« PoprzedniaDalej »
was confined between two soldiers, as in the case of Peter, Acts, chap. xii. ver. 6, two, chains were employed; and it is said, upon his miraculous deliverance, that the “chains” (Gaugels, in the plural) “ fell from his hands.” Δεσμος the noun, and δεσμων the verb, being general terms, were applicable to this in common with any other species of personal coercion ; but aquois, in the fingular number, to none but this.
If it can be suspected that the writer of the present epiftle, who, in no other particular, appears to have availed himself of the information concerning St. Paul delivered in the Acts, had, in this verse, borrowed the word, which he read in that book, and had adapted his expression to what he found there recorded of St. Paul's treatment at Rome; in short, that the coincidence here noted was effected by craft and design; I think it a strong reply to remark, that, in the parallel paffage of the epistle to the Co-lossians, the same allusion is not preserved : the words there are,
praying also for us, " that God would open unto' us a door of “ utterance to speak the mystery of Christ,
“ for which I am also in bonds,” di o xur decual. After what has been shewn in a preceding number, there can be little doubt but that these two epistles were written by the same person. If the writer, therefore, fought for, and fraudulently inserted, the correspondency into one epistle, why did he not do it in the other? A real prisoner might use either general words which comprehended this amongst many other modes of custody; or might use appropriate words which specified this, and distinguished it from any other mode. It would be accidental which form of expression he fell upon. But an impostor, who had the art, in one place, to employ the appropriate term for the purpose of fraud, would have used it in both places.
THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS.
a transaction is referred to in such a manner, as that the reference is easily and immediately understood by those who are beforehand, or from other quarters, acquainted with the fact, but is obscure, or inperfect, or requires investigation, or a comparison of different parts, in order to be made clear to other readers, the transaction so referred to is probably real; because had it been fi&titious, the writer would have set forth his story more fully and plainly, not merely as conscious of the fiction, but as conscious that his readers could have no other knowledge of the subject of his allusion than from the information of which he put them in poffeffion.
The account of Epaphroditus, in the epistle to the Philippians, of his journey to Rome, and of the business which brought him thither, is the article to which I mean to apply this observation. There are three passages in the epistle which relate to this subject. The first, chap. i. ver. 7,
66 Even $6 as it is meer for me to think this of
you " all, because I have you in my heart, inaf“ much as both in my bonds, and in the " defence and confirmation of the gospel,
ye all are συγκοινωνοι με της χαριτος, joint “ contributors to the gift which I have re“ceived *." Nothing more is faid in this place. In the latter part of the second chapter, and at the distance of half the epistle from the last quotation, the subject appears again : “ Yet I supposed it necessary to send “ to you Epaphroditus, my brother and “ companion in labour, and fellow soldier,
I believe, was the first commentator who gave this sense to the expression; and I believe also, that his exposition is now generally assented to. He interprets in the same sense the phrase in the fifth verse, which our translation renders, "your fellowship in the gospel;" but which in the original is not κοινωνια το ευαγγέλιου, or, κοινωνια εν τω ευαγγελιω; but κοινωνια εις το ευαγfέλιον.
$ but your messenger, and he that ministered «s to my wants: for he longed after " and was full of heaviness, because that
ye 46 had heard that he had been fick: for indeed “ he was sick nigh unto death; but God “ had mercy on him, and not on him only, $6 but on me also, left I should have forrow
upon forrow. I sent him therefore the " more carefully, that when ye see him
again ye may rejoice, and that I may be " the less forrowful. Receive him therefore " in the Lord with all gladnefs; and hold “ such in reputation : because for the worke 65 of Christ he was nigh unto death, not re“ garding his life to supply your lack of service - toward me." Chap. ii. ver.
Chap. ii. ver. 25—30. The matter is here dropped, and no farther mention made of it till it is taken up near the conclusion of the epistle as follows: “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that so now at the last your care of me hath s flourished again ; wherein ye were also “ careful, but ye lacked opportunity : not " that I speak in respect of want; for I have “ learned in whatsoever state I am, there66 with to be content. I know both how to