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Cesarea. riod, 4773. Valgaræra, St. Paul arrives at Rome, and is kindly received by the 60.
ACTS xxviii. part of ver. 14–17.
14 And so we went toward Rome.
15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us,
they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and the
Three Taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God,
and took courage.
16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard : but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself, with a soldier that kept him '.
St. Paul summons the Jews at Rome, to explain to them the
causes of his Imprisonment.
ACTS xxviii, 17-30.
17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul
called the chief of the Jews together : and when they were
come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren,
though I have committed nothing against the people, or
customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from
Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans :
18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let
me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Cesar : not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to
12 Dr. Lardner has shewn that this mode of custody was iv use amongst the Romans, and that whenever it was adopted, the prisoner was bound to the soldier by a single chain: in reference to which, St. Paul, Acts xxviii. 20. tells the Jews, whom he had assembled, “For this cause, therefore, have I called for you to see you, and to speak with you, because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain,” την αλυσιν τάυτην περίκειμαι, It is in exact conformity, therefore, with the truth of St. Paul's situation at the time, that he declares of himself, Eph. vi. 20. πρεσβευω εν άλύσει. And the exactness is the more remarkable, as álvois, a chain, is no where used in the singular number to express any other kind of custody. When the prisoner's hands or feet were bound together, the word was deopot (bonds) Acts xxvi. 29 When the prisoner was confined betwcen two soldiers, as in the case of Peter, (Acts xii. 6.) two chains were employed; and it is said upon his miraculous deliverance, that the Is chains” (alvotis, in the plural)“ fell from his hands."-Paley's Horæ Paulinæ.
ST. PAUL SUMMONS THE JEWS AT ROME.
Joljan Pe. see you, and to speak with you : because that for the hope Cesarea. riod, 4773. of Israel I am bound with this chain. Vulgar Æra, 60.
21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came, shewed or spake any harm of thee.
22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging ; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening,
24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word ; Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esajas the prophet unto our fathers,
26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand ; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed ; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
St. Paul writes his Epistle to the Ephesians', to establish
13 The epistles which follow in this chapter of the arrange-
ment, were written by St. Paul during his imprisonment at
Rome. This will appear from the allusions which are repeat-
edly made by him to that event. In this Epistle to the Ephe-
sians we meet with—“ I Paul the prisoner of Jesus Christ, for
you Gentiles,” chap. iii. !:-“I therefore the prisoner of the
Lord, beseech you," chap. iv. 1.-" For which I am an ambas-
sador in bonds, chap. vi. 20; and we know that Tychicus, by
whom the epistle was probably sent, chap. vi. 21. as the sub-
scription affirms, was with him during his first imprisonment.
As St. Paul does not speak of the probability of his release, we
may conclude, with Dr. Lardner, Bishop Tomline, Mr. Horne,
&c. that it was written in the early part of his imprisonment.
Many learned men have doubted whether this epistle was sent
to the Church at Ephesus. They think that the proper direc-
tion is, The Epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans; and suppose it
Julian Pe- them in the Christian Faith, by describing, in the most Rome.
to be the same which the apostle mentions Coloss. iv, 16.
"When this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read
also in the Church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise
read the epistle from Laodicea.” Dr. Paley's arguments in the
affirmative are entitled to mucb regard.
Although it does not appear, be observes, to have ever been
disputed that the epistle before us was written by St. Paul, yet it
is well known that a doubt has long been entertained concerning
the persons to whom it was addressed. The question is founded
partly in some ambiguity in the external evidence. Marcion,
a heretic of the second century, as quoted by Tertullian, a fa-
ther in the beginning of the third, calls it, The Epistle to the
Laodiceans. From what we know of Marcion, his judgment is
little to be relied upon ; nor is it perfectly clear that Marcion was
rightly understood by Tertullian. If, however, Marcion be
brought to prove that some copies in his time gave εν Λαοδικεία
in the superscription, his testimony, if it be truly interpreted,
is not diminished by his heresy; for, as Grotius observes, “cur
in eâ re mentiretur nihil erat causæ.” The name εν 'Εφέσω in
Ephesus, in the first verse, upon which word singly depends
the proof that the epistle was written to the Ephesians, is not
read in all the manuscripts now extant. I admit, however, that
the external evidence preponderates with a manifest excess on
the side of the received reading. The objection, therefore, prin.
cipally arises from the contents of the epistle itself, which, in
many respects militate with the supposition that it was written
to the Church of Ephesus. According to the history, St. Paul
bad passed two whole years at Ephesus, Acts xix. 10. and in
this point, viz. of St. Paul baving preached for a considerable
length of time at Ephesus, the history is confirmed by the two
Epistles to the Corinthians, and by the two Epistles to Ti-
mothy. “I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost," 1 Cor. xvi.
8. "We would not bave you ignorant of our trouble which
came to us in Asia,” 2 Cor. i. 8. “As I besought thee to abide
still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia,” I Tim. i. 3
“ And in how many things he ministered to me at Ephesus, thou
knowest well,” 2 Tim. i. 18. I adduce these testimonies, be-
cause, had it been a competition of credit between the history
and the cpistle, I should have thought myself bound to have
preferred the epistle. Now every epistle which St. Paul wrote to
Churches which he himself had founded, or which he had visited,
abounds with references and appeals to what had passed during
the time that he was present amongst them ; whereas there is
not a text in the Epistle to the Epbesians from which we can
collect that he had ever been at Ephesus at all. The two
Epistles to the Corinthians, the Epistle to the Galatians, tho
Epistle to the Philippians, and the two Epistles to the Thessa-
lonians, are of this class; and they are full of allusions to the
apostle's bistory, his reception, and his conduct whilst amongst
them; the total want of which, in the epistle before us, is very
difficult to account for, if it was in truth written to the Church
of Ephesus, in which city he bad resided for so long a time.
This is the first and strongest objection. But farther, the
Epistle to the Colossians was addressed to a Church in which
St. Paul bad never been. This we infer from the first verse of
the second chapter: “For I would that ye knew what great
conflict I hare for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as
many as have not seen my face in the flesh.” There could be
EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS-CHAP. XIV.
Julian Pe- animating Language, the Mercy of God displayed in the Rome.
no propriety in thus joining the Colossians and Laodiceans
with those who had not seen his face in the flesh," if tbey did
not also belong to the same description. Now his address to
the Colossians, whom he had not visited, is precisely the same
as his address to the Christians, to whom he wrote in the epistle
which we are considering : “We give thanks to God and the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since
we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which
ye have to all the saints,” Col. i. 3. Thus he speaks to the Co-
lossians, in the epistlo before us, as follows: "Wherefore I
also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love
'unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you in my
prayers," chap. i. 15. The words havivg heard of your faith
and love," are the very words, we see, which he uses towards
strangers ; and it is not probable that he should employ tho
same in accosting a Church in which bo bad long exercised his
ministry, and whose faith and love he must have personally
known. The Epistle to the Romans was written before St. Paul
had been at Rome; and his address to them runs in the samo
strain with that just now quoted: “I thank my God, through
Jesus Christ, for you all, that your faith is spoken of through.
out the whole world,” Rom. i. 8. Let us now see what was the
form in which our apostle was accustomed to introduce his
epistles, when he wrote to those with whom he was already ac-
quainted. To the Corinthians it was this : “ I thank my God
always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you
by Christ Jeuss;" 1 Cor. i. 4. To the Philippians: “I thank my
God upon every remembrance of you,” Phil. 1. 3. To the Thes-
salonians : “Wegive thanks to God always for you all, making
mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing
your work of faith and labour of love,” i Thess. i. 3. To Ti.
mothy: “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with
a pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of
thee in my prayers night and day,” 2 Tim. i. 3. In these quota-
tions it is usually his remembrance, and never his hearing of
them, which he makes the subject of his thankfulness to God.
As great difficulties stand in the way, supposing the epistle be-
fore us to have been written to the Church at Ephesus ; so I
think it probable that it is actually the Epistle to the Laodi.
ceans, referred to in the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the
Colossians. The text which contains that reference is this :
“When this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also
in the Church of the Laodiceans, and that ye likewise read
the epistle from Laodicea,” Col. iv. 16. The epistle from
Laodicea was an epistle sent by St. Paul to that Church, and by
them transmitted to Colosse. The two Churches were mutually
to communicate the epistles they had received. This is the way
in which the direction is explained by the greater part of com-
mentators, and is the most probable sense that can be given to it.
It is also probable that the epistle alluded to was an epistle
which had been received by the Church of Laodicea lately. · It
appears, then, with a considerable degree of evidence, that there
existed an epistle of St. Paul nearly of the same date with the
Epistle to the Colossians, and an cpistle directed to a Church
(for such the Church of Laodicea was,) in wbich St. Paul had
never been. What has been observed concerning the epistle
before us, shews that it answers perfectly to that character.
Nor docs the mistake scom very difficult to account for.
Julian Pe- calling of the Gentiles through Faith in Christ, without Rome.
61. Whoever inspects the map of Asia Minor will see, that a person
proceeding from Romc to Laodicea, would probably land at
Ephesus, as the nearest frequented sea-port in that direction.
Might not Tychicus then, in passing through Ephesus, commu-
nicate to the Christians of that place the letter with which he
was charged? And might not copies of that letter be multi-
plied and preserved at Ephesus? 'Might not some of the copies
drop the words of designation εν τη Λαοδικεία, which it was of
no consequence to an Ephesian to retain? Might not copies
of thic letter come out into the Christian Church at large from
Ephesus; and might not this give occasion to a belief that the
leiter was written to that Church? and, lastly, might not this
belief produce the error which we suppose to have crept into the
And it is remarkable, that there seem to have been some an-
cient copies without the words of designation, either the words
in Ephesus, or the words in Laodicea. St. Basil, a writer of
the fourth century, has this very singular passage :
" And writing to the Ephesians, as truly united to him who is through knowledge, he (Paul) calleth them in a peculiar sense "such who are;' saying, to the saints who are, and (or even) the faithful in Christ Jesus; for so those before us have transmitted it, and we have found'it in ancient copics." 'Dr. Mill interprets (and, notwithstanding some objections that have been made to him, in my opinion, rightly interprets) these words of Basil, as declaring that this father had seen certain copies of the epistle in which the words " in Ephesus” were wanting. And the passage must be considerod as Basil's fanciful way of ex. plaining what was really a corrupt and defective reading ; for I do not believe it possible that the author of the epistle could have originally written äylous rois poiv, without any name of place to follow it.
Such are the arguments of Dr. Paley on this side of the question. All the ancient fathers and Christian writers, with Bishop Tomline, Horne, and many others of our best crilics, have espoused the contrary opinion, which is well represented by Dr. Lardner, who observes, “ That this epistle was sent to the Church at Ephesus, we are assured by the testimony of all ca. tholic Christians of all past ages. This we can now say with confidence, having examined the principal Christian writers of the first age, to the beginning of the twelfth century, in all which space of time there appears not one who had any doubt about it. of these testimonics, that of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, in the end of the first century, is very remarkable. In a letter which he wrote to the Ephesians from Smyrna, in his way to Rome, he says, chap. xii. “Ye are the companions in the mysteries of the Gospel of Paul the sanctified, the martyr, deservedly most happy; at whose feet may I be found, when I shall have attained unto God, who, πάση επίπολη (for όλη επιsón, as mãoa oikodoun, Ephes. ii. 21. is tirst for óln,) throughout all bis epistle, makes mention of you in Christ.” The Greck phrase signifies honourable mention, (Matt. xxiv. 13. Mark xiv. 9. Acts x. 4.) Ignatius means, that St. Paul commends the Ephesians throughout the whole of the epistle, without blaming them, as he did in bis letters which were addressed to some others, by calling them companions or partakers of the mysteries of the Gospel of Paul, he alluded to those passages in the present Epistle of the Ephesians, where the Gospel is reprc