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actually mentioned them. But such unfair practice (as I have observed in the former part) was very common with this triAing writer, the better to adorn and grace his Catalogue. But to return to my observation, it does not appear that St. Austin did cite or look upon these Epistles of Paul to Seneca as genuine, because he has never mentioned them: I add, nor is it probable that he ever saw them, or heard of them; for if he had, it is almost impossible to suppose but that he would have mentioned those of Paul to Seneca at the same time, and in the fame place, where he mentions those of Seneca to Paul. But let us suppose, that when he mentions the one, he im plied also the other, it does by no means appear that he cited them, as Rivet fays, or acknowledged them as genuine, as both he and the authors above-mentioned conclude, concern, ing him and Jerome. All those Fathers say, is, that they were read; Jerome adds, by many. But does this imply, that they were read and received by them? Do not the words seem clearly to imply and intimate the contrary? Their words are plainly to this effect, There are certain Epistles of Seneca Paul, which are spread up and down, and read by fome persons among us, but I see no reason to acknowledge them. Had either of these Fathers known or believed these to be the genuine Epistles of St. Paul, can it be imagined they would have said po more of them? Would they not have declared their belief in this matter, and recommended them to the perufal of the churches ? Would they not have cited them, or transcribed either some part or the whole of them into their works? This seems to me good presumptive evidence against the unanimous opinion of the learned, that neither of these Fathers acknowledged these Epistles as genuine. And I cannot but observe here, that though Mr. Du Pin says they seem to have owned them as genuine, yet a few lines after he seems to contradict himself, and says, It is to be observed, that they do not declare positively that these Epistles were genuine, but only that they were commonly so reputed, and read under their names; and he, in a note at the bottom of the page, endeavours by a very good argument to prove, that St. Austin did not believe these to be the letters of Seneca, viz. because, says he, that F2

Father

Father (lib. 6. c. 11. - De Civit. Dei) says, that Seneca has
ñeither praised nor dispraised the Christians; but the former
of these is evidently done in these Epistles.
· It may indeed be objected against my observation, that Je-
rome seems to have believed the genuineness of these Epistles,
because it was upon the account of them that Jerome placed Se-
neca in his Catalogue of Christian or Ecclefiaftical writers. (See
the place above.) This influenced Rivetb, Pamelius', and
others to this opinion. But to this I answer, (1.) That Je-
rome did this very probably in conformity to the opinion of those
who did read and look upon these Epistles as genuine; who, if
he had omitted it, would for this reason have looked upon

his work as imperfect. (2.) That very sender reasons would prevail upon Jerome to give any person a place among his Ecclesiastical writers. On this score we find Josephus and Philo Judæus have their places assigned them among the Christian writers in this book ; the former because of his testimony concerning Jesus Christ d; the other because of his account of the Therapeutæ, or Eslenes in Egypt, whom Eufebius f, and after him Jerome 5, suppose to have been Christians h.

But to say no more, that which fully proves Jerome not to have believed the genuineness of these Epistles is, that in this fame book, where he gives an account of St. Paul's life, and all his writings, he does not so much as mention the name or any thing concerning these Epistles to Seneca, which is such an omission as he cannot be supposed guilty of, if he had believed them to be genuine, and written by that Apostle.

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C H A P. XI.

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The Epistles contain in them several Evidences of their Spuriousness. Their Stile different from the Stile of Paul and Se

Several Contradi&tions in them. Several Things trifling. Several Things false. THERE are several internal evidences and characters in

the Epistles of Paul to Seneca, and Seneca to Paul which demonstrate their spuriousness. For,

1. Nothing can be more unlike than the stile of these Epistles is to the known stile of St. Paul and Seneca, in their confessedly genuine Epistles. This is easy to be observed, and cannot but be at first visible to those who are at all acquainted with those two writers. Andreas Schottus, in his Life of Seneca prefixed to the second part of his works , well obferves, that the Epistles under his name to Paul, are no more like the excellent ftile of Seneca, than the answers to them are like the divine and inspired file of St. Paul. The file of those (says a learned author) which are attributed to Seneca, is barbarous, and full of idioms that do not belong to the Latin tongue. The Epistles attributed to St. Paul have not the least tincture of the gravity of that Apostle, but are rather compliments than instructions. It would be superfluous to produce instances. I choose rather to observe, that the learned Sixtus Senensis, who believed the genuineness of these Epistles, was so sensible of the fact and the force of the objection against them, that he endeavours to evade it by a strange and groundless suppofition, viz. that Seneca in these letters did designedly disguise

* Epistolas ad Paulum dico, que certain whether or no this Life of non magis eximium noftri auctoris Seneca was wrote by Schottus, but ingeniuin fapiunt, quam refponfio. I presume it was, because he pubnes ad illas Deo plenum xaà J£600- lished the edition. por Pauli ftilum, ideoque a doctis • Dù Pin's History of the Canon

of the New Testament, vol. 2. non magis pro Senecæ germanis ag.

ch. yii. . 4. noscuntur, quam responsiones ab Ecclesia pro Paulinis. I am not F 3

and

and alter his stile; left perhaps, if the letters should fall into a wrong person's hand, though they had the name of Seneca prefixed to them, they should not be suspected to be his. It being then, says he, dangerous and contrary to the decree of the Emperor (for a Roman) to keep up a correspondence with a Jew, or a Christiana. But every one must perceive how precarious this conjecture is; and besides, if it were allowed just, it will no way serve the purpose it is brought for, because the stile of Paul is equally different ; and some reason must be assigned, why he also changed and disguised his stile. They are spurious therefore by Prop. XI.

2. The subscriptions of the letters are very unlike those used by the supposed authors in their genuine Epiftles. Such is that of Seneca's subscribing in the first Epistle, Bene te valere, Frater, cupio, “ I bid thee farewell, O brother," and addressing him with the same title, Epist, iv. a compe lation not in use among the Heathens, but peculiar to the Christians : such is Seneca's subscription, such åre St. Paul's subscriptions, vale, and opto te bene valere ; and especially that Epift. v. Vale, devotisime magister; which is not only a very barbarous, and very late, but very unlike (as the others are) to the usual way of St. Paul's concluding his letters,

3. Several parts of these letters suppose Paul to have been at the time of writing at Rome ; whereas others imply the contrary. That he was then at Rome, is implied in the first words of the first letter, in which Seneca tells Paul, that he supposed he had been told the discourse that passed the day before between him and Lucilius by some Christians who were present; as also in the first words of Paul's first Epistle, and that part of Seneca's second, where he tells him, He would endeavour to introduce him to Cæfar; and that he would confer with him, and read over together fome parts of his writings; and in that

Videtur autem Seneca ftylum furum aliquantulum in his Epistolis obumbrasse de industria et dissimu, lafle, ut fi forte in alienas manus Epiftolæ venissent, etsi infcriptæ nomine Senecæ, potuissent nihilominus

in periculo non videri Senecæ. Pe. riculum enim erat et contra imperatoris tunc edictum, Christiani aut Judæi familiaritate uti. Bibl. Sanche 1. 2. p. 88, 89.

part

part of Paul's second, where he hopes for Seneca's company, and in several other places. But on the other hand several parts of the letters suppose Paul not at Rome, as where Seneca (Epist. iii.) complains of his staying so long away, and both Paul and Seneca are made to date their letters, when such and such persons were consuls ; fee Paul's fifth and fixth, and Seneca's fixth, seventh, and eighth. Now, had they been both in the same city, nothing can be more unreasonable than to fuppose that they would have dated thus : what need could there be to inform each other who were consuls ? Paul therefore is supposed to be, and not to be at Rome at the same time, which is a manifest contradiction. They are therefore fpurious by Prop. VII.

4. Besides this contradiction, the very dating of their letters by confulships seems to be na small evidence of their spuriousness, because it was a thing utterly unknown that any persous ever did fo; nor have I ever observed one such instance in the Epistles of Seneca, Cicero, or any other writer.

5. There are several mistakes in them as to the names and times of the consuls, which are mentioned. This observation I find made by others, and shall think it sufficient therefore to refer the reader to them, and the common chronologers.

6. The trifling contents of these Epistles seem to prove their {puriousness. They contain nothing in them, says Du Pin', worthy either of Seneca, or of Paul; scarce one thought of morality in the letters of Seneca, nor any thing of Christianity in those of Paul. Besides, what can be more trilling than Paul's fifth letter, which is all taken up in a servile apology for his putting his own name before Seneca's, in the inscription of his letters, and declaring this to be contrary to Christianity; and Seneca's answer, which consists only in allowing Paul to do fo? They are spurious therefore by Prop. IX.

7. These letters contain several things which are false or contrary to known truths. Such is that in Seneca's fourth Epistle, that the emperor Nero was delighted and surprised at the thoughts

· Viz. Du Pin and Fabritius, locis cit.

• Loc. jam cit.

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