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been at Cenchrea itself, appears from the eighteenth chapter of the Acts; and
appears by a circumstance as incidental, and as unlike design, as any that can be imagined. “ Paul after this tarried there (viz. at Co
rinth) yet a good while, and then took “ his leave of the brethren, and failed thence “ into Syria, and with him Priscilla and
Aquila, having shorn his head in Cenchrea, 66 for he had a vow.” xviii. 18. The shaying of the head denoted the expiration of the Nazaritic vow. The historian therefore, by the mention of this circumstance, virtually tells us that St. Paul's vow was expired before he set forward
voyage, having deferred probably his departure until he should be released from the restrictions under which his vow laid him. Shall we say that the author of the Acts of the Apostles feigned this anecdote of St. Paul at Cenchrea, because he had read in the Epistle to the Romans that “ Phæbe, a servant of the “church of Cenchrea, had been a succourer “ of many, and of him also ?” or shall we say that the author of the Epistle to the Romans, out of his own imagination, created
servant of the church at Cenchrea,” because he read in the Acts of the Apostles that Paul had 6 fhorn his head” in that
No. III. Chap. 1. ver. 13. "NowIwould not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I
purposed to come unto you, but was let “ hitherto, that I might have some fruit
among you also, even as among other " Gentiles." 'Again, xv. 23, 24, “But now having no more place in these
and having a great desire these many years
(Tonna, oftentimes) to come unto you, “ whenfoever I take my journey into Spain “ I will come to you; for I trust to see you “in my journey, and to be brought on my
way thitherward by you: but now I go
up unto Jerusalem, to minister to the “ faints. When therefore I have perform" ed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, " I will come by you
come by you into Spain.” With these passages compare Acts xix. V. 21. “ After these things were ended (viz. w at Ephesus), Paul purposed in the spirit, " when he had passed through Macedonia
“ and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem ; saying, " after I have been there, I must also see " Rome.”
Let it be observed that our epistle purports to have been written at the conclusion of St. Paul's second journey into Greece; that the quotation from the Acts contains words said to have been spoken by St. Paul at Ephesus, some time before he set forwards upon that journey. Now I contend that it is impossible that two independent fi&tions should have attributed to St. Paul the same purpose, especially a purpose so specific and particular as this, which was not merely a general design of visiting Rome, but a design of visiting Rome after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, and after he had performed a voyage from these countries to Jerusalem. The conformity between the history and the epistle is perfect. In the first quotation from the epistle, we find that a design of visiting Rome had long dwelt in the apostle's mind : in the quotation from the Acts we find that design expresied a considerable time before the epistle was written. In the
history we find that the plan which St. Paul had formed, was to pass through Macedonia and Achaia ; after that, to go to Jerusalem; and, when he had finished his visit there, to fail for Rome. When the epistle was written, he had executed so much of his plan, as to have passed through Macedonia and Achaia; and was preparing to pursue the remainder of it, by speedily setting out towards Jerusalem: and in this point of his travels he tells his friends at Rome, that, when he had completed the business which carried him to Jerusalem, he would come to them. Secondly, I say that the very inspection of the passages will satisfy us that they were not made up
from one another.
“ Whenfoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you; for I trust to you
my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you : but “ now I go up to Jerusalem, to minister to “ the saints. When, therefore, I have per.66 formed this, and have sealed to them this “ fruit, I will come by you into Spain.”This from the epistle.
“ Paul purposed in the spirit, when he “ had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, " to go to Jerusalem ; saying, After I have 66 been there, I must also see Rome.”—This from the Acts.
If the paffage in the epistle was taken from that in the Acts, why was Spain put in; If the passage in the Acts was taken from that in the epistle, why was Spain left out? If the two passages were unknown to each other, nothing can account for their conformity but truth. Whether we suppole the history and the epistle to be alike fictitious, or the history to be true but the letter spurious, or the letter to be genuine but the history a fable, the meeting with this circumstance in both, if neither borrowed it from the other, is, upon all these suppositions, equally inexplicable.
The following quotation I offer for the purpose of pointing out a geographical coincidence, of so much importance, that Dr. Lardner considered it as a confirmation of the whole history of St. Paul's travels.