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20I wish I were present with you now and could change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

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20. I would wish to be present with you now. This is a most serious expostulation, the complaint of a father so perplexed by the misconduct of his sons, that he looks around him for advice, and knows not to what hand to turn. 7070     ἀποροῦμαι ἐν ὑμῖν. “By these words the apostle undoubtedly expresses more than that he was ‘in doubt about’ the Galatians, and was at a loss what he should say about them; for in the preceding verse he had given utterance to the vehement emotion of his mind. With very nearly the same kind of emphasis does this word occur in the Septuagint, at Genesis 32:7, where it is said, ‘And Jacob was greatly afraid, and was in deep anxiety.’ The concluding words are translated καὶ ἠπορεῖτο ” — Keuchenius. He wishes to have an opportunity of personally addressing them, because we thus obtain a better idea of what is adapted to present circumstances; because, according as the hearer is affected, according as he is submissive or obstinate, we are enabled to regulate our discourse. But something more than this was meant by the desire to change the voice 7171     “To speak sometimes gently, and sometimes harshly, as the case might demand.” — Luther. Φωνή signifies not only a voice, but the thing that is spoken, (AElian, V. H., p. 347,) whether it be by word of mouth, or by letter. And therefore, when the apostle says that he ‘desired to change his voice,’ he means, that he should be glad to be present and converse with them personally, instead of writing to them at a distance; because then he could be more fully informed of their true state, and better able to know how to order his discourse to them.” — Chandler. He was prepared most cheerfully to assume a variety of forms, and even, if the case required it, to frame a new language. This is a course which pastors ought most carefully to follow. They must not be entirely guided by their own inclinations, or by the bent of their own genius, but must accommodate themselves, as far as the case will allow, to the capacity of the people, — with this reservation, however, that they are to proceed no farther than conscience shall dictate, 7272     “Seulement qu’ils regardent de ne faire chose contre l’honneur de Dieu et leur conscience.” “Only let them beware of doing anything against the honour of God and their own conscience.” and that no departure from integrity shall be made, in order to gain the favor of the people.