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to the Corinthians says: 'You were subject to your rulers, 'giving becoming respect to elders. Young men you taught • to be modest. The women you exhorted to do all things
unblamably-loving their husbands, as is fit,-and man: aging the affairs of the house with propriety and modesty.' And in the 21st chapter: • Let us respect our rulers, and • honour the elders; young men lct us instruct in the disci• pline and fear of God; our wives let us direct to that • which is good, that they may show forth the agreeable • behaviour of chastity And let our children be bred
up • in the discipline of Christ.' So Clement. Whether he was married, or single, I know not. But this apostolical man, to render his exhortations more forcible, joins bimself with men in the marriage-state. Nothing of this kind is to be found in the writer of these two epistles. He scorns to touch upon these points. The virtues of the marriage-state are below his regard.
He differs likewise from St. Cyprian, who? in treating on this subject, adviseth rather that these virgins should marry, if they are not able to persevere in the purpose of purity.
He differs also from St. Chrysostom, who in the second of his orations before mentioned, says to those virgins: 'Ifm 'you desire to have men to cohabit with you, you should
not have chosen virginity, but should bave married; for it • would be better to marry, than to act thus in a state of virginity. God does not condemn marriage, nor do men disparage it. For it is honourable, offending none, injuring none. But virginity, in the company of men, is worse and • more offensive to all, than fornication itself.' Afterwards in the same oration he says, it would be better for these ' virgins to marry twice, than to act as they did, and be the • occasion of so much scandal.' I refer to some other like places in these bomilies of Chrysostom. But nothing of ibis kind appears in these epistles.
He who should read what thisP writer says in praise of virginity; how glorious, and how arduous it is, the great
| Quodsi ex fide se Christo dicaverunt, pudicæ et castæ sine ullâ fabulâ perseverent, et ita fortes et stabiles præmium virginitatis exspectent. Si autem perseverare nolunt, vel non possunt, melius est ut nubant, quam in ignem delictis suis cadant. Certe nullum fratribus et sororibus scandalum faciant. Cypr. ad Pompon. ep. 4. al. 62.
ΠΗ Ει γαρ ανδρας επιθυμεις εχειν συνοικeντας, Bκ εδει παρθενιαν ελεσθαι, αλλ' επι τον γαμον ελθειν πολλω γαρ βελτιον γαμειν εκεινως, η παρθενευειν ετως. k. d. Ubi supra. p. 253. E. 254. A.
η Πολλώ γαρ βελτιον ένι, και δευτερο συναπτεσθαι γαμιο, η τοιαυτα ασχημονειν. κ. λ. Ιb. p. 265. D.
Vid. p. 234. D. 236. D. E. p Vid. ep. i. cap. 3–8.
examples by which it is encouraged, and what peculiar rewards it is entitled to; must, I apprehend, think it strange, that for preventing ill consequences, and that men might not be led into a snare, he did not reckon himself obliged to add something concerning the lawfulness and purity of marriage, and the expediency of it for inost men; which are so often intimated, and expressly asserted in the New Testament, and may be easily discerned by the reason, and observation, and experience of mankind.
It is very likely, that before this practice obtained, the marriage of the clergy lay under some restraints. They who doubt of it, may read the notes of Gothofred upon a Jaw of Honorius and Theodosius the younger, relating to this very matter. I transcribe from bim a few lines only! below. The marriage of the clergy was not forbidden by any canon of the church, or law of the state. But it lay under discouragements, and was restrained by the prevailing opinion of men. Celibacy was more reputable; and many clergymen coveted the honour of it, who found it burdensome. And virginity likewise being much applauded, many women were induced to make a profession of it; who afterwards knew not how to perform their engagements, nor to get rid of them. Gradually the celibacy of the clergy, and virginity of women, grew more and more in vogue. And the high notions wbich the writer of these epistles has of virginity, without saying any thing in favour of marriage, make me think, that he did not write soon, but rather not till a good while after the rise of the practice of which we have been speaking. IV. THE AUTHOR ANONYMOUS.
Who the author was, cannot be determined. Probably be was a bishop. It was most becoming a man in tbat high station, to write letters with exhortations to christian people, especially to such as made profession of celibacy and virginity. Moreover it may be argued from the authoritative manner in which the second epistle concludes.
I do by no means charge the writer with imposture; I do not believe he had the least thought of such a thing. It should be observed, that there is not at the beginnings or endings of these epistles any distinguishing inscription.
9 Extraneas, inquam, mulieres vetantur clerici sibi adsciscere. Nempe ex quo cælibatûs clericalis mos paulatim inolescere cæpit, atque hac etiam ratione clerici probabilem seculo disciplinam agere, seque seculo de cælibatûs seu continentiæ voto commendare instituerunt, clam tamen atque aliâ ratione voluptates suas explere alicubi rerum experimentis visi sunt, ipuøy TopVevovTES, &c. In Cod. Theod. lib. 16. cap. 2. I. 44. VOL, X.
There is no name of the writer, nor any hint of his character and station. Nor is there any intimation of the city or country where they lived, to wbom the epistles are addressed. There is only a title prefixed to these epistles, to this purpose: the first, or the second, epistle of the blessed Clement, disciple of the apostle Peter. And at the end is that common phrase- Here ends the first, or the second, epistle of • Clement disciple of Peter. These titles, or inscriptions, as I imagine, were placed there by some late editor, who did not know who was the writer of the epistles. It might be done by him ignorantly, or designedly; which of the two, we cannot determine. He might, I say, herein act honestly. Possibly he really supposed them to be the epistles of Clement; though, if he did, he was much mistaken. Or he might do it designedly, with a view to procure the more regard for the epistles, which he was puhlishing
As there is nothing in the epistles to distinguish the author, or the people, to whom he wrote, I have suspected, that he was anonymous, and that he designed to be so. When he formed the intention to write upon this subject, he determined to conceal bimself. He hoped, that his exhortations might in that way have the greater effect. Having thus fixed his resolution, he wrote in the form of epistles upon the subject, which at that time was much discoursed of, and addressed himself to those who were chiefly concerned, sending them admonitions and directions according to the best of his judgment. However, this is only conjecture. For when these epistles were first published, the writer might be well known, though afterwards his name and character were forgotten.
V. IMPORTANCE OF THESE Epistles. From the extracts, placed at the beginning of this Dissertation, we learn, that the epistle to the Hebrews was received by the writer of these epistles. And from the numerous quotations out of the Old and the New Testament, we perceive the great regard which christians had for the sacred scriptures. Of which we have seen many proofs in the collections that have been made from the ancient writers of the church.
We likewise discern, that at the time of writing these epistles virginity was in great esteem.
But if a true account has been now given of the time and occasion of these epistles, we cannot from them learn the date of
of the books of the New Testament. Mr. WetPorro epistola prior beati Clementis, discipuli Petri apostoli. Explicit epistola secunda Clementis, discipuli Petri.
stein, supposing, that these epistles were written by Clement of Rome, thinks, that from the quotations here made of St. John's gospel, it may be proved, that St. John wrote earlier than many have imagined, or about the thirty-second year after our Lord's ascension. I do not now concern myself about the time of publishing St. John's gospel. But if these epistles were not written before the middle of the third century, no argument for the early age of that gospel can be drawn from the quotations of it by this writer. And though the writer were Clement, Mr. Wetstein's argument would not be conclusive, because the exact time of Clement's episcopate is not certainly known. At least there are different opinions about it; some placing it in the year of Christ 61, and onwards, others in 69, or 70. And others say, he was not bishop before the year 91, or 93. Many years ago, when I made my extracts out of Clement's epistle to the Corinthians, written in the name of the church of Rome, it seemed to me most probable, that it" was written about the year 96. And the late learned Dr. Waterland, whose good judgment in such things is allowed, readily declared his acquiescence in the reasons there alleged. These epistles therefore might be Clement's, and yet not written much before the end of the first century. Consequently, the quotations therein made of St. John's gospel will not prove it to have been written before the year of our Lord 70.
VI. Conclusion. I have now made a fair examination of these two epistles. I hope I have given no offence to Mr. Wetstein, or his friends. That learned man knows very well, that the pretensions of writings, which bear the names of eminent ancients, ought to be carefully weighed, before they are admitted. And I persuade myself, that, upon farther consideration, Mr. Wetstein will be convinced he has too hastily published these epistles as Clement's bishop of Rome. And I am apt to think, that he and other learned men will discern in them more marks of a later age, than have been taken notice of by me.
When tidings were first brought hither, that Mr. Wetstein had received two new epistles of Clement out of the East, several of my friends and readers signified their desire, that when they should be published, I would observe the
· Hinc etiam consequitur, Evangelium Joannis non ab eo jam decrepito et fere centenario, et post mortem Clementis, sed diu antea esse editum, adeoque inscriptionem codicum Græcorum, qui illud Evangelium anno 32 post ascensionem Christi ---scriptum fuisse testantur, ad verum propius accedere. Proleg. p. ix. u See Vol. ii. p. 34.
See Dr. Waterland's Review of the Doctrine of the Eucharist, p. 33. Cambridge, 1737.
testimony therein afforded to the books of the New Testa
Which service I have now performed, according to my ability. They supposed it to be a necessary part of the work, in which I have been Jong employed. Which is not barely a bibliotheque of ecclesiastical authors, or memoirs of ecclesiastical history, but was begun, and has been carried on, with a view of showing the truth of the christian religion, particularly, the truth and credibility of the evangelical history, and the antiquity, genuineness, and authority of the books of the New Testament, the original records of the doctrine and miracles of our Saviour and his apostles, And all along great care has been taken to distinguish genuine and supposititious writings. Which I now reflect upon with much satisfaction. In this method, witnesses, when produced, appear in their true time and character. And every one is able to judge of the value of their testimony.