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The ministers of the Gospel are

1. CORINTHIANS.

modern delicacy." St. Paul did not preach in the words which
man's wisdom teacheth; such words are too mean and too low
for a religion so divine. That which the Holy Spirit alone
can discover, he alone can explain. Let no man dare to speak
of God in any other way than he speaks of himself in his
word. Let us take care not to profane his truths and myste.
ries, either by such low and abject ideas as are merely hu-
man: or by new and worldly expressions altogether unwor-
thy of the Spirit of God.

4. It is the glory of God, and ought to be ours, not to be ac
ceptable to carnal men. The natural man always finds some

pretence to excuse himself from believing, by looking on the
only God's instruments.
mysteries of religion as being either too much above man, or
too much below God: the spiritual man judges them to be so
much the more credible, the less credible they are to the na
tural man.

regard to the things of God, render all its judgments concern.
The opposition, contempt, and blindness of the world, with
ing them, liable to exception: this blindness in spiritual things
is the just punishment of a carnal life.
the above is extracted from the reflections of the pious Ques-
The principal part of
nel.

CHAPTER III.

Because of the carnal, divided state of the people at Corinth, the apostle was obliged to treat them as children, in the know
ledge of sacred things, 1-3.
that himself, and fellow apostles, were only instruments which God used to bring them to the knowledge of the truth;
Some were for setting up Paul, others Apollos, as their sole teachers, 4. The apostle shores
and even their sowing and watering the seed, was of no use, unless God gave the increase, 5-8.
sented as God's husbandry; and as God's building, the foundation of which is Christ Jesus, 9-11. Ministers must
beware how and what they build on this foundation, 12-15. The Church of God is his temple, and he that defiles it
The church repre-
shall be destroyed, 16, 17. No man should depend on his own wisdom; for the wisdom of the world is foolishness with
God, 18-20. None should glory in man as his teacher; God gives his followers every good, both for time and eternity,
21-23, [A. M. 4060. A. D. 56. A. U. C. 809. An. Imp. Neronis Cæs. 3.]

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"babes in

ANDI, brethren, could not speak unto you as
ritual, but as unto bcarnal, even as unto babes in
Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hi-
therto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye
able.

3 For ye are yet carnal: for f whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk has men?

4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos: are ye not carnal?

& Ch 15-b Ch.2. 14 - Heb 5. 13.-d Heb.5. 12,13. 1 Pet. 2. 2.-e John 16 12.fCh.1.11.& 11.19. Gal 5.20,21. James 3.16.-g Or, factions.-h Gr. according to man. iCh. 1.12.-k Ch.4.1. 2 Cor.3.3.-1 Rom. 12.3,6. 1 Pet.4.11.-m Acts 18. 4,8,11. Ch.

NOTES.-Verse 1. I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual] This is a continuation of the preceding discourse. See the notes there.

But as unto carnal] Eapkikois, persons under the influence of fleshly appetites; coveting and living for the things

of this life.

Babes in Christ] Just beginning to acquire some notion of the Christian religion; but as yet, very incapable of judging what is most suitable to yourselves; and consequently, utterly unqualified to discern between one teacher and another; so that your making the distinctions which you do make, so far from being a proof of mature judgment, is, on the contrary, a proof that you have no right judgment at all: and this springs from your want of knowledge in divine things.

2. I have fed you with milk] I have instructed you in the elements of Christianity; in its simplest and easiest truths; because, from the low state of your minds in religious knowledge, you were incapable of comprehending the higher truths of the Gospel and in this state you still continue. The apostle thus exposes to them the absurdity of their conduct, in pretending to judge between preacher and preacher; while they had but a very partial acquaintance even with the first principles of Christianity.

3. There is among you envying, and strife, and divisions] Zindas kai εpis kai dixosαciai. There are three things here worthy of note: these people were wrong in thought, word, and deed. Znλos, envying, refers to the state of their souls; they had inward grudgings and disaffection towards each other. Epis, strife, or contention, refers to their words; they were continually disputing and contending whose party was the best; each endeavouring to prove that he and his party were alone in the right. Aixosariai, divisions, refers to their conduct; as they could not agree, they contended till they separated from each other; and thus rent the church of Christ. Thus the enrying and grudging led to strife and evil SPEAKING; and this led to divisions and fixed parties. In this state well might the apostle say, Are ye not carnal, and walk as men? Ye act just as the people of the world; and have no more of the spirit of religion than they.

4. For while one saith, I am of Paul, &c.] It was notorious that both Paul and Apollos held the same creed; between them there was not the slightest difference; when, therefore, the dissentients began to prefer the one to the other, it was the fullest proof of their carnality; because in the doctrines of these apostles there was no difference; so that what the people were captivated by, must be something in their outward manner, Apollos being probably more eloquent than Paul. Their preferring one to another, on such an account, proved that they were carnal, led by their senses and mere outward appearances, without being under the guidance either of reason or grace. There are thousands of such people in the Christian church, to the present day. See the notes on chap. i. 10, &c.

5. Ministers by whom ye believed] The different apostles who have preached unto you the word of life, are the means which God has used to bring you to the knowledge of Christ. No one of those has either preached or recommended himself; they all preach and recommend Christ Jesus the Lord. Even as the Lord gave to every man ?] Whatever differ. ence there may be in our talents, it is of God's making: and 106

1

whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but k ministers by
6 I have planted, "Apollos watered; but God gave the in

crease.

7 So then, P neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own 8 Now, he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and labour.

S

9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's
husbandry, ye are God's building.

4.1% & 9.1.& 15.1. 2 Cor. 10.14,15-n Acts 13. 24,27. & 19. 1.- Ch.1.30 & 15.10. 2 Cer.
3.5-p Cor 12.11. Gal.6 3.-q P3.22.12. Ro. 2.6. Ch.4.5. Gal. 6.4,5. Rev 2.2.&
he who knows best, what is best for his church, has distri
12.- Acts 15.4. 2 Cor.6.1.-8 Or, tillage.—t Eph.2.20. Col.2.7. Heb.3.3. 4. 1 Pec 2 3
buted both gifts and graces according to his own mind: and.
right. Paul, therefore, is as necessary to the perfecting of the
as his judgment is infallible, all these dispensations must be
church of Christ as Apollos; and Apollos as Paul. Both, but
and the same foundation.
with various gifts, point out the same Christ; building on one

Corinth, and the region of Achaia.
6. I have planted] I first sowed the seed of the Gospel in

preachings and exhortations, watered the seed which I had
sowed; but God gave the increase. The seed has taken root,
Apollos watered] Apollos came after me, and, by his
has sprung up, and borne much fruit, but this was by the es
world; it is by the especial blessing of God that the grain
which is sown in the ground, brings forth thirty, sixty, or a
pecial blessing of God. As in the natural, so in the spiritual
hundred fold. It is neither the sower nor the waterer that
produces this strange and inexplicable multiplication; it is
God alone. So it is by the particular agency of the Spirit of
God, that even good seed, sown in good ground, the purest
doctrine conveyed to the honest heart, produces the salvation
of the soul.

alone should have all the glory, as the seed is his, the ground is his, the labourers are his, and the produce all comes from 7. So then, neither is he that planteth any thing] God himself.

Paul and Apollos have received the same doctrine, preached the same doctrine, and labour to promote the glory of God in 8. He that planteth and he that watereth are one] Both respect to Paul and Apollos, while these apostles are intithe salvation of your souls. Why should you be divided with mately ONE in spirit, design, and operation?

servants according to the success of their labour, because that According to his own labour.] God does not reward his depends on himself: but he rewards them according to the quantum of faithful labour which they bestow on his work. In this sense, none can say I have laboured in vain, and spent my strength for nought.

of ourselves, nor in reference to ourselves; we labour together in that work which God has given us to do, expect all our 9. For we are labourers together with God] We do nothing success from him; and refer the whole to his glory. It would perhaps be more correct to translate Ocov yap coμer ourEPYOL, ine are fellow-labourers of God; for as the preposition w may express the joint labour of the teachers one with another, and not with God, I had rather, with Bp. Pearce, translate as above: i. e. we labour together in the work of God. Far from being divided among ourselves, we jointly labour as oxen in the same yoke, to promote the honour of our Master.

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yɛwpytov, Oɛov olkodoμn esε The word yewpy cor, which we
translate husbandry, signifies properly an arable field: so
Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.]
and chap. xxxi. 16. The wise woman considereth a FIELD,
Prov. xxiv. 30. I went by the FIELD, yewpytov, of the slothful:
yewpytor, and buyeth it. It would be more literal to translate
it, Ye are God's farm: yswpycor in Greek, answers to
sadeh, in Hebrew, which signifies, properly, a soten field.
God cultivates, but ye are the house which God builds, and in
which he intends to dwell.
Ye are God's building.-Ye are not only the field which
As no man, in viewing a fine

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10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he baldeth thereupon.

11 For, other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, 7 which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because bit shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, d he shall receive a reward.

u Ren 1.5 &123-v Ron 13 ) Verse 6 Chap. 4.15. Rev. 21.14.- 1 Pet. 4. 11. I-alah 16. Matt 16 19 Cor.11.4 Gal.1.7.-y Eph. 2.2.-z Chap. 4. 5.ai Pet 1.7 : 12.

building, extols the quarry man, that dug up the stones, the herer that cut and squared them, the mason that placed them in the wall, the woodman that hewed down the timber, the carpenter that squared and jointed it, &c. but the architect who planned it, and under whose direction the whole work was accomplished: so, no man should consider Paul, or Apol Los, or Kephas, any thing, but as persons employed by the great Architect to form a building which is to become a habitation of himself through the Spirit; and the design of which is entirely his own.

10. As a wise master-builder] 's σodos ARXITEKTOV The design or plan of the building is from God; all things must be done according to the pattern which he has exhibited: but the execution of this plan was entrusted chiefly to St. Paul; he was the wise or experienced architect, which God used in order to lay the foundation; to ascertain the essential and immutable doctrines of the Gospel:-those alone which came from God, and which alone he would bless to the salvation of mankind.

Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon] Let him take care that the doctrines which he preaches be an swerable to those which I have preached: let him also take heed that he enjoin no other practice than that which is suitable to the doctrine; and in every sense accords with it. 11. Other foundation can no man lay] I do not speak particularly concerning the foundation of this spiritual building; it can have no other foundation than Jesus Christ: there can not be two opinions on this subject among the true apostles of our Lord. The only fear is, lest an improper use should be made of this heavenly doctrine; lest à bad superstructure should be raised on this foundation.

true foundation.

15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:
but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16f Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the
Spirit of God dwelleth in you.

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God
destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye
are.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

19 For, i the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For, it is written, He taketh the wise in their own crafti

ness.

b Luke 2.35.-e Gr. is revealed Chap. 4.5-e Jude 23-f Chap 6.19. 2 Cor. 6. 16. Eph 2:21,22 Heb.3.6. 1 Pec 2.5-g Or, destroy-h Prov.5.7. 18.5.21.-1 Chap. 1.29. & 2.6-k Job 5. 15.

And

truth, but he has laboured in the word and doctrine.
the reward is to be according to the labour. See on ver. 8.
15. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer
loss] If he have preached the necessity of incorporating the
law with the Gospel, or proclaimed as a doctrine of God, any
thing which did not proceed from heaven, he shall suffer loss;
all his time and labour will be found to be uselessly employed
and spent. Some refer the loss to the work, not to the man;
and understand the passage thus: If any man's work be burn
ed, IT shall suffer loss: much shall be taken away from it,
nothing shall be left but the measure of truth and uprightness
which it may have contained.

But he himself shall be saved] If he sincerely and consci entiously have believed what he preached, and yet preached what was wrong, not through malice or opposition to the Gospel, but through mere ignorance, he shall be saved; God, in his mercy, will pass by his errors: and he shall not suffer punishment because he was mistaken. Yet, as in most erro neous teachings, there is generally a portion of wilful and obstinate ignorance, the salvation of such erroneous teachers is very rare; and is expressed here, yet so as by fire, i. e. with great difficulty; a mere escape; a hair's breath deliver. ance; he shall be like a brand plucked out of the fire.

The apostle obviously refers to the case of a inan, who, having builded a house, and begun to dwell in it, the house. happens to be set on fire, and he has warning of it, just in time to escape with his life; losing, at the same time, his house, his goods, his labour, and almost his own life. So he. who, while he holds the doctrine of Christ crucified, as the only foundation on which a soul can rest its hopes of salva tion; builds at the same time, on that foundation, antinomianism, or any other erroneous or destructive doctrine, he shall lose all his labour, and his own soul scarcely escape everlasting perdition; nor even this, unless sheer ignorance and inveterate prejudice, connected with much sincerity, be found in his case.

12. If any man build-gold, silver, &c.] Without entering into curious criticisms relative to these different expressions, it may be quite enough for the purpose of edification, to say, that by gold, silver, and precious stones, the apostle certainly means pure and wholesome doctrines; by wood, hay, and stubble, false doctrines; such as at that time prevailed in the The popish writers have applied what is here spoken to the Corinthian church; for instance, that there should be no re-fire of purgatory; and they might, with equal propriety. surrection of the body; that a man may, on his father's death, have applied it to the discovery of the longitude, the perpelawfully marry his step-mother; that it was necessary to intual motion, or the philosopher's stone; because it speaks corporate much of the Mosaic law with the Gospel; and per- just as much of the former as it does of any of the latter. The haps other matters, equally exceptionable, relative to mar-fire mentioned here is to try the man's work, not to purify riage, concubinage, fornication, frequenting heathen festivals, and partaking of the flesh which had been offered in sacrifice to an idol, with many other things; which, with the above, are more or less, hinted at by the apostle in these two letters. 13. The day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fre] There is much difference of opinion relative to the meaning of the terms in this and the two following verses. That the apostle refers to the approaching destruction of Je-what he had asserted in ver. 9.-Ye are God's building. As rusalem, I think very probable; and when this is considered, all the terms and metaphors will appear clear and consistent. The day, is the time of punishment coming on this disobe. dient and rebellious people. And this day being revealed by fre, points out the extreme rigour, and totally destructive na ture, of that judgment:

And the fire shall try every man's work] If the apostle re. fers to the Judaizing teachers, and their insinuations that the Law, especially circumcision, was of eternal obligation; then the day of fire, the time of vengeance, which was at hand, would sufficiently disprove such assertions; as, in the judg. ment of God, the whole temple service should be destroyed; and the people who fondly presumed on their permanence and stability, should be dispossessed of their land, and scattered over the face of the whole earth. The difference of the Christian and the Jewish systems should then be seen: the latter should be destroyed in that fiery day, and the former prevail

more than ever.

14. If any man's work abide] Perhaps there is here an allusion to the purifying of different sorts of vessels under the law. All that could stand the fire, were to be purified by the fire; and those which could not resist the action of the fire, were to be purified by water. Numb. xxxi. 23. The gold, silver, and precious stones, could stand the fire; but the scood, hay, and stubble, must be necessarily consumed. So, in that great and terrible day of the Lord, all false doctrine, as well as the system that was to pass away, should be made sufficiently manifest: and God would then show that the Gospel, and that alone, was that system of doctrine which he would bless and protect, and none other.

He shall receive a reward] He has not only preached the

his soul; but the dream of purgatory refers to the purging in another state, what left this impure; not the work of the inan, but the man himself; but here the fire is said to try the tork; ergo, purgatory is not meant, even if such a place as purgatory could be proved to exist; which remains yet to be demonstrated.

16. Ye are the temple of God] The apostle resumes here the whole congregation of Israel were formerly considered as the temple and habitation of God, because God dwelt among them; so here, the whole church at Corinth is called the tem ple of God, because all genuine believers have the Spirit of God to dwell with them; and Christ has promised to be always in the midst even of two or three, who are gathered together in his name. Therefore, where God is, there is his temple.

17. If any man defile the temple] This clause is not consistently translated ei ris Tov vaov Tov Ocov 40εipEL, PREDEL TUUTOV b Oɛos If any man destroy the temple of God, him will God destroy. The verb is the same in both clauses. If any man injure, corrupt, or destroy the church of God by false doctrine, God will destroy him; will take away his part out of the book of life. This refers to him who wilfully opposes the truth; the erring mistaken man shall barely escape; but the obstinate opposer shall be destroyed. The former shall be treated leniently; the latter shall have judgment without

mercy.

18. If any man among you seemeth to be wise] Et Tis dokεL σopos εival, if any pretend or affect to be wise. This seems to refer to some individual in the church of Corinth, who had been very troublesome to its peace and unity: probably Diotrephes; see on chap. i. 14. or some one of a similar spirit, who wished to have the pre-eminence, and thought himself wiser than seven men that could render a reason Every Christian church has less or more of these.

Let him become a fool] Let him divest himself of his worldly wisdom, and be contented to be called a fool, and esteemed one, that he may become wise unto salvation; by renouncing his own wisdom, and seeking that which comes

107

God gives unto his

followers every good.

I. CORINTHIANS. 20 And again, 1 The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, that they are vain. or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 And Pye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.

21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For "all things are yours;
1 Psa. 94.11 Ch. 1. 12. & 4.6. Ver. 4, 5, 6.-n 2 Cor. 4 5, 15.-0 Ch.6.2.

from God. But probably the apostle refers to him who, pre-
tending to great wisdom and information, taught doctrines
contrary to the Gospel; endeavouring to show reasons for
them, and to support his own opinions with arguments which
he thought unanswerable. This man brought his worldly
wisdom to bear against the doctrines of Christ; and probably
through such teaching, many of the scandalous things which
the apostle reprehends among the Corinthians, originated.
19. The wisdom of this world] Whether it be the pretended
deep and occult wisdom of the rabbins; or the wire-drawn
speculations of the Grecian philosophers; is foolishness with
God: for, as folly consists in spending time, strength, and
pains, to no purpose; so these may be fitly termed fools who
acquire no saving knowledge by their speculations. And is
not this the case with the major part of all that is called philo-
sophy, even in the present day? Has one soul been made
wise unto salvation through it? Are our most eminent philo-
sophers either pious or useful men? Who of them is ineek,
gentle, and humble? Who of them directs his researches so as
to meliorate the moral condition of his fellow creatures?
Pride, insolence, self-conceit, and complacency, with a general
forgetfulness of God, contempt for his word, and despite for
the poor, are their general characteristics.

He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.] This is a quotation from Job v. 13. and powerfully shows what the wisdom of this world is: it is a sort of craft, a subtle trade, which they carry on to wrong others, and benefit themselves; and they have generally too much cunning to be caught by men; but God often overthrows them with their own devisings. Paganism raised up persecution against the church of Christ in order to destroy it: this became the very means of quickly spreading it over the earth, and of destroying the whole Pagan system. Thus the wise were taken in their own craftiness. 20. The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise] They are always full of schemes and plans for earthly good; and God knows that all this is rain, empty, and unsatisfactory; and will stand them in no stead when He comes to take away their souls. This is a quotation from Psal. xeiv. 11. What is here said of the vanity of human knowledge, is true of every kind of wisdom that leads not immediately to God himself. 21. Let no man glory in men] Let none suppose that he has any cause of exultation in any thing but God. yours; he that has got God for his portion, has every thing All are that can make him happy and glorious: all are his.

22. Whether Paul, or Apollos] As if he had said, God designs to help you by all things and persons: every teacher, sent from him, will become a blessing to you, if you abide faithful to your calling. God will press every thing into the service of his followers. The ministers of the church of Christ are appointed for the hearers; not the hearers for the ministers. In like manner, all the ordinances of grace and mercy are appointed for them, not they for the ordinances. Or the world The word koaμos, here means rather the inhabitants of the world, than what we commonly under stand by the world itself: and this is its meaning in John iii. 16, 17. vi. 33. xiv. 31. xvii. 21. ὁ κόσμος οπίσω αυτού απηλθεν : the WORLD is gone after him : See particularly John xii. 19. the great mass of the people believe on him. The Greek word has the same meaning in a variety of places, both in the sacred and profane writers, as le monde, the world, literally, has in French: where it signifies not only the system of created things, but by metonymy, the people; every body, the mass, the populace. In the same sense it is often found in English. The apostle's meaning evidently is, not only Paul, Apollos, and Kephas, are yours; appointed for, and employed in your service; but every person besides, with whom you may have any intercourse or connexion; whether Jew or Greek, whether enemy or friend. God will cause every person, as well as every thing, to work for your good while you love, cleave to, and obey Him.

Or life] With all its trials and advantages, every hour of it, every tribulation in it, the whole course of it, as the grand state of your probation, is a general blessing to you and you have life, and that life preserved, in order to prepare for an eternity of blessedness.

Or death) That solemn hour, so dreadful to the wicked; and so hateful to those who live without God; that is yours. Death is your servant; he comes a special messenger from God for you: he comes to undo a knot that now connects body and soul, which it would be unlawful for yourselves to untie: he comes to take your souls to glory; and he cannot come before his due time to those who are waiting for the salvation of God. A saint wishes to live only to glorify God: and he who wishes to live longer than he can get and do good, is not worthy of life 108

Rom 8.28. 2 Cor. 4. 15. 1 Tim 4.8-p Rom. 14.8. Ch.11.3. 2 Cor. 10.7. Gal.3 29.

present life; for God rules in providence as well as in grace. Or things present] Every occurrence in Providence, in the eternal world, all in heaven, and all in earth, are even now Or things to come] The whole order and economy of the working together for your good.

you have embraced his doctrine; you depend on him for your 23. And ye are Christ's] You are called by his name; ont of the world, and acknowledges you as his people and salvation; he is your foundation stone; he has gathered you followers. 'Yμeis de XpiσTov Ye are of Christ: all the light and life which ye enjoy, ye have received through and from him; and he has bought you with his blood.

And Christ is God's] Xporos de Ocov, And Christ is of and mercy to mankind: for God so loved the world, that he God. Christ, the Messiah, is the gift of God's eternal love gave his only begotten Son, that they who believe in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. Christ in his human nature, is as much the property of God, as any other must be considered, in a certain way, inferior to God; but in human being. And as mediator between God and man, he his own essential, eternal nature, there is no inequality; be is God over all. Ye, therefore, do not belong to men.-Why head? then take Paul, Apollos, Kephas, or any other man for your perty; ye are Christ's property; and, as he has taken the All these are your servants; ye are not their prohe that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all of one; human nature into heaven, so will he take yours: because, ye are his brethren; and as his human nature is eternally safe at the throne of God, so shall your bodies and souls be, if ye cleave to Him, and be faithful unto death.

was wrong among this people, could not have been used than 1. A finer, and more conclusive argument, to correct what that with which the apostle closes this chapter. It appears to yourselves under different teachers, you will meet with stand thus: "If you continue in these divisions, and arrange nothing but disappointment, and lose much good. If ye will have Paul, Apollos, &c. on your present plan, you will have them and nothing else, nor can they do you any good, for they are only instruments in God's hand at best, to communicate this unchristian way. On the contrary, if you take God as good, and he will not use them to help you while you act in as you now do, and you get nothing and lose all! Act as I your portion, you shall get these, and every good besides. Act good which you now possess, but shall have every possible advise you to do, and you shall not only lose nothing of the advantage: the men whom you now wish to make your heads, and who, in that capacity cannot profit you, shall become God's instruments of doing you endless good. Leave your dissentions, by which you offend God, and grieve his Christ: and then God, and Christ, and all, will be yours." How agitated, convinced, and humbled, must they have been when fault of the Corinthians. they read the masterly conclusion of this chapter! chiefly; and were carried away with sound and show. They 2. A want of spirituality seems to have been the grand They regarded outward things lost the treasure, while they eagerly held fast the earthen res only the ear of his body to the word of God, will follow that sels that contained it. It is a true saying, that he who lends who generally profit the soul least. man most who pleases the ear; and these are the persons

jointly employed by Christ for the salvation of mankind. It
3. All the ministers of God should consider themselves as
but shall they dare to make his church their interest? This
is their interest to serve God, and be faithful to his calling;
is generally the origin of religious disputes and schisins. Men
will have the church of Christ for their own property; and
Jesus Christ will not trust it with any man.

that part only upon himself that God has assigned him.
4. Every man employed in the work of God, should take
of which God is the master and chief architect; JESUS CHRIST
The church and the soul, says pions Quesnel, are a building
the main foundation; the APOSTLES the subordinate architects;
the BISHOPS the workmen; the PRIESTS their helpers; GooD
that man who is a living stone in this building.
WORKS the main body of the building: FAITH a sort of second
foundation; and CHARITY the top and perfection. Happy is

disappointed in all things. God alone can content, as he aloue
5. He who expects any good out of God, is confounded and
in the world.
can satisfy the soul. All our restlessness and uneasiness,
are only proofs that we are endeavouring to live without God

portion. How is it that Christians are continually forgetting
A contented mind is a continual feast; but
none can have such a mind who has not taken God for his
this most plain and obvious truth? and yet wonder how it is
that they cannot attain true peace of mind.

The ministers of the Gospel are

I. CORINTHIANS.

CHAPTER IV.

stewards of divine mysteries.

Pre

Ministers should be esteemed by their flocks as the stewards of God, whose duty and interest it is to be faithful, 1, 2. cipitate and premature judgments condemned, 3-5. The apostle's caution to give the Corinthians no offence, 6. We hare no good but what we receive from God, 7. The worldly-mindedness of the Corinthians, 8. The enumeration of the hardships, trials, and sufferings, of the apostles, 9-13. For what purpose St. Paul mentions these things, 14-16. He promises to send Timothy to them, 17. And to come himself shortly, to examine and correct the abuses that had crept in among them, 18-21. (A. M. 4060. A. D. 56. A. U. C. 809. An. Imp. Neronis Cæs. 3.]

LET a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, ness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

band stewards of the mysteries of God.

2 Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written: that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of inan's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justi-7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what fed: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, f who both will bring to light the hidden things of darka Matt 24.45 Chap. 3 5 & 9.17. 2 Cor 64. Cal. 1.25-b Luke 12.42 Tit. 1. 7. 1 Pet 41)-e (ir day Chap. 3.13.-d Job 9.2. Psalm 130.3.& 143.2. Prov 21.2. Bom 29. & 4.2.

NOTES.-Verse 1. Let a man so account of us] This is a continuation of the subject in the preceding chapter; and should not have been divided from it.-The fourth chapter would have begun better at ver. 6. and the third should have ended with the fifth verse.

As of the ministers of Christ] s vangerai Xpisov The word vanperns, means an under-rower; or one who in the Triveme, Quadrireme, or Quinquereme gallies, rowed in one of the undermost benches: but it means also, as used by the Greek writers, any inferior officer or assistant. By the term here, the apostle shows the Corinthians, that, far from being heads and chiefs, he and his fellow apostles considered themselves only as inferior officers, employed under Christ; from whom alone they received their appointment, their work, and their recompense.

hast thou that thou didst not receive? now, if thou didst receive
it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
8 Now ye are full, "now ye are rich, ye have reigned as
e Matt 7.1. Rom.2.1,16. & 14.4,10,13. Rev 20.12.-f Ch.3.13-g Rom.2.4. 2 Cor.
5.10-h Ch.1 12.& 3. 4.-i Rom. 13-k Ch. 3 21. & 5. 2, 6.- Gr. distinguisheth
thee.-m John 327. James 1.17. 1 Pet. 4.10.-n Rev.3.17.

5. Judge nothing before the time] God, the righteous Judge, will determine every thing shortly: it is His province alone, to search the heart, and bring to light the hidden things of darkness. If you be so pure and upright in your conduct; if what you have been doing in these divisions, &c. be right in his sight; then shall you have praise for the same: if, otherwise, yourselves are most concerned. Some refer the praise to St. Paul, and his companions: then shall every onc of us apostles, have praise of God.

6. These things] Which I have written, chap. iii. 5, &c. I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos] I have written as if myself and Apollos were the authors of the sects which now prevail among you; although others, without either our consent or knowledge, have proclaimed us heads of parties. Bishop Pearce paraphrases the verse thus: Stewards of the mysteries of God) Kai oikovopove prsnicov “I have made use of my own and Apollos's name, in my ar Ocov: economists of the Divine mysteries. See the explana-guments against your divisions, because I would spare to tion of the word steward in the note on Matt. xxiv. 45. Luke name those teachers among you, who are guilty of making vii. 3. and xii. 42. and heading parties: and because I would have you, by our example, not to value them above what I have said of teach ers in general, in this epistle: so that none of you ought to be persons at Corinth who, taking advantage of this spirit of innovation among that people, set themselves up also for teachers; and endeavoured to draw disciples after them. And, perhaps, some even of these were more valued by the fickle multitude, than the very apostles, by whom they had been brought out of heathenish darkness into the marvellous light of the Gospel. I have already supposed it possible that Diotrephes was one of the ring leaders in these schisms at Corinth. See on chap. i. 14.

The steward, or oikonomos, was the master's deputy in re. gulating the concerns of the family, providing food for the household, seeing it served out at the proper times and sea-puffed up for one against another." Doubtless, there were sons, and in proper quantities. He received all the cash, expended what was necessary for the support of the family, and kept exact accounts, which he was obliged at certain tiines to Jay before the master. The mysteries, the doctrines of God relative to the salvation of the world, by the passion and death of Christ, and the inspiration, illumination, and purification of the soul by the Spirit of Christ, constituted a principal part of the divine treasure entrusted to the hands of the stewards by their heavenly Master; as the food that was to be dispensed at proper times, seasons, and in proper proportions, to the children and domestics of the church, which is the house of God.

3. It is a very small thing that I should be judged of you] Those who preferred Apollos or Kephas, before St. Paul, would of course give their reasons for this preference; and these might, in many instances, be very unfavourable to his character as a man, a Christian, or an apostle; of this he was regardless, as he sought not his own glory, but the glory of God in the salvation of their souls.

Or of man's judgment] Hiro avoρwπivпs hμɛpa, literalty, or of man's day; but avoоwin hutoa, signifies any day set apart by a judge or magistrate, to try a man on. This is the meaning of hepa, Psal. xxxvii. 13. The Lord shall laugh at him, for he seeth that his DAY, ʼn nuɛoa avrov, his judgment is coming. Malac, iii. 17. And they shall be mine in the DAY, 15 hproar, in the judgment, when I make up my jewels. It has the same meaning in 2 Pet. iii. 10. but the DAY, the JUDG MENT of the Lord will come. The word av pomives, (man's,) signifies miserable, wretched, troful; so Jerem. xvii. 16. Nei ther have I desired, won on yom enosh, the day of man, but very properly translated in our version, the toful day. God's DAYS, Job xxiv. 1. certainly signify God's JUDGMENTS. And the DAY of our Lord Jesus, in this epistle, chap. i. S. and v. 5. signifies the day in which Christ will judge the world; or rather the judgment itself.

I judge not mine own self.] I leave myself entirely to God, whose I am, and whom I serve.

4. For I know nothing by myself] Ovdev yap eμavr σvworda I am not conscious that I am guilty of any evil; or have neglected to fulfil faithfully, the duty of a steward of Jesus Christ. The import of the verb avveidei, is to be con. scious of guilt; and conscire has the same meaning: so in Horace, Nil CONSCIRE sibi; to know nothing to one's self: is, the same as nullâ pallescere culpâ, not to grow pale at being charged with a crime, through a consciousness of guilt.

Yet am I not hereby justified] I do not pretend to say that, though I am not conscious of any offence towards God, I must, therefore, be pronounced innocent; No-I leave those things to God; he shall pronounce in my favour; not I, my self. By these words, the apostle, in a very gentle, yet effectual manner, censures those rash and precipitate judgments which the Corinthians were in the habit of pronouncing on both men and things: a conduct, than which nothing is more reprehensible and dangerous.

7. For who maketh thee to differ] It is likely that the apos tle is here addressing himself to some one of those puffed up teachers, who was glorying in his gifts, and in the knowledge he had of the Gospel, &c. As if he had said, If thou hast all that knowledge which thou professest to have, didst thou not receive it from myself, or some other of my fellow-helpers, who first preached the Gospel at Corinth 1 God never spoke to thee, to make thee an apostle. Hast thou a particle of light that thou hast not received from our preaching? Why then dost thou glory, boast, and exult, as if God had first spoken by thee, and not by us?

This is the most likely meaning of this verse; and a mean. ing that is suitable to the whole of the context. It has been applied in a more general sense by religious people: and the doctrine they build on it, is true in itself, though it does not appear to me to be any part of the apostle's meaning, in this place. The doctrine I refer to is this: God is the foundation of all good; no man possesses any good but what he has derived from God. If any man possess that grace which saves him from scandalous enormities, let him consider that he has received it as a mere free gift from God's mercy. Let him not despise his neighbour who has it not; there was a time when he himself did not possess it; and a time may come when the man, whom he now affects to despise, and on whose conduct he is unmerciful and severe, may receive it; and probably may make a more evangelical use of it than he is now doing. This caution is necessary to many religious people, who ima gine that they have been eternal objects of God's favour; and that others have been eternal objects of his hate, for no reason that they can show for either the one or the other. He can have little acquaintance with his own heart, who is not aware of the possibility of pride lurking under the exclamation, Why me! when comparing his own gracious state, with the unregenerate state of another.

8. Now ye] Corinthians, are full of secular wisdom; now ye are rich, both in wealth and spiritual gifts, chap. xiv. 26. Ye have reigned as kings, flourishing in the enjoyment of these things, in all tranquillity and honour; without any want of us; and I would to God ye did reign, in deed, and not in conceit only, that we also, poor, persecuted, and despised apostles, might reign with you.-Whitby.

Though this paraphrase appears natural, yet I am of opinion that the apostle here intends a strong irony; and one, which, when taken in conjunction with what he had said before, must have stung them to the heart. It is not an unusual thing

The afflicted and persecuted

I. CORINTHIANS.
kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we
also might reign with you.

9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, Pas
it were appointed to death: for 4 we are made a spectacle
unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ;
we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but, we
are despised.

11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst,
and ware naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwell-
ing place.

12 And labour, working with our own hands: being re-
viled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

o Or, us the last apostles, as.-p Psalm 44.22. Rom. 8.36. Chap. 15.30, 31. 2 Cor. 4.
11.& 6.9-q Heb. 10.33-r Gr.theatre.-s Chap 2.3-1 Acts 17.18. & 25.24. Chap.1.
18. &c. & 214. & 3. 18. See 2 Kings 9. 11.-u 2 Cor. 13. 9.- 2 Cor. 4. 8. & 11. 23-27.
Phil 4.12-w Job 22.6. Rom.8.38-x Acts 23.2-y Acts 18.3. & 20.34. 1 Thess. 2.9.
2 Thess.3.8. 1 Tim. 4.10.

[graphic]

for many people to forget, if not despise, the men by whom
they were brought to the knowledge of the truth; and take up
with others, to whom, in the things of God, they owe nothing.
Reader, is this thy case?

9. God hath set forth us the apostles last] This whole pas-
sage is well explained by Dr. Whitby.
seems to allude to the Roman spectacles, Tns Tv Oεptopaxwv,
"Here the apostle
Kaι povoμaxias avdoodovou, that of the Bestiarii and the gladi.
ators, where, in the morning, men were brought upon the
theatres to fight with wild beasts; and to them was allowed
armour to defend themselves, and smite the beasts that assail-
ed them: but in the meridian or noon-day spectacles, the
gladiators were brought forth naked, and without any thing to
defend themselves from the sword of the assailant; and he
that then escaped was only kept for slaughter to another day,
so that these men might be well called eroavariot, men ap-
pointed for death; and this being the last appearance on the
theatre, for that day, they are said here to be set forth coxarot,
the last. Of these two spectacles, Seneca speaks thus: Epist.
vii. "In the morning, men are exposed to lions and bears;
at mid-day, to their spectators; those that kill, are exposed
to one another; the victor is detained for another slaughter:
the conclusion of the fight is death. The former fighting,
compared to this, was mercy; now, it is mere butchery; they
have nothing to cover them, their whole body is exposed to
every blow; and every stroke produces a wound, &c."
We are made a spectacle] Ori Ocaтpov eуevnoпμer, we are
exhibited on the theatre to the world: we are lawful booty to
all mankind, and particularly to the men of the world; who
have their portion in this life. Angels are astonished at our
treatment; and so are the more considerate part of men.
Who, at that time, would have coveted the apostolate ?

10. We are fools for Christ's sake] Here he still carries on the allusion to the public spectacles among the Romans; where they were accustomed to hiss, hoot, mock, and variously insult the poor victims. To this, Philo alludes in his embassy to Caius, speaking of the treatment which the Jews received at Rome, ώσπερ γαρ εν θεάτρω κλωσμοσυριττόντων, καταμωκωμένον, άμετρα χλευαζόντων· upon a theatre, we are hissed, most outrageously hooted, and For, as if exhibited insulted beyond all bounds." Thus, says the apostle, we are fools on Christ's account; we walk in a conformity to his will, and we bear his cross: and did we walk according to the course of this world, or according to the man-pleasing conduct of some among you, we should have no such cross to bear. Ye are wise in Christ] Surely all these expressions are meant ironically: the apostles were neither fools, nor weak, nor contemptible; nor were the Corinthians, morally speaking, soise, and strong, and honourable. Change the persons, and then the epithets will perfectly apply.

11. We both hunger and thirst, &c.] Who would then have been an apostle of Christ, even with all its spiritual honours and glories, who had not a soul filled with love both to God and man? and the fullest conviction of the reality of the doctrine he preached, and of that spiritual world in which alone he could expect rest? See the Introduction, sect. vi.

Have no certain dwelling.] We are mere itinerant preachers: and when we set out in the morning, know not where, or whether we shall or not, get a night's lodging.

12. Working with our own hands] They were obliged to labour, in order to supply themselves with the necessaries of life while preaching the Gospel to others. This, no doubt, was the case in every place where no church had been as yet formed: afterward, the people of God supplied their ministers, according to their power, with food and raiment.

Being reviled, we bless, &c.] What a most amiable picture does this exhibit of the power of the grace of Christ! Man is naturally a proud creature; and his pride prompts him always to avenge himself in whatever manner he can; and repay insult with insult. It is only the grace of Christ that can make a man patient in bearing injuries, and to render blessing for cursing; beneficence for malevolence, &c. The apostles suffered all indignities for Christ's sake; for it was on his account, that they were exposed to persecutions, &c. 13. Being defamed] Blaconusuεvot, being blasphemed. I have already remarked that Baconus, signifies to speak in iuriously, and may have reference either to God or to man. GOD is blasphemed when his attributes, doctrines, providence, or grace, are treated contemptuously; or any thing said of 110

state of the apostles.

13 Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of
sons, I warn you.
the earth, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
14 I write not these things to shame you, but bas my beloved

yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have be
gotten you through the gospel.
15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ,

my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord; who shall bring you
16 Wherefore I beseech you, d be ye followers of me.
17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, f who is
h teach every where in every church.
into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I

18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you Fhilem. 10. James 1.18.- Chap. 11.1. Phil.3.17, 1. 1 Thess. 1.5 2 Thess 39z Matt. 5.44. Luke 6.28.& 3.34. Acte 7.60. Rom. 12.14, 21 1 Pet.2.&39a Lam. 3.45.-b1 Thess. 2.11.-e Acta 18.11. Rom. 15.9) Chap. 26. Osl. 4.B. Acts 19.22. Ch. 16. 10. Phil.2. 19. 1 Thess.3.2-1 Tim.1.2. Tim.1.2-g Ch.11. 2-h Ch.7.17.-i Ch. 14.33-k Ch.5.2.

Him that is contrary to his holiness, justice, goodness, or
truth.
spoken of his person, character, conduct, &c. Blaspheming
Man is blasphemed, when any thing injurious is
persons, characters, or property.
against men, is any thing by which they are injured in their

things] The Greek word which we render filth, is repicabas
para, a purgation, or lustrative sacrifice; that which we
We are made as the filth of the earth-the off-scouring of all
translate off-scouring, is repinpa, a redemption sacrifice.
To understand the full force of these words, as applied by the
apostle in this place, we must observe that he alludes to cer
tain customs among the heathens; who, in the time of some
public calamity, chose out some unhappy men of the most
abject and despicable character, to be a public expiation for
them; these they maintained a whole year at the public ex-
pense; and then they led them out, crowned with flowers, as
curses of the country upon their heads, and whipped them
seven times, they burned them alive, and afterward their
was customary in sacrifices: and, having heaped all the
ashes were thrown into the sea, while the people said these
words, εpinua nuv yivov; be thou our propitiation. Some-
times the person thus chosen, was thrown into the sea, as a
sacrifice to Neptune; the people saying the words as before
Hence Origen says that our Lord, in giving up himself as a
propitiation for our sins, was much more than his apostles;
the world, and the peculiar sacrifice for all men. The apos
tle, therefore, means that he and his fellows were treated like
περικαθάρματα του κόσμου, παντων περίψημα, the lustration of
those wretched beings who were judged to be fit for nothing.
but to be expiatory victims to the infernal gods, for the safety
and redemption of others. Our words, filth and off-scouring,
ful remarks upon these terms, in Pearce, Whitby, and Park-
hurst.
convey no legitimate sense of the original. See several use

of finding fault with you, for not providing me with the ne cessaries of life, that I write thus: but I do it to warn you to 14. I write not these things to shame you] It is not by way act diferently for the time to come; and be not so ready to be of those, to whom, under God, you owe your salvation. drawn aside by every pretender to apostleship, to the neglect raidaywyovs, myriads of leaders, that is, an indefinite multitude; for so the word is often used. The raidaywyos, from 15. For though ye have ten thousand instructers] Mupions which we have our word pædagogue, which we improperly apply to a schoolmaster, was among the Greeks, the person or servant who attended a child, had the general care of him, and who led him to school for the purpose of being instructed by the didaσkalos, or teacher. It seems there were many at Corinth who offered their services to instruct this people, and who were not well affected towards the apostle.

no parental feeling for you; and how can they ? you are not their spiritual children: you stand in this relation to me alone: Not many fathers] Many offer to instruct you, who have for in Christ Jesus, by the power and unction of his Spirit, I have begotten you, my children alone in the Gospel. Schoettgen produces a good illustration of this from Shemoth Rabba, sect. 46. fol. 140 state of salvation, so that you have been born again; ye are was the means of bringing you into a who was a good and faithful man, and took great care of her: when she was grown up, he purposed to bestow her in mar"A girl who had lost her parents, was educated by a guardian riage: the scribe came, and beginning to write the contract, said, What is thy name? The maid answered, N. The scribe proceeded, What is the name of thy father? The maid was replied, Because I know no other father but thee. For he who educates a child well, is more properly the father, than he who silent. Her guardian said, Why art thou silent? The maid begot it." This is the same kind of sentiment which I have already quoted from Terence, Rom. xvi. 13.

Natura tu illi pater es; consiliis ego.

should rather be translated, Be ye imitators of me; pprral
ADELPH, Act. i. scene 2. verse 47.
Thou art his father by nature; I, by instruction.
from which we have our word mimic; which, though now
16. Wherefore, I beseech you, be ye followers of me) It
used only in a bad or ludicrous sense, simply signifies an
imitator of another person, whether in speech, manner, habil
or otherwise.
preference to all others: he calls on them to imitate him, as
As children should imitate their parents in

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