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215

Epistle of Peter to James.

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Peter to James, the lord and bishop of the holy Church, under the Father of all, through Jesus Christ, wishes peace always.889889    [The object of this apocryphal epistle is to account for the late appearance of the Homilies.  It would seem to be the latest portion of the literature.—R.]

Chapter I.—Doctrine of Reserve.

Knowing, my brother, your eager desire after that which is for the advantage of us all, I beg and beseech you not to communicate to any one of the Gentiles the books of my preachings which I sent to you, nor to any one of our own tribe before trial; but if any one has been proved and found worthy, then to commit them to him, after the manner in which Moses delivered his books to the Seventy who succeeded to his chair.  Wherefore also the fruit of that caution appears even till now.  For his countrymen keep the same rule of monarchy and polity everywhere, being unable in any way to think otherwise, or to be led out of the way of the much-indicating Scriptures.  For, according to the rule delivered to them, they endeavour to correct the discordances of the Scriptures, if any one, haply not knowing the traditions, is confounded at the various utterances of the prophets.  Wherefore they charge no one to teach, unless he has first learned how the Scriptures must be used.  And thus they have amongst them one God, one law, one hope.


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