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. A. D. the curse of the law, being made a curse for us : Galatians. ' for it is written-Cursed is every one that hang

. eth on a tree. If this is what he meant in other places where he says he preached Christ crucified, well did he add- To the Jews, a • stumbling block; and to the Gentiles, foolish

• ness. :56

His next Epistle is his first to the Corinthi1 Ep. Cor.

ans, ch. i, v. 17. he says--- For Christ fent me

not to baptize, but to preach the gofpel : not r with wisdom of words ; left the cross of Christ • should be made of none effect. (How far this was verified, the horrid history of persecution for righteousness fake will inform us.) And goes on to shew the insufficiency of wifdom, " Which is • foolishness in the sight of God.' And yet the following chapter is, according to his own account, wifdom and mystery : which they were not to question, but believe, though they did not underítand * The third chapter he concludes with saying— Ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.' In the seventh chapter he answers some interrogatories relative to chastity, beginning with

It is good for a man not to touch a woman :

nevertheless to avoid fornication, he permits "them to marry rather than burn, as the less

* That this rule was followed by the Christians we have reason to suppose, from the affertions of the Pagans that they had no other, vide page 239.

evil of the two.' Marriage, it seems, was to- Ep. Cor. lerated as a defect : But was desire condemned as a crime? If St. Paul could have proved the last, he would indeed have proved his favorite doctrine Original Sin : as in that case, the whole creation male and female inheriting this desire, are all ! by nature born in fin,' but as to' and the

children of wrath,' that goes a little hard; the first command God gave to his creatures, was (if Moses tells us truth) · Be fruitful, and mul" tiply, and replenish the earth.' It is remarkable in this seventh chapter St. Paul faid, some of his directions were by inspiration; others not. Of which kind is that in the thirty-sixth verse ? It seems to have been a very early apoftolic practice to lead about a fifter (that is, a believer) or a wife : a privilege to which St. Paul (ch. ix, v. 5) claims an equal right with “ Cephas, the < brethren of the Lord, and other apostles. But if, in leading about this filter or female believerWhat says the saint in the said thirty-sixth verse ?

But if any man thinketh that he behavęth hims self uncomely towards his virgin, if the pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him

do what he will, he finneth not: let them marry :' bravo St. Paul! The next interrogatory was-Ifthey were obligated to abstain from meats offered to idols : to this his answer is clear, that they were ; and the reason assigned is, that the example of a man of knowledge, who partook

1 Ep. Cor. of such meats as knowing that an idol is no:

thing in the world,' might influence the con.
duct of a weak brother, to his prejudice. In
ch. xiii. St. Paul defines charity in a most excel-
lent manner: which shews, though he did not
practice it upon all occasions, that he understood
it thoroughly : he concludes the subject thus
" And now abideth faith, hope, and charity,
© these three: but the greatest of these is chari-

ty. Than this chapter, no part of his works
doth him more honor, few so much. Ch. xiv. is
upon tongues and prophecy. With respect to the
former, I confess Luke's pompous account of its
first appearance and effect, has never passed in
review before me, without occasioning some
doubts. What St. Paul here says of it, has, with
me, disgraced it quite : and I cannot but think it
was an affected and unintelligible jargon, used by
most of the teachers to their ignorant audience;
imposing it as a proof of inspiration. Paul, in

ch. xii. speaking of the distribution of gifts says i to one is given by the spirit, the word of { wisdom, &c. to another divers kind of tongues. ? To another the interpretation of tongues.' This has very much the appearance of collusion. Of what use was speaking in a language that required an interpreter ? But if one teacher delivered a jargon for inspiration; another, for the credit of both, might interpret it in whatever way he pleased, The Corinthian converts, it seems,

were

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were fond of exhibiting this proof of inspiration ; 1 Ep. Cor. but the frequency of the practice, we may presume, had brought it into disgrace. Paul durst not deprive them totally of this favourite privilege; but to prevent, if possible, its receiving in uture, the imputation of madness; he wisely endeavours to lay it under some decent restraints. The faint himself did not escape this imputation ; nor doth it appear altogether groundless. In this Epistle ch. xiv, v. 18, he says—' I thank my • God, I speak with tongues more than you all.' In his next Epiftle to these people, ch. v, v. 13, he says—For whether we be beside ourselves, it ' is to God : or whether we be sober, it is for ' your cause. It may appear a little unaccountable to believers, that Paul who possessed this gift of tongues in so eminent a degree, should be under a necessity of employing Titus, as an interpreter of languages. With respect to prophecy ; the criterion whereby they were to judge of its reality, is, with equal wifilom, given by Paul in the said ch. xiv, v. 37, viz. “ If any man think

himself to be a prophet, or fpiritual; let him " acknowledge that the things that I write ' unto you, are the commandments of the Lord.' In chap. xv. St. Paul gives an account of the foundation, advantages, and prospects of Chriftianity- Christ died for our fins, according to - the scriptures. He was buried, and hé rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

"For

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1 Ep. Cor.' For since by man caine death, by man camo

also the resurrection of the dead.' He tells them-'If Christ be not risen then is our preach“ing vain, and your faith is also vain. But to convince them that Christ was really risen, he boldly shews the notoriety of it: first, . He was ' seen of Cephas, then of the twelve. After

that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren • at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this

present, but some are fallen asleep. After that ' he was seen of James, then of all the apostles. . And last of all he was seen of me also. I have already shewn how exceedingly the four evangelists differ in their account of this interesting matter, the resurrection : but however they disagree in some particulars, they appear unanimous in confining the proof of it to a few witnesses, Luke, in ch. x. of his second work (executed under the immediate inspection of Paul) tells us, that St. Peter at Cæsarea, instructing Cornelius in the hiitcry of Jesus; after reciting his life and death, added — Him God raised up the third day, ? and showed him openly: not to all the people, but ? unto witne ljes chosen before of God; even to us who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the

dead. And Paul himself, preaching at Antioch in Pifdia, faid- But God raised him (Jesus)

from the dead, And he was seen many days o of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the

people.

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