Observe here, 1. The charge brought in unjustly against St. Paul by the false apostles, namely, that when he was present with the Corinthians, he was low and humble enough to some degree of baseness; but when absent, that then he writes like a lord to them, and exercises an authority with pride and imperiousness over them. The greatest apostle, no more than the meanest minister of Jesus Christ, cannot expect protection from slander and false accusation.
Observe, 2. The pious and prudent course which the apostle takes for his own necessary and just vindication; he beseeches them, by all that meekness and gentleness, which, according to the command and example of Christ, he desired to express towards them, firmly to believe that he desired nothing more, than not to be forced to use his power with that boldness towards them, which he feared he must use against the false apostles, who accused him of too much servility and meanness in his behaviour amongst them, and reproached his ministry as carnal and self-seeking.