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certained by other circumstances, such coincidences may fairly be stated as undesigned. Under this head I adduce
Chap. xvi. 21-23. “Timotheus, my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, ard Sosipater, my kinsmen, sa
I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. Gaius, mine host, and the whole church, saluteth you; and Quartus, a brother." this passage I compare, Acts xx. 4.
“ And there ac. companied him into Asia, Sopater of Berea; and, of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and, of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus." The Epistle to the Romans, we have seen, was written just before St. Paul's departure from Greece, after his second visit to that peninsula: the persons mentioned in the quotation from the Acts are those who accompanied him in that departure. Of seven whose pames are joined in the salutation of the church of Rome, three, viz. Sosipater, Gaius, and Timothy, are proved, by this passage in the Acts, to have been with St. Paul at the time. And this is perhaps as much coincidence as could be expected from reality, though less, I am apt to think, than would have been produced by design. Four are mentioned in the Acts who are not joined in the salutation; and it is in the nature of the case probable that there should be many attending St. Paul in Greece who knew nothing of the converts at Rome, nor were known by them. In like manner, several are joined in the salutation, who are not mentioned in the passage referred to in the Acts. This also was to be expected. The occasion of mentioning them in the Acts was their proceeding with St. Paul upon his journey. But we may be sure that there were many eminent Christians with St. Paul in Greece, besides those who accompanied him into Asia.*
* of these Jason is one, whose presence upon this occasion is very naturally accounted for. Jason was an inbabitant of Thessalonica in Macedonia, and entertained St. Paul in his house upon his first visit to that country, Acts xvii. 7.-St. Paul, upon this his second visit, passed through Macedonia on his way to Greece, and, from the situatio of Thessalonica, most likely through that city. It appears, But if any one shall still contend that a forger of the epistle, with the Acts of the Apostles before him, and having settled this scheme of writing a letter as from St. Paul upon his second visit into Greece, would easily think of the expedient of putting in the names of those persons who appeared to be with St. Paul at the time, as an obvious recommendation of the imposture: I then repeat my observations ; first, that he would have made the catalogue more complete; and secondly, that with this contrivance in his thoughts, it was certainly his business, in order to avail himself of the artifice, to have stated in the body of the epistle, that Paul was in Greece when he wrote it, and that he was there upon his second visit. Neither of which he has done, either directly, or even so as to be discoverable by any circumstance found in the narrative delivered in the Acts.
Under the same head, viz. of coincidences depending upon date, I cite from the epistle the following salutation:
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Jesus Christ, who have for my life laid down their own necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” Chap. xvi. 3.-It appears from the Acts of the Apostles, that Priscilla and Aquila had originally been inhabitants of Rome ; for we read, Acts xviii. 2, that“ Paul found a certain Jew, named Aquila, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome.” They were connected, therefore, with the place to which the salutations are sent. from various instances in the Acts, to have been the practice of many converts to attend St. Paul, from place to place. It is therefore highly probable, I mean that it is highly consistent with the account in the history, that Jason, according to that account a zealous disciple, the inhabitant of a city at no great distance from Greece, and through which, as it should seem, St. Paul had lately passed, should have accompanied St. Paul into Greece, and have been with him there at this time. Lucius is another name in the epistle. A very slight alteration would convert Aovkios into Aoukas, Lucius into Luke, which would produce an additional coincidence : for, if Luke was the author of the history, he was with St. Paul at the time; inasmuch as describing the voyage which took place soon after the writing of this epistlé, the historian uses the first person—"We salled away from Philippi.” Acts xx. 6.
That is one coincidence ; another is the following : St. Paul became acquainted with these persons at Corinth during his first visit into Greece. They accompanied him upon his return into Asia : were settled for some time at Ephesus, Acts xviii. 1926, and appear to have been with St. Paul when he wrote from that place his First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. xvi. 19. Not long after the writing of which epistle St. Paul went from Ephesus into Macedonia, and,“ after he had gone over those parts,” proceeded from thence upon his second visit into Greece, during which visit, or rather at the conclusion of it, the Epistle to the Ro. mans, as hath been shewn, was written. We have therefore the time of St. Paul's residence at Ephesus after he had written to the Corinthians, the time taken up by his progress through Macedonia (which is indefinite, and was probably considerable), and his three months' abode in Greece: we have the sum of those three periods allowed for Aquila and Priscilla going back to Rome, so as to be there when the epistle before us was written. Now what this quotation leads us to observe is the danger of scattering names and circumstances in writings like the present, how implicated they often are with dates and places, and that nothing but truth can preserve consistency. Had the notes of time in the Epistle to the Romans fixed the writing of it to any date prior to St. Paul's first residence at Corinth, the salutation of Aquila andPriscilla would have contradicted the history, because it would have been prior to his acquaintance with these persons. If the notes of time had fixed it to any period during that residence at Corinth, during his journey to Jerusalem when he first returned out of Greece, during his stay at Antioch, whither he went down to Jerusalem, or during his second progress through the Lesser Asia upon which he proceeded from Antioch, an equal contradiction would have been incurred; because from Acts xviii. 2-18,1926, it
appears that during all this time Aquila and Priscilla were either along with St. Paul, or were abiding at Ephesus. Lastly, had the notes of time in this epistle, which we have seen to be perfectly incidental, compared with the notes of time in the First Epistle to the Corin
thians, which are equally incidental, fixed this epistle to be either contemporary with that, or prior to it, a similar contradiction would have ensued ; because, first, when the epistle to the Corinthians was written, Aquila and Priscilla were along with St. Paul, as they joined in the salutation of that church, 1 Cor. xvi. 19. ; and because, secondly, the history does not allow us to suppose that between the time of their becoming acquainted with St. Paul and the time of St. Paul's writing to the Corinthians, Aquila and Priscilla could have gone to Rome, so as to have been saluted in an epistle to that city; and then come back to St. Paul at Ephesus, so as to be joined with him in saluting the church of Corinth. As it is, all things are consistent. The Epistle to the Romans is posterior even to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians; because it speaks of a contribution in Achaia being completed, which the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, chap. viii. is only soliciting. It is sufficiently therefore posterior to the First Epistle to the Corin. thians to allow time in the interval for Aquila and Priscilla's return from Ephesus to Rome.
Before we dismiss these two persons, we may take notice of the terms of commendation in which St. Paul describes them, and of the agreement of that encomium with the history. My helpers in Christ Jesus, who have for ray life laid down their necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” In the eighteenth chapter of the Acts we are informed, that Aquila and Priscilla were Jews; that St. Paul first met with them at Corinth; that for some time he abode in the same house with them; that St. Paul's contention at Corinth was with the unbelieving Jews, who at first “ opposed and blasphemed, and af. terward with one accord raised an insurrection against him ;" that Aquila and Priscilla adhered, we may conclude, to St. Paul throughout this whole contest; for, when he left the city, they went with him, Acts xviii. 18. Under these circumstances, it is highly probable that they should be involved in the dangers and persecutions which St. Paul underwent from the Jews, being themselves Jews; and, by adhering to St. Paul in this despute, deserters, as they would be accounted,
of the Jewish cause. Farther, as they, though Jews were assisting to St. Paul in preaching to the Gentiles at Corinth, they had taken a decided part in the great controversy of that day, the admission of the Gentiles to a parity of religious situation with the Jews. For this conduct alone, if there was no other reason, they may seem to have been entitled to thanks from the churches of the Gentiles.” They were Jews taking part with Gentiles.
Yet is all this so indirectly intimated, or rather so much of it left to interference, in the account given in the Acts, that I do not think it probable that a forger either could or would have drawn his representation from thence; and still less probable do I think it, that, without having seen the Acts, he could by mere accident, and without truth for his guide, have delivered a representation so conformable to the circumstances there recorded.
The two congruities last deduced depended upon the time, the two following regard the place, of the epistle.
1. Chap. xvi. 23.“ Erastus, the chamberlain of the city, saluteth you”-of what city? We have seen, that is, we have inferred from circumstances found in the epistle, compared with circumstances found in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the two epistles to the Corinthians, that our epistle was written during St. Paul's second visit to the peninsula of Greece. Again, St. Paul, in his epistle to the church of Corinth, 1 Cor. xvi. 3, speaks of a collection going on in that city, and of his desire that it might be ready against he came thither: and as in this epistle he speaks of that collection being ready, it follows that the epistle was written either whilst he was at Corinth, or after he had been there. Thirdly, since St. Paul speaks in this epistle of his journey to Jerusalem, as about instantly to take place; and as we learn, Acts xx. 3, that his design and attempt was to sail upon that journey immediately from Greece, properly so called, i. e. as distinguished from Macedonia ; it is probable that he was in this country when he wrote the epistle in which he speaks of himself as upon the eve of setting out. If in Greece, ke was most likely at Corinth; for the two Epistles to