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Pauline authorship, when once advanced by men of authority in teaching, should gain general acceptance. We see this tendency already prevailing in the writings of Clement of Alexandria and Origen ; who, notwithstanding the sentences which have been quoted from them, yet throughout their writings acquiesce for the most part in a conventional habit of citing the Epistle as the work of St. Paul. And as time passed on, a belief, which so conveniently set at rest all doubts about an important anonymous canonical writing, spread (and all the more as the character of the times became less and less critical and enquiring) over the whole extent of the church.

39. It will be well to interpose two cautions, especially for young readers. It has been very much the practice with the maintainers of the Pauline authorship to deal largely in sweeping assertions regarding early ecclesiastical tradition. They have not unfrequently alleged on their side the habit of citation of Clement and Origen, as shewing their belief respecting the Epistle, uncorrected by those passages which shew what that belief really was.

Let not readers then be borne away by these strong assertions, but let them carefully and intelligently examine for themselves.

40. Our second caution is one regarding the intelligent use of ancient testimony. Hitherto, we have been endeavouring to trace up to their first origin the beliefs respecting the Epistle. Whence did they first

Where do we find them prevailing in the earliest times, and there, why ? Now this is the only method of enquiry on the subject which is or can be decisive, as far as external evidence is concerned. In following down the stream of time, materials for this enquiry soon fail us. And it has been the practice of some of the upholders of the Pauline authorship, to amass long lists of names and testimonies, from later ages, of men who simply swelled the ranks of conformity to the opinion when it once became prevalent. Let readers distrust all such accumulations as evidence. They are valuable as shewing the growth and prevalence of the opinion, but in no other light. No accretions to the river in its course can alter the situation and character of the fountain-head.

41. We proceed now with the history of opinion, which, as before remarked, is become very much the history of the spread of the belief of a Pauline authorship.

At Alexandria, as we might have expected, the conventional habit of quoting the Epistle as St. Paul's gradually prevailed over critical suspicion and early tradition.

42. DIONYSIUS, president of the catechetical school, and afterwards bishop of Alexandria, in the middle of the third century, cites Heb. x. 34 expressly as the words of St. Paul. PETER, bishop (about 300), who suffered under Diocletian, cites Heb. xi. 32 as the Apostle's. HIERAX or Hieracas, of Leontopolis, who lived about the same time, and who, although the founder of a heresy, appears not to have severed himself from the church, is repeatedly adduced by Epiphanius as citing the Epistle as “the Apostle's :" and the same Epiphanius says of the Melchisedekites (see on ch. vii. 3), that they attempted to support their view by Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews.

ALEXANDER, bishop about 312, says in an Epistle to Alexander bishop of Constantinople,

“Agreeably to this exclaims also the lofty speaker Paul, saying concerning Him, “Whom He appointed heir of all things, by whom

also He made the worlds :'" Heb. i. 2. ANTONIUS, the celebrated promoter of the monastic life in Egypt, in one of his seven epistles to various monasteries, says, “ of whom Paul saith that they, on account of us, have not received the promises ” (Heb. xi. 13, 39, 40).

43. But the most weighty witness for the view of the Alexandrine church at this time is ATHANASIUS, in the middle of the fourth century. He enumerates the canonical books which have come down and are believed to be inspired, among which he names fourteen Epistles of St. Paul, and among them our Epistle, without alluding to any doubt on the subject. And in his other writings every where he cites the Epistle as St. Paul's.

44. Belonging to nearly the same time in the same church are three other writers—by all of whom the Epistle is either expressly or implicitly cited as the work of St. Paul.

45. It would be to little purpose to multiply names, in a church which by this time had universally and undoubtingly received the Pauline authorship. Bleek has adduced, with copious citations, DIDYMUS (the teacher of Jerome and Rufinus),-MARCUS EREMITA (about 400),THEOPHILUS of ALEXANDRIA (about 400),- ISIDORE of PELUSIUM (died 450),–Cyril of ALEXANDRIA (died 444): concerning which last it is to be observed, that though Nestorius had adduced passages from the Epistle on his side, as being St. Paul's, Cyril, in refuting them, does not make the slightest reference to the formerly existing doubt as to the authorship.

46. And so it continued in this church in subsequent times : the only remarkable exception being found in EUTHALIUS (about 460), who, though he regards the Epistle as of Pauline origin, and reckons fourteen Epistles of St. Paul, yet adduces the old doubts concerning it, and believes it to be a translation made by Clement of Rome from a Hebrew original by the Apostle. This view he supports by the considerations, 1. of its style, 2. of its wanting an address from the writer, 3. on account of what is said ch. ii. 3, 4. For the first, he gives the reason that it was translated from the Hebrew, some say, by Luke, but most, by Clement, whose style it resembles. Then he gives the usual reason for the want of

" " sent

a superscription, viz. that St. Paul was not the Apostle of the Jews but of the Gentiles, citing Gal. ii. 9, 10: and proceeds, but the Epistle is afterwards seen to be Paul's, by ch. x. 34, in which the (now exploded) reading with my bonds is his point: by ch. xiii. 18, 19 : by ch. xii. 23, in which he interprets the word which we render, “ set at liberty," forth for the ministry,” which he says no one could do but St. Paul: and then expecting him soon, he promises, as is bis custom frequently, a visit from himself with him.

This testimony is valuable, as shewing that in the midst of the prevalence of the now accepted opinion, a spirit of intelligent criticism still survived.

47. If we now turn to other parts of the Eastern Church, we find the same acceptation of the Pauline authorship from the middle of the third century onwards. Bleek gives citations from METHODIUS, Bishop of Olympus in Lycia, about 290: from Paul of Samosata, Bishop of Antioch in 264: from Jacob, Bishop of NISIbis, about 325 : from EPHREM the SYRIAN (died 378).

48. A separate notice is required of the testimony of EUSEBIUS of Cæsarea, the well-known church historian. In very many passages throughout his works, and more especially in his commentary on the Psalms, he cites the Epistle, and always as the work of St. Paul, or of “the Apostle," or "the holy Apostle,” or “the divine Apostle.” In his Ecclesiastical History also he reckons it among the Epistles of St. Paul. In the chapter which treats especially of the canon of the New Test., while there is no express mention of the Epistle to the Hebrews, it is evident, by comparing his words there and in another place, that he reckons it as confessedly one of the writings of St. Paul. For he enumerates among those New Test. books which are received by all,' fourteen Epistles of St. Paul.

Still it would appear from another passage, that Eusebius himself believed the Epistle to have been written in Hebrew by St. Paul and translated by Luke, or more probably by Clement, whose style it resembles.

If such was his view, however, he was hardly consistent with himself : for elsewhere he seems to assume that the Epistle was written in Greek by the Apostle himself : an inconsistency which betrays either carelessness, or change of opinion.

49. Marks of the same inconsistency further appear in another place, where he numbers our Epistle among the doubtful books, saying of Clement of Alexandria, that he cites testimonies from doubtful books, such as that called the Wisdom of Solomon, Jesus the Son of Sirach, and the Epistle to the Hebrews, and those of Barnabas and Clement and Jude. It has been suggested that the inconsistency may be removed by accepting this last as a mere matter of fact, meaning that these books are called in question by some.

50. As we pass downwards, I shall mention but cursorily those writers who uniformly quote the Epistle as St. Paul's; pausing only to notice any trace of a different opinion, or any testimony worth express citation. The full testimonies will be found in Bleek, and most of them in Lardner, vol. ii.

51. of the class first mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, are Cyril of Jerusalem (died 386); Gregory of Nazianzum (died 389) ; Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis in Cyprus (died 402); Basil the Great, Bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia (died 379); his brother Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa (died about 370); Titus of Bostra (died about 371); Chrysostom (died 407); Theodore of Mopsuestia (died about 428); Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus in Cilicia (died 457).

52. In the works of this latter Father we find it asserted that the Epistle was written from Rome. Also we find the Arians charged with setting it aside as spurious.

The same accusation is found, -in the Dialogue on the Trinity, ascribed sometimes to Athanasius, sometimes to Theodoret: where the orthodox interlocutor makes the rather startling assertion, “that ever since the Gospel was first preached, the Epistle had been believed to be Paul's ;" —and in Epiphanius, Hær. lxix. 14, p. 738, where at the same time he charges them with misusing Heb. iii. 2, Him that made Him, for the purposes of their error. From this, and from the Epistle of Arius to Alexander, where he professes his faith, and cites Heb. i. 2, it is plain that the Arians did not reject the Epistle altogether. Nay, they hardly denied its Pauline authenticity; for in that case we should have Athanasius in his polemics against them, and Alexander, defending this authenticity, whereas they always take it for granted. Moreover in the disputation of Augustine with the Arian Gothic Bishop Maximinus, we find the latter twice quoting the Epistle as St. Paul's. So that whatever may have been done by individual Arians, it is clear that as a party they did not reject either the Epistle itself or its Pauline authorship.

53. Correspondent with the spread of the acceptance of the Epistle St. Paul's was its reception, in the MSS., into the number of his Epistles. It was so received in the character of a recent accession, variously ranked: either at the end of those addressed to churches, or at the end of all.

54. The motives for these differing arrangements were obvious. Some placed it last, as an addition to the Epistles of St. Paul; others, to give it more its proper rank, put it before the Epistles to individuals. But had it been originally among St. Paul's Epistles, there can be no doubt that it would have taken its place according to its importance, which is the principle of arrangement of the undoubted Pauline Epistles in the

canon.

55. A trace of a peculiar arrangement is found in the Great Vatican Manuscript. In that MS., all the fourteen Epistles of St. Paul form one continued whole, numbered throughout by sections. But the Epistle to the Hebrews, which stands after 2 Thess., does not correspond, in the numeration of its sections, with its present place in the order. It evidently once followed the Epistle to the Galatians, that Epistle ending with the 59th section,—Heb. beginning with § 60,--and Eph. (the latter part of Heb. being deficient) with $ 70. This would seem to shew that the MS. from which this was copied, or at all events which was at some previous time copied for its text, had Heb. after Gal. ; which would indicate a still stronger persuasion that it was St. Paul's. In the Sahidic version only does it appear in that place which it would naturally hold according to its importance : i. e. between 2 Cor. and Gal. But from the fact of no existing Greek MS. having it in this place, we must ascribe the phænomenon to the caprice of the framer of that version.

56. Returning to the Western church, we find that it was some time after the beginning of the third century before the Epistle was generally recognized as St. Paul's; and that even when this became the case, it was not equally used and cited with the rest of his Epistles.

About the middle of the third century flourished in the church of Rome Novatian, the author of the celebrated schism which went by his name. We have works of his full of Scripture citations, and on subjects which would have been admirably elucidated by this Epistle. Yet nowhere has he quoted or alluded to it. That he would not have had any feeling adverse to it is pretty clear; for no passage in the New Test. could give such apparent countenance to his severer view concerning the non readmission of the “ lapsed,” as Heb. vi. 4–6. Yet he never cited it for his purpose.

57. Contemporary with Novatian, we have, in the West African church, CYPRIAN, Bishop of Carthage (died 258). In all his writings, he never cites, or even alludes to, our Epistle ; which he would certainly have done for the same reason as Novatian would have done it, had he recognized it as the work of St. Paul; the whole of whose Epistles he cites, with the exception of that to Philemon. In all probability, Tertullian's view was also his, that it was written by Barnabas.

58. A little later we have a witness from another part of the Latin church ; VICTORINUS, Bishop of Pettau on the Drave, in Pannonia (died about 303). He asserts, in the most explicit manner, that St. Paul wrote only to seven churches ; and he enumerates the churches : viz. the Roman, Corinthian, Galatian, Ephesian, Philippian, Colossian, Thessalonian. We

may add to this, that the Epistle to the Hebrews is never quoted in his Commentary on the Apocalypse. 59. About the middle of the fourth century, we find the practice

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