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No. IX. Chap. xvi. 10, 11: “Now, if Timotheus come, let no man despise him.”—Why despise him? This charge is not given concerning any other messenger whom St. Paul sent; and, in the different epistles, many such messengers are mentioned. Turn to 1 Tim. iv. 12, and you will find that Timothy was a young man, younger probably than those who were usually employed in the Christian mission; and that St. Paul, apprehending lest he should, on that account, he exposed to contempt, urges upon him the caution which is there inserted, “Let no man despise thy youth."
assault upon the Christians was made by the Jews. It was the Jews who had brought Paul before the magistrate. If it had been the Jews also who had beaten Sosthenes, I should not have doubted but that he had been a favourer of St. Paul, and the same person who is joined with him in the epistle. Let us see therefore whether there be not some error in our present text. The Alexandrian manuscript gives távtes alone, without of "Exinves, and is followed in this reading by the Coptic version, by the Arabic version, published by Erpenius, by the Vulgate, and by Bede's Latin version. Three Greek manuscripts again, as well as Chrysostom, give oi 'Ioudaion, in the place of of "Elinves. A great plurality of manuscripts authorize the reading which is retained in our copies. In this variety it appears to me extremely probable that the historian originally wrote távtes alone, and that of "Exanves and of ’lovdaîou have been respectively added as explanatory of what the word távtes was supposed to mean. The sentence, without the addition of either name, would run very perspicuously thus : “Και απήλασεν αυτούς από του βήματος επιλάβομενοι δε πάντες Σωσθένην τον αρχισυνάγωγον, έτυπτoν έμπροσθεν του βήματος: and he drove them away from the judgment-seat; and they all,” viz., the crowd of Jews whom the judge had bid begone, “took Sosthenes, and beat him before the judgment seat.” It is certain that, as the whole body of the people were Greeks, the application of all to them is unusual and hard. If I was describing an insurrection at Paris, I might say all the Jews, all the Protestants, or all the English acted so and so; but I should scarcely say all the French, when the whole mass of the community were of that description. As what is here offered is founded upon a various reading, and that in opposition to the greater part of the manuscripts that are extant, I have not given it a place in the text.
No. X. Chap. xvi. 1: “Now, concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.”
The churches of Galatia and Phrygia were the last churches which St. Paul had visited before the writing of this epistle. He was now at Ephesus, and he came thither immediately from visiting these churches : “He went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia, in order, strengthening all the disciples. And it came to pass that Paul having passed through the upper coasts” (viz. the above-named countries, called the upper coasts, as being the northern part of Asia Minor,) "came to Ephesus.” Acts xviii. 23; xix. 1. These therefore, probably, were the last churches at which he had left directions for their public conduct during his absence. Although two years intervened between his journey to Ephesus, and his writing this epistle, yet it does not appear that during that time he visited any other church. That he had not been silent when he was in Galatia, upon this subject of contribution for the poor, is farther made out from a hint which he lets fall in his epistle to that church : “Only they (viz. the other apostles) would that we should remember the poor, the same also which I was forward to do.”
No. XI. Chap. iv. 18: “Now, some are puffed up, as though I would not come unto you.”
Why should they suppose that he would not come ? Turn to the first chapter of the second Epistle to the Corinthians, and you will find that he had already disappointed them: “I was minded to come unto you before, that you might have a second benefit; and to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judea. When I, therefore, was thus minded, did I use lightness ? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea, yea, and nay, nay? But, as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.” It appears from this quotation, that he had not only intended, but that he had promised them a visit before ; for, otherwise, why should he apologise for the change of his purpose, or express so much anxiety, lest this change should be imputed to any culpable fickleness in his temper; and lest he should thereby seem to them, as one whose word was not, in any sort, to be depended upon ? Besides which, the terms made use of plainly refer to a promise: “Our word toward you was not yea and nay." St. Paul therefore had signified an intention which he had not been able to execute; and this seeming breach of his word, and the delay of his visit, had, with some who were evil affected towards him, given birth to a suggestion that he would come no more to Corinth.
“For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Dr. Benson tells us, that from this passage, compared with chapter xvi. 8, it has been conjectured that this epistle was written about the time of the Jewish passover; and to me the conjecture appears to be very well founded. The passage to which Dr. Benson refers us is this: “I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.” With this passage he ought to have joined another in the same context: “And it may be that I will abide, yea and winter with you :" for, from the two passages laid together, it follows that the epistle was written before Pentecost, yet after winter; which necessarily determines the date to the part of the year within which the passover falls. It was written before Pentecost, because he says, “I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.” It was written after winter, because he tells them, “It may be that I may abide, yea and winter with you.” The winter which the apostle purposed to pass at Corinth, was undoubtedly the winter next ensuing to the date of the epistle; yet it was a winter subsequent to the ensuing Pentecost, because he did not intend to set forwards upon his journey till after that feast. The words “let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth," look very like words suggested by the season; at least they have, upon that supposition, a force and
significance which do not belong to them upon any other; and it is not a little remarkable, that the hints casually dropped in the epistle, concerning particular parts of the year, should coincide with this supposition.
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians.
I will not say that it is impossible, having seen the first Epistle to the Corinthians, to construct a second with ostensible allusions to the first; or that it is impossible that both should be fabricated, so as to carry on an order and continuation of story, by successive references to the same events. But I say, that this, in either case, must be the effect of craft and design. Whereas, whoever examines the allusions to the former epistle, which he finds in this, whilst he will acknowledge them to be such as would rise spontaneously to the hand of the writer, from the very subject of the correspondence, and the situation of the corresponding parties, supposing these to be real, will see no particle of reason to suspect, either that the clauses containing these allusions were insertions for the purpose, or that the several transactions of the Corinthian church were feigned, in order to form a train of narrative, or to support the appearance of connection between the two epistles.
1. In the first epistle, St. Paul announces his