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body was laid, and prepared spices to embalm it; and, mentioning their names in C. xxiv. v. 10, to be Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, tells us also that. James was brother of the Lord Jesus ; for, from Luke viii. 2, 3, 19, it appears, that no other Mary, but Mary Magdalene, came with Jesus out of Galilee, except his own mother, who accompanied him with all her children. And Luke calls her, in c. xxiv. the mother of James, because Jesus hintself was no longer living. But in Acts i. where the history informs us Jesus was alive again, the same Mary is again called the mother of Jesus. Now, if the author of this Gospel had himself been an Apostle, he could not possibly have called his brother Apostles, James and John, sons of Zebedee, when he must have known that they never were Apostles, and that the Apostle James was the brother of Jesus.
A circumstance, which satisfactorily accounts for James being made the President. of the Council of the Apostles resident at Jerusalem.
In proceeding with this Author's enumeration, instead of Judas the Son, or, as our translators chose to render it, the brother of James, mentioned by Luke, we read “ Leb
beus surnamed Thaddeus;" to account for this seeming contradiction, commentators observe, that Thaddeus is a Syrian word of much the same signification with Judas: but if Matthew wrote any Gospel, he wrote it in Hebrew, not in Syriac; and had he adopted a Syrian, instead of the Hebrew name of his brother-apostle, still any consistent writer would have repeated the same Syrian denomination for the same name, and the last of the twelve also would have been called Thaddeus Iscarriot. As Luke conversed and lived long with all the Apostles, he could not be ignorant of the name by which they called the son of James; and therefore this writer cannot be one of them, because he would then, as usual, have called him Judas, not 'Thaddeus, and still less Lebbeus.
In chapter xi. v. 12, not to remark upon the confused jumble of two distinct conversations of our Saviour, which in Luke are separated by the intervention of no less than nine chapters, the author affords us a very striking proof of his entire ignorance of the Gospel meaning of the phrase, the kingdom of God,or, as he calls it, of heaven; for, not comprehending the sense of Luke, c. xvi. v. 16, he says,
From the days of John the Baptist, until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” From the days of John the Baptist, until the age of this writer, I have no doubt, was a period of many years; but what sense can the words until now have, supposing them to have been used by our Saviour whilst John was living, and within two months, or perhaps less, after his baptizing and preaching publicly? And in what meaning can the New Covenant of the kingdom of God, which was in no degree established in the world, till after our Lord's resursection, be said, at any time, but especially at the very beginning of his ministry, to suffer violence, and to be taken forcibly by violent men? Can any unprejudiced person believe, that an Apostle of Jesus Christ could be the author of such a sentence?
In chapter xii. v. 14-21, we have another instance of the uncommon ingenuity of this writer, in the application of the old prophecies so conspicuously displayed by him in the first and second chapters of his work. Not to dwell upon the impossibility of a person's remaining unknown, who‘was followed by great multitudes, and healed all the sick whom those multitudes brought unto him, consequently the unreasonable absurdity of such a person's charging the multitudes not to make him known, the writer tells us, that this very circumstance was the completion of a well known prophecy of Isaiah respecting the Messiah, which, like many prophecies of the New Testament, predicts, that the religion of the new covenant should be embraced by the Gentiles, and that all nations will become subject to the authority of Christ ; a prophecy which at this day remains to be fulfilled, and which had therefore no more reference to the circumstances here recorded of our Saviour, than the prophecy of the return of the Jews from their Babylonish captivity, applied in the second chapter, had to the pretended slaughter of the infants.
At verse 40, the author, not understanding our Lord's meaning about the sign which Jonas was to the Ninevites, as recorded by Luke, not only shews that his credulity easily swallowed the fabulous legend of the prophet in the whale's belly ; but, in order to make out some kind of similitude between his situation there and our Saviour's, tells us, that as Jonas was confined in that extraordinary prison three days and three nights, so the son of man should be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Even this pretended similitude, however, has not one corresponding feature in the two parts ; for, in the first place, our Lord was in the grave only one day and two nights ; and, in the next, Jonas, according to this incredible story, was alive the whole time, praying to and praising God, whereas Jesus was amongst the dead, and buried, of whom the Psalmist says,* “ the dead praise not thee, O Lord, “ neither they that go
down into silence.”
III. In the thirteenth chapter we find that, according to this writer, our Lord had greatly changed his mode of preaching to the people since the time of his delivering to them his sermon on the mount: for though in that ample collection of unconnected moral aphorisms, there is scarcely any thing like a parable to be met with, now, the author tell us, “ he spake not unto them without a parable.” Accordingly, the whole of his discourses given us in this chapter, both from the ship and even after he was come into the house, except where they are interrupted by explanations to his disciples alone, consists of a collection of seven parables, three of which are evidently borrowed from Luke ; two of them ver
* Psalm cxv. 17.