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instructions which it contains, are of the greatest importance to the Christians of every age and country.
It was sent to Corinth by Titus, who was directed to bring an account to St. Paul of the manner in which it was received by the Corinthians.
CHAPTER THE ELEVENTH,
OF THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE
I. The Occasion of this Epistle being written.-II. The
Date and Substance of it.
1. It has been related in the History of St. Paul, that soon after the riot occasioned by Demetrius, Paul left Ephesus, went to Troas, and thence into Macedonia, where he met Titus, who was just come from Corinth, whither he had been sent by Paul with his first Epistle, and with directions to enquire into the state of the church in that city. From Titus, Paul learned that his letter was well received by the Corinthian Christians; that the greater part of them had expressed much concern for their past behaviour; that they had given full proof of their attachment to him (a); and in particular that they
(a) 2 Cor. c. 7. v. 7-9.
had, in obedience to his commands, excommunicated the person who had been guilty of an incestuous marriage : but that some of them still adhered to the false teachers, who continued to deny Paul's apostolical mission, and used every other means in their power to lessen his credit with the Corinthians.
St. Paul's former letter having produced these good effects among the Corinthians, he thought it expedient to write to them again, for the purpose of confirming them in their right conduct, and to give them some farther advice and instruction, especially with reference to the attempts which were still making to pervert their faith, and of which he had lately received a circumstantial account from Titus.
II. This second Epistle to the Corinthians was written from Macedonia (6), within twelve months after the first, and probably in the beginning of the year 57; and it was sent to Corinth by Titus, who, with other persons, was returning thither to forward the collections in Achaia for the poor Christians of Judæa.
Paul writes in his own name, and in that of Timothy, who was now with him in Macedonia ; and addresses not only the Christians of Corinth,
but (6) 2 Cor. c. 7. v.4, &c. c.9. v. 2, &c.
but of all Achaia (c); he begins with speaking of the consolations which he had experienced under his sufferings, and of the sincerity and zeal with which he had preached the Gospel (d); he explains the reason of his not having performed his promise of visiting the Corinthians, and assures them that the delay had proceeded not from levity or fickleness, as perhaps his enemies had represented, but from tenderness towards his converts at Corinth, to give them time to reform, and that there might be no occasion for treating them with severity when he saw them(e); he notices the case of the incestuous person, and on account of his repentance desires that he may be forgiven, and restored to communion with the church (f); he mentions the success with which he had preached (g); he enlarges upon the importance of the ministerial office, the zeal and faithfulness with which he had discharged his duty, and the excellence of the Gospel doctrines (h); he cautions them against connexions with unbelievers; he expresses great regard for the Corinthians; declares that he had felt much anxiety and concern on account of the irregularities
(c) C.1. v. 1 and 2 (d) V.3 to 14. (e) C. 1. v. 15 to c. 2. v. 5. (f) C. 2. v. 6 to 12. (g) C. 2. v. 13 to the end. (h) C.3. v. 1, to c. 6. v. 13.
which had prevailed among them; and that he rejoiced very much upon being informed of their penitence and amendment (i); and he exhorts them to contribute liberally for the relief of their poor brethren in Judæa (k). In the latter part of the Epistle he again vindicates his character as an Apostle, and enumerates the various species of distresses and persecutions which he had undergone in the cause of Christianity. He concludes with general exhortations, and the well-known benediction in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (1).
(i) C. 6. v. 14, to the end of e. 7.