Philip Doddridge.

The family expositor, or, A paraphrase and version of the New Testament : with critical notes, and a practical improvement of each section ... disposed in the order of an harmony (Volume 4) online

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to apologize for not coming to Corinth, with in his journey through Gajatia and
and introduces these troubles as an ex- Phrygia, (Acts xviii. 23,) of which no
cuse for not seeing them. I think it is particular account has reached us; or
rather to be connected with the preceding to what happened at Ephesus, (Acts
discourse. Yet still it might incline them xix. 29, 30.) which is Dr. Whitby's
todrop their complaints, and j udge more opinion.

2 Cor.
i. 10.

J7id the joy the testimony of his conscience gave him. 385

which laiseth the that God who raiseth the dead, at bis holy plea- sect.
*^^^A«ru 11- .sure, by his omnipotent word : Who rescued i-

10 Who delivered ^"'"^J "J . r . ^

us from so great a MS, on this ever-memorabJe occasion, jrom so
death, and doth de- great a death as then threatened us, and doth res-
liver: in whom we ^g from every danger which now surrounds

trust that he will yet , . , -^ ° . .i a i -n i

deliver us : US, and in whom we trust that he wilt make

pur deliverance complete, and still rescue us
from every evil, and preserve us to his heavenly

11 Ye also helping I say that I have this confidence in God's 11
together by prayer continual carc ; and it is the more cheerft»L as

lor us, that tor the _ . ir. j«ni

%\h bestowed \x^n us I persuade myselrj/oM are and will be working
by the means of together in prayer for us, that so the favour
many persons, Xgi^tained'] for US bv the importunate prayers of

thanks may be given •- -'^t ? i i i i ^i ±i i ' '

by many on our be- "many, may be acknowledged by the thanksgiving

half. of many on our account ,•= as nothing can be

more reasonable than that mercies obtained by

18 For our rejoicing prayer should be owned in praise. And this 12

is this, the testimony confidence which we have both towards God

Oi Our conscience

that in simplicity' and you, is much emboldened, as we have an
and godly sincerity, inward assuraucc ofour owu integrity, however
not with fiesijiy wis- ^^^ ^ suspect or ccusurc us: for this is still

dom, but by the . ■/ . *^ , . . , ,^ , ...

grace ofGod, we have our rejoicing, which no external calamities can
had our coaversa- impair or injuries destroy, even the testimony
ra?re\bu\Tanti ^"lo ^Z'^"'' Conscience in the sight of God, who search-
you-wards. , ^th the secrets of all hearts, that in simplicity^
and godly sincerity, maintaining perpetually
that sense of the Divine presence and inspec-
tion which is the surest guard upon unfeigned
integrity, and not with that carnal wisdom which
is so ungenerously and unrighteously imputed
to us, but by the grace of God, and such senti-
ments of fidelity and benevolence as that bles-
sed principle inspires, we have had, and still
continue to have, our conversation in the world;
and more especially towards you,^ with respect

% That so the favour obtained, &c.] own sake, but for the benefit of many.

'I'heie is something very perplexed and This would be a sentiment worthy an

ambiguous in the structure of this sen- apostle; but the rendering in the para-

tence. I have sometimes thought it phrase seemed, on the whole, the most

might be rendered, that (•J'ttej rijuiwv) ore natural and simple; especially as iia,

our account ihanhs may be rendered by many with a genitive, seldom, if ever, signifies

persons for {'TO a; ^xct,; yjcpia-fxa,,) the gift, for the sakcy but rather by the means of

or miraculous endowment, which is in us any afterwards mentioned,

or deposited with us, (ha woXXwv,) for '^ Simplicity, plain- beartedness.'] Not

Me 5a/ie 0/ »w;z^ ; as if he had said. That only meaning well on the whole, but

many may join with us in returning declining an over-artful way of prose-

thanks for those miraculous endowments outing a good end.

which were lodged with me, not for my » Especially towards you.} His working

^8b Reflections on the tibials and consolations of Christians.

SECT, to whom, in some circumstances of opposition
I- that have happened among you, we have been

"TZ peculiarly obliged to watch over our conduct ;

i. 12. J^st inadvertency should in any instance give
an handle to the malice of our enemies, to ex-
ert itself in strengthening prejudices against
us, and destroying those fruits of our labours
among you, for which we could not but be
greatly concerned.


v^r. 1, Let the venerable title of saints, by which the apostle so of-
ten describes and addresses Christians, be ever retained in our
minds ; that we may remember the obligations we are under to
answer it, as we would avoid the guilt and infamy of lying to
God and men, by falsely and hypocritically professing the best
religion, very possibly to the worst, undoubtedly to the vainest
purposes. And that we may be excited to a sanctity becoming

S this title, let us often think of God, as the Father of mercies, and
as the God of all consolation ; and let us think of him as as-
suming these titles under the character of the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ : so shall we find our hearts more
powerfully engaged to love and trust in him, and enter into a
more intimate acquaintance and frequent converse with him.

4 From him let us seek consolation in every distress ; consid-
ering those supports which we so experience, not as given for
ourselves alone, but for others ; that we, on the like principles,
may comfort them. Let ministers, in particular, regard them
in this view, and rejoice in those tribulations which may render
them more capable of comforting such as are in any trouble, by
those consolations with which they themselves have been com-
forted by God ; that so the church may be edified, and God

11 glorified in all, by the thanksgiving of many, for mercies ob-
tained in answer to united prayers.

Let us particularly remember the support which St. Paul ex-
perienced when he was pressed above measure, and as it seemed,

9 quite beyond his strength, so as to despair of life, and received the
sentence of death in himself; as what was wisely appointed to teach
him a firmer confidence in God, who raiseth the dead. Strong
as his faith was, it admitted of farther degrees; and the improve-
ment of it was a happy equivalent for all the extremities he
suffered. He therefore glories, as secure of being rescued from
future dangers. Nor was his faith vain, though he afterwards

with his own hands for his maintenance, where do, mu^t be a convincing proof
among the Corinthians, (Acts xviii. 3; of this,
1 Cor. ix. 15,) which he did not every-

The apostle professes his integrity toivards them : 387

fell by the hand of his enemies, and seemed as helpless a prey sect.
to their malice and rage as any of the multitudes whose blood i-
Nero, or the instruments of his cruelty, poured out like water.
Death is itself the grand rescue to a good man, which bears him
to a state of everlasting security; and in this sense every believer Ver. lO.
may adopt the apostle's words, and while he acknowledges past
and present, may assuredly boast of future deliverances.

Happy shall we therefore be, if by Divine grace we are en-
abled at all times to maintain the temper and conduct of Chris-
tians; and may confidently rejoice in the testimony of our con-
sciences, that our conversation in the world is in simplicity and
godly sincerity ; that our ends in religion are great and noble ; 12
that eur conduct is simple and uniform ; in a word, that we act
as in the sight of an heart-searching God. Then may we look
upon the applauses or the censures of men as comparatively a
very light matter; and may rest assured if, as with regard to the
apostle in the instance before us, he suffers a malignant breath
for a while to obscure the lustre of our character, the day is
near which will reveal it in unclouded glory.


The apostle goes on solemnly to declare his general integrity; and par"
f ticularly applies that declaration to the views on which he had declined
that visit to Corinth which he had intimated an intention of making,
2 Cor. i. IS, to the end.

2 Cor. I. 13. ^ CoRINTHIANS I. IS.

JpOR we nrite none T SPEAK of the integrity with which I have

other things unto 1 conducted mvself among you, with great sect.

you, than what ye n ^ n -^ -, ^P "^w • , ^ »i^'-i.

readoracknowledge; Ireedom ; pr we write no other things to you on ii.

and 1 trn^t ye shall this head, but what ye well knowy^ and must be-

acknowledge even to obliged to acknowledge; and I hope that ye will ^ Cor.
have equal cause to acknowledge [<Acm,] even
unto the end; for by the Divine grace you shall
never have just cause to speak or think dishon-
ourably of us, or to reflect upon any inconsis-
14 As also you tency in our behaviour. As indeed ye have al-

us'Tn pfrtT'thal^te ^^^^7 acknowledged us in part; you have ac-14,
knowledged that you have had no occasion of
blaming us ; for though some among you are
not so ready to do us justice as the rest are, yet

» What ye inouj.] The word avayivwo-jtw think the sense here plainly determines
is ambiguous, and may signify either to it to knowing,
acknoxjolcdge, to knou:, or to rearf; but 1

S88 And says he had not deferred coming through lenitij.

SECT, most avow it with pleasure and thankfulness, ^"^^ y"""" rejoicing,
"' that we are your boasting, and that ye have Z]!"^ ^^ IL%7{

~~ cause to glory in your relation to us; as ye also the Lord Jesus.
j ^^^ in this respect (with humble gratitude to the
great author of all our successes be it ever
spoken,) [are] ours now, and will, I trust, be so
in the great day of the Lord Jesus; when we
hope to present you before Christ as the seals of
our ministry, and to lead you on to that heaven-
ly kingdom, in the faithful pursuit of which we
have already been so happy as to engage you.

15 And in this confidence I was loHff before ^e- ^ ,'^ -'^"^'"^^'s*^'^"-
/» • . J • • ii fidenee I was mind-

sirousof coming to you, and enjoymg another ^d to come unto you
interview with friends who have long lain so before, that you
near my heart : that the expected transports of ""'^^^ ^^^^^ a secoud
that blessed day might in some degree be anti- ^^^ ^*
cipated, both on my part and on yours; and ac-
cordingly wottld have come to you much sooner,
not only on my own account, but likewise that
ye might have had a second benefit; as I doubted
not but it would have been much to your advan-
tage, as well as have given you a great deal of
joy, to have seen and conversed with your fa-
ther in Christ, who had once been so dear and
1650 welcome to you. And indeed my scheme 16 i^nd to pass by
was to pass by you into Macedonia, and make ^'*'" '"^° Macedonia,

K '^. V , . .1.1 71 ^"d to come agam

you a short visit"* m my way thither; awa then out of Macedonia

having despatched my business in the churches unto you, and of you

there, to come to you again from Macedonia, and ^^ be brought on my
•-' o i' wav toward Juclea.

make a longer stay; that so I might be brought
forward by you in my journey toward Judea,
when I shall go thither to deliver the money
raised by the contribution of the Gentile Chris-
tians for their Jewish brethren, when they shall

^ Make you a short visit.] ^t' Vjuwy have made them two visits, the one in his

iiiX9iit ii; Maas^oviay some have under- way to Macedonia, (perhaps sailing from

stood of going into Macedonia without Epliesus to Corinth,) and then another

calling on them in his way- But as he and longer, in his return. This the

went from Ephesus to Macedonia, it was word -TraXiv, again, seems to intimate;

not his direct way to go by Corinth; es- and if^tbis were his purpose, it was now

pecially considering the road we know plain, in fact, that he bad changed it.

he did take, by Troas; and if he were now The grand objection agaiii-t this is 1 Cor.

in Macedonia, as I think there is great xvi. 7, which can only be reconciled by

reason to believe he was, there would on a supposition, that he had altered liis

that interpretation have been no such purpose between the date of that epistle

appearance of change in his purpose as and his quitting Ephesus; and had given

should have needed any apology. 1 there- them, perhaps by some verbal message,

fore conclude that his first scheme was to some intimation of it.

But his word towards them was stedfast: 389

meet at Jerusalem on occasion of some of their sect.
great feasts. (See Acts xx. 16.) "•

17 When I there- JVbzf? when I intended this, did I use levity iii'TT
'j'^^I^^S^^"^ ??*K^" projecting my scheme, or throwing it aside on : ^^'

ed, ^id I use light- r J^.^.o ^ - ^ /^ n ^i- i-/ r

ness? or the things any triflmg occasion r Or the things whic/i 1

that I purpose, do I purpose in general, do I purpose according to

purpose according to ^^ nf according to camal principles and

the flesh, that with . */ i . -r i i i i .• n i

me there should be views; that I should be continually changing
yea, yea, and nay, mv measures in the prospect of every little in-
"^y^ terest that may lead one way or another, and

breaking my word, so that there should be with
me yea, yea, and nay, nay: such an uncertainty
and inconsistency of counsels and actions, that
none should know how to depend upon me, or

18 But as God is what they had to expect from me? No: I so- 18
true, our word to- ]ej^nly protest that [asl the God whom I serve

ward you was not ^.n / :, y » j ^ 4U^ ^«^^

yea and nay. [*^'] faithful, our word to you on other occa-

sions, and on this, hath not been wavering and -
uncertain, sometimes yea and sometimes nay;
but that I have always maintained a consistency
of behaviour, the natural attendant of sincerity
and truth, which is always uniform and invaria-

19 For the Son of ble. For our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, IQ
God, Jesus Christ, q^j. great Redeemer, who was preached by us
TmonJ^you'^'^br^ut amongst you, that is, by me, and Silvanus, and,
even by me, and sii- Timothy, who joined our labours among you,
vanus, and Timothe- ^ Acts xviii. 15.) as we now join in writing to vou
;;iVrbutthY»:':^ this epistle, (according to what I observed ia
yea. - the inscription of it,) z£?a« wof?/eaawd way; Christ

and his gospel were not inconsistent and con-
tradictory, but in him all was yea: as he is the
same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, the decla-
rations of his word and the engagements of his

20 For all the pro- covenant are inviolably the same. For all fhe20
mises of God in him j^^nv and invaluable precious promises of God

are yea, and in bim , . •; . i .i • . j i. i

"^ which are given us by this covenant and estab-

lished in his blood, [are] in him yea, and in
him amen."^ They are now attended with stipu-

c In him yea, and in him amen.] No- any of the glorious consequences to fol-

thing can really render the promises of low,) tend greatly to confirm our faith,

God more certain than they are; but and make it easier fur us to believe

God's giving them to us through Christ, such illustrious promises as those which

assures us that they are indeed his pro- are given us, the verj' greatness of

mises, as in Christ there is such a real which it might otherwise have been an

evidence of his conversing with men, impediment to our faith, and have creat-

and as the wonders which God hath ac- ed a suspicion, not whether God would

tually wrought in the incarnation, life, have performed what he had promised,

resurrection, and ascension of bis Son, but whether such promises were really

(facts in thsmscives much stranger than given us.

390 Jts also the promises of God in Christ were,

SECT, lations and engagements which maybe suffi- amen, unto the glory
II. cient to confirm the weakest faith, when we ^^ ^^^ ^^ "^'

— ; — consider what an astonishing way God has been
^ '^^' pleased to take for the communication of mercy
by his Son ; so that the more we attend to them,
the more we shall see of their invariable truth
and certainty ; and all tends to the glory of God
hy us^ which we constantly make the end of
our administration, and so are animated to
maintain one regular series of uniform truth,
as in his sight and presence.

21 But we say not this as arrogating any thing 21 Now he which
to ourselves; for we must readily acknowledge «stabiisheth us Swith
that he who also by his strengthening grace ^^th Lnointef is^^
confirmeth and establisheth us,^ together with God:

7/ou, in the faith and love of Christy and he that
hath anointed us, as a kind of first-fruits of his
creatures, with that Spirit which gives us a ca-
pacity for all the services to which we are called
out, and furnishes us with all our credentials

22 in it, [is] the blessed God himself: Who hath 22 Who hath also
also sealed us^ to mark and secure us^ for us ff^'^^ us, and given
peculiar property, and in farther confirmation spirit in our hearts.
of his regard for us, given us the earnest of the

Spirit in our hearts, those sacred communica-
cations both of gifts and graces which lead us
into enjoyments that we look upon as the an-
ticipation of heaven, and not only as a pledge,
but a foretaste of it. This is the happy state
into which we are now brought, for which I
desire ever to glorify and adore the Divine
goodness, and to behave as one that is favoured

^ Establisheth us.] To explain this of peculiar property of God; and the cnr-

furnishing St. Paul with such arguments nest he explains of those joys of the

as enabled him more and more to con- Holy Ghost which were the anticipation

firm the Corinthians in the Christian of celestial happiness. See Saur. Ser.

faith, and himself in the character of a Vol. XI. p. 83 — 85.

faithful minister, is, I think, giving but ^ Mark and secure us.] That sealing

a small part of the genuine and sublime refers to both these, is well shown by

sense of this excellent passage. Dr. Whitby's note on this text. Some

^ Hath anointed us — scaled us."] Mens, understand this verse as insinuating

Saurin thinks that the difference be- liow unreasonable it would be to sus-

tween the unction, the seal, and the ear- pect him of levity who was sealed by

n«/ of the Spirit, is this: that the wwc/icra such extraordinary gifts of the Spirit,

chiefly refers to those extraordinary en- Compare John vi. 27. But that argu-

dowments by which the apostles were ment would be something precarious;

set apart to their work, as priests and and as he speaks of the earnest of the

kings were consecrated to theirs, by be- Spirit in the hearts of believers, i

ing anointed; the seal, to the sacra- thought the interpretation here given

mentsj which marked them out as the much preferable.

It was to spare them that he came not yet to Corinth, 391

with such invaluable bkssings and with such sect.
glorious prospects as these. "•

23 Moreover, I But with respect to that change in my pur- "

call God for a record of coming to vou, which some would re- \ ^°'*

upon my soul, that l^ P*'',^ . ji.r ''•

to spare you I came present as an instance ot a contrary conduct, /

not as yet unto Co- call God for a record on my soul, and declare to

*^'"''*- you, even as I hope he will have mercy upon

it, s that it was not because I slighted my

friends or feared mine enemies, but out of a

real tenderness, and with a desire to spare you

that uneasiness which I thought I must in that

case have been obliged to give you, that I came

not as yet to Corinth, as I had once intended,

64 Not for that we and given you some reason to expect. I men- 24?

have dominion over i\q^ tjjjg^ ^0^ because we pretend to have any

heipers^of your jo^! absolute dominion over your faith, so as of my
for by faith ye stand, own authority to dictate what you should be-
lieve or do; nor would we exert the power
with which Christ has entlpwed us to any ty-
rannical or overbearing purposes; but we, even I
and all the faithful ministers of our Lord Jesus
Christ, are joint helpers of your joy: we labour
to use all the furniture which God hath given
us to the advancement of your real comfort
and happiness, which can only be secured by
reducing you to your duty: but this v^ry car«
will oblige us sometimes to take disagreeable
steps with regard to those that act in such a man-
ner as might tend to subvert the faith of their
brethren; for by faith ye have stood hitherto: I
readily acknowledge ye have in the general
adhered to it ; and it is by retaining the same
principles pure and uncorrupted, with a realiz-
ing sense of them on our hearts, that we may
still continue to stand in the midst of all the
opposition we necessarily meet with from men
insensible of every bond of duty and gratitude.


All the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ: letVer. 20.
us depend upon it that they will be performed ; and make it

s Have mercy on it.] Nothing but would have justified the solemnity of
the great importance of St. Paul's vindi- such an oath,
eating his character to such a church,

S9S Reflections on thevietos ministers should have in their office,

SECT, our great care, that we may be able to say that we are in-
Ji- terested through him in the blessings to which they relate. Let
•" there be a proportionable steadiness and consistence in our obe-

dience, and let not our engagements to God be yea and nay,
since his to us are so invariably faithful.
Vcr. 19. Are we established in Christ? Are we sealed with the earnest
21 of the Spirit in our hearts? Let us acknowledge that it is God
22 who hath imparted it to us; and let Christians of the greatest
steadiness and experience be proportionably humble, rather than
by any means elated on account of their superiority to others.

We see the light in which ministers should always consider
themselves, and in which they are to be considered by others ;
not as having dominion over the faith of their people, having a
right to dictate by their own authority what they should be-
lieve, or, on the same principles, what they should do ; but as
24j helpers of their joy, in consequence of being helpers of their
piety and obedience. In this view, how amiable does the min-
isterial office appear ! What a friendly aspect it wears upon
the happiness of mankind ! And how little true benevolence do
they manifest who would expose it to ridicule and contempt!
w a Let those who bear that office be careful that they do not

give it the most dangerous wound, and abet the evil works of
those who despise and deride it ; which they will most effec-
17 tually do, if they appear to form their purposes according to
the flesh. Let them with a single eye direct all their adminis-
trations to the glory of God and the edification of the church ;

13 that they may be able to appeal to their hearers, as those that
must acknowledge and bear their testimony to their upright-
ness. In that case they will be able to look on them as those

14 in whom they hope to rejoice in the day of the Lord. And if,
while they pursue these ends, they are censured as actuated by
any mean and less worthy principle, let them not be much sur-
prised or discouraged : they share in exercises from which the
blessed apostle St. Paul was not exempted; as indeed there is no
integrity or caution which can guard any man from the effects
of that malice against Christ and his gospel, with which some
hearts overflow when they feel themselves condemned by it.

The apostle would not come to grieve them, 393


The apostle expresses his great affection to the Corinthians j as manifested
both in his sympathy with the offending member of their church, who
having been under censure, was now penitent; (in which view he ad"
vises his readmission ; ) and also in his solicitude for tidings concern-
ing them from Titus, whom not finding at Troas, he went to meet in
Macedonia. 2 Cor. ii. 1 — 13.

2 Cor. ii. 1.

2 Corinthians il. 1*

rjtJT I determined T NOW plainly and faithfully tell you the true sect.
^ this with myself, -*- reason of that delay of my journey which m.
that I would not come j^^^ ^^ much surprised most of you, and at which

again to you with ^ ^. ^ ^' \ tj. a. j.\ i. 2 Cor.

heaviness. some appear to be scanaalized. It was not that jj ^^

I foi got you, or failed in any friendly regards to
you ; but I determined this with mi/self on hear-
ing how things stood among you, that I would
not, if it could by any means be prevented,
come to you again in grief ^ in circumstances
which must have grieved both myself and you ;
but that I would wait for those fruits which I
had reason to hope from my endeavours in my
former epistle, to regulate what had been amiss.

2 For if I make Par if I should be obliged to grieve you, who 2

Online LibraryPhilip DoddridgeThe family expositor, or, A paraphrase and version of the New Testament : with critical notes, and a practical improvement of each section ... disposed in the order of an harmony (Volume 4) → online text (page 47 of 59)