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apparent in them, or they are not to the purpose. In our argument we defy four men to sit down together, to transmit their writings from one to another, and produce the like. Truths known independently of each of them, must be at the bottom of documents having such discrepancies and such agreements as these in question. The point, therefore, whether the Evangelists have or have not copied from one another, which has been so much labored, is thus rendered a matter of comparative indifference. Let them have so done, as the adversaries of Christianity might be disposed to insist, still by our argument would their independence be secured, and the nature of their testimony be shown to be such as could only result from their separate knowledge of substantial facts.

3. I will add another consideration which seems to me to deserve serious attention :that in several instances the probable truth of a miracle is involved in the coincidence. This is a point which we should distinguish from the general drift of the argument itself. The general drift of our argument is this, that when we see the writers of the Gospels clearly telling the truth in those cases where we have the means of checking their accounts,

when we see that they are artless, consistent, veracious writers, where we have the opportunity of examining the fact, it is reasonable to believe that they are telling the truth in those cases where we have not the means of checking them, that they are veracious where we have not the means of putting them to the proof. But the argument I am now pressing is distinct from this. We are hereby called upon, not merely to assent that St. Matthew and St. Luke (for example) speak the truth when they record a miracle, because we know them to speak the truth in many other matters, (though this would be only reasonable, where there is no impeachment of their veracity whatever,) but we are called upon to believe a particular miracle, because the very circumstances which attend it furnish the coincidence. I look upon this as a point of very great importance, and I am therefore pleased that my first coincidence in order, happens to be one of this description.


In the fourth chapter of St. Matthew we read thus" And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon call

ed Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him. 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, mending their nets; and he called them, and they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him."

Now let us compare this with the fifth chapter of St. Luke. "And it came to pass that as the people pressed upon him to hear the Word of God, he stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake, but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all

the night and taken nothing; nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when he had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net brake; and they beckoned to their partners which were in the other ship that they should come and help them; and they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord; for he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken; and so was also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all and followed him."

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The narrative of St. Luke may be reckoned the supplement to that of St. Matthew; for that both relate to the same event I think indisputable. In both we are told of the circumstances under which Andrew, Peter, James and John became the decided followers of Christ; in both they are called to attend him in the same terms, and those remarkable and technical terms; in both the scene is the


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. The 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 the call, "mending their nets." How it happened that the nets wanted mending he does

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