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baptism, said, it was when he was thirty years old, and then magistri ætatem perfeétam habens, venit ad Jerusalem, ita ut ab omnibus juste audiretur magister : being arrived to the pero, fect age (or requisite age) of a master (or teacher), he went to Jerusalem, and so was justly acknowledged by every one to be a master. This was founded upon a divine command, Num. iv. 3. That from thirty years old and upward, even until fifty years old, they (viz. the Levites) should enter into the host to do the work of the Tabernacle of the congregation ; and the practice of David, who is said (1 Chron. xxiii. 3.) to have numbered the Levites from thirty years old and upward. Unless therefore we will suppose our Saviour to have made a greater innovation in the customs of the Jews a in the choice of his disci. ples, than he made himself when he entered upon his publick ministry, we must suppose, Barnabas at least thirty years old when Christ chose him, and very probably (considering him a Levite, who had perhaps been some time employed in that office) several years older, and equal in age at least to any one of the Apostles. Now the destruction of Jerusalem was (as is agreed on all hands), just seventy years after Christ's birth, and this Epistle of Barnabas, was certainly wrote after that; so that if we suppose Barnabas to have been no more than thirty-five years of age when Christ first fent him (Luke x. 1.), and that he wrote his Epistle no more than five years after the destruction of Jerusalem.(both which are, considering all circumstances, very modest and reasonable fuppofitions), he must have wrote his Epistle in his eightieth, or at least seventy-ninth year. But whereas no one of the Apostles (except St. John) lived to that age, but by one means or other much fooner fell into the hands of their enemies, it is at least . improbable to suppose that Barnabas did, and consequently improbable that he was the author of this Epistle wrote under his name.
That which confirms this matter is, that our Saviour speaks of it as something very singular and extraordinary, that John
· Vid. Spanheim. Dub. Evang. tom. 2. Dub. 96. et Outram. de Saçrific. lib. 1. c. 7. §. 2, 3, &c. Ff3
should live so long as the destruction of the city of Jerusalem (John xxi. 21, &c.), If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? By which coming of Christ nothing else is meant; in the judgment of our best expositors and criticks, Mede a, Lightfoot , Hammond, Whitby d, Dr. Cave , &c. than his coming to the final overthrow and deftru&tion of Jerusalem; and many of the criticks have judged no way fo proper to expound that text, Matt. xvi. 28. Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom, as to refer it to John's surviving the destruction of Jerusalem. If then Barnabas did not 'live till the destruction of Jerusalem, he could not be the author of this Epistle under his name, wherein that event is not only referred to, Ch, IV. but expressly mentioned more than once, Ch. XVI. where speaking of the Temple he faith, Aia' yo'p so waasueño atra's na Smpéten i Trò Tür im Opãy vữv, It is now through their wars destroyed by their enemies ; then citing a prophecy, to fhew that city, temple, and people were to be given up, he adds, Και εγένετο καθ' & ελάλησε ο Κύριο», And it has come to pass according as the Lord spake.
There is indeed one way of evading the force of this argument, viz. by supposing Barnabas to have wrote of the destruction of Jerusalem by a spirit of prophecy, and by means of that spirit to have spoke of things yet to come, as being past. This, however absurd, Menardus found necessary to assert, as Archbishop Laud faith in his Letter to him, calling it a Petitio Principii. But as I can find nothing like this in Menardus's printed notes, I am apt to imagine he ftruck it out on account of the Archbishop's reflection. Upon the whole then we have good reason to conclude this Epistle to be fpurious, and not wrote by Barnabas the disciple of Christ. I might here easily collect many other arguments, whereby the fpuribusness of this Epistle would be evinced; but I choose rather to omit them here, they being such as withal prove it
2 Vid. Poli Synopf. tom. 5. p.
b Hor. Hebr. in loc.
Annot. in loc. d Ibid. e Lives of the Apostles, p. 154.
Apocryphal, and therefore more properly fall under our confideration on the second head; of which in the following chapter.
CHAP. XL. The Epistle of Barnabas proved to be Apocryphal: it is not in
any of the antient Catalogues of sacred Books : not cited by any of the Fathers as Scripture : Clemens Alexandrinus and Origen the only Fathers that have cited it: neither of them believed it Canonical: it was not read in the Assemblies of
the primitive Christians. W E RE it not for the extravagantly high opinion which
V those have of this Epistle, who contend for the genuineness of it, I should have been , apt to imagine I had done enough already, by proving it spurious, to prove it Apocryphal, But because we are told, It was only reckoned Apocryphal, because of its mystical interpretations of Scripture; and that if a book be to be rejected, because it has been sometimes called Apocryphal, we must reject the Epistle to the Hebrews, and that of
Jude (see Voflius above, Ch. XXXVIII. Num. 4.): that it is in all points orthodox, and the author one that closely imitated Șt. Paul: that it did not continue to be read in the Churches as other Scriptures, only for the reason of its being obscure, which is the case of some books of the Canon: that its forced and farfetched allegories are borrowed from St. Paul's Epistles, (as Bishop Fell above, Num. 5.): that it is cited as Scripture (according to Mr. Toland, Num, 12.): that it was wrote by a perfon endued with the extraordinary asistance of the Spirit, and is to be looked upon as an autboritative declaration of the Gospel of Christ, wrate by a person who was inspired, &c. (as the present Archbishop of Canterbury above, Num, 13.): that it is without all controversy a work of the Apostolick age, being quoted by almost all the primitive Fathers : that its style and matter prove its genuine antiquity (as Dr. Clark, Num. 16.): that it is to be placed among the sacred books of the New Testament (as Mr. Whiston, Num. 17.): because, I say, we are told all this of this Epistle, than which scarce any thing more can be said of the books of the Canon, it is necessary that I do a little farther enquire into the authority of it: and this I shall do according to the several propositions laid down for this purpofe in the first part of this work; and so shall have occasion to examine all, or most of the foregoing assertions in favour of this Epistle. I come then,
(2.) To enquire, What authority the Epistle of Barnabas does claim, or ought to have, in the Church; i. e. whether it be Canonical, or not. Andy 999
Arg. I..I argue that it is Apocryphal by Prop. IV. because it is not found in any of the catalogues of the sacred books of the New Testament made by the primitive Christians. This will be undeniably evident to any one, who will but cast his eye upon those catalogues which I have collected, Vol. I. Part I. Chap. VIII. He will see that there is no mention of it either in the catalogue of Origen, Eusebius, Athanafius, the Council of Laodicea, Epiphanius, Gregory Nazianzen, Philaftrius, Jerome, Ruffin, Austin, the third Council of Carthage, &c. and consequently must judge it Apocryphal. It is strange therefore Mr. Whiston should at last take upon him, to place it among the sacred books of the New Testament; and the more strange, since it is not in the catalogue which is in the eighty-fifth Canon of the Apostles.'
Arg., II. The Epistle under the name of Barnabas is Apo. cryphal, because it is not cited in the writings of the primitive Christians as Scripture, Prop. V. Dr. Clark indeed (above, Ch. XXXVIII. Num. 16.) tells us, it is cited by almost all the primitive Fathers. But upon enquiry I find these almost all amount to no more than Clemens the master, ånd Origen the fcholar, at the fame town of Alexảndria's elsewhere it does not appear to have been so much known as to have been cited by any one Father, unless. Jerome's translating a few Hebrew names, which are in it, into Latin, be such. But neither can
this be called Jerome's work; for it is only a translation of a book of Origen's out of Greek into Latin upon the fame subject. (See Dr. Cave Hift. Lit. t. 1. p. 83 et 224.) Indeed, Eusebius and Jerome elsewhere have mentioned it, but not so as to cite it, only to tell us it was Apocryphal, as I shall thew presently. Clemens of Alexandria therefore, and his scholar Origen, are the only two Fathers we have to do with here; who, though indeed they have cited it, yet do not appear to have given it any of that authority which is now claimed for it, as indeed it was not in their power, But let it be observed,
1. That neither of them have cited it as Scripture, or in the way which they ordinarily do the genuine Scriptures. The bare citation of a book by a Christian Father will not prove it Canonical, else would a thousand Pagan authors be of the Canon. Besides, the former volume will afford many instances of books under Apoftolick names, cited by these and other Fathers, which they looked upon to be Apocryphal, as I have there proved. I know indeed Mr. Toland a tells the world, that Clemens Alexandrinus and Origen not only reckoned the Epistle of Barnabas genuine, but cited it as Scripture : but this, as Mr: 'Richardson well observes, is not true in fact ; They cite it, says hė, but under no such title.
2. It is certain that Origen, though he cites the Epistle of Barnabas, did not esteem it as any part of Canonical Scripțure, because he left it out of his catalogue of sacred and inspired writings, which we have laid together by Eusebius c. It is evident therefore, that his sentiments of Barnabas were the same as his sentiments of several of the Apocryphal books of the Old Testament; which though he often cites, yet he entirely omits in his enumeration of the books of the Old Teftament, which is perfectly the same with the present Canon d.
3. Suppose then that one Father (Clemens Alexandrinus) had too high an opinion of a book, are we to be governed in determining the Canon, by the private opinion of one single writer,
a Amyntor, P: 44.
Hift. Ecck: I. 6. c. 25,
d Ibid. He omits James and "Jude, buț owns them elsewhere.