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JOHN, who, according to the unanimous testimony of the ancient fathers, and ecclesiastical writers, was the author of this Gospel, was the son of Zebedee, a fisherman of Bethsaida, by Salome his wife, (compare Mat. x. 4, with Mat. xxvii. 55, 56, and Ma. xv. 40,) and brother of James the elder, whom Herod killed with the sword." (Ac. xii. 2.) Theophylact says, that Salome was the daughter of Joseph, the husband of Mary, by a former wife; and that consequently she was our Lord's sister, and John was his nephew. He followed the occupation of his father till his call to the apostleship, (Mat. iv. 21, 22. Ma. i. 19, 20. Lu. v. 1-10.) which is supposed to have been when he was about 25 years of age; after which he was a constant eye-witness of our Lord's labours, journeyings, discourses, miracles, passion, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. After the ascension of our Lord, he returned with the other apostles to Jerusalem, and with the rest partook of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, by which he was eminently qualified for the office of an Evangelist and Apostle. After the death of Mary the mother of Christ, which is supposed to have taken place about fifteen years after the crucifixion, and probably after the council held in Jerusalem about A. D. 49 or 50, (Ac. xv.) at which he was present, he is said by ecclesiastical writers, to have proceeded to Asia Minor, where he formed and presided over seven churches in as many cities, but chiefly resided at Ephesus. Thence he was banished by the Emperor Domitian, in the 15th year of his reign, A. D. 95, to the isle of Patmos in the Egean sea, where he wrote the Apocalypse. (Re. i. 9.) On the accession of Nerva the following year, he was recalled from exile, and returned to Ephesus, where he wrote his Gospel and Epistles, and died in the 100th year of his age, about A. D. 100, and in the third year of the Emperor Trajan. It is generally believed that St. John was the youngest of the twelve apostles, and that he survived all the rest. Jerome, in his comment on Gal. vi. says, that he continued preaching when so enfeebled with age, as to be obliged to be carried into the assembly; and that, not being able to deliver any long discourse, his custom was, to say in every meeting, My dear children, love one another! An opinion has prevailed, that he was, previous to his banishment to Patmos, thrown into a caldron of boiling oil, by order of Domitian, before the gate called Porta Latina at Rome, and that he came out unhurt; but on examining into the foundation of this account, we find that it rests almost entirely on the authority of Tertullian; and since it is not mentioned by Irenæus, Ori

gen, and others, who have related the sufferings of the apostles, it seems to deserve but little credit. The general current of ancient writers declares, that the apostle wrote his Gospel at an advanced period of life, with which the internal evidence perfectly agrees; and we may safely refer it, with Chrysos tom, Epiphanius, Mill, Le Clerc, and others, to the year 97. The Gospel of John (says Dr. Pye Smith) is distinguished by very observable characters, from the composition of the other Evangelists. It has much less of narrative, and is more largely occupied with the doctrines and discourses of the Lord Jesus. The topics also of the discourses possess a marked character, indicating that they have been selected with an especial view to the presenting of what, during his earthly ministry, Jesus himself had taught concerning his own person, and the spiritual and never-dying blessings which he confers upon those who believe on his name. The design of St. John in writing his Gospel is said by some to have been to supply those important events which the other Evangelists had omitted, and to refute the notions of the Cerinthians and Nicolaitans, or, according to others, to confute the heresy of the Gnostics and Sabians. But, though many parts of his Gospel may be successfully quoted against the strange doctrines held by those sects, yet the Apostle had evidently a more general end in view than the confutation of their heresies. His own words sufficiently inform us of his motive and design in writing this Gospel-" These things are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might have life through his name." Learned men are not wholly agreed concerning the language in which this Gospel was originally written. Salmasius, Grotius, and other writers, have imagined, that St. John wrote it in his own native tongue, the Aramean or Syriac, and that it was afterwards translated into Greek. This opinion is not supported by any strong arguments; and is contradicted by the unanimous voice of antiquity, which affirms that he wrote it in Greek, which is the general and most probable opinion. Michaelis prefers his style, in respect of purity, to the other Evangelists, which he attributes to his long residence at Ephesus. Whether the Evangelist had herein any allusion to Cerinthus, or other ancient heretics, is much disputed among the learned. That he might have some reference to them, is, we think, hardly to be doubted; but the Scripture method of confuting error, was by stating the opposite truths, which John does very fully.


ST. JOHN is generally considered, with respect to language, as the least correct writer in the New Testament. His style indicates a great want of those advantages which result from a learned education; but this defect is amply compensated by the unexampled simplicity with which he expresses the sublimest truths. Though simplicity of manner, says Campbell, is common to all our Lord's historians, there are evidently differences in the simplicity of one compared with that of another. One thing very remarkable in John's style, is an attempt to impress important truths more strongly on the minds of

his readers, by employing in the expression of them, both an affirmative proposition and a negative. It is manifestly not without design that he commonly passes over those passages of our Lord's history and teaching, which had been treated at large by the other Evangelists, or, if he touches them at all, he touches them but slightly, whilst he records many miracles which had been overlooked by the rest, and expatiates on the sublime doctrines of the pre-existence, the divinity, and the incarnation of the Word, the great ends of his mission, and the blessings of his purchase.



Fact No. 1. Ver. 1. In the end of the sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to the sepulchre, and found the stone roiled from the mouth of the sepulchre. II. (Omitted.)

III. Ver. 5-7. They see an angel, who comforts them, that Jesus was risen, and gone to Galilee, where his disciples should meet with him.

IV. They run, with a mixture of fear and joy, to the disciples; but meet Jesus by the


V. (Omitted.)

VI. (Omitted.)


Fact No. I. Ver. 1. When

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Fact No. I. Ver. 1. Very Fact No. I. Ver. 1. The first
the sabbath was past, Mary early the first day of the week day of the week Mary Mag-
Magdalene, and other women, Mary Magdalene and other dalene came to the sepulchre
brought spices to the sepulchre, women came to the sepulchre, while it was yet (somewhat)
just as the sun was rising, and and
dark, and she seeth the stone
Ver. 4. Found the stone Ver. 2. Found the stone rolled away from its mouth.
rolled away from its mouth.

rolled from the mouth of the sepulchre.

II. (Omitted.)

II. (Omitted.)

III. Ver. 5. Entering the III. Ver. 4-8. Entering the
sepulchre, she sees an angel, sepulchre, they see two angels,
who comfort the women, as
Ver. 6, 7. Comforts the wo-suring them that Jesus would
men, and assures them Jesus meet his disciples in Galilee.
would meet his disciples in

IV. Ver.8,9. They run away IV. Ver. 9, 10. They return
trembling to the disciples, but to tell the rest of the disciples,
by the way he appears to who believe not.

Ver. 10, 11. Mary goes and tells the rest of the disciples, but they believe not V. (Omitted.)

VI. Ver. 12. He appears to two disciples going into the country.

V. Ver. 12. But Peter runs (a second time) to the sepulchre, sees only the clothes, and retorns wondering.

VI. Ver. 13-32. Jesus ap-
pears to two disciples going to
Emmaus,and stops to sup with
Ver. 13. They report it to them.
the rest of the disciples, who
still believe not.

Ver. 33-35. They return to Jerusalem, and acquaint the


II. Ver. 2-10. She runs immediately to the apostles Peter and John, both of whom run to the sepulchre: John gets there first, and looks in; Peter comes up and goes first in, and then John follows; both see nothing but the tomb and grave clothes, and both return home. III. Ver. H-13. Mary Magdalene having this while stood weeping without,now looks in, and sees two angels, who endeavour to comfort her; but

IV. Ver. 14-18. Turning back, she sees Jesus, whom she takes for the gardener, till he discovers himself. Then Mary goes to tell the other disciples that she had seen the Lord. V. (Omitted.)

VI. (Omitted.)

VII. Ver 16, 17. The dis- VII. Ver. 14, 15. He appears VII. Ver. 36. Jesus appears VII. Ver. 19. The same
ciples go to Galilee, where they to the apostles and disciples at to the apostles and others, and evening Jesus appears to his
see him, as was appointed, supper, and commissions them commissions them to preach apostles, &c., and particularly
and he commissions them to to go and preach.
the Gospel, beginning at Jeru- addresses Peter.


The leading facts are here reduced to seven, which are marked with numerical letters, I. II., &c. On No. 1. it may be proper to remark, that, on comparing the different Evangelists, it seems that the women did not come all to the sepulchre at one time, but some at day-break, and the other women not till sun-rise. None of them seem to have been aware, that Nicodemus had brought spices on the night before, or that the sepulchre had been sealed and guarded.

On Fact III. we may remark, that Matthew and Mark mention the appearance of one angel-Luke and John, two. Perhaps one only spoke, and appeared the principal.

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THIS is the last of the historical books of the New Testament, and forms a link of connexion between the Gospels and Apostolical Epistles. The Acts, or transactions of the Apostles, is the title given to this book in the Codex Be za, and in all the modern versions or editions.

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That St. Luke was the author of this Book, as well as of the Gospel which bears his name, is evident," as Hartwell Horne remarks, both fror, the introduction, and from the unanimous testimonies of the early Christians. Both are inscribed to Theophilus, and, in the very first verse of the Acts, there is a reference made to his Gospel, which he calls the former Treatise....... From the frequent use of the first person plural, it is clear that he was present at most of the transactions he relates. He appears to have accompanied St. Paul to Philippi; he also attended him to Jerusalem, and afterwards to Rome,

where he remained two years during that Apostle's first confinement. Accordingly we find St. Luke particularly mentioned in two of the Epistles written by St. Paul, from Rome, during that confinement. And as the Book of Acts is continued to the end of the second year of St. Paul's imprisonment, it could not have been written before the year 63; and as the death of that Apostle is not mentioned, it is probable that the book was composed before that event, which is supposed to have happened A. D. 65." Michaelis, Dr. Lardner, Dr. Benson, Rosenmuller, Bp. Tomline, and the generality of critics, therefore, assign the date of this book to the year 63 or 64. The history, as it gives the only credible account of the rise and spread of Christianity, furnishes, at the same time, abundant evidence of its truth, and of its happy effects wherever it was received, in raising and improving the character of man.


Tus Acts of the Apostles is a most valuable portion of Divine Revelation; and, independently of its universal reception in the Christian church as an Authentic and inspired production, it bears the most satisfactory internal evidence of its authenticity and truth. It is not a made up history: the language and manner of every speaker are different; and the same speaker is different in his manner according to the audience he addresses. St. Luke's long attendance upon St. Paul, and his having been an eye witness of many of the facts which he has recorded, independently of his divine inspiration, render him a most respectable and credible historian; and his medical knowledge, for he is allowed to have been a physician, enabled him both to form a proper judgment of the miraculous cures which were performed by St. Paul, and to give an authentic and circumstantial detail of them. The plainness and simplicity of the narrative are also strong circumstances in its favour. The writer evidently appears to have been very honest and impartial; and to have set down, very fairly, the objections which were made to Christianity, both by Jews and Heathens, and the reflections which were cast upon it, and upon its first preachers. He has likewise, with a just and honest freedom, mentioned the weaknesses, faults, and prejudices, both of the Apostles and their converts. There is also a great and remarkable harmony between the occasional bints dispersed throughout St. Paul's epistles, and this lustory; so that the Acts is the best clue to guide us in studying the Epistles of that Apostle. The other parts of the New Testament are likewise in perfect unison with this history, and tend greatly to confirm it; and the doctrines and principles are every where the same. The Gos pela close with a reference to those things recorded in the Acts, particularly the promise of the Holy Spirit, which we know from this history, was poured

out by Christ upon his disciples after his ascension; and the Epistles of the other Apostles, as well as those of St. Paul, plainly suppose, that these facts had actually occurred which are related in the Acts of the Apostles. So that the history of the Acts is one of the most important parts of the Sacred History; for, without it, neither the Gospels nor Epistles could have been so clearly understood; but, by the aid of it, the whole scheme of the Christian Revelation is set before us in a clear and easy view. Lastly, even the incidental circumstances mentioned by St. Luke, correspond so exactly, and without any previous view of such correspondence, with the accounts of the best ancient historians, both Jews and Heathens, that no person who had forged such a history in later ages, could have had the same external confirmation; but he must have betrayed himself by alluding to some customs or opinions which have since sprung up, or by misrepresenting some circumstance, or using some phrase or expression not then in use. The plea of forgery, therefore, in later ages, cannot be allowed; and, if St. Luke had published his history at so early a period, when some of the Apostles, and many other persons concerned in the transactions, were alive, and his account had not been true, he would have exposed himself to an easy confutation, and certain infamy. Since, therefore, the Acts of the Apostles are in themselves consistent and uniform; the incidental relations agreeable to the best historians that have come down to us; and the main facts, supported and confirmed by the other books of the New Testament, as well as by the unanimous testimony of the ancient fathers, we may justly conclude, that if any history of former times deserves credit, the Acts of the Apostles ought to be received and credited; and, if the history of the Acts of the Apostles be true, Christianity cannot be false.


HAVING gone through the historical books of the New Testament, what re- | mam texept the last) are Epistolary; and by far the larger part of these WTO written by the Apostle to the Gentiles. The Epistles, especially Paul's, 10g adressed to persons or societies already initiated into the principles of Christianity, enter more deeply into the distinguishing doctrines of the Gospel, and the controversies which in that early age were raised thereon, and partiearly by Jewish converts, who were extremely loth to relax their prejudices in favour of the Jewish institutions.

Much has been said for and against Paul's style. Dr. Macknight, who objects to some of the strong language of the learned Beza, still admits that it Contains beauties of the highest character, and passages to which it would be diffult to find any of superior merit among the most admired classical writers of Greece and Rome.

"Paul, says Mr. Locke, "is full of the matter he treats; and writes with warmth, which usually neglects method, and those partitions and panses which men, educated in the schools of rhetoricians, usually observe." It must be remembered that Paul's object was not to advance his own fame as a writer, but the glory of his Saviour: that classical writers did not always furDash words or phrases sufficient to explain the mysteries of the Gospel that the connexion between the New and Old Testaments often led him necessarily to a lot Hebrew allusions, terms, and phrases, which, though they may be conard as blemishes in Greek composition, form some of his chief beauties as 4 Catian teacher; and wo be to them who hang the perishing garlands of hutan eloquence on the cross of Christ, thereby in any degree to hide him from

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8 To the Pilippians



9 To the Colossians

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12 1st to Timothy.



14 21 to Timothy.




10 To Philemon.


11 To the Hebrews


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12 13 To Titus.

Nicopolis Macedonia.


perhaps Rome.

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THAT St. Paul was the author of the Epistle to the Romans is proved, not only by the whole current of Christian antiquity, but by the most satisfactory internal evidence. We find that it was dictated by the Apostle in the Greek language to his amanuensis Tertius, (ch. xvi. 22) and was forwarded to the Church at Rome by Phobe, a deaconess of Cenchrea, a port of Corinth, (ch. Its further evident that it was written from that city, from his menting Gans with whom he lodged at Corinth, (ch. xvi. 23. 1 Co. i. 14,) as lins Erastim the chamberlain of that city, (2 Tim. iv. 20.) It also appears that it was written there, at the time that the Apostle was preparing to take the contributions of the churches to Jerusalem, (ch. xv. 25-27:) and consequently, the most probable date assigned to this Epistle is A. D. 58, which is

supported by Bishop Tomline, Lardner, Lord Barrington, Benson, and others.

It is not certain at what time, or by whom, the gospel was first preached at Rome; but it has been conjectured, with much probability, that it was carried thither by some of the Jews who were converted on the day of Pentecost. (Ac. ii. 10.) St. Paul himself had not yet visited that city; but being made fully acquainted with the circumstances of the church there by Aquila and Priscilla, (ch. xvi. 3.) he deemed it proper to adopt this method of establishing believers in the faith, and of giving them such a comprehensive view of the Christian religion, as might guard them against the insinuationa of false teachers of various descriptions.


THE Epistle to the Romans is "a writing," says Dr. Macknight, "which, I forestry and truth of sentiment, for brevity and strength of expression, for Canty in its structure, but above all for the unspeakable importance of the scoveries which it contains, stands unrivalled by any mere human composi tion and as far exceeds the most celebrated productions of the learned Greeks Bar Romans, as the shining of the sun exceeds the twinkling of the stars." St Paul, as Dr. Taylor justly observes, was a great genius and a fine water and he seems to have exercised all his talents, as well as the most Christian temper, in drawing up this Epistle. The plan of it is very reve: and it is surprising to see what a spacious field of knowledge he benpriard, and how many various designs, arguments, explications, intine and exhortations, he has executed in so small a compass.... The putie is to be taken in connexion, or considered as one continued dis

course; and the sense of every part must be taken from the drift of the whole, Every sentence, or verse, is not to be regarded as a distinct mathematical proposition, or theorem, or as a sentence in the book of Proverbs, whose sense is absolute, and independent of what goes before, or comes after: but we must remember, that every sentence, especially in the argumentative part, bears relation to, and is dependent upon, the whole discourse; and cannot be understood unless we understand the scope and drift of the whole. And therefore, the whole Epistle, or at least the eleven first chapters of it, ought to be read over at once, without stopping. As to the use and excellency of this Epistle, I shall leave it to speak for itself, when the reader has studied and well digested its contents.... The Apostle's manner of writing is with great spirit and force, I may add, perspicuity too; for it will not be difficult to understand him, if our minds are unprejudiced, and at liberty to attend to the subject he



INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS has made it a magazine of the most real, extensive, useful, and profitable is upon, and to the current scriptural sense of the words he uses. For he keeps | ficiently guarded, explained, and defended, within the limits of a letter; which very strictly to the standard of Scripture phraseology. He takes great care to He often carries on a complicaguard and explain every part of his subject. And I may venture to say he has knowledge. He treats his countrymen, the Jews, with great caution and tenleft no part of it unexplained or unguarded. Never was an author more exact derness.... His transitions and advances to an ungrateful subject are very dexand cautious in this than he. Sometimes he writer notes upon a sentence, terous and apposite; as ch. ii. 1--17. viii. 17. liable to exception and wanting explanation, as ch. ii. 12-16. Here the 13th ted design, and while he is teaching one thing, gives us an opportunity of and at the same time instructs magistrates in their duty, and shows the and 15th verses are a comment upon the former part of it. Sometimes he learning one or two more. So ch. xiii. 1-8, he teaches the duty of subjects, The 12th and 13th verses are comments upon a single word; as ch. x. 11-13. never loses sight of his subject, and who throws in every colour that may ena comment upon pas, every one, in the 11th. He was studious of a perspicu- grounds of their authority. He is a nervous reasoner, and a close writer, who ous brevity, as ch. v. 13, 14. For until the law sin was in the world, &c.Surely never was there a greater variety of useful sentiments crowded into a liven it. He writes under a deep and lively sense of the truth and importand affections it reigned far superior to all temporal considerations," smaller compass; and yet so skilfully, that one part very clearly explains ance of the Gospel, as a man who clearly understood it, and in whose heart another.... It is by this unparalleled art, that the Apostle has brought such a variety of arguments, instructions, and sentiments, all stated, proved, and suf



THAT the first Epistle to the Corinthians is the genuine production of St. | Paul, has been universally admitted by the Christian church in all ages; nor indeed can it be doubted, as it is supported by the strongest internal evidence. It purports to have been written by him after he had already been at Corinth, Ach. ii. 1.) when upon the eve of another visit to that church, (ch. iv. 19; xvi. 5;) and, while he abode at Ephesus, (ch. xvi. 8, 19. Ac. xviii. 18, 26.) Now, as St. Paul departed from Ephesus, where he had resided three years, in order

was written about that time. The subscription to this Epistle, which states to proceed to Corinth, about A. D. 57, (Ac. xx. 1,) it follows, that this Epistle, that it was written at Philippi, cannot be correct, as it is contradicted by the answer to certain inquiries of the Corinthians by letter, (ch. vii. 1; xvi. 12, 71 :) declaration of St. Paul himself. It appears that it was written by the Apostle in and also to correct certain schisms and disorders which prevailed among them, and of which he had been informed by" them which were of the house of Chloe." CONCLUDING REMARKS.

tentive reader need not be informed; while bis candour, love, faithfulness, and holy zeal, are apparent in every page. The Corinthians abounded in knowledge, science, eloquence, and various extraordinary gifts and endowments, and for these the Apostle gives them full credit; but, in many cases, distinctly enough marked in this Epistle, they were grossly ignorant of the genius and design of the gospel. Many, since their time, have put words and observances in place of the weightier matters of the law, and the spirit of the gospel. The Apostle has taken great pains to correct these abuses among the Corinthians; and to insist on that great unchangeable and eternal truth, the affections, and producing universal benevolence and beneficence, is the that love to God and man, filling the heart, hallowing the passions, regulating fulfilling of the whole law; and that all professions, knowledge, and gifts, what is found in the thirteenth chapter, it would be an unparalleled monument without this, are absolutely useless. Did this Epistle contain no more than of the Apostle's deep acquaintance with God; and an invaluable record of the sum and substance of the gospel, left by God's mercy to the church, as a to the end of time. Though this Epistle contains more local matter, and more touchstone for the trial of creeds, confessions of faith, and ritual observances, matter of private application, than any other in the New Testament; and though, perhaps, it may possess less matter for general use than other parts of the Sacred Writings, yet it is both highly interesting and useful; gives an insight into several customs, and not a few forms of speech, and circumstances relative to the discipline of the primitive church, which we can find no where else; shows us how many improper things may, in a state of ignorance, or Christian infancy, be consistent with a sincere belief of the gospel, and a warm and zealous attachment to it; reads a very awful lesson to those who disturb the peace of society, and make schisms in the church of Christ; and confirms, illustrates, and defends, many of the most important parts of Christ

CORINTH, favoured by its situation between two seas, rose to the summit of dignity and splendour. From its extensive commerce, it abounded with riches, and was furnished with all the accommodations, elegances, and superfluities of life; and far exceeded all the cities in the world in the magnificence of its public buildings, such as temples, palaces, theatres, porticoes, cenotaphs, baths, and other edifices. But wealth produced luxury, and luxury a total corruption of manners; so that the inhabitants became infamous to a proverb, lascivious ness in particular being not only tolerated, but forming a considerable portion of their religion. Notwithstanding this, the arts, sciences, and literature, still continued to flourish, every part of the Grecian learning being highly cultivated; so that before its destruction by the Romans, Cicero (pro lege Manl. c. 5.) scrupled not to call it, "The light of all Greece." It possessed numerous schools, in which philosophy and rhetoric were taught by able masters; and strangers resorted thither from all quarters to be instructed in the sciences. Attention to these circumstances will account for several things mentioned by the Apostle in his letters to this city; which things, without this knowledge of their previous Gentile state and customs, we could not comprehend. It is indubitably certain, as the Apostle states, that they carried these things to an extent that was never practised in any other Gentile country; and yet, even in Corinth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, effecting what learning and philosophy were utterly unable to accomplish, prevailed over universal corruption and depravity, so much so that it became the seat of a flourishing Christian church! We have already seen, that the peace of this church had been disturbed by false teachers, who made great pretensions to wisdom, eloquence, and knowledge of the Christian liberty; and that it was to compose these differences, to correct certain abuses, and to answer various questions relative to which they had written to the Apostle, that he composed this Epistle to the Church of Corinth. With what consummate skill and soundness of argument he establishes doctrines, meets objections, and refutes erroneous opinions, the at-ian doctrine and practice.



THAT St. Paul was the author of this Epistle has never been doubted, and is amply confirmed by internal evidence; from which it appears, that it was written by the Apostle in Macedonia, and probably at Philippi, as the subscription affirms, after the uproar at Ephesus, about a year after the preceding, and in consequence of the accounts which he had received of the favourable reception of the first; and afterwards sent to the Corinthians by Titus and his associates. Accordingly the Apostle justifies himself from the charge of levity, or worldly policy, in delaying his journey to Corinth, assigning those reasons for this part of his conduct which could not have been disclosed with propriety till the effect of his former epistle had appeared; declares the justice

specting his restoration; expatiates on his own conduct in the Christian minisI of his sentence against the incestuous person, and gives suitable directions retry, intermixing many exhortations with the avowal of his motives and fervent ness, to complete their contributions for their poor brethren in Judea, showing affections in the sacred work; excites them, with great address and earnest the manifold advantages of such services; contrasts more directly, yet evidently with great reluctance, his own gifts, labours, sufferings, and conduct, with the pretences of their false teachers, showing himself to be "not a whit inferior to any of the apostles; and concludes with various admonitions, and affectionate good wishes and prayers.


The most remarkable circumstance, observes Mr. Scott, in this Epistle is, the confidence of the Apostle in the goodness of his cause, and in the power of God to bear him out in it. Opposed, as he then was, by a powerful and sagacious party, whose authority, reputation, and interest, were deeply concerned, and who were ready to seize on every thing that could discredit him, it is wonderful to hear him so firmly insist upon his apostolical authority, and so unreservedly appeal to the miraculous powers which he had exercised and So far from shrinking from the contest, as afraid of conferred at Corinth. some discovery being made, unfavourable to him and the common cause, he, with great modesty and meekness indeed, but with equal boldness and deci sion, expressly declares, that his opposers and despisers were the ministers of Satan, and menaces them with miraculous judgments, when as many of their deluded hearers had been brought to repentance and re-established in the faith, as proper means could in a reasonable time effect. It is inconceivable that a stronger internal testimony, not only of integrity, but of divine inspiration, can exist. Had there been any thing of imposture among the Christians, was next to impossible but such a conduct must have occasioned a disclo


sure of it. Of the effects produced by this latter epistle we have no cireumwritten it, is mentioned by St. Luke only in few words, (Ac. xx. 2, 3.) We stantial account; for the journey which St. Paul took to Corinth, after he had know, however, that St. Paul was there after he had written this Epistle; that the contributions for the poor brethren at Jerusalem were brought to him from different parts to that city, (Ro. xv. 26 ;) and that, after remaining there several months, he sent salutations from some of the principal members of that church, by whom he must have been greatly respected, to the church of Rome, (Ro. xvi. 22, 23.) From this time we hear no more of the false teacher and his party; and when Clement of Rome wrote his epistle to the Corin thians, St. Paul was considered by them as a divine apostle, to whose authority he might appeal without fear of contradiction. The false teacher, therefore, must either have been silenced by St. Paul, by virtue of his apostolical powers, and by an act of severity, which he had threatened, (2 Co. xiii. 2, 3;) or this adversary of the apostle had at that time voluntarily quitted the place. Whichever was the cause, the effect produced must operate as a confirmation of our faith, and as a proof of St. Paul's divine mission.




THE Galatians, or Gallogræcians, were the descendants of Gauls, who mi- |
grated from their own country, and after a series of disasters, got possession
of a large district in Asia Minor, from them called Galatia. (Pausanias, Attic.
c. iv.) They are mentioned by historians as a tall and valiant people, who
went nearly naked, and used for arms only a buckler and sword; and the im-
petuosity of their attack is said to have been irresistible. Their religion, be-
fore their conversion, was extremely corrupt and superstitious; they are said to
have worshipped the mother of the gods, under the name of Adgistis; and to
have offered human sacrifices of the prisoners they took in war. Though they
poke the Greek language, in common with almost all the inhabitants of Asia
Minor, yet it appears from Jerome that they retained their original Gaulish

language, even so late as the fifth century. Christianity appears to have been the churches at least twice in that country, (Acts xvi. 6; xviii. 23.) It is evifirst planted in these regions by St. Paul himself, (ch. i. 6; iv. 13;) who visited he complains of their speedy apostacy from his doctrine, (ch. i 6. ;) and as dent that this Epistle was written soon after their reception of the Gospel, as there is no notice of his second journey into that country, it has been supposed, with much probability, that it was written soon after his first, and consequently about A. D. 52 or 53. It appears, that soon after the Apostle had drawing them off from the true Gospel, to depend on ceremonial observances, left them, some Judaizing teachers intruded themselves into the churches; and to the vain endeavour of "establishing their own righteousness."



GALATIA was situated between Phrygia on the south, Pamphylia and Bithyma on the north, and Pontus on the east. St Paul had heard, that since his departure from Galatia, corrupt opinions had got in amongst them about the necessary observations of the legal rites, mduced by several impostors who had crept into that church, and who endea voured to undermine the doctrine St. Paul had there established, by vilifying mus person, slighting him as an apostle, and as not to be compared with Peter, James, and John, who had familiarly conversed with the Lord Jesus Christ

in the days of his flesh, and been immediately deputed by Him. In this epis tie, therefore, he reproves them with severity, that they had been so soon led out of the right way wherein he had instructed them, and had so easily suf fered themselves to be imposed upon by the crafty artifices of seducers. Ho vindicates the honour of the apostolic office, and shows that he had received his commission immediately from Christ, and that he came not behind the very chief of those apostles.



ALTHOUGH," says Dr. Paley, "it does not appear to have been ever dismited, that the Epistle before us was written by St. Paul, yet it is well known fat & doubt has long been entertained concerning the persons to whom it was arassed. The question is founded on some ambiguity in the external eviMarcion, a heretic of the second century, as quoted by Tertullian, a father in the beginning of the third, calls it the Epistle to the Laodiceans. From what we know of Marcion, his judgment is little to be relied on; nor is it per fly clear that Marcion was rightly understood by Tertullian... The name, Epherus, in the first verse, upon which word singly depends the proof that - Epistle was written to the Ephesians, is not read in all the manuscripts extest. I admit, however, that the external evidence preponderates with a matextes on the side of the received reading." The same learned writer the a proceeds to argue, from internal evidence, that the Epistle could hardly be written to a people with whom the Apostle resided three years; there being no adfusion or appeal, as in other epistles, to what had passed when he resided 457th m—It has been said," says Macknight, that if this Epistle was dested to the Ephesians, it is difficult to understand how the Apostle content ed insclf with giving them a general salutation, without mentioning any of

his numerous friends and acquaintance, with whom he had been intimate
during his long residence at Ephesus. But the answer is,.. there are no parti-
cular salutations in the epistles to the Galatians, the Philippians, the Thessalo-
nians, and to Titus, because to have sent particular salutations to individuals,
in churches where the Apostle was so generally and intimately acquainted...
might have offended those who were neglected,... and to have mentioned every
person of note in those churches, would have taken up too much room. In
writing to the Romans, the case was different. The Apostle was personally
unknown to most of them... and therefore he could,... without offence to the
rest, take particular notice of all his acquaintance." As, therefore," the ex-
ternal evidence preponderates with a manifest excess in favour of the received
reading," which is not contradicted by its internal evidence; and as Dr. Paley
appears to be mistaken in supposing that the word Ephesus was wanting in
any manuscript extant, (see Bishop Middleton on the Greek article, p. 510,) we
are fully justified in regarding this Epistle as written to the Ephesians.
Grotius has remarked of this Epistle, that it expresses the grand matters
of which it treats, in words more sublime than are to be found in any human


rears was the capital of Proconsular Asia; and the gospel was first in this celebrated but licentious city, by St. Paul, with the most abunt stress and such was the Apostle's concern for their spiritual welfare, that he did not leave them till three years afterwards. On his return from Marlonia and Achain to Jerusalem, he sent for the elders of the church to met him at Miletus, where he took an affectionate leave of them, and deli

vered a most solemn charge. (Ac. xviii, 19–21. &c.) Some years after, he wrote this epistle from Rome, as stated in the subscription, during his first imprisonment in that city, (ch. iii. 1, &c..) and from his not expressing any hopes of a speedy release, probably in the endly part of it, about A. D. 61; to establish them in the great doctrines of the gospel, to guard them against errors, to excite them to a holy conversation, and to animate them in their Christian warfare.



Tas Church at Philippi in Macedonia was planted by the Apostle Paul sha A. D. 33, (Acts xvi. 9-40;) and it appears he visited them again, A. D. leigh no particulars are recorded concerning that visit, (Acts xx. 6.) The Polromans were greatly attached to St. Paul, and testified their ailection by seating him supplies, even when labouring for other churches; and when they ind that he was under confinement at Rome, they sent Epaphroditus, one of their pastors, to him with a present, lest he should want necessaries during

his imprisonment. The more immediate occasion of the Epistle was the return of Epaphroditus, by whom the Apostle sent it as a grateful acknowledg ment of their kindness; which occurred towards the close of his first imprisonment, about the end of A. D. 62, or the commencement of 63, as is evident from the expectation he discovers of his being soon released and restored to them, as well as from intimations that he had been a considerable time at Rome.



(erosse was a large and populous city of Phrygia Pacatiana, in Asia Mi-1 casted on an eminence to the south of the river Meander, near to the says Herodotus, (l. vii. c. 30.) where the river Lycus enters the earth, h course it continues for five furlongs, before it emerges and falls into the Vander It was situated, according to ancient authorities, between Laodicea and Hanapolis, nearly equ-distant from each; all which cities, according to us, were destroyed by an earthquake, in the tenth year of the emperor Neal and about a year after the writing of this Epistle. Colosse, however, retless rose again, like her sister cities, from her ruins; and Constantine Pophyrazennetus states that it was called in his time Chona. Colosse is ked to have occupied a site now covered with ruins, near the village of Kamole, or Khonas, about three hours from Laodicea, but on the other side

of the river which is supposed to be the Lycus, and about twenty miles N. W. of Degnizlu. By whom, or at what time, the church at Colosse was founded is wholly uncertain; but it would appear from the Apostle's declaration, ch. ii. 1, that he was not the honoured instrument. It appears from the tenor of this Epistle to have been, upon the whole, in a very flourishing state; but some difficulties having arisen among them, they sent Epaphras to Rome, where the Apostle was now imprisoned, (ch iv. 3,) to acquaint him with the state of their atlairs. This was the immediate occasion of the Epistle to which we may add the letter sent him by the Laodiceans, (ch iv. 16, concerning certain false teachers. This Epistle appears to have been written about the same time with that to the Philippians, (compare chap. i. 1. with Phi. ii. 19,) that is. towards the end of A. D. 62, and in the ninth of the emperor Nero. CONCLUDING REMARKS.

The Epistle to the Colossians, and the two preceding Epistles, which were witter during the imprisonment of St. Paul, and about the same time, are reterkalce for a peculiar pathos and ardour, or rapture, as some have termed it, this generally ascribed to the extraordinary consolations enjoyed by the Astle during his sufferings for the sake of Christ. Critics have justly reked, that the style of the Epistle to the Ephesians is exceedingly elevated, y si erresponds with the state of the Apostle's mind at the time of writing. tayed with the account which their messenger brought him of the steades of their faith, and the ardency of their love to all the saints, and transtes with the consideration of the unsearchable wisdom of God displayed in Sr work of man's redemption, and of his amazing love towards the Gentiles, a introducing them, as fellow heirs with the Jews, into the kingdom of Christ, he wars to the most exalted contemplation of these sublime topics, and gives the rare to his thoughts in language at once rich and varied. Grotius affirms, txt it expresses the most sublime matters contained in it, in terms more deme than are to be found in any human language." This character, adds M. cnight, "is so just, that no real Christian can read the doctrinal part of the

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Epistle to the Ephesians, without being impressed and roused by it, as by the sound of a trumpet." The style of the Epistle to the Philippians is very animated, pleasing, and easy; every where bearing evidence of that contented state of mind in which the Apostle then was, and of his great affection for the people. I has been observed as reinarkable, that the Epistle to the Church of Philippi is the only one, of all St. Paul's letters to the churches, in which not one censure is expressed or implied against any of its members; but, on the contrary, sentiments of unqualified commendation and confidence pervade every part of this Epistle. The language of the Epistle to the Colossians is bold and energetic; the sentiments grand; and the conceptions vigorous and majestic. Whoever, says Michaelis, would understand the Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians must read them together. The one is in most places a commentary on the other; the meaning of single passages in one epistle, which, if considered alone, might be variously interpreted, being determined by the parallel passages in the other Epistles. Yet, though there is a great similarity, the Epistle to the Colossians contains many things which are not to be found in that to the Ephesians.



The Gospel was first preached at Thessalonica by St. Paul, accompanied he sent Silas and Timothy to Thessalonica in his stead, (ch. iii. 6) who by silas and Timothy, with such success, that it excited the envy and indigna- having, on their return to him at Corinth, given such a favourable account of on of the unbelieving Jews, who having stirred up a violent persecution their state as filled him with joy and gratitude, (Ac. xvii. 14, 15; xvin. 5.) he wrote acnst them, they were forced to flee to Berea, and thence to Ath ns, (Ac. this Epistle to them from that city, (and not from Athens, as stated in the spu IV 215.) from which city he proceeded to Corinth. Having thus been pre-rious postscript.) A. D. 52, to confirm them in their faith, and to excite them to vented from again visiting the Thessalonians as he had intended, (ch. ii. 17, 18,) a holy conversation becoming the dignity of their high and holy calling.


THE first Epistle to the Thessalonians, it is generally agreed, was the ear- | cedonia.-"I charge you by the Lord, that this Epistle be read unto all the fest written of all St. Paul's epistles; whence we see the reason and pro- holy brethren." (Ch. v. 27.) "The existence of this clause," observes Paley priety of his anxiety that it should be read in all the Christian churches of Mai is an evidence of its authenticity because, to produce a letter, purporting


to have been publicly read in the church at Thessalonica, when no such letter had been read or heard of in that church, would be to produce an imposture destructive of itself.... Either the Epistle was publicly read in the church of Thessalonica, during St. Paul's lifetime, or it was not. If it was, no publication could be more authentic, no species of notoriety more unquestion able, no method of preserving the integrity of the copy more secure... If it was not, the clause would remain a standing condemnation of the forgery, and one would suppose, an invincible impediment to its success." Its genuineness, however, has never been disputed; and it has been universally received in the Christian church, as the inspired production of St. Paul, from the earliest period to the present day. The circumstance of this injunction being given, in the first epistle which the Apostle wrote, also implies a strong and avowed claim to the character of an inspired writer; as in fact it placed his writings on the same ground with those of Moses and the ancient prophets. It was evidently the chief design of the apostle, in writing to the Thessalonians, to confirm them in the faith, to animate them to a courageous profession of the gospel, and to the practice of all the duties of Christianity; but to suppose, with Macknight, that he intended to prove the divine authority of Christianity by a chain of regular arguments, in which he answered the several objections which the heathen philosophers are supposed to have advanced, seems quite foreign to the nature of the epistle, and to be grounded on a mistaken notion, that the philosophers deigned at so early a period to enter on a regular disputation with the Christians, when in fact they derided them as enthusi asts, and branded their doctrines as foolishness." In pursuance of his grand object, it is remarkable," says Doddridge, with how much address he improves all the influence, which his zeal and fidelity in their service must natu


rally give him, to inculcate upon them the precepts of the gospel, and pe
suade them to act agreeably to their sacred character. This was the grand
point he always kept in view, and to which every thing else was made subscr
Nothing appears, in any part of his writings, like a design to establish
his own reputation, or to make use of his ascendancy over his Christian friends
to answer any secular purposes of his own. On the contrary, in this and in his
other epistles, he discovers a most generous, disinterested regard for their wel-
fare, expressly disclaiming any authority over their consciences, and appealing
to them, that he had chosen to maintain himself by the labour of his own
hands, rather than prove burdensome to the churches, or give the least colour
of suspicion, that, under zeal for the gospel, and concern for their improve-
ment, he was carrying on any private sinister view. The discovery of so ex-
cellent a temper must be allowed to carry with it a strong presumptive argu
ment in favour of the doctrines he taught.... And, indeed, whoever reads
St. Paul's epistles with attention, and enters into the spirit with which they
were written, will discern such intrinsic characters of their genuineness, and
the divine authority of the doctrines they contain, as will, perhaps, produce
in him a stronger conviction, than all the external evidence with which they
are attended." These remarks are exceedingly well grounded and highly
important; and to no other Epistle can they apply with greater force than
the present most excellent production of the inspired Apostle. The last two
chapters, in particular, as Dr. A. Clarke justly observes, are certainly among
the most important, and the most subline in the New Testament. The general
judgment, the resurrection of the body, and the states of the quick and the dead,
the unrighteous and the just, are described, concisely indeed, but they are ex-
hibited in the most striking and aflecting points of view."



THE second Epistle to the Thessalonians appears, from Silvanus and Timothy being still with St. Paul, (ch. i. 1) to have been written soon after the first, A. D. 52, and from the same place, Corinth, and not from Athens, according to the spurious subscription. It seems that the person who conveyed the first Epistle to the Thessalonians speedily returned to Corinth, and gave the Apostle a particular account of the state of the Church; and, among other things, informed him that many were in expectation of the near approach of the advent of Christ, and of the day of judgment, which induced them to neglect their secular affairs, as inconsistent with a due preparation

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for that important and awful event. This erroneous expectation they grounded partly on a misconstruction of some expressions in his former Epistle, and of what he had spoken when with them; but it was supported also by some person, or persons, making a claim to inspiration, and claiming to have a revelation upon the subject, and, as some suppose, also by a forged Epistle. As soon as this state of the Thessalonians was made known to St. Paul, he wrote this second Epistle to correct such a misapprehension, and rescue them from an error, which, if appearing to rest on the authority of an Apostle, must have a very injurious tendency, and be ultimately ruinous to the cause of Christianity. CONCLUDING REMARKS.

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BESIDES those marks of genuineness and authority which this Epistle" making even the word of God of none effect by his traditions" forbidding possesses in common with the others, it bears the highest evidence of its di- what God has commanded, as marriage, the use of the Scriptures, &c.; and vine inspiration, in the representation which it contains of the papal power, commanding, or allowing, what God has forbidden, as idolatry, persecution, under the characters of the "Man of sin," and the " Mystery of iniquity.' &c. So that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that The true Christian worship is, the worship of the one only God, through the he is God." His sitting in the temple of God," implies plainly his having a one only Mediator, the man Christ Jesus; and from this worship the church seat in the Christian church: and he sitteth there "as God, especially at his of Rome has most notoriously departed, by substituting other mediators, invo- inauguration, when he sits upon the Ingh altar in St. Peter's church, and cating and adoring saints and angels, worshipping images, adoring the host, makes the table of the Lord his footstool, and in that position receives ado&c. It follows, therefore, that "the man of sin" is the Pope; not only on ac- ration. At all times he exercises divine authority in the church: "showing count of the disgraceful lives of many of them, but by means of their scanda- himself that he is God:" affecting divine titles, and asserting that his decrees lons doctrines and principles; dispensing with the most necessary duties, sell- are of the same, or greater authority, than the word of God. The foundation ling pardons and indulgences for the most abominable crimes, and perverting of popery was laid in the Apostles' days; but several ages passed before the the worship of God to the grossest superstition and idolatry. He also, like building was completed, and the man of sin revealed," in full perfection; the false apostle Judas, is the son of perdition" whether actively, as being when that which hindered." the Roman empire, was dissolved. "His the cause of destruction to others, or passively, as being devoted to destruction coming is after the energy of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonhimself. "He opposeth" he is the great adversary of God and man; perse- ders," &c.; and does it require any particular proof, that the pretensions of the cuting and destroying, by crusades, inquisitions, and massacres, those Chris Pope, and the corruptions of the church of Roine, are all supported and authoritians who prefer the word of God to the authority of men. "He exalteth him- zed by feigned visions and miracles, by pious frauds, and impositions of every self above all that is called God, or is worshipped;" not only above inferior kind? But, how much soever the man of sin may be exalted, and how long magistrates, but also above bishops and primates, kings and emperors; nay, soever he may reign, yet, at last," the Lord shall consume him with the Spirit of not only above kings and emperors, but also above Christ, and God himself; his mouth, and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming.'

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TIMOTHY, to whom this Epistle is addressed, was a native of Lystra, a city of Lycaonia, in Asia Minor. His father was a Gentile, but his mother Eu nice, and his grandmother Lois, were Jewesses, by whom he was brought up in the fear of God, and early instructed in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. (Acts xvi. 1. 2 Tim. ii. 15.) It is probable that he was converted to the Christian faith during the first visit made by Paul and Barnabas to Lystra, (Acts xiv.;) and when the Apostle came from Antioch in Syria to Lystra the second time, he found him a member of the church, and so highly respected and warmly recommended by the church in that place, that he chose him to be the companion of his travels, having previously circumcised him, (Acts xvi. 1-3,) and solemnly ordained him by imposition of hands. (1 Ti. iv. 14. 2 Ti. i. 6) though at that time he was probably not more than twenty years of age, (1 Ti. iv. 12.) Being thus prepared to be the Apostle's fellow-labourer in the

| gospel, he accompanied him and Silas in their various journeys, assisting him in preaching the gospel, and in conveying instructions to the churches. (Acts xvi. 10, 11, &c.; xvii. 13, 14; xviii. 5; xix. 22; xx. 4.) An ecclesiastical tradition states that he suffered martyrdom at Ephesus, being slain with stones and clubs, A. D. 97, while preaching against idolatry in the vicinity of the temple of Diana; and his supposed relics were transported to Constantinople with great pomp. A. D. 356, in the reign of Constantius.

It is evident that this Epistle was written by the Apostle when on a journey from Ephesus to Macedonia, having left Timothy at Ephesus, in care of the church, (ch. i. 3.) This is supposed by many, both ancients and moderns, to have been when St. Paul quitted Ephesus on account of the disturbance raised by Demetrius, and went into Macedonia, (Acts xx. 1,) about A. D. 56, 57, or 58.


THIS Epistle bears the impress of its genuineness and authenticity, which | the general subject to that in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians, though are corroborated by the most decisive external evidence; and its divine inspi- it differs in the particular circumstances; and exactly corresponds with that ration is attested by the exact accomplishment of the prediction which it con- of the prophet Daniel on the same subject: Da. xi. 38. tains respecting the apostacy in the latter days. This prophecy is similar in


THAT this Epistle was written by St. Paul when a prisoner is sufficiently evident from chap. i. 8, 12, 16; ii. 9; and that it was while he was imprisoned at Rome, is universally admitted. That it was not written during his first confinement, recorded in Acts xxviii., as Hammond, Lightfoot, and Lardner suppose, but during a second imprisonment there, and not long before he suf fered martyrdom, as Benson, Macknight, Paley, and Clarke, Bishop Tomline, Michaelis, Rosenmuller, and Horne, contend, is amply proved by the following considerations: in his first imprisonment "he dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came to him, preaching the king, dom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus, with all confidence, no man forbidding him" but at the time he wrote this Epistle, he was closely imprisoned as one guilty of a canital crime, so that Onesiphorus, on his arrival at Rome, had considerable difficulty in finding him out, and his situation at this time was extremely dangerous. At his first confinement at Rome, Timothy was with St. Paul, and is joined with him in writing to the Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon; but the present Epistle implies that he was absent. At the former period, Demas was with him; but now he had

forsaken him, having loved this present world, and gone to Thessalonica. St. Mark was also then with him; but in the present Epistle Timothy is ordered to bring him with him. In the former Epistles, the Apostle confidently looked forward to his liberation, and speedy departure from Rome, (Philip. ii. 24. Philem. 22;) but in the Epistle before us he holds extremely different language, "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." From these observations, to which others might, and have been added, we may conclude, that this Epistle was written while St. Paul was in imprisonment the second time at Rome, and but a short time before his martyrdom; and, as it is generally agreed that this took place on the 29th of June, A. D. 66, and as the Apostle requests Timothy to come to him before winter, it is probable that it was written in the summer of A. D. 65. It is generally supposed, that Timothy resided at Ephesus when St. Paul wrote this Epistle to him; which appears very probable, though not certain.

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