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“ unbelieving Jews. stirred up the Gentiles, 6 and made their minds evil affected against « the brethren" (chap. xiv. ver. 1, 2). “At
• Lystra there came certain Jews from An« tioch and Iconium, who persuaded the “people; and having stoned Paul, drew him “out of the city, supposing he had been “ dead” (chap. xiv. ver. 19). The same enmity, and from the same quarter, our apostle experienced in Greece : “At Thessalo“ nica, some of them (the Jews) believed, " and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of “ the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of " the chief women not a few: but the fews 16 which believed not, moved with envy, took “ unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser “ fort, and gathered a company, and fet “ all the city in an uproar, and assaulted the “ house of Jafon, and sought to bring them “out to the people” (Acts, chap. xvii. ver. 4, 5). Their perfecutors follow them to Berea: “When the Jews of Thefalonica " had knowledge that the word of God was
preached of St. Paul at Berea, they came “ thither alfo, and stirred up the people" (chap. xvii. ver. 13). And lastly at Corinth,
when Gallio was deputy of Achaia, “ the
Jews made insurrection with one accord “ against Paul, and brought him to the “ judgment-seat." I think it does not appear that our apostle was ever set upon by the Gentiles, unless they were first stirred up by the Jews, except in two instances; in both which the persons who began the afsault were immediately interested in his expulsion from the place. Once this happened at Philippi, after the cure of the Pythoness: “ When the masters saw the hope of their “ gains was gone, they caught Pauland Silas, ” and drew them into the market-place unto “ the rulers” (chap. xvi. ver. 19). And a second time at Ephesus, at the instance of Demetrius a silversmith which made filver shrines for Diana,“whocalled together work
men of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye “ know that by this craft we have our wealth; moreover, ye
fee and hear that not only at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, " this Paul hath persuaded away
peo. ple, saying, that they be no gods which are 66 made with hands; so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought,
“ but also that the temple of the great god" dess Diana should be despised, and her " m agnificence should be destroyed, whom " all Asia and the world worshippeth.”
I observe an agreement in a somewhat peculiar rule of Christian condust, as laid down in this epistle, and as exemplified in the second Epistle to the Co.inthians. It is not the repetition of the same general precept, which would have been a coincidence of little value ; but it is the general preCept in one place, and the application of that precept to an actual occurrence in the other. In the fixth chapter and first verse of this epistle, our apostle gives the following direction : “ Brethren, if a'man be over“ taken in a fault, ye, which are fpiritual, şi restore such a one in the spirit of meek“ ness.” In 2 Cor. chap. ii. ver. 6—8, he writes thus: 6 Sufficient to such a man" (the incestuous person mentioned in the first epistle) “is this punishment, which was inS: flicted of many; so that, contrariwise, ye
ought 6 ought rather to forgive him and comfort “ him, left perhaps such a one should be “ swallowed up with over-much sorrow; 66 wherefore I beseech you that ye would ".confirm your love towards him." I have little doubt but that it was the same mind which dictated these two passages.
Our epistle goes farther than any of St. Paul's epistles; for it avows in direct terms the supersession of the Jewish law, as an instrument of salvation, even to the Jews themselves. Not only were the Gentiles exempt from its authority, but even the Jews were no longer either to place any dependency upon it, or consider themselves as subject to it on a religious account. “Be" fore faith came, we were kept under the “ law, shut up unto the faith which should “ afterwards be revealed; wherefore the law “ was our schoolmaster to bring us unto “ Christ, that we might be justified by faith; ““ but, afterthat faith is come, we are no longer “ under a schoolmaster” (ch. iii.ver, 23–25).
This was undoubtedly spoken of Jews and to Jews. In like manner, chap. iv. vera 1-5: “Now I say that the heir, as “ long as he is a child, differeth nothing “ from a servant, though he be lord of all; " butis under tutors and governors until the “ time appointed of the father : even so we, " when we were children, were in bondage * under the elements of the world; but,when " the fulness of time was come, God sent ** forth his Son, made of a woman, made " under the law, to redeem them that were * under the law, that we might receive the " adoption of sons." These passages are nothing short of a declaration, that the obligation of the Jewish law, considered as a religious dispensation, the effects of which were to take place in another life, had ceafed, with respect even to the Jews themselves. What then should be the conduct of a Jew (for such St. Paul was) who preached this doctrine? To be consistent with himfelf, either he would no longer comply, in his own person, with the directions of the law; or, if he did comply, it would be for some other reason than any confidence which he