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A. D. 57. me, left I fhould be Emiffaries of Satan, lay hold of exalted above mea- as Occafions (though very unjust furee ones) to reproach and defpife me, and render my Miniftry contemptible. A Thing fufficient to humble and keep me within due Thoughts of myself.

8. For this thing I 8. And from whence I have befought the Lord found fuch Inconveniences, in thrice, that it might the Courfe of my Miniftry, that depart from me. in three folemn Prayers, I begged of Jefus Christ to deliver me from them, for the Benefit and freer Progrefs of his Gofpel.


9. And he faid unto me, My grace is fufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Moft gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Chrift may rest upon me.

9. But his Anfwer was, That the miraculous Powers and Abilities of the Holy Spirit he had conferred on me, were the most proper and fufficient Arguments to convince Men of the Truth and Excellency of my Doctrine and Miniftry; and that the more infirm and weak the Inftrument was, the more plain and illuftrious was his divine Power that wrought by it. Upon which Confideration I am, for the future, fo far from being afhamed of these Infirmities, that I glory in them, as more confpicuous Demonftrations of thofe divine Endowments Chrift has conferred on me.

10. Therefore I take pleafure in infirmities, in reproaches, in neceflities, in perfecutions, in diftreffes for

10. Wherefore I patiently endure all the Scoffs and Reproaches of my obftinate Oppofers, all the Diftreffes and Perfecutions raised againft me for Chrift's Sake, lookProvidence that fupports me in, ing upon that divine Power and and carries me through them, as the most abfolute Argument of the Truth and Excellency of my Cause.

Chrifts fake: for when

I am weak, then am
1 ftrong.

II. What

*Ver. 9. My Grace, &c. ǹ xásis us. My Gift, i. e. the Gift of the Spirit, for demonftrating the Truth of his Doctrine by Miracles.

11. I am become a fool in glorying, ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefeft apoftles, tho' I be nothing.

11. Whatever Lengths there- A. D. 57... fore I have run in my own Commendation and Defence, they are owing to you; to ftop the Mouths of your falfe Boafters, and preferve you from being feduced by them. It was your Part indeed


to have vindicated and commendme, and taken that Work out of my Hands; who, though I attribute nothing to my felf, am yet, by the miraculous Gifts and Favours of God, upon the Level with any other Apostle whatever.

12. For the Truth whereof, I need only appeal to that Patience and Conftancy with which I preached to your Church, and thofe miraculous and fuccessful Performances by which I wrought

12. Truly the figns of an apostle were wrought among you, in all patience, in figns and wonders, and mighty deeds. your Converfion to the Gospel. 13. For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I my felf was burdenfome to you? forgive me this wrong.

13. What fpiritual Endowments that any other Churches have, were denied to you; or wherein was I wanting to you? I ufed you in all Refpects, as I did the beft of them, excepting that indeed I had Maintenance from them, but none from you. And I hope I am to be pardoned for doing you a Favour.

14. Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdenfome to you: for I feek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the



14. I took none of the first
Time I was perfonally preaching
among you, nor intended it at
my fecond Coming; which your
continued Disorders kept me
from; and I fhall hold the fame
Refolution. I look upon you as
my fpiritual Children, and fhall
provide for you, without expect-
ing any Thing from you.
Hh 2

* Ver. 14. See Chap. i. 23, to the End.

15. And,

A. D. 57.

15. And I will very gladly fpend and be spent for you, tho' the more abundantly I love you, the less I

be loved.

15. And, as fuch a Father to you all, am I free to bestow all my Inftructions on you, nay to lay out all my Strength in Labours for your Good; tho' the Returns I have from fome of you be only to be flighted and undervalued for my Pains. 16. But be it fo, I did not burden you: nevertheless being crafty, I caught you with guile.

16. Some of your defigning Teachers indeed, maliciously fuggeft, that tho' I did not take any Thing of you myself, 'twas only a cunning Fetch to draw the more

from you by other People.

17. Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I fent unto you?

18. I defired Titus, and with him I fent a brother did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the fame fpirit? walked we not in the fame steps?

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17. Now, who do thofe malicious People mean? Did any one Perfon I employ'd in your Church take a Farthing of any one of you?

18. I fent Titus, for Inftance, and another Christian Brother with him; did either of them do it? Did they not exactly follow my Example, and maintain themselves without the least Prefent or Contribution from your Church?

19. And let no Infinuations make you think I am not fincere in what I now fay, or that I fent them, because I would fhift off my own Journey to you. As God is true, and as I am an Apoftle of Christ and his Gospel, there is no that, as I do every Thing elfe, to and do you the moft good.

20. I deferred my coming in Hopes of the Reformation of your notorious Offenders, by my Clemency toward them: For I dreaded,

• Ver. 19. Chap, i. 23, 24. ii. 1.

be found unto you fuch as ye would not: left there be debates, envyings, wraths, ftrifes, back-bitings, whisperings, fwellings, tumults:

fant to one another.

21. And left when I

come again, my God will humble me a

mong you, and that I

fhall bewail many which have finned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness, and forni

dreaded, that if I came at that
Time, I fhould be obliged to be
very severe upon several of those
proud, quarrelfome, and factious
Perfons. An Extremity I am loth
to come to, and that would ren-
der our Meeting but very unplea-

21. I juftly feared, that God, for their Obftinacy, had ftill left thofe unclean * People in their * 1 Cor. v. unrepented Uncleannefs; and 1, 2. that I fhould have the Sorrow and Mortification of reducing them by Methods of Sharpness and Severity.

cation, and lasciviousness which they have committed.



He threatens to punish his obftinate Oppofers, at his next coming among them. In the mean Time, exhorts them earnestly to a Reformation, and profeffes he should be right glad to find no Occafion to show the Power he has to vindicate himself and punish them. The Salutations, and Conclufion.

1.THIS is the third

time I am com

ing to you in the mouth of two or three witneffes fhall every

word be established.



Emember then I make 4. D. 57. you a third Promife to come and vifit you at Corinth; and my thus repeating my Engagements, ought as fully to fatisfy you of the Certainty of my

Performance, as the Teftimony of two or three Wit

neffes carries a Caufe

2. I told you before, and foretel you as if I were prefent the fe


in any Court.

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A. D. 57. cond time, and being absent, now I write to them which heretofore have finned, and to all other, that if I come again I will not fpare.

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3. Since ye feek a proof of Chrift (peaking in me, which to you ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

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3. And finçe fome of your falfe Teachers have been so arrogant, as to challenge me to give fufficient Evidences and Characters of my Apoftolical Commiffion, they fhall find, to their Coff, what Power and Authority Chrift has invested me with.

4. For tho' he was crucified thro' weak1 Pet. iii, nefs, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward

4. For as Chrift himself, by the Infirmities of his human Nature, was liable to Sufferings, and actually fuffered upon the Crofs; but by the divine Power dwelling in him, was raised to an endless and immortal Glory; fo I that am his true Apoftle, as weak and afflicted as I am at prefent, have yet those divine Powers conferred upon me that are abundantly fufficient to vindicate me, and convince them.


5. Examine your felves, whether ye be in the faith; prove felves:

your own

know ye not your
own felves, bow that
Jefus Chrift is in you,
except ye be repro-

5. Let those bufy and factious Examiners of me and my Miniftry, look into, and try themselves first, whether they be true Chriftians themselves. They know the Rule whereby to try themselves t and their Doctrine; or elfe they are but bad Chriftians indeed.

6. As

+ Ver. 5. Know ye not that Jefus Chrift is in you? He fpeaks either to the falle Teachers, as in the Paraphrafe; or elle to the Corinthian Chriftians in general; and then the Senfe is, That if they were not convinced, he had preached the true Chriftian Doctrine among them, they must be very ignorant Chriftians indeed, and could give but a bad Account of their Religion.


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