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with which the text was written; or that the mention even of the name of Macedonia was not purely incidental, in the description of those tumultuous sorrows with which the writer's mind had been lately agitated, and from which he was relieved by the coming of Titus. The first five verses of the eighth chapter, which commend the liberality of the Macedonian churches, do not, in my opinion, by themselves, prove St. Paul to have been at Macedonia at the time of writing the epistle.
2. In the First Epistle, St. Paul denounces a severe censure against an incestuous marriage, which had taken place amongst the Corinthian converts, with the connivance, not to say with the approbation, of the church; and enjoins the church to purge itself of this scandal, by expelling the offender from its society: “ It is reported commonly, that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named amongst the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife ; and ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, 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 done this deed ; in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, 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." (v. 145.) 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 man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many; so that, contrariwise, ye ought rather to forgive him and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow; wherefore, I beseech you, that ye would confirm your love towards him.” (2 Cor. ii. 7, 8.) Is this whole business feigned for the sake of carrying on a continuation 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, exceeding grateful to St. Paul : “ We were comforted not by Titus's coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind towards me, so that I rejoiced the more; for, though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: 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 sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive da. mage by us in nothing." (vii. 7-9.) That this passage 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 that suffered wrong; but that our care for you, in the sight 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 said 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 sixteenth chapter of the First Epistle, a collection for the saints 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, so do ye.” (xvi. 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 saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you, for I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago, and your zeal hath provoked very many." (ix. 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 nicety 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 Corin. thians as having begun this eleemosynary business a year before: “ This is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.” (viii. 10.) “I boast of you to them of Ma. cedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago." (ix. 2.) From these texts it is evident, that something had been done in the business a year before. It appears, however, from other texts in the epistle, that the contribu. tion was not yet collected or paid; for brethren were sent from St. Paul to Corinth, “ to make up their bounty.” (ix. 5.) They are urged “ to perform the doing of it.” (viii. 11.) “ And every man was exhorted to give as he purposed in his heart.” (ix. 7.) The contribution, therefore, as represented in our present epistle, was in readiness, yet not received from 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 store, had already provided the fund, from which he was afterward to contribute the very case which the First Epistle authorizes us to suppose to have existed; for in that epistle St. Paul had charged the Corinthians, “ upon the first day of the week, every one of them, to lay by in store as God had prospered him.”* (1 Cor. xvi. 2.)
* 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. viii. 8.) Who, that had a sinister purpose to answer by the recommending of subscriptions, would thus distinguish, and thus lower the credit of his own recommendation!
2. Although he asserts the general right of Christian ministers to a maintenance from their ministry, yet he protests against the making of this right in his own person : « Even so hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel; but I have used none of these things, neither have I written these
No. II. In comparing the Second Epistle to the Corinthians with the Acts of the Apostles, we are soon brought to observe, not only that there exists no vestige either of the epistle having been taken from the history, or the history from the epistle; but also that there appears in the contents of the epistle positive evidence, that neither was borrowed from the other. Titus, who bears a conspicuous part in the epistle, is not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles at all. St. Paul's sufferings enumerated, xi. 24. “ 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,” cannot be made out from his history as delivered in the Acts; nor would this account have been given by a writer, who either drew his knowledge of St. Paul from that history, or who was careful to preserve a conformity with it. The account in the epistle of St. Paul's escape from Damas. cus, though agreeing in the main fact with the account of the same transaction in the Acts, is related with
things that it should be so done unto me; for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying, i. e. my professions of disinterestedness, void." di Cor. ix. 14, 15.)
3. He repeatedly proposes that there should be associates with himself in the management of the public bounty; not colleagues of his own appointment, but persons elected for that purpose by the contributors themselves. “And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem ; and if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me." '(1 Cor. xvi. 3, 4.) And in the Second' Epistle, what is here proposed, we find actually done, and done for the very purpose of guarding his character against any imputation that might be brought upon it, in the discharge of a pecuniary trust : “And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches; and not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace (gift) which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and the declaration of your ready mind : avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us ; providing for things honest, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men:" i.e. not resting in the consciousness of ou own integrity, but, in such a subject, careful also to approve our integrity to the public judgment. (2 Cor. viii. 18-21.)
such difference of circumstance, as renders it utterly improbable that one should be derived from the other. The two accounts, placed by the side of each other, stand as follows:
2 Cor. xi. 32, 33. In Damascus, the governor under Aretas the king, kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me; and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
Acts ix. 23-25. And after many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him; but their laying in wait was known of Saul, and they watched the gates day and night to kill him : then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
Now if we be satisfied in general concerning these two ancient writings, that the one was not known to the writer of the other, or not consulted by him ; then the accordances which may be pointed out between them, will admit of no solution so probable, as the attributing of them to truth and reality, as to their common foundation.
No. III. The opening of this epistle exhibits a connexion with the history, which alone would satisfy my mind that the epistle was written by Saint Paul, and by St. Paul in the situation in which the history places him. Let it be remembered, that in the nineteenth chapter of the Acts, St. Paul is represented as driven away from Ephesus, or as leaving however Ephesus, in consequence of an uproar in that city, excited by some in. terested adversaries of the new religion. The account of the tumult is as follows: “ When they heard these sayings,” viz. Demetrius's complaint of the danger to be apprehended from St. Paul's ministry to the established worship of the Ephesian goddess, “they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And the whole city was filled with confusion; and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre; and when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not; and certain of the chief of Asia which were his