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8. Generosity Encouraged

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. 6Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. 7Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. 8I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 10And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 12For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 13For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 15As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. 16But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. 17For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you. 18And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches; 19And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind: 20Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: 21Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 22And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you. 23Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. 24Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

18. We have sent with him the brother. The circumstance that three persons are sent, is an evidence, that great expectations were entertained respecting the Corinthians, and it became them to be so much the more attentive to duty, that they might not disappoint the hopes of the Churches. It is uncertain, however, who this second person was; only that some conjecture that it was Luke, others that it was Barnabas. Chrysostom prefers to consider it to have been Barnabas. I agree with him, because it appears that, by the suffrages of the Churches, 690690     “Par le commun accord des Eglises;” — “By the common agreement of the Churches.” he was associated with Paul as a companion. As, however, it is almost universally agreed, that Luke was one of those who were the bearers of this Epistle, I have no objection that he be reckoned to be the third that is made mention of.

Now the second person, whoever he may be, he honors with a signal commendation, that he had conducted himself as to the gospel in a praiseworthy manner, that is, he had earned applause by promoting the gospel. For, although Barnabas gave place to Paul in the department of speaking, yet in acting they both concurred. He adds farther, that he had received praise, not from one individual, or even from one Church merely, but from all the Churches. To this general testimony he subjoins a particular one, that is suitable to the subject in hand — that he had been chosen for this department by the concurrence of the Churches. Now it was likely, that this honor would not have been conferred upon him, had he not been long before known to be qualified for it. We must observe, however, the mode of election — that which was customary among the Greeks — χειροτονία, (a show of hands,) 691691     “Laquelle les Grecs appellent d’vn nom qui signifie Eleuation des mains;” — “Which the Greeks express by a term that signifies a show of hands.” in which the leaders 692692     “Les principaux ou gouerneurs;” — “The leaders or governors.” took the precedence by authority and counsel, and regulated the whole proceeding, while the common people intimated their approval. 693693     Beza, in his Annotations on Acts 14:23, when commenting on the word χειροτονήσαντες made use of in that passage in connection with the ordaining of elders in every Church, remarks, that the word in this application took its rise from the practice of the Greeks — “qui porrectis manibus suffragia ferebant: unde illud Ciceronis pro L. Flacco, Porrexerunt mantus: psephisma nature est;” — “Who gave their votes by holding up their hands: hence that statement made by Cicero in his Oration in behalf of L. Flaccus — They held up their handsa decree was passed.” Allusion is made to the same custom among the Greeks in the writings of Xenophon, Καὶ ὅτῳ δοκεῖ ἔφη ταῦτα αἰρέτω τὴν χεῖρα ἀνέτειναν πάντες — “Whoever is of this mind,” says he, “let him lift up his hand — they all lifted up their hands.” (Xen. deExped. Cyri. lib. v. p. 283.)” Ενδοξε δ ἀναβαλέσθαι ἐς ἑτέραν ἐκκλησίαν τότε γὰρ ὀψὲ ἦν καὶ τὰς χεῖρας οὐκ ἄν καθεώρων — “But it seemed good to postpone the matter till another assembly, for it was then late, and they could not see the hands.” — (Xen. Hist. Grace. lib. 1, p. 350.) — Ed.

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