Behold what a catalogue the apostle here gives of his sufferings and services: He was scourged by the Jews with whips, beaten by the Gentiles with rods, stoned by the rabble, thrice suffered shipwreck, a night and a day tossed to and fro upon the sea, and in great danger of perishing; in journeyings often from one country to another, to preach, plant, and propagate the gospel; in perils at sea and land, by pirates and robbers; in perils by his countrymen the Jews; in perils in the cities, Damascus, Ephesus, and Jerusalem; in perils in wildernesses and deserts; in perils amongst false brethren, men of the Christian profession; in weariness and painfulness, by travelling from place to place; in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, that is, in necessitated hunger often, and in voluntary fastings frequent, for spiritual purposes; in cold and nakedness, that is, very poor and thin in clothing.
Lord! what tongue can utter, or what heart can conceive, the pains which the apostle took, or the hazards which he run, in preaching the gospel to a lost world? And yet the good man heartily thanks our Lord Jesus Christ for all that, who had counted him faithful, and put him into the ministry. Verily none of the ministers of Christ have any reason or cause to repent of the the choice of their office, whatever services they undertake, or whatever sufferings or reproaches it either hath or may expose them to. Alas! what is all that we feel, to what this apostle underwent? And what is all that he underwent for Christ, compared with that transcendent reward which is in the hand of Christ, both for him and us.