He telleth of his incomparable visions, 5 but for humilitie liketh better to talke of his
infirmities: 11 putting the fault in the Corinthians for that he is faine thus to rehearse his
owne commendations. 13. Where againe he reasoneth the matter with them like a father, why they
should preferre those false Apostles before him. 20. And feareth lest at his comming he shal be
compelled to excommunicate many of them.
1. IF I must glorie (it is not expedient indeed) but I wil come to the visions & reuelations of our Lord.
2. I know a man in Christ aboue fourteen yeares agoe (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not: God doth know) such a one rapt euen to the third Heauen.
3. And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not; God doth know)
4. that he was rapt into Paradise; & heard secret words, which it is not lawful for a man to speake.
5. For such an one I wil glorie: but for my self I wil glorie nothing, sauing in my infirmities.
6. For and if I wil glorie, I shal not be foolish: for I shal say truth. But I spare, lest any man should esteem me aboue that which he seeth in me, or heareth any thing of me.
7. And lest the greatnes of the reuelations might extol me, there was giuen me a prick of my flesh, an Angel of Satan, to buffet me.
8. For the which thing thrise I besought our Lord, that it might depart from me.
9. And he said to me: My grace sufficeth thee, for power is perfited in infirmitie. Gladly therfore wil I glorie in mine infirmitie, that the power of Christ may dwel in me.
10. For the which cause I please my self in infirmities, in contumelies, in necessitie, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ. For when I am weake, then am I mightie.
11. I am become foolish: you haue compelled me. For I ought to haue been commended of you: for I haue been nothing lesse then they that are aboue measure Apostles: although I am nothing.
12. Yet the signes of my Apostleship haue been done vpon you in al patience, is signes & wonders & mighty deeds.
13. For what is there that you haue had lesse then the other Churches; but that I my self haue not burdened you? Pardon me this iniurie.
14. Behold, now the third time I am ready to come to you; & I wil not be burdenous vnto you. For I seeke not the things that are yours, but you. For neither ought the children lay vp treasures for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15. But I most gladly wil bestow & wil my self moreouer be bestowed for your soules: although louing you more, I am loued lesse.
16. But be it so: I haue not burdened you: but being craftie, I tooke you by guile.
17. Haue I circumuented you be any of them whom I sent to you?
18. I requested Titus, and I sent with him a brother. Did Titus circumuent you? walked we not with one spirit? not in the self-same steps?
19. Of old thinke you that we excuse our selues to you? Before God in Christ we speake: but al things (my Dearest) for your edifying.
20. For I feare lest perhaps when I come, I find you not such as I would: and I be found of you such an one as you would not. Lest perhaps contentions, emulations, stomakings, dissensions, detractions, whisperings, swellings, seditions be among you.
21. Lest againe when I come, God humble me among you: & I mourne many of them that sinned before, & haue not done penance for the vncleannes & fornication and incontinencie that they haue committed.