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" those of Ephesus, or Chalcedon; not in those confessions " made at Sardica, Antioch, Seleucia, Sirmium, &c. It is
not mentioned in several confessions of faith delivered by
particular persons; not in that of Eusebius Cæsariensis, “ presented to the Council of Nicea; not in that of Marcel
lus, Bishop of Ancyra, delivered to Pope Juliust; not in " that of Arius and Euzoius, presented to Constantine. ; not « in that of Acacius, Bishop of Cæsarea, delivered in the sy« nod of Seleuciad; not in that of Eustathius, Theophilus, " and Sylvanus, sent to Liberius e: there is no mention of it “ in the Creed of St. Basil'; in the Creed of Epiphanius 8, « Gelafius, Damafus, Macarius, &c. It is not in the Creed « expounded by St. Cyril, though some have produced that “ Creed to prove it. It is not in the Creed expounded by “ St. Augustine; not in that other', attributed to St. Au
guftine in another place; not in that expounded by Maxi« mus Taurinensis ; nor that so often interpreted by Petrus “ Chrysologus; nor in that of the Church of Antioch, deli« vered by Caffianus *; neither is it to be seen in the MS. « Creeds set forth by the learned Archbishop of Armagh. It " is affirmed by Ruffin, that in his time it was neither in the Roman, nor the Oriental Creeds!.”
Thus far Bishop Pearson. The certainty of all which may be easily perceived by any one, who will be at the pains to search into these antient books, or but cast his eye upon that collection which the present Lord Chief-Justice, Sir Peter King, has made of all the Creeds within the three first centuries m. This article therefore, concerning the descent of Christ into hell, cannot be supposed to be one of those concerning which Thaddæus is said in this history to have preached at Edessa, and therefore the words xatibn is sòv õdrv, i. e. he descended into hell, could
not be the language of this Apostle, but of some person long after his time ; whence it moft undeniably follows, that this whole history in the Edeffene archives is fpurious and Apocryphal. Prop. X.
The main objection against the preceding Proof answered, taken from the Credit of Eusebius. A Character of that Historian. A Conjecture that this History is an Interpolation into the Works of Eusebius. Several Arguments to support this conjecture. A Fragment concerning Christ's Picture which he sent to Abgarus, taken out of the Orthodoxographa. The Story of the Picture common among the Writers of the fixth and following Centuries. A Digresion out of Monsieur Durant concerning several Pictures of Christ, made in his Lifetime.
"HE most considerable, and indeed only objection that
can be made against the foregoing proof, is the credit of Eusebius, who relates the story, and is so universally reputed an historian of the most accurate judgment and perfect fincerity. To which I answer, either,
1. That Eufebius was in this matter too credulous, and betrayed too easily into the belief of that, which, if he had more carefully examined, he would have as easily rejected. This has been a fault often charged upon this learned writer of Chriftian antiquities. No one, says Scaligera, has contributed more to the Christian history, and no one is guilty of more mistakes. And in another place ", If a person's learning is to be judged of by his reading, nobody can deny Eusebius the charac
Elench. Trihär. c. 29.
8. Sce a particular account of Eufebius and his character in Father Maimbourg's History of Arianism, in
French, tom. i. 1. 1. p. 32, &c.
ter of a learned man; but if he is to be esteemed learned, who has shewn judgment, together with his reading, Eusebius is not such. It is certain, notwithstanding all that can be said for him, there are too many instances in his works both of partiality and credulity, to say no worse, besides that he frequently trusts too much to his memory. I shall omit instances of this fort, being much more willing they should be observed by others, than enlarged on by me. In the main he is certainly a good historian; and though there be several mistakes in his works, yet there seems to me none more considerable than this which we are now upon, if indeed it was really his; for,
2. I offer it as a probable conjecture, that this chapter in the works of Eusebius, containing these two Epiftles, viz. the Letter of Abgarus to Christ, and his Reply, with the subfequent history of Thaddæus at Edessa, was not really written by Eusebius, but foisted into his works, and an interpolation not made till the latter end of the fourth, or perhaps the fifth century. I am apprehensive a conjecture of this fort will seem surprising, but I hope not improbable to those, who will impartially consider the following remarks, viz.
1.) That the article of the descent of Christ into hell has been proved not only to have been an invention after the Apofiles' time, but even after the time of Eufebius. For this I refer the reader to the proof just now brought of this matter out of Bishop Pearson and Sir Peter King; no mention at all being made of it till the latter end of the fourth century, in Ruffin's Expofition, whereas Eufebius lived in the beginning of it. It follows therefore, that unless Eusebius could speak of these things or doctrines not yet known in his time, that this history was interpolated or inserted into his works after his time. That which mightily strengthens this argument is, that neither in the Nicene Creed, which was settled and approved by Eusebius, as well as the other Bishops there; nor even in that which Eusebius himself tendered to them for their approbation, is there any the least intimation of this article *;
• See them both at large in Scultet. Medull. Patr. de Concil. Niceno,
P. 405, &c.
so that it is evident, that Eusebius being ignorant of it, it was foifted into his works.
2.) That this history is an interpolation into Eusebius, seems evident by considering the context and series of the history preceding. In order to which I observe, that the design of the first book, of which this is the last chapter, is 'to treat concerning Christ and things relating to his time ; and having in the preceding chapter just mentioned our Saviour's Apostles, he proposes to defer the confideration of them and their actions after Christ's ascension; which is accordingly the main subject of the second book. Now I say, for Eufebius here to bring in the story of Thaddæus, which was after Christ's ascension, is to contradict himself, and break in upon his own design and order of history, which he proposed ; wherefore I conclude this an interpolation, and the rather, becaufe Eusebius expressly fays, in the beginning of the fecond book, that he had only related those things which concerned the history of our Saviour, and the choice or nomination of his Apostles, in the first book; but now, says he, I proceed to those things which happened after his afcenfion. But how is it poffible he could have said this, if he had just before been writing concerning the acts of Thaddæus at Edeffa, which were after Christ's ascension ? Nor can it be objected, that. Eufebius relates the history of Thaddæus there, because it was connected with the history of the intercourse between Christ and Abgarus, seeing it is evident that the history of Chrift and Abgarus was introduced on account of the history of Thaddæus, and not the history of Thaddæus on account of the hiftory of Christ. It is therefore evident all this chapter must be an interpolation; to confirm which yet further I observe,
3. That Eufebius does, in the next book, viz. c. 1. when he is relating what happened to, and was done by, the Apostles after our Saviour's ascension, relate this history in short, but without any, so much as one, of those circumstances, by which I have above proved the history to be fpurious and fupposititious. Now this would have been perfectly needless, if it be supposed that he had a few lines before wrote the same
history, and such a repetition as I may safely challenge any one to shew in an historian of any value. It is true indeed, he is made to refer to the former place; but this was necessary to be interpolated upon the supposition of the former being so.
4. Such interpolations have very frequently been made into the writings of the Fathers. Mr. Daillé a has made a large collection of instances to this purpose ; I shall only mention one or two in the books of Eusebius: for instance, such I take that to be (Hift. Eccl. lib. 3. cap. 36.), where Papias is applauded as μάλισα λογιώτατG- και της γραφής είδε μων, i. e. α person of eminent judgment and discretion, and knowledge in the Scriptures; and yet a few pages after he says, he was coideae Ouszpós tòu võr, a person of an exceeding low and mean genius; which being a direct contradiction to the foregoing (but his just character) proves the former to be an infertion or note of fome careless reader. This is confirmed, in that Ruffin did not read it in his copies, as appears by his Latin Version, which wants it; as also that it is not to be found in the best, and most antient manuscript copies of Eufebius, which Valefius collated, viz. that which he calls The Medicæan; that of Cardinal Mazarine and Fuketius. In like manner in some copies of Eusebius's Chronicon he is made to fay, that the fast of Lent was instituted by Telesphorus, and the observation of the Lord's Day by Pius, both Bishops of Rome .
5. It was more easy for such an interpolation to be made, because it was the end of a book.
Upon the whole, that which seems clear is, that the Epistles and history are spurious, and that Eusebius in some measure too easily believed the report concerning them, though the large account of them in his first book be a plain corruption of some writer after his time, and an addition to the history, as it is certain there were many such things in succeeding ages : some of them I have above mentioned out of Procopius, Euagrius, and Cedrenus, and shall now conclude this whole matter with a fragment which I find published by Jacob Gry
c Loc. cit. p. 44.
a Right Use of the Fathers, ch.4. • Annot. in Euf. ad h. l.