The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,…
Luke was the Haydon of the sacred scribes; he sketched the perfect Man and drew in heroic size the figures and scenes of the new kingdom. Historians often become interested in a single character and turn aside to give us a monograph or biography on the object of their enthusiasm. Motley, after writing "The Rise of the Dutch Republic" and "The History of the United Netherlands," published "John Barneveld." Bancroft left his chosen field, the "History of the United States," to make us better acquainted with Abraham Lincoln. Froude has added to his "History of England" a "Life of Lord Beaconsfield." Writers of history describe the movements of an age as centring about their heroes. The records of a given period are seen to bear the stamp of a distinct personality. But Luke begins with a great character. His biography precedes his history and is the inspiration of it. There was a life which was the key to the Acts, and our writer was in touch with it. He did not gild an earthly tyrant and set him up like Nebuchadnezzar's image in the plain of Dura to fill the wastes of godless history, but he traces the way of the Church through the fiery furnace of events with a form "like a son of the gods." Gulzot wrote a "History of Civilisation in Europe and in France," and gave to the world as one of his latest works "Meditations on the Christian Religion." Edwin Arnold, after following the "Light of Asia" till it led him to a dim Nirvana, came back for another guide and traced the path of the "Light of the World." Gounod composed operas in his youth, and afterward turned his attention to such serious works as the oratorios of "The Redemption" and "St. Paul." It thus not infrequently happens that in later life men are led to dwell upon and portray that great personality they have passed by in search of the world's truth; but the Bible writers all had their study fires kindled by the rays of that Sun which illuminates the past and future, before they became scribes of Divine truth. The ancient penmen were friends of God, and those of the New Testament were disciples of His Son Jesus Christ before they essayed to describe the powers, the laws, and the institutions of redemption.
(W. R. Campbell.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,