That is, "I acknowledge it neither decent nor advantageous, with respect to myself, to go on in farther boasting and glorying; but since it may be necessary with respect to you, I will declare what visions and revelations I have received from the Lord; in which I shall give such an evidence of the favours of Christ to me, and such a testimony of my mission from heaven, as none of these false apostles or dceitful workers can pretend unto."
Learn hence, That although glorying or boasting, in itself is so expedient a thing, savours of pride, and is an evidence of folly, when it is not necessary and just, and therefore all Christians should be backward to it: Yet that which is so inexpedient in itself, may, upon a just and fitting occasion, be not only lawful, but laudable, both a necessary and commendable duty.
Observe, 2. The present subject matter of St. Paul's glorying; it was heavenly raptures and visions which he gloried in.
Learn thence, That divine revelations, acquainting the soul with heaven, are matters most worthy of humble and modest glorying. Oh! if God would vouch-safe to favour us with the sight of what St. Paul saw, what little things would crowns and sceptres, empires and kingdoms, seem to us? How would it make us long, groan and cry, to be with Christ!
But though none of us must expect such raptures and ecstasies as the apostle had, blessed be God for that clear revelation of his heavenly glory which the gospel gives, and for that assurance which faith gives, that Christ as our forerunner is entered into, and keeps possession of it, in the name and stead of all believers: He has prepared it for us, and is daily preparing us for that, and in his own appointed time will put us into the actual possession of it; not for a few hours (which was all the apostle enjoyed) but for eternal ages.