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Jalan Pee ing, Joseph, thou Son of David, fear not to take unto thee Nazareth. riod, 1709, Mary thy wife : for that which is conceived in her is of Before Val- the Holy Ghost. pa Æn, 5.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS : for he shall save his people from their sins 16.
His first sort of divine dreams he thus defines, Topèy a pūrov, ήν άρχοντος της κινήσεως θεώ, και υπηχώντος αοράτως τα ημίν μεν άδηλα, γνώριμα δε εαυτώ. The first kind was when God himself did begin the motion in the fancy, and secretly whispered such things as are unknown indeed to us, but perfectly known to himself. Of this sort were the patriarch Joseph's dreams.
The second kind is this, της ημετέρας διανοίας τή των όλων συγκινουμένης ψυχή, και θεοφορήτε μανίας αναπιμπλαμένης. When our rational faculty being moved together with the soul of the world, and filled with a divinely-inspired fury, doth predict those things that are to come. In this definition he permitted his heathen philosophy to supersede his better theology. The God of his fathers, was the Lord of the world, not the soul of the world. Though he fills all space, he rules all space. One mode of communicating his will to man, is well described ; if, for soal of the world, we read, the influences of the Supreme Being.
The third is thus laid down-Συνιστάται δε το τρίτον είδος, οπόταν εν τοίς ύπνοις εξ εαυτής η ψυχή κινουμένη, και αναδινάσα εαυτήν, κορυβαντια και ευθεσιωσα, δυνάμει προγνωστική τα μέλdovta Deariter-i. e. the third kind is, when in sleep the soul being moved of itself, and agitating itself, is in a kind of rap. turous rage, and in a divine fury doth foretel future things by a prophetic faculty, &c. &c.
These things are also contrary to present experience, but they are not contrary to philosophy. An event or action which has aclually taken place, convinces our reason by means of our scases, that the event was real; so did the miraculous impressions of prophetic dreams or visions, distinguish themselves from the sensations, occasioned only by the common circumstances of life, in such manner that the prophet or person favoured with them could not mistake the effect of the extraordinary impulse for any common feeling arising from ordinary situations and events. Ideas, it is true, are usually suggested by the senses only, but wby should we not believe that the Father of Spirits can affect our mind with images and ideas, produced by other agency than that of the senses.-Smith on Pro. phecy, vol. iv. Watson's Tracts, p. 306. Vide Lightfoot, vol. ii. p. 243. Calmet's Dict. Art. Dreams. Smith's Discourse on Prophecy, in Watson's Tracts, vol. iv. p. 306, Witsius Miscell. Sacra, vol. i. p. 27. de insomniis, and p. 289, de Prophetis, in Evang. laudatis.
16 It may be observed bere, how uniformly the idea of a spiritual Messiah is preserved. Joseph, in common with his countrymen, may justly be supposed to have entertained the opinion that a temporal Messiah was coming to deliver his people from the Romans; the angel informs him that he should be called Jesus, (from yv, to save,) for he should save them from their sins. He should save them not merely from the consequences of their sins by his atonement, but from the dominion of their sins by his gift of the Holy Spirit, to lead them both into obedience and truth. We must not hope to be delivered hereafter from the consequences of evil, unless we are at preseat delivered from its power.
gar Æra, 5.
Julian Pe 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled Nazareth. riod, 4709, which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet", saying, Before Val
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife :
25 And knew her not sill she had brought forth her first-born son : and he called his name JESUS.
.קניתי איש את יהוה liverer
The name Jesus, say Castalio and Osiander, Heb. nwn, may
Pfeiffer is of opinion, with the generality of commentators,
I have placed the appearance of the angel to Joseph after Mary's return from the house of Elizabeth, as she came back from Hebron before the birth of John, three months after the annunciation of the Messiah. On her arrival at her own house, when the proofs of her pregnancy became evident, the fears and suspicions of Joseph, we may justly suppose, to have been excited. Before that period, he could have no reasons for suspicion.-Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 421.
17 The Christian may believe that this passage refers to the Messiah on the authority of St. Matthew; and the Jew may likewise believe it, on the authority of the ancient targumists; who, with their countrymen in general, were accustomed to refer these expressions of their early prophets to the expected Messiah. To overthrow the force of the prediction, they have, however, in later days, made use of arguments which their ancestors would have disdained. -Vide Kidder's Demons. of Mess. p. iii. p. 90, &c. &c. &c.
Birth of Christ at Bethlehem.
LUKE ii. 1-7. Julian Pe
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went Bothlehem. riod, 4709. Before Vul- out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world gu Era, 5. should be taxed 18.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria”.)
18 Another proof was now to be afforded to the whole
oath' of fidelity to be taken to him, as the
19 The word apúrn must be construed in the sense of priority as to time; it bears this sense in some, though not many instances. It is much better thus to render the passage, than to adopt any conjectural emendation; whether po rñs, with Whitby, or #púrn Tpò rñs, with Michaelis, which his translator so decidedly condemns; or than Mr. Benson's, which is very
Julian Pe 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own Bethlehem. riod, 4709, city. Before Vulgar Æra, 5.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem : (because he was of the house and lineage of David :)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child 21
ingenious, but unsupported by the only authority which ought
He would read 'άυτη η απογραφή πρώτη εγένετο η (απογραφή και
, between éyévero and nyeuovevovros-and thus render the passage-Thistaxing took place before that, wbich took place, when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.
The saggestion of Mr. Benson, that the decree for the tax. ing, or atoypady, of St. Luke, was the same as the taking the oath of allegiance to Augustus, mentioned by Josephus, is well supported; and if his hypothesis did not require an alteration of the sacred text, which is not warranted by the requisite authorities, might be received without hesitation. But see the next note on the solution of the difficulty in this verse.Vide Benson's Chronology of the Life of Christ.
20 It has been asserted, that this verse contradicts some well supported facts in history. Cyrevius, it is said, was not Governor of Syria till eleven years after this enrolment. At the time of Christ's birth, Saturninus and Volumnius were Presidents of that country.
The following is the correct statement of the fact, according to the best authorities, who have carefully studied the subject. Herod, some few years before his death, had been misrepresented to Augustus. The Roman emperor, to punish his imputed crime, ordered that Judea should be reduced to a Roman province, and a register be taken of every person's age, dignity, employment, family, and office. When this decree was first promulgated Cyrenius was only a Roman senator, and collector of the imperial revenue. Its execution was postponed, through the influence of Nicholas of Damascus, who was sent by Herod to Rome, to vindicate bis conduct to Augustus; and it was only carried into effect eleven years afterwards, when Cyronius had been advanced from the inferior dignity of collector of the public tribute, to the office of Governor of Syria.
The difficulty, therefore, respecting the words in the original will disappear, when the passage is considered in referenee to this statement. Dr. Lardner, who is followed by Dr. Paley, proposes a solution, which has now been generally adopted. i. This was the first enrolment of Cyrenius, wbo, though a Roman senator only, when it was decreed, was Governor of Syria, and is known among the Jews by that title.” When St. Luke wrote the Gospel, Cyrepius was known by his latter title. -Lardner's Works, 4to. p. 136, &c. Paley's Evidences, vol. ii. p. 177. Hales's Anal. vol. ii. p. 705, &c.
" There does not appear to have boen any necessity, from the nature of the tax, for the personal attendance of Mary at Bethlehem. When we consider her situation, it is not improbable
Julian Pe 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days Bethlehera. riod, 4709.
were accomplished that she should be delivered. Before Volgar Æra, 5. 7 And she brought forth her first-born son, and
wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger ; because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Genealogies of Christ a.
MATT. i. 1.
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of
she might have been induced to have accompanied her husband
* The apparent discrepancies between the Genealogies of