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obliged to mend it: only they forgot to apprise the
* If any of our readers wishes to have a fuller view of the writings of the hierarchy on Jerome's spear, we advise him to read Dr. Hobart's Apology, p. 174—194.
*The quotation which stands most in the way of our argument, and of Jerome's testimony, is from his “Catalogue of Ecclesiastical Writers;” where, says Dr. Hobart, “he records as a matter of fact, JAMEs, immediately after our Lord's ascension, having been
When we want to know a man's matured thoughts on a disputed point, we must go to those parts of his works where he has deliberately, and of set purpose, handled it. All his looser observations must be controlled by these. A contrary procedure inverts every law of criticism; and the inversion is not the more tolerable, or the less reprehensible, because advocates of the hierarchy have chosen to adopt it. But if Jerome's testimony is to be slighted, because he was fervid, impetuous, and unceremonious, we much fear that some of the most important facts in ecclesiastical and civil history must be branded as apocryphal. We are very sure that none of Dr. H.’s friends could ask
oRDAINED bishop of JERUsALEM, undertook the charge of the church at Jerusalem. TIMothy was or DAINED Bishop of the Ephesians by PAUL, TITUs of Crete. PolycARP was by John or DAINED Bishop of Smyrna.' Here, then,” the reader perceives the triumph, “here, then, we have bishops ordained in the churches by the apostles themselves.” HobART's Apology, p. 194. There is a small circumstance rather unfavourable to this voucher.—It is not JERoME's. Of that part which relates to Timothy and Titus, this is expressly asserted by the episcopal historian, Cave; and by Jerome's popish editor. Wide CAve, Script. eccles. hist. litter. p. 172, ed. Colon. 1720. HIERoN. Opp. T.I. p. 265. 268. ed. Victorii. The articles JAMEs and PolycARP are so precisely in the same style with the others, and so diametrically repugnant to Jerome's own doctrine, that if, by “bishop,” is meant such a bishop as was known in his day, it is inconceivable they should have proceeded from his pen. That they are interpolations, or have been interpolated, we think there is internal evidence. At least, when several articles of the same catalogue, tending to the same point, and written in the same strain, are confessedly spurious; it is hardly safe to rely upon the remainder as authentic testimony. * See page
the credence of the world to a single assertion in
hundred years before he was born, is no better than an opinion; and so he is excluded from the number of competent witnesses.” By this rule some other witnesses who have been summoned by our Episcopal brethren, must be cast without a hearing. Eusebius, Chrysostom, Augustin, Theodoret, Epiphanius, must all be silenced. It is even hard to see how a single man could be left, in the whole catalogue of the Fathers, as competent to certify any fact of which he was not an eye-witness. To say that they derived their information of times past from credible tradition, or authentic records, is indeed to overrule the principle of the objection. But when this door is opened to admit the others, you cannot prevent JEROME from walking in. We will allow that Eusebius had access to “all the necessary records of the churches.” But had JERoME no records to consult? Was “the most learned of all the Christians,” as ERASMUs calls him, with CAve's approbation, in the habit of asserting historical facts without proof? If he was, let our opponents : show it. If he was not, as his high reputation for learning is a pledge, then his testimony is to be viewed as a summary of inductive evidence reaching back to the days of the Apostles. In his estimation, the facts of the original parity of ministers, and of the subsequent elevation of prelates
* CypriaN, No. VII. Essays, p. 167. HobART's Apology, p. 171–178.