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for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe in 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” (i. 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 long-suffering, 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 enquiries 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.

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 (ii. 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” (iv. 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 him, having loved this present world, and is gone to Thessalonica.”

IV. In the former epistle, 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 (iv. 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” (iv. 9), might have arrived, and that Mark, “whom he was to bring with him” (iv. 11), might have also reached Rome in sufficient time to have been with St. Paul when the four epistles were written: but then such 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 reconcileable to the same imprisonment.

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

1. In the twentieth verse of the fourth chapter, St. Paul informs Timothy “that Erastus abode at Corinth,"Εραστος έμεινεν εν Κορίνθω. The form of expression implies, that Erastus had staid 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 Cæsar's tribunal. There could be no need therefore to inform Timothy that “Erastus staid behind at Corinth ” upon this occasion, because, if the fact was 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 Miletus sick." When St. Paul passed through Miletus on his way to Jerusalem, as related Acts xx., 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,

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