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nature of his kingdom, and his prophecy on mount Olivet, are examples. He has also wonderfully united simplicity and energy in relating the replies of his Master to the cavils of his adversaries. He has, at the same time, his peculiarities in point of diction. Of these I know. none more remarkable than the phrase 'n Baochela TwV spavw, the kingdom, or reign of heaven, which is used by him about thirty times, and by no other sacred writer. The other Evangelists, in parallel passages, always say 'n Bagiaela T8 Sed, the kingdom, or reign of God, an expression which occurs only five times in Matthew. Being early called to the apostleship, he was an eye and ear witness of most of the things which he relates. And, though I do not think it was the scope of any of these historians, to adjust their narratives by the precise order of time wherein the events happened ; there are some circumstances which incline me to think, that Matthew has approached at least as near that order as any of them. They do not call their works histories; and as to the import of the title evayyelov commonly given, it is, in this application, well explained by Justin Martyr, a writer of the second century, who makes it equivalent to anouvnuoveruata, memorable things, or memoirs, according to the explanation of this word given by Johnson, which he defines, An account of transactions familiarly written.

$ 27. It has been shown, that we have reason to consider Matthew's Greek Gospel, which we at present possess, as a version from the original, written in the language spoken in Palestine in our Lord's time, and during the subsistence of the Jewish commonwealth. But as to the translator, nothing but conjecture has ever been advanced by the learned. The obscurity in which the question about the translator lies, can nowise affect the credibility of the fact, that it is a translation. Who ever doubted that the Syriac New Testament, and the old Italic, are translations? Yet the translators are equally unknown with the Greek interpreter of Matthew's Hebrew Gospel. This is oftenest the case with ancient versions; and we have reason to believe that the present is very ancient, it having been made before those freedoms were taken with the original, which have justly brought dishonour on the Nazarene and the Ebionite copies. 1

§ 28. That Matthew's Gospel was the first published, is another opinion, as was hinted already, which rests on the concurrent voice of antiquity, the same foundation with that on which our belief is built that Matthew was the author, and that the language

in which he wrote his Gospel, was that kind of Hebrew which was spoken at that time in Judea. Notice was taken of Matthew's Gospel, and of Mark's, very early in the church, and before we find any

direct mention of Luke's and of John's. The first who expressly mentions all the four Evangelists, is Ireneus, who mentions them as having written in the same order wherein they appear to have

1

been arranged in the Bible in his time, and wherein they have continued ever since. Some transcribers have, indeed, affected to arrange them differently, putting the two Apostles before the other two, who were only Evangelists. But they seem to have done this, from an opinion of the comparative rank of the writers, without controverting the order in which the Gospels were written. In the Cambridge manuscript, which is followed by some other manuscripts less considerable, the order is Matthew, John, Luke, Mark. But Matthew's title to the first place does not appear,

in

any view of the matter, ever to have been questioned among the ancients. Some, of late, have thought themselves warranted to assign the priority in point of time to the Evangelist Luke. Their reasons for this opinion I shall consider in the preface to that Gospel.

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THE

GOSPEL BY MATTHEW.

SECTION I.

THE NATIVITY.

35. 38; 27.

1. The lineage of Jesus Christ son of David, son Lu. 3 ; 23. 2 of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac. Isaac be- Gen. 21 ; 2. 3 gat Jacob. Jacob begat Judah and his brothers. 25; 24: 29; 3 Judah had Pharez and Zarah by Tamar. Pha, Ruth 4 ; 18. 4 rez begat Hezron. Hezron begat Ram. Ram

begat Aminadab. Aminadab begat Nahshon. Nah5 shon begat Salmon. Salmon had Boaz by Rahab. 6 Boaz had Obed by Ruth. Obed begat Jesse. Jesse 1 Sam. 16; 1.

begat David the king. David the king had Solo-17, 12. 2 7 mon, by her who had been wife of Uriah. Solomon 1 Ch. 3; 10

begat Rehoboam. Rehoboam begat Abia. Abia 8 begat Asa. Asa begat Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat

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