The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, D.D., Master of Catharine Hall, Cambridge; Preacher of Grays Inn, London, Vol. 3: Containing a Commentary on ... Epistle to the Corinthians (Classic Reprint)

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The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, D.D., Master of Catharine Hall, Cambridge; Preacher of Gray's Inn, London, Vol. 3: Containing a Commentary on ... Epistle to the Corinthians (Classic Reprint) Details

Excerpt from The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, D.D., Master of Catharine Hall, Cambridge; Preacher of Gray's Inn, London, Vol. 3: Containing a Commentary on the First Chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ - 2 cor. I. 1, 2.

The preface to this epistle is the same with other prefaces. Our blessed apostle had written a sharp epistle to the Corinthians, especially reproving their tolerating of the incestuous person.* That, his first epistle, took effect, though not so much as he desired, yet it prevailed so far with them, that they excommunicated the incestuous person, and likewise reformed divers abuses. Yet notwithstanding, it being a proud, factious, rich city, where there was conuence of many nations, being an excellent port, and mart-townl there were many proud, insolent teachers, which thought basely of St Paul; and thereupon he writes this second epistle: the scope whereof is partly apologetical, partly exhortatory.

Apologetical - to defend himself. Exhortatory - to instruct them in several duties, as we shall see in the passages Of it.

The general scope of it is this, to shew that the ministerial labour is not in vain in the Lord, ' 1 Cor. Xv. 58. The fruit of the first Epistle to the Corinthians is seen in this second the first Epistle took effect. Therefore we should not be discouraged, neither we that are ministers of the church, or those that are ministers in their own families, as every man should be. Be not discouraged at unlikelihood. There is alway some success to encourage us, though not so much as we look for in this world, because there is a reprobate generation that are alway set upon cavilling, and Oppos ing; yet some success there will be, as there was here.

A second thing in general out of the whole scope is this, to teach us to vindicate our credit, when the truth may be wounded through us, as the apostle stands here upon his reputation, and labours to free, and to clear himself from all imputations. But especially he doth this by his life, for that is the best apology. But because that would not serve, it would not speak loud enough, therefore he makes an excellent apology in this epistle. But to come to the particulars.

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