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Belial? or what part hath he that believeth 17 Wherefore come out from among with an infidel ?
them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, 16 And what agreement hath the temple and touch not the unclean thing; and I will of God with idols ? for 'ye are the temple of receive you, the living God; as God hath said, 'I will 18 And will be a Father unto you, and dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith be their God, and they shall be my people. the Lord Almighty.
51 Cor. 3. 16. Levit. 26. 12. 7 Isa. 52. 11. 8 Jer. 31. 1. Verse 5. " In labours, in watchings, in fastings.”—Many commentators interpret this of the roluntary sufferings of the apostle
. But it seems much better to understand him to refer to his corporal labour at his calling to the abridg. ment of kis nocturnal rest, occasioned by the necessity of making up at over hours, and in the night-time, for part of the day consumed in his evangelical labours; and to the scanty fare which a trade followed up with sueh divided attention must necessarily occasion. This is Bloomfield's view of the passage.
7. " The armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left."- It has been conjectured that the meaning of the apostle in these words is, that the spiritual warrior should be like the apposebnos, or those who could use, with equal alertness and vigour, the left hand and the right; prepared to resist on each side the wiles of the devil. They whe could use both hands were, on this account, esteemed to be the greatest heroes. Such was Asteropæus, in Homer ; and such, some suppose, were the “ left-handed” men spoken of in Judges xx. 16. (See Bulkley's • Notes.) This is possible ; but we should rather think that the apostle refers only to defensive armour. The allusion here and else where in the New Testament being to the armour worn by the Romans, we introduce a group which will elucidate the details.
10. “ Possessing all things.”_With reference to the passage here concluded, Doddridge observes, * This is certainly one of the sublimest passages that was ever written.". In this opinion, no one need hesitate to express his concurreaee. Bloomfield says, “I would remark on the long-sustained point and antithesis, in which I know no passage comparable with it except that inimitably fine one of Thucydides, i. 70, where he contrasts the character of the Lacedemonias and Athenians,"
ye were made
made you sorry, though it were but for a 1 He proceedeth in exhorting them to purity of life,
9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made 2 und to bear him like assection as he doth to them. 3 Whereof lest he might seem to doubt, he de
but that ye sorrowed to repentance : clareth what comfort he took in his afflictions, by
sorry 'after a godly manthe report which Titus gave of their godly sorrow, ner, that ye might-receive damage by us in which his former epistle had urought in them, 13
nothing and of their lovingkindness und obedience towards Titus, answerable to his former boastings of them.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repent
ance to salvation not to be repented of: Having therefore these promises, dearly but the sorrow of the world worketh death. beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all 11 For behold this selfsame thing, that filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulholiness in the fear of God.
ness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing 2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, we have corrupted no man, we have de- what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, frauded no man.
what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things 3 I speak not this to condemn you : for 1 ye have approved yourselves to be clear in have said before, that ye are in our hearts this matter. to die and live with you.
12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, 4 Great is my boldness of speech toward I did it not for his cause that had done the you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all but that our care for you in the sight of our tribulation.
God might appear unto you. 5 For, when we were come into Mace- 13 Therefore we were conforted in your donia, our flesh had no rest, but we were comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more troubled on every side; without were fight- joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his ings, within were fears.
spirit was refreshed by you all. 6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those 14 For if I have boasted any thing to that are cast down, comforted us by the him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we coming of Titus;
spake all things to you in truth, even so our 7 And not by his coming only, but by boasting, which I made before Titus, is the consolation wherewith he was comforted found a truth. in you, when he told us your earnest desire, 15 And his 'inward affection is more your mourning, your fervent mind toward abundant toward you, whilst he remember- . me; so that I rejoiced the more.
eth the obedience of you all, how with fear 8 For though I made you sorry with a and trembling ye received him. letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: 16 I rejoice therefore that I have confor I perceive that the same epistle hath fidence in you in all things.
1 Or, according to God. Verse 4. " Exceeding joyful."--The word translated "exceeding," imigtigisoivopeces, has immense energy; to express which, it seems to have been coined by St. Paul himself, as it has not been discovered in any other Greek writer. Doddridge translates it, “ I do exceedingly abound in joy:" perhaps to strengthen it a little further, “I do superabound exceedingly in joy," would be somewhat nearer the mark. The word occurs also in Rom. v. 20. (See the note on ch, iv. 17.)
$ Gr. bowels.
the grace of God bestowed on the churches CHAPTER VIIJ.
of Macedonia ; I He stirreth them up to a liberal contribution for 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the poor saints at Jerusalem, by the example of the abundance of their joy and their deep the Macedonians, 7 by commendation of their former forwardness, 9 by the example of Christ, poverty abounded unto the riches of their 14 and by the spiritual profit that'shali redound liberality. to themselves thereby : 16 commending to them 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, the integrity and willingness of Titus, and those and beyond their power they were willing of other brethren, who upon his request, exhortation, and commendation, uere purposely come to them
themselves; for this business.
4 Praying us with much intreaty that we
would receive the gift, and take upon us MORFover, brethren, we do you to wit of the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
5 And this they dil, not as we hoped, ed much had nothing over; and he that had but first gave their own selves to the Lord, gathered little had no lack. and unto us by the will of God.
16 But thanks be to God, which put the 6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that same earnest care into the heart of Titus as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
17 For indeed he accepted the exhorta7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, tion; but being more forward, of his own in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and accord he went unto you. in all diligence, and in your love to us, see 18 And we have sent with him the brothat ye abound in this grace also.
ther, whose praise is in the Gospel through8 I speak not by commandment, but by out all the churches; occasion of the forwardness of others, and 19 And not that only, but who was also to prove the sincerity of your love.
chosen of the churches to travel with us 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Je- with this grace, which is administered by sus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for us to the glory of the same Lord, and decla your sakes he became poor, that ye through ration of your ready mind: his poverty might be rich.
20 Avoiding this, that no man should 10 And herein I give my advice: for this blame us in this abundance which is admi. is expedient for you, who have begun be- nistered by us : fore, not only to do, but also to be 'forward 21 Providing for honest things, not only a year ago
in the sight of the Lord, but also in the '11 Now therefore perform the doing of sight of men. it; that as there was a readiness to will, so 22 And we have sent with them our brothere may be a performance also out of that ther, whom we have oftentimes proved diliwhich have.
gent in many things, but now much more 12 For if there be first a willing mind, it diligent, upon the great confidence which 'l is accepted according to that a man hath, have in you. and not according to that he hath not. 23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he
13 For I mean not that other men be is my partner and fellowhelper concerning eased, and ye burdened:
you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are 14 But by an equality, that now at this the messengers of the churches, and the time your abundance may be a supply for glory of Christ. their want, that their abundance also may 24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and bebe a supply for your want: that there may fore the churches, the proof of your love, be equality :
and of our boasting on your behalf. 15 As it is written, 'He that had gather1 Gr. willing.
* Or, gift.
• Or, he hath. Verse 3. “ To their power ... yea, and beyond their power they were willing."-No one can read the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles, without being forcibly struck by the tender and liberal feeling which the early Christians at all time manifested towards their brethren, distant or near ; their sympathy with them in all their distresses ; and their read ness in rendering all the personal or pecuniary assistance in their power. These facts indeed were so notorious that they attracted the attentioa even of the heathen. There is in particular a passage in Lucian's Peregrinus, which setos very remarkable in this point of view, and which we have been anxious for an opportunity of introducing. It occur i the account which the witty Syrian gives of a man who imposed himself for a convert upon the Christians of Asa Minor. Lucian himself was no friend of the Christians, as appears from the loose and sneering tone he adopts speaking of them. He evidently regarded them as a set of good-natured and simple fanatics, whose principles he had not thought a worthy matter of investigation. Hence his misconceptions on many important points to which ha alludes: and these do, in fact, render the statement the more interesting, as illustrating the point of view in which the Christians were regarded, by even the more intelligent and educated heathens even at a time when Christianity more extensively diffused and better known than when St. Paul wrote. Insensible to the value of its testimony to the liberality of the early Christians, and to their large possession of that “Charity which thinketh no evil," and looking only to Lucian's mis-statements and light tone of speech, the Roman Catholic Church placed the tract which contains the following passage, as well as the Philopatris of the same author, in its Index Expurgatorius, as unfit to be read by Christians. We give the passage in the translation of Dr. T. Francklin.
After relating how Peregrinus, whom he also calls Proteus, introduced himself among the Christians and contrived to make himself greatly respected by them, Lucian thus proceeds :
“ Their leader, whom they yet adore, was crucified in Palestine for introducing this new sect. Proteus was, as this account, cast into prison, and this very circumstance was the foundation of ail the consequence and reputation which he afterwards gained, and of that glory which he had always been so ambitious of: for when he was in bends, the Christians, considering it as a calamity affecting the common cause, did every thing in their power to release him, which, when they found impracticable, they paid him all possible deference and respect; old women, widows, and orphans, were continually crowding to him ; some of the principal of them even slept with him in the prison, having
* Exod, 16. 18.
bribed the keepers for that purpose: then were costly suppers brought into them ;* and they read their sacred books together. Several of the Christian deputies from the cities of Asia, came to assist, to plead for, and to comfort him. It is incredible with what alacrity these people support and defend the common cause; they spare nothing, in short, to promote it. Peregrinus being made a prisoner on their account, they collected money for him, and he made a very pretty revenue of it. These poor men, it seems, had persuaded themselves that they should be immortal, and live for ever. They despised death, therefore, and offered up their lives a voluntary sacrifice; being taught by their lawgiver, that they were all brethren, and that, quitting our Grecian gods, they must worship their own sophist, and live in obedience to his laws. In compliance with them, they looked with contempt on all' worldly treasures, and held every thing in common-a maxim which they had adopted without any reason or foundation. If any cunning impostor, therefore, who knew how to manage matters, came amongst them, he soon grew rich by imposing on the credulity of these weak and foolish men.” So Lucian: but, alas ! he knew not that the weakness of God was stronger than men, and that the foolishness of God was wiser than men. How little knew Lucian of the wisdom which lay hid in the things of which he so lightly speaks!
18. “ The brother, whose praise is in.... all the churches.”—Most of the ancient commentators, and some modern ones, suppose this was St. Luke. Some of the former refer the expression, “ whose praise is in all the churches," to the universal approbation with which the churches had received the Gospel of that evangelist; but they forget that the Gospel of St. Luke was not yet written. Possibly this “brother” was Luke: but this is by no means certain ; and some think that Mark is denoted, while others maintain that it was Silas, or perhaps Barnabas. No certainty can be attained on the subject. It will be seen that the subscription decides for St. Luke, but its testimony is of no value, unless as indicating the general opinion of antiquity on the subject.
7 Every man according as he purposeth
in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, 1 He yieldeth the reason why, though he knew their
or of necessity: for "God loveth a cheerful forwardness, yet he sent Titus and his brethren beforehand. 6 And he proceedeth in stirring them giver. up to a bountiful alms, as being but a kind of
8 And God is able to make all grace sowing of seed, 10 which shall return a great in- abound toward you ; that ye, always having crease to them, 13 and occasion a great sacrifice all sufficiency in all things, may abound to of thanksgivings unto God.
every good work: For as touching the ministering to the 9°(As it is written, 'He hath dispersed saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: abroad; he hath given to the poor: his
2 For I know the forwardness of your righteousness remaineth for ever. mind, for which I boast of you to them of 10 Now he that 'ministereth seed to the Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year sower both minister bread for your food, and ago; and your zeal hath provoked very multiply your seed sown, and increase the many:
fruits of your righteousness ;) 3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our 11 Being enriched in every thing to all boasting of you should be in vain in this be- bountifulness, which causeth through us half; that, as I said, ye may be ready: thanksgiving to God.
4 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come 12 For the administration of this service with me, and find you unprepared, we (that not only supplieth the want of the saints, we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this but is abundant also by many thanksgivings same confident boasting.
unto God; 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to ex- 13 Whiles by the experiment of this mihort the brethren, that they would go be- nistration they glorify God for your profore unto you, and make up beforehand fessed subjection unto the Gospel of Christ, your 'bounty, 'whereof ye had notice before, and for your liberal distribution unto them, that the same might be ready, as a matter and unto all men; of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
14 And by their prayer for you, which 6 But this I say, He which soweth spar- long after you for the exceeding grace of ingly shall reap also sparingly; and he God in
you. which soweth bountifully shall reap also 15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakbountifully 1 Gr. blessing.
8 Or, which hath been so much spoken of before.
3 Prov. 11. 25. Rom. 12. 8. Ecclus. 35. 9. 5 Isa. 53. 10.
4 Psal. 112. 9.
Verse 4. “ Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me.”—He does not say that any Macedonians would accompany him ; but it was not unlikely that they should, considering the frequent intercourse of Macedonia with this emporium of Greece, and the custom which everywhere prevailed of the aperopean, or setting forward the apostles on their way,
* Perhaps a misconception of the Agapæ, or Love-feasts, so frequent among the primitive Christians,
and sometimes accompanying them, so as to bring them safe to the next Christian congregation. (See Bloomfield, in loc.) In reading this chapter, it will be well to bear in mind that the Corinthians were a proverbially wealthy people.
7. “ Nol grudgingly... for God loveth a cheerful giver."— The Jews, who held alms to be very meritorious, were in the habit of teaching, that the highest degree of merit was when they were the most cheerfully given; and the least, when , they were grudgingly bestowed.