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am ready, not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord Jesus h. 2. His warm benevolence, his ardent concern for the
salvation of men. Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved". Being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls; because ye were dear unto us. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and
ye in bim, according to the grace of our God, and the Lord Jesus Christo. And I will very gladly spend, and be spent, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved". I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. For I have said before, that you are in our heart to die and live with you'. For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christs. God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing make mention of you always in my prayers, making request to come unto you; for I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established". Brethren, we were comforted over you, in all our affliction and distress, by your faith.
faith. For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord: For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy, for your sakes, before our God'?
Acts, xxi. 13. 2. a Rom. x. 1.
b 1 Thess. Ü. 8.
c 2 Thess. i. 11, 12. e 2 Tim. ii. 10.
r 2 Cor. vii. 3. & Col. č. 1, 2.
Rom. i, 9.-11.
i i Thess, üï, 7–9.
2 Cor. xii. 15.
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his comingk ? I thank my God always on your behalf
, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ! Yea, if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with
all“. 3. His integrity of heart, his purity of life and
manners. Seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the work of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every men's conscience in the sight of God”. For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ'. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: for neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness, God is witness". Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no mana. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily, and justly, and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe”. Giving no offence in any thing, but in all things approving ourselves, as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings, by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and not killed ; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having
nothing, yet possessing all things. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world
4. His fidelity, and unwearied diligence. Let a inan so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful". Ye know, from the first day that I came unto Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears and temptations which befell me, by the lying in wait of the Jews; and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly from house to house. Wherefore, I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men: for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. I am the least of the Apostles, that am not meet to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the church of God: but by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ, in those things which pertain to God: For I will not dare to speak of any of those things, which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ
5. His disregard of temporal things. Behold the third time I am ready to come to you
' 2 Cor. vi, 3— 11. 8 2 Cor. i. 12.
• Acts, xx. 18, 19, 20, 26, 27.
Rom. xv. 17, 18, 19.
(Corinthians), and I will not be burdensome to
for I seek not yours, but you". Not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved ". I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel ; yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ininistered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the Apostles of Christ : for ye remember, brethren, our labour and travel; for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God". For yourselves know, how ye ought to follow us; for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; neither did we eat any man's bread for nought, but wrought with labour and travel night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you; not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow uso. I did not burden you ; nevertheless, (say they) being crafty, I caught you with guile. Did I make a gain' of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? Walked we not in the same spirit? Walked we not in the same steps ? We do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying? Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; every where, and in all things, I am instructed, both to be full, and to be hungry; both to abound, and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth
5. • 2 Cor. xii. 14.
d 1 Thess. ij. 6, 9.
Philip. iv. 11–13.
b 1 Cor. x. 33.
2 Thess. iii. 7, 8, 9.
c Acts, xx. 33–35.
6. His stated concern to approve himself unto God.
We labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of himo. With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment : Yea I judge not mine own self, for I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified; but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God. For do I now persuade men or God? or do I seek to please men? For, if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. As we are allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, who trieth our hearts. Even after we had suffered, and were shamefully entreated, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention'.
7. His noble spirit under sufferings. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For, as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation“. For we would not have you ignorant of our trouble, in so much that we despaired even of life. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should trust in God who raiseth the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us'. We both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place; being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it;
0 1 Cor. iv. 3,4,5.
• Gal. i, 10.
6. & 2 Cor. v. 9.
1 Thess, ï. 4, 2. 7, 12 Cor. i. 3-6.
D 2 Cor. i. 8, 9, 10.