Imágenes de páginas

writer would hardly have called the visit to which he refers the "beginning of the gospel," if he had not also visited them in some other stage of it. The fact corresponds with this idea. If we consult the sixteenth and twentieth chapters of the Acts, we shall find, that St. Paul, before his imprisonment at Rome, during which this epistle purports to have been written, had been twice in Macedonia, and each time at Philippi.

No. IV.

That Timothy had been long with St. Paul at Philippi, is a fact which seems to be implied in this epistle twice. First, he joins in the salutation with which the epistle opens: "Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi." Secondly, and more directly, the point is inferred from what is said concerning him, ii. 19.: "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort when I know your state; for I have no man like minded, who will naturally care for your state; for all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's; but ye know the proof of him, that as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel." Had Timothy's presence with St. Paul at Philippi, when he preached the gospel there, been expressly remarked in the Acts of the Apostles, this quotation might be thought to contain a contrived adaptation to the history; although even in that case, the averment, or rather the allusion in the epistle, is too oblique to afford much room for such suspicion. But the truth is, that in the history of St. Paul's transactions at Philippi, which occupies the greatest part of the sixteenth chapter of the Acts, no mention is made of Timothy at all. What appears concerning Timothy in the history, so far as relates to the present subject, is this: "When Paul came to Derbe and Lystra, behold a certain disciple was there named Timotheus, whom Paul would have to go forth with him." The narrative then proceeds. with the account of St. Paul's progress through various provinces of the Lesser Asia, till it brings him down to Troas. At Troas he was warned in a vision to pass

over into Macedonia. In obedience to which he crossed the Ægean sea to Samothracia, the next day to Neapolis, and from thence to Philippi. His preaching, mira. cles, and persecutions, at Philippi, follow next; after which Paul and his company, when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, came to Thessalo nica, and from Thessalonica to Berea. From Berea the brethren sent away Paul; "but Silas and Timo theus abode there still." The itinerary, of which the above is an abstract, is undoubtedly sufficient to sup. port an inference that Timothy was along with St. Paul at Philippi. We find them setting out together upon this progress from Derbe, in Lycaonia; we find them together near the conclusion of it, at Berea in Macedo nia.

It is highly probable, therefore, that they came together to Philippi, through which their route between these two places lay. If this be thought probable, it is sufficient. For what I wish to be observed is, that in comparing, upon this subject, the epistle with the history, we do not find a recital in one place of what is related in another; but that we find, what is much more to be relied upon, an oblique allusion to an implied fact.

No. V.

Our epistle purports to have been written near the conclusion of St. Paul's imprisonment at Rome, and after a residence in that city of considerable duration. These circumstances are made out by different intimations, and the intimations upon the subject preserve among themselves a just consistency, and a consist ency certainly unmeditated. First, the apostle had already been a prisoner at Rome so long, as that the reputation of his bonds, and of his constancy under them, had contributed to advance the success of the gospel: "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel: so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in other places; and many of the brethren in the Lord waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear." Secondly, the account

given of Epaphroditus imports, that St. Paul, when he wrote the epistle, had been in Rome a considerable time: "He longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye heard that he had been sick." Epaphroditus was with St. Paul at Rome. He had been sick. The Philippians had heard of his sickness, and he again had received an account how much they had been affered by the intelligence. The passing and repassing of these advices must necessarily have occupied a 'arge portion of time, and must have all taken pla e during St. Paul's residence at Rome. Thirdly after a residence at Rome thus proved to have ben of considerable duration, he now regards the decision f his fate as nigh at hand. He contemplates either alternave, that of his deliverance, ii. 23. "Him therefore (Timothy) I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me: but I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly:" that of his condemnation, ver. 17. " Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all." This consistency is material, if the consideration of it be confined to the epistle. It is farther material, as it agrees with respect to the duration of St. Paul's first imprisonment at Rome, with the account delivered in the Acts, which having brought the apostle to Rome, closes the history by telling us "that he dwelt there two whole years in his own hired house."

No. VI.

Chap. i. 23. "For I am in a strait betwixt two, hav ing a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better."

With this compare 2 Cor. v. 8.: "We are confident and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

The sameness of sentiment in these two quotations is obvious. I rely however not so much upon that, as

• Αλλ' ει και σπένδομαι επι τη θυσία της πιστεως v, if my blood be poured out as a libation upon the sacrifice of your faith.

upon the similitude in the train of thought which in each epistle leads up to this sentiment, and upon the suitableness of that train of thought to the circumstances under which the epistles purport to have been written. This, I conceive, bespeaks the production of the same mind, and of a mind operating upon real circumstances. The sentiment is in both places preceded by the contemplation of imminent personal danger. To the Philippians he writes, in the twentieth verse of this chapter," According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also, Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death." To the Corinthians, "Troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not ia despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus." This train of reflection is continued to the place from whence the words which we compare are taken. The two epistles, though written at different times, from different places, and to different churches, were both written under circumstances which would naturally recall to the author's mind the precarious condition of his life, and the perils which constantly awaited him. When the Epistle to the Philippians was written, the author was a prisoner at Rome, expecting his trial. When the Second Epistle to the Corinthians was written, he had lately escaped a danger in which he had given himself over for lost. The epistle opens with a recollection of this subject, and the impression accompanied the writer's thoughts throughout.

I know that nothing is easier than to transplant into a forged epistle a sentiment or expression which is found in a true one; or, supposing both epistles to be forged by the same hand, to insert the same sentiment or expression in both. But the difficulty is to introduce it in just and close connexion with a train of thought going before, and with a train of thought apparently generated by the circumstances under which the epistle is written. In two epistles, purporting to be written on different occasions, and in different periods

of the author's history, this propriety would not easily be managed.

No. VII.

Chap. i. 29, 30.; ii. 1, 2. "For unto you is given, in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. If there be, therefore, any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies; fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."

With this compare Acts xvi. 22.: "And the multitude (at Philippi) rose up against them (Paul and Silas); and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them; and when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely; who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks."

The passage in the epistle is very remarkable. I know not an example in any writing of a juster pathos, or which more truly represents the workings of a warm and affectionate mind than what is exhibited in the quo tation before us. The apostle reminds his Philippians of their being joined with himself in the endurance of persecution for the sake of Christ. He conjures them by the ties of their common profession and their com mon sufferings, to fulfil his joy;" to complete, by the unity of their faith, and by their mutual love, that joy with which the instances he had received of their zeal and attachment had inspired his breast. Now if this Iwas the real effusion of St. Paul's mind, of which it bears the strongest internal character, then we have in the words "the same conflict which ye saw in me," an authentic confirmation of so much of the apostle's his

The original is very spirited: E Tig ovv mapa. Κλεσις εν Χριστῳ, ει τι παραμύθιον αγαπης, ει τις Κοινωνία Πνευματος, ει τινα σπλαγχνα και οικτιρμοί, πληρώσατε μου την χαραν.

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