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afterwards) an account of our Saviour's life and acts. Men immediately upon the publishing of Christianity, formed themselves into various parties of different denominations; and many or most of these had their own Gospel, which was different from that of others. It would be endless, as well as needless, for me to mention the several Gospels of the Ebionites, Marcionites, Nazarenes, the Gospel of St. Peter, Andrew, James, Bartholomew, &c. Every one, who has in the least made Christian antiquity his study, is acquainted with these things; those that are not, may be fully satisfied in the matter, by a bare casting their eyes upon the authors cited at the bottom of the page , who have, especially fome of thens, made a very full collection of the false Gospels, which were spread abroad in the world, in the very infancy of Christianity. These were the oi wokaci, the many, whom St. Luke referred to. I would only add here, that this hath been the opinion of many, if not moft, antient and modern writers. “ St. Luke (says « Austin b) gives us this reason for his writing in order, be. « cause many others had attempted it; but we are to under« stand him of such, who had no authority nor esteem in the ... Church, having undertaken what they were by no means « able to perform.” To the same purpose says Eusebius. «cSt. Luke, in the beginning of his Gospel, tells us what « was the occasion of his writing ; intimating, that because « many others had rashly and inconsiderately undertaken to « write of those things, of which he had a fuil and certain “ knowledge, he also would write to prevent the mischief of “i those uncertain accounts.” So Theophylact, in explain
• Dr. Grabe's Spicileg. Patr. bemus accipere, quorum in Eccle. Fabric. Codex Apocryph. N. T. fra nulla extat auctoritas, quia id, Sixt. Senenf. Biblioth. Sanct. l. 2. quod conati sunt, minime potuerunt Father Simon's Critic. Hift. of implere. August. de consens. E. the New Test. Part 1. C. 3. Du vangel, l. 4. C. 8. Pin's Hift. of the Canon, Vol. II. .'c'on Aerãs ápxóueros xai autós 6.6. Toland's Catalogue in his roll xar' aútor oz gypáuwatos, Tony Amyntor. Suicer, Thesaur, Ec- aitian megúnxe, de no Tremontas clef. ad voc. Eủayfi.vov. Spanheim,
này ở Praw a may, apa Hiftor. Ecclef. Chrift. p. 582, &c. Ideo autem dicit sibi vilum effe
λων και άλλων προπετέφερον έπλετηex ordine diligenter fcribere, quo. δευκότων διήγησιν ποιήσαθαι, &c. niam multi conati funt; fed eos de Euleb. Hift. Eccl. 1. 3. c. 24.
·ing these words a, puts the question, Who were those men,
intended by St. Luke, that took in hand to write, &c. and answers, They were false Apostles; for many such had wrote Gospels. In the fame opinion are the learned Erasmus , Grotius, Father Simon, Bellarmine, Calvin f, all afferting St. Luke here had no regard to St. Matthew or St. Mark, but to some other writers, who had not wrote as they ought to do. The learned Mr. Dodwell carries the matter further, and (if I mistake not) does by a good argument conclude from these words of St. Luke, not only that he had no reference to either of these two Gospels, but that he never saw them. What he faith is to this purpose, viz. $ “ St. « Luke, in the Preface to his history, giving this reason for « his writing, that he had received his accounts from those « who were eye-witnesses, plainly intimates, that the writers of « those other Gospels, which he had seen, were not furnished « with that help ; so that neither being eye-witnesses them-« felves, nor duly consulting such as were, their credit must « be doubtful: and thence it must necessarily follow, that the ** Gospels, which St. Luke had feen, were not any of those we « now receive." Upon the whole, therefore, I hope I may justly fay, that Mr. Whiston has here failed in his proof; because these words of St. Luke, having no reference to either of the Gospels we now receive, cannot prove what Mr. Whiston brings them for: that St. Matthew, or any of the Gospel-writers, designed to observe the order of time in their histories. But,
II. If it should be allowed and taken for granted, that St. Luke in these words had respect to the Gospels we now receive, yet there is nothing in his words, which will prove,
a Vid. eum ad Luc. i. 1. .
d Critic. Hist, of the New Test. par. 1. c. 3.
e De Matrimon. Sacram. 1. 1. c. 6.
f Harmon. Evangel. in init. '
& Et cun novæ scriptionis edit in Præfatione caufam, quod ipfe ajtómtY; narrationibus adjutus fu. erit aggressus, id plane innuit desti
they were intended and wrote according to the order of time. Indeed, according to our English Translation, one would be apt to think so; Forasmuch as many have taken in "hand, to set forth in arder a declaration, &c. From the words to set forth in order, Mr.Whiston concludes, that these Gospels, and particularly St. Matthew's, were wrote according to the order of time; but the original word averátuplar implies no such thing, but only in general to compile, or compose, or set together, without any particular regard to the order of time, or any other order whatsoever. This is the sense Suidas and Hesychius give of the word avatáčuo fasa; and so it is taken by the old Syriack interpreter, and the best modern translators. So Beza b, componere narrationem, and Caftalio, contexere narrationem ; De Dieu, apparare seu concinnare; so that the whole meaning is, Forasmuch as many have undertaken to write the history, &c. and consequently nothing can hence be concluded, concerning the Evangelists designing to observe the order of time in their histories.
The three other arguments which Mr. Whiston offers, to prove the Gospels were wrote according to the order of time, p. 97, 98, 99. are fo much the fame, with those which are brought to prove this concerning St. Matthew in particular, that they need not be distinctly considered.
? 'Avaldur Jan, Eůrgeticaodai, i. e. apparare, instruere, componere, EÚtpetronós, ó 'Eroacia, Suid.
Mihi vero rò ouitátiso Jaco
idem 'videtur generaliter declarare, atque conicribere, et conficere. Bez. ad loc.
CHA P. III. The Writers of the Gospel-History did not intend or observe the
Order of Time in their Writings. This proved particularly of St. Luke by several Instances. The Phrase, write
in order, Luc. i. 3. discussed. W HETHER the writers of the Gospel-history did de
sign to relate the several acts and circumstances of our Saviour's life, according to that order of time, in which each of them came to pass, is a question of very considerable importance. Mr. Whiston very earnestly contends for the affir. mative a; which indeed if it be true, it is very certain, that not only that part of St. Matthew's Gospel, which he supposes, but alfo several parts of the other Gospels, are in our present copies very much misplaced, confused, and disordered. I rather think, the Evangelists had not any such regard to that order, but were principally concerned in relating the several matters of fact truly and faithfully. This has been the opinion of, I think, almost all those who have considered this matter, both antient and later writers. The truth is, (says a learned writer b) that the Apostles (he means all the Evangelists) had not properly any design in writing, but to inform us, of the doctrine and miracles of our Lord; not much regarding these things, which may be thought requisite to an exact and methodical history. I do not suppose, that the Evangelists had no regard at all to the order of time, in composing their Gospels. The contrary is very certain ; and a bare view of Mr. Whirton's Harmony, will sufficiently convince any one, that, for the most part, each of these sacred writers, not only intended to observe, but do exactly agree in observing, this order. All
a Prop. I.
: mettre en peine de ce que l'on deLa vérité est, que les Apôtres mande dans une histoire méthop'ont eu proprement deslein, que de dique. Le Clerc Biblioth, choilic, nous apprendre la doctrine et les tom. 15. art. 5. p. 251. miracles de notre Seigneur, lans fe
that I contend for, is, that they do not always confine them. selves to this method, but very often for just and good reasons insert several particular transactions, not in that order in which they were done. This might be proved, beyond doubt, of every one of the Evangelists. But it will be sufficient to prove it, only concerning St. Luke; because his Gospel is by Mr. Whifton supposed to be perfectly in this order of time, and therefore he corrects St. Matthew's by it. The following instances will abundantly evidence the truth of what I say.
St. Luke, ch. iii. 'ver. 19, 20. relates the history of John's imprisonment by Herod, before the account of our Saviour's baptism, ver. 21, &c. which certainly is contrary to the order of time; Christ being no doubt baptized long before John's imprisonment ; fee Matt. iii. 13, &c. and iv. 12. Hence Mr. Whiston himself has taken the liberty here to transpose these verses in his Harmony, although he tells us, (pag. 100.) that he had ventured but in one instance (viz. that of our Lord's mother and brethren coming to him), to change the order of St. Luke.
Ch. iv. 33, &c. St. Luke relates the history of the unclean Spirit being cast out of the man, in the synagogue at Capernaum, and v. 38, &c. the account of Peter's mother in law being cured of a fever, and after these, ch. v. 1. The calling of Peter and the ether Apostles by the sea fide; whereas it is very certain, that these Apoftles were called before these miracles. And so this hiftory ought, if the order of time had been observed, to have been placed sooner, as both the other Evangelists have placed it, Matt. iv, 18, &c. compared with ch. viii. 2, &c, and 14, &c. and Mark i. 16, 30. This is so undeniable a proof of St. Luke's sometimes leaving the order of time, that nothing can reasonably be urged or objected against it. Indeed Mr. Whifton, finding this so directly overthrowing his scheme, which he had before formed, was resolved to say something against it, and therefore he supposes *, that the history here recorded by St. Luke, is quite different from that recorded by St. Matthew,
• P. 123, & 125.