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The APOSTOLIC WRITINGS EARLY AND ONIVERSALLY RECEIVED. Julian Pe. thereby in any difficulty or doubt. If it should be hereafter Asia Miasta riod, 4799. enquired, at what time, or by what authority the authentic letVulgar Æra, ters were separated from the spurious, the answer will be, that 96. such a separation never took place; but that the canon of Ju.

nius was determined immediately after the date of the last letter.
To us who live so near to the time of publication, the line of
distinction between the genuine and the spurious is so strongly
marked, and the evidence of authenticity on the one side, and of
forgery on the other, is so clear and convincing, that a formal
rejection of the latter is unnecessary. The case bas long since
been determined by the tacit consent of the whole British nation,
and no man in his senses would attempt to dispute it.

“ Yet how much stronger is the case of the scriptural canon.
The author of Junius was known to none, he could not there-
fore of himself bear any testimony to the authenticity of his
works; the authors of the New Testament were known to all,
and were especially careful to mark, to authenticate, and to
distinguish their writings. The author of Junius bad no per-
sonal character which could stamp his writing with any high
or special authority: whatever proceeded from the apostles of
Christ, was immediately regarded as the offspring of an exclu-
sive inspiration. For the canon of Junius we have no external
evidence, but that of a single publisher : for the canon of
Scripture we have the testimony of Churches which were vi.
sited, bishops who were appointed, and converts innumerable,
who were instructed by the apostles themselves. It was neither
the duty nor the interest of any one, excepting the publisher,
to preserve the volume of Jupius from spurious additions : to
guard the integrity of the sacred volume was the bounden
duty of every Christian who believed that its words were the
words of eternal life.

“ If, then, notwithstanding these and other difficulties, which
might be adduced, the canon of Junius is established beyond
controversy or dispute, by the tacit consent of all who live in
the age in which it is written: there can be no reason why
the canon of Scripture, under circumstances infinitely stronger,
should not have been determined in a manner precisely the
same; especially wben we remember, that in both cases the
forgeries made their appearance subsequently to the determi-
nation of the canon. There is not a single book in the spurious
department of the Apocryphal volume which was even known,
where the canon of Scripture was determined. This is a fact
which considerably strengthens the case. There was no diffi-
culty or dispute in framing the canou of Scripture, because
there were no competitors, whose claims it was expedient to
examine, no forgeries whose impostures it was necessary to
detect. The first age of the Church was an age of too much
vigilance, of too much communication, of too much authority
for any fabricator of Scripture to hope for success. If any al-
tempt was made, it was instantly crushed. When the authority
of the apostles and of the apostolic men had lost its immediate
influence, and heresies and disputes had arisen, then it was
that forgeries began to appear. But by this time the canon of
Scripture bad taken such firm root in the minds of men, that it
resisted every effort to supplant it. Nothing, indeed, but the
general and long determined consent of the whole Christiaa
world could bave preserved the sacred volume in its integrity,
unimpaired by the mutilation of one set of heretics, and unin-
cumbered by the forgeries of another.”

The time of St. John's death is very uncertain. Jerome, in
Covin. lib. i. c. 14, affirms that he died worn out with age.
Irenæus, I. ii. c. 39. I, iii. c. 3. tells us that he survived to the

DEATII OF ST. JOHN-CIIAP. XV.

721

Julian Pe. reign of Trajan. Usher and Beveridge, de Martyr. Ignat. Asia Minor
riod, 4799. p. 177. in Canon Apost. 1455, refer his death to the second year
VulgarÆra, of Trajan. Eusebius, with a great number of the fathers, Jerome,
96,

Tertullian, Origen, and others, place it in the third. The
Paschal Chronicle assigns it to the seventh year of that em-
peror. He died at Ephesus, in expectation, says the Arabian
author, of his blessedness: by which expression we may inser,
that he met the last enemy of man with that serene and peace-
ful, and well founded hope, which is the best assurance of the
happy immortality of every privileged Christian.

it is needless to repeat the culogies with which affection and
admiration have united to commemorate the death of this ami.
able apostle. The Protestant theologian will require more
authentic evidence than the reporters of the wonderful tales, to
which I allude, can produce, before he can credit that St.
John never died-that he only lay sleeping in his grave, as
appeared from the boiling or bubbling up of the dust, which
was moved by his breath; and many other gravely related
histories, which excite but our smiles. His body is buried in
peace, but bis name liveth for evermore. So long as the pre-
sent dispensation shall coutinue, and the Christian Church be
commanded to pursue its painful way through the wilderness
of this world, to that land of peace and rest, where the spirits
of the prophets and apostles await their companions and fol-
Jowers from among mankind-so long as a blasphemer against
the divinity of the Son of God shall laugh to scorn our prayers
to a crucified Redeemer, so long shall the inspired pages of this
beloved disciple erect in our hearts the best monument to bis
memory.

(a) Sic Amesius Theol, lib. i. c. 34. $ 35. Canonem V.T. constituerunt Prophetæ, et Christus ipse testimonio suo approbavit. Canonem N. T. una cum veteri comprobavit, et obsignavit Apostolus Joannes auctoritate divina instructus, Apoc. xxi. 18, 19. Idem videtur Pareo, Pigneto, et aliis ad h. 1. Heideggerus Corp. Theol. loc. ii. p. 61. addit, Joannem canonem N. T. claussisse, dam solenni voto; etiam veni, Domine Jesu! Scripturem N. T. cum ultimo Christi adventu ita conjuxit, uti olim Malachias Scripturam N. T. cum Ministerio Joannis Baptistæ connexuit. Sed et vetustiores Apocalypsin pro sigillo universæ Scripturæ habuerunt. Anonymus quidam græcus apud Allatium diss. I. de libris Eccles. Græcorum, p. 48.

θεολογική δ' αποκαλυψις πάλιν

Σφραγίς πέφυκε της δε της βίβλο πασης. .
Theologica Apocalypsis sigillum universi libri, et totius Sacræ Scripturæ
est.-Lampe Prolog. ad Johan. lib. i. cap. 5. 9 13. note.

The theological student, who is desirous of pursuing this subject, is
referred to Dr. Cozins' work on the Canon of Scripture; a very useful
work, which was written while the learned author was expelled from his
living by the Parliament-to Jones on the Canon-Lardner's Supple-
ment to his Credibility-Horne's Crit. Introduct.—and to the prefaces of
commentators in general.

SECTION XXI.
Brief View of the Condition of the Jews, the Stations of the

Sanhedrim, and its Labors, before the final, and total
Dispersion of their Nation ; with an Outline of the History
of the visible Church from the closing of the Canon of Scrip-
ture, to the present Day; and the Prospects of the perma-
nent Happiness of Mankind, in the present and future
World.

So closed the most evenlful century in the apnals of the
human race.
VOL. II.

3 A

.

Julian Pe- The institutions of Christianity had succeeded to the institu- Asia Wise
riod, 4799. tions of the law of Moses. The temple of God upon earth,
VulgarÆra, which had opened its gates to the people of one favoured
96.

country alone, was taken down, and the whole world was in-
vited, by the preachers of the boly Gospel, to enter into another
temple of God upon earth, whose gates stood open night and
day, to receive all nations, and kindreds, and people, and
tongues.

It may be useful, in the conclusion of this work, to cast a
rapid glance over the past history of that religion which Christ
and his apostles, and their successors in the Christian Priest-
hood have established. From this we shall be naturally led to
consider the state of Christianity in our own age, not merely in
England, or in Europe, but through the world. The appear.
ances of the present times, the expectations of wise and good
men, and the express predictions both of the old prophets and
of the Christian Scriptures, will justify us in anticipating the
eventual comparative perfection of mankind, and the universal
establishment of the one pure religion in this world, before the
arrival of that solemn day, when the theatre op which the great
drama of man has been acted will be swept away from existence.

We will compare the state of the world at the beginning of the century before the birth of Christ was announced to the shepherds, with its condition at the death of the last of the apostles.

At the commencement of the century in which the Redeemer of mankind became incarnate, the world was divided into two classes, the Pagans and the Jews. The former of these had entirely forgotten the object for wbich mankind had been ori. ginally created ; and, amoug the latter, the remembrance of that object was coufined to a very few who still retained the spiritual meaning of their Scriptures, and anticipated a deliverer from the dominion of ignorance and wickedness, rather than a Saviour from the Romau yoke. The degeneracy of mankind was daily increasing; and the Church of God, that is, that portion of the visible Church which had preserved itself pure from the univers sal corruption, was so rapidly diminishing; that there was danger lest the world should return to the same condition to wbich it had been reduced; when eight persons only were saved from the deluge, or when ten worsbippers of Jehovah could pot be found to preserve the cities of the plain. Among the Heathen all classes had become foolish. The magistrates and the statesmen of an. tiquity considered religion as an useful engine of state ; the pbilosophers, bewildered among their metaphysical dreams, and involved in endless disputations and divisions, considered all religions as equally false, and equally true-justly despising the inconsistencies of the popular mythology, they knew not where to rest. The scanty remains of the ancient truth, which tradition still preserved among them, was obscured by innamerable absurdities. Neither the hope of good, nor the fear of evil, adimated the popular devotion; while the very superstitions wbich the wandering reason of their pretended philosophy despised, were rendered more binding upon the ignorant populace by the outward compliance of the philosophers, with all its rites and ceremonies.

The teachers of the Jews bad secularized the religion of their fathers. The magnificent promises and splendid predictions of the prophets, which describe the spiritual glories of the or pected Messiah, were interpreted of a temporal dominion. The maintainers of the spiritual interpretation were treated with contempt. The two classes of teachers, who divided the affections of the people, united in ridiculing

the holiness of heart and life required by the law of Jehovah. The Sadducees denied

AND AT THE END OF THE APOSTOLIO AGE.

723 Julian Pen the doctrine of a future state, and the consequent sanctions of Asia Minor, riod, 4799. an invisible world; the Pharisees rosolved the religion of Moses, Valgarðra, and of the prophets, into the belief of traditions, and attachment 96.

to external observances, and ostentatious austerities. The one
destroyed internal religion, by denying its necessity altogether;
the latter ruiñed its influence with equal efficacy, by finding a
substitute for holiness. The first were condemned entirely, as
the open enemies of purity, as the infidels of their day; the
last were condemned with unsparing severity, but not so univers
sally, or totally, in that more restricted censure, “ these ought
ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” The
consequence of the united dereliction of both Jews and Hea.
thens, was, that tho koowledge and fear of God was rapidly
fading away from the public faith, and the private motives of
mankind.

The close of the century presented a strong contrast with this
melancholy condition. Mankind were now divided into three
classes. The Heatbons, who, in addition to their former errors,
had now acquired a spirit of persecution—the Jews, who,
though they had been conquered by the Romans, and subjected
to serere persecutions, still continued in various towns in Pa-
lestine, and throughout the empire, and whose inveterate
hatred against the Christians increased daily-the third divi.
sion, and it included no small portion of mankind, were the
Christians, who were elected by the providence of God from
both the former classes.

Before we proceed to the history of the Christian Church, it may be advisable to inquire into the condition of the onec fa. poured people of God, after their rejection of the Messiah had brought upon them the accomplishment of his predictions, in the destruction of the city, and the utter ruin of their poli: tical existence.

The visible true Church, in any nation, is uoder tbe protection of the peculiar Providence of God, and entitled to the veneration of the people, whom it is intended to guide to futuro happiness, so long only as it retains its spiritual fitness, and zeal, and purity, to accomplish the objects of its institution. This seems to be the lesson which the fall of Jerusalem was do. signed to impress upon the infant Church, which had now succeeded to the miraculous gifts and privileges of the Church of Jerusalem. Not only did the fallen daughter of Sion render service to her favoured sister, by impressing this solemn lesson, she was still permitted, before the final dispersion of her sons, so to deliver the ancient Scriptures to the Gentile Churches, that their integrity and genuineness should be 'uo impeacbable, either by the Jews or Heathens.

Though the city and templo of Jerusalem were destroyed, the Sanhedrim remaibed, and were acknowledged by the surviving Hebrews as the legitimate directors and teachers of the people: Some years before the destruction of the temple they had removed to Jabneh : and, after that event; Rabban Jochanao ben. Zacchai, the president, who had predicted the destruction of the temple forty years before, when the doors of the temple had opened without visible cause, requested permission of Titus, with whom be was in favour, to re-establish the Sanhedrim at Jaboeh. Fully convinced of the truth of bis own propheey, bobad entreated the people to subniit to the Romans. It was possibly on this account that Titus complied witb his request. He sat as president of the Sanhedrim five years after the destruction of the city. Sume few of the more emipent and learned Jows, who oseaped from the common slaughter, from the sale, and vassalage of their countrymen, continued with bim at Jabpeh.

Julian Pe- Among these were R. Gamaliel, the son of the R. Simeon who Asia Miage.
riod, 4799. was educated with St. Paul, and was killed when president of the
ValgarÆra, Sanhedrim, at the siege of Jerusalem : this Simcon is consi.
96,

dered by the Jews as the last of the ten eminent men who were
slain by the kingdom, that is, who were put to death by the Ro-
mans. With R. Gamaliel were R. Zadok, who bad emaciated
his body with extreme fasting, when the doors of the temple
moved on tbeir by invisible hands, R. Eliezer ben Hyr-
canus, the author of Pirke Eliezer, and others whose names are
still beld in honour among the Jews. These men were em-
ployed to the last in making decrees respecting the ritual of the
temple service, and settling questions of ceremonies, though
the glory bad departed, and religion bad become an empty form.
There were thirteen worshippings, or bowings, in the temple,
but the bouse of Rabban Gamaliel and the house of Ananias
Sagan made fourteen, says a Jewish tradition. Lightfoot erro-
neously conjectures that the Ananias, who was thus united with
the house of R. Gamaliel in ordering the additional bowings in
the temple, when it was about to be destroyed, was the same
Ananias wbo insulted St. Paul.

R. Jochanan was succeeded in his presidency over the Saabe-
drim at Jabneh by R. Gamaliel. The traditions relate, that he
gave offence to the people by his pride and passion, and at one
period was deprived of his presidency; he was restored to bis
dignity in part only, R. Eliezer being elevated to the joint ad-
ministration.

The presidency of these two, continued twelve years, from the second year of Vespasian, to the second of Domitian. The hatred of the Romans towards the Jews had not at this time in. creased to its height. In the second year of Domitian, R. Akibah, was their head. His presidency lasted forty years, when the Romans sacked with so much cruelty the town Bitter, or more properly Beth-Tar (a).. The Jews now began to be more severely threatened, as enemies to the public peace of the empire, and to all mankind. This was the period of the dreadful insurrection at Cyrene (6), when they murdered two hundred and twenty thousand Greeks and Romans, under circumstances of the most revolting and shameful cruelty. A similar insurrection was made in Egypt and Cyprus, where they slaughtered two bundred and forty thousand. The principal author of this revolt is said to have been the false Messiah, Ben Cozba, who proclaimed himself king, and coined money. This took place in the reign of Adrian, and R. Akibah, the president of the Sanhedrim, was killed at Beth-Tar, as armour bearer to this pretended Messiah.

The destruction of the remaining cities of Judea, and the number of Jews who were slaughtered, make the Jews consider this period as the completion of their ruin, and the most serere blow they ever received, except the destruction of their city. Adrian bad sent against them the relentless Sererus, who was afterwards emperor.

At tbis time lived Trypho, the Jew who had the controversy with Justin Martyr. It is not improbable that this was the same as Tarpbon, an intimate associate of R. Akibah; he is frequently mentioned in the Talmuds.

The fourth president of the Sanhedrim, after the destruction of Jerusalem, was Rabban Simeon. He governed ahout thirty years from the sixth or eighth of Adrian, to the fifteenth or six. teenth of Antoninus Pius. The honour and power of the learn. ed Jews began now to lessen daily, though there were still found among them some eminent names, which are yet honoured both among the Jews and Christians. The principal of these were R. Simeon ben Jochai, and Eliezer, his son, the first authors of the book Zohar--and 'Aquila, the celebrated proselyte, whose

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