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formed was, to pass through Macedonia and Achaia ; after that, to go to Jerusalem; and, when he had finished his visit there, to sail 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
from one another.
“ Whensoever 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 to Jerusalem, to minister to the saints. When, therefore, I have performed 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 been there, I must also see Rome.”—This from the Acts.
If the passage 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 suppose 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.
Chap. xv. 19. “ So that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ.”
I do not think that these words necessarily import that St. Paul had penetrated into Illyricum, or preached the Gospel in that province; but rather that he had come to the confines of Illyricum (uexsi To Iraugixs), and that these confines were the external boundary of his travels. St. Paul considers Jerusalem as the centre, and is here viewing the circumference to which his travels extended. The form of expression in the original conveys this idea-απο Ιερεσαλήμ και κυκλω μεχρι το Ιλλυρικο. Illyricum was the part of this circle which he mentions in an epistle to the Romans, because it lay in a direction from Jerusalem towards that city, and pointed out to the Roman readers the nearest place to them, to which his travels from Jerusalem had brought him. The name of Illyricum nowhere occurs in the Acts of the Apostles; no suspicion, therefore, can be received that the mention of it was borrowed from thence. Yet I think it appears, from these same Acts, that St. Paul, before the time when he wrote his Epistle to the Romans, had reached the confines of Illyricum; or, however, that he might have done so, in perfect consistency with the account there delivered. Illyricum adjoins upon Macedonia ; measuring from Jerusalem towards Rome, it lies close behind it. If, therefore, St. Paul traversed the whole country of Macedonia, the route would necessarily bring him to the confines of Illyricum, and these confines would be described as the extremity of his journey. Now the account of St. Paul's second visit to the peninsula of Greece is contained in these words: “He departed for to go into Macedonia ; and when he had gone over these parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece.” Acts xx. 2. This account allows, or rather leads us to suppose, that St. Paul, in going over Macedonia (Stenowy tal plepy exeiva), had passed so far to the west, as to come into those parts of the country which were contiguous to Illyricum, if he did not enter into Illyricum itself. The history, therefore, and the epistles so far agree, and the agreement is much strengthened by a coincidence of time. At the time the epistle was written, St. Paul might say, in conformity with the history, that he had “come into Illyricum;" much before that time, he could not have said so; for, upon his former journey to Macédonia, his route is laid down from the time of his landing at Philippi to his sailing from Corinth. We trace him from Philippi to Amphipolis and Apollonia ; from thence to Thessalonica; from Thessalonica to Berea ; from Berea to Athens; and from Athens to Corinth : which track confines him to the eastern side of the peninsula, and therefore keeps him all the while at a considerable distance from Illyricum. Upon his second visit to Macedonia, the history, we
have seen, leaves him at liberty. It must have been, therefore, upon that second visit, if at all, that he approached Illyricum; and this visit, we know, almost immediately preceded the writing of the epistle. It was natural that the apostle should refer to a journey which was fresh in his thoughts.
Chap. xv. 30. “ Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that
strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from them that do not believe, in Judæa.”- With this
compare Acts xx. 22, 23:
“ And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there, save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.”
Let it be remarked, that it is the same journey to Jerusalem which is spoken of in these two passages ; that the epistle was written immediately before St. Paul set forwards upon this journey from Achaia ; that the words in the Acts were uttered by him when he had proceeded in that journey as far as Miletus, in Lesser Asia. This being remembered, I observe that the two passages, without any resemblance between them that could induce us to suspect that they were borrowed from one another, represent the state of St. Paul's mind, with respect to the event of the journey, in terms of substantial agreement. They both express his sense of danger in the approaching visit to Jerusalem : they both express the doubt which dwelt upon his thoughts concerning what might there befall him. When, in his epistle, he entreats the Roman Christians, “ for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, to strive together with him in their prayers to God for him, that he might be delivered from them which do not believe, in Judæa,” he sufficiently confesses his fears. In the Acts of the Apostles we see in him the same apprehensions, and the same uncertainty: “ I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there.” The only difference is, that in the history his thoughts are more inclined to despondency than in the epistle. In the epistle he retains his hope “ that he should come unto them with joy by the will of God:” in the history, his mind yields to the reflection, “that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city that bonds and afflictions awaited him.” Now that his fears should be greater, and his hopes less, in this stage of his journey than when he wrote his epistle, that is, when he first set out upon it, is no other alteration than might well be expected; since those prophetic intimations to which he refers, when he says, “the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city,” had probably been received by him in the course of his journey, and were probably similar to what we know he received in the remaining part of it at Tyre, xxi. 4 ; and afterwards from Agabus at Cæsarea, xxi. 11.