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and was zealous towards God, as ye all are this day." Acts xxii. 3.

The epistle as follows: "I profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers(i. 14).

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

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

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

In this quotation from the epistle, I desire it to be remarked, how incidentally it appears that the affair passed at Damascus. In what may be called the direct part of the account, no mention is made of the place of his conversion at all; a casual expression at the end, and an expression brought in for a different purpose,

alone fixes it to have been at Damascus: “I returned again to Damascus.” Nothing can be more like simplicity and undesignedness than this is. It also draws the agreement between the two quotations somewhat closer, to observe that they both state St. Paul to have preached the gospel immediately upon his call : “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” Acts ix. 20. “When it pleased God to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.” Gal. i. 15.

4. The course of the apostle's travels after his conversion was this:-He went from Damascus to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem into Syria and Cilicia. “At Damascus the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket; and when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples.” Acts ix. 25. Afterwards, “ when the brethren knew the conspiracy formed against him at Jerusalem, they brought him down to Cæsarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus,” a city in Cilicia (ix. 30). In the epistle, St. Paul gives the following brief account of his proceedings within the same period : “After three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days; afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.” The history had told us that Paul passed from Cæsarea to Tarsus : if he took this journey by


land, it would carry him through Syria into Cilicia; and he would come, after his visit at Jerusalem, “into the regions of Syria and Cilicia,” in the very order in which he mentions them in the epistle. This supposition of his going from Cæsarea to Tarsus by land, clears up also another point. It accounts for what St. Paul says in the same place concerning the churches of Judea: “ Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judea, which were in Christ: but they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed; and they glorified God in me." Upon which passage I observe, first, that what is here said of the churches of Judea, is spoken in connection with his journey into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. Secondly, that the passage itself has little significancy, and that the connection is inexplicable, unless St. Paul went through Judea * (though probably by a hasty journey) at the time that he came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. Suppose him to have passed by land from Cæsarea to Tarsus, all this, as hath been observed, would be precisely true. 5. Barnabas was with Paul at Antioch.

« Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass

that a whole

year they assembled themselves with the church.” Acts xi. 25, 26. Again, and upon another occasion, "they (Paul and Barnabas) sailed to Antioch; and there they continued a long time with the disciples (xiv. 26. 28).

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

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

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

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

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i. e. to distinguish him from James the brother of John.

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

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

In like manner, if two records be produced, manifestly independent, that is, manifestly written without any participation of intelligence, an agreement be

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