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heresiarchs. Then follows a description of a good shepherd and an hireling, which may be regarded as a kind of test, by which to judge of the different conduct of the apostles and here
tics, &c. (X. 1-42.) Sect. 12. Jesus performs a signal miracle, by restoring Lazarus
to life, after he had been dead four days, in the presence of a
the priests. (xi. 45–57. xii. 1-11.) SECT. 14. Christ rides in triumph to Jerusalem, and is proclaimed
king of Israel. The Greeks, who may be considered as the first-fruits of the Gentiles, apply to him and are admitted. He addresses them in terms suitable to the occasion, and his doctrine
is confirmed by a voice from heaven. (xii. 12–36.) Sect. 15. Some intimation being now given, that the Gentiles
were to be admitted into the Christian Church, Jesus institutes the law of hospitality,and delivers to his disciples a new commandment, that they should love one another as brethren, without distinction, and as members of the same church. (xiii.
1-35.) Sect. 16. Christ informs his disciples, in a long discourse, that a
perpetual and intimate union with him, their head, is indispensably necessary to salvation; and that, after his departure, he would send down the Holy Spirit, who should guide them into all truth, and enable them to fulfil his commandments. (xiv.
-xvi.) Sect. 17. After this, Jesus recommends his disciples, and all who
should in future ages believe in him, to the Father, in a pathetic and memorable prayer ; and at the same time testifies, that none of his apostles were lost, but Judas Iscariot. (xvij. 1-26.) As this prayer was favourably heard, and the apostles were afterwards endowed with extraordinary powers, it afforded an argument against Cerinthus of the divine authority of the doc
trines they taught. Sect. 18. contains a particular account of our Saviour's passion,
adapted to prove that he did not die as a mere man (xviii. 1. xix. 42.); and also of his resurrection, in opposition to those
who denied that he was risen. (xx. 1—29.) 1 See a critical examination of this miracle, supra, Vol. I. pp. 274–277.
2 Washing the feet (as we have seen in the preceding volume) was commonly, in the eastern countries, the first kindness shown to a traveller, who was to be hospitably received (Gen. xviii. 4. xix. 2. xliii. 24.); whence it came to be used for hospitality in general. (1 Tim. v. 10.) When our Saviour therefore washed the feet of his disciples, and taught them to condescend in like manner to their inferiors, it amounted to the same thing, as if he had instituted and established the law of hospitality among all his future followers. Now, as strangers' are the objects of this law, and not persons who live in the same cominunity, it was indeed, in the strictest senso, a new commandment to them, who thought it their duty " to avoid those of another nation." (Acts x. 28.)
i. The apprehension of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. (xviii. 1-11.) $ ü. His mock trial before the high priests, in the house of Caiaphas, and l'e
ter's denial of him there. (xviii. 12—27.) & iii. The accusation of Christ before Pilate the Roman governor, who having in vain attempted to rescue him from the envy of the Jews, scourged hiin, and delivered him to be crucified. (xviii. 28--40. xix. 1--10. foriner part
of the verse.) ☆ iv. Narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. (xix. 16. latter part of the
verse, to v. 37.)
v. The burial of Christ by Joseph of Arimathea. (xix. 38-42.)
(11–18.), and secondly to the disciples on the same day: (19--23.)
present. (24--29.) Part III. contains an account of the person of the writer of this Gos
pel, and of his design in writing it. (xx. 30, 31. xxi.) Sect. 1. comprises a declaration of the end which Saint Joha
had in view in composing his ospel ; viz. that his readers might be convinced that Jesus is The Christ, the Son of God (xx. 31.); and consequently that the tenets and notions of Cerinthus were altogether false and heretical. In this section is related Christ's appearance to his disciples at the sea of Tiberias, and his discourse to the apostle Peter. (xx. 30, 31. xxi.
1-19.) Sect. 2. relates to the evangelist Johın himself ; Christ checks
Peter's curiosity concerning his death. (xxi. 20—23.) The
tained by some, that Saint John was not to die :- an opinion which might
have weakened his authority, if he had suffered it to pass unrefuted. Besides refuting the errors of Cerinthus and his followers, Michaelis is of opinion that Saint John also had in view to confute the erroneous tenets of the Sabeans, a sect which acknowledged John the Baptist for its founder. He has adduced a variety of terms and phrases, which he has applied to the explanation of the first fourteen verses of Saint John's Gospel in such a manner as renders his conjecture not improbable.? Perhaps we shall not greatly err if we conclude with Rosenmüller, that Saint John had both these classes of heretics in view, and that he wrote to confute their respective tenets. Yet, though he composed his Gospel principally with this design, he did not wholly confine himself to it; but took occasion to impart cotrect views of the nature and offices of Jesus Christ to both Jews and. Gentiles. Should this opinion be acceded to, it will reconcile the various opinions of learned men concerning the real scope of Saint John's Gospel.
V. It is obvious to every attentive reader of this Gospel, that Saint John studiously omits to notice those passages in our Lord's history and teaching, which had been related at length by the other evangelists, or if he mentions them at all, it is in a very cursory manner. By pursuing this method he gives his testimony that their narratives are faithful and true, and at the same time leaves himself room to enlarge the Gospel history. This confirms the unanimous declarations of an1 Michaelis, vol iii. pp. 285--302.
tient writers, that the first three Gospels were written and published before Saint John composed his evangelical bistory. In the account of our Saviour's passion, death, and resurrection, all the four Gospels coincide in many particulars ; though here Saint John has several things peculiar to himself. In his Gospel, many things recorded by tlie other evangelists are omitted. He has given no account of our Saviour's nativity, nor of his baptism by John. He takes no notice of our Saviour's temptation in the wilderness; nor of the call or names of the twelve apostles ; nor of their mission during the ministry of Christ; nor of his parables, or other discourses recorded by the first three evangelists ; nor of his journeys ; nor of any of his predictions concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, which are related by them ; nor has Saint John repeated any of Christ's miracles recorded by them, except that of feeding five thousand people, which was probably repeated for the sake of the discourse to which it gave birth. But, on the other hand, Saint John mentions several incidents, which the other evangelists have not noticed. Thus, he gives an account of our Lord's cleansing the temple at the first passover, when he went to Jerusalem ; but all the other evangelists give a similar ac
; count of his cleansing the temple at his last passover. These two acts, however, are widely different. He relates the Acts of Christ before the imprisonment of John the Baptist ; the wedding at Cana; the cure of the man who had been blind from his birth; the resurrection of Lazarus ; the indignation of Judas against the woman who anointed our Lord with ointment ; the visit of the Greeks to Jesus ; his washing the feet of his disciples; and his consolatory discourse to them previously to his passion. Saint John's Gospel also contains more plain and frequent assurances than those occurring in the other Gospels, that Jesus is not only a prophet and messenger of God, but also that he is the Messiah, the Son of God : and asserts his pre-existence and Deity in the clearest and most distinct terms.
VI. Salmasius, Grotius, Bolten, and other critics have imagined that Saint John did not write his Gospel originally in Greek, but in the Syriac language. This hypothesis however is contradicted by the unanimous consent of Christian antiquity, which affirms that he wrote it in Greek. In addition to the observations already offered, respecting the original language of the New Testament, we may remark, that the Hebraisms occurring in this Gospel clearly prove that it was originally written by a Jew. His style is pronounced by Michaelis” to be better and more fluent than that of the other evangelists; and he ascribes this excellence to the facility and taste in the Greek language, which the apostle seems to have acquired from his long residence at Ephesus. His narrative is characterised by singular perspicuity, and by the most unaffected simplicity and benevolence. There are few
1 Michaelis, vol. iii. pp. 303–315. On the decisive testimony of Saint John's Gospel to the Divinity of our Saviour, see the Rev. Dr. Blomfield 'gus Five Lectures, delivered on the Fridays during Lent, 1823.” – London, 1823. 12mo.
2 See Vol. II. pp. 20–23. 3 Vol. iii. part i. p. 316.
passages in Holy Writ more deeply affecting than this evangelist's narrative of the resurrection of Lazarus.
ON THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. 1. Title. - II. Author and Date. — III. Genuineness and Authenti
city. - IV. Scope. - V. Chronology. - VI. Analysis of the Contents of this Book. – VII. Observations on its Style.
VIII. On the importance of this Book, as an Evidence for the truth of
Christianity. 1. The book of the Acts of The Apostles forms the fifth and last of the historical books of the New Testament, and connects the Gospels with the Epistles : being an useful postscript to the former, and a proper introduction to the latter. On this account it has been generally placed after the four Gospels, though (as Michaelis has remarked) in several antient manuscripts and versions it is very frequently placed after the Epistles of Saint Paul, because it is necessary to the right understanding of them. Various titles have been given, to this book, which are noticed in the critical editions of the New Testament. Thus, in the Codex Bezæ, or Cambridge manuscript, it is called IIPAZEIE TNN AIIOETOANN, the Acts or Transactions of the Apostles. In the Codex Alexandrinus, and many other Imanuscripts, it is entitled ΠΡΑΞΕΙΣ ΤΩΝ ΑΓΙΩΝ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΩΝ, the Acts of the Holy Apostles, which title is also adopted by most of the Greek and Latin fathers. The first of these various titles is that which is adopted in the printed editions, and in all modern versions ; but by whom it was prefixed, it is now impossible to ascertain. This book contains great part of the lives and transactions of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and of the history of the Christian church ; commencing at the ascension of our Saviour, and being continued down to Saint Paul's arrival at Rome, after his appeal to Cæsar, comprising a period of about thirty years.
II. That Saint Luke was the author of the Acts of the Apostles, a well as of the Gospel which bears his name, is evident both from the introduction, and from the unanimous testimonies of the early Christians. Both are inscribed to Theophilus ; and in the very first verse of the Acts there is a reference made to his Gospel, which he calls the former Treatise. On this account Dr. Benson and some other critics have conjectured that Saint Luke wrote the Gospels and Acts in one book, and divided it into two parts. From the frequent use of the first person plural, it is clear that he was present at most of the transactions he relates. He appears to have accompanied Saint Paul from Troas to Philippi ; he also attended him to Jerusalem, and afterwards to Rome, where he remained two years, during that apostle's first confinement. Accordingly we find Saint Luke particularly mention
Campbell on the Gospels, vol. ii. pp. 192—195. Kuinöel, Comm. in Hist. Lib. Nov. Test. vol. iii. p. 33. et seq. Pritii. Introd. ad Nov. Test. pp. 223--226. Viser, Herm. Sacr. Nov. Test. pars i. p. 340. pars ii. pp. 265-268.
ed in two of the epistles written by Saint Paul, from Rome, during that confinement. And as the book of Acts is continued to the end of the second year of Saint Paul's imprisonment, it could not have been written before the year 63; and, as the death of that apostle is not mentioned, it is probable that the book was composed before that event, which is supposed to have happened A. D. 65. For these reasons, Michaelis, Dr. Lardner, Dr. Benson, Rosenmüller, Bishop Tomline, and the generality of critics, assign the date of this book to the year 63.
ill. To the genuineness and authenticity of this book, the early Christian fathers bear unanimous testiinony. Not to mention the attestations of the apostolic fathers, in the first century, which have been collected by Mr. Jones, Drs. Benson and Lardner, we may remark that Irenæus and Tertullian, in the second century, both ascribed the Acts of the Apostles to Saint Luke. And their evidence is corroborated by that of Origen, Jerome, Augustine, Eusebius, and all subsequent ecclesiastical writers.5 Further, Chrysostom and other fathers inform us, that this book was annually read in the churches, every day between the festivals of Easter and Pentecost or Whitsunude. 6 The Valentinians, indeed, as well as the Marcionites, Severians, and some Manicheans, rejected the Acts of the Apostles, not froin historical reasons, but because they militated against their opinions : for the Gnostics (of which sect the Valentinians and Marcionites were a branch) affirined that the God of the Old Testament was different from the God of the New Testament: and that another Christ, different from our Saviour, was promised. The Severians and Encratites strenuously insisted upon abstinence from certain articles of food ; whereas, in the book of Acts, the promiscuous use of food is allowed. Lastly, Manes wished himself to be taken for the “Comforter," who had been promised by Christ to his Apostles : but in the Acts it is related that the Comforter that liad been so promised was the Holy Spirit, who had been sent. The reasons, therefore, why the book was rejected by the above-mentioned sects, were not historical, but doctrinal; because the narrative of the sacred historian contradicted their dogmas ; and as their errors were detected and retuted by contemporary writers, the unqualified and unsupported assertions of these heretics are so far from impugning the veracity and genuineness of the Acts of the Apostles, that, on the contrary, they atford a decisive and collateral testimony in favour of the book.
IV. Saint Luke does not appear to have intended to write a com
1 Col. iv. 14. Philem. 24.
2 Jones on the Canon, vol. iii. pp. 127--136. Dr. Benson's Hist. of the First Planting of Christianity, vol. ii. pp. 325--330. 2d edit. Dr. Lardner's Works, Index, voce Acts of the Apostles. 3 Lardner, 8vo. vol. ii. pp. 162, 163. ; 4to. vol. i. p. 368. Benson, vol. ii. p.
330. 4 Ibid. evo. vol. ii. pp. 261, 212.; 4to. vol. i. p. 452. Benson, vol. i. p. 331. 5 Benson, vol. ii. pp. 321–321. Lardner, 8vo. vol. vi. pp. 145–147.; 4to. vol. iii. pp. 206, 207.
6 Benson, vol. ii. p. 332. Lardner, 8vo. vol. v. pp. 133, 134. ; 4to. vol. ii. p. 605.
7 Irenæus adversus Hæreses, lib. iii. c. 12. Theodoret, Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 2. Augustine, epist. 251, et contra Faustum, lib. xix. c. 31.