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another zealous Christian, entering the temple, openly insulted the mother of the gods and tore down the altar. Summoned before Julian, he appeared in the imperial presence with an air of triumph, and even derided the remonstrances which the emperor addressed to him ". This attempt to galvanize the expiring form of heathen devotion in Galatia seems to have borne little fruit. With the emperor's departure paganism relapsed into its former torpor. And not long after in the presence of Jovian, the Christian successor of the apostate, who halted at Ancyra on his way to assume the imperial purple *, the Galatian churches had an assurance of the final triumph of the truth.
* Gregor. Naz. Orat. v. 1. p. 175 A. tortures. One or other of these may Gregory at the same time mentions be that Busiris, of whom Sozomen another Christian—apparently in Ga- (l.c.) speaks as a Christian confessor latia, though this is not stated—whose at Ancyra under Julian. bold defiance was visited with extreme * Ammian. xxv. 10.
Absence of direct evidence.
Diversity of opinion.
THE DATE OF THE EPISTLE.
T has been already noticed that the epistle itself contains singularly few details of St Paul's intercourse with the Churches of Galatia, and that the narrative of St Luke is confined to the bare statement of the fact of his preaching there. Owing to this twofold silence, there is a paucity of direct evidence bearing on the date of the epistle. A few scattered notices, somewhat vague in themselves and leading only to approximate results, are all that we can collect: and the burden of the proof rests in consequence on an examination of the style of the letter, and of the lines of thought and feeling which may be traced in it. With this wide field open for conjecture, there has naturally been great diversity of opinion. The Epistle to the Galatians has been placed by different critics both the earliest and the latest of St Paul's writings, and almost every intermediate position has at one time or the other been assigned to it. The patristic writers are for the most part divided between two views. Some of these, as Victorinus' and Primasius, suppose
* Mai Script. Vet. Coll. vol. III. Victorinus, who wrote about A.D. 360, mentions this as an opinion entertained by others, so that it dates farther back. ‘Epistola ad Galatas missa dicitur ab apostolo ab Epheso civitate.' I suspect it was first started by Origen. In the Canon of Marcion (Tertull. adv. Marc. v. 2, Epiphan. Haer. xlii. p. 350) the Epistle to the Galatians stood first, but I cannot think that his order was chro
nological. At all events, supposing it to be so, the fact of his placing the Epistles to the Thessalonians after the Romans diminishes the respect which would otherwise be felt for the opinion of a writer so ancient. Tertuliian'slanguage however clearly points to a different principle of arrangement in Marcion's Canon: “Principalem adversus Judaismum epistolam nos quoque confitemur, quae Galatas docet.” He placed
it to have been written from Ephesus". Others, among whom are Eusebius of Emesa”, Jerome”, Theodoret", and Euthalius, date it from Rome, in accordance with the subscription found in some MSS and in the two Syriac and the Coptic versions. Of these two opinions, the former was doubtless a critical inference from the statement in the Acts” that St Paul visited Ephesus immediately after leaving Galatia, combined with his own mention of the suddenness of the Galatian apostasy"; the latter is founded on some fancied allusions in the epistle to his bonds'. The former view has been adopted by the vast majority of view recent critics, who agree in dating the epistle during the three o years of St Paul's residence in the capital of Asia (A.D. 54–57), differing however in placing it earlier or later in this period, according as they lay greater or less stress on the particular expression ‘ye are so soon changing.’ Before stating my reasons for departing from this view, History
I shall give a brief summary of the events of the period, which :
this epistle in the forefront as the most decided in its antagonism to Judaism. At the same time where no
Altissiod. who copy the words of Pri-
such motive interposed, and where the
connexion was obvious, as in the Epi-
* About 350 A.D. Cramer Caten. ad Gal. iv. 20; ‘He was a prisoner and in confinement at the time.” This comment is ascribed simply to “Eusebius' in the Catena, but the person intended is doubtless the bishop of Emesa, whose commentary on the Galatians is mentioned by Jerome (Comm. in Ep. ad Gal. Lib. 1. Praef.). He naturally represents the tradition of the Syrian Churches.
* As may be inferred from his commentary on Gal. iv. 20, vi. 11, 17 (VII. pp. 468, 529, 534), Philem. 1 (VII. p. 747).
* Praef. ad Rom.
* Acts xviii. 23, xix. 1.
* Gal. i. 6.
7 Gal. iv. 20, vi. 17.
it will be necessary to bear in mind, in order to follow the course of the argument. Sojourn at St Paul's long sojourn at Ephesus is now drawing to a close. * His labours there have been crowned with no ordinary success. ‘The word of God prevailed and grew mightily".' So we read in the historian's narrative. He says nothing of persecutions. But we must draw no hasty conclusions from this silence. For the same historian records how the Apostle, in his farewell to the Ephesian elders a year later, speaking of his labours among them, reminded them of his “many tears and temptations, which befel him by the lying in wait of the Jews". In his own epistles St Paul speaks in stronger language of the persecutions of this time. He compares his sufferings to those of the condemned slave, thrown to the beasts in the amphitheatre, and struggling for life and death—angels and men witnessing the spectacle". The Apostles, he says, were made as the filth of the world, as the offscouring of all things “. It was now the spring of the year fifty-seven, and he contemplated leaving Ephesus after Whitsuntide". Friends had arrived from Corinth and drawn a fearful picture of the feuds and irregularities that prevailed there. He at once despatched I Corinth- a letter to the Corinthians, reprobating their dissensions and o, exhorting them to acquit themselves of guilt by the punishment (*) of a flagrant offender. But he was not satisfied with merely writing: he sent also trusty messengers, who might smooth difficulties, by explaining by word of mouth much that was necessarily omitted in the letter". Titus was one of these: and he awaited his return in great anxiety, as he had misgivings of the reception of his letter at Corinth. And now a tumult broke out at Ephesus. The opposition to the Gospel came to a head. His companions were seized and violently hurried before the people. He himself was with difficulty persuaded to shelter himself by concealment till the storm was over. The storm passed, but the sky was still lowering. It was evident that his presence at Ephesus could now be of little use, and might only exasperate the enemies of the Gospel. Besides the time was near, perhaps had already arrived, when he had intended under any circumstances to turn his steps westward. So he left Ephesus'. But Titus had not yet come, and his anxiety for the Church at Corinth pressed heavily upon him. He hastened to Troas, hoping to meet Titus there. “A door was opened' to him at Troas. But Titus came not. He was oppressed at once with a sense of loneliness and an ever growing anxiety for the Corinthian Church. He could no longer bear the suspense. He st Paul left Troas and crossed over to Macedonia. Still Titus came not. ...ceStill the agony of suspense, the sense of loneliness remained“. Time only increased his suffering. Every day brought fresh troubles; gloomy tidings poured in from all sides; church after church added to his anxiety". Nor had persecution ceased. The marks of violence imprinted on his body about this time remained long after—perhaps never left him “. Probably too his constitutional complaint visited him once more—the thorn in the flesh to which he alludes in his letter to the Corinthians— the weakness which years before had detained him in Galatia. He seemed to be spared no suffering either of body or mind. There were fightings without and fears within. At length Titus arrived". This was the first gleam of sunshine. The tidings from Corinth were far more cheerful than he had hoped. His mind was relieved. He wrote off at once to the Corinthians, 2 Corinth- - - - - - ians writexpressing his joy at their penitence, and recommending mercy ...; towards the offender. The crisis was now over. He breathed (*). freely once more. From this time his troubles seem gradually to have abated. A single verse in the sacred historian conveys all we know beyond this point of his sojourn in Macedonia. ‘He went over those parts,' we are told, ‘and exhorted the
* Acts xix. 20. * I Cor. iv. 13. * Acts xx. 19. * I Cor. xvi. 8. * I Cor. iv. 9, xv. 32. * I Cor. xvi. 11, 2 Cor. xii. 18.