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506 Reflections on the Meekness which becomes Ministers. Sect. 16. in himself, but in the Power and Affistance of
the Lord alone. Let every Minister remember 1 Cor. X. it is to Christ, that he owes all his Ability for his 17.
Work, and all his Success in it. For not be 18 For not he that conthat commendeth himself with the greatest Confi- mendeth himself is approved,
but whom the Lord com dence, and in the most florid Manner, is truly mendeth. and justly approved; but he, whom the Lord commendeth by the Gifts of his Spirit, and by a Blefa sing on his Ministry. Let those therefore, who are so ready to applaud themselves and each other, think of this, and learn to be more folicitous than they are, about approving their Fidelity to their great Master, whether they be more or less regarded by their Fellow-fervants.
IMPROVEM E N T.
AY the Meeknefs and Gentleness of Christ ever he remembered by
all his Servants; and especially by his Ministers, to whom, both under their publick and private Characters, it will be of so great Importance to imitate it. Their Calling is indeed high and holy: Let their Behaviour in it be so much the more humble. And let it be their great Care, that while they walk in the Flesh, they do not war after it. Still, tho' difarmed of that miraculous Power, with which the Apostles were endowed, are the Weapons of their Warfare mighty. They have the Scripture-magazine ever at Hand, from whence they may be furnished with them; and may humbly hope, that the Spirit of God will render them effectual to the pulling down strong Holds, and abafing every proud Imagination, which exaltetb itself against the Obedience of GOD. May every Thought of tbeir own Hearts be in the first Place thus fubdued, and brought into a sweet and willing Captivity! So shall these their Captives, thus conquered, prove as so many faithful Soldiers to fight for bim, against whom they once were foolishly rebelling. And may they succeed in this holy War, till the Empire of our divine Master become universal, and the Happiness of Mankind universal with it!
To promote this, let us pray, that Ministers may always remember;
that whatever Authority they have given them, is for Edification, and Ver. 7-11. not for Destruction ; and may learn from that Moderation, with which
the Apostle ufed his miraculous Powers, in how gentle and candid a Manner they should behave themselves in their far inferior Stations : never making their Pre-eminence in the Church the Instrument of their own Resentment, or of any other finful or selfish Passion; but ever solicitous
The Apostle declares, be was jealous over the Corinthians ; 507 to observe the Interest of our great Lord in all, and desirous to keep up Sect. 16. their own Character and Influence, chiefly for his Sake.
May they in no Instance boast beyond their proper Measure; and while Ver.12,-16. they are ready, like St. Paul, to meet all the inost laborious Scenes of Service, let them glory not in themselves, but in the Lord. This is a Les- Ver. 17. son we are all to learn. And whatever our Stations in Life are, let us resolutely and constantly guard against that Self-flattery, by which we may be ready to commend ourselves, in Instances, in which we may be Ver. 18. least approved by him, whole Favour alone is worthy of our Ambition, and by whose judgment, in the Day of final Account, we must fand or fall.
The Apostle farther vindicates bimself, from the perverse In
finuations of them that opposed bim at Corinth; paaticu: larly on the Head of his having declined to receive a Contritribution from this Church, for his Maintenance.
2 CORINTHIANS XI. I.
2 CORINTHIANS XI. I. WOULD to God you
WOULD advise every Man, as I have Sect. 17. could bear with me a little in my Folly; and in
hinted, to be sparing in his own Commen-
I am urged to it, and brought under an unwilling
feel the warmest and most zealous Desires, that
may present you as a chaste Vir- I may present (you as] a chafte Virgin to Christ (a); gin to Chrift.
for (a) That I may present you, &c.] This is much illustrated by recollecting, that there was an Officer among the Greeks, whose Business it was to educate and form young Women; SrI 2
508 Left they should be corrupted from their Simplicity: Sect. 17: for ļ bave; by successfully preaching the Gospel
to you, and bringing you into the Engagements 2 Cor. XI. of the Christian Covenant, in Effect espoused you :
tó one Husband (6), even to him ; under the Cha-
3 But I fear lest by any know what insinuating Enemies are endeavouring guiled Eve through his Sub
Means, as the Serpent be-
to introduce among you, would greatly injure.
3 For if he that cometh, extraordinary Pretences, preach another Jesus, as
preacheth - another. Jesus
you, & c..
especially those of Rank and Figure, designed for Marriage ; and then to present them to those, who were to be their Husbands; and if this Officer `permitted them, thro' Negligence, to be corrupted, between the Espousals and Consummation of the Marriage, great Blame would naturally fall upon him.
(6) For I have cfpoufed you.] This Clause applocauny yeep ruces en arog, may be confidered as a Parenthesis ; and therefore in the Paraphrase, I have transposed it, that the
may appear; Snow ypas tapasnou's I am jealous, &c.---- that I may present (c) Left as the Serpent deceived Eve, &c.] From the Instance to which this applied, viz. that of the false Apostles, whose Subtilty did not consist fa much in crafty Arguments, as in falfe Appearances, by which they put on the outward Forms of the Apostles of Chrift; Mr. Rymer infers, (especially comparing Verse 14.) that the Subtilty of Satan, when he deceived Eve, consisted in putting on the Appearance of an Angel of Light, or pretending to be one of the Seraphim that attended on the Shechinah. (Rymer on Rev. pag. 79.) But I think, that if it had ever been so expressy faid by Moses, that the Deception lay, as it very probably might, in pretending to have received the Faculty of Reason and Speech, though a Brute, by eating the Fruit he propoled to her, it might be said in the general, that the false Apostles deceived their Followers as Satan deceived Eve, that is, by false Pretences and Infinuations. . (d) Simplicity towards Chrift: awonlod Ing aus lov Xpesor.] This implies an intire undivided Devotedness to Christ, as the great Husband Christians should desire to please, and from whom they are to receive Law; and is with peculiar Propriety opposed to that Mixture of Judaism, which some were endeavouring to bring in among the Corinthians.
And then be expoftulates with them, as to himself: 509 whom we have not preached, a Saviour, whom we have not preached; if he can Sect. 17. or if ye receive another Spi: point out another Christ who shall equally deserve ceived; or another Gospel
, your Attention and Regard; or (if ] je receive 2 Cur. XI. which ye have not accepted, by his Preaching another Spirit, which ye
bare ye might well bear with him. not yet received, which can bestow upon you Gifts
superior to those which we have imparted; or
Conduct; but how far this is from being, or so much as
seeming to be the Case, I need not say at large. 15 For I suppose I was Nor will you I am sure maintain any such Thing; 5 not a Whit behind the very for I reckon upon most certain Knowledge, that
. chiefest Apostles.
I was so far from being inferior in my Discourses,
vincing Proofs of a Divine Mission, as any Church 6 But though I be rude has ever received from any one of them.
For if 6
ordinary Education (e); nevertheless [I am] not so
to prefer another in Opposition to me.
7 OE- fonable, than to inlinuate, that I have renounced
(ej Unskilful in Speech.] Idealing properly signifiès a private Man, one that can speak no better than the Generality of his Neighbours, being unformed by the Rules of Eloquence. And this is consistent with that great natural Pathos, which we find in the Apostle's Writings; so that there is no Need of recurring, as Dr. Whitby hereby does, to the supposed: Impediment in his Speech, which allowing it ever so certain a Fáct, could not properly be expressed by this Phrase. The good Archbishop of Cambray hath a very pertinent Observation on this Expression, in his excellent Dialogues of Eloquence, (pag. 136.) viz. that this might well be the case, tho' St. Prul shared fo largely in the Gife of. Tongues ; as when he was at Tarsus, he probably learnt a corrupt Kind of Greek, spoken by the Inhabitants of this Places for we have Reason to believe, that as for any of the Languages which the Apoftles had learnt in a natural Way, the Spirit left them to speak as before.
510 And reminds them, that be bad been chargeable to Kotze gf tbemi; Sec. 17. my Claim to being an Apostle, by decliming that offence in shafing myself
Maintenance, which my Brethren generally because I have preached to 2 Cor. Xl. think it reasonable to take from the People among you the Gospel of Gop
whom they labour, and which while employed freely.?
ceived a Kind of Stipend from them, while I
. And when I was present · I was in Want, while present with you, I was
with you, and wanted, I
was chargeable to no Man: chargeable to no one Man (f) of your Society, For that which was lacking when incapable of maintaining myself as before: to me, the Brethren which For what was deficient to me in this Respect, the came from Macedonia, fup; Christian Brethren, who came from Macedonia have kept myself from being supplied; (Phil. iv. 10.) and in all Things I have burdensome unto you, and
kept, and so long as God shall enable ine, I will so will I keep myself.
this in some Measure I value mysélf upon; fo is in me, no Man fhall stop
11 Wherefore? because
have a large Share in my tendereft Affections and Cares; yea, that it was my Desire of serving you more effectually, that subjected me to these Mortifications and self-de
(f) Chargeable to no Man: .ov relivapenoa eudiva.) Beza would render it, I was not ide at any Man's Expence. The Word vepno implies a benumbed inactive State, a Kind of Torper, to which no Man seems to be less obnoxious than St. Paul.