Sivut kuvina

had consented to employ his labours in bringing, through the medium of Christianity, converts oyer to the Jewish instituţion, fo then “ would the offence of the cross have ceased.” Now an impostor who had forged the epistle for the purpose of producing St. Paul's authority in the dispute, which, as hath been obseryed, is the only credible motive that can be assigned for the forgery, might have made the apostle deliver his opinion upon the subject, in strong and decisive terms, or might haye put his name to a train of reasoning and argumentation upon that șide of the question which the imposture was intended to recommend. I can allow the possibility of such a scheme as that. But for a writer, with this purpose iņ view, to feign a series of transactions supposed to have pasşed amongst the Christians of Galatia, and then to counterfeit expressions of anger and resentment excited by these transacţions; to make the apostle travel back into his own history, and into a recital of various passages of his life, some indeed directly, but others obliquely, and others even obscurely bearing upon the point in question ; in a word, to substitute narrative for argument, expostulation and complaint for dogmatic

positions and controversial reasoning, in a writing properly controversial, and of which the aim and design was to support one side of a much agitated question-is a method so intricate, and so unlike the methods pursued by all other impostors, as to require very flagrant proofs of imposition to induce us to believe it to be one.

No. II.

In this number I shall endeavour to prove,

1. That the Epistle to the Galatians, and the Acts of the Apostles, were written with out any communication with each other.

2. That the Epistle, though written without any communication with the history, by recital, implication, or reference, bears testimony to many of the facts contained in it.

1. The Epistle, and the Acts of the Apostles were written without any communica tion with each other.

To judge of this point, we must examiné those passages in each, which describe the same transaction ; for, if the author of either writing derived his information from the account which he had seen in the other, when he came to speak of the same transaction, he would follow that account. The history of St. Paul, at Damascus, as read in the Acts, and as referred to by the Epistle, forms an instance of this sort. According to the Acts, Paul (after his conversion) was certain days with the “ disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is not this he which destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests ? But Saul increased the more in strength, confounding the Jews which were at Damascus, proving that this is


Christ. And after that

many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him. But their laying wait was known of Saul; and they watched the gates day and night to kill him. · Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples.” Acts, chap. ix. 19-26.

According to the Epistle, “ When it pleased God, who separated me from my

mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his own Son in mc, that I might preach him among the heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood, neither went I up

, to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and res turned again to Damascus : then, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem.”

Beside the difference observable in the terms and general complexion of these two accounts, “the journey into Arabia," mentioned in the epistle, and omitted in the hi tory, affords full proof that there existed no correspondence between these writers. If the narrative in the Acts had been made up from the Epistle, it is impossible that this journey should have been passed over in silence; if the Epistle had been composed out, of what the author had read of St. Paul's history in the Acts, it is unaccountable that it should have been inserted*.

The journey to Jerusalem related in the se

* N. B. The Acts of the Apostles simply inform us that St. Paul left Damascus in order to go to Jerusalem, “after many days 'were fulfilled.” If any one doubt whether the words “many days” could be intended to express a period which included a term of three years, he will find a complete instance of the same phrase used with the same latitude in the first book of Kings, chap. xi. 38, 39.

"And Shimei dwelt at Jerusalem many duys : and it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away.”

cond chapter of the Epistlé (“i then, fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem”) supplies another example of the same kind. Either this was the journey described in the fifteenth chapter of the Acts, whén Paul and Barnabas were sent from Antioch to Jerusalem, to consult the apostles and elders upon the question of the Gentile converts ; or it was some journey of which the history does not take notice. If the first opinion be followed, the discrepancy in the two accounts is so considerable, that it is not without difficulty they can be adapted to the same transaction : so that upon this supposition, there is no place for suspecting that the writ" ers were guided or assisted by each other. If the latter opinion be p eferred, we have then a journey to Jerusalem, and a conference with the principal members of the church there, circumstantially related in the Epistle, and entirely omitted in the Acts; and we are at liberty to repeat the observation, which we before made, that the omission of so material a fact in the history is inexplicable, if the historian had read the Epistle ; and thať the insertion of it in the Epistle, if the writer derived his information from the history, is not less so.

« EdellinenJatka »