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1. The author well explains our Lord's prohibition, "not to do alms before men, to be seen of them." Matth. vi. 1-4.
2. He largely considers what is implied in loving God with all the heart.'
3. He shows, what is to be understood by the wedding garment.'
4. He examines the reasons assigned by some, why Jesus Christ is called the Son of God.
5. The ten commandments are handsomely rehearsed by him.
6. He supposeth, thatm Paul was blamable for what he said to the high priest, Acts xxiii. 3.
7. He read 1 Thess. v. 21, as we do.
8. He quotes Josephus.
9. That miraculous powers had ceased in the author's time, may be seen in a passage transcribed above; where he speaks of studying the scriptures, as the only way of knowing which is the true church.
10. This writer has expressions concerning the eucharist, which cannot be reconciled with the modern popish doctrine of transubstantiation.
11. They who are curious, may consult' R. Simon, who has an article upon this author, as a commentator.
8 Hom. 13. p. 72. A. B.
h Hom. 42. p. 181.
k Hom. 40. p. 169. E.
Hom. 41. p. 175. A. B. I Hom. 49. p. 205. C. D. m Item cum Paulus maledixisset sacerdotem Ananiam, et audisset, quoniam erat sacerdos, pœnitentiâ ductus respondit: Nesciebam, fratres, quia Princeps erat sacerdotum.' Hom. 40. p. 164. C. Dicit apostolus: Omnia probate. Et quod bonum est tenete. Hom. 44. p. 186. E. • Quales pestilentiæ, et quales fames, et terræ motus, præcesserunt Judæam, antequam Jerusalem retur, cognoscere potest, qui Josephum legit. Hom. 48. p. 201. A. P See p. 121. Si ergo hæc vasa sanctificata ad privatos usus transferre sic periculosum est, in quibus non est verum corpus Christi, sed mysterium corporis ejus continetur: quanto magis vasa corporis nostri, quæ sibi Deus ad habitaculum præparavit, non debemus locum dare Diabolo agendi in eis ut vult? Hom. 11. p. 63. C. D.
See Hist. Crit. des Commentat. du N. T. Ch. xiii. p. 191–206.
1. VICTOR TUNUNENSIS, an African bishop, who flourished about the middle of the sixth century, and wrote a Chronicle, ending at the year 566, says: When© Messala was consul, (that is, in the year of Christ 506,) at Constantinople, by order of the emperor Anastasius, the holy gospels being written by illiterate evangelists, are censured and corrected.'
2. Some have hence argued, that the copies of the New Testament, of the gospels at least, have not come down to us, as they were originally written, they having been altered in the time of the emperor Anastasius, who began his reign in the year 491, and died in 518.
3. I shall immediately transcribe below a part of Dr. Mill's observations upon this story, containing a brief, yet full confutation of it. And I add a few following observations.
(1.) It was impossible to attempt, in the sixth century, an alteration in the sense, or in the words of the gospels, or any other books of the New Testament, without great offence to christians in general: forasmuch as there were at that time in every part of the known world, in Europe, Asia, and Africa, numerous copies of the books of the New Testament, in the original Greek, and in the Syriac, Latin, and other languages, into which they had been translated.
He is placed by Cave at the year 555. Hist. Lit. T. i. p. 528. b Vid. Pagi Ann. 566. n. 2. c Messala V. C. Cos. Constantinopoli, jubente Anastasio Imperatore, sancta evangelia, tanquam ab idiotis evangelistis composita, reprehenduntur, et emendantur. Vict. Tunun. Chr. p. 6. ap. Scalig. Thes. Temp. d Vid. Pagi Ann. 518. n. ii. Unde hæc desumserit auctor iste, nescio. Verum hujusmodi evangelia nulla usquam in publicum prodiisse tam certum est, quam quod certissimum. Ipsum nomen sane novorum evangeliorum, dici haud potest, quantas per universum Orientem excitaturum fuisset tragoedias, quam graves tumultus, nec fortasse sine Imperatoris ipsius cæde sopiendos. Sed, ut prospere et ex voto successerit ipsi hoc facinus, certe, si evangelia hæc, eorumve particulæ aliquæ evolassent in vulgus, fieri non potest, quin historici ad unum omnes, qui reliqua Anastasii flagitia enarrârunt, etiam hoc longe super alia memorabile, graphice, suisque omnino coloribus depingerent; cum tamen apud cos altum sit de hac re silentium; neque exstet, quod sciam, ex omni scriptorum turbâ, præter unum Victorem, quique verba ejus transcripsit, Isidorum Hispalensem, qui padispytaç hujus aliquam faciat mentionem. Mill. Proleg. n. 1014, 1015.
(2.) That no alteration was made in the gospels, or other sacred books, is apparent hence, that our present copies agree with the quotations in ancient Greek and Latin authors, and with the translations made before the time of Anastasius.
(3.) This story of Victor deserves no regard, because he is singular; as is observed by Mill in the place above cited, and by others. There is no other writer mentions it, besides Isidore of Seville, who transcribed Victor: whereas, if ever such an attempt had been made by Anastasius, and any books had been published with alterations, it would have made a great noise in the world, and would have occasioned a general outcry. The emperor Anastasius was far from being popular in his government: and there are extant writings of contemporaries, as well as others, in which he is freely and grievously reproached; nevertheless there is no notice taken of this affair, which would have given greater and more general offence to christians, than any other.
(4.) These considerations, as seems to me, are sufficient to show, that learned men have with good reason, generally, looked upon this story of Victor as fabulous: I therefore content myself with what has been already observed, without proceeding farther.
(5.) However, some learned men have formed conjectures concerning the occasion of this account; particularly that great man Dr. Richard Bentley, in his Remarks upon a late Discourse of Free-thinking,' written by him in the borrowed name of Phileleutherus Lipsiensis: and likewisek Peter Wesselingius, in a Dissertation upon this article of Victor's Chronicle; whose conjectures, and reasonings in support of them, are referred to the curious reader.
Atque hic non dicam, Victorem unum omnium scriptorum esse. Nam Isidori, Tununensem exscribentis, nulla ratio haberi potest, qui Imperatori hoc crimen impegerit. Neque ostendam, æquales omnes, quorum aliqui professi inimici graves contumelias Augusto imposuerunt, horum nihil memoriâ prodidisse, &c. Petr. Wesseling. Dissert. ad Victor. Tun. cap. 1. p. 111. Ültr. 1738. See note and .
h Fabula Victoris Tununensis, A. 506. scribentis, Messalà Consule, jubente Anastasio Imperatore, sancta evangelia ab idiotis evangelistis composita, esse reprehensa ac emendata, nullam fidem meretur. Fr. Lampe Synops. H. E. 1. ii. c. 6. n. vii. p. 159. Vid. etiam Ja. Basnag. Hist. de l'Eglise. 1. viii. c. 2. n. viii. p. 424. See those Remarks. Numb. xxxiii. * Vid. Wesseling. ubi supra, cap. 2. p. 132, &c.
GREGORY I. BISHOP OF ROME.
I. His time. II. Books of the Old Testament received by him. III. Books of the New Testament received by him. IV. General titles and divisions of the books of scripture, and marks of respect for them. V. Select passages, and observations.
I. GREGORY the First, commonly called the Great,' was consecrated bishop of Rome in the year 590, and died in 604.
I shall take some notice of his testimony to the books of the Old, then of the New Testament, and afterwards transcribe, or refer to some select passages.
II. 1. Gregory has often quoted all the books of the Old Testament, except Ruth and Esther.
2. He has several times quoted the book of Canticles, as Solomon's. And there is extant a Commentary upon that book, which has been ascribed to him: the genuineness of which is denied by some, and asserted by others. I shall not quote any thing out of it.
3. Gregory has not quoted any of the apocryphal books of the Old Testament not in the Jewish canon, except the books of Tobit, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and the first book of the Maccabees.
4. And these are also so quoted, as to show, that they were not canonical, or of authority, and decisive in the things of religion.
5. When he quotes any texts of Tobit, it is only as the words of some wise, or good man.
a Vid. Cav. H. L. T. i. p. 543, &c. A. Pagi Ann. 590. n. v. Fr. Pagi Breviarium Pontif. Rom. T. i. p. 340, &c. S. Basn. Ann. 581. n. viii. et 590. n. vi. Mr. Bower's History of the Popes, Vol. ii. p. 463–543. L. E. Du Pin, Bib. des Aut. Ec. T. v. p. 102-146.
b Vid. Expos. in libr. Job. 1. xix. c. 30. p. 634. B. T. i. 1. xiii. c. 53. p. 415. D. 1. xviii. c. 49. p. 595. C. et alibi. Paris. 1705.
Du Pin, as before, p. 141. Mr. Bower, p. 542. Fr. Pagi Breviarium P. R. T. i. p. 375. d Vid. Benedictinor. Admon. in Canticor. Exp. T. iii. P. ii. p. 393, &c. Et sicut per quemdam sapientem de cœlesti Jerusalem dicitur. [Tob. xiii. 16-18.] In Ezech. 1. 1. Hom. 9. T. i. 1263. A. Cum quidam sapiens dicat. [Tob. iv. 15. al. 16.] In Evang. 1. ii. Hom. 38. T. i. p. 1640. C. Cum et per quemdam justum dicitur: 'Quod ab alio odis tibi fieri, vide ne tu alteri facias.' [Tob. iv. 15.] In Job.
6. And exactly in the same manner, when he quotes the book of Wisdom.
7. In like manner Ecclesiasticus, as it is said in the ecclesiastical book; or, as a certain wise man says;' of which I have put several instances in the margin; where too it is sometimes expressly distinguished from prophetical writings.
8. In all Gregory's works there is very little notice taken of the books of the Maccabees: in the one place, where the first of those books is mentioned, he quotes it only as an useful book, and makes a kind of apology for quoting a book, which, as he says, was not canonical.
9. I said just now, that the apocryphal books are quoted as the writings of wise men only: I would now add, that books of the Jewish canon are quoted as written by prophets; so he quotes the Psalms very frequently; and in like manner Daniel, "Hosea, Amos, P Habakkuk, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and other canonical books of the Old Testament; though a little before, or soon after, the books of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus are quoted as written by wise men only.
S. x. c. 6. p. 340. E.
f Unde per quemdam sapientem dicitur: Senectus enim venerabilis est.'-[Sap. iv. 8.] Expos. in Job. S. 19. c. 17. p. 618. A. * Quibus bene per Ecclesiasticum librum dicitur. In Job. 1. 21. c. 29. p. 692. C. Contra hunc tumorem per ecclesiasticum librum dicitur. Hunc tumorem Dominus per prophetam in pastoribus increpans ait, Vos autem cum austeritate imperabatis eis, et cum poten'tiâ.' [Ezech. xxxiv. 4.] In Job. 1. 34. c. 25. p. 785. B. C.
h Unde recte per quemdam sapientem dicitur. Ib. 1. 20. c. 24. p. 661. D. Cui per quemdam sapientem dicitur,Ne dicas; peccavi. Et quid accidit mihi triste? [Eccles. v. 4.] Ib. l. 25. c. 5. p. 789. D.
i Vid. not. . * De quâ re non inordinate agimus, si ex libris, licet non canonicis, sed tamen ad ædificationem ecclesiæ editis, testimonium proferamus. Eleazar namque in prœlio elephantem feriens stravit. Sed sub ipso quem exstinxit occubuit. In Job. 1. 19. c. 22. [al. 13.] p. 622. A. B. Hinc namque propheta ait: Qui perfecit pedes meos quasi cervi.' [Psal. xvii. 24. al. xviii. 33.] In Job. 1. 26. c. 14. p. 821. D. Hinc per eundem prophetam [Psalmistam] certanti animæ Dominus dicit: Exaudivi te in abscondito tempestatis,' &c. [Ps. lxxx. 8. al. lxxxi. 7.] In Job. ib. p. 822. A. Vid. et. l. 26. c. 18. p. 827. B. et passim.
Bene autem Daniel propheta. In Job. 1. 22. c. 20. p. 721. C.
Propheta etiam alius dicit. [Osee.] In Ezech. 1. i. Hom. 11. n. 25. p. 1290. D. Unde etiam Dominus per prophetam alium minatus. [Amos.] In Ezech. 1. i. Hom. 10. n. 2. 1263. E.
P Unde recte quoque per quemdam sapientem dicitur. [Eccles.] In Job. 1. 20. c. 24. p. 661. B. Hinc etenim Habacuc propheta ait. In Job. 1. 20. c. 3. p. 638. B. 4 Quia et per prophetam alterum dicitur. [Is.] In Ezech. 1. i. Hom. 12. p. 1294. E.
Pro eo autem quod multa Ezechiel propheta obscura et perplexa auditurus