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a false and injurious reflection upon the Christians of the early ages. There always were, especially in the first five centuries, pastors, and other eminent men, who approved of, and were themselves able to give right instructions for a good life. Nor can it be denied, that they were sufficiently zealous for virginity. They have preserved and handed down to us the scriptures of the New Testament, than which no writings whatever have delivered better directions for the practice of strict virtue. And why should any man think, that the primitive Christians would designedly suppress any writings of Clement of Rome, who was highly esteemed by all catholics in general, and by some others likewise? Insomuch that there works forged in his name, and ascribed to him, which had not the apostolical doctrine. We are well assured, that his epistle to the Corinthians was read in many churches, and the other likewise in some. If there had been any other epistles of Clement, they would have been esteemed, and often quoted, and not suppressed, or laid aside in obscurity. And how comes Mr. Wetstein now to speak of his epistles as obscure, when before he supposed them to be the same that had been quoted by Jerom in his books against Jovinian, and the same which Epiphanius said were read in the holy churches? Are these things consistent ?
14. Upon the whole it appears to me very clear, that there never were more than two epistles of Clement bishop of Rome, received by Christians in former times. Those two I suppose to be the same which are at the end of the Alexandrian manuscript, and now are, and for more than a century have been well known to the learned. Suppose a man should say, that he had found two epistles of the apostle Paul, or the apostle Peter, which for many ages past have been unknown, would he deserve to be credited? It is almost as strange and surprising for any man to say the like of Clement of Rome, a man so highly esteemed in all antiquity, and so much taken notice of by Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius, Jerom, Photius, and others. The epistles therefore, which have been published by Mr. Wetstein, are not Clement's. They cannot be his. There is no need to open the packet. Thus much may be certainly known without looking into it.
III. INTERNAL EVIDENCE. However, as we have already taken a view of these epistles, and have made some extracts out of them, we will now examine them more distinctly. And however good and pious they may be, it is likely, there will still offer more reasons for confirming the persuasion that they were not written by Clement.
1. And in the first place I observe, that the quotations of scripture, and forms of quoting the criptures, in these epistles, are different from those in the universally acknowledged epistle to the Corinthians: for that is the epistle to which I shall have an eye: it being, in my opinion,* the only genuine writing of that apostolical man, Clement of Rome. 1. The author of these epistles useth some phrases and expressions concerning the scriptures not found in Clement, nor in any of the apostolical fathers, that I remember. A's we have learned from the law and the prophets, and the Lord Jesus Christ: the law and the New Testament: the divine apostle." 2. In these epistles many more books of the New Testament are quoted, than in the acknowledged epistle of Clement. 3. This writer's forms of quotation of the Old Testament are different from those of Clement. What are this writer's forms may be seen in the extracts at the beginning of this dissertation. In Clement's epistle to the Corinthians the forms of quotation
I am not singular in that opinion, which is much confirmed, as any may perceive, by the testimonies of ancient writers largely alleged here in the article of external evidence. H. Grotius declared himself to the like purpose in the year 1634, in his judgment upon these epistles, the year after their publication by P. Young. Alteram epistolam, cujus fragmentum additum est, quamquam Clementis et ipsa in libris nonnullis nomen prætulit, non esse tamen ei tribuendam, etiam veteres judicârunt. Quorum auctoritati accedit characteris diversitas. H. Gr. ep. 347. Grabe, who has since carefully examined the early writings of Christianity, is clearly of the same opinion, induced thereto chiefly by the letter of Dionysius Bishop of Corinth, and the silence of ancient writers before Eusebius, concerning any second epistle of Clement-pluraque sunt, quæ pene demonstrare mihi videntur, epistolam secundam Clementis ad Corinthios supposititiam esse. Et primo quidem maxime considerandum est testimoniam Dionysii,. Episcopi Corinthiorum, proxime
post Clementem seculo florentis-Spic. p. 265. Secundum argumentum contra secundam Clementi. adscriptam epistolam suppeditat silentium omnium antiquorum Patrum, apud quos nullam ejus vel citationem invenit EusebiusIbid. p. 267. And indeed, it seems strange to me, that any learned men should still quote the second epistle as Clement's. b What books of the New Testament are quoted or alluded to by Clement, may be seen in his epistle, and in the large extracts made out of it in the first volume of this work, ch. ii. And at the conclusion of ch. iii. where are extracts out of the fragment of the second epistle ascribed to Clement, it was observed, that therein the gospels are several times quoted more expressly, than in Clement's epistle to the Corinthians. This was there taken notice of as an internal character, confirming the supposition that it had not the same author with the epistle to the Corinthians, and that it is of a later date.
are such as these. The ministers of the grace of God have spoken of repentance by the Holy Spirit. And himself the Lord of all has spoken of repentance with an oath.' See Ezek. And let us do that which is written. For the Holy Spirit says.' And in the same chapter or section. For the holy word says.' And in another chapter. 'self bespeaketh us by the Holy Spirit.' Look into the holy scriptures, which are the true sayings of the Holy Spirit.' Which forms of citation do not occur in the epistles published by Mr. Wetstein. I omit those common forms, in the same epistle to the Corinthians, It is written, and the scripture says, and the like.' 4. Clement's quotations of texts of scripture, especially of the Old Testament, which are large and numerous, are neat and distinct. But the writer of these two epistles jumbles texts and books together, and quotes in a very confused manner. How Clement quotes may be seen by any, who look into his epistle. Having quoted a passage of scripture, when he proceeds to take another passage out of another book, or out of the same book, he usually says: And in another place,' or the like. I do not deny, that the writer of these epistles does also sometimes make use of like forms of transition. But oftentimes his quotations are exceedingly jumbled and confused. For instance, Therefore he rightly 'said to such a generation: My spirit shall not always dwell with man, because they are flesh. Every one therefore in whom is not the spirit of Christ, he is not his." As it is written : "The spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him." See Gen. vi. 3. Rom. viii. 9. 1 Sam. xvi. 14.
2. Mr. Wetstein as an instance of agreement between the epistle of Clement, and the epistles published by him, says, that there is a doxology in the middle of one of them. I suppose, that Mr. W may refer to the sixth chapter of his second epistle, at the end of which there is an Amen. But I see not there, nor any where else in these epistles, neither in the middle, nor at the endings of them, one doxology. Which therefore leads me to observe another difference between these epistles, and the generally received epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. For in that epistle, as has been often observed by learned men, there are at least seven or eight doxologies.
3. THE TIME OF THESE EPISTLES. There are several things in these epistles, which will directly lead us to the time and occasion of writing them, and assure us of their late age. .
A passage above cited shows, that when these epistles were written, Gentilism was not extinct in the Roman empire. For I allow, that they were not first written in Syriac, but in Greek, as Mr. Wetstein well argues. When therefore this author said, as above; we do not read the scriptures to Gentiles:' I reckon it a proof, that Gentilism still subsisted in the country where he lived. Which indeed I imagine to have been somewhere in the eastern part of the Roman empire.
Farther, these epistles were not written until after some ecclesiastics had begun to have with them what were called subintroduced women: nor till after it had been taken notice of and censured. Upon this subject the late learned Mr. Henry Dodwell has a curious dissertation. Bingham likewise may be consulted. And some notice has been already taken of it in this work, particularly in the history of Paul of Samosata.
There were some unmarried clergymen, who, for the sake of domestic affairs, had women to live with them. Dodwell says, they were virgins consecrated to God. Bingham says, They ⚫ were commonly some of the virgins belonging to the church, whom they that entertained, pre⚫tended only to love as sisters with a chaste love.' It appears from St. Cyprian, that they dwelled together in the same house, and sometimes lodged in the same room, and in the same
· Γεγραπται γαρ. cap. iv.
§ Λεγει γὰρ ἡ γραφη. cap. xxxi. et passim.
» Και εν έτερῳ τόπῳ λέγει. cap. viii. TOTW XEYEI. cap. 46. et passim.
Και παλιν εν έτερῳ
Ep. i. cap. 8.
Stylus, dooλcyia in media epistola. Proleg. p. vi. med. Diss. Cypr. iii. De flagitio mulierum cum clericis concumbentium, &c.
Antiquities of the church. p. 329-332.
B. 6. ch. 2. sect. 13. vol. II. • Vol. I. p. 622.
P Ubi supr. n. i. ii.
9 As before, p. 331. r Legimus literas tuas, frater carissime,-postulans et desiderans, ut tibi rescriberemus, quid nobis de iis virginibus videatur, quæ cum in statu suo esse, et continentiam firmiter tenere decreverant, detectæ sint postea in eodem lecto pariter mansisse cum masculis; ex quibus unum esse Diaconum dicis; plane easdem quæ se cum viris dormîsse confessæ sint, asseverare se integras esse -Primo igitur in loco,-elaborandum est-nec pati virgines cum masculis habitare, non dico simul dormire, sed nec simul vivere. Cyprian. ep. 4. al. 62.
bed. To the like purpose speaks Jerom. Nevertheless they made solemn declarations of their innocence, and gave such assurances of being unpolluted by carnal commerce, as were satisfactory. So says Mr. Dodwell upon the authority of a passage of St. Cyprian: which however still declares the practice to be unreputable and offensive. Leontius the Arian bishop of Antioch is censured by Athanasius for cohabiting with a virgin. And he may be reckoned to be one of those, who gave proof of his freedom from carnal commerce.
We cannot dispute the truth of what St. Cyprian says, that in Africa some of these ecclesiastics and their virgins lay in the same room, and in the same bed. Nevertheless perhaps there were very few instances of this sort. St. Chrysostom has two homilies or orations upon this subject. One is against those who had with them subintroduced virgins.' The other, that canonical women ought not to dwell [or cohabit] with men.' It may be allowed, that he treats those whom he reproves with a good deal of politeness and tenderness. Nevertheless his argument is very cogent. Nor can any imagine, that John Chrysostom would extenuate the guilt of those whom he blamed, or dissemble any part of their fault. And yet I do not perceive, that he had received any intelligence of those last mentioned aggravating circumstances. He speaks of their dwelling under the same roof, of their cohabiting together, eating at the same table, sitting together, and discoursing freely and pleasantly in the day-time. But they did not lie together. He plainly supposeth, that they had different apartments, and that there were others, particularly women-servants, in the house with them. In that way of acting it may be reckoned, that their virtue would not be in any immediate danger. However, undoubtedly, notwithstanding such precautions, some would be suspicious; which was enough to render this practice offensive. And therefore the fathers of the council of Nice ordained in one of their canons, that no bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any of the clergy, should have an introduced woman, unless she be a mother, or sister, or aunt, or however a person liable to no suspicion.' But I need not enlarge further by way of introduction to my argument.
That this practice is referred to, and censured in these epistles, is manifest from some pas sages to be now produced. We are persuaded, says the writer, that you will mind these things, which are necessary to your salvation. But we speak as we do, because of the evil
fame and report concerning impudent men, who dwell with virgins under a pretence of piety,
and put their souls in danger-It is altogether unfit, that they who are Christians, and fear God, should act thus.'
Setting forth his own conduct, and that of others, whom he represents as exemplary, he says; We do not dwell with virgins, nor have we any concern with them. We do not eat ⚫ and drink, where a virgin is. Nor do we lie [sleep] where a virgin lies. Nor do women wash < our feet, or anoint us. We never lie [or sleep] where a virgin is, who is unmarried, and fit
for marriage. Though she be alone, and in another place, [or part of the house,] we do not spend the night there.'
• Unde in ecclesias Agapetarum pestis introiit! Unde sine nuptiis aliud nomen uxorum!- — Eadem domo, uno cubiculo, sæpe uno tenentur et lectulo,et suspiciosos nos vocant, si aliquid existimamus. Ad. Eustoch. ep. 18 al. 22. T. IV. p. 33.
Quid deinde illud quod cum summo animi nostri gemitu et dolore cognovimus, non deesse qui Dei templa et post confessionem sanctificata et illustrata membra turpi et infami concubitu suo plus maculent, cubilia sua cum feminis promiscua juugentes, quando etsi stuprum conscientiæ eorum desit, hoc ipso grande crimen est, quod illorum scandalo in aliorum ruinas exempla nascuntur. [Cypr. ep. 6. al. 7. al. 13.] Constat itaque, qui ita cum mulieribus concumberent, carnis tamen integritatem servâsse illibatam. Dodwell ubi supra, n. i. • Ο μεν γαρ Λεοντι διαβαλλομενοι, μετά γυναικος τιν νεωτέρας, λεγόμενης Ευπολις, και κωλυομενο συνοικεῖν αὐτῇ, δι' αὐτὴν ἑαυτον απέκοψεν, ἵν ̓ επ' αδειας έχῃ διατρίβειν μετ' TYS. Apol. de fugâ suâ. p. 335. E. Vid. et Hist. rian. ad Monach. p. 360. B.
TYS ČμOOXYVAS Taurys. Contr. eos. &c. T. I. p. 229. B.
-γεύζ κόρη συνοίκων παρθένῳ, και συγκαθήμενο και συνδειπνών και συνδιαλεγόμενου δι' ήμέρας των γαρ άλλων &dev προςίθημι 1b. p. 231. Β.—-—αλλ' ότι την αυτήν έχ οικίαν, και τραπεζης, και λόγων κοινωνων, και μετα παρρησίας πύλλης. Ib. C.
Ubi supra. p. 241. D. E. p. 254. fin. R P. 264.
hsed ita loquimur de iis quæ loquimur, propter famam et rumorem malum de hominibus impudentibus, qui habitant cum virginibus prætextu pietatis, et conjiciunt animam suam in periculum-Prorsus non decet Christianos et timentes Deum ita conversari. Alii autem edunt et bibunt cum virginibus, &c. Ep. i. c. 10. Wetstein.
i Cum virginibus non habitamus, et inter illas nihil habemus negotii. Et cum virginibus nec edimus nec bibimus. Nec lavant mulieres pedes nostros, nec ungunt nos. sus ubi dormit virgo, quæ viri non est, aut filia nubilis, non dormimus etiamsi sit in alio loco sola, non pernoctamus ibi. Ep. 2. c. 1. W.
In another chapter. We that are holy, do not eat and drink with women. Nor do women or virgins minister to us, or wash our feet, or anoint us. Nor do we lie [sleep] where 'women lie, that we may be in all things without offence.'
Afterwards in another chapter, Even after the Lord was risen from the dead, when Mary came running to the sepulchre, and falling down at his feet, and worshipping him, sought to touch him, he said unto her; "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." John xx. 17. Is it not then wonderful, that the Lord permitted not that blessed woman Mary to touch his feet? And you dwell with them, and women and virgins minister to you, and you lie where they lie: and women wash your feet, and anoint you-Many holy women have 'ministered to the saints out of their substance, as the Shunamite woman ministered to Elisha. But she did not dwell with him; for the prophet dwelt in a house by himself, 2 Kings iv. 8-10. Women ministered to the Lord Jesus Christ out of their substance, Luke viii. 3, but they did 'not dwell with him. We also find that women ministered to the other apostles, and to Paul; but they did not dwell with them.'
I need not transcribe any more; here is enough, to show the occasion and design of these epistles. However, there is still one thing more to be taken notice of, which will fully determine the point. The people complained of by St. Cyprian, and others, were ecclesiastics, and women, who made profession of virginity. So it is here. Both these letters are addressed to virgins. And it is implied, that they were pure in body, or free from carnal pollutions. Who
ever,' says the author, professeth before the Lord, that he will keep his chastity, ought to
be clothed with every virtue; and if he has truly crucified his body for the sake of piety, he deprecates that saying, "increase and multiply," and all concupiscence, and all the delights of this world, and shuns all those snares, by which he might be endangered.'
And presently afterwards, in the next chapter, For this cause he separates himself from 'the desires of the body, and not only deprecates that, "increase and multiply," but desires the promised hope, prepared and laid up in heaven, even a better place [or recompence] than that of those who have been holy in the state of marriage.'
Nor does this author any where charge those to whom he writes with any acts of uncleanness: but he advises them to keep more out of the way of temptation, and also to show a greater regard for the opinion of men, and avoid whatever might be an occasion of offence and scandal.
This being the case, we now see the reason of some things, which otherwise would not be easily accounted for. First, We see the reason of the address of these epistles, which at first seems odd and whimsical. They are addressed to virgins, and virgins.' So in the first chap
Nos sancti cum mulieribus nec edimus nec bibimus, nec ministrant nobis mulieres vel virgines. Et mulieres non lavant nobis pedes, nec ungunt nos; et non conveniunt nobis mulieres; neque dormimus, ubi dormiunt mulieres, ut simus sine reprehensione, &c. Ep. 2. c. 3. W.
b Nec hoc solum, sed etiam postquam surrexit Dominus a mortuis, et veniret Maria ad sepulcrum currens, et sedens ad pedes Domini, et adorans eum, et quærens eum apprehendere, ipse dixit ei: Noli me tangere. Nondum enim adscendi ad Patrem meum.' Nonne igitur mirabile est de Domino, quod non permisit Mariæ, mulieri beatæ, ut tangeret pedes ejus; tu autem habitas cum illis, et tibi ministrant mulieres et virgines; et dormis, ubi illæ dormiunt; et lavant tibi pedes, et ungunt te mulieres?-Mulieres autem multæ sanctæ ministrârunt sanctis e possessionibus suis, sicut ministravit Sulamitis Elisa; sed cum eo non habitavit; et ipse Propheta in domo seorsim habitavit Domino Jesu Christo ministrârunt mulieres e possessionibus suis; sed cum illo non habitârunt. Etiam apostolis, etiam Paulo reperimus ministrâsse mulieres; sed cum illis non habitârunt. Ep. 2. c. 15.W. Quicumque enim profitetur coram Domino, se servaturum castitatem, debet cingi omni virtute sanctâ Dei, et si vere in timore crucifixit corpus suum propter pietatem, deprecatur verbum, dicens, Crescite et multiplicamini,' et totam mentem et cogitationem, et concupiscentiam mundi hujus, et delicias, et ebrietatem, et omnem amorem ejus, et otium
ejus et exinanitus est ab omni conversatione mundi hujus, et ex laqueis et retibus et impedimentis ejus. Ep. i. c. 3. W. d Propterea separat se ab omnibus concupiscentiis corporis; et non solum deprecatur illud, fructificate et multiplicate, sed desiderat spem promissam et præparatam et positam in cœlis Deo, qui promisit ore, et non mentitur--locum celebrem in domo Dei excellentiorem filiis et filiabus, et excellentiorem illis, qui conjuges fuerunt in sanctitate. Ibid. c. 4. et exinanitus est ab omni conversatione mundi hujus, et ex laqueis et retibus et impedimentis ejus. Ep. i. cap. 3. f.
-et conjiciunt animam suam in periculum; et eunt cum illis in semitâ et in deserto soli viam plenam periculis, et plenam offendiculis et laqueis et foveis. Ibid. c. 10.
―ut simus sine reprehensione in omnibus, ne quis in nobis offendatur, &c. Ep. ii. c. 3.
―et ne demus occasionem illis, qui volunt, ut teneant occasionem post nos, et loquantur de nobis mala, et ut nemini simus offendiculo, &c. Ib. cap. 5.
8 Virginibus (fratribus') beatis, qui constituerunt servare virginitatem propter regnum calorum, et virginibus (sororibus') sanctis in Deo, salutem. cap. 1. Unicuique virginum (fratrum') et virginum (sororum')- Qui autem vere sunt virgines (fratres') et virgines (sorores') audiunt eum qui dixit-cap. 2.
ter, and twice in the second, and frequently throughout the epistles. Which Mr. Wetstein, and rightly, as I suppose, renders virgins,' brethren, and virgins,' sisters. Chrysostom pronounced two orations for the sake of these people: one against those who had with them subintroduced virgins: the other, that canonical women ought not to dwell with men.' But this writer applies to both together, and calls them virgins. Secondly, we now also see the reason why the good conduct of the preachers of the gospel is so much insisted upon in these epistles. They were clergymen who offended in this point, and therefore needed to be admonished to take more care both of their virtue, and their reputation, and not to give offence to other people. Thirdly, that expression, relating to this matter, which we saw just now, men, who dwell with virgins under a pretence of piety,' appears remarkable, and leads to the following observation. The ecclesiastics, now complained of, were generally, or for the most part, men of religion and virtue. Being desirous to have the attendance and assistance of a woman in their domestic affairs, they pitched upon such as were virgins by profession, whom they judged to be the most unexceptionable of any, and least liable to suspicion. Determined to keep themselves pure, they supposed, that if notwithstanding all their care an evil thought or desire should arise in them, such persons would not encourage, but check and controul it. So they dwelled with virgins under a pretence of piety,' as this writer says. It has often seemed strange to me, that these. subintro'duced women,' mentioned by ancient writers, were continually spoken of as virgins, and devoted to Christ, and the like. We here see the reason, why such were chosen and preferred to others. This observation first came into my mind upon reading these epistles; and it is referred to the consideration of the learned.
The time therefore of these epistles is to be collected from that of this practice. When it was first introduced, and when it ceased, may not be easily decided. It was taken notice of and censured by Cyprian about the middle of the third century. And not long after that time Paul of Samosata, bishop of Antioch, and divers of the clergy of that diocese were charged with it. And if Chrysostom's orations upon occasion of it, were not composed till after the commencement of his episcopate, as the Benedictine editors think, it subsisted to the end of the fourth century. And doubtless there were instances of it in the following century. Chrysostom speaks of it as a new thing, that had arisen in that age; but the expressions of orators may be understood with latitude. However, it is very probable, that it did not appear in the early days of Christianity, nor till after the death of all the apostles, and their disciples, called apostolical men: consequently, not in the time of Clement bishop of Rome. And if the writer of these epistles refers to it, as I think he plainly does, he is not Clement disciple of the apostle Paul.
4. I observe, in the fourth place, that this writer exceeds in his praises of virginity, and in his recommendations of it. Mr. Wetstein is sensible, that what he says is not agreeable to the Protestant doctrine. Nevertheless he thinks it is not unreasonable, nor unscriptural. If I am not mistaken, I could easily show, that a great deal said upon this head by the writer of these epistles is destitute of support and countenance from the doctrine of the New Testament. But instead of doing that at present, I would observe, that he differs from Clement, who in the first chapter of his epistle to the Corinthians says: You were subject to your rulers, giving • becoming respect to elders. Young men you taught to be modest. The women you exhorted ⚫ to do all things unblameably-loving their husbands, as is fit,—and managing the affairs of the house with propriety and modesty.' And in the 21st chapter: Let us respect our rulers, • and honour the elders: young men let us instruct in the discipline and fear of God: our wives let us direct to that which is good, that they may show forth the agreeable behaviour of chastity-And let our children be bred up in the discipline of Christ.' So Clement. Whether he was married, or single, I know not. But this apostolical man, to render his exhortations more forcible, joins himself with men in the marriage-state. Nothing of this kind is to be fo in the writer of these two epistles. He scorns to touch upon these points. The virtues of the marriage-state are below his regard.
a Vid. ep. i. c. 11. 12. et ep. ii. passim.
b Vide Monitum. T. i. p. 227.
-ETTI DE TYS VEVεas njμеTEρas xaι TρIT ETEVOYIY, Tρon καινος τις και παραδοξω. Τ.i. p. 228. A. B.
d Erunt fortasse, quibus harum epistolarum scriptor vide
bitur et matrimonio esse iniquior, cœlibatum vero nimium extollere Aliterque, fateor, de cœlibatu et matrimonio sensit Clemens, quam M. Lutherus. At nondum probatum est, illum male sensisse. Wetst. Prolegom. p. vii.