That for this reason the Apostle laboured with his own hands, that he might set us an example of work.
“Not as if we had not power; but that we might give ourselves a pattern to you to imitate us.” He lays bare the reason why he imposed such labour on himself: “that we might,” says he, “give a pattern to you to imitate us, that if by chance you become forgetful of the teaching of our words which so often passes through your ears, you may at least keep in your recollection the example of my manner of life given to you by ocular demonstration. There is here too no slight reproof of them, where he says that he has gone through this labour and weariness by night and day, for no other reason but to set an example, and that nevertheless they would not be instructed, for whose sakes he, although not obliged to do it, yet imposed on himself such toil. “And indeed,” he says, “though we had the power, and opportunities were open to us of using all your goods and substance, and I knew that I had the permission 975 of our Lord to use them: yet I did not use this power, lest what was rightly and lawfully done on my part might set an example of dangerous idleness to others. And therefore when preaching the gospel, I preferred to be supported by my own hands and work, that I might open up the way of perfection to you who wish to walk in the path of virtue, and might set an example of good life by my work.”
Permissum (Petschenig). Promissum (Gazæus).