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“ cerning thee, are nothing; but that thou
thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest - the law.—Then Paul took the men, and “ the next day, purifying himself with them, “ entered into the temple.” Nor does this concurrence between the character and the instances look like the result of contrivance. St. Paul, in the epistle, describes, or is made to describe, his own accommodating conduct towards Jews and towards Gentiles, towards the weak and over-scrupulous, towards men indeed of every variety of character; to " them that are without law as without law, “ being not without law to God, but under " the law to Christ, that I might gain them “ that are without law; to the weak became “ I as weak, that I might gain the weak; I “ am made allthings to all men, that I might
gain some.” This is the sequel of the text which stands at the head of the present number. Taking therefore the whole passage together, the apostle's condescension to the Jews is mentioned only as a part of his general disposition towards all. It is not probable, that this character should have been made up from the instances in the
A&s, which relate solely to his dealings with the Jews. It is not probable that a sophist should take his hint from those instances, and then extend it so much beyond them : and it is still more incredible, that the two instances in the Aets, circumstantially related, and interwoven with the history, should have been fabricated in order to suit the character, which St. Paul gives of himself in the epistle.
No. VIII. Chap. i. 14-19. “ I thank God that I " baptized 'none of you but Crispus and
Gaius, lest any should say that I baptized “ in my own name; and I baptized also “ the household of Stephanas : besides, I “know not whether I baptized any other; “ for Christ fent me not to baptize, but to “ preach the gospel.”
It may be expected that those whom the apostle baptized with his own hands, were converts distinguished from the rest by some circumstance, either of eminence, or of connection with him. Accordingly, of the three
names here mentioned, Crispus, we find from Acts xviii. ver. 8, was a “chief ruler “ of the Jewish synagogue at Corinth, who “ believed in the Lord, with all his house.' Gaius, it appears from Romans xvi. 23, was St. Paul's host at Corinth, and the host, he tells us, ss of the whole church.” The household of Stephanas, we read in the sixteenth chapter of this epistle, “ were the firft fruits of Achaia." Here therefore is the propriety we expected: and it is a proof of reality not to be contemned; for their names appearing in the several places in which they occur, with a mark of distinction belonging to each, could hardly be the effect of chance, without any truth to direct it : and, on the other hand, to suppose that they were picked out from these pasfages, and brought together in the cext before us, in order to display a conformity of names, is both improbable in itself, and is rendered more so, by the purpose for which they are introduced. They come in to allist St. Paul's exculpation of himself, against the possible charge, of having assumed the cha
racter of the founder of a separate religion, and with no other visible, or, as I think, imaginable design*.
Chap. i. ver. 1. “ Paul called to be an apostle of " Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes,
our brother, unto the church of God, which is at “Corinth.”_The only account we have of any person who bore the name of Softhenes, is found in the eighteenth chapter of the Acts. When the Jews at Corinth had brought Paul before Gallio, and Gallio had dismissed their complaint as unworthy of his interference, and had driven them from the judgement feat; “ then all the
Greeks,” says the historian,“ took Sosthenes, the chief "rules of the synagogue, and beat him before the judge"ment feat." The Sosthenes here spoken of was a Corinthian; and if he was a Christian, and with St. Paul when he wrote this epistle, was likely enough to be joined with him in the falutation of the Corinthian church. But here occurs a difficulty. If Sosthenes was
Christian at the time of this uproar, why should the Greeks beat him? The assault upon the Christians was made by the Jews. It was the Jews who had brought Paul before the magistrate. If it had been the Jews also who had beaten Softhenes, I should not have doubted but that he had been a favourer of St. Paul, and the same person who is joined with him in the epistle. Let us see therefore whether there be not some error in our present text, The Alexandrian manuscript gives Tartes alone, without as Exames, and is followed in this reading by the Coptic version, by the Arabic version, published by
Chap. xvi. ver. 10, 11. “Now, if Timo" theus come, let no man despise him.”— Why despise him? This charge is not given
Erpenius, by the Vulgate, and by Bede's Latin version. Three Greek manuscripts again, as well as Chrysostom, give οι Ιουδαιοι, in the place of οι Ελληνες. A great plurality of manuscripts authorize the reading which is retained in our copies. In this variety it appears to me extremely probable that the historian originally wrote Tartes alone, and that as Eaasques and a lov da ses have been respectively added as explanatory of what the word Artis was fupposed to mean. The sentence, without the addition of either name, would run very perspicuoully thus, « Και απηλασεν αυτους απο του βηματος" επιλαβομενοι δε παντες « Σωσθενην τον αρχισυναγωγον, ετυπτον εμπροσθεν του βηματος" “ and he drove them away from the judgement seat; " and they all,” viz. the crowd of Jews whom the judge had bid begone,“ took Softhenes, and beat him “ before the judgment feat." It is certain that, as the whole body of the people were Greeks, the application of all to them is unusual and hard. If I was describ. ing an insurrection at Paris, I might say all the Jews, all the Protestants, or all the Engliíh acted fo and so; but I should scarcely say all the French, when the whole mass of the community were of that description. As what is here offered is founded upon a various reading, and that in opposition to the greater part of the manuscripts that are extant, I have not given it a place in the text