« PreviousContinue »
The modes of combat were very various. Spears, darts, and swords were the common weapons; and not long before this time-that is, in the reign of Claudius-the use of the veil, which the Spanish bull-fighters still retain, was introduced. With this in his left hand, the combatant was enabled to confound and baffle his savage opponent, while he plied his sword with the other. But the veil was not allowed to all combatants. In such combats, the men placed much reliance on the nimble turns and sudden leaps by which they evaded the onsets of the foe, and secured opportunities for the effective employment of their weapons. Indeed, there was one class of combatants who, trusting entirely to such exertion, entered the arena naked and unarmed, in order to provoke the fury of the beasts when they were first let loose.
Our cuts, representing some incidents in such combats, are after Roman sculptures and paintings.
36. "That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.”—This beautiful analogy has been sneered at by some philosophists as untrue in fact, since the grain does not die. This is true; but it requires little ingenuity to perceive that the comparison is popular, and that eam is therefore not to be understood as expressing utter death, but only that appearance of destruction which takes place in the germinating seed. The sense is well expressed by Hewlett: That is, the germ or principle of vegetable life does not spring up in the form of a plant till the external bulk, consisting of the lobes, or farinaceous part of the seed, wastes away, and as it perishes becomes the appropriate food of the new plant that is springing into life, till it is in a state to derive nutriment from the earth."
43. "It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory.”—“The achievements of modern chemistry facilitate and elevate our idea of that splendid change which may pass on the meanest relics of mortality. We had seen, it is granted, more wondrous transformations in nature, so early indeed, and so often, that we forget to consider and admire them; we knew that He, by whom all things were made,' must have an energy whereby he is able to subdue all things uate himself: but when a human artificer, who confessedly knows nothing of the substance of that matter on which he operates, or of that mind by which he investigates its properties, obtains, by sure processes, a vital fluid* from a coarse mineral; an inflammable airt from water; and shining metals from the ashes of wood or sea-weeds; philosophy thus seems, by her own advances, to cast more and more of practical scorn on her own incredulous question, How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?' Shall a frail and puny inquisitor of nature, whose hand and head must soon return to dust, effect changes thus surprising; and He that created the operative hand, the inquisitive eye, the inventive mind-shall He not show us greater works than these, that we may marvel?" Measure the probable excellence of the work by the infinite superiority of the Agent, and then conceive how magnificently he is able to verify the prophetic words, It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power." Sheppard's Thoughts on Private Devotion,' p. 305, 3d edit., 1825.
9 For a great door and effectual is open1 He exhorteth them to relieve the want of the breed unto me, and there are many adver
thren at Jerusalem. 10 Commendeth Timothy, 13 and after friendly admonitions, 16 shutteth up his epistle with divers salutations.
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your 'liberality unto Jerusalem.
4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
5 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.
6 And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I
7 For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.
8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pen
* Oxygen gas.
10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.
11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.
12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.
18 For they have refreshed my spirit and your's: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.
19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.
22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maran-atha.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
The first epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi by Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus, and Timotheus.
Rom. 16. 16.
Verse 2. "Upon the first day of the week."-This text offers evidence, that even thus early, the first day of the week, or Sunday, was appropriated by Christians to the purposes of devotion. The earliest of the Christian fathers bear witness
to the same effect.
"Lay by him in store."-On the first day of the week, he was to treasure up what he had been able to spare during the week, that the collection from the Corinthian church might be completed before the apostle's arrival. Among the Jews, collections were made in the week and distributed on the Sabbath. It appears from the Apologies' of Justin Martyr and Tertullian, that it was usual for the early Christians, in the age following that of the apostle, after the worship of God was over, on the first day of the week, to contribute money for widows, orphans, and distressed Christians, particularly for such as were in banishment or condemned to the mines.
8. "I will tarry at Ephesus."-This, as observed in the introductory note, shows that the Epistle was written from Ephesus. This, therefore, contradicts the statement of the subscription, that it was written from Philippi. Michaelis thinks that the mistake arose from a misinterpretation of verse 5, where the apostle says, Maxsdoviar jag dugonal, which was understood as denoting, "I am now travelling through Macedonia;" though it evidently denotes nothing more than “ My route is through Macedonia." This is not the only mistake which occurs in the subscriptions to the Epistles; and it may be desirable to warn the reader that these subscriptions are not of the least authority whatever. They appear to have been added, long after the Epistles were written, by some grossly ignorant or very inattentive person.
22. "Anathema."-The word, here preserved in its original form, occurs elsewhere in the New Testament, and is always rendered "accursed." (Rom. ix. 3; 1 Cor. xii. 3; Gal. i. 8, 9.) In the Greek version of the Old Testament it is also employed as an equivalent to the Hebrew word D cherem, which denoted a thing separated or devoted to God. And since no living thing so devoted could be redeemed, but must be put to death, it also was applied to describe any thing devoted to death or destruction, or on which a curse was laid; as in the case of cities which, if devoted by the cherem, were demolished, and their inhabitants utterly rooted out; and then, as a further extension of the sense, the word was applied to any thing abominable and detestable. We set down the following texts in which the word occurs, by an attentive comparison of which the reader may collect the best view of the Old Testament sense of the word:Lev. xxvii. 21, 28, 29; Num. xviii. 14; Deut. ii. 34; iii. 6; vii. 2, 26; xiii. 15, 18; xx. 17; Josh. vi. 21, 24, 26; viii. 26; x. 28, 37; xi. 12, 21; 1 Sam. xv. 3, 8; 1 Kings xiv. 10; xx. 42; xxi. 21; Isa. xi. 15; xxxiv. 5; Jer. i. 21; Ezek. xliv. 29; Zech. xiv. 11.
In some of these passages, and in others not quoted, the word describes property inalienably devoted to sacred uses; in most of the others, the idea is that of utter destruction of towns or people. In the case of towns thus devoted, a curse is sometimes added (as in the case of Jericho) against those who should dare to rebuild it. The word cherem describes this curse also: and in Mark xiv. 71; Acts xxiii. 12, 14, 21, the word anathema is employed in a sense of binding with a curse, or declaring to be a curse, analogous to that of cherem in Deut. xiii. 15; Josh. vi. 21. In other of the above-cited texts, the word is applied to individuals, describing them to be appointed to utter destruction, or to deserve such destruction.
As it is easier to collect, from the context, the meaning of the word cherem in the Old Testament, than that of anathema in the epistles, these illustrations are important; because we have no reason to suppose that Paul uses the latter word in a sense very different from that of the Septuagint. To this it is important to add, that the name of cherem was, in the time of the apostle, applied by the Jews to the second form of excommunication, attended with curses, which we have described in the note to John x. 5; and as this was the then current use of the word (translated by anathema), there is every reason to suppose that an allusion to this excommunication may be comprehended.
What we have stated are facts; and having stated these, we must leave our readers to judge of the opinions which have been founded on them. The most common is, that the word here describes persons as excluded from the favour of God, and devoted to destruction; but there is a division of opinion on the point, whether the destruction means the "destruction of the flesh" by exposure to all the evils of life, and, finally to death: or to the punishments beyond the grave.
"Maran-atha."-On this word we have no fact beyond this, that it means in Syriac "the Lord will come." It occurs no where else in the Bible, nor in any of the Rabbinical writers. It has been very generally supposed that it refers to the third and most awful excommunication among the Jews (see the note on John x. 5), and called by them Shammatha, from which word some have deduced the same meaning as that of Maranatha. But this has been done by a forced etymology, different from that which the Jews themselves have always given to the word; and, upon the whole, we are at a loss to see any authority for the conclusion we have stated. Every one knows that the coming of the Lord, very frequently denotes his coming to punish the Jews for their iniquities. The time was now rapidly approaching, and the apostle may well be supposed to allude to it. The whole passage seems indeed to refer to the Jews, if only from the fact of its concluding with a word peculiar to the language which they spoke. When the apostle wrote, "Let him that loveth not the Lord Jesus Christ be Anathema," that is, cut off, utterly destroyed-he knew well that of all men
the Jews did not love the Lord Jesus Christ, but hated him, and counted him accursed; and knowing also that the Lord was soon coming, to cut them off and utterly destroy them as a nation, nothing can be more natural than that he should thus advert to the speedy accomplishment of the doom they had incurred. Suppose we were to paraphrase the verse thus: If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema when the Lord cometh." Or thus:-"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema: and this the Lord cometh quickly to accomplish."
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE
comforted, it is for your consolation and sal
7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
8 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:
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
13 For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;
14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are our's in the day of the Lord Jesus.
15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second "benefit;
16 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 Judæa.
Or, answer. 4 Rom. 15. 30.
5 Or, grace.
17 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?
18 But as God is true, our 'word toward you was not yea and nay.
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
20 For all the promises of God in him
are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
• Or, preaching.
II. CORINTHIANS.-This epistle is a sequel to the preceding, with which it is closely connected in its general purport. After having despatched the former epistle to the church at Corinth, St. Paul still remained some time at Ephesus, but sent before him Timothy and Erastus through Macedonia (Acts xix. 22) to Corinth (1 Cor. xvi. 10. Thither he also sent Titus, who was commissioned to observe the impression and effect which the epistle had produced; and to make the apostle a report, so as to determine his future measures (chap. ii. 12; vii. 6-16). Titus was also to set on foot the collection for the poor in Judea, which has already been so often mentioned (chap. viii. 6). When St. Paul quitted Ephesus to proceed to Macedonia and Achaia, he expected that Titus would already have returned to Troas (chap. ii. 12); but not finding him there, he proceeded to Macedonia, where he met with him, and received from him such information as induced him to write this second epistle to the Corinthians (vii. 7-9). This information must in many respects have been highly cheering to the zealous and affectionate heart of the apostle. His previous advices, remonstrances, and reproofs had been well received, and attended with the best effects-upon, at least, that party which had appealed to his authority and sought for his counsel. They appeared now to be penitent for the errors into which they had fallen, submissive, and ready for improvement. According to his direction they excommunicated the inces tuous person (ii. 5–11; vii. 11); besought the apostle, with tears, to return to them; and vindicated his character and office from the aspersions and cavils of the opposing party (vii. 7–11). The latter, however, still seemed incorrigible; and, so far from being moved to repentance, it appears that they sought in his epistle materials for new attacks upoa his character. What these were we shall have occasion to note as we proceed.
We have no certain account of the effects produced by this second epistle. St. Luke has only briefly noticed (in Acts xx. 2, 3) St. Paul's second journey to Corinth, after this epistle was written. We know, however, that he was there, and that the contributions were brought to him in that city for the poor brethren at Jerusalem (Rom. xvi. 22, 23), and that staying there several months, he sent salutations from some of the principal members of that church to the Romans. From this time we hear nothing further of the adverse party; and when Clement of Rome wrote his epistle to the Corinthians, St. Paul was considered by them as a divine apostle, to whose authority he might appeal without fear of contradiction. The false teacher, or teachers, were therefore probably either silenced by St. Paul, in virtue of his apostolical powers, and perhaps by an act of severity which he had threatened (xiii. 2, 3), or else quitted the place. Whichever was the cause, the effect produced must operate as a confirmation of our faith, and as a proof of St. Paul's divine mission. (See the respective Introductions' of Michaelis and Hug.)
16. "To pass by you into Macedonia."-St. Paul here mentions the original plan of the journey, his departure from which had given the adversaries at Corinth occasion to charge him with irresolution and unsteadiness of purpose, unworthy of an apostle and a prophet, and calculated to throw suspicion upon his claim to these characters. His original plan was to visit Corinth in the first instance, then to pass through Macedonia, and after that to return to Corinth, and from thence to return to Judea. This intention, it seems, the Corinthians knew; but they did not know it from the first epistle, since he there intimates that change of purpose, which gave occasion to those animadversions which he pro-5 ceeds to notice. The altered plan would have led him not to visit Corinth twice, as originally planned, but once only; for he intended now to pass through Macedonia in the first instance, then to visit Achai.., and thence to proceed to Judea: and when the present epistle was written he was actually in Macedonia, previously to visiting Corinth, ac cording to this altered intention. That the original intention was altered before the first epistle was written, has been traced, with his usual acumen, by Dr. Paley, the substance of whose statement may be thus collected. In Acts xix. 21, we are told that, "Paul purposed in the Spirit when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia to go to Jerusalem. So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season." A short time after this, and evidently in pursuance of the same intention, we find (Acts xx. 1, 2) that "Paul departed from Ephesus for to go into Macedonia: and that when he had passed over those parts he came into Greece." The resolution therefore of passing first through Macedonia, and from thence into Greece, was formed by St. Paul previously to the sending away of Timothy; and the alteration of the original plan must also have taken place before this time: but this was before it was written, for from ch. iv. 17, of that epistle, we learn that Timothy had already been sent before that epistle was written; and consequently the change which was prior to the sending away of Timothy, was also prior to the writing of the first epistle, although it is only expressly mene tioned here, in the second. Yet in the first epistle, the manner in which he does mention the journey which he then intended to take, implies his consciousness that the Corinthians knew he had entertained a different intention. He says, "Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia; for I do pass through Macedonia” (1 Cor. xvi. 5). The supplemental sentence, "For I do pass through Macedonia," imports that there had been some previous communication on the subject of the journey; and also that there had been some vacillation and indecisiveness in the apostle's plan, both of which we now perceive to have been the case.
Although we have followed this statement, only in order to obtain a connected view of the subject, it would be a censurable neglect were we to omit directing the reader's attention to the conclusive evidence to the genuineness of these Epistles and the Acts of the Apostles, which is involved in this minute and obviously undesigned congruity between them. "This is a species of congruity," says Paley, "of all others the most to be relied upon. It is not an agreement between two accounts of the same transaction, or between different statements of the same fact, for the fact