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12 done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave 13 large money unto the soldiers, saying to
them, Do ye say, His disciples came by night, 14 and stole him away while we slept.* And if this come to the governor's ears, we will per15 suade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had 17 appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came, and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit ;† 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
* A most absurd story.
† An allusion, perhaps, to the practice of the Jews with their proselytes-they were baptized in the presence of three persons.
PREFACE TO MARK'S GOSPEL.
ST. MARK, the writer of this gospel, was not one of the twelve apostles; nor is it probable that he was one of those who were personally favored with the preaching of Christ. But according to the general opinion of the primitive Christians, he wrote his narrative of the life and miracles of our Savior by direction of the apostle Peter, with whom, after the death of Christ, he was often associated in preaching the gospel. Being long a companion of Peter, and receiving a particular account from him of the miraeles and doctrines of Jesus, he was qualified to give a true and correct relation. He is probably the person mentioned by Peter in his first epistle, chap. v. 13. Whether he were the same who is spoken of in Acts, chap. xii. 12. chap. xiii. 5, 13, who is also called John, learned men are not agreed. Dr. Lardner, however, supposes he was. If he were the same, he was also after a companion of Paul and Barnabas in their travels to preach the gospel. But it is sufficient for all the purposes of establishing the genuineness and authenticity of his history, that he was long intimate with the apostle Peter, and from him directly received the account he has given us in his gospel respecting the miracles and discourses of Christ.
Some have supposed St. Mark's gospel was merely an abridgment of St. Matthew's. But it is not probable, that Mark had seen the gospel of Matthew, when he wrote his history. We learn from early ecclesiastical writers, that Mark wrote his gospel at Rome, at the request of the converts there, who had been instructed in the Christian faith by St. Peter, whom Mark attended: and that he wrote about the same time Matthew's gospel was written in Judea for the benefit of the Jews. It is evidently not an abridgment of Matthew. For he not only passes over some things related by Matthew; but narrates many events and miracles not noticed in the history of that evangelist.
As to the discourses of Christ, he is not so full and particular as the other evangelists: But some miracles of our Lord are related by this writer with much more minuteness.
Early Christian writers assert, that the gospel written by Mark, was not only undertaken with the knowledge and approbation of St. Peter; but that he dictated the matter and inspected it personally, so that it was sometimes called his gospel. As it was written at Rome for the benefit of those whom Peter had converted to Christianity, and as this apostle was then at Rome, preaching the doctrines of the gospel, there can be no reasonable doubt that he directed and superintended the undertaking. And it merits all the credit and importance as if it had been penned by this apostle himself.*
According to the concurrent opinion of ancient Christian historians, St. Mark was sent into Egypt by the apostle Peter, to preach the gospel. In Alexandria, and other parts of Egypt, his missionary labors were abundantly successful. He made numerous converts to the faith of Christ; and is styled the first Bishop of Alexandria, which, for many years, was the principal place of his residence. And here, at length, he suffered martyrdom in the cause of his divine Lord and Master.
Papias, who wrote A. D. 116, observes that the Elder, (probably St. John) from whom he had divers informations, said, Mark being the interpreter of Peter, wrote what he knew and remembered; but not in the precise order in which things were spoken and done by Christ. Origen, an early Christian writer and apologist, says, "the second Gospel is that according to Mark, who wrote as Peter dictated it to him." Another early Christian Father says, "the Gospel published by Mark may justly be reckoned Peter's, whose interpreter he was." We might quote much more to the same purpose from other ancient writers in the Christian church; but it is unnecessary.
1 THE beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way 3 before thee; the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, 4 make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of re5 pentance, for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him at the river of Jordan, confessing 6 their sins. And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild 7 honey And preached, saying, There cometh one after me mightier than I,* the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down 8 and unloose. I indeed baptized you with water but he shall baptize you with the
*There cometh one after me greater than I-referring to Christ, for whose appearance he came preaching repentance.
9 Holy Spirit. And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.† 10 And immediately coming up from the water,
he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like 11 a dove descending upon him.‡ And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 12 And immediately the Spirit led him into 13 solitary places.§ And he was there in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan: and was with the wild beasts; and the angels 14 ministered unto him. Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preach15 ing the gospel of the kingdom of God; and
saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the 16 gospel. Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they
The disciples of Christ were baptized with the Holy Spirit by effusion, or pouring it out upon them. The water baptism was probably by pouring also; otherwise it would not resemble the baptism of the Spirit.
† John was six months older than Christ, and probably began his ministry only a few months before our Lord.
The same word which is translated Ghost, in 8th verse, and it ought always to be rendered Spirii.
§ This account is more concise than that given by Matthew, but substantially the same.
Or preaching the good tidings of the reign of God.
The reign of God is about to commence. It is worthy remark, that the Jews at that period were expecting the Messiah. Their prophecies pointed to that time for his coming.