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the Romans, the Philadelphians, the Smyrneans, and to Polycarp. They would be but of little value, supposing them to be genuine; but there is a want of evidence in favor of their having been written by him. In the first place, there are two sets of them, differing in length and contents; so that one set must either have been abridged or amplified to make the other. The shorter ones are those for which some authors contend. They are said to have been written while Ignatius was upon a land journey from Antioch to Rome by order of the Emperor Trajan, to be exposed to wild beasts. There is no doubt of his martyrdom, but the Epistles do not bear out the character of a writer under his circumstances aged, and travelling to meet an excruciating death. Besides, the most earnest advocates of their genuineness admit that they have been extensively corrupted by interpolations. We find in them passages designed to strengthen the power and rank of the priesthood and to teach the Deity of Christ, which doctrines were not heard of till more than a hundred years after the death of Ignatius. The early authors, who had occasion to mention these Epistles had any such been known to them, are perfectly silent concerning them. Indeed, besides the two sets of these seven, there are eight more Epistles ascribed to the same author, the spuriousness of which is not denied. It would appear that the name of Ignatius was common at the time, or that the bishop who bore it was in high honor with the fabricators of spurious writings. Possibly he may have written some sentences which are incorporated in the works ascribed to him. But little interest either for evidence or instruction is now attached to the question, except by the advocates and apologists of Episcopacy. Indeed we may say that the use which is made of these and of similar documents by Episcopalians, in the failure of Scripture authentications of their theory, is a fact which is calculated to convince us beyond all doubt that their theory is wholly untenable.
There is no sufficient evidence, either in historical testimony or in its own contents, that the epistle ascribed to Barnabas was written by him. Barnabas is first mentioned Acts iv. 36, as a Levite of Cyprus, and one of those who sold his land as a tribute to the common stock of the Christian community. He has been supposed, without any sufficient evidence, to have been one of the seventy disciples.
He seems to have been highly esteemed by the Apostles, and to have stood in influence and service next to St. Paul. We know that, on the conversion of St. Paul, the Christians were afraid of him who had so recently been their persecutor. Barnabas, however, stood forth as his friend, and boldly supported him then, as he likewise did afterwards, in maintaining with the great Apostle the liberty of the Gentile converts to disregard the law of Moses. Every mention that we have of Barnabas leads us to regard him as a man of a very strong mind, thoroughly imbued with the dignity and exalted spirit of Christianity. In any writing which bears his name we should therefore look for the traits of his own mind and character. Strong, clear, decided, dignified and intellectual as he was, he never could have written the weak, sophistical epistle, which we now have with his name attached to it. It is to be observed that nothing in the epistle itself would countenance the belief that he wrote it. It is not addressed to any particular community of Christians, as are the Epistles of St. Paul; his name is not once mentioned in it. It seems to have been written by a Gentile, for no Hebraistic idioms occur in it, which could not have been the case had it been written by Barnabas, a Jew. It contains no elevated views, no evidences of the strong and deep affections which Christianity excites in a great mind; no tender appeals, no earnest exhortations. It is a tissue of miserable allegorical interpretations and forced constructions of the Old Testament, a system of trifling which prevailed among the Jews in Alexandria. Why then has this Epistle been ascribed to Barnabas? St. Clement of Alexandria has often quoted it, about A. D. 194; and he is the first who mentions it. In quoting from it he says "Rightly therefore says the Apostle Barnabas." "I need only allege the Apostolical Barnabas, one of the seventy, and fellow worker with Paul." Yet even Clement finds fault with one of its allegories and expositions, and the most that can be inferred from his quoting it is, that he valued it as an historical testimony, though not as a perfect statement of Christian sentiments. Origen, about 230, names and quotes it, as "the Catholic Epistle of Barnabas," without laying stress on its authority. He is evidence therefore only of the existence and alleged authorship of the Epistle. Eusebius, however, expressly mentions it as spurious or contradicted, and it has never met with general reception among
Christians. The Epistle may have been written by another Barnabas, the name being a very common one, or the name of the Apostle may have been ignorantly or fraudulently attached to it, as we know such errors and deceptions soon became frequent. In the repeated mention which it makes of Christ, and of his religion, there is nothing contrary to the truth of our faith; the poor character of its contents consists in its forced constructions of the Old Testament for the sake of making Christianity more acceptable to the Jews. In this respect it has some similarity to the Epistle to the Hebrews, though in other respects very inferior to it. It refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, and must therefore have been written after the year 70; and as Irenæus and Tertullian, writing before 150, do not mention it, we may conclude that it was not written till after that date. The English translation of the Epistle is made from two fragments, one in the original Greek, the other in a Latin version, which supply each other's defects, though both are corrupted. The Epistle contains three references to our Gospels, in which either the sense or the words are adopted. The author does not assume the name of Barnabas; this title was probably ascribed to it first at Alexandria.
In his Epistle to the Philippians (iv. 3) Paul mentions, with the highest respect, Clement, his fellow laborer, one among those whose names are in the book of life. There is preserved an Epistle attributed to this early Christian laborer, of whom we know nothing more from the New Testament. He is spoken of by the ancient fathers as the third or fourth elder, overseer or minister of the Church of Rome. The Epistle which bears his name is every way worthy of its author as alleged. The testimony to it is as follows. Irenæus, before the year 200, says,In the third place after the Apostles at Rome, "Clement obtained that bishoprick, who had seen the blessed Apostles and conversed with them; who had the preaching of the Apostles still sounding in his ears, and their traditions before his eyes. Nor he alone, for there were then still many alive who had been taught by the Apostles. In the time therefore of this Clement, when there was no small dissension among the brethren at Corinth, the Church at Rome sent a most excellent letter to the Corinthians, persuading them to peace among themselves, &c."
VOL. XXXV. 3D S. VOL. XVII. NO. I.
Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, about A. D. 170, wrote seven letters, which are not now extant, to different churches. Eusebius quotes from one of these which was addressed to the Church of Rome, as follows-To-day is the Lord's day, in which we have publicly read your Epistle; the reading of which, as well as of that formerly written from you by Clement, will be to us a constant source of instruction."
Other testimonies might be added confirming the general voice of antiquity in favor of this Epistle. As it refers to a severe persecution of the Christians at Rome, it was probably written at the time when Domitian inflicted sufferings upon them, about A. D. 95. St. Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians is expressly named and quoted in it. Others of the Epistles and the Gospels are manifestly referred to by quotations of the sense or the very language. This presents a question upon which a passing word is necessary. In some of the earliest Christian writings we find quotations, not of the exact language, but of the sense of the New Testament; and here and there, very infrequently, language is ascribed to the Saviour which we do not find in the Gospels or Epistles. The question is, Is a reference made to our Scriptures when the sense corresponds exactly and the language varies slightly in the quotations? Or did the Christians hand down by safe tradition, through two or three generations, certain statements of the Saviour and his Apostles which are not committed to writing? Probably both these suppositions are correct; for the same writers often quote the Old Testament by its sense, not its language. Paul likewise says, "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said—It is more blessed to give than to receive." No doubt Jesus did say so; but his words on this and other occasions have not been recorded. Epistle of Clement is truly Christian in its sentiments, and, though not exhibiting great profundity or elevation, gives full proof of the purity and faith of its author.
It is remarkable that only one manuscript copy of this Epistle is known to exist. The ancients always speak of it with respect; often mention its being read in public worship. All traces of it were lost, except in quotations. In the year 1628, Cyrillus Lucaris, Patriarch of Constantinople, sent to Charles I. of England, as a present, a manuscript on parchment, in four folios, capital letters, containing the whole Bible in Greek. It is said to have been written in Egypt, about or
before the year 550. This splendid and invaluable manuscript likewise contains the Epistle of Clement, from which our common copy was translated. It is now in the British Museum. We cannot, of course, be so certain of the verbal exactness of our copy, as we could be if we had more than one manuscript for comparison.
In the fourth century we first hear of a second Epistle from Clement to the Corinthians, which, however, obtained but little credit, though found in the Alexandrine MS. Eusebius denies its name and its antiquity. Besides this Epistle of Clement, another relic of equal authority and value is the Epistle of Polycarp, of unquestioned antiquity and of a high character. It was written by him when Bishop of Smyrna to the Church at Philippi. A part of it is extant in the original Greek, the remainder is supplied from an early Latin translation. Its author died a martyr in the first half of the second century. Our authority for the admission of this Epistle is Irenæus, who says that when he was a youth he was familiar with the person, habits, and instruction of Polycarp, who in his turn had received his Christian education from St. John. This testimony is remarkable and decisive, for Irenæus repeats it twice with great particularity. He says the remembrances of his youthful acquaintance with Polycarp lived vividly in his mind, and he had a most reverent respect for him. He then mentions this letter of his to the Philippians. Other ancient testimonies agree upon the point, and their evidence admits of no question. In this letter the majority of the books of the New Testament are quoted either by sense or language. It is every way worthy of its alleged author, displaying dignity, integrity, and faith.
In reviewing this division of our subject we feel a satisfaction in observing the accordance of facts with the expectations which an enlightened and comprehensive view of things would excite. We find that minds and pens were employed early upon the sublime and altogether novel themes which the Christian faith proffered to men. The treasured parchments which bore the record of Apostolic ministrations, and the lessons of their own wisdom and that of one who spake as never man spake, occupied a place upon which no other writings might intrude. They had a character of their own; they were revered for what they were, and for what they contained. They were pressed to the bosoms of the