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Cisleu, or Casleu, and usually happens some time in our month of December, and may fall out in November, Which affords some ground for thinking that this author reckoned our Lord's ministry commenced about that time of the year,
and lasted therefore about two years and a half; he having been crucified at the feast of the passover.
And according to this notion of things, we may digest the history of John the Baptist's and our Lord's ministry in this manner.
Near the end of the summer season, harvest and vintage being over, or near over, which was a time of general leisure, John began to preach and baptize. There was soon a great resort to him, and multitudes of people were baptized by him in Jordan. And, as St. Luke says, iii, 21, 22, Now when all the people were baptized, .
“ it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him :" That is, at the conclusion of that season of baptizing, in November, or some time in the month of December, or perhaps in the beginning of January, Jesus came and was baptized of John in Jordan: after which he was led of the Spirit into the wilderness, where he fasted forty days and forty nights, and was tempted of the devil; enduring at the same time, be
; side other inconveniences, all that extremity of cold which is usual in that season of the year. The temptation being ended, Luke iv. 14; John i. 35–51, " Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee:" where he soon found Andrew and his brother Simon, and Philip and Nathanael, who all, upon the testimony of John the Baptist, and some conversation with Jesus, believed in him as the Christ; and were the disciples who had the honour of the most early personal acquaintance with Jesus, after the descent of the Spirit upon him. A few days after was a marriage feast at Cana in Galilee, where Jesus made the water wine. This was the beginning of his miracles, and he thereby manifested forth his glory. It follows: " And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,” John ii, 1–13. This is the first passover in our Lord's ministry, John the Baptist still continued preaching and baptizing. [See John iii. 23–36.] Before the end of this year John was imprisoned, and Jesus had chosen the twelve apostles out of the number of his disciples' that believed
V “ And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples; and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.” Luke vi. 12, 13.
on him, and his most public ministry was commenced. The second passover of our Lord's ministry is that mentioned, John vi. 4. And at the third passover, mentioned by all the evangelists, he was crucified.
Thus had I been wont to digest the history of the public life of John the Baptist and our Saviour, as I collected it out of the gospels, (agreeably, as I apprehend, to the sentiments of the most ancient christian writers,) a good while before I had particularly observed the method of this Harmony, called Tatian's.
8. I would now observe some disputed passages of our gospels. The author appears to have had in w his copies the latter part of the sixteenth chapter of St. Mark's gospel.
9. He has likewise the history of our Lord's agony, as we now have it in Luke xxij. 43, 44, which was wanting in some ancient copies, as we learn from y Hilary, and Jerom, and a Photius; which last intimates that the omission of this text was owing to some Syrians. Mill b thinks they must have been of the sect of the Jacobites. And Dr. Asseman has particularly observed, that this text is quoted by Ephrem the Syrian. Epiphanius d likewise says, that these two verses were in the ancient copies, before they were collected and altered by some over-nice catholics, who did not well understand them.
10. John v. 4, where is mention made of the descent of the angel who troubled the water' at the pool of Bethesda, is another disputed text, wanting in some copies. The angel is not mentioned e in this Harmony; but considering the compendious method of it, I suppose it cannot be hence w P. 212. A. B.
* P. 210. D. y Nec sane ignorandum a nobis est, et in Græcis et Latinis codicibus complurimis, vel de adveniente angelo, vel de sudore sanguinis, nihil scriptum reperiri. Hilar. De Trin. lib. x. cap. 41.
* In quibusdam exemplaribus tam Græcis quam Latinis invenitur, scribente Lucâ: • Apparuit illi angelus de cælo, confortans eum,' &c. Hieron. adv. Pelag. 1. ii. col. 521. m. Bened.
Και προσευξατο, και ηγωνιασε, και τας παχεις εκεινες και παραπλησιες αίματος θρομβοις ίδρωτας εξιδρωσεν. Μηχετι εν σοι το ευαγγελια τoδε το χωριον περικεκοφθαι, καν τισι των Συρων, ώς εφης, δοκει ευπρεπες, νομιζε. Phot. ep. 138. ed. Montacut. p. 194. Lond. 1651.
6 Mill, Proleg. n. 1036. * In hoc hymno meminit sanctus doctor sanguinei sudoris Christi in horto : • Locus in quo sudavit, coronam ipsi nectat. Ex quo planum fit, versiculum illum Lucæ, cap. xxii
. 44, tanquam genuinam evangelici textûs partem a S. Ephræm agnitum, et in Syriacâ versione olim expressum fuisse.
Asseman, Bibl. Orient. T. i. p. 97. A. M. Vid. et ib. B. infr. M.
d Epiphan. in Ancoratu, sect. 31. Confer Mill, Prol. n. 797, 798. e P. 206. D. See the words before, p. 448. note P.
.concluded that it was wanting in the author's copy. Kuster's observations relating to the genuineness of this text, in his preface to his edition of Mili's New Testament, deserve to be considered.
11. Heref also is the history of the woman taken in adultery, John viii. 1–11. The author does not take any notice of our Lord's stooping down, and writing with his finger on the ground,' ver. 6, 8. But it cannot be hence
. concluded that this was wanting in his copies, for the reason just mentioned.
12. This author often paraphrases and explains. It is worth the while to observe some examples.
Our Lord says, Matt. xvi. 28, Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Compare Mark ix. 1; Luke .ix. 27. Our author understands this of Christ's & appearing in glory on the mount, soon after, in the presence of three of his disciples. And that appearance may be considered as an emblem of our Lord's future glory, when he shall come with the angels to reward every one according to his works:' which is spoken of in the preceding verse, and is not omitted in h this Harmony. Bụt Grotius understands those words of Christ's resurrection, ascension to heaven, the mission of the Holy Spirit, and the propagation of the gospel by mighty signs and wonders; by which, as by most certain and undoubted evidences, Christ's advancement to his kingdom was made known. However, this writer is countenanced in bis method of interpretation by the speedy fulfilment of some things spoken of by our Lord in the gospels. For example: our Saviour having said to his disciples, in the two last verses of the ninth chapter of Matthew, “ The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest;" it follows immediately, at the beginning of the next chapter, x. 1, " And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness, .*.P. 208. H.
& Sed quid ego, inquit, vos moror, quando ex hoc præsenti cætu quidam sunt, quibus majestas mea etiamnum vivis palam reddetur conspicua? Et interjectis sex ferme diebus, plane contigit hæc promissio, præsentibus in monte quodam excelso Petro, Joanne, Jacobo, discipulis. p. 206. F.
* Contemptum autem se in humanâ specie, aliquando in gloriâ Patris inter angelorum agmina visendum ait, quando jus sit redditurus, et præmia cuique pro meritis. Sed quid ego, inquit, vos longius moror ? &c. p. 206. F.
and all manner of disease.” And after the names of the twelve apostles it is said, ver. 5, 6, “ These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house : of Israel."
13. In Luke xix. 3, Zacchæus is said to have been a little of stature.' This author calls i him a dwarf.'
14. I said just now, that in this Harmony appears the bistory of our Lord's agony in the garden, as related in Luke xxii. 43, 44. The author calls it k a bloody sweat;'
a and explains the angel's comforting him,' saying, it was • an angelic voice from heaven, which gave him strength and courage.' This is an honest christian, whoever he be; he is not ashamed of what he thinks to be the truth.
15. He represents the substance of our Lord's discourse in John vi.; and then says: discoursing of the word of
• eternal life, and sometimes mentioning bread, and sometimes flesh and blood, many, out of the horror of the thing not rightly understood, forsook Christ. But Peter, on the other hand, exhorted them [or, the disciples'] to persevere, forasmuch as these were words of eternal life. It does not appear, therefore, that he understood those words of Christ in the sense of transubstantiation, nor yet as relating to the ordinance of the Lord's Supper.
16. He represents the institution of the Lord's Supper, and the design of it, as a memorial, in this manner : • And m having taken bread, [or, ' a loaf'], and then a cup of wine, and having said that they were his body and blood, he commanded them to eat and drink : for it was [or, they were] a memorial of his future suffering and death.'
17. He places our Lord's discourses, as also his prayer for the disciples, which are in John xii. xiv. xv. xvi. xvii; after the just-mentioned institution, and immediately
Recta autem Hierosolymam petens, delatus Hiericho, inter eundum nano illo Zacchæo, ut se hospitio reciperet, accersito. Cap. 12. p. 208. D.
Laborabat autem angore tanto Dominus, ut sudore ejus sanguinolento tellus etiam maderet ; quum protinus e cælo vox angelica auditur, quæ animum ac robur addidit. p. 210. B.
Proinde quum de verbo vitæ æternæ loquens, jam panem nominaret, modo carnem et sanguinem, multi, horrore rei perperam intellectæ concepto, a Christo descivêre. At Petrus contra, quod verba hæc sint vitæ æternæ, perdurandum suadebat. p. 206. B.
To Et mox accepto pane, deinde vini calice, corpus esse suum ac sanguinem testatus, manducare illos et bibere jussit, quod ea sit futuræ calamitatis suæ mortisque memoria. p. 210. A.
. Fixis deinde in cælum oculis, Patrem orat, ut se clarum mundo reddat ; discipulos, et eos quoque qui illorum verbo credituri sint, a malo servet
before the • hymn' mentioned, Matt. xxvi. 30; Mark xiv. 26.
18. Simon the Cyrenian's bearing the cross,' or bearing the cross after Christ,' mentioned, Matt. xxvii. 32; Mark xv, 21 ; Luke xxiii. 26; he understands not of taking off the cross from Jesus, and laying it upon Simon to carry it after him; but of his helping to bear it,' as he expresses
o it; that is, I suppose, bearing the hinder part of the cross after Jesus. And this too is to be understood as being done, after that our Lord had bore it all himself some way. Compare Jobn xix. 17, which is plainly also our author's meaning. So that in a few words he has finely harmonized all the four evangelists.
19. He thus represents the penitent thief's petition, and our Lord's gracious answer: And afterwards, when the P thief prayed that he would not disdain, at least, to remember bím in his heavenly kingdom; he promised, what he was not asked, that he would take care he should be that day in paradise.'
So far of Tatian's Diatessarôn, or Gospel of the Four.
IV. Ammonius's Harmony is very different; it is composed out of the four gospels, in the very words of the evangelist.
1. Here 9 are both the genealogies; that is, after St. Matthew's genealogy from Abraham, the author adds that part of St. Luke's genealogy which ascends from Abraham to Adam and God. This Harmony' takes in the latter part of Mark xvi. Here appears our Lord's agony as described in Luke xxii. 43, 44; and the disputed text of John v. 4, concerning the angel's ' coming down into' the pool of Bethesda, or Bethsaida, as it is here called, and · troubling the water ;' as also the history" of the woman taken in adultery,' related, John viii. 1–11; with our Lord's ' stooping down, and writing with his finger on the ground.' This is one of Mill's arguments for the genuineness of this paragraph; that it is found in Ammonius's Harmony, who, he
Et e vestigio quum hymnum absolvisset cum discipulis Jesus, urbem egressus, &c. p. 210. C.
Itaque latâ hac sententiâ, eductus inter duos latrones, crucem ipse sibi gestare cogitur. Sed et Simonem quendam Cyrenensem adigunt ad opem in eå re ferendum. p. 211. B.
P Latroni mox oranti, ut in regno coelesti non gravaretur sui vel meminisse, paradisum eo die se præstiturum, quem non fuerat rogatus, pollicetur. p. 211. B.
9 Bibl. Patr. Tom. iii. p. 267. G. H. p. 268. A. r P. 299. B. C.
& P. 299. A. 1 P. 297. E.
u P. 285. E. F. Vid. Mill. ad Joh. cap. vii. v. 53.