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cellus, greatly obliged the Jews by not marching his army through Judæa, when he was commanded by Tiberius to go against Aretas, and was, on that account, invited to Jerusalem—that he, during his stay there, proclaimed Caius Em. peror, and that he made Theophilus high-priest in the soom of his brother Jonathan, when this is considered, we, surely, have greater reason to think that the restoration of this important privilege, if it was ever taken from the Jews, came from Vitellius than Marcellus.
But if we admit that Marcellus restored this privilege to the Jews, after Vitellius left Jerusalem, what end will it answer ? Professor Michaelis says that “ if this be true,"St, Paul's conversion must have happened later than 35, but whether in 36 or 38 " he still acknowledges himself unable to determine.” He however observes that " neither date agrees with the epistle to the Galatians,”-Professor Marsh says “ Consequently the death of Stephen, &c. could not have happened before that year ;"—and adds—“ But whether it took place immediately after the departure of Pilate, or whether it happened a year later, is uncertain.” And after having said this he, two or three lines after, adds—" If the Sanhedrin obtained from Marcellus a privilege which they did not enjoy under Pilate, they, of course, took the earliest opportunity of making use of it.” And therefore, says be, “the journey to Jerusalem, mentioned Gal. i. 18. which was at least three years later, could not have happened be. fore 40."
The only use then, which these learned professors appear to have made of this strange hypothesis is to prove the one that Gal. i. 18. is irreconcileable with it--the other that St. Paul went up to Jerusalem the first time not before the year 40. But is not the use which Michaelis makes of it a little more conlistent than that which our learned countryman makes ? Let us not think it tedious to inquire.--He says, we perceive, that the death of Stephen, &c. could not have happened before the year 37. And presently after adds
whether it took place immediately after the departure of Pilate, or whether it happened a year later, is uncertain.” Suppose now it was only three quarters of a year later, (as they " of course took the earliest opportunity of making use of it,') in which case it must have happened about the beginning of the year 38 ; and Paul, whose journey must, by professor Marsh's account, have happened at least three years later, could not have gone up to Jerusalem, åt least, before the year 41. But some interval took place between the
4 Whether wherbeas only three opportu
death of Stephen and the conversion of Saul, which some learned divines seem to think of considerable duration, and which should therefore be taken into the account.- Let us then next inquire how long after the death of Stephen Saul appears to have been converted. . We know that he continued to persecute the church so long after the death of Stephen as to do abundance of mischief to the saints not only all over Jerusalem, but in remote places—that he is said to have “ made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women to have committed them to prison"m" to have beaten them that believed" oft “ in every Synagogue,” and “ when many of the saints were put to death to have given his vote against them," and before he went to Damascus “ to have perle. cuted them even unto strange cities.” And any one that attends to these several particulars, cannot but perceive that there is reason enough to think that he could not have been converted much within a year after the death of Stephen. Instead then of saying, that St. Paul could not have gone up to Jerusalem, before the year 41, we may now say that he could not have gone up before the year 42. But what time, at least, would our Lady Margaret's professor chuse to allow. above three years, for St. Paul's continuance at Damascus and in Arabia ? For he says “ After his return to Damas. cus three years elapsed, before he went up to Jerusalem to confer with Peter”-of course the time of his stay at Damas. cus and in Arabia, must be taken into the account. Now how long time ought we to allow for each of these intervals ? -Concerning his first residence at Damascus Luke gives us this account-" Then was Saul certain days with the disci. ples which were at Damascus ; and straightway he preached Christ in the Synagogues, that he is the Son of God. And after that many day's were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him. But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket."-Of his going into Arabia, and his returning again to Damascus, St. Luke says not a word: and, of course, leaves us to conclude that the flight hape pened when he first went to Damascus.-And in the account which he gives us of the defence which Paul made before king Agrippa, we learn, that he then told the king that he went to Damascus immediately after his conversion--and we also perceive, by his saying that " he shewed firt to them of Damascus," that he seems to intimate he then
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preached there. Of his journey into other parts of Arabia he at that time, says not a word.
In the second epistle to the Cor. chap. xi. Paul himself fays, that he was obliged to leave Damascus by night to saye his life ; but adds nothing, as Professor Michaelis seems to think, to enable us to say whether this flight happened at the end of his first or second residence at Damascussor, to disa cover the date of his conversion.-In his epiftle to the Gas latians, chap. i. he, without saying any thing of what hap. pened during his first stay at Damascus, tells us, that he went into Arabia (seemingly intimating by this that Damascus was not to be considered as any part of Arabia) and that he returned again to Damascus, which clearly implies that he had been there before. And by what he immediately subjoins, we seem to have pretty nearly the same encourage. ment to think that his flight did not happen at that time, as we have from St. Luke that it did happen at the end of his first abiding in that city. For he not only says “ Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem,” but he also adds, that he took the journey for this particular purpofe-viz. ισορησαί Πετρον. .
If now he found it necessary, during his first residence at Damascus to escape by night from his persecutors, as ap. pears both by his own account, Galatians i., and by St. Luke's account, Acts ix., it proves clearly that he must have done something to provoke the Jews to kill him, and to interest the Ethnarch in their favor-and what that some. thing could have been, if it was not because “ Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews, which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ," it is not easy to see. However whether he found it unsafe to remain at Damascus at his first or second residence there, after having found it necessary to leave that city in such a manner, it may be presumed, that he would not trust himself there again for a long time-probably not till he was well assured that his persecutors rage against him had subsided, and not during the government of the Ethnarch under Aretas- If so, it is not unlikely that he remained in other parts of Arabia, no one knows how long. And therefore, if by professor Marsh's account “ three years elapsed, after he returned to Damascus, before he went up to Jerusalem to confer with Peter," the time of his first residence at Damaseus, and the time he spent in Arabia, which seem to have been both pretty considerable, must be taken into the account. Consequently, as we have already proved that Paul must, at soonest,
have gone up to Jerusalem, not before the year 42, but how much later, we could not then determine, - we may now venture to say, that his Journey could not, in all probability, have taken place before 43—and not very early in that year, if Paul's life was sought while he was first at Damascus. - To this conclusion we have arrived by supposing with professor Marsh and Michaelis that Stephen was not Itoned till after Pilate was recalled, and by a close attention to the history of Paul's proceedings, before and after he was converted, till he went up to Jerusalem to see Peter.--But what reason have we to think that the result of our researches is at all consistent with the following part of the history of the church ? Let us endeavour to see.
The dearth mentioned Acts xi. is generaily allowed to have happened in the year 44 ; and in the fourth year of Claudius, who began his reign in January 4i. And by Josephus' account, it must have happened after the death of Herod ; for he says that Herod was made king of Judæa by Claudius in the very beginning of his reign. · And when he had been made king of Judæa three whole years, he went to Cesaræa, and there, after five day's illness, died. About a year before he died, and how much more we need not undertake to inquire, “he firetched forth his hands to vex certain of the church, and James, the brother of John, he killed with the sword. And when he saw that it pleased the Jews, about the days of unleavened bread, he proceeded further to take Peter also. And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, intending after Easter, to bring him forth to the Jews."~Consequently this imprisonment of Peter took place about Easter in the year: 43 ;-about the very time that Paul, according to the report of Professors M. and M. and our hypothetical reasoning, went up to see him.
But from the time that Paul left Peter at Jerusalem and went to Tarsus, St. Luke says, the churches all over Judæa and Galilee and Samaria had rest and were multiplied ;and that Peter went to visit all of them.--He also seeins to say that they continued in the same tranquil state all the while that Paul was at Tarsus and about a year after, when this tranquillity was interrupted by Herod, in the year 43. Consequently, we can find no room for this remarkable period in the lives of our Apostles.
Let us now try to see how far our conclusion appears to be reconcileable with the evidence of profune history. For VOL. XIV. .
though Ghm. Mag. May 1808.
though Professor Michaelis has asserted with his usual cortfidence “unfortunately the conversion of St. Paul is not combined with any historical fact, by means of which the date may be discovered," and Profeffor Marsh appears to have assented to it;--unfortunately for those great ecclesiastical illuminées, Paul's residence in Damascus appears to have been combined with an historical fact, of a very remarkable nature, attested by a combination of various other cotemporary facts, seldom, if ever, to be met with in hisory. A fact which proves beyond a doubt that Paul was obliged to leave Damascus before Pilate left Judæa. .
In the xi. ch. of 2 Ep. to the Cor. he intimates that when the Ethnarch wanted to apprehend him Aretas was king. But what account have we of this Arabian kingand when did he die ?
His fister, we are informed, was Herod the Tetrarch's firft wife, and was by him put away for the sake of his brother Philip's wife. This was the cause of a war between Herod and Aretas, which continued four years and ended with the life of Aretas. Tiberius, just before his death, to oblige Herod, commanded Vitellius, the proconsul of Syria, to go against Aretas. Vitellius, at the request of Herod, did not march his army through Judæa, but took another route to avoid giving offence to the Jews. But he himself went to Jerusalem with Herod ; where they deposed Jonathan, and placed his brother Theophilus in his room.(c) White they were at Jerusalem, they received an account of the death of the Emperor, and of the accession of Caius. Vi. tellius staid to receive the oaths of fidelity to the new Em. peror ; and the Jews offered sacrifices for him. Jerufalem, it should be added, is said to have been the first city of the East, that heard the news of this change, and the first city in the East that proclaimed him Emperor.(d) By this time Artabanes had succeeded Aretas in Arabia, and requested an interview with Vitellius. Accordingly, Vitel. lius, accompanied by Herod, went to meet him near the Euphrates.--- where Herod erected a stately pavilion and gave
(c) As Theophilus was high priest, according to professors M. and M. before Stephen was stoned, why should we be expected to believe that it was likely that St. Luke wrote his Gospel, and the Acts, for his instruction?
(d) Agrippa's Epistle to Caius, mentioned by Josephus. Antiq. 1. xviii. c. ii. et Legat, ad Caium.