says He, putteth away his wife and marrieth
another, committeth adultery.’”
When we consider that in the time of Athenagoras, or very soon after, there were three authors living who spoke of the Gospels in the way we have shown, and quoted them in the way we shall now show, why assign these quotations to defunct Gospels of whose contents we are perfectly ignorant, when we have them substantially in Gospels which occupied the same place in the Church then as now?
NOTE ON SECTION XIX.
I have asserted that the three authors, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Irenaeus, all flourishing before the close of the second century, quote the four Gospels, if anything, more frequently than most modern Christian authors do. I append, in proof of this, some of the references in these authors to the first two or three chapters of our present Gospels.
“And Matthew, too, recognizing one and the same Jesus Christ, exhibiting his generation as a man from the Virgin ... says, ’The book of the generation of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.’ Then, that he might free our mind from suspicion regarding Joseph, he says, ’But the birth of Christ was on this wise: when His mother was espoused,’” &c. (iii. xvi.)
Then he proceeds to quote and remark upon the whole of the remainder of the chapter.
“Matthew again relates
His generation as a man.” For remainder,
“For Joseph is shown
to be the son of Joachim and Jeconiah, as also
Matthew sets forth in his pedigree.” (iii. 21, 9.)
“Born Emmanuel of the Virgin. To this effect they testify that before Joseph had come together with Mary, while she therefore remained in virginity, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (iii. 21, 4.)
“Then again Matthew,
when speaking of the angel, says, ’The angel
the Lord appeared to Joseph in sleep.’ (iii. 9, 2.)
“The angel said to him
in sleep, ’Fear not to take to thee Mary, thy
wife’” (and proceeding with several other verses of the same
chapter). (iv. 23, l.)
“But Matthew says that
the Magi, coming from the East, exclaimed,
’For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship
Him.’” (iii. 9, 2.)
“And that having been led by the star unto the house of Jacob to Emmanuel, they showed, by those gifts which they offered, who it was that was worshipped; myrrh, because it was He who should die and be buried for the human race; gold, because He was a king,” &c., &c. (iii. 9, 2)
“He, since He was Himself
an infant, so arranging it that human
infants should be martyrs, slain, according to the Scriptures, for
the sake of Christ.” (iii. 16, 4.)