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after the death of the venerable Martyr whose name they bear.” (p. 396.) As this conclusion purports to have been drawn from “a fair estimate of all the evidence, for and against them,” we shall give the conclusions of two other men of similar religious prejudices, who had probably taken quite as "fair a view of all the evidence" as the writer in the Spectator.
MOSHEIM:1 “ The seven epistles of Ignatius, written while on his way to Rome, as published A. D. 1646 by J. Vossius, from a Florentine MS. [i. e. the shorter copy,) are by most writers accounted genuine. To this opinion I cheerfully accede.” DR. MURDOCK :2 “Moderate men of various sects, and especially Lutherans, are disposed to admit the genuineness of the epistles in the shorter form, but to regard them as interpolated and altered."
These opinions may be sufficiently conclusive to satisfy most of our readers; but as there are many who, we doubt not, will be glad to see a summary of arguments for and against
, we shall give a brief synopsis of them before we proceed to consider those points which it is our purpose more particularly to discuss, knowing also that this will be more satisfactory to all, than being obliged to take things from others on trust. We shall generally give the objections of the reviewer in the Spectator in his own language, though in some few instances we shall be obliged to give the substance of them, but never in such a manner as to change or omit any important idea,
Objection 1. “The account of the Martyrdom of Ignatius, which has been defended as ancient and authentic, disagrees with the relation Eusebius has given of his progress to Rome. The former declares that he sailed from Selucia to Smyrna, thence to Troas, and from thence to Neapolis. The latter relates that he passed through Asia, and confirmed the congregations throughout every city where he came.” (p. 393.)
Reply. The alleged difference between the two accounts, has no existence, save in the mind of the objector. The Martyrdom of Ignatius informs us, that he went from Antioch to Selucia, where he set sail for Smyrna,--that having arrived at Smyrna, he went on shore and tarried some time,—that from this place he wrote letters to several Churches, who came to meet him by their governors, and one epistle to the Church at
1 Ecc. Hist. B. 1. cent. 1. pt. 2. c. 2. Murdock’s Transl. 2 Notes on above, p. 92, n. 31.
3 The title of the piece in English is, A relation of the Martyrdom of Ignatius. The genuineness of this is never doubled, except by those who deny that he wrote any epistles. It is quoted by both Protestants and Roman Catholics, without any intimation of its being spurious.
Rome,--that he sailed from Smyrna to Troas,-that from Troas he proceeded and landed at Neapolis, where he proceeded on foot." The account by Eusebius, which is said to differ from this, contains only such particulars as could be gathered from the epistles themselves. It relates, that, being carried through Asia under a most rigid custody, he fortified the different Churches in the cities where he tarried, -that when he came to Smyrna, he wrote one epistle to the Church at Ephesus,--another to the Church at Magnesia,--another to the Church of the Trallians,- and another to the Church at Rome. But after he had left Smyrna, he wrote an exhortation from Troas to those in Philadelphia, to Polycarp, and to the Smyrnians." Eusebius, therefore, says not a syllable in addition to what is contained in the account of his Martyrdom, nor does he once allude to the route pursued, or the mode in which he travelled, nor a word in contradiction to it. But the account of his Martyrdom gives many facts of which Eusebins takes no notice. Besides, it is admitted that Eusebius had the same epistles which we now have; and of these, those directed to the Churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Trallia, and Rome are dated at Smyrna; and those to Philadelphia, Smyrna, and Polycarp, at Troas. Here Eusebius breaks off his account of Ignatius, but the epistle to Polycarp informs us that he had not written “to all the Churches, because he must suddenly sail from Troas to Neapolis." (c. 8.)
Objection 2. “If the larger epistles be claimed as genuine, their Arianism militates against their genuineness; if the smaller, their opposition to that doctrine equally proves them supposititious.” (p. 393.)
Reply. It has not been shown, nor do we believe it can be, that there is any thing in the shorter epistles referring either directly or indirectly to the doctrines of Arius; and if there is no such reference, merely asserting the truth of a scriptural doctrine which Arius subsequently denied, is of itself no more evidence that these epistles are forgeries, than the occurrence of similar passages in the Scriptures is evidence that they are forgeries. Besides, it is plain that if there is any intended opposition in these epistles to the doctrines of Arius, as uttered by himself, they must have been written after Arius lived; and hence, upon the reviewer's own principles, these epistles could not have been written until some time in the fourth century, that
i Martyr. of Ign. cc. 3, 4, 5, Trans. Chevalier. pp. 101–103. 12mo. N. Y. 1834.
% Ecc. Hist. L. 3. c. 36. pp. 121, 122. Trans. Cruse. 8vo. N. Y. 1$33.
is, some time after they were quoted by Eusebius, and as much as one hundred and fifty after he admits they were in existence.
That the reader may be able to see the nature of the evidence by which the charge of opposition to Arianism is attempted to be supported, we shall give the passages quoted as proof, with some similar passages from other writers. The passages quoted by the reviewer are such as in his opinion G would not have been so frequently reiterated, and with so much point, by any writer before the days of Arius.” (p. 396.) Now the repetition of the same idea in several different epistles at the same time, is no evidence that any of them are spurious. Such an argument must be based upon the frequent occurrence of the same idea in the same epistle. We take, therefore, the examples he has given from the epistle to the Ephesians, all of which concern the Godhead of the Son, as these are more in number than those cited from any other epistle. From the Preface or Salutation, he cites the phrase "according to the will of the Father ; AND Jesus Christ Our God," (vaì 'Incõv Xplotõv toð Ocõv huw); and from section 18, " for our GOD JESUS CHRIST was born," &c. ('0 yào Ocòs hpwv 'Inoõus Χριστός.) With these expressions the reader is requested to compare Tit
. 2:10, “ the doctrine of God our Saviour" (rõv corñpos nuwr Ocõv ;) and Tit. 2: 13. “the glorious appearing of our great God AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST,” (του μεγαλου θεου και σοτήρος ημών Ιησου Xplotov;) and Tit. 3: 4. “the kindness and love of GOD OUR Saviour," (rov gotipos ópwr Ocāv.)' We desire now to inquire of the reviewer, if these expressions “would not have been so frequently reiterated, and with so much point, by any writer before the days of Arius,” what is the probable age of the epistle of Paul to Titus ?
Another passage is cited in proof, from section first, "BY THE BLOOD of God, (ev ävyari Ocõv;") with which we may compare Acts 20: 28: "Feed the Church of God (ixxAnoiav rov Ocīv), which he hath purchased with his own blood (và rõv idion älpatos)." The last passage quoted from this epistle is from section 7. “There is one physician, both carnal and spiritual; create and uncreate; God manifest in the flesh," (iv capki yevóvuevos Ocovs); with which compare 1 Tim. 3: 16. - God manifest in the flesh," (Oeds ipavepwon ev aapki.) The remaining passages cited from the other epistles are merely occasional repetitions of these phrases, and therefore prove no more against them than against
1 For authorities on the subject of these passages, and their meaning, see Middleton on the Doctrine of the Greek article, in loco. VOL. I.-NO. I.
this. We think our readers will agree with us, that this objection is fairly disposed of, and that they will be enabled to see the fairness of that logic by which these expressions are made to bear against the Ignatius, without equally affecting the Pauline epistles.
Objection 3. “The word Bishop (eníorotos) was not used to distinguish the president, (npocotūs) or messenger, (ayyedos) in their respective churches from the other presbyters, (opcoßúrepoi,) who were equally bishops until long after the death of Ignatins.” (p. 394.)
Reply. This objection partakes so much of a theological character, that we should omit all mention of it, if we were not obliged in so doing to pass unnoticed an allegation, which, if true, would be valid as an historical objection. That it is not historically correct, the following facts will show. In the Martyrdom of Ignatius,' he is said to have been "the disciple of St. John, a man in all things like unto the Apostles, who governed the Church of Antioch with care.” It is also related, that when he reached Smyrna on his way to Rome," he hastened to see the holy Polycarp, Bishop (iriokotos) of Smyrna, who had been his fellow-disciple." Ignatius is also in the same account called Bishop ( iníomotos ), and it is said that “the churches and cities of Asia attended this holy man by their Bishops, επίσκοπον, Priests πρεσβύτερον, and Deacons διακονον. Soon after this Polycarp, who, it will be borne in mind, is called Bishop, wrote an epistle to the Church at Philippi, which commences thus :-“Polycarp and the Presbyters that are with him.” In this epistle he speaks of Deaconsand of Presby. ters. A few years later, when Polycarp suffered martyrdom, about A. D. 147,” the Church at Smyrna wrote an epistle to the Church at Philadelphia, and to all other Churches, in which Polycarp is described as "a truly Apostolic and Prophetical teacher and Bishop of the Catholic Church at Smyrna.”s
The next writers in order of time, who had occasion to al
i Sec. .
2 Sec. 3. Trans. Chevalier. Sec. 8. Trans. Abp. Wake. Sec. 10. in the account of Metaphrastes, in Cat. Apos. PP. where Polycarp is called " an Apostle," and said to “govern a pocorával, the church at Smyrna.”
3 Sec. 5. Trans. Chev. Sec. 11. Trans. Abp. Wake.
7 It would seem that there can be little doubt that this is the true date, after what has been written by Bishop Pearson, Diss. Chron. par. 2. cc. 14–20, which conclusion is confirmed by an ancient inscription. Hisi. Poly. in Stand. W. P. E. Ch. vol. 4. p. 27, and Abp. Wake on Martyrd. St. Polycarp', sec. 11.
Sec. 11. Trans. Chevclier. Abp. Wake, 7. .
lude to the distinction between Bishops and Presbyters, flourished from A. D. 175 to 200. At this time we find Clement of Alexandria saying ; " the progressions of Bishops (iníorotor), Presbyters (spcaßúrepor), and Deacons (oraxovor), I deem to be imitations of the Angelic glory." About the same time lived Tertullian at Carthage, and who wrote in Latin. In his day the use of the Greek words had become so common as to form a part of the current ecclesiastical phraseology. They had, in fact, come to be names of distinct officers, and, as such, were written in Latin with Roman characters, as if they had been Latin words, as Episcopus, Presbyteri, and Diaconi ; and in this form are of frequent occurrence in his writings. So far, therefore, as history can furnish any light on the subject, the distinction between bishops and presbytery was made in the days of Ignatius, as it has been at all times since.
Objection 4. “Many of the terms used in these epistles, appear to be of later adoption than the days of that venerable martyr.” (p. 395.)
(1.) “ The Church is denominated Catholic (wabodian)."
Reply. This word occurs but once in the epistle under consideration, in Sec. 8 of that addressed to the Church at Smyr
“Where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." The next instance where it occurs, is in the circular epistle of the Church at Smyrna, written after the martyrdom of Polycarp. That epistle is directed to the Church of God at Philadelphia, and to all the other assemblies of the holy Catholic Church.” In that, it is related that Polycarp was “Bishop of the Catholic Church at Smyrna,"3 and that he was accustomed to pray for the whole Catholic Church.” 4 Under these circumstances, therefore, the occurrence of this word in the epistle to the Smyrnians, is no evidence against the genuineness of that epistle, but strong presumptive evidence in its favour. There was a time when this word was not so used. Some one must have used it first in this sense; and if the Church at Smyrna were in possession of a genuine epistle of Ignatius, the friend and fellow-disciple of Polycarp, in which the word Catholic was applied to the Church over which Polycarp presided, what more natural than that they should apply the same word to themselves, and to other Churches, when giving an account of the death of the same Polycarp? But does it well accord with the character of the Church at Smyrna at that
i Strom. I. 6. p. 667. Fol. Ed. Par. 1641. 2 De Bap. c. 17. De Praes. adv. Haer. c. 41, and elsewhere. 3 Sec. 16. Tr. Chev. Abp. Wake, 7. 14. . Sec. 8. Tr. Chev. Abp. Wake, 2. 11.