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THE FIRST THREE GOSPELS.

1.-ACCORDING TO MARK.

II.-ACCORDING TO MATTHEW,

III.-ACCORDING TO LUKE.

The First Three Gospels are called the Synoptists, as giving somewhat the same general view of events. Their frequent correspondences, their very striking differences, their use of some primitive source common to all, and their marked individuality of character notwithstanding their family likeness, render the subject of their relation to each other and to their common source one of the standing problems of Christian scholarship, a problem full of interest and not yet fully solved. They are here presented in what seems to be their natural order :

1. The Gospel of the Public Ministry of Christ, which in a rapid succession of pictures portrays the Son of God” accomplishing with celerity the great work by which He filled the world with the Beneficent Power of His Name. The Gospel of Activity, which with restless and impetuous energy sets forth for the practical energetic Roman mind the person and work of Jesus in the fresh vigor of His Power. The Gospel for Roman Christians, whose theme might be stated in the words of Peter to the Roman centurion Cornelius : “ Jesus of Nazareth, how that God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."

2. The Gospel primarily for Jewish Christians, which shews that Jesus is the true Messiah of Israel promised through the prophets, the Heir of Abraham through whom all nations are to be blessed ; the Son of David, the King and the Man of Sorrows combined, entering upon His Kingdom by the way of the Cross. The Gospel of Fulfilment, which points out at every stage in the history that the Old is fulfilled in the New. The Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, in whose closing scene Jesus appears exalted to the throne of heaven and earth, instead of to the throne of his father David, and promises to men on earth the abiding presence of Immanuel, God with us.

3. The Catholic Gospel of free and universal Salvation for all men. The Gospel of the Son of Man, the Friend of the human race, Himself made perfect through sufferings, able to sympathize because He has been tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. The Gospel of God our Saviour and His love toward man ; Divine compassion stooping down to man, human life entering into union with God, in the Person of Him who is to bring His brother-men back to God.

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ACCORDING TO MARK.

(John Mark, the son of a certain Mary of Jerusalem, may have been the young man whom he mentions (xiv., 51) as following Jesus and His disciples out of the house in which they had kept the Passover. To the house of this Mary-which may have been the scene of the Last Supper and of the descent of the Spirit at Pentecost-Peter went when delivered from prison (Acts xii., 12). With his cousin Barnabas and Paul he went on their first missionary journey as their attendant, but soon lost heart and left them, thus occasioning a rupture between those Apostles (Acts xii., 25, xiii., 5, 13, xv., 38). Nevertheless after some years he was among the few who stood by Paul during his imprisonment in Rome, and was named by the Apostle among those fellow-workers who had proved a comfort to him (Col. iv., 10, 11 ; Philem. 24); and still later, Paul particularly desired his help (II Tim. iv. 11). At some sime, probably between his desertion of Paul and his renewed association with that Apostle, he was specially attached to Peter as "interpreter," and in this relation is believed to have composed his Gospel, which was sometimes alluded to as the “ Reminiscences of Petcr."]

THE BEGINNING of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

HIS WAY PREPARED BY THE FORERUNNER.

I. 2-8,

Even as it is written in Isaiah the prophet

Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face,
Who shall prepare Thy way :

The voice of one crying in the wilderness
Make ye ready the way of the Lord,

Make His paths straight, John came who baptized in the wilderness and preached the baptism of repentance for remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the country of Judæa and all they of Jerusalem, and they were baptized by him in

I. 5

the river Jordan confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel's hair and had a leathern girdle about his loins and did eat locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, There cometh after me He that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose : I baptized you with water, but He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

PART 1.

THE EARLY MINISTRY IN GALILEE AMIDST UNDIVIDED AND

EVER-INCREASING ADMIRATION.

The Son of God Baptized, Anointed King, Sustained in Tempta

tion-His First Proclamation of the Kingdom of God — First Calling of Disciples—A Day in Capernaum-His Authority over Evil Spirits and over Disease--He Heals the Leper. 1. 9-45.

AND IT CAME TO PASS in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water he saw the heavens rent asunder and the Spirit as a dove descending upon Him : and a voice came out of the heavens, Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well pleased. And straightway the Spirit driveth Him forth into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days tempted by Satan, and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered unto Him.

Now after John was delivered up Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand : repent ye and believe in the Gospel.

And passing along by the sea of Galilee He saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea, for they were fishers : and Jesus said unto them, Come ye after

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