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A further account of the occurrences of the times,
and of the persons named. g. 1. I HAVE already observed that there are but very few histories of the transactions of this period which have escaped the injury of time, and are come down safe to us. Those few are very short, and give us but an imperfect view of affairs even of the greatest consequence, and are often entirely silent with regard to what passed in several distant provinces. No wonder therefore if we learn not from them that Sergius Paulus was some part of this time proconsul of Cyprus. If I mistake not, there is no mention made in any history now extant, excepting the book of Acts 5, of any one thing that happened in this province, or of any governor of it, during this whole period. However, it is worth observing that St. Luke has given the true title to the governor of this province: for although it was a prætorian province', yet, the government of it being in the disposal of the people, Dio assures " us, and we have abundant instances in other authors v to confirm us in the truth of what he says, that the governor was called proconsul. It is true, Augustus
s Ch. xiii. + Vid. Strab. I. 14. fin. p. 685. et l. 17. fin.
• L. 54. P. 523. Vid. et Suet. Aug. c. 47. et Dio, l. 53. p. 503, 504, 505.
Crete, Achaia, and Gallia Narbonensis, were, all three, prætorian provinces; and yet are, in exact conformity to the words of Dio and Suetonius, said to be under proconsuls. Vid. Strab. 1. 17. fin. Tacit. Annal. 1. 3. C. 38. 1. 1. c. 76. et Hist. 1. 1. C. 48.
Cæsar, in dividing the provinces between himself and the people, at first retained Cyprus to himself, and it was governed by an officer sent by him, called the lieutenant of Cæsar, and proprætor; but afterwards he gave it to the people in lieu of a province of theirs, and then the governor sent thither was named proconsul*, in exact agreement with St. Luke: for the word we have translated deputyy is that made use of by the Greek writers to signify
$. 2. And although the province of Greece or Achaia was, at the division made by Augustus, granted to the people ?, yet afterwards under Tiberius, at the entreaty of the province itself, was it taken into the emperor's care, and governed by his lieutenant, who was proprætora. But in the fourth year of the emperor Claudius it was restored to the people, and the title of the Roman governor was again that of proconsul b. The emperor Nero, who succeeded him, took it from the people a second time, and made the Grecians a free people. If we inquire into the time when St. Paul was brought before Gallio at Corinth, we shall find it to be the latter end of the reign of Claudius, probably in his thirteenth or fourteenth year d, when, according to Suetonius, Dio, and Pausanias, it was a Roman pro
* Dio, l. 53. p. 504, a. et l. 54. p. 523, b. y Acts xiii. 7. Dio, l. 52. p. 503. D. Strab. 1. 17. fin. a Tacit. Ann. l. 1. c. 76. b Suet. Claud. c. 25, 10. et 42, 3. Dio, l. 60. p.
680, e. Pausan. Achaic. p. 222. (Han. 428.)
c Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. 4. c. 6. (vol. 1. p. 196. 4, 5, ult. ed.) Pausan. loco citato. Philostrat. Apoll. v. 14. Suet. Vespas. c. 8.
d Vid. Annal. Paul. p. 13.
vince belonging to the people. It is with the greatest accuracy therefore, you see, that the Roman governor at this time is said by St. Luke to be proconsul of Achaia; for so the word we render deputy properly signifies e: and this is the more remarkable, because several of the classic authors, when writing of events that happened not long before this time, have been mistaken in the titles they have given to governors of provinces, as is abundantly proved by Pitiscus in his notes on Suetonius f, and cardinal Norisius in his Cenotaphium Pisanum 8, and many other learned writers.
The historians of this time say little or nothing of the affairs of Achaia, nor do they tell us who was governor of this province under the emperor Claudius. But there is very great probability that Gallio, mentioned by St. Luke as proconsul, was no other than the brother of Seneca the moral philosopher, whose writings are so well known amongst us. Learned men are generally of this opinion : and as there is no one thing, that I know of, which renders it unlikely, so there are many things concurring which may induce us to believe it. That Marcus Annæus Seneca the rhetorician had three sons, named Novatus, Seneca, and Mela, appears from the dedication of his Book of Controversies to them : that Novatus the eldest changed his name for Gallio", (probably as having been adopted by Junius
e Acts xviii. 12. | Vid. in Aug. C. 3. n. 16. and the persons cited there. 8 Dissert. 2. c. 11. in the last edition, tom. 3. p. 327, 328.
h Compare the dedication of Marcus Seneca with Eusebius's Chron. Tacit. Annal. 1. 16, 17. Dio, 1. 61. p. 689. et 1. 62. p. 713. Compare what Seneca says to his mother Helvia, de Con
Gallio, so frequently mentioned in Seneca the father's works, and often called by him ouri Gallio,) sufficiently appears from the writings of the two Senecas, Tacitus, Dio, and Eusebius : that he attained to the honours of the Roman state, is fully evident from what Seneca the philosopher writes to his mother Helviak, in order to comfort her in his own absence, being at that time under sentence of banishment in the isle of Corsica: that he had been in Achaia also, seems no less evident from one of Seneca's Epistles': that his temper and manners were every way agreeable to what is said of him in the history of the Acts m, we learn from the character given him by his brother Seneca ".
That he took not cognisance of the cause which was brought before him proceeded not from his stupidity, indolence, or negligence, but from his strict adherence to the Roman laws. Some indeed, of late, have represented him as entertaining an opinion that the civil magistrate had nothing to do in matters of religion. But this is a thought that never entered a Roman heart; and such must be entire
sol. c. 16. “ Respice fratres meos—alter honores industria con“ secutus est, alter sapienter contempsit,” with what Tacitus relates, Ann. 1. 16, 17; “Mela, quibus Gallio et Seneca parentibus “ natus, petitione honorum abstinuerat,” &c. Vid. et Ann. I. 15. 73. et Senec. de Vita Beata, pr. et Nat. Quæst. I. 4. præf. i M. Annæi Senec. Controv. 13. et frequenter alibi.
Ep. 104. pr. Vid. Lips. ad Tac. Ann. I. 2. 87. Excur. P. where he proves that the title Dominus was given to fathers, brothers, and others.
m Acts xviii. 12, &c.
n Nat. Quæst. 1. 4. præf. Vid. Selden's Letter to Bishop Usher, vol. 4. p. 1712.
strangers to the history of that great and flourishing people, who can impute this their novel invention to any wise and good Roman. It is well known that the affairs of religion were always a principal part of the care of the Roman magistrates and senate ; and as they had many laws on that subject, so we frequently read of their execution. The true reason why Gallio did not interpose in the affair brought before him, was because the senate and emperors had by various decrees °, and particularly the then reigning emperor Claudius, allowed the Jews every where under their dominion to govern themselves according to their own laws in all matters of religion P. This being such, he esteemed it not of his cognisance; therefore he says, I will be no judge of such matters?: had you accused this man of injustice, violence, or crimes against the state, I would willingly have heard you ; but I am not sent here as a judge of your religious differences; these are to be rectified amongst yourselves. The accusation brought against St. Paul by the Jews was, that he persuaded men to worship God contrary to their lawr. Of this themselves were to determine, not the Roman governor. The speech which Porcius Festus makes to king Agrippa in the like case may help to clear this: They brought no accusations of such things as I supposed, but had certain ques. tions against him of their own superstition : and because I doubted of such manner of questions, that is, did not think them to appertain to my jurisdiction, I asked him, whether he would go to Jeru
• Vid. Joseph. Antiq. 1. 14. C. 10. 5. 2. et 23. 1. 16. c. 2. §. 3. c. 6. §. 2. P Ibid. 1. 19. c. 5. §. 2, 3.
4 Acts xviii, 15.
Acts xviii. 13