1 Have not I reason to glory? for now I shall mention my visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I knew a christian who above fourteen years ago, was snatch'd up even to the third heaven, whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows. 3 but tho' I don't know whether it was in the body, or out of the body, which God only knows, 4 this I know, that he was snatch'd up into paradise, and heard such secrets as it is not lawful for a man to reveal. 5 I might glory in being the man; but I will not glory in any thing relating to myself, unless it be my sufferings. 6 tho' if I had a mind to glory, I might do it without vanity, for I should say nothing but what is true: but now I forbear, lest any man should ascribe more to me than my actions, or my preaching can justify. 7 and lest I should be exalted above measure by the extraordinary revelations I have had, I was afflicted in my person, so that the messenger of satan insulted me; concerning which, 8 I besought the Lord thrice, to make him leave me. 9 but he said to me, "my favour is sufficient for thee: for my strength is shown to be perfect by thy weakness." with pleasure therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may be seen to dwell in me. 10 I take pleasure then in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am afflicted, then it is I have fortitude.
11 Am I become vain? 'tis you have forc'd me to it: for I ought to have been commended by you: since I am not inferior to the chiefest of the apostles, tho' in myself I am nothing. 12 the marks indeed of an apostle I have shown among you by my extreme patience, by signs, and prodigies, and miracles. 13 for in what were ye inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? an injury I hope you will easily forgive.
14 This is the third time I purposed to come to you; but I will not be burdensome to you; for I seek not yours, but you: since it is not expected children should lay up for their parents, but parents for their children: on the contrary, 15 I shall be glad to sacrifice myself and all I have for your service, even tho' it should happen that the more I love you, the less I should be beloved. 16 'tis own'd I did not put you to any charges myself: but was so crafty, as to over-reach you, by others. 17 what, did I make a gain of you by any body I sent to you? 18 I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother: did Titus make a gain of you? didn't we follow the same principles, and take the same measures?
19 do you think I have been making excuses for not coming? as I am a christian, in the presence of God, I have, my beloved, in every thing consulted your advantage. 20 yet I fear when I do come I shall not find you such as I would, and that you will find me such as you least desire: I am afraid there are among you debates, envyings, animosities, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, arrogance, tumults: 21 and I am afraid, God will humble me when I come again among you, and I shall bewail many who have formerly sinned, and have not yet repented of their impurity, their fornication, and dissoluteness.