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He declares the extraordinary power he hath in preaching the Gospel, and to punish his opposers amongst them.

TEXT. I Now I, Paul, myself, beseech you, by the meekness and gentleness

of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent

am bold toward you: 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. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through

God to the pulling down of strong bolds ;)

PARAPHRASE. 1 Now I, the same Paul, who am (as it is said amongst a you)

base and mean, when present with you, but bold towards you,

when absent, beseech you, by the meekness and gentleness b 2 of Christ ; I beseech you, I say, that I may not, when present

among you, be bold, after that manner I have resolved to be bold towards some, who account that, in my conduct and

ministry, I regulate myself wholly by carnal considerations. 3 For though I live in the flesh, yet I do not carry on the work 4 of the Gospel (which is a warfare) according to the flesh: (For

the weapons of my warfare are not fleshly, but such as God hath made mighty, to the pulling down of strong holds, i. e.


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1 - Vid. ver. 10.

St. Paul, thinking it fit to appear all severity, till he had by fair means reduced as many of the contrary party as he could, to full submission to his authority, (vid. ver. 6) begins here his discourse by conjuring thens, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, as an example, that might excuse his delay of exemplary punishment on the ringleaders and chief offenders, without giving them reason

to think it was for want of power. 4 • What the otha onprixd, "the carnal weapons," and those other opposed to

them, which he calls Buvati tudi o, “ mighty through God," are, may be seen, if we read and compare 1 Cor. i. 23, 24, and ii. 1,2, 4, 5, 12, 13; 2 Cor. iv. 2, 6.

TEXT. 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth

itself against the knowledge of God; and bringing into captivity

every thought to the obedience of Christ : 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your

obedience is fulfilled.

PARAPHRASE. 5 whatever is made use of in opposition ;) Beating down human

reasonings, and all the towering and most elevated superstructures raised thereon, by the wit of men, against the know

ledge of God, as held forth in the Gospel ; captivating all their 6 notions, and bringing them into subjection to Christ: And

having by me, in a readiness, power wherewithal to punish and chastise all disobedience, when you, who have been misled by your false apostle, withdrawing yourselves from him, shall return to a perfect obedienced.

NOTE. 6 Those, whom he speaks to here, are the Corinthian converts, to whom this

epistle is written. Some of these had been drawn into a faction against St. Paul; these he had been, and was endeavouring to bring back to that obedience and submission, which the rest had continued in to him, as an apostle of Jesus Christ. The Corinthians of these two sorts are those he means, when he says to them, chap. ii. 3, and chap. vii. 13, 15, “You all,” i. e. all ye Christians of Corinth and Achaia. For he, that had raised the faction amongst them, and given so much trouble to St. Paul, was a stranger, and a Jew, vid. chap. xi. 22, crept in amongst them, after St. Paul had gathered and estal·lished that church, 1 Cor. iii. 6, 10; 2 Cor. x. 15, 16 : of whom St. Paul seeins to have no hopes, chap. xi. 13-15, and, therefore, he every where threatens, 2 Cor. iv. 19, and here particularly, ver. 6 and 11, to make an example of him and his adherents, if any were so obstinate to stick to him) when he had brought back again all the Corinthians that he could hope to prevail on.


CHAPTER X. 7--18.

CONTENTS. St. Paul examines the false apostle's pretensions, and compares his own with his performances.

TEXT. 7 Do ye look on 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. 8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, (which

the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction)

I should not be ashamed : 9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. 10 “ For his letters (say they) are weighty and powerful, but his bodily

presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 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. 12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves

withi some, that commend themselves : but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves amongst themselves, are not wise.


7 Do ye judge of men by the outward appearance of things ?

Is it by such measures you take an estimate of me and my adversaries? If he has confidence in himself, that he is Christ's, i. e. assumes to himself the authority of one employed and commissioned by Christ“, let him, on the other

side, count thus with himself, that, as he is Christ's, so I also 8 am Christ's. Nay, if I should boastingly say something

more of the authority and power which the Lord has

given me for your edification, and not for your destruction *, 9 I should not be put to shame : But that I may not seem to 10 terrify you by letters, as is objected to me by some, Who say,

that my letters are weighty and powerful, but my bodily pre11 sence weak, and my discourse contemptible. Let him, that

says so, reckon upon this, that such as I am in word, by

letters, when I am absent, such shall I be also in deed, when 12 present. For I dare not be so bold as to rank or compare

myself with some, who vaunt themselves; but they, measuring themselves within themselves d, and comparing themselves

NOTES. 7 . Vid. chap. xi. 23. 81 “More," vid. chap. xi. 23.

Another reason insinuated by the apostle for his forbearing severity to them. C“ I should not be put to shame, i.e. the truth would justify me in it. 12 . This is spoken ironically: lv éautors, “amongst themselves," rather " within

themselves." For, in all likelihood, the faction and opposition against St. Paul was made by one person, as we before observed. For though he speaks here in the plural number, which is the softer and decenter way in such cases; yet we see, in the foregoing verse, he speaks directly and expressly, as of one person ; and therefore éy dautos may, most consonantly to the apostle's meaning here, be understood to signify, “ within theinselves," i. e. with what they find in them


TEXT. 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. 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 : 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,

PARAPHRASE. 13 with themselves, do not understand. But I, for my part,

will not boast of myself in what has not been measured out, or allotted to mef; i. e. I will not go out of my own province to seek matter of commendation, but proceeding orderly in the province which God hath measured out, and allotted to me, I have reached even unto you; i. e. I preached the Go

spel in every country, as I went, till I came as far as you. 14 For I do not extend myself farther than I should, as if I had

skipped over other countries in my way, without proceeding gradually to you ; no, for I have reached even unto you, in

preaching of the Gospel in all countries, as I passed alongs: 15 Not extending my boasting', beyond my own bounds, into

provinces not allotted to me, nor vaunting myself of any thing I have done in another's labour, i. e. in a church

NOTES. selves. The whole place showing, that this person made an estimate of himself only by what he found in himself; and thereupon preferred himself to St. Paul, without considering what St. Paul was, or had done. c"Do not understand," that they ought not to intrude themselves into a church, planted by another man, aud there vavut themselves, and set themselves above

him that planted it, which is the meaning of the four next verses. 13 fAux?p«, here, and in ver. 15, doth not signify immense, or immoderate, but

something that hath not been measured out, and allotted to him, something that

is not counnitted to him, nor within his province. 14 & This seems to charge the false, pretended apostle, who had caused all this dis

turbance in the church of Corinth, that, without being appointed to it, without preaching the Gospel, in his way thither, as became an apostle, he had crept into

the church at Corinth. 15 h “Boasting,” i. e. intermeddling, or assuming to myself authority to meddle, or

honour for meddling. 15, 16 ; Here St. Paul visibly taxes the false apostle for coming into a church, con

verted and gathered by another, and there pretending to be somebody, and to rule all. This is another thing, that makes it probable, that the opposition made to St. Paul was but by one man, that had made himself the head of an opposite faction. For it is plain it was a stranger who came thither, after St. Panl had planted this churchi, who, prcicuding to be more an apostle than St. Paul, with greater illumination and more power, set up against him, to govern

TEXT. 16 To preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast,

in another man's line, of things made ready to our hand. 17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the

Lord commendeth.

PARAPHRASE. planted by another man's pains : but having hope, that, your

faith increasing, my province will be enlarged by you yet 16 farther : So that I may preach the Gospel to the yet uncon

verted countries beyond you, and not take glory to myself,

from another man's province, where all things are made ready 17 to my hand'. But he that will glory, let him glory, or seek

praise, from that which is committed to him by the Lord, or 18 in that which is acceptable to the Lord. For not he, who

commends himself, does thereby give a proof of his authority, or mission; but he, whom the Lord commends by the gifts of the Holy Ghostk.

NOTES, that church, and withdraw the Corinthians from following St. Paul's rules and doctrine. Now this can never be supposed to be a combination of men, who came to Corinth with that design, nor that they were different men, that came thither separately, each setting up for himself; for then they would have fallen out one with another, as well as with St. Paul. And, in both cases, St. Paul must have spoken of them in a different way from what he does now. The same character and carriage is given to them all throughout both these epistles ; and 1 Cor. iii. 10, he plainly speaks of one man; and that setting up thus to be a preacher of the Gospel, amongst those that were already Christians, was looked

upon, by St. Paul, to be a fault, we may see, Rom. xv. 20. 18 k It is of these weapons of his warfare that St. Paul speaks in this chapter ; and

it is by them that he inteuds to try which is the true apostle, when he comes to them.

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