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"a charge, thruft them into the inner "prifon, and made their feet faft in the "ftocks."
The paflage in the epiftle is very remarkable. I know not an example in any writing of ajufter pathos, or which more truly reprefents the workings of a warm and affectionate mind, than what is exhibited in the quotation before us *. The apoftle reminds his Philippians of their being joined with himfelf in the endurance of perfecution for the fake of Chrifr. He conjures them by the ties of their common profeffiou and their common fufferings, to " fulfil his "joy;" to complete, by the unity of their faith, and by their mutual love, that joy with which the inftances he had received of their zeal and attachment had infpired his breaft. Now if this was the real effufion of St. Paul's mind, of which it bears the ftrongeft internal character, then we have
in the words " the fame conflict which ye *' faw in me," an authentic confirmation of fo much of the apoftle's hiftory in the Acts, as relates to his tranfadions at Philippi; and through that of the intelligence and general fidelity of the hiftorian.
tT 3 CHAP.
HERE is a circumftance of conformity
- between St. Paul's hiftory and his letters, efpecially thofe which were written
`during his firft imprifonment at Rome, and more efpecially the epiftles to the Co
' loffians and Ephefians, which, being too clofe to be accounted for from accident, yet
too indireét and latent to be imputed to
defign, cannot eafily be refolved , into any
other original than truth. * Which circum
ftance is this, that St. Paul in thefe epiftles
' attributes^ his imprifonment not to his “preaching of Chriftianity, but to his afferting the right of the Gentiles to be ad
* mitted into it without conforming themfelves to the Jewifh law. This was the
do&trine to which he confidered himfelf as a martyr, Thus, in the epiftle before us,
- ' , chap.
chap. i. ver. 24. (I Paul) "who now rejoice "in my fufferings for you''—"foryou" i. e. for thofe whom he had never feen; for a few verfes afterwards he adds, "I would ** that he knew what great ctinflict I have ** for you, and for them in Laodicea, and ** for as many as have not feen my face "in the flefh." His fufferings therefore for them was, in their general capacity of Gentile Chriftians, agreeably to what he explicitly declares in his epiftle to the Ephefians, iv. i. "For this caufe, I Paul, the "prifoner of Jefus Chrift, for you Gen. "tiles" Again in the epiftle now under confideration, iv. 3. "Withal praying "alfo for us, that God would open unto us ** a door of utterance to fpeak the myftery of "Chrift, for which I am alfo in bonds." What that ", myftery of Chrift" was, the epiftle to the Ephefians diftindlly informs us; "whereby when ye read ye may unt.P derftand my knowledge in the myftery of ** Chrift) which, in other ages, was not ** made known unto the fons of men, as it "is now revealed unto his holy apoftles "and prophets by the Spirit, that the GenT .4 « tiles
"tiles Jhould be fellow-heirs, and of the fame "body, and partakers of his prumife in Chrijt "by the go/pel." This, therefore, was the fonfeffioo for which he declares himfelf to be in bonds. Now let us enquire how the occafion of St. Paul's imprifonment is re, prefented in the hiftory. The apoftle had not long returned to Jerufalem from his fecond vifit into Greece, when aji .uproar lyas excited in that city by the clamour Q£ certain Aiiatic Jews, who, "having feen "Paul in the temple, ftirred up all the "people, and laid hands on him." The charge advanced againft him was, that " he "taught all men every where Againft the "people, and the law, and this place ; and f* farther brought Greeks alfo into the "temple, and polluted that holy place.'* The former part of.the charge feems tq point at the doctrine, which he maintained, of the admiffion /pf. the Gentiles, under the new difpeniation, to an indifcriminate participation of God's favour with the Jews. But what follows makes the , matter clear. When, by the interferenc& pf the chief captain, Paul had been refcued