Изображения страниц

of St. Peter to Antioch, when Paul rebuked him, is another, and various omissions of a similar nature might be pointed out; but, although, there are omissions in The Acts, there are no contradictions to any thing stated in Paul's Epistles; and in numerous important particulars, "The Acts" and the Epistles strongly corroborate each other.


The Jewish Teacher Gamaliel, had no part in St. Paul's Conversion to Christianity.

ACCORDING to the author of "Not Paul but Jesus," Gamaliel, the doctor of the law, under whom St. Paul had studied, was instrumental in St. Paul's conversion to Christianity; for this supposition, there exists not the slightest foundation in Scripture, for it does not even appear, that Gamaliel himself embraced Christianity, although the advice which he gave, when Peter and the other Apostles were brought before the Jewish Council, remains, to this day, a lasting monument of his good sense, and

c Gal. ii.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


"And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest haply ye be found even to fight against God." Acts v. 38, 39.

a "The event has proved, that Gamaliel was a wise, as well as a pious man; and what was thus so seasonably spoken to the first enemies of the Gospel, may with equal propriety be addressed to them who oppose it in these latter days." Beattie's Evidences of the Christian Religion.



St. Paul's divine Commission credited by the Apostles.


Ir appears, from what has been already said, not only that St. Paul was miraculously converted to Christianity, but invested by our Lord with a divine commission to preach the Gospel, and that, in consequence of that commission, he preached boldly in the name of Jesus. We have also had occasion incidentally to remark, that when St. Paul, at his first visit to Jerusalem after his conversion, was introduced by Barnabas to two of the Apostles, the vision which St. Paul had seen, and his subsequent exertions as a preacher of the Gospel, formed the basis of Barnabas's recommendation; but we shall have occasion to revert to that visit, and shall find, that not only on that, but on several other occasions, St. Paul's commission and Apostleship were recognized by the Apostles at Jerusalem; strong confirmation be



ing thereby afforded, to what has been already stated, respecting the reality of the vision which St. Paul saw, and his conversion consequent thereupon.


Gamaliel Smith's desultory Mode of Enquiry.

THE vague and desultory mode in which Gamaliel Smith has pursued his enquiry, and the incoherent way in which he has hurled his random accusations against the character of St. Paul, renders it difficult to pursue the discussion in a continued and regular manner. To advert, in every instance, to his minute and frivolous cavils, to charges more distinguished by the flippant volubility with which they are brought forward, than by any shew of reason by which they are supported, would be not only a thankless, but a superfluous, task. It will therefore be my object, in wading through the mass of crude assertions, and unsupported ipse dixits, to select from the rest those only, which, from the ingenuity of perverted argument, or the unblushing boldness of misrepresentation, may seem distinguished from the general heap.


St. Paul believed-Topics connected with his five Visits to Jerusalem.

GAMALIEL Smith says, (Chap. iii. Sect. 2.) "In the course of the interval between the date assigned by Paul to his conversion, and that of the last particulars of his history, mention, more or less particular, may be found of four visits of his, distinctly four related visits, and no more than four, to that metropolis of the new Church, (viz. Jerusalem.) On no one of these occasions, could he have avoided using his endeavours towards procuring admittance to the fellowship of the distinguished persons so universally known, in the character of the select companions, and most confidential servants, of Jesus"."

Now, so far is it from being true, that "there are only four distinctly related visits, that we shall find, on referring to the history, that between the time of his conversion, and

a This Section, in some measure, anticipates subjects that belong to a subsequent part of the enquiry, and which are more amply discussed afterwards.

» Page 90.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »