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Depart from me into outer darkness, which the Father hath prepared for Satan and his angels," (which is from Matthew xxv. 41.) “And again he said in other words, I give unto you power to tread upon serpents, and scorpions, and venomous beasts, and upon all the power of the enemy.” (This from Luke x. 19.) 66 And before he was crucified, he said, The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the Scribes and Pharisees, and be crucified, and rise again the third day.” (This from Mark viii. 31.)

In another place, Justin quotes a passage in the history of Christ's birth, as delivered by Matthew and John, and fortifies his quotation by this remarkable testimony; 6 as they have taught, who have writ the history of all things concerning our Saviour Jesus Christ; and we believe them."

Quotations also are found from the gospel of St. John. What, moreover, seems extremely material to be observed, is, that in all Justin's works, from which might be extracted almost a complete life of Christ, there are but two instances, in which he refers to any thing as said or done by Christ, which is not related concerning him in our present gospels; which shows, that these gospels, and these we may say, alone, were the authorities from which the Christians of that day drew the information upon which they depended. One of these instances is of a saying of Christ not met with in any book now extant. * The other of a circumstance in Christ's baptism, namely, a fiery or luminous appearance upon the water, which, according to Epiphanius, is noticed in the gospel of the Hebrews; and which might be true; but which, whether true or false, is mentioned by Justin, with a plain mark of diminution, when compared with what he quotes as resting upon scripture authority. The reader will advert to this distinction; s and then, when Jesus came to the river Jordan, where John was baptizing, as Jesus descended into the water, a fire also was kindled in Jordan ; and when he came up out of the water, the apostles of this our Christ have writ, that the Holy Ghost lighted upon him as a dove."

*"Wherefore also our Lord Jesus Christ has said, In whatsoever I shall find you, in the same I will also judge you." Possibly Justin designed not to quote any text, but to represent the sense of many of our Lord's sayings. Fabricus bias observed that this saying has been quoted by many writers, and that Justin is the only one who uscribes it to our Lord, and that perhaps by a slip of his memory:

Words resembling these are read repeatedly in Ezekiel ; " I will judge them accord. ing to their ways." (vii. 3. xxxi. 20.) It is remarkable that Justin led but just before expressly quoted Ezekiel: Mr. Jones upon this circunstaner founted a conjecture, that Justin writ only " the Lord baih said," int riding to quote the words o! God, or rather the sense of those words, in Ezekiel, and that some transcriber, inagwing these to be the words of Christ, inserted in his copy the addition “Jesus Christ. 1. p. 539.


All the references in Justin are made without mentioning the author; which proves that these books were perfectly notorious, and that there were no other accounts of Christ then extant, or, at least, no others so received and credited, as to make it necessary to distinguish these from the rest.

But although Justin mentions not the authors' names, be calls the books, 5 Memoirs composed by the apostles," “ Memoirs composed by the apostles and their companions ;"which descriptions, the latter especially, exactly suit with the titles which the gospels and Acts of the apostles now bear.

VIII. Hegesippus* came about thirty years after Justin. His testimony is remarkable only for this particular; that he relates of himself, that, travelling from Palestine to Rome, he visited upon his journey many bishops; and that “in every succession, and in every city, the same doctrine is taught, which the law and the prophets, and the Lord teacheth.” This is an important attestation, from good authority, and of high antiquity. It is generally understood that by the word “ Lord,” Hegesippus intended some writing or writings, containing the teaching of Christ, in which sense alone, the term combines with the other terms, a law and prophet,” which denote writings; and together with them admits of the verb 6 preacheth,” in the present tense. Then that these writings were some or all of the books of the New Testament, is rendered probable from hence, that, in the fragments of his works, which are preserved in Eusebius, and in a writer of the ninth century, enough, though it be little, is left to show, that Hegesippus expressed divers things in the style of the gospels, and of the Acts of the apostles; that he referred to the history in the second chapter of Matthew, and recited a text of that gospel as spoken by our Lord.

IX. At this time, viz. about the year 170, the churches of Lyons and Vienne in France. sent a relation of the sufferings of their martyrs to the churches of Asia and Phrygia. The epistle is preserved entire by Eusebius. And what carries in some measure the testimony of these churches to a higher age is, that they had now for their bishop Pothinus, who was ninety years old, and whose early life consequently must have immediately joined on with the times of the apostles. In this epistle are exact references to the gospels of Luke and John, and to the Acts of *Ib. vol.I.2.3.14.

+ Ib. vol. I. p. 332.




the apostles. The form of reference the same as in all the preceding 'articles. Tbat from St. John is in these words: “ Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the Lord, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doeth God service.

X. The evidence now opens upon us full and clear. Irenæust succeeded Pothinus as bishop of Lyons. In his youth he had been a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John. . In the time in wbich he lived, he was distant not much more than a century from the publication of the gospels; in his instruction, only by one step separated from the persons of the apostles. He asserts of himself and his contemporaries, that they were able to reckon up, in all the principal churches, the succession of bishops from the first. I remark these particulars concerning Irenæus with more formality than usual; because the testimony which this writer affords to the historical books of the New Testament, to their authority, and to the titles which they bear, is express, positive, and exclusive. One principal passage, in which this testimony is contained, opens with a precise assertion of the point which we have laid down as the foundation of our argument, viz. that the story which the gospels exhibit is the story which the apostles told.

66 We have not received," said Irenæus, " the knowledge of the way

of our salvation by any others than those by whom the gospel has been brought to us. Which gospel they first preached, and afterwards by the will of God committed to writing, that it might be for time to come the foundation and pillar of our faith. For after that our Lord rose from the dead, and they (the apostles) were endowed from above with the power of the Holy Ghost coming down upon them, they received a perfect knowledge of all things. They then went forth to all the ends of the earth, declaring to men the blessing of heavenly peace, having all of them, and every one alike, the gospel of God. Matthew then among the Jews, writ a gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching the gospel at Rome, and founding a church there. And after their exit, Mark also, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, delivered to us in writing the things that had been preached by Peter. And

uke, the companion of Paul, put down in a book the gospel preached by him (Paul.) Afterwards John, the disciple of the Lord, who also leaned upon his breast, he likerublished a gospel while he dwelt at Ephesus in Asia.”

Adv. Hæres. I. üi. C. S.

xvi, 3.

+ Ib. vol. I. p. 344.



If'any modern divine should write a book upon the genuineness of the gospels, he could not assert it more expressly, or state their original more distinctly, than Irenæus hath done within a little more than a hundred years after they were published.

The correspondency, in the days of Irenænus, of the oral and written tradition, and the deduction of the oral tradition through various channels from the age of the apostles, which was then lately passed, and, by consequence, the probability that the books truly delivered what the apostles taught, is inferred also with strict regularity from another passage of his works. "The tradition of the apostles (this father saith) hath spread itself over the whole universe; and all they who search after the sources of truth, will find this tradition to be held sacred in every church. We might enumerata all those who have been appointed bishops to these churches by the apostles, and all their successors, up to our day It is by this uninterrupted succession that we have received the tradition which actually exists in the church, as also the doctrines of truth, as it was preached by the

The reader will observe upon this, that the same Irenæus, who is now stating the strength and uniformity of the tradition, we have before seen recognizing, in the fullest manner, the authority of the written records ; from which we are entitled to conclude, that they were then conformable to each other.

I have said, that the testimony of Irenæus in favour of our gospels is exclusive of all others. I allude to a remarkable passage in his works, in which, for some reasons sufficiently fanciful, he endeavours to show, that there could be neither more nor fewer gospels than four. With this argument we have no concern. The position itself proves that four and only four gospels were at that time publicly read and acknowledged. That these were our gospels, and in the state in which we now have them, is shown from many other places of this writer, beside that which we have already alleged, He mentions bow Matthew begins his gospel, how Mark begins and ends his, and their supposed reasons for so doing. He enumerates at length the several passages of Christ's history in Luke, which are not found in any of the other evangelists. He states the particular design with which St. John composed his gospel, and accounts for the doctrinal declarations which precede the narrative.

*Ir. in Hær.l.iji e, 3,

To the book of the Acts of the apostles, its author and credit, the testimony of Irenæus is no less explicit. Referring to the account of St. Paul's conversion and vocation in the ninth chapter of that book, "Nor can they (says he, meaning the parties with whom he argues) show that he is not to be credited, who has related to us the truth with the greatest exactness.' In another place, he has accurately collected the several texts, in which the writer of the history is represented as accompanying St. Paul, which leads him to deliver a summary of almost the whole of the last twelve chapters of the book.

In an author, thus abounding with references and allu. sions to the scriptures, there is not one to any apocryphal Christian writing whatever. This is a broad line of distinction between our sacred books, and the pretentions of all others.

The force of the testimony of the period which we have considered, is greatly stregthened by the observation, that it is the testimony, and the concurring testimony, of writers who lived in countries remote from one another. Clement flourished at Rome, Ignatius at Antioch, Polycarp at Smyrba, Justin Martyr in Syria, and Irenæus in France.

XI. Omitting Athenagoras and Theophilus, who lived about this time ;* in the remaining works of the former of whom are clear references to Mark and Luke; and in the works of the latter who was bishop of Antioch, the sixth in succession from the apostles, evident allusions to Matthew and John, and probable allusions to Loke (which, consid-ering the nature of the compositions, that they were addressed to heathen readers, is as much as could be expected;) observing also, that the works of two learned Christian writers of the same age, Miltiades and Pantænus,t are now lost; of which Miltiades, Eusebius records, that his writings “ were monuments of zeal for the divine oracles;" and which Pantænus, as Jerome testifies, was a man of prudence and learning, both in the divine scriptures and secular literature, and had left many commentaries upon the hbly scriptures then extant: passing by these without fur. ther remark, we come to one of the most volumnious of ancient Christian writers, Clement of Alexandria. Clemént followed Irenæus at the distance of only sixteen years, and therefore may be said to maintain the series of testimony in an uninterrupted continuation.

lo certain of Clement's works, now lost, but of whicb Ib. TOL I. p. 400.-Ib.422. *Ib. vol. I. p. 418, 450. Ib. vol. II. p.


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