Verse 14. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" - All the favour and beneficence that come from and through the Redeemer of the world; as the LORD, the ruler and governor of all things; as JESUS, the saviour of all men by his passion and death; as Christ, the distributer of all that Divine unction which enlightens, comforts, harmonizes, and purifies the mind.
"May this most exalted, glorious, and all-sufficient saviour, be ever with you! And the love of God" - GOD, your Maker, in that infinite love which induced him to create the world, and form man in his own image and in his own likeness, that he might be capable of knowing, loving, and enjoying him for ever; and God in the fullest manifestations of that love which caused him to give his only begotten Son, to the end that they who believe on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. May this God of love, and this love of God, be ever with you! And the communion of the Holy Ghost] May that Holy Spirit, that Divine and eternal energy which proceeds from the Father and the Son; that heavenly fire that gives light and life, that purifies and refines, sublimes and exalts, comforts and invigorates, make you all partakers with himself! koinwnia, which we translate fellowship and communion, signifies properly participation; having things in common; partaking with each other. This points out the astonishing privileges of true believers: they have communion with God's Spirit; share in all its gifts and graces; walk in its light; through him they have the fullest confidence that they are of God, that he is their father and friend, and has blotted out all their iniquities: this they know by the Spirit which he has given them. And is it possible that a man shall be a partaker with the Holy Ghost, and not know it! that he shall be full of light and love, and not know it! that he shall have the spirit of adoption, by which he can cry, Abba! Father! and yet know nothing of his relationship to God, but by inference from indirect proofs! In a word, that he shall have the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost with him, and all the while know nothing certain of the grace, as to his portion in it; feel nothing warming from the love, as to its part in him; and nothing energetic from the communion, as to his participation in the gifts and graces of this Divine energy! This is all as absurd as it is impossible. Every genuine Christian, who maintains a close walk with God, may have as full an evidence of his acceptance with God as he has of his own existence. And the doctrine that explains away this privilege, or softens it down to nothing, by making the most gracious and safe state consistent with innumerable doubts and fears and general uncertainty, is not of God. It is a spurious gospel, which, under the show of a voluntary humility, not only lowers, but almost annihilates, the standard of Christianity.
This text, as well as that, Matt. iii. 16, 17, and that other, Matt. xxviii. 19, strongly marks the doctrine of the holy TRINITY. See the note on this latter text. And had not the apostle been convinced that there was a personality in this ever-blessed and undivided Trinity, he could not have expressed himself thus. And had not our Lord intended to be understood in this way, he would not have given such a commission to his apostles, to baptize the nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The doctrine is the teaching of God, let men make of it what they please. And the genuine Church of God have ever received and understood it in this way.
Amen.] This word is wanting, as usual, in almost every MS. of authority. Amen seems to have been anciently added at the conclusion of books, exactly as we add the word, finis, both merely signifying the end.
As to the inscription, it is wanting, either in whole or in part, in almost all the ancient MSS. The principal forms in which it exists are the following:-
To the Corinthians, the second.
- The second to the Corinthians is completed.
- The second to the Corinthians is finished.
- To the Corinthians, the second, written from Philippi.
- Written from Philippi by Titus.
- Written from Philippi by Titus and Luke.
- By Titus, Barnabas, and Luke.
- The Second Epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi of Macedonia, and sent by Titus, SYRIAC.
- The End of the Epistle. It was written from the city of Philippi by Titus and Luke. Praise be to God for ever, ARABIC.
- In the VULGATE there is no subscription; nor in the ETHIOPIC.
- Written in Philippi of Macedonia, and sent by Titus and Luke, COPTIC.
- The Second Epistle to the Corinthians is ended; which was written from Philippi of Macedonia, by Titus and Luke, SYR. PHILOX.
It has been often remarked that no dependence can be placed on many of the subscriptions to the sacred books, which are found in MSS. and versions, because those subscriptions were not written by the authors of those books, but were afterwards added by the transcribers or copiers, who followed either tradition or their own judgment. It is generally allowed that this second epistle was written from Macedonia; and probably from the city of Philippi, in that province. See the introduction and preface to this epistle.
Finished the correction for a new edition, Dec. 13th, 1831. A. C.