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XVII.

LET. digree as it was found in the authentic

tables, which, according to the custom of the nation, were preserved in the family, as is evident from Josephus, who says, “ I give you this succession 6 of our family, as I find it written “ in the public tables.”

3. As it was well known the Mersiah must descend from David, the genealogical tables of that family would be kept with more than ordinary diligence and precision.

4. Whatever cavils the modern Jews and others make now against the genealogies recorded by the Evangelists, the Jews their contemporaries never offered to find fault with, or to invalidate the accounts given in the Gospels. As they wanted neither opportunity, materials, skill, nor malice, to have done it, and it would have

afforded

afforded them so great an advantage let. against the Christians, this circum- XVII. stance alone, as Dr. South well remarks, were we not now able to clear the point, ought with every sober and judicious person to have the force of a moral demonstration.

Thus much premised, let us hear the objection.

P. 33. “ Matthew reckons 27 ge“ nerations from David to Chrift, “ Luke reckons 42, and the names “ totally disagree. Matthew traces “ the descent from Solomon, and “ Luke from Nathan, both sons of “ David. According to our feeble no. « tions, 27 cannot be equal to 42, nei“ther can Nathan be imagined to be " Solomon."

But were the objectors never informed, that in the opinion of those

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who

LET. who have most considered this quel-
XVII. tion, and were best qualified to con-

sider it, St. Luke deduces the genea-
logy of our Saviour, not, as St. Mat-
thew does, on the side of Joseph,
but on the side of Mary, who by
Jews and Christians is agreed to have
been the daughter of Heli. If there.
fore Jacob, according to St. Matthew,
were Jofeph's father by nature, Heli,
who is said by St. Luke to have been
his father, could only have been his
father in law, by his marriage with
Mary, the daughter of Heli, whose
genealogy is then given by St. Luke;
to shew that every way Christ “ sprang
“ from Judah,” as was EVIDENT (by
the testimony of the author of the
epistle to the Hebrews ) to all of that
age; and that he was “ of the feed
“ of David ;" his real mother, no less

than

than his supposed father, being “ of let. “ the house and lineage of David.” XVII.

Disputes may be raised and maintained to the end of the world on many other difficulties which occur in the two genealogies. “But those “ who are acquainted with the cure

toms of the Jews know there are " many genealogies which seem re" pugnant, and yet are not so. And “ that may happen various ways, as - may easily be proved from books “ which the Jews and we jointly ac“ knowlege. There are several me.. “thods of reconciling these difficul“ ties, though it be often hard to say " which is the best, at the distance of “ so many ages, all records and even “ memory of these things being ut« terly lost." *

* Dr. Trapp on the Gospels, P. 82, second

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let. I would gently admonish the inXVII. fidels, if they touch upon this sub.

ject again, to behave with better manners than they have done in their 34th page.

The excellent Pascal has observed, as many others have done before and after him, that the Evangelists, by differing in some things from each other, have afforded us a proof of their not having written in concert, and that such difference is so far an argument in their favour. The ob. fervation is sensible and just. Not so the inference drawn by the objectors, P. 35. that therefore “ contradiction “ in evidence is a mark of truth." For Mr. Pascal did not allow, or suppose, any more than we do, that the Edit. See likewise Dr. South's 7th Sermon of his 3d Volume, and Macknight's Harmony.

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