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people.' Acts, ch. xiii. v. 30 and 31. Not: 1 Ep. Cor. withstanding all this; we here find St. Paul round, ly asserting that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, and boldly adding, that the

greater part of them were then alive. This, it may be thought, was risquing a great deal; but Paul undoubtedly knew the distance between Corinth and Jerusalem : that more than twenty years had elapsed since the affair happened; and in course, the difficulty of examining witnesses. But did he recollect that a good cause may be ruined by endeavouring to prove too much? And where slept his boasted spirit of prophecy ? Could he not foresee that these accounts would, in after times, be compared ? After times quoth orthodoxy, the spirit of these after times is much too bold in questioning such mysteries. This deters me not from asking-Who St. Paul means by the twelve to whoin Jefus appeared ? Was Judas with the eleven? And was he so favoured ? But, notwithstanding the different inanner in which his death is related by the evangelists, I apprehend he was really dead before the resurrection of his deserted master; and certain it is, that Matthias was not elected till after the ascension. The last, but I suppose not intended the least proof adduced by St. Paul, is himself— And last of all he was

seen of me also.' To this he adds some humiliating circumstances; but left they should make too deep an impression, he immediately follows

1 Ep. Cor. it up, with an assertion that his own labours in

the gospel were more abundant than all the apostles put together. We do not read that any of them were favoured by an interview with their · Mafter after his ascension, nor does Paul tell us plainly when or where he was so favoured. Was it in his way to Damascus, when, as he told Agrippa—' At mid-day O king, I saw in the way "a light from Heaven, above the brightness of the

fun, shining round about me, &c.' Or was it at some private conference, in which he was, as he told the Galatians, instructed by Christ himself? Or was it, about eight years after, when he was caught up to the third heaven, where he heard unspeakable words? of which we shall have oco casion to speak hereafter. This 15th chap. of his ist Epistle to the Corinthians gave rise, I apprehend, to the expectancy of a Millenium which prevailed among the Christians several ages- For as in • Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be • made alive. But every man in his own order ; • Christ the first fruits, afterward they that are • Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end,

when he shall have delivered up the kingdom ! to God even to the Father, when he shall have

put down all rule, and all authority, and power. ** For he must reign 'till he put all enemies under

s his feet. The last eneiny that shall be destroyed ' is death. For he hath put all things under his feet : but when he faith all things are put under

* hiin, it is manifest that he is excepted which i. Ep. Cor.

did put all things under him. And when all s things shall be subdued unto him, then shall

the Son also himself be subject unto him that
put all things under him, that God may be all

in all.' Whether these were sufficient grounds for that opinion, supposing it a real prophecy, I know not; and having no such supposition, I shall not make the enquiry. This passage however plainly evinces 'St. Paul's opinion of God's

supremacy over Christ in a very clear and explicit · manner : why he altered this opinion, or at least

why he taught a different doctrine afterwards in
defiance of his own curse, I know not: certain
however it is that he did so. There is a pom-
posity in the language of this chapter, beyond,
every other part of Paul's works; that were the
sense answerable, I should not ascribe it to him ;
as it is, I am inclined to believe it has been em-
bellished by the poetic pen of St. Luke; who
before this had done as much for Mary the mo-
ther of Jesus;, and for Siineon the father of the
Baptist John. ' In verses 51 and 52, Paul says-
· Behold I lhew you a mystery; we shall not all
• fleep, but we shall all be changed; in a mo-
* ment; in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
• trump: (for the trumpet shall sound) and the

dead shall be raised incorruptible; and we mall be changed? Is it not a little extraordinary that the saint could shew them a mystery, and yet be

fo.

Nein

1 Ep. Cor. so wretchedly ignorant and mistaken as to the

part he was to act in it himself? It is, by these two verses, plain enough, that he expected to be changed without being subjected to corruption : but the Epistle which, before this, he had writ. ten to the Thessalonians, puts this expectancy beyond all doubt: (ch. iv. v. 15, 16, and 17.) viz.__ For this we say unto you by the word of

the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto

the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent "them which are asleep. For the Lord himself 6 shall descend from Heaven with a shout; with " the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump 6 of God: and the dead in Chrift shall rise firkt. ' Then we which are alive, and remain, shall be

caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet < the Lord in the air ; and so shall we ever be with • the Lord.' After this, what dependance have we upon Paul's doctrine, even where he tells us

This we say unto you by the word of the O Lord?' Orthodoxy, unable to help the faint out of this pit of corruption ; will endeavour to collect a mist over it; they will tell us, that the faint spoke not this as by the spirit of prophecy, but as a repetition only of his Lord's declarations *. But this is planting a labyrinth around it; into which all may enter, few return. From this 15th chapter great part of our burial service

we

Vide page 524

is taken. The exclamation in the 55th verse- 1 Ep. Cor.

O death, where is thy fting! O grave, where ‘is thy victory!' is founded, commentators say, upon the rhapsody of Hofea, ch. xiii. v. 14. Why is not the 4th verse of the said rhapsodical chapter quoted? Or as it is more plainly expressed by the noble and poetic prophet Isaiah, ch. xliii. v. 10 and 11- Before me there was no

God formed, neither shall there be after me. "I; even I, the Lord : and beside me, there is ! no Saviour. This indeed would not have suited Paul's purpose quite so well as some other quotations he has made. In chap. xvi. Paul orders the Corinthians to make immediate collections for the saints of Jerusalem ; and mentions some precautions, which intiinate a fear that imputations of embezzlement might be levelled at him; how far the event warranted the suspicion, is surmised page 265. He concludes this First Epistle with- If any man love not the Lord Jesus 6 Chrift; let him be Anathema, Maran-atha, &c. This, with many similar instances already recited, plainly thews, that the Christian faint was still governed by the Jewish spirit.

We will now examine his Second Epistle to 2 Ep. Cor's the Corinthians. In chap. ii. he nibbles at the power of forgiving fins : is cautious, and at length doth it in the person of Christ; leít Sa• tan should get an advantage.' In chap. iii. he covertly draws a comparison between Mofes and

· himself,

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