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Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Æra, 62.
Authority of God, for their Example of Suffering, Afflic- Jerusalem. tion, and Patience.
7 Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned behold, the Judge standeth before the door.
10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering, affliction, and of patience.
11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
JAMES V. 13, to the end.
Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Era, 62.
ON THE ANOINTING WITH OIL-CHAP. XIV.
Sinner from the Error of his Way, shall produce a more Jerusalem.
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
31 That particular and great sins were supposed to be the
The confession recommended (verse 16), was not auri-
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one Jerusalem. riod, 4775. for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual ferVulgar Era, 62. vent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and *Luk. iv.25. six months*.
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and
20 Let him know, that he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
St. Paul is released from his Imprisonment at Rome, the
30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired Rome. house, and received all that came in unto him,
32 The Gospel of St. Matthew, it has been shewn, was most probably written during the first or Pauline persecution of the Church, when the Gospel was preached to the Jews only. That of St. Mark under the inspection of St. Peter, in the second or Herodian persecution, when the Gospel was preached to the proselytes. The fitness of these Gospels to the periods to which the best remaining testimony refers their publication, is an additional evidence that they were then made known. The time had now arrived when the Gospel had been preached over the greater part of the world, by the most talented, laborious, and inspired of the apostles of God. St. Paul had now preached to the idolatrous Gentiles for many years, and it is not probable that the numerous converts of this description, which were now added to the Church, could be left without an authentic statement of the facts of Christianity. St. Luke had been long the companion of St. Paul, as he was a learned man, being a physician. He was evidently well qualified to give an account of the labours and travels of the apostle, and to write also an account of the life of their common master. Whether Luke was, according to Dr. Lardner, a Jew by birth, and an early convert to Christianity, or according to Michaelis a Gentile (see Coloss. iv. 10, 11. 14. where St. Paul distinguished Aristarchus, Marcus, and Jesus, who was called Justus, from Epaphras, Lucas, and Demas, who were of the circumcision, i. e. Jews), or whether he was one of the Seventy or not, is uncertain. He is the only Evangelist who mentions the commission given by Christ to the Seventy (chap. x. 1-20.) It is likely he is the Lucius mentioned Rom. xvi. 21. and if so, he was related to the apostle Paul, and is the Lucius of Cyrene who is mentioned Acts xiii. 1. and in general with others, Acts xi. 20. Some of the ancients, and some of the most learned and judicious among the moderns, think he was one of the two whom our Lord met on the way to Emmaus, on the day of his resurrec
ST. LUKE'S GOSPEL IS NOW WRITTEN-CHAP. XIV.
31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those Rome. riod, 4775. things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all conVulgar Æra, 62. fidence, no man forbidding him.
From the Commencement of the fifth and last Journey of St.
St. Paul, while waiting in Italy for Timothy, writes the Italy.
tion, as related Luke xxiv. 13-35; one of these was called
St. Paul styles him his fellow-labourer, (Philemon, ver. 24.) It
He accompanied St. Paul when he first went into Macedonia, Acts xvi. 8-40.; xx.; xxvii. and xxviii. Whether he went with him constantly afterwards is not certain, but it is evident he accompanied him from Greece, through Macedonia and Asia, to Jerusalem, where he is supposed to have collected many par. ticulars of the evangelic history: from Jerusalem he went with Paul to Rome, where he staid with him the two years of his imprisonment. This alone makes out the space of five years, and upwards.
Though there have been various opinions respecting the date of St. Luke's Gospel, it has generally been referred to this period.
Dr. Owen and others refer it to the year 53, while Jones, Michaelis, Lardner, and the majority of biblical critics, assign it to the year 63, or 64, which date appears to be the true one, and corresponds with the internal characters of time exhibited in the Gospel itself. But it is not so easy to ascertain the place where it was written. Jerome says that Luke, the third Evangelist, published his Gospel in the countries of Achaia and Boeotia. Gregory Nazianzen also says, that Luke wrote for the Greeks, or in Achaia. Grotius states, that about the time when Paul left Rome, Luke departed to Achaia, where he wrote the books we now have. Dr. Cave was of opinion that they were at Rome before the termination of Paul's captivity; but Drs. Mill, Grabe, and Wetstein, affirm that this Gospel was published at Alexandria in Egypt, in opposition to the Pseudo Gospel, circulated among the Egyptians. Dr. Lardner has examined these various opinions at considerable length, and concludes that upon the whole, there is no good reason to suppose that St. Luke wrote his Gospel at Alexandria, or that he preached at all in Egypt: on the contrary, it is more probable that when he left Paul, he went into Grecce, and there composed or
Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Æra, 62.
Key to the Old Testament, the Epistle to the Hebrews', Italy. to prove to the Jews, from their own Scriptures, the finished and published his Gospel, and the Acts of the Apostles. That St. Luke wrote his Gospel for the benefit of the Gentile converts, is affirmed by the unanimous voice of Christendom; and it also may be inferred from his dedicating it to one of his Gentile converts. This indeed appears to have been its peculiar design; for, writing to those who were far remote from the scene of action, and ignorant of Jewish affairs, it was requisite that he should descend to many particulars, aud touch on various points, which would have been unnecessary, had he written exclusively for the Jews. On this account he begins his history with the birth of John the Baptist (Luke i. 5—80.) as introductory to that of Christ; and in the course of it he notices several particulars mentioned by St. Matthew (Luke ii. 1–9, &c.) Hence also he is particularly careful in specifying various circumstances of facts which were highly conducive to the information of strangers, but which it would not have been necessary to recite to the Jews, who could easily supply them from their own knowledge.
We are informed by some of the early fathers, that the Ebionites not only rejected the Epistles of St. Paul, but reviled the apostle himself as a Greek and an apostate. As the Ebionites would probably retain by tradition many of the opinions of the Hebrew Christians, we may infer that his own countrymen reproached St. Paul with the same appellations. They would charge him with abandoning bis principles, and following the general custom of apostates, of opposing with virulence and bitterness the religion he had once defended. St. Paul well knew, that it would be useless to assert his sincerity to those who still retained the opinions he had relinquished: or to place before them the essential difference between forsaking the religious system in which a man has been educated, from caprice or interest; and forsaking it from a deep conviction of its falsehood, founded upon deliberate, impartial, and serious examination of its evidences. In his imprisonment at Rome he had repeatedly discussed with the Jews the question of Christianity, and in many instances without effect. Where we do not convince, we generally incur reproach; and this was evidently the case with St. Paul. He did not therefore attempt to remove the impressions which had been circulated to his prejudice; he wrote only a full and explicit statement of the doctrines and truths of the Christian religion contained in this masterly Epistle to the Hebrews. Here he proves the Deity of Christ, and the superior excellency of his Gospel when compared with the institutions of Moses, which were now abolished. That he might not excite prejudice against this masterly compendium of Christian truth, he omits his usual style of address. He mentions neither his name nor his apostolic functions. Addressing the Epistle to the Hebrews generally, in whatever part of the world they were to be found, though more especially the Hebrews of Palestine, he writes anonymously, and neither directs his Epistle from any place, nor sends it to any, particular Church by a special messenger. The omission of his name, too, is further satisfactorily accounted for by Clemens Alexandrinus and Jerom. St. Paul would here intimate that as Jesus Christ himself was the peculiar apostle to the Hebrews (as acknowledged in this Epistle, chap. iii. 1.) St. Paul declined through humility to assume the title of an apostle.-See Lardner, vol. ii. p. 21!. vi. p. 411, 412. To which Theodoret adds, that St. Paul being peculiarly the apostle of the uncircumcision, as the rest were