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8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;

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8. While we are pressed on every side. This is added by way of explanation, for he shows, that his abject condition is so far from detracting from the glory of God, that it is the occasion of advancing it. “We are reduced,” says he, “to straits, but the Lord at length opens up for us an outlet; 467467     “We are troubled on every side. In respect of the nature of it, (the trouble,) it is plain it was external trouble. The very word there used, Θλιβόμενοι, signifies dashing a thing from without. As the beating and allision of the waves against a rock make no trouble in the rock, no commotion there, but a great deal of noise, clamor, and tumult round about it. That is the sort of trouble which that word in its primary signification holds forth to us, and which the circumstances of the text declare to be the signification of the thing here meant. [...] The word στενοχωρούμενοι expresseth such a kind of straitening as doth infer a difficulty of drawing breath; that a man is so compressed, that he cannot tell how to breathe. That is the native import of the word. As if he had said, ‘We are not reduced to that extremity by all the troubles that surround us, but we can breathe well enough for all that.’ Probably there are meant by this thing desired, two degrees or steps of inward trouble... Either it is a trouble that reacheth not the heart, or if it doth, it does not oppress or overwhelm it.” — Howe’s Works, (London, 1834), p. 706. — Ed. we are oppressed with poverty, but the Lord affords us help. Many enemies are in arms against us, but under God’s protection we are safe. In fine, though we are brought low, so that it might seem as if all were over with us, 468468     “There is an allusion,” says Dr. Bloomfield, “to an army so entirely surrounded and hemmed in στενοῖς, (in straits,) as the Roman army at the Caudinae Furc’, that there is left no hope of escape.” — Ed. still we do not perish.” The last is the severest of all. You see, how he turns to his own advantage every charge that the wicked bring against him. 469469     “Pour le rendre contemptible;” — “To render him contemptible.”




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