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SerM^ni t0 him the Precepts therein recorded; that 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 these, the next Regard was to be paid to the Writings of the Prophets, because th'ey 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 fays, be has Recourse to the Gospel, .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 Smyrna, Section the 7th, he writes thus. u It '/..becomes us to attend to the Prophets, ** but especially the Gospel, in which the ,c Passion has been shewn to us, and the
Resurrection perfected.'* And
And again, Section 5th, in the sameSErMlir, Epistle, "whom neither the Prophecies, "nor the Law of Moses, nor even the "Gospel, to this very' Day could per"suade."
From Ignatius, who, as St. Chrysostom fays, 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 J.
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 he, that ye are well versed in ** the Holy Scriptures, and that Nothing "(of this Kind) has escaped you.—And rt in these it is said, Be ye angry, andsm **'not. And, let not the Sun go down upon «* your Wrath *."
And in another very short Paragraph -f-, where he has quoted the Sacred Writings no less than four Times, he styles those
J; lretueus, Lib. 3. cap. 3.
* Policarpi Ep. ad Phi]ippcnses. Sect. 12,
f Ibidem. Sect. 7th.
himself orders one of them (if not two)^"mj»; to be read in the Churches of the Laodicean* and ColoJJians * j and we may fairly gather from St. Peter's Words f, that the rest of his Epistles had the fame just Honour done them. , •; ...
JPapias, who was Contemporary with these Writers, and conversant with the immediate E>iseipks of the Apostles, expressly ascribes % the Gospels of St. Matthew and Mark to their respective Authors, and establishes the Genuineness of the first Epistle atPeter, and the first of John.
The Sum of the Evidence from the Apostolical Writers is this: That the Writings of the New Testament were then gathered into one Volume, publickly read in Churches, and universally received j since they are quoted by Clemens at Rome, by Barnabas at Cyprus, by Ignatius in Syria, .by Pofycarp at Smyrna, and by Papias at Hierapolij in Rbrygio.
When Jufiin Martyr, in the Year 140, in his second Apology mentions, (and men
.'...-•.• t • . r; * Cploflia«f iv. 16,;
f z Pet. iii. 16. • ... T ,......
% Eusebii Eccles. Hist. Lib. 3. cap. 39.