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that the gospel may run and have free course!-and yet how dif ferent is his ardor of spirit from that of an enthusiast! It is characteristic of the apostle, that amid the glowing of his inflamed soul, he is never deficient in the regulating power of discreet reflection. What regard he pays in his discourses and letters, to the variety of relations and circumstances! What a contrast between his style of remark at Jerusalem, and at Athens; to the Galatians, and before king Agrippa, and Felix the Governor! Even gracefulness and urbanity of manner are not wanting in these discourses; as, for example, when he closes an address with the words, "I wish in short that not only thou, but all who hear me this day, were such as I am, these bonds excepted." What heedfulness and delicacy in the treatment of different mental conditions are exhibited in the first and second epistle to the Corinthians! The consideration of all this is certainly sufficient to refute those false imputations, that account for the conversion of Paul, the very occurrence on which the whole active efficiency of his life was founded, by representing it as a dream in his mid-day sleep, or as a fanatical vision. Truly the sober and humble demeanor of the apostle does not accord with the characteristics of a visionary!
As the third fundamental feature in the picture of Paul's character after he was converted, we must mention, love. The natural disposition of the bilious man prompts him to govern; to govern, even if he must trample on one half of the race, so that the other may obey him. Nothing is more opposed to the bent of his mind, than for him tenderly to spare what belongs to others. But where, in all history, can be found the example of a great and powerful spirit, which has been more skilled than Paul in becoming all things to all men? With what winning tenderness does he treat the Corinthians, to whom he had so much reason, as he himself expresses it, for coming with a rod! In view of such expressions, as 2 Cor. 2: 5, 7, 9, 10, we might almost say with Erasmus, that the apostle's tender love amounted to a "pious flattery" and "sacred adulation,” if we did not know from other sources, how far a mind, that was truly softened with the love of Christ, would give up and subordinate its own interests. So likewise might we go through the epistle to Philemon, and point out, in almost every word and sentence, the tender refinement of that affection, which the holy man himself de1 Acts 26: 29. Pia vafrities, sancta adulatio.
scribes with the words, "it is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own." If he only is possessed of true greatness, who can also condescend to what is small, then there is no better spectacle of greatness than is to be seen in a Luther, as after all his thunderings against the emperor and the pope, he exhibits himself like a child in his letter to his little John. And we firmly believe that Paul himself would be capable of the same exhibition of character. At least the impression is a similar one, which is made by the reading of his epistle to Philemon, after we have read his epistle to the Romans, or his speech at Athens.
STYLE OF THE APOSTLE.
Paul's style of writing different from that of the other apostles; but not so different as might have been expected.-Difficulties in reference to the style of the Epistle to the Hebrews.-Style of Paul's speeches.-His ability to write in classic Greek.-Copiousness of his style. His frequent use of the paronomasia.-Character of this figure.-Authority for it.-Objections against it.
We come next to speak of the style of the apostle. It is generally acknowledged how much more of a master he was of the Greek idiom, than his fellow apostles were. One thing however in relation to this subject is surprising, that between him who spent the earliest period of his life in a Greek city, who doubtless spoke Greek from childhood up, and his companions in office, who either never traveled beyond the boundaries of Palestine at all, or not until they went as apostles,-it is surprising, I say, that between him and them, the distinction does not appear much greater than it does. Should we not expect from Paul, that he would adopt such a style, in some respects, as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews has done ?2 A perfect accuracy in the use of the Greek can be ex
1 See note M, at the close.
2 [Tholuck as is well known, supposes that Paul was not the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.-TR.]
pected, indeed, from no Israelite, however long he may have dwelt in the society of the Grecians.
We may perhaps make an exception here in favor of such liberally educated Alexandrines as Aristobulus, and the translator of the Proverbs in the Septuagint. Even Josephus complains that "his early habits of speech forbade exactness in the expression of the Greek ;" and in the preparation of his Greek writings, he availed himself of the aid of foreigners in respect to the style. But at least, must not Paul have greatly excelled James, who, as it seems, having grown up as a genuine Pharisee, never went beyond the boundaries of Palestine.
From the comparison of Paul with his fellow-apostles, two things, as it occurs to us, may be learned with tolerable certainty. One, relating especially to James, in less degree also to John and Peter, is this; we must recede from the prevailing belief that the Greek language was not at all, or in very few instances spoken by the inhabitants of Palestine. If we refuse to abandon this view, which may elsewhere, moreover, be shown to be false, then in opposition to all christian antiquity, we must come at last to the conclusion, that no one of the Jameses known to us, was the author of what is called the epistle of James. This conclusion has recently been avowed even by so cautious a critic as Schott, and has been supported entirely by considerations drawn from style. The other infer
1 Antiquities, B. XX. c. XI.
2 [The question whether the Aramaean or the Greek language was exclusively spoken in Palestine in the time of Christ has been long and earnestly discussed. A brief history of the discussion, and a view of its importance, are given by Prof. Robinson in Bib. Repos. Vol. I. pp. 309–317. See likewise the essay of H. F. Pfannkuche, on the general prevalence of the Aramaean language in Palestine, and the article of Hug on the general use of the Greek; the former in Bib. Repos, Vol. 1. pp. 317-363, the latter in Vol. I. pp. 530-551, and also in Fosdick's Translation of Hug's Introduction, pp. 326-340. Father Simon, says Prof. Robinson, "shows conclusively, that the Jews in Palestine did speak the Chaldee or Aramaean language; but at the same time, although a warm advocate for the Hebrew original of Matthew, he admits that Greek was spoken in Palestine, and takes indeed the position, which probably most at the present day will be ready to adopt after reading Hug's essay, viz., That the two languages were both current at the same time in Palestine, during the age of Christ and the Apostles." "Hug shows, irrefragably as it would seem, that the Greek had obtained such a footing in Palestine, as to place it at least nearly on an equality with the
ence derived from this comparison, and relating to Paul, is this; we must suppose that the imperfection of his Greek style had not its origin in an impossibility of writing better, so much as in a want of care. That the apostle could use the Greek idiom with skill, whenever there was need of his doing so, may be proved conclusively from the epistle to the Hebrews, if that be supposed to be the work of Paul, or from the last part of the book of Acts, if we be allowed to appeal to the speeches there inserted. These speeches are perhaps distinguished above every other portion of the New Testament for elegance of Greek style. We do not, however, conceal the uncertainty of this argument. Grant even that no other reason prevented us from considering the apostle to the heathen, as the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, what could well be alleged as a reason why the apostle, who writes to the tastefully educated Corinthians in the style that was easy to him, should, in an epistle to the Christians in Palestine, make use of an elegant idiom? If the use of the Chaldee idiom was so agreeable to the inhabitants of Palestine that a tumultuous assembly, when they heard Paul speak in this idiom, became still,' why should not the apostle, who in things lawful so willingly became all things to all men, have preferred the Chaldaic dialect, in an epistle which he wrote directly to a community in Palestine? Those who defend the Pauline origin of the epistle to the Hebrews, have not as yet succeeded in removing this difficulty. This one thing indeed they are able to show, that an epistle in Greek might have been understood by a community in Palestine. But this fact does by no means justify an author in selecting the Greek language, when he was equally skilled in the peculiar language of the province to which he wrote.
The argument drawn from the speeches in the Acts of the Apostles would have greater weight than the preceding, if we were only certain, that the speeches which are interwoven with that work, and particularly the speeches of Peter and Paul, are to be looked upon
Aramaean in respect to general prevalence." Bib. Repos. Vol. I. pp. 313. 317.-TR.]
1 Acts 22: 2.
2 [The objection against the Pauline origin of the Epistle to the Hebrews, on the ground of its closer conformity to the Greek idiom than the acknowledged epistles of Paul, is met, by Prof. Stuart, by denying the fact. See his Comm. on Hebrews, §32. p. 235-248.-TR.]
as the exact report of the apostle's words. Seyler indeed has recently, in his essay on the speeches and epistles of Peter, in the first number of the Studien und Kritiken for 1832, expressed his conviction, that Peter's speech was reported by the author of the book of Acts, with a nicety, which passed over not even a particle, not even a dé. As, however, Dr. Seyler has reserved the proof of this position to a future time, we cannot judge of his reasons. It seems to us surprising at the first view, and worthy of our attention, that the speeches which are found in the former part of the Acts of the Apostles, and indeed not merely those of Peter but those of Paul also,1 bear, in a striking degree, so much more of the Hebrew coloring, than those found in the latter part. We are compelled to explain this by the fact, that the former speeches were delivered over to Luke in writing, as he was not present to hear them; while the latter, which he heard himself, were re-written by him with freedom. The agreement of the diction with that of Luke is an argument for this supposition. If this view is correct, then the appeal to the speeches of Paul in the Acts of the Apostles loses its authority.
Although therefore we abandon these direct arguments, still we may, as we think, admit that the apostle to the Gentiles could, when it was necessary for him to do so, write in the pure Greek style. We regard the opinion, which Michaelis has expressed in his Introduction, to be in the highest degree apposite. "Paul is distinguished," he says," from all the other New Testament writers. Instances of Hebraism enough, instances of carelessness enough, are to be found in him, yet not the short verse-measure of the Hebrew style, but on the whole more of the Greek construction. Still he is careless, like one who understands the language, but spends no labor at all upon his diction; like one who thinks barely of his subject, and is transported by an overflow of thoughts, and at the same time by emotion and occasionally by genius. That the best Greek expressions are equally familiar to him with the Hebrew is evident. They are interchanged as the former or the latter occur first to his mind. The Greek language is at his service, even in expressing the liveliest and most delicate satire; but he does not avoid the under-current of Hebraism, and has no wish at all to write with purity or with beauty."
If, on the one hand, there is in the style of Paul more of the Greek coloring, and if it is adopted more involuntarily, than is the
1 See Chap. 13.
Edition 4, Part 1. P. 117.