2 Corinthians 1:23-24
23. Moreover, I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
23. Ego autem testem invoco Deum in animam meam, quod parcens vobis nondum venerim Corinthum.
24. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
24. Non quod dominemur fidei vestrae, sed adiutores sumus 1 gaudii vestri: fide enim statis.
1. But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.
1. Decreveram autem hoc in me ipso, non amplius venire in tristitia ad vos. 2
2. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?
2. Si enim ego contristo vos: et quis est qui me exhilaret, nisi is qui erit tristitia affectus ex me?
He makes use, also, of an oath, that he may not seem to have contrived something to serve a particular purpose. For the matter in itself was of no small importance, and it was of great consequence that he should be entirely free from all suspicion of falsehood and pretence. Now there are two things that make an oath lawful and pious -- the occasion and the disposition. The occasion I refer to is, where an oath is not employed rashly, that is, in mere trifles, or even in matters of small importance, but only where there is a call for it. The disposition I refer to is, where there is not so much regard had to private advantage, as concern felt for the glory of God, and the advantage of the brethren: For this end must always be kept in view, that our oaths may promote the honor of God, and promote also the advantage of our neighbours in a matter that is befitting. 4
The form of the oath must also be observed -- first, that he calls God to witness; and, secondly, that he says
if we are unfaithful, God remaineth faithful
and will not deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13.)
He will not suffer, therefore, the profanation of his name to go unpunished.
What then does he leave to himself and others? He calls
1 "Nous sommes adiuteurs de vostre ioye; ou, nous aidons a;" -- "We are helpers of your joy, or, we aid."
2 "De ne venir à vous derechef auec tristesse, ou, pour vous apporter fascherie;" -- "Not to come again to you in sorrow, or, to cause you distress."
3 "Remede plus aspre et rigoureux;" -- "A harsher and more rigorous remedy."
4 "Moyennant que ce soit en chose iuste et raisonable;" -- "Provided it is in a matter that is just and reasonable."
5 "Es -- tu si insupportable, et si orgueilleux?" -- "Are you so insufferable and so proud?"
6 "Il confesse franchement;" -- "He frankly confesses."
7 The views here expressed by Calvin are severely animadverted upon in the following terms by the Romanists, in the Annotations appended to the Rheims version of the New Testament: "Calvin and his seditious sectaries with other like which despise dominion, as St. Jude describeth such, would by this place deliver themselves from all yoke of spiritual Magistrates and Rulers: namely, that they be subject to no man touching their faith, or for the examination and trial of their doctrine, but to God and his word only. And no marvel that the malefactors and rebels of the Church would come to no tribunal but God's, that so they may remain unpunished at least during this life. For though the Scriptures plainely condemne their heresies, yet they could writhe themselves out by false glosses, constructions, corruptions, and denials of the bookes to be canonical, if there were no lawes or judicial sentences of men to rule and represse them." To these statements Dr. Fulke in his elaborate work in refutation of the errors of Popery, (Lond. 1601,) p. 559, appropriately replies as follows: "This is nothing els but a lewd and senselesse slander of Calvin and vs, that we despise lordship, because we will not be subject to the tyranny of Antichrist, that would be Lord of our faith, and arrogateth vnto himselfe auctoritie to make new articles of fayth, which have no ground or warrant in the word of God. But CALVIN did willingly acknowledge all auctoritie of the ministers of the Church, which the Scripture doth allow unto them, and both practiced, and submitted himselfe to the discipline of the Church, and the lawful gouernours thereof, although he would not yield unto the tyrannicall yoke of the Pope, who is neither soueraigne of the Church, nor any true member of the same. Yea, Calvin and we submit ourselves, not only to the auctoritie of the Church, but also of the Ciuile Magistrates to be punished, if we shall be found to teach or doe any thing contrary to the doctrine of faith, receyued and approved by the Church, whereas the Popish clergy, in causes of religion, will not be subject to the temporal gouernors, judgement, and correction." -- Ed.
8 "Que les Pasteurs et Evesques n'ont point de iurisdiction propre sur les consciences;" -- "That Pastors and Bishops have no peculiar jurisdiction over consciences."
9 "Et les faux -- apostres aussi;" -- "And false Apostles also."
10 "Afin que nous demeurions fermes;" -- "In order that we may remain secure."