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friends, sent unto him, desiring that he would not adventure himself into the theatre. Some, therefore, cried one thing, and some another : for the assembly was confused, and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward ; and Alexander beckoned with his hand, and would have made his defence unto the people: but, when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice, about the space of two hours, cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.—And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples and embr them, and departed for to go into Macedonia." When he was arrived in Macedonia, he wrote the Second Epistle to the Corinthians which is now before us; and he begins his epistle in this wise: “ Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For, as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ; and whether we be afficted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings, which we also suffer; or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation: and our hope of you is steadfast, knowing that, as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God, which raiseth the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us." Nothing could be more expressive of the circumstances in which the history describes St. Paul to have been, at the time when the epistle purports to be written; or rather, nothing could be more expressive of the sensations arising from these circumstances, than this passage. It is the calm recollection of a mind emerged from the confusion of instant danger. It is that devotion and solemnity of thought, which follows a recent deliverance. There is just enough of particularity in the passage to shew that it is to be referred to the tumult at Ephesus: “ We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia.” And there is nothing more; no mention of Demetrius, of the seizure of St. Paul's friends, of the interference of the town-clerk, of the occasion or nature of the danger which St. Paul had escaped, or even of the city where it happened ; in a word, no recital from which a suspicion could be conceived, either that the author of the epistle had made use of the narrative in the Acts; or, on the other hand, that he had sketched the outline, which the narrative in the Acts only filled up. That the forger of an epistle, under the name of St. Paul, should borrow circumstances from a history of St. Paul then extant; or, that the author of a history of St. Paul should gather materials from letters bear. ing St. Paul's name, may be credited : but I cannot believe that any forger whatever should fall upon an expedient so refined, as to exhibit sentiments adapted to a situation, and to leave his readers to seek out that situation from the history; still less that the author of a history should go about to frame facts and circumstances, fitted to supply the sentiments which he found in the letter. It may be said, perhaps, that it does not appear from the history, that any danger threatened St. Paul's life in the uproar at Ephesus, so imminent as that from which in the epistle he represents himself to have been delivered. This matter, it is true, is not stated by the historian in form; but the personal danger of the apostle, we cannot doubt, must have been extreme, when the “whole city was filled with confusion :” when the populace had “ seized his companions ;" when in the distraction of his mind, he insisted
upon “ coming forth amongst them;" when the Christians who were about him “ would not suffer him;" when“ his friends, certain of the chief of Asia, sent to him, desiring that he would not adventure himself in the tumult;" when, lastly, he was obliged to
quit immediately the place and the country, “and when the tumult was ceased, to depart into Macedonia.”
All which particulars are found in the narration, and justify St. Paul's own account, “ that he was pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that he despaired even of life; that he had the sentence of death in himself;" i, e. that he looked upon himself as a man condemned to die.
No. IV. It has already been remarked, that St. Paul's ori ginal intention was to have visited Corinth in his way to Macedonia : “ I was minded to come unto you before, and to pass by you into Macedonia,” 2 Cor. i. 15, 16. It has also been remarked, that he changed his intention, and ultimately resolved upon going through Macedonia first. Now upon this head there exists a circumstance of correspondency between our epistle and the history, which is not very obvious to the reader's observation ; but which, when observed, will be found, I think, close and exact.
Which circumstance is this : that though the change of St. Paul's intention be expressly mentioned only in the second epistle, yet it appears, both from the history and from this second epistle, that the change had taken place before the writing of the first epistle; that it appears however from neither, otherwise than by an inference, unnoticed perhaps by almost every one who does not sit down professedly to the examination,
First, then, how does this point appear from the his. tory ? In the nineteenth chapter of the Acts, and the twenty-first verse, we are told, that “ Paul purposed in the spirit when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem. So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a sea
A short time after this, and evidently in pursu. ance of the same intention, we find (chap. xx. 1, 2.) that “ Paul departed from Ephesus for to go into Macedonia : and that, when he had gone over those parts, he came into Greece.” The resolution therefore of passing first through Macedonia, and from thence into Greece,
was formed by St. Paul previously to the sending away of Timothy. The order in which the two countries are mentioned, shews the direction of his intended route, “when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia." Timothy and Erastus, who were to precede him in his progress, were sent by him from Ephesus into Macedonia. He himself a short time afterward, and, as hath been observed, evidently in continuation and pursuance of the same design, “ departed for to go into Macedonia." If he had ever, therefore, entertained a different plan of his journey, which is not hinted in the history, he must have changed that plan before this time. But, from the 17th verse of the fourth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, we discover, that Timothy had been sent away from Ephesus before that epistle was written : “For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son." The change therefore of St. Paul's resolution which was prior to the sending away of Timothy, was necessarily prior to the writing of the First Epistle to the Corinthiaus.
Thus stands the order of dates, as collected from the history, compared with the first epistle. Now let us inquire, secondly, how this matter is represented in the epistle before us. In the sixteenth verse of the first chapter of this epistle, St. Paul speaks of the intention which he had once entertained of visiting Achaia, in his way to Macedonia : “ In this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit : and to pass by you into Macedonia.” After protesting, in the seventeenth verse, against any evil construction that might be put upon his laying aside of this intention, in the twenty-third verse he discloses the cause of it: “ Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that, to spare you, I came not as yet unto Corinth.” And then he proceeds as follows: “ But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness : for, if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? And Iwrote this same unto you, lest when I came I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all ; for, out of much af.
fiiction and anguish of heart, I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you; but if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me but in part, that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.” In this quotation, let the reader first direct his attention to the clause marked by italics, “ and I wrote this same unto you," and let him consider, whether, from the context, and from the structure of the whole passage, it be not evident that this writing was after St. Paul had “ determined with himself, that he would not come again to them in heaviness?" whether, indeed, it was not in consequence of this determination, or at least with this determina tion upon his mind? And, in the next place, let him consider, whether the sentence, “I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness," do not plainly refer to that postponing of his visit, to which he had alluded in the verse but one before, when he said, “I call God for a record upon my soul, that, to spare you, I came not as yet unto Corinth :" and whether this be not the visit of which he speaks in the sixteenth verse, wherein he informs the Corinthians, “ that he had been minded to pass by them into Macedonia ;" but that, for reasons which argued no levity or fickleness in his disposition, he had been compelled to change his purpose.
If this be so, then it follows that the writing here mentioned was posterior to the change of his intention. The only question, therefore, that remains, will be, whether this writing relate to the letter which we now have under the title of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, or to some other letter not extant? And upon this question, I think Mr. Locke's observation decisive; namely, that the second clause marked in the quotation by italics, “ I wrote unto you with many tears," and the first clause so marked, “ I wrote this same unto you,' belong to one writing, whatever that was; and that the second clause goes on to advert to a circumstance which is found in our present First Epistle to the Corinthians; namely, the case and punishment of the.