« AnteriorContinua »
been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples' stood round about him, he rose up and came into the city : and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe : and when they had preached the Gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and to Antioch." This account comprises the period to which the allosion in the epistle is to be referred, We have so far therefore a conformity between the nistory and the epistle, that St. Paul is asserted in the history to have suffered persecutions in the three cities, his persecutions at which are appealed to in the epistle; and not only sos but to have suffered these persecutions both in immediate succession, and in the order in which the cities are mentioned in the epistle, The conformity also extends to another circumstance. In the apostolic history Lystra and Derbe are commonly mentioned together : in the quotation from the epistle Lys-, tra is mentioned, and not Derbe. And the distinction will appear on this occasion to be accurate : for St. Paul is here enumerating his
persecutions : and although he underwent grievous persecutions in each of the three cia ties through which he passed to Derbe, at Derbe itself he met with none: “ The next,
day he departed," says the historian, “to' Derbe ; and when they had preached the Gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra." The epistle, therefore, in the names of the cities, in the order in which they are enumerated, and in the place at which the enumeration stops, corresponds exaetly with the history.
But a second question remains, namely how these persecutions were “known” to Timothy, or why the apostle should recall these in particular to his remembrance, rather than many other persecutions with which his ministry had been attended. When some time, probably three years, afterwards (vide Pearson's Annales Paulinas), 6 St. Paul made a second journey through the same country, “ in order to go again and visit the brethren in every city where he had preached the word of the Lord," we read, Acts, chap. xvi. 1. that, “ when he came to Derbe and Lystra, behold a certain disciple was there nam. ed Timotheus.”. One or other, therefore, of these cities was the place of Timothy's abode. We read moreover that he was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium; so that he must have been well acquainted with these places. Also again, when
Paul came to Derbe and Lystra, Timothy was already a disciple : “ Behold; a certain disciple was there named Timotheus." He must therefore have been converted before. But since it is expressly stated in the epistlé, that Timothy was converted by St. Paul.bimself, that he was his own son in the faith," it follows that he must have been converted by hím upon his former journey into those parts: which was the very time when the apostle underwent the persecutions referred to in the epistle. Upon the whole, then, persecutions at the several cities named in the epistle are expressly recorded in the Acts: and Timothy's knowledge of this part of St. Paul's history, which knowledge is appealed to in the epistle, is fairly deduced from the place of his abode, and the time of his conversion. It may farther be observed, that it is probable from this account, that St. Paul was in the midst of these persecutions when Timothy became known to him. No wonder then that the apostle, though in a letter written long afterwards, should remind his favourite convert of those scenes of affliction and distress under which they first met.
Although this coincidence, as to the names of the cities, be more specific and direct than many which we have pointed out, yet I apprehend there is no just reason for thinking it to be artificial; for had the writer of the epistle sought a coincidence with the history upon
this head, and searched the Acts of the Apostles for the purpose, I conceive he would have sent us at once to Philippi and Thessalonica, where Paul suffered persecution, and where, from what is stated, it may easily be gathered that Timothy accompanied him, rather than have appealed to persecutions as known to Timothy, in the account of which persecutions Timothy's presence is not mentioned ; it not being till after one entire chapter, and in the history of a journey threč years future to this, that Timothy's name occurs in the Acts of the Apostles for the first time.
THE EPISTLE TO Titus.
A VERY characteristic circumstance in this Epistle, is the quotation from Epimenides, chap. i. 12: “ One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies." Κρητες αει ψευσται, κακα θηρια, γαστερες αργα.
I call this quotation characteristic, because no writer in the New Testament, except St. Paul, appealed to heathen testimony; and because St. Paul repeatedly did so.
In his celebrated speech at Athens, preserved in the seventeenth chapter of the Acts, he tells his audience, that “ in God we live, and move, and have our being ; as certain also of
your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring."
—78 Yag zai Yivotopiy. The reader will perceive much similarity of manner in these two passages. The re