Page images
PDF
EPUB

of Moses, had no glory at all in it, if it be compared with that ex, cellent glory of the Gospel, and of the Apostolical function.

III. || For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious, For if that Law, and that shining brightness, which was transitory, and is done away, were glorious, how much more glorious must that needs be, which is to remain for ever, viz. the Gospel, and the ministry thereof!

III. 12 Secing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of specch: Seeing then that we have this confident assurance of the dignity of our function, and the sovereign power of the Gospel, we do, with much freedom and resolution, preach this Gospel to you:

III. 13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished. And we do not make ourselves like Moses, who put a vail over his face, that the eyes of the Israelites could not have their full scope, to look at that bright lustre of his face, which is. (and was soon after to be) abolished.

III. 14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament ; which vail is done away in Christ. But this was done in a figure: for, as their eyes were thus hindered from seeing the glory of Moses' face, so the eyes of their minds were dim, yea blinded, that they could not see the end of the Law; and still, until this day, the same vail of ignorance continues unremoved: for, in reading of the Old Testament, they have not the power of seeing him, who was prefigured and shadowed ont thereby: which vail is only done away by Christ; as in whom all things were fulfilled, and by whom the clear light of knowledge is given unto the soul.

III. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. But, even to this day, when Moses is read, this vail of ignorance and unbelief is betwixt their hearts and his face.

III. 16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Nevertheless, when that heart of theirs shall be tuộned to the Lord, then shall the vail be taken away by the gracious illumination of God's Spirit; and they shall then see Christ clearly laid forth in Moses,

III. 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Ye heard of a Spirit, as ye heard of a letter: now the Lord is that Spirit, which gives life unto the letter of the Gospel; and where this Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty and freedom from the bondage of sin and Satan, and a bold and confident access to the throne of grace.

III. 18 °But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the gloty of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. But we all, as being in a better case than Moses, do, with an open face, behold the glory of the Lord : and, as a glass, which is set against the sun, receives the beams thereof; so do we take in glory from God, in one degree after another, till we be fully changed into his glorious image, and made like unto him; which is wrought in and upon us, by the Spirit of the Lord.

IV. i Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have res ceived mercy, we faint not; Therefore, seeing we have so excellent and noble a ministry or function, as God hath highly honoured us and shewed mercy to us in vouchsafing to call us thereunto, so we go courageously for. ward in the careful discharge thereof, and faint not:

IV. 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But have renounced all the sly and secret dishonesties of hypocrisy, not craftily seeking our own advantages, by indirect means, in our preaching the word of God; but, in plain and open truth and sincerity, labouring to be approved of every man's conscience, in the presence of God.

IV. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost : And, so clearly and faithfully have we laid Christ open before you in our preaching, that if there be any man to whom our Gosa pel is yet hid, it is a fearful sign of that man's reprobation and perdition:

IV. 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. And that he is one of those unbelievers, whose minds Satan, who is the God of this World, hath blinded : so as that, through their own obstinacy and his suggestion, the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the Perfect and Living Image of God the Father, appears not unto them; but, by the just judgment of God, is kept from their eyes.

IV. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. That God, which, in the first creation, brought the light out of darkness, now, that the world was all covered with darkness of ignorance, brought the light of his Gospel into it; and bath shined in our hearts, to give us thereby a true and clear knowledge of the glory of God, in and by the means of Jesus Christ.

IV. Ï But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. But this goodly and rich treasure of the Gospel is by him put into us, that are but base, brittle, earthen vessels; that there may no part of the praise of the excellent power and virtue thereof be cast upon us, but all may be, as it is due, ascribed to God alone.

IV. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair. We are aflicted on every side, yet not over-pressed and distracted therewith.

IV. 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. Always imitating, in our very bodies, the example of the sufferings and dying of our Lord Jesus; that once our now mortal bodies may be comformable to his, in everlasting glory, and the life of blessedness and immortality. So also verse 11.

IV. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. So then, we are continually exposed to death, while ye lire quietly, out of the danger thereof, and provide for your life and safety.

IV. 13 We having the same Spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believed, and therefore speak. We, having the same faith, that David had, wrought in us by the Spirit of God, can say, as he did, I believed, and therefore have I spoken: upon the same grounds then, that he had, we also believe the performance of all God's promises to us, and therefore we do boldly profess and preach the truth of the Gospel.

IV. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For all, both our sufferings and deliverances are for your sakes; that the abundant grace of God, which shews itself in both these, might win so much more glory to God, for that so many are inte. rested therein, and shall return their praises and thanksgivings to him for his mercy to us.

IV. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. Upon which assurances, we go on cheerfully in our ministry, and faint not: for, though our body decay and languish, by reason of our many pressures and afflictions, yet our spirit gathers strength and resolution, every day, more than other.

IV. 17, 18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen : for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. Forasmuch as we know, that this light affliction, which we suffer here, for the short moment of this present life, shall be recompensed, through God's inercy, with an incomparably and inconceivably more excellent and eternal measure of glory; and helps us forward towards the attainment thereof: While we cast, not our bodily eves, upon these outward things, that are seen ; but the eyes of our souls, upon those spiritual and invisible excellencies : for all these things, which our bodily eyes can see, are temporal and transitory; but those invisible things, which our souls see, are eternal.

V. 1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For we know, that if this earthly body of ours, wherein the soul sojourns, some while, as in a tabernacle of clay, be once dissolved, we have a glorious mansion, prepared for us, and built by God; even a house made only by the infinite power and goodness of our Creator, which is eternal in the heavens.

V. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven. For, in this frail tabernacle of our body, we live in continual sighing and groaning ; earnestly desiring, if it might be, that, in this state of our bodies, we might, without the pain of a dissolution, be clothed upon with the life of glory and immortality.

V. 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. If, at least, we be found, at the coming of Christ, clothed with these bodies of ours, and not despoiled of them before by death.

V. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. For we, that are in this tabernacle of our bodies, do sigh and groan, being burdened with this lumpish and earthen load of our Aesh: not for that we would be unclothed and stripped of them; but in a desire, that, being clothed with them, we might have glory put also upon us; that, as we are clothed with them, so they may be clothed with glory; that so mortality might, without any sensible pain, be swallowed up of life.

V. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Now, he, that ordained and wrought us to this blessed condition, is only God; who hath also given us, beforehand, the earnest of his Spirit, to assure us of the full accomplishment of his good promises to us.

V. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. Therefore, howsoever nature is ready to shrink at the thought of dissolution, yet we are confident always to undergo it, cheerfully and resolutely ; knowing that our life is, in this case, a true pilgrimage, in that, while we are present in this body of ours, we are absent from the Lord: we do, indeed, account our body to be our home; but it is a short, uncertain, imperfect, and miserable home: it is heaven, that is our true country and home, as being our Father's house ; while then we are in this home of our bodies, we are away from our glorious home, and from the Lord, who is the owner and Maker of it.

V. 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight :)

(For we do only now, by our faith, enjoy God; but are as strapgers, yet, in regard of our present sight and fruition of him:)

V. 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. We are, I say, confident to undergo our dissolution, and willing rather to be freed and delivered from our body and to be present with the Lord, than to be still in the body and absent from God.

V. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. Wherefore we labour, that, whether we live or die, whether our souls be present in our bodies or separated from them by death, we may be graciously accepted of him.

V. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men ; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest unto your consciences. Knowing therefore the terror of this dreadful judgment, and the awfulness of that Lord who shall appear in it, we persuade men to a conscionable fear and obedience : and, for us, we are careful to be approved of God in our sincerity and faithfulness to him, in our ministry; and I trust also, ye yourselves, in your own consciences, cannot but allow and give testimony thereof.

V. 12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that you may have somewhat to answer them &c. But we speak this, to give you occasion, rather to rejoice and boast, on our behalf; that you may have somewhat to answer those false apostles, which make a shew of joy and confidence, but indeed have no truth thereof in their hearts.

V. 13 For whether we be besides ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. Neither let any man censure us for this our gloriation, as if we were over-carried beyond the bounds of discretion, or as if this zeal and boasting savoured of some kind of madness : for, if we be thought to be besides ourselves, it is for our fervent love to God and his Gospel, that we are so reproached ; and, if we be sober, it is for your cause, that we might give an example of meekness unto you.

v. 14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead : For the wonderful and infinite love of Christ, wherewith he embraced mankind, offers a boly force and violence unto us; because we do thus rightly and justly judge, that we were all dead and lost by reason of our sin ; otherwise, that only and dear Saviour of ours would not have died for all :

V. 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. And, withal, that his purpose of dying for all was this, that they, which live by the power and efficacy of his death, should not live unto themselves, any more, but unto him, and for his glory and advantage, who died for them and rose again.

« PreviousContinue »