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however I do not believe), yet in the present state of criticism we are obliged to attribute these chapters to Matthew. The question now before us is not whether he has truly said or written this or that, or erroneously, but whether he actually said or wrote it. That question is settled, until some evidence yet unknown, at any rate yet unproduced, shall be developed, which will give a new aspect to the whole matter.
At the close of this somewhat protracted investigation, I cannot refrain from adding a few considerations, which are quite different from and opposite to the general nature of those suggested by Mr. Norton, and examined in the preceding pages. If they do not go to prove the genuineness of Matthew I. II., they may afford some aid in removing suspicion that these chapters are an interpolation.
It has often been remarked, and truly, that no one of the Evangelists refers so frequently to the Old Testament, or quotes from it so often, as Matthew. I say this has been truly observed; for Matthew plainly quotes at least thirty-five times from the ancient Scriptures, while Mark quotes eighteen, Luke twenty, and John fourteen times. I reckon bere only the plain and obvious cases of quotation. The references in all the Gospels to sentiments contained in the Old Testament, would add to the list of appeals to the ancient Scriptures; but these are proportionally as frequent in Matthew as in the other Evangelists.
This characteristic in Matthew has been accounted for by many on the ground that he wrote more immediately for the benefit of the Jews, to whom frequent appeals to the Old Testament would be peculiarly gratifying. Matthew, it has been thought, labours in a peculiar manner to prove the Messiahship of Jesus from the predictions of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Whether these views be well grounded or not, it is still true that a prominent characteristic in bis style is such as has now been stated. How then does the style or manner of chapters I. II. compare with this ? Just as we should expect it would in case these chapters were from the hand of Matthew. No less than five appeals are here made to the Old Testament, viz. in 1: 23. 2: 6. 2: 15. 2: 18. 2: 23. Was it a matter of mere accident, or even a matter of design, that the supposed interpolation, or rather the writer of a narrative which another and subsequent redactor interpolated, thus imitated the manner of Matthew ? I verily believe it was neither. There is no imitation here, but the hand of an original writer.
Again ; Matthew is the only one of all the evangelists who has taken any notice of dreams, as means of divine admonition. In 27: 19 he tells us of a dream by the wife of Pilate, warning her that Jesus, accused before the tribunal of her husband, was innocent. In Matt. 1: 20. 2: 12, 22, we have the like occurrences.
Of all the Evangelists or writers of the New Testament, Matthew is the only one who uses the word ovao, dream. This is employed in 27: 19, and in all the passages just referred to in chapters I. II. Is this a mere accidental thing, belonging to the translator of Matthew, as Mr. Norton would have us believe; or does it look like a mode of expression familiar to the original author of the whole book ?
It would be easy to produce a number of idioms or phrases employed in chapters I. II. and afterwards in the other part of Matthew's Gospel, but found no where else in the New Testa
But I forbear, lest I should tire the patience of my readers. They may be found in Gersdorf's Beiträge ; who has expended incredible labour on the examination of chapters I. II. .Mr. Norton would probably say: 'These peculiarities belong to the translator of Matthew, and can as well be accounted for in this way as in any other?" Yet some of them are of such a nature, that I should doubt whether this could be made credible. They seem to characterize original composition rather than translation.
Thus have I gone through with the details of this subject ; and I now submit the whole to the reader, and to Mr. Norton himself, and ask the question, whether any reader of Matt. I. II. and of the rest of his Gospel, would have ever thought that the whole book is a translation from another language, or that different parts of it were composed by different writers, unless some doubts about the facts in chapters I. II. had set him to making an effort to get rid of this part of the book ? After reading again and again, in order to see whether I could detect any sensible difference in style, language, mode of thinking, order and manner of narrating, or even in the use of the small particles of transition, etc., I must confess unhesitatingly that I have been able to discover no such difference. I think Mr. Norton himself, who appears to understand the laws of lower criticism so well, would ever have doubted, if some a priori views of what Matthew ought, or ought not, to comprise in his Gospel, had not led him to doubt,
I cannot resist the persuasion, that if there be a clear case in respect to the genuineness of any passage of the New Testament which has ever been controverted, the one before us is such
Most fully do I assent to the words of Griesbach, at the close of his critical examination of this subject (Comm. Crit. II. 55), who says: “ Cum igitur paruin roboris insit argumentis omnibus adversus duorum istorum capitum authentiam prolatis, genuina ea esse censemus ; ipsaque inde ab initio, cum primum in publicam lucem emitteretur Matthaei Evangelium, huic adhaesisse, ac in autographo seu archetypo jam extitisse, nulli dubitamus.'
The SCRIPTURAL IDEA OF ANGELS.
By Lewis Mayer, D. D. late Prof. in the Theol. Sem. of the Germ. Ref. Church, York, Pa.
The existence of a world of spirit is as much a subject of observation and experience as the existence of a world of matter. The human soul is a spirit manifesting itself in the affections and operations of mind; there is a spirit in the brute which is the seat of sensation, of memory, of pleasure and of pain; the reproduction of animals, the vegetation of plants, the crystalization of minerals, and chemical agencies, are not the effects of inert matter, but must be referred ultimately to a cause which acts spontaneously and rationally. Ancient philosophy conceived that cause to be a soul of the world, and considered the world an animated, sentient, and rational being. The Bible makes it God, and the spirit of God, which pervades all things.
All spirit is not of the same order. There is an infinite difference, both of nature and of attributes, between the uncreated infinite Spirit, and all created finite spirit. There may also be an order of spirits among the creatures, perhaps enbracing many genera and species, superior to man, and existing in a state of being which is not subject to the observation of our senses; nor, perhaps, even to be apprehended by the human mind, in its present connection with matter.
That intelligent creatures, superior to inan, and still at an
infinite distance from God, may exist, is a position which reason cannot disprove. The fact, however, of their existence does not follow of course from the possibility of it. Neither do I know that it can be demonstrated by reasoning from any abstract principle. All that reason can do is to make out a high degree of probability by analogical argument from facts previously known or granted. It is of little weight to say, that inasmuch as the distance between man and the Deity is infinite, it is improbable that man is the highest of animated beings, and the only creature which is endowed with reason ; for, whatever conception we may form of rational creatures, superior to man, to occupy the chasm between him and his Creator, the distance between those creatures and the Deity must still be infinite, and the same necessity of supposing others above them will return forever. It may then be urged, that, as no creation can be infinite, it must be admitted that the Creator has stopped somewhere ; and no sufficient reason can be given, why he should not have stopped at man, as well as at any conceivable grade in the scale of existence above him.
The argument from analogy is of more value. It may be constructed as follows. It is probable that the other planets, in the system of which our globe is a part, are inhabited by living creatures; because in our world every part teems with life and activity ; the earth, the air, and the water abound with animated beings; the microscope reveals to us a world of animalcules, in immense variety of form, of character, and of magnitude, beyond the limits which confine the unassisted sense, and extending in minuteness beyond the bounds even of microscopic vision; often so numerous that many thousands of them are contained in a single drop of water; and so minute that they find room enough in it to move and to sport without bind
Yea, such is the Creator's attention to the production and sustenance of living existence, that even the food of many of the larger animals is animated; and these again constitute so many worlds upon which smaller species live and feed. It is therefore probable that the other globes in the solar system, which are known to be subject, in other respects, to the same general laws as our own, are not left destitute of living crea
If each of the fixed stars, which are known to resemble our sun, is the centre of another system of worlds, and the source of light and heat to globes that revolve around it, it is also probable that those worlds are the habitations of living and
sensitive beings. But if all the heavenly bodies, like the globe upon which we dwell, are furnished with living creatures, it is not probable that all their inbabitants are irrational animals, which can have no knowledge of their Creator, and can bring to him no offering of virtue and praise. In this world man is the lord of the lower creation; all the inferior creatures are adapted to his use, and subjected to his power; and there is a gradation in the scale of existence, through various forms of organization and character, from rude matter up to man, who is constituted an image of his Creator, and forms the link which connects this world with the invisible Deity. If other worlds are analogous to our own, there must be in them the same sort of gradation, terminating in a highest which represents God, and connects them with him.
If there be rational beings in other worlds, it is not likely that they are of the same order and species with man. The human race could not subsist in any other of the planets which are known to us. In Mercury, for example, they would be consumed with heat, and in Herschel destroyed by cold; and in none of the planets can there be vegetation or animals like those with which we are acquainted here. If those bodies are inhabited, it must be by natures that are adapted to them, and are therefore wholly different from any which are known to us: and if in each of them there be a class of beings upon which the image of God is impressed, it must be one that differs entirely from the human race.
If man is not the only intelligent creature in the universe, and if every other world contains a distinct order of the same class, it is very improbable that they are all equal with respect to their physical and intellectual powers. As far as our observation extends in the works of God, we discover diversity united with regularity. All organized being is reducible to classes, orders, genera, species, and varieties; no two individuals of a species are in all respects alike; there is everywhere a continual variation, and a rising from the less in perfection to the greater, or a descending from the greater to the less; there is an oak and a moss, a lion and a worm, an eagle and a mite; there is a sun to illuminate a system of worlds, and a meteor to shine momentarily in the dark. The human species is diversified by every variety of beauty and deformity, and by every grade of rank from the king to the beggar, and from the sage to the idiot. If the same law prevails throughout the universe,