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Christian liberality]




as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:

2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.

3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:

4 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.

5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up before


hand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity for God loveth a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.)

10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your


The Corinthian believers knew this love, and knowing it, it was their duty not only duly to appreciate, but humbly to imitate, and gratefully to return it, by showing kindness to their brethren in affliction; and to encourage those whose means were more limited thau others, the apostle states that their charity will not be accepted of God, so much in regard to its magnitude, as to the principle in which it originated. "For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.' So our Lord estimated the widow's mite above all the ostentatious charity of the Pharisees. (Mark xii. 41-44.) The apostle farther gives them to understand, that if at any future time it should please Providence, to permit them to be visited with the same trials that their brethren now suffered, he should be no less urgent on their behalf, wishing to treat all the

churches upon the same principle of equa lity, even as did the God of Israel in distributing the manna in the wilderness, who supplied the necessities of all, without leaving for any an unnecessary abundance. (See Exod. xvi. 18.)

The apostle now takes occasion to commend Titus, his "fellow-labourer," and at the same time to thank God for the grace conferred on him, whereby he was enabled to provide with so much liberality, and distribute with so much integrity, to the necessities of the poor brethren; it being the earnest desire, both of St. Paul and his colleagues, to discharge every obligation laid upon them, honestly and honourably before both God and man. 'Wherefore (says he) exhibit before all the proof of your regard to me, and justify the character I have given of you to the other churches.'


CHAP. IX. Ver. 2. Achaia-A province of Greece, of which Corinth was the capital, and Gallio was deputy; Acts xviii. 12. Calmet.

Ver. 4. (That we say not, ye).-Doddr. (" Not to say, ye.")- -This same confident boasting-Literally, confidence in boasting. Mackn.

Ver. 5. Your bounty-Margin, "blessing"Whereof ye had notice before.-Marg. "Which hath been so much spoken of before." So Doddr. nearly.Covetousness-Doddr, and Mackn." ex


Ver. 6. He which soweth sparingly-An evident allusion to busbandry. See verse 9. Compare Prov. xi. 24.

Ver. 8. God is able to make all grace-i. e. every gift (Greek, Charis). See Notes on chap. viii. ver. 4 and 6. But spiritual blessings are not to be excluded.

Ver. 9. As it is written-Namely, in Ps. cxii. 9.

Ver. 10. Now he that ministereth.-Doddridge, "Now may he that supplieth seed to the sower and bread for food, supply and multiply," &c. So Mack,

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(K) Ver. 1-15. Farther arguments and exhortations to liberality.-The apostle introduces this chapter (says Dr. Macknight) with remarking, that it was unnecessary and superfluous for him to discuss the propriety of the contributions to which he refers, since they were already in progress; yet, as he understood by Titus, that a good deal still remained to be done, he had sent the brethren mentioned in the preceding chapter, to encourage them to go on, that his boasting concerning their being prepared might not be rendered false; but that, at length, they might be prepared [as he had expected]. For if the Macedonian brethren who were coming with him to Corinth, should find their collection not finished, he, not to say the Corinthians, would be ashamed of his constant boasting concerning them. He had judged it necessary, therefore, to entreat the brethren to go before him to Corinth, to persuade them to complete their collection, that whatever they should give, might appear as freely given, and not as forced from them by his presence. In the mean

time, to encourage them to give liberally, he put them in mind of the rule-" He that soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly," He then desires each to consult his own! heart and conscience, and to give what be proposed to give without murmuring of hesitation-"For God loveth a cheerful giver." And he whose cause they sup ported, and whose people they relieved, would not be backward to reward what was given out of love to him or them; and those whom they thus assisted would, in return, assist them by their earnest prayers at the throne of grace on their behalf. Nor ought they for a moment to hesitate at any thing they could do for God, when they recollected that he bad "not spared his own and only begotten Son"-truly an "unspeakable gift!" which called for every exertion of praise and gratitude.

"Oh thou bounteous giver of all good,
Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown:
Give what thou canst-without thee we are poor,
And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away.



Ver. 11. To all bountifulness-Marg. "liberality." See Note on chap. viii. 2.

Ver. 13. Whiles by the experiment-Doddr." Experience "of this ministration-or "ministry." Mackn. explains it, "Through the proof which this ministry affords (of your conversion), glorifying God," &c.- -Professed subjection-literally, "The subjection of your confession;" meaning, we conceive," an avowed," and not secret or doubtful confession. See Hamm, and Doddr.

Ver. 15. His unspeakable gift.-Whitby and others understand this of the grace of charity bestowed on the Corinthians; but Doddridge, and most evangelical expositors, refer it to the gift of Christ himself. See John iii. 16.

CHAP. X. Ver. 1. In presence (Marg," outward appearance")-base among you.-In correspondence with, and partly explanatory of, what is quoted in the Exposition, "Nicephorus Calistus, a Greek historian of the 14th century (lib. ii. cap. 37), who probably combined all the traditionary information he could collect, speaks of our apostle as "small of stature, stooping, and rather inclinable to crookedness; pale faced, of an elderly look, bald on the head. His eyes lively, keen, and cheerful; shaded in part by his eyebrows, which hung a little over. His nose rather long, and not ungracefully bent. His beard pretty thick of hair, and of a suffi cient length, and, like his locks, interspersed with grey."

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2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal; but mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strong holds;

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God; and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man

trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.

8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:

9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.

10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily

[his own conduct.

presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.

12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.

14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you; for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the Gospel of Christ :

15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,

16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line, of things made ready to our hand.

17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.


Ver. 2. Which think.-Marg. " reckon." Doddr. account."

Ver. 3. In the flesh-i. e. in the earthly house of this tabernacle. See chap. v. 1, 2, and Notes.After-according to-the flesh-always means in a carnal,worldly manner. See Cruden, in the word flesh. Ver. 4. Not carnal-The gospel disowns all worldly means of propagation or conquest-especially such as have been improperly and false y called holy wars. Ver. 5. Imaginations.-Marg." reasonings." So Doddridge.

Ver. 6. And having in a readiness to revengeMackn. And are prepared [by our miraculous power] to punish all disobedience [as I shall do at Cormth] when the obedience [of such of you as are disposed to repent] is completed."

Ver. 7. He is Christ's-i. e. Christ's minister. Ver. 8. I should not be ashamed-i e. "by its failing me when I try it on the disobedient among you." Mackn.

Ver. 9. As if I would terrify you.-It was a dozen years, or more, before this, that St. Paul had smiten Elymas with blindness (Acts xiii.); and he anicipated that they might construe some of his remarks into a threat of some similar judgment.

18 For not he that commendeth

Ver. 10. His letters-Doddr. "Epistles." So ver. 9 and 11. The epistle before us seems to have been the sixth written by Paul (see our Table, p. 469); it is very possible, therefore, that these Corinthians might have seen two or three of them.Say they-Marg. "saith he," alluding to their leader. -Powerful-Doddr. and Mackn. "strong.". His bodily presence is weak.-See chap. xii. 7.

Ver. 12. For we dare not make, &c.-Doddr. "For we presume not to number (Mackn. rank) ourselves with some who recommend themselves ;" i. e. look only to their own supposed merits, and those of their own party.--Are not wise.-- Marg. understand not.'

Ver. 13. Not boast of things without our measure-that is, we restrain our labours within the bounds prescribed to us of God. Hammond thinks the language agonistic, and referring to the boundaries marked out for racers in the Isthmian games. But perhaps the allusion may be to the division of the land of Canaan. See Ps. 1xxviii. 55. Compare Rom. x. 18, with Ps. xix. 4.-The measure of the rule.-Marg. "line."

Ver. 15. Enlarged by you.-Marg. "Magnified in you." Doddr. "Magnified by you."

Ver. 17. He that glorieth-See Jer. ix, 23, 24.

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[for glorying;

2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be cor


(L) Ver. 1-18. Paul defends himself against the insinuations of his enemies.In this and the following chapters our apostle defends himself against the charges and insinuations of the false teachers and their adherents, who reproached him for the meanness of his personal appearance, and his deficiency in respect to those arts of rhetoric and elocution, which were admired and studied by men who aspired to popular applause: at the same time they admit his Epistles to be weighty in authority, and powerful in expression; but then, say they," his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible." With respect to his person, "In the Philopatris of Lucian, Treiphon (who said he was baptized by him) calls him, in ridicule, the big-nosed, bald-pated Galilean,' who had travelled through the air into the third heaven." And Chrysostom, the eloquent Greek father, describes him as "a little man, about three cubits (or four feet and a half) high." And it is probable that his voice was weak, or inharmonious, which gave countenance to the charge of his speech or elocution being contemptible.

But to return to our text-Paul's enemies, as it appears, had intimated that, when present with them, he appeared all meekness and humility, not daring to provoke any inquiries into his character or qualifications; but when absent, and at a distance, he was bold in reproving, and assumed a tone of authority to which they thought him not entitled. In answer to this, that he might not again be charged with such presumption, he beseeches them, "by the meekness and gentleness of Christ," that they would not compel him, when next present with them, to be bold and severe with them generally, in the manner which he had already resolved to be bold in reproving some of them in particular who had charged him with walking

according to the flesh; that is, according to the dictates of carnal wisdom and policy: "For though (says he) we walk in the flesh"-that is, though surrounded with all the infirmities of mortality-yet "do we not war after (or ac cording to) the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal"-not human force nor policy; neither philosophical science nor rhetorical skill: yet are they mighty in demolishing the strong holds of sin-in casting down the proud ima ginations of the human heart, and ins

bringing into captivity" or subjection, every notion or opinion inconsistent with the obedience due to Christ our Lord. At the same time that the apostle writes this, he reminds them of his having intrusted to him, by the Lord Jesus, a miraculous power able to avenge every act of obstinate disobedience. "And (says he) when your obedience is fulfilled," or become complete; that is, when you are brought to a com plete submission to Christ, those who remain unsubdued may expect to be severely punished.

In these verses several effects of the apostolical warfare are briefly stated:1. The destruction of the strong holds occupied by Pagan idolatry. 2. The breaking down all the vain reasonings and imaginations of philosophy, which are so many walls or ramparts of infidelity. 3. The leading captive all the fine theories and hypotheses invented by man to oppose the humbling doctrines of the gospel: and, lastly, the miraculous punishment of those who refused to submit to apostolical authority.

And whereas they objected to him the meanness of his external appearance, he inquires, "Do ye look upon things according to their outward appearance" only? But what are all ministers but the professed servants of Christ, and am not I the same? And though I should boast some


CHAP. XI. Ver. 1. Bear with me.-Marg. " You do bear with me." ." But Doddr. and Mackn. prefer the text.

Ver. 2. For 1, &c. Mackn. "Because I have

betrothed you [by faitli and holiness] to one husband, to present you [in affection and conduct spotless, as] a chaste virgin to Christ."

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5 For I suppose I was not a whit Dehind the very chiefest apostles.

6 But though I be rude in speech, et not in knowledge; but we have een throughly made manifest among ou in all things.

7 Have I committed an offence in basing myself that ye might be exIted, because I have preached to you he Gospel of God freely?

8 I robbed other churches, taking ages of them, to do you service. 9 And when I was present with u, and wanted, I was chargeable to › man for that which was lacking me the brethren which came from


Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.

11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.

12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even

as we.

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (M)


ing more of my apostolical authority, I ould see no reason to be ashamed, espelly while that authority is used only for ur edification, and not destruction. From the latter part of this chapter, Dr. acknight remarks two things-"1. That e apostles were specially appointed to each the gospel in countries where it had t been preached before; and that chiefly account of their extraordinary miralous gifts. 2. That in preaching the spel they were not to pass by or neglect y nation that lay in their way, where the pel had not been preached before; but re to proceed in an orderly course from

country to another, that the light the gospel might be imparted to all." t the false teacher (or teachers) here uded to had come from Judea to Corinth,

apparently to enter upon St. Paul's labours, and draw away from him those whom he had been instrumental in converting to Christ by his previous ministry.


(M) Ver. 1-15. St. Paul's judgment of false teachers. On the early part of this chapter we take the liberty to offer the following remarks :

1. Conversion is an espousal to Christ, and all apostacy after such espousal is an aggravated species of spiritual adultery. Dr. Doddridge says, "This is much illustrated by recollecting that there was an officer among the Greeks, whose business it was to educate and form young women (especially those of rank and figure) designed for marriage, and then to present

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er. 4. With him.-Marg. " with me er. 5. For I suppose.-Doddr. "I reckon." The e word is thus rendered, Rom. viii. 18.-I was a whit behind.-Mackn. "I am in nothing inDr. "The very chiefest apostles- that is, r, James, and John; see Gal. ii.9. It is evident a this that Paul did not acknowledge the sunacy of Peter.

er. 6. Rude.-Doddr. "unskilful." Mackn. nlearned." Raphelius cites a passage from

Xenophon, in which (using the same word, idiotes) he calls himself a plain (or ordinary) man."Not in knowledge.-Paul, independent of his inspiration, had, we know, received a learned education under Gamaliel (Acts xxii. 3), and was deeply versed in Scriptural and Jewish learning; but he was wilfully ignorant of the vain philosophy and rhetorical arts of the Greeks. See 1 Cor. ii. 1-7

Ver. 10. No man shall stop me, &c.-M "This boast shall not be stopped from me."

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