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mons, and will have no part in stimulating Christians up to their ordinary duty of alms-giving. In ver. 22 there should probably be a full stop at 'Anathema.' Maranatha, The Lord cometh,' appears to have been a sort of Christian watchword, having no connection with the word before. Anathema, a curse, is Greek: Maranatha is Hebrew (Aramaic). It would be best to keep the former word in its Greek form, as being more generally understood by us, and to render the latter by, 'The Lord cometh.'
THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE
T. PAUL had left Ephesus and crossed into
Europe. His departure appears to have been hastened by the tumult of which we read in Acts xix., for immediately after it (xx. 1) we find him passing over into Macedonia. He had heard of the effect produced on the Corinthians by his first Epistle (ch. ii. 3-iii. 8); and was now on his way to them (ch. vii. 14-xiii. 1). He wrote from Macedonia (ch. viii. 1, ix. 2). He had been there some little time, sufficient to have ascertained the mind of the Macedonian churches, and to have gathered from them their contributions for the poor brethren at Jerusalem.
The news of the effect of his former Epistle had been anxiously looked for by him, and he had sent
Titus probably for the purpose of ascertaining it. At Troas, on his way from Ephesus, he had expected to meet Titus (ch. 11. 13), and not finding him there, he crossed into Macedonia, where the meeting took place, and the expected tidings were announced to him. The general reception given to his letter had been favourable, but all had not submitted themselves quietly to it.* The well disposed had been humbled by his reproofs, but his adversaries had been more embittered than ever. 'It was his desire now both to express to them the comfort which the news of their submission had brought to him, and also to defend his apostolic authority and personal character against the impugners of both.
It was under these circumstances, and with these objects, that he wrote this Epistle: and with a view of breaking the severity which he was apprehensive of being compelled to employ against the rebellious (see ch. xiii. 10) by, if possible, winning them over before his arrival.
Hardly any of the Epistles is so various in character and style, and so difficult to enter into and ap
* Much of this which immediately follows is taken, with some slight alterations, from the Introduction to my "New Testament for English Readers.'
preciate as this:-'consolation and rebuke, gentleness and severity, earnestness and irony; succeed one another, at very short intervals, and without notice.' Meyer remarks: The excitement and interchange of the affections, and probably also the haste under which Paul wrote this Epistle, certainly render the expressions often obscure and the constructions difficult admiration of the great oratorical delicacy, art, and power with which this outpouring of Paul's spirit, especially interesting as a self-defensive apology, flows and streams onward, till at length in the sequel its billows completely overflow the opposition of the adversaries.' Erasmus strikingly says, 'Learned men bestow much toil in explaining the designs of poets and rhetoricians: but in this rhetorician much more toil is required to apprehend what he is about, whither he tends, what it is that he forbids: so full of tortuosities is he, if I may say it without blame. Such is his versatility, that you would hardly think one and the same man was speaking. At one time he wells up gently like some limpid spring; and by-and-by he thunders down like a torrent with a mighty crash, carrying everything with him by the way: now he flows
but serve only to exalt our
placidly and smoothly, now spreads out far and wide, as if expanded into a lake. Then again in places he disappears and suddenly reappears in some different place, and with wonderful meanders washes now one bank, now the other, and sometimes digressing to a distance, by a backward winding returns upon himself.'
I may add, that of all the considerable epistles in the New Testament, this at first sight, and on our ordinary impression, contains the least matter of great and universal interest to the Christian Church. But first sight, and our ordinary impression, give way upon more mature examination. We shall attempt to show this as we proceed in our summary of the contents. We shall find that even exclusive of the very important passages which here and there meet us, full of weighty revelations and of comfort for all ages of the Church,-in the midst of the personal portions we have continually precious texts of worldwide import occurring.
The Epistle opens with the customary greeting, the Apostle associating with himself Timothy, as he had done Sosthenes in the former letter. This mention of Timothy was opportune here, as we learn from I Cor. iv. 17, that he had been sent to