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IV. In the former epistles, Mark was with St. Paul, and joins in saluting the Colossians. In the present epistle, Timothy is ordered to bring him with him, “ for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” (Chap. iv. 11.)
The case of Timothy and of Mark might be very well accounted for, by supposing the present epistle to have been written before the others; so that Timothy, who is here exhorted“ to come shortly unto him,” (chap. iv. 9,) might have arrived, and that Mark, “whom he was to bring with him,” (chap. iv. 11,) might have also reached Rome in sufficient time to have been with St. Paul when the four epistles were written; but then such a supposition is inconsistent with what is said of Demas, by which the posteriority of this to the other epistles is strongly indicated : for in the other epistles Demas was with St. Paul, in the present he hath “forsaken him, and is gone to Thessalonica.” The opposition also of sentiment, with respect to the event of the persecution, is harldly reconcilable to the same imprisonment.
The two following considerations, which were first suggested upon this question by Ludovicus Capellus, are still more conclusive.
1. In the twentieth verse of the fourth chapter St. Paul informs Timothy, “ that Erastus abode at Corinth,” Εραστος εμεινεν εν Κορινθω.
The form of expression implies, that Erastus had staid behind at Corinth, when St. Paul left it. But this could not be meant of any journey from Corinth which St. Paul took prior to his first imprisonment at Rome; for when Paul departed from Corinth, as related in the twentieth chapter of the Acts, Timothy was with him: and this was the last time the apostle left
Corinth before his coming to Rome; because he left it to proceed on his way to Jerusalem; soon after his arrival at which place he was taken into custody, and continued in that custody till he was carried to Cæsar's tribunal. There could be no need therefore to inform Timothy that “ Erastus staid behind at Corinth” upon this occasion, because, if the fact was so, it must have been known to Timothy, who was present, as well as to St. Paul.
2. In the same verse our epistle also states the following article: “ Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.” When St. Paul passed through Miletum on his way to Jerusalem, as related Acts xx. Trophimus. was not left behind, but accompanied him to that city. He was indeed the occasion of the uproar at Jerusalem in consequence of which St. Paul was apprehended; for “ they had seen,” says the historian, , “ before with him in the city, Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.” This was evidently the last time of Paul's being at Miletus before his first imprisonment; for, as hath been said, after his apprehension at Jerusalem, he remained in custody till he was sent to Rome.
In these two articles we have a journey referred to, which must have taken place subsequent to the conclusion of St. Luke's history, and of course after St. Paul's liberation from his first imprisonment. The epistle, therefore, which contains this reference, since it appears from other parts of it to have been written while St. Paul was a prisoner at Rome, proves that he had returned to that city again, and undergone there a second imprisonment.
exactly with what is intimated in the quotation from the Acts adduced in the last number. In that quotation it is recorded of Timothy's mother, “ that she was a Jewess.” This description is virtually, though, I am satisfied, undesignedly, recognised in the epistle, when Timothy is reminded in it, “that from a child he had known the Holy Scriptures.” “The Holy Scriptures” undoubtedly meant the Scriptures of the Old Testament. The expression bears that sense in every place in which it occurs. Those of the New had not yet acquired the name; not to mention that in Timothy's childhood probably none of them existed. In what manner then could Timothy have known “from a child” the Jewish Scriptures had he not been born, on one side or on both, of Jewish parentage? Perhaps he was not less likely to be carefully instructed in them, for that his mother alone professed that religion.
No. IV. Chap. ii: 22. “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
“ Flee also youthful lusts.” The suitableness of this precept to the age of the person to whom it is addressed is gathered from 1 Tim. ch. iv. 12: “Let no man despise thy youth.” Nor do I deem the less of this coincidence because the propriety resides in a single epithet, or because this one precept is joined with and followed by a train of others not more applicable to Timothy than to any ordinary convert. It is in these transient and cursory allusions that the argument is best founded. When a writer dwells
and rests upon a point in which some coincidence is discerned, it may be doubted whether he himself had not fabricated the conformity, and was endeavouring to display and set it off. But when the reference is contained in a single word, unobserved perhaps by most readers, the writer passing on to other subjects as unconscious that he had hit upon a correspondency, or unsolicitous whether it were remarked or not, we may be pretty well assured that no fraud was exercised, no imposition intended.
No. V. Chap. iii. 10, 11. “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra ; what persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me.”
The Antioch here mentioned was not Antioch the capital of Syria, where Paul and Barnabas resided
a long time,” but Antioch in Pisidia, to which place Paul and Barnabas came in their first apostolic progress, and where Paul delivered a memorable discourse, which is preserved in the thirteenth chapter of the Acts. At this Antioch the history relates, that the “ Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came into Iconium .... And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of
the Greeks believed; but the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided; and part held with the Jews and part with the apostles. And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles and also of the Jews, with their rulers, to use them despitefully and to stone them, they were aware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about, and there they preached the Gospel... . And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had 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 allusion in the epistle is to be referred. We have so far therefore a conformity between the history 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 so, 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 com