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histories as are contained in letters, transitions were not often made from one fact to another, without any intimation that important matters intervened. By thus entering into the manner of my various correspondents, I should more effectually make them their own harmonists.
The same rules, which might be thus applied to human compositions, are applicable to the Gospels; the superior veneration, which is due to the latter as inspired compositions, rendering greater care and attention necessary, than if they had been writings of less moment. Chemnitius has laid down several rules in his Prolegomena, which had evidently been attended to by Pilkington, Newcome, and Doddridge. Though Chemnitius had rendered his work comparatively useless to me as a guide, on account of his generally preferring the order of St. Matthew ; his rules are so valuable, that I shall add some further notice of them, to enable the reader to judge more correctly of the propriety of the order which I have adopted in the following work.
It might have been supposed, that St. Luke was the proper guide to be followed, on account of the expression he has used in his preface. This has been considered in its place. Chemnitius' remark is just--wa0ctñs non præcise exactum ordinem in omnibus ; sed quod altius ordiri, et historiam' ab initio repetere, ac deinceps continuâ narratione distincte, et distribute, quasi per gradus, reliqua velit addere. Rejecting the notion of Osiander, (and with him of Macknight, and all other Harmonists who have followed the same plan,) that each Evangelist wrote in their exact order the circumstances they have related, Chemnitius proceeds, as if the Gospels had been written on the plan of letters, to notice those facts which must be the resting places of the Harmonizers. We are to ascertain the number of passovers -the greater events between each—the principal journeyings of our Lord, and how he was at certain towns or places at certain times. His birth, baptism, death, resurrection, and ascension, must of course begin and end every Harmony.
The Evangelists, we may presume, generally relate things in their order; unless they are reminded of other events, which appear to be suggested by the mention of a name, or an event. Thus St. Matthew unites the calling and mission of the twelve, though the latter was long after the former. St. Luke inserts the story of the death of the Baptist long before it took place; being reminded of it by the event he had related. Mark unites also the captivity and death of John.
Newcome has given many additional instances to those collected by Chemnitius, to shew that many general notices of time do not always imply an immediate succession of events; such as “ at that time”-“ in those days"--epiraτων δε-ιδών δε-έγένετο δέ-και ελθών-« on one of those days," as they were coming into Capernaum, &c. &c.
Those notes of time, however, are to be particularly observed, which appear to imply continuance, or are more definite" When he came down from the mountain, he went," &c. &c.-" When he had finished these words"_" In that hour"_“ On the third day"_“ On the eighth day" (n).
Observe where the omission of events seems to be implied, as in John v. 1; vi. 1 ; vii. 1. The expressions perà taūra, and idov, kal tóre, are thus used.
When all the Evangelists agree in the order of certain events, their united consent ought not to be disturbed.
When two Evangelists agree in any particular order, and a third differs, the two are to be preferred to the third ; unless
evident reasons appear to the contrary. When two Evangelists relate the same fact, and place different facts after it, observe the stricter notation of time in one than the other.
(n) See the notes to the passages in which these expressions occur.
Chemnitius here refers to the instances that, after the healing of the centurion's servant, St. Matthew relates the healing of St. Peter's mother-in-law. St. Luke relates the raising of the widow's son, and uses the particle which denotes the stricter notation of time ; while St. Matthew only implies that it was about that time. St. Mark adds a note, that this healing of St. Peter's mother-in-law was effected when that apostle was called.
When the order of events after a fact is different, enquire whether the alteration is by anticipation, or recapitulation, and the circumstances in which the history is related.
When in the context of some one Evangelist, one history follows another, and it is certain that the following is the last-consider whether any event is to be inserted-for instance, between the purification and return to Nazareth, insert the slaughter of the infants, and the flight into Egypt.
When one Evangelist relates events in certain order, and an event is recorded among them, which is omitted by the other Evangelists when relating the same events—the order of the one may be followed.
But if that one event may, by any notes of time, be transposed, the order is not a sufficient argument against its being displaced.
Sometimes events, or discourses, are related, which are put together, because they are told of the same person ; not because they are consecutive, but that the history of the person may be put together, as the mission of the Apostles, the story of the Baptist, &c. &c. &c.
When similar events are related, we may conclude them to be the same, if the minuter circumstances agree; such as time, place, occasion, person, object.
Supposing the Gospels to have been written in the form of narrative epistles, and the observance of such rules to be necessary, I found that the most valuable basis of a harmony was already prepared for me by Eichhorn, one of the
most celebrated, though not always the most approvable, of the German theologians. While I rejected, as a theory unsupported by facts, the hypothesis of Bishop Marsh, and of Eichhorn,—that there was one original document from which the three first Evangelists derived their Gospels,-I was glad to avail myself of his collection of the events recorded by the three first Evangelists. These events, Bishop Marsh has justly observed, contain a short but well connected representation of the principal transactions of Christ, from his birth to his ascension. Whatever events are added by one, which are omitted by another, must evidently find their
proper place among these. The chronology is settled by the number of passovers mentioned by St. John: and I have adopted Mr. Benson's theory of the duration of our Lord's ministry, and that view of the chronology which he has given from St. John's Gospel. Eichhorn's arrangement of these events appeared to be the best foundation of a harmony on another account also. The order of St. Matthew's Gospel alone is altered: the order both of St. Mark and of St. Luke is preserved, and from this I have not departed in any instance.
I annex the plan of Eichhorn, that the reader may compare its unbroken continuousness with the order proposed by any harmonist which he may have in his possession.
1. John the Baptist, Mark i. 248. Luke iii. 1-18. Matt. iii. 1-12.
2. Baptism of Christ, Mark i. 9—11. Luke iii. 21, 22. Matt. iii. 13-17.
3. Teinptation of Christ, Mark i. 12, 13. Luke iv. 1-13. Matt. iv. 1-11.
4. Christ's return to Galilee, and arrival at Capernaum, Mark i. 14. Luke iv. 14. Matt. iv. 12, 13.
5. Cure of Peter's mother-in-law, Mark i. 29–34. Luke iv. 38-41. Matt. viii, 14-17.
6. Cure of leper, Mark i. 40-45. Luke v. 12-16. Matt. vii. 2-4.
7. Cure of a person afflicted with the palsy, Mark ii. I12. Luke v. 17-26. Matt. ix. 1-8.
8. Call of St. Matthew, Mark ii. 13-22. Luke v. 2739. Matt. ix. 9–17.
9. Christ goes with his disciples through the corn fields, Mark ii. 23-28. Luke vi. 1-5. Matt. xii, 1–8:
10. Cure of the withered hand, Mark iii. 1-6. Luke vi. 2-6. Matt. xii. 9-15.
11. Preparation for sermon on the mount, Mark ii. 7-19. Luke vi. 12-19, Matt. iv. 23-25.
12. Confutation of the opinion that Christ cast out devils by the assistance of Beelzebub, Mark iii. 20—30. Matt. xii. 22—45. (Perhaps formerly Luke also.)
13. Arrival of the mother and brethren of Christ, Mark üi. 31-35. Luke v. 19-21. Matt. xii. 46-50.
14. Parable of the sower, Mark iv, 1–34. Luke vüi. 418.
15. Christ crosses the sea, and undergoes a storm, Mark iv. 35-41. Luke viii. 22-25. Matt. vii. 18-27.
16. Transactions in the country of the Gadarenes, Mark v. 1–20. Luke viji. 26–39. Matt. vi. 28–34.
17. The daughter of Jairus restored to life, Mark v. 2143. Luke viii. 40–56. Matt. ix. 18-26.
18. Christ sends out the twelve apostles, Mark vi. 7–13. Luke ix. 1-6. Matt. x. 142.
19. The fame of Christ reaches the court of Herod, Matt. xiv. 1-12. Mark vi. 14–49. Luke ix. 7-9.
20. Five thousand men fed, Matt. xiv. 13-21. Mark vi. 30—44. Luke ix. 10–17.
21. Acknowledgment of the apostles that Christ is the Messiah, Matt. xvi. 13-28. Mark viji. 27. ix. 1. Luke ix. 18.-27.
22. Transfiguration of Christ on the mount, Matt. xvii. 1-10. Mark ix. 2-9. Luke ix. 28-36. 23. Christ cures a demoniac, whom his apostles were un