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so many points, would have been set forth more fully and plainly, by the original fabricator, if the whole be indeed a fabrication, and not left to be disentangled from the mass in which it lies enveloped— proving incontrovertibly, that it is a substratum or a ground-work of truth from which it has been taken. The reciprocal illustration cast by texts or clauses of texts far asunder from each other, as being obviously not the result of studied adaptation, can only be the result of that living reality which pervades and animates the whole. The immense number of such correspondences, as if by an author altogether unconscious or certainly without the least endeavour to display them, yields an evidence of the strongest sort—an evidence too independent of history, and not drawn from any external source, from any outward credentials; but from the very contents and substance of the record itself.
10. And it is an evidence not confined to that special department of scripture, whence it has been gathered in such teeming and marvellous profusion by the hand of Dr. Paley. We believe that it is an evidence more or less to be found in every true narrative of any considerable length, which has descended to us from ancient times. We must therefore expect to meet with it in other parts of scripture; and accordingly, this successful attempt of Paley, has been followed up by successful imitations on the part of other labourers. The direct narrative of the transactions in the Pentateuch, and the proper record of which is to be found in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, is again presented to us in an altered and abridged form in the book of Deuteronomy. The comparison of the history with its recapitulation has been ably prosecuted by Dr. Groves; and much pleasing evidence of this kind has been deduced by him.* The same has been well accomplished by Mr. Blunt in another portion of scripture—the four Gospels which he confronts both with each other and with the Acts of the Apostles.f We offer from the latter performance a few brief specimens of that coincidence without design on which the
whole of this particular argument is founded
Compare Matt. viii. 14. with 1 Cor. ix. 5, where from each passage, and obviously not copied the one from the other, we gather that Peter was a married man.—Read the four following passages, Mark vi. 3, Luke viii. 19, John ii. 12, and Matt. xii. 46; and it will be found that the death of Joseph is indirectly shewn by all the four evangelists, to have happened when Christ was alive; and we add, that from Luke ii. 42, 43, it appears to have happened after he was twelve years of age. In keeping with this, no mention is made of Joseph at the feast of Cana, or at the resurrection.—There are certain minute and delicate traits, and certainly not the less effective on that account, of the authorship of the gospels by Matthew and John, and which harmonize with the received understanding, that themselves were the writers of them. The following are two examples taken from the former of these evangelists. In Matt. ix. 10, Jesus is represented as sitting down to meat with publicans and sinners in the house. When the same transaction is recorded in Mark ii. 15, it is called his house, the house of Matthew. In Luke v. 29, it is called his own house. It was natural in the proprietor to call it the, rather than his or his own house. It forms another internal mark of truth that so many publicans should have been of the party. Again in Matt. x. 2, &c, the Apostles are enumerated in pairs, probably from their being sent in their respective missions by two and two. Matthew is associated with Thomas; and when the enumeration is made by Matthew, Thomas is named first. In Mark iii. 18, and Luke vi. 15, Matthew is named the first. The discreditable circumstance of his having been a publican is kept out of sight by the two latter evangelists, but noticed with characteristic modesty by Matthew himself.—In Matt. xiv. 1, 2, we find Herod speaking to his servants, of Jesus, which was very likely to happen, if he knew them to have been interested in Jesus and aware of him. This is corroborated both in Luke viii. 3, where mention is made of Joanna the wife of Herod's steward, and Acts xiii. 1, where we read of Manaen brought up with Herod.—In Matt. xxvi. 67, 68, they who struck Jesus with the palms of their hands are made to say, " Prophesy (or divine) unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote thee ?"—a challenge to the supernatural pretensions of him who profest to be the Messiah, that is not very intelligible from the omission of a circumstance supplied by another evangelist. In Luke xxii. 64, we are told that he was blindfolded.—In Matt. xxvi. 65, the charge on which the Jews condemned Christ was blasphemy—a crime of all others the best fitted to make him the object of popular indignation. Whereas in Luke xxiii. 2, when instead of being accused before the Jews, he was taken to the Roman governor before whom this charge would not have been so effective, he was represented as "perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a king." All this is in harmony, but surely an unstudied harmony, with John x. 33, John v. 18,
* See Groves' Lectures on the four last books of the Pentateuch, designed to show the divine origin of the Jewish religion, chiefly from Internal Evidence.
t See Blunt's veracity of the Gospel and Acts, from their coincidences with each other and with Josephus.
and Acts xxiii. 29 Lastly, in John vi. 5, we find
Jesus singling out Philip in the question he put, as to the means that could be provided at the place where they then were, for the entertainment of a multitude overtaken with hunger. In Luke ix. 10, we read that it was a desert place, belonging to a city called Bethsaida. And lastly, in John i. 44, we are told that Philip was of Bethsaida—the likeliest person then to whom this question should have been addressed. These are but a few examples out of the many. In Mr. Blunt's work, which is a superior performance, the reader will meet with a goodly number of others to the full as striking and satisfactory, as those which we have now given.
11. Scripture throughout is replete with this internal evidence; but, without instancing any other or separate portions of it, let us advert for one moment to that great and general coincidence —that unity of purpose and counsel, by which from first to last the whole of it is pervaded. In the whole history of the world, there is nothing that bears the least resemblance to it—an authorship beginning with Moses and terminating with the Apostle John, that is, sustained by a series of writers for 1500 years, many of them isolated from all the rest, and the greater part of whom were unknowing and unknown to each other, insomuch that there could be no converse and no possible concert between them. A conspiracy between parties or individuals so situated had been altogether superhuman. Their lots were cast in different generations; and nothing can explain the consistency or continuity of their movements towards one and the same great object, but that they were instruments in the hands of the one God, who, from generation to generation, keeps unchangeably by the counsels of His unerring wisdom, and the determinations of His unerring will. The convergency towards one and the same fulfilment of so many different lights, appearing in different ages of the world and placed at such a distance from each other, admits we think of but one interpretation—nor, without the power and the prescience of an overruling God, can we account for that goodly that regular progression of consentaneous and consecutive authorship, which is carried forward by the legislators and seers and historians of the children of Israel. And this evidence is not confined to the articulate testimony of their writings. The ritual, the institutions, the events, of which their priestly and consecrated land was the theatre, all tell us of the same thing; and announce that divine harmony which connects the dim prefigurations of the elder with the brighter developments