Jesus's Words

Chapter 16: Paul's Doctrines Anti-Apostolic.—Was He Not Antichrist?

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Paul's Doctrine Was At Variance With That of the Apostles

If Paul's pretensions to a supernatural intercourse with the Almighty were no better than a pretence;—his visit to Jerusalem, from first to last, an object of abhorrence to the Apostles and all their disciples; in a word, to all, who in the birthplace of Christianity, bore the name of Christian, and were regarded as belonging to the religion of Jesus;—if, not only to their knowledge, but to that of the whole population of Jerusalem, he was a depraved character, marked by the stain,—not merely of habitual insincerity, but of perjury in its most aggravated form;—if it was no otherwise than by his having declared himself a Roman citizen, that he escaped from the punishment—apparently a capital one—attached by the law of the land to the crimes of which he had been guilty; if, in a word, it was only in places, in which Jesus—his doctrines, and his Apostles—were alike unknown, that this self-declared Apostle of Jesus was received as such;—if all, or though it were but some, of these points may be regarded as established,—any further proof, in support of the position, that no doctrine of his, which is not contained in some one or other of the four Gospels, has any pretension to be regarded as part and parcel of the religion of Jesus, might well, in any ordinary case, be regarded as superfluous: and, of the several charges here brought to view, whether there be any one, of the truth of which the demonstration is not complete, the reader has all along been invited to consider with himself, and judge. If thereupon the judgment be condemnatory, the result is—that whatever is in Paul, and is not to be found in any one of the four Gospels, is not Christianity, but Paulism.

In any case of ordinary complexion, sufficient then, it is presumed, to every judicious eye, would be what the reader has seen already: but the present case is no ordinary case. An error, if such it be, which notwithstanding all the sources of correction, which in the course of the work have at length been laid open and brought to view, has now, for upwards of seventeen centuries past, maintained its ground throughout the Christian world, cannot, without the utmost reluctance, be parted with: for dissolving the association so unhappily formed, scarcely, therefore, can any argument which reason offers be deemed superfluous.

For this purpose, one such argument, though on a preceding occasion already touched upon, remains to be brought to view. It consists of his own confession. Confession? say rather avowal: for—such is the temper of the man—in the way of boasting it is, not in the way of concession and self-humiliation that he comes out with it. Be this as it may—when, speaking of the undoubted Apostles, he himself declares, that he has received nothing from them, and that he has doctrines which are not theirs, shall he not obtain credence? Yes: for this once, it should seem, he may, without much danger of error, be taken at his word.

To see this—if he can endure the sight—will not cost the reader much trouble, Table II. Paul disbelieved Table, lies before him. Under the head of Independence declared, in Paul's Epistle to his Galatians, he will find these words: But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:11-12 Thus far Paul. If then it was not received by him by the revelation of Jesus Christ—this Gospel of his; nor yet, as he assures us, "of man,"—the consequence is a necessary one—it was made by him, out of his own head.

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