“Because we were not restless among you.” When he wants to prove by the practice of work that he was not restless among them, he fully shows that those who will not work are always restless, owing to the fault of idleness. “Nor did we eat any mans bread for nought.” By each expression the teacher of the Gentiles p. 270 advances a step in the rebuke. 971 The preacher of the gospel says that he has not eaten any mans bread for nought, as he knows that the Lord commanded that “they who preach the gospel should live of the gospel:” 972 again, “The labourer is worthy of his meat.” 973 And so if he who preached the gospel, performing a work so lofty and spiritual, did not venture in reliance on the Lords command to eat his bread for nought, what shall we do to whom not merely is there no preaching of the word intrusted, but no cure of souls except our own committed? with what confidence shall we dare with idle hands to eat our bread for nought, when the “chosen vessel,” constrained by his anxiety for the gospel and his work of preaching, did not venture to eat without labouring with his own hands? “But in labour,” he says “and weariness, working night and day lest we should be burdensome to any of you.” 974 Up to this point he amplifies and adds to his rebuke. For he did not simply say, “We did not eat bread for nought from any of you,” and then stop short. For it might have been thought that he was supported by his own private means, and by money which he had saved, or by other peoples, though not by their collections and gifts. “But in labour,” he says, “and weariness, working night and day;” that is, being specially supported by our own labour. And this, he says, we did not of our own wish, and for our own pleasure, as rest and bodily exercise suggested, but as our necessities and the want of food compelled us to do, and that not without great bodily weariness. For not only throughout the whole day, but also by night, which seems to be granted for bodily rest, I was continually plying the work of my hands, through anxiety for food.
S. Matt. x. 10.270:974