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24 Salute all them that
have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.
25 Grace be with you
24 Ασπασασθε παντας τους ἡγουμενους ὑμων και παντας τους άγιους ασπαζονται ὑμας οἱ απο της Ιταλιας.
χαρις μετα παντων
condly, because in none of Paul's epistles, written during his confinement in Rome, does he give the least intimation of Timothy's having been imprisoned, although he was with Paul the greatest part of the time, Philip. i. 1. Col. i. 1. Philem. ver. 1.
2. I will see you. From this it is evident, that the apostle, when he wrote this epistle, was set at liberty.
Ver. 24.1. They of Italy salute you. The salutations from the Chris. tians of Italy, shew, that the writer of this letter, was either in Italy, or had
24 Salute all your rulers, (see ver. 7. 17.) and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.1
24 In my name, wish health to all your spiritual guides, and to all the Christians in Judea. The Christians of Italy, in token of their communion with you, wish you health.
25 May the favour of God, and the assistance of his Spirit, be with you all. And in testimony of my sincerity in this wish, and in all the doctrines delivered in this letter, I say, Amen.
25 Grace BE with you all. Amen.
some of the brethren of Italy with him when he wrote it: which agrees with the supposition, that Paul was the author of it. For he had been two years a prisoner at Rome, but had now obtained his liberty, ver. 23. by means, as is supposed, of the persons he had converted in the emperor's family, Philip. iv. 22.
ST. PAUL'S EPISTLES.
HAVING now finished the translation and explanation of all the apostle Paul's epistles, I presume my readers will not be displeased with me for transcribing a passage from the conclusion of Archd. Paley's Hora Paulinæ, where, after giving a short but comprehensive view of the evidences, by which the authenticity of St. Paul's epistles is established beyond all possibility of doubt, he thus proceeds: "If it be true that we are in pos"session of the very letters which St. Paul wrote, let us con"sider what confirmation they afford to the Christian history. "In my opinion, they substantiate the whole transaction. The 66 great object of modern research is to come at the epistolary 66 correspondence of the times. Amidst the obscurities, the si"lence, or the contradictions of history, if a letter can be found, "we regard it as the discovery of a Land-mark; as that by which "we can correct, adjust or supply the imperfections and uncer"tainties of other accounts. One cause of the superior credit "which is attributed to letters is this, that the facts which they "disclose generally come out incidentally, and therefore without ❝design to mislead the public by false or exaggerated accounts. "This reason may be applied to St. Paul's epistles with as much "justice as to any letters whatever. Nothing could be farther "from the intention of the writer than to record any part of his ❝ history. That his history was in fact made public by these "letters, and has by the same means been transmitted to future ages, is a secondary and unthought of effect. The sincerity, "therefore, of the apostle's declarations, cannot reasonably be "disputed; at least we are sure that it was not vitiated by any "desire of setting himself off to the public at large. But these
"letters form a part of the muniments of Christianity, as much "to be valued for their contents, as for their originality. A "more inestimable treasure the care of antiquity could not have "sent down to us. Besides the proof they afford of the general "reality of St. Paul's history, of the knowledge which the au"thor of the Acts of the Apostles had obtained of that history, "and the consequent probability that he was, what he professes "himself to have been, a companion of the apostles; besides the "support they lend to these important inferences, they meet "specifically some of the principal objections upon which the "adversaries of Christianity have thought proper to rely. In "particular, they show,
I. "That Christianity was not a story set on foot amidst the "confusions which attended and immediately preceded the des"truction of Jerusalem; when many extravagant reports were "circulated, when men's minds were broken by terror and dis"tress, when amidst the tumults that surrounded them enquiry "was impracticable. These letters show incontestably, that the "religion had fixed and established itself before this state of "things took place.
II." Whereas it hath been insinuated, that our gospels may "have been made up of reports and stories which were current " at the time, we may observe, that with respect to the epistles, "this is impossible. A man cannot write the history of his "own life from reports; nor, what is the same thing, be led "by reports to refer to passages and transactions in which he "states himself to have been immediately present and active. "I do not allow that this insinuation is applied to the historical 66 part of the New Testament with any colour of justice or pro"bability; but I say that to the epistles it is not applicable ❝at all.
III. "These letters prove that the converts to Christianity "were not drawn from the barbarous, the mean, or the igno❝rant set of men, which the representations of infidelity would "sometimes make them. We learn from letters the character "not only of the writers, but, in some measure, of the persons "to whom they are written. To suppose that these letters "were addressed to a rude tribe, incapable of thought or re"flection, is just as reasonable as to suppose Locke's Essay on "the Human Understanding to have been written for the in"struction of savages. Whatever may be thought of these let