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perfect unison with the history, and tend to confirm it; for the presenting some circumstances, or using some phrase or et doctrines and principles are every where the same. The pression not then in use. The plea of "forgery, therefore, in Gospels close with references to the facts recorded in the later ages, cannot be allowed; and if Saint Luke had pubActs, particularly the promise of the Holy Spirit, which we lished such a history at so early a period, when some of the know from the Acts was poured out by Christ upon his dis- apostles, or many other persons concerned in the transactions ciples after his ascension; and the Epistles, generally, which he has recorded, were alive, and his account had not plainly suppose that those facts had actually occurred, which been true, he would only have exposed himself to an easy the history relates. So that the history of the Acts is one confutation, and to certain infamy: of the most important parts of sacred history; for, without Since, therefore, the Acts of the Apostles are in themit, neither the Gospels nor the Epistles could have been so selves consistent and uniform; the incidental relations agreeclearly understood; but by the aid of this book the whole able to the best ancient historians that have come down to us; scheme of the Christian revelation is set before us in a clear and the main facts supported and confirmed by the other and easy view. Lastly, the incidental circumstances, men- books of the New Testament, as well as by the unanimous tioned by Saint Luke, correspond so exactly, and without testimony, of so many of the ancient fathers, we are justlý any previous view to such a correspondence (in cases, too, authorized to conclude, that, if any history of former times where it could not possibly have been premeditated and pre- deserves credit, the Acts of the Apostles ought to be received contrived) with the accounts that occur in the Epistles, and and credited ; and if the history of the Acts of the Apostles with those of the best ancient historians, both Jews and is true, Christianity cannot be false; for a doctrine so good Heathens, that no person who had forged such a history, in in itself, so admirably adapted to the fallen state of inan, later ages, could have had the same external confirmation; and attended with so many miraculous and divine testimobut he must have betrayed himself, by alluding to some cus- nies, has all the possible marks of a true revelation. toms or opinions which have since sprung up, or by misre
ON THE EPISTOLARY OR DOCTRINAL WRITINGS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, PARTICULARLY
THOSE OF SAINT PAUL.
ACCOUNT OF THE APOSTLE PAUL.
[. The Birth and Education of Paul.--His Persecution of the Disciples of Christ, and his Conversion.-Observations upon
il.-II. His subsequent Travels and Labours, to his second Visit to Jerusalem.—III. His third Visit to Jerusalem, and subsequent Labours, to his fourth Visit to Jerusalem.-IV. His Journeys and Labours, to his fifth Visit to Jerusalem.-V. To his first Imprisonment at Rome.-VI. His subsequent Journeys, second Imprisonment, and Martyrdom.- VII. Character of Paul.–VIII. Observations on the Style of his Writings.
I. Saul, also called Paul (by which name this illustri- | from his quotations of several Greek poets. 10 From Tarsus, ous apostle was generally known after his preaching among Saul removed to Jerusalem, where he made considerable the Gentiles, especially among the Greeks and Romans), was proficiency in the study of the law, and the Jewish traditions, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a descendant of the patriarch under Gamaliel, a celebrated teacher of that day." He apAbraham, of the tribe of Benjamin,3 and a native of Tarsus, pears to have been a person of great natural abilities, of then the chief city of Cilicia. By birth he was a citizen quick apprehension, strong passions, and firm resolution; of Rome,' a distinguished honour and privilege, which had and was thus qualified for signal service, as a teacher of been conferred on some of his ancestors for services rendered whatever principles he might embrace. He was also blameto the commonwealth during the wars. His father was a less in his life, and stricily faithful to the dictates of his Pharisee, and he himself was educated in the most rigid conscience, according to the knowledge which he possessed : principles of that sect. His sister's son and some others this is evident from his appeals to the Jews, and from the of his relations were Christians, and had embraced the Gos- undissembled satisfaction he expresses on a serious comparipel before his conversion. That he was early educated in son and recollection of his former and later conduct. (Acts Greek literature at Tarsus, may be inferred from that place xxiii. 1. xxvi. 4, 5. Phil. iii, 6. 1 Tim. i. 13. 2 Tim. i. 3.) being celebrated for polite learnings and eloquence, and also His parents completed his education by having him taught · The subject of these coincidences has already been noticed in Vol. 1. the art of tent-making,!? in conformity with the practice of
Dr. Paley's Horæ Paulinæ amplifies the argument the Jews, with whom it was customary to teach youth of a ove suggested, and is indispensably necessary to a critical study of the the highest birth some mechanical employment, by which, in Epistles, 5 Dr. Benson's Hist. of Christianity, vol. ii. pp. 333–341,
cases of necessity, they might maintain themselves without : Phil. iii. 5. 2 Cor. xi. 22. Acts xvi. 37, 38.
being burthensome to others : and his occupation appears • Acts xxi. 25. 29. xxiii. 27. Byo. vol. 1. pp. 227–229.; 4to. vol. i. pp. 124, 125. Such also is the opinion For some time after the appearance of Christianity in the
• Dr. Lardner has shown that this is the most probable opinion. Works, subsequently to have had some influence upon his style.13 of John Arnizenius, who has written
an elegant dissertation on Saint Paul's world, he was a bitter enemy and a furious opposer of all an improbable conjecture that the cloak and parchments, which St. Paul who professed that faith; and when the protomartyr Stephen charged Timothy to bring to him (2 Tim. ic. 13.), were the Roman toga and the certificates of his citizenship, which might be or service to him in his quence was employed in sudden and unpremeditated harangues; and Saint approaching trial before the emperor. Shutleworth's Paraphrastic Trans. Paul, long accustomed to compositions of this sort, transferred the style lation of the Apostolical Epistles, p. 369.
and manner from speaking to writing. (Dr. Powell's Discourses, p. 250.) • Acts xxiii. 6. xxvi. 5. Phil. iii. 5.
This circumstance will account for the abruptness and other peculiarities + Acts xxiii. 16-22. Rom. xvi. 7. 11. 21.
in the apostle's letters which are more fully considered in the close of • Strabo the geographer, who lived in the same age as St. Paul, charac. this section. terizes the inhabitants of Tarsus, as cherishing such a passion for philoso- 10 Thus, in Acts xvii. 28. he cites a verse from Aratus ; in 1 Cor. xv. 33. phy and all the branches of polite literature, that they greatly excelled he quotes another from Menander; and in Tit. i. 12. a verse from Epieven Athens and Alexandria, and every other place where there were menides. See an illustration of this last passage, supra, Vol. I. p. 81. schools and acadernies for philosophy and literature. He adds, that the natives of Tarsus were in the practice of going abroad to other cities to 12 Michaelis makes St. Paul to have been a maker of mechanical instru. perfect themselves. (Lib. xiv. vol. ji. pp. 960, 961. edit. Oxon.) This cir. ments (vol. iv. pp. 183-186.); but all commentators are of opinion that he cumstance accounts for Saint Paul's going to Jerusalem, io finish his stu. was a manufacturer of tents, for which, in the East, there was always a dies under Gamaliel.
• In every ancient seat of learning eloquence held a principal rank; and 13 To a man employed in making tents, the ideas of camps, arms, armour, each species of it was denominated from the place where it was most warfare, military pay, would be familiar; and St. Paul introduces these practised, or in the greatest perfection. Thus we read of the chaste Attic and their concomitants so frequently, that his language seems to have been eloquence, and of the florid Asiatic; and Tarsus also gave name to its pe such as might rather have been expected from a soldier, than from one culiar mode, which, however, is least known, because, from the very who lived in quiet times, and was a preacher of the gospel of peace. Pow nature of it, its productions were not likely to remain. The Tarsic eló. ell's Discourses, p. 254. Vol. II.
11 Acts xxii. 3. xxvi. 5. Gal. i. 14.
was stoned, Saul was not only consenting to his death, but any mark of a libertine disposition. As among the Jews, so actually took care of the clothes of the witnesses who had among the Christians, his conversation and manners were stoned him.
blameless. It has been sometimes objected to the other aposA. D. 34. After this event, Saul took an active part in the tles, by those who were resolved not to credit their testimony, persecution of the Christians, not only at Jerusalem, but also that having been deeply engaged with Jesus during his lite, throughout Judæa (Acts viii. 3. xxii. 4. xxvi. 10, 11.); and they were obliged, for the support of their own credit, and procured letters of commission from the high-priest and from having gone too far to return, to continue the same proelders, or sanhedrin, to the synagogue of the Jews at Da- fessions afier his death ; but this can by no means be said of mascus, empowering him to bring to Jerusalem any Chris- Saint Paul. On the contrary, whatever force there may be tians, whether men or women, whom he might find there. in such a mode of reasoning, it all tends to convince us, that He also obtained letters to the governor of Damascus, we Saint Paul must naturully have continued a Jew, and an may presume, to permit them to be removed from his juris- enemy to Christ Jesus. If they were engaged on one side, diction. (Acts ix. 2. xxii. 5. xxvi. 12.). While Saul was he was as strongly engaged on the other. It'shame withheld on his journey thither for this purpose, his miraculous con- them from changing sides, much more ought it to have version took place, A. D. 35, in the manner recorded in the stopped him; who, from his superior education, must have ninth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, and to which been vastly more sensible to that kind of shame, than the Saint Paul himself has numerous references in his Epistles.' mean and illiterate fishermen of Galilee. The only other The conversion of such a man, at such a time and by such difference was, that they, by quitting their master after his means, furnishes one of the most complete proofs that have death, might have preserved' themselves; whereas he, by ever been given of the divine origin of Christianity. That Saul, quitting the Jews, and taking up the cross of Christ, cerwho possessed such distinguished talents and acquirements, tainly brought on his own destruction. from being a zealous persecutor of the disciples of Christ, 2. As St. Paul was not an impostor, so it is manifest that became all at once a disciple himself, is a fact, which cannot he was not an enthusiast. Heat of temper, melancholy, be controverted without overturning the credit of all history. ignorance, and vanity, are the ingredients of which enthuHe must, therefore, have been converted in the miraculous siasm is composed; but from all these, except the first, the manner in which he himself declares that he was converted, apostle appears to have been wholly free. That he had and of course the Christian revelation must be from God; or great fervour of zeal, both when a Jew and when a Christian, he must have been either an impostor, an enthusiast, or a in maintaining what he thought to be right, cannot be denied ; dupe to the fraud of others. There is no other alternative but he was at all times so much master of his temper, possible.
as, in matters of indifference, to “ become all things to all 1. If he was an impostor, he must have declared what he men,” with the most pliant condescension, bending his noknew to be false, and he must have been influenced to such a tions and inanners to iheirs, as far as his duty to God would conduct by some motive or other. But the only conceivable permit; a conduct compatible neither with the stiffness of a motives for religious imposture are the hopes of advancing bigot, nor with the violent impulses of fanatical delusion. one's temporal interest, credit, or power; or the prospect of That he was not melancholy, is evident from his conduct in gratifying some passion or appetite under the authority of the embracing every method which prudence could suggest to new religion. Now, that none of these motives could influence escape danger and shun persecution ; when he could do it Saint Paul to profess the faith of Christ crucified, is manifest without betraying the duty of his office or the honour of his from the state of Judaism and Christianity, at the period God. A melancholy enthusiast courts persecution; and when he renounced the former, and embraced the latter faith. when he cannot obtain it, afflicts himself with absurd penThose whom he left were the disposers of wealth, of dignity, ances; but the holiness of Saint Paul consisted only in the and of power, in Judæa; those to whom he went were indi- simplicity of a godly life, and in the unwearied performance gent men, oppressed, and kepe from all means of improving of his apostolical duties. That he was ignorant, no man their fortunes. The certain consequence, therefore, of his will allege who is not grossly ignorant himself; for he aptaking the part of Christianity was the loss not only of all pears to have been master not only of the Jewish learning, but that he possessed, but of all hopes of acquiring more : also of the Greek philosophy, and to have been very conversant whereas, by continuing to persecute the Christians, he had even with the Greek poets. That he was not credulous, is hopes, rising almost to a certainty, of making his fortune by clear from his having resisted the evidence of all the mirathe favour of those who were at the head of the Jewish state, cles performed on earth by Christ, as well as those that were to whom nothing could so much recommend him as the zeal afterwards wrought by the apostles; to the fame of which, which he had shown in that persecution. As to credit, or as he lived at Jerusalem, he could not possibly have been a reputation, could the scholar of Gamaliel hope to gain stranger. And that he was as free from vanity as any man either by becoming a teacher in a college of fishermen! that ever lived, may be gathered from all that we see in his Could he flatter himself that the doctrines which he taught writings, or know of his life. He represents himself as the would, either in or out of Judæa, do him honour, when he least of the apostles, and not meet to be called an apostle. knew that “they were to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to He says that he is the chief of sinners; and he prefers, in the the Greeks foolishness". Was it then the love of power strongest terms, universal benevolence to faith, prophecy; that induced him to make this great change? Power! over miracles, and all the gifts and graces with which he could whom? Over a flock of sheep whom he himself had assisted be endowed. Is this the language of vanity or enthusiasm ? to destroy, and whose very Shepherd had lately been mur. Did ever fanatic prefer virtue to his own religious opinions, dered! Perhaps it was with the view of gratifying some to illuminations of the spirit, and even to the merit of marlicentious passion, under the authority of the new religion, tyrdom ? It is therefore in vain for the enemies of Christithat he commenced a teacher of that religion! This cannot anity to attempt to resolve this miraculous conversion of be alleged ; for his writings breathe nothing but the strictest Saint Paul into the effects of enthusiasm. The power of morality, obedience to magistrates, order, and government, imagination in enthusiastical minds is, unquestionably, very with the utmost abhorrence of all licentiousness, idleness, or strong; but it always acts in conformity to the opinions iniloose behaviour, under the cloak of religion. We nowhere printed upon it at the time of its working, and can no more find in his works, that saints are above moral ordinances ; act against them than a rapid river can carry a vessel against that dominion is founded in grace; that monarchy is despot- the current of its own stream. Now, nothing can be more cerism which ought to be abolished ; that the fortunes of the rich tain than that, when Saul departed from Jerusalem for Damasought to be divided among the poor; that there is no differ- cus, armed with authority from the chief priests to bring the ence in moral actions; that any impulses of the mind are to Christians, who were there, bound to Jerusalem, whether they direct us against the light of our reason, and the laws of na- were men or women (Acts ix. 2.), an authority solicited by ture; or any of those wicked tenets by which the peace of himself and granted to him at his own express desire-his society has been often disturbed, and the rules of morality mind was most strongly possessed with an opinion against often broken, by men pretending to act under the sanction of Christ and his followers. To give those opinions a more divine revelation. He makes no distinctions, like the impos- active force, his passions at that time concurred, being intor of Arabia, in favour of himself: nor does any part of his flamed in the highest degree by the irritating consciousness life, either before or after his conversion to Christianity, bear of his past conduct towards them, the pride of supporting a
· See particularly 1 Cor. xv. 9. Gal. i. 13. 1 Tim. i. 12, 13. Various opi- part in which he had voluntary engaged, and the credit nions have been entertained by learned men respecting ine date of st. which he found it procured him among the chief priests and
The date assigned in the text is that adopted by Bp. rulers, whose commission he bore. If, in such a state and Dr. Lardner fixes tha! event to the end of 36, or early in 37. temper of mind,
an enthusiastical man had imagined that he Works, 8vo. vol. vi. pp. 236-239.; Ito. vol. in. pp. 252, 253.
saw a vision from heaven, denouncing the anger of God | returned to Damascus, A. D. 38. (Gal. i. 18.), and boldly against the Christians, and commanding him to persecute preached the Gospel to the Jews, who, rejecting his testithem without any mercy, it might be accounted for by the natu- mony, as an apostate, conspired to kill him; but, the plot ral power of enthusiasm. But that, in the very instant of his being communicated to Saul, he escaped from Damascus being engaged in the fiercest and hottest persecution against privately by night, and went up to Jerusalem for the first them, -no circumstance having occurred to change his opi- time since his conversion. After some hesitation on the nions or alter the bent of his disposition,--he should at once part of the Christians in that city, he was acknowledged to imagine himself called by a heavenly vision to be the apostle be a disciple: he remained at Jerusalem only fifteen days, of Christ, whom, but a moment before, he deemed an impos- during which his boldness in preaching the Gospel so irritated tor and a blasphemer, that had been justly put to death upon the Hellenistic Jews, that they conspired against him; which the cross ;-this is in itself wholly incredible, and so far when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Cæsareafrom being a probable effect of enthusiasm, that just a con- Philippi, and sent him forth to Tarsus. (Acts ix. 28–30.) trary effect must have been naturally produced by that cause. A. D. 39. While Saul was in Cilicia, he had those divine But, still further to show that this vision could not be a phan- visions and revelations of which he speaks in 2 Cor. xii.
; tom of Saint Paul's own creating, let it be observed, that he on which occasion there was given him a thorn in the flesh was not alone when he saw it; there were many others in (supposed to have been some paralytic affection of the councompany, whose minds were no better disposed than his to tenance and voice), lest he should have been exalted above the Christian faith. Could it be possible, that the minds of measure, through the abundance of the revelations. all these men should be so strangely affected, as to make them In the year 42, Saul, accompanied by Barnabas, proceeded believe that they saw a great lighi shining about them, above to Antioch, where they taught with great success for one the brightness of the sun at noon-day, and heard the sound of year. (Acts xi. 26.), During their abode in this city there a voice from heaven, though not the words which it spake came rophets from Jerusalem, one of whom, named Agabus, (Acts xxi. 6. 9.), when in reality they neither saw nor heard signified by the Spirit that there should be a dearth throughout any such thing ? Could they be so infatuated with the con- the land of Judæa, which came to pass in the days of Claudius ceit of their own fancies, as to fall down from their horses, Cæsar, commencing in the fourth, but raging chiefly in the together with Saul (Acts xxvi. 14.), and be speechless fifth and sixth years of that emperor. In order to relieve through fear, when nothing, extraordinary had happened their suffering brethren in Judæa, a collection was made by either to him or to them; especially considering that this appa- the Christians at Antioch, each according to his ability; and rition did not appear in the night, when the senses are more was sent to the church at Jerusalem by the hands of Barnaeasily imposed upon, but at mid-day? If a sudden frenzy bas and Saul (Acts xi. 27—30.), A. D. 44. The trance or had seized upon Paul, from any distemper of body or mind, vision mentioned in Acts xxii. 17. is supposed to have taken can we suppose his whole company,-men of different con- place during this second visit to Jerusalem. stitutions and understandings,—to have been at once affected III. A. D. 44. Having discharged this trust, Barnabas and in the same manner with him, so that not the distemper alone, Saul returned from Jerusalem to Antioch, taking with them but also the effects of it, would exactly agree? If all had Mark the nephew of Barnabas (afterwards the evangelist) as gone mad together, would not the frenzy of some have taken an assistant in their approaching mission to the Gentiles, to à different turn, and presented to them different objects ? which Barnabas and Saul were soon after separated by the This supposition is so contrary to nature and all possibility, solemn and express appointment of the Holy Spirit. that unbelief must find some other solution, or give up the A. D. 45. Being thus sent forth, they departed, with Mark point.
as their minister, to Seleucia, a sea-port town near the mouth 3. Having shown that Saint Paul was neither an impostor of the Orontes, twelve miles below Antioch, and about five nor an enthusiast, it remains only that we inquire whether he from the sea; whence they sailed to Cyprus, the native was deceived by the fraud of others? This inquiry, indeed, country of Barnabas, and preached the word of God at Salamay be despatched in a very few words. For who was or mis, the nearest port to Syria, at first in the Jewish synawere to deceive him? A few illiterate fishermen of Galilee. gogues according to their custom. Thence they crossed to It was morally impossible for such men to conceive the Paphos, the capital of the island, where Sergius Paulus, the thought of turning the most enlightened of their opponents, Roman proconsul, resided. This magistrate, being desirous and the most cruel of their persecutors, into an apostle, and to hear the word of God, sent for the apostles; but Barjesus, to do this by fraud in the very instant of his greatest fury a Jewish false prophet and sorcerer, opposed them, and against them and their Lord. "But could they have been so sought to pervert the proconsul from the faith. But Saul, extravagant as to conceive such a thought, it was physically full of the Holy Spirit, struck the sorcerer with blindness, impossible for them to execute it in the manner in which we for a season, as a punishment for his wicked interference. find his conversion to have been effected. Could they pro- This astonishing judgment, confirming the doctrine of the duce a light in the air, which at mid-day was brighter than Lord, converted the proconsul to the faith. (Acts xiii. 1-12.) the sun ? Could they make Saul hear words from out of As Saint Luke, who has recorded the labours of the great that light, which were not heard by the rest of the company ? | apostle to the Gentiles, calls him no longer Saul, but Paul, Could they make him blind for three days after that vision, learned men have conjectured that the change was made by and then make scales fall off from his eyes, and restore him Saul himself in honour of the proconsul, who was probably to sight by a word? Or could they make him and those who his first convert from among the idolatrous Gentiles, or, pertravelled with him believe, that all these things had happen- haps, the first Gentile of high rank who was converted. 3 ed, if they had not happened? Most unquestionably no fraud
A. D. 46.
“ Paul and his company” sailed from Cyprus to was equal to all this.
the coast of Asia Minor, and preached at Perga, a city of Since, then, Saint Paul was neither an impostor nor an Pamphylia, situate about twelve miles from the sea. Here enthusiast, nor deceived by the fraud of others, it follows Mark separated from them, and returned to Jerusalem. Thence that his conversion was miraculous, and that the Christian they proceeded to Antioch, the capital of Pisidia, where, religion is a divine revelation.
notwithstanding the opposition of the Jews, Paul and BarII. Shortly after his baptism, and the descent of the Holy nabas converted great numbers, both of the proselyted and Spirit upon him, Saul went into Arabia (Gal. i. 17.); and of the idolatrous Gentiles; but, being driven thence by the during his residence in that country he was fully instructed, machinations of the unbelieving Jews, they proceeded to as we may reasonably think, by special revelation, and by Iconium in Lycaonia. (xiii. 13—52.) Here they converted diligent study of the Old Testament, in the doctrines and many to the faith; but, being in danger of being stoned, they duties of the Gospel. Three years after his conversion he proceeded to Lystra, where Paul, working a miracle on a
cripple, was at first considered as a god, but was afterwards See Lord Lyttleton's Observations on the Conversion of Saint Paul dragged out of the city, stoned, and left for dead. (xiv. 1(from which the above remarks are abridged); a treatise to which it has 20.5° He rose up, however, perfectly whole; and, quitting
"Lord L. had," says his biographer, in the pride of juvenile Lystra, on the following day, he proceeded to Derbe, and confidence, with the help of corrupt conversation, entertained doubts of preached the Gospel in Galatia and Phrygia, regions adjointhe truth of Christianity : but he now" (in his maturer years) “thought the time come, when it was no longer fit to doubt or believe by chance, * Acts ix. 23-25. Gal. i. 17, 18. 2 Cor. xi. 32, 33. and applied himself seriously to the great question. His studies, BEING 3 It was customary among the Romans to assume the name of a beneHONEST, ended in conviction. He found that religion was true.” (Dr. factor whom they highly esteemed. Thus the
Jewish historian Josephus Johnson's Lives of the Poets, vol. iii. p. 383.) Dr. Graves has some excel. took the name of Flavius, in compliment to Vespasian, with whom he was lent observations on the conduct and writings of Saint Paul, in his Essay in high favour. This circumstance sufficiently refules the unfounded as: on the Character of the Apostles and Evangelists, pp. 115--121. 181-218, sertions of a late reviler of the Scriptures, who, wilfully disregarding ail which show that he was in no respect influenced or directed by a spirit of positive evidence to the contrary, has asserted that Luke has compiled his enthusiasm
narrative from twoo tales !!!
ing to Lycaonia, whence Paul and his assistants returned | ed, together with Damaris, a woman of some rank, besides through Lystra and Iconium to Antioch in Pisidia, confirm- others of inferior note. (Acts xvii.) ing the new converts in the faith, and ordaining elders in every A. D. 51–53. From Athens, Saint Paul proceeded to co church. Having thus traversed all Pisidia, they retraced rinth, the capital of Achaia, and distinguished for the numtheir way to Perga in Pamphylia, and, embarking at Attalia, ber, quality, opulence, and learning of its inhabitants, and returned to Antioch in Syria, after a circuit of about two for the celebrated games solemnized on its isthmus, which years. (xiv. 21–27.)'
(as well as the gymnastic exercises for which Tarsus was A. D. 47, 48. During their residence at Antioch, which is eminent) have furnished the apostle with very numerous and supposed to have been full two years, certain persons came elegant allusions and phrases. At Corinth he tarried a year from Judæa, and taught that there was no salvation without and six months, i. e. the latter part of the year 51, the whole circumcision and other legal ceremonies. These false of 52, and the early part of 53. His principal associates in teachers Paul and Barnabas withstood; and it was at length the ministry, besides Timothy and Silas, who came to him agreed to send a deputatian to Jerusalem, to obtain the deci- from Thessalonica, were Aquila, a Jew of Pontus, and his sion of the apostles and elders on this question. For this wife Priscilla, who had lately come thither from Rome, purpose Paul and Barnabas were deputed: and, travelling whence the emperor Claudius had banished all the Jews on through Phænice and Samaria, they arrived at Jerusalem account of their turbulence, and with whom he worked at A. D. 49, where it was decreed that the proselyted Gentiles their common trade of tent-makers for his livelihood. From were not obliged to observe the law of Moses 'as a term or this city he wrote his two Epistles to the Thessalonians, condition of salvation. (Acts xv. 1—29.) After the council and perhaps also that to the Galatians. The success of Saint of Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch, and Paulin preaching the Gospel at Corinth and in Peloponnesus, made some stay there, probably during the remainder of the so irritated the unbelieving Jews, that they dragged him beyear 49, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with fore Gallio, the proconsul of Achaia; who, prudently remany assistants. (30_35.)
fusing to interfere in religious opinions that were not detriAbout the beginning of the year 50, Paul proposed to Bar- mental to the state, drove them from his tribunal. (xviii. 1nabas to take another circuit ihroughout the churches they 17.). After continuing some further time at Corinth, Saint had planted in Asia Minor. But Barnabas being desirous of Paul embarked at Cenchrea, the eastern port of Corinth, for having his nephew Mark for their minister, Paul objected to Ephesus, where he left Aquila and Priscilla, and proceeded him who had 'deserted them in their former journey to Pam- thence to Cæsarea and Jerusalem: from which latter city he phylia. (xiii. 13.) A sharp contention arose, which termi- returned to Antioch. (18–22.) nated in their separation; and Barnabas sailed with Mark to IV. A. D. 54–56. After some stay at Antioch, Saint Paul Cyprus, to visit the churches which had been planted there visited the churches of Galatia and Phrygia, and came to by Paul himself; while Paul, choosing Silas for his compa- Ephesus, where he found Aquila and Priscilla (Acts xviii. nion, departed from Antioch with the approbation of the 24–28.), and conferred the Holy Spirit on twelve of John church. Passing through Syria and Cilicia, they confirmed the Baptist's disciples. Saint Paul, as usual, preached first the churches in those countries; and thence proceeded to in the synagogues, but, being opposed by the Jews, he afterDerbe and Lystra in Lycaonia, to preach the Gospel a se- wards taught in the school of one Tyrannus with great succond time to the Gentiles, and to publish the decrees of the cess, and wrought numerous miracles. (xix. 1—20.) During apostolic council of Jerusalem. At Lystra Paul took Timo- this residence, probably about the beginning of the year 56, thy as his assistant; and, departing thence with Silas, they Saint Paul received a letter from the Corinthians, to whom went through Phrygia and Galatia, publishing every where he wrote his first Epistle. But being assaulted by Demethe decrees. (Acts xv. 35—41. xvi. 1-6.) Being forbidden trius, a silversmith, and others of his profession, who were by the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel in Asia, strictly so employed in making silver shrines in which the images of called, they arrived at Mysia; and being in like manner for- Diana were to be enclosed, and were apprehensive that their bidden to proceed to Bithynia, they passed by the Lesser trade would suffer from his preaching, Saint Paul quitted Mysia (which separated Bithynia from the region of Troas), that city, where he had gathered a numerous church. (Acts and came to the city and port of Troas. Here they were xix. 21-41. xx. 1.) joined by the evangelist Luke. (xvi. 7, 8.).
A. D. 56. On his departure from Ephesus, Saint Paul went A. D. 50. While they were at Troas, Paul and his assist- first to Troas, expecting to meet Títus on his return from ants were called to preach the Gospel in Macedonia by a Corinth. (2 Cor. ii. 12, 13.) Here he preached a short time vision that appeared to Paul during the night. In obedience with great success, and then proceeded to Macedonia, where to the heavenly monition, they sailed directly from Troas to he received the collections of the Macedonian Christians, Samothracia, and next day to Neapolis, and thence to Phi- for their poor brethren in Judæa. Jippi, a city of Macedonia Prima, and a Roman colony.2 A. D. 57. In his progress from Macedonia into Greece, he Here Paul converted Lydia, and dispossessed a damsel who is supposed to have preached the Gospel on the confines of had a spirit of divination, for which last transaction Paul Illyricum, as mentioned in Rom. xv. 19. Saint Paul conand Silas were beaten with rods and imprisoned; but, being tinued three months in Greece, principally, it is supposed, liberated (Acts xvi. 9—40.), they passed through Amphipo- at Corinth (whence he wrote his Epistle to the Romans); lis and Apollonia to Thessalonica. Here he preached in the and having received the money which the churches had colsynagogue, and some believed, while others persecuted him. lected for the poor Christians in Judæa, he sailed from PhiBeing obliged to quit that city, Paul and his assistants went lippit to Troas, and thence to Miletus, whither the elders of to Beræa, where they preached with great success; but the the Ephesian church had come to meet him by his appointunbelieving Jews, coming from Thessalonica, stirred up the ment, to whom Saint Paul gave a most affecting farewell people against them. Paul, therefore, leaving Silas and charge. (Acts xx.) Timothy at Beræa, departed to Athens; where he disputed
A. D. 58.
From Miletus, Paul and his company sailed daily in the synagogue with the Jews, and in the market- directly to Cos, next to Rhodes, and thence to Patara : here, place with the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. These finding a vessel bound to Phænicia, they embarked, and, men conducted him before the supreme court of Areopagus leaving Cyprus on their left, they landed at Tyre. After for trial, on the capital charge of being “a setter forth of waiting seven days, they sailed to Ptolemais, from which strange demons.” Before this tribunal, composed of senators, port they went on foot to Cæsarea, where they lodged with philosophers, rhetoricians, and statesmen, Saint Paul deliver- Philip the evangelist. During their stay here for several ed his most eloquent and masterly apology; in which, while days, the prophet Agabus foretold the imprisonment of Paul, he retorted the charge of his accusers, he instructed the peo- who, persisting in his determination to go to Jerusalem, was ple, to whom he preached the living God, to them unknown. at length permitted to depart: he accordingly arrived there, Although many of his hearers ridiculed the sublime doctrines for the fifth time, just before the feast of Pentecost, A. D. 58, which he taught, particularly that of the resurrection, yet and was gladly received by the brethren. (xxi. 1–18.) some of his audience were better disposed, and desirous of V. a. D. 58. The day after their arrival at Jerusalem, Paul further information; and one among his judges was convert- and his assistants related to James and the elders of the · Bishop Pearson allots three years for these journeys of the apostle,
church "what things God had wrought among the Gentiles viz. 45, 46, and 47, and something more. But Calmet, Tillemont, Dr.
Lard by his ministry; and when they heard it they glorified the ner, Bishop Tomline, and Dr. Hales, allow two years for this purpose, Lord.” Shortly after this, some Asiatic Jews, probably from viz. 45, and 46, as above stated; which period corresponds with our Bible Ephesus, seeing Paul in the temple, whither he had gone to chronology: 9 That ihis is the proper rendering of Acts xvi. 11., see Vol. I. p. 90.
See some observations on this Discourse of Saint Paul, in 5 VIII. pp. • While Saint Paul was in Macedonia, he wrote his second Epistle to the 986, 32). infra.
assist some of the brethren to discharge a vow of Nazarite- I arrived at Rome, where his active exertions in preaching the ship, excited the multitude to kill the apostle, who was with Gospel caused him to be imprisoned a second time. How difficulty rescued from their fury by Lysias, the chief captain long Paul continued in prison at this time, we know not, or tribune of the temple guard. On the following morning, but from the circumstance of his being brought twice before Paul was conducted before the council, when he declared the emperor Nero or his prefect, Dr. Macknight thinks it himself to be a Pharisee. A contest having arisen between probable that he was confined a year or more before he was the Pharisees and Sadducees, members of the sanhedrin, put to death. As the Neronian persecution of the Christians Lysias, being apprehensive for Paul's safety, commanded the raged greatly during this second visit to Rome, Paul, knowsoldiers to rescue him, and directed the council to accuse him ing the time of his departure to be at hand, wrote his secono before Felix, the procurator of Cæsarea. (Acts xxii. xxiii.) epistle to Timothy; from which we learn, that, though tho Five days after, Ananiaş, the high-priest, accompanied by apostle's assistants, terrified with the danger, forsook him the elders and by a certain orator named Tertullus, proceeded and fled, yet he was not altogether destitute of consolation; to that city, and accused him to Felix of sedition, heresy, and for the brethren of Rome came to him privately, and minisprofanation of the temple. These charges were denied by tered to him. (2 Tim. iv. 12. 21.) Concerning the precise Saint Paul, who gave an account of his faith ; but the gover- manner of Saint Paul's death, we have no certain information, nor, though convinced of his innocence, being unwilling to but, according to primitive tradition, he was beheaded on the displease the Jews, and also hoping that Paul would have 29th of June, A. D. 66, at Aqua Salviæ, three miles from Rome, given money to be liberated, ordered the apostle to be kept and interred in the Via Ostensis, at a spot two miles from the in easy confinement, and allowed his friends to visit him. city, where Constantine the Great afterwards erected a church A few days after this transaction, Felix, at the request of his to his memory: “But his noblest monument subsists in his wife Drusilla, sent for Paul, who gave them an account of immortal writings; which, the more they are studied, and his faith in Christ, and reasoned so forcibly concerning right- the better they are understood, the more they will be admired eousness, chastity, and a judgment to come, that the profili- to the latest posterity for the most sublime and beautiful, the gate governor's conscience was alarmed.' " Felix trembled, most pathetic and impressive, the most learned and profound and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a specimens of Christian piety, oratory, and philosophy.”' convenient season, I will
call for thee.” That season, how- VII. Such were the life and labours of " Paul the Apostle ever, never came; and Felix, two years afterwards, when of Jesus Christ," which have justly been considered as an recalled from his government, left Paul in prison in order to irrefragable proof of the truth of the Christian revelation. gratify the Jews. (Acts xxiv.)
How indefatigably he exerted himself to make known the A. D. 60. Felix was succeeded in the government of Judæa glad tidings of salvation, the preceding brief sketch will sufby Festus, who sat in judgment on Saint Paul, and having ficiently evince. “One of the most striking traits in the heard the accusations of the Jews against him, and his de- character of this extraordinary man was, his readiness to unfence, proposed a new trial at Jerusalem in order to ingratiate derstand, and his promptness to enter into the great design hiinself with the Jews. But this was declined by Paul, who of Jesus Christ to give the world a universal religion. His appealed to the emperor. Shortly after this, Agrippa king mind, with wonderful facility, threw off the prejudices of his of Chalcis, and his sister Bernice, having come to Cæsarea Jewish education, and expanded to the vastness of this ento congratulate Festus, the latter communicated Paul's case terprise. It is reinarkable, too, that, after he had cast off the to him, and brought the apostle forth to plead his cause be- yoke of Jewish ceremonies, and abandoned his first religious fore Agrippa. · Accordingly the apostle vindicated himself connections, he manifested no bitterness of spirit towards his in so masterly a manner, as to extort an acknowledgment of former friends. On the contrary, his kindness was unwearied, his innocence from Agrippa himself (Acts xxv. xxvi.); but, and his disposition to accommodate his practice to their prehaving appealed to the emperor, it became necessary to send judices, as far as he could do so without sacrifice of princihim to Rome, where he at length arrived in the spring of the ple, was remarkable. Perhaps a higher example of firmness year 61, after a very tempestuous passage, the particulars of united with liberality, was never exhibited by any mere man. which are related in Acts xxvii. and xxviii. 1-16. Here His history shows also a noble instance of intellectual and he was permitted to reside in his own hired house, with a moral courage. His design was, to spread the gospel soldier to whose custody he was committed. On the third throughout the whole world. (Rom. i. 5.)'. He went to his day after his arrival, he sent for the chief of the unbelieving work in full expectation of success, without any human Jews, to whom he explained the cause of his imprisonment, means but the use of reason and persuasion. His confidence though with little success; and afterwards, during the two in the power of truth seems to have been unlimited and unyears of his confinement (from the spring of A. D. 61, to the wavering." Hence " we see him in the prosecution of his early part of 63), he received all that came to his house, purpose, travelling from country to country, enduring every preaching, the Gospel without any impediment whatever. species of hardship, encountering every extremity of danger, (Acts xxviii
. 17–31.) During this first visit to Rome, Saint assaulted by the populace, punished by the magistrates, Paul wrote his Epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Co- scourged, beaten, stoned, left for dead : expecting, wherever lossians, and to Philemon.
he came, a renewal of the same treatment and the same danVI. Ás Luke has not continued Saint Paul's history be- gers; yet, when driven from one city, preaching in the next, yond his first imprisonment at Rome, we have no authentic spending his whole time in the employment, sacrificing to it record of his subsequent travels and labours from the spring his pleasures, his ease, his safety; persisting in this course of A. D. 63, when he was released, to the time of his martyr- to old age (through more than thirty years); unaltered by dom. But, from the intimations contained in the Epistles the experience of perverseness, ingratitude, prejudice, deserwhich he wrote from Rome during his first confinement, some tion; unsubdued by anxiety, want, labour, persecutions ; unlearned men have conjectured that he sailed from Italy to wearied by long confinement, undismayed by the prospect of Judæa, accompanied by Timothy and Titus; and, leaving death."6 Titus in Crete (Tit. 1.5.), he proceeded thence with Timothy But this great luminary of the Christian church did not to Judæa, and visited the churches in that country, to which confine his Tabours to the preaching of the Gospel. He he had lately sent from Italy (perhaps from Rome) the wrote fourteen Epistles, in which the various doctrines and Epistle which is now inscribed to the Hebrews.. Having duties of Christianity are explained, and inculcated with pevisited the churches in Syria, Cilicia, and Asia Minor, Paul culiar sublimity and force of language; at the same time and Timothy continued some time at Colosse; and, leaving that they exhibít the character of their great author in a most Timothy at Ephesus, Paul proceeded to Macedonia, visiting amiable and endearing point of view. "His faith was a practhe churches." From this country he wrote his Epistle to tical principle, influencing all the powers and faculties of the Titus, and also his first Epistle to Timothy. Having also soul ; his morality was of the purest and most exalted kind. visited the churches of Greece, and probably that of Corinth He “ derives all duties from the love of God in Christ as for the second time, Saint Paul passed the winter of 64 at Nicopolis, a city of Epirus; thence he proceeded to Crete, • Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. book ii. pp. 1155—1254. Dr. and perhaps to Corinth for the third time ;) and early in 65 Lardner, Works, 8vo. vol. vi. pp. 234 2301. ; 4to. vol. iii. pp. 251–294., whose
dates have chiefly been followed. Dr. Benson's History of the First Plant
ing of Christianity, vol. i. pp. 144-290. vol. ii. pussim. Pritii, Introd. in · With what admirable propriety Saint Paul suited his address to the Nov. Test. pp. 246 -263. Dr. Macknight's Life of the Apostle Paul, annexed characters of Felix and Drusilla, see Vol. II. Part II. Chap. II. Sect. II. $ 4. to the fourth volume (110.), or the sixth volume (8vo.), of his translation and p. 327 infra.
of the Epistles. :lt is not known by what means St. Paul was delivered from prison. • Murray Street Discourses, p. 335. (New York, 1830.) Calunet conjectures, with great probability, that the Jews durst not prose. 6 Paley's Horæ Paulinæ, p. 379. See also some valuable remarks on the cate him before the emperor.
character of Saint Paul in Dr. Ranken's Institutes of Theology, pp. 391 • Such is the supposition of Michaelis, vol. iv. p. 37.