Page images

were out of necessity. Matthew first, who had been a publican, and had preached the saving word to the Jews, when he was about to go abroad among Gentiles, thought it best to write in his native language an account of his preaching, to supply the want of his presence : which he did at about fifteen years after our Saviour's ascension. Long after this, Mark and Luke published their gospels, at the command for by the direction) of Peter and Paul. John, who had hitherto preached by word of mouth only, wrote the last of all, about six and thirty years after the Lord's ascension to heaven.' [Then he gives an account of the other three gospels having been brought to John, and the reasons which induced John to write another gospel after them.] • Theses are the genuine gospels of the apostles, delivered to us from the beginning, and acknowledged by the whole church to be of unquestioned authority. The same Luke also composed the book of the Acts of the Apostles, and, as is said, at the command of Paul.-The divine James, the Lord's brother, composed one of the catholic epistles, which is sent to the twelve tribes. Peter published two epistles, and the excellent John three : Jude, brother of James, and perhaps of the Lord likewise, one. These h seven epistles the church has long received as genuine, and readily placeth them among the rightful books of the New Testament. To these are to be added the fourteen epistles of the divine Paul. Lastly, we know the Revelation of John also to bave been delivered to the church. All other are spurious and falsely inscribed ;' that is, all other, which bear the names of apostles, and thereby make a claim to be a part of sacred scripture.

4. In the next chapter, which is the concluding chapter of that book, he observes, and chiefly as from Eusebius of Cæsarea, that some of the ancients had rejected or doubted of divers of the fore-mentioned books. The four gospels were received by all, as also the book of the Acts. Thek writings, about wbich there were doubts, are these : the epistle of James the Lord's brother, which is the first of

Xpovy de molly vsepov. Ib. p. 213. C. 8 Ταυτα γνησια των αποσολων ευαγγελια, και ανεκωθεν παραδεδομενα, και αναμφηρικα παρα πασης εκκλησιας γινωσκεται. ο δ' αυτος Λακας και το των anosohikwv IIpațEwv BYLALOV OUVTATTEL, ús paoi, Havas kelevo avtoc. Ibid. p. 215. C.

bác i7a 87ac, wc Yv|suac εκκλησια προσιεται ανωθεν, και εν τοις οικειοις των της νεας διαθηκης βιβλιων sykpivel is ualisa. p. 215. D.

Yτατον δε και την τε Ιωαννα Αποκαλυψιν επισαμεθα παραδεδομενην τη EKKAnoia. Ta de mapa Tavra vola te kau napeyypanta. Ib. p. 216. A.

* Ev augeßolos o noav, k. X. L. ii. c. 46. p. 216. B.

the catholic epistles ; and the seventh, which is the epistle of Jude his brother; and the second epistle of Peter. About receiving these, some of the ancients besitated. Of the three epistles of John one only was received without contradiction; the other two were ascribed by some to another John, an elder, who lived at Ephesus after John. And some have supposed, that the Revelation also was written by the same John. All the epistles of Paul have been unquestioned, except that to the Hebrews. But? though there were for a while doubts about these, we know that at length they have been received by all the churches under heaven with a firm assent; and they are esteemed as the inviolable principles and elements of our religion. It is fit also that we should know what are the other writings, which are spurious and falsely inscribed : which he mentions so agreeably to Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, already transcribed into this work, that there is no necessity to take at length what follows.

5. What we learn from this writer of the fourteenth century is, that all the books of the New Testament, which are now received by us, were generally received then. We have also the satisfaction to find, that there were then no other books whatever, of authority, beside these ; which were esteemed the inviolable principles and elements of our religion ;' or the rule of christian belief and practice; or, as lie called them before, and again m likewise, “ the books in the Testament,' a word equivalent to canonical, as was formerly observed by us. Moreover, it affords reason to believe, that there never were any other writings received or quoted by christians, as of authority, beside these; whicho he also calls genuine scriptures of the church : for this studious monk represents here the sentiments of former times, as well as of his own. The genuineness of some of these had been doubted of; but there never were any others of authority beside them.

6. This article of Nicephorus, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, subjoined to all the rest, may serve for a conclusion of this book, as containing a summary account

1 Ταυτα μεν ει και αμφιβολα τοις προτερον εδοξαν, αλλ' εν άπασαις ες ύσερον ταις υπ' αρανον εκκλησιαις το αντιρρητον εσχηκοτα εγνωκαμεν και ως αρχαι kai socxela rus kad juaç evoeßelaç awwru dlapevari, K. 1. Ib. p. 217. B. C.

η – και τας αλλας αντιλεχθεισας μεν, χρονο δε πλεισω βεβαιωθεισας, και mapa maçı Taiç evờaOncaug karaleyaldas. Ibid. p. 218. A. n Vol. iv. p. 141.

° - av TuvTAG TE Eldevat exojev, oral yunolai TNS Ekranoias ypapal. Ibid.

of what has been said, and representing what was to be proved; which, I hope, we have proved, and may reasonably put down bere, Q. E. D.


Containing an account of the Ecclesiastical Histories of

i Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret.

1. OBSERVING, upon a review, that I have hitherto given no distinct account of the ecclesiastical historians, Socrates and Sozomen, though they have been quoted several times, I shall do it now briefly ; referring also to a some learned moderns, who may be consulted by those who have leisure.

Both those writers and Theodoret are continuators of Eusebius of Cæsarea : all three flourished in the time of Theodosius the younger, whose reign commenced in 408, and ended in 450; and their histories were all published near the end of that reign. They are very valuable monuments of antiquity; but there are in them many stories of miracles, not well attested, and improbable in their circumstances.

Valesius and many other learned men have supposed that these three historians wrote one after another, first Socrates, then Sozomen, and lastly Theodoret, and that the latter borrowed from the other, and aimed to supply what had been omitted : but to me the opinion of Pagi appears more probable; which is, thatb they all set about their works

• Cav. Hist. Lit. Fabr. Bib. Gr. I. v. cap. 4. T. vi. p. 117–129. H. Vales. de Vit. et Scriptis Socrat. Sozom. et Theodoret. Pagi ann. 427. n. xv. xvi. 429. n. ix. x. xi. Basnag. ann. 439. n. v. 440. n. vii. 430. n. vi. Du Pin, Bib. T. iii. P. ii. Tillem. M. E. T. 15. Theodoret. J. Le Clerc, Bib. A. et. M. T. xvi. p. 103–156.

b Socrates, Sozomenus, et Theodoretus, uno eodemque tempore rerum ecclesiasticarum historiam scribere aggressi sunt; idem omnes scribendi principium sumsere, eundemque fere finem historiæ suæ imposuere, ab iis temporibus exorsi, quibus Eusebius historiam suam terminaverat. Pagi Critic. in Baron. ann. 427. n. xv.

-Verum Theodoretus de Socratis et Sozomeni historia supplendâ non cogitavit. Sed, cum utroque longe doctior esset, et in Oriente versaretur, in quæ uterque incidit, vitavit : et quia res in Oriente, quam quæ in urbe regiâ gestæ, melius callebat, ideo in illis quam istis fusior et diligentior est. Contra vero Socrates et Sozomenus easdem leviter attigere. Quare non dubito, quin

[ocr errors][merged small]

severally about the same time, and all published at no great distance of time from each other, near the end of the reign of Theodosius, as before said.

II. Socrates was born and educated < at Constantinople : be studied d under the grammarians Helladius and Ammonius, both heathens, who, when their temples were destroyed at Alexandria, in 391, left that city, and came to reside at Constantinople. For a while Socrates pleaded causes : afterwards, leaving the bar, he set about writing his Ecclesiastical History, whicho comprehends, in seven books, the space of about a hundred and three and thirty years, from the year 306, when Constantine was declared emperor, to the seventeenth consulship of Theodosius, or the year of Christ 439; and he is spoken of by Cave as flourishing in that year.

Socrates is particularly esteemed' for his judicious observations upon men and tbings. Every reader of this work is able to form some notion of his judgment, by recollecting the passages that have been alleged from him upon divers occasions; wherein be shows hiinself to have been a man of great moderation, and an enemy to persecution, which also he defines in this manner : he is speaking of Julian : he says, ' that h emperor avoided the excessive cruelty that was • practised in the times of Dioclesian : nevertheless he per• secuted; for that I call persecution, when any disturbance • is given to men that live peaceably and quietly. The

tres isti scriptores, qui omnes sibi idem argumentum proposuere, non solum sub extremis Theodosii Junioris temporibus, quod de Socrate et Sozomeno infra videbitur, sed etiam eodem tempore historias suas ecclesiasticas in lucem emiserint.--Ita non audiendus Valesius in eo quod autumat, ex tribus historiæ ecclesiasticæ scriptoribus alterum alterius scrinia compilâsse, et ex illis eum, qui alteri aliquid addidit, aut alterum interdum emendavit, hunc posteriorem videri scripsisse. Id. ib. n. xvi. • Socrat. I. v. cap. 24.

a Ibid. cap. 16. e Vid. lib. vii. cap. ult.

* Tandem vero abjectâ causidicinâ, ad scribendam ecclesiasticam historiam se contulit. Quâ in re et judicio et diligentiâ usus est singulari. Ac judicium quidem declarant observationes et sententiæ passim in libris ejus intextæ, quibus, meo judicio, nihil est illustrius. H. Vales. de Vitâ et Scriptis Socrat. et Sozomen.

Sed quantum dictionis elegantiâ vincit Sozomenus, tantum Socrates judicio vincit. Nam Socrates quidem tum de viris, tum de rebus ac negotiis ecclesiasticis, optime judicat. Id. ibid. 8 See vol, iü. p. 99, 100, 104, 105. Vol. iv. p. 63, &c.

Και την μεν υπερβαλλεσαν επι Διοκλητιανε ωμοτητα υπερεθετο. Ου μην παντη το διωκειν απεσχετο. Διωγμον δε λεγω το οπωσαν ταραττειν τις ήσυχαζοντας. Eταραττε δε ώδε. Νομη εκελευσε χρισιανος παιδεύσεως μη μετεχειν. Socr. I. üï. c. 12.

• particular, in which he instanceth, is Julian's edict, pro• hibiting christians to read the ancient Greek and Roman • authors. And there are in him many other places i well worthy of observation; in some of wbich he makes very free remarks upon the squabbles and contentions of the christian clergy of those times.

Socrates always speaks with great respect of the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and has expressly quoted" the Acts of the Apostles,' epistles to the Romans, m the Corinthians, tben Galatians, Colossians, and Hebrews : he likewise takes notice of a various reading in 1 John iv. 3, or • John's catholic epistle,' as his expression is; upon which Mill and others may be consulted.

III. Hermias SozomenP was born of reputable parents in Palestine, and in early life was educated in a monastery; afterwards he studied the law at Berytus, and then went to Constantinople, where he was an advocate, and continued to plead causes, whilst 9 at his leisure hours he wrote his Ecclesiastical History: which contains, in nine books, an account of affairs from the third consulship of Crispus and Constantine, Cæsars, to the seventeenth consulship of Theodosius, emperor, in whose time he wrote, and to whom his work is dedicated, that is, from the year 324 to the year 439, or one hundred and fifteen years. He is placed by Cave as flourishing about the year 440.

Beside the history of which I have been speaking, Sozomens had before written, in two books, a summary account of the affairs of the church, from the ascension of Christ to the defeat of Licinius ; but that work is not now extant.

Sozomen likewise, as well as Socrates, was a man of moderation, as must have been perceived by all from several passages alleged from him in this work.

It may be also observed of him, that he always speaks with great respect of the sacred scriptures.

· Vid. I. v. cap. 22. 1. i. c. 24. in c. xxvii. p. 64. B. I. iii. cap. 24. et 25. in. 1. iv. cap. 1. et 6. I. v. in Pr. * L. v. cap. 22. p. 288, 289.

I L. iii. cap. 16. p. 188. C. m L. iv. cap. 23. p. 232. A.

" L. v. cap. 22. p. 283. ° “Οτι εν τη καθολικη Ιωαννα γεγραπτο εν τοις παλαιοις αντιγραφοις, ότι παν TvEvpa, ó Avel tov Ingev, ano 78 DEX OUK &51. L. vii. cap. 32. p. 374.

P Sozom. I. v. cap. 15. p. 617. 9 Ib. 1. i. cap. 3. p. 446. A. B. Vid. Sozom. Pr. p. 397.

• Vid. I. i. cap. 1. p. 401. See vol. iii. p. 98, 99. Vol. iv. 63. • Vid. Soz. 1. v. cap. 15. p. 617. cap. 21. p. 629. D. l. vii. cap. 12. p. 718. C. I. vii. cap. 19. p. 735. A.

« PreviousContinue »