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Ø viii. The duty of not giving offence. (xvii, 1–10.)
and discourses concerning his second coming. (20—27.) ý x. Encouragement to perseverance in prayer, illustrated by the parable of the
importunate widow. (xviii. 148.) ♡ xi. Self-righteousness reproved, and humility encouraged, by the parable of
the Pharisee and publican or tax-gatherer. (xviii. 9–14.) xii, Christ encourages young children to be brought to him (xviii. 15–17.) ;
and discourses with a rich young man. (18—30.) ý xiii. Christ again foretels his death to his disciples (xviii. 31–34.); and cures
a blind man near Jericho. (35_-42.) 0 xiv. The conversion of Zacchewa (xix. 1–10.) ♡ xv. The parable of the nobleman going into a distant country to receive a
kingdom. (xix. 11-23.) SECT. 4. The transactions at Jerusalem, until the passion of Christ, A. D. 33.
i. On Palm-Sunday (as we now call it), or the first day of Passion-week, Christ makes his lowly yet triumphal entry into Jerusalem, weeps over the
city, and expels the traders out of the temple. (xix. 29–46.) ♡ ii. On Monday, or the second day of Passion-week, Christ teaches during the
day in the temple. (xix. 47, 48.) g in. On Tuesday, or the third day of Passion-week, (a) In the day-time and in the temple, Christ confutes the chief priests, scribes, and elders, 1. By a question concerning the baptism of John. (xx. 1-7.) — 2. By the parable of the labourers in the vineyard. (9—19.) – 3. By showing the lawfulness of paying tribute to Cæsar. (20—26.) — The Sadducees confuted, and the resurrection proved. (27—40.) — The scribes confounded, and the disciples of Christ warned not to follow their example. (41–47.) The charity of a poor widow commended. (xx. 1–4.) (O) In the erening, and principally on the Mount of Olires, Christ discourses concerning the destruction of the temple, and of the last jndgment (xxi. 5– 28.) ; delivers another parable of the fig-tree (29—33.); and enforces the duty
of watchfulness. (34–38.) O iv. On Wednesday, or the fourth day of Passion-week, the chief priests con
sult to kill Christ. (xxii. 1-3.) O v. On Thursday, or the fifth day of Passion-week, Judas covenants to betray
Christ (xxii. 4–6.); and Christ sends two disciples to prepare the Passover.
(7–13.) g vi. On the Passorer day, – that is, from Thursday evening to Friday evening
of Passion-week. (a) In the evening, Christ eats the Passover ; institutes the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; discourses on humility, and foretels his being betrayed by Judas, his abandonment by his disciples, and Peter's denial of him. (xxii. 14 -38.) (6) Towards night, after eating the Passover with his apostles, Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives ; where,
after being some time in an agony, he is apprehended. (xxii. 39–53.) (c) During the night, Christ having been conducted to the high priest's house,
(whither Peter followed and denied him,) is derided. (xxii. 54—65.) (d) At day-break on Friday morning, Christ is tried before the Sanhedrin (xxii. 66–71.); from whose tribunal, (e) On Friday morning, 1. he is delivered first to Pilate (xxiii. 1—7.), who sends him to Herod (8-12.) ; by whom he is again sent to Pilate, and is by him condemned to be crucified, (13—25.) --2. Christ's discourse to the women of Jerusalem as he was led forth to be crucified. (26–31.) (f) The transactions of the third hour. - The crucifixion; Christ's garments divided; the inscription on the cross ; his address to the penitent robber. (xxiii. 32–43.) (9) From the sirth to the ninth hour. - The preternatural darkness, rending of the veil; death of Christ, and its concomitant circumstances. (xxiii. 44-49.) (h) Between the ninth hour and sun-set, Jesus Christ is interred by Joseph of
Arimathea. (xxiii. 50–56.) SECT. 5. Transactions after Christ's resurrection on Easter Day.
Q i. Christ's resurrection testified to the women by the angel. (xxiv. 1-12.)
ii. Christ appears to two disciples in their way to Emmaus, and also to Peter.
(xxiv. 13-35.) ý iii. His appearance to the apostles, and his instructions to them. (xxiv. 36
---49.) Sect. 6. The Ascension of Christ. (xxiv. 50--52.)
The plan of classifying events, adopted by Saint Luke, has been followed by Livy, Plutarch, and other profane historical writers. Thus Suetonius, after exhibiting a brief summary of the life of Augustus previous to his acquiring the sovereign power, announces his intention of recording the subsequent events of his life, not in order of time, but arranging them in distinct classes ; and then proceeds to give an account of his wars, honours, legislation, discipline, and private life. In like manner, Florus intimates that he would not observe the strict order of time ; but in order that the things, which he should relate, might the better appear, he would relate them distinctly and separately.”
. VII. If Saint Paul had not informed us (Col. iv. 14.) that Saint Luke was by profession a physician, and consequently a man of letters, his writings would have sufficiently evinced that he had had a liberal education ; for although his Gospel presents as many Hebraisms perhaps as any of the sacred writings, yet his language contains more numerous Græcisms than that of any other writer of the New Testainent. The style of this evangelist is pure, copious, and flowing, and bears a considerable resemblance to that of his great master Saint Paul. Many of his words and expressions are exactly parallel to those which are to be found in the best classic authors; and several eminent critics have long since pointed out the singular skill and propriety with which Saint Luke has named and described the various diseases which he had occasion to notice. As an instance of his copiousness, Dr. Campbell has remarked that each of the evangelists has a number of words, which are used by none of the rest ; but in Saint Luke's Gospel, the number of such words as are used in none of the other Gospels, is greater than that of the peculiar words found in all the other three Gospels put together; and that the terms peculiar to Luke are for the most part long and compound words. There is also more of composition in his sentences than is found in the other three Gospels, and consequently less siniplicity. Of this we have an example in the first sentence, which occupies not less than four verses. Further, Saint Luke seems to approach nearer to the manner of other historians, in giving what may be called his own verdict in the narrative part of his work. Thus he calls the Pharisees pinagyugor, lovers of money (xvi. 14.) ; and in distinguishing Judas Iscariot from the other Judas, he uses the phrase os xas Eysveto s godosné, who also proved a traitor. (vi. 16.) Saint Matthew (x. 4.) and Saint Mark (iii. 19.) express the same sentiment in milder language — who delivered him up. Again, the attempt made by the Pharisees, to extort from our Lord what might prove matter of accusation against
1 Suetonius in Augusto, c. ix. (al. xii.) p. 58. edit. Bipont. This historian has pursued the same method in his life of Cæsar.
2 Flori, Hist. Rom. lib. ii. c. 12.
him, is expressed by Saint Luke in more animated language than is used by either of the rest (xi. 53.): "they began vehemently to press him with questions on many points.” And on another occasion, speaking of the same people, he says that they were filled with madness. (vi. 11.) Lastly, in the moral instructions given by our Lord, and recorded by this evangelist, especially in the parables, no one has surpassed him in uniting affecting sweetness of manner with genuine simplicity, particularly in the parables of the benevolent Samaritan and the penitent prodigal."
ON THE SOURCES OF THE FIRST THREE GOSPELS.
I. Different hypotheses stated. - II. Eramination of the hypothesis,
that the evangelists abridged or copied from each other. - III. Examination of the hypothesis, that the evangelists derived their information from a primary Greek or Hebrew document.- IV. And of the hypothesis, that they consulted several documents. – V. That the only document consulted by the three first evangelists was the
preaching of our Saviour himself. 1. THAT the Gospels of Saint Matthew, Saint Mark, and Saint Luke, should contain so much verbal agreement, and yet that there should exist such striking differences as appear in the parallel accounts of these three evangelists when they relate the same discourses or transactions, is indeed a most remarkable circumstance. Hence several eminent writers have been induced to discuss this singular fact with great ability and equal ingenuity : and although the testimonies which we have to the genuineness and authenticity of the Gospels, are so clear and decisive, as to leave no doubt in the minds of private Christians ; yet, since various learned men have offered different hypotheses to account for, and explain, these phenomena, the author would deem his labours very imperfect, if he suffered them to pass unnoticed.
Three principal hypotheses have been offered, to account for these verbal similarities and occasional differences between the first three evangelists, viz. 1. That one or two of the Gospels were taken from another ; 2. That all three were derived from some original document common to the evangelists ; — and, 3. That they were derived from detached narratives of part of the history of our Saviour, commupicated by the apostles to the first converts to Christianity. We shall
1 Dr. Campbell on the Gospels, vol. ii. pp. 126–129. Rosenmüller, Scholia in Nov. Test. vol. ii. pp. 3–6. Kuinöel, Comment. Libros Hist. Nov. Test. vol. ii. pp. 213—220. Bp. Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. pp. 228—271. Pritii, In
i trod. ad Nov. Test. pp. 181–195. Viser, Herm. Sacr. Nov. Test. pars i. pp. 333
-339. pars ii. pp. 205–209. 221. et seq. 264. Rumpæi, Comm. Crit. in Libros Nov. Test. pp. 81–88. Bp. Cleaver's Discourse on the Style of Saint Luke's Gospel, in his Sermons, pp. 209--224. 8vo. Oxford, 1808,
briefly state the arguments that have been offered for and against these various hypotheses.
II. The first and most commonly received opinion has been, that one or two of the first three evangelists had copied or abridged from the third, or one from the other two; but which was the original writer, and which were the copyists, are topics concerning which various conjectures have been given. This opinion has been advocated by Grotius, Wetstein, Drs. Mill, Owen, Harwood, Townson, and Hales, and also by Griesbach : but, besides that it weakens the testimony of the evangelists by reducing three to two, or even to one, it is contradicted by the following weighty considerations.
1. It does not appear that any of the learned antient Christian writers had a suspicion, that either of the first three evangelists had seen the other Gospels before he wrote his own.
They say indeed, “ that when the three first-written Gospels had been delivered to all men, they were also brought to Saint John, and that he confirmed the truth of their narration; but said that there were some things omitted by them which might be profitably related :" or,“ that he wrote last, supplying some things which had been omitted by the former evangelists." To mention no others, Eusebius bishop of Cæsarea,1 Epiphanius,2 Theodore of Mopsuestia,3 and Jerome,4 express themselves in this manner. Towards the close of the fourth century, indeed, or early in the fifth, Augustine5 supposed that the first three evangelists were not totally ignorant of each other's labours, and considered Saint Mark's Gospel as an abridgment of Saint Matthew's: but he was the first of the fathers who advocated that notion, and it does not appear that he was followed by any succeeding writers, until it was revived in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by Grotius and others.
2: It is not suitable to the character of any of the evangelists, that they should abridge or transcribe another historian.
Saint Matthew was an apostle and an eye-witness, and consequently was able to write froin his own knowledge; or, if there were any parts of our Lord's ministry at which he was not present, he might obtain information from his fellow-apostles or other eye-witnesses. And, with respect to things which happened before the calling of the apostles (as the nativity, infancy, and youth of Christ), the apostles might ascertain them from our Saviour himself, or from his friends and acquaintance, on whose information they could depend.
Saint Mark, if not one of Christ's seventy disciples, was (as we have already scen)an early Jewish believer, acquainted with all the apostles, and especially with Saint Peter, as well as with many other eye-witnesses : consequently he was well qualified to write a Gospel ; and that he did not abridge Saint Matihew, we bove shown by an induction of various particulars.7 Saint Luke, though not one of Christ's seventy disciples, nor an eye-witness of his discourses and actions, was a disciple and companion of the apostles, and especially of Paul : he must therefore have been well qualified to write a Gospel. Besides, as we have shown in a former page, it is manifest from his introduction, that he knew not of any authentic history of Jesus Christ that had been then writien ; and he expressly says, that he had accurately traced all things from the source in succession or order, and he professes to write of them to Theophilus. After such an explicit declaration as this is, to affirm that he transcribed many things from one historian, and still more from another, is no less than a contradiction of the evangelist himself.
1 See the passages from Euscbius in Dr. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. iv. pp. 226, 227.; 4to. vol. ii. p. 369.
2 Ibid. 8vo. vol. iv. pp. 314, 315. ; 4to. vol. ii. p. 418.
3. It is evident from the nature and design of the first three Gospels, that the evangelists had not seen any authentic written history of Jesus Christ.
There can be no doubt but that Saint John had seen the other three Gospels ; for, as he is said to have lived to a great age, so it appears from his Gospel itself that he carefully avoided the repetition of things related in them, except a few necessary facts. But there is no certain evidence, either that Saint Mark knew that Matthew had written a Gospel before him, or that Saint Luke knew that the two evangelists had written Gospels before him. If Saint Mark had seen the work of Matthew, it is likely that he would have remained satisfied with it as being the work of an apostle of Christ, that is, an eye-witness, which he was not. Nor would Saint Luke, who, from the beginning of his Gospel, appears to have been acquainted with several memoirs of the sayings and actions of Christ, have omitted to say that one or more of them was written by an apostle, as Matthew
His silence therefore is an additional proof that the first three evangelists were totally unacquainted with any previous authentic written history of Christ.
4. The seeming contradictions, which erist in the first three Gospels (all of which, however, admit of easy solutions), are an additional evidence that the evangelists did not write by concert, or after having seen each other's Gospels.
5. In some of the histories recorded by all these three evangelists, there are small varieties and differences, which plainly show the same thing.
In illustration of this remark, it will suffice to refer to and compare the accounts of the healing of the demoniac or demoniacs in the country of the Gadarenes (Matt. viii. 28–34. with Mark v.1-20. and Luke viii. 26–40.); the account of our Lord's transfiguration on the mount (Matt. xvii. 1-13. with Mark ix. 1-13. and Luke is. 28-36.), and the history of the healing of the young man after our Saviour's descent from the mount. (Matt. xvii. 14-21. with Mark ix. 14-29, and Luke ix. 37–42.) In each of the accounts here cited, the agreeing circumstances which are discoverable in them, clearly prove that it is the same history, but there are also several differences equally evident in them. Whoever therefore diligently attends to these circumstances, must be sensible that the evangelical historians did not copy or borrow from each other.
6. There are some very remarkable things related in Saint Matthew's Gospel, of which neither Saint Mark nor Saint Luke has taken any notice.
Sach are the extraordinary events recorded in Matt. ii. xxvii. 19. xxvii. 51–53. and xxvii. 11-15.: some or all of which would have been noticed by Saint Mark or Saint Luke, had they written with the view of abridging or confirming Saint Blatthew's history. It is also very observable, that Saint Luke has no account of the miracle of feeding “four thousand with seven loaves and a few small fishes," which is related in Matt. xv. 32–39. and Mark viii. 1-9. The same remark is applicable to Saint Luke's Gospel, supposing (as Dr. Macknight and others have imagined) it to have been first written, as it contains many remarkable things not to be found in the other Gospels. Now, if Saint Matthew or Saint Mark had written with a view of abridging or confirming Luke's history, they would not lave passed by those things without notice.
7. All the first three evangelists have several things peculiar to themselres ; which show that they did not borrow from each other, and that they were all well acquainted with the things of which they undertook to write a history.
Many such peculiar relations occur in Saint Matthew's Gospel, besides those jast cited ; and both Saint Mark and Saint Luke,3 as we have already seen, have many similar things, so that it is needless to adduce any additional instances.
1 On this subject, see Vol. I. p. 533., in which the apparent contradictions between the genealogies recorded by Saint Matthew and Saint Luke are particu larly considered.
2 See pp. 257–259. supra, of this volume. 3 See p. 268. note 3. supra, of this volume.