Imágenes de páginas

Having explained the general scheme and formation of the argument, I may be permitted to subjoin a brief account of the manner of conducting it.

is deduced; in a word, the more circuitous the in- I simply a collection of sentences from the canonvestigation is, the better, because the agreement ical epistles, strung together with very little skill. which finally results is thereby farther removed The second, which is a more versute and specious from the suspicion of contrivance, affectation, or forgery, is introduced with a list of names of perdesign. And it should be remembered, concern- sons who wrote to St. Paul from Corinth; and is ing these coincidences, that it is one thing to be preceded by an account sufficiently particular of minute, and another to be precarious; one thing the manner in which the epistle was sent from to be unobserved, and another to be obscure; one Corinth to St. Paul, and the answer returned. thing to be circuitous or oblique, and another to But they are names which no one ever heard of; be forced, dubious, or fanciful. And this distinc- and the account it is impossible to combine with tion ought always to be retained in our thoughts. any thing found in the Acts, or in the other episThe very particularity of St. Paul's epistles; tles. It is not necessary for me to point out the the perpetual recurrence of names of persons and internal marks of spuriousness and imposture places; the frequent allusions to the incidents of which these compositions betray; but it was nehis private life, and the circumstances of his con- cessary to observe, that they do not afford those dition and history; and the connexion and paral- coincidences which we propose as proofs of authenlelism of these with the same circumstances in ticity in the epistles which we defend. the Acts of the Apostles, so as to enable us, for the most part, to confront them one with another; as well as the relation which subsists between the circumstances, as mentioned or referred to in the different Epistles-afford no inconsiderable proof of the genuiness of the writings, and the reality of the transactions. For as no advertency is sufficient to guard against slips and contradictions, when circumstances are multiplied, and when they are liable to be detected by contemporary accounts equally circumstantial, an impostor, I should expect, would either have avoided particulars entirely, contenting himself with doctrinal discussions, moral precepts, and general reflections; or if, for the sake of imitating St. Paul's style, he should have thought it necessary to intersperse his composition with names and circumstances, he would have placed them out of the reach of comparison with the history. And I am confirmed in this opinion by the inspection of two attempts to counterfeit St. Paul's epistles, which have come down to us; and the only attempts of which we have any knowledge, that are at all deserving of regard. One of these is an epistle to the Laodiceans, extant in Latin, and preserved by Fabricius, in his collection of apocryphal-scriptures. The other purports to be an epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, in answer to an epistle from the Corinthians to him. This was translated by Scroderus from a copy in the Arminian language which had been sent to W. Whiston, and was afterwards, from a more perfect copy procured at Aleppo, published by his sons, as an appendix to their edition of Moses Chorenensis. No Greek copy exists of either: they are not only not supported by ancient testimony, but they are negatived and excluded; as they have never found admission into any catalogue of apostolical writings, acknowledged by, or known to, the early ages of Christianity. In the first of these I found, as I expected, a total evitation of circumstances. It is

I have disposed the several instances of agreement under separate numbers: as well to mark more sensibly the divisions of the subject, as for another purpose, viz: that the reader may thereby be reminded that the instances are independent of one another. I have advanced nothing which I did not think probable; but the degree of probability by which different instances are supported, is undoubtedly very different. If the reader, therefore, meets with a number which contains an instance that appears to him unsatisfactory, or founded in mistake, he will dismiss that number from the argument, but without prejudice to any other. He will have occasion also to observe that the coincidences discoverable in some epistles are much fewer and weaker than what are supplied by others. But he will add to his observation this important circumstance that whatever ascertains the original of one epistle, in some measure establishes the authority of the rest. For, whether these epistles be genuine or spurious, every thing about them indicates that they come from the same hand. The diction, which it is extremely difficult to imitate, preserves its resemblance and peculiarity throughout all the epistles. Numerous expressions and singularities of style, found in no other part of the New Testament, are repeated in different epistles; and occur in their respective places, without the smallest appearance of force or


An involved argumentation, frequent obscurities, especially in the order and transition of thought, piety, vehemence, affection, bursts of rapture, and of unparalleled sublimity, are properties, all or most of them, discernible in every letter of the collection. But although these epistles bear strong marks of proceeding from the same hand, I think it is still more certain that they were originally separate publications. They form no continued story; they compose no regular correspondence; they comprise not the transactions of any particular period; they carry on no connexion of argument; they depend not upon one another; except in one or two instances, they refer not to one another. I will farther undertake to say, that no study or care has been employed to produce or preserve an appearance of consistency amongst them. All which observations show that they were not intended by the person, whoever he was, that wrote them, to come forth or be read together: that they appeared at first separately, and have been collected since.

The proper purpose of the following work is to

*This, however, must not be misunderstood. A person writing to his friends, and upon a subject in which the transactions of his own life were concerned, would probably be led, in the course of his letter, espe cially if it was a long one, to refer to passages found in his history. A person addressing an epistle to the pub lic at large, or under the form of an epistle delivering a discourse upon some speculative argument, would not, it is probable, meet with an occasion of alluding to the circumstances of his life at all; he might, or he might not; the chance on either side is nearly equal. This is the situation of the catholic epistle. Although, there

fore, the presence of these allusions and agreements be

a valuable accession to the arguments by which the authenticity of a letter is maintained, yet the want of them certainly forms no positive objection.

several journeys to Jerusalem before, and one also immediately after his first visit into the peninsula of Greece, (Acts xviii, 21,) it cannot from hence be collected in which of these visits the epistle was written, or with certainty, that it was written in either. The silence of the historian, who professes to have been with St. Paul at the time, (c. xx. v. 6,) concerning any contribution, might

I do not know that the subject has been proposed or considered in this view before. Ludovicus, Capellus, Bishop Pearson, Dr. Benson, and Dr. Lardner, have each given a continued history of St. Paul's life, made up from the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles joined together. But this, it is manifest, is a different undertaking from the present, and directed to a different purpose.

It appeared also a part of the same plan, to examine the difficulties which presented them-lead us to look out for some different journey, or selves in the course of our inquiry. might induce us, perhaps, to question the consistency of the two records, did not a very accidental reference, in another part of the same history, afford us sufficient ground to believe that this silence was omission. When St, Paul made his reply before Felix, to the accusations of Tertullus, he alleged, as was natural, that neither the errand which brought him to Jerusalem, nor his conduct whilst he remained there, merited the calumnies with which the Jews had aspersed him. "Now after many years (i. e. of absence,) I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings; whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult, who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had aught against me." Acts xxiv. 17-19. This mention of alms and offerings certainly brings the narrative in the Acts near to an accordancy with the epistle; yet no one, I am persuaded, will suspect that this clause was put into St. Paul's defence, either to supply the omission in the preceding narrative, or with any view to such accordancy.

bring together, from the Acts of the Apostles, and from the different epistles, such passages as furnish examples of undesigned coincidence; but I have so far enlarged upon this plan, as to take into it some circumstances found in the epistles, which contributed strength to the conclusion, though not strictly objects of comparison.

If what is here offered shall add one thread to that complication of probabilities by which the Christian history is attested, the reader's attention will be repaid by the supreme importance of the subject; and my design will be fully answered.


The Epistle to the Romans.

No. I.

THE first passage I shall produce from this epistle, and upon which a good deal of observation will be founded, is the following:

After all, nothing is yet said or hinted, concerning the place of the contribution; nothing concerning Macedonia and Achaia. Turn therefore to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, "But now I go unto Jerusalem, to minister chap. xvi. ver. 1-4, and you have St. Paul deunto the saints; for it hath pleased them of livering the following directions: "Concerning Macedonia and Achaia, to make a certain contri- the collection for the saints, as I have given orbution for the poor saints which are at Jerusa-ders to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye; lem."-Rom. xv. 25, 26. upon the first day of the week let every one of In this quotation three distinct circumstances you lay by him in store as God hath prospered are stated a contribution in Macedonia for the him, that there be no gatherings when I come. relief of the Christians of Jerusalem, a contribu- And when I come, whomsoever you shall approve tion in Achaia for the same purpose, and an in- by your letters, them will I send to bring your tended journey of St. Paul to Jerusalem. These liberality unto Jerusalem; and if it be meet, that circumstances are stated as taking place at the I go also, they shall go with me." In this passame time, and that to be the time when the epis- sage we find a contribution carrying on at Cotle was written. Now let us inquire whether we rinth, the capital of Achaia, for the Christians of can find these circumstances elsewhere, and whe- Jerusalem; we find also a hint given of the posther, if we do find them, they meet together in sibility of St. Paul going up to Jerusalem himrespect of date. Turn to the Acts of the Apos- self, after he had paid his visit into Achaia: but tles, chap. xx. ver. 2, 3, and you read the follow- this is spoken of rather as a possibility than as ing account: "When he had gone over those any settled intention; for his first thought was, parts, (viz. Macedonia,) and had given them" Whomsoever you shall approve by your letters, much exhortation, he came into Greece, and them will I send to bring your liberality to Jeruthere abode three months; and when the Jews salem:" and in the sixth verse he adds, "that ye laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Sy- may bring me on my journey whithersoever I ria, he proposed to return through Macedonia." go." This epistle purports to be written after St. From this passage, compared with the account of Paul had been at Corinth: for it refers through

St. Paul's travels given before, and from the se-out to what he had done and said amongst them whilst he was there. The expression, therefore, "when I come," must relate to a second visit; against which visit the contribution spoken of was desired to be in readiness.

quel of the chapter, it appears that upon St. Paul's second visit to the peninsula of Greece, his intention was, when he should leave the country, to proceed from Achaia directly by sea to Syria; but that to avoid the Jews, who were lying in wait to intercept him in his route, he so far changed his purpose as to go back through Macedonia, embark at Philippi, and pursue his voyage from thence towards Jerusalem. Here, therefore, is a journey to Jerusalem; but not a syllable of any contribution. And as St. Paul had taken

But though the contribution in Achaia be'expressly mentioned, nothing is here said concerning any contribution in Macedonia. Turn, therefore, in the third place, to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, chap. viii. ver. 1-4, and you will discover the particular which remains to be sought for: "Moreover, brethren, we do you to

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No. II.

wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches | nice examination, that he could have determined of Macedonia; how that, in a great trial of af- them to belong to the same period. In the third fliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep place, I remark, what diminishes very much the poverty abounded unto the riches of their libera- suspicion of fraud, how aptly and connectedly the lity: for to their power, 1 bear record, yea and mention of the circumstances in question, viz. the beyond their power, they were willing of them- journey to Jerusalem, and of the occasion of that selves: praying us with much entreaty, that we journey, arises from the context, "Whensoever would receive the gift, and take upon us the fel-I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you; lowship of the ministering to the saints." To for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be which add, chap. ix. ver. 2: "I know the forward- brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I ness of your mind, for which I boast of you to be somewhat filled with your company. But now them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a I go unto Jerusalem, to minister unto the saints; year ago." In this epistle we find St. Paul ad- for it hath pleased them of Macedonia and vanced as far as Macedonia, upon that second Achaia to make a certain contribution for the visit to Corinth which he promised in his former poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath epistle; we find also, in the passages now quoted pleased them verily, and their debtors they are; from it, that a contribution was going on in Ma- for if the Gentiles have been made partakers of cedonia at the same time with, or soon however their spiritual things, their duty is also to minisfollowing, the contribution which was made in ter unto them in carnal things. When therefore Achaia; but for whom the contribution was made I have performed this, and have sealed them to does not appear in this epistle at all: that in- this fruit, I will come by you into Spain." Is formation must be supplied from the first epistle. the passage in Italics like a passage foisted in for Here, therefore, at length, but fetched from an extraneous purpose? Does it not arise from three different writings, we have obtained the what goes before, by a junction as easy as any several circumstances we inquired after, and example of writing upon real business can furwhich the Epistle to the Romans brings to- nish? Could any thing be more natural than gether, viz. a contribution in Achiaia for the that St. Paul, in writing to the Romans, should Christians of Jerusalem; a contribution in Ma- speak of the time when he hoped to visit them; cedonia for the same; and an approaching jour- should mention the business which then detained ney of St. Paul to Jerusalem. We have these him; and that he purposed to set forwards upon circumstances each by some hint in the pas- his journey to them when that business was comsage in which it is mentioned, or by the date of pleted? the writing in which the passage occurs-fixed to a particular time; and we have that time turning out upon examination to be in all the same: By means of the quotation which formed the namely towards the close of St. Paul's second subject of the preceding number, we collect that visit to the peninsula of Greece. This is an in- the Epistle to the Romans was written at the stance of conformity beyond the possibility, I will conclusion of St. Paul's second visit to the peninventure to say, of random writing to produce. I sula of Greece; but this we collect, not from the also assert, that it is in the highest degree im- epistle itself, nor from any thing declared conprobable that it should have been the effect of cerning the time and place in any part of the contrivance and design. The imputation of de- epistle, but from a comparison of circumstances sign amounts to this: that the forger of the Epis-referred to in the epistle, with the order of events tle to the Romans inserted in it the passage upon recorded in the Acts, and with references to the which our observations are founded, for the pur- same circumstances, though for quite different pose of giving colour to his forgery by the ap- purposes, in the two epistles to the Corinthians. pearance of conformity with other writings which Now would the author of a forgery, who sought were then extant. I reply, in the first place, that, to gain credit to a spurious letter by congruities, if he did this to countenance his forgery, he did it depending upon the time and place in which the for the purpose of an argument which would not letter was supposed to be written, have left that strike one reader in ten thousand. Coincidences time and place to be made out, in a manner so so circuitous as this, answer not the ends of for- obscure and indirect as this is? If therefore coingery; are seldom, I believe, attempted by it. In cidences of circumstances can be pointed out in the second place, I observe, that he must have this epistle, depending upon its date, or the place had the Acts of the Apostles, and the two epis- where it was written, whilst that date and place tles to the Corinthians, before him at the time. are only ascertained by other circumstances, such In the Acts of the Apostles (I mean that part of coincidences may fairly be stated as undesigned. the Acts which relate to this period,) he would Under this head I adduce have found the journey to Jerusalem; but nothing about the contribution. In the First Epistle to the Corinthians he would have found a contribution going on in Achaia for the Christians of Jerusalem, and a distant hint of the possibility of the journey; but nothing concerning a contribution in Macedonia. In the Second Epistle to the Corinthians he would have found a contribution in Macedonia accompanying that in Achaia; but no intimation for whom either was intended, and not a word about the journey. It was only by a close and attentive collation of the three writings, that he could have picked out the circumstances which he has united in his epistle; and by a still more

Chap. xvi. 21-23: "Timotheus, my workfellow, and Lucius, and. Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. Gaius, mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you; and Quartus, a brother." With this passage I compare, Acts xx. 4: "And there accompanied him into Asia, Sopater of Berea; and, of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and, of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus." The Epistle to the Romans, we have seen, was written just before St. Paul's departure from Greece, after his second visit to that peninsula: the persons mentioned in the

his wife Priscilla, because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome." They were connected, therefore, with the place to which the salutations are sent. That is one coincidence; another is the following: St. Paul became acquainted with these persons at Corinth during his first return into Grecce. They accompanied him upon his visit into Asia; were settled for some time at Ephesus, Acts xviii. 19-26, and appear to have been with St. Paul when he wrote from that place his First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. xvi. 19. Not long after the writing of which epistle St. Paul went from Ephesus into Macedonia, and, "after he had gone over those parts," proceeded from thence upon his second visit into Greece; during which visit, or rather at the conclusion of it, the Epistle to the Romans, as hath been shown, was written. We have therefore the time of St. Paul's residence at Ephesus after he had written to the Corinthians, the time taken up by his progress through Macedonia, (which is indefinite, and was probably considerable,) and his three months' abode in Greece; we have the sum of those three periods allowed for Aquila and Priscilla going back to Rome, so as to be there when the epistle before us was written. Now what this quotation leads us to observe is, the danger of scattering names and circumstances in writings like the present, how implicated they often are with dates and places, and that nothing but truth can preserve consistency. Had the notes of time in the Epistle to the Romans fixed the writing of it to any date prior to St. Paul's first residence at Corinth, the salutation of Aquila and Priscilla would have contradicted the history, because it would have been prior to his acquaintance with these persons. If the notes of time had fixed it to any period during that residence at Corinth, during his jour ney to Jerusalem when he first returned out of Greece, during his stay at Antioch, whither he went down to Jerusalem, or during his second progress through the Lesser Asia, upon which he proceeded from Antioch, an equal contradiction would have been incurred; because from Acts xviii. 2-18, 19-26, it appears that during all this time Aquila and Priscilla were either along with St. Paul, or were abiding at Ephesus. Lastly, had the notes of time in this epistle, which we have seen to be perfectly incidental, compared with the notes of time in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, which are equally incidental, fixed this epistle to be either contemporary with that, or prior to it, a similar contradiction would have ensued; because, first, when the Epistle to the Corinthians was written, Aquila and Priscilla salutation of that church, 1 Cor. xvi. 19; and were along with St. Paul, as they joined in the because, secondly, the history does not allow us to suppose, that between the time of their becoming acquainted with St. Paul and the time of St. Paul's writing to the Corinthians, Aquila and Priscilla could have gone to Rome, so as to have been saluted in an epistle to that city; and then come back to St. Paul at Ephesus, so as to be joined with him in saluting the church of Corinth. As it is, all things are consistent. The Epistle to the Romans is posterior even to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians; because it speaks of a con

epistle. A very slight alteration would convert AsuXIOS into Arazz, Lucius into Luke, which would produce an additional coincidence: for, if Luke was the author of the history, he was with St. Paul at the time; in-tribution in Achaia being completed, which the

asmuch as, describing the voyage which took place soon after the writing of this epistle, the historian uses the first person" We sailed away from Philippi." Acts xx. 6.

Second Epistle to the Corinthians, chap. viii, is only soliciting. It is sufficiently therefore posterior

quotation from the Acts are those who accompanied him in that departure. Of seven whose names are joined in the salutation of the church of Rome, three, viz. Sosipater, Gaius, and Timothy, are proved, by this passage in the Acts, to have been with St. Paul at the time. And this is perhaps as much coincidence as could be expected, from reality, though less, I am apt to think, than would have been produced by design. Four are mentioned in the Acts who are not joined in the salutation; and it is in the nature of the case probable that there should be many attending St. Paul in Greece, who knew nothing of the converts at Rome, nor were known by them. In like manner, several are joined in the salutation who are not mentioned in the passage referred to in the Acts. This also was to be expected. The occasion of mentioning them in the Acts was their proceeding with St. Paul upon his journey. But we may be sure that there were many eminent Christians with St. Paul in Greece, besides those who accompanied him into Asia.*

But if any one shall still contend that a forger of the epistle, with the Acts of the Apostles before him, and having settled this scheme of writing a letter as from St. Paul, upon his second visit into Greece, would easily think of the expedient of putting in the names of those persons who appeared to be with St. Paul at the time as an obvious recommendation of the imposture: I then repeat my observations; first, that he would have made the catalogue more complete; and, secondly, that with this contrivance in his thoughts, it was certainly his business, in order to avail himself of the artifice, to have stated in the body of the epistle, that Paul was in Greece when he wrote it, and that he was there upon his second visit. Neither of which he has done, either directly, or even so as to be discoverable by any circumstance found in the narrative delivered in the Acts.

Under the same head, viz. of coincidences depending upon date, I cite from the epistle the following salutation: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Jesus Christ, who have for my life laid down their own necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles."-Chap. xvi. 3. It appears, from the Acts of the Apostles, that Priscilla and Aquila had originally been inhabitants of Rome; for we read, Acts xviii. 2, that "Paul found a certain Jew, named Aquila, lately come from Italy with

Of these Jason is one, whose presence upon this occasion is very naturally accounted for. Jason was an inhabitant of Thessalonica in Macedonia, and entertained St. Paul in his house upon his first visit to that Country-Acts xvii. 7. St. Paul, upon this his second visit, passed through Macedonia ou his way to Greece,

and, from the situation of Thessalonica, most likely

through that city. It appears, from various instances in the Acts, to have been the practice of many converts, to attend St. Paul from place to place. It is therefore highly probable. I mean that it is highly consistent with the account in the history, that Jason, according to that account a zealous disciple, the inhabitant of a city at Do great distance from Greece, and through which, as it should seem, St. Paul had lately passed, should have accompanied St. Paul into Greece, and have been with hit there at this time. Lucius is another name in the

the two Epistles to the Corinthians show that the principal end of his coming into Greece, was to visit that city, where he had founded a church. Before we dismiss these two persons, we may Certainly we know no place in Greece in which take notice of the terms of commendation in which his presence was so probable; at least, the placing St. Paul describes them, and of the agreement of of him at Corinth satisfies every circumstance. that encomium with the history. "My helpers Now that Erastus was an inhabitant of Corinth, in Christ Jesus, who have for my life laid down or had some connexion with Corinth, is rendered their necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, a fair subject of presumption, by that which is acbut also all the churches the Gentiles." In the cidentally said of him in the Second Epistle to eighteenth chapter of the Acts, we are informed Timothy, chap. iii. 20. "Erastus abode at Cothat Aquila and Priscilla were Jews; that St. rinth." St. Paul complains of his solitude, and Paul first met with them at Corinth; that for is telling Timothy what was become of his comsome time he abode in the same house with them; panions: "Erastus abode at Corinth; but Tro that St. Paul's contention at Corinth was with phimus have I left at Miletum sick." Erastus was the unbelieving Jews, who at first "opposed and one of those who had attended St. Paul in his blasphemed, and afterwards with one accord raised travels, Acts xix. 22: and when those travels an insurrection against him;" that Aquila and had, upon some occasion, brought our apostle and Priscilla adhered, we may conclude, to St. Paul his train to Corinth, Erastus staid there, for no throughout this whole contest; for, when he left reason so probable, as that it was his home. I the city, they went with him, Acts xviii. 18. Un- allow that this coincidence, is not so precise as der these circumstances, it is highly probable that some others, yet I think it too clear to be prothey should be involved in the dangers and per-duced by accident: for, of the many places, which secutions which St. Paul underwent from the this same epistle has assigned to different persons, Jews, being themselves Jews; and, by adhering to and the innumerable others which it might have St. Paul in this dispute, deserters, as they would mentioned, how came it to fix upon Corinth for be accounted, of the Jewish cause. Farther, as Erastus? And, as far as it is a coincidence, it is they, though Jews, were assisting to St. Paul in certainly undesigned on the part of the author of the preaching to the Gentiles at Corinth, they had Epistle to the Romans: because he has not told taken a decided part in the great controversy of us of what city Erastus was the chamberlain; or, that day, the admission of the Gentiles to a which is the same thing, from what city the epistle parity of religious situation with the Jews. For was written, the setting forth of which was abthis conduct alone, if there was no other reason, solutely necessary to the display of the coincithey may seem to have been entitled to "thanks dence, if any such display had been thought of: from the churches of the Gentiles." They were nor could the author of the Epistle to Timothy Jews taking part with Gentiles. Yet is all this leave Erastus at Corinth, from any thing he might so indirectly intimated, or rather so much of it left have read in the Epistle to the Romans, because to inference, in the account given in the Acts, Corinth is nowhere in that epistle mentioned that I do not think it probable that a forger either either by name or description. could or would have drawn his representation from thence; and still less probable do I think it, that, without having seen the Acts, he could, by mere accident and without truth for his guide, have delivered a representation so conformable to the circumstances there recorded.

2. Chap. xvi. 1-3. "I commend unto you Phoebe, our sister, which is a servant of the church, which is at Cenchrea, that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you; for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also." Cenchrea adjoined to Corinth; St. Paul therefore, at the time of writing the letter, was in the neighbourhood of the woman whom he thus recommends. But, farther, that St. Paul had before this been at Cenchrea itself, appears from the eighteenth chapter of the Acts; and appears by a circumstance as incidental, and as unlike design, as any that can be imagined. "Paul after this tarried there (viz. at Corinth,) yet a good while, and then took his leave of his brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila, having shorn his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow." xviii. 18. The shaving of the head denoted the expiration of the Nazaritic vow. The historian, therefore, by the mention of this circumstance, virtually tells us that St. Paul's vow was expired before he set forward upon his voyage, having deferred probably his departure until he should be released from the restrictions under which his vow laid him. Shall we say that the author of the Acts of the Apostles feigned this anecdote of St. Paul at Cenchrea, because he had read in the Epistle to the Romans that "Phoebe, a servant of the church of Cenchrea, had been a succourer of many, and of him also ? or shall we say that the author of the Epistle to the Romans, out of his own imagination, created

to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, to allow time in the interval for Aquila and Priscilla's return from Ephesus to Rome.

The two congruities last, adduced, depended upon the time, the two following regard the place, of the epistle.

1. Chap. xvi. 23. "Erastus, the chamberlain of the city, saluteth you"-of what city? We have seen, that is, we have inferred from circumstances found in the epistle, compared with circumstances found in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the two epistles to the Corinthians, that our epistle was written during St. Paul's second visit to the peninsula of Greece. Again, as St. Paul, in his epistle to the church of Corinth, 1 Cor. xvi. 3, speaks of a collection going on in that city, and of his desire that it might be ready against he came thither; and as in this epistle he speaks of that collection being ready, it follows that the epistle was written either whilst he was at Corinth, or after he had been there. Thirdly, since St. Paul speaks in this epistle of his journey to Jerusalem, as about instantly to take place; and as we learn, Acts xx. 3, that his design and attempt was to sail upon that journey immediately from Greece, properly so called, i. e. as distinguished from Macedonia; it is probable that he was in this country when he wrote the epistle, in which he speaks of himself as upon the eve of setting out. If in Greece, he was most likely at Corinth; for

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