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The Apostle blesses GOD for the Zeal of Titus in this Affair :

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The Apoftle expresses bis Joy for the Readiness of Titus to

asist in finishing the Collection ; and speaks of the ho-
nourable Charaxter of other Christian Brethren, whom he
bad joined with him in the same Commission.
VIII. 16, to the End.

2 Cor.

16.

2 CORINTHIANS VIII, 16.

2 CORINTHIANS VIII. 16. BUT which apue "theo Game B UT while I speak of this Collection, which Sect. 14.

I am desirous of promoting, [1] would [reearnest Care into the Heart of Titus for you.

turn] my humble Thanks 10 GOD, who gave i hat 2 Cor. VIII. same diligent Care for you in the Heart of Titus,

and formed him to these generous and Christian
17 For indeed he accepted Sentiments. For indeed be not only chearfully 17
the Exhortation, but being accepted, and complied with the Exhortation I
more forward, of his own
Accord he went unto you.

gave him; but being more forward than I thought
to have found him, he went to you freely of his
own Accord, tho' he must see that some pressing
and peculiar Difficulties would attend the Under-

taking
18 And we have sent
with him the Brother, whose excellent Christian Brother (a) and Friend, Luke,

And we have also sent together with him, that 18
Praise is in the Gospel,
throughout all the Churches: whole Praise in the Gospel [is] in all the Churches,

on Account of the various and eminent Services
that he has done for the Interests of Christianity,
wherever his Influence has extended, both by

his

(a) That Brother, &c.] Some suppose this anonymous, tho' excellent Person, to have been Mark, or Silas, or Barnabas ; but I rather with most Commentators, suppose it to have been Luke, who certainly attended St. Paul in this Journey to Jerusalem. Some object, that the Brother here spoken of, was sent by St. Paul to Corinth, in Company with Titus; whereas Luke went with St. Paul to Troas, and from thence to Corinth, Aets xx. 4, 6. But Dr. Whitby replies, I think with some considerable Weight, that it is possible St. Paul might go from Philippi to Corinth, and from thence to Troas, and so Persons sent before to prepare his Way, might come, and bring Word to St. Paul that the Collection was ready, and

go back with him to receive it. See Whitby on Chap. ii. 12. Many ancient Christians thought that Expression, whose Praise in the Gospel is in all the Churches, refers to the universal Applause, with which St. Luke's Gospel was every where received ; and I have paraphrased it, so as to include that, tho’ I think the Apostle's Meaning more extensive. See Gurdon at Boyle's Lect. pag. 482. 2 992

(6) And

Sect. 14.

492

With whom he fent also Luke and Apollos ; his Writing and Exhortations. And not only

19 (And not that only, is he fo (6) much esteemed on these Accounts, Churches to travel with us

but was also chosen of the 2 Cor. VIII. but he was also ordained and appointed by the with this Grace, which is 19.

Stretching forth of the Hand, in Token of the administred by us to the common Consent of the Churches, whom we Glory of the fame Lord,

and Declaration of your reaconsulted on this Occasion, particularly in Ma

dy Mind)
cedonia, to be our Fellow-traveller, with this
Grace which is now administered, and undertaken
by us, purely for the Glory of tbe same Lord, and
for the Declaration of your ready Mind, in which
I was desirous to let you know how heartily I

concur.

20

And we now send him to you, and I have de 20 Avoiding this, that no termined to join a Man of his excellent Cha- Man. Should blame. us in racter with me; carefully avoiding this, that any administered by us:

· this Abundance which is
one should blame, or throw any Reflection upon
us, for the Part we may take in the Management
of this Abundance of your Bounty, which is ad-
mistered by us; left any should be fa unjust and
cruel as to infinuate, that I have appropriated
any Part of it to my own Use, or to any Purpose

whatsoever, different from that, for which it was
21 originally given :
Therein providing Things

21 Providing for honest decent, boneft, and honourable, not only before the Things not only in the

but Lord, to whom it is our first, and chief Care to in the Sight of Men: approve ourselves, but also before Men; that we may guard as much as possible, against any Sufpicion of our Character, which might hinder. our Usefulness.

And we have sent with them, 22 And we have sent that is, with Luke and Titus, our other Friend, with them our Brother,

whom we have oftentimes and well-beloved Brother, Apollos, whom we proved diligent in many bave often proved in many other Affairs, to be in Things, but now much a very extraordinary Degree diligent; but who mure diligent, upon the will now, I doubt not, approve himself much great Confidence which I

in
more diligent, and exert himself to the utmost in
carrying on this Collection, on Account of the
great Confidence [I have) in you, as to your Good-
ness and Liberality: On which confideration he
has changed his Resolution against making you a.

Vifit.;
(1) And not only so.] This 19th Verse is to be included in a Parenthesis, and the contingeid
Senfe of Verles 18 and -20 will be, we have font that Brother-lo avoid Blame,

22

(1) The

2 Cor. VIII.

22.

Who were deputed by the Churches on this Occasion.

493 Visit; which, while he had any Apprehension Sect. 14. you might make him an Occasion of quarrelling and contending, he would by no Means be

per-
fuaded to do.
23 Whether any do en And if [there be any Question) concerning Titus, 23
quire of Titus, he is my [he is] my Partner and my Fellow-labourer with
concerning you: Or our Respect to you; one, whó sincerely shares my
Brethren be enquired of, they Care for you, and is always ready to act in Con-
are the Messengers of the cert with me, in any Attempt to correct what is
Churches, and the Glory
of Christ.

amiss among you, and to promote your Improve-
ment in real Christianity. Or if the Question be
[concerning] any other of our Brethrin, whom I
have mentioned above, (they are] the Messengers
of the Churches (c), whom several Christian So-
cieties have chosen to send about this Bufiness;
and they are Person of so valuable a Character,
[and] do so great a Credit to their Profession, that
I

may not improperly call them the Glory of 24 Wherefore few ye Christ in the World. Sher therefore to them, to them, and before the I intreat you, even in the Sight of all the Churches, Churches, the Proof of your to which they are related, and to whom they on your Behalf.

will undoubtedly make their Report concerning
you, the Demonstration of your Love, and the
Reasonableness of our Boasting over you ; that it
may appear to be as well founded, as I assuredly
believe that it is.

24

(c).The Messengers of the Churches.] I can think of nothing more unreasonable, than to tranflate this Word, Apoflles; as the English Word Apoflles, is now by long Use appropriated to what is only a Part of the Signification of the Original. As an Apostle of Jesus Christ is, one sent" forth by him, so an Apostle of any Church must surely signify, one sent forth by that Society. And if I believed that there was so early as this Time a Minister in every Church, superior to a common Pastor, which the most able Advocates for Diocesan Episcopacy seem not generally to think, I could not imagine it consistent with the Dignity and Importance of their Office, that they should be parted with on such an Errand, which any common Deacon might with sufficient Propriety have performed. It is indeed true, that St. Paul was charged with this Trust; but then it seems to have been after he had determined on this Journey to Jerusalem, and not to have been the Occasion of that Journey.

IMPROVE.

494

Refle£tions on St. Paul's Caution in managing the Colle&tion...

IM P R O V E M E N T.

Sect. 14.

TH

Ver. 16.

Vor. 17.

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Ver. 20.

HE Tenderness of Ministers, in all Points, where the Comfort

and Edification of the Church is concerned, is indeed Matter of the highest Moment; and where it is remarkable in its Degree, it affords just Cause of Thanksgivings to GOD: For it is be, who puts into their Hearts that earnest Care, who excites and maintains every Sentiment of Benevolence, when they offer themselves willingly to any generous and charitable Service. It is Grace, that is communicated whatever Good is dane; and it ought to be ascribed to the Glory of the same Lord from whom it comes; and it loses much of its Value, if it be not directed to this ultimate, this supreme End.

When the Corinthians desired to deposit their Alms in the Hands of St. Paul, they certainly acted a very wise Part, as no Man living could have rendered them more secure, as to the Fidelity or the Discretion of the Distribution. Yet we see, that high as the Apostle's Character stood, and though he had so often given, and was daily renewing, such striking Demonstrations both of his Wifdom and Integrity; yet he would not undertake the Trust alone, but used all

proper

Methods to approve his Exactness in the Management thereof, even to Strangers, providing Things honest and laudable, not only in the Sight of GOD, but of all Men.

May Ministers be often thus employed, as the Almoners of Persons richer than themselves, (as their Readiness to help the Poor in their temporal Affairs, may greatly promote their Usefulness in Spirituals ;) and may they be found to manage their Trust with the like conscious and delicate Honour. May they shew a Difpofition, like that of St. Paul, to affist in establishing and advancing the Characters of their younger Brethren, and introducing them into Esteem and Confidence. Thus will they indeed most effectually strengthen their own Hands, and edify and comfort the Churches; will prove the Glory of Christ themselves in the present Age, and be the Means of raising up others, who may eminently deserve that illustrious Title, in succeeding Generations.

Ver. 21.

Ver. 23.

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The Apostle profeffes his Confidence in their Readiness ;

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SECT.

XV.

The Apostle goes on, with admirable Address, farther to

urge their liberal Contribution ; and in the full Expe&tation of it, affectionately recommends them to the divine Bielfing 2 Cor. IX. 1, throughout.

1.

2 CORINTHIANS IX. I.

2 CORINTHIANS IX. I. FOR minißring to the saintsNOW concerning the Miniftration intended 10 Sect. 15.

relieve the Necessities of the Saints, or be- L it is superfluous for me te write to you. lieving Brethren in Judea, it is fuperflucus that I 2 Cor

. IX. Jould write largely to you, in order to persuade you to the Thing itself: It is sufficient, that I give you a transient Hint, concerning the Time

and Manner of doing what is necessary or proper 2 For I know the For

on this Occasion. For I have known in for- 2 wardness of your Mind, for which I boast of you to them mer Instances, and have now again learnt from of Macedonia, that Achaia Titus, your extraordinary Readiness on this Head; was ready a Year ago ; and which I indeed boast concerning you to the Maceyour Zeal hath provoked donians, that all the Region of Achaia, and very many.

particularly your Church in its capital City, has been prepared a Year

ago;

and your Zeal in this Ref . pect bath quickened many others to imitate your

Example, and do more generously, than perhaps
3. Yet have I sent the they might otherwise have done. Nevertheless 3
Brethren, left our Boasting I have sent unto you the Brethren I mentioned
this Behalf ; that, as faid, before; left our Boasting of you on this Head, that,
ye may be ready : as I said, ye were prepared before, having made

up your Sum, pould, by any Accident which
might have prevented your accomplishing the

whole of your Design, in any Degree be made
4 Left haply if they of vain, and appear ill-grounded : Lest if any 4
Macedonia come with me, of the Macedonians happen to come with me, and
we (that we say not, you; after all find you unprepared, the Money which
Thould be ashamed in this has been subscribed not being actually collected,
fame confident Boasting,

we may be ashamed, not to say you also, in this con-
fident Boasting we have used concerning you, and
which recoil in a very unhappy Manner, if it

be

may recoil in

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