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Julian Pe- Authority of God, for their Example of Suffering, Afflic- Jerusalem. riod, 4775. tion, and Patience. VulgarÆra, 62.
7 Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts : for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned : behold, the Judge standeth before the door.
10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering, affliction, and of patience.
11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, nei-
$ 13. JAMES v. 13, to the end.
respondent feeling of Devotion-In Sickness and Disease
Julian Pe. Sinner from the Error of his Way, shall produce a more Jerusalem. riod, 4775. Vulgar Æra,
highly acceptable Work than any miraculous. Cure per62.
formed on the Body; for he shall save a Soul from ever-
13 Is any among you afflicted ? let him pray. Is any
14 Is any sick among you ? let him call for the elders of the church ; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
31 That particular and great sins were supposed to be the causes of extraordinary diseases among the Jews, is evident from many passages in Scripture :-Deut. xxviii. 15; 21, 22. 27; Ps. xxxvii. 9, &c.; and cvii. 17, 18; John v. 14; and when the bodily disorder was cured, the sin was said to be forgiven (2 Chron, vii. 13, 14; Isai. xxxiji. 24; Matt. ix. 27; Luke v. 20, &c.; I Cor. xi. 29, 30, 32.) It is also expressly declared by St. John, in his first Epistle (chap. v. 16, 17.) there is a sin unto death, and a sin not uuto death, the last of which described the present case, for the prayer of faith, or of prophetic impulse, was to be exerted in favour of the latter in both instances.
The confession recommended (verse 16), was not auricular, or for the purposes of absolution, but was required as a proof of a sincere repentance before the miraculoas cure was attempted, that by an acknowledgment of his sins the penitent might obtain the pardon and prayers of the injured parties. The miracle could not be performed if the sick person was not sufficiently penitent (John v. 16.) or if the elders had not the prayer of faith, or if the continued sickness or death of the afflicted person tended more to the glory of God: and it is further certain that neither the apostles nor elders could work miracles but when the Spirit saw proper, and by an impulse intimated it to them (Phil. ii. 26, 27.; i Tim. v. 23.; 2 Tim. iv. 20.) The oil was used as a sensible token to the sick person, and to all present, ofthe miracle about to be performed. It was applied in anticipation of a recovery from some great bodily disease, and not for the cleansing of the soul in the last agonies of death, when there is no hope of life. It is probable that our Saviour appointed this cutward sign when he gave commission to his disciples to heal the sick (Matt. X. 8.; Luke ix. 2.) for we read Mark vi. 13. that they made use of it.' It could not therefore last after the divine gifts were withdrawn ; and where no miraculous interference is expected, its observance becomes a superstition. It might have been originally prescribed on these occasions as emblematical of the peculiar mercy and favour of God, in allusion to the custom of anointing their prophets and kings in the old dispensation. It was always much esteemed by the Jews for its healing qualities, and was used by them as the natural means of recovery, in which sense some supposed it was applied by St. James, intimaling that natural means are made efficacious only by the prayer of faith and the divine blessing.
Julian Pe- 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one Jerusalem. riod, 4775. for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fer62.
d, vent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain ; and it
rained not on the earth by the space of three years and *Luk. iv.25. six months *. +1 Kings 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain t, xviii.41.-46. and the earth brought forth her fruit.
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him,
20 Let him know, that he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
ACTS xxvii. 30, 31.
32 The Gospel of St. Matthew, it has been shewn, was most probably written during the first or Pauline persecution of the Church, when the Gospel was preached to the Jews only. That of St. Mark under the inspection of St. Peter, in the second or Herodian persecution, when the Gospel was preached to the proselytes. The fitness of these Gospels to the periods to which the best remaining testimony refers their publication, is an additional eridence that they were then made known. The time had now arrived when the Gospel bad been preached over the greater part of the world, by the most talented, laborious, and inspired of the apostles of God. St. Paul had now preached to the idolatrous Gentiles for many years, and it is not probable that the pumerous converts of this description, which were now added to the Church, could be left without an authentic statement of the facts of Christianity. St. Luke bad been long the companion of St. Paul, as he was a learned man, being a physician. He was evidently well qualified to give an account of the labours and travels of the apostle, and to write also an accouot of the life of their common master. Whether Luke was, according to Dr. Lardner, a Jew by birth, and an early convert to Christianity, or according to Michaelis a Gentile (see Coloss. iv. 10,11. 14. where St. Paul distinguished Aristarchus, Marcus, and Jesus, who was called Justus, from Epåphras, Lucas, add Demas, who were of the circumcision, i.e. Jews), or whether be was one of the Seventy or not, is uncertain. He is the only Evangelist who mentions the commission given by Christ to The Seventy (chap. X. 1-20.) It is likely be is the Lucius mentioned Rom. xvi. 21. and if so, he was related to the apostle Paul, and is the Lucius of Cyrene wbo is mentioned Acts xiii. 1. and in general with others, Acts xi. 20. Some of the ancients, and some of the most learned and judicious among the moderns, think he was one of the two whom our Lord met on the way to Emmaus, on the day of his resurrec
Julian Pe 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those Romne. riod, 4775. things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all con
** fidence, no man forbidding him.
Paul, to the Completion of the Canon of the whole Scrip-
tion, as related Luke xxiv. 13–35; one of these was called
St. Paul styles bim his fellow-labourer, (Philemon, ver. 24.) It
He accompanied St. Paul when he first went into Macedonia, Acts xvi. 8-40.; xx.; xxvii. and xxviii. Whether he went with him constantly afterwards is not certain, but it is evident he accompanied him from Greece, through Macedonia and Asia, to Jerusalem, where be is supposed to have collected many par. ticulars of the evangelic history: from Jerusalem he went with Paul to Rome, where he staid with him the two years of his im. prisonment. This alone makes out the space of five years, and upwards.
Though there have been various opinions respecting the date of St. Luke's Gospel, it has generally been referred to this period.
Dr. Owen and others refer it to the year 53, while Jones, Michaelis, Lardner, and tbe majority of biblical critics, assign it to the year 63, or 64, which date appears to be the true one, and corresponds with the internal characters of time exhibited in the Gospel itself. But it is not so easy to ascertain the place where it was written. Jerome says that Luke, the third Evan. gelist, published his Gospel in the countries of Achaia and Bæotia. Gregory Nazianzen also says, that Luke wrote for the Grecks, or in Achaia. Grotius states, that about the time when Paul left Rome, Luke departed to Achaia, where he wrote the books we now have. Dr. Cave was os opinion that they were at Rome hefore the termination of Paul's captivity; but Drs. Mill, Grabe, and Wetstein, affirm that this Gospel was published at Alexandria in Egypt, in opposition to the Pseudo Gospel, circulated among the Egyptians. Dr. Lardner has examined these various opinions at considerable length, and concludes that upon the whole, there is no good reason to suppose that St. Luke wrote his Gospel at Alexandria, or that he preached at all in Egypt: on the contrary, it is more probable that when he left Paul, he went into Greoce, and there composed or
Julian Pe Key to the Old Testament, the Epistle to the Hebrews', Italy.
finished and published his Gospel, and the Acts of the Apostles.
1 We are informed by some of the early fathers, that the Ebionites not only rojected the Epistles of St. Paul, but reviled tho apostle himself as a Greek and an apostate. As the Ebionites would probably retain by tradition many of the opinions of the Hebrew Christians, we may ipfer that bis own countrymen reproached St. Paul with the same appellations. They would charge him with abandoning bis principles, and following the general custom of apostates, of opposing with virulence and bitterness the religion be had once defended. St. Paul well knew, that it would be useless to assert his sincerity to those who still retained the opinions he had relinquished: or to place before them the essential difference between forsaking the reli. gious system in which a man has been educated, from caprice or interest ; and forsaking it from a deep conviction of its falschood, founded upon deliberate, impartial, and serious examipa. tion of its evidences. In his imprisonment at Rome he had re. peatedly discussed with the Jews the question of Christianity, and in many instances without effect. Where we do not convince, we generally incur rcproach ; and this was evidently the case with St. Paul. He did not therefore attempt to remore the impressions wbich had been circulated to his prejudice ; he wrote only a full and explicit statement of the doctrines and truths of the Christian religion contained in this masterly Epistle to the Hebrews. Here he proves the Deity of Christ, and the superior excellency of his Gospel when compared with the institutions of Moses, which were now abolished. That he might not excite prejudice against this masterly compendium of Christian truth, he omits his usual style of address. He mentions neither his name nor his apostolic functions. Addressing the Epistle to the Hebrews generally, in whatever part of the world they were to be found, though more especially the Hebrews of Palestine, he writes anonymously, and neither directs bis Epis. tle from any place, nor sends it to any particular Church by a special messenger. The omission of bis name, too, is further satisfactorily accounted for by Clemens Alexandrinus and Jerom. St. Paul would here intimate that as Jesus Christ himself was the peculiar apostle to the Hebrews (as acknowledged in this Epistle, chap. iii. 1.) St. Paul declined through bumility to assume the title of an apostle.-Sec Lardner, vol. ii. p. 211, vi. p. 111, 412. To which 'Theodoret adds, that St. Paul being peculiarly the apostle of the uncircumcision, as the rest were