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By this turn he is again brought to the point from which he had diverged, and proceeds to give in a regular narrative the account of his journey from Ephesus to Macedonia, and of his meeting with Titus. He has hardly touched upon this before the narrative loses itself in an impassioned thanksgiving, which would probably have interrupted it only for a moment, but that a sudden turn is given to his thoughts, as if by an actual apparition of those dark and insidious enemies whom he felt to be dogging his path and marring his work wherever he went. He knew that he was suffi
? cient to carry through his task of offering up the sacrifice of the Gentile world to God; but he knew also that his opponents were not ; and he felt that the difference between himself and them, between his openness, suspected as he was of the reverse, and their duplicity, was the natural result of the openness and simplicity of the Gospel, contrasted with the dinness and ambiguity of the law.3
To proclaim this Gospel, however, was his glorious task 4; and to this task he felt himself adequate, in spite of all the difficulties and distresses, which only made him more conscious of the Divine support which sustained him, and more eagerly look to the higher life which was to follow, and of which his present life was but a poor and unworthy prelude.
He has now wandered far away from his direct object; but he has arrived again at one of the points which bring him into sympathy with his converts. If another life is impending and a judgment of Christ, then there is no room for double-dealing. Christ's love draws him to Himself and to God. In Christ's death, he felt that he had died; in the reconciliation for the whole world which Christ had effected, he calls on them to share; in the name of Christ and of his own sufferings for Christ's sake, he calls on them to seize the opportunity now offered, of a complete change of heart and life.?
2 ii. 14-16.
1 ii. 12, 13.
3 ii. 1-18.
In that burst of feeling all barriers between him and them melt away; and he now at last (after one short and unexpected interruption to which it is impossible to find any certain clue)? closes these successive digressions with the fervent account of the arrival of Titus and his own satisfaction.3
In conjunction with the arrival of Titus was another point of immediate, though of subordinate, interest. The reception of Titus at Corinth had been so enthusiastic that Titus was now ready to be the bearer of this Second Epistle also; and in company with two others appointed for this special purpose, to urge upon the Corinthians the necessity of having their contribution for Judæa ready for the Apostle's arrival.
Thus far all had been peaceful; there had been occasional allusions to lurking enemies, but on the whole the strain of the letter was cheerful and calın. But henceforward a change comes over it,—the adversaries are now attacked face to face,—Timotheus is no longer coupled with the Apostle; it would almost appear as if the Apostle took pen and parchment into his own hands and wrote the Epistle himself. First comes the warning against the false pretences of his opponents4; then a vindication of his own claims"; crossed at times by protestations of his own sincerity against their insinuations, and bitter irony against their despotic demands on obedience?, but closing in an elaborate enumeration
6 xi. 7-25.
of his own exertions and dangers, as the best proof of his apostolic mission and authority.
Once more he repeats the apology for his apparent egotism, and repels the insinuation of duplicity?; and then, with a final warning and assurance of his intention to visit them, the Epistle closes.
Of its effect nothing is known. The two Epistles of Clement to Corinth, the second of them of more than doubtful authority, are the only records of the Corinthian Church for the next three centuries. Factions are described in the first of these, as still raging; but the Apostle's authority is recognised, and there is no further trace of the Judaizing party. But it still lingered in other parts of the Church, and in the curious apocryphal work entitled the “ Clementines 3," written some time before the beginning of the third century, we find language held which is instructive as illustrating the pretensions of the party, of which that work contains the last, as this Epistle and that to the Galatians, contain the earliest indications.
The following are the most remarkable instances : 1. St. Peter is represented not merely as the Apostle of the Circumcision, but as the Apostle of the Gentiles also; all the glory of St. Paul is transferred to him ; no other preacher to the Gentiles is acknowledged except him. (Ep. Pet. ad Jac. c. 1. ; Hom. ii. 17., iii. 59.) For the coincidence of this with the language of the earlier Judaizers, compare 2 Cor. x. 14. 15.; for its
1 xi. 22.-xii. 10.
2 xii. 11—18. 3 The Clementines are published in Cotelier's edition of the Patres Apostolici," and in a separate volume by Schwegler, and are the subject of an elaborate treatise by Schliemann. They consist of: 1. The Homilies' or Conversations. 2. The Epistle of Peter to James. 3. The adjuration of the Presbyters by James. 4. The Epistle of Clement to James. 5. The Recognitions. 6. The Epitome.
contrast with the acts of the Apostle himself, compare Gal. ii. 9. 11.
2. Although Peter is spoken of as “the first of the Apostles” (Ep. Clem. ad Jac. i. 3.), and as appointing Clement to the See of Rome (ibid.), yet James is described as superior in dignity both to him and Clement (Ep. Pet. ad Jac. 1.; Ep. Clem. ad Jac. 19.), and to all the Apostles (Rec. i. 66.—68.); as “the Lord and Bishop of the Holy Church, Bishop of Bishops, ruling the Churches everywhere, the Bishop, the Archbishop;" “the Chief Bishop,” as opposed to Caiaphas “the Chief Priest.” (Ep. Pet. c. 1.; Ep. Jac. c. 1. ; Recog. i. 66. 68. 70. 72. 73.) For the coincidence of this with the extravagant claims of the early Judaizers compare 2 Cor. i. 24. ; xi. 5. 20. (agreeing again with the sentiment ascribed by Irenæus (Hær. i. 26.) to the Ebionites, “Hierosolymam adorant quasi domum Dei'). For its contrast with the expressions of the canonical Epistles compare James i. 1. ; 1 Pet. v. 2.
. 1 3. St. Paul is never attacked by name; but the covert insinuations are indisputable.
(a.) St. Peter is represented as warning St. James against “the lawless and foolish teaching of the enemy” (Toữ é x 9 po dv9púrou), who perverts “the Gentiles from the lawful preaching of Peter,” and misrepresents Peter “as though he thought with the Gentiles, but did not preach it openly.” (Ep. Pet. ad Jac. 2.) Comp. Gal. ii. 12. 14.
(b.) The “enemy” (homo inimicus) appears again as taking part in the attack on the life of James; and as receiving letters from the High Priest to persecute Christians* at Damascus. (Recog. i. 70.) Compare Acts, ix. 1.
(c.) St. Peter warns his congregation to beware of "any apostle, prophet, or teacher, who does not first
compare his preaching with James, and come with witnesses, lest the wickedness," which tempted Christ, “afterwards, having fallen like lightning from heaven" (for the allusion here comp. Acts, xxvi. 13. 14.) “should send a herald against you, and suborn one who is to sow error (Taávnu) amongst you, as it suborned this Simon against us, preaching in the name of our Lord, under pretence of the truth.” (Hom. xi. 35.) Compare, again, the coincidence with the stress laid by the Corinthian Judaizers on commendatory letters as marks of Apostleship. 2 Cor. iii. 1., 8. 12.–18., v. 12.
(d.) The parallel which is suggested in the foregoing passage, between St. Paul and Simon Magus is carried out still further in other passages, which go so far as actually to describe the Apostle under the name of Simon, as the representative of all Gentile and Gnostic errors. This insinuation is first conveyed in general language, and in connexion with the doctrine of pairs or combinations, which is strongly put forward in this work as a principle of the Divine governmeut. St. Peter is introduced as maintaining that, as Cain preceded Abel, and Ishmael Isaac, so “Siinon preceded Peter to the Gentiles, and that Peter then succeeded to him, as light to darkness;" that “the false Gospel must come first from some deceiver (útò Távou Tivos), and then, after the destruction of the holy place, the true Gospel ; were he known, he would not have been received; but now, not being known (áyvooúpevos), he has been trusted to; he who does the deeds of those who hate us, has been loved ; he who is our enemy, has been received as a friend ; being death, he has been longed for as a saviour; being fire, he has been regarded as light; being a deceiver (andvos), he has been listened to as speaking the truth.” (Hom. ii. 17, 18.)
Much of this might be regarded as merely taken from