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manner in which he speaks in that epistle of his journey. His first intention had been, as he here declares, to "pass by them into Macedonia:" that intention having been previously given up, he writes, in his First Epistle, " that he would not see them now by the way," •'. e. as he must have done upon his first plan; "but that he trusted to tarry awhile with them, and possibly to abide, yea and winter with them." 1 Cor. chap. xvi. 5, 6. It also accounts for a singularity in the text referred to, which must strike every reader: " I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia; for I do pass through Macedonia." The supplemental sentence, " for I do pass through Macedonia," imports that there had been some previous communication upon the subject of the journey; and also that there had been some vacillation and indecisiveness in the apostle's plan: both which we now perceive to have been the case. The sentence is as much as to say, "This is what I at last resolve upon." The expression, "drav MciKeSoviav Sie\Bu," is ambiguous; it may denote either " when I pass, or when I shall have passed, through Macedonia:" the considerations offered above fix it to the latter sense. Lastly, the point we have endeavoured to make out, confirms, or rather, indeed, is necessary to the support of a conjecture, which forms the subject of a Number in our observations upon the First Epistle, that the insinuation of certain of the church of Corinth, that he' would come no more amongst them, was founded on some previous disappointment of their expectations.
But if St. Paul had changed his purpose before the writing of the First Epistle, why did he defer explaining himself to the Corinthians, concerning the reason of that change, until he wrote the Second? This is a very fair question; and we are able, I think, to return to it a satisfactory answer. The real cause, and the cause at length assigned by St. Paul for postponing his visit to Corinth, and not travelling by the route which he had at first designed, was the disorderly state of the Corinthian church at the time, and the painful severities which he should have found himself obliged to exercise, if he had come amongst them during the existence of these irregularities. He was willing therefore to try, before he came in person, what a letter of authoritative objurgation would do amongst them, and to leave time
for the operation of the experiment. That was his scheme in writing the First Epistle. But it was not for him to acquaint them with the scheme. After the Epistle had produced its effect (and to the utmost extent, as it should seem, of the apostle's hopes); when he had wrought in them a deep sense of their fault, and an almost passionate solicitude to restore themselves to the approbation of their teacher; when Titus (chap. vii. 6, 7. 11.) had brought him intelligence "of their earnest desire, their mourning, their fervent mind towards him, of their sorrow and their penitence; what carefulness, what clearing of themselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what revenge," his letter, and the general concern occasioned by it, had excited amongst them; he then opens himself fully upon the subject. The affectionate mind of the apostle is touched by this return of zeal and duty. He tells them that he did not visit them at the time proposed, lest their meeting should have been attended with mutual grief; and with grief to him imbittered by the reflection, that he was giving pain to those, from whom alone he could receive comfort: "I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness; for, if I make you sorry, who is he that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?" (chap. ii. 1, 2.) that he had written his former epistle to warn them beforehand of their fault, "lest when he came he should have sorrow from them of whom he ought to rejoice;" (chap. ii. 3.) that he had the farther view, though perhaps unperceived by them, of making an experiment of their fidelity, " to know the proof of them, whether they are obedient in all things," (chap, ii. 9.) This full discovery of his motive came very naturally from the apostle, after he had seen the success of his measures, but would not have been a seasonable communication before. The whole composes a train of sentiment and of conduct resulting from real situation, and from real circumstance, and as remote as possible from fiction or imposture.
Chap. xi. 9. "When I was present with you and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me, the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied." The principal fact set forth in this passage, the arrival at Corinth of bretliren from Macedonia during St. Paul's first residence in that city, is explicitly recorded. Acts, chap, xviii. 1.5. "After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ."
The above quotation from the Acts proves that Silas and Timotheus were assisting to St. Paul in preaching the Gospel at Corinth. With which correspond the words of the epistle (chap. i. 19.) : "For the son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me, and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea." I do admit that the correspondency, considered by itself, is too direct and obvious ; and that an impostor with the history before him might, and probably would, produce agreements of the same kind. But let it be remembered, that this reference is found in a writing, which from many discrepancies, and especially from those noted No. II., we may conclude, was not composed by any one who had consulted, and who pursued the history. Some observation also arises upon the variation of the name. We read Silas in the Acts, Silvanus in the epistle. The similitude of these two names, if they were the names of different persons, is greater than could easily have proceeded from accident; I mean that it is not probable, that two persons placed in situations so much alike, should bear names so nearly resembling each other.* On the other hand, the difference of the name in the two passages negatives the supposition of the passages, or the account contained in them, being transcribed either from the other.
Chap. ii. 12, 13. "When I came to Troas to preach Christ's Gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I .vent from thence into Macedonia."
To establish a conformity between this passage and the history, nothing more is necessary to be presumed than that St. Paul
• That they were the same person is farther confirmed by 1 Thess. chap. i. 1. compared with Acts, hap. xvii. 10.
proceeded from Ephesus to Macedonia, upon the same course by which he came back from Macedonia to Ephesus, or rather to Miletus in the neighbourhood of Ephesus; in other words, that in his journey to the peninsula of Greece, he went and returned the same way. St. Paul is now in Macedonia, where he had lately arrived from Ephesus. Our quotation imports that in his journey he had stopped at Troas. Of this, the history says nothing, leaving us only the short account, that " Paul departed from Ephesus, for to go into Macedonia." But the history says, that in his return from Macedonia to Ephesus, "Paul sailed from Philippi to Troas; and that, when the disciples came together on the first day of the week to break bread, Paul preached unto them all night; that from Troas he went by land to Assos; from Assos, taking ship and coasting along the front of Asia Minor, he came by Mytelene to Miletus." Which account proves, first, that Troas lay in the way by which St. Paul passed between Ephesus and Macedonia; secondly, that he had disciples there. In one journey between these two places, the epistle, and in another journey between the same places, the history, makes him stop at this city. Of the first journey he is made to say, "that a door was in that city opened unto me of the Lord;" in the second we find disciples there collected around him, and the apostle exercising his ministry, with, what was even in hirn, more than ordinary zeal and labour. The epistle, therefore, is in this instance confirmed, if not by the terms, at least by the probability of the history; a species of confirmation by no means to be despised, because, as far as it reaches, it is evidently uncontrived.
Grotius, I know, refers the arrival at Troas, to which the epistle alludes, to a different period, but I think very improbably; for nothing appears to me more certain, than that the meeting with Titus, which St. Paul expected at Troas, was the same meeting which took place in Macedonia, viz. upon Titus's coming out of Greece. In the quotation before us he tells the Corinthians, "When I came to Troas, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother; but, taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia." Then in the seventh chapter he writes, " When we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears; nevertheless God, that comforteth them that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus." These two passages plainly relate to the same journey of Titus, in meeting with whom St. Paul had been disappointed at Troas, and rejoiced in Macedonia. And amongst other reasons which fix the former passage to the coming of Titus out of Greece, is the consideration, that it was nothing to the Corinthians that St. Paul did not meet with Titus at Troas, were it not that he was to bring intelligence from Corinth. The mention of the disappointment in this place, upon any other supposition, is irrelative.
Chap xi. 24, 25. "Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one; thrice was I beaten with rods; once was I stoned; thrice I suffered shipwreck; a night and a day I have been in the deep."
These particulars cannot be extracted out of the Acts of the Apostles; which proves, as hath been already observed, that the epistle was not framed from the history: yet they are consistent with it, which, considering how numerically circumstantial the account is, is more than could happen to arbitrary and independent fictions. When I say that these particulars are consistent with the history, I mean, first, that there is no article in the enumeration which is contradicted by the history: secondly, that the history, though silent with respect to many of the facts here enumerated, has left space for the existence of these facts, consistent with the fidelity of its own narration.
First, no contradiction is ' discoverable between the epistle and the history. When St. Paul says, thrice was I beaten with rods, although the history record only one beating with rods, viz. at Philippi, Acts xvi. 22. yet is there no contradiction. It is only the omission in one book of what is related in another. But had the history contained accounts of four beatings with rods, at the time of writing this epistle, in which St, Paul says that he had only suffered three, there would have been a contradiction properly so called. The same observation applies generally to the other parts of the enumeration, concerning which the history is silent: but there is one clause in the quotation particularly deserving of remark; because, when confronted with the history, it furnishes the nearest approach to a contradiction, without a contradiction being actually incurred, of any I remember to
have met with. "Once," saith St. Paul, "was I stoned." Does the history relate that St. Paul, prior to the writing of this epistle, had been stoned more than once? The history mentions distinctly one occasion upon which St. Paul was stoned, viz. at Lystra in Lycaonia. "Then came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people; and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead." (Chap, xiv 19.) And it mentions also another occasion in which " an assault was made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully and to stone them; but they were aware of it," the history proceeds to tell us, " and fled into Lystra and Derbe." This happened at Iconium, prior to the date of the epistle. Now had the assault been completed; had the history related that a stone was thrown, as it relates that preparations were made both by Jews and Gentiles to stone Paul and his companions; or even had the account of this transaction stopped, without going on to inform us that Paul and his companions were " aware of their danger and fled," a contradiction between the history and the epistle would have ensued. Truth is necessarily consistent; but it is scarcely possible that independent accounts, not having truth to guide them, should thus advance to the very brink of contradiction without falling into it.
Secondly, I say, that if the Acts of the Apostles be silent concerning many of the instances enumerated in the epistle, this silence may be accounted for, from the plan and fabric of the history. The date of the epistle synchronizes with the beginning of the twentieth chapter of the Acts. The part, therefore, of the history, which precedes the twentieth chapter, is the only part in which can be found any notice of the persecutions to which St. Paul refers. Now it does not appear that the author of the history was with St. Paul until his departure from Troas, on his way to Macedonia, as related chap. xvi. 10.; or rather indeed the contrary appears. It is in this point of the history that the language changes. In the seventh and eighth verses of this chapter the third person is used. "After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered them not; and they passing by Mysia came to Troas:" and the third person is in like manner constantly used throughout the foregoing part of the history. In the tenth verse of this chapter, the first person comes in: "After Paul had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia; assuredly gathering that the I/ird had called us to preach the Gospel unto them." Now, from this time to the writing of the epistle, the history occupies four chapters; yet it is in these, if in any, that a regular or continued account of the apostle's life is to be expected: for how succinctly his history is delivered in the preceding part of the book, that is to say, from the time of his conversion to the time when the historian joined him at Troas, except the particulars of his conversion itself, which are related circumstantially, may be understood from the following observations:—
The history of a period of sixteen years is comprised in less than three chapters; and of these a material part is taken up with discourses. After his conversion, he continued in the neighbourhood of Damascus, according to the history, for a certain considerable, though indefinite, length of time, according to his own words (Gal i. 18) for three years; of which no other account is given than this short one, that " straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God; that all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem? that he increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus; and that, after many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him." From Damascus he proceeded to Jerusalem: and of his residence there nothing more particular is recorded, than that " he was with the apostles, coming in and going out; that he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians, who went about to kill him." From Jerusalem, the history sends him to his native city of Tarsus". It seems probable, from the order and disposition of the history, that St. Paul's stay at Tarsus was of some continuance; for we hear nothing of him, until, after a long apparent interval, and much interjacent narrative, Barnabas, desirous of Paul's assistance upon the enlargement of the Christian mission, went to Tarsus for to seek him.t We cannot doubt but that the new apostle had been busied in his ministry; yet of what he did, or what he suffered, during this period, which may include three or four years, the history professes not to deliver
any information. As Tarsus was situated upon the sea-coast, and as, though Tarsus was his home, yet it is probable he visited from thence many other places, for the purpose of preaching the Gospel, it is not unlikely, that in the course of three or four years he might undertake many short voyages to neighbouring countries, in the navigating of which we may be allowed to suppose that some of those disasters and shipwrecks befell him, to which he refers in the quotation before us, "thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep." This last clause I am inclined to interpret of his being obliged to take to an open boat, upon the loss of the ship, and his continuing out at sea in that dangerous situation, a night and a day. St. Paul is here recounting his sufferings, not relating miracles. From Tarsus, Barnabas brought Paul to Autioch, and there he remained a year: but of the transactions of that year no other description is given than what is contained in the last four verses of the eleventh chapter. After a more solemn dedication to the ministry, Barnabas and Paul proceeded from Antioch to Cilicia, and from thence they sailed to Cyprus, of which voyage no particulars are mentioned. Upon their return from Cyprus, they made a progress together through the Lesser Asia; and though two remarkable speeches be preserved, and a few incidents in the course of their travels circumstantially related, yet is the account of this progress, upon the whole, given professedly with conciseness; for instance, at Iconium it is said that they abode a long time ;* yet of this long abode, except concerning the manner in which they were driven away, no memoir is inserted in the history. The whole is wrapped up in one short summary, "They spake boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands." Having completed their progress, the two apostles returned to Antioch, " and there they abode long time with the disciples." Here we have another large portion of time passed over in silence. To this succeeded a journey to Jerusalem, upon a dispute which then much agitated the Christian church, concerning the obligation of the law of Moses. When the object of that journey was completed, Paul proposed to Barnabas to go again and visit their brethren in every city where they had preached the word of the
Lord. The execution of this plan carried our apostle through Syria, Cilicia, and many provinces of the Lesser Asia; yet is the account of the whole journey despatched in four verses of the sixteenth chapter.
If the Acts of the Apostles had undertaken to exhibit regular annals of St. Paul's ministry, or even any continued account of his life, from his conversion at Damascus to his imprisonment at Rome, I should have thought the omission of the circumstances referred to in our epistle, a matter of reasonable objection. But when it appears, from the history itself, that large portions of St. Paul's life were either passed over in silence, or only slightly touched upon, and that nothing more than certain detached incidents and discourses is related; when we observe also, that the author of the history did not join our apostle's society till a few years before the writing of the epistle, at least that there is no proof in the history that he did so; in comparing the history with the epistle, we shall not be surprised by the discovery of omissions; we shall ascribe it to truth that there is no contradiction.
Chap. iii. 1. "Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you V
"As some others." Turn to Acts xviii. 27, and you will find that, a short time before the writing of this epistle, Apollos had gone to Corinth with letters of commendation from the Ephesian Christians; "and when Apollos was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him." Here the words of the epistle bear the appearance of alluding to some specific instance, and the history supplies that instance; it supplies at least an instance as apposite as possible to the terms which the apostle uses, and to the date and direction of the epistle, in which they are found. The letter which Apollos carried from Ephesus, was precisely the letter of commendation which St. Paul meant; and it was to Achaia, of which Corinth was the capital, and indeed to Corinth itself (Acts, chap. xix. 1.) that Apollos carried it; and it was about two years before the writing of this epistle. If St . Paul's words be rather thought to refer to some general usage which then obtained among Christian churches, the case of Apollos exemplifies that usage; and affords
that species of confirmation to the epistle, which arises from seeing the manners of the age, in which it purports to be written, faithfully preserved.
Chap. xiii. 1. "This is the third time I am coming to you:" rpvrov Tsto tpxofjuu.
Do not these words import that the writer had been at Corinth twice before? Yet, if they import this, they overset every congruity we have been endeavouring to establish. The Acts of the Apostles record only two journeys of St. Paul to Corinth. We have all along supposed, what every mark of time except this expression indicates, that the epistle was written between the first and second of these journeys. If St. Paul had been already twice at Corinth, this supposition must be given up; and every argument or observation which depends upon it falls to the ground. Again, the Acts of the Apostles not only record no more than two journeys of St. Paul to Corinth, but do not allow us to suppose that more than two such journeys could be made or intended by him within the period which the history comprises; for from his first journey into Greece to his first imprisonment at Rome, with which the history concludes, the apostle's time is accounted for. If therefore the epistle was written after the second journey to Corinth, and upon the view and expectation of a third, it must have been written after his first imprisonment at Rome, i. e. after the time to which the history extends. When I first read over this epistle with the particular view of comparing it with the history, which I chose to do without consulting any commentary whatever, I own that I felt myself confounded by this text. It appeared to contradict the opinion, which I had been led by a great variety of circumstances to form, concerning the date and occasion of the epistle. At length however it occurred to my thoughts to inquire, whether the passage did necessarily imply that St. Paul had been at Corinth twice; or whether, when he says, " this is the third time I am coming to you," he might mean only that this was the third time that he was ready, that he was prepared, that he intended to set out upon his journey to Corinth. I recollected that he had once before this purposed to visit Corinth, and had been disappointed in this purpose; which disappointment forms the subject of much apology and protestation, in the first