« ZurückWeiter »
so great, that he hurried away at once into Macedonia as hoping there to meet Titus.
At Philippi (no other place so probable) Titus happily, 2C. vii. 6., came to him : and in that city, we may reasonably suppose, that Paul, having with successful expedition arrived there, overtook Timothy also, on that favourite spot of their common ministry, before the errand on which he was there engaged had allowed him to set out for Corinth.
(Such is the fuller account promised, H, P. 40, 1.
s. 3. Thus far principally in respect of Timothy. The share which Titus had in this series of transactions next requires, with somewhat more particularity, to be laid before the reader.
Paul's original intention had once been, as he intimates, 2 C. i. 15, 16., to visit Corinth in his way (the second time) to Macedonia, and even to take Corinth in his way back again toward Judea. But from the disorderly state of the Corinthian converts at that period, and the necessity, if he had then visited the church, of exercising some painful severities, H. P. 64., he changed his purpose, but without assigning the motive to them at the time; and chose rather to try what good effect “ a letter of authoritative objurgation” might first have
. To ascertain the result of that experiment, it should appear, that soon after the letter, 1 Cor., from Ephesus was dispatched, he sent Titus to Corinth direct (the mission afterwards alluded to, 2 C. xii. 17, 18.) with instructions, after his errand of visitation there was accomplished, to pass through Macedonia and meet him at Troas.
When Paul on his way to Macedonia, A. xx. 1., as we have seen, arrived at Troas, much sooner than he
had originally designed, in consequence of that uproar at Ephesus; though a door was opened to him there, 2 C. ii. 12, 13., to preach the gospel of Christ, yet his anxiety to see Titus, who did not arrive according to his wishes, was such, that he departed somewhat hastily from Troas, in the hope to meet Titus in Macedonia. And there, to his great joy, at Philippi, most probably, Titus actually came to him.
When from his confidential minister Paul had now learned, that the epistle, 1 C., to the Corinthians, had proved fully effective to the salutary end proposed by it, and had received satisfactory intelligence of their fervent mind towards him, 2 C. vii. 7...9., their sorrow, and their penitence, then, but not before, in his second epistle (written soon after from Philippi, H. P. 166., and sent by Titus as a welcome messenger, 2 C. viii. 6. 16, 17.) he discloses the very deep and kind consideration, upon which he had delayed to visit Corinth the second time as he had originally promised : and he thus clears himself from the appearance of vacillation and indecisiveness and even timidity under which he had been content for a while to labour, and to be so much misrepresented, 1 C. iv. 18, 19.
It is important here to remark, that Titus when first sent by Paul from Ephesus to Corinth, had acted there, 2 C. xii. 17, 18., with the same generous and disinterested feeling as the apostle himself had done before: and the readiness which he showed to go from Philippi, on a second mission as the delegate of Paul to the Corinthians, 2 C. viii. 6., justifies the idea, that a truely Christian spirit of affection had filled the hearts alike of him and of them.
And seeing it is quite clear, that Titus did not bear Paul company when he at a later period set off from Corinth, A. xx. 3, 4., we must naturally conclude, that
in that city he continued as the resident head of the church for several
years. No opportunity arises in the course of the Acts afterwards, in which Titus could be supposed to bear a part : and we take our leave of him here, till another occasion introduce him on a new scene of high interest, as the companion of Paul from Rome to Crete, and as invested by Paul with episcopal authority over the churches in that island.
S. 4. That benevolent contribution of the Gentiles, which St. Paul ultimately carried up, for the relief of the poorer Christians at Jerusalem, would not only answer its own immediate object; but, inasmuch as it showed the blessed influence of the gospel spirit in the new converts, must have been eminently efficacious also in abating Jewish prejudices, and in conciliating Jewish hearts towards their Gentile brethren.
The progress of this contribution itself of Christian liberality may be traced with much interest by the aid of the Horæ Paulinæ, pp. 12, 13. 19. 54., in 1. C. xvi. 1...4. 2 C. viii. 1...4., ix. 1, 2. Rom. xv. 25, 6. A. xxiv. 17.
The persons sent down from Philippi to Corinth on that business of charity, 2 C. viii. 16... 24., were three ; of whom Titus was the principal. Who were the other two ? Perhaps to be found among the seven afterwards companions of Paul, enumerated in A. xx. 4. It is an easier task to point out who they were not.
Luke is fairly considered to have staid behind at Philippi, when Paul went over those parts, A. xx. 2. His “praise in the gospel,” as the writer of that gospel so named, was yet to come : and those words, 2 C. vüi. 18., more likely designate some such character as that of Gaius of Derbe. Vide Rom. xvi. 23. and his name in the Index.
BARNABAS, whom Chrysostom, and after him Calvin, assume as likely to have been one of the parties, had been now for some time in a state of separation from Paul, ever since they parted, A. xv. 39.
And as to Silas, who has also been conjectured, it is highly probable, vide Index in his name, that he had very naturally remained in Jerusalem, A. xviii. 22., at the close of the apostle's second great progress.
No other account can be given of him as connected with this period of apostolic history.
s. 5. The apostle's retrospect and survey of his
labours and sufferings.
2 Cor. vi. 4...10.
4. In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5. In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6. By pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
7. By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8. By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report : as deceivers, and yet true;
9. As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live ; as chastened, and not killed
10. As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing ; as poor, yet making many rich ; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
2 Cor. xi. 21...28. 21. I speak as concerning reproach, as though we
had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
22. Are they Hebrews ? So am I. Are they Israelites ? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham ? So am I.
23. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more ; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep ;
26. In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren ;
27. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
The splendid enumeration of particulars, unparalleled as from their nature they must ever be, in both these passages, must be ranked as the very highest examples of the sublime and the pathetic. And since the apostle wrote thus to the Corinthians from Philippi, just on the eve of carrying the gospel for the first time into the north-west side of Greece, in thus recording the summary of his past career, he may seem to have marked, intentionally so, a memorable era in the whole of his apostolical life.