Page images
PDF
EPUB

of this Gospel, as the son of Mary, who was an early convert to the religion of Christ. $t. Peter, when he was delivered out of prison by an angel, went immediately to her house, where he found “ many gathered together praying (b).Thence it is inferred, that the Christians were accustomed to meet at Mary's house, even in these times of persecution, and that there was an early acquaintance between St. Peter and St. Mark. Mark was the nephew of Barnabas, being his sister's son; and he is supposed to have been converted to the Gospel by St. Peter, who calls him his son (c); but no circumstances of his conversion are recorded. The first historical fact mentioned of him in the New Testament is, that he went, in the year 44, from Jerusalem to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. Not long after, he set out from Antioch with those Apostles upon a journey, which they undertook by the direction of the Holy Spirit, for the purpose of preaching the Gospel in different countries; but he soon left them, probably without sufficient reason, at Perga in Pamphylia, and went to Jerusalem (d). Afterwards, when Paul and Barnabas had determined to visit the several churches which they had established, Barnabas proposed that they should take Mark with

.. . ... . thein; , (b) Acts, c. 12. v, 12. () 1 Pet. C. 5. v. 13. (d) Acts, c. 13. 2 . , "

X 4 . '.

them; to which Paul objected, because Mark had left them in their former journey. This produced a sharp contention between Paul and Barnabas, which ended in their separation. Mark accompanied his uncle Barnabas to Cyprus, but it is not mentioned whither they went when they left that island. We may conclude that St. Paul was afterwards reconciled to St. Mark, from the manner in which he mentions him in his Epistles written subsequent to this dispute, and particularly from the direction which he gives to Timothy; “ Take Mark, and bring him with thee; for he is profitable to me for the ministry (e).No farther circumstances are recorded of St. Mark in the New Testament; but it is believed, upon the authority of antient writers, that soon after his journey with Barnabas he met Peter in Asia, and that he continued with him for some time, perhaps till Peter suffered martyrdom at Rome. Epiphanius, Eusebius, and Jerome, all assert that Mark preached the Gospel in Egypt; and the two latter call him Bishop of Alexandria. Baronius, Cave, Wetstein, and other learned moderns, have thought that Mark died a martyr ; but I find no authority for that opinion in any antient writer; and it seems to be contradicted by Jerome, who says, that he died in the eighth

. year (e) 2 Tim. C. 4. V. II.

year of Nero, and was buried at Alexandria (f), which expression appears to imply that he died a natural death. Papias (g), and several other autient fathers, say, that Mark was not a hearer of Christ himself; but on the contrary, Epiphanius, and the author of the Dialogue against the Mar: cionites, written in the fourth century, assert that he was one of the seventy disciples, to whom our Saviour gave a temporary commission to preach the Gospel; this however does not seem probable, as there is reason to believe that he was converted to the belief of the Gospel by St. Peter.

II. Dr. LARDNER thinks that this Gospel is alluded to by Clement of Rome; but the earliest ecclesiastical writer upon record who expressly mentions it, is Papias. It is mentioned also by Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome, Augustine, Chrysostom, and many others. The works of these father's contain numerous quotations from this Gospel; and as their testimony is not contradicted by any antient writer, we may safely conclude that the Gospel of St. Mark is genuine.

The authority of this Gospel is not affected by the question concerning the identity of Mark the

Evangelist, (f) De Vir. 111. cap. 8. (8) Eus. Hist. Ecc. lib. 3. cap. 39.

them; to which Paul objected, because Mark ! left them in their former journey. This produ a sharp contention between Paul and Barna which ended in their separation. Mark acc panied his uncle Barnabas to Cyprus, but it i mentioned whither they went when they left island. We may conclude that St. Paul afterwards reconciled to St. Mark, from the ner in which he mentions him in his E written subsequent to this dispute, and p larly from the direction which he gives to thy; “ Take Mark, and bring him with for he is profitable to me for the ministry No farther circumstances are recorded Mark in the New Testament; but it is bel upon the authority of antient writers, that after his journey with Barnabas he met Pe Asia, and that he continued with him for time, perhaps till Peter suffered martyrd Rome. Epiphanius, Eusebius, and Jeroi assert that Mark preached the Gospel in ] and the two latter call him Bishop of Alex Baronius, Cave, Wetstein, and other learr derns, have thought that Mark died a but I find no authority for that opinio antient writer; and it seems to be cor by Jerome, who says, that he died in

[ocr errors][merged small]

e considered as nerely to give it e foliowing pasain so probable ing this Gospel

bigb aattority, 222 *

it: “ The lustre

inds of Peter's JE T2 t oto : o: e pot contented

itten instructing

y earnestly re2€ 2 22I 5-Vida-in have, being an

th tier a writwhich had been nouth ; nor did

upon him; and WILL BE Tz. .

· writing of that

3 to Jark; and as in inr.

12

eing inforned of tuliza. L aia

tion of the Holy ÁlmaimE!:74. Lanie

al of the men, and

introduced into the WE TOK :

account in the sixth HL contrare. Det e r

und Papias, bishop of site culcidit tria i Gosie jy to it (1)." Jerome munt.

also Die aufiutir o di in

naterpres Petri, quæ a Petro tie nesiun Bracer

· Iren. lib. 3. cap. 1,

... cap. 15.
De Vir.
Eus. E

« PreviousContinue »