25. But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
25. Nunc verb proficiscor Ierosolymam ad ministrandum sanctis.
26. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
26. Placuit enim Macedoniae et Achaiae communicationem facere in pauperes sanctos qui sunt Ierosolymis:
27. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto their in carnal things.
27. Placuit, inquam, et debitores sunt ipsorum; si enim spiritualibus ipsorum communicarunt Gentes, debent et in carnalibus 1 ministrare ipsis.
28. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.
28. Hoc igitur quum perfecero, et obsignavero illis fructum hunc, pro-ficiscar per vos in Hispaniam.
29. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
29. Scio autem quod quum venero ad vos, in plenitudine benedictionis evangelii Christi venturus sum.
"I boast," he says, "of your promptitude to all the Churches, that they may be stirred up by your example."
(2 Corinthians 9:2.)
It was indeed a rare instance of kindness, that the Grecians, having heard that their brethren at Jerusalem were laboring under want, considered not the distance at which they were separated from them; but esteeming those sufficiently nigh, to whom they were united by the bond of faith, they relieved their necessities from their own abundance. The word communication, which is here employed, ought to be noticed; for it well expresses the feeling, by which it behooves us to succor the wants of our brethren, even because there is to be a common and mutual regard on account of the unity of the body. I have not rendered the pronoun
And mark the verb
The former exposition has been most commonly received, and seems also to me the best; that is, that he hoped that at his coming he would find what he especially wished, even that the gospel flourished among them and prevailed with evident success, -- that they were excelling in holiness and in all other virtues. For the reason he gives for his desire is, that he hoped for no common joy in seeing them, as he expected to see them abounding in all the spiritual riches of the gospel. 4
1 "In carnalibus;"
2 The words are,
3 More satisfactory is the explanation of Stuart: he says, that the word "sealed" means that the instrument to which a seal is applied is authenticated, made valid, i.e., "sure to answer the purpose intended. So here the Apostle would not stop short in the performance of his duty, as the almoner of the Churches, until he had seen the actual distribution of their charity." It seems then that "sealed" here means "secured," or safely conveyed. "Delivered to them safely," is the paraphrase of Hammond. -- Ed.
4 This explanation is that of Chrysostom; but how to make the words to give such a meaning is a matter of some difficulty. The obvious import of the passage corresponds with Romans 1:11. All the authors quoted by Poole, except Estius, take the other view, such as Grotius, Beza, Mede, etc. The last gives the following as the sentiments of Origen and Anselm -- "My preaching and conversation shall impart to you an abundant knowledge of the gospel mysteries, love, comfort, grace, and spiritual fruit." The word "blessing,"