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same, the grouping of the parties the same, and the obedience to the summons the same. By comparing the two Evangelists, the history may be thus completed :-Jesus teaches the people out of Peter's boat, to avoid the press; the boat of Zebedee and his sons, meanwhile, standing by the lake a little further on. sermon ended, Jesus orders Peter to thrust out, and the miraculous draught of fishes ensues. Peter's boat not sufficing for the fish, he beckons to his partners, Zebedee and his companions, who were in the other ship. The vessels are both filled and pulled to the shore; and now Jesus, having convinced Peter and Andrew by his preaching and the miracle which he had wrought, gives them the call. He then goes on to Zebedee and his sons, who having brought their boat to land were mending their nets, and calls them. Such is the whole transaction, not to be gathered from one, but from both the Evangelists. The circumstance to be remarked, therefore, is this: that of the miracle, St. Matthew says not a single word; nevertheless, he tells us, that Zebedee and his sons were found by our Lord, when he gave them How it hap

the call, "mending their nets."

pened that the nets wanted mending he does

not think it needful to state, nor should we have thought it needful to inquire, but it is impossible not to observe, that it perfectly harmonizes with the incident mentioned by St. Luke, that in the miraculous draught of fishes the nets brake. This coincidence, slight as it is, seems to me to bear upon the truth of the miracle itself. For the "mending of the nets," asserted by one Evangelist, gives probability to the "breaking of the nets," mentioned by the other-the breaking of the nets gives probability to the large draught of fishes-the large draught of fishes gives probability to the miracle. I do not mean that the coincidence proves the miracle, but that it marks an attention to truth in the Evangelists; for it surely would be an extravagant refinement to suppose, that St. Matthew designedly lets fall the fact of the mending of the nets, whilst he suppresses the miracle, in order to confirm the credit of St. Luke, who, in relating the miracle, says, that through it the nets brake.

Besides, though St. Matthew does not record the miraculous draught, yet the readiness of the several disciples on this occasion to follow Jesus, (a thing which he does record,) agrees, no less than the mending of the nets,

with that extraordinary event; for what more natural than that men should leave all for a Master whose powers were so commanding?


MATT. iv. 21.-" And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father." Ch. viii. 21." And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father."

Ch. xx. 20.-" Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children, with her sons, worshipping him and desiring a certain thing of him."

Ch. xxvii. 55.-" And many women


there, beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him. Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children."

WHEN the coincidence which I shall found first occurred to me, I upon these passages felt some doubt whether, by producing it, I might not subject myself to a charge of over

refinement. On further consideration, however, I am satisfied that the conjecture I hazard (for it is nothing more) is far from improbable, and I am the less disposed to withhold it from having observed, when I have chanced to discuss any of these paragraphs with my friends, how differently the importance of an argument is estimated by different minds; a point of evidence often inducing conviction in one, which another would find almost nugatory.

Whoever reads the four verses which I have given at the head of this Number in juxtaposition, will probably anticipate what I have to say. The coincidence here is not between several writers, but between several detached passages of the same writer. From the first of these verses it appears that, at the period when James and John received the call to follow Christ, Zebedee their father was alive. They obeyed the call, and left him. From the two last verses it appears, in my opinion, that, at a subsequent period of which they treat, Zebedee was dead. Zebedee does not make the application to Christ on behalf of his sons, but the mother of Zebedee's children makes it. Zebedee is not at the crucifixion, but the mother of Zebedee's children. It is

not from his absence on these occasions that I so much infer his death, as from the expression applied to Salome; she is not called the wife of Zebedee, she is not called the mother of James and John, but the mother of Zebedee's children. The term, I think, implies that she was a widow.

Now from the second verse, which relates to a period between these two, we learn that one of Jesus' disciples asked him permission "to go and bury his father." The interval was a short one; the number of persons, to whom the name of disciple was given, was very small (see Matt. ix. 37); a single boat seems to have contained them all (viii. 23). In that number we know that the sons of Zebedee were included. My inference therefore is, that the death of Zebedee is here alluded to, and that St. Matthew, without a wish, perhaps, or thought, either to conceal or express the individual, (for there seems no assignable motive for his studying to do either,) betrays an event familiar to his own mind, in that inadvertent and unobtrusive manner in which the truth so often comes out.

The data, it must be confessed, are not enough to determine the matter with certainty

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