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complaint of his brethren in the church of Jerusalem, who still adhered to their ancient prejudices. But Peter, it is said, compelled the Gentiles Loudage "Why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" How did he do that? The only way in which Peter appears to have compelled the Gentiles to comply with the Jewish institution, was by withdrawing himself from their society. By which he may be understood to have made this declaration : "We do not deny your right to be considered as Christians; we do not deny your title in the promises of the Gospel, even without compliance with our law but if you would have us Jews live with you as we do with one another, that is, if you would in all respects be treated by us as Jews, you must live as such yourselves." This, I think, was the compulsion which St. Peter's conduct imposed upon the Gentiles, and for which St. Paul reproved him.
As to the part which the historian ascribes to St. Peter in the debate at Jerusalem, beside that it was a different question which was there agitated from that which produced the dispute at Antioch, there is nothing to hinder us from supposing that the dispute at Antioch was prior to the consultation at Jerusalem; or that Peter, in consequence of this rebuke, might have afterwards maintained firmer sentiments.
THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS.
THIS epistle, and the Epistle to the Colossians, appear to have been transmitted to their respective churches by the same messenger: "But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things; whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts." Ephes. chap. vi. 21, 22. This text, if it do not expressly declare, clearly I think intimates, that the letter was sent by Tychicus. The words made use of by him in the Epistle to the Colossians are very similar to these, and afford the same implication that Tychicus, in conjunction with Onesimus, was the bearer of the letter to that church: "All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord; whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here." Colos. chap. iv. 7-9. Both epistles represent the writer as under imprisonment for the Gospel; and both treat of the same general subject. The Epistle therefore to the Ephesians, and the
Epistle to the Colossians, import to be two letters written by the same person, at, or nearly at, the same time, and upon the same subject, and to have been sent by the same messenger. Now, every
thing in the sentiments, order, and diction of the two writings, corresponds with what might be expected from this circumstance of identity or cognation in their original. The leading doctrine of both epistles is the union of Jews and Gentiles under the Christian dispensation; and that doctrine in both is established by the same arguments, or, more properly speaking, illustrated by the same similitudes * "one head," "one body," "one new man, one temple," are in both epistles the figures under which the society of believers in Christ, and their common relation to him as such, is represented†. The ancient, and, as had been thought, the indelible distinction between Jew and Gentile, in both epistles,
* St. Paul, I am apt to believe, has been sometimes accused of inconclusive reasoning, by our mistaking that for reasoning which was only intended for illustration. He is not to be read as a man, whose own persuasion of the truth of what he taught always or solely depended upon the views under which he represents it in his writings. Taking for granted the certainty of his doctrine, as resting upon the revelation that had been imparted to him, he exhibits it frequently to the conception of his readers under images and allegories, in which if an analogy may be perceived, or even sometimes a poetic resemblance be found, it is all perhaps that is required.
is declared to be "now abolished by his cross." Beside this consent in the general tenor of the two epistles, and in the run also and warmth of thought with which they are composed, we may naturally expect in letters produced under the circumstances in which these appear to have been written, a closer resemblance of style and diction, than between other letters of the same person but of distant dates, or between letters adapted to different occasions. In particular we may look for many of the same expressions, and sometimes for whole sentences being alike; since such expressions and sentences would be repeated in the second letter (whichever that was) as yet fresh in the author's mind from the writing of the first. This repetition occurs in the following examples * :
Ephes. ch. i. 7. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins t."
Colos. ch. i. 14. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins ‡."
Besides the sameness of the words, it is farther remarkable that the sentence is, in both places, preceded by the same introductory idea. In the Epistle to the Ephesians it is the "beloved” (nyaπnμevw); in that to the Colossians it is "his dear Son" (VIOU THE ayanys aurov), "in whom we have redemption." The
* When verbal comparisons are relied upon, it becomes necessary to state the original; but that the English reader may be interrupted as little as may be, I shall in general do this in the notes. + Ephes. ch. i. 7. Εν ᾧ εχομεν την απολυτρωσιν δια του αίματος αυτού, την αφεσιν των παραπτωμάτων.
† Colos. ch. i. 14. Εν ᾧ εχομεν την απολύτρωσιν δια του αιματος αυτού, την άφεσιν των αμαρτιων.--However, it must be observed, that in this latter text many copies have not δια του αίματος αυτου.
sentence appears to have been suggested to the mind of the writer by the idea which had accompanied it
Ephes. ch. i. 10. "All things both which are in heaven and which are in earth, even in him *."
Colos. ch. i. 20. "All things by him, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven †."
This quotation is the more observable, because the connecting of things in earth with things in heaven is a very singular sentiment, and found nowhere else but in these two epistles. The words also are introduced by describing the union which Christ had effected, and they are followed by telling the Gentile churches that they were incorporated into it.
Ephes. ch. iii. 2. "The dispensation of the grace of God, which is given me to you ward ‡.”
Colos. ch. i. 25. "The dispensation of God, which is given to me for you §."
Of these sentences it may likewise be observed that the accompanying ideas are similar. In both places they are immediately preceded by the mention of his present sufferings; in both places they are immediately followed by the mention of the mystery which was the great subject of his preaching.
Ephes. ch. v. 19. "In psalms and hymns and
* Ephes. ch. i. 10. Τα τε εν τοις ουρανοις και τα επί της γης, εν αυτῷ.
+ Colos. ch. i. 20. Δι αυτου, είτε τα επί της γης, είτε τα εν τοις ουρανοις.
† Ephes. ch. iii. 2. Την οικονομιαν χαριτος του Θεου της δοθείσης μοι εις ύμας.
§ Colos. ch. i. 25. Την οικονομίαν του Θεου, την δοθείσαν μοι εις ύμας.