Ver. 1. We helping, or in the Greek, working together, that is, with God, as employed by him, or as his ministers, and ambassadors, we exhort you not to receive the grace of God in vain, by resisting his interior graces, by an idle, or a wicked life. Wi.
Ver. 2. Now is the day of salvation, by the coming of your Redeemer. Wi.
Ver. 3. In this, and in the following verses, S. Paul shews his anxious solicitude not to give any, the least occasion of scandal, lest some reproach might fall upon the ministry of the gospel: for nothing is more likely to cast a blemish on the sanctity of religion, than the want of conduct in any of its ministers. If what they say be true, why do their own lives correspond so little with what they say. This will be the cry of all libertines. Calmet.
Ver. 8. The apostles maintained the character, and fulfilled the duties of the ministers of Christ, equally in prosperity and adversity; they continued to speak the truth, though regarded by the Jews as seducers; exposed to all kinds of dangers, they relied on God, who preserved them, though in the midst of dangers, and of death itself. Though they possessed nothing in this world, yet God never permitted them to remain in want: his providence procured for them all things necessary. Though they had nothing in their possession, yet they procured relief for others, by the alms, of which they were made the disposers, though this latter part is generally understood of the spiritual riches, which they bestowed upon their auditors. Estius.
Ver. 11. &c. Our mouth is open to speak with freedom and confidence.
--- Our heart is enlarged, dilated, as it were, with the warmth of love and charity.
--- But you are straitened in your own bowels; you have not the like charity and love for me, nor for all your brethren, and for all mankind, &c. Wi.
--- The apostle here complains, that the Corinthians have not the same affection for him, which he has for them: as if he should say, however enlarged your heart may be, through the love you have for me, it can never equal the ardour of my love for you. He alludes to those who followed some false teachers, of whom he says a little after: Though I love you more, I am less loved.
--- But having the same recompense, by a just return have the same affection for me, as I have for you. S. Chrys.
--- Let your heart be dilated for me, and receive the advice I give you as coming from a father, who most tenderly loves his children. A.
Ver. 14. Bear not the yoke together with unbelievers. He does not mean, that they must wholly avoid their company, which could not be done, but not to have too intimate a friendship with them, not to marry with them, to avoid their vices. Be ye separate . . . touch not the unclean thing. He does not speak of meats, clean and unclean, according to the law of Moses, nor of legal uncleannesses, but what is sinful under the new law of Christ, and would defile the soul, as idolatry, fornication, &c. Wi.
Ver. 15. Such as have cast off the yoke of God are called children of Belial. John viii. 44. Belial, in its radical signification, means without yoke. V.
Ver. 16. The apostle here blames the too great affection the Corinthians had for the Gentiles, who sometimes invited them to their religious feasts, at which were eaten meats which had been offered to idols, and which gave scandal both to the Christians and Gentiles. To draw them from these feasts he tells them, that they are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and that consequently they ought not to make themselves the temples of devils, by eating of the sacrifices of devils. Calmet.
--- S. Paul, in this and the foregoing verses, clearly shews that the faithful ought not to frequent, on any account, the tabernacles of those who have left the Church. In the old law, Moses was ordered to command the ancients of Israel, on the part of God, to depart from the tents of those wicked men, lest they be involved in their sins. Numb. xvi. 27.