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Fastings,

5.

(d) By Knowledge.] Interpreters give many different Senses of this Word. Dr. Scott in all Manner of Afliktions and Distresses ;

471 5 In Stripes, in Impri- may unavoidably feel in them (b):

This fiea- Sect. 10. fonments, in Tumults, in Labours, in Watchings, in dy Patience we endeavour to maintain, in Stripes,

when we are scourged in Synagogues and Cities, 2 Cor. VI.
as if we were the most notorious Offenders against
God and Men, and the vilest Pests of Society : In
Imprisonments, tho' we not only endure so many
Hardships in our Confinement, but are cut' off
by it from these publick Labours for the Glory
of God and the Edification of the Church, which
are dearer to us than our Lives : In Tumults (c)
which are raised against us by Jews and Gentiles,
and by which our Enemies are often endeavour-
ing to tear us in Pieces : In Labours, which we
incessantly pursue, either in our Ministerial Work,
or in these secular Callings, by which we are of-
ten obliged to earn our daily Bread: In Watchings,
when in Prosecution of those various Employ-
ments, the Hours of the Night are added to those
of the Day, and we have hardly Time for our
necessary Repose: In Fastings, to which, besides
those which Devotion chooses, we are often

obliged to submit, for Want of proper Supplies of 6 By Pureness, by Know

Food :

Yet still, in the Midst of all these 6
ledge,

Difficulties, conducting ourselves, in unspotted
Purity, labouring to improve daily in the Know-
ledge (d) of these Divine Truth, which it is our
great Business to teach others, and by the Exer-

cife (b) Afflictions

-Necessities -- Straits.] Dr.Whitby thinks, the first Word, Profis, fignifies Afriction in general the second, avayan, more grievous and unavoidable Troubles-and the third, seroxwpia, such Pressures, as reduce us to the greatest Straits : The compound Sense therefore on the whole is, we are, as it were, hemmed in with inevitable, and humanly speaking, inextricable Calamities, on every Side. Compare Sect. vii. Note (c).

(c) In Tumults : axelascows.] Beza interprets this, (and I think no Man seems better to have understood the peculiar Propriety of Greek Words,) of such Attacks, as a Man cannot stand against, but which bear him hither and thither by Violence : He would render it in Latin, Exagitationibus. says it fignifies Prudence, which is a Christian Virtue, whereas the mere Understanding of Divine Things was a Gift. Mr. Pyle thinks it signifies their improving the Knowledge of Divine Mysteries. Mr. Cradock refers it to an Acquaintance with the true Sense of Scripture ; which brings it to much the fame, with what has been called the Word of Knowledge

. I conclude, it implies not only a Sollicitude to grow in the Knowledge of the Gospel, but to improve that Knowledge to the Edification of others; which accordingly is expressed in the Paraphrase.

(e) Armour

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472

By the Power, af GOD, and the Armour of Righteorfheft; Sect. 1o. cife of a constant Command over our Paffions, ledge, by Long füffering, so to grow in Long-suffering and in Gentlenefs, and by Kindness by the Ho 2 Cor. VI.

every other amiable Disposition, which we culti- Ghost, by. Love ynfeigned;
vate" in humble. Dependence on the fanctifying
Influences of the Holy Spirit; who dwells in our
Hearts, as a continued Principle of that undis-
fembled Love, which we exercise without Limita-

tion, not only to Friends and Benefactors, but
7

Enemies and Persecutors. Still we are faithful. 7 By the Word of Truth,
in asserting, and zealous in propagating, the la- by the Power of God, by
cred Gospel, that Word of uncorrupted and infal- ness on the Right Hand and
lible Truth; and we; persist in it, supported by on the left,
the almighty: Power of that GOD, by whom it is
revealed, and by whom we know, it shall be ren-
dered finally victorious ; and in the mean Time,
while our Enemies assault us on every Side, it is
our Care still to be cloathed and girded about
with the. Armour of Righteousness, both on the Right

Hand, and the Left (e); well knowing that Ar-
8 mour to be impenetrable. And in this con 8 By Honour and Dildo-

sciousness we pass unhurt, and in a great Mea- nour, by evil Report and fure unmoved, through Honour and Dishonour, and yet true;

,
through evil Report and good Report, neither elated
with the one, nor depressed and dejected with
the other. We are treated by many, as if we
were a Set of artful Deceivers, that scruple no
Fraud and Falsehood, by which we might carry
our Cause; and yet we know in our own Con-
science, and God can witness for us, that we are
true and faithful, and would not deviate from the
strictest Rules of Integrity, to carry any Point,

how important foever it might seem to ourselves,
:9
or the Religion we propagate.

We are treated 9 As unknown, and yet
by Men, as inconsiderable Creatures, in the low-
est Rank of Life, obscure and unknown, as unde-
serving any publick Notice and Regard'; and

[ yet] () Armour of Righteousness, on the right Hand, and the left.] Some naturally think this alludes to the Soldiers, who were taught to wield their Swords with the left Hand, as well as the right ; and others, that it refers to the Chriftians being armed against the Temptations of Prosperity and Adversity. That may well be included ; but the Armour spoken of, feems of the defenfove Kind, on the Arms, or Breaft, or both,

well:

) Pro

As poor, yet making many rich.

473
well known; as dying, and (yet) we are really well known to Multitudes, by Sect. 10.
behold, we live; as chaste- the happiest Tokens, as the Men by whom they
ned, and not killed s

have not only received that bodily Healing, which 2 Cor. VI. 9.
they could never have expected from natural
Means, but by the yet more valuable Memo-
rials of having enlightened their Eyes with Di-
vine Knowledge, and brought back their wan-
dering Souls to God. We are regarded by others,
as dying Men, and we seem ourselves to be in
daily Danger of being sacrificed to the Rage of
our Enemies; and yet behold hitherto, thro the
guardian and astonishing Care of that Redeemer
whom we preach, we continue in Life, and live
to the most important Purposes. Our Afictions
are many, and we consider ourselves under them,
as chastened by our heavenly Father; yet, blessed
be his Name, we are not killed; and far from in-
tending our Destruction, we know, that he will

over-rule these Chastisements to the Advance-
to As forrowful, yet al- ment of our Salvation. If our external Cir- 10.
way rejoicing; as poor, yet cumstances alone be regarded, we must indeed
making many rich : as hav-
ing nothing, and yet poffef- appear as forrowful, and the World will natu-
sing all Things.

rally conclude, that we have Cause for continual
Lamentation; and yet when the inward Disposi-
tions of our Minds are known, and the Views with
which we are secretly supported, it will be found,
that we are always rejoicing, in the present Af-
surances of the Divine Favour, and the certain
Expectation of compleat Felicity and eternal
Glory. We appear as poor in this world, and
indeed we are lo; having neither Silver, nor
Gold, nor Estate; and yet we are continually
enriching many, with Treasures, which they
would not part with for all the Revenues of
Princes and Kings : As having nothing, that we
can call our own; and yet, indeed, podeling all
Things; which we know to be ours, so far as
our heavenly Father shall see fit; and therefore
are as easy and happy, as if we were actually

the Proprietors of the whole World (f). (f) Podelling all Things.] This is certainly one of the sublimest

Passages, that was ever writ. Compare Phil. iv. 18. 1 Tim. vi. 17. Eph. i. 3.

Rev. xxi. 7.

I Cor. iii. VOL. IV.

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474

Reflections on the Charakter and Labours of the Apostles.

IMPROV EM E N T.

Sect. Io.

W!

Ver. 3

Ver. 4.

Ver. 5.

Ver. 6.

Ver. 7.

Ver. 8.

HOSE Soul can remain untouched, while he reads this eloquent

Period, in which the Apostle's Mouth is, (as he afterwards expresses it,) thus opened, in Consequence of his Heart's being enlarged! In how lively, yet unaffected a Manner, does this facred Writer paint his own Character and Circumstances : And how much profound and important Sense is there in these Paradoxes, which he so naturally introduces on this Occasion! Let the Ministers of the Gospel herein behold, at once, their Model, and their Support. Let them cultivate this inoffensive Behaviour, not only out of Regard to themselves, but that their Office may not be censured ; and still approve themselves the Servants of God, by Patience amidst all their Tribulations, their Necessities, and their Prefsures'; and, so far as their Circumstances require it, by Labours, by Watchings and Fastings ; especially when by an indulgent Providence they are not called to do it in Stripes, in Imprisonments, and in Tumults. Still let them cultivate Purity and Knowledge, Long-suffering and Gentleness, with unfeigned Love in the Holy Ghoft. Aided by him, let them arm themselves with the Word of Truth, and in the Strength of God, gird on the Armour of Righteousness on the right Hand, and on the left. Thus fortified, they may boldly break their Way throHonour and Infamy, throPraise and Rea proach; as we plainly see, that Infamy and Reproach may be the Portion of the best of Men, and the most useful Members of Society. Who are we, that we should refuse a Cup, of which the Apostles, and our Lord, drank so deep? But let us be superior to human Censures. If any call us Deceivers, let us thew that we are invariably true, to the Interests of God, and of Goodness! If they affect to overlook us, as unknown, and beneath their Notice, let us endeavour to render ourselves well known, by the Benefits which, by Divine Grace, we are the Instruments of conferring on Mens Souls. So shall we be always rejoicing in the Midst of those Sorrows, of which Nature cannot be intirely insensible; whilst amidst our Poverty we are inriching many, yea then, tho' we have nothing that we can call our own, we shall possess all Things; shall appear

in the Eyes of GOD, and of the Lord Jesus Christ

, the richest and the happiest of Mankind, even tho' we were in other Respects, of all Men the most miferable.

While we consider this, as the Character of the first Preachers of Christianity, which, with fo noble a Plainness and Simplicity they profess, let us adore the Divine Grace, by which such a Spirit was raised in the World, and by which it hath in fome Measure been maintained, even

Ver. 8.

Ver. 9.

Ver. 10.

to

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St. Paul reminds. the Corinthians of bis peculiar Affection: 475 to this Day. And let it encourage our most earnest and affectionate Pray. Sect. 10. ers, that God would raise up in every Age, (and especially in our own, in which they seem so ready to fail,) 'a Generation of Evangelical Ministers;

who fired with such generous Principles of Action, and emulating fo noble a Character, may commend themselves to every Man's Conscience in the Sight of GOD, and roll away that Reproach, which unworthy Men have brought on the most excellent of all Offices. Thus armed, may they extend their happy Conquests; thus animated, may they fee of the Travail of their Soul, to their abundant, their everlasting Satisfaction and Delight.

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The Apostle urges the Corinthians to avoid those Alliances

with Idolaters, which might tend to ensnare them; and pleads the gracious Promises, GOD had made to his People, as an Engagement to them to be upon their Guard in this Respect ; and, in general, to aim at the sublimest Attainments in Religion.

2 Cor. VI. II,

to the End. Chap. VII. 1.

II.

2 CORINTHIANS VI.1t.

2 CORINTHIANS VI. II. o Ye Corinthians, our OU see, Ob ye Corinthians, my dear Bre- Sect. II.

Mouth is open unto you, our Heart is enlarged.

thren, my beloved Children, with how much Freedom of Address our Mouth is opened

2 Cor. VI. to you ; but Words flow freely on an Occasion, on which our Heart is so much enlarged, in a

Tenderness, which neither Words, nor Tears, 12 Ye are not ftraitned can sufficiently express.

Sure I am, that ye 12
but
ye are straitned

are not straitned in us; all that we can do for in your own Bowels.

your Comfort and Happiness, you may securely,
promise yourselves : But I fear, ye are straitned
in your own Bowels, and have not, all of

you,
that Affection for us, nor Readiness to receive
our Communications, which the Relation be-
tween us might challenge, ar

and

my Tenderness OOO 2

for

in us,

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