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"convenient." He is careful alfo to recal, though obliquely, to Philemon's memory, the facred obligation under which he had laid him, by bringing to him the knowledge of Jefus Chrift; " I do not fay to thee, how "thou oweft to me even thine own felf "befides." Without laying afide, therefore, the apoflolic character, our author foftefis the imperative ftyle of his addrefs, by mixing with it every fentiment and confideration that could move the heart of his correfpondent. Aged and in prifbn, he is content to fupplicate and entreat. Onefi* mus was rendered dear to him by his converfion and his fervices; the child of his affliction, and " miniftering unto him in the ** bond sof the gofpel." This ought to recommend him, whatever had been his fault, to Philemon's forgivenefs: "Receive him as "myfelf, as my own bowels." Every thing, however, mould be voluntary. St. Paul was determined that Philemon's compliance mould flow from his own bounty; "With"out thy mind would I do nothing, that ** thy benefit mould not be as it were of « «ece;ffity, but willingly; trufling never
thelefs thelefs to his gratitude and attachment for the performance of all that he requefted, and for more : " Having confidence in thy "obedience, I wrote unto thee, knowing "that thou wilt alfo do more than I fay." St. Paul's difcourfe at Miletus; his fpeech before Agrippa; hisepiftle to the Romans, as hath been remarked (No. VIII.); that to the Galatians, chap.iv. ver. 11—20; tothePhilippians, chap. i. ver. 29—ch. ii ver. 2 ; the fecond to the Corinthians, chap. vi. ver. i— 13; and indeed fome part or other of almoft every epiftle exhibits examples of a fimilar application to the feelings and affections of the peribns whom headdrefles. Anditis obfervable, that thefe pathetic effufions, drawn for the moft part from his own fufferings and fituation, ufually precede a command, foften a rebuke, or mitigate the harfhnefs of fome difagreeable truth.
SIX of thefe fubfcriptions are falfe or improbablc; that is, they are either abfolutely contradicted by the contents of the epiftle, or are difficult to be reconciled with them.
I. The fubfcription of the firft epiftle to the Corinthians ftates that it was written from Pbilippi, notwithftanding that, in the fixteenth chapter and the eighth verfe of the epiftle, St. Paul informs the Corinthians, that he will " tarry at Ephefus until Pente** coft;" and notwithftanding that he begins the falutations in the epiftle, by telling them "the churches of Afia falute you;" a pretty evident indication that he himfelf was in Afia at this time.
II. The epiftle to the Galatians is by the fubfcription dated from Rome; yet, in the epiftle itfelf, St. Paul exprefles his furprife
that "that they werefofoon removing from him "that called them;" whereas his journey to Rome was ten years pofterior to the converfion of the Galatians. And what, I think, is more conclufive, the author, though fpeaking of himfelf in this more than any other epiftle, does not once mention his bpnds, or call himfelf a prifoner; which he had not failed to do in every one of the four epiftles written from that city, and during that imprifonment.
III. The firft epiftle to the Theflalonians was written, the fubfcription tell us, from Athens; yet the epiftle refers exprefsly to the coming of Timotheus from Theflalonica (ch. iii. ver. 6); and the hiftory informs us, Acts xviii. ver. 5, that Timothy came out of Macedonia to St. Paul at Corinth.
IV. The fecond epiftle to the Theflalonians is dated, and without any difcoverable jeafon, from Athens alfo. If it be truly the fecond; if it refer, as it appears to do (ch. ii ver. a), to the firft, and the firft was written from Corinth, the place muft be erroneoully afligned, for the hiftory does
not not allow us to fuppofe that St. Paul, after he had reached Corinth, went back to Athens.
V. The firft epiftle to Timothy the fubfcription aflerts to have been fent from Laodicea; yet, when St. Paul writes, "I be"fought thee to abide ftill at Ephefus, ** .Trogevopsvos si; MaxgJcwav (when I fet out '* for Macedonia)," the reader is naturally led to conclude, that he wrote the letter upon his arrival in that country.
VI. The epiftle to Titus is dated from ^Nicopolis in Macedonia, whilft no city of that name is known to have exifted in th^t province.
The ufe, and the only ufe, which I make of thefe obfervations, is to mow, how eafily errors and contradi&ions fteal in where the writer is not guided by original knowledge. There are only eleven diftincT: alignments of date to St. Paul's epiftles (for the four written from Rome may be confidered as plainly cotemporary); and of thefe, fix feem to be erroneous. I do not attribute any authority to thefe fubfcriptions. I believe them to have been conje&ures founded fometimes upon loofe traditions, but more .1 gene