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Sixthly, The same character seems justly to be fixed upon the book from that passage cited by Clemens Alexandrinus twice (viz. Chap. XXXIII. Numb. I. and Numb. II.) and by Theodotus, Numb. 4. where Christ is called the Nópeos, the Law, which seems to be upon no other account than to establish the Ebionite scheme of the everlasting obligation of the Law, which has been shewn to be the intent of this book. Apocryphal therefore by Prop. VIII.
Seventhly, The Author of the book about Rebaptisation (above, Chap. XXXIII. Numb. 7.) has observed a very evident contradiction in it, viz. After the two Apostles Peter and Paul had conferred together, and disputed at Jerusalem, they afterwards met in the same city as much unknown to each other, as if they had never seen each other before. This seems either to argue, that both the Apostles had memories exceeding treacherous, or else something (as the anonymous Author says) very absurd, i, e. contradictious to itself, and therefore what proves it Apocryphal by Prop. VII.
Eighthly, The passage (Numb. IV. out of Clemens Alexandrinus, above, Chap. XXXIII.) in which is Christ's command to his Apostles, not to go out into the world to preach the Gospel, till after the expiration of twelve years, will also prove it Apocryphal. For though there be another testimony to this tradition, viz. Apollonius, a writer of the second centurya, yet it seems very contrary, not only to the design of the Christian Religion, which was intended to be as diffufive as possible, without any distinction of persons or nations, but also to the express testimonies of several of the books now received; as where our Saviour tells the woman of Samaria, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor at Jerufalem, worship the Father, &c. Joh. iv. 21. where he tells his Disciples, the Gospel was to be preached to all the world, Matt. xxiv. 14. and actually commands them, without any limitation as to time, to go forth and preach the Gospel to every creature, and to all nations, Mar. xvi. 15. Mat. xxviii. 18. Befides, if Christ did give his Apostles any such command, if the History of the Acts of the Apostles by Luke be true, they were disobedient to it; for it is certain that in much less time Peter had his vision, Churches were planted in Samaria, Antioch, &c. by the preaching of the Apostles: and therefore, after so much evidence, I may venture to affert this a fpurious account of Christ; and consequently this Preaching, which contained it, also fpurious. CHA P. XXXVI.
- Apud Eufeb. Hift. Eccl. 1. §. c. 18.
I confefs indeed, the Latin translator of Clemens has given these words another turn, and putting no point after the word ápogries, but a full period after the word ørn, makes the passage to speak thus, He that will repent and believe on God through my name, his fins shall be pardoned after twelve years. But this is more absurd and foolish than the former, and therefore I have chosen to follow Dr. Cave's punctuation and translation a.
Lastly, I might argue this book not to have been the composure of Peter and Paul, from the great difference there is in the style of it from the known style of those two facred writers, and so prove it Apocryphal by Prop. XI. but this I shall leave to the judgment and discretion of the reader, having faid fo much concerning the various sorts of styles under that Propofition.
What remains farther is, that I add something concerning the manner in which Clemens and Lactantius have cited this book. As to the latter, though he indeed produces a passage out of it, he does not cite it as of any authority, nor in the least intimate that it was wrote by those Apostles. As to the former, though he indeed cite it several times, which has been made the great argument to support its authority, I shall think it fufficient to observe,
1. That he never does cite it as Scripture, or under that name.
2. That it does not follow from a barè citation of it, that he
judged it to be the work of those Apostles. Why might he not cite it as an Ecclesiastical book ? I have above proved, that he did in like manner cite a passage out of the Gospel of the Hebrews, which yet himself rejected as not Canonical; but
3. Suppose he did really appeal to it as a genuine book, it will be a most absurd inference, that therefore it was Canonical; it is at most but the testimony of one single Father against the express testimony of many others as good and proper judges as himself, as well as against a great many strong arguments of its spuriousness. But
4. To-speak what I really think; since it is certain the first Christians did forge several pious books to gain credit to Chriftianity, as for instance, the Verses of the Sibylls, & ci out of the fame principle I suspect Clemens made use of this book under the name of Peter, just in the fame manner as he has very often in his works taken testimonies against the Pagans out of the spurious Verses of the Sibylls. See p. 17, 32, 41, 223, 304, 323, 601, 604, 636, &c.
Upon the whole, I conclude this Preaching of Peter to have been the forgery of some Ebionites in the beginning of the second century, and contained things vastly different from any thing that ever the Apostles preached; that it passed under various changes, suffered many interpolations, and was a most filly and impious imposture.
The Revelation of Peter supposed by Dr. Grabe equal to the
Revelation of Fohn; by Mr. Toland, as preferable to Seven Books of our present Canon ; by Mr. Whiston, to have been a sacred Book. Their Opinion of it groundless ; for Clemens Alexandrinus never cited it. The Book of Hypotypoles not written by Clemens, but another; proved out of Photius. A conjecture concerning the Hypotyposes fupported out of Caffiodorus. The Excerpta Tbeodoti not made by Clemens. The Contents of these Eclogues, or Excerpta; and their Contrariety to the known Do&trines of Clemens. They were not Part of the Hypotyposes, as Mr. Valefius supposes, nor Part of the Stromata. This fully proved. The Preaching of Peter not esteemed by Eusebius. He does not contradiet himself in Relation to that Book, as has been generally supposed. A Method of clearing him.
Numb. LIII. The REVELATION OF PETER.
DESIDES the Gospel, Aets, Judgment, and Preaching, I
observe there was also extant formerly a Book called, The Revelation of Peter. The antient writers who have mentioned it are as follow; viz.
1. Clemens Alexandrinus a.
There was a book formerly extant under his name, but now loft, entitled, The Hypotyposes of Clemens; and in this he made use of the Revelation of Peter, as Eusebius informs us.
'Ev de tans 'T TOTUTUCEGI Wá- In the books of his called Hyσης της ενδιαθήκη γραφης potypofes, he has wrote Home ŠTITETunuéves weTONTOLO dome sort Commentaries upon all
cus, un'de ca's á vtineyen the books of Scripture, not
• Lib. Hypotypos.
• Hift. Ecclef. 1. 6.c. 14. .
ed books, even the com
CHAP. XXXVI. : The Revelation of Peter. μένας τσαρελθών» την Ιούδα omitting even the controvertλέγω, και τας λοιπας καθο- cd books, I mean that of Jude, λικας επιςολας, τήν τε Βαρ
and the other Catholick Epiφάβα, και την Πέτρα λεγο
stles; the Epistle of Barnabas,
and that called, The Revelaμένην 'Αποκάλυψιν.
tion of Peter,
2. Theodotus a. Διό και Πέτρος έν τη 'Απο- Wherefore Peter in his Reκαλύψει φησί, Και αςραπη velation faith, and the light συρος σηδωσα από των βρε- of fre darted from there in
fants, and did strike upon the φων εκείνων, και σλήσσεσα
eyes of the women. τες οφθαλμες των γυναικών.
3. By the same b. Αυτίκα και Πετρος εν τη 'Απο- Prefently after, Peter Jays in καλύψει φησίν, Τα βρέφη έγ- bis Revelation, « That aborαμβλωθέντα της αμείγονος “ tive infants are in the moft εσόμενα σείρας, ταυτα αγ:
« happy circumftances, that
« they are committed to a γέλω τη μελέχω παραδίδοσ
« guardian angel, by which θαι, ίνα γνώσεως μεταλαβόν- « means they are fo inftruξtτα, της αμείνονος τύχη μονής, «ed, as to obtain a more exπαθόντα και αν έπαθεν και εν « cellent manfion, but irit σώματι γενόμενα τα δ' έτερα « fuffering what they would μόνης της σωτηρίας τεύξεται,
“ have suffered, if they had ως ήδικημένα ελεηθέντα, και
« continued in the body: but μένει άνευ κολάσεως, τ8το γέ
" « as for others, they indeed
« find mercy, and obtain manρας λαβόντα. Το δε γάλα . « fions of happinefs for the των γυναικών ρέον από των « injuries they have fuffered; μασών και σηγούμενον, φησίν « and thus in this condition ο Πέτρος εν τη Αποκαλύψει, « they hall abide without pu
« nifhment, receiving this for " their reward. Again, as Peter says in his Revelation, the “ milk of women, Aowing down from their breasts, and