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thing appears to me very obvious. And if fo, we have gained very nearly the date of one of the four Gospels.

Grotius fuppofeth, that (i) when Paul left Rome, he went into Spain: and that at the fame time Luke went into Greece, and there wrote both his Gospel and the Acts. Jerome fuppofeth, that (k) the book of the Acts was writ at Rome. But that makes no difference in point of time: fince he allows, that it reaches to the end of St. Paul's two years imprifonment at Rome.

This one confideration, fo far as I am able to judge, overthrows the opinion, that St. Luke's Gofpel, was writ about fifteen years after our Lord's afcenfion. Yea, it evidently fhews, that it was not writ till the year 60. or afterwards.

And the beginning of St. Luke's Gospel affords an argument, that the other two Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark, were not writ fooner. For this Evangelist knew nothing of them. Confequently, they were not then writ, and published: or, but lately. Every word of his introduction fhews this. Let us obferve it.


Forafmuch as many have taken in hand to fet forth in order a declaration of thofe things, which are moft furely believed among us.... feemed good unto me alfo, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been inftructed.

When St. Luke fays, that many had undertaken to write hiftories of our Saviour, he cannot mean Matthew alone, nor Matthew and Mark only. For they are not many. He must intend them, and others, or fome different from them. Which laft will appear moft likely, if we confider what there follows.

Of those many he fays, they had taken in hand, undertaken, or attempted. St. Luke would not have fpoken thus of Matthew, or Mark. Indeed, we may suppose, that (1) thofe narrations, to which St. Luke refers, were not falfe and fabulous, nor heretical. But they were de fective.

Grotius fays, the (m) word is of a middle meaning. And that it does not neceffarily imply, that the writers, here intended, had failed to per form what they undertook.


(i) Librum autem et hunc, et qui de Actibus Apoftolorum, fcriptum arbitror, non multo poftquam Paulus Româ abiit in Hifpaniam. Nam in id tempus definit Actuum liber, qui fi ferius fcriptus effet, in ulteriora etiam tempora narrationem protenderet. Puto autem, Româ iiffe Lucam in Achaiam, atque ibi ab eo confcriptos quos habemus libros. Grot. Pr. in Evang. Luca.

(k) See Vol. x. p. 94. 95.

(4) Quod iftos ait Lucas, non fatis commoda præftitiffe: minime tamen, opinor, fabulofas, immo etiam impias narrationes intelligens, tandem Ecclefiæ, fub Nicodemi, . . . . Thomæ, Ægyptiorum nominibus impudentiffime obtrufas. Nec tamen hic recte colligunt, Lucam poft Matthæum et Marcum hanc fuam hiftoriam edidiffe. Bez. in Luc. cap. i. ver. 1.

(m) ETEXéignoav. aggreffi funt. Bene notavit vir eruditiffimus, vocem effe mediam: neque enim ex ea colligi poffe, non præftitum ab illis fcriptoribus quod aggreffi funt. Grot, in loc.

Nevertheless the ancient Chriftians, to several of whom the Greek language was natural, understood the word differently. And their judgements must be of value in this cafe. Origen's obfervations upon St. Luke's introduction may be feen. vol. iii. p 316... 319. where he fays, "St. Luke's expreffion, taken in hand, implies a tacit accufation of "thofe, who without the gift of the Holy Ghost took upon them to write "Gofpels. For Matthew, and Mark, and Luke, and John did not take "in hand to write: but being full of the Holy Ghoft wrote Gofpels." In which words, and afterwards, continually, he diftinguisheth the four Evangelifts from the writers, referred to by St. Luke. To the like purpofe (n) Ambrofe, who either copied, or closely imitated Origen. And fays Eufebe: "Luke (o) at the beginning affigns the reason of his writing, "declaring, that whereas many others had rafhly undertaken to compofe "relations of the things, which were moft firmly believed, he therefore "thought himself obliged, in order to divert us from the uncertain rela❝tions of others, to deliver in his Gofpel a certain account of those "things of which he was fully affured." Which passage was transcribed by us (p) formerly. And Epiphanius, whom (q) I now place below, plainly affixed a difadvantageous meaning to this word.

Beaufobre readily allows, that (r) we ought to follow the ancients in their interpretation of this word, and to fuppofe, that St. Luke here speaks of fome attempts, and effays, that had not been well executed.

This may be fufficient to fatisfy us, that St. Luke does not speak of any of our Evangelifts. Mr. (*) Dodwell was of the fame opinion.

But we may have yet farther affurance of it by obferving what St. Luke fays of himself, and his own defign. Which is to this purpose: "That "it had feemed good to him, to fend to Theophilus in writing a diftinct " and particular hiftorie of Jefus Chrift: that he might better know, and "be more fully confirmed in the truth of those things, in which he had "been inftructed by word of mouth."

In my opinion, this implies a fuppofition, that Theophilus had not yet in his hands any good written hiftorie of the words and works of Jefus Chrift.

Confequently St. Luke at the year 62. and poffibly fomewhat later, did not know of St. Matthew's and St. Mark's Gofpels. And therefore we

(n) See Vol. ix. p. 245.


(α) . . δηλῶν ὡς ἄρα πολλῶν καὶ ἄλλων προπετέσερον ἐπιτηδευκότων διήγησιν ποιήσασθαι ὧν αυτὸς πεπληροφόρητο λόγω, κ. λ. Eufeb. l. 3. c. 24. p. 96. C. (0) Vol. viii. p. 95.

(2) . . φάσκων, ἐπειδήπες πολλοὶ ἐπεχείρησαν ἵνα τινὰς ἐπιχειρητὰς δείξη φημὶ δὲ τὰς περὶ κήρινθον, καὶ μήρινθον, καὶ τὰς ἄλλες. Η. 51. num. vii. p. 428. (r) Ce mot Grec, ixxsignσav, eft certainement tres equivoque, et peut fort bien fignifier des tentatives malheureuses, des efforts qui ont mal rèuffi. St. Epiphane ne l'a pas entendu autrement. Origene de même, dans fa preface fur S. Luc. et après lui la plupart des Interprêtes Grecs. Quand il s'agit de la fignification des termes Grecs, et que les auteurs Grecs, qui les expliquent, n'ont aucun interêt à leur donner des fens forcés, ces derniers femblent dignes de creance. Beauf. Remarques sur Luc, ch. i. p. 100.

(*) Ut plane alios fuiffe neceffe fit evangelicæ hiftoriæ fcriptores a Luca. vifos, a noftris, quos habemus Evangeliftis. Diff. Iren. i. num. xxxix.

must suppose, that they were not yet writ and published, or however, but lately. For if they had been published several years, St. Luke, who had accompanied Paul in Greece, Afia, Paleftine, and Rome, could not have been unacquainted with them.

This argument appears to me valid. At left I cannot difcern, where it fails. It has long feemed to me a clear and obvious argument, that the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark were not writ till the year 60. or afterwards. For if they had been writ fooner, they would by this time have been in the hands of St. Luke, and Theophilus, and all the faithful in general. And St. Luke could not have expreffed himself, as he does in this introduction: nor indeed would he have writ any Gospel at all.




I. His Hiftorie. II. Teftimonies of ancient Writers to his Gospel. III. Remarks upon them, for difcerning the Time of this Gofpel. IV. Characters of Time in the Gospel itself. V. The Language, in which it was


1. **** ATTHEW (A) called alfo (B) Levi, fon of (c) Alpheus M was a Publican, or (D) Toll-gatherer under the Romans. He **** was, undoubtedly a native of Galilee, as the rest of Chrift's Apoftles were: but of what city in that countrey, or which tribe of the people of Ifrael, is not known.


(A) The hiftorie of our Lord's calling this difciple is in Matth. ix. 9... 13. Mark ii. 13. . . 16. Luke v. 27... 32.

(B) This Evangelift, in his account of his being called by Chrift, names himself Matthew, ch. ix. 9. But St. Mark and St. Luke in their accounts of it call him Levi. Mark ii. 14. Luke v. 27. & 29. This has induced Grotius to argue, that Matthew and Levi are different perfons: though he cannot deny, that the circumstances of the hiftorie lead us to think, one and the fame perfon to be intended, Video omnes hodie ita exiftimare, hunc eundem effe, quem Marcus & Lucas Levi nominant. Et fane congruunt circumftantiæ. Grot. ad Mat. ix. 9. It is obfervable, that Heracleon, the Valentinian, as cited by Clement of A. Str. 1. 4. p. 502. reckons among Apoftles, who had not fuffered martyrdom, Matthew, Philip, Thomas, and Levi. By Levi, probably, Heracleon meant Lebbeus, otherwife called Thaddeus. Vid. Fabr. Bib. Gr. 1. 4. cap. 5. T. 3. p. 126, Coteler. Annot. in Conftitut. 1. 8. cap. 22. Dedw. Diff. Iren. i. n. 24. It is certain, that Eufebe and Jerome thought Matthew and Levi to be only two names of one and the fame perfon. See in this work, vol. viii. p. 83. Vol. x. p. 83. and 89. Moreover, in the catalogues of the Apoftles, which are in Mark iii., 18. Luke vi. 15. A&ts i. 13. is the name Matthew. It is likely, that Levi was the name, by which the Apostle was called in the former part of his life and Matthew the name, by which he was best known afterwards, (See notes (C) and (n) p. 34.)



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As he fat at the Receipt of Custom, by the fea-fide, in the city of Capernaum, or near it, Jefus faid unto him: Follow me. And be arofe and followed him. Which needs not to be understood to imply, that Matthew, did not make up his accounts with thofe, by whom he had been employed, and entrusted.

Afterwards (E) he made an entertainment, at his houfe, where Jefus was prefent, and likewife divers of his difciples. And there fat at table with them many Publicans, and others, of no very reputable character in the eye of the Pharifees, who were ftrict in external purifications, and other like observances. Matthew, it is likely, was willing to take leave of his former acquaintance in a civil manner. He was likewife defirous, that they fhould converfe with Jefus, hoping, that they might be taken with his discourse. And Jefus, with a view of doing good, and to fhew, that he did not difdain any man, made no exceptions to this defign of his new difciple. Nor is it unlikely, that the ends aimed at were obtained, in part at least. Matthew's former friends did, probably, discern fomewhat extraordinarie in Jesus, fo far as to induce them to think, it was not unreasonable in him to leave his former employment, for the fake

(c) That is faid by St. Mark only ch. ii. 14. But we do not perceive, who Alpheus was. Tillemont obferves to this purpofe. "St. Mark gives him "the furname of Alpheus: ròv rỡ áλQáis. Which may have been the name "of his father. This has given occafion to fome of the ancients, and to all "the modern Greeks, to fay, that James the fon of Alpheus was his brother: "though it be entirely destitute of all probability. Quoiqu'il n'y ait en "cela aucune apparence." Tillem. S. Matt. init. Mem. T. i.

Dr. Doddridge, Family Expofitor. Sect. 44. Vol. i. p. 280. fays roundly, "that Matthew, otherwife called Levi, was the fon of Alpheus, and the brother "of James. Comp. Mark iii. 18. Luke vi. 15. Acts i. 13." But I do not think, thofe texts can afford fufficient proof, that Matthew, and James the fon of Alpheus, had the fame father, and were brothers. If that had been the cafe, their relation to each other would have been hinted, or plainly declared in the Gospels.

I do not love bold conjectures in others, and would not indulge my-felf in them. But I fufpect, that these words in Mark ii. 14. Jon of Alpheus, TÙY TỸ dagás, are an interpolation, fome how or other, undefignedly, and accidentally inferted in that place. What is truly faid of James, has been alfo applied to Matthew. The curious may do well to confider, whether this conjecture be not countenanced by the fingularity of the thing, faid no where elfe, and by the various readings of that text, which may be seen in Beza, Mill, and Wetstein.

(D) "His office feems more particularly to have confifted in gathering the "cuftoms of commodities, that came by the fea of Galilee, and the tribute, "which paffengers were to pay, that went by water." Cave's Lives of the Apoftles, p. 177.


(E) That this entertainment was not made by Matthew on the very day that Chrift called him to attend on him, is argued by Mr. Jones in his Vindication of the former part of St. Matthew's Gofpel, p. 129... 137. and by Dr. Doddridge. Family Expofitor, Vol. i. fect. LXXI. note (a). who fays. "It "is certain, the feaft was after the day of his calling, perhaps, fome months "after: when he had made up his accompts, and regularly paffed his bufinefs into other hands: which, to be fure, from a principle of justice, as well as "pradence, he would take care to do,"

fake of the companie of Jefus, and the advantages, which in time he might receive from him. The Pharifees made reflections. But our Lord vindicated himself. And all the three Evangelifts have recorded this inftance of our Lord's amiable familiarity and condefcenfion, which is one of the distinctions of his fhining character. And it is a proof, that at the time of their writing, feverally, their Gofpels, they were molded into the temper and principles of him, whose historie they

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Jefus now called Matthew to be with him, to be a witneffe of his words and works, and he put him into the number of his Apoftles. Thenceforward he continued with the Lord Jefus. And after his af cenfion, he was at Jerufalem, and partook of the gift of the Holy Ghoft, with the other Apoftles. Together with them he bore teftimonie to the refurrection of Jefus: and, as may be fuppofed, preached for fome while at Jerufalem, and in the feveral parts of Judea, confirming his doctrine with miracles, which God enabled him to perform in the name of Jefus.

In his own catalogue of the twelve Apoftles, ch. x. he is the eighth in order. In St. Mark's ch. iii. and St. Luke's ch. vi. he is the feventh. He is alfo named in the eighth place, Acts i. 13. Nor is there any particular account in the Gofpels of the call of any of the Apoftles, except his, and four other, Andrew and Peter, and the two fons of Zebedee, who were called before (F).

Clement of Alexandria fays, that (a) the Apostle Matthew used a very fparing diet, eating no flesh, but only vegetables. But, perhaps, this is faid upon the ground only of fome uncertain tradition, not well attested.

Socrates, in the fifth centurie, fays, that (b) when the Apoftles went abroad to preach to the Gentiles, Thomas took Parthia for his lot, Matthew Ethiopia, and Bartholomew India. And it is now a common opinion, that Matthew (c) died a Martyr in Ethiopia, in a city called Ñadabbar, or Naddaver: but by what kind of death, is altogether uncertain. However, fome others speak of his preaching, and dying in Parthia, or Perfia. And the diverfity of thofe accounts feems to fhew, that they all are without good foundation.

I think, it may be of use to take here at length a paffage of Eufebe, at the beginning of the third book of his Ecclefiaftical hiftorie, after having in the preceding book spoken of the many calamities in Judea, when the war was juft breaking out. "This, fays he, was the ftate of things with "the Jews. But the holy Apoftles and Difciples of our Saviour being "difperfed abroad, preached in the whole world. Thomas, as we learn


(F) St. John fays ch. i. 43. The day following, Jefus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and faith unto him: Follow me. If Philip was then called by our Lord to be an Apoftle, he ought to be added to the others above named.

(α) Ματθαίο μὲν ἦν ὁ ἀπόςολῷ σπερμάτων, καὶ ἀκροδρύων, καὶ λαχάνων, ἄνευ grav μersλáμCavev. Clem. Paed. l. 2. p. 148. D.

(6) Ηνίκα οι απόςολοι κλήρῳ τὴν ἐἰς τὰ ἔθνη πόρειαν ἐποιέντο, θωμᾶς μὲν τὴν · πάρθων αποςολὴν ὑπεδέχετο· Ματθαῖς δὲ ἀιθιοπίαν. κ. λ. Socr. Η. Ε. 1. 1.

c. 19.

(c) See Cave's Live: of the Apostles, and his Hift. Lit.

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