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lastly, might not this belief produce the error which we suppose to have crept into the inscription?
No. V. As our epistle purports to have been written during St. Paul's imprisonment at Rome, which lies beyond the period to which the Acts of the Apostles brings up his history; and as we have seen and acknowledged that the epistle contains no reference to any transaction at Ephesus during the apostle's residence in that city, we cannot expect that it should supply many marks of agreement with the narrative. One coincidence however occurs, and a coincidence of that minute and less obvious kind, which, as hath been repeatedly observed, is of all others the most to be relied upon.
Chap. vi. 19, 20, we read, “ praying for me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds.” “In bonds,” av áruosi, in a chain. In the twentyeighth chapter of the Acts we are informed, that Paul, after his arrival at Rome, was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him, Dr. Lardner has shown that this
mode of custody was in 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, in the twentieth verse of this chapter, tells the Jews, whom he had assembled, “ For this cause therefore have I called for see you, and to speak with
because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain,” την αλυσιν ταυτην περικειμαι. It is in exact conformity therefore with the truth of St. Paul's situation at the time, that he declares of himself in the epistle, ager leuw & ákvoel. And the exactness is the more remarkable, as ánuous (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 deomor (bonds), as in the twenty-sixth chapter of the Acts, where Paul replies to Agrippa, “ I would to God that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds,” παρεκτος των δεσμων τουτων. When the prisoner was confined between two soldiers, as in the case of Peter, Acts, chap. xii. 6, two chains were employed ; and it is said upon his miraculous deliverance, that the
“ chains” (orvosis, in the plural) "fell from his hands.” Δεσμος the noun, and δεσμαι the verb, being general terms, were applicable to this in common with any other species of personal coercion ; but árvors, in the singular number, to none but this.
If it can be suspected that the writer of the present epistle, who in no other particular appears
to have availed-himself of the information concerning St. Paul delivered in the Acts, had, in this verse, borrowed the word which he read in that book, and had adapted his expression to what he found there recorded of St. Paul's treatment at Rome; in short, that the coincidence here noted was effected by craft and design ; I think it a strong reply to remark, that, in the parallel passage of the Epistle to the Colossians, the same allusion is not preserved; the words there are, “praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds,” di ó not deopas. After what has been shown in a preceding number, there can be little doubt but that these two epistles were written by the same person. If the writer, therefore, sought for, and fraudulently inserted, the correspondency
into one epistle, why did he not do it in the other? A real prisoner might use either general words which comprehended this amongst many other modes of custody; or might use appropriate words which specified this, and distinguished it from any other mode. It would be accidental which form of expression he fell upon. But an impostor, who had the art, in one place, to employ the appropriate term for the purpose of fraud, would have used it in both places.
THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS.
WHEN a transaction is referred to in such a manner, as that the reference is easily and immediately understood by those who are beforehand, or from other quarters, acquainted with the fact, but is obscure, or imperfect, or requires investigation, or a comparison of different parts, in order to be made clear to other readers, the transaction so referred to is probably real ; because, had it been fictitious, the writer would have set forth his story more fully and plainly, not merely as conscious of the fiction, but as conscious that his readers could have no other knowledge of the subject of his allusion than from the information of which he
them in possession. The account of Epaphroditus, in the Epistle to the Philippians, of his journey to Rome, and of the business which brought him thither, is the article to which I mean to apply this observation. There are three passages in the epistle which relate to this sub