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cording to the ritual of the church, com- laws respecting marriage throughout Eupletely deprived the Dissenters of their rope, and wlrich' regarded marriage as a before-enjoyed privileges. He (Mr. Wm. contract. There was no doubt whatever Smith) was one of the class of persons but the Scottish law considered a marripow praying to be relieved fronı the pres. age by consent of parties, and in presence sure of that Act, and it was important to of witnesses, to be as valid as if it were those persous as a class, that, coming by any clergyman. The Marriage-Act before Parliament, they should stand rectus had for its object the prevention of clanin curia. He begged then to aver, that the destine marriages. With that ohjeet Dissenters were unarraigner of any crime, he wished not to interfere, and he would and that they had as good a title to wor- therefore culy propose the alteration of ship God in their own way as any mem- the religious part. Some religious eerebers of the Church of England. Marri- monies were common in all wations, and age was the nataral right of the human were highly proper, but they were not species, and neither man nor woman, necessary. As a pronf of that, he might without the grossest injustice, could be refer to the decree of Pope Innocent Ill. deprived of its benefits. Yet the act of in cuuncil, which declared the religious the 26th Geo. II. said to the Dissenters, solemnity not to be necessary to the va“ You shall comply with terms which are lidity of Marriages. But the religious contrary to the dictates of your cou- ceremony ought to be in unison with the sciences, or you shall forego the advan. feelings of the parties. The ritual of the tage of that natural right," Such a hold. Church of England was derived from the ing was most unjust. It was not without Romish Church. Now to make that ri. precedent, because the same course had tual a necessary part of marriage, where been parsued under Louis XIV., towards religious objections existed to it, was a the Protestants of France. The mcasure positive ahsurdity. He proposed leaving im France, however, though unjust, was out the whole of that part of the ritual not so inconsistent as the law in England; which stated opinions on which the pebecause the Government of that country titioners dissented from the Church of recoguized at the time no religion but the England. As 'he understood from the Roman Catholic. To presunie every noble Lord that his motion would not be Frenchman a Roman Catholic was most opposed, he thought it unnecessary to go unjust ; but, such being the presumption, into further discussion of the subject now. there was no inconsistency in saying that He might, however, mention, that the members of the Roman Catholic church wisdom of our ancestors had enacted should be married according to its rites. burning alive as the pnuishment for ChrisIn England, however, there was a gross tians marrying Jews. When that law and palpable inconsistency about the ar- was repealed, and some time previously, rangement. At the very time when the more persons were found to contend for Act of Geo. Il. passed, the Dissenters its justice, and even humanity, than had the benefit of the Act of Toleration. could now be found to advocate the part At that time it so happened that the of the present law, which he wished to Unitarian Dissenters were in small nun- alter. He concluded by moving for leave bers, so small, indeed, that they had uot to bring in a bill altering certain points a place of worship (so called) belonging in the 26th Geo. II., commonly called the to them; but the Jews and the Quakers Marriage-Act. were especially exempted from the pro- The Marquis of LONDONDERRY wished visions of the Act.' The Jews could not to be understood to pledge himself scarcely, perhaps, be called dissenters to the support of the measure. from the Church of England-(the Church Mr. H. GURNEY did not see what posof England might, indeed, more properly sible objection there could be to Upitabe called dissenters from them, for they rians being married by their own clergywere the more ancient)-but the Quakers men. The whole service would then be were, to all intents and purposes, a sect suited to their own sentiments, and, bans dissenting from the Church of England, being regularly proclaimed in the church, and they cald hare no right to any ex- no inconvenience could arise from it. On emptions in which the Unitarians were the other hand, there were many ohjecnot entitled to participate. By the canon tions to parties having the service perlaw, marriage was nothing else but a civil formed by clergymen of a different percontract. This was stated by high au- suasion. He wished, therefore, that inthority in this country, when, in 1813, a stead of such a measure as was now question respecting the validity of a Scot- proposed, the hon and learned gentleman tish marriage was discussed. The opi- opposite (Dr. Phillimore) would embrace nion of the Lord Chancellor was, that the the subject in his bill. Scottish law was founded on the canon Mr. W. Smith explained. law, which was the foundation of the Leare was given to bring in the bill.

Monthly Repository.

No. CXCVII.]

MAY, 1822.

[Vol. XVII.

A

The Introductory Chapters to Luke's Gospel Spurious : their Chronology

inconsistent with Truth and with itself. SIR,

April 27, 1822. thirty" cannot be fairly explained to LLOW me to say, through the mean any thing else than that he was I think Dr. Lant Carpenter is mis- nine or to thirty-one. He must, theretaken when he imagines that, “ inde- fore, have been more than twenty-nine pendently of the Introduction to St. and a half, and less than thirty and a Matthew, there is no chronological half; that is, he inust have been bapdifficulty whatever in the Introduction tized some time within the twelve to St. Luke's Gospel.” (See Mon. months that intervened between these Repos. XVI. 360.)

two limits of his age. (See Whiston's Let us take his own statement, ac. Harmony, p. 8, No. vi. edit. 1702, cording to which the 15th year of 4to.) But Luke informs us not only Tiberius commenced August 19th, in that our Lord's age, at his baptism, the year of Roine 781; and place the was within these limits, but that it baptism of Jesus, as he does, in the began to be so. He could not, therefollowing January or February, in the fore, have passed through the first year 782 of Rome. Connecting these half of the limited year: for if he had, premises with what he reads in Luke he would have been ending instead of ii. 23, the Doctor ascribes the birth beginning those twelve months. Conof Jesus to the year 751. But I think sequently he must have been baptized the words of the text do not justify before he had completed his thirtieth him in placing it earlier than 752. year. And therefore if, with Dr. Car

According to the common transla- penter, his baptism be placed in 782, tion, with which Wakefield and the his birth must be placed in 752. Improved Version agree, this text Now, in what is cominonly called informs us that Jesus at his baptism the first chapter of Luke, the concep“ began to be about thirty years of tion of John the Baptist is dated six age.” "* Now, the words k about months before the conception, and

consequently fifteen months before the

birth, of Jesus. (See verses 26 and . « Jesus was about thirty years of 36.) And if this birth were on the age, beginning so to be, ADXQuevos 25th of December, in the year of fixes the seuses of woe to the beginning Rome 752, the conception of the of the thirtieth year.” (Newcome's Harmony of the Gospels, fol., Dublin, 1778, Note upon Luke iii. 23, page 5 of his ad baptismum accessisse trigesimo anno Notes.)' In his translation of the New completo, et trigesimo uno ineunte," and, Testament, 8vo., Dablin, 1796, he gives according to custom, is very angry with a different explanation. Lightfoot says, those who understand them otherwise. the Evangelist " intimateth to us that (See his Canones Isagogici, Lib. iii. p. Jesus, when he was baptized, was but 306, at the end of his edition of Euseb. entering on his thirtieth year.” "The Thesaur. Temp. 1658; also De Emend, word aproueyos, beginning to be, denieth Temp. p. 255, ed. 1583, or p. 549, ed. his being thirty compleat; for if he were 1629.) Campbell has a good note on the full thirty, then he began not to be so, passage iu his Translation of the Gospels. By the phrase, therefore, is to be under Among other sound and sensible obser. stood that he was now nine and twenty rations, he says, that “ some critics years of age compleat, and just entering have justly remarked that there is an inupon his thirtieth.” (See his Harmony of congruity" between cup XQueyos and WEI, the New Testament, p. 8,[208, errata,] and " the one a definite, the other an indeHarmony of the Four Evangelists, p. 455.) finite term, which confounds the meanScaliger critically examines the words, ing, and leaves the reader entirely at a and contends that they nean, “ Christum loss."

VOL. XVII.

Baptist could not have been earlier ordinary,—that would not have been than three months before the expira- sufficiently surprising,--but by the tion of the year 75l. But the pre- sudden appearance of the angel who tended Luke places it (ch. i. ver. 5, presides over dreams; at whose com&c.) “ in the days of Herod the king mand the child flees into Egypt; by of Judea,” who, according to Dr. C., whose information it afterwards learns died in March, 750, a year and nine (what never could have been known in months at least before the expiration Egypt without) the death of Herod, of 751. Here, then, we meet with and by whose voice it is “called out some chronological difficulty. The of Egypt” again, to fulfil a prophecy biography of the baby swaddled in a which was never uttered, and which, manger--if a few incoherent and in- without a call, could never have been congruous scraps, every one of which fulfilled. The little hero of the tale seems to Whisper as we pass it, “I then becomes a miracle of rabbinical only am escaped alone to tell thee,”* learning at twelve years of age ; and can be called biography—contradicts, then, by a year and a half at least, the

“ meeting chronology of the Christian moralist A vast vacuity; all unawares, whose name he has usurped, whose Fluttering his pennons vain, plumb down miracles he has caricatured, and whose he drops morality and truth he has abandoned. Ten thousand fathom deep"

This is just what we should expect. into a yawning chasm, where he is Fiction is regardless of facts and of lost,—shall I say for 17 years? That dates, of sobriety and moderation, be- would imply that the son of wonder cause its object is to strike us dumb whom we lose at twelve, were the son like Zacharias, and to make us “mar- of Joseph who is baptized at 29. No: vel all” (ch. i. 20, 63); and therefore where he remains * a thing forbid," it sets before us“ one born out of one “for whom is reserved the blackdue time,” the offspring of a phantom, ness of darkness for ever,” one never ushered into the world with dreams, heard of more. For the Son of man and wandering stars, and wise men whom we read of in the gospel was from the East, worshiping with gold not a phantom, nor the son of a phanand frankincense and myrrh, with tom, but an ordinary man, superior shepherds abiding in the field, keeping to the rest of mankind, not in nature, watch over their flocks by night, with but in virtue only; who became the hosts of quiring angels, and with all son of God, not by supernatural genethe machinery of romance; petrifies ration, but by moral conduct and by us with an account of murders not only obedience, an obedience unparalleled, so extensive and so savage, that they an obedience which no temptation far “out-herod Herod,” but so wild, could seduce, no provocation disturb, so frantic and so useless withal, that no fear of disgrace could stagger, no no man could ever have ordered such painful suffering subdue. For this, deeds of folly as well as horror, but a God was pleased to set his seal upon raving inaniac, whose orders would him, (Acts ii. 22; Rom. i. 4; Philipp.ü. never have been obeyed; † soothes 8, 9; Heb. ii. 9, xii. 2,) in order that and softens us again by extricating the he might give to all

men power to bechief object of our solicitude from his come the sons of God even as Jesus perilous situation, not by the aid of was the son of God, that thus they God's providence, ordinary or extra- might have life through his name;

(John i. 12, xiji. 15, xx. 31; Rom.

viii. 14; Philipp. ii. 15; 1 Pet. ii. 21, * Job. i. 15–17, 19. The church in &c.;) and for this purpose, that all its wisdom has selected this chapter for

men might believe, practically believe, the evening lesson on St. Luke's day. † “ Infanticidium quod mirum est the evangelists have described, not the

this truth; and for this purpose alone ante dixi mirum est tam belluinæ crude birth, life, parentage and education, litatis exemplum a Josepho præteritum but the ministry, the conduct, the chaesse, qui tanta diligentia reliqua sævitiæ racter of their holy Master, and have Herodianæ facinora persequitur.” Scalig. told us, not how he was conceived in Animadvers. in Euseb. Thesaur. Temp. the womb, but how he went about

doing good. (Acts x. 34–39.) For this, and for this alone, they have Doctor, however, concluding that he faithfully and without exaggeration, completed his thirty-first year before for our conviction, recorded the mira- the expiration of 782, places his birth cles that convinced themselves ; mira- in 751. cles, not like the wonders of profane Still, even if he were born before history, nor of fable, no, nor of coun- the end of 751, the difficulty, though terfeit evangelists ; not miracles of diminished, does not vanish. Even astonishment but of instruction; mira- upon that supposition, if we adhere to cles neither extravagant, nor unwor- the commonly-received date of 25th thy, nor unwanted, but distinguished December, for the birth of Jesus, from all others by their propriety, by John's conception could not have their being worthy of him who alone taken place till six months after worketh miracles, by their being Herod's death; and not till three wrought to declare his will, upon oc- months after, if we adopt the earlier casions where man from his ignorance date of Joseph Scaliger, * Lightfoot, + or superstition has become blind to it, or from his wickedness wilfully disregards it; occasions which have occur- # “ Quare natalis Christi competeret red much more rarely than is com- circiter finem Septembris diebus curvomonly supposed, even by those who anyuas." So says Scaliger in his votes allow no miracles but what they find, upon some Greek fragments at the end or fancy, in the Scriptures : * mira- of the last edition of his work “De cles, lastly, which are neither dumb Emendatioue Temporum,” p. 59, Colon. (like all others, dumb as to morals at Allobr. 1629, fol. But in his prolegoleast) nor intended to strike us dumb mena to the same edition, p. xxii., speakwith stupid admiration, but miracles ing of the year of Christ's birth, he calls which speak—which speak a language it “annus Julianus 43, in cujus xxv understood by all, and which every the body of the same work (Book vi. p.

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p. 176.

Decembris natus fuerit Dominus." In where proclaim, and call upon us to

551) he says,

“ Christus natus anno proclaim, that God would “have periodi Julianæ 4711 in fine, aut 4712 in mercy and not sacrifice."

principio." And again, (p. 545,) “De What then saith the Scripture ? anno autem ita censuerunt veteres, et Cast out the phantom and its son, for recte: Christum natum anno xxviii Acthe son of the phantom shall not be tiaco. Hoc est natalem Christi circa heir with the son of God.

ultimos menses anni Juliani conferunt a But let us return to our chrono- cujus anui Juliani Augusto inivit vicesilogy. Dr. Carpenter seems to think mus octavus annus Actiacus.” And in that he gets rid of the difficulty above- his edition of Eusebius's Chronicle, or stated, by“ supposing that Jesus Thesaurus Temporum, Amst. 1658, fol.

“ Natalis Domini at his baptism, in 782, “ was not yet p. 306, mid. he says,

inciderit circiter Octobrem ineuntem, thirty-one years of age, which,” says plus, minus.” Here is considerable fluche, St. Luke's words (iii. 23) appear ination of opinion. Probably, September clearly to iinply.” To me these words

was the month in which he finally acquiare so far from appearing clearly to esced, as the edition of his book De imply this, that they appear clearly Emendatione, to which the Greek fragto imply the contrary, and to assert, ments are annexed, was a posthumous in the way I have explained above, publication, and as he speaks of the fragthat Jesus at the time of his baptism, ments as throwing light upou some of was not yet thirty years of age. The the darkest parts of Scripture chrono

logy

+ Lightfoot's Harmony of the New * Ye who reverence the Scriptures, Testament, Sect. vi. on second chapter of who value their solid, sterling worth, and Luke, Vol. I. p. 4, [204, errata] ; ibid. prefer their virgin inodesty and native Sect. ix. p. 8, (208,) and p. 10 [210] ; charms, to the leer of invitation, the also Sect. viii. of the Prolegomena to his loose and wanton attire, the tinselled Harmony of the Four Evangelists, Vol. I. glare and gaudy paint (1 Pet. iii. 3) with p. 390, and Harmony itself on Luke ii. 7, which established or fanatic fashions have p. 427; and again, pp. 452, 477, 455, disguised and tricked them to their in- [487). See also his Heb. and Talmud. terest or their fancy,-remember,“ all Exercitat. on Matt. ii. 1, Vol. II. pp. 106, that glisters is not gold.”

107, and on Matt. iii. 16, Vol. II. p. 128,

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Lardner, Dr. Jebbt and others, f To meet this still remaining part of who think that Jesus was born in the the difficulty, Dr.C.adds, that “Luke's month of September.

Sortitione et Alea : quibus accedunt * Lardner's Credib. Part. I. Vol. II. Fragmenta saera, a Josepho Medo Anglo, pp. 796, 798, 800, edit. 8vo. 1741 ; or S.T, B. scripta ; and that in p. 254, as Kippis's edition of his Works, 1788, Vol. cited by Fabricius, we find among the I. pp. 352, 353.

Fragmenta, which consist of detached + See Harmony of the Gospels in his notes on various parts of Scripture, Works, Vol. I. p. 135, line 32, edition

“ Christus natus est mense Septembri 1787.

circa festum tabernaculorum, Johan. i. Erasmus Schnidius, in his Versio 14, ECKTWO EV, &c. Zac. xiv. 16-19. FesNov. Test. cum Notis et Animadvers. tum hoc neglectum fuerat a tempore Norimb. 1658, fol., in a note upon John Joshuæ usque ad egressum e captivitate. iji, 30, noticing the silly conceit of those Nehem. viii. 17, (quod malo omine notare who suppose this passage to be an allusion potuit Christum natum non agnoscendum to Jesus being born at the winter solstice, isti populo ante reductionem e longa capfrom which the days increase in length, tivitate, sic fors verum tempus nativitatis and John the Baptist at the summer usque ad conversionem Judæorum." solstice, from which the days decrease, But this Triga of Dissertations is not says, “Quod commentum, hoc unicnm to be found in the posthumous edition of refellit quod nec Christus in Decembri, Mede's Works, published by Dr. Worthsed sub finem Septembris, nec Joannes ington, Lond. 1670, fol., in which, howBaptista in Junio natus fuerit, sed sub ever, Mede says, (p. 703,) “Our Lord finem Martii.”

was baptized unno Olympiadico 805 inFabricius, in his Bibliographia Anti- eunte, about the feast of Expiation, in quarin, p. 480, edit. Schaffhausen, Hamb. the seventh month Tisri, six months 1760, 4to., haviug observed that Joan. after John began to baptize, and in that Frid. Mayer published a dissertation at year, natural and political, which began Gryphiswald, 1701, “ De eo quod quili- in the 15th of Tiberius towards ending, bet anni mensis gloriam nati servatoris but was the 16th when he was baptized. anubitiose sibi asserat," gives a table of Por I suppose John began to preach and every month in the year, under each of baptize in the first month Nisan, (when which (July excepted) he has arranged summer was before him, and not when the names of those who place the birth the winter was to enter,) in the 15th in that month. For July' he seems to year of Tiberius, which ended August have known of nobody who declared. following." The most numerous and respectable Here we have the authority of the names are found under December and authentic edition of Mede's Works for his September. Under the last-mentioned placing our Lord's baptism in September month, besides Lightfoot and Schmidius, And, as Scaliger observes, (see p. 174, he places a tract, entitled “ Christ's col. 2, No. 2016 of his edition of Euseb. Birth mis-timed, by R. S.;" which was Thesaur. Tempor. Amst. 1658, in Anire-published in the Phoenix, a revival of madversionibus, and p. 305 of his Canoscarce and valuable pieces, Lond. 1707, nes Isagog. annexed to the same work; 8vo. pp. 114, &c., and to which I find á also Fabricii Bibliograph. Antiquar. edit. reply was made in another tract, entitled 1760, p. 463, de Festo Epiphaniæ, and “Christ's Birth not mis-timed, in Answer p. 480,) the whole of the Eastern Church, to R. S.," Lond. 1649. (See the Bodleian and the greater part of the early ChrisCatalogue, Vol. I. p. 276, col. 2, edit. tians, held that Jesus was baptized on his 1738, fol.) Under the same month also, birth-day: “ Idque persuasum habebant he places Josephus Medus in Crenii fascie. ex testimonio Lucæ, quod perspicuum Tom. X. p. 254, seq.; Jo. Harduinus in est quum dicat quo tempore Christus Antirrhetico; D. Aug. Quirinus Rivinus baptizatus fuit eodem inivisse trigesimum libro de vera Ætate Servatoris nostri, annum suum" (Luc. iii. 23). This, Mede eique assentient Christianus Gerberus di- could not be ignorant of. But whether bro de Ceremoniis Ecclesiasticis, pp. 132 he adopted the opinion of these early and 149.

Christians, and coupled the baptism with With regard to Mede, it is true that in the birth-day, is not to be ascertained the tenth volume of Crenius's Opuscu- from the genuine edition of his works, lorum Fasciculi, Rotterod, 1700, 12ma., in which he only says, cautiously, and, the 44th tract is Dissertationum Eccle- perhaps, with the fear of being thought siasticarum Triga-1. De Sanctitate relato differ from the Establishment before tiva. 2. De Veneratione Sacra. 3. De his eyes,) p. 266, Give me leave to

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