Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

agrees with Eusebius of Cæsarea, that I need not take any particular notice of him.

12. Mr. Wetstein seems to suppose, that Dionysius Barsalibi, bishop of Amida near the end of the twelfth century, of whom there is an account in Dr. Asseman's Bibliotheca Orientalis, speaks of another letter of Clement, written against those who rejected marriage. • Barsalibi,' says" Asseman, “ beside Ephrem, Chrysostom, and other authors, . cites an epistle of Clement against those who rejected

marriage. Upon which I observe, 1. It does not certainly appear what Clement is here spoken of. 2. If Clement of Rome be intended, Barsalibi must mean one of the two epistles spoken of hy Eusebius, Jerom, Epiphanius, and Photius, provided he deserves any regard; for there never were any other epistles ascribed to him by learned christians in former times. And it may be reckoned very likely, that Barsalibi cited the first epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, particularly ch. 1, or 21. So, on account of some things in that epistle Epiphanius migbt say, that Clement teaches virginity, and Jerom, that almost throughout he discourseth of the purity of virginity. And with regard to some other passages Barsalibi might say, that he wrote against those who rejected marriage. In like manner a learned writer might say, that St. Paul in his epistles recommends virginity; and another, suitably to the argument of which he is treating, may say, be vindicates marriage. And both those authors would be understood to mean the same epistles. Yea they might both cite, or refer to one and the same epistle, for their several ends and purposes, particularly the first epistle to the Corinthians. Not now to instance in any other.

13. Mr. Wetstein says farther, “That' probably these • two epistles were suppressed, or laid aside, because of the

strictness of the rules of piety contained therein.' Which to me appears a false and injurious reflection upon the christians of the early ages. There always were, especially in the first five centuries, pastors, and other eminent men, who approved of, and were themselves able to give right instructions for a good life. Nor can it be denied, that they were sufficiently zealous for virginity. They have preserved ? Prolegom. p. vii. m. u Præter Ephræmum vero, Chrysostomum,

-quibus Barsalibæum usum fuisse, supra dixi, auctores hi ab ipso citantur, videlicet, Dionysius epis. ad Timotheum : Clemens adversus eos qui matrimonium rejiciunt. Asseman. Bib. Or. T. II. p. 158.

Tantum vero abest ut mirer, austeram Clementis disciplinam in epistolis istis traditam non placere, ut potius propter hanc ipsam causam eas et dudum sepositas esse, et per tot secula in tenebris latuisse existimem. Proleg. p. vii. fin.

[ocr errors]

and handed down to us the scriptures of the New Testament, than which no writings whatever have delivered better directions for the practice of strict virtue. And why should any man think, that the primitive christians would designedly suppress any writings of Clement of Rome, who was highly esteemed by all catholics in general, and by some others likewise? Insomuch that their works forged in his name, and ascribed to him, which had not the apostolical doctrine. We are well assured, that his epistle to the Corinthians was read in many churches, and the other likewise in some.

If there had been any other epistles of Clement, they would have been esteemed, and often quoted, and not suppressed, or laid aside in obscurity. And how comes Mr.'Wetstein now to speak of his epistles as obscure, when before he supposed them to be the same that had been quoted by Jerom in bis books against Jovinian, and the same which Epiphanius said were read in the holy churches ? Are these things consistent ?

14. Upon the whole it appears to me very clear, that there never were more than two epistles of Clement bishop of Rome, received by christians in former times. Those two I suppose

to be the same which are at the end of the Alexandrian manuscript, and now are, and for more than a century have been well known to the learned. Suppose a man should say, that he had found two epistles of the apostle Paul, or the apostle Peter, which for many ag'es past have been unknown, would he deserve to be credited ? It is almost as strange and surprising for any man to say the like of Clement of Rome, a man so bigbly esteemed in all antiquity, and so much taken notice of by Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius, Jeron, Photius, and others. The epistles therefore, which have been published by Mr. Wetstein, are not Clement's. They cannot be his. There is no need to open the packet. Thus much may be certainly known without looking into it,

III. INTERNAL EVIDENCE. However, as we have already taken a view of these epistles, and have made some extracts out of them, we will now examine them more distinctly. And however good and pious they may be, it is likely, there will still offer more reasons for confirming the persuasion that they were not written by Clement.

.. And in the first place I observe, that the quotations of scripture, and forms of quoting the scriptures, in these epistles, are different from those in the universally acknowledged epistle to the Corinthians; for that is the epistle to

6

6

с

which I shall bave an eye; it being, in my opinion," the only genuine writing of that apostolical man, Clement of Rome. 1. The author of these epistles useth some phrases and expressions concerning the scriptures not found in Clement, nor in any of the apostolical fathers, that I remember. . As we have learned from the law and the prophets, and • the Lord Jesus Christ; the law and the New Testament ;

the divine apostle.' 2. In these epistles many more* books of the New Testament are quoted, than in the acknowledged epistle of Clement. 3. This writer's forms of quotation in the Old Testament are different from those of Clement. What are this writer's forms may be seen in the extracts at the beginning of this dissertation. In Clement's epistle to the Corinthians the forms of quotation are such as these. • They ministers of the grace of God have spoken of re• pentance by the Holy Spirit. And himself, the Lord of

all, has spoken of repentance with an oath. See Ezek. xxxiii. . • And, Let? us do that which is written. For the • Holy Spirit says.' And in the same chapter or section. • For the holy word says.' And in another chapter. • For himself bespeaketh us by the Holy Spirit.'

" I am not singular in that opinion, which is much confirmed, as any may perceive, by the testimonies of ancient writers largely alleged here in the article of external evidence. H. Grotius declared himself to the like purpose in the year 1634, in his judgment upon these epistles, the year after their publication by P. Young. Alteram epistolanı, cujus fragmentum additum est, quamquam Clementis et ipsa in libris nonnullis nomen prætulit, non esse tamen ei tribuendam, etiam veteres judicârunt. Quorum auctoritati accedit characteris diversitas. H. Gr. ep. 347. Grabe, who has since carefully examined the early writings of christianity, is clearly of the same opinion, induced thereto chiefly by the letter of Dionysius Bishop of Corinth, and the silence of ancient writers before Eusebius, concerning any second epistle of Clement- -pluraque sunt, quæ pene demonstrare mihi videntur, epistolam secundam Clementis ad Corinthios supposititiam esse. Et primo quidem maxime considerandum est testimonium Dionysii

, Episcopi Corinthiorum, proxime post Clementem seculo florentis--Spic. p. 265. Secundum, argumentum contra secundam Clementi adscriptam epistolam suppeditat silentium omnium antiquorum Patrum, apud quos nullam ejus vel citationem invenit Eusebius---Ibid. p. 267. And indeed, it seems strange to me, that any learned men should still quote the second epistle as Clement's.

* What books of the New Testament are quoted or alluded to by Clement, may be seen in his epistle, and in the large extracts made out of it in the first volume of this work, ch. ii. And at the conclusion of ch. iii, where are extracts out of the fragment of the second epistle ascribed to Clement, it was observed, that therein the gospels are several times quoted more expressly, than in Clement's epistle to the Corinthians. This was there taken notice of as an internal character, confirming the supposition that it had not the same author with the epistle to the Corinthians, and that it is of a later date. y Ep. ad Corinth. c. 8. • Ib. cap. 13.

a Ibid, b Cap. 22.

• Cap. 45.

[ocr errors]

• into the holy scriptures, which are the true sayings of the

Holy Spirit.' Which forms of citation do not occur in the epistles published by Mr. Wetstein. I omit those common forms, in the same epistle to the Corinthians, ' Itd is written, ande the scripture says, and the like.' 4. Clement's quotations of texts of scripture, especially of the Old Testament, which are large and numerous, are neat and distinct. But the writer of these two epistles jumbles texts and books together, and quotes in a very confused manner. How Clement quotes may be seen by any, who look into his epistle. Having quoted a passage of scripture, when he proceeds to take another

passage

out of another book, or out of the same book, he usually says: And' in another place,' or the like. I do not deny, thats the writer of these epistles does also sometimes make use of like forms of transition. But oftentimes his quotations are exceedingly jumbled and confused. For instance, • Thereforeh he rightly said to such a genera• tion: “ My Spirit shall not always dwell with man, because • they are flesh. Every one therefore in whom is not the • spirit of Christ, he is not his.” As it is written :

“ The spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit • from the Lord troubled him." ; See Gen. vi. 3. Rom. viii. 9. 1 Sam. xvi. 14.

2. Mr. Wetstein, as an instance of agreement between the epistle of Clement, and the epistles published by him, says, that there is a doxology in the middle of one of them. I suppose, that Mr. W- may refer to the sixth chapter of bis second epistle, at the end of which there is an Amen. But I see not there, nor any where else in these epistles, neither in the middle, nor at the endings of them, one doxology. Which therefore leads me to observe another difference between these epistles, and the generally received epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. For in that epistle, as has been often observed by learned men, there are at least seven or eight doxologies.

3. THE TIME THESE 'EPISTLES. There are several things in these epistles, which will directly lead us to the time and occasion of writing them, and assure us of their late

age. A passage above cited shows, that when these epistles were written, Gentilism was not extinct in the Roman empire. For I allow, that they were not first written in Syriac, d Teypantai yap. cap. iv.

* Λεγει γαρ η γραφη. cap. Xxxi. et passim.

Και εν έτερο τοπη λεγει. cap. vii. Και παλιν εν έτερο TOTTY Leyel. cap. 46, et passim. 8 Ep. i. cap. 11. 5 Ep. i. cap. 8.

Stylus, došodoyla in media epistola. Proleg. p. vi. med.

OF

f

i

but in Greek, as Mr. Wetstein well argues. When there. fore this author said, as above; "we do not read the scrip'tures to Gentiles;' I reckon it a proof, that Gentilism still subsisted in the country where he lived. Which indeed I imagine to have been somewhere in the eastern part of the Roman einpire.

Farther, these epistles were not written until after some ecclesiastics had begun to have with them what were called subintroduced women; nor till after it had been taken notice of and censured. Upon this subject the late learned Mr. Henry Dodwell has a curious dissertation. Bingham likewise

may

be consulted. And some notice has been already taken of it in this work,m particularly in the history of Paul of Samosata.

There were some unmarried clergymen, who, for the sake of domestic affairs, had women to live with them. Dodwell » says, they were virgins consecrated to God. Bingham says, • They were commonly some of the virgins belonging to • the church, whom they that entertained, pretended only to • love as sisters with a chaste love.' It appears from St. Cyprian, thatP they dwelled together in the same house, and sometimes lodged in the same room, and in the same bed. To the like purpose 9 speaks Jerom. Nevertheless they made solemn declarations of their innocence, and gave such assurances of being unpolluted by carnal commerce, as were satisfactory. So says Mr. Dodwell," upon the authority of a passage of St. Cyprian ; which however still declares the

k Diss. Cypr. iii. De flagitio mulierum cum clericis concumbentium, &c. | Antiquities of the church. B. 6. ch. 2. sect. 13. vol. II. p. 329–332. m Vol. i. chap. xliii. num. viii. " Ubi supr. n. i. ii. • As before, p. 331.

p Legimus literas tuas, frater carissime,- postulans et desiderans, ut tibi rescriberemus, quid nobis de iis virginibus videatur, quæ cum in statu suo esse, et continentiam firmiter tenere decreverant, detectæ sint postea in eodem lecto pariter mansisse cum masculis; ex quibus unum esse Diaconum dicis; plane easdem quæ se cum viris dormísse confessæ sint, asseverare se integras essePrimo igitur in loco,- elaborandum est-nec pati virgines cum masculis habitare, non dico simul dormire, sed nec simul vivere. Cyprian. ep. 4. al. 62.

9 Unde in ecclesias Agapetarum pestis introiit! Unde sine nuptiis aliud nomen uxorum Eadem domo, uno cubiculo, sæpe uno tenentur et lectulo, et suspiciosos nos vocant, si aliquid existimamus. Ad. Eustoch. ep. 18. al. 22. T. IV. p. 33.

"Quid deinde illud --quod cum summo animi nostri gemitu et dolore cognovimus, non deesse qui Dei templa et post confessionem sanctificata et illustrata membra turpi et infami concubitu suo plus maculent, cubilia sua cum feminis promiscua jungentes, quando etsi stuprum conscientiæ eorum desit, hoc ipso grande crimen est, quod illorum scandalo in aliorum ruinas exempla nascuntur. (Cypr. ep. 6. al. 7. al. 13.] Constat itaque, qui ita cum muli. eribus concumberent, carpis tamen integritate servâsse illibatam. Dodwell ubi supra, n. i.

« ZurückWeiter »