Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

3...5., were ready as soon as ever he appeared, to raise the same angry controversy on a larger scale again.

Providentially, however, by this time both Peter, in consequence partly of that just rebuke administered by Paul at Antioch, and St. James, who must have profited by his report of that striking remonstrance, had learned, on mature reflection, to entertain firmer sentiments; and under divine guidance, by inspired authority now, gave a decisive ratification to articles of peace for the harmony of the church.

Note on p. 144. - It is well known that St. Augustine disagreed, much to his honour, with St. Jerome on the subject of the rebuke at Antioch. He maintained, that Paul was justified in plainly reproving Peter, if that rencontre took place after the council of Jerusalem, or even if it took place, as he was rather inclined to think (quod magis arbitror), before the time of the council. Epistola lxxxii. ad Hieronymum, capp. x. xi. Benedictine edition.

Heinrych Bullinger, in his Series et Digestio Temporum et Rerum Descriptarum a Beato Luca in Actis Apostolorum, TIGURI, M.D.XLVIII., assigns much too early a date to the rebuke, for he makes it precede the First of the Progresses, in these pages so styled; but then he disjoins it so much the farther from the council, by an interval of eight years, in the Tabula Seriei, &c. prefixed to the work.

The learned Basnage, as quoted in Lardner's History of the Apostles, &c. ch. xviii. s. iii. on St. Peter, shall here be given at full length: on that one point of the priority of the dispute at Antioch to the council, nothing can be more strong and decisive.

“ Illud nobis verosimilius, Concilii Hierosolymitani celebrationi antecessisse Petrinam hanc in Syriæ metropoli commorationem. Argumento est disceptatio Pauli cum Petro, cujus dissimulationem obruisset autoritate Synodi, si jam coacta fuisset. Quin immo nulla Petro, et timendi Judæos,

[ocr errors]

erat.

et eorum gratiâ sese separandi a Gentibus caussa fuit, si tum temporis promulgata fuisset Concilii Hierosolymitani Epistola: quo, veluti clypeo, ad omnes telorum Judaicorum ictus tutus

Basnag. Ann. 46. num. xxv.
Dr. Paley, in H. P.106., timidly, but distinctly, says,

6. There is nothing to hinder us from supposing that the dispute at Antioch was prior to the consultation at Jerusalem.”

Before concluding this article, may I be pardoned for saying, that to meet the difficulty started in H. P. 101... 104. as to the decree not being noticed in the Epistle to the Galatians, a more direct solution, brief at once and satisfactory, may be found here in the Continuous History, pp. 29. 35. on Acts xv. 22. and xvi. 4.

APPENDIX B.

p:

48. On the early date of the Epistle to the GALATIANS.

This address to the churches of Galatia is evidently marked with striking characters of earliness both in the style and temperament of the writing, and in the principal points of its subject also, the circumcision of the Gentile converts, and the apostolic authority of the writer himself. And I refer with much pleasure to the opening pages of H. P. 78...80. for remarks highly valuable in the way of general introduction to its perusal, and as bearing on the high probability, at least, of a very early date.

To my mind, I confess, Dr. Paley's reasonings were alone sufficient to produce that conviction, before I read Michaelis's very able and decisive argument to prove this epistle the first of those extant written by St. Paul. But then I see no advantage or much probability in that eminent scholars conjecture, that it was written at Thessalonica (A. xvii. 1...10.) or even before he arrived in that city. Vide Marsh's Translation of Michaelis on the New Testament, vol. iv. pp. 8, 9, 10. 1801.

A few observations, however, may not be without their effect in contributing to support the date from Corinth here assumed, pp. 47, 8., and against some objections which have been speciously urged on the other side.

1. The passage, iv. 13., has been appealed to : oldats δε, ότι δι' ασθένειαν της σαρκός ευηγγελισάμην υμίν το πρότερον. . “Ye know how, through infirmity of the flesh, I preached the gospel unto you at the first.It has been maintained, that the concluding phrase ought to be translated, the first time, and that it clearly indicates St. Paul to have already visited the churches of Galatia more than once when he so wrote.

I answer, that the words apótepoy might consist well enough with the faet of more than once, if more than once could otherwise be found. But, then, no direct or indirect allusion whatever to any other visit antecedent to this epistle any where appears in it.

Those words...“at the first”...only refer to his preaching while personally among them, as distinguished from his visitation now repeated through the medium of this epistle. And in the following verses,

18. It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

19. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

20. I desire [I could like] to be present with you now, and to change my voice ; for I stand in doubt of you.

Here we certainly read the apostle's strong wish that he might see them again, and in the word itself zárue (taken with the context) no obscure indication that it would then be for the second time.

2. That objection to the epistle having so early a date taken from the address, i. 2., “unto the churches of Galatia,” may be easily disposed of.

We find only the church at Thessalonica, it is said, and the church only at Corinth. Some time, therefore, must have elapsed, before the Christians in Galatia could have formed themselves into separate churches.

I answer thus : Galatia was the name of a region having no single place of importance ever mentioned in the visitations of the apostle. As far therefore as his progress amongst them is concerned, we may rather conclude that the disciples did not live in any large city. The country may have been inhabited, vicatim, in small communities : a supposition which agrees well enough with the origin of the Galatic nation, as traced by St. Jerome, from their language, that of the Treviri (Michaelis, u. s. pp. 14, 15.) and which will also agree well with the several churches addressed in the opening of the epistle.

3. The following remark, as bearing on the early date, may have some weight, and deserve some attention.

According to our calculation, a short period only of time had intervened betwixt St. Paul's cruel treatment at Philippi, A. xvi. 23...33., and his arrival at Corinth, xviii. 1...4., the place from whence we think it most probable this epistle was written. In that singular expression then, Gal. vi. 17., “ I bear in my body the

marks of the Lord Jesus,” may we not trace soinething very like the recency of stripes, otiquata, even yet in their scars visible?

And if the singularity of the phrase required explanation when that epistle was received by the Galatians, the messenger from St. Paul, who conveyed it, was at hand to interpret the meaning in all the particulars of the shameful infliction there alluded to.

On some occasions, the messenger sent was expressly directed to give all requisite information beyond what was conveyed in the epistle : thus, to the Colossians, iv. 7., All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you.At other times, as at v. 10., the parties addressed are reminded of some message previously transmitted by similar communication : thus, “ Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, touching whom ye received commandments : if he come unto you, receive him.”

But the messages so sent (and to these add Coloss. i. 7.) appear to have borne the character, be it remarked, of personal instruction or intelligence, not to have been charged with the delivery of any thing authoritative in a doctrinal way.

4. I am duely aware that the text, 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2. see p. 57. of this work) in connection with that of Galat. ii. 10. (there also) has been pressed into the service, for giving a later date to this epistle, as if it just preceded the Epistle to the Corinthians.

The identity of that first general recommendation of a charity, in one of those texts, with the particular and exact direction for carrying it into effect, recorded in the other, has been assumed on very slight grounds of loose similitude. It cannot now be maintained, in the face, as I think these pages (already quoted) show, of that real occasion, on which such a direction would be naturally delivered by the apostle ; that is, on his

« AnteriorContinuar »