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ventions. The common people among the Papists labour under this error, who yield a blind faith and obedience to their prelates, as if they were the lords of the faith of Christians. Compare 1 Pet. v. 3, and 2 Cor. i. 24.

3. Christians may and ought to submit theniselves according to the flesh (i. e. in things external, doubtful, and temporal) even to the unjust commands of those who are masters according to the flesh. Thus Augustine, in Expos. epist. ad Rom. propos. 74, We must not resist magistrates, although they unjustly take away from us temporal things. And Peter, 1 epis. ii. 18, Be subject to your mosters, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. And thus much concerning the precept and the necessity of obeying: Let us now proceed to the manner.

2. The manner of obeying is described by the Apostle, both negatively and affirmatively ; Negatively, he shews the diseases of servants, from which a Christian should be free: Affirmatively, he prescribes certain precautions opposed to the aforesaid diseases.

Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers.) He touches a disease too familiar to servants, and also its cause. The disease he calls eye-service, i. e. obedience under the eye. They fall under this disease, who, when their master is present and beholding them, sedulously and strenuously perform their duty; hut are idle when he is absent and knows nothing of their proceedings, and (what is worse) they waste and consume their master's substance. Such a servant is described in Luke xii. 45, who said in his lord's absence, My lord delayeth his coming ; and thereupon exercised tyranny over his fellow servants, but he himself eals, and drinks, and is druiken. This is a disease which should be banished far away from Christian servants. Now he points out the cause or fountain of this disease, when he forthwith subjoins,

As men-pleasers.] He is called a man-pleaser, who proposes this scope or end only to himself, to be praised by men, and to please them; in the mean time being no ways solicitous whether he shall effect this by true and lawful obedience, or by counterfeit and pretended means : there

fore, when his inspector is absent, he desists from his work. That servant who is thus resolved to please his master, has no respect in his doings for integrity of conscience, nor the advantage of his master; but then only pretends to be diligent and industrious in performing the business of his master when he perceives that it will answer his own end. Servants of this kind are like actors on the stage. For as comedians, who act in order to please, and study to please that they may thereby obtain benefit, do not mount the stage unless when the people are beholding and looking on: so these men-pleasers move not a hand to labour, unless when they have their masters beholding and applauding them. And thus much concerning the disease of man-pleasing, and its origin, namely, a fraudulent purpose of pleasing. The remedies opposed to it follow.

But with singleness of heart, fearing God.] These words have a manifest antithesis to the afore-mentioned vices. For singleness of heart is opposed to deceitful eye-service ; the true fear of God, to the fraudulent purpose of pleasing men. Therefore, having banished those vices, he would have these contrary virtues to rule. He who serves his master to the eye, seems to have two hearts : one dutiful and pious, which excites him to due obedience in his master's presence; the other an undutiful and impious one, which impels him to idleness and fraud when his master is absent. But he who obeys with singleness of heart, has one heart alone, and ever the same, which moves bim to perform his duty, whether his master be inspecting him or not; because he judges the chief fruit of duty is duty itself. Therefore he should be said to labour and work in singleness of heart, who does it having excluded deceit, hypocrisy, and all disguise of an evil intention under an honest appearance, and who desires to appear the same that he is, and to be the same that he appears. But to this simplicity he joins,

Fearing God.] As the study of deceitfully pleasing men can produce nothing else than eye-service; so the true and genuine fear of God always produces simplicity and sincerity. As, therefore, the cause is connected with the effect, he places the fear of God with singleness of heart : and rightly indeed; For he who fears or respects men alone, will be changeable and inconstant in discharging any office, because he is directed by an uncertain rule: for indeed the fear of man is inconstant, inasmuch as it is incited whilst he is present, it vanishes on his being absent: but the fear of God is constant and firm in the bosoms of the pious, because God is always present to them, and never ought or can be imagined as absent. I am a God at hand, and not a God afar off, Jer. xxiii. 23. This was not unknown to the poet, who said, God seeth thee being near at hand. We have a remarkable example of the fear of God in Joseph: who, when he was solicited to commit adultery by his mistress herself whilst his master was absent and unconscious, would not hearken to her; but repelled her shamelessness by these words, How can I do this wickedness, and sin against God? If he had been only a man-pleaser, he both could and without doubt would have done it: but because he feared God the Supreme Lord, he could not wrong his earthly lord by this injury. Such are all they who obey their masters with singleness of heart, fearing God.

Vers. 23. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the

Lord, and not unto men.

The Apostle proceeds still in describing the manner of lawful obedience : and he adds another condition, namely, that all the duties of servants should be performed, not only in singleness of heart and the fear of God, but also from the heart : and he immediately subjoins the reason; namely, because they serve the Lord, i. e. Christ, not men. Let us therefore consider, first, the condition requisite in all the obedience of servants ; secondly, the reason of the condition required.

Whatever ye do, do it heartily, ex tuxns.] Two things are implied in this one word:

1. That servants willingly and cheerfully do what things are commanded by their masters, not compulsorily and unwillingly. And, indeed, it is very probable, that certain Christian servants, obeyed their masters rather from the necessity of their condition, than from the will, especially unbelieving masters. The Apostle, therefore, endeavours to cure this evil, when he bid them to do all things, not from necessity, but from the heart, heartily. We do any thing heartily, when the mind desires and rejoices that that should be done which the hand does. On the contrary, when the mind murmurs and resists, although the outward act may be performed, yet it is done rather from the body than from the mind. For, as Prosper rightly said, If any thing be done against the will, it is done rather for thee than that thou doest it.

2. By this word it is also signified, that servants ought to obey their masters Met' Šuvoías, that is to say, not only should they be well disposed to the execution of the work, but even possess benevolence of spirit towards the commander of the work. And these for the most part are connected together; for no one performs the work imposed upon him cheerfully, except he who strives and reverences him who commanded the work. And this is expressly laid down in Ephes. vi. 7, MET' {uvoíus douneúortes, with good will doing service. No one obeys better than he who renders obedience from love, says Ambrose. Thus inuch for the condition: Let us now come to the reason of this condition.

2. As to the Lord, and not unto men.] That is, as those who serve the Lord rather and more especially than men, even in such compliances as are rendered to men : for the use or utility of the works has respect to men; the mind of the doer first and especially to God. Therefore, the negative particle in this place is not used absolutely, as though it were wicked to serve men, or to respect men whilst serving them ; but it is corrective and diminutive, shewing that it behoves us to regard the Lord Christ more and first in those compliances, than earthly

masters themselves. There is a well known rule in the exposition of the holy Scriptures, In comparisons that is often denied which is not to be excluded, but only postponed to another : as in Mar. ix. 37, Whosoever receiveih me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me; i. e., he rather receiveth the Father who sent me, than I who am sent; because he receiveth me by that grace. So in this place, to the Lord, and not unto men, i. e. to the Lord Christ, more than to men ; because for the sake of Christ you serve them.

But why in these lower and external observances are they said to obey the Lord more than men, whose commands they are, and whom alone they profit?

First, because they who obey are more the servants of Christ than of earthly masters. For earthly masters buy their servants for silver and gold; Christ buys them with his precious blood : they redeem the body alone, and that for another service; Christ redeems both soul and body for perpetual liberty. They must therefore especially serve Christ.

Secondly, because they obey earthly masters only at the appointment of Christ; therefore they rather obey Christ than them; not unlike as inferior servants who obey a steward, yet are said more to obey their master, at whose will they yield to his steward: he is opposed, if he shall order the contrary to his master.

Thirdly, because Christ himself hath declared that he wishes his servants to obey their masters, and this he strictly commands in his word: and he himself also in his wise governance and by his authority, hath ordained some to service and others to dominion. Whilst faithful servants have respect to all these things, they are rightly said to serve the Lord and not men.

But now, that this is the most valid reason why they should do all things heartily, is gathered from hence, because this supreme Lord, that is to say, Christ, can both inspect the heart, and he is wont to regard the heart, more than the external act: It behoves the person therefore who desires to please him, to do all things heartily. Now let us collect the instructions in one view.

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