These two chapters (8 and 9) form an independent section of the Epistle. The plural alone ("we") is used throughout; participial and unfinished constructions abound; the style is a little embarrassed; and various words, such as "grace," "blessing," "righteousness," "simplicity," occur in somewhat unusual shades of meaning. All this arises:
1 . From St. Paul's natural delicacy in alluding to pecuniary subjects.
2 . From a desire to conciliate the Corinthians, while at the same time he cannot conceal from them a little apprehension that they were rather more forward and zealous in words than in deeds. Their large promises had led him to speak of them in a way which seemed unlikely to be justified by the fulfilment. He was thus more or less under the influence of conflicting emotions. Out of patriotism ( Romans 9:3 ) and compassion, and an effort to fulfil an old pledge ( Galatians 2:10 ), and a desire to conciliate and, if possible, win over the affection of the Jewish Church—which had been much alienated from him by differences of opinion and by assiduous calumnies—and from a wish to show that his Gentile converts were faithful and loving brethren ( Romans 15:31 ), he was intensely anxious that the contribution should be a large one. This feeling is apparent, not only throughout every line of this appeal, with the solemn topics which it introduces, but also in all his other allusions to the subject ( Romans 15:26 ; 1 Corinthians 16:1-24 .; Acts 20:22 ; Acts 21:4 , etc.). On the other hand, he was careful lest he should seem to have even the most distant personal aims, and lest he should lay on his Gentile converts a wholly unfamiliar burden.
For if there be first a willing mind, etc. "For if the readiness is forth- coming, it is acceptable," etc. In other words, God considers not quantum, but ex quanto; not the magnitude of the gift, but the proportion which it bears to the means of the giver.