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ignorant and unstable, by such specious misrepresentation, may, to their own destruction, and the injury of others, have their minds shut up in unbelief, and hardened enmity against God.
But let us, with honesty, and due regard to the Chronological succession, look at the narratives as given in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John---see Sect. 40, p. 50, and Sect. 41–46, pp. 51–57. At a glance, the Harmony is seen to be complete and satisfactory; and this is one great advantage of exhibiting the “Gospel Narratives of the Four Evangelists” in juxta-position, in their minute supplemental structure, and Geographically, and Chronologically.
As a Biography, the Life of the Son of God should be regarded in its Chronological structure; for a knowledge of the Chronology of the Gospel History will enable our youth to contemn the sophistry of such ignorant men, and give them vantage ground from which to attack successfully the enemies of the TRUTH. The instance before us is a suitable illustration of the importance of a Chronological acquaintance with the Gospel Narratives.
By reading in order this portion of our Lord's Ministry, as recorded by Matthew, Mark, and John, we discover the following events as occurring between the miracles of feeding; Jesus having fed the five thousand, -Mt. xiv. 22, $41,(No. 41,) p.51, he “constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.” Ver. 25, “ And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea ;” and, ver. 31, having caught Peter by the hand, -Mk. vi. 51, “ he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased,” and, according to John vi. 21, “ immediately the ship was at the land whither they went." Mt. xiv. 34.6; Mk. vi. 53—.6, § 42, p. 52, state that, in the region of Gennesaret, Jesus healed them that were brought to him;—and in Jno. vi. 25—71, § 43, is an account of a discourse, which ensued with the multitude, in the synagogue at Capernaum ; after which, Matthew and Mark, in § 44, p. 54, record that Jesus defended his disciples against the complaint of the Pharisees, concerning eating with unwashen hands;—and in Sect. 45, p. 55, for privacy, and to avoid farther irritating his enemies, he “ departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon;" and, having healed the daughter of a Syrophænician woman,-Mt. xv. 29, § 46, p. 56, he “departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee,” according to Mark vii. 31, “ through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.”—Ver. 32—.7, he healed a deaf man, and, Mt. xv. 30, .1, performed miracles of sundry kinds; and afterwards, in ver. 32—.8, with which Mk. viii. 149 harmonizes, “ Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.” Then these two Evangelists record the second miracle of
feeding, but Luke passes it over, as is his custom in such instances : he, with the other Evangelists, having recorded the former miracle, and seeing the narrative of this was already sufficiently given by Matthew and Mark. This Chronological exhibition of the History proves these miracles to be distinct, having a considerable lapse of time between.*
The GEOGRAPHICAL association with the Chronological delineation of the ministry, it is apparent, forms another beautiful feature in the structure of the Inspired Narratives, and is greatly helpful to refute the inaccuracies of the adversary.
THE PLAN OF THE VOLUME Is to exhibit the Gospel Narratives in juxta-position, in the words of the authorized version, and according to Greswell's “ Harmonia Evangelica," preserving the parts (five) into which that is divided, and indicating the Sections also—see p. 1.
SECTION 1.—(Lesson 1.)-LUKE i. 1—25.
(G. 1.1) No. 1. Luke's preface.—Luke i. 1-4. To Greswell's accompanying “Dissertations on the Principles and Arrangement of a Harmony of the Gospels,” there is constant reference.
The whole is divided into One Hundred Sections, to correspond with the series of One Hundred Lessons, in “ Mimpriss's System of Graduated Simultaneous Instruction," of which this Harmony is the basis.
The “ HARMONY may be conveniently read as a Continuous History:" for directions, see § 7, p. 7.
The CHRONOLOGICAL order of the events is numbered to correspond with the Geographical delineation of the History, in the accompanying Teacher's Class Chart—see p. 1, Sect. 1 and 2. (G. 4.) No. 2. The annunciation to Mary.—Luke i. 26–38. Nazareth.
The LESSONS in Mimpriss's System of Graduated Simultaneous Instruction corresponding with the Sections, in this Harmony, are indicated as, see p. 1,
SECTION II. (Lesson 2.)-Mart. i. 18–25; LUKE i. 26–56. The MARGINAL REFERENCES will be found to illustrate distinct subjects, Prophetically, Historically, Doctrinally, or Practically; and, by careful
* In tracing these facts, as they are geographically delineated in the Teacher's Class Chart of our Lord's Life and Ministry, a very clear impression of the Chronological order of the
be received. + This is Section I. in Part 1 of Greswell.
study, will lead into an extensive acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures, as throwing light one part upon another-all centering in Christ.
The foregoing are some of the features of this ‘HARMONY OF THE GOSPEL NARRATIVES OF THE FOUR EVANGELISTS.'
CHRONOLOGY and GEOGRAPHY are said to be “the two eyes of His TORY;" and in no case can it be of so much importance to use them, as in seeking a knowledge of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, and coming again of HIM who is OUR SALVATION.
At present the public is unacquainted with either the existence or use of such a Harmony: it is somewhat alive to the use of the parallel passages which are found in the margins of Bibles, but of the minute and inspired supplemental structure of the “ Gospel Narratives” it is almost totally ignorant. Such an exercise as the realizing of a “ Continuous History,” as is necessarily required in every other Biography, is scarcely attempted, in our Lord's life and ministry, in schools for secular education; and rarely even in the Sabbath School, where the young of the flock are expected to be taught to “ FOLLOW THE LAMB WHITHERSOEVER HE GOETH.”
The following is from the Rev. Edward Greswell's “ Dissertations upon the Principles and Arrangement of a Harmony of the Gospels :"
ON THE REGULARITY OF THE GOSPELS.* 'A coincidence to a greater or less extent was naturally to be expected from them; for as they all begin upon the whole alike, and all end with the same point of time, and all profess to give an account of what was transacted between these extremes, their general outline must be the same: ... Like the subject to which they relate, they are so connected, that the entire history of this one entire scheme, is that which is made up of them all.
• The GOSPEL OF ST. MATTHEW is partly regular and partly irregular, but the part which is regular is more than seven times as great as the part which is not so; † and the Gospels of St. MARK, of St. LUKE, and of St. John, are regular throughout. Of St. MARK's Gospel Mr. Greswell says, “If any instances which appear like deviations from regular order are to be found in his accounts, these, as it may be shewn, are no such deviations, or are justified by the necessity of the case. The same remark may be made upon the Gospel of St. JOHN. .... And it is St. LUKE's own declaration that he proposed to write in order, and, consequently, to observe the course of time, and the succession in the detail of events.
'For an integral period of the Christian history, and through an integral portion of its own contents, the Gospel of St. LUKE is regular, and consistent with the professions contained in the preface. For, proposing to
• Vol. I. Diss. I. pp. 1–79. + This irregularity is seen in ch. i.- xiv.
deduce that history from its earliest point of time, he begins with the prediction and conception of the Baptist, and passes on to the prediction and conception of Jesus Christ; that is, he begins with the private history of each, before he proceeds to the public. He next details the birth of the Baptist, and as far as was practicable, without actually violating the order of events, he manifests a strict anxiety to separate the private history of the Baptist from the private history of Christ.
There were some circumstances connected with the conception, which preceded the birth of Christ, but followed upon the conception of John; these he has related, as historical precision required, between the two. But after the birth of John, when there was nothing in his private history any way connected with the private history of Christ, he despatches that history once for all, summing up in a single sentence, ch. i. 80,* the substance of thirty years, before he proceeds to the account of the birth of Christ.
Being arrived at the point of time when the public ministry of both the Baptist and Jesus Christ was about to commence, he begins with the ministry of John, and despatches, as before, the ministry of John, before he says a word about the ministry of Christ (see ch. iii. ver 1—20, Sect. vii. pp. 7–9:) of which distinction there cannot be a clearer proof than that after a regular account of the preaching, the teaching, and the testimonies of John, he concludes the whole by the history of his imprisonment, before he relates even the baptism of Christ. This was to introduce an anachronism of probably four months in extent; but it is manifestly an anachronism introduced to keep the unity of his next and principal subject unbroken: that so the history of our Saviour's ministry might begin and be continued from his baptism forward, without any admixture of the history of John. From the time of the commencement of the history of this ministry, to the end of the Gospel of St. Luke, there is no instance of a supposed transposition, which upon a fair and dispassionate examination will not turn out to be quite the contrary.' And —
OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS, Mr. Greswell continues, "The most probable supposition is, that the order in which they have always been arranged is the order in which they were originally written. The Gospel of St. John is altogether independent of the rest, and relates almost entirely to scenes and occasions in our Saviour's ministry to which there is nothing correspondent in them. But the very reverse is the case with the subject-matter of the three Gospels respectively. The accounts of St. Matthew and St. Mark are everywhere interwoven, by some proper community of relation, with the accounts of St. Luke; so that they could not be, without great violence to them all, detached from each other.
* Sect. 3, p. 3 of this Vol.
There are references in St. Luke's Gospel to some prior one, which must have been either St. Matthew's or St. Mark's: and there are similar references in St. John's throughout to all these three. St. Luke omits much of what is related by the other two, and St. John almost everything supplied by the former three. For all these omissions in St. Luke, a very sufficient reason may be discovered; viz., either that he knew the same particulars would come over again, where he proposed to record them; or that they resembled what he had recorded elsewhere already; or that they expressly concerned the Jews, and did not interest the Gentiles; or that they implied something derogatory to the Apostles; or that they had been related, and amply related, by his predecessors. Of these reasons, the most uniform are the first and the last, one of which will account for almost every instance of his omissions; and the last is as certain as the first: since, even when he goes along with St. Matthew and St. Mark, it is still a characteristic of St. Luke to be more concise than the latter, but more circumstantial than the former.
'It would be a great mistake to regard St. Mark as the mere abbreviator of St. Matthew: for not to mention what he supplies independent of St. Matthew, his original and equal authority as an historian appears from his rectification of the order of St. Matthew, where that was inverted and irregular; from the changes, omissions, additions, explanations, and allusions, which are discoverable even in their common accounts, in reference sometimes to things, sometimes to persons, sometimes to words; all which determine his narrative from St. Matthew's, and all or most of them are adapted to a very different class of readers. A palpable mark of distinction runs through the whole of his Gospel, and which any one may judge of, at first sight, viz , that where St. Matthew is concise and defective, St. Mark, the supposed abbreviator, is always the most plenary and diffuse, and vice versâ. . . St. Matthew's pel being taken in conjunction with St. Mark's, there are clearly omissions in the former, which are as plainly supplied by the latter.
Besides those instances where a concise account of St. Matthew's is expanded into a circumstantial detail by St. Mark, the latter is frequently so accommodated to the other, as to end where he begins, or, vice versâ, to begin where he ends. Mark ix. 33–50 * concludes where Matt. xviii. 1—35 begins; Mark vii. 25 † takes up Matt. xv. 24; Mark vii. 324.75 comes in exactly between Matt. xv. 29, and xv. 30 ; Mark viii. 12 $ concludes Matt. xvi. 1-4; Mark viii. 19, 20 || follows on Matt. xvi. 10: and one of the most striking instances of all is Mark xvi. 5—8, who in his account of that event begins precisely where Matt. xvii. 6, in his