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and that they went to Bethlehem in consequence of the enrolment decreed by Augustus, (Joseph being of the lineage of David); while they were there, the birth of Jesus took place. St. Luke also relates the appearance of the angels to some shepherds, and their anthem at the birth of Christ, and his presentation at the temple, in accordance with the law of Moses. These circumstances are omitted by St. Matthew, who, however, mentions transactions unnoticed by St Luke: viz. the coming of the wise men to worship Christ; the murder of the infants at Bethlehem by Herod; the flight of Joseph with Mary and the child Jesus into Egypt. But although the Evangelists differ in the incidents they relate, they perfectly harmonise in the most important events recorded by each. They both state that the Virgin Mary conceived by the Holy Ghost when she was espoused to Joseph; that Jesus was born at Bethlehem of Judea; but that he was brought up at Nazareth, and thence called Jesus of Nazareth.
This circumstantial variety between the narratives, shews that the Evangelists could not have written in concert. And the substantial agreement between theni can only be accounted for by the admission of their being true, though concise, relations of historical facts.
II. That simplicity and brevity, so peculiarly characteristic of the sacred writers, is very prominent in the two introductory chapters of Matthew. "A heathen writer," observes Bishop Porteus, "would have put a long and eloquent speech into the mouth of the wise men, and would have provided the parents of the infant with a suitable answer. He would have painted the massacre of the infants in the most dreadful colours, and would have drawn a most affecting picture of the distress and agony of the afflicted parents." But St. Matthew contents himself with telling the story concisely and coldly, with a simple recital of the facts.—Porteus's Lectures on Matt. Vol. I. pp. 47, 48.
III. There is a remarkable coincidence with tie histories of the times in these narratives, especially in that of St. Matthew.
Herod, the son of Antipater, is called by Matthew King, (Matt. ii. 1,) and by Luke, the King of Judaea, (Luke i. 5.) But they both denominate lite son of this Herod Tetrarch. (Matt. xiv. 1; Luke iii. 1.) History informs us that the title of king was granted by the Roman senate to the former Herod, and not to the latter, who was appointed only tetrarch.
The jealous fears entertained by Herod (v. 3,) when the wise men inquired, " Where is he that is born King of the Jews, for we are come to worship him?" his artifice to get into his power the child, the object of his jealousy, (v. 8.) perfectly correspond with the character of Herod as found in Josephus. And his barbarous murder of the infants, (improbable and almost incredible as it may seem,) is reconcileable with truth, on a view of the other various cruelties practised by this tyrant. He is reported to have put to death, upon groundless jealousies and suspicions, Aristobulus, his wife's brother; her grandfather Hyrcanus; and even his wife, and the two sons he had by her, shared the like fate.
In verse twenty-two, St. Matthew says, " When Joseph heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea, in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee."
Here it is said that Archelaus succeeded his father Herod in the government of Judea; but it is implied that his dominion did not extend to Galilee. Now we learn from the history of Josephus, that, at the death of Herod, his kingdom was divided among his sons. Archelaus had Judea, Samaria, and Idumea, with the title of Ethnarch; Herod Antipas was Tetrarch of Galilee and Petrea; and Philip, of Batanea, Trachonitis, and the neighbouring country.—Joseph. Antiq. Book xvii. c. 11, § 4. Jewish War, Book ii. c. 6, § 3.
Again: the fear of Joseph would lead us to suppose that Archelaus resembled in cruelty and tyranny his father Herod. This corresponds with his character as given by Josephus, who says, that " in the tenth year of his government, the chief of the Jews and Samaritans, not being able to endure his cruelty and tyranny, presented complaints against him to Caesar. Augustus having heard both sides, banished Archelaus to Vienne in Gaul, and confiscated his treasury."—Jos. Antiq. Book xvii. c. 13, § 2. Lardner's Cred. Part i. Book i. c. 1.
Is it possible that so large and so gross an interpolation could have escaped detection, and would have been so early and so generally received? Is not the story of the miraculous conception necessary to fulfil the prophecies Gen. iii. 15, Isaiah vii. 14, Jeremiah xxxi. 22?
The alteration from his usual mode of expression, which Matthew makes in verse sixteen, is deserving of notice. In tracing the natural line of descent from Abraham through David to Joseph, Matthew uniformly uses the word tyevvnoe, begat, even when the mothers, on account of some peculiarity in their history, are mentioned. But he does not say Jacob begat Joseph, and Joseph begat Jesus of Mary: but Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born. This seems to imply, that although Jesus was born of Mary, he was not begotten by Joseph. The subsequent narrative says the same.
LINES ON THE DEATH OF A FRIEND.
If truth and virtue to mankind are dear,
But ye, the dear companions of his soul,
Whose grief alone religion can control,
Soft be youv tears—since he, you now lament,
Has left the mem'ry of a " life well spent."
O, dear remembrance! to each conscious breast,
Thou whisp'rest peace on earth—and heav'nly rest,
And bidd'st us turn to that celestial shore,
Where Love, immortal grown, shall weep no more.
SUMMARY OF THE FIRST REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS. POPULATION, 1834.
Roman Catholics 6,427,712
Members of the Established Church 852,064
Other Protestant Dissenters 21,808
NUMBER OF PLACES OF WORSHIP.
Established Church—Churches 1,338
Other places of worship 196
Roman Catholic 2,105
Other Protestant Dissenters 403
PARISHES OR DISTRICTS
With Provision for the Cure of Souls 2,348
Without Provision for the Cure of Souls 57
Number of members of the Established Church in
for the Cure of Souls 3,030
NUMBER OF BENEFICES
Consisting of single parishes 907
Being unions of two or more parishes 478
NUMBER OF BENEFICES
Being unions in which the parishes are not conti-
In which there is a glebe house 850
In which there is no glebe house 535
NUMBER OF BENEFICES
In which there is more than one church 118
In which there is only one church 1,057
In which there is no church 210
In which the Incumbent is resident 889
In which the Incumbent is non-resident, but no
in a place of Worship 339
In which the Incumbent is non-resident, and no
NUMBER OF BENEFICES
In which the entire population is not more than 100 5
In which the entire population is more than 100,
and not more than 200 7
In which the entire population is more than 200,
and not more than 500 36
In which the entire population is more than 500,
and not more than 1,000 94
In which the entire population is more than 1,000,
and not more than 3,000 368
In which the entire population is more than 3,000
and not more than 5,000 77
In which the entire population is more than 5,000
and not more than 10,000 405
In which the entire population is more than 1,0000
and not more than 15,000 125
In which the entire population is more than 15,000
and not more than 20,000 39
In which the entire population is more than 20,000
and not more than 30,000 • j 21
In which the entire population is more than 30,000 8
NUMBER OF BENEFICES
In which there is no member of the Established
In which there is one, and not more than 20 .... 99
In which there are more than 20, and not more
than 50 124
In which there are more than 50, and not more
than 100 160
In which there are more than 100,- and not more
than 200 224
In which there are more than 200, and not more
than 500 286
In which there are more than 500, and not more
than 1,000 209
In which there are more than 1,000, and not more
than 2,000 139
In which there are more than 2,000, and not more
than 5,000 91
In which there are more than 5,000 12
It may be necessary to remark here, in explanation of the preceding summaries, that we have included cathedrals, parish churches, and chapels of ease, under the head of " Churches;" whilst under that of "other Places of Worship of the Established Church," we have included those places in which Divine service is performed by a minister of the Established Church; it being not an unusual custom to make use of a school-house or other suitable place which may-be conveniently situated for that purpose, in those benefices where there is either no church, or where the church is situated at an inconvenient distance from a part of the parishioners. Private places of worship, and those situated in gaols or other establishments which are not open to the public, though generally noticed in the reports, have not been counted in the summary; but all other places of worship of the Established Church which are open to the public, have been included under one or other of the above-mentioned heads, according to their particular nature. In respect to the residences of incumbents, it is observable that we have taken this to mean residence strictly within the limits of the benefice; although the use of the term in that strict sense necessarily excludes, as non-residents, those incumbents, who from want of accommodation, or such other cause, reside in an adjoining benefice. It sometimes happens, too, that incumbents so residing, are more conveniently situated for the discharge of their parochial duties, than others who are, strictly speaking, resident within the benefice. But it became necessary to fix some certain rule, and if not determined by the legal boundary of the benefice, each case would have involved a question of degree, as to whether the distance was such as would admit of the incumbent being considered as virtually resident or not.
We have in conclusion to remark that we shall reserve any reference to the results of our inquiry respecting the schools, and state of education now existing in Ireland, until we present the second part of our reports to your Majesty.
No. XXXIV.—ON THE RIGHT TO TITHE DURING THE VACATION
This was an action of debt brought them a benefice with cure of souls;
by the plaintiff, as rector of the rec- whereby it belonged to the said Thomas
tory of the parish church of Stoke Apperley, so being patron thereof as
Lacy, to recover the value of certain aforesaid, to present, and thereupon
tithes, growing and arising within the he did present the plaintiff to the then
said parish, which had been taken and Bishop of Hereford (since deceased),
received by the defendant to his own the proper ordinary, to be admitted,
use during the time of the vacation of instituted, and inducted: and the de
the said rectory. The plaintiff, in the claration then stated in terms, "that
first count of his declaration, stated, the said Thomas Apperley thenceforth
in substance, that one Thomas Ap- ceased to be, either in fact or of right,
perley, being the rector of the rectory, rector of the said rectory and parish
and also the patron thereof, accepted church of Stoke Lacy, and, by reason of
and was admitted, instituted, and in- the premises, the same rectory and
ducted into the vicarage of the parish parish church became wholly vacant."
church of Ocle Prichard, the said The count then proceeded to allege,
rectory and vicarage being each of that the said Thomas Apperley after
* Where the patron of a rectory, who is also the incumbent, accepts and is inducted into a second benefice with cure of souls, the first becomes wholly vacant, whether above or below the value of 8/. in the king's books, and the successor to the first is entitled to the tithes from the time his predecessor has accepted the Second.
voju xvn. No. rx. 4 D