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that each was adapted to answer an useful and needful purpose, the 'wisdom of God will be justified,' so far as it can be implicated in the enquiry.
That the difference between the two Genealogies could not arise either from error or fraud, is obvious, even from its magnitude. Of 25 successive names in that of Matthew, and 38 in that of Luke (between David and Joseph) only two are the same. Such enormous errors, in either list, were impossible ; for Josephus assures us (in his own life, Section 1, and in his first book against Apion) that the Jewish Genealogies were publicly registered; and that a priest could marry no. woman whose descent could not be traced. This case was requisite in all the tribes; because their right of inheritance to any portion of land in Canaan wholly depended on it: and in the tribe of Judah, and (above all) in the family of David, froin which they expected the Messiah to come, the greatest care would naturally be taken. To suppose that uncertainties of the extent here apparent could occur in any branch of the. royal family, is, therefore, utterly preposterous.
Nothing more than a due attention to the Jewish laws of inheritance is necessary, to shew that these Genealogies, whether they relate to one and the same individual, or to two different persons, admit of reasonable explanations. It is only to be considered, that the kinsman who succeeded to an inheritance, was accounted the son of him from whom he derived it; though he might be his son-in-law, his nephew, bis grandson, &c.: and that, when a married inan dred childless, his brother, or other nearest kinsman (either by father's or mother's side was under obligation to marry the widow; and their first son inherited the property, and became the representative of the deceased. Instances of these kinds of inheritance, or affiliation, are too frequent in the Scriptures to need any farther argument for their confirmation.
Salathiel (according to i Chron. iii. as well as according to Matthew) was son of Jechoniah; but if he married the daughter of Neri, and she was an heiress of Nathan's family, he would be called likewise the son of Neri; as he would thus become heir of the portion of David's patrimony, which belonged to that branch of Nathan's posterity. Zerubbabel is called by Ezra (as well as by Matthew and Luke) a son of Salathiel; but we learn from the Chronicles that he was a son of Pedaiah, Salathiel's younger brother; who, therefore, probably married the widow of Salathiel. We learn also, from the Chronicles, that Zerubbabel had seven sons, and a duughter named Shelomith, apparently by two marriages; but neither the name of Abiud (whom Matthew cails Zerubbabel's son) nor that of Rhea (who is so called by Luke) belonged to any son of Zerub babel. If the families of the two uterine brothers
of Shelomith became extinct, their property would fall to her ; and her husband, who was probably Abiud, would be reckoned the son of Zerubbabel, as in Matthew's Genealogy: and if the: second wife of Zerubbabel was widow of a descendant of Nathan, to'whom she had borne Rhesa, and he died married, but childless, one of her sons by Zerubbabel would be required to marry the widow of Rhesa ; and their first son would be accounted the son of Rhesa, whom Luke calls a son of Zerubbabel, being really his step-son,
The respective lines of descent and inheritance from Abiud and Rhesà reunited in Joseph, as those of Solomon and Nathan had united in Salathiel; most probably by Joseph's marriage with Mary, the daughter of Heli, and heiress of the rights of Rhesa's family. The affiliation of Joseph, both to Jacob (according to Matthew), and to Heli (according to Luke) might be accounted far otherwise (as in the case of Rhesa) by regarding Jacob and Heli as sons of the same mother, though of different fathers : and in this manner the Genealogies were explained in the third century, by Africanus, as quoted by Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. i. 7). But the former statement is not only the more sinple and natural inode of explanation; but preferable, likewise, on account of concurring circumstances, which are so strongly corroborative as to render it tiearly certain.
That our Lord Jesus Christ was naturally descended from David, is fully established by apostolic testimony (compare. Psalm cxxxii. 11, Acis ii. 30, Romans.i.3, and 2 Timothy ii. 8). It is equally evident that he was not actually the son of his reputed father Joseph. It was therefore by his mother only, that David could really be his ancestor. But it is nowhere stated that Mary was of the posterity of David, unless we understand (from Luke's Gencalogy) that she was a daughter of Heli.
It has, indeed, been usually taken for granted, that. Mary (as well as her husband) was of David's family, and that upon no better ground than a supposition, that the Jews always married in their own tribe. On the contrary, it is certain that some very near ancestor of Mary must have married into a different tribc, for her cousin Elizabeth was of the daughters of Auron'; the mother of Elizabeth being probably a sister of Mary's father or mother, and having married into the sacerdotal family. The priests alone were restricted from marrying even foreigners. Salmon inarried Rahab, of Jericho; and Boaz, Kuth, the Moabitess. But the marriage of a priest into Mary's family, proves that her Genealogy must have been carefully preserved.
That this Genealogy was no other than that which Luke has inserted, appears, 1, Because the insertion of it would otherwise have been absurd. . Joseph's direct descent, according to
Matthew, was by the royal line: and on whatever title he might also claim inheritance from David by Nathan, his Genealogy in that branch could be of no use whatever to the Gospel. - 2. As Luke wrote for the information of Gentile Christians, he would surely not rest the fulfilment of prophe-, cies concerning Christ's descent from David; on so weak a ground as the Genealogy of Joseph, whom he demonstrates to have been merely the reputed father of Jesus!-- 3. All that precedes the Genealogy in Luke's Gospel, relates to Mary and her kindred; and appears to have been imparted to hiin by them : the Genealogy, therefore, likewise relates to her; and was apparently communicated by her family to the Évangelist. Finally, As Mary, according to this Genealogy, inherited froin Nathan, a son of David, this accounts for her accompanying Joseph to be registered at Bethlehem, notwithstanding the extreme inconvenience of so long a journey in her circumstauces. Their apparent poverty forins no objection to this statement; their claims being invariably established by the Jewish law, though they might be whoily incapable of redeeming the alienated property of their families. Joseph, though a common mechanic, secms to have had the next claim, by inheritance, to the throne of his ancestor David.
The apostle Matthew, designing his Gospel for the immediate benefit of the Jews, very properly introduced it with the pedigree of Joseph, whom all the unconverted Jews regarded as the real father of Jesus. With equal propriety he abbreviated the Genealogy, forming it into three divisions, each of fourteen generations; because the names of David's ancestors, up to Abraham, as recorded in the Scriptures, amounted only to that number. Several centuries intervened between the births of Boaz and of Jesse; consequently several intermediate generations must have been omitted in the books of Ruth and Chronicles, which insert only Obed's name between these. In like inanner, Matthew omits three generations in the royal line from David, between Jehoram and Uzziah; and, doubiless, not fewer between Zerabbabel and Joseph. Hence the whole number, froin Solomon to Jesus, inclusive, is reduced by Matthew to 28; while Luke enumerates 40 from Nathan, probably with the strictest accuracy. The name of Cainan, as a son of Arphaxad, was doubtless interpolated, both in the Septuagint and in the New Testament; and that of Jehoiakim has been omitted in transcribing Matthew's Genealogy. No other error can justly be imputed to that, or to Luke's; noi any rational objection be made to either. RABKASHĽB.
LETTER FROM A CLERGYMAN IN THE COUNTRY,
TO A FRIEND IN LONDON.
My Dear Friend,
Jan. 20, 1807. As Mr. and Mrs. M. return to town to-morrow, I take the opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of your very affectionate leiter; which afforded me a double pleasure, as being an evidence of the power of the Divine Life in your own soul, and also of the kind interest you take in the spiritual welfare of me and mine. I very particularly thank you for the blessing you wished me in Num. vi. 24 to 26, because your letter reached me at the very time that I had been discoursing on that blessing to a few of my people, collected in a private house: a season which God was pleased rather remarkably to
I felt your wish, therefore, at the time, as a kind of echo to my heart of the very blessing I had been wishing for, and illustrating to my poor flock. I pray God to ratify the blessing, and coufirm it to our hearts, with all his other promises, which in Jesus Christ are Yea and Amen!
You must not expect, from the Pastor of an obscure village, much that is new or interesting ; our path, indeed, is very like that of other Christians, sharp and rough, and the weather is boisterous; but our road, unlike yours, is very little diversified: we seldom meet here with striking incidents, or surprizing adventures; the history of our pilgrimage for 10 days, may serve as a fair sample of what it is for 10 years. Like other pilgrims, some of us are mourning and weeping, others weak and trembling, and all of us at times faint; but most of us, I trust, pursuing. When I first began to be in earnest, in exhorting my people to flee from the wrath to come, there were but one or two disposed to set out with me; but now, glory to God, I know several who have gone before, and got home safe; and I behold many more who are upon the road. At our journey's end we, who have fled from the village, hope to meet you, and a goodly company more, who have fled from the city of destruction.
• Then on a green and flow'ry mount
Our weary souls shall sit,
T'he labours of our feet.' Till then, let us not be weary in well-doing; and, animated by the prospect of an eternal prize, let us cheerfully follow a suffering Master through the toilsome paths of a spiritual warfare, till we shall be admitted to share his triumphs, and to see bim as he is.
Alas! that the children of light should be so inferior in wisdom to the children of this world! What ardour and persever
ance do the latter manifest! what self-denial do they practise in pursuit of an ephemeral good! The merchant braves the stormy ocean, the husbandman endures the inclemencies of the season, and the soldier hazards his life in a hundred battles, and for what? For the sake of a little sordid gain, or a breath of popular applause! whilst the Christian, who aims at a crown of unfading glory, is but too often indolent and inactive. -- Perhaps the only way to account for the diligence of the one and the supineness of the other, is, that the former has the tide of his corrupt nature on his side, to impel him for ward, whilst the Christian has that tide to stem which would drive him back. This may serve also, in some degree, as a solution to the important question you put to me, How am I to reconcile the safety of my state with the corruptions of my heart: - I humbly propose to reconcile it thus: - The more a Christian grows in grace, the more he at the same time grows in self-acquaintance, and consequently a more feeling sense of his corruptions invariably accompanies his spiritual progress. Should this not be quite satisfactory, I refer you to David, who, in those Psalms wherein he speaks of himself, in the language of loathing and abhorrence, uniformly speaks in the strongest manner of bis affiance in God's love and mercy. I refer you also to the apostle's experience, Rom. vii. where the conflict between Grace and Corruption, the mutual fluctuation of the scale, and the final victory of the former over the latter, are not only beautifully delineated, but de scribed with a sympathy which speaks home to a believer's heart.-Oh, then, let us welcome the conflict and maintain it! let our eyes be directed to Him who is touched with a feeling for our infirmities, and who promises us, as well as his apostle, that his grace shall be sufficient for us. To his grace and mercy I coinmend you and yours, myself and mine; beseeching him to confirm his good pleasure towards "us, till he has brought forth.judgment unto victory.
Ever yours in our dear Lord, E. G
ANECDOTE. MR. J. G. a gentleman of Benares, and a native of India, who had learned to read and write English, was urged by a clergyman, his neighbour, to favour Christianity as the true system of religion ; but he excused himself
, by saying, he thought, That if Christianity were true, the British Government would certainly have made it known to their subjects in India.'
Was not this a very natural conclusion for a Heathen to make and may we not fear that millions of our fellow-subjects in India make the same conclusion ?