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simply as putative father. And such being most plainly the case, how comes he to sustain such a relation ? Because, the natural reply is, he was the husband of Mary, the actual mother of Jesus. May it not be, then, that as a putative father of Jesus,

i. e. as the husband of Mary, he is here affirmed to sustain the relation of son to Heli? May not the son-in-law of Heli, moreover, and perhaps his adopted son also, be called son, according to the Hebrew usage ? At all events, there is something here in the language of Luke which claims particular notice, and deserves more investigation than Mr. Norton or the commentators in general have given it. Does not Naomi call Ruth and Orpah her daughters, when they were merely the wives of her two sons ? See Ruth 1: 11.

Let it be noted, that all the Evangelists of the New Testament regard it as a plain matter of fact, that Christ is the son of David. Paul says, in so many words : toŨ vioû avroŨ TOū γενομένου εκ σπέρματος Δαυΐδ κατά σάρκα, Rom. 1: 3. Christ then, in his human nature, was a real, not a merely putative, son of David. But if neither the genealogy of Matthew nor Luke proves this point, where is the proof to be found ? It might indeed be true, that neither of these evangelists has given us the genealogy of Mary, and still she may have been of the race of David. But would it not seem very strange, when the Jews made so much of this point (see Luke 20: 41), and when it was a most evident expectation of the whole nation, even of the lowest class of people, that the Messiah would be an actual son of David, that no one of the Evangelists should have given us a hint on this subject, which would shew that he was any thing more than a mere putative son of David, and this because his foster-father was descended from that king ?

I have another suggestion to make; which is, that on the ground that Luke has given Joseph's genealogy as a real and not as a putative son of Heli, then either the Gospel of Luke or of Matthew (our canonical Matthew) must have lost all credit soon after their publication. Every circumstance conspires to make the impression on us, that the genealogy of Matthew belongs to Joseph, and is intended to present him as a real descendent of those named as his ancestors. We have seen, moreover, that Cerinthus, near the close of the very age of the apostles, used this genealogy for his own peculiar purposes, in regard to establisbing the human origin of the Saviour. We know that Cerinthus, Justin Martyr, Celsus, and the Syriac translator, all found Matthew's genealogy in their copies of his Gospel. Now if the genealogy of Luke was regarded, at that period, as contradicting that of Matthew; and it was also known that a genuine Hebrew Matthew was in existence which omitted the genealogy, and this saved all appearances of contradiction ; how is it possible to account for it, that the early churches did not at once embrace the opportunity thus offered of being freed from the difficulty ? Either they did not actually find any serious difficulty, at a very early period ; or else they were unaccountably remiss and negligent in attention to this perplexing subject. If they found no difficulty, it must be because they regarded Luke as not contradicting Matthew ; which could happen, only in case they supposed Luke to give the genealogy of Joseph as son-in-law of Heli. Any other mode of conciliation seems to be so nugatory, that it is hardly worth a discussion. If they found difficulty, why did they not resort at once to the obvious method of freeing themselves from it, by receiving at once the Hebrew Matthew of the Ebionites as genuine, and thus omitting the two first chapters, or at least the genealogy ?

But this is not all. There is another point of view which seems to make the matter in question plainer still. Matthew (in case he inserted the genealogy), and Luke also, must have taken their genealogies from the public tables, or at any rate from the family records. They could not have framed a genealogy of their own, i. e. one which was in any measure factitious. Had either of them done this, as soon as his Gospel was published the unbelieving Jews would have gone at once to the family records, and falsified the Gospel. Were there not Jews malignant and cunning enough to do this? And were there not members even of the Saviour's family, i. e. near relatives according to the fleshi, who did not believe on him? Jobo 7: 5. Did the vigilance of unbelieving Jews sleep when the Gospels were first published—that vigilance which had persecuted to banishment and blood the early Christians? This will not be said. What was here to be done, then, when a factitious genealogy was published by a Christian writer of seeming authority? Nothing more need to be done in order utterly to overthrow the credit of his so-called Gospel, than to investigate the family records of Joseph and Mary, and bring before the public the true state of the case. Was this done? We have no account of it. Not a whisper even in Justin Martyr, to tell us that the Jews had discredited, or could discredit, the genealogies ; and yet he gives all the Jewish objections to the Gospels, current in his day.

But let us put the subject in still another attitude. Matthew or Luke, (the objector inay select which he pleases), publishes a genealogy which he knew to be factitious. Did not both of these writers know, that every opposing aud malignant Jew had it in his power at once to discredit the whole of his narration ? They must have possessed less understanding than we give them credit for, not to have known this ; yea, they must even have been deficient in common sense.

But it will be said here, the supposition now is, that Matthew did not himself publish a genealogy. Be it so then, for the sake of discussion; still the case is very little if any the more favourable for those who maintain this. Cerinthus had a genealogy ; Justin had one ; Celsus had one; the Greek translator of Matthew (if there was one) found one in his Hebrew copy of Matthew, as Mr. Norton himself concedes. Now as this translation (if it were ever made) must have been made in the first century, how came the difficulties about the genealogy then to be overlooked? There was no point of time during that period, when there were not keen sighted and malignant Jews, who would have exposed the inconsistencies and errors of such a Gospel of Matthew, had that been liable to confutation. The family of Jesus, i. e. at least some branches of his kinsmen after the flesh, must have been still surviving, and genealogy was a thing that could always be easily verified.

What remains then for us to believe, except that the earliest Christians did not see, or did not find, the difficulties in the genealogies which Mr. Norton finds. If they did not, it must have been because they viewed one of them as being a genealogy of Joseph as son-in-law. On any other ground the case is too plain to admit of any serious doubt.

Julius Africanus (A. 210) as quoted by Eusebius (H. Ecc. I. 7) shews a somewhat different state of feeling on the subject of the genealogies, from what we must suppose had existed in the very early ages of Christianity. He strenuously endeavoured to reconcile the apparent discrepancies between them; and he testifies that others before him had in various ways attempted the same thing. Consequently these must have been writers within the second century. Whatever might have been the cause of it, it would seem that abroad, i. e. at a

distance from Palestine and among the Greeks and Romans, the subject of genealogies was not regarded in the same light as in and near Palestine. Hence it is easy to suppose, that difficulties would spring up; and they did in fact exist. But when they had sprung up, why did it never enter into the mind of any of the ancient fathers, that they might all be easily disposed of, by merely adopting that copy of the original Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, which was in circulation among the Ebionites? Yet this obvious remedy was not adopted nor even proposed. On the contrary, Julius Africanus, as copiously quoted by Eusebius and with marked approbation, endeavours to conciliate the whole difficulty by the following ingenious conjecture, viz. ; Matthan (the proper grandfather of Joseph) was a descendant from David in the line of Solomon; Melchi putative grandfather of Joseph sprung from David in the line of Nathan ; Nathan married and begat Jacob (the proper father of Joseph), and then died; Melchi married his widow and begat Heli, so that Jacob and Heli were uterine brothers, the one being the real father of Joseph, and the other the putative father, i. e. father-in-law, inasmuch as he was the husband of Joseph's mother. Thus Africanus thinks, and Eusebius with him, that all the serious difficulties may be removed. But not with good reason, as the subject appears to my mind. For still there is no proof at all on this ground, that Christ is any thing more than a merely putative son of David. Julius Africanus, and after him Eusebius, does indeed suppose that Joseph married, according to the Jewish law, within his own tribe, i. e. the tribe of Judah ; but surely the family of David did not constitute this whole tribe ? This supposition, therefore, leaves open a wide chasm in the series of proof which seems necessary, in order to satisfy the mind that Jesus was the actual son of David. Besides, it is utterly improbable that the genealogy of Joseph should have, at one and the same time, been reckoned two different ways, either in the public or family tables. The only tenable position seems to be, then, that Luke reckons the pedigree of Joseph as son-in-law. The language of Luke is certainly peculiar, where he speaks of Joseph and Jesus. So long ago as the time of Julius Africanus this was remarked ; for he says, as quoted by Euseb. in I. 7: την γαρ κατά νόμον γένεσιν επισημότερον ουκ ήν εξειπείν και το έγέννησεν επί της τοιασδε παιδοποΐας άχρι τέλους εσίωπε i. e. he could not have more plainly designated a legal (i. e. Vol. XII. No. 32.


putative) mode of reckoning generations (than he has done, in Matt. I.]; he has even omitted the word éyévvnoe through the genealogy down to the very end.'

Without resting the force of the argument, however, on the somewhat peculiar diction of Luke, it is enough to say, that two yenealogies so discrepant as that of his and of Matthew, could not have existed in ihe primitive age, in two Gospels, without sacrificing the credit of one of these Gospels ; I mean that such must have been the effect, in case they were both designed to be, and were counted as, the regular genealogies of Joseph. Two actual genealogies of him, and two that differed so inuch in regard to bim in the same relation, he could not have. It is an absurdity on the face of it. One of the two, therefore, must have been of bim as son-in-law, and not improbably as adopted Son. Then all is easy, natural, reconcilable, explicable. It was foreigners, who did not know how to estimate the Jewish genealogies, that first began to doubt and to find difficulty, and thus it is at the present day. Yet the very nature of the case shews, that such difficulties were not felt to exist, when the Gospels were first published.

To suppose, as Mr. Norton does, (p. Ivi.), that some Hebrew convert, who composed the narration in Matt. I. II., shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem, found a genealogy of some Joseph, which he mistook for the Joseph in question, and adopted it as a part of his narration; and then that this double mistake should be backed up by a third, viz., the reception of all this as a genuine Gospel of Matthew—such a reception also while the Ebionites had in circulation a genuine Matthew from which these chapters are excluded—to suppose all this, is more conjecture than we can indulge. It strangles us if we attempt to swallow it. Besides ; Mr. Norton has argued from p. 27 of his book and onward at great length, to shew the improbability, or rather the impossibility, that all the copies of the Gospels should in any way whatever have been corrupted to any extent of serious importance. He has arrayed a host of arguments against this; and a strong and well armed host it is, and, as it seems to me, quite invincible. But there is not a single argument there employed by him, in defence of the Gospels at large, which may not be employed against him here with the same power. An addition of so much, so important, so difficult matter as is contained in Matt. I. II. by any writer that lived only me ten or twenty years after this

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