« EelmineJätka »
as ye ver 3.
all are this day.” Acts, chap. xxii.
The epistle as follows: “ I profited in “ the Jews religion above many my equals “ in mine own nation, being more exceed
ingly zealous of the traditions of my fa“ thers.” Chap. i. ver. 14
2. St. Paul, before his conversion, had been a fierce persecutor of the new sect. " As for Saul, he made havoc of the “ church; entering into every house, and “ haling men and women, committed them « to prison.” Acts, chap. viii. ver. 3.
This is the history of St. Paul, as delivered in the Acts; in the recital of his own history in the epistle, “ Ye have heard,” says he, “ of my conversation in times past “ in the Jews religion, how that beyond “ measure I persecuted the church of God.” Chap. i. ver. 13
3. St. Paul was miraculously converted on his way to Damascus.
" And as he jour6 neyed hecame near to Damascus: and sud
denly there shined round about him a light “ from heaven; and he fell to the earth, and “ heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul,
why persecutest thou me? And he said, 6. Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, “ I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest: it is “ hard for thee to kick against the pricks. “ And he, trembling and astonished, said " Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" Acts, chap. ix. ver. 3-6. With these compare the epistle, chap. i. ver. 15--17: “ When it pleased God, who separated me « from my mother's womb, and called me
by his grace to reveal his son in me, that “ I might preach him among the heathen ; “ immediately I conferred not with flesh 6 and blood, neither went I up to Jerusa“ lem, to them that were apostles before
me; but I went into Arabia, and re“ turned again unto Damascus.”
In this quotation from the epistle, I desire it to be remarked how incidentally it appears, that the affair passed at Damascus. In what may be called the direct part of the account, no mention is made of the place of his conversion at all; a casual expression at the end, and an expression brought in for a different purpose, alone fixes it to have been at Damascus: “I returned again to Damas
cus." Nothing can be more like simplicity and undesignedness than this is. It also draws the agreement between the two quotations somewhat closer, to observe that they both state St. Paul to have preached the gospel immediately upon his call :
66 And straightway he preached Christ in the “ fynagogues, that he is the son of God.” Acts, chap. ix. ver. 20. 66 When it pleased “ God to reveal his son in me, that I might “ preach him among the heathen, imme
diately I conferred not with flesh and 66 blood.” Gal. chap. i. ver. 15.
4. The course of the apostle's travels after his conversion was this: He went from Da, mascus to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem into Syria and Cilicia. 66 At Damascus the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket'; and when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples." (A&ts, chap. ix. ver. 25). Afterwards, “ when the brethren knew the conspiracy formed against him at Jerusalem, they brought him down to Cæsarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus, a city in Cilicia” (chap. ix. ver. 30.). In the epistle, St. Paul gives the following brief account of his proceedings within the same period: “ After three “ years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, 65 and abode with him fifteen days; after“ wards I came into the regions of Syria and “ Cilicia.” The history had told us that Paul passed from Cæsarea to Tarsus: if he took this journey by land, it would carry him through Syria into Cilicia ; and he would come, after his visit at Jerusalem, “ into the “ regions of Syria and Cilicia,” in the Very order in which he mentions them in the epistle. This supposition of his going from Cæfarea to Tarsus by land, clears up also anocher point. It accounts for what St. Paul fays in the same place concerning the churches of Judea: “ Afterwards I came “ into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and
was unknown by face unto the churches " of Judea, which were in Christ: but they “ had heard only that he which persecuted
us in times paft, now preacheth the faith, “ which once he destroyed; and they glori“ fied God in me." Upon which passage I observe, first, that what is here faid of the
churches of Judea, is spoken in connection with his journey into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. Secondly, that the paffage itself has little significancy, and that the connection is inexplicable, unless St. Paul went through Judea. * (though probably by a hasty journey) at the time that he came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. Suppose him to have passed by land from Cæ. farea to Tarsus, all this, as hath been observed, would be precisely true.
5. Barnabas was with St. Paul at Antioch. “ Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to “ seek Saul; and when he had found him,
he brought him unto Antioch. And it “ came to pass that a whole year they assem" bled themselves with the church.” Acts, chap. xi. ver. 25; 26. Again, and upon another occasion," they (Pauland Barnabas)
* Dr. Doddridge thought that the Cæsarea here mentioned was not the celebrated city of that name upon the Mediterranean sea, but Cæfarea Philippi, near the borders of Syria, which lies in a much more direct line from Jerusalem to Tarsus than the other. The objection to this, Dr. Benson remarks, is, that Cæsarea, without any addition, usually denotes Cæsarea Palestinæ.