Imágenes de páginas

The gift alluded to in the Epistle to the Philippians is stated to have been inade "in the beginning of the gospel." This phrase is most naturally explained to signify the first preaching of the Gospel in these parts, viz. on that side of the Ægean sea. The succours referred to in the Epistle to the Corinthians, as received from Macedonia, are stated to have been received by him upon his first visit to the peninsula of Greece. The dates therefore assigned to the donation in the two epistles agree; yet is the date in one ascertained very incidentally, namely, by the considerations which fix the date of the epistle itself; and in the other, by an expression ("the beginning of the Gospel") much too general to have been used if the text had been penned with any view to the correspondency we are remarking.

Farther, the phrase, “in the beginning of the Gospel," raises an idea in the reader's nind that the Gospel had been preached there more than once. The writer would hardly have called the visit to which he refers, the "beginning of the Gospel," if he had not also visited them in some other stage of it. The fact corresponds with this idea. If we consult the sixteenth and twentieth chapters of the Acts, we shall find, that St. Paul, before his imprisonment at Rome, during which this epistle purports to have been written, had been twice in Macedonia, and each time at Philippi. No. IV.

That Timothy had been long with St. Paul at Philippi, is a fact which seems to be implied in this epistle twice. First, he joins in the salutation with which the epistle opens: "Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi." Secondly, and more directly, the point is inferred from what is said concerning him, chap. ii. 19: "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort when I know your state; for I have no man like minded, who will naturally care for your state; for all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's; but ye know the proof of him, that as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the Gospel." Had Timothy's presence with St. Paul at Philippi, when he preached the Gospel there, been expressly remarked in the Acts of the Apostles, this quotation might be thought to contain a contrived adaptation to the history; although, even in that case, the averment, or rather, the allusion in the epistle, is too oblique to afford much room for such suspicion. But the truth is, that in the history of St. Paul's transactions at Philippi, which occupies the greatest part of the sixteenth chapter of the Acts, no mention is made of Timothy at all. What appears concerning Timothy in the history, so far as relates to the present subject, is this: "When Paul came to Derbe and Lystra, behold a certain disciple was there named Timotheus, whom Paul would have to go forth with him." The narrative then proceeds with the account of St. Paul's progress through various provinces of the Lesser Asia, till it brings him down to Troas. At Troas he was warned in a vision to pass over into Macedonia. In obedience to which he crossed the gean sea to Samothracia, the next day to Neapolis, and from thence to Philippi. His preaching, miracles, and persecutions at Philippi, follow next; after which Paul and his company, when they had passed through Amphi

polis and Apollonia, came to Thessalonica, and from Thessalonica to Berea. From Berea the brethren sent away Paul; "but Silas and Timotheus abode there still." The itinerary, of which the above is an abstract, is undoubtedly sufficient to support an inference that Timothy was along with St. Paul at Philippi. We find them setting out together upon this progress from Derbe, in Lycaonia; we find them together near the conclusion of it, at Berea in Macedonia. It is highly probable, therefore, that they came together to Philippi, through which their route between these two places lay. If this be thought probable, it is sufficient. For what I wish to be observed is, that in comparing, upon this subject, the epistle with the history, we do not find a recital in one place of what is related in another; but that we find, what is much more to be relied upon, an oblique allusion to an implied fact.


No. V.

Our epistle purports to have been written near the conclusion of St. Paul's imprisonment at Rome, and after a residence in that city of considerable duration. These circumstances are made out by different intimations, and the intimations upon the subject preserve among themselves a just consistency, and a consistency certainly unmeditated. First, the apostle had already been a prisoner at Rome so long, as that the reputation of his bonds, and of his constancy under them, had contributed to advance the success of the Gospel: “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel; so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; and many of the brethren in the Lord waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear." Secondly, the account given of Epaphroditus imports, that St. Paul, when he wrote the epistle, had been in Rome a considerable time: "He longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick." Epaphroditus was with St. Paul at Rome. He had been sick, The Philippians had heard of his sickness, and he again had received an account how much they had been affected by the intelligence, The passing and repassing of these advices must necessarily have occupied a large portion of time, and must have all taken place during St. Paul's residence at Rome. Thirdly, after a residence at Rome thus proved to have been of considerable duration, he now regards the decision of his fate as nigh at hand. He contemplates either alternative, that of his deliverance, ch. ii. 23. "Hi therefore (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 come shortly:" that of his condemnation, ver. 17. "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all." This consistency is material, if the consideration of it be confined to the epistle. It is farther material, as it agrees with respect to the duration of St. Paul's first imprisonment at Rome, with the account delivered in the Acts, which, having brought the apostle to Rome, closes the history by telling us "that he dwelt there two whole years in his own hired house."

* Αλλ' ει και σπένδομαι επι τη θυσία της πιστευς υ

if my blood be poured out as a libation upon the sacri fice of your faith.

No. VI.

Chap. i. 23. "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better."

clothes, and commanded to beat them; and when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely; who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks."

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With this compare 2 Cor, chap. v. 8: “We are confident and willing rather to be absent from the The passage in the epistle is very remarkable. body, and to be present with the Lord." I know not an example in any writing of a juster The sameness of sentiment in these two quota-pathos, or which more truly represents the worktions is obvious. I rely however not so muchings of a warm and affectionate mind, than what upon that, as upon the similitude in the train of is exhibited in the quotation before us. The thought which in each epistle leads up to this sen- apostle reminds his Philippians of their being timent, and upon the suitableness of that train of joined with himself in the endurance of persecu thought to the circumstances under which the tion for the sake of Christ. He conjures them by epistles purport to have been written. This, I the ties of their common profession and their comconceive, bespeaks the production of the same mon sufferings, "to fulfil his joy;" to complete, by mind, and of a mind operating upon real circum- the unity of their faith, and by their mutual love, stances. The sentiment is in both places preced- that joy with which the instances he had received ed by the contemplation of imminent personal dan- of their zeal and attachment had inspired his breast. ger. To the Philippians he writes, in the twentieth Now if this was the real effusion of St. Paul's mind, verse of this chapter, According to my earnest of which it bears the strongest internal character, expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall then we have in the words "the same conflict be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, which ye saw in me," an authentic confirmation so now also, Christ shall be magnified in my body, of so much of the apostle's history in the Acts, as whether it be by life or by death." To the Co- relates to his transactions at Philippi; and, through rinthians, "Troubled on every side, yet not dis- that, of the intelligence and general fidelity of the tressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, historian. but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus." This train of reflection is continued to the place from whence the words which we compare are taken. The two epistles, though written at different times, from different places, and to different churches, were both written under circumstances which would naturally recall to the author's mind the precarious condition of his life, and the perils which constantly awaited him. When the Epistle to the Philippians was written, the author was a prisoner at Rome, expecting his trial. When the Second Epistle to the Corinthians was written, he had lately escaped a danger in which he had given himself over for lost. The epistle opens with a recollection of this subject, and the impression accompanied the writer's thoughts throughout.


The Epistle to the Colossians,

No. I.

THERE is a circumstance of conformity between St. Paul's history and his letters, especially those which were written during his first imprisonment at Rome, and more especially the epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians, which being too close to be accounted for from accident, yet too indirect and latent to be imputed to design, cannot easily be resolved into any other original than truth. Which circumstance is this, that St. Paul in these epistles attributes his imprisonment not to his preaching of Christianity, but to his asserting the right of the Gentiles to be admitted into it without conforming themselves to the Jewish law. This was the doctrine to which he considered himself as a martyr. Thus, in the epistle before us, chap. i. 24: (I Paul) "who now rejoice in my sufferings for you"-"for you," i. e. for those whom he had never seen; for a few verses after

I know that nothing is easier than to transplant into a forged epistle a sentiment or expression which is found in a true one; or, supposing both epistles to be forged by the same hand, to insert the same sentiment or expression in both. But the difficulty is to introduce it in just and close connexion with a train of thought going before, and with a train of thought apparently generated by the circumstances under which the epistle is written. In two epistles, purporting to be writ-wards he adds, "I would that ye knew what great ten on different occasions, and in different periods conflict I have for you and for them in Laodicea, of the author's history, this propriety would not and for as many as have not seen my face in the easily be managed. flesh." His suffering therefore for them was, in their general capacity of Gentile Christians, agreeably to what he explicitly declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, iv. 1: "For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, for you Gentiles." Again, in the epistle now under consideration, iv. 3: "Withal 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 bonds." What that "mystery of Christ" was, the Epistle to the Ephesians distinctly informs us: "Whereby

No. VII.

Chap. i. 29, 30; ii. 1, 2. "For unto you is given, n the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer his sake; having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. If there be, therefore, any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies; fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."

With this compare Acts, xvi. 22: "And the multitude (at Philippi) rose up against them (Paul and Silas;) and the magistrates rent off their


* The original is very spirited: Ει τις ουν παρακλησις Χριστώ, εἴ τι παραμυθιον αγάπης, ει τις κοινωνία Πνευ

ματος, εἰ τόνα σπλάγχνα και οικτιρμοί, πληρώσατο μου xp.


when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge | first unto them of Damascus, and of Jerusalem, in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then was not made known unto the sons of men, as it to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn is now revealed unto his holy apostles and pro- to God, and do works meet for repentance. For phets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles should be these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partak- and went about to kill me.' The seizing, thereers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel." This, fore, of St. Paul's person, from which he was therefore, was the confession for which he declares never discharged till his final liberation at Rome; himself to be in bonds. Now let us inquire how and of which, therefore, his imprisonment at Rome the occasion of St. Paul's imprisonment is repre- was the continuation and effect, was not in consented in the history. The apostle had not long sequence of any general persecution set on foot returned to Jerusalem from his second visit into against Christianity; nor did it befall him simply Greece, when an uproar was excited in that city as professing or teaching Christ's religion, which by the clamour of certain Asiatic Jews, who, James and the elders at Jerusalem did as well as "having seen Paul in the temple, stirred up all he (and yet, for any thing that appears, remained the people, and laid hands on him." The charge at that time unmolested ;) but it was distinctly and advanced against him was, that "he taught all specifically brought upon him by his activity in men every where against the people, and the law, preaching to the Gentiles, and by his boldly placing and this place; and farther brought Greeks also them upon a level with the once-favoured and still into the temple, and polluted that holy place." self-flattered posterity of Abraham. How well St. The former part of the charge seems to point at Paul's letters, purporting to be written during this the doctrine, which he maintained, of the admis- imprisonment, agree with this account of its cause sion of the Gentiles, under the new dispensation, and origin, we have already seen. to an indiscriminate participation of God's favour No. II. with the Jews. But what follows makes the matter clear. When, by the interference of the chief captain, Paul had been rescued out of the hands of the populace, and was permitted to address the multitude who had followed him to the stairs of the castle, he delivered a brief account of his birth, of the early course of his life, of his miraculous conversion; and is proceeding in this narrative, We find Aristarchus as a companion of our until he comes to describe a vision which was apostle in the nineteenth chapter of the Acts, and presented to him, as he was praying in the tem- the twenty-ninth verse: "And the whole city of ple; and which bid him depart out of Jerusalem, Ephesus was filled with confusion; and having "for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles," caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Acts, xxii. 21. "They gave him audience," says Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with the historian," unto this word; and then lift up one accord into the theatre." And we find him their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow upon his journey with St. Paul to Rome, in the from the earth!" Nothing can show more strongly twenty-seventh chapter, and the second verse: than this account does, what was the offence" And when it was determined that we should which drew down upon St. Paul the vengeance of sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain his countrymen. His mission to the Gentiles, other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion and his open avowal of that mission, was the in- of Augustus's band: and, entering into a ship of tolerable part of the apostle's crime. But although Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the real motive of the prosecution appears to have the coast of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedo been the apostle's conduct towards the Gentiles; nian of Thessalonica, being with us,' But might yet, when his accusers came before a Roman not the author of the epistle have consulted the magistrate, a charge was to be framed of a more history; and, observing that the historian had legal form. The profanation of the temple was brought Aristarchus along with Paul to Rome, the article they chose to rely upon. This, there- might he not for that reason, and without any fore, became the immediate subject of Tertullus's other foundation, have put down his name oration before Felix, and of Paul's defence. But amongst the salutations of an epistle purporting that he all along considered his ministry amongst to be written by the apostle from that place? the Gentiles as the actual source of the enmity allow so much of possibility to this objection, that that had been exercised against him, and in par- I should not have proposed this in the number of ticular as the cause of the insurrection in which coincidences clearly undesigned, had Aristarchus his person had been seized, is apparent from the stood alone. The observation that strikes me in conclusion of his discourse before Agrippa: "I reading the passage is, that together with Arishave appeared unto thee," says he, describing what tarchus, whose journey to Rome we trace in the passed upon his journey to Damascus, "for this history, are joined Marcus and Justus, of whose purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness, coming to Rome the history says nothing. Arisboth of these things which thou hast seen, and of tarchus alone appears in the history, and Aristarthose things in the which I will appear unto thee, chus alone would have appeared in the epistle, delivering thee from the people and from the Gen- if the author had regulated himself by that contiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their formity. Or if you take it the other way; if you eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, suppose the history to have been made out of the and from the power of Satan unto God, that they epistle, why the journey of Aristarchus to Rome may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance should be recorded, and not that of Marcus and among them which are sanctified by faith that is Justus, if the ground-work of the narrative was Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not the appearance of Aristarchus's name in the episdisobedient unto the heavenly vision; but showed | tle, seems to be unaccountable,


in me.

Chap. iv. 10. "Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: If he come unto you, receive him ;) and Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision."

"Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas." Does not this hint account for Barnabas's adherence to Mark in the contest that arose with our apostle concerning him?" And some days after, Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do; and Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark; but Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work; and the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark and sailed unto Cyprus." The history which records the dispute has not preserved the circumstance of Mark's relationship to Barnabas. It is no where noticed but in the text before us. As far, therefore, as it applies, the application is certainly undesigned.

concerning Jews. The reader will judge of the probability of this conclusion, and we urge the coincidence no farther than that probability extends. The coincidence, if it be one, is so remote from all possibility of design, that nothing need be added to satisfy the reader upon that part of the argument.

No. IV.

Chap. iv. 9. "With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you."

Observe how it may be made out that Onesimus was a Colossian. Turn to the Epistle to Philemon, and you will find that Onesimus was the servant or slave of Philemon. The question therefore will be, to what city Philemon belonged. In the epistle addressed to him this is not declared. It appears only that he was of the same place, whatever that place was, with an eminent Christian named Archippus. "Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved and fellow-labourer; and to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house." Now turn back to the Epistle to the Colossians, and you will find Archippus saluted by name amongst the Christians of that church. 'Say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it," iv. 17. The necessary result is, that Onesimus also was of the same city, agreeably to what is said of him, "he is one of you." And this result is the effect either of truth which produces consistency without the writer's thought or care, or of a contexture of forgeries confirming and fall


The following coincidence, though it bear the appearance of great nicety and refinement, ought not, perhaps, to be deemed imaginary. In the salu-ing in with one another by a species of fortuity tations with which this, like most of St. Paul's of which I know no example. The supposition epistles, concludes, "we have Aristarchus and of design, I think, is excluded, not only because Marcus, and Jesus, which is called Justus, who the purpose to which the design must have been are of the circumcision," iv. 10, 11. Then follow directed, viz. the verification of the passage in our also, "Epaphras, Luke the beloved physician, and epistle, in which it is said concerning Onesimus, Demas." Now, as this description, "who are of "he is one of you," is a purpose, which would be the circumcision," is added after the first three lost upon ninety-nine readers out of a hundred; names, it is inferred, not without great appearance but because the means made use of are too cirof probability, that the rest, amongst whom is cuitous to have been the subject of affectation and Luke, were not of the circumcision. Now, can contrivance. Would a forger, who had this purwe discover any expression in the Acts of the pose in view, have left his readers to hunt it out, Apostles, which ascertains whether the author of by going forward and backward from one epistle the book was a Jew or not? If we can discover to another, in order to connect Onesimus with that he was not a Jew, we fix a circumstance in Philemon, Philemon with Archippus, and Arhis character, which coincides with what is here, chippus with Colosse? all which he must do beindirectly indeed, but not very uncertainly, in- fore he arrives at his discovery, that it was truly timated concerning Luke: and we so far confirm said of Onesimus, "he is one of you." both the testimony of the primitive church, that the Acts of the Apostles was written by St. Luke, and the general reality of the persons and circumstances brought together in this epistle. The text in the Acts, which has been construed to show that the writer was not a Jew, is the nineteenth verse of the first chapter, where, in describing the field which had been purchased with the reward of Judas's iniquity, it is said, "That it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood." These words are by most commentators taken to be the words and observation of the historian, and not a part of St. Peter's speech, in the midst of which they are found. If this be admitted, then it is argued that the expression, "in their proper tongue," would not have been used by a Jew, but is suitable to the pen of a Gentile writing works, ed. 1756.

* Vide Benson's Dissertation, vol. i. p. 318, of his

"Sister's son to Barnabas." This woman, the mother of Mark, and the sister of Barnabas, was, as might be expected, a person of some eminence amongst the Christians of Jerusalem. It so happens that we hear of her in the history. "When Peter was delivered from prison, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John, whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying," Acts, xii. 12. There is somewhat of coincidence in this; somewhat bespeaking real transactions amongst real persons.

No. III.


The First Epistle to the Thessalonians.

No. I.

Ir is known to every reader of Scripture, that the First Epistle to the Thessalonians speaks of the coming of Christ in terms which indicate an expectation of his speedy appearance: "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the

archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds-But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief," chap. iv. 15, 16, 17; ch. v. 4.

Whatever other construction these texts may bear, the idea they leave upon the mind of an ordinary reader, is that of the author of the epistle looking for the day of judgment to take place in his own time, or near to it. Now the use which I make of this circumstance, is to deduce from it a proof that the epistle itself was not the production of a subsequent age. Would an impostor have given this expectation to St. Paul, after experience had proved it to be erroneous? or would he have put into the apostle's mouth, or which is the same thing, into writings purporting to come from his hand, expressions, if not necessarily conveying, at least easily interpreted to convey, an opinion which was then known to be founded in mistake? I state this as an argument to show that the epis- The history relates, that after they had been tle was contemporary with St. Paul, which is lit- some time at Thessalonica, "the Jews who be tle less than to show that it actually proceeded lieved not, set all the city in an uproar, and asfrom his pen. For I question whether any an-saulted the house of Jason where Paul and Silas cient forgeries were executed in the life-time of were, and sought to bring them out to the people," the person whose name they bear; nor was the Acts, xvii. 5. The epistle declares, "when we primitive situation of the church likely to give were with you, we told you before that we should birth to such an attempt. suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know," iii. 4.

No. II.

Our epistle concludes with a direction that it should be publicly read in the church to which it was addressed: "I charge you by the Lord, that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren." The existence of this clause in the body of the epistle is an evidence of its authenticity; because to produce a letter purporting to have been publicly read in the church of Thessalonica, when no such letter in truth had been read or heard of in that church, would be to produce an imposture destruc-voured tive of itself. At least, it seems unlikely that the author of an imposture would voluntarily, and even officiously, afford a handle to so plain an objection, -Either the epistle was publicly read in the church of Thessalonica during St. Paul's life-time, or it was not. If it was, no publication could be more authentic, no species of notoriety more unquestionable, no method of preserving the integrity of the copy more secure. If it was not, the clause we produce would remain a standing condemnation of the forgery, and one would suppose, an invincible impediment to its success.

If we connect this article with the preceding, we shall perceive that they combine into one strong proof of the genuineness of the epistle.I The preceding article carries up the date of the epistle to the time of St. Paul; the present article fixes the publication of it to the church of Thessalonica. Either therefore the church of Thessalonica was imposed upon by a false epistle, which in St. Paul's life-time they received and read publicly as his, carrying on a communication with him all the while, and the epistle referring to the continuance of that communication; or other Christian churches, in the same life-time of the apostle, received an epistle purporting to have been publicly read in the church of Thessalonica, which nevertheless had not been heard of in that church; or, lastly, the conclusion remains, that the epistle now in our hands is genuine.

No. III.

Between our epistle and the history the accordancy in many points is circumstantial and complete. The history relates, that after Paul and Silas had been beaten with many stripes at Philippi, shut up in the inner prison, and their feet made fast in the stocks, as soon as they were discharged from their confinement they departed from thence, and, when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, came to Thessalonica, where Paul opened and alleged that Jesus was the Christ, Acts, xvi. 23, &c. The epistle written in the name of Paul and Sylvanus (Silas,) and of Timotheus, who also appears to have been along with them at Philippi, (vide Phil. No. iv.) speaks to the church of Thessalonica thus: "Even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the Gospel of God with much contention," ii. 2.

The history brings Paul and Silas and Timothy together at Corinth, soon after the preaching of the Gospel at Thessalonica:-"And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, (to Corinth,) Paul was pressed in spirit," Acts, xviii. 5. The epistle is written in the name of these three persons, who consequently must have been together at the time, and speaks throughout of their ministry at Thessalonica as a recent transaction: "We, brethren, being taken from you for a short time, in presence, not in heart, endeathe more abundantly to see your face, with great desire," ii. 17.

The harmony is indubitable; but the points of history in which it consists, are so expressly set forth in the narrative, and so directly referred to in the epistle, that it becomes necessary for us to show that the facts in one writing were not copied from the other. Now, amidst some minuter discrepancies, which will be noticed below, there is one circumstance which mixes itself with all the allusions in the epistle, but does not appear in the history any where; and that is of a visit which St. Paul had intended to pay to the Thessalonians during the time of his residing at Corinth:"Wherefore we would have come unto you (even Paul) once and again; but Satan hindered us," ii. 18. "Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith. Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you," iii. 10, 11. Concerning a design which was not executed, although the person himself, who was conscious of his own purpose, should make mention in his letters, nothing is more probable than that his historian should be silent, if not ignorant. The author of the epistle could not, however, have learnt this circumstance from the history, for it is not there to be met with; nor, if the historian had drawn his materials from the epistle, is it likely that he would have passed over a circumstance, which is amongst the most

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