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1. The history, in giving an account of St. Paul after his conversion, relates, “ that, after many days,” effecting, by the affiftance of the disciples, his escape from Damafcus, 6. he proceeded to Jerusalem" (Acts, chap. ix. ver. 25). The epistle, speaking of the same period, makes St. Paul say that she went into Arabia,” that he returned again to Damascus, that after three years he went up to Jerusalem. Chap. i. ver. 17, 18.
2. The history relates, that, when Saul was come from Damascus, “ he was with “ the disciples coming in and going out” (Acts, chap. ix. ver. 28). The epistle, describing the same journey, tells us “ that “ he went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, " and abode with him fifteen 'days." Chap. i. ver. 18. 3.
The history relates, that, when Paul was come to Jerusalem, 66 Barnabas took “ him and brought him to the apostles” (Acts, chap. ix. ver. 27). The epistle, 66 that he saw Peter; but other of the
apostles saw he none, save James, the “ Lord's brother." Chap. i. ver. 19.
Now this is as it should be. The hifto. rian delivers his account in general terms, as of facts to which he was not present. The person who is the subject of that account, when he comes to speak of these facts himself, particularizes time, names, and circumstances.
4. The like notation of places, persons, and dates, is met with in the account of St. Paul's journey to Jerusalem, given in the second chapter of the epistle. It was fourteen years after his conversion; it was in company with Barnabas and Titus; it was then that he met with James, Cephas, and John; it was then also that it was agreed amongst them, that they should go to the circumcision, and he unto the Gentiles.
5 The dispute with Peter, which occupies the sequel of the second chapter, is marked with the same particularity. It was at Antioch; it was after certain came from James; it was whilft Barnabas was there, who was carried away by their dissimulation.
. These examples negative the insinuation, that the epistle presents nothing but indefinite allusions to public facts.
Chap. iv. ver. 11-16. " I am afraid of you,
left I have bestowed upon you lau bour in vain. Brethren, I beseech you, “ be as I am, for I am as ye are. Ye have “ not injured me at all. Ye know how,
through infirmity of the flesh, I preached & the gospel unto you at the first; and
my “ temptation, which was in the flesh, ye de“ spised not, nor rejected; but received me
as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. " Where is then the blessedness “ of? for I bear you record, that, if it had “ been possible, ye would have plucked out
your own eyes, and have given them “ unto me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell
the truth ?" With this paffage compare 2 Cor. chap. xii. ver. 1–9: “ It is not expedient for me, “ doubtless, to glory; I will come to visions " and revelations of the Lord. I knew a
man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body I cannot tell, or whether out of the body I cannot tell;
to God knoweth); such a one was caught up
to the third heaven: and I knew such a “ man (whether in the body or out of the “.body I cannot tell, God knoweth), how “ that he was caught up into Paradise, " and heard unspeakable words, which it is
not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one will I glory, yet of myself will I
not glory, but in mine infirmities : for, " though I would desire to glory, I shall not “ be a fool; for I will say the truth. But
now I forbear, left any man should think " of me above that which he feeth me to be,
that he heareth of me. And lest I « should be exalted above measure, through " the abundance of the revelations, there
was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the
messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should “ be exalted above measure. For this thing “ I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, “ My grace is sufficient for thee; for my
strength is made perfect in weakness. “ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory “ in my infirmities, that the power of “ rest
66 Christ may
There can be no doubt but that a the temptation which was in the flesh,” mentioned in the Epistle to the Galatians, and “ the thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him,"mentioned in the Epistle to the Corinthians, were intended to denote the same thing. Either therefore it was, what we pretend it to have been, the fame person in both, alluding, as the occafion led him, to some bodily infirmity under which he laboured; that is, we are reading the real letters of a real apostle; or, it was that a sophist, who had seen the circumstance in one'epistle, contrived, for the sake of correspondency, to bring it into another; or, lastly, it was a circumstance in St. Paul's personal condition, sapposed to be well known to those into whose hands the epistle was likely to fall; and, for that reason, introduced into a writing designed to bear his name. I have extracted the quotations at length, in order to enable the reader to judge accurately of the manner in which the mention of this particular comes in, in each; because that judgment, I think, will acquit the authors of the epistle of the charge of