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see what knowledge he appears to have had of the scheme of the gospel.

1. His account of the commission which our Lord gave to the twelve apostles is in ch. xxviii. 19. "Go ye therefore into all the world, and teach all nations." Matthew did not then think that the apostles of Jesus were to teach Jews only, but that they were required to teach all people, and all nations in general.

2. I suppose that he fully understood our Lord's doctrine, when he recorded that summary account of it which is in the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of his gospel. The beatitudes at the beginning are a proof of it. And at the conclusion, they who heard and did those sayings," are compared to "a man that built his house upon a rock;" though there had been nothing said to enforce the rituals of the Mosaic law.

3. And that he well understood the spirituality and the freedom of the gospel, appears from what he has recorded, ch. xv. 10-20.

4. His clear discernment of the design of the gospel dispensation appears even in his account of our Saviour's nativity, particularly in what he says, ch. i. 21, of the message of the angel to Joseph. "And thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins."

5. If he had not known that our Saviour was designed to be, or was already become, a blessing to Gentiles, he would scarcely have thought of inserting the history of the Magi coming from the east to Jerusalem, to inquire after the birth of the King of the Jews, chap. ii.

6. It is also very likely, that he understood those words of John the Baptist, recorded by him, ch. iii. 9, "God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham."

7. St. Matthew's knowledge of the calling of the Gentiles and the rejection of the Jews, may be concluded from many things recorded by him. In the history of our Lord's healing the centurion's servant at Capernaum he inserts our Lord's commendation of his faith, and that declaration : "Many shall come from the east and the west, and sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out," ch. viii. 10-12.

S. The admission of the Gentiles to equal privileges with the Jews must be intimated in the parable of the labourers hired into the vineyard at several hours of the day, ch. xx. 1-16.

9. The calling and acceptance of the Gentiles, and the

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rejection of the Jewish people, and even their overthrow are plainly declared in the parable of the vineyard let out to husbandmen, and the discourse which follows, ch. xxi. 33-46. The same things are intimated in the parable of the king that made a wedding feast for his son, which is at the beginning of the next chapter, ch. xxii. 1—14. 10. I might likewise take notice of the history of our Lord's curing the daughter of the woman of Canaan, ch. xv. 21-28.

11. It is also very likely that St. Matthew had some good knowledge, and a distinct apprehension of the extent of our Lord's kingdom, and the progress of his doctrine, when he recorded those parables in the thirteenth chapter of his gospel where our Lord has compared the kingdom of heaven, or the preaching of his gospel, to a grain of mustard-seed, the least of all seeds, but becomes a tree: to leaven, by which a large lump is leavened to a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind. And, explaining the parable of the tares, our Lord says, ver. 37, 38, "He that soweth the good seed is the son of man. field is the world." And what follows.


12. It is probable, that this evangelist had some knowledge of the gospel having been preached out of Judea, when he put down that declaration of our Lord concerning the woman, that poured the rich ointment upon his head: "Wheresoever the gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall this also, that this woman has done, be told for a memorial of her," ch. xxvi. 13.

13. In his account of the institution of the eucharist, ch. xxvi. 28. our Lord says: "This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many," that is, for all men, "for the remission of sins." And in ch. xx. 28, our Lord says: "The Son of man came-to give his life a ransom for many."

14. There is also an expression used by him once or twice, intimating, that it was some considerable space since the time of the event and his writing about it. Ch. xxviii. 8, "Wherefore that field was called the field of blood to this day." Having related the affair of the soldiers, and the directions given to them by the Jewish council to say, that "his disciples came by night, and stole him away," he adds: "And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day," ver. 15. Such an expression does not denote any certain period: but one would think, that, in this case, thereby must be intended a considerable space of time, more than eight, or ten, or fifteen years.


15. I formerly showed divers advantages of the late publication of the gospels. The life of Jesus could not be forgotten in thirty or forty years. His life and death

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were very public, as well as very extraordinary. His resurrection and ascension were most publicly attested by his apostles, and others, as we know from the book of the Acts. And from that time forward there were many, who were continually speaking of the things said and done by him, and of the evidences of his resurrection and exaltation. They were soon known to multitudes of people, small and great, and men of all ranks and characters. As St. Paul says to Festus, in a very great assembly, Acts xxvi. 26, "For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded, that none of these things are hidden from him: for this thing was not done in a corner." And was it not the cry at Thessalonica? Acts xvii. 6, "These that have turned the world upside down, are come hither also." The account of St. Paul's manner of living at Rome, about the years 61 and 62, is, that “he dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,-teaching those things, which concern the Lord Jesus Christ," Acts xxviii. 30, 31. Whilst there were men, who at the hazard of their lives taught, and others that embraced, the things concerning the Lord Jesus, they could not be forgotten. And if about thirty years after our Lord's ascension, his history was written by eye-witnesses, or their companions, it was soon enough: yea, it was the fittest time of all. At the year

sixty of our Lord's nativity, according to the vulgar æra, and later, there certainly were enough such persons, as those just mentioned, still living, to record his words and works, and more, who were willing and desirous to read written histories of him, than before; and also more to transcribe and copy out those histories for their own use, and for the use and benefit of others, than in any preceding time.

V. It remains, that we consider in what language this gospel was written because many of the ancients, whose testimonies have been lately recited, though they allow the other gospels to have been written in Greek, have delivered it as their opinion, that this gospel was written in Hebrew.

Of this I have already spoken several times, particularly, in the chapter of Papias, and in the chapter of1 Origen, See Vol. iv. p. 110-115. * See Vol. ii. p. 120.

1 Num. xxx.


and of Eusebius and Cæsarea; where also the opinions of divers learned moderns were alleged, who think it was written in Greek. To them I now add" Le Clerc, who has an argument upon this head, proper to be consulted by those who have leisure, but too long to be inserted here: and his learned successor Mr. Wetstein, who says, Here" we are of opinion, that the fathers do not so properly bear testimony, as deliver their own conjecture: which needs not to be admitted, if it be not supported by good reasons, or may be refuted by probable arguments. Sup'posing, and taking it for granted, that Matthew wrote for the Jews in Judea, they concluded that he wrote in Hebrew. But there is no weight in that reason. The Greek language was at that time much used throughout the whole Roman empire, and particularly in Judea. Papias, who first advanced this opinion, was a weak and credulous man, Nor are there in our Greek gospel any marks of its being a translation from another language.'

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Mr. Jones has a long argument, well deserving to be read, showing, that this gospel was originally written in Greek.

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Mr. Basnage is of the same side, and has argued exceeding well for it: I should transcribe him if I had room; as I have not I refer to him.

Says Dr. Jortin: In the time of Christ and his apostles the Greek was really the universal language: the New Testament is a proof of it, if proof were wanting. And this is one reason amongst many others, why St. Matthew probably wrote his gospel in Greek.' See Wetstein's N. T. p. 224. St. Matthew, ch. v. 47, 48, says: Ἔσεσθε εν ύμεις τελειδι—that is, be

“Οι τελωναι ουτω ποι8σιν.

m Vol. iv. p. 137-139. n Diss. iii. De iv. Evangeliis. .9 Neque tam facile assentimur sententiæ eorundem patrum statuentium, Matthæum scripsisse. Hebraice, hoc est, Syriace, sive Chaldaïce, quâ linguâ tunc temporis Judæi in Palæstinâ utebantur-Existimamus enim patres hic jam non testimonium dicere, sed conjecturam suam in medium proferre, non admittendam, si aut idoneis rationibus non sit fulta, aut verisimilibus argumentis refutari possit. Quod enim putant necesse fuisse ut Hebræis scribens Hebraice scriberet, verum non est; cum constet eo tempore linguam Græcam per totum imperium Romanum, et in Judæà præsertim, in usu fuisse-Videntur ergo vetustissimi Patres, et inter eos Papias, homo simplex et credulus, re non exploratâ, inani Nazaræorum jactantiæ fidem habuisse-Nullum sane in nostro Matthæo reperitur îndicium, unde colligi possit, ex aliâ in aliam linguam fuisse conversum. Plurima vero aliud suadent. Wetsten. N. T. tom. I. p. 224.

? See his Vindication of the former part of St. Matthew's gospel, ch. 17— -19. p. 180-186.

* Ann. 64. n. xiii.

See his Discourses concerning the Christian Religion, p. 176. note (o), the third edition.

not τελωναι, but τελειοι. Videtur autem Matthæus vocem τελειοι hic adhibuisse, ut τελώναις opponeret. Wetstein. Add to this, that Teλwns and TEMELOS are both derived from the same word, TEλos. So again, ch. vi. 16, we find an antithesis in the words, αφανίζεσι τα προσωπα, όπως φανωσι. Eleganter dicitur: Tegunt faciem, ut appareant, &c. Wetstein.

And many others of the same sentiment might be mentioned, who are men of great learning and good judg


I shall now propose some observations relating to this point.

1. If St. Matthew did not write till about thirty years after our Lord's ascension, we must be led to think, he would use the Greek language. That he did not write sooner, I suppose to have been shown to be very probable. If indeed there were good reasons to think his gospel was written within the space of eight years after Christ's ascension, we might well conclude, that he wrote in Hebrew. But to me it seems, that we may be fully satisfied, that Matthew did not write within that space, nor so soon as fifteen years after our Lord's ascension, nor till some good while afterwards. St. James, residing at Jerusalem, writes an epistle about the year of Christ 60, as is supposed: it is addressed" to the twelve tribes scattered abroad;" and he writes in Greek, as is allowed. Why, then, should not St. Matthew use the same language?

2. There was very early a Greek gospel of St. Matthew. It is quoted or referred to by Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, not now to mention any others: none of whom intimate, that they made use of a translation.

3. Though many of the ancients say, that St. Matthew wrote in Hebrew, they seem not to have fully believed it: for they have shown very little regard to the Hebrew edition of it. This has been particularly shown in the chapters of Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, and " Jerom, the most likely of any of the ancients to make use of that edition, if they had been persuaded that it was authentic and original.

4. There are not in our Greek gospel of St. Matthew, any marks of a translation: so said Mr. Wetstein in the passage just transcribed; and this observation was before made by us in the chapter of Papias.

• Vol. iv. p. 574–576.

" Ibid. p. 477.

Vol. iv. p. 137-140. ▾ Vol. ii. p. 120.

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