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writers gave, nor on what books of the Bible they had employed their laboursé.

CHAP.

. We can make no use of the spurious writings of this century for our present purpose.-s. The Acts of Paul and of Thecla attribute indeed many of the fame sentiments to the Apostle St. Paul, as exist in the books of our New Testament. But it is uncertain whether this be the same work which is mentioned by the Ecclesiastical Fathers. (Lardner's Credibility, vol. ii. p. 310).-2. The Sibylline Oracles were forged in all probability about the second century. They also relate (in prophecy, as they pretend) almost every fingle event of the evangelical history. But they do not mention either expressly, or by name, any of the writings of the New Testament. Lardner, I. cit. p. 313. seq.-3. The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs speak often in the language of the New Teftament. But it is most uncertain, whether this writing be of that early antiquity which many scholars imagine. Origen quotes a work under this title. But how can it be proved that the work, which we still poffefs, is the very fame? Lardner, l. cit. p. 324. seq.-4. The Recognitions of Clement, (see Cotelerii Patres Apoftol. vol. i. p. 483. seq.) which contain Disputations of the Apostle St. Peter with Simon Magus, and mention other discourses, and a variety of miracles by the same Apostle ;=-5. The Clementine Homilies, which are almost of the very fame

tenour,

CHAP. III.
Witnesses in the Third Century,

SECT. I. Evidences of Witnesses in the Third

Century.

BEFORE I introduce the complete catalogues, which Origen and Eusebius have left us, of those writings which the Christians of the first century held as genuine works of the Evangelists and Apostles, and venerated as divine

tenour, and in all probability are the ground-work from which, after many additions and improvements, arose the work mentioned above, in No. 4. (Cotelerius, 1. cit. p. 603. seq.) ;-And, 6. The Clementine Epitome, a compilation out of the Recognitions and Homilies, (Cotelerius, l. cit. p. 755. seq.) --: these three works, to which the venerable name of Clement has been forged, contain merely similar expressions and sentiments, but not a single quotation, either expressly, or by name, from the books of our New Testament. Extracts from the above mentioned writings may be seen in Lardner, l. cit. p. 342. leg. m

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books, I will cursorily mention somo other witnesses who lived in the beginning of the third century, but whose writings have not defcended to us.

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1. Caius Romanus. CAIUS, who was a Presbyter of the church of Rome, and a most learned man, quotes in his Dialogue with Proculus, à follower of Montanus, all the Epistles which we have at present under the name of St. Paul, as genuine works of this Apostle, except the Epiftle to the Hebrews, which he has omitted to enumerate among the reft. -We find this information in an extract which Eusebius has preserved from this work which no longer exifts".

2. Hippolytus Portuenss, From the fragments which we still poffess of the works of Hippolytus

Portuenfis,

Hift. Ecclef. Lib. VI. ch. xx. p. 285.. ♡ Joh. Albert Fabricius has collected these frag:

mente,

Portuensis, we are led to believe that he was a learned man; and the conciseness, folidity, and force with which he wrote, clearly prove that he far excelled all the writers of his time. In support of this I shall quote a single passage, which, if not an adequate testimony for the authenticity of our four Gofpels, will at least demonstrate the truth of the history related in them. Hippolytus is proving that Jesus was both perfect man, and perfect God. “His humanity,” says he, “may be easily perceived, by the circumstances of his feeling hunger and fatigue and thirst; by his fearfully fleeing, and anxiously praying; by his sleeping on a pillow; his imploring for the removal of the cup of sorrow; his

ments, and published them together with the other works attributed to him, at Hamburg, 1716, 2 vol. folio.

* It has been preserved by Theodoret. See Fabricii Hippolyt. vol. i. p. 268.

L 4

sweating sweating from fear of death, and his being strengthened by an angel; by his being betrayed by Judas, mocked by Caiaphas and Herod, fcourged by Pilate, insulted by the foldiers, and cru. cified by the Jews; his commending with a loud voice his spirit to the Father; his bending his head and giving up the ghoft; having his side pierced by a spear, being laid, ' wrapped up in fine linen, in the grave, and raised up on the third day by the Father. His divinity may be easily discovered, since he was worshipped by angels, visited by shepherds, expected by Simeon; he received the testimony of Anna, was visited by the Magi, and announced by a star; he changed water into wine at the marriage feast, calmed the stormy fea, walked upon the water, gave fight to one born blind, raised La zarus to life, who had been dead four days, and performed many other miracles, forgiving fins, and imparting

iniraculous

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