8. But let us return to the order of our discourse, and the whole of the passage itself of the Epistle let us diligently consider. “Have we not,” saith he, “leave20 Licentiam to eat and to drink? have we not leave to lead about a woman, a sister?” What leave meant he, but what the Lord gave unto them whom He sent to preach the kingdom of heaven, saying, “Those things which are (given) of them, eat ye;21 Luke x. 7. “Ea quæ ab ipsis sunt.” for the workman is worthy of his hire;” and proposing Himself as an example of the same power, to Whom most faithful women did of their means minister such necessaries? But the Apostle Paul hath done more, from his fellow-Apostles alleging a proof of this license permitted of the Lord. For not as finding fault hath he subjoined, “As do also the other Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas;” but that hence he might show that this which he would not accept was a thing which, that it was lawful for him to accept was proved by the wont of the rest also his fellow-soldiers. “Or I only and Barnabas, have we not power to forbear working?” Lo, he hath taken away all doubt even from the slowest hearts, that they may understand of what working he speaks. For to what end saith he, “Or I only and Barnabas, have we not power to forbear working?” but for that all evangelists and ministers of God’s word had power received of the Lord, not to work with their hands, but to live by the Gospel, working only spiritual works in preaching of the kingdom of heaven and edifying of the peace of the Church? For no man can say that it is of that very spiritual working that the Apostle said, “Or I only and Barnabas, have we not power to forbear working?” For this power to forbear working all those had: let him say then, who essays to deprave and pervert precepts Apostolical; let him say, if he dares that all evangelists received of the Lord power to forbear preaching the Gospel. But if this is most absurd and mad to say, why will they not understand what is plain to all, that they did indeed receive power not to work, but works bodily, whereby to get a living, because “the workman is worthy of his hire,” as the Gospel speaks. It is not therefore that Paul and Barnabas only had not power to forbear working; but that all alike had this power of which these availed not themselves in “laying out more” upon the Church; so as in those places where they preached the Gospel they judged to be meet for the weak. And for this reason, that he might not seem to have found fault with his fellow-Apostles, he goes on to say: “Who goeth a warfare at any time at his own charges? Who feedeth a flock, and of the milk of the flock partaketh not? Speak I these things as a man? Saith not the Law the same? For in the law of Moses it is written, Thou shall not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God care for oxen? Or saith he it for our sake altogether? For our sakes truly is it written, because he that plougheth ought to plough in hope, and he that thresheth in hope of partaking of the fruits.”22 1 Cor. ix. 7–10. [See R.V.] By these words the Apostle Paul sufficiently indicates, that it was no usurping unto themselves of aught beyond their due on the part of his fellow-Apostles, that they wrought not bodily, whence they might have the things which to this life are necessary, but as the Lord ordained, should, living by the Gospel, eat bread gratuitously given of them unto whom they were preaching a gratuitous grace. Their charges, namely, they did like soldiers receive, and of the fruit of the vineyard by them planted, they did, as need was, freely gather; and of the milk of the flock which they fed, they drank; and of the threshing-floor on which they threshed, they took their meat.
8. Potestatem non operandi datam Apostolis, esse intelligendam de opere corporali. Sed ad ordinem redeamus, ac totum ipsum Epistolae locum diligenter consideremus. Numquid, inquit, non habemus licentiam manducandi et bibendi? Numquid non habemus licentiam sororem mulierem circumducendi? Quam licentiam dixit, nisi quam Dominus dedit eis quos ad praedicandum regnum coelorum misit, dicens, Ea quae ab ipsis sunt manducate: dignus est enim operarius mercede sua; et se ipsum proponens ad ejusdem potestatis exemplum, cui fidelissimae mulieres talia necessaria de suis facultatibus ministrabant? Amplius autem fecit apostolus Paulus, ut de coapostolis suis documentum adhiberet hujus licentiae a Domino permissae. Neque enim reprehendens subjecit, Sicut et caeteri Apostoli, et fratres Domini, et Cephas; sed ut hinc ostenderet hoc se accipere noluisse, quod ei licere accipere caeterorum etiam commilitonum ejus more probaretur. An ego solus et Barnabas non habemus potestatem non operandi? Ecce abstulit omnem dubitationem etiam tardissimis cordibus, ut intelligant de qua operatione dicat. Utquid enim ait, An ego solus et Barnabas non habemus potestatem non operandi? nisi quia omnes evangelistae et ministri verbi Dei habebant potestatem a Domino acceptam, ut non operarentur manibus suis, sed ex Evangelio viverent, operantes tantummodo spiritualia in praedicatione regni coelorum, et aedificatione pacis Ecclesiae. Neque enim quisquam potest dicere de ipsa spirituali operatione dixisse Apostolum, An ego solus et Barnabas non habemus potestatem non operandi? Hanc enim potestatem non operandi omnes illi habebant: dicat ergo qui conatur praecepta apostolica in sententiam suam depravare atque pervertere; dicat, si audet, omnes evangelistas a Domino accepisse potestatem non evangelizandi. At si hoc absurdissimum et insanissimum est dicere, cur nolunt intelligere quod omnibus pateat, accepisse quidem illos potestatem non operandi, sed opera corporalia quibus victum quaererent, quia dignus est operarius cibo suo et mercede sua, sicut Evangelium loquitur? Non ergo soli Paulus et Barnabas habebant potestatem non operandi; sed omnes pariter habebant hanc potestatem, qua isti non utebantur, amplius impendendo Ecclesiae, sicut in illis locis ubi evangelizabant, infirmis congruere judicabant. Et ideo, ne coapostolos suos reprehendisse videretur, subjungit et dicit: Quis militat suis stipendiis unquam? Quis pascit gregem, et de lacte gregis non percipit? Numquid secundum hominem haec loquor? An Lex non haec dicit? In lege enim Moysi scriptum est: Bovi trituranti os non infrenabis. Numquid de bobus pertinet ad Deum? An propter nos omnino dicit? Propter nos enim scriptum est, quia debet in spe 0555 qui arat arare, et triturans in spe fructus participandi . His verbis satis indicat apostolus Paulus, non sibi aliquid usurpasse ultra debitum coapostolos suos, quia non operabantur corporaliter, unde haberent huic vitae necessaria , sed, sicut Dominus constituti, ex Evangelio viventes panem gratuitum manducarent ab eis quibus gratuitam gratiam praedicabant. Stipendium enim suum tanquam milites accipiebant, et de vineae per eos plantatae fructu, quod opus erat, libere decerpebant; et de gregis quem pascebant, lacte potabant; et ex area quam triturabant, cibum sumebant.