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tuagint, but exactly the same with our Saviour's words, as related by St. Matthew, ch. xxvi. 31. Ch. vii. he cites Matth. xxvii. 54.
Ch. xix. he refers to Matth. v. 42. III. Polycarp, in his Epistle to the Philippians, ch. ii. cites Matth. vii. 1. and v. 3, 10.
. . . . Ch. vi. he cites Matth. vi. 12, 14. .
Ch, vii, he cites Matth. vi. 13. and xxvi. 41.
Matth. iii. 15.
xii. 33. These are reckoned among his genuine Epi.
.. . . ..
· By a careful observing of these writings with this view, perhaps there may be found several other places of this Gospel referred to in them. Those. now cited are fufficient to prove, that this Gospel was widely dispersed in the Apostles' time, and made use of in very diftant countries ; for Clemens wrote his Epistle from Rome, Barnabas from Cyprus, Polycarp from Smyrna, Ignatius from Antioch ; and these were places widely diftant from each other. If then these Gospels were chus in the hands of all those of that age, whose writings we now have, it is very reasonable to füppose, they were also in tlie hands of innumerable others.
I would only add, that in the Constitutions, which Ms. Whiston supposes to be the Apostles', and collected by Clemens, this Gospel is frequently cited, and recommended, among the other facred Gospels, to the perufal of all Chriftians; which would have been very absurd, if the Gospels were not dispersed; and spread abroad in the world.
3. This matter will be further confirmed, if we consider, how much it was the practice of the first Christians to read the Scriptures. St. Paul's Epistles were wont to be publickly read in the churches, to which they were written, ånd other churches too, as is plain from thole words, Col. iv, 16. And
when this Epistle is read among you, cause that it be read allo in the church of the Laodiceuns; and that ye likewise read the Epistle from Laodicea. Timothy has this character given him by St. Paul, that he from a child had made the Scriptures bis study, 2 Tim. iii. 15. It seems to me very probable, that he means here both the Scriptures of the New and Old Testament; for he gives them this character, that they 'were able to make him wife unto salvation; which character at that time did moft properly belong to the books of the New Testament, which were then written. Polycarp, in his Epiftle to the Philippians, tells them, he did not doubt but they were conversant with the sacred Scriptures. The last Canon of the Apostles obliges all Laity and Clergy, to procure the sacred books, both of the Old and New Testament, and b. i. c. 5. the Christians are required diligently to read the Gospels a. This is authority, which Mr. Whifton will not dispute. If then the Christians did, and were obliged to read the Gospels, they did not lie concealed and unknown till the times of Trajan or Hadrian.
I would only add here, that reading the Gospels was one part of the public service of the primitive Christians, in their religious assemblies. . It is certain that a great part of the Jewish worship in their fynagogues, consisted in reading of the Law . Josephus tells us, that they did this in obedience to the command of Mosesc,: Now it is well known, that the Christians conformed themselves very much in their worship to the customs of the Jews. Justin Martyr 4, who lived but a little while after the Apostles' time, tells us,“ That on the day « which is called Sunday, there was an assembly of all, that “ lived (near) in town or country, in the faine place; and
και Διέρχε επιμελώς το Ευαγγί. 7104.
• Luke iv. 16, 17. and Asts xv. ,21.
o 'Ezésns i dueados tão århus spy on a Pejivés, Ti Thy arpoaan te bunu exbaevae (ic. Moles) oval. yellas. Contra Appion. 1. 2.
4 Και τη του ηλίου λεγομένη poca, hattar ræta 76Xeis in crypsis prévostwy. ad te auto o vrstevoos gyár νεται, και τα απομνημονεύματα των αποτόλων, και τα συγγράμματα
ricopritai, arzywóczst21. Apol. 2:'p. 98. . .
«the « the historical memoirs of the Apostles (.e. the Gospels) and “ the writings of the prophets were read.”
Now from all this I think it is evident, à great number of copies of this Gospel were spread abroad in the world, in the Apostles' time. - These, as has been proved, were in their right order, in which St. Matthew wrote; and since it is impossible, but some of those copies that are in the world, muft be derived from some of thefe, and fince all the copies that are in the world, are in the fame order with our present copies; it necessarily follows, this part of St. Matthew's Gospel has not been misplaced or disordered since the Apostles' time..
CH A P. XXIII.
"" tifi... Honda *St. Matthew's Gospel, in our present Copies, was not disordered
and misplaced since the Apostles* Time ; " because the Syriack. * Version, which was made in the Apostlesa Time, is in the famie · Order with our présent Copies. An Attempt to prove, that the
Syriack Version' was made in that Time. Syriack was the
Language of the Fews in the Apostles' Time. Great Num"bers of Jews were converted to Christianity, and therefore • needed a Version in that Language: **
D Y what has been faid in the foregoing Chapter, it is evi
D dent St. Matthew's Gospel was not misplaced since the Apostles' tiine: the same will be further proved, if we consider ;
2. That the Syriack Version, which seems to have been made in the Apostles' time, is exactly in the fame order in this part of St. Matthew's Gospel, with our present copies. This is an argument, which undeniably proves the point I am contending for, if it can be made appear, that this Version was made in that time. It is not to be expected, we should have as clear evidence of this, as we have of some other matters of
fact in the Apoftolick times; because, of the vast number of Jews, who were at first converted to Christianity, and who made use of this Version, there is not one (except the Apoftles), who has wrote any thing which is come down to our present time. Nevertheless, I hope to make it at least probable, that this Version was made in the time of the Apostles. In order to which, I will shew;
1. That Syriack was the language in use among the Jews, in our Saviour's and the Apostles' time.
2. That it was very necessary a Version should be made, and very likely a Version was made, of the New Testament into this language in the Apostles' time.
3. That it is probable this Version, which we now have, is the same which was then made.
1. The Syriack was the language in common use among the Jews, in the time of our Saviour and his Apostles. Till the Jews were carried captives to Babylon, they undoubtedly retained their own language, viz. the pure Hebrew, and understood not Syriack, as is plain from 2 Kings xviii. 26. and Jer. V. 15. Being at Babylon for seventy years, they learnt the language of the country, which afterwards they never loft. This was a place (says the great Bochart *), always fatal to the Hebrew language. That which they learnt, was not very much different from the Hebrew, though it went under a different name, and was called sometimes Chaldee, and sometimes Syriack: fo Dan. i. 4. it is called 'Tua nw'i. e. the tongue of the Chaldeans; and ch. ii. 4. the same is called Syriack; the Chaldeans spake to the King soon i. e. in the Syriack tongue, . It was this (perhaps a little altered), in which our Saviour and his Apostles conversed b, and the Jews generally, in their time;
* Eadem Babylon, ubi cæteræ linguæ natæ sunt, semper Hebraicæ fuit fatalis, femel in confufione Linguarum, et rursus cum Judæi ibi captivi patrium fermonem didicerunt. Phaleg. l. 1. C. 1g.
See to the same purpose Dr. Prie deaux Connect, of the Hift. of the Old and New Teft. Par. 1. B. s. and Par. 2. B. 8.
Is vero Syrorum Sermo, Christi et Apoftolorum temporibus, propter diuturnam illam in Babylone cap. tivitatem, et Affyriorum contra in Judæam translationem, genti He. braicæ popularis fuit et vernaculus, adeo ut nulli tunc fcirent Hebraice, nisi qui fingulari ftudio ex libris didiciffent. Quamobrem Christum quoque et Apostolos eodem sermone
'for the proof of this, I shall only alledge a few places out of the New Testament; the great number of Syriack words, that are to be found therein, do sufficiently prove it, viz. such as Talitha Kumia, Ephphatha", Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani , Be. thefda", Golgothao, Gabbatha', Racas, Cephas", Aceldamai, Boanergesk, Marạn-atha', Bar-Jonam, Abba", &c. These are all evidently Syriack words (as they know who are acquainted with this language), which were used by the Jews in and about our Saviour's time. I would only observe concerning one of these Syriack words, viz. the word Aceldama, that it is said to be ên tñ idiqe ovanéxta aitīv, i. e. in their own dialeet or language. It is true indeed, that two or three of these words are called Hebrew, so John v. 2. Ý Étudsgouévn 'Epaisi Bu geode, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, and John xix. 13. 'E païsi rabbatã, i. e. in Hebrew Gabbatha. But it is a very trite and common observation, that Syriack and Chaldee are frequently called Hebrew; whence Nonnus in his Greek Paraphrase on John, translates. 'Ebquisi, kúpa rudw, in the last place cited; and ver. 17. he renders the same word Espor sóma. So Philo" and the Fathers commonly call Chaldee and Syriack, Hebrew. Nor is this strange, when we consider that Hebrew was the old language, from which these two dialects (very little different from it) are derived. .. . i ... The old Hebrew was so far from being the language of the country at this time, that they had now, and for a long time before had, an officer in the synagogues, called 1037100, whose business it was, when the Old Testament was read, to translate the Hebrew, and give the people the sense of it, period by period, in Chaldee, or Syriackp. Hence also it was, that
popularibus fuis locutos fuisse, cum h John i. 42. ipsa ratio, tum in Græco reli&te i Acts i. 19. voces Syriacæ, fatis evincimt. Tre is k Mark iii. 17. . . mell. Præfat. in Teft, Syriac.
? Cor. xvi. 22. a Mark v. 41.
m Matt xvi. 17. 0 Mark vii. 34.
u Mark xiv. 36. © Mark xv. 34.
o Vid. Casaub. ad Baron. And John v. 2.
nal. c. xvi. $. 11. e Matt. xxvii. 33.
P Dr. Lightfoot Harm. of the f John xix. 13.
Gospels, Year 31. §. 23. & Matt. v. 22.