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Julino Pe. in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I perse- Thessalo
nica. Volgar Æra,
2. cuted the church of God, and wasted it:
· I am unwilling to occupy the time of the reader with difficul.
ties and objections, which are not generally known, merely to
refute them. Both these theologians have deviated so widely
from the beaten track, that the Christianity which they have
deduced from the inspired writing3, bears no similarity to that
which is received, and has ever been received, by the Christian
Church. The Protestant Churches have been long divided upon
the question of Church government; the Church of Rome, and
the Protestants in general, have been divided concerning seve-
ral articles of faith and discipline ; but all these have hitherto
maintained, and I trust will long naintain, the doctrines of the
atonement and divinity of Christ; the inspiration of Scripture,
and its freedom from error. Both of these writers deny the
whole of these fundamental truths. Semler considers the New
Testament as any other uninspired book, and expresses his sur-
prise that we should pay regard to the Jewish mythology, which
abounds in it; and Mr. Belsham reproves St. Paul for false and
incorrect reasoning. It is not my wish to direct attention to
these works; one quotation from each which I now subjoin,
will sufficiently justify me in saying, that as the principles upon
which we proceed are so diametrically opposite, it will be better
to réserve for another opportunity the discussion of the good or
evil to be found in their labours (U).
(a) See Mr. Prebendary Gisborne's first sermon on the Epistle to the
Colossians, p. 13, &c. (6) Iren. lib. i. c. 26. Origen. adrer. cels. I. 8.
in fine. Easeb. Hist. Eccl. 1. 3. c. 27. Epiphan. Hæres. 30. sect. xvi.
and xxv. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. 4. c. 29. (c) Tertul. contr. Marc. I. 5.
Epiph. Hæres. 42. (d) Clem. Alexand. Strom. I. 2. p. 383. (e) Euseb.
Hist. Ecc. l. 3. c. 3. (S) Ibid, c. 25—EV rois voors. We have
nothing remaining of this book but a fragment of a line or two, in the
Latin version of a work of Origen, entitled “ Principles,” lib. i. c. 2.
(9) Hieron. de Scrip. Eco. in Paulo. We have eren at this present
day an Epistle of St. Paul's to the Laodiceans, which is nearly of the
size of the Epistle to Philemon, but it is doubtful whether it be that which
St. Jerom had seen. (h) Usser in Notis ad Epis. Ign. ad Tral. Pag. 70.
) Cotel in Notis ad Coast. Apost. lib. vi. c. 26. p. 354. These two Epistles were printed in Armenia, and translated into Latin by Mr. Wilkíns, a learned Englishman. They are very short, and bear manifest marks of supposition. (k) Hieron. De Scrip. Eccl. in Seneca. (1) Hist. Ecc. lib. iii. c. 25.-kai taūra uey év uoleyovuévous. Eusebius in this place speaks of four Gospels, of the Acts of the Apostles, of thirleen Epistles of St. Paul (for we must not here include the Epistle to the Heb
one of St. John, and of one of St. Peter. (m) Epiph. Hæres. 42. The Epistle to the Galatians was the first in the Apostolic of Marcion : the Epistle to the Romans, was the fourth only. It is not known what order this heretic pursued, for he placed the second Epistle to the Thessalonians after the Epistle to the Romans, thougb they are certainly more ancient. (n) St. Chrysostom has also remarked the same, in his Preface to the Epistle to the Romans; and he adds, that, in the arrangement of the prophets, the chronological order has not been pursued. (o) Polycarp. Epis. ad Philip. This passage of Polycarp's letter is mentioned by Euseb. Ecc. Hist. lib. ii. c. 36. (p) Clem. Ep. ad Corinth. sect, xlvii. The Greek expression is év ápxñ Toù evayye.lov, which I understand to mean, “ From the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel at Corinth.” St. Paul makes use of the same expression in the like sense, (Phil. iv. 15.) See also the 37th and 49th sections of St. Clement's Epist. and compare I Cor. xü, and xiii. (9) Sect. xii. xvii. Xxxvi. and compare them with Heb. ix. 31. 37. and i. 3-7. (r) Euseb. Ecc. Hist. lib. iii. c. 36. (8) Ignatius ad Ephes. sect. xii. (1) Supe poral. (u) What is here translated by making an honourable mention, is in the original prnuovevel ún@v. Moreover there is to be found in
Vulgar Æra, equals in mine
Julian Pe. 14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my Thessaloriod, 4762. equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly, zea- Dica.. 51. wa, lous of the traditions of my fathers.
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen ; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood :
17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
the same Epistle some quotations from 1 Cor. and ainong others these
words (chap. i.) TOŨ OoDoc nov ov nTnTÍS; “ Where is the Scribe ?
where is the profound and subtle teacher?' (x) Epist. Polycarp ad
Pbilip, sect. ü. See also sect, i. iv. vi. in the same Epistle ; and com-
pare Eph. ii. 8. and 1 Tim. vi. 7. 10. Gal. iv. 7. Rom. xi. 17. and xiv.
10. 12." (y) The Latin version has (the Greek text of a part of this let-
ter being lost), Nos autem non noveramus, which is understood of the
Church of Smyrna, of others of Polycarp bimself. (2) 2 Pet. ii. 15, 16.
St. Peter appears in particular to mean the Epistle to the Hebrews in the
15th verse; for though it were addressed to the Hebrews of Juden, it
related in general to all the faithful of that nation. He speaks in the 16th
verse of some other Epistles of St. Paul-" In all his Epistles," &c.
(aa) Euseb. Hist. Ecc. lib. iii. c. 39. in fine. (bb) See some examples of
it-Rom. ï. 26. xi. 16. Eph. ii. 1-5. &c. (cc) Hieron. Comment, in Ep.
ad Ephes. cap. 3. initio Epist. 151. ad Algas. Quæst. 10. (dd) Euseb.
Hist. Eccl. lib. iij. c. 24. *AVTWV &v napaokevs Xbywy duvarwratov,
νοήμασι τε ικανωτατος. Clement of Alexandria often gives the title of
" this illustrious apostle," " this divine apostle,” to St. Paul-yevvaios
ATOOTólos, ScontoLOS A TOOTólog. Strom. lib. i. p. 316. ii. p. 420,
&c. (ee) 2 Cor. xi. 6. Indeed, St. Jerome observes on this passage
Illud, quod crebro diximus, etsi imperitus sermone, non tamen scientia,
nequaquam Paulum de humilitate, sed de conscientiæ veritate dixisse,
etiam nunc approbamus. Hieron. ubi supra. He allows, nevertheless,
St. Paul to possess Syrian or Hebrew eloquence. (ff) Quem sermonem
cum in vernacula lingua habeat disertissimum, quippe Hebræus ex He-
bræis, et eruditus ad pedes Gamalielis, viri in lege ductissimi, se ipsom
interpretari capiens involvitur, &c. (99) Joseph. Antiq. lib. xxii. last
chapter. (hh) Haad inusitata res est passim in Novo Instrumento, quin
Christas et Apostoli Judæos, è suis ipsorum Scriptis et concessionibus
redarguant. Lightfoot, tom. ii. p. 117. (ü) Hoc antem totum nunc
ideo observavimus, ut etiam in ceteris locis sicubi testimonia quasi de
prophetis et de veteri testamento ad apostolis usurpata sint, et in nostris
codicibus non habentur, nequaquam statim ad Apocryphoram ineptias et
deliramenta recurramus; sed sciamus ea quidem scripta esse in veteri
testamento, sed non ita ab apostolis edita, et sensum magis usurpatum,
nec facilè nisi a studiosis posse ubi scripta sunt inveniri. Hieron. Comm.
in Ep. ad Eph. ch. v. b. i. (kk) Macknight's Preface to the Galatians,
vol. iii. p. 84, &c.--Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iv. p. 9. chap. xi.
Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. part ii. p. 1117. (U) Nemo
porro retinet aut tuetur istam explicationem beneficii, quo Christos nos
affecit, suscepto isto supplicio crucis : quo diabolum fefellisse et vicisse,
mortisque istud tam antiquum imperium disiecisse, et primi peccati
funestam poenam sustulisse dicebatur; licet antiqua sit, et multa per
secula continuata fuerit illa explicatio, multisque declamandi artificiis
exornata, a græcis latinisque rhetoribus.-Semler Prolegom. ad Galatas,
p. 202. Belsbam on the Epistles--Such is the train of the apostle's rea-
soning, the defect of which need not be pointed out. Vol. i. p. 112. This
argument of St. Paul appears to me irrelevant and inconclusive. Vol. ij.
p. 105, with many others.
Jalian Pe. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James Thessalo
the Lord's brother. Vulgar Æra, the
20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.
21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;
22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judea which were in Christ :
23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
24 And they glorified God in me.
1 Then, fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerus salem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles : but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised :
4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour ; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
6 But of those who seemed to be somewhat, whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person : for they who seemed to be somewhat, in conference added nothing to me;
7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter ;
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles ;)
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship ; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor;
the same which I also was forward to do.
§ 4. Gal. ii. 11–21.
St. Paul reproves Peler for Judaizing-He maintains the
Doctrine of Justification by Faith, and argues, that if
those Jews who had embraced Christianity were convinced
of the insufficiency of the Ceremonial Law, as the means
Julian Pe of salvation; it was impossible that the Gentiles should Thessalo. riod, 4762.
be expected to conform to it, or that it should be obliga- nica. Vulgar Æra, 51.
tory on them.
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles : but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him, insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly, according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law : for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ' ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin ? God forbid.
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor 22.
2 That is, as St. Chrysostom observes, “ by setting up that Jaw which I allow God has abolished ;" for if, as the apostle argues, the Jewish law can give salvation, then Christ is the minister of sin, as encouraging us to seek justification through him ; or, as the preceding verse (17.) may be read without an interrogation-" If we be sinners in seeking to be justified by Christ, then Christ is the minister of sin. God forbid. But as a Christian I am dead to the Jewish or ceremonial law, and I live by the faith of the Son of God, who gave bimself for me. See also Pyle's Paraphrase, vol.ii. p. 14.
As the professed design of the Epistle was to establish the ex-
emption of the Gentile converts from the law of Moses, and as
the apostolic decree pronounced and confirmed that exemption,
it may seem extraordinary, says Dr. Paley, that no notice what-
ever is taken of that determination by St. Paul on the present
occasion, nor any appeal made to its authority. Much, however,
of the weight of this objection, which applies also to some other
of the apostle's epistles, is removed by the following reflections :
-1. It was not St. Paul's manner, nor agreeable to it, to resort or
defer much to the authority of the other apostles, especially
wbilst he was insisting, as he does generally tbroughout this
Epistle insist, upon his own original inspiration. He who
could speak of the very chiefest of the apostles in such terms as
the following-“Of those who seemed to be somewhat (whatso.
ever they were it maketh no matter to me), God accepteth vo
Julian Pe- 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I Thessaloriod, 4762. might live unto God.
nica. Valgarra, 51.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now
man's person, for they who seemed to be somewhat in confer-
ence added nothing to mo"- he, I say, was not likely to sup-
port himself by their decision. 2. The Epistle argues the point
upon principle; and it is not perhaps more to be wondered at,
that in such an argument St. Paul should not cite the apostolic
decree, than it would be that, in a discourse designed to prove
the moral and religious duty of observing the Sabbath, the writer
should not quote the thirteenth canon. 3. The decree did not
go the length of the position maintained in the Epistle; the de.
cree only declares that the apostles and elders at Jerusalem did
not impose the observance of the Mosaic law upon the Gentile
converts, as a condition of their being admitted into the Chris-
tian Church. One Epistle argues that the Mosaic institution
itself was at an end, as to all effects upon a future state, even
with respect to the Jews themselves. 4. They whose error St.
Paul combated, were not persons who submitted to the Jewish
law, because it was imposed by the authority, or because it was
made part of the law of the Christian Church ; but they were
persons who having already become Christians, afterwards vo-
luntarily took upon themselves the observance of the Mosaic
code under a notion of pertaining thereby to a greater perfec-
tion. This, I think, is precisely the opinion whicb St. Paul
opposes in this Epistle. Many of his expressions apply exactly
to it - Are ye so foolish, having begun in the Spirit, are ye
now made perfect in the fiesh?” (chap. iii. 3.) • Tell me, ye
that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?" (chap.
iv. 21.) “ How turp ye again to the weak and beggarly ele.
ments whereunto ye desire again to bein bondage?” (chap.iv.9.)
It cannot be thought extraordinary that St. Paul should resist
this opinion with earnestness; for it both changed the charac-
ter of the Christian dispensation, and derogated expressly from
the completeness of that redemption, which Jesus Christ had
wrought for those that believed in him. But it was to no pur-
pose to allege to such persons the decision at Jerusalem, for that
only shewed they were not bound to these observances by any
law of the Christian Church. Nevertheless they imagined there
was an efficacy in these observances, a merit, a recommendation
to favour, a ground for acceptance with God, for those who
complied with them. This was a situation of thought to which
the tenor of the decree did not apply. Accordingly St. Paul's
address to the Galatians, which througbout is adapted to this
situation, runs in a strain widely different from the language of
the decree-“ Christ is become of no effect onto you, whosoever
of you are justified by the law," (chap. v. 4.) whosoever places
his dependance upon any merit be may apprebend to be in
legal observances. The decree had said nothing like this;
therefore it would have been useloss to have produced the de-
cree, in an argument of which this was the burden. In like
manner, as contending with an anchorite, who should insist
upon the severe holiness of a recluse ascetic life, and the value
of such mortifications in the sight of God, it would be to no
purpose to prove that the laws of the Church did not require
these vows, or even to prove that they expressly Jeft every
Christian to his liberty. This would avail little towards abal-
ing his estimation of their merit, or towards settling the point