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14 Let all your matters, about which I have given you directions in this letter, be tranfacted with love.
15 Ye know the family of Stephanas, that they were my first converts in Achaia, and that from love to Chrift and to his gospel, they have devsted themselves to the miniftry to the faints, employing themselves in preaching the gofpel, and in fuccouring the afflicted: Tentreat you,therefore, brethren,
16 That ye fubmit yourselves to the admonitions of fuch on account of their fidelity, and to the instructions every joint worker and labourer in the gospel.
17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus. For they have fupplied what was wanting in your letter, by the account they have given me of your affairs;
18 And thereby have refreshed my Spirit, and will refresh yours, by informing you of my health. Wherefore, fhew fuch perfons the respect which is due to them, ver. 16.
19 The churches of Afia, especially thofe of Ephefus and its neighbourhood, wish you all felicity. Aquila and Prifcilla, formerly members of your church, (Acts xviii, 2. 18.) but who at prefent are with me, falute you with much Chriftian affection, as do all the Chriftians in their house.
2. Fortunatus. Doddridge thinks, "this worthy perfon furvived "St. Paul a confiderable time, as it appears from Clement's epiftle to "the Corinthians, $ 59. that he was the messenger from the church "at Rome, to the church at Corinth, by whom Clement fent that in
3. Have fupplied your deficiency. To vμwv vsipapa. This by fome is tranflated, your want, by which they understand the apostle's want of the prefence of the Corinthians. But that tranflation makes no difference in the fenfe.
Ver. 19. Aquila and Prifcilla falute you. Thefe worthy perfons lived in Corinth all the time the apoftle was there. And when he deU 4
parted, they accompanied him to Ephefus, Acts xviii. 18. where they remained, after he left Ephefus to go to Jerufalem. For when he returned to Ephefus, he found them there, as is plain from their falutation fent to the Corinthians in this letter, which was written from Ephefus. But they feem to have left Ephefus, about the time the apostle departed to go into Macedonia. For in the letter which he wrote to the Romans from Corinth, they are faluted as then refiding in Rome.
Ver. 20. All the brethren falute you. The word brother, often fignifies one who employed himself in preaching the gofpel, 1 Cor. i. 1. 2 Cor. i. 1. ii. 13. Now as in this paffage the brethren are distinguished from the church, or common people, it is probable the apostle meant his fellow labourers in the gospel.
Ver. 22. He shall be Anathema, Maran atha. In the Greek it is Let him be. But the imperative is here put for the future. See Eff. iv. 9. Anathema, Maran atha, were the words with which the Jews began their greateft excommunications, whereby they not only excluded finners from their fociety, but delivered them to the divine Cherem, or Anathema; that is, to eternal perdition. This form they ufed, because Enoch's prophecy concerning the coming of God to judge and punish the wicked, began with thefe words, as we learn from Jude, who quotes the firft fentence of that prophecy, ver. 14. Wherefore, fince the apoftle denounced this curfe against the man, who while he profeffed fubjection to Chrift, was fecretly alienated from him in his heart, it is as if he had faid, Though fuch a perfon's wickednefs cannot be difcovered and punished by the church, yet the Lord at his coming will find it out, and punish him with eternal perdition. This terrible curfe the apoftle wrote in his epiftle to the Corinthians, because many of the faction, but efpecially their leader, had fhewn great alienation of mind from Chrift. And he wrote it with his own hand, to
20 All the brethren 1
falute you. Salute one another with an holy kifs. (See Rom. xvi. 16. note J.)
21 The falutation of Paul with mine Own hand.
22 If any one love not the Lord Jefus Chrift, he Jhall be Anathema, Ma
ran atha. '
23 The grace Lord Jefus Chrift, BE with you. 24 My love' BE with you all in Christ Jefus. Amen. (See Ephef. vi. 24. note 2.)
fhew how ferious he was in the denunciation. Fftius fays, from this example, and from the Anathemas pronounced, Gal i. 89. arofe the practice of the ancient general councils, of adding to their decifions, or definitions of doctrine, Anathemas against them who denied these doctrines, See Buxtorff's Lexic. Chaldaicum, page 827. 1248.
Ver. 24. My love be with you all, Le Clerc fufpects that MOY, is a mistake of the tranfcriber for Or, the abbreviation of OEOY. And B Pearce fuppofes he is right in that conjecture, because in the conclufion of the fecond epiftle, it is, n ayαшon тo De μeтa, The love of God be with you But alterations in the facred text, without the authority of ancient MSS. are never to be admitted. Befides, there is a great propriety and beauty in this manner of ending an epiftle, in which the apostle had fo fharply reproved the Corinthians. By affuring them of his love, he convinced them that all the fevere things he had written, proceeded from his anxiety for their eternal welfare, and thereby removed the prejudices which his reproofs might otherwise have raised in their minds-Le Clerc's conjecture, mentioned above, that the transcribers of the New Teftament have in this paffage, by mistake, written MOT for EOT, is one of the many inflances which might be produced, of conjectural emendations of the facred text, propofed by bold critics, which inftead of improving, really marr the fenfe and beauty of the paffages into which they would have them introduced.
ST. PAUL'S SECOND EPISTLE
SECT. I. Of St. Paul's Defign in writing his fecond Epifle to the Corinthians.
HEN the apoftle fent his first letter to the church at Corinth, he refolved to remain in Ephefus till the following Pentecoft, (1 Cor. xvi. 8.) that Titus, who carried his letter, might have time to return, and bring him an account of the manner in which it was received by the Corinthians. But the riot of Demetrius happening foon after it was sent away, the apostle found it neceffary to avoid the fury of the rioters and of the idolatrous rabble, who were all greatly enraged against him, for having turned fo many of the inhabitants of Afia from the established idolatry. Wherefore, leaving Ephesus, he went to 'Troas, a noted fea-port town to the north of Ephesus, where travellers, coming from Europe into Afia, commonly landed. Here he proposed to employ himself in preaching the gospel of Chrift, (2 Cor. ii. 12.) till Titus fhould arrive from Corinth. But Titus not coming at the time appointed, St. Paul began to fear that the Corinthians had used him ill, and had disre
garded the letter which he delivered to them. Thefe fears fo diftreffed the apostle, that notwithstanding his preaching at Troas was attended with uncommon fuccefs, he left that city and went forward to Macedonia, expecting to find Titus. But in this expectation he was disappointed. Titus was not in Macedonia when the apostle arrived. He therefore refolved to wait in that country, till Titus fhould come and inform him how the Corinthians stood affected towards their fpiritual father. It feems he judged it imprudent to visit them till he knew their fate.-In Macedonia, St. Paul had many conflicts with the idolaters, (2 Cor. vii. 5.) who were greatly enraged against him, as all the other idolaters were, for oppofing both the objects and the rites of their worship. These fightings, joined with his fears for Titus, and his uncertainty concerning the difpofition of the Corinthians, exceedingly diftreffed the apoftle at this time. But his uneasiness was at length happily removed by the arrival of Titus, and by the agreeable accounts which he gave him of the obedience of the greatest part of the Corinthians, in excommunicating the incestuous perfon; at which folemn action Titus may have been prefent. Much encouraged therefore by the good news, the apoftle wrote to the Corinthian church this fecond letter, to confirm the fincere part in their attachment to him, and to feparate the reft from the falfe teacher who had led them so far aftray.
To understand this epiftle rightly, the reader muft recollect, that as Titus spent fome time in Corinth after delivering the apostle's first letter, he had an opportunity to make himself acquainted, not only with the state of the fincere part of the church, but with the temper and behaviour of the faction. Wherefore when he gave the apofile an account of the good, difpofition of the church, he no doubt at the fame time informed him concerning the faction, that some of them ftill continued in their oppofition to him, and in their attachment to the falfe teacher; and that that impoftor was going on in his evil practices. Farther, Titus, by converfing with the faction, having learned the arguments and objections by which their leaders endeavoured to leffen the apostle's authority, together with the fcoffing fpeeches which they used to bring him into contempt, we may believe that he rehearsed all these matters to him. Being thus made acquainted