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15 And I will very gladly spend, and be spent, for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

16 "But be it so, I did not burden you nevertheless being crafty, I caught you with guile."

17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? 18 I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? Walked we not in the same spirit? Walked we not in the same steps? 19 Again, think you that we excuse ourselves unto you? We speak be


15 I will gladly lay out whatever is in my possession, or power; nay, even wear out and hazard myself for your souls, though it should so fall out that the more I love you, the less I should 16 be beloved by you. "Be it so, as some suggest, that I was not burdensome to you; but it was in truth out of cunning, with a design to catch you, with that trick, drawing from you, 17 by others, what I refused in person." In answer to which, I ask, Did I, by any of those I sent unto you, make a gain of you? 18 I desired Titus to go to you, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? Did not they behave themselves with the same temper that I did amongst you? Did we not walk in the same steps? i. e. neither they nor I re19 ceived any thing from you. Again, do not, upon my men


15 Vid. 2 Tim. ii. 10.

e Vid. chap. vi. 12, 13.

19 He had before given the reason, chap. i. 23, of his not coming to them, with the like asseveration that he uses here. If we trace the thread of St. Paul's discourse here, we may observe, that having concluded the justification of himself and his apostleship by his past actions, ver. 13, he had it in his thoughts to tell them how he would deal with the false apostle and his adherents, when he came, as he was ready now to do. And, therefore, solemnly begins ver. 14 with "behold ;" and tells them now, "the third time," he was ready to come to them to which joining, (what was much upon his mind) that he would not be burdensome to them when he came, this suggested to his thoughts an objection, viz. that this personal shyness in him was but cunning; for that he designed to draw gain from them by other hands. From which he clears himself, by the instance of Titus, and the brother, whom he had sent together to them, who were as far from receiving any thing from them as he himself. Titus and his other messenger being thus mentioned, he thought it necessary to obviate another suspicion, that might be raised in the minds of some of them, as if he mentioned the sending of those two as an apology for his not coming himself. This he disclaims utterly; and to prevent any thoughts of that kind, solemnly protests to them, that, in all his carriage to them, he had done nothing but for their edification; nor had any other aim, in any of his actions, but purely that; and that he forbore coming merely out of respect and goodwill to them. So that all from " Behold, this third time I am ready to come to you," ver. 14, to "this


fore God, in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults.

21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many, which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness, which they have committed.


tioning my sending of Titus to you, think that I apologize for my not coming myself: I speak as in the presence of God, and as a Christian, there is no such thing: in all my whole carriage towards you, beloved, all that has been done, has been done only for your edification. No, there is no need of 20 an apology for my not coming to you sooner: For I fear, when I do come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that you will find me such as you would not: I am afraid that among you there are disputes, envyings, animosities, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings of mind, disturbances: 21 And that my God, when I come to you again, will humble me amongst you, and I shall bewail many who have formerly sinned, and have not yet repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lasciviousness, whereof they are guilty.


third time I am coming to you,” chap. xiii. 1, must be looked on as an incident discourse, that fell in occasionally, though tending to the same purpose with the rest; a way of writing very usual with our apostle, and with other writers, who abound in quickness and variety of thoughts, as he did. Such men are often, by new matter rising in their way, put by from what they were going, and had begun to say; which, therefore, they are fain to take up again, and continue at a distance; which St. Paul does here, after the interposition of eight verses. Other instances of the like kind may be found in other places of St. Paul's writings.




HE reassumes what he was going to say, chap. xii. 14, and tells them how he intends to deal with them when he comes to them; and assures them, that, however they question it, he shall be able, by miracles, to give proof of his authority and commission from Christ.


1 This is the third time I am coming to you: in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

2 I told you before, and foretel you, as if I were present the second time; and being absent now I write to them, which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare 3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.



1 This is now the third time I am coming to you; and when I come, I shall not spare you, having proceeded, according to our Saviour's rule, and endeavoured by fair means first 2 to reclaim you, before I come to the last extremity. And of this my former epistle, wherein I 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. I say, these two letters are my witnesses, according to our Saviour's rule, which says, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be establish3 ed a:" Since you demand a proof of my mission, and of what


2 "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. In Deuteronomy, the rule given concerns only judicial 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 wit


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


I deliver, that it is dictated by Christ speaking in me, who must be acknowledged not to be weak to you-ward, but has 4 given sufficient marks of his power amongst you. For though his crucifixion and death were with appearance b of weakness; yet he liveth with the manifestation of the power 5 of God, appearing in my punishing you. You examine me, whether I can, by any miraculous operation, give a proof, that


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nesses, Matth. 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. "before," in his former epistle, chap. iv. 19, and now a "second time," in his second epistle; and also, by these words, we wafùr tò deútepov, "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. Some 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 meant, would there have been any need for St. Paul, so carefully and expressly, to have set down as waρàr tò deÚTepov, "as if present a second time," words which, in that case, would be superfluous. Besides, those three men are nowhere 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 b'E ȧobevelas, "through weakness," ix duáμews O, “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 is, joined to άovías, has not a casual signification; and therefore, in the antithesis, iz dvváμews ☺soũ, 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 God, in the miracles and mighty works which he does: so I, though I, by my sufferings and infirmities, appear weak and contemptible; yet shall I live to show the power of God, in punishing you miraculously."



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 appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

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.


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 6 Christ be in you? But, if you do not know yourselves, whether you can give proofs or no, yet I hope you shall know, 7 that I 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 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 be for the ad9 vantage 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.


5, 6, 7 'Aôóxiμos, translated here "reprobates," it is plain in these three verses has no such signification, reprobation being very remote from the argument the apostle is here upon; but the word adóximo, 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, ixel Soniμhy (nleite, ver. 6, yudocode Sti oùm àðónimos koμèr, "Since you seck a proof, you shall know that I am not destitute of a proof."

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