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Acts xiii. 6... 12.

also ch. xiv. 12.

And at Antioch in Pifidia. ch. xiii. 15. 16. See

And that Paul was the principal perfon, appears from that early account, after they had been in Cyprus. ch. xiii. 13. Now when Paul and his companie loofed from Paphos, they came to Perga, in Pamphylia.

However, there are fome texts, which must be confidered by us, as feeming to afford objections.

Acts xiv. 4. But the multitude of the city was divided.

Part bell with the Jews, and part with the Apoftles: that is, Paul and Barnabas, who were then at Iconium. And afterwards, at Lyftra. ver. Which when the Apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard,.... Here Barnabas is stiled an Apostle, as well as Paul.

To which I answer, firft. Both being now together, and meeting with the like treatment, might be called Apoftles: though only one of them was, properly, fo. Secondly, it is not unlikely, that Barnabas and Paul are here ftiled by St. Luke Apoftles, in regard to what had been done at Antioch, as related by him. ch. xii. i. . . 4. when by an express order from heaven, they were fent forth from the church at Antioch, upon a fpecial commiffion, in which they were still employed. That defignanation, however folemn, did not make either of them Apoftles of Chrift in the highest fenfe. It was not the apoftolical, which is a general commiffion. But it was a particular commiffion, as appears from that whole hiftorie, and from what is faid at the conclufion of the journey, which they had taken. Acts xiv. 26. And thence they failed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God, for the work, which they had fulfilled. Nevertheless, they are not unfitly called Apoftles upon account of it. So 2 Cor. viii. 13. Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner, and fellow-helper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they (1) are the messengers of the churches, literally, apostles of the churches, and the glorie of Christ. If thofe brethren, which had been appointed by the churches to go to Jerufalem, with the contributions, which had been made for the relief of the poor faints in Judea, might be called Apoftles; there can be no doubt, but Paul and Barnabas might be called Apoftles in regard to the work, to which they had been folemnly appointed by the church at Antioch.

Again I Cor. ix. 5. 6. Have we not power to lead about a fifter, a wife, as well as other Apoftles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only, and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?

Some may think, that Barnabas is here fuppofed to be an Apoftle. I answer, that though Barnabas was not an Apoftle properly, or equally with himself, yet Paul, out of an affectionate respect to his friend, companion, and fellow-laborer, might be difpofed to mention him, upon this occafion, in the manner he has done. This is faid, fuppofing all beforementioned to have been Apostles of Chrift, in the highest fenfe. But, fecondly, it is not certain, that all, before-mentioned, were ftrictly Apoftles. It feems to me more likely, that by the brethren of the Lord fome are intended, who were not Apoftles. If fo, Paul might reasonably, and without offence, gratify his friendly difpofition: and infert here the

(1) απόςολοι ἐκκλησιῶν.


name of Barnabas, who had fhared with him many fatigues and difficulties in the service of the gofpel, though he was not an Apoftle.

I do not therefore difcern any good reafon from the New Teftament, why Barnabas fhould be reckoned an Apoftle. But quite otherwise. The fenfe of the primitive Chriftians is agreeable hereto. Few or none of them have thought Barnabas an Apostle.

Clement of Alexandria has quoted Barnabas (m) five or fix times. Twice he calls him Apofle. In another place he calls him the apoftolic Barnabas, who was one of the feventy, and fellow-laborer of Paul. Thefe are the highest characters, which he intended to give to Barnabas, and what he means, when he calls him Apoftle, as is fully fhewn in the place just referred to.

By Tertullian, as cited by us (n) formerly, Barnabas is plainly reckoned no more, than () a companion of Apostles.

Eufebe, in a chapter concerning those who were difciples of Chrift, fays: "The (p) names of our Saviour's Apoftles are well known from "the Gofpels. But there is no where extant a catalogue of the seven"ty difciples. However, it is faid, that Barnabas was one of them, who "is exprefsly mentioned in the Acts, and in Paul's epiftle to the Gala"tians." That learned writer therefore did not know, that Barnabas was an Apostle. In (9) another place of the fame work, his Ecclefiaftical Hiftorie, he quotes a paffage from the feventh book of Clement's Inftitutions or Hypotopofes, where Barnabas is ftiled one of the feventy. In his Commentarie upon Ifaiah (r) Eufebe computes fourteen Apostles, meaning the twelve, and Paul, added to them, and equal to them, and James the Lord's brother, Bishop of Jerufalem, whom Eufebe did not think to be one of the twelve. Nor does he here fay, that (s) he was equal to them, or Paul. However, from all thefe places we can be fully affured, that our learned Ecclefiaftical Hiftorian did not fo much as fufpect Barnabas to have been an Apoftle, in the highest sense of the word.

Jerome, in the article of Barnabas, in his book of Ecclesiastical Writers, fays, he (t) was ordained with Paul an Apostle of the Gentiles. But authors, who write in hafte, as Jerome often did, do not always exprefs themselves exactly and properly. Jerome did not think, that Barnabas was equally an Apoftle with Paul. This may be concluded from what there follows: He wrote an epifile for the edification of the Church, which is read among the apocryphal fcriptures. If Barnabas had been an Apostle, ftrictly speaking, Jerome would not have faid, he wrote an epiftle for the edification of the Church. Which any man might do. Nor would his epiftle have been reckoned apocryphal, as Jerome here, and elsewhere

(")... P. 606.... 608.


(m) Vol. ii. p. 521... 523. (0) Volo tamen ex redundantia alicujus etiam comitis Apoftolorum teftimonium fuperducere, idoneum confirmandi de proximo jure difciplinam Magiftrorum. Exftat enim & Barnabæ titulus ad Hebræos. Tertull. de Pudicit. cap. 20. p. 741.

(β) . . . Τῶν δὲ ἑβδομήκοντα μαθητῶν κατάλογῶν μὲν ἐδεὶς ἐδαμ, φέρεται. Δίσ γελαί γε μὴν εἰς αὐτῶν βαρνάβας, κ. λ. Η. E. I. 1. cap. xii.

(q) L. 2. cap. i. p. 38. D.

() See Vol. viii. p. 154.J55.

(r) Comm. in Ef. p. 422.
(1) See Vol. x. p. 142. 143.

(u) calls it. When Jerome fays, that Barnabas was ordained with Paul an Apoftle of the Gentiles; it is likely, he refers to the hiftorie in Acts xiii. I..... 4. of which I have already faid all that is needful.

Theodoret, as formerly quoted, fays: "The (x) all-wife Deity com"mitted the culture of a barren world to a few men, and those fisher"men, and publicans, and one tent-maker." And to the like purpose often. Which fhews, that he did not reckon Barnabas an Apoftle in the fulleft meaning of the word. If he had, he mufi have added, and one Levite. The fame obfervation may be applied to Chryfoftom, who (y) in his many paffages fhewing the wonderful progreffe of the gospel, often mentions the Apostles Peter, a fifherman, and Paul a tent-maker, but never Barnabas à Levite.

If then Barnabas was not an Apostle, an epiftle writ by him cannot be received as canonical, or a part of the rule of faith: forafiuch as no men, befide Apoftles, have the privilege of writing epiftles, or other works, preceptive, and doctrinal, that fhall be received by the churches, in that quality. This has been faid several times in the course of this (z) work. And I ftill think it right.

Mark (a) and Luke, apoftolical men, may write hiftories of our Lord's and his apostles preaching, and doctrine, and miracles, which shall be received as facred, and of authority. But no epiftles, or other writings, delivering doctrines and precepts, (except only in the way of historical narration,) can be of authority, but those writ by Apoftles.

Says Jerome of St. John: "He (b) was at once Apostle, Evangelift, "and Prophet: Apostle, in that he wrote letters to the churches as a "mafter: Evangelist, as he wrote a book of the Gospel, which no other "of the twelve Apoftles did, except Matthew: Prophet, as he faw "the Revelation in the ifland Patmos, where he was banished by Do"mitian."

Frederic Spanheim, in his Differtation concerning the twelve Apoftles, readily acknowledgeth this to be one prerogative of Apoftles: "That (c) they may write epiftles, which fhall be received as canonical, "and be of universal and perpetual authority in the Church,"

3. Barnabas does not take upon himself the character of an Apostle, or a man of authority.

Near the beginning of the epiftle he fays: "I (d) therefore, not as a

(u) See again, as before, Vol. x. p. 143.

(x) Vol. xi. p. 96. See also p. 97. 99. 103.

(y) See Vol. x. p. 366. .

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(z) See Apostles in the alphabetical Table of principal Matters.

(a) See Vol. ii. p. 525.

(b) Vel. x. p. 101.


(c) Decimus nobis character apoftolicæ regexs eft poteftas fcribendi ad ecclefias plures, vel ad omnes, Tois nadóny wisois, hujufmodi epiftolas, quæ in canonem referri mererentur, id eft, quæ forent canonicæ, univerfalis et perpetuæ in Ecclefia auctoritatis. Diff. prima de Apoftol. Duod. num. xi. Opp. T. 2. p. 310.

(d) Ego autem non tanquam doctor, fed unus ex vobis, demonftrabo pauca, per quæ in plurimis latiores fitis. Burn. ep. cap. i.



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"teacher, but as one of you, fhall lay before you a few things, that you "may be joyful.".

And fomewhat lower: "Again, (e) I entreat you, as one of you." He writes as a man, who had gifts of the Spirit, but not that full measure, which was a prerogative of Apoftles. "He (f) who put the "engraffed gift of his doctrine in us, knows, that no man has received "[or learned] from me a truer word. But I know, that you are "worthie."

I shall add a few more very modeft expreffions, not fuitable to an Apostle.

"Thus (g) as much as in me lies, I have writ to you with great "plainneffe. And I hope, that according to my ability, I have omit"ted nothing conducive to your falvation in the prefent circum"ftance."

In the laft chapter: "I (b) befeech you: I ask it as a favour of you, "whilft you are in this beautiful veffel of the body, be wanting in none "of these things."

And still nearer the conclufion. "Wherefore (i) I have endeavoured "to write to you, according to my ability, that you might rejoice."

Upon the whole, this epiftle well answers the character given of Bar nabas in the Acts, particularly, ch. xi. 24. He was full of the Holy Ghoft. The writer of this Epiftle had the gift of the Spirit, though not that measure, which was peculiar to Apoftles. He was full of faith. The writer of this epiftle had an earneft zeal for the truth and fimplicity of the gospel. He was also a good man. In this epiftle we ob ferve the mildneffe and gentleneffe, by which Barnabas feems to have been diftinguished. But we do not difcern here the dignity and autho-' rity of an Apostle.

Confequently, this epiftle may afford edification, and may be read with that view. But it ought not to be esteemed by us, as it was not by the ancients, a part of the rule of faith.

(e) Adhuc & hoc rogo vos, tamquam unus ex vobis, Ib. cap. 4.

{) Οἶδεν ὁ τὴν ἔμφυτον δωρεὰν τῆς διδαχῆς αυτό θέμενον ἐν ἡμεῖν ἐδεὶς γνησί τερον ἔμαθεν ἀπ' ἐμὲ λόγον. Αλλὰ διδα, ὅτι ἄξιοι ἰσὶ ὑμεῖς. Cap. 9.

(8) Εφ' ὅσον ἦν ἐν δυνατῷ καὶ ἁπλότητι δηλῶσαι ὑμῖν ἐλπίζει με ἡ ψυχὴ τῇ ἐπιθυμία με μὴ παραλελοιπέναι μέ τι τῶν ἀνηκόνων ὑμῖν εἰς σωτηρίαν, ενεσώτων. Cap. 17.

(4) Ερωτῶ ὑμᾶς, χάριν αιτέμενον, κ. λ. Cap. 27.

(1) Διὸ μᾶλλον ἐσπέδασα γράψαι, αφ' ὧν ἐδυνήθην, εἰς τὸ εὐφεᾶναι ὑμᾶς.




Of the Method, in which the Canon of the New Teftament has been formed. ****HE canon of the New Teftament is a collection of books,

T writ by feveral perfons, in feveral places, and at different times. XXXX **** It is therefore reasonable to think, that it was formed gradually. At the rife of the Chriftian Religion there were no written fyftems or records of it. It was first taught and confirmed by Chrift himself in his moft glorious miniftrie: and was ftill farther confirmed by his willing death, and his refurrection from the dead, and afcenfion to heaven. Afterwards it was taught by word of mouth, and propagated by the preaching of his Apoftles and their companions. Nor was it fit, that any books fhould be writ about it, till there were converts to receive and keep them, and deliver them to others.

If St. Paul's two epiftles to the Theffalonians were the first written books of the New Teftament, and not writ till the year 51. or 52. about twenty years after our Saviour's afcenfion, they would be for a while the only facred books of the new difpenfation.

As the Chriftians at Theffalonica had received the doctrine taught by Paul, not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God. I Theff. ii. 13. they would receive his epiftles, as the written word of God. And himself taught them fo to do, requiring, that they should be folemnly read unto all the holy brethren. 1 Theff. v. 27. He gives a like direction, but more extenfive, at the end of his epiftle to the Coloffians. iv. 16. requiring them, after they had read it amongst themselves, to caufe it to be read alfo in the church of the Laodiceans: and that they likewife read the epiftle, that would come to them from Laodicea.

All the Apostle Paul's epiftles, whether to churches or particular perfons, would be received with the like refpect by thofe to whom they were sent, even as the written word of God, or facred fcriptures. And in like manner the writings of all the Apostles and Evangelists.

They who first received them would, as there were opportunities, convey them to others. They who received them, were fully affured of their genuinneffe by those who delivered them. And before the end of the first centurie, yea not very long after the middle of it, it is likely, there were collections made of the four Gospels, and moft of the other books of the New Teftament, which were in the hands of a good number of churches and perfons.

From the quotations of Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and other writers of the fecond centurie, of Origen in the third, and of Eufebius in the fourth centurie, it appears, that the greatest part of the books, which are now received by us, and are called canonical, were univerfally acknowledged in their times, and had been fo acknowledged by the elders and churches of former times. And the reft, now received by us, though they were then doubted of, or controverted by fome, were (a) well known, and approved by many. And Athanafius, who lived not long after Eufebius, (having flourished from the year 326. and afterwards)

(a) See Bufebius Vol. viii. p. 96 97

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