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Numb. XLVII. The REVELATION, or :
ANABATICON of PAUL.
T HAVE given this book these two different titles, because 1 I find it went under both among the antients; though it has been thought by several learned men, that they were the titles of two different books. How true this is, I thall eilquire, after I have first produced the places where it is mentioned by the antients. These are,
1. Epiphanius a, who gives us the following account of it:
speaking concerning the ridiculous feet of the Caianites 6,
and an absurd book of their tenets, adds ; Ilánu de äano Curtayution That they forged besides anwhá 7720 1 & óvóuct IIcú- other book, under the name of λά τα αποςόλα άρρητεργίας
Paul the Apostle, full of things έμπλεον, και και οι Γνωνικοί
which it was not lawful to
utter ; which they who are asyouevos žewutan, 'Ava
called the Gnosticks also use, ExToxòv Ilavar xahzoug Thi which they intitle The Anaπρόφασιν ευρόντες από τα λέ baticon of Paul; taking the yeu Tòv årósorov ávacienxé- occafion (of the forgery) from ναι έως τρίτα έρανε, και ακη- that faying of the Apottle, xoéven a ponta empata å åx that he ascended up into the Σελ. 595Α σαι. Και third heaven, and heard things
which it was not lawful for TGŪTQ, qarin, ési ta opinta
men to utter. And these, say phuata.
they, are the things.
2. Austin ', speaking of the different attainments of some
good men in knowledge, adds ; Quidam fpiritualium ad ea Some Christians arrived to pervenerunt, quæ non licet the knowledge of those things homini loqui ; qua occasione which cannot be uttered: on
2. Hæres. 38. $. 2.
o Concerning these monstrous hereticks, fee above, Chap. XX.
c Tractat. xcviii. in soan. inipa fo extremo. T. Opp. 9.
vani quidam Apocalypsin Pau- which occasion some vain perli, quam sana non recipit ec- fons, with a most ridiculous clesia, nescio quibus fabulis impudence, forged (a book plenam ftultissima præsump- intitled) The Revelation of tione finxerunt, dicentes hanc Paul, which the true Church efle unde dixerat raptum se doth not receive; it being fuisse in tertium cælum, et filled with I know not what illic audisse ineffabilia verba, fort of strange stories; prequæ non licet homini loqui. tending that it was on account Utcunque illorum tolerabilis of the things contained in this esset audacia, si se audisse dix- book, that he said he was taken iffet, quæ adhuc non licet ho- up into the third heavens, and mini loqui; cum vero dixerit there heard unutterable words, quæ non licet homini loqui; which it was not lawful for a isti qui funt, qui hæc audeant man to speak. Their impuimpudenter et infeliciter lo- dence had indeed been tole
rable, if he had said that he heard things which it was not lawful as yet for a man to utter; but since he speaks (abfolutely) of things which it was not lawful at all to utter, what ftrange sort of persons must they be, who would thus impudently blunder ?
3. Gelafius, in his Decree. Revelatio, quæ appellatur The Revelation under the Pauli Apostoli Apocrypha. name of Paul the Apostle, is
These are all the places within my limited time, in which this book is mentioned ; though it was in being fome ages after, as I shall shew presently. I have joined these places together, as supposing the Anabaticon of Paul mentioned by Epiphanius, and the Revelation of Paul mentioned by Austin and Pope Gelasius, to be only one and the fame book, under two different (and indeed scarce different) titles. I confess, most
of the learned writers that I have seen, who have mentioned any thing of this matter, suppose them to have been two different books. Thus Dr. Cave, enumerating the spurious pieces fathered upon St. Paul , first recites the Anabaticon mentioned by Epiphanius, and then, as diftin&t from it, the Revelation mentioned by Austin: lo Du Pin also recites them distinctly b, though in a note at the bottom of the page he seems to think they were the fame. Dr. Grabe not only supposes them different books, but made at very different times, viz. the Anabaticon in the second century, and the Revelation in the latter end of the fourth, between the years 396 and 392. Mr. Spanheim • also, and Father Simon®, recite them as two different books. So also (as one would imagine) after these does Mr. Toland, to augment his cataloguef; but nothing can be more humorous than to observe his blunder herein. He first places the Revelation of Paul, and refers to Epiphanius, Hæres. 38. §. 2. which is the place where he mentions the Anabaticon, and then in the next page recites the Anaba. ticon of St. Paul, and refers to the same place of Epiphanius (viz. Hæref. 38. $. 2.); which is, as if he had said, The Anabaticon and Revelation of Paul are two distinet books, and they are fo, because Epiphanius mentions but one. Such mistakes, fo frequent, are, to say no worse, unbecoming any man that pretends to learning. I desire Mr. Toland to be more careful and honest in the future attacks he threatens to make upon the Canon. But to leave him. Mr. Fabritius 8, following Dr. Grabe, supposes the Revelation and Anabaticon books of two different fubjects, viz. the latter containing the fancies of the Gnosticks, and the former made not till the end of the fourth century by fome Christian monks, containing the rules of their way of life.
Notwithstanding this so great agreement of learned writers in this matter, I think the contrary opinion moft undeniable,
· Histor. Liter. in Paulo, p. 7.
o Hift. of the Canon, Vol. II. Chap. VI. $. 6. p. 129, 13o.
c Spicileg. Patr. Secul. 1. p. 84, 85.
* Hiftor. Chritt. Secul. I. p. 58.
Crit. Hist. of New Test. c. 3. p. 26.
f Amyntor. p. 32.
& Cod. Apocr. Nov. Teftam. par. 2. p. 945.
viz. that the Anabaticon of Paul mentioned by Epiphanius, and the Revelation mentioned by Austin and Gelasius, were one and the same book. And this I argue,
First, From the consideration that the design, occasion of writing, as well as the main subject of the Anabaticon and the Revelation were the fame. This will appear by a comparison of Epiphanius and Austin together
Epiphanius concerning the St. Austin concerning the
Anabaticon of Paul. Revelation of Paul. The occasion of this forgery The occasion of this Revelawas St. Paul's saying, He af- tion was, that some Christians cended into the third heavens, had arrived to the knowledge and heard things which it was of things which it was not not lawful to utter.
lawful to utter.
That he means Paul, is plain by what follows.
The contents of this book This book pretended to give were the unutterable things an account of those things which Paul heard in the third which St. Paul heard, and heavens. xai taūta, pacis, &c. ' said, were unutterable.
These must be the contents of the same book; agreeable to which,
Secondly, The titles Anabaticon and Apocalypsis were both adjusted; the former denoting Paul's ascent and the visions he had in the third heavens ; or, as Mr. Du Pin's English translator renders it, The rapture of Paul: the latter denoting the visions or revelations, as in that book discovered. So that if we were to translate these two titles into English, one might not unjustly do it thus: The History of St. Paul's Ascent into the third Heavens ; or, An Account of the Visions and Revelations which he had there.
This may fuffice to prove these only two different titles of
• See the places above in this Chapter.
one book; which difference is very well conjectured a by Dr. Mill to have happened when this book was afterwards translated into Latin.
All that is urged to prove them distinct books is by Dr. Grabe and Mr. Fabritius 5, viz. that the Revelation is not mentioned till St. Austin, and therefore probably was not made before his time, whereas the Anabaticon was made by the Caianites in the second century; and whereas the former contained the principles of the Gnosticks, the latter contained the rules of the Monaflick life. But both these objections are founded upon the most precarious foundation : for as to the first, viz. the books not being mentioned before, it is a plain begging of the question ; first supposing them two distinct books, and then proving they are so by that supposition. Besides, if the silence of the writers of the age, in or after which any book be supposed to be made, be a good argument that it was not then made, then muft a great number of books bé brought many years back ; and particularly what will become of the antiquity of the Gospel of the Nazarenes, and the Gospel of the Egyptians ? which, though Dr. Grabe supposes to be written before St. Luke's Gospel, are not either of them mentioned by name till near three hundred years after Christ. As to the latter, viz. the Monks using it, and being delighted with it, it is much weaker than the former. The argument stands fairly thus : the Monks of the fourth century were much delighted with the Revelation of Paul, therefore it was made then : they used it, therefore they forged it. Sozomen indeed relates a fabulous account of this Revelation being found in the time of Theodofius 'the Emperor, in a marble chest, hid under ground at the house of St. Paul, at Tarsus in Cilicia, to which they were directed by God; but he adds, that he was assured by a Presbyter of Tarsus, who was very old, that this was not faft; but he supposed the book forged by the Hereticks. He farcher says, it was a book much commended by the Monks C; but
Hist. Ecclef. I. vii. c. 19.