Page images
PDF
EPUB

present epistle was written whilst St. Paul was a prisoner, is distinctly intimated by the eighth verse of the first chapter: Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner.” And whilst he was a prisoner at Rome, by the sixteenth and seventeenth verses of the same chapter :

100% Unesi, phorus'; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain : but when he was in Rome he sought me out very diligently and found me." Since it appears from the former quotation that St. Paul wrote this epistle in confinement, it will hardly admit of doubt that the word chain, in the latter quotation, refers to that confinement; the chain by which he was then bound, the custody in which he was then kept. And if the word "chain" designate the author's confinement at the time of writing ti

the epistle, the next words determine it to have been written from Rome : “He was not ashamed of my chain; but when he was in Rome he sought me out very diligently." Now that it was not written during the apostle's first imprisonment at Rome, or during the same imprisonment in which the epistles to the Ephesians, the Colossians, the Philippians, and Philemon, were written, may be gathered, with considerable evidence, from a comparison of these several epistles with the present.

I. In the former epistles the author confidently looked forward to his liberation from confinement, and his speedy departure from Rome. He tells the Philippians (ch. ii. 24)," I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.' Philemon he bids to prepare for him a lodging ;-“for I trust,” says he,

“ that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.” (ver. 22.) In the epistle before us he holds a language extremely different : “ I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith : henceforth there is laid up

for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day." (ch. iv. 6—8.)

II. When the former epistles were written from Rome, Timothy was with St. Paul; and is joined with him in writing to the Colossians, the Philippians, and to Philemon. The present epistle implies that he was absent.

III. In the former epistles Demas was with St. Paul at Rome: “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.” In the epistle now before us : “ Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is gone to Thessalonica.”

IV. In the former epistles, Mark was with St. Paul, and joins in saluting the Colossians. In the present epistle, Timothy is ordered to bring him with him, “for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” (ch. iv. 11.)

The case of Timothy and of Mark might be very well accounted for, by supposing the present epistle to have been written before the others; so that Timothy, who is here exhorted “to come shortly unto him," (ch. iv. 9.) might have arrived, and that Mark, “whom he was to bring with him,” (ch. iv. 11.) might have also reached Rome in sufficient time to have been with St. Paul when the four epistles were written; but then such a supposition is incon

VOL. III.

Q

sistent with whát is said of "Demas, by which the posteridrity of this to the otheri epistles is strongly indicatedt: for cinsthe other epist les, Demas was with St. Paul, in the presentshe hath rf6 forsaker'shim, and is igonel tol+Thessalonicadil v The oppositionsálsqarof sentimentzi,with respect to the revenit of thespersecutiony is hardly reconcileable to the same imprisonmentit virror) 28.79 IOT 993 ert otot

* The two following considerations, which were first suggested upon this question by Ludovicus Capellus, are still more conclusive. 1919 mulsar 19 l. 16

1. In the twentieth verse of the fourth chapter, St. Paul informs: Timothy, “that Erastus vabode at Corinth! Eyadros EPLEIVEY EY Kopiboa d Thenfarmslof expression implies, that Erastus had estaid behindoat Corinth,i'when St. Paúl left itroi But this' basid not bei meunt of any journey from Corinthiwhich St. Paul took prior to his first imprisonment at Rome; for when: Paul departed from Corinth, así related m the twentieth chapter of the Abts, Timothyl was with him : and this was the last time the apostle leftrorinth before his coming to Rome because shebldft it to proceed on his way to Jerusalemig soon after his arrival at which place he was taken into custody, and continued in that custody til hel was carriet do Cæsar's tribunali viThere could be no need therefore to informi Timothy that it. Erastus staid behindo at Corinth/ljupon this occasion, vbecause ifi the fact was sooit must have been known Ito Timothy, who iwas present, as well as to Susi Paulmi 91'tut smoa r tud

1 % ntsthe same yetgevouwsépistley alsdr states the follawing articleir Torophinus lakosd left år Miletunisickoll i WhenSty Baul passeutsthtough Miletum

on his way to Jerusalem, as related Acts xx., Trophimus was notideft behind, but accompanied him to that city 25 He was indeed the occasion of the uproar atsJerusalen sinoconsequences of whichit St. Paul was apprbhenderda for they had seen," saýš the historian, "beforeswitho him in the city,strophimuștan Ephesianjqwhom theyi supposed that Paulb had brought into the temple.” This was evidently the last time ofi Paul's being at Miletus before his first imprisonment ; for, as hath been said, after his apprehension at Jerusalem, he remained in custody till he was sent to Rome. I! & In these two articles we have a journey referred to, which must have taken place subsequent to the coholusion of St. Luke's history, and of course after St. Paul's' liberation from his first imprisonment. The epistle, therefore, which contains thisjreference, since it appears from other parts of it to have been writtenwhile, St. Paul was a prisoner at Rome, proves that he had returned to that city again, and undergone there a second imprisonmienton vidit is

: 11 I do not produce these particulars for the sake of the support which they lend to the testimony of the fathers concerning St. Paul's second imprisonment, but to sremark their consistency and agreement with one another. They are all i resolvable into one supposition: and although the supposition itself be in some sort only negative, viz. that the epistle was not written during i St. Paul's first residence at Rome, but in some future imprisonment in that eity; yet is the-consistency-nobless worthy of observation : for the epistle touches aponi names and circumstances connected with the date and with the history of the first imprisonment, and mentioned in letters written during that imprisonment, and so touches upon them, as to leave what is said of one consistent with what is said of others, and consistent also with what is said of them in different epistles. Had one of these circumstances been so described as to have fixed the date of the epistle to the first imprisonment, it would have involved the rest in contradiction. And when the number and particularity of the articles which have been brought together under this head are considered; and when it is considered also, that the comparisons we have formed amongst them, were in all probability neither provided for, nor thought of, by the writer of the epistle, it will be deemed something very like the effect of truth, that no invincible repugnancy is perceived between them.

came to

No. II. In the Acts of the Apostles, in the sixteenth chapter, apd at the first verse, we are told that Paul

Derbe and Lystra, and behold a certain disciple was there named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman which was a Jewess, anaven

Jewess, and believed

l; but his father was a Greek, ini stor

the first chapter and at the fourth verse, St. es to Timothy thus : htGreatly apart

Greatly desiring to see theę, being mindful of thy tears, that filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in theę, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice ;' and I am persuaded that in thee also.? Here we have a fair unforced example of coincidence.

In the history Timothy was the son of a' Jewess that

Paul, writes

may be

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »