Obrazy na stronie

himself bound to propose the gospel to the Jews first, agreeably to what he declared at Antioch in Pisidia; “ it was necessary " that the word of God should first have “ been spoken to you.” Acts, ch. xiii. ver. 46. If the Jews rejected his ministry, he quitted the synagogue, and betook himself to a Gentile audience. At Corinth, upon his first coming thither, he reasoned in the synagogue every fabbath ; “ but when the

Jews opposed themselves, and blasphemed, “ he departed thence,” expressly telling them, “ from henceforth I will

go unto the “ Gentiles; and he remained in that city a

year and six months.” Acts, ch. xviii. ver. 6-11. At Ephesus, in like manner, for the space of three months he went into the synagogue; but “ when divers were " hardened and believed not, but spake evil os of that way,

he departed from them and “ separated the disciples, disputing daily in " the school of one Tyrannus; and this " continued by the space of two years.” Acts, ch. xix. ver. 9, 10. Upon inspecting the history, I fee nothing in it which nega


tives the supposition, that St. Paul pursued the same plan at Thessalonica which he adopted in other places; and that, though he resorted to the synagogue only three sabbath-days, yet he remained in the city, and in the exercise of his ministry amongst the Gentile citizens, much longer; and untilthe success of his preaching had provoked tho Jews to excite the tumult and insurrection by which he was driven

away Another seeming discrepancy is found in the ninth verse of the first chapter of the epistle; “ For they themselves show of us ** what manner of entering in we had unto you,

turned to God from idols " to serve the living and true God.” This text contains an affertion, that, by means of St. Paul's ministry at Theffalonica, many idolatrous Gentiles had been brought over to Christianity. Yet the history, in describing the effects of that ministry, only says, that “ some of the Jews believed, and of the de“ vout Greeks a great multitude, and of the “ chief women not a few,”(ch. xvii. ver. 4.) The devout Greeks were those who already

and how ye

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worshipped the one true God; and therefore could not be said, by embracing Christianity, " to be turned to God from idols.”

This is the difficulty. The answer may be assisted by the following observations : The Alexandrian and Cambridge manufcripts read (for των σεβομενων ελληνων πολυ πληθος) ) των σεβομενων και ελληνων πολυ πληθος. Ιn which reading they are alfo confirmed by the Vulgate Latin. And this reading is, in my opinion, strongly supported by the considerations, first, that or gebouevos alone, i.e. without eðanues, is used in this sense in this fame chapter, Paul being come to Athens, διελεγετο εν τη συναγωγη τοις Ιεδαιοις και τους σεβομενοις: fecondly, that σεξομενοι and elanues no where come together. The expression is redundant. The or rebojesvol must be enaques. Thirdly, that the xan is much more likely to have been left out incuriâ manus than to have been put in. Or, after all, if we be not allowed to change the present reading, which is undoubtedly retained by a great plurality of copies, may not the passage in the history be considered


as describing only the effects of St. Paul's discourses during the three sabbath-days in which he preached in the synagogue ? and may it not be true, as we have remarked above, that his application to the Gentiles at large, and his success amongst them, was posterior to this?

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No. I.

IT may seem odd to alledge obscurity it

self as an argument, or to draw a proof in favour of a writing, from that which is usually considered as the principal defect in its composition. The present epistle, howevea, furnishes a passage, hitherto unexplained, and probably inexplicable by us, the existence of which, under the darkness and difficulties that attend it, can only be accounted for

upon the supposition of the epistle being genuine; and upon that supposition is accounted for with great ease. The passage which I allude to is found in the second chapter : " that day shall not “come, except there come a falling away “ first, and that man of sin be revealed, the “ son of perdition, who opposeth and ex" alteth himself above all that is called God,

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