1 I must acquaint you, brethren, with the contribution which the churches of Macedonia have religiously made, 2 who tho' labouring under great trial of affliction, and extreme poverty, have notwithstanding with exceeding cheerfulness contributed very liberally: being forward of themselves to the utmost of their power, 3 (I bear them witness) yea, and beyond their power: 4 earnestly intreating me to take the gift, and the charge of conveying it to the converts at Jerusalem: 5 and in this they out-did my expectation; such was the divine pleasure, they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then made me an offer to go themselves to Corinth. 6 I therefore desired Titus, as he had begun, to finish this contribution among you. 7 that as you excel in every thing, in faith, in language, mystical knowledge, in all virtue, and in your affection to us; I hope you will excel too in this charitable disposition.
8 I don't mean to prescribe to you, but that the zeal of others may show you are as sincerely well-affected. 9 for you are sensible of the beneficence of our Lord Jesus Christ; powerful as he was, for your sake he became poor, that you through his poverty might be made rich. 10 in this I only advise you: it being for your credit, since you have not only begun to execute it, but you were the first that form'd the design a year ago. 11 Pray then, dispatch this affair; as you readily undertook it, as readily perform it, to the best of your abilities. 12 for what a man gives with a ready mind, according to his abilities, is well received; but not when he goes beyond his circumstances. 13 my meaning is not, that you should be distress'd to relieve others, I only recommend an equality; 14 that as your present sufficiency supplies their wants, their sufficiency may supply your occasions another way: and thus there will be an equality. 15 as it is written, " he that had much, had nothing over, and he that had little, had no lack."
16 But thanks be to God, who disposed Titus to be so industrious for you. 17 for he not only complyed with my exhortation, but being more than ordinarily concern'd, he voluntarily went to you; 18 with whom I have sent one of the brethren, who is not only distinguish'd among all the churches, by his preaching the gospel, 19 but was chosen by the churches to accompany me with this collection; which service I undertook for the sake of Christ, and to encourage your generous design. 20 this I did, to prevent any suspicion that might be rais'd from my having the management of so great a sum: 21 always considering what is virtuous, with respect to God, and with respect to men. 22 I have sent likewise another of our brethren, whose diligence I have experienc'd in several affairs. 23 now as to Titus, he is my collegue, and assists me in your affairs: as to our brethren, they are the deputies of the churches, and the glory of the christian profession. 24 wherefore show how much you love them, and how well you deserve the character I gave you, before all the churches.