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did not publifh his gofpel very foon, yet he endeavours to determine his priority to St. Luke by comparing these two evangelifts with regard to perfpicuity and explanation; upon a fuppofition, that he, in whom thefe virtues of narration are most perfect, was the later writer.'
Dr. Wall obferves, that Luke feldom names places.' But our author takes notice of the following exceptions to the doctor's remark, as points of fome importance in the prefent argument.
• When St. Luke was going to relate the calling of St. Peter, he says, that Jefus ftood by the lake of Gennefareth, which explained to foreigners what the other evangelists meant by the fea of Galilee.
Again, he informs us, that the miracle of feeding the five thousand was done in a defert place belonging to the city called Bethfaida: where St. Matthew and St. Mark speak only of a defert place.
In the following inftances of naming places he is the fole relater of the things done in them. He mentions, that the annunciation was at Nazareth, a city of Galilee; the enrolment of Joseph and Mary at Bethlehem, the city of David in Judea; the escape of our Lord from the fury of the multitude by a divine power upon the hill on which Nazareth ftood; the railing of a widow's fon to life at a city called Nain, not far from Capernaum; that ten lepers were healed in a village on the confines of Galilee and Samaria; and that Zaccheus, the chief of the publicans, entertained our Lord at or near Jericho.
• Now if the fpecification of places is not ufual with him, how comes it to be found more particularly in thofe paffages, where St. Matthew and St. Mark are explained by it, or things are related which they do not mention? In either cafe it was ufeful to deviate from his general practice; but he could not be fenfible of this utility, unless he had feen their gofpels.
St. Mark fays, the people caft money into the treasury.' St. Luke explains their intention to strangers, by calling the money, which they caft in, their gifts, and by indicating, that this treasury was a bank which received the offerings of God.
Mark xiv. 54. And Peter warmed himself AT THE BLAZE
• Luke xxii. 56. A certain maid beheld him as he fat by THE
BLAZE OF FIRE.
⚫ I have tranflated the word pws, a blaze of fire, to distinguish it from the common word up ufed by St. Luke, v. 55. where he speaks of the fire kindled in the midst of the hall. He introduces us in the following verfe, where it is more fignificant: for this blaze of fire, by which Peter fat, enabled the maid to difcern, that he was a difciple of Jefus. The meaning of pws, though not without claffical authority is not very common,
which makes it more likely that St. Luke took the word from St. Mark, and placed it to advantage.
Matthew, xxvi. 68.. leaves his readers to fuppofe that the officers or fervants covered our Lora's face; and St. Mark omits to tell, what it was that they bid him prophefy. But St. Luke, by mentioning both circumftances, fets the matter in a clearer light, and completes the narration of the two other evangelifts; "And when they had covered him, they ftruck him on the face, and asked him, faying, prophesy, Who is he that fmote thee ?"
In these and other parallels, which the author produces, there is fome advantage of explication or clearness on the fide of St. Luke. And nothing, he thinks, can be cast as a counterpoife into the oppofite fcale. St. Mark, however, by improving on St. Matthew's expreffions, fhews, that he would have availed himself of St. Luke's, had the gospel of the latter been then published.
In the next place he endeavours to prove, that St. Mark wrote his gofpel under the direction of St. Peter.
1. It appears, he fays, to have been dictated by an eyewitness. The pillow in the hinder part of the fhip, on which Jefus was afleep; the green grafs, on which the multitude fat down to be miraculoufly fed; the rifing of blind Bartimeus, and the cafting away of his garments; the colt tied by the door without, in a place, where two ways met; and many other minute matters indicate, that the hiftorian, who defcribed them, had been a fpectator.
2. It appears to have been dictated by a Galilean.—When this evangelift talks of croffing the lake of Galilee, he talks the language of borderers on it: Let us pass over unto THE OTHER SIDE. Inftead of which St. Luke fays, Let us go unto the other fide of THE LAKE.
3. It was dictated by an apoftle. St. Luke frequently calls the difiples of our Saviour, his apoftles. But St. Mark, as well as St. Matthew and St. Luke, is reserved in giving them this title of dignity which is a fign, that the director of this gospel was one of the fame order with the apoftolical evangelifts.
St. Mark, as well as St. Matthew, is free and ingenuous in revealing the many imperfections of the apoftles. But thefe things, which better became themselves to confefs than another to proclaim, are paffed over by St. Luke.-There are many things, which tended folely to the honour of St. Peter, of which St. Mark never exhibits any view. With regard to St. Peter's infirmities, whatever appears of that kind in the other gofpels, is faithfully recorded in St. Mark's; and it is obfervable, that lefs is faid by this evangelift of his speedy repentance and bitter, tears after his great fall, than by St. Matthew and St. Luke.
The author proceeds to prove, that St. Mark wrote his gospel for a mixed fociety of Jewish and Gentile converts; and that he published it at Rome or in Italy, about the end of the year 56 or 60.
In the fubfequent difcourfes he endeavours to fhew, by the fame internal evidence, that St. Luke wrote for the gentile converts, probably in Achaia; that St. John wrote a good while later than any other evangelists, after the destruction of Jerufalem.
In fupport of the laft affertion he propofes, among many others, the following arguments.
St. John proceeds immediately to recite a fhort converfation concerning himself between St. Peter and our Lord, and in what fenfe it was understood by the brethren :
• Peter Seeing him, faith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jefus faith unto him, If I will that be tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me. Then went this faying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die.
Upon which he obferves: Yer Jefus faid not unto him, He fball not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? And by denying only, that Jefus faid, He should not die, he admits, that a promife was made him of living till Christ came.
What then is this coming of Chrift? And why did not St. John, who was to die like other men, explain what it meant, that he might effectually put a stop to the falfe furmifes of the brethren? I can fee but one reafon, why he is no more explicit, and it is this: he wrote his gofpel at a time, when it was generally understood among the brethren, that he had lived to fee the advent of Chrift, to which the promife related. He who hereafter will come to confume the wicked with the brightnefs of his appearing, was already come in the clouds of heaven. The glory of his perfon was unfeen, but the power of his prefence was felt in his judgments. And the destruction of Jerufalem and the Jewish polity was fuch a comment on the promife, that St. John fhould furvive till Chrift came, that there needed no other.
On this ground, which appears to be firm and good, let us confider an account given by him, ch. xi. 47-50. of the proceedings of the Jewish rulers. In a conference among themfelves concerning Chrift, they faid; What do we? for this man doth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him; and the Romans hall come and take away both our place and nation. The refult of the confultation was, That it was expedient be should die. And what they judged fo expedient, they foon accomplished. However the Romans came, and took away both their place and nation. And great and dreadful was the fall of them. Afterwards St. John published this ac
count of their counfels and proceedings; firft, as a manifeftation to mankind of the vifible hand and juft vengeance of heaven on a people, who had concurred with the unrighteous policy of their rulers, and had been the betrayers and murtherers of the just one: fecondly, as a call to the fad furvivors of those calamities; that the remnant being affrighted might give glory to God by their converfion.
St. Matthew had fhown early, that they had made themfelves and their children refponfible for the blood of Chrift; and now St. John reminds them, that it had been required at their hands.
• These several circumstances are strongly on the fide of those, who maintain the late publication of St. John's gospel.
To these observations the author fubjoins fome general remarks on the authenticity of the gospels.
The evangelifts in fucceffion pursued a wife and sure me. thod of warranting the truth and genuineness of each former gofpel with all the authority of the latter. Let us for inftance fuppofe St. Peter to have been requested or to have defired to leave his teftimony with the church in St. Mark's gospel, of the authenticity of St, Matthew's. How was this to be effected? He might have mentioned it, as he does St. Paul's Epiftles, in terms of respect, and called it, The Gofpel of our beloved brother Matthew: by which or the like words he would doubtless have borne witnefs to the truth of it. But if a queftion fhould arife, not whether, St. Matthew had compofed a true gospel, but which was the true gofpel of St. Matthew, fuch a teftimony could no more decide it, than the ranking of St. Paul's Epiftles with the other fcriptures can determine, whether the Epistle to the Hebrews be St. Paul's. If then a gofpel was afterwards to appear under the title of The Gospel according to the Hebrews, which might be mistaken, and actually was miftaken by fome, for the authentic gospel of St. Matthew; how could St. Peter depofite with the church a better touchstone by which to detect the adulterate, than by incorporating much of the genuine into his own gospel?
Again, if St. Luke tranfcribed feveral paffages from St. Mark, we have the atteftation not only of St. Luke, but of his friend and principal St. Paul, to the verity of this gofpel,
Laftly, St. John authenticated the three foregoing gospels by an oppofite method, that is, by omitting, not repeating, what they had related. Of which enough has been faid.
As to St. John's gofpel, if it was written late, as many fuppofe, and I think with probability, the church of Chrift had then acquired fome ftrength and confiftence, and a more easy and settled correfpondence of its diftant members with each other. And perhaps no city was better fituated than Ephefus to fpread intelligence to the generality of places where any Christians refided. A city fo much frequented formed a con
nection between the two great divifions of Europe and Afia. Here it is generally allowed, that St. John compofed his gofpel; and the notoriety of the fact fuperfeded the want of another apoftle to atteft it.'
The laft difcourfe is an enquiry concerning the hours of St. John, of the Romans, and of fome other nations of antiquity.—It was the way of the ancients to divide the day into twelve hours, and the night into as many. The first hour of the day was an hour after the rifing of the fun, and the twelfth was when it was fet. This was the way in Judea and to this the other evangelifts adhere. But our author fuppofes, that St. John reckoned the hours as we do, from midnight to noon, and again from noon to midnight; and, upon this hypothefis, he explains every paffage in the gospel of that evangelift, in which the hour is mentioned.
If, in treating the feveral questions of these discourses, fome arguments are fet down, which appear of fmall value fingly, yet the collective fum of them, with the aids, which different parts reciprocally lend to each other, amounts, he thinks, to a proof, which may be deemed a moral certainty, that the order of the gofpels, and the main of the articles here afferted are true.'
In these investigations the author has difplayed a confiderable degree of learning, accuracy, and judgement; and has pursued a scheme, which gives much more fatisfaction to a critical reader, concerning the order, the dates, the authenticity of the gospels, than the united teftimony of the fathers.
Mifcellanies in Profe and Verfe, by Thomas Chatterton, the Suppofed Author of the Poems published under the Names of Rowley, Canning, c. 8vo. 35. 6d. jewed. Fielding and Walker. THE poems, supposed to have been written by Rowlie, Canynge, and others, were published about the beginning of the last year*; and, fince that time, have occafioned a variety of conjectures, relative to their authenticity. It is faid, that the original manufcripts were found in an old cheft in Redclift church, at Briftol, by Chatterton, the parish clerk, and that, after his death, they fell into the hands of his fon, who fent fome of them to the editors of the Magazines, and difpofed of others.
Thomas Chatterton, the younger, was educated at a charity-school at Bristol, and at the age of fourteen was articled clerk to an attorney in that city. In April 1770, he came to
» See Crit. Rev. vol. xliii. p. 88.