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and honourable women and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. (Acts xiii. 50.) Not long after, at Iconium, “a great multitude of the Jews and also the Greeks believed, but the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren." (xiv. 1, 2.) At Lystra there came certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people; and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead." (xiv. 19.) The same enmity, and from the same quarter, our apostle experienced in Greece: "At Thessalonica, some of them (the Jews) believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas: and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few: but the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city in an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people." (Acts xvii. 4, 5.) Their persecutors follow them to Berea: "When the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people." (xvii. 13.) And lastly, at Corinth, when Galio was deputy of Achaia, "the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment-seat." I think it does not appear that our apostle was ever set upon by the Gentiles, unless they were first stirred up by the Jews, except in two instances; in both which the persons who began the assault were immediately interested in his expulsion from the place. Once this happened at Philippi, after the cure of the Pythoness: "When the masters saw the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the market-place unto the rulers." (xvi. 19.) And a second time at Ephesus, at the instance of Demetrius, a
silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, "who called together workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth; moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded away much people, saying, that they be no gods which are made with hands; so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought, but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth."
I observe an agreement in a somewhat peculiar rule of Christian conduct, as laid down in this epistle, and as exemplified in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. It is not the repetition of the same general precept, which would have been a coincidence of little value; but it is the general precept in one place, and the application of that precept to an actual occurrence in the other. In the sixth chapter and first verse of this epistle, our apostle gives the following direction: Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye, which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness." In 2 Cor. ii. 6-8, he writes thus: "Sufficient to such a man" (the incestuous person mentioned in the First Epistle) "is this punishment, which was inflicted of many: so that, contrariwise, ye ought rather to forgive him and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with over-much sorrow: wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love towards him." I have little doubt but that it was the same mind which dictated these two passages.
Our epistle goes farther than any of St. Paul's epistles; for it avows in direct terms the supersession of the Jewish law, as an instrument of
salvation, even to the Jews themselves. Not only were the Gentiles exempt from its authority, but even the Jews were no longer either to place any dependency upon it, or consider themselves as subject to it on a religious account." Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed; wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith; but, after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (iii. 23-25.) This was undoubtedly spoken of Jews and to Jews. In like manner, (iv. 1-5.) "Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father: even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world; but when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." These passages are nothing short of a declaration, that the obligation of the Jewish law, considered as a religious dispensation, the effects of which were to take place in another life, had ceased, with respect even to the Jews themselves. What then should be the conduct of a Jew, (for such St. Paul was,) who preached this doctrine? To be consistent with himself, either he would no longer comply, in his own person, with the directions of the law; or, if he did comply, it would be for some other reason than any confidence which he placed in its efficacy, as a religious institution. Now so it happens, than whenever St. Paul's compliance with the Jewish law is mentioned in the history, it is mentioned in connexion with circumstances which point out the motive from which it proceeded; and this motive appears to have been always exoteric, namely, a love of order and tran
quillity, or an unwillingness to give unnecessary offence. Thus, Acts xvi. 3. "Him (Timothy) would Paul have to go forth with him, and took and circumcised him, because of the Jews which were in those quarters." Again, Acts xxi. 26. when Paul consented to exhibit an example of public compliance with a Jewish rite by purifying himself in the temple, it is plainly intimated that he did this to satisfy "many thousands of Jews who believed, and who were all zealous of the law." So far the instances related in one book, correspond with the doctrine delivered in another.
Chap. i. 18. "Then, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
The shortness of St. Paul's stay at Jerusalem is what I desire the reader to remark. The direct account of the same journey in the Acts, (ix. 23.) determines nothing concerning the time of his continuance there: "And he was with them (the apostles) coming in, and going out, at Jerusalem; and he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him; which, when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Cæsarea." Or rather this account, taken by itself, would lead a reader to suppose that St. Paul's abode at Jerusalem had been longer than fifteen days. But turn to the twenty-second chapter of the Acts, and you will find a reference to this visit to Jerusalem, which plainly indicates that Paul's continuance in that city had been of short duration : "And it came to pass, that when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance, and saw him saying unto me, Make haste, get thee quickly out of Jerusalem, for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me." Here we have the
general terms of one text, so explained by a distant text, in the same book, as to bring an indeterminate expression into a close conformity with a specification delivered in another book: a species of consistency not, I think, usually found in fabulous relations.
Chap. vi. 11. "Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand."
These words imply that he did not always write with his own hand; which is consonant to what we find intimated in some other of the epistles. The Epistle to the Romans was written by Tertius: "I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord." (Chap. xvi. 22.) The First Epistle to the Corinthians, the Epistle to the Colossians, and the Second to the Thessalonians, have all, near the conclusion, this clause; "The salutation of me, Paul, with mine own hand;" which must be understood, and is universally understood, to import, that the rest of the epistle was written by another hand. do not think it improbable that an impostor, who had remarked this subscription in some other epistle, should invent the same in a forgery; but that is not done here. The author of this epistle does not imitate the manner of giving St. Paul's signature; he only bids the Galatians observe how large a letter he had written to them with his own hand. He does not say this was different from his ordinary usage; that is left to implication. Now to suppose that this was an artifice to procure credit to an imposture, is to suppose that the author of the forgery, because he knew that others of St. Paul's were not written by himself, therefore made the apostle say that this was which seems an odd turn to give to the circumstance, and to be given for a purpose which would more naturally and more directly have been answered, by subjoining the salutation