Page images
PDF
EPUB

you unprepared, both we, that have boasted, and ye, of whom we have boasted, should be ashamed.

IX. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you ; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work : Neither do ye, in this your liberal contribution, make doubt of your own want, which may follow hereafter; for, be ye assured, that God, for whose sake ye give it, is able to furnish you with abun. dance of these and all other blessings ; that ye always being allsufficiently supplied by him, may, upou every occasion, give liberally to every good work.

IX. 9 As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor : &c. See Psalm cxii. 9.

IX. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your secd sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness. Now, I beseech that God, who is wont to requite abundantly all the good works of our beneficence, and to furnish the sower both with seed and increase, that he will provide liberally for you; and give you a plentiful harvest of the seed, which is thus sown by you; and multiply to you the fruits of this your just liberality.

IX. 15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. Thanks be to God, for that grace of Christian bounty towards others, wbich he hath bestowed upon you ; wbich is a gift of unspeakable value, and worthy of all thankful acknowledgment.

X. 1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being ubsent an bold toward you : I have spoken to you for the poor ; and now I solicit you for myself: I beseech you therefore, who might seem to have power to command, not by ought in me, but by the meekness and gentle. ness of Christ our Saviour ; even I Paul beseech you, whose presence, as my adversaries say, is mean and contemptible amongst you, howsoever in my absence I take upon me to deal roundly with you :

X. 2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. But I beseech you, that ye will so order the matter, that I may not have cause, when I am present, to make use of that bold and free severity against you, which I purpose to use against some envious detractors, which think and speak of us, as if there were nothing in us but what they see ; as if we used worldly craft and policy to get a band over you.

X. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh : For, though we do indeed live in the fesh and are clothed about with this earthly body, yet we do not live carnally, nor make use of carnal and indirect means to advantage ourselves,

X. 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds ;) We have indeed a warfare in hand ; and we have weapons, which we do and must employ in it ; but, as the warfare, so also the weapons which we use, are spiritual, not carnal: we do not think to prevail by secular power and dignity, but by the mighty power of the Gospel, which is able, through the co-operation of God, to pull down the strongest holds of flesh and blood.

X. 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that eralteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christi Casting down all the vain and wicked imaginations of the heart, and that proud ostentation of secular wisdom and knowledge, that exalts itself against the true and saving knowledge of God; and bringing every thought of man's heart into a holy captivity, to be submissively obedient and conformable to the will of Christ.

X. 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. "And having in a readiness to take just revenge upon the disobedience of those persons, who, after their submission to the Gospel, have run out into outrageous offences; whom we shall accordingly censure, after that ye have so fulfilled your obedience to our adnionitions, that there may no exception be taken at our forbearance of you.

X. 7 Do ye look on the things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. Do ye judge of things according to their outward appearance? The false teachers make a fair flourish : I go simply to work: Do ye judge of them and me, as we seem? Your false apostles brag of their interest in Christ ; that they have seen him, and pertain to him: but if any man make these boasts of himself, let him learn to know, that he hath not, neither can have, more right in Christ, nor more relation to him, than we have.

X. 9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. But I will not speak much of this our authority, lest I should seem, as they accuse me, to speak big in letters, and to terrify you with the threatenings of my power.

X. 10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful ; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. For his letters, say they, are full of great authority and imperiousness, but his person is weak and mean; neither proinising nor performing ought; and his speech is plain, homely, contemptible,

X. 11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. But let such an one know, that he shall find he hath mistaken us: for be shall well understand and feel, that such as we are in the expression of ourselves by letters, in our absence; suchawe will be found in our deeds and carriage, when we are present.

X. 12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves : but they measuring themselves by themselves, &c. As for us, we content ourselves with our own mediocrity: we dare not enter into comparison with these your glorious masters, that commend themselves, and brag of their own abilities; but, let me tell you, they, only looking upon and admiring their own good parts, and not comparing their small gifts with the greater and more excellent indowments of others, bewray themselves to be unwise.

X. 13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. But, however they exceed, we will not boast of ourselves immo derately, and go beyond those bounds of just gloriation which God hath set us; but will keep ourselves within those limits of our abilities and deserts, which God hath distributed unto us; in which compass, our just boastings shall extend themselves unto you, of whom we know we have well merited, even above others; and will confine our vaunts of success within the line of those regions, to which we have preached, wherein yours of Corinth is plainly comprehended,

X. 14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you ; for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the Gospel of Christ : For we stretch not ourselves and the praise of our labours and preachings beyond our due bounds, in saying, that we reached so far as Corinth, in these our apostolic pains and teachings; for ye well know, that we are come as far at least, as to you, in this holy errand of preaching the Gospel of Christ :

X. 15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours ; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly. Not boasting ourselves of things done beyond our line and measure, and arrogating to ourselves the praise of other men's labours; but well hoping, then, when your faith is increased, the notice and propagation thereof will be a means to enlarge our happy success abundantly, to others of the Gentiles, whom the rule and charge of God hath limited us unto, So verse 16.

XI. 1 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly : and indeed bear with me. I do well know, that the success of the doctrine depends much upon the authority and good reputation of the teacher: give me leave therefore, since the false apostles are so apt to set forth themselves, and to disparage me, to boast a little of myself; and indeed ye do give me leave.

XI. 2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste vir. gin to Christ.

I must crave pardon to do thus; for I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I, by my ministry, have espoused you unto one husband, even to Christ; and I would be loth ye should be carried away with any strange love, but would fain present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

XI. 4. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another Spirit, which ye have not received, or another Gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. For, if these emulous preachers, whom ye so much magnify, did preach to you a truer Messiah than we do; or if by them ye did receive a better and more powerful Spirit than ye have received by us, &c. ye might well applaud them, and stand out for them ; but now, seeing they preach the same Christ with us, and pretend to give the same Spirit, and deliver the same Gospel, what reason can there be, that we, who first brought you to this Christ by this Gospel, and by whom the miraculous gifts of the Spirit were first dealt amongst you, should be neglected in comparison of them ?

XI. 6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge ; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things. For, if I be not so eloquent in my speech as some of them, yet my knowledge is not short of theirs : but what need I say thus to you, who, upon good experience, know well and thoroughly what we are?

XI. 7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely ? Is this a reason of my contempt amongst you, that I lived in a homely fashion with you; and abased myself for your spiritual advantage, so to preach the Gospel freely amongst you, that, in the mean wbile, I earned my own living?

XI. 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. I made myself beholden, for maintenance, to other Churches; taking wages of them, to do you service.

XI. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. And, lest ye should think I aim at some further provision from you hereafter, I do solemnly swear, as the truth of Christ is in me and preached by me, I will not take maintenance from any of you, nor be bereft of this ground of my boasting, while I shall be in any part of the regions of Achaia.

XI. 12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion ; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. But, as I do preach freely amongst you, so I will do; that I may cut off all occasion of advantage and exception from those false apostles, that seek occasion : for they boast of this, as a meritorious act of theirs, that they take nothing of you for their preach

VOL. IV.

[ocr errors]

ing: I will not therefore herein give them cause to say they go beyond me; but will be equal unto them, in this, wherein they so much glory.

XI. 14 And no marvel ; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. For even Satan himself, though he be indeed an unclean spirit of darkness; yet, to deceive men the better, doth ofttimes put himself into the form of a glorious, heavenly, lightsome angel.

XI. 16 1 say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little. I know it is an argument of weakness and folly, for a man to boast of himself, and to set forth his own praises; yet, now ye force me to it, let no man impute this to me, as folly : or, if ye will needs take it so, let me, for the time, take the privilege and liberty of follv, to brag of myself a while.

XI. 17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were, foolishly in this confidence of boasting. That which I shall now speak, I am content that it appear as spoken in a certain human, and, as ye may construe it, a vain and fond manner, and not as from the Lord ; I mean, that I do thus confidently glory of myself unto you : but, if the occasion, which is my own defence and the vindication of my Apostleship from contempt, be well considered, it will be found, that this boasting is both necessary and boly.

XI. 18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. Seeing your'false apostles do vaunt and brag of their privileges, in these outward and worldly matters, why may I not be allowed to do so also?

XI. 19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. If ye construe this as foolish, yet ye may very well bear with it: for ye suffer fools gladly, because ye yourselves are wise.

XI. 20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man cralt himself, if a man smite you on the face. I well see, that your wisdom, such as it is, hath made you very patient, in other occasions : my emulous adversaries have wrought strangely upon you, and have sped well ; vou can be content, that they should make slaves of you, and pillage you, and prey upon you at pleasure; that they should brag of themselves causelessly and unjustly ; that they should smite and censure you as they list.

XI. 21. I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsocver any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. I mean, that they should smite you in your reputation, by reproaches and contumelies : as they do us much more ; taxing us, as if we were weak and worthless men : wherein yet they are mistaken, and have foully wronged us ; for, wherein soever any of them thinks that he hath cause to be bold and confident, let me

« PreviousContinue »