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The world had been in a long estrangement from God; His dealings (such seems the force of the Apostle's words) had awakened in the heart of mankind a sense of hostility and offence. Suddenly a great manifestation of Divine love was announced, which wherever the tid. ings were brought awakened feelings never known before. These feelings resolved themselves into two kinds : – A conciousness of the complete separation of the present from the past, so complete as to be compared by the Apostle to a new creation'; and a consciousness of a return to God after long separation; and that return by the nature of the case, including, not merely the Jewish nation, but the whole world. And the practical effect of these feelings was, in the mind of the Apostle, a complete self-devotion to the good of others. “The love" which Christ had shown" constrained him” to live, not for himself, but for Him who died for him and rose again ? ; and this in spite of hardships and difficulties of every description.
This is the substance of Christianity, as it appeared to the Apostle. His statement of it is important in many ways. First. It explains how it was that the proclamation of the glad tidings of Christ's death fell to the lot, beyond all others, of the Apostle of the Gentiles. To us, the idea of the “atonement” or “reconciliation” of man to God, and the idea of the admission of the Gentiles, have ordinarily no connexion with each other. To St. Paul, the two ideas were inseparable. He could not imagine the death of Christ to involve less universal consequences than the reconciliation of the whole world. What the Christian poet of later times has beautifully said of it with regard to the previous generations of mankind,
x. 18. 19.
“Now of thy love we deem
As of an ocean vast,
Of ages gone and past :" was to the Apostle emphatically true of all the existing, and, if he looked so far, of all the future generations of the world.
Secondly. It is remarkable, as expressing most strongly the view everywhere given in the New Testament, of Christ's death, that it was the effect and manifestation, not of the wrath, or justice, or vengeance of God, but of His love; of the love not only of Christ, but in the most emphatic sense, of God also. It was not God that was reconciled, and man that was thereby induced to love; but God that showed His love, and thereby brought back mankind from its long enmity with Him. It was not God that was to be appeased, and Christ that was to appease, but “God was in Christ," and the result was the Death of Christ for man. Humble as in the eyes of the contemporary world that solitary Death might seem, it expressed and implied nothing less than the Universal Love of the Almighty.
Thirdly. It shows how completely the Apostle regarded the death of Christ as a new epoch in the history of the human race. Had he foreseen distinctly that a new era would be dated from that time; that a new society, philosophy, literature, moral code, would grow up from it over continents of which he knew not the existence; he could not have more strongly expressed his sense of the greatness of the event than in what is here said of “old things passing away, and all things becoming new."1 We regard Christianity as belonging to the old age and ancient institutions; he regarded it as the seed and spring-time of a new world. His eye is fixed
on the future. He is the Prophet of what is to come no less than the Apostle of what has been.
Fourthly. It shows more clearly then elsewhere the motive to which the Apostle ascribes his great exertions. “ The love of Christ constrained him." Of the reality of that Love his own life was and is the best proof and explanation. There had appeared on the earth (so we must endeavour to conceive his feelings) an exhibition of love, such as had never before been
Whatever influence the force of example or the sentiment of gratitude brings to bear upon the human mind, was now in the highest degree exercised upon the mind of St. Paul. To follow where Christ had gone before, to requite His love by carrying out His work, became the Apostle's master passion. The love which Christ had shown to him became the atmosphere in which he lived and moved and had his being. We know that in the events of the Exodus we have found the first origin of the idea of the severe Law of an Unseen God, which became henceforward the inalienable possession of the Jewish race. We know that in the teaching of Socrates we have tracked to its source the spirit of self-inquiry, since propagated through all European philosophy. So, but in a far higher sense, the Love of Christ roused in the minds
His disciples a sense of the reality and the power of love, which became the spring of a new life to them, and through them to the world; and, amidst manifold weakness and error, Roman Catholic and Protestant alike, in the zeal of missionaries, in the benevolence of Sisters of Mercy, in the service of the poor and ignorant and afflicted, there have been thousands of acts and lives of self-devotion, which can be traced up to nothing lower than this self-same motive.
(4.) The Arrival of Titus : continued from II. 16.
VI. 11-VII. 16.
11 Το στόμα ημών ανέωγεν προς υμάς, Κορίνθιοι, ή καρδία
, , 11. In the previous verses, the first time, clear and distinct the long train of digressions (το στόμα ημών ανεωγεν), and which had broken in upon the for the only time in the two Apostle's argument in ii. 16., Epistles he calls them by their had been gradually drawing to name (Kopivolol). With the
(Κορίνθιοι. a conclusion. The thought of loosing of his tongue his heart the reconciliation with God, to opens also, that heart which which they were invited (v. was, as Chrysostom calls it, 19—21.), awakens the thought the heart of the ,
world, of their reconciliation with opens to receive in its large him; and the impassioned de- capacities his thousand friends scription of his own sufferings (η καρδία ημών πεπλάτυνται); (vi. 4–10.) naturally prepares whatever narrowness of afthe way for throwing himself fection, whatever check to the upon their sympathy. Here, yearnings of soul between them accordingly,
long-sup- might exist, was not on his pressed feeling finds its part, but on theirs (où otevovent, the under-current of xwpɛioɛ żv ňuiv, otevoxwpeio de deep affection which had been δε εν τοις σπλάγχνοις υμών), from time to time appearing the only reward" which he above the surface in iii. 243., claimed for his paternal tenderiv. 12–15., v. 13., now bursts was a greater openness into sight, following almost in from them, his spiritual chil the same words as the similar dren (την αυτήν αντιμισθίαν passage in 1 Cor. iv. 14-16. (ώς τέκνοις λέγω) πλατύνθητε 1 . . .
») on the account of his victory
και υμείς). through sufferings. (Compare
For the particular expresespecially, “ I speak to you sions, it is to be observed, that as to children," in verse 13. åvéwys expresses the present with 1 Cor. iv. 14.) It is tense (as in 1 Cor. xvi. 9.), and as though the veil which is thus distinct from nvoleauer
ήνοίξαμεν had hitherto hung between the tò otóua ñuñv, "we spoke to
το στόμα ημών, Apostle and his readers, was
whereas πεπλάτυνται suddenly rolled away; we see expresses the perfect, and them standing face to face, so indicates that the opening his utterance, so long choked of his mouth follows upon by the counter-currents of con- the opening of his heart. tending emotions, is now, for “Whilst my words find free
ημών πεπλάτυνται• 12 ου στενοχωρείσθε εν ημίν, στενοχωρείσθε δε εν τοίς σπλάγχνοις υμών. 13 την δε αυτήν αντιμι
v • è
utterance, my heart has mean- shown by the following exwhile been enlarged.” (Comp. pressions (otevoxwpelo de in 12. Matt. xii. 34. : “ Out of the and ywpňoate in vii. 2.) to be not abundance of the heart the simply joy, but wideness of symthe mouth speaketh.” Rom. x. pathy and intelligence, as op10., 6. With the heart man posed to narrowmindedness, believeth, with the mouth con- both moral and intellectual: in fession is made.")
which sense the corresponding The phrase "to open the Hebrew phrase is used of Solomouth” (ανοίγειν το στόμα) in mon, 1 Kings iv. 29., who had itself is an ordinary expression “largeness (2nn) of heart for “to speak” (as in Matt. v. like the sand that is on the 2., Acts viii. 32. 35., x. 34.,
sea shore." xviii. 14.). In the LXX. Κορίνθιοι. This address by
. (Psalm lxxvii. 2.; Prov. xxxi. name is used besides only in 8.; Num. xvi. 30.; Deut, xi. 6.; Gal. iii. 1., ώ ανόητοι Γάλαται, Jud. xi. 35. 36.; Job, xxxy. in Phil. iv. 15., Φιλιππήσιοι. 16.); it is only used emphati- 12. σπλάγχνα. This passage
. cally and poetically, and so here is remarkable as speaking of it derives from the context a the affections under thedouble sense of free and open speech, metaphor of the “ heart” and which would not otherwise be- “the bowels," of which the long to it. Compare Eph. vi. latter has, in modern languages, 19. : ίνα μοι δοθείη λόγος εν been entirely superseded by ανοίξει του στόματός μου, ŠV the former. The distinction παρρησία γνώρισαι το μυσ
between them consists appaτήριον του ευαγγελίου.
rently in the greater tenderness In like manner the use of expressed by the latter, as imthe expression ý kapdía metá- plied in the Hebrew root TUVTAL was probably suggested 0777 (to foster tenderly) from by its frequent occurrence in the Old Testament (LXX.) is derived. For its use in St. for “joy," - as in Ps. 119. Paul compare vii. 15., Phil. i. (118. LXX.) 32.; Job, xxxi. 8., Philem. 10. 27. ; Isa. Ix. 5.; joy being in For the same union of Greek this case the occasion out of and Hebrew ideas compare which this enlargement of πνεωγεθ πεπλάτυνται in verse heart proceeded. So in the 11., Búpos dótns in iv. 17. Arabian Nights, “ My heart την αυτήν αντιμισθίαν = το is dilated,” is the constant ex- αυτό, ό έστιν αντιμισθία, πλαpression for sensations of joy. Túvonte. “Open your hearts But its actual meaning here is to the same love that I show
רחמים which the substantive