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Dr. Robinson's Harmony, as corrected from Newcome, and followed by Greenleaf in his “ Testimony of the Evangelists," has been adopted, with slight alterations, as being quite the best. This method has thrown the Notes into paragraphs, which have furnished an opportunity for briefly eliciting and summing up the inspired teachings under many sections, in short observations at the close of each, as much more likely to be useful than the usual sundries of remarks at a chapter's end.

Besides the more accessible and familiar works which have been constantly consulted, free use has been made of rarer helps, as, Calvin's Commentaries; Trench's Notes on the Parables, Miracles, and Sermon on the Mount; Bengel's Gnomon; Greenleaf's Testimony of the Evangelists; Englishman's Greek Concordance; Kitto's Biblical Encyclopedia; Trollope's Analecta Theologica; Hengstenberg's Christology; Bluni's Coincidences; Winer's Idioms of the New Testamert; Olshausen, Townsend, &c.

Special acknowledgments are here due to the Publisher of Kitto's Biblical Encyclopedia-MARK H. NEWMAN, Broadway, New York--for access to the plates of that valuable work, from which there have been obtained many useful pictorial illustrations.

The author could scarcely have pressed this undertaking to completion, amidst the laborious duties of his parochial charge, but for the strong hope of promoting sound scriptural instruction through this channel also. In this, he has been constantly encouraged by the good opinions of his plan which have been widely expressed to him from the beginning. He can freely say, in the sentiment of that pious commentator on the Psalms, Bishop Horne, that the labour itself has been most profitable and pleasant. And now, the Divine and Gracious Author of the Gospel, in whose strength it has been prosecuted, and in whose name it is sent forth, can bless it to many for edification and for salvation.



There are four inspired histories of our Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament. These refer to the same great subject of salvation by a Redeemer; though the authors do not relate preciseiy the same things. Each gives his own narrative. The history is to be gathered from them all, and their statements are found to be harmonious. Hence, the testimony is fourfold. It is the Gospel by Matthew, by Mark, by Luke, and by John-written by these severally, yet one Gospel by all, and in all (see Matt. 4. 28. Mark 1.1. Luke 9. 6).

Two of these Evangelists—the first and last--were apostles. It has been well remarked, also, that “two-Mark and John-were too unlearned to forge the narratives; and the other two_Matthew and Luke-were too learned to be deceived by imposture."

The term for “Gospel,” in Greek, which is anglicized in the old English, "ovangel,” gives rise to the title “ Evangelist, " which has the sense of gospelizer, or publisher of the Gospel. The Greek term, in its derivation,



signifies the same as the Anglo-Saxon “Godspell”-good tidings from which we have our word “Gospel."

These four histories may be regarded as the inspired summaries of the apostles' preaching. Immediately after the ascension of our Lord, “ they went forth and preached every where,” according to their Divine commission. Matthew, doubtless, laboured chiefly in Judea. When it became needful to have a permanent history of our Lord's life and death-His teachogs and doings--and to give it the widest circulation for a witness, before Jerusalem should be destroyed (see ch. 24. 14, and ch. 28. 19), Matthew wrote, under the Divine inspiration, more particularly for the Jews. Soon after, Mark wrote for the Romans, as would seem from the Latin terms which he introduces, and from his gospel being written at Rome. Luke wrote for the Gentiles more generally, exhibiting Christ as " the seed of the woman." And John wrote last of all, supplying what might be added o the rest, and setting forth Jesus as the co-equal Son-who “was with God," und " was God."

Though different authorities have assigned various dates to this gospel, ranging from A.D. 38, to A.D. 68, the strong internal and external evidence lavours the later time. It may safely be dated at A.D. 62, about eight years before the destruction of Jerusalem. It was not so necessary at an earlier period, while the apostles themselves could preach, and while "they went forth and preached every where” (Mark 16. 20). 66 About this time," says Lardner, "the Gospel had been propagated in many Gentile countries; the times were troublesome in Judea (under Nero), and the war was coming on. Several of the apostles were dead, and others of them who survived, were gone or going abroad, and many of the Jewish believers were about to seek shelter elsewhere. Now, was therefore a proper time to write a history of Christ and His miracles. Moreover, in this Gospel are recorded divers plain predictions of the coming overthrow of Jerusalem and the Jewish state, which could not be well published to all the world in writing, till about this time."-Lardner's Works, vol. 5, p. 305.

It has been argued by many, that this Evangelist, unlike the rest, wrote in Hebrewma corrupt Hebrew or Syro-Chaldaic being the vernacular tongue in Palestine, in the time of our Lord. But though he wrote mainly for the Jews, they had already become familiar with the Greek language, which had spread abroad since the reign of Alexander. The many Jews resident in Egypt, had required a Greek version of their Old Testament Scriptures, more than 300 years before. And as this Gospel History was intended to circulate most widely, and, in the mind of the Spirit, was designed to go abroad among Gentiles also_we find sufficient reason for regarding this prevalent tongue as the original. Besides, it is confessed that other portions of the New Testament Scriptures written at and about this time, were in the Greek language. - The Epistle of James," which is supposed to date A.D. 60, and which was addressed to the twelve tribes scattered abroad," was written in Greek. This Jewish Greek was not indeed the pure tongue, but mixed with Hebraisms (see Winer's Idioms of the New Testament). Lardner, after citing the testimonies which have been urged for the Hebrew original of this gospel, concludes against them, and argues that this cannot be a Greek translation, because the same reason which would have made a translation into Greek necessary, would have induced Matthew himself to write in Greek.

It is further to be observed, that this apostle had early become familiar with the Greek tongue by his intercourse in the office of collector, and that it was already spoken extensively among the Jews of Judea, among whom he preached immediately after the ascension. 'The Jewish authors, Philo and Josephus, cotemporaries of the apostles, wrute in Greek. The mere fact


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that, by all confession, this Greek Gospel as we have it, was universally circulated, while no trace of a Hebrew Gospel is found, would weigh strongly in favour of the Greek original-since we might suppose that it would be written in the tongue in which it would be most needed, and most circulated. That the oldest Fathers of the church (says Olshausen) did not possess Matthew's Gospel in any other form than that in which we now have it, is fully settled. It is clear from the character of the citations out of the Old Testament, that this must be something else than a mere version. Besides, there is not the slightest trace of any opposition to it, as there must have been if the apostle had written in Hebrew, and a Greek translation was crowding it out, as though itself the original. Yet there is frequent mention early made of a Hebrew Gospel by Matthew. Lardner best accounts for this, by supposing that a Hebrew translation was made for limiter use, which some came to consider as the original. Olshausen concludes thai Matthew wrote in Hebrew, and afterward himself wrote in Greek.

MATTHEW was a Jew of Galilee. He was an inferior collector of custoins under the Roman government, to whom the Jews were now tributary. His station was at the port of Capernaum, or, as some have thought, on the high road from Capernaum to Damascus. He is also called Levi (Mark 2. 14. Luke 5. 27, 28) and “the publican," in his own list of the apostles. Matt. 10. 3. It was common among the Jews to have two names: as Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus”-Matt. 10. 3 and “Simon, who is called Peter." Matt. 10. 2. When a Jew became a Roman citizen, he usually assumed a Roman name. It is, therefore, supposed that "Levi" was the original Hebrew, and “Matthew" the assumed Roman name of this Evangelisi.

This gospel was evidently written with a special aim to evangelize the Jews. Hence the apostle brings forward the convincing proofs, that Jesus was the Christ, and even that Messiah whom their prophets had foretold. Hence he constantly refers them to their Scriptures of the Old Testament as fulfilled in Hiin. But this would be a leading argument for Christianity with the Gentiles also. He constantly considers John the Baptist in reference to Malachi's predictions, and recognizes his person and work as their direct accor plishment. Besides this, Matthew abounds in citations from the prophets, wł ch some authors here, and many in Germany, have regarded as inere "acer nmodations,” or happy applications, of the prophetic language. It requires Lo very high view of inspiration, to take them as so many inspired noti es of inspired predictions fulfilled in the events.

In choosiug Matthew for an apostle, our Lord adopted a striking inemorial of Judah's low estate, the country being now tributary, and an officer of the tribute, one of the twelve! It was at such a time of the chosen tribe's declension, that the Messiah was predicted as to come. Genesis 49. 10. Zech.9.9.

Our received English version of the Scriptures is a most elaborate correction of the previous translations, and that from the original tongues. Fortyseven men of the highest abilities were employed in the work for the space of three years, by authority of the King (James I). They were divided into six companies, and were assigned different portions. The work of each group nderwent the revision of all the others, after having been first thoroughly sifted in their own immediate circle. The whole was then finally revised by twelve men-these being a committee of two from each company. Thus most learnedly and laboriously prepared, it was issued at London, A.D. 1611. After many ineffectual attempts to improve upon it, by new versions, it is admitted among scholars, that a more faithful and true trans. lation, all in all, cannot be expected, and need not be desired

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presentation in the Temple. Beth-

lehem. Jerusalem.

11. The Magi. Jerusalem. Bethlehem. 2. 1-12

12. The flight into Egypt. Herod's

cruelty. The return. Bethlehem.


2. 13-23

13. At twelve years of age Jesus goes to

the Passover. Jerusalem.

2. 21-38

2. 39–40

2. 41-52




TIME: About one year.


The Desert. The Jordan. 3. 1-12 i 1. 1-8 3. 1-18


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9. 2-8 2. 1-12 5. 17-26

35. The call of Matthew. Capernaum. 9. 9 2. 13, 14.5. 27, 28


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