Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ST. BARTHOLOMEW, thus Joseph was called Barsabas ; thus Barnabas

constantly so styled, though his right name was That St. Bartholomew was one of the twelve Joses. Or else it may relate to him as a disciple apostles the evangelical history is most express and of some particular sect and institution among the clear, though it seems to take no further notice of Jews; it being a custom for scholars, out of a him than the bare mention of his name. Which great reverence for their masters, or first institudoubtless gave the first occasion to many, both tors of that way, to adopt their names, as enanciently and of later time, not without reason to ezra, Ben-uziel, &c. And this will be much more suppose, that he lies concealed under some other evident if the observation which one makes be name, and that this can be no other than Natha- true, (which yet I will not contend for,) that as nael, one of the first disciples that came to Christ. several sects in the Jewish church denominated Accordingly we may observe, that as St. John theinsolves from some famous person of that nanever mentions Bartholomew in the number tion, the Essenes from Enosh, the Sadducees from of the apostles, so the other evangelists never Sadoc, so there were others that called themselves take notice af Nathanael, probably because the Tholmæans, from Tholmai, scholar to Heber, the same person under two several names; and as in ancient master of the Hebrews, who was of the John, Philip and Nathanael are joined together in race or institution of the Enakim, who flourished their coming to Christ, so in the rest of the evan- in Debir and Hebron, with whom Abraham was gelists, Philip and Bartholomew are constantly confederate, that is, joined himself to their socieput together, without the least variation ; for no ty. And of this order and institution, he tells us, other reason, I conceive, than because they were Nathanael seems to have been, hence called Barjointly called to the discipleship, so they are joint- tholomew, the son or scholar of the Tholomæans; ly referred in the apostolic catalogue; as after- hence said to be “an Israelite indeed," that is, wards we find them joint-companions in the wri- one of the ancient race of the schools and societings of the church. But that which renders the ties of Israel. This, if so, would give us an acthing most specious and probable is, that we find count of his skill and ability in the Jewish law, Nathanael particularly reckoned up with the other wherein he is generally supposed to have been a apostles to whom our Lord appeared at the sea of doctor or teacher. But whichsoever of these two Tiberias after his resurrection; where there were accounts of his denomination shall find most favor together Simon Peter, and Thomas, and Natha- with the reader, either of them will serve my purnael of Cana in Galilee, and the two sons of Ze- pose, and reconcile the difference that seems to be bedee,* and two other of his disciples, who pro- between St. John and the other evangelists about bably were Andrew and Philip. That by disci- his name; the one styling him by his proper name, ples is here meant apostles is evident, partly from the other by his relative and paternal title. To ali ihe names of those that are reckoned up, partly this, if necessary, I might add the consent of learnbecause it is said, that “this was the third time ed men, who have given in their suffrages in this that Jesus appeared to his disciples,” | it being matter, that it is but the same person under several plain that the two foregoing appearances were names. But hints of this may suffice. These ar. made to none but the apostles.

guments, I confess, are not so forcible and con2. Had he been more than an ordinary disci- victive as to command assent; but with all their ple, I think no tolerable reason can be given why, circumstances considered, are sufficient to incline in filling up the vacancy made by the death of and sway any man's belief. The great and indeed Judas, he, being so eminently qualified for the only reason brought against it, is what St. Augusplace, should not have been propounded as well as tine objected of old, that it is not probable that either Barsabas or Matthias, but that he was one our Lord would choose Nathanael, a doctor of the of the twelve already. Nor, indeed, is it reason- law, to be one of his apostles, as designing to conable to suppose that Bartholomew should be his found the wisdom of the world by the preaching proper name, any more than Barjona the propers of the idiot and the unlearned. “But this is no name of Peter, importing no more than his rela- reason to him that considers, that this objection tive capacity, either as a son or a scholar. As a equally lies against St. Philip, for whose skill in son it notes no more than his being “the son of the law and prophets there is as much evidence, Tholmai,” a name not uncommon amongst the in the history of the gospel, as for Nathanael's ; Jews, it being cnstomary among them for the son and much more strongly against St. Paul, than thus to derive his name; so Barjona, Bartimeus, whom (besides his abilities in all human learnthe son of Timeus, &c., and to be usually called ing) there were few greater masters in the Jewish rather by this relative than his own proper name : law.

3. This difficulty being cleared, we proceed to proves how much may be done in apostolic biogra- a more particular account of our apostle. By phy by the diligent accumulation of the incidents some he is thought to have been a Syrian, of a found scattered in the recognized sources of infor- noble extract, and to have derived his pedigree

But the very brevity of the life of Philip, from the Ptolomies of Egypt, upon no other and some others of the apostles, conveys a moral of ground, I believe, than the mere analogy and itself. How tempered ought to be the love and de- sound of the name. It is plain that he, as the rest sire of personal fame, when it is seen, that those who of the apostles, was a Galilean; and of Nathawere made the pillars of the everlasting church of nael we know it is particularly said, that he was God, took so little care to leave any memorial of themselves but that which is found in the name of of Cana in Galilee. The Scripture takes no nothe ministers--the apostles-the sent of Christ !- tice of his trade or way of life, though some cirED.

cumstances might seem to intimate that he was a John xxi. 1, 2

Ibid. v. 14. fisherman, which Theodoret affirms of the aposa 96

(23)

mation.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

tles in general, and another particularly reports of company with St. Philip, instructing that place in our apostle. At his first coming to Christ (sup- the principles of Christianity, and convincing them posing him still the same with Nathanael) he was of the folly of their blind idolatries. Here, by the conducted by Philip, who told him that now they enraged magistrates, he was at the same time with had found the long-looked for Messiah, so oft fore- Philip designed for martyrdom: in order wheretold by Moses and the prophets, “ Jesus of Naza- unto he was fastened upon the cross, with an inreth, the son of Joseph :"* and when he objected, tent to despatch him; but upon a sudden convicthat the Messiah could not be born at Nazareth tion that the Divine justice would revenge their Philip bids him come and satisfy himself. At his death, he was taken down again and dismissed. first approach our Lord entertains him with this Hence, probably, he went into Lycaonia; the people honorable character, that he was an Israelite in- whereof Chrysostom assures us, he instructed and deed, a man of true simplicity and integrity; as trained up in the Christian discipline. His last indeed his simplicity particularly appears in this, remove was to Albanople, in Armenia the Great, that when told of Jesus he did not object against the same no doubt which Nicephorus calls Urbathe meanness of his original, the low condition of nople, a city of Cilicia,) a piace miserably overhis parents, the narrowness of their fortunes, but grown with idolatry; from which, while he sought only against the place of his birth, which could to reclaim the people, he was, by the governor of not be Nazareth ; the prophets having perempto- the place, commanded to be crucified; which he rily foretold, that the Messiah should be born at cheerfully underwent, comforting and confirming Bethlehem. By this, therefore, he appeared to be the convert Gentiles to the last minute of his lifc. a true Israelite; one that "waited for redemption Some add, that he was crucified with his head in Israel;" which from the date of the Scripture downwards ; others that he was flayed, and his predictions, he was assured did now draw nigh. skin first taken off, which might consist well enough Surprised he was at our Lord's salutation, won- with his crucifixion, excoriation being a punishdering how he should know him so well at first ment in use, not only in Egypt, but amongst the sight, whose face he had never seen before. But Persians, next neighbors to these Armenians, (as he was answered, that he had seen him while he Ammianus Marcellinus assures us; and Plutarch was yet under the fig-tree, before Philip called records a particular instance of Mesabates, the Perhim. Convinced with this instance of our Lord's sian eunuch, first flayed alive, and then crucified) divinity, he presently made his confession, that from whom they might easily borrow this piece of now he was sure that Jesus was the promised barbarous and inhuman cruelty. Respecting the Messiah, the Son of God, whom he had appointed several stages to which his body was removed after to be the king and governor of his church. Our his death; first to Daras, a city in the borders of Saviour told him, that if upon this inducement he Persia, then to Liparis, one of the Æolian islands ; could believe him to be the Messiah, he should thence to Beneventum, in Italy, and last of all to have far greater arguments to confirm his faith; Rome; they that are fond of those things, and have yea, that ere long he should behold the heavens better leisure, may inquire. Heretics persecuted opened to receive him, and the angels visibly ap- his memory after his death, no less than heathens pearing to wait and attend upon him.

did his person while alive, by forging and father4. Concerning our apostle's travels up and down ing a fabulous gospel upon his name; which, tothe world, to propagate the Christian faith, we gether with others of like stamp, Gelasius, bishop shall present the reader with a brief account, of Rome, justly branded as apocryphal, altogether though we cannot warrant the exact order of unworthy the name and patronage of an apostle. them. That he went as far as India is owned by And perhaps of no better authority is the sentence all, which surely is meant of the hither India, or which Dionysius, the pretended Areopagite, rethe part of it lying next to Asia. Socrates tells records of our apostle, και πολλην θεολογιας ειναι, και us, it was the India bordering upon Ethiopia, ελαχισης. Και το ευαγγελιoν πλατυ και μεγα, και αυθις meaning no doubt the Asian Æthiopia ; (whereof ouvrstumuevov, “ that theology is both copious, and we shall speak in the life of St Thomas ;) Sophro- yet very small; and the gospel diffuse and large, nius calls it the fortunate India ; and tells us that and yet withal concise and short,” which he, achere he left behind him St. Matthew's gospel, cording to his vein, expounds concerning the whereof Eusebius gives a more particular relation: boundless benignity, but withal incomprehensiblethat when Pantænus, a man famous for his skill in ness of the divine nature, which is Bpaxvàextos Qua philosophy, and especially the institutions of the sau aloyos, quickly despatched, because ineffable, Stoics, but much more for his hearty affection to and is not without the veil discoverable to any, Christianity, in a devout and zealous imitation of but those that have got above, not only all sense the apostles, was inflamed with a desire to pro- and matter, but of all sense and understanding ; pagate the Christian religion upon the eastern that is, to the very height of mystical and unincountries; he came as far as India itself. Here, telligible religion. amongst some that yet retained the knowledge of Christ, he found St. Matthew's gospel written in Hebrew, left here (as the tradition was) by St. Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, when he

ST. MATTHEW. preached the gospel to these nations.

5. After his labors in these parts of the world, St. MATTHEW, called also Levi, was, though a he returned to the more western and northern parts Roman officer, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, (both of Asia. At Hierapolis, in Phrygia, we find him in his names speaking him purely of Jewish extract

and original,) and probably a Galilean, and whom John i. 45.

I should have concluded born at or near Caper

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

naum; but that the Arabic writer of his life tells they rigorously exacted these things of their breus, he was born at Nazareth, a city in the tribe of thren, and thereby seemed to conspire with the RoZebulun, famous for the habitation of Joseph and mans to entail perpetual slavery upon their own Mary, but especially for the education and resi- nation. For, though Tertullian thought that none dence of our blessed Saviour : who, though born but Gentiles were employed in this sordid office, at Bethlehem, was both conceived and bred up yet the contrary is too evident to need any arguhere, where he lived the whole time of his private ment to prove it. life, whence he derived the title of Jesus of Naza. 2. By these means publicans became so univerreth. St. Matthew was the son of Alpheus and sally abhorred by the Jewish nation, that it was Mary, sister or kinswoman to the blessed virgin : accounted unlawful to do them any office of comin the same Arabic author his father is called mon kindness and courtesy ; nay, they held it no Ducu, and his mother Karutias, both originally sin to cozen and overreach a publican, and that descended of the tribe of Issachar; nothing being with the solemnity of an oath; they might not eat more common among the Jews, than for the same or drink, walk or travel with them; they were person to have several names; these latter proba. looked upon as common thieves and robbers ; and bly expressed in Arabic, according to their Jewish money received of them might not be put to the signification. His trade or way of life was that of rest of a man's estate, it being presumed to have a publican, or toll-gatherer, to the Romans; (which been gained by rapine and violence; they were probably had been his father's trade; his name not admitted as persons fit to give testimony and denoting a broker, or money-changer,) an office of evidence in any cause : so infamous were they, as bad report among the Jews. Indeed, among the not only to be banished all communion in the matRomans, it was accounted a place of power and ters of divine worship, but to be shunned in all credit, and honorable reputation, not ordinarily affairs of civil society and commerce, as the pests conferred upon any but Roman knights; insomuch, of their country, persons of an infectious converse, that T. FI. Sabinus, father to the Emperor Ves of as vile a class as heathens themselves. Hence pasian, was the publican of the Asian provinces, the common proverb among them: “ Take not a an office which he discharged so much to the con- wife out of that family wherein there is a publican, tent and satisfaction of the people, that they erect for they are all publicans ;" that is, thieves, robed statues to him with this inscription : Kaang bers, and wicked sinners. To this proverbial TEALNHEANTI, “To him that has well managed usage our Lord alludes, when speaking of a conthe publican-office." These officers being sent tumacious sinner, whom neither private reproofs, into the provinces to gather the tributes, were nor the public censures and admonitions of the wont to employ the natives under them, as per- church can prevail upon: “Let him be unto thee" sons best skilled in the affairs and customs of their (says he) “ as an heathen and a publican;"* as own country: Two things especially concurred elsewhere, publicans and sinners are yoked toto render this office odious to the Jews. First, gether, as persons of equal esteem and reputation. that the persons that managed it were usually Of this trade and office was our St. Matthew; and covetous and great exactors; for having them- it seems more particularly to have consisted in selves farmed the customs of the Romans, they gathering the customs of commodities that came must gripe and scrape by all methods of extortion, by the sea of Galilee, and the tribute which pasthat they might be able both to pay their rent, and sengers were to pay that went by water; a thing to raise gain and advantago to themselves: which frequently mentioned in the Jewish writings; doubtless Zacchæus, the chief of these farmers, where we are also told of the ticket, consisting of was sensible of, when, after his conversion, he two greater letters written in paper or some such offered four-fold restitution to any man from whom matter, called the ticket or signature of the publihe had taken any thing by fraud and evil arts.* cans, which the passenger had with him to certify And upon this account they became infamous even them on the other side the water, that he had among the Gentiles themselves, who commonly already paid the toll or custom: upon which acspeak of them as cheats, and thieves, and public count, the Hebrew gospel of St. Matthew, pubrobbers, and worse members of a community, more lished by Munster, renders publican “the Lord of voracious and destructive in a city than wild beasts the passage.” For this purpose they kept their in the forest. The other thing that made the office or custom-house by the sea-side, that they Jews so much detest them was, that this tribute might be always near at hand; and here it was was not only a grievance to their purses, but an (as St. Mark intimates) that Matthew had his affront to the liberty and freedom of their nation; toll-booth, where "he sat at the receipt of custom." for they looked upon themselves as a free-born 3. Our Lord having lately cured a famous parapeople, and that they had been immediately invest- lytic, retired out of Capernaum, to walk by the ed in this privilege by God himself, and accord sea-side, where he taught the people that flockingly beheld this as a daily and standing instance ed after him. Here he espied Matthew, sitting in of their slavery; which of all other things they his custom-office, whom he called to come and fol. could least endure, and which therefore betrayed low him : the man was rich, had a wealthy and them into so many unfortunate rebellions against gainful trade, was a wise and prudent person, (no the Romans. Add to this, that these publicans fools being put into that office,) and understood, no were not only obliged, by the necessity of their doubt, what it would cost him to comply with this trade, to have frequent dealings and converse with new employment; that he must exchange wealth the Gentiles, (which the Jews held unlawful and for poverty, a custom-house for a prison, gainful abominable,) but that, being Jews themselves,

* Matth. xviii. 17. * Luke xix, 8

† Matth. ix. 9; Mark ii. 13, 14; Luke v. 27–29.

masters for a naked and despised Saviour. But tuting Plato, one of his followers, bishop of Myrhe overlooked all these considerations, left all his mena; of Christ's appearing to him in the form of interests and relations, to become our Lord's disci- a beautiful youth, and giving him a vand, which ple, and to embrace (as Chrysostom observes,) a on his pitching it into the ground, immediately more spiritual way of commerce and traffic. We grew up into a tree; of his strangely converting cannot suppose that he was before wholly unac- the prince of that country, of his numerous miraquainted with our Saviour's person or doctrine, cles, peaceable death, and sumptuous funerals, with especially living at Capernaum, the place of abundance more of the same stamp and coin, they Christ's usual residence, where his sermons and are justly to be reckoned amongst those fabulous miracles were so frequent; by which he could not reports that have no pillar or ground either of but in some measure be prepared to receive the truth or probability to support them. Most proba. impressions which our Saviour's call now made ble it is (what an ancient writer affirms) that he upon him. And to show that he was not discon- suffered martyrdom at Naddaber, a city of Æthitented at his change nor apprehended himself a opia, but by what kind of death is altogether unloser by this bargain, he entertained our Lord and certain. Whether this Naddaber be the same his disciples at a great dinner in his house, whither with Beschberi, where the Arabic writer of his life he invited his friends, especially those of his own affirms him to have suffered martyrdom, let others profession, piously hoping that they also might be inquire: he also adds, that he was buried at Arcaught by our Saviour's converse and company. thaganetu Cæsarea, but where that is, is to me unThe Pharisees, whose eye was constantly evil known. Dorotheus makes him honorably buried where another man's was good, and who would at Hierapolis in Parthia, one of the first places to either find or make occasions to snarl at him, be- which he preached the gospel. gan to suggest to his disciples, that it was unbe 5. He was a great instance of the power of recoming so pure and holy a person as their master ligion, how much a man may be brought off to a pretended himself to be, thus familiarly to converse better temper. If we reflect upon his circumwith the worst of men, publicans and sinners, per- stances, while yet a stranger to Christ, we shallind sons infamous to a proverb. But he presently re- that the world had very great advantages upon plied to them, that they were the sick that needed him. He was become a master of a plentiful the physician, not the sound and healthy; that his estate, engaged in a rich and a gainful trade, supcompany was most suitable where the necessities ported by the power and favor of the Romans, of souls did most require it; that God himself pre- prompted by covetous inclinations, and these conferred acts of mercy and charity, especially in re-firmed by long habits and customs. And yet notclaiming sinners, and doing good to souls, infinitely withstanding all this, no sooner did Christ call, before all ritual observances, and the nice rules of but without the least scruple or dissatisfaction, he persons conversing with one another; and that Alung up all at once; and not only renounced (as the main design of his coming into the world was St. Basil observes) his gainful incomes, but ran an not to bring the righteous, or those who, like them- immediate hazard of the displeasure of his masters selves, proudly conceited themselves to be so, and that employed him, for quitting their service, and in a vain opinion of their own strictness, loftily leaving his accounts entangled and confused bescorned all mankind besides ; but sinners, modest, hind him. Had our Saviour been a mighty prince, humble, self-convinced offenders, to repentance, it had been no wonder that he should run over to and to reduce them to a better state and course of his service ; but when he appeared under all the life.

circumstances of meanness and disgrace, when he 4. After his election to the apostolate, he con- seemed to promise his followers nothing but misery tinued with the rest till our Lord's ascension; and and suffering in this life, and to propound no other then, for the first eight years at least, preached up rewards but the invisible encouragements of anoand down Judæa. "After which, being to betake ther world; his change in this case was the more himself to the conversion of the Gentile world, he strange and admirable. Indeed so admirable, that was entreated by the convert Jews to commit to Porphyry and Julian (two subtle and acute adverwriting the history of our Saviour's life and actions, saries of the Christian religion) hence took occaand to leave it among them as the standing record sion to charge him either with falsehood or with of what he had preached to them; which he did folly ; either that he gave not a true account of the accordingly, and so composed his gospel, whereof thing, or that it was very weakly done of him, so more in due place. Little certainty can be had as hastily to follow any one that called him. But to what travels he underwent for the advancement the holy Jesus was no conmon person ; in all his of the Christian faith, so irrecoverably is truth lost commands there was somewhat more than ordiin a crowd of legendary stories. Æthiopia is ge- nary. Indeed St. Jerome conceives, that besides nerally assigned as the province of his apostolical the divinity that manifested itself in his miracles, ministry. Metaphrastes tells us, that he went first there was a divine brightness, and a kind of mainto Parthia, and having successfully planted Chris- jesty in our Saviour's looks, that at first sight was tianity in those parts, thence travelled into Æthi- attractive enough to draw persons after him. Howopia, that is, the Asiatic Æthiopia, lying near to In- ever his miraculous powers, that reflected a lustre dia : where, by preaching and miracles, he mightily from every quarter, and the efficacy of his doctrine triumphed over errors and idolatry, convinced and accompanied with the grace of God, made way converted multitudes, ordained spiritual guides and for the summons that was sent our apostle, and pastors to confirm and build them up, and bring enabled him to conquer all oppositions that stood over others to the faith, and then finished his own in the way to hinder him. course. As for what is related by Nicephorus, of 6. His contempt of the world further appeared his going into the country of the cannibals, consti- in his exemplary temperance and abstcmiousness

from all the delights and pleasures, yea, the ordi- | butes the translation to St. James the Less. The nery conveniences and accommodations of it; so best is, it matters not much whether it was transfar from indulging his appetite with nice and deli- lated by an apostle or some disciple, so long as cate curiosities, that he refused to gratify it with the apostles approved the version, and that the lawful and ordinary provisions, eating no flesh; his church has ever received the Greek copy for auusual diet being nothing but herbs, roots, seeds, thentic, and reposed it in the sacred canon. And and berries. But what appeared most remarkable therefore, when the late Arian advocate brings in him, and which, though the least virtue in itself, in one of his party, challenging the divine auis the greatest in a wise man's esteem and value, thority of this gospel, because but a translation, was his humility ; mean and modest in his own he might have remembered it is such a translation conceit, in honor preferring others before himself. as has all the advantages of an original; as being Whereas the other evangelists in describing the translated while the apostles were yet in being to apostles by pairs, constantly place him before supervise and ratify it, and whose authority has Thomas, he modestly places him before himself. always been held 'sacred and inviolable by the The rest of the evangelists openly mention the whole church of God. But the plain truth of the honor of his apostleship, but speak of his former case is, St. Matthew is a back-friend to the antisordid, dishonest, and disgraceful course of life only trinitarian cause, as recording that express comunder the name of Levi, while he himself sets it mand, “Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the down, with all its circumstances, under his own name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the proper and common name. Which as at once it Holy Ghost.” Which words must needs be suppocommends his own candor and ingenuity, so it sititious, and added by some ignorant hand, for no administers to us this not unuseful consideration, other reason but because they make against them. that the greatest sinners are not excluded the Nay, the whole gospel we see must be discarded, lines of divine grace; nor can any, if penitent, rather than stand in the way of a dear and beloved have just reason to despair, when publicans and opinion. sinners are taken in. And as St. Matthew himself does freely and impartially record his own vile 8. After the Greek translation was entertained, and dishonorable course of life; so the two other the Hebrew copy was chiefly owned and used by evangelists, though setting down the story, take the Nazaræi, a middle sect of men between Jews notice of him only under another name; to teach and Christians : with the Christians they believed us to treat a penitent brother with all modesty and in Christ, and embraced his religion ; with the tenderness. "If a man repent” (say the Jews) Jews they adhered to the rites and ceremonies of " let no man say to him, Remember thy former the Mosaic law; and hence this gospel came to works ;” which they explain not only concerning be styled “the Gospel according to the Hebrews," Israelites, but even strangers and proselytes. It and the Gospel of the Nazarenes.” By them it being against the rules of civility, as well as the was, by degrees, interpolated; several passages laws of religion, when a man hath repented, to of the evangelical history, which they had heard | upbraid and reproach him with the errors and fol- either from the apostles or those who had families of his past life.

liarly conversed with them, being inserted, which

the ancient fathers frequently refer to in their 7. The last thing that calls for any remarks in writings ; as by the Ebionites it was mutilated, the life of this apostle is his gospel, written at the and many things cut off

, for the same reason for entreaty of the Jewish converts ; and as Epipha- which the followers of Cerinthus, though making nius tells us, at the command of the apostles, while use of the greatest part of it, rejected the rest, he was yet in Palestine, about eight years after because it made so much against them. This the death of Christ : though Nicephorus will have Hebrew copy (though whether exactly the same it to have been written fifteen years after our as it was written by St. Matthew, I will not say) 'Lord's ascension ; and Irenæus yet much wider, was found, among other books, in the treasury of who seems to imply that it was written while the Jews at Tiberias, by Joseph a Jew, and after Peter and Paul preached at Rome, which was his conversion, a man of great honor and esteem not, according to the common account, till near in the time of Constantine : another, St. Jerome thirty years after. But most plain it is, that it assures us, was kept in the library at Cæsarea in must be written before the dispersion of the apos- his time; and another by the Nazarenes at Boisles, seeing St. Bartholomew (as we have noted ræa, from whom he had the liberty to transcribe

in his life) took it along with him into India, and it, and which he afterwards translated both into eft it there. He wrote it in Hebrew, as primarily Greek and Latin ; with this particular observadesigning it for the use of his countrymen ; and tion, that in quoting the text of the Old Testament, strange it is, that any should question its being the evangelist immediately follows the Hebrew, originally written in that language, when the without taking notice of the translation of the thing is so universally and uncontrolably asserted Septuagint. A copy also of this gospel was, anno by all antiquity, not one that I know of, after the 485, dug up and found in the grave of Barnabas strictest inquiry I could make, dissenting in this in Cyprus, transcribed with his own hand. But matter, and who certainly had far greater oppor- these copies are long since perished ; and for -tunities of being satisfied in these things, than we those that have been since published to the world, ican have at so great a distance. It was no doubt both by Tile and Munster, were there no other soon after translated into Greek, though by whom argument, they too openly betray themselves, St. Jerome professes he could not tell; Theophy- by their barbarous and improper style, not to act says it was reported to have been done by be the genuine issue of that less corrupt and betSt. John; but Athanasius more expressly attri- I ter age.

« AnteriorContinuar »