Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 conspi

cuous

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 dis“ interestedness, void” (1 Cor. chap. ix. ver. 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 perfons elected for that purpose by the contributors them

selvcs:

cuous part in the epistle, is not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles at all. St. Paul's sufferings enumerated, chap. xi. ver. 24, s of the Jews five times received I forty

stripes fave one ; thrice was I beaten with “ rods; once was I stoned ; thrice I suffered $ Thipwreck; a night and a day I have been “ in the deep,” cannot be made out from

selves : “ And when I come, whomsoever ye

shall

ap“ prove 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. chap. xvi. ver. 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 fent 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 adminis“ tered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and the “ declaration of your ready mind; avoiding this, that no

man should blame us in this abundance which is ad“ ministered by us; providing for things honest, not “ only in the fight of the Lord, but also in the fight 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. chap. viii. ver. 18-21).

[merged small][ocr errors]

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 epistie, 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:

2. Cor.chap. xi.ver.32, 33. “In Damascus, the

governor under Aretas " the king, kept the city “ of the Dainascenes with a garrison, desirous to “ apprchend me; and “ through a window in a “ basket was I let down by " the wall, and escaped his «« hands."

Aets, chap. ix. ver. 234 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!et him “ down by the wallina bal« ket."

Now if we be satisfied in general concernisg these two ancient writings, that the one

was

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 attributingofthem 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 fituation 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 fome interested adverfaries of the new religion. The account of the tumult is as follows: "When " they heard these sayings, viz. Demetrius's 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 confu“ fion; and having caught Gaius and Arif“ tarchus, Paul's companionsin travel, they il rushed with one accord into the theatre; 66 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, fent unto him, “ defiring that he would not adventure him“ felf 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 to

gether. And they drew Alexander out “ of the multitude, the Jews putting him “ forward; and Alexander beckoned with « his hand, and would have made his de“ fence unto the people ; but, when they “ knew that he was a Jew, all with onevoice,

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 Mace65 donia.” When he was arrived in Macedonia, he wrote the second Epistle to the

« PreviousContinue »