Изображения страниц

as often as there was occasion for it, would hesitate to enforce or repeat the decision, the most worthy of himself. Accordingly he repeats it now, as it might be expected a solemn and ultimate declaration would be repeated, with more emphasis and distinctness of expression, with more weight of authority, and force of reasoning, than ever before. Yet for all this might not the Pharisees in particular be convinced by it; and if his decision was in any manner opposed to the authority of Moses, it is easy to see which they would affect to defer

There was no means, however, of answering our Saviour, except by appealing to Moses; and though he had met that appeal already, yet an argument, which supposed any part of their law to be designed for a temporary purpose, was not likely to satisfy them. Nor is it more extraordinary that they should have continued, or pretended to continue unconvinced, than that the disciples of our Lord himself, from the strangeness, and probably the disagreeableness of his doctrine, should have inquired about it again.

The arrangement, then, of the two narratives will stand as follows:

I. Matt. xix. 3, Mark x. 2: the original question, as recorded by St. Matthew.

II. Mark x. 3, 4, 5: the interrogation of our Lordthe reply to that interrogation-and the declaration subjoined to the reply, shewing the grounds of the legal injunction.

III. Matt. xix. 4, 5, 6, Mark x. 6, 7, 8, 9: which proceed in conjunction, down to the close of St. Mark's account of what passed in public; and may be harmonized thus:

First, if we retain the interrogatory form of St. Matthew, and supply the particle de from St. Mark, ouk

ἀνέγνωτε (δὲ) ὅτι ὁ ποιήσας ἀπ ̓ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως, ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτοὺς, ὁ Θεός ; ο

Secondly, as supplied by St. Matthew, and as part of the quotation from Genesis, καὶ εἶπεν (sc. ὁ Θεός)· ἕνεκεν τούτου . . down to χωριζέτω—which is verbatim the same in both.

IV. Matt. xix. 7: the objection from the Law, as repeated by the Pharisees-xix. 8: our Lord's reply to it, as before, but more concisely than before-xix. 9: a renewed declaration concerning the unlawfulness of promiscuous divorce, similar to what had been pronounced Matt. v. 31, 32, Luke xvi. 18, upon former occasions, but not as yet on this occasion: which concludes St. Matthew's account of what passed in public.

V. Mark x. 10, 11, 12: the renewal of the conversa tion with the disciples in private; where at verses 11, 12, there is a clear reference to Matt. xix. 9, the concluding declaration in public: which yet, without that, would not have been intelligible.

VI. And, lastly, Matt. xix. 10, 11, 12: which will close not only St. Matthew's, but also the whole account. The remark of the disciples that it was better not to marry at all, than to marry on such terms as these, is manifestly such as might have been produced by Mark x. 11, 12; and the reason why St. Matthew has mentioned it after xix. 9 in particular, may be that it followed upon the repetition of the same declaration within, which had recently been pronounced without; and it was due to the same cause, the dislike of the doctrine, or at least the surprise entertained at the doctrine, whether as prescribed without to the people or as repeated within to the disciples.


On the miracles performed at Jericho.

IN the account of these miracles St. Luke is apparently at variance with St. Mark, and St. Matthew apparently with St. Luke and St. Marka; the former, on the question of place, or as to where the miracle was performed; the latter, on the question of persons, or who was the subject of the miracle, whether one person

or more.

St. Luke's language is so clear as to the performance of his miracle, before the procession of Jesus arrived at Jericho, and St. Mark's, as to the performance of his, when the procession had passed through it, that it would be a vain attempt to prove the locality of these two events the same; or that either miracle was performed as Jesus drew nigh to Jericho, or as Jesus was leaving Jericho. It would be equally preposterous to suppose that he made any stay at Jericho; and so might perform one miracle as he first came thither, and another, as he finally left it again. The first verse of the nineteenth chapter of St. Luke is decisive that Jesus passed through Jericho without stopping; or if there is any doubt on this subject, the next Dissertation, I trust, will place it beyond a question. The two accounts, then, are still as much at variance as before; relating to the course of one and the same procession from the banks of the Jordan through Jericho without interruption, until it stopped for a time with Zaccheus. Or if the miracle in St. Luke is to be considered the same with that in St. Mark, they are even more at variance than before.

a Luke xviii 35-43- Mark x. 46-52. Matt. xx. 29–34.

I know no means, therefore, of reconciling either of them with the other, or both with St. Matthew, except one; a mode of reconciliation, handed down from the earliest times, and not more recommended by its antiquity than by its simplicity-which is to suppose two miracles, each at distinct times, and on a different individual; the one, as our Lord was approaching to Jericho, the other, as he was leaving it again; the former, related by St. Luke, the latter by St. Mark, and both, by St. Matthew; each, as distinctly related, related in its proper place; and the two, as related conjointly, not absolutely related out of theirs for one or the other of them, even in St. Matthew, must be regularly related, though the other were not.

The general conciseness of this Evangelist, in the account of miracles, has been often pointed out already; and on the principle of this conciseness, his blending together the history of two miracles, the same in kind, very similar in their circumstances, and almost contiguous in point of time; if any such events really occurred; was a priori to be expected from him: in which case, it is much the most probable that he would connect the history of the first performed, with the account of the last; that is, would relate the last performed in its place, and the first out of it, rather than do the contrary. The approach of Jesus to Jericho St. Matthew does not even mention; but the departure from it again he does: unless therefore he had purposely travelled out of his way, in order to relate the first miracle for its own sake (to do which would not have been consistent with his practice) he had not even an opportunity of recording that, until

* Cf. Origen, iii. 732. Commentarius in Matt. tom. xvi. 12. Theophylact, i. 108. C. In Matt. xx.

the time arrived for the history of the other. Nor, when he is proceeding to recount them both, or to give the history of one out of its order, along with the history of the other in it, does he employ any formula of transition which establishes an immediate succession of events. He ushers in the account merely by his idiomatic expression, kai idoúb: a phrase which, in numberless instances, is simply a note of admonition to the reader, preparing him for something remarkable about to be related, but not a note of time or sequence, referring him to the order and connection of events.

The Gospel of St. Mark coming after St. Matthew's, and every where closely treading in the steps of St. Matthew's, it was quite sufficient that St. Matthew had recorded both the miracles in conjunction, to induce St. Mark to relate only one of them in particular. St. Luke's Gospel coming after both their's, and being written with a perfect knowledge of the accounts of each, it was equally sufficient to make him record only one that St. Mark had recorded the other; and to make him record this one in its proper place that St. Matthew had recorded it, but with the other, out of its place. The time of the double miracle in St. Matthew is clearly the same with that of the single miracle in St. Mark; that is, the miracle on Bartimæus, recorded by the latter, is the second of the miracles, related by the former. By restricting therefore his account to this one miracle, St. Mark still went along with St. Matthew; and by specifying this as a single miracle, he not only went along with him, but so far rectified his order; for this was to detach the one miracle from another of like kind, but upon a different occasion, which St. Matthew had combined with it. The approach to Jericho is not mentioned by him, no more than by St. Matthew; so

b Ch. xx. 30.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »