Galatians 1:10
Am I now seeking the approval of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Sermons
A Ministerial AlternativeProfessor Robertson Smith.Galatians 1:10
Apostolic UnpopularityEmilius Bayley, B. D.Galatians 1:10
Applause of Conscience BestA. Faringdon.Galatians 1:10
Attempts At Men-Pleasing not Always SuccessfulGalatians 1:10
Christian FirmnessPrebendary Griffith.Galatians 1:10
Godless MinistersT. Guthrie, D. D.Galatians 1:10
Man-Pleasing a Vice in a Moral ReformerNorth British ReviewGalatians 1:10
Men-PleasingTrapp.Galatians 1:10
Men-Pleasing -- its CureGeo. Macdonald.Galatians 1:10
Men-Pleasing -- its DangerSteele.Galatians 1:10
Men-Pleasing CondemnedA. Faringdon.Galatians 1:10
Men-Pleasing the Source of UnfaithfulnessT. Manton.Galatians 1:10
Ministerial Faithfulness and DiscretionEmilius Bayley, B. D.Galatians 1:10
Our Duty with Respect to Public OpinionCanon Liddon.Galatians 1:10
Persuading GodProfessor Robertson Smith.Galatians 1:10
Pleasing Men or Serving ChristT. Guthrie, D. D.Galatians 1:10
Reward of Men-PleasingGalatians 1:10
Right and Wrong Men-PleasingBishop Christopher Wordsworth.Galatians 1:10
Sinners not to be FlatteredA. Faringdon.Galatians 1:10
The Alternative to Men-PleasingT. Watson.Galatians 1:10
The Servant of ChristGalatians 1:10
The Servant of ChristCanon Liddon.Galatians 1:10
Truth Better than FlatteryA. Faringdon.Galatians 1:10
Two Earnest QuestionsJ. P. Lange, D. D.Galatians 1:10
Uncomfortable PreachingArchbishop Whately.Galatians 1:10
Occasion of the EpistleR. Finlayson Galatians 1:6-10
Paul's Intolerance of Any Other GospelR.M. Edgar Galatians 1:6-10
The frightful excesses of unchristian intolerance that disgrace the history of the Church have led to a revulsion of feeling in which indifference is honoured with the name of charity. The advocate of any kind of intolerance is regarded with aversion as a bigot and a persecutor. But the duty of intolerance at the right and necessary time needs to be more clearly discerned.

I. THE GROUNDS OF THE DUTY OF INTOLERANCE.

1. The exclusive claims of the gospel. There is but one gospel; a rival is a counterfeit. There is room for but one; a rival is a usurper. For:

(1) The gospel of Christ is a declaration of facts, and facts once accomplished cannot vary; it is a revelation of truth, and truth is intolerant of error; the highest truth, too, is one.

(2) The gospel of Christ is the most perfect satisfaction of our needs. Another gospel could not be a better one, for this is all we want. Nothing can be better than forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Christ.

(3) The gospel of Christ is the only possible gospel. God would not sacrifice his Son to death if redemption were to be obtained at a less cost. The gospel is the expression of the love and will of God. As such it is the eternal voice of an immutable Being.

2. The honour of Christ. He who proposes another gospel than that of Christ crucified and Christ risen, directly insults the Name of our Lord. Loyalty to Christ compels intolerance for all enmity to him. That is no true Christian charity which has no regard for the rights of the Lord, who should have the first claim upon our love.

3. The good of men. The gospel offers the highest blessings to men in the greatest need. It is the one anchor of hope to the despairing, the one comfort to the miserable, the one salvation for the test. If it be true, we cannot permit so precious a boon to be lost through the usurpation of a false gospel. The charity that would do this is like that which would allow multitudes of sick people to perish through the maltreatment of a quack, rather than be so unkind to him as to show the least intolerance of his delusions.

II. THE LIMITS OF THE DUTY OF INTOLERANCE.

1. The rights of the gospel, not the claims of the preacher. St. Paul has just been asserting his claims. Here, however, he entirely subordinates them to iris message. Intolerance commonly springs from personal jealousy or party spirit, and therefore it is generally so evil a thing. We are not to be intolerant for ourselves, only for the truth. The truth is infinitely more important than the teacher. The rank, the character, the ability of the man should count for nothing if he is unfaithful to the Christian truth.

2. The gospel itself, not minor accessories.

(1) Great liberty must be left in regard to details, both because these often lie on debatable gourd and because they are less important than charity. There is a point beyond which more harm will be done in disturbing the peace of the Church and wounding our fellow-Christians than good in establishing minor truths against all opposition.

(2) Account also must be taken of varying views of the gospel. Even the apostles did not state it in the same words; Peter and Paul, John and James thus vary, though with unbroken loyalty to the central truth as it is in Jesus. Language, habits of thought, aspects of truth from different standpoints necessarily present great variety. Let us see that we do not condemn a man for his clothes.

3. Spiritual intolerance, not physical persecution. St. Paul pronounces a curse on the enemy of the gospel. But he does not draw the sword upon him. He leaves him with God. There if he have erred, he will be rightly judged. We have no excuse, then, for the exercise of violence against those whom we regard as the enemies of Christ, but only for bold testimony against their errors - leaving all else in the hands of God. In conclusion, see that

(1) we receive the one true gospel, and

(2) faithfully declare it, and

(3) firmly resist manifest perversions of it. - W. F. A.







For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men?I. THAT THE GOVERNING PRINCIPLE AND MOTIVE OF THE RELIGIOUS LIFE, IS A PRACTICAL CONCERN NOT FOR THE FAVOUR OF MAN, BUT FOR THAT OF GOD. "Do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." The particle "now" seems to contrast his present line of conduct as a Christian with his former procedure as a Pharisee. Here we perceive, therefore, the high standard of moral action which Christianity enabled St. Paul to propose to himself. His object was "not to please men, but God." Conventional utility is the standard of the world; and to please each other, so far as mutual interests can be advanced by the process, has been, time out of mind, the highest object contemplated in the codes of worldly men. But the Christian standard is far higher; and its results upon society, wherever it is acted upon, are invaluable. In every inquiry as to practical duty, Christianity brings the idea of the Supreme Being immediately before the mind
I. THE HUMOUR OF DESIRING TO BE PLEASED, AND THE DANGER OF IT. A parasite is more welcome to us than a prophet. He is our apostle who will bring familiar and beloved arguments to persuade us to that to which we have persuaded ourselves already, and further our motion to that to which we are flying. Men would rather be cozened with a pleasing lie, than saved with a frowning and threatening truth. The causes from which this desire to be pleased proceedeth, and its hitter effects. 1.(1) And, first, it hath no better original than defect, than a wilful and negligent failing in those duties to which nature and religion have obliged us, a leanness and emptiness of the soul, which, not willing to fill itself with righteousness, filleth itself with air, with false counsels and false attestations, with miserable comforts. "It is a thing soon done, and requireth no labour nor study, to be pleased." We desire it as sick men do health, as prisoners do liberty, as men on the rack do ease: for a troubled spirit is an ill disease; not to have our will is the worst imprisonment; and to "condemn a man's self in that which he alloweth" and maketh his choice (Romans 14:22), is to put himself upon the rack. We may see it in our civil affairs and matters of lesser alloy: when anything lieth upon us as a burden, how willing are we to cast it off! When we are poor, we dream of riches, and make up "that which is not" with that which may be (Proverbs 23:5). When we have no house to hide our heads, we build a palace in the air. We are unwilling to suffer, but we are willing, nay, desirous, to be eased. And so it falleth out in the managing of our spiritual estate: we do as the apostle exhorteth (though not to this end), "cast away everything that presseth down" (Hebrews 12:1); but so cast it away as to leave it heavier than before; prefer a momentary ease, which we beg or borrow or force from things without us, before that peace which nothing can bring in but that grief and serious repentance which we put off with hands and words as a thing irksome and unpleasing.(2) And thus, in the second place, proceedeth even from the force and power of conscience within us, which, ii we will not hearken to it as a friend, will turn Fury, and pursue and lash us; and if we will not obey her dictates, will make us feel her whip. This is our judge and our executioner.

2. Let us now see the danger of this humour, and the bitter effects it doth produce.(1) And, first, this desire to be pleased placeth us out of all hope of succour, leaveth us like an army besieged when the enemy hath cut off all relief. It is a curse itself, and carrieth a train of curses with it. It maketh us blind to ourselves, and not fit to make use of other men's eyes.(2) For, in the second place, this humour, this desire to be pleased, doth not make up our defects, but maketh them greater; doth not make vice a virtue,but sin more sinful. For he is a villain indeed that will be a villain, and yet be thought a saint; such a one as God will spew out of His mouth.(3) For, in the third place, this humour, this desire to be pleased, doth not take the whip from conscience, but enrageth her; layeth her asleep, to awake with more terror. For conscience may be "seared" indeed (1 Timothy 4:2), but cannot be abolished; may sleep, but cannot die, but is as immortal as the soul itself. Conscience followeth our knowledge; and it is impossible to chase that away, impossible to be ignorant of that which I cannot but know. It is not conscience but our lusts that make the music.

II. We proceed now to lay open the other evil humour, of pleasing men, Which is more visible and eminent in the text. And indeed to desire to be pleased and to be ready to please, saith Isidore Pelusiot, "to flatter and to be flattered," bear that near relation the one to the other that we never meet them asunder. It is the devil's net, in which he catcheth two at once. If there be an itching ear, you cannot miss but you shall find a flattering tongue. If the king of Sicily delight in geometry, the whole court shall swarm with mathematicians. If Nero be lascivious, his palace shall be turned into a stew or brothelhouse, or worse. And, first, we must not imagine that St. Paul doth bring in here a cynical morosity or a Nabal-like churlishness; that none may speak to us, and we speak nothing but words; that we should "make a noise like a dog, and so go round about the city" (Psalm 59:6-14); that we should be as thorns in our brethren's sides, ever pricking and galling them. What, then, is that which here St. Paul con. demneth? Look into the text, and you shall see Christ and men as it were two opposite terms. If the man be in error, I must not please him in his error; for Christ is truth: if the man be in sin, I must not please him; for Christ is righteousness. So when men stand in opposition to Christ, when men will neither hear His voice nor follow Him in His ways, but delight themselves in their own, and rest and please themselves in error as in truth, to awake them out of this pleasant dream, we must trouble them, we must thunder to them, we must disquiet and displease them. For who would give an opiate pill to these lethargies? To please men, then, is to tell a sick man that he is well; a weak man, that he is strong; an erring man, that he is orthodox; instead of purging out the noxious humour, to nourish and increase it; to smooth and strew the ways of error with roses, that men may walk with ease and delight, and even dance to their destruction; to find out their palate, and to fit it; to envenom that more which they affect, as Agrippina gave Claudius the emperor poison in a mushroom. What a seditious flatterer is in a commonwealth, that a false apostle is in the Church. They are as loud for the truth as the best champions she hath; but either subtract from it, or add to it, or pervert and corrupt it, that so the truth itself may help to usher in a lie. When the truth itself doth not please us, any lie will please us; but then it must carry with it something of the truth. For instance: to acknowledge Christ, but with the law, is a dangerous mixture: it was the error of the Galatians here.

III. You see now what it is to please men, and from whence it proceedeth, from whence it springeth, even from that bitter root, the root of all evil, the love of the world. Let us now behold that huge distance and inconsistency which is between these two, the pleasing of men, and the service of Christ: "If I yet please men, I am not the servant of Christ."

1. And, first, we cannot do both, not serve men and Christ, no more than you can draw the same straight line to two points, to touch them both (Matthew 6:24).

2. Secondly. The servant must have his eye upon his master; and as he seeth him do, must do likewise. Power cannot flatter; and mercy is so intent on its work that it thinketh of nothing else. To work wonders to please men were the greatest wonder of all.Application:

1. For conclusion, then: Let them who are set apart to lead others in the way of truth and righteousness take heed.

2. And of the person by His doctrine.

3. And therefore, in the last place, let us all, both teachers and hearers, purge out this evil humour of pleasing and being pleased: and "let us," as the apostle exhorteth, "consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works" (Hebrews 10:24). Let us "speak truth every one to his neighbour; for we are members one of another" (Ephesians 4:25).

(A. Faringdon.)

— One applause of conscience is worth all the triumphs in the world.

(A. Faringdon.)

Thou shalt not see thy brother sin; but "thou shalt rebuke" and save thy brother (Leviticus 19:17). Common charity requireth thus much at thy hand: and to make question of it is as if thou shouldst ask with Cain, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9). This is the true and surest method of pleasing one another. For flattery, like the bee, carrieth honey in its mouth, but hath a sting in its tail; but truth is sharp and bitter at first, but at last more pleasant than manna. He that would seal up thy lips for the truth which thou speakest, will at last kiss those lips, and bless God in the day of His visitation. And this if we do, we shall "please one another to edification" (Romans 15:2), and not unto ruin. And thus all shall be pleased; the Physician, that he hath his intent, and the patient in his health: the strong shall be pleased in the weak, and the weak in the strong; the wise in the ignorant, and the ignorant in the wise: and Christ shall be well pleased to see brethren thus walk together in unity, strengthening and inciting one another in the ways of righteousness; and when we have thus walked hand-in-hand together to our journey's end, He shall admit us into His presence, where there "is fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore" (Psalm 16:11).

(A. Faringdon.)

We should not mould and fit our best part to their worst, our reason to their lust; nor make our fancy the elaboratory to work out such essays as may please and destroy them. We should not foment the anger of the revenger to consume him, nor help the covetous to bury himself alive, nor the ambitious to break his neck, nor the schismatic to rend the seamless coat of Christ, nor the seditious to swim to hell in a river of blood: but we should bind the revenger's hands, break the miser's idols, bring down the ambitious to the dust, make up those rents which faction hath made, and confine the seditious to his own sphere and place. When the world pleaseth us, we are as willing to please the world, and we make it our stage, and act our parts; we call ourselves "friends," and are but parasites; we call ourselves "prophets," and are but wizards and jugglers; we call ourselves "apostles," and are seducers; we call ourselves "brethren," though it be in evil, and, like Hippocrates' twins, we live and die together. We flatter, and are flattered; we are blind, and leaders of the blind, and fall together with them into the ditch.

(A. Faringdon.)

The gospel is unpopular(1) Because of its holiness. It is the expression of the will of the All-holy, and demands submission and conformity to that will. Issuing from the fountain of purity, it calls for purity in every part. Only those who have the love of God in their hearts can appreciate and welcome it. To all others it must always be hateful.(2) Because of its mysteriousness. Christ can only be apprehended by those who receive Him in faith; to others He is an enigma, and His salvation a thing beyond understanding; and men love not that which they are unable to comprehend. Pride of intellect protests against the gospel's admitted mysteriousness.(3) Because of its exclusiveness. It claims to be the one true system, and that all others are false; a claim which makes enemies of every other religion's votaries, and of those who — caring for no religion themselves — would tolerate all.(4) Because of its freeness. Men would prefer if the gospel asked for something at their hands, recognized that there was such a thing as human merit. A free gospel deals a blow to their self.conceit and self-satisfaction.(5) Because of its aggressiveness. It is not content to leave men to themselves; and they resent every attempt at interference with them. The gospel offers no terms of compromise. In the name of God it demands unconditional submission. It aims at universal conquest. Hence its unpopularity with the world.

(Emilius Bayley, B. D.)

I. CHRISTIAN FIRMNESS IS NOT SELF-WILLED INDIFFERENCE TO HUMAN OPINION. On the contrary, the Christian is anxious to please and yield to others wherever his own interests alone are concerned. Many things he might rightly claim, he will shrink from pressing; many things that he may suffer, he will quietly submit to, rather than irritate the minds of men against the piety that he professes, or close the door against the future possibility of being the instrument of their conversion. Self-renunciation for the honour of God, or for the good of man, is the special spirit of a Christian. Nay, more; he will spare the feelings and humours of men whenever he lawfully can, doing things in their way rather than his own, being careful of appearances as well as realities. (Romans 12:17, 18; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 1 Timothy 3:7; etc.)

II. NOR IS IT SELFISH INATTENTION TO HUMAN WELFARE. Salvation is not to be achieved in isolated effort, but is wrought out in the very nourishment and growth of those affections, occupations, and energies, which our duties in the world produce. There cannot be a genuine desire to save our own soul, a true Christian spirit of personal piety, which will not, from its very nature, expand beyond the confines of our own bosom, and overflow in copious streams towards all with whom we have to do.

III. IT IS SIMPLY PARAMOUNT OBEDIENCE TO DIVINE AUTHORITY. Pleasing men must always be subordinate to pleasing God. Every concession must be with a reservation of our Master's rights and privileges, honour and authority; every treaty must be so, for it is only good as it may be acknowledged and ratified by Him. All things may be tried for Him; hut nothing listened to against Him.

(Prebendary Griffith.)

We are not to please men, be they never so many or great, out of flatness of spirit, so as, for the pleasing of them, either go to neglect any part of our duty towards God and Christ; or(2) to go against our own conscience, by doing any dishonest or unlawful thing; or,(3) to do them harm whom we would please, by confirming them in their sins, humouring them in their peevishness, or but even cherishing their weakness; for weakness, though it may be borne with, yet it must not be cherished.(4) But then, by yielding to their infirmities for a time, in hope to win them, by patiently expecting their conversion, or strengthening, by restoring them with the spirit of meekness, with meekness instructing them that oppose themselves, should we seek to please all men.

(Bishop Christopher Wordsworth.)

1. Which seekest thou most — man's favour, or God's favour?

2. Which is weightier — man's favour, or God's favour?

(J. P. Lange, D. D.)

The love of popularity is a temptation from which few of us probably are free. The conscientious minister is constantly reminded of the fact that "the fear of man bringeth a snare." In our public and private ministrations we often have to advocate truths which are uncongenial and unwelcome to many of those to whom we minister. A clear, decided, pointed application of God's Word, must be unwelcome to the worldly, the careless, the self-indulgent, and the self. righteous. But we are naturally reluctant to forfeit the good opinion of others. Hence the temptation to modify, if not to hold back, offensive truths; to present our message, not in its naked simplicity, but in such a manner as shall disarm opposition; to avoid anything like close dealing with the conscience; to busy ourselves only with pointless generalities; to seek rather to please the imagination and gratify the taste, than to awaken conscience, to convince of sin, and to urge the surrender of heart and life to Christ. It is easy enough, by a little contrivance, to make our gospel popular. It is possible to teach truth, and nothing but truth, and yet to give no offence. We have only to modify our statements, or to generalize our applications, and the thing is done. We have but to omit an unpalatable truth, or so to state it as that none need apply it to themselves, and no objection will be raised. Men will tolerate, nay, approve of, a modified system of evangelical truth, to whom the entire presentment of such truth would be unacceptable. Four times, in a single verse, is the prophet warned against this temptation: "And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words;... be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks" (Ezekiel 2:6). And the Apostle Paul was fully conscious of the danger when he said, "I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). At the same time; we must be careful that our unpopularity springs from legitimate causes: from the unreasonable opposition of the world to the truth of God, not from the just dislike of men to offensive peculiarities or positive faults. A Christian may be unpopular because he is vain, conceited, selfish, ungenial, narrow-minded, dogmatic, or the like. He may impute his unpopularity to his religion; whereas it comes rather from his want of religion: it originates not in the doctrine which he professes, but in his failure "to adorn" that doctrine in his daily life. Want of tact, again, in Christians often provokes opposition. The attempt to press the claims of religion upon others at unseasonable times, the employment of technical religious phraseology, the use of theological words and expressions not commonly heard in society, the thrusting of religious idiosyncrasies upon the unwilling and unsympathizing, are causes which frequently operate to the detriment of the principles which we have at heart. Christians should beware of mistaking forwardness for fidelity, and an obtrusive familiarity with sacred things for the honest outflowings of the heart full of love to God and man. Christian prudence is as needful, as worldly compromise is dangerous and wrong. In a word, we must not court unpopularity, or provoke it needlessly, or think that it never arises from any fault of our own. But, on the other hand, we must not dread it, lest we place ourselves among those who "love the praise of men more than the praise of God." Ministers must ask, not how they may best please their congregations, but how they may save souls; not how they may stand well with the world, but how they may best serve their Master.

(Emilius Bayley, B. D.)

Theodoric, an Arian king, did exceedingly affect a certain deacon, although orthodox. The deacon, thinking to please him better, and get preferment, became an Arian, which, when the king understood he changed his love into hatred, and caused his head to be struck from his shoulders.

(Trapp.)

A railway-gate keeper who, one cold night required every passenger to show his ticket before passing through to the train, and was rewarded with considerable grumbling and protesting, was told, "You are a very unpopular man to-night." "I only care to be popular with one man," was the reply, "and that is the superintendent." He might have pleased the passengers, disobeyed orders, and lost his position. He was too wise for that; his business was to please one man — the man who hired him, gave him his orders, and rewarded him for faithfulness, and who would discharge him for disobedience. The servant of Christ has many opportunities to make himself unpopular. There are multitudes who would be glad to have him relax the strictness of his rules. If he is their servant they demand that he should consult their wishes. But if he serves them, he cannot serve the Lord. "No man can serve two masters." He who tries to be popular with the world, will lose his popularity with the Lord. He will make friends, but he will lose the one Friend who is above all others. He will win plaudits, but he will not hear the gracious word, "Well done!" A faithful servant: — Not the least interesting of the monuments I saw amid the venerable ruins of Rome was one which held within its broken urn some half-burned bones. They were the ashes of one, who, as appeared from the inscription on the tablet, had belonged to Caesar's household, and to the memory of whose virtues as a faithful, honest, and devoted servant, the emperor himself had ordered that marble to be raised.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

I. TO PLEASE MEN by —

1. Watering down the doctrines of the gospel until they mean whatever hearers like to make them.

2. Toning down the precepts of the gospel until they are undistinguishable from the maxims of worldly policy.

3. Introducing secular expedients to attract audiences over whom an attenuated gospel has host its power.

4. Sinking the stern preacher of righteousness in the bland mover-about in society.

II. TO SERVE CHRIST by —

1. The proclamation of unalterable trust.

2. The insistence of, and personal conformity to, a high moral standard.

3. The disdain of mere clap-trap and popular arts.

4. The imitation of the self-denying example of the Master. The one may please men; the other will save them. Bondage to man or to Christ: —

I. THE NECESSITY TO PLEASE MEN represents in a very typical manner the non-freedom of the unredeemed man. This is a real slavery because —

1. It disturbs the development of an independent plan of life.

2. It is a part of the bondage of sin.

3. It involves servitude to the customs and fashions of the world.

II. FREEDOM FROM THIS YOKE is only gained by entering the service of Christ. Just as the servant of a king boasts of his office as the highest liberty, so can we when we serve the Lord Christ.

III. Deliverance from the fear of man and the necessity of pleasing him, and servitude to Christ and pleasing Him, may be taken as a GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY. In conclusion —

1. Has the desire to have the good opinion of my neighbours any part in my profession of religion?

2. Even if my religious service is not done to be seen of men, is it a thing of form or principle?

3. Have I courage to dissent from the usages of society if my conscience protests? Do I always set before me, "What does Christ demand?" and not, "What will men say?"

(Professor Robertson Smith.)

I. THE SERVANT.

1. He realizes the most perfect ideal of life. Others live for pleasure, wealth, fame; he for Christ.

2. He has the best Master.

3. He yields to the most valid claims — property, protection, redemption.

4. He has the strongest warrants — reason, conscience, love.

5. He is promised and enjoys the noblest reward — his Master's smile, his Sovereign's throne.

II. HIS SERVICE.

1. It is dignified in its sphere.

2. Grand in its motive — "pleasing God."

3. Splendid in its instrument — the gospel.

4. Glorious in the freedom of its consecration.

5. Beneficent in the uses which it serves.

What the apostle means is making sure that God is with him. This can only be done by taking God's way as ours, and not by hoping to get Him to, take ours as His. This much Paul says in vindication of his severity, whose office. was that of a persuader of men. "Nay," he says, "the question is not of gaining over men, but of standing right with God, and that even at the expense of an absolute breach with men. At such a time as this, when deceitful men are striving to undo all my work for Christ, so far from being called to conciliate them, were I to do so I should not be a servant of Christ."

(Professor Robertson Smith.)

North British Review.
Watch the author of a first poem or novel. What eagerness to see all the reviews; what anxiety till they come out; what manoeuvring to ascertain what people have said! And how many persons are there that, even after their apprenticeship in literature or art is over, can honestly affirm that the feeling has quite left them? Raphael must have liked to hear his pictures praised: nor was the approbation of the public a matter of indifference to the octogenarian Goethe, But though the artist or the literateur may so far make a merit of popularity it is quite different with the moral teacher or agent in great social changes. Popularity may happen to flow toward such a man, but it should not be treated as a reward or incentive, but rather as a means of deciding what proportion of society has been moved in the direction of his own spirit, and how much yet remains to be brought into subjection. In certain cases, indeed, it might be proper to lay it down as a maxim that he cannot honestly or efficiently accomplish his office without exciting opposition at every step he takes.

(North British Review.)

The wise Phocion was so sensible how dangerous it was to be touched with what the multitude approved, that upon a general acclamation made when he was making an oration he turned to an intelligent friend and asked in a surprised manner, "What slip have I made?"

(Steele.)

The soul that cannot entirely trust God, whether man be pleased or displeased, can never long be true to Him. for while you are eyeing men you are losing God and stabbing religion at the very heart.

(T. Manton.)

When one has learned to seek the honour that cometh from God only, he will take the withholding of the honour that cometh by man very lightly indeed.

(Geo. Macdonald.)

Do not preach so much to please as to profit. Choose rather to discover men's sins than to show your own eloquence. That is the best looking-glass, not which is most gilded but which shows the truest face.

(T. Watson.)

The title which the apostle gives himself, "the servant, or the slave, of Christ," expresses, we may be sure, no mere acquiescence in some current fashion of Eastern speech, but the aspect of his life and conduct which he desires to keep before himself and others. St. Paul belonged to two worlds, the Jewish and the Greek, and in this title he has both worlds in view. In the language of the Psalter, and of the Hebrew prophets, every Israelite is, as such, a servant of the Lord, and to the collective people, viewed in its separate and its consecrated life, it is said, "Thou, Israel, art My servant, thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, thou art My servant, I have chosen thee." But besides this general and ethical meaning, the title had a technical, official force. Any man who was marked out from among his fellows as having a special work to do for the Lord, was regarded as taken into the service of the invisible King, whose livery he thus wore by the force of events, and by his acts, and by the tenour of his life, in the eyes of his countrymen. In this sense, too, every member of the prophetic order came in time to be termed a "servant of the Lord;" and the title reached its highest significance when, in the later group of Isaiah's writings, it was used of the King Messiah, whose future humiliation and glory there mingled indistinctly with the nearer, although still distant, suffering and deliverance of the martyred people in Babylon. When, then, St. Peter and St. Jude, writing to Churches mainly or entirely of Jewish origin, styled themselves servants of Jesus Christ, they probably understood the title, chiefly if not exclusively, in the traditional and narrower Hebrew sense. But when St. Paul, writing to the Roman or Philippian Church, calls himself a servant of Christ, it is difficult to suppose that he does not read into the title the meaning which his readers would naturally find there, In these Churches, consisting altogether or predominantly of converts from heathendom, the phrase would rather suggest the ordinary slave of the GreekRoman world, than an inspired or distinguished servant of the Hebrew theocracy. That unseen, that immense population of human beings which worked, which suffered in silence, which tilled the fields, which manned the fleets, which constructed the palaces and the bridges of the world, which supplied to those who had property and power their cooks, their carpenters, their painters, their astronomers, their doctors, their poets, their copyists, their gladiators, their buffoons; which ministered to the refinement, intelligence, luxury, passions of the wealthy; which by its ceaseless and almost unnoticed waste of unregarded life satisfied the requirements, and helped to fill the coffers of the State. The slave class was almost the most prominent, as it was certainly the most mournful feature in "the ancient society." In the view of antiquity, the slave was but an animated instrument, a mere body which chanced to be endowed with certain mental capacities. In the eye of the law, the slave was not a person: he was classed by the jurists with goods and with animals; he was sold, he was bequeathed by will, he was lent to a friend, he was shut up, he was banished, until the day of the later legislation he was killed — quite at the discretion of his owner. And St. Paul calls himself this — the slave of Jesus Christ! He was not merely a servant holding an honourable post in the kingdom of heaven, which he might relinquish at pleasure; he was consciously a slave. And in this abandonment of all human liberty at the feet of the Redeemer rain this utter surrender of the right to his intelligence, his affections, the employment of his time and his property, his movements from place to place, except as his Master might command, St. Paul found the true dignity and happiness of his being as a man. He belonged to Jesus Christ not by any original or solitary act of his own, but because, as he could not but acknowledge, Jesus Christ had paid for him, had bought him at an incalculable cost, out of slavery which was misery and degradation, into a service, which was freedom indeed.

(Canon Liddon.)

Public opinion is that common stock of thought and sentiment which is created by human society, or by a particular section of it; and it in turn keeps its authors under strict control. It is a natural product, it is a deposit which cannot but result from human intercourse. No sooner do men associate with one another, than a public opinion of some kind comes to be. And as civilization advances, and man multiplies the channels whereby he ascertains and governs the thought of his fellow-men, public opinion grows in strength, in area, and men voluntarily, or rather instinctively, abandon an increasing district of their understandings and conduct to its undisputed control. It varies in definiteness and in exigency with the number of human beings which it happens to represent. There is public opinion proper to each village and town, to each society and profession, to each country, to each civilization, to the world; but between the most general and the narrowest forms of this common body of thought and sentiment, there are bands and joints which weld the whole into a substantial unit; and in modern times public opinion has taken a concrete body and form, such as two centuries ago was undreamt of. It lives, it works in the daily press. In the press we see visibly embodied before our eyes this empire of opinion, with its countless varieties and sub-divisions, with its strong, corporate, and substantial unities. And so, face to face with the press, every man who hopes to keep his own conscience in moderately good order knows that in public opinion he encounters a force with which, sooner or later, on a large scale or a small, before the world or in the recesses of his own conscience, he must of necessity reckon; and that, whether he bears like St. Paul a commission from heaven, or endeavours to be loyal to such truth as he knows of chiefly or altogether among the concerns of earth. What is the duty of the Christian towards this ubiquitous, this penetrating agency? Is he to shut himself up and despise it, as might some Stoic of the earlier Stoic school? Assuredly not. St. Paul did not do that. He was respectful, even towards heathen opinion... Are we, then, to place ourselves trustfully under public opinion, to defer to and obey it, at least in a Christian country; and is it to furnish us in the last resort with the rule of conduct and criterion of moral, even religious, truth? Again, most assuredly not; for it is, in fact, a compromise between the many elements which go to make up human society; and the lower and selfish elements of thought and feeling are apt upon the whole to preponderate. Public opinion is too wanting in patience, in penetration, in delicacy, to deal successfully with religious questions. It cannot be right to cry "Hosanna" now; to-morrow, "Crucify"; to applaud in Galilee what you condemn in Jerusalem; to sanction in this generation what was denounced in that; to adore what you have burned, to burn what you have adored with conspicuous versatility, merely because a large body of human beings — the majority of them, it may be, quite without particular information on the subject in hand — love to have it so. To attempt to please men in this sense is, most assuredly, incompatible with the service of Christ. The Christian has, or ought to have, upon his heart and upon his conscience, the rove. lation of truth which in these great crises of life sets him above the exigencies of public opinion. He that is spiritual judgeth all things, but he himself is judged of no man. He will not, indeed, break with it lightly or wantonly; he will look ones and again, aye and a third time, to be sure that he is not himself deceived, if not in his principle yet in its application. But when this point is once clear, he will resolutely go forward.

(Canon Liddon.)

I remember one of my parishioners telling me that "he thought a person should not go to church to be made uncomfortable." I replied that I thought so too; but whether it should be the sermon or the man's life that should be altered, so as to avoid the discomfort, must depend on whether the doctrine was right or wrong.

(Archbishop Whately.)

One Sunday afternoon a well-known minister, fatigued after his labours in church, retired to his room to rest. He had not long lain down, before he fell asleep and began to dream. He dreamed, that on walking into his garden, he entered a bower that had been erected in it, where he sat down to read and meditate. While thus employed, he thought he heard some person enter the garden.; and, leaving his bower, he immediately hastened towards the spot whence the sound seemed to come, in order to discover who it was that had entered. He had not proceeded far before he discovered a particular friend of his, a minister of considerable talents and popularity. On approaching his friend, he was surprised to find on his countenance a gloom which it had not been wont to bear, indicating violent agitation of mind which seemed to arise from conscious remorse. After the usual salutations had passed, his friend asked the relater the time of the day. To which he replied, "Twenty.five minutes after four." On hearing this the stranger said, "It is only one hour since I died, and now" — (here his countenance spoke unutterable horrors.) "Why so troubled?" inquired the dreaming minister. "It is not," said he, "because I have not preached the gospel; nor is it because I have not been rendered useful, for I have now many seals to my ministry that can bear testimony to the truth as it is in Jesus, which they have received from my lips'; but it is because I have been accumulating to myself the praise of men, more than the honour which cometh from above; and, verily, I have my reward." Having thus said, he disappeared, and was seen no more. The minister awoke, and soon learned of the death of the popular preacher at the precise time indicated in the dream.

Dr. Dodd's besetting sin seems to have been an excessive anxiety to give satisfaction to all, to "please men" of every shade of opinion. Having to preach one Sunday at a country town, where were two different meeting-houses, the one Calvinistic and the other Arminian, the doctor provided himself with two sermons as opposite in their doctrine as were the congregations he was to preach to. When he arrived at the place he mounted the Calvinistic pulpit in the morning, gave out his text, and began his sermon; but he had not proceeded far when he perceived that he had pulled out the wrong sermon. However, it was now too late to repair the mischief, so he was obliged to go through with it, much to his own discomfiture, and to the dissatisfaction of the people. Having but two sermons with him, and knowing that many of his morning hearers would follow him to the other meeting in the afternoon, he was under the necessity of preaching his Calvinistic discourse in the Arminian place of worship, and of course gave as much discontent to his second congregation as he had done to the first. The .doctor mentioning his mistake shortly afterwards to an intimate friend, received sorry comfort from the reply: "Never mind, sir; you only happened to put your hand into the wrong pocket!"

It is true that a man may impart light to others, who does not himself see the light. It is true that, like a concave speculum, cut from a block of ice, which by its power of concentrating the rays of the sun, kindles touchwood or explodes gunpowder, a preacher may set others on fire, when his own heart is cold as frost. It is true that he may stand like a lifeless finger-post, pointing the way on a road where he neither leads nor follows.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

Links
Galatians 1:10 NIV
Galatians 1:10 NLT
Galatians 1:10 ESV
Galatians 1:10 NASB
Galatians 1:10 KJV

Galatians 1:10 Bible Apps
Galatians 1:10 Parallel
Galatians 1:10 Biblia Paralela
Galatians 1:10 Chinese Bible
Galatians 1:10 French Bible
Galatians 1:10 German Bible

Galatians 1:10 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Galatians 1:9
Top of Page
Top of Page