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the later writer, who, in many instances, may be supposed to have received clearer light upon the same subject. : On the other hand, when in the New Testament you meet with citations from the Old, always consult the original writer, that you may have the satisfaction of judging for yourselves how far the passage alleged makes for the argument which it is brought to support. It is incredible, to any one who has not, in some degree, made the experiment, what a proficiency may be made in that knowledge which maketh wise unto salvation, by studying the Scriptures in this manner, WITHOUT ANY OTHER COMMENTARY OR EXPOSITION THAN WHAT THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE SACRED VOLUME MUTUALLY FURNISH FOR EACH OTHER. I will not scruple to assert that the most illiterate Christian, if he can but read bis English Bible, and will take the pains to read it in this manner, will not only attain all that practical knowledge which is necessary to his salvation, but, by God's blessing, he will become learned in every thing relating to his religion, in such a degree, that he will not be liable to be misled, either by the refined arguments, or the false, assertions, of those who endeavour to ingraft their own opinion upon the Oracles of God. The Bible, thus studied, will indeed prove to be, what we Protestants esteem it, a certain and sufficient rule of faith and practice-a helmet of salvation, which alone may quench the fiery darts of the wicked.”
All the marginal references, as well as readings of the common, or authorized version, are incorporated in this work, and it also includes every reading of importance in Cruttwell's Testament. Bohol
The authorities of the various renderings are uniformly given, except in a few instances where it was dubions. In whatever light the learned reader may estimate this portion of the work, it is presumed it may be useful to those who are not profound in classic lore. The learning, taste, and genius of many characters eminent for erudition, are here concentrated; and the unclassic Christian, in the possession of common sense, an honest heart, and the love of truth, will not consult this part of the work in vain. He will find in it the elucidation of many difficult, yet important, passages of Holy Writ.
The introductory arguments and biographical sketches, the reconciliation of seeming contradictions, the meaning and pronunciation of the proper names, the index, tables, &c. are compiled from the best sources; and, it is hoped, will add to the general value of the book. This work is equally adapted to the closet, the family, and the pulpit. It has been thought advisable to print two editions ; the one in quarto, the other in octavo. The quarto edition may, perhaps, be considered the more eligible for general and family reading; while the octavo size may be found more commodious for the student, or Preacher, on account of its portableness, as it
may thus be more conveniently carried from place to place. To Ministers who preach extempore this work may be an useful companion in the pulpit, as well as in the study; indeed, it will be an invaluable assistant to all Ministers who study and compose their own sermons.
The compiler is proceeding, without delay, with the
Old Testament; and he trusts, when the whole is completed, it will form the most perfect Self-Interpreting Bible ever offered to the Christian world.
This part of the work is now committed to the blessing of Heaven, and the candour of the public, with the hope that it may, in some degree, promote the glory of God, and the good of men.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO
Sr. Matthew, an apostle and evangelist, son of Alpheus, was a Galilean by birth, a Jew by religion, and a Publican by profession (MARK, ii. 14; LUKE, v. 27). The other evangelists call him only Levi, which was his Hebrew name; but he always calls himself Matthew, which probably was his name as a Publican, or officer for gathering taxes. His usual abode was at Capernaum; and his office was out of the town, near the sea of Tiberias, where he appears to have collected the customs due upon commodities which were carried, and from persons who passed, over the sea. As he was sitting at the place where he received these customs, our Saviour commanded him to follow him. Matthew immediately obeyed; and from that time he became a constant attendant upon our Saviour, and was appointed one of the twelve apostles.
It is generally agreed, upon the most satisfactory evidence, that St. Matthew's Gospel was the first that was written. In all the codes or volumes of the Gospels, and most ancient manuscripts, it is placed first; and the priority is given to it in the citations of the primitive fathers, and of the early sects. Of the several dates assigned to this Gospel which deserve any attention, the earliest is the year 38; and the latest, the year 64. Whether Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew or in Greek, is a point greatly contested by the critics. The presumption is strongly in favour of the latter. Greek was at that time the prevailing language, as not only the rest of the evangelists, but also the apostles, Peter, James, John, Jude, and Paul, wrote all their epistles in Greek, to Christians, Jews, and Gentiles, throughout the known world, and as Matthew's Gospel was intended for universal dissemination not less than theirs (MAT. xvi. 13; xxviii. 19.) it is unlikely that it was written in any other language than that employed by all the other writers of the New Testament. This is strongly confirmed by the numerous and remarkable instances of verbal agreement between him and the other evangelists ; which, on the supposition that he wrote in Hebrew, or the vernacular, Syro-Chaldaic dialect, would not be credible. Even they who maintain that opinion,
are compelled to acknowledge, that, before Luke and Mark wrote their Gospels, there existed an early Greek translation of Matthew's Gospel; which those evangelists consulted.
It is highly probable that in addition to his Greek Gospel, Matthew published also a Hebrew Gospel for the benefit of the Hebrews, or converts from Judaism, who used the vernacular language of Palestine. If this be admitted, it will easily account for the whole controversy, and will tend to set the question at rest.
CHAP. I. The genealogy of Christ from Abraham to Joseph. 18 He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and
born of the Virgin Mary when she was espoused to Joseph. 19 The angel satisfieth the misdeem
ing thoughts of Joseph, and interpreteth the names of Christ. A. M. 4000. THE book of the 'generation' of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
pedigree, Purver. a Luke, iii. 23, &c: And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, &c.
v Ps. cxxxii. 11: The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David, he will not turn from it, Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. Isa. xi. 1: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall
grow his roots. Jer. xxiii. 5: Behold, the days come saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. Mat. xxii. 42: What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he? They say unto him, the son of David. John, vii. 42: Hath not the Scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was ? Acts, ii. 30 : Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne. do. xiii. 23: Of this man's seed hath God, according to his promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus. Rom. i. 3 : Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.
cGen. xii. 3 : And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. do. xxii. 18: And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Gal. iii. 16: Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to