Our apostle here goes on, vindicating himself from the aspersions and reflections which the false teachers cast upon him. They told the Corinthians, that St. Paul's letters were indeed severe and authoritative, terrifying and affrighting: but his personal presence was weak, and his speech contemptible.
Tradition tells us, that Paul (according to his name) was a man of very little stature, and his voice answerably small; whence probably, the false apostles took occasion to raise this report of his presence and speech. St. Chrysostom saith, that St. Paul's stature was low, his body crooked, his head bald; and when it is added, that his speech was contemptible, it cannot be understood as if it were so for want of eloquence, but it is thought, this refers rather to some infirmity, or natural impediment, which the apostle might have in his speech.
The gift of knowledge and learning, and the gift of utterance and elocution, as they are distinct in their nature, so they are separable in their subject, and do not always go together; a person of the profoundest knowledge is not always happy in elocution and utterance.
However, in these false teachers we see the constant method and practice of impostors and seducers; namely, to asperse and lessen all that stand in their light. This is an old way of insinuating into the people. The false apostles feared they should never reign at Corinth, but by bringing St. Paul into disesteem with the Corinthians; therefore they say, his letters are weighty, but his bodily presence weak.
But the apostle, 2Co_10:11. gives them to understand, that they should find him the same both absent and present; and that his deeds then should appear as awful as his words now; that when he came again, he would not spare, but punish all disobedience.
Note here, That the things which St. Paul would have his accusers fear, was that by the miraculous gift of the Holy Ghost given to him, to inflict corporal punishments upon disobedient persons, they should speed as Elymas did, Act_13:8 who was smitten with blindness, &c.