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sacred writings, with observations on the circumstances connected with them. It makes a marked distinction also between them and Ecclesiastical and Apocryphal books. His language is striking, “ It is not fit that gall should be mingled with honey.” In a fragment it is impossible to determine what books might be enumerated in the lost parts; but it actually contains a list of twenty-two books
another to the Alexandrians forged in the name of Paul, to support the heresy of Marcion; and many more which cannot be received into the Catholic church. For it is not fit that gall should be mixed with honey. But an Epistle of Jude and two of the above-written John, are accounted genuine in the Catholic church. And the Book of Wisdom written by the friends of Solomon in honour of him. The apocalypses of John and Peter are the only ones we receive, which last some Christians do not allow to be read in the church. Further, the Shepherd was written by Hermas, very lately, in our time, in the city of Rome, Bishop Pius his brother filling the See of the city of Rome. And therefore it ought indeed to be read; but it cannot be published in the church to the people to the end of time, either amongst the prophets whose number is complete, or amongst the apostles.
“ But we receive nothing whatever of Arsinoes, or Valentinus, or Mitiades, who also have written a new Book of Psalms for Marcion; the supporters, together with Basilides, of the Asiatic Cataphryges.” *
• I refer the learned reader to the dissertation of Dr. Routh for an explanation of several obscurities in this precious relic. VOL. I.
of our Canon. When we consider that this statement was made in a public and celebrated disputation at Rome, and in the face of heretics, for the very purpose of distinguishing authentic from pretended books of scripture, and scarcely a century after the death of St. John; and that it was referred to by Eusebius in the beginning of the fourth, and again by Jerome in the beginning of the fifth century, as of acknowledged authority, it must be allowed to afford a striking confirmation of our argument.
A manuscript fragment of the second century, discovered in the eighteenth, is a proof as extraordinary as it is conclusive. It checks the whole account of the authenticity.
I ought here to stop and notice another unlooked for confirmation to our argument, which the discovery of ancient medals is continually affording; and by all of which, some slight circumstance or other, some name given to a governor, some title of a province, is proved to be minutely accurate. But I confine myself to one example, St. Luke terms Philippi, a colony, using a word which implies that it was a latin colony ; 16 but as this betokens a
15 Acis xvi. 11, 12. “We came to Philippi—a colony" — kuluriu, originally a latin word, colonia. See Calmet, Frag. i. p. 536.
favour which such a city had little reason' to expect, critics were embarrassed to account for the title, till some coins were brought to light, which expressly mention, that Julius Cæsar himself had bestowed the dignity on it. Thus, though no author extant, but St. Luke, has mentioned it under that character, these coins corroborate the fidelity of the sacred writer. But this subject belongs more to the credibility.
I observe only, that it is thus, that for eighteen hundred years, the evidences of authenticity have been increasing, by the discovery of external testimonies; whilst the more the internal style and structure of the sacred books have been studied during the same length of time, the stronger has been the conviction of their genuineness on every candid mind.
I add as a last confirmation of all the above proofs
IX. That our sacred volume is UNIQUE AND UNPARALLELED in the history of the world.
There has never been any work like it, or pretending to be like it. No books were ever written, or professed to be written, by the founders of a religion, and exposed from the first to the view of mankind, but the records (I include the Old Testament) of the Christian faith,
Heathenism had nu sacred books, no exposition of truth, no authentic writings submitted by its founders to the view of mankind. Heathenism crept into the world from the remains of the original revelation to our first parents, aided by the light of natural conscience, the policy of human governments, and the scattered rays of the light of Judaism. But there was no promulgation, there were no sacred books, there were no expositions of doctrine and duty, published by the founders and authors of the system. The Koran of Mahomet is only a corruption of our Christian books, and taken from them. The Shasters of the Hindoos were never
tended to be the writings of the first founders of the religion, were never promulgated, never submitted to the popular eye, and make no profession of teaching the body of mankind the knowledge of their duties.
The sacred volume remains alone, without a rival, the genuine production of the first founders of Christianity, offered to the examination of all, and standing, like the works of the Almighty, in the wonders of creation, the monument of its own divine original—a book, occupied in the popular instruction of mankind, and level to the capacity, and adapted to the necessities of all-a book, which standing in less need of external evidence than any other an
cient work, is surrounded by every species of it in unequalled accumulation and force.
Such then is the summary of the arguments for the authenticity of the New Testament, Such are the proofs which sustain the observations of the last Lecture.
It had been shown generally, that the genuineness of our books is supported by the same kind of arguments as men constantly employ on all similar occasions—that not one mark of spuriousness appears in our divine booksthat it was morally impossible, from the circumstances of the case, that they could be forged-that men are continually admitting ancient books on the slightest external evidenceand that every external and internal proof unites to satisfy a reasonable and candid enquirer of the truth of the New Testament.
These general observations have been now established by actually tracing out the transmission of our books—by noticing the progress of the settlement of the Canon—by observing in all the specimens of the testimonies of Christian writers, the utmost sincerity—by weighing the admission of heathen adversaries and heretics—by running up our numerous ancient manuscripts now extant, to the manuscripts of Jerome and to the autographs, or immediate copies of autographs, in the hands of