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tain dwelling-place; and labour, working with our own hands; being reviled, we bless ; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the earth, and are the off-scouring of all things unto this day.” 1 Cor. ch. iv. 9–13. I subjoin this passage to the former, because it extends to the other apostles of Christianity much of that which St. Paul declared concerning himself.
In the following quotations, the reference to the author's sufferings is accompanied with a specification of time and place, and with an appeal for the truth of what he declares to the knowledge of the persons whom he addresses: “Even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye : know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the Gospel of God with much contention.” 1 Thess. ch. ii. 2.
“ But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, persecutions, afflictions, which came to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra ; what persecutions I endured : but out of them all the Lord delivered me.” 2 Tim. ch. iii. 10, 11.
I apprehend that to this point, as far as
the testimony of St. Paul is credited, the evidence from his letters is complete and full. It appears under every form in which it could appear, by occasional allusions and by direct assertions, by general declarations, and by specific examples. . . · VII. St. Paul in these letters asserts, in positive and unequivocal terms, his performance of miracles strictly and properly so called.
“ He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles (Evegywv duvapeis) among you, doth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Gal. ch. iii. 5.
.“ For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me*, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders (ev duvee peal on puerwe rui reparov), by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ. Rom. ch. xv. 18, 19.
*i. e. “I will speak of nothing but what Christ hath wrought by me ;” or as Grotius interprets it, “ Christ hath wrought so great things by me, that I will not dare to say what he hath not wrought.
“ Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds,” (EY ONLLELOIG Hol tegaol xat duvapeor*). 2 Cor. ch. xii. 12.
These words, signs, wonders, and mighty deeds (ompeerd, nat tegard, nou duvapers), are the specific appropriate terms throughout the New Testament, employed when public sensible miracles are intended to be expressed. This will appear by consulting, amongst other places, the texts referred to
* To these may be added the following indirect allusions, which, though if they had stood alone, s. e. without plainer texts in the same writings, they might have been accounted dubious; yet, when considered in conjunction with the passages already cited, can hardly receive any other interpretation than that which we give them.
“ My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of men's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but of the power of God." 1 Cor. ch. ii. 4–6.
“ The Gospel, whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me, by the effectual working of his power.” Ephes. ch. iii. 7.
“For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me towards the Gentiles.” Gal, ch. ii. 8. .
“ For our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance," 1 Thess. ch. i. 5.
in the note*; and it cannot be known that they are ever employed to express any thing else.
Secondly, these words not only denote miracles as opposed to natural effects, but they denote visible, and what may be called external, miracles, as distinguished,
First, from inspiration. If St. Paul had meant to refer only to secret illuminations of his understanding, or secret influences upon his will or affections, he could not, with truth, have represented them as “ signs and wonders wrought by him,” of “ signs and wonders and mighty deeds wrought amongst them.”:
Secondly, from visions. These would not, by any means, satisfy the force of the terms, “ signs, wonders, and mighty deeds;" still less could they be said to be “ wrought by “ him," or " wrought amongst them:" nor are these terms and expressions any where applied to visions. When our author alludes to the supernatural communications which he had received, either by vision or otherwise, he uses expressions suited to the nature of the subject, but very different from the words which we have quoted. He calls them revelations, but never signs, wonders, or mighty deeds. “I will come,” says he, “ to visions and revelations of the Lord;” and then proceeds to describe a particular instance, and afterwards adds, “ lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh.”
** Mark, xvi. 20. Luke, xxiii. 8. John, ii. 11, 23; iii. 2; Yv. 48, 54 ; xi. 49. Acts, ii. 22; iv. 30; v. 12; vi. 8; vii. 16; xiv. 3 ; xv. 12 ; Heb. ii. 4.
Upon the whole, the matter admits of no softening qualification, or ambiguity whatever. If St. Paul did not work actual, sensible, public miracles, he has knowingly, in these letters, borne his testimony to a falsehood. I need not add, that, in two also of the quotations, he has advanced his assertion in the face of those persons amongst whom he declares the miracles to have been wrought.
Let it be remembered that the Acts of the Apostles describe various particular miracles wrought by St. Paul, which in their nature answer to the terms and expressions which we have seen to be used t. Paul himself.