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that countrey? We just now observed passages of Origen, Epiphanius, Grégorie Nazianzen, Jerome, Chrysostom, relating to St. Peter's travels. But none have mentioned Babylon, as -a place, where he traveled, and preached the gospel.
Says Mr. Beaufobre: “As (z) Peter was the Apostle of the Jews s scattered abroad among the Gentils, St. James having stayed in Judea, she went to Babylon, where a great number of the Israelites had re: "mained.” But may I not take the liberty to ask a question, and say: Who'assigned to these Apostles those several provinces, with such limitations ? St. James staid in Judea. It is allowed. We are certain of it from the histoire in the Acts. Nevertheless he did not confine his regards to the Jews in the land of Israel. For he wrote an epiltle, addressed to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. And if Peter alfo was an A. postle, chiefly, of the circumcision; it was not of those only, who were in Gentil countreys, but of those likewise, who were in Judea: where, as I apprehend, he spent the greatest part of his life, even after our Saviour's ascension
Mr. Beaufobre says, “ Peter went to Babylon, where a great number of Israelites had remained.” That is, he imagined, that he did fo. And it was fit for him so 'to do. As Basnage, in a passage (a) cited not long ago, says: “ There was a multitude of Jews in Allyria, where was Babylon. Nor could he any where more successfully execute his apóftolical commission." And because we imagine, that Peter might very fitly preach: the gospel in Affyria, we conclude, that he went thither. But duch reasonings, if calmly considered, are of no weight. It would be much better to allege come ancient testimonies, in behalf of St. Peter's Journey into Allyria, or Parthia.
Mr. Wetstein thinks, that St. Peter's first epistle was writ in the countrey of Babylon, in Mefopotamia. As there is somewhat new in his argument, I place below (b) a large part of it. In particular, he says, that
Negant enim, Petrum Romæ fuiffe : quod teftatur antiquitas. Affirmant autem Babylone fuisse, vel in Ægypto, vel in Chaldæa. . Quod nulla prodit historia. En. in i Pet. v. 13.
(2) Comme il étoit l'Apôtre des Juifs dispersez parmi les Payens, S. Jacques étant demueré en Judée, il alla à Babylone, et dans les provinces voilines; ou il étoit resté un bon nombre d'Ifraelites. Hijt, de Manich. l. 2. ch. 3. T. i. p. 181.
(a) See p. 452. note (x).
(6) Cur Babylon in Italia potius, aut Ægypto, quam in Mesopotamia, fit quærenda, caufam non video. Veteres quidem Romam intelligunt. Quod recentiores observant, Babylonem proprie dictam, quo tempore Petrus hæc fcribebat, habitatam ron fuiffe, verum eft, At (preterquam quod et Stephano Byzantino et Lucano constat, etiam Seleuciam eo tempore nomine Babylonis fuisse appellatam,) possumus Babylonem interpretari non urbem, sed totam regionem. . , . Huic observationi addo aliam, quæ licet mihi nunc primum in mentem venerit, suum tanien apud me poncus habet. Nimirum bi de pluribus vel provinciis vel urbibus loquimur, vel ubi ad plures fcribimus, ordini naturæ convenientius et fimplicius videtur, ut incipiamnus non
when a person writes to the people of several cities, or countreys, it is natural to begin with that which is nearest to him. So does Paul. Col. iv. 3. and St. John in Patmos. Rev. i. and ii. The like order, lays be is also accurately observed by St. Peter, if he wrote from Mesopotamia, not if we suppose him to have writ from Italie, or Egypt.
But such observations, though ingenious and plausible, are not demonftrative and decisive, even when they are just and right. Which can. not be laid of this. For fuppofing St. Peter to have been in Mesopotamia, the country, nearest to him, would be Cappadocia, as lying mere eastward, and more southward, than the two first named Certainly Pontus and Galatia were farther off from Mesopotamia, than Cappadocia
. The truth is : St. Peter begins at the north, and so goes round. And that way of beginning does as well suit Rome, as Babylon, so far as I can fee.
Beside all this, there offers an argument, which appears to me deci. sive. If the Assyrian Babylon was not now subject to the Romans, but to (c) the Parthians : which I suppose to be allowed by all : it cannot ie the place, intended by St. Peter. For the people, to whom he writes, were subject to the Romans. And at the time of writing this epistle he muft have been within the territories of the same Empire. I ep. ii. 13. 14. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake: ube ther it be to the king, or rather Emperour, as formerly (d) thewn, as jis preme: or unto Governours sent, (from Rome,) by him, for the puniftrent of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that ao well
. Again, ver. 17. Hz. nor the King : or rather, the Emperour. If Se eter had not now been within the Roman territories, he would have been led to express him telf in a different manner, when he enforced obedience to the Roman Em. perour.
This argument appears to me very obvious. And yet I do not know, that it has ever been thought of by any before. Which makes me al. most fufpect the validity of it: though I cannot discern, where the de. fect lies.
St. ''eter requires subjection to Governours, sent by the Emperour: undoubtedly, meaning from Rone. I suppose, that way of speaking might be properly used in any part of the Empire. But it might have a special propriety, if the writer was then at Rome. Where indeed, in all probability, Peter then was.
4. So that we are now come to the fourth opinion concerning the date of this epistle. Which is, that by Babylon St. Peter figuratively means
ab ea, quæ loquentibus vel fcribentibus eft remotiffima, sed proxima. Hun ordinem fervavit Paulus Col. iv. 13: et Joannes ex Patmo. Apoc, i. et n. Hunc ordinem accurate servavit etiam Petrus, fi fcripfit ex Mesopotamia
, minime autem, fi vel ex Ægypto, vel ex Italia, eum scripfiffe exiftimemus. Wetstein, in 2 Pet. v. 13. Tom. 2. p. 197. 698.
(c) Vid. Sirat, I. 16. p. 1081, in el. p. 745.
(d) See the firf Part of this work. Book i. ch. 2. $. xi. near the end. On p. 176. of the third edition,
Rome. This is the opinion of (e) Grotius, and () Whitby, and (8) Valesius, and all the learned writers of the Roman communion in
These have, confessedly, in their favour, the testimonie of antiquity. Which is no small advantage.
Eusebius' having given an account of St. Mark's Gospel, and of it's having been writ at the request of St. Peter's hearers at Rome, adds : “And (b) it is said, that Peter mentions this Mark in his first epiftle, « which, they say, he wrote at Rome: and that himself calls that city “Babylon figuratively in those words : the church that is at Babylon salutes
you, as does Mark my son.”
This interpretation some suppose Eusebius to ascribe to Papias, But (i) Spanheim denies it. And perhaps it is not certain. Whether Papias faid so, or not, it was the prevailing opinion in the time of Eusebius.
Jerome in his book of Illustrious Men, in his article of St. Mark, transcribes the just cited paflage of Eusebius, but exprefleth himself more positively. “ Peter (k) makes mention of this Mark in his first epiftle, figuratively denoting Rome by the name of Babylon. The church which is at Babylon, elected together with you, faluteth you, as does Mark my fon."
(e) De Babylone dissident veteres et novi interpretes. Veteres Romam interpretantur, ubi Petrum fuisse nemo verus Chriftianus dubitabit. Novi Babylonem in Chaldæa. Ego veteribus affentior. Nam quod Romam Babylonem vocavit, non in hoc tantum ferviit, ut fi deprehenderetur epi. ftola, non poffet inde fciri, quibus in locis viveret. Verum etiam. Congruentias plurimas inter Babylonem et Romam vide Orofii ii. 2. 3. 4. Grol. ad i Pet. v. 13.
(f) See him upon i Pet. v. 13.
(3) Romam Petrus figurate Babylonem vocavit, vel ob magnitudinem et potentiam, vel propter impietatem... Poteft etiam alia ratio hujus cognominis afferri, quod fcilicet "ut Babylonii Judæos in fervitutem redege. rant, fic Romani tunc Judæos ditioni'suæ subjeciffent. Sunt qui in dicta Petri epiftola Babylonis nomine non Romam, fed Babylonem ipfam, quae caput fuit Assyriorum, defignari contendunt. Verum hi omnium veterum patrum teftimonio refelluntur. Valef. Annot. ad Eufeb. H. E. l. 2. c. 15. p. 33.
(0) Τα δε μάρκα μνημονίυειν τόν σίτρoν εν τη προτίρα επιςολή, ήν και συντάξα» φασιν επ' αυτής ρώμης σημαινειν τε τατ' αυτόν την πόλιν τροπικώτερον βαβυλώνα, προσειπόντα δια τύτων Αστιάζεται υμάς ή έν βαβυλώνι συνεκλεκτή, και μάρκος και isés ue. Euf. H. E. I. 2. c. 15.
(i) Atqui primus omnium Eusebius narrationi de Marco hæc fubjungit: Ej, qui dicerent Romam figurate Babylonem appellari.. Nec tamen Papiz iph adscribi eam interpretationem, quicquid vulgo fentiant, Valefio ipfo verba hæc a prioribus fejungente, fupra demonftratum eft. Vid. P. 3: num. xii. Spanheim. Dil. de fida Profea. Petri ad Rom. Part. iv. num. ii. Tom. 2. p. 375:
(4) Meminit hujus Marci et Petrus in epistola prima, fub nomine Babylonis figuraliter Romam figuificans: falutat vos que ia Babylone ea, coelecta, et Marcus filius meus. De li I. cap. viii.
Bede (1) by Babylon understood Rome, as did (m) Oecumenius. However, it may be here properly recollected, that (n) formerly we saw an author, Cosmas of Alexandria, in the fixth centurie, who hereby seems to have understood Babylon in Assyria.
This opinion concerning the place of writing this epistle is much confirmed by the general tradition of the ancients, that St. Mark's Gospel was writ at Rome, at the request of Peter's hearers, and that Mark here mentioned is the Evangelist. Nor is this contradicted by Cosmas, but confirmed by him. For he expressly fays, “ that (6) Mark, the lecond Evangelist, wrote his Gospel' at 'Rome by the direction of Peter."
They (P) who reje&t this interpretation, affect to fight Papias: whereas there is no good reason for it. If he said fo, certainly his teftimonie would be of some value. But we do not clearly perceive, that this was in Papias. However, it is said by Eusebius. It was then a common opinion. Nor did he know of a better.
Others insinuate likewise, that (q) the reason, why Jerome was willing to confound Rome with Babylon, was, that he was out of humour with the people of Rome. Which seems to me to be groundless. Jerome only transcribes what he had found in Eusebius. They who reject the accounts of those two learned ancients should by all means produce some evidence, that Peter was in Mesopotamia. We have good assurance, that St. Mark's Gospel was writ at Rome, and that Peter preached, and suffered martyrdom there. His two epistles therefore, probably, were writ in the same city, a short time before the period of his life.
Mill varies. In his note upon the place he is for Babylon in Egypt: But in his Prolegomena (r) he is for Rome, and argues well
enough (1) Babylonem typice Romam dicit, videlicet propter confufioncm multiplicis idololatriæ. &c. Bed, expolo 1 Pet. v. 13.
(m) Βαβυλώνα δε την ρώμην δια το περιφανές καλεϊ, ο και Βαβυλών πολλά χρόνια ccxxi. Oecum. in loc. Tom. 2. p. 526. A.
(n) See Vol. xi. p. 275. and 283,
W Quod fi, ut Rufinus interpretatur, tefte Papia nititur, infirmo fane tibicine fultum eft.' Nec temerè ad tropum in nominibus urbium aut regionum est recurrendum, nisi ubi proprią vocis significatio locum habere non poteft. Wettein. N. T. Tom. 2. p.697.
(9) C'est une imagination de Papias, que les anciens ont adopté avec trop de facilité, et que S. Jerome auroit rejettée avec mepris, fi dans la mauvaite humeur ou il étoit contre Rome, il n'eût été bien aise de la confondre arec Babylone. Beauf. His. Manich. l. 2. ch. 3. T. 1. p. 181.
(r) Romæ eam scriptam fuiffe notant ex traditione, Veterum Eusebius, Hieronymus in Catalogo, et alii permulti. Hanc enim Babylonis nomine defignatam voluit Petrus, ceu communi tuin temporis apud Judæos fuos appellatione. Quæ quidem et in hunc ufque diem apud eos obtinet. Abarbi. nel, aliique recentiores Judæi, commentantes in prophetias de Babylone, ad Romam iftas referunt: quod ficut a Babyloniis olim in fervitutem redacti fuc. rint, ita poftea jam a Romanis. &c. Proleg. num. 59. 60.
enough for that opinion. I suppose, that to be his final determination. . It may be best for me now to conclude this argument with a part of Whitby's note upon 1 Pet. v, 13. which is very agreeable also to the note of Eftius upon the same text. “That Babylon is figuratively here put " for Rome, is an opinion so early delivered by Papias, and which after" wards so generally prevailed, (as we learn from Eusebius, Jerome, and « Oecumeniųs,) that I subscribe to the note at the end of this epistle, " iręcon d no gww.ns, it was written from Rome, ftiled also Babylon by the « author of the Revelations. ch. xvii. and xviii. For the Apostle, at the " time of writing it, must be at Rome, figuratively, or at some city, pro"perly, called Babylon. Now as it is uncertain, whether St. Peter ever
was at Babylon in Chaldea, or in Egypt, and improbable, that he "made any considerable stay there : lo it is very improbable, he " should do it, when near his end. At Rome, and Antioch, where "he confessedly resided, church-historie is copious in giving an ac« count of his successors in those Sees.
But who can fhew any " thing of this nature, with reference to either of those Babylons.? 6&c. &c.” IV. The only thing remaining to be observed by us is the
Their Time, time of writing these two epistles. Which I think to be the year 63. or 64. or at the latest 65. I suppose, Paul to have left Rome in the spring of the year 63. St. Peter was not then come thither. If he had been there, he would have been mentioned by St. Paul in fome of his epiftles, writ near the end of his imprisonment at Rome. Howa' eyer, not very long after St. Paul was gone, St. Peter might come thi. ther, Here, I suppose, he preached for a while freely, and with great fuccesse. And it appears to me probable, that both these epistles were writ at Rome, not long before the Apostle's death.
That he was old, and near his end, when he wrote the second epistle,
apparent from Ch. i. 14. And that the first epistle to the fame Chrif tians had not been writ long before, may be argued from the apologie, which he makes for writing this second epistle to them. ch. i. ver. 13. ...15. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to flir you up by way of remembrance. Knowing, that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Chris has shewed me. Moreover, I will endeavour, that you may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
It is not unlikely, that soon after the Apostle had sent away Silvanus with the first epiftle, some came from those countreys to Rome, where was a frequent and general resort from all parts, bringing him informations concerning the Itate of religion among them. Which induced him to write a second time for the establishment of the Chriftians, among whom he had labored. And he might well hope, that his last words, and dying testimonie to the doctrine, which he had received from Christ, and had taught for many years with unshaken stedfastnefle, would be of great weight with them.
V. I have now gone through the four inquiries, pro- Remarks upon posed at the begining of this article. I thall here add. 1 Pet. v. 13.