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decisive of the point I have so long endeavoured to establish, I have reserved them for the last ; because it is next to impossible to prove their reality otherwise than by referring the reader to the epistles themselves, and forming on them a continued comment. Detached passages, separated from the entire context, would be very inconclusive proofs; because thus separated that coherence becomes indiscernable, which in the original was conspicuous; or should it be apparently preserved, it might be suspected that it was only apparently, as a connection might seem to be given to the quoted passages, which the context perhaps would shew to be imaginary and overstrained. But the existence of such coherence and consistency is not less real, or their conclufiveness, as to the apostle's total freedom from fanaticism, less certain, because they cannot be drawn out in words, or shewn any other way than by a reference to the epistles themselves.
I would remark however that all the characters we have hitherto noticed, which were most capable of being illustrated by particular examples, lead us to presume that these also would be found. Close reasoning, and consistent doctrines, are no more than we should expect from a writer, who, as has been shewn, adapts his manner exactly to the relation he bears to those whom he addresses; who never afsumes an authority beyond what he may justly claim, and safely exercise—who cloaths even his severest rebukes, and strictest prohibitions, in language the most mild and conciliating—who, though warm, and zealous, and vehement, is ever softened by charity, and controuled by discretion; and such undoubtedly was St. Paul.
It seems to me almost wholly unneceffary to multiply further proofs of St. Paul's freedom from enthusiasm ; I will only remind my reader of his caution to preserve his epistles from being counterfeited, and to secure them an immediate reception from the churches to which they were addressed. By writing
1 Cor. xvi. 21. The falutation of me, Paul, with mine own hand.
Gal. vi. 11. Ye fee how large a letter. I have written unto you with mine own hand.
Ephef. vi. 21. But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother, and faithful minister in the Lord, fhall make known to you all things; whom I have fent unto you, for the same purpose, that ye might know oịr affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
Phil. iv. 15. Now, ye Philippians, know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me in giving and receiving, but ye only; for even at Thessalonica ye sent once, and again, to my neceflity :--and verse 18, I am full, havin received of Epaphroditus the things from you. Coloff. iv. 7. All my affairs shall Tychicus declare unto you, whom I have sent for the same purpose. Ib. 16. When this epistle is read amongst you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that ye read the epistle from Laodicea. The falutation by the liand of me, Paul. Remember my bonds. i Thef. v. 27. I charge you by the Lord, that this epifle be read unto all the holy brethren. . 2. Thef. ii. 17. The falutation of Paul, with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle. 2 Tim. iv. 9. Do thy di
ligence These circumstances, and a variety of others, stated in this chapter; and above all, those coincidences so lately brought into notice by the critical ingenuity of Archdeacon Paley, in his Horz Pauline, seem to prove, I had almost said to demonstration, the genuineness of St. Paul's epistles, and the reality of the transactions to which he alludes, and by consequence the truth of the whole history of the first promulgation of Christianity.
them with his own handmor by annexing a signature and closing salutation, in his own hand-by
ligence to come shortly unto me:-—verse 10. Demas hath forsaken me, &c. only Luke is with me ; take Mark and bring him with thee. The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest bring with thee, and the books; but especially the parchments :-and 21. Do thy diligence to become before winter, &c. The whole chapter should be read, as a proof of the genuineness and natural strain of the epiftle. Tit. i. 5. For this cause left 1 the Crete, &c. Tit. iii. 12. When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto Nicopolis, for I have determined there to winter ; bring Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollos, on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
Philemon 22. Withal prepare me 'à lodging ; for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
The epistle to the Hebrews, in which such particulars as these do not occur, was probably on that account, not universally received by the caution of some early Christians, though on enquiry it was afterwards received on sufficient proof. As it was not, however, necessary for my purpose, I have made little or no use of it in my arguments on this subject. The absence, however, of any direct avowal of St. Paul's, being himself the writer, and of such particulars as might discover him to the readers, may have been designed, according to the opinion of Clement of Alexandria, as cited by Eusebius, “ writing to the “ Hebrews, who had conceived a prejudice against him, and “ were ever fuspicious of him, he wisely declined setting his
charging that his epistles be read publicly to all the holy brethren, and carried to be read from one church to another by joining in the superscription and the falutation, the names of the chief ministers, and most respectable individuals of the church from whence he wrote, and of the church to which he wrote, and sending them by chosen meffengers, whom he names—by his mixing private and domestic circumstances and counsels with his religious instructions to his friends : such circumstances as these strongly confirm the freedom of the apostle from that wild enthusiasm, which, wrapt up in extacies and mysteries, neglects all precautions, and despises all concerns necessary to be attended to in the common course of life: but they serve a still more valuable purpose, they establish beyond doubt, that these epistles could never have gained any credit in the Christian world, if they had not been acknowledged by the respective churches, to which they were addressed, from the very period when they were said to have been sent to them; and that these churches could not possibly be deceived in attributing them to the apostle at that period. If they consisted only of
name at the beginning, least he should offend them."-Vid. Lardner, vol. 6, p. 411, edit. of 1788. Hence, as it
appears. to me, he gives them fcarce any intimation of the author till. towards the clofe of the epiftle, and even then obscurely, and with apparent apprehension. “I beseech ye brethren suffer the “ word of exhortation ; for I have written a letter unto you in
a few words: know ye that our brother Timothy, is set at “ liberty, with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you."
general advice and exhortations, we might, perhaps, admit a possibility of deception ; but when they were addressed to particular persons, faid to be at one time at a particular place-carried by a special messenger, who is named-marked with a certain signature, supposed to be known to the people .addressed, specifying certain particulars which they are requested to perform, and referring to letters received from, and conversations held with them, how utterly impossible a forgery should gain credit with these immediate proofs of its own falsity! If it appeared at the time it was said to be written, would not the persons to whom it was addressed immediately reply, we see not the messenger by whom it is said to be broughtwe know not this signature-we will wait till the apostle performs these promises here made, in person --we know nothing of the letters from us, and the conversations with us, to which he alludes. If we fuppose it to be produced at a period subsequent to that at which it states itself to be written, the difficulties against it would encrease a thousand fold; what would be the obvious answer? we never heard of this before; if it was written, and sent by the apostle from a particular place, by a special messenger, so long ago, where has it lain since? In short, the epistles of St. Paul carry with them internal marks of authenticity and sobriety, which render it utterly inconceivable they should be the offspring of forgery or fanaticism,