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or that is worshipped; so that he as God “ fitteth in the temple of God, thewing “ himself that he is God. Remember ye not, " that when I WAS YET WITH YOU I TOLD “ YOU THESE THINGS? and now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed « in his time; for the mystery of iniquity doth “ already work, only he that now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way'; and “then shall that wicked be revealed, whom " the Lord shall consume with the spirit of “ his mouth, and shall destroy with the

brightness of his coming." It were su ' perfluous to prove, because it is in vain to deny, that this passage is involved in great obscurity, more especially the clauses distiųguished by italics. Now the observation I have to offer is founded upon this, that the passage expressly refers to a conversation which the author had previously holden with the Thessalonians upon the same subject: “ Remember ye not, that when I was yet with

you I told you these things ? And now ye know what withholdeth.” If such conversation actually passed ; if, whilst he was yet with them, 6 he told them those

" things,

things,” then it follows that the epistle is authentic. And of the reality of this conversation it appears to be a proof, that what is said in the epistle might be understood by those who had been present to such conversation, and yet be incapable of being explained by any other. No man writes unintelligibly on purpose. But it may easily happen, that a part of a letter which relates to a subject, upon which the parties had conversed together before, which refers to what had been before said, which is in truth a portion or continuation of a former discourse, may be utterly without meaning to a stranger, who should pick up the letter upon the road, and yet

be

perfectly clear to the person to whom it is directed, and with whom the previous communication had passed. And if, in a letter which thus accidentally fell into my hands, I found a passage expressly referring to a former conversation, and difficult to be explained without knowing that conversation, I should consider this very difficulty as a proof that the conversation had actually paffed, and consequently that the letter con

tained

2

tained the real correspondence of real perfons.

No. II.

you: not because

Chap. iii. ver.8.“ Neither did we eat any “man's bread for nought, but wrought with “ labour night and day, that we might not “ be chargeable to any

of we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow.”

In a letter, purporting to have been written to another of the Macedonic churches, we find the following declaration :

“Now ye, Philippians, know also that in “ the beginning of the gospel, when I de“parted from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and so receiving, but ye only.

The conformity between these two palsages is strong and plain. They confine the transaction to the same period. The epistle to the Philippians refers to what passed " in "the beginning of the gospel,” that is to say, during the first preaching of the gospel on that side of the Ægean sea. The epistle to the Thessalonians speaks of the apostle's con

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duct in that city upon

- his first entrance in “ unto them,” which the history informs us was in the course of his first visit to the peninsula of Greece. As St. Paul tells the Philippians,

" that - no church communicated with him, as

concerning giving and receiving, but they

only,” he could not, consistently with the truth of this declaration, have received any thing from the neighbouring church of Theffalonica. What thus appears by general implication in an epistle to another church, when he writes to the Thessalonians themselves, is noticed expressly and particularly ; “ neither did we eat any man's “ bread for nought, but wrought night and

day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you.”

The texts here cited farther also exhibit a mark of conformity with what St. Paul is made to say of himself in the Acts of the Apostles. The apostle not only reminds the Thessalonians that he had not been chargeable to any of them, but he states likewise the motive which dictated this referve; " not because we have not power, but

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- to make ourselves an ensample unto you “ to follow us,” (ch. iii. ver. 9.) This conduct, and what is much more precise, the end which he had in view by it, was the very same as that which the history attributes to St. Paul in a discourse, which it represents him to have addressed to the elders of the church of Ephesus; “ Yea, ye your6 felves also know that these hands have “ ministered unto my necessities, and to " them that were with me. I have powed

you all things, how that so labouring ye

ought to support the weak.Acts, ch. xx. ver. 34. The sentiment in the epistle and in the speech is in both parts of it so much alike, and yet the words which convey it show so little of imitation or even of resemblance, that the agreement cannot well be explained without supposing the speech and the letter to have really proceeded from the fame person.

No. III.

Our reader remembers the passage in the first epistle to the Thessalonians, in which St. Paul spoke of the coming of Christ :

“ This

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