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kind at the end of the second or commencement of the third centuries ; for it has been well observed by one who is no partial witness for Episcopacy, that “from the days of Tertullian and Irenæus, nulla ecclesia, sine episcopo, (no Church, without a Bishop,) has been a fact as well as a maxim.” There was therefore no motive that could operate at any time subsequent to this, to induce any one to forge seven epistles to establish the authority of an order of men, who not only possessed the same authority in fact, but were also entitled to it by the marims of the Church over which they presided. But if this had not been the case, it is not credible that an impostor, when attempting to fortify the authority of Bishops at a particular time, should not even hint at those arguments which at that time were considered the most potent and conclusive. Yet such is the dilemma to which we are reduced by denying the genuineness of these epistles. We are obliged to believe that they were forged at a particular time, for a particular purpose, and yet that the forger made no allusion to those arguments which were then supposed to be the strongest of which the nature of the case admitted. This supposition is so manifestly opposed to every principle of human action, that were it possible to make out from other sources a probability of forgery, it would not be sufficient to sustain the conclusion. It requires strong proof in its support.
2. The language of these epistles is such as to raise a presumption that they were writtten near the time of the Apostles. The whole force of this argument cannot be felt without a careful perusal of all the writings of that period, accompanied by comparison with those of a later age. But some idea may be formed of the nature of this argument by a comparison of the parallelism of thought to be found in their writings and others of that age, which is all we can pretend to in this article. In proof of this point, we may refer our readers to what has been said under the preceding heads, to which we shall add several other examples. Thus, Clement of Rome speaks of the Apostles as persons just dead. “Let us take the noble examples of our own age. Let us place before our eyes the good Apostles, Peter and Paul.”2 And Polycarp says, “neither can I come up to the wisdom of the blessed and renowned Paul ;"3 and Ignatius, “I command not, as Peter and Paul, who were Apostles." So in these epistles, the Church of Ephesus is described as always having “agreed with the Apostles,"s and the Trallians as continuing in their AposGib. Dec. and Fall. Rom. Emp. vol. 1. p. 272. n. 111. 2 Ad. Rom. c. 5.
5 Ad. Eph. c. 11. 49
* Ad. Rom. c 4.
3 Ad. Phil. c. 3. VOL. I.-NO. II.
tolic character.” Expressions similar to these last occur in accounts given of the Martyrdom of Ignatius and Polycarp. Thus Ignatius is said to have been “a man in all things like unto the Apostles," and Polycarp is called “an Apostolic teacher."3 These comparisons are such as would hardly have been made by any one whose age was not contiguous to that of the Apostles. We have seen, also, that Tertullian speaks of “the Apostolic age,” as distinct from the time in which he lived ; but there is no trace of any such distinction in these epistles, or in any of the other early writings.
3. The present use of words and phrases soon after the death of Ignatius, which occur for the first time in these epistles, affords another presumption in their favour. We have already alluded to the use of the word Catholic, in the epistle to the Smyrneans, but we refer to it again to notice a coincidence which it was not in place to mention at that time. Ignatius says to the Church at Smyrna, “where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church ;" and the Church at Smyrna, a few years after, write," he now glorifies the Father, and blesses our Lord, the Governor of our souls and bodies, and throughout the whole world, shepherd of the Catholic Church." In another place they style themselves " a Catholic Church, and their epistle is directed to “the holy Catholic Church ; and they say it had been the custom of Polycarp to pray for “the whole Catholic Church." This frequent use of this word in this sense, at that time and on that occasion, raises a strong presumption that they had received the epistle of Ignatius to them, in which it was contained, as is expressly stated in the epistle written by Polycarp to the Philippians.
In the epistle to the Romans, Ignatius says: “I am the wheat of God, and by the teeth of wild beasts shall I be gored;'
;"?10 which passage is quoted by Irenæus, towards the end of the same century, as the language of “one of ours, who for his faith in God was adjudged to beasts.”!! In the same epistle he says, “my love is crucified;” and in that to the Ephesians, “the prince of this world knew not the ministry of many ;?i2 both of which are quoted by Origin in the middle of the following century as having been said by Ignatius. In the same epistle he expresses a desire to be thrown to wild beasts, and this desire the account of his martyrdom says
1 Praef. 2 Martyr. Ign. c. 1. 3 Martyr. Pol. c. 16. 4 Ad. Smyr. c. 8. 5 Martyr. Pol. c. 19. 6 C. 16. 7 Praef. & C. 8. 9 C. 11.
10 C. 4. 11 Adv. Han. L. 5. c. 28. 12 Ad. Rom. c. 4. Ad. Eph. c. 19. 13 Prob. in Cant. Conticonin, Hom, Luke 6.
14 C. 4.
was accomplished. It is not easy to imagine how such coincidences should have happened, had not these epistles been in existence, and been received as genuine.
4. The correspondence between the general facts as stated by Ignatius, and as related in that account of his martyrdom which is quoted by nearly every historian, and is referred to by the reviewer in the Spectator as genuine, is so close, that if the epistles fall, the relation of his martyrdom must go with them.
5. The evils of the times in which Ignatius lived were such, as far as we can learn from the little that remains, as are described in the epistles ; and such as would naturally call forth such epistles. Even in the days of the Apostles, insubordination, and rebellion against ecclesiastical rulers, was not unknown. The Church at Corinth, in the days of the Apostles formed parties in the church, professing to array themselves under Paul, and Cephas, and Apollos, and other leaders; and proceeded so far as to call forth a severe reproof from the Apostle. This seems to have allayed that difficulty and schism ; but some time after another contention arose, more bitter in its nature and more evil in its consequences, producing a schism which required all the piety and wisdom at home, with the counsel and prayers of other churches, to heal. It was on this occasion that Clement, Bishop of Rome, wrote his truly Apostolitical epistle to the Church in that place. Both of these contentions related to the authority of the ministry. Indeed, from this and other fragments of the history of these times, it seems to have required all the wisdom and authority of the wisest and holiest men who lived in the age immediately succeeding the Apostles, to carry the infant Church safely through that period of transition which ensued upon the death of the Apostles, and which transferred the authority of governing the Church from Apostolic to other hands,
These epistles, also, bear strong internal evidence of having been written at a time when these commotions in the Church were common, and by one who had been an eye-witness of their evil consequences. Thus, when at Philadelphia he cried, "attend to the Bishop, and to the Presbytery, and to the Deacons,” he was accused of having said it “on account of the separation of some;" and though he tells them that such was not the fact, he assures them that “ where there is division and strife, God dwells not,—that he who makes a schism in the Church shall not inherit the kingdom of God; but that God forgives all that repent, if they return to the unity of God and the counsel of the Bishop.” And when, at a subsequent time, he wrote his epistle to the Church in that place, he wished them joy; "especially if at unity with the Bishop, and the Presbyters, and the Deacons." The disobedience of the people towards the ministry is also spoken of in the epistle to the Magnesians. “It is, therefore, fitting that we should not only be called Christians, but be so; as some call a Bishop by that name, but do all things without him." The writer also describes himself as "a man anxious for unity." Wherefore he warns all the Churches to “love unity—to flee divisions-as the beginning of evil;"4 and “exhorts them to love nothing among them which can cause division ; but to study to do all things in a divine concord, being united to the Bishop, and those who presided over them."5
1 C. 6. ? 1 Cor. 1: 12—17. Ep. Clem. Rom. Ad. Cor. cc. 45–50. 3 Ep. Ad. Rom. cc. 1. 2. 3. 4. 37. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48.
On the other hand, the Ephesians are described as “deservedly happy-being united--by an uniform obedience—having no contention or strife among them—but having always agreed with the Apostles." The Trallians are also commended, because they have “continued in their Apostolic character, and are exhorted to continue inseparable from Jesus Christ, and from the Bishop, and the commands of the Apostles."" These declarations all tend to prove the existence of discord, division, and schism, to a great extent, at or near the time when these epistles were written. It is, indeed, upon the assumed existence of those evils that the whole argument proceeds; an assumption which manifests itself in every part, and is in exact accordance with the little we know of the history of those times; thereby furnishing a strong presumptive argument in favour of their genuineness.
If, leaving this age, we descend in the history of the Church, we shall find no other period where the things here described can be supposed to have existed. At A. D. 200, and at all times subsequent thereto, the authority of the Bishops, as an order superior to Presbyters, was as firmly fixed as possession and acknowledged right could establish it. Whatever difference of opinion might have existed as to the extent of their authority subsequent to that time, there was none as to the fact of their superiority. Hence, the evils which are brought to view so often, and which are dwelt upon with so much zeal
1 C. c. 7. 8. 2 e. 4. 3 Ad. Phil. c. 8. 4 Ad Phil. c. 7. Ad Trall. c. 11. Ad Smyr. c. 7. 6 Ad Mag. c. 6. 6 Praef. and ec. 2. 4. 8. 11. 7 Praef. and e. 7. 8 Mosh. Ecc. Hist. B. 1. Cent. 2. par. 2. c. 2. and Cent. 3. par. 2. c. 2.
and fervency in these epistles, could have existed at no time, but at or near that when they purport to have been written. Hence, therefore, the whole internal evidence of these epistles is most decidedly in favour of their early origin; which inference is in conformity with the opinion of the whole primitive Church, and is sanctioned by every ancient work that contains any allusions to them. But of all the arguments which go to prove the genuineness of these epistles, the strongest of all is one which cannot be spread upon paper. Whoever studies them with attention, will be thoroughly persuaded that they were written under no ordinary circumstances; that they breathe such a spirit of ardent piety and holy devotion; that there is such an air of sincerity and truth pervading them; and such a confident expectation of a blissful martyrdom announced in them, and yet expressed in language so evidently unstudied, and in a style so hasty and unpolished; that it is impossible to believe that they were written at any other time, or other person,
than the Blessed Martyr whose name they bear; and that he, too, must have written them under precisely such circumstances as they describe-during a hurried journey to the place of his martyrdom, amid the congratulations and the tears of the vast concourse of saints that came to meet him; circumstances which compelled him to write from the impulse of the moment, without reflection, and with no opportunity for revision. We cannot better bring this article to a close than by saying with Dr. Murdock, that “if any one wishes to know what was the simplicity and Godly sincerity of that first and infantile age of the Church, let him read the Apostolic Fathers ;" and with M. Dupin, " that these epistles deserve to be well esteemed, and to be admired by all those who profess to have any regard for books of piety."
Art. VII.-Elements of Political Economy. By FRANCIS
WAYLAND, D. D. President of Brown University, and Professor of Moral Philosophy. New-York. Leavitt, Lord & Co. 1837. 8vo. pp. 472.
"WHEN," says President Wayland, "the author's attention was first directed to the Science of Political Economy, he was struck with the simplicity of its principles, the extent of its generalizations, and the readiness with which its facts seemed