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 (Rem. on Eccl. vol. ii. p. 177), 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 ecclesiastics, two of whom were bishops. Constantine sent a letter, in which he reprimanded the bishops for disturbing the church with their insignificant disputes. But the affair was gone too far to be thus composed. To settle this and other points, the Nicene Council was summoned, consisting of about 318 bishops. The first thing they did was to quarrel, and to express their resentments, and to present accusations to the Emperor against one another. "The Emperor burnt all their libels, and exhorted them to peace and unity." (See Mosheim's Eccle. Hist.) These were the kind of spiritual shepherds of whom Sabinus, the Bishop Heraclea affirms, that excepting Constantine himself, and Eusebius Pamphilus, they "were a set of illiterate creatures, that understood nothing." And now intelligent Catholics, especially Protestants who are content to read only the books of the Testament authorized by the Council of Nice, and agreed to ever since by your own bishops, although they and you profess to dissent from the Papacy, hear what Pappus in his Synodican to that Council says of their crafty contrivance when they separated the books of the original New Testament:—He tells us, that having "promiscuously put all the books that were referred to the Council for deliberation under the communion-table in a church, they besought the Lord that the inspired writings might get on the table, while the spurious ones remained underneath; and that it happened accordingly!" (See Com. Mace's N. T. p. 875.) Therefore, good reader, every Christian sect from the fourth century to the present period, have been blessed with the books that climbed upon the communion-table, and in consequence were deemed inspired and canonical; at the same time have been forbidden to read the Gospels and Epistles herein published, because they could not perform the same feat, but remained under the table, and were condemned accordingly, as uninspired and apocryphal writings.
If you believe this popish legend, you will not read the good books I lay before you, but still continue to possess only half the testament, instead of the perfect one, which will enable you to burst the trammels of priestcraft, and by the light of God's whole truth become free.
In conclusion, I implore you to examine for yourselves, and observe the testimony of Archbishop Wake and other learned divines and historians appended thereto; and subscribe myself,