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suffer or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing that, as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble, which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength; insomuch that we despaired even of life.

9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God, which raiseth the dead:

10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in whom we trust, that he will yet deliver us:

11 You also helping together by prayer for us; that, for the gift bestowed upon us, by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity, and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.


patient enduring those sufferings, whereof you see an example in me. And again, when I am comforted, it is for your consolation and relief, who may expect the like, from the same 7 compassionate God and Father. Upon which ground, I have firm hopes, as concerning you; being assured, that as you have had your share of sufferings, so ye shall, likewise, have of con8 solation. For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of the load of afflictions in Asia, that were beyond measure heavy 9 upon me and beyond my strength; so that I could see no way of escaping with life. But I had the sentence of death in myself, that I might not trust in myself, but in God, who can 10 restore to life even those who are actually dead who delivered me from so imminent a danger of death, who doth de11 liver, and in whom I trust he will yet deliver me you also joining the assistance of your prayers for me; so that thanks may be returned by many, for the deliverance procured me, by 12 the prayers of many persons. For I cannot doubt of the prayers and concern of you, and many others, for me; since my glorying is this, viz. the testimony of my own conscience, that, in plainness of heart, and sincerity before God, not in fleshly wisdom, but by the favour of God directing me, I



12 What "fleshly wisdom" is may be seen chap. iv. 2, 5.

*This 'αλλ' εν χαριτι Θεού, " But in the favour of God,” is the same with αλλά Kapes Decor "the favor of God, that is with me," i. e. by God's favorble assistance.


13 For we write none other things unto you, than what you read, or acknowledge, and I trust you shall acknowledge even to the end.

14 As also you have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.


have behaved myself towards all men, but more particularly 13 towards you. For I have no design, no meaning, in what I write to you, but what lies open, and is legible, in what you read and you yourselves cannot but acknowledge it to be so; 14 and I hope you shall always acknowledge it to the end. As part of you have already acknowledged that I am your glory; as you will be mine, at the day of judgment, when, being my scholars and converts, ye shall be saved.


14 That I am your glory;" whereby he signifies that part of them which stuck to him, and owned him as their teacher: in which sense," glorying" is much used in these epistles to the Corinthians, upon the occasion of the several partisans boasting, some that they were of Paul; and others, of Apollos.


CHAPTER I. 15.-II. 17.


THE next thing St. Paul justifies is, his not coming to them. St. Paul had promised to call on the Corinthians, in his way to Macedonia; but failed. This his opposers would have to be from levity in him; or a mind, that regulated itself wholly by carnal interest; vid. ver. 17. To which he answers, that God himself, having confirmed him amongst them, by the unction and earnest of his Spirit, in the ministry of the Gospel of his Son, whom he, Paul, had preached to them steadily, the same, without any the least variation, or unsaying any thing he had at any time delivvered; they could have no ground to suspect him to be an unstable, uncertain man, that would play fast and loose with them, and could not be depended on, in what he said to them. This is what he says, ch. i. 15—22.

In the next place, he, with a solemn asseveration, professes, that it was to spare them, that he came not to them. This he explains, ch. i. 23, and ii. 2, 3.

He gives another reason, ch. ii. 12, 13, why he went on to Macedonia, without coming to Corinth, as he had purposed; and that was the uncertainty he was in, by the not coming of Titus, what temper they were in at Corinth. Having mentioned his journey to Macedonia, he takes notice of the success which God gave to him there, and every where, declaring of what consequence his preaching was, both to the salvation, and condemnation, of those who received or rejected it; professing again in sincerity and disinterestedness, not without a severe reflection on their false apostle. All which we find in the following verses, viz. ch. ii. 14-17, and is all very suitable, and pursuant to his design in this epistle, which was to establish his authority and credit amongst the Corinthians.


15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that you might have a second benefit;

16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again, out of Macedonia, unto you; and, of you, to be brought on my way, towards Judea.

17 When I, therefore, was thus minded, did I use lightness? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea, yea, and nay, nay?

18 But, as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.


15 Having this persuasion, (viz.) of your love and esteem of me, I purposed to come unto you ere this, that you might have a 16 second gratification; And to take you in my way to Mace

donia, and from thence return to you again, and, by you, be 17 brought on in my way to Judea. If this fell not out so as I purposed, am I, therefore, to be condemned of fickleness? Or am I to be thought an uncertain man, that talks forwards and backwards, one that has no regard to his word, any far18 ther than may suit his carnal interest? But God is my witthat what you have heard from me has not been uncer

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15 By the word xap which our Bibles translate "benefit," or "grace," it is plain the apostle means his being present among them a second time, without giving them any grief or displeasure. He had been with them before, almost two years together, with satisfaction and kindness. He intended them another visit; but it was, he says, that they might have the like gratification, i. e. the like satisfaction in his company a second time, which is the same he says 2 Cor. ii. 1.


19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.

20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him amen, unto the glory of God by us.

21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;

22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit, in our hearts.


19 tain, deceitful, or variable. For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was preached among you, by me, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, was not sometimes one thing, and sometimes another; but has been shown to be uniformly one and the same 20 in the counsel or revelation of God. (For all the promises of God do all consent, and stand firm, in him) to the glory 21 of God, by my preaching. Now it is God who establishes me with you for the preaching of the Gospel, who has anoint22 ed, And also sealed me, and given me the earnest Spirit in my heart.

of his


21 Anointed," i. e. set apart to be an apostle, by an extraordinary call. Priests and prophets were set apart, by anointing, as well as kings.

22 Sealed," i. e. by the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost; which are an evidence of the truths he brings from Cod, as a seal is of a letter.

d" Earnest" of eternal life; for of that the Spirit is mentioned, as a pledge, in more places than one, vid. 2 Cor. v, 5. Eph. i. 13, 14. All these are argu ments to satisfy the Corinthians, that St. Paul was not, nor could be a shuffling man, that minded not what he said, but as it served his turn. The reasoning of St. Paul, ver. 18-22, whereby he would convince the Corinthians, that he is not a fickle, unsteady man, that says or unsays, as may suit his humour or interest, being a little obscure, by reason of the shortness of his style here, which has left many things to be supplied by the reader, to connect the parts of the argumentation, and make the deduction clear; I hope I shall be pardoned, If I endeavour to set it in its clear light, for the sake of ordinary readers.

"God hath set me apart, to the ministry of the Gospel, by an extraordinary call; has attested my mission, by the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, and given me the earnest of eternal life, in my heart, by his Spirit; and hath confirmed me, amongst you, in preaching the Gospel, which is all uniform, and of a piece, as I have preached it to you, without tripping in the least; and there, to the glory of God, have shown that all the promises concur, and are unalterably certain in Christ. I therefore, having never faltered in any thing I have said to you, and having all these attestations, of being under the special direction and guidance of God himself, who is unalterably true, cannot be suspected of dealing doubly with you, in any thing, relating to my ministry.


23 Moreover, I call God or a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto (orinth.

24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy for by faith ye stand.

II. 1 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

2 For if I make you sorry, who is he, then, that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them, of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.


23 Moreover, I call God to witness, and may I die if it is not so, 24 that it was to spare you, that I came not yet to Corinth. Not that I pretend to such a dominion over your faith, as to require you to believe what I have taught you, without coming to you, when I am expected there, to maintain and make it good; for it is by that faith you stand: but I forbore to come, as one concerned to preserve and help forward your joy, which I am tender of, and therefore declined coming to you, whilst I thought you in an estate, that would require severity II. 1 from me, that would trouble you. I purposed in myself, it is true, to come to you again, but I resolved too, it should 2 be without bringing sorrow with me. For if I grieve you, who is there, when I am with you, to comfort me, but those 3 very person whom I have discomposed with grief? And this very thing, which made you sad, I writ to you, not coming


24 It is plain, St. Paul's doctrine had been opposed by some of them at Corinth, vid. 1 Cor. xv. 12. His postleship questioned, 1 Cor. ix. 1, 2. 2 Cor. xiii. 3. He himself triumphed over, as if he durst not come, 1 Cor. iv. 18, they say. ing" his letters were weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence weak, and his speech contemptible; 2 Cor. x. 10. This being the state his reputation was then in, at Corinth, and he having promised to come to them, 1 Cor. xvi, 5, he could not but think it necessary to excuse his failing them by reasons that should be both convincing and kind; such as are contained in this verse, the sense given of it.


1 That this is the meaning of this verse, and not that he would not come to them, in sorrow, a second time, is past doubt, since he had never been with them in sorrow a first time. Vid. 2 Cor. i. 15.

3 Kaseypad un TOUTO Quro “and I writ to you this very thing." That' "I writ," relates, here, to the first epistle to the Corinthians, is evident, because it is so used, in the very next verse, and again a little lower, ver. 9. What, therefore, is it in his first epistle,which he here calls TouTO AUTO," this very thing," which he had writ to them? I answer, The punishment of the fornicator. This is plain, by what follows here, to ver. 11, especially, if it be compared with 1 Cor. iv. 21, and v. 8. For there he writes to them, to

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