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Referring therefore to this, as to what had actually passed, we find St. Paul treating so unjust an attempt to undermine his credit, and to introduce amongst his converts a doctrine which he had uniformly reprobated, in terms of great asperity and indignation. And in order to refute the suspicions which had been raised concerning the fidelity of his teaching, as well as to assert the independency and divine original of his mission, we find him appealing to the history of his conversion, to his conduct under it, to the manner in which he had conferred with the apostles when he met with them at Jerusalem ; alleging, that so far was his doctrine from being derived from them, or they from exercising any superiority over him, that they had simply assented to what he had already preached amongst the Gentiles, and which preaching was communicated not by them to him, but by himself to them; that he had maintained the liberty of the Gentile church, by opposing, upon one occasion, an apostle to the face, when the timidity of his behaviour seemed to endanger it; that from the first, that all along, that to that hour, he had constantly resisted the claims of Judaism; and that the persecutions which he daily underwent, at the hands or by the instigation of the Jews, and of which he bore in his person the marks and scars, might have been avoided by him, if he had consented to employ his labours in bringing, through the medium of Christianity, converts over to the Jewish institution, for then “would the offence of the cross have ceased.” Now an impostor who had forged the epistle for the purpose of producing St. Paul's authority in the dispute, which, as hath been observed, is the only credible motive that can be assigned for the forgery, might


have made the apostle deliver his opinion upon the subject in strong and decisive terms, or might have put his name to a train of reasoning and argumentation upon that side of the question, which the imposture was intended to recommend. I can allow the possibility of such a scheme as that. But for a writer, with this purpose in view, to feign a series of transactions supposed to have passed amongst the Christians of Galatia, and then to counterfeit expressions of anger and resentment excited by these transactions; to make the apostle travel back into his own history, and into a recital of various passages of his life, some indeed directly, but others obliquely, and others even obscurely bearing upon the point in question ; in a word, to substitute narrative for argument, expostulation and complaint for dogmatic positions and controversial reasoning, in a writing properly controversial, and of which the aim and design was to support one side of a much agitated question-is a method so intricate, and so unlike the methods pursued by all other impostors, as to require very flagrant proofs of imposition to induce us to believe it to be one.

No. II.
In this number I shall endeavour to prove,

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

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


I. The epistle and the Acts of the Apostles were written without any communication with each other.

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

According to the epistle, “When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called

, me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen ; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood : neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me:

o the

but I went into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus : then, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem."

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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