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TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL TONGUES, AND NOW
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM HONE,
AFTER the writings contained in the New Testament were selected from the numerous Gospels and Epistles then in existence, whai became of the Books that were rejected by the compilers?
This question naturally occurs on every investigation as to the period when, and the persons by whom, the New Testament was formed. It has been supposed by many that the volume was compiled by the first council of Nice, which, according to Jortin,* originated thus:
Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, and Arius, who was a presbyter in his diocese, disputed together about the nature of Christ; and the bishop being displeased at the notions of Arius, and finding that they were adopted by other persons, 'was very angry.' He commanded Arius to come over to his sentiments, and to quit his own as if a man could change his opinions as easily as he can change his coat! He then called a council of war, consisting of nearly a hundred bishops, and deposed, excommunicated, and anathematized Arius, and with him several ccclesiastics, two of whom were bishops, Alexander then wrote a circular letter to all bishops, in which he represents Arius and his partisans as heretics, apostates, blasphemous enemies of God, full of impudence and impiety, forerunners of Antichrist, imitators of Judas, and men whom it was not lawful to salute, or to bid God * Rem. on Eccl. vol. ii., p. 177.