12But I wish you to know We all know from our own experience, how much the flesh is wont to be offended by the abasement of the cross. We allow, indeed, Christ crucified to be preached to us; but when he appears in connection with his cross, then, as though we were thunderstruck at the novelty of it, (51) we either avoid him or hold him in abhorrence, and that not merely in our own persons, but also in the persons of those who deliver to us the gospel. It may have happened to the Philippians, that they were in some degree discouraged in consequence of the persecution of their Apostle. We may also very readily believe, that those bad workmen (52) who eagerly watched every occasion, however small, of doing injury, did not refrain from triumphing over the calamity of this holy man, and by this means making his gospel contemptible. If, however, they were not successful in this attempt, they might very readily calumniate him by representing him as hated by the whole world; and at the same time leading the Philippians to dread, lest, by an unfortunate association with him, (53) they should needlessly incur great dislike among all; for such are the usual artifices of Satan. The Apostle provides against this danger, when he states that the gospel had been promoted by means of his bonds. The design, accordingly, of this detail is, to encourage the Philippians, that they may not feel deterred (54) by the persecution endured by him.
(51) “Estans estonnez comme d’ chose nouuelle et non ouye;” — “ astonished as at a thing new and unheard of.”
(52) “Et faux apostres;” — “ false apostles.”
(53) “En prenant ceste dangereuse accointance de S. Paul;” — “ contracting this dangerous acquaintance with St. Paul.”
(54) “Afin qu’ ne soyent point destournex;” — “ they may not be turned aside.”