Page images
PDF
EPUB

wonder if all this took up a year, or there. From this short Narrative of the Journies abouts.

of Christ, it appears that Jesus made more The chird Passover is that which St. John Journies in that interval of time between the mencions, Chap. 6. 4. and which was near at third and fourch or last Passover, than he had hand, when the five thousand men, besides in the foregoing years; which might be for Women and Children, were entertain'd by two very important reasons : One was, behim, and satisfied with five Loaves and two cause the time of his Departure from the Fishes. Then, after his usual custom, he World drawing near, he himself was wil

. went to teach ar Capernaum, and elsewhere, ling to spread the Gospel as far as might be such as were delighted with hearing those through Palestine, that he might lay a sure things that appertained to their Salvation. At and firin Foundation of that Building which the Feast of che Passover he repaired to Je- his Aposties were afterwards to finish. The Tufalem, if we judg of this Year by his cther, that by frequent changing of places he Practice in the others : And returning from might avoid too great a Concourse of men to thence, he went inco that part of Galilee him, and disappoint the Designs of such as which is nearest to the Borders of the Ty- bore the Roman Yoke very uneasily, of which rians and Sidonians, where he was lefs known. fort were very many in Judea, or rather inFrom thence he returned to the Lake of Gen- deed almost all the Jews: for when the Fame nesareth, and tarried a long time in the Region of his Miracles was spread far and near, very of Decapolis. Then he failed over the Lake, many suspecteu he was the true Messiah, and often changing his place, in all likelihood to some there were that did not in the least avoid too great a Concourse, which perhaps doubt it. Now the Meffiah was generally look'd might have occasioned a Sedition, which his upon as, one who was to be a Deliverer of the Adversaries would doubtless have imputed to fews, and under whose conduct they were to him, since afterwards for a far less reason they subdue all the rest of Mankind. So that it accus’d him of High Treason before Pontius he had taken up his residence in one place, Pilate: For which reason he would not be he would alsvays have been encompassed with called the Mesinh, and forbad many of his Mi- a Multicude of men, who could not so easily racles to be spread abroad, that he might not be follow him when he remov'd from place to followed by a Mulcitude who seem'd eagerly place. Wherever he had settled, the Malebent upon a change of Government. After contents would have flock'd to him as to an wards he went to Panens to the Fountains of appointed and notified Rendevouz, and have Jordan, and some days afterwards was transfi- stirred up a Sedition whether he would or no. gured on a Mountain of Galilee, and took many which how prejudicial it might have been to Journies to and fro chro Galilee; and then, the growth of the Christian Church, it is in the beginning of O&tober, at the middle of not necessary for me to inlarge upon. the Feast of Tabernacles, he newed himself I must now clear some things which may openly at Jerusalem, having sent into all parts be, and perhaps are actually objected against seventy Disciples, who probably returned to my account of the Passovers, by which I said him after the Feast, as he was going into Ga- the time of Christ's Ministry was to be dililee. Then at the Feast of Dedication he ftinguished. There are some will have it that Went up again to ferusalem by easy Journies Christ speaking those words, John 4.13. Do not (teaching in every Town and Village) where ye say there are yet four months, and then cometh he arriv'd in the beginning of December. He the Harvest? means, that in that time when returned again into Galilee, and from thence he he passed through Samaria, there were yet paffed over into Judea, designing shortly after remaining four months to his second Palloto come back again into Galilee, from whence ver ; but I have hinted in my History of the he went again into Judea to raise Lazarus from Gospel, that that was a proverbial Saying the Dead ; and having rais’d him,he retir'd into drawn from the Barly Harvest, of which you the Desert of Jericho until the time of the may confult Lightfoot in his Hore Hebraice upon Passover, viz. of the fourth, in which he suf St. John's Gospel alcho he is of another mind. fer'd.

My

[merged small][ocr errors]

My opinion is thar that Feaft was the fe Fourthly, Others object, that if John spoke cond' Paftover, which John speaks of, chap.s.1. of the Feast of the Passover, Chap. 2. 13. But some learned men, who think otherways, in Chap. s. 1. he comes to the Feast of object first against it, that this Evangelist, as Pentecoft

, and without doubt speaks of that, oft as he speaks of the Passover elsewhere, the time corresponding thereunto. Perhaps calls it by its proper name, as Chap. 2. 13. they that had read only John, might be per& 11. ssi which, suppose it be granted, fuaded of this ; but whoever has read the it does not follow that St. John should not ex- . Journies of Christ in the others, and compared press himself otherwise in one particular place, 'em together, will find it absurd that his Miespecially since the Expression is proper, and nistry should be contracted within the narrow easily offers it self. Besides, they are mistaken ; compass of the interval between the two Parfor in chap. 4. 45. ý Éogth, the Feast, is ewice fovers, as they would have it who make these called the Passover. But then, say they, the objections ; whose Opinion is defended by the Article is prefixed. I grant it: but it is also Learned Ger. Jo. Voffius, in his Book of the omitted in other places, where there is men- cime of our Lord's Passion. tion made of this Feast, as H. Grotius observes, Fifthly, The same persons urge, that 'St Mar. 15. 6. Luke 23. 17. And if we suppose John, in Chap. 6. 4. does not speak of any John spake after the same manner, is there middle Passover, between the first mentioned any thing strange or unreasonable in it? in Chap. 2. and the last in Chap. 11, and 12.

Secondly, say they, Chrysostom, Cyril of because in such a case he would not have conAlexandria, and some other Incerpreters, think tenced himself barely to say the Paffover was that the Evangelist speaks of some other Feast at hand, but would have subjoin'd some of of the Jews. Eut theirs, and other Interpre- those things which happened at that Feast of ters Authority, not supported by Reason, is a che Passover. Buc suppose nothing memovery weak argument of the Truth, since no onerable happened at that time ; certainly it was can deny that they had no other Memoirs to not necessary chat Jesus should have done any affist them beside what we still have, namely, thing at that time at Jerusalem, which ought the Gospels ; not to mention their being men to have been commicced to writing.' obnoxious tó error, and that they have very Sixchly, They go on and tell us, No conseoften erred in the Interpretacion of the Scrip- quence can be drawn from the method tures.

that John wric in : As if there were no conseTheir third Objection is, that fifty Verses quence at all from the mention afterwards made after (viz. in Chap. 6. 4.) there is again men- of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Dedication made of the Pallover. But what hinders tion, that any other Passover should be spoken bur that the Passover of the year following of here besides that in which he suffered, bemay be meant in this latter place!

But, say cause there may be a placing of that which they, upon this supposition the Evangelist should be last first, au'segov Tegnapcv, of which seems to have taken notice of coo few things fore are many elsewhere in the Evangelifts. during the interval between these Passovers. I confess that Matthew has frequently such inNow I think this was very rarionally design d vertings of the Order, in rehearsing of the by him, which was for the most part to take Sermons of Christ; but in no place occurs notice of those things that had been omitted by any such inversion in the staring of the cime, the other Evangelists. And tho I should grant as must be in this place. The reason is, bea that John mencions only che second Passover cause such an ambiguous account would have in Chap. 6.4. yet they muft own that he been alcogether useless, from which we could Tepeats but a few of Christ's Sermons chat he by no means collect whar Year was meant, -made between the two Passovers, and, accord- Besides, John in his Narration is more obser. ing to their opinions, begins to speak of 'em vant of the Order of the times thau St. Mat. at Chap. 2. 4. and leaves off at the beginning of thew in his; and his History seems to be very the 6th Chapter, especially if we compare cautiously distinguish'd according to the times em with those in the other Evangelifts. of the Feasts, that he might supply what

Eeee

was

was wancing in the other Gospels, as I shall which they could by no mcans colled from the Thew in my following Dissertation.

Gospels, but only receive from antiene ReBut, say they further, if we compare John port ; but other things there are which they and Luke together, it will plainly appear that endeavoured to deduce from the Gospels

. the Passover here mentioned is that of our The latter cannot have a greater force with us Saviour's Crucifixion, which was then near at than the Reasons on which they depend ; and hand : For John fays, Char. 6. that when if they are weak, the Inferences from them the Passover was now at hand Christ fed five will be weak allo', but it weighty, the Confethousand men with five Loaves and two Fishes. quences are not to be rejected as frivolous: And Luke speaks of the lame Miracle, toge. For since the Ancients had no more infallible ther with other things done at that time, Rules of reafoning or arguing than we have, Chap. 9. and afterwards subjoins in the fame and were no more exempted from the danger Chapter, v. 51, that this was done when the of crring than the Moderns, they are to be time was come when he should be received up. judged of by the same rules that we are, and And what else can be meant by it, than that to be followed when they argue right, and the last Passover was near at hand? So they forsaken when they do nor, as the modern argue, as if it were necessary that what St. Luke Interpreters of Scripture are wont to be. 1peaks of in that place should be referred to Eur there are besides among the Aptienes certhings immediatly foregoing; for the proof tain Dates of times which they received from of which they bring no argument. Lut I their Ancestors, or had taken out of Books have so placed these things in my Harmony, that are now lost. as to have a reference to the following Acts of There is no reason for our reje&ting these

Jefus, and what he did not fix months before as dubicus, if they carry no ablurdity along his Crucifixion, when he had now preached with 'em, and accord with other Histories

, the Gospel about thirey months, as is manifest whose Truth is sufficiently proved, and espefrom Page 281.

cially if delivered by very many that altogether These are the Answers we had to make to agree: For from whoni Mall we have a more those Learned Men, who contend that there certain account of the Transactions of former were but two, or at most three Pallovers times, than from such as lived not long after, celebrated, within the time of Christ's Mini- if we have no contemporary Witneles? Which Atry: But nothing does better confute their is chietly to be understood of those things Objections, than the very Order of the Histo- that have in 'em no appearance of Falíhood, ry, and of the Journies of Christ; which I neither are of that nature as to be the interest have already briefly delivered, and which of any Party to represent them to the credulous whosoever will give himself the trouble to Vulgar with false Interpolations. Now that I reruse my History, will easily perceive. may distinguish these two things in myCitations

from the Antients concerning the year in which V. I am now in the list place to give some Christ died, I must ser down their own Words: account why I have referred the last Paffover Eur I shall confine my self to the most ancient of Christ to the twenty ninth Year of the Writers, because the Authority of those of Vulgar Ær.1; which altho it be, evident from later date who have copied them without any what has been already said, yet I shall confirm Examination is of far less weight, and I will - it by the Testimonies of the Antients. I am first cite the Testimonies of the Greek, and noc ignorant that they have made many and afterwards those of the Latin Authors. great mistakes in matters of Chronology, and In the first place let's hear what Clemens of that we are not rafhly to rely upon chem : nay, Alexandria says, who in his Chronology of in this very business of the Year of Christ's the Roman Emperors down to his time, has Death (as I shall Thew by and by) they were these words : sgfurion Rupic nur ta under a manifest mistake. But there are two ozdów xa i Hiroso ÉTEL (of Augustus, viz. from things to be distinguisht in what they have the taking of Alexandria,from the Conquest of laid of this matter : for there are some things which place it was the custom in Egp to rec

kop

kon the years of Augustus) 75 pão tor éxéndoas manifest chat Christ was born before Herod's
atroygapa's ofeétou, o Auzos. OTR de Death.
στοτεληθές εσιν εν τη Ευαγγελίω κτ Λεκαν 2. For a széuero-, beginning, which is in
γέγραπται έτως'. έτει δε πεντεκαιδεκατω Luke, and in all the Copies now extant among ,
T.Cegis Kalous, tyáve to pñus kugis ceg's us, and was in the Books of the antient Inter-
I'wżyvny Zazapis u čv. rj ne'riy év The preters, Clemens reads eszóugro, coming,
au two slv ö I'noos észórę G 679 To Burnoud, to which he subjoins, for explanation fake,
ως ετων λ. και όπ ενιαυτον μόνον έδα αυτόν ότι το βάπτισμα, to the Baptism. Which Paf-
κηρύξαι και τετο γέγραπτα έτως. Ενιαυτόν fage eems to have been corrected by him oy
εκτών Κυρία κηρύξαι απέσειλέν με. Τετο και conjecture, 1cft, if Chrift hould be 1aid to
ο Προφήτης απον, και το Ευαγγέλιον. πεντεκαι- begin to be about thirty years of age, it hould
δεκάτω εν έτη Τιβερία, και πινακαιδεκα πω neceffarily follow, that year ending, lhe muft
(Read AXY TEXsLed Exec tois 6m, unless, which is at least be said to have begun his 31/1 Year,
not to be suppos’d, Clemens plainly doted in which would have utterly destroyed Clemens's
thus wretchedly disagreeing with himself in Chronology But if you suppote chat Christ
the compass of a few Lines) Augost őt had not país’d his 29th Year about the time
FAngorta tatglarovt d'étn, &ws E ma bev.c.'s' of the first Passover, it will necessarily follow
Σε έπαθεν, έως τα κατασροφής Γερκσαλήμ γένον- that at the other Pillover when he died, he
Tar ÉTN MB, uñves g. i. e. But our Lord was must have been thirty years old.
born in the twenty eighth Year (from the Victo 3. Every one sees how frivolous that Argu-
ry near A&tium, according to the Egyptians) ment is taken from a place in Isaiah, and seems
wben Registers of the Inhabitants were first com to have been copied by Clemens from some
manded to be made in the time of Augustus. Valentinian : for thus che Valentinians argued, as
And that this is true, it is written in the Gospel Irenæus tells us, Lib. 11. 6. 38. where he righe-
of St. Luke : But in the fifteenth Year of Ti- ly confures ’em: They say that he suffered in
berius Cæfar came the word of the Lord to the twelfth Month, so that he continued preaching
John the Son of Zacharias. And again in the but one year after his Baptism ; and they endea-
Same Evangelist :. Jesus was coming to his vour to confirm this out of the Prophet : for it is
Baptisme about thirty years of age. And that written, That it was called the acceptable
he ought to preach only for a year, this also is Year of the Lord, and the Day of Recom
written : He sent me to preach the acceptable pence; being truly blind-For the Prophet
Year of the Lord. The Prophet spoke of this, neither speaks of the Day, which consists of
As doth the Gospel also. Therefore in the fifteenth twelve Hours, nor of the Year that has twelve
Tear of Tiberius, reckoning also fifteen under Months. : For they themselves confess that the
Augustus, are compleated the thirty Tears till Prophets spake many things in Parables and Al-
his Suffering : And from his Paffon to the legories, and not according to the literal meaning
Deftruétion of. Jerusalem, are two and forty of the words. Therefore that is called the Day
years and three months. In which Passage there of recompence, in which God will render to (that
are many things to be taken' notice of.

is, judg) every one according to his Works : And 1. Clemens had heard (or he from whom the acceptable Year of the Lord is the time, in he took this Chronology) that Christ was which those are called who believe in him, and

are born about the 28th year from the Victory ac made acceptable to God; that is, all the time from A&tium ; which is crue, if you count the very his coming until the end, &c. Afterwards in the Year of that Victory, and adding 27 Years following Chapter he shews that in John's Gofto it, you will light upon the Year 750 V.C. pel there is mention made of three Passovers ; or Julian 42. a few months before which I and then adds, But every one will confess that have already shewn that Christ was born. Buc these three times of the Pafover are not one year, misreckoning of the A&tium Years after the Upon which account s wonder the most Alexandrian manner, he has deferred the Birch- Learned Ger. Jo. Volius should rank Irenæus day of Jesus Christ to the Year following, till amongst those who find four Passovers in the which Herod did not live ; wliercas it is time of Christ's Ministry. See his Book of

Ееес 2

the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the time of our Lord's Paffion, s. 19. But and therefore I thall not take notice of them. this by the by.

My fecond Witness shall be Julius Africa 4. There is then no doubt but that Clemens aus, who, in his fifth Volume of the Times, has absurdly contracted the time of Christ's where he treated of the seventy Weeks, had Preaching and Death into one Year, viz. the this, which ferom quotes out of him upon fifteenth of Tiberius : but it was a Tradition the 9th Chapter of Daniel. The Macedonians he had received from his Ancestors that Christ reigned three hundred years, and from thence to died that year, which was very true, but not the fifteenth Tear of Tiberius Cæfar, in which in that fifteenth Year which Luke speaks of, Christ suffered, are computed fixty years. and which, as I have before shewn, was the My third fall be Origen, who in his 4th fifteenth Year of his Proconsular Power, noc Book against Celsus, p. 174. Ed. Cantab. speaks that which he entred upon after the Death of to this effect: I compute, that from the year of Angustus. which thing Clemens ought to the Crucifixion of Jesus to the Deftruétion of have remembred, who, as I have before Jerusalem, were two and forty Tears; which thewn, was not altogether a stranger to the Year was the forty second before the utter twofold beginning of Tiberius. The Tradi- fubverfion of the Jewish Nation, as we have tion he had from his Ancestors, as to Christ's already seen, being the fifteenth of Tiberius's being born about the 28th Year of Augustus after the Death of Augustus. from the victory at Adium, and as to his Now to come to my Latin Witnesses, Ireners dying in the fifteenth of Tiberius, was true; speaks thus, whom I reckon among the Latins, but he did not throughly understand what because he lived in France, altho he wrote in these Years were, and he interpolaced the Greek, Lib. 1. c. 25. Our Lord was born about Truth which he had received, by a wrong the one and fortieth Year of Augustus's Empire, conclusion of his own.

viz. in the fortieth after the killing of Julius So I do not think him to have been so Cæfar, as I have before sewn. But he has weak a Chronologer, as to write intexade- made a great mistake, Lib. 2. c. 39. where och TW Augóss, in the 15th of Augustus, when he says that Christ was crucified between the

little before he said that Jesus was born in fortiech and fiftieth year of his Age, and yer the 28th Year of that Emperor: but it is mani- that he was baptized in the thirtieth; which felt that his meaning was this, that the fifteen if it were crue, Christ must have died when years that Jesus lived under Auguftus, and the neither Pontius Pilate was Procurator of 3kother fifteen which he survived him under the dea, nor in Tiberius's Reign, than which there Principalicy of Tiberius, made up thirty years. can be nothing more absurd, as the Learned Therefore we muft necessarily read TÉVTEXAS have long since obferved. I should not have Sixa rois Augsss, unless any one will taken any notice of this, had I nor thought have it char Clemens reckons the years of it ufeful to give one instance of a palpable Auguftus from his Death, by going backwards misake thro Inadvertency mix'd with Truth; to his 28th year, which would be a very from whepce we may plainly fee that we strange way of reckoning, and, if I am not are not to admic of, or reject every thing mistaken, without any Precedent.

of the Ancients but make a select 6. It is most true that from the year of choice out of 'em. Now if Christ was born Chrift's Death to the Destruction of Jerusalem in the fortieth Year of Auguftus after the were 42 years, and I helieve that this also death of Julius Cæfar, that he died in the was derived from an ancient Report, which thirty third year of his age will be evident arose from the observacicn of the Christians of from what I have before said concerning the those times, who diligently took notice of the Paffovers which he himself obferved. time of the complearing of that remarkable Next to Ireneus comes Tertulli.in against the Prediction of Christ, which is extant in Jews, c. 8. After Auguftus, who survived the Mat. 24. Clemens afterwards adds various Nativity of Christ, are compleated fifteen years, opinions concerning the Day in which Christ whose Successor was Tiberius Cæfar died, but they seem to be mere Conjectures,, fifteenth year of his Reign Christ suffered, being

then

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »