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The apostle prays for
A. M. 4061.
6 But I trust that ye shall know honest, though we be as reproA. U. C. 810. that we are not reprobates.
A. D. 57.
Anno Imp. Neronis Cæs. 4.
7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is
Ch. 6. 9.
1 Cor. 4. 10.
Verse 7. I pray to God that ye do no evil] That ye do not persist in that course which will oblige me to use the power of Christ, with which I am endued, to punish you. Some apply this prayer to the apostle himself: Now, I pray to God that I may do you no evil; that I may not be obliged to use my apostolic rod, and inflict evil upon you.
Not that we should appear approved] We do not wish to give this proof that we are approved of God, by inflicting this punishment on the transgressors.
But that ye should do that which is honest] That ye may do that which is right and seemly, тo xaλov; though we should be, in consequence of that, as reprobates, as persons
the Corinthian church.
A. M. 4061.
9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and
ch. 11. 30. & 12. 5, 9, 10.
not approved of God; because your reformation will prevent the exercise of this power, which would otherwise have given an awful proof that we are approved of God.
Verse 8. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.] As we are the apostles of God, we cannot bring to you any false doctrine: and, as we profess to be under the influence of God's Spirit, we cannot do any thing that is op
Know ye not your own selves] Are ye not full of wisdom and understanding? and is it not as easy to find out a spurious faith, as it is to detect a base coin? There is an assay and touch-stone for both. If base metal be mixed with the pure, you can readily detect it: and as easily may you know that you are in the faith, as you can know that base metal is mixed with the pure. Does Jesus Christ dwell in you? You have his Spirit; his power; his mind; if ye be Chris-posed to that truth, or which might be prejudicial to it. Oa tians. And the Spirit of Christ bears witness with your spirit, that ye are the children of God. And this is the case except ye be reprobates; adoxipoi, base counterfeit coin; mongrel Christians. This metaphor holds excellently here. They had a Judaizing Christian among them; such, presumptively, was the false apostle: they had received his judaicochristian doctrine, and were what the prophet said of some of the Israelites in his time; reprobate silver, adulterated coin, shall men call them, Jer. vi. 30. And thus, when they were brought to the test, they were found reprobate; that is, adulterated with this mixture of bad doctrine. There is no other kind of reprobation mentioned here than that which refers to the trial and rejection of adulterated coin: | and, by way of metaphor, to the detection of false Chris tianity. This reprobation came of the people themselves: they, not God, adulterated the pure metal. Man pollutes himself; then God reprobates the polluted.
the contrary, what we say and do, is for that truth, to propagate and establish it. The gospel of Jesus is truth; and my testimony concerning it is truth also. In my coming, and in my rod, you have nothing to fear, if ye retain, and abide in this truth.
Verse 9. For we are glad, when we are weak] It will give me indescribable pleasure that I should still appear to be poor, despicable, and destitute of this extraordinary power, with which God has clothed me; so that you be strong in all the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 6. Ye shall know that we are not reprobates.] Ye have had, and ye shall have, the fullest proof that I have preached the true faith among you; and that God has confirmed it by his testimony: and thus, that I am proved, and manifested to be what I ought to be; and shewn to be approved of God.
And this also we wish, even your perfection.] We cannot be satisfied that persons, with such eminent endowments, and who have once received the truth as it is in Jesus, should be deficient in any of the graces that constitute the mind of Christ; such as brotherly love, charity, harmony, unity and order. I have given the above paraphrase to this verse, because of the last term xaraρrio, which we render perfection. Karaptions, from xara intensive, and apričw to fit or adapt, signifies the reducing of a dislocated limb to its proper place; and hence, as Beza says on this passage, "The apostle's meaning is, that whereas the members of the church were all, as it were dislocated, and out of joint, they should be joined together in love; and they should endeavour to make perfect what was amiss among them, either in faith or morals.”
It is a metaphor also taken from a building; the several stones and timbers being all put in their proper places and situations, so that the whole building might be complete, and be a proper habitation for the owner. The same figure, though not in the same terms, the apostle uses, Eph. ii. 20-22.
The perfection or rejointing which the apostle wishes, is that which he refers to the state of the church in its fellowship, unity, order, &c. And perfection in the soul, is the same in reference to it; as perfection in the church is to its order and unity. The perfection or rejointing of the sect
implies its purification, and placing every faculty, passion, and appetite, in its proper place; so that the original order, harmony, unity, and purity of the soul may be restored and the whole builded up to be a habitation of God through the Spirit, Eph. ii. 22.
Verse 10. Therefore I write these things] I only threaten you now, by this Epistle, to put you on your guard, and lead you to reformation before I visit you; that I may not then have to use sharpness añoтopia, a cutting off, employing thus my apostolical authority to inflict punishment; a power¦ which God has given me, rather to be employed in your edification, than in your destruction.
Verse 11. Finally] Aomov, all that remains for me now to write, is to wish you all manner of happiness, and so to take my leave.
Farewell] A good wish, from our old mother tongue, compounded of fapan to go, and pel fairly, properly, or pela with felicity; go on prosperously! This is the spirit of this good wish.
The Greek xalρETE signifies nearly the same thing. Xaw means, to be very joyous; xalpetɛ be joyous and happy; be ever prosperous, this was among the last words which Cyrus, when dying, spoke to his friends.
Be perfect] Karaρtifεobe, be compact; get into joint again; let unity and harmony be restored! See the Note on
Be of good comfort] Пapanaλsobe, receive admonition; for, mapanaλew signifies to admonish, beg, entreat; and also to comfort. Receive admonition, that ye may receive comfort. If ye take my advice, ye shall have consolation; if ye do not, ye will have nothing but misery and woe.
Be of one mind] To auto opovεITE, think the same; let there be no dissensions among you. Be of the same creed, and let disputes about that religion, which should be the bond of peace, for ever subside.
Live in peace] EYEVETE; cultivate peace; or, as he says elsewhere, follow peace, and pursue it, Heb. xii. 14. Cul
tivate a peaceable disposition; and neither say nor do any thing which has a tendency to irritate each other.
And the God of love and peace shall be with you.] While ye are full of contentions, dissensions, and discord, peace can have no place among you; and as to love, the fulfilling of the law, that worketh no ill to its neighbour, it has necessarily taken its flight. Love cannot live, neither exist, where there are brawls, contentions, and divisions. And where neither peace nor love is to be found, there God cannot be. And if HE be not there, yourselves and the Devil make the whole assembly.
Verse 12. Greet one another with a holy kiss.] Use every means by which a good understanding may be brought Let the spirit of friendship live among you; and encourage its continuance by every friendly act. See the Note on Rom. xvi. 16.
Verse 13. All the saints] The Christians of Macedonia or Philippi, from which he wrote this Epistle. In the primitive church, a saint and a Christian were the same thing; for the Christian religion calls every man to be holy.
Verse 14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ] All the favour and beneficence that come from and through the Redeemer of the world; as the LORD, the ruler and governor of all things; as JESUS the Saviour of all men by his passion and death; as Christ the distributor of all that divine unction which enlightens, comforts, harmonizes, and purifies the mind. May this most exalted, glorious, and allsufficient Saviour, be ever with you.
And the love of God] GOD, your Maker, in that infinite love which induced him to create the world, and form man in his own image, and in his own likeness, that he might be capable of knowing, loving, and enjoying him for ever; and God in the fullest manifestations of that love which caused him to give his only begotten Son, to the end, that they who believe on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. May this God of love, and this love of God, be ever with you!
on this Epistle
Amen.] This word is wanting, as usual, in almost every MS. of authority. Amen seems to have been anciently added at the conclusion of books, exactly as we add the word finis: both merely signifying the end.
As to the Inscription, it is wanting, either in whole or in part, in almost all the ancient MSS. The principal forms in which it exists are the following:
And the communion of the Holy Ghost] May that Holy || ever-blessed and undivided Trinity, he could not have exSpirit, that divine and eternal energy which proceeds from pressed himself thus. And had not our Lord intended to be the Father and the Son; that heavenly fire that gives light understood in this way, he would not have given such a comand life; that purifies and refines; sublimes and exalts; com- mission to his apostles to baptize the nations in the name of forts and invigorates; make you all partakers with himself! the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The Kovwvia which we translate fellowship and communion, || doctrine is the teaching of God; let men make of it what they signifies properly participation; having things in common; please. And the genuine church of God have ever received partaking with each other. This points out the astonishing and understood it in this way. privileges of true believers: they have communion with God's Spirit; share in all its gifts and graces; walk in its light; through him they have the fullest confidence that they are of God; that he is their Father and friend; and has blotted out all their iniquities: this they know by the Spirit which he has given them. And is it possible that a man shall be a partaker with the Holy Ghost, and not know it! that he shall be full of light and love, and not know it! that he shall have the spirit of adoption by which he can cry Abba! Father! To the Corinthians, the second.--The second to the Corinand yet know nothing of his relationship to God, but by in- thians is completed.—The second to the Corinthians is finished. ference from indirect proofs ! In a word, that he shall have -To the Corinthians, the second, written from Philippithe grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the || Written from Philippi by Titus.—Written from Philippi by communion of the Holy Ghost with him, and all the while Titus and Luke.-By Titus, Barnabas, and Luke.—The seknow nothing certain of the grace, as to his portion in it:cond Epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi of feel nothing warming from the love, as to its part in him: || Macedonia, and sent by Titus, SYRIAC.-The End of the and nothing energetic from the communion, as to his partici-Epistle. It was written from the city of Philippi by Titus pation in the gifts and graces of this Divine energy! This and Luke. Praise be to God for ever, ARABIC.—In the is all as absurd as it is impossible. Every genuine Christian VULGATE there is no subscription; nor in the ETHIOPIC.— who maintains a close walk with God, may have as full an Written in Philippi of Macedonia, and sent by Titus and evidence of his acceptance with God, as he has of his own Luke, COPTIC.-The second Epistle to the Corinthians is existence. And the doctrine that explains away this privi- || ended; which was written from Philippi of Macedonia, by lege, or softens it down to nothing, making the most gracious Titus and Luke, SYR. PHILOX. and safe state consistent with innumerable doubts and fears, and general uncertainty, is not of God. It is a spurious gospel, which, under the show of a voluntary humility, not only lowers, but almost annihilates, the standard of Christianity.
It has been often remarked that no dependence can be placed on many of the subscriptions to the sacred books, which are found in MSS. and Versions, because those subscriptions were not written by the authors of those books; but were afterwards added, by the transcribers or copyers, who followed either tradition or their own judgment. It is generally allowed that this second Epistle was written from Macedonia ; and probably from the city of Philippi, in that province, See the Introduction and Preface to this Epistle.
END OF THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS.