一 顺从的生活是伟大的,听命于是上者却不随己意行事,听从比管辖要完全得多。许多人顺从是由于不得已,并非出于爱心。这样的人一定不会满意,而且容易发怨言。他们也无法得到主的,除非他们甘心乐意地为爱上帝的缘故而屈身顺从。你若随意奔走,你一定得不到安息之所,谦卑服从在上者的管理,才可以得到。许多人欺骗了自己,以为可以在变动中求得快乐。

二 当然,每个人都乐意行他所喜欢的事,也都爱与自己心意相合的事。但是假若上帝在我们中间,我们有时就应该为着大家缘故,舍弃自己意见。谁有智慧足以测透万事呢?所以不要过于自信己见,却要乐意听从别人的判断。假若你的意见是好的,却为着上帝的缘故而放弃了,去听从别人的意见,这要成为你更大的好处。

三 我常听说:听从和领教是比教训人更安全。有时事实上,一个人的意见是好的,但是当有特殊的理由或必要时,他仍不肯舍弃己意而顺从人,那就是他的骄傲和固执的证据。

English Version:

Obedience and Subjection

IT IS a very great thing to obey, to live under a superior and not to be one’s own master, for it is much safer to be subject than it is to command. Many live in obedience more from necessity than from love. Such become discontented and dejected on the slightest pretext; they will never gain peace of mind unless they subject themselves wholeheartedly for the love of God. Go where you may, you will find no rest except in humble obedience to the rule of authority. Dreams of happiness expected from change and different places have deceived many.

Everyone, it is true, wishes to do as he pleases and is attracted to those who agree with him. But if God be among us, we must at times give up our opinions for the blessings of peace. Furthermore, who is so wise that he can have full knowledge of everything? Do not trust too much in your own opinions, but be willing to listen to those of others. If, though your own be good, you accept another’s opinion for love of God, you will gain much more merit;

for I have often heard that it is safer to listen to advice and take it than to give it. It may happen, too, that while one’s own opinion may be good, refusal to agree with others when reason and occasion demand it, is a sign of pride and obstinacy.

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