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eyes." It is addressed to the church of Corinth: and what alone may seem almost decisive of its authenticity, Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, about the year 170, i. e. about eighty or ninety years after the epistle was written, bears witness, “ that it had been wont to be read in that church from ancient times.”
This epistle affords, amongst others, the following valuable passages :—“ Especially remembering the words of the Lord Jesus which he spake, teaching gentleness and long-suffering : for thus he said * : • Be
ye merciful, that ye may obtain mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven unto you; as you do, so shall it be done unto you; as you *give, so shall it be given unto you; as ye judge, so shall ye be judged; as ye show kindness, so shall kindness be shown unto you ; with what measure ye mete, with the same shall it be measured to you. By this
*" Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,” Matt. v. 7.-“ Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven; give, and it shall be given unto you.” Luke, vi: 37, 38.-Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged ; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matt. vii. 1, 2. VOL. I.
command, and by these rules, let us establish ourselves, that we may always walk obediently to his holy words.”
Again : “ Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, for he said, Wo to that man by whom offences come; it were better for him that he had not been born, than that he should offend one of my elect; it were better for him that a milstone should be tied about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the sea, than that he should offend one of
In both these passages, we perceive the high respect paid to the words of Christ as recorded by the evangelists ; “ Remember the words of the Lord Jesus ;-by this cominand, and by these rules, let us establish ourselves, that we may always walk obediently to his holy words.” We perceive also in Clement a total unconsciousness of doubt, whether these were the real words of Christ, which are read as such in the Gospels. This observation indeed belongs to the whole series of testimony, and especially to the most ancient part of it. Whenever any thing now read in the Gospels is met with in an early Christian writing, it is always observed to stand there as acknowledged truth, i. e. to be introduced without hesitation, doubt, or apology. It is to be observed also, that as this epistle was written in the name of the church of Rome, and addressed to the church of Corinth, it ought to be taken as exhibiting the judgment not only of Clement, who drew up the letter, but of these churches themselves, at least as to the authority of the books referred to.
* Matt. xviii. 6. 66 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a milstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were cast into the sea.” The latter part of the passage in Clement a. grees more exactly with Luke, xvii. 2. : “ It were better for him that a milstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”
be said, that, as Clement has not used words of quotation, it is not certain that he refers to any book whatever. The words of Christ, which he has put down, he might himself have heard from the apostles, or inight have received through the ordinary medium of oral tradition. This hath been said: but that no such inference can be drawn from the absence of words of quotation, is proved by the three following considerations : First, that Clement, in the very same manner, namely, without any mark of reference, uses a passage now found in the Epistle to the Romans*; which passage, from the peculiarity of the words which compose it, and from their order, it is manifest that he must have taken from the book. The same remark may be repeated of some very singular sentiments in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Secondly, that there are many sentences of Saint Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians standing in Clement's epistle without any sign of
quotation, which yet certainly are quotations ; because it appears that Clement had Saint Paul's epistle before him, inasmuch as in one place he mentions it in terms too express to leave us in any doubt :-“ Take into your hands the epistle of the blessed apostle Paul.” Thirdly, that this method of adopting words of Scripture without reference or acknowledgement, was, as will appear in the sequel, a method in general use amongst the most ancient Christian writers. These analogies not only repel the objection, but cast the presumption on the other side, and afford a considerable degree of positive proof, that the words in question have been borrowed from the places of Scripture in which we now find them.
* Rom. i. 29.
But take it if
that Clement had heard these words from the apostles or first teachers of Christianity; with respect to the precise point of our argument, viz. that the Scriptures contain what the apostles taught, this supposition may serve almost as well.
III. Near the conclusion of the Epistle to the Romans, Saint Paul, amongst others, sends the following salutation : “ Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.”
Of Hermas, who appears in this catalogue of Roman Christians as contemporary with Saint Paul, a book bearing the name, and it is most probable rightly, is