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would ask you then so skilled and practised in the Scriptures, what you will effect, when what you advance in defence of your opinions is denied; and on the contrary, what you deny is defended. The sole result will be, that you will waste your breath in the dispute, and obtain nothing but irritation from the prophane language you hear.

Prescription is a legal term adopted by Tertullian, from the language of his original profession, and implies a sweeping exception against all arguments advanced by an adversary from a particular source, and an utter denial of any right to produce such arguments; as in the case of heretics, to whom Tertullian denies all right to advance any argument from the Sacred Scriptures, maintaining, that as they are not Christians, they are not to be reasoned with out of the Sacred Word.

"Est, autem Præscribere verbum forense, et significat, cum quis adversarium certis exceptionibus removet a lite contestanda ita, ut de summâ rei neget agendum, eamve causam ex juris præscripto judicandum."-Chameir.

"Præscriptionem hereticorum dicit quia præscribimus hæreticos, (id est exceptionis objicimus) hoc ipso, quod sunt heretici, quibus hanc unam exceptionem opponimus, quod adversus regulam dogmata proferant, itaque ut minime audiendos ab omni disputatione submovemus."-Semler.


VARIOUS opinions have been entertained by commentators, as to the date of the epistle to the Galatians; but the arguments used by Michaelis, who assigns it to some part of St. Paul's journey, recorded in Acts xvi. appears to have determined its date in a manner much more satisfactory. This argument is also important, as it points out a remarkable coincidence between the epistle and the history in the Acts, which has not been noticed by Dr. Paley in his Hora Paulinæ.

St. Paul writes his epistle to the Galatians, not merely in his own name, but in the name of all the brethren who were with him at the time he wrote it: "Paul, an Apostle and all the brethren

that are with me, unto the Churches of Galatia." (Gal. i. 1,2.) St. Paul would hardly have written in this manner, in the name of all the brethren that were with him, without stating who those brethren were, unless those brethren were known to the Galatians, and were known by them to be with St. Paul at the time when the epistle was written. Accordingly upon examining the account given in the Acts, we are enabled to determine, with much probability, who those brethren were, and thus, we are possessed of a very interesting coincidence between the epistle and the history. St. Paul's first visit to the Galatians was soon after the Council which had been held at Jerusalem, (Acts xvi. 4-6,) at that time he was accompanied by Silas, (Acts xv. 40,) by Timothy, (Acts xvi. 3,) and perhaps by others. After passing through the region of Galatia, being " forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia," they travelled through Mysia to Troas (ch. xvi. 8) where St. Paul had a remarkable dream, which induced him to go into Macedonia: at Troas also, as appears from the historian's

use of the first person plural, St. Luke was added to St. Paul's other companions, and in their company he travelled to Philippi, (ver. 11, 12,) and thence to Thessalonica, (ch. xvi. 1-9,) and here some of the brethren appear to have remained, while St. Paul travelled with Silas alone to Berea (ver. 10.) When he was no

longer in safety there, he left Silas behind and went to Athens, so that when he arrived in that city none of the brethren were with him, in whose company he had travelled through Galatia. Hence then, Michaelis concludes, that the epistle must have been written before St. Paul separated from these brethren, that is before he left Thessalonica. "Whether it was written in that city or before he arrived there, I will not (says Michaelis) attempt to determine, but it certainly was written during the interval which elapsed between St. Paul's departure from Galatia, and his departure from Thessalonica;' ;"* from which it would appear, that the brethren alluded to in Gal. i. 2, were Silas and Timothy, and perhaps others, who had been with St. Paul in his first visit to the Galatians.

The supposition that the epistle to the Galatians was written at the period to which it is thus assigned, accounts more easily than any other for St. Paul's mentioning to the Galatians, that he had not compelled Titus to be circumcised, (Gal. ii. 3) and at the same time establishes another very minute agreement between the epistle and the Acts. We learn from Acts xvi. 3, that Paul "took and circumcised Timothy," whose mother was a Jewess, though his father was a Greek, (ver. 1,) and that he did so "because of the Jews which were in those quarters, for they all knew that his father was a Greek." To this, perhaps, the Judaizing teachers among the Galatians, had appealed in support of their doctrine, that the observance of the Levitical law was necessary to salvation; and in order to overthrow this, St. Paul brings forward the example of Titus, who, although admitted to labour with him in the ministry, yet because he was a Greek, was not compelled to be circumcised.

It must be confessed, that these coincidences are very minute, but this very circumstance renders them less liable to the suspicion of being designed, and thus strengthens their evidence in favour of the genuineness of the epistle and Apostolic history; "undesignedness (to use the language of Dr. Paley) being that on which the construction and validity of the argument, deduced from such coincidences chiefly depend." "The more intricate the comparison shall be, the more numerous the intermediate steps through which the conclusion is deduced; in a word, the mole circuitous the investigation is, the better, because the agreement which finally results, is thereby farther removed from the suspicion of contrivance, affectation, or design.”+

* Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iv. chap. 9.

† Paley's Horæ Paulinæ.


IN that exquisitely finished picture of Christian charity, pourtrayed by the Apostle Paul, in the thirteenth chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, there appears in our authorized translation of the seventh verse, a tautology of expression, which neither exhibits the meaning, nor does justice to the original. The text as translated reads thus:

"Beareth all things, believeth all things,

"Hopeth all things, endureth all things."

In this translation of the text, the first mentioned character of charity, is so nearly synonimous with the fourth, that no difference of meaning is conveyed: what "charity beareth" it "endureth.” On referring to the original Greek, we find it thus expressed by the Apostle:

πάντα στέγει, πάντα πιςεύει, πάντα ἐλπίζει, παντα ὑπομένει. Here we find a determinate and distinct meaning, siya tegit, Occultat: voμɛve subtus manet, sustinet. In the authorized version, there is not any marginal reference to this text; and indeed, as translated, it bears no reference. But the passage, as - in the Greek text, might with propriety be referred to Proverbs x. 12, and 1 Peter iv. 8, and these references would be the exact parallel passages, expressing the very sentiment, which it appears the Apostle intended to convey, "charity covereth all things," extends the mantle of love over every thing that it is kind to conceal. The trait depicted in the fourth clause, forms a fine enlargement of this principle; "charity patiently endureth all things," remains under the sufferance of evil, rather than unnecessarily implicate a character, or transfer the burden to another. The duty of bearing one another's burdens, is enjoined by the same Apostle, Gal. vi. 2.

There is a various reading of this text, which may be worth noticing. The "Curcellæi lectiones," as quoted in the Westenian edition of the Greek Testament, for ςεγει, reads ςεργει. The Greek verb sepy has a peculiarly emphatic meaning; not merely "Amo, diligo" generaliter, but Qualis est amor parentum erga liberos et vicissim. Christian charity is intense in its affection. The exceeding great love of God to mankind, is resembled in Scripture to parental affection.-Psalm ciii. 13. Prov. iii. 12. Isaiah xlix. 15. Malach. iii. 17, &c. MELANCTHUS.

Under the head of "Biblical Criticism," in your Number for February, it is remarked-"In the standing editions of the Authorized Version, the marginal reading on Ps. x. 14, is "Heb. leaveth." But instead of "leaveth," most of the common Bibles printed during the last and present centuries, read "cleaveth." Of two Bibles in my possession, one printed Dublin, 1758; the other Cambridge, 1762; the former edition has the correct marginal reading "leaveth," the latter edition "cleaveth." It therefore appears, that this marginal error occurred some time between the years 1758 and 1762.



The Epistle, I John, v. 4. The Gospel, St. John xx. 19.

THIS Sunday is styled in our Almanacks, Low Sunday. A phrase which originated in the old custom of observing the octaves or eighth days after great festivals. These repetitions, as it were, being deemed inferior to the feasts themselves, the Sunday in question was termed low Easter; or, as it is now more commonly denominated low Sunday.

The Collect for the day is a prayer for purification of soul, which is expressed by intreating that we may "put away the leaven of malice and wickedness." The words are borrowed from St. Paul, (1 Cor. v. 8) and serve to remind us of that superior height of spiritual interpretation, which the full developement of Christianity furnishes, to that which was afforded under the fainter light of the ancient Jewish economy. Unleavened bread reminded the children of the literal Israel, only of that baste with which their forefathers quitted Egypt; while to the children of the spiritual Israel, it speaks of the necessity of "sincerity and truth."

The Epistle commences with a declaration, pregnant with consolation to the conflicting believer, "whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world." The assured prospect of victory alone can sustain him whose heart faints within him at the variety, number, and strength of the temptations, by which he is assailed. It is a bold challenge, that "who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" But it is unanswerable. We may defy the universe to shew an instance of any child of Adam, attaining to true self-possession and conquest over the temptations to which being in this world exposes him, who was not a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. The ancient Heathen indeed dreamed of such a thing, but nothing more. Even their own unenlightened minds could discover, that they were not fully equal to the effort; as when Diogenes the Stoic, walking over the rich carpet exclaimed, "thus I tread on the pride of Plato," he met the just rebuke of his insulted host; "Yes, and with more pride," said Plato.

In the portion of Scripture now under consideration, the celebrated passage 1 John, v. 7 occurs, concerning the genuineness of which so much disputation has arisen. We may just observe, that the weight of testimony in its favour, greatly exceeds that against it, whether we look to the external or internal evidence. We could not here possibly enter on the subject, but this at all events, we would subjoin, that even supposing it an interpolation,

the doctrines of Christ's Divinity, of the personality of the Holy Ghost, and of the Trinity, remain as much as ever the decided doctrines of Holy Writ. And there is an evidence which the poor often possess, which the wise and learned frequently do not attain to. "He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself." How many dear children of the Lord have rejoiced, and are rejoicing at this moment in him, who came to seek and save poor perishing sinners, who never knew, or ever shall know, that there are versions in the Latin and the Greek differing from each other, or understand even, in their simplicity, what the collating of manuscripts means. Let us not forget when we become critics, what is the main point to have impressed upon our souls, even that which the Apostle here brings before us, "he that hath the Son, hath life; he that hath not the Son, hath not life."

It has been supposed by some, that the appearance of our Lord among the disciples spoken of in the Gospel for this day, was quite sudden. It does not, however, appear from the context that the doors might not have opened to him supernaturally, as did others as strongly secured, to Peter, and thus a material body be introduced among them in the ordinary way. All that is said is, "came Jesus, and stood in the midst." We find our Lord anxious to give his followers the very highest assurance, that of sense"He shewed unto them his hands and his side." This sight removed all doubtings. The breathing on them, spoken of as accompanying his words, "receive ye the Holy Ghost," was probably in allusion to what he had previously declared of the Holy Spirit being like unto the wind. (John iii.) The Church of Rome arrogates to herself great powers from these words, "whosoever sins ye remit," &c. It is a questionable thing at best, whether all ministers of the Gospel in all ages, were to have this right; but however this matter be determined, it yet remains for her to shew how she can claim an exclusive authority from hence, to retain or to remit sins; if there be such a power, certainly it was not here given to her; nor can the words by any ingenuity be strained to such application of them.


The Epistle, 1 Peter ii. 19. The Gospel, St. John x. 11.

THAT is a melancholy error of the Socinians, who looking on Christ only as a great moral teacher, neglect the all-important point of his great atonement for the sins of the world. But the error of the Antinomians is as bad, who regarding only what Jesus did for men, take no note of what he is to do in them, and separating things which God intended not to have put asunder, turn his grace into licentiousness. Far better is the teaching of our Church, which, bidding us look on Jesus as "both a sacrifice for sin, and also an example for godly life;" leads us to pray, not only that "we may always most thankfully receive that, his in

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