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the[A$s of the Apostles, proves an historian, worthy of.] all- credit. Hisi .narration if $ verified by an appeal toprophecy^ but that of the pretended MatthewJ^falsiried by it. Luke then, who; as, he truely assures his friend, Theophilus, td-whorn, h,ei addressed his two treatises, e had-p?rfe.ct uader standing of all things from ithe very first,' having received, his account from the apostles themselves, and was, moreover, the companion of Paul in his apostolic travels, I regard. as a .genuine; evangelist, who gives a, faithful rplation of, Christ, and of his Gospel, as preached tby: Christ.himfelf, .and,by his_ap,qstlesin,genefal^ and by Paul in particular: Not but tba.t.a -dis- j cerning eye, and an attentive mind, by comparing a passage or two of his Gospel, with 'the sure word of prophecy,' the ununerring test of the veracity of evangelists, may discover very suspicious tokens of Christian Platonists, blending' their 'vain philosophy' with his Gospel simplicity,, in order ]to make Luke speak the same'language with the justly exceptionable parts of what is called the Gospel according id Matthew.
That jesus was the real son of Joseph* 0% Son of Man, and consequently himself a tnaft, in opposition to those who alledge, that Jesus was only so stiled, and was merely the nominal, not the real son of Joseph, is capable of proof from this circumstaneej that no such modification is affixt by the evangelists to this point of their doctrine, one passage, as I before observed, out of four excepted; which is so far from amounting to a proof that the remaining three mould be so understood, that, on the contrary, these being free from such modification furnish a strong presumptive argument in favor of the spuriousrress of the fourth pasiage, which contains it.
This presumptive argument is corroborated by the opinion of a valuable correspondent, whose well-founded doubts, respecting the authenticity, not only of the parenthesis, 'as was supposedt' which occurs in Luke iii. 23. but also of the whole genealogy contained in that chapter, I shall transcribe for your serious consideration* They were sent to me in -answer to some suspicions, which I had expressed, in a letter to him, of the said extraordinary parenthesis, fehthesis as an interpolated Forgery. His Words are, * The parenthesis you mention
* in Saint Luke, is; Without dispute; ex
* ceedingly suspicious: And; fdf mybwri *' part; I suspect the whole of the genealo
* gy; which is surely Very bddly placed;
* as well as most abruptly introduced; Saint "* IsUke; we know, was the friend arid
* conipaiiioh of Saint Paul $ and what Saint
* Paul's opinion was about such genealogies we learn vdry clearly front iTim.i.4. •* andTittis iii.g.which makes it highly im4 probable, that any of his intimates should J* attempt so trace out any genealogy at all. '* Before the 'Babylonish captivity, the Mo
* faic law against the alienation of their pa
* trimony made it both necessary and easy 'to preserve correct genealogies of every k ^ewisli family; but that event must inevi'A tably have occasioned such confusion, 'and even destruction; among both their
* public and private records; that, in the
* times of the apostles, disputes about their
* precise genealogies must have been, as
* Saint Paul calls them; *' vain and endless/' .1 Had the Jewish magistrates been inclined
* to acknowledge the completion of the '* prophecies, in the person of our Savior, * in other respects, they .were perhaps tb/ *' .only people th^t coulcf, £ff*my could, haye 'settled Jbis authentic genealogy; but their 'incredulity made th^nv regardless of. that 'circumstance, and it can be of no use or Christ Was to be/bornfroir/a woman "alone, uhbegotten by a man. ^ In the first place I sdc:tio reason for- supposing; that' the expres-. ston; "her feed/ :f elates to'the'birth of.' Christ at ail, much less to*TiTs supposed merely maternal birth.: The expression is . general; and consequently applicable to all succeeding generations of men, Eve's" posterity in the aggregate. Secondly, I apprehend, that the propagation of the "human specie* by the feed lofta&h, deposited",' 'irrr- • pregna^^ gra'duaHj :matufed fo: a? perfect foetus,- in the wofi>b"of w*Om&n;Jart(f niftJthaf! state pfoceedifig' from- it; insufficient to denominate the orFs'pring/eiTtti-'the'feed * of'maripor- the 'feed - of wbrnati,':-and to jB'strfjr.-ime m: regardm^ it % *:pIteT "feed"/" till it pleases God that hurr?ari creatures be; generated/''without the "t'onburretit- instrir*'** mentality lof 'childrbearing womeni* Be-i fides,-:'.the-fitness of* this, -expr^sllcfrkIff: thd passage referred to is ,sejf-evident. It is there said,' I,' God;; " will put enmity-betweea thee/ the serpent, 'and the woman;:' It'is therefore more natural > to:-add,' ' and between thy'seed and her "feed/ than between thy feed iand.ithe,feeli of man, in a pastagii where the man is not mentioned.
* importance to any other people. Besides, '*. whyufho.itrd. Saint. Luke sajjy,the genca,' logy any . higher than 1 .David? - Ijso/ body could,doubt his descent from Adam.
* Yet had^ that useless, .half of the genealogy 'been omj^ted, njobody could have received
'' the, least degree of satisfaction frorn^it.
rv. The proofs" of 'our" Lord's - Messiahslup.
* brought both by' Luke and Paul,ame 'abundantly sufficient . to convince ^u§, 'that' even' the genealogical circumstapee