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сн А Р. І. General Denominations of the Collection of sacred Books, received by Christians, 'I. Scripture. II. Bible. III. Canon. IV. Old and New Testament.
V. Inftrument. VI. Digeft. VII. Gospel. I. UKONE of the general denominations of sacred books is Scripture, or Scriptures, literally, and primarily
Scripture. **** signifying writing. But by way of eminence and distinction the books in the highest esteem are called Scripture, or the Scrip
This word occurs often in the New Testament, in the Gospels, the Acts, and the Epistles. Whereby we perceive, that in the time of our Saviour and his Apostles this word was in common use, denoting the books received by the Jewish People, as the rule of their faith. To them have been fince added by Christians the writings of Apostles and Evangelists, compleating the collection of books, received by them as sacred and divine.
Some of the places, where the word Scripture is used in the fingular number for the books of the Old Testament, are these. 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by the inspiration of God. And Luke iv. 21. John ii. 22. Acts i. 16. viii. 32. 35. Rom. iv. 3. Gal. iii. 8. James ii. 18. 23. 1 Pet, ii. 6. 2 Pet. i. Scriptures, in the plural number, in these following, and many other places. Matth. xxi. 42. xxii. 29. xxvi. 54. Luke xxiv. 27. 3245. John v. 39. Acts xvii. 2. 11. xviii. 24. 28. 2 Tim. iii. 15. 2 Pet, iir. 16. VOL. II. A
St. Peter applies this word to the books of the New, as well as of the Old Testament, to St. Paul's Epistles, in particular. 2 Pet. iii. 16. .. as also in all his epistles . . which they that are unlearned, wrest, as they do aljo the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Plainly denoting, that * St. Paul's Epistles are Scriptures in the highest sense of the word.
II. Bible is another word, which has now been long in use Bible,
among Christians, denoting the whole collection of writings received by them, as of divine Authority.
The word, primarily, denotes book. But now is given to the writings of Prophets and Apostles by way of eminence. This collection is the Book, or Bible, the book of books, as superior in excellence to all other books. The word seems to be used in this sense by Chryfoftom in a parfage already (a) cited. “I therefore exhort all of you to procure to your“ selves Bibles, B.Exia. If you have nothing else, take care to have the “ New Testament, particularly, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Gof"pels, for your constant instructors.”. And Jerome says, “That (b) the « Scriptures being all writ by one Spirit, are called one book.” We likelike saw formerly a paffage of Augustin, where he informs us, “ That (c) “ some called all the canonical scriptures one book, on account of their « wonderful harmonie, and unity of design throughout.” And I then faid: “It is likely, that this way of speaking gradually brought in the general use of the word Bible, for the whole collection of the scriptures, or the books of the Old and New Testament.”
In short, the ancient Christians were continually speaking of the Dia wine Oracles, and the Divine Books, and were much employed in reading them, as Chryfoftom directs in a passage, transcribed (d) below: where he recommends the reading the divine books daily, forenoon and afternoon. At length the whole collection was called the book, or the bible.
Dr. Heumann has an Epiftle, or short Dissertation (e) concerning the origin of this name of our facred collection of books. And for some while he was of opinion, that (f) it was so called, as being the most excellent of all books : in like manner as the Jews had before called their collection the Scriptures, by way of eminence. So Acts xviii. 24. and 28. But () afterwards he fufpcéted, that the origin of this name was in
those * Hac parte (quod bene notandum eft) Petrus canonizat, ut ita loquar, id eft, in canonem facrarum scripturarum ascribit, atque canonicas facit episto las Pauli. Dicens enim, ficut & ceteras fcripturas, utique fignificat, fe etiam illas in scripturarum numero habere. De facris autem scripturis eum loqui, in confesso eft. Eft. in loc. (a) Vol. X. P 349
(6) The fame. p. 158. (c) The same. p. 256. (4) Αλλα δεί σανία καιρόν επιτήδειον ηγείσθαι προς την των πνευματικών λόγων διαλεξ». ... Δυνησόμεθα και επί οικιας διατρίβολες, και μεία της έσιάσο», και προ της έσιάσεως μέλα χείρας λάβοίες τα θεία βιβλία της εξ αυτών καρπενθαι ωφέλειαν. In i. Gen. hom. *. Ti 4. p. 81. C. Bened.
(e) De origine nominis Bibliorum. Heum. Poecile. Tom. I. p. 412...415.
(F). Sufpicari deinde cæpi, ideo Biblia di&tum esse facrum codicem, qnod tanquam liber omnium præfantiflimus xal ituxio di&tus fit sa Bofnia. Suppetias conje&turæ huic ferre videbatur illa appellatio, qua idem divinum opus vocari folet ai 7920xi. e. gr. Act, xviii. 24. 28. Id. ib. p. 413.
(8) Ib. p. 414.
those words of Paul, 2 Tim. iv. 13. The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thcu comeft, bring with thee, and the books, x Tae B.Gría. For he believed, that thereby the ancient Christians understood the sacred code. But he afterwards acknowledgeth, that he had not found any instance of that interpretation in ancient writers. It seems to me therefore, that this conjecture should be dropt, as destitute of foundation: and that it should be better for us to adhere to the forementioned origin of this name, which appears to have in it a good deal of probability. III. Canon is originally a Greek word, signifying a rule or
Canon. standard, by which other things are to be examined and judged.
As the writings of the Prophets and Apostles and Evangelists contain an authentic account of the revealed will of God, they are the rule of the belief and practice of those who receive them.
Sometimes canon seems equivalent to a list or catalogue, in which are inserted those books, which contain the rule of faith.
Du Pin says, “ This (b) word fignifies not only a law or rule, but “ likewise a table, catalogue, lift. Some have supposed, that the cano“ nical books were so called, because they are the rule of the faith. But “though it be true, that they are the rule of our faith ; yet the reason of “ their being called canonical, is, because they are placed in the cata“ logue of sacred books.”
Perhaps, there is no need to dispute about this. For there is no great difference in those two senses. And there may be passages of ancient writers, where it would be difficult to determine, which of them is intended.
St. Paul has twice used the word canon, or rule. Gal. vi. 16. As many as walk according to this rule. Upon which verfe Theodoret's comment is to this purpose: “He (i) calls the forementioned doctrine a rule, " as being strait, and having nothing wanting, nor superfluous.” Again, says St. Paul, Philip. iii. 16. Whereunto we have already attained, let us walk according to the same rule. Where he speaks of the doctrine of the gospel in general, or of some particular maxim of it: not of any books, containing the rule of faith. However, his use of the word may have been an occalion of affixing that denomination to the books of scripture. For it is of great antiquity among Christians.
Ireneus, speaking of the scriptures, as the words of God, calls (k) them the rule, or canon of truth. Here canon is not a catalogue, but the books, or the doctrine contained in the books of scripture. Clement of Alexandria, referring to a quotation of the Gospel according
to (b) Le mot signifie non seulement une loi, une regle, mais aulli une table, un catalogue, une liste. ... Quelques-uns ont cru, que los livres canoniques étoient ainsi appellez, parcequ'ils sont la regle de la foi. Mais quoique cela foit vrai, ce n'est pas ce qui leur a fait donner le nom de canoniques, qu'ils n'ont que parceque l'on a nommé canon le catalogue des livres facrez. 'Dil. Prelim. l. 1. ch. 1. J.ii.
(1) Κανόνα έκάλεσε την προκειμένην διδασκαλίαν, ως ευθύτητα κοσμημένην, κ, μήτε ελλείπων τι μήτε περιτίον έχασαν. Τheod. 1η Ιος.
(k) Nos autem unum et solum verum Deum doctorem fequentes, et regulam veritatis habentes ejus fermones, de iisdem femper eadem dicimus omnes. lian.l.4.6.35. al. 69. f. p. 277.
to the Egyptians, says with indignation : “ But (1) they who choose to “ follow any thing, rather than the true Evangelical Canon, (or the ca
non of the Gospel,] insist upon what follows there as said to Salome.” In another place he says: “ The (m) ecclesiastical canon is the consent “and agreement of the Law and the Prophets with the testament deli“ livered by the Lord.”
Eyfebe, as (n) formerly quoted, says of Origen: “But in the first book “ of his Commentaries upon the Gospel of Matthew, observing (0) the « ecclesiastical canon, he declares, that he knew of four Gospels only.”
I shall add a few more passages from later writers, chiefly fuch as have been already quoted in the foregoing volumes: to which passages therefore the reader may easily have recourse.
Athanasius (p) in his Festal Epistles speaks of three sorts of books, the canonical, the fame, which are now received by us, such as were allowed to be read, and then of such as are apocryphal: by which he means book3 forged by heretics.
In the Synopsis of Scripturi, ascribed to him, but probably not writ till above a hundred years after his time, near the end of the fifth centurie, is frequent mention (9) of canonical and uncanonical books.
The council of Laodicea, about 363, ordains, that (1)“ no books, not « canonical, should be read in the church, but only the canonical books “ of the Old and New Testament.”
Rufin, enumerating the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, makes (r) three sorts of books, such (s) as are included in the canon, such as are not canonical, but ecclefiaftical, allowed to be read, but not to be alleged for proof of any doctrine, and lastly, apocryphal books, which were not to be publicly read.
Jerome likewise often speaks of the canon of Scripture, as we saw in his chapter, where he fays: “ Ecclefiafticus, (t) Judith, Tobit, and the “ Shepherd, are not in the canon:” and “that (u) the Church reads, or "allows to be read, Judith, Tobit, and the Maccabees, but does not re“ceive them among the canonical scriptures: and that they, and the « books of IVifdom and Ecclefiafticus, may be read for the edification of “the people, but not as of authority, for proving any doctrines.” And for the Old Testament he recommends (x) the true Jewijn canon, or
Hebrew (i) See Vol. ii. p.529. or 527.
(m) Κανον δε εκκλησιαςικός ή συνωδία και η συμφωνία νόμο τε και προφητών τη καια την τε κυρίε παρυσίαν παραδιδομένη διαθήκη. Cl. Strom. 1. 6. p. 676. C.
(n) Ch. 38. vol. iii. p. 235. (0) τον εκκλησιαστικών φυλότων κανόνα. Αρ. Εuft. 1. 6. c. 25. p. 226. Β. () See vol. vii. p. 228. 229. (9) The same. p. 243• • 245. (q) The jame. p. 291.
(r) See vol. x. p. 187. 188. (s) Hæc funt, quæ patres intra canonem concluferunt, & ex quibus fidei noltræ affertiones constare voluerunt. ... Sciendum tamen eft, quod alii libri sunt, qui non funt canonici, sed ecclesiastici a majoribus appellati funt. . . Quæ omnia legi quidem in ecclesiis voluerunt, non tamen proferri ad aucto. sitatem ex his fidei confirmandam. Ceteras vero scripturas apocryphas no. minarunt, quas in ecclefiis legi noluerunt. Rufin. citat. ubi fupra p. 185. not. (gi. (1) Vol. x. p.41. (v) . . . p. 43•