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TEXT. 9 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to youward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
PARAPHRASE. 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, Í write, that when I come, I will not spare you. I say, these two letters are my witnesses, according to our Sa
viour'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.
NOTE, 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. In 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 wit. nesses, 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.
Thrat, by witnesses, he means his two epistles, is plain fromr his way of expressing himself here, where he carefully sets down his telling them twice, viz. “ be “ fore,” in his former episile, chap. iv. 19, and now a " second time,” in his second epistle; and also, by these words, wę wapwy TO OSÚTepov, “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. Scme take the witnesses to be the three messengers, by whom his first cpistle 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 ws Tawy to dellTipor, « as if present a second time," words which, in that case, would be super
Auous. Besides, those three men are no where mentioned to have been sent • by him, to persuade them, nor the corimhians 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
TEXT. 4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he lizeth 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.
PARAPHRASE. 4 For, though his crucifixion and death were with appear
ance 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 ope
ration, 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 acquaint
ed 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 TEXT. 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
NOTES. . 4\'E} sobivías, “ through weakness," ix d'urkuewe sê, “ by the power “ of God," I have rendered “ with the appearance of weakness, and with o 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. Far. ther, it is evident, that i, joined to cobeveias, has not a casual signification; and therefore, in the antithesis, in duvá uews 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 contemptibie; yet shall I live to show the power “ of God, in punishing you miraculously."
5, 6, 7 c 'Adóximou, translated here « reprobates,” 'tis plain in these three verses has no such signification, reprobation being very remote from the argue
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 mne, to edification, and not to destruction.
PARAPHRASE. 8 power. For, though I have the power of punishing su
pernaturally, 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 extraordi
nary 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.
NOTE. ment the apostle is here upon; but the word à doxium 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, i ei doxouny Srleite, ver. 6, pácsok ÖTo adoxipor louin, “ Since you seek a proof, you shall know, that " I am not destitute of a proof.”
CHAP. XIII. 11–14.
TEXT. 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.
PARAPHRASE. 11 Finally, brethren, farewell: bring yourselves into one
well-united, firm, unjarring society; be of good com
fort; be of one inind; 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.
NOTE. • 11 - The same, that he exhorts them to, in the beginning of the first epistle, ph. i. ver. 10.