I was with you in weakness - It is very likely that St. Paul had not only something in his speech very unfavourable to a ready and powerful elocution, but also some infirmity of body that was still more disadvantageous to him. A fine appearance and a fine voice cover many weaknesses and defects, and strongly and forcibly recommend what is spoken, though not remarkable for depth of thought or solidity of reasoning. Many popular orators have little besides their persons and their voice to recommend them. Louis XIV. styled Peter du Bosc le plus beau parleur de son royaume , the finest speaker in his kingdom; and among his own people he was styled l' orateur parfait , the perfect orator. Look at the works of this French protestant divine, and you find it difficult to subscribe to the above sayings. The difficulty is solved by the information that the person of M. du Bosc was noble and princely, and his voice full, harmonious, and majestic. Paul had none of these advantages, and yet idolatry and superstition fell before him. Thus God was seen in the work, and the man was forgotten.
In fear, and in much trembling - This was often the state of his mind; dreading lest he should at any time be unfaithful, and so grieve the Spirit of God; or that, after having preached to others, himself should be a castaway. See I Corinthians 9:27.
An eminent divine has said that it requires three things to make a good preacher; study, temptation, and prayer. The latter, no man that lives near to God can neglect; the former, no man who endeavors rightly to divide the word of truth will neglect; and with the second every man will be more or less exercised whose whole aim is to save souls. Those of a different cast the devil permits to pass quietly on in their own indolent and prayerless way.
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