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20.

us therefore now observe the book itself of St. Matthew, and fee what knowledge he appears to have had of the scheme of the gospel.

1. His account of the commission, which our Lord gave to the twelve Apostles is in ch. xxviii. 19. Go ye therefore into all the world, and teach all nations. Matthew did not then think, that the Apostles of Jesus were to teach Jews only, but that they were required to teach all people, and all nations in general.

2. I suppose, that he fully understood our Lord's doctrine, when he recorded that summarie account of it,which is in the fifth, fixth, and seventh chapters of his Gospel. The beatitudes, at the beginning, are a proof of it. And at the conclusion, they who heard and did those sayings, are compared to a man that built his house upon a rock : though there had been nothing said to enforce the rituals of the Mosaic law.

3. And that he well understood the spirituality, and the freedom of the gospel, appears from what he has recorded ch. xv. 10.

4. His clear discernment of the design of the gospel-dispenfation appears even in his account of our Saviour's nativity, particularly, in what he says, ch. i. 21, of the message of the angel to Joseph. And thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins.

5. If he had not known, that our Saviour was designed to be, or was already become a blessing to Gentils, he would scarcely have thought of inferting the historie of the Magians coming from the East to Jerusalem, to inquire after the birth of the King of the Jews. chap. ii.

6. It is also very likely, that he understood those words of John the Baptist

, recorded by him, ch. iii. 9. God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

7. St. Matthew's knowledge of the calling of the Gentils, and the rejection of the Jews, may be concluded from many things recorded by him. In the historie of our Lord's healing the Centurion's servant at Capernaum he inserts our Lord's commendation of his faith, and that declaration : Many shall come from the East and the West, and sit down with Abraham, and Ifaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out. ch. viii. 10. . . 12.

8. The admission of the Gentils to equal privileges with the Jews must be intimated in the parable of the laborers hired into the vineyard at several hours of the day. ch. xx. 1. . . 16.

9. The calling and acceptance of the Gentils, and the rejection of the Jewish People, and even their overthrow, are plainly declared in the parable of the vineyard, let out to husbandmen, and the discourse, which

46. The same things are intimated in the parable of the King that made a wedding-feast for his son, which is at the beginning of the next chapter. xxii. I. • . 14.

10. I might likewise take notice of the historie of our Lord's curing the daughter of the woman of Canaan. ch. xv. 21. . 28.

11. It is also very likely, that St. Matthew had some good knowledge, and a distinct apprehension of the extent of our Lord's kingdom, and the progresle of his doctrine, when he recorded those parables in the thir. teenth chapter of his Gospel : where our Lord has compared the kingdom of heaven, or the preaching his gospel, to a grain of mustard-seed, the least of all feeds, but becomes a tree : to leaven, by which a large

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fump is leavened : to a net, that was cast into the lea, and gathered of every kind. And, explaining the 'parable of the tares, our Lord says, ter. 37. 38. He that soweth the good feed is the Son of Man. The field is the world. And what follows. < 12. It is probable, that this Evangelift had some knowledge of the gospel having been preached out of Judea, when he put down that declaration of our Lord concerning the woman, that poured the tich ointment upon his head: Therefoever the gospel shall be preached in the whole world, tbere shall this also, that this woman has done, be told for a memorial of ber. ch. xxvi. 13.

13. In his account of the inftitution of the eucharist. ch. xxvi. 28. our Lord fays : This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many, that is

, for all men, for the remission of their fins. And in ch. xx. 28. our Lord says : The Son of Man came ... to give his life a ransom for many.

14. There is also an expresion used by him once or twice, intimating, that it was some considerable' fpace, since the time of the event and his writing about it. ch. xxviii. 8. Iberefore that field was called the field of blood to this day. Having related the affair of the soldiers, and the directions given to them by the Jewish Council to fay, that his disciples came by night, and flole him away, he adds : And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. ver. 15. Such an expression does not denote any certain period. But one would think, that, in this case, thereby must be intended a considerable space of time, inore than eight, or teng

15. I formerly (s) shewed divers advantages of the late publication of the Gospels. The life of Jesus could not be forgotten in thirty, or forty years. His life and death were very public, as well as very extraordinarie. His resurrection and afcenfion were moft publicly attested by his Apostles, and others, as we know from the book of the Acts. And from that time forward there were many, who were continually speaking of the things said and done by him, and of the evidences of his resurrect.on and exaltation. They were soon known to multitudes of people, {mall and

great, and men of all ranks and characters. As St. Paul says to Feftus, in a very greai assemblie. Acts xxvi. 36. For the King knowdh of these things, before whom also I speak freely. For I am perfuaded, that none of these things are hidden from him. For this thing was not dme in a corner. And was it not the cry at Thesalonica? Acts xvü. 6. These that have turned the world upside down, are come hither alfo. The account of St. Paul's manner of living at Rome, about the years 61. and 62. is, that he dwelled two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, ... teaching those things, which concern the Lord Jesus Christ. Aets xxviii. 30. 31. Whilst there were men, who at the hazard of their lives taught, and others that embraced, the things concerning the Lord Jefus, they could not be forgotten. And if about thirty years after our Lord's afcenfion, his hiftorie was writ by eye-witneiles, or their , companions, it was foon enough. Yea, it was the fittest time of all. At the year fixty of our Lord's nativity, according to the vulgar æra,

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and later, there certainly were enough of such perfons, as those just mentioned, ftill living, to record his words and works, and more, who were willing, and desirous to read written histories of him, than before; and also more to transcribe and copy out thofe histories for their own use, and for the use and benefit of others, than in any preceding time. V. It remains, that we consider, in what language this

It's Original Gospel was writ: because many of the ancients, whose testimonies have been lately recited, though they allow the

Language. other Gospels to have been writ in Greck, have delivered it as their opia nion, that this Gospel was writ in Hebrew.

Of this I have already spoke several times, particularly, in the chapter of (b) Papias, and in the chapter of (i) Origen, and (2) of Edebius of CeJarea : where also the opinion of divers learned moderns were alleged, who think, it was writ in Greek. To them I now add (1) Le Clerc, whó has an argument upon this head, proper to be consulted by those who have leisure, but too long to be inserted here: and his learned succellor Mr. Wetstein, who says: “Here (m) we are of opinion, that the Fathers “ do not fo properly bear testimonie, as deliver their own conjecture; o which needs not to be admitted, if it be not supported by good reasons, « or may be refuted by probable arguments. Supposing, and taking it " for granted, that Matthew wrote for the Jews in Judea, they conclud. "ed, that he wrote in Hebrew. But there is no weight in that reason. "The Greek language was at that time much used throughout the whole “ Roman Empire, and particularly in Judea. Papias, who first ad«vanced this opinion, was a weak and credulous man. Nor are there « in our Greek Gospel any marks of it's being a translation froin another • language."

Mr. Jones(n) has a long argument, well deserving to be read, Thewing that this Gospel was originally writ in Greek.

Mr. Basnage () is of the same fide, and has argued exceeding well for it, I bould tranferibe him, if I had room. As I have not, I refer to him.

Say's

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: (1) Vol. i. p. 243. 244

(i) Vol. iii. p. 403. • • • 408. (k) Vol. vii. p. 184. •. 189.

(!) Diff. iii. de iv. Evangeliis. (m) Neque tam facile assentimur fententiæ eorundem Patrum flatuentium, Matthæum fcripfiffe Hebraice, hoc eft, Syriace, five Chaldaice, quâ lingua tunc temporis Judæi in Palæstina utebantur. . . Exiftimamus enim Patres hic jam non teftimonium dicere, fed conjecturam fuam in medium proferre, non admittendam, fi aut idoneis rationibus non fit fulta, aut verosimilibus argumentis refutari possit. Quod enim putant neceffe fuiffe ut Hebræis scribens Hew braice scriberet, verum non eft : cum conftet eo tempore linguam Græcanı per totum Imperium Romanum, et in Judæa præsertim, in usu fuisse. Videntur ergo vetutiffimi Patres, et inter eos Papias, homo simplex et credulus, rè non explorata, inani Nazaræorum jactantiæ fidem habuiffe ... Nul. lum fane in nostro Matthæo reperitur indicium, unde colligi poffit, ex alia in aliam linguam fuisse conversam. Plurima vero aliud fuadent. Il’etstein. N. T. Tom. I. p. 224.

(n) See bis Vindication of the former part of St. Martlezeas Copachizen 19. p. 180, :. 186.

(0) Ann. 64. n. xii.

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Says (*) Dr. Jortin : « In the time of Christ and his Apostles the Greek was really the universal language. The New Testament is a proof of it, if proof were wanting. And this is one reason amongst many others, why St. Matthew probably wrote his Gospel in Greek. See Weta stein's N. T. p. 224. St. Matthew ch. v. 47. 48. says: "OTO TERūver outw Boszory. Escole šv emais Téascos .. that is, be not Teran, but rédELO.. Videtur autem Matthaeus vocem tíðuni hic habuiffe, ut Tilrais opponeret. Wetstein. Add to this, that sinuins and theirs are both derived from the fame word réos See again, ch. vi. 16. we find an antithesis in the words épavi[tos a sósuna, önws çaws. Eleganter dicitur : Tegunt faciem, ut appareant, &c. Wetstein.

And many others of the same sentiment might be mentioned, who are men of great learning and good judgment.

I shall now propose some observations relating to this point.

1. If St. Matthew did not write till about thirty years after our Lord's ascension, we must be led to think, he would use the Greek language. That he did not write fooner, I suppose to have been shewn to be very probable. If indeed there were good reasons to think, his Gospel was writ within the space of eight years after Christ's ascension, we might well conclude, that he wrote in Hebrew. But, to me it seems that we may be fully satisfied, that Matthew did not write within that space, nor fo soon as fifteen years after our Lord's ascension, nor till some good while afterwards. St. James, residing at Jerusalem, writes an epistle about the year of Christ 6o. as is suppored. It is addressed to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. And he writes in Greek, as is allowed. Why, then, Thould not St. Matthew use the same language ?

2. There was very early a Greek Gospel of St. Matthew. It is quoted, or referred to, by Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, not now to mention any others: none of whom intimate, that they made use of a translation.

3. Though many of the ancients say, that St. Matthew wrote in Hebrew, they seem not to have fully believed it. For they have shewn very little regard to the Hebrew edition of it. This has been particu. Jarly shewn in the chapters of (P) Origen, () Eusebius bf Cesarea, and {r) Jerome, the most likely of any of the ancients to make use of that edition, if they had been persuaded, that it was authentic and original.

4. There are not in our Greek Gospel of St. Matthew any marks of a translation. So faid Mr. IVetstein in the passage just transcribed: And this observation was before made by us in the chapter of (s) Papias.

5. There is no where any probable account, who translated this Gofpel into Greek. No particular translator was mentioned by Papias, as may be concluded from the accounts given of his books by Eufebé. Nor is any tranllator of this Gospel named by Irenaeus, Eufebe, or any of the

writers

(*) See his Discourses concerning the Chriflian Religion. p. 176: note (e), the third

Vol. iii.

p. 403. Vol. 4. p. 170.

• • 408.

172.

(9) Vol. viü. p. 185. i 1894
(v) Voli: p. 244.

writers of the firft three centuries, that are come down to us. Nor is there any reason to think, that he was named in any other : forafmuch as no notice is taken of him by Eusebe, or Jerome, who saw many writings of ancients now loft, both catholics and heretics. Jerome having said, that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, presently adds: “Who (t) afterwards translated him into Greek, is uncertain.” And all the accounts of a translator, fince given, are too late to be credited, and are likewise very improbable. In the Synopsis ascribed to Athanasius, but not wric till long after his time, it is said, “That (u) Matthew's Gospel was translated into Greek by James, the first Bishop of Jerusalem." Which is very improbable. It would be more reafonable to imagine, that he translated it out of Greek into Hebrew. But as that is not said by the ancients, so neither have we reason to say it. Moreover, the fame reafons, as one may think, which would induce James to make a Greek trandation, should have induced Matthew to write in Greek. Nevertheless, Dr. Mill (x) has pitched upon that person for the translator, and formed an argument thereupon. Which only serves to sew, that there is nothing, for which something may not be said by those, who indulge themselves with suppositions, without ground. Theophylact informs us, that (v) in his time it was said, that John translated this Gospel into Greek. But it was only a common report. And indeed it could be no more. However, out of a regard to such reports and testimonies, Mr. Lampe (z) has very properly reckoned a translation of this Gospel among the works falay ascribed to St. John.

6. Once more, I apprehend, we may discern the origin of this opinion, that St. Matthew's Gospel was writ in Hebrew. There was soon made a translation of his Greek Gospel into Hebrew. We have seen proofs, that (a) in very early days of Christianity there was a Hebrew Gospel. And many, not examining it particularly, nor indeed being able to do it, for want of understanding the language, imagined, that it was firft writ in Hebrew. Jerome expressly tells us, that (b) by many in his time the

Gospel (1) Vol. x. p. 89.

(u) Vol. vii. p. 249. ho) Quis in Græcum transfuderit, incertum eft. Papius de hoc nihil ab Aritione aut Joanne presbytero accepit, aut tradidit. Auctor Synopseos S. Scripturze Jacobo fratri Domini diferte adfcribit hanc verfionem.' Theophylactus, ex fama duntaxat, Joanni Evangeliite. Ego ad priorem illam fententiam, seu magis verifimilem, accedo. Satis enim

probabile eft, Evangelium in Hebræorum ufum lingua ipforum patriâ primum exaratum, ab ipforum Episcopo primario Jacobo, Episcopo Hierofolymitano, in fermonem Græcum, per provincias, in quas difperfi erant ex gente iita plurimi, Judæis pariter ac aliis in usu familiari, translatum fuifle, &c. Proleg. num. 66.

(3) Μετέφρασε δε τετο ιωαννης από της εβραιδος γλώττης εις την ελληνίδα, ως λέν Yes.. Tbeoph. Pr. in Matth. p. 2. D.

(z) Matthæi Evangelium Græce a Joanne Evangelista versum ese, refert Eutychius Tom.i. Annalium, p. 328. et Nicetas præfatione ad Catenam in Matthæum. Lampe Prolegom. in Foan. h. i. cap. 7. num. 31. (a) See ch. xiv, Vol. i. p. 320.321,

16) In Evangelio, quo utuntur Nazareni et Ebionitæ, quod nuper in Græ, cum de Hebræo sermone transtulimus, et quod vocatur a plerisque Matthzi authenticum. Hipr. ir daith. cap. xii. T. 4. P. 1. p. 47.

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