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writer to execute, if he had to fupply all the materials, both the incidents, and the obfervations upon them, out of his own head. A forger or a fabulift would have made for Chrift, difcourfes exhorting to virtue and diffuading from vice in general terms. It would never have entered into the thoughts of either, to have crowded together fuch a number of allufions, to time, place, and other little circumftances, as occur, for inftance, in the fermon on the mount, and which nothing but the actual prefence of the objects could have fuggefted*.

II. There appears to me to exist an affinity between the hiftory of Chrift's placing a little child in the midst of his difciples, as related by the three first evangelists†, and the history of Chrift's washing his disciples' feet, as given by St. Johnt. In the ftories

* See Bishop Law's Life of Christ.

Mark ix. 33. Luke ix. 46.

+ Mat. xviii. 1.

Mark ix.

xiii. 3.


themselves there is no refemblance. But the affinity which I would point out, confifts in thefe two articles: first, that both stories denote the emulation which prevailed amongst Christ's difciples, and his own care and defire to correct it. The moral of both is the fame. Secondly, that both stories are fpecimens of the fame manner of teaching, viz. by action; a mode of emblematic inftruction extremely peculiar, and, in these paffages, afcribed, we fee, to our Saviour, by the three first evangelifts and by St. John, in inftances totally unlike, and without the smallest fufpicion of their borrowing from each other.

III. A fingularity in Chrift's language, which runs through all the evangelists, and which is found in thofe difcourfes of St. John that have nothing similar to them in the other gospels, is the appellation of "the Son of Man ;" and it is in all the evangelifts found under the peculiar circumstance of being applied by Christ to himself, but

of never being used of him, or towards him, by any other perfon. It occurs seventeen times in Matthew's gofpel, twelve times in Mark's, twenty-one times in Luke's, and eleven times in John's, and always with this reftriction.

IV. A point of agreement in the conduct of Chrift, as reprefented by his different hiftorians, is that of his withdrawing himself out of the way, whenever the behaviour of the multitude indicated a difpofition to tumult.

Mat. xiv. 22. "And ftraightway Jefus constrained his difciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other fide, while he sent the multitude away. And when he had fent the multitude away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray."

Luke v. 15, 16. "But fo much the more went there a fame abroad of him, and great multitudes came together to hear, and



to be healed by him of their infirmities: and he withdrew himself into the wildernefs and prayed."

With these quotations compare the following from St. John.

Chap. v. 13.

"And he that was healed

wift not who it was, for Jefus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place."

Chap. vi. 15. "When Jefus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain by himself alone."

In this laft inftance St. John gives the motive of Christ's conduct, which is left unexplained by the other evangelifts, who have related the conduct itself.

V. Another, and a more fingular circumftance in Chrift's miniftry, was the reserve, which,

I 4

which, for fome time, and upon fome occa fions at least, he used in declaring his own character, and his leaving it to be collected from his works rather than his profeffions, Juft reafons for this reserve have been affigned *. But it is not what one would have expected. We meet with it in Matthew's gospel (xvi. 20), " Then charged he his difciples that they should tell no man that he was Jefus the Chrift." Again, and upon a different occafion, in Mark's (iii. 11), "And unclean fpirits, when they faw him, fell down before him, and cried, faying, Thou art the Son of God; and he ftraitly charged them that they fhould not make him known." Another inftance fimilar to this last is recorded by St. Luke (iv.41). What we thus find in the three evangelifts, appears also in a paffage of St. John (x. 24. 35). "Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long doft thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Chrift, tell us plainly." The occafion here was dif

See Locke's Reasonableness of Christianity.


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