The Subordination of Love
1 Corinthians 7:17-24
But as God has distributed to every man, as the Lord has called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.…

Slavery is the subordination of one will to another will under the influence of fear; loyalty is the subordination of one will to another will under the inspiration of love. Here are two soldiers: one has been dragged by conscription and put in the army, and fights for fear, because there is a bayonet behind him; and beside him another man who loves his country, his flag, and he courts danger and death for love's sake — fear there, loyalty here. Here are two pupils sitting side by side in school: one afraid of his teacher, with his mind half on his book and half on his sports, eyeing his teacher and dreading the rod — slave, he! at his side another pupil who reveres the teacher, whose ambition it is to be such a scholar as this teacher and such a man as this man is — loyal pupil, he! Subordination to a larger, nobler, diviner will for reverence' sake and for love's sake is not slavery; it is the great emancipator of the world. The men who have believed in Divine sovereignty have not been the world's slaves, they have been the world's freemen. When a man has a conscience behind his will, and God behind his conscience, no man can put manacles upon his wrists. Submission is not the weak, invertebrate, jellyfish quality that men imagine it to be. Submission to fear is. But submission to love and loyalty is not. Men tell us that if a man yields his will to the sovereign and supreme will of Christ, he will be made gentle, amiable, peaceful, kindly, meek, but the heroic will be taken out of him. Ask history to answer the question. What sort of men were the Scotch Presbyterians? Not famous for meekness and gentleness and invertebrate qualities. What sort of men were the Swiss Calvinists? Not men famous for truckling and letting other people walk over them. What sort of people were the New England Puritans? Men who were strong because their will had behind it the Divine will, and they willed to do the will of Another, A weak will is one thing, and an obedient will is another and a very different thing. To be a Christian is to take the Divine will as your will.

(Lyman Abbott.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

WEB: Only, as the Lord has distributed to each man, as God has called each, so let him walk. So I command in all the assemblies.

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