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5So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you, and arrange in advance for this bountiful gift that you have promised, so that it may be ready as a voluntary gift and not as an extortion.

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5. As a blessing, not in the way of niggardliness In place of blessing, some render it collection. I have preferred, however, to render it literally, as the Greeks employed the term εὐλογίας to express the Hebrew word ברכה, (beracah,) which is used in the sense of a blessing, that is, an invoking of prosperity, as well as in the sense of beneficence. 711711     “Qui signifie tant benediction, c’est a dire vn souhait ou priere pour la prosperite d’autruy, que beneficence ou liberalite;” — “Which denotes blessing — that is to say, a desire or prayer for the prosperity of another, as well as beneficence, or liberality.” The reason I reckon to be this, that it is in the first instance ascribed to God. 712712     “Ie pense que la raison de ceste derniere signification est, pource que ce mot est en premier lieu et proprement attribue a Dieu;” — “I think that the reason of this last signification is — because it is in the first place and properly ascribed to God.” Now we know how God blesses us efficiently by his simple nod. 713713     “Par la seule et simple volonte;” — “By a mere simple exercise of the will.” When it is from this transferred to men, it retains the same meaning, — improperly, indeed, inasmuch as men have not the same efficacy in blessing, 714714     “Que Dieu ha;” — “That God has.” but yet not unsuitably by transference. 715715     “God’s blessing of us, and our blessing of God, differ exceedingly. For God blesseth us efficiently, by exhibiting his mercies to us. We bless God, not by adding any good to him, but declaratively only. God’s betedicere is benefacerehis words are works, but our blessing (as Aquinas says) is only recognoscitium, and expressivuman acknowledgment only and celebration of that goodness.which God hath.” — Burgesse on 2 Corinthians 1. — Ed.

To blessing Paul opposes πλεονεξίαν, (grudging,) which term the Greeks employ to denote excessive greediness, as well as fraud and niggardliness. 716716     “Qui signifie tant couuoitise exccssiue, ou auarice, que chichete, et quand on rogne quelque chose de ce qu’il faudroit donner;” — “Which denotes excessive covetousness or avarice, as well as niggardliness, and when one pares off something from what he should give.” I have rather preferred the term niggardliness in this contrast; for Paul would have them give, not grudgingly, but. with a liberal spirit, as will appear still more clearly from what follows.