« PreviousContinue »
have exercised the skill of thoughtful men to reconcile them. This is another argument, that these evangelists did not write by concert, or after having seen each others' gospels.
5. In some histories, which are in all these three evangelists, there are small varieties and differences, which plainly show the same thing. I shall allege two or three instances only.
(1.) In Mattb. viii. 28–34; Mark v. 1—20; Luke viji. 26—40, is the account of the cure of the dæmoniac, or dæmoniacs, in the country of the Gadarenes. It is plainly the same history, as appears from many agreeing circumstances: nevertheless there are several differences. St. Matthew speaks of two men, St. Mark and St. Luke of one only. In Mark alone it is said, that the man was always night and day in the mountains, crying, and cutting himself with stones. And he alone mentions the number of the swine that were drowned. He likewise says, that the man besought our Lord much, that he would not send them away out of the country. St. Luke says, the dæmons besought him, that he would not command them to go out into the deep, or abyss. Surely these evangelists did not abridge, or transcribe each others' writings.
(2.) In Matt. xvii. 1-13; Mark ix. 1-13; Luke ix. 28-36, are the accounts of our Lord's transfiguration on the mount. Wbere St. Matthew says: “His face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” St. Mark : “ And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow, so as no fuller on earth can wbite them.” St. Luke: “ And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glittering.” It is plain, I think, that none had seen what the other had written. In the description of the splendour of our Lord's person and garments, each one follows bis own fancy, In St. Matthew and St. Mark are comparisons, but they are different. In St. Luke there is no comparison at all.
(3.) The third instance shall be what follows next in all the three evangelists, after our Lord was come down from the mount. Matt. xvii. 14-21; Mark ix. 14—29; Luke ix. 37—42. In this history of the healing the young man, who had the epilepsy, where St. Mark is more particular and prolix than the other evangelists, there are many differences: Í take notice of a very few only. In St. Matthew the father of the child says: Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is lunatic, and sore vexed : and the healing him is thus related. “ And Jesus rebuked the dæmon, and he departed out of bim. And the child was cured from that very hour.” In St. Mark, the father of the child says to our Lord : “ Master, I have brought unto thee my son, who has a dumb spirit,” and when our Lord healed bin, “ be rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto bim : Thou duimb aud deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.” And wbat follows. In St. Luke the father says: “ Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son, for he is my only child."
Certainly, he who observes these things, inust be sensi. ble, that these bistorians did not borrow from each other : there are many other like instances : to mention them all would be endless.
I shall add a consideration or two more, which must be allowed to be of some weight in this question.
6. There are some things in St. Matthew's gospel, very remarkable, of which no notice is taken either by St. Mark, or St. Luke. ..
I intend, particularly, the visit of the Magians, with the causes of it, and its circumstances, and then the consequences of it, our Saviour's Aight into Egypt, and the slaughter of the infants at Bethlehem, and near it, Matt. ii. The dream of Pilate's wife, ch. xxvii. 19, the affair of the Roman guard at the sepulcbre, ch. xxviii. 11-15, “ an earthquake, rending of rocks,” and “ the resurrection of many saints, who came out of their graves, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many,” ch. xxvii. 51–53.
These are as extraordinary things as any in the gospels : and if St. Mark, or St. Luke, bad written with a view of abridging, or confirming St. Matthew's history, some, or all of these things, would have been taken notice of by them. It is also very observable, that St. Luke has no account of the miracle of feeding “ four thousand with seven loaves and a few little fishes,” which is in Matt. xv. 32–39; Mark viii, 1–9.
And what has been just now said of St. Matthew, particularly, may be also applied to St. Luke, supposing his to have been the first-written gospel : for in him also are many remarkable things, not to be found in the other gospels. And if St. Matthew or St. Mark bad written with a view of abridging or confirming St. Luke's bistory, those things would not have been passed over by them without any notice.
7. All the first three evangelists have many things peculiar to themselves : which shows that they did not borrow froin each otber, and that they were all well acquainted with the things of which they undertook to write a history. Many such things are in Matthew, as is well known to all: I therefore need not enlarge on them; and a few of them were just now taken notice of.
St. Mark likewise has many things peculiar to himself, not mevtioned by any other evangelist : a catalogue of them was made by us P formerly, though far from being complete.
The same is true of St. Luke. As much was observed by Irenæus, who says, • There are many, and those necessary • parts of the gospel, which we know from Luke only.' His brief enumeration of those things was transcribed by us into this work long ago. Let me also rehearse them here somewbat differently. His general introduction, the birth of John the Baptist, and many extraordinary things attend. ing it. The Roman census made in Judea, by Cyrenius, or before that made by Cyrenius, which brought Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem; the mean circumstances of our Lord's nativity; the notification of it to shepherds by an angel ; his circumcision; Mary's purification at the temple; the prophecies of Simeon and Anna there; our Lord's going up to Jerusalem at the age of twelve years, cb. ii. The names of the emperor and other princes, in whose time John the Baptist and our Lord began to preach, and our Lord's age at that time; a genealogy different from Matthew, ch. iii. In St. Luke are also divers miracles, not recorded elsewhere. A numerous draught of fishes, ch. v. 4–9. The cures of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, ch. viji. 2, 3; giving speech to a dumb man, cb. xi. 14; a woman healed in a synagogue of an infirmity, under which she bad laboured eighteen years, ch. xiii. 10-17, the man cured of a dropsy on a sabbath-day, in the house of a pharisee, ch. xiv. 1—4. Ten lepers cured at once, ch. xvii. 12-19, the ear of Mal. chus healed, ch. xxii. 50, 51; the son of a widow of Nain raised to life, in the sight of multitudes, when he was carried out to burial, ch. vii. 11–17; a miracle of resurrection, related by no other evangelist. In him alone is the mission of the seventy disciples, ch. x. 1–20. Divers beautiful parables spoken by our Lord, which are not to be found elsewhere : the parable of the good Samaritan, ch. x. 25-37; the parable of the lost piece of silver, and the prodigal son, ch. xv. 8–32; of the unjust steward, xvi, 1–12; the rich man and Lazarus, ver. 19–31; the importunate widow, xviii. 1–8; the pharisee and publican that went up to the temple to pray, ver. 9—14. To St. Luke also are peculiar our Lord's entertainment at the house of a pharisee, See before, p. 345–350.
9 Vol. ii. p. 171-173.
wbere came in a woman that was a sinner, ch. vii. 36–50; bis entertainment at the house of Martha, ch, x. 38—42; the history of Zaccheus, cb. xix. 1–10; our Lord's agony in the garden, ch, xxii. 43, 44; the penitent thief on the cross, ch. xxiii. 39–43; and a particular account of the two disciples going to Emmaus, ch. xxiv. 13-35.
All these, and many other things, which I ornit, are peculiar to St. Luke. And did he transcribe many things from St. Matthew, and yet more from St. Mark ?
Mill's argument, taken from the similitude of style and composition, to prove, that these evangelists had seen each others' writings, appears to be insufficient. And himself allows, that' two authors writing upon the same subject in the Greek language may easily agree very much in expression.
1 bave insisted the more upon this point, because I think, that to say the evangelists abridged and transcribed each other, without giving any hint of their so doing, is a great disparagement to them: and it likewise diminisheth the value and importance of their testimony. Said Mr. Le Clerc, before quoted, • Theys seem to think more justly, who say, • that the first three evangelists were unacquainted with • each other's design. In that way greater weight accrues ' to their testimony. When witnesses agree, who have first • laid their heads together, they are suspected. But wit. • nesses, who testify the same thing separately, without • knowing what others have said, are justly credited.'
This is not a new opinion, lately thought of: nor has it been taken up by me, out of opposition to any. I have all my days read, and admired the first three evangelists, as independent, and harmonious witnesses. And I know not how to forbear ranking the other opinion among those bold, as well as groundless assertions, in wbich critics too often indulge theniselves, without considering the consequences.
" Verum quidem est, eum esse linguæ hujus, quæ evangelistis in usu erat, Hellenisticæ genium, eam indolem, ut in unum ferme eundemque dicendi characterem, quoties de unâ eâdemque materiâ agitur, sese efformet; ita ut diversi in hoc genere scriptores, unum idemque aliquod argumentum particulare tractantes, stylo ac sermonis tenore haud absimili usuri essent, &c. Prol. num. 108.
s See Vol. iii. p. 504.
1. His history before his conversion, and his general cha.
racter. II. The time of his conversion. Il. Observations upon his conversion, and the circumstances of things at that time in Judea. IV. His age at the time of his conversion. V. When he was made an apostle. VI. The history of his travels, and preaching : particularly, from the time of his conversion and apostleship, to his coming from Damascus to Jerusalem, the first time after his conversion. VII. From his coming first to Jerusalem to his being brought to Antioch by Barnabas. VIII. To his coming up to Jerusalem with the contributions of the christians at Antioch. IX. To his coming to the council at Jerusalem about the year 49. X. To his coming to Jerusalem with contributions of divers gentile churches, in the year 58, when he was apprehended, and imprisoned. XI. To the end of his imprisonment at Rone. XII. To the time of his death.
1. SAUL, called also PAUL, by which name he was generally called, after his preaching in gentile countries, and, particularly, a among Greeks and Romans, a descendant of ibe patriarch Abrabam, one of God's ancient chosen people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, wasb a native of Tarsas, then the chief city of Cilicia. He was also by birth a' citizen of Rome. How he became entitled to that privilege,
• Acts xii. 9. “ Then Saul, who also is called Paul," Eaülog de, o kai lavdoc. Id est, qui ex quo cum Romanis conversari cæpit, hoc nomine, a suo non abludente, coepit a Romanis appellari. Sic qui Jesus Judæis, Græcis Jason ; Hillel, Pollio : apud Romanos Silas, Silvanus, ut notavit Hieronymus. Grot. in Act. xiii. 9.
Hoc primum loco cæpit apostolus a Lucâ Paulus dici, quem ubique antea Saulum vocavit. Nec deinceps alio quam Pauli nomine usquam vocabit.--Alii igitur apostolum jam inde ab initio binominem fuisse putant, ut ex altero homine Judæus, ex altero Romanus civis esse intelligeretur. Alii cum religione nomen eum mutâsse putant, cum ex pharisæo fieret christianus.--Sunt demum qui a Sergio Paulo proconsule ad Christum converso hoc cognomen adeptum esse putent. ---Ac facile mihi quidem persuadeo, primum a proconsulis Romani familiâ ita vocari cæpisse. Bez. Annot. in Act. xiii. 9. See likewise Dr. Doddridge's Family Expositor, Vol. iii. p. 198. notek, or upon Acts xiii. 9.
ó Acts xxi. 39. xxii. 3. • Acts xvi. 37, 38. xxii, 25-29. xxiii. 27.