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her up stairs, and they are left to themselves. The Haram, or women's apartment, is guarded by a black eunuch, or young boy, and the utmost care is taken to prevent any breach of the marriage vow.
When a Turk dies, the women immediately fall a fhrieking, and continue to do fo till the body is buried, which is as foon as poffible. It is first washed, then all the paffages ftopped with cotton; and after that it is laid in a coffin, like ours. It is carried to the mosque attended by the relations, the women fhrieking, and the men finging prayers out of the Koran. Service is faid by the Imaum, and the coffin is carried to the burying-place; of which there is but one that is public in the city: the reft are abroad in the fields.
From page 145, to page 189, is contained a hiftory of the weather at Aleppo, drawn from a meteorological register, regularly kept, with only few intermiffions, for about ten years. This may This may be of ufe to the philofopher, and phyfician; but as it is not entertaining, nor inftructive, only as it is entire, we shall give no extract from this part of our Author's work.
The remaining part of the book treats of epidemical difeases, and the plague. Here the Doctor fhews his abilities to be confiderable in his own profeffion: and we do not doubt but the medical reader will agree with us, that his account of the plague is accurate, and his method of treatment judicious.
On the whole, as we have very little knowlege that can be depended on, of a great part of the world, for want of reading the Arabian authors, we should own our obligations to fuch writers as the Author of the Natural History of Aleppo; who, with great fidelity, and fufficient abilities, adds to our ftore of knowlege, both in natural and political hiftory.
A Supplement to the First Book of the Second Part of the Credibility of the Gospel Hiftory. Vol. I. Containing general Ob→ fervations upon the Canon of the New Testament, and a Hiftory of the Four Evangelifts, with the Evidences of the Genuineness of the Four Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles, the Time when they were writ, and Remarks upon them. By Nathaniel Lardner, D. D. 8vo. 5s. Noon, &c.
Ta time when our holy religion ftands expofed to the fevereft enquiry, it cannot but give a fenfible pleasure
to all its real friends, that fo many worthy and learned perfons have arifen, who with great folidity and moderation have explained its nature, and ftated the evidence of its divine authority. Among these must be reckoned Dr. Lardner; whose writings are of very confiderable service to the cause of Chriftianity, and cannot be read without wishing that a knowlege of the Fathers had been always accompanied with equal candour and judgment, and applied to purposes equally valuable.
The first chapter of the volume now before us contains an account of the feveral denominations by which the facred Books have been called. In the fecond, the Doctor proceeds to make fome general obfervations upon the Canon of the New Testament, and takes notice, that there may be different Canons of Scripture among Chriftians, tho' he looks upon a short one as the most eligible. I have been fometimes apt to think,' fays he, that the best Canon of the New Teftament would be that, which may be collected from Eufebe of Cefarea, and feems to have been the Canon of fome in his time. The Canon fhould confift of two claffes. In the firft fhould ⚫ be those books which he affures us were then univerfally acknowleged, and had been all along received by all Catholic Chriftians. These are the four Gofpels, the Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epiftles of St. Paul, one Epiftle of St. Peter, and one Epiftle of St. John. These only fhould be of the highest authority, from which Doctrines of Religion ⚫ may be proved.
In the other class should be placed those books of which Eusebe speaks, as contradicted in his time, though well known: concerning which there were doubts, whether they • were writ by the perfons whofe names they bear, or whether the writers were Apostles of Chrift. These are the Epiftle to the Hebrews, the Epiftle of James, the second of • Peter, the fecond and third of John, the Epiftle of Jude, ⚫ and the Revelation. These fhould be reckoned doubtful, ⚫ and contradicted: though many might be of opinion, that there is a good deal of reason to believe them genuine. And they should be allowed to be publicly read in Christian affemblies, for the edification of the people: but not be alledged, as affording alone, fufficient proof of any doctrine. That I may not be misunderstood, I must add, that there fhould be no third class of facred Books: forafmuch as there • appears not any reafon from Chriftian antiquity to allow of ⚫ that character and denomination to any Chriftian writings, ⚫ befides thofe above-mentioned.'
Nevertheless, the Doctor acknowleges, that the Canon now generally received, is a good one; and thinks, that we should by no means admit any addition to it. The only work of thofe called the Apoftolical Fathers, that feems to make a fair claim, is the Epiftle of St. Barnabas. But against this he alleges, that it was not reckoned a part of Scripture by the ancient Chriftians; nor was Barnabas an Apoftle; neither does. he take upon him the character of an Apostle, or a man of authority. All these things our Author fhews in a very fatisfactory manner; and concludes with obferving, that the Epiftle of Barnabas may afford edification, and be read with that view; but that it ought not to be esteemed a part of the rule of Faith.
As to the method in which the Canon of the New Tefta ment has been formed, which is the fubject of the third chapter, the Doctor proves that it was not determined by the authority of Councils, but that the books of which it confifts, were known to be the genuine writings of the Apostles and Evangelifts, in the fame way and manner that we know the works of Cæfar, Cicero, Virgil, Horace, and Tacitus, to be theirs. This he evinces from the different judgments that have prevailed concerning divers books, particularly the Epiftle to the Hebrews, and the Revelation, which were received by fome, rejected or doubted by others.
Upon the whole,' fays he, the writings of the Apoftles and Evangelifts are received as the works of other emi⚫nent men of antiquity are, upon the ground of general confent and teftimony. Nor does the Canon of the Scriptures of the New Teftament owe its establishment to the decifions of Councils: but it is the judgment of Chriftian people in general. And fo far as we are able to perceive, after a long and careful examination, it is a right and reasonable. judgment. And it may induce us to believe, that if men ⚫ were encouraged to think freely, in other matters alfo, and to judge for themfelves, according to evidence, and proper ⚫affiftances were afforded them, it would not be at all detri ⚫ mental to the interests either of truth or virtue.'
The defign of the fourth chapter is to fhew, with refpect to the time of writing the Gofpels, especially the first three, that they could not be compofed till after, or about the year fixty. After which the Doctor goes on, in the fifth, to give a large account of St. Matthew, and the teftimonies to his hiftory. In regard to its publication, I readily affent,' says he, to those, who think, that this Gofpel was writ in the time. of the Emperor Nero, not till about thirty years after our
Saviour's afcenfion. I am not able to affign the year in ⚫ which it was writ, but I am fomewhat inclined to the year 63, 64, or 65, of the vulgar Epoch. This is agreeable not only to the teftimony of Irenæus, and fome other antients, but to the circumftances of things. At the year fixty-four, or thereabout, the Gospel had been propagated in many • Gentile countries; the times were troublefome in Judea, and the war was coming on: feveral of the Apostles were dead; others of them, who furvived, were gone, or going abroad; and many of the Jewish believers were about to feek fhelter elsewhere. Now was a proper time to write a Hiftory of Chrift, and his miracles. Moreover, in this • Gospel are recorded divers plain predictions of the miseries and defolations of Jerufalem, and the overthrow of the Temple, and the Jewish State; befide many other figura⚫tive intimations of the fame things in many of our Lord's * discourses and parables; which could not be well published to all the world in writing, till about this time. The fuit<ableness of St. Matthew's Gospel to the state of the Chriftian religion, and of the Jewish people, about the year fixtyfour or fixty-five, leads to that time. And however unwillingly, from private apprehenfions and prejudices, we may • admit the thought of protracting fo long the writing the Hiftory of our Lord's Miniftry; the circumftances of things will constrain us to acquiefce in this reafon, as the most likely.' The truth of what is here advanced, the Doctor has rendered highly probable, from fome characters in the Gospel itself.
It is a tradition among many ancient Fathers, that St. Matthew having preached for fome time in Judea, was defired by the believers there, to leave with them in writing, before he went away, a Hiftory of what he had taught by word of mouth. The frequent mention of this leads our Author, before he gives an account of the other Evangelifts, to enquire, in the fixth chapter, how long it was after the afcenfion of our Lord, before Matthew, and the reft of the Apofties, left Judea to go abroad into foreign countries. In anfwer to the queftion, he fhews, that the Apoftles in general, continued at Jerufalem till after the famous Council we read of, Acts 15. and fome of them, perhaps, a good deal longer: and he has proved, that this circumftance, inftead of retarding, was, upon the whole, favourable to the propagation of Chriftianity. They ftaid there till they were enabled to fulfill their ministry, and bear fuch a teftimony to Jefus, as should be fufficient to lay a good foundation for the eftablishment of his church in
the world, and leave all thofe of the Jewish people, who did not receive him as the Meffiah, abfolutely inexcufable.
The Doctor returns, in the feventh chapter, to the Evangelifts, and gives a history of St. Mark. He produces, as he had before done, with relation to St. Matthew, a variety of teftimonies concerning his Gofpel, and both from external and internal evidence concludes, that it could not be wrote till about the year fixty-three or fixty-four; which opinion is confirmed by the tradition that it was compofed at Rome, when St. Peter was there. The Doctor not only agrees with those who fuppofe that Mark received his information from Peter, but manifefts its probability by feveral circumftances taken from the book itself. In regard to the notion that it is an abridgment of Matthew, he produces more than thirty particulars in Mark, not mentioned by any other Evangelift; particulars fufficient to affure us, that he is not an epitomizer of any other author, and that he was well acquainted with the things of which he undertook to furnish a hiftory. He writes as an eye-witness, or as one who had full and authentic information at the first hand.
The eighth chapter contains a long account of St. Luke; of his perfonal history, the teftimonies to his Gospel, the time when he wrote, his character, and the character of his works, Among other things it is obferved, that he was an early Jewifh believer, and probably had been an eye-witness of many of our Lord's miracles, tho' not an eye-witnefs from the beginning, and that tho' he was an affociate of St. Paul, there is no fuch remarkable coincidence between them, as should induce us to think that the one copied from the other. Our Author farther takes notice, that nothing is more remarkable in St. Luke's writings than their brevity and conciseness; in confequence of which many things muft have been omitted, which happened during the period of that hiftory. Of these omiffions he gives a very exact and curious detail from St. Paul's Epiftles, and adds, that they are no reflection upon the writer, The proper deduction to be made by us is this. We hereby perceive that it was not the defign of St. Luke to aggrandize Peter, or Paul, or any of the Apoftles; nor to write their lives; but to record the evidence of our Saviour's refurrection, and to give a hiftory of the first preaching and planting the Chriftian religion in the world. This defign he has admirably executed, and having filled up his plan, he concluded.
St. John is the fubject of the ninth chapter. After setting before us an account of what is faid of him in the New Teftament, the Doctor fhews how well qualified he was to write