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He appears to have taken but little pains in this cause : for he so nearly copies afterOsiander, that he evidently seems rather to defend his opinion, than to advance a new one.
There was an Harmony published with the Rhemish Testament, in 1582, in the confused method of the first Harmonists : which was also followed by Beaux-Ami, whose Harmony and Annotations were first printed in 1583.
Gerrard Mercator, the great geographer, published a Harmony in 1590, wherein he keeps steadily to the present order of St. Matthew, transposing the others; but with more caution than Perpinian.
The Harmony of Martin Chemnitius, who died in 1586, was revised by Lyser, and afterwards by John Gerhard, who entirely approved of his plan. Chemnitius too much followed the method of the first Harmonists: though he saw and reformed several of their errors, and sometimes recedes from the present order of all the three first Gospels. Perkins published at Cambridge, in 1597, an abstract from Chemnitius, who, indeed, was chiefly followed by all Harmonists, with very little variation, for half a century. “ Among these,” says Pilkington, “I must particularly mention Sebastian Barradius, who was called, for his great zeal, knowledge, and industry, the Apostle of Portugal. Though Barradius followed nearly the same method with Chemnitius, he cannot well be supposed to have copied after him, as he appears to have been engaged in this work before that was published: and he deserves our thanks, for collecting the various opinions of all the ancient Fathers, upon every particular mentioned in the Gospels, with great care and fidelity, which renders his work a valuable Commentary."
Thomas Cartwright, who published his Harmony about 1630, makes the present order of St. Mark his rule for method, but takes great liberties in the transposition of St. Matthew and St. Luke.
In 1654, was published the second part of the Annals of Archbishop Usher, in which is comprised a Harmony of the
Gospels, by Dr. John Richardson, Bishop of Ardagh. The Bishop supposes that St. Matthew hath alone neglected the order of time, which is regularly and constantly observed by the other three Evangelists. St. John, indeed, takes so little notice of what is mentioned by the others, and so plainly appears to have followed the proper series of history, that the freest pens have rarely taken occasion to transpose his order: Tatian, Comestor, Ludolphus, and Mann, place chap. vi. before chap. v. The value of Dr. Richardson's work has been acknowledged by Leclerc, 1701, Whiston, 1702, Bedford, 1730, &c. and the foreigners, Du Pin, and Butini; who, though they differ from Bishop Richardson, and among themselves in many particulars, yet all agree to follow the general method here mentioned.
Dr. Lightfoot published part of his Harmony in 1644, and the whole in 1654. He adheres to the present order of St. Mark and St. Luke, which he never transposes except in this instance : Sect. Matthew. I Mark. I Luke.
viii. 23-ix. 2. iv. 36-v. 22. viji. 22—41.
The Harmonia Evangelica of Monsieur Toinard, published in 1707, has deservedly met with very general approbation ; for he not only pursued the true method in general, but he was possessed of great learning and judgment; and he applied himself, with great care and diligence, to settle the several circumstances, mentioned by the different Evangelists. In this laborious work every sentence, and even every word, is harmonized.
When I remembered that the valuable Diatessaron of Professor White, and the Harmonies of Newcome, Doddridge, Pilkington, Michaelis, and others, must be added to this list, I confess I contemplated the proposed completion
of the arrangement of the Scriptures with some dismay. To peruse all these works, even if they could be procured, was impossible-to reject them all would be an act of absurd presumption. The most patient labour can add but little to the good which has been already effected, and the researches of our predecessors must be the only solid foundation of every attempt to be useful.
The four Gospels having been written, as I have represented, for the use of some particular class of persons, and on various occasions in which they were interested, may be considered as letters. Each was penned on the plan of an Epistle, containing a narrative. In letter-writing, digressions, interruptions, sudden desertions and resumptions of the subject, frequently occur. If I had received four letters from a distant country, each of which contained an account of the life and death of a kind friend-each informing me of some event, or circumstance, which the other had omittedeach preserving the same principal circumstances, but varying in the order of the minuter events--I should endeavour to ascertain the probable order of the events related, by first selecting those which were common to all; and then by arranging, as probably consecutive, those which were made to follow each other, in any two of the letters. For the right placing of the events which might appear unconnected, certain rules must be laid down, as they would be suggested by the plan of the writer, the nature of his style, the notation of time and place, and the latitude to be assigned to the various particles, which denote nearness, or remoteness, or connexion. It would be necessary to observe, whether my correspondents were more intent on representing the substance of what is spoken, than the words of the speaker; or whether they neglected accurate order in the detail of particular incidents, though they pursue a good general method : whether detached and distant events are sometimes joined together on account of a sameness in the scene, the person, the cause, or the consequences—whether, in such concise
histories as are contained in letters, transitions were not often made from one fact to another, without any intimation that important matters intervened. By thus entering into the manner of my various correspondents, I should more effectually make them their own harmonists.
The same rules, which might be thus applied to human compositions, are applicable to the Gospels; the superior veneration, which is due to the latter as inspired compositions, rendering greater care and attention necessary, than if they had been writings of less moment. Chemnitius has laid down several rules in his Prolegomena, which had evidently been attended to by Pilkington, Newcome, and Doddridge. Though Chemnitius had rendered his work comparatively useless to me as a guide, on account of his generally preferring the order of St. Matthew ; his rules are so valuable, that I shall add some further notice of them, to enable the reader to judge more correctly of the propriety of the order which I have adopted in the following work.
It might have been supposed, that St. Luke was the proper guide to be followed, on account of the expression he has used in his preface. This has been considered in its place. Chemnitius' remark is just-kabetñs non præcise exactum ordinem in omnibus; sed quod altius ordiri, et historiam ab initio repetere, ac deinceps continua narratione distincte, et distribute, quasi per gradus, reliqua velit addere. Rejecting the notion of Osiander, (and with him of Macknight, and all other Harmonists who have followed the same plan,) that each Evangelist wrote in their exact order the circumstances they have related, Chemnitius proceeds, as if the Gospels had been written on the plan of letters, to notice those facts which must be the resting places of the Harmonizers. We are to ascertain the number of passovers -the greater events between each-the principal journeyings of our Lord, and how he was at certain towns or places at certain times. His birth, baptism, death, resurrection,
and ascension, must of course begin and end every Harmony.
The Evangelists, we may presume, generally relate things in their order; unless they are reminded of other events, which appear to be suggested by the mention of a name, or an event. Thus St. Matthew unites the calling and mission of the twelve, though the latter was long after the former. St. Luke inserts the story of the death of the Baptist long before it took place; being reminded of it by the event he had related. Mark unites also the captivity and death of John.
Newcome has given many additional instances to those collected by Chemnitius, to shew that many general notices of time do not always imply an immediate succession of events, such as “ at that time"_" in those days"-EPITATūv dèmidày dèéyéveto dè-każ é oùv^" on one of those days," as they were coming into Capernaum, &c. &c.
Those notes of time, however, are to be particularly observed, which appear to imply continuance, or are more definite—“ When he came down from the mountain, he went," &c. &c.—" When he had finished these words"-" In that hour”?“ On the third day"_" On the eighth day" (n).
Observe where the omission of events seems to be implied, as in John v. 1; vi. 1; vii. 1. The expressions perd raūra, and idoù, kai tóre, are thus used.
When all the Evangelists agree in the order of certain events, their united consent ought not to be disturbed.
When two Evangelists agree in any particular order, and a third differs, the two are to be preferred to the third ; unless very evident reasons appear to the contrary. '
When two Evangelists relate the same fact, and place different facts after it, observe the stricter notation of time in one than the other.
(n) See the notes to the passages in which these expressions occur.