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et Pastor non sunt in Canone." 1 Here, exactly as in S. Cyril, the word means nothing more than non-canonical, and includes the books which had been usually termed Ecclesiastical, as well as those spurious and rejected ones to which the term had commonly been applied. It is probably from this passage of S. Jerome that the substantive Apocrypha has been formed, as the title of that collection of books which the Church of England declines to regard as canonical, but reads in the Church. for example of life and instruction of manners.
The following table will serve to illustrate what has been said, and will help to make clear the varying sense of the word:
(b) The position assigned by the Church of England to the Apocrypha, and the arguments by which it may be supported. It will be evident from what has been
1 There is this difference between the use of the word in Jerome and Cyril. Jerome distinctly applies it to books which were publicly read in church, while Cyril would apparently have none but the canonical books read, and therefore with him the term "apocryphal" very fairly corresponds to the Hebrew Genuzim. Cf. also the use of the word in Origen's "Letter to Africanus," Opera, vol. i. p. 12 seq.
already said that the position assigned to these books by the Church of England is precisely that given to them by the early Church. "The other books (as Hierome saith), the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine. The statement of Jerome upon which this is based has been already quoted, as also the very similar language of Rufinus. The practice of the Church of England has been objected to on two opposite grounds. Romanists, who have obliterated the distinction between these books and those of the Hebrew canon, maintain that we do not assign proper honour to them. Protestants have complained that we show them too much respect. The sketch of the history of the canon of the Old Testament given in an earlier section will show the grounds upon which the practice of the Church of England may be justified as against Roman objections. Our contention is that the position which we assign to these books is identical with that given to them in the primitive Church. In reply to the objection brought from the opposite quarter we cannot do better than follow the guidance of Richard Hooker, who was called on to defend the practice of the Church against the Puritans, who wished to do away with the use of these books altogether. He meets the objection—(1) by the appeal to the practice of antiquity; (2) by showing that since we make clear that there is a real distinction between these books and the canonical ones, no confusion between the two can arise; (3) by pointing out "the divine excellency of some things in all, and of all things in certain of those Apocrypha"; and (4) by the pertinent question: "If in that which we are to read there happen by the way any clause, sentence, or speech that soundeth towards error, should the mixture of a little dross constrain the Church to deprive
herself of so much gold, rather than learn how by art and judgment to make separation of the one from the other?" 1
1 Hooker, Eccl. Polity, bk. V. ch. xx. It may be added that in Hooker's day the defence of the practice of the Church was harder than it is in our own. Bel and the Dragon, and Susanna and the Elders, were scarcely edifying, nor was all of Tobit suitable for public reading in Church. That there was some ground for the Puritan objections was admitted shortly after Hooker wrote, for in the revision of the Prayer Book made after the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, Bel and the Dragon and Tobit v. vi. and viii. were omitted from the daily lessons. Most unwisely, as it seems, they were restored after the Savoy Conference in 1662, and remained in use among the daily lessons until the revision of the Lectionary in 1871. This revision materially reduced the number of lessons from the Apocrypha, and at the present day nothing is read except from Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch.
De Veteri Testamento. Testamentum vetus Novo contrarium non est, quandoquidem tam in veteri quam in novo, per Christum, qui unicus est mediator Dei et hominum, Deus et Homo, æterna vita humano generi est proposita. Quare male sentiunt, qui veteres tantum in promissiones temporarias sperasse confingunt. Quanquam lex a Deo data per Mosen, quoad Cæremonias et ritus, Christianos non astringat, neque civilia ejus præcepta in aliqua Republica necessario recipi debeant; nihilominus tamen ab obedientia mandatorum quæ Moralia vocantur, nullus quantumvis Christianus est solutus.
Of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New, for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore they are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth: yet notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever, is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.
THIS Article was brought into its present form by Archbishop Parker in 1563, being formed out of two separate articles of the Edwardian series.
Article VI. of that set was entitled, "The Old Testament is not to be refused." It ran as follows:
"The Old Testament is not to be put away as though it were contrary to the New, but to be kept still, for both in the Old and New Testaments everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore they are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises."
Article XIX. of the same series was this: " All men are bound to keep the moral law."
"The law which was given of God by Moses, although it bind not Christian men as concerning the ceremonies and rites of the same; neither is it required that the civil precepts and orders of it should of necessity be received in any commonwealth: yet no man (be he never so perfect a Christian) is exempt and lose from the obedience of those commandments which are called moral. Wherefore they are not to be hearkened unto, who affirm that Holy Scripture is given only to the weak, and do boast themselves continually of the Spirit, of whom (they say) they have learnt such things as they teach, although the same be most evidently repugnant to the Holy Scripture."
The object of the Article is evidently to condemn two opposite errors, which were current in the sixteenth century among some of the Anabaptist sects.
1. The opinions of those who rejected the Old Testament entirely, and claimed to be themselves superior to the demands of the moral law, as laid down in it. Of these Anabaptists there is a notice in a work of Alley, Bishop of Exeter, at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, which aptly illustrates the language of the Article.
"Here I note only one thing, which is the temerity, ignorance, and blasphemy of certain phantastical heads, which hold that the prophets do write only to the people of the Old Testament, and that their doctrine did pertain only to their time; and would seclude all the Fathers that lived under the law from the hope of eternal salvation. And here is also a note to be gathered against them which utterly reject the Old Testament, as a book nothing necessary to the Christians which live under the gospel.”
1 Alley's Poore Man's Librarie, ii. 97, quoted in Hardwick On the Articles,