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tiality which every one feels for the child of his own fancy. Our Author himself acknowledges the difficulty of attending properly to this object, even when he had the asistance of that powerful stimulus; for he observes, that had the experiments been continued with the same assiduity with which they were begun, they would have been far more numerous than they now are; but the autumn of 1777 was engrossed by the publication of the Minutes of Agriculture; and the spring of 1778 perplexed by a less ayreeable circumstance: and a man who attends to the process of experimenting should have his head at leifure, and bis heart at ease. If these requisites are necessary for carrying into practice the plan here chalked out, we are afraid it will be long before the world can reap much benefit from it; and as we are satisfied of the justness of the remark, we view it as one of those Utopian schemes which, although it may in a few cases be put in practice by one or two individuals, can never become universally prevalent or extensively useful. It must be by less gigantic strides that the weak, fluctuating, indolent creature, man, must advance in knowledge.
Much praise is due to our Author for so ftrenuously exerting himfelf for the good of others. If they cannot be so highly benefited by these exertions as he may have wilhed, the blame is theirs: he will at least have the conscious satisfaction of having endeavoured to serve them. We return him thanks for the entertainment he has afforded us, and we recommend his performance to the attention of all judicious cultivators, - to all who have the prosperity of agriculture at heart,--as a work that will afford them much pleasure, and some instruction, by teaching them how to make the most advantage of the occurrences that daily happen within the sphere of their own observations.
Art. !I. An Harmony of the Gospels : In which the original Text is
disposed after Le Clerc's General Manner ; with such various Read. ing at the foot of the Page as have received Wetftein's Sanction in his Folio Edition of the Greek Teftament. Observations are fubjoined, tending to settle the Time and Place of every Transaction, to establish the Series of Facts, and to reconcile seeminz Inconlistencies. By William Newcome, D. D. Bishop of Offory. Folio. u. 7 s. Boards. Dublin printed, and sold by Cadell in London. 1778. THE numerous attempts that have been made to harmonize
the Gospels, are a proof of the sense that Christians in general have entertained of the usefulness and importance of reconciling the several accounts which the Evangelists have given of the life and actions of Jesus. They are, likewise, a proof of the difficulty that attends the execution of such a design. This difficulty arises chiefly from the neglect of chronological
ordes order in the evangelical histories, and from the different circumstances with which the same facts are related by the different writers. It must appear to every one who attends to the subjedt, that the Evangelists often join together detached and dirtant events, on account of a sameness in the scene, the person, the cause, or the consequences; that they make transitions from one fact to another without any intimation that important matters intervened; that they use particles which intimate an immediate connexion, with some degree of latitude; that they neglect accurate order in the detail of particular incidents ; that they are more intent on representing the substance of what is spoken than the words of the speakers and that, by a selection of different circumstances, they often place the same fact in very different lights. But the sacred history is not liable to any just objection from this mode of narration; for, as the learned and ingenious Author of the present work justly remarks, ' if on this account objections are more easily started, and it becomes more difficult to reconcile seeming variations; and to frame such materials into a regular body of history, on the other hand, the Evangelists are more scrupulously examined and compared; they are studied jointly, as well as separately ; their consistency ftrikes us more after an attentive investigation; all suspicion of compact and collufion is removed ; and the independence of their teftimony is established as far as antiquity asserts it.'
The usefulness of an Harmony of the Gospels is thus reprefented by the Bilhop, in his Preface, from which we have taken che preceding extract.
By the juxtaposition of parallel passages, it is often the beft comment; and it cannot but greatly alleviate the Reader's trouble in his attempts to illustrate the phraseology and manner of the Evangelists.
• Ic News by intuition, that St. Mark, who inserts much new matter, did not epitomise St. Matthew's Gospel.
It affords plain marks, from the additions and omissions in St. John's Gospel, chat his was designed to be a supplemental history.
It illustrates, in many instances, the propriety of our Lord's conduct and words. The attentive Reader will make many res tharks of this kind. I shall select a few examples. Thus previously to the call of the four apoftles, Mark i. 16-20, Ana drew had been the Baptist's disciple, and had received his testimony to Jesus* ; Peter had been brought to Jerus by Andrew his brother t; and Jesus had fewn more than human know
• John i. 35. 40.
+ Ib. v. 42.
ledge, ledge, and more than human power s, which probably had fallen within the experience of these disciples, or, at least, must have gained their belief on the firmest grounds. Thus the words of Christ, John v. 21, 25, are * prophetically spoken before he had raised any from the dead ; and his reproofs, Matth. xii. 34, Mark vii. 6, are * uttered after he had wrought miracles during two feasts at Jerusalem. .
• Thus our Lord first draws + the veil of parables over his doctrine, on the very day when his miracles were attributed to the power of Satan. See $ 42, 47, 48, 49...
After another instance or two the Bishop adds,
· Lastly, strong presumptions of their infpiration arife from an accurate comparison of the Gospels, from their being fo wonderfully supplemental to each other in passages reconcileable only by the suggestion of a seemingly indifferent circumstance, and from their real agreement in the midst of a seeming dira agreement. “ Truth, like honesty, often neglects appearances : hypocrisy and imposture are always guarded I.”
In this paragraph we cannot but think his Lordship mistaken. The differences observable in the accounts which the Evangelists give of the same facts, are a proof that they did not write in concert, and they, consequently, establish the independence of their separate teftimonies, and add to the credibility of the general history. That the evangelical writers may, by a diligent attention and a critical investigation, be reconciled to each other, is a proof that they were well acquainted with the facts they relate, and that they faithfully recorded them ; but affords no presumption that they were divinely infpired. On the contrary, the difficulties which occur in har. monizing the Gospels, some of which are such, according to the Bishop's own observation, that we may say of them, as Le Clerc says of the two genealogies, universam antiquitatem exercitam habuere l ;' difficulties, which the united labours of all preceding harmonists and commentators have been infuffie cient to remove, form in our opinion an insuperable objection to that plenary inspiration under which Christians in general have supposed the sacred historians to have written. If they had been divinely inspired in regard to the composition of their biltories, or even if they had conceived alike of the facts related by them, it can scarcely be imagined that they would have placed the events they record in so different a light, or would
John i. 43. . 11, 23. iii. 2. iv, 29, 45, 50. * Lege, were.
+ Lege, drew, I Welt on the Rcfurrection. Ed. iv. 312, || Harm. p. 52;.
have related them with such different circumstances, that it should be frequently uncertain whether they be the same or not, or that it should require such an attentive investigation, and so great critical acumen to reconcile their several narratives to each other, Mr. West's observation is very juft with respect to mere human writings. Divine inspiration would supersede the usefulness of all lower masks of veracity; and must be proved, if proved at all, not by internal characters, but by external evidence.
The Reader will learn, from the title, what he is to expect from this interesting and useful publication; and as far as learning, candour, and ingenuity can give him satisfaction, we may venture to assure bim that his expectations will not be dirappointed. Dr. Newcome appears to be well-acquainted with the writings of preceding harmonifts and commentators, and to have made a judicious use of their systems and observations. When he adopts any of the improvements which later harmonists have made on the more ancient, he fails not to acknowledge it, with a due commendation of their attention and judge ment; and, when he differs from them, he proposes his reasons with great frankness and ingenuity. While his own system and remarks are supported in a manner which, if it do not convince, cannot fail to leave upon the mind a favourable impref. fion of the Author.
Dr. Priestley, in his Harmony of the Evangelists, published about two years * ago, revived and defended Mr. Mann's hypothesis respecting the duration of our Lord's ministry. Dr. Newcome, not satisfied with the reasons produced in favour of that scheme, has adhered to the more common opinion, first advanced by Eusebius, and generally followed by harmonizers and ecclefiaftical historians, that our Lord's ministry continued three years and a half, and included in that space of cime four pallovers; and we think that his Lordship has shewn it to be very improbable that the several journies of our Saviour in Galilee, and the transactions connected with them, should have been performed in so little time as Mr. Mann and Dr. Priestley have allotted to them, Not to add, as the Bishop does not fail to remark, that their hypothesis rests upon a suppofition that there is an interpolation of a verse, or at least of the words Tò tráo xa ý, John vi. 4. Which supposition is not supported by the authority of a single copy, and is weakened by the probability (arising from the circumstance noted of there being much grass) that the miracle was performed rather before than after the paschal season.
• Vid. Rev. vol, lviii. p. 89, Number for February, 1778.
Le Clerc having, in Dr. Newcome's opinion, exhibited the text in the most useful manner of any harmonist, he has adopted his method ; though with much difference in the general and particular arrangement. His Lordship has divided the evange. lical history into seven parts or periods. The whole Harmony is farther and more usefully divided into sections; to each of which is prefixed a title, designed to mark the general order of the history at first view, and not faithfull: to exhibit the contents.' Those pallages in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, and at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, which contain an account of the institution of the Lord's Supper, of the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his resurrection, and of his ascent in their prefence to heaven, arc introduced in their proper places. At the close of the Garmony are two apperdixes: the first containing Dr. Benson's, the second Dr. Lardner's, minner of harmonizing the accounts of Christ's resurrection, as far as respects his first appearances to Mary Magdalene and others, on the day on which he arose. The extract from Dr. Benson is taken from his Life of Christ, p. 520, &c. that fiom Dr. Lardner, from his Objervations on Macknight's Harmony of the Four Gospels, so far as relates to the Hiftory of qur Saviour's Resurreciion. To the whole are subjoined, notes on the Harmony of the Gospels, and on the time and place of the transactions recorded in them. These contain a variety of quotations and remarks, tending to justify both the Author's general scheme and particular arrangement of facts, and, in a jew instances, to explain and illustrate the meaning of particular phrases and paffages. From these we shall give our Readers some extracts, by which they may form an idea of the manner in which this part of the work is conducted, and judge of his Lordlip's abilities as an harmonist and critic. We begin with the following:
162*. St. John's introduction is rightly continued to ver. 18, though some harmonists suppose is to end with ver. 14. From the connection of the whole, ver. 18 appears to be its natural clore, as it contains a reason why the word was made flesh. Ver. 15 refers to ver. 6, 7, 8; and in these passages John's testimony is anticipated in order of time, and is very fitly menționed to illustrate Jesus's pre-eminence. Ver. 16, 17, have a plain reference to ver. 14. The word was full of grace and truth, received a most honourable testimony from one who was confeffedly a prophet, and communicated to us of his fulness; for by him came grace and truth : who for this purpose among Others dwelt among us, the prophet, the representative, and the only begotten Son of the invisible God.
.N. B. The notes refer to the sections of the Harmony.