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the history occupies four chapters; yet it is in these, if in any, that a regular or continued account of the apostle's life is to be expected; for how succinctly his history is delivered in the preceding part of the book, that is to say, from the time of his conversion to the time when the historian joined him at Troas, except the particulars of his conversion itself, which are related circumstantially, may be understood from the following observations:

The history of a period of sixteen years is comprised in less than three chapters; and of these, a material part is taken up with discourses. After his conversion, he continued in the neighbourhood of Damascus, according to the history, for a certain considerable, though indefinite, length of time, according to his own words (Gal. i. 18) for three years ; of which no other account is given than this short one, that “straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God; that all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem ? that he increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus; and that, after many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him."

From Damascus he proceeded to Jerusalem : and of his residence there nothing more particular is recorded, than that “he was with the apostles, coming in and going out ; that he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians, who went about to kill him.” From Jerusalem, the history sends him to his native city of Tarsus *.

It seems pro* Acts, chap. ix. 30.

bable, from the order and disposition of the history, that St. Paul's stay at Tarsus was of some continuance; for we hear nothing of him, until, after a long apparent interval, and much interjacent narrative, Barnabas, desirous of Paul's assistance upon the enlargement of the Christian mission, “went to Tarsus for to seek him *." We cannot doubt but that the new apostle had been busied in his ministry; yet of what he did, or what he suffered, during this period, which may include three or four years, the history professes not to deliver any information. As Tarsus was situated upon the sea-coast, and as, though Tarsus was his home, yet it is probable he visited from thence many other places, for the purpose of preaching the Gospel, it is not unlikely, that in the course of three or four years, he might undertake many short

voyages to neighbouring countries, in the navigating of which we may be allowed to suppose that some of those disasters and shipwrecks befell him, to which he refers in the quotation before us, “thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep.” This last clause I am inclined to interpret of his being obliged to take to an open boat, upon the loss of the ship, and his continuing out at sea in that dangerous situation, a night and a day. St. Paul is here recounting his sufferings, not relating miracles. From Tarsus, Barnabas brought Paul to Antioch, and there he remained a year : but of the transactions of that year no other description is given than what is contained in the last four verses of the eleventh chapter. After a more solemn dedication to the ministry, Barnabas and Paul proceeded from Antioch to Cilicia, and from thence they sailed to Cyprus, of which voyage no particulars are mentioned. Upon their return from Cyprus, they made a progress together through the Lesser Asia ; and though two remarkable speeches be preserved, and a few incidents in the course of their travels circumstantially related, yet is the account of this progress, upon the whole, given professedly with conciseness ; for instance, at Iconium it is said that they abode a long time *; yet of this long abode, except concerning the manner in which they were driven away, no memoir is inserted in the history. The whole is wrapped up in one short summary, “ They spake boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his

* Chap, xi, 25.

grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” Having completed their progress, the two apostles returned to Antioch, "and there they abode a long time with the disciples.” Here we have another large portion of time passed over in silence. To this succeeded a journey to Jerusalem, upon a dispute which then much agitated the Chris, tian church, concerning the obligation of the law of Moses. When the object of that journey was completed, Paul proposed to Barnabas to go again and visit their brethren in every city where they had preached the word of the Lord. The execution of this plan carried our apostle through Syria, Cilicia, and many provinces of the Lesser Asia; yet is the account of the whole journey despatched in four verses of the sixteenth chapter. If the Acts of the Apostles had undertaken to

* Chap. xiv. 3.

exhibit regular annals of St. Paul's ministry, or even any continued account of his life, from his conversion at Damascus to his imprisonment at Rome, I should have thought the omission of the circumstances re. ferred to in our epistle a matter of reasonable objection. But when it appears, from the history itself, that large portions of St. Paul's life were either passed over in silence, or only slightly touched upon, and that nothing more than certain detached incidents and discourses is related; when we observe, also, that the author of the history did not join our apostle's society till a few years before the writing of the epistle, at least that there is no proof in the history that he did so; in comparing the history with the epistle, we shall not be surprised by the discovery of omissions; we shall ascribe it to truth that there is no contradiction.

No. X. Chap. iii. 1. “Do we begin again to commend ourselves ? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you?”

“ As some others.” Turn to Acts, xviii. 27, and you will find that, a short time before the writing of this epistle, Apollos had gone to Corinth with letters of commendation from the Ephesian Christians ; and when Apollos was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him.” Here the words of the epistle bear the appearance of alluding to some specific instance, and the history supplies that instance; it supplies at least an instance as apposite as possible to the terms which the apostle uses, and to the date and direction of the



epistle, in which they are found. The letter which Apollos carried from Ephesus was precisely the letter of commendation which St. Paul meant; and it was to Achaia, of which Corinth was the capital, and indeed to Corinth itself (Acts, chap. xix. 1) that Apollos carried it; and it was about two years before the writing of this epistle. If St. Paul's words be rather thought to refer to some general usage which then obtained among Christian churches, the case of Apollos exemplifies that usage; and affords that species of confirmation to the epistle, which arises from seeing the manners of the age, in which it purports to be written, faithfully preserved.

No. XI.

Chap. xiii. 1. “ This is the third time I am coming to you:” τριτον τ8το ερχομαι.

Do not these words import that the writer had been at Corinth twice before? Yet, if they import this, they overset every congruity we have been endeavouring to establish. The Acts of the Apostles record only two journeys of St. Paul to Corinth. We have all along supposed, what every mark of time except this expression indicates, that this epistle was written between the first and second of these journeys. If St. Paul had been already twice at Corinth, this supposition must be given up: and every argument or observation which depends upon it falls to the ground. Again, the Acts of the Apostles not only accord no more than two journeys of St. Paul to Corinth, but do not allow us to suppose that more than two such journeys could be made or intended by him within the period which the history comprises;

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