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future imprisonment in that city; yet is the consistency not less worthy of observation; for the epistle touches upon names and circumstances connected with the date and with the history of his first imprisonment, and mentioned in letters written during that imprisonment, and so touches upon them, as to leave what is said of one consistent with what is said of others, and consistent also with what is said of them in different epistles. Had one of these circumstances been so described as to have fixed the date of the epistle to the first imprisonment, it would have involved the rest in contradiction. And when the number and particularity of the articles which have been brought together under this head are considered; and when it is considered also, that the comparisons we have formed amongst them, were in all probability neither provided for, nor thought of, by the writer of the epistle, it will be deemed something very like the effect of truth, that no invincible repugnancy is perceived between them.
In the Acts of the Apostles, in the sixteenth chapter, and at the first verse, we are told that Paul 'came to Derbe and Lystra, and behold a certain disciple was there named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek. In the epistle before us, in the first chapter and at the fourth verse, St Paul writes to Timothy thus : 'Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Here we have a fair un
? forced example of coincidence. In the history, Timothy was the son of a Jewess that believed :' in the epistle, St Paul applauds the faith which dwelt in his mother Eunice. In the history it is said of the mother, 'that she was a Jewess, and believed ;' of the father, that he was a Greek. Now when it is said of the mother alone that she believed,' the father being nevertheless mentioned in the same sentence, we are led to suppose of the father that he did not believe, i. e. either that he was dead, or that he remained unconverted. Agreeably hereunto, whilst praise is bestowed in the epistle upon one parent, and upon her sincerity in the faith, no notice
is taken of the other. The mention of the grandmother is the addition of a circumstance not found in the history; but it is a circumstance which, as well as the names of the parties, might naturally be expected to be known to the apostle, though overlooked by his historian.
Chap. iii. 15. And that from a child thou hast known
6 the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.
This verse discloses a circumstance which agrees 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, recognized 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 oc
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.
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. chap. 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.
Chap. iii. 10, 11. ' But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, 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 unto 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 in 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 commonly mentioned together : in the quotation from the epistle Lystra is mentioned, and not Derbe. And the distinction will appear on this occasion to be accurate ; for St Paul is here enumerating his persecutions: and although he underwent grievous persecutions in each of the three cities through which the passed to Derbe, at Derbe itself he met with none : The next day he departed,' says the historian, 'to Derbe; and when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra.' The epistle, therefore, in the names of the cities, in the order in which they are enumerated, and in the place at which the enumeration stops, corresponds exactly with the history.
But a second question remains, namely, how these persecutions were “known'to Timothy, or why the apostle should recall these in particular to his remembrance, rather than many other persecutions with which his ministry had been attended. When some time, probably three years, afterwards (vide Pearson's Annales Paulinas), St Paul made a second journey through the same country, in order to go again and visit the brethren in every city where he had preached the word of the Lord,' we read, Acts, chap. xvi. 1, that when he came to Derbe and Lystra, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus. One or other therefore of these cities was the place of Timothy's abode. We read rnoreover that he was
rell reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium ; so that he must have been well acquainted with these
places. Also again, when Paul came to Derbe and Lystra, Timothy was already a disciple: “Behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus. He must therefore have been converted before. But since it is expressly stated in the epistle, that Timothy was converted by St Paul himself, that he was
his own son in the faith :' it follows, that he must have been converted by him upon his former journey into those parts: which was the very time when the apostle underwent the persecutions referred to in the epistle. Upon the whole, then, persecutions at the several cities named in the epistle are expressly recorded in the Acts; and Timothy's knowledge of this part of St Paul's history, which knowledge is appealed to in the epistle, is fairly deduced from the place of his abode, and the time of his conversion. It may further be observed, that it is probable from this account, that St Paul was in the midst of those persecutions when Timothy became known to him. No wonder then that the apostle, though in a letter written long afterwards, should remind his favourite convert of those scenes of affliction and distress under which they first met.
Although this coincidence, as to the names of the cities, be more specific and direct than many which we have pointed out, yet I apprehend there is no just reason for thinking it to be artificial; for had the writer of the epistle sought a coincidence with the history upon this head, and searched the Acts of the Apostles for the purpose, I conceive he would have sent us at once to Philippi and Thessalonica, where Paul suffered persecution, and where, from what is stated, it may easily be gathered that Timothy accompanied him, rather than have appealed to persecutions as known to Timothy, in the account of which persecutions Timothy's presence is not mentioned; it not being till after one entire chapter, and in the history of a journey three years future to this, that Timothy's name occurs in the Acts of the Apostles for the first time.