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Julian Pe riod, 4775. Vulgar Era,


Glory, and incarnated Representation of the invisible Italy.
Father Almighty, and sustaining the Universe by his

III. He is not less unfortunate in his 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 then 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 (in its present form) truly God indeed knows. 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 ἵστορια εἷς ἡμας φθασασα 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
now 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
his 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 rea-
soning? Unquestionably, that rejecting the oral account as
false, we should 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 bypothesis 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 manifests 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 Period, 4775. Vulgar Æra, 62.


Power; having made an atoning Sacrifice of himself for Italy.
the Sins of Man, had returned in his human Nature to

where that faithfully represented the Hebrew text. Frequently
the stress of the argument taken from such quotations relies on
something peculiar in that version, which could not possibly
have taken place if the Epistle had been written in Hebrew.
And in a few instances where the Septuagint did not fully ren-
der the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the author of the
Epistle has substituted translations of his own, from which he
argues in the same manner, whence it is manifest that this Epis-
tle never was extant in Hebrew.-See Dr. Owen's fifth exerci-
tation on the Hebrews, vol. i. p. 46-53. folio edition. Calvin,
and several other divines, have laid much stress upon the ren-
dering of the Hebrew word berith by dialŋŋ, which denotes
either testament or covenant: and Michaelis acknowledges the
weight of this argument, to prove that the Epistle to the He-
brews was originally written in Greek.

Among the Jews there were several dialects spoken, as the
East Aramæan or Chaldee, and the West Aramæan or Syriac;
which suffered various alterations from the places where the
Jews were dispersed; so that the original Hebrew was known
comparatively to few, and those who were conversant in Syriac
might not be acquainted with the Chaldee. If therefore this
Epistle had been written in biblical Hebrew, only a few could
have read it; and in either of the other dialects, a part only of
the Jews could have perused it.

With regard to the objection, that the apostle's name is not at
the beginning of this Epistle, Clement of Alexandria, who is
followed by Jerome, observes, that Jesus Christ himself was the
peculiar apostle to the Hebrews (as acknowledged in this Epis-
tle, iii. 1.), St. Paul therefore probably declined, through humi-
lity, to assume the title of an apostle. He did not mention his
name, messenger, or the particular persons to whom it was
sent, because (as Dr. Lardner judiciously remarks) such a
long letter might give umbrage to the ruling powers at this
crisis, when the Jews were most turbulent, and might endan-
ger himself, the messenger, and those to whom it was di-
rected. And as he was considered by the zealots as an apos-
tate from the religion of their fathers, his name, instead of add-
ing weight, might have prevented the Judaizing and unbeliev-
ing Jews even from reading his Epistle. The author, however,
would be easily known, without any formal notice or superscrip-
tion; and the omission of the apostle's name is no proof that
the Epistle to the Hebrews was not written by St. Paul: for, in
the three Epistles of St. John, which are universally acknow-
ledged to be the productions of an inspired apostle, the name of
the writer is not inserted. The first Epistle begins in the same
manner as the Epistle to the Hebrews; and, in the other two,
he calls himself simply the elder or presbyter. That the apostle
however did not mean to conceal himself, we learn from the
Epistle itself: "Know ye," says he, "that our brother Timo-
thy hath been sent abroad, with whom, if he come shortly, I
will see you (a).” (Heb. xiii. 33.) The objection, therefore,
from the omission of the apostle's name, necessarily falls to the

The passages which have been adduced as unsuitable to the
apostolic mission, and which have been cited as proofs that this
Epistle could not therefore have been written by St. Paul, are
Heb. ii. 1. 3. and xii. 1. It is here considered that the writer


Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Æra, 62.

that Majesty with the Father which was essential to his Italy. divine Nature, before the World was made.

1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

speaks of himself as one not at all distinguished, and in the se-
cond passage, according to Grotius and Le Clerc, 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 un-
palatable, or dishonourable to them (see Tit. iii. 3. and fre-
quently 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 him by the
preaching of the apostles; and St. Paul often appealed, as well
as the other apostles, in this manner to the testimony of eye-
witnesses in confirmation 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 He-

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 transla-
tors 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 those 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 remem-
bered that there is nothing in it which amounts to a marked
difference of style, but on the contrary there are the same con-
struction 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 objections, which would naturally occur, and therefore required removing.

The numerous resemblances and agreements between this

Julian Period, 4775.


2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son. Italy. Vulgar Era, Epistle and those of St. Paul's acknowledged productions, have been collected at great length by Braunius, Carpzov, Lardner, and Macknight, from whom Horne has made the following abridgment.


1. Coincidences between the exhortations in this Epistle and those in St. Paul's other letters. Sce Heb. xii. 3. compared with Gal. vi. 9. 2 Thess. iii. 13. and Eph. iii. 13.; Heb. xii. 14. with Rom. xii. 18.; Heb. xiii. 1. 3, 4. with Eph. v. 2-4.; Heb. xiii. 16. with Phil. iv. 18. See also Acts ii. 42. Rom. xv. 26. 2 Cor. viii. 24. and ix. 13.

2. Instances of agreement in the style or phrases of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and in the acknowledged Epistles of St. Paul. Sce Heb. ii. 4. compared with Rom. xv. 19. 2 Cor. xii. 12. and 2 Thess. ii. 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 1 Cor. iii. 2.; Heb. viii. 1. with Eph. i. 2!.; 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. 1 Thess. v. 23. and 2 Cor. xiii. 11.

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 Grecce 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 xx. 24.

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, 1 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. 15. 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 office on earth, but only in heaven.

6. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, we find such enlarged views of the divine dispensations 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 admirable reasonings founded thereon, for the confirmation of the




Julian Pe- whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also Italy. riod, 4775. VulgarÆra,


Gospel revelation, as, without disparagement to the other apos-
tles, seem to have exceeded, not their natural abilities and edu-
cation 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 knowledge 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. 1.; 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 acknowledged 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 had written to those Christians to whom St. Peter was then writing, that is,to the believing Jews in general, (2 Pet. i. I.) and to those of the dispersion mentioned in 1 Pet. 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 this 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 the end of A.D. 62, or early in 63. Of this opinion was Mill, Wetstein, Tillemont, Lardner, Macknight, and the great majo

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