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God, in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. 20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults,
21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many, which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness, which they have committed.
tioning my sending of Titus to you, think that I apologize for my not coming myself: I speak as in the presence of God, and as a Christian, there is no such thing: in all my whole carriage towards you, beloved, all that has been done, has been done only for your edification. No, there is no need of 20 an apology for my not coming to you sooner: for I fear, when I do come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that you will find me such as you would not: I am afraid that among you there are disputes, envyings, animosities, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings of mind, disturbances: 21 And that my God, when I come to you again, will humble me amongst you, and I shall bewail many who have formerly sinned, and have not yet repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lasciviousness, whereof they are guilty.
third time I am coming to you," chap. xiii. 1, must be looked on as an inci dent discourse, that fell in occasionally, though tending to the same purpose with the rest; a way of writing very usual with our apostle, and with other writers, who abound in quickness and variety of thoughts, as he did. Such men are often, by new matter rising in their way, put by from what they were going, and had begun to say; which, therefore, they are fain to take up again, and continue at a distance; which St. Paul does here, after the interposition of eight verses. Other instances of the like kind may be found in other places of St. Paul's writings.
SECTION IV. NO. 9.
CHAPTER XIII. 1-10.
He reassumes what he was going to say, chap. xii. 14, and tells them how he intends to deal with them when he comes to them; and assures them, that, however they question it, he shall be able, by miracles, to give proof of his authority and commission from Christ.
1 This is the third time I am coming to you: in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
2 I told you before, and foretel you, as if I were present the second time; and being absent now I write to them, which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:
3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
1 This is now the third time I am coming to you; and when I come, I shall not spare you, having proceeded, according to our Saviour's rule, and endeavoured by fair means first 2 to reclaim you, before I come to the last extremity. And of this my former epistle, wherein I applied myself to you, and this, wherein I now, as if I were present with you, foretel those, who have formerly sinned, and all the rest, to whom, being new absent, I write, that when I come I will not spare you. I say, these two letters are my witnesses, according to our Saviour's rule, which says, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be establish3 ed." Since you demand a proof of my mission, and of what
2" In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” These words seem to be quoted from the law of our Saviour, Matt. xviii. 16, and not from the law of Moses in Deuteronomy; not only because the words are the same with those in St. Matthew, but from the likeness of the case. In Deuteronomy, the rule given concerns only judicial trials; in St. Matthew, it is a rule given for the management or persuasion, used for the reclaiming an offender, by fair means, before coming to the utmost extremity, which is the case of St. Paul here: in Deuteronomy the judge was to hear the witnesses, Deut. xvii. 6, and xix. 15. In St. Matthew, the party was to hear the wit
4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God: for we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him, by the power of God toward you.
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your ownselves:
I deliver, that it is dictated by Christ speaking in me, who must be acknowledged not to be weak to you-ward, but has 4 given sufficient marks of his power amongst you. For
though his crucifixion and death were with appearance or weakness; yet he liveth with the manifestation of the power 5 of God, appearing in my punishing you. You examine me, whether I can, by any miraculous operation, give a proof, that
nesses, Matt. xviii. 17, which was also the case of St. Paul here; the witnesses, which he means that he made use of to persuade them, being his two epistles. That, by witnesses, he means his two epistles, is plain from his way of expressing himself here, where he carefully sets down his telling them twice, viz. "before," in his former epistle, chap. iv. 19, and now a "second time," in his second epistle; and also, by these words, as apav to deutepov, “ as if I were present with you a second time." By our Saviour's rule, the offended person was to go twice to the offender; and therefore, St. Paul says, 66 as if I were with you a second time," counting his letters as two personal applications to them, as our Saviour directed should be done before coming to rougher means. Some take the witnesses to be the three messengers, by whom his first epistle is supposed to be sent. But this would not be, according to the method prescribed by our Saviour, in the place from which St. Paul takes the words he uses for there were no witnesses to be made use of, in the first application; neither, if those had been the witnesses meant, would there have been any need for St. Paul, so carefully and expressly, to have set down Was wapen TO SEUTepov," as if present a second time," words which, in that case, would be superfluous. Besides, those three men are no where mentioned to have been sent by him to persuade them, nor the Corinthians required to hear them, or reproved for not having done it and lastly, they could not be better witnesses of St. Paul's endeavours twice to gain the Corinthians, by fair means, before he proceeded to severity, than the epistles themselves.
4 E aosas," through weakness," ex duvaμeas Ocu, "by the power of God," I have rendered "with the appearance of weakness, and with the manifestation of the power of God;" which I think the sense of the place, and the style of the apostle, will justify. St. Paul sometimes uses the Greek prepositions in a larger sense than that tongue ordinarily allows. Farther, it is evident, that,, joined to absvuas, has not a casual signification; and therefore in the antithesis, ex duvausas Oscu, it cannot be taken casually. And it is usual for St. Paul, in such cases, to continue the same word, though it happens, sometimes, seemingly to carry the sense another way. In short, the meaning of the place is this: Though Christ, in his crucifixion, appeared weak and despicable; yet he "now lives, to show the power of God, in the miracles and mighty works which he does so I, though I, by my sufferings and infirmities appear weak and contemptible; yet shall I live to show the power of God, in punishing you miraculously.'
know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
10 Therefore I write these things, being absent; lest, being present, I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.
Christ is in me. Pray, examine yourselves whether you be in the faith; make a trial upon yourselves, whether you yourselves are not somewhat destitute of proofs. Or, are you so little acquainted with yourselves, as not to know whether 6 Christ be in you? But, if you do not know yourselves, whether you can give proofs or no, yet I hope you shall know, 7 that I am not unable to give proof of Christ in me. But I pray to God that you may do no evil, wishing not for an opportunity to show my proofs: but that, you doing what is right, I may be as if I had no proofs, no supernatural 8 power. For though I have the power of punishing supernaturally, I cannot show this power upon any of you, unless it be that you are offenders, and your punishment be for the ad9 vantage of the Gospel. I am therefore glad when I am weak, and can inflict no punishment upon you; and you are so strong, i. e. clear of faults, that ye cannot be touched. For all the power I have is only for promoting the truth of the Gospel; whoever are faithful and obedient to that, I can do nothing to; I cannot make examples of them, by all the extraordinary power I have, if I would: nay, this also I wish, 10 even your perfection. These things, therefore, I write to you, being absent, that when I come, I may not use severity, according to the power which the Lord hath given me, for edification, not for destruction.
5, 6, 7 Adoniμo, translated here "reprobates," it is plain in these three verses has no such signification, reprobation being very remote from the argument the apostle is here upon; but the word adoxos is here used for one that cannot give proof of Christ being in him; one that is destitute of a supernatural power for thus stands St. Paul's discourse, ver. 3, Tu Sonny (nlets, ver. ᾖ, γνώσεσθε οτι ουκ αδικιμοι εσμεν, "Since you seek a proof, you shall know that I am not destitute of a proof."
CHAPTER XIII. 11-14.
11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one God of love and peace shall be with you.
mind, live in peace; and the
12 Greet one another with an holy kiss. 13 All the saints salute you.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
11 Finally, brethren, farewell: bring yourselves into one wellunited, firm, un-jarring society; be of good comfort; be of one mind; live in peace, and the God of love and peace 12 shall be with you. Salute one another with an holy kiss: 13 All the saints salute you. The Grace of our Lord Jesus 14 Christ and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen.
11 a The same that he exhorts them to in the begining of the first epistle, ch. i. ver. 10.