But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry…
We note the parallelism of the text with Luther's famous declaration when warned by his friends not to go to Worms. "I will go thither though there should be devils on every housetop." When Tyndale was told that the bishops had burnt all the copies of his New Testament on which they could lay their hands, he calmly wrote, with a too sure presage of his after fate, "In burning the New Testament, they did none other things than I looked for: nor more shall they do if they burn me also, if it be God's will it shall be so"; and that he was prepared for that was amply proved that day at Vilvorde, when, standing at the stake, he cried, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes!" So, too, when Calvin was menaced with violence, he grandly said, "If this is what we have deserved at the hands of men whom we have struggled to benefit — viz., to be loaded with calumny and stung with ingratitude — then this is my voice, 'Ply your faggots!' but we warn you that even in death we shall become the conquerors, not simply because we shall find, even through the faggots, a sure passage to that upper and better life, but because our blood shall germinate like precious seed, and propagate that eternal truth of God which is now so scorned and rejected by the world." To come to more recent times, the records of the Indian Mutiny contain many instances of native Christians and English soldiers — some of them hardly out of their boyhood — who could not be moved to abjure Christ by the most exquisite tortures which savagism could devise; while the story of the Madagascar Church has chapters in it which, in point of Christian heroism, raise this century to a level with the first. Nor is this all. There are amongst ourselves martyrs in humble life who are daily exposed to sacrificial flames of which no one knows fully but Jesus: youths who brave all manner of insults rather than renounce their allegiance to their Lord; wives who bear meekly the bitterest taunts rather than be disloyal to Christ; husbands who carry in secret the weight of living crosses, whose burden is all the heavier, and whose nails are all the sharper because of their love to those who form them; workmen who face continually a whole battery of scorn rather than do what their Divine Master has forbidden.
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
WEB: But these things don't count; nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify to the Good News of the grace of God.