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ABIEL ABBOT LIVERMORE.
MARK, LUKE, AND JOHN.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1842, by
ABIEL ABBOT LIVERMORE, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.
A FEW particulars respecting Mark have been gleaned from the New Testament and early ecclesiastical history, but not enough to form a very distinct portrait of his life and character.
This evangelist was also called John, his surname being Mark, by which, as living at Rome, he would best be known, for Marcus is Latin. Acts xii. 12. His mother, whose name, like that of the mother of Jesus, was Mary, resided at Jerusalem. She was sister to Barnabas, and the apostles and disciples often resorted to her house. Maternal piety was blessed with a son, who was to be one of the four immortal historians of Jesus Christ. Col. iv. 10.
Some of the Fathers affirmed that Mark belonged to the Seventy, sent out by our Lord, during his ministry; but the account is doubtful. For he is supposed to have been converted to Christianity by Peter. 1 Pet. v. 13. He was the companion of Paul and his uncle Barnabas, in their travels, Acts xii. 25, but left them in Asia Minor, and returned, much to the displeasure of Paul, Acts xiii. 13, xy. 37-39, who was, however, afterwards reconciled to him, as would appear from 2 Tim. iv. 11. Mark sailed to Cyprus with Barnabas, Acts xv. 39, and still later went to Rome, Col. iv. 10, Phil. 24, where, according to the unanimous voice of Christian antiquity, he composed his Gospel under the sanction and aid of Peter. Thence, we are told, on slighter authority, he sailed to Egypt, became bishop of the church of Alexandria, and was martyred, vindicating, by his death, the great cause to which he had long given his life.
His Gospel is conjectured to have been written after that of Matthew, and probably about A. D. 64 or 65. It was designed for the Christians of Rome and Italy. Hence it contains some Latin terms in the original; also, explanations of Jewish manners and customs; but has few references to the Jewish Scriptures, and omits the genealogy of Christ. Mark is understood to have drawn his information chiefly from Peter; and it has been observed that none of the Gospels is more full upon the faults of that apostle, and none more chary of his praise. His name is more often mentioned in this Gospel than in the others, in the same narrations.
Mark has given a briefer and more imperfect history of Jesus than his co-workers, but his account abounds with kindred impressions of truth and reality, contains all the essential facts of our Lord's mission and ministry, and from its brevity was none the less adapted to be circulated in a foreign land, and to gain the favorable attention of the busy crowds of the mistress of the world. In style, it is plain and unadorned, but more diffuse than