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the same time, and whilst the same ideas and phrases dwelt in the writer's mind. inquire, therefore, whether the notes of time, extant in the two epistles, in any manner favour this supposition.
We have seen that it was necessary to refer the First Epistle to Timothy to a date subsequent to St. Paul's first imprisonment at Rome, because there was no journey into Macedonia prior to that event, which accorded with the circumstance of leaving
Timothy behind at Ephesus.” The journey of St. Paul from Crete, alluded to in the epistle before us, and in which Titus “ was left in Crete to set in order the things that were wanting," must, in like manner, be carried to the period which intervened between his first and second imprisonment. For the history, which reaches, we know, to the time of St. Paul's first imprisonment, contains no account of his going to Crete, except upon his voyage as a prisoner to Rome; and that this could not be the occasion referred to in our epistle is evident from hence, that when St. Paul wrote this epistle, he appears to have been at liberty; whereas after that voyage, he continued for two years at least in confinement. Again, it is agreed that St. Paul wrote his First Epistle to Timothy from Macedonia : “ As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went (or came) into Macedonia.” And that he was in these parts, i. e. in this peninsula, when he wrote the Epistle to Titus, is rendered probable by his directing Titus to come to him to Nicopolis: 66 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent (make haste) to come unto me to Nicopolis : for I have determined there to winter." The most noted city of that name was in Epirus, near to Actium. And I think the form of speaking, as well as the nature of the case, renders it probable that the writer was at Nicopolis, or in the neighbourhood thereof, when he dictated this direction to Titus.
Upon the whole, if we may be allowed to suppose that St. Paul, after his liberation at Rome, sailed into Asia, taking Crete in his way; that from Asia and from Ephesus, the capital of that country, he proceeded into Macedonia, and crossing the peninsula in his progress, came into the neighbourhood of Nicopolis; we have a route which falls in with every thing. It executes the intention expressed by the apostle of visiting Colossé and Philippi as soon as he should be set át
liberty at Rome. It allows him to leave “ Titus at Crete,” and “ Timothy at Ephesus, as he went into Macedonia :" and to write to both not long after from the peninsula of Greece, and probably the neighbourhood of Nicopolis : thus bringing together the dates of these two letters, and thereby accounting for that affinity between them, both in subject and language, which our re, marks have pointed out. I confess that the journey which we have thus traced out for St. Paul, is, in a great measure hypothetic : but it should be observed, that it is a species of consistency, which seldom belongs to falsehood, to admit of an hypothesis, which includes a great number of independent circumstances without contradiction.
THE EPISTLE TO PHILEMON.
The singular correspondency between this epistle and that to the Colossians has been remarked already. An assertion in the Epistle to the Colossians, viz. that “ Onesimus was one of them,” is verified, not by any mention of Colosse, any the most distant intimation concerning the place of Philemon's abode, but singly by stating Onesimus to be Philemon's servant, and by joining in the salutation Philemon with Archippus; for this Archippus, when we go back to the Epistle to the Colossians, appears to have been an inhabitant of that city, and, as it should seem, to have held an office of authority in that church. The case stands thus. Take the Epistle to the Colossians alone, and no circumstance is discoverable which makes out the assertion, that Onesimus was one of them.” Take the Epistle to Philemon alone, and nothing at all appears concerning the place to which Philemon
or his servant Onesimus belonged. For any thing that is said in the epistle, Philemon might have been a Thessalonian, a Philippian, or an Ephesian, as well as a Colossian. Put the two epistles together, and the matter is clear. The reader perceives a junction of circumstances, which ascertains the conclusion at once. . Now, all that is necessary to be added in this place is, that this correspondency evinces the genuineness of one epistle, as well as of the other. It is like comparing the two parts of a cloven tally. Coincidence proves
the authenticity of both.
And this coincidence is perfect; not only in the main article of showing, by implication, Onesimus to be a Colossian, but in many dependent circumstances.
1. “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have sent again” (ver. 10–12.) It appears from the Epistle to the Colossians, that, in truth, Onesimus was sent at that time to Colosse : “ All my state shall Tychicus declare, whom I have sent unto
for the same purpose, with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother.” Colos. chap. iv. 7-9.
2.“ I beseech thee for my son Onesimus,