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several authors necessary for such a search, or leisure to examine them, may not be unwilling to see that faithfully brought together under one short and general view, which would have required some time and labour to have searched out, as it lay diffused in a multitude of writers, out of which they must otherwise have gathered it.
NOTE.-Although the style of the Discourses concerning the following Epistles, is somewhat peculiar to that of the age in which they were written, still it was thought proper not to vary the language except where corrections in the Grammar were indispensable.-E.
A Discourse concerning the Epistle of St. Polycarp,
The Epistle of St. Ignatius to the Ephesians,
to St. Polycarp,
The general Epistle of St. Barnabas,
Vision 1.- Against filthy and proud thoughts, also the neglect
The FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. CLEMENT TO THE
Of the value which the ancients put upon this Epistle. Of St. Cle.
ment himself, who was the author of it; that it was the same Cle-
1. The first tract which begins this collection, and perhaps the most worthy, is that admirable, or as some of the ancients have called it, that wonderful a epistle , Euseb. of St. Clement to the Corinthians; which he wrote to lib. iii. cap. them, not in his own name, but in the name of the whole church of Rome. An epistle so highly esteemed by the primitive church, that we are told it was wont to be publicly read in the assemblies b of it: and if we may - Idem. fib. credit one of the ancient collections c of the canon of scripture, was placed among the sacred and inspired postol. Can. writings. Nor is it any small evidence of the value which in those days was put upon this epistle, that in the only copy which for any thing we know at present remains of it, we find it to have been written in the same volume d the books of the New Testament:d Ms. Alex
iii. cap. 12
which seems to confirm what was before observed con-. cerning it; that it was read in the congregations, together with the holy scriptures of the Apostles and Evangelists.
2. But of the epistle itself, I shall take occasion tospeak more particularly hercaster. It will now be more proper to inquire a little with regard to the author of it ; and consider when, and upon what occasion, it was written by him.
3. First concerning the person who wrote this epis
tle; it is no small commendation which the Holy Ghost * Phil. iv. 3. by St. Paul has left us of hin, where the Apostle men
tions him not only as his fellow labourer in the work of the Gospel ; but as one whose name was written in the book of life. A character which if we allow our Saviour to be the judge, far exceeds that of the highest power and dignity; and who therefore when his disciples began to rejoice upon the account of that authority
which he had bestowed upon them, insomuch that even fLuke x: 17. the Devils were subject unto them, though he seemed
to allow that there was a just matter of joy in such an extraordinary power, yet bade them not to rejoice so much in this, that those spirits were subject unto them; but rather, says he, rejoice that your names are written in the book of life.
4. It is indeed insinuated by a late very learned crit e Grot. An- ic, e that this was not that Clement of whom we are
now discoursing, and whose epistle to the Corinthians I have here subjoined: but besides that, he himself con
fesses, that the person of whom St. Paul there speaks [ Euscb.Hist. was a Roman. Both Eusebius f and Epiphanius, and cap. 12. E- St. Hierome, expressly tell us that the Clement there piph. lib. i.
Car meant, was the same that was afterwards Bishop of Hieronym.de Rome; nor do we read of any other to whom either the el comment character there mentioned, of being the fellow labourer Lib adv. of that Apostle, or the eulogy given of having his name Cod Tem. written in the book of life, could so properly belong as 113&c.
not. in Phil. iv. 3.
Adv. pocr. n.