishop of Jerusalem in the year 62, he presided in that church more than forty years. He was succeeded by Justus, a Jew; and, as Eusebius adds, “there " were then many believers of the circumci“sion.’ ‘The P times of the ensuing successions of bishops ‘ at Jerusalem, Eusebius says, he could never learn : but ‘ it was said they had sat in the see for a short time only. * This he had learned from ancient writers, that to the war ‘ in Adrian's time, (about the year 132) there had been ‘ fifteen successions, who were all Hebrews by birth, and ‘had held the genuine doctrine of Christ.’ Whose names are all put down by him. In this catalogue of fifteen, Eusebius reckons James the first, Simeon the second ; after which there follow thirteen more. Why their times were so short we cannot say, there is no reason to think that any of them were taken off by persecution : but possibly they were all in years, seniority being esteemed a ground of preference. After q their defeat by Adrian, the Jews were forbid to come to Jerusalem : from that time the

* ––Avshtov, &c Ys page, yeyovora Ts owrmpoc. Tov Yap ev KAwtav, aôopov ra Iwamp virapyetv 'Hymourtrog isopei. H. E. l. 3. c. xi. p. 87. Conf. l. 4. cap. 22, p. 142. C. ' Aoytopup 6 av kat row Xupsøva row avrotrov kat avrnkowy stirot av ric yeyovsval ra Kupis. L. 3. c. 32, p. 104. B. " Ap. Eus. H. E. l. 3. c. 32. p. 104. C. " Trajano adversus christianos persecutionem movente, Simon, filius Cleopae, qui in Jerosolymis episcopatum tenebat, crucifigitur. Cui succedit Justus. Ignatius quoque Antiochenae ecclesiæ episcopus, Roman perductus, bestlis traditur. Chr. p. 165. * ——Tng ev'IspocoMuploug struckotrng rov 6povov Isèalog tug ovopa Issog, pupwov čawv Ek treptroping eig row Xptsov rmvikavra retrosvkorwV sig kat avroc wy Śwačexerat. l. 3. c. 35. p. 106. P L. 4. cap. v. * [b. 1. 4. cap. 6. vid. et Chr. p. 167.

3

church there consisted of Gentiles, whose first bishop was named Mark. That there were Jews who believed in Jesus, we are assured even by Celsus the epicurean, who wrote against the christians about the middle of the second century. In divers parts of his work he personates a Jew: it is likely that he had conversed with divers unbelievers of that nation. He consulted them, that they might assist him in his argument against the christians, and likewise furnish him with scandal against them if they could. ‘In this man‘ner,’ says Origen, “this personated Jew addresseth those “who had believed from among the Jews—What ailed you, “fellow-citizens, that you forsook the law of your country, ‘to follow him, whom we mentioned just now, by whom “you have been miserably deceived, leaving us, and going ‘ over to another name, and another way of living o' And Origen, in his books against Celsus, says, “that the * Messiah had been foretold so long, and by so many, that “ the whole nation of the Jews were in earnest expectation ‘ of his coming; but since the birth of Jesus they have ‘ been divided in their opinion; for many of them have be‘ lieved that Jesus is the person whom the prophets fore“ told ; but others rejected him, despising him because of * the meanness of his outward character.” Irenaeus says, “there" were many of the circumcision * who believed in Jesus, who rose from the dead, hearken‘ing to Moses and the prophets, who beforehand preached “ the coming of the Son of God.” s Among these Jewish believers there were different sentiments. Origen says, “there" were two sorts of Ebionites; “some who believed Jesus to have been born of a virgin, ‘ as we do; some who supposed Jesus to be born as other “men are.” Origen speaks of both sorts of these men, as fond of the Jewish observances. Afterwards," in the same

[ocr errors]

book against Celsus, he says, that both sorts of the Ebionites, like the Encratites, rejected St. Paul’s epistles; nor did they consider him as a wise or good man. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, in a chapter entitled, Of the Heresy of the Ebionites, speaks to the like purpose. “Some,' " says he, “who are not to be moved by “any means from their respect for the Christ of God, are “in some respects very infirm. They are called by the an“cients Ebionites, because they have but a low opinion of ‘Christ, thinking him to be a mere man, born of Joseph ‘ and Mary, honoured for his advancement in virtue; and es“teeming the ritual ordinances of the law necessary to be * observed by them, as if they could not be justified by “faith in Christ only. Others of them do not deny, that “Jesus was born of a virgin by the Holy Ghost. Never‘theless, they do not ido his pre-existence as God ‘the Word: and, like the others, they are fond of the ex‘ternal observances of the law of Moses. They also re‘ject Paul's epistles, and call him an apostate from the ‘ law.” These two learned ancient authors speak of two sorts of Ebionites, therein, as * may be supposed, including those who are sometimes called Nazarenes, and were the descendants of the Jewish believers at Jerusalem. It may be also here observed by us, that many learned men are now of opinion, that there never was any man named Ebion, the leader of a sect; but that the Ebionites were so called from their low opinion concerning the person of Christ, and their attachment to the external rites of the law of Moses, and that opinion, as I apprehend, is much countenanced by the passages which have been just quoted. We cannot deny that there were some believers who sup|..." Jesus to have been born as other men: but I apprelend that the number of these was very small: nor do I re

pisvot Eykparmrat. Ovk av av of pin Xpwpswot rp atrosox'p &g uakapup rive kat oopp. Ib. n. 65. p. 274.

" AAABc de ó trovmpoc &alpov rmg Trept toy Xpisov re ess Suassoswg ačvvarov skastaat, 6arspaxmirreg sipwy, so perspuoro. E8wvalaç rareg oucetwg strepnutéov oi trporot, Troxac kat ratrstvoc ta trept rs Xptse Öoćačovrag Mirov psy Yap avrov kat kowow myavro, kara Tpokorny m68g avro plovov av000Tov Öséukawpswov, avópog rs kowa viac kat rmg Mapiac Yêyevnuevov–AAAoi če Tapa rerotg rmg avrmg ovreg trpoonyoptag, ex trap6eva kat ra àytov truevparoc pum apwovuevot yeyoveva rov Kvptov, a punv 69' 6powg kai otorov trpointrapyetv avrov 6sov Aoyov ovra kat goptav Špokoyovyrsc, K. A. L. 3. cap. 27, p. 99.

* Et Origenes, cum duplices facit Ebionaos in disputatione contra Celsum, Ebionaorum nomine abutens, sub priore illá notà Nazaraeos, ut credibile est, describit. Grot. Prol, in Matt, p. 5.

collect any christian writing, now extant, where that oplnion is maintained. We must also allow that there were some who rejected the apostle Paul, whilst they received the other apostles: these likewise I suppose to have been few in number. I know no work of any ancient author now remaining, who speaks disrespectfully of him, excepting only * The Recoginitions, or Clementine Homilies, of which we formerly took particular notice. As for the other Ebionites, called also Nazareans, it is allowed, as we have just seen, that they believed Jesus to be born of a virgin, by an especial interposition of the power of God, or by the Holy Ghost. These also received the apostle Paul. The Testaments of the twelve Patriarchs were written by a Jewish believer of this character in the second century. He plainly received Paul and his epistles and the Acts of the Apostles, as was shown "formerly. It is a very curious work. When it came in my way I enlarged in my extracts of it. Nor do I now repent of that labour. That the Nazareans, called also believers from among the Hebrews, received Paul, is apparent from Jerom's commentary upon Is. iv. 1–3, quoted Matt. iv. 15, 16. “The" “Nazareans,’ says he, “whom I before mentioned, endeavour “to explain this text after this manner. When Christ came, ‘ and began to enlighten the world with his doctrine, the ‘land of Zabulon and Naphtali was first delivered from the ‘errors of the scribes and pharisees, and shook off from “ their necks the heavy yoke of Jewish traditions. After“wards, by the preaching of the apostle Paul, who was the ‘ last of all the apostles, the preaching was increased, and ‘ even multiplied; and the gospel of Christ shone out “among the Gentiles, and by the way of the sea. At length

* Nota, quod primi apostoli salvatoris literam Sabbati destruunt adversus Ebionitas, qui quum caeteros recipiant apostolos, Paulum, quasi transgressorem legis, repudiant. Hieron. in Matt. xii. 2. T. 4. P. i. p. 46. * See The Credib. P. ii. Vol. ii. p. 373, and p. 380. * See The Credib. P. ii. Vol. ii. p. 360. * Hebraei credentes in Christum hunc locum ita edisserunt Nazaraei, quorum opinionem supra posui, hunc locum ita explicare conantur. Adveniente Christo, ac praedicatione illius coruscante, prima terra Zabulon et terra Naphtali scribarum et pharisaeorum est erroribus liberata, et gravissimam traditionum judaicarum jugum excussit de cervicibus suis. Postea autem per evangelium apostoli Pauli, qui novissimus omnium apostolorum omnium fuit, ingravata est, id est, multiplicata prædicatio: et in terminos gentium, et viam universi maris Christi evangelium splenduit. Denique omnis orbis, qui ante ambulabat, vel Sedebat in tenebris, et idololatriae ac mortis vinculis tenebatur, claram evangelii lucem aspexit. In Is. cap. ix. T. 3. p. 83.

“ the whole world, that had walked, or ‘sat in darkness,” ‘ and had been held in the chains of idolatry and death, saw “ the clear light of the gospel.” So he says that text was explained by the Nazarenes, whom just before he called the Hebrews that believed in Christ.

That the Nazarenes received all Christ's apostles, is evident from the passage just transcribed. It is also manifest from Jerom's commentary upon Is. xxxi. 6–9. , ‘The “Na“zarenes,’ says he “understand this place after this manner: “O ye children of Israel, who under the worst direction de‘nied the Son of God, return to him, and to his apostles: ‘ for if you do that, you will then cast away your idols, ‘which have been a sin to you; and the devil shall fall be“fore you, not by your own power, but by the mercy of “God; and his young men, who before fought for him, shall ‘ be tributary to the church, and all his strength and power “shall be subdued.”

The Ebionites" are said to have adhered to the injunctions of the law of Moses, after they had received the gospel of Christ. “Some of them,’ as “Jerom intimates, “were ‘ for imposing the legal observances upon all men, as ne‘cessary to salvation; but the other Ebionites, (or Naza‘renes,) as the same ancient and learned writer owns, observ‘ed these appointments themselves, as being of the seed ‘ of Israel, without imposing them upon others.’ These were evidently of the same opinion with the believers in the church of Jerusalem : see the Acts of the Apostles, ch. xxi. And divers learned moderns f are now convinced of this, and readily allow that the Jewish believers, who were called Nazarenes, did not impose the ordinances of the law upon others, though they observed them as descendants of Israel and Abraham.

° Nazaraei locum istum sic intelligunt. O filii Israël, qui consilio pessimo Dei Filium denegåstis, revertimini ad eum, et ad apostolos ejus. Sienim hoc feceritis, omnia abjicietis idola, quae vobis prius fuerant in peccatum ; et cadet vobis diabolus, non vestris viribus, sed misericordiá Dei: et juvenes ejus qui quondam pro illo pugnaverant, erunt ecclesiae vectigales, omnisque fortitudo et petraillius pertransibit. In Is. cap. xxxi. T. 3. p. 267.

* Simularat in bove et asino Ebion, dignus pro humilitate sensus paupertate nominis Sui, qui sic recipit evangelium, ut judaicarum superstitionum, quae in umbră et imagine praecesserunt, caeremonias non relinquant. Hieron. in Is. cap. i. T. 3. p. 9. * Audiant Ebionai, qui post passionem abolitam legem putant esse servandam. Audiant Ebionitarum socii, qui Judaeis tantum, et de stirpe Israélitici generis haec custodienda decernunt. Id. in Is. cap. i. T. 3. p. 15.

f Ego ad eos accedere non vereor, qui statuunt, Nazaraeos, nullos christianorum, nisi Judaeos, et Abrahae posteros, legi Mosaicae alligare voluisse, &c. Moshem. de Reb. Chr. ante C. M. p. 330.

V () I., VI, 2 (;

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »