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and Peræa, and Philip of Trachonitis and the neighbouring countries. Among the manifold points of agreement that are elicited by this comparison between the incidental allusions of the New Testament and the direct informations of the Jewish historian, we would instance the passage which relates to this Herod and which respects both his wife Herodias and his daughter Salome-as also the story of another Herod mentioned in the Acts, who was grandson of Herod the Great, who killed James, and apprehended Peter, and suffered a remarkable death, and which, as respects all that is ostensible in the testimony of Luke, is fully borne out by the testimony of Josephus.Regarding this last Herod, there occurs what may truly be termed a very critical coincidence inasmuch as Luke ascribes to him, towards the end of his government, the sovereign power in Judea; and it appears from other sources, that this power he actually did exercise, but only during the three last years of his life.- We have a nicety of a still more trying description in the title of Proconsul given with propriety by the Evangelist, but a propriety dependent on the fluctuations that were constantly taking place in the arrangement and constitution of the Roman provinces.-In another chapter respecting the state of the Jews and Judea during the ministry of Christ and his apostles, the history in the Gospel is brought into contact at many points with that of Josephus and others.
We advert but to one of these instances—the power of life and death reserved to themselves by the Romans, while the
power of the lesser punishments was suffered to remain with the Jewish authorities. It is only for the purpose of noticing the amount of surface over which this work of comparison has been extended, that we advert to the title of his next chapter, “ of the state of the Jews out of Judea"-whilst the title of the following, “concerning the Jewish sects and Samaritans,” serves to evince how crowded the four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles are with the materials of a cross-examination between their respective authors and Josephus. The next succeeding chapter of the Jews and Samaritans' expectations and their idea of the Messiah, brings even heathen authors into a state of juxtaposition with the writers of the New Testament. But perhaps, no passages of the evangelical history are more replete with this sort of argument, than the single chapters which retail the circumstances of our Saviour's last sufferings, where we have the names and titles and respective powers of the respective dignitaries that were concerned in this solemn transaction—the process of trial and condemnation—the infliction of mockery and scourging that took place before the execution—the bearing of the cross the inscription of the offence upon it in three different languages, which is fully deponed to by classic authors as one of the customs of the age—the mockeries which He had to endure at the time of the crucifixion—the place of it, without the city of Jerusalem—the burial, and lastly the embalming of the body. Nothing can be more artless or incidental than the manner, in which all these particulars are detailed by
the Apostles; and yet, such testimonies can be brought together both of the Jewish and classic authors, as to furnish throughout the most ample and sustained corroboration—carried forward, beyond the death and resurrection, to the accounts which the New Testament gives of the various churches that were founded by the first teachers of Christianity. Here we have a chapter of close and manifold communion between the scriptural and the exscriptural, in the account it gives of the treatment which the apostles and other disciples of Jesus met with both from Jews and Gentiles. The chapter which follows treats of diverse opinions and practices of the Jews; and we shall finish our very general description of this vast and voluminous evidence, by the catalogue which Lardner makes of the Roman customs mentioned in the New Testament_First, the use of the question or of torture for the discovery of crimes by the Romans—then of their method of examination by scourgingthen of the unlawfulness of scourging a Roman, especially if uncondemned—then of the power which Lysias who had Paul in custody held at Jerusalem —then of Paul's citizenship—then of the way in which this was obtained by purchase—then of the Roman justice in not receiving accusations in the absence of the person accused—then on the imprisonment of St. Paul—then on the sending of prisoners to Rome—and, lastly, on the practice of their being delivered there to the captain of the guard. Within our narrow limits, we represent most inadequately the power and the abundance of this argument; and perhaps it had been better, for
the purpose of impressing it on the reader, to have made a general reference to Lardner-without attempting, what we have done but slightly, to instance a few of the specimens. The number, the minuteness, the circumstantiality of the allusions, and the manifest undesignedness wherewith they occur in the course of the narration—all serve to satisfy the inquirer, that a history which touches the truth at so many points, could not have done so fortuitously and at random; and these coincidences are so obviously beyond the reach, or even though within possibility could so little subserve any of the purposes of design, that no other conclusion remains for us—but that they touch the truth at so many points, only because they touch it generally or at all points; or because truth is the direction in which the writers of the New Testament move, the groundwork along which the platform of the gospel history is laid. The coincidence with truth at so many places, in the absence of the art that could have framed or even of the power that could have accomplished it, is the sure token of an entire coincidence.
15. One precious fruit of these investigations is, that they have demonstrated, and upon their own new and peculiar evidence alone, the antiquity of the evangelical record. None but contemporary writers could have exhibited so minute and manifold an accuracy, amid the ephemeral changes, which, in these days of incessant fluctuation, were ever taking place in the civil and political arrangements of Judea. And what makes it altogether conclusive is, that, in a few years after the resurrection of our Saviour, Jerusalem was destroyed and the whole
fabric of the Jewish polity was swept away—50 that not a fragment or a vestige of it remained. On this tremendous event we feel assured, that the local practices and peculiarities which are so statistically and truly set forth in the New Testament must have been described by eye-witnesses, or at least during the subsistence of the Hebrew commonwealth—for the memory of them could not have survived a single generation. The unavoidable inference as to the early publication of these narratives, is of immense worth to the christian argument-proving, as it does, that they made their appearance at a period far enough back, for affording every facility, whether to the confirmation or the exposure
of the miracles which are recorded in them.
16. And there is one great synchronism, which, singly and of itself, fixes the age of the composition of the New Testament; and settles it down to the first age of Christianity. It is such a style as could only have proceeded from men of Hebrew origin, who wrote in Greek, but in a Greek tinged and interspersed with the peculiarities of their own vernacular language. And accordingly, it is alike distinguishable from the language of classic authors, and from that of the christian fathers, of the second and third centuries. To imagine that the innumerable Hebraisms and Syriasms of the New Testament were interpolated, or rather intertwined with the whole structure of the book, for the sole purpose of giving a colour or consistency to its reputed authorship in the days of the Apostles, were to accredit some forger of a later age, with the most difficult,