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foundation of the Epistles ascribed to him. We shall pay a little more attention to his character and writings.
Paul was evidently a man of no small capacity, a fiery temper, great subtilty, and considerably well versed in Jewish Traditionary, and Cabbalistic Learning, and not unacquainted with the principles of the Philosophy called 56 the Oriental.” He is said by Luke to have been converted to Christianity by a splendid apparition of Jesus, who struck him to the ground by the glory of his appearance. But by the Jews and the Nazarene Christians, he is represented as having been converted to Christianity from a different cause. They says that being a man of tried abilities and of some note, he demanded the High Priest's daughter in marriage, and being refused, his rash and rageful temper, and a desire of revenge, drove him to join the “ sect of the Nazarenes," at that time beginning to become troublesome to the Sanhedrim. However this may be, whether he became a Christian from conviction, or from ambition ; it is certain from the Acts that he always was considered by the Jewish Christians, as a suspected character ; and it is evident that he taught a different Doctrine from that promulgated by the twelve apostles. And this was the true cause of the great difficulty he was evidently under of keeping steady to him his Gentile converts. For it is evident from the Epistles to the Galatians, and the Corinthians, that the Jewish Christians represented Paul to them as not “ sound in the Faith," but as teaching a different Doctrine from that of the Twelve, and so influential were these representations, that Paul had the greatest difficulty in keeping them to his System.
That there were two Parties, or Schools in the first Christian church, viz. the adherents of the Apostles, and the Disciples of Paul, is evident from the New Testament, and has been fully, and unanswerably proved by the learned, Semler, the greatest Scholar certainly in Christian Antiquities that ever lived. The knowledge of this secret accounts.for the different conduct of Pau! when among his Gentile converts, from that which he pursued when with the apostles at Jerusalem. He had
a difficult part to act, and he managed admirably. He was indeed, as he says himself,“ all things to all men," a Jew with the Jews, and as one uncircumcised among the uncircumcised. To the Jews, he asserted, that he 6 taught nothing contrary to the Law, and the Prophets,” and when brought before the Sanhedrin for teachiing otherwise than he said, he dexterously got himself out of tribulation, by throwing a bone of contention among the Council, and setting his Judges together by the ears. 66 And when Paul perceived that the one part (of the Council) were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the Council : Brethren I am a Pharisee, and the son of a Pharisee ; concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead, I am now judged. And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees, and the Sadducees, and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both. And there was a great cry, and the Seribes that were on the part of the Pharisees arose and strove, say. ing, We find no evil in this man. &c.” This indeed was a masterly maneuvre, and produced the desired ef. fect; and Paul by this shows his knowledge of the human heart, in trusting to make his Judges forget what he was accused of, by making an appeal to their sectarian passions. For in truth, he was not accused concerning bis opinion about the hope, and the resurrec. tion of the dead.” But for the following cause, as his accusers vociferated (in the xxi. ch. when they seized him in the Temple, " Men of Israel, Help! This is the man, who teacheth all men every where against the people, and the Law, and this place.”
These strokes of character enable us to understand the man : And I shall now go into the consideration of some of the arguments he has deduced from passages in the Old Testament in support of his opinions, after premising; that the truth of the story of the manner of his conversion depends entirely upon his own assertion ; and whether his credibility be absolutely unimpeachable, can be easily determined by an impartial consideration of the history of his conduct already mentioned. I will only add upon this subject, that in telling the story of his conversion, he onght to have had a better memory. For in telling it once in the xxvi. ch. of Acts, he says, in describing his miraculous vision, that “ those that were with me, saw indeed the light, and were afraid, but heard not the words of him that spake to me," and thus he directly contradicts the story of it recorded in Acts ix. where it is said “ that the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but seeing no one."
In the 9 ch. of the Epistle to the Romans, v. 24. He thus proves that the Old Testament prophecied of the conversion of the Gentiles to the Gospel" Even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles, as he saith also in Hosea “I will call them my people, which were not my people ; an:l her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, ye are not my people, there shall they be called the sons of the living God.”—Is not this to the purpose ? yet in applying this passage to the Gentiles, Paul has wilfully, (yes wilfully, for Paul was a learned man, and knew better) perverted the original from its proper reference, and has passed upon his simple converts, who did not know so much of the Jewish Scriptures, as he did, a prophecy relating entirely to the Jews, as referring to the Gentiles !! By turning to Hosea, Reader, you will find this to be verily the case ; here is the passage. " Then said God, call his name (Hosea's son) Loammi, for ye (the Israelites) are not my people, and I will not be your God, yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be meas. ured, nor numbered. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, ye are not my people, there shall it be said unto them, ye are the sons of the living God.” Hos. ch. 1.
Again v. 33. “ As it is written, Behold I lay in Zi. on a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, and eve. ry one who believeth in him shall not be ashamed.” Here Paul has pieced two passages together, which in the original are disconnected. For in the 8 ch. of Is. it is written, “ Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And
he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumb. ling, and for a rock of offence, to both the houses of Israel, for a gin, and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” And in the 28 ch. it is written, “ therefore thus saith the Lord God. Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation, he that believeth shall not be ashamed." (or disappointed) Here you see Reader, that he jams two distant passages together no ways related ; and alters some words, and applies them to Jesus, with whom, it appears froin the context of Isaiah, they have no concern.
Ch. x. v. 6. 66 The scripture saith, say not in thine heart, “ who shali ascend into Heaven ?'(that is that he may bring down Jesus from above,) again, 'who shall descend into the abyss ? (that is, that he may bring up Jesus from the dead.) But what saith it? • The word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in in thy heart.' (that is the word of Faith which we speak.) For if thou confess Jesus with thy mouth, and believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Here you will see another instance of misapplication of Scripture by Paul, ini order to dazzle the eyes of bis simple, and credulous converts, for let any one look at the place in the Scrip. ture whence the quotation is taken and he will immediately see the inapplicability of the words, and the a. dulteration of those of the original, in order to make them apply. For the Scripture quoted speaks of, and refers to penitence, and not at all about believing on, or bringing down Jesus from Heaven, or up from the dead; for here are the words, Deut. 30.-" If thou be converted to the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy miud.”-Immediately is subjoined For this Law which I command you this day is not far from thee; neither is it afar off. It is not in Heaven, that thou shouldst say, who shall ascend for us into Heaven, that he may bring it unto us, and declare it to us that we might do it," &c. The sense of the whole is, that God wills us to repent of sin; and that you may know when you have sinned, you have only to look at his Law,
which is not in Heaven, nor afar off, but is put in your own hands, and is perfectly familiar with your heart, and lips.
1 Cor. ch. v. 1. Paul accuses one of the Christians of the church of Corinth of the crime of incest, because he had married his step-mother, and orders them to excommunicate him. But Paul, in all his Epistles and teachings to the Gentiles, pronounced them free from the Law of Moses. Wherefore then for the violation of one of those Laws interdicting such a marriage does he so vehemently blame them? Such a marriage is not forbidden in the Gospel, it was forbidden to them no where in the Scriptures but in the Mosaic Code. Therefore Paul must have founded his judgment against the criminal upon the dictum of that Law in such cases. Paul puts the man under a curse ; and it is the Mosaic Law which says Deut. 27. 6 Cursed is he who lieth with his Father's wife.” It seems therefore that Jesus did not deliver his followers from 5 the curse of the Law," as Paul taught them it did in Gal. ii. 13.
Ch. 10. 1 Cor. “ and let us not pollute ourselves with fornication as some of them were polluted, and fell in one day to the number of twenty three thousand.' Here is a blunder, for it is written “twenty four thousand" Num. 25.
Gal, iii, 13. Paul says, “ Christ hath redeemed us froin the curse of the Law being made a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” What he says of the Christ, or the Messiah redeeming from the curses written in the Law, that by no means agrees with truth. For no Jew can be freed from the curses of the Law, but by repenting of his sins, and becoming obedient to it. And in alledging the words 66 cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree," from Deut. 21, he as usual applies them irrelevantly.
Paul says, Gal. iii. 10. “ For as many as are of the works of the Law are under the curse, for it is written,
Deut. xxvii. 26.7 6. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the Book of the Law to do them.” And he interprets this to mean that all mankind, Jews and Gentiles, are liable to Danmation, (except those who are saved by Faith) because no man