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because they were the immediate disciples of the Apostles. Their high antiquity, and still more their perfect acquaintance with the Apostles, render them particularly important to us in our present inquiry.
BARNABAS was appointed, in conjunction with St. Paul the most eminent of the sirst preachers of Christianity, to publish the religion of Christ among the Gentiles, after they had made many thousand converts among the Jews and Samaritans0; and is not only placed on a perfect equality with himp, but is also expressly stiled an
tions of the editor, it contains a variety of new and important additions, which are mentioned in the title. Le Clerc himself has pointed out the advantages of this edition in the Biblioth. ancienhe et mod. torn. xxi. part 2. p. 237. scq. An useful abridgement of these Writings is to be found in Roller's Library of the Ecclesiastical Fathers.
o Acts xiii. s, 3.
p Apostle. Apostle *. He left behind him an epistle, which, according to Clement of Alexandria', Origen', Eusebius', and Jerom*, was held in the greatest esteem by the ancients. But whether the work, which we now have under this name w, be the very fame which Barnabas wrote, and the above-mentioned men read,
\ Acts xiv. 74.—Comp, verse 4.
* Stromata Lib. ii. cap. 1.0. p. 490."' Lib. v. cap. 8. p. 677. cap. 10. p. 683. 84. Potter's Edit. Oxford, 715 sol. In these places Clement cites whole passages from the Epistle of Barnabas, which are likewise found fn that which we have at present.
* De principiis Lib. iii. cap. 4. p. 140, and contra. CelsiamLib. i. cap. 63. p. 378. Charles De la Rue, and Charles Vincent De la Rue, have edited at Paris all the genuine works of Origen, which are still extant, 1733—1759. iv. vol. sol. The passages pointed out
'above are in torn. i.—For an account of this edit, of Origen, fee Ernesti theol. Biblioth. Vol. vii. p. 371.
'Histor. Eccles. Lib. vi. cap. 13, 14. p. 272. 75. vol. i. edit. Guilielmi Reading, who has edited toge« ther the ecclesiastical histories of Eusebius, Socrates, So2omen, Theodores, Evagrius, Philostorgius, and Theodorus—Cambridge, 720, iii. vol. sol.
« De Vir. illustr. cap. 6.
» See Cotelert Patr. Apostolic, vol. i. p. 15.—66.
is here unimportant, since it quotes, as We shall fee hereafter, not a single passage of the New Testament It contains indeed now the fame passages which Clement and Origen have cited from it But the unnatural mode of interpretation, (known by the name of mystical) which prevails in it; the fables of the Hyæna, &c. which the author believed; and the assertion that the world would be destroyed in its fix thousandth year, which is directly contradictory to the assurances of the New Testament, that the time when it should take place was perfectly unknown, make it certain, that this epistle was not written by that Barnabas, who was an Apostle. Nevertheless, the most learned in ancient history are agreed, that it Was composed not later than the second century*. And we may allow thus much to the testimonies of the pri
x See Roster's Library of the Ecclesiastical Fathers, i, i.
D 2 mitive mitive writers, that it was written by a Christian teacher, of the name of Barnabas.
The principal design of this epistle, is to inculcate the proposition which St. Paul in his writings so often repeats, and labours so anxiously to prove, namely, that Christians are free from all obligation to the law of Moses. But the author no where refers to this Apostle. St. Paul had already at that time written all his Epistles: he composed the last (the second to Timothy) during his second imprisonment at Rome, in the year of Christ sixty-seven; and Barnabas wrote his in the year seventy. They could not have been unknown to him who was the fellowapostle and assistant of St. Paul. This is another argument which tends to prove that this epistle, even if composed by a certain Barnabas, did not come from the celebrated Apostle of that name.
To him who reads this epistle without any intention of producing testimonies from it in support of the Scriptures of the New Testament, scarcely any will be perceptible. What migh1 be produced with the greatest appearance of probability, are two pas? sages which have been generally brought forward as an evidence for the Gospel of St. Matthewy. Barnabas is speaking in the seventh chapter of the sufferings of Christ, and delivers this as one of his sayings:—They who will fee me and obtain my kingdom, must receive me with many sufferings and afflictions \ And in the fourth chapter he introduces— Many arc called, but few chosen, as the declaration of certain divine. Scriptures. For he makes use of a phrase which was commonly em
HT See harJner's. Credibility, vol. fi. p. 14., 15, of tlieedition of his works, published in 5788,
Tilt ^acrAiia;, op utovm SMl2f>"ris xat wafiom; Aai?iii at-—Cotel. p. 24.
D 3 ployed