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xiv.]

ST. PAUL REMAINS AT ROME FOR TWO YEARS.

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and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and J, P. 4775.

V. Æ. 62. 18 six months ". And he prayed again, and the heaven gave raino, 19 and the earth brought forth her fruit. Brethren, Pif any of Jerusalem. 20 you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, o 1 Kings

that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way Matt. xviii.
shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of 15.
sins.
§ 15. St. Paul remains at Rome for two Years, during which time the
Jews do not dare to prosecute him before the Emperor 31.

ACTS xxviii. 30, 31.
And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, 30 Rome.

31

ON ST. LUKE'S GOSPEL. The Gospel of St. Matthew, as has been shown was most probably written during the first or Pauline persecution of the Church, when the Gospel was preached to the Jews only. That of St. Mark under the inspection of St. Peter, in the second or Herodian persecution, when the Gospel was preached to the proselytes. The fitness of these Gospels to the periods to which the best remaining testimony refers their publication, is an additional evidence that they were then made known. The time had now arrived when the Gospel had been preached over the greater part of the world, by the most learned, and most laborious of the apostles of our Lord. St.Paul had now preached to the idolatrous Gentiles for many years, and it is not probable that the numerous converts of this description, who were now added to the Church, should be left without an authentic statement of the facts of Christianity. St. Luke had been long the companion of St. Paul. As he was a learned man, being a physician, he was evidently well qualified to give an account of the labours and travels of the apostle, and to write also an account of the life of their common Master. Whether Luke was, according to Dr. Lardner, a Jew by birth, and an early convert to Christianity; or, according to Michaelis, a Gentile, (see Coloss. iv. 10, 11. 14. where St. Paul distinguishes Aristarchus, Marcus, and Jesus, who was called Justus, from Epaphras, Lucas, and Demas, who were of the circumcision, i. e. Jews) or whether he was one of the Seventy, is uncertain. He is the only Evangelist who mentions the commission given by Christ to the Seventy, (chap. x. 1—20.) It is likely he is the Lucius mentioned Rom. xvi. 21. and if so, he was related to the apostle Paul, and is the Lucius of Cyrene who is mentioned Acts xiii. I. and in general with others, Acts xi. 20. Some of the ancients, and some of the most learned and judicious among the moderns, think he was one of the two whom our Lord met on the way to Emmaus, on the day of his resurrection, as related Luke xxiv. 13–35 ; one of these was called Cleopas, ver. 18. the other is not mentioned, the Evangelist himself being the person and the relator.

St. Paul styles him his fellow-labourer, (Philemon, ver. 24.) It is generally believed that he is the person mentioned, Col. iv. 14. “Luke, the beloved physician.” All the ancients of repute, as Eusebius, Gregory Nyssen, Jerome, Paulinus, Euthalius, Euthymius, and others, agree that he was a physician; but where he was born, and where he exercised the duties of his profession, is not known.

He accompanied St. Paul when he first went into Macedonia, Acts xvi. 8–40 ; xx ; xxvii. and xxviii

. Whether he went with him constantly afterwards is not certain ; but it is evident he accompanied him from Greece, through Macedonia and Asia, to Jerusalem, where he is supposed to have collected many particulars of the evangelic history ; from Jerusalem he went with Paul to Rome, where he staid with him the two years of his imprisonment. This alone makes out the space of five years, and upwards.

Though there have been various opinions respecting the date of St. Luke's Gospel, it has generally been referred to this period.

Dr. Owen and others refer it to the year 53, while Jones, Michaelis, Lardner, and the majority of biblical critics, assign it to the year 63, or 64, which date appears to be the true one, and corresponds with the internal characters of time exhibited in the Gospel itself. But it is not so easy to ascertain the place where it was written. Jerome says that Luke, the third Evangelist, published his Gospel in the countries of Achaja and Bæotia. Gregory Nazianzen also says, that Luke wrote for the Greeks, or in Achaia. Grotius states, that about the time when Paul left Rome, Luke departed to Achaia, where he wrote the books we now have. Dr. Cave was of opinion that they were at Rome before the termination of Paul's captivity; but Drs. Mill, Grabe, and Wetstein, affirm that this Gospel was published at Alexandria in Egypt, in opposition to the Pseudo Gospel, circulated

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ORIGIN OF THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS.

[PART

J. P. 4775. and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom 31 V. Æ 62, of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord

Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

Roine.

PART XV.

Italy,

From the commencement of the Fifth and last Journey of St. Paul,

to the Completion of the Canon of the whole Scriptures; with a brief Survey of the History of the Christian Church to the present

time. $ 1. St. Paul, while waiting in Italy for Timothy, writes the Key to the

Old Testament, the Epistle to the Hebrews , to prove to the Jews, from

1

among the Egyptians. Dr. Lardner has examined these various opinions at considerable length, and concludes that upon the whole, there is no good reason to suppose that St. Luke wrote his Gospel at Alexandria, or that he preached at all in Egypt: on the contrary, it is more probable that when he left Paul he went into Greece, and there composed or finished and published his Gospel, and the Acts of the Apostles. That St. Luke wrote his Gospel for the benefit of the Gentile converts, is affirmed by the unanimous voice of Christendom; and it also may be inferred from his dedicating it to one of his Gentile converts. This indeed appears to have been its peculiar design ; for, writing to those who were far remote from the scene of action, and ignorant of Jewish affairs, it was requisite that he should descend to many particulars, and touch on various points, which would have been unnecessary, had he written exclusively for the Jews. On this account he begins his history with the birth of John the Baptist (Luke i. 5–80.) as introductory to that of Christ; and in the course of it he notices several particulars mentioned by St. Matthew (Luke i. 1—9, &c.) Hence also he is particularly careful in specifying various circumstances of facts which were highly conducive to the information of strangers, but which it would not have been necessary to recite to the Jews, who could easily supply them from their own knowledge.

ON THE ORIGIN AND DATE OF THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. We are informed by some of the early fathers, that the Ebionites not only rejected the Epistles of St. Paul, but reviled the apostle himself as a Greek and an apostate. As the Ebionites would probably retain by tradition many of the opinions of the Hebrew Christians, we may infer that his own countrymen reproached St. Paul with the same appellations. They would charge him with abandoning his principles, and following the general custom of apostates, of opposing with virulence and bitterness the religion he had once defended. St. Paul well knew, that it would be useless to assert his sincerity to those who still retained the opinions he had relinquished : or to place before them the essential difference between forsaking the religious system in which a man has been edocated, from caprice or interest ; and forsaking it from a deep conviction of its falsehood, founded upon deliberate, impartial, and serious examination of its evidences. In his imprisonment at Rome be had repeatedly discussed with the Jews the question of Christianity, and in many instances without effect. Where we do not convince, we generally incur reproach; and this was evidently the case with St. Paul. He did not therefore attempt to remove the impressions which had been circulated to his prejudice ; he wrote only a full and explicit statement of the doctrines and truths of the Christian religion contained in this masterly Epistle to the Hebrews. Here he proves the Deity of Christ, and the superior excellency of his Gospel when compared with the institutions of Moses, which were now abolished. That he might not excite prejudice against this masterly compendium of Christian truth, he omits his usual style of address. He mentions neither his name nor his apostolic functions. Addressing the Epistle to the Hebrews generally, in whatever part of the world they were to be found, though more especially the Hebrews of Palestine ; he writes anonymously, and neither directs his Epistle from any place, nor sends it to any particular Church by a special messenger. The omission of his name, too, is further satisfactorily accounted for by Clemens Alexandrinus and Jerome. St. Paul would here intimate that as Jesus Christ himself was the peculiar apostle to the Hebrews, (as acknowledged in this Epistle, chap. iii. 1.) St. Paul declined through humility to assume the title of an apostle.--- See Lardner, vol. ii. p. 211. vi. p. 411, 412. To which Theodoret adds, that St. Paul being peculiarly the apostle of the uncircumcision, as the rest were of the circumcision (Gal. ii. 9; Rom. xi. 13.) he scrupled to assume any public character when xv.]

THE EPISTLE ADDRESSED TO ALL JEWS.

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their own Scriptures, the Humanity, Divinity, Atonement, and Interces. J. P.4775. sion of Christ, the Superiority of the Gospel to the Law, and the real V. Æ. 62. Object and Design of the Mosaic Institutions.

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writing to their department, that he might not be thought forward or obtrusive, as if wishing “to build upon another's foundation," which he always disclaimed (Rom. xv. 20. Lardner, ii. p. 412.) He did not mention his name, messenger, or particular persons to whom it was sent, because, as Lardner judiciously remarks, such a long letter might give umbrage to the ruling powers at this crisis, when the Jews were most turbulent, and might endanger himself, the messenger, and those to whom it was directed. But they might know the author easily by the style and writing, and even from the messenger, without any formal notice or superscription.

Clement of Alexandria, Jerome, Euthalius, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, and other fathers, were of opinion that the Epistle to the Hebrews was sent more particularly to the converted Jews living in Judæa, who in the apostle's days were called Hebrews, io distinguish them from the Jews in the Gentile countries, who were called Hellenists or Grecians (Acts vi. I; ix. 29; xi. 20.) The opinion of these learned fathers is adopted by Beza, Louis Capel, Carpzov, Drs. Lightfoot, Whitby, Mill

, Lardner, and Macknight, Bishops Pearson and Tomline, Hallet, Rosenmüller, Scott, and others. Michaelis considers it as written for the use of the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem and in Palestine ; and observes that it is a question of little or no moment, whether it was sent to Jerusalem alone, or to other cities in Palestine; because that this Epistle, though it was intended for the use of Jewish converts at Jerusalem, must equally have concerned the other Jewish converts in that country. This very ancient opinion is corroborated by the contents of the Epistle itself, in which we meet with many things peculiarly suitable to the believers in Judæa.

1st. In this Epistle the apostle does not, according to his usual practice, make frequent exhortations to brotherly love and unity, because it was sent to Christian communities in Palestine, which consisted wholly of Jewish converts. It is true that the author speaks of brotherly love (xiii. 1.) where he says, “Let brotherly love continue;" but he speaks only in general terms, and says nothing of unity between Jewish and Heathen converts. Moreover, he uses the word "continue," which implies that no disunion had actually taken place among its members.

2ndly. The persons to whom it was addressed were evidently in imminent danger of falling back from Christianity to Judaism, induced partly by a severe persecution, and partly by the false arguments of the false Rabbins. This could hardly have happened to several communities at the same time, in any other country than Palestine, and therefore we cannot suppose it of several communities of Asia Minor, to which, in the opinion of some commentators, the Epistle was addressed. Christianity enjoyed from the tolerating spirit of the Roman laws and the Roman magistrates, throughout the empire in general, so much religious liberty, that out of Palestine it would have been difficult to have effected a general persecution. But, through the influence of the Jewish Sanhedrim in Jerusalem, the Christians in that country underwent several severe persecutions, especially during the high-priesthood of the younger Ananus, when St. James and other Christians suffered martyrdom.

3rdly. In the other Epistles of St. Paul, more particularly those to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, we shall find there is no apprehension of any apostasy to Judaism, and still less of blasphemy against Christ, as we find in the sixth and tenth chapters of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The two passages of this epistle (vi. 6; x. 29.) which relate to blasphemy against Christ, as a person justly condemned and crucified, are peculiarly adapted to the communities in Palestine; and it is difficuli to read these passages without inferring that several Christians had really apostatized and openly blasphemed Christ: for it appears from Acts xxvi. 11. that violent measures were taken in Palestine for this very purpose, of which we meet with no traces in any other country at that early age. Neither the Epistles of St. Paul, nor those of St. Peter, furnish any instance of a public renunciation of Christianity and return to Judaism ; and if such an occurrence had taken place, it could not have escaped their most serious attention, and would have extorted their most severe reproofs. The circumstance that several, who still continued Christians, forsook the places of public worship (x.25.) does not occur in any other Epistle, and implies a general and continued persecution, which deterred the Christians from an open confession of their faith. Under these sufferings the Hebrews are comforted by the promised coming of Christ, which they are to await with patience, as being not far distant (x. 25—38). This can be no other than the promised destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. xxiv.) of which Christ himself said (Luke xxi. 28.) “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” Now this coming of Christ was to the Christians in Palestine a deliverance from the yoke with which they were oppressed : but it had no such influence on the Christians of other countries. On the contrary, the first persecution under Nero happened in the year 65, about two years before the commencement of the Jewish war, and the second under Domitian, about five-and-twenty years after the destruction of Jerusalem.

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ON THE AUTHENTICITY OF THIS EPISTLE.

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J.P. 4775.
V. Æ. 62.

$ 1. HEB. i. 1, 2, 3. The Apostle begins by asserting, that the Jewish and Christian revelations were given by

the same God, and infers, therefore, that they must agree together, and explain each

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4thly. According to Josephus several persons were put to death during the high-priesthood of the younger Ananus, about the year 64 or 65. (See Heb. xii. 7.)

5thly. The declarations in Heb. i. 2. and iv. 12. and particularly the exhortation in ii. 144. are peculiarly suitable to the believers of Judæa, where Jesus Christ himself first taught, and his disciples after him, confirming their testimony with very numerous and conspicuous miracles.

6thly. The people to whom this Epistle was sent were well acquainted with our Saviour's sufferings, as those of Judæa must have been. This appears in Heb. i. 3; ii. 9. 18; v. 7, 8; ix. 14. 28 ; x. 11 ; xii. 2, 3; and xiii. 12.

7thly. The censure in v. 12. is most properly understood of Christians in Jerusalem and Judæa, to whom the Gospel was first preached.

8thly. Lastly, the exhortation in Heb. xiii. 12–14. is very difficult to be explained, on the supposition that the Epistle was exclusively written to Hebrews who lived out of Palestine ; for neither in the Acts of the Apostles, nor in the other Epistles, do we meet with an instance of expulsion from the synagogue merely for belief in Christ; on the contrary, the apostles themselves were permitted to teach openly in the Jewish assemblies. But if we suppose that the Epistle was written to Jewish converts in Jerusalem, this passage hecomes perfectly clear, and, Dr. Lardner observes, must bave been very suitable to their case, especially if it was written only a short time before the commencement of the Jewish war, about the year 65 or 66. The Christians, on this supposition, are exhorted to endure their fate with patience, if they should be obliged to retire, or even be ignominiously expelled from Jerusalem, since Christ himself had been forced out of this very city, and bad suffered without its walls. If we suppose, therefore, that the Epistle was written to the Hebrews vi Jerusalem, the passage in question is clear: but on the hypothesis

, that it was written to Hebrews who lived in any other place, the words “Let us go forth with him out of the camp, bearing his reproach,” lose their meaning. The “approaching day,” v. 25. can signify only the day appointed for the destruction of Jerusalem, and the downfal of the Jewish nation ; but this event immediately concerned only the Hebrews of Palestine, and could have no influence in determining the conduct of the inhabitants of any other country.

Michaelis, in an elaborate dissertation (vol. iv. p. 186-268.), has endeavoured to set aside the authenticity of this epistle, by the following positions :

1. That the style is so very different from that of St. Paul in his genuine epistles, that he could not possibly have been the author of this Greek epistle, p. 252.

2. That it was originally written in Hebrew, but whether by St. Paul or not is doubtful, p. 257. 3. That it was early translated into Greek, but by whom is unknown, p. 247.

“An hypothesis,” says Dr. Hales, “ at once so dogmatical and sceptical, calculated to pull down, not to build up or edify; to unsettle the faith of wavering Christians, and to rob this most learned and most highly illuminated apostle of his right and title to the most noble and most finished of all his compositions, and this too upon the paradoxical plea of its acknowledged excellence, both of style and subject (which none assents to more cheerfully than Michaelis, p. 242, 243. 247.) imperiously demands our consideration ;" fortunately, this copious writer has furnished materials in abundana for his own refutation, from which we shall select a few.

I. Objections drawn from dissimilarity of style are often fanciful and fallacious. On the contrary, a striking analogy may be traced between this and the rest of St. Paul's epistles, in the use of singular and remarkable words and compound terms; in the mode of constructing the sentences by long and involved parentheses, &c. with this difference, however, that this being more leisurely written, and better digested in his confinement, is more compressed in its argument, and more polished in its style, than the rest, which were written with all the ease and freedom of epistolary correspondence, often in haste, during his travels.

The following remarkable instances of analogy we owe to Michaelis.

Ch. x. 33. Ocampisóuevoi, is an expression perfectly agreeable to St. Paul's mode of writing, as appears from 1 Cor. iv. 9. But since other writers may likewise have used the same metaphor, the application of it in the present instance shows only that St. Paul might have written the episde to the Hebrews; not that he really did write it, p. 256. But, it is answered, there is a propriety in its use here that fits no other writer but St. Paul; and this by Michaelis's own confession. It is here applied to the apostle's public persecution ; "exposed on a theatre to public revilings and afflictions," exactly corresponding to his complaint to the Corinthians, in the parallel text, Déarpov éyevnenues Tq xóouw, "We were made a theatre to the world ;” and how? the same epistle will inform us afterwards ; after the (barbarous) custom of men, I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus," in the public theatre (1 Cor. xv. 32.), literally, not figuratively; according to the judicious remark of

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CHRIST THE MANIFESTED GLORY OF GOD.

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other— The superiority of the Gospel is asserted, being given by the promised Son of J. P. 4775. God, the appointed heir of all things-Who, being the manifested Glory, and incar. V. Æ. 62. nated representation of the invisible Father Almighty, and sustaining the universe by kis power, having made an atoning sacrifice of himself for the sins of man, had returned Italy.

Benson, supported by Michaelis himself, who assures us, that St. Paul's "deliverance from the lion's mouth" at Rome, afterwards, (2 Tim. iv. 17.) was "not from suffering death by the sword, but from being exposed in the amphitheatre to wild beasts, as several Christians had already been, and in a very cruel manner,” for which he refers to Tacitus, Annal. 15. 44. in his note, p. 176.

Ch. x. 30. 'Euoi ładównous, tyw Åvratroobow, is a quotation from Deut. xxxii. 35. which differs both from the Hebrew text and from the Septuagint: and this passage is again quoted in the very same words, Rom. xii. 19. This agreement in a reading which has hitherto been discovered in no other place, (see the new Orient. Bibl. vol. v. p. 231—236.) might form a presumptive argument, that both quotations were made by the same person; and consequently, that the Epistle to the Hebrews was written by St. Paul. But the argument, says Michaelis, is not decisive ; for it is very possible, that in the first century there were manuscripts with this reading, in Deut. xxxii. 35, from which St. Paul might have copied, in Rom. xii. 19, and the translator of this Epistle, in Heb. x. 38, same page, 256.

A more decided instance of scepticism is rarely to be found. To any other the “presumptive argument” would appear irresistible, not to be overturned by a bare possibility, but a very high improbability ; since this remarkable rendering is to be found in “no other place," but in these two passages, as he himself acknowledges. The present Septuagint reading is found in both the Vatican and Alexandrine, and was probably therefore the original reading of the first century. The apostle's rendering, in both places, is more correct and critical than the Septuagint, in the first clause év ημέρα εκδικήσεως, which is only a paraphrase, not a translation, like his εμοί εκδίκησις, of the Hebrew Oplos, and in the second the joint rendering ávtaroobow is founded on a various reading, Obwx, supported by a parallel verse, Deut. xxxii. 41, and followed not only by the Septuagint, but by the Syriac, Vulgate, and Chaldee. It is therefore greatly superior to the present Mazorele, obvx, " and recompense,” supported only by the Arabic version, and followed by the English Bible, evidently for the worse. And the apostle has further improved upon the Septuagint, in the common term avtatooóow by the emphatic prefix 'Eyw, which makes it stronger, as appropriated to the Almighty, than even the original Hebrew, which wants the personal pronoun.

II. Michaelis asks, “ Why did the author of the Syriac version translate this epistle from the Greek, if the original was in Hebrew ?" p. 231.

The Syriac version was the earliest of all, written in the apostolic age, and in the days of the apostle Adæus, Thaddæus, or Jude, according to the judicious Abulfaragi, and near the end of the first century, according to Michaelis, vol. ii. p. 30. If, then, this most ancient version was translated immediately from the Greek, surely the presumption is infinitely strong, that there was then no Hebrew original. This argument, indeed, furnished by himself, seems decisive also to prove the canonical authority of the Greek Epistle in the judgment of the Syriac translator ; for why should he adopt the Epistle, unless written by the apostle to whom the voice of the Church bad assigned it? Surely John or Jude the apostle would not have suffered it otherwise to have been admitted into the sacred canon, either of the Greek or Syriac Testament.

Assuming it, however, to have been written in Hebrew, Michaelis draws the following objection from a supposed blunder of the translator into Greek, to show that he could not possibly be St. Paul, which most completely recoils upon himself, and proves irrefragably that the Greek was the original, and written by the apostle.

Chap. xii. 18. Ου γαρ προσεληλύθατε ψηλαφωμένη όρει.

22. Αλλά προσεληλύθατε Σιών όρει. “Here,” says he, “the expression õpet Undapwpévą, monti palpabili, which is opposed to Ewy Opel, is certainly a very extraordinary one; and I am wholly unable to give a satisfactory account of it, except on the supposition that the epistle was written in Hebrew. But on this supposition the inaccuracy may be easily assigned. Sinai, or the mountain of Moses, is that which is here opposed to Mount Sion. Now the expression to the mountain of Moses,' is in Hebrew nun 175. This latter word the translator misunderstood, and, instead of reading and taking it for a proper name, he either read by mistake vn, palpatio, or pronounced by mistake ovn, pulpatio. Hence, instead of rendering * to the mountain of Moses,' he rendered to the tangible mountain.'

But this " mountain of Moses” is a creation of his own brain. For “Sinai in Arabia," the mountain here meant by the apostle, pursuing his former allegory, Gal. iv. 24-26. is no where so styled in Scripture, but rather “the mountain of God," Exod. iji. 1, &c. “the mountain of the Lord," Numb. xxx. 33. or “the holy mountain,” Ps. Ixviii. 17. because it was honoured with the presence of the God of Israel. To call it, therefore, by the name of Moses, or indeed of any mortal,

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