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bring you into slavery, if a man devour you, if a man
take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smile
you on the face. As concerning dishonour, I say that
we have been weak. Yet whereinsoever any is bold,
(I speak inconsiderately,) I also am bold. Are they
Hebrews 2 so am I. Are they Israelites ? so am I. Are
they Abraham's offspring 2 so am I. Are they ministers
of Christ? (I speak as one out of his mind *,) I am more;
in labours more abundant, in stripes far exceeding, in .
prisons more frequent, in deaths often. Five times I re-
ceived from the Jews forty stripes except one. Thrice I
was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered
shipwreck, a night and a day I floated in the deep. I
have been in journeys often, in dangers from floods+, is
dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own country-
men, in dangers from the gentiles, in dangers in the city,

in dangers in the desert, in dangers on the sea, in dangers

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among false brethren; in labour and toil, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides the things which are without, the troubles which assail me daily, in the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak 2 who falleth away, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern my weakness. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for ever, knowcth that I speak not falsely. In Damascus, the governor under king Aretas guard. ed the city of the Damascenes, desiring to apprehend me: and I was let down by the wall through a window in a basket; and escaped his hands.

Ch. xii. Doubtless it is not expedient for me to glory. Yet

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I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know concerning a disciple of Christi, (whether in the

* Or, as one void of reason. Or, as beside myself, N. m. + rivers, N. t. See N. m. * Gr, a man in Christ, N. m.

body, I know not; or whether out of the body, I know

not; God knoweth ;) that such an one fourteen years 3 ago was caught up to the third heaven. And I know

concerning such an one, (whether in the body, or out of 4 the body, I know not, God knoweth,) that he was caught

up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words which it 5 is not possible for man to utter. Of such an one I will

glory: but of myself I will not glory, except in my weak6 nesses. For if I were willing to glory, I should not be

inconsiderate ; for I should speak the truth : but I forbear, lest any one should think concerning me above

what he seeth me to be, or what he heareth from me. 7 And lest I should be too much exalted by the exceeding

greatness of God's revelations, there hath been given to

me a thorn in the flesh, an angel-adversary* to buffet me, 8 [lest, I say, I should be too much exaltedt.] Concerning

this I besought the Lord thricef, that it might depart

* In the original, an angel-satan. “The best commentators,” says Mr. Farmer, suppose that the bodily affliction, or thorn in the flesh, here referred to, was some paralytic symptom. See Gal. iv. 15. This disorder seems to have been oce casioned by the splendour of his visions affecting his nervous system, and was pure posely designed by God, not merely to prevent a too great elation in the apostle, but, by taking off from the gracefulness and energy of his delivery, to render the divine power more conspicuous in the success of his ministry. It is impossible that St. Paul should refer this disorder to the devil; he speaks of it as proceeding from God, or, which is the same, his angel acting the part of an adversary to the apostle; to whom this dispensation of divine providence was exceedingly humiliating and painful, however wisely designed by God.” “Farmer on Demoniacs, p. 18, note. Abp. Newcome adopts the punctuation of Bengelius, and translates the passage, " there hath been given to me a thorn in the flesh, that a messenger of Satan might buffet me;" that is, as he explains it, that the false apostles who were Satan's instruments, might despise and vilify him. See Mr. Lindsey's Sequel to his Apology, p. 317.

+" There are good authorities for omitting these words. But repetitions are not uncommon in St. Paul's writings. See on 1 Cor. xv. 13, 14.” Newcome.

I“ I earnestly prayed to God to be delivered from it.” Hammond in loc. This interpretation is adopted by Mr. Lindsey, who observes, " that the apostles were not so exact in the use of the words, 'Lord,' • Saviour,' and the like, which they indifferently gave both to God and Christ, never supposing that any would mistake their Lord and Master, so lately born and living amongst men, to be the Supreme God, and object of worship.” Lindsey's Apology, p. 147. Abp. Newcome says, “St. Paul repeatedly besought the Lord Jesus when he appeared to him in a vision, and in a vision he received the answer recorded, ver. 9. Dr. Priestley, in his Notes on

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9 from me. And he said unto me, My favour* is suf

ficient for thee: for 'my power is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my

weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me, 10 I take pleasure therefore in weaknesses, in shameful treat

ment, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for the

sake of Christ: for when I am weak, then I am strong. 11 I am become inconsideratet: ye have compelled me: for

I ought to have been recommended by you: for I am in

nothing inferior to the chiefest apostles, though I am 12 nothing The signs indeed of an apostle have been

wrought among you in all patience, in signs and won13 ders and nighty works. For what is it wherein ye

have been inferior to other churches, unless it be that I myself

was not burthensome to you forgive me this wrong. 14 Behold, a third time I am ready to come unto

and

you; I will not be burthensome to you : for I seek not yours,

but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the 15 parents, but the parents for the children. And I will

very gladly spend, and be altogether spent, for you: though loving you most abundantly, I am less loved by

you. 16 But be it so: “I did not burthen you ; nevertheless

, 17 being crafty, I caught you by guile 8.” Did I overreach 18. you by any of those whom I sent unto you? I desired

Titus to go, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus any way overreach you ? walked we not in the same

the Scriptures, gives the same interpretation, and observes, that “ this is far from autborising us to pray to Christ when we do not see him, and cannot know that he is present to hear us, or authorised to do any thing for us if he did. It is God only,—that Great Being, who is styled the God and Father of Jesus Christ, and to whom he always prayed

, —that is the proper object of our prayers.” This observation of Dr. Priestley would hold good, even if it should be allowed that the apostle addressed his supplication to Christ, not as seen in vision, but as personally and sensibly present. It seems, indeed

, not improbable, that the apostle had occasionally a real and personal intercourse with Christ. See Gal. i. 12. * i. e. gracious assistance.

+ inconsiderate in boasting, R. T. ģ “He suggests the objection of some opponent." Newcome.

your edi

19 spirit? walked we not in the same steps ? Think ye

that we again defend ourselves to you ? we speak before God

in Christ: and we do all things, beloved, for 20 fication *. For I fear lest, when I come, I may not find

you such as I would, and lest I may be found by you such as ye would not : lest there be contentions, envyings,

wrath, strife, evil-speakings, whisperings, swellings, dis21 turbances: and lest, when I come again, my God may

humble me among you, and I may bewail many that have heretofore sinned, and have not repented of the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness, which they

have committed. Ch. xii. This third sime, I say, I am ready to come unto

you. By the mouth of two or three witnesses every mat2 ter shall be established. I have told beforehand, and I

again tell beforehand (as present the second time though

now absent)t those who have heretofore sinned, and all 3 others, that, if I come again, I will not spare them: since

ye seek a proof that Christ speaketh by me, who with

respect to you is not weak, but is powerful among you; 4 (for though he was crucified through weakness, yet he

liveth through the power of God; for we also are weak

in him I, yet we shall live with him through the power 5 of God shewn toward you;) try yourselves, whether ye

be in the faith ; prove yourselves. Know ye not concern

ing yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in 6 any way reprobates ? But I hope that ye will know that 7 we are not reprobates. Now I pray to God that ye do no

evil; I pray not that we may appear approved, but that

ye may do what is good, and that we may be as repro8 bates. For we cannot do any thing against the truth, 9 but wc can for the truth. For we are glad when we are

weak, and ye are strong; and for this we pray also, even

you, unless

ye be

• Or, before God in Christ we speak all these things, beloved, &c. See Griesbach.
+ though now absent, I write, R. T.
| The Alexandrian and some other copies read ove, we are weak with him."

10 your perfection. Wherefore I write these things, being

absent; lest, being present, I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me, but

to edification, and not to destruction. 11

Finally, brethren, farewel. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of the same mind, live in peace: and the God 12 of love and peace will be with you. Salute one another 13 with an holy kiss. All the saints salute you. The fa14

vour of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the partaking* of the holy spirit, be with you all t.

* Or, fellowship. + Q. d. May the true gospel of Christ (compare ch. iv, 15; vi. 1.), as distinguished from that corrupt doctrine which my opponents would introduce: and, may the love of God, which is exercised freely to all who believe and obey the gospel: and may a participation of spiritual gifts, which are the fruits of his paternal love, and the proper evidences of our adoption into his family (Rom. viii. 15, 16.), be with you all. Hence it appears, 1st, that this text does not authorise prayers to Christ; and 2dly, that it does not prove what is called the personality of the holy spirit, but the contraryTo pray for the participation of gifts and powers is intelligible, but to pray for the participation of a person is absurd. 3dly, It is improper to use this text as a forın of benediction in public assemblies, because it is improper to express a wish for a participation of those spiritual gifts which were peculiar to the apostolic age, and which have long since been withdrawn,

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