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4 For, out of much affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote unto you with many tears; not that you should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.
5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved m?, but in part; that I may not overcharge you all.
6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment which w is inflicted of many. 7 So that, contrariwise, ye ought rather to forgive hin, and comfort him; lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with over-much sorrow. 8 Wherefore, I beseech you, that ye would confirm yo ir love towards him.
myself; on purpose that, when I came, I might not have sorrow from those, from whom I ought to receive comfort: having this belief and confidence in you all, that you, all of you, make my joy and satisfaction so much. your own, that you would remove all cause of disturbanc› before I came. 4 For I writ unto you with great sadness of heart and many tears; not with intention to grieve you, but that you might know the overflow of tenderness and affection which I have 5 for you. But if the fornicator has been the cause of grief, I do not say, he has been so to me, but in some degree to you 6 all; that I may not lay a load on him. The correction he hath received from the majority of you is sufficient in the So that, on the contrary, it is fit rather that you forgive and comfort him, lest he should be swallowed up by an ex8 cess of sorrow. Wherefore, I beseech you to confirm your
punish that person; whom if he, St Paul, had come himself, before it was done, he must have come, as he calls it, with a rod, and have himself chastised but now, that he knows that the Corinthians bad punished him, in compliance to his letter; and he had this trial of their obedience; he is so far from continuing the severity, that he writes to then to forgive him, and take him again into their affection.
5h St. Paul being satisfied with the Corinthians, for their ready compliance with his orders, in his former letter, to punish the fornicator, intercedes to have him restored; and, to that end, lessens his fault, and declares, however he might have caused grief to the Corinthians, yet he had caused none to
TeuvavTIC" on the contrary," here, has nothing to refer to but "overcharge," in the 5th verse, which makes that belong to the fornicator, as I have explained it.
Ο τοιουτός, "such an one." meaning the fornicator. It is observable how tenderly St. Paul deals with the Corinthians, in this epistle; for though he treats of the fornicator, from the 5th to the 10th verse inclusively; yet he never mentions him under that, or any other disobliging title, but in the soft and inoffensive terms, "of any one," or "such an one." And, that, possibly, may be the reason why he says, un Cape, indefinitely, without naming the person it relates to.
9 For to this end, al o, did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for, if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it, in the person of Christ.
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
12 Futhermore, when I came to Troas, to preach Christ's Gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,
13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus, my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.
14 Now thanks be un'o God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.
9 love to him, which I doubt not of. For this, also, was one end of my writing to you, viz. To have a trial of you, and to know whether you are ready to obey me in all things. 10 To whom you forgive any thing, I also forgive. For if I have
forgiven any thing, I have forgiven it to him for your sakes, 11 by the authority, and in the name of Christ; That we may not be over-reached by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his
12 Furthermore, being arrived at Troas, because Titus, whom I expected from orinth, with news of you, was not come, I was very uneasy there; insomuch that I made not use of the opportunity, whi h was put into my hands by the Lord, of 13 preaching the Gospel of Christ, for which I came thither. I
hastily left those of Troas, and departed thence to Macedonia. 14 But thanks be to God, in that he always makes me triumph every where m, through Christ, who gives me success in preaching the G spel, and spreads the knowledge of Christ by For my m nistry, and labour in the Gospel, is a service, or sweet-smelling sacrifice to God, through Christ, both in
12 How uneasy he was, and upon what account, see ch. vii. 5-16. not barely for Titus's bsence, but for want of the news he brought with him; ch. vii. 7.
14 m "Who makes me triumph every where," i. e. In the success of my preaching, in my journey to Macedonia; and also in my victory, at the same time, at Corinth, over the f lse apostles, my opposers, that had raised a faction against me amongst you. This, I think, is St. Paul's meaning, and the reason of his using the word triumph, which implies contest and victory, though he places that word so, as modestly to cover it.
16 To the one, we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other, the 17 savour of life unto life; and who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, speak we in Christ.
16 regard of those that are saved, and those that perish. To the one my preaching is of ill savour, unacceptable and offensive, by their rejecting whereof they drew death on themselves; and to the other, being as a sweet savour, acceptable, they thereby receive eternal life. And who is sufficient for these things"? And yet, as I said, my service in the Gospel is well-pleasing to 17 God. For I am not, as several are, who are hucksters of the word of God, preaching it for gain; but I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in sincerity. I speak as from God himself, and I deliver it, as in the presence of God.
16 Vid. ch. iii. 5, 6.
17. This, I think, may be understood of the false apostle.
SECTION II. No. 3.
CHAPTER III. 1.-VII. 16.
His speaking well of himself, (as he did sometimes in his first epistle and with much more freedom in this, which, as it seems, had been objected to him, amongst the Corinthians) his plainness of speech, and his sincerity in preaching the Gospel, are the things which he chiefly justifies, in this section, many ways. We shall observe his arguments, as they come in the order of St. Paul's discourse, in which are mingled, with great insinuation, many expressions of an overflowing kindness to the Corinthians, not without some exhortations to them.
1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2 Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written, not with ink, but with the spirit of the living 4 God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. such trust have we, through Christ, to God-ward:
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing, as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
1 Do I begin again to commend myself; or need I, as 2 some, commendatory letters to or from yon? You are
my commendatory epistle, written in my heart, known and 3 read by all men. I need no other commendatory letter, but that you being manifested to be the commendatory epistle of Christ, written on my behalf; not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not on tables of stone, but of the heart, whereof I was the amanuensis; i. e. your conversion 4 was the effect of my ministry. And this so great confidence 5 have I, through Christ, in God. Not as if I were sufficient of myself to reckon upon any thing, as of myself; but my
1 a This is a plain indication, that he had been blamed, amongst them, for com mending himself.
Seems to intimate, that their false apostle had got himself recommended to them by letters, and so had introduced himself into that church.
3 The sense of St. Paul, in this 3d verse, is p'ainly this that he needed no letters of commendation to them; but that their conversion, and the Gospel, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of God, in the table of their hearts, and not in tables of stone, by his ministry, was as clear an evidence and testimony to them, of his mission from Christ, as the law, writ in tables of stone, was an evidence of Moses's mission; so that he, St. Paul, needed no other recommendation: this is what is to be underst od by this verse, unless we will make the tables of stone" to have no signification here. But to say, as he does, that the Corinthians, being writ upon, in their hearts, not with ink, but with the Spirit of God, by the hand oft. I aul, was hrist's commendatory letter of him, being a pretty bold expression, liable to the exception of the captious part of the Corinthians; he, to obviate all imputation of vanity, or vainglory, herein immediately subjoins what follows in the next verse.
4 d As if he had said, “ But mistake me not as if I boasted of myself: this so great boasting, that I use, is only my confidence in God, through Christ: for it was God, that made me a minister of the Gospel, that bestowed on me the ability for it; and whatever I perform in it is wholly from him."'
5 Пinois, "trust," ver. 4, a milder term for "b. asting," for so St. Paul uses it, chap. x. 7, compared with ver. 8, where also arba ver. 7, is used, as here, for counting upon one's self; St. Paul also uses ac, for "thou boastest," Rom. ii. 19, which will appear, if compared with ver. 17; or if x
6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which glory was to be done away;
8 How shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious?
sufficiency, my ability, to perform any thing, is wholly from 6 God: who has fitted and enabled me to be a minister of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the 7 letter kills, but the spirit gives life. But, if the ministry of the law written in stone, which condemns to death, were so glorious to Moses, that his face shone so, that the children of Israel could not steadily behold the brightness of it, which was 8 but temporary, and was quickly to vanish ; How can it "be
bas shall rather be thought to signify here to discover by reasoning, then the apostle's sense will run thus: "Not as if I were sufficient of myself, by the strength of my own natural parts to attain the nowledge of the Gospel truths, that I preach; but my ability herein is all from God." But, in whate er sense aab is here taken, it is certain which is translated any thing " must be limited to the subject in hand, viz. the Gosp 1 that he pre ched to them.
6 1Ου γραμματος αλλά πνεύματος, "not of the letter, but of the spirit" Py expressing himself, as he does here, St. Paul may be understood to intimate, that the New Testament, or covenant," was also, though obscurely, held forth in the law For he says, he was constituted a minister, varos. of the spir
or spiritual meaning of the law, which was Christ, (as he tells us hi..self, ver. 17) and giveth life, whilst the letter killeth. But both letter and spirit must be understood of the same thing, viz. the letter of the law, and the spirit of the law." And, in fact, we find St. Paul truly a minister of the spirit of the law; especially in his epist e to the Hebrews, where he shows what a spiritual sense ran through the Mosaical institution and writings.
"The letter kills,', i. e. pronouncing death, without any way of remission, on all transgressors, leaves them under an irrevocable sentence of dea h. But the Spirit, i. e. Christ, ver. 17, who is a quickening Spirit, 1 Cor. xv. 45, giv
17h Kalapyouμevny, "done away," is applied here to the shining of Moses's face, and to the law, ver. 11, and 13. In all which places it is used in the present tense, and has the significat on of an adjective, standing for temporary, or of a duration whose end was determined; and is opposed to re μerovi, “that which remaineth," i. e. that which is lasting, and hath no predetermined end set to it, as ver. 11, where the Gospel dispensation is called To peror, "that which remaineth." This may help us to understand aro degus sis degav, ver. 18, "from glory to glory," which is manifestly opposed to den TAPYCUMBIH, "the glory done away," of this verse; and so plainly signifies a continued, lasting glory of the ministers of the Gospel; which, as he tells us there, consisted in