Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

pears to dismiss them all in anger, saying—'Well • spoke the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet ' unto our fathers, saying-Go unto this people, ' and say–Hearing ye shall hear and shall not

understand : and seeing ye shall fee, and not • perceive : for the heart of this people is waxed

gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and • their eyes have they clofed ; left they should fee

with their eyes, and ear with their ears, and « understand with their heart, and should be conç verted, and I should heal them :' concluding with-Be it known therefore unto you, that the • salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles; and • that they will hear it.' This, if they believed it, must have been a very mortifying information to the Jews. The conclusion of this hiltory, called The Acts of the Apostles, is? And

Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired " house, and received all that came unto himn ; • preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching * those things which concern the Lord Jesus • Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding • him.? Nor doth Luke tell us that any man, Jew or Gentile, profited by it. He gives us no account of Paul's examination, acquittal, or.departure from Rome. Probably, as he made few or no proselytes, he remained there unmolested, and departed thence unnoticed. Where he went, or what he did, the two following years, we have no. certain account ; but it is said that in the year

64 or 65 he returned to Rome; where, as a teacher or incendiary, he attracted the notice of the police; under these circumstances, iñ a letter to his friend Timothy, he complains- Demas hath < forsaken me, having loved this present world; • and is departed into Thessalonica, Crescens into • Galatia, and Titus into Dalmatia.' He suns up all in saying-e-At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me, adding

I pray God that it inay not be laid to their charge. This, if serious, is Christian charity : but when he mentions his opponent Alexander the copper-smith, who he said-Did me much mischief, added— The Lord reward him according to his works. This surely breathes not the true fpirit of Christian charity. Another instance of this kind he gives in his first letter to Timothy, saying-Holding faith and a good conscience, which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck. Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I bave deliver: ed unto Satan (his reason for so doing, is such as Pagan, Jew, nor Christian could ever have futmifed) that they may learn not to blafpheme me. The contrary ought rather to have been expected from the tuition of their new mafter ; but were we disposed to fall in with the faintly fashion, ard transform every simple laying into prophecy ; we might paraphrafe this of Paul's, in the manner St. John has done that of Caiaphas, ch, xi, Vi 49 to $2: Hymeneus taught that the resurrection was already past; and that the only resurrection to be expected, was a spiritual one froin sin to grace : this doctrine being niuch more probable than Paul's resurrection of the body; is the more likely to be true; and in that case, it was certainly the business of Satán to put him from it. Paul, in his Epistle to the Galatians (as has been remarked *) faid—Though an angel from Hea

ven preached any other gospel unto you, than ? that which we have preached, let him be ac? cursed. It hath been already proved, and will be more fully, that Paul himself after that, did preach a different gospel; and as there was, it seems, a possibility that an angel from Heaven (unrestrained by Paul's curse which was insufficient to bind himself) might preach a different doctrine: and if so, it is likewise possible this different doctrine, might be that of Hymeneus. The preachings of St. Paul, being effectually filenced by the Romans, in or near the year. 65, we will now examine his works in the order of time in which they are supposed to have been written

A. D. Chapters i, ii, and iï,--Prayers to God the Fa- 1 Ep. Thes.

ther.
Chapter iv.--Speaks of the Day of Judgment as
if to happen in his time.

* Page 252.
T

Chapter

52

A. D. Chapter v.-Directs prayers to be made to God. 2 Ep. Theff. Chapter i.-Recounts his own prayers to God for

them. Chapter. ii.-Having, in his first epistle alarmed them by saying the Day of Judgement was at hand, he here tells them that Satan did and would prevent that day. In his ad Epistle to Timothy ch. ii, v. 25 and 26, he says-' In meekness in

structing those that oppose themselves; if God • peradventure will give them repentance to the • acknowledging of the truth (did he himself act • thus in the case of Elymus, Hymeneus, or • Alexander ?) and that they may recover them< selves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. From these, and some other parts of his writings (Vide Ephesians ch, vi, v. 12.) I am inclined to think St. Paul believed that Satan had the rule of the world, from the fall of Adam to the Day of Judg. ment. Probably this opinion was founded upon what Jesus says in Mark ch. xiii. particularly in V. 204 And except that the Lord has shortened

those days, no fleíh should be saved.' In the ad chapter of his ad Epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul says of the people who would be deceived by AntiChrist, the Pope, the Devil, or, I know not who; that ? God shall send them strong delusions that they • should believe a lie; that they all might be • damned who believed not the truth. Who, in their senses, can believe that God would do this

St. James, the brother of Jesus, inforins us bet: A. D. ter- If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of 2 Ep: Thess. • God that giveth to all men liberally, and up• braideth not, and it shall be given him,' ch. i; v. 5. And in v. 13 and 14 of the same he says

Let no man say when he is tempted; I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted ' with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But

every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own luit, and entićed:' These, we shall find, are not the only instances in which (to the honor of St. James) the two faints differ very

Cry 56 materially: Paul's next Epistle is to the Galatians, Galatians. six chapters in which he exceedingly exalts himself and his doctrine, as I have already shewn *, letlens the other apostles, and quarrels with St. Peter. He explodes the law of Moses, and though his instructer bad declared it should end but with the world, he endeavours to suppress it, saying“ "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be cir

cumcised Christ shall profit you nothing.'Speaking of his opposers with respect to this doctrine, he says I would they were even cut off which • trouble ,you. We meet with many of these Anti-Christian speeches in the works of this saint which if brought into one point of view, would justify the un-kalendering hirni. In ch. iii. V. 13, he says Chrift hath redeemed us from

* Vide page 252.

f Pages 253,255,273, 274, 275, 285.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »