2 Corinthians 10:7-11
7. Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.
7. Quae secundum faciem sunt videtis: si quis sibi confidit, quia sit Christi, hoc reputet etiam ex se ipso rursum, quod sicuti ipse Christi, ita et nos Christi.
8. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
8. Nam etsi abundantius glorier de potestate nostra, quam dedit nobis Dominus in aedificationem, et non in destructionem vestram, non pudefiam;
9. That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
9.Ne autem videar terrere vos per Epistolas.
10. For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
10. (Siquidem Epistolae, inquiunt, graves sunt ac robustae; praesentia autem corporis infirma, et sermo contemptus.)
11. Let such an one think this, that such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.
11. Hoc cogitet qui talis est, quod quales sumus absentes, sermone per Epistolas, tales sumus etiam praesentes, opere.
By the term power he means -- the authority of his Apostleship, which he had among the Corinthians for, through all the ministers of the word have the same office in common, there are nevertheless, degrees of honor. Now God had placed Paul on a higher eminence than others, inasmuch as he had made use of his endeavors for founding 3 that Church, and had in many ways put honor upon his Apostleship. Lest, however, malevolent persons should stir up odium against him, on the ground of his making use of the term power, he adds the purpose for which it was given him -- the salvation of the Corinthians. Hence it follows, that it ought not to be irksome to them, or grievous, for who would not bear patiently, nay more, who would not love what he knows to be of advantage to him? In the mean time, there is an implied contrast between his power, and that in which the false apostles gloried -- which was of such a nature that the Corinthians received no advantage from it, and experienced no edification. There can, however, be no doubt, that all the ministers of the word are also, furnished with power; for of what sort were a preaching of the word, that was without power? Hence it is said to all --
He that heareth you, heareth me;
he that rejecteth you, rejecteth me. (Luke 10:16.)
As however, many, on false grounds, claim for themselves what they have not, we must carefully observe, how far Paul extends his power -- so as to be to the edification of believers. Those, then, who exercise power in the way of destroying the Church, prove themselves to be tyrants, and robbers -- not pastors. In the second place, we must observe, that he declares, that it was given to him by God. He, therefore, that is desirous to have any thing in his power to do, must have God as the Author of his power. Others, it is true, will boast of this also, as the Pope with full mouth thunders forth, that he is Christ's vicar. But what evidence does he give of this? 4 For Christ has not conferred power of this kind upon dumb persons, but upon the Apostles, and his other ministers, that the doctrine of his Gospel might not be without defense. Hence the whole power of ministers is included in the word -- but in such a way, nevertheless, that Christ may always remain Lord and Master. Let us, therefore, bear in mind, that in lawful authority these two things are required -- that it be given by God, and that it be exercised for the welfare of the Church. It is well known, who they are, on whom God has conferred this power, and in what way he has limited the power he has given. Those exercise it in a proper manner, who faithfully obey his commandment.
Here, however, a question may be proposed. "God says to Jeremiah, Behold, I set thee over the nations, and kingdoms,
to plant, and to pluck up, to build and to destroy.
We have, also, found it stated a little before, (2 Corinthians 10:5) that the Apostles were set apart on the same footing -- that they might destroy every thing that exalted itself against Christ. Nay more, the teachers of the gospel cannot build up in any other way, than by destroying the old man. Besides, they preach the gospel to the condemnation and destruction of the wicked." I answer that, what Paul says here, has nothing to do with the wicked, for he addresses the Corinthians, to whom he wished his Apostleship to be beneficial. With regard to them, I say, he could do nothing but with a view to edification. We have already observed, also, that this was expressly stated, that the Corinthians might know, that the authority of this holy man was not assailed by any one but Satan, the enemy of their salvation, while the design of that authority was their edification.
At the same time, it is in other respects true in a general way, that the doctrine of the gospel has in its own nature a tendency to
1 "La masque et apparence exterieure;" -- "An outward mask and appearance."
2 "Vn tas de garnement;" -- "A band of profligates."
3 "Pour fonder et batir;" -- "For founding and building up."
4 "Mais que fait-il? Quel tesmoignage en rend-il, pour luy adiouster foy;" -- "But what does he do? What proof does he give of it, that credit may be given him?"
5 "Ils rendoyent ses ecrits contemptibles;" -- "They made his writings contemptible."
6 "Par laquelle on acquiert grace enuers les hommes;" -- "By which they acquire favor among men."