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SKETCHES IN DIVINITY.
1. St. Matthew's Gospel — Hebrew and Greek.
Matthew wrote his Gospel first in Hebrew, i. e. in SyroChaldee. Eusebius assigns the year 41, or third of Caligula, as the date. It was written for the benefit of the lost sheep of the house of Israel; and contains some particulars for the especial use of the Hebrew nation, such as the genealogy, which goes no higher than Abraham, many references to the Mosaic law, and allusions to the then prevalent sentiments among the Jews. Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. lib. v. cap. 8) writes : é uży d» Marbuios εν τους Εβραίους τη ιδία αυτών διαλέκτω και γραφήν εξήνεγκεν evayyeliov (ed. Moguntiæ, 1672): and he is supported by the Fathers almost unanimously.
The Greek Gospel of Matthew, however, is also considered to be original ; having been penned for the use of the Gentiles, when their conversion began to prevail. To say this, is better than to call the Greek a translation, for many things were altered. The quotations are not from the Hebrew, but from the Septuagint, as the most familiar to the Gentiles ; and Hebrew names are translated, e. g. Golgotha. Mark (xv. 23) writes éouvplouévov oivov, wine mingled with myrrh ; Matthew has it, jetà xolñs, &c. mingled with GALL. Both fulfil Psalm lxix. 21; for Matthew in Syriac had written uap, gall, or any thing bitter, amarus, and Mark had mistaken it for uvp, myrrh. Harris's Dict. of Script. Nat. Hist. art. MYRRH.
2. Where was the Gospel first preached in Europe ?
In Philippi* (Acts xvi. 12), where Lydia was baptised, and the jailor converted.
* Some say, - in Thessalonica ; but, according to Hooker, things are preached when promulgated in any way; and Ecclesiastes is called “ the Preacher" in the same sense. Eccl. Pol, vol. ii. pp. 43, 60,
3. The books of the New Testament arranged in three classes, and placed in chronological order.
Corinth, A.D. 53, Owen. Alexandria, A.D. 61, Michae
lis. Events classed, rather than chronologically arranged. Genealogy (for the use of the Gentiles) goes up to Adam : Matthew's comes down from
Abraham, being for the Jews. MARK. Rome, under direction of Peter, A.D. 60 to 63. In some
- respects abridged from Matthew's. John. Against the Gnostics. Ephesus, A.D. 69, or, according
to Mill, A.D. 97. Acts. Written by Luke, see ch. i. 1, A.D. later than 63.
Class II.—Epistles by Paul, and not Catholic.
Where written. Michaelis. Lardner.
Thessalonica A.D. 51 A.D. 52
52 52 2 THESSALONIANS Corinth
· Class III.- Catholic Epistles and the Revelation. Epistle of Where written, Michaelis. Where written, Lardner. 1 PETER Jerusalem A.D. 49 Rome A.D. 64 JAMES
Judea 2 PETER Nicopolis 67 Rome JUDE
64 or 65 1 John
Ephesus 2 & 3 John
1 Ephesus between 80 & 90 REVELATION Patmos
96 Ephesus or Patmos 95 or 96
* Some place Galatians here : see Art. 4. life of Paul; and Percy's Key.
4. St. Paul's life, and his writings chronologically arranged
Paul was originally named Saul; of the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee, born at Tarsus in Cilicia. He was a Roman citizen, as Augustus had given the freedom of Rome to the men of Tarsus, on account of their adherence to his interests. He was born two years before our Saviour, supposing him to have lived sixty-eight years, as Chrysostom says he did (tom. vi. Hom. 30).
He was sent early to Jerusalem, where he studied the law at the feet of Gamaliel. He persecuted the Christians; and in A.D. 33 he held the clothes of those who stoned Stephen (Acts vii. 58, 59), as consenting to his death. In the subsequent persecution, Paul distressed the believers (Gal. i. 13, Acts xxvi. 11), persecuting and wasting the church beyond measure ; entering into houses, haling men and women to prison (Acts viii. 3), and unto death (xxii. 4); and causing them to blaspheme (xxvi. 11). Being mad against them, he persecuted them to strange cities; and went on this errand into Syria, with authority from Caiaphas to bring the believers to Jerusalem. Thus breathing out threats and slaughter, he was suddenly arrested in his course near Damascus by a great light, at mid-day, from heaven, which struck him to the ground. A voice was heard, Saul, why persecutest thou me ? —and on his answering, Who art thou, Lord ? it replied, I am Jesus : it is hard for thee to resist the reluctances of thy conscience, or kick against its pricks. Paul asked, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ? —on which Jesus sent him to Damascus. Here he was three days without sight, when Ananias was sent by Christ speaking in a vision, to open his eyes — not figuratively, for “ as scales” fell from them. He was now baptised, and filled with the Holy Ghost. From Damascus he retired to Arabia, then under king Aretas ; but soon returned to Damascus, and there preached the Gospel. This exposed him to persecution from the Jews, from whose hands he escaped by being let down over the wall in a basket (Acts ix. 24-27), A.D. 37, three years after his arrival at Damascus. On his coming to Jerusalem to confer with Peter, he found the disciples afraid of him, and doubtful as to his sincere conversion (Gal. i. 18); fears and doubts dis