Verse 18. "While we look not at the things which are seen" - mh skopountwn. While we aim not at the things which are seen; do not make them our object; are not striving to obtain them; for they are not worthy the pursuit of an immortal spirit, because they are seen; they are objects to which the natural eye can reach; and they are proskaira, temporary; they are to have a short duration, and must have an end. But the things which we make our scope and aim are not seen; they are spiritual, and therefore invisible to the eye of the body; and besides, they are aiwnia, eternal-things that are permanent; that can have no end; they are things which belong to God; holiness, happiness, and the endless communication and fruition of himself.
But we must remark that the light afflictions work out this far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory only to those who do not look at the things which are seen. A man may be grievously afflicted, and yet have his eye bent on temporal good; from his afflictions he can derive no benefit; though many think that their glorification must be a necessary consequence of their afflictions, and hence we do not unfrequently hear among the afflicted poor, "Well, we shall not suffer both here and in the other world too." Afflictions may be means of preparing us for glory, if, during them, we receive grace to save the soul; but afflictions of themselves have no spiritual nor saving tendency; on the contrary, they sour the unregenerated mind, and cause murmurings against the dispensations of Divine Providence. Let us, therefore, look to God, that they may be sanctified; and when they are, then we may say exultingly, These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. O world to come, in exchange for the present! O eternity, for a moment! O eternal communion in the holy, blessed, and eternal life of God, for the sacrifice of a poor, miserable, and corrupted life here on earth! Whoever sets no value on this seed of a blessed eternity knows not what it comprehends. That which the eyes of the flesh are capable of perceiving is not worthy of a soul capable of possessing God. Nothing which is of a perishable nature can be the chief good of a being that was made for eternity!- Quesnel.