16. For he himself also, with an eye to the like necessities of saints, who, although they obey his precepts, “that with silence they work and eat their own bread,” may yet from many causes stand in need of somewhat by way of supplement to the like sustenance, therefore, after he had thus said, teaching and premonishing, “Now them which are such we command and beseech in our Lord Jesus Christ, that with silence they work and eat their own bread;”46 2 Thess. iii. 12, 13 yet, lest they which had whereof they might supply the needs of the servants of God, should hence take occasion to wax lazy, providing against this he hath straightway added, “But ye, brethren, become not weak in showing beneficence.”47 Infirmari benefacientes And when he was writing to Titus, saying, “Zenas the lawyer and Apollos do thou diligently send forward, that nothing may be wanting to them;”48 Tit. iii. 13, 14 that he might show from what quarter nothing ought to be wanting to them, he straightway subjoined, “But let ours also learn to maintain good works49 Bonis operibus præesse, καλῶν ἔργων προΐστασθαι. E.V. in margin, “profess honest trades.” for necessary use, that they be not unfruitful.” In the case of Timothy also,50 1 Tim. i. 2 whom he calls his own most true51 “Germanissimum.” 1 Tim. v. 23 son, because he knew him weak of body, (as he shows, in advising him not to drink water, but to use a little wine for his stomach’s sake and his often infirmities,) lest then haply, because in bodily work he could not labor, he being unwilling to stand in need of daily food at their hands, unto whom he ministered the Gospel, should seek some business in which the stress of his mind would become entangled; (for it is one thing to labor in body, with the mind free, as does a handicraftsman, if he be not fraudulent and avaricious and greedy of his own private gain; but another thing, to occupy the mind itself with cares of collecting money without the body’s labor, as do either dealers, or bailiffs, or undertakers, for these with care of the mind conduct their business, not with their hands do work, and in that regard occupy their mind itself with solicitude of getting;) lest then Timothy should fall upon such like ways, because from weakness of body he could not work with his hands, he thus exhorts, admonishes, and comforts him: “Labor,” saith he, “as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man, going a warfare for God, entangleth himself with secular business; that he may please Him to whom he hath proved himself.52 Cui se probavit For he that striveth for masteries, is not crowned except he strive lawfully.”53 2 Tim. ii. 3–6 Hereupon, lest the other should be put to straits, saying, “Dig I cannot, to beg I am ashamed,”54 Luke xvi. 3. [See R.V.] he adjoined, “The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruits:” according to that which he had said to the Corinthians, “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Who feedeth a flock, and partaketh not of the milk of the flock?”55 1 Cor. ix. 7 Thus did he make to be without care a chaste evangelist, not to that end working as an evangelist that he might sell the Gospel, but yet not, having strength to supply unto himself with his own hands the necessities of this life; for that he should understand whatever being necessary for himself he was taking of them whom as provincials he as a soldier was serving, and whom as a vineyard he was culturing, or as a flock was feeding, to be not matter of mendicity, but of power.
16. Paulus praecipiens operari servos Dei, non vult tamen eorum necessitates minus curari a fidelibus. Labor servis Dei eligendus qui animo libero exerceatur, sine cura et cupiditate. Nam et ipse propter ejusmodi necessitates sanctorum, qui quamvis praeceptis ejus obtemperent, ut cum silentio operantes suum panem manducent, possunt tamen multis ex causis indigere supplemento aliquo talium sustentationum, cum dixisset talia docens et praemonens, His autem qui ejusmodi sunt, praecipimus et obsecramus in Domino Jesu Christo, ut cum silentio operantes suum panem manducent; ne illi qui habebant unde necessaria servis Dei praeberent, hac occasione pigrescerent, providens continuo subjecit, Vos autem, fratres, nolite infirmari benefacientes (II Thess. III, 12, 13). Et ad Titum cum scriberet, dicens, Zenam legisperitum et Apollo sollicite praemitte, ut nihil illis desit; ut ostenderet unde illis nihil deesse deberet, continuo subjunxit, Discant autem et nostri bonis operibus praeesse ad necessarios usus, ne sint infructuosi (Tit. III, 13, 14). Timotheum etiam, quem dicit germanissimum filium, quoniam sciebat corpore infirmum, sicut ostendit, monens eum ne aquam biberet, sed modico vino uteretur, propter stomachum et frequentes suas infirmitates (I Tim. V, 23); quia in opere corporali laborare non poterat, ne forte cum indigere nollet victu quotidiano ab eis quibus Evangelium ministrabat , aliqua sibi negotia quaereret, quibus animi ejus implicaretur intentio (aliud est enim corpore laborare animo libero, sicut opifex, si non sit fraudulentus et avarus, et privatae rei avidus; aliud autem ipsum animum occupare curis colligendae sine corporis labore pecuniae, sicut sunt vel negotiatores, vel procuratores, vel conductores: cura enim praesunt, non manibus operantur, ideoque ipsum animum suum occupant habendi sollicitudine): Timotheum ergo, ne in talia incideret, quia per infirmitatem corporis manibus operari non poterat, sic exhortatur, monet et consolatur: Labora, inquit, sicut bonus miles Christi Jesu. Nemo militans Deo implicat se negotiis saecularibus, ut placeat cui se probavit. Nam qui in agone contendit, non coronatur nisi legitime certaverit. Hic ne ille pateretur angustias, dicens, Fodere non possum, mendicare confundor (Luc. XVI, 3); adjunxit, Laborantem agricolam primum oportet de fructibus percipere (II Tim. II, 6): secundum illud quod ad Corinthios dixerat, Quis militat suis stipendiis unquam? Quis plantat vineam, et de fructu ejus non edit? Quis pascit gregem, et de lacte gregis non percipit (I Cor. IX, 7)? Fecit ita securum castum evangelistam, non ad hoc evangelizantem ut venderet Evangelium, sed tamen huic vitae necessaria suis sibi exhibere manibus non valentem; ut intelligeret, quod necessarium sibi sumebat ab eis quibus tanquam provincialibus militabat, et quos tanquam vineam cultura exercebat vel tanquam gregem 0562 pascebat, non esse mendicitatem, sed potestatem.