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three or four years, the history professes not to deliver any information. As Tarsus was situated upon the sea coast, and as, though Tarsus was his home, yet it is probable he visited from thence many other places, for the purpose of preaching the gospel, it is not unlikely, that in the course of three or four years, he might undertake many short voyages to neighbouring countries ; in the navigating of which we may be allowed to suppose that some of those disasters and shipwrecks befell him, to which he refers in the quotation before us, "thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep.” This last clause I am inclined to interpret of his being obliged to take to an open boat, upon the loss of the ship, and his continuing out at sea in that dangerous situation, a night and a day. St. Paul is here recounting his sufferings, not relating miracles. From Tarsus, Barnabas brought Paul to Antioch, and there he remained a year; but of the transactions of that year no other description is given than what is contained in the four last verses of the eleventh chapter. After a more solemn dedication to the ministry, Barnabas and Paul proceeded from Antioch to Cilicia, and from thence they sailed to Cyprus, of which voyage no particulars are mentioned. Upon their return from Cyprus, they made a progress together through the Lesser Asia; and though two remarkable speeches be preserved, and a few incidents in the course of their travels circumstantially related, yet is the account of this progress, upon the whole, given professedly with conciseness : for instance, at Iconium it is said that they abode a long time; * yet of this long abode, except concerning the manner in which they were driven away, no memoir is inserted in the history. The whole is wrapped up in one short summary, "they spake boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands." Having completed their progress, the two apostles returned to Antioch, "and there they abode long time with the disciples.” Here we have another large portion of time passed over in silence. To this succeeded a journey to Jerusalem, upon a dispute which then much agitated the Christian church, concerning the obligation of the law of Moses. When the object of that journey was completed, Paul proposed to Barnabas to go again and visit their brethren in every city where they had preached the word of the Lord. The execution of this plan carried our apostle through Syria, Cilicia, and many provinces of the Lesser Asia; yet is the account of the whole journey dispatched in four verses of the sixteenth chapter.

* Chap. xiv. 3.

If the Acts of the Apostles had undertaken to exhibit regular annals of St. Paul's ministry, or even any continued account of his life, from his conversion at Damascus to his imprisonment at Rome, I should have thought the omission of the circumstances referred to in our epistle, a matter of reasonable objection. But when it appears, from the history itself, that large portions of St. Paul's life were either passed over in silence, or only slightly touched upon, and that nothing more than certain detached incidents and discourses are related; when we observe also, that the author of the history did not join our apostle's society till a few years before the writing of the epistle, at least that there is no proof in the



history that he did so; in comparing the history with the epistle, we shall not be surprised by the discovery of omissions; we shall ascribe it to truth that there is no contradiction.

No. X. Chap. ii. 1:"Do we begin again to commend ourselves : or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you?"

As some others.” Turn to Acts xviii. 27, and you will find that, a short time before the writing of this epistle, Apollos had gone to Corinth with letters of commendations from the Ephesian Christians: “and when Apollos was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him.” Here the words of the epistle bear the appearance of alluding to some specific instance, and the history supplies that instance; it supplies at least an instance as opposite as possible to the terms which the apostle uses, and to the date and direction of the epistle, in which they are found. The letter which Apollos carried from Ephesus, was precisely the letter of commendation which St. Paul meant; and it was to Achaia of which Corinth was the capital, and indeed to Corinth itself (Acts xix. 1), that Apollos carried it; and it was about two years before the writing of this epistle. If St. Paul's words be rather thought to refer to some general usage which then obtained among Christian churches, the case of Apollos exemplifies that usage; and affords that species of confirmation to the epistle, which arises from seeing the manners of the age, in which it purports to be written, faithfully preserved.

No. XI. Chap. xiii. 1: “This is the third time I am coming to you” (τρίτον τούτο έρχομαι).

Do not these words import that the writer had been at Corinth twice before ? yet, if they import this, they overset every congruity we have been endeavouring to establish. The Acts of the Apostles record only two journies of St. Paul to Corinth. We have all along supposed, what every mark of time except this expression indicates, that the epistle was written between the first and second of these journies. If St. Paul had been already twice at Corinth, this supposition must be given up; and every argument or observation which depends upon it, falls to the ground. Again, the Acts of the Apostles not only record no more than two journies of St. Paul to Corinth, but do not allow us to suppose that more than two such journies could be made or intended by him within the period which the history comprises ; for, from his first journey into Greece, to his first imprisonment at Rome, with which the history concludes, the apostle's time is accounted for. If therefore the epistle was written after the second journey to Corinth, and upon the view and expectation of a third, it must have been written after his first imprisonment at Rome, i. e. after the time to which the history extends. When I first read over this epistle with the particular view of comparing it with the history, which I chose to do without consulting any commentary whatever, I own that I felt myself confounded by this text. It appeared to contradict the opinion, which I had been led by a great variety of circumstances to form, concerning the date and occasion of the epistle. At length, however, it occurred to my thoughts to enquire, whether the passage did necessarily imply that St. Paul had been at Corinth twice; or whether, when he says, "this is the third time I am coming to you,” he might mean only that this was the third time that he was ready, that he was prepared, that he intended to set out upon his journey to Corinth. I recollected that he had once before this purposed to visit Corinth, and had been disappointed in his purpose; which disappointment forms the subject of much apology and protestation, in the first and second chapters of the epistle. Now, if the journey in which he had been disappointed was reckoned by him one of the times in which "he was coming to them," then the present would be the third time, i. e. of his being ready and prepared to come; although he had been actually at Corinth only once before.

This conjecture being taken up, a farther examination of the passage and the epistle, produced proofs which placed it beyond doubt. “This is the third time I am coming to you :" in the verse following these words he adds, “I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present the second time; and being absent, now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that if I come again, I will not spare. In this verse, the apostle is declaring beforehand what he would do in his intended visit: his expression therefore, “as if I were present the second time,” relates to that visit. But, if his future visit would only make him present amongst them a second time, it follows that he had been already there but once. Again, in the fifteenth verse of the first chapter, he tells them, “In this confidence, I was minded to come unto you before, that

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