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« revelations, but never signs, wonders, or mighty deeds. I will "come, says he, to visions and revelations of the Lord ; and then " proceeds to describe a particular instance, and afterwards adds, “ lest I should be exalted above measure, through the abundance of “ the revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh.
* Upon the whole, the matter admits of no softening qualifi“ cation or ambiguity whatever. If St. Paul did not work ac“ tual, sensible, public miracles, he has knowingly, in these let“ ters, borne his testimony to a falsehood. I need not add, that, * in two also of his quotations, he has advanced his assertion in « the face of those persons amongst whom he declares the mi“ racles to have been wrought.
“Let it be remembered, that the acts of the apostles describe “ various particular miracles, wrought by St. Paul, which in " their nature answer to the terms and expressions which we " bave seen to be used by St. Paul himself.”
“ Here then we have a man of liberal attainments, and in “ other points of sound judgment, who had addicted his life to “ the service of the gospel. We see him in the prosecution " of his purpose, travelling from country to country, enduring
every species of hardship, encountering every extremity of “ danger, assaulted by the populace, punished by the magis“ trates, scourged, beat, stoned, left for dead; expecting, « wherever he came, a renewal of the same treatment, and
same dangers ; yet when driven from one city, preaching “ in the next; spending his whole time in the employment, “ sacrificing to it his pleasures, his ease, his safety, persisting “ in this course to old age, unaltered by the experience of per“ verseness, ingratitude, prejudice, desertion; unsubdued by u anxiety, want, labour, persecutions; unwearied by long con“ finement, undismayed by the prospect of death. Such was « St. Paul. We have his letters in our hands : we have also a “ history purporting to be written by one of his fellow-travel“ lers, and appearing by a comparison with these letters, cer" tainly to have been written by some person well acquainted 66 with the transactions of his life. From the letters, as well as “ from the history, we gather, not only the account which we " have stated of him, but that he was one out of many who act“ ed and suffered in the same manner, and that, of those who “ did so, several had been the companions of Christ's ministry, “ the ocular witnesses, or pretending to be such, of his miracles 66 and of his resurrection. We moreover find this same per“ son referring in his letters to his supernatural conversion, the “ particulars and accompanying circumstances of which are re“ lated in the history, and which accompanying circumstances, « if all or any of them be true, render it impossible to have been a “ delusion. We also find him positively, and in appropriated “ terms, asserting that he himself worked miracles strictly and “ properly so called, in support of the mission which he exe«cuted: the history, meanwhile, recording various passages of « his ministry which come up to the extent of this assertion. “ The question is, whether falsehood was ever attested by evi. “ dence like this. Falsehoods, we know, have found their way « into reports, into tradition, into books: but is an example to “ be met with, of a man voluntarily undertaking a life of want “ and pain, of incessant fatigue, of continual peril ; submitting “ to the loss of his home and country, to stripes and stoning, to “ tedious imprisonment, and the constant expectation of a violent “ death, for the sake of carrying about a story of what was “ false, and of what, if false, he must have known to be so ?" Horæ Paulinæ, chap. xvi. page 405.-426.
THE EPISTLE OF JAMES.
The following seven epistles have commonly been called CaTholic Epistles; but for what reason, commentators are not agreed. Hammond's account of the matter seems as probable as any ; namely, that the first epistle of Peter, and the first of John, having from the beginning been received as authentic, obtained the name of Catholic, or universally acknowledged, and therefore Canonical epistles, to distinguish them from the epistle of James, the second of Peter, the second and third of John, and the epistle of Jude ; all which were for a while doubted of, and by many not considered as a rule of faith. But their authenticity being at length acknowledged by the generality of the churches, they also obtained the name of Catholic, or universally received epistles, and were esteemed of equal authority with the rest. Whitby, however, seems to adopt the account which Oecumenius hath given of this matter; namely, that these epistles were denominated Catholic, because all of them, except the two short epistles of John, were written, not to people dwelling in one place, but to the Jews dispersed through all the countries within the Roman empire.
Here it is proper to observe, that as we judged it necessary to establish the authenticity of Paul's epistle to the Hebrews, because of all his epistles it alone was called in question, so we judge it necessary to establish the authenticity of the five epistles above mentioned, because they were doubted of by many in the first age. In the preface, therefore, to each of these epistles, I will explain the ground on which the church hath now received them into the Canon of scripture: And the rather, because it will shew how generally all Paul's epistles, except that to the Hebrews, were acknowledged and received as his from the very beginning. See sect. 2. paragraph 2. of this Pref.
The testimonies of the ancients, by which the authenticity of the books of the New Testament, and more especially of the Catholic epistles, is established, have been carefully collected, and most fairly proposed by the excellent Lardner, in the supplement to his Credibility, &c. From that valuable work I have transcribed the testimonies of the greatest importance for establishing the genuineness of the Catholic epistles, and have marked the pages where they are to be found. But in some cases, having abridged Lardner's account, I have not marked the places from which I have taken the particulars. But the reader who desires more full information, will easily obtain it by consulting the 3 vols. of his Supplement, which treat of the Canon of the New Testament; where also he will find the judgment of authors, both ancient and modern, concerning the above mentioned doubted epistles, either accurately recited, or the places of their works distinctly referred to, in which they have given their opinion concerning them.
The History of James, the author of the epistle which bears his name.
In the catalogues of the apostles given Mat. X. 2. Mark iii. 16. Luke vi. 14. Acts i. 13. we find two persons of the name of James. The first was the son of Zebedee, Mat. X. 2. The se. cond, in all the catalogues, is called the son of Alpheus. One of these apostles is called, Gal. i. 19. The Lord's brother. Wherefore, as there were only twelve apostles, and as James, the son of Zebedee, so far as we know, was in no respect related to our Lord, the apostle called James the Lord's brother, must have been James, the son of Alpheus, called also James the less, or younger, whose relation to Christ will appear by comparing Mark xv. 40. with John xix. 25. In the former passage, Mark, speaking of the women who were present at the crucifixion, says, There were also women looking on afar off, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the moiher of James the less, and of Joses, and Salome. In the latter passage, Jobn speaking of the same women, says, There stood by the cro88 of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. Wherefore, our Lord's mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, mentioned by John, is, in all probability, the person whom Mark calls Mary the mother of James the less, and of Joses ; consequently her sons, James and Joses, were our Lord's cousin-germans by his mother. And as the Hebrews called all near relations brethren, (compare Gen. xiii. 8. with Gen. xi. 27. and Gen. xxix. 12. with ver. 15.) it is more than probable, that James the son of Alpheus, who was our Lord's cousin-german, is James the Lord's brother, mentioned Gal. i. 19.-Three circumstances confirm this opinion, 1st, James and Joses, the sons of Mary our Lord's mother's sister, are expressly called the brethren of Jesus, Mat. xiii. 55. Mark vi. 3.-2d, James the son of our Lord's mother's sister, being distinguished from another James by the appellation of the le88, Mark xv. 40. there is good reason to think, that he is the James whom Mark in his catalogue distinguishes from James the son of Zebedee, by the appellation of the son of Alpheus. It is true, Mary the mother of James and of Joses, is called the wife of Cleophas, John xix. 25. But Cleophas and Alpheus are the same names differently pronounced, the one according to the Hebrew, the other, according to the Greek orthography.-3d, Of the persons called the brethren of Jesus, Mat. xiii. 59. three are mentioned in the catalogues as apostles ; namely, James, and Simon, and Judas. They, I suppose, are the brethren of the Lord, who are said, as apostles, to have had a right to lead about a sister, or a wife, &c. I Cor. ix. 5.-Jerome likewise thought James the Lord's brother was so called, because he was the son of Mary our Lord's mother's sister. “ Jacobus, qui appellatur frater Domi“ ni, cognomento justus, ut nonnulli existimant Josephi ex alia « uxore, ut autem mihi videtur, Mariæ fororis matris Domini “ (cujus Joannes in libro suo meminit) filius, post passionem “ Domini ab apostolis Hierosolymorum episcopus ordinatus,
unam tantum scripsit epistolam, quæ de septem Catholicis " est." Art. Jacobus.-Lardner, Canon. vol. iii. p. 63. says, Jerome seems to have been the first who said our Lord's brethren were the sons of his mother's sister; and that this opinion was at length embraced by Augustine, and has prevailed very much of late ; being the opinion of the Romanists in general, and of Lightfoot, Witsius, Lampe, and many of the Protestants.