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" Church. Let us also love the Pro-SERM. III.
“phets, because even they preached the
"Gospel, believed in Cbriff, and hoped
" for him *." ;

The Meaning of these remarkable Words
is plainly this. That he as firmly believed
the Gospel, as if he had heard Jesus Christ
himself alive, and in the Flesh, delivering,

* Quod a Nemine, quod quidem fciam, huc ufque observatum fuit, monuit nos olim clarissimus Grabius, Ignatium utriusque hujus Canonis mentionem fecisse, in Epiftola ad Philadelphicos. figooqulov TW EYASTEAINA's Capri’Inoð, ky Tog'APOSTOJÖIE WS agro Bulegów 'Erxandiasa xj Te's IPOOHTAE di disce powser, &c. Nempe per Eúsyyéroov, Codicem Evangelicum, per 'Aposóros, Codicem Epiftolicum, per 11popíros, Canonem Vet. Testamenti Cuvex do xoxūs in. telligendum existimat. Id quod nobis pokea persuasisimum erat, etiam ex aliis Ignatii Locis. Nonnunquam enim Evangelii vocem strictius sumere videtur pro Codice Evangelico ; (at cum Evangelicum itaspétws esse ait, iv rò aála ruw didntwlas, sej v árásaois Tolireiwlas. Epift. ad Smyrn. $. 7. & in-Ep. ad Philadelph. 'Etaspelor iesi to Evayzárvor, Talvevoscow, &c. S. 8.) cum vero alias laxiori fignificatu Evangelium apud Eum pro Canone integro N. T. accep. tum videmus ; ubi fimul memorat Legem Mofis, Prophetias, & Evangelium ; lès óx imeid ai ai agognleias; od váP9 Movies, GA goi mix vùy EveryếNov. Ep. ad Smyn. $. 5.) Quod fi vero res ita fe habebat, Canon Epiftolicus mediocri Temporis intervallo præcefferit necesse est Epiftolas Ignatianas ; ideoque & prodierit fub annum forte æræ Vulgaris CX. five etiam aliquanto ante. Millii Prolegom. pag. 24. ,., .

SERM. III to him the Precepts therein recorded ; thať

he betook himself to the Writings of the
Apostles, with no less Assurance, 'than if
that venerable Presbytery were then acting,
immediately under the great Bishop and
Shepherd of their Souls, Jesus Christ; that,
after there, the next Regard was to be paid
to the Writings of the Prophets, because
they had foretold our Saviour's Advent, his :
Death, and Passion..

From hence we may gather, that the Canon of the New Testament was then settled and put upon a Foot of Equality with the Old. When he says, Let us love the Prophets, who could be known to him no otherwise than by their Writings, he undoubtedly means their Compositions, and the. Books of the Old Testament: And when he says, be bas-Recourse to the GaSpel, and the Apostles, he no less plainly means the main Body of the New Testament, as divided into the four Gospels, and the Epistles of the Apostles.

In his Epistle to the Inhabitants of Smyr. na, Section the 7th, he writes thus. It ... becomes us to attend to the Prophets, “ but especially the Gospel, in which the « Passion has been shewn to us, and the * Resurrection perfected.” And

And again, Section 5th, in the fame Serm. III. Epistle, “whom neither the Prophecies, so nor the Law of Moses, nor even the “ Gospel, to this very Day could per“ fuade."

* From Ignatius, who, as St. Chrysostom says, conversed familiarly with the Apostles, and was intimately acquainted with their Doctrine ; let us pass on to Polycarp, who was not only instructed by the Apostles, but by them constituted Bishop of the Church of Smyrna I. : .

From him we learn, that in that early Age, the Books of the New Testament were generally studied, and dignified with the Name of holy Writings. “ For, I “ trust, Says be, that ye are well versed in " the Holy Scriptures, and that Nothing « (of this kind) has escaped you.-And “ in these it is said, Be ye angry, and fin not. And, let not the Sun go down upon - your Wrath *.”

And in another very short Paragraph t, where he has quoted the Sacred Writings no less than four Times, he styles those

| Irenæus, Lib. 3. cap. 3.
* Policarpi Ep. ad Philippenses. Sect. 12,
of Ibideni. Sect. 7th.

Writings,

SERM. III. Writings, which he quotes, “ the Oracles

« of the Lord." The Church of Smyrna, oyer which he presided, in their Account of his Martyrdom, written immediately after his Death, appeals to the Scriptures, as of decisive Authority. “We do not com“ mend, say they, those who offer them“ selves [to Martyrdom] since the Gospel “ teaches no such Thing *.”

If, as it plainly appears. from Ignatius and Polycarp, the Writings of the New Testament were put upon a Level with those of the Old; then it will follow, that they were read at that Time in private Fa. milies and public Congregations; since the Jewisa Scriptures confessedly had that distinguishing Mark of Respect paid to them: And it is plain, they received the same Scriptures, which we do : Since their Quo tations every where agree in Sense and Sube Nance with the Books which we now re. ceive, though they do not confine themselves always precisely to the same Words. For it was the Custom of that Age to quote memoriter.

That St. Paul's Epistles were thus pubdickly read, we have earlier Evidence. He Cotelerii Patres Apoftol. Page 196.

himself

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himself orders one of them (if not two) Serm.III.
to be read in the Churches of the Laodis
ceans and Calolians *; and we may fairly
gather from St. Peter's Words of, that the
reft of his Epistles had the fame just How
nour done them. ;.
- Papias, who was Contemporary with
these Writers, and conversant with the im-
media tę Disciples of the Apostles, expressly
afcribes the Gospels of St. Matthew and
Mark to their respective Authors, and elta-
blishes the Genuineness of the first Epistle
of Peter, and the first of Fohn. - ;

The Sum of the Evidence from the
Apostolical Writers is this: That the Writ-
ings of the New Testament were then ga-
thered into one Volume, publickly read in
Churches, and universally received; since
they are quoted by Clemens at Rome, by
Barnabas at Cyprus, by Ignatius in Syria,
by Polycarp at Smyrna, and by Papias at
Hierapolis in Phrygia. ; !.
· When Juftin Martyr, in the Year 140,
in his second Apology mențions, (and men-

Colossians iv. 16, .
+ 2 Pet. iii. 16.
| Eusebii Ecclef. Hift. Lib. 3. cap. 39.

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