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TEXT. 23 Moreover, I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you

I came not as yet unto Corinth. 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.

PARAPHRASE. 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 persons whom I have discomposed with grief? And this

very thing 5, which made you sad, I writ to you, not coming

NOTES. 24 • It is plain, St. Paul's doctrine had been opposed by some of them at Corinth,

vid. I Cor. xv. 12. His apostleship questioned, I Cor. ix. 1, 2. 2 Cor. xiii. 3. He himself triumphed over, as if he durst pot come, 1 Cor. iv. 18, they saying “his letters were weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence weak, and his speech coutemptible;" 2 Cor. x. 10. This being the state his reputation was theu 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, in the

sense given of it. I FThat 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 8 Rad byparka úpūv TOīTO aŭrò, “ and I writ to you this very thing.” That bypaux,

“ 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 TOŰTO AÚTÒ, “ this very thing," which he had writ to them? I answer, The puuishment 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 punish



TEXT. 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 me, but in part;

that I may not overcharge you all. 6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment which was inflicted of

many. 7 So that, contrariwise, ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort

him; lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with over-much 8 Wherefore, I beseech you, that ye would confirm your love towards him.

PARAPHRASE. 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 disturbance 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 ny case. So that, on the contrary, it is fit rather that you forgive

and comfort him, lest hek should be swallowed up by an ex8 cess of sorrow. Wherefore, I beseech you to confirm your

NOTES. 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 had 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 them to forgive him, and take him again into their

affection. 5 b 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 him. 7 i Tovvartlov, “ on the contrary," here, has nothing to refer to, but inilapā,

“overcharge,” in the 5th verse, which makes that belong to the fornicator, as I have explained it. k'o Toreros, “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 ope." And that, possibly, may be the reason why he says, pen en slapen, indefinitely, withont naming the person it relates to

TEXT. 9 For to this end, also, 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 Furthermore, 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 unto 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.

PARAPHRASE. 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


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

wiles. 12 Furthermore, being arrived at Troas, because Titus, whom I

expected from Corinth, with news of you, was not come, I was very uneasy' there; insomuch that I made not use of the

opportunity, which 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 ", through Christ, who gives me success in

preaching the Gospel, and spreads the knowledge of Christ by 15 me. For my ministry, and labour in the Gospel, is a service,

or sweet-smelling sacrifice to God, through Christ, both in

NOTES. 12 1 How ánéasy he was, and upon whạt account, see ch. vii. 5--16. It was not

barely for Titus's absence, 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 Macedouia; and also in my victory, at the same time, at Corinth, over the false 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.

TEXT. 16 To the one, we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other,

the savour of life unto life; and who is sufficient for these things? 17 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.

PARAPHRASE. 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 draw 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

God. For I am not, as several o are, who are hucksters of the 17 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.

NOTES. 16 - Vid. ch. iii. 5, 6. 17 • This, I think, may be understood of the false apostle.




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.

TEXT. 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 God ; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. 4 And such trust have we, through Christ, to God-ward : 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing, as of our

selves; but our sufficiency is of God;


1 Do I begin again to commend myself a ; or need I, as 2 some , commendatory letters to or from you? 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 conversation 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

NOTES. 1. 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 plainly 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 tables 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 understood 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 of St. Paul, was Christ'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 vain

glory, hereiu immediately subjoins what follows in the next verse. 4 As if he had said, “ But mistake me vot, 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 e Nerobonors, “ trust,” ver. 4, a milder term for “ boasting," for so St.

Paul uses it, chap. x. 7, compared with ver. 8, where also 2oyilishw, ver. 7, is used, as here, for counting upon one's self; St. Paul also uses ninondas, for “ thou boastest," Rom. ii, 19, which will appear, if compared with ver. 17;

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