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house at Jerusalem ; was acquainted with the apostles; that he was a disciple of some note and distinction, for it was to his house that Peter went when he was miraculously delivered out of prison, and where he found many gathered together and praying. Soon after this, he left Jerusalem to accompany Barnabas and Paul in their expedition to the Gentiles. After residing with them for some time, he left them and returned to Jeru. salem, which return afterwards occasioned a dispute betwixt Barnabas and Paul: Barnabas being desirous to keep Mark with him, Paul, not thinking it good to take him, departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. Saint Paul, however, long after this, begged Timothy to bring Mark along with him to Rome, “ For he is profitable to me for the ministry ;" so that the offence, whatever it was, was made up. The account delivered down to us by many historians is, that Mark attended upon Peter, and wrote his. Gospel under Peter's eye, and by his direction. However we are the less solicitous to ascertain any thing further concerning Mark, because there is hardly any thing in his Gospel which is not contained in that by Saint Matthew. Thus much appears, that although he might not perhaps have been an eye-witness of many of the transactions he records (which, whether he was or not, cannot now be known), he was a companion of apostles, and apostolically aiding and assisting some those in the ministry. At his house the first disciples, according to their custom, used to meet. He was probably the friend of Peter, as Peter went to his house the first place after his deliverance from prison ; and what is as material as any thing, he was living at Jerusalem, the very spot where the most important part of Christ's miracles were exhibited.

Saint Luke wrote his Gospel, and the Acts of the Apostles. He was the companion and fellow-traveller of Paul, as appears both from his speaking in the first person plural in his account of Saint Paul's travels,– We went;" “it was determined that we should sail into Italy;" “ it came to pass when we were gone forth,” and other passages of the same kind, which show that the writer of the history was one of the company.

We find him also with Saint Peter at Rome, when Saint Paul wrote the first chapter of his second epistle to Timothy. The preface to Saint Luke's Gospel is exceedingly worthy of notice: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things, which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed.”

Now this short preface informs us of a great deal. It informs us, first, that the great facts of the Gospel history were most surely believed amongst the Christians of those times. It informs us, secondly, upon what grounds they are believed, namely, as they delivered them, which from the beginning were eye-witnesses. It acknowledges, thirdly, that he himself was not an eye-witness, but that he received the account from those who were : writing as they delivered the instances. It asserts, fourthly, that Saint Luke had a perfect understanding of all things from the first, or, as it should have been rendered, he had penned and traced every account up to its source, to the fountain-head, and so

XLII.

EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY.

(PART 11.)

JOHN XX. 31.

But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus

is the Christ the son of God, and that, believing, ye might have lise through his name.

Having proved, and I trust satisfactorily, that the books of the New Testament were written by the persons to whom they are ascribed, my next proposition is, that these persons could not possibly be deceived in what they related ; and this will necessarily introduce an inquiry how they stood connected as to opportunity of knowledge and information, with the matters they relate, and of what nature those matters were.

One of the four Gospels, which contain the history of our Saviour's life, the first, was written by Matthew. Who was that Matthew ? The publican, whom Jesus Christ saw and called at the receipt of custom, and afterwards ordained to be one of the twelve Apostles, who were to be with him as companions in his journeying and ministry till his ascension. So that you observe this author was an eye-witness himself, and had actually seen the greatest part of the things which he relates ; attended upon Christ as he passed from one place to another; was present upon the spot when he wrought

his miracles; heard his discourses ; sat down with him at his last supper; and, above all, saw him himself after his resurrection from the dead. No authority can be stronger than that. If this be not bringing the account to the fountain-head, I know not what is Saint John, the author of the fourth Gospel, was another apostle, and consequently, like all the other apostles, the regular companion of Jesus. He was likewise called before Matthew, therefore present at some things which Matthew was not. He was not only one of the disciples, but the disciple “ whom Jesus loved," whom he distinguished upon two occasions by particular marks of regard ; took and admitted, along with Peter and James, into the house at the raising of Jairus's daughter when no others were admitted; was present along with Christ, together with Peter and James, at the transfiguration ; was found, with Peter and James, on our Lord's passion, in the garden. These circumstances we mention merely to show that he was not only a disciple, but a friend and particular favourite of his master : consequently perfectly well informed, we may be sure,

, of his history. He himself stood by the cross when Jesus was crucified ; and when he describes that trans

l action, especially the piercing of his side and the flowing out of blood and water, he adds these remarkable words: “He that saw it bare record, and his record is true ;

and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.” Moreover he was present after Christ's resurrection, at the conversation bstwixt Christ and Peter, and was himself the subject of that conversation. “ This is that disciple,” he adds, “which testifieth these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true.”

What we know of Mark is, that he lived and had a house at Jerusalem ; was acquainted with the apostles ; that he was a disciple of some note and distinction, for it was to his house that Peter went when he was miraculously delivered out of prison, and where he found many gathered together and praying. Soon after this, he left Jerusalem to accompany Barnabas and Paul in their expedition to the Gentiles. After residing with

. them for some time, he left them and returned to Jeru. salem, which return afterwards occasioned a dispute betwixt Barnabas and Paul : Barnabas being desirous to keep Mark with him, Paul, not thinking it good to take him, departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. Saint Paul, however, long after this, begged Timothy to bring Mark along with him to Rome, “ For he is profitable to me for the ministry;" so that the offence, whatever it was, was made up. The account delivered down to us by many

: historians is, that Mark attended upon Peter, and wrote his Gospel under Peter's eye, and by his direction. However we are the less solicitous to ascertain any thing further concerning Mark, because there is hardly any thing in his Gospel which is not contained in that by Saint Matthew. Thus much appears, that although he might not perhaps have been an eye-witness of many of the transactions he records (which, whether he was or not, cannot now be known), he was a companion of apostles, and apostolically aiding and assisting some of those in the ministry. At his house the first disciples, according to their custom, used to meet. He was probably the friend of Peter, as Peter went to his house the first place after his deliverance from prison ; and what is as material as any thing, he was living at Jerusalem, the very spot where the most important part of Christ's miracles were exhibited.

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