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Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to youward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
applied myself to you, and this, wherein I now, as if I were present with you, foretel those, who have formerly sinned, and all the rest, to whom, being now absent, I write, that when I come, I will not spare you. these two letters are my witnesses, according to our Saviour's rule, which says, "In the mouth of two or three 3 "witnesses every word shall be established:" Since you demand a proof of my mission, and of what I deliver, that it is dictated by Christ speaking in me, who must be acknowledged not to be weak to you-ward, but has given sufficient marks of his power amongst you.
2 a "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” These words seem to be quoted from the law of our Saviour, Matt. xviii. 16, and not from the law of Moses in Deuteronomy; not only because the words are the same with those in St. Matthew, but from the likeness of the case. Deuteronomy, the rule given concerns only judaical trials: in St. Matthew, it is a rule given for the management of persuasion, used for the reclaiming an offender, by fair means before coming to the utmost extremity, which is the case of St. Paul here: in Deuteronomy the judge was to hear the witnesses, Deut. xvii. 6, and xix. 15. In St. Matthew, the party was to hear the witnesses, Matt. xviii. 17, which was also the case of St. Paul here; the witnesses, which he means, that he made use of to persuade them, being his two epistles. That, by witnesses, he means his two epistles, is plain from his way of expressing himself here, where he carefully sets down his telling them twice, viz. "be"fore," in his former epistle, chap. iv. 19, and now a "second time," in his second epistle; and also, by these words, we waça Tò diurepov," as if I were present with you a second time." By our Saviour's rule, the offended person was to go twice to the offender; and therefore St. Paul says, “as if I were "with you a second time," counting his letters, as two personal applications to them, as our Saviour directed should be done, before coming to rougher means. Seme take the witnesses to be the three messengers, by whom his first epistle is supposed to be sent. But this would not be, according to the method prescribed by our Saviour, in the place from which St. Paul takes the words he uses: for there were no witnesses to be made use of, in the first application": neither, if those had been the witnesses ineant, would there have been any need for St. Paul, so carefully and expressly, to have set down we wapwy to diútspor, "as if present a second time," words which, in that case, would be superfluous. Besides, those three men are no where mentioned to have been sent by him, to persuade them, nor the corinthians required to hear them, or reproved for not having done it: and lastly, they could not be better witnesses of St. Paul's endeavours twice to gain the corinthians, by fair means, before he proceeded to severity, than the epistles themselves.
4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God: for we also are weak in him, but we shall live, with him, by the power of God towards you.
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves: know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
6 But I trust that ye shall know, that we are not reprobates. 7 Now I pray to God, that ye do no evil; not that we should ap pear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
4 For, though his crucifixion and death were with appearance of weakness; yet he liveth with the manifestation of the power of God, appearing in my punishing you. 5 You examine me, whether I can, by any miraculous operation, give a proof, that Christ is in me. Pray, examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; make a trial upon yourselves, whether you yourselves are not somewhat destitute of proofs. Or, are you so little acquainted with yourselves, as not to know, whether Christ be in 6 you? But, if you do not know yourselves, whether you can give proofs or no, yet I hope, you shall know, that I 7 am not unable to give proof of Christ in me.
But I pray to God that you may do no evil, wishing not for an opportunity to show my proofs: but that you, doing what is right, I may be, as if I had no proofs, no supernatural
4 'E§ dobεvélas, "through weakness," in duráμews Ose,"by the power "of God," I have rendered" with the appearance of weakness, and with "the manifestation of the power of God;" which I think, the sense of the place, and the style of the apostle, will justify. St. Paul, sometimes, uses the Greek prepositions, in a larger sense than that tongue ordinarily allows. Farther, it is evident, that i, joined to άobevias, has not a casual signification; and therefore, in the antithesis, iz duráμews Ose, it cannot be taken casually. And it is usual for St. Paul, in such cases, to continue the same word, though it happens, sometimes, seemingly to carry the sense another way. In short, the meaning of the place is this: Though Christ, in his crucifixion, appeared weak and despicable; yet he "now lives, to show the power of Gud, in the miracles, "and mighty works, which he does: so I, though I, by my sufferings and in"firmities, appear weak and contemptible; yet shall I live to show the power "of God, in punishing you miraculously."
5,6,7 c Adóximo, translated here "reprobates," 'tis plain in these three verses has no such signification, reprobation being very remote from the argu
8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
10 Therefore I write these things, being absent; lest, being present, I should use sharpness, according to the power, which the Lord hath given me, to edification, and not to destruction.
8 power. For, though I have the power of punishing supernaturally, I cannot show this power upon any of you, unless it be that you are offenders, and your punishment 9 be for the advantage of the gospel. I am, therefore, glad, when I am weak, and can inflict no punishment upon you; and you are so strong, i. e. clear of faults, that ye cannot be touched. For all the power I have is only for promoting the truth of the gospel; whoever are faithful and obedient to that, I can do nothing to; I cannot make examples of them, by all the extraordinary power I have, if I would: nay, this also I wish, 10 even your perfection. These things, therefore, I write to you, being absent, that when I come, I may not use severity, according to the power which the Lord hath given me, for edification, not for destruction.
ment the apostle is here upon; but the word adox is here used for one that cannot give proof of Christ being in him; one that is destitute of a supernatural power: for thus stands St. Paul's discourse, ver. 3, imei doniunv Cnleite, ver. 6, viwosobe öTI ¿x ádoxipos toμir," Since you seek a proof, you shall know, that I am not destitute of a proof."
CHAP. XIII. 11—14.
11 Finally, brethren, farewell; be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.
13 All the saints salute you.
14 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
11 Finally, brethren, farewell: bring yourselves into one well-united, firm, unjarring society; be of good comfort; be of one mind; live in peace, and the God of love 12 and peace shall be with you. Salute one another with -13 an holy kiss: All the saints salute you. The grace of 14 our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
11 2 The same, that he exhorts them to, in the beginning of the first epistle, sh. i. ver. 10.