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OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.

had been born in adultery. This woman, who had been an adulteress, and these dren of adultery, he is commanded to receive into his family; but there no intimation of her being false to him; and a change of character may, we think, fairly be presumed. It may be said to have been an unseemly Cunation; but the divine command justifies it; and all who knew of the

Prophet's conduct would, of course, know the reason of it, and the authority on which he acted. Bishop Horsley is, indeed, of opinion, that she was also unfaithful to the Prophet afterwards, which made her the more correct type of the Jewish Church. Of this, however, we see no necessity, since the object was to teach them, not to practice, but to abhor idolatry.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

dicts, indeed, in the strongest and clearest terms, the ingrafting of the Gentiles into the church of God. But he mentions it only generally; he enters not, like Isaiah, into a minute detail of the progress of the business. Nor does he describe, in any detail, the previous contest with the apostate faction in the latter ages. He makes no explicit mention of the share which the converted Gentiles are to have in the re-establishment of the natural Israel in their ancient seats; subjects which make so striking a part of the prophecies of Isaiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Haggai, and occasionally of the other prophets. He al day; he touches, but only in general terms, upon the final overthrow of the Antichristian army in Palestine, by the immediate interposition of Jehovah; and he celebrates, in the loftiest strains of triumph and exultation, the Sa viour's final victory over death and hell. But yet, of all the prophets, he certainly enters the least into the detail of the mysteries of redemption. We have nothing in him descriptive of the events between the two advents of our Lord. Nothing diffuse and circumstantial upon the great and interesting mys teries of the incarnation and the atonement. His country, and his kindred, is the subject next his heart. Their crimes excite his indignation; their sufferings interest his pity; their future exaltation is the object on which his ima

THE prophecies of Hosea which were soon fulfilled are very numerous: but those relating to the state of Israel and Judah for many ages, the conversion of the Gentiles, and the future restoration of Israel, are peculiarly distinct and striking they coincide with those of the other prophets; and the extraordinary fulfilment of several of them, in past and present times, both proves the Divine in-piration of the writer, and gives assurance that the rest will in due time be accomplished. His principal subject, as Bishop Horsley observes, is that which forms the principal subject of all the prophets-"the guilt of the Jewish nation in general, their disobedient refractory spirit, the heavy judg-ludes to the calling of our Lord from Egypt; to the resurrection on the third ments that awaited them, their final conversion to God, and to a condition of the greatest national prosperity, and of high pre-eminence among the nations of the earth, under the immediate protection of the Messiah, in the latter ages of the world. He contines himself more closely to this single subject than any other prophet. He seems, indeed, of all the prophets, if I may so express my conception of his peculiar character, to have been the most of a Jew. Comparatively, he seems to care little about other people. He wanders not, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, into the collateral history of the surround ing heathen nations. He meddles not, like Daniel, with the revolutions of the great empires of the world. His own country seems to engross his whole attention; her privileges, her crimes, her punishment, her pardon. He pre-gination fixes with delight.

THE BOOK OF JOEL.

INTRODUCTION.

Jeg the prophet, according to the Pseudo-Epiphanius, was of the tribe of itchen, and a native of Bethoron, or rather Bethharan, in that tribe; but notrng certain is known respecting him, except that he was the son of Pethuel, as he infomas us in the title of his predictions. It is even very uncertain Gerez what period he prophesied; though it is evident he exercised the proplate otace in the kingdom of Judah. Jerome, Vitringa, Rosenmuller, Hs, and others, think that he lived in the reign of Uzziah, and consequent ly was contemporary with Hosea and Amos: Calmet, Eckermann, and chers place him in the reign of Josiah; Kimchi and others refer him to the tem of Joram; whale the Jewish Chronicles called Sedar Olam, Jarchi, and seval Jewish writers, followed by Drusius, Archbishop Newcome, Dr. A. Clarke sad others, maintain that he prophesied under Manasseh; and, as collateral circumstances seem to preponderate in favour of this hypothesis,

we have accordingly adopted it. The book of Joel consists of three chapters; in which the prophet, in consequence of a dreadful famine caused by locusts and other noxious insects, calls upon both priests and people to repent with prayer and fasting, cries unto God for them, and represents the very beasts as joining in his supplications, he predicts still greater judgments by an army of locusts, earnestly exhorts them to public fasting, prayer, and repentance, promises the removal of these calamities on their repentance, with various other blessings, makes an elegant transition to the effusion of the Holy Spirit under the Gospel, and foretels the consequent destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation, interspersed with promises of safety to the faithful and penitent; he then predicts the divine judgments to be executed on the enemies of God's people, and the subsequent peace, prosperity, and purity of Israel.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

THE style of Joel is allowed by the most competent judges to be inimitably beautiful containing such an assemblage of elegance, pathos, and sublimity, as can be found in few remains of ancient poetry. "The style of Joel," says Bishop Lourth, differs much from that of Hosea; but, though of a different kel is erally poetical. It is elegant, perspicuous, clear, diffusive, and fang: and, at the same time, very sublime, nervous, and animated. He denings the whole power of poetic description in the first and second chaptees and at the same time his fondness for metaphors, comparisons, and alle poses; nor is the connexion of his subjects less remarkable than the graces of his defion. It is not to be denied that in some places he is very obscure; which every attentive reader will perceive, especially in the end of his prophony. This obscurity, however, does not proceed from the language, which is a commonly perspicuous, but wholly from the nature of the subjects; the brusties of his expression being somewhat shaded by allusions to circumstances yet unfulfilled. His descriptions are highly animated; and his lanpoza in force, and often in sound, well adapted to his subject. The contex: ture of the prophecy in the first and second chapters is extremely curious, and wght up with admirable force and beauty; in which by an animated represeutation he anticipates the scenes of misery which lowered over Judea. It is g berally supposed, that the prophet blends two subjects of affliction in one gerral consideration, or beautiful allegory; and that, under the devastation

to be produced by locusts in the vegetable world, he portrays the more distant calamities to be inflicted by the armies of the Chaldeans in their invasion of Judea. Hence, probably, the studied ambiguity of some of the expressions; while the double destruction to be effected by these fearful insects and those enemies of which they were the harbingers, is painted with the most expressive force, in terms reciprocally metaphorical, and admirably adapted to the twofold character of the descriptions. These predictions are followed by a more general denunciation of God's vengeance, delivered with such force and aggravation of circumstances, as to be in some measure descriptive of that final judgment, which some temporal dispensations of Provi dence may be said to prefigure. These several declarations are intermingled with earnest exhortations to solemn fasting, repentance, and prayer, and with promises of deliverance and returning prosperity productive of Gospel blessings; in treating of which, be foretels, in the clearest terms, the general cffinsion of the Holy Spirit, which was to characterize the Gospel dispensation, predicting, in the fullest and plainest manner, the awful consequences of obstinately rejecting the sacred influence, especially to the Jews, the event of which, to this day, filly attests his Divine inspiration. In conclusion, he foretels the righteous judgments of God in the final excision of his enemies, and the glorious state of prosperity to be yet enjoyed by the church; representing its perfections and blessings under the poetic emblems of a golden age.

THE BOOK OF AMOS.

INTRODUCTION.

AMOS was contemporary with Hosea, though he did not, probably, live so ke He was not educated in the Schools of the Prophets, founded by Saniel, at was called to the prophetic office from being a shepherd and herdsmas in Tekos, in the territory of Judah, and sent to exhort the people of Isram to repentance. He began to prophesy two years before the earthquake surlappened in the reign of Uzziah king of Judah; which Josephus, (Ant. I arb. 9.) with most ancient and modern commentators, refers to that prince's invasion of the priest's office, when he attempted to offer incense to the Lord The book of Amos consists of nine chapters, of which Calmet and others think that the seventh is the first in order of time; in which the picardinɔns the judgments of God on Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, and Armen, for their cruelty and oppression of Israel; upon Moab, for his impotest retenze on the dead body of the king of Edom; on Judah, for his contempt of God's law; and on Israel, for idolatry, iniquity, and ingratitude; he Den expostulate with Israel and Judah, warning them of approaching judg-objects with which he was familiar. His sentiments are frequently lofty, and ments; calls the Philistines and Egyptians to behold the punishment of Sa; maria and the ten tribes for their sins; reproves the Israelites for luxury and oppression, warning them to prepare to meet God, who is about to execute veiguace upon them; laments over the destruction of Israel, exhorting them

to renounce their idols and to seek the Lord; declares the judgments of God on the scornful, presumptuous, and hypocritical Israelites, whom God sentences to captivity; denounces the most terrible calamities on the self indul gent and self-confident Jews and Israelites; averts by prayer the judgments of the grasshoppers and fire, and shows, by a wall and plumb-line, the strict jus tice of God in Israel's punishment. Being accused to Jeroboam by Amaziah the priest, and forbidden to prophesy in Bethel, he shows how God called hitn to prophesy, and predicts the ruin of Amaziah and his family; under a vision of a basket of summer-fruit, he shows the speedy ruin of Israel; reproves their oppression and injustice; shows the complete ruin of Israel, and threatens a famine of the word of God; he then declares the certainty of the judg ments to be inflicted on Israel, though a remnant shall be preserved, and predicts the blessings of Messiah's kingdom, and the conversion and restoration of Israel.-Several of this Prophet's images are borrowed from those rural his style beautiful, as well as plain. The same celestial Spirit, (says Bishop Looth,) actuated Isaiah and Daniel in the court, and Amos in the sheepfold; occasionally employing the natural eloquence of some, and occasionally making others eloquent."

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

Amos was by profession a herdman and a dresser of the sycamore fruit; and hence, as Archbishop Newcome observes, he borrows many images fruca the scenes in which he was engaged; but he introduces thein with skill, *:1 give them tone and dignity by the eloquence and grandeur of his man We shall find in him many affecting and pathetic, many elegant and sime pissāpes. No prophet has more magnificently described the Deity; or more prately rebuked the luxurious, or reproved injustice and oppression with greater warmth, and a more generous indignation." Jerome is opi, that there is nothing great or sublime in the style of Amos, a of on midem speech, but not in knowledze," applying to him what St. Paul modestly professes of himself (2 Cor. xi. 6.) Calmet and many others have fled the authonty of Jerome, in speaking of this prophet, as if he were cute rude, void of eloquence, and destitute of all the embellishments of cumuution The matter however, as Bishop Lowth has remarked, is ite otherwise. "Let any person, who has candour and perspicacity enough to price, not from the man, but from his writings, open the volume of his precuons, and be will, I think, agree that our shepherd is not a whit behind

the very chief of the prophets.' (2 Cor. xi. 5.) He will agree, that, as in sublimity and magnificence he is almost equal to the greatest, so in splendour of diction, and elegance of expression, he is scarcely inferior to any." It should, however, be observed, that rustic employments were very general and honourable among the Hebrews; and that comparisons drawn from rural scenes, and the pastoral life, are by no means peculiar to Amos; the principal images, and those of the greatest beauty and elegance, both in the poetical and prophetical parts of Scripture, being derived from the same natural objects. But many of these images must falsely appear mean and obscure to us, who differ so materially from the Hebrews in our manners and customs; but in such cases it is our duty neither too rashly to blame, nor too suddenly to despair. The mind should rather exert itself to discover, if possible, the connexion between the literal and figurative meanings, which, in abstruse subjects, frequently depending upon some delicate and nice relation, eludes our penetration. An obsolete custom. for instance, or some forgotten circumstance, opportunely adverted to, will sometimes restore its true perspicuity and credit to a very intricate passage."

INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK

THE BOOK OF OBADIAH.

INTRODUCTION.

Of the prophet OBADIAH nothing certain is known; but it is highly pro- | deans, and finally by the Jews, whom they had used most cruelly, when bable, as Abp. Newcome and others suppose, that he flourished between the brought low by other enemies; and he concludes, as almost all the other protaking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, B. C. 588, and the destruction of Idu-phets do, with consolatory promises of restoration and prosperity to the Jews. mea by the same monarch, which took place a few years afterwards. Conse- The prophecy, according to Usher, began to be fulfilled about five years after quently he was contemporary with Jeremiah, one of whose prophecies, respect- the destruction of Jerusalem; that is, about 592 years before Christ. Torensing the destruction of Edom, bears a striking similarity to that of Obadiah. In end, however, places the prophecy much earlier, viz. B. C. 740. See 2 Chron. this book he foretels the subjugation and ruin of the Idumeans by the Chal- xxviii. 17.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

THE book of OBADIAH is composed with much force and beauty, and unfolds a noble and very interesting scene of prophecy. These predictions began to be fulfilled about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, when the Chaldeans, with whom they had formerly been in alliance, under Nebuchadnezzar, ravaged Idumnea, and dispossessed the Edomites of a great part of Arabia Petra, of which they never after recovered possession. The Jews having returned to their own land, by the decree of Cyrus, at the termination of the seventy years of the Babylonian captivity, their temple was rebuilt, and the worship of God restored; and Jerusalem was re-established in prosperity, and the land replenished with inhabitants. They also extended themselves in every direction to Edom on the south,-to the Philistines on the west,-to Ephraim and Phoenicia on the north,-and to Gilead on the east. Alexander the Great gave Samaria to the Jews; and John Hyrcanus subdued the same country after his wars with the Syrians. (Josephus.) GOD at various times raised up certain persons as saviours or deliverers of his people, such as Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Maccabees. The Asmonean princes having united the priesthood with the state, the kingdom, or dominion, was actually possessed and exercised by the LORD-that is, the high priest had both the civil and ecclesiastical power in his own hands. The house of Jacob and the house of Joseph did also break out as a flame upon the Idumeans; for under Judas Maccabæus they attacked and defeated them several times, killed no less than twenty thousand at one time, and more than twenty thousand at another, and took their chief city Hebron, "with the towns thereof, and pulled down the fortress of it, and burned the towns thereof round about ;" (1 Mac. v. 2 Mac. x. ;) and at last his nephew, Hyrcanus son of Simon, took other of their cities, and reduced them to the necessity of either embracing the Jewish religion, or of leaving their country, and seeking other habitations; in consequence of which they submitted to be circumcised, became proselytes to the Jewish religion, and ever after were incorporated into the Jewish church and

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nation. (Josephus, Ant.) Thus they were actually masters of Edom, an judged and governed the mount of Esau. We know, indeed, as Bp. Newton remarks, little more of the history of the Edomites than as it is connected with that of the Jews: and where is the name or the nation now? They were swallowed up and lost, partly among the Nabathian Arabs, and partly among the Jews; and the very name was abolished and disused about the end of the first century after CHRIST. Thus were they rewarded for insulting and oppressing their brethren the Jews; and, while at this day we see the Jews subsisting as a distinct people, Edom is no more. Agreeably to the words of this prophet he has been "ent off for ever," for his violence against his brother Jacob (ver. 10. ;) and there is now "not any remaining of the house of Esau, for the LORD had spoken it." Thus the prophecy appears to have had a very litera and exact fulfilment; but it is probable it also refers to the future conver sion and restoration of the Jews, the destruction of all antichristian opposers, and that prosperous state of the church to which all the prophets bear witness, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our LORD and bis CHRIST; and he shall reign for ever and ever." Rev xi. 15.

This prophet, after describing the pride and cruelty of the Edomites, declares that though they dwelt in fancied security among the clefts of the rocks, yet, that the men of Teman should be dismayed, and every one of the mount of Esau should be cut off by slaughter. The south part of Palestine, from Eleutheropolis to Petra, (the ancient capital of Idumea,) and Elah, was full of rocks, among which the Edomites dwelt. Obadiah's name implies, the servant of Jehovah, a title equivalent to that by which Moses was distinguished, (Num. xii. 7.) and to that in which Paul gloried. The prophet's work is short, but composed with much beauty: it unfolds a very interesting scene of prophecy, and an instructive lesson against human confidence and malicious exultation.

THE BOOK OF JONAH.

INTRODUCTION.

JONAH, the son of Amittai, was a native of Gath-hepher, in Galilee, and a | prophetical office as early as the latter part of Jehu's reign, or the beginning type of our Saviour in his resurrection, is the most ancient of those Prophets whose writings are preserved in the sacred canon.-He predicted the successes of Jereboam, II, the son of Joash, in whose reign he is supposed by Blair and others to have flourished; but Bishop Lloyd and others think he exercised the

of that of Jehoahaz. (See the Table of the Prophets.) His prophecy is a simple narrative, containing nothing poetical, excepting his thanksgiving ody (ch. ii.) which is most beautiful and sublime. The first mention we have of Jonah is in 2 Ki. xiv. 25.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

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We are here presented with a fine description of the power and tender mer
cies of GOD, and the impartiality of the prophet in detailing his own weak-
ness and folly, (a conduct almost wholly restricted to the sacred writers,) is
worthy of particular notice. Some writers, from the supposed difficulties of
this Book, have considered it as a parabolic history, or allegory; others have
thought that the account of his being swallowed by a great fish, praying in its
belly, and being cast on dry land, was a dream which he had when fast asleep
in the ship; and others, with equal propriety, have contended that by dag, we
should understand, not a fish, but a Ashing-cove, or fishing-boat! Such ab-
surd opinions are scarcely worthy of notice; they are plainly contrary to the
letter of the text, and the obvious meaning of language; and are completely
overthrown by the appeal of our LORD to the main facts of this history, and
especially by the use which he makes of it. (Mat. xii. 40. Lu. xi. 39.) This
testimony puts an end to all mythological, allegorical, and hypothetical inter-
pretations of these great facts; and the whole must be admitted to be a mira-
cle from beginning to end, effected by the almighty power of God. GOD, who
commissioned Jonah, raised the storm; He prepared the great fish to swal
low the disobedient prophet; He maintained his life for three days and three
nights in the bowels of this marine monster; He led it to the shore, and
caused it to eject the prophet on dry land at the appointed time. He miracu-
lously produced the sheltering gourd, that came to perfection in a night; Hesentation of the particulars recorded in this sacred Book.

prepared the worm which caused it to wither in a night. And how easy was
all this to the almighty power of the Author and Sustainer of life, who has a
sovereign, omnipresent, and energetic sway in the heavens and in the earth!
The miraculous preservation and deliverance of Jonah were surely not more
remarkable or descriptive of almighty power, than the multiplied worders in
the wilderness, the protection of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the
fiery furnace, of Daniel in the lion's den, or the resurrection of the widow's
son: all were deviations from the general laws of nature, and the ordinary
course of human events, and evident demonstrations of supernatural and mi-
raculous interference. But foolish man will affect to be wise, though born as
a wild ass's colt; and some, because they cannot work a miracle themselves,
can hardly be persuaded that Gon can do it! The fame of the prophet's deli-
verance appears to have been widely propagated among the heathen nations;
and the Greeks, ever fond of adorning the memory of their heroes by every re-
markable event and embellishment which they could appropriate, added to the
fictitious adventures of Hercules, that of having continued three days and
nights in the belly of a sea monster, or shark, cutting and hacking his en-
trails, and afterwards coming out of the monster without any injury, except
the loss of his hair. The fable of Arion and the Dolphin, of which the date is
fixed at a period nearly coeval with that of Jonah, is probably also a misrepre-

THE BOOK OF MICAH.

INTRODUCTION.

THE prophet MICAH was a native of Moresheth, a town in the kingdom of | Judah, which JEROME places about ten furlongs from Eleutheropolis; and, as we learn from the commencement of his predictions, prophesied in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. He was, therefore, con temporary with Isaiah and Hosea; though it is probable that he began to prophesy later than they. He reproves the Jews for their sins with great

warmth and indignation; foretels their several captivities; and, for the comfort of the pious, delivers many things concerning the Messiah, his incarnation and offices, and the happiness and glory of his church in the latter days. "The style of Micah is for the most part close, forcible, pointed, and concise; sometimes approaching the obscurity of Hosea; in many parts animated and sublime. and in general truly poetical."

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

the decision of the chief priests and scribes, (Mat. ii. 6.) but also from many of the Jewish writers which are now extant. JONATHAN in his Targum expressly applies it to the Messiah; rendering it, And thou Bethlehem Ephratah, art thou too little to be numbered among the thousands of the house of Judah? From thee before me shall come forth the Messiah to exercise dominion in Israel, whose name is declared of old, from the days of eternity." In the Targum on the Pentatench ascribed to the same author, on Ge. xxxv. 21. the tower o Edar, rendered in Micah, "the tower of the flock," and which JEROME says was near Bethlehem, and the place where the butn of Jesus Christ was de

THE prophecy contained in chap. v. 1--5, says Dr. Hales. "Is perhaps the|cient Jews understood this prophecy of the Messiah is evident, not only from most iniportant single prophecy in the Old Testament, and the most comprehensive respecting the personal character of the Messiah, and his successive manifestations to the world. It crowns the whole chain of predictions de scriptive of the several limitations of the blessed Seed of the woman to the line of Shem, to the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to the tribe of Judah, and to the royal house of David, here terminating in his birth at Bethlehem, the city of David. It carefully distinguishes his human nativity from his eternal generation; foretels the rejection of the Israelites and Jews for a season; their final restoration; and the universal peace destined to prevail throughout the earth in the Regeneration. It forms, therefore, the basis of the New Tesclared to the shepherds, is expressly affirmed to be the place from which the tament, which begins with his human birth at Bethlehem, the miraculous cirking Messiah shall be manifested in the end of the days." In Pirke Eliezer cumstances of which are recorded in the introductions of Matthew's and Luke's also, the passage in Micah is referred to the Messiah; and "his goings forth Gospels; his ctemal generation as the ORACLE, or WISDOM, in the sublime from the beginning." is interpreted by when the world was not yet created." introduction of John's Gospel; his prophetic character, and second coming. See also Talmud Hieros. Berachoth. In fact, nothing can be clearer or more unillustrated in the four Gospels and Epistles, ending with a prediction of the doubted than the application of this remarkable prophecy; which was fully veri speedy approach of the latter in the Apocalypse. (Re. xxii. 20.)" That the an fied in the birth of our Saviour, by a peculiar act of Providence, at Bethlehem

OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.

THE BOOK OF NAHUM.

INTRODUCTION.

NARUM, the prophet, was a native of Elkosh, a town of Galilee, the ruins | chapters, forming one entire poem, the conduct and imagery of which are truly of which were still in being, and well known, in the time of JEROME. JOSE PHUS (Ant. ix. c. 11. §3.) says, that he flourished in the time of Jotham, k of Judah, and that all the events which he foretold concerning Nineveh came to pass one hundred and tifteen years afterwards." But JEROME, with more probability, places him in the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and says, that his name by interpretation is a comforter; for the ten tribes being camed away by the king of Assyria, this vision was to comfort them in their captivity: nor was it less consolation to the other two tribes of Judah and Bengarun, who remained in the land, and were besieged by the same enemies, to hear that these conquerors would in time be conquered themselves, their city taken, and their empire overthrown." This prophecy consists of three

admirable. In the exordium, the prophet sets forth with grandeur the justice and power of God, tempered with lenity and goodness; foretels the ruin of the Assyrian king and his army, and the deliverance of the people of God, with their rejoicing on the occasion; predicts the siege and taking of Nineveh by the Medes and Babylonians, the ruin of the Assyrian empire, the plundering and destruction of the city, and the extinction of the royal family, for their oppression and cruelty; denounces a heavy wo against Nineveh for her perfidy and violence, and idolatries; shows that the desolation of No-Ammon, in Egypt, may lead her to expect similar destruction; and predicts her utter and final ruin, and the inefficacy of all methods to prevent it."

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

THE prophecy of NAHUM forms a regular and perfect poem. The exordium a grand and truly majestic; the preparations for the destruction of Nineveh, art the description of its downfall, are painted in the most vived colours, and an a murally clear. The destruction of Nineveh took place a little more than a century afterwards; and its utter desolation is unanimously attested both by ament and modern writers. "But," as Bp. Newton justly observes, what prabity was there, that the capital of a great kingdom, a city which was sixty makes in compass, a city which contained so many thousand inhabitants, should be totally destroyed? And yet so totally was it destroyed, that the place is hardly known where it was situated. We have seen that it was taken and destroyed by the Medes and Babylonians; and what we may suppo belped to complete its ruin and devastation was Nebuchadnezzar's soon afterwards enlarging and beautifying Babylon. From that time no mention is made of Nineveh by any of the sacred writers; and the most ancient of the heathen authors, who have occasion to say any thing about it, speak of it as a eity that was once great and flourishing, but now destroyed and desolate. Grist as it was formerly, so little of it was remaining, that authors are not agreed even about its situation There is at this time a city called Mosul, stated on the western side of the river Tigris, and on the opposite eastern sture are runs of a great extent, which are said to be the ruins of Nineveh But it is more than probable, that these ruins are the remains of the Per san Nineveh, and not of the Assyrian. Even the ruins of old Nineveh have

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been, as I may say, long ago ruined and destroyed, Such an utter end' hath been made of it; and such is the truth of the Divine predictions! This perhaps may strike us the more strongly, by supposing only a parallel instance. Let us then suppose, that a person should come in the name of a prophet, preaching repentance to the people of this nation, or otherwise denouncing the destruction of the largest city within a few years.....I presume we should look upon such a prophet as a madman, and show no farther attention to his message than to deride and despise it; and yet such an event would not be more strange and incredible than the destruction and devastation of Nineveh. For Nineveh was much the larger, and much the stronger, and older city of the two: and the Assyrian empire had subsisted and flourished more ages than any form of government in this country; so that you cannot object the instability of the eastern monarchies in this case. Let us then.....suppose again, that things should succeed according to the prediction; the floods should arise, and the enemy should come, the city should be overflown and broken down, be taken and pillaged, and destroyed so totally, that even the learned could not agree about where it was situated. What would be said or thought in such a case? Whoever of posterity should read and compare the prophecy and event together, must they not by such an illustrious instance be thoroughly convinced of the providence of GOD, and of the truth of his prophet, and be ready to acknowledge, Verily this is the word that the LORD hath spoken, verily there is a GOD who judgeth the earth?'"

THE BOOK OF HABAKKUK.

INTRODUCTION.

the the prophet HABAKKUK we have no certain information; but it is pro- | GOD for punishing them by the instrumentality of the Chaldeans; in answer bable as EPIPHANIUS and DOROTHEUS assert, that he was of the tribe of Si- to which complaint, Gop shows the certainty of the vision, and denounces the meon, and a native of Bethzacar. I is evident that he prophesied in Judea destruction of the Babylonian empire, with the judgments to be inflicted upon before the raptivity, and probably, as Abp. USHER supposes, in the reign of the Chaldeans for their ambition, cruelty, treachery, and idolatry: the prophet Jebolim, bang contemporary with Jeremiah. His genuine writings are then implores GOD to hasten the deliverance of his people, recounting the woncough ed in the three chapters of which this book consists; in which the pro-derful deliverances which GOD had vouchsafed to his people, in conducting them photo moznantly complaining of the growth of iniquity among the Jews, GoD through the wilderness, and giving them possession of the promised land; and, worthilined as denouncing his vengeance to be inflicted upon them by the deeply affected with the approaching judgments, he yet resolves to rejoice in the Chald- ans; then, making a sudden transition, he humbly expostulates with mercy and goodness of Gop when all other comforts failed. CONCLUDING REMARKS. ПTABAKKUK, as a poet, holds a high rank among the Hebrew prophets. The Beautiful connexion between the parts of his prophecy, its diction, imagery, sperit, and sublimity, are particularly striking, and cannot be too much admured The prayer of Habakkuk, in particular, is allowed by the best judges to be a masterpiece of its kind; and it is adduced by Bishop Louth as one of the most perfect specimens of the Hebrew ode. The prophet illustrates the ect of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery throughout with

equal magnificence, selecting from such an assemblage of miraculous incidents the most noble and important, displaying them in the most splendid colours, and embellishing them with the sublimest imagery, figures, and diction; the dignity of which is so heightened and recommended by the superior elegance of the conclusion, that were it not for a few shades, which the hand of time has apparently cast over it in two or three passages, no composition of the kind would, I believe, appear more elegant, or more perfect, than this poem."

THE BOOK OF ZEPHANIAH.

INTRODUCTION.

ZEPHANIAH, according to Epiphanius, was of the tribe of Simeon, and of Met Sarabatha, or Paratha; but, though he mentions his ancestors for no less Can four generatious, yet nothing certain can be inferred as to what family he Singed We learn however, from the commencement of his prophecy, that be delivered his predictions in the reign of Josiah king of Judah; and, from the description he gives of the disorders which then prevailed, it is evident thed it must have been before the reformation made by Josiah, in the eighteeth year of his reign; and as he predicts the destruction of Nineveh, which, as Caimet remarks, could not have taken place before the sixteenth of Jo

siah, we must therefore place his prophecy about the beginning of the reign of Josiah, or from B. C. 640 to 609. The book of Zephaniah consists of three chapters; in which the prophet denounces the wrath of God against Judah and Jerusalem for idolatry and apostacy; predicts terrible judgments coming upon sinners of different descriptions; exhorts them to repentance, as the only mean to avert the Divine vengeance; prophesies against the Philistines, Moabites and Ammonites, Ethiopians and Assyrians; sharply rebukes Jerusalem for various aggravated sins; and predicts their future restoration, and the ultimate prosperous state of the church in the days of the Messiah. CONCLUDING REMARKS. "EPHANIAH and Jeremiah resemble each other so much in those parts when they treat of the idolatries and wickedness that prevailed in their time, that we dore asserts, that Zephaniah was the abbreviator of Jeremiah; but he apparently prophesied before Jeremiah; and the latter seems to speak of those abuses as partially removed, which the former describes as present in

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the most flagitious extent. Compare Zeph. i. 4, 5, 9, with Jer. ii. 5, 20, 32. Zephaniah conspired with Josiah in his righteous design of bringing back the people to the worship and obedience of the true God. The style is poetical; but it is not distinguished by any peculiar elegance or beauty, though generally animated and impressed."

THE BOOK OF HAGGAI.

INTRODUCTION.

Of the parentage of the prophet Haggai we know nothing; but the general opinion founded on the assertion of Epiphanius, is, that he was bom at BaByken, danng the captivity, and was one of the Jews who returned with Zerubbabel in consequence of the edict of Cyrus. The building of the temple having been interrupted for about fourteen years, in consequence of the ill offices of the naboenag satraps, who prejudiced the mind of the Persian monarch Brainst the Jews; Darius Hystaspes, in the second year of his reign, renewed the permasion formerly granted by Cyrus; and Haggai was sent to encourage bie countrymen to proceed with the work. The prophet reproves the delay of

the Jews in building the temple, and exhorts them to proceed; they obey the prophet's message, and receive encouragement from God; the prophet comforts the old men, who wept at the diminished magnificence of the second temple. by assuring them that its glory should be greater than that of the first by the presence of the Messiah; he shows that their sins had deprived them of God's blessing, and promises them fiuitful harvests from that day forward, and predicts the prosperity of the Messiah's kingdom, under that of Zerubbabel, his ancestor and type.-The style of this Prophet is, generally, plain and prosaic; interspersed, however, with some passages of a highly poetic character.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

In order to encourage and cheer those who fondly remembered the glorious | tive meanness of the present building, the prophet Haggai declares to them structure which had been raised by Solomon, and who, perhaps, impressed in the name of the Lord, that the glory of this latter house, though it might with the description furnished by Ezekiel, must have lamented the compara- appear as nothing in their eyes, should be greater than that of the former.

INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK

A glory more apparent and manifest than was that clouded and symbolical representation of the Divine Majesty, which overshadowed the mercy-seat in the old temple; and which prefigured only that incarnate presence of the Messiah in whom "dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodify," (Col. ii. 6.;) and from this temple, which though not decorated with gold and silver should thus surpass the former in glory, should appear the "Prince of peace," (ch. ii. 9. compared with Ep. ii. 14.) This illustrious prophecy the ancient Jews correctly applied to the Messiah, though some modern writers have made objections to its exact fulfilment by the advent of Christ. It has been pretended, that the temple in which our Saviour appeared was in reality not a second, but a third temple, rebuilt by Herod; but it is certain, that whatever alterations and additions were made by Herod, it did not constitute an entirely new building. There was a temple for the worship of Jehovah according to the law, during all the forty-six years which were spent in repairing or rebuilding it; and consequently, one part must have been taken down at once, as far as was needful for the purpose, and no more: but the old foundations, and the most essential parts of the structure, no doubt remained. In fact, no nominal distinction between Zerubbabel's and Herod's temple was ever made by the Jews; but, in popular language, both these structures were spoken of as the second temple. On one occasion, Josephus himself' mentions only two buildings of the temple; a former in the time of Solomon, and a latter in that of Cyrus; and in the Chronicon Hebræum, &c. Vespasian is said to have destroyed the temple four hundred and forty years after it was built. The Prophet, indeed, could not have used greater precision of language, consistently with his design of consoling the Jews; for had he adopted such a distinction, it would have led them to expect the demolition of the temple then building, and the erection of another in its stead. It is also undeniable, that the Jews did, in consequence of this prophecy, expect the Messiah to appear in this temple, till after its destruction by Vespasian; they then, in order to evade its

application to Jesus of Nazareth, applied it to a third, which they expect at
some future period. For the same purpose, other Jewish writers, who are fol-
lowed by some modern commentators, contend, that chemdath, "desire,"
which is in construction with a plural verb, oovaoo, “and they shall come,'
should be read chemdoth, "desires," the desirable things of all nation8
shall come:" which they understand of the valuable and rich presents which
various nations should bring into the temple. But this alteration, though
apparently sanctioned by some of the ancient versions, is not acknowledged by
any MS. yet collated; and it was evidently read in the singular by both the
Targum and Vulgate; which have," and the Desire of all nations shall come,"
"and the Desired Person shall come to all nations." It has also been justly
objected to this interpretation, that it is inconsistent with the great solemnity
of the introduction; and that the language itself, "the desirable things of all
nations shall come," is highly improper, as it should rather have been," the
desirable things of all nations shall be brought," a sense which ba never has
in Kal, but only in Hophal. In fact, no alteration is needed to clear the
grammatica! construction; for it is a well known Hebraism for a verb or par-
ticiple to agree with the latter of two connected substantives, though in sense
it strictly relates to the former; and thus ooca00, they shall come," agrees,
not with chemdath," desire," its proper nominative, but with goyim,
tions," with which it is in construction. For similar instances the reader is
referred to Gen. iv. 10. Lev. xiii. 9. 1 Sa. ii. 4. 2 Sa. x. 9. 1 Kì. xvii. 16. Neh. ix.
6. Job xv. 20. xxix. 10. xxxii. 7. Prov. xxix. 25. Eccles. xi. 1. Isa. xxv. 3. Jer. 11.
34. in the Hebrew. To nothing else indeed than the advent of the Messiah can
this prophecy refer; and nothing but the presence of the incarnate son of God
could fulfil the prediction, and render the glory of this latter house greater
than of the former." This great event, and this alone, agrees with the whole
of the context; with the political convulsions by which it was preceded and
followed, and with the great and final religious revolution which it introduced.

THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH.

INTRODUCTION.

na

ZECHARIAH was, as he himself informs us, the son of Berechiah, and grandson of Iddo; but the tribe and family from which he was descended, as well as the time and place of his birth, are equally unknown. It is, however, certain that he was one of the captives who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel; and from an expression in ch. ii. 4. there is reason to believe that he was called to the prophetic office when a young man. He began to prophesy in the second year of Darius Hystaspes, A. M. 3484. B.C. 520., in the eighth month of the sacred year, and consequently two months after Haggai, Ze chariah, after general warnings, and exhortations to repentance, foretels the completion of the temple, (ch. i.;) the rebuilding and prosperity of Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, (ch. ii. 1-5;) the judgments of God upon Babylon, from which he admonishes the Jews to depart previous to its destruction, (ver. 6-9.) promising them the Divine presence, (ver. 10-13;.) under a vision of Joshua the high-priest arrayed in new sacerdotal attire, he predicts the restoration of the temple and its service, (eh. iii. 1-7.;) whence, by an easy transition, he sets forth the glory of Christ, as the chief corner stone of his church, (ver. 8-10.;) under the vision of the golden candlestick and two olive trees, he represents the success of Zerubbabel and Joshua m rebuilding the temple, and restoring its service, (ch. iv. ;) by the vision of a flying roll and an ephah, he shows the judgments which would come on the wicked Jews, and the abject and oppressed state of the nation, after they had filled up the measure of their sins, (ch. v.;) by the vision of four chariots drawn by several sorts of horses, and by two crowns placed on Joshua's hend, he sets forth primarily the re-establishment of the civil and religious polity of the Jews under Zerubbabel and Joshua, and secondarily and principally, the high priest-events becoining more explicit in proportion as their accomplishment drew hood and kingdom of Christ, called emphatically the Branch, (ch. vii. ;) some Jews having been sent to Jerusalem from the exiles at Babylon, to inquire whether they were still bound to observe the fasts instituted on account of the destruction of that city, (ch. vi. 1-3. ;) the prophet is commanded to enforce upon them the weighter matters of the law, lest the same calamities befall them which were inflicted on their fathers, (ver. 4-11.,) promising them, in the

event of their obedience, the continuance of the favour of God, (ch, viii. 1—8, ;)
encouraging them to go on with the building, (ver. 9-17. ;) and permitting
them to discontinue the observance of those fasts, (ver. 18-23, :) the prophet
then predicts the intermediate events which should happen to the surrounding
nations and to the Jews, from the completion of the temple till the coming of
Christ, with figurative intimations of the prevalence of the Gospel by the
triumphs of his apostles and servants, (ch. ix. x. ;) foretels the destruction of
the temple and the rejection of the Jews for their rejection of Christ, and
other sins, (ch. xi. ;) and predicts the preservation of Jerusalem against an in-
vasion in the latter ages of the world, and the destruction of her enemies,
(ch. xii. 1-9.;) the conversion of the Jews to their crucified Messiah, (ver.
10-14 ch. xiii. ;) the destruction of Jerusalem, and the judgments inflicted on
the unbelieving Jews; the preservation of a remnant, and their conversion ;
the ruin of the nations that fought against her; the final conversion of al
nations, and the peace and prosperity of the church, (ch. xiv.)}— Bagster.
The design of the first part of this prophecy, like that of his contemporary
Haggai, was to encourage the Jews to go on with rebuilding the temple, by
giving them assurance of God's aid and protection. From this he proceeds to
foretel the glory of the Christian church (the true temple of God) under its great
High Priest and Governor Jesus Christ, of whom Zerubbabel and Joshua were
figures. The first six chapters consist chiefly of prophetic visions, in the manner
of Ezekiel. Daniel, and the Revelation of St. John. The following chapters treat
of the death, sufferings, and kingdom of Messiah, in many particulars not men-
tioned by any of the Prophets before him; every thing relating to those great
nearer. Zechariah's style like that of Haggai, is for the most part prosaic,
only more obscure towards the beginning, on account of his various types and
emblems. Towards the end he is more plain, as well as more elevated and
poetical. The difference in the style, among other reasons, has led many to
conclude, that the last six chapters might be written by Jeremiah, or some
other Prophet, though annexed to this prophecy of Zechariah.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

"THE style of Zechariah is so remarkably similar to that of Jeremiah, that the Jews were accustomed to observe, that the spirit of Jeremiah had passed into him. The whole book is beautifully connected by easy transitions, and present and future scenes are blended with the most delicate contexture. Epiphanius attributes some predictions to Zechariah, which were delivered ac

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cording to his account by the prophet at Babylon, and on the journey in his return from thence, but these are not extant in Scripture, and are of very ques tionable authority. The Zechariah to whom an apocryphal book is attributed by some writers, is supposed to have been a different person from the prophet, and according to Fabricius, he was the father of John the Baptist."

THE BOOK OF MALACHI.
INTRODUCTION.

Or Malachi, the last of the prophets, so little is known, that it has been doubted whether his name be a proper name, or only a generic name, signify ing My angel or messenger. Origen entertained the extravagant notion, that he was an angel incarnate sent from GOD; and Calmet, after Jerome and other ancient writers, is of opinion that he was the same as Ezra. Epiphanius, Dorotheus, and the Chronicon Alexandrinum, say that Malachi was of the tribe of Zebulun, and a native of the town of Sapha; and that the name Malachi was given him because of his angelic muldness, and because an angel used to appear visibly to the people to confirm what he had said. It is, however, certain, that he prophesied some time after Haggai and Zechariah, for in his time the temple was rebuilt, and the worship re estaplished, (chap. i. 7, 10, 12. ii. 10) and consequently his ministry must have comcided with, or succeeded, that of Nehemiah. Dr. Blair and Archbishop Newcome suppose him to have flourished about B. C. 436; and Archbishop Usher about B. C. 416; but Dr. Kennicott places him about B. C. 420; which

| date is adopted by Dr. Hales, as sufficiently agreeing with the description of Josephus, and the varying dates of chronologers. The book of Malachi con sists of four chapters; in which the prophet reminds the Jews of the special favours which God had bestowed upon them; reproves them for not showing due reverence to God; threatening their rejection, and announcing the calling of the Gentiles; denounces the Divine judgments both upon people and priests for their disrespect to God in their sacrifices; and for their unlawful intermarriages with idolatresses, and for divorcing their legitimate wives; foretels the coming of Christ and his harbinger John the Baptist, to purify the sons of Levi, and to smite the land with a curse, unless they all repented; reproving them for withholding their tithes and other oblations, and also for blasphemy; predicting the reward of the good, and the punishment of the wicked, and enjoining the strict observance of the law, till the forerunner already promised should appear, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to introduce the Messiah, and commence a new and everlasting dispensation.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

THE Book of Malachi, says Bishop Lowth, is written in a kind of middle style, which seems to indicate that the Hebrew Poetry, from the time of the Babylonish captivity, was in a declining state, and having passed its prime and vigour, was then fast verging towards the debility of age. The writings of this prophet, however, are by no means devoid of force and elegance; and he reproves the wickedness of his countrymen with vehemence, and exhorts them to repentance and reformation with the utmost earnestness. mean recommendation of Malachi, as well as a sanction of his prophetic mission, that his Book, though short, is often referred to in the inspired writings of the New Testament; and that his claim to the character of a prophet 30

It is no

is recognized by the Evangelists, and is admitted by our Lord himself. (Mat. xi. 10.; xvi. 10-12. Mar. 1. 2.; ix. 11, 12. Luke i. 16, 17.; vii. 27. Rom. ix. 13.) He terminated the illustrious succession of the prophets, and sealed up the volume of prophecy, by proclaiming the sudden appearance of the Lord. whom they sought, in his temple, preceded by that messenger, who, like a harbinger, should prepare his way before him; the fulfilment of which predic tion, by the preaching of John the Baptist, and the advent of Jesus of Naza reth, the true Messiah, and the Lord of life and glory, during the existence of the second temple, fully attests the divinity of his mission, and the Divinc inspiration of his prophecy.

OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW.

INTRODUCTION

MATTHEW, surnamed Levi, was the son of Alpheus; but not of that Alpheus who was the father of James. (Matt. x. 3.) Matthew was a native of Galilee; but of what city, or from what tribe, is unknown. Before his conversion, he was a publican, or tax-gatherer; and is understood to have collected the castores on all imports or exports at Capernaum, and a tribute from all passengers who went by water. While thus employed, Jesus called him to be a disciple, and when the apostles were chosen, he was numbered among the He was one of the most constant attendants upon our Lord during his and after his resurrection, was, on the day of Pentecost, endowed with the Holy Spirit from on high. But how long he remained in Judea after this esist is unknown, as are also the time and circumstances of his decease. The Gospel of Matthew is uniformly placed first among the Gospels and ez all the hooks of the New Testament. It has always had the same precolence given it. When, however, it was written, is a question that has been

much disputed. Of the modern critics, Dr. Townson, Dr. H. Owen, and Bp. Tomline, date it in A. D. 37 or 38; but Dr. Lardner, Michnelis, and Dr. Hales, between 61 and 65. The only way to reconcile them is, with Eusebius, (an Ecclesiastical historian of the third century,) to admit two original copies, one in Hebrew, and the other in Greek; the former written for the Jews, about A. D. 38, and the latter written, or translated by the author into Greek, about A. D, 61; thus Josephus is said to have written his Jewish war both in Hebrew and in Greek. And we think the arguments adduced by Horne, in his Critical Introduction, on this subject, very powerful, though the Greek is the only original now remaining. We know that several sects of Jewish Christians boasted the possession of a Hebrew Gospel, which we suppose some of them might corrupt, to favour their peculiarities; and this was the more easy, as very few of the Christian Fathers understood Hebrew. Lardner and Jones, however, consider the Greek as the original, and the Hebrew as a translation.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

MATTHEW being one of the twelve apostles, and from the time of his call, a estant attendant on our Saviour, was perfectly well qualified to write the history of his life. He relates what he saig and heard with the most natural and unaffected simplicity, and in a plain and perspicuous style. That for which he is crainently distinguished, says Dr. Campbell, is the distinctness and par; ticulanty with which he has related many of our Lord's discourses and moral 1tructions. Of these, his sermon on the mount, his charge to the apostles, has a castrations of the nature of his kingdom, and his prophecy on mount Olivet, are examples. He has also wonderfully united simplicity and energy in elitz the replies of his Master to the cavils of his adversaries. Being early ested to the apostleship, he was an eye and ear witness of most of the things chher lates. And, though I do not think it was the scope of any of these he-tomans to adjust their narratives by the precise order of time wherein there's happened, there are some circumstances which incline me to think, Chat Matthew has approached at least as near that order as any of them." The exosturation, that the gospel of St. Matthew is a history of what he heard saw merely allowing him to be a man of integrity, would of itself fully prove that he would make no mistakes in his narrative; and when we add to thes the influence and superintendence of the Holy Spirit, under which he con

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stantly acted, and which our Lord promised to his disciples, (John xiv. 26.) it must be allowed to possess the utmost degree of credibility and authority with which any writing could be invested. It is a piece of history which, it must be acknowledged, is "the most singular in its composition, the inost wonderful in its contents, and the most important in its object, that was ever exhibited to the notice of mankind. For simplicity of narrative, and an artless relation of facts, without any applause or censure, or digressive remarks, on the part of the historian, upon the characters introduced in it; without any intermixture of his own opinion, upon any subject whatsoever; and for a multiplicity of internal marks of credibility, this Gospel certainly has no parallel among human productions." "There is not," as Dr. A. Clarke justly remarks, "one truth or doctrine, in the whole oracles of God, which is not taught in this Evangelist. The outlines of the whole spiritual system are here correctly laid down: even Paul himself has added nothing: he has amplified and illustrated the truths contained in this Gospel; but, even under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, neither he, nor any of the other Apostles, have brought to light one truth, the prototype of which has not been found in the words and acts of our blessed Lord as related by Matthew."

a 65

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MARK.

INTRODUCTION. ·

MARK is generally supposed to be the same with John surnamed Mark, who way sister's son to Barnabas,' (Col. iv. 10.) and the son of Mary, a pious women of Jerusalem, at whose house many were assembled together praying when Peter was delivered from prison. (Ac. xii. 12.) St. Peter (1 Ep. v. 13.) calls him "Marens my son," probably implying that he was converted by his tunistry, and served with bim in the gospel. He accompanied St. Paul in his tank. As xi 25; xii. 5, 13; xv. 36-11. 2 Ti. iv. 4. Phil. 24;) and he is said to have been particularly intimate with St. Peter, under whose inspection, É is peterally agreed, he wrote his gospel at Rome, between the years A. D. 60 Ea biis informs us, (Hist. Eccles, 1. ii. c. 15.) from Papias and Clement of Alexandria, that St. Mark composed his gospel at the earnest request of St. Peter's hearers at Rome; and that the Apostle being informed of what was done by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, authorized it to be introduced i to the churches With this agrees the internal evidence furnished by the Gospel itself; for many things honourable to St. Peter are omitted in it, which are mentioned by other Evangelists, while his weaknesses and failings are freely exosed to view. It is also undeniable, that from the earliest ages of the ehorch this Gospel was received, not only as genuine and authentic, but as a divinely inspired writing. Some learned men, in opposition to the unanimous

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voice of antiquity, have represented it as an abridgment of that of St. Matthew. But, though he doubtless relates many of the same facts, and some of the parables and discourses, in common with St. Matthew; yet he omits many important particulars, and adds others, dilates upon some facts but concisely mentioned by Matthew, not without considerable variation, and now and then departs from the order of time observed by that apostle. Hence there is no reason to suppose, that he intentionally took any thing from Matthew, but that he wrote such things as were especially brought to his knowledge, and impressed on his mind; and the coincidence seems to have arisen, rather from the circumstance of their writing the history of the same grand and interesting events, than from any design in the one deducing his materials from the other. That St. Mark wrote his gospel in Greek, is attested by the uninterrupted voice of antiquity, and is now generally admitted; and the occurrence of several Latin words, which has led some to contend for a Latin original, may easily be accounted for, by supposing it was written for the use of the Roman people, by a person then resident among them; and it is on this account that be omits the genealogy of our Lord, and some other matters, as being of no importance to Gentile converts, though very necessary for the Jews.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

at Alexandria, the multitudes being assembled for their idolatrous solemnities, broke in upon him during his engagements in the service of God's house, and binding his hands and feet with cords, dragged him through the streets until his flesh was dreadfully, lacerated and his blood gushed out nature sunk under such tortures, and he soon became a sacrifice to the rage of an infuriated and persecuting populace.

MARK. the writer of the preceding Gospel, was doubtless born of Jewish | of men would not allow his success to be uninterrupted; accordingly, when parents, of the tribe of Levi, and the line of the priesthood. He was sister's Not to Peter, and by some is thought to have been one of the 70 disciples; while others suppose, that he was converted by Peter's ministry; but, perhaps, tin is no other reason for this, than because he calls him his son- Mark was constantly with Peter; he accompanied his apostolical progress, and preached the Gospel in Italy and at Rome; where, at the request of the Christians of these parts, he composed and wrote his Gospel. By Peter he was set into Egypt, there to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation. Eusebius sage, that so great was the success of his ministry, that he was instrumental in converting multitudes of men and women. The vigilant enemy of the souls

Tradition states, that Mark was of a middle size and stature, his nose long, his eyebrows turning back, his eyes graceful and amiable, his head bald, his beard long and gray, his gait quick, and the constitution of his body strong and healthy.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE.

INTRODUCTION.

coramg to Eusebius and others, he was a native of Antioch. But, from the Hebraisms occurring in his writings, and especially from his accurate know

Ligg, to whom this Gospel has been uniformly attributed from the earliest ages of the Christian Church, is generally allowed to have been "the beloved phrecian' mentioned by St. Paul; (Col iy. 14. ;) and as he was the compa-ledge of the Jewish rites, ceremonies, and customs, it is highly probable that non of that Apostle, in all his labours and sufferings, for many years, (Acts 1. 12 xx. 1-6; xxvii. 1, 2; xxviii. 13-16. 2 Ti. iv. 11. Phil. 24.) and wrote the Acts of the Apostles," which conclude with a brief account of St. Paul's imprisonment at Rome, we may be assured that he had the Apostle's sanction to what be did; and probably this Gospel was written some time before that evar, about A. D. 63 or 64, as is generally supposed. He would appear, from 10. 11, and his intimate acquaintance with the Greek language, as well as in his Greek name Loukas, to have been of Gentile extraction; and ac

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he was a Jewish proselyte, and afterwards converted to Christianity. Though he may not have been, as some have affirmed, one of the seventy disciples, and an eye-witness of our Saviour's miracles, yet his intercourse with the Apostles, and those who were eye-witnesses of the works, and ear-witnesses of the words of Christ, renders him an unexceptionable witness, if considered merely as a historian; and the early and unanimous reception of his Gospel, as divinely inspired, is sufficient to satisfy every reasonable person.

CONCLUDING REMARKS.

Lexg the Evangelist was born at Antioch, the metropolis of Syria; a city cted by the great orators of antiquity, for the pleasantness of its situation, the fruity of its soil, the richness of its trade, the wisdom of its senate, and the lamang of its professors, and from its wealth and splendour called the Queen of the East, and yet renowned for this one peculiar honour above all Ese that here it was the disciples were first called Christians. J.ws abounded in Antioch, who had here their synagogues and schools of elabon, and to their religion Luke became a proselyte, and was afterwards anted to Christianity. Luke possessed, in this city, ample opportunity of drawing the advantage of a sound and learned education, and he excelled plarly in the art of physic. After his conversiou, our Evangelist became the inseparable companion and fellow labourer of St. Paul in the ministry of

| the Gospel, and Epiphanius states, that his labours were blessed to the conversion of very many persons: thus he who had been a successful physician of the body, became also a successful physician of the soul.

The manner of his death is not certain, but Nicephorus gives the following account: In the prosecution of his labours in preaching the gospel, Luke came into Greece, where a party of infidels, enraged at his success, drew him to execution; and that for want of a cross whereon to crucify him, they hanged him on an olive tree, in the 80th, or according to Jerome, the 84th, year of his age. As an historian. Luke was minutely faithful in his narrations, and elegant in his style; as a minister of Jesus Christ, laborious, and zealous for the good of souls. And at last he crowned all, and sealed the testimony of his lip and pen, in laying down his life for the Gospel.

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