deceased relatives who died in unbelief could be benefited by a substitutionary baptism; for according to this supposition, Christians need not care so much for converting the living as for baptizing [or baptizing for] the dead. And certainly Paul would not have used, even as a mere argumentum ad hominem, a superstition carried so far beyond all bounds. He could not even have mentioned a superstition productive of such a distortion of Christianity without strong expressions of his disapprobation. We must rather form such a conception as the following of the state of the case. It seems that at that time, in Corinth, an epidemic had been raging which in many instances had terminated fatally. When those who had already believed were taken away by death before they could receive baptism, as they otherwise would have done, their relations were baptized in their stead, since they knew that they could themselves submit to baptism, and avow Christian conviction in the name, and according to the intention of the deceased. But then, faith, as the necessary condition of baptism, was presupposed to exist in those persons in whose stead they allowed themselves to be baptized. Paul might indeed for the occasion have borrowed an argument from the conviction lying at the basis of such a custom; but he would probably have taken care to explain himself, at another opportunity, against this custom itself, as he did in reference to females speaking in their public assemblies.

"If the alteration in the conception of baptism, in the confounding of baptism and regeneration, had already at an early period spread widely, we should so much more expect the early introduction of infant-baptism, which might so easily proceed from such an alteration. If this were not the case, we might well conclude, that other powerful causes counter-worked the influence of such an alteration-in part, another important point in the conception of baptism derived from the Apostolic times-in part, the not yet supplanted consciousness of the non-apostolic institution of infantbaptism."

P. 171, 1. 14, after "Jews," add the following paragraph: "It has been asserted by Dr. Baur, that such conduct would have been a contradiction of Paul's principles, and therefore this account is unhistorical, and that such a fabrication owes its origin to the pretended conciliatory attempts of the author

of the Acts. But we can see no proofs whatever of this contradiction. The same Paul who so strenuously opposed the circumcising of Titus, because it would have appeared a practical confirmation of the principle that a participation in all the privileges of the kingdom of God depended on circumcision-this same Paul could yet allow Timothy, the son of a Jewess, and brought up in Judaism, to be circumcised, in order thereby to procure an easier entrance for him among the Jews; and since here circumcision was founded on descent, it could not be made use of to justify a dogmatic conclusion, as might have been the case with the circumcision of a Gentile. And with respect to this method of Paul's acting generally, which is often ascribed to him in the Acts-that among the Jews he observed Jewish practices, and lived altogether as a Jew; we believe in this respect, as well as in others, it can be shown that what the Apostle himself asserts in his Epistles concerning his conduct, leads us to presuppose examples of such a kind as are recorded in the Acts. What are we to understand, when Paul says in 1 Cor. ix. 20, that 'to the Jews he became a Jew in order to gain the Jews-to them that are under the law, as under the law, that he might gain them that are under the law?' Must we not from such words conclude, that he, without prejudice to his inward freedom from the Law, believed that in the outward observance of it he could place himself on a level with the Jews-that he felt himself compelled so to act in order to pave the way more easily to the hearts of the Jews, whom he wished to gain over to the Gospel? Are they not exactly such acts which gave his Jewish adversaries the opportunity to set his conduct in a false light before the Gentiles, and to accuse him of inconsistency? Certainly, from what we find in the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians, we shall be obliged to assume that he acted exactly as we are told was the case, in the Acts of the Apostles. We make these remarks here once for all, in order not to return again to this ground of suspicion against the Acts."

P. 174, l. 14, for "Jews" read "Gentiles."

P. 175, 1. 7, after "Macedonia" add, "If we admit that Luke speaks in his own name in Acts xvi. 10, it would follow that Paul first met with him again at Troas, and received him into the company of his missionary associates.


medical skill might be very useful to gain an opening for pub lishing the Gospel among the Gentiles, as we now find it in modern missions to the heathen. Even the gift of healing would not render this useless; since that gift was applicable only in particular cases where its possessors were prompted to employ it by an immediate Divine impulse, or a feeling excited in their minds. But the case will be different, if we admit that the account in chap. xvi. 10, was taken unaltered from the journal of Timothy, and therefore he is the speaker who describes himself as one of Paul's companions in the publication of the Gospel."

P. 175, 1. 5 from bottom, for "Literales" read "litorales." P. 176, 1. 12, "somnambulism," (note.) Even if we were not in a position to understand sufficiently the incident here narrated from the representation given in the Acts, yet this could not justify us in regarding it with Baur as a designed fabrication, with which everything else in the character of this book is at variance. Do we not find in history many an enigmatical appearance which yet gives us no right to call in question the truth of a narrative? We see no reason in all that Baur says, that can induce us to surrender our view of the matter. We recognise the same principle acting in this prophetess as in the μavrikn of the ancients, and in their oracles, in which certainly not everything can be accounted for as a deception. That from our well-established stand-point, which is neither that of crude supernaturalism, nor that of Dr. Baur's rationalism, we are fully justified in distinguishing between the objective and the subjective in the account, we need not point out after the foregoing investigations.

P. 176, last line, note 3, add, "In contradiction to Baur's interpretation of my words, I must remark, that I have made this comparison by no means in reference to the effects resulting from a conversion-that I by no means assumed that the female in question, by her conversion, had lost the capability of putting herself into such a condition; but my only point of comparison was this, that, generally, that capability might be lost."

P. 177, last line, note 1, add, "What Dr. Baur has said against the view I have taken of this transaction, may appear well-founded from the stand-point of his arbitrary aut-aut,

which is very convenient to his whole party for the contradic tion of what will not suit their presuppositions, but will be at once dismissed by those who take the trouble to enter into the connexion of the idea presented to them."

P. 178, last line of text, "depart," (note.) According to Baur, p. 152, the person who fabricated this narrative in order to exalt the Apostle Paul above Peter, wished it to be understood, that only the impression of the earthquake as a supernatural evidence of the innocence of the prisoners had induced the Duumvirs so to act, which would certainly be ar internal mark of improbability. But verily, whoever made it his business so to magnify his heroes, and to set everything in the light of the wonderful, would not have expressed himself so vaguely that a reader would only guess at such a connexion, but would have set the point of view in which the transaction was to be regarded, straight before his readers.

But when Baur, in reference to our filling up of the connexion, thinks that so important a circumstance could not possibly be passed over by a faithful historian, we shall certainly grant that he would have given such an explanation if he had been a pragmatical narrator, and had placed himself altogether on the stand-point of his readers, and had made a point of telling them all they wished to know. But this is not the case; the narrator's only concern was what the Duumvirs did, not the reasons which induced them so to act. P. 185, 1. 5, for "those" read "that."


P. 185, 1. 8, “laws," add note, "Baur imagines (p. 482) that he has detected something unhistorical in Acts xvii. 6. 'How could it be said of Paul and his companions, since it was for the first time that they had visited these parts, that they had thrown the whole oikovμévn into confusion?' is it not natural, that impassioned accusers, who wished to make the most of the object that roused their enmity, should use the language of exaggeration? 'What a long time intervened before Christianity appeared so politically dangerous to the Romans as is implied in the words άTévavτ,' &c. Certainly it was a long interval before Christianity appeared as a religion dangerous to the state in the sense in which it was so esteemed in the second century. But it was something quite different when the acknowledgment of Jesus as the Messiah was so misrepresented, as if a worldly kingdom was

intended, and as if another ruler was to be set up against the Roman Emperor. Such an accusation had already been made against Jesus himself, and in the first age of Christianity no other would be found. At a later period, quite different accusations were brought against the Christians from the stand-point of the Roman civil law."

P. 188, 1. 15, for "this" read "their."

P. 188, 1. 22, after "superstition" add, "What the Athenians alleged, in order to throw ridicule on the new religion announced by Paul, shows plainly what he made the chief topic of his addresses, and by what method he handled it. He did not begin with the Old Testament, as if he had been instructing Jews, nor represent Jesus as the Messiah spoken of by the prophets. Hence his hearers were very far from seeing in him an advocate of the Jewish religion. He testified of Jesus as the Saviour of all men, accredited by God, and of his reappearance after being raised from the dead to an existence raised above all death, as a pledge of the same eternal life for all who were willing to accept the offered salvation. This was doctrine adapted to the religious wants of all. The Athenians confined their attention to what the apostle constantly declared to them of Jesus and the resurrection, without troubling themselves about the consequences involved."

P. 192, note 1, 1. 18 from bottom, after "particular nation" add, "The stand-point of the ancients for contemplating the world, wanted the idea of a unity of mankind, not only as to their origin, but also as to their peculiar nature and the end of their development. There was wanting generally the unitive and teleological point of view which Christianity first brought to light. While every thing, in a certain sense, points to a beginning, from which the development of the existing race has proceeded, men have fancied theruselves in a circular course, without an end between the dissolution of the ancient race and the beginning of the new, an alternation of passing away and becoming; vide Plato's Timæus, vol. ix.

When Baur regards this whole narrative taken from the life, only as a fabrication made with reflective design, I need only, without weary. ing myself and intelligent readers with a refutation of particulars, since the same game is constantly repeated, appeal to what I have already said against this whole method, which makes a subjective pragmatism ou of an objective one.

« VorigeDoorgaan »