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of his Friends, upon the Gofpels of Mat- SERM.III. thew, Mark, and Luke, and then added his own as a Supplement to them.

Much the fame Account we have from the ancient Author of the Martyrdom of Timothy, with this additional Circumftance, that before St. John reviewed them, they had already been tranflated into feveral Languages Nor is it at all unlikely, that the fame Zeal, which prompted St. John to expose one Fraud, as we shall prove by and by; would likewise determine him to authorize the genuine Records of Chriftianity. This is what the World might expect from a Person so venerable, for his Wifdom and Authority, as well as for his great Age: And this is, what common Sense would fuggeft to one; who lived after Forgeries had begun to creep abroad.

Though Clemens Romanus, Barnabas, Hermas, Ignatius, Polycarp, Writers who had been converfant with the Apostles, feldom afcribe any of the Books of the New Teftament to their refpective Authors; yet they virtually own them all to be genuine, by fhewing the most distinguished Regard

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* Photii Bibliotheca Cod. 254.

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SERM.III. to them, by often quoting them, and oftner alluding to them: An Honour they do no other Writings, except those of the Old Teftament. They tranfcribe numerous Precepts from the Scriptures, of which their own Lives were indeed the most beautiful Tranfcript. That they have not expreffly named the Authors, from whom they borrow, is easily accounted for: They wrote chiefly, if not entirely, for the Benefit of their Contemporaries, and it was needless to point out to thofe, who lived fo near the Fountain Head, from what Source they drew that living Water, which they had fo thoroughly imbibed, and fo plentifully transfufed into their own Compofitions.


What a religious Veneration thefe early Writers paid to the Scriptures, the following Paffage of Ignatius will clearly shew. "Your Prayer to God, fays he, fhall make me perfect, that I may attain to that "Portion, which his Mercy has affigned me; having Recourfe to the Gospel, as "to the Flesh of Jefus Chrift; and to the Apoftles, as to the Prefbytery of the


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"Church. Let us alfo love the Pro- SERM.III.


phets, because even they preached the "Gofpel, believed in Chrift, and hoped "for him *."

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The Meaning of these remarkable Words is plainly this. That he as firmly believed the Gofpel, as if he had heard Jefus Chrift himself alive, and in the Flesh, delivering


* Quod a Nemine, quod quidem fciam, huc ufque ob-
fervatum fuit, monuit nos olim clariffimus Grabius, Ignatium`
utriufque hujus Canonis mentionem feciffe, in Epiftola ad
Philadelphicos. Προσφυδὼν τῷ ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΩ ὡς (αρκὶ Ἰησῦ, καὶ
τοῖς ̓ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΟΙΣ ὡς πρεσβυεξίω Ἐκκλησίας· καὶ τὰς ΠΡΟ-
ΦΗΤΑΣ δὲ ἀγαπῶμεν, &c. Nempe per Εὐαγγέλιον, Codi-
cem Evangelicum, per 'Amoróλes, Codicem Epiftolicum,
per Пgoras, Canonem Vet. Testamenti Cuvexdoxins in-
telligendum exiftimat. Id quod nobis poftea perfuafiffimum
erat, etiam ex aliis Ignatii Locis. Nonnunquam enim E-
vangelii vocem ftrictius fumere videtur pro Codice Evange-
lico ; (ut cum Evangelicum ἐξαιρέτως effe ait, ἐν ᾧ τὸ πάθο
ἡμῖν δεδήλωται, καὶ ἡ ἀνάςασις τελελείωθαι. Epift. ad Smyrni
§. 7. & in Ep. ad Philadelph. Εξαίρετον ἔχει τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον,
THY άvasασw, &c. §. 8.) tum vero alias laxiori fignificatu
Evangelium apud Eum pro Canone integro N. T. accep
tum videmus; ubi fimul memorat Legem Mofis, Prophe-
tias, & Evangelium; ( xoa ai weoprietar, &ð à vé-
με· Μωσέως, ἀλλ ̓ ἐδὲ μέχει νῦν τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον. Ep. ad Smyrn.
1.5.) Quod fi vero res ita fe habebat, Canon Epiftolicus
mediocri Temporis intervallo præcefferit neceffe eft Epifto-
las Ignatianas; ideoque & prodierit fub annum forte æræ
Vulgaris CX. five etiam aliquanto ante. Millii Prolegom.
pag. 24.

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SERM III to him the Precepts therein recorded; that
he betook himself to the Writings of the
Apoftles, with
no lefs Affurance, than if
that venerable Prefbytery were then acting,
immediately under the great Bishop and
Shepherd of their Souls, Jefus Chrift; that,
after thefe, the next Regard was to be paid
to the Writings of the Prophets, becaufe
they had foretold our Saviour's Advent, his
Death, and Paffion.

From hence we may gather, that the Canon of the New Teftament was then fettled and put upon a Foot of Equality with the Old. When he says, Let us love. the Prophets, who could be known to him. no otherwise than by their Writings, he undoubtedly means their Compofitions, and the Books of the Old Teftament: And ` when he fays, be has Recourfe to the Gofpel, and the Apostles, he no less plainly means the main Body of the New Teftament, as divided into the four Gofpels, and the Epiftles of the Apostles.

In his Epiftle to the Inhabitants of Smyrna, Section the 7th, he writes thus. "It "becomes us to attend to the Prophets, "but especially the Gospel, in which the "Paffion has been fhewn to us, and the Refurrection perfected.",


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And again, Section 5th, in the fame SERM. III. Epiftle, "whom neither the Prophecies, nor the Law of Mofes, nor even the Gospel, to this very Day could per"fuade."

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From Ignatius, who, as St. Chryfoftom says, conversed familiarly with the Apostles, and was intimately acquainted with their Doctrine; let us pafs on to Polycarp, who was not only instructed by the Apostles, but by them conftituted Bishop of the Church of Smyrna ‡.


From him we learn, that in that early Age, the Books of the New Testament were generally ftudied, and dignified with the Name of holy Writings, For, I "truft, fays he, that ye are well verfed in "the Holy Scriptures, and that Nothing "(of this Kind) has escaped you.-And "in thefe it is faid, Be ye angry, and fin "not. And, let not the Sun go down upon

your Wrath"

And in another very short Paragraph +, where he has quoted the Sacred Writings no less than four Times, he ftyles thofe

Irenæus, Lib. 3. cap. 3.

*Policarpi Ep. ad Philippenfes. Sect. 12, + Ibidem. Sect. 7th.



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