And indeed, to write and tell you about the collection for the saints would be waste of time; I know well your eagerness, which has made me boast to the Macedonians that Achaia has been ready ever since last year, and this challenge of yours has stirred up others besides yourselves. If I am sending the brethren, it is only for fear that the boast we made of you should prove false in this particular; as I told you, I would have you quite ready; or else, when some of the Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we, and you too for that matter, will be put to the blush over this confidence of ours. That is why I have thought it necessary to ask the brethren to visit you first, and see that the free offering you have already promised is prepared beforehand. Only it is to be a free offering, not a grudging tribute. I would remind you of this, He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly; he who sows freely will reap freely too. Each of you should carry out the purpose he has formed in his heart, not with any painful effort; it is the cheerful giver God loves. God has the power to supply you abundantly with every kind of blessing, so that, with all your needs well supplied at all times, you may have something to spare for every work of mercy. So we read, He has spent largely, and given to the poor; his charity lives on for ever. He who puts grain into the sower's hand, and gives us food to eat, will supply you with seed and multiply it, and enrich the harvest of your charity; so that you will have abundant means of every kind for all that generosity which gives proof of our gratitude towards God. The administration, remember, of this public service does more than supply the needs of the saints, it yields, besides, a rich harvest of thanksgiving in the name of the Lord. This administration makes men praise God for the spirit of obedience which you show in confessing the gospel of Christ, and the generosity which you show in sharing your goods with these and with all men; and they will intercede, too, on your behalf, as the abundant measure of grace which God bestows on you warms their hearts towards you. Thanks be to God for his unutterable bounty to us.