תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

GENERAL VIEW

OF THE CHARACTER AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK.

In my General Preface prefixed to Genesis, I gave a suc- | Bengel, Mill, Wetstein, and Griesbach; actually examining cinct account of the Þlan I pursued in preparing this work many MSS., either cursorily or not at all examined by them; for the press : but as this plan became necessarily extended, illustrating the whole by quotations from ancient anthors, and led to much farther reading, examination, and discus: Rabbinical, Grecian, Roman, and Asiatic; I exceeded my sion, I judge it necessary to give my Readers a general previous design, and brought down the Work to the end of Summary of the whole, that they may be in possession of my the Apocalypse; and passed the whole through the press. mode of proceeding, and be enabled more fully to compre. I should mention here a previous work, (without which hend the reasons why the Work has been so long in passing any man must be ill qualified to undertake the illustration of through the press.

the New Testament,) viz. a careful examination of the Sep. My education and habits from early youth led me to read tuagint. In this the phraseology of the New Testament is and study the Bible, not as a lert book to confirm the articles contained, and from this the import of that phraseology is of a preconceived creed, but as a revelation from God to man, alone to be derived. This I read carefully over to the end of (of His will and purposes, in reference to the origin and de the Book of Psalms, in the edition of Dr. Grabe, from the Co. signation of His human offspring,) which it was the duty and der Alexandrinus; collating it occasionally with editions interest of all the inhabitants of the earth, deeply to study, and taken fmm the Vatican Ms., and particularly that printed by earnestly to endeavour to understand; as it concerned their Field, at Cambridge, 1665, 16mo. with the Parænetic Preface peace and happiness, and the perfection of their being in re of the learned Bishop Pearson. Without this previous work, ference to both worlds.

who did ever yet properly comprehend the idiom and phrase. Conscious that Translators in general must have had a par- ology of the Greek Testament? Now, all these are parts of ticular creed, in reference to which they would naturally my labour which common readers cannot conceive; and consider every text; and this reference, however honestly which none can properly appreciate, as to the pains, diftintended, might lead them to glosses not always fairly de- culty, and time whích must be expended, who have not ducible from the original words; I sat down with a heart as themselves trodden this almost unfrequented path. free from bias and sectarian feeling as possible, and carefully When the New Testament was thus prepared and finished read over, cautiously weighed, and literally translated, every at press, I was induced, though with great reluctance, to reword, Hebrew and Chaldee, in the Old Testament. And as I commence the Old. I was already nearly worn down by my saw that it was possible, even while assisted jy the best trans. previous work, connected with other works and duties which lations and best lexicographers, to mistake the import of a I could not omit; and though I had gone through the most Hebrew term, and considering that the cognate Asiatic lan. important parts of the Sacred Records, yet I could easily spreguages would be helps of great importance in such an en. see that I had an ocean of difficulties to wade through in those quiry, I collated every verse, where I was apprehensive of parts that remained. The Historical Books alone, in their any dificulty, with the Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic, and Persian, chronology, arrangement of facts, concise and often obscure and the Æthiopic in the Polyglott Translation, as far as the phraseology, presented not a few :--the books of Solomon, and Sacred Writings are extant in these languages : and I did this ihose of the Major and Minor Prophets, a multitude. Not. with a constant reference to the Various Readings collected withstanding all these, I hope I may say, that having obtained by Hloubigant, A. Michaelis, Kennicolt, and De Rossi, and help of God, I am come with some success, to the conclusion ; to the best editions of the Septuagint and Vulgate, which are having aimed at nothing throughout the whole but the glory the earliest translations of the Hebrew Text which have of God, and the good of men. reached our times.

But still something remains to be said concerning the maNor have I been satisfied with these collections of Various dus operandi, or particular plan of proceeding. In prosecu Readings; I have examined and collated several ancient He ting this work I was led to attend, in the first instance, more brer Mss. which preceding scholars had never seen, with to iords than to things, in order to ind their true ideal mean. many ancient MSS. of the Vulgate equally unknown to bibli. ing; together with those different shades of acceptation to cal critics. This work required much time and great pains, which they became subject, either in the circumstances of and necessarily occasioned much delay : and no wonder, the speakers and those who were addressed, or in their ap. when I have often, on my plan, been obliged to employ as plication to matters which use, peculiarity or place and situamuch time in visiting many sources and sailing down their lion, and the lapse of time, had produced. It was my invari. streams, in order to ascertain a genuine reading or fix the able plan to ascertain first, the literal meaning of every word sense of a disputed verse, as would have been sufficient for and phrase; and where there was a spiritual meaning, or re. some of my contemporaries to pass whole sheets of their work ference, to see how it was founded on the literal sense. He through the press. Had I not followed this method, which to who assumes his spiritual meanings first, is never likely to mne appeared absolutely necessary, I should have completed interpret the words of God either to his own credit or to the my Work, such as it would have been, in less than one half profit of his readers; but in this track commentator has folof the time.

lowed commentator, so that, in many cases, instead of a careThese previous Readings, Collations, and Translations, pro- ful display of God's words and the objects of His providence duced an immense number of Notes and Observations on all and mercy, we have tissues of strange doctrines, human parts of the Old Testament; which, by the advice and en: creeds, and confessions of faith. As I have said in another treaty of several learned and judicions friends, I was induced place, I speak not againsi compilations of this kind; but let to extend in the form of a perpetual comment on every Book them be founded on the words of God, tirst properly under. in the Bible. This being ultimately revised and completed as stood. far as the Book of Judges, which formed, in my purpose, the As I proceeded in my work I met with other difficulties. I boundary of my proceedings on the Hebrew Scriptures, I was soon perceived an almost continual reference to the Literainduced to commit it to press.

ture, Arts, and Sciences, of the Ancient World, and of the Though my friends in general wished me to go forward Asiatic nations in particular; and was therefore obliged to with the Old Testament; yet, as several of them were appre. make these my particular study, having found a thousand hensive, from the then infirm state of my health, that I might | passages which I could neither illustrate nor explain, without not live long enough to finish the whole, they advised me some general knowledge at least of their jurisprudence, astrostrongly to omit for the present the Old Testament, and begin nomy, architecture, chemistry, chirurgery, medicine, metal with the New. This was in conformity with my own feel. | lurgy, pneumatics, &c. with their military tactics, and the ings on the subject; having wished simply to add the four arts and trades (as well ornamental as necessary) which are Gospels ond Acts of the Apostles to the five Book of Moses carried on in common life. and the Books of Joshua and Judges ; as these two parcels In the course of all this labour I have also paid particular at of Divine revelation, carefully illustrated, would give a full tention to those facts mentioned in the Sacred Writings, view of the origin and final settlement of the church of the which have been the subjects of animadversion or ridicule Old Covenani, and the cominencement and completion of by free-thinkers and infidels of all classes and in all times; that of the Nero. And thus I proceeded.

and I hope I may say that no such passage is either designedly After having literally translated every word of the New passed by or superficially considered ; that the strongest ob Testament, that last best gift of God to man; comparing the jections are fairly produced and met ;-that all such parts of whole with all the ancient Versions, and the most important these Divine writings are, in consequence, exhibited in their of the modern ; collating all with the Various Readings col. own lustre ;-and, that the truth of the doctrine of our salvalected by Stephens, Courcel, Fell, Gherard of Maestricht, tion has had as many triumphs as it has had attacks from iho

Inspiration of the
INTRODUCTION.

sacred writers. rudest and most formidable of its antagonists : and on all such, the chronological department from my own nephew. I have disputed points I humbly hope that the Reader will never laboured alone for nearly twenty-five years previously to the consult those volumes in vain. And if those grand doctrines Work being sent to press; and fifteen years have been which constitute what by some is called orthodory; that employed in bringing it through the Press to the public; and prove that God is loving to every man; that from His innate, thus about forty years of my life have been consumed ; and infinite, and eternal goodness, He wills and has made provi- from this the Reader will at once perceive, that the Work, sion for the salvation of every human soul, be found to be well or ill executed, has not been done in a careless or pre. those which alone have stood the rigid test of all the above cipitate manner: nor have any means within my reach been sisting and examination ; it was not because these were neglected to make it in every respect, as far as possible, what sought for beyond all others, and the Scriptures bent in that way the title-page promises,-A' HELP TO A BETTER UNDERSTANDin order to favour them ; but because these doctrines are es. ING OP THE SACRED WRITINGS. sentially contained in, and established by, the ORACLES OP GOD. Thus, through the merciful help of God, my labour in this

I may add, that these doctrines, and all those connected with field terminates; a labour, which were it yet to commence, them, (such as the defection and sinfulness of man,-the in. with the knowledge I now have of its difficulty, and my (in carnation and sacrificial death of Christ, -His infinite, unori. many respects) inadequate means, millions, even of the gold ginated, and eternal Deity; justification by faith in His blood; of Ophir, and all the honours that can come from man, could and the complete sanctification of the soul by the inspiration not induce me to undertake. Now that it is finished, I regret of the Holy Spirit,) have not only been shown to be the doc- not the labour; I have had the testimony of many learned, trines of the Sacred Records, but have also been subjected to pious, and judicious friends, relative to the execution and the the strongest test of logical examination ; and, in the Notes, usefulness of the Work. It has been admitted into the very are supported by arguments, many of them new, applied in highest ranks of society, and has lodged in the cottages of the such a way as has not been done before in any similar or the poor. It has been the means of doing good to the simple of ological work.

heart; and the wise man and the scribe, the learned and the In this arduous labonr I have had no assistants; not even a philosopher, according to their own generous acknowledg. single week's help from an amanuensis: no person to look ments, have not consulted its pages in vain. for cominon places, or refer to an ancient author: to find For these, and all

His other mercies to the Writer and Rea. out the place and transcribe a passage of Greek, Latin, or any der, may God, the Fountain of all good, be eternally praised! other language, which my meinory had generally recalled, or

ADAM CLARKE to verify a quotation ;-the help excepted which I received in Eastcott, April 17, 1826.

INTRODUCTION TO THE FOUR GOSPELS AND ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.

Tris Introduction, so long promised, giving an account of this description, without involving much of that sort of Bibli. the Manuscripts, Versions, &c. referred to in this Work, is at cal Criticism which could not be advantageous to general Jast before iny readers; and could not with any propriety, readers. I have, therefore, only introduced what I deemed have been published sooner, as the Gospel History could not necessary for a proper understanding of the references to be be considered complete till the Book of the Acts was finished. found in the Commentary itsell, As the chronology of the New Testament ends with the two I have purposely avoided the question concerning the au. years' imprisonment of Paul at Rome, it may be thought need. thenticity of the Sacred Writings in general. On a thorough less to carry it any farther down: but as there is some reason conviction, I assume the fact, that they are a Divine record, a to believe, that he visited Rome a second time, and suffered revelation from God. This has been so amply proved, that the Eartyriom there about A. D. 64 or 65; and as learned men Christian cause has had a complete triumph. I consider, have agreed that the Apocalypse, which completes the canon therefore, the question to be for ever at rest. As to the parti. of the New Testament, was not written till about the year 96; cular books, scriptures, or scripture facts, to which objections I have thought it necessary to carry down the Chronology have been made, I have carciully considered them as they through the whole of the first century of the Christian era; occur in their respective places; and I hope, I have fully rethat, if I should not have health or life to proceed any farther moved every such objection, and have exhibited the doctrines in this work, that important part should be left in a state of of the Gospel, and the facts of the evangelical history, in their tolerable perfection. I have proceeded on the same plan with own certain and steady light: at least, I have carefully labour. the four Gospels, and the Book of the Acts, as I have done ed to do it, and, like the woman in the Gospel, I have done what with the Perkuieuch and the Book of Joshua; and have rea. I could. son to thank God that he has spared me to go through (in the When the great difficulty of my work is considered, no one manner I first proposed) with ihese two most important parts will suppose that mistakes were avoidable: general consistof that Revelation, which his mercy has granted to man. In ency and correctness are all that candour can require. I have the first, (the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua,) the history, met with difficulties in every part of my undertaking, such as of ihe world and its original inhabitants, and the history of a commentator only can feel and estimate. On the Acts of the church, are brought down from the creation, to the final the Apostles alone, I have spent many months of almost in. settlement of the Israelites in the Promised Land. In the se. cessant labour. Dificulties occurred in every page: and I cond, the four Gospels and Book of Acts,) I have deduced the could not proceed till I had made the way plain before me, important events of the Christian dispensation from six years and left it open to those who might come after. This alone is before the vulgar era, down to the year 100. This chronology sufficient to account for the delay in this part; and for any is as rich in the necessary eras, as that which is attached to casual mistakes into which I may have fallen : mistakes, if the Book of Deuteronomy; and has, I hope, left nothing unno such there be, over which the candid reader will find little ticed that belongs to such a work. The account of MSS., Ver. difficulty gently to draw the pen of correction : remembering, sions, &c. is necessarily short: I could not proceed farther in that it is much more easy to find faults than to mend them.

Inspiration of the Sacred Writers, Various Readings, and account of Manuscripts and Versions, etc. referred to in this work.

Concerning the manner in which Di-l excellently on this point. After asserting that tion on their hrain as gives them a deep and viw. Inspiration tras granted to the sacred the apostles and evangelists Indited these clear idea of that which he intended to make writera.--The manner in which the Divine Scriptures by the assistance of the Holy known unto them: only the impression must napiration has been granted to the sacred Ghost; and that as the immediate succeeding then be mue in such a manner and degree, writers, is a question of more than mere cu ages did, so we at present securely may, rely and with such circumstances as may make it rideity. As every work of Gol is done in an upon them as a rule of faith, he proceeds to certain to the inspired person that it derives orderly, rational mmer, so must this also show,

from God. Now seeing, when we hear the but we must take heed not to contine him to "1. How this assistance may fitly be ex. voice of any one, or receive a letter froin him, one particular form, and say, it must be plained.

we may be certain from the knowledge we this and thus, or not at all. God is sovereign " For explication of this divine assistance, have of his voice, or his hand-writing, that it of his own ways; and so does his wondrous let it be considered,

is he indeed who speaks or writes to us; we works, that they may be had in everlasting "1. That prophecy is sometimes represented may very well conceive, that God can easily remembrance. As he has spoken at surulry as the noord of the Lord, and he is said to speak give such distinctive marks of what he inttmes to our fathers and prolecessors, by the to the prophet; and suitably to this metaphorwardly speaks to us, or writes upon the reprophets and other inspired men; so has he some illustration of the assistance of the Holy Oles of our hearts, as shall enable us to disdone this in divers manners, ever adapting Spirit may be made from the analogy it bears cern what he imprints upon them, from any the manner to time, plece, circumstance, &c. to human conversation ; thus, that as we con- impression that shall otherwise be made upon Hence, we are not to look for a uniformity in vey our thoughts one to another by such them. the manner of communicating his inspira words as, by the organs of hearing, make ** 2. Sometimes the prophet is in Scripture tions, any more than we are to look for iden such a motion on their brain to whom we styled a ser, and his word, a vision, and tity of time, place, and persons. Holas done speak, as gives theman idea of the words we then the parallel, or the analogy, runs thus great things, and he has done all things areil. utter, and hy them of the things which by As we su by virtue of a light reflecting the On the inspiration of the Scriptures them those words are signified, and so it is, the ini. species of things upon the retina of the eve, selves, I must therefore reter my rearters to pression made on their brain, which doth and thence deriving a peculiar motion to, and

ove have written professolly on the communicate our thoughts to them: so, when making a distinct impression on the brain; subject; but on the malc of communicating it pleasel Gol to reveal his will to any person, so may the prophet be supposed to see what that inspiration, I beg leave to make a few it seems only necessary that he talk inward Gol reveals unto him, by a like motion of the extracts from Dr Whitby, who has written ly with them, that is, that he make such a mo- I Holy Spirit nade upon his brain conceming

Inspiration of the
INTRODUCTION.

sacred writers. t And as it is as easy to propose a material cite them to indite those things, and should so ance, should exactly give us all that was Okt to the view, as to describe it hy our carefully preside over, and direct their minds, spoken in such long discourses. wanis, o must it be as easy for Goi to dart whilst writing, is to suggest, or bring into " And hence we may account for the obiecuch an impression or in want light upon the their memories, such things as his wisdom tions against this Divine assistance, arising hom of the prophet, or spiritual nan, as thought fit to be written; and should not suf from the seventh of Acts, for, though I have have him a more bricht ind sensible idra fer them to err in the delivery of what was showed in the note on verses 15, 16, that there of things than it be tid perceive them by the thus indited in his name, or which they had is no real mistake in the words of the Proto Bar or even view them by the eye. And as written, as apostles of God the Father, and martyr, yet were it granted, that there is an We exactly discerna sensible object by our Lord Jesus Christ.

error in his account of the sepulchres of the the vew, th.in we know it by a descnpuon of "Secondly. In all their revelations of mys patriarch, that affects not the authority of

mitorit the view, so the Jeurs say, that tertes, or things which could not otherwise be St. Luke at all, provided he have exactly repropery NO2 in vision, is more excellent maule known to thein, either by nalural rea lated what was then said by St. Stephen, in that which coines only Disna bydream, son or antecedeni revelation, they must be who was not chosen to be a penman of the *** & droon, in which we seem to hear one acknowledged to have had them by an inme. Holy Scriptures. 10 u

diate suggestion of the Holy Spirit Hence, "Lastly, from what is thus discoursed, it No* though this impression may be sur. of these things the apostle says, negatively, may appear, that I contend only for such an K** w cioce the prophe and inspired that the natural man (who only judges of inspiration, or Divine assistance of the sacred potius revelation did in leed verive things by his natural reason) cannot know writers of the New Testament, as will assure

slovuti yet since this revelation was in them, because they are spirimally discerned,' us of the truth of what they wrote, whether Det for himself, but for the use of I Cor. ii. 14. (e. they being mysteries, can by inspiration of suggestion or 'direction

Ir te, to the revelation must be ena only be disremed by the revelation of the only; but not for such an inspiration as im. het hy some convincing proof, to evidence Spirit; and positively, that they spake the plies, that even their words were dictated, ta o wło were concerned to embrace it, wisdom of God in a mystery, even the wis or their phrases suggested to them by the that he was sent indeo by God with such a com hid from former ages, which cye hath lioly Ghost : this, in somne matters of great ties to tem. Now, of this, they only not seen, nor ear heard, nor had it entered moment, might be so: St Paul declaring, au sutisted by come outwara marks or into the heart of man to conceive,' 1 Cor. li. 7. that they spake the things which were given Dis of which they, by their senses, were and that because · Goul had revealed these them of God in the words which the Holy erabilang ng julge, viz. The miracles wronght things to them hy his Spirit,' verse 9. they Ghost teacheth,' I Cor. 11. 13. If that relate Be (unimation of his tezlimony, or some having received the Spirit of God, that they not to what the Holy Ghost haul taught them poporul preliction of something future might know the things which are freely out of the Old Testament. But that it was an cannot exactly verified in the event given to us of Goul,' verse 10. Thus was the not always so, is evident, both from the con Ari Tinus, saith the a pistle, was their preach mystery of the calling of the Gentiles into an sideration that they were hagiographers, the commorurd w the world; God bearing equality of privileges with the believing who are supposed to be left to the use of

pirm, both with siins and wonders, Jerus, nade known unto them; for God, by their own words, and from the variety of the anith divets miracles, and gifts of the Ho revelation, saith St. Paul, ' made known to style in which they write, and from the soleis rcording in his will,' Heb. 11. 4.

me the mystery of Christ, which in other ciems, which are sometimes visible in their 1 ways of prophecy, under the ou ages was not made known, as it is now re- compositions; and more especially from their Te sens em to be comprehended under veled to his holy apostles and prophets by own words, which manifestly show that, in

NPL beads, viz either the propheta re the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow some cases, they had had no such suggestion end their revelation in a dream or trance, heirs and of the sume body, and panakers of from the Holy Ghost as doth imply, that he * Datum, or by a poice from heaven, or his promise in Christ, by the Gospel,' Eph. ii. had dictated those worus unto them. For YUCTeI suggestions of the Holy Ghosi.

3, 4, 5, 6. chap. I. 9. VI. 19. Col. I. 26, 27. 11. 2. iv. instance, when St. Paul declares his will or - Non some of the a parties had their vi. 3, 4. so they knew the mystery of the recall. purpose to do what he was hindered by the Nos, ist either by day, as Peter; for an ee ing of the Jews, Rom. xi. 35, 26. The mystery providence of God from doing; as, when he exy tll upon him, and he saw the heavens of the resurrection, l 4. the quality of the says to the Romans, When I go into Spain, pred, and he heard a voice saying unto him, bodies to be raised, and ihe order of it, with I will come to you,' chap. xv, 21. I will come Arus Peter, kill and eat, Acis x. 11. And all the other special circumstances mention. hy you into Spain,' verse 2. For though he u cijedopausa vision, verse 17. And ed. 1. Cor. xv. 1 Thess. iv. and the apostacy or might, after his enlargement

, go into tne boy tük, suen be, Gol tught me to call no the latter times; for the Spirit speaketh ex: west, where st. Clenient (Ep. ad Cor. $ 6.) can cumon, or unclean, verse 28. Or by pressly,' saith the apostle,' that in the laiter says he preached. And even into Spain, a's and bus a vision of the night was seen by ivs menishindo parte from the faction Tiri Ciri Catechis, 7. 204. Epiphanius, Eon of benehl, Acts xvi.'). Ally! They hari also he allowed to St. John, the author of the iv. 17. and Præfat

. in Psalm cxvi.) say he also the Sint Speaking to them for the spi Revelations; for he, speaking only what was did; yet it is certain he did not designedly ra cuid to Peter, ... ans, Gerefore, and go with them, discourses, or apparitions, must have that as into Spain ; and when he says to the Corin. Bathing doibung, for i' have sent thein," Acts sistance which suggested these ideas to him. thians I will come to you when I pass 22.11 delly. And sometimes they had vir did know already. Cither by natural reitor, confesses in his second episte, ? Cor. 1. 15, Po si prelations of the Lord, either hy way of rupture to them, 2 Cor. xii, 2 or of neerled only such an assistance, or direction for it is not to be thought the Holy Ghost

education, or antecedent revelation, they 16, 17, that he did not perform that journey; Dorizon with them; as when Christ said in them, as would secure them from error in should incite him to promise, or even to pur. **** Hreben are three kinds of revela their reasonings, or in their confirmation of rose, what He knew he would not perform. in graniet in the a pralles; but then these their

doctrines by passages contained in the Tais also we learn from all those places in birds were costly occasional, and accidental

Old Testament ; and, therefore, a continua which they do express their ignorance, or

sugestion must be here necessary. to the e, la respect of their apostolical func. Indeed, one great work they hail upon their ing of; as when St. Paul says, I know not

And, doubtfulness of that which they are speak. - Only the cause of the apostle Pani must hands, both in preaching the Gospel, and whether I baptized any other," i Cor. 1. 16. bere ruit of an exception for it being ne. writing those Gospels and epistles, being to And again, a vyov tapaperw, 'perhaps I will

essary ter an apaile, that'is, a witness of convince the unbelieving Jer, or to confirm abide, yea, and winter with you."1 Cor. xvi. 6. Cine's morrection, to have seen the Lord the wavering Jour, or rectify the errors of the And when St Peter saith, By Sylvanus, a Then from thr dead, according to those words, Judgizing Christian, the gin of knowledge of faithful broher, as I suppose, have I written A ! ani apostle i Have

I not seen the the scriptures of the Old Testament was very to vou, 1 let. V 12 for these words plainly Lardt i Cor. 1: and for an apostle, not necessary for them, and therefore is ileser, slow, that, in all these things, they hal no omra, nesther by man, but by Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost; and, being so, we have realy, may be gathered from all those places in

veilly reckoned anong the priinary risis of inspiration, or Divine assistance. This, last. from the Lord Jesus Christ speaks thuis io sont to believe that either the Holy Ghost su which they only do express their hope, and kom: 'I have appeared unto thee for this pur which they used in these sacred writings to in these words, I hope to see you in my gore to me thee a minister, and a witness, convince thein; or else presided sn over journey,' Rom. xv. 24. I will come unto both of those things which thou hast seen, them, as not to suffer them to make any in- 'you quickly, if the Lord will,' i Cor. iv. 19. w of those things

in the which I will appear rerences from them which were not agreea-'I hope to stay some time with you, if the into 16' Acis XXVị 16. Which words con ble to the true intent and meaning of them; Lord prrmit,' i Cor. xvi? I hope in the than a promise of an immediate instruction to Gut !

Dhis apostolical function though at this distance of time, we may not Lord Jesus, 10 send Timothy quickly to you, rence this acostde declares, confirming that always be able to discern the strength and Phil ii. 19, 23.

"And I trust that I myself du declaration with an outh, the Gospel clearness of the consequence.

also shall come quickly,' ver. 24.

. These *b was proached by me was not after

* Fourthly. In writing the historical parts things I write, hoping to come to thee quickting for ineuet received it of man, neither of the Ner Testament, or matters of fact rely, but if I should tarry, that thou mayest vel guach! (hy man) but (only) by the revelating to themselves, or others. It is only ne know how to behave thyself in the church of won of Jesus Christ, Gal. i. 11, 12 He there. cessary, that what is there delivered is mal God,' I Tim. iii. 14, 15. I hope, by your to har la mesure from Christ, as Moseg ler of fact, should be truly performed as it is prayers, to be given to you," Philemon 22 had trous God, Christ speaking to hlin mouin said to have been done; but it is not necessa This will we do, if the Lorů permit,' Heb. SXunu xil 7.

ry that they should be related in that crder vi. 3. I hope to come to you, St. Joba, 2d - Baut yrt, tirat which enable i them for the of lime in which they were performed, in Ep. ver. 12. 34 Ep. ver. 14. For, &pe8 (trl1 ss of ler e wnungs, as a rule of faith less that also be affirined of them; for this cette rri nomen, the word hope, implits an

all rooding ages, was the internal and must be sufficient to assure us of the truth of uncertainty, whereas the Hoy Spirit cannot Pero mstance of the Holy Spirit. what they thus delivered.

he uncertain of anything: nor can we think * To prad, ben, to the consideration of " Moreover, in writing the discourses con he would inspire men to speak so unorrtain De unaon made by some, viz. Or inspi- tained in these books, it is not necessary that ly. And, (2.) There can bo ho necessity, or Tere, og sugzetton, and inspiration of di the very words should be suggested, or re even use, of a Divine assistance to mable a recan only I say, then,

corder, in which they were first spoken, but man to express bis h0748, seeing all men do, "Fr Where there is no antecedent idea only that the true intent and meaning or by natural reflection, know them. or krop of the things written for the them should he related, though in diversity "II. Having thus preinised these things, pool obers, to be obtained from reason, or of worils. Though the promise made to the for the right stating and explicanon of the a forripe revelation, there, an inspiration of apostles by our Lord, that the Holy Spirit controversy, I proceed to lay down the argu. margration must be vouchsafed to the apos- should bring to their remembrance, Favra, ments which prove that in these writings the Uns to enah's item to make them known unto all things which he had said unto them, apostles were assisted and preserved from De vor But where there is an antecedent John xiv. 20. doth fairly plead for this exact error by the Spirit of Gol; and, therefore, krir of the things to be indita, it can ness in what they have delivered of our Sa were enabled to deliver to us an unerring cili bressary that God should, either im viour's sermons: il being scarcely imagina rule of faith. sediately, o by some special occasions, ex- ble that their memory, without divine assist- "And, ist. I argue for the Diving assistance VOL. .V

2

5

Inspiration of the
INTRODUCTION.

sacred writers. rudest and most formidable of its antagonists : and on all such, the chronological department from my own nephew. I harg disputed points I humbly hope that the Reader will never laboured alone for nearly twenty-five years preriously to the consult these volumes in vain. And if those grand doctrines Work being sent to press; and fifteen years have been which constitute what by some is called orthodory; that employed in bringing it through the Press to the public ; and prove that God is loving to every man; that from His innate, thus about forty years of my life have been consamed, and infinite, and eternal goodness, He wills and has made prori from this the Reader will at once perceive, that the Work, sion for the salvation of every human soul, be found to be icell or ill executed, has not been done in a careless or pre those which alone have stood the rigid test of all the above cipitate manner: nor have any means within my reach fren sisting and examination; it was not because these were neglected to make it in every respect, as far as possible, what sought for beyond allothers, and the Scriptures bent in that way the title-page promises,-A HELP TO A BETTER UNDERSTAND in order to favour them; but because these doctrines are es. ING OP THE SACRED WRITINGS. sentially contained in, and established by, the ORACLES OP GOD. Thus, through the merciful help of God, my labour in this

I may add, ihat these doctrines, and all those connected with field terminates; a labour, which were it yet to commence, them, (such as the defection and sinfulness of man,--the in with the knowledge I now have of its difficulty, and my do carnation and sacrificial death of Christ, --His infinite, unori. many respects) inadequate means, millions, even of the gold ginated, and eternal Deity; justification by faith in His blood; of Ophir, and all the honours that can come from man, could and the complete sanctification of the soul by the inspiration not induce me to undertake. Now that it is finished, I regret of the Holy Spirit,) have not only been shown to be the doc. not the labour; I have had the testimony of many learneh trines of the sacred Records, but have also been subjected to pious, and judicious friends, relative to the execution and the the strongest test of logical examination ; and, in the Notes, tisefulness of the Work. It has been adınitted into the very are supported by arguments, many of them new, applied in highest ranks of society, and has lodged in the cottages of the sich a way as bas not been done before in any similar or the poor. It has been the means of doing good to the simple of ological work.

heart; and the rise man and the scribe, the learned and the In this arduous labour I have had no assistants ; not even a philosopher, according to their own generous acknowledg. single week's help from an amanuensis: no person to look inents, have not consulted its pages in vain. for coinmon places, or refer to an ancient author : to find For these, and all His other inercies to the Writer and Res. out the placo and transcribe a passage of Greek, Latin, or any der, may God, the Fountain of all good, be eternally praised! other language, which my memory had generally recalled, or

ADAM CLARKE to verify a quotation ;-the help excepted which I received in Eastcott, April 17, 1826.

INTRODUCTION TO THE FOUR GOSPELS AND ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.

to man.

This Introduction, so long promised, giving an account of this description, without involving much of that sort of Bibli. the Manuscripts, Versions, &c. referred to in this work, is at cal Criticism which could not be advantageous to general last before iny readers; and could not with any propriety, readers. I have, therefore, only introduced what I demed have been published sooner, as the Gospel Iristory could not necessary for a proper understanding of the references to be be considered complete till the Book of Acts was finished. found in the Commentary itsell. As the chronology of the New Testament ends with the two I have purposely avoided the question concerning the ad. years' imprisonment of Paul at Rome, it may be thought need thenticity of the Sacred Writings in general. On a thorough Jess to carry it any farther down: but as there is some reason conviction, I assume the fact, that they are a Divine record, a to believe, that he visited Rome a second time, and suffered revelation from God. This has been so amply proved, that the Eartyrion there about A. D. 61 or 63; and as learned men Christian cause has had a complete triumph. I consider, have agreed that the Apocalypse, which completes the canon therefore, the question to be for ever at rest. As to the paru. of the New Testament, 'was not written till about the year 96; cular books, scriptures, or scripture facts, to which objections I have thought it necessary to carry down the Chronology have been made, I have carefully considered them as tbry thro'zh the whole of the first century of the Christian era; occur in their respective places; and I hope, I have fully rethat, if I should not have health or life to proceed any farther moved every suchi objection, and have exhibited the doctrines in die work, that important part should be left in a state of of the Gospel, and the facts of the evangelical history, in their tolerable perfection. I have proceeded on the same plan with own certain and steady light: at least, I have carefully labour. the four Gospels, and the Book of the Acts, as I have done ed to do it, and, like the woman in the Gospel, I have done ihal with the Perluieuch and the Book of Joshua ; and have rea. I could. son to thank God that he has spared me to go through (in the When the great difficulty of my work is considered, no me manner I first proposed) with these two most important parts will suppose that mistakes were avoidable: general consistof that Revelation, which his mercy has grante

In ency and correctness are all that candour can require. I hate the first, the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua,) the history met with difficulties in every part of my undertaking, such as of ihe world and its original inhabitants, and the history of a commentator only can feel and estimate On the Acts of the church, are brought down from the creation, to the final the Apostles alone, I have spent many months of almost insettlement of the Israelites in the Promised Land. In the se. cessant labour. Difficulties occurred in every page: and I Condd, (the four Gospels and Book of Acts,) I have deduced the could not proceed till I had made the way plain before ine, important events of the Christian dispensation from six years and left it open to those who might come alter. This alone 19 before the vulgar era, down to the year 100. This chronology sufficient to account for the delay in this part; and for any is as rich in the necessary eras, as that which is attached to casual mistakes into which I may have fallen: mistakes, the Book of Deuteronomy; and has, I hope, lest nothing unno such there be, over which the candid reader will find little ticed that belongs to such a work. The account of Msx, Ver. dificulty gently to draw the pen of correction : remen bering, sions, &c. is uecessarily short: I could not proceed farther in that it is much more easy to find faults than to mend them.

Ins piratim of the Sacred Writers, Various Readings, and account of Manuscripts and Versions, etc, referred to in this troti $1. Concerning the manner in which Di; excellently on this point. After asserting that tion on their brain as gives them a rep ani vin Inspiration tre granted to the sured the apostles and evangelists Indited these clear idea of thu which he intended to me ore. --The manner in which the Divine Scriptures by the assistance of the Holy known unto them: only the impression must Inepi calon has been granted to the sacred Ghost; and that as the immediate succeeding then be made in such a manner and dcere, writers, is a question of more than mere cu ages 30 we at present securely may, nuly with such circumstances as may buk 15 olvity. As every work of Gol is done in an upon them as a nile of faith, he proceeds to certain to the inspired person that it derives orderly, rutionni manner, so must this also: show, but we must take heed not to contine hiin to "L'How this assistance may fitly be ex. voice of any one, or receive a letter from htira one particular form, and say, it must be plained.

we may be certain from the knowleler we thics and thus, or not at all. Col is sovereign "For explication of this divine assistance, have of his voice, or his hand writing, ilatie of his own ways; and so do's his wondrous let it be considered,

Is he indeed who speaks or writes to 115: 19 works, that they may be hal in everlasting "1. That prophecy is sometimes represented may very well conceive, that God can easily remembrance. As he has spoken at sundry as the rcord of the Lord, and he is said to speak give such distinctive marks of what he in tince to our fathers and prolecessors, by the to the prophet; and suitably to this métaphorwardly speaks to us, or irrites upon the te prophets and other inspired men: so has he come illustration of the assistance of the lloly Blis of our hearts, as shall enable us to de dove this in divere inanner, ever adapting Spirit may be made from the analogy ít bears cern what he imprints upon them, from any tie manner to time, place, circumstance, &c. to human conversation; thus, that as we con impression that shall otherwise be made upon Henc) we are not to look for a uniformityin vey our thou his one to another by such them. the manner of communicating his inspira words as, by the organs of hearing make ** 2. Sometimes the prophet is in Scripture tions, any more than we are to look for den such a motion on their brain to whom we styled a sir, and his worri, a vision, tity of time, place, and persons. He has done speak, as gives them an idea of the worits we then the parallel, or the analogy, mins the great things and be has done all things arell. utter, and hy them of the things which by As we er, hv virtue of a light rflecting the On the inspiration of the Scriptures then those words are signified, and so it is, the iry rics of things upon the rating of the age Selves, I must therefore refer my readers to pression made npon their brain, which doth ni thenceferiving a peculiar motion 10, !! those who have written prosessoille on the communicate our thoughts to them; so, when making a distinct impression on, the brain. subject; but on the mate of communicotins It place Gal to reveal his will bany perso my the triplu supiwo w thai inspiration. I beg lave to make a few *monly necessary that he walk inwari Gal rely untana, by like motion of the extracts from Dr Whitby, who has writtenlly with them, that is, wat he mahe such a ino | Holy Spirit laulle upon his braun concertung

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »