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. ed Ignatius, who is still highly bonoured, being the second • in the succession of the church of Antioch after Peter. It • is said, that he was sent from Syria to Rome to be devoured
by wild beasts, for the testimony of Christ. And making • his journey through Asia under a strong guard, he con
firmed the churches in every city by his discourses, and • especially cautioned them against the heresies then spring
ing up, and gaining ground; and exhorted them to adhere • to the tradition of the apostles. And for the greater se• curity, he also put down his instructions in writing, • Therefore when he came to Smyrna, where Polycarp was, • be wrote an epistle to the church at Ephesus, another to • the church in Magnesia upon the [river] Meander-and • another to the church at Trallium--and beside these, he * wrote also to the church at Rome ; [from which Eusebius
quotes a long passage.] These things he wrote from the • forementioned city to those churches. Afterwards re
moving from Smyrna he wrote to the Philadelphians from • Troas, and to the church of Smyrna, and in particular to • their president Polycarp.' Eusebius proceeds there not only to refer to a passage of this epistle to Polycarp, but quotes also distinctly a passage from the epistle to the church of Smyrna; and then puts down a passage of the epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, in the latter part
of which he says to them : • The epistles of Ignatius sent by • him to us, together with what other have come to our • hands, we have sent to you, which are subjoined to this • epistle; by which you may be greatly profited. For they • treat of faith and patience, and of all things pertaining to • edification in our Lord. And thus we have seen also Polycarp's testimony in general to these epistles, who collected them.
To the same purpose St. Jerom in his book ofr Illustrious Men: * Ignatius, the third bishop of the church of Antioch . after the apostle Peter, in the persecution under Trajan was condemned to wild beasts. And when he came to Smyrna, where Polycarp the disciple of John was bishop, • he wrote an epistle to the Ephesians, another to the Mag
nesians, a third to the Trallians, a fourth to the Romans : • and when he was gone thence he wrote to the Philadel• phians, the Smyrneans, and in particular to Polycarp.'
I shall transcribe no more testimonies of the ancients, but refer the reader for the rest to the Patres Apostolici of Le Clerc. Beside those seven epistles mentioned by Eusebius and
Jerom, there are several other epistles which have been ascribed to Ignatius. But they are now almost universally supposed by learned men to be spurious, and I think are plainly so.
Of these seven, mentioned by Eusebius and Jerom, there are two editions; one called the larger, and oftentimes the interpolated ; and another, called the smaller. And, except Mr. Whiston, and perhaps some few others, who may follow bim, it is the general opinion of learned men, that the larger are interpolated, and that the smaller have by far the best title to the name of Ignatius.
I have carefully compared the two editions, and am very well satisfied, upon that comparison, that the larger are an interpolation of the smaller, and not the smaller an epitome or abridgment of the larger. I desire no better evidence in a thing of this nature.
And the quotations of Ignatius in the most ancient christian writers do also better agree with the smaller than the larger epistles, as may be seen in archbishop Usher's Dissertations.
But whether the smaller themselves are the genuine writings of Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, is a question that has been much disputed, and has employed the pens of the ablest critics. And whatever positiveness some may have shown on either side, I must own, I have found it a very difficult question. I shall however deliver my opinion, formed upon the inquiry I have made into this controversy. And every one will be able to judge of it by the testimonies here alleged.
I make little doubt, but the smaller epistles, which we now have, are, for the main, the same epistles of Ignatius which were read by Eusebius, and which, it seems pretty plain from Origen, were extant in his time. As for the quotation from Irenæus, it is disputable, whether he there cites a passage of a writing, or only mentions some words or expressions of Ignatius, which might be spoken by him upon the near view of his martyrdom. But though that may bear some dispute, the testimony of Irenæus is not altogether without its weight in favour of the epistles.
Considering then these testimonies, which I have alleged from Irenæus, Origen, and Eusebius, and also the internal characters of great simplicity and piety, which are in these epistles, (I mean the smaller,) it appears to me probable, that they are for the main the genuine epistles of Ignatius. If there be onlyt some few sentiments and expressions Cap. 3, 4.
Beausobre, though he favours the genuineness of
which seem inconsistent with the true age of Ignatius, it is more reasonable to suppose them to be additions, than to reject the epistles themselves entirely; especially in this scarcity of copies which we now labour under. As the interpolations of the larger epistles are plainly the work of someu Arian, so even the smaller epistles may have been tampered with by the Arians, or the orthodox, or both: though I do not affirm there are in them any considerable corruptions or alterations.
The time of these epistles of Ignatius is determined by that of his martyrdom. For they were written after he was condemned to the wild beasts, and while he was going a prisoner from Antioch to Rome. Concerning this I have already mentioned two different opinions. Pearson, Loyd, and Pagi, are positive for the year 115 or 116. Basnage however' puts the year of Ignatius's death among the obscurities of chronology. Indeed those learned men have for their opinion no other grounds but the testimony of Malala, an author of the sixth century, of no great account in other matters; and the Acts, or Martyrdom of Ignatius, which say, that he was condemned by Trajan in person at Antioch. But it being certain, as these learned men have shown, that Trajan was not at Antioch before the year 112; therefore they conclude, that Ignatius was not condemned, at the soonest, before that year. But the genuineness of those Acts may be well disputed for divers reasons. And these Acts themselves say, that Ignatius was martyred at Rome when Senecio and Sura were consuls, who were so in the year 107, the tenth of Trajan. Since therefore Eusebius says nothing of Ignatius being condemned by Trajan himself at Antioch, and his death is placed by him in the tenth of Trajan, I the rather incline to that opinion; which indeed appears to me much the more probable.
These epistles are now extant in Greek, and in an ancient Latin version. The latter was published by A. B. Usher in 1644. In 1646, Isaac Vossius published six of the seven epistles in Greek from a manuscript at Florence. The epistle to the Romans, which was wanting there, has been since published in Greek by Ruinarty from a manuscript at Paris. the smaller epistles, suspects that even they have been interpolated. See Hist. de Manich. T. i. p. 378. Note (3) and p. 380. Note (2).
u Vid. Usser. Dissert. cap. 12. 15. Grabe Spicileg. Patrum, sect. ii. p. 225, 226. et Clerici Dissertat. alteram, sect. xi. apud Patres Apost. edit. 1724.
v Annal. 107. sect. vi. W Vid. Basnage Ann. Pol. E. 107. sect. viii. * See his Chronicle.
y Ap. Acta Martyr. Sincera, p. 13. et seq. Extat etiam apud Grabe Spicileg. Patr. T. ii. Patres Apost. Cleric. edit. 1724.
To conclude: As the epistles which we now have of Ignatius are allowed to be genuine by a great number of learned men, whose opinion I think to be founded upon probable arguments, (as I have also shown in the testimonies here alleged) I now proceed to quote them as his.
His Testimony to the Books of the New Testament. In all the epistles of Ignatius there is but one book of the N. T. expressly named by him, which is St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians. For writing to the Ephesians he says: sect. 12.
1. · Yez are the companions [in the mysteries of the gospel] of Paul the sanctified, the martyr, [or highly commended,] deservedly most happy, -who throughout all his epistle makes mention of you in Christ Jesus.
He means plainly the epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, in whicha the apostle praises and commends those Christians, and never reproves them.
1 Παυλο συμμωσαι τα μεμαρτυρημενε, ος εν παση επιςολη μνημονευει υμων εν Χρισώ Ιησο. .
That is according to the sense of Valesius, whose note upon the place is to this effect: Frustra sunt -viri literati, non videntes EV TAOY Eris01y esse, in totâ epistolâ, ad Ephesios nimirum scriptâ, quâ illos laudat valde ac semper commendat, nunquam reprehendit apostolus, ut fuit ab Hieronomo observatum. Which interpretation, so far as I can see, Pearson has well defended, and more at large, Vindic. Ignat. P. 2. cap. x. init. Indeed μνημονευω is seldom used in the sense in which it is here understood by these learned men, for praising or commending. But that sense of the verb seems to be preserved in the noun uvnuovevua in a passage of Aristotle cited by Stephens in his Gr. Thesaurus V. Munuovevw-In quem locum hæc scribit P. Victorius : Mvnuovevpara, nisi fallor, appellat elogia, et quæ memoriam alicujus ornant. And the verb is used for remembering with affectionate regard in Hebr. xi. 15.
Και ει μεν εκεινης, εμνημονευον, αφ' ής εξηλθον.However, the very learned writer of a letter concerning the persons to whom St. Paul wrote what is called the epistle to the Ephesians, at the end of Dr. Benson's History of the first planting the Christian Religion, thinks that instead of oς μνημονευει-we should read, ος μνημονευω υμων, meaning that Ignatius himself mentioned the Ephesians in every epistle. But that conjecture appears to be without ground; forasmuch as in all the editions of Ignatius's epistles the verb is in the third person; not only in the Greek of the smaller epistles, which I translate, but likewise in the old Latin version. Qui in omni epistolâ memoriam facit vestri in Jesu Christo. And in the Greek interpolated epistles : Ος παντοτε εν ταις δεησεσιν αυτο μνημονευει υμων. In like manner in the Latin version of the same: Qui semper in suis orationibus memor est vestrireferring, as may be supposed, to Eph. i. 16. and perhaps to some other parts of the same epistle. There is therefore no various reading. And a new one ought not to be admitted, unless the sense should require it; which it does not appear to do here. For Ignatius is extolling the Ephesians
And one part of their glory is, that the apostle throughout his epistle to them had treated them in an honourable manner. The same is observed by some other ancient writers, who supposed this epistle to have been sent to the Ephesians, as may be seen in Pearson. Indeed Ignatius has mentioned the Ephesians in every
Quotations and Allusions.
IGNATIUS. II. Matt. iii. 15. 66 Forb 11. Smyrn. sect. 1. « Bapthus it becomes us to fulfil tized of John, that all rightall righteousness."
eousness might be fulfilled
III. Matt. x. 16. « Bed III. Polycarp. sect. 2. ye therefore wise as serpents, Bee wise as a serpent, in all and harmless as doves. things, and harmless as a
dove.' IV. Matt. xii. 33. “ Forf IV. Ephes. sect. 14. Thes the tree is known by his tree is manifest by its fruit.' fruit."
V. Matt. xv. 13. " Everyh V. Trall. sect. 11. • Thesei plant, which my heavenly are not a plant of the father.' Father has not planted, shall He has the same expression be rooted up.”
in k another epistle. VI. Matt. xviii. 19. 6 If VI. Ephes. sect. 5. For two of you shall agree on if the prayer of one or two earth, as touching any thing be of such force; how much one of his epistles, except to Polycarp. But so he has likewise the church of Antioch, in every letter, not excepting that to Polycarp. It is likely therefore, that if Ignatius intended to say, that he mentioned the Ephesians in all his epistles, he would have added: “ As I do also the church of Antioch in Syria, • of which I am not worthy.'
And what seems to determine this passage to belong to Paul, and not to himself, together with the constant unvaried reading of the place, is the style of Ignatius in many other places, where he carries on his sentences with divers ós, and ov, and óv. I shall give an instance or two. Vid. ad Magnes. sect. viii.-Ad Philad. sect. 1. Ον επισκοπον εγνων 8κ αφ' εαυτ8, –αλλα'
εν αγαπη θεα πατρος και Κυριε Ιησε Χρισ8, 8 καταπεπληγμαι την επιεικειαν, ος σιγων πλειονα δυναται των ματαια λαλεντων. Εt ib. sect. xi. Περι δε Φιλωνος τα διακονα απο Κιλικιας, ανδρος μεμαρτυρημενο, ός και νυν εν λογω θεα υπηρετει μοι, άμα ρεω-ανδρι εκλεκτω, ος απο Συριας μοι ακολοθει, αποταξαμενος τη βιω. Οι και μαρτυρεσιν υμιν. Καγω τω θεώ ευχαρισω υπερ υμων οτι εδεξασθε αυτές, ώς και υμας ο Κυριος. Which last passage shows also, that if, after having first spoken of Paul, Ignatius had said any thing of himself, particularly, that he mentioned them in all his epistles, he would have said, kqyw. as indeed the nature of the thing requires he should.
All which therefore seems to render it probable, that Ignatius had a copy of this epistle with an inscription of it to the Ephesians. But that this will determine the controversy, concerning the persons to whom it was sent, I do
Ούτω γαρ πρεπον εσιν ημιν πληρωσαι πασαν δικαιοσυνην. πληρωθη πασα δικαιοσυνη υπ' αυτο. Ο Γινεθε Bν φρονιμοι ως οι οφεις, και ακεραιοι ως αι περιφεραι.
Φρονιμος γινε ως ο οφις, και ακεραιος
EK γαρ το καρπε το δενδρον γινωσκεται. 8 Φανερον το δενδρον απο το καρπε αυτ8.
Ουτοι γαρ 8κ εισιν φυτεια πατρος. Philadelph. sect. 3.