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apparent marks of a special design triumphing over the interests of truth have arisen-of which those we have hitherto adduced are not yet the most remarkable; and this, so far as we know, is what no one has yet attempted.

We are now prepared to state the grand design of the Acts, according to the Tübingen view. Its great aim is to present a history of the church, in which the opposing tendencies of Judaic and Gentile Christianity should as much as possible disappear, and in which, above all, the apostles — Paul and the twelve-should be represented as acting in perfect harmony. To bring the Jerusalem church as near as possible to the universalism of Paul; to mitigate to a considerable extent the hostility of Paul to the works of the law; to recognise and set forward to the utmost advantage the exalted character of Peter, but to ascribe to Paul a dignity no less; to admit to the full the universally allowed apostolic authority of the twelve, but

prove that Paul had received from the same Lord as decided a commission, and a knowledge of divine truth no less sure and full than they; to maintain and enforce the necessity of circumcision for Christians of Jewish birth, but to deny it for Christians of Gentile origin, and to show that Paul and the twelve were in perfect agreement upon this point,—such were the objects for which the writer of the Acts allowed himself repeated deviations from truth, and the freest treatment of any scanty materials he may have possessed. The authorship by Luke, Baur rejects as impossible. The work, he thinks, was written a considerable time after the destruction of Jerusalem, the conflicting tendencies which it seeks to reconcile extending deep into the second century.

We must not attempt to follow our intrepid critic through all his negations. Did our space permit, we might show how he strives to batter down the whole historic fabric erected with so much care and skill by the artistic hands of the Pauline apologist. We might show how, by the continued application of the same criticism, of which we have already given some specimens, all those striking and life-like scenes, which for their spirit, their graphic power, their faithfulness to reality, have been the admiration of ages,-Paul on the road to Damascus, overwhelmed by the fulness and strength of the tide of new life which rushed into his heart, and struck to the earth by the blinding power of the light which flashed upon his soul; --Paul wandering among the glorious temples of Athens and crowds of marble gods, not to him emblems of divinity or forms of grace, but bringing only thoughts of sadness and of a world condemned; -Paul reasoning in the market-place, like another Socrates, with those light-minded Greeks, who were delighted with his


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two divinities, Jesus and Resurrection,* simply because they were new; but, when they had brought him, in their irony, to the place where subverters of religion were wont to be tried, where the great Socrates had once in a better time stood before his judges, soon grew tired of any serious treatment of the subject, and refused to listen to the end;—that tumultuous assembly in more earnest Ephesus, where the people felt at least some concern for the threatened overthrow of their religion, and shouted for two mortal hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" the more part of them, after the fashion of crowds, not knowing precisely wherefore they were come together;—then that most touching scene when, upon the sounding shore, after having warned his beloved that they should never again behold his face, the great missionary knelt down amongst his disciples and prayed for the church; prayed, no doubt, that it might be protected against those “grievous wolves” whose coming he had foretold;—Paul in Jerusalem boldly proclaiming to the exasperated populace his mission to the heathen;—Paul before the Sanhedrim, insulted by Ananias, and in his turn fiercely rebuking the haughty priest;—Paul pleading his cause before Felix with all the skill of an accomplished rhetorician ;-Paul in presence of Festus and Agrippa and Bernice, and the chief captains and principal men of Cæsarea, holding up his fettered hands, and pouring out the wish of his heart that all who heard him that day were both almost and altogether such as he, except these bonds;—we might show, we say, had we space for it, how, at the bidding of the remorseless German, as at the potent waving of some mighty magician's wand, all these scenes, like the baseless fabric of a vision, disappear and fade away into unreality: so that captivated, even should it be but for a moment, by the enchanter's art, one knows not which to admire more, the imagination which called them into being, and threw around them the vesture of seeming truth, or that rough magic which has conjured them back into nothingness.

Of course, it is not to be denied that a certain ground-work of fact lies at the foundation of the scriptural narrative, and that the different missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul have been correctly sketched, as to the order of his proceedings and the results of his labours. Moreover, we hold that there are here and there, as in the case of the narratives in which the “we” is introduced, distinct traces of authentic materials. But how far many of the minuter details may be claimed as belonging to the domain of history; how far the words put into the


• So, it would seem, these witty Athenian philosophers had chosen to understand the great doctrines of the apostle. See Acts xvii. 18, ŠTI TÒv ’Ino oûv kad Tiv å vártao u autois eungyeníteto, and compare Baur, Paulus, &c. p. 168.

mouth of the apostle and other actors in the scene may


regarded as the words really spoken upon the different occasions to which they are assigned, or even as representing remotely the substance of what was spoken,—we confess appears to us somewhat problematic. When it is recollected that in one instance at least-the address of Gamaliel, already noticed—there is an almost certain example of a purely fictitious speech; when it is considered how improbable it is that a copy of the letter of Claudius Lysias to Felix should have been accessible to the writer of the Acts, even admitting that writer to be Luke, or if it were, how unlikely that he should have taken the trouble of procuring it; and when it is further remembered that almost every speech is rendered suspicious by difficulties of its own,there seems to be hardly any other conclusion left than that whatever is historical has been worked up with much that is unhistorical, and that it is extremely difficult to discriminate the materials.

We forbear, however, from entering more minutely into this subject, and proceed to point out some of the supposed instances of a design on the part of the author of the Acts to exalt Paul to an equality of rank and dignity with the elder apostles. This design, if it existed, would require three things — that Paul should be shown to possess an independent apostolic commission, that he should appear surrounded by all the signs of an apostle, and that his gospel should be the same as that of the twelve. Our space, however, admits of the discussion of only two of these points. In regard to the first, it appears clearly enough from Paul's own epistles, that bis apostolic authority had been frequently called in question and denied by the judaisers, and he was compelled more than once emphatically to declare how Christ had appeared to him in person, and himself given him a commission to preach the Gospel. Such a revelation, however, always lay open to the objection to which any vision would be subject, that it might have been a delusion or a mere fancy. Hence, how important was it for any one undertaking the defence of Paul against such imputations to make it clear that it was no imaginary form which had appeared to the young Pharisee on the road to Damascus, but the real Christ. The conversion accordingly is narrated with all its details (though with some slight discrepancies) three times,* and each time care is taken to give as much objectivity to the appearance as is consistent with its personal character. Each time, accordingly, the companions of Paul are brought prominently forward. When the historian himself records the event, he can hardly have thought that fact unimportant which he has appended to his narrative,

• Acts ix. 3-8, xxii. 6-11, xxvi. 12-18.

that “the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.' In the two statements put into Paul's own mouth, his fellow-travellers are represented as having been aware of the light, though in the first it is expressly said that they “heard not the voice of him that spake to me.” Thus, in the one case, although the vision itself was concealed from all other eyes, and the divine form of the Saviour presented only to the mental eye of the future preacher, there were present those who could bear testimony to the reality of the heavenly communication, the fact that they saw no man being a guarantee that the voice which they heard proceeded from some mysterious, and to them unknown, source. And according to the other two statements, the witnesses could at least speak to the reality of some supernatural event having taken place, having seen this light above the brightness of the sun, and having been even struck by it to the earth. Hence no doubt could be left upon the mind of a reader who accepted these repeated and emphatic statements, that Paul had actually seen the risen Lord, and received from himself his calling and apostleship. This repetition, it is true, may prove the design, and yet not invalidate the history. Nor do we wish to press it in this light; since we think the historic fact of Paul's conversion on a journey to Damascus, undertaken partly with the view of persecuting the Christians, may stand secure, incidentally supported as it is by the statement of the apostle himself in his epistle to the Galatians,* where the words, “I returned again unto Damascus,” would seem to imply that he had been in that city immediately after (though it might be also during the time of) his conversion.

More startling, however, and less easy to reconcile with historical fidelity are the results yielded by the criticism of the Acts in reference to the second point required by the apologetic character of the work. Paul appears upon the scene, not only invested with all the power and authority of Peter and the remaining apostles, not only working miracles like them, and like them under the special protection of Heaven, but enacting over again, under different circumstances, the very same character, performing the same miracles, and protected in precisely a similar way. So complete, indeed, is the parallel, that we believe the firmest supporter of the credibility of the history must at least concede such a selection of his materials on the part of the author as would secure this comparison. But we shall give the reader the opportunity of judging. We have already alluded to the miracle performed by Peter and John upon a lame man, whom they healed as they were going up to the Temple to

• Gal. i. 13-17.



pray. Now it may seem no very extraordinary coincidence that Paul should have also healed a lame man at Lystra during his first missionary journey. There are, however, so many points in common between the two accounts that a question may well be raised whether the one is not simply a repetition of the others. Thus, the man healed by Peter was lame from his mother's womb; the man healed by Paul was lame from his mother's womb. Peter fixed his eyes upon the object of his benevolence before addressing him ; Paul did the same. And finally, in both cases similar results followed: each man leaped and walked, thus proving that the cure was effectual. Again, Peter is brought into collision at Samaria with the sorcerer Simon, whom he has occasion to rebuke severely for his too unspiritual conception of the power of the apostles in thinking that the gift of God could be purchased for money.t Paul also meets with a sorcerer in Paphos, who not only misconceives, but opposes the apostle, and whose punishment is proportioned to his greater offence. Elymas was struck blind at the command of Paul; and here, if the one reference be admissible, may not another also be traced ? Peter could strike people dead at a word; not less were the thunders of divine vengeance at the command of Paul. I Other parallels are these: Peter was supernaturally delivered from the prison into which he had been thrown at the command of Herod, and his chains fell off spontaneously at the touch of an angel. At Philippi Paul was supernaturally delivered from prison, and “every one's bands were loosed,” in consequence of an earthquake.|| Peter possessed the power of restoring the dead to life, of which we have just one example in the case of Dorcas. I So did Paul; and of this too we have just a single instance in the case of Eutychus, who fell down from the third story, and must in all probability have been really dead, not, as some think, merely stunned.** 'If Peter's shadow was endowed with miraculous power,tt articles of attire which had once been in contact with Paul's person were no less potent for the expulsion of evil spirits.ff But whatever may be thought of these parallels, which, it seems to us, can hardly be attributed to mere coincidence, there is one other where there can be no doubt that the design exists of claiming for Paul a power which, if proved to have been his, would at once mark him out as a true apostle. That the twelve could, by the laying on of hands, impart the gift of the Holy Spirit was universally acknowledged. But it is remarkable that this power is represented as belonging to the apostles exclusively: for not no instance recorded

* Acts iii. 1-8. § Ib. xii. 1-10. ** Ib. xx. 9, 10.

+ Ib. viii. 14-24.

|| Ib. xvi. 23-26. ++ Ib. v. 15.

| Ib. xiii. 6-11.

Ib. ix. 36-41. 11 Ib. xix. 12.

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