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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 afterwards to contribute—the very case which the first epistle authorises 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 use 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 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.” (1 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;

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, chap. 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 Damascus, though agreeing in the main fact with the account of the same transaction in the Acts, is related with 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 :

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 our own integrity, but, in such a subject, careful also to approve our integrity to the public judgment.” (2 Cor. viii. 18-21.)

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 xi. 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 connection with the history, which alone would satisfy my mind, that the epistle was written by St. 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 interested adversaries of the new religion. The account of the tumult is as follows: “When they heard these sayings,” viz. Demetrius' 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 friends, sent unto him, desiring that he would not adventure himself into the theatre. Some, therefore, cried one thing, and some another; for the assembly was confused, and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward; and Alexander beckoned with his hand, and would have made his defence unto the people; but, when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice, about the space of two hours, cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.—And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.” When he was arrived in Macedonia, he wrote the second Epistle to the Corinthians which is now before us; and he begins his epistle in this wise: “Blessed be God, even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For, as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ: and whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation; and our hope of you is stedfast, knowing that, as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia,

that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life; but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.” Nothing could be more expressive of the circumstances in which the history describes St. Paul to have been, at the time when the epistle purports to be written; or rather, nothing could be more expressive of the sensations arising from these circumstances, than this passage. It is the calm recollection of a mind emerged from the confusion of instant danger. It is that devotion and solemnity of thought, which follows a recent deliverance. There is just enough of particularity in the passage, to show that it is to be referred to the tumult at Ephesus : “ We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia.” And there is nothing more; no mention of Demetrius, of the seizure of St. Paul's friends, of the interference of the town-clerk, of the occasion or nature of the danger which St. Paul had escaped, or even of the city where it happened ; in a word, no recital from which a suspicion could be conceived, either that the author of the epistle had made use of the narrative in the Acts; or, on the other hand, that he had sketched the outline, which the narrative in the Acts only filled up. That the forger of an epistle, under the name of St. Paul, should borrow circumstances from a history of St. Paul then extant; or, that the author of a history of St. Paul should gather materials from letters bearing St. Paul's name, may be credited : but I cannot believe that any forger whatever should


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