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be nothing more than an abridgement of Matthew, or the same history, but reduced to a smaller compass, by the omission of some circumstances. see no reason, however, for adopting this opinion : on the contrary, I think I perceive in him numerous marks of a separate and independent history. But, deriving his information from the same sources as Matthew, in general, the history which he has written is very like his, and affords us a strong confirmation of the account given by the other evangelist, from which it differs only in such slight circumstances as appear in authentic histories of the same events, written by different persons. In Luke and John, particularly the latter, there are several things which are not to be found in the other evangelists, and which furnish us with much useful instruction : to these I shall therefore next proceed.I cannot, however, leave Matthew without observing, that there is nothing hitherto in the history of Jesus Christ, except his miraculous powers, which would lead one to suppose that he was any thing more than a mere
Not the smallest intimation is given that he was God, or a pre-existent spirit occupying a human body: the very few passages which have been
supposed to look this way, being easily explained upon different principles. Yet, it Jesus Christ really was God, or a preexistent being, it is very extraordinary and unaccountable that Matthew, who wrote the history of his life, should have omitted to inform us of these important circumstances : for he wrote what he considered as a complete Gospel, which should contain every thing relating to Jesus Christ, which it was proper for us to know. Surely, of these articles, which hold so conspicuous a place in modern creeds, the apostles and evangelists had no knowledge!
END OF VOL. I.