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tures. It commences thus: “It will not be improper to enumerate here the books of the Old and New Testament, which we find by the monuments of the fathers to have been delivered to the churches, as inspired by the Holy Spirit.” This list differs in nothing from ours.*

Jerome, a contemporaneous writer, universally allowed to have been the most learned of the Latin fathers, in a letter concerning the study of the Scriptures, enumerates the books of the New Testament in precise correspondence with our volume. With regard to the epistle to the Hebrews, he states that by some it was not considered as the work of Paul; though it is evident, from other places of his writings, that he was satisfied of its authenticity, and numbered it among the canonical scriptures.

In the year 380, wrote Philastrius, bishop of Brescia. In a book “Concerning Heresies,” he gives a catalogue agreeing entirely with ours, except that it omits the epistle to the Hebrews, and the book entitled the Revelation of St. John. But it does not follow that these were not considered canonical. The object of his catalogue is to enumerate the books appointed to be read in the churches. The epistle to the Hebrews, he says, was read in the churches 66 sometimes." “Some pretend,” he writes, “ that additions have been made to it by some heterodox persons, and that for that reason it ought not to be read in the churches, though it is read by some." Philastrius himself received it, and frequently quoted

Lardner, vol. 2, p. 573. # Ibid, 2, 548.

66 There

*

it as the work of St. Paul, and reckoned it a heresy to reject it. He received also the Revelation as the work of John the evangelist, mentioning its rejection by some as among the heresies of the age. are some," he writes, “who dare to say that the Revelation is not a writing of John the apostle and evangelist."

About the year 370, flourished Gregory Nazianzen, bishop of Constantinople, who in a work “On the True and Genuine Scriptures,” enumerates all the present books of the New Testament except that of Revelation. This, however, he has quoted in his other works.

At the same time wrote Epiphanius, bishop of Constantia, in Cyprus; "a man of five languages.” He wrote against heresies, and gave a list of the New Testament books which agrees exactly with ours."

About the year 350, another catalogue was published by the council of Laodicea, differing in nothing from ours but in the omission of Revelation. The decrees of this council were, in a short time, received into the canons of the universal church; so that as early as about the middle of the fourth century, we find a universal agreement, in all parts of the world in which Christianity existed, as to the constituent parts of the New Testament, with the single exception of the book of Revelation. That this was also generally received, and why any doubted its authenticity, will appear in our subsequent progress.

* Lardner, 2, 522. Ibid. 470, 471.

# Ibid. 416. \ Ibid. 414. Alexander on the Canon, p. 150.

Athanasius and Cyril, the latter being bishop of Jerusalem, a little earlier in the century, have furnished catalogues: that of the former agreeing entirely with ours; that of the latter in every thing but the omission of the Revelation of St. John.

The last catalogue to be mentioned in the fourth century, is that of Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, who flourished about the year 315. "A man,” says Jerome, “most studious in the divine Scriptures, and very diligent in making a large collection of ecclesiastical writers." In his Ecclesiastical History, he mentions, as belonging to the canon of Scripture, all our present books. While he speaks of the epistle of James, the second of Peter, the third of John, and the book of Revelation, as questioned by some, he states that they were generally received, and declares his own conviction that they ought not to be doubted.*

The above testimonies, though capable of great multiplication, are amply sufficient to exhibit the universal confidence of Christians, of the fourth century, in the authenticity of the New Testament.

Let us proceed to the third. In this, among other important names, we find that of the celebrated Origen, who flourished about the year 230, having been born A. D. 184. Jerome speaks of him as the greatest doctor of the churches since the apostles; that he had the Scriptures by heart, and labored day and night in studying and explaining them. Great numbers of all descriptions of men attended his lec* Lardner, 2, 368, etc.

+ Ibid. 1, 527.

tures. Heathen philosophers dedicated their writings to him, and submitted them to his revisal. He wrote a threefold exposition of the books of Scripture, on which he bestowed all his learning. He lived within a hundred years of the death of St. John, and was therefore so near the time of the publication of the books of the New Testament, that he could hardly avoid obtaining the most accurate knowledge of their origin and authors. His enumeration of these writings contains no other books than those of our sacred volume, and includes all that we receive, except the epistles of James and Jude, which could not have been omitted by design, as in other places he expressly acknowledges them as part of the sacred

canon.

Besides Origen, we have in the third century, Victorinus, a bishop in Germany; Cyprian, bishop of Carthage; Gregory of Neo-Cæsarea, and Dionysius of Alexandria, in whose writings are found most copious quotations from almost every book of the New Testament.

We proceed to the second century. Here we meet with Tertullian, a native of Carthage, born about the year 150, within fifty years of the last of the apostles, and renowned in his day as a learned, vigorous, and voluminous writer in defence of Christianity. His works abound in quotations of the most direct kind, and with long extracts from all the books of the New Testament, except four of the minor epistles, which, as he nowhere professes to give a formal catalogue, he may easily be supposed to have

66

*

passed unquoted, without entertaining any opinion unfavorable to their authenticity. Tertullian's quotations occupy nearly thirty folio pages.

“ There are more and larger quotations of the small volume of the New Testament in this one Christian author, than of all the works of Cicero in the writers of all characters for several ages.

The same is true with regard to Irenæus and Clement of Alexandria, both writers of the second century. In what spirit these early Christians regarded the authority of the New Testament books, may be judged from the manner of their quotations. Irenæus writes, “As the blessed Paul says in the epistle to the Ephesians, 5:30, 'For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."" And so Clement, “The blessed Paul, in the first epistle to the Corinthians, "Brothren, be not children in understanding.'"

It deserves to be specially noted, that in this early age, the book of Revelation is expressly ascribed to St. John. The testimony of Irenæus to this effect is so full and strong, that it may justly be considered as putting its authenticity entirely beyond reasonable dispute.

There is abundant evidence that, in the second century, the books of the New Testament were open to all, and well known in the world. In Tertullian's Apology, addressed to the Roman presidents, he challenges an inspection of the Scriptures. “Look into the words of God, our Scriptures, which we ourselves * Lardner, 1, 435.

† Ibid. 1, 372.

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