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ing the Gospel to them and to the Thessalonians, he says to the latter, 1 Thess. c. ii. v. 2,6,9, “After we had suffered before, and “were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at “Philippi, we were bold in our God, to speak “unto you the Gospel of God, with much “contention.—Nor of men sought we glory, “neither of you, nor yet of others, when we “might have been burdensome, as the Apos“tles of Christ.—For ye remember, brethren, “our labour and travel: for labouring night “ and day, because we would not be eharge“able unto any of you, we preached unto “you the Gospel of God.” . . . . In the Epistle to Titus, the very introductory address excites in my mind a strong suspicion, that it was not written by Paul; for he calls himself, what he never does in any other Epistle, a servant of God; though, to the Galatians, c. iv. v. 6 and 7, he says, “be“cause ye are sons, God hath sent forththe “spirit of his son into your hearts,crying Abba “Father, wherefore thou art no more a servant, “but a son, &c.” He adds also, “an Apostle “ of Jesus Christ,” (not by the will of God, as he usually expresses it, but) “according to the “faith of God's elect and the acknowledging of “ the truth;” all which, in Paul's mouth, is
quite a new kind of language. As I proceed, my suspicion is greatly confirmed by finding a most malicious, illiberal, national reflection of a Greek Poet upon the moral character of the Cretans quoted by the author, affirmed by him to be true, and the Poet himself denominated a Prophet. T he satirical verse heré quoted is taken from Epimenides, a Poet of Crete, but that part of it which accuses the Cretans of being liars, is copied literally from a hymn of Callimachus in honour of Jupiter, and he explains the grounds of his accusation to be, that “the Cretans had always boasted, “ that they had the sepulchre of Jupiter in “ their island, which must be false, because it “was impossible for the supreme of the in“mortals to have died and been buried any“where.” Who can believe that the Apostle Paul would have sanctioned such a slander, founded upon sudh grounds as these ? Besides, the state of the Church in Crete, as described in the seven last verses of the first chapter, and the direction about heretics, c. iii. v. 10, are much more suitable to the state of the Church in later times, predicted by Paul to Timothy,” than at any period during the life of Paul. The author of the
* 1 Tim, iv. 1, and 2 Tim. iv. 3 and 4.
Epistle also, c. iii. v. 3, represents himself and Titus, as having, in the former part of their lives, before their conversion to Christianity, been “foolish, disobedient, deceived, “serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in “malice and envy, hateful, and hating one “ another.” Now, when Paul enumerates several unchristian immoralities to the Corinthians,” he adds, not including himself, nor even the majority of the heathen converts, “ and such were some of you; but ye are “washed,” &c. And of himself he confldently declared before the Jewish Council, Acts c. xxiii. v. 1, “Men and brethren, I “have lived in all good conscience before “God, until this day.”
As to the Epistle to Philemon, it is too insignificant to merit much attention; but it is observable, that, in this short letter, Paul not only talks of his bonds, a phrase not uncommonly applied to any kind of confinement or restraint, but speaks of his fellow-prisoner: and yet we learn from the Acts, that he himself was the only Christian prisoner sent thither by Festus; and that he was permitted “to dwell by himself, with a soldier that kept “ him.”
* 1: Cor. vi. 9 and 19.
IV. TriAt the Epistle to the Hebrews could not be written by Paul, is so evident to any reader, who compares the style and scope of it with those of his other Epistles, that it seems astonishing that, even in the fifth century, it should have been decreed to be his, especially since the writer does not pretend to be Paul; and the only circumstance of probability that he was so, is the mention of Timothy, in the close of the Epistle; as if there never was more than one 'Christian of that name. But that it is of much later date than the Apostolic age, is manifest from chap. xiii. v. 7 and 17, where the teachers of Christianity are said to rule over their congregations, in direct contradiction to our Saviour's express injunctions, and to the constant practice of Paul himself and all the primitive preachers of the Gospel. Indeed, I cannot imagine a grosser affront to the memory of the great Apostle to the Gentiles, than to ascribe to him, either the interpreting the Greek word for Covenant to signify a will or testament; or the assertion of this writer, c. iv. v. 2, that the Gospel was preached to the Israelites in the wilderness, as well as to us; or all the nonsensical absurdity, in chap. vii. about Melchisedec, as a X
man having neither beginning of days nor end of life; or, lastly, the reckoning as the perfection of the Christian doctrine, c. vi. v. 1 and 2, far superior to the doctrines of Repentance, Faith, the Resurrection, and a future Judgment, the explanation of the Old Covenant of the Mosaic Law, as a type and shadow of the New Covenant of the Gospel, which, upon the principles laid down by Paul himself, in his Epistle to the Galatians, is just as trifling and useless, as it would be to represent the scholastic discipline, under which we are educated in our childhood, as the type and shadow of our conduct, when arrived at manhood, and a full maturity of reason. It must be considered also, that the writing to the Jewish converts particularly, either in general or in any one country, by the appellation of Hebrews, is to make and keep up a distinction between them and the Gentile converts to Christianity, a behaviour quite unjustifiable in any teacher of the Gospel; because all distinctions tend naturally to destroy that unity and mutual affection necessary in the disciples of Jesus Christ; and, as far as our religion is concerned with the writings of the Old Testament, the Gentile converts were equally interested in them with the