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Josephus, who was born in the first
of Caligula, A. D. 36. When he was six and twenty years old, (as he informs us in his Life,) he went to Rome to procure the release of some Jewish Priests, who had been sent prisoners to Rome by Felix. The priests were released in the year 62; and therefore it is argued) Felix was not deposed, till the year 61. The priests might have been detained in prison till the year 62 *, (from rigour or neglect,) but it does not therefore follow, that Felix continued in his government till the year immediately preceding their release. There was, probably, no access to imperial favour on their account during the life-time of Agrippina. Josephus obtained their. release by the intercession of the new empress, Poppæa, to whom he was introduced by a Jewish actor of the lowest kind, who was a favourite of Nero,
The words of St. Paul in his defence before Felix: 56
“ forasmuch as I know, that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation;" which were spoken on the first apprehension of St. Paul, and two years before the recall of Felix; certainly imply a long duration of Felix's government; but it was a duration that preceded the first years of Nero, and not that followed them; as we may collect from the language of Tacitus, who speaking of Felix in the year 52, expresses himself not unlike the Apostle: “ jampridem Judæa impositus.” Wheiher jampridem means long since, or some time since*, that which was jampridem in 52, might well be called ex man etwv in 51. If Felix had been governor of Judea from the year 48, according to Petarius and Capellas, and according to the first date in the Annales t, he might justly be said to have been “
* The time of Josephus's journey is defined both by the age of Josephus, and by the intercession of Poppæa, (Kquoagos yuvaizs) who was not married to Nero till the
тапу years a judge," especially if it be considered, that out of fourteen governors of Judea, from the Procurator Coponius, A. D. 6, to Ges. sius Florus, A. D, 64, the governments
to of eleven were of less duration than that of Felix, five of the eleven lasting only one year, and three only two. There is there. fore nothing in the words of St. Paul, that requires an extension of the government of
* Beausobre translates, " jampridem," deja longtemps, (Nouveau Testament, Vol. II. p. xxix.) and Stillingfieet, a long time. Ernesti and Brotier follow the same sense.
+ The first appointment of Felix, mentioned by Pearson, is in the year 48, not 52, as mentioned by Dr. Hales, Chronol. Vol. II. p. 1011.
# See Hales's Chronology, Val. II. 657.
Felix to a later year than the 2d of Nero; and there are many reasons against it.
4. Dating then the recall of Felix from the period of his Brother's removal from his office in the 2nd year of Nero, or from the year immediately preceding it, we obtain a point of time for St. Paul's first journey to Rome, which accords with the testimony of Eusebius and Jerome, and is consistent with Gildas's narrative, was peculiarly favourable for the Apostle's journey to Britain, after his two years imprisonment at Rome, and, moreover, afforded sufficient time for his labours and journies in the West and East before his return to Rome.
St. Paul's journey to Britain *, perhaps, requires a new adjustment of the dates of some of his epistles. Sed de hoc viderint Interpretes.
5. In Dr. Hales's learned, elaborate, and valuable Analysis of Chronology, the time of St. Paul's first journey to Rome is considered as a prominent and fundamental date in the apostle's Ministry, and his journey to Britain is not unnoticed; but the judgment of the Analysis respecting the time of one journey, and the probability of the other, varies too much from the conclusions of the preceding pages for me to omit the mention of so material a difference.
* Or, rather the date assigned by Eusebius and Jerome to the first journey to Pome, which determines the time of St. Paul's journey to Britain.
The Analysis places St. Paul's first arrival at Rome in the Spring of the year 62, and his martyrdom in the year 65*, allowing only one year between the two imprisonments. So short an interval as one year is quite inconsistent with the evidence which we wave of his journies to Spain and Britain, and to the East.
But the accounts which have been banded down to us of St. Paul's western journies, though resting on the contemporary authority of one of the Apostolical Fathers, Dr. Hales thinks there is great reason to doubt. The first reason objected is, that his long im. prisonments must “ have broken his mea: sures and circumscribed his travels.” The
* Vol. II. p. 1113. Paul sent Prisoner to Rome A: D. 61,
Arrived ------- early in A. D. 62.
A. D. 64. Suffered Martyrdom ---- A. D. 65. . ft " When Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans, anpeuncing his intentiou of visiting them, previous to his last journey to Jerusalem, he designed to have proceeded from Talvi to preach the Gospel in Spain, Rom. xv. 23—28. (lemas liomanus also expressly asserts that he preached tu then try and that to its utmost bounds, which must at Avare include Spain. Eput. I ad Cor. ch. 5. And Theo
Thé measures of an ordinary traveller might have been broken by such obstacles; but the Apostle of the Gentiles, who was under the special protection of Providence, and was disposed to “labour more abundantly than all the A postles,” was not likely to be disconcerted by any but insurmountable difficulties. There was besides a most favourable conjuncture of circumstances at Rome, sufficient to encourage a much less zealous missionary than
doret adds, that he went to the islands of the sea, bers Gaul and Britain among the disciples of the tentmaker. But there is great reason to doubt these reports: for (1.) his long imprisonments of four years at Cæsarea and at Rome, must have broken his measures and circumscribed his travels. (2.) The interval between his first and second visit to Rome, seems to have been too short for a visit to Syria eastwards, and afterwards in an opposite direction, to Spain and Britain, the extremities of Europe westwards. (3.) There is no notice taken of these western travels in Paul's last Epistle to Timothy, but only of his eastern. (4.) An ancient Greek writer of the travels of St. Peter and St. Paul, observes that “ Peter spent some days in Britain, and enlightened many by the word of grace; and having established churches and elected Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons, came again to Rume, in the twelfth of Nero, A, D. 65. This ancient account is highly probable, p. 1252.- Clemens speaks rather rhetorically of St. Paul's travels to the western extremity of Europe," p. 1256. (A new Analysis of Chronology, Vol. II.)