ABGARUS, you are happy, forasmuch as you have believed on me, whom you have not seen.
2 For it is written concerning me, that those who have seen me should not believe on me, that they who have not seen might believe and live.
3 As to that part of your letter, which relates to my giving you a visit, I must inform you, that I must fulfil all the ends of my mission in this country, and after that be received up again to him who sent me.
4 But after my ascension I will send one of my disciples, who will cure your disease, and give life to you, and all that are with you.
REFERENCES TO THE EPISTLES OF JESUS CHRIST AND ABGARUS KING OF EDESSA.
[The first writer who makes any mention of the Epistles that passed between Jesus Christ and Abgarus, is Eusebius, Bishop of Cæsarea, in Palestine, who flourished in the early part of the fourth century. For their genuineness, he appeals to the public registers and records of the City of Edessa in Mesopotamia, where Abgarus reigned, and where he affirms that he found them written in the Syriac language. He published a Greek translation of them, in his Ecclesiastical History. The learned world has been much divided on this subject; but, notwithstanding the erudite Grabe, with Archbishop Cave, Dr, Parker, and other divines, have strenuously contended for their admission into the canon of Scripture, they are deemed apocryphal. The Rev. Jeremiah Jones observes, that the common people in England have this Epistle in their houses in many places, fixed in a frame, with the picture of Christ before it; and that they generally, with much honesty and devotion, regard it as the word of God, and the genuine Epistle of Christ.]
THE EPISTLE OF
ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE LAODICEANS.
PAUL an Apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, to the brethren which are at Laodicea.
2 Grace be to you, and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank Christ in every prayer of mine, that ye may continue and persevere in good works, looking for that which is promised in the day of judgment.
4 Let not the vain speeches of any trouble you, who pervert the truth, that they may draw you aside from the truth of the Gospel which I have preached.
5 And now may God grant, that my converts may attain to a perfect knowledge of the truth of the Gospel, be beneficent, and doing good works which accompany salvation.
- L. i. c. 18.