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Julian Pe. Glory, and incarnated Representation of the invisible Italy. riod, 4775. Father Almighty, and sustaining the Universe by his Vulgar
III. He is not less unfortunate in bis last quotation : he rested this principally on the testimony of Origen, who, according to Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. b. vi. ch. xxv. " held that the matter of the Epistle was from St. Paul, but the construction of the words from another, who recorded the thoughts of the apostle, and made notes, as it were, or commentaries of what was said by his master,” p. 246.
Having delivered his own opinion, Origen adds,“ if tben any Church (or whatsoever Church) holds this Epistle as Paul's, it should be commended, even upon this account ; for it was not without reason the primitive worthies have handed it down as Paul's, but who wrote the Epistle (io its present form) truly God indeed kpows. The historical account that has reached us is various and uncertain, some saying that Clemens, who was Bishop of Rome, wrote the Epistle, others Luke, who wrote the Gospel and Acts," p. 247.
Michaelis here thinks that by iotopia els apas plagasa Origen meant " oral accounts," and he contends that “neither of these contradictory accounts can be true, for the style of the Epistle to the Hebrews is neither that of St. Luke nor that of Clement of Rome; and the latter especially, if we may judge from what is vow extant of his works, had it not even in his power to write an Epistle so replete with Jewish learning,' p. 247.
What now is the force of Origen's evidence, supposing that bis opinion is fairly and fully related by Eusebius, which may be doubted? Why surely, that St. Paul was the original author of the Epistle, as confirmed by primitive tradition. The oral account, upon which he founded his conjecture, was vague ; and Michaelis has satisfactorily shewn, that it could not be true in either case : what then remains by all the rules of right reasoning? Unquestionably, that rejecting the oral account as false, we sbould embrace the primitive tradition as true, and consequently admit that no one but the apostle himself could be the author of an epistle so replete with Jewish learning, who was educated at the feet of Gamaliel himself (Acts xxii. 3.) and disputed with the first Jewish rabbis of the age, in Asia, Greece, and Rome.
By the failure, therefore, of the paradoxical hypothesis of Michaelis, in all its branches, the positive evidence is still further strengthened : we may now rest assured, that the Epistle was written in Greek, not in Hebrew, by St. Paul himself, not by any one else.
The Epistle itself furnishes us with decisive and positive evidence that it was originally written in the language in which it is now extant.
In the first place, the style of this Epistle throughout mani. fests that it is no translation. It has no appearance of constraint, nor do we meet with those Hebraisms which occur so constantly in the Septuagint version.
The numerous paronomasias, or concurrences of words of like sound, but which cannot be rendered in English with due effect, are also a clear proof that it is not a translation. See in Heb. v. 8. 14. vii. 3. 19. ix, 10. x. 34. xi. 37. and xiii. 14. (Gr.)
Hebrew names are interpreted ; as Melchizedek, by King of Righteousness (vii. 2.), and Salem, by Peace, which would have been superfluous if the Epistle had been written in Hebrew.
The passages, cited from the Old Testament in this Epistle, are not quoted from the Hebrew but from the Septuagint,
Julian Pe Power ; having made an atoning Sacrifice of himself for Italy. riod, 4775. Valgar Æra,
the Sins of Man, had returned in his human Nature to 62.
where that faithfully represented the Hebrew text. Frequently
Among the Jews there were several dialects spoken, as the
With regard to the objection, that the apostle's name is not at
The passages which have been adduced as unsuitable to the
Julian Pe that Majesty with the Father which was essential to his Italy. riod, 4775. divine Nature, before the World was made. Vulgar Æra, 62.
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
eaks of himself as one not at all distinguished, and in the sccond passage, according to Grotius and Le Clero, as one who had received the knowledge of the Gospel, not himself from Christ, but from his apostles. To this it is again replied, that it was usual with St. Paul to join himself to those with whom he writes, particularly when he is mentioning any thing that is unpalatable, or dishonourable to them (see Tit. iii. 3. and frequently in Romans); and in this verse (chap. ii. 3.) he does not imply that he received the knowledge of the Gospel from those who heard Christ preach, but that the salvation which was given to St. Paul by the Lord, was confirmed to bim by the preaching of the apostles; and St. Paul often appealed, as well as the other apostles, in this manner to the testimony of eyewitnesses in contirmation of things made known to himself by revelation. (Acts xiii. 30, 31.; 1 Cor. xv. 5--9.; 2 Tim. ii. 2.; 1 Pet. i. 12.; Jude 17.)---See Macknight's Preface to the Hebrews.
With regard to the objection, that this Epistle is superior in point of style to St. Paul's other writings, and therefore is not the production of that apostle, we have already remarked that this may be accounted for by the circumstance that it was one of St. Paul's latest written Epistles, composed in his mature age, and after long intercourse with the learned Gentiles. But " there does not appear to be such a superiority in the style of this Epistle, as should lead to the conclusion that it was not written by St. Paul. Those who have thought differently have mentioned Barnabas, Luke, and Clement, as authors or translators of this Epistle. The opinion of Jerome was, that the sentiments are the apostle's, but the language and composition of some one else, who committed to writing the apostle's sense, and, as it were, reduced into commentaries the things spoken by his master.' Dr. Lardner says, “My conjecture is, that St. Paul dictated the Epistle in Hebrew, and another, who was a great master of the Greek language, immediately wrote down the apostle's sentiments in his own elegant Greek; but who this assistant of the apostle was, is altogether unknown.” But the writings of St. Paul, like tbose of other authors, may not all have the same degree of merit; and if it should be considered that the Epistle to the Hebrews is written with greater elegance than the other compositions of this apostle, it should be remembered that there is nothing in it which amounts to a marked difference of style, but on the contrary there are the same construction of sentences, the same style of expression, and the same sentiments expressed, in this Epistle, which occur in no part of the Scriptures except in St. Paul's Epistles.
There are also the striking peculiarities which distinguish bis writings, the same abrupt transitions, returning frequently to his subject, which he illustrates by forcible arguments, by short expressions, or sometimes by a single word. The same elliptical expressions to be supplied either by the preceding or subsequent clause, with reasonings addressed to the thoughts, and answers to specious objecti which would naturally occur, and therefore required removing.
The numerous resemblances and agreements between this
Jalian Pe 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, Italy.
been collected at great length by Braunius, Carpzov, Lardner,
1. Coincidences between the exhortations in this Epistle and
2. Instances of agreement in the style or phrases of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and in the acknowledged Epistles of St. Paul. See Heb. ii. 4. compared with Rom. xv. 19. 2 Cor. xii. 12. and 2 Thess. ij. 9.; Heb. ii. 14. with 2 Tim. i. 10. and I Cor. xv. 26.; Heb. iii. 1. with Phil. iii. 14. and 2 Tim. i. 9. ; Heb. v. 12. with I Cor. iij. 2.; Heb. viii. 1. with Eph. i. 21. ; Heb. viii. 5. and x. 1. with Col. ii. 17. ; Heb. x. 33. with 1 Cor. iv. 9.; Heb. xiii. 9. with Eph. iv. 14.; Heb. xiii. 10, 11. with 1 Cor. ix. 13. ; Heb. xiii, 20, 21, with Rom. xv. 33. xvi. 20. Phil. iv. 9. | Thess. v. 2:3. and 2 Cor. xiii. ll.
3. In his acknowledged Epistles, St. Paul has numerous allusions to the exercises and games which were then in great repute, and were frequently solemnized in Greece and in other parts of the Roman empire. In the Epistle to the Hebrews we have several of these allusions, which are also expressed with great elegance. Compare Heb. vi. 18. xii. 1-4. 12. with 1 Cor. ix. 24. Phil. iii. 12-14, 2 Tim. ii. 5. iv. 6–8. and Acts
4. In the Epistle to the Hebrews there are interpretations of some passages of the Jewish Scriptures, which may properly be called St. Paul's, because they are to be found only in his writings. For example, Psalm ii. 7." Thou art my Son : to-day I have begotten thee;" is applied to Jesus (Heb. i. 5.) just as St. Paul, in his discourse to the Jews in the synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia, applied the same passage of Scripture to him (Acts xiii. 33.) In like manner, the explication of Psalm viii. 4. and of Psalm cx. 1. given by St. Paul, i Cor. xv. 25. 27. is found in Heb. ii. 7,8. So also the explication of the covenant with Abraham given (Heb. vi. 14. 18.) is no where found but in St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians (iii. 8, 9. 14. 18.)
5. There are, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, doctrines which none of the inspired writers have mentioned, except Paul. In particular, the doctrines of the mediation and intercession of Christ, explained in Heb. iv. 15, 16. and vii. 22. 25. are no where found in the books of the New Testament, except in St. Paul's Epistles, (Rom. viii. 34. Gal. iii. 19, 20.) The title of Mediator, which is given to Jesus, (Heb. vii. 22. viii. 6. ix. 16. xii. 24.) is no where applied to Jesus except in St. Paul's Epistles, (1 Tim. ii. 5.) In like manner none of the inspired writers, except St. Paul, (Heb. viii. 1-4.) have informed us that Christ offered the sacrifice of himself in heaven ; and that he did not exercise his priestly oflice on earth, but only in heaven.
6. In the Épistle to the Hebrews, we find such enlarged views of the divine dispensatioos respecting religion ; such an extensive knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures, according to their ancient and true interpretation, (which St. Paul, no doubt, learned from the celebrated doctors under whose tuition he studied in his younger years at Jerusalem ;) such a deep insight also into the most recondite meanings of these Scriptures, and such ad. mirable reasonings founded thereon, for the confirmation of the VOL. II.
Julian Pe- whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also Italy. riod, 4775, Vulgarðra, 62. Gospel revelation, as, without disparagement to the other apos. tles, seem to have exceeded, not their
natural abilities and education only, but even that degree of inspiration with which they were endowed. None of them but St. Paul, who was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, and who profited in the Jewish religion and learning above many of his fellow-students, and who, in his riper years, was intimately acquainted with the learned men of his own nation, (Acts ix. 1, 2. 14. xxvi. 4, 5.) and who was called to the apostleship by Christ himself, when for that purpose he appeared to him from heaven-nay, who was caught up by Christ into the third heaven-was equal to the subjects treated of in this most admirable epistle. And, as Dr. Hales remarks, it is a masterly supplement to the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, and also a luminous commentary on them; showing that all the legal dispensation was originally designed to be superseded by the new and better covenant of the Christian dispensation, in a connected chain of argument, evincing the profoundest koowledge of both. The internal excellence of this epistle, as connecting the Old Testament and the New in the most convincing and instructive manner, and elucidating both more fully than any other epistle, or perhaps than all of them, places its divine inspiration beyond all doubt. 7. The conclusion of this epistle
has a remarkable agreement with the conclusions of St. Paul's Epistles, in several respects. Compare Heb. xii. 18. with Rom. xv. 30. Eph. vi. 18, 19. Col. iv. 3. 1 Thess. v. 25, and 2 Thess. iii. I. ; Heb. xiii. 20, 21. with Rom. xv. 30–33. Eph. vi. 19-23. 1 Thess. v. 23. and 2 Thess. iii. 16.; Heb. xiii. 24. with Rom. xvi. 1 Cor. xvi. 19-21. 2 Cor. xiii. 13. Phil. iv. 21, 22.; Heb. xiii. 25. with 2 Thess. iii. 18. Col. iv. 18. Eph. vi. 24. 1 Tim. vi. 21. 2 Tim. iv. 22. and Tit. iii. 15.
We may justly therefore conclude, with Carpzov, Whitby, Lardner, Macknight, Hales, Rosenmüller, Bengel, Bishop Tomline, and almost every other modern commentator, and biblical critic, that the weight of evidence, both internal and external, preponderates so greatly in favour of St. Paul, that we cannot but consider the Epistle to the Hebrews as written by that apostle, and that the tradition preserved in the Church is correct ; that this work is an inspired composition of the great apostle of the Gentiles. It is ackuowledged to be St. Paul's production by the apostle Peter, in his second Epistle (iii. 15, 16.); from which passage it is evident, that St. Peter had read all St. Paul's letters, and that St. Paul bad written to those Christians to whom St. Peter was then writing, that is, to the believing Jews in general, (2 Pet. i. 1.) and to those of the dispersion mentioned in 1 Pel. i. 1.; and as there is no evidence to prove that this epistle was lost, there is every reason to conclude that it must be that which is now inscribed to the Hebrews, both these apostles having treated on the same subjects.
If, then, St. Paul, as we believe, was the author of tbis Epistle, the time when it was written may easily be determined, for the salutation from the saints in Italy, (Heb. xiii. 24.) together with the apostle's promise to see the Hebrews shortly, plainly intimates that his imprisonment was then terminated, or on the point of being so. It was therefore written from Italy, perhaps from Rome, soon after the Epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians, and Philemon, and not long before St. Paul left Italy, viz. at tho end of A.D. 62, or early in 63. of this opinion was Mill, Wetstein, Tillemont, Lardner, Macknight, and the great majo