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by Robert Hawker
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE
In entering upon this blessed Book of God, which carries with it, through every Chapter and verse, proofs of divine inspiration, I would beg the Reader to look up with me to the Almighty Lord, which both directed and guided Luke's pen, for grace to attend to it, with that reverence and godly fear, as is suitable and becoming to such precious Memoirs of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Surely, Reader, the Holy Ghost would not have raised up the several Evangelists to this sacred service, neither have added the Gospel of Luke to those of Matthew, and Mark, but for the most blessed purposes. Oh! that they may all be unitedly made a sweet savor, to make manifest his knowledge to his people in every place.
Some have thought that Luke was one of the seventy disciples. It is possible he might have been so. And others have supposed, that he is the same person whom Paul calls the beloved Physician. Colossians 4:10 . But there is no certainty whether either be right; the whole is conjecture.
Neither is it determinable, with any greater assurance, at what time Luke wrote this Gospel. Some make it as early as within fifteen years after our Lord's ascension: So Beza saith in his Manuscript Copy: while others date it as late as twenty-seven. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, relates, that the Apostle John read it when finished, and gave his sanction to it. But God's people have a yet higher authority of its truth, when the Holy Ghost, in his divine teaching, gives to his regenerated children the testimony of its holy doctrines in their own hearts and consciences. I cannot upon this occasion help making an earnest request to my Reader, that he will make this the grand standard of decision, concerning the whole scriptures of God; namely, that when the Holy Ghost teacheth in them, and by them, this forms of itself the truest test of their divine authority. May the Lord the Spirit do this, by this precious portion of his Holy word, we are now entering upon, and render it in his Almighty Hand, the blessed instrument of good to his people. Amen.
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30