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et fluctuare coepit, quia igno- uneasy and doubtful, not rabat, quid fibi potiffimum knowing what course it would effet faciendum. Neque e be best to take ; for being a nim eam traducere voluit, juft man, he was not willing quia juftus erat, neque forni to expose her, nor defame het cationis suspicione infamaré, by the fuspicion of being a quia pius. Itaque cogitavit whore, since he was a pious clam diffolvere conjugium, et He purposed therefore occulte dimittere eam. Hæc privately to put an end to autem eo cogitante, ecce An- their agreement, and as pri-. gelus Domini ei apparuit in vately to send her away. But fomnis, dicens; Joseph, fili while he was meditating these David, noli tiinere, hoc est, things “, behold the Angel of ne velis fornicationis suspicio- the Lord' appeared to him in nem in Virgine habere, vel bis sleep, and said, Joseph, for aliquid sinistrum cogitare, ne- of David, fear not, i. e. be que
timeas eam in uxorem due not willing to entertain any cere. Quod enim in ea na- suspicion of the Virgin's being tum est, et nunc animum tu- guilty of fornication, or to think um angit, non hominis, fed any thing amiss of her, neither Spiritus Sancti eft opus. Pa- be afraid to take her to wife, riet enim omnium Virgo fola for that which is begotten in Dei Filium, et vocabis nomen her, and now distresses your ejus Jesum, id eft Salvatorem; mind, is not the work of man, ipfe enim falvum faciet popu- but the Holy Ghoft.
For the lum suum a peccatis eorum. of all women is that only Virgin Igitur Joseph, fecundum An who shall bring forth the Son geli præceptum, Virginem ux- of God, and you shall call his orem duxit, nec tamen cog name Jesus, i. e. Saviour, for novit eam, sed caste procurans he will save his people from cuftodivit. Jamque nonus a their fins. Joseph thereupon, conceptione inftabat menfis, according to the command of cum Jofeph uxore cum aliis the Angel, married the Virquæ neceffaria erant assumpta, gin, and did not know her,
but kept her in chastity. And now the ninth month from her conception drew near, when Joseph took his wife and what other things were necessary to
Bethlehem civitatem, unde Bethlehem, the city from ipfe erat, tetendit. Factum whence he came. And it eft autem, cum eflent ibi, im, came to pafs, while they were pleti sunt dies ut pareret, et there, the days were fulfilled peperit filium fuum primo for her bringing forth, and genitum, ficut fancti Evan. The brought forth her firstgeliftæ docuerunt, Dominum born fon, as the holy Evannostrum Jesum Christum, qui gelists have taught, even our cum Patre et Filio et Spiritu Lord Jesus Christ, who with Sancto vivit et regnat Deus Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, per omnia fecula feculorum.
lives and reigns to everlasting ages.
CHA P. XIV.
The Epistle of Chromatius and Heliodorus to Jerome, relating
to the Gospel of the Birth of Mary. Jerome's Answer to their Letter, containing his Sentiments concerning it. Another Epistle of Jerome's to the fame Purpose. THE following Epistles I find among Jerome's works,
immediately prefixed to the Gospel of the Birth of Masy; and because they relate entirely to it, I thought it proper to insert them here. They are to be found in Jerome's works, a Par. II. Tract. II. Epift. XXIII. Epift. XXIV. Epift. XXV, Fol. xxxviii. and xxxix. I find the last of these Epistles in another place of Jerome's works, viz. Par. II. Tract. VI. Epist. LXXXII. Fol. cxl.
Epistola Chromatiï et Helio The Epistle of Chromatius and
dori Episcoporum ad Hiero Heliodorus Bishops to Jeпупит.
DILECTISSIMO fratri CHROMATIUS and Hieronymo Presbytero Chro- Heliodorus to our beloved matius et Heliodorus Epif- brother Jerome, a Presbyter,
? [In Elit. Benedict. tom. 5. p. 444, 44.5.]
copi, falutem in Domino. greeting in the Lord. We Ortum Mariæ Reginæ Vir- have found in some Apocryginis, fimul et Nativitatem phal books, an account of the atque Infantiam Domini nof
birth of the Virgin Queen tri Jesu Christi in Apocry- Mary, as also the birth and phis invenimus libris ; in qui. infancy of our Lord Jesus bus multa contraria noftræ Chrift; in which, because fidei confiderantes fcripta, re we observe many things concusanda credimus universa; trary to our faith, we believe ne per occafionem Christi læ- they ought all to be rejected; titiam Antichristo tradere- lest, by the occasion of Christ,
Ista igitur nobis con- advantage should be brought fiderantibus, extiterunt viri to Antichrist. When we were Dei, Armenius et Virinus, thinking these things, there qui dicerent sanctitatem tuam came two men of God, Ar. beatiffimi Matthæi Evange- menius and Virinus, who faid liftæ manu fcriptum volumen your holiness had found a Hebraicum invenisse, in quoet volume in Hebrew written Virginis Matris et Salvatoris with St. Matthew the EvanInfantia effet scripta ; et idcir- gelift's own hand, in which co tuam charitatein per ipsum was described the infant state Dominum noftrum Jesum of the Virgin Mother, and our Christum expetimus, quate. Saviour. We, therefore, innus ut illud ex Hebræo La
treat you by your love to our tinis auribus tradas ; non tan Lord Jesus Christ, that tum ad percipiendum quæ would translate it out of Hefunt Chrifti insignia, quan brew into Latin, not only tum ad Hæreticorum aftuti. that we may perceive what am excludendam, qui ut doc the famous things concerning trinam malam instituerent, Christ are, but also especially bonam Christi Nativitatem to refute the craft of the Hefuo mendacio miscuerunt; ut reticks, who, that they may poft dulcedinem vitæ mortis the better spread their evil amaritudinem occulrarent. E. doctrines, have mixed them rit ergo purissimæ pietatis, with the genuine history of
our Saviour's Nativity, by a notorious falsehood, that fo after the sweetness of life, they might conceal the bitterness of death. It will therefore be
vel ut rogantes Fratres exau an evidence of your great dias, vel Episcopos exigentes piety, either that you oblige charitatis debitum, quod ido your brethren in this request, neum credideris, recipere fa or do it as an act of kindness, cias. Vale in Domino, et which you fhall believe due ora pro nobis.
to (your) Bishops. Farea well in the Lord, and pray for
Beati Hieronymi ad prædictos St. Jerome's Answer to the
Epifcopos de eadem re re aforesaid Bishops, concernSponsiva.
ing the same subject.
Dominis sanctis et beatifimis To the holy Lords and most
Chromatio et Heliodoro E blessed Bishops, Chromatius pifcopis, Hieronymus exiguus and Heliodorus, Jerome a Christi servus in Domino mean servant of Christ, falutem.
Jendeth. greeting in
Lord. ARDUUM opus injun
a difficult talk gitur, cum hoc fuerit mihi a which was set me, when I vestra beatitudine imperatum, received your holiness's comquod nec ipse Sanctus Mat- maná (to transiate that) which thæus Apoftolus et Evange- the Holy Apostle and Evanlista voluit in aperto conscribi. gelift himself St Matthew Si enim hoc secretum non ef would not have to be made set, Evangelio utique ipfius publick. For if it was not quod edidit, addidisset: fed to have been a fecret, he fecit hunc libellum Hebraicis would certainly have annexed literis obfignatum, quem uf- it to his own Gospel, which que adeo edidit, ut ex manu he published; but he comipfius liber scriptus Hebraicis posed this little book in Heliteris a viris religiofiffimis brew letters, which he so pubhabeatur, qui etiam a suis pri- lished, that most pious peroribus per successus tempo. fons, who have received it
from the preceding ages, do judge it was written by him in Hebrew characters, but have
rum susceperunt, hunc autem never taken care to have it ipsum librum nunquam ali- translated by any one, but delicui transferendum tradiderunt, vered very different accounts textum ejus aliter atque aliter of its defign and contents. narraverunt. Sed factum est, But the truth is, that this ut a Manichæi discipulo no book was published by a certain mine Seleuco, qui etiam Am disciple of the Manichees, nampoftolorum gesta falso sermone ed Seleucus, (who also comconscripsit, hic liber editus, posed a Spurious history of the non ædificationi fed destrưc- Aets of the Apostles), and it tioni materiam exhibuerit; et rather tends to the ruin than quod talis probaretur in Sy- the interest of religion, and nodo, cui merito aures Ec was judged to be such in a clefiæ non paterent. Cessent certain Synod, as the Church nunc oblatrantium morsus; should justly disregard. Let non istum libellum Canonicis not therefore any one refuperaddimus Scripturis, sed proach or censure (my transad detegendam hærefeos fal- lation). For I am not about laciam, Apoftoli atque Evan to make any addition of a gelistæ fcripta transferimus; book to the Canonical Scripin quo opere non tam piis tures, but, by translating the jubentibus Episcopis obtem- (pretended) writings of an peramus, quam impiis Hære. Apostle and Evangelist, to lay ticis obviamus. Amor igitur open the tricks of the Hereest Christi cui satisfacimus, ticks. So that in this work credentes quod nos fuis ora I do not so much obey the tionibus adjuvent, qui ad holy Bifhops' command, as Servatoris noftri infantiam oppose the impious Hereticks. fanctam per noftram potue. It is therefore the love of rint obedientiam pervenire. Christ by which I am influ
enced, hoping I shall receive the benefit of their prayers, who by means of my labour arrive to the knowledge of the holy infancy of our Saviour.
Besides the two preceding Epistles relating to this Gospel, there follows in Jerome's works another afcribed to him, which is a fort of preface or introduction to his translation of it, and is as follows: