1 Let men consider us, as the ministers of Christ, who dispense the divine mysteries. 2 now it is required in a steward, that he be found faithful. 3 as for me, it is a matter of no great concern that I should be called to account by you, or any human authority; not that I am my own judge; 4 (for though I am not conscious to my self of any unfaithfulness, yet am I not hereby absolved:) but he that is my supreme judge, is the Lord. 5 therefore suspend your judgment till the Lord comes, who will bring to light the secrets of darkness, and expose the counsels of mens hearts: and then shall every man have his due reward from God.
6 These things, my brethren, I have represented to you in my own person, and that of Apollos, out of respect to you: to show you how to moderate your esteem by the rule prescrib'd, that you may not be transported in favour of one rather than another. 7 for who has distinguish'd thee above another? or what have you, that you did not receive? now if you did receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it? 8 You have already a sufficiency, you already abound, you live like princes in our absence: and would to God you did reign, that we too might have the advantage of your administration. 9 for it seems as if God had exposed us apostles the last upon the stage, as persons appointed to death. for we are made a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 we are made fools for our attachment to Christ, while you, who are christians too, still pass for the wise: we are in poverty, but you are in power: you meet with esteem, but we find contempt. 11 to this very day we suffer both hunger, thirst, and penury: we are buffeted from place to place, as vagabonds: 12 we are fatigu'd by our manual toil: when reviled, we pray: when persecuted, we don't repine: 13 and when we are defamed, we intreat: in a word, we are look'd upon as the dregs and scum of mankind, even to this day.
14 This I don't write to give you any confusion, but by way of remonstrance, to you who are my dear children. 15 for though you may have ten thousand christian preceptors, you cannot have many fathers; since it was I that first instructed you in the gospel of Christ Jesus: 16 and therefore I intreat you, to copy after me. 17 'tis for this end I have sent you Timothy, who is my dear disciple, and a faithful christian, who will inform you how I behave my self in every church where I teach the gospel of Christ. 18 Some make their boast as if I would not come to you. 19 but if the Lord pleases, I will visit you very soon; and then I shall try, not what these boasters can say, but what they can do: 20 for the gospel dispensation does not consist in talk, but in power. 21 Which would you chuse, that I should come to you arm'd with resentment? or, in a mild and benevolent temper?