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that I may

pendence, the real purpose of saying all that I say is

build
you up

in your faith. There is a fear constantly before me, lest you should be turned from me, lest I should be driven to severity, lest Corinth should be a scene of faction, of calumny, of disorder ; lest when I come I should find all my labour misspent, and have to mourn over the impenitence of those who have fallen into sins of heinous sensuality. Once, twice, thrice, as in the Mosaic Law of the three witnesses : by my first visit by this Epistle, as though I had accomplished my second visit by the third visit, which I now hope to accomplishI warn you that I shall not spare my power when I come.

You are always seeking for a proof of my Apostleship; you shall have it. For Christ who speaks in me, though in the weakness of humanity He died the shameful death of the cross, in the strength of God He lives and acts still; and in Him, weak and poor as I seem to be, I shall still live and act towards you. But why do I speak of myself? You yourselves my converts are the best witnesses of my Apostolical power, and long may you be so! If, indeed, you should have lost this best proof of my Apostleship in the reformation of your own lives, then indeed you shall have the proof in my severity. But

earnest prayer is that there may be no occasion for it. May my power and the proof of it perish if you prove that you do not need it. Against a true and blameless life the highest Apostolical power

is

powerless ; and if you have this power of truth and goodness, I am well content to part with mine. It is to draw you to a sense of this that I write this whole Epistle, in the hopes that my Apostolical authority may be turned to its fitting purpose of building up, not of pulling down.

And now, in conclusion, Farewell and fare ye

my

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well.

Reform yourselves. Be comforted and instructed by all I have said. Restore harmony and peace; and then the God of love and of peace shall

; dwell with you. Salute each other by the sacred kiss of Christian brotherhood. Receive the salutations of all Christians here. The goodness and favour of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is no less than the love of God Himself towards you, and your joint union in the Spirit of Holiness, be with

you

all."

275

THE EPISTLES TO THE CORINTHIANS, IN RELATION

TO THE GOSPEL HISTORY.

Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord ?"-1 Cor. ix. 1.

The two Epistles to the Corinthians, as has been already observed, are eminently historical; and in the course of the remarks made upon them, it has been my object to draw out as clearly as possible every illustration or testimony which they afford to the history of the early Church. But there is another kindred question which is so important in itself, that though partially touched upon in the several passages which bear upon it, it may yet not be out of place at the close of these Epistles to consider it as a whole.

The question which the Apostle asked of his Judaizing opponents, and which his Judaizing opponents asked of him, “ Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord ?” – is one which in our days has often been asked, in a wider sense than that in which the words were used by the Apostle or his adversaries. “Is the representation of Christ in the Epistles the same as the representation of Christ in the Gospels ? - What is the evidence, direct or indirect, furnished by St. Paul to the facts of the Gospel history? If the Gospels had perished, could we from the Epistles form an image of Christ, like to that which the Gospels present ? Can we discover between the Epistles and the Gospels any such coincidences and resemblance as Paley discovered between the Epistles and the Acts ? Is the "Gospel' of the Evangelical Apostle different from the Gospel of the Evangelistic narratives ? "

Such an inquiry has been started sometimes in doubt,

"

sometimes in perplexity. It is suggested partly by the nature of the case, by that attitude of separation and independent action, which St. Paul took apart from the other Apostles, and which, even irrespectively of his writings, awakened in the minds of his opponents the suspicion that, “ he had not seen the Lord Jesus,". that he was not truly an “ Apostle of Christ," and that therefore, “ he taught things contrary to Christ's teaching.” 1 It is suggested also by the attempts which in later times have been made both by those without, and by those within, the outward pale of Christianity, to widen the breach between the teaching of the Epistles and the Gospels; both by those who have been anxious to show that the Christian faith ought to be sought in “not Paul, but Jesus ;” and by those who believe and profess that “the Gospel ” is contained, not in the Evangelical History, but in the Pauline Epistles.

From many points of view, and to many minds, questions like these will seem superfluous or unimportant. But, touching as they do on various instructive subjects, and awakening in some quarters a peculiar interest, they may well demand a consideration here. The two Epistles to Corinth are those from which an answer may most readily be obtained; both because they contain all or almost all of the most important allusions to the subject of the Gospel history, and also because they belong to the earliest, as well as the most undisputed, portion of the Apostolical writings. At the same time it will not interfere with the precision or unity of the inquiry, if it includes such illustrations as may be furnished by the other Epistles also.

I. The first class of coincidences to which we most

1 See the Notes on 1 Cor. xi. 1.; 2 Cor. xii. 1-6. Introduction to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, vol. ii. pp. 10–14.

naturally turn, are those which relate to isolated sayings of Christ. This (partly for reasons which will be stated hereafter) is the least satisfactory part of the inquiry. It cannot be denied that they are few and scanty, and that, in these few, there is in no case an exact correspondence with the existing narratives.

There are in St. Paul's Epistles only two occasions on which our Lord's authority is directly quoted. In 1 Cor. vii. 10., when speaking of marriage, the Apostle refers to a command of the Lord, as distinct from a command of his own, and as the command he gives the words, “ Let not the wife depart from her husband." In 1 Cor. ix. 14., when speaking of the right of the Apostles to receive a maintenance from those whom they taught, he says, “ Even so the Lord ordained' (aétagev) that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel.In neither case are the exact words of the existing records quoted; but we can hardly doubt that he refers in one case to the prohibition, “ Whosoever shall put away his wife ... causeth her to commit adultery" (Matt. v. 32. ; Mark, x. 11.; Luke, xvi. 18.); in the other, to the command to the Twelve and the Seventy,“ Carry neither purse nor scrip nor shoes, ... for the labourer is worthy of his hire.(Luke, x. 4. 7.; Matt. x. 9. 10.)

To these quotations we may add, that in the Acts of the Apostles (xx. 35.), in his speech to the Ephesian elders: Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.It is also to be observed, that in closing the discussion on the conduct of Christian assemblies (1 Cor. xiv. 37.), he says: “If any man think hiinself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are commandments of the Lord(xupiou εντολαί). The form of expression seems to imply that here, as in vii. 10., he is referring to some distinct

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