« הקודםהמשך »
speedy departure from Rome. He tells the Philippians (ii. 24.), “I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.” Philemon he bids to prepare for him a lodging ; " for I trust,” says he, “that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.” (ver. 22.) In the epistle before us he holds a language extremely different: “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.” (iv. 6-8.)
II. When the former epistles were written from Rome, Timothy was with St. Paul; and is joined with him in writing to the Colossians, the Philippians, and to Philemon. The present epistle implies that he was absent.
III. In the former epistles Demas was with St. Paul at Rome: “ Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you." In the epistle now before us: “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is gone to Thessalonica."
IV. In the former epistles, Mark was with St. Paul, and joins in saluting the Colossians. In the present epistle, Timothy is ordered to bring him with him, “for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” (iv. 11.)
The case of Timothy and of Mark might be very well accounted for, by supposing the present epistle to have been written before the others; so that Timothy, who is here exhorted “to come shortly unto him," (iv. 9.) might have arrived, and that Mark, “whom he was to bring with him," (iv. 11.) might have also reached Rome in sufficient time to have been with St. Paul when the four epistles were written; but then such a supposition is inconsistent with what is said of Demas, by which the posteriority of this to the other epistles is strongly indicated : for in the other epistles Demas was with St. Paul, in the present he hath “forsaken him, and is gone to Thessalonica." sition also of sentiment, with respect to the event of the persecution, is hardly reconcilable to the same imprisonment.
The two following considerations, which were first suggested upon this question by Ludovicus Capellus, are still more conclusive.
1. In the twentieth verse of the fourth chapter, St. Paul informs Timothy,“that Erastus abode at Corinth," Εραστος εμεινεν εν Κορινθω. The form of expression implies, that Erastus had stayed behind at Corinth, when St. Paul left it. But this could not be meant of any journey from Corinth which St. Paul took prior to his first imprisonment at Rome; for when Paul departed from Corinth, as related in the twentieth chapter of the Acts, Timothy was with him: and this was the last time the apostle left Corinth before his coming to Rome; because he left it to proceed on his way to Jerusalem; soon after his arrival at which place he was taken into custody, and continued in that custody till he was carried to Cæsar's tribunal. There could be no need therefore to inform Timothy that “Erastus stayed behind at Corinth" upon this occasion, because if the fact was so, it must have been known to Timothy, who was present, as well as to St. Paul.
2. In the same verse our epistle also states the following article: “ Trophimus have I left at Miletum
When St. Paul passed through Miletum on his way to Jerusalem, as related Acts xx. Trophimus was not left behind, but accompanied him to that city. He was indeed the occasion of the uproar at Jerusalem in consequence of which St. Paul was apprehended; for “they had seen,” says the historian, “before with him in the city, Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.” This was evidently the last time of Paul's being at Miletus before his first imprisonment; for, as hath been said, after his apprehension at Jerusalem, he remained in custody till he was sent to Rome.
In these two articles we have a journey referred to, which must have taken place subsequent to the conclusion of St. Luke's history, and of course after St. Paul's liberation from his first imprisonment. The epistle, therefore, which contains this reference, since it appears from other parts of it to have been written while St. Paul was a prisoner at Rome, proves that he had re
turned to that city again, and undergone there a second imprisonment.
I do not produce these particulars for the sake of the support which they lend to the testimony of the fathers concerning St. Paul's second imprisonment, but to remark their consistency and agreement with one another, They are all resolvable into one supposition: and although the supposition itself be in some sort only negative, viz. that the epistle was not written during St. Paul's first residence at Rome, but in some future imprisonment in that city; yet is the consistency not less worthy of observation: for the epistle touches upon names and circumstances connected with the date and with the history of the frst imprisonment, and mentioned in letters written during that imprisonment, and so touches upon them, as to leave what is said of one consistent with what is said of others, and consistent also with what is said of them in different epistles. Had one of these circumstances been so described as to have fixed the date of the epistle to the first imprisonment, it would have involved the rest in contradiction, And when the number and particularity of the articles which have been brought together under this head are considered; and when it is considered also, that the comparisons we have formed amongst them, were in all probability neither provided for, nor thought of, by the writer of the epistle, it will be deemed something very like the effect of truth, that no invincible repugnancy is perceived between them.
No. II. In the Acts of the Apostles, in the sixteenth chapter, and at the first verse, we are told that Paul" came to Derbe and Lystra, and behold a certain disciple was there named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman which was a Jewess, and believed ; but his father was a Greek.” In the epistle before us, in the first chapter and at the fourth verse, St. Paul writes to Timothy thus: “Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother
Eunice ; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” Here we have a fair unforced example of coincidence. In the history Timothy was the son of a Jewess that believed :" in the epistle St. Paul applauds “the faith which dwelt in his mother Eunice." In the history it is said of the mother, “ that she was a Jewess, and believed ?” of the father, “that he was a Greek.” Now when it is said of the mother alone “that she believed," the father being nevertheless mentioned in the same sentence, we are led to suppose of the father that he did not believe, i, e. either that he was dead, or that he remained unconverted. Agreeably hereunto, whilst praise is bestowed in the epistle upon one parent, and upon her sincerity in the faith, no potice is taken of the other. The mention of the grandmother is the addition of a circumstance not found in the history; but it is a circumstance which, as well as the names of the parties, might naturally be expected to be known to the apostle, though overlooked by his historian.
No, III. Chap. iii. 15. “And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation."
This verse discloses a circumstance which agrees exactly with what is intimated in the quotation from the Acts, adduced in the last number.
In that quota tion it is recorded of Timothy's mother, “that she was a Jewess.” This description is virtually, though, I am satisfied, undesignedly, recognised in the epistle, when Timothy is reminded in it, “that from a child he had known the Holy Scriptures.” “The Holy Scriptures" undoubtedly meant the Scriptures of the Old Testament. The expression bears that sense in every place in which it occurs. Those of the New had not yet acquired the name; not to mention that in Timothy's childhood, probably, none of them existed. In what manner then could Timothy have known “from a child" the Jewish Scriptures, had he not been born, on one side or on both, of Jewish paren e?
rhaps he was not less likely to be carefully instructed in them, for that his mother alone professed that religion.
No. IV. Chap. ii. 22. “Flee also youthful lusts; but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
“ Flee also youthful lusts." The suitableness of this precept to the age of the person to whom it is addressed, is gathered from 1 Tim. iv. 12.: “Let no man despise thy youth.” Nor do I deem the less of this coincidence, because the propriety resides in a single epithet; or because this one precept is joined with, and followed by, a train of others, not more applicable to Timothy than to any ordinary convert. It is in these transient and cursory allusions that the argument is best founded. When a writer dwells and rests upon a point in which some coincidence is discerned, it may be doubted whether he himself had not fabricated the conformity, and was endeavouring to display and set it off. But when the reference is contained in a single word, unobserved perhaps by most readers, the writer passing on to other subjects, as unconscious that he had hit upon a correspondency, or unsolicitous whether it were remarked or not, we may be pretty well assured that no fraud was exercised, no imposition intended.
No. V. Chap. iii. 10, 11. “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me."
The Antioch here mentioned was not Antioch the capital of Syria, where Paul and Barnabas resided “a long time;" but Antioch in Pisidia, to which place Paul and Barnabas came in their first apostolic progress, and where Paul delivered a memorable discourse, which is preserved in the thirteenth chapter of the Acts. At this Antioch the history relates, that the “Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised per