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Corinthians (Epistles to the ). First Epistle: When St. Paul was at Ephesus, about A.D. 57, prosecuting his third Apostolic journey, he heard that an effort was being made by some among the Corinthian converts to divide the seamless robe of Christ by creating a dissentient element within the Catholic body on the pretense of following favorite preachers. In order to show the magnitude of this evil he explains the doctrine of the unity of the Church by the familiar illustration of the consummate harmony existing between the members of the human body. The antidote he offers against this tendency toward division is charity, which he eulogizes in brilliant language. Turning, then, to the luxurious habits of these Corinthians, the Apostle pronounces the sentence of excommunication on one who was living publicly in incest. This brought him to discuss the relative merits of virginity and matrimony in answer to a request forwarded to him by this people. He extols the excellence of marriage, but declares it to be inferior to the state of virginity. Lastly, to spur the Corinthians to their duty in these particulars, the Apostle sets forth the cheering doctrine of the resurrection of the body. Second Epistle: Toward the end of this same year, A.D. 57, St. Paul sent Titus to Corinth, in order to ascertain on the spot the effect produced by the First Epistle to the Corinthians, and thence to come on direct to Troas. Titus announced that the First Epistle to the Corinthians wrought a most marked change for the better on that people. This, he said, was the more consoling, because certain jealous intruders did all they could to poison the mind of the Corinthian converts generally against the Epistle. To expose their fraud and malice the Second Epistle to the Corinthians was written, which opens with sentiments of the tenderest charity toward the erring people. Then he turns to his labors in no spirit of vain boasting, but to defend the honor of Jesus Christ whose Apostle he thus fearlessly asserted himself to be. The false teachers who had been calumniating him, he denounced with terrible severity. And he concludes by expressing a strong hope of seeing them very soon.