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Verse 24. Let no man seek his own. This should be properly interpreted of the matter under discussion, though the direction assumes the form of a general principle. Originally it meant, "Let no man, in regard to the question about partaking of the meat offered in sacrifice to idols, consult his own pleasure, happiness, or convenience; but let him, as the leading rule on the subject, ask what will be for the welfare of others. Let him not gratify his own taste and inclinations, regardless of their feelings, comfort, and salvation; but let him in these things have a primary reference to their welfare." He may dispense with these things without danger or injury; he cannot indulge in them without endangering the happiness or purity of others. His duty, therefore, requires him to abstain. The injunction, however, has a general form, and is applicable to all Christians, and to all cases of a similar kind. It does not mean that a man is not in any instance to regard his own welfare, happiness, or salvation; it does not mean that a man owes no duty to himself or family, or that he should neglect all these to advance the welfare of others; but the precept means, that in cases like that under consideration, when there is no positive law, and when a man's example would have a great influence, he should be guided in his conduct, not by a reference to his own ease, comfort, or gratification, but by a reference to the purity and salvation of others. And the observance of this simple rule would make a prodigious change in the church and the world.

But every man another's wealth. The word wealth is not in the Greek. Literally, "that which is of another;" the word to referring to anything and everything that pertains to his comfort, usefulness, happiness, or salvation. The sentiment of the whole is, when a man is bound and directed by no positive law, his grand rule should be the comfort and salvation of others. This is a simple rule; it might be easily applied; and this would be a sort of balance-wheel in the various actions and plans of the world. If every man would adopt this rule, he could not be in much danger of going wrong; he would be certain that he would not live in vain.

{e} "Let no man" Php 2:4,21

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