“ their books in the common language, in which they are

now wrote, viz. Latin."

I shall only add farther a list of such writers, who have agreed to reject these Epistles as spurious and supposititious, who now offer themselves to my thoughts, viz. Baroniusa, Bellarmine , PoflevinA. Schottus , Ludovicus Vives and Du Pin', among the Popish writers : among the Proteftants, Coke , Rivet, Michael Walther, Dr. Cavek, Spanheim', Mr. Eachard m, and Mr. Fabritius ".


The Gospel of the Birth of Mary, published out of Jerome's


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HIS Gospel, however silly and ridiculous, I judged pro

per to insert here for the following reasons. i. Because there was certainly a Gospel extant under this name in the primitive ages of Christianity.

2. Because it was received by feveral of the antient Chrifta ian hereticks.

3. Because it passed formerly under the name of St. Matthew. 4. Because

many of its relations were credited by the antient Catholick Christians in different countries.

N. II.

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· Annal. tom. I. ad Ann. 66. 3 Censura Vett. quorund. Script.

p. 10, II. • De Script. Ecclef. p. 38, 39.

h Critic. Sacr. 1.1. c. 5. Apparat. Sacr. in Voc. Sene.

i Officin. Biblic. §. 1448, &c.

Hist. Liter. vol. 1. in Paulo, d Vita Senecæ, fi modo iftius p. 7, auctor fuit Schottus.

í Hist. Christ. Sec. I. p. 580, Annot. in Aug. De Civit. 582. Dei, lib. 6. C. 10.

m Eccl. Hist. b. 2. ch. 7. f Hift. of the Canon of the New . Cod. Apocr. Nov. Teftam. p. Teft. t. 2. C. 3, §. 4,

880, &c.

5. Because

5. Because it contains the fame things as the Prot-evangelion of St. James ; concerning the publication of which, and the truth of these facts here alledged, see below, Chap. XV, XVI, &c.

The only place of the antient writings, in which it is extant, is among Jerome's works; Epift. ad Chromatium et Heliodorum. The occasion of its being found there was the desire of Chromatius and Heliodorus, two Bishops, to Jerome, that he would translate it out of Hebrew, and give them his judgment upon it. Their Letter to him, with his Answer to them, and another Letter of his concerning this Gospel, I have published after this Gospel in the next Chapter.



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THE blessed

EATA et gloriosa I.

THE blessed and ever semper Virgo Maria,

glorious Virgin Made ftirpe regia, et familia Da- ry, sprung from the royal race vid oriunda, in civitate Naza- and family of David, was reth nata, Hierofolymis in born in the city of Nazareth, Templo Domini nutrita fuit. and educated at Jerusalem in Pater ejus Joachim, mater the Temple of the Lord. Her vero Anna dicebatur. Do father's name was Joachim, mus paterna ex Galilæa et and her mother's Anna. The civitate Nazareth. Mater- family of her father was of num autem genus ex Beth Galilee and the city of Nalehem erat. Vita eorum fim zareth. The family of her plex et recta apud Dominum, mother was of Bethlehem. apud homines irreprehensibi- Their lives were plain and lis erat et pia. Nam omnem right in the fight of the Lord, fubftantiam suam trifariam di- pious and faultless before men. viserunt, unam partem Tem For they divided all their subplo et Templi servitoribus im- stance into three parts: one pendebant: aliain peregrinis of which they devoted to the

Temple and officers of the Temple; another they distributed among strangers, and per


et pauperibus erogabant : teré fons in poor circumstances; tiam suze familiæ ufibus et fibi and the third they referved for refervabant. Ita ifti Deo themselves, and the uses of chari, hominibus pii, per an

their own family.

In this nos circiter viginti, caftum manner they lived for about domi conjugium fine libero- twenty years chastely, in the rum procreatione exercebant favour of God, and the efteem Voverunt tamen, si forte De- of men, without any children. us daret eis fobolem, eam fe But they vowed, if God should Domini servitio mancipatu- favour them with any issue, Tos, cujus rei gratia et Tem- they would devote it to the plum Domini fingulis per an service of the Lord; on which num feftis frequentare sole account they went at every bant.

feast in the year to the Temple

of the Lord. II. Factum est autem, ut II. And it came to pass, Encæniorum feftivitas appro- that when the feast of the Depinquaret; unde cum nonnul- dication drew near, Joachim, lis contribulibus suis Hierofo with some others of his tribe, lymam et Joachim ascendit.

went up to Jerusalem, and at Ea vero tempestate Isachar that time Ifachar was Highibi Pontifex erat: cumque in- priest; who, when he saw Joter cæteros concives fuos eti- achim along with the rest of am Joachim cum oblatione his neighbours (bringing) his sua videret, despexit eum et offering, despised both him munera ejus sprevit, inter- and his offerings, and asked rogans,

Cur inter fæcundos him, Why he, who had no infccundus ipfe ftare præsu- children, would presume to apmeret ? Dicens, munera ne

pear among those who had ? quaquam

Deo digna posse vi- Adding, that his offerings deri, quem ipse prole indig- could never be acceptable to num judicasset; Scriptura di- God, who was judged by him cente, maledictum

unworthy to have children; esse qui non genuiffet mascu the Scripture having said, lum in Ifraele. Dicebat ergo Gursed is every one who fall

not beget a male in Ifrael. He


a Sam, i. 6, 7, &c.


prius eum ab hac maledi&ti- further said, that he ought first one fobolis generatione fol to be free from that curse by vendum, et fic demum in

begetting fome ilue, and then conspectu Domini cum obla come with his offerings inte tionibus effe venturum. Cu- the presence of God. But Jojus opprobrii objectu, pudore achim being much confounded magno fuffusus Joachim, ad with the shame of such re . paftores, qui cum pecudibus proach, retired to the sheperant in pascuis fuis, feceflit, herds who were with the catNeque enim domum repetere tle in their pastures; for he voluit, ne forte a contribuli was not inclined to return bus suis, qui fimul aderant, home, left his neighbours, et hoc a Sacerdote audierant, who were present and heard eodem opprobrii elogio nota all this from the High-priest, retur.

should publickly reproach him

in the same manner. III. Verum cum ibi ali III. But when he had been quandiu effet, quadam die there for some time, on a cercum effet folus, Angelus Do- tain day when he was alone, mini ei cum immenso lumine the Angel of the Lord stood aftitit; qui cum ad ejus visio. by him with a prodigious nem turbaretur, Angelus, qui light, to whom being trouei apparuerat, timorem ejus bled at the appearance, the compescuit, dicens; Noli ti- Angel who had appeared to mere, Joachim, neque in visi- him, endeavouring to comone mea turberis; ego enim pose him, said ; Be not afraid, fum Angelus Domini, missus Joachim, nor troubled at the ab ipso ad te, ut annunciem fight of me, for I am an Angel tibi preces tuas esse exaudi- of the Lord sent by him to you, tas, et eleemofynas tuas ascen- that I might inform you, that disse in conspectum ejus. Vi- your prayers are heard, and dens quippe vidit pudorem your alms afcended in the fight tuum, et audivit fterilitatis of Goda. For he hath surely opprobrium nec recte tibi ob- seen your shame, and heard you jectum. Peccati namque, non unjuftly reproached for not

having children ; for God is

2 A&. X. 4,


naturæ, ultor eft Deus, et the avenger of fin, and not of ideo cum alicujus uterum nature; and fo when he shuts claudit, ad hoc facit, ut mira- the womb of any person, he does bilius denuo aperiat, et non it for this reason, that he may libidinis effe quod nafcitur, in a more wonderful manner fed divini muneris cognof- again open it, and that which catur. Prima enim gentis is born appear to be not the vestræ Sara mater, nonne uf product of luft, but the gift of que ad octogefimum annum God. For the first mother of infoecunda fuit? et tamen in your nation Sarah, was she ultima senectutis ætate genuit not barren even till her eightIfaac, cui repromiffa erat be- ieth year? And yet even in the nedictio omnium gentium. end of her old age brought

forth Rachel quoque tantum Do- Ifaac, in whom the promise was mino grata, tantumque a sanc- made of blefing to all nato Jacob adamata, diu sterilis tions a. Rachel also, so much fuit; et tamen Joseph genuit, in favour with God, and be non folum Dominum Ægyp- loved so much by holy Jacob, ti, fed plurimarum gentium continued barren for a long fame periturarum liberatorem. time, yet afterwards was the Quis in ducibus vel fortior mother of Joseph, who was not Sampsone, vel fanctior Samu- only governour of Egypt, but ele ? Et tamen hi ambo fte delivered many nations from tiles matres habuere. Si ergo perising with hunger b. Who ratio verbis meis tibi non per

among the judges was more vafuadet credere, dilatos diu con liant than Sampson, or more ceptus et fteriles partus mira- holy than Samuel? And yet biliores effe folere ; proinde both their mothers were bar . Anna uxor tua pariet tibi fili

ren. But if reason will not ám, et vocabis nomen ejus convince you of the truth of my Mariam: hæc erit, ut voviftis, words, that there are frequent

conceptions in advanced years, and that those who were barren have brought forth to their great surprise ; therefore Anna' your wife fall bring you a daughter, and you shall call her name Mary; she shall, according


Judg. xiii. 2. and Sam. i. 6,

2 Gen. xvi. 2, &c. and xviii. 10, &c. &c.

b Gen. XXX. I-22. and xli, 1, &c. Vol. II.


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