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related in the Acts of the Apostles are confirmed by other authors. And upon the whole I may venture to affirm, that there is no History extant in the world, the several circumstances, incidental facts, and principal matters whereof are so strongly confirmed by a variety of other authors as this is.

CHAP. XIV.

That the History of the Acts was written by

St. Luke.

I PROCEED now to the third general head proposed, which is, to lay before you the plain and direct proofs there are that the History of the Acts was written by St. Luke, and was owned and received by the Christians in the first ages as a sacred book, and the arguments thence arising for the truth of the facts therein related.

That the Gospel which is ascribed to St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles were written by one and the same author, is evident from the manner in which they begin. They are both directed to Theophilus, and the latter makes express mention of the former as written by the same author and to the same person.

All the manuscript copies of the Gospel ascribed to St. Luke have his name prefixed to them, not only the more modern ones, but the most ancient. Even the copies extant in Tertullian's time had it

It is not indeed probable that the evangelists put their own names to them, at least it does not seem credible that they should have done it in that uniform manner in which they now appear. There can be no doubt, however, but that they were prefixed by those who first copied them, and well knew the writers. When there was more than one Gospel published, it was necessary that the names should be set to them, in order to distinguish one from the other.

SO.

Tertullian, who wrote his book against Marcion the heretic in the year of Christ 208“, says, that the Gospel which Marcion used was not to be owned, because it had no title, and was ascribed to no author. This heretic received no other Gospel than that of St. Luke, and even that he curtailed and corrupted as he thought fit, in order to make it agree, as well as he could, with the romantic doctrines he taught; but he prefixed no name to it. Tertullian argues that it ought not to be acknowledged, not having the name of the author before it b. This is a plain evidence that all the Gospels which were owned and received by the catholic church at that time had the names of the authors prefixed to them; and particularly that the copies of St. Luke's Gospel had his name placed before them, at least all which Tertullian had seen; and it is very probable he might have seen copies which were above a hundred years old, that is, some of the first copies that were transcribed after the Gospel was published. We that have manuscript copies now extant six or eight hundred years old, cannot think it strange that there should be copies of St. Luke's Gospel of a hundred and ten, or a hundred and twenty years, preserved at that time, if not in the churches of Africa, at least in the church of Rome, which was a place frequently visited by Tertullian. There are several manuscript copies of the Acts also, which have St.

a Vid. Tertulliani Vitam per Pamelium, ad an. 208.

Non agnoscendum opus, quod non erigat frontem, quod nullam fidem repromittat de plenitudine tituli et professione debita auctoris, 1. 4. p. 414, C.

c Vid. Tertull. Vit. per Pamel. ad an. 205, fin. 206, fin. 209, pr. 210, pr.

Ff

Luke's name prefixed to them". And the reason why his name is not universally set before this book is, because it is evident from the work itself that it belongs to the same author which wrote the Gospel, and that both the Gospel and the Acts are esteemed as two parts of one and the same work

Whoever was the author, it is certain from the style that he was the companion of the apostle Paul in his travels, and particularly, that he sailed with him from Judæa to Rome, when St. Paul was sent thither by Festus the Roman governor, upon his appeal to Cæsar. And it is fully evident from the salutations sent from Rome by St. Paul in his Epistles to the Colossians, and to Philemon, when he was the first time a prisoner there, that St. Luke was with him. In the one he calls him the beloved physician', in the other his fellow-labourer 8.

The ancient fathers, that had the certain means of knowing who was the author of the History of the Acts, unanimously ascribe it to St. Luke. Thus does Irenæus ", Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertullian, Origen!, Eusebius in, and those who came after. And indeed I know not that any one person ever entertained a doubt, or made the least hesitation concerning the author of the Acts. It is true, there were heretics who rejected it " : but they did not reject it because they were in any suspense about the author; they well knew it was wrote by St. Luke, and at the same time made use of no other Gospel than his, though they both took from and added to it as they pleasedo. These were men that pretended to a more exalted degree of knowledge than most of the apostles were endued with P, and therefore might very consistently reject the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. John, though they knew and acknowledged the authors to be apostles.

d Vid. Sim. Crit. Hist. de N. T. c. 14. p. 152.
c Iren. I. 3. C. 15, pr. Grabe's Spicil. vol. 1. p. 34, pr.
f Col. iv. 14.

8 Philem. 24. L. 1. C. 23. §. 1. 1. 3. C. 14, throughout; 1. 4. C. 15. §. 1. i Strom. 1. 5. C. 12, fin. p. 696. and Hypotyp. quoted by Euseb. E. H. I. 6. c. 14, pr.

k De Jejun. c. 10. p. 549, B. Cum in eodem commentario Lucæ et tertia hora orationis demonstretur.

1 Adv. Cels. 1. 6. p. 282, fin. vol. 1. in Matt. p. 382, D. vol. 2. in Joan. p. 23, D. Euseb. E. H. I. 6. c. 25, fin.

m E. H. I. 3. C. 4, pr. et med. c. 31, D. 1. 2. C. II, pr. et c. 22, B.D.

I shall give you a brief character of the fathers I have mentioned, and shew you how they had the certain means of knowing who was the author of the History of the Acts. Irenæus was a man of great prudence, learning, and piety, much esteemed both by those of his own time, and those which fol

Cerdo, Marcion, and their followers, and the Severians, a sect of the Encratites, who were also originally from Marcion. Vid. Tertull. de Præscript. Hær. C. 51. p. 222, fin. Adv. Marcion. p. 463, A. Euseb. E.H. 1.4. C. 29. p. 121, fin. et 122, B.

o Vid. Iren. 1. 1. c. 27. §. 2. et l. 3. c. 12. §. 12. et c. 14. 4. Tertull. adv. Marcion. I. 1. c. 1. et l. 4. C. 2-5. De Carne Christi c. 3. p. 309, B.

p Vid. Iren. 1. 1. c. 27. §. 2. et l. 3. C. 12. §. 12. Putaverunt semetipsos plus invenisse quam apostoli-Et apostolos quidem adhuc quæ sunt Judæorum sentientes, annuntiâsse evangelium, se autem sinceriores et prudentiores apostolis esse. Unde et Marcion, et qui ab eo sunt, ad intercidendas conversi sunt scripturas, quasdam quidem in totum non cognoscentes, secundum Lucam autem Evangelium, et Epistolas Pauli decurtantes, hæc sola legitima esse dicunt, quæ ipsi minoraverunt. Et Tertull. de Præscript.

c. 22.

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