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This supposition appears to me to be attended with incalculably less difficulty than any one of the foregoing, and the difficulty, even in itself considered, to weigh very little against my Arrangement, still less in opposition to the many phenomena by which this is supported.

SECT. III. Outline View of our Lord's Ministry.

Commencing this all-important period with the Preaching of his Forerunner, we may divide the Gospel Records into Ten Parts.

1. The Preaching of John the Baptist; and the beginning of the Ministry of Christ, to his First Miracle.


From the First Passover, inclusively, to the approach of the Feast of Tabernacles.



Transactions connected with the Feast of Tabernacles.

Christ's Public Preaching in Galilee-in the interval between the Feast of Tabernacles and that of Dedication-until the Mission of the Twelve.

V. Transactions of Christ after sending forth the Apostles, shortly before the Feast of Dedication, till all of them had collected to him after the Death of the Baptist.

VI. From the Return of the Twelve-following the Death of John the Baptist, and succeeded by the Miracle of the Five Thousand-to our Lord's Departure from Galilee.

VII. Our Lord's Final Journey from Galilee, through the Peræa, to his Arrival at Bethany, shortly before the Passover.

VIII. From our Lord's Arrival at Bethany, till the Day on which he ate the Passover.



The Last Day of the Saviour's Mortal Life.

From the Burial of our Lord in the Tomb of Joseph, to his Ascension into Heaven.

PART I. The Preaching of John the Baptist; and the Ministry of Christ, to his First Miracle.

John, the son of Zachariah, born at Hebron, while he was dwelling in seclusion in some part of the Desert of Judæa, received a commission from the Most High to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. St. Luke expressly states that this was in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Cæsar, which, reckoning from the death of Augustus, began on the 19th of August, A. D. 29.* We may reasonably place the commencement of the Baptist's

See Appendix to this Dissertation.

Preaching just before the Feast of Tabernacles in that year; and it is probable that he first baptized near the Ford of the Jordan above Jericho, where the great bulk of the people of Galilee, and of the regions east of the Jordan, would pass and repass the river at that period. While John was on the west of the Jordan, he was within the jurisdiction of the Sanhedrim: when on the east, near Bethabara, he was in Herod's. The Tetrarch held his southern court at the fortress Macharus, north of the Arnon, and near the Dead Sea; and there, as Josephus relates, he imprisoned John: this was, probably, before the Tabernacles in the ensuing year, A. D. 29. Near the end of the following February, A. D. 30, the Baptist was beheaded by Herod, at the request of the daughter of Herodias.

After John had been engaged in his ministry about four months, early in A. D. 29, when the winter of Palestine was over, and the people were again resorting to his baptism, Jesus came to him from Nazareth, being then about thirty years of age; and while he was praying, after having been baptized, he was anointed with the holy spirit and with power', in the presence of the people, and the voice of God proclaimed him to be his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased.'

Immediately after his baptism, having now been specially sanctified as the Messiah-the Anointed-Jesus went by divine direction into the more retired part of the Desert (p. cx.), where he spent forty days. During this period, or at the close of it, our Lord experienced those trials of his faith and dutiful wisdom, which contributed to prepare him for the right employment of those high powers which were given him 'beyond measure'; and, as the Mediator of the Old Covenant was 'with the Lord', Exod. xxxiv. 28, during the same length of time, so we may believe that the Mediator of the New Covenant, on entering on his all-important work, was at this period with his Heavenly Father, receiving special communications as to the extent and the execution of it.

When this period had expired, Jesus returned to the Baptist. The day before he came to him, a deputation had applied to John, to ascertain the extent of his commission. John declared that he only baptized to prepare the way for a person of much greater dignity than himself; and he subsequently bore distinct testimony to the divine appointment of Jesus as that person. In consequence of these declarations, several of his disciples followed Jesus; and they were among those who were afterwards selected as Apostles. Soon after these occurrences, our Lord went to Cana, the residence of Nathanael, and there wrought his First Miracle; after which he went to Capernaum, with his mother and brethren, and his disciples; and it does not appear that he ever again resided at Nazareth.

PART II. From the First Passover, inclusively, to the Approach of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Soon after the miracle at Cana, our Lord went up to Jerusalem to attend the PASSOVER, and he there manifested his divine authority, by driving out the traders from the Temple, and by miracles which are not specified. Led by these circumstances, Nicodemus came to him by night, and had a conference with him, which seems to have produced no immediate effect on the Jewish Ruler. He then went into the country of Judæa, near the Jordan, where he remained, for some time, with those who had become his disciples; admitting others by baptism into the profession of belief in him.

John was at this time baptizing at Enon; and a dispute between his disciples and one of the Jews, led to his last-recorded testimony to the divine mission of Jesus. From this period we hear nothing more of the Baptist, till the announcement of his having been cast into prison owing to his remonstrances with the Tetrarch of Galilee respecting his marriage with Herodias. It appears probable, that after John had learnt that Jesus had, by publicly baptizing, fully opened his commission, and that the people were now resorting to him, he himself ceased from the public exercise of his ministry. Thus much is clear, that except at his baptism, and on his return from the Desert, our Lord never saw the Baptist; and it is obvious that he had no direct communication with him, except when John, from the prison in Machærus, sent the message to him, being then in Galilee.

It was of great importance, for the influence of John's testimony to Jesus, that they should have no communication with each other; that, though directed to the same object, their course should be quite independent; and it was this, probably, which obliged our Lord to go through Samaria in his way to Galilee, when he left Judæa in consequence of the jealousy of the Pharisees. If he had gone the usual route, he would have passed near the place where John was then baptizing. On his way to Galilee, he had the memorable conversation with the Samaritan woman; and he remained at Sychar for two days. He then proceeded to Cana; and soon after his arrival there, on the application of one of Herod's household, he healed his son who was then lying sick at Capernaum, above twenty miles from the place.

Soon afterwards, he went again to Jerusalem, at the PENTECOST: and there, after healing the infirm man at the Pool of Bethesda, he delivered a solemn address to the Jews, probably before the Sanhedrim, distinctly avowing his having been appointed by God to raise the dead and

to judge all mankind, and appealing to the testimony expressly given by the Father himself, to the truth of his claims.

It is probable that our Lord returned immediately to Galilee, and remained there till near the Feast of Tabernacles, preaching in the synagogues, and employing those opportunities which the providence of God presented, for manifesting his divine authority,-thus preparing for that public and extensive announcement of the kingdom of heaven, which he began after the imprisonment of his forerunner. On the first sabbath after the Pentecost, the second great festival, occurred that transaction, the Walk through the Corn-fields, in which, as in a variety of other occasions, was displayed the petty malignity of the enemies of Christ, as well as his own wisdom and enlarged views of moral obligation.

Some time after this occurrence, he appears to have gone to Nazareth, where, on his unfolding, from the prophecy of Isaiah, the nature and extent of his commission, the malignant jealousy of some of the people in the synagogue was roused to attempt his destruction; but he miraculously rescued himself from their rage, and again went to Capernaum, where, henceforwards, he appears to have statedly resided.

The circumstances thus recorded may be regarded as giving a specimen of our Lord's mode of preaching in this part of his Ministry: it was calculated to direct the attention of the people to him, without leading to their crowding around him, and continually attending him, as they did after the Tabernacles, but for which this was not a fit period. We know that the Imprisonment of John, which indicated that his service was ended, was regarded by our Lord as the time when his Public Preaching in Galilee was to begin; and as the comparison of St. Matthew's Gospel with St. John's leads to the conclusion that this was after the Tabernacles, (see p. cxxxi.), we conclude, without any opposing consideration, that the former event took place shortly before it. This postponement of our Lord's most public manifestation of his high powers, might have been otherwise required by the completing of the harvest at the commencement of the period, by the labours of the vintage at the close, and by the intense heat of the weather in the middle. During June, July, and

It has been inferred from the account of Josephus, Ant. xvIII. 5, that John was imprisoned about the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. The ground is this. Herod was about to go to Rome, and Herodias agreed to come to him on his return. The journey appears to have been an expeditious one, for which we may allow six months. We may gather from Acts xxvii. 9, that after the Fast, which preceded the Feast of Tabernacles some days, sailing was deemed dangerous. It may therefore be reasonably inferred, that the return of Herod, which would speedily be followed by the remonstrances and the imprisonment of John, took place before the Tabernacles.

August, (see pp. xci. xcix. and cxxviii.) it would have been most unsuitable to have drawn the people together as he did after the Tabernacles; and from the considerations stated in p. cxxxi., it is clear that no time could have been more suited than this last, for his Public Preaching in Galilee.

PART III. Transactions connected with the Feast of Tabernacles.

This part of our Lord's Ministry is recorded exclusively by the Apostle John; and his account of it forms a remarkable portion of his Gospel. The vivid and indeed graphic narration which the Evangelist has given of the leading occurrences at the Tabernacles, indicates the pen of an eye-witness, and gives us a strong impression of the importance of them in the history of our Lord's conduct towards the Jews.*

When the FEAST OF TABERNACLES was approaching, the brethren (or kinsmen) of Christ, oi adtλpoi avrov, who had not yet become convinced of his claims, urged him to go into Judæa, and show himself publicly to the world. This, however, our Lord may have thought likely, in the circumstances of the case, to lead to tumult, and perhaps afford a reasonable pretext for the charge of sedition against the Roman government; and he expressed his purpose of not, then at least, going up to the festival.+ When, however, the crowds had disappeared, and he saw that the roads were become solitary, and that there ceased to be any fear of interrupting the progress of his doctrine, by exciting the worldly expectations of a misguided populace, or of involving them in evil and in guilt, he determined

* In the Harmony, p. 153, I have connected ch. vii. 1, with ch. vi. This Newcome and others also do. It rather best suits the view given in the First Dissertation (p. xxxiv.) respecting that insulated portion of the Gospel; but it is not necessary even on that hypothesis.

+ The common translation of John vii. 8, is “I go not up yet (ovπw) to this feast; " but the most ancient reading was ovк, not-" I go not up." The addition of yet is made by Archbishop Newcome; and not yet is the force of the Syriac translation. The present reading probably arose from the desire of some early transcriber to obviate Porphyry's charge of inconstancy.—If, as Kuinoel states, our be often employed for ovπ, there was no necessity for the change; and there would be no further difficulty than the choice made of it by St. John: but all the instances which Schleusner gives, refer to past time, not, as here, to the future; and I do not see how the words of Christ, as represented by John, could be understood by his brethren as referring only to the ordinary time of going.—I have myself no difficulty in believing that our Lord, for the reason mentioned above, did not at first deem it wise to go up to the festival; but that afterwards, the finger of Providence directing him, if not some special intimation of his Heavenly Father's will, he went up. He may, too, have heard that John had been cast into prison; and hence perceived that the time was come for his own most public service. At any rate I am sure that 'in him was no guile'; and that he was ever guided by wisdom, duty, and love.

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