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of St. James. And here again the authority of the Syrian Church, which has decided in its favour, is of the greatest possible moment. Whether the Epistle be ascribed to James the son of Zebedee, or to James the son of Alpheus, both of whom were Apostles, we must conclude, that it was written, if not in Palestine itself, at least in some neighbouring country. The question therefore, whether this Epistle might be justly ascribed to James an Apostle, could not be more easily decided, than by the Church of Syria, which bordered on Palestine. But the Epistle of St. James has always made a part of the Syrian canon; and the Syrian canon has so much the greater weight in the present instance, as it received only three out of the seven Catholic Epistles, and the Epistle of St. James was one of them. Nor must we forget, that in the place, where Eusebius acknowledges, that this Epistle was not universally received, he declares that it was received by the great majority. We must remember also, that before an Epistle written in Palestine could be generally known in the Greek Church, a longer period was necessary, than was wanted for the general diffusion of Epistles, which had been written to communities, that made a part of that Church. The lateness therefore of its general reception, in comparison with the Epistles to the

Corinthians, and other Grecian communities, is so far from being an argument against this Epistle, that it is precisely what under all circumstances there was reason to expect. And if the author of it assumes no higher title, than that of servant of Jesus Christ, this title is no argument, that the author was not an Apostle. For St. Paul himself takes the title of servant of Jesus Christ, both in his Epistle to the Romans and in his Epistle to the Philippians.

For the second Epistle of St. Peter we cannot produce the same high authority, as was produced for the Epistle of St. James. The second Epistle of St. Peter, with the second and third of St. John, and the Epistle of St. Jude, are the four Catholic Epistles, which are not contained in the old Syriac version. But the omission of them may probably be ascribed to the early age, in which the Syrian Canon was formed. And, if that Canon was formed before those Epistles were known to the Syrian Church, the omission of them cannot be construed into a rejection of them. Now the lateness of the time, when this Epistle was written, is apparent from the Epistle itself. We may infer not only from particular passages, but from its general tenor, that the author then foresaw his death approaching. If therefore this short Epistle became universally known at a later period, than the first Epistle ascribed to St. Peter, we must not thence conclude that the first only is authentic. If the second is not contained in the old Syriac version, it is contained in the Philoxenian version, and is quoted as an Epistle of St. Peter by Ephrem the most ancient of the Syrian Fathers.* And its resemblance to the first Epistle, both in matter and in manner, is really such, that if the first Epistle was written by St. Peter, which no one ever doubted, we must conclude the same also of the second Epistle.

On the second and third Epistles of St. John, it is unnecessary to make many remarks. Both of these very short Epistles were addressed to individuals, one of whom is unknown 'even by name, and of the other, it is unknown who he

The general diffusion of these Epistles therefore in the early ages of Christianity would have been contrary to all expectation. And even when they were known, they could afford but little matter for quotation. The silence therefore of the early writers, which Eusebius consulted, though it induced him, to place them among books, which were not universally received, hardly bears on the question of their authenticity. And since they resemble both in matter and in manner the first Epistle of St. John, which was universally acknowledged, there can be no reason for rejecting either the second or the third.


* In his Greek works, vol. II. p. 387, (printed at Rome in 1743) he quotes 2 Pet. in. 10, and ascribes it to St. Peter, whom he calls ο μακάριος Πέτρος, ο κορυφαίος των Αποστόλων.

The Epistle of St. Jude, the last of the Epistles in the second class of Eusebius, was also an Epistle, which from its shortness was likely to attract less general attention, and hence to become universally known, at a later period, than many other books. But when it was known, it was received as the work of the author, to whom it is ascribed. And it is quoted as such, both by Clement of Alexandria, and by Origen *.

Lastly, of the book of Revelation the authenticity may be confirmed by arguments, which cannot easily be rejected. For it is not only quoted, and quoted frequently, both by Clement of Alexandria and by Origen: it is quoted also in numerous instances by Irenæus: and by Irenæus, whose testimony is decisive on this subject,

* See the second volume of Griesbach's Symbolæ Criticæ.

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it is expressly ascribed to John the Apostle. The testimony of Irenæus, if it wanted confirmation, would receive an accession of strength from the testimony of Justin Martyr, who was born in Palestine about the end of the first century. In the second part of his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Justin Martyr referring to the book of

Revelation, says expressly, that it was written by “John, one of the Apostles of Christ.” * And

this testimony of Justin Martyr to the book of Revelation is so much the more remarkable, as it is the only book in the whole New Testament, of which Justin Martyr has ever named the author. For though his silence about the authors of the other books cannot affect the positive evidence of the writers already quoted, the circumstance, that he has not been silent, in regard to the question, whether the book of Revelation was written by St. John the Apostle, acquires additional importance from his silence on other occasions.

The external evidence for the authenticity of the New Testament is now complete : and the proof has been conducted, without the aid, either of the Apostolic Fathers, or of any other writers,

* p. 315, ed. Thirlby.

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