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go before unto you, the better appear to be a free Act, A. D. 57. and make up before- and not in the least Measure exhand your bounty, torted from you. whereof ye had no. tice before, that the same might be ready as a matter of bounty, not of covetousness. 6. But this I say,

6. As to the Sum every one He which soweth (pa- should contribute, I leave that to ringly, shall reap spa- each Man's Temper, Discretion, ringly: and he which and Ability; only let me rememSoweth bountifully, ber you in general, that Christian shall reap bountifully. Liberality is like the Husbandman's Harvest ; you must all expect to reap at God's Hands, in Proportion to what you fow. 7. Every man ac- 7.

But whatever any of you cording as he pur- give, let it come from a free and poseth in his heart, so hearty Disposition to do Good; let him give ; not not extorted by Shame and Imgrudgingly, or of ne- portunity; for God does not look cessity : for God loveth a cheerful giver.

upon the Gift, but the generous

Mind of the Giver. 8. And God is able 8. And, to this End, consider, to make all grace a- that God is both able and willing bound towards you ; to recompense your Liberality that ye always having with a greater Abundance of temall sufficiency in all

poral good Things; that the more things, may abound

you give, the more you may

have wherewithal to exercise and improve in this noble Virtue.

9. As it is written, 9. According to those Words He hath dispersed a- of the Psalmi (Psal. cxii. 9.) broad, he hath given where he faith, The Liberality to the poor : his right of the good Man is not loft and eousness remaineth brown away, but is blejt with for ever.

Plenty here, and remains an eternal Benefit to him hereafter.

to every good work:


io. And

to the Hebrero (Beracba) which the Septuagint frequently ren. der a Gift or Present, Gen. xxxiii. i1. 2 Kings v. 15. and elsewhere.

* Ver. 9. His Righteousness, y direlor urnauld, his Liberality.

A. D. 57


10. Now he that 10. And may God, the Au-
miniftreth seed to the thor of all our Blessings and Op-

bread for your food, portunities of doing Good, give
and multiply your seed you a plenteous Reward for all
lown, and increase your Bounty and Beneficence.
the fruits of your righteousness.

11. Being enriched 11. And may he enlarge your
in every thing to all charitable Dispositions, which
bountifulness, which cause me, and all that know and
causeth through us

feel the good Effects of them, to
thanksgiving to God.

praise and glorify him.
12. For the admi- 12. For the Good of your
nistration of this ser- Christian Charity does not termi-
vice, not only suppli- nate in being a comfortable Re-
eth the want of the lief to other pious Christians, but
saints, but is abundant in becoming a great Argument of
also by many


his Praise and Glory.
givings unto God;

13. (Whiles by the 13. Because all those pious Suf-
experiment of this mi- ferers that thus experience your
nistration, they glori- truly Christian Spirit, cannot but
fy God for your pro- look up with a thankful Heart to
feffed subjection unto him, who is the original Author
and for your
liberaldi of your Virtues, and of their Com-

fort and Refreshment,
ftribution unto them,
and unto all men.)

14. And by their 14. And you, in Return, will

for you, which have their Prayers, Love, and long after you, for the Blefling, for the Exercise of so

exceeding grace of noble and godlike a * Bounty to* See Note on Chap.

ward them. viji. 1.


Thanks be unto 15. Blessed be God therefore, God for his unspeak for these inexpressible Advantages able gift.

of this charitable Temper in you, and all Christian People endowed with it.

God in you.


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The remaining Chapters are spent in confuting the Sugges-

tions of their falfe Teachers who yet stood out against
the Apostle ; and in Endeavours to reduce them, both by
Threatnings and Persuasions. He here upbraids them
for undervaluing him, on Account of the Meanness of
his personal Appearance, without duly weighing the
Strength of his Doctrine and Writing: As also for
their Practice of running from one Church to another :
Not for the Sake of converting more people to the
Christian Faith, but to pervert such as were already
converted by the true Apostles of CHRIST.

1 & 2. Must now again parti- A. D. 57. self beseech

cularly apply myself to you by the meekness your new and false Teachers ; seand gentleness of veral of which, I find, are yet Christ, who in pre- unreformed by my last Letter to sence am base among you, but being ablené your Church. They disparage

me as a Person of a mean Pream bold toward you.

2. But I befeech sence, and a little Aspect, and you, that I may not

one, who while I threaten and be bold when I am speak great, have not Spirit and present, with that Courage to execute what I preconfidence wherewith tend. Let such Men know that, I think to be bold a- if I come, and find them in no gainst some which better Temper, I shall certainly think of us, * as if we

do as I say; and to their Coff, walked according to convince them they have little the flesh.

Reason to call me a weak, or uncertain, or designing Man. And I beseech them by


G g 3

* Ver. 2. '16 xalce pásxa tegiralsvas, As though we τoalked according to the Fle/h. Οι ψευδαπόςολοι διάβαλλον αυγών ως σοκελών, ως απατεώνα, και τάνα πρG- επίδειξιν aprórę. The falje Apostles represented Paul as a Pretender, and one that did, and spoke only for Show and Oftentation, says Oecumenius. And see Chap. i. 17.

A. D. 57. the Meekness and Humility of Jesus Christ, our great

Example, to consider of'it in Time.

3. For though we 3. For though I am but a Man, walk in the Aesh, we and never so mean a one as to bodo not war after the dily Appearance ; that is nothing flesh :

to the Purpose ; I do not perform my apostolical Office by human Policy and Qualifications.

4. (For the wea- 4 & 5. 'Tis neither Beauty or pons of our warfare Stature of Body, nor Strength of are not carnal, but Eloquence, nor Depth of Philosomighty through God,

phy, that are the Weapons I use to the pulling down for subduing Mankind to the Beof strong holds.)

5. Cafting down lief of the Gospel; but the miraimaginations, and eve culous Evidences of the Holy Spiry high thing that ex. rit, which are Arguments far alteth itself against the stronger * than all human Reaknowledge of God, fonings, fufficient to destroy all and bringing into cap- the towering Schemes and lofty tivity every thought Flights of human Literature; to to the obedience of regulate Men's irreligious NotiChrift:

ons, and reduce them to the Faith and Obedience of the true Religion of CHRIST. 6. And having in a

6. And let them be assured, readiness to revenge that though the great Number of all disobedience, when those Offenders made me suspend your obedience is ful- my coming, and for a while to filled.



Severities; yet now I have drawn the founder, and greater Part of your Church into due Order and Subjection again, I know how to treat them that still oppose and undervalue me; and shall not fail to do it. 7. Do ye look on


Those Men look upon no: things after the out thing but the Person of a Man, ward appearance? if and catch at his Character from any man trust to him- the bare external Face of some self, that he is Chrifts,

Let them jet

look think

the whole Course of my upon

Ministry, Ver. 4. Mighty through God, Aurala 7 osa. See my Note on Chap. viii..

think this again, that Ministry, and then see whether A. D. 57. as he is Chrifts, even

I may not compare with those so are we Chrifts.

Boasters in Point of true Chriftian Apostleship.

8. For though I 8. I must tell them, though I should boast somewhat have been hitherto tender in the more of our authority, Use of my Apoftolical Power, as (which the Lord hath being more willing to encourags given us for edifica- and win, than to restrain and tion, and not for your fright Men by my Authority; yet destruction) I should not be ashamed.

I might, without any Pride or

Vain-Glory, magnify that Authority more than ever I yet have done;

9. That I may not 9 & 10. And soon convince seem as if I would ter- them I can punish as well as threatrify you by letters.

en; though they would persuade 10. For bis letters (lay they) are weighty and Gravity, and Severity of my

you not to value the Strength bodily presence is Epiftles; because they tell you, weak, and his speech

when I come in Person, I have contemptible.

no Mien * nor Air of Authority,

and Eloquence to maintain, and carry me through.

Let such an one II. But those Persons shall think this, that such assuredly find, that whatever my as we are in word by bodily Imperfections be, I shall letters, when we are verify every Word of my Letters absent, such will we by my Actions. be also in deed when we are present.

12. For we dare 12. I shall not now stand to not make our selves of enter into a Comparison between the number, or coure my self and those foolish Boaferat



* Ver. 10. But his bodily Presence is weak, and his Speech contemptible. The antient Writers represent St. Paul as a Man of a low Stature, with mean Aspeet of Body, a bald Head, and an Impediment in his Speech. Which Testimonies, added to the several Expreslions of this and the eleventh Chapters, make it highly probable, that it was these natural and bodily Defeets he means by his infirmity and Weakness, and his Thorn in the Flesh. See there in Chap. xii. 7.

t Rom. XV, 19.

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