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pointment in this place, upon any other suppofition, is irrelative.

No. IX.

Chap. xi. ver. 24, 25

66 Of the Jews “ five times received I forty stripes save one ; 66 thrice was I beaten with rods; once was “ I stoned; thrice I suffered shipwreck; a

night and a day I have been in the deep."

These particulars cannot be extracted out of the Acts of the Apostles; which proves, as hath been already observed, that the epis. tle was not framed from the history; yet they are consistent with it, which, confidering how numerically circumftantial the account is, is more than could happen to arbitrary and independent fictions. When I say that these particulars are consistent with the history, I mean, first, that there is no article in the enumeration which is contradicted by the history ; secondly, that the history, though silent with respect to many of the facts here enumerated, has left space for the existence of these facts, consistent with the fidelity of its own narration.

First, no contradiction is discoverable be

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tween

tween the epistle and the history. When St. Paul says, thrice was I beaten with rods, although the history record only one beating with rods, viz, at Philippi, Acts, chap. xvi, ver. 22, yet is there no contradiction. It is only the omission in one book of what is related in another. But had the history contained accounts of four beatings with rods, at the time of writing this epistle, in which St. Paul says that he had only suffered three, there would have been a contradiction properly so called. The same observation ap

: plies generally to the other parts of the enumeration, concerning which the history is silent : but there is one clause in the quotation particularly deserving of remark; be: cause, when confronted with the history, it furnishes the nearest approach to a contradi&tion, without a contradiction being actually incurred, of any I remember to have

6. Once," saith St. Paul, “ was " I stoned.” Does the history relate that St. Paul, prior to the writing of this epiftle, had been stoned more than once? The his. tory mentions distinctly one occafion upon which St. Paul was stoned, viz. at Lystrą

met with.

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in Lycaonia. “ Then came thither certain

Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people; and, having stoned

Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing "he had been dead." (chap. xiv. ver. 19). And it mentions also another occafion in

an assault was made both of the “ Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their “ rulers, to use them despitefully and to stone “ them; but they were aware of it,” the hiftory proceeds to tell us, “ and fled into Lyf

traand Derbe.” This happened at Iconium, prior to the date of the epistle. Now had the assault been completed; had the history related that a stone was thrown, as it relates that preparations were made both by Jews and Gentiles to stone Paul and his companions; or even had the account of this transaction stopped, without going on to inform us that Paul and his companions were “ aware of their danger and fled,” a contradiction between the history and the epistle would have ensued. Truth is necefsarily consistent; but it is scarcely possible that independent accounts, not having truth to guide them, should thus advance to the

very

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very brink of contradiction without falling into it.

Secondly, Isay, thatif the Acts of the Apostles be silent concerning many of the instances enumerated in the epistle, this filence may be accounted for, from the plan and fabric of the history. The date of the epistle syn- . chronises with the beginningofthe twentieth chapter of the Acts. The part, therefore, of the history, which precedes the twentieth chapter, is the only part in which can be found any notice of the persecutions to which St. Paul refers. Now it does not appear that the author of the history was with St. Paul until his departure from Troas, on his

way to Macedonia, as related chap. xvi. ver. 10; or rather indeed the contrary appears. It is in this point of the history that the language changes. In the seventh and eighth verses of this chapter the third person is used.

66 After they were come to Mysia, they affayed to go into Bithynia, but the

fpirit fuffered them not; and they passing

by Mysia, came to Troas:” and the third person is in like manner constantly used throughout the foregoing part of the history,

In the tenth verse of this chapter, the first persou comes in: “ After Paul had seen the

vision, immediately we endeavoured to

go into Macedonia ; assuredly gathering " that the Lord had called us to preach the

gospel unto them.” Now, from this time to the writing of the epistle, the hiftory occupies four chapters: yet it is in these, if in any,

that a regular or continued account of the apostle's life is to be expected; for how succinctly his history is delivered in the preceding part of the book, that is to say, from the time of his conversion to the time when the historian joined him at Troas, except the particulars of his conversion itself which are related circumstantially, may be understood from the following observations : The history of a period of sixteen

years is comprised in less than three chapters; and of these, a material

part
is taken

up

with discourses. After his conversion, he continued in the neighbourhood of Damascus, according to the history, for a certain considerable, though indefinite length of time, accordingtohisown words(Gal.ch.i.ver.18),

for

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