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12 I think myself entitled to the prayers of the faithful, and am perfuaded that God will hear their prayers on my behalf, Because my boafting is this, the teftimony of my conScience, that with the greatest fimplicity and fincerity; not with carnal wisdom, but with the gracious affiftance of God, I have behaved as an apoftle every where, and more especially among you.
13 For in what follows, ver. 15, 16. I write no other things to you, than what are implied in the obvious meaning of the words which ye read, and also acknowledge to be my meaning, and I hope that to the end of your life, ye will acknowledge, that Í always write fincerely.
14 This hope I entertain, seeing indeed a part of you have acknowledged me as an apofile, of whom ye boaft on account of his faithfulness: even as ye alfo will be my boafting at the day of judgment, on account of your perfe verance in the faith and practice of the gospel.
15 And in this perfuafion that ye believe me a faithful apoftle, I fincerely purposed to come to you first, that ye might have a fecond gift of the Spirit, as foon as poffible, by the impofition of my hands.
Ver. 13.-1. I write no other things to you than what ye read. It feems the faction had affirmed, that fome paffages of Paul's former letter were defignedly written in ambiguous language, that he might afterwards interpret them, as it fuited his purpose. He therefore told them, that the apology for altering his refolution refpecting his journey to Corinth, which he was going to write to them, was to be understood by them according to the plain obvious meaning of his words.
2. And alfo acknowledge. This the apoftle was warranted to fay, by the account which Titus had given him, of the good difpofition of the greater part of the Corinthian church.
Ver. 15.-1. I purpofed to come to you firfl. So wpregov fignifies here. See Parkhurst's Diction.-As foon as the apostle was informed by
fome of the family of Chloe, that diffenfions had arifen among the Corinthian brethren, he determined to go to Corinth firft, that is, before he went into Macedonia. His intention was to go ftraightway to Corinth by fea, because he wished to be there foon, in the expectation that his prefence among the Corinthians would put an end to their divifions, either in the way of perfuafion, or of punishment. Wherefore, to prepare the Corinthians for his coming, he notified his refolution to them by Timothy and Eraftus. But after their departure, having great fuccefs in preaching, and the meffengers from Co. rinth arriving with a letter from the fincere part of the church, the apoftle judged it prudent to delay his vifit to Corinth, to give them who had finned time to repent. And therefore, inftead of going ftraightway to Corinth by fea, he resolved to go by the way of Macedonia. This alteration of his purpose, he fignified to the Corinthians in his firft epiftle, chap. xvi. 5, 6, 7.
2. That ye might have a fecond gift. So our tranflators have rendered the word xagu, chap. viii. 4. I think the word is here put for χαρισμα, a fpiritual gift, in which fenfe it is ufed, Rom. xii. 6. Ephef.
Ver. 17.-1. Did I, for footh, ufe levity? Was the alteration of my purpose a proof that I formed it without due confideration.
2. Or the things which I purpose, &c. See the View prefixed to this Chapter.
3. Yea fhould be Yea, and Nay, Nay? See James v. 12.
Ver. 18. But as God is faithful. The original phrase wi¡ 0:2, is the fame form of an oath, with The Eternal liveth; that is, as certainly as the Eternal God liveth.
Ver. 19. And Silvanus. This is he who in the A&s is called Silas. He was a chief man among the brethren at Jerufalem, and one of the Chriftian prophets, Acts xv. 32.-After the council of Jerufalem, he accompanied Paul in those journies through the leffer Afia and Greece, which he undertook for fpreading the light of the gofpel.--Silas was so much efteemed by the apoftle's converts, that St. Paul inferted his name in the infcriptions of feveral of his epiftles. By him likewife, the apostle Peter fent his first epistle to the brethren of Pontus, Gala tia, Cappadocia, Afia, and Bithynia, Pet. v. 12.
Ver. 20. Were through him Yea, and through him Amen; were through his infpiration preached in one uniform manner, and as things abfolutely certain. For if the Son of God was really manifested in the flesh, and dwelt among us, if he wrought miracles, rofe from the dead, and afcended into heaven, and gave spiritual gifts to his difciples, there can be no doubt of the fulfilment of all the promises which he commiffioned his apoftles to preach to mankind in God's name. Befides, the incarnation, miracles, refurrection, and afcenfion of the Son of God, being things as great and ftrange, as the things which God hath promifed to us, the greatness and ftrangeness of the things promifed, can be no impediment to our believing them,-Tea (a) was the word ufed by the Greeks for affirming any thing; Amen was the word used by the Hebrews, for the fame purpose.
Ver. 21. Who hath anointed us.
Priefts and prophets, as well as kings, were confecrated to their feveral offices, by the ceremony of anointing. To anoint, therefore, is to fet apart one to an office. The gifts of the Spirit are called an unction, 1 John ii. 27,
Ver. 22.1. Who hath alfo fealed us. Anciently feals were used for marking goods, as the property of the person who had put his feal on them, that they might be diftinguished from the goods of others. Thus, all believers are faid to be fealed with the Spirit which was promifed, Ephef. i. 13. iv. 30. because they were thereby marked as Chrift's property. Thus likewife, the fervants of God are faid to be fealed in their foreheads, for the fame purpose, Rev. vii. 3- ix. The apoftles therefore, being fealed of God, they were thereby declared to be his fervants, and the apostles of his Son, and could not be fufpected
20 And whatever promifes of God were preached by us, concerning the pardon of fin, the affiftance of the Spirit, the refurrection of the dead, and the life everlasting, were through Chriff's infpiration, at all times the fame, and through Chrift's power will be verified to the glory of God.
21 Now he who establisheth my authority with you, as an apostle of Chrift, and who hath confecrated me to that high office, by the gifts of the Spirit is God,
22 Who, to fhew that I am an `apoftle, and to fit me for that office, hath alfo fealed me, and given me the earneft of the Spirit in my heart; the fpiritual gifts abiding in me.
23 Now, that ye may believe me in what I am going to fay, I call God as a witness against my foul, if I do not speak truth, that to avoid punishing you, I have not as yet come to Corinth; wishing to give you time to
either of fraud or falfehood. See another ufe of feals, Rom. iv. 11.
2. And given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Servants being hired by giving them earneit-money, the apoftle in allufion to that cuftom, fays, God hath given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts: he hath hired us to be the apoftles of his Son, by giving us the Spirit, or fpiritual gifts, 1 Cor. xiv. 32. Thefe gifts are called the earnest with which the apofles were hired, because they were to them a fure proof of thofe far greater bleflings which God will beftow on them in the life to come, as the wages of their faithful fervice. For the fame reason, all believers are reprefented as having the earnest of the Spirit given them, 2 Cor. v. 5. Ephef. i. 14. note 1.
Ver. 23. I call on God as a witness against my foul. This is a folemn imprecation of the vengeance of God upon himfelf, if he departed from the truth in what he was about to write. With this imprecation the apoftle begins his apology, for altering his refolution respecting his journey to Corinth. And as he continues it in the next chapter, to ver. 5. either that chapter ought to have begun here, or this chapter fhould have ended there.