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plying a regular succession of events a. So the words 'Er di Tais julépcess extīvais, Matt. iii. 1. 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. Matihew 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 tempore illo) eodem modo in Deuter. x. 8. usurpari notat Aben. Ezra ; quomodo et ab aliis est observatum, in die illo, fine determi. nata aliqua temporis notatione, fedecies in Veteri et Novo Testamento esle positum : hocque ipso in loco,
in tempore illo, non ad illud, quo in Egyptum venditus eft Jofephus, fed quo ipfe Judas in Cananæam cum Patre advenit, referendum effe defendimus. Uller. Chronol. Sacr. c. 10. Vid. Spanheim. Dub. E. vang. tom. ii. Dub. 10, et 95.
CHAP. CH A P. VI. Mr. Whiston's Proof of the main Proposition confadered. It
supposes St. Mark's Gospel an Epitome of St. Matthew's. This the Opinion of most learned Men, but certainly false. That St. Märk 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.
M R . Whiston having attempted to prove, that St. Mat
IV thew, 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 says, He will in general prove the main proposition by the most authentick evidence, viz. the testimony of St. Marka. This indeed, if it be any evidence at all, will be most authentick and indisputable. Let us a little consider it.
« St. Mark (says 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 hif16 tory. Now supposing this (says he), it will follow, that u either that copy of St. Matthew, which St. Mark made ufe « 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 u regular series of events, which he learned from St. Peter. “ Now either of these is sufficient for my present purpose ; for « 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. VI. mony, and Mr. Whiston's most convincing argument, of the truth of the propofition, viz. that the former part of St. Matthew's Gospel, in our present copies, is not now in its true and first intended order. ;.
a P. 102. N4
However specious and plausible this argument may at first appear, I doubt not but every unbiassed mind, after a more close examination, will be very far from thinking it conclusive and convincing. The two following considerations will sufficiently invalidate the force of this reasoning, viz..
I. St. Mark did not epitomize ar abridge St. Matthew's Gofpel, nor had he it lying before him, when he wrote.
II. Suppose St. Mark did abridge, and make use of St. Matthew's Gospel in composing his, yet it will not follow either that the copies he then used were, or our present copies now, are misplaced, and out of the order originally intended by St. Matthew.
I. St. Mark did not epitomize or abridge St. Matthew's Gospel, nor had he it lying before him, when he wrote. In undertaking to prove this, I am very well aware, that I oppose the sentiments of learned men in all ages of the church : antient and modern writers have almost all, with one common consent, voted and agreed St. Mark's Gospel to be an epitome of St. Matthew's. · Austin, among the antients, and among later writers Eralmus b, Sixtus Senenfis , Alfted", Grotius , Spanheim,
Toinards, and many others, affert it. - Nay, Erafmus" in another place has carried the matter fomewhat further, and by a certain likenefs, which he imagined he observed in the style and idiom of these two Gospels (contrary to all antiquity, and even to himself in the place first cited), is induced to believe they both were wrote by the fame person.
e Annot. ad Marc. i. 1,
a Marcus Matthæum fubsecutus tanquam pediffequus et breviator ejus videtur. Aug. de Consens. Evang. l. 1. c. 2. - " Annot. in Nov. Test. ad Marc. i. 1.
• Biblioth. Sanct. 'l. 1. ad voc. Marc.
o « Præcognit. Thcolog. 1. 2. p. 263.
Erasmus, in Apolog. contra Albertum Carporum Principem, scribit, eundem fuiffe utriufque Evangelii scriptorem. Vid. Sixt. Seneni. 1. 7. de Marci Evangelio.
But But notwithstanding this fo universal agreement of learned men in this matter, I am not afraid to undertake the defence of the contrary opinion. It is no new or uncommon thing for the bulk of criticks and commentators to agree in an error. An opinion that is plausible, and has some appearance of probability, first started by a person of reputation, and ulhered into the world under some great name, is very often universally received, and for a long time entertained as an unquestionable trùth, though all the while it be really false : but if in process of time it has the good fortune to be espoused by more men of reputation and character, for sense and learning, it then acquires a sort of fanctity, and, through I know not what sort of fearfulness, men dare not so much as suspect or call in question the truth of a proposition, which has been believed by almost all learned men. This I verily believe was the case, in respect of the point we are now upon. Austin, and some others of reputation, first started it: to others, who would not be at the pains of examining into the truth of it, it seemed plausible, and so they received it. And by this means many learned men suffered themselves to be imposed upon, taking that for truth, which they certainly had rejected as false, had they but ventured strictly and closely to examine it. But numbers are no evidence of truth, and (as Mr. Whiston well observes in another place a) a common opinion without a solid foundation, is of no great value. He that heartily and in good earnest seeks after truth, must not suffer himself to be impressed either with the number, or reputation of those, who think otherwise than he does. It was a noble resolution of Seneca's b, “ That he “ would obstinately perfist in the search of truth ; not making “ his understanding a flave to any man's, nor giving in to « any opinion, only because it was published under a great " name.”
I shall therefore endeavour to prove this common opinion (viz. that St. Mark epitomized St. Matthew) false; and I shall take the more pains in the matter, not only because I shall
a Chronol. of the Old Testam. p. 16.
non enim me cuiquam mancipavi, nullius nomen fero, &c. Sen. Epift, 45.
thereby thereby invalidate Mr. Whifton's most authentick evidence, but fet a matter in a clear light, which (as far as I can find) no one yet has attempted to do, and so withal recover the honour of this Gospel (viz. St. Mark's), which has fo long lain under this hard and injurious charge, of being extracted, and compiled out of St. Matthew. And,
1. It is very evident, that St. Mark's Gospel is not an epitome of St. Matthew's, from the accounts we have in ecclefiaftical history, of the manner and occasion of St. Mark's writing his Gospel. The fubftance of all those accounts which we have, is this, viz. That St. Mark, (who was the companion and interpreter of St. Peter) being at Rome with him, was defired by the brethren there, to give them an account in writing, of what he had learnt from St. Peter, of the doctrines and life of Chrif; that they did not defift in their intreaties, till they had prevailed, and this was the cause or reason of the Gospel, we now call St. Mark's, being first wrote. This in short is the account, and it seems to be as largely attested by the antients, as almost any matter of fact whatsoever, at that distance from us. Papias, Irenæus, Origen, Clemens Alexandrinus, Jerome, and many others, all agree as to the main of this fact.
The most full and antient relation of this matter, is that of Clemens Alexandrinus, cited by Eufebius in two several places, and confirmed in the first of those places, by the most antient testimony of Papias. To the same purpose (though not quite so full) is the account of Irenæus, viz. That St. Mark committed to writing the things which he heard St. Peter preach. So Origen", That St. Mark made or wrote his
* Παρακλήσισι δε παντοίαις Ιεραπολίτης επίσκοπος ονόματι Πα(fcil. oi 'Pepcion). Mázov, š Tò mias. Eufeb. Hift. Eccl. 1. 2. c. Evayyavor piestai, exóżylov orta 15. Idem vid. lib. 6. c. 14. vid. et Ilétpe Autocephoon, ens åv xai duce lib. 3. c. 39. γραφής υπόμνημα της δια λόγε αα- . * Μάρκος ο μαθητής και ερμηραδοθείσης αυτούς καταλείψοι δι
νευτής Πέτρε, και αυτός τα υπό Πέδασκαλίας μη πρότερόν τε ανείναι τρα κηρυσσόμενα έγγράφως ημίν σαû xatiprácuolai ter äudpa, xui padedane. Iren. Adv. Hæref. lib. ταύτη αιτίες γενέσθαι της το λεγο
3.c. 1. μίνε κατά Μάρκον Ευαγγελία γρα
Apud Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib.
6. c. 25. Qñs--Lurs Topicstupeã d'aitw xai o