Page images
PDF
EPUB

placed in its efficacy, as a religious institution. Now so it happens, that whenever St. Paul's compliance with the Jewish law is mentioned in the history, it is mentioned in connection with circumstances which point out the motive from which it proceeded; and this motive appears to have been always exoteric, namely, a love of order and tranquility, or an unwillingness to give unnecessary offence. Thus, Acts, chap. xvi. ver. 3 : “ Him (Timothy) would Paul have to go " forth with him, and took and circum“ cised him, because of the Jews which were in those quarters,"

Again (Acts, chap. xxi. ver. 26), when Paul consented to exhibit an example of public compliance with a Jewish rite, by purifying himself in the temple, it is plainly intimated that he did this to satisfy “ many thousand of Jews who believed, and who were all zealous of the law." So far the instances related in one book, correspond with the doctrine de, livered in another.

No,

No. VIII.

Chap. i. ver. 18. “ Then, after three “ years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen dàys.”

The shortness of St. Paul's stay at Jerusalem , is what I desire the reader to remark. The direct account of the same journey in the Acts, chap. ix. ver. 28, determines nothing concerning the time of his continuance there : “ And he was with them (the “ a postles) coming in, and going out, at Je" rusalem; and he spake boldly in the name “ of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against " the Grecians, but they went about to slay "'him; which when the brethren knew, " they brought him down to Cæsarea.” Or rather this account, taken by itself, would lead a reader to suppose that St. Paul's abode at Jerusalem had been longer than fifteen days. But turn to the twenty-second chapter of the Acts, and you will find a reference to this visit to Jerusalem, which plainly indicates that Paul's continuance in that city had been of short duration : “ And it came

: “ to

“ to pass, that when I was come again to

Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance, and saw him faying unto me, Make haste, get thee

quickly out of Jerusalem, for they will “ not receive thy testimony concerning me. Here we have the general terms of one text so explained by a distant text in the same book, as to bring an indeterminate expresfion into a close conformity with a specification delivered in another book : a species of confiftency not, I think, usually found in fabulous relations.

No. 1.

Chap. vi. ver. 11.

“ Ye fee how large a " letter I have written unto you with mine W own hand.”

These words imply that he did not always write with his own hand; which is consonant to what we find intimated in fome other of the epistles. The Epistle to the Romans was written by Tertius: “I, Tertius, who “ wrote this epistle, falute you in the Lord" (chap. xvi. ver. 22). The first Epistle to

the Corinthians, the Epistle to the Coloffians, and the second to the Thessalonians, have all, near the conclusion, this clause. “ The salutation of me, Paul, with mineown " hand;” which must be understood, and is universally understood to import, that the rest of the epistle was written by another hand. I do not think it improbable that an impostor, who had remarked this subfcription in some other epistle, should invent the fame in a forgery ; but that is not done here. The author of this epistle does not imitate the manner of giving St. Paul's signature : he only bids the Galatians observe how large a letter he had written to them with his own hand. He does not fay this was different from his ordinary usage; that is left to implication. Now to suppose that this Was an artifice to procure credit to an imPosture, is to fuppofe that the author of the forgery, because he knew that others of St. Paul's were not written by himself, therefore made the apostle say that this was: which fiems an odd turn to give to the circumstance, and to be given for a purpose which would more naturally and more

directly

directly have been answered, by subjoining the falutation or signature in the form in which it is found in other epistles *.

No. X.

An exact conformity appears in the manner in which a certain apostle or eminent Christian, whose name was James, is spoken of in the epistle and in the history. Both writings refer to a situation of his at Jerusalem, somewhat different from that of the other apostles ; a kind of eminence or presidency in the church there, or at least a more fixed and stationary residence. Chap. ü. ver. 12, “ When Peter was at Antioch, " before that certain came from James, he as did eat with the Gentiles."

This text

* The words πηλικους γραμμασιν may probably be meant to describe the character in which he wrote, and not the length of the letter. But this will not alter the truth of our observation. I think however, that as St. Paul by the mention of his own hand designed to express to the Galatians the great concern which he felt for them, the words, whatever they signify, belong to the whole of the epistle ; and not, as Grotius, after St. Jerom, interprets it, to the few verses which follow.

plainly

« PreviousContinue »