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others, for their prayers and thanks for his deliverance, which, he presumes, they could not but put up for him, since his conscience bears him witness (which was his comfort) that, in his carriage to all men, and to them more especially, he had been direct and sincere, without any self or carnal interest; and that what he writ to them had no other design but what lay open, and they read in his words, and did also acknowledge ; and he doubted not but they should always acknowledge; part of them acknowledging also that he was the man they gloried in, as they shall be his glory in the day of the Lord. From what St. Paul says, in this section, (which, if read with attention, will appear to be writ with a turn of great insinuation) it may be gathered, that the opposite faction endeavoured to evade the force of the former epistle, by suggesting, that, whatever he might pretend, St. Paul was a cunning, artificial, self-interested man, and had some hidden design in it, which accusation appears in other parts of this epistle: as chap. iv. 2, 5.

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TEXT. 3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father

of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to

comfort them, which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith

we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, our consolation also

aboundeth.by Christ. 6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for

your

consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we

PARAPHRASE. 3 Blessed be the Goda and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the 4 Father of mercies, and God of all consolation; Who com

forteth me, in all my tribulations, that I may be able to

comfort them, who are in any trouble, by the comfort, which 5 I receive from him. Because, as I have suffered abundantly

for Christ, so, through Christ, I have been abundantly com6 forted; and both these for your advantage. For my afflic

tion is for your consolation and relief', which is effected by a

NOTES. 3 That this is the right translation of the Greek here, see Eph. i. 3, and 1 Pet.

i. 3, where the same words are so translated ; and that it agrees with St. Paul's

sense, see Eph. i. 17. 4. He means, here, the Corinthians, who were troubled for their miscarriage

towards him ; vid. chap. vii. 7. 6• {wtnpía, “ relief," rather than “ salvation ;" which is understood of deliver.

ance from death and hell; but here it signifies only deliverance from their present sorrow.

TEXT. also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation

and salvation. 7 And our hope of you is stedfast, 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 raised 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.

PARAPHRASE. patient enduring those sufferings, whereof you see an example in me. And again, when I am comforted, it is for your con

solation 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

upon me, and beyond my strength; so that I could see no way 9 of escaping with life. But I had the sentence of death in my

self, that I might not trust in myself, but in God, who can 10 restore to life even those who are actually dead: Who deli

vered 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 in 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

NOTES. 12 - What “ fleshly wisdom” is may be seen chap. iv. 2. 5.

• This arXiv zápili @rou, “ But in the favour of God," is the same with árrà xdepos Deo ij où imol, “ the favour of God, that is with me," i. e. by God's favourable assistance,

TEXT. 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 re

joicing, even as ye also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.

PARAPHRASE. 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.

NOTE. 14 p«. That I am your glory;" whereby he siguifies 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.

SECTION II. No. 2.

CHAPTER I. 15.-II. 17.

CONTENTS.

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 hina 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 delivered; 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 his 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.

TEXT. 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.

PARAPHRASE. 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 a; 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

witness, that what

you

have heard from me has not been uncer

NOTE. 15 * By the word gedpov, 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.

(TEXT. 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.

PARAPHRASE. 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 b, And also sealede me, and given me the earnest d of his Spirit in

my heart.

NOTES. 21 “ Anointed," i. e, set apart to be an apostle, by an extraordinary call. Priests

and prophets were set apart, by anoiptiog, as well as kings. 22 c“ Sealed," i. e. by the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost; which are an evi.

dence of the trutbs he brings from God, 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 arguments 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, baving 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.

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