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"for our falvation. Luke begins with the priesthood of Za"charias, that by the account of his son's miraculous birth, "and his being so considerable a preacher, he might evidence "the divinity of Christ to the Gentiles. Mark began his "Gospel with the explication of some antient prophecies re"lating to the coming of Christ, that his Gospel might ap* "pear no new thing, but the fame as had been of old." For this fragment of Polycarp we are obliged to Feuardentius, who in his notes on Irenæus, 1. 3. c. 3. published it with some other fragments of Polycarp out of a very antient manuscript of Victor Capuanus's Catena, upon the four Evangelists, which Catena he there promises to publish; but whether he did or no, I know not. Victor Capuanus lived, according to Feuardentius, in the year of Christ 480. Johan. Jacob. Grynæus (Præfat. in Orthodoxographa) places him sooner, viz. A. D. 455 ; but Bellarminea, and Dr. Caveh, place him near a hundred years later, viz. in the year 540, and 545, as also does Dr. Millc. ,
III. That there were only the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, received in the middle part of the second century, is evident from Tatian's Harmony, which was made about that time. He was a scholar of Justin Martyr,
and avtdtptwit Tita Hut crvtuyzjyiiv in oij' Ottwf Twk tuuyfoSm in»9iis, To
(Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. 4. c. 29.) compiled a certain harmony of the Gospels, and called it-, The Gospel of the Four; which is even to this day in the hands of some. The fame account is also in Epiphanius, Hæres. 46. n. 1. There can be no reasonable doubt but that these four were the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; for not only the number agrees, but these were the only four Gospels that ever were reduced to a harmony. Besides, if the above-mentioned Victor Capuanus is to be credited, the Harmony of Tatian is still extant; for that which he published in the fifth or sixth cen
* Dc Scriptor. Eccles. ad voc. c Prokgom. in Nov. Testam.
b Hist. Liter, torn,. 1. p. 4.11. §. 351.
tury, tury, with a preface to prove it was wrote by Tatian, we have now printed among the Orthodoxographaand this contains our present four Gospels, and no other. But I must own that I question much, whether this be the work of Tatian, or no; for the genealogy of Christ is in this Harmony of Tatianb, which was not in the antient one under his namec.
It may indeed be objected that Victor Capuanus, in his preface to that which he thought to be the Harmony of Tatian, fays, that he gave his work the title of Diapenteii. / find, fays he, by the history of Eusebius, that Tatian, a very learned man and excellent orator of that time, compiled one Gospel out of the four, to which he gave the title of Diapente, i. e. of five; or, The Gospel of Five: as though he had made his Harmony out of five Gospels. Accordingly, I find that Grotius c has explained the word Diapente; Tatian, fays he, when he made one Gospel out of four, followed not only the Greek, but the Hebrew copies of Matthew; whence it came to pass that his work, which was commonly called Aid Tsa-c-d^v, or The Gospel of Four, was by others called, The Gospel according to the Hebrews; by others Au* U(m, or The Gospel of Five.
To this I answer, (i.) That though I question not but Tatian made use of the Hebrew copies of St. Matthew, yet he made use of them as what he looked upon to be the most authentick and genuine, and so made no use of the Greek, as of another or fifth Gospel. This is what I have conjectured, and endeavoured to prove in the first volumef; but all which can be concluded hence is, that by a mistake he made use of an interpolated corrupt translation of St. Matthew, in
* Vol. i. p. 659, Sec. thocloxogr. p. 659.
<, See chap. v. Orthodoxogr. p. c Puto autem Tatianum, cum ex
663. quatuor Evangeliis unum concinna
c This I have observed already, ret, ll-cutum in Matthæi verbis non
Vol. I. Part II. ch. xxxix. p. 390. Græcos tantum, led et Hebræos co
d Ex historia quoque ejus (lcil. dices, unde Evangelium illud quod
Eusebii) comperi, quod Tatisnus, vulgo Atd TetradftDv, per S^uatuor,
vir emditifTurms, et orator illius ab aliis dictum secundum Hebræos,
temporis claiissimus, unum ex qua- ab aliis vero Aid Hint,per Sfuin.
tuor compaginaverit Evangelium, que, Annot." in Titul. Matth. mi titulum Diapente impoluit. Or- f L0ci jam c;tat. p, 388| j89.
B 3 stead stead of the true Greek original, still looking upon it as the work of that Evangelist, which is sussicient to my purpose.
2. As to Grotius's conjecture, that it was called Ata n/m, or Tlie Gospel of Five, for the above-mentioned reason, it seems to me entirely to be founded upon a false reading; and that instead of At« n«v« we are to read in the preface of Victor Aiœ TWa^wi, as is well conjectured by Mr. Fabricius1. My reasons for this correction are,
1. That Victor in his preface fays, he found the account which he gives in the History of Euscbius; but there is na such thing to be found in Eusebius; but orlthe contrary he faith, Tatian gave his work the title of Ata Tiae-dfw, i. e. The Gospel of Four. Either therefore Victor Capuanus was mistaken, or else we must correct his words by those of Eusebius, from whom he transcribed; i. e. for Ata XUm, must read Ata Tso-ea^m; The Gospel of Four, and not The Gospel of Five.
2. If Victor Capuanus had thought any thing of five Gospels being in Tatian's work, he would not have faid expressly, "Unum ex quatuor compaginaverit Evangelium," He compiled one out of four Gospels. \
3. Theodoret (who lived in or not long before the time of Victor Capuanus, viz. about the year of Christ 450.) tells us, He composed a Gospel To Ata ita-aa^m na^i^itoi, i. e. which was called The Gospel of Four b.
Upon the whole then I conclude, there were but four Gospels, viz. those of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in use in the Church in the time of Tatian, i. e. in the time of Justin Martyr, who was Tatian's master.
IV. Irenæus, who was cotemporary with Tatian, has abundantly evidenced, that there were no more than the four Gospels, which we now receive, then received in the Church.
* Cod Apoc, Nov. Tell. torn. 1. of this place, viz. That for At*
P* 379- rtfm we should read Aict Harrat,
h Hæretic. Fabul. lib. 1. c. so. meaning that the title imported,
Besides all I have said on th.s head, The Gospel of all the Four, or the
it may not be amiss to add the great . wnoie entire Gospel. Ad Baron.
Casaubon's conjecture, or correction Annal Ann. 31. N 3
He He has wrote a large Chapter*, intitled, J proof that there can neither be more nor less than four Gospels; out of all which I shall only observe these two things; (1.) That he fays the very Hereticks owned them, and cited them b; (2.) He calls them vain, ignorant, and impudent, who assert, that there are either more or fewer than these four Gospelsc. The fact therefore, which I am upon, being thus certain, I do not think myself obliged to fay any thing concerning the allegorical arguments, which Irenæus makes use of to prove his point. Mr. Toland has bantered themd, and Mr. Fabricius has shewn' that there is the like fort of reasoning upon that head in many of the antient Christian writers; but (as Du Pin faysf) *' These sort of allegories have no other foundation "but mere fancy; and it is in vain to seek for any other rea"son of the number four, than God's own will."
5. Tertullian. V. Tertullian has expressly determined the number of Gospels, which were received by the Church in his time, to four. So (!. 4. adv. Marcion. c. 2.), " Nobis fidem ex Apostolis "Joannes et Matthæus infinuant, ex Apostolicis Lucas et "Marcus instaurant;" i. e. The credit of the Gospel-history is confirmed to us by two that were Apostles, viz. Matthew and "John, and two that were Aposlolick men (i. e. companions of the Aposlles) Mark and Luke: and in the fame book, c. 5. speaking of the fame four Gospels, and naming them, he fays, "Eadem auctoritas Ecclesiarum Apostolicarum cæteris quo"que patrocinabatur Evangeliis;" i. e. that they were patronized or confirmed by the authority of the Aposlolick Churches.
6. Clemens Alexandrinus. VI. Clemens Alexandrinus (not long after Irenæus) is the next, whose testimony I shall produce; he, disputing against Julius Cassianus, who had cited a passage out of the Gospel of the Egyptians in favour of the doctrine of the unlawfulness of marriage, replies; Firsts fays he, / observe this is not in either of the four Gospels delivered to us, but in the Gospel according to the Egyptians*; by which he, who knows that Clemens continually cites the four Gospels which we now receive, and no other, will be easily induced to believe he here meant the fame four. See the place at large above, Vol. I. Part II. Chap. XVI. p. 199.
Vu. Origen, the Scholar of Clemens Alexandrinus, has also consirmed the fame; viz. that though there ixlere many Gospels forged by the Hereticks, which, fays he, we read, that we may not be thought ignorant, Ecclesia quatuor habet Evangelia, i. e. the Church receives only four Gospels b; and a little after, Quatuor tantum Evangelia funt prolata, e quibus sub persona Domini et Salvatoris nostri proferenda funt dogmata: There are only four Gospels made use of, out of which the articles of our Religion as from Jesus Christ are to be proposed. Once more a few lines after; In his omnibus nihil aliud probamus nisi quod Ecclesia, i. e. quatuor tantum Evangelia recipienda; Among all these Gospels we approve none but those which the Church approves; viz. that only the four Gospels . are to be received. It would be madness for any one, who ever faw Origen's works, to asle what four Gospels he meant* Besides that, he elsewhere rov Exx^iarixoe (pvxMui xuriva, speaking of, or reciting the Canon of the Church, names these four
Gospels, ac y.a) fiiix dtavT't£?nTct srtv 1v T,) ino Tot ifcttov txnXdam Tou ©:k, i. e. which four alone are received without controversy in the church of Go-'., which is all over the world. Comment, In Matth. apud Euseb. H. E. 1. 6. c. 25.
■ Sbomat. lib. 3. p, 4.65. * Homil. in Luc. i. 1.