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apostles. But it does not yet appear in which part the book of the Acts of the Apostles was now placed. We will therefore see whether we can find any light into that question. In his treatise • Of the Resurrection of the Flesh,' having brought arguments for a resurrection out of the gospels, he adds : The w apostolical instruments (or records] do also teach a resurrection :' and showing how the apostles preached a resurrection, the first text in which he instances is out of the Acts: You find Paul, brought before the high priests by the chief captain, professing bis faith among sadducees and pharisees: “Men and brethren," says be,“ of the hope and resurrection am I called in question before you. He proceeds to observe Paul's discourse to king Agrippa and the Athenians, recorded in the Acts. This seems at once to show that the Acts were then placed in the Apostolicon, and the reason of it. The gospels contained the history of Christ, and his preaching and ministry; all the other books contain the doctrine taught by the apostles, whether it be delivered in their own epistles, or recorded in the Acts by an historian.
There is another place in Tertullian, which very much confirms the supposition that this book was placed in the latter division of the scriptures of the New Testament. He expresses himself thus: 'Ass to the gospel, the question about the parables has been discussed. And then afterwards: Lety them now show, at least out of the apostolical Instrument, [or Testament,] that sins of the flesh, committed after baptism, may be washed away by repentance. And what he thereupon immediately considers, is the decree of the council at Jerusalem in Acts XV; and then proceeds to the epistles.
Dodwell? supposes, that the Acts were originally the second part or discourse of one and the same work, of which St. Luke's gospel was the first discourse. This he infers from Acts i. 1. If they were ever joined together as one book, it is plain they were now separated; St. Luke's gospel being placed undoubtedly in the Evange
w Resurrectionem apostolica quoque instrumenta testantur. Habes Paulum apud summos sacerdotes sub tribuno inter Sadducæos et Pharisæos fidei suæ professorem. Viri, inquit, patres, -De spe nunc et de resurrectione judicor apud vos.—De Resurr. Carn. c. 39. p. 407. C. D.
* Exinde quod ad evangelium pertinet, parabolarum quidem discussa quæstio est. De Pudicitiâ, cap. 11, p. 727. C.
y Age nunc vel de Apostolico Instrumento doceant maculas carnis post baptisma respersæ pænitentiâ dilui posse. Ibid. c. 12. p. 727. D.
* Sunt enim Acta δευτερος ejusdem operis λογος, cujus πρωτον λογον ipse [Lucas] suum agnoscit evangelium. Acts i. 1. 'Diss. in Irenæ. i. sect. 39.
licon, or with the other gospels; and the Acts probably in the Apostolicon, or with the epistles.
Which leads us likewise to observe the order of the several gospels. It seems that, in Tertullian's time, in the African churches at least, they 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 I am willing to infer from the passage at Numb. II. where Tertullian says : Among the apostles, John and Matthew teach us the faith, or instil the faith into our minds : among apostolical men, Luke and Mark refresh' or revive it.' It is observable, that Tertullian here places John before Matthew ; so likewise in the passage at the end of Numb. III. Possibly therefore we here see the exact order in which each gospel was placed in some churches of that time. Indeed, in the passage near the end of Numb. III. Mark is put before Luke; but the occasion of mentioning him there, next after John and Matthew, seems to be, that Luke's gospel had been largely discoursed of before in that place. The curious may consider of this, and consult Tertullian himself; for I'do not affirm that in these passages we have plain proof of the order of each gospel : but it appears probable that the two gospels written by apostles were put before the two written by apostolical men. I sball only add, that, in some ofa the most ancient manuscripts which we have, the order of the several evangelists is thus : Matthew, John, Luke, Mark.
XVIII. That the several books of the New Testament were now divided into any certain number of sections, or chapters, is not easily proved. However, I will observe a passage or two which may seem to afford some ground to think they were so divided. “Dob they flatter themselves,' says he, with that paragraph [literally short chapter '] of the first to the Corinthians, where it is written, If any brother hath a wife that believeth not - ? Where he cites 1 Cor. vii. 12–14; from those words here transcribed to else were your children unclean.' Again, in another work : · But this the coinmon way of perverse, and igno
a In N. T. evangelia hunc ordinem, Matt. Joan. Luc. Marc. in aliquibus Codd. Gr. obtinent; ut in Bezæ Cantabrigiensi, in Benedictinorum S. Germani Paris. et in alio, quem testatur Druthmarus se vidisse, qui S. Hilarii dicebatur. Hodius de Bibl. Textib. Orig. p. 664.
Numquid inquam, de illo capitulo sibi blandiuntur, primæ ad Corinthios, ubi scriptum est : Si quis fratrum infidelem habet uxorem. Ad. Uxor. 1. ii. c. 2. p. 187. D.
c Sed est hoc solenne perversis et idiotis et hæreticis, jam et Psychicis universis, alicujus capituli ancipitis occasione
rant, and heretical men, and of all the Psychici [or, ' carnal people :' so he calls the catholics who reject Montanism,] to fortify themselves with some one ambiguous paragraph [or short chapter '] against an army of sentences of the whole instrument;' that is, of the whole New Testament, both gospels and apostles.
But I think that these, and other d the like passages of Tertullian, will scarce amount to a full proof, that there were then marked in the copies of the New Testament any sections or chapters, either greater or smaller; for by * paragraph,' or short chapter,' he may mean no more than a text or passage in these books.
XIX. Tertullian affords proof, that there was in his time a Latin version of some or all the books of the New Testament. It might be inferred from his quotations. In one place, arguing against the lawfulness of second marriages, and explaining in his way 1 Cor. vii. 36, he says: “Bute it is not so in the authentic Greek as we have it in the copies vulgarly used.
XX. The scriptures of the New Testament were open to all, and well known in the world, in the time of Tertullian. In his Apology addressed to the Roman presidents, or to the magistrates at Carthage, as was before observed, he says: “Whoever f
you therefore think that we have no concern for the safety of the emperors, look into the words of God, our scriptures, which we ourselves do not conceal, and many accidents bring into the way of those who are not of our religion. Know then that by these we are commanded, in abundance of goodness, to pray to God even for enemies, and to wish well to our persecutors. [Matth. v. 44.] And who are more enemies and persecutors of
adversus exercitum sententiarum instrumenti totius armari. De Pudicitiâ, c. 16. sub. fin. p. 735. D.
d Sic ergo in eodem ipso capitulo, quo definit, Unumquemque, in quâ vocatione vocabitur, in eâ permanere debere. De Monogam. c. 11. p. 683. D.
e Sciamus plane non sic esse in Græco authentico, quomodo in usum exiit per duarum syllabarum aut callidam aut simplicem eversionem. Si dorinierit vir ejus, quasi de futuro sonet ; ac per hoc videatur ad eam pertinere, quæ jam in fide virum amiserit. De Monogam. cap. 11. p. 684. A. Vid. Rigalt. in loc.
f Qui ergo putaveris nihil nos de salute Cæsarum curare, inspice Dei voces, literas nostras, quas neque ipsi supprimimus, et plerique casus ad extraneos transferunt. Scitote ex illis præceptum esse nobis, ad redundantiam benignitatis, etiam pro inimicis Deum orare, et persecutoribus nostris bona precari. Qui magis inimici et persecutores christianorum, quam de quorum majestate convenimur in crimen ? Sed etiam nominatim atque manifeste, Orate, inquit, pro regibus, et pro principibus, et potestatibus, ut omnia tranquilla sint vobis. Apol. c. 31. p. 30. D.
christians, than they against whom we are accused of treasonable practices? But, beside this, it is expressly and plainly said: “ Pray for kings, and for princes, and powers, that ye may live a quiet life," ' 1 Tim. i. 1, 2. Here are in a short compass references to gospels and epistles. He lays them all before the Roman magistrates, and speaks of both parts of the New Testament with equal respect, as the words of God, their scriptures,' by which they were obliged to regulate their behaviour.
XXI. There is little or no suspicion of Tertullian's quoting any christian apocryphal book with the same respect as he has quoted those now commonly received as canonical, unless it be that of Hermas. That he rejected when a montanist, as is evident from a passage already quoted out of a treatise written by him, after he had been for some time in those notions, where he speaks of this book with the utmost contempt, and even abhorrence; as he does likewise in another place of the same treatise : • But [& would yield the point to you,' says he, . if the scripture (or book] of the Shepherd, which alone is favourable to adulterers, deserved to be placed in the divine testament; if it were not reckoned apocryphal and spurious by every assembly h even of your own churches.'
We must however observe how he quoted it when a catholic. It is in this manner : • That iti is a custom with some to sit down when prayer is over, I do not perceive the reason : unless, if that Hermas, whose scripture is usually called the Shepherd, had not sat down upon a bed after he had prayed, but had done somewhat else, we should have made a precedent of that too: certainly not, And now it is but just mentioned, “ when I had prayed and sat down," in the course of the narration, not deli
& Sed cedere tibi, si scriptura Pastoris, quæ sola mæchos amat, divino instrumento meruisset incidi, si non ob omni concilio ecclesiarum vestrarum inter apocrypha et falsa judicaretur. De Pudicitiâ, c. 10. p. 727. A.
h Some have understood the word • concilium' here in our ordinary sense of council' or synod.' But any church-assembly for divine worship was sometimes called a • council' or synod by ancient writers, as has been shown by Mr. Joseph Bingham. Antiquities of the Christian Church, book viii. chap. 1. sect. 7.
i Item quod adsignatâ oratione assidendi mos est quibusdam, non perspicio rationem, nisi si Hermas ille, cujus scriptura fere Pastor inscribitur, transactâ oratione non super lectum assedisset, verum aliud quid fecisset, id quoque ad observationem vindicaremus. Utique non. Simpliciter enim et nunc positum est, . Cum adorâssem et assedissem super lectum,' ad ordinem narrationis, non ad instar disciplinæ. Alioquin nusquam erit adorandum, nisi ubi fuerit lectus. Immo contra scripturam fecerit, si quis in cathedrâ aut subsellio sederit. De Oratione, cap. 12. p. 154. A.
vered as a rule; otherwise we may never worship but where there is a bed. Nay, he would act contrary to the scripture (or this scripture '] who would sit upon a chair or a form." If there is any thing in this passage
of a doubtful meaning, it must be interpreted by the foregoing. It cannot be supposed, that Tertullian ever esteemed any book a part of sacred scripture, which was reckoned apocryphal by all the catholic churches he was acquainted with. But I see nothing in the passage itself to incline us to think that he now esteemed this a sacred book, and of authority. It is true, there is in it k what he refers to, of sitting upon a bed after prayer : but if Tertullian had been well acquainted with the book, or had thought it worth the while, he might have argued from divers places, where Hermas speaks of his prayers, and makes no mention of sitting after them, that he gave no authority to that custom. He speaks likewise contemptuously of the author, as an obscure person : • That Hermas.' Then he hardly knows the title of the book, or ridicules it : fere Pastor inscribitur. As for his calling it' scripture, it is of no moment: the word is continually used by ecclesiastical writers, as equivalent to writing, book, epistle, or treatise; by Tertullian particularly, who uses the same word of this book, when he plainly and openly shows his contempt of it. He uses likewise the same term speaking of m heathen authors.
XXII. The only thing that remains to be taken notice of in this writer, is an early forgery of a book in the name of St. Paul. Tertullian is arguing against some who permitted women to baptize, and gives the history of this book, as what he was well informed of. • But if they think fit to make use of writings falsely ascribed to Paul, to support the right of women to teach and baptize; let them know that the presbyter who composed that writing, as if he had been able to increase Paul's fame, being convicted of it, and having confessed that he did it out of love to Paul, was deposed.'
I shall immediately put down what Jerom says of this affair, in his chapter concerning St. Luke, in the book of Illustrious Men: where, having spoken of St. Luke's gospel k Lib. ii. in Proæm.
1 Vid. l. i. Vis. i. sect. 1. Vis, ii. sect. l. et alibi.
m Cum de secularibus quoque scripturis exemplum præsto sit. De Præscr. cap. 39. p. 246. D.
n Quod si quæ Paulo perperam adscripta sunt, ad licentiam mulierum docendi tinguendique defendunt, sciant in Asiâ presbyterum, qui eam scripturam construxit, quasi titulo Pauli de suo cumulans, convictum, atque confessum id se amore Pauli fecisse, loco decessisse. De Baptismo, cap. 17. p. 263. C.