Page images

are puffed up, and have not rather mourn“ ed, that he that hath done this deed might “ be taken away from among you; for I,

verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I

were present, concerning him that hath so “ done this deed; in the name of our Lord

Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered toge“ther, and my spirit, with the power of “our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such a

one unto Satan for the destruction of the “ flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the “ day of the Lord” (chap. v. ver. 1–5). In the second epistle, we find this sentence executed, and the offender to be so affected with the punishment, that St. Paul now intercedes for his restoration : “ Sufficient “ to such a mau is this punishment, which “ was inflicted of many; so that, contrari

wise, ye ought rather to forgive him and

comfort him, left perhaps such aone should “ be swallowed up with over-much sorrow; " wherefore I beseech you,


would " confirm

your love towards him” (2 Cor. chap. ii. ver. 7, 8). Is this whole business feigned for the sake of carrying on a conti


H 4

nuation of story through the two epistles ? The church also, no less than the offender, was brought by St. Paul's reproof to a deep sense of the impropriety of their conduct. Their penitence, and their respect to his authority, were, as might be expected, exceedingly grateful to St. Paul: “ We were com“ forted not by Titus's coming only, but by - the consolation wherewith he was com“ forted in you, when he told us

us your

earnest “ desire, your mourning, you fervent mind “ towards me, so that I rejoiced the more; “ for, though I made you forry with a “ letter, I do not repent, though I did re

pent; for I perceive that the same epistle “ made you sorry, though it were but for a “ season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were “ made forry, but that ye

forrowed to re

ye were made forry after a godly manner,

ye might receive da“ mage by us in nothing” (chap. vii. 7-9). That this paffage is to be referred to the incestuous marriage, is proved by the twelfth verse of the same chapter: “ Though I “ wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause “ that had done the wrong, nor for his cause,

pentance; for


" that


" that suffered wrong; but that our care for

you, in the light of God, might appear “ unto you.” There were, it is true, various topics of blame noticed in the first epistle; but there was none, except this of the incestuous marriage, which could be called a transaction between private parties, or of which it could be faid that one particular person had “done the wrong," and another particular person “had suffered it.” Could all this be without foundation ? or could it be put into the second epistle, merely to furnish an obscure sequel to what had been said about an incestuous marriage in the first?

3. In the fixteenth chapter of the first epistle, a collection for the faints is recommended to be set forwards at Corinth :

Now, concerning the collection for the “

saints, as I have given order to the “ churches of Galatia, fo do ye" (chap. xvi. ver. 1). In the ninth chapter of the second epistle, such a collection is spoken of, as in readiness to be received : “ As touching the

ministering to the faints, it is supérfluous “ for me to write to you, for I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I

66 boast


“ boast of you to them of Macedonia, that
“ Achaia was ready a year ago, and your
“ zeal hath provoked very many” (chap. ix.
ver. 1, 2). This is such a continuation of
the transaction as might be expected; or,
possibly it will be said, as might easily be
counterfeited : but there is a circumstance
of vicety in the agreement between the two
epistles, which, I am convinced, the author
of a forgery would not have hit upon, or
which, if he had hit upon it, he would have
set forth with more clearness. The second
epistle speaks of the Corinthians as having
begun this eleemofynary business a year be-
fore: “This is expedient for you, who have

begun before, not only to do, but also to
“ be forward a year ago" (chap. viii. ver. 10).
“ I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that
“ Achaia was ready a year ago” (chap. ix.
ver. 2). From these texts it is evident, that
» something had been done in the business a

It appears, however, from other texts in the epistle, that the contribution was not yet collected or paid; for brethren were sent from St. Paul to Corinth, “ to make up their bounty" (chap.ix.ver. 5).


year before.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

They are urged to “ perform the doing of it” (chap. viii. ver. 11).

66 man was exhorted to giye as he purposed “in his heart" (chap. ix. ver. 7). The contribution therefore, as represented in our present epistle, was in readiness, yet not received froin the contributors; was begun, was forward long before, yet not hitherto collected. Now this representation agrees with one, and only with one, supposition, namely, that every man had laid by in fore, had already provided the fund, from which he was afterwards to contribute the very case which the first epistle authorises us to suppose to have existed; for in that epistle St. Paul had charged the Corinthians, “up

on the first day of the week, every one of “them to lay by in store as God had prospered him”* (1 Cor. chap. xvi. ver. 2).

No. * The following observations will satisfy us concerning the purity of our Apostle's conduct in the suspicious business of a pecuniary contribution.

1. He disclaims the having received any inspired authority for the directions which he is giving:“ I speak

not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love '' (2 Cor, chap. viii. ver. 8). Who, that had à finister


« EelmineJätka »