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The apostle shews the Corinthians

II. CORINTHIANS.

how ardently he loves them.

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children. 13 For what is it wherein ve were inferior to 15 And I will very gladly spend and be other churches, except it be that "I myself was spent "for 'you ; though "the more abunnot burdensome to you forgive me this wrong. dantly I love you, the less I be loved.

14 « Behold, the third time I am ready to 16 But be it so, 'I did not burden you: necome to you; and I will not be burdensome vertheless, being crafty, I caught you with to you: for 'I seek not your's, but you : 'for guile.

• 1 Cor. 1.7.- I Cor. 9. 12. ch. 11.9. ch. 11. 7.-ch. 13. 1.

• Acts 20. 33. 1 Cor. 10. 33. I Cor. 4. 14, 15.

& 1 Thess. 4. 8. Phil. 2. 17.- John 10. ll. ch. 1. 6. Col. 1. 91.

2 Tim. 2. 10.-- Gr. your souls. — ch. 6. 12, 13.- ch. 11. 9.

manifested towards you; though I had power from God to Though the more abundantly I love you] I will even act inflict punishment on the transgressors : I have in every case towards you with the most affectionate tenderness, though it forborne to do it. Is the man nothing who wrought such happen to me as it often does to loving fathers, that their miracles among you?

disobedient children love them less, in proportion as their Verse 13. For what is it wherein ye were inferior] love to them is increased. Does it not frequently happen, This is a fine, forcible, yet delicate stroke. It was your that the most disobedient child in the family is that one, on duty, and your interest, to have supported your apostle ; | which the parents' tenderness is more especially placed ? See other churches have done so : I did not require this from the parable of the prodigal son. It is in the order of God you; in this respect all other churcles are superior to you. that it should be so; else the case of every prodigal would I am the cause of your inferiority, by not giving you an op- be utterly deplorable. The shepherd feels more for the lost portunity of ministering to my necessities : forgive me the sheep than for the ninety-nine that have not gone astray. wrong I have done you.-It is the privilege of the churches If I be asked, “Should Christian parents lay up money of Christ to support the ministry of his gospel among them. I for their children?" I answer-It is the duty of every Those who do not contribute their part to the support of parent, who can, to lay up what is necessary to put every the gospel ministry, either care nothing for it, or derive no child in a condition to earn its bread. If he neglect this, good from it.

he undoubtedly sins agaiost God and nature. 6 But should Verse 14. The third time I am ready] That is, this is not a man lay up, besides this, a fortune for his children, if the third time that I am ready, have formed the resolution | he can honestly?” I answer, Yes, if there be no poor to visit you. He had formed this resolution twice before, but within his reach; no good work which he can assist; no was disappointed.—See 1 Cor. xvi. 5. and 2 Cor. i. 15, 16. heathen region on the earth to which he can contribute to He now formed it a third time, having more probability of send the gospel of Jesus ; but not otherwise. God shews, seeing them now than he had before.-See chap. xiii. 2. in the course of his Providence, that this laying up of for.

I seek noi yours, but you] I seek your salvation ; I desire tunes for children, is not right; for there is scarcely ever a not your property: others have sought your property, but case where money has been saved up to make the children not your salvation.-See chap. xi. 20.

independent, and gentlemen, in which God has not cursed For the children ought not to lay up for the parents] You the blessing. It was saved from the poor; from the ignormay have many teachers, but you have but one Fatuer; ant ; from the cause of God; and the canker of his disfor in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel : pleasure consumed this ill-saved property. see 1 Cor. iv. 15. Yeare my children, and I am your father. Verse 16. But be it so, I did not burden you] That is, You have not contributed to my support; but I have been you grant that I did not burthen you ; that I took nothing labouring for your life. I will act towards you as the lov- from you, but preached to you the gospel freely : but you ing father who works hard, and lays up what is necessary to say that, BEING CRAFTY, I caught you with guile; i. e. enable his children to get their bread.

getting from you, by means of others, what I pretended to Verse 15. And I will very gladly spend and be spent for be unwilling to receive immediately from yourselves. you] I will continue to act as a loving father, who spends Many persons suppose that the words, being crufly I caught all he has upon his children ; and expends his own strength you with guile, are the words of the apostle, and not of his and life in providing for them the things necessary for their slanderers ; and therefore have concluded that it is lawful to preservation and comfort.

use guile, deceit, &c. in order to serve a good and religious

Vindicates his own conduct and

CHAP. XII.

that of his brother apostles.

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17 · Did I make a gain of you by find you such as I would ; and that AO SE any of them whom I sent unto you? |* I shall be found unto you such as ye Anno Imp. Ne

18 "I desired Titus, and with him would not : lest there be debates, enI sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of || vyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, you? walked we not in the same spirit ? walked swellings, tumults : we not in the same steps ?

21. And lest, when I come again, my God 19 Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves will hunible me among you, and that I shall unto you? we speak before God in Christ : bewail many ' which have sinned already, and but 'we do all things, dearly beloved, for your have not repented of the uncleanness and 'foredifying

nication and lasciviousness which they have 20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not committed.

• Ch. 7.2.- ch 8.6, 16, 22.--ech. 8. 18.-_ ch.5. 12.

ch. 11.31.-_1 Cor. 10. 33.

Le Rom.9.1.

51 Cor. 4. 21. ch. 10. 2. & 19. 2, 10.-ch. 2. 1, 4.- ch. 13. 2.

* I Cor. 5.1.

purpose. This doctrine is abominable ; and the words are wail them who had sioned so abominably, and had not remost evidently those of the apostle's detractors, against pented for their crimes. If this verse be understood in this which he defends his conduct in the two following verses. way, all difficulty will vanish; otherwise, what is here said

Verse 17. Did I make a gain of you] Did any person does seem to contradict what is said, chap. vii. 6, 16, &c. I ever sent to preach the gospel to you, or help you in your as well as many things, both in the eighth and ninth Christian course, ever get any thing from you for me? || chapters. Produce the proof if you can ?

Debates, endyings] From these different expressions, Verse 18. I desired T'itus] I never sent any to you but which are too plain to need interpretation, we see what a Titus and another brother, chap. viii. 6, 18. And did Titus || distracted and divided state the church at Corinth must have make a gain of you? Did he get any thing from you, either been in. Brotherly love and charity seem to have been for himself or for me ?—You know he did not. He was ac- || driven out of this once heavenly assembly. These debates, tuated by the same spirit, and he walked in the same steps ? &c. are precisely the opposites to that lode which the apostle

Verse 19. Think ye that we excuse ourselves?] ATO20- | recommends and explains by its different properties, in the youuebz; that we make an apology for our conduct : or, 13th chapter of his first Epistle. that I have sent Titus and that brother to you, because I Mr. Wakefield translates the original thus : strifes, ri. was ashamed or afraid to come myself ?

valries, passions, provocations, slanders, whisperings, swellWe speak before God in Christ] I have not done so; 1 | ings, quarrels. speak the truth before God; He is judge whether I was ac- Verse 21. Lest, when I come again) And even after all tuated in this by any sinister or unworthy motive.

that has been done for you, I fear that, when I do

come, For your edifying.] Whatever I have done in this, or when I pay you my second visit, my God will humble me;

way, I have done for your edifying ; not for any | will permit me to be affected with deep sorrow through what emolument to myself or friends.

I may see among you; as I have been by the buffetings Verse 20. I fear, lest, when I come] I think the pre-l of the apostle of Satan, who has perverted you. Humili. sent time is used here for the past ; the apostle seems most || ation is repeatedly used for affliction; and here Tatsiywon evidently to be giving them the reason why he had not come has certainly that meaning. to them according to his former purposes ; and why he sent Have sinned already] Ipoquaproxotwy, who have sinned Titus and his companion. He was afraid to come at that before ; who were some of the first offenders; and have not time lest he should have found them perverted from the right || yet repented. way, and he be obliged to make use of his apostolical rod, Of the uncleanness, &c.] There must have been a total and punish the offenders: but, feeling towards them the heart relaxation of discipline, else such abominations could not of a tender father, he was unwilling to use the rod; and have been tolerated in the Christian church. And although sent the first Epistle to them, and the messengers above what is here spoken, could only be the case of a few; yet mentioned, being reluctant to go himself till he had satis- | the many were ill-disciplined, else these must have been cast factory evidence that their divisions were ended; and that out. On the whole, this church seems to have been a comthey had repented for, and put away, the evils that they position of excellencies and defects ; of vices and virtues ; had committed; and that he should not be obliged to be- Il and should not be quoted as a model for a Christian churcb.

any other

Observations on two remarkable

II. CORINTHIANS.

sayings of our Lord.

1. From St. Paul, we receive two remarkable sayings of fidelity to the charge of God; they excuse their commission our Lord, which are of infinite value to the welfare and sal. of sin through their scantiness of grace ; whereas the whole vation of man; which are properly parts of the gospel ; but is owing to their carelessness, and refusal to be saved in are not mentioned by any evangelist. The first is in Acts xx. God's own way: and in this way alone will God save any 35. I have shewed you the words of the Lord Jesus, how he man, because it was the only effectual way. said, Ir. Is MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE. 2. The apostle must have been brought into a blessed state Every liberal heart feels this in bestowing its bounty : and of subjection to God, when he could say, I take pleasure in every poor man, who is obliged to receive help, and whose | infirmities; that is, iu afflictions and sufferings of different independency of spirit is still whole in him, feels this too. kinds. Though this language was spoken on earth, we may To the genuine poor, it is more burthensome to receive a justly allow with one, that he learned it in HEAVEN. kindness, than it is to the generous man who gives it. The 3. St. Paul preached the gospel without being burden. second is recorded in the ninth verse of this chapter ; He

some.

In every case the labourer is worthy of his hire. said unto me, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE; FOR He who labours for the cause of God should be supported STRENGTU IS

of by the cause of God; but woe to that man who aggrandizes these two most blessed sayings, St Paul is the only evan- himself, and grows rich by the spoils of the faithful! And gelist. This last is of general application. In all states and to him especially who has made a fortune out of the pence conditions of life, God's grace is sufficient for us. If, in of the poor. In such a man's heart, the love of money must any case, we miscarry, it is because we have not sought God have its throne. As to his professed spirituality, it is noearnestly. Let no man say that he is overcome by sin, | thing; he is a whited sepulchre, and an abomination in the through want of grace; God's grace was sufficient for him, sight of the Lord. If a man will have the world, (and he does but he did not apply for it as did St. Paul; and therefore he love it, who makes a fortune by the offerings of the poor,) did not receive it. Men often lay the issue of their own in- the love of the Father is not in him.

MY

MADE

PERFECT

IN

WEAKNESS.

CHAPTER XIII. The apostle again says that this is the third time he has purposed to come and see them : and threatens that he

will, by the power of Christ, punish every incorrigible sinner, 1–4. Exhorts them to examine themselves, whether they be in the faith, 5, 6. Prays that they may do no evil, 7. And shews how ardently he wished their complete restoration to unity and purity, 8, 9. Tells them for what reason he writes to them, 10. Bids them farewell, 11. Gives them some directions, and concludes with his apostolical benediction, 12—14.

THIS is the third time I am 2 ° I told you before, and foretel
coming to you. "In the mouth you, as if I were present, the se-

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write to them a which heretofore have sinned,

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NOTES ON CHAP. XIII.

By his second coming, we are to understand his first Verse 1. This is the third time I am coming to you.] Epistle to them: and, by his being now ready to come These words are nearly the same with those chap. xii. 14. to them the third time, we are to understand this second and probably refer to the purpose which he had twice before Epistle, which he was then going to send them. These formed of seeing them. But the latter clause seenis to at- were the two witnesses, and the apostle the third, which tach a different meaning to the passage ; at least so it has been he gave to the Corinthians concerning the truth of his oFI understood by some learned men.

ministry, or the falsity of the ministry of the preteaded · Schoettgen thus interprets the whole : the first com- ) apostle. ing of the apostle to Corinth, was when he personally Calmet contends that the apostle had been twice before at visited them, and there founded the Christian church. || Corinth, and that he now purposed to go a third time; and The Corinthians are exhorted

CHAP. XIII.

to examine themselves.

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and to all other, that, if I come again,' we also are weak 5 in him, but we
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Anno Imp. Ne ronis Cæs. 4. 3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ God toward you.

. speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, 5 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the but is mighty 'in you.

faith ; prove your own selves. Know ye not 4 * For though he was crucified through weak- your own selves, 'how that Jesus Christ is in ness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For you, except ye be kreprobates ?

• Ch. 1.23.- Matt. 10. 20. 1 Cor. 5. 4. ch. 2. 10.-11 Cor. 9. 2.

d Phil. 2. 7, 8. 1 Pet. 3. 18.

e Rom. 6. 4,- See ch. 10. 3, 4.- - Or, with him.-- 1 Cor. 11. 28.

i Rom. 8. 10. Gal. 4. 19. I Cor. 9. 27.

that these visits were the two or three witnesses to which the the flesh, that the spirit might be saved in the day of the apostle appeals.

Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. iv. 21. v. 5. What he says he told Dr. Lightfoot thinks that the two or three witnesses were them before, probably relates to 1 Cor. iv. 21. Shall I come Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, sent to assure them of with crud, &c. his coming. But this opinion cannot be supported.

Verse 3. Since

ye

seek a proof of Christ] The converWith respect to the two or three witnesses establishing the sion of the Corinthians was to themselves a solid proof that subject Dr. Whitby says, “ Though these words seem to be Christ spoke by the apostle; and therefore he could, with cited from Deut. xix. 15. rather than from Matt. xviii. 16. great propriety, say that this power of Christ, far from being it being rare to find this apostle citing any thing from the weak, was mighty among them. New Testament, without calling it an ordinance of the Verse 4. For though he was crueified through weakness] Lord; yet it is probable that he here alludes to the practice It is true Christ was crucified, and his crucifixion appeared there prescribed, for the reclaiming of offenders. And then to be the effect of his weakness ; yet even this was not so: his first Epistle being written with this introduction, Paul he gave up his life ; none could take it away from him; an apostle, and Sosthenes ; his second thus, Paul and Ti- and, in his last struggle, had he even been deficient in motheus, may pass for two or three witnesses: and his pre- power, he could have had more than twelve legions of sence the third time in person, to exercise his censures on angels to support him against the high-priest's mob, Matt. those offenders, before the body of the church, may bear a xxvi. 53. but how then could the Scripture be fulfilled ? fair resemblance to our Lord's prescription in the above And had he not died, how.could the human race have been case, If thy brother offend, &c.”-So far Whitby. See my saved ? Notes on Matt. xviii. 16.

Yet he liveth by the power of God.] Though he appeared Verse 2. I told you before, &c.] As Calmet maintains to be crucified through his own weakness, yet he now liveth that Paul had alrcady been trice at Corinth, it is well to by the power of God; exerting an almighty energy by which hear his reasons : “ St. Paul came to Corinth the latter end all things are subject to him. of the year of our Lord 52. and remained there eighteen We also are weak in him] Because we are on Christ's months, Acts xviii. 1, &c. He came there a second time inside, we appear to you as wcak as he did to the Jews; but, the year 55, but staid only a short time, as he had to re- it is not so, for we live with him ; under the same influence, turn speedily to Ephesus, 1 Cor. xvi. 7. hence it is that and partaking of the same life; manifesting, by our preaching St. Luke makes no mention of this second journey in the and miracles, the power of God towards you. While I do Acts. Finally, he determined to visit them a third time;' not use the rod, I appear to you wcak; I will use it, and as, in effect, he did, about the year 57. Of his second then you shall find me to be strong. voyage to Corinth, which is not mentioned in the Acts, he Verse 5. Ecamine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith] speaks expressly in this verse.”

EQUTOUS TEISAZEtɛ try yourselves, pierce your hearts; bore I do not see sufficient evidence to induce me to subscribe to yourselves throughout; try yourselves by what I have this opinion of Calmet. I believe the apostle had been but written, and see whether ye retain the true faith of the once before at Corinth; and this matter is set in a clear point | gospel. of view by Dr. Paley.--See the Introduction, sect. xi. Prove your orën selves.] Eaurous Coxipa ?ETE, put your.

I will not spare] I will inflict the proper punishment on selves to the test; as you would try gold or silver, suspected every incorrigible offender. It does appear from all the of adulteration. No more take that for gospel which is apostle's threatenings, that he was possessed of a miraculous | not so, than you would take adulterated money for sterling power, by which he could inflict punishment on offenders; i coin. This is a metaphor taken from testing, or assaying that he could deliver the body to Satan for the destruction of adulterate metals.

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The apostle prays for

II. CORINTHIANS.

the Corinthian church.

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6 But I trust that ye shall know honest, though we be as reproA.U. C. 8io. that we are not reprobates.

bates. Anno Imp.Ne

7 Now I pray to God that ye 8 For we can do nothing against ronis Cæs. 4. do no evil; not that we should appear ap- the truth, but for the truth. proved, but that ye should do that which is 9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and

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Know ye not your own selves) Are ye not full of wisdom | not approved of God; because your reformation will prevent and understanding and is it not as easy to find out a spurious the exercise of this power, which would otherwise have given faith, as it is to detect a base coin ? There is an assay and an awful proof that we are approved of God. touch-stone for both. If base metal be mixed with the pure, Verse 8. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for you can readily detect it: and as easily may you know that the truth.] As we are the apostles of God, we cannot bring you are in the faith, as you can know that base metal is to you any false doctrine: and, as we profess to be under the mixed with the pure. Does Jesus Christ dwell in you? | influence of God's Spirit, we cannot do any thing that is opYou have his Spirit; his power; his mind; if ye be Chris- posed to that truth, or which might be prejudicial to it. On tians. And the Spirit of Christ bears witness with your the contrary, what we say and do, is for that truth, to prospirit, that ye are the children of God. And this is the pagate and establish it. The gospel of Jesus is truth; and case except ye be reprobutes; adoxu.O., base counterfeit coin; my testimony concerning it is truth also. In my coming, mongrel Christians. This metaphor holds excellently here. and in my rod, you have nothing to fear, if ye retain, and They had a Judaizing Christian among them; such, presump- abide in this truth. tively, was the false apostle : they had received his judaico- Verse 9. For we are glad, when we are weak] It will christian doctrine, and were what the prophet said of some give me indescribable pleasure that I should still appear to be of the Israelites in his time; reprobate silver, adulterated poor, despicable, and destitute of this extraordinary power, coin, shall men call them, Jer. vi. 30. And thus, when with which God has clothed me; so that you be strong in all they were brought to the test, they were found reprobate; the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. that is, adulterated with this mixture of bad doctrine. There And this also we wish, even your perfection.] We cannot is no other kind of reprobation mentioned here than that be satisfied that persons, with such eminent endowments, and which refers to the trial and rejection of adulterated coin: 1 who have once received the truth as it is in Jesus, should be and, by way of metaphor, to the detection of false Chris. deficient in any of the graces that constitute the mind of tianity. This reprobation came of the people themselves : Christ; such as brotherly love, charity, harmony, unity and they, not God, adulterated the pure metal. Man pollutes order. I have given the above paraphrase to this verse, behimself; then God reprobates the polluted.

cause of the last term xatapTIOly, which we render perfection. Verse 6. Ye shall know that we are not reprobates.] Ye Kataprlois, from xata intensive, and apritw to fit or adapt, have had, and ye shall have, the fullest proof that I have signifies the reducing of a dislocated limb to its proper place; preached the true faith among you; and that God has con- and hence, as Beza says on this passage,

66 The apostle's firmed it by his testimony : and thus, that I am proved; and meaning is, that whereas the members of the church were all, manifested to be what I ought to be ; and shewn to be ap- as it were dislocated, and out of joint, they should be joined proved of God.

together in love; and they should endeavour to make perfect Verse 7. I pray to God that ye do no evil] That ye

do what was amiss among them, either in faith or morals.” not persist in that course which will oblige me to use the It is a metaphor also taken from a building; the several power of Christ, with which I am endued, to punish you. stones and timbers being all put in their proper places and Some apply this prayer to the apostle himself: Now, I pray situations, so that the whole building might be complete, and to God that I may do you no evil; that I may not be obliged be a proper habitation for the owner.

The same figure, to use my apostolic rod, and inflict evil upon you.

though not in the same terms, the apostle uses, Eph. ü. Not that we should appear approved] We do not wish to 20-22. give this proof that we are approved of God, by inflicting The perfection or rejointing which the apostle wishes, is this punishment on the transgressors.

that which he refers to the state of the church ia its But that ye should do that which is honest] That ye may fellowship, unity, order, &c. And perfection in the soul, is do that which is right and seemly, to xanov; though we the same in reference to it; as perfection in the church is te should be, in consequence of that, as reprobates, as persons | its order and unity. The perfection or rejointing of the sect

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