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as well as external evidences of our holy religion. It will not only be a source of incalculable satisfaction in their own minds to perceive the harmony of God's word, but it will qualify them to repel the attacks of the sceptic, and also to establish the faith of those who are wavering. At this juncture, especially, it becomes the obvious duty of those, who, in the providence of God, are set for the defence of the gospel, to point the rising generation to those facts and principles which form the grand basis of our faith and hope.
In relation to the conduct of his argument, our author remarks:
'I have disposed the several instances of agreement under separate numbers; as well to mark more sensibly the divisions of the subject, as for another purpose, viz.; that the reader may thereby be reminded that the instances are independent of one another. I have advanced nothing which I did not think probable; but the degree of probability by which different instances are supported, is undoubtedly very different. If the reader, therefore, meets with a number which contains an instance that appears to him unsatisfactory, or founded in mistake, he will dismiss that number from the argument, but without prejudice to any other. He will have occasion also to observe, that the coincidences discoverable in some epistles are 1 much fewer and weaker, than what are supplied by others. But he will add to his observation this important circumstance
- that whatever ascertains the original of one epistle, in some measure establishes the authority of the rest. For, whether these epistles be genuine or spurious, every thing about them indicates that they came from the same hand. The diction, which it is extremely difficult to imitate, preserves its resemblance and peculiarity throughout all the epistles. Numerous expressions and singularities of style, found in no other part of the New Testament, are repeated in different epistles, and occur in their respective places, without the smallest appearance of force or art. An involved argumentation, frequent obscurities, especially in the order and transition of thought, piety, vehemence, affection, bursts of rapture, and of unparalleled sublimity, are properties, all or most of them, discernible in every letter of the collection. But although these epistles bear strong marks of proceeding from the same hand, I think it is still more certain that they were originally separate publications. They form no continued story; they compose no regular correspondence; they comprise not the transactions of any particular period; they carry on no connexion of argu
ment; they depend not upon one another; except in one or two instances, they refer not to one another. I will farther undertake to say, that no study or care has been employed to produce or preserve an appearance of consistency amongst them. All which observations show that they were not intended by the person, whoever he was, that wrote them, to come forth or be read together: that they appeared at first separately, and have been collected since.'
For the liberal quotations which we have made from this justly celebrated work, we offer no apology, other than the vast importance of the subject embraced in them, and its obvious pertinency to the design of this article.
We have long been apprehensive, that the young men of our denomination have too much neglected the study of the evidences of Christianity; and perhaps this remark will apply to the youth of all denominations. They are too apt to regard this interesting branch of biblical literature, as being appropriate exclusively to the ministry. But this is a mistake. It deeply concerns every Christian, to acquaint himself with the numerous proofs which go to establish the genuineness, and authenticity of the holy Scriptures. And what period of life can be better adapted to this undertaking, than that in which the faculties of the mind are fresh and vigorous? In the maturity of our years, the mind is frequently embarrassed with the cares and anxieties incident to the new relations which we then sustain; other cares and anxieties will, in some degree, disqualify us for such investigations. But the circumstances of our young men are vastly more favorable to study; as must be apparent to all, who will give the subject a moment's consideration. They need not be discouraged from entering upon this species of mental labor, from any apprehension that the task is too disproportionate to their capacities; for we fearlessly hazard the assertion that the propositions embraced in Paley's Hora Paulina, together with his reasonings thereon, may be clearly comprehended by any youth of sixteen, who is possessed of ordinary understanding. Happy, indeed, should we be, if all of that age, who may chance to read this article, would fall upon making the experiment.
It would afford us much pleasure to cite many examples from the body of this work, wherein the Doctor has traced the agreement which subsists between the book of Acts and the
Epistles of St. Paul, and where he has shown that these instances of agreement are unaccompanied with the least least semblance of collusion, or the slightest indication of design; but we have, already, protracted this article much beyond our original intention. We will, therefore, close by an earnest recommendation to all who have not examined the volume, and who are desirous of enjoying a rich intellectual feast, speedily to procure the work, and then read, mark, and inwardly digest it; and we doubt not that they will feel their confidence strengthened in the genuineness and harmony of the sacred writings.
T. F. K.
EXAMPLE. We have judged it proper to lay before our readers a single example, as a specimen of Paley's manner of treating the subject. We will take the following, not because it is the most important, or the most striking, but because it stands the first in his book.
"But now I go unto Jerusalem, to minister unto the saints; for it has pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem." Rom. xv. 25, 26.
'In this quotation three distinct circumstances are stated; a contribution in Macedonia for the relief of the Christians of Jerusalem, a contribution in Achaia, for the same purpose, and an intended journey of St. Paul to Jerusalem. These circumstances are stated as taking place at the same time, and that to be the time when the epistle was written. Now let us inquire whether we can find these circumstances elsewhere; and whether, if we do find them, they meet together in respect of date. Turn to the Acts of the Apos tles, chap. xx. verse 2, 3, and you read the following account: "When he had gone over those parts, (viz. Macedonia,) and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, and there abode three months; and when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia." From this pas sage, compared with the account of St. Paul's travels given before, and from the sequel of the chapter, it appears, that upon St. Paul's second visit to the peninsula of Greece, his intention was, when he should leave the country, to proceed from Achaia directly by sea to Syria; but that, to avoid the Jews,
who were lying in wait to intercept him in his route, he so far changed his purpose as to go back through Macedonia, embark at Philippi, and pursue his voyage from thence towards Jerusalem. Here therefore is a journey to Jerusalem; but not a syllable of any contribution. And as St. Paul had taken several journeys to Jerusalem before, and one also immediately after his first visit into the peninsula of Greece (Acts xviii. 21.), it cannot from hence be collected in which of these visits the epistle was written, or, with certainty, that it was written in either. The silence of the historian, who professes to have been with St. Paul at the time (c. xx. v. 6.), concerning any contribution, might lead us to look out for some different journey, or might induce us perhaps to question the consistency of the two records, did not a very accidental reference, in another part of the same history, afford us sufficient ground to believe that this silence was omission. When St. Paul made his reply before Felix, to the accusations of Tertullus, he alleged, as was natural, that neither the errand which brought him to Jerusalem, nor his conduct whilst he remained there, merited the calumnies with which the Jews had aspersed him. "Now after many years, (i. e. of absence) I came to bring alms to my nation and offerings; whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude nor with tumult, who ought to have been here before thee, and object if they had aught against me." Acts xxiv. 17-19. This mention of alms and offerings certainly brings the narrative in the Acts nearer to an accordancy with the epistle; yet no one I am persuaded, will suspect that this clause was put into St. Paul's defence, either to supply the omission in the preceding narrative, or with any view to such accord
After all, nothing is yet said or hinted concerning the place of the contribution; nothing concerning Macedonia and Achaia. Turn therefore to the first Epistle to the Corinthians, chap. xvi. 1-4, and you have St. Paul delivering the following directions: "Concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye: upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whom soever you shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem; and if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me." In this passage we find a contribution carrying on at Corinth, the capital of Achaia, for the Christians of Jerusalem; we find also a hint given of the possibility of St. Paul going up to Jerusalem himself, after he had paid his visit into
Achaia; but this is spoken of rather as a possibility than as any settled intention; for his first thought was, "Whomsoever you shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality to Jerusalem;" and, in the sixth verse he adds, "that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I This epistle purports to be written after St. Paul had been at Corinth; for it refers throughout to what he had done and said amongst them whilst he was there. The expression, therefore, "When I come," must relate to a second visit; against which visit the contribution spoken of was desired to be in readiness.
But though the contribution in Achaia be expressly mentioned, nothing is here said concerning any contribution in Macedonia. Turn, therefore, in the third place, to the second epistle to the Corinthians, chap. viii. ver. 1-4, and you will discover the particular which remains to be sought for: "Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; how, that, in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality: for to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves; praying us, with much entreaty, that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints." To which add chap. ix. ver. 2: "I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago." In this epistle we find St. Paul advanced as far as Macedonia, upon that second visit to Corinth, which he promised in his former epistle; we find also, in the passages now quoted from it, that a contribution was going on in Macedonia at the same time with, or soon however following, the contribution which was made in Achaia; but for whom the contribution was made does not appear in this epistle at all; that information must be supplied from the first epistle.
Here therefore, at length, but fetched from three different writings, we have obtained the several circumstances we inquired after, and which the epistle to the Romans brings together, viz. a contribution in Achaia for the Christians of Jerusalem; a contribution in Macedonia for the same; and an approaching journey of St. Paul to Jerusalem. We have these circumstances-each by some hint in the passage which it is mentioned, or by the date of the writing in which the passage occurs -fixed to a particular time; and we have that time turning out, upon examination, to be in all the same; namely, towards the close of St. Paul's second visit to the peninsula of Greece. This is an instance of conformity beyond