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UPON THE TWO EPISTLES ASCRIBED TO CLEMENT OF ROME,
LATELY PUBLISHED BY MR. WETSTEIX.
WITH LARGE EXTRACTS OUT OF THEM, AND AN ARGU
MENT SHOWING THEM NOT TO BE GENUINE.
1. Extracts out of these epistles, for showing the Author's
testimony to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. Il. External evidence against the genuineness of these epistles. Jll. Internal evidence to the same purpose, and their time. IV. The Author anonymous. V. The importance and use of these epistles. VI. The Conclusion.
EXTRACTS. 1. My extracts from these two epistles will relate chiefly to the books of scripture quoted therein.
1. In these epistles several books of the Old Testament are quoted; the book of Genesis several times; Exodus; the Judges, and several of the following historical books; the book of the Proverbs, often ; the book of Ecclesiastes once; Isaiah once, and also the story of Susanna.
2. Out of the New Testament are taken several passages of Matthew, one of Luke, several of John's gospel. The Acts of the Apostles may be supposed to be referred to. I cannot tell whether" there be a reference to Acts xxvi. 25, in some words, which I place below, that others may judge. There are also passages out of the apostle Paul's epistle to the Romans, both the epistles to the Corinthians, the epistles to the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, the first and second to the Thessalonians, the first and second to Timothy, the epistle to thic Hebrews,
· Domino Jesu Christo ministrârunt mulieres e possessionibus suis. Ep. 2. n. 15. Vid. Luc. viii. 3.
Porro Paulus, et Barnabas, et Timotheus, cum cæteris, quorum nomina scripta sunt in libro vitæ. Ep. i. c. 6. Conf. Philip. iv. 3.
et loquimur cum illis verba exhortationis et honestatis. Ep. 2. cap. I. two or three quotations, which will be taken notice of presently, and many passages out of the epistle of James. But I have not clearly discerned any passages out of the epistle of Paul to Titus, or Philemon ; nor out of the epistles of Peter, or John, or Jude, or the book of the Revelation.
3. I say, there are passages out of the several books of scripture before mentioned. But there occurs not the name of any book or writer, either of the Old or the New Testainent; except in general, in the gospel, the apostle, meaning Paul, and the like.
4. The passages of the epistle to the Hebrews are these : • But, brethren, we are persuaded of you, that you will think of these things, which are necessary to your salvation. But we thus speak of them, because,' and what follows. Where the author must bave had an eye to Heb. vi. 9.
5. I suppose likewise, that there may be a reference to Heb. vi. 15-19, as well as to Isaiah lvi. in a passage whiche I transcribe below.
6. Again : • Forf he said : “ Honour your elders, and when you see their conversations, and their manners, imitate their faith.” Which must be allowed to be a reference to, or quotation of, Heb. xiii. 7.
7. The forins of quotation are such as these : · For he said,' in the place just quoted : • They 5 who are truly virgins, for God's sake, bear him, who said.' Where he quotes divers passages from the book of the Proverbs. "Such virginity the Lord calls foolish, as he says in the gospel.' See Matt. xxv. • Therefore i he said rightỉy to that generation.' • Andk of such servants it is said.' • Asl it is written.' • And m they hear not hiin, who says.' Quoting the epistle of James. • And " again he says.' • Haveo you not read of Amnon
d Confidimus autem de vobis, fratres, vos cogitaturos ea, quæ necessaria sunt saluti vestræ. Sed ita loquimur de iis, quæ loquimur, propter famam et rumorem malum, &c. Ep. i. c. 10.
--sed desiderat spem promissam et præparatam et positam in cælis Deo, qui promisit ore, et non mentitur; qui major est filiis et filiabus, et dabit virginibus locum celebrem in domo Dei -Ep. i. c. 4.
Dixit enim : Seniores vestros honorate; et quando videtis conversationes eorum, et mores eorum, imitamini eorum fidem. Ep. i. c. 7.
& Qui autem vere sunt virgines propter Deum, audiunt eum qui dixit. Ep. i. c. 2.
Dominus enim virginitatem talem stultam vocat, sicut ait in Evangelio. Ep. i. c. 3.
Propterea recte dicit generationi tali. Ep. 1.8.
k Et dictum est de talibus servis. i. 9. scriptum est. i. 10.
m Et non audiunt dicentum, i. 11. n Et iterum dicit. i. 11.
• Nonne legisti de Amnone et Thamare, liberis Davidis ? ii. c. 11.
and Thamar, children of David ?' In the next chapter, • Have P you not read of the family of Solomon ? • They did not remember that saying.' Behold,' we find what is written of Moses aud Aaron. • For so s the boly scriptures speak in these very words.' 'Ase the apostle said.' See 2 Cor. xi. 12. •Wbom“ the divine apostle rejects.' •Widows" whom the divine apostle refuseth.' • Let us be mindful * of the word, which says.' Sec Eccles. vii. 26. As* we have learned from the law, the propbets, and the Lord Jesus Christ.' • Lety us inquire and search from the law to the New Testament."
8. Farther, he seems in several places to refer to a practice then in use of reading the scriptures in private bouses, and at visits.
For? be blames some, whom he calls idle, “who went about to the houses of brethren, and sisters, virgins, under a pretence of visiting them, or reading the scriptures to them, or exorcising them, or teaching them.' Representing his own and other good people's way of travelling, whose conduct is set forth to be an example, he says : When we come to a place where there is no man, but all are faithful women and virgins, when we have gathered them all together, and find they live in peace, we speak to them in all purity, and read to them the scriptures.' Afterwards in the next chapter: •1fb we come to a place, and there be one faithful woman only alone, and nobody else; we do not stay there, nor pray tbere, nor read the scriptures there, but we flee away as from the face of a serpent, and P Nonne legisti de familiâ Salomonis, &c. ii. 12.
9 Non enim recordati sunt dicti illius, &c. ii. 13.
Ecce reperimus quod scriptum est de Mose et Aarone. ü. 14.
$ Sic enim scripturæ sacræ testantur ad verbum. ii. 14.
' Sicut dixit apostolus. i. 12. aversatur apostolus divinus. i. 10.
aut cum viduis, quas fugit divinus apostolus. ii. 14.
-sed simus memores verbi dicentis de muliere. ii. 10.
* Sicut didicimus de Lege, et Prophetis, et Domino Jesu Christo, i. 12.
y Inquiramus et scrutemur a Lege ad Novum Testamentum. ii. 7.
? Alii autem circumeuntes per domos virginum, fratrum, et sororum, prætextu visitandi eos, aut legendi scripturas, aut exorcizandi eos, aut docendi eos, quia sunt otiosi. i. 10.
* Si autem contingat, ut nos recipiamus in locum, ubi vir non est, sed omnes sunt mulieres et virgines, cogantque nos pernoctare in illo loco; vocamus omnes illos in unum locum, ad latus dextrum--et quando congregatæ veniunt omnes, et videmus quomodo in pace sunt, loquimur cum illis verba castitatis in timore Dei, et legimus illis scripturas in verecundiâ, &c. ii. 4.
• Si autem recipianus nos in locum, et inveniamus ibi unicam mulierem fidelem solam, nec quisquam alius ibi sit nisi illa
u Q jos
us ibi, neque oramus ibi, neque legimus ibi scripturas, sed fugimus, sicut coram facie serpentis, et ianquam coram laqueo peccati ii. 5.
from a dangerous snare.' And in another place. “We do not sing psalms, nor read the scriptures to Gentiles.''
EXTERNAL EVIDENCE. II. Having made these extracts, it will be proper to consider the age and authority of the epistles from whence they are taken. When it was first reported among us, that Mr. Wetstein of Amsterdam bad received out of the East a Syriac translation of two new epistles of Clement, bishop of Rome, I said, it was a mistake. It was more probable, that he had received a Syriac translation of the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, and of the other epistle often ascribed to him. And if that was the case, the translation might be very valuable, and of great use, because we have not the epistle to the Corinthians entire, and of the other epistle a fragment only. And undoubtedly those two epistles, if entire, though in a translation only, would have been an acceptable present to the learned world. But I was mistaken in my conjecture. The report first made has been confirmed by the event. The two epistles received by Mr. Wetstein, and published by bim, have been hithertod unknown. It must therefore be very fit that we examine their title to this high original, before we receive thein as genuine. In the first place I will consider the external, then the internal evidence.
In examining these epistles by external evidence we are led to recollect what ancient writers have said of Clement and his works.
1. Says Irenæus, bishop of Lyons in Gaul, who fourished about the year 178, in bis books against heresies :. When
the blessed apostles Peter and Paul bad founded and • established the church, (at Rome,) they delivered the office • of the bishopric in it to Linus—to him succeeded • Anencletus. Next to whom in the third place after the • apostles, Clement obtained the bishopric, who had seen the • blessed apostles, and conversed with them-- In the time • therefore of this Clement, when there was no small dissen
sion among the brethren at Corinth, the church of Rome • sent a most excellent letter to the Corinthians, exhorting • them to peace among themselves, and reminding thein of • the doctrine lately received from the apostles, which declares, that there is one God Almighty, Maker of the
• Propterea non psallimus gentibus, neque legimus illis scripturas. ii. 7.
Præcipuum vero, ut tandem ad rem ipsam veniam, manuscripti hujus ornamentum sunt duæ Clementis Romani Epistolæ, hactenus non ineditæ solum, verum nostri temporis eruditis plane incognitæ. Wetst. Proleg. p. v.
e Iren. Contr. Hær. I. 3. c. 3. p. 176. ed. Massuet. Et. conf. Euseb. H. E. 1. 3. c. 15. et 16. et 1. 5. c. 6.
• heavens and the earth, who brought in the flood, and • called Abraham ; who brought the people out of Egypt, • who spake with Moses, who ordained the law, and sent • the prophets.
This is the only writing of Clement, which is taken notice of by Irenæus. If he had known of any other, why should he not have quoted it, the more effectually to confute and silence the unreasonable men against whom he was arguing?
2. Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, flourished about the year 170. Eusebius mentions an epistle of bis to Soter, then bishop of Rome, Inf which letter, says the ecclesias“tical historian, he makes mention also of the epistle of • Clement to the Corinthians, testifying that it had been • wont to be read in the church from ancient time, saying, • To-day we have kept the holy Lord's-day, in which we read your epistle. 'Which we shall also read frequently • for our instruction, as 8 well as the former, written to us • by Clement.'
This, as it seems to me, affords an irrefragable argument, that there was but one epistle of the church of Rome, written by Clement to the Corinthians.
3. We are also assured by Eusebius, that Hegesippus, who flourished about the year 173, madeh mention of the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians.
4. Clement of Rome is several timnes quoted by his namesake of Alexandria, about the year 194. But he quotes only the epistle of Clement, ork of the Romans, to the Corinthians.
5. Origen, about 230, has some passages out of Clement's epistle to the Corinthians in' his books of Principles, and in his Commentary upon St. John's gospel. He elsewhere" quotes a work called, Circuits, ascribed to Clement.
6. We come now to Eusebius of Cesarea, about the year 315, who, having mentioned the order of the succession of the first bishops of Rome to Clement, whom he reckons the third after the apostles, adds: Of° this Clement there is
| Euseb. H. E. I. 4. c. 3. p. 145. B. C.
ως και την. . προτεραν ήμιν δια Κλημεντος γραφεισαν. Ιbid.
Ακεσαι παρετε μετα τινα περι της Κλημεντος προς Κορινθιες επιςολης αυτω ειρημενα. . H. E. I. 4. c. 22. in. Vid. et. 1. 3. c. 16.
Aυτικα ο κλημης εν τη προς Κορινθιες επισολη κατα λεξιν φησι. Str. 1. i. p. 289. A. Paris 1629. Vid. et Str. 4. p. 516. A. Str. 6. p. 647. A. B.
καν το προς Κορινθιας Ρωμαιων επισολη. Str. 1. 5. p. 586. Β.
i De Princip 1. 2. p. 82. et 83. Edit. Bened. T. i.
in Comm. in Jo. c. i, v. 29. T. 2. p. 143. Huet.
A Philoc. cap. 23. p. 81. Cant.