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order a declaration of those things which are most surely Written in believed among us.
ciples of Christ inquired into every circumstance of the life of
Three hypotheses bave been submitted to the world to ac-
2 Eren as they delivered them unto us, which from Written in
chief advocate in later times has been the present learned Bishop of Peterborough (S). He supposes that St. Luke in this preface alludes to the common document in question, which was known by the title Διήγησις περί των πεπληροφορημένων εν ημίν πραγμάτων, καθώς παρέδοσαν ημίν οι απ' αρχής, αυτόπται, και υπηρεται γενόμενοι του λόγου-a narrative of those things which are most firmly believed among us, even as they, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word delivered them unto us. The omission, however, of the article rñv before denynowv, is considered by the late lamented Bishop of Calcutta (9) to be fatal to this supposition. His rule is, “When a title to a book is prefixed to the book itself, the article may be omitted, but when the book is mentioned, or referred to, the article should be inserted.” The hypothesis itself, although very ingenious, is attended with so many difficulties, that it is seldom adopted. The third hypothesis is that of Mr. Veysie (k), who supposes that many of the hearers of the discourses of Christ, and the witnesses of his actions, committed to writing an account of what they had heard and seen; and from the most authenticated of these sources the Gospels were compiled. This theory indeed seems to solve the difficulty, but Bishop Gleig (i), in his excellent edition of Stackhouse, prefers the more obvious and general opinion, and therefore perhaps the least discussed, that the only common document which may be called the foundation of the four Gospels, was the preaching of our Lord Himself. Lightfoot (k), by a singular coincidence, bas given the same idea. The learned bishop quotes the valuable tract of the late Bishop Randolph. Bishop Gleig's illustration of the mode in which many of our Lord's miracles and doctrines might have been recorded, from the manner in which the extempore leetures of a Professor at Edinburgh were preserved by his pupils, is very curious, and deserves attention. “In looking up to Him, as the author of our faith and mission, and to the very words in which he was wont to dictate to them, which not only yet sounded in their ears, but were also recalled by the aid of his Holy Spirit promised (John xiv. 20.) for that very purpose, they have given us three Gospels, often agreeing in words, though not without much diversification, and always in sense.” With this hypothesis, the proface of $t. Luke seems to agree. St. Luke, originally a physician, probably one of the seventy, was a native of Antioch, and according to Bishop Pearson, a companion of St. Paul in his travels from the year 43, attending that Apostle through Phrygia, Galatia, and Mysia, to Troas (1). Ho accompanied him also to Samothrace, Neapolis, and Philippi. He was one of those who went with him, and remained with him at Jerusalem ; sailed with him in the same ship from Cesarea to Rome, and continued with him during the whole of the two years imprisonment, with the account of which he concludes his book of the Acts of the Apostles. St. Luke therefore must have had abundant opportunity of conversing with the eye-witnesses and hearers of our Lord's actions and discourses, and of making bimself acquainted from the most undeniable evidence with every circumstance which had not passed under his own immediate observation. Perhaps, as Dr. Townson judiciously remarks, he enjoyed the additional advantages of seeing the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark at Rome, the former of whom was an undoubted eye-witness; and that it is probable he left that city after the release of St. Paul from his two years' impri
A. D. the beginning were eye-witnesses, and ministers of the Written in
sonment, and went to Achaia, where he is generally supposed
It is my wish to point out in these notes the peculiar pro-
The Gospel of St. Luke was always, from the very moment
(a) Vide Gill's Comment. in loc.—Jones's Full and new Method of
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect under- Written in standing of all things from the very first, to write unto
Achaia. thee in order, most excellent Theophilus“,
4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed.
Inspiration, written in reply to the insidious work of Mr. Hone, enti-
3 Macknight, in the notes to his Harmony, (4to. London, 1763, p. 2,) quotes Gomarus, Cameron, Capellus, Witsius, and Wolf, as referring this expression “ of the word" to Christ, one of whose titles is Aóyos roŨ Oɛ07, Apoc i, 2. xix. 13. Archdeacon Nares has adopted the same opinion, (Nares, Veracity of the Evangelists, p. 40–43.) Should this remark bé correct, it will prove, wbat many will consider a material point, that our Lord was distinguished by the word Logos before it was applied in the same sense by St. Job. See the notes to the next section.
. These simple coincidences confirm Whitby that the Theophilus here mentioned was a real personage. Lardner does not venture to decide. A passage from Josephus, quoted by Lightfoot, has escaped the attention of both these writers: “ Řing Agrippa, removing Jesus, the son of Gamaliel, from the high priesthood, gave it to Matthias, the son of TheophilusTOWKEV autov Maršia tw Osopimov.” Antiq. lib. xx. cap. 8.-It proves that a man of high rank among the Jews, of the name of Theophilus, was cotemporary with St. Luke, and might possibly be the person whom he addressed. The supposition ihat he was a real person, whether at Antioch or Jerusalem, strengthens the authenticity of the narrative.
The Divinity, Humanity, and Office of Christ.
JOHN I. 1-18. 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was written at
Ephesus. with God, and the Word was God.
s It is necessary to devote particular attention to this introduction to St. John's Gospel, as it has been made the subject of more extensive and disingenuous controversy than perhaps any other passage in the whole of the New Testament. The Preface of St. Luke bas been eloquently described as “the beautiful gate of the Christian Temple, the entrance into the glorious and royal fabric of the Gospels (a);" while that of St. John may be denominated the solid and deep foundation on which it rests.
To understand the expressions of any writer, particularly when they are at all dubious, or liable to misrepresentation, wo must endeavour to place ourselves in the situation of thoso to whom they were addressed. (6) Dr. Lardner fixes the date of the publication of St. John's Gospel as early as 68, and (c) Michaelis as early as 70. The weight of the evidence, however, appears greatly in favour of the much later date 96 or 97. St. John evidently speaks in his Gospel to those who were not well acquainted with many Jewish customs; as he gives various explanations of things, which would be entirely unnecessary, if the persons for whom he principally wrote had been already conversant with the usages of the Jews (d). And we might have expected that one, at least, of the apostles would live after the destruction of Jerusalem, not only as a witness of the accomplishment of those prophecies he had himself heard delivered, but to sanction and confirm the doctrines set forth by the other apostles in the books of the New Testament, and to communicate his final instructions to the Church after that fearful and appall. ing event. But either of these dates will be consistent with the whole, or with the greater part of the theory we are now about to consider, which will enable us more perfectly to comprehend the great object which St. John had in view, when he wrote his introduction to this Gospel. In all our inquiries into the New Testament, we must ever bear in mind that the Jews were always the first to be addressed (e). They were the chosen people of God -his eldest born-the countrymen of the apostles--for whose salvation the apostles were always most anxious, and to whose conversion they devoted all the fervour and zeal of their first labours. They were the elect guardians of the ancient prophecies, and the favoured witnesses of their accomplishment. The first question, therefore, which proposes itsel is, What sense would the Jewish reader attach to the account given by the Evangelist of the Logos; or, in other words, what were the sentiments of the Jews in the time of St. John concerning the Logos, and in what respects did he design either to confirm or reetify the opinions of his countrymen on that subject (f)?
Throughout the whole of the Old Testament, from the history of the fall of män to the book of Malachi, we read of the appearance of a wonderful personage, wbich is sometimes called Jehovah, sometimes the Angel Jehovah, or Jehovah Angel, or the Angel of Jehovah (9). In addition to numerous divines who have demonstrated the same thing, Dr. Allix, in his valuable, though sometimes inaccurate, work on the Testimony