Page images
PDF
EPUB

me.

TEXT. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from 9 And he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my

strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest

upon me. 10 Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities,

in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake : for when I am weak,

then am I strong. 11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought

to have been commended of you; for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.

PARAPHRASE. 8 much elevated. Concerning this thing, I besought the Lord 9 thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said, My favour is sufficient for thee: for my power exerts itself, and its sufficiency is seen the more perfectly, the weaker thou thyself art. I, therefore, most willingly choose to glory, rather in things that show my weakness, than in my abundance of glorious

revelations, that the power of Christ may the more visibly be 10 seen to dwell in me. Wherefore, I have satisfaction in

weaknesses, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I looked upon in my

outward state, appear weak, then by the power of Christ, which 11 dwelleth in me, I am found to be strong. I am become foolish

in glorying thus: but it is you who have forced me to it. For I ought to have been commended by you ; since in nothing came I behind the chiefest of the apostles, though in myself I am nothing

SECTION IV. NO. 7.

CHAPTER XII. 12, 13.

CONTENTS.

He continues to justify himself to be an apostle, by the miracles he did, and the supernatural gifts he bestowed amongst the Corinthians.

TEXT. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you, in all pa

tience, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. 13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it

be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong.

PARAPHRASE. 12 Truly the signs, whereby an apostle might be known, were

wrought among you, by me, in all patience and submission,

under the difficulties I there met with, in miraculous, won13 derful, and mighty works, performed by me. For what is

there which you were any way shortened in, and had not equally with other churches ", except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this injury.

NOTES. 12 . This may well be understood to reflect on the haughtiness and plenty, wherein

the false apostle lived amongst them. 13 b Vid. I Cor. i. 4—7.

SECTION IV. NO. 8.

CHAPTER XII. 14-21.

CONTENTS. He farther justifies himself to the Corinthians, by his past disinterestedness, and his continued kind intentions to them.

TEXT.

14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and will not be

burdensome to you; for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

PARAPHRASE.

14 Behold, this is the third time I am ready to come unto you;

but I will not be burdensome to you; for I seek not what is yours, but you: for it is not expected, nor usual, that children should lay up for their parents, but parents a for their children.

NOTE.
14 . Vid. 1 Cor. iv, 14, 15,

TEXT. 15 And I will very gladly spend, and be spent, for you, though the

more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. 16 “But be it so, I did not burden you : nevertheless being crafty, I

caught you with guile.” 17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? 18 I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain

of you ? Walked we not in the same spirit ? Walked we not in the

same steps ? 19 Again, think you that we excuse ourselves unto you? We speak be

PARAPHRASE. 15 I will gladly lay out whatever is in my possession, or power;

nay, even wear out and hazard myself for your souls ", though

it should so fall out that the more I love you, the less I should 16 be beloved by you“, “ Be it so, as some suggest, that I was

not burdensome to you; but it was in truth out of cunning,

with a design to catch you, with that trick, drawing from you, 17 by others, what I refused in person.” In answer to which, I

ask, Did I, by any of those I sent unto you, make a gain of you? 18 I desired Titus to go to you, and with him I sent a brother.

Did Titus make a gain of you? Did not they behave themselves with the same temper that I did amongst you? Did

we not walk in the same steps ? i. e. neither they nor I re. 19 ceived any thing from you. Again“, do not, upon my men

NOTES. 15 1 Vid. 2 Tim. ii. 10.

• Vid. chap. vi. 12, 13. 19 He had before given the reason, chap. i. 23, of his not coming to then, with

the like asseveration that he uses here. If we trace the thread of St. Paul's discourse here, we may observe, that having concluded the justification of himself and his apostleship by his past actions, ver. 13, he had it in his thoughts to tell them how he would deal with the false apostle and his adherents, when he came, as he was ready pow to do. And, therefore, solemnly begins ver. 14 with “behold;" and tells them now, “the third time,” he was ready to come to them to which joining, (what was much upon his mind) that he would not be burdensome to them when he came, this suggested to his thoughts an objection, viz. that this personal shyness in him was but cunning; for that he designed to draw gain from them by other hands. From which he clears himself, by the instance of Titus, and the brother, whom he had sent together to them, who were as far from receiving any thing from them as he himself. Titus and his other messenger being thus mentioned, he thought it necessary to obviate another suspicion, that might be raised in the minds of some of them, as if he mentioned the sending of those two as an apology for his not coming himself. This he disclaims utterly; and to prevent any thoughts of that kind, solemnly protests to them, that, in all his carriage to them, he had done nothiug but for their edification ; nor had any other aim, in any of his actions, but purely that; and that he forbore coming merely out of respect and goodwill to them. So that all from “ Behold, this third time I am ready to come to you,” ver. 14, to “this

such as

TEXT. fore 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 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.

PARAPHRASE. 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 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.

NOTE. third time I am coming to you," chap. xiii. 1, must be looked on as an incident 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 bad 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.

CONTENTS. 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.

TEXT. 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.

PARAPHRASE. 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 now 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 a :" Since you demand a proof of my mission, and of what

NOTE. 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 saine 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 of 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

« PreviousContinue »