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the Corinthians, that God chose men of their character and ftation to be apostles, and committed the treasure of the light of the knowledçe of God, to them as to earthen veffus, to fhew, that the excellency of the power by which the world was converted from idolatry, and the preachers of the gospel were preserved amidst the evils which pressed them on every side, did not proceed from themselves, but from God, 'ver. 1.–So that the dignity of the ministry of the gospel, instead of being diminished, was greatly encreased by the low birth or the apostles, and by the evils which they suitained while executing that ministry, fince thereby they had an opportunity of displaying their faith, their fortitude, and their benevolence to mankind, ver. 2.-7.To illustrate this sentiment, the apostle gave an affecting defcription of the sufferings to which he and the rest were exposed, and of the extraordinary support which they received while prefred with these evils, and of their surmounting them all through the aslistance of God, ver. 8.–14.
Next, to shew the Corinthians how much they, and the whole body of the faithful were interested in the sufferings of the apostles, he afsured them that they endured all the evils he had mentioned, for the sake of the persons to whom they preached, that by convincing them of their sincerity, God might be glorified through their conversion, ver. 15.-And therefore they did not flag in their work, although their outward man was daily wasting through the labours and sufferings which they were enduring, ver. 16.-Besides, they knew that their afflictions fully wrought out for them a most exceeding and eternal weight of glory, ver. 17.-- which was the reason that in discharging the duties of their ministry, they did not aim at obtaining the seen things of the present world, which are all temporal, but at obtaining the unseen things of the world to come, which are eternal, ver. 18.
COMMENTARY. CHAP.IV. I Where- CHAP. IV. 1 Wherefore, having fore, having this ministry this glorious ministry committed to as we have received mer- us, as we have received supernatural cy, (1 Cor. vii. 25. note powers to fit us for it, we do not flag 2.) we do not flag. through the difficulties lying in our nor handling the word of
way. 2 (4202, 76.) Also, we 2 Also, being faithful in this mihave commanded away the niftry as well as diligent, we have
be gone. The common translation, renouncing the hidden things of dishonejly, which is the translation of the Vulgate, and of Eraimus, fuga geits a yery wrong ideą; as it implies that the apofiles had formerly
ρια ατ8ντες εν πανεργία, μηGod deceitfully, but by ma- de dcA8UTES TOV 20gov 78 €8, nifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to αλλα τη φανερωσει της αληevery man's confcience in θειας συνιςωντες εαυτες προς the light of God.
πασαν συνειδησιν ανθρωπων,
ενωπιον τ8 Θεο 3 But if our gospel be hid, 3 Ει δε και εςι κεκαλυμit is hid to them that are
μενον το ευαίγελιoν ήμων, εν lost.
τοις απολλυμενοις εςι κεκα
λυμμενον. . 4 In whom the God of 4 Εν οις ο Θεος τ8 αιωthis world hath blinded the ν. τοτε ετυφλωσε τα νοminds of them which believe not, left the light of ήματα των ασιςων, εις το the glorious gofpel of Chrift, μη αυγασαι αυτοις τον φωwho is the image of God, τισμον τε ευαίγελια της
doo should shine unto them.
ξης τα Χριςε, ος εςιν εικων τ8 Θεε. .
used thefe hidden shameful things, for the purpose of spreading the gospel.
2. The hidden things of fame. KQUTTÓ TNS ato Xurns, are those difhonourable sensual practices in which impostors indulge themselves privately, and which they carefully hide, because if they were disco. vered, it would destroy their credit and expose them to shame. In the latter part of this verse, the apostle strikes at the false teachers, defcribed, chap. ii. 17. who adulterated the word of God, and who, after the manner of the Greek philosophers, made loud pretentions to honesty and purity, but secretly gratified their lufts without any reftraint.
3. Recommending ourselves to every man's confcience. The apostle does not mean that he actually recommended himself to every man's conscience, but that he behaved in such a manner, as ought to have convinced every man, of his honesty and fidelity in preaching.
Ver. 3. Our gospel le veiled, it is veiled, &c. In chap. jii. 13, 14. the apostle had observed that there were two veils, by which the Il. raelites were blinded, or prevented from understanding the meaning of the law, and from perceiving that it was to be abolished by the gofpel. The first was a veil which lay on the law itself. This veil was formed by the obscurity of the types and figures of the law, and was signified by Moses putting a veil upon his face, when he delivered the law. The other veil lay upon their hearts, and was woven by their own prejudices and corrupt affections, which hindered them from dif.
hidden things of shame, ' commanded those base actions to be
gone, not walking in craftiness, which impostors hide, knowing them nor handling the word of to be fivameful; never behaving in a God deceitfully ; but, by crafty manner, neither preaching the the manifestation of the gospel deceitfully, but by fully and faithtruth, recommending our- fully declaring the truth, recommend selves to every man's con ing ourselves to every man's conscience, science in the fight of as upright in the light of God who God.
knows our heart. 3 (E. de xai If, there
3 If, therefore, even our gospel thus fore, even our g spel be veil. preached be veiled, so as its divine ed, it is veiled (EV TOIS QT01- original and true meaning does not aup evois, mid. voice.) to appear, it is veiled chiefly to them them who destroy them- 'who destroy themselves : to the heaselves."
then philosophers and Jewish scribes who destroy themselves by their un-,
belief. 4 (Ev). By whom the 4 By whom the devil, the God of God of this world hath this idolatrous world, hath blinded the blinded ’ the minds of the minds of the unbelievers, in order that unbelievers, in order that the light of the gospel, which proceeds the light of the gospel of the from the glory of Christ
, (chap. iii. 18.) glory of Christ, who is who is the image of God, as he is the the image of God, * might light of the world, (John viii, 12.) not shine to them.
might not bine to them.
cerning the true design of the law, and the intimations given in it concerning its abrogation by the gospel. Now in allusion to these causes of the blindness of the Israelites, the apostle told the Corinthians, that the gospel had been so plainly preached, and so fully proved, that if its divine original and true meaning was veiled, it was veiled only to them who destroy themselves. It was not veiled by any veil lying on the gospel itself, but by a veil lying on the hearts of the heathen fophifts, and Jewish scribes, who would destroy themselves by hearkening to their own prejudices and lufts.—In this, and the foregoing verse, the apostle hath asserted the perspicuity of the scriptures in all matters necessary to salvation. For the written gospel is the fame with that which the apostles preached, as is plain from Philip.iii. 1. 2 Pet. iii. 1,2.
Ver. 4.-1. By whom the God of this world, &c. In the preceding verse, 'the apostle had mentioned persons who destroyed themselves, to whom the gospel was veiled. Here he speaks of the devil's making use of these destroyed persons, in blinding the minds of the unbelievers. 1 therefore think the apostle, by persons who destroyed themselves, meant the great and learned both among the Jews and Greeks, who either from worldly motives, or from the influence of their own prejudices and lufts, opposed the gospel, and who at the instigation of the
5 For we preach not our- 5 Ou
you selves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your
σομεν, αλλα Χριςον Ιησεν servants for Jesus fake.
Κυριον εαυτες δε, δελες υμων
δια Ιησον. . 6 For God who
6 “Οτι ο Θεος ο εισων εκ manded the light to thine out of darkness, hath fhined
σκοτες φως λαμψαι, ος εin our hearts, to give the λαμψεν εν ταις καρδιαις ηiight of the knowledge of μων, αμος φωτισμος της γνωthe glory of God, in the face
σεως της δοξης τα Θεο of Jesus Christ.
προσωσω Ιησε Χριςο. . 7 But we have this trea- 7 Εχομεν δε τον θησαυρον fure in earthen veftels, that the excellency of the power ivc ý úsepborn ins duyqusws
τετον εν ουρακινοις σκευεσιν, may be of God, and not of
η του Θεου, και μη εξ ημων.
devil, blinded the minds of their unbelieving acquaintance, by false reafonings addrefled to the corruptions of the human heart, and thereby bindered them from discerning the divine original, and true meaning of the gospel -Tlie apostle gave to the devil the title of God, not because he is really God, or poffeffes independency, or any divine attribute, but merely because idolaters, called in fcripture the world, worshipped and ferved him, as if he were God. Our Lord also termed the devil
, the Prince of this world, John xii. 31. xiv. 30. not because he hath any title to rule the world, but because he hath ufurped the dominion thereof ~This verse, Bengelius calls, Grandis et horrįbilis descriptio Satane, A grand and terrible description of Satan. He adds, that some of the ancients, in opposition to the Manicheans who perverted this pasfage for establishing their two principles, construed it in the following mamci: Among whon, God hath blinded the minds of the unbelievers of ibis nge,
&c. See Vol I. page 49. at the foot. 2. Hath blinded the minds of the unbelievers. Though the devil is faid here, to blind the minds of the unbelievers, no person understands the aposlle to mean, that the devil hath the power of blinding men's minds directly; far less that he hath the power of blinding them forcibly; for in that cafe who would remain unblinded? But he means, that the devil blinds unbelievers in the way of moral suasion, by stirring up false teachers and infidels to attack the gospel, with arguments ad. dressed, not to the understanding of men but to the corruptions of their heart: and that by arguments of this kind, unbelievers are easily persuaded to shut their eyes against the light of the gospel, because it condemns their vicious practices. So our Lord hath told us: Men love darkness rather than light, because their deexts are evil. The ignorance therefore of unbelievers, does not proceed to much from the obscurity of the gospel, as from their own lufts and prejudices.
5 (1–0, 97.) Now we 5 Now, though we apostles are preach not ourselves, but the images of Christ, (chap. iii. 18.) Christ Jesus as Lord,' we preach not ourselves, but Chrift and ourselves your ser- Fesus as your Lord, and ourselves who vants (dia, 112.) on account are his images, we preach as your of Jesus.
servants for the purpose of teaching you
the gospel of Jesus. 6 ('Oti, 256.) For God 6 And we are well qualified to who commanded light to do so. For God who, at the creation, shine out of darkness, he commanded light to shine out of darkness, hath shined (ev, 163.) into he hath shined, not upon our faces our hearts, to Give You but into our hearts, to give you not a the light of the knowledge corporeal light but the light of the of the glory of God in knowledge of the glory of God, not as the face of Jesus Christ. as it appeared in Mofes' face but as
it shines in the face of Jesus Chrift. 7 But we have this 7 But we apostles, who have this treasure in earthen vefsels,' treasure of the light of the knowledge that the excellency of the of the glory' of God, are earthen velpower? might be God's sels, that the excellency of the power by and not (eg nuwv, 155.) be- which the world is enlightened and longing to us.
converted, and we ourselves are preserved, might be known to be God's, and not belonging to us.
3. The light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. That display of the perfections and counsels of God (ver. 6.) which is made in the gospel, the apostle calls light: and by observing that it proceeded from the face of Christ, he fets it in opposition to the material light which fhone in Moses' face, when he delivered the law to the Israelites.
4. Who is the image of God. St. Paul in this passage, calls Christ the image of God who is the Father of lights, or fountain of all the knowledge that is in the world, for the same reason that he calls the apostles the images of Christ. Christ faithfully delivered to the world all the doctrines which God gave to him, as the apostles faithfully declared all the revelations which Christ made to them. According to St. Paul, therefore, the world is illuminated by the apostles, with a light which they have derived from Christ: and Christ as mediator, hath derived his light from God. And thus, all the spiritual light that is in the world, the apostle ultimately refers to God. See ver. 6.---That Christ is the image of God in other respects likewise, fee Col. i. 13. note i.
Ver. 5. Christ Jesus as Lord. The order of the words in the original, Xerolo: Ingen Kupoy, she weth this to be the true translation of the clause.
Ver. 7 -1. We have this treasure in parthen vcffels. In the opinion of fome, there is here an allusion to Gideon's Toldiers, who carried