To them that so vaunted their libertie about Idolothyta, he bringeth his owne example, to wit,
that he also had libertie to liue by the Ghospel, but yet that he vsed it not, so to auoid
scandal of the infirme, and because it was more meritorious. 24. Declaiming against their
securitie, and shewing them by similitudes and examples, 24. both of himself, 1. And of the Israelites,
that saluation is not so lightly come by: 14. and so concludeth againe against eating of Idolothyta,
because it is also to commit Idolatrie, 22. and not only to giue il example to the infirme.
1. AM I not free? Am I not an Apostle? Haue I not seen Christ Iesvs our Lord? Are not you My worke.
The Heretikes fond pretense of Gods honour.
As he called himself before God's Coadiutour, so here he boldly also chalengeth the Corinthians conuersion to be his handy-worke in our Lord; nothing derogating thereby from Christ, as the Protestants rudely charge the Fathers & Catholike men (vnder pretense of God's honour) for vsing such phrases or speaches in the Apostles sense, of the Saints or Sacraments. my worke in our Lord?
2. And if to others I be not an Apostle, but yet to you I am. For you are the seale of my Apostleship in our Lord.
3. my defense to them that examine me is this:
4. Haue not we power to eate and drinke?
5. Haue we not power to lead about A woman a Sister.
The Heretikes peruersely (as they doe al other places for the aduantage of their Sect) expound this of the Apostles wiues, and for, woman, translate, *wife, al belles sounding wedding to them. Where the Apostle meaneth plainely the deuout women that after the manner of Iewrie **did serue the Preacher of necessaries, of which sort many followed Christ, and sustained him and his of their substance. So doth S. Chrysostome, Theodoret, and al the Greeks (Oecu. in collect super hunc lo.) take it. So doth S. Augustin De op. Monach. c. 4. and S. Hierom. li. 1. adu. Iouinianum c. 14. both disputing and prouing it by the very words of the text. S. Ambrose also vpon this place. And the thing is most plaine. For to what end should he talke of burdening the Corinthians with finding his wife, when himself (c. 7, 7. 8.) cleerly saith that he was single.
*new Test. 1580.
**Mat. 25,55. a woman a Sister, as also the rest of the Apostles, and our Lord's Brethren, and He nameth Cephas (that is Peter) to proue his purpose by the example of the cheefe and Prince of the Apostles, S. Ambro. S. Chrys. Oecum. vpon this place. Cephas?
6. Or I only and Barnabas haue not we power to doe this?
7. Who plaieth the souldiar.
Pastours and Preachers due.
He proueth by the Scriptures and natural reasons that Preachers and Pastours may chalenge their finding of their flocks, though himself for causes had not, nor intended not to vse his right and libertie therin. Who euer plaieth the souldiar at his owne charges? who planteth a vine, and eateth not of the fruit therof? Who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milke of the flock?
8. Speake I these things according to man? Or doth not the Law also say these things?
9. For it is written in the Law of Moyses: Deu. 15,4. Thou shalt not moosel the mouth of the oxe that In that countrie they did tread out their corne with oxen, as we doe thresh it. treadeth out the corne. Why, hath God care of oxen?
10. Or for vs certes doth he say it? For they are written for vs. Because he that eareth, ought to eare in hope: and he that treadeth, in hope to receiue fruit.
11. If we haue sowen vnto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we reape your carnal things?
12. If other be partakers of your power; why not we rather? Howbeit we haue not vsed, this power: but we beare al things, lest we should giue any offence to the Ghospel of Christ.
13. Know you Deu. 18,1. not that they which worke in the holy place, eate the things that are of the holy place: and they that serue τῷ θυσιαστηρία.
The English Bible (1562) here and in the next chapter, saith thrise for altar, temple: most falsely & hertically, against holy altars, which about the time of that translation, were digged downe in England. the altar, participate with the altar?
14. So also our Lord ordained for them that preach the Ghospel, to liue of the Ghospel.
15. But I haue vsed none of these. Neither haue I written these things, that they should be so done in me; for it is good for me to die rather, then that any man should make my glorie void.
16. For & If I euangelize.
Works of supererogation.
If I should preach either of compulsion and seruil feare, or mere necessitie, not hauing otherwise to liue and sustaine my self in this world, I could not looke for reward in Heauen. But now doing it, not only as enioyned me, but also as of loue and charitie, and freely without putting any man to cost, and that voluntarily and of very and of very desire to saue my heares, I shal haue my reward of God, yea and a reward of Supererogation, which is giuen to them that of aboundant charitie doe more in the seruice of God then they be commanded, as S. Augustin expoundeth it. De op. Mon. c. 5. if I euangelize, it is no glorie to me: for necessitie lieth vpon me: for woe is to me if I euangelize not.
17. For if I doe this willingly, I haue reward: but if against my wil, a charge is committed to me.
18. What is my reward then? That preaching the Ghospel, I yeald the Ghospel without cost, that I abuse not my power in the Ghospel.
19. For whereas I was free of al, I made my self the seruant of al: that I might gaine the moe.
20. And I became to the Iewes as a Iew, that I might gaine the Iewes.
21. To them that are vnder the Law, as though I were vnder the Law (whereas my self was not vnder the Law) that I might gaine them that were vnder the Law. To them that were without the Law, as though I were without the Law (whereas I was not without the law of God, but was in the law of Christ) that I might gaine them that were without the Law.
22. To the weake I became weake, that I might gaine the weake. To al men Not by fiction or simulation, but by compassion of the infirmities of al sorts. Aug. ep. 9. I became al things, that I might saue al.
23. And I doe al things for the Ghospel, That I may be partaker.
Doing wel in respect of reward.
A singular place to conuince the Protestants, that wil not haue men worke wel in respect of reward at God's hand: the Apostle confessing expresly that al this that he doth either of duety or of Supererogation aboue duety (as to preach of free-cost, and to worke with his owne hands to get his owne meate and his fellowes, and to abstaine from many lawful things) al is, the rather to attaine the reward of Heauen. that I may be made partaker therof.
24. The Epistle vpon the Sunday of Septuagesme. Know you not that they that run in the race, al run indeed, but one receiueth the price? So run.
Running for the game.
If such as run for a prize, to make themselues more swift, and to win the game, abstaine from many meats and pleasures; what should not we doe or suffer to winne the crowne of glorie, proposed and promised to none but such as run, trauel, and endeauour for it? So run that you may obteine.
25. And euery one the striueth for the maistrie, refraineth himself from al things: and they certes that they may receiue a corruptible crowne: but we an incorruptible.
26. I therfore so run, not as it were at an vncertaine thing: so I fight, not as it were beating the aire:
27. But I chastise.
The goale of euerlasting glorie is not promised nor set forth for only-faith men; for such run at random: but it is the prize of them that chastise and subdue their bodies and fleshly desires by fasting, watching, voluntary pouertie, and other addictions. Lord, how farre is the carnal doctrine of the Sectaries and the manners of these daies from the Apostles spirit! Wherein euen we that be Catholikes, though we doe not condemne with the Protestants these voluntarie afflictions as superfluous (much lesse as superstitious or iniurious to Christ's death,) but much commend them, yet we vse nothing the zeale and diligence of our first Christian Ancestours herein, and therfore are like to be more subiect to God's temporal chastisements, at the least in the next life, then they were. I chastise my body, and bring it into seruitude, Lest perhaps.
S. Paul had not the Protestants securitie of saluation.
Here may we lambs tremble (*saith a holy Father) when the ramme, the guide of the flock, must labour and punish himself (besides al his other miseries adioyned to the preaching of the Ghospel) lest perhaps he misse the marke. A man might thinke S. Paul should be as sure and as confident of God's grace & saluation as we poore wretched caitiues but the Heretikes vnhappy securitie, presumption, and faithles persuasion of their saluation is not fides, Apostolorum, but fides, Dæmonirum, not the faith of the Apostles, but the faith of Diuels.
*Aug. apud Pet. Lomb. in hunc locum. lest perhaps when I haue preached to others, my self become reprobate.