2:7-12 Mildness and tenderness greatly recommend religion, and are most conformable to God's gracious dealing with sinners, in and by the gospel. This is the way to win people. We should not only be faithful to our calling as Christians, but in our particular callings and relations. Our great gospel privilege is, that God has called us to his kingdom and glory. The great gospel duty is, that we walk worthy of God. We should live as becomes those called with such a high and holy calling. Our great business is to honour, serve, and please God, and to seek to be worthy of him.
8. So—to be joined to "we were willing"; "As a nurse cherisheth … so we were willing," &c. [Alford]. But Bengel, "So," that is, seeing that we have such affection for you.
being affectionately desirous—The oldest reading in the Greek implies, literally, to connect one's self with another; to be closely attached to another.
willing—The Greek is stronger, "we were well content"; "we would gladly have imparted," &c. "even our own lives" (so the Greek for "souls" ought to be translated); as we showed in the sufferings we endured in giving you the Gospel (Ac 17:1-34). As a nursing mother is ready to impart not only her milk to them, but her life for them, so we not only imparted gladly the spiritual milk of the word to you, but risked our own lives for your spiritual nourishment, imitating Him who laid down His life for His friends, the greatest proof of love (Joh 15:13).
ye were—Greek, "ye were become," as having become our spiritual children.
dear—Greek, "dearly beloved."