Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

which are

now

Carthage. His father was a pro- citing

zealous and competent consular centurion. He was a judges to refute the counterfeit man of an eager and vehement revelations which were then comtemper, flourished chiefly in the mon, and to maintain the integrity, time of the emperors Severus, and and demonstrate the authority of Antoninus Caracalla, and wrote the genuine Scriptures. The era great number of books, which, rors into which Tertullian himself because they are generally known, fell by embracing the views of I omit. ... When he had Montanus consisted chiefly in continued a presbyter of the church millenarian notions, and ascetic till about the middle part of his practices; and, therefore, neither' age, on account of the envy and impaired his moral character, nor reproaches of the clergy of the disqualified him for the critical Roman church, he went over to office, in the discharge of which the sect of Montanus, and in many he thus remarks:" In the first of his books makes mention of place, we lay down this for a certhat new prophecy. . .

He tain truth, that the evangelical is said to have lived to an extreme scriptures (literally evangelical in(or decrepit] old age, and to have strument) bave for their authors written many books, besides those the apostles, to whom the work of

extant. ..... publishing the gospel was comHis Apology, and his otber works mitted by the Lord himself. And, against the Gentiles, take in all the if, also, (it have for authors] apostreasures of human learning.”*. tolical men, not them alone, but Tertullian is supposed to have been with the apostles, and after the educated in heathenism, but of the apostles. [Which was very fit:] time and circumstances of his cou- forasmuch as the preaching of the version to the Christian faith there disciples might have been susis no record. He was a master of pected as liable to the charge of the Latin language, although his

a desire of glory, if vot supported style is too often barbarous and by the authority of the masters, declamatory: he was also skilled yea of Christ who made the aposin Greek, well acquainted with the tles masters. To conclude, among Roman laws, and deeply versed in the apostles, John and Matthew the literature and philosophy of (first) teach us the faith, among his times. The testimony of such apostolical men, Luke and Mark a nian concerning the four gospels refresh it; going upon the same is obviously entitled to much re- principles as concerning the one gard. The foilowing observation God, the creator, and his Christ, is extracted from his books written born of a virgin, the accomplishin the year 207, or 208, against ment of the law and the prophets.” Marcion, a Manichean heretic,

“ This, and other passages,” who, in defence of his owo chime- says Dr. Lardner, “show at once rical tenets, had the audacity to the number of the gospels univercurtail and corrupt the canon of sally received, the names of the the New Testament. This, and four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, uther aggressions on Christianity Luke, and John, and their proper were over-ruled by divine provi- characters, two of whom were dence to a beneficial end, by ex- apostles and companions of Christ

himself, and the other two apos* Lardner's Credibility, Vol. II, pp.

tolical men, or companions of 250-255,

Christ's apostles.” N. S. N. 135.

z

“ In the next passage to be here pel of Luke, not that which had taken, Tertullian asserts against been curtailed and altered by MarMarcion the genuineness and in- cion. He adds presently aftertegrity of the copies of St. Luke's wards,—“The same authority of the gospel, owned by himself, and by apostolical churches will support Christians in general. For this the other gospels, which we have he appeals to divers apostolical from them, and according to them, churches. He asserts, at the same (that is, according to their cotime, the truth of the other three pies :) I mean, John's, and Matgospels, and that Christians had thew's, although that likewise the fullest persuasion of the ge- which Mark published may be nuineness and authority of the gos- said to be Peter's, whose interpels which they had received, preter Mark was. For, Luke's upon the ground of a very sure digest, also, is often ascribed to and credible testimony of the Paul. And, indeed, it is easy to churches from the time of writing take that for the master's which them to his own age. In à the disciples have published.' word,' says he, if it be certain As the two genealogies of that is most genuine which is most Christ given by Matthew and ancient, that most ancient which Luke have been from an early is from the beginning, avd that period a source of doubt and diffrom the beginning which is from ficulty, it may not be superfluous the apostles, in like manner it will to remark that the former is disbe also certain, that has been de- tinctly quoted by Tertullian, in livered from the apostles which is the following terms :-“Matthew, held sacred in the churches of the the most faithful historian of the apostles. Let us, then, see what gospel, as being a companion of milk the Corinthians received from the Lord, for no other reason than Paul, to what rule the Galatians that we might be informed of the were reduced, what the Philip- origin of Christ according to the pians read, what the Thessalo- flesh, began in this mapoer; The nians, the Ephesians, and, like. book of the generation of Jesus wise, what the Romans recite, Christ, the son of David, the son who are near to us, with whom of Abrabam.'*-A still stronger both Peter and Paul left the gos- testimony on this subject is furpel sealed with their blood. We nished by Julius Africanus, a conhave, also, churches which are the temporary, and, perhaps, a fellowdisciples of John ; for, though countryman of Tertullian, reported Marcion rejects his Revelation, by Jerome to have flourished duthe succession of bishops traced ring the reign of the emperor Heup to the beginning will show it to liogabalus, that is, between the have John for its author, We years 218 and 222. This very know, also, the original of other eminent and learned man seems to churches, (that is, that they are have chiefly resided in Palestine, apostolical.] I say then that with where he, probably, became bishop them, but not with them only which of Emmaus near Tiberias, which, are apostolical, but with all who at his intercession in an embassy have fellowship with them in the sent to Rome for the purpose, was same faith, is that gospel of Luke about that time rebuilt under the received from its first publication, which we so zealously maintain :'

• Lardner's Credibility, Vol. II. pp. —that is, the genuine entire gos- 256—258, 261.

was

Dame of Nicopolis. In a letter to books of the Old Testament, writAristides, he endeavours to recon- ten in Hebrew.”* cile the two genealogies by an After Julius Africanus, there is account which, he affirms,“ no father of the church who can given by some who were kinsmen with probability be supposed to of our Lord according to the flesh," have had personal intercourse with aod represents the pedigree rem apostolical Christians; and the corded by Matthew as the natural, statements respecting the evanand that by Luke as the legal line. gelists given by the three followIn explaining this view he re- ing distinguished authors, who marks,“ Thus, we have found succeeded each other at intervals Jacob and Eli, though of different of seventy or eighty years, are, families, brothers by the same therefore, bere adduced, not so mother; one of whom, Jacob, bis much on their own account, as brother Eli having died without because, owing to their extraorissue, took his wife, and begat of dinary erudition and high authoher the third, Joseph, according rity, they may reasonably be to nature and reason his own son, regarded as having collected all wherefore also it is written, · And previons reports of any value, and Jacob begat Joseph,' but, accord- as having stated those views of ing to law, he was the son of Eli, the subject which, after the fullest for Jacob, being his brother, raised inquiry, and the most mature conup seed unto him. For which rea- sideration, were finally entertained son, neither is that genealogy des by the great body of the Christitute of authority which the evan- tian church. gelist Matthew rehearses thus, Origen was born in Egypt, per. And Jacob begat Joseph.' On haps in Alexandria, in the year the other hand, Luke, being, as 184, or 185. His father Leonides, was supposed,' for he adds this who suffered martyrdom in 202, withal, *the son of Joseph, who admired his genius, and gave him was the son of Eli, who was the an excellent education under the son of Melchi.' He could not most esteemed masters, among more plainly and properly express whom were Clement of Alexanthat kind of descent which is ac- dria, and Ammonius Saccas. On cording to law." -“Whatever,” the death of Leonides his family observes Dr. Lardner, " becomes was reduced to poverty, and Oriof this method of reconciling the gen was compelled to sell his two evangelists, here is a very library, and to engage in teaching valuable testimony to their gose for support. Such was his early pels, and, in particular, a cogent proficiency in biblical knowledge, argument for the genuineness of that, at the age of eighteen, he the beginning of St. Matthew's.” was appointed president of the -In quoting another statement catechetical school, and soon atof Julius Africanus, that “all tained great celebrity. After some the books of the Old Testament years, he removed to Cæsarea in were written in Hebrew, and Palestine, where he became a from thence were translated into presbyter, and passed much of the Greek,” he judiciously remarks remainder of his life, but travelled that it implies there was a collection of books called the New Testament, for which he had the • Lardner's Credibility, Vol. II. pp like respect with that paid to the 431, 432, 436–440,

[ocr errors]

at intervals in Italy, Greece, Ara- for the sake of the Gentile conbia, Asia Minor, &c.; and, at verts. Romans, xvi. 25; 2 Tim. length, died and was buried at ii. 8. Lastly, that according to Tyre, in the seventieth year of his Johu.

But, why need age. Throughout life he devoted I speak of John, who leaned upon his chief attention to the study the breast of Jesus, who has left and illustration of the scriptures, us one gospel, professing at the which he perused and published same time that he was able to write in their original languages, and in more than even the world itself various versions. His learning and could contain ?” John, xxi. 20, 25. industry were unrivalled, his no- That the four gospels here detoriety and influence most exten- scribed were alone possessed of casive, and his works so numerous nonical authority is thus strongly that it has been said no one could asserted by Origen, in his obserread them all, and that it required vations on the preface of Luke:a separate work to describe them. “As, of old, among the Jewish

The following is the account of people, many pretended to the gift the evangelists given by this dis- of prophecy, and there were some tinguished man.- -“In Eusebius's false prophets, one of whom was Ecclesiastical History,” says Dr. Ananias son of Agor, but others Lardner, “is a chapter with this were prophets, and there was title, How Origen mentions the among the people the gift of disscriptures of both testaments.” cerning spirits, by which some

. . After reciting Origen's were owned as prophets, others catalogue of the scriptures of the were rejected, as it were by skilful Old Testament, Eusebius proceeds, money-changers, so

also

now, -But, in the first book of his under the New Testament, many commentaries on the gospel of took in hand to write gospels, but Matthew, [Origen,] observing the all have not been received. And ecclesiastical canon, declares that that, not four gospels only, but he knew only four gospels, ex.

very many were written, out of pressing himself thus:“ As I which those we have were chosen, have learned by tradition con- and delivered to the churches, we cerning the four gospels, which may perceive even from Luke's alone are received without dispute preface, which is thus : • Foras. by the whole church of God under much as many have taken in hand heaven. The first was written by to set forth in order a declaration.' Matthew, once a publican, after. Luke i. 1. His expression of their wards an apostle of Jesus Christ, taking in hand contains a tacit who delivered it to the Jewish accusation of those who, without believers, composed in the He- the gift of the Holy Spirit, took brew language. The second is upon them to write gospels; for that according to Mark, who wrote Matthew, and Mark, and Joho, it as Peter dictated it to him, who, and Luke, did not take in hand to therefore, also calls him his son, write, but, being full of the Holy in his catholic epistle, 1 Peter, Ghost, wrote gospels.

Many, v. 13; saying, “The church which therefore, took in hand to set is at Babylon, elected together forth in order a narration of those with you, saluteth you, and so things which are most surely doth Mark my son. The third is known among us. The churches that according to Luke, the gospel have four gospels, heresies have commended by Paul, published very many, of which one is en

titled according to the Egyp- according to Matthias,'and many tians,' another according to the others we read, that we may not twelve apostles.' Basilides, like seem to be ignorant of any thing, wise, bad the assurance to write for the sake of those who think a gospel, and call it by his own they know something if they are vame. Many took in hand to acquainted with these (gospels ;) write, many also took in hand to but, among all these, we approve set forth in order. Four gospels of none but the four gospels reonly have been approved, out of ceived in the church.”*

-Thus far which the doctrines of our Lord Origen. and Saviour are to be learned. I know a certain gospel which is 442—452, 465,466, 502, 503.

• Lardner's Credibility, Vol. II. pp. called according to Thomas,' and London, Feb. 1836.

W. S.

THE HIGH CHURCHMAN; A STUDY IN NATURAL HISTORY.

“There is in this universe," saith expression - the popery of proSir Thomas Browne, “a stair, or testantism-gave me a gleam of mapifest scale of creatures, rising hope ; but the Standard turned not disorderly or in confusion, but that hope into reality. He eviwith a comely method and propor. dently drew from nature. Buffon tion.” Doubtless, a similar scale bimself could not. bave described obtains in the religious, as well as the creature more graphically; its in the natural world. Nor is the name is the high churchman. present day more distinguished for “ We love not men who dub the discoveries which were neces- themselves . bigh-churchmen;' they sary to complete the gradation in have been the scandal and weakthe physical department than in ness of the church from the day the religious. And when these dis, of their parent Laud downward. coveries shall be completed, and They are half papists; men who every species shall be classed, it much prefer a church without a seems likely that the whole will religion ; men who, in the true present a perfect scale-from po- spirit of the Jewish priests, would pery, the most intolerant and cor- condemn our Lord and his aposrupted form of Christianity, up to tles for turning the world upside the noblest specimen of vital and down, and who practically rescriptural piety.

nounce every principle consecrated But entertaining as I do this by the blood of the Protestant Rehypothesis, often had I wondered formers. Generally they may be at the wide gap which apparently distinguished as half prig balf existed between Popery and Pro- dandy, perfumed and powdered, testantism. “Surely," I have said and a little corpulent; one-third to myself, “ an intermediate link Protestant, one-third Papist, oneis wanting here. There must exist, third Socinian; in profession altosomewhere in nature, a character gether liberal, in pursuits wholly bearing a remote resemblance to worldly.” - Standard, Jan. 11th, each of these two classesman odd 1836. compound, half flesh and half By a singular coincidence I met fowl, like the ornithorhynchus of with a fine living specimen the New South Wales. Mr. Jay's very day after I had read this

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »