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But Sect. 17.

12.

That he might prevent bis Enemies from defaming him. 511" 12 But what I do, that nials; for such they undoubtedly were. I will do, that I may cut off what do I in this Respect, I will continue to do, Occasion from them which desire Occasion, that where that I may cut off Occafon from them who greatly 2 Cor

. XI.
in they glory, they may be defire an Occasion to reflect upon me, that in the
found even as we.

Thing of] which they are so ready to boast, they
may be found even as we (8). I would teach them
by my Example, instead of boasting that they
have such an Influence over you, as procures them
a plentiful, and perhaps splendid Maintenance,
that they rather emulate my dilinterested Con-
duct, and subsist on their own Labours. But I

know, they have no inward Principle, to bear
13 For such are false A- them thro' such Hardships : For such, what- 13
posties, deceitful Workers, ever they pretend, [are] false Apostles, destitute of
transforming themselves into

that Divine Mission, which animates our Spirits the Apostles of Christ.

to do, or to bear, whatever we meet in the
Course of our Dúty; and indeed they are deceit-
ful Workers, whatever Pains they may seem to
take in their Employment; transforming them-

felves artfully into the Appearance of Apostles of
Cbrift by counterfeit Forms, which they may put

on for awhile, but which they can with no Con-
14 And no Marvel; for listency long support. And [it is] no Wonder 14
into an Angel of Light.

they assume them for a Time ; for Satan bimself,
in Subordination to whom they act, can put on
such deceitful Appearances, and wear upon Oc-
casion such a Mask of Sanctity and Religion in
his Attempts, that he is, as it were, transformed
into an Angel of Light, and one would imagine

his Suggestions to be of a celestial ard divine
15 Therefore it is no Original. Therefore [it is) no great Thing, if 15
great Thing, if his Minil-

bis Ministers also under his Influence, be trans-
sers also be transformed as
she Ministers of Righteouf- formed as Ministers of Righteousness : whose End
ness; whose End Thall be nevertheless shall be, not according to their spe-
according to their Works.' cious Pretences, but according to their Works; for :

they will find that God, upon whose Judgment
their final State depends, is not to be imposed..
upon by any of their Artifices. ..

Satan himself is transformed

6) They might be found, Uc.) The Jews had a Maxim among them, “ that it was bet1. ter for their Wisemen to skin dead Beasts for a Living, than to ask a Maintenance from of the Generosity of those whom they taught.” But it plainly appears, that whatever the falfe Apostles might boast upon this Head, there was no Foundation for it. Compare Verle 20. and i Cor. ix. 12.

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Sect. 17.

Ham

Ver. 2.

Ver. 3.

OW adorable is the Condescension of the blessed Jesus, who

amidst all the exalted Glories of his heavenly Kingdom, is so gra.ciously uniting Souls to himself; espousing them in Bonds of everlasting Love, that they may be for ever near him, and receive the most endearing Communications of his Favour. Much should we all be concerned, that we may have the Honour and Blessings of such an Alliance; that being by Profession folemnly espoused to him, we may in the Day of the Marriage of the Lamh, be presented chaste and spotless. How vigilant thould they be who are entrusted by him, to treat with 'Souls about these Efpoufals! How solicitous, that they may succeed, and may so present them to Chrill!

Still is that crafty Serpent, whose malignant Breath so soon tainted our common Mother, and all our Happiness, by his Subtlety, -labouring to corrupt our Minds from the Simplicity of true Christianity. Let us be incessantly watchful against the artful Deceiveř; remembering, that his

Works and Designs of Darkness may sometimes be vailed, as under the Ver. 14, 15. Robes of an Angel of Light, and his Ministers transformed, as Ministers

of Righteousness. Be therefore sober and vigilant, since your Adversary the Devil adds the Wiliness of the old Serpent, to the Rage and Cruelty of the roaring Lyon, and by both subserves his Purposes of betraying, or devcuring the Souls of Men.

Let us therefore with a godly Jealousy be jealous over each other, and especially over ourselves; and after the Example of the Apostle

' bę peculiarly so, when we are compelled to say any Thing to cur own Advantage.

Let'us endeavour to arm ourselves against every surrouding Danger, by .. a growing Regard to the Writings of this excellent Man, who, tho' rude

in Speech, was so far from being in'any Degree deficient in Christian Knowledge, that he was not behind the very chief of the Apostles. There are those, that preach another Gospel : But can they point out another Jesus, another all-Iufficient Saviour? can they direct as to another Spirit? Let us hold fast the Doctrine we learn from his faithful Pen: Let us follow the Exhortations we receive from his experienced Heart: And be ever ready to imitate him in that resolute Self-denial which he exercised, and that glorious Superiority to every other Interest which he always shewed, where the Interests of Christ and of Souls were concerned. Ŝo sball que cut off Occafiön, from them that seek Occasion against us, and secure a far greater Happiness, in the conscious Reflection of cur own Minds, as well

Ver. 2.

Ver. 6.

Ver. 5. Ver. 40

Ver. 9.

Ver. 12.

as

The Apostle again apologizes for this seerning Boasting : 513 as the Expectation of a future Reward, than the greatest Abundance of Sect. 17. this World could have given us, or any present Advantage, to which we could have sacrificed the views of Conscience and Honour.

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Farther to assert bis Right as an Apostle, St. Paul comme-
morates his Labours and Sufferings in the Cause of Christ;
yet in such a Manner, as plainly to few how disagree-
able it was to him, so much as to seem to applaud himself,
on the most necessary Occasion. 2 Cor. XI. 16, to the
End.

I

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16.

2 CORINTHIANS XI, 16.

2 CORINTHIANS XI. 16. I Say again, Let no Man HAVE said some Things, which may seem Sect. 18.

think, me a Fool; if otherwise, yet as a Fool re

more to the Advantage of my Character, than 4
ceive me, that I may boast a Man would wish, any Thing, which comes 2 Cor. XI.
myself a little.

from his own Lips, or Pen, Tould appear. But
again I must say, Let no Man think me to be so
foolish in this Boasting, as to take any Pleasure in
commending myself. Let the Provocation I have
received be considered; let the Necessity of the
Circumstance, and the Importance of my Cha-
racter, be duly weighed ; and you will surely
excuse it. But if it must be otherwise censured,
I will run the Risque, and beseech you, if

you
think me foolish in it, as foolish bowever, to re-
ceive and bear with me, as well as others, that I

may in my Turn at least boast fome small Matter.
17 That which I speak, What I speak on this Head, I speak not after the 17
but as it were foolishly in Lord, not by any immediate Direction or Inspi-
this Confidence of Boasting. ration from Christ, nor is it so evidently in his

Spirit as I could wish, or so apparently conform-
able to that Example of Modesty and Humility,
which he hath set us: But I speak it, as it were,
foolishly in this Confidence of Boasting (a); on

which

2

(a) Foolishly in this Confidence of Boasting.] It seems indeed not very just and natural, to
interpret this, as spoken by immediate Suggestion ; yet, it being in present Circumstances
VOL. IV.
Ttt

very

18.

Nay indeed you bring you into Bondage, if

514

And reminds them how they had borne with his Adversaries ; Sect. 18. which Account I return to this Subject again with some sensible Regret.

Yet least

my

Silence 18 Seeing that many 2 Cor. XI. should be attended with still worse Consequences, glory after the Flesh, I will

I think myself obliged, tho' with strong Reluc-
tance, to say, seeing many boast according to the
Flejß, in Circumcision and Jewish Extraction,
I also will boast as well as they: And truly were I
disposed to do it on these Topicks, you well
know, that no Man could say more than I.
And by the way, you may well bear with fool gladly, feeing ye yourselves

For
19
ish People

, since you [rourselves] are so wondrous gladly seeing ye yourselves wise, and in that abundant Wisdom can cherish

that arrogant Temper in others, and second it 20 with your high Applause.

20 For ye suffer if a Man go farther than that, and not only endure to hear

a Man devour you, if a Man your admired Teachers make very indecent En- take of you, if a Man exalt comiums upon themselves, but tamely submit to himself, if a Man smite you

on the Face:
them, while they invade your Property, and ty-
rannize over you in a most arbitrary and scanda-
Jous Manner. For, hy what I can learn of the
Temper of some among you in that Respect, and
of your fond Infatuation in their Favour, it seems
that you bear it patiently if a Man enslave you,
and even trample upon your Liberty, if he de-
vour [you] by his exorbitant Demands, if he take
and seize [on your Poleffions,] if he exalt himself
as if he were your supream and absolute Sovereign,
if his mad Paffion were to transport him even to
Blows, and he wers to smite you on the Face (6),
your Fondness for him would prevent you calling
him to a just Account, and you would find some
Way of excusing, or accomniodating the Affair,
rather than come to a Breach with him.

Do

1

very proper the Apostle should speak thus, the Holy Spirit might by a general, though unpor-ceived, Influence, lead him into this Tract of Thought and Expreffion; and though such Apologies might seem beneath the Dignity of an Apostle's Character, yet that very Condescension is an excellent and most useful Example of Humility to all Christians, and especially to Ministers.

(b) Smite you on the Face.] As one can hardly imagine, that the false Apostles would run all these Lengths, (tho' Dr. Whitby well

. observes, that the high Conceit which the Jews had of their Superiority over the Gentiles, might lead them to great Infolinie of Behaviour) I chose to paraphrase the Words in such a Latitude, as might wave th: Severity oi the most literal Interpretation.

(1) Thrice

21.

!

ubo fell greatly short of him in Labours and Sufferings : 515 21 I speak as concerning Do I speak this by Way of Diskoncur, from an Sect. 18. Reproach, as though, we envious Desire to derogate from my Superiors, had been weak: Howbeit, whereinsocver any is bold (I and fo bring them down to my own Level; as if 2 Cor. XI, speak foolishly) I ain bold 'we ourselves were weak in Comparison with them, also.

and therefore have not the Courage to attempt
such Freedoms, as they take? There can surely
be no Reason to suspect that; for be they ever
so puffed up with their external Priviledges, I
would have them to know, that in whatever any
one else may be confident in these Respects, tho 1
Speak it indeed in Folly, I also am confident, and

on their own Terms could match, or even ex-
22 Are they Hebrews ? ceed them. Are they, for Instance, Hebrews 22
so am I: Are they Israelites by Language, capable of consulting the Scrip-
so am I: Are they the Seed

tures in the Original, with all the Advantage of Abraham? so am I:

which a familiar Acquaintance with that Tongue
from their Childhood can give them? fo [am] 1.
Are they Ifraelites by Birth, not descended from
Esau or any other Branch of the Family, but
that on which the Blessing was intailed ? so [am] I
likewise. Are they of the Seed of Abraham, both
by the Fathers and Mothers Side, not Proselytes,
or of mingled Descent ? jo [am] ); and can trace
up as fair and clear a Genealogy, thro' the Tribe

of Benjamin, to the Father of the Faithful.
23. Are they Ministers of Or if they would boast in a Manner more pecu- 23
Christ? (I speak as a Fool) liarly referring to the Gospel; are they Ministers
abundant, in Stripes above of Chrif? I may seem to speak foolishly in this
Measure, in Prifons more boasting Manner, which is to unnatural to me;
frequent, in Deaths oft.

I cannot forbear repeated Apologies for it ; but I
will venture to say here, that I [Am] more fo than
they : fo far more than an ordinary Minister,
that I am a chosen Apostle, dignified and distin-
guished from many of my Brethren by more
eminent Services : more abundant in Labours now
for a long Series of Years : exceeding them in the
frequent Stripes I have received on Account of
my fingular Zeal : more abundant in Imprison-
ments, chearfully resigning my Liberty for the
Sake of Christ and his Gospel; and often in
Deaths, which are continually surrounding me in
the most horrible Forms; but which, by divine
T t t 2

Grace,

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