19Whose end is destruction He adds this in order that the Philippians, appalled by the danger, may be so much the more carefully on their guard, that they may not involve themselves in the ruin of those persons. As, however, profligates of this description, by means of show and various artifices, frequently dazzle the eyes of the simple for a time, in such a manner that they are preferred even to the most eminent servants of Christ, the Apostle declares, with great confidence (199), that the glory with which they are now puffed up will be exchanged for ignominy.
Whose god is the belly As they pressed the observance of circumcision and other ceremonies, he says that they did not do so from zeal for the law, but with a view to the favor of men, and that they might live peacefully and free from annoyance. For they saw that the Jews burned with a fierce rage against Paul, and those like him, and that Christ could not be proclaimed by them in purity with any other result, than that of arousing against themselves the same rage. Accordingly, consulting their own ease and advantage, they mixed up these corruptions with the view of mitigating the flames of others. (200)
(199)“ Hardiment et d’ grande asseurance;” — “Boldly, and with great confidence.”
(200) “Pour esteindre et appaiser le feu des nutres;” — “ the sake of mitigating and allaying the fire of others.” Calvin’ meaning appears to be, that they made it their endeavor to screen themselves as far as possible from the fiery rage of those around them. — Ed.