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Horæ Paulinæ


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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:21 AM

No. IV.

 

Chap. 5:23. “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”

 

Imagine an impostor sitting down to forge an epistle in the name of St. Paul. Is it credible that it should come into his head to give such a direction as this; so remote from every thing of doctrine or discipline, everything of public concern to the religion or the church, or to any sect, order, or party in it, and from every purpose with which such an epistle could be written? It seems to me that nothing but reality, that is, the real valetudinary situation of a real person, could have sug­gested a thought of so domestic a nature.

 

But if the peculiarity of the advice be observable, the place in which it stands is more so. The context is this: “Lay-hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure. Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judg­ment; and some men they follow after.” The direction to Timothy about his diet stands between two sentences, as wide from the subject as possible. The train of thought seems to be broken to let it in. Now when does this happen? It happens when a man writes as he remembers: when he puts down an article that occurs the moment it occurs, lest he should afterwards forget it. Of this the passage before us bears strongly the appearance. In actual letters, in the neg­ligence of real correspondence, examples of this kind frequently take place; seldom, I believe, in any other production. For the moment a man regards what he writes as a composition, which the author of a forgery would, of all others, be the first to do, notions of order, in the arrangement and succession of his thoughts, present themselves to his judgment, and guide his pen.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:22 AM

No.V.

 

Chap. 1:15, 16. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

 

What was the mercy which St. Paul here commemorates, and what was the crime of which he accuses himself, is appa­rent from the verses immediately preceding: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blas­phemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief,” verses 12, 13. The whole quotation plainly refers to St. Paul’s original enmity to the Christian name, the interposition of Providence in his con­version, and his subsequent designation to the ministry of the gospel; and by this reference affirms indeed the substance of the apostle’s history delivered in the Acts. But what in the passage strikes my mind most powerfully, is the observation that is raised out of the fact: “For this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long­suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” It is a just and solemn reflection, springing from the circumstances of the author’s conversion, or rather from the impression which that great event had left upon his memory. It will be said, perhaps, that an impostor acquainted with St. Paul’s history may have put such a sentiment into his mouth; or, what is the same thing, into a letter drawn up in his name. But where, we may ask, is such an impostor to be found? The piety, the truth, the benevolence of the thought, ought to protect it from this imputation. For, though we should allow that one of the great masters of the ancient tragedy could have given to his scene a sentiment as virtuous and as elevated as this is, and at the same time as appropriate, and as well suited to the particular situation of the person who delivers it; yet whoever is conversant in these inquiries will acknowledge, that to do this in a fictitious pro­duction is beyond the reach of the understandings which have been employed upon any fabrications that have come down to us under Christian names.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:22 AM

CHAPTER XII.

 

THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY.

 

No. I*

 

It was the uniform tradition of the primitive church, that St. Paul visited Rome twice, and twice there suffered imprison­ment; and that he was put to death at Rome at the conclu­sion of his second imprisonment. This opinion concerning St. Paul’s two journeys to Rome is confirmed by a great variety of hints and allusions in the epistle before us, compared with what fell from the apostle’s pen in other letters purporting to have been written from Rome. That our present epistle was written whilst St. Paul was a prisoner, is distinctly intimated by the eighth verse of the first chapter: “Be not thou there­fore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner.”    And whilst he was a prisoner at Rome, by the sixteenth and seventeenth verses of the same chapter: “The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: but, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.” Since it appears from the former quotation that St. Paul wrote this epistle in confinement, it will hardly admit of doubt that the word chain, in the latter quotation, refers to that con­finement; the chain by which he was then bound, the custody in which he was then kept. And if the word “chain” designate the author’s confinement at the time of writing the epistle, the next words determine it to have been written from Rome: “He was not ashamed of my chain: but, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently.” Now that it was not written during the apostle’s first imprisonment at Rome, or during the same imprisonment in which the epistles to the Ephesians, the Colossians, the Philippians, and Philemon, were written, may be gathered, with considerable evidence, from a comparison of these several epistles with the present.

 

I. In the former epistles, the author confidently looked for­ward to his liberation from confinement, and his speedy depar­ture from Rome. He tells the Philippians (chap. 2:24), “I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.” Philemon he bids to prepare for him a lodging; “for I trust,” says he, “that through your prayers I shall be given unto you,” ver. 22. In the epistle before us, he holds a language ex­tremely different: “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day,” ch. 4:6-8.

 

II. When the former epistles were written from Rome, Timothy was with St. Paul; and is joined with him in writing to the Colossians, the Philippians, and to Philemon. The present epistle implies that he was absent.

 

III. In the former epistles, Demas was with St. Paul at Rome; “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you.” In the epistle now before us: “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thes­salonica.”

 

IV. In the former epistles, Mark was with St. Paul, and joins in saluting the Colossians.  In the present epistle, Timothy is ordered to bring him with him, “for he is profitable to me for the ministry,” chap. 4:11.

 

The case of Timothy and of Mark might be very well ac­counted for, by supposing the present epistle to have been written before the others; so that Timothy, who is here ex­horted “to come shortly unto him” (chap. 4:9), might have arrived, and that Mark, “whom he was to bring with him” (chap. 4:11), might have also reached Rome in sufficient time to have been with St. Paul when the four epistles were written; but then such a supposition is inconsistent with what is said of Demas, by which the posteriority of this to the other epistles is strongly indicated: for in the other epistles Demas was with St. Paul, in the present he hath “forsaken him, and is gone to Thessalonica.” The opposition also of sentiment, with respect to the event of the persecution, is hardly recon­cilable to the same imprisonment.

 

The two following considerations, which were first suggested upon this question by Ludovicus Capellus, are still more con­clusive:



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:24 AM

1. In the twentieth verse of the fourth chapter, St. Paul informs Timothy, that “Erastus abode at Corinth,” Ἔραστος ἔμεινεν ἐν Κορίνθῳ. The form of expression implies, that Erastus had stayed behind at Corinth, when St. Paul left it. But this could not be meant of any journey from Corinth which St. Paul took prior to his first imprisonment at Rome; for when Paul departed from Corinth, as related in the twentieth chapter of the Acts, Timothy was with him: and this was the last time the apostle left Corinth before his coming to Rome, because he left it to proceed on his way to Jerusalem; soon after his arrival at which place he was taken into custody, and continued in that custody till he was carried to Caesar’s tri­bunal. There could be no need therefore to inform Timothy that “Erastus stayed behind at Corinth” upon this occasion, because if the fact were so, it must have been known to Timothy, who was present, as well as to St. Paul.

 

2. In the same verse our epistle also states the following article: “Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.” When St. Paul passed through Miletum on his way to Jerusalem, as related Acts 20; 21., Trophimus was not left behind, but ac­companied him to that city. He was indeed the occasion of the uproar at Jerusalem in consequence of which St. Paul was apprehended; “for they had seen,” says the historian,” before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.” This was evidently the last time of Paul’s being at Miletus before his first imprisonment; for, as hath been said, after his appre­hension at Jerusalem, he remained in custody till he was sent to Rome.

 

In these two articles, we have a journey referred to, which must have taken place subsequently to the conclusion of St. Luke’s history, and of course, after St. Paul’s liberation from his first imprisonment. The epistle, therefore, which contains this reference, since it appears from other parts of it to have been written while St. Paul was a prisoner at Rome, proves that he had returned to that city again, and undergone there a second imprisonment.

 

I do not produce these particulars for the sake of the support which they lend to the testimony of the fathers concerning St. Paul’s second imprisonment, but to remark their consistency and agreement with one another. They are all resolvable into one supposition: and although the supposition itself be in some sort only negative, namely, that the epistle was not written during St. Paul’s first residence at Rome, but in some future im­prisonment in that city; yet is the consistency not less worthy of observation: for the epistle touches upon names and circum­stances connected with the date and with the history of the first imprisonment, and mentioned in letters written during that imprisonment, and so touches upon them, as to leave what is said of one consistent with what is said of others, and con­sistent also with what is said of them in different epistles. Had one of these circumstances been so described as to have fixed the date of the epistle to the first imprisonment, it would have involved the rest in contradiction. And when the number and particularity of the articles which have been brought together under this head are considered, and when it is con­sidered also that the comparisons we have formed amongst them were in all probability neither provided for, nor thought of, by the writer of the epistle, it will be deemed something very like the effect of truth, that no invincible repugnancy is perceived between them.(cc)

 

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(cc) In the Horæ Apostolicæ” cap. XI. No. I., the objections of Hug and others to this date of the epistle are examined, and its correctness is established by decisive arguments.—Ed.

 



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:24 AM

Nο. II.

 

In the Acts of the Apostles, in the sixteenth chapter, and at the first verse, we are told that Paul "came to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek.” In the epistle before us, in the first chapter, and at the fourth and fifth verses, St. Paul writes to Timothy thus: “Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; when I call to re­membrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” Here we have a fair unforced example of coincidence. In the history Timothy was the “son of a Jewess that believed:” in the epistle St. Paul applauds “the faith which dwelt in his mother, Eunice.” In the history it is said of the mother, “that she was a Jewess, and believed:” of the father, “that he was a Greek.” Now when it is said of the mother alone “that she believed,” the father being never­theless mentioned in the same sentence, we are led to suppose of the father that he did not believe, that is, either that he was dead, or that he remained unconverted. Agreeably hereunto, whilst praise is bestowed in the epistle upon one parent, and upon her sincerity in the faith, no notice is taken of the other. The mention of the grandmother is the addition of a circum­stance not found in the history; but it is a circumstance which, as well as the names of the parties, might naturally be expected to be known to the apostle, though overlooked by his his­torian.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:25 AM

No. III.

 

Chap. 3:15. “And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto sal­vation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

 

This verse discloses a circumstance which agrees exactly with what is intimated in the quotation from the Acts, adduced in the last number. In that quotation it is recorded of Timothy’s mother, “that she was a Jewess.” This descrip­tion is virtually, though, I am satisfied, undesignedly, recog­nised in the epistle, when Timothy is reminded in it, “that from a child he had known the Holy Scriptures.” “The Holy Scriptures” undoubtedly meant the Scriptures of the Old Testament. The expression bears that sense in every place in which it occurs.    Those of the New had not yet acquired the name; not to mention, that in Timothy’s childhood, probably, none of them existed. In what manner then could Timothy have known "from a child” the Jewish Scriptures, had he not been born, on one side or on both, of Jewish parentage? Perhaps he was not less likely to be carefully instructed in them, for that his mother alone professed that religion.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:34 AM

No. IV.

 

Chap. 2:22. “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow right­eousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

 

Flee also youthful lusts” The suitableness of this precept to the age of the person to whom it is addressed, is gathered from 1 Timothy 4:12: “Let no man despise thy youth.” Nor do I deem the less of this coincidence, because the pro­priety resides in a single epithet; or because this one precept is joined with, and followed by, a train of others, not more applicable to Timothy than to any ordinary convert. It is in these transient and cursory allusions that the argument is best founded. When a writer dwells and rests upon a point in which some coincidence is discerned, it may be doubted whether he himself had not fabricated the conformity, and was endeavouring to display and set it off. But when the reference is contained in a single word, unobserved perhaps by most readers, the writer passing on to other subjects, as unconscious that he had hit upon a correspondency, or unsolicitous whether it were remarked or not, we may be pretty well assured that no fraud was exercised, no imposition intended.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:35 AM

No. V.

 

Chap. 3:10,11. “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.”

 

The Antioch here mentioned was not Antioch the capital of Syria, where Paul and Barnabas resided “a long time;” but Antioch in Pisidia, to which place Paul and Barnabas came in their first apostolic progress, and where Paul delivered a memorable discourse, which is preserved in the thirteenth chapter of the Acts. At this Antioch the history relates, that “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. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came into Iconium. .... And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that 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. Long time therefore abode they, speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided; and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully and to stone them, they were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about, and there they preached the gospel.....And 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. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch.” This account comprises the period to which the allusion in the epistle is to be referred. We have so far therefore a conformity between the history and the epistle, that St. Paul is asserted in the history to have suffered persecutions in the three cities, his persecutions at which are appealed to in the epistle; and not only so, but to have suffered these persecutions both in im­mediate succession, and in the order in which the cities are mentioned in the epistle. The conformity also extends to another circumstance. In the apostolic history Lystra and Derbe are commonly mentioned together: in the quotation from the epistle, Lystra is mentioned, and not Derbe. And the distinction will appear on this occasion to be accurate; for St. Paul is here enumerating his persecutions: and although he underwent grievous persecutions in each of the three cities through which he passed to Derbe, at Derbe itself he met with none: “The next day he departed,” says the historian, “to Derbe; and when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra.”   The epistle, therefore, in the names of the cities, in the order in which they are enumerated, and in the place at which the enumeration stops, corresponds exactly with the history.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:36 AM

But a second question remains, namely, how these persecu­tions were "known” to Timothy, or why the apostle should recall these in particular to his remembrance, rather than many other persecutions with which his ministry had been attended. When some time, probably three years afterwards, (vide Pear­son’s “Annales Paulinas,”) St. Paul made a second journey through the same country, “in order to go again and visit the brethren in every city where he had preached the word of the Lord,” we read, Acts 16:1, that, when “he came to Derbe and Lystra, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus.” One or other, therefore, of these cities was the place of Timothy’s abode. We read, moreover, that he was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium; so that he must have been well acquainted with these places. Also again, when Paul came to Derbe and Lystra, Timothy was already a disciple: “Behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus.” He must therefore have been converted before. But since it is expressly stated in the epistle, that Timothy was converted by St. Paul himself, that he was “his own son in the faith;” it follows that he must have been converted by him upon his former journey into those pants, which was the very time when the apostle underwent the persecutions referred to in the epistle. Upon the whole, then, persecutions at the several cities named in the epistle are expressly recorded in the Acts: and Timothy’s knowledge of this part of St. Paul’s history, which know­ledge is appealed to in the epistle, is fairly deduced from the place of his abode, and the time of his conversion. It may further be observed, that it is probable from this account, that St. Paul was in the midst of those persecutions when Timothy became known to him. No wonder then that the apostle, though in a letter written long afterwards, should remind his favourite convert of those scenes of affliction and distress under which they first met.

 

Although this coincidence, as to the names of the cities, be more specific and direct than many which we have pointed out, yet I apprehend there is no just reason for thinking it to be artificial: for had the writer of the epistle sought a coincidence with the history upon this head, and searched the Acts of the Apostles for the purpose, I conceive he would have sent us at once to Philippi and Thessalonica, where Paul suffered perse­cution, and where, from what is stated, it may easily be gathered that Timothy accompanied him, rather than have appealed to persecutions as known to Timothy, in the account of which persecutions Timothy’s presence is not mentioned; it not being till after one entire chapter, and in the history of a journey three years future to this, that Timothy’s name occurs in the Acts of the Apostles for the first time.(dd)

 

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(dd) It is a curious and instructive circumstance, that this passage, which is really such a confirmation of the genuineness of the letter, was adduced by Schleiermacher as a mark of its spuriousness, and this too in a treatise published several years later than the Hora Paulina. Would the apostle, he asks, if he wished to confirm the courage of his companion, have therein mentioned persecutions, of which Timothy was not an eye-witness, since they occurred in the time which preceded his acquaintance with him, and have passed over in silence the far severer ones at Phi· ippi, Thessalonica, and Jerusalem?

 

Now this objection is really the most triumphant confirmation of Paley’s reason­ing. We see that this learned critic looking superficially at the subject, just as a forger would have done, thinks that the persecutions at Thessalonica were the first that Timothy witnessed, and hence that these should have been the earliest men­tioned. But in reality, as Paley has shown, the persecutions at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra must have been known to Timothy, because he lived either at Lystra. or Derbe, and was a convert of the apostle at the very time that he was enduring those persecutions. The mention of these persecutions rather than others is thus a clear sign that the letter is genuine, and not the production of a mere forger, who, like a neologian objector, would have viewed the events more superficially, and begun with the troubles in Macedonia rather than those in Pisidia and Ly­caonia. The last paragraph of Paley’s remarks could not have received a more striking commentary than Schleiermacher’s objection, fifteen years later, has supplied.—Ed.

 



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:37 AM

CHAPTER XIII.

 

THE EPISTLE TO TITUS.

 

No. I.

 

A very characteristic circumstance in this epistle, is the quota­tion from Epimenides, chap. 1:12: “One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.”

 

Κρῆτες ἀεὶ ψεῦσται, κακὰ θηρία, γαστέρες ἀργαί.

 

I call this quotation characteristic, because no writer in the New Testament, except St. Paul, appealed to heathen testi­mony; and because St. Paul repeatedly did so. In his cele­brated speech at Athens, preserved in the seventeenth chapter of the Acts, he tells his audience, that in God “we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring:”

 

τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.

 

The reader will perceive much similarity of manner in these two passages. The reference in the speech is to a heathen poet; it is the same in the epistle. In the speech the apostle urges his hearers with the authority of a poet of their own; in the epistle he avails himself of the same advantage. Yet there is a variation, which shows that the hint of inserting a quotation in the epistle was not, as it may be suspected, borrowed from seeing the like practice attributed to St. Paul in the history; and it is this, that in the epistle the author cited is called a prophet, "one of themselves, even a prophet of their own.” Whatever might be the reason for calling Epimenides a pro­phet; whether the names of poet and prophet were occasionally convertible; whether Epimenides in particular had obtained that title, as Grotius seems to have proved; or whether the appellation was given to him, in this instance, as having de­livered a description of the Cretan character, which the future state of morals among them verified: whatever was the reason, (and any of these reasons will account for the variation, sup­posing St. Paul to have been the author,) one point is plain, namely, if the epistle had been forged, and the author had inserted a quotation in it merely from having seen an example of the same kind in a speech ascribed to St. Paul, he would so far have imitated his original, as to have introduced his quo­tation in the same manner; that is, he would have given to Epimenides the title which he saw there given to Aratus. The other side of the alternative is, that the history took the hint from the epistle. But that the author of the Acts of the Apostles had not the Epistle to Titus before him, at least that he did not use it as one of the documents or materials of his narrative, is rendered nearly certain by the observation that the name of Titus does not once occur in his book.

 

It is well known, and was remarked by St. Jerome, that the apophthegm in the fifteenth chapter of the Corinthians, “Evil communications corrupt good manners,” is an iambic of Menander’s:

 

Φθείρουσιν ἤθη χρηστὰ ὁμιλίαι κακαί.

 

Here we have another unaffected instance of the same turn and habit of composition. Probably there are some hitherto unnoticed; and more, which the loss of the original authors renders impossible to be now ascertained.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:14 AM

No. II*

 

There exists a visible affinity between the Epistle to Titus and the first Epistle to Timothy. Both letters were addressed to persons left by the writer to preside in their respective churches during his absence. Both letters are principally occupied in describing the qualifications to be sought for, in those whom they should appoint to offices in the church; and the ingredients of this description are in both letters nearly the same. Timothy and Titus are likewise cautioned against the same prevailing corruptions, and in particular against the same misdirection of their cares and studies. This affinity obtains, not only in the subject of the letters, which, from the simi­larity of situation in the persons to whom they were addressed, might be expected to be somewhat alike, but extends, in a great variety of instances, to the phrases and expressions. The writer accosts his two friends with the same salutation, and passes on to the business of his letter by the same transition.

 

“Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia,”  etc. 1 Tim. 1:2, 3.

 

“To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. For this cause left I thee in Crete.” Tit. 1:4, 5.

 

If Timothy was not to “give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions” (1 Tim. 1:4,) Titus also was to “avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and con­tentions,” (chap. 3:9,) and was to “rebuke them sharply, not giving heed to Jewish fables” (chap. 1:13, 14.) If Ti­mothy was to be a pattern, (τύπος,) (1 Tim. 4:12,) so was Titus, (chap. 2:7.) If Timothy was to “let no man despise his youth,” (1 Tim. 4:12,) Titus also was to “let no man despise him.” (chap. 2:15.) This verbal consent is also observable in some very peculiar expressions, which have no relation to the particular character of Timothy or Titus.

 

The phrase, “it is a faithful saying,” (πιστὸς ό λόγος,) made use of to preface some sentence upon which the writer lays a more than ordinary stress, occurs three times in the first Epistle to Timothy, once in the second, and once in the epistle before us, and in no other part of St. Paul’s writings; and it is remarkable that these three epistles were probably all written towards the conclusion of his life; and that they are the only epistles which were written after his first impri­sonment at Rome.

 

The same observation belongs to another singularity of ex­pression, and that is in the epithet “sound,” (ὑγιαίνων,) as applied to words or doctrine. It is thus used, twice in the first Epistle to Timothy, twice in the second, and three times in the Epistle to Titus, beside two cognate expressions, γιαίνοντας τῇ πίστει, and λόγον γι; and it is found, in the same sense, in no other part of the New Testament.

 

The phrase, “God our Saviour,” stands in nearly the same predicament. It is repeated three times in the first Epistle to Timothy, as many in the Epistle to Titus, and in no other book of the New Testament occurs at all, except once in the Epistle of Jude.

 

Similar terms, intermixed indeed with others, are employed in the two epistles, in enumerating the qualifications required in those who should be advanced to stations of authority in the church.

 

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity,”* 1 Tim. 3:2-4.

 

“If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of riot, or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate,” Titus 1:6-8.

 

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* Δεῖ οὖν τὸν ἐπίσκοπον ἀνεπίλημπτον εἶναι, μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα, νηφάλιον σώφρονα κόσμιον φιλόξενον, διδακτικόν, μὴ πάροινον, μὴ πλήκτην, μὴ ἀιοχροκεροδῆ· ἀλλὰ ἐπιεικῆ, ἄμαχον ἀφιλάργυρον,    τοῦ ἰδίου οἴκου καλῶς προϊστάμενον, τέκνα ἔχοντα ἐν ὑποταγῇ μετὰ πάσης σεμνότητος.”

"Ἔι τίς ἐστιν ἀνέγκλητος, μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἀνήρ, τέκνα ἔχων πιστά, μὴ ἐν κατηγορίᾳ ἀσωτίας ἢ ἀνυπότακτα. Δεῖ γὰρ τὸν ἐπίσκοπον ἀνέγκλητον εἶναι, ὡς θεοῦ οἰκονόμον, μὴ αὐθάδη, μὴ ὀργίλον, μὴ πάροινον, μὴ πλήκτην, μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ, ἀλλὰ, φιλόξενον, φιλάγαθον, σώφρονα, δίκαιον, ὅσιον, ἐγκρατῆ.”

 



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:17 AM

The most natural account which can be given of these re­semblances, is to suppose that the two epistles were written nearly at the same time, and whilst the same ideas and phrases dwelt in the writer’s mind. Let us inquire, therefore, whether the notes of time, extant in the two epistles, in any manner favour this supposition.

 

We have seen that it was necessary to refer the first Epistle to Timothy to a date subsequent to St. Paul’s first imprison­ment at Rome, because there was no journey into Macedonia prior to that event, which accorded with the circumstance of leaving Timothy behind at Ephesus. The journey of St. Paul from Crete, alluded to in the epistle before us, and in which Titus "was left in Crete to set in order the things that were wanting,” must, in like manner, be carried to the period which intervened between his first and second imprisonment. For the history, which reaches, we know, to the time of St. Paul’s first imprisonment, contains no account of his going to Crete, except upon his voyage as a prisoner to Rome; and that this could not be the occasion referred to in our epistle is evident from hence, that when St. Paul wrote this epistle, he appears to have been at liberty; whereas after that voyage, he continued for two years at least in confinement. Again, it is agreed that St. Paul wrote his first Epistle to Timothy from Macedonia: “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephe­sus, when I went (or came) into Macedonia.” And that he was in these parts, that is, in this peninsula, when he wrote the Epistle to Titus, is rendered probable by his directing Titus to come to him to Nicopolis: “When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent (make haste) to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.” The most noted city of that name was in Epirus, near to Actium. And I think the form of speaking, as well as the nature of the case, renders it probable that the writer was at Nicopolis, or in the neighbourhood thereof, when he dictated this direction to Titus.

 

Upon the whole, if we may be allowed to suppose that St. Paul, after his liberation at Rome, sailed into Asia, taking Crete in his way; that from Asia and from Ephesus, the capital of that country, he proceeded into Macedonia, and crossing the peninsula in his progress, came into the neighbourhood of Ni­copolis; we have a route which falls in with every thing. It executes the intention expressed by the apostle of visiting Colosse and Philippi as soon as he should be set at liberty at Rome. It allows him to leave Titus at Crete, and Timothy at Ephesus, as he went into Macedonia: and to write to both not long after from the peninsula of Greece, and probably the neighbourhood of Nicopolis: thus bringing together the dates of these two letters, and thereby accounting for that affinity between them, both in subject and language, which our re­marks have pointed out. I confess that the journey which we have thus traced out for St. Paul is, in a great measure, hypothetic: but it should be observed, that it is a species of consistency, which seldom belongs to falsehood, to admit of an hypothesis, which includes a great number of independent circumstances without contradiction.(ee)

 

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(ee) For some modification of this route see Horæ Apostolicæ: cap. IX. No. II.—Εd.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:19 AM

CHAPTER XIV.

 

THE EPISTLE TO PHILEMON.

 

No. I.

 

The singular correspondency between this epistle and that to the Colossians has been remarked already. An assertion in the Epistle to the Colossians, namely, that “Onesimus was one of them,” is verified, not by any mention of Colosse, any the most distant intimation concerning the place of Philemon’s abode, but singly by stating Onesimus to be Philemon’s servant, and by joining in the salutation Philemon with Archippus; for this Archippus, when we go back to the Epistle to the Colos­sians, appears to have been an inhabitant of that city, and, as it should seem, to have held an office of authority in that church. The case stands thus. Take the Epistle to the Colossians alone, and no circumstance is discoverable which makes out the assertion, that Onesimus was “one of them.” Take the Epistle to Philemon alone, and nothing at all appears concerning the place to which Philemon or his servant Onesi­mus belonged. For anything that is said in the epistle, Philemon might have been a Thessalonian, a Philippian, or an Ephesian, as well as a Colossian. Put the two epistles to­gether, and the matter is clear. The reader perceives a junc­tion of circumstances, which ascertains the conclusion at once. Now all that is necessary to be added in this place is, that this correspondency evinces the genuineness of one epistle, as well as of the other. It is like comparing the two parts of a cloven tally.    Coincidence proves the authenticity of both.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:20 AM

No. II.

 

And this coincidence is perfect; not only in the main article, of showing, by implication, Onesimus to be a Colossian, but in many dependent circumstances.

 

1. “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, .... whom I have sent again,” (verses 10-12.) It appears from the Epistle to the Colossians, that, in truth, Onesimus was sent at that time to Colosse: “All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, .... whom I have sent unto you for the same pur­pose, .... with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother.” Coloss. 4:7-9.

 

2. “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, wham I have be­gotten in my bands.” (ver. 10.) It appears from the preceding quotation, that Onesimus was with St. Paul when he wrote the Epistle to the Colossians: and that he wrote that epistle in imprisonment is evident from his declaration in the fourth chapter and third verse: “Praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bands.”

 

3. St. Paul bids Philemon prepare for him a lodging: “For I trust,” says he, “that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.” This agrees with the expectation of speedy deliverance, which he expressed in another epistle written during the same imprisonment: “Him” (Timothy) “I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall came shortly? Phil. 2:23, 24.

 

4. As the letter to Philemon, and that to the Colossians, were written at the same time, and sent by the same messenger, the one to a particular inhabitant, the other to the church of Colosse, it may be expected that the same or nearly the same persons would be about St. Paul, and join with him, as was the practice, in the salutations of the epistle. Accordingly we find the names of Aristarchus, Marcus, Epaphras, Luke, and Demas, in both epistles. Timothy, who is joined with St Paul in the superscription of the Epistle to the Colossians, is joined with him in this. Tychicus did not salute Philemon, because he accompanied the epistle to Colosse, and would un­doubtedly there see him. Yet the reader of the Epistle to Philemon will remark one considerable diversity in the cata­logue of saluting friends, and which shows that the catalogue was not copied from that to the Colossians. In the Epistle to the Colossians, Aristarchus is called by St. Paul his fellow-prisoner, Coloss. 4:10; in the Epistle to Philemon, Aris­tarchus is mentioned without any addition, and the title of fellow-prisoner is given to Epaphras.*

 

And let it also be observed, that, notwithstanding the close and circumstantial agreement between the two epistles, this is not the case of an opening left in a genuine writing, which an impostor is induced to fill up; nor of a reference to some writing not extant, which sets a sophist at work to supply the loss, in like manner as, because St. Paul was supposed (Coloss. 4:16) to allude to an epistle written by him to the Laodiceans, some person has from thence taken the hint of uttering a forgery under that title. The present, I say, is not the case; for Philemon’s name is not mentioned in the Epistle to the Colossians; Onesimus’ servile condition is nowhere hinted at, any more than his crime, his flight, or the place or time of his conversion. The story therefore of the epistle, if it be a fiction, is a fiction to which the author could not have been guided by anything he had read in St. Paul’s genuine writings.

 

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* Dr. Benson observes, and perhaps truly, that the appellation of fellow-pri­soner, as applied by St. Paul to Epaphras, did not imply that they were imprisoned together at the time; any more than your calling a person your fellow-traveller imports that you are then upon your travels. If he had, upon any former occasion, travelled with you, you might afterwards speak of him under that title. It is just so with the term fellow-prisoner.

 



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:20 AM

No. III.

 

Ver. 4, 5. “I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints.”

 

Hearing of thy love and faith? This is the form of speech which St Paul was wont to use towards those churches which he had not seen, or then visited: see Rom. 1:8; Eph. 1:15; Col. 1:3, 4. Toward those churches and persons, with whom he was previously acquainted, he employed a different phrase; as, “I thank my God always on your behalf” (1 Cor. 1:4; 2 Thess. 1:3); or, "upon every remembrance of you” (Phil. 1:3; 1 Thess. 1:2, 3; 2 Tim. 1:3); and never speaks of hearing of them. Yet, I think it must be concluded, from the nine­teenth verse of this epistle, that Philemon had been converted by St. Paul himself; “Albeit, I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.” Here then is a peculiarity.    Let us inquire whether the epistle supplies any circumstance which will account for it. We have seen that it may be made out, not from the epistle itself, but from a comparison of the epistle with that to the Colossians, that Philemon was an inhabitant of Colosse: and it further appears from the Epistle to the Colossians, that St. Paul had never been in that city; “I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh.” Col. 2:1. Although, therefore, St. Paul had formerly met with Philemon at some other place, and had been the immediate instrument of his conversion, yet Philemon’s faith and conduct afterwards, inas­much as he lived in a city which St. Paul had never visited, could only be known to him by fame and reputation.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:21 AM

No. IV.

 

The tenderness and delicacy of this epistle have long been admired: “Though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, yet for love’s sake I rather be­seech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ; I beseech thee for my son Onesi­mus, whom I have begotten in my bonds.” There is some­thing certainly very melting and persuasive in this and every part of the epistle. Yet, in my opinion, the character of St. Paul prevails in it throughout. The warm, affectionate, au­thoritative teacher is interceding with an absent friend for a beloved convert. He urges his suit with an earnestness, be­fitting perhaps not so much the occasion, as the ardour and sensibility of his own mind. Here also, as everywhere, he shows himself conscious of the weight and dignity of his mis­sion; nor does he suffer Philemon for a moment to forget it: “I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient.” He is careful also to recall, though obliquely, to Philemon’s memory, the sacred obligation under which he had laid him, by bringing to him the knowledge of Jesus Christ: “I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.” Without laying aside, therefore, the apostolic character, our author softens the imperative style of his address, by mixing with it every sentiment and considera­tion that could move the heart of his correspondent. Aged and in prison, he is content to supplicate and entreat. Onesi­mus was rendered dear to him by his conversion and his ser­vices: the child of his affliction, and “ministering unto him in the bonds of the gospel.” This ought to recommend him, whatever had been his fault, to Philemon’s forgiveness: “Re­ceive him as myself, as my own bowels.” Everything, how­ever, should be voluntary. St. Paul was determined that Philemon’s compliance should flow from his own bounty: “Without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly;” trusting nevertheless to his gratitude and attachment for the perform­ance of all that he requested, and for more: “Having confi­dence in thy obedience, I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.”

 

St. Paul’s discourse at Miletus; his speech before Agrippa; his Epistle to the Romans, as hath been remarked (No. VIII.); that to the Galatians, chap. 4:11-20; to the Philippians, chap. 1:29; chap. 2:2; the second to the Corinthians, chap. 6:1-13; and indeed some part or other of almost every epistle, exhibit examples of a similar application to the feel­ings and affections of the persons whom he addresses. And it is observable, that these pathetic effusions, drawn for the most part from his own sufferings and situation, usually pre­cede a command, soften a rebuke, or mitigate the harshness of some disagreeable truth.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:21 AM

CHAPTER XV.

 

THE SUBSCRIPTIONS OF THE EPISTLES.

 

Six of these subscriptions are false or improbable; that is, they are either absolutely contradicted by the contents of the epistle, or are difficult to be reconciled with them.

 

I. The subscription of the first Epistle to the Corinthians states that it was written from Philippi, notwithstanding that, in the sixteenth chapter and the eighth verse of the epistle, St. Paul informs the Corinthians that he will “tarry at Ephe­sus until Pentecost;” and notwithstanding that he begins the salutations in the epistle by telling them “the churches of Asia salute you;” a pretty evident indication that he himself was in Asia at this time.

 

II. The Epistle to the Galatians is by the subscription dated from Rome; yet, in the epistle itself, St. Paul expresses his surprise "that they were so soon removing from him that called them;” whereas his journey to Rome was ten years posterior to the conversion of the Galatians. And what, I think, is more conclusive, the author, though speaking of him­self in this more than any other epistle, does not once mention his bonds, or call himself a prisoner; which he had not failed to do in every one of the four epistles written from that city, and during that imprisonment.

 

III. The first Epistle to the Thessalonians was written, the subscription tells us, from Athens; yet the epistle refers expressly to the coming of Timotheus from Thessalonica (chap. 3:6); and the history informs us, Acts 18:5, that Timothy came out of Macedonia to St. Paul at Corinth.

 

IV. The second Epistle to the Thessalonians is dated, and without any discoverable reason, from Athens also. If it be truly the second; if it refer, as it appears to do (chap. 2:2), to the first, and the first was written from Corinth, the place must be erroneously assigned, for the history does not allow us to suppose that St. Paul, after he had reached Corinth, went back to Athens.

 

V. The first Epistle to Timothy the subscription asserts to have been sent from Laodicea; yet, when St. Paul writes, “I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, πορενόμενος είς Μακεδονίαν (when I set out for Macedonia),” the reader is naturally led to conclude, that he wrote the letter upon his arrival in that country.

 

VI. The Epistle to Titus is dated from Nicopolis in Mace­donia, whilst no city of that name is known to have existed in that province.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:22 AM

The use, and the only use, which I make of these observa­tions, is to show how easily errors and contradictions steal in, where the writer is not guided by original knowledge. There are only eleven distinct assignments of date to St. Paul’s epis­tles (for the four written from Rome may be considered as plainly contemporary); and of these, six seem to be errone­ous. I do not attribute any authority to these subscriptions. I believe them to have been conjectures founded sometimes upon loose traditions, but more generally upon a consideration of some particular text, without sufficiently comparing it with other parts of the epistle, with different epistles, or with the history. Suppose then that the subscriptions had come down to us as authentic parts of the epistles, there would have been more contrarieties and difficulties arising out of these final verses, than from all the rest of the volume. Yet, if the epistles had been forged, the whole must have been made up of the same elements as those of which the subscriptions are composed, namely, tradition, conjecture, and inference: and it would have remained to be accounted for, how, whilst so many errors were crowded into the concluding clauses of the letters, so much consistency should be preserved in other parts.

 

The same reflection arises from observing the oversights and mistakes which learned men have committed, when arguing upon allusions which relate to time and place, or when endea­vouring to digest scattered circumstances into a continued story. It is indeed the same case; for these subscriptions must be regarded as ancient scholia, and as nothing more. Of this liability to error I can present the reader with a notable instance; and which I bring forward for no other purpose than that to which I apply the erroneous subscriptions. Ludovicus Capellus, in that part of his “Historica Apostolica Illustrata,” which is entitled De Ordine Epist. Paul., writing upon the second Epistle to the Corinthians, triumphs unmer­cifully over the want of sagacity in Baronius, who, it seems, makes St. Paul write his Epistle to Titus from Macedonia upon his second visit into that province; whereas it appears from the history that Titus, instead of being at Crete, where the epistle places him, was at that time sent by the apostle from Macedonia to Corinth. “Animadvertere est,” says Ca­pellus, “magnam hominis illius αβλεψιαν, qui vult Titum a Paulo in Cretam abductum, illicque relictum, cum inde Nicopolim navigaret, quem tamen agnoscit a Paulo ex Macedoniâ missum esse Corinthum” This probably will be thought a detection of inconsistency in Baronius. But what is the most remarkable is, that in the same chapter in which he thus in­dulges his contempt for Baronius’ judgment, Capellus himself falls into an error of the same kind, and more gross and pal­pable than that which he reproves. For he begins the chapter by stating the second Epistle to the Corinthians and the first Epistle to Timothy to be nearly contemporary; to have been both written during the apostle’s second visit into Macedonia; and that a doubt subsisted concerning the immediate priority or their dates: “Posterior ad eosdem Corinthios Epistola, et prior ad Timotheum certant de prioritate, et sub judice lis est; utraque autem scripta est paulo postquam Paulus Epheso discessisset, adeoque dum Macedoniam peragraret, sed utra tempore prœcedat, non liquet”   Now, in the first place, it is highly improbable that the two epistles should have been written either nearly together, or during the same journey through Macedonia; for, in the Epistle to the Corinthians, Timothy appears to have been with St. Paul, in the epistle addressed to him, to have been left behind at Ephesus, and not only left behind, but directed to continue there, till St. Paul should return to that city. In the second place, it is in­conceivable, that a question should be proposed concerning the priority of date of the two epistles; for, when St Paul, in his Epistle to Timothy, opens his address to him by saying, “as I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus when I went into Macedonia,” no reader can doubt but that he here refers to the last interview which had passed between them; that he had not seen him since; whereas if the epistle be posterior to that to the Corinthians, yet written upon the same visit into Macedonia, this could not be true; for as Timothy was along with St. Paul when he wrote to the Corinthians, he must, upon this supposition, have passed over to St. Paul in Macedonia after he had been left by him at Ephesus, and must have returned to Ephesus again before the epistle was written. What misled Ludovicus Capellus was simply this,—that he had entirely overlooked Timothy’s name in the superscription of the second Epistle to the Corinthians. Which oversight appears not only in the quotation which we have given, but from his telling us, as he does, that Timothy came from Ephe­sus to St. Paul at Corinth; whereas the superscription proves that Timothy was already with St. Paul when he wrote to the Corinthians from Macedonia.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:23 AM

CHAPTER XVI.

 

THE CONCLUSION.

 

In the outset of this inquiry, the reader was directed to con­sider the Acts of the Apostles and the thirteen Epistles of St. Paul as certain ancient manuscripts lately discovered in the closet of some celebrated library. We have adhered to this view of the subject. External evidence of every kind has been removed out of sight; and our endeavours have been employed to collect the indications of truth and authenticity, which appeared to exist in the writings themselves, and to result from a comparison of their different parts. It is not however necessary to continue this supposition longer.    The testimony which other remains of contemporary, or the monu­ments of adjoining ages, afford to the reception, notoriety, and public estimation of a book, form, no doubt, the first proof of its genuineness. And in no books whatever is this proof more complete, than in those at present under our consideration. The inquiries of learned men, and, above all, of the excellent Lardner, who never overstates a point of evidence, and whose fidelity in citing his authorities has in no one instance been impeached, have established, concerning these writings, the following propositions:

 

I. That in the age immediately posterior to that in which St. Paul lived, his letters were publicly read and acknowledged.

 

Some of them are quoted or alluded to by almost every Christian writer that followed, by Clement of Rome, by Her-mas,(ff) by Ignatius, by Polycarp, disciples or contemporaries of the apostles: by Justin Martyr, by the churches of Gaul, by Irenæus, by Athenagoras, by Theophilus, by Clement of Alex­andria, by Hermias, by Tertullian, who occupied the succeed­ing age. Now when we find a book quoted or referred to by an ancient author, we are entitled to conclude, that it was read and received in the age and country in which that author lived. And this conclusion does not, in any degree, rest upon the judgment or character of the author making such reference. Proceeding by this rule, we have, concerning the first Epistle to the Corinthians in particular, within forty years after the epistle was written, evidence, not only of its being extant at Corinth, but of its being known and read at Rome. Clement, bishop of that city, writing to the church of Corinth, uses these words: “Take into your hands the epistle of the blessed Paul the apostle. What did he at first write unto you in the beginning of the gospel? Verily he did by the Spirit ad­monish you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because that even then you did form parties.”* This was written at a time when probably some must have been living at Corinth, who remembered St. Paul’s ministry there and the receipt of the epistle. The testimony is still more valuable, as it shows that the epistles were preserved in the churches to which they were sent, and that they were spread and pro­pagated from them to the rest of the Christian community.

 

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(ff) The name of Hermas ought to be removed into the second list, as there is no reasonable doubt that the”Shepherd of Hermas”was written about the middle of the second century.

 

* See Lardner, vol. xii. p. 22.



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:25 AM

Agreeably to which natural mode and order of their publica­tion, Tertullian, a century afterwards, for proof of the integrity and genuineness of the apostolic writings, bids “any one, who is willing to exercise his curiosity profitably in the business of their salvation, to visit the apostolical churches, in which their very authentic letters are recited, ipsæ authenticæ literæ eorum recitantur.” Then he goes on: “Is Achaia near you? You have Corinth. If you are not far from Macedonia, you have Philippi, you have Thessalonica. If you can go to Asia, you have Ephesus; but if you are near to Italy, you have Rome.”1 I adduce this passage to show, that the distinct churches or Christian societies, to which St. Paul’s epistles were sent, subsisted for some ages afterwards; that his several epistles were all along respectively read in those churches; that Chris­tians at large received them from those churches, and appealed to those churches for their originality and authenticity.

 

Arguing in like manner from citations and allusions, we have, within the space of a hundred and fifty years from the time that the first of St. Paul’s epistles was written, proofs of almost all of them being read, in Palestine, Syria, the countries of Asia Minor, in Egypt, in that part of Africa which used the Latin tongue, in Greece, Italy, and Gaul2 I do not mean simply to assert, that within the space of a hundred and fifty years St. Paul’s epistles were read in those countries, for I believe that they were read and circulated from the be­ginning; but that proofs of their being so read occur within that period. And when it is considered how few of the pri­mitive Christians wrote, and of what was written how much is lost, we are to account it extraordinary, or rather as a sure proof of the extensiveness of the reputation of these writings, and of the general respect in which they were held, that so many testimonies, and of such antiquity, are still extant. “In the remaining works of Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian, there are perhaps more and larger quotations of the small volume of the New Testament, than of all the works of Cicero, in the writings of all characters for several ages.”3 We must add, that the epistles of Paul come in for their full share of this observation; and that all the thirteen epistles, except that to Philemon, which is not quoted by Irenæus or Clement, and which probably escaped notice merely by its brevity, are severally cited, and expressly recognised as St. Paul’s by each of these Christian writers. The Ebionites, an early, though inconsiderable Christian sect, rejected St. Paul and his epistles;4 that is, they rejected these epistles, not be­cause they were not, but because they were St. Paul’s; and because, adhering to the obligation of the Jewish law, they chose to dispute his doctrine and authority. Their suffrage as to the genuineness of the epistles does not contradict that of other Christians. Marcion, an heretical writer in the former part of the second century, is said by Tertullian to have re­jected three of the epistles which we now receive, namely, the two Epistles to Timothy and the Epistle to Titus. It appears to me not improbable, that Marcion might make some such distinction as this, that no apostolic epistle was to be admitted which was not read or attested by the church to which it was sent; for it is remarkable that, together with these epistles to private persons, he rejected also the catholic epistles. Now the catholic epistles and the epistles to private persons agree in the circumstance of wanting this particular species of attes­tation. Marcion, it seems, acknowledged the epistle to Phi­lemon, and is upbraided for his inconsistency in doing so by Tertullian,5 who asks, “Why, when he received a letter written to a single person, he should refuse two to Timothy and one to Titus, composed upon the affairs of the church?” This passage so far favours our account of Marcion’s objection, as it shows that the objection was supposed by Tertullian to have been founded in something which belonged to the nature of a private letter.

 

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1 Lardner, vol. ii. p. 598.

2 See Lardner’s Recapitulation, vol. xii. p. 53.

3 Ibid.

4 Lardner, vol. ii. p. 809.

5 Vol. xiv. p. 455.






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