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Chapter XII.

Of his saying: “If any will not work, neither shall he eat.”

And now he no longer addresses to them the advice of a teacher or physician, but proceeds with the severity of a judicial sentence, and, resuming his apostolic authority, pronounces sentence on his despisers as if from the judgment seat: with that power, I mean, which, when writing with threats to the Corinthians, he declared was given him of the Lord, when he charged those taken in sin, that they should make haste and amend their lives before his coming: thus charging them, “I beseech you that I may not be bold when I am present, against some, with that power which is given to me over you.” And again: “For if I also should boast somewhat of the power which the Lord has given me unto edification, and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed.”976976    2 Cor. x. 2, 8. With that power, I say, he declares, “If a man will not work, neither let him eat.” Not punishing them with a carnal sword, but with the power of the Holy Ghost forbidding them the goods of this life, that if by chance, thinking but little of the punishment of future death, they still should remain obstinate through love of ease, they may at last, forced by the requirements of nature and the fear of immediate death, be compelled to obey his salutary charge.


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