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P. 1
War

War

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY JAMES DENNEY, B.D.

2 Cor. x. 1-6


"Now I Paul myself intreat you by the meekness and gentleness
of Christ, I who in your presence am lowly among you, but being
absent am of good courage toward you : yea, I beseech you, that

1 may not when present show courage with the confidence where-
with I count to be bold against some, which count of us as if we
walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we
do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are
not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strong
holds) ; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is
exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought
into captivity to the obedience of Christ ; and being in readiness to
avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be fulfilled."
BY JAMES DENNEY, B.D.

2 Cor. x. 1-6


"Now I Paul myself intreat you by the meekness and gentleness
of Christ, I who in your presence am lowly among you, but being
absent am of good courage toward you : yea, I beseech you, that

1 may not when present show courage with the confidence where-
with I count to be bold against some, which count of us as if we
walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we
do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are
not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strong
holds) ; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is
exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought
into captivity to the obedience of Christ ; and being in readiness to
avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be fulfilled."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 06, 2013
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WAR BY JAMES DEEY, B.D.2 Cor. x. 1-6"ow I Paul myself intreat you by the meekness and gentlenessof Christ, I who in your presence am lowly among you, but beingabsent am of good courage toward you : yea, I beseech you, that1 may not when present show courage with the confidence where-with I count to be bold against some, which count of us as if wewalked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, wedo not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare arenot of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds) ; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that isexalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thoughtinto captivity to the obedience of Christ ; and being in readiness toavenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be fulfilled." — 2 Cor. x. 1-6 (R.V.).THE last four chapters of the Second Epistle tothe Corinthians stand as manifestly apart as thetwo about the collection. A great deal too much hasbeen made of this undeniable fact. If a man hasa long letter to write, in which he wishes to speak of a variety of subjects, we may expect variations of tone, and more or less looseness of connexion. If hehas something on his mind which it is difficult to speak about, but which cannot be suppressed, we may expecthim to keep it to the end, and to introduce it, perhaps,with awkward emphasis. The scholars who haveargued, on the ground of the extreme difference of tone,and want of connexion, that chaps, x.-xiii. of thisEpistle were originally a separate letter, either earlier(Weisse) or later (Semler) than the first seven chapters,289 19
 
290 THE SECOD EPISTLE TO THE CORITHIASseem to have overlooked these obvious considerations. 1If Paul stopped dictating for the day at the end of chap. ix. — if he even stopped a few moments in doubthow to proceed to the critical subject he had still tohandle — the want of connexion is sufficiently explained ;the tone in which he writes, when we consider thesubject, needs no justification. The mission of Titushad resulted very satisfactorily, so far as one specialincident was concerned — the treatment of a guilty personby the Church; the tension of feeling over that casehad passed by. But in the general situation of affairsat Corinth there was much to make the Apostle anxiousand angry. There were Judaists at work, impugninghis authority and corrupting his Gospel ; there was atleast a minority of the Church under their influence ;there were large numbers living, apparently, in thegrossest sins (chap. xii. 20 f.) ; there was something, wecannot but think, approaching spiritual anarchy. Theone resource the Apostle has with which to encounterthis situation — his one standing ground alike againstthe Church and those who were corrupting it — is hisapostolic authority ; and to the vindication of this hefirst addresses himself. This, I believe, explains thepeculiar emphasis with which he begins : " ow I myself,I Paul intreat you." Avtos iya> IIav\o<; is not onlythe grammatical subject of the sentence, but if one maysay so, the subject under consideration ; it is the veryperson whose authority is in dispute who puts himself forward deliberately in this authoritative way. The 8e(" now ") is merely transitional ; the writer moves on,without indicating any connexion, to another matter.1 On Hausrath's view that this was a letter between our Ep. I.and Ep. II. see the Introduction.
 
x. 1-6.] WAR 291In the long sentence which makes up the first andsecond verses, everything comes out at once — theApostle's indignation, in that extreme personal emphasis ;his restraint of it, in the appeal to the meekness andgentleness of Christ ; his resentment at the miscon-struction of his conduct by enemies, who called him acoward at hand, and a brave man only at a safe distance ;and his resolve, if the painful necessity is not sparedhim, to come with a rod and not spare. It is as if all this had been dammed up in his heart for long,and to say a single word was to say everything. Theappeal to the meekness and gentleness of Christ ispeculiarly affecting in such a connexion ; it is intendedto move the Corinthians, but what we feel is how ithas moved Paul. It may be needful, on occasion,to assert oneself, or at least one's authority ; but itis difficult to do it without sin. It is an exhilaratingsensation to human nature to be in the right, and whenwe enjoy it we are apt to enlist our temper in the divineservice, forgetting that the wrath of man does not worlcthe righteousness of God. Paul felt this danger, andin the very sentence in which he puts himself andhis dignity forward with uncompromising firmness, herecalls to his own and his readers' hearts the charac-teristic temper of the Lord. How far He was, underthe most hateful provocation, from violence and passion !How far from that sinful self-assertion, which cannotconsider the case and claims of others I It is whenwe are in the right that we must watch our temper,and, instead of letting anger carry us away, make ourappeal for the right by the meekness and gentlenessof Jesus. This, when right is won, makes it twiceblessed. The words, "who in your presence amlowly among you, but being absent am of good courage

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