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shined in our hearts, to give us thereby a true and clear knowledge of the glory of God, in and by the means of Jesus Christ.
IV. 7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
But this goodly and rich treasure of the Gospel is by him put into us, that are but base, brittle, earthen vessels; that there may no part of the praise of the excellent power and virtue thereof be cast upon us, but all may be, as it is due, ascribed to God alone.
IV. 8. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.
We are afflicted on every side, yet not over-pressed and distracted therewith.
IV. 10. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
Always imitating, in our very bodies, the example of the sufferings and dying of our Lord Jesus; that once our now mortal bodies may be conformable to his, in everlasting glory, and the life of blessedness and immortality. So also verse 11.
IV. 12. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
So then, we are continually exposed to death, while ye live quietly, out of the danger thereof, and provide for your life and safety.
IV. 13. We having the same Spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believed, and therefore speak.
We, having the same faith, that David had, wrought in us by the Spirit of God, can say, as he did, I believed, and therefore have I spoken: upon the same grounds then, that he had, we also believe the performance of all God's promises to us, and therefore we do boldly profess and preach the truth of the Gospel.
IV. 15. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
For all, both our sufferings and deliverances are for your sakes; that the abundant grace of God, which shews itself in both these, might win so much more glory to God, for that so many are interested therein, and shall return their praises and thanksgivings to him for his mercy to us.
IV. 16. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
Upon which assurances, we go on cheerfully in our ministry, and faint not: for, though our body decay and languish, by reason of our many pressures and afflictions, yet our spirit gathers strength and resolution, every day, more than other.
IV. 17, 18. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Forasmuch as we know, that this light affliction, which we suffer here, for the short moment of this present life, shall be recompensed, through God's mercy, with an incomparably and inconceivably more excellent and eternal measure of glory; and helps us forward towards the attainment thereof: While we cast, not our bodily eyes, upon these outward things, that are seen; but the eyes of our souls, upon those spiritual and invisible excellencies: for all these things, which our bodily eyes can see, are temporal and transitory; but those invisible things, which our souls see, are eternal.
V. 1. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
For we know, that if this earthly body of ours, wherein the soul sojourns, some while, as in a tabernacle of clay, be once dissolved, we have a glorious mansion, prepared for us, and built by God; even a house made only by the infinite power and goodness of our Creator, which is eternal in the heavens. V. 2. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.
For, in this frail tabernacle of our body, we live in continual sighing and groaning; earnestly desiring, if it might be, that, in this state of our bodies, we might, without the pain of a dissolution, be clothed upon with the life of glory and immortality.
V. 3. If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. If, at least, we be found, at the coming of Christ, clothed with these bodies of ours, and not despoiled of them before by death.
V. 4. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
For we, that are in this tabernacle of our bodies, do sigh and groan, being burdened with this lumpish and earthen load of our flesh: not for that we would be unclothed and stripped of them; but in a desire, that, being clothed with them, we might have glory put also upon us; that, as we are clothed with them, so they may be clothed with glory; that so mortality might, without any sensible pain, be swallowed up of life.
V. 5. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Now, he, that ordained and wrought us to this blessed con
dition, is only God; who hath also given us, beforehand, the earnest of his Spirit, to assure us of the full accomplishment of his good promises to us.
V. 6. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.
Therefore, howsoever nature is ready to shrink at the thought of dissolution, yet we are confident always to undergo it, cheerfully and resolutely; knowing that our life is, in this case, a true pilgrimage, in that, while we are present in this body of ours, we are absent from the Lord: we do, indeed, account our body to be our home; but it is a short, uncertain, imperfect, and miserable home: it is heaven, that is our true country and home, as being our Father's house; while then we are in this home of our bodies, we are away from our glorious home, and from the Lord, who is the Owner and Maker of it.
V. 7. (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
(For we do only now, by our faith, enjoy God; but are as strangers, yet, in regard of our present sight and fruition of him :)
V. 8. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
We are, I say, confident to undergo our dissolution, and willing rather to be freed and delivered from our body and to be present with the Lord, than to be still in the body and absent from God.
V. 9. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
Wherefore we labour, that, whether we live or die, whether our souls be present in our bodies or separated from them by death, we may be graciously accepted of him.
V. 11. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest unto your consciences.
Knowing therefore the terror of this dreadful judgment, and the awfulness of that Lord who shall appear in it, we persuade men to a conscionable fear and obedience: and, for us, we are careful to be approved of God in our sincerity and faithfulness to him, in our ministry; and I trust also, ye yourselves, in your own consciences, cannot but allow and give testimony thereof.
V. 12. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that you may have somewhat to answer them &c.
But we speak this, to give you occasion, rather to rejoice and boast, on our behalf; that you may have somewhat to answer those false apostles, which make a shew of joy and confidence, but indeed have no truth thereof in their hearts.
V. 13. For whether we be besides ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
Neither let any man censure us for this our gloriation, as if we were over-carried beyond the bounds of discretion, or as if this zeal and boasting savoured of some kind of madness: for, if we be thought to be besides ourselves, it is for our fervent love to God and his Gospel, that we are so reproached; and, if we be sober, it is for your cause, that we might give an example of meekness unto you.
V. 14. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
For the wonderful and infinite love of Christ, wherewith he embraced mankind, offers a holy force and violence unto us; because we do thus rightly and justly judge, that we were all dead and lost by reason of our sin; otherwise, that only and dear Saviour of ours would not have died for all:
V. 15. And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
And, withal that his purpose of dying for all was this, that they, which live by the power and efficacy of his death, should not live unto themselves, any more, but unto him, and for his glory and advantage, who died for them and rose again.
V. 16. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
Wherefore, henceforth, we do not respect and esteem any man for these outward and fleshly regards of honour, or wealth, or parentage, or the like: yea, if heretofore we have boasted of Christ for any fleshly respects or interest, as that he was of the same city, country, kindred with us; yet henceforth, we stand no more upon these points, but rather boast ourselves of him in spiritual regards, as our Redeemer, as our gracious and all-sufficient Mediator, interceding for us in heaven.
V. 17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are
Therefore, if any man do challenge to have any right in Christ, or any station in his spiritual kingdom, let him be a new creature, renewed by the grace of his Spirit. All the old, out-worn conditions of our sinful nature, and the appendances thereof, are now gone and past: all things, that are in us, are now become new, by the power of regeneration.
V. 18. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself.
And all things are thus renewed by the power and grace of God; who hath reconciled, &c.
V. 19. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.
God was in Christ, as the Father in the Son, reconciling the world to himself, by Christ the Son; by his full satisfaction so doing away their sins, as that he imputes them not to the penitent, to the believer, etc.
V. 21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
For he hath made him, who knew no sin, to undergo and satisfy, in our stead, that wrath which was due to our sin; that we might be made partakers of his righteousness, before God, by the merciful imputation thereof unto us.
VI. 2. I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation &c. See Isaiah xlix. 8.
VI. 6. By the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned.
In the good improvement of all those spiritual graces, which ye have received.'"
VI. 7. By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.
Let us bear ourselves as the ministers of God, in rightly delivering to his people the word of truth, without mixtures of our own fancies; in the zealous maintenance of that truth by our utmost endeavours, and by that power of working miracles which God hath given to us, in all righteousness: which, like a complete armour, may compass us about and defend us, both from the dangers of the temptations of prosperity on the right hand, and of adversity on the left.
VI. 11. O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
O ye Corinthians, we do by all means desire to express the good affections that we bear towards you: our hearts are enlarged towards you, in all affectionate love, and holy desires of your good.
VI. 12. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are staitened in your own bowels.
It is no strait or narrow room, that ye take up in our hearts: ye have full scope there; and, if ye think otherwise, surely the straitness is in your own breasts, that ye will not conceive sufficiently of our kind and hearty disposition towards you.
VI. 13. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
In requital of this Christian and fatherly affection of ours to you, be ye also, as spiritual children, alike lovingly affected towards us.
VI. 14. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
Out of this tender love and care of mine, I do advise and