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accounted my miseries and disgraces; as of my scourgings, hunger, nakedness, persecutions: Yea, I will glory of my very flight.
XI. 33. And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
I was hard driven for my life; and, out of a desire to reserve myself for the further use and benefit of the Church and service of my God, I was content to be let down out of a window in a basket, and escaped.
XII. 1. It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
But I restrain myself: it is not expedient, doubtless, for me to glory of those things, which I have done and suffered for Christ and his Church: I will only glance a little at those visions and revelations, wherein they think to overtop me.
XII. 2. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth ;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
I know and was acquainted with a man, not in the flesh, so much, as in Christ; which I speak not out of any vain ostentation, but in a sincere respect to the glory of Christ; who, above fourteen years ago, so long have I smothered this revelation of mine, was caught up (whether in body, or in an ecstasy of soul, I know not, God knoweth) into the highest, which is the empyreal heaven, the blessed seat of God and his Saints.
XII. 3. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth ;)
I knew, I say, such a man (whether in body or in ecstasy of spirit, I cannot tell, God knoweth ;)
XII. 4. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for any man to
That he was taken up into that heavenly paradise of God, and there heard and saw unspeakable things; such as he neither may nor can utter.
XII. 5. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
I will not, out of my modesty, tell you that I was the man; but, of such a man, you will give me leave to glory: as for myself, when my name comes into mention, ye shall not hear me to glory in any thing, but in mine infirmities.
XII. 7. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
Neither had I this one vision only, but very many revelations from God; with the number whereof, lest I should be too much puffed up, as our frail nature is easily transported, there was, through the holy permission and wise ordination of God, way given to a strong temptation of concupiscence, cast into me by Satan, to humble and afflict me, lest I should be exalted above
XII. 8. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
Whereupon, I oft and earnestly besought God, that he would be pleased to take off the tempter, and to rid me from that impetuous and troublesome suggestion.
XII. 9. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
And he said unto me, Content thyself to struggle a while with this temptation; and know, that it is sufficient, that I do, by my grace, uphold and defend thee from the prevailing thereof: well mayest thou endure to be exercised with it, while I shall safeguard thee by my grace from the danger of it; for, were there not such weaknesses as these, to which frail human flesh is subject, there should not be occasion for me to magnify my power and mercy to men, in giving them strength to overcome, and, in the end, victory: since therefore it is thus, good cause have I, to resolve to glory in mine infirmities; by which the power and goodness of Christ are so much more advanced and glorified.
XII. 10. For when I am weak, then am I strong.
For, when I am weakest in myself, then is God most strong in me, and makes me most strong in him, by that power of faith and patience and holy courage, which he puts into me.
XII. 11. For in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
For, though I be nothing as of myself, yet through the grace of God enabling me, I am not inferior to the very chiefest Apostles, either in my abilities or labours.
XII. 12. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
Truly, there was good proof of my Apostleship amongst you: God gave great and undoubted testimony thereunto, in that marvellous patience which he wrought in me, and in those admirable signs and wonders and miraculous deeds which he wrought by me.
XII. 13. For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
What one point, then, is there, wherein ye Corinthians are
inferior to other Churches; seeing your apostle, that converted you, is not below theirs: except perhaps this be the matter; that I, your apostle, was not chargeable to you, as theirs have been: this is a wrong that ye may well forgive.
XII. 14. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
For, though it be the difference betwixt spiritual and carnal parents, that the spiritual are provided for by their children, whereas the carnal parents provide for their children; yet, I will herein affect to that, which your bodily parents are wont to do, rather to lay up for you, my spiritual children, than to receive any maintenance from you.
XII. 15. And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
And I will very gladly, not only lay out my substance, but lay down my life for you; although, I am not requited accordingly; for the more abundantly I love you, the less am I loved again.
XII. 16, 17. But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile. Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?
But, though I did not charge you myself; yet my emulous detractors are ready to say, that I dealt craftily with you; for, though I did not burden you in person, yet that I made a prey of you and raised booties from you, by those which I sent
XII. 19. Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.
Again, do ye think that we stand so much upon our excuses, for our own sakes, that we may come clear off from you? no; we speak before God, in Christ, as calling him to witness our sincerity: we do and speak all this for your good and edification.
XII. 20. For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not.
For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you so free and innocent from these offences, wherewith I have charged you, as I would; and that you shall find me so sharp and severe towards you, as will not be pleasing to you.
XII. 21. And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication &c.
And lest, when I come again to you, my God give me cause of sorrow and humiliation for your unproficiency and manifold disorders; and that I shall be occasioned to grieve and mourn
for many enormous sinners, which have given public offence, and have not professed their repentance for their uncleannesses and fornications, &c.
XIII. 1. This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two &c.
Twice have I been with you already; and now I am, this third time, coming to you: every one of my comings to you are as so many several witnesses against you; now you know it is the word of the Law, that in the mouth of two &c.
XIII. 2. I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare.
I told you before in my other epistle, and now I foretell you again in this second letter, as if I were present in person with you, my epistle supplying my bodily presence, that I would have it notified to them, which heretofore have scandalously sinned, and to all other guilty persons, that, if I come again, they must expect all due severity from me.
XIII. 3. Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
Since ye are ready to contemn my meekness and patience, and hereupon make question of the power of Christ speaking in me; which of all others ye have least cause to do, having felt in yourselves the happy efficacy of the Spirit of Christ, which hath shewed itself mighty in operation, within you.
XIII. 4. For though he was crucified through weakness, 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 you.
For that Saviour of ours, though he was, by his own voluntary dispensation, in the weakness of our human flesh, crucified; yet, in and on the power of his Godhead, he liveth for ever: even so also we, that are his members, and even we his Apostles, are, by unbelieving worldlings, judged weak in and with him; but, we shall live with him gloriously, by that mighty power of God, which he doth and shall make good unto us; the proof whereof, he hath effectually shewed in and to you.
XIII. 5. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Ye need not, O Corinthians, go further than to your own hearts, for a proof of our apostleship and power; Examine ye yourselves only, whether ye have faith in Christ: prove your own hearts: can ye be such strangers in your own breasts, as not to know that Christ Jesus is in you? Certainly, ye cannot but know that he is in you, except ye be reprobates.
XIII. 6. But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
So as ye must needs, either acknowledge and reverence our apostleship, or yield yourselves to be reprobates: but I trust ye shall know, and be more and more convinced, that we are the chosen ministers of Christ, and not reprobates.
XIII. 7. Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
Now I pray God so to keep you upright in his fear, that ye may do no evil; which I do not wish for our own sakes, that we might be hereby approved and graced in the success of our ministry; but chiefly, if not only, for yours, that ye may be preserved in a course of well doing, whatsoever become of us in the opinion of men.
XIII. 8. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
For we cannot exercise the power of our apostleship in punishing or censuring those that live justly, truly, conscionably; but in the countenancing and encouraging of them rather, and opposing the contrary.
XIII. 9. For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong and this also we wish, even your perfection.
Let my detractors cast upon me the imputation of weakness, because I am not too stirring amongst you: I am glad to be held thus weak, when as my quietness is rather caused through your innocence, than my defect: that which we wish, and are ambitious of, is your perfection, though it be with our own disgrace.
XIII. 11. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace.
Labour towards perfection of holiness and obedience, &c.
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE GALATIANS.
I. 4. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.
Who gave himself to death, for the saving of us from our sins; that he might deliver us from the corruption of this present wicked world, and from the condemnation due thereunto; according to the eternal counsel and good pleasure of God, our Heavenly Father.
I. 6, 7. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which