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THEREFORE, seeing we have this ministration, according as we have obtained mercy, we faint not;

Ver. 1.  The apostle, having in the last chapter shewn the excellence of his ministry above that of the law, proceeds to inform them of his own labours, &c. in order to destroy the credit which the false teachers had acquired amongst the Corinthians, and to caution them against any attempts that these teachers might make to destroy what had caused S. Paul so much trouble to effect.  But he still refers all to God.  As for these false teachers, what Churches had they founded? what persecutions have they endured?  Calmet.


2 But we renounce the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor adulterating the word of God; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience, in the sight of God. 3 And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost,

Ver. 3.  The apostle here brings another proof of the sincerity of his preaching, viz. the success with which it is attended: And he says, if there be any who have not yet received it, that is their own fault.  For had they been as eager to receive it, as we have been to announce it to them, the whole world had long since been converted.  Theodoret.


4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

Ver. 4.  In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers.  Thus the words are placed, both in the Latin and Greek text, so that the true God seems to be called the God of this world, as he is elsewhere called the God of heaven, the God of Abraham.  God, says S. Chrys. blinded, that is, permitted them to be blinded.  Others translate, in whom God hat blinded the minds of the infidels of this world; so that this world may be joined with unbelievers, and not with God: and by the God of this world, some understand the devil, called sometimes the prince of this world, that is, of the wicked.  Wi.

 

[†]  V. 4.  In quibus Deus hujus sæculi excæcavit mentes infidelium, en oiV o QeoV tou aiwnoV toutou etuflwse ta nohmata twn apistwn.  S. Chrys. om. h. p. 594. lin. 11. says, it should be read thus: anagnwsteon, oti twn apistwn tou aiwnoV toutou, etuflwsen o qeoV []ohmata.

5 For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ our Lord; and ourselves your servants through Jesus. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus.

Ver. 6.  The light to shine out of darkness.  He alludes to what is related at the first creation, when God divided the light from darkness.  Gen. i. 4.

 

--- In the face of Christ Jesus, which may signify in the person of Christ, who was the true light enlightening every man, that comes into this world.  John i. 9.  Wi.


7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency may be of the power of God, and not of us. 8 In all things we suffer tribulation, but are not distressed; we are straitened, but are not destitute;

Ver. 8.  We are straitened.  This, by the Greek, seems the sense of the Latin word, which is taken to signify, one perplexed, and in a doubt.  See Jo. xiii. 22.  Acts xxv. 20.  Gal. iv. 20.  Wi.

 

[†]  V. 8. Aporiamur, aporoumenoi, from a and poroV, transitus.  See Mr. Legh.

9 We suffer persecution, but are not forsaken; we are cast down, but we perish not: 10 Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies.

Ver. 10.  That the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies, when we suffer, and undertake voluntary sufferings for his sake.  Wi.


11 For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake; that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

Ver. 12.  Death worketh in us, when we are under persecutions, and dangers of death, and life in you, who live in ease and plenty.  Wi.

 

--- The preaching of the gospel, which we undertake in such a disinterested manner, and which exposes us to so many dangers, is the cause of death to us, but of life to you.  It draws down upon us a thousand dangers and disgraces; but procures you all kinds of advantages.  You tranquilly enjoy the fruit of our labour, though we do not envy you this happiness, because we hope one day to enjoy the reward of our labours.  Calmet.


13 But having the same spirit of faith, as it is written: I believed, for which cause I have spoken; we also believe, for which cause we speak also:

Ver. 13.  We also believe, &c.  That is, we have the like faith as David, when he spoke in that manner; we hope and believe, God will deliver us, or at least raise us up from the dead with Jesus.  Wi.


14 Knowing that he who raised up Jesus, will raise us up also with Jesus, and place us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes; that the grace abounding through many, may abound in thanksgiving unto the glory of God.

Ver. 15. &c.  For all things, that we suffer, are for your sakes, that many may be brought to give thanks, and to praise God for eternity.  This encourages us not to fail, nor faint in the cause of God, under these momentary and light tribulations, which mark in us above measure, an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  See the Greek text.  Wi.


16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man is corrupted, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.

Ver. 17.  Worketh.  In the Greek, katergazetai, which the English Bible of the year 1577 falsely renders by prepareth, unwilling to allow, with the apostle, that tribulation worketh eternal glory.  The ardour with which the apostle speaks is sufficient to inspire the most timid with courage.  A life full of crosses, labours, persecutions, injuries, &c. he calls momentary and light, if compared with the eternal, immense, and incomprehensible glory prepared for us.  S. Aug.

 

--- All earthly substance, compared with the happiness of heaven, is rather a loss than a gain.  This life, when put in comparison with that to come, is rather a death than life.  S. Greg. in Evangel.


18 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.
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