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forsook their families and occupations to follow him, we must believe that they set a great value upon every sentence of doctrine wbich he uttered ; and that they would thus, with verbal accuracy, preserve it in their minds. The constant repetition of these sayings to the Jews in the beginning, when they were instructing them and when they were conversing with each other, would continue to preserve them accurately in the language in which they were spoken; and afterwards, when they began to instruct the Gentiles, they would with the same care translate them into Greek, and probably consult and compare with each other, the translations of many of these important passages and sayings of Jesus ; and thus would the coincidence, which we now perceive in them, arise ; while, at the same time, they left the narrative part to the extempore diction of the teachers; and therefore in their narratives we find but few instances, comparatively, of such verbal agreement. Afterwards, when the last three Evangelists wrote their Gospels, which they did in Greek, they retained, in general, the very words of the doctrines of Jesus, as they had been rendered from time to time by his disciples in their early discourses. In the same manner the translator of Matthew's Gospel, we may presume, adopted them likewise. And it is with great deference to that most learned and eminent prelate, Dr. Marsh, the present bishop of Peterborough, that I prefer this simple, and, as I think, natural way of accounting for these frequent verbal agreements in the Gospels, to his very ingenious and elaborate hypothesis." - Appendix, pp. 418-420.
With regard to the date of St. Matthew's Gospel, the following is the outline of his lordship’s reasoning :
It is agreed by all writers on the subject that St. Matthew wrote his Gospel before he left Judea.--How, then, shall we ascertain the date of his departure? The first members of the Church who travelled from Palestine those
which were scattered abroad
the persecution that arose about Stephen;" but the Apostles remained some time longer at Jerusalem :-Acts viii. The precise period at which each of them left Jerusalem cannot now be ascertained; but that they had most of them left it when St. Paul went thither to see Peter, seems highly probable from the language of St. Paul himself, in his Epistle to the Galatians ; viz.--Then, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him three days. But other of the Apostles saw I none, suve James, the Lord's brother. Now it is scarcely credible that St. Paul should, on this occasion, have passed fifteen days at Jerusalem without being introduced to the whole of the Apostolic brotherhood, if they had been collected there. Michaelis, indeed, draws an opposite inference. He contends that the words of Paul imply that other Apostles were, at that time, at Jerusalem ; but that St. Paul made no acquaintance with them, because he was not come for the purpose of being instructed by flesh and blood in the
mysteries of the Gospel, which he bad already learned by direct communication from heaven. Instruction in the Gospel, undoubtedly he needed not. But, still, what can be more unnatural than the supposition, that a convert so extraordinary as Paul of Tarsus, should remain fifteen days in a place where the other Apostles were residing, and yet that they should not be apprised of his arrival ; or, if apprised, that they should not, one and all, rush forward to offer him the right-hand of fellowship?
It bas further been objected, by Bishop Marsh, that in the Acts ix. 26, &c., we are told that Saul ussayed to join himself to the disciples; but that they were afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple : but that Burnabas took him, and brought him to the Apostles, &c. &c. This passage, however, appears to us quite conclusive the other way; for it shews, in the first place, that there was no reserve or caution on the part of St. Paul, since he endeavoured to be introduced to all the Christians at Jerusalem ; secondly, that although the disciples (that is, the general body of Christians at Jerusalem,) shrunk from his society, he was, nevertheless, brought by Barnabas to the Apostles; but to what Apostles ? Certainly not to the whole of the Apostles ; for Paul himself affirms that, besides Peter, he saw none but St. James. And further, that there was no caution or restraint to keep him from the society of the rest, is evident from the fact, that he was with them,—(whom he actually did see,)-coming in, and going out, at Jerusalem.-Acts ix. 28. From all which it
appears irresistibly clear that Paul would have seen other Apostles, and not Peter and James only, if any beside Peter and James had then been present to receive him.
But then comes the question—When did St. Paul visit Jerusalem? And, in order to ascertain this, it must be remembered that Stephen was put to death, of course, before the conversion of St. Paul; and that, if the proto-martyr was sentenced by the Sanhedrim, it must have been subsequently to the year 37, in which Pilate was dispossessed of the government; for while Pilate was in possession, the Sanhedrim could have exercised no such power.
After his conversion, Paul went first to Arabia, and ihence returned to Damascus. The length of his abode in Arabia is not mentioned; but if we allow it to have been for one or two years, and if we add to this the further interval of three years which passed before he went up to Jerusalem, this will bring his arrival there to the year 41 or 42.
If, however, as Bishop Tomline believes, Stephen was crificed by an irregular and tumultuous eruption of popular fury, under the government of Pilate, his death may have taken place some two or three years earlier; and, in that case, the arrival of
90 Earl Rosse on the Truth of the Christian Revelation. St. Paul at Jerusalem may have been just so much earlier likewise. But, at all events, the year 41 or 42 is the latest period which can reasonably be assigned to this occurrence.
Again, it was about the year 41 that the Apostles and brethren that were in Judea (not merely in Jerusalem,) heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.-Acts xi. After this, the Apostles could be withheld by no scruple from going among the Gentiles for the purpose of converting them to the Gospel. This, therefore, was the critical time at which those of them who had, heretofore, been occupied in the labour of conversion throughout Judea, would, most probably, go forth to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. And this, accordingly, is the time, or nearly ihe time, at which we may safely presume that Matthew likewise went forth from Judea for the same object. How, then, are we to evade the conclusion that the Gospel of St. Matthew was written previously to the year 41 or 42, if it be true (as all agree) that it was written before his departure from Judea ?
We have no space for the insertion of other cogent particulars of evidence, produced by Lord Rosse, in support of his argument; and for which we must, therefore, refer the reader to the work itself. We accordingly take leave of his lordship, with sentiments of cordial respect; first, for shewing that he is not ashamed of confessing the Son of Man in the face of a sensual, self-sufficient, and froward generation; and, secondly, for having conducted the cause which he has taken in hand with a degree of knowledge which might do honour to a professional divine; and, at the same time, with a manly and sedate good sense, which must extort respect from the most perverse and fastidious gainsayer.
Art. VI.-- 1. Sermons on the Leading Principles and Practical
Duties of Christianity. By Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, D.D. Warden of New College, Oxford; and Rector of Foxley, Wilts. Vol. II. London: Rivingtons. Oxford: Parker. 1834.
2. Sermons on Various Occasions. By Charles Webb Le Bas, A.M.
Professor in the East India College, Hertfordshire; Rector of St. Paul, Shadwell; and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cam
bridge. Vol. III. London: Murray. 1834. pp. 393. Some of our readers may feel inclined to ask
why we have put these two volumes together in a single article?” Certainly not because they are not each of them well worthy of a separate and elaborate examination; nor because they present so many points of similarity, either in the matter or the manner of compo
sition, that the remarks which are applicable to the one will be found for the most part applicable to the other. Still, however, amidst many features so strikingly different that they may be said to exhibit a contrast rather than a resemblance, they do possess certain lineaments in common which we are desirous to point out; and a brief review of them conjointly--far too brief, indeed, for the value of their contents--may afford an opportunity at the end of making a few observations upon the doctrinal and practical divinity of that section of the Church to which they both belong.
One great and common distinction, in which these volumes are conspicuous, is the pre-eminence of their merit. They stand foremost, we think, among the collections of sermons lately published by any one writer. Many volumes of discourses have, it is true, come before our notice, sound, earnest, and excellent in their way, admirably adapted to the parochial uses for which they were intended; but these are, upon the whole, of a higher and more philosophical cast. Mr. Melvill, again, has exhibited powers which might well entitle him to the same rank. But in addition to certain peculiarities and extravagancies of doctrine, there still lingers an immaturity, or an inequality, about that gentleman's productions, which are of infinite disservice to them when weighed in the balance of rigid and impartial criticism; and although Mr. Melvill displays every here and there the disjecta membra, the scattered beauties of a fine poet as well as a fine orator, he too often leaves upon us, after all, the impression of a magnificent boyishness, and a rich exuberance of exaggerated common-places; he is but the strongest instance which we have seen for a long period how a man of extraordinary talent can produce a very attractive specimen of a style constructed on wrong principles. In the present volumes there is more of calm, solid, well digested sense; more of strict and chastised taste,
and more finished manliness of composition, the result of thought, of practice, of extensive learning and research; a rejection of false or superfluous embellishments, and a disdain of all attempts to array known and simple truths with a parade of illustrations and a mere semblance of profundity.
At the same time the style of Mr. Le Bas is decidedly a rich and ornamented style. There is much of pomp and dignity in its march. Without redundancy, it is full and sonorous; without mannerism, it has a bold and peculiar character; and the thoughts are so from being exhibited, like skeletons, in a bald and fleshless nakedness, that they are usually clothed in a dress of imposing diction or of noble imagery.
It strikes us as a peculiar advantage in his Sermons that they are not of that enormous length which might render them quite
useless as models to a young preacher. It is, we think, a far more serviceable thing to present discourses in a shape and of a bulk convenient for delivery from the pulpit, than to spread them out into long treatises or orations which could not have been addressed to an ordinary audience on any single occasion, and therefore which can exhibit no pattern for compressing the thoughts and illustrations into a compass the best adapted for practical purposes.
But a stronger recommendation of these Sermons is the cautious and sober tone of their theology, against which, however, no coldness can be charged, no want of earnestness and decision, no evasion or attenuation of great doctrines. Mr. Le Bas is ardent and cogent in his eloquence, and therefore he may well hold himself aloof from the common arts of petty popularity. He disdains all enthusiastic and lacrymose appeals to mere excitability or religious sentimentality; in his representation of the divine nature and dispensations, he would inspire a holy love rather than a grovelling and slavish fear, and scorns to build up the structure of superstition upon the foundations of an irrational terror; while, at the same time, he shrinks not from displaying the severer ma. jesty as well as the gentler attractiveness of religion, and calls up before the imagination the full awfulness of an Almighty and Omniscient God.
We point out these capital distinctions much more for the example of others than in commendation of Mr. Le Bas. If he were some fresh candidate for honourable celebrity, we might be loud and circumstantial in his praise; but his place in the public estimation is so well assured, that our eulogies could not lift him to any higher elevation.
Yet in the present case, even more than in the generality of instances, we would warn our younger readers against a servile imitation. Every man, who possesses the elements of power within him, has his own style of expression, as he has his own character of thought; and although the ambition is to be fostered which would catch a general improvement from the contemplation of acknowledged excellence, or which would lead a man to study with laborious diligence the beauties which he should emulate and the perfections at which he should aim, still, if he attempts to make a close copy or transcript, he forfeits that vigorous spirit which can belong only to originality of conception and language; and it is almost à certainty that he will burlesque another, and write below himself. Here at least his failure would be deplorable. The style of Mr. Le Bas is not to be attempted with impunity by men of ordinary mould. An imitator might aspire to its solemnity, and reach only a kind of heaviness; he might aspire to