2 Corinthians 1

Verse 58. Be ye steadfast] εδραιοι, from εδρα, a seat;

be settled; confide in the truth of this doctrine of the

resurrection, and every thing that pertains to it, as confidently

as a man sits down on a SEAT, which he knows to be solid, firm,

and safe; and on which he has often sat.

Unmovable] αμετακινητοι, from α, negative, and μετακινεω,

to move away; let nothing shake your faith; let nothing move you

away from this hope of the Gospel which is given unto you. What I

tell you I receive from God; your false teachers cannot say so: in

a declaration of God you may unshakingly confide.

Always abounding in the work of the Lord] The work of the Lord

is obedience to his holy word; every believer in Christ is a

workman of God. He that works not, to bring glory to God and good

to man, is not acknowledged as a servant of Christ; and if he be

not a servant, he is not a son; and if not a son, then not an

heir. And he must not only work, but abound in that work; ever

exceeding his former self; and this, not for a time, but always;

beginning, continuing, and ending every act of life to God's glory

and the good of his fellows.

Your labour is not in vain] Your labour in the Lord is not in

vain; you must not only work, but you must labour-put forth all

your strength; and you must work and labour in the Lord-under his

direction, and by his influence; for without him ye can do

nothing. And this labour cannot be in vain; you shall have a

resurrection unto eternal life: not because you have laboured, but

because Christ died and gave you grace to be faithful.

1. THE chapter through which the reader has passed is a chapter

of great importance and difficulty; and on its difficulties much

has been written in the preceding notes. Though I have used all

the helps in my power to guide me in explaining it, I have, upon

the whole, been obliged to think for myself, and claim only the

praise of severe labour, ever directed by honest intention and an

earnest desire to find out the truth.

2. There are many questions connected with the doctrine of the

resurrection which I could not introduce here without writing a

book instead of short notes on a very long chapter. On such

subjects, I again beg leave to direct the reader to Mr. Samuel

Drew's Essay on that subject.

3. One remark I cannot help making; the doctrine of the

resurrection appears to have been thought of much more consequence

among the primitive Christians than it is now! How is this? The

apostles were continually insisting on it, and exciting the

followers of God to diligence, obedience, and cheerfulness through

it. And their successors in the present day seldom mention it!

So apostles preached, and so primitive Christians believed; so we

preach, and so our hearers believe. There is not a doctrine in

the Gospel on which more stress is laid; and there is not a

doctrine in the present system of preaching which is treated with

more neglect!

4. Though all men shall rise again, yet it will be in widely

different circumstances: some will rise to glory and honour;

others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those alone who here

received the salvation of God, and continued faithful unto death,

shall have a resurrection to everlasting glory; not every

believer, but every loving obedient believer, shall enter into the

paradise of God, and have a body fashioned like unto his Lord's

glorious body.

5. All glorified spirits will not have the same degree of

glory. Two things will necessarily cause great difference: 1. The

quantum of mind; and 2. The quantum of grace.

(1.) It is idle to suppose that God has made all human souls

with the same capacities: he has not. There is an infinite

diversity; he who has the greatest mind can know most, do most,

suffer most, and enjoy most.

(2.) The quantum of grace will be another great cause of

diversity and glory. He who received most of Christ here, and was

most devoted to his service, shall have the nearest approach to

him in his own kingdom. But all equally holy and equally faithful

souls shall not have equal degrees of glory; for the glory will be

according to the capacity of the mind, as well as the degree of

grace and improvement. The greater the capacity, provided it be

properly influenced by the grace of Christ, the greater will be

the enjoyment.

6. That there will be great diversity in the states of

glorified saints is the apostle's doctrine; and he illustrates it

by the different degrees of splendour between the sun, moon,

planets, and stars. This needs little application. There are

some of the heavenly bodies that give heat, light, and splendour,

as the SUN; and are of the utmost service to the world: some that

give light, and comparative splendour, without heat, as the MOON;

and yet are of very great use to mankind: others, again, which

give a steady but not a splendid light, at the PLANETS; and are

serviceable in their particular spheres: and lastly, others which

twinkle in their respective systems, as the stars of different


7. One star, says the apostle, differs from another in glory,

i.e. in splendour, according to what is called their different

magnitudes. I will state a remarkable fact: The northern and

southern hemispheres of the heavens have been divided into 102

constellations, and in these constellations Professor Bode has set

down the places of 17,240 stars; simple, nebulous, conglobate, and

double. The stars have been distinguished by their apparent

magnitudes or rather splendour, into stars of the first, second,

third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, &c., magnitudes: of

these 17,240, only sixteen are, by astronomers in general, agreed

to be of the first magnitude, all of which are set down in the

following catalogue, with some of those that are remarkable in the

second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth magnitudes. The reader

will observe that the name of the constellation or star is first

mentioned; the Greek letters, &c., are those by which they are

distinguished on maps and globes; and they are, by astronomers,

referred to by these letters and numbers. My inferences follow

the table.

A TABLE of the most remarkable FIXED STARS, from the FIRST to



First Magnitude.Second Magnitude.


� In the mouth of Canis � In the wing of Pegasus, �

� Major, or the Greater � (Algenib). . . . . . . γ �

� Dog, (Sirius, or the � In the head of the �

� Dog-star. . . . . . . α � Phoenix, . . . . . . . α �

� Bright star in Lyra, � In the tail of Cetus, . β �

� or the Harp, (Wega � In the girdle of �

� or Vega). . . . . . . α � Andromeda, . . . . . . β �

� Bright Star in Bootes, � In the Ram's following �

� (Arcturus). . . . . . α � horn,. . . . . . . . . α �

� In the heart of Leo � In the neck of Cetus, . ο �

� Major, or the Great � In the jaw of Cetus,. . α �

� Lion, (Regulus) . . . α � In the head of Medusa, �

� In the left shoulder � (Algol). . . . . . . . β �

� of Auriga, or the � In Perseus' girdle, . . α �

� Charioteer, (Capella) α � In the northern horn of �

� In the right foot of � the Bull,. . . . . . . β �

� Orion, (Rigel). . . . β � In Gemini, (Castor) . . *α �

� In the southern, or � In Gemini, (Pollux) . . *β �

� left eye of the Bull, � In Orion's shoulder,. . γ �

� (Aldebaran) . . . . . α � In the belt of Orion, . δ �

� In Eridanus, (Alnahar � In the Dove,. . . . . . α �

� or Acharnar). . . . . α � In the female Hydra,. . α �

� In the shoulder of � In Ursa Major, (Upper �

� Orion, (Betelgeuse) . α � Pointer) . . . . . . . *α �

� In the poop of the ship � In Ursa Major, (Lower �

� Argo, (Canopus) . . . α � Pointer) . . . . . . . β �

� In the loins of Canis � The Lion's tail, �

� Minor, or the little � (Denob). . . . . . . . β �

� Dog, (Procyon). . . . α � In the Cross, . . . . . β �

� Bright star in the foot � In the Dragon's tail. . α �

� of the Cross, . . . . α � In the Balance, . . . . α �

� In the spike of the � In the Balance, . . . . β �

� Virgin, . . . . . . . α � In the Swan's tail. . . α �

� In the foot of the � In Pegasus, (Markab). . α �

� Centaur . . . . . . . α � In Andromeda's head,. . α �

� In the Scorpion's � In the shoulder of �

� heart, (Antares). . . α � Pegasus, . . . . . . . β �

� In the mouth of the � In the Crane's wing,. . α �

� south Fish, � In the Eagle, (Atteer). *α �

� (Fomalhaut) . . . . . α � In the ship Argo, . . . *β �



Third Magnitude. � Fourth Magnitude. �


� Brightest of the � In Libra, . . . . . . . η �

� Pleiades, . . . . . . h � ------ . . . . . . . y �

� In Taurus, . . . . . . γ � ------ . . . . . . . κ �

� ------ . . . . . . . ε � ------ . . . . . . . λ �

� ------ . . . . . . . ζ � In Scorpio, . . . . . . σ �

� In Gemini, . . . . . . δ � ------ . . . . . . . τ �

� ------ . . . . . . . ε � In Ophiuchus, . . . . . φ �

� ------ . . . . . . . μ � ------ . . . . . . . ρ �

� In Virgo,. . . . . . . β � In Sagittarius, . . . . λ �

� ------ . . . . . . . γ � ------ . . . . . . . 1μ �

� ------ . . . . . . . η � ------ . . . . . . . 1μ �

� ------ . . . . . . . ο � ------ . . . . . . . π �

� In Libra,. . . . . . . *γ � ------ . . . . . . . 1ν �

� ------ . . . . . . . 1ι � ------ . . . . . . . 2ν �

� In Scorpio,. . . . . . δ � In Capricorn, . . . . . γ �

� In Ophiuchus,. . . . . θ � ------ . . . . . . . ε �

� In Sagittarius . . . . *γ � In Aquarius,. . . . . . θ �

� ------ . . . . . . . ο � ------ . . . . . . . λ �

� ------ . . . . . . . σ � ------ . . . . . . . 2τ �

� ------ . . . . . . . τ � ------ . . . . . . . φ �

� ------ . . . . . . . φ � In Pisces,. . . . . . . δ �

� In Capricorn,. . . . . β � ------ . . . . . . . ε �

� ------ . . . . . . . δ � ------ . . . . . . . ζ �

� ------ . . . . . . . 2α � In Aries, . . . . . . . δ �

� In Ursa Major, . . . . α � In Taurus,. . . . . . . 1δ �

� In Cassiopeia. . . . . γ � ------ . . . . . . . 2δ �

� ------ . . . . . . . δ � In Gemini,. . . . . . . η �

� ------ . . . . . . . ι � ------ . . . . . . . ν �

� ------ . . . . . . . β � In Cancer,. . . . . . . γ �

� ------ . . . . . . . ε � ------ . . . . . . . δ �

� In Perscus,. . . . . . γ � In Leo, . . . . . . . . η �

� ------ . . . . . . . δ � ------ . . . . . . . ξ �

� In Ursa Major, . . . . μ � ------ . . . . . . . ο �

� ------ . . . . . . . δ � ------ . . . . . . . ρ �

� ------ . . . . . . . θ � ------ . . . . . . . τ �

� ------ . . . . . . . λ � ------ . . . . . . . υ �

� In the Dragon, . . . . δ � ------ . . . . . . . π �

� ------ . . . . . . . β � In Virgo, . . . . . . . θ �

� ------ . . . . . . . κ � ------ . . . . . . . ι �

� In the Swan, . . . . . δ � ------ . . . . . . . κ �



Fifth Magnitude. � Sixth Magnitude. �


� In Pisces, . . . . . . d � In Cancer,. . . . . . . ξ �

� ------ . . . . . . . 19 � In the Sextant, . . . . 37 �

� ------ . . . . . . . 29 � ------ . . . . . . . 38 �

� ------ . . . . . . . 30 � In Leo, . . . . . . . . 56 �

� ------ . . . . . . . 33 � ------ . . . . . . . *79 �

� ------ . . . . . . . e � In Sagittarius, . . . . δ �

� ------ . . . . . . . μ � ------ . . . . . . . 1ξ �

� ------ . . . . . . . π � In Aquarius,. . . . . . *ξ �

� In Cetus,. . . . . . . 20 � ------ . . . . . . . 1h �

� In Aries,. . . . . . . ι � ------ . . . . . . . χ �

� ------ . . . . . . . 1θ � In Orion, . . . . . . . 4χ �

� ------ . . . . . . . 3ρ � In Ursa Minor,. . . . . σ �

� ------ . . . . . . . 2τ � ------ . . . . . . . υ �

� In Taurus, . . . . . . φ � ------ . . . . . . . ν �

� ------ . . . . . . . χ � ------ . . . . . . . φ �

� ------ . . . . . . . 105 � ------ . . . . . . . 1π �

� In Orion,. . . . . . . 1χ � ------ . . . . . . . 2π �

� ------ . . . . . . . 2χ � In Cepheus, . . . . . . μ �

� ------ . . . . . . . 3χ � ------ . . . . . . . ρ �

� In Auriga, . . . . . . κ � In the Dragon,. . . . . Y �

� In Gemini, . . . . . . λ � ------ . . . . . . . X �

� ------ . . . . . . . φ � ------ . . . . . . . W �

� In Cancer, . . . . . . η � ------ . . . . . . . B �

� ------ . . . . . . . θ � ------ . . . . . . . 1V �

� In Leo,. . . . . . . . ω � ------ . . . . . . . 2V �

� In Virgo,. . . . . . . ν � In Cassiopeia,. . . . . ρ �

� ------ . . . . . . . π � ------ . . . . . . . ξ �

� In Libra,. . . . . . . μ � ------ . . . . . . . π �

� In Scorpio,. . . . . . 1ω � ------ . . . . . . . 2υ �

� ------ . . . . . . . 2ω � ------ . . . . . . . χ �

� In Ophiuchus,. . . . . ψ � ------ . . . . . . . ω �

� ------ . . . . . . . ω � ------ . . . . . . . d �

� In Sagittarius,. . . . ω � In Perseus, . . . . . . g �

� In Capricorn,. . . . . ρ � ------ . . . . . . . h �

� In Aquarius, . . . . . ι � ------ . . . . . . . i �

� ------ . . . . . . . σ � ------ . . . . . . . s �

� ------ . . . . . . . 1τ � ------ . . . . . . . n �

� ------ . . . . . . . 1ψ � ------ . . . . . . . d �

� ------ . . . . . . . 2ψ � ------ . . . . . . . h �

� ------ . . . . . . . 3ψ � In Auriga,. . . . . . . 1e �


Observations on the preceding Table.

The five stars of the second magnitude in the above list,

marked with an asterisk, are by some writers denominated of the

first magnitude; and those named of the third, fourth, fifth, and

sixth magnitudes, (the stars of the last-mentioned order being

barely visible to the naked eye,) are such as the moon can occult,

or make a near appulse to; except the last sixteen, in the column

of stars of the third magnitude, and the last twenty-nine in that

of the sixth magnitude, which never set in the latitude of London.

The stars Algol and ο Ceti are set down according to their

brightest appearance; the former varying from the second to the

fourth magnitude every two days, 20 hours, 48 minutes, 58 seconds,

18 thirds, and 25 fourths; and the latter, from the second to the

seventh, and sometimes to the tenth, every 331 days, 10 hours, and

19 minutes. The stars of the first magnitude, Capella and Lyra,

never set in the latitude of London; Acharnar, Canopus, β in Argo,

and α in the Cross and Centaur, never rise. Of the stars of the

second magnitude in the preceding list, β in Medusa's head, or

Algol, α in Perseus, the two Pointers, the Dragon's tail, and the

Swan's tail, never set; the head of the Phoenix and the bright

star in the Crane never rise. The stars marked with an asterisk

in the third column are between the third and fourth magnitudes;

and those in the last column with the same mark are between the

fifth and sixth magnitudes. Stars fainter than those of the sixth

magnitude cannot be discerned without the help of a glass, and are

therefore called telescopic. The 2h, and 3h, in Aquarius, are of

this last description, both of the seventh magnitude, and such as

the moon can occult.

8. This subject, as far as it concerns the present place,

admits of few remarks or reflections. It has already been

observed, that, of all the stars which our best astronomers have

been able to describe and lay down in tables and maps, only

sixteen are of the first magnitude; i.e. appear more luminous

than any other stars in the firmament: some, indeed, increase the

number to twenty-one, by taking in Castor and Pollux, the upper

Pointer, Atteer, or Atair, in the Eagle, and β in the ship

Argo, which I have placed among those of the second magnitude,

because astronomers are not agreed on the subject, some ranking

them with stars of the first magnitude, others, with stars of the


The reader is probably amazed at the paucity of large stars in

the whole firmament of heaven! Will he permit me to carry his

mind a little farther, and either stand astonished at or deplore

with me the fact, that, out of the millions of Christians in the

vicinity and splendour of the eternal Sun of righteousness, how

very few are found of the first order! How very few can stand

examination by the test laid down in the 13th chapter of this

epistle! How very few love God with all their heart, soul, mind,

and strength; and their neighbour as themselves! How few mature

Christians are found in the Church! How few are, in all things,

living for eternity! How little light, how little heat, and how

little influence and activity are to be found among them that bear

the name of Christ! How few stars of the FIRST magnitude will the

Son of God have to deck the crown of his glory! Few are striving

to excel in righteousness; and it seems to be a principal concern

with many to find out how little grace they may have, and yet

escape hell; how little conformity to the will of God they may

have, and yet get to heaven! In the fear of God I register this

testimony, that I have perceived it to be the labour of many to

lower the standard of Christianity, and to soften down, or explain

away, those promises of God that himself has linked with duties;

and because they know that they cannot be saved by their good

works, they are contented to have no good works at all: and thus

the necessity of Christian obedience, and Christian holiness,

makes no prominent part of some modern creeds. Let all those who

retain the apostolic doctrine, that the blood of Christ cleanseth

from all sin in this life, press every believer to go on to

perfection, and expect to be saved, while here below, into the

fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Jesus. To all such my

soul says, Labour to show yourselves approved unto God; workmen

that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth; and

may the pleasure of the Lord prosper in your hands!-Amen.





Chronological Notes relative to this Epistle.

-Year of the Constantinopolitan era of the world, or that used

by the emperors of the east in their diplomata, &c., and thence

also called the "civil era of the Greeks," εφξε (5565.)

-Year of the Alexandrian era of the world, or ecclesiastical

epoch of the Greeks, εφνθ (5559.)

-Year of the Antiochian era of the world, εφμθ (5549).

-Year of the Eusebian epoch of the creation, or that used in the

Chronicon of Eusebius, and the Roman martyrology, δςπε (4285.)

-Year of the Julian period, 4767.

-Year of the world, according to Bedford and Kennedy, in their

Scripture Chronology, 4065.

-Year of the Usherian era of the world, or that used in the

English Bibles, 4061.

-Year of the world according to Scaliger, 4001. The difference

of sixty years in the era of the world, as fixed by Scaliger

and Usher, arises from the former chronologer placing the birth

of Abraham in the 70th, and the latter in the 130th year of the

life of his father Terah. For Scaliger's computation, see on

Ge 11:26; and for Usher's computation, see on Ge 11:26, and

Ge 11:32, conferred with Ac 7:4.

-Year of the minor Jewish era of the world, 3817.

-Year of the greater Rabbinical era of the world, 4416.

-Year since the Deluge, according to Archbishop Usher and the

English Bible, 2405.

-Year of the Cali Yuga, or Indian era of the Deluge, 3159.

-Year of the era of Iphitus, who re-established the Olympic

Games 338 years after their institution by Hercules, or about

884 years before the commencement of the Christian era, 997.

-Year of the two hundred and ninth Olympiad, 1. This epoch

commenced, according to the most accurate calculations of some

of the moderns, precisely 776 years before the Christian era,

and 23 years before the building of Rome; and computations of

time by it ceased about A. D. 440.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Fabius Pictor, who

flourished about 225 years before Christ, and who is styled by

Dionysius of Halicarnassus an accurate writer, 804. (This

epoch is used by Diodorus Siculus.)

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Polybius the

historian, 808.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Cato and the Fasti

Consulares, and adopted by Solinus, Eusebius, Dionysius of

Halicarnassus, &c., 809.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Varro, which was

that adopted by the Roman emperors in their proclamations, by

Plutarch, Tacitus, Dio Cassius, Gellius Censorinus, Onuphrius,

Baronius, and by most modern chronologers, 810. N. B. Livy,

Cicero, Pliny, and Velleius Paterculus, fluctuate between the

Varronian and Catonian computations.

-Year of the epoch of Nabonassar, king of Babylon, after the

division of the Assyrian monarchy, or that used by Hipparchus,

by Ptotemy in his astronomical observations, by Censorinus and

others, 805. (The years of this era constantly contained 365

days, so that 1460 Julian were equal to 1461 Nabonassarean

years. This epoch commenced on the IVth of the calends of

March, (Feb. 26,) B. C. 747; and, consequently, the beginning

of the 805th year of the era of Nabonassar coincided with the

Vth of the Ides of August, (Aug. 9,) A. D. 57.

-Year of the era of the Seleucidae, or since Seleucus, one of

the generals of Alexander the Great, took Babylon and ascended

the Asiatic throne, sometimes called the Grecian era, and the

era of principalities, in reference to the division of

Alexander's empire, 369.

-Year of the Caesarean era of Antioch, 105.

-Year of the Julian era, or year since the Calendar of Numa

Pompilius, the second Roman king, was reformed by Julius

Caesar, 102.

-Year of the Spanish era, or since the second division of the

Roman provinces among the Triumviri, 95.

-Year since the defeat of Pompey, by Julius Caesar, at

Pharsalia, called by Catrou and Rouille the commencement of the

Roman empire, 105.

-Year of the Actiac, or Actian era, or proper epoch of the Roman

empire, commencing with the defeat of Antony by Augustus at

Actium, 87.

-Year from the birth of Jesus Christ, 61.

-Year of the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 57.

-Year of the Dionysian period or Easter Cycle, 58.

-Common Golden Number, or year of the Grecian or Metonic Cycle

of nineteen years, 1, or the first common year.

-Jewish Golden Number, or year of the Rabbinical Cycle of

nineteen years, 17, or the sixth Embolismic.

-Year of the Solar Cycle, 10.

-Dominical Letter B; or, which is the same thing, the Calends of

January, (Jan. 1,) happened on the Jewish Sabbath, or our


-Jewish Passover, (15th of Nisan, or Abib,) Tuesday, April 5, or

on the Nones of April.

-Number of Direction, or number of days that Easter Sunday

happens after the 21st of March, 21; or the XIIth of the

Calends of April.

-Mean time of the Paschal Full Moon at Corinth, (its longitude

being twenty-three degrees to the east of London,) according to

Ferguson's Tables, which are sufficiently exact for this

purpose, April 7, or the VIIth of the Ides of April, at

forty-eight minutes and thirty-eight seconds past eight in the

evening. True time of the Paschal Full Moon at Corinth,

according to Ferguson's Tables, April 8, or the VIth of the

Ides of April, at thirty-seven minutes and one second past five

in the morning; the true time of the Paschal Full Moon being

eight hours, forty-eight minutes, and twenty-three seconds

after the mean.

-Easter Sunday, April 10, or the IVth of the Ides of April.

-Epact, or moon's age on the twenty-second of March, or the XIth

of the Calends of April, (the day on which the earliest Easter

happens,) 29.

-Year of the reign of Nero Caesar, the Roman emperor, and fifth

Caesar, 4.

-Year of Claudius Felix, the Jewish governor, 5.

-Year of the reign of Vologesus, king of the Parthians, or the

family of the Arsacidae, 8.

-Year of Caius Numidius Quadratus, governor of Syria, 7.

-Year of Ishmael, high priest of the Jews, 3.

-Year of the reign of Corbred I., king of the Scots, brother to

the celebrated Caractacus, who was carried prisoner to Rome,

but afterwards released by the emperor, 3.

-Roman consuls; Nero Caesar Augustus, (the second time,) and L.

Calpurnius Piso.

Eminent men, contemporaries with St. Paul.

-L. Annaeas Seneca, the Stoic philosopher and poet, son of M.

Annaeus Seneca, the rhetorician; born about the commencement of

the Christian era, and put to death about A. D. 65.

-Annaeus Cornutus, the Stoic philosopher, and preceptor to

Persius the satirist; flourished under Nero.

-Lucan, nephew to Seneca the philosopher; born about A. D. 29,

put to death about A. D. 65.

-Andromachus of Crete, a poet, and Nero's physician.

-T. Petronius Arbiter, of Massila, died A. D. 66.

-Aulus Persius Flaccus, the Latin poet, of Volaterrae in Italy;

died in the ninth year of the reign of Nero, aged 28.

-Dioscorides, the physician; the age in which this physician

lived is very uncertain.

-Justus, of Tiberias, in Palestine.

-Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian; born A. D. 37, died

A. D. 93.

-Silius Italicus, the poet who was several times consul; born

about A. D. 23, died in the beginning of the reign of Trajan,

aged 75.

-Valerius Flaccus, the Latin poet; flourished under Vespasian.

-C. Plinius Secundus, of Verona, born under Tiberius, flourished

under Vespasian, and died under Titus, A. D. 79, aged 56.

-Thraseus Paetus, the Stoic philosopher, famous for his

independence and generous sentiments; slain by order of Nero,

A. D. 66.

-Quintius Curtius Rufus, the historian; the time when he

flourished is uncertain, some placing him under Claudius,

others under Vespasian, and others under Trajan.

-Asconius Pedianus, the historian and annotator, died A. D. 76,

aged 85.

-Marcus Valerius Martialis, the epigrammatist; born about A. D.

29, died A. D. 104, aged 75.

-Philo-Byblius, born about A. D. 53, died A. D. 133, aged 80.

-Acusilaus, the rhetorician; flourished under Galba.

-Afer, an orator and preceptor of Quintilian, died A. D. 59.

-Afranius, the satirist, put to death by Nero, in the Pisonian


-Marcus Aper, a Latin orator of Gaul, died A. D. 85.

-Babilus, the astrologer, who caused the Emperor Nero to put all

the leading men of Rome to death.

-C. Balbillus, the historian of Egypt; flourished under Nero.

-P. Clodius Quirinalis, the rhetorician, flourished under Nero.

-Fabricus, the satirist; flourished under Nero.

-Decius Junius Juvenalis, the satirist; born about A. D. 29,

died A. D. 128, aged about 100 years.

-Longinus, the lawyer, put to death by Nero.

-Plutarch, the biographer and moralist; born about A. D. 50,

died about A. D. 120, or A. D. 140, according to others.

-Polemon, the rhetorician, and master of Persius the celebrated

satirist, died in the reign of Nero.

-Seleucus, the mathematician, intimate with the Emperor


-Servilius Nonianus, the Latin historian; flourished under Nero.

-Caius Cornelius Tacitus, the celebrated Roman historian; born

in the reign of Nero, and died at an advanced age in the former

part of the second century.



St. Paul encourages them to trust in God in all adversities,

from a consideration of the support which he had granted them

already in times of afflictions; and expresses his strong

confidence of their fidelity, 1-7.

Mentions the heavy tribulation which he had passed through in

Asia; as also his deliverance, 8-11.

Shows in what the exultation of a genuine Christian consists,


Appeals to their own knowledge of the truth of the things which

he wrote to them, 13, 14.

Mentions his purpose of visiting them; and how sincere he was

in forming it; and the reason why he did not come, as he had

purposed, 15-24.


Verse 1. Paul, an apostle] Paul, commissioned immediately by

Jesus Christ himself, according to the will of God, to preach the

Gospel to the Gentiles. See Clarke on 1Co 1:1.

In all Achaia] The whole of the Peloponnesus, or that country

separated from the main land by the Isthmus of Corinth. From this

we may learn that this epistle was not only sent to the Church at

Corinth, but to all the Churches in that country.

Verse 2. Grace be to you and peace] See Ro 1:7.

Verse 3. Blessed be God] Let God have universal and eternal

praise: 1. Because he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who

is the gift of his endless love to man, Joh 1:16. 2. Because he

is the Father of mercies, οπατηρτωνοικτιρμων, the source whence

all mercy flows, whether it respect the body or the soul, time or

eternity; the source of tender mercy; for so the word implies.

See Clarke on Ro 12:1.

And, 3. Because he is the God of all comfort-the Fountain whence

all consolation, happiness, and bliss flow to angels and to men.

Verse 4. Who comforteth us] Who shows himself to be the God

of tender mercy, by condescending to notice us, who have never

deserved any good at his hand; and also the God of all

consolation, by comforting us in all our tribulation-never leaving

us a prey to anxiety, carking care, persecution, or temptation;

but, by the comforts of his Spirit, bearing us up in, through, and

above, all our trials and difficulties.

That we may be able to comfort them] Even spiritual comforts

are not given us for our use alone; they, like all the gifts of

God, are given that they may be distributed, or become the

instruments of help to others. A minister's trials and comforts

are permitted and sent for the benefit of the Church. What a

miserable preacher must he be who has all his divinity by study

and learning, and nothing by experience! If his soul have not

gone through all the travail of regeneration, if his heart have

not felt the love of God shed abroad in it by the Holy Ghost, he

can neither instruct the ignorant nor comfort the distressed. See

2Co 1:6.

Verse 5. The sufferings of Christ] Suffering endured for the

cause of Christ: such as persecutions, hardships, and privations

of different kinds.

Our consolation also aboundeth] We stood as well, as firmly,

and as easily, in the heaviest trial, as in the lightest; because

the consolation was always proportioned to the trial and

difficulty. Hence we learn, that he who is upheld in a slight

trial need not fear a great one; for if he be faithful, his

consolation shall abound, as his sufferings abound. Is it not as

easy for a man to lift one hundred pounds' weight, as it is for an

infant to lift a few ounces? The proportion of strength destroys

the comparative difficulty.

Verse 6. And whether we be afflicted] See Clarke on 2Co 1:4.

Which is effectual] There is a strange and unusual variation

in the MSS. and versions in this passage. Perhaps the whole

should be read thus: For if we be afflicted, it is for your

encouragement and salvation; and if we be comforted, it is also

for your encouragement, which exerted itself by enduring the same

sufferings which we also suffer.

This transposition of the middle and last clauses is authorized

by the best MSS. and versions. The meaning seems to be this:

While ye abide faithful to God, no suffering can be prejudicial to

you; on the contrary, it will be advantageous; God having your

comfort and salvation continually in view, by all the

dispensations of his providence: and while you patiently endure,

your salvation is advanced; sufferings and consolations all

becoming energetic means of accomplishing the great design, for

all things work together for good to them that love God. See the

variations in Griesbach.

Verse 7. And our hope of you is steadfast] We have no doubt

of your continuing in the truth; because we see that you have such

a full, experimental knowledge of it, that no sufferings or

persecutions can turn you aside. And we are sure that, as ye

suffer, so shall ye rejoice.

Verse 8. Our trouble which came to us in Asia] To what part

of his history the apostle refers we know not: some think it is to

the Jews lying in wait to kill him, Ac 20:3; others, to the

insurrection raised against him by Demetrius and his fellow

craftsmen, Ac 19:23;

others, to his fighting with beasts at Ephesus, 1Co 15:32,

which they understand literally; and others think that there is a

reference here to some persecution which is not recorded in any

part of the apostle's history.

We were pressed out of measure, above strength] The original

is exceedingly emphatic: καθυπερβοληνεβαρηθημενυπερδυναμιν.

we were weighed down beyond what is credible, even beyond what any

natural strength could support. There is no part of St. Paul's

history known to us which can justify these strong expressions,

except his being stoned at Lystra; which if not what is here

intended, the facts to which he refers are not on record. As

Lystra was properly in Asia, unless he mean Asia Minor, and his

stoning at Lystra did most evidently destroy his life, so that his

being raised was an effect of the miraculous power of God; he

might be supposed to refer to this. See Clarke on Ac 14:19,

&c. But it is very likely that the reference is to some terrible

persecution which he had endured some short time before his

writing this epistle; and with the outlines of which the

Corinthians had been acquainted.

Verse 9. We had the sentence of death in ourselves] The

tribulation was so violent and overwhelming, that he had no hope

of escaping death.

That we should not trust in ourselves] The tribulation was of

such a nature as to take away all expectation of help but from GOD


But in God which raiseth the dead] This is very like the

business at Lystra; and would be sufficient to fix the apostle's

reference to that fact could the time and other circumstances


Verse 10. Who delivered us from so great a death] For the

circumstances were such that no human power could avail.

Will yet deliver us] Having had such a signal evidence of His

interposition already, we will confide in him with an unshaken

confidence that he will continue to support and deliver.

Verse 11. Ye also helping together by prayer] Even an apostle

felt the prayers of the Church of God necessary for his comfort

and support. What innumerable blessings do the prayers of the

followers of God draw down on those who are the objects of them!

The gift bestowed-by the means of many persons] The blessings

communicated by means of their prayers.

Thanks may be given by many] When they who have prayed hear

that their prayers are so particularly answered, then all that

have prayed will feel themselves led to praise God for his

gracious answers. Thus, the prayers of many obtain the gift; and

the thanksgiving of many acknowledge the mercy.

The gift, or χαρισμα, which the apostle mentions, was his

deliverance from the dangers and deaths to which he was exposed.

Verse 12. For our rejoicing is this] ηκαυχησις. Our

boasting, exultation, subject of glorying.

The testimony of our conscience] μαρτυριοντηςσυνειδησεως.

That testimony or witness which conscience, under the light and

influence of the Spirit of God, renders to the soul of its state,

sincerity, safety, &c.

In simplicity] απλοτητι. from α, denoting unity or

together, and πελω, to be; or from α, negative, and

πολυς, many; not compounded, having one end in view, having

no sinister purpose, no by end to answer. Instead of απλοτητι,

many MSS. and versions have αγιοτητι, holiness.

In godly sincerity] ειλικρινειαθεου. The sincerity of God:

that is, such a sincerity as comes from his work in the soul.

ειλικρινεια, sincerity, and ειλικρινης, sincere, come from

ειλη, the splendour, or bright shining of the sun; and here

signifies such simplicity of intention, and purity of affection,

as can stand the test of the light of God shining upon it, without

the discovery being made of a single blemish or flaw.

Not with fleshly wisdom] The cunning and duplicity of man, who

is uninfluenced by the Spirit of God, and has his secular

interest, ease, profit, pleasure, and worldly honour in view.

But by the grace of God] Which alone can produce the

simplicity and godly sincerity before mentioned, and inspire the

wisdom that comes from above.

We have had our conversation] ανεστραφημεν. We have conducted

ourselves. The word properly refers to the whole tenor of a man's

life-all that he does says, and intends; and the object or end he

has in view, and in reference to which he speaks, acts, and

thinks; and is so used by the best Greek writers. The verb

αναστρεφω is compounded of ανα, again, and στρεφω, to turn;

a continual coming back again to the point from which he set out;

a circulation; beginning, continuing, and ending every thing to

the glory of God; setting out with Divine views, and still

maintaining them; beginning in the Spirit, and ending in the

Spirit; acting in reference to God, as the planets do in reference

to the sun, deriving all their light, heat, and motion from him;

and incessantly and regularly revolving round him. Thus acted

Paul; thus acted the primitive Christians; and thus must every

Christian act who expects to see God in his glory. The word

conversation is not an unapt Latinism for the Greek term, as

conversatio comes from con, together, and verto, I turn; and is

used by the Latins in precisely the same sense as the other is by

the Greeks, signifying the whole of a man's conduct, the tenor and

practice of his life: and conversio astrorum, and conversiones

caelestes, is by CICERO used for the course of the stars and

heavenly bodies.--De Leg. c. 8: Caelum una conversione atque

eadem, ipse circum se torquetur et vertitur.--CIC de Univers.,

c. 8: "The heaven itself is, with one and the same revolution,

whirled about, and revolves round itself."

In the world] Both among Jews and Gentiles have we always

acted as seeing Him who is invisible.

More abundantly to you-ward.] That is, We have given the

fullest proof of this in our conduct towards you; YOU have

witnessed the holy manner in which we have always acted; and GOD

is witness of the purity of the motives by which we have been

actuated; and our conscience tells us that we have lived in

uprightness before him.

Verse 13. Than what ye read] Viz. In the first epistle which

he had sent them.

Or acknowledge] To be the truth of God; and which he hoped

they would continue to acknowledge, and not permit themselves to

be turned aside from the hope of the Gospel.

Verse 14. Have acknowledged us in part] απομερους may

signify here not in part, but some of you; and it is evident, from

the distracted state of the Corinthians, and the opposition raised

there against the apostle, that it was only a part of them that

did acknowledge him, and receive and profit by his epistles and


We are your rejoicing, &c.] You boast of us as the ministers

of Christ through whom ye have believed; as we boast of you as

genuine converts to the Christian faith, and worthy members of the

Church of God.

Verse 15. And in this confidence] Under the conviction or

persuasion that this is the case; that ye exult in us, as we do in


I was minded] I had purposed to come to you before, as he had

intimated, 1Co 16:5; for he had intended to call on them in his

way from Macedonia, but this purpose he did not fulfil; and he

gives the reason, 2Co 1:23.

A second benefit] He had been with them once, and they had

received an especial blessing in having the seed of life sown

among them by the preaching of the Gospel; and he had purposed to

visit them again that they might have a second blessing, in having

that seed watered. Instead of χαριν, grace or benefit,

several MSS. read χαραν joy, pleasure; but the word grace or

benefit, seems to express the apostle's meaning best.

Verse 16. To pass by you into Macedonia] He had purposed to

go to Macedonia first, and then from Macedonia return to them, and

probably winter in Corinth. Therefore we must understand the δι

υμων, by you, as implying that he would sail up the AEgean Sea,

leaving Corinth to the west; though he might have taken it in his

way, and have gone by land through Greece up to Macedonia. Some

think that the meaning is, that he purposed to take Achaia in his

way to Macedonia, without calling at Corinth; but Achaia was out

of his way considerably, and he could scarcely go through Achaia

without passing close by Corinth. I consider the words,

therefore, as implying that he purposed not to call at Corinth at

that time, but to pass by it, as before stated.

Verse 17. Did I use lightness?] When I formed this purpose,

was it without due consideration? and did I abandon it through

fickleness of mind?

That with me there should be yea, &c.] That I should act as

carnal men, who change their purposes, and falsify their

engagements, according as may seem best to their secular interest?

Verse 18. But as God is true] Setting the God of truth before

my eyes, I could not act in this way: and as sure as he is true,

so surely were my purposes sincere; and it was only my uncertainty

about your state that induced me to postpone my visit.

See 2Co 1:23.

Verse 19. For the Son of God, &c.] If I could have changed my

purpose through carnal or secular interests then I must have had

the same interest in view when I first preached the Gospel to you,

with Silvanus and Timotheus. But did not the whole of our conduct

prove that we neither had, nor could have such interest in view?

Verse 20. For all the promises of God] Had we been light,

fickle, worldly-minded persons; persons who could only be bound by

our engagements as far as comported with our secular interest;

would God have confirmed our testimony among you? Did we not lay

before you the promises of God? And did not God fulfil those

promises by us-by our instrumentality, to your salvation and his

own glory? God is true; therefore every promise of God is true;

and consequently each must have its due fulfilment. God will not

make use of trifling, worldly men, as the instruments by which he

will fulfil his promises; but he has fulfilled them by us;

therefore we are just and spiritual men, else God would not have

used us.

In him are yea, and in him amen] All the promises which God

has made to mankind are yea-true in themselves, and

amen-faithfully fulfilled to them who believe in Christ Jesus.

The promises are all made in reference to Christ; for it is only

on the Gospel system that we can have promises of grace; for it

is only on that system that we can have mercy. Therefore, the

promise comes originally by Christ, and is yea; and it has its

fulfilment through Christ, and is amen; and this is to the glory

of God, by the preaching of the apostles.

From what the apostle says here, and the serious and solemn

manner in which he vindicates himself, it appears that his enemies

at Corinth had made a handle of his not coming to Corinth,

according to his proposal, to defame his character, and to

depreciate his ministry; but he makes use of it as a means of

exalting the truth and mercy of God through Christ Jesus; and of

showing that the promises of God not only come by him, but are

fulfilled through him.

Verse 21. Now he which stablisheth us with you] It is God

that has brought both us and you to this sure state of salvation

through Christ; and he has anointed us, giving us the

extraordinary influences of the Holy Ghost, that we might be able

effectually to administer this Gospel to your salvation. Through

this unction we know and preach the truth, and are preserved by it

from dissimulation and falsity of every kind.

Verse 22. Who hath also sealed us] Not only deeply impressed

His truth and image upon our hearts; but, by the miraculous gifts

of the Holy Spirit, attested the truth of our extraordinary

unction or calling to the ministry.

And given the earnest of the Spirit] τοναρραβωνατου

πνευματος. From this unction and sealing we have a clear

testimony in our souls, the Divine Spirit dwelling constantly in

us, of our acceptance with God, and that our ways please him. The

αρραβων of the apostle is the same as the erabon of Moses,

Ge 38:17, 18, 20,

which we there translate pledge. The word properly signifies an

earnest of something promised; a part of the price agreed for

between a buyer and seller, by giving and receiving of which the

bargain was ratified; or a deposit, which was to be restored when

the thing promised was given. From the use of the term in Genesis,

which the apostle puts here in Greek letters, we may at once see

his meaning above, and in Eph 1:14; the Holy Spirit being an

earnest in the heart, and an earnest of the promised inheritance

means a security given in hand for the fulfilment of all God's

promises relative to grace and eternal life. We may learn from

this, that eternal life will be given in the great day to all who

can produce the arrhabon, or pledge. He who is found then

with the earnest of God's Spirit in his heart, shall not only be

saved from death, but have that eternal life of which it is the

pledge, the earnest, and the evidence. Without this arrhabon

there can be no glory. See the whole case of Judah and Tamar,

Ge 38:13, &c., and the notes there.

Verse 23. I call God for a record upon my soul] The apostle

here resumes the subject which he left 2Co 1:16, and in the most

solemn manner calls God to witness, and consequently to punish, if

he asserted any thing false, that it was through tenderness to

them that he did not visit Corinth at the time proposed. As there

were so many scandals among them, the apostle had reason to

believe that he should be obliged to use the severe and

authoritative part of his function in the excommunication of those

who had sinned, and delivering them over to Satan for the

destruction of the flesh, &c.; but to give them space to amend,

and to see what effect his epistle might produce, (not having

heard as yet from them,) he proposed to delay his coming. It is

plain, as several commentators have observed, 1. That St. Paul's

doctrine had been opposed by some of Corinth, 1Co 15:12. His

apostleship questioned, 1Co 9:1, 2, and 2Co 12:13. 2. Himself

despised, and treated as a person who, because of the consciousness

he had of his own worthlessness, dared not to come, 1Co 4:18.

His letters, say they, are weighty and powerful-full of boastings

of what he can and what he will do; but his bodily presence is

weak, and his speech contemptible, 2Co 10:10. 3. This being the

state in which his reputation was then at Corinth, and he having

promised to come to them, 1Co 16:5, he could not but think it

necessary to vindicate his failing them by reasons which should be

both convincing and kind, such as those contained in the preceding

verses. See Dodd and others.

Verse 24. Not for that we have dominion over your faith]

I will not come to exercise my apostolical authority in punishing

them who have acted sinfully and disorderly; for this would be to

several of you a cause of distress, the delinquents being friends

and relatives; but I hope to come to promote your joy, to increase

your spiritual happiness, by watering the seed which I have

already sowed. This I think to be the meaning of the apostle.

It is certain that the faith which they had already received was

preached by the apostles; and, therefore, in a certain sense,

according to our meaning of the term, they had a right to propound

to them the articles which they ought to believe; and to forbid

them, in the most solemn manner, to believe any thing else as

Christianity which was opposed to those articles. In that sense

they had dominion over their faith; and this dominion was

essential to them as apostles. But shall any others-persons who

are not apostles, who are not under the unerring and infallible

influence of the Holy Ghost, arrogate to themselves this dominion

over the faith of mankind; not only by insisting on them to

receive new doctrines, taught nowhere by apostles or apostolic

men; but also threatening them with perdition if they do not

credit doctrines which are opposed to the very spirit and letter

of the word of God? These things men, not only not apostles, but

wicked, profligate, and ignorant, have insisted on as their right.

Did they succeed? Yes, for a time; and that time was a time of

thick darkness; a darkness that might be felt; a darkness

producing nothing but misery, and lengthening out and deepening

the shadow of death. But the light of God shone; the Scriptures

were read; those vain and wicked pretensions were brought to the

eternal touchstone: and what was the consequence? The splendour

of truth pierced, dissipated, and annihilated them for ever!

British Protestants have learned, and Europe is learning that

the SACRED WRITINGS, and they alone, contain what is necessary to

faith and practice; and that no man, number of men, society,

church, council, presbytery, consistory, or conclave, has dominion

over any man's faith. The word of God alone is his rule, and to

its Author he is to give account of the use he has made of it.

For by faith ye stand.] You believe not in us, but in GOD. We

have prescribed to you on his authority, what you are to believe;

you received the Gospel as coming from Him, and ye stand in and by

that faith.

THE subjects in this chapter which are of the most importance

have been carefully considered in the preceding notes. That alone

of the apostle's oath has been passed by with general observations

only. But, that it is an oath has been questioned by some. An

oath, properly speaking, is an appeal to God, as the Searcher of

the hearts for the truth of what is spoken; and an appeal to Him,

as the Judge of right and wrong, to punish the falsity and

perjury. All this appears to be implied in the awful words above:

I call God for a record upon my soul; and this is not the only

place in which the apostle uses words of the same import.

See Ro 1:9; 9:1, and the note on this latter passage.

On this subject I have spoken pretty much at large at the end

of the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy; but as it appears that there

I have made a mistake in saying that the people called Quakers

hold up their hand in a court of justice, when called upon to make

affirmation, I take this opportunity to correct that expression,

and to give the form of the oath, for so the law considers it,

which the statute (7 and 8 of William III., cap. 34, sec. 1)

required of this sect of Christians: "I, A. B., do declare in the

presence of almighty God, the witness of the truth of what I say."

Though this act was only intended at first to continue in force

for seven years, yet it was afterwards made perpetual. See Burn,

vol. iii., page 654.

A more solemn and more awful form of an oath was never

presented nor taken by man than this; no kissing of the book,

holding up of the hand, nor laying hand on the Bible, can add

either solemnity or weight to such an oath! It is as awful and

as binding as any thing can be; and him, who would break this, no

obligation can bind.

But the religious people in question found their consciences

aggrieved by this form, and made application to have another

substituted for it; in consequence of this the form has undergone

a little alteration, and the solemn affirmation which is to stand

instead of an oath taken in the usual manner, as finally settled

by the 8th Geo., cap. 6, is the following: "I, A. B., do solemnly,

sincerely, and truly declare and affirm." Burn, vol. iii., page


It may be well to examine this solemn affirmation, and see

whether it does not contain the essential principles of an oath;

and whether it should not be reputed by all people, as being equal

to any oath taken in the common form, and sufficiently binding on

every conscience that entertains the belief of a God, and the

doctrine of a future state. The word solemnly refers to the

presence and omniscience of GOD, before whom the affirmation is

made; and the word sincerely to the consciousness that the person

has of the uprightness of his own soul, and the total absence of

guile and deceit; and the word truly refers to the state of

his understanding as to his knowledge of the fact in question.

The word declare refers to the authority requiring, and the

persons before whom this declaration is made; and the term affirm

refers back to the words solemnly, sincerely, and truly, on which

the declaration and affirmation are founded. This also contains

all that is vital to the spirit and essence of an oath; and the

honest man, who takes or makes it, feels that there is no form

used among men by which his conscience can be more solemnly bound.

As to the particular form, as long as it is not absurd or

superstitious, it is a matter of perfect indifference as to the

thing itself as long as the declaration or affirmation contains

the spirit and essence of an oath; and that the law considers this

as an oath, is evident from the following clause: "That if any one

be convicted of having wilfully or falsely made this declaration

or affirmation, such offender shall incur the same penalties and

forfeitures as are enacted against persons convicted of wilful and

corrupt perjury." I believe it may be said with strict truth,

that few instances can be produced where this affirmation, which

I must consider as a most solemn oath, was corruptly made by any

accredited member of that religious society for whose peace and

comfort it was enacted. And when this most solemn affirmation is

properly considered, no man of reason will say that the persons

who take it are not bound by a sufficient and available oath.

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