« PreviousContinue »
must suppose, that they were not yet writ and published, or however, but lately. For if they had been published several years, St. Luke, who had accompanied Paul in Greece, Asia, Palestine, and Roma, could not have been unaequainted with them.
This argument appears to me valid. At let I cannot difcern, where it fails. It has long seemed to me a clear and obvious argument, that the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark were not writ till the year 60, or afterwards. For if they had been writ sooner, they would by this time have been in the hands of St. Luke, and Theophilus, and all the faithful in general. And St. Luke could not have expressed himself, as he does in this introduction : nor indeed would he have writ any Gospel at all,
ST. MATTHEW, APOSTLE, and EVANGELIST.
1. His Historie. II. Testimonies of ancient Writers to his Gospel. III.
Remarks upon them, for discerning the Time of ihis Gopel. IV. Characters of Time in the Gospel itself. V. The Language, in which it was writ,
ATTHEW (a) called also (B) Levi, son of (c) Alpheus,
was a Publican, or (D) Toll-gatherer under the Romans. He was, undoubtedly, a native of Galilee, as the rest of Christ's Apostles were : but of what city in that countrey, or which tribe of the people of Ijrael, is not known.
As (A) The historie of our Lord's calling this disciple is in Matth. ix. 9. ... 13. Mark ii. 13. • .16. Luke v. 27. • • 32:
(B) This Evangelist, in his account of his being called by Christ, names himself Matthew, ch. ix. 9. But St. Mark and St. Luke in their accounts of it call him Levi. Mark ii. 14. Luke v. 27. & 29. This has induced Grotius to argue, that Matthew and Levi are different persons: though he cannot deny, that the circumstances of the historie lead us to think, one and the same person to be intended. Video omnes hodie ita exiftimare, hunc eundem esse, quem Marcus & Lucas Levi nominant. Et fane congruunt circumstantiæ. Grof. ad Mat. ix. 9. It is observable, that Heracleon, the l'alestinian, as cited by Clement of A. Str. l. 4. p. 502. reckons among Apofiles, who had not fuffered martyrdom, Matthew, Philip, Thomas, and Levi. By Leri, probably, Heracleon meant Lebbeus, otherwise called Thaddeus. Vid. Fair. Bib. Gr. l. 4. cap. 5. T. 3. p. 126. Coteler. Annot. in Constitut. 1. 8. cap. 22. Dodcu. Dil Iren. i. n. 24. It is certain, that Eufebe and Jerome thought Maitku and Levi to be only two names of one and the same person. See in this work, vol. viii. p. 83. vol. x. p. 83. and 89. Moreover, in the catalogues of the Apostles, which are in Mark iji. 18. Luke vi. 15. As i. 13. is the name Matthew. It is likely, that Levi was the name, by which the Apostle was called in the former part of his life : and Matthezu the name, by which le 'was best known afterwards.
(See notes (c) and (0) Ø. 34.) Vol. II.
As he sat at the Receipt of Cuijom, by the sea-side, in the city of Capernaum, or near it, Jesus said unto him: Follow me. And he arose and foldowed him. Which needs not to be understood to imply, that Matthew did not make up his accounts with those, by whom he had been employed, and inftrufted.
Afterwards (E) he made an entertainment, at his house, where Jesus was present, and likewise divers of his disciples. And there fat at table with them many Publicans, and others, of no very reputable character in the eye of the Pharisees, who were strict in external purifications, and other like observances. Matthew, it is likely, was willing to take leave of his former acquaintance in a civil manner. He was likewise desirous, that they should converse with Jesus, hoping, that they might be taken with his discourse. And Jesus, with a view of doing good, and to shew, that he did not disdain any man, made no exceptions to this design of his new disciple. Nor is it unlikely, that the ends aimed at were oba tained, in part at least. Matthew's former friends did, probably, discern fomewhat extraordinarie in Jesus, so far as to induce them to think, it was not unreasonable in him to leave his former employment, for the
(c) That is said by St. Mark only ch. ii. 14. But we do not perceive who Alpheus was. Tillemont obferves to this purpose. “ St Mark gives him “ the surname of Alphes : Tòv tě dnpday. Which may have been the name “ of his father. This has given occasion to some of the ancients, and to all " the modern Greeks, to say, that Yames the fon of Alpheus was his brother: .. though it be entirely deititute of all probability. Quoiqu'il n'y ait en so
cela aucune apparence.” Tillem. S. Mart. init. Mem. T.;.
Dr. Doddriilge, Fainily Expositor. Sećt. 44. Vol. i. p. 280. says roundly, " that Matthew, otherwise called Levi, was the son of Alpheus, and the brother “ of James. Comp. Mark iii. 18. Luke vi. 15. A&ts i. 13.” But I do not think those texts can afford fufficient proof, that Matthew, and James the son of Alpheus, had the same father, and were brothers. If that had been the case, their relation to each other would have been hinted, or plainly declared in the Gospels.
I do not love bold conjectures in others, and would not indulge myself in them. But I suspect, that these words in Mark ii, 14. fon of Alpheus, tòx 1ů arm, are an interpolation, fome how or other, unde lignedly, and accidentally inferted in that place. What is truly faid of James, has been also applied to Matthew. The curious may do well to consider, whether this conjecture be not countenanced by the fingularity of the thing, said no where else, and by the various readings of that text, which may be seen in Beza, Mill, and Wetllein.
(d) “ His oflice seems mcre particularly to have consisted in gathering the “cuttoms of commodities, that came by the sea of Galilee, and the tribute, or which passengers were to pay, that went by water." Cave's Lives of the Apostles, p. 177.
(e) That this entertainment was not made by Matthew on the very day that Christ called him to attend on him, is argued by Mr. Jones in his Vindication of the former part of St. Matthew's Gospel, p. 129. Doddridge, Family Expositor, Vol. i. sect. LẮXT. note (a), who says: “ It “ is certain, the fealt was after the day of his calling, perhaps, some months “after: when he had made up his accompts
, and regularly passed his business « into other hands: which, to be sure, from a principle of justice, as well as “prudence, he would take care to do."
137. and by Dr.
fake of the companie of Jesus, and the advantages, which in time he might receive from him. The Pharisees made reflections. But our Lord vindicated himself. And all the three Evangelists have recorded this instance of our Lord's amiable familiarity and condescension, which is one of the distinctions of his shining character. And it is a proof, that at the time of their writing, severally, their Gospels, they were molded into the temper and principles of him, whose historie they wrote,
Jesus now called Matthew to be with him, to be a witnesse of his words and works, and he put him into the number of his Apostles, Thenceforward he continued with the Lord Jesus. And after bis afcenfion, he was at Jerusalem, and partook of the gift of the Holy Ghost, with the other Apostles. Together with them he bore teftimonie to the resurrection of Jesus: and, as may be supposed, preached for some while at Jerusalem, and in the several parts of Fudea, confirming his doc, trine with miracles, which God enabled him to perform in the name of Jesus.
In his own catalogue of the twelve Apostles, ch. x. he is the eighth in order. In St. Mark's ch. iii. and St. Luke's ch, vi, he is the seventh, He is also named in the eighth place, Acts i. 13. Nor is there any par, ticular account in the Gospels of the call of any of the Apostles, except his, and four other, Andrew and Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, who were called before (F),
Clement of Alexandria says, that (a) the Apostle Matthew used a very sparing diet, eating no filesh, but only vegetables. But, perhaps, this is said upon the ground only of some uncertain tradition, not well attested.
Sacrates, in the fifth centurie, says, that (6) when the Apostles went abroad to preach to the Gentiles, Thomas took Parthia for his lot, Mat, tbew Ethiopia, and Bartholomew India. And it is now a common opia nion, that Matthew (c) died a Martyr in Ethiopia, in a city called Nadabbar, or Naddaver : but by what kind of death, is altogether uncertain. However, some others speak of his preaching, and dying in Parthia, or Persia. And the diversity of those accounts seems to shew, that they all are without good foundation.
I think, it may be of use to take here at length a passage of Eusebe, at the beginning of the third book of his Ecclesiastical Historie, after having in the preceding book spoken of the many calamities in Judlea, when the war was just breaking out. “ This,” says he, “was the state of things with "the Jews. But the holy Apostles and Disciples of our Saviour being k dispersed abroad, preached in the whole world. Thomas, as we learn
(6) St. John fays ch. i. 43. The day following, Felis would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and faith unto him.: Follow me. If Philip was then called by our Lord to be an Apostle, he ought to be added to the others above named.
(a) ΜατθαίΘ- μεν έν ο απόστολοι σπερμάτων, και ακροδρύων, και λαχάνων, άνεθ gia uitindy@axy. Clem. Paed. I. 2. p. 148. D.
(5) Ηνίκα οι απόστολοι κλήρω την εις τα έθνη σύρειαν επομέντο, Θωμάς μεν τον adefar torongo indíxeToo Marfaios di duhoríav. x. 7. Socr. H. E. h. I, B. 19. (c) Se Cave's Lives of the Apoflles, and his Hif. Lit.
“ by tradition, had Parthia for his lot, Andrew Scythia, John Afia. Who « having lived there a long time died at Ephesus. Peter, as it seems,
preached to the dispersed Jews in Pontus and Galatia, Bithynia, Cappa“ docia, and Asia. At length coming to Rome, he was crucified, with « his head downward, as he had desired. What need I to speak of Paul, “ who fully preached the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem to Illyricum, “and at lait died a Martyr at Rome, in the time of Nero? So says Origen * expressly in the third time of his Expositions of the book of Genesis.”
Thus writes our Ecclefiaftical Historian. But, as Valefius observes, it (d) is not easie to determine exactly, where the quotation from Origen begins. ; However, from this paffage, as it seems, we may conclude, that at the begining of the fourth centurie, there were not any certain and well attelted accounts of the places, out of Judea, in which many of the Apostles of Christ preached. For if there had, Eusebe must have been acquainted with them. In particular we may hence infer, as I apprehend, that there was no certain account, whither Matthew went, when he left Judea. For there is no notice taken of him in this passage. Nor does Jerome in his article of St. Matthew, in his book of Illustrious Men, formerly (6) transcribed at large, take any notice of the countreys, in which he preached. Nor do I recollect, that in any other of his genuine works he has said any thing of the travels of this Apostle.
Heracleon, a learned Valentinian, in the second centurie, as cited by Clement of Álexandria, reckons (f) Matthew among those Apostles, who did not dye by martyrdom. Nor does Clement contradict him.
It is also observable, that (8) Chryfofiom has a commendation of Matshew, consisting of divers articles: his humility, mercifulnesse or libera. lity, piety, general benevolence, writing a Gospel, finally, fortitude, inasmuch as he came from the presence of the Council rejoycing : referring, I fuppose, to Acts v. 41. But says nothing of his martyrdom. Which may induce us to think, that there was not any tradition about it among Chriftians at that time, or that it was not much regarded. Tellimonies to
II. Having thus given the historie of this Apostle, I proceed to the consideration of his Gospel, one of the univer.
sally acknowledged books of the New Testament. Two things principally are to be the subjects of our inquiric, the time of writing it, and the language in which it was writ. And I propose to recite here briefly all, or most of the authors, that have been largely quoted, in the former volumes, fo far as relates to those two particulars.
Papias, Bp. of Hierapolis, about A. D. 116. by some supposed to have been acquainted with John the Apostle, by others with John the Elder only, in his five books, entitled Explications of the Oracles of the Lord,
; (d) Cum Eusebius hic dicat, fuperiora ex libro tertio Explanationum Origenis in Genesim esse desumta, dubitari merito poteft, unde incipiant Origenis Yerba, &c. Vales. Aunot. 3. cap. 1.
(e) fol. x.p. 89.90.
(;) Οι για πάντες οι σωζόμενοι ομολόγησαν την δια της φωνής ομολογίας, και εξήλιονεξ ών ματθαι, φίλλιππος, Θωμάς, λευίς, και άλλοι πολλοί. 7.
1) In Math. hom. 48. al. 49. T. gap. 491.
4. 502. B.
which seem to have been collections of ancient stories and traditions, makes (b) express mention of Matthew's Gospel, and says, that he wrote the Divine Oracles in the Hebrew tongue. • Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, about the year 178, who was born in Asia, and in his youth was acquainted with Polycarp, disciple of St. John, says: “ Matthew (i) then among the Jews wrote a gospel in their own language, “ while Peter and Paul were preaching the gospel at Rome, and found"ing (or establishing) the church there. And after their exit, [that is, u death, or departure) Mark also, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, « delivered to us in writing the things that had been preached by Peter, " And Luke, the companion of Paul, put down in a book the gospel "preached by him. Afterwards John, the disciple of the Lord, who " leaned u, his breast, likewise publithed a Goipel, whilst he dwelt at « Ephesus, iu Afia.” In another place he says, “ the (k) Gospel accord , "ing - Matthew was delivered to the Jews.” ' Origen, about 239, says, “that (2) according to the tradition received 6 by him, the first Gospel was written by Matthewu, once a Publican, " afterwards a Disciple of Jesus Christ : who delivered it to the Jewish * believers, composed in the Hebrew language.” And in another place he says, “ that (m) Matthew wrote for the Hebrews.”
Says Eufebe, about 315, “ Matthew (n) having first preached to the “ Hebrews, when he was about to go to other people, delivered to them 6 in their own language the Gospel according to him, by that writing “ supplying the want of his presence with those whom he was leaving."
Athanasius, in his Festal Epistle (0) does not say, where, or in what language,
Matthew wrote. But in the Synopfis, aferibed to him, it is faid that (1) Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, and published it at Jerusalem.”
Cyril of Jerusalem fays, “ that (9) Matthew wrote in Hebrew."
Épiphanius likewise says, “ that (r) Matthew wrote in Hebrew.” And afterwards, “ Matthew (s) wrote firft, and Mark soon after him, being a follower of Peter at Rome." If Mark did not write till after Peter came to Rome, and Matthew but a little before him; it follows, that Matthew's Gospel was not writ fo foon, as many later writers have supposed.
Gregorie Nazianzen, in his catalogue, says, that (t) Matthew wrote “ for the Hebrews.”
And Ebedjelu, “ that (u) Matthew, the fust Evangelist, published his « Gospel in Palestine, writ in Hebrew.”'
(6) See of this work, Vol. i. p. 242. the second edition. : (i) ο μεν δη ματθαίος εν τοις εoράιoις τη αυτών διαλέκτω και γραφήν εξήνεγκεν ευαγγελία, τα σίτρα, και τα παυλα εν ρώμη ευαγγελιζομένων και θεμελιέντων την εκκλη
Adv. Haer, l. 3. cap. i. Et ap. Eufeb. l. 5.6.8. And in this work Vol. i. p. 353 (k) See Vol.i. p. 356.
(7) Vel. iii. p. 235. (m) P. 278.
(n) Vol. viii. p.92.' See also p. 177. ) Vol . viii, p. 227.
(p) P. 249. (2) P. 271.
(r) P. 304. and 305. (5) Ευθυς δε μετα τον ματθαίον ακόλιθος γενόμενος και μάρκος, το αγίω τέτ, και vu.n. Citat. ib. p. 305. (0) Vol. ix. p. 133. Comp. p. 134.
(4) P. 216,