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2. That the epistle, though written without any communication with the history, by recital, implication, or reference, bears testimony to many of the facts contained in it.
1. The epistle and the Acts of the Apostles were written without any communication with each other.
To judge of this point, we must examine those passages in each, which describe the same transaction ; for if the author of either writing derived his information from the account which he had seen in the other, when he came to speak of the same transaction, he would follow that account. The history of St. Paul, at Damascus, as read in the Acts, and as referred to by the epistle, forms an instance of this fort. Ac-, cording to the Acts, Paul (after his conversion) was certain days with the “ disciples " which were at Damascus; and straight“ way he preached Christ in the synagogues, “ that he is the son of God. But all that 6 heard him were amazed, and said, is not “this he which destroyed them which called “ on this name in Jerusalem, and came hiother for that intent, that he might bring " them bound unto the chief priests ? But “ Saul increased the more in strength, con“ founding the Jews which were at Damascus, proving that this is the
Chrift. “ And after many days were fulfilled, the
Jews took counsel to kill him; but their
laying in wait was known of Saul, and they 5 watched the gates day and night to kill “ him; then the disciples took him by night, « and let him down by the wall in a basket; - and when Saul was come to Jerusalem, s he assayed to join himself to the disci“ ples.” Acts, chap. ix. ver. 19–26.
According to the epistle, “ when it pleased “ God, who separated me from my mo" ther's womb, and called me by his grace,
to reveal his own son in me, that I
might preach him among the heathen, “ immediately I conferred not with flesh “ and blood, neither went I up to Jerusa“ lem to them which were apostles before “me : but I went into Arabia, and return" ed again to Damascus ; then, after three
years, I went up to Jerusalem.”
Beside the difference observable in the terms and general complexion of these two
accounts, “the journey into Arabia," mentioned in the epistle, and omitted in the history, affords full proof that there existed no correspondence between these writers. If the narrative in the Acts had been made up from the epistle, it is impossible that this journey should have been passed over in silence; if the epistle had been composed out of what the author had read of St. Paul's history in the Acts, it is unaccountable that it should have been inserted *.
The journey to Jerusalem related in the second chapter of the epistle (“then, fourteen - years after, I went up again to Jerusalem") fupplies another example of the same kind, Either this was the journey described in the fifteenth chapter of the Acts, when Paul
* N. B. The Acts of the Apostles simply inform us that St. Paul left Damascus in order to go to Jerusalem, " after many days were fulfilled.” If any one doubt whether the words“ many days" could be intended to express a period which included a term of three years, he will find a complete instance of the same phrase used with the same latitude in the first book of Kings, chap. xi. ver: 38, 39:“And Shimei dwelt at Jerusalem many “ days; and it came to pafs, at the end of three years, " that two of the servants of Shimei ran away.”
and Barnabas were fent from Antioch to Jerusalem, to consult the apostles and elders upon the question of the Gentile converts ; or it was some journey of which the history does not take notice. If the first opinion be 'followed, the discrepancy in the two accounts is so considerable, that it is not without difficulty they can be adapted to the same transaction : so that, upon this supposition, there is no place for suspecting that the writers were guided or assisted by each 'other. If the latter opinion be preferred, we have then a journey to Jerusalem, and a conference with the principal members of the church there, circumstantially related in the epistle, and entirely omitted in the A&ts: and we are at liberty to repeat the observation, which we before made, that the omission of fo material a fact in the hiftory is inexplicable, if the historian had read the epistle ; and that the insertion of it in the epistle, if the writer derived his information from the history, is not less so.
St. Peter's visit to Antioch, during which the dispute arose between him and St. Paul, is not mentioned in the Acts.
If we connect, with these instances, the general observation, that no scrutiny can discover the smallest trace of transcription or imitation either in things or words, we shall be fully satisfied in this part of our cafe; namely, that the two records, be the facts contained in them true or false, come. to our hands from independent sources.
Secondly, I say that the epistle, thus proved to have been written without
any communication with the history, bears testimony to a great variety of particulars contained in the history.
1. St. Paul in the early part of his life had addicted himself to the study of the Jewish religion, and was distinguished by his zeal for the institution and for the traditions which had been incorporated with it. Upon this part of his character the history makes St. Paul speak thus: “ I am verily a “ man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a 6 city of Cilicia, yet brought up in this city " at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught accord“ ing to the perfect manner of the law of the “ fathers; andl was zealous towards God,