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1: Therefore having this ministry - Spoken of,(2Co 3:6).
As we have received mercy - Have been mercifully supported in
all our trials. We faint not - We desist not in any degree from
our glorious enterprise.
2: But have renounced - Set at open defiance. The hidden
things of shame - All things which men need to hide, or to be
ashamed of. Not walking in craftiness - Using no disguise,
subtlety, guile. Nor privily corrupting the pure word of
God - By any additions or alterations, or by attempting to
accommodate it to the taste of the hearers.
3: But if our gospel also - As well as the law of Moses.
4: The God of this world - What a sublime and horrible
description of Satan! He is indeed the god of all that believe
not, and works in them with inconceivable energy. Hath blinded
- Not only veiled, the eye of their understanding. Illumination
- Is properly the reflection or propagation of light, from those
who are already enlightened, to others. Who is the image of God
- Hence also we may understand how great is the glory of Christ.
He that sees the Son, sees the Father in the face of Christ.
The Son exactly exhibits the Father to us.
5: For - The fault is not in us, neither in the doctrine
they hear from us. We preach not ourselves - As able either to
enlighten, or pardon, or sanctify you. But Jesus Christ - As your
only wisdom, righteousness, sanctification. And ourselves your
servants - Ready to do the meanest offices. For Jesus' sake
- Not for honour, interest, or pleasure.
6: For God hath shined in our hearts - The hearts of all
those whom the god of this world no longer blinds. God who is
himself our light; not only the author of light, but also the
fountain of it. To enlighten us with the knowledge of the
glory of God - Of his glorious love, and of his glorious image.
In the face of Jesus Christ - Which reflects his glory in another
manner than the face of Moses did.
7: But we - Not only the apostles, but all true believers.
Have this treasure - Of divine light, love, glory. In earthen
vessels - In frail, feeble, perishing bodies. He proceeds to
show, that afflictions, yea, death itself, are so far from
hindering the ministration of the Spirit, that they even
further it, sharpen the ministers, and increase the fruit.
That the excellence of the power, which works these in us,
may undeniably appear to be of God.
8: We are troubled, &c. - The four articles in this verse
respect inward, the four in the next outward, afflictions.
In each clause the former part shows the "earthen vessels;"
the latter, "the excellence of the power." Not crushed - Not
swallowed up in care and anxiety. Perplexed - What course to
take, but never despairing of his power and love to carry us
10: Always - Wherever we go. Bearing about in the body the
dying of the Lord Jesus - Continually expecting to lay down our
lives like him. That the life also of Jesus might be manifested
in our body - That we may also rise and be glorified like him.
11: For we who yet live - Who are not yet killed for the
testimony of Jesus. Are always delivered unto death - Are
perpetually in the very jaws of destruction; which we willingly
submit to, that we may "obtain a better resurrection."
12: So then death worketh in us, but life in you - You live
in peace; we die daily. Yet - Living or dying, so long as we
believe, we cannot but speak.
13: Having the same spirit of faith - Which animated the
saints of old; David, in particular, when he said, I believed,
and therefore have I spoken - That is, I trusted in God, and
therefore he hath put this song of praise in my mouth. We also
speak - We preach the gospel, even in the midst of affliction and
death, because we believe that God will raise us up from the
dead, and will present us, ministers, with you, all his members,
"faultless before his presence with exceeding joy."(Ps 116:10).
15: For all things - Whether adverse or prosperous. Are
for your sakes - For the profit of all that believe, as well as
all that preach. That the overflowing grace - Which continues
you alive both in soul and body. Might abound yet more through
the thanksgiving of many - For thanksgiving invites more:
16: Therefore - Because of this grace, we faint not.
The outward man - The body. The inward man - The soul.
17: Our light affliction - The beauty and sublimity of
St. Paul's expressions here, as descriptive of heavenly glory,
opposed to temporal afflictions, surpass all imagination, and
cannot be preserved in any translation or paraphrase, which
after all must sink infinitely below the astonishing original.
18: The things that are seen - Men, money, things of earth.
The things that are not seen - God, grace, heaven.