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GALATIA was situated between Phrygia on the south, Pamphylia and Bithyna on the north, and Pontus on the east. St. Paul had heard, that since his departure from Galatia, corrupt opinions had got in amongst them about the necessary observations of the legal rites, luced by several impostors who had crept into that church, and who endeavoured to undermine the doctrine St. Paul had there established, by vilifying as person, slighting him as an apostle, and as not to be compared with Peter, James, and John, who had familiarly conversed with the Lord Jesus Christ



tle, therefore, he reproves them with severity, that they had been so soon led
in the days of his flesh, and been immediately deputed by Him. In this epis
out of the right way wherein he had instructed them, and had so easily suf
fered themselves to be imposed upon by the crafty artifices of seducers. Ho
vindicates the honour of the apostolic office, and shows that he had received
very chief of those apostles.
his commission immediately from Christ, and that he came not behind the


ALTHOUGH," says Dr. Paley, "it does not appear to have been ever dispated, that the Epistle before us was written by St. Paul, yet it is well known that a doubt has long been entertained concerning the persons to whom it was addressed. The question is founded on some ambiguity in the external eviJence. Marcion, a heretic of the second century, as quoted by Tertullian, a father in the beginning of the third, calls it the Epistle to the Laodiceans. From what we know of Marcion, his judgment is little to be relied on; nor is it perfectly clear that Marcion was rightly understood by Tertullian... The name, Ephesus, in the first verse, upon which word singly depends the proof that the Epistle was written to the Ephesians, is not read in all the manuscripts extant. I admit, however, that the external evidence preponderates with a mataest excess on the side of the received reading." The same learned writer then proceeds to argue, from internal evidence, that the Epistle could hardly be written to a people with whom the Apostle resided three years; there being no allusion or appeal, as in other epistles, to what had passed when he resided among them. It has been said," says Macknight, "that if this Epistle was directed to the Ephesians, it is difficult to understand how the Apostle content ed himself with giving them a general salutation, without mentioning any of



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there are no partihis numerous friends and acquaintance, with whom he had been intimate cular salutations in the epistles to the Galatians, the Philippians, the Thessalo during his long residence at Ephesus. But the answer is,. nians, and to Titus, because to have sent particular salutations to individuals, in churches where the Apostle was so generally and intimately acquainted... might have offended those who were neglected,... and to have mentioned every writing to the Romans, the case was different. The Apostle was personally person of note in those churches, would have taken up too much room. In unknown to most of them... and therefore he could,... without offence to the rest, take particular notice of all his acquaintance." As, therefore, "the external evidence preponderates with a manifest excess in favour of the received reading," which is not contradicted by its internal evidence; and as Dr. Paley appears to be mistaken in supposing that the word Ephesus was wanting in any manuscript extant, (see Bishop Middleton on the Greek article, p. 510,) we Grotius has remarked of this Epistle, that it expresses the grand matters are fully justified in regarding this Epistle as written to the Ephesians. of which it treats, in words more sublime than are to be found in any human tongue.


Feasts was the capital of Proconsular Asia; and the gospel was first peached in this celebrated but licentious city, by St. Paul, with the most abuntnt success: and such was the Apostle's concern for their spiritual welfare, that he did not leave them till three years afterwards. On his return from Macedonia and Achaia to Jerusalem, he sent for the elders of the church to meet him at Miletus, where he took an affectionate leave of them, and deli


Tag Church at Philippi in Macedonia was planted by the Apostle Paul | 9 A. D. 59, (Acts xvi. 9-40;) and it appears he visited them again, A. D. such no particulars are recorded concerning that visit, (Acts xx. 6.) The Pans were greatly attached to St. Paul, and testified their affection by s him supplies, even when Inbouring for other churches; and when they band that he was under confinement at Rome, they sent Epaphroditus, one of Us ir pastors, to him with a present, lest he should want necessaries during



turn of Epaphroditus, by whom the Apostle sent it as a grateful acknowledg his imprisonment. The more immediate occasion of the Epistle was the resonment, about the end of A. D. 62, or the commencement of 63, as is evident ment of their kindness; which occurred towards the close of his first imprifrom the expectation he discovers of his being soon released and restored to them, as well as from intimations that he had been a considerable time at Rome.



COLOSSE was a large and populous city of Phrygia Pacatiana, in Asia Mi-1 of the river which is supposed to be the Lycus, and about twenty miles N. W. nated on an eminence to the south of the river Meander, near to the of Degnizlu. By whom, or at what time, the church at Colosse was founded ; says Herodotus, (L. vii. c. 30) where the river Lycus enters the earth, is wholly uncertain; but it would appear from the Apostle's declaration, ch. ch rourse it continues for five furlongs, before it emerges and falls into the ii. 1, that he was not the honoured instrument. It appears from the tenor of some difficulties having arisen among them, they sent Epaphras to Rome, Manter. It was situated, according to ancient authorities, between Laodicea this Epistle to have been, upon the whole, in a very flourishing state; but and Irapolis, nearly equi-distant from each; all which cities, according to !, were destroyed by an earthquake, in the tenth year of the emperor where the Apostle was now imprisoned, (ch. iv. 3,) to acquaint him with the No and about a year after the writing of this Epistle. Colosse, however, state of their affairs. This was the immediate occasion of the Epistle; to dess ruse again, like her sister cities, from her ruins; and Constantine which we may add the letter sent him by the Laodiceans, (ch. iv. 16,) concernPragennetus states that it was called in his time Chona. Colosse is ing certain false teachers. This Epistle appears to have been written about the d to have occupied a site now covered with ruins, near the village of same time with that to the Philippians, (compare chap. i. 1. with Phi. ii. 19,) Kons, or Khonas, about three hours from Laodicea, but on the other side that is, towards the end of A. D. 62, and in the ninth of the emperor Nero. CONCLUDING REMARKS.


THE Epistle to the Colossians, and the two preceding Epistles, which were wone the imprisonment of St. Paul, and about the same time, are rekable for a peculiar pathos and ardour, or rapture, as some have termed it, webs generally ascribed to the extraordinary consolations enjoyed by the Atle during his sufferings for the sake of Christ. Critics have justly reked that the style of the Epistle to the Ephesians is exceedingly elevated. sponds with the state of the Apostle's mind at the time of writing. yed with the account which their messenger brought him of the steadsts of their faith, and the ardency of their love to all the saints, and transts, with the consideration of the unsearchable wisdom of God displayed in 1 work of man's redemption, and of his amazing love towards the Gentiles, lucang them, as fellow heirs with the Jews, into the kingdom of Christ, lars to the most exalted contemplation of these sublime topics, and gives wierane to his thoughts in language at once rich and varied. Grotius affirms, trt it expresses the most sublime matters contained in it, in terms more be an are to be found in any human language." This character, adds Mcknight, "is so just, that no real Christian can read the doctrinal part of the


sound of a trumpet." The style of the Epistle to the Philippians is very Epistle to the Ephesians, without being impressed and roused by it, as by the animated, pleasing, and easy; every where bearing evidence of that contented people. It has been observed as reinarkable, that the Epistle to the Church of state of mind in which the Apostle then was, and of his great affection for the censure is expressed or implied against any of its members; but, on the conPhilippi is the only one, of all St. Paul's letters to the churches, in which not one trary, sentiments of unqualified commendation and confidence pervade every part of this Epistle. The language of the Epistle to the Colossians is bold and energetic; the sentiments grand; and the conceptions vigorous and majestic. Whoever, says Michaelis, would understand the Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians must read them together. The one is in most places a commentary on the other; the meaning of single passages in one epistle, which, if considered alone, might be variously interpreted, being determined by tho parallel passages in the other Epistles. Yet, though there is a great similarity, the Epistle to the Colossians contains many things which are not to be found in that to the Ephesians.



Tom Gospel was first preached at Thessalonica by St. Paul, accompanied he sent Silas and Timothy to Thessalonica in his stead, (ch. iii. 6) who by salas and Timothy, with such success, that it excited the envy and indigna- having, on their return to him at Corinth, given such a favourable account of tum of the unbelieving Jews, who having stirred up a violent persecution their state as filled him with joy and gratitude, (Ac. xvii. 14, 15; xvin. 5.) he wrote rious postscript,) A. D. 52, to confirm them in their faith, and to excite them to Brainst them, they were forced to flee to Berea, and thence to Ath ns, (Ac. this Epistle to them from that city, (and not from Athens, as stated in the spu 12-15.) from which city he proceeded to Corinth. Having thus been prevented from again visiting the Thessalonians as he had intended, (ch. ii. 17, 18,) a holy conversation becoming the dignity of their high and holy calling.


THE first Epistle to the Thessalonians, it is generally agreed, was the ear 1 fest written of all St Paul's epistles; whence we see the reason and propriety of bus anxiety that it should be read in all the Christian churches of Mai

cedonia.-"I charge you by the Lord, that this Epistle be read unto all the is an evidence of its authenticity because, to produce a letter, purporting holy brethren." (Ch. v. 27.) The existence of this clause," observes Paley




to have been publicly read in the church at Thessalonica, when no such letter had been read or heard of in that church, would be to produce an imposture destructive of itself.... Either the Epistle was publicly read in the church of Thessalonica, during St. Paul's lifetime, or it was not. If it was, no publication could be more authentic, no species of notonety more unquestion able, no method of preserving the integrity of the copy more secure... If it was not, the clause would remain a standing condemnation of the forgery, and one would suppose, an invincible impediment to its success." Its genuineness, however, has never been disputed; and it has been universally received in the Christian church, as the inspired production of St. Paul, from the earliest period to the present day. The circumstance of this injunction being given, in the rst epistle which the Apostle wrote, also implies a strong and avowed claim to the character of an inspired writer; as in fact it placed his writings on the same ground with those of Moses and the ancient prophets. It was evidently the chief design of the apostle, in writing to the Thessalonians, to confirm them in the faith, to animate them to a courageous profession of the gospel, and to the practice of all the duties of Christianity; but to suppose, with Macknight, that he intended to prove the divine authority of Christianity by a chain of regular arguments, in which he answered the several objections which the heathen philosophers are supposed to have advanced, seems quite foreign to the nature of the epistle, and to be grounded on a mistaken notion, that the philosophers deigned at so early a period to enter on a regular disputation with the Christians, when in fact they derided them as enthusiasts, and branded their doctrines as foolishness." In pursuance of his grand object, it is remarkable," says Doddridge," with how much address he improves all the influence, which bis zeal and fidelity in their service must natu



THE second Epistle to the Thessalonians appears, from Silvanus and Timothy being still with St. Paul, (ch. i. 1,) to have been written soon after the first, A. D. 52, and from the same place, Corinth, and not from Athens, according to the spurious subscription. It seems that the person who conveyed the first Epistle to the Thessalonians speedily returned to Corinth, and gave the Apostle a particular account of the state of the Church; and, among other things, informed him that many were in expectation of the near approach of the advent of Christ, and of the day of judgment, which induced them to neglect their secular aflairs, as inconsistent with a due preparation

rally give him, to inculcate upon them the precepts of the gospel, and per
suade them to act agreeably to their sacred character. This was the grand
point he always kept in view, and to which every thing else was made subser
vient. Nothing appears, in any part of his writings, like a design to establish
his own reputation, or to make use of his ascendancy over his Christian friends
to answer any secular purposes of his own. On the contrary, in this and in his
other epistles, he discovers a most generous, disinterested regard for their wel-
fare, expressly disclaiming any authority over their consciences, and appealing
to them, that he had chosen to maintain himself by the labour of his own
hands, rather than prove burdensome to the churches, or give the least colour
of suspicion, that, under zeal for the gospel, and concern for their improve
ment, he was carrying on any private sinister view. The discovery of so ex-
cellent a temper must be allowed to carry with it a strong presumptive argu
ment in favour of the doctrines he taught.. And, indeed, whoever reads
St. Paul's epistles with attention, and enters into the spirit with which they
were written, will discern such intrinsic characters of their genuineness, and
the divine authority of the doctrines they contain, as will, perhaps, produce
in him a stronger conviction, than all the external evidence with which they
are attended." These remarks are exceedingly well grounded and highly
important; and to no other Epistle can they apply with greater force than
the present most excellent production of the inspired Apostle. The last two
chapters, in particular, as Dr. A. Clarke justly observes, are certainly among
the most important, and the most subline in the New Testament. The general
judgment, the resurrection of the body, and the states of the quick and the dead,
the unrighteous and the just, are described, concisely indeed, but they are ex-
hibited in the most striking and affecting points of view."



BESIDES those marks of genuineness and authority which this Epistle "making even the word of God of none effect by his traditions;" forbidding
possesses in common with the others, it bears the highest evidence of its di- what God has commanded, as marriage, the use of the Scriptures, &c.; and
vine inspiration, in the representation which it contains of the papal power, commanding, or allowing, what God has forbidden, as idolatry, persecution,
under the characters of the "Man of sin," and the "Mystery of iniquity." &c. "So that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that
The true Christian worship is, the worship of the one only God, through the he is God." His sitting in the temple of God," implies plainly his having a
one only Mediator, the man Christ Jesus; and from this worship the church seat in the Christian church: and he sitteth there "as God," especially at his
of Rome has most notoriously departed, by substituting other mediators, invo- inauguration, when he sits upon the Ingh altar in St. Peter's church, and
cating and adoring saints and angels, worshipping images, adoring the host, makes the table of the Lord his footstool, and in that position receives ado-
&c. It follows, therefore, that" the man of sin" is the Pope; not only on ac- ration. At all times he exercises divine authority in the church: " showing
count of the disgraceful lives of many of them, but by means of their scanda- himself that he is God :" affecting divine titles, and asserting that his decrees
lons doctrines and principles; dispensing with the most necessary duties, sell- are of the same, or greater authority, than the word of God. The foundation
ling pardons and indulgences for the most abominable crimes, and perverting of popery was laid in the Apostles' days; but several ages passed before the
the worship of God to the grossest superstition and idolatry. He also, like building was completed, and the man of sin revealed," in full perfection;
the false apostle Judas, is the son of perdition" whether actively, as being when that "which hindered, the Roman empire, was dissolved.
the cause of destruction to others, or passively, as being devoted to destruction coming is after the energy of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying won-
himself. "He opposeth" he is the great adversary of God and man; perse- ders," &c.; and does it require any particular proof, that the pretensions of the
cuting and destroying, by crusades, inquisitions, and massacres, those Chris Pope, and the corruptions of the church of Roine, are all supported and authori-
tians who prefer the word of God to the authority of men. "He exalteth him-zed by feigned visions and miracles, by pious frauds, and impositions of every
self above all that is called God, or is worshipped;" not only above inferior kind? But, how much soever the man of sin may be exalted, and how long
magistrates, but also above bishops and primates, kings and emperors; nay, soever he may reign, yet, at last," the Lord shall consume him with the Spirit of
not only above kings and emperors, but also above Christ, and God himself; his mouth, and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming,”


for that important and awful event. This erroneous expectation they grounded
partly on a misconstruction of some expressions in his former Epistle, and of
what he had spoken when with them; but it was supported also by some per-
son, or persons, making a claim to inspiration, and claiming to have a revelation
upon the subject, and, as some suppose, also by a forged Epistle. As soon as
this state of the Thessalonians was made known to St. Paul, he wrote this se-
cond Epistle to correct such a misapprehension, and rescue them from an error,
which, if appearing to rest on the authority of an Apostle, must have a very
injurious tendency, and be ultimately ruinous to the cause of Christianity.



TIMOTHY, to whom this Epistle is addressed, was a native of Lystra, a city of Lycaonia, in Asia Minor. His father was a Gentile, but his mother Eunice, and his grandmother Lois, were Jewesses, by whom he was brought up in the fear of God, and early instructed in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. (Acts xvi. 1. 2 Tim. in. 15.) It is probable that he was converted to the Christian faith during the first visit made by Paul and Barnabas to Lystra, (Acts xiv.;) and when the Apostle came from Antioch in Syria to Lystra the second time, he found him a member of the church, and so highly respected and warmly recommended by the church in that place, that he chose him to be the companion of his travels, having previously circumcised him, (Acts xvi. 1-3,) and solemnly ordained him by imposition of hands. (1 Ti. iv. 14. 2 Ti. i. 6.) though at that time he was probably not more than twenty years of age, (1 Ti. iv. 12.) Being thus prepared to be the Apostle's fellow-labourer in the


THIS Epistle bears the impress of its genuineness and authenticity, which are corroborated by the most decisive external evidence; and its divine inspiration is attested by the exact accomplishment of the prediction which it contains respecting the apostacy in the latter days. This prophecy is similar in

| gospel, he accompanied him and Silas in their various journeys, assisting him
in preaching the gospel, and in conveying instructions to the churches. (Acts
xvi. 10, 11, &c.; xvii. 13, 14; xviii. 5; xix. 22; xx. 4.) An ecclesiastical tradition
states that he suffered martyrdom at Ephesus, being slain with stones and
clubs, A. D. 97, while preaching against idolatry in the vicinity of the temple
of Diana; and his supposed relics were transported to Constantinople with
great pomp. A. D. 356, in the reign of Constantius.

It is evident that this Epistle was written by the Apostle when on a jour-
ney from Ephesus to Macedonia, having left Timothy at Ephesus, in care of
the church, (ch. i. 3.) This is supposed by many, both ancients and moderns,
to have been when St. Paul quitted Ephesus on account of the disturbance
raised by Demetrius, and went into Macedonia, (Acts xx. 1,) about A. D. 56,
57, or 58.


the general subject to that in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians, though
it differs in the particular circumstances; and exactly corresponds with that
of the prophet Daniel on the same subject: Da. xi. 38.


THAT this Epistle was written by St. Paul when a prisoner is sufficiently evident from chap. i. 8, 12, 16; ii. 9; and that it was while he was imprisoned at Rome, is universally admitted. That it was not written during his first confinement, recorded in Acts xxviii., as Hammond, Lightfoot, and Lardner suppose, but during a second imprisonment there, and not long before he suf fered martyrdom, as Benson, Macknight, Paley, and Clarke, Bishop Tomline, Michaelis, Rosenmuller, and Horne, contend, is amply proved by the following considerations: in his first imprisonment "he dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came to him, preaching the king, dom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus, with all confidence, no man forbidding him;" but at the time he wrote this Epistle, he was closely imprisoned as one guilty of a capital crime, so that Onesiphorus, on his arrival at Rome, had considerable difficulty in finding him out, and his situation at this time was extremely dangerous. At his first confinement at Rome, Timothy was with St. Paul, and is joined with him in writing to the Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon; but the present Epistle implies that he was absent. At the former period, Demas was with him; but now he had


forsaken him, having loved this present world, and gone to Thessalonica. St.
Mark was also then with him; but in the present Epistle Timothy is ordered
to bring him with him. In the former Epistles, the Apostle confidently looked
forward to his liberation, and speedy departure from Rome, (Philip. ii. 24.
Philem. 22;) but in the Epistle before us he holds extremely different lan-
guage, "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at
hand: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the
faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the
Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day." From these observa-
tions, to which others might, and have been added, we may conclude, that
this Epistle was written while St. Paul was in imprisonment the second time
at Rome, and but a short time before his martyrdom; and, as it is generally
agreed that this took place on the 29th of June, A. D. 66, and as the Apostle
requests Timothy to come to him before winter, it is probable that it was
written in the summer of A. D. 65. It is generally supposed, that Timothy
resided at Ephesus when St. Paul wrote this Epistle to him; which appears
very probable, though not certain.

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THIS epistle was written to St. Paul's most intimate friend, under the miseries of a jail, and with the near prospect of an ignominious death, which e suffered under the cruel and relentless Nero; and it is peculiarly valuable o the Christian church as exhibiting the best possible evidence of the truth und reality of our holy religion, and affording a striking contrast between the ersecuted, but confident and happy Christian, and the ferocious, abandoned, progate Roman. The detestable Nero having set fire to Rome, on the 0th of July, A. D. 64, endeavoured to remove the odium of that nefarious action, which was generally and justly imputed to him, by charging it upon the Christians, who had become the objects of popular hatred on account of their religion; and in order to give a more plausible colour to this calumny, he caused them to be sought out, as if they had been the incendiaries, and put great numbers to death in the most barbarous and cruel manner. "Some," says Tacitus," were covered over with the skins of wild beasts, that they might be torn to pieces by dogs; some were crucified; while others, having beën daubed over with combustible materials, were set up as lights in the night time, and thus burnt to death. For these spectacles, Nero gave his own gardeas, and, at the same time, exhibited there the diversions of the circus; sometimes standing in the crowd as a spectator, in the habit of a charioteer, and at other times driving a chariot himself." (See also Suetonius, in Vit. Nero e 16.) To these dreadful scenes Juvenal thus alludes: "Describe a great villam, such as Tigellinus, (a corrupt minister under Nero,) and you shall suffer the same punishment with those who stand burning in their own flaine and smoke, their head being held up by a stake fixed to a chain, till they make a long stream (of blood and sulphur) on the ground." So also Martial in an epieram concerning the famous C. Mucius Scævola, who lost the use of his right hand by burning it in the presence of Porsenna, king of Etruria, whom be had attempted to assassinate: "You have, perhaps, lately seen acted on



Or Titus, to whom this Epistle is addressed, and of whom St. Paul speaks in terms of the highest approbation and most cordial affection in his Epistles, we know nothing more with certainty, than that he was a Greek by birth, and one of the Apostle's early converts, who frequently attended him in his journeys. We have also no certain information when, or by whom, the Gos pel was first preached in Crete; though it is probable that it was made known there at an early period, as there were Cretans present on the day of Penteest, who, on their return home, might be the means of introducing it among their countrymen Nor have we any account concerning St. Paul's labours in that island, except the bare fact which may be inferred from this Epistle; though St. Luke mentions that he touched at the Fair Havens and Lasea in his voyage to Rome. It is therefore inferred, that this event took place, and


the theatre, Mucius, who thrust his hand into the fire: if you think such a person patient, valiant, and stout, you are a senseless dotard. For it is a much greater thing, when threatened with the troublesome coat, to say, I do not sacrifice, than to obey the command, Burn the hand." This troublesome coat, or shirt, was made like a sack, of paper or coarse linen cloth, either besmeared with pitch, wax, or sulphur, and similar combustible materials, or dipped in them; which was then put on the Christians, who, in order to be kept upright, the better to resemble a flaming torch, had their chins severally fastened to stakes fixed in the ground. At the same period, many of the most illustrious senators of Rome were executed for the conspiracy of Lucan, Seneca, and Piso; many of whom met death with courage and serenity, though unblest with any certain hope of futurity. With the Christian alone was united purity of manners amidst public licentiousness, and purity of heart amidst universal relaxation of principle; and with him only were found love and good will to all mankind, and a patience, and cheerfulness, and triumph in the hour of death, as infinitely superior to the stoical calmness of a Pagan, as the Christian martyr himself to the hero and the soldier. After such scenes as these was this Epistle written, probably, the last which St. Paul ever wrote; and, standing on the verge of eternity, full of God, and strongly anticipating an eternal weight of glory, the venerable Apostle expressed the sublimest language of hope and exultation:-"I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing." (Chapter iv. 6-8.) Surely every rational being will be ready to exclaim, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my latter end be like his!"

THE striking affinity which subsists between the Epistle to Titus and the firs: Epistle to Timothy has been pointed out by several able writers. Both Epistles are addressed to persons left to preside in, and regulate their respective churches during the Apostle's absence. Both are principally occupied in de sering the qualifications of those who should be appointed to ecclesiastical offices; and the requisites in this description are nearly the same in both Epistles. Timothy and Titus are both cautioned against the same prevalent corruptions: the phrases and expressions in both letters are nearly the same; and the writer accosts his two disciples with the same salutations; and passes on to the business of the Epistle with the same transition. The most natural riode of accounting for these resemblances and verbal coincidences, is by supDosing, as we have already had reason to conclude, that the two Epistles were written about the same time, and while the same ideas and phrases still dwelt in the writer's mind. "Nevertheless," as Macknight justly observes, "the repetition of these precepts and charges is not without its use to the church still, it makes us more deeply sensible of their great importance; not to mention, that in the Epistle to Titus, there are things peculiar to itself, which enhances its value. In short, the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, taken together, contaning a full account of the qualifications and duties of the ministers of the gospel, may be considered as a complete body of divinely inspired ecclesiastical canons, to be observed by the Christian clergy, of all communions, to the end of the world." The island of Crete, now Candia, where Titus was a resident, was renowned in ancient times for the salubrity of its climate; for the richness and fertility of its soil; for its hundred cities; for the excellence of its laws, given by its king Minos; for Mount Ida, where Jupiter was said to have been preserved from the jealousy of his father Saturn; for the sepulchre of Jupiter; and in fact, for being the cradle of the gods, most of the absurdities

consequently this Epistle was written, subsequent to his first imprisonment at Rome, and previously to his second, about A. D. 64; which is considerably strengthened by the verbal harmony subsisting between this Epistle and the first Epistle to Timothy, The Apostle seems to have had very great success in his ministry in that island; but, by some rocans, to have been hurried thence, before he could order the state of the churches in a regular manner. He therefore left Titus there to settle the churches in the several cities of the island, according to the apostolical plan. Titus lived there till he was 94 years of age, and died, and was buried in that island. It was upon the occasion of Titus being thus left at Crete, that St. Paul wrote this Epistle, to direct him in the proper discharge of his various and important duties."


that have been embodied into the heathen mythology having there had their origin. The Cretans, though at an early period celebrated for their great advances in civilization, and for an admirable system of laws, were notorious for covetousness, piracy, luxury, and especially for lying; insomuch that kretizein, to act like a Cretan, became a proverb for deceiving and telling lics; and a Cretan lie signified one that was remarkable for its magnitude and impudence. They were one of the nations against which the Grecian proverb, beware of the three K's," (in English C,) was directed; i. e. Kappadocia, Kilicia, and Krete; and Polybius (I. iv. c. 8. 53, &c.) represents them as disgraced by piracy, robbery, and almost every crime; and the only people in the world who found nothing sordid in money, however acquired." With this agrees their character given by Epimenides, one of their own poets, as quoted by St. Paul, (ch. i. 12, 13.) from a work of his no longer extant, entitled Concern ing Oracles, and which the Apostle declares constituted their true character:

The Cretans are always liars, destructive wild beasts, sluggish gluttons. Over this mass of idolatry and corruption, however, the gospel triumphed, producing by its benign and heavenly influences, purity, honesty, truth, and every moral and Christian virtue; nor has the successive subjugation of the people by the Saracens and Turks been ever able wholly to extinguish, though it has obscured, the light of Christianity which once shone upon them with such splendour. The island is divided into twelve bishops' sees, under the patriarch of Constantinople; but the execrable Turks, though they profess to allow the Christians the free exercise of their religion, will not permit them to repair their churches, many of which they have converted into mosques; and it is only by the influence of large sums of gold, paid to the pashas, that they can keep their religious houses from total dilapidation



PHILEMON appears to have been a person of some consideration at Colosse, | about A. D. 62. Having, by some means, attended the preaching of the Apostle, and in the church at that place, who had been converted by the ministry of St. Paul, probably during his abode at Ephesus; Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, having, as it is generally thought, been guilty of some dishonesty, fled from his master, and came to Rome; where the Apostle was at that time under confinement the first time, as appears by his expectation of being shortly released,

in his own hired house," it pleased God to bless it to his conversion. After he had given satisfactory evidence of a real change, and manifested an excellent and amiable disposition, which greatly endeared him to St. Paul, he was sent back to his master by the Apostle, who wrote this Epistle to reconcile Philemon to his once unfaithful servant.


Peley expresses his admiration of the tenderness and delicacy of this epistle. I sent friend, for a beloved convert in a state of slavery, in a manner full of There is certainly something very melting and persuasive in every part. It is kindly affection, according with the sensibility of his mind. a warm, affectionate, authoritative teacher, ardently interceding with an ab



THE HEBREWS were the Jews in Judea, who spoke a dialect of the He- for the latter language was then universally understood, and much esteemed by brew, and were so called to distinguish them from those who resided among the inhabitants of Palestine, and the apostolical Epistles being intended for the the Greeks, and spoke their language, and were called Hellenists, or Greeks, use of the whole Christian world, as well as for the persons to whom they were sent, (Arte vi 1; ix, 29 xi. 20.) To such of the Hebrews as professed Christianity it was more proper that they should be written in Greek, than in any provincial this Epistle was addressed, according to the opinion of the ancient Christian dialect. In fact, the circumstance of there being no authentic report or tradition waters, and the best modern critics; and this decision is corroborated by the respecting any one copy of the Hebrew Epistle; the style of the epistle throughEternal evidence of the Epistle itself, which contains many things peculiarlyout, which has all the air of an original; the occurrence of mumerous parono. table to the believers in Judea. Though Hebrew was commonly spoken by masias on Greek words; the interpretation of Hebrew nanes, such as Melchithe persons to whom this Epistle was sent, there is no necessity to suppose, sedec by King of Righteousness, and Salem by peace, in a manner by ne with Origen, Jerome, and others, that it was originally written in that lan means like the additions of a translator; and the quotations from the Old Tes guage, and afterwards translated into Greck by Luke, Barnabas, or Clement; tament being generally taken from the Septuagint, even where that version


in some degree varies from the Hebrew; all these facts furnish positive and conclusive evidence that it was originally written in the Greek language, in which it is now extant. Though St. Paul's name is not affixed to this Epistle, (which he probably omitted because he was obnoxious to the enemies of Chistianity in Judea,) yet the general testimony of antiquity, the current tradition of the church, the superscription, "The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews," being found in all our manuscripts, except one, and the agreement of the style, or phrases, allusions, and exhortations, with those in the acknowledged Epistles of St. Paul, determine it to be the genuine production of that eminent Apostle; to which conclusion Carpzov, Whitby, Lardner, Mucknight, Hales, Rosenmuller, Bengel, Bishop Tomline, Horne, Town send, and almost every other modern commentator and critic, after weighing the mass of evidence, both external and internal, are constrained to arrive.



THE Epistle to the Hebrews, observes Dr. Hales, is a masterly supplement to the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, and also a luminons commentary on them; showing that all the legal dispensation was originally designed to be superseded by the new and better covenant of the Christian dispensation, in a connected chain of argument, evincing the profoundest knowledge of both. The internal excellence of this epistle, as connecting the Old Testament and the New in the most convincing and instructive manner, and elucidating both more fully than any other Epistle, or perhaps than all of theni, places its divine inspiration beyond all doubt. We here find the great doctrines which are set forth in other parts of the New Testament, stated, proved, and applied to practical purposes in the most impressive manner. Hence this Epistle, as Dr. A. Clarke reimarks, is by far the most important and useful of all the apostolic writings, all the doctrines of the Gospel are, in it, embodied, illustrated, and enforced in a manner the most lucid, by refer ences and examples the most striking and illustrious, and by arguments the most cogent and convincing. It is an epitome of the dispensations of God to man, from the foundation of the world to the advent of Christ. It is not only the sum of the Gospel, but the sum and completion of the Lare, of which it is also a most beautiful and luminous comment. Without this, the law of Moses had never been fully understood, nor God's design in giving it clearly apprehended. With this, all is clear and plain; and the ways of God with man ren dered consistent and harmonious. The Apostle appears to have taken a por tion of one of his own Epistles for his text,-"Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to them that believe" and has most amply and impressively demonstrated his proposition. All the rites, ceremonies, and sacrifices of the Mosaic institution, are shown to have had Christ for heir object and end; and to have had neither intention nor meaning but in reference to Him; yea, as a system to be without substance, as a law to be without reason, and its enactments to be both impossible and absurd, if taken out of this reference and connexion. Never were premises more clearly stated; never was an argument handled in a more masterly manner; and never was a conclusion more legitimately and satisfactorily brought forth. The matter is every where the most interesting; the manner is throughout the most engaging; and the language is most beautifully adapted to the whole,-every where appropriate, always nervous and energetic, dignified as is the subject, pure and elegant as that of the inost accomplished Grecian orators, and harmonious and diversified as the music of the spheres. So many are the beauties, so great the excel lency, so instructive the matter, so pleasing the manner, and so exceedingly interesting the whole, that it may be read a hundred times over without perceiving any thing of sameness, and with new and increased information at each reading. This latter is an excellency which belongs to the whole reveJation of God; but to no part of it in such a peculiar and supereminent manner, as to the Epistle to the Hebrews. That it was written to Jews, naturally such, the whole structure of the Epistle proves. Had it been written to the

If then St. Paul was the author of this Epistle, the time when, and the place where, it was written, may be easily ascertained; for the salutation from the saints in Italy, (ch. xiii. 24,) and his promise of seeing the Hebrews shortly, (ver. 23,) plainly intimate that his first imprisonment at Rome was then terminated, or on the point of being so. Consequently it was written from Italy perhaps from Rome, soon after the Epistles to the Colossians, Philippians and Philemon, either at the end of A. D. 62, or more probably in the beginning of the year 63. The grand design of the Apostle, in writing this Epistle, was, to guard the Jews in Palestine, who were then in a state of poverty, affliction, and persecution, against apostacy from the faith; by proving the truth o the grand doctrines of Christianity, and by showing that it was the completion and perfection of the Mosaic dispensation, the rites and ceremonies of which were but types of the New Testament dispensation.


JAMES, the son of Alpheus, the brother of Jacob, and the near relation of our Lord, called also James the Less, probably because he was of lower stature, or younger, than the other James, the son of Zebedce, is generally allowed to be the writer of this Epistle; and the few that have doubted this have assigned very slight reasons for their dissent, and advanced very weak arguments on the other side. It is recorded in ecclesiastical history, and the book of the Acts of the Apostles confirms the fact, that he generally resided at Jerusalem, superintending the churches in that city, and in the neighbouring places, to the end of his life, which was terminated by martyrdom about A. D. 62. This Epistle appears to have been written but a short time before his

Gentiles, not one in ten thousand of them would have comprehended the ar gument, because unacquamted with the Jewish system, the knowledge of which the writer every where supposes. He who well acquainted with the Mosaic law, sits down to the study of this Epistle with double advantage; and he who knows the traditions of the Elders, and the Talmudic illustrations of the written and pretended oral law of the Jews, is still more likely to enter into, and comprehend, the Apostle's meaning. No man has adopted a more likely way of explaining its phraseology than Schoetgen, who has traced its peculiar diction to Jewish sources; and, according to him, the proposition of the whole Epistle is this: JESUS OF NAZARETH IS THE true God. And, in order to convince the Jews of the truth of this proposition, the Apostl urges but three arguments:-1. Christ is superior to the angels. 2. He is supe rior to Moses. 3. He is superior to Aaron. These arguments would appear more distinctly, were it not for the improper division of the chapters; in consequence of which, that one excellency of the Apostle's is not noticed-his application of every argument, and the strong exhortation founded upon it. Schoetgen has very properly remarked, that commentators have greatly misunderstood the Apostle's meaning through their unacquaintance with the Jewish writings, and their peculiar phraseology, to which the Apostle is continu ally referring, and of which he makes incessant use. He also supposes, al lowing for the immediate and direct inspiration of the Apostle, that he had in view this remarkable saying of the Rabbins on Isaiah l. 13,-" Behold my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high." Rabbi Tanchum, quoting Yalkut Simeoni, (p. ii. fol. 53,) says, This is the king Messiah, who shall be greatly extolled and elevated: He shall be elevated above. Abraham; shall be more eminent than Moses; and be more exalted than the ministering angels," Or, as it is expressed in Yalkut Kadosh, (fol. 144,) "The Messiah is greater than the patriarchs, than Moses, and than the ministering angels." These sayings the Apostle shows to have been fulfilled in our Messiah; and as he dwells on the superiority of our Lord to all these illustrious persons, because they were at the very top of all comparisons among the Jews; He, according to their opinion, who was greater than all these, must be greater than all created beings. This is the point which the Apostle undertakes to prove, in order to show the Godhead of Christ; and therefore, if we find him proving that Jesus was greater thun the patriarchs, greater than Aaron, greater than Moses, and greater than the angels, he must be understood to mean, according to the Jewish phraseology, that Jesus is an uncreated being, infinitely greater than all others whether earthly or heavenly. For, as they allowed the greatest eminence next to God, to angelic beings, the Apostle concludes, "That He who is greater than the angels is truly God: but Christ is greater than the angels: therefore Christ is truly God." Nothing can be clearer than that this is the Apostle's grand argument; and the proofs and illustrations of it meet the reader in almost every verse.


THAT SIMON PETER, or Cephas, the son of Jonas, and the Apostle of our | Lord, was the author of this Epistle, has never been disputed; and its genuine ness and canonical authority are amply confirmed by its being quoted or referred to by Polycarp, Clement of Rome, the martyrs of Lyons, Theophilus bishop of Antioch, Papias, Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian. We have already seen the history of this Apostle as detailed in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles; in addition to which, we learn from ecclesiastical history that he went to Rome, in the reign of Nero, where he suffered martyrdom, being crucified with his head downwards, at or near the same time when St.

death; and it is probable that the sharp rebukes and awful warnings given in it to his countrymen excited that persecuting rage which terminated his life. It is styled Catholic, or General, because it was not addressed to any particular church, but to the Jewish nation throughout their dispersions. Though its genuineness was doubted for a considerable time, yet its insertion in the ancient Syriac version, which was executed at the close of the first, or the beginning of the second century, and the citation of, or allusion to it, by Clement of Rome. Hermas, and Ignatius, and its being quoted by Origen, Jerome, Athanasius, and most of the subsequent ecclesiastical writers, as well as its internal evidence, are amply sufficient to prove the point.



Paul, as a Roman citizen, was beheaded. St. Jerome adds, that he was buried at Rome, in the Vatican, near the triumphal way; and is in veneration over all the world." He wrote this Epistle, as is generally allowed, some little time before his death, probably about A. D. 64, to the Christians, doubtless both Jewish and Gentile converts, in the different provinces of Asia Minor: and most probably from Rome, mystically called Babylon, (ch. v. 13,) as Ecumenius, Bede, and other fathers, Grotius, Whitby, Macknight, Lardner, Hales, Horne, Townsend, and all the learned of the Romish church, suppose; and which is strongly corroborated by the general testimony of antiquity. CONCLUDING REMARKS.


As the design of this Epistle is excellent, remarks Macknight, so its execu|of nature tumbling into universal ruin. And what a solemn and moving Epition, in the judgment of the best critics, does not fall short of its design. Os phonema, or practical inference, is that! Since, therefore, all these things tervald says of the first Epistle of Peter, "it is one of the finest books of the must be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in holy conversaNew Testament ;" and of the second, "that it is a most excellent Epistle, and tion and godliness-in all parts of holy and Christian life.-in all instances of is written with great strength and majesty." Erasmus pronounces the first justice and charity? The meanest soul, and lowest imagination,' says an Epistle to be worthy the prince of the Apostles, and full of apostolical dig- ingenious man, cannot think of that time, and the awinl descriptions we nity and authority:" and adds, "it is sparing in words, but full of sense," "St. meet with of it in this place, and several others of Holy Wait, without the Peter's style," as Dr. Blackwall justly observes, expresses the noble vehegreatest emotion and deepest impressions.'"' "As the true Church of Christ," mence and fervour of his spirit, the full knowledge he had of Christianity, and says Dr. Clarke, has generally been in a state of suffering, the Epistles of the strong assurance he had of the truth and certainty of his doctrine, and he St Peter have ever been most highly prized by all believers. That which we writes with the authority of the first man in the college of the Apostles. He have just finished is an admirable letter, containing some of the most imporwrites with that quickness and rapidity of style, with that noble neglect of tant maxims and consolations for the church in the wilderness. No Christian some of the formal consequences and niceties of grainmar, still preserving its can read it without deriving from it both light and life. Ministers, especially. true reason, and natural analogy, (which are always marks of a sublime ge- should study it well, that they may know how to comfort their flocks when nins) that you can scarcely perceive the pauses of his discourse, and distine- in persecution or adversity. He never speaks to good in any spiritual case tion of his periods. The great Joseph Scaliger calls Peter's first Epistle ma- who is not furnished out of the Divine treasury. God's words invite, solicit jeatie; and I hop he was more judicious them to exclude the second, though and command assent: on them a man may confidently rely. The words of he did not name it. A noble majesty and becoming freedom are what dis- man may be true, but they are not infallible. This is the character of God's fanish Peter; a devout and judicious person cannot read him without so- word alone." Inn attention and awful concern. The conflagration of this world, and fu dement of angels and men, in the third chipter of the second Epistle, is described in such strong and terrible terms, such awful circumstances, that in the description we see the planetary heavens and this our earth wrapped up with devouring flames; hear the groans of an expiring world, and the crushes


To these valuable remarks on the varied excellences and uses of this inimitable Epistle, it may be only necessary to add, that it is not only important in these respects, but is a rich treasury of Christian doctrines and duties, from which the mind may be enriched, and the heart improved, with the most en nobling sentiments.




THE writer of this Epistle calls himself" Simon Peter," (ch. i. 1. Ac. xv. neglected. Some doubts, however, of its genuineness and divine authority 14. Gr.) an apostle of Jesus Christ;" alludes to circumstances and facts were entertained in the primitive church, which Jerome ascribes to the supwhich agree with none but Peter, (ch. i. 14-16. John xxi. 19;) calls it his se posed dissimilarity of style between it and the first Epistle. But, being written cond Epistle, (ch iii. 1;) and speaks of his beloved brother Paul," (ch. iii. only a short time before the Apostle's martyrdom, (ch. i. 14,) though appa15. It must, therefore, either be the work of the Apostle Peter, or of one who rently but a short time after the first, (ch. i. 13, 15,) and not having been so personated him; but this latter supposition, that of forging the name of an publicly avowed by him, and clearly known to be his, during his lifetime, the apostle, and personating him, is wholly inconsistent with the remarkable ener-scrupulous caution of the church hesitated about admitting it into the sacred Ey with which the writer inculcates holiness, and the solemn yet affectionate canon, till internal evidence fully convinced the most competent judges that manner, in which he testifies against the delusions of those by whom it was it was entitled to that high distinction.


Dn. Macknight justly observes, that "the matters contained in this Epistle are highly worthy of an inspired Apostle; for, besides a variety of important discoveries, all tending to display the perfections of God and the glory of Christ, we find in it exhortations to virtue, and condemnations of vice, delivered with an earnestness of feeling, which shows the author to have been incapable of imposing a forged writing upon the world; and that his sole design in this Epistle was to promote the interests of truth and virtue." With regard to the objection against the genuineness of this Epistle drawn from the difference of style between this and the former Epistle, it has been correctly said, that an author's style is regulated, in a great measure, by the nature of his subject, different subjects naturally suggesting different styles; and that this diversity is confined to the second chapter of this Epistle, where the subject is different



THOUGH the name of St. John is not affixed to this Epistle, yet it has been received without hesitation as the genuine production of that Apostle from the erlicat period of the Christian church; and the similarity of sentiment and expression between it and his Gospel, is a full confirmation of the truth of this opinion.

With respect to the date of this Epistle, there is a considerable diversity of oparion; some placing it, with Benson and Hales, in A. D. 68; others, with Bishop Tomline, in A. D. 69; others, with Dr. Lardner, in A. D. 90, or even later; others, with Mill and Le Clerc, in A. D. 91 or 92; and others, with

from the rest of St. Peter's writings, and where the style is as different from that of the other two chapters, as it is from the language of the first Epistle. But the fact is, that the style of both Epistles is essentially the same. "Icannot," says Dr. Blackwall, with some critics, find any great difference be twixt the style of the first and second Epistles; it is to me no more than wo find in the style of the same persons at different times. There is much the same energy and clear brevity, the same rapid run of language, and the same commanding majesty in them both. Take them together, and they are admirable for significant epithets and strong compound words; for beautiful and sprightly figures, adorable and sublime doctrines, pure and heavenly morals, expressed in a chaste, lively, and graceful style.'


This short Epistle, and that which follows, being written, neither to any church by name, nor to the churches at large, but to private persons, had probably been kept for a considerable time in the possession of the families to whom they were originally sent, and were not discovered till long after the Apostle's decease, and after the death of the persons to whom they had been addressed When first discovered, all the immediate vouchers for their geBuinco ́ss were necessarily gone; and the church of Christ, ever on its guard


Basnage and Baronius, in A. D. 98 or 99. The most probable of these opinions, however, seems to be that which assigns it an early date for it would appear from certain expressions, that it was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, (ch. ii. 18,) and while the generation which had seen our Lord in the flesh had not yet passed away, (ch. ii. 13, 14.) It appears, as Lardner, Macknight, and others suppose, to have been addressed to no particular church, but to have been intended as a general address for the use of Christians of every denomination and country, in strict accordance with its title of Catholic or General.

| against imposture, particularly in relation to writings professing to be the work of Apostles, hesitated to receive them into the number of canonical Scriptures, until it was fully ascertained that they were divinely inspired. Hence they were not generally known and acknowledged as the inspired production of St. John, in the earliest ages, in the decided manner that the preceding Epistle was; but their coincidence with it in sentiment, manner, and language, satisfied all at an early period, that they were written by the same person.



JUDE, or JUDAS, the writer of this Epistle, is generally and justly consi- tions, when what was true in them might be adduced to good purpose, withdered to have been Jude the Apostle, called also Lebbeus, whose surname out at all sanctioning the fables which they contained, or inducing a suspicion wa: Thaddeus, brother of James the Less, (ver. 1.) and the brother, or near that he was not an inspired writer? (Acts xvii. 28. 1 Co. xv. 33. 2 Tim. ii. 8. reative, of our Lord. Some hesitation, however, as to the genuineness of Tit. 1. 12) These are the principal objections; and they amount to nothing this Epistle, seems to have prevailed in the church, which was at length fully against the internal evidence, and the general current of antiquity. Lardner removed; though some learned modern writers, apparently on very slight shows, that it is found in all the ancient catalogues of the sacred writings of grands, have endeavoured to revive it. It is objected, that he calls himself, the New Testament; is considered genuine by Clement of Alexandria; and is not an Apostle, but a servant of Jesus Christ" but so also does Paul, in quoted, as St. Jude's production, by Tertullian, by Origen, and by the greater has insemption to the Philippians; and the word apostle is omitted in the part of the ancients mentioned by Eusebius. Its genuineness is fully esta Estle to Philemon, and in that to the Thessalonians; neither does John, in blished by the matter contained in it, which is every way worthy of an inspired Epistles, use the word apostle, nor mention his own name. Jude is also Apostle of Jesus Christ; and, as Macknight truly observes, there is no error apoosed to quote apocryphal books-for there is no evidence that this was taught, no evil practice enjoined, for the sake of which any impostor could be really the case; but does not St. Paul quote heathen poets, and Jewish tradi-induced to impose a forgery of this kind on the world.


ST. JUDE, says Origen, has written an Epistle in a few lines indeed, but | ful of vigorous expressions of heavenly grace. He briefly and forcibly represents the detestable doctrines and practices of certain false teachers, generally supposed to be the impure Gnostics, Nicobutans, and followers of Simon Magus; and reproves these profligate perverters of sound principles, and patrons of lewdo with a holy indignation and just severity; while at the same time be exerts all sound Christians, with genuine apostolic charity, to have tender entupassion on these deluded wretches, and to endeavour vigorously to reclaim them from the ways of hell, and pluck them as brands out of the fire.

It is a remarkable circumstance, (says Horne,) that the authenticity of this book was very generally, if not universally, acknowledged during the two first astanes; and yet, in the third century, it began to be questioned. This seems to have been occasioned by some absurd notions concerning the Millennium, that a few well meaning, but fanciful expositors, grounded on this book; which notinns their opponents injudiciously and presumptuously endeavoured to derdit by denying the authority of the book itself. So little, however, has this portion of Holy Writ suffered from the ordeal of criticism, to which it has In ontwwysonce been subjected, that (as Sir Isaac Newton has long since remarked) there is no other book of the New Testament so strongly attested, or commented upon so early, as the Apocalypse." The external evidence for the authenticity and divine authority of this book, tests, as does also that of the other books of the New Testament, in a great mere upon the testimony of the early Christian fathers. And here WoodAouse produces passages from Ignatius and Polycarp as early as A. D. 107

The great similarity between this Epistle and the second chapter of the second Epistle of Peter, has already been remarked. Both writers are nearly alike in subject, style, vehemence, and holy indignation against impudence and lewdness, and against those who invidiously undermine chastity, purity, and sound principles. The expressions are remarkably strong, the language animated, and the figures and comparisons bold, apt, and striking. There are no nobler amplifications in any author, than in these writers, when they expose the delinquencies of these false teachers, which they severely brand, emphatically expose, and yet happily express in all the purity and chastity of language.



and 108. Jerome states, that Justin Martyr (about A. D. 120) commented on some parts of this mysterious book; and a commentary on the whole is mentioned among the works of Melito, Bishop of Sardis, A. D. 177. Irenæus, who flourished about the same time, and was, in early life, acquainted with Polycarp, often quoted this book as the Revelation of John the Evangelist, and the disciple of the Lord. "His testimony for this book (says Lardner) is so strong and full, that, considering the age of Irenæus, he seems to put it beyond all question, that it is the work of John the Apostle and Evangelist." Later authorities need not be mentioned.

The next question relates to the date of this book. The most probable and generally received opinion is, that it was written during John's banishment to the Isle of Patmos, by Domitian, in the latter part of his reign; that is, in the year A. D. 96, in the latter part of which he died, or immediately after, when the apostle was set at liberty. This has been clearly shown by Lardner, Lampe, Woodhouse, and others. The former says, that "all antiquity is

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