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matter of Romish rites and forms—trifling enough in themselves—because they implied adherence to false and dangerous


so, too, St. Paul at one time circumcised Timothy, because it implied symbolical holiness. At another he refused to circumcise Titus, because it was then and there reckoned essential to salvation, and for that reason insisted on.

This then, was St. Paul's principle. But to this teaching an objection might be raised. Some may say, It is easy enough to advise : fine doctrine this of conscience and tenderness to weaker brethren-conscientious prejudices. Does the Apostle practise what he preaches? Or is it merely a fine sentiment ? Does he preach to others, himself being a castaway—that is, one who being tested is found wanting ? The whole of the ninth chapter bears on this question. It is an assertion of his own consistency. He proves that he submitted himself for love's sake to restriction, to which he was not in absolute duty bound.

I. The first part of this chapter is occupied in proving his right to certain privileges.

II. His salutary abstinence from many of them.

I. The privileges to which he had a right were domestic solaces and ministerial maintenance. Have we not power to lead about a sister-wife, that is, a wife who was one of the Christian sisterhood ? Have we not, Barnabas and I, power to forbear working? The right to the first of these privileges he proves by the position of the other Apostles. Cephas and others were married men. His right to the second, that of maintenance, he proves by his Apostleship. “ Am I not an Apostle? Am I not free ?” that is, not compelled to labour.

The Apostolic or ministerial right he bases on four arguments : 1. By a principle universally recognised in human practice. A king warring on behalf of a people, wars at their charge—a planter of a vineyard expects to eat of the fruit-a


shepherd is entitled to eat of the milk of the flock. All who toil for the good of others derive an equivalent from them. Gratuitous devotion of life is nowhere considered obligatory. 2. By a principle implied in a scriptural particular enactment, ". Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.” Did God, in this, take special care for oxen ? or was it a great general principle-human, not confined to a single isolated case, but capable of extension to the plougher and the sower ? The ox was provided for, not because it was an ox, but because it was a labourer. 3. By a principle of fairness and *reciprocity, as taught in the second verse, great services establish a claim. One who has saved another's life has a right to recompence. It is not merely a matter of option. If they owed to the Apostle their souls, his time had a claim on their gold. 4. By the law of the Temple Service, the priests were supported by a special provision : animals sacrificed to God belonged partly to them. The whole Jewish ritual—the institution of Levites and priests—implied the principle that there are two kinds of labour-of hand and of brain : and that the toilers with the brain, though not producers, have a claim on the community. They are essential to its well-being, and are not mere drones. By all these arguments he proves his right.

Now it is our business at this time to insist on the right. True the Apostle waived it for himself; but he did this under special circumstances. He felt peculiarly bound, as specially and wonderfully saved. He had a peculiar gift qualifying him for celibacy. He lived in peculiar times, when it was necessary to Nave unmistakeably clean hands, to be above all suspicion of mercenary motives.

But what was a duty in his case might be contrary to duty in another, for example when a family is to be maintained, the forfeiture of the stipend would be distinctly wrong. There is therefore, no shame in receiving hire; there is no disgrace in toil, ng dishonour in receiving wages. It is a false shame and



false delicacy to feel that the fee with hire is a stain, or the receiving of it a mercenary act.

II. We consider secondly, his own valiant abstinence from these privileges and indulgences (v. 12, 15). And first, his

In order to do his work in a free, princely, and not a slavish spirit, he was forced to preach the gospel, and for the preaching of it no thanks were due. If he did it against his will, a dispensation of the gospel was committed to him, and

woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel !” He was bound to do it. But he turned his necessity to glorious gain. That was his “reward,” that is, made him rewardable—by forfeiting pay he got reward : and in doing freely what he must do, he became free. When “I must ” is changed into “I will,” you are free. And so in a profession you dislike-an alliance which is distasteful—a duty that must be done-acquiescence is Christian liberty. It is deliverance from the Law.

His second reason was to gain others. “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” For this was only one instance out of many; his whole life was one great illustration of the principle : free from all, he became the servant of all. He condescended to the mode of looking at life that was peculiar to the Gentiles with respect to their education and associations : to that of the Jews also, when form was expressive of a true reverential spirit. Nor less to the weak and superstitious; he sympathized with their weakness, tried to understand them, and to feel as they felt.

Lastly, consider the general principles of our human life. The conditions of this existence are not that you can run as you will—but they are as the conditions of a race : “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” You cannot go on saying, I have a right to do this, therefore I will do it. You must think how it will appear, not for the sake of mere respect

The cry,

6 Am I my

ability, or merely to obtain a character for consistency, but for the sake of others. And its conditions are as those of a wrestling match-you must be temperate in all things—that is, abstain from even lawful indulgences. For he who trained for the amphitheatre abridged himself of indulgences which, under other circumstances, he might and would have used. Then the Apostle closes his triumphant argument: “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air :”—not at hazard, but taking it coolly, as if sure of victory.

Remember no man liveth to himself. brother's keeper?" is met by St. Paul's clear, steadfast answer, “ You are." Herein is opened out to us the exceeding love of the Christian Life. Heathenism in its highest efforts, contented itself with doing right. Christianity demands that your right shall not lead others wrong; that it shall do no violence to that most sacred and delicate thing, a Human Conscience.

There is another inference from this chapter, which is entirely incidental. In the first part of the chapter, St. Paul introduces the name of Barnabas as associated with himself as his fellow worker. Now in earlier life, these two men had quarrelled about Mark, the nephew of Barnabas; and from that time to this, outwardly there had been an estrangement; but now there comes forth this most touching recollection of their past friendship. Let us learn from this what it is that binds men truly together. It is not union in earthly pleasures, for the companions of our pleasures are separated from us, and we look back to those only with pain and shame. That which separated these two men was, in one a sterner sense of duty; in the other, a tenderness of love; but that which bound them as one for ever was self-sacrifice. If there were too much tenderness in Barnabas, there was no love of gold, for he like St. Paul, preached the Gospel without charge. Union in God through the sacrifice of self—this is alone the indissoluble union; all others are for time.

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HIS chapter closes with a return to the subject which had

been already discussed in the eighth and ninth chapters. Obviously the intermediate argument is connected with it, although this connection is not clear at first sight. St. Paul had laid down a principle that Christian liberty is limited by Christian charity : “All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient." Then he had shown that he himself obeyed the same law which he imposed on his converts. He had abridged his own liberty: he had foregone his right to domestic solaces and ministerial support: he had not preached to others, and been himself a castaway.

But then this very word “castaway" brought the subject into a more serious light, and the idea contained in it is the hinge on which this chapter turns.

There was much "light and liberty” in Corinth. Large words were there, and a large comprehension of the Gospel scheme. But it was light without warmth or life, and liberty without charity. There were large words without large action, and a faith which worked not by love. And all this gave rise to serious misgivings in the Apostle's mind. This boasted Church of Corinth, with its sharp and restless intellect, would it stand? Were the symptoms it exhibited those of bursting health or only of active disease ? So thought St. Paul, and therefore the key-note of the whole chapter is the twelfth verse; " Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

Consider then, I. The danger of the Corinthian Church.

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