however till a confiderahle interval of time had elapfed after the death, reliurreclion, and alicen- iion of Chrifl, that any regular and authentic accounts were publilhed of the principal events of his life and tenets of his doctrine: and even then not by any previous and exprefs commillion from him, but in order t0 gratify theianxious and laudable defire of the numerous profelytes to this new religion, it appears that the Evan- gelical hiltories were at length compiled. We have, indeed, other writings of Apoflolical au- thority, which, invaluable as they mayjullly be

deemed, are however, the Apocalyplie excepted, all likewife of an occafional nature, written at

» different times to difiierent liocieties of Chrillians, ‘upon diflerent emergencies. Nothing therefore

but the prophelics contained in tholie writings, together with a few pallagcs profeITedly penned from immediate infpiration, appear to be {lriElly

{peaking of divine authority. The Epifiles com-

prifed in the Scriptural canon breathe indeed a truly Chrillian and Evangelical fpirit. They are in every refpeEt worthy of the great and ve- nerable characters to whom they are afcribed: but the writers certainly do not arrogate to them- lelves that plenary degree of inlipiratioti, they do not exact that blind and implicit acquiefcence in their opinions, which is at prefent generally conceived ellential to the exercife of Eipollolical

i authority.