only suitable place, in a work written with a specific reference to that object, as a legal document attesting the validity of Our Lord's pretensions as the predicted Son of David, one of the prophetic marks by which he was to be recognized, and a sine quâ non, therefore, in the estimation of the Jewish people. In each Gospel, then, the genealogy occupies its proper place; and the transposition required in a harmony, is the first instance of that disadvantageous sacrifice of the natural arrangement to the artificial, which meets us at almost every step.

The legal genealogy might, it is true, have been connected by St. Luke, with his account of the reasons which led to Joseph's repairing to Bethlehem, or with the circumcision of Our Lord; instead of which, the fact, that Joseph was of the lineage of David, as proved by St. Matthew, is merely mentioned Luke ïi. 4. But the descent of Our Lord from Adam, as given by St. Luke, would have been irrelevant in that connexion, as well as an interruption of the narrative, and is therefore reserved for the place in which it occurs in the text of that Evangelist.

A dissertation is devoted to the apparent discrepancy between the two genealogies, and to some minor critical difficulties, which the reader will consult with advantage. As it was not the custom of the Jews to exhibit the genealogy of females as such, the genealogy of Christ, Mr. Greswell remarks, would not be formally exhibited as his genealogy through Mary, but through her husband, who stood in the same relation to the father of Mary, as Mary herself.

"As the natural genealogy of Joseph, distinct from Mary's, was exhibited by St. Matthew as the legal genealogy of Jesus, so, the natural genealogy of Jesus, distinct from Joseph's, is exhibited by St. Luke as the legal genealogy of Joseph. The language of this Evangelist is as much adapted to the support of this conclusion, as the language of St. Matthew to the support of the former. For, first, the words öv ús irouíteto, premised to the account, by setting forth Our Lord as the reputed, and not as the actual son of Joseph, do clearly imply that the genealogy which follows, apparently through Joseph, could not be the natural genealogy of both; and, if it was real in respect to either, it could be only imputed in respect to the other. Secondly, his mode of expressing the relation between the successive links, seems purposely chosen to describe an acquired, as well as a natural relation ; for it is such as to apply to both. We have but to suppose that Mary was the daughter of Eli

, and we assign a reason why the descent of Our Lord, though in reality through Mary, might yet be set forth as apparently through Joseph.... It is certain that, as both descended from David, Joseph and Nary were of kin ; and, as both standing at analogous points in the lines of this descent, it is probable that they were the next of kin. If the Jewish records did not recognize Mary, though the daughter of Eli, except as the wife of Joseph, her son, who would appear to be his son, must be described accordingly’. Vol. II. pp. 103, 106.

At the same time, as the political claim to the throne of David and Solomon was vested in the line which terminated in Joseph, it was as his heir, though not his son, that the Son of David through Mary, united in himself every legal right to the tempo ral kingdom of Israel ; so that, when the rulers of the nation delivered up the legitimate King of the Jeus' to the Roman power, declaring that they had no other king than Cæsar, they, in that very act, broke the sceptre of Judah, extinguished the last temporal hope of Israel, and unconciously afforded a demonstration that the Shiloh had come. It may be alleged, perhaps, that if Joseph and Mary had children, (a point examined in this same dissertation, and Mr. Greswell inclines to the affirmative,) the eldest would succeed to the legal claims vested in the firstborn of Mary. But, in the first place, the act of the rulers of the nation, supported by the people, renouncing their king, could not be reversed ; and secondly, his claims can never terminate or devolve upon a successor, of whom, to adopt the argument and language of an apostolic writer, it is testified that he lives, a perpetual pontiff and a king for ever.

The time of the visit of the Magi is the subject of another erudite dissertation. With regard to its place in the harmonized narrative, it will be seen, that Mr. Greswell introduces that event between ver. 38 and 39 of Luke ii., or after the Presentation; while Calvin supposes it to have taken place before the forty days were accomplished, arguing, that Joseph and Mary could have no motive for returning from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. They had come to the latter city for a specific object, viz. to be registered there, but apparently without any design of making it their abode. It was so ordered, that the birth of Our Lord should take place there; but, when Mary was able to go up to Jerusalem, there was no obvious reason for their returning to Bethlehem, supposing them to have been registered.

Mr. Greswell infers from the limitation of the massacre to children ato dietous, i. e. as he interprets it, not exceeding thirteen months, that the star could not have appeared more than thirteen months

before the arrival of the Magi, though it might have appeared less.' We find him, however, afterwards contending, (forgetful of this last admission,) that, if it first appeared at or after the Nativity, the age of Our Lord, at the time of their arrival, 'could not have * been less than thirteen months; a conclusion,' he adds, 'which would involve the Gospel chronology in insuperable difficulties.' He therefore concludes that the star must have appeared many months before Our Lord's birth. He shews that, according to the rate of travelling in those times, the Magi, if they came from

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* Stultè enim imaginantur fuisse illic domicilium Joseph, ubi adeo ignotus erat ut hospitium nullum invenire potuerit. Calv. in loco.

Parthia or Bactria, would be four months on the road ; and he indulges the conjecture, that the star had appeared nine months before they set out, at the period of the Annunciation. The order of Herod, however, by no means proves that the star had appeared so long as thirteen months before. On the contrary, his sweeping and ruthless edict would doubtless be framed so as to make all sure, by providing against the difficulty of ascertaining the precise age of an infant under a year old ; and we may therefore take the age of thirteen months as the extreme. Besides, the order would not be issued till some time had elapsed. Herod would doubtless conclude, at first, that the Magi were prosecuting their search at Bethlehem and in its vicinity; he would expect them not readily to abandon their object; and it would not be till he had actually ascertained their departure out of his dominions, that he would conclude they had found the object of their search, but not returned to inform him of their success. On being convinced of this, his vindictive rage burst forth ; a rage not unmixed with jealous misgivings and alarm. But, by that time, days and even weeks might have elapsed, and Joseph and Mary, as well as the Magi, had escaped out of his territories. The Presentation in the Temple might take place in the interval.* Supposing, then, the star to have first appeared at the time of the Nativity, (which seems to us the more natural supposition,) if the Magi set out immediately, and were not quite six weeks on their journey, they might arrive just before or about the time of the Presentation. But if, as Mr. Greswell supposes, their journey would occupy four months, and some delay took place in preparing for it, they could not have reached Jerusalem till Our Lord was five or six months old. In that case, Joseph and Mary must have returned to Bethlehem after the Presentation in the Temple.

• If,' says Mr. Greswell, “the birth of Our Lord took place at the beginning

of April A. U. 750, (B. C. 4,) then it may be rendered presumptively certain' (a strange expression !) that the Magi arrived in Jerusalem at the beginning of the following August; and consequently, in all probability, that the flight into Egypt could not have been delayed much beyond the middle of the same month. The passover was celebrated the next year on Mar. 31, about a fortnight after the death of Herod; and that Herod was dead before the holy family were instructed to return, is indisputably clear. It is a singular fact, that, in the year after his birth, when Christ the True Passover was absent in Egypt, there was, strictly speaking, no passover celebrated

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* Dr. Benson supposes it to have taken place between the arrival of the Magi at Jerusalem and their arrival at Bethlehem; and he unreasonably assumes, that Herod sent forth his emissaries the very next morning after the Magi had left him, on not finding them return immediately.

as usual in Judea ; a circumstance almost unexampled in the previous history of the Jews. The cause of this anomaly was, the disturbances which ensued upon the death of Herod, and which, by the time of the arrival of the paschal day, had reached to such a height, that Archelaus was obliged to disperse the people, by force of arms, in the midst of their sacrifices. Vol. I. p. 338, note.

Dr. Benson, in his “Chronology of Our Saviour's Life”*, fixes the death of Herod in the spring of J.P. 4711 (B.c. 3.), which answers to the date adopted by Mr. Greswell

. Lardner fixes it a year earlier. The arrival of the Magi, Dr. B. assigns, on very precarious data, to the middle of February, J.P. 4710; and he fixes the time of Our Lord's birth in April or May of J.P. 4709, answering to A.U.c. 749 or B.c. 5., which is a year earlier than Mr. Greswell's date. All that the narrative requires for its consistency is, that the birth of Christ took place not less than about a year before the death of Herod; it may have been two years ; but Mr. Greswell's learned and ingenious calculations will probably be thought to establish with tolerable certainty the date which he has adopted, four years prior to the vulgar era, or J.P. 4710.

Part the Second of the Harmony opens with the sublime exordium of St. John's Gospel, ch. i. 1-18, which forms an introduction not less appropriate to the character and design of his Gospel, than the Genealogy does to St. Matthew's; but there is the same difficulty in placing it in a harmony. By making it commence a new part, this difficulty is concealed, rather than obviated. The reader must be sensible, however, of the violence committed in separating verses 15-18 from ver. 19 et seq. of the same chapter, in order to interpose, in parallel columns, the accounts furnished by the other evangelists, of the Ministry of the Baptist, the baptism of Our Lord, and the Temptation. The chronology requires this, unless sect. 1. had been postponed till after sect. 7. The fact is, that, although the whole of St. John's Gospel is clearly of a supplemental character, it is the least susceptible of being blended with the other narratives; and Calvin, we cannot but think, decided wisely in excluding it from his Harmony, and reserving it for distinct commentary in an unbroken form.f

* See Eclec. Rev. Vol. xvi.


336. + Doddridge introduces the exordium to St. John's Gospel in his 2nd section, immediately after Luke i. 4, and as a sort of pårenthesis between that brief preface and the commencement of Luke's history. This is, perhaps, the best place it could occupy in a harmony. The genealogies, he inserts in sect. 9., immediately after Matt. i. 25. The visit of the Magi, he places after the purification, but, in his notes, treats the true order as doubtful.

In the account of the Temptation, Mr. Greswell adopts the order of St. Matthew as the true one. Yet, it does not follow, he remarks, that St. Luke's account contains a trajection ; that is, an undesigned and inaccurate transposition. The moral end proposed by the narrative in either, though it must have been partly the same, might have been partly distinct, so far as to require St. Matthew to observe the actual order of the event, and to induce St. Luke to make a corresponding change in it.

• The order of the temptations is the order of their strength ; that is, they begin with the weakest, and proceed to the strongest; for any other order would manifestly have been preposterous. And the end of the whole transaction is, to represent Our Lord tempted in all points, like unto ourselves, yet without sin ; attacked in each vulnerable part of his human nature, yet superior to every act, and to all the subtlety of the Devil. Vol. II.


186. Now which of the last two temptations was apparently stronger, would afford room for a difference of opinion. We agree with our Author, that the third, according to St. Matthew's arrangement, besides being actually the strongest temptation, and one which only the true Christ could have withstood, would also appear the strongest in the eyes of a Jew. But St. Luke might have reason to think that, to a Gentile reader, the second would appear the strongest, as the force of the last would not be appreciated, except by those who were looking for a temporal Messiah. To the Gentiles, it might appear in the light of a temptation addressed simply to the desire of honour, wealth, or power, and therefore of inferior strength to the second, which was addressed more directly to the principle of intellectual pride.

• For the history of their own philosophers could furnish instances of persons whom their natural strength had enabled to surmount the former ; but few or none of such as, unassisted by the grace of God, had not fallen victims to the latter. Hence, if St. Luke wrote for the Gentile Christians, as St. Matthew had written for the Jewish, he would as naturally place the second temptation last, as St. Matthew, on the other supposition, had placed the third.' Vol. II. p. 187.

This explanation is not only ingenious, but, we think, carries with it high probability. At all events, it is much more reasonable to suppose that St. Luke had some design in deviating from the order of St. Matthew, than that he transposed the order through error or negligence, or considered it as of no consequence. If we suppose his order to be the true one, and that St. Matthew's was the deviation from historic precision, we may in like manner conclude, that the arrangement had relation to the specific design of that Evangelist. But we think that the internal evidence is in favour of the former opinion. In order to estimate the strength of the third Temptation, it should be considered, that it was adVOL. IX.-N.S.


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