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stances too multiplied and too minute to allow the most sceptical to suppose that they were imaginary and designed. There is the same spirit of integrity-the same love of truth-the same devout simplicity of mind and manner in this as in every other portion of the sacred writings.

That the writer of this valuable history was the Evangelist Luke is not only the unanimous testimony of the fathers, but is plainly deducible from the language with which the narrative itself begins. "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandment unto the Apostles, whom he had chosen." Now by turning to the opening passage in St. Luke's gospel you will perceive at once that the writer and the person addressed are in both cases the same. "Forasmuch as many have

taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most

surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eye-witnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed."

The "former treatise," then, referred to in the text is, beyond all question, the Gospel narrative ascribed to St. Luke, who is therefore equally proved to be the writer of the history before us.

Before we enter more fully into the consideration of his testimony, it may be well to be reminded of some of the leading particulars of his own life. These are not numerous for though his writings are considerable, he is remarkably silent respecting himself. Indeed the only mention which he makes of himself is by using the first person plural in some of his narrations of St. Paul's travels.

By some of the ancient fathers he is supposed to have been one of the seventy disciples chosen by our Lord; in which case he must doubtless have been privileged to witness many of those astonishing miracles, and to hear many of those sublime discourses, which he has recorded in his Gospel. Yet it would seem from his expression "Even as they delivered them to us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word," that this was not the case, but that he simply, under the superintendence of the Holy Ghost, narrated the particulars of our Lord's history, as he received them from the lips of the Apostles. And with this agrees the more general tradition that he was converted to Christianity whilst residing at Antioch, a chief town in his native country, Syria.

From a passage in St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians, iv. 14, we learn that St. Luke's original profession was that of medicine, and that he was residing at that

time with the Apostle: "Luke the beloved physician, and Demas greet you." But though St. Paul thus speaks of him in the language of affection and esteem, he never styles him his "son" as he does Timothy and Titus-from which some have inferred that he was not an immediate convert of St. Paul's, but previously convinced of the truths of Christianity.

The first notice which he gives us of himself in the history before us occurs in the 16th chapter, 10th and 11th verses, where he speaks of himself as in company with the Apostle at Troas, and as sailing with him from thence to Macedonia, in obedience to the vision which St. Paul had seen, exhorting him to come over and help the inhabitants of that country. After this St. Luke appears to have accompanied the Apostle through all his journeyings in various parts of Asia, and finally to have sailed with him to Rome, when he was carried thither as a prisoner, a prisoner, having appealed unto Cæsar. There he abode

with him during his two years' confinement; and with that circumstance the history itself closes upon our view.

With these introductory observations I now proceed to a brief consideration of the remaining portion of our text.

Having stated that his former treatise extended to the last appearance of our Lord to his disciples, when he was taken up from them into heaven, after that he had given them the instructions which their trying situation required, he adds, in the 3rd verse, that our Lord was frequently seen by them in the interval between his crucifixion and ascension, during a period of no less than forty days. "To whom, (says he) he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." By "infallible proofs," the Evangelist evidently means, signs, tokens, or evidences, so numerous and decisive that it was not possible for those who witnessed

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