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1. Tertulliana, in his Treatise of Baptism, mentions it thus. Quod fi qui Pauli perperam But if any read the Apocryscripta legunt, exemplum phal Books of Paul, and deTheclae ad licentiam mulie fend the right of women to rum docendi tingendique de- preach and baptise, by the fendunt, fciant in Afia pref- example of Thecla, let them byterum qui eam Scripturam consider, that a Presbyter of conftruxit, quasi titulo Pauli Asia, who forged that book, de suo cumulans, convictum, and adorned his performance atque confeffum, id se amore with the title of Paul, was Pauli fecisse, loco disceffiffe. convicted (of the forgery),
and confessed that he did it out of respect to Paul, and thereupon left his place.
2. Jerome, in his Life of Luke b. Periodos Pauli et Theclæ, et The Aets of Paul and Thecla, totam baptisati leonis fabulam, and the whole story of the bapinter Apocryphas Scripturas tifed lion, I reckon among the computamus. Quale enim Apocryphal Scriptures; for est, ut individuus comes A what sort of thing must it be, poftoli inter cæteras ejus res which the constant companion hoc solum ignoraverit ? Sed of the Apostle should be iget Tertullianus, vicinus co norant of, and no other thing rum temporum, refert Pres which he did ? But Tertulbyterum quendam in Asia, lian, who lived near those onödásnu, i. e. amatorem Pauli, times, relates, that a certain convictum apud Joannem Presbyter of Asia, an admirer quod auctor esset libri, et of Paul, being convicted by confessum fe hoc Pauli amore St. John, that he was the aufeciffe, et loco excidiffe. thor of the book, confessed
that he did it out of love to Paul, and so left his place.
* Cap. 17.
Catal. vir. illust. in Luca.
3. Gelasius, in his decree. Liber, qui appellatur Actus The Book, which is called Theclæ et Pauli, Apocry. The Acts of Thecla and Paul, phus.
is Apocryphala I need not be at much pains here in making any critical remarks on this book. The learned Dr. Grabe has lately published, out of a manuscript in the Bodleian library, a book intitled, Μαρτύριον της αγίας και ενδοξε πρωτομάρτυρας, και αποσόλα éxmas, The Martyrology, or Aits of the pious and celebrated first Martyr, and Apostle Thecla ". This he believes c to be the very
same with the Acts of Paul and Thecla, mentioned by Tertullian, Jerome, and Gelasius; and indeed there is this good argument to support his opinion, that what Tertullian faith was urged out of these Acts, viz. the example of Theila, to countenance the practice of women's preaching and baptising, is to be found in this manuscript which he has published; see p. 114, 116, &c. I must therefore look upon this as a book extant, and so shall defer the consideration of it to the next volume of this work, where I design (God willing) to produce this and other such pieces now extant, in their original languages, with an English translation.
Numb. XLIV. The ACTS of PAUL.
Concerning this old Apocryphal piece, we have but very
1. By Origen, giving a description of Christ. Unde et recte mihi dictus vi Wherefore that saying seems detur fermo ille, qui in Acti to me right, which is written
a Mr. Toland (Amyntor. p. 30.) has the goodneis to refer us to a place in St. Auftin, and another in Epiphanius, where these Acts are mentioned: but I must do him the justice to tell him, there is no such
book mentioned in either place.
b Spicileg. Patr. Sucul. I. t. 1, p. 95. Ć Ibid. p. 90, 95: Lib. I.
Περί αρχών, parum ab initio, cap. 2.
bus Pauli fcriptus eft, Quia in the Acts of Paul, That this hic eft Verbum, animal vi. is the Word, a living animal.
2. By the fame a. E tm di pinov wape/E269x But if any one please to adτο εν ταις Παύλα πράξεσιν mit that which is written in αναγεγραμμένον ως υπό του
the Acts of Paul, as spoken by
our Saviour, I am about to be ΣωτήρG- ειρημένον, "Ανωθεν
crucified again. μέλλω σαυρεσθαι. .
3. By Eufebius 6. Ουδέ μην τας λεγομένας αυτ8 As for that book, which is πράξας εν αναμφιλέκτους τα
intitled The Aets of Paul, I είληφα.
have not found it among those of undoubted authority.
4. By the famec, 'Εν τούς νόθοις κατατετάχθω The Ats of Paul are to be και των Παύλε πράξεων ή ranked among thofe books yaon, &c.
which are fpurious.
5. By Philaftrius Habent Manichæi-Actus The Manichees have also the Pauli pariter Apocryphi, &c. Acts of Paul, which are Apo
These are the several places where these Acts are mentioned. I readily agree with Dr. Grabe, they were not the same with the Acts of Paul and Thecla in the last number; but muft utterly diffent from him in saying, that Eufebius places it in the catalogue of books which were doubted of only by some : whereas nothing can be more plain, than that he ranks it with the vósos, or spurious books; which are in the worst class.
a Tom. 21. in Joann. pag. 298. • Hitt. Eccl. I. 3. C. 3.
o C. 25.
See it above in this part, Chap.
• Hærci. Apocrypha quæ eft 87.
Nor is it less abfurd in Dr. Mill a to suppose, that these Acts of Paul were compiled by some faithful Christians about the year of Christ LXIX. to supply (as he calls it) imperfectam historiam Pauli quam tradiderat Lucas, i. e. those imperfect accounts which are contained in the (now received) Aets of the Apostles which were written by Luke. For besides that he offers no manner of argument for his hypothesis, it is suffi. cient to destroy it, that Eufebius reckons it among the spurious books, and Philastrius among those filly books, which contained abundance of strange stories, about dogs and beafts speaking, &c. and for that reason, that the souls of men were like the souls of those animals. Although I cannot but here own, that perhaps Philaftrius may speak of those Acts of Paul which are mentioned by Photius", and attributed to Leucius Charinus by him.
As to the two passages taken out of these Acts by Origen, it is plain he appeals to them, and the book whence he takes them, not as being of authority. Accordingly he introduces them thus : The saying seems to me right, and if any one please to admit that which is written in the Aets of Paul, &c. which are forms of speech he would never have used concerning any book, which he thought to be of undoubted authority. Besides, to say nothing of the first of those passages, which is most obscure and unintelligible, to say no worse, viz. That he is the Word, a living Animal; the latter is borrowed from a most ridiculous history, which is still extant in the fabulous Lives of the Apostles under the name of Abdias (viz. in the Life of Peter, c. 19.) The story in short is, “ That after the “ decree of Nero to apprehend Peter at Rome, he was at length « prevailed upon by his friends, contrary to his own inclina« tions, to endeavour his escape ; accordingly having in the
night fled as far as the city gates, he saw Christ coming to « meet him : to whom he faid, Lord! Whither art thou going? " Christ answered, I come to Rome to be crucified again (which
Prolegom. in Nov. Teftam. $. 330.
b Cod. CXIV. See the place at large above, Chap. XXI.
the words of the passage in Origen): Peter understood “ this as an intimation that he ought to suffer, and thereupon “ returned, and was crucified.”
Upon the whole, then, it is reasonable to conclude these Acts of Paul Apocryphal, by Prop. IV, V, VI, and IX; and therefore that Mr. Whifton is much mistaken, when he says it is to be looked upon in some sense as a sacred book a.
Numb. XLV. The Preaching of PAUL and PETER. TH THIS antient Apocryphal book appears very clearly to have
been the same with that intitled, The Preaching of Peter ; not only from some passages in Clemens Alexandrinus, but from the account which Lactantius 6 gives of it. Pe ter and Paul, says he, preached at Rome, and that preaching continues still, being committed to writing : but though it went under both the name of Paul and Peter, yet it generally was called by the name of Peter; and therefore I shall defer the consideration of it, till I come to consider the books under his name in the ensuing chapters. See Chap. XXXIII. Numb. LII.
Numb. XLVI. A BOOK under the NAME of
S for this book, although I indeed placed it in the cata
logue, Part I. yet upon an after and more careful enquiry into it, I find it so evident, that it was a book forged by one Lucian, a Confesor, in the middle of the third century, in the name of Paul the Martyr, and not St. Paul the Apostle, as some have thought, that I shall think it enough to refer the reader to the places in Cyprian where this is most manifeft. See Epist. 22, 23, in the beginning of each.
Essay on Constit. p. 24.
1.4. c. 21.