Images de page
PDF
ePub

Account of the

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER V.

19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.

1 Acts 19.21. Ch. 16.5. 2 Cor. 1.15,23-m Acta 18.21. Rom. 15.32, Heb.6.3.

he claims them for his children. He lived for God and eternity, seeking not his own glory, emolument, or ease; those sowers of sedition among them were actuated by different motives. Here, then, the apostle compares himself with them; follow and initate me, as I follow and imitate Christ; do not imitate them who, from their worldly pursuits, show them selves to be actuated with a worldly spirit.

17. For this cause] That you initate me, and know in what this consists.

I sent unto you Timotheus] The same person to whom he wrote the two epistles that are still extant under his name; and whom he calls here his beloved son, one of his most intimate disciples: and whom he had been the means of bring. ing to God through Christ.

My ways which be in Christ] This person will also inform you the manner in which I regulate all the churches; and show to you that what I require of you, is no other than what I require of all the churches of Christ which I have formed; as I follow the same plan of discipline in every place.. See the Introduction, sect iii.

18. Some are puffed up] Some of your teachers act with great haughtiness, imagining themselves to be safe, because they suppose that I shall not revisit Corinth.

19. But I will come to you shortly] God being my helper, I fully purpose to visit you: and then I shall put these proud men to the proof, not of their speech, eloquence, or pretensions to great knowledge and influence, but of their power, the authority they profess to have from God, and the evidences of that authority in the works they have performed. See the Introduction, sect. xi.

20. For the kingdom of God] The religion of the Lord Je. aus is not in word, in hunan eloquence, excellence of speech, or even in doctrines; but in power, ev dvvapet, in the mighty energy of the Holy Spirit; enlightening, quickening, converting, and sanctifying believers and all his genuine apostles are enabled, on all necessary occasions, to demonstrate the truth of their calling by miracles; for this the original word often means.

incestuous person.

20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in
love, and in the spirit of meekness?

James 4.15.-n Ch.2.4. 1 Thess. 1.5.- 2 Cor. 10 2 & 13. 10.

preaching his marims in all their force and purity. (3.) Fi delity to the CHURCH, in taking heed to keep up a godly disci. pline, admitting none into it but those who have abandoned their sins; and permitting none to continue in it, that do not continue to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour. (4.) Fdelity to their own MINISTRY, walking so as to bring no blame on the Gospel; avoiding the extremes of indolent tenderness on one band, and austere severity on the other. Considering the flock, not as their flock, but the flock of Jesus Christ; watching, ru.ing, and feeding it according to the order of their Divine Master.

2. A minister of God should act with great caution: every man, properly speaking, is placed between the secret judg ment of God, and the public censure of men. He should do nothing rashly, that he may not justly incur the censure of men; and he should do nothing but in the loving fear of God, that he may not incur the censure of his Maker. The man who scarcely ever allows himself to be wrong, is one of whom it may be safely said, he is seldom right. It is possible for a man to mistake his own will for the will of God; and his own obstinacy, for inflexible adherence to his duty. With such persons, it is dangerous to have any commerce. Reader, pray to God to save thee from an inflated mind. 3. Zeal for God's truth is essentially necessary for every minister; and prudence is not less so. They should be wisely tempered together; but this is not always the case. Zeal, without prudence, is like a flambeau in the hands of a blind man: it may enlighten and warm, but it may also destroy the spiritual building. Human prudence should be avoided as well as intemperate zeal: this kind of prudence consists in a man's being careful not to bring himself into trouble; and not to hazard his reputation, credit, interest, or fortune, in the performance of his duty. Evangelical wisdom consists in our suffering and losing all things, rather than be wanting in the discharge of our obligations.

4. From St. Paul's account of himself, we find him often suffering the severest hardships in the prosecution of his du. ty. He had for his patrimony, hunger, thirst, nakedness, 21. Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love] Here he stripes, &c. and wandered about testifying the Gospel of the alludes to the case of the teacher and father, mentioned ver. grace of God, without even a cottage that he could claim as 15. Shall I come to you with the authority of a teacher, and his own. Let those who dwell in their elegant houses, who use the rod of discipline or shall I come in the tender- profess to be apostolic in their order, and evangelical in their ness of a father, and entreat you to do what I have autho- doctrines, think of this. In their state of affluence they should rity to enforce? Among the Jews, those who did not amend have extraordinary degrees of zeal, humility, meekness, and after being faithfully admonished, were whipped, either pub-charity, to recommend them to our notice as apostolical men. licly or privately, in the synagogue. If on this, they did not If God, in the course of his Providence, has saved them amend, they were liable to be stoned. We see from the case from an apostle's hardships, let them devote their lives to of Ananias and Sapphira, Elymas the sorcerer, Hymenæus the service of that church in which they have their emoluand Alexander, &c. that the apostles had sometimes the pow- ments; and labour incessantly to build it up on its most holy er to inflict the most awful punishments on transgressors. faith. Let them not be masters to govern with rigour and The Corinthians must have known this, and consequently have imperiousness; but tender fathers, who feel every member dreaded a visit from him in his apostolical authority. That in the church as their own child, and labour to feed the hea there were many irregularities in this church, which requir- venly family with the mysteries of God, of which they are ed both the presence and authority of the apostle, we shall see stewards. in the subsequent chapters.

1. In the preceding chapter we find the ministers of God compared to STEWARDS, of whom the strictest fidelity is required. (1.) Fidelity to God, in publishing his truth with seal, defending it with courage, and recommending it with prudence. (2) Fidelity to CHRIST, whose representatives they are, in honestly and fully recommending his grace and salvation, on the ground of his passion and death; and

5. And while the people require much of their spiritual pastors, these pastors have equal right to require much of their people. The obligation is not all one side; those who watch for our souls have a right not only to their own sup. port, but to our reverence and confidence. Those who despise their ecclesiastical rulers, will soon despise the church of Christ itself, neglect its ordinances, lose sight of its doctrines, and at last neglect their own salvation. CHAPTER V.

Account of the incestuous person, or of him who had married his father's wife, 1. The apostle reproves the Corinthiana for their carelessness in this matter; and orders them to excommunicate the transgressor, 2-5. They are reprehended for their glorying, while such scandals were among them, 6. They must purge out the old leaven, that they may properly celebrate the Christian Pass-over, 7-9. They must not associate with any who, professing the Christian religion, was guilty of any scandalous vice; and must put away from them every evil person, 10–13. [A. M. 4060. A. Ď. 56. A. U. C. 809. An. Imp. Neronis Cæs. 3.]

is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.

a Eph.5.3.-b Lev. 18.8. Deut. 22. 3. & 27.20.

NOTES-Verse 1. There is fornication among you] The word #opreta, which we translate fornication in this place, must be understood in its utmost latitude of meaning, as implying all kinds of impurity; for, that the Corinthians were notoriously guilty of every species of irregularity and debauch, we have already seen: and it is not likely that, in speaking an this subject, in reference to a people so very notorious, he would refer to one only species of impurity, and that not the most flagitious.

That one should have his father's wife] Commentators and critics have found great difficulties in this statement. One part of the case is sufficiently clear, that a man who professed Christianity, had illegal connexions with his father's wife: bat, the principal question is, was his father alive or dead? Most think that the father was alive, and imagine that to this the apostle refers, 2 Cor. vii. 12. where, speaking of the per

2d And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from

among you

e 2 Cor.7.12.-d Ch.4.19.-2 Cor. 7.7, 10.

son who did the wrong, he introduces also him who had suf fered the wrong; which must mean the father; and the father then alive. After all that has been said on this subject, I think it most natural to conclude that the person in question had married the wife of his deceased father; not his own mother, but step-mother, then a widow.

This was a crime which the text says, was not so much as named among the Gentiles: the apostle must only mean that it was not accredited by them; for it certainly did often occur; but by their best writers who notice it, it was branded as superlatively infamous Cicero styles it, scelus incredibile et inauditum; an incredible and unheard of wickedness; but it was heard of and practised: and there are several stories of this kind in heathen authors; but they reprobate, not com mend it. The word ovopaterai, named, is wanting in almost every MS. and version of importance, and certainly makes

Christians must not associate

1. CORINTHIANS.

with corrupt professors.

3f For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with
judged already, as though I were present, concerning him the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
that hath so done this deed;

4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gather-
ed together, and my spirit, h with the power of our Lord Je
sus Christ,

5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

61 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even "Christ our passover P is sacrificed for us:

8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, fCol.2.5-g Or, determined.-h Matt. 16, 19 & 18 18 Jn.20 23.2 Cor 2 10. & 13.310.- Job 2.6 Pa. 109.6, 1 Tint 1.200,-k Acts 6.18-1 Ver.2. Ch. 21. & 4.19. Jn 4. 16.-m Ch. 15,33. Gal 5.9. 2 Tim.2 17.-n 1s.53.7. Jn.1.29 Ch. 151 Pet. 1.19. Rev. 4.5, 12.-0 Jn.19. 14.-p Or, is slain -q Ex. 12. 15. & 1.5.- Or, holiday.-a Deu 16.

no part of the text. The words should be read, and such for nication as is not amongst the Gentiles-i. e. not allowed. Some think that this woman might have been a proselyte to the Jewish religion from heathenism; and the Rabbins taught that proselytism annulled all former relationship, and that a woman was at liberty, in such a case, to depart from an unbelieving husband, and to marry even with a believing son--i. e. of her husband by some former wife.

2. Ye are puffed up] Ye are full of strife and contention, relative to your parties and favourite teachers; and neglect the discipline of the church. Had you considered the great! ness of this crime, ye would have rather mourned, and have put away this flagrant transgressor from among you.

Taken away from among you] Iva εlap‡ŋ ε perov vpow. This is supposed by some to refer to the punishment of death; by others to excómununication. The Christian church was, at this time, too young to have those forms of excommunication which were practised in succeeding centuries. Probably no more is meant than a simple disowning of the person, accompanied with the refusal to admit him to the sacred ordinances; or to have any interconrs or connexion with him. 3. Absent in body, but present in spirit] Perhaps St. Paul refers to the gift of the discernment of spirits, which it is very likely the apostles in general possessed on extraordinary occa sions. He had already seen this matter so clearly, that he had determined on that sort of punishment which should be inflicted for this crime.

4. In the name of our Lord Jesus.] Who is the Head of the church; and under whose authority every act is to be per formed.

And my spirit My apostolical authority derived from Him; with the power, cov doraust, with the miraculous energy of the Lord Jesus, which is to inflict the punishment that you pronounce :

5. To deliver such an one unto Satan) There is no evidence that delivering to Satan was any form of excommunication known either anong the Jews or the Christians. Lightfoot, Selden, and Schoetigen, who have searched all the Jewish records, have found nothing that answers to this: it was a species of punishment administered in extraordinary cases, in which the body and the mind of an incorrigible transgres sor were delivered by the anthority of God, into the power of Satan, to be tortured with diseases and terrors, as a warning to all: but, while the body and mind were thus tormented, the immortal spirit was under the influence of the Divine mercy; and the affliction, in all probability, was in general only for a season; though sometimes it was evidently unto death, as the destruction of the flesh seems to imply. But the soul found mercy at the hand of God: for, such a most extraordinary interference of God's power and justice, and of Satan's influence, could not fail to bring the person to a state of the deepest humiliation and contrition: and thus, while the flesh was destroyed, the spirit was suved in the day of the Lord Jesus. No such power as this now remains in the church of God; none such should be assumed, the pretensions to it are as wicked as they are vain. It was the same power by which Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead; and Elymas, the sorcerer, struck blind. Apostles, alone,

were entrusted with it.

6. Your glorying is not good] You are triumphing in your superior knowledge, and busily employed in setting up and supporting your respective teachers, while the church is left under the most scandalous corruptions; corruptions which threaten its very existence, if not purged away.

Know ye notĺ With all your boasted wisdoin, do you not know and acknowledge the truth of a common maxim, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? If this leaven, the incestuous person, be permitted to remain among you; if his con. duct be not exposed by the inost formidable censures, the flood-gates of impurity will be opened on the church, and the whole state of Christianity ruined in Corinth.

7. Purge out therefore the old leaven] As it is the custom of the Jews, previously to the pass-over, to search their hou- | ses, in the most diligent manner, for the old leaven, and throw it out, sweeping every part clean; so act with this incestuous person. I have already shown with what care the Jews purged their houses froin all leaven, previously to the pass. See the note on Exod. xii. 8-19. and on the term pass112

over.

cators:
9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with forni

then must ye needs go out of the world.
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world,
or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for

[ocr errors]

ous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortion
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company,
y if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covet
er; with such a one, no not to eat.

do not ye judge them that are within?
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?

away from among yourselves that wicked person.
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put

3- Matt. 16.6, 12. Mk.8.15. Lk. 12 1.-u See Ver 2, 7. 2 Cor. 6.14. Eph 5.11.
2 Thess 3.14.-v Ch. 10 27.-w Ch.1.2.-x John 17.15. 1 John 5. 19-y Mac. 15.17.
Kom 16. 17. 2 Thess 3, 14. 2 John to Gal. 2.12-a Mark 4.11. Col.4.5. 1 Then
over, and Christ as represented by this ancient Jewish sacri-
4.12. Tum.3.7.-b Ch.6.1, 2, 3, 4-e Deu. 13.5.& 17.7...&22.21,22,24.
fice, see on Exod. xii 27. and my Discourse on the Nature
and Design of the Eucharist.

the time of the pass-over was now approaching; when the
church of Christ would be called to extraordinary acts of de-
8. Therefore let us keep the feust] It is very likely that
advantage, in his exhortation to the Corinthians. See the In-
votion, in commemorating the passion, death, and resurrec
troduction, sec. xii.
tion of Christ; and of this circumstance the apostle takes

must be saved, equally from Judaism, Heathenism, and from
Not with old leaven] Under the Christian dispensation, we
and sincerity and truth, inward purity and outward holiness,
take their place.
sin of every kind; malice and wickedness must be destroyed:

the impure principles which actuated you while in your hea
The apostle refers here not more to wicked principles, than
then state; neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness,
to wicked men : let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven,
kaklas kai movηgias, wickedness, radical depravity, producing
unrighteousness in the life; nor with the persons who are
thus influenced, and thus act; but with the unleavened
bread, add' ev atvuois, but with upright and godly men, who
have sincerity, ciXixoiveta, such purity of affections and con-
duct that even the light of God, shining upon them, discovers
no flaw; and truth, who have received the testimony of God,
fess to be.
and who are inwardly as well as outwardly, what they pro-

MSS. have the latter reading instead of the former; which, The word vηpias, which we translate wickedness, is so indeed, seems most natural in this place; as kaktas, which very like to movetas, fornication, that some very ancieal ject in question, see ver. 1. would come more pointedly in we translate malice, includes every thing that is implied in here, Not with wickedness and fornication, or rather not Tovnptas, wickedness; whereas, Topvelas, as being the subwith wicked men and fornicators: but I do not contend for this reading.

skilled in Biblical criticism, agree that the apostle does not
refer to any other epistle than this; and that he speaks here
9. I wrote unto you in an epistle] The wisest, and best
of some general directions which he had given in the forego-
ing part of it; but which he had now, in some measure,
changed and greatly strengthened, as we see from ver.
11. The words typaчa Ev Tη Eж150λg, may be translated, I
HAD written to you in THIS EPISTLE; for there are many in-
stances in the New Testament, where the aorist, which is
here used, and which is a sort of indefinite tense, is used for
the perfect, and the plusquam perfect. Dr. Whitby produces
several proofs of this, and contends that the conclusion drawn
by some, viz. that it refers to some epistle that is lost, is not
legitimately drawn from any premises which either this text
or antiquity affords. The principal evidence against this is
2 Cor. vii. 8. where v T Enson, the same words as above,
appear to refer to this first epistle. Possibly the apostle may
on receiving farther information from Stephanus, Fortunatus,
and Achaïcus, relative to the state of the Corinthian church,
refer to an epistle which he had written though not sent; for,
subject much more at large.
he suppressed that, and wrote this, in which he considers the
already seen, Corinth abounded. It was not only the grand
sin, but staple of the place.
Not to company with fornicators] With which, as we have
See Dr. Lightfoot.

awful picture of the general corruption of manners does this
exhibit! The Christians at Corinth could not transact the
10. For then ye must needs go out of the world] What an
ordinary affairs of life with any others than with fornicators,
ters, because there were none others in the place! How neces-
sary was Christianity in that city!
covetous persons, extortioners, railers, drunkards, and idola

more, that if any one who is called a brother, i. e. professes
the Christian religion, be a fornicator, covetous, idolater, rei
11. But now I have written] I not only write this, but I add
ler, drunkard, or extortioner; not even to eat with such;
have no communion with such an one, in things either sacred
or civil. You may transact your worldly concerns with a per
anity, whatever his moral character may be: but ye must
son that knows not God, and makes no profession of Christi

411

not even thus far acknowledge a man professing Christianity, who is scandalous in his conduct. Let him have this extra mark of your abhorrence of all sin; and let the world see that the church of God does not tolerate iniquity.

12. For, what have I to do to judge them also that are with out] The term without, rous sw, signifies those who were not members of the church, and in this sense its correspondent term sinn ha-chitsonim, those that are without, is generally understood in the Jewish writers, where it frequently occurs. The word xat, also, which greatly disturbs the sense here, is wanting in ABCFG, and several others, with the Syriac, Coptic, Slavonic, Vulgate, and the Itala: together with several of the Fathers. The sentence, I think, with the omission of kat, also, should stand thus: Does it helong to me to pass sentence on those which are without, which are not members of the church? By no means, (ovxt.) Puss ye sentence on them which are within, which are members of the church-Those which are without, which are not members of the church, God will pass sentence on, in that way in which he generally deals with the heathen world-But mut ye away the evil from among yourselves. This is most evi. dently the apostle's meaning, and renders all comments unnecessary. In the last clause there appears to be an allusion to Dent. xvii. 7. where the like directions are given to the congregation of Israel, relative to a person found guilty of idolatry. Thou shalt put away the evil from among youwhere the Version of the Septuagint is almost the same as that of the apostle ; και εξαρεῖς τον πονηρον εξ ύμων αυτών. There are several important subjects in this chapter which intimately concern the Christian church in general.

1. If evil be tolerated in religious societies, the work of God cannot prosper there. If one scandal appear, it should be the cause of general humiliation and mourning to the follow ers of God where it occurs; because the soul of a brother is on the road to perdition; the cause of God se far betrayed and injured; and Christ re-crucified in the house of his friends. Pity should fill every heart towards the transgresFors, and prayer for the backslider occupy all the members of the church.

2 Discipline must be exercised in the Christian church; without this, it will soon differ but little from the wilderness of this world. But what judgment, prudence, piety, and caution, are requisite in the execution of this most important

to law with each other
branch of a minister's duty he may be too easy and render, and
permit the gangrene to remain till the flock be infected with it
vital, while only professing to take away what is vitiated. A
Or he may be rigid and severe, and destroy those parts that are
backslider is one who once knew less or more of the salva-
tion of God. Hear what God says concerning such, Tuin,
ye backsliders, for I am married unto you. See how unwill
ing He is to give them up! He suffers long, and is kind; do
thon likewise; and when thou art obliged to cut off the offend-
er from the church of Christ, follow him still with thy best
advice and heartiest prayers.

3. A soul cut off from the flock of God is in an awful state!
his outward defence is departed from him; and being no long-
er accountable to any for his conduct, he generally plunges
into unprecedented depths of iniquity; and the last state of
that man becomes worse than the first. Reader, art thou
without the pale of God's church? remember it is here writ
4. Christians who wish to retain the spirituality of their reli
ten, them that are WITHOUT, God judgeth, ver. 13.
gion, should be very careful how they mingle with the world.
He who is pleased with the company of ungodly men, no matter
howsoever witty or learned, is either himself one with them,
or is drinking into their spirit. It is impossible to associate
with such by choice, without receiving a portion of their con-
tagion. A man may be amused or delighted with such people,
but he will return even from the festival of wit, with a lean
and the world are separated by an impassable gulf.
soul. Howsoever contiguous they may be, yet the church

5. If all the fornicators, adulterers, drunkards, extortioners,
and covetous persons which bear the Christian name, were to
be publicly excommunicated from the Christian church, how
many, and how awful would the examples be! If, however,
the discipline of the visible church be so lax, that such
characters are tolerated in it, they should consider that this
is no passport to heaven. In the sight of God, they are not
members of his church: their citizenship is not in heaven,
and therefore they have no right to expect the heavenly inhe
men shall be saved at the last day-those alone who were
ritance. It is not under names, creeds, or professions, that
holy; who were here conformed to the image of Christ,
shall inherit the kingdom of God. Those who expect it in
any other way, or on any other account, will be sadly de
ceived.

[graphic]

The Corinthians are reproved for their litigious disposition; brother going to law with brother, and that before the hea then,1-6 They should suffer wrong, rather than do any, 7, 8. No unrighteous person can enter into the glory of God, 9, 10. Some of the Corinthians had been grievous sinners, but God had saved them, 11. Many things may be lawful, which are not at all times expedient, 12. Meats are for the belly, and the belly for meats; but the body is not for unclean. ness, 13. Christ's resurrection a pledge of ours, 14. The bodies of Christians are members of Christ, and must not he defiled, 15-17. He that commits fornication sins against his own body, 18. Strong dissuasives from it, 19, 20. [A. M. 4090. Á. D. 56. A. U. C. 809. An. Imp. Neronis Cæs. 3.]

DA

ARE any of you, having a matter against another, go to law
before the unjust, and not before the saints?

2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

3 Know ye not that we shall b judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Pea 49.14. Dan.7.22. Matt. 19.29. Luke.22 30. Rev. 2.2 & 3.21. & 20.4. NOTES.-Verse 1. Dare any of you, &c.] From the many things that are here reprehended by the apostle, we learn that the Christian church at Corinth, was in a state of great, imperfection; notwithstanding there were very many eminent characters among them. Divided as they were among themselves, there was no one person who possessed any pub lic authority to settle differences between man and man; therefore, as one party would not submit to the decisions of another, they were obliged to carry their contentions before heathen magistrates; and probably these very subjects of litigation arose out of their ecclesiastical divisions. The thing, and this issue of it, the apostle strongly reprehends.

set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life,

5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man
his brethren ?
among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between

6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the
unbelievers!

b2 Pet.2.4. Jude 6.-e Chap.5.12

refer to the coming of our Lord to execute judgment on the
Jews, and to destroy their state and that the doctrine of the
apostles, not themselves, was to judge and condemn that most
disobedient people. The place before us is generally under-
stood to imply that the redeemed of the Lord shall be, on the
great day, assessors with Him, in judgment; and shall give
their award in the determinations of his justice. On review.
ing this subject, I am fully of opinion that this cannot be the
meaning of the words; and that no such assessorship, as is
contended for, ever will take place; and that the interpreta-
tion is clogged with a multitude of absurdities.

1. The saints themselves, are to appear before the judgment
sent of Christ, and shall be judged by him, after which they
shall reign with him; but it is never said in Scripture that
they shall judge with him.

Before the unjust, and not before the saints ?] The heathen judges were termed Aikasat, from their presumed righteous 2. It would be absurd to suppose that thrones should be erect. ness in the administration of justice: here the apostle, by a paranomasia, calls them Adikot, unrighteous persons--and it is very likely that at Corinth, where such corruption of man- ed, for the purpose of saints sitting on them to give their ap ers reigned, there was a great perversion of public justice: probation in the condemnation of the wicked; of what use can and it is not to be supposed that matters relative to the Chris- such an approbation be? is it necessary to the validity of The Christians the apostle terms Christ's decision? and will not even the damned themselves, tians, were fairly decided. fore think with Dr. Lightfoot that these words of the apostle aytoi, saints, which they were all, by profession; and doubt. without this, acknowledge the justice of their doom? I there. less many were so in spirit and in truth. 2. The saints shall judge the world.] Nothing can be more refer to the prediction of Daniel, chap. vii. 18, 27. and sucl evident than, that the writers of the New Testament often use like prophecies, where the kingdoms of the earth are promised 5 xоapos, the world, to signify the Jewish people; and some- to the saints of the Most High; that is, that a time shall come times the Roman empire, and the Jewish state; and in the when Christianity shall so far prevail, that the civil governWhen, says he, ment of the world shall be administered by Christians, which former sense it is often used by our Lord. the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, then shall at that time, was administered by Heathens. And this is even we sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, now true of all those parts of the earth, which may be conMatt. xix. 28. It is supposed that he refers to the same sub-sidered of the greatest political consequence. They profess ject as that mentioned here, the saints judging the world; and Christianity, and the kings and other governors are Christiana that St. Paul has his words in view, in what he says here to in this general sense of the term. the Corinthians. By judging the twelve tribes of Israel, some have imagined, that having authority in the church, is merely intended; but Dr. Lightfoot contends that the words P

3. Know ye not, that we shall judge angels. Dr. Lightfoot 113 observes that "the apostle does not say here, as he said before, the saints shall judge angels; but we shall judge them. By

49

No worker of iniquity shall

1. CORINTHIANS.

7 Now, therefore, there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be de. frauded?

8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the king. dom of God? Be not deceived; f neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

d Prov.20.22. Matt.5.39, 40. Luke 6.29. Rom. 12.17, 19. 1 Thess.5. 15-e 1 Thess. 4.6.-f Chap. 15.50. Gal. 5.21. Eph. 5.5. 1 Tim.9.1. Heb. 12 14. & 13.4. Rev. 22. 15.Ch.12.2. Eph. 2.2.& 4.22 & 5.8. Col.3.7. Tit.3.3.

angels all confess that demons are intended; but certainly all saints, according to the latitude with which that word is understood: i. e. all who profess Christianity, shall not judge angels. Nor is this judging of angels to be understood of the last day; but the apostle speaks of the ministers of the Gospel, himself and others, who, by the preaching of the Gospel, through the power of Christ, should spoil the devils of their oracles and their idols: should deprive them of their worship; should drive them out of their seats, and strip them of their dominion. Thus would God subdue the whole world under the Christian power, so that Christian magistrates should judge men, and Christian ministers judge devils."

4. Things pertaining to this life] They could examine all civil cases among themselves, which they were permitted to determine without any hinderance from the heathen governments under which they lived.

Who are least esteemed in the church] Τους εξουθενημένους, those who were in the lowest order of Judges; for the apostle may refer here to the order in the Jewish benches, as Dr. Lightfoot conjectures; of which there were five, viz.

1. The great Sanhedrim, consisting of 72 elders, which pre

[graphic]

2. The little Sanhedrim of 25, in large cities out of Jerusalem.
3. The bench of Three in every synagogue.
4. The Authorized, or authentic Bench.

5. The Bench not authorized, εkovoεvnuevos. This latter Bench was so called, because it received not its authority immediately from the Sanhedrim; but was chosen by the parties between whom the controversy depended. The apostle certainly does not mean persons of no repute; but such as these arbitrators, who were chosen for the purpose of settling private differences, and preventing them from going before the regular magistrates. The following verse inakes it pretty evident that the apostle refers to this lower kind of tribunal; and hence he says:

5. Is it so; that there is not a wise man among you] Have you none among yourselves that can be arbitrators of the differences which arise, that you go to the heathen tribunals! 6. Brother goeth to law with brother] One Christian sues another at law! This is almost as great a scandal as can exist in a Christian society. Those in a religious community who till not submit to a proper arbitration, made by persons among themselves, should be expelled from the church of God.

7. There is utterly a fault among you] There is a most manifest defect among you-1. Of peaceableness-2. Of brotherly love-3. Of mutual confidence, and, 4. Of reverence for God, and concern for the honour of his cause.

Why do ye not rather take wrong) Better suffer an injury than take a method of redressing yourselves, which must injure your own peace, and greatly dishonour the cause of God. 8. Nuy, ye do wrong) Far from suffering, ye are the aggres sors, and defraud your pious, long-suffering brethren, who submit to this wrong, rather than take those methods of redressing their grievances which the spirit of Christianity forbids. Probably the apostle refers to him who had taken his father's wife. D. The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom] The unrighteous, adexot, those who act contrary to right; cannot inherit, for the inheritance is by right. He who is not a child of God, has no right to the family inheritance; for that inhe ritance is for the children. If children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, Gal. iv. 5, 6. There are here ten classes of transgressors which the apostle excludes from the kingdom of God; and any man who is guilty of any one of the evils mentioned above, is thereby excluded from this king. dom, whether it imply the church of Christ here below, or the state of glory hereafter.

Several of the evils here enumerated will not bear to be particularly explained; they are, however, sufficiently plain of themselves. and show us what abominations were commonly practised among the Corinthians.

11. And such were some of you] It was not with the prospect of collecting saints, that the apostles went about preaching the Gospel of the kingdom. None but sinners were to be found over the face of the earth; they preached that sinners might be converted unto God, made saints, and constituted into a church; and this was the effect, as well as the object, of their preaching.

But ye are washed] Several suppose that the order in which the operations of the grace of God take place in the Boul, is here inverted; but I am of a very different mind. Every thing will appear here in its order, when we understand the terms used by the apostle.

Ye are washed, aneλovoados; ye have been baptized into

are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord
Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye

expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be
brought under the power of any.
12 i All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not

shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for for
13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but Go
nication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also
raise up us Pby his own power.

Col. 2.923-m Ver. 15, 19, 20. 1 Thess. 4.3, 7-n Eph.5.33-0 Rom.6.5, 8.& 8.11.
h Chap. 1.30. Heb. 10.22.-1 Ch. 10.23.-k Or, profitable-Matt 15.17. Rom. 14.17.
2 Cor.4.14.-p Eph. 1. 19, 20.

the Christian faith: and ye have promised in this baptism to put off all filthiness of the flesh and spirit; and the washing of your bodies is emblematical of the purification of your souls the earth; ye are separated from earthly things, to be con nected with spiritual. Ye are separated from time, to be con Ye are sanctified] Hytao0nre; from a, privative, and y nected with eternity. Ye are separated from idols, to be joined to the living GoD. Separation from common, earthly, or sinful uses, to be wholly employed in the service of the true God, is the ideal meaning of this word, both in the Old and New Testaments. It was in consequence of their being Ye were formerly workers of iniquity, and associated with workers of iniquity; but now ye are separated from them, separated from the world that they became a church of God. and united together to work out your salvation with fear and trembling before God.

a state of favour with God, your sins having been blotted out
through Christ Jesus; the Spirit of God witnessing the same
Ye are justified] Edukatwonte Ye have been brought into
work of regeneration in your hearts. The process here is
to your conscience, and carrying on by his energy, the great
the Gospel at Corinth, and besought the people to turn from
plain and simple:-1. Paul and his brother apostles preached
people who heard were convinced of the divine truths deliver
darkness to light: from idol vanities to the living God; and
ed by the apostle: and flocked to baptism. 3. They were
to believe in the Lord Jesus for the remission of sins. 2. The
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and thus took upon
them the public profession of the Gospel. 4. Being now bap
tized into the Christian faith, they were separated from idols
and idolaters, and became incorporated with the church of
God. 5. As penitents, they were led to the Lord Jesus, for
justification; which they received through faith in his blood.
6. Being justified freely, having their sins forgiven through
God, to attest this glorious work of grace to their consciences;
and thus became possessed of that principle of righteousness,
the redemption that is in Jesus; they received the Spirit of
ducing that universal holiness without which none can see
the Lord.
that true leaven which was to leaven the whole lump; pr

of the Corinthians had pleaded that the offence of the man
12. All things are lawful unto me] It is likely that some
offered to idols, was not contrary to the law as it then stood
To this the apostle answers, though such a thing be lawful,
who had his father's wife, as well as the eating of the things
yet the case of fornication, mentioned chap. v. 1. is not ex-
order, and purity
the best and most enlightened nations: and should not be tole
pedient, ov ovpoeper, it is not agreeable to propriety, decency,
It is contrary to the established usages of
rated in the church of Christ.

things offered to idols, and attending idol feasts thus: that an
idol was nothing in the world; and as food was provided by
They might also be led to argue in favour of their eating
the bounty of God, a man might partake of it any where with
out defiling his conscience, or committing sin against the Cre-
ator; this excuse also the apostle refers to. All these things
are lawful, taken up merely in the light that none of your
laws is against the first; and that, on the ground that an ide
is nothing in the world, there can be no reason against the last.

ing that they are all lawful, or at least that there is no law
against them, yet they are not expedient; there is no neces
But I will not be brought under the power of any] Allow-
sity for them; and some of them are abominable and forbid-
den by the law of God and nature, whether forbidden by yours
or not: while others, such as eating meats offered to idols.
who, that is a Christian, would obey his appetite sc far, as to
do these things for the sake of gratification? A man is brought
will almost necessarily lead to bad moral consequences: and
under the power of any thing which he cannot give up. lle
relinquish; and then, to him, it is sin.
is the slave of that thing whatsoever it be, which he cannot

animal appetite, or propensity to food, &c. and we may con-
ceive the apostle to reason thus: I acknowledge that God has
13. Meats for the belly] I suppose that Kotta means the
provided different kinds of aliments for the appetite of man:
and, among others, those which are generally offered to idols:
aliments to the appetite; but God shall destroy both it and
them; none of these is eternal: all these lower appetites and
and he has adapted the appetite to these aliments, and the
sensations will be destroyed by death, and have no existence
in the resurrection body: and the earth and its productions
shall be burnt up.

Now the body is not for fornication] Though God made an

The apostle's direction

CHAPTER VII.

concerning marriage

15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? | the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth "against
shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the
members of a harlot? God forbid.

16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without Rom. 125 Ch 1997 Eph.4.12, 15, 16 & 5.-r Gen 2.24. Matt. 19.5. Eph 5. 31-Joba. 17.21., 2. Eph.4.4 & 5.0-t Rom. 6. 12, 13. Heb. 13.4.

appetite for food, and provided food for that appetite; yet he has not made the body for any uncleanness, nor indulgence in sensuality; but he has made it for Christ; and Christ was provided to be a sacrifice for this body as well as for the soul, by taking our nature upon him; so that now, as human beings, we have an intimate relationship to the Lord: and our bodies are made not only for his service, but to be his temples.

14. And God hath both raised up the Lord] He has raised up the human nature of Christ from the grave, as a pledge of our resurrection; and will also raise us up by his own power, that we may dwell with him in glory for ever.

15. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ] Because he has taken your nature upon him; and thus, as believers in him, ye are the members of Christ.

Shall I then take, &c.] Shall we, who profess to be mem. bers of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones, connect our selves with harlots, and thus dishonour and pollute the bodies which are members of Christ? God forbid! These pas. sages adinit of a more literal interpretation. This, if given at all, I must give in a strange language.

Membra humana ad generationem pertinentia, vocantur Membra Christi, quia mysterium conjunctionis Christi et Ecclesia, per conjunctionem maris et fæminæ indigitatur, Ephes. v. 32. In Vet. Test. idem valebat de membro masculino, quippe quod circumcisione, tanquam signo fæderis, honoratum est. Vide Schoettgen, Hor. Hebr.

16. He that is joined to a harlot, is one body] In Sohar Genes. fol. 19. we have these remarkable words:-Whosoever connects himself with another man's wife, does, in effect, re. nounce the holy blessed God, and the church of the Israeliles.

17. Is one spirit] He who is united to God, by faith in Christ Jesus, receives his Spirit, and becomes a partaker of the Divine nature.-Who can change such a relationship for communion with a harlot; or for any kind of sensual gratification? He who can, must be far and deeply fallen!

18. Flee fornication] Abominate, detest, and escape from every kind of uncleanness. Some sins, or solicitations to sin, may be reasoned with; in the above cases, if you parly, you are undone; reason not, but FLY!

Sinneth against his own body] Though sin of every species has a tendency to destroy life; yet none are so mortal as those to which the apostle refers: they strike immediately at the basis of the constitution. By the just judgment of God, all these irregular and sinful connexions are married to death.

his own body.

19 What?know ye not that your body is the temple of the
w and ye
Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God,"
are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God
in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's

u Rom. 1.4. 1 Thess. 4.4 Ch.3.16 2 Cor 6.16,- Rom. 14.7, 9-x nets 20.28.
Ch.7.23. Gal.3.13. Heh.9. 12. 1 Pet. 1.19, 19. 2 Pet.2.1 Rev 59.

Neither prostitutes, whoremongers, nor unclean persons of any description, can live out half their days. It would be easy to show, and prove also, how the end of these things, even with respect to the body, is death: but I forbear, and shall finish the subject with the words of the prophet. The show of their countenance doth witness against them: and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not; wo unto their soul, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

19. Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost] What an astonishing saying is this! As truly as the living God dwelt in the Mosaic tabernacle, and in the temple of Solomon, so truly does the Holy Ghost dwell in the souls of genuine Chris tians: and as the temple, and all its utensils were holy, sepa rated from all common and profane uses, and dedicated alone to the service of God; so the bodies of genuine Christians are holy, and all their members should be employed in the ser vice of God alone.

And ye are not your own] Ye have no right over your selves, to dispose either of your body, or any of its members, as you may think proper or lawful; you are bound to God, and to him you are accountable.

20. Ye are bought with a price] As the slave who is purchased by his master for a sum of money, is the sole property of that master; so ye, being bought with the price of the blood slave is bound to use all his skill and diligence for the emoluof Christ, are not your own: you are his property. As the ment of his master; so you should employ body, soul, and spirit, in the service of your Lord; promoting, by every means in your power, the honour and glory of your God, whom you must also consider as your Lord and Master.

Versions, and Fa

There are strange discordances in and the clause, kai EV

thers, on the conclusion of this verse;
ro vεvari bμov, ativa εst Tov Ocov, and in your spirit,
which is God's, is wanting in ABC D'EFG., some others, Cop
mitive Futhers. Almost every critic of note considers them
tic, Ethiopic, Vulgate, and Itala, and in several of the pri
to be spurious. Whether retained or expunged, the sense is
the same. Instead of price, simply, the Vulgate, and some of
the Latin fathers, read pretio magno, with a great price; and,
instead of glorify simply, they read glorificate et portate,
glorify and carry God in your bodies.-These readings appear
to be glosses, intended to explain the text. Litigious Chris
tians, who will have recourse to law for every little difference,
as well as the inpure, may read this chapter either to their
conviction or confusion.

CHAPTER VII.

persons,

1-6. God has given every man his pro A solution of several difficult cases concerning marriage, and married per gift, 7. Directions to the unmarried and widows, 8, 9. Directions to the married, 10, 11. Directions to men mar ried to heathen women; and to women murried to heathen men, 12-16. Every man should abide in his vocation, 17– 24. Directions concerning the state of Directions concerning virgins, and single persons in general, 25-28. How all should behave themselves in the things The trials of the married state, 32-35. of this life, in reference to eternity, 29-31. virginity or celibacy, 36-38. How the wife is bound to her husband during his life; and her liberty to marry another after his death, 39, 40. [A. M. 4060. A. D. 56. A. U. C. 809. An. Imp. Neronis Cæs. 3.] TOW, concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me : It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

a Ver.8, 26. Matt.19.10. Prov.6.29.

NOTES-Verse 1. The things whereof ye wrote unto me] It is sufficiently evident that the principal part of this epistle was written in answer to some questions which had been sent to the apostle, in a letter from the Corinthian church; and the first question seems to be this, "Is it proper for a man to marry in the present circumstances of the church ?"

2 Nevertheless, b to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

b Ch.6,18. Matt, 14.4.& 15, 19. Het. 13.4.

ed from seeing the public games. By the laws of the Spar tans, bachelors were punished. And Plato declares all such unworthy of any honour. And to this the Commentator says, Amen.

Not to touch a woman] Γυναικος μη απτεσθαι· The learned reader need not be informed in what sense &яropai is used among the Greeks, and tangere among the Latins. For examples, Wetstein may be consulted.

2. To avoid fornication] Aia ras Ropνelas: verto, propter exercendam libidinem, vel ut libidinem licitè exercere liceat. For they shall eut and not have Probo hanc notionem ex Hebræo, ibi 7 zanah, est libidinem exercere, Hos. iv. 10. enough: they shall commit whoredom, libidinem exercebunt; and shall not increase. Here the prophet certainly does not speak of whoredom, in our sense of the word; for the persons he mentions, expected to have children, which cannot be said of those who are addicted to improper connexions: the prophet speaks concerning married persons, whom he threatens with a privation of children, notwithstanding libidinem exercebant, in order to have numerous families. See Schoettgen. The following verse shows that this is the apostle's meaning.

The question concerning the expediency or inexpediency of marriage, was often agitated among the ancient philosophers; and many, though inclined to decide against it, because of the troubles and cares connected with it, tolerated it in their opinions; because, though an evil, it was judged to be a ne. cessary evil. The words of Menander are full to this effect. Tapeiv Eav TIS any aλnůɛiav okoπŇ, kakov pev ε51, adλ' avay. καίου κακού" "If a man consider marriage in a proper point of view, it is an evil; but then it is a necessary evil." Metellus Numidicus spoke of it nearly in the same way.-Si si. ne uxore possemus, Quirites, esse, omnes eâ molestiâ careremus; sed quoniam ita natura tradidit, ut nec CUM ILLIS satis commode, nec SINE ILLIS ullo modo vivi possit, saluti "If, perpetuæ potius quam brevi voluptati consulendum. Oye Romans, we could live unmarried, we should be saved from a great deal of trouble; but, seeing that nature has so ordered it, that we cannot live very comfortably with wives, and without them cannot live at all, marriage should be adopted, not for the sake of the short-lived pleasure, but rather for perpetual safety." But this was not the common opinion: In the Jewish constitutions, there are some things not only There are four the Jews absolutely required that every man should marry, and reputed those as murderers, who did not.-See on ver. 6. 115 By the laws of Lycurgus, unmarried persons were prohibit-curious but useful, respecting marriage

Let every man have his own wife] Let every man have one woman, his own; and every woman one man, her own. Here, plurality of wives and husbands is most strictly forbid. den and they are commanded to marry for the purpose of procreating children.

« PrécédentContinuer »