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interesting subject, which have so often been quoted and misconstrued by the looser critics. He will find evidence in this catalogue, also, of the same decrepancies among Mss. then as now; which shews with what fidelity the Gospels have been transmitted through so great a period of time.

Note C. gives us three well-known and acknowledged interpolations of the Gospels, to which I have had occasion before to advert, p. 284. The reader will find them fully exhibited in this Note, and some very sensible remarks from Mr. Norton accompanying them.

Note D. introduces again the subject of the Correspondencies of the first three Gospels, and discusses at length and in a masterly manner all the essential parts of this subject. Seldom indeed have I experienced greater pleasure in reading any discussion, than in following the clue which Mr. Norton has proffered to conduct us through this labyrinth, not less perplexing than that of the Minotaur in Crete. After wearying onesself for years to put together some kind of garment made out of such complex and arachnaean filaments as the web contains that has been woven by Eichhorn, Marsh, Gratz, and others, it is truly comforting to light upon a piece of plain substantial cloth of firm texture and well adapted for hard service. To speak more literally ; Mr. Norton has made the subject plain and intelligible; and to do this, he must have expended more labour on his Note, than on any other part of his book; unless, indeed, be has more of the renowned second-sight than most others, which would enable him to spy out some shorter way than usual, in traversing the longae ambages of the theory in question.

My limits forbid me to follow Mr. Norton through all the stages of his admirable discussion. I will only state enough to enable the readers of this Miscellany to understand the nature of the question, and the general run of the discussion.

Mr. Norton states at the outset, in brief but comprehensive terms, the nature of the subject.

The remarkable agreement among the first three Gospels, has given occasion to many attempts to explain its origin. But, generally, in the hypotheses that have been framed, is has not been sufficiently kept in mind, that its occurrence with so much that is dissimilar, is one of the principal phenomena to be accounted for; and that, though our ultimate purpose be to solve the problem of the correspondences among those Gospels, it must embrace likewise a solution of their differences. Together with this, the appearances to be explained are as follows.

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Many portions of the history of Jesus are found in common in the first three Gospels; others are common to two of their number, but. not found in the third. In the passages referred to, there is generally a similarity, sometimes a very great similarity, in the selection of particular circumstances, in the aspect under which the event is viewed, and the style in which it is related. Sometimes, the language found in different Gospels, though not identical, is equivalent, or nearly equivalent; and not unfrequently, the same series of words, with or without slight variations, occurs throughout the whole, or a great part of a sentence, and even in larger portions; pp. C. seq.

A very important statement of facts follows closely in the sequel to this passage. Mr. Norton designs by it to lay before his readers the general nature of the coincidences between the three first Gospels, and also to inform them in how great a proportion of each Gospel these coincidences may be found. As the passa ge is fundamental in the whole discussion, I must produce it.

By far the larger portion of this verbal agreement is found in the recital of the words of others, and particularly of the words of Jesus. Thus, in Matthew's Gospel, the passages verbally coincident with one or both of the other two Gospels, amount to less than a sixth part of its contents; and of this, about seven eighths occur in the recital of the words of others, and only one eighth in what, by way of distinction, I may call mere narrative, in which the evangelist, speaking in his own person, was unrestrained in the choice of his. expressions. In Mark, the proportion of coincident passages to the whole contents of the Gospel is about one sixth, of which not one fifth occurs in the narrative. Luke has still less agreement of expression with the other evangelists. The passages in which it is found amount only to about a tenth part of his Gospel; and but an inconsiderable portion of it appears in the narrative; in which there are very few instances of its existence for more than half a dozen words together. It may be computed as less than a twentieth part.

These definite proportions are important, as showing distinctly in how small a part of each Gospel there is any verbal coincidence with either of the other two ; and to how great a degree such coincidence is confined to passages in which the evangelists professedly give the words of others, particularly of Jesus; pp. ci. seq.

Having given these extracts, it becomes a matter of importance to give another which affords a kind of coup d'oeil of Mr. Norton's general grounds and course of thought, throughout his whole note on the subject before us.

As a preliminary, then, toward accounting for the agreement of language in the first three Gospels, we must divide each of them into two portions; the one consisting of that part in which the evan. gelist speaks in his own person, and the other of words professedly not his own. Having done this, it appears from the statements before made, that the same cause could not have operated alone in both these different portions, to produce coincidence of language. We cannot explain this phenomenon by the supposition, that the Gospels were transcribed either one from another, or all from common documents ; because, if such transcription had been the cause, it would not have produced results so unequal in the different portions into which the Gospels naturally divide themselves.

But in regard to the words of Jesus, other causes were in operation, that may account for the verbal coincidences among

the evangelists, in their reports of what he said. There was, in this case, an invariable archetype, to which each writer would endeavour to con. form himself. Events may be correctly related in many forms of language different from each other. Words can be repeated with accuracy only in one form. But each of the first three evangelists intended to give the words of his master as they were uttered by him. Nor is it to be supposed, that the evangelist, while writing, merely recollected those words as having been formerly uttered by Jesus, and repeated them for the first time. He had often, without doubt, quoted them in his oral discourses, and heard them quoted by his fellow-preachers of Christianity. From the nature of the case, they must, many of them, have become formularies in which the doctrines and precepts of our religion were expressed. The agreement of the first three evangelists, in their reports of the words of Christ, is no greater than these considerations would lead us to anticipate. There is no ground for any other hypothesis concerning it; pp. cii. seq.

In addition to these natural sources of agreement or sameness, it should be mentioned, that the words of others which are cited, as well as those of the Saviour; and in like manner all the quotations from the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament; would of course fall under the same general category. The cases where the quotations of the Evangelists differ from the Septuagint text, and yet agree with each other, Mr. Norton very naturally solves by the supposition, (which we know must in many cases have been matter of fact), that the Septuagint text of the Evangelists' day differed in many places from that in our present copies.

Mr. Norton observes, in the next place, that the coincidences of the Gospels as to diction,“ does not lie together in masses." They are almost every where confined to clauses merely, or fragments of sentences ; rarely do they make up, without interruption, even a single verse at a time. In order to exemplify this, he presents, in the way of comparison, the account given by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, of the cure of the paralytic at Capernaum; which is a fair specimen of what is common to many paragraphs of the first three Gospels. The minute discrepancies which every where appear, even in such accounts as this, shew something different in each case from the hand of a mere copyist or redactor.

The discrepancies in chronology, or, to speak more accurately, the discrepancies as to series or order of events, in the different Gospels, have from the most ancient times attracted the notice of all critical readers. It is well known that Mark and Luke depart from the order of Matthew in a number of somewhat important cases; moreover, that although they agree more nearly with each other than they do with Matthew, in regard to the general order of events, yet in several cases even Mark and Luke are quite discrepant from each other.

These differences Mr. Norton has brought fully into view; and be insists that these, as well as the other phenomena of the Gospels, ought to be accounted for by the theories that have lately been proffered to the notice of the public, before we can adopt those theories as probable.

He then proceeds to examine the supposition, that two of the Evangelists copied, the one from his predecessor, and the other from both his predecessors. For example; we may suppose that Luke first copied from Matthew, and then Mark copied from both Matthew and Luke. Now the points of disagreement between Matthew and Luke are so many, both as to matter, manner, order, and idiom, that any thing like copying

part of Luke, in the common sense of that word, is quite out of question. Then in the next place, Mark differs so widely from both the others, in regard to compass and kinds of matter, manner, order, etc., that no tolerable probability can be made out of his having been a copyist ; nor, indeed, in case he had been, can we assign any credible motive for undertaking his performance.

By considerations such as these, and allied to these, Mr. Norton tries and examines the various theories which maintain that the Evangelists were copyists of each other; some copyists in this way, and some in that, for there is no one of the three Evangelists in question, who has not been placed first in order by some of the critics. To all such as have been perVol. IX. No. 30.


on the

plexed by the theories on the subject of the formation of the Gospels, which critics have lately excogitated; to all who wish to see how easy it is to impose upon one's self, and on the public too, by publishing one-sided and partial views of any matter; I would most sincerely commend the diligent perusal of what Mr. Norton las written on this subject. The conviction which I have long had, that the whole affair is only “castlebuilding in the air,” has been greatly heightened by reading Mr. Norton.

But while the theory, which maintained that one Evangelist copied from another or others, has of late been gradually and almost silently going into desuetude on account of the internal and insuperable difficulties which it presents, the newer and more fashionable one of a Protevangelium, which Eichhorn and Marsh have decked out in so many gaudy colours, has been wide spread on the continent, as Í have before remarked. Eichhorn was not indeed the father, but only the nurse, of this unlucky progeny. Semler I take to be its progenitor ; Lessing, Niemeyer, Halfeld, and Paulus, its Lucinas ; Eichhorn its prime-nurse, Marsh its god-father, and Ziegler, Gratz, Bertholdt, Weber, and Kuinoel, its foster-fathers.

But with all the nursing and care bestowed upon it, it has proved to be but a sickly child. It was born with the seeds of phthisis in its constitution; and although for a while its ruddy face appeared to indicate, in early youth, some symptoms of a vigorous state, yet it soon began to grow pale and sickly. It has recently been fast approaching the last stages of disease ; and now Mr. Norton has administered a dose which will precipitate its death. If not, then my prognosis is not secundum artem.

I will not repeat here the account which is briefly given on p. 289 seq. above. Mr. Norton will present the reader with a more full and minute detail respecting the documents supposed to be employed by the Evangelists, on pp. cxxxiii. seq. of Addenda. The recapitulation of this, by Mr. Norton himself, may however be presented to help the reader on this occasion to a right view of the subject.

I will briefly recapitulate the steps in this hypothesis. The first supposition is of an Original Gospel, written in Hebrew, and receiving continual additions from various hands. This is supposed to have been used in three different forms by the first three evangelists, being in one of its forms, the basis of the work of each. Be

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