17. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
17. Quin etiam si immoler super hostia et sacrificio fidei vestrae, gaudeo et congaudeo vobis omnibus.
18. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
18. De hoc ipso gaudete, et congaudete mihi.
19. But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort when I know your state.
19. Spero autem in Domino, Timotheum brevi me ad vos missurum, ut ego tranquillo sim animo, postquam statum vestrum cognoverim.
20. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
20. Neminem enim habeo pari animo praeditum, qui germane res vestras curaturus sit.
21. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's
21. Omnes enim quae sua sunt quaerunt: non quae sunt Christi Iesu.
22. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
22. Porro experimentum eius tenetis, quod tanquam cum patre filius, ita mecum servivit in Euangelium.
23. Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
23. Hunc igitur spero me missurum, simulac mea negotia videro.
24. But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
24. Confido autem in Domino quod ipse quoque brevi sim venturus.
He makes use of the terms,
From this, however, a useful lesson is to be gathered as to the nature of faith -- that it is not a vain thing, but of such a nature as to consecrate man to God. The ministers of the gospel have, also, here a singular consolation in being called priests of God, to present victims to him; 4 for with what ardor ought that man to apply himself to the pursuit of preaching, who knows that this is an acceptable sacrifice to God! The wretched Papists, having no knowledge of this kind of sacrifice, contrive another, which is utter sacrilege.
From this it appears, how great a hinderance it is to Christ's ministers to seek their own interests. Nor is there any force in these excuses: "I do harm to no one "-- "I must have a regard, also, to my own advantage"-- "I am not so devoid of feeling as not to be prompted by a regard to my own advantage."For you must give up your own right if you would discharge your duty: a regard to your own interests must not be put in preference to Christ's glory, or even placed upon a level with it. Whithersoever Christ calls you, you must go promptly, leaving off all other things. Your calling ought to be regarded by you in such a way, that you shall turn away all your powers of perception from everything that would impede you. It might be in your power to live elsewhere in greater opulence, but God has bound you to the Church, which affords you but a very moderate sustenance: you might elsewhere have more honor, but God has assigned you a situation, in which you live in a humble style: 8 you might have elsewhere a more salubrious sky, or a more delightful region, but it is here that your station is appointed. You might wish to have to do with a more humane people: you feel offended with their ingratitude, or barbarity, or pride; in short, you have no sympathy with the disposition or the manners of the nation in which you are, but you must struggle with yourself, and do violence in a manner to opposing inclinations, that you may 9 keep by the trade you have got; 10 for you are not free, or at your own disposal. In fine, forget yourself, if you would serve God.
If, however, Paul reproves so severely those who were influenced by a greater concern for themselves than for the Church, what judgment may be looked for by those who, while altogether devoted to their own affairs, make no account of the edification of the Church? However they may now flatter themselves, God will not spare them. An allowance must be given to the ministers of the Church to seek their own interests, so as not to be prevented from seeking the kingdom of Christ; but in that case they will not be represented as seeking their own interests, as a man's life is estimated according to its chief aim. When he says all, we are not to understand the term denoting universality, as though it implied that there was no exception, for there were others also, such as Epaphroditus, 11 but there were few of these, and he ascribes to all what was very generally prevalent.
When, however, we hear Paul complaining, that in that golden age, in which all excellences flourished, that there were so few that were rightly affected, 12 let us not be disheartened, if such is our condition in the present day: only let every one take heed to himself, that he be not justly reckoned to belong to that catalogue. I should wish, however, that Papists would answer me one question -- where Peter was at that time, for he must have been at Rome, if what they say is true. O the sad and vile description that Paul gave of him! They utter, therefore, mere fables, when they pretend that he at that time presided over the Church of Rome. Observe, that the edification of the Church is termed the
1 Paul's statement here is interpreted by Dr. John Brown as equivalent to the following : -- "If my life be poured out as a libation over your conversion to Christ, ' I joy and rejoice with you all.' It could not be better sacrificed than in the cause of his glory and your salvation."-- Brown's Discourses and Sayings of our Lord illustrated, vol. 3 p. 379. -- Ed.
2 "Pour tuer les bestes qu'on doit sacrifier;"-- "For killing the animals that ought to be sacrificed."
3 See Liv. 50:1:c. 31, ad fin. -- Ed.
4 "Pour luy offrir en sacrifice les ames des fideles;"-- "To offer to him in sacrifice the souls of the believers."
5 "Les enflambe a mourir constamment, et receuoir la mort d'vn cœur magnanime;"-- "Enkindles them to die with firmness, and meet death with magnanimity."
6 "Que sa mort ne trouble et estonne les Philippians;"-- "That his death may not distress and alarm the Philippians."
7 "En ces mots, au Seigneur Jesus, il faut noter la condition;"-- "In these words, in the Lord Jesus, we must notice the condition."
8 "Sans estre en plus grande reputation;"-- "Without being in very great reputation."
9 "En sorte que tu to contentes du lieu qui t'est ordonné, et que t'employes a ta charge;"-- "So as to content yourself with the place that is appointed for you, and employ yourself in your own department."
10 See Calvin on the Corinthians, vol. 1. p. 249.
11 "Car il y en auoit d'autres qui auoyent plus grand soin de l'Eglise de Dieu, que d'eux-mesmes, comme Epaphrodite;"-- "For there were others of them that had greater concern as to the Church of God, than as to themselves, such as Epaphroditus."
12 "Qu'il y auoit si peu de gens sages et qui eussent vn cœur entier a nostre Seigneur;"-- "That there were so few persons that were wise, and had devotedness of heart to our Lord."