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porary:promises them another monitor to supply his place ; --that he will soon discover himself to them, though not to the world ;-the similitude of the vine ;-exorts to the observance of his precepts, and to mutual love ;-encourages them by his example to bear persecution with constancy ;-warns them of their danger ;- acquaints them of the monitor's functions ; excites them to pray the Father in his name ;-fortells that their sorrow will be soon succeeded by joy,—and the world's joy by sorrow ;—that his people will have peace in him, but affliction in the world ;-concludes with a prayer to his Father, first for himself, to glorify him in the issue of the awful trial; -2. for his disciples, to preserve them in unity and truth ; 3. for all the converts that should be made to him through their ministry.
CHAPTERS XVIII. XIX. 1-37.
Jesus being betrayed to his enemies by Judas, manifests his power
to those sent to apprehend him ;-is brought to the high priest's house and eramined ;-is denied by Peter ;-consigned to Pi. . late, who, after inquiry, finding no cause for condemning, offers, to the people, to release him, according to the custom which obtained at the passover: the people, influenced by their rulers, refuse Jesus, demanding that he may be crucified, and Barabbas released :-Pilate causes Jesus to be scourged ; and, after repeated declarations of his innocence, gives him up to the will of the multitude :-Jesus is brought with two malefactors to Calvary, carrying his cross ;-the charge of his mo. ther he, from the cross, recommends to the beloved disciple, who, from that time, took her to his own house :—the soldiers part his garments among them ;-one of them, with a spear, pierces the side of Jesus when dead.
CHAPTERS xix. 38, &c. xx. XXI.
The body of Jesus given to Joseph of Arimathea ;-he and Nico. demus embalm it, and lay it in the sepulchre :-the sepulchre is found empty early on Sunday morning, first by Mary Magdalene, afterwards by Peter and John :-soon after Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre, and sends her to
acquaint his disciples of his resurrection, and that his ascen. ..sion would soon follow ;-in the evening he appears to the
Apostles in a house, and gives them commission to teach :-Thomas, who had been absent, owns, to his fellow-disciples, his disbelief of their testimony :-Jesus appears again to the Apostles, Thomas being present, whose incredulity is overcome by the evidence he had wanted :—again he appears to the dis. ciples at the sea of Tiberias, discovering himself by means of an extraordinary draught of fishes ;-eats with them ;-draws
from Peter thrice, in presence of the rest, a declaration of his * love to him :-Jesus gives him charge of his flock,—and fore. tells his martyrdom ;-rebukes his curiosity about the fate of a fellow-disciple. It was that disciple who wrote this Gospel, and was witness of most of the things recorded in it. Page 406
The time when this Gospel was composed, has not been precisely ascertained by the learned. Some have thought that it was written no more than eight years after our Lord's ascension; others have reckoned it no fewer than fifteen. All antiquity seems agreed in the opinion, that it was of all the Gospels the first published; and, in a case of this kind, I should not think it prudent, unless for very strong reasons, to dissent from their verdict. Of the few Christian writers of the first century, whose works yet remain, there are in Barnabas, the companion of Paul, (if what is called the Epistle of Barnabas, which is certainly very ancient, be truly his) in Clement of Rome, and Hermas, clear references to some passages of this history. For though the Evangelist is not named, and his words are not formally quoted, the attentive reader must be sensible that the author had read the Gospel which has uni
formly been ascribed to Matthew, and that, on some occasions, he plainly alludes to it. Very early in the second century, Ignatius, in those Epistles which are generally acknowledged to be genuine, and Polycarp, of whom we have no more but a single letter remaining, have manifest allusions to different parts of this Gospel. The writers above named are those who are denominated apostolic fathers, because they were contemporary to the Apostles, and had been their disciples. Their testimony, therefore, serves to show not only their knowledge of this book, but the great and general estimation wherein it was held from the beginning.
$ 2. The first, indeed, upon record, who has named Matthew as the writer of this Gospel, is Papias bishop of Hierapolis in Cesarea, who is said to have been a companion of Polycarp, and hearer of John. Though Irenæus seems to think it was the Apostle John he meant, Eusebius, with greater probability, supposes it was a John who was commonly distinguished from the Apostle by the appellation of the elder, or the presbyter. Papias, in his preface, does not say that he had heard or seen any of the Apostles, but only that he had received every thing concerning the faith from those who were well acquainted with them. Besides, after naming the Apostle John, he mentions Aristion and John the elder, not as apostles, but as disciples, of the Lord. Concerning Matthew, this venerable ancient affirms that he wrote his Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, which.