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not Tychicus then, in passing through Ephe'sus, communicate to the Christians of that place the letter, with which he was charged ? And might not copies of that letter be multiplied and preserved at Ephesus? Might not some of the copies drop the words of designation εν τη Λαοδικεια*, which it was of no consequence to an Ephesian to retain ? Might not copies of the letter come out into the Christian church at large from Ephesus ; and might not this give occasion to a belief that the letter was written to that church? And,
* And it is remarkable that there seem to have been some ancient copies without the words of designation, either the words in Ephesus, or the words in Laodicea. St. Basil, a writer of the fourth century, speaking of the present epistle, has this very singular passage : “ And writing to the Ephesians, as truly united to him who is through knowledge, he ' (Paul) calleth them in a peculiar sense such who are; saying, to the saints who are and (or even) the faithful in Christ Jesus ;
for so those before us have transmitted it, and we have found · it in ancient copies.” Dr. Mill interprets (and, notwith
standing some objections that have been made to him, in my opinion rightly interprets) these words of Basil, as declaring that this father had seen certain copies of the Epistle in which the words “ in Ephesus” were wanting. And the passage, I think, must be considered as Basil's fanciful way of explaining what was really a corrupt and defective reading; for I do not believe it possible that the author of the Epistle could have originally written ayrous tous 8010, without any name of place to follow it..
lastly, might not this belief produce the error which we suppose to have crept into the inscription ? . .
: No. V. As our epistle purports to have been written during St. Paul's imprisonment at Rome, which lies beyond the period to which the Acts of the Apostles brings up his history; and as we have seen and acknowledged that the epistle contains no reference to any transaction at Ephesus during the apostle's residence in that city, we cannot expect that it should supply many marks of agreement with the narrative. One coincidence however occurs, and a coincidence of that minute and less obvious kind, which, as hath been repeatedly observed, is of all others the most to be relied upon.
Chap. vi. 19, 20, we read,“ praying for me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds.” “ In bonds,” ev druges, in a chain. In the twentyeighth chapter of the Acts we are informed, that Paul, after his arrival at Rome, was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier, that kept him. Dr. Lardner has shown that this
mode of custody was in use amongst the Romans, and that whenever it was adopted the prisoner was bound to the soldier by a single chain: in reference to which St. Paul, in the twentieth verse of this chapter, tells the Jews, whom he had assembled, “ For this cause therefore have I called for you to see you, and to speak with you, because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain," thu árvor TAUTNU trepitelua. It is in exact conformity therefore with the truth of St. Paul's situation at the time, that he declares of himself in the epistle, aperbEUW EN árvoer. And the exactness is the more remarkable, as áhugis (a chain) is no where used in the singular number to express any other kind of custody. When the prisoner's hands or feet were bound together, the word was deopor (bonds), as in the twenty-sixth chapter of the Acts, where Paul replies to Agrippa, “I would to God that not only thou, but also all that hear me, this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds," TADELTOS TWV deo ua TOUTW. When the prisoner was confined between two soldiers, as in the case of Peter, Acts, chap. xii. 6, two chains were employed; and it is said upon his miraculous deliverance, that the
* chains" (ánursis, in the plural) “ fell from his hands.” Acoplos the noun, and deopce the verb, being general terms, were applicable to this in common with any other species of personal coercion ; but áruris, in the singular number, to none but this.
If it can be suspected that the writer of the present epistle, who in no other particular appears to have availed himself of the information concerning St. Paul delivered in the Acts, had, in this verse, borrowed the word, which he read in that book, and had adapted his expression to what he found there recorded of St. Paul's treatment at Rome; in short, that the coincidence here noted was effected by craft and design; I think it a strong reply to remark, that, in the parallel passage of the Epistle to the Colossians, the same allusion is not preserved; the words there are, “ praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds," di ó nou deopar. After what has been shown in a preceding number, there can be little doubt but that these two epistles were written by the same person. If the writer, therefore, sought for, and fraudulently inserted, the correspondency into one epistle, why did he not do it in the other? A real prisoner might use either general words which comprehended this amongst many other modes of custody; or might use appropriate words which specified this, and distinguished it from any other mode. It would be accidental which form of expression he fell upon. But an impostor, who had the art, in one place, to employ the appropriate term for the purpose of fraud, would have used it in both places.