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Horæ Paulinæ


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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:58 AM

No. V.

 

But if St. Paul had changed his purpose before the writing of the first epistle, why did he defer explaining himself to the Corinthians, concerning the reason of that change, until he wrote the second? This is a very fair question; and we are able, I think, to return to it a satisfactory answer. The real cause, and the cause at length assigned by St. Paul for postponing his visit to Corinth, and not travelling by the route which he had at first designed, was the disorderly state of the Corinthian church at the time, and the painful severities which he should have found himself obliged to exercise, if he had come amongst them during the existence of these irregularities. He was willing therefore to try, before he came in person, what a letter of authoritative objurgation would do amongst them, and to leave time for the operation of the experiment. That was his scheme in writing the first epistle. But it was not for him to acquaint them with the scheme. After the epistle had produced its effect (and to the utmost extent, as it should seem, of the apostle’s hopes); when he had wrought in them a deep sense of their fault, and an almost passionate solicitude to restore themselves to the approbation of their teacher; when Titus (chap. 7:6, 7, 11) had brought him intelligence “of their earnest desire, their mourning, their fer­vent mind towards him, of their sorrow and their penitence; what carefulness, what clearing of themselves, what indigna­tion, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what re­venge,” his letter, and the general concern occasioned by it, had excited amongst them; he then opens himself fully upon the subject The affectionate mind of the apostle is touched by this return of zeal and duty. He tells them that he did not visit them at the time proposed, lest their meeting should have been attended with mutual grief; and with grief to him embittered by the reflection, that he was giving pain to those from whom alone he could receive comfort: “I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?” (chap. 2:1,2:) that he had written his former epistle to warn them beforehand of their fault, “lest, when he came, he should have sorrow from them of whom he ought to rejoice” (chap. 2:3): that he had the further view, though perhaps unperceived by them, of making an experiment of their fidelity, “to know the proof of them whether they are obedient in all things” (chap, 2:9). This full discovery of his motive came very naturally from the apostle, after he had seen the success of his measures, but would not have been a seasonable communication before. The whole composes a train of sentiment and of conduct re­sulting from real situation, and from real circumstance, and as remote as possible from fiction or imposture.



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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:58 AM

No. VI.

 

Chap. 11: 9.”When I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man; for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied.” The principal fact set forth in this passage, the arrival at Corinth of brethren from Macedonia during St. Paul’s first resi­dence in that city, is explicitly recorded, Acts 18:1, 5. “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth.—And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.”



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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:59 AM

No. VII.

 

The above quotation from the Acts proves that Silas and Timotheus were assistants to St. Paul in preaching the gospel at Corinth. With which correspond the words of the epistle (chap. 1:19): “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay; but in him was yea.” I do admit that the correspondency, considered by itself, is too direct and obvious; and that an impostor with the history before him might, and probably would, produce agreements of the same kind. But let it be remembered, that this reference is found in a writing, which from many discrepancies, and espe­cially from those noted No. II., we may conclude, was not composed by any one who had consulted, and who pursued, the history. Some observation also arises upon the variation of the name. We read Silas in the Acts, Silvanus in the epistle. The similitude of these two names, if they were the names of different persons, is greater than could easily have proceeded from accident; I mean that it is not probable, that two per­sons placed in situations so much alike should bear names so nearly resembling each other.* On the other hand, the differ­ence of the name in the two passages negatives the supposition of the passages, or the account contained in them, being transcribed either from the other.

 

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* That they were the same persons is farther confirmed by 1 Thessalonians chap. 1:1, compared with Acts, chap. 17:10.



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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:00 AM

No. VIII.*

 

Chap. 2:12, 13. “When I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.”

 

To establish a conformity between this passage and the history, nothing more is necessary to be presumed, than that St. Paul proceeded from Ephesus to Macedonia, upon the same course by which he came back from Macedonia to Ephesus, or rather to Miletus in the neighbourhood of Ephe­sus; in other words, that in his journey to the peninsula of Greece, he went and returned the same way. St. Paul is now in Macedonia, where he had lately arrived from Ephesus. Our quotation imports that in his journey he had stopped at Troas. Of this the history says nothing, leaving us only the short account, that “Paul departed from Ephesus, for to go into Macedonia.” But the history says, that in his return from Macedonia to Ephesus, “Paul sailed from Philippi to Troas; and that, when the disciples came together on the first day of the week to break bread, Paul preached unto them all night; that from Troas he went by land to Assos; from Assos, taking ship and coasting along the front of Asia Minor, he came by Mitylene to Miletus.” Which account proves, first, that Troas lay in the way by which St. Paul passed between Ephesus and Macedonia; secondly, that he had disciples there. In one journey between these two places, the epistle, and in another journey between the same places, the history, makes him stop at this city. Of the first journey he is made to say, “that a door was in that city opened unto me of the Lord;” in the second, we find disciples there collected around him, and the apostle exercising his ministry, with what was, even in him, more than ordinary zeal and labour. The epistle, there­fore, is in this instance confirmed, if not by the terms, at least by the probability, of the history; a species of confirmation by no means to be despised, because, as far as it reaches, it is evidently uncontrived.

 

Grotius, I know, refers the arrival at Troas, to which the epistle alludes, to a different period, but I think very impro­bably; for nothing appears to me more certain, than that the meeting with Titus, which St. Paul expected at Troas, was the same meeting which took place in Macedonia, namely, upon Titus’s coming out of Greece. In the quotation before us, he tells the Corinthians, “When I came to Troas, ... I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother; but, taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.” Then in the seventh chapter he writes, “When we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforteth them that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus.” These two passages plainly relate to the same journey of Titus, in meeting with whom St. Paul had been disappointed at Troas, and rejoiced in Macedonia. And amongst other reasons which fix the former passage to the coming of Titus out of Greece, is the consideration, that it was nothing to the Corinthians that St. Paul did not meet with Titus at Troas, were it not that he was to bring intelligence from Corinth. The mention of the disappointment in this place, upon any other supposition, is irrelative.(o)

 

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(o) In Horæ Apostolicæ: No. I., on this epistle, will be found a further disproof of the very baseless hypothesis of Grotius, that some earlier visit to Troas is alluded to. In No. II. will be found the development of another coincidence in the same passage, very circuitous, and beautifully complete.—ED.

 



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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:01 AM

No. IX.

 

Chap. 11:24,25.”Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one, thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep.”

 

These particulars cannot be extracted out of the Acts of the Apostles; which proves, as hath been already observed, that the epistle was not framed from the history: yet they are consistent with it, which, considering how numerically circumstantial the account is, is more than could happen to arbitrary and independent fictions. When I say that these particulars are consistent with the history, I mean, first, that there is no article in the enumeration which is contradicted by the history: secondly, that the history, though silent with respect to many of the facts here enumerated, has left space for the existence of these facts, consistent with the fidelity of its own narration.

 

First, no contradiction is discoverable between the epistle and the history. When St. Paul says, thrice was I beaten with rods, although the history record only one beating with rods, namely, at Philippi, Acts 16:22, yet there is no con­tradiction. It is only the omission in one book of what is related in another.    But had the history contained accounts of four beatings with rods, at the time of writing this epistle, in which St. Paul says that he had only suffered three, there would have been a contradiction properly so called. The same observation applies generally to the other parts of the enumeration, concerning which the history is silent: but there is one clause in the quotation particularly deserving of remark; because, when confronted with the history, it furnishes the nearest approach to a contradiction, without a contradiction being actually incurred, of any I remember to have met with: “Once,” saith St. Paul, “was I stoned.” Does the history relate that St. Paul, prior to the writing of this epistle, had been stoned more than once? The history mentions distinctly one occasion upon which St. Paul was stoned, namely, at Lystra in Lycaonia: “There came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.” (Acts 14:19.) And it mentions also another occa­sion in which “an assault was made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully and to stone them; but they were aware of it,” the history proceeds to tell us, “and fled into Lystra and Derbe.” This happened at Iconium, prior to the date of the epistle. Now, had the assault been completed; had the history related that a stone was thrown, as it relates that preparations were made both by Jews and Gentiles to stone Paul and his companions; or even had the account of this transaction stopped, without going on to inform us that Paul and his companions were “aware of their danger and fled,” a contradiction between the history and the epistle would have ensued. Truth is neces­sarily consistent: but it is scarcely possible that independent accounts, not having truth to guide them, should thus advance to the very brink of contradiction without falling into it.

 

Secondly, I say, that if the Acts of the Apostles be silent concerning many of the instances enumerated in the epistle, this silence may be accounted for from the plan and fabric of the history. The date of the epistle synchronizes with the beginning of the twentieth chapter of the Acts. The part, therefore, of the history, which precedes the twentieth chap­ter, is the only part in which can be found any notice of the persecutions to which St. Paul refers. Now it does not appear that the author of the history was with St. Paul until his departure from Troas, on his way to Macedonia, as related chap. 16:10; or rather indeed the contrary appears. It is in this point of the history that the language changes. In the seventh and eighth verses of this chapter the third person is used: “After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came to Troas:” and the third person is in like manner constantly used throughout the foregoing part of the history. In the tenth verse of this chapter, the first person comes in: “After Paul had seen the vision, immedi­ately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.” Now, from this time to the writing of the epistle, the history occupies four chapters; yet it is in these, if in any, that a regular or continued account of the apostle’s life is to be expected; for how succinctly his history is delivered in the preceding part of the book, that is to say, from the time of his conversion to the time when the his­torian joined him at Troas, except the particulars of his con­version itself, which are related circumstantially, may be understood from the following observations:—



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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:04 AM

The history of a period of sixteen years is comprised in less than three chapters; and of these, a material part is taken up with discourses. After his conversion, he continued in the neighbourhood of Damascus, according to the history, for a certain considerable, though indefinite, length of time, according to his own words (Gal. 1:18), for three years; of which no other account is given than this short one, that “straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God; that all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem? that he increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus; and that after many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him.” From Damascus he proceeded to Jerusalem; and of his residence there nothing more particular is recorded, than that “he was with the apostles, coming in and going out; that he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and dis­puted against the Grecians, who went about to kill him.” From Jerusalem, the history sends him to his native city of Tarsus.* It seems probable, from the order and disposition of the history, that St. Paul’s stay at Tarsus was of some continuance; for we hear nothing of him until, after a long apparent interval, and much interjacent narrative, Barnabas, desirous of Paul’s assistance upon the enlargement of the Christian mission, “went to Tarsus for to seek him.”** We cannot doubt but that the new apostle had been busied in his ministry; yet of what he did, or what he suffered, during this period, which may include three or four years, the history professes not to deliver any information. As Tarsus was situated upon the sea-coast, and as, though Tarsus was his home, yet it is probable he visited from thence many other places, for the purpose of preaching the gospel, it is not unlikely, that in the course of three or four years he might undertake many short voyages to neighbouring countries, in the navigating of which we may be allowed to suppose that some of those disasters and shipwrecks befell him to which he refers in the quotation before us, “thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep.” This last clause I am inclined to interpret of his being obliged to take an open boat, upon the loss of the ship, and his continuing out at sea in that dangerous situation, a night and a day. St. Paul is here recounting his sufferings, not relating miracles. From Tarsus, Barnabas brought Paul to Antioch, and there he remained a year: but of the transactions of that year no other description is given than what is contained in the last four verses of the eleventh chapter. After a more solemn dedica­tion to the ministry, Barnabas and Paul proceeded from Antioch to Cilicia, and from thence they sailed to Cyprus, of which voyage no particulars are mentioned. Upon their return from Cyprus, they made a progress together through the Lesser Asia; and though two remarkable speeches be preserved, and a few incidents in the course of their travels circumstantially related, yet is the account of this progress, upon the whole, given professedly with conciseness; for instance, at Iconium, it is said that they abode a long time:+ yet of this long abode, except concerning the manner in which they were driven away, no memoir is inserted in the history. The whole is wrapped up in one short summary, “They spake boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” Having completed their progress, the two apostles returned to Antioch, “and there they abode a long time with the disciples.” Here we have another large portion of time passed over in silence. To this succeeded a journey to Jerusalem, upon a dispute which then much agitated the Christian church, concerning the obligation of the law of Moses. When the object of that journey was completed, Paul proposed to Barnabas to go again and visit their brethren in every city where they had preached the word of the Lord. The execution of this plan carried our apostle through Syria, Cilicia, and many provinces of the Lesser Asia; yet is the account of the whole journey dispatched in four verses of the sixteenth chapter.

 

If the Acts of the Apostles had undertaken to exhibit regular annals of St. Paul’s ministry, or even any continued account of his life, from his conversion at Damascus to his imprisonment at Rome, I should have thought the omission of the circumstances referred to in our epistle a matter of rea­sonable objection. But when it appears, from the history itself, that large portions of St. Paul’s life were either passed over in silence, or only slightly touched upon, and that nothing more than certain detached incidents and discourses is related; when we observe, also, that the author of the history did not join our apostle’s society till a few years before the writing of the epistle, at least that there is no proof in the history that he did so; in comparing the history with the epistle, we shall not be surprised by the discovery of omissions; we shall ascribe it to truth that there is no contradiction.

 

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* Acts, chap. 9:80.

** Chap. 11:25.

+ Chap. 14:3.



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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:05 AM

No. X.

 

Chap. 3:1. “Do we begin again to commend our­selves? or need we, as some others, letters of commendation from you?”

 

“As some others.” Turn to Acts 18:27, and you will find that a short time before the writing of this epistle, Apollos had gone to Corinth with letters of commendation from the Ephesian Christians; “and when Apollos was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him.” Here the words of the epistle bear the appearance of alluding to some specific instance, and the history supplies that instance; it supplies at least an instance as apposite as possible to the terms which the apostle uses, and to the date and direction of the epistle in which they are found.    The letter which Apollos carried from Ephesus was precisely the letter of commendation which St. Paul meant; and it was to Achaia, of which Corinth was the capital, and indeed to Corinth itself (Acts, chap. 19:1), that Apollos carried it; and it was about two years before the writing of this epistle. If St. Paul’s words be rather thought to refer to some general usage which then obtained among the Christian churches, the case of Apollos exemplifies that usage; and affords that species of confirma­tion to the epistle, which arises from seeing the manners of the age, in which it purports to be written, faithfully pre­served.



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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:06 AM

No. XI.*

 

Chap. 13:1. “This is the third time I am coming to you:” τρίτον το ῦτο ἕρχομαι.

 

Do not these words import that the writer had been at Corinth twice before? Yet if they import this, they overset every congruity we have been endeavouring to establish. The Acts of the Apostles record only two journeys of St. Paul to Corinth. We have all along supposed, what every mark of time except this expression indicates, that this epistle was written between the first and second of these journeys. If St. Paul had been already twice at Corinth, this suppo­sition must be given up: and every argument or observation which depends upon it falls to the ground. Again, the Acts of the Apostles not only record no more than two journeys of St. Paul to Corinth, but do not allow us to suppose that more than two such journeys could be made or intended by him within the period which the history comprises; for from his first journey into Greece to his first imprisonment at Rome, with which the history concludes, the apostle’s time is accounted for. If therefore the epistle was written after the second journey to Corinth, and upon the view and expectation of a third, it must have been written after his first imprison­ment at Rome, that is, after the time to which the history extends. When I first read over this epistle with the par­ticular view of comparing it with the history, which I chose to do without consulting any commentary whatever, I own that I felt myself confounded by this text. It appeared to contradict the opinion, which I had been led by a great variety of circumstances to form, concerning the date and occasion of the epistle.   At length, however, it occurred to my thoughts to inquire, whether the passage did necessarily imply that St. Paul had been at Corinth twice; or, whether, when he says, “this is the third time I am coming to you,” he might mean only that this was the third time that he was ready, that he was prepared, that he intended to set out on his journey to Corinth. I recollected that he had once before this purposed to visit Corinth, and had been disappointed in this purpose; which disappointment forms the subject of much apology and protestation, in the first and second chapters of the epistle. Now, if the journey in which he had been disappointed was reckoned by him one of the times in which “he was coming to them,” then the present, would be the third time, that is, of his being ready and prepared to come; although he had been actually at Corinth only once before. This conjecture being taken up, a further examination of the passage and the epistle produced proofs which placed it beyond doubt. “This is the third time I am coming to you:” in the verse following these words, he adds, “I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which hereto­fore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare.” In this verse the apostle is declaring before­hand what he would do in his intended visit: his expression, therefore, “as if I were present a second time,” relates to that visit. But, if his future visit would only make him present among them a second time, it follows that he had been already there but once. Again, in the fifteenth verse of the first chapter, he tells them, “In this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit.” Why a second, and not a third benefit? why δεύτεραν, and not τρίτην χάριν, if the τρίτον ἕρχομαι, in the fifteenth chapter, meant a third visit? for, though the visit in the first chapter be that visit in which he was disappointed, yet, as it is evident from the epistle that he had never been at Corinth from the time of the disappointment to the time of writing the epistle, it follows, that if it were only a second visit in which he was disappointed then, it could only be a second visit which he proposed now. But the text which I think is decisive of the question, if any question remain upon the subject, is the fourteenth verse of the twelfth chapter, “Behold the third time I am ready to come to you:” Ἰδού  τρίτον έτοίμως ἕχω ἐλθει̂ν.    It is very clear that the τρίτον έτοίμως ἕχω ελεών of the twelfth chapter, and the τρίτον τοὔτο ἕρχομαι of the thirteenth chapter, are equivalent expres­sions, were intended to convey the same meaning, and to relate to the same journey. The comparison of these phrases gives us St. Paul’s own explanation of his own words; and it is that very explanation which we are contending for, namely, that τρίτον τοὔτο ἕρχομαι does not mean that he was coming a third time, but that this was the third time he was in readiness to come, τρίτον έτοίμως ἕχων. I do not apprehend, that after this it can be necessary to call to our aid the reading of the Alexandrian manuscript, which gives έτοίμως ἕχω ἐλθει̂ν in the thirteenth chapter as well as in the twelfth; or of the Syriac and Coptic versions, which follow that reading; because I allow that this reading, besides not being sufficiently supported by ancient copies, is probably para-phrastical, and has been inserted for the purpose of expressing more unequivocally the sense, which the shorter expression τρίτον τοὔτο ἕρχομαι was supposed to carry. Upon the whole, the matter is sufficiently certain: nor do I propose it as a new interpretation of the text which contains the difficulty, for the same was given by Grotius long ago: but I thought it the clearest way of explaining the subject to describe the manner in which the difficulty, the solution, and the proofs of that solution, successively presented themselves to my inquiries. Now, in historical researches, a reconciled inconsistency be­comes a positive argument. First, because an impostor gene­rally guards against the appearance of inconsistency; and secondly, because, when apparent inconsistencies are found, it is seldom that anything but truth renders them capable of reconciliation. The existence of the difficulty proves the want or absence of that caution, which usually accompanies the consciousness of fraud; and the solution proves, that it is not the collusion of fortuitous propositions which we have to deal with, but that a thread of truth winds through the whole, which preserves every circumstance in its place.(p)

 

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(p) In this article the difficulty, supposing the words to imply a third visit to Corinth, appears to be overstated. It is true that all the internal signs fix the date of the epistle about the time of the tumult at Ephesus. And hence the real question is not, whether it were written before the visit in Acts 20:1, 2, or before some later visit; but whether a second visit, not mentioned in the history, had already taken place, or, on the other hand, a second visit in purpose only, which had never been fulfilled. Dr. Burton, and many others, adopt the former view. He places the visit to Crete, and the Epistle to Titus, during the long stay at Ephesus, and supposes the apostle to have touched at Corinth in the way. One of the reasons of Paley for the opposite view, from 2 Cor. 1:15, is clearly of no weight.   The phrase, a second benefit, refers most naturally to the double visit, which was the apostle’s design at first, in contrast with that single visit, which resulted from the alteration of his plan. The reading varies slightly in 2 Cor. 13:8, and though the passage may be explained in either view, it seems to agree best with the view of Grotius and Paley. “I have foretold, and foretell, as if present the second time, even now when absent, to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all others, that if I come again, I will not spare.” It is more natural to suppose that he refers to the visit close at hand, than to another of which there is no trace elsewhere, either in the letters or the history. The comparison of 2 Cor. 13:1, with xii. H, is a still more powerful reason for the same view, which Paley has justly preferred; but still there is no violent improbability in the opinion of several critics, that a second brief visit had occurred during the apostle’s long stay at Ephesus.—ED.



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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:07 AM

No. XII.*

 

Chap. 10:14-16.”We are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you.”

 

This quotation affords an indirect, and therefore unsus­picious, but at the same time a distinct and indubitable recognition of the truth and exactness of the history. I con­sider it to be implied by the words of the quotation, that Corinth was the extremity of St. Paul’s travels hitherto. He expresses to the Corinthians his hope, that in some future visit he might “preach the gospel to the regions beyond them;” which imports that he had not hitherto proceeded “beyond them,” but that Corinth was as yet the furthest point or boundary of his travels.—Now, how is St. Paul’s first journey into Europe, which was the only one he had taken before the writing of the epistle, traced out in the history? Sailing from Asia, he landed at Philippi; from Philippi, traversing the eastern coast of the peninsula, he passed through Amphi­polis and Appollonia to Thessalonica; from thence through Berea to Athens, and from Athens to Corinth, where he stopped; and from whence, after a residence of a year and a half, he sailed back into Syria. So that Corinth was the last place which he visited in the peninsula; was the place from which he returned into Asia, and was, as such, the boundary and limit of his progress. He could not have said the same thing, namely “I hope hereafter to visit the regions beyond you,” in an epistle to the Philippians, or in an epistle to the Thessalonians, inasmuch as he must be deemed to have already visited the regions beyond them, having proceeded from those cities to other parts of Greece.    But from Corinth he returned home: every part therefore beyond that city might properly be said, as it is said in the passage before us, to be unvisited. Yet is this propriety the spontaneous effect of truth, and produced without meditation or design.(q)

 

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(q) See Horæ Apostolicæ: ch, V. No. II. for some further remarks on the above passage.—ED.



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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:08 AM

CHAPTER V.

 

THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS.

 

No. I.

 

The argument of this epistle in some measure proves its anti­quity. It will hardly be doubted, but that it was written whilst the dispute concerning the circumcision of Gentile converts was fresh in men’s minds: for, even supposing it to have been a forgery, the only credible motive that can be assigned for the forgery, was to bring the name and authority of the apostle into this controversy. No design could be so insipid, or so unlikely to enter into the thoughts of any man, as to produce an epistle written earnestly and pointedly upon one side of a controversy, when the controversy itself was dead, and the question no longer interesting to any descrip­tion of readers whatever. Now the controversy concerning the circumcision of the Gentile Christians was of such a nature, that, if it arose at all, it must have arisen in the be­ginning of Christianity. As Judæa was the scene of the Christian history; as the Author and preachers of Christianity were Jews; as the religion itself acknowledged and was founded upon the Jewish religion, in contradistinction to every other religion then professed amongst mankind: it was not to be wondered at, that some of its teachers should carry it out in the world rather as a sect and modification of Judaism, than as a separate original revelation; or that they should invite their proselytes to those observances in which they lived themselves. This was likely to happen: but if it did not happen at first; if, whilst the religion was in the hands of Jewish teachers, no such claim was advanced, no such condition was attempted to be imposed, it is not probable that the doctrine would be started, much less that it should prevail in any future period. I likewise think, that those pre­tensions of Judaism were much more likely to be insisted upon, whilst the Jews continued a nation, than after their fall and dispersion; whilst Jerusalem and the temple stood, than after the destruction brought upon them by the Roman arms, the fatal cessation of the sacrifice and the priesthood, the humiliating loss of their country, and, with it, of the great rites and symbols of their institution. It should seem, there­fore, from the nature of the subject, and the situation of the parties, that this controversy was carried on in the interval between the preaching of Christianity to the Gentiles and the invasion of Titus; and that our present epistle, which was undoubtedly intended to bear a part in this controversy, must be referred to the same period.



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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:08 AM

But, again, the epistle supposes that certain designing ad­herents of the Jewish law had crept into the churches of Galatia, and had been endeavouring, and but too successfully, to persuade the Galatic converts that they had been taught the new religion imperfectly and at second hand; that the founder of their church himself possessed only an inferior and deputed commission, the seat of truth and authority being in the apostles and elders of Jerusalem; moreover, that whatever he might profess amongst them, he had himself, at other times and in other places, given way to the doctrine of circumcision. The epistle is unintelligible without supposing all this. Re­ferring therefore to this, as to what had actually passed, we find St. Paul treating so unjust an attempt to undermine his credit, and to introduce among his converts a doctrine which he had uniformly reprobated, in terms of great asperity and indignation. And in order to refute the suspicions which had been raised concerning the fidelity of his teaching, as well as to assert the independency and Divine original of his mission, we find him appealing to the history of his conversion, to his conduct under it, to the manner in which he had conferred with the apostles when he met with them at Jerusalem: alleging, that so far was his doctrine from being derived from them, or they from exercising any superiority over him, that they had simply assented to what he had already preached among the Gentiles, and which preaching was communicated not by them to him, but by himself to them; that he had maintained the liberty of the Gentile church, by opposing, upon one occasion, an apostle to the face, when the timidity of his behaviour seemed to endanger it; that from the first, that all along, that to that hour, he had constantly resisted the claims of Judaism; and that the persecutions which he daily underwent, at the hands or by the instigation of the Jews, and of which he bore in his person the marks and scars, might have been avoided by him, if he had consented to em­ploy his labours in bringing, through the medium of Chris­tianity, converts over to the Jewish institution, for then “would the offence of the cross have ceased.” Now an impostor who had forged the epistle for the purpose of producing St. Paul’s authority in the dispute, which, as hath been observed, is the only credible motive that can be as­signed for the forgery, might have made the apostle deliver his opinion upon the subject in strong and decisive terms, or might have put his name to a train of reasoning and argu­mentation upon that side of the question which the impostor was intended to recommend. I can allow the possibility of such a scheme as that; but for a writer, with this purpose in view, to feign a series of transactions supposed to have passed amongst the Christians of Galatia, and then to counterfeit expressions of anger and resentment excited by these trans­actions; to make the apostle travel back into his own his­tory, and into a recital of various passages of his life, some indeed directly, but others obliquely, and others even ob­scurely bearing upon the point in question; in a word, to substitute narrative for argument, expostulation and complaint for dogmatic positions and controversial reasoning, in a writing properly controversial, and of which the aim and design was to support one side of a much agitated question—is a method so intricate, and so unlike the methods pursued by all other impostors, as to require very flagrant proofs of imposition to induce us to believe it to be one.



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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:11 AM

No. II.

 

In this number I shall endeavour to prove,

 

1.  That the Epistle to the Galatians, and the Acts of the Apostles, were written without any communication with each other.

 

2.  That the Epistle, though written without any commu­nication with the history, by recital, implication, or reference, bears testimony to many of the facts contained in it.

 

1. The Epistle and the Acts of the Apostles were written without any communication with each other.

 

To judge of this point, we must examine those passages in each, which describe the same transaction; for, if the author of either writing derived his information from the account which he had seen in the other, when he came to speak of the same transaction, he would follow that account. The history of St. Paul, at Damascus, as read in the Acts, and as referred to by the epistle, forms an instance of this sort. According to the Acts, Paul (after his conversion) was cer­tain days with the “disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is not this he that destroyed them which called on his name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, confounding the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him. But their laying await was known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples,” chap. 9:19—26.

 

According to the epistle, “When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia; and returned again unto Damascus.    Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem.”

 

Beside the difference observable in the terms and general complexion of these two accounts,” the journey into Arabia,” mentioned in the epistle and omitted in the history, affords full proof that there existed no correspondence between these writers. If the narrative in the Acts had been made up from the epistle, it is impossible that this journey should have been passed over in silence; if the epistle had been composed out of what the author had read of St. Paul’s history in the Acts, it is unaccountable that it should have been inserted.*

 

The journey to Jerusalem related in the second chapter of the epistle (“then, fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem”) supplies another example of the same kind. Either this was the journey described in the fifteenth chapter of the Acts, when Paul and Barnabas were sent from Antioch to Jerusalem, to consult the apostles and elders upon the ques­tion of the Gentile converts; or it was some journey of which the history does not take notice. If the first opinion be fol­lowed, the discrepancy in the two accounts is so considerable, that it is not without difficulty they can be adapted to the same transaction: so that, upon this supposition, there is no place for suspecting that the writers were guided or assisted by each other. If the latter opinion be preferred, we have then a journey to Jerusalem, and a conference with the prin­cipal members of the church there, circumstantially related in the epistle, and entirely omitted in the Acts; and we are at liberty to repeat the observation, which we before made, that the omission of so material a fact in the history is inex­plicable, if the historian had read the epistle; and that the insertion of it in the epistle, if the writer derived his informa­tion from the history, is not less so.

 

St. Peter’s visit to Antioch, during which the dispute arose between him and St. Paul, is not mentioned in the Acts.

 

If we connect, with these instances, the general observation, that no scrutiny can discover the smallest trace of transcrip­tion or imitation, either in things or words, we shall be fully satisfied in this part of our case; namely, that the two records, be the facts contained in them true or false, come to our hands from independent sources.

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* N.B. The Acts of the Apostles simply inform us that St. Paul left Damascus in order to go to Jerusalem,” after many days were fulfilled.” If any doubt whether the words “many days” could be intended to express a period which included a term of three years, he will find a complete instance of the same phrase used with the same latitude in the first book of Kings, chap. 11: 38, 39. “And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days. And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away.”



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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:12 AM

Secondly, I say that the epistle, thus proved to have been written without any communication with the history, bears testimony to a great variety of particulars contained in the history.

 

1. St Paul, in the early part of his life, had addicted him­self to the study of the Jewish religion, and was distinguished by his real for the institution, and for the traditions which had been incorporated with it. Upon this part of his character the history makes St. Paul speak thus: “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught accord­ing to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers; and was zealous toward God, as   ye all are this day,” Acts 22:3.

 

The epistle is as follows: “I profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more ex­ceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers,” chap. 1:14.

 

2. St. Paul, before his conversion, had been a fierce perse­cutor of the new sect.”As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women, committed them to prison,” Acts 8:3.

 

This is the history of St. Paul, as delivered in the Acts; in the recital of his own history in the epistle, “Ye have heard,” says he, “of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God,” chap. 1:13.

 

3. St. Paul was miraculously converted on his way to Damascus. “And as he journeyed, he came near Damas­cus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he felt to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Acts 9:3-6. With these compare the epistle, chap. 1:15-17: “When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them that were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and re­turned again unto Damascus.”

 

In this quotation from the epistle, I desire it to be remarked how incidentally it appears, that the affair passed at Damascus. In what may be called the direct part of the account, no men­tion is made of the place of his conversion at all: a casual expression at the end, and an expression brought in for a different purpose, alone fixes it to have been at Damascus; “I returned again unto Damascus.” Nothing can be more like simplicity and undesignedness than this is. It also draws the agreement between the two quotations somewhat closer, to observe, that they both state St. Paul to have preached the gospel immediately upon his call: “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God,” Acts 9:20.”When it pleased God .... to reveal his Son to me, that I might preach him among the heathen; imme­diately I conferred not with flesh and blood,” Galatians 1:15.

 

4. The course of the apostle’s travels after his conversion was this: He went from Damascus to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem into Syria and Cilicia. At Damascus, “the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples,” Acts 9:25, 26. Afterwards, “when the brethren knew” the conspiracy formed against him at Jerusalem, “they brought him down to Cæsarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus,” a city in Cilicia, ver. 30. In the epistle, St. Paul gives the following brief account of his proceedings within the same period: “After three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.—Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.” The history had told us that Paul passed from Cæsarea to Tarsus: if he took his journey by land, it would carry him through Syria into Cilicia; and he would come, after his visit at Jerusalem, “into the regions of Syria and Cilicia,” in the very order in which he mentions them in the epistle. This supposition of his going from Cæsarea to Tarsus, by land, clears up also another point It accounts for what St. Paul says in the same place concerning the churches of Judæa: “Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judæa which were in Christ: but they had heard only, That he which per­secuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.” Upon which passage I observe, first, that what is here said of the churches of Judæa, is spoken in connexion with his journey into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. Secondly, that the passage itself has little significancy, and that the connexion is inexplicable, unless St. Paul went through Judæa* (though probably by a hasty journey) at the time that he came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. Suppose him to have passed by land from Cæsarea to Tarsus, all this, as hath been observed, would be precisely true.(r.)

 

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* Dr. Doddridge thought that the Cæsarea here mentioned was not the celebrated city of that name upon the Mediterranean sea, but Cæsarea Philippi, near the borders of Syria, which lies in a much more direct line from Jerusalem to Tarsus than the other. The objection to this, Dr. Benson remarks, is, that Cæsarea, without any addition, usually denotes Cæsarea Palestinæ.

(r.) This hypothesis of a land journey is without the least warrant in the passage, on which Paley, by a very unusual oversight, has sought to found it; for the words (Gal. 1:21, 22) clearly do not refer to the order of St. Paul’s route on a hasty journey, but to the scene of his continued abode for many years. Syria is named before Cilicia, either because Antioch was a more important scene of labour than Tarsus, or because his stay was much longer in that province.—ED.



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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:14 AM

5.  Barnabas was with St. Paul at Antioch. “Then de­parted Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church,” Acts 11:25, 26. Again, and upon another occasion, Paul and Barnabas “sailed to Antioch:” and there they continued a “long time with the disciples,” chap. 14:26.

 

Now what says the epistle? “When Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.—And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation” chap. 2:11, 13.

 

6.  The stated residence of the apostles was at Jerusalem. “At that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judæa and Samaria, except the apostles,” Acts 8:1. “They (the Christians at An­tioch) determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question,” Acts 15:2.—With these accounts agrees the declaration in the epistle: “Neither went I up to Jeru­salem to them which were apostles before me,” chap. 1:17, for this declaration implies, or rather assumes it to be known, that Jerusalem was the place where the apostles were to be met with.

 

7.  There were at Jerusalem two apostles, or at the least two eminent members of the church, of the name of James. This is directly inferred from the Acts of the Apostles, which in the second verse of the twelfth chapter relates the death of James, the brother of John; and yet in the fifteenth chapter, and in a subsequent part of the history, records a speech de­livered by James in the assembly of the apostles and elders. It is also strongly implied by the form of expression used in the epistle: “Other apostles saw I none, save James, the Lord’s brother:” that is, to distinguish him from James the brother of John.

 

To us who have been long conversant in the Christian history, as contained in the Acts of the Apostles, these points are obvious and familiar; nor do we readily apprehend any greater difficulty in making them appear in a letter purporting to have been written by St. Paul, than there is in introducing them into a modern sermon. But, to judge correctly of the argument before us, we must discharge this knowledge from our thoughts. We must propose to ourselves the situation of an author who sat down to the writing of the epistle with­out having seen the history; and then the concurrences we have deduced will be deemed of importance. They will at least be taken for separate confirmations of the several facts, and not only of these particular facts, but of the general truth of the history.

 

For, what is the rule with respect to corroborative testi­mony which prevails in courts of justice, and which prevails only because experience has proved that it is an useful guide to truth? A principal witness in a cause delivers his account: his narrative, in certain parts of it, is confirmed by witnesses who are called afterwards. The credit derived from their testimony belongs not only to the particular circumstances in which the auxiliary witnesses agree with the principal witness, but in some measure to the whole of his evidence; because it is improbable that accident or fiction should draw a line which touched upon truth in so many points.

 

In like manner, if two records be produced, manifestly in­dependent, that is, manifestly written without any participa­tion of intelligence, an agreement between them, even in few and slight circumstances, (especially if from the different nature and design of the writings few points only of agreement, and those incidental, could be expected to occur,) would add a sensible weight to the authority of both, in every part of their contents.

 

The same rule is applicable to history, with at least as much reason as any other species of evidence.



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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:14 AM

No. III.

 

But although the references to various particulars in the epistle, compared with the direct account of the same parti­culars in the history, afford a considerable proof of the truth not only of these particulars, but of the narrative which con­tains them; yet they do not show, it will be said, that the epistle was written by St. Paul: for admitting (what seems to have been proved) that the writer, whoever he was, had no recourse to the Acts of the Apostles, yet many of the facts referred to, such as St. Paul’s miraculous conversion, his change from a virulent persecutor to an indefatigable preacher, his labours amongst the Gentiles, and his zeal for the liberties of the Gentile church, were so notorious as to occur readily to the mind of any Christian, who should choose to personate his character, and counterfeit his name; it was only to write what every body knew. Now I think that this supposition—namely, that the epistle was composed upon general informa­tion, and the general publicity of the facts alluded to, and that the author did no more than weave into his work what the common fame of the Christian church had reported to his ears—is repelled by the particularity of the recitals and refer­ences. This particularity is observable in the following in­stances; in perusing which, I desire the reader to reflect, whether they exhibit the language of a man who had nothing but general reputation to proceed upon, or of a man actually speaking of himself and of his own history, and consequently of things concerning which he possessed a clear, intimate, and circumstantial knowledge.

 

1.  The history, in giving an account of St. Paul after his conversion, relates, “that, after many days,” effecting, by the assistance of the disciples, his escape from Damascus, “he proceeded to Jerusalem,” Acts 9:25. The epistle, speaking of the same period, makes St. Paul say that “he went into Arabia,” that he returned again to Damascus, that after three years he went up to Jerusalem» Chap. 1:17, 18.

 

2.  The history relates, that, when Saul was come from Damascus, he was with the disciples “coming in and going out,” Acts 9:28. The epistle, describing the same journey, tells us, that he” went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days,” chap. 1:18.

 

3.  The history relates that when Paul was come to Jerusa­lem, “Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles,” Acts 9:27. The epistle, that he saw Peter; but other of the apostles saw he “none, save James, the Lord’s brother,” chap. 1:19.

 

Now this is as it should be. The historian delivers his account in general terms, as of facts at which he was not pre­sent. The person who is the subject of that account, when he comes to speak of these facts himself, particularizes time, names, and circumstances.

 

4.   The like notation of places, persons, and dates, is met with in the account of St. Paul’s journey to Jerusalem, given in the second chapter of the epistle. It was fourteen years after his conversion; it was in company with Barnabas and Titus; it was then that he met with James, Cephas, and John; it was then also that it was agreed amongst them, that they should go to the circumcision, and he unto the Gentiles.

 

5.  The dispute with Peter, which occupies the sequel of the second chapter, is marked with the same particularity. It was at Antioch; it was after certain came from James; it was whilst Barnabas was there, who was carried away by their dissimulation. These examples negative the insinuation, that the epistle presents nothing but indefinite allusions to public facts.



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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:15 AM

No. IV.

 

Chap. 4:11-16. “I am afraid of you, lest I have be­stowed upon you labour in vain. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in the flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them unto me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

 

With this passage compare 2 Corinthians 7:1-9: “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body I cannot tell; or whether out of the body I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such a one caught up to the third heaven; and I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For, though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abund­ance of the revelations, there was given to me α thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be ex­alted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made per­fect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

 

There can be no doubt but that “the temptation which was in the flesh,” mentioned in the Epistle to the Galatians, and “the thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him,” mentioned in the Epistle to the Corinthians, were in­tended to denote the same thing. Either therefore it was, what we pretend it to have been, the same person in both, alluding, as the occasion led him, to some bodily infirmity under which he laboured; that is, we are reading the real letters of a real apostle; or, it was that a sophist, who had seen the circumstance in one epistle, contrived, for the sake of correspondency, to bring it into another; or, lastly, it was a circumstance in St. Paul’s personal condition, supposed to be well known to those into whose hands the epistle was likely to fall; and, for that reason, introduced into a writing de­signed to bear his name. I have extracted the quotations at length, in order to enable the reader to judge accurately of the manner in which the mention of this particular comes in, in each; because that judgment, I think, will acquit the author of the epistle of the charge of having studiously inserted it, either with a view of producing an apparent agreement be­tween them, or for any other purpose whatever.

 

The context, by which the circumstance before us is intro­duced, is in the two places totally different, and without any mark of imitation: yet in both places does the circumstance rise aptly and naturally out of the context, and that context from the train of thought carried on in the epistle.

 

The Epistle to the Galatians from the beginning to the end, runs in a strain of angry complaint of their defection from the apostle, and from the principles which he had taught them. It was very natural to contrast with this conduct, the zeal with which they had once received him; and it was not less so to mention, as a proof of their former disposition towards him, the indulgence which, whilst he was amongst them, they         had shown to his infirmity: “My temptation which was in the flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?” that is, the benedictions which you bestowed upon me; “for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.”

 

In the two Epistles to the Corinthians, especially in the second, we have the apostle contending with certain teachers in Corinth, who had formed a party in that church ‘against him. To vindicate his personal authority, as well as the dignity and credit of his ministry amongst them, he takes occa­sion (but not without apologizing repeatedly for the folly, that is, for the indecorum, of pronouncing his own panegyric)* to meet his adversaries in their boastings: “Whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they the ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more fre­quent, in deaths oft.” Being led to the subject, he goes on, as was natural, to recount his trials and dangers, his incessant cares and labours in the Christian mission. From the proofs which he had given of his zeal and activity in the service of Christ, he passes (and that with the same view of establishing his claim to be considered as “not a whit behind the very chiefest of the apostles”) to the visions and revela­tions which from time to time had been vouchsafed to him. And then, by a close and easy connexion, comes in the men­tion of his infirmity: “Lest I should be exalted,” says he, “above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me.”

 

Thus then, in both epistles, the notice of his infirmity is suited to the place in which it is found. In the Epistle to the Corinthians, the train of thought draws up to the circumstance by a regular approximation. In this epistle, it is sug­gested by the subject and occasion of the epistle itself. Which observation we offer as an argument to prove that it is not, in either epistle, a circumstance industriously brought forward for the sake of procuring credit to an imposture.

 

A reader will be taught to perceive the force of this argu­ment, who shall attempt to introduce a given circumstance into the body of a writing. To do this without abruptness, or without betraying marks of design in the transition, requires, he will find, more art than he expected to be necessary, cer­tainly more than any one can believe to have been exercised in the composition of these epistles.

 

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* “Would to God you would bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me,” Chap. 11:1.

“That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting,  chap. 11:17.

“I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me,” chap. 12:11.



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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:16 AM

No. V.

 

Chap. 4:29. “But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.”

 

Chap. 5:11.”And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumci­sion, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.”

 

Chap. 6:17. “From henceforth, let no man trouble me; for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”

 

From these several texts, it is apparent that the perse­cutions which our apostle had undergone were from the hands or by the instigation of the Jews; that it was not for preaching Christianity in opposition to heathenism, but it was for preach­ing it as distinct from Judaism, that he had brought upon himself the sufferings which had attended his ministry. And this representation perfectly coincides with that which results from the detail of St. Paul’s history, as delivered in the Acts. At Antioch, in Pisidia, the “word of the Lord was. published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts,” Acts 13:49, 50. Not long after, at Iconium, “a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren,” chap. 14:1,2. At Lystra “there came certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead,” chap. 14:19. The same enmity, and from the same quarter, our apostle experienced in Greece: At Thessalonica, “some of them (the Jews) believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city in an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people,” chap. 17:4, 5. Their persecutors follow them to Berea: “When the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people,” chap. 17:13. And lastly at Corinth, when Gallio was deputy of Achaia, “the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat.” I think it does not appear that our apostle was ever set upon by the Gentiles, unless they were first stirred up by the Jews, except in two instances; in both which the persons who began the assault were immediately interested in his expulsion from the place. Once this happened at Philippi, after the cure of the Pythoness: “When her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the market-place, unto the rulers,” chap. 16:19. And a second time at Ephesus, at the instance of Demetrius, a silver­smith which made silver shrines for Diana, who called to­gether “workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.”



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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:16 AM

No. VI.

 

I observe an agreement in a somewhat peculiar rule of Christian conduct, as laid down in this epistle, and as exem­plified in the second Epistle to the Corinthians. It is not the repetition of the same general precept, which would have been a coincidence of little value; but it is the general precept in one place, and the application of that precept to an actual occurrence in the other. In the sixth chapter and first verse of this epistle, our apostle gives the following direction: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.”    In 2 Cor. 2:6-8, he writes thus: “Sufficient to such a man” (the incestuous person mentioned in the first epistle) “is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that con­trariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such an one should be swallowed up with over­much sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.” I have little doubt but that it was the same mind which dictated these two passages.



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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:17 AM

No. VII.

 

Our epistle goes further than any of St. Paul’s epistles; for it avows in direct terms the supersession of the Jewish law, as an instrument of salvation, even to the Jews themselves. Not only were the Gentiles exempt from this authority, but even the Jews were no longer either to place any dependency upon it, or consider themselves as subject to it on a religious account. “Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” chap. 3:23-25. This was undoubtedly spoken of Jews and to Jews. In like manner, chap. 4:1-5; “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world; but when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” These passages are nothing short of a declaration, that the obligation of the Jewish law, considered as a religious dispensation, the effects of which were to take place in another life, had ceased with respect even to the Jews themselves. What then should be the conduct of a Jew (for such St. Paul was), who preached this doctrine? To be consistent with himself, either he would no longer comply, in his own person, with the directions of the law; or, if he did comply, it would be for some other reason than any confidence which he placed in its efficacy, as a religious institution. Now so it happens, that whenever St. Paul’s compliance with the Jewish law is mentioned in the history, it is mentioned in connexion with circumstances which point out the motive from which it pro­ceeded; and this motive appears to have been always exoteric, namely, a love of order and tranquillity, or an unwillingness to give unnecessary offence. Thus, Acts 16:3: “Him (Timothy) would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters.” Again, Acts 21:26, when Paul consented to exhibit an example of public compliance with a Jewish rite by purifying himself in the temple, it is plainly intimated that he did this to satisfy “many thousands of Jews who believed, and who were all zealous of the law.” So far the instances, related in one book, correspond with the doctrine delivered in another.



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Posted 08 May 2013 - 01:18 AM

No. VIII.*

 

Chap. 1:18. “Then after three years I went up to Jeru­salem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.”

 

The shortness of St. Paul’s stay at Jerusalem is what I desire the reader to remark. The direct account of the same journey in the Acts, chap. 9:28, determines nothing concern­ing the time of his continuance there: “And he was with them (the apostles) coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and dis­puted against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Cæsarea.” Or rather this account, taken by itself, would lead a reader to suppose that St. Paul’s abode at Jerusalem had been longer than fifteen days. But turn to the twenty-second chapter of the Acts, and you will find a reference to this visit to Jerusalem, which plainly indicates that Paul’s continuance in that city had been of short duration: “And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; and saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.” Here we have the general terms of one text so explained by a distant text in the same book, as to bring an indeterminate expression into a close conformity with a specification delivered in another book: a species of consistency not, I think, usually found in fabulous relations.(s)

 

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(s) The reality of this coincidence has been questioned by Mr. Biley, in his valuable Supplement to the Hone Pauline, who conceives that the allusion in Acts 22. is not to the first, but to the second visit. In Horæ Apostolicæ. cap. II. No. I. the accuracy of Paley’s view is vindicated, and it is shown that it is the first visit to which the allusion is really made.—ED.






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