Observe here, 1. The duty which St. Paul exhorts the Corinthians to, namely, to receive him, their apostle, into their kind affections into the bosom of their love, Receive us; that is, into your best affections. The ministers of Christ are very desirous of a large share and interest in their people's love; well knowing, that if they be prejudiced against their persons, they will reap no benefit by their doctrine.
Observe, 2. The solemn protestation which the holy apostle makes of his integrity and uprightness towards the Corinthians, We have wronged no man, corrupted no man, defrauded no man; that is, we have wronged none in their reputation by slander, we have corrupted no man's judgment by error and false doctrine, we have defrauded no man of any part of their estates, either by force or fraud.
Learn hence, That the holy servants of God, especially the faithful ministers of Christ, may justify themselves, and make solemn protestations of their own integrity and uprightness, especially when they fall under jealousy and suspicion by the enemies of religion. As it was the continual practice of the false apostles to discredit St. Paul's ministry, and reflect upon his person; so it was his constant care to counter-work them, by a professed vindication of himself, and all his actions.
Observe, 3. The fervour of the apostle's affection towards his Corinthian converts, You are in our hearts to live and die with you; that is, you lie and are lodged so near our hearts, that we could live with you, and die for you, to promote your spiritual and eternal welfare. Behold how large a room the people of God have in the affections of his ministers, how near do they lie to their hearts; and so passionately desirous are they of their people's salvation, that they could even lay down their lives, and die, to promote their temporal and eternal advantage.
Observe, 4. How the apostle gloried in, and was comforted by the Corinthians, in the midst of all his afflictions, by the report he had of their repentance, obedience, and liberality; Great is my glorying in you; I am filled with comfort, and exceeding joyful in the midst of all my tribulations. As if he had said, "Verily, the report I have had of your repentance and reformation upon the receiving of my former epsitle, has afflictions and tribulations which I meet with for the gospel."
Learn hence, That the repentance and reformation of any of our people, by the blessing of God upon our ministerial endeavours, is matter of great rejoicing and glorying to us the ministers of God, who desire, above all things, the conversion, edification, and salvation of the souls of the people: Great is my glorying in you; I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful.