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But when he wrote his second to Timothy, his assistants were all so terrified by the rage of his accusers and judges, that not so much as one of them, nor any of the brethren in Rome, appeared with him when he made his first answer, 2 Tim. iv. 16. And after that answer was made, all his assistants fled from the city, except Luke, 2 Tim. iv. 11.

4. During the apostle's confinement in Rome, of which Luke has given an account, Demas was with him, Philem. ver. 24. and Mark, as his fellow-labourers, Col, iv. 10, 11. Philem. ver. 24.But when he wrote his second epistle to Timothy, Demas had forsaken him, having loved the present world, 2 Tim. iv. 10. And Mark was absent; for the apostle desired Timothy to bring Mark with him, 2 Tim. iv. 11. From these circumstances it is evident, that the epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, and the second to Timothy, were written by the apostle during different confinements.

To invalidate these arguments, Lardner supposes, that on Paul's arrival at Rome from Judea, he was shut up in close prison as a malefactor, and expected nothing but instant death : That being in the greatest danger, all his assistants, except Luke, forsook him and fled for fear of their own lives; that in this state of despondency he wrote his second to Timothy ; that the Emperor having heard his first defence, mentioned 2 Tim. iv. 16. entertained a favourable opinion of his cause, and by a written order, appointed him to be confined in the gentle manner described Acts xxviii. 16. 30. That afterwards his assistants returned; and that he preached the gospel to all who came to him, and converted many.

But these suppositions are all directly contrary to the apostle's own account of the matter. For, 1. After making his answer, mentioned 2 Tim. iv. 16. instead of being allowed to live in his own hired house, he was so closely confined, that when Onesiphorus came to Rome, he had to seek him out diligently among the different prisons in the city, before he could find him, 2 Tim. i. 17.-2. After his first defence, his judges, instead of being more favourably disposed towards him, were so enraged against him that he looked for nothing but immediate condemnation at has next answer, 2 Tim. iv. 6,7.-3. Luke, who was with the apostle during his first confinement, and who hath given an account of it, hath not said one word of any danger he was then in. He only tells us, that his confinement lasted two years, Acts xxviii. 30.-4. If the liberty which the apostle so soon obtained, was the effect of his first answer, we must suppose that the per

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VOL. IV.

sons deputed by the council at Jerusalem to answer his appeal, either were in Rome before he arrived, or came to Rome in the same ship with him; and that the Emperor gave him a hearing on the second day after his arrival. For Luke informs us, that three days after his arrival, he had such liberty that he called the chief of the Jews to his own house, and spake to them what is mentioned Acts xxviii. 17. But such a speedy hearing, granted to a Jewish prisoner, by the head of so great an empire, who was either occupied in affairs of government, or in pursuing his pleasures, and such a sudden alteration in the prisoner's state, are things altogether incredible.--5. The apostle being in a state of despondency when he wrote his second to Timothy, he must, as Lardner supposes, have written it before he made his first answer, since the alteration of his circumstances was the effect of that answer. Nevertheless from the epistle itself, chap. iv. 16. we know, not only that it was written after the apostle had made his first answer, but that it produced no alteration whatever in his circumstances. For after making that answer, he wrote to Timothy, that the time of his departure was come. In short, he was in as much despondency after his first answer, as before it.

Upon the whole, the arguments to prove that Paul wrote his second epistle to Timothy, during the confinement recorded in the Acts, being of so little moment, in comparison of the facts and circumstances which shew that it was written during a subsequent confinement, I agree in opinion with those who hold, that the apostle was twice imprisoned at Rome ; once, when he was brought thither from Judea to prosecute his appeal; and a second time, when he came to Rome from Crete, in the end of the year 65, while Nero was persecuting the Christians; (See Pref. to Titus, Sect. 1. last paragr.) and that having made his first defence early in the year 66, he wrote his second to Timothy in the beginning of the summer of that year, as may be conjectured from his desiring Timothy to come to him before winter.

I have taken this pains in refuting the opinion of the learned men first mentioned, concerning the time of writing the second to Timothy, because on that opinion Lardner hath founded another notion still more improbable, but which, after what hath been said, needs no particular confutation ; namely, that what is called the apostle's second epistle to Timothy, was written before the one which is placed first in the Canon, and which is generally believed to have been the first written.

SECTION II. of the place where Timothy was, when the Apostle wrote his second

Letter to him. That Timothy was at Ephesus, when the apostle wrote his second epistle to him, may be gathered from the following circumstances. 1. Hymeneus and Alexander are mentioned in the first epistle, chap. i. 20. as false teachers, whom Timothy was left at Ephesus to oppose. In the second epistle, he is desired to avoid the vain babbling of Hymeneus, chap. ii. 16, 17, 18. and chap. iv. 15. to be on his guard against Alexander. We may therefore conjecture, that Timothy was in Ephesus, the place where these false teachers abode, when the apostle's second letter was sent to him.-2, As it was the apostle's custom to salute the brethren of the churches to which his letters were sent, the salutation of Prisca and Aquila, and of the family of Onesiphorus, 2 Tim. iv. 19. shew, that Timothy was in Ephesus when this letter was written to him.' For that Ephesus was the ordinary residence of Onesiphorus, appears froin 2 Tim. i. 18. and considering that Prisca and Aquila had, before this, abode some time in Ephesus, (Rom. xvi. 3. note.) the salutation sent to them in this letter, makes it probable, that they had returned to that city.-3. From Titus iii. 12. where the apostle says, When I shall send Artemas to thee, or Tychicus, make haste to come to me, it appears to have been the apostle's custom, to send persons to supply the places of those whom he called away from the stations he had assigned them. Wherefore, since in his second epistle, chap. iv. 9. he thus wrote to Timothy, Make haste to come to me ; then added, ver. 12. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus ; may we not infer, that Timothy was then in Ephesus, and that Tychicus was sent by the apostle to supply his place after his departure ?–4. The errors and vices which the apostle, in his second epistle, ordered Timothy to oppose, are the very errors and vices which in the first, are said to have been prevalent among the teachers at Ephesus, and which Timothy was left in Ephesus to oppose. See Pref. to 1 Tim. sect. 2. no. 4.

These arguments make it probable, that Timothy remained in Ephesus, from the time the apostle left him there, as he was going into Macedonia, until, in compliance with his desire signified in this letter, he set out for Rome ; consequently that Timothy received in Ephesus, both the letters which the apostle wrote to him.

SECTION III.

Of the Occasion on which the second Epistle to Timothy was written :

And of the time of St. Paul's Death.

In the Preface to Paul's first epistle to Timothy, sect. 3. the reader will find a brief history of the apostle's travels with Timothy, from the time he was released from his first confinement at Rome, till he left Timothy in Ephesus to oppose the false teachers, as mentioned i Tim. i. 3. But, in regard that history will be given more fully in the Pref. to Titus, sect. 1. penult paragraph, it is only needful in this place to relate, that after the apostle left Timothy at Ephesus, he went into Macedonia to visit the churches there, according to his promise, Philip. ii. 24. then went to Nicopolis in' Epirus, with an intention to spend the winter, Tit. iii. 12. and to return to Ephesus in the spring, i Tim. iii. 14. But, having ordered Titus to come to him from Crete to Nicopolis, Tit. iii. 12. on his arrival, he gave him such an account of the state of the churches in Crete, as determined him to go with Titus, a second time, into that island. While in Crete, hearing of the cruel persecution which the Emperor Nero was carrying on against the Christians, (see the last paragraph of this sect.) the apostle speedily finished his business, and sailed with Titus to Italy, in the end of the autumn 65, rightly judging that his presence at Rome, would be of great use in strengthening and comforting the persecuted brethren in that city.

Paul, on his arrival at Rome, taking an active part in the affairs of the Christians, soon became obnoxious to the heathen priests, and to the idolatrous rabble, who hated the Christians as atheists, because they denied the gods of the empire, and condemned the established worship. Wherefore, being discovered to the magistrates, probably by the unbelieving Jews, as the ringleader of the hated sect, he was apprehended, and closely imprisoned as a malefactor, 2 Tim. ii. 9. This happened in the end of the year 65, or in the beginning of 66.

The apostle hath not informed us directly, what the crime was which the heathen magistrates laid to his charge. If it was the burning of the city, which the Emperor falsely imputed to the Christians in general, his absence from Rome when the city was burnt, being a fact he could easily prove, it was a sufficient exculpation of him from that crime. Probably, therefore, the magistrates accused him of denying the gods of the empire, and of condemning the established worship. In this accusation, it is natural to suppose, the unbelieving Jews joined, from their hatred of Paul's doctrine : and among the rest Alexander, the Ephesian coppersmith, who having, as it would seem, apostatized to Judaism, had blasphemed Christ and his gospel ; and on that account had been lately delivered by the apostle to Satan, | Tim. i. 20. This virulent Judaizing teacher, happening to be in Rome when Paul was apprehended, he, in resentment of the treatment received from the apostle, appeared with his accusers when he made his first answer, and in the presence of his judges, contradicted the things which he urged in his own vindication. So the apostle told Timothy, 2 Epist. iv. 14. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil.-15. For he greatly opposed our words. The rest of the unbelieving Jews were not a lictle enraged against Paul, for preaching that Jesus Christ, being lineally descended from David, was heir to his throne : that being raised from the dead, his right to rule the Gentiles was thereby demonstrated: and that the Gentiles were to be saved through faith in him, without obeying the law of Moses. These things they urged against Paul, as crimes worthy of death, on pretence that they subverted, not only the law of Moses, but the laws of the empire. The hints which the apostle hath given us of the things laid to his charge, and of the particulars which he urged in his own vindication, lead us to form these conjectures, 2 Tim. ii. 8. Remember Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, ivas raised from the dead, according to my gospel. 9. For which I suffer evil unto bonds, as a malefactor. 10. For this cause I patiently bear all things on account of the elected ; the Gentiles elected to be the people of God instead of the Jews; that they also may obtain the salvation which is by Jesus Christ, with eternal glory. Such were the crimes of which Paul was accused by his enemies. The answers which he made to their accusations are insinuated, 2 Tim. iv. 17. However, the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me, that through me the preaching might be fully declared, and all the Gentiles might hear. The Lord strengthened him fully to declare in the presence of his judges and accusers, what he had preached concerning the supreme dominion of Christ, his right to rule all the Gentiles as the subjects of his spiritual kingdom ; his power to save them as well as the Jews, together with the nature and method of their salvation. He likewise told Ti

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