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“ I was not disobedient unto the heavenly " vision ; but shewed first unto them of “ Damascus, and of Jerusalem, and through
out all the coasts of Judea, and then to “ the Gentiles, that they should “ turn to God, and do works meet for
repentance. For these caufes the Jews “ caught me in the temple, and went about “ to kill me. The seizing, therefore, of St. Paul's person, from which he was never discharged till his final liberation at Rome; and, of which, therefore, his imprisonment at Rome was the continuation and effect, was not in consequence of any general persecution set on foot against Christianity ; nor did it befal him fimply, as prefesling or teaching Christ's religion, which James and the elders at Jerusalem did as well as he (and yet for any thing that appears remained at that time unmolested); but it was distinctly and specifically brought upon him by his activity in preaching to the Gentiles, and by his boldly placing them upon a level with the oncefavoured and still-self-flattered posterity of Abraham How well St. Paul's letters,
purporting to be written during this imprisonment, agree with this account of its cause and origin, we have already feen.
Chap. iv. ver. 1o. “ Aristarchus my
fel* low-prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, “ sister's son to Barnabas, touching whom
ye received commandments; if he come " unto you, receive him, and Jesus, which “ is called Justus, who are of the circum66 cision."
We find Aristarchus as a companion of our apostle in the nineteenth chapter of the Acts, and the twenty-ninth verse; “ And “ the whole city of Ephesus was filled with • confusion; and having caught Gaius and “ Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's “ companions in travel, they rushed with one 66 accord into the theatre." And we find him upon his journey with St. Paul to Rome, in -the twenty-seventh chapter, and the second verse : 56 And when it was determined that “ we should fail into Italy, they delivered
Paul and certain other prisoners unto one " named Julius, a centurion of Augustus's “ band; and, entering into a ship of Adra“ myttium, we launched, meaning to fail
by the coast of Asia; one Aristarchus, a “ Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.” But might not the author of the epistle have consulted the history ; and, observing that the historian had brought Aristarchus along, with Paul to Rome, might be not for that reason, and without any other foundation, have
put down his name amongst the salutations of an epistle, purporting to be written by the apostle from that place? I allow fo much of poflibility to this objection, that I should not have proposed this in the number of coincidences clearly undefigned, had Aristarchus stood alone. The obfervation that strikes me in reading the paffage is, that together with Aristarchus, whofe journey to Rome we trace in the history, are joined Marcus and Justus, of whose coming to Rome the history says nothing. Aristarchus alone appears in the history, and Aristarchus alone would have appeared in the epistle, if the author had
regulated himself by that conformity. Or if you take it the other way ; if you suppose the history to have been made out of the epistle, why the journey of Aristarchus to Rome should be recorded, and not that of Marcus and Justus, if the groundwork of the narrative was the appearance of Aristarchus's name in the epistle, seems to be unaccountable.
“ Marcus, fister's fon to Barnabas." Does not this hint account for Barnabas's adherence to Mark in the contest that arose with our apostle concerning him; 66 And some
days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every
city where we have preached the word “ of the Lord, and see how they do: and 5. Barnabas determined to take with them
John, whose surname was Mark; but ~ Paul thought not good to take him with “ them, who departed from Pamphylia, and " went not with them to the work; and the “contention was so sharp between them, that " they departed asunder one from the other; " and so Barnabas took Mark and sailed unte Cyprus.” The history which records
the dispute has not preserved the circumstance of Mark's relationship to Barnabas. It is no where noticed but in the text before
As far, therefore, as it applies, the application is certainly undesigned.
“ Sister's son to Barnabas." This woman, the mother of Mark, and the fister of Barnabas, was, as might be expected, a person of some eminence amongst the Christians of Jerusalem. It so happens that we hear of her in the history. 66 When Peter was de“ livered from prison, he came to the house “ of Mary the mother of John, whose sur" name was Mark, where many were ga6 thered together praying.” Acts xii. 12. There is somewhat of coincidence in this ; somewhat bespeaking real transactions. amongst real persons.
The following coincidence, though it bear the appearance
great nicety and refinement, ought not, perhaps, to be deemed imaginary. In the salutations with which this, like most of St. Paul's epiftleş, concludes, we have “ Aristarchus and Marcus,