But in all things approving ourselves
It is not sufficient for a minister of the Gospel to avoid everything that might bring any blot or scandal on his ministry; but he should in all things, and by all ways and means, proper, lawful, and laudable, approve, prove, and show himself to be a true and faithful dispenser of the word. All in such an office ought to make it appear, that they are such by behaving and conducting
as the ministers of God;
as becomes such, whom he has chosen, called, and fitted for that service; and particularly in, or
by much patience;
by a large, constant, and continued exercise of that grace; and by bearing patiently many things for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel, without murmuring at the hand of God, or being angry with men, and without fainting and sinking in their own spirits:
that is, in patiently bearing, them. This word may be considered as a general word, including all sorts of afflictions whatever, of which the following are particular species:
want of food, drink, and raiment, being hungry, thirsty, and naked, as the apostles sometimes were: in distresses; both of bad mind; being in such straits and difficulties they know not where to look, what course to steer, or which way to turn themselves.