Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

The GENEALOGIES of St Matthew and St Luke reconciled thus. 1st. The title of Father-and Son, as well as the terms to beget and be begotten, in the language of Scripture, do frequently imply a remote succession; hence that phrase, Deut. iv. 25, When thou shalt beget children and children's children, &c.; and the name of father, given to a predecessor at the distance of two or more generations. 2dly. St Matthew gives one, St Luke another, genealogy. – 3dly. St Matthew, beginning from Abraham, divides it into forty-two successions, called by himn generations; fourteen before, fourteen umder, fourteen after, the regal government. The first fourteen agree with the Old Testament and St Luke; the second fourteen contain the legal succession of the line of Solomon, till its extinction in Jechoniah, or Coniah, or Jehoiachin, when the line of Nathan took place. 4thly. The inheritance in the Jewish polity being un.lienable farther than the jubilee, and then revolving to the next heir, the latter, though at some distance from the former, was called the son, i. e. properly the successor, of the former. Thus Salathiel, who by St Luke's genealogy appears to have been descended from Nathan, is by St Matthew said to be begotten by Jechoniah, the last of the Solomonic line. Had not therefore Solomon's line been set down, and the end thereof noted, it could not have appeared from St Luke how Salathiel came by his title of succession; for the line of Nathan could not have any claim to it while that of Solomon subsisted: and this accounts for the evangelists difference in these middle generations. And the reason why St Matthew varies in number from the Old Testament is, that the historical books set down all the kings in general from David to Jechoniah; but St Matthew, as a genealogist, seems to take notice only of those who had a legal title, and to omit the others. Of this latter sort are Ahuziah, the son of Jehoram by Athaliah, who is said to have been made king by the inhabitants of Jerusalem, upon his father's death, because his elder brother had been killed by the Philistines; which seems to intimate, that they had chosen him in lieu of some infant son of his deceased brother; for, had not this been the case, he would have succeeded of course without the people's choice. And Joash, the son of Ahaziah, and Amaziah, the son of Joash, might all succeed each other in prejudice to the elder branch, till this, being extinct, made way for the younger in Uzia, or Ozias, the son of Amaziah; who is therefore called by the evangelist the son, i. e. the successor, of Jehoram. Zedekiah is likewise omitted, because set up by the king of Babylon in prejudice to Jechoniah, his elder brother. The evangelists differ likewise in the last fourteen generations, which arises from the one's pointing out the passing of the inheritance as far as it goes in the elder branch. They both agree as far as Zerubbabel, after which St Matthew goes on with Abiud and his heirs down to Eleazar, where the line of Abiud ends; and then he sets down, as his son and successor, Malthan, who is styled Matthat by St Luke, and was of the line of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel; so that he entered into the regular succession after the extinction of that of Abiud. Thus, again, Matthat, or Matthan, dying childless, Eli was obliged, according to the

z

Mosaic

Josaic law, to take his wife and raise up seed to his brother, and by her blogot Joseph, the husband of Mary, who, according to the same law, was still reputed as the son of the dead clder brother. For this reason, St. Maithew righily calls him the son of Jacob; whereas St Lukę, who slid not proceed in the saine method, calls him ihe son of Eli, the former his legal, the latter his natural, father. St Matthew might in all probability have fetched his, gençalogy from the records of Bethlehem, the patrimony of David, and wherein noye wete entered but such as, by a regular lineal descent, were in actual possession of it; and where the younger branch could not be regularly enrolled as long as there was any heir of the elder left alive, or till, such time as this latter failed. St Luke, on the other hand, who, as he tells us in the preface of his Gospel, proposed to supply such defects as he found in those who had written the history of Jesus Christ before him, fearing lest these omissions should cause some confusion for want of pointing out when the younger succeeded the elder branch, had recourse to the book of Chronicles, where the series of the suc cessions, both regular and irregular, legal and illegal, are exhibited; so that both had their genealogies from the most authentie though different records, and scrupulously adhered cach to his own, according to the seheine they had in view; and, consequent, ly, instead of elasling, do more probably clear and confirm each other. There is still one dilliculty with respect to St Luke's genealogy, viz. his introducing of Cainan in the line of Shem, adding one gcueration contrary to the llebrew text in Genesis and Chronicles, and all the versions except the Septuagint. But this may have been jumbled into St Luke's text by the carelessness of the transcribers, there being another Cainan mentioned in the verse immediately following, which might be also according to the old close way of writing in the very next line. But, allowing it to haye been originally in St Luke, it is plain he must have had it out of the Septuagint, wlich version both he and the other şaered writers, his cotemporaries, used; and the copy, which he then had, might be carelessly corrupted, as it dojh not appear that all the copies of that version had this name. It might likewise have crept in through the inadvertency of the seventy interpreters, as they were not infallible; or, if this will not satisfy, the difficulty will be remoyed if we suppose that. Arphavad might be the natural father of Sula and the legal one of Cainun, or vice versà, Lpiv. Hist. vol. x. p. 455.

1 There is no reason to suppose that both the evangelists are deducing the pedigrec of Joseph only, since, as Joseph's pedigree is set down in St. Matthew, sa Mary's lineage is recitech in St Luke's gencalogy, $t Mathew intends only to set down -hiB (Jesus's) political or regal pedigree. St Luke shews his natwal descent through the several successions of those from whom he took flesh and blood. That, Duvid having three sons by Bathsheba besitles, Solomon, the eldest of which was Nathwh, Chitistis tatudl descent was not from Solomon but from Nathans for, upon Jechonial's having no issue, the crown of Judah caine into the line of Nathan by Salathiel, who was

succeeded

[ocr errors]

succeeded by Zerobabel. That, Zerobabel having two sons," Aliud and Rhesa, from Abiud, the elder, lineally descended Joseph, according to $t Matthieu's calculations and from Rhesa, the younger, according to St Luke's, the virgin Mary}of whom Jesus was born. That, as it was a custom among the Jews not to reckon the woman by name in her pedigree, but to reckon the husband in right of his wife, so Joseph is twice mentioned, first in his own by Sț Blatthew, then in his wife's right by St Luke; for Mary was properly the daughter of Lli, and Joseply is only named after him as his son-in-law. That, though. Jesus 'truly descended from Maryi oully, yet 'did he note durive his title to the kingdom of the Jews by her line, i which was from Rhese, the younger, but from Joseph of the elder liné by Abiuil; båt, this elder 'line' failing in Joseph, who had no issue, the right of inheritance dérolved upon one of the younger line, viz. Hary, and consequently on Jesus, her son. Stackhouse on Creed.

Fuit sententia Julii Africani, quæ aliis omnibus præferenda est, qui eam se accepisse aiebat ab illis qui ex coguatione forent Christi, Matthæum attendere naturale, Lucam legale. Vide Vossium, tom vi. p. 56. Episcopius. "!!!,7). !

Mihi certissimum est a Matthæo speetari ijuris successionem. Ac si quis tempora recte putet a Zorobabele ad Christum, videbit; secundum id quod plerumque accidit, totum id tempus personis ab illo (Lucâ) recitatis recte expleri; a Matthæo non item. Quare hine quoque discimus a Matthæo sè sopixòy, a Lucâ ad quoixôr spectari. Grotius in Poole. See also South, Tillotson, Macknight, &c.

Credibile est Hariam ex eadem familia cum Josepho oriundain ; et licet nos omnes circa genealogiam Christi difficultates, 'nunc' plene expedire non possimus, omnia apostolorum temporibus fuisse plana atque expedita, argumento est quod Scriptor adi: Heb. vii, 14 ait. Liinborch.

Et qua!nvis eoncedamus Mariam fuisse ex tribu Levi (vide Luc. i. 56) nihilominus recte dicetur Jesus noster filius Davidis. Nam Jesus noster natus est ex. Maria; non cælibe, sed jam Josepho desponsatâ, ac proinde quæ jam transierat in familiam et tribum sponsi sui. Episcopius.

Matthæus genealogiam Christi patris. legalis recenset. Sed utrum Lucas genus Christi naturale a Mariâ deducit, in dubio mihi videtur. Quamvis pro certo habeo Mariam a Davide ortam. Vide Act. ij. 30. Pearce.

• There cannot be a doubt, in my opinion, that, though we may not be able to solve all the objections which may be raised at this distance of time, St Matthew's is the legal, and St Luke's the natural, genealogy of Christ..

A very extraordinary instance of moderation in PEDRO DE LA Gasca, a Spanish priest, who, without army, fleet, or public funds, sct out.to oppose a formidable rebellion which. Pizarro had raised in Perú. For,i having vanquished hiin by very singular measures, and distributed among his countrymen possessions of greater extent. and value than had ever been in the disposal of a subject in any age or nation, he himself remained in his original poverty..and, at the very time when he brought such,

Z2

a

. large recruit to the royal treasury, (which was 1,500,000 pesos,) he was obliged to apply by petition for a small gum to Charles V. to discharge some petty debts whicha he had contracted during the course of his service. Robertson's Hist. of Amer. vol.ii. p. 247, 264.

Cum vates sacri semper de Deo humanitus loquuntur, humanos actiones, humanos affectus, humana etiam membra illi tribuentes, qui fieri potest, ut omnino existimentur Divinam Majestatem unquam digne expressisse, ac non potius, quantum in ipsis fuit imminuisse ac violasse videantur? Non; ne id de illis etiam verum erit, quod Homero merito vitio vertit Longinus, nimirum illum Deos suos homines fecisse, vel etiam irfra humanamn sortem depressisse? Sed Homerus cæterique ea de Diis suis in proprio sensu acceperunt, quæ vix, ac ne vix quidem, possunt allegorice intelligi. Contra vates sacri naturam divinam sub humanis imaginibus adumbrent, eo quod necessario illud postulet humanæ mentis imbecillitas; coque modo, ut quæ a rebus humanis ad Deum transferuntur, nunquam proprie accipi possint. Atque hoc ni fallor, rei cujusdam satis notabilis rationem aliquantum reconditam explicabit; nimirum cur ex iis rerum imaginibus, quæ ad Deum transferuntur, illæ potissimum, quæ in sensu proprio acceptæ ab ejus natura alienissimæ ejusque majestate indignissimæ viderentur, tamen in metaphora aut comparatione longe maximam habent sublimitatem. Verbi gratia, quæ a corpore et membris humanis ducuntur, plerumque grandius quiddam habent et inagnificentius, quam quæ transferuntur ab affectibus aut intellectu; quæque a brutis animalibus sumuntur, sæpe sublimitate exsuperant ea quæ petuntur ab hominis natura. -- Cum enim imagines in se spectatæ crassuin quiddam et plane abscnum spirent, tantâque materia quam maxime indignum, eo citius inde abripitur animus, et ad rei ipsius magnitudinem contemplandam subito transit. Vide Ps. lxxviii. 65, Jer xxv. 30, Hos. xiii. 7, 8. Lowth de Sac. Poes. p. 151, 300.

A patribus multis locis docetur, ipsum salutis initium tribui debere PRIMÆ GRATIÆ, h. e. supernaturalibus actibus, quibus Deus immediate mentem illuminat, sanctas cogitationes inspirat, voluntatem ac affectus excitat, liberumque arbitrium ita supra naturam suam occulta ratione elevat, ut cum ante ex natura sua non posset non se opponere divinæ gratiæ, jam potens aptumque fiat ad non repugnandum vocationi divinæ. Nempe viderunt patres, si dicatur, gratiam supernaturalem pendere ab merito de congruo, nec simpliciter fateamur, eam omnimodis esse priorem omni hominis operatione, quæ quidem ad conversionem ac justificationem qualemcunque ex se habeat respectum, plane consequi, ut divina gratia exspectet conatum natura, atque ita initium salutis sit ex nobis, quia initium operum ad salutem disponentium sit ex nobis. Voss. Hist. Pelag. lib. vii. p. 1, thes. 4.

It may with great probability be supposed that there was nothing very arbitrary or despotic in the manner of GOVERNMENT at or near the beginning. So, historically,

we

tre find that Pharaoh bebaved with great gentleness towards Abraham, Gen. xii. 18, 20. And, as the governmeut must at that time have been partly patriarchal and part-ly elective, this was perhaps the method of kings in those primitive ages of simplicity. There was then a greater parity among mankind; and government itself was erected either from patriarchal love, as be the father of a family over his own tribe, or for the general good, by the choice of the subjects; we must think it would be at first a mind and gentle thing. And, if by degrees it became hereditary, by regarding primogeniture in the posterity of the patriarchı-monarch, yet, if it was considered under the notion of a faiherly authority descending to the hereditary king, there was a tenderness in the very notion; and, if it was partly elective, though in the patriarch's family, it must have been considered that government was, in the notion of it, an instrument of the public good. So that probably this gentle and humane kind of government was the species of primitive government that at first prevailed. Winder's Hist. of knowledge, vol. ii. p. 217.

The supreme executor acts contrary to his trust when he either employs the force, treasure, and offices, of the society, to corrupt the representatives and gain them to his purposes, or openly pre-engages the electors, and prescribes to their choice such whom he has, by solicitations, promises, threats, or otherwise, won to his designs, and employs them to bring in such who have promised before-hand what to vote and what to enact. Thus to regulate candidates and electors, and new model the ways of election, what is it but to cut up the government by the roots, and poison the very fountain of public society? Lock on Government, lib. ii. c. 19.

Petty principalities seem to have been the original government of mankind, and deduced from the natural right of paternal dominion; but whether those little principalities descended by succession, or whether the rulers were elected by the consent of the people, is not recorded. Lyttleton's Letters, letter 3.

Our civil government is happily placed between the two extremes of despotic power and popular licentiousness. It is wisely composed of such a due mixture of the several simple forms of government, those of one, of a fewe, and of many, as to retain as far as possible the advantages, and to exclude the inconveniencies, peculiar to each. The harmony of the whole arises from the mutual connection and the mutual opposia tion of the several constituent parts. The three different orders which compose the system, including every part of the community and possessing the unlimited authority of the whole, are connected together by a power of ordaining, belonging jointly to them all; they are opposed to one another by a power of hindering, belonging separately to each: by the former they are enabled to provide for the good of the community in general, by the latter they are disabled from encroaching on each other's rights, or oppressing any part. -- Every one of the three powers is a moderating power, placed between two others, and ready to exert its force on either hand; to aid a resist, to incite or repress, as the exigence may demand. Thus the aristocràtical

powes

« PreviousContinue »