The Kindled Torch
Philippians 2:17-18
Yes, and if I be offered on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.…

Perhaps one of the closest parallels with the apostle's spirit and word is that of the venerable Latimer, as at the stake in front of Balliol College at Oxford he encouraged his younger companion in tribulation, Ridley: "Be of good cheer, brother! We shall this day kindle such a torch in England as by the blessing of God shall never be extinguished."

(J. Hutchinson, D. D.)William Tyndale, the grandest figure, perhaps, take him all in all, of the English Reformation — a man of Pauline strength of character and singleness of devotion to the work which God had given him to do — suffered martyrdom in circumstances of such seclusion that we know scarcely anything more than the mere fact. But no information of his demeanour. in the dungeon of Vilvorde could possibly either tell us more of his character, or speak more weightily for Christ to any one who has ears to hear, than these words, written years before, in his preface to "The Parable of the Wicked Mammon," — "Some man will ask, peradventure, why I take the labour to make this work, inasmuch as they will burn it, seeing they burned the gospel. I answer, In burning the New Testament they did none other thing than that I looked for; no more shall they do if they burn me also, if it be God's will it shall so be. Nevertheless, in translating the New Testament I did my duty, and so do I now, and will do as much more as God hath ordained me to do."

(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)Luigi Pascali, pastor of the Waldenses in Calabria, being condemned to death after the horrors of a long captivity, and but a little while before his death by fire, was visited by his brother. The spectacle he presented in consequence of his sufferings caused his brother to fall powerless when he attempted to embrace him. But as the visitor has himself told us, the martyr exclaimed, "My brother, if you are a Christian, why do you allow yourself to be thus cast down? Do you not know that not a single hair can fall from our heads without the will of God? Trust in Jesus and take courage. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." "These are the feelings of my heart," wrote the martyr; "My faith becomes stronger as the hour approaches, when I am to be offered as a sweet-smelling sacrifice unto Christ. Yes, my joy is so lively that I can fancy I see my fetters broken, and I would be ready to brave a thousand deaths, were that necessary for the cause of truth." To his betrothed wife, Camilla Guarina, whom he was to see no more, he wrote, "My love to you increases with my love to God. The more I have suffered the more progress I have made in the Christian religion, and the more also have I loved you. Console yourself in Jesus Christ. May your life be a copy of His."

(M. Bonnet.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

WEB: Yes, and if I am poured out on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and rejoice with you all.

The Joy of the Church in Her Martyrs and Confessors
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