Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

originally written, it is now impossible to ascertain. It is 18, 19. there is mention of a prayer by the king, which is equally uncertain by whom this book was written, and said to be written " in the Book of the Kings of Israel," and whether it contains any matters historically true, or whether also," among the sayings of the seers." But it is evident the whole is a fiction. Grotius is of opinion that it is an that this composition, which abounds with deeply pious and entire fiction, and that it was composed by some Hellenistic penitent expressions, cannot be the prayer there alluded to Jew under the name of Baruch. In the Vulgate version it is for it never was extant in Hebrew, nor can it be traced to a placed after the Lamentations of Jeremiah ; but it was never higher source than the Vulgate Latin version. As it is menconsidered as a canonical book by the Jews, though, in the tioned by no writer more ancient than the pseudo-Clement, earliest ages of Christianity, it was cited and read as a pro- in the pretended apostolical constitutions, which were comduction entitled to credit. The principal subject of the book piled in the fourth century, it is probable that this prayer is an epistle, pretended to be sent by Jehoiakim and the cap. was composed by some unknown person, who thought he tive Jews in Babylon, to their brethren in Judah and Jeru- could supply the loss of the original prayer. salem. The last chapter contains an epistle which falsely XIII. The two books of MACCABEES are thus denominated, bears the name of Jeremiah; there are two versions of this because they relate the patriotic and gallant exploits of Judas book extant, one in Syriac, and one in Arabic; the Latin Maccabæus and his brethren : they are both admitted into translation in the Vulgate is prior to the time of Jerome. the canon of Scripture by the church of Rome.

IX. “ THE SONG OF THE THREE CHILDREN” is placed in 1. The FIRST BOOK contains the history of the Jews, from the Greek versions of Daniel (both the Septuagint and Theo- the beginning of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes to the dotion's), and also in the Vulgate Latin version, between the death of Simon, a period of about thirty-four years. Its twenty-third and twenty-fourth verses of the third chapter, original language has been greatly controverted. Jerome It does not appear to have ever been extant in Hebrew, and expressly, says that he had seen the original in Hebrew.. although it has always been admired for the piety of its But this is supposed to have been lost. The title which it sentiments, it was never admitted to be canonical, until it then bore, was Sharbit Sar Bene El, which has been variwas recognised by the council of Trent. The fifteenth verse ously translated, The Scourge of the Rebels against the Lord, contains a direct falsehood; for it asserts that there was no and The Sceptre of the Prince of the Sons of God: a title prophet at that time, when it is well known that Daniel and which is not unsuitable to the character

of Judas, who was Ezekiel both exercised the prophetic ministry in Babylon. a valiant commander of the persecuted Israelites. The This apocryphal fragment is therefore most probably the author of this book is not certainly known; some conjecture production of some Hellenistic Jew. The hymn (verses 29. that it was written by John Hyrcanus, the son of Simon, et seq.) resembles the hundred and forty-eighth Psalm. It who was prince and high-priest of the Jews for nearly thirty was introduced into the public formularies of the Christian years, and who commenced his government at the time when church very early, and was so approved of by the compilers this history ends; by others it is ascribed to one of the Macof our liturgy, that, in the first Common Prayer Book of cabees, and many are of opinion that it was compiled by the King Edward VI. it was retained and was used instead of Great Synagogue. It is, however, not improbable, that it the Te Deum during Lent, though it is now seldom read, was composed in the time of John Hyrcanus, when the wars except perhaps when the third chapter of the book of Daniel of the Maccabees were terminated, either by Hyrcanus himis the first lesson. It is on record, that this hymn was used self, or by some persons employed by him. From the SyroSo early as the third century in the Liturgies of the Chris-Chaldaic (or Hebrew) it was translated into Greek, and tian church.

thence into Latin. Our English version is made from the X. The History OF SUSANNA has always been treated with Greek. The first book of Maccabees is a most valuable some respect, but has never been considered as canonical, historical monument, written with great accuracy and fidelity, though the council of Trent admitted it into the number of on which more reliance may be placed than on the writings sacred books. It is evidently the work of some Hellenistic of Josephus, who has borrowed' his materials from it, and Jew, and in the Vulgate version it forms the thirteenth has frequently mistaken its meaning.“ chapter of the book of Daniel, being avowedly translated 2. The SECOND BOOK OF MACCABEES consists of several from Theodotion's Greek version, in which it is placed at the pieces compiled by an unknown author. It commences with beginning of that book. The Septuagint version of Daniel | iwo episiles sent from the Jews of Jerusalem to those of (which was excluded for Theodotion's, in or soon after the Alexandria and Egypt, exhorting them to observe the feast second century) does not contain it, as appears by the Chigi of the dedication of the new altar, erected by Judas, MaccaMS., published at Rome in 1772. Lamy and some other bæus on his purifying the temple. These epistles, which modern critics, after Julius Africanus, consider it to be both are confessedly spurious, are followed by the author's preface spurious and fabulous.

to his history, which is an abridgment of a larger work, XI. " The History of the Destruction of BEL AND THE compiled by one Jason, an Hellenistic Jew of Cyrene; who DRAGON” was always rejected by the Jewish church: it is wrote in Greek the history of Judas Maccabæus and his not extant either in the Hebrew or the Chaldee language. brethren, and an account of the wars against Antiochus Jerome gives it no better title than that of the fable of Bel Epiphanes, and his son Eupator, in five books. The entire and the Dragon ; nor has it obtained more credit with pos- work of Jason has long since perished, and Dr. Prideaux is terity, except with the divines of the council of Trent, who of opinion that the author of this second book of Maccabees determined it to be a part of the canonical Scriptures. The was an Hellenistic Jew of Alexandria, because he makes a design of this fiction is to render idolatry ridiculous, and to distinction between the temple in Egypt and that at Jerusaexali the true God; birt the author has destroyed the illusion lem, calling the latter the great temple.” This book is by of his fiction by transporting to Babylon the worship of po means equal in accuracy to the first, which it contradicts animals, which was never practised in that country. This in some instances; it is not arranged in chronological order, book forms the fourteenth chapter of Daniel in the Latin and sometimes also it is at variance with the inspired writ

Vulgate; in the Greek it was called the prophecy of Hab- ings. Compare 2 Macc. i. 18. with Ezra iii. 2, 3. and ii. bakuk, the son of Jesus, of the tribe of Levi; but this is 5—8. with Jer. iii. 16. The second book of Maccabees, evidently false, for that prophet lived before the time of therefore, must be read with great caution. It contains the Nebuchadnezzar, and the events pretended to have taken history of about fifteen years, from the execution of the place in this fable are assigned to the time of Cyrus. There commission of Heliodorus, who was sent by Seleucus to are two Greek texts of this fragment, that of the Septuagint, bring away the treasures of the temple, to the victory oband that found in Theodotion's Greek version of Daniel. tained by Judas Maccabæus over Nicanor, that is, from the The former is the most ancient, and has been translated into year of the world 3828 to 3843. Two ancient translations Syriac. The Latin and Arabic versions, together with another of this book are extant, one in Syriac, the other in Latin; Syriac translation, have been made from the texts of Theo- both are prior to the time of Jerome, and both miserably exdotion.

ecuted. The version in our Bibles was executed from the XII. " The Prayer of Manasses, king of Judah, when Greek. he was holden captive in Babylon,” though not unworthy of the occasion on which it is pretended to have been com- 3 Hieron. Prolog: Galeat, sive Præf. in Lib. Regum. posed, was never recognised as canonical. It is rejected as manuscripts, one of which, No. 474., is preserved at Rome, "Libr. Maccab.

* Dr. Kennicott, however, in his " Dissertatio Generalis," cites two spurious even by the church of Rome. In 2 Chron. xxxiii. Chaldaice," written early in the thirteenth century; a second, No. 613., Besides the two books of Maccabees here ,noticed, there | same as the book " concerning the government, or empire are three others which bear their names, but very impro- of reason," ascribed to Josephus by Philostratus, Eusebius, perly: neither of them has ever been reputed canonical. and Jerome. Its author is not known: it is extant in the

existing at Hamburgh, "Libr. Maccab. Hebraice," written in the ye ; 1 Wheatley on the Common Prayer, chap. iii. sect. 12. Shepherd on the 1448. Dr. Cotton's Five Books of Maccabees, p. xxi. Common Prayer, p. 231. London, 1796, 8vo.

s Prideaux's Connection, vol. ii. pp. 185, 186. 2 Of this the reader may see a proof in the paranomasia, or play upon 6 Michaelis, Introd. to New Test. vol. i. p. 71. words, which has already been noticed in p. 282. of this volume.

+ Connection, vol. ii. pp. 186, 187.

3. The THIRD BOOK OF MACCABEES contains the history of Vatican and Alexandrian manuscripts, and in various editions the persecution of the Jews in Egypt by Ptolemy Philo- of the Septuagint, in which it is placed after the three books pater, and their sufferings under it. From its style, this of Maccabees, but it is not extant in any Latin Bibles. It book appears to have been written by some Alexandrian is designed to adorn and enlarge the history of old Eleazar, Jew: it abounds with the most absurd fables. With regard and of the seven brothers, who with their mother suffered to its subject, it ought in strictness to be called the First martyrdom under Antiochus, as is related more succinctly in book of Maccabees, as the events it professes to relate oc- the sixth and seventh chapters of the second book of Maccurred before the achievements of that heroic family; but as cabees.3 Dr. Cotton has the honour of giving the first corit is of less authority and repute than the other two, it is rect English version of this book. reckoned after them. It is extant in Syriac, though the 5. The FIFTH BOOK OF MACCABEES is the work of an untranslator seems to have been but imperfectly acquainted known author, who lived after the capture of Jerusalem by with the Greek language; and it is also found in some an- Titus; it is supposed to have been compiled from the acts of cient manuscripts of the Greek Septuagint, particularly in each successive high-priest. Although Calmet is of opinion the Alexandrian and Vatican manuscripts ; but it was never that it was originally written in Hebrew, whence it was inserted in the Latin Vulgate, nor in our English Bibles. translated into Greek, yet it is not now extant in either of Being reputed to be a canonical book by the Greek church, those languages. It is, however, extant both in Syriac and it is inserted in the various editions of the Septuagint: a in Arabic. Dr. Cotton has given an English translation of translation of the third book of Maccabees is inserted in it from the Latin version of the Arabic text, printed in Bishop Becke's edition of the English Bible, printed in 1551; a Walton's Polyglott edition of the Bible. This book “is à second translation by Mr. Whiston was published in his kind of chronicle of Jewish affairs, commencing with the “ Authentic Documents,” in two volumes, 8vo. 1719-27; attempt on the treasury of Jerusalem by Heliodorus (with and a third version, made by the Rev. Clement Crutwell, an interpolation of the history of the Septuagint version, comwas added to his edition of the authorized English version, posed by desire of Ptolemy), and reaching down to the birth with the notes of Bishop Wilson. Dr. Cotton considers of Christ; or, speaking accurately, to that particular point of Mr. Whiston's version to be the more faithful of the three; time, at which Herod, almost glutted with the noblest blood but he has not held himself bound to retain it in his English of the Jews, turned his murderous hands upon the members edition of the five books of Maccabees, wherever an exami- of his own family, and completed the sad tragedy of the nation of the original suggested an alteration as advisable.2 Asmonean princes, by the slaughter of his own wife Mari

4. The FOURTH BOOK OF Maccabees is supposed to be the amne, her mother, and his own two sons."4

PART VI.

ANALYSIS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

CHAPTER I.

ON THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Various modes of arranging the books of the New Testa- and the sixth, the Apocalypse. But the more modern, and ment have obtained at different times; nor does the order in certainly more convenient arrangement, is that of the Historiwhich they are to be found in manuscripts correspond with cal, Doctrinal, and Prophetical Books. that in which they occur in the printed copies and modern The Historical Books are such as contain principally translations. In the time of Ignatius (who flourished A. D. matters of fact, though points of faith and doctrine are also 107), the New Testament consisted of two codes or collec- interwoven. They consist of two parts; the first, comprising tions, called “Gospels,” and “ Epistles,” or “ Gospels," and the four Gospels, relates the transactions of Jesus Christ. “ Apostles ;'s the same division prevailed in the time of These, when formed into a volume, have, sometimes been Tertullian, 4. d. 200. (the Acts being included in the latter collectively termed Eyez partcv, the Gospel, and Fu2ggan. Terpa, division), who called the Gospels our Digesta,” in allu- the Scripture of the Gospels. The second part of these histosion, as it seems, to some collection of the Roman laws rical books relates the transactions of the Apostles, especially digested into order. This division also obtained in the time those of Peter and Paul, and comprises the books called the of Cyprian, who flourished soon after Tertullian.? About a Acts of the Apostles. The Doctrinal Books include the century afterwards, Athanasius, or the author of the Synopsis fourteen Epistles of Saint Paul, and also the seven Catholic of the Sacred Scriptures attributed to him, makes the New Epistles, so called because they were chiefly addressed to Testament to consist of eight volumes or parts, viz. the four the converted Jews, who were dispersed throughout the RoGospels; the fifth book is the Acts of the Apostles ; the sixth man empire. The appellation of Catholic Epistles is of concontains the seven Catholic Epistles ; the seventh, the four-siderable antiquity, being mentioned by Eusebius, Jerome, teen Epistles of St. Paul; and the eighth, the Revelation of and the pseudo-Athanasius.9 The Revelation of Saint John Saint John. In a later age, Leontius of Byzantium: (or Con- forms the PropheTICAL class of the books of the New Tesstantinople), distributed the books of the New Testament tament. into six books or parts, the first of which comprised the Gos- On the preceding classification we may remark, that the pels of Matthew and Mark; the second those of Luke and appellation of Historical Books is given to the Gospels and John; the third, the Acts of the Apostles; the fourth, the Acts, because their subject-matter is principally historical ; seven Catholic Epistles; the fifth, the Epistles of Saint Paul; and that the Gospels are placed first, on account of the im

portance of their contents, which relate the history of the life, · Prideaux's Connection, vol. ii. p. 111. Šth edit. sub anno 216. discourses, doctrines, miracles, death, resurrection, and as

Cotton's Five Books of Maccabces, p. xx. • Calmet's Preface sur le IV. livre des Maccabees. Dissertationes, tom. the Christian faith.10 "The Acts of the Apostles are placed

cension of Jesus Christ, which form the primary articles of ii. pp. 423-428.; where he has collected all the traditionary information extant concerning this book.

9 Eusebius, Ilist. Eccl. lib. ii. c. 23. Hieronymi, Cat. Script. Eccles. * Cotton's Five Books of Maccabees, p. xxxii. xxxiv. xxxi.

(Opp. tom. i. pp. 169, 170. Francof. 1684.) Pseudo-Athanasii Synops. Sacr. 5 See the passages in Dr. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. ii. pp. 81, 82. ; 4to. Script. in Athanasii Opp. p. 59. vol. I. pp. 3-2, 323.

10 Considerable discussion has taken place among the German critics, 6 Ibid. 8vo. vol. ii. pp. 278-282. ; 4to. vol. i. pp. 431-433.

and some few critics in this country, respecting the sources of the four * Ibid. 8vo. vol. iii. pp. 179, 180. ; 4to. vol. ii. pp. 28, 29.

Gospels. Hypothesis has succeeded to hypothesis; and the last is as un. • De Sectis, art. 2. cited by Heidegger, Manuale Biblicum, p. 441 and satisfactory as the first. For an account of the principal theories

on this Rumpæus, Com. Cr ad Libros N T. p. 97.

subject, the reader is referred to Appendix I. to this volume.

sion, as printed in Bishop Walton's Polyglott, this Gospel | them to any purpose. Since, then, external evidence affords is thus entitled : “ The Gospel of Saint Matthew the apostle, us but little assistance, it becomes necessary to have recourse which he wrote in Hebrew by the inspiration of the Holy to the internal testimony which the Gospel of Saint Matthew Spirit.” In the Persian version it is :—"The Gospel of affords, and we apprehend that it will be found to preponMatthew, which was spoken in the Hebrew tongue, in a city derate in favour of an early date. of Palestine, but written in Syriac at Antioch ;" and in the In the first place, it is by no means probable that the Syriac version, “The Gospel, the preaching of Matthew." Christians should be left any considerable number of years

II. Matthew, surnamed Levi, was the son of Alpheus, but without a genuine and authentic written history of our not of that Alpheus or Cleopas who was the father of James Saviour's ministry. “It is certain,” Bishop Tomline rementioned in Matt. x. 3. He was a native of Galilee, but of marks, that the apostles immediately after the descent what city in that country, or of what tribe of the people of of the Holy Ghost, which took place only ten days after the Israel, we are not informed. Before his conversion to Chris- ascension of our Saviour into heaven, preached the Gospel tianity, he was a publican or tax-gatherer, under the Romans, to the Jews with great success: and surely it is reasonable and collected the customs of all goods exported or imported to suppose that an authentic account of our Saviour's docat Capernaum, a maritime town on the sea of Galilee, and trines and miracles would very soon be committed to writing also received the tribute paid by all passengers who went by for the confirmation of those who believed in his divine water. While employed " at the receipt of custom,” Jesus mission, and for the conversion of others, and more particucalled him to be a witness of his words and works, thus con-larly to enable the Jews to compare the circumstances of the ferring upon him the honourable office of an apostle. From birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus with their ancient that time he continued with Jesus Christ, a familiar attend- prophecies relative to the Messiah : and we may conceive ant on his person, a spectator of his public and private con- that the apostles would be desirous of losing no time in duct, a hearer of 'his discourses, a witness of his miracles, writing an account of the miracles which Jesus performed, and an evidence of his resurrection. After our Saviour's and of the discourses which he delivered, because, the sooner ascension, Matthew continued at Jerusalem with the other such an account was published, the easier it would be to apostles, and with them on the day of Pentecost was en- | inquire into its truth and accuracy; and, consequently, when dowed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. How long he re- these points were satisfactorily ascertained, the greater would mained in Judæa after that event, we have no authentic be its weight and authority." On these accounts the learned account. Socrates, an ecclesiastical historian of the fifth prelate assigns the date of St. Matthew's Gospel to the century, relates, that when the apostles went abroad to year 38. preach to the Gentiles, Thomas took Parthia for his lot; Secondly, 'as the sacred writers had a regard to the circumBartholomew, India; and Matthew, Ethiopia. The com- stances of the persons for whose use they wrote, we have an mon opinion is that he was crowned with martyrdom at additional evidence for the early date of this Gospel, in the Naddabar or Naddaver, a city in that country: but this is state of persecution in which the church was at the time contradicted by the account of Heracleon, a learned Valen- when it was written : for it contains many obvious references tiniąn of the second century; who, as cited by Clement of to such a state, and many very apposite addresses both to Alexandria, reckons Matthew among the apostles that did the injurıd and to the injurious party. not die by martyrdom: and as his statement is not contra- 1. Thus, the evangelist informs the injured and persecuted dicted by Clement, it is more likely to be true than the rela- Christians, that their afflictions were no more than they had been tion of Socrates, who did not flourish until three hundred taught to expect, and had promised to bear, when they embraced years after Heracleon.2

the Gospel (x. 21, 22. 34–36. xvi. 24.); that, however unreaIII. Matthew is generally allowed to have written first of sonable their sufferings might be, considered as the effects of the all the evangelists. His Gospel is uniformly placed first in malice of their enemies, they were yet useful and profitable to all the codes or, volumes of the Gospels: and the priority is themselves, considered as trials of their faith and fidelity (v. 11. constantly given to it in all the quotations of the primitive xxiv. 9—13.); that, though they were grievous to be borne at fathers, as well as of the early heretics. Its precedence, present, yet they operated powerfully to their future joy (v.4. therefore, is unquestionable, though the precise time when it 10–12.); that a pusillanimous desertion of the faith would be so was composed is a question that has been greatly agitated. far from bettering their state and condition, that it would infalDr. Mill, Michaelis, and Bishop

Percy, after Irenæus, assign libly expose them to greater calamities, and cut them off from the 63; Dr. Lardner and Mr. Hewlett, to 64; Baronius, Grotius, hopes of heaven (x. 28. 32, 33. 39.) ; that they were not, howWetstein, Mr. Jer. Jones, and others, after Eusebius, to 41; ever, forbidden to use the lawful means of preservation; but even Dr. Benson, to 43; Dr. Cave, to 18; Dr. Owen and Bishop enjoined to put them in practice, whenever they could do it with Tomline, to 38; and Dr. Townson, to the year 37. In this innocence (x. 16, 17. 23.); that the due observance of the Chrisconflict of opinions, it is difficult to decide. The accounts tian precepts was an excellent method to appease the wrath and left us by the ecclesiastical writers of antiquity, concerning fury of their enemies, and what therefore they were obliged in the times when the Gospels were written or published, are point of prudence as well as duty carefully to mind and attend to so vague, confused, and discordant, that they lead us to nol (v. 39. vii

. 12. 24—27. v. 13—20.); that if it should be their solid or certain determination. The oldest of the ancient fate to suffer martyrdom at last for their religion, it was infinitely fathers collected the reports of their own times, and set them better to continue faithful to their important trust, than by any down for certain truths; and those who followed adopted base compliance to incur his displeasure, in whose hands are the their accounts with implícit. reverence. Thus traditions, true issues not only of this life, but also of that which is to come. or false, passed on from one writer to another, without | (xvi. 25—27. X. 28.) examination, until it became almost too late to examine 2. On the other hand, again, to calm the passions of the enBesides the two books of Maccabees here , noticed, there same as the book "concerning the government, or empire are three others which bear their names, but very impro- of reason,” ascribed to Josephus by Philostratus, Eusebius, perly: neither of them has ever been reputed canonical. and Jerome. Its author is not known: it is extant in the

raged Jews, and win them over to the profession of the Gospel, 1 Strornata, lib. 4. p. 502. B. See the passage in Dr. Lardner's Works, he labours to soften and abate their prejudices, and to engage Bvo. vol. vi. p. 48.; 4to. vol. iii. p. 159.

them in the practice of meekness and charity. (ix. 13.) To this Lardner's Works, vol. vi. pp. 45–47. 8vo.; or vol. iii. pp. 157-159. 4to. Pritii Introductio Lectionem Novi Testamenti, pp. 154–157. Michaelis's Introduction, vol. iii. pp. 96—99.

5 Elem. of Christ. Theol. vol. i. p. 301. The following observations of 3 Of all the primitive fathers, Irenæus (who flourished in the second the profound critic Le Clerc will materially confirm the preceding re. century) is the only one who has said any thing concerning the exact time marks. "Those," says he, "who think that the Gospels were written so when St. Matthew's Gospel was written; and the passage (adv. Hæres. lib. late as Irenæus states, and who supposės that, for the space of about thirty iii. c. 1.) in which he has mentioned it, is so obscure, that no positive con years after our Lord's ascension, there were many spurious gospels in the clusion can be drawn from it. Dr. Lardner (8vo. vol. vi. p. 49. ; 4to. vol. hands of the Christians, and not one that was genuine and authentic, do iii. p. 160.) and Dr. Townson (discourse iv. on the Gospels, sect iv. $ 6.) unwarily cast a very great reflection upon the wisdom of the apostles. understand it in very different senses. The following is a literal transla- For, what could have been more imprudent in them, than tamely to have tion of the original passage, which the reader will find in Dr. Lardner's suffered the idle stories concerning Christ to be read by the Christians, works. Matthew put forth (or published) a gospel among the Hebrews and not to contradict them by some authentic history, written by some while Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel at Rome and laying the credible persons, which might reach the knowledge of all men? For my foundations of a church there. Now, though it does not appear that Peter part, I can never be persuaded to entertain so mean an opinion of men was at Rome until after Paul's liberation from his first imprisonment, A. D. under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Besides, Matthew has delivered 63, yet we know that the latter arrived there in the spring of A. D. 61, con- to us, not only the actions, but also the discourses of Christ; and this be sequently the date intended by Irenæus must be the year 61.

must necessarily be able to do with the greater certainty, while they were Eusebius, who lived in the early part of the fourth century, merely fresh in his meinory, than when, through length of time, he began to lose says that Matthew, after preaching to the Hebrews, wrote his Gospel for the impressions or ihem. It is true that the Holy Spirit was with the apos, their information, previously to his going to evangelize other nations (Eccl. tles, to bring all the things to their remembrance, which they had received Hist. lib. iii. c. 24.); but he does not specify the time, nor is it mentioned of Christ, according to his promise (John xiv. 26.): but the Holy Spirit not by any other ancient writer. In his Chronicon, however, Eusebius places only inspired them, but also dealt with them according to their natural the writings of St. Matthew's Gospel in the third year of the reign of the powers, as the variety of expressions in the Gospel shows." Clerici Hist. emperor Caligula, that is, eight years after Christ's ascension, or A. D. 41. I Eccl. sæculi 1. A. D. LXI. $ 9.

3. The THIRD BOOK OF Maccabees contains the history of Vatican and Alexandrian manuscripts, and in various editions the persecution of the Jews in Egypt by Ptolemy Philo- of the Septuagint, in which it is placed after the three books pater, and their sufferings under it. From its style, this of Maccabees, but it is not extant in any Latin Bibles. It book appears to have been written by some Alexandrian is designed to adorn and enlarge the history of old Eleazar, Jew: it abounds with the most absurd fables. With regard and of the seven brothers, who with their mother suffered to its subject, it ought in strictness to be called the first martyrdom under Antiochus, as is related more succinctly in book of Maccabees, as the events it professes to relate oc- the sixth and seventh chapters of the second book of Maccurred before the achievements of that heroic family; but as cabees. Dr. Cotton has the honour of giving the first corit is of less authority and repute than the other two, it is rect English version of this book. reckoned after them. It is extant in Syriac, though the 5. The FIFTH BOOK OF MACCADEES is the work of an untranslator seems to have been but imperfectly acquainted known author, who lived after the capture of Jerusalem by with the Greek language; and it is also found in some an- Titus; it is supposed to have been compiled from the acts of cient manuscripts of the Greek Septuagint, particularly in each successive high-priest. Although"Calmet is of opinion the Alexandrian and Vatican manuscripts ; but it was never that it was originally written in Hebrew, whence it was inserted in the Latin Vulgate, nor in our English Bibles. translated into Greek, yet it is not now extant in either of Being reputed to be a canonical book by the Greek church, those languages. It is, however, extant both in Syriac and it is inserted in the various editions of the Septuagint: a in Arabic. Dr. Cotton has given an English translation of translation of the third book of Maccabees is inserted in it from the Latin version of the Arabic text, printed in Bishop Becke's edition of the English Bible, printed in 1551; a Walton's Polyglott edition of the Bible. This book " is a second translation by Mr. Whiston was published in his kind of chronicle of Jewish affairs, commencing with the " Authentic Documents," in two volumes, 8vo. 1719-27; attempt on the treasury of Jerusalem by Heliodorus (with and a third version, made by the Rev. Clement Crutwell, an interpolation of the history of the Septuagint version, comwas added to his edition of the authorized English version, posed by desire of Ptolemy), and reaching down to the birth with the notes of Bishop Wilson. Dr. Cotton considers of Christ; or, speaking accurately, to that particular point of Mr. Whiston's version to be the more faithful of the three; time, at which Herod, almost glutted with the noblest blood but he has not held himself bound to retain it in his English of the Jews, turned his murderous hands upon the members edition of the five books of Maccabees, wherever an exami- of his own family; and completed the sad tragedy of the nation of the original suggested an alteration as advisable. Asmonæan princes, by the slaughter of his own wife Mari

4. The FOURTH BOOK OF MACCABLES is supposed to be the amne, her mother, and his own two sons."4

PART VI.

.

ANALYSIS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

CHAPTER 1.

ON THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Various modes of arranging the books of the New Testa- | and the sixth, the Apocalypse. But the more modern, and ment have obtained at different times; nor does the order in certainly more convenient arrangement, is that of the Historiwhich they are to be found in manuscripts correspond with cal, Docirinal, and Prophetical Books. that in which they occur in the printed copies and modern The Historical Books are such as contain principally translations. In the time of Ignatius (who flourished 1. D. matters of fact, though points of faith and doctrine are also 107), the New Testament consisted of two codes or collec- interwoven. They consist of two parts; the first, comprising tions, called “Gospels,” and “ Epistles,” or “ Gospels," and the four Gospels, relates the transactions of Jesus Christ. “ Apostles ;'95 the same division prevailed in the time of These, when formed into a volume, have, sometimes been Tertullian, 4. d. 200. (the Acts being included in the latter collectively termed Eu27781100, the Gospel, and Evzg7 ensay Tgzon, division), who called the Gospels "our Digesta,” in allu- the Scripture of the Gospels. The second part of these histosion, as it seems, to some collection of the Roman laws rical books relates the transactions of the Apostles, especially digested into order. This division also obtained in the time those of Peter and Paul, and comprises the books called the of Cyprian, who flourished soon after Tertullian.? About a Acts of the Apostles. The DocTRINAL Books include the century afterwards, Athanasius, or the author of the Synopsis fourteen Epistles of Saint Paul, and also the seven Catholic of the Sacred Scriptures attributed to him, makes the New Epistles, so called because they were chiefly addressed to Testament to consist of eight volumes or parts, viz. the four the converted Jews, who were dispersed throughout the RoGospels; the fifth book is the Acts of the Apostles; the sixth man empire. The appellation of Catholic Epistles is of concontains the seven Catholic Epistles; the seventh, the four-siderable antiquity, being mentioned by Eusebius, Jerome, teen Epistles of St. Paul; and the eighth, the Revelation of and the pseudo-Athanasius. The Revelation of Saint John Saint John. In a later age, Leontius of Byzantium® (or Con- forms the PROPHETICAL class of the books of the New Tesstantinople), distributed the books of the New Testament tament. into six books or parts, the first of which comprised the Gos- On the preceding classification we may remark, that the pels of Matthew and Mark; the second those of Luke and appellation of Historical Books is given to the Gospels and John; the third, the Acts of the Apostles; the fourth, the Acts, because their subject-matter is principally historical ; seven Catholic Epistles; the fifth, the Epistles of Saint Paul; and that the Gospels are placed first, on account of the im

portance of their contents, which relate the history of the life, iPrideaux's Connection, vol. ii. p. 111. 8th edit. sub anno 216. discourses, doctrines, miracles, death, resurrection, and as2 Cotton's Five Books of Maccabees, p. xx. * Calmet's Preface sur le IV. livre des Maccabees. Dissertationes, tom. the Christian faith.10 "The Acts of the Ápostles are placed

cension of Jesus Christ, which form the primary articles of ii. pp. 423-428.; where he has collected all the traditionary information extant concerning this book.

9 Eusebius, Ilist. Eccl. lib. ii. c. 23. llieronymi, Cat. Script. Eccles. * Cotton's Five Books of Maccabees, p. xxxii. xxxiv. xxxi.

(Opp. torn. i. pp. 169, 170. Francof. 1684.) Pseudo-Athanasii Synops. Sacr. 5 See the passages in Dr. Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. ii. pp. 81, 82. ; 4to. script. in Athanasii Opp. p. 59. vol. I. pp. 322, 323.

10 Considerable discussion has taken place among the German critics, 6 Ibid. 8vo. vol. ii. pp. 278-282. ; 4to, vol. i. pp. 431-433.

and some few critics in this country, respecting the sources of the four - Ibid. 8vo. vol. iii. pp. 179, 180., 4to. vol. ii. pp. 28, 29.

Gospels. Hypothesis has succeeded to hypothesis; and the last is as un• De Sectis, art. 2. cited by Heidegger, Manuale Biblicum, p. 441 and satisfactory as the first. For an account of the principal theories on this Rumpæus, Com. Crit. ad Libros N T. p. 97.

subject, the reader is referred to Appendix I. to this volume.

sion, as printed in Bishop Walton's Polyglott, this Gospel them to any purpose. Since, then, external evidence affords is thus entitled : “ The Gospel of Saint Matthew the apostle, us but little assistance, it becomes necessary to have recourse which he wrote in Hebrew by the inspiration of the Holy to the internal testimony which the Gospel of Saint Matthew Spirit.” In the Persian version it is :-"The Gospel of affords, and we apprehend that it will be found to preponMatthew, which was spoken in the Hebrew tongue, in a city derate in favour of an early date. of Palestine, but written in Syriac at Antioch ;" and in the In the first place, it is by no means probable that the Syriac

version, “ The Gospel, the preaching of Matthew.". Christians should be left any considerable number of years II. Matthew, surnamed Levi, was the son of Alpheus, but without a genuine and authentic written history of our not of that Alpheus or Cleopas who was the father of James Saviour's ministry. “It is certain,” Bishop Tomline rementioned in Matt. x. 3. He was a native of Galilee, but of marks, “that the apostles immediately after the descent what city in that country, or of what tribe of the people of of the Holy Ghost, which took place only ten days after the Israel, we are not informed. Before his conversion to Chris- ascension of our Saviour into heaven, preached the Gospel tianity, he was a publican or tax-gatherer, under the Romans, to the Jews with great success: and surely it is reasonable and collected the customs of all goods exported or imported to suppose that an authentic account of our Saviour's docat Capernaum, a maritime town on the sea of Galilee, and trines and miracles would very soon be committed to writing also received the tribute paid by all passengers who went by for the confirmation of those who believed in his divine water. While employed “at the receipt of custom,” Jesus mission, and for the conversion of others, and more particucalled him to be a witness of his words and works, thus con-larly to enable the Jews to compare the circumstances of the ferring upon him the honourable office of an apostle. From birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus with their ancient that time he continued with Jesus Christ, a familiar attend- prophecies relative to the Messiah : and we may conceive ant on his person, a spectator of his public and private con- that the apostles would be desirous of losing no time in duct, a hearer of his discourses, a witness of his miracles, writing an account of the miracles which Jesus performed, and an evidence of his resurrection. After our Saviour's and of the discourses which he delivered, because, the sooner ascension, Matthew continued at Jerusalem with the other such an account was published, the easier it would be to apostles, and with them on the day of Pentecost was en-i inquire into its truth and accuracy; and, consequently, when dowed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. How long he re- these points were satisfactorily ascertained, the greater would mained in Judaa after that event, we have no authentic be its weight and authority.” On these accounts the learned account. Socrates, an ecclesiastical historian of the fifth prelate assigns the date of St. Matthew's Gospel to the century, relates, that when the apostles went abroad to year 38. preach to the Gentiles, Thomas took_Parthia for his lot; Secondly, as the sacred writers had a regard to the circumBartholomew, India; and Matthew, Ethiopia. The com- stances of the persons for whose use they wrote, we have an mon opinion is that he was crowned with martyrdom at additional evidence for the early date of this Gospel, in the Naddabar or Naddaver, a city in that country: but this is state of persecution in which the church was at the time contradicted by the account of Heracleon, a learned Valen- when it was written : for it contains many obvious references tiniąn of the second century; who, as cited by Clernent of to such a state, and many very apposite addresses both to Alexandria, reckons Matthew among the apostles that did the injurld and to the injurious party. not die by martyrdom: and as his statement is not contra- 1. Thus, the evangelist informs the injured and persecuted dicted by Clement, it is more likely to be true than the rela- Christians, that their afflictions were no more than they had been tion of Socrates, who did not flourish until three hundred taught to expect, and had promised to bear, when they embraced years after Heracleon.2

the Gospel (x. 21, 22. 34–36. xvi. 24.); that, however unreaIII. Matthew is generally allowed to have written first of sonable their sufferings might be, considered as the effects of the all the evangelists. His Gospel is uniformly placed first in malice of their enemies, they were yet useful and profitable to all the codes or volumes of the Gospels: and the priority is themselves, considered as trials of their faith and fidelity (v. 11. constantly given to it in all the quotations of the primitive xxiv. 9–13.); that, though they were grievous to be borne at fathers, as well as of the early heretics. was composed is a question that has been greatly agitated. far from bettering their state and condition, that it would infaltherefore, is unquestionable, though the precise time when it present, yet they operated powerfully to their future joy (v. 4.

10—12.); that a pusillanimous desertion of the faith would be so Dr. Mill, Michaelis, and Bishop

Percy, after Irenæus, assign libly expose them to greater calamities, and cut them off from the to it the year 61; Moldenhawer, to 61 or 62; Dr. Hales, to 63; Dr. Lardner and Mr. Hewlett, to 61; Baronius, Grotius, hopes of heaven (x. 28. 32,

33, 39.); that they were not, howWetstein, Mr. Jer. Jones, and others, after Eusebius, to 41; ever, forbidden to use the lawful means of preservation ; but even Dr. Benson, to 43; Dr. Cave, to 18; Dr. Owen and Bishop enjoined to put them in practice, whenever they could do it with Tomline, to 38; and Dr. Townson, to the year 37. In this innocence (x. 16, 17. 23.); that the due observance of the Chrisconflict of opinions, it is difficult to decide. The accounts tian precepts was an excellent method to appease the wrath and left us by the ecclesiastical writers of antiquity, concerning fury of their enemies, and what therefore they were obliged in the times when the Gospels were written or published, are point of prudence as well as duty carefully to mind and attend to so vague, confused, and discordant, that they lead us to no (v. 39. vii

. 12. 24—27. v. 13—20.); that if it should be their solid or certain determination. The oldest of the ancient fate to suffer martyrdom at last for their religion, it was infinitely fathers collected the reports of their own times, and set them better to continue faithful to their important trust, than by any down for certain truths; and those who followed adopted base compliance to incur his displeasure, in whose hands are the their accounts with implicit reverence. Thus traditions, true issues not only of this life, but also of that which is to come. or false, passed on from one writer to another, without(xvi. 25—27. x. 28.) examination, until it became almost too late to examine 2. On the other hand, again, to calm the passions of the en

raged Jews, and win them over to the profession of the Gospel, 1 Stromata, lib. 4. p. 502. B. See the passage in Dr. Lardner's Works, he labours to soften and abate their prejudices, and to engage Bvo. vol. vi. p. 48.; 41o. vol. iii. p. 159.

them in the practice of meekness and charity. (ix. 13.) To this * Lardner's Works, vol. vi. pp. 45–47. 8vo.; or vol. iii. pp. 157–159. 4to. Pritii Introductio Lectionem Novi Testamenti, pp. 154–157. Michaelis's Introduction, vol. iii. pp. 96—99.

5 Elem. of Christ. Theol. vol. i. p. 301. The following observations of 3 Of all the primitive fathers, Irenæus (who flourished in the second the profound critic Le Clerc will materially confirm the preceding recentury) is the only one who has said any thing concerning the exact time marks. “Those," says he "who think that the Gospels were writen so when St. Matthew's Gospel was written; and the passage (adv. Hæres. lib. late as Irenæus states, and who supposés that, for the space of about thirty iii. C. l.) in which he has mentioned it, is so obscure, that no positive con years after our Lord's ascension, there were many spurious gospels in the clusion can be drawn from it. Dr. Lardner (8vo. vol. vi. p. 49.; 4to. vol. hands of the Christians, and not one that was genuine and authentic, do iii. p. 160.),and Dr. Townson (discourse iv. on the Gospels, sect iv. $ 6.) unwarily cast a very great reflection upon the wisdom of the apostles. understand it in very different senses. The following is a literal transla- For, what could have been more imprudent in them, than tamely to have tion of the original passage, which the reader will find in Dr. Lardner's suffered the idle stories concerning Christ to be read by the Christians, works. Matthew put forth (or published) a gospel among the Hebrews and not to contradict them by some authentic history, written by some while Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel at Rome and laying the credible persons, which might reach the knowledge of all men ? For my foundations of a church there. Now, though it does not appear that Peter part, I can never be persuaded to entertain so mean an opinion of men was at Rome until after Paul's liberation from his first imprisonment, A. D. under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Besides, Matthew has delivered 63, yet we know that the latter arrived there in the spring of A. D. 61, con to us, not only the actions, but also the discourses of Christ; and this he sequently the date intended by Irenæus must be the year 61.

must necessarily be able to do with the greater certainty, while they were Eusebius, who lived in the early part of the fourth century, merely fresh in his meinory, than when, through length of time, he began to lose says that Matthew, after preaching to the Hebrews, wrote his Gospel for the impressions of them. It is true that the Holy Spirit was with the apostheir information, previously to his going to evangelize other nations (Eccl. tles, to bring all the things to their remembrance, which they had received Hist. lib. iii. c. 24.); but he does not specify the time, nor is it mentioned of Christ, according to his promise (John xiv. 26.): but the Holy Spirit not by any other ancient writer. In his Chronicon, however, Eusebius places only inspired them, but also dealt with them according to their natural the writings of St. Matthew's Gospel in the third year of the reign of the powers, as the variety of expressions in the Gospel shows." Clerici Hist. emperor Caligula, that is, eight years after Christ's ascension, or A. D. 41. 1 Eccl. sæculi I. A. D. LXI. $ 9.

« ElőzőTovább »