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Chapter XXI.—The Epistle to Philemon.  This Epistle Not Mutilated.  Marcion’s Inconsistency in Accepting This, and Rejecting Three Other Epistles Addressed to Individuals.  Conclusions. Tertullian Vindicates the Symmetry and Deliberate Purpose of His Work Against Marcion.

To this epistle alone did its brevity avail to protect it against the falsifying hands of Marcion. I wonder, however, when he received (into his Apostolicon) this letter which was written but to one man, that he rejected the two epistles to Timothy and the one to Titus, which all treat of ecclesiastical discipline. His aim, was, I suppose, to carry out his interpolating process even to the number of (St. 474Paul’s) epistles. And now, reader,61246124    Inspector: perhaps critic. I beg you to remember that we have here adduced proofs out of the apostle, in support of the subjects which we previously61256125    Retro: in the former portions of this treatise. had to handle, and that we have now brought to a close61266126    Expunxerimus. the topics which we deferred to this (portion of our) work. (This favour I request of you,) that you may not think that any repetition here has been superfluous, for we have only fulfilled our former engagement to you; nor look with suspicion on any postponement there, where we merely set forth the essential points (of the argument).61276127    Qua eruimus ipsa ista. If you carefully examine the entire work, you will acquit us of either having been redundant here, or diffident there, in your own honest judgment.61286128    [Elucidation II.]

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