But I will come to you shortly - God being my helper, I fully purpose to visit you; and then I shall put those proud men to the proof, not of their speech - eloquence, or pretensions to great knowledge and influence, but of their power - the authority they profess to have from God, and the evidences of that authority in the works they have performed. See the Introduction, Section 11.
But I will come - It is from no fear of them that I am kept away; and to convince them of this I will come to them speedily.
If the Lord will - If the Lord permit; if by his providence he allows me to go. Paul regarded the entering on a journey as dependent on the will of God; and felt that God had all in his hand. No purpose should be formed without a reference to his will; no plan without feeling that he can easily frustrate it and disappoint us; see James 4:15.
And will know - I will examine; I will put to the test; I will fully understand,
Not the speech - Not their vain and empty boasting; not their confident assertions, and their self-complacent views.
But the power - Their real power. I will put their power to the proof: I will see whether they are able to effect what they affirm; whether they have more real power than I have. I will enter fully into the work of discipline, and will ascertain whether they have such authority in the church, such a power of party and of combination, that they can resist me, and oppose my administration of the discipline which the church needs. “A passage,” says Bloomfield, “which cannot, in nerve and rigor, or dignity and composed confidence, be easily paralleled, even in Demosthenes himself.”