« EdellinenJatka »
the Acts of the Apostles, proves an-hiltorian, worthy of all credit. His narration is verified by an appeal to prophecy, but that of the pretended Matthew is fallified by it. Luke then, whos, as, he truely affures his friend, Theophilus, to whom he addressed his two treatises, had perfect understanding of all things from the very first,' having received his account from the apostles themselves, and was, moreover, the companion of Paul.in his apostolic travels, I regard, as a genuine, evangelist, who gives a faithful relation of Christ, and of his Gospel, as preached by Christ himfelf, and by his apostles in general, and by Paul in particular : Not but that a disa cerning eye, and an attentive mind, by comparing a passage or two of his Gospel, with the fure word of prophecy, the ununerring test of the veracity of evangelists, nay discover very suspicious tokens of Christian Platonists, blending their vain philosophy' with his Gospel fimplicity, in order to make Luke speak the same language with the justly exceptionable parts of what is called the Gospel according to Matthew: . . - È " Thać
That Jesus was the real son of Jofeph, ot. Son of Man, and consequently himself a man, in opposition to those who alledge, that Jesus was only lo stiled, and was mere ly the nominal, not the real son of Joseph, is capable of proof from this circumstance, that no such modification is affixt by the evangelists to this point of their doctrine, one paffage, as I before obferved, out of four excepted; which is fo far from amounting to a proof that the remaining three should be fo understood, that, on the contrary, these being free from such modification furnish a strong presumptive argument in fávor of the fpuriousness of the fourth paffage, which contains it."
This presumptive argument is corroborated by the opinion of a valuable 'correspondent, whose well-founded doubts, res specting the authenticity, not only of the parenthesis, as was supposed," which occurs in Luke iii. 23. but also of the whole genealogy contained in that chapter, I shall transcribe for your serious considération. They were sent to me in answer to some suspicions, which I had expressed, in a letter to him, of the said extraordinary pa
renthesis as an interpolated forğerý. His words are; The parenthesis you mention * in Saint Luke, is; without disputé; exa .. ceedingly sufpicious : And, for my own * patt, I suspect the whole of the genealo• gy; which is surely very oddly placed;
as well as moft abruptly introduced: Saint • Luke, we know, was the friend and
companion of Saint Paul; and what Saint • Paul's opinion was about suchi genealo*gies we learn very clearly from 1 Tim.i.4. ...andTitus iii.g.which makes it highly im
probable, that any of his initimates should *o attempt to trace out any genealogy at all. * Before the Babylonish captivity, the Mo
saic law against the alienation of their pa* trimony made it both neceffary and easy
to preserve correct genealogies of every * Jewish family; but that event must inevi.
tably have : occafioned such confufion, • and even destruction, among both their • public and privatë records; that, in the
times of the apostles, disputes about their • precife genealogieś must have been, as * Saint Paul calls them; “ vain and endless;."
Had the Jewisha magistrates been inclined ** to acknowledge the completion of the * prophecies, in the person of our Savior,
in other respects, they were perhaps the * only people that could, if any could, have
settled his authentic genealogy'; but their incredulity made them regardless of that circumstance, and it can be of no use or
importance to any other people. Besides, s why Mould Saint Luke carry the genea
logy, any higher than.. David ? -No
body could doubt his descent from Adam. • Yet had that useless half of the genealogy
been omitted, nobody, could have received the least degree of satisfaction from it.
The proofs of our Lord's Messiahship, o brought both by Luke and Paul, ace - abundantly fufficient to convince uş, • that even the genealogical circumstance
of the prophecies, was literally fulfilled in I him, witħoût either the real, or pretended La testimony of human records, whole truth ** and authenticity must' ever remain liable
remain liable éto donde boi! 74,
m siste's ....! Quichotomicu o
To these judicious remarks on the doubtful authority of this portion of Luke's Gofpel, I shall subjoin my own observations on hihe expression. her seed, Gen. iii. 115. • which, in private converfation, has been objected to me as .conveying an idea, that
Chrift was to be born from a woman alane, unbegotten by a man. In the first place I. see no reason for supposing; that the expres-, fion, her feed, relates to the birth of Christ at all, much less to his supposed merely maternal birth. The expression is general; and consequently applicable to all succeeding generations of men, Eve's porterity in the aggregate. Secondly, I apprehend, that the propagation of the human species by the seed of man, deposited, im- pregnated, gradually matuted to a perfect fætus, i in the womb of woman, and in that' ftate proceeding from it, is sufficient to denominate the offspring, either the seed of mari, por the feed of woman, and to" justify me in regarding it -a's "alter seed, till - it please God that humani creatures beo generated without the concurrent inftru. mentality lof child-bearing women. * Bea! sides, the fitness of this expression in the passage referred to is self-evident. It is there said, 'I,' God, will put enmity-between thee; the ferpent, and the woman :': It is therefore morei natural to add, • and between thy feed and her seed, than between thy seed and the feed of mản, in a : paffage where the man is not mentioned.