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Publius Lentulus, governor of Judea, to the senate of Rome, respecting the person and action of our blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus CHRIST; which may serve as a strong testimony and evidence in favour of the divinity of the Lord's person and doctrines, against the stale objections of the Deists, as the authenticity of the ancient manuscripts, from which it was translated, is founded on the best authority. Tiberius Cæsar was then emperor, and caused the extraordinary intelligence contained in this letter, to be published throughout all the Roman provinces. One would have thought this confirmation issued by the Roman governor, might have convinced the generality of the Romans, as well as Jews concerning the divinity of our Lord's mission; but such was the universal prejudice of the people, that nothing would satisfy those who had not given credit to the words of Christ himself. The epistle runs as follows;
" There appeared in these our days a man of great virtue, named Jesus Christ, who is yet living amongst us, and of the Gentiles is accepted as a Prophet of Truth, but by his own disciples called the Son of God. He raiseth the dead and cureth all manner of diseases. A man of stature somewhat tall and comely, with a very reverend countenance, such as the beholders may both love and fear: his hair is the colour of a filbert full ripe, and plain almost down to his ears, but from his ears downward somewhat curled, more orient of colour, and waving about his shoulders. In the midst of his head goeth a seam or partition of his hair, after the manner of the Nazarites; his forehead very plain and smooth; his face without spot or wrinkle, beautified with comely red; his nose and mouth so formed as nothing can be reprehended ; his beard somewhat thick, agrecable in colour to the hair of his head, not of any great length, but forked in the midst; of an innocent, mature look; his eyes grey, clear, and quick. In reproving he is terrible; in admonishing courteous and fair spoken; pleasant in speech, mixed with gravity. It cannot be re
membered that any have seen him laugh, but many have seen him weep. In proportion of body well-shaped and straight ; his hands and arms right delectable to behold; in speaking very temperate, modest, and wise. A man for singular beauty, surpassing the children of men.”
NEW, COMPLETE, AND AUTHENTIC
APOSTLES, EVANGELISTS, DISCIPLES, &c.
Of our blessed Lord and Saviour,
THE LIFE OF ST. MATTHEW,
The Evangelist and Apostle.
THIS evangelist was also called Levi, and, though a Roman officer, was a true Hebrew, and probably a Galilean. Kirsten, an Arabian author, tells us, that he was born at Nazareth, a city in the tribe of Zebulon, famous for the habitation of Joseph and Mary, and the place where our blessed Saviour resided the whole time of his private life. St. Matthew was the son of Alpheus and Mary, sister, or kinswoman to the blessed Virgin, both originally descended from the tribe of Issachar.
The occupation of Matthew was that of a publican, or tax-gatherer to the Romans, an office detested by the generality of the Jews. Amongst the Romans, indeed, it was accounted a place of power and credit, and, as such, rarely conferred on any but Roman knights: and T. FI. Sabimus, father of the empe