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GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST,
THE FOUR EVANGELISTS:
HARMONIZED AND CHRONOLOGICALLY ARRANGED.
FROM THE GREEK TEXT OF GRIESBACH,
REV. JOHN S. THOMPSON.
How can I understand, unless some one guide me? Acts, 8, 31.
On offering to the Christian world, a new edition of the Gospel History, differing in construction and arrangement from all former publications, on the same subject, some explanatory observations, illustrative of the nature and characteristics of the work, may be necessary. The title, Monotessaron, implies one out of four, and appears the most appropriate that can be selected to designate a history, including the four Gospels in one regular narrative. The word Diatessaron is of more general use, but is not so significant and suitable for a work of this nature. The grand object of Gospel Harmonists, has been to attain such an exhibition or arrangement of the four Gospels, as sets forth the agreement of the Evangelists, in their testimony concerning the life, doctrines, miracles, character, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. To accomplish so desirable an object, two methods have been pursued by Harmonists, of which a brief account shall be given.
1. The Tatian Method which attempts to construct one regular, connected history, including every text and phrase in the four Gospels, and at the same time, avoiding all repetitions of the same or similar words and phrases ; so that the whole writings of the four Evangelists, may appear as the production of one writer. This was the plan invented by Tatian, who composed a Diatessaron, in the second century, being the first attempt to harmonize the four Evangelists. Of those who have pursued the Tatian method, the following are perhaps the most worthy of notice :-Chancellor Gerson, who published a MONOTESSARON, Paris, 1420. Jansenius, Bishop of Ghent, who published his CONCORDANTIA EVANGELICA, at Louvain in 1571, which was highly recommended by both Catholics and Protestants, for modesty, piety and erudition. He has been esteemed the prince of the Catholic harmonists; and the public manifested their esteem for his labours, so far as to require fourteen editions of his valuable harmony.
Among the Protestants, Osiander published a Harmony in 1537, of which Walch and Chemnitius speak with great respect, but Michaelis says some things rather sarcastically. In the