Here the apostle tells the Corinthians, that he would not boast of other men's labours, nor pretend any title to those Christians at Corinth, nor any where else, whom others had converted, as the false apostles did: Notwithstanding he declares his hope, that when the gospel should have an eminent success amongst them, and thereby their faith be increased, that the increase of their faith would increase his joy and comfort, his present advantage and future reward; because it was the fruit and increase of the seed which he had himself sown amongst them. The apostle also doth farther declare his hopes, that he should preach the gospel beyond Corinth, in the regions of Achaia, where it had not been preached before; he being unwilling to enter upon other men's labours.
Here note, That though ordinary ministers are fixed in particular places, and confined to particular churches, yet the apostles had a commission to go into all places, and preach the gospel over the whole world, and were tied to no certain place or people.
Note farther, That the apostle seems to prefer an instrumentality in the work of conversion, before being instrumental in the work of edification. The false apostles could only pretend to build upon other men's foundations, and carry on a work by others made ready to their hands: But the apostle preferred preaching the gospel where Christ had never been heard of, as being unwilling to build upon another's foundation, or to boast of another man's line. It is a special favour now vouchsafed by God to us his ministers, if he puts the honour upon us, to make us instruments in his hands, either for conversion, or edification, either for bringing home, or building up a people.
Happy we, if when our predecessors have laboured before us, we enter into their labour, and see the seed, which they sowed with a laborious hand, flourishing in the lives of our people, to the joy of our hearts. Ere long, both he that sowed, and he that reapeth, shall rejoice together.