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healing of the centurion's servant, St. Matthew relates the healing of St. Peter's mother-in-law. St. Luke relates the raising of the widow's son, and uses the particle which denotes the stricter notation of time; while St. Matthew only implies that it was about that time. St. Mark adds a note, that this healing of St. Peter's mother-in-law, was effected when that apostle was called.
When the order of events after a fact is different, inquire if the alteration is by anticipation, or recapitulation, and the circumstances in which the history is related.
When in the context of some one Evangelist, one history follows another, and it is certain that the following is the last-consider if any event is to be inserted—for instance, between the purification and return to Nazareth, insert the slaughter of the infants, and the flight into Egypt.
When one Evangelist relates events in certain order, and an event is recorded among them, which is omitted by the other Evangelists when relating the same events—the order of the one may be followed.
But if that one event may, by any notes of time, be transposed, the order is not a sufficient argument against its being displaced.
Sometimes events, or discourses, are related, which are put together, because they are told of the same person; not because they are consecutive, but that the history of the person may be put together, as the mission of the Apostles, the story of the Baptist, &c. &c. &c. · When similar events are related, we may conclude them to be the same, if the minuter circumstances agree, such as time, place, occasion, person, object.
Supposing the Gospels to have been written in the form of narrative epistles, and the observance of such rules to be necessary, I found that the most valuable basis of a harmony was already prepared for me by Eichhorn, one of the most celebrated, though not always the most approv
able, of the German theologians. While I rejected as a theory, unsupported by facts, the hypothesis of Bishop Marsh, and of Eichhorn, that there was one original document from which the three first evangelists derived their Gospels; I was glad to avail myself of his collection of the events recorded by the three first Evangelists. These events, Bishop Marsh has justly observed, contain a short but well connected representation of the principal transactions of Christ, from his birth to his ascension. Whatever events are added by one, which are omitted by another, must evidently find their proper place among these. The chronology is settled by the number of passovers mentioned by St. John: and I have adopted Mr. Benson's theory of the duration of our Lord's ministry, and that view of the chronology which he has given from St. John's Gospel. Eichhorn's arrangement of these events appeared to be the best foundation of a harmony on another account also, The order of St. Matthew's Gospel alone is altered: that, both of St. Mark and of St. Luke is preserved, and from this order I have not departed in any instance. I annex the plan of Eichhorn, that the reader may compare its unbroken continuousness with the order proposed by any harmonist, which he may have in his possession.
1. John the Baptist, Mark i. 248. Luke iii. 1-18. Matt. iii. 1-12.
2. Baptism of Christ, Mark i. 9–11. Luke iii. 21, 22. Matt. iii. 13-17.
3. Temptation of Christ, Mark i. 12, 13. Luke iv, 1–13. Matt. iv. 1-11.
4. Christ's return to Galilee, and arrival at Capernaum, Mark i. 14. Luke iv. 14. Matt. iv, 12, 13.
5. Cure of Peter's mother-in-law, Mark i. 29-34. Luke iv. 38-41. Matt. yži. 14--17.
6. Cure of leper, Mark i. 40–45. Luke v, 12-16. Matt. vii. 2-4.
7. Cure of a person afflicted with the palsy, Mark ii. 1–12. Luke v. 17–26. Matt. ix. 1-8.
8. Call of St. Matthew, Mark ii. 13-22. Luke v. 2739. Matt. ix. 9-17.
9. Christ goes with his disciples through the corn fields, Mark ii. 23-28. Luke vi. 1-5. Matt. xii. 1-8.
10. Cure of the withered hand, Mark iii. 1-6. Luke vi. 2-6. Matt. xi. 9-15.
11. Preparation for sermon on the mount, Mark üï. 7 19. Luke vi. 12-19. Matt. iv. 23—25.
12. Confutation of the opinion that Christ cast out devils by the assistance of Beelzebub, Mark iii. 20—30. Matt. xii. 22—45. (Perhaps formerly Luke also.)
13. Arrival of the mother and brethren of Christ, Mark üü. 31-35. Luke v. 19–21. Matt. xü. 46–50.
14. Parable of the sower, Mark iv. 1-34. Luke vü, 418.
15. Christ crosses the sea, and undergoes a storm, Mark iv. 35–41. Luke viii. 22-25. Matt. viii. 18—27.
16. Transactions in the country of the Gadarenes, Mark v.1-20. Luke viii. 26-39. Matt. viii. 28–34.
17. The daughter of Jairus restored to life, Mark v. 21-43. Luke viii. 40–56. Matt. ix. 18-26.
18. Christ sends out the twelve apostles, Mark vi. 7-13. Luke ix. 1-6. Matt. x. 1-42.
19. The fame of Christ reaches the court of Herod, Matt. xiv. 1-12. Mark vi. 1449. Luke ix. 7-9.
20. Five thousand men fed, Matt. xiv. 13-21. Mark vi. 30-44. Luke ix. 10–17.
21. Acknowledgment of the apostles that Christ is the Messiah, Matt. xvi. 13--28. Mark viii. 27. ix. l. Luke ix. 18–27.
22. Transfiguration of Christ on the mount, Matt. xvii. 1-10. Mark ix. 2-9. Luke ix. 28-36.
23. Christ cures a demoniac, whom his apostles were unable to cure, Matt. xvii. 14--21. Mark ix. 14-29. Luke ix. 37-43.
24. Christ foretels his death, Matt. xvii. 22, 23. Mark ix. 20–32. Luke ix. 43-45.
25. Dispute among the apostles about precedence, Matt. Xyüi. 1-5. Mark ix. 23–37. Luke ix. 45-48.
26. Christ blesses children who are brought to him, and answers the question, by what means salvation is to be obtained, Matt. xix. 1330. Mark x. 13–31.
27. Christ again foretels his death, Matt. xx. 17-19. Mark x. 32 34. Luke xviii. 31-34.
28. Blind man at Jericho restored to sight, Matt. xx. 29 -34. Mark x. 46–52. Luke xviii. 35-43.
29. Christ's public entry into Jerusalem, Matt. xxi. 111. Mark xi. 1-10. Luke xix. 29_44. : 30. Christ expels the buyers and sellers from the temple, Matt. xxi. 12–14. Mark xi. 15–17. Luke xix. 45, 46.
31. Christ called to account by the chief priests and elders for teaching publicly in the temple. He answers them, and then delivers a parable, Matt. xxi. 23—27. 33-46. Mark xi. 27. xii. 12. Luke xx. 1--19.
32. On the tribute to Cæsar, and marriage with a brother's widow, Matt. xxii. 15–33. Mark xii. 1537. Luke xx. 20–40.
33. Christ's discourse with the Pharisees relative to the Messiah being called Lord by David, Matt xxi. 41-46. Mark xii. 35_37. Luke xx, 41-45.
34. The Pharisees censured by Christ, Matt. xxiii. 1, &c. Mark xii. 38–40. Luke xx. 45–47.
35. Christ foretels the destruction of Jerusalem, Matt. xxiv. 1-36. Mark xiii. 1-36. Luke xxi. 5–36.
36. Prelude to the account of Christ's passion, Matt. xxvi. 1-5. Mark xiv. 1, R. Luke xxii. 1, 2.
37. Bribery of Judas, and the celebration of the passover, Matt. xxvi. 14-29. Mark xiv. 10_-25. Luke xxii. 3-23.
38. Christ goes to the mount of Olives, Matt. xxvi. 30° 46. Mark xiv. 26-42. Luke xx. 39–46.
39. He is seized by a guard from the chief priests, Matt. Xxvi. 47-58. Mark xiv. 43–54. Luke xxii. 47–55.
40. Peter's denial of Christ, &c. Matt. xxvi. 69. xxvii, 19. Mark xiv. 66. xv. 10. Luke xxii. 56. xxiii. 17. .
41. The crucifixion and death of Christ, Matt. xxvii. 20-66. Mark xv. 11-47. Luke xxiii. 1856.
42. The resurrection, Matt. xxiii. 1, &c. Mark xvi. 1, &c. Luke xxiv. 1, &c.
Such being the theory, the rules, and the basis, upon which a Harmony of the New Testament might be advantageously compiled, it remained that I should select those assistants which united most soundness of judgment, profound learning, patient labour, and extensive research. Rejecting the hypotheses both of Osiander, and of all who would adhere to the order of any one of the Gospels, in preference to another, I decided to accept as my guides the five principal Harmonists, which have not only obtained the general approbation of all parties, but who have been respectively of the most opposite descriptions and classes.
The first is Lightfoot, whose Chronicle of the Old Testament had been made the basis of my preceding labour. His Harmony, though not fully completed, has been welcomed by scholars of all parties. Lightfoot was one of the most learned of the Puritan theologians, and possessed great influence in the Assembly of Divines (o). Lightfoot's Harmony, however, was encumbered with the same disadvantage, which I have mentioned (P) as an error in his Chronicle. He places the events recorded in Scripture in too large masses, and thereby destroys the minuteness and consequent perspicuity, which are so essential to a complete view of the sacred history.
To mention Dr. Doddridge, my second guide, is to recal to the recollection of those who interest themselves in these delightful studies, the name of an amiable, learned, and pious man; whose praise is in all the Churches, and in all Christian societies. If I have not uniformly adopted his