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And to the fame purpose, it is well remarked by the author just now cited*," That no one can charge that writer with "a falsehood or contradiction, for relating things in a different "order from that in which they came to pass, if he did not "before-hand engage to observe that order." The principal thing these facred writers were concerned about, was truth, to be faithful and just in the accounts they gave us; and this indeed is the most necessary requisite, and best character of an historian. Hence Lucian, in his excellent directions for writing history, tells us b, " The one thing most peculiarly re"quisite to history, is truth. If any go about to write a hif"tory, he must principally regard truth, not concerning him"self about any thing else."

CHAP. V.'

Mr. Whiston's second Argument considered. It does not follow, that because St. Matthew /or the mosl part observed the Order of Time, therefore he did in every Particular. The third Argument discussed The Notes of Time Mr. Whiston mentions, do not prove the Order of Time.

THE second argument, which Mr.Whiston makes use of to provex that St. Matthew originally ^observed the order of time through his whole Gospel, is, because he does so in the greatest part of his Gospel. After what, hath been faid in the two former chapters, there seems very little necessary to be faid in answer to this. I agree with Mr. Whiston, that St.

* Imrtio nemo mendacii vel con- Siia, 11 Ti? iVofla* yfu-^ut lov, TZt

tradictionis infimulaveiit ilium, qui y ^nti, a'asA^xi'0V x{,^

eadem diverse ordme recital, modo &c< Lucian. de Conicrib. Histor.

nonpræferturscordincm relaturum, , Historicus itaque, si ad ve,

æque ac res ipfas. Spanhcmi. Dub. et fidem de rc proposita retule:

Evang. torn. ui. Dub. 56. _ rit, ossicio luo fctisfecfc existima

b E* yaf Thto (seil. aXiffjtia) bitur. Isaac. Pontan. Orat. Isagog.

Ihm Iro{!a5, x«t Ikotii Spt«ov T!i aM- ad L. Flor. p. 1.

N 2 Matthew Matthew (and so indeed each of the other Evangelist?) does for the most part exactly observe the order of time; yet it will by no means follow, that that inspired writer was always so confined to a strict observance of this order, that he could upon no occasions whatsoever depart from i%. Several reasons have been assigned, upon the account of which an historian may sometimes deviate from this order, though for the most part he strictly observe it. And it has been proved, that St. Luke sometimes relates things in a different order from that in which they came to pass, though for the most part he exactly observes the order of time. Mr. Whiston's argument therefore, that because St. Matthew for the most part writes in this order, therefore he does never recede from it, will not hold.

Mr. Whiston's last argument, by which he endeavours to prove, that St. Matthew originally observed the order of time through his whole Gospel, is, that the notes of the order of time., and coherence of parts, are as many in that part which is now disordered and misplaced, as in that which is regular and in its proper order. It is true indeed, those which Mr. Whiston has here collected, and calls notes of .the order of time, are as frequent in this as any other part of the Gospel; but then these are such which are only (if they may be so called) notes of transition, generally inserted by the historian only for the sake of connecting the several Jlories together, and not to denote the regular succession of the fails related. They are most of them such as can only relate to the story that follows them, and do not at all connect it with that foregoing. This will appear by a very slight consideration of them: they

are such as these: 'l$ut Si' x«i ai>oi|a; To ro/xa «jts' xaTaoara Si etvTu Cttto Toy ogovs' xai iSov' Eici^Som Si' xai &J$ut' xat Tt^octxsw** &c. andseeing; and opening his mouth; and coming down from the mountain; and behold; and as he was entering; and coming, &c. Is it not evident that these, and such as these, are designed only for the better transition from one story to another.? Is it not very plain that they regard only the subsequent story? For instance, 'iSur Si' xa) 'lSu' and when Jesus saw; and behold; have these phrases any reference at all to what goes before i Po they intimate that the next fact related, was immediately in

order order of time after that which was before related? Let us suppose the story, to which one of these notes is prefixed, a considerable time after that which immediately precedes it in the history, might not the historian very properly prefix one of these notes to it? Might he not fay, «.al Mtv, or xai h 'uo-Si, and Jesus seeing, or coming, did such or such a thing, only regarding what he was about to tell, without the least respect to what he had faid before? Nay, let us go further, and suppose one of those notes prefixed to a story, which in the order of time was before that which it immediately succeeds, yet would the prefixing of such a note be very proper. For instance, to the sermon on the Mount (Matv. 2.) is prefixed xal dyol^at To rof«* aiTm (which is one of Mr. Whiston's notes of the order of time) and he opened his mouth. Might not this rote be very well prefixed to our Saviour's preaching, although the sermon, in the order of time, were really before that which immediately precedes it in the history? The fame may be proved of almost every one of these notes, which Mr. Whiston has here mentioned, if it were necessary.

The truth is, it is a common thing in all histories to make use of such transitory or introductory phrases as these; nay even of those which seem most to imply an immediate and orderly succession of events, in a very great latitude. So for instance, Gen. xxxviii. 1. immediately after the account of Joseph's being fold into Egypt, it follows, at that time "Judah went down from his brethren, &c. when as it is certain this happened a considerable time before Joseph's beingsold into Egypta. Hence, fays Dr. Lightfootb, " The words at that time are not to be refer*• red to the next words going before in the preceding chapu ter, concerning Joseph's fale to Potiphar, but are of a more "large extent; as that phrase, and the phrase in those days, are ** oft in Scripture." It is a trite observation among the writers of facred chronology, that these phrases in Scripture are frequently used with a great deal of latitude. It has been observed, that this phrase, In that day or time, is used sixteen times in the Old and New Testament in a lax fense, and not im

• See above, p. 36. b Harmon, and Chronic, of the

Old Test. Gen. c, xxxviii.

N 3 plying plying a regular succession of eventsa. So the words 'Et 3H TaSt ift/pai; h«rai(, Matt. iii. i. are put to introduce the history, which is next to Christ's fixing at Nazareth; which was about thirty years after. Upon the whole then, if this be the use of most of these notes, only to introduce the following story, if those which seem most to be notes of time regard principally what follows, and are used in such a lax sense; then they do not prove, that this part of St. Matthew's Gospel was originally wrote according to the order of time.

Thus I have considered Mr. Whiston's first assertion, viz. That St. Matthew designed originally to observe the order of time through his whole Gospel, and have endeavoured to shew that the several arguments he brings to support, it, are not conclusive.

• Locutionem autem illam (in in terns ere illo, non ad illud, quo in tevrpwe illo) eodem modo in Deu- Egyptum venditus est Joil-phus, ter. x. 8. usurpari notat Aben. fed quo ipse Judas in Cananæam Ezra; quomodo et ab aliis est ob- cum Patre advenit, referendum efle servatum, in die illo, sine determi- defendimus. Usser. Chronol. Sacr. nata aliqua temporis notatione, fe- c. 10. Vid. Spanheim. Dub. Edecies in Veteri et Novo Testamento vang. torn. ii. Dub. jo,et9S. esle positum: hoeque ipso in loco,

CHAP. CHAP. VI.

Mr. Whiston's Proas of the main Proposition considered. It supposes St. Mark's Gospel an Epitome os St. Matthew's. This the Opinion of most learned Men, but certainly false. That St. Mirk is not an Epitome of St. Matthew, proved, First, from the Account given in Antiquity of the Manner and Occasion of his Writing, viz. that he wrote at Rome from St. Peter's Mouth. The Testimonies out of Antiquity produced. Two Observations from Scripture to support these Testimonies.

MR. Whiston having attempted to prove, that St. Matthew, in this part of his Gospel, designed to observe the order of time, proceeds to shew, that the several branches of the history in this part, are not according to the order of time. But before he comes to a particular proof of this, he fays, He will in general prove the main proposition by the most authentick evidence, viz. the testimony os St. Mark a. This indeed, if it be any evidence at all, will be most authentick and indisputable. Let us a little consider it.

"St. Mark (fays Mr. Whiston) was the epitomizer of St. "Matthew—gives us such an account of our Saviour's Acts, "as demonstrates that St. Matthew's Gospel lay then before '** him, and was the almost only guide he followed in his hif"tory. Now supposing this (fays he), it will follow, that "either that copy of St. Matthew, which St. Mark made use "of, was in a different order from that which we now have "(in the chapters under consideration), or else that he knew '* the order of his copy to be wrong, and contrary to the ori"ginal one, and so reduced it in his epitome to the true and "regular series of events, which he learned from St. Peter. "Now either of these is sussicient for my present purpose ; for <c it is evident, that St. Mark does not observe the order of the ** present copies of St. Matthew (whom he epitomizes), in that *' part we are speaking of, &c." This now is St. Mark's testi

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