1 Timothy 4:6-10
6. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
6. Haec suggerens fratribus, bonus eris Iesu Christi minister, innutritus sermonibus fidei, et bonae doctrinae quam sequutus es.
7. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
7. Profanas autem et aniles fabulas devita, quin potius exerce te ipsum ad pietatem.
8. For bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
8. Nam corporalis exercitatio paululum habet utilitatis; at pietas ad omnia utilis est, ut quae promissiones habeat vitae praesentis et futurae.
9. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation.
9. Fidelis sermo, dignusque qui modis onmibus approbetur.
10. For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.
10. Nam in hoc et laboramus, et probris afficimur, quod spem fixam habemus in Deo vivente, qui servator est omnium hominum, maxime fidelium.
This is a very necessary warning; for the world will always lean to the side of wishing to worship God by outward services; which is an exceedingly dangerous imagination. But -- to say nothing about the wicked opinion of merit -- our nature always disposes us strongly to attribute more than we ought to austerity of life; as if it were no ordinary portion of Christian holiness. A clearer view of this cannot be adduced, than the fact, that, shortly after the publication of this command, the whole world was ravished with immoderate admiration of the empty form of bodily exercises. Hence arose the order of monks and nuns, and nearly all the most excellent discipline of the ancient Church, or, at least, that part of it which was most highly esteemed by the common people. If the ancient monks had not dreamed that there was some indescribably divine or angelical perfection in their austere manner of living, they would never have pursued it with so much ardor. In like manner, if pastors had not attached undue value to the ceremonies which were then observed for the mortification of the flesh, they would never have been so rigid in exacting them.: And what does Paul say on the other hand? That, when any one shall have labored much and long in those exercises, the profit will be small and inconsiderable; for they are nothing but the rudiments of childish discipline.
But let us remember to distinguish between the good things of the present and of the future life; for God bestows kindness on us in this world, in order that he may give us only a taste of his goodness, and by such a taste may allure us to the desire of heavenly benefits, that in them we may find satisfaction. The consequence is, that the good things of the present life are not only mingled with very many afflictions, but, we may almost say, overwhelmed by them; for it is not expedient for us to have abundance in this world, lest we should indulge in luxury. Again, lest any one should found on this passage the merits of works, we ought to keep in mind what we have already said, that godliness includes not only a good conscience toward men, and the fear of God, but likewise faith and calling upon him.
Now, since the happiness of the present life consists chiefly of two parts, honor and conveniences, he contrasts them within two evils, toils and reproach, meaning by the former words, inconveniences and annoyances of every kind, such as poverty, cold, nakedness, hunger, banishments, spoliations, imprisonments, scourgings, and other persecutions.
1 "C'est pour mieux exposer et declarer le mot precedent." "It is for the purpose of explaining more clearly and fully the preceding word."
2 "He who wishes to be faithfully employed in the service of God must not only avoid, as Paul says, the lies and superstitions that tend to poison souls; but he must avoid profane fables, that is, subtleties that cannot edify, and that contain no instruction which is good for the salvation of souls. Here is a passage that well deserves to be considered; for we see that it was a part of the corruptions which came into the world, and which, even at the present day, prevail in Popery. True, there will be doctrines in the highest degree absurd, and errors most foolish and debasing. We know that idolatry is as gross and flagrant among them as it ever was among the heathens, that the whole worship of God is corrupted, and, in short, that there is nothing which is not spurious. Such errors ought to be held in abhorrence by us; but there is an evil which is still more concealed, and which is unknown to the common people. For although the doctrine of the Papists were not false as it really is, though it were not perverse; yet it is "profane," as Paul calls it here. And why? They have questions which they debate, about things in which there is no profit. Were a man to know all the questions that are debated in the schools of theology of Popery, there would be nothing but wind. Yet they give themselves the greatest trouble about these matters, and can never succeed; for they put forward questions that cannot be answered but by divination; and though a man should wish to search out the secrets of God, about which nothing is said in the Holy Scripture, does he not plunge into an abyss? Now the Papists have had that pride and audacity, to wish to inquire into those matters which ought to be unknown to us. And thus it was that God withdrew his truth, when the world so corrupted it." -- Fr. Ser.
3 "Si les benefices de Dieu trouvoyent entree a nous, et que nous fussion disposez a les recevoir." "If God's benefits found admission to us, and if we were disposed to receive them."
4 "The word Savior is not here taken in what we call its proper and strict meaning, in regard to the eternal salvation which God promises to his elect, but it is taken for one who delivers and protects. Thus we see that even unbelievers are protected by God, as it is said (Matthew 5:46) that "he maketh his sun to shine on the good and the bad;" and we see that all are fed by his goodness, that all are delivered from many dangers. In this sense he is called "the Savior of all men," not in regard to the spiritual salvation of their souls, but because he supports all his creatures. In this way, therefore, our Lord is the Savior of all men, that is, his goodness extends to the most wicked, who are estranged from him, and who do not deserve to have any intercourse with him, who ought to have been struck off from the number of the creatures of God and destroyed; and yet we see how God hitherto extends his grace to them; for the life which he gives to them is a testimony of his goodness. Since, therefore God shows such favor towards those who are strangers to him, how shall it be with us who are members of his household?: Not that we are better or more excellent than those whom we see to be cast off by him, but the whole proceeds from his mercy and free grace, that he is reconciled to us through our Lord Jesus Christ, since he hath called us to the knowledge of the gospel, and then confirms us, and seals his bounty toward us, so that we ought to be convinced that he reckons us to be his children. Since, therefore, we see that he nourishes those who are estranged from him, let us go and hide ourselves under his wings; for, having taken us under his protection, he has declared that he will show himself to be a Father toward us." -- Fr. Ser.
5 "Le mot Grec que nous traduisons Sauveur." "The Greek word which we translate Savior."