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Theological Seminary, 


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Vol. II. 








Vol. II. 

" Affer animum, rectum et dmplicem, veritatis supra ceetera amantem, 
" pre^udidii vacuum. Ne protinus tanquam nova, tanquam inaudUa et 
" absurda damnaveris, qu(B tibi nova, tibi inaudita, et absurda occurrent. 
" Ea qtuB dicimus, non cum alionim judiciis, non cum vulgi inveteratis 
" ojnnionibus compone, ut inde rem cBstimes, sed cum autoris divini verbis, 
" scopo, ipsoque rationis JUo. Hinc tibi Veritas petenda est : kino de nobis 
"ferenda sententia. Equidem nos sicuM lapsi, aut D. Autoris mentem non 
" satis assecuti sumus, amice admoniti, ultra manus dabimtts, grotesque in- 
" super accumulabimus." Slichtingius Praef. ad Heb. 



{Successor to Mr. Johnson,) 







i^ORINTH was a town standing upon the isthmus 
which separates the peninsula of the Peloponnesus 
from the rest of Greece. It was well situated for com- 
merce, and was a populous and opulent city, and a 
Roman colony. The inhabitants were ingenious, 
inquisitive, and industrious ; but they were also luxu- 
rious, debauched, and profligate even to a proverb. 
The gospel was preached by the apostle Paul at 
Corinth, about a. d. 52. See Acts xviii. He first 
taught in the synagogue with considerable success; 
and Crispus the chief ruler, with his family, and 
probably Sosthenes, were converted to the Chris- 
tian faith. But the Jews in general opposing and 
blaspheming, the apostle desisted from speaking to 



them, and addressed his instructions to the Gen- 
tiles ; and, having been encouraged by a vision, he 
prolonged his visit at Corinth for a year and six 
months. During this time, he resided with Aquila 
and Priscilla, who, having been driven from Rome 
by the decree of Claudius which banished the Jews, 
had established themselves at Corinth, where they 
were probably converted to the Christian faith by 
the preaching of the apostle. With these disciples 
the apostle chose to make his abode, and m.aintained 
himself by working with them in their occupation 
of tent-makers,, or, as some interpret the word, 
makers of musical instruments '. This art the 
apostle had learned in his youth according to the 
laudable custom of the Jews, of instructing young 
persons who were intended for the learned profes- 
sions in some manual employment. In the mean- 
time, the apostle preached the gospel with great 
success, and made numerous proselytes, notwith- 
standing the violent and tumultuous opposition of 
the Jews, who endeavoured, but in vain, to instigate 
the Roman proconsul to put him to death, or to 
expell him from the city. Of the converts to the 
faith, some were Jews, but the majority were hea- 
then ; some were poor, and others opulent ; some 
were ignorant, while others valued themselves upon 
their attainments in the learning and philosophy of 
the age. It also appears, that many of them were 
endued with spiritual gifts, some of which, at least. 

See Bishop Marsh's translation of Michaehs, vol. iv, p. 184, 


they exercised at discretion. Also, some time after 
the departure of the apostle, ApoUos, a man of great 
zeal and eloquence, who had been instructed in the 
Christian doctrine at Ephesus by Aquila and Pris- 
cilla, visited Corinth and confirmed the new con- 
verts in their adherence to the faith. 

Nevertheless, after the departure of Apollos, the 
newly formed church at Corinth soon fell into great 
disorder. Some Jewish zealot, who appears to have 
been a man of considerable property and influence, 
a man of parts and address, an eloquent speaker, a 
philosopher, and perhaps a Sadducee, formed a party 
in opposition to the apostle, professing to teach 
them a more refined system of Christian philoso- 
phy, derived from ancient Hebrew traditions, deny- 
ing the resurrection of the dead, and relaxing the 
obligations of Christian morality. This dangerous 
teacher succeeded but too well in alienating the 
minds of many of the giddy and volatile Corinthians 
from the simple and offensive truths, and from the 
self-denying precepts of the gospel, as well as from 
their veneration and aifection for their first teacher ; 
while others adhered to the apostle's doctrine, and 
remained strongly attached to his person and au- 
thority. Thus the church was divided into two 
parties, one of which ranged themselves under the 
standard of the false apostle, and thought and spoke 
meanly of the doctrine and the authority of Paul ; 
while the wiser and better part of the society ad- 
hered to their first teacher, and, in their zeal to sup- 
port the authority of the apostle, almost forgot the 


allegiance which was due to Christ, his master and 
theirs. In consequence of this factious and schis- 
matical spirit. Christian discipline was greatly re- 
laxed, the most flagrant irregularities were intro- 
duced into public worship, a litigious spirit had 
sprung up in the society, and immoralities of an 
enormous kind had not only passed without cen- 
sure, but had been made a subject of boasting. 

In this state of things, though the affections of 
many were alienated, yet the majority still enter- 
tained so high a regard for the authority of the apos- 
tle, that they agreed in writing an epistle to him to 
ask his opinion and advice concerning some ques- 
tions which were then disputed among them ; par- 
ticularly concerning the expedience of marriage, the 
connexion of believers and unbelievers in the con- 
jugal relation, the comparative excellence of spiri- 
tual gifts, the lawfulness of eating flesh which had 
been offered to idols, and perhaps the doctrine of 
the resurrection of the dead. This epistle was con- 
veyed to the apostle Paul at Ephesus, by Stephanas, 
Fortunatus, and Achaicus, three distinguished 
members of the Corinthian church, who were se- 
lected for this purpose. It should seem, that in 
their own epistle, the Corinthians took no notice 
whatever of the disorderly state of their society nor 
of the party spirit which prevailed among them. 
These the apostle learned from other sources ; and 
in this epistle, which he wrote in the spring of a.d. 
56, in reply to theirs, he animadverts with becom- 
ing spirit upon their flagrant misbehaviour, previ- 


ously to his discussion of the questions which they 
had proposed. 

The first Epistle to the Corinthians is one of 
those epistles the genuineness of which has never 
been called in question by any writer, ancient or 
modern. It professes to be the production of Paul 
the apostle of Jesus Christ; and it has been acknow- 
ledged and cited as such by a numerous succession 
of writers from the earliest antiquity to the present 
day. This succession begins with Clement, the 
bishop of Rome, the contemporary and friend of the 
apostle, who appeals to this document in a letter ad- 
dressed some years afterwards to the same church, 
which is still extant. Eusebius, the learned bishop 
of Cesarea in the fourth century, who took great 
pains to settle the canon of the New Testament, 
places the epistle of Paul to the Corinthians in the 
catalogue of those books whose authenticity had 
never been disputed. 

And there is no work which bears more distinct 
intrinsic evidence of its genuineness than this 
epistle. The many undesigned coincidences with 
the history of the evangelists, and particularly of 
Luke, together with numerous incidental enlarge- 
ments, omissions, and variations, and frequent al- 
lusions to persons, circumstances, facts, and contro- 
versies, which could have had no existence but in 
the apostolic age, and in such a society as that at Co- 
rinth, are so obvious and striking, that the proof of 
authenticity arising from them is most satisfactory 


and decisive. This argument has been stated in the 
clearest light by the late learned Dr. Paley in his 
masterly disquisitions on the Epistles of Paul. No 
impostor would have encumbered his u^ork with so 
many needless details, and with such a mass of ob- 
scure hints and allusions : and had he attempted it, 
he could with difficulty have escaped detection. 

The acknowledged genuineness of this epistle is 
a fact of the greatest importance, and affords an ir- 
resistible proof of the truth and divine authority of 
the Christian religion. For the apostle states as 
matters of public notoriety, facts which could have 
no existence if Christianity were false, and which 
no person in his right mind would have appealed to, 
if they had been capable of contradiction : I mean 
in particular, the existence and the abuse of mira- 
culous powers in the Corinthian church. The epis- 
tolary form of writing is peculiarly adapted for the 
exhibition of historical evidence. And this is the 
pincipal use of the epistolary parts of the New Tes- 
tament. But of all the epistles of Paul, there is 
none which contains a clearer or stronger proof of 
the divine original of the Christian doctrine, than 
that which we are now about to explore. If all the 
other writings of this great apostle were to be re- 
jected and lost, the epistle to the Corinthians alone 
would contain ample testimony both to the origin 
and to the excellence of the Christian revelation ; 
and in this view it is worthy of the most serious per- 
usal and attentive regard. 


The epistle contains two general Divisions 
with a suitable Introduction and Conclusion. 

The apostle introduces the epistle to the Co- 
rinthians with an appropriate salutation : he thanks 
God for the abundance of their spiritual gifts ; and 
expresses his hope of their Christian perseverance, 
ch. i. 1—9. 


The apostle remonstrates with the believers at 
Corinth, concerning gross and scandalous irregu- 
larities which had been reported to him as prevail- 
ing in and disgracing the church, and earnestly 
presses the reformation of these abuses. This por- 
tion of the epistle extends from the tenth verse of 
the first chapter to the end of the sixth chapter. 

Sect. I. The apostle testifies his great disappro- 
bation of the party spirit, by which the church was 
rent ; and in particular, he strongly objects to the 
practice of setting up ministers as heads of parties, 
like the different sects of philosophers, to the neg- 
lect of Christ, the only head of the church, from 
whom all the teachers of the gospel derive their 
commissions and qualifications, and to whom they 
are finally accountable, ch. i. 10 ^o the end of the 
fourth chapter. 

Sect. II. The apostle condemns the unbecoming 
lenity of the church in the case of an incestuous 


offender, whom he requires them immediately to ex- 
clude from Christian fellowship, ch. v. throvghout. 

Sect. III. The apostle rebukes the litigious spi- 
rit of the Corinthian converts ; forbids them to 
carry their controversies into heathen courts ; and 
requires them to settle their disputes by arbitration 
among themselves, ch. vi. 1 — 11. 

Sect. IV. He remonstrates against fornication, 
and every species of impurity, to which the Corin- 
thians were notoriously addicted, and which were 
strictly prohibited by the law of Christ, ch. vi, 12 
to the end<, 


The apostle replies in detail to the various ques- 
tions which had been proposed to him by the Co- 
rinthians in their epistle, and gives his judgement 
in the several cases which were referred to his deci- 
sion, with great delicacy, propriety, and dignity, in- 
termixing his reply with much important instruc- 
tion and advice with respect to doctrine, discipline, 
and practice. This Part extends from the begin- 
ning of the Seventh to the end of the Fifteenth 

Sect. I. The apostle answers the questions pro- 
posed to him, concerning the expediency of mar- 
riage under the existing precarious circumstances of 
the church, and the lawfulness of forming or conti- 
nuing the conjugal connexion with unbelievers j and 


he avails himself of the opportunity to give prudent 
advice to those who have aheady entered, or, are 
desirous of entering into the conjugal state, and to 
believers of every station in life, ch. vii. 

Sect. II. The apostle treats at large, concerning 
the lawfulness of eating meat which had been of- 
fered to idols ; and having first combated the pleas 
of the Corinthians in favour of the innocence of this 
practice, he peremptorily decides, that to participate 
of the idol's feast in the idol's temple, is a palpable 
and pernicious act of idolatry ; but that the use of 
the flesh of a victim when purchased in the market, 
or partaking of it at the table of a friend, was not 
unlawful, though in certain circumstances it might 
be inexpedient, ch. viii — xi. 1. 

Sect. III. The apostle offers advice concerning 
decorum in appearance and dress, and particularly 
concerning the custom of wearing a veil in public 
worship, ch. xi. 2 — 16. 

Sect. IV. The apostle reproves those, who, by 
their irregularity and excess, had assimilated the 
Lord's Supper to an idol's feast ; he reminds them 
of the evil consequences of their misbehaviour, re- 
lates the history of the institution, and subjoins 
some useful warnings and advice, ch. xi. 17 to the 

Sect. V. The apostle treats of the comparative 
value of spiritual gifts ; he recommends Christian 
benevolence as preferable to them all; he speaks 
highly of the gift of prophecy ; he reproves their 
ostentatious exhibition of the gift of tongues ; and 


gives directions for the regular exercise of spiritual 
gifts in their public assemblies, that all may be in- 
structed and edified by them, ch. xii — xiv. 

Sect. VI. The apostle, in opposition to the Sad- 
ducean doctrine which had been introduced at Co- 
rinth, asserts in the most peremptory language, the 
doctrine of the resurrection of the dead ; its inse- 
parable connexion with the resurrection of Christ ; 
and its unspeakable importance. He enlarges upon 
the solemnity and grandeur of that awful event; he 
bursts into an exclamation of joy and triumph ; and 
concludes with an earnest exhortation to the practice 
of universal virtue, upon Christian principles, ch.xv, 


The apostle, in the concluding chapter, offers 
some directions for collecting a contribution for the 
indigent believers in Judea : he promises to visit 
them speedily ; he suggests some miscellaneous ad- 
vices; he sends his salutations; he denounces an 
anathema upon those who reject the gospel ; and 
he closes with the apostolical benediction, ch. xvi, 



1 HE apostle introduces his epistle to the Corln- Ch. I. 
thians with an appropriate salutation. He expresses 
his thankfulness to God for the abundance of spiri- 
tual gifts conferred upon them in attestation of the 
gospel ; and his cheerful hope of their perseverance 
in their Christian profession. Ch. i. 1 — 9. 

1. The apostle, joining the name of Sosthenes 
with his own, greets the Corinthian church with a 
cordial salutation, ver. 1 — 3. 

Pa UL, the called •, the apostle of Jesus Christ, Ver. 1. 
through the lu'ill of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 
to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those 2. 

who are sanctified hy Christ Jesus, who are called, 
who are holy, together with all in every place who 
take upon themselves the name of our Lord Jesus 

' The called, the apostle.'] " not called to be an apostle." 
Bishop Pearce ; who observes, that KXriros never signifies calltd 
to he, and that it must be construed by itself, ver. 24 5 also , 
Rom. i. 6, viii. 28, &c. 

12 I. CORINTHIANS. [the apostle's 

Cli. I. Christ 1, both their Lord and ours, favour be unto 
you auil peace from God our father ^ and from the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

It has been remarked that Paul Is the only apostle 
who applies to himself the epithet " the called ;" in 
which he unquestionably alludes to that extraordi- 
nary miraculous call of Christ by which he was con- 
verted from a cruel persecutor to a zealous teacher 
of the gospel, of which distinguishing mercy he 
entertained an habitual and most grateful sense. 

Agreeably to the luill of God, he had been ap- 
pointed to and qualified for the apostolic office. 
There were others, his opponents, who without any 
proper call had thrust themselves into that honour- 
able function; and who, setting themselves up as the 
rivals of the apostle, were desirous of seducing the 
minds of the Corinthians from Christian truth. 

With true .Christian humility, the apostle joins 
the name of Sosthenes with his own in the saluta- 
tion with which this epistle is introduced. It ap- 
pears, from Acts xviii. 17, that Sosthenes was an 
inhabitant of Corinth, a man of note, a ruler of the 
synagogue, who had probably been converted to 
Christianity by the preaching of Paul ; and who, 
for that reason, had been persecuted by the unbe- 
lieving Jews. He was now with Paul at Ephesus, 

' Who take upon themselves, &c.] Wakefield, Locke, Ham- 
mond, Lindsey's Second Address, p. 273. Whitby, who con- 
tends for the common translation, " that call upon the name of 
our Lord Jesus," docs not deny that the words will bear the 
other interpretation. 


and is glad to embrace the opportunity of the Ch. i, 
apostle's writing to express his affectionate remem- ' 

brance of his former friends, fellow-christians, and 

7b the church of God which is at Corintli, to 
those who are sanctified by Christ Jesus ; who by 
their faith in Ciirist are separated and set apart from 
the rest of the world: who are called, that is, invited 
to participate in the privileges of the Christian com- 
munity : who are holy, who are now admitted into 
the same state of favour Vv'hich was once the pecu- 
liar privilege of the descendants of Abraham, who 
are by profession consecrated to God. 

Together with all in every place, throughout the 
country in the vicinity of Corinth (2 Cor. i. 1), who 
take %ipon themselves the name of our Lord Jesus 
Christ; who profess to be the disciples of Christ, 
and who call themselves by his name. This ap- 
pears to be the true sense of the apostle's language, 
and not, as our translators and others render it, 
" who call upon the name of Christ Jesus our 
Lord :" a phraseology which would encourage reli- 
gious addresses to Christ : a practice absolutely in- 
consistent with the spirit and tenor of the gospel, 
which requires that all religious worship should be 
directed to the Father only: who is the only invisi- 
ble Being that we are sure is with us at all times, 
and who is both able and willing to afford his sup- 
pliant creatures ail needful protection and assist- 

The disciples of Christ call themselves by his 

14 I. CORINTHIANS. [the apostle's 

Ch. I. name : they profess to receive him as their instruc- 
^"* tor, and to obey him as their Master. 

He is our master and teacher ; and not only ours, 
but the common master and lord of all who acknow- 
ledge his divine character and mission, and who 
ought therefore to cherish a mutual affection to 
each other, in consequence of their mutual relation 
to their common head. 

As the best wish he can form for his Christian 
friends, the apostle prays that they may enjoy fa- 
vour and peace from God, and from the Lord Jesus 
Christ ; the continuance of the invaluable blessings 
of the gospel, by which they are brought into a 
state of reconciliation and peace with God. 

2. The apostle thanks God for the communica- 
tion of the gospel to the Corinthian church, and for 
the liberal distribution of spiritual gifts ; and expresses 
his hope that the believers at Corinth will persevere 
in their attachment to the gospel, ver. 4 — 9. 

4. I give thanks to my God always on your ac- 
count, for the free gift of God which has been 
granted you in Christ t/esus. 

I am truly and at all times thankful that you 
have been favoured with the knowledge of the go- 
spel of Christ, the free and unmerited gift of God 
to mankind. 

5. That in ail things you have been enriched by 
him, in all doctrine^ and in all knowledge. 

' Hoctfine^ Wakefield ; and Pearce, who says that Aoyoj is 
never used for the gift of tongues. 


That you have been fully instructed in the doc- cii. i. 

trine of Christ, and have been enriched with that 
knowledge which is the most valuable treasure. 

Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed 
among you. 

The evidence of the truth of the Christian doc- 
trine having been exhibited in a form so convincing 
and impressive, that you could not hesitate to ac- 
knowledge its divine authority. 

So that, waiting for the manifestation 2 of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, you are deficient in no gift^. 

Expecting, as you are taught by the Christian 
doctrine, the glorious appearance of our great Mas- 
ter, Jesus Christ, to raise the dead and to judge 
the world, you have been furnished in the mean 
time with an abundant supply of spiritual gifts to 
establish your faith in those sublime and ^wful 

He ■* will also confirm you to the end, so that 
you may be blameless in that day of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were 

Vei. 5. 

' The manifestation.'] Bishop Pearce applies this expression 
to the destruction of Jerusalem, q. d. after that awful cata- 
strophe these miraculous powers will disappear, Christianity 
being then fully established in the world. It is not impossible 
that the apostle might expect these events to be coincident, or 
nearly so. See 2 Thess. ii. 1. 

' Deficient in no gift^ Dr. Priestley observes, that the apostle 
with much address praises the Corinthians as far as he justly 
could, having many disagreeable truths to tell them afterwards. 

* He also^ A writer in Bowyer, and many judicious critics 
think the antecedent here referred to is God, ver. 4. Some 
think the intervening verses should be in a parenthesis. Wake- 
field transposes the 8th and 9th verses. 


Ch.i. called into the communion of his son Jesus Christ 

Ver.9. r i 

our LiOra. 

And I doubt not that God, who has invited you 
to the privileges of the gospel, and has afforded you 
evidence so completely satisfactory of its truth and 
divine authority, will still continue those spiritual 
gifts which are most undeniable evidences of the 
Christian faith. And being thus convinced of the 
truth, you will exemplify the spirit of the gospel, 
and will persevere in the practice of those virtues 
which may best qualify you for appearing at the 
judgement seat of Christ. That God who invited 
you into the holy community of which Jesus is the 
head, will faithfully perform his part : be not you 
deficient in yours. He will supply you with all the 
necessary means of stability and perseverance. Let 
it be your concern, my brethren, to improve them 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. I.r. 1. 17 




Ch. i. 10— vl. 


He testijies his great disapprobation of the party 
spirit which prevailed at Corinth ; and reprobates 
the practice of setting tip jninisters as heads of 
parties^ like leaders of the different sects of phi- 
losophy, to the dishonour of Christ, their only 
Master, and, tmder God, the sole head and law- 
giver of the church, ch. i. 10 — iv. 


The apostle having heard of the dissentions and 
schisms which prevailed at Corinth, reminds the Co- 
rinthians that thedisciples of Christ acknowledge but 
one Master, vAio claims and is entitled to their en- 
tire allegiance, ver. 10 — 17. i 

1. He expresses his great concern at the account 
which he had received, of the divided state of the 
Corinthian church, ver. 10 — 12. 

VOL. II. c 

18 Part I. I. C O III N T H I A N S. Sect. 1. 1. 1. 

Ch. r. N^oiu I beseech y 071, brethren, by the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and that 
there be no schisms among you; but that you be 
knit together in the same 7mnd, and in the same 

I beseech you, brethren. The apostle by this 
kind language expresses his affectionate regard for 
the Christians at Corinth, and his earnest desire to 
succeed in the object of his request. 

By the name i of our Lord Jesus Ckrisf. This 
is the only instance in which the apostle uses this 
form of address. The Lord Jesus Christ is the 
common Master of all professing Christians: of 
him the whole family of heaven and earth are named. 
Jew and Gentile are now no longer separated by in- 
vidious distinctions, but are united to each other by 
their common union with him. They all bear the 
common appellation of Christians, which they take 
from him ; and by the dear and venerable name of 
Christ their Master, the apostle requests that they 
would discard all bitter animosity, and live together 
in peace. 

That there be no schisins among you : that you 
be not divided into sects and parties, like the Gre- 

' By the name, &c.] " If any one," says Mr. Locke upon 
this passage, " has thought Paul a loose writer, it is only be- 
cause he was a loose reader. He that takes notice of St. Paul'.s 
design will find that there is not a word scarce, or expression, 
that he makes use of, but with relation and tendency to his pre- 
sent main purpose : as here intending to abolish the names of 
leaders they distinguished themselves by, he beseeches them ' by 
the name of Christ,' a form that I do not remember he elsewhere 

Part I. I. CORINTHIANS, Sect. 1. 1. I, 19 

cian philosophers ; as though the Christian commu- Ch. i. 
nity was distributed under different heads, and ac- * 
knowledged different founders, but that ye may be 
knit together in the same mind and in the same sen- 
timent. Not that they should entirely agree in opi- 
nion and in their judgement upon all subjects, for 
this would be impossible ; but that all professing 
subjection to Christ, as their common Master, should 
think well of each other, notwithstanding any mi- 
nute differences of opinion : that they should live 
together in unity, and not disturb the peace of the 
society by divisions into factions, and ranging them- 
selves under different leaders. 

For it has been certified to me concerning you, 11. 

7ny brethren^, by some of the family of Chloe, that 
there are contentions among you. I mean this ^ that 12. 

each of you saith, I am of Paul, or I of Apollos, 
or I of Cephas, or I of Christ. 

The apostle renews the expression of his tender- 
ness, when he is entering upon the disagreeable sub- 
ject of their animosities, in order to conciliate their 
regard and secure their attention. 

It has been conjectured 3 that Fortunatus and 
Achaicus, the bearers of the letter from Corinth, 
were the sons of that pious matron here mentioned, 
who communicated to the apostle a faithful state- 
ment of the divisions of the church at Corinth. 

'^ My brethren^ Mr. Locke observes " that ' brethren,' a name 
of union and friendship, is used here twice together by St. Paul 
in the entrance of his persuasion to them to put an end to their 

' It has been conjectured.^^ By Grotius, and others. 


20 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. 1. 1. 2. 

Ch. I. One said I am of Paul ; another, I of Apollos ; an- 
other, I of Cephas. They considered Chiistianity 
as a system of philosophy, the teachers of which were 
the heads of different sects, under which they were 
at liberty to range themselves. It will afterwards 
appear, from the apostle's own declaration ', that 
Apollos and Peter were not the persons really set 
up in opposition to himself, but the false apostle ; 
probably, an eloquent Sadducean pliilosophic Jew, 
whom the apostle does not choose to name, and 
therefore borrows the names of his friends and 
fellow-labourers to illustrate his meaning and to 
strengthen his argument. 

It seems reasonable to believe that the clause, 
** and I of Christ," is not genuine 2 ; for probably 
all the Corinthians would call themselves disciples 
of Christ, though of different schools ; and in a sub- 
sequent passage (ch. iii. 22), where the same heads 
of parties are repeated, the name of Christ is omitted. 

2. These divisions were unauthorized by Christ, 
none of the preachers of the gospel were entitled to 
set themselves up as the heads of parties, and the 

* The apostle's own declaration^ 1 Cor. iv. 6. See Locke. 

" Not genuine^ See Pearce ; who also argues from the ques- 
tion in the following verse, " Is Christ divided ?" which would 
be improper if he was only regarded as the head of one faction. 
The Letter of Clemens makes no mention of Christ as one of the 
heads of a party in the Corinthian church. A writer in Bowyei- 
suspects that the name should be Crispus. See Bowyer's Crit. 
Conj. on N. T. Neither of these conjectures is supported by 
authority ; though that of Bishop Pearce appears highly pro- 

Part I, I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. I. i. 2. 21 

apostle himself had never pretended to it, ver. 13 Ch. i. 


Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucijiedfor you? Ver. 13. 
or ivereyou baptized into the name of Paid^ ? 

Has Chiist authorized this distinction of parties 
in the church ? Has Paul or any other person suf- 
fered for you in the sense in which Christ suffered, 
whose death was the seal of his mission, put an end 
to the Jewish economy, and introduced a new dis- 
pensation of which he is the head, and from whom 
we all take our common and honourable name ? 
Were you baptized into the name of Paul, or of any 
other person, so as to profess in this solemn and pub- 
lic manner, your faith in him, and your subjection 
to him as your master ? Were you not all baptized 
into the name of Christ, professing your subjection 
to his authority, and acknowledging him only as 
your master and head ? 

^ Name of Paul.'] " It is something remarkable," says Dr. 
Priestley in his note upon this text, " and greatly in favour of 
the evidences of Christianity, that none of the disciples of 
Christ endeavoured to supplant him. They all acted in subor- 
dination to a crucified master, how much soever they were op- 
posed to each other ; and there was no want of emulation 
among them. In this they were all united, acknowledging one 
master, even Christ. This was not the case with respect to 
Mahometanism : several persons set up on his plan, and in op- 
position to him. With respect to Christ, this was never at- 
tempted ; nor could it possibly have succeeded, if the attempt 
had been made." 

Mr. Locke observes, " that to be baptized into any one's name, 
is solemnly by that ceremony to enter himself a disciple of him 
into whose name he is baptized, with profession to receive his 
doctrine and rules, and submit to his authority : a very good ar- 
gument here why they should be called by no one's name but 

22 PAttT I, I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. 1. 1. 2. 

Ch. I. I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Cris' 

^^ 15. P^^^ ^^^^ Gams, so that ' no one can say that ye 

^6. were baptized'^ into my name. I also baptized the 

household of Stephanas : as to the rest, I know not 

17- that I baptized any other, for Christ sent me not 

so much s to baptize, as to pi'each the gospel. 

As the apostle had so many enemies every where, 
who were disposed to calumniate his character, and 
to misrepresent his conduct; he is glad and thank- 
ful that he had given them so little occasion for 
doing it at Corinth, and that he had baptized so 
very few, that no person could with any plausibility 
pretend that he had baptized into his own name, 
and set himself up as the head of that party. 

He had baptized only Crispus, the ruler of the sy- 
nagogue, and Gaius a person of note, distinguished 
afterwards for his hospitality to Christian strangers, 

* So that,'] ha, expressing not the design, q. d. lest any one 
should say, but the event, viz. so that no one can say. "This 
sense of Iva is often mentioned by commentators on the go- 
spels, where a prophecy is said to be fulfilled. See also John 
V. 20 ; 2 Cor. i. 17, vii. 9 5 Gal. v. 17 3 Rev. viii. 12." Bishop 

* Ye were baptized.'] s'SaTf'tia-Syjts is the reading of the Alex- 
andrine and Ephrem manuscripts. The received text is, " that 
I baptized into my own name." See Grie.sbach and Pearce. 

^ Not so much to baptize as to preach.] "The writers of O. 
and N. T.," says Bishop Pearce, "almost every where, agree- 
ably to their Hebrew idiom, express a preference given to one 
thing before another, by an affirmation of the thing preferred, 
and a negation of the contrary." The following texts he spe- 
cifies as illustrations of his remark. Matt. vi. 19, 20, ix. 13, 
X. 20, xii. 7; Luke xxiii. 283 Mark ix. 37 ; John vi. 27, vii. 
16, ix. 4, xii. 44 ; Acts v. 4 ; Rom. ix. 13 j 1 Cor. vii. 4, ix. 
8, x. 24, XV. 10 5 Eph. vi. 12; Col. iii. 2; Heb. xiii. 9; 
I Pet. iii. 3, 4: 1 John ii. 15. 

Pakt I. I.CORINTHIANS, Si;ct. I. u. 1 . 23 

for which he is celebrated both by Paul and John. Ch. i. 
He recollects that he had also baptized Stephanas ^^' 
and his household, who were the first converts to 
the faith of Christ in the region of Achaia. 

The apostle was sent both to preach and baptize, 
but his chief business was to preach the gospel, this 
being the most important concern : the rite of initi- 
ation might be administered by persons of inferior 
rank in the church, who had more leisure than the 
apostles, and whose situation in life would effectu- 
ally preclude them from all suspicion of endeavour- 
ing to establish themselves as the leaders of sects, 
and the founders of new systems, either of philoso- 
phy or Christianity. 


The apostle, in a long digression, describes the 
gospel as a system of sublime philosophy, which, 
though in the highest degree offensive both to Jew 
and Gentile, and taught by men who had no pre- 
tensions to birth, or learning, or eloquence, was 
nevertheless a science of the most sublime nature, 
and the highest importance, confirmed by divine in- 
terposition, and eflficacious beyond all others for re- 
forming the world, ch. i. 17 — ch. ii. 16. 

I . The doctrine of Christ, though treated as folly 
by the world, was nevertheless held in the highest 
estimation by those who understood it, and had 
been eminently successful in exposing the folly of 
the wisdom of the schools, ver. 17 — 21. 

24 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. ii. I. 

Ch. I. For Christ sent me to preach the gospel^ not in 
'* wise disco2irf;es ' lest the cross of Christ should be 
rendered useless. 

The Christian doctrine was not taught by the 
apostle with the subtlety and refinement of a system 
of philosophy, nor was he authorized to teach it 
in this way. It consisted of a few plain facts, that 
Jesus, who had been crucified, was the Christ, that 
he had been raised from the dead, that he was now 
exalted to be a prince and a Saviour, and that all 
sincere believers in him should be ultimately saved 
by him. .These important facts admitted of no so- 
phistical embellishments, and every attempt to re- 
fine upon them would lessen their practical effect. 
18. For the doctrine of the cross is indeed folly to 
those who are perishing ; hut to us who are saved^ 
it is the power of God. 

Unbelievers, Jews, and heathen, who reject the 
hope of a life to come, regard the doctrine of sal- 
vation by a crucified man, as consummate folly ; 
but we, who by the sincere profession of Christi- 
anity are entitled to an interest in its blessings, 
plainly see, that this humble doctrine is supported 
by the power of God, both in the splendid mira- 

' In wise discourses.'] sv (xoipia Xoya, in the common transla- 
tion, " with the wisdom of words." Wolfius conjectures, that 
Paul uses sv (TO(pia. y^oys for zv tro0a! Xoytv, or ev ffocpois Xoyois' 
which Pearce does not disapprove, though he prefers his own 
conjecture sv Xoycu cro<pias, the doctrine of wisdom, a phrase 
which recurs ch. xii. 8 ; whereas a-o(pia Xoya does not occur 
again. The apostle evidently means the style of the philoso- 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Skct.I. ii. 1. 25 

cles by which it is confirmed, and in the glorious Ch. i. 
success with which it is accompanied. 

For it IS written, I luill destroy the ivisdom of Ver. 19. 
the 2uise, and Iiu'ill abolish the sagacity of the sa- 

These words, taken from Isa. xxix. 14, are a de- 
nunciation of punishment upon the Jews for their 
wickedness ; but the apostle cites them by way of 
accommodation, to express the success of the Chris- 
tian doctrine in overturning all the proud systems 
of the Jewish and Grecian philosophy. 

Where is the wise man ? where is the scribe P 20. 
where is the disputer of this ivorld? Has not 
God infatuated the wisdom of this ivorld^? 

What is become of the heathen philosopher ? 
where is the Jewish scribe ? where the acute and 
eloquent disputant ? what can all their learning and 
ingenuity avail to obstruct the progress of the go- 
spel ? what effect have tliey in instructing and re- 
forming the world ? How much superior in energy 
and success is that gospel, which they affect to de- 
spise ! and how mean and contemptible are those 
vaunted systems, in comparison with the doctrine 
of the man who was crucified ! The vain profes- 
sors and teachers of these systems call them wisdom, 
and value themselves as the only wise men, the great 
philosophers of the age ; but God has pronounced. 

• Has not God infatuated^ An allusion to Isa. xxxiii. 18, vid. 
Doddridge. Tiie apostle describes the triumph of the gospel 
over the systems of human philosophy, in allusion to the tri- 
umph of the Jews over the armies of the king of Assyria. 

26 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. 1. ii, 2. 

Ch. I. and, by his efficacious blessing upon the doctrine 
they despise, has demonstrated, that their preten- 
sions to wisdom are splendid folly. 
Ver. 2 1 . For after that, through the wisdom of God, the 
ivorldby this wisdom knew not God, it pleased God 
by the preaching of this foolishness ^, to save those 
who believe. 

For wise and good reasons, which it may not be 
in our power to discover, God did not permit the 
world to make clear discoveries of his attributes and 
will, by the exercise of reason, and the acuteness of 
philosophy ; but while he refused to employ these 
means, and permitted the philosophers to lead their 
disciples into the grossest delusions, he was pleased 
to render the preaching of that doctrine which the 
world called foolishness, efficacious to the salvation 
of those who received it, and who yielded a practical 
regard to it. 

2. The doctrine of Christ, however offensive to 

the prejudices both of Jew and Gentile, contains an 

admirable display both of the wisdom and power of 

God, ver. 22—24. 

22. ^nd luhile^ the Jews require signs, and the 

' The preachmg of this foolishness.'] Gr. "by this foolishness of 
preaching," ju,a;f»a x.rj; for [luipov KripuyiJ.a,, as in ver. 17. 
See Pearce. " It pleased God in his wisdom to save believers 
by this foolishness which we preach." Wakefield, 

^ Andwhile.'] Eirsthv] xai. Mr, Locke justly remarks, that these 
words are not " idle and insignificant." He conceives the apos- 
tle's reasoning in ver. 22 — 24, to be a repetition and applica- 
tion of the reasoning in ver. 21, q. d. " Since the Jews require, 
&c, and though our preaching, &:c. be a scandal^ &c. yet we 

Part I, I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. ii. 2. 2/ 

Greeks seek after ivisdom, we indeed preach Christ Ch. i. 
crucified, to the Jews a stiimbling block, and to the ^^' '"^' 
Gentiles foolishness ; yet to those who are the called, 24. 

both Jews and Greeks, ive preach Christ the power 
of God, and the wisdom of God. 

The Jews, not satisfied with the miracles wrought 
to prove Jesus to be the Messiah, continue to re- 
quire signs from heaven. The Greeks, the philoso- 
phers, who treat all miracles with contempt, ask for 
refined speculations, for subtle arguments, and for 
glowing eloquence. While these are seeking after 
their respective objects, holding all other specula- 
tions and systems in contempt ; we, the apostles of 
Christ, are at the same time propagating a doctrine 
the most offensive to the principles and prejudices of 
both; we are disgusting the unbelieving Jews, by 
teaching that their Messiah is a crucified man ; and 
are exposing ourselves to the contempt of the phi- 
losophic Gentile, by insisting upon the doctrine of 
the resurrection, which they regard as impossible; 
and by appealing to the evidence of miracles, which 
they disdain as absurd. Nevertheless, that chosen 
band, however small and despised, of Jews and 
Greeks, who have been induced by the invitations 
of the gospel to accept of its offers, actually discover 

have what they both seek ; for both Jew and Gentile, when they 
are called, find the Messiah to be the power of God and the wis- 
dom of God." 

The Jews require signs^^ c-rn^sioc, is the reading of the best co- 
pies, instead of (rryp.£<9v, a sign, which is the received text. — To 
the Gentiles. Efiveo-* is the preferable reading to 'E.XMa-i, Greeks. 
Sec Gricsbach. 

28 Pakt I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. n. 3. 

Ch. I. in that sublime doctrine all that scornful unbelievers 
'^^' ' are seeking after in vain ; they see in Jesus Christ 
the power of God, confirming his doctrine by mira- 
cles, by the resurrection of Jesus, by the effusion 
of the spirit, that true sign from heaven, and by the 
success of the gospel ; and they see the sublimest 
science, the truest philosophy, in a doctrine, the ten- 
dency and design of which is to make those who em- 
brace it wise to salvation. 

3. The apostle in a parenthesis suggests, that not 
only is that which unbelievers brand as folly, the 
highest wisdom, but that the teachers of this wis- 
dom, though men of no consideration in the world, 
were nevertheless eminently successful in the pub- 
lication of their doctrine, ver. 25 — 31. 
25. For this foolishness of God is wiser than the wis- 
dom ofmen^ and this iveakness of God is stronger 
than the strength ofmen^. 

The gospel doctrine is contemptuously treated as 
foolishness by the wise men of the world : but if it 
be foohshness, it is the foolishness of God ; and, 
whatever they may think of it, they may assure them- 
selves that this foolishness is infinitely wiser than all 
their boasted wisdom, and that it is in truth the most 
efficacious means of accomplishing the most import- 
ant purposes. The means of supporting, and diifus- 
ing it in the world, are ridiculed as utterly incompe- 
tent to the end proposed ; they are represented as 

Worslcy's Translation. 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. ii. 3. 29 

weakness endeavouring to propagate folly: but let Ch. i. 
these scorners know, that if it be weakness, it is the 
weakness of God, it is a weakness which far surpasses ' 
their strength, and will prove effectual to subvert all 
the absurd superstitions of the vulgar, and all the re- 
fined, but equally unfounded, theories of the wise. 

For ye see your calling'^, brethren, that not many 26L 
icise men after the flesh, not many powerful, not 
many nobles are employed. 

Observe vVho they are, that are chosen and com- 
missioned for the gospel ministry, and you will soon 
be convinced, that little can be expected from their 
genius, talents, learning, or influence ; for the teach- 
ers of Christianity are neither the wise, the povi^er- 
ful, nor the nobles of the earth. 

But God has chosen the foolish thi?igs of the 27. 

' Your calling.'] I'r^v xXi^o-iv vyMv. The expression is ambi- 
guous, and may either signify the persons who are called, that is, 
believers in general, which is the sense in which it is usually un- 
derstood, and which, though true, is not to the apostle's purpose ; 
or, it may express ministers of the gospel, those wlio are em- 
ployed in calling others, and in inviting men to accept the 
terms, and the blessings of the gospel. This is undoubtedly 
the apostle's meaning. His design is to show, that the teachers 
of the gospel, however despicable in the estimation of the world, 
and however destitute of secular advantages, were through di- 
vine assistance far more successful than the proudest teachers 
of the proudest systems of heathen philosophy. " Tata dispu~ 
latio ostendit eum de apostolis et evangelii doctorihus loqui." Cas- 
talio. Dr. Macknight justly remarks, " though it were true, 
that not many ivise men, &c. were called, it did not suit the 
apostle's argument to mention it here ; whereas, if the discourse 
were understood of the preachers of the gospel, who Avere em- 
ployed to convert the world, all is clear and pertinent." Not 
many wise, &c. " are either called by, or made use of to pro- 
pagate the gospel." Whitby. 

?>0 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. n. 3. 

Ch. I. worlds that he may put to shame the wise ; and 
God has chosen the weak things of the worlds that 
Ver. 28. he may put to shame the mighty ; and God has 
chosen the ignoble things of the ivorld, and things 
of no accoiint, even things that are not ^, that he 
29. may abolish things that are, that none may boast 
in the presence of God. 

God has employed in the Christian ministry, men 
of no education, and who know nothing of the fash- 
ionable systems of philosophy, to put to shame those 
who value themselves upon their wisdom and learn- 
ing, by making these ignorant men, whom they de- 
spise, the instruments of producing a change in the 
principles and morals of mankind, which no philoso- 
phy could effect. He has commissioned men, who 
have no civil or ecclesiastical influence, to produce 
an effect, to which all the powers of the earth were 
unequal. He has appointed men of the lowest rank 
of life, persons whom the great and wise think be- 
neath their notice. Yea, he has even employed hea- 
then, persons, who by the vainglorious Jews are re- 
garded as the reptiles of a day, as mere nonentities, 
to humble the piide of the haughty, and the self- 
conceited Jew ; and even to abolish the Jewish dis- 
pensation itself, and entirely to annihilate that proud 
distinction upon which these miserable bigots, who 
fancied that they engrossed to themselves the whole 

' Things that are not :] i. e. Gentiles, vid. Locke^ Taylor, 
Whitby. Perhaps, the apostle only means to describe the sove- 
reign contempt in which the first preachers of the gospel were 
held by the learned, and the wise men of the world, both Jews 
and Gentiles. 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. n. 3. 3 1 

of the divine favour, found their lofty pretensions. Ch. i. 
And the design of governing wisdom in this extra- ^'•-'• 
ordinary dispensation is, that every one may be hum- 
bled in the divine presence, and may see, acknow- 
ledge, and adore the wisdom and the goodness of 
God. That the people who are honoured as the in- 
struments of divine providence, in instructing and 
reforming the world, may have no pretence to ascribe 
the mighty effect to their own power, and that they 
who are converted and saved by their instructions, 
vvhatever gratitude they may think due to their teach- 
ers, may look beyond the instrument to Him whose 
mercy formed the design of their salvation, and whose 
wisdom and goodness carried it into effect, by means 
in themselves so feeble and inadequate. 

But of him are ye both justified, and sanctified^ 30. 
and redeemed'^ in Christ <Jesus, ivhofrom God hath 
been made wisdom to us ; so that, as it is writien, ?>\. 

Let him who boasleth, boast in the Lord. 

You, O Corinthians, are yourselves illustrations 

^ Jiistijied, Sec] In the Greek, "justification, and sanctifica- 
tion, and redemption." The construction is altered to make the 
apostle's meaning more intelligible. Mr. Wakefield's transla- 
tion is, " But of him are ye both righteousness and holiness, and 
deliverance in Christ Jesus, v;ho is become to us wisdom from 
God." Few of the critics, besides Mr. Wakefield, seem to have 
attended to the construction of the apostle's language. He does 
not say that Christ is made by God to us, wisdom, and righteous- 
ness, and sanctification, and redemption, a phraseology, from 
which some have deduced mysterious and inexplicable doctrines ; 
but that ye, in Christ, that is believing in the Christian doctrine, 
(which doctrine is the true philosophy which we have been taught 
by God,) are thereby justified, sanctified, and redeemed. This 
is all from God, s^ avrov, who sent and qualified the messengers 
of the joyful tidings. 

32 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. I. ii. 4. 

Ch. I. of the argument upon which I am now insisting. 
You were once idolatrous Gentiles, but by these 
means and instruments, however feeble, which God 
himself has ordained and qualified for the work, you, 
by embracing the doctrine of Christ, which is our 
true and divine philosophy, are now justijied ; you 
are no longer sinners and enemies, but reconciled 
and pardoned. You are also sanctified; by your 
open profession of faith in Christ you are separated 
from the unbelieving world, and consecrated to God. 
You are also redeemed: you are rescued from the 
bondage of your heathen state, from your servitude 
to idolatry, superstition, and vice ; and are brought 
into a state of liberty and peace. And this great 
change in your condition, character, and circum- 
stances, is the work of God : you have nothing to 
boast of in yourselves, nor have you any reason to 
glory in the persons who were the instruments of 
your conversion and salvation ; for they were nothing, 
and had no power to instruct or to help you, but so 
far as they were commissioned and assisted by God. 
To him, therefore, the glory belongs ; and to him 
let the praise be given. 

4. The apostle reminds the Corinthians, that 
when he first preached the gospel amongst them, he 
cautiously avoided all artificial embellishments of 
style and manner, and that he taught a plain doc- 
trine in plain language ; and supported it, not by 
subtle reasoning, but solely by an appeal to miracles, 
ch. ii. 1 — 5. 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. ISect. I. ii. 4. .1 

And when I came unto you, brethren, declaring Ch. ii. 
the mystery^ of God, I came not in the pomp of 
language, nor ofivisdom. 

When I first preached the gospel to you, I did not 
affect that parade of eloquence in which some of your 
philosophers and public teachers excell, nor that re- 
fined, abstruse, and subtle reasoning in which others 
pride themselves. I did not wish to be regarded as 
one who was introducing a new system of philoso- 
phy ; much less as one who was ambitious of setting 
himself up as the head of a sect ^ which was to take 
its name from him. The doctrine I preached was 
not my own invention or discovery ; it was a doc- 
trine revealed and attested by God; it was the 
mystery which had been concealed from former ages 
and generations, but was now made known by the 
preachers of the gospel. 

For I resolved to take no notice 3 of any thijig 2 

among you but *Jesus Christ, even him that was 

I was determined to acknowledge no master and 
no superior but Jesus Christ ; that very person who 

* Mtjstery.'] This is the reading of the Alexandrine and 
Ephrem manuscripts, and is approved by Locke and Pearce. 
Locke observes, that the gospel dispensation, and particularly 
the call of the Gentiles, is usually called mystery by the apostle 
Paul. The received text reads " testimony." 

* The head of a sect.'] sectarijussi : 

Si potis est; tanquam Philosophorum disciplincB ex ipsis 
Vocahula, parasiti itidem ut Gnathonici vocentur. 

Terent. Eunuch, act. ii. seen. 2, 
^ To take no notice.'] So Pearce ; who refers to ch. xvi. 15, 
18 ; Acts xxiii. ') ; 1 Thess. v. 12. 

li Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. 1,11.4. 

Ch. 11. was crucified as a malefactor, and whose ignomini- 
ous death is represented by the enemies of the Chris- 
tian doctrine as the indehble stigma of his profes- 
sion. I determined to conceal nothing, but to let 
my hearers know at once, that if they meant to be- 
come Christians indeed, and to any valuable pur- 
pose, they must instantly renounce their dearest prin- 
ciples, their most cherished prejudices ; and must, 
without hesitation, avow themselves the disciples of 
the crucified Nazarene, and submit to all the scorn 
and disgrace that was attached to such a profession. 
The crucified Jesus was the Master whom alone I 
professed to serve ; and his doctrine I determined 
to teach without any adventitious ornaments, and, 
indeed, under great personal disadvantage. 
3. And I was with you hi weakness, and in fear ^ 
and in much trembling ^ . 

1 laboured under a bodily infirmity which pre- 
vented me from exerting myself with that spirit and 
vigour which, in other places and upon other occa- 
sions, I possessed; and my mind was oppressed with 
anxiety and fear, lest my labours should be unsuc- 
cessful, and lest a people so vain and so fondly at- 
tached to artificial eloquence and to curious specu- 
lation as the Corinthians, would not listen to a doc- 

^ In much trembling.'] It is uncertain whether from bodily 
disorder or mental anxiety, probably both. Vide 2 Cor. xii. " He 
refers," says Archbishop Newcome, " to his bodily infirmities, 
his less graceful speech, and manual labour, 2 Cor. x, 10 ; also 
to solicitous diligence in preaching, and fear of giving offence." 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect, I. ii. 4. 35 

trine which presented itself in so humble and so ob- Ch. ii. 
noxious a form. 

And my doctrine and my preaching luas jiot with Ver. 4. 
the persuasion of wisdom^, but luith the manifesta- 
tion of a poiverful spirit ^ ; that your faith might 5. 
not be founded i?i the zvisdom of men^ but in the 
power of God. 

Neither in my private discourses nor in public ad- 
dresses did I attempt to win you over to the profes- 
sion of Christianity by the arts of eloquence or the 
refinements of reasoning, upon which the philoso- 
phers and those who would now withdraw your al- 
legiance from the gospel, set so high a value ; I con- 
tented myself with stating plain facts in plain and 
simple language, and with appealing to the miracles 
which I wrought among you, and to the miraculous 
powers which I communicated to you, in proof of the 
doctrine which I taught. And this course I pursued 
for the express purpose that your faith might not 
rest on human artifice or human reasoning, but 
upon the satisfactory and indubitable proofs of a di- 
vine interposition. 

This is one instance among many, in which the 

* Persuasion of wisdom :"] sv ■ffsiQoi croipias. This reading is 
introduced into Griesbach's inner margin as of good authority. 
The received text reads " in the persuasive w^ords of man's wis- 
dom j" the objections to which are stated by Pearce, 

' Manifestation, &c.] So Pearce. Gr. " with demonstra- 
tion of the spirit and of power j" which is the rendering of New- 
come, q. d. The doctrine which I preached was not confirmed 
by eloquence or reasoning, but by the public and incontroverti- 
ble operations and gifts of the holy spirit. 


36 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. n. 5. 

Ch. II. apostle appeals to his miraculous powers in attesta- 
^' ■ ■ tion of the truth of his doctrine ; an appeal which, in 
the circumstances in which it was made, would have 
argued insanity in the appellant, if the facts had not 
been incontrovertible. And the existence of these 
powers is the only satisfactory method of accounting 
for the rapid progress of a doctrine so unpopular, 
from a teacher so obnoxious, among a people so vain 
and supercilious as the Corinthians. And in the 
circumstances in which the apostle stood, he justly 
appeals to his miracles, not merely as facts calculated 
to excite attention, but as proper and sufficient proofs 
of the truth of his doctrine; for it is impossible that 
God should have interposed to suspend the laws of 
nature, in order to support a gross and mischievous 
imposition upon mankind. 

5. Nevertheless, the doctrine which the apostle 
taught was the only true wisdom : unknown, in- 
deed, to the heathen philosophy or to the Jewish 
hierarchy, but revealed by the spirit of God, and ac- 
knowledged by those who were truly wise, ver. 6 — 
6. Nevertheless^ tve speak wisdom among those that 
are perfect^ ; but not the wisdom of this age-, nor 
of the rulers of this age, ivho are vanislmig^. 

' Those that are perfect^ " Perfect here," says Mr. Locke, 
" is the same with spiritual, ver. 15 ; one that is so perfectly 
well apprized of the divine nature and original of the Christian 
religion, that he sees and acknowledges it to be a pure revela- 
tion from God, and not in the least the product of human dis- 
covery, parts, or learning ; and so deriving it wholly from what 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. I. ii. 5. 3/ 

Persons well instructed in the Christian religion Ch. ii. 
plainly see that the doctrine we teach is the truest ^^''" ^' 
philosophy, the only doctrine that deserves the name 
of wisdom. It is not, indeed, that wisdom in which 
the philosophers of Greece, or the leaders and teach- 
ers of the Jews, make their boast. They treat it 
with scorn : yet it is a doctrine that will be eventu- 
ally subversive of the pretended wisdom both of the 
Jew and Gentile ; which is indeed even now giving 
way before it. 

But we speak the mysterious luisdom of God^; 7- 

God has taught by his spirit in the sacred scriptures, allows not 
the least part of it to be ascribed to the skill or abilities of men. 
Thus perfect is opposed to carnal, eh. iii, 1,3; i.e. such babes 
in Christianity, such weak and mistaken Christians, that they 
thought the gospel was to be managed like human arts and sci- 
ences among men of the world, and those were better instructed 
and more in the right who followed this master or teacher rather 
than another; whereas in the school of Christ, all is to be built 
upon the authority of God alone." — " Perfect, perfectly in- 
structed, or of full stature in Christ : vr^itios is opposed, ch. iii. \, 
xiii. II, xiv. 20; Heb. v. 13, 14." Newcome. 

* This age^ " Aiojv outos seems to me to signify commonly, if 
not constantly in the New Testament, that state which, during 
the Mosaical constitution, men, whether Jews or Gentiles, were 
in, as contra-distinguished to the evangelical state or constitu- 
tion ; which is commonly called aiwv ^tX\m, or spy^oy^svos, ' the 
world (age) to come.' " Locke. 

^ Are vanishing.'] " twv xatacpysiJ^eviuy. The Jewish rulers, 
and their veiy constitution itself, were upon the point of being 
abolished and swept away." Locke. 

* Mysterious wisdom of God.'] Gr. " wisdom of God in a my- 
stery." Tlie mystery is, the calling of the Gentiles into the 
church. See Newcome. This is the wisdom of God : that di- 
vine philosophy which excelled the wisdom of Greece and Rome. 
This mystery was " concealed in the mysterious and obscure 
prophecies of the Old Testament." Locke, — Awvmv, ages. See 

38 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. ii. 5. 

Ch. II, that hidden wisdom ivhich God pre-ordained before 
^^' the ages, that we might he glorified'^, 

"The doctrine we teach is a divine philosophy. It 
was I'ong a mystery unknown to Jew or Gentile. It 
is a scheme of benevolence and wisdom, which the 
Father of the human race formed and determined 
in his eternal counsels before the legation of Moses, 
the call of Abraham, or even the creation of the 
world ; and one branch of that wise and glorious 
plan was, that we, the apostles of Jesus, should have 
the honour of promulgating this divine doctrine to 
the world. 
8. A wisdom ivhich none of the riders of this age^ 
knew I for, if they had hnoivn it, they would not 
have crucified the Lord of glory 3. 

None of the leaders and instructors of the Jew- 
ish nation, none of the scribes and pharisees, the 
priests and doctors of the law, the wise and subtle 

' That we might be glorified.'] Gr. " to our glory." — " in or- 
der to glorify us." Pearce. See Isa. Ix. 21, Ixi. 3. — " to the 
glory of us who understand, receive, and preach it," Locke. 

* Rulers of this age.'] " He that well considers ver. 28 of the 
foregoing chapter, and ver. 8 of this, may find reason to think 
that the apostle here principally designs, the rulers and great 
men of the Jewish nation." Locke ; who remarks, that Paul is 
here covertly opposing a false apostle who was himself a Jew, 
2 Cor. xi. 22, and who valued himself upon that account. 

^ Lord of glory.] There is no reason to believe that the apos- 
tle refers here to any thing peculiar in the nature of Christ ; but 
as he had just before spoken of the apostles and first teachers of 
the gospel as honoured by the commission which was given to 
them to publish the gospel, so he here speaks of Jesus Christ 
as the Lord of glory, or the glorious Lord who had been preemi- 
nently honoured by God as the messenger of the new dispensa- 
tion, and who had been put to death by the Jewish rulers, 
through ig-norance of his divine commission. 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.I.ii.S. 39 

disputants of the schools, ever divined or anticipated Ch. n. 
this liberal and most benevolent plan of divine wis- 
dom, that the heathen, whom they treated with such 
contempt and scorn, should be received into the di- 
vine favour, and admitted into the family of God. 
Their prejudiced minds were unequal to the disco- 
very of this glorious truth, though it was foretold by 
their own prophets. And so far were their under- 
standings from being open to conviction, that they 
regarded with scorn, they insulted and crucified, 
that divine teacher whom God had honoured with 
supernatural distinction, had placed at the head of 
the new dispensation, and had commissioned as the 
first publisher of this glorious doctrine : a crime 
which they never would have perpetrated, if they 
had entertained right views of his character and of 
the object of his mission. 

But we speak "* as the scripture e.vpresses it (Isa. y. 

Ixiv. 4), the things which eye hath not seen and ear 
hath not heard, and which have not entered into the 
heart of man, namely, the things which God hath 
prepared for them that love him. 

The great object of our mission is to unfold and 
exhibit the blessings which God has in store for them 
who receive the gospel, and who yield a practical re- 

* We speak.} It is necessary to supply these or some such 
words, in order to complete the sentence. See Pearce. — Js the 
scripture expresses it : Gr. " as it is written." The quotation 
is from Isa. Ixiv. 4. The words in the original are part of the 
prayer of the Hebrew nation, in a season of great distress : they 
are evidently quoted by the apostle only in the way of accom- 

40 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. ii. 6. 

Ch. II. gard to It ; and which, in the emphatical language 

Ver. 9 



of the prophet Isaiah, Ixiv. 4, exceed all that sense 
has ever experienced, or that imagination can con- 

But God has revealed them to us * hy his spirit. 

What human reason could never have discover- 
ed, nor sense enjoyed, nor imagination conceived, 
this God has been pleased to reveal to us his apostles, 
to me, who first preached the gospel at Corinth, by 
his holy spirit. And it is under that authority, of 
which I gave ample proof while I resided among 
you, and which none of the opposers of this doc- 
trine can exhibit, that I expect and require a sub- 
missive attention and a steadfast adherence to the 
doctrine which I teach. 

6. God himself, who alone knows all his own 
thoughts and purposes of mercy to mankind, has 
vouchsafed to reveal them to the apostles and teach- 
ers of the gospel. 

For the spirit searches all things^ even the deep 

1- things of God. For ivho knoweth the thoughts 2 of 

a man except the spiint of a man, ivhich is within 

him ? so likewise, no one knoweth the thoughts of 

God but the spirit of God. 

The spirit of a man is a man himself, who alone 
is conscious of what passes within him. It is plain. 

' To MS.] The apostle " speaks in the plural number^ to avoid 
ostentation." Newcome. 

' The thoughts.'] So Wakefield. The common version ren- 
ders the text, " the things of God." 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. ii. 6. 41 

therefore, that by the spirit of God the apostle means Ch. ii. 
God himself; who alone knows the depth of his 
own counsels, all his own thoughts and purposes of 
wisdom and mercy to mankind, and reveals them to 
whomsoever he thinks fit. There is no reason, there- 
fore, to suppose that the spirit of God is an intelli- 
gent agent, distinct from the Father, whether equal 
or subordinate, who is acquainted with the Father's 
counsels : and the use of personal terms will by no 
means prove it, for nothing is more common in all 
ages and countries than to apply personal epithets 
to inanimate or imaginary beings, q. d. The spirit 
which has revealed this doctrine to us is the spirit 
of God himself; who must be as intimately acquaint- 
ed with all the gracious and unfathomable purposes 
of his own wisdom and mercy, as the mind of man 
is acquainted with its own thoughts. 

Now we have received, not the sphit of the ivorld^, 1 2. 

but that spirit which is from God; that we may 
understand the things which God has graciously 
vouchsafed to us 4. 

The spirit of the world here signifies, the spirit 
of Judaism. It is a spirit which misinterprets the 
prophecies ; as though it was their great scope and 
object to foretell the grandeur of the Jewish nation. 

* Spirit of the world.'] " As he puts the princes of the world, 
ver. 6, 8, for the rulers of the Jews, so he here puts the " spirit 
of the world" for the notions of the Jews 5 that worldly spirit 
with which they interpreted the Old Testament, and the pro- 
phecies of the Messiah and his kingdom." Locke. 

* Graciously vouchsafed :] y^apia-kvro:,. So Pearce. In the 
common version, " freely given to us." 

42 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I, ii. 1. 

Ch. II. and the destruction of their temporal enemies. This 
■ was the sense in which the scribes and pharisees, 
and the teachers of the law, interpreted the Old Tes- 
tament scriptures; and the Jewish dispensation it- 
self is, in the writings of the apostle, distinguished 
by the appellation here used. Gal. vi. 14 : " By 
which the world is crucified to me, and I unto the 
world." But the apostle, after he had been con- 
verted to the Christian doctrine, had renounced this 
worldly spirit; and in lieu of it he had received the 
spirit of God, divine illuminations with regard to 
the gospel dispensation, by which he perfectly un- 
derstood the value and the large extent of that great 
blessing, which God had so freely given to mankind 
by Jesus Christ, and which his narrow-minded coun- 
trymen were not able to comprehend, q. d. The 
spirit by which we have been instructed is very dif- 
ferent from that of the Jewish teachers, who inter- 
pret the prophecies in a secular sense : whereas we 
have learned their true and spiritual meaning, and 
have been taught to form a much more correct idea 
of the nature and value of the promised blessings, 

7. This doctrine so revealed, the apostles explain* 
ed in a suitable manner to those who were disposed 
to receive instruction, ver. 13. 
13. fVhich things ive also speak, not in discourses 
dictated hy human wisdom, hut dictated hy the spi- 
rit\ explaining spiritual things to spiritual persons^. 

' Dictated hrj the spirit.'] The received text reads, " the holy 
spirit J " but Gricsbach drops the word dyty, upon the authority 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. ii,8. 43 

This divine doctrine, communicated by inspira- Ch. ii. 
tion, we do not adorn with the arts of eloquence or ^'^' ' 
the speculations of philosophy, but we teach them 
in plain intelligible language, in the way in which 
we are divinely instructed to communicate the joy- 
ful tidings; and we explain these sublime and spi- 
ritual truths to those who, having renounced the 
narrow prejudices of Judaism, and the pernicious 
superstitions of heathenism, are disposed and quali- 
fied to receive the pure and simple religion of Jesus. 

8. The speculative reasoner cannot comprehend 
the nature and ground of the believer's faith ; which 
rests wholly upon the instructions of those who are 
immediately commissioned by Christ, ver. J 4 — 16. 

^nd the animal man 3 rcceiveth not the things of 14. 

of the best copies. A few copies read di^a.-xrj, " the teaching of 
the spirit ;" which Pearce prefers, as he does not think that the 
apostle could mean to say that his words were inspired : he 
thinks this reading confirmed by ver. 4. 

^ Explaining.'] cvyKpivovrss . Bishop Pearce cites several pas- 
sages in which ffvyxpivuj signifies, to explain. Gen. xi. 8, 1 6, 
22, xli. 12, 13, 15. He also thinks that the connexion requires 
that irvsvu.ocriKOi; should be understood of men, and not things. 
In the next verses the apostle assigns a reason why he explains 
spiritual things to spiritual men, viz. because the animal man 
{■^v^iKOs) cannot comprehend them. — " explaining spiritual 
things in spiritual words." Wakefield. The common translation 
is, " comparing spiritual things with spiritual :" " that is," says 
Archbishop Newcome, " comparing one revelation with another. 
2 Cor. x. 12. Using our reason, as Peter did. Acts x. 28 ; and 
Paul himself. Acts xvi. 9, 10." This is a very good sense, but 
Bishop Pearce's seems preferable. 

' The animal man.'] ^vyjy.og, as contra-distinguished to *v?y- 
[xaTMog, the spiritual man, ver. 14, 15. " The one signifies a 
man that has no higher principles to build on than those of na- 
tural reason ; the other, a man who founds his faith and religion 

44 Pakt I. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. I. ii. 8. 

Ch. II. the spirit of God^ for they are foolishness to him ; 
and he cannot understand them, because they are 
spiritually disceriied. 

The man who has no other assistance than the 
light of nature, and who is guided by his own un- 
derstanding only, cannot attain to, nor comprehend, 
those truths which are revealed to such as accept 
the Christian revelation. To such persons, blinded 
by narrow and inveterate prejudice, or conceited of 
their eloquence and their sublime speculations, the 
doctrine of the gospel appears mere folly and ab- 
surdity. In their judgement, nothing can be more 
ridiculous than to hope for salvation from a con- 
demned and crucified malefactor, or to desire and 
expect the resurrection of that corruptible mass 
which perishes in the grave. Nor is it possible that 
men whose minds are so strongly warped, should be 
convinced of the truth and excellence of the Chris- 
tian doctrine, which can only be apprehended by 
those whose minds are in a right state to receive 
them ; that is, who are convinced of their own ig- 
norance and inability, and desirous of receiving hea- 
venly instruction. 

on divine revelation." Locke. Archbishop Newcome renders 
the word " the sensual man ■" and in his note explains it from 
Le Clerc, " he that is wholly devoted and enslaved to earthly 
things, and entirely taken up with the things of this life." But 
Mr. Locke's interpretation seems to suit the connexion best. 
The word spiritual being used to express one who rests his faith 
upon miracles : animal, which is opposed to it, naturally signifies 
one who is opposed to miracleSj and will only yield his iissent to 
rational arguments. 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. ii. 8. 45 

JVhereas the spiritual man discerneth ' all things, Ch. ir. 
while he himself is discerned by no one. ^'* ' 

A man of a humble and teachable disposition, 
who is willing to lay aside his prejudices, whether 
Jewish or heathen, and to receive the gospel upon 
its proper evidence, will understand the doctrine of 
Christ, will see its reasonableness and truth, anH its 
admirable congruity to the moral state and circum- 
stances of the world, and will admire and adore the 
wisdom and goodness of God in the manifestation 
of this glorious doctrine. While others, who remain 
involved in their ignorance, their prejudices, their 
bigotry, and their vices, are astonished at the lan- 
guage and conduct of the true believer, and are per- 
fectly at a loss to comprehend the evidence by which 
he is convinced of the doctrine which he embraces, 
and the principles by which he is governed. *' He 
remains like a man endued with sight amongst those 
born blind, who are incapable of apprehending what 
is clear to him ; and, amidst their own darkness, can- 

^ Discerneth^ ccvccKpivsi. " the spiritual man discerneth every 
one," Wakefield. — " Avaxotvcu, in its primary signification, is 
to examine as a judge in a court of justice : hence it comes to 
signify the next step a judge takes, viz. to form a judgement. 
This sense will suit all the places where the word is used, in 
this and the next verse." Bishop Pearce. — " He that lays his 
foundation in divine revelation can judge what is, and what is 
not, the doctrine of the gospel ; who is, and who is not, a good 
preacher of the word of God : but others, who go not beyond the 
discoveries made by the natural faculties, cannot judge of such 
an one whether he preaches right or not." Locke. 

Bishop Pearce inserts this verse in a parenthesis, and con- 
nects the 13th with the 15th j viz. "The animal man cannot 
know that (not because) they are to be spiritually judged of — 
for who knoweth the mind of the Lord," &:c. 

40 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. n. 8. 

Ch. n. not participate of, nor understand, those beautiful 
ideas and pleasing sensations which light pours in 
upon him '." 
16. For who knoweth the mind of the Lord^ that he 
should instruct him^? but we have the mind of 

Who that is not instructed by revelation can un- 
derstand the mind and will of God, so as to be pro- 
perly qualified to teach it to others, and to commu- 
nicate instruction to the spiritual man ? that is, to 
those whose minds are open to receive the truth. 
None of those who set themselves up in opposition 
to us, the apostles of Christ, none of those who 
value themselves upon their skill in Jewish or hea- 
then philosophy, are on that account qualified to in- 
struct men in the truths of the gospel ; but we, who 
are authorized apostles, and who have learned the 
Christian doctrine by the instruction of the spirit of 
God, and by supernatural illumination, are assured 
that we are in possession of the genuine truths of 
the Christian religion, and that we are duly autho- 
rized and qualified to communicate these important 
truths to all who are prepared to receive them. And 
being in possession of the true doctrine of Christ, 
and having given the most satisfactory proofs that 
we are so, we have a right to challenge the attentive 
and persevering regard of our hearers. 

' See Doddridge in loc. 

* Instruct him :'] i.e. the spiritual man. Locke, Newcome. — 
" WTio knoweth the mind of the Lord, that he should teach it > 
aurov, i. e. vsv." Pearce. The words are a quotation from Isa. 
xl. 13. 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. SEcr.I.m. 1. 4/ 


The apostle, returning from his digression con- Ch. III. 
cerning the philosophy of the Christian religion, re- 
sumes his animadversions upon the party spirit which 
prevailed at Corinth, and assures the Corinthians, 
that the true and authorized teachers of the gospel 
disclaimed all pretensions to establish themselves as 
the heads of rival parties, and aspired to no other 
distinction than that of being fellow servants of the 
same master, and fellow labourers in the same cause, 
ch. iii. 1 — iv. 6. 

1 . The apostle animadverts upon the party zeal 
which prevailed at Corinth, as a proof of the imper- 
fection of their character, and of the prevalence of a 
heathenish and worldly spirit, ch. iii. 1 — 4. 

^nd I, my hretJwen^ could not speak to you as Vei-. I. 
to spiritual persons^ ^ but as to carnal ones. 

When I was with you, I saw so much of an un- 
becoming spirit, that I could hardly regard you as 
genuine converts to Christianity, being so deeply 
involved in Jewish or heathen prejudices, which you 

' Spiritual persons^ willing to take principles on the credit 
of revelation. Carnal, who accept of no assistance but from 
their own reason. See Locke. The same opposition is here ob- 
served as between the animal man -^u-x^i-kos, and the spiritual 
man itvzviuciriMg , in the preceding chapter. Carnal, or babes 
in Christ, i. e. " such as had not their understandings yet fully 
opened to the true grounds of the Christian religion," but re- 
tained a great many childish thoughts about it, as appeared by 
their divisions, one for the doctrine of his master Paul, another 
for his master ApoUos, which, if they had been spiritual, they 
could not have dJone." Locke. 

48 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.I. m. I. 

Ch. III. were so little disposed to resign to the authority of 
divine revelation. 

Ver. 2. I fed you with milk as babes i in Christ, not 
with meaty for you were not then able to receive it, 
neither are ye even yet able ^. 

Seeing you were so much disposed to cavil and 
dispute, I taught you only the plainest and simplest 
principles of the Christian doctrine, resei-ving the 
rest till, by the practical influence of the first, you 
were brought to a better temper. I treated you as 
babes with the simplest food ; hoping that you 
would digest it easily; and that you would grow and 
thrive under this gentle treatment, and fostering care. 
But I am disappointed : you are still children, unfit 
to be nourished with strong and generous food ; un- 
able to receive those doctrines which would subdue 
your prejudices, and elevate you to the full maturity 
and dignity of the Christian character. 
3. Because you are still carnal; for while there is 
among you emulationy and contentions, and divi' 

• Bales'^ Mr. Wakefield, upon the authority of Clemens 
Alex., and some ancient versions, reads vrpaBs for yij7r»0i;, and 
joins it to the beginning of the second verse. 

* Neither are ye even yet able.l Qu. What was that meat which 
the Corinthians could not digest ? that doctrine which they could 
not receive ? Not surely, that Gentiles were to be received 
into the church without submitting to the yoke of the law : for 
to this, the Corinthians in general could have no objection, nor 
did Paul ever conceal it. Was it the vanity and worthlessness 
of all their boasted systems of philosophy ? Or was it the utter 
insignificance of all external rites and forms ; and the perfect 
spirituality of the Christian religion, which imposes the strong- 
est restraints upon all irregular affections, and requires purity 
of heart, and integrity of character as the only sacrifice which 
God will accept ? 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. in. 1. 49 

6'wiis, are ye not carnal, and do ye not lualk as un- Ch, iir. 
converted men? for luhen one saith, lam of Paul; Ver. 4. 
and another, I of Apollos ; are ye not carnal^ ? 

I cannot even yet instruct you to valuable pur- 
pose, in the principles, and in the pure and humble 
spirit of the Christian rehgion ; for you have still so 
much of the spirit of heathenism, that you are un- 
willing to listen to them. Is not my charge just? 
I appeal to your own understanding and consciences. 
When you dispute and quarrel amongst yourselves; 
when, instead of listening to the instructions and 
imbibing the spirit of your Christian teachers, you 
are setting them up as heads of opposite parties, and 
abusing each other as retainers of different sects; is 
this, think you, the spirit of Christianity? is not this 
the spirit of your unconverted state ? is it not the 
same spirit which prevails amongst your heathen 
neighbours ? who value themselves upon being the 

' Carnal,'] actuated by a spirit opposite to that of Christianity, 
a proud, contentious, conceited spirit, arising from ignorance of 
the proper basis and spirit of Christianity. — xara avSpuitov, as 
men, i. e. as other men, as unbelievers, as unconverted heathen. 
So Sampson, vi'hen his hair was cut off, is said to be like a man, 
i. e. another man. Judges xvi. 7. And Christ submitting him- 
self to death became in fashion as a man, i. e. as another man ; 
he employed none of his miraculous powers to deliver himself, 
Phil.ii. 7,8. 

Mr. Locke, from comparing this verse with ch. iv. 6, conjec- 
tures that " the division in this church was only into two oppo- 
site parties, whereof, the one adhered to St. Paul, the other stood 
up for their head, a false apostle, who opposed St. Paul. It is 
true that St. Paul, in his epistles to the Corinthians, generally 
speaks of these, his opposers, in the plural number ; but it is to 
be remembered, that he speaks so of himself too, which, as it 
was the less invidious way with regard to himself, so it was the 
softer way toward his opposers." 


50 Part I, I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. in. 2. 

Ch. III. disciples, one of this eminent philosopher, and an- 
other of that, holding all other sects and teachers in 
aversion and contempt. 


2. The ministers of the gospel affect to be no- 
thing more than servants of God, and fellow la- 
bourers in the same field of usefulness, ver. 5 — 9. 

5. rf^Ao then is Paul, or, ivlio is Apollos P they are 
ministers i, by whose means ye became believers. 

And what then are these men whose names you 
assume, and under whose banners you desire to 
rank yourselves ? If they are faithful to their trust, 
they will most readily acknowledge that they are not 
masters, but servants employed by the same chief 
upon the same errand, namely, to invite you into 
the Christian community, and to instruct you in the 
Christian faith. 

And accordingly, as the Lord hath given to each 

6. ofns^, I have planted, Apollos watered, but God 
gave the increase. 

The teachers of Christianity have no reason to 
boast in their own attainments, nor have their dis- 
ciples any reason to set them up as heads of parties. 

* They are ministers?^ The received text read.s aXX' t], " hut 
ministers," which word is wanting- in the best copies, and omit- 
ted by Griesbach. 

* And accordingly as the Lord hath given to each of us.'] These 
words, which, in the common copies, are at the end of the fifth 
verse, are by Bowyer and Wakefield placed at the beginning of 
the sixth, q. d. We are both servants -, and as our common mas- 
ter has appointed us, so we labour in our respective stations and 
offices in the vineyard ; one plants, the other waters 3 but to no 
purpose without the divine blessing. 


I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.I. in. 2. 51 

Whatever be their qualification or their furniture, it Ch. iii. 
is all given by God. It is he who has instructed 
them in Christian truth, who has given them those 
powers of reasoning or of eloquence, which they 
possess, who has appointed them their respective 
stations in the church, and who crowns their labours 
with his blessing. To him all their success is ow- 
ing, to him all praise is due. I first planted the 
church at Corinth, Apollos afterwards communi- 
cated further instruction, and confirmed and encou- 
raged you in your Christian profession. Each of us 
derived his commission and talent from God, and 
he crowned our labours with success, for without 
his blessing, our exertions would have been in vain. 

So that neither is he who planteth any thing, 7- 

nor he who watereth ; but God who giveth the in* 

No teacher of the gospel, whatever be his ability, 
his station, his labours, or his success, has any right 
to arrogate merit to himself, or to set up himself, or 
to be exalted by others, above the rest of his fellow 
labourers, equally diligent, equally faithful, and per- 
haps equally useful with himself in their respective 
spheres. The wisest, the most active, the most elo- 
quent, the most learned, and the most useful, are 
nothing without the blessing of God ; and the weak- 
est and the most contemptible instruments, even 
they whom the world regards with indignation and 
scorn, are all-powerful in his hands. Whether we 
are employed in the conversion of unbelievers, or in 
the edification of Christians, all our ability for the 


Ch. III. sacred office is derived from God, and all the honour 
of success must be ascribed to him, 

Ver. 8. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are 
one 1 ; and every one shall receive his own reivard 
according to his own labours. 

The faithful preachers of the gospel are all united 
in one employment, in promoting one and the same 
grand design. They form one body under the di- 
rection of one head ; but though united as a body, 
they are distinguished as individuals, and every one 
shall receive a revi^ard not proportioned to that suc- 
cess which it was not in his power to command, and 
which God did not see fit to grant, but to that ge- 
nerous and fervent zeal, that unwearied diligence, 
and that persevering resolution, with which he em- 
ployed himself in promoting the great cause of truth 
and virtue. 
9, For lue are fellow-labourers in the service of 
God'^, ye are the field of God^. 

• Are ojie.] " one thing in design,, interest, affection, idem 
agunt negotium." Grotius. Newcorae. 

' We arefellow-laboitrers.'] " This is a sublime idea," says 
Dr. Priestley, " and should inspire all who labour in the propa- 
gation of the gospel with zeal and courage. It is a work which 
God himself has undertaken, and we are acting under and to- 
gether with him." This remark is made, admitting the common 
to be the true translation, we are workers together with God. 
And it is indeed a noble and an encouraging thought. But con- 
sidering that the design of the apostle is to show that all the mi- 
nisters of the gospel are upon an equality, as being fellow-ser- 
vants of the same master, I prefer the translation of Dr. Ham- 
mond and Bishop Pearce : " we are fellow -labourers of God;" 
i. e. we labour together in the work of God. See 2 Cor. i. 24. 
" TO <rvy non referri debet ad Deum, sed ad doctores." Rosen- 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. in. 3. 53 

The most eminent, the most faithful, the best Ch. iii. 
quahfied, and the most useful teachers among us are 
neither your masters, nor their own ; we are fellow- 
servants, joint labourers in the field of God. You 
are that field which it is our duty to cultivate with 
our best attention, care and skill ; and whether we 
are employed in breaking up the fallow ground, in 
sowing the precious seed of evangelical truth, in 
watching and cherishing the tender plant, or in 
clearing it from noxious weeds, we are in our re» 
spective departments all employed by the same mas- 
ter, and all co-operating in the same design. We 
desire not to be set at variance with, nor to be con- 
sidered as acting in opposition to, each other. Least 
of all would we presume to pursue our ov/n interested 
and ambitious views, to the neglect of our proper 
duty, to the defrauding of our common master, and 
to the injury of the crop, in that portion of the vine- 
yard which is allotted to our management. 

3. The apostle, changing his metaphor, reminds 
the Corintliians that he had himself laid the foun- 
dation of the Christian temple, and warns them to 
build the superstructure with materials which will 
stand the test, ver. 9 — 15. 

Ye are the building of God. —9. 

Having compared himself and his fellow-labour- 
ers to servants employed by the same master, and 

' The field of God.'] yswc^yiov So Whitby, Bishop Pearce, 
and RosenmuUer. See Prov. xxiv. 30, xxxi. 1 G. LXX. " yaojp'yiov 
est omnc quod ab ngricoUs excolUur." Grotius, 

54 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.I. iii. 3. 

Ch. III. working together in the same field, and thence ar- 
^"' ' guing the impropriety of giving one an undue pre- 
ference over another; he now changes the metaphor, 
and suggests the same important conclusion, from 
comparing the ministers of the gospel to labourers 
employed by the same proprietor in the erection of 
a sacred edifice : and here he takes occasion to inti- 
mate, that under his character of an apostle, and as 
the first preacher of the gospel at Corinth, he had 
been employed in the most honourable department, 
that of laying the foundation ; and also to hint, that 
the doctrines introduced by those, who set them- 
selves up in opposition to him, were of no real va- 
lue, and were foreign to the nature and design of 
true Christianity. 

10. According to the favour of God^^ given to me as 
a skilful architect, I laid a foundation, and another 
huildeth upon it ; but let every one take care how 

11. he buildeth on it. For no man can lay another 
foundation, instead of that which is laid, which is, 

Jesus the Christ^. 

' Favour of God.'] That is, the apostolic office with which I 
have been honoured by God. So Rom. i. 5, grace and the apos- 
tleship signify the favour of the apostolic office. Eph. iii. 8. To 
me who am less than the least, &c. is this favour given, i. e. the 
apostleship to the Gentiles. " %a/3*j rs 0fa, henejicium Dei, hoc 
loco, utscepius,munus apostoU videtur significare." RosenmuUer. 

* Jesus the Christ.l " og ss^iv, Iijtrsf o Xpiros, even this, that 
Jesus is the Christ." L'Enfanl. — " I, like a skilful architect, 
have laid a sure foundation, which is, Jesus the Messiah, the 
sole and only foundation of Christianity ; beside which, no man 
can lay another." Locke. See also Wakefield, whose tran.slation 
I have borrowed. Nothing can be more obvious, than that the 
apostle's meaning is, that the only fundamental doctrine of the 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. I. in. 3. 55 

The favour given to the apostle was the aposto- Ch. iii. 
lie office, and the miraculous gifts and powers, with ^'' ' 
which he was endued, and by which he was enabled 
to preach the gospel with success. Aided by these 
powers, he had first taught the Christian religion 
at Corinth. He had laid the foundation of the spi- 
ritual temple. And that foundation was, that Jesus 
was the Messiah. This is the fundamental doctrine 
of the Christian religion. Jesus is the anointed, the 
holy, the long predicted, and divinely authorized pro- 
phet of God, and whatever he teaches under this cha- 
racter must be received as of the highest authority. 
This was the doctrine which the apostle first incul- 
cated ; and if this was sincerely received, and prac- 
tically felt, every thing else would naturally follow ; 
the sublime doctrine, and the pure morality of the 
gospel would gradually take place of the errors and 
vices of a heathen state. They who succeeded the 
apostles as teachers of the church, built upon this 
foundation. They did not pretend to dispute the 
Messiahship of Jesus, knowing that by so doing they 
would forfeit the very name of Christians, and would 
gain no attention from any who professed the Chris- 
tian faith. The apostle, as the principal architect, 
and perfectly skilled in his profession, had laid his 

Christian religion, is, that Jesus is the Messiah foretold by the 
Jewish prophets ; who is himself the chief of all the prophets of 
God : whoever believes this, is a member of the Christian com- 
munity, whatever errors may be attached to his belief: whoever 
denies that Jesus is the Messiah, is an unbeliever ; he is not a 
member of the Christian church. The apostle had laid down the 
same doctrine somewhat more at large, Rom. x. 6 — 10. 

oG Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.I.hi.S. 

Ch. III. foundation with care and judgement. He had, with 
great prudence, surmounted all the prejudices of the 
Corinthians against this doctrine, and had led them 
to acknowledge the crucified Jew as their teacher and 
their head ; and to regard this fact as the indispen^ 
sable principle and ground-work of Christianity; the 
profession of which, was the sure and only title to ad- 
mission into the Christian community. The apostle 
cautions the labourers who come after him, to be- 
ware with what materials they build upon this foun- 
dation: that is, let them take heed what doctrines 
they teach as articles of the Christian faith, and let 
nothing be attached to Christianity, but what really 
belongs to it. 

12. A^oia if any one build upon this foundation, gold, 
silver, precious stones, or wood, grass, straw^, 

13. every work will he made manifest : for that day 
will show it; because, the day is to be revealed^ in 

' Gold, silver, wood, &c.] " Good and bad doctrines are 
meant." Newcome. So Locke, Pearce, and most of the com- 
mentators. " Sicutifundamentojacto superstrui potest vel do- 
miis regia, vel casa rustica, ita eticnii initiis doctrince Christwnes 
recte et vere a me traditis, addi potest copiosior Institutio, vera 
aut falsa, majoris velminoris pretii et momenti." RosenmuUer. 

* The daij is to be revealed.'] Bishop Pearce contends that 
" y'jxeca and not Bpyov is the nominative case to aTroy.ccXuirrtTat. 
For it is a true inference, that the day will show what every 
man's work is, because it will appear with fire, and it is the na- 
ture of fire to try all things ; but it is no inference to say, that 
the day will try every man's work, because that work will be re- 
vealed in fire." " Aurum ignihus invictum est; argentum etmar- 
moradiu igni rcsistutit ; minus lignum ; mvnime stramen etculmus. 
Sic etiam quod religionem attinet, vera durant ; qua autem, in re- 
ligione su7it minus certaet utilia, ea facile abjicumtur quum varii 
casus incidunt." RosenmuUer. It is hardly necessary to ob- 
tserve, that as the building of which the apostle treats is allego- 

PaktI, I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. in. 3. 57 

fire^ and the fire shall try every man^s ivork^ of Ch. iii. 
tuhat kind it is. 

The doctrines of some teachers are pure and ge- 
nuine ; they are derived from Jesus himself, or from 
thosewho were instructed and commissioned by him; 
they are acknowledged truths of the Christian reli- 
gion, and productive of the best practical effect; they 
are a superstructure of costly and solid materials, 
erected upon a firm and immoveable foundation. 
But the doctrines of other teachers are false, futile, 
and useless; they attach notions to Christianity, 
which have no real connexion with it, which are a 
disgrace and deformity to it, which appear as a su- 
perstructure of wood and stubble upon a foundation 
of adamant; incongruous, unsightly, and contemp- 

And there is a day coming, when this superstruc- 
ture shall be tried by a severe test. It is that day, in 
which the great master of the building is described 
as about to appear in naming fire, when he shall take 
cognizance of the works of those who were employed 
by him, and distribute their wages. Then every one's 
work will be tried, and none shall be approved, that 
cannot stand this decisive test. 

If any inaris superstructure abide, he will receive 14. 

a reward. But if any maiis work be burned, he will 15. 
suffer loss; yet, he will himself be saved, though as 
passing through fire. 

rical, the flames by which the materials are to be tried, must be 
figurative, and not real. — " The day of judgement j which day 
will be revealed with fire, 2 Pet. iii. 10 : or, as it were, with fire ; 
God trying every work and doctrine." Newcome. 

58 PaktI. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. in. 3. 

Ch. III. If the materials are sound and compact, and not 

Ver 15 . . . . 

injured by the fire, the faithful and the skilful work- 
man shall receive just remuneration. He that has 
taught the genuine doctrine of Christianity, that 
doctrine which shall be approved in the day of rec- 
koning, shall receive an ample reward for his wise 
and faithful labours, in whatever way he may have 
been treated, or with whatever contempt his work 
may have been regarded by his fellow-labourers. 

But if the materials will not stand the test, if they 
are unsound and perishable, they will be consumed ; 
nor must the negligent or ignorant labourer, who so 
officiously busied himself in injuring and disgracing 
the building of his Lord, expect to receive the wages 
of the skilful workman. Yet, if his failure be owing 
to a defect in judgement, and not a malignity of in- 
tention, he shall not himself be condemned. He 
shall not be answerable for the mischief which his 
errors have occasioned ; he shall escape from de- 
struction, yea, even with impunity, but not without 
some appearance of hazard ; just as a man, who, 
when his house is on fire, rushes through the flames 
to save his life. 

The meaning is, that they who teach for Christi- 
anity, doctrines which are foreign to its nature, and 
disgraceful to its character, however highly they may 
think of themselves, however busily they may be em- 
ployed, however warmly approved, yet will not, in 
the day of trial, meet with the approbation they ex- 
pect, nor will they be entitled to the same reward as 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. I. in. 4. ^9 

the more skilful, judicious, and successful labourer. Ch. iir. 
Nevertheless, if these errors were owing to ignorance 
and invincible prejudice, and were propagated with- 
out any bad design, the teachers and abettors of them 
shall be forgiven ; and though they may fail of the 
reward which they fondly expected, they shall not be 
condemned, like those who have wilfully disfigured 
and injured their master's work. Let no one, there- 
fore, rashly assume the office of a Christian teacher, 
without due deliberation, and diligent preparation 
for the office ; nor let any one deem it a matter of 
little consequence, whether the doctrine he teaches 
be true or erroneous. There is a day of trial at hand, 
and great will be the disappointment of many who 
now think most highly of their own performances, 
and who look for the most distinguished reward. 

4. The community of believers is a temple con- 
secrated to God, and inhabited by his spirit, which 
must upon no account be defiled and profaned, ver. 
16, 17. 

Know ye not^^ that ye are the temple of God, 16. 

and that the spirit of God diuelleth in you ? 

' Know xje not^ It is observable, that this question occurs no 
less than ten times in this epistle ; and as it is not usual in the 
rest of the apostle's writings, there must no doubt be some rea- 
son for the frequency of its repetition here. Now it is to be re- 
membered, that this epistle is written in reply to a letter ad- 
dressed by the Corinthians to the apostle ; and as it is evident 
that they were a vain people, conceited of their superior wis- 
dom, and valuing themselves upon the supposed superiority of 
the respective teachers under whose banners they were enlisted, 
it is not at all improbable, that tlicy discovered something of 

60 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. in. 4. 

Ch. III. You that profess to know so much, and who va- 
lue yourselves so highly upon your profound and cu- 
rious speculations, are you ignorant of, or inatten- 
tive to, this important fact, that as a community of 
believers, you are a temple consecrated to God, and 
inhabited by his spirit ? By the profession of the 
Christian faith, you devote yourselves to God ; by 
the gift of his spirit he announces his acceptance of 
your services, his approbation of your doctrine, and 
his expectation that you will maintain unblemished 
purity of character. 
17. Iftt^i^y ^nan corrupt ^ the temple of God, God 

this unbecoming vanity in the strain of their letter. Indeed we 
know that this was actually the case. For it appears from the 
very words of their letter which are cited by the apostle, ch. viii. 
1 , that at the same time when they were putting a question to 
him under the pretence of requesting his judgement, they in- 
troduce it with an observation, that it was hardly worth while 
to trouble him about it, as they had pretty well made up their 
mind upon the subject. " Now concerning things offered to 
idols." Thus the apostle introduces the second head of inquiry ; 
and immediately proceeds to cite tlie words of their letter. " We 
know that we all have knowledge," an expression upon which 
the apostle immediately animadverts with considerable severity. 
See the comment and notes upon that chapter, also those of 
Bishop Pearce. Now as it is probable that this was not the only 
specimen of self-conceit in the letter of the Corinthians, and as 
it is of itself sufficiently indicative of their character, it seems 
not unlikely that the apostle by his frequent repetition of the 
question, " Know ye not," means tacitly to reprove their un- 
seemly conceit of their superior knowledge, q.d. You that make 
such pretensions to superior knowledge, do not you know this ? 
or can you be ignorant of that ? 

' Ifamj mancorrupt, &c.] Mr. Locke conjectures that St. Paul 
here alludes to the false apostle, who, it is probable, by the 
strength of his party supporting and retaining the fornicator 
mentioned ch. v., had defiled the church; which may be the 
reason why tiie apostle so often mentions fornication in this 

Ver. i; 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. in. 5. 61 

will destroy him ; for the temple of God is holy, Ch. iii. 
ivhich holy temple beye^. 

If the unskilful labourer build with worthless ma- 
terials upon the precious foundation, he shall lose 
all the reward of his work ; but if any man inten- 
tionally and wickedly endeavours to demolish the 
foundation itself, and to overthrow this spiritual 
temple, either by introducing doctrines subversive 
of true religion, or by perverting Christian liberty 
to Hcentious practice, God will visit him with just 
and proportionable punishment. For the temple of 
God is a holy temple, and when it ceases to be such, 
it ceases to be his. Do you therefore, who by the 
profession of Christianity acknowledge yourselves to 
be devoted to him, by the purity of your doctrine 
and the sanctity of your lives, support the credit of 
that sacred and honourable relation. 

0. The apostle repeats his warning to the Corin- 
thians against corrupting the doctrine of Christ with 

epistle, and that in some places with particular emphasis, ch.v. 
9, vi. 13 — 20. — If any man corrupt, God will destroy. The 
word in the original is the same {(phipuu), but being used by 
the apostle in different senses, could not be rendered conveni- 
ently by the same word : Archbishop Newcome has attempted 
it, but I think without success : " If any man corrupt the tem- 
ple of God, God will corrupt him." 

* Be ?/e.] This is the translation of Bishop Pearce, who ob- 
serves that " the word holy is to be supplied here as well as 
temple; for the apostle had said before, ver. 16, ye are the tem- 
ple of God ; and if he had here only said, which temple ye are, 
he would have said the same thing over again. But in my trans- 
lation he gives them advice ; and his advice turns chiefly upon 
he holiness of the temple." 


C2 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect, I. iii.S. 

Ch.iii. the principles of the heathen philosophy, ver. 18 — 

Ver. 18. Let no man deceive himself: if any among you 
appear to he wise in this world >, let him become a 
fool^f that he may be truly wise. 

Let no man falsely imagine that mere philosophy 
is genuine Christianity ; nor let him vainly Hatter 
himself that he is an eminent Christian because he 
may be a subtle disputant. Whatever proficiency 
he may have made in the philosophy of the Jewish 
or of the heathen schools, let him know that he must 
renounce it all before he can be admitted into the 
school of Christ; and that in order to attain the cha- 
racter of true wisdom, he must submit to be in- 
structed in the first principles of the Christian doc- 
trine, by those men who are treated with scorn by 
the philosophers of the age. 

19. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with 
God: for it is written, " He entangles the wise in 

20. their own artifice T And again, " The Lord know- 
eth the reasonings of the ivise, that they arevdin^" 

* fVise in this world.'} " in the wisdom and learning of this 
world." Newcome ; who observes, that " the factious leaders 
thought themselves wise : and the question. Know ye not ? ver. 
1 6, may imply this." 

* Become a fool.'] " Let him embrace the true wisdom of the 
gospel : which the world deems foolishness." Newcome. 

^ It is written.'} Job v. 13 : "He taketh the wise in their own 
craftiness." Ps. xciv. 11 : " The Lord knoweth the thoughts 
of man, that they are vanity." — It is plain that these texts are 
cited merely in the way of accommodation. In the first, Eliphaz 
asserts the supreme wisdom of God, and his infinite superiority 
to man ; in the second, the Psalmist asserts the controul of God's 
providence over tlie mischievous devices of wicked oppressors. 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. I. in. 5. G3 

The wisdom of the Grecian school, upon which Ch. iii. 
the philosophers so much value themselves, is of *^'' " 
little worth in the sight of God ; because it conduces 
little either to improve the knowledge or to regulate 
the practice of its possessors, upon subjects of the 
greatest moral importance. It fills their minds with 
pride and vanity, and occupies their time with use- 
less controversy. Agreeably to this is the declara- 
tion of Eliphaz, the friend of Job, that God permits 
those who esteem themselves wise above the rest of 
their fellow-creatures to perplex and lose themselves 
in subtle and fruitless discussions. And to the same 
purport is the observation of the Psalmist, in which 
he represents the wise providence of the Supreme 
Being as controuling and confounding the mis- 
chievous devices of oppressors ; and, in general, as 
regarding with contempt the schemes and systems 
of human wisdom. 

The propriety of these observations would be more 
apparent, if, as was probably the case, the apostle's 
opponent at Corinth were a man who valued him- 
self upon, and was admired by his followers for, his 
eloquence and philosophical acuteness ; who was en- 
deavouring to corrupt the Christian doctrine by the in- 
troduction of philosophical principles; and who spoke 
of the apostle and other faithful and well informed 
teachers of Christianity with contempt, because of 
their ignorance of the philosophy of the schools. 

6. All boasting in teachers must be excluded ; 

64 Patit I. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. I. iii. 6. 

Ch. Ill, since all are appointed by Christ to minister to their 
advantage, and Christ himself is the minister of God, 
ver. 21—23. 

Ver. 21. Therefore, let no one glory hi men^for all things 
are yours. 

Let no one value himself upon being the disciple 
of this or that eminent teacher of the gospel, and 
exalt him in their esteem above the rest of his fel- 
low-servants ; for the best are nothing more than 
instruments in the hands of God, to promote your 
improvement in knowledge and virtue. 
22. Whether Paid, or Apollos, or Cephas'^; whether 
the world^, or life, or death, or things present, or 
things future ; all are yours. 

The most eminent ministers of the gospel, even 
the apostles themselves, yea, the very chief among 
them, are not your masters, but your servants : they 
claim no authority over your persons, nor dominion 

> Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas^ Christ is here omitted in the 
enumeration of teachers : probably, therefore, Christ was not 
introduced by the apostle in the first chapter, as the leader of a 
party; ch. i. 12. 

* The world .•] i. e. " every body besides, every person in the 
world : as we s.ay. All the world knows it. It comprehends an- 
gels, as well as men." Bishop Pearce. — " all things which the 
world affords." Newcome. — " sirs %07iiog, reliqui etiam omnes 
homines, Deo ita dirigente, comrnodis vestris inservire debent ; 
xo(ry,o$, homines in mundo. Apostolus itaque a speciali ad gene- 
rale progreditur, et felicitatem Christianorum prcedicat." Ro- 
senmuUer. This seems to be the interpretation of all the com- 
mentators, and is perhaps Ihe true one ; but as the apostle in 
the context has been speaking so much of the world, in con- 
nexion with the philosophers and the v^-isdom of the schools, it 
does not seem improbable that he might allude to the teachers 
of philosophy in particular in this place. 

Part I. I. CORINTHIANS. Skct. I. in. G. 65 

over your faith ; they desire nothing but to promote Ch. iir. 
your improvement in wisdom and goodness ; and to ^^'" ^^' 
that end they zealously, in their respective stations, 
devote their talents and their labours. And not only 
the teachers of Christianity, but every thing else 
may, by a prudent use, with the blessing of God, 
be made subservient to your true interest. The 
world itself, and all things in it, and particularly the 
wisdom of the world, the doctrine of the philosophic 
schools, may teach you the value of Christianity, by 
discovering the weakness of human reason. Life is 
yours, if you improve it to useful purposes ; and the 
religion of Jesus teaches you to regard even death 
itself as gain, both as it releases you from a state of 
labour and suffering, and as it ultimately introduces 
you into a new, a happy, and an immortal existence. 
Things that are present are yours : if used with mo- 
deration, they contribute to your good: and things 
to come, the reward of persevering virtue in a future 
life, will far transcend all your merits and all your 

But ye are Christ's. 23. 

The ministers of the gospel, and all things else, 
are subservient to your ultimate advantage. They 
are, in a certain sense, your servants, your property : 
but do not therefore imagine that you are yourselves 
under no controul. You are, by your profession, 
the servants and the property of Christ. He has re- 
deemed you from the bondage of your heathen state; 
and though you are set at liberty from idolatrous 
rites, from legal ceremonies, and from human au- 

VOL. II. ¥ 

GQ Pakt L I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. in. 7. 

Ch. III. thority, you are still the servants of Christ. He is 
your sole master : his doctrine you must acknow- 
ledge, his laws you must obey, his yoke you must 
bear, and his wages you will receive. 
—23. y4nd Christ is God's. As you are his subjects 
and servants, and acknowledge Jesus as your head, 
so does he, your Master, acknowledge subjection to 
God, and profess allegiance to the Great Supreme ; 
from whom he derives existence, from whom he re- 
ceived his high commission, and all the gifts and 
powers by which it was confirmed ; by whose al- 
mighty power he was raised from the dead, and in- 
vested with the authority which he now exercises 
over the church ; whose servant and subject he avows 
himself to be, to whose glory all his labours are con- 
secrated, and from whose hand he has received his 
glorious and transcendent reward. 

Ch. IV. 7. The ministers of the gospel, far from being 
leaders of parties, are nothing more than servants 
and stewards of Christ, whose chief requisite is faith- 
fulness, ch. iv. 1, 2. 

Ver. 1. Let a man so regard us, as servants of Christ^, 
2. and stewards of the mysteries of God, And as to 
the rest, it is required^ of stewards, that a man 
should he faithful. 

' Servants of Christ.'] " As to me, I pretend not to set up a 
school among you ; and as a master, to have my scholars de- 
nominated from me." Locke. 

^ It is required.'] Bishop Pearce, upon the authority of vsome 
ancient copies and versions, reads cuSa Aojiro/ instead of 6 Sv 
" it is here required ;" i. e. among men. 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. in. 8. 67 

Upon the whole, the true light in which the mi- Ch. iv. 
nisters of the gospel ought to be regarded, is that ^^'' ^' 
of fellow servants of the same master, Jesus ; all of 
us upon an equal footing, no one having any pre- 
eminence above another, all being engaged in the 
same cause, all employed as stewards of the myste- 
ries of God, dispensing those sacred truths which 
were heretofore concealed from the mass of man- 
kind ; being utterly unknown to the Gentile world, 
and obscurely revealed even to the Jews themselves. 

Being thus employed by the same Master, who 
has furnished us with our respective talents, and 
assigned to us our several offices, all that is required 
from us is, the faithful performance of the duties 
incumbent upon us, the consciousness of which will 
bear us up under all outward discouragements. 

8. The apostle, conscious of integrity, makes 
light of the calumnies of his adversaries, and appeals 
to the judgement of God, ver. 3 — 5. 

But to me it is of very small moment to be judged 3. 

by yoUy or by any human inquiry 3 ; nor, indeed, do 
1 judge even myself : for though lam not conscious 4^ 

to myself of any fault*, yet J am not for that reason 
justified^', but he luhojudgeth me is the Lord. 

' Human inquiry J] So Pearce and Newcome. — " man's judge- 
ment." Wakefield. avSpa."?ri»ryj y)|U-£par Jerom marks this phrase, 
among others, as a specimen of the apostle's Cilician idiom, day 
for judgement ; as in Latin, diem dicere. See Grotius. — " av. ijjw,. 
ab humano judicio. Sermone Anglico vacatur a days-man, qui 
delectus est judex inter fratrem et fratr em, forte a dicendo diem, 
in quo judicium feret arbiter:" KnatchbuU. See ch. i. 8, iii. 13, 
V. 5. 


58 Part I, 1. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. I. in. 8. 

Ch. IV. Some of you affect to think very meanly of my 
^' ■ ' abilities and of my services, and pass severe cen- 
sures upon my character, preferring other teachers 
to me, who first planted the gospel among you, and 
confirmed it by miracles ; but conscious as I am of 
faithfulness in the discharge of the duties of my 
office, I think little of such censures as these, nor 
do I set any high value upon the opinion that any 
man or class of men may entertain of me; for they 
are liable to prejudice and error : nor will my final 
State be affected by their opinion. Nor yet do I 
place entire confidence in the judgement I form of 
my own character ; for though I am not conscious 
of any thing amiss in performing the duties of my 
office, I do not therefore consider myself as perfectly 
clear. Prejudice, partiality, self-ignorance, and self- 
love, may lead me to form too favourable an opinion 
of myself and of my labours. But there is One who 
judges of human character with infallible precision, 
and by his judgement we must all abide : it is God 
who searches the heart. To be finally approved by 
him is indeed a concern of the highest moment. 

* Any fault.] " Elliptke, pro ovSsv xaxov u.oi crwoiSa,, nihil 
mail mihi conscius sum." RosenmuUer. See Pearce. 

* Justified.'] " AshKccicoiiai. Sed propterea non ab omni culpa 
sum liber." RosenmuUer. — Bishop Pearce observes, that the 
word justified does not come up to the full meaning of J<x.a<8- 
crt^at, which signifies to be without fault. Job ix. 2; Ps. li. 4, 

. cxlii. 2. He thus expounds the passage : " For though I am 
conscious of no sin within myself, yet have I not therefore been 
clear and free from sin. No : I may have sins unrepented of, 
which I have forgot ; 1 may have faults which self-love hinders 
me from seeing ; but he who discerns and judges with exact- 
ness of me is God, and God only." 

pAin^I. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. iii. 8. 69 

Therefore, judge nothing before the time, till the Ch. iv. 
Liord come ; who ivill both bring to light that ivhich 
is concealed in darkness, and will make manifest 
the designs of the heart: and then every man will 
receive due praise ^ from God. 

The conclusion from all that I have said upon 
the subject of that party spirit which prevails among 
you is this : Be not hasty in forming your judge- 
ments of characters, and do not exalt one minister 
of the gospel above another, nor give an undue pre- 
ference to any, in cases in which you are liable to be 
deceived. The day is coming when every character 
shall appear in its true light. Wait patiently for 
the decision of that awful hour, when the great Mas- 
ter shall appear, to call his servants to account ; when 
the most secret motives shall be brought to light, 
when the most hidden purposes of the heart shall be 
unveiled ; and when every individual shall receive 
from God that praise, and that reward, to which he 
is justly entitled. Then will many, who now think 
highly of themselves, and are highly esteemed by 
others, be degraded to the lowest rank ; while many, 
who are obscure and despised, little known, and ^ 

' Every man will receive praise.~\ sii'aivos ysvyjostai anicruj. 
In the public Version, " then shall every man have praise of 
God." Bishop Pearce, regarding this translation as obviously- 
incorrect, limits the term sKarw to the apostle himself and Apol- 
los, vsrho vv^ill no doubt both receive praise at the great day. But 
the expression, though very general, necessarily limits itself, 
and must be understood by every candid reader in the sense to 
which Archbishop Newcome restricts it : " eveiy man who de- 
serves praise." 

'0 Part I, I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I.iv. 1. 

Ch. IV. little esteemed, will be crowned with distinguished 

Ver.5. , ^ 



The apostle explains his figurative language, chal- 
lenges the regard of the believers at Corinth as their 
first and chief instructor in the Christian doctrine : 
he sets before them his own example, and assures 
them that he will soon make them a visit, and will 
give them ample proof of his apostolical authority. 
Ch. iv. ver. 6 to the end. 

1 . The apostle explains the allusion he had made 
to Apollos and himself, ver. G, 7. 

Now these things, brethren^ I have transferred ' 
to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye 
may learn in us, not to esteem any one above what 
is here written^, that none of you may takepride^ in 
one teacher against another. 

' Transferred.'] " Msrzayrr^iJ.a.rilM, proprie, transformo ; per 
metaphoram accommodo, transfero; et de eo usurpatur qui de se 
dicit, quce de aim dicenda erant." Schleusner. — " I have ap- 
plied to myself and Apollos." Wakefield : see his note. — "On 
this occasion I have named Apollos and myself, as the magnified 
and opposed heads of distinct factions among you : not that we 
are so, but out of respect to you, that I might offend nobody by 
naming them." Locke. — " St. Paul does not name the leaders, 
from motives of prudence and mildness ; and in like manner he 
does not reflect directly on their craft and secular views, ver. 5, 
ch. iii. 19." Newcome. 

* Here written.] " which I have written in this epistle : ch. 
iii. 6, 21, iv. 1." Newcome. 

' Takepride.] "thatnonemaypridehimself in anyone feac/ier 
above another." Wakefield: and this seems to be the true and 
obvious meaning of the apostle, though the construction of the 
original is a little perplexed. 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. iv. 1. 71 

To avoid giving offence, I have abstained from Gh. iv. 
mentioning names ; and have supposed Apollos, my 
eloquent and honoured friend, to be the person set 
up in opposition to me. That so I might speak 
with less reserve, and put the strongest possible 
case, and that you might see by this instance how 
unbecoming it would have been to have esteemed 
either of us beyond what I have now described : to 
have regarded either of us as heads of parties, as 
masters of the household, instead of stewards and 
fellow-servants of the same Lord : and to have valued 
yourselves as disciples, the one of Apollos, the other 
of Paul. But how much more unbecoming is such 
a spirit and conduct as this, when the real opponent 
and competitor is a person so much inferior in rank, 
in knowledge, in character, and in every qualifica- 
tion of an evangelist or an apostle ! 

For who has distinguished thee from others, and 1- 

what hast thou which thou didst not receive P and 
if thou didst only receive * it, why dost thou boast y 
as if thou hadst not received it ? 

Let my opponent and rival possess all the talents 
andall the superiority over me which he and his party 
flatter themselves that he possesses; still, let me ask 
the question, why do you thus vainly exult and tri- 
umph ? who gave you these honourable distinctions ? 
whence did you acquire your boasted talents ? from 
whom did you receive your knowledge, your elo- 
quence, your opulence, and dignity ? And if, as 

* If thou didst only.] si Se koci eXafs; , " receive, whether na- 
tural faculties, or spiritual gifts." Nevvcome. 

2 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. iv. 2. 

Ch. IV. you cannot but acknowledge, you receive all from 
God, to be improved in his service, why do you boast 
in them ? as if they were your own acquisition, and 
as if you were accountable to no one for the use of 

2. The apostle reproves the self-sufficiency and 
vainglory of the Corinthians ; and obliquely, that of 
their false teachers, ver. 8. 
8- Are ye now full^ ? are ye now rich ? have ye 
reigned while we have been absent ? And I ivish, 
indeed^ that you were kings, that lue also might 
reign with you. 

Do you value yourselves upon your opulence, your 
security, your respectability in the eye of the world ? 
While I have been absent from you, have you in- 
creased in prosperity ? have you attained authority ? 
It is well ; and I heartily wish that you were kings, 
in the noblest sense of the word ; that you were ab- 
solute in the government of your aifections and pas- 
sions, prosperous in the state of your minds, opu- 
lent in the possession of Christian virtue ; and ho- 
nourable in the sight of almighty God, of your Mas- 

' Are ye now full ?] With Pearce and Wakefield I take these 
clauses interrogatively ; and with Pearce, Macknight, and Ro- 
senmuUer, I think the false apostle to be the person principally 
alluded to, though not directly named. It is sufficiently evident 
that he was a man of opulence and consequence, and that he 
was disposed to govern with a pretty strong hand. The allu- 
sion is obscure, though it was no doubt very intelligible to those 
to whom the epistle was addressed. This obscurity is unavoid- 
able in epistolary writing, but abundantly counterbalanced by 
its numerous advantages. 

PahtI. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect, I. iv. 3. 73 

ter Christ, and of all the virtuous and the wise. I Ch. ly. 
then should reign with you: I should share in your 
triumph, and join in your congratulation. 

The apostle, though he speaks in the plural num- 
ber, probably alludes chiefly to his opponent, who 
seems to have been a man of opulence, power, and 
consideration, as well as a man of eloquence, and to 
have valued himself, and to have been esteemed by 
his party, on this account ; while the apostle's po- 
verty and humble condition were held in contempt. 

3. He contrasts the fancied prosperity of the Co- 
rinthians, and particularly the assumed dignity of 
the false apostle, with the poverty and sufferings of 
the true and faithful apostles of Jesus ; who ap- 
proved the genuineness of their commission by the 
persecutions which they suffered, and by the Chris- 
tian spirit which they exemplified, ver. — 13. 

For I think ^ that God hath exhibited us, the 9. 

apostles, last upon the theatre 3, as devoted to death ; 
for we are made a spectacle to the world, both to 
angels and to rnen *. TVe are fools for Christ's lo. 

® For I think.'] I have placed the whole of this eloquent para- 
graph together, that the effect might not be lost by being divided 
into fragments. In the commentary I have taken up and ex- 
plained the several clauses separately, 

^ Last upon the theatre.] " Alluding," says Archbishop New- 
come, " to those last exposed on the theatre to fight with wild 
beasts, or with each other, and who were devoted to certain 
destruction." — Locke supposes, that though the apostle uses 
^e plural number, he alludes to himself only, or at least princi- 
pally. So likewise Bishop Pearce, 

'' To angels and to men.] " to heaven and earth." Newcome. 


74 PabtI. I. CORINTHIANS. Skct.1. iv.3. 

Ch. IV. sake, but ye are wise m Christ : we are weak, but 
ye are strong ; ye are honoured, but we are despised » 

Ver. 11. To this vmy hour, we suffer both hunger and thirst, 
and nakedness, and are beaten, and have no cei'tain 

12. abode; and we labour, ivorking ivith our own hands. 

13. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, ive en- 
dure; being railed at ^, we entreat. JVe are made, 
as it were, the expiatory victims^ of the world, the 
offscouring of all things until now. 

As the apostle, in the 8th verse, though using 
the plural number, alluded solely or chiefly to an in- 

It is hardly necessary to, observe, that the apostle here is not 
laying down any doctrine concerning angels, as of divine au- 
thority J but that he is merely alluding to a popular notion of 
the Jews, of angels being a permanent order of celestial spi- 
rits, who were the medium of divine communications with man- 
kind : which was a branch of oriental philosophy which the Jews 
had probably taken up during the captivity, and which was then 
become familiar. 

' Railed at.'] Jucnpijixa/xsvo;, instead of tKa(r(pYiixsiUBvoi. This 
Griesbach gives, as a probable reading y and it is supported by 
the Alexandrine manuscript. 

* Expiatory victims — the offscouring :] itspiKa^apiLOLra — TTspt- 
^i)lji,a,. "purgations of the world." Macknight. — " offscourings 
of the world ; refuse of all things." Wakefield. " The apos- 
tle," says Bishop Pearce, " alludes to the custom among the 
heathen, of choosing out some unhappy men during a time of 
public calamity, to be the purgation and expiation for them. 
They were maintained a year at the public charge, and then led 
out, adorned with flowers j and all the curses of the country 
being charged upon their heads, they were whipped seven times, 
then burned alive, and afterwards their ashes were thrown into 
the sea, while the people said, ' Il£^(i|/j;jw,a i^'/^wv ysvs." " The 
bishop translates the words, " the expiations of the world, the 
atonement of all men." See also Suidas; who interprets irspi- 
vJ/ij/Aa by airoXvrpwa-is, a ransom or redemption. So it is rendered 
in the Syriac, and by Diodati. See also Whitby, Doddridge, and 
Macknight. — " UspMOL^Oip^ccproprie idem quod KaBapf/.x,purga- 
mentum ; sordes undique verrendo collectus, quce sclent e domo ejici. 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I."iv. 3. 75. 

dividual opponent ; so here, though speaking in the ch. iv. 
plural number, he seems to refer to hin)self only, or ^"- ^'^• 
at least principally. He uses the plural number from 
modesty, that he may not seem to overrate his own 
merit ; and by this contrast of his own character 
with that of the false apostle, he furnishes the Co- 
rinthians with a clue to direct their judgement, in 
deciding between his pretensions and those of his 
unworthy competitor. 

God hath exhibited us^ the apostles^ last upon 9. 

the theatre, as devoted to death. We are brought 
out upon the stage, like those miserable wretches 
who, in the Roman theatres, were set forth at the 
end of the exhibition to be devoured by wild beasts, 
without any means of defence or any chance of es- 
cape. And like them we are devoted to death ; and 
though we may maintain for a short time the despe- 
rate struggle, we must eventually fall a prey to our 
cruel adversaries. And in this hopeless, but glorious 
combat, we are a spectacle to the universe. Rational 
beings, from the highest to the lowest orders; all 
men, good and bad, are spectators of our conflict 
and of our fortitude ; all who are wise and virtuous 
join in our applause, and even the worst of our ene- 
mies and persecutors themselves may learn the truth 
and value of the principles for which we suffer: 

Metaphorice transferrehatur ad hominempro patria expiatione de- 
votum, atque in lustrale sacrificium destinatum." Schleusner. — 
" Uepi^vjlXjO,, a irspi^ccw, omne quod est abrasum et detersiim^ 
piaculum, hostia piacularis, omne quo ad expiandum uthnur." 

76 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS, Sect. I. iv. 3. 

Ch. IV. while the glorious consideration of the unspeakable 
advantage which may accrue to our fellow-creatures 
from the struggle we endure, and the sacrifices that 
we make, fires our zeal, confirms our resolution, 
and excites our joy, under the most distressing priva- 
tions and the acutest sufferings. 

10. We are fools for Christ's sake. To approve our 
fidelity to him and his cause, we are willing to be 
treated as fools by the wise men of the world, for our 
plain and simple doctrine and address. Such is not 
your case : ye are wise in Christ. You forsooth are 
Christian philosophers ; you seek to blend the sim- 
ple doctrine of Christianity with the sublime and 
mysterious tenets of the Pagan schools, and expect 
to be looked up to as men of science and education. 

TVe are weak, helpless and unprotected, liable 
to injury and insult ; but ye are strong. You are 
men of power and consequence, who can easily keep 
your enemies at a distance, or can repel their attacks. 

Ye are honoured for your eloquence, your opu- 
lence, and rank in society ; hut we are despised for 
our poverty, for our obscurity, for our mean appear- 
ance, for our supposed ignorance and barbarism. 

11. To this very hour do we suffer both hunger and 
thirsty and nakedjiess. We are almost destitute 
of the necessaries, while you abound in all the com- 
forts and elegancies of life. TVe are buffeted: bar- 
barously beaten, sometimes by the mob, sometimes 
by order of the magistrates, without being allowed 
a hearing in our defence. 

And we have no certain abode. While you live 

Part I, I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. iv. 3. 77 

In a large and opulent city^ and some of you in stately Ch. iv. 
and magnificent houses, we, the true apostles of 
Christ, like our Master, have not where to lay our 
heads ; and wander from place to place like fugi- 
tives and vagabonds upon the earth. 

And we labour, working with our own hands\ 12. 

While the day is employed in teaching the important 
truths of the gospel, the evening is spent in ma- 
nual labour to gain a scanty subsistence, that we 
may not be burdensome to the church, and that 
none may pretend that we preach the gospel from 
interested motives. 

Beivig reviled, lue bless. When our adversaries 
load us with unmerited reproaches, we return their 
curses with blessings, imploring the blessing of God 
upon them, and endeavouring to communicate the 
most important blessings to them. 

Being persecuted, we endure. If we suffer bonds, 
imprisonment, or corporeal severities, we bear them 
with patience ; and rejoice that we are accounted 
worthy to suffer in so honourable a cause. We me- 
ditate no revenge. 

When railed at, we entreat 2. We render not 13. 

railing for railing, but we meekly entreat our ene- 
mies and calumniators to forbear their reproaches, 
and to listen to the important truths which we have 
to impart, and in which they are so deeply interested. 

' Working with our own hands.'] " This," says Archbishop 
Nevvcome, ''shows that Paul speaks of himself," ver. 10, 11. 
See 1 Thess. ii. 9 5 2 Thess. iii. 8. 

- fVe entreat.'] Or, we exhort " to consideration and benevo- 
lence J not speaking evil in return." Newcome. 

78 Part I. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S, Sect. I. iv. 3. 

Ch. IV. TVe are made^ as it were, the eorpiatory victims 
of the world "^ ; the offscouriiig of all things until 
now. We are in the situation of those miserable 
wretches, who in -times of public calamity are de- 
voted to the infernal Gods ; and who, after having 
been led about the city, loaded with execrations and 
exposed to severe tortures, are at last put to a tor- 
menting death, as an expiation of the crimes of the 
community. So we, the true apostles of Christ, 
are objects of universal hatred and contempt, loaded 
with ignominy and scorn; and, after enduring the 
most grievous hardships and cruel sufferings, are 
dragged to a violent and unpitied death. 

If, then, my opponent and competitor is really 
what he professes himself to be, an apostle of Christ, 
and superior to myself in all the necessary qualifica- 
tions of this honourable office, let him make good 
his claim, by exhibiting a better spirit under similar 
sufferings. Thus let him approve his fidelity to 
Christ, and his title to pre-eminence; and let him 
not imagine that superior wealth, superior eloquence, 

' Expiatory victims of the world, &c.] " As the vilest of the 
world : the original denotes such wretches as were sacrificed to 
remove a calamity. As the offscouring of all things. What was 
rubbed off, or wiped away and trodden under foot ; and meta- 
phorically a vile and abject person, fit to become a xaQap^u-a. 
See Bos." Newcome. " These words," says Dr. Whitby, "pro- 
bably relate to the sacrifices which the heathen used for the lus- 
tration of a, c\ty. * The Athenians/ says Phavorinus, ' nourished 
some very base and refuse people, and when any calamity or 
plague befell them, they sacrificed them for the purgation of the 
city ; and these they called,^apjj.0LTa.' Hence Origen says, 
(Comm. in Joh. p. 363,) that our Lord, giving up himself for 
the propitiation of our sins, was made, much more than his 
apostlesj T^spixa^ fa Ma^a, tavrusv ■nsfi^yjij.a." 

Part I, I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. iv, 4. 79 

superior science, or superior rank in life, will entitle Ch. iv. 
him to this honourable distinction ; while he shrinks 
from those services, and those sufferings, by which 
alone in the present state of things the Christian 
cause can be effectually promoted, and to which the 
faithful and approved teachers of Christianity will 
ever be the most exposed. 

4. Tlie apostle assures them that his admonitions 
are dictated, not by angry feelings, but paternal af- 
fection, ver. 14, 15. 

I do not write these things to shame you; but, 14. 

as my beloved children, to adrnonish^ you. 

In giving this detail of the humiliating situation 
in which the apostles are placed, and of the suffer- 
ings to which I in particular am exposed, I do not 
mean to insinuate any reproach against you, as not 
being sincere in your profession, because you are not 
in the same persecuted state; or as not sympathizing 
with me in my sufferings, or as being backward to 
assist me under my difficulties : but as my beloved 
children I earnestly and affectionately admonish you, 
to be upon your guard against those who, keeping 
aloof from danger and persecution, would alienate 
your minds from those teachers who, by their zeal 
and fortitude and patient suffering, approve them- 
, selves the genuine and faithful apostles of Jesus. 

' To admonish .-] vsQstujy. This is the reading of the Alexan- 
drine and Ephrem manuscripts. It is noted as of good autho- 
rity by Gviesbach : it is approved by GrotiuSj and adopted by 

80 Takt I. I. CORINTHIANS. Skct. I. iv. 4. 

ch. IV. For though ye may have ten thousand instruc' 
^*' '^' tors 1 in Christ, yet ye have not many fathers ; for 
I am your father in Christ Jesus^ through the go- 

I speak with freedom and affection, and I also 
speak with authority, as a father to his children : for 
such I am to you. There have been many who, 
coming after me, have professed to guide and teach 
you, to enlarge your Christian knowledge, and to 
enforce Christian discipline ; and of these some may 
be well disposed, and others not; some may be 
faithful ministers of the gospel, and others deceivers 
and hypocrites ; but whatever they may have been, 
they cannot possess that claim to your regard which 
I may justly challenge. They are but your tutors, 
your guardians, your schoolmasters : I am your fa- 
ther in Christ, and you are my children in the go- 
spel. From Christ I received a commission to 
preach the gospel to you ; he commanded my con- 

' Ten thousand instructors.'] " Uai5ayujyovs, guides." New- 
come ; who observes, that " the original word properly denotes 
an attendant on youth." — " Pcedagogus dicitur is qui puero aut 
adolescenti adest, ad mores ejus for mandos, et hoc loco opponitur 
patri cut puer post Deum debet vitam. Pcedagogi titulo simul 
inest notio severitatis, in oppositione ad lenitatem qua patres in 
liberos uti solent." Rosenmuller. — lam your father. Gr, " I be- 
gat you." 

Ten thousand, avpiss, an indefinitely large number : q. d. 
ever so many. See Acts xxi. 20.. " How many myriads of Jews 
believe ! " The expression of the apostle James is not to be un- 
derstood literally ; but 9. rf. What great numbers ! and in the 
public version is not improperly rendered, " Thou seest how 
many thousands." — " Si enim vel sexcentos pcedagogos habere- 
tis." RosenmuUer ; who adds, " uuptss, multos quamplurimos : 
nam Grceci hac voce uiuntur ad notandum numerum majoreni: 
certum pro Inccrto : ut Latud dicunt sexcenti/)ro multis." 

Part I. I. C GRIN T II I A N S. I. iv. J. 81 

tinued residence among 5'ou, when I was afraid and Ch. iv. 
about to depart ; and he blessed my ministry to 
your conversion and salvation. Acts xviii. 9, 10. 

5. He exhorts them to follow his own example, 
of which Timothy would give them a faithful ac- 
count, ver. 16, 17. 

/ beseech you^ thcrefarCy be imitators of me 2. 16. 

For this purpose I have sent unto you Timothy ^ \T. 

who is my beloved so/iy and faithful in the Lord; 
who will bring to your remembrance my ways in 
Christ^, as I teach every ivhere in every church. 

^ Imitators of me.] Mr. Locke observes, that " the apostle 
presses this again, ch. xi. 1 ; and it is not likely he would have 
proposed himself over and over again to be followed by them, 
had the question and contest among them been only whose 
name they should have borne, his or their new teacher's. His 
proposing himself, therefore, thus to be followed, must be un- 
derstood, in direct opposition to the false apostle ; who misled 
them, and was not suffered to have any credit, or any followers 
among them." 

' My ways in Christ :'} oSov;. " my doctrines." VV^akefield; 
who refers to Acts xxii. 4, xxiv.22. — " He shall inform you how 
1 behave myself every where, in the ministry of the gospel." 
Locke ; who observes in his note, " this he does, to show that 
what he taught them and pressed them to, was not in a pique 
against his opposer, but to convince them that all he did at Co- 
rinth was the very same, and no other than what he did every 
where as a I'aithful steward and minister of the gospel." 

It is plain from this passage, that the apostle sent Timothy to 
Corinth, after he had received the letter from the Corinthians. 
But if the first epistle to Timothy was written from Macedonia 
when the apostle had left Ephesus on his way to Corinth, it is 
certain that Timothy had returned to Ephesus before Paul left it, 
1 Tim. i. 2. But it is evident that the aposile was impatient to 
receive intelligence from Corinth, and that he expected it, not 
from Timothy, but from Titus, 2 Cor. ii. 13 j while he never gives 
the least hint in his letter to Timothy, that he had derived any 


82 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. I. iv. 5. 

Ch. IV. As I am your father In the gospel, regard me as 
your example: as exhibiting a useful pattern for 
your imitation. Receive my doctrine, imbibe my 
spirit, submit to my directions, and in your respec- 
tive situations manifest the same disinterested zeal 
for the Christian cause. It is now some time since 
I was with you, and you may possibly have forgot- 
ten much, both of my doctrine and my character. 
You may be ready to suspect, that out of resent- 
ment to my opponent, I may be disposed to lay 
burdens upon you, which are not imposed upon 
others ; but Timothy, who is now in Greece, and 
who will probably visit you soon, will correct any 
misconception you may entertain in this respect. 
He will tell you what is my doctrine, what my prac- 
tice, and what the regulations I establish in every 
church. I beseech you therefore to listen to him 
with attention, and in these respects to imitate your 
first teacher, and to conform to the model that I 
exhibit. You will eventually find your account 
in it, by your improvement in knowledge, and in 

intelligence from him of the state of things at Corinth. This, to- 
gether with other circumstances, particularly his making no al- 
lusion to the danger to which he had so lately been exposed at 
Ephesus, which appears, notwithstanding, to have pressed so 
much upon his mind at the time when he wrote his second epistle 
to the Corinthians, twelve months afterwards, makes it proba- 
ble that the Epistle to Timothy was not written at the time usu- 
ally assigned, but that it ^vas either written from Crete, when 
the apostle went with Titus to preach the gospel there ; or, as 
Pearson, Whitby, Basnage, Mill, and many other learned men 
have supposed, on his way to Rome from Ephesus, after a visit 
which he made to that city at the end of his firet imprisonment. 

Paut I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. iv. 6. 83 

6. He declares his intention of visiting them Ch. iv. 
soon, and warns them not to compel him, by their 
misconduct, to visit them with the apostolic rod, 
ver. 18—21. 

N^ow some > are puffed up, as if I would not Ver. 18. 
come among you. 

There are some among you, who, knowing that 
I am at a great distance, that I am full of engage- 
ments, and exposed to a variety of persecutions and 
obstructions, imagine that I shall never visit Co- 
rinth again, and who, upon this presumption, place 
themselves at the head of a party in opposition to 
me, endeavouring to alienate your affections from 
me, and to lessen my authority with you. 

But I will come to you soon, if the Lord per- 19. 

mit, and I will learn, not the speech of those who 
are puffed up, but their power 2. 

Such vainglorious fools shall find themselves egre- 
giously mistaken ; for, if my master give me leave, 
to whose disposal I at all times submit, I will visit 
you very soon, in the course of a few months. And 
when I come, I will inquire not into the eloquence 
of my competitor, upon which he values himself so 
much, by which he has acquired that ascendancy 
over you, and the prize of which I am ready to con- 
cede to him ; but into the power by which he con- 
firms the doctrine, which he presumes to teach in 
opposition to mine. 

' Some^^ " Your factious teachers and their adherents." 

* Not the speech,} " however eloquent : hut their power. By 
wliich of U.S God exhibits his power." Nerrcome. 

84 Pakt I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.I.iv.G. 

Cli. IV. For the ktnsdom. of God is established not by 

Ver.20. ^ t . a i 

wordy 07it by power « . 

The philosophy of the schools is supported by 
the eloquence of its advocates, and the best orator 
is presunaed to be the profoundestphilosopher. But 
the case is very different with regard to the gospel 
dispensation ; that kingdom, which God has intro- 
duced, and which he is determined to establish in 
the world. The interests of this community are 
supported, not by the eloquence of its advocates, 
but by the miraculous powers with which its mini- 
sters are endued, and by which they rouse the atten- 
tion of mankind, and plainly demonstrate their di- 
vine authority. 
2!. If Inch do ye choose'^? that I should come to 

' By power.'] " Tlie power of working miracles, of knowing 
the heart, and of inflicting vengeance." New come. — " The doc- 
trine and prevalency of the gospel, the propagation and support 
of Christ's kingdom, by the conversion and establishment of 
believers, does not consist in talking, nor in the fluency of a glib 
tongue, and a fine discourse ; but in the miraculous operations 
of the holy ghost." Locke. 

' Which do ye choose?} Mr. Locke observes, that " he that 
shall carefully read 2 Cor. i. 20, ii. 11, will easily perceive that 
this verse is an introduction to the severe act of discipline which 
St. Paul was going to exercise among them ; and therefore this 
verse ought not to have been separated from the following chap- 
ter." Archbishop Newcome also joins this verse to the succeed- 
ing chapter, and remarks, that "after St. Paul's intimation, ver, 
18, 19, he says nothing directly of punishing his opponents j 
but in the case of the incestuous person, he leaves them to col- 
lect what authority God had armed him with, if they further con- 
tended with him." Without pretending to be very confident 
on the subject, I have followed the arrangement of the received 
text, and of the great majority of commentators. " To the 
false teacher and to his adherents I sny," &c. Macknight. 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. iv. 6. S5 

you with arod^, orivithlove^ andwi\k\. the spirit of Ch. iv. 
meekness P 

I shall soon visit you, either with the rod of an 
incensed, or with the affection of a kind and indul- 
gent parent. Take your choice. If you persist in 
your opposition to my authority and doctrine, pre- 
pare to suffer the consequences of your folly. If 
you follow my advice, if you imitate my example, 
if you return to your duty, to your original faith and 
purity, and good order, our approaching interview 
will be mutually pleasing. My conduct must be 
governed by yours. But to approve and commend, 
will afford far more satisfaction', than to censure and 

The apostle here evidently alludes to his rash and 
ill-advised opponent, whom he wishes to reform, 
rather than to chastise; but the threat which he de- 
livers, is a plain indication of his consciousness of 
possessing that apostolic power, by which he could 
occasionally punish his contumelious adversaries ; 
and the claim to which, if he did not actually pos- 
sess it, would be so far from recovering the lost af- 
fection and respect of the Corinthians, that it would 
only expose him to their indignation and contempt. 
This is one instance out of many, which will occur 
to an attentive reader of Paul's epistles, of those 

' J rod.l " He refers to what he had insinuated of his power, 
ver. 19. See ch. v, 5." Newcome. " Perhaps the apostle had 
in his eye, the rod which Moses used when he brought the 
plagues on Egypt." Macknight. — ^The rod was a common in- 
strument of punishment. See 2 Cor, xi. 25. 

S6 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect, II. 1. 

Ch. IV. oblique but forcible arguments of the divine autho- 

"' ' rity, under the consciousness of which the apostles 

acted, and of the truth of the Christian doctrine, 

which cannot fail to make a powerful impression 

upon a serious and reflecting mind '. 


Ch, V. The apostle animadvei'ts upon the case of the 
incestuous offender y ch. v. throughout. 

1 . The apostle states the case as it had been re- 
presented to him, and severely reproves the Corin- 
thians for the indecency of their behaviour upon the 
disgraceful occasion, ver. 1, 2. 
Ver. I. It is commonly reported^, that there is lewdness^ 
among yoUy and such lewdness as does not exist * 

' Vide Doddridge's note. 

* Itis commonly reported.'] " oXioi a.KOveT'a.t. Omnino audifur. 
Fama ferty Rosenmuller, q. d. It is reported every where. 

' Lewdness.] " 7to§veia., non sola scortatio signiftcatur, sed om~ 
nis Venus contra fas, jura, bonosque mores." Rosenmuller. The 
word fornication is used in the scriptures in a very extensive 
sense, for every kind of impurity. See Locke and Pearce. 

* Does not exist.] The received text reads ovofj.a.^sra.1, is not 
named ; but this word is wanting in the best authorities, and is 
left out of the text by Griesbach. The crime probably was, 
that the son had married the woman who had repudiated the 
father. This was an act not absolutely prohibited by the laws, 
but regarded as very disgraceful. " Cicero pro Clucntio, 5, 6. 
Nubit genero socrus, nullisautorihus,funestisominibus omnium : 
Omulieris scclusincredibile, et pr<nter banc imam in omnivitain- 
auditum." See Locke and Rosenmuller. — That it was in the 
power of the woman to divorce the husband, appears from ch. xi. 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sf.ct. II. I. 87 

eve7i among the heathen ; that a certain person hath Ch. v. 
hm fathers wife. 

It is a fact of public notoriety, and reported every 
where to your disgrace, that a person of consider- 
able note among you has married his step-mother, 
while his father was living. A species of lewdness, 
that is held in abhorrence by the heathen them- 

The fact appears to have been this, that the wo- 
man being a heathen, had, as the laws of the coun- 
try indeed allowed, divorced the father, and mar- 
ried the son, who professed himself a Christian ; a 
case, which, though not absolutely illegal in the 
heathen courts, was nevertheless regarded as highly 

And are ye pitffed up 9 and should ye not rather 2. 

have viourned ^ ? that lie ivho hath committed this 
act^ might be taken away from among you P 

Now, instead of being ashamed of this transac* 
lion, which you ought to have been, have you not 
boasted of it, as a mark of your Christian liberty, 
and of your being released, as you have probably 
been taught by your Pharisaic instructors, from all 
the ties of nature, by your new birth ^ into the 

10, 11, 13. It also appears from 2 Cor. vii, 12, that the father 
was living. 

'^ And are ye, &c.] Griesbach, Pearce, Wakefield, and others, 
read these clauses interrogatively. 

" Released by your new birth.'] Vid. Whitby. The Rabbis 
taught, that proselytes, when baptized, were released from all 
natural relations and civil obligations. Maimonidcs says. 

88 Part I. I. C O II 1 N T H I A N S. Skct . II. 1,2 . 

Ch. y. Christian religion ? But ought you not rather to 
have mourned i as though the oft'ending party were 
dead to the Christian community, and to have ex- 
pelled him instantly from your society ? 

2. He solemnly requires, that the church at Co- 
rinth should publicly pronounce upon the offender 
a sentence of exconmuinication, such as he had al- 
ready passed upon him in his own mind, ver. 3 — 5. 

3. For I truly -, absent indeed 3 hi bodi/, but pre- 
sent in spirit^ have already judged^ as if I were 
present, to deliver over him who hath committed this 

4. offence*, in the name of our Lord t/esus Christ, 
(when ye are assembled, and my spirit with yon ^,) 

" Ducere potest prosehjtus uxoremfratr'is sulpaterni, vei uxorrm 
patrul, qu'm et iixorem patris et uxoremjilii, etiamdducta ait pa- 
trifpatruo autfratri, niodo ad Judaicam religionem transierint." 
Rosen muller adds, " Sed Muimonidi in hac rejidem adhibendam 
esse Zieglerus negat." 

' To have mourned.'] " It Avas the custom of the Jews and 
Christians to put on mourning, where members were expelled, 
as though they were dead." Whitby. 

* For I truly 7\ The apostle's construction is intricate, but his 
meaning is clear, q. d. I am indeed absent from you in person, 
but in mind 1 am with you : and as though I were ])ersonally 
present, at a public meeting with you, I have judicially deter- 
mined, by the authority of Christ, and with the power of Christ, 
to deliver this offender over to Satan, Lc. 

' Absent indeed.] The received text reads cJj aryjv, as ab- 
sent ; but iog is wanting in some of the best copies, and is omit- 
ted by Pearce and Wakefield. 

* 'this offence.] " rov arw rsro Ka.rBpya.Taij.syoVi who l,iathso 
done this." Newcome. Bishop Pearce drops the word sruo, and 
some copies omit rsro. One or other is certainly superfluous. 

* My spirit with you.l Dr. Benson says, that " some have sup- 
posed this apostle to have had a gift peculiar to himself, namely, 
a power of seeing what was done at a distance, or of knowing 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. II. 2. 89 

with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver, cu. V. 
I say, this man over to Satan fur the destruction of 
the flesh ^, that the spirit may he saved in the day 
of the Lord Jesus, 

Ver. 5. 

in some cases what passed in his absence, as cleaily and exactly 
as if he had been present. See 1 Cor. v. 3, 4 ; Col. ii. 5. Some 
few, both of the ancients and moderns, have so understood these 
texts ; and therefore I mention this interpretation. But I doit 
with diffidence, because, the generality are not of this opinion." 
The Doctor, however, observes, that " Elisha possessed this gift, 
2 Kings v. 25, 2G. And it will be hard to assign a reason why 
an apostle might not in some cases have this gift as well as an 
old Testament prophet." See Benson's Prop, of Christ. Rel. 
vol.ii. p. 15, 16. No reason indeed can be assigned, why Paul 
should not, if necessary, be endued with such a gift as well as 
Elisha: the only difference is, that the history relates, that Eli- 
sha upon one occasion possessed it for the punishment of a frau- 
dulent servant ; and we have no evidence to prove that Paul 
ever possessed it, or had occasion for it. The texts which are 
brought to prove that he actually possessed this power, easily 
admit of a different interpretation. 

^ To deliver over to Satan for the destruction of the fleshy "De- 
liver the offender up to Satan ; that being put thus into the hands 
and power of the devil, his body may be afflicted and brought 
down, that his soul may be saved." Locke. — " Ye should pub- 
licly deliver him over to Satan, that by suffering bodily diseases 
in the flesh, his soul may be saved." Bishop Pearce. — " Deliver 
such an one to Satan, to be by him, as the terrible executioner 
of the divine justice, chastised and tormented, in order to the 
destruction of the flesh, that for this shameful indulgence it may 
be emaciated and enfeebled, and the offender, alarmed by suf- 
ferings of so extraordinary and formidable a nature, may be 
brought if possible to true repentance." Doddridge. — Dr. Mac- 
knight, after illustrating the hypothesis of those who think that 
nothing more is meant than public excommunication from the 
Christian community, declares his own judgement to be in fa- 
.your of the supposition, that the case of this offender was an 
example of the exertion of this power which the apostles pos- 
sessed of punishing notorious offenders. And he agrees with 
Chrysostom, Theophylact, and CBcumenius, who conjectured, 
that in consequence of being delivered over to Satan, the of- 
fender's body was weakened and wasted by some painful dis- 

90 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 2. 

Ch. V. Though I am absent from you, I am as much in- 
terested in your affairs as if I were actually among 

ease. Me acknowledges, however, that the Latin fathers and 
Beza thought that no .such effect followed the sentence ; nothing 
of that kind being mentioned 2 Cor. ii. 7 : so that by the de- 
struction of the flesh they understood the destruction of the 
olfender's pride, lust, and fleshly passions. And surely this is 
a most rational interpretation, especially as no notice is taken 
by the apostle of any bodily sufferings inflicted upon the of- 
fender, who seems indeed to have been overwhelmed v/ith di- 
stress at the disgrace which he had incurred. See 2 Cor. ii. 
Archbishop Newcome supposes some miraculous punishment 
to have been inflicted ; and refers to Luke xiii. 1 6 j 2 Cor. xii. 7 j 
1 Tim. i. 20. But he does not intimate that it was through the 
agency of Satan. And it is observable, that Bishop Pearce gives 
no opinion upon that subject. Probably the learned prelates 
con.sidered Satan as nothing more than a figurative expression 
for the cause of evil, whether natural or moral. It is surprising 
that Mr. Locke could so readily accede to the opinion, that the 
devil was employed to torment men with diseases, to induce 
them to repentance. It cannot, 1 think, admit of any reasonable 
doubt, that all which the apostle means, both here and in 1 Tim. 
i. 20, is excommunication from the church, expelling tlicm from 
the community of believers, which is called the kingdom of light, 
the kingdom of God and of Christ, and sending them to the 
community of heathen and unbelievers, who are described as 
the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of Satan. For into 
these two great communities is the whole world divided by the 
writers of the New Testament. See Col. i. 13 3 2 Pet. i. 11 j 
Acts i. 33 Col. iv. 11 ; 1 Thess. ii. 12; 1 Tim. v. 15.—" By 
delivering to Satan," says Dr. Priestley, " is to be understood, 
rejection from the Christian church ; the world being supposed 
to be divided between the subjects of Christ, and those of Satan, 
as two powers opposite to one another ; the one a kingdom of 
righteousness, and leading to happiness, and the other of vice, 
leading to destruction." — It has been thought by Whitby and 
others, that delivering over to Satan was an allusion to the 
Jewish form of excommunication. But Lightfoot in his Ilorce 
Hebraiccc, upon this text, has distinctly proved the contrar}-. 
" The excommunicate," says Beza, " is delivered to the power 
of Satan, in that he is cast out of the house of God. What it 
is to be delivered to Satan, the Lord himself dedareth, when 
he s:n.eth. Let him be unto thee as a heathen and publican, 

Past I. I. C O R I N T M I A N S. Skct. II. 2. 1 

you; and as in that case I should summon the Ch. v. 
Christian society together to expel this unworthy ^^'' ^' 
member ; so I now direct, that when you meet for 
Christian worship, armed with the power with winch 
Christ has invested you, to preserve the order and 
purity of the society, and with my entire concur- 
rence, that you proceed to send back this great of- 
fender to his heathen associates, and to renounce 
all Christian fellowship with him, that he may be 
brought to a due sense of the heinousness of his 
crime, and that by timely penitence, and correction 
of his vicious affections, he may be saved at last. 

Some suppose, that the apostle, when he speaks 
of being p7'ese?it i?i spirit, alludes to a miraculous 
power which he is thought occasionally to have pos- 
sessed, of knowing what was passing in the church 
when he was absent. But this supposition is need- 
less upon the present occasion. It does not appear 
that the apostle knew any thing of what had hap- 
pened at Corinth, but from their letter, from gene- 
ral rumour, or, from the information of persons 
connected with the society. Assembling hi the 
name of Christ seems to signify, assembling toge- 
ther for Christian worship, and particularly for the 

Matt, xviii. 17, that is to say, to be disfranchised and put out 
of the right and liberty of the city of Christ, which is the church, 
without which, Satan is lord and master. The end of excom- 
munication, is not to cast away the excommunicate, that he 
Bhould utterly perish, but that he may be saved, to wit, that by 
this means his flesh may be tamed, that he may learn to live to 
the spirit." Beza'sN.T. with notes translated by Tomson_, and 
publiJihed in black letter, by C. Barker, loS3. 

02 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Siicx. II. 2, 3. 

Ch. V. celebration of the Lord's supper. With the power 
^^' ' of the Lord Jesus, means that power which Christ 
had given them, for exercising a proper disciphne 
over the society, and rejecting unworthy members. 
Delivering them to Satan, is, dismissing them from 
the Christian community, of which Jesus was the 
head, and turning them over to the heathen and 
unevangeUzed world, of which Satan is represented 
as the chief. For the destruction of the flesh sig- 
nifies, the correction of vicious habits and affections. 
Some have thought, that this might be effected by 
the miraculous infliction of bodily distempers ; but 
there seems no occasion for this supposition. The 
disgrace might be, and in the present case actually 
was sufficient, without any supernatural malady. 
The notion that Satan is a fallen angel, whose of- 
fice it is to chastise those who are excommunicated 
from the Christian church, and so to bring them 
back to their duty, is so puerile, and so heathenish, 
that it would have been needless to have mentioned 
it, had it not been adopted by some grave writers, 
to whose authority much deference is paid. In the 
present advanced state of Christian knowledge, it is 
high time to lay aside these unscriptural and fabu- 
lous interpretations. 

3. The profession of Christianity must be as 
clear from vice as the passover is pure from leaven, 
ver. 6—8. 
6. Your boasting is not right ^ 

' Your boasting., &c.] It is thought that the leader of the op- 

Ver. 6. 

Pabt I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. II. 3. 93 

It does you little credit, to make your boast of Ch. v 
leaders who countenance such disgraceful practices. 

Know ye not 2 that a little leaven^ leaveneth the 
whole mass P 

You, who know so much, are you not sensible, 
that if you once tolerate such criminal and disgrace- 
ful practices among you, you will soon be as cor- 
rupt as your heathen neighbours ? 

Clear out, therefore, the old leaven, that ye may 
he a new mass, inasmuch as ye are unleavened 

Purify yourselves from all the vicious habits and 
practices of your heathen state, with as much anxiety 
as the Jews remove all leaven from their houses at 
the passover feast ; let not an atom remain to dis- 
grace your society ; and be as clear from all vice, 
as the passover bread is from leaven. 

For Christ, our passover, hath been slain ^, 

position, being a man of influence, by whose patronage they 
thought themselves honoured, supported this offender in his 
crime. See Locke and Pearce. Archbishop Nevvcome observes. 
" there is great mildness in his manner of expressing himself." 
Locke remarks, that " if their leader had not been guilty of this 
miscarriage, it had been out of St. Paul's way here to have re- 
proved them for glorying in him. But St. Paul is a close writer, 
and uses not to mention things when they are impertinent to 
his subject." 

' Know ye not?\ " With all your pretensions to knowledge." 
Newcome, who observes that " this question is put ch. iii. 16, 
and in several other places of this epistle." See the note on 
ch. iii. 16. 

' Unleavened bread.] " In the same metaphor, whereby 
Christ, in the next clause, is called the passover or paschal lamb, 
the Corinthians may here be called, the ww^earerted bread." Bi- 
shop Pearce. 

* Slain.'] The words vtfsp ■fj^t.iuv, for us, are wanting in the 

94 Part I. I. C O R I N T n I A N S. Skct. II. 3, 4. 

Ch. V. therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with the old 
leavetiy nor ivith the leaven ofwichednesSy and frau- 
dulent mischief'^, hut ivlth the unleavened bread of 
sincerity and truth. 

The Christian institute may be compared to the 
passover feast. Christ was the victim, by whose 
death it was introduced, and by whose blood the 
covenant was ratified. Our Christian profession is 
the celebration of the paschal festival 2; and as the 
Jews at that season with great care cleared all the 
leaven out of their houses, so let us clear out of 
our hearts the leaven of heathenism, the vices of 
our unconverted and idolatrous state, whether they 
be lewdness, malignity, or fraud ; and let us ever 
conduct ourselves by the purest principles of truth 
and integrity, without any mixture of falsehood and 

4. The apostle explains and limits a direction 
which he had already given, with respect to the cha- 

Alexandrine, Ephrem, Clermont, and other MSS. " From the 
allusion which the apostle makes to the passover, it has been 
thought not improbable, that the letter was written about the 
lime of that festival, ch. xvi. 8." Macknight. 

^ Wickedness, Sec.'] " xocKias •/.cx.itrovYjptas. Theophylact says, 
he is KocTios, evil, who doth evil things ; but he is irovYipoc, who 
doth them with profound subtlety, and deceitful counsel." 

• Paschal festival.'] The apostle does not pay much regard 
to consistency in his metaphors. In the preceding verse, believ- 
ers were themselves the unleavened bread. In this, Christ is 
the paschal lamb. Christianity is a feast upon a victim, and 
believers are to celebrate the feast with pure unleavened 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Si:ct. II. 4. 95 

racter of the persons with whom they should asso- Ch. v. 
ciate in Christian fellowship, ver. 9 — 11. 

I wrote to y 021 in the former epi6'tle^, that ye Ver. 9, 
should abstain fioni the society of lewd persons^. 
A^ot indeed that ye should withdraw entirely from ^^^ 

the lewd persons of this worlds nor from the covet- 
ous^^ nor from the rapacious, nor from idolaters, 
otherivise ye would be obliged to go out of the 
world. But I now^ write to you, to abstain from U. 

the company of any one, who is called a brother"!. 

' The former epistle^ perhaps .sent by Timothy. So Calvin, 
Beza, Grotius, Le Clerc, L'Enfant, Lightfoot, Pearce, Dodd- 
ridge, Harwood, and Wakefield. " This same epistle :" so all 
the ancients ; and Jeremiah Jones, Canon, V. 1. p. 1G7. " I had 
written in this epistle, but from better information I have al- 
tered it." Whitby. It must indeed be allowed, that if the apostle 
had written a former letter to a body of Christians so celebrated 
as the church at Corinth, it is surprising that not a single hint 
of it should be found in any ancient writer. — " I write unto you 
in this epistle." q. d. 1 here write to you. Newcome. See his 

* Lewd persons.'] So Dr. Doddridge, who well remarks, 
" that it is very plain that the apostle intended that the word 
should be taken in that extent." — Of this world, i.e. " heathen 
fornicators." Bishop Pearce. 

* Covetous.'] TTXeovsjcrajc, " unnaturally lewd persons." Bi- 
shop Pearce, who refers to Mr. Locke's note upon Ephes. iv. 19. 
— rapacious, dpita^iv, perhaps some species of lewdness prac- 
tised among idolaters. Vid. Harwood's note on Philip, ii. 5, and 
the quotation from Plutarch. 

* Noio^] " vvvi. But on the contrary I wrote." Bishop Pearce ; 
who observes, " that vwi does not always signify now, but may 
be rendered at vero, on the contrary. See 1 Cor. vii. 14, xiii. 13, 
xiv. 6." 

' Called a brother.] Bishop Pearce, with some of the ancient 
versions, and many of the fathers, understands ij as a verb, and 
not a disjunctive particle : viz. I wrote to you, to abstain from 
the company of one who is a brother, if he be reported to be a 
fornicator, &c. Beza and Castalio understand the text in the 
same manner. 

90 Part I. I. C O R I N T II I A N S. Sfct/II. 4. 

Ch. V. if he he a leivd person, or covetous, or idolater, or 
reviler, or drunken, or rapacious ; ivithsuch an one 
not even to eat ' . 

It is uncertain whether the apostle here alludes 
to what he had written in another epistle which is 
now lost, or to some advice which he had set down 
in this letter, and which, upon consideration, he 
erased, or to a general hint of the impropriety of 
Christians associating v/ith dissolute persons and 
idolaters, v*'hich he had before dropped, and which 
he here resumes, comments upon and explains. 

He had forbid their associating with men of lewd 
and dissolute characters. But such was the state 
of the heathen world at that time, and so intimately 
were impure and lascivious rites blended with the 
ceremonies of idolatrous worship, that the Christians 
at Corinth could not follow this advice in its strict- 
est sense, without secluding themselves wholly from 
the world, and withdrawing from all the intercourses 
of civil and social life. In this paragraph he ex- 
plains his meaning, and limits the rule. q.d. In the 
general intercourse of society, you will occasionally 
be constrained to mix with persons of dissolute and 
profligate characters ; but let not such be your cho- 

' Not even to eaf .] " You should not sit down any where at 
table with him." Bishop Pearce. — "The Corinthians were not 
to use a common table with such, much less the Lord's table." 
Archbishop Newcome. — " <S'i quis Christianus, hujusmodi Jiagi- 
tiis sit in/amis, adeo non oportet cum eo commerclum habere ut, 
ne mensam quidem communem esse velim." Erasmus apud New- 
come. — " In excommunicationis locum, uhi aut presbyterium non 
est, aut ccclesinest lacerala, siiccedit private familiaris commercH 
fuga." Grotius apud Newcome. 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 6. 97 

sen companions. And if any one who pTOfesses the Ch.v. 
Christian reHgion, and is a member of the Chris- * 

tian community, should be notoriously guilty of the 
vices of a heathen and idolatrous state, let him im- 
mediately be dismissed from the society, let him, as 
a heathen, be treated with the civil respect which 
may be his due, but acknowledge him not as a Chris- 
tian brother, and admit him not to a participation 
of your sacred rites, nor even into the familiar in- 
tercourse of private society. 

5. As the jurisdiction of the Christian society did 
not extend beyond the pale of the church, the guilty 
heathen must be left to the judgement of God, but 
the offending Christian must be expelled, ver. 12, 13. 

IVhat right have I to judge 2 those luhq are ivith- 12. 

' W]\at right, &c.] xai Tsg £^w. Pearce omits xa; on good 
authorities. He is also inclined on the authority of the Syriac 
and Coptic (Griesbach mentions only the Ethiopic) Versions to 
reject s-xjt- The best MSS. read B^apixTs in the imperative. 
Pearce translates the passage thus : " For what have I to do to 
judge those who are without ? do ye judge those who are within, 
(and those who are without, God will judge,) and take away , 

from among yourselves the wicked person." Archbishop New- 
come, in his inner margin, gives this translation : How doth it 
concern me to judge those that are without ? No : but judge 
ye those that are within, (and those that are without, God will 
judge,) and put away, &c. Mr. Wakefield's translation is simi- 
lar to that of Newcome. He says, that " he adopts a construc- 
tion which seems most suitable to the passage." " ovx}, fortius 
negat in locis sequentibus, Luc. i. 60, xii. 51, xiii. 3, 5, xvi. 30 ; 
Rom.iii. 27." Hesychius. " ov^r ovSayMs ov Srjra." Schleusner. 
The construction adopted by Newcome, which is also the read- 
ing of Theophylact and Wakefield, appears to me the most eligi- 
ble. It is generally understood, that the apostle is apologizing 
for not taking notice of the woman, who was probably a hea- 
then, though he animadverts with so much severity upon the 
conduct of the man. See Whitby, Doddridge, Macknight. 


)8 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. III. 1 . 

Ch. V. out ? None at alL Do ye judge those who are 
Ver. 13. within : but those that are without, God wilt Judge. 
Remove, therefore ', from among yourselves that 
wicked person, 

I say nothing concerning the adultress, because 
she is a heathen, and therefore not accountable to 
me as an apostle, nor amenable to the tribunal of 
the church. But your jurisdiction unquestionably 
extends to those who are members of your societj/ . 
Leave, therefore, the offending woman to the judge- 
ment of God, and expel from your community her 
guilty paramour. 


Ch. VI. '^^^ apostle rebukes the litigious spirit of the Co- 
rinthian converts ; forbids them to carry their 
controversies into heathen courts of judicature, 
and earnestly recommends that they should settle 
their disputes by arbitration among themselves 2. 
Ch. vi. 1—11. 

1 . Appealing to their sense of dignity as the fu- 

' TTfere/bre.] xaj is wanting in many copies, but, if retained, 
says Archbishop Newcome, it is equivalent to ouv, therefore. 

* Mr. Locke thinks that the case of the incestuous person is 
continued through the whole of the sixth chapter ; and this sup- 
position is countenanced by the apostle's recurring to the sub- 
ject of fornication in the latter part of the chapter, and arguing 
against it upon Christian principles only. Mr. Locke suspects 
that the opposite party, to stop the church censure, pretended, 
that this was a matter to be judged by the civil magistrate, and 
had brought it before a heathen judge. 

P AKT I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. III. 1 , 99 

ture judges of the world, the apostle expostulates Ch. vi. 
with the Corinthians upon the inconsistency and dis- 
grace of carrying their controversies into heathen 
courts, ver. 1, 2. 

Does any ofyoUy having a matter of complaint Ver. 1. 
against another^ presume^ to implead him before 
the unjust *, rather than before the saints ^ ? What 6 / 2. 

know ye not 7 that the saints shall judge the 

' Presume.'] roXj^a. Bishop Pearce renders it does : he says 
that in this connexion it signifies sustinere, and he can think of 
no equivalent word. — " dareth any." Newcome ; who observes 
that it expresses strong animadversion. 

* Unjust.'] " aSixwv, those who are in an unjustified state, 
without reference to character." Pearce, Locke, Doddridge. — ■ 
" Heathen magistrates ; called unbelievers, ver. 6." Newcome. 

* Saints.'] " ayioi, believers, by profession holy and separate 
from the world ; opposed to aJixo*, without reference to moral 
character." Locke. 

^ What .'] "vj ovnr Griesbach prefixes rj upon the authority 
of the Alexandrine, Ephrem, and other copies, — " Nuni igno- 
ratis." RosenmuUer. 

' Know ye not.] Mr. Locke observes, that " this question is 
repeated six times in this one chapter, which may seem to 
carry with it a just reproach to the Corinthians, who had got a 
new and better instructor than himself, in whom they so much 
gloried, and may not unfitly be thought to set on his irony, 
ch. iv. 10, where he tells them they are wise." This remark of 
Mr, Locke appears to me very judicious j and it favours the 
supposition, that the doctrines which he introduces with the 
preface, " Know ye not," are not, at least universally, to be un- 
derstood as doctrines which the apostle had himself taught them, 
but what they had learned from their new teacher of whom they 
were so proud. He had, probably, taught them some fantastic 
opinion concerning their own qualification and authority to judge 
men, and even angels : with this the apostle taunts them with- 
out meaning to concede the doctrine, and argues with them upon 
their professed principles, q. d. You who are so very wise, and 
who conceit yourselves to be possessed as Christians of the au- 
thority of kings, do you forget that you are qualified to judge 
both men and angels, and shall such wise and great men as you 

1 00 Part I. I. C O 11 1 N T H 1 A N S. Sect. III. 1 , 

Ch. VI. worlds ? and if the world is to be judged by you, 
"' ' are you unworthy of judging the most inconsider-' 
able matters ^ P 

send your petty causes to be tried in heathen courts ? Tlie ar- 
gument is similar to that which our Lord uses in the case of 
the slothful servant, in the parable of the talents, Luke xix. 22 : 
Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant ; 
thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid 
not down, and reaping that I did not sow. 

• The samts shall judge the world?'] rov %0(tij.ov npivsa-i. Thi» 
passage is so very obscure, that the reader will excuse me if I 
set before him the various interpretations which have been given 
of it by learned men in their own words. 

Erasmus. " Judicatur, est prcesentis temporis, xpivsT'ai, non xpt- 
vslroci, ut palom intelligas eum loqtii de vita Christianorum. — Ni- 
hil autem vetat quo minus hie locus ad utrumque tempus pertineat .- 
si quidem et nunc judicatur, h. e. condemnatur vmndus impius ex 
innocenti vita piorum ; et olim condemnabitur , cum pioruni et im-' 
piorum opera onmia proferentur in apertumy 

Castalio. " Nam apostolos secum judices sessuros docuit Chris- 

Grotius. " Ipsiprimum a Christojudicati, erunt dcinde Chris ti 
adsessorcs judicantis alios; quod de apostolis dicitur Matt. xix. 
28, Luc. xxii. 30." 

Crellius. " Judicabunt mrindum in illo glorioso Domini nostri 
Jesu Christi adventu, quia Christo judici aderunt, et illi veluti as- 
sidebunt, ejus decretum et sententiam approbabunt, et Domini quo- 
dammodo autoritate sententiam in hujusmundi homines dicent." 

Slichtingius. " Damnabunt assensu et facto sua, quod ipsi cre~ 
diderint in Christum, mundns credere noluerit, eosque etiam hoc 
nomine persecutiis sit. Nam sancti cumjudice Christo in summa 
gloria erunty et unum cum ipso reputabuntur." 

Pi'zipcovius . *' Propagalo evangelio ita ut maximum mundi 
partem occupaverit,vidennispnbUcorumjudiciorum potestatem ad 
Jideles et Christiajios delaiam."'' 

Dr. Whitby. " We often read that even the best of saints 
shall stand before the judgement seat of Christ, that they shall 
be assessors with Christ then we read not : the words of Christ, 
Matt. xix. 28, in whatsoever sense taken, do not prove it ; they 
being spoken of the twelve apostles only. These words must 
therefore admit one of these two senses, viz. that there shall be 
Christian magistrates who shall be governors, and so judges of 
the world, Isa. xlix. 23, Dan. vii. 18 ; or, that they shall judge 

Part I. .I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. III. I. 101 

Tlie Corinthians appear to have been a litigious, Ch. vi. 
quarrelsome people, and their new profession of "* * 

and condemn the world by the faith preached for a testimony to 
.thenij as Noah did, Heb. xi. 1 , and by the spirit given to con- 
vince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement, John 
xvi. 8, xii. 31." 

Mr. Locke takes not the slightest notice of the difficulty : only 
in his exposition of the third verse, he interprets, " Know ye not 
that we Christians have power over evil spirits ?" 

Bishop Pearce. " Know ye not that saints shall come with 
Christ at the last day to judge tlie world ? — Know ye not that 
we shall at that day judge and try fallen angels ?" 

Doddridge. " That they shall be assessors with Christ in that 
solemn judgement, when he shall condemn all the ungodly." 

Macknight. " The inspired teachers among you judge the 
world by the laws of the gospel, which they promulgate. — He 
adds, that Bengelius says, that the apostle had in his eye, the 
fitate of the world under Constantine, when the Christians got 
possession of civil power. — Dr. Macknight further observes, with 
respect to the idea that many entertain of the saints being 
Christ's assessors, when he judges the world, " I observe, that 
it is repugoant to all the accounts given of the general judge- 
ment. Besides, for what purpose are the saints to be Christ's 
assessors ? — To found a doctrine of this magnitude merely on 
two obscure passages of scripture, which can easily admit of a 
different and better interpretation, seems not a little rash." 

Archbishop Newcome. " The saints will attend Christ when 
he appears to judge the world. 1 Thess. iii. 13 5 Dan. vii. 22 ; 
Rev. XX. 4." 

Dr. Priestley. " It is taken for granted by the apostle, that 
whereas, in the prophecy of Daniel, it is said, that the people 
of the saints of the Most High shall possess the kingdom, that 
they shall act the part of judges. Our Saviour also said, that 
when he should enter on his kingdom, his twelve apostles should 
sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 
This, however, is figurative language 5 as is the representation 
of Christ sitting and judging all nations ; and placing some on 
his right hand, and others on his left. What it is, that is really 
to be understood by this, we cannot at present know. It will no 
doubt be sufficiently verified, though perhaps in a manner of 
which we cannot at this time have any proper conception." 

Rosenmuller, from Noesseltus, 9. d. " Clirktinui profanos 
judicare possunl. Vid. ch. ii. 15, 16. Est, argumenlum a majori 

102 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. III. 1. 

Ch.vr. Christianity had not altogether corrected the vices 
^'^' ' and follies of their heathen state. It was a great 
disgrace to them as Christians, to have any disputes 
at all, and still more that they should carry their 
controversies to the tribunals of the heathen magis- 
trates, and expose themselves and their profession 

ad minus. Quod si agnoscere potesiis errores profanorum iii re- 
bus ad religionem 'pertinentibus, quidni igitur terrenas etiam causax 
judicetis quae et levioris sunt momenti, et facilms ad cpquitatis 
leges deJiniendcB. Ver. 3, angelos, i. e. homines quipro prudentis- 
simis ab aliis haberi solent." 

It is obvious to observe, from this induction of authorities, 
that five hypotheses are here advanced to explain in what sense 
saints are said to judge the world, 1 . "By teaching the neces- 
sity of virtuous practice." Whitby, Macknight. 2. " By exhi- 
biting virtuous examples." Erasmus. 3. " Being judges of er- 
rors in religion, they are, a fortiori, competent to judge in civil 
controversies." RosenmuUer. Noesseltus. 4. " When Chris- 
tianity prevails. Christians will become magistrates." Przipco- 
vius, Whitby, Bengel. 5, " When Christ appears to judgement, 
saints will be assessors with him, after having been acquitted 
themselves." Castalio, Erasmus, Grotius, Crellius, Slichtingius, 
Pearce, Doddridge, Newcome, Priestley. 

A far more important and more probable sense than any one 
of these, in my opinion, is that given in the exposition, that 
saints, i. e. believers, judge the world, because they bear their 
solemn and unanimous testimony, that the world will be judged. 
But even this sense, true and important as it is, will not bear 
out the apostle's conclusion, that they are, therefore, fit to be 
arbitrators in temporal concerns. I feel myself compelled, there- 
fore, to have recourse to the hypothesis in the preceding note, 
that the false apostle had taught them some fanciful notion con- 
cerning their capacity and authority to judge men and angels, 
with which the apostle taunts them in the questions which he 
here puts to them. 

^ Inconsiderable matters.'] ava^ioi evrs xpiTYipicuv sXay^ia-rcjv. 
"Tliese mean tribunals become you not." Wakefield ; who re- 
marks in his notes, that " the Arabic and .Ethiopic translators 
alone perceived the true meaning of the original in this pas- 
sage." " Nonne causas etiam minores judicare possitis ? ava- 
^loi, sunt inidonei. Kptrrjpicx., autem sunt causse de quibus con- 
tenditur, vcr. 4. EXa;^i3'ra, res et causce parvcn." RosenmuUer. 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sbct. III. I. 103 

to the scorn of unbelievers. The apostle in this sec- Ch. vi. 
tion animadverts with great severity upon this liti- ^"'^' 
gious spirit, and urges them by all means to make 
up their differences among themselves, and not to 
expose their folly before the heathen. 

The apostle's design is excellent, but some of his 
arguments are problematical ; and it is not easy, 
without knowing more of the circumstances of the 
case, either to understand his meaning, or to see the 
validity of his conclusions. 

He begins the subject with a warm expostulation. 
Is any of you so inconsiderate, so regardless of the 
credit of his Christian profession, and of the repu- 
tation and prosperity of the church, as to implead a 
fellow-Christian at a heathen tribunal, in preference 
to referring the dispute to the arbitration of the 
church ? The apostle's expression literally trans- 
lated is, to implead him before the unjust, an epi- 
thet familiarly applied by the Jews to the heathen 
as expressive, not of a moral character, but an ex- 
ternal state. Not having been admitted into cove- 
nant with God, the heathen are represented as sin- 
ners and enemies, and in an unjustified, unpardoned 

Know you not that the saints shall judge the 
world? The Corinthians were a vain, conceited peo- 
ple. They had written a letter to the apostle, in 
which they seem to have used the expression, " tve 
know this,'' or " that,"' oftener than became them. 
And the apostle appears to have intended to rebuke 
their conceit, by retorting the phrase upon them. 

104 Paut I. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. III. 1. 

Ch. VI. which he often does in the course of this epistle. 
q. d. You that are so very knowing, know you not 
this "^ &c. " Know you not that the saints shall 
judge the world ?'' that is, as some understand it, 
that the civil power will in due time come into the 
hands of Christians, or, according to others, that the 
saints shall be assessors with Christ in judging the 
world; or, which appears indeed to me to be a more 
probable sense. Know ye not that the great design 
of the Christian faith being to impress the solemn 
truth, that God will hereafter judge the world in 
righteousness, and reward every man according to 
his works, every professor of this holy doctrine may 
be considered as bearing his testimony to this solemn 
truth, and in that sense may be regarded as an as- 
sessor with God and Christ in the future judgement 
of the world, as the prophets of God are said to per- 
form what they are only commissioned to predict ? 
Rev. xi. 6. 

Saints are here said to judge the world; and in 
other passages of the scriptures, it is said to be the 
office of Christ to judge the world, and the judge- 
ment of the saints is usually understood in a figura- 
tive sense, but that of Christ literally. The scrip- 
tures, however, do not make this distinction. It 
may not unjustly be alleged, that both phrases are 
literal, or both figurative. And hence it may be 
concluded, that no argument can be drawn from the 
office of Christ as judge of the world, whatever that 
phrase may mean, to prove that he possesses a na- 
ture superior to that of a human being ; because. 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sict.III. 1. 105 

the same office is attributed to the saints, and, for Ch. vi. 
anything that appears, in the same sense. And 
it is possible that nothing more may be meant by the 
assertion that Christ shall judge the world, than that 
Christ was authorized to declare in the most solemn 
and explicit manner, the unchangeable purpose of 
God to deal with his reasonable creatures in exact 
correspondence with their moral characters. The 
event will explain the prophecy. For that awful is- 
sue may we stand prepared ! 

The apostle argues. If the world is to be judged 
by you^ are you unwoi'thy of judging the ??iost i?i^ 
considerable matters P 

Now in every light in which I can regard this ar- 
gument, it appears to me irrelevant and inconclusive. 
Suppose that the Christian community, three centu- 
ries after this epistle was written, were to become 
possessed of the imperial and judicial power; how 
does this prove, that the Christians at Corinth were 
at that time competent to settle civil differences be- 
tween the members of their society ? or, suppose 
that the apostle means, that saints are to be asses- 
sors with Christ in the final judgement, whatever 
that office may be, they will no doubt in due time 
be properly qualified for it. But would this cir- 
cumstance prove, that private Christians are now 
competent to arbitrate in civil disputes ? 

If the apostle is understood to say, that Christians 
by the sanctity of their lives condemn the wicked- 
ness of the world, or finally, if he means that the 
saints judge the world by bearing their solemn uni- 

1 06 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. III. 2. 

ch. VI. form t'^st'mony to a future final judgement of man- 
kind, still it does not follow, that they are now quali- 
fied to judge in civil causes. Nor can I believe 
that the apostle intended to argue in a manner so 
obviously inconclusive. The most probable suppo- 
sition therefore seems to be, that he argues with 
the Corinthians upon certain absurd fantastical opi- 
nions, which they had borrowed from their false 
teachers, and which led them to entertain very ex- 
travagant notions of their own dignity and wisdom. 
If this solution be not satisfactory, and I do not 
advance it with confidence, we must leave the argu- 
ment where we find it ; and I freely own, that I nei- 
ther fully understand the premises, nor see the force 
of the conclusion ; though I am perfectly satisfied 
of the justice and wisdom of the apostle's advice, in- 
dependent of the argument by which it is enforced. 

2. The apostle presses his conclusion still more 
strongly from the consideration that Christians are 
to be judges of angels, ver. 3 — 5. 
3. Know ye not that we shall judge angels ' P How 

' Judge angels.'] The judgement of angels is attended with 
the same difficulties, and from expositors receives a similar so- 
lution to the case of the saints judging the world; viz. that 
saints will be assessors with Christ in the judgement passed 
upon evil angels. " Even the fallen angels themselves," says 
Dr. Doddridge, " notwithstanding all their malignity and pride, 
shall be brought to that tribunal, at which you, having gloriously 
passed your own trial, shall be seated with Christ, your victori- 
ous Lord, when by his righteous sentence he shall send these re- 
bellious spirits to that flaming prison which divine justice has pre- 
pared'for them." The pious author thinks, " there is a peculiar 
dignity and propriety, that when the devils shall be condemned. 

PaktI. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. III. 2. 107 

much niore^ the affairs of this life ? If then ye Ch. vr. 
have controversies relating to the affairs of this ^^' ' 
life, do ye set those to judge them, who are of no 
esteem in the church 3 9 I speak thus to your shame*. 5. 

Have you not been taught by your philosophical 
instructors, that we who profess faith in Christ, not 

the saints being raised to the seats of glory which these wicked 
spirits have forfeited and lost, should assist in that sentence 
which shall display the victory of Christ over them, in these his 
servants, once their captives, and will no doubt render the sen- 
tence itself yet more intolerable." 

All this takes a great deal for granted, which it would not be 
easy to prove ; and the learned e.xpositor does not give himself 
the trouble to show in what way this interpretation becomes 
relevant to the apostle's argument. I can regard it in no other 
light than as a sarcastic appeal to some wild opinion of their au- 
thority over bad men and evil angels, which they had learned 
from the false apostle, and to which the apostle Paul by no 
means intends to attach any credit, though an address to their 
own principles might operate to their own conviction. 

' How much viore.~\ So Bishop Pearce, Newcome, and Wake- 
field. 'iro(ruj (x,a.Xkov. This is the reading of some good manu- 
scripts. The received text is /-tijri ys, are ye not worthy to judge ? 
See Griesbach, Doddridge. Note, verses 3, 4, b, 6, are wanting 
in the Alexandrine MS. See Griesbach. MrjTi ys, How much 
more, irocruj ys (j^aXXov Hesychius, Phavorinus, Photivis. Vid. 

" Of no esteem.'] " s^sSsvy^ixsyds, judices non authentic.os, i. e. 
referees chosen by the parties, not judges authorized by law." 
Locke. — " Set such as are despised by the heathen, i. e. set 
Christians to judge in tlie church." Bishop Pearce. — " Consti- 
tute even those judges, who are of the least estimation in the 
church of Christ, rather than heathens." Newcome, L'Enfant, 
and Wetstein. — "Heathen magistrates." Whitby; who reads 
the words with an interrogation ; and observes, " the apostle 
does not here command them to do this, but sharply doth re- 
buke them for it, saying, I speak this to your shame." Rosen- 
muUer gives the same sense and construction. Griesbach reads 
the clause interrogatively. 

* I speak thus to i/ our shame.'] ifpo; svtpoTfyjv vijav Aeyto arw;. 
I adopt this punctuation from Bishop Pearce. 

108 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IIL 3. 

Ch. VI. only have dominion over the world, but that we even 
®' ' ■ exercise authority over evil angels themselves of every 
kind and degree, and that when we require them to 
quit the bodies of those whom they possess, they are 
compelled to submit ' ? What then ? shall not we, 
who thus judge and punish evil angels when they 
do amiss, be allowed to sit in judgement upon our 
erring or culpable brethren in the trivial matters of 
the present life ? 

Do you, who estimate your own authority so 
highly, notwithstanding your good opinion of your- 
selves, when you have causes depending, and those 
of the most trivial description, appeal for judgement 
to the heathen magistrates, to those very persons of 
whom you generally speak in the most contemptuous 
language ? Are these, after all, to be the arbiters of 
differences between such high personages as your- 
selves ? How disgraceful ! Be consistent at least 
even in your errors, and do not expose yourselves to 
universal scorn. 

3. The apostle demands whether there be not an 
individual among them, competent to decide a con- 
troversy, ver. 5, 6. 
—5. Is there not among you an intelligent person 2, 

' Compelled to submit.'] " Judge angels, evil angels say all 
the Greek scholiasts; and this the Christians gloriously did by 
expelling them from their seats and their dominions, and forcing 
them to confess before their votaries, that they were only devils. 
Johnxii.31,xvi. 11." Whitby. 

* An intelligent person^ cro^os, a wise man. "■ If St. Paul 
uses this word in the sense of the synagogue, it signifies one or- 
dained, or a Rabbi, and so capacitated to be a judge, for such 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. III. 4. 109 

not even one^ who is able to decide between one bro- Ch. vi. 
ther and another 3 ? but brother impleads brother ^ Ver. 6. 
and that before unbelievers P 

Do you value yourselves so much upon your wis- 
dom, and is there not one man among you of ap- 
proved sagacity and integrity, who may be an arbi- 
trator in your disputes, but you are still under a ne- 
cessity of carrying all your differences to be settled 
in the heathen courts ? 

4. If they had no umpire among themselves, it 
were better to put up with injuries, than to seek for 
redress from heathen tribunals, ver. 7. 

Now, there/ore, it is altogether a fault ^ i?i youy 7. 

that ye bring actions one against another, JVhy 
do ye not rather endure wrong ? why do ye not 
rather submit to be defrauded^ P 

were called wise men. If in the sense of the Greek schools, then 
it signifies a man of learning, study, and parts : if it be taken in 
the latter sense, it may seem to be with some reflection on their 
pretending to wisdom." Locke. It is observed by most of the 
expositors upon this section, that the Jews were allowed by the 
Romans to decide their own controversies among themselves ; 
and that the Christians generally passing for a sect of Jcm's, 
might avail themselves of the same privilege. But probably a 
majority of the Corinthian church were converts from heathen- 
ism ; and the apostle seems only to allude to the settlement of 
differences by arbitration. 

^ One brother and another.] avoc fisa-ov ra aSsXfov. The sense 
requires the addition of ?cai rs aSsX<p8, which appears to have 
been the reading of the Syriac. See Grotius and Bishop Pearce. 

* Altogether a faulty " Jam hoc omnino vobis vertendum est 
vitio." Rosenmuller. — "Now, therefore, it is certainly a defect a- 
mong you : i.e.a less degree of excellence. Minus aliquid summo. 
Grotius." Newcome. — " Certainly,however,thereis some defect 
among you, that ye go to law with each other at all.'" Wakefield. 

' Submit to he d^'raiuled.'] Bishop Pearce translates, " Why 

1 10 Part I. " I. C R I N T H I A N S. Sect. III. 5. 

Ch. vr. It is a disgrace to your profession, that you should 
implead each other at all in the heathen courts. 
Why do you not endure injury, and put up with im- 
position, rather than expose Christianity to contempt 
by your disgraceful litigations ? 

5. Instead of bearing injury, the apostle charges 
them with being theinselves guilty of injustice, and 
solemnly reminds them, that vice, however tolerated 
in the heathen world, will infallibly exclude those 
who allow themselves in the practice of it from all 
the privileges and all the hopes of the gospel, ver, 

8. But ye do 2vrotig, and defraud^ and that even 
your brethren. 

So far from bearing patiently the injuries of others, 
you are yourselves the aggressors ; you injure and 
defraud your brethren. 

9. Do ye not kjioiv^ then^ that the unjust shall have 
no inheritance in the kingdom of God? 

Do you know so much, and are you so vain of your 
understanding, and yet are you not duly apprized of 
this important truth, that injustice will certainly ex- 
clude those who practise it from the blessings pro- 
mised to the righteous ; and that men who defraud 

are ye not rather the persons injured ? Why are ye not rather 
the persons defrauded ?" q. d. Why are ye not the defendants 
rather than the plaintiffs ? St. Paul only forbids them to do inju- 
ries to others, he does not command them to bear all injuries 
from others. But perhaps the apostle means that, under the 
existing circumstances, it would be better to endure almost any 
wrong, than to carry a cause into the heathen courts. 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS, Sect. III. 6, 111 

and injure their neighbours, however lofty their pro- ch. vr. 
fession may be, will never be acknowledged by God ^^'' ^• 
as the genuine subjects of that kingdom of righteous- 
ness, and truth, and peace, which he has established 
in the world, nor as the legitimate heirs of the pri- 
vileges of the gospel ? 

J3e not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idola- 
ters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor sodomites, 
nor thieves, nor lewd persons, nor drunkards, nor lo. 
revilers, nor rapacious persons, shall inherit the 
kingdom of God. 

All the vices in this dreadful catalogue are tole- 
rated in the heathen world, and the notorious prac- 
tice of them does not exclude men from society ; 
they are by many hardly regarded as criminal. But, 
my brethren, do not imagine that Christianity will 
tolerate these odious offences. Do not deceive your- 
selves. The religion of Jesus peremptorily forbids 
them all. Lewdness and injustice in every form, 
and in every degree, exclude the guilty culprit from 
that community of which Christ is the head, and 
from all title to a participation in its privileges and 
blessings, either here or hereafter. 

6. This had been the character of some of the Co- 
rinthian Christians ; but the apostle expresses his 
confidence, that by embracing the principles and spi- 
rit of Christianity, they were now thoroughly reform- 
ed, ver. 1 1 . 

Andsuchweresomeofyou. But ye are washed^, 11. 

* Ye are washed, &c.] " Your past sins are washed away and 

1 12 Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. III. C. 

Ch. VI. hut ye are sanclified, but ye are justified in the name 
' of the Lord Jesus ^ and by the spirit of our God. 
Some of you have been gross idolaters, not only- 
chargeable with the most extravagant absurdities 
with regard to the object of worship, but guilty of 
those enormous crimes to which the idolatry of the 
heathen naturally leads, and which it often autho- 
rizes, and even requires. But I trust that you are 
now of a different spirit. You have assumed the 
name of Christ; you have been baptized into his re- 
ligion, and have been admitted into the holy com- 
munity of his disciples; you have been reconciled to 
God, you have received the gifts of the spirit, and 
you are now, I trust, washed from the pollution of 
your crimes ; and, by the powerful influence of the 
principles of Qiristianity, your hearts are renewed, 
your lives are reformed, and you now reflect with 
horror upon those excesses and enormities, to which 
you formerly abandoned yourselves without hesita- 
tion or remorse. 

forgiven you, upon your receiving of the gospel by baptism ; ye 
are sanctified, i. e. ye are members of Chrisfs church, which 
consists of saints, and have made some advances in the reforma- 
tion of your lives, by the doctrine of Christ, confirmed to you by 
the extraordinary operations of the Holy Ghost." Locke. " Bap- 
tisrno suscepto piirijficati, et sanctorum jiistorumqiie ccetui aggre- 
gate Griesbach apud RosenmuUer, who observes, that accord- 
ing to this the words express no moral change, but merely the 
separation of believers by baptism from unbelieving Jews and 
Gentiles, their admission into the church of Christ, and their 
participation of all its privileges and blessings, the consideration 
of which is the most ingenuous and the most powerful motive 
to the practice of virtue. To which I would add, that the apos- 
tle plainly indicates, that by the energy of these principles the 
believers at Corinth had in the main, and generally speaking, 
been purified from the vices of their heathen state. 



The apostle strongly remonstrates against forni- Ch. vr. 
catioUy and every kind of impurity I which^ how-, 
ever tolerated by the law, or authorized by the 
idolatry of heathenism, iv as utterly inconsistent 
with the doctrine, the discipline, and spirit of 
Christianity. Ch. vi. 12 to the end. 

1 . The apostle urges, that the gratifications of 
sense, however innocent in themselves, are not to 
be carried to excess ; and reminds the Corinthians, 
that the gross appetites vi'ill cease with the present 
state, ver. 12, 13 ^ 

' Mr. Locke thinks that the apostle continues to treat of the 
case of the fornicator, or incestuous person, through the whole 
of the sixth chapter. He supposes that the incestuous person 
had appealed to the heathen court of justice, and had vindicated 
himself by the plea that fornication, and even that species of 
which he had been guilty, was no offence in the eye of the law. 
The apostle argues with them upon this principle ; and shows 
that, however innocent lewdness in its various and odious modes 
might be regarded by the idolatrous heathen, it is a great of- 
ence under the Christian dispensation. And he argues this 
doctrine from a variety of considerations, which are all peculiar 
to Christianity, viz. " that our bodies are made for the Lord, 
ver. 13. — ^That our bodies are members of Christ, ver. 15. — That 
our bodies are the temples ot the Holy Ghost, ver. 19. — That we 
are not our own, but bought with a price, ver. 20. All which 
arguments concern Christians only, and there is not in all this 
discourse against fornication, one word to declare it to be un- 
lawful by the law of nature to mankind in general. Thai was 
altogether needless, where the apostle was teaching Christians 
what they were to do within their own society by the law of 
Christ, which was to be their rule." 

1 14 Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 1.. 

Ch, VI. ' ' All things are lawful for me > ." — But all things 
are not expedient. " All things are lawful for 
7ney — But I will not he brought under the power of 
13. any thing. " Food for the stomach, and the sto- 
mach for food."" — But God will destroy both it and 

Some of you are disposed to plead for the inno- 
cence of fornication. You say it is not condemned 
by the law of the country. You assume the prin- 
ciple, " all things are lawful which the law does not 
forbid." But for a moment granting your princi- 
ple, that fornication is forbidden by no law, positive 
or natural, allow me to advance another maxim in 
reply: All things are not expedient. If fornication 
were allowed to be, legally speaking, ever so inno- 
cent, there may be very good reasons for abstaining 
from it. You repeat your maxim, ** All things are- 
lawful." I will meet it with another equally impor- 
tant maxim : " I will not be brought under the 
power of any thing." I will not yield to inclina- 
tions be they ever so innocent, so as to be brought 
Into bondage by them, and to be unable to practise 
self-denial when duty requires it. And what pas- 
sion so soon gains an uncontroulable dominion over 
the mind, as unchaste desire ^ 

' All fhmgs are lawful^ Bishop Pearce, RosenmuUei-j Mac- 
Lnight and others, consider these proverbial phrases as objec- 
tions suggested by the Corinthians, to which the apostle makes 
replies. But I have mei with no expositor, not even Mr. Locke, 
vho appears to me to enter fully into the apostle's reasoning. 
I liave, agreeably to Bishop Pearce's supposition, pointed these 
clauses as objections and replies : vvhich gives spirit to the text;, 
and the hypothtrjis is plausible. 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. IV. 2. 1 15 

But you ply me with another maxim: " Meat is ch. vi. 
for the stomach, and the stomach for meat ;" and 
so you argue that the sexes are made for each other. 
Softly, my enlightened brother ; the cases are not 
parallel. It is true that the stomach is made for 
food, and food for the stomach ; and all kinds of 
wholesome food may be indiscriminately used, pro* 
vided they are used with temperance. For when 
life is finished, there is an end both of the stomach, 
and of the meat which is digested by it. But this 
is not the case with the two sexes. They will not 
perish in the grave : and though it is an undeniable 
truth that they are made to contribute to each other's 
happiness, this end is to be attained by chaste and 
lawful wedlock, not by promiscuous concubinage. 

2. The body is consecrated to Christ, and is in- 
tended for immortality ; and therefore ought not to 
be applied to a dishonourable use, ver. 13, 14. 

Now the body ^ is 7iot made for fornication^ hut 
for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And as —IS. 
God has raised tip the Lord, so will he also raise ^'^' 

up us 3 by the same poiver ^. 

- The hodij-] i. e. the living person: all mankind of both 
sexes; especially the body of believers, to whom, as Mr. Locke 
observes, the apostle's argument is restricted. They are made 
for Christ, and Christ for them. They are to form one body of 
which Christ is the head, they are the members ; and this body 
is not to be destroyed like the stomach and its food, but is to be 
raised to life by the power of God : so that the analogy does 
not hold. 

'^ Us.'] >5|xaf . Vid. Griesbach. u,«,af,j/0M, is the reading of the 
received text. 

* Bif the same power.'] Sia r)jj Suva;'s auVy. Mr. Locke 

116 Part I. I. CORINTHIANS. Skct. IV. 3. 

Ch. vr. Whatever might be said in defence of the pro- 
^'^''' ^^' miscuous intercourse of the sexes, if men and wo- 
men were as perishable as the stomach and its food, 
that argument cannot now be employed. Human 
beings are not made to live in a state of illicit inter- 
course, but to be united to Christ ; and Christ is 
appointed to be united to them : so that Christ and 
his church form one mystical person of which he is 
the head ; the church, the body ; and individuals, 
are members. See Rom. xii. 4, 5. 

Now, so far is it from being true that the human 
being will perish like the stomach and its food, no- 
thing can be more certain, than that mankind will 
be raised to life. For Christ, the head, is raised al- 
ready ; and the same Almighty power which brought 
the head to life, will in due time raise the members 
also, and will unite the living body to the living 

3. Fornication is absolutely inconsistent with their 
spiritual union to Christ, as members of his mystical 
body, ver. 15 — 17. 
1 5. Know ye not that your bodies are the mewhers 

would render the phrase " to his power ; to the partaking in the 
nature of his glorious body, and the power he is vested M'ith in 
it." This he thinks is the only way in which the observation 
can be made relevant to the argument, q. d. If the body is to be 
raised with this honour and dignity, how disgraceful to prosti- 
tute it to a harlot ! But I conceive that the interpretation in 
the commentary comes nearer to the sense of tlie original, and 
fully explains the relevancy of the observation in the usual con- 
struction of the words. Observe, how explicitly the resurrection 
of Christ is attributed by the apostle to the power of God, and 
not to any power inherent in himself. 

Part I. I. C O R 1 N T H I A N 3. Si:ct. IV. 3. 117 

of Christ ? Shall I then take these, and bestow Ch. IV. 
them upo7i a harlot^ ? By no means. Knoiu ye Ver. 16. 
7iot 5, that he who is united to a hat'lot, is one body 
ivith her, for these two, saith the scripture 6, shall 
be one flesh ? But he that is united to the Lord, 17. 

is one spirit vi\\ki him. 

My knowing friends, know ye not this fact, that 
all believers are members and vital portions of 
Christ's mystical body ? Is it reasonable, is it de- 
cent, that I, whatever the common law or the com- 
mon practice of heathenism may authorize, — is it, 
I say, tolerable, that I, a vital part of the body of 
Christ, should make myself one with an impure 
harlot ? Know you not, my intelligent friends, 
have you not read in the books of Moses (Gen. ii. 
24) that a man shall leave his father and his mother, 
and shall cleave unto his wife, and that they shall be 
one flesh : so that he who commits fornication may 
be regarded as forming one person with his guilty 
paramour ? And can you possibly be ignorant, my 

' Shall I take these, &:c.] More literally rendered. Shall I 
then take the members of Christ, and make them the members 
of a harlot ? q. d. The man and woman make one person. Christ 
and believers also make one spiritual person. If a believer com- 
mits fornication, he tears himself off from the person of Christ, 
and becomes a part of another person, made up of himself and 
a harlot. In the IGth and 1 7th verses, the apostle shows in 
what sense these unions are to be understood ; and upon what 
authority he builds his allegory. 

^Know ye nof.] By the repetition of these words, the apostle 
appears to taunt them with pretences to knowledge which were 
not well founded ; but to what particulars he alludes, we have 
no means of ascertaining. 

' iSflj/ft the scripture.] " piO-iv. Dicit quls, id est dictum est. 
Sec '2 Cor. vi. 2^ x. 10; Eph. v. 14 ; Hcb. viii, 5." Ncwcome. 

118 Pari 1. I. C R 1 N T H 1 A N S. Sect. IV. 4. 

Ch. VI. enlightened brethren, that he who joins himself to 
the community of believers, becomes thereby spiri- 
tually one with Christ J a vital part of his mystical 
body ? And knowing all this, can you plead the 
laws and customs of heathenism in defence of impu- 
rity ? Or can you endure the thought of debasing 
and degrading yourselves from an union with Christ 
to an union with a lewd and filthy prostitute ? 

4. They who commit fornication injure them- 
selves, profane the temple of God, insult his holy 
spirit, and destroy his property, ver. 18 — 20. 
18. Flee from fornicalion. Every other offence * 
which a man cojnmitteth is without his body, but he 
who committeth fornication sifineth against Jiim- 

Other vices may be injurious to others, yet they 
are not immediately injurious to the offender him- 
self; but this is peculiarly and directly hurtful to his 

* Evenj other offence.'] " tiouv dtJ^aprri[j.tx,, most sins which a 
man committeth." Newcome ; who in his note says, " Sins in 
general (so iracg, ver. 12 ; John ii. 10 ; Phil. ii. 29,) leave their 
defilement on the mind, but the fornicator humbles and debases 
his body." So Locke and Pearce, and most of the other ex- 
positors : but I do not see hov/ this consideration could be urged 
as a peculiar aggravation of guilt, or dissuasive from impurity. 
The apostle's argument appears to me to be this : Most vices 
are injurious to others, but fornication or lewdness is injurious 
to a man's own person. So Rosenmuller : " Pleraque peccatet 
viagis aUis, quam ei qui peccat nocent : sed scortator in suuiu 
corpus injurius est, sibi ipsi nocet." Raphelius shows, from Xen. 
Mem., that Socrates argues that intemperate men hurt them- 
selves far more than others : v/hereas other sinners secure some 
profit to themselves^ though they are injurious to others. See 
Doddridge i 

Part I. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 4. 119 

own person, by entailing cicbiiity, disease, and in- Ch. vi. 

What then P Know ye not, that your bodies- ^^^^'- ^^^ 
are the temple of the holy spirit, which ye have re- 
eeived from God? 

You that know so much, and who entertain sucli 
high notions of your own dignity, do ye not know 
that by taking upon yourselves the Christian pro- 
fession you have entered into covenant with God; 
that you are consecrated to him ; that you are his 
living temple ; and that the holy spirit which you 
have received is a symbol of his presence with you, 
like the cloud of glory which rested upon the mercy 
seat ? But the solemn rites of this temple are not 
to be conducted like the lewd orgies of heathen 
worship : for the Deity to whom you are consecrated 
is a God of spotless rectitude, who will resent every 
instance of impurity as an insult upon his character 
and a profanation of his sanctuary. 

And ye are not your oiun, but ye are bought 20. 
with a price '^. Therefore glorify God with your 
body "*. 

' Your bodies.'] To, (rajy^ara is the reading of the Alexandrine 
and of other manuscripts and versions. The plural number best 
suits the connexion. Not each believer, but all collectively, form 
the temple of God. The received text reads, " your body." See 
Bishop Pearce. 

^ Bought with a price.'] " rfyopai.(jh{te, redempti, Uberati estls, 
nempe a super stit'ione, ignorantia, vitiositate et omni peccatoriim 
m'u^er'ia. Hoc magnum pret'mm quo Deus nos redemit estjilias 
fjus d'dectissimus Jesus Christus. Rom. viii. 32. Eum nempe mi- 
sit 'inmundum co cons'il'w uthumani gener'is salutem procuraret.'" 
RosenmuUer. — " All Christians may be said to belong to God, 
because he has purchased tlaem with the life of his son. But this 

120 Part I. 1. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. IV. 4. 

Ch. VI. The last consideration which I shall offer, to con- 
vince you of the folly and guilt of those odious vices, 
which are tolerated by heathen laws and authorized 
by heathen customs, is this : You are in fact no 
longer your own masters. You have no right to 
live without controul, and to lay the reins on the 
neck of your passions. You are by profession the 
bond-servants of another, who is your rightful Lord; 
who has paid a great price to redeem you from your 
former servitude to idolatry and vice ; who has sent 

can only be said in a figurative and by no means in a literal 
sense ; for then there must have been some person of whom he 
bought them, and who could this be? It was at first imagined, 
that God redeemed us from the devil, by abandoning to him the 
life of his son : and strange as this idea now appears, it pre- 
vailed for many centuries, and it was not till long afterwards that 
any person imagined that it was Christ, and not God, that was 
the purchaser ; having given his life to the justice of God in order 
to redeem us from death. This total change in the system of 
atonement was not comjjleted till after the Reformation ; when 
Luther, in order to combat with more advantage the popish doc- 
trine of human merit, advanced the merits of Christ in opposi- 
tion to it. Then, and not before, it was conceived that God 
could not forgive sin till an adequate satisfaction had been made 
to his offended justice : and as sin was considered to be an infi- 
nite evil, as committed against an infinite being, it v/as neces- 
sary that the person who made satisfaction should himself be in- 
, , finite, or God. But you find nothing like this in the scriptures : 
/ there God is uniformly represented as forgiving sni freely on the 
' repentance and reformation of the sinner ; and therefore we are 
required to forgive, as we hope to be forgiven. And so far are 
we from being bought from God by the death of Christ, that 
whenever this figure of speech is used, God, and not Christ, is 
said to be the purchaser." Dr. Priestley. 

** Willi your body.'] That is, with your whole person. See 
Rom. xii. 1 . The received text adds, " and with your spirit, 
which are God's :" but these words are wanting in the best ma- 
nuscripts, and are omitted by (iriesbach in his critical edition, 
and by Bishop Pcarcc and .Archbishop Ncvvcome in their im- 
proved versions. 

Part I. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. IV. 4. 121 

his Son to instruct you in truth and duty, to exem- ^"; ^J- 
plify the obedience which he requires, to die for you, 
and to rise again ; and who has imparted to you the 
gifts of his spirit. This Master is God himself; 
whose service is freedom, whose yoke is easy, and 
in keeping whose commandments there is great re- 
ward. But he has no pleasure in wickedness and 
impurity. Acknowledge him as your Master : con- 
secrate yourselves wholly to his service. Let it be 
your primary concern to love him with all the heart ; 
to obey and honour him, and to devote all you 
have and are to his glory. This is your indispen- 
sable duty, and it will be your truest interest : for 
you are his by every tie which can bind a servant 
to his master, a child to his father, or a creature to 
his God. 

122 Paut II. I. C O K 1 N T H I A N S. Sect. I. I. 


TICE. Ch. vil. XV. 


€ii. VII. The apostle replies to various questions proposed 
by the Corinthians, concerning the expediency 
of marriage, and the lawfulness of forming, or 
of continuing, the conjugal connexion ivith un- 
believers ; and he offers a variety of suitable ad- 
vice to persons in every condition of life, under 
the existing circumstances of the Corinthian 
church. Ch. vii. throughout. 

1 . The apostle, asserting the general expediency 
of marriage, offers advice to married persons, ver. 

The Corinthians, notwithstanding their partiality 
to the false apostle, still retained so much regard 
for St. Paul, that they wrote a letter to him at 
Ephesus, to ask his advice upon some important 
poiats, concerning which they were in doubt. Aiid 

Pa-it II. 1. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sijct. 1, 1. 123 

the first question seems to have been, whether it Ch. vii. 
was proper to marry at all, and whether a state of 
celibacy was not more honourable than matrimony : 
which was the doctrine of some of the philosophic 
schools. The apostle, while he admits that, in the 
present precarious state of the church, marriage 
might be inexpedient, nevertheless decidedly de~ 
clares in favour of its lawfulness and general expe- 
diency ; and gives not the least pretence for the 
supposition, that under the Christian dispensation 
celibacy was to be regarded as meritorious : that it 
was by no means incumbent upon married persons 
to separate from each other ; though in times of 
persecution it might sometimes be expedient, either 
to remain unmarried, or to agree to a temporary se- 
paration, with a view to moral improvement ; or, 
as in his own case, to promote the diffusion of the 

Now, concerning the things about which ye have Ver. 1. 
written to me, " it is better for a man not to take a 

Having finished the admonitions which I thought 
it my duty to give concerning the schismatical spi- 

' It is better, Sic.'] This has very much the appearance of a 
maxim quoted by the apostle from the letter of the Corinthians 
to him, like that in chap. vi. 12. Some of the Corinthians pro- 
bably, like some of the sects of philosophers, disapproved of mar- 
riage altogether. The apostle, whose opinion it appears to have 
been, that in the present precarious circumstances of the times it 
would be advisable for unmarried persons to remain single, does 
r.ot directly contradict the principle advanced ; but he shows how 
dangerous it would be to morals if it were generally acted upon. 
" Frequcns erat apiid philosophos quastio, ' An sapienti ducenda 

124 PaktII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. 1. 

Ch. VII. lit and other gross irregularities which have been 
^"' introduced among you, I now proceed to answer 
those questions which you have proposed in your 
letter ; and to give you my faithful and best advice 
upon every subject. And first with respect to the 
subject of marriage, and the duties of married and 
of single persons. And I observe, that some of 
you at least assume a principle to which, in its un- 
qualified state, I can by no means accede. You 
presume, that the Christian religion, like some of 
the austere sects of heathen philosophy, approves 
of celibacy : you say, " it is better for a man not 
to marry." 

2. Nevertheless, to 2i\o\difornicatio?i, let every man 
have his own luife, and let every woman have her 
own husband. 

Though it may be expedient in some circum- 
stances to decline marriage, yet upon the whole I 
have no hesitation in laying it down as a general 
rule, that virtue and happiness are best promoted in 
both sexes by entering into, and living harmoni- 
ously in, the married state. 

3. Let the husband render to the wife her dice ', and 

uxor ? ' Qui omnia ad se referebant abstinendum a nuptiis cense- 
bunt. Eat in earn sententiam Antiphanis philosophi locus a/ntd 
Stobceum, et dicta Ly cur gi, Thaletis, Socratui, et aliorum.'" Gro- 
tius. " It was an old philosophical question," says Whitby, 
" whether a man should marry ; in which many held the nega- 
tive, as Bion and Antisthenes. See Laert. in Bion. p. 108 3 in 
Antisthen. p. 138. Menander says, ' a yajjists savvg wvv syjis-' 
Pythagoras considered marriage as an impediment to philoso- 
phy ; and Porphyry says, that a philosopher must net marry; 
' 70. <x,(ppiOifxix y.ixtvsi.' " De AOst. I. iv. § 'JO. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. 1. 125 

m nice manner the wife also to the hishand. The Ch. vii. 
wife hath not poiver over her own person^ hut the 
husband^ I and in like manner the husband also 
hath not poiver over his own person, but the wife. 
Deprive not each other, except as it were by mutual 5. 

consent for a season, that ye may have leisure for 
prayer'^ and may come together again '^; that Sa- 
tan tempt you not^ because of your incontinence. 

That you may not expose yourselves to tempta- 
tion to apostatize from the faith, and to return to 

' Her (fee.] o<psi'Ayjv, " the debt of marriage.'" Newcome. 
This is the reading of Griesbach from the best copies, and is 
adopted by Bishop Pearce and Archbishop Newcome. The re- 
ceived text reads, " otpstAo^usvTjv swoiav, due benevolence." 

' The icife hath not power^ " not the wife only hath the 
power, but the husband also."" Bishop Pearce ; who refers to his 
note on ch.i. 17, where he notices it "^as a Hebrew idiom to ex- 
press a preference of one thing above another, by an affirmation 
of that which is preferred, and a negation of that which is con- 
trary to it." Whitby and Macknight remark, that the apostle's 
doctrine in this verse strongly proves the unlawfulness of poly- 

' Have leisure for prayer^ The received text reads, " rrj vij- 
S-sia, for fasting ;" which Griesbach omits, upon the authority of 
the Alexandrine, Ephrem, and other manuscripts and versions. 
Bishop Pearce says, " against which word I have no other ob- 
jection than that it is left out by these manuscripts and ver- 

* May come together.'] Read r^rs, not avvs^x^crh, which is 
the received text. Acts ii. 1, 44. See Griesbach, Pearce, and 

* That Satan tempt you not.'] Satan is the god of the unbe- 
lieving world, which is his kingdom ; in opposition to the com- 
munity of believers, which is the kingdom of God and Christ. 
The apostle's meaning therefore is, lest their idolatrous neigh- 
bours or their own evil passions should seduce them back to 
heatnenism, under the pretence that Christianity was a disci- 
pline too austere in its nature j and which imposed restraints that 
were unreasonable and intolerable. 

126 PautII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. 1. 2. 

Ch. VII. heathenism, under the erroneous impression that 
■ Christianity lays you under too severe a restraint. 

6. But I say this by ivay of permission, not by way 
of commandment. 

If you choose thus to separate yourselves for a 
season, you may do it; but observe, I do not re- 
commend it, much less do I impose it upon you as 
a Christian duty. 

7. But 1 / wish all persons to be as 1 would be my^ 
self^: but every man has his proper gift from God^ 
one according to this manner, and another accord- 
ing to that. 

I wish that others could exercise the same com- 
mand over themselves as I would, and do. But all 
are not gifted with the same self-controul ; and I do 
not mean to set myself up in this case as an example 
that every one is bound to follow. 

2. The apostle advises widowers and widows to 

follow his example, and to remain unmarried, ver. 


8. No2v I say to ividowers^ and to ividows, that it 

is commendable for them if they continue as I also 

' JByJ.] This is the reading of many copies of good authority. 
Tlie received text reads ya^. See Griesbach. 

^ As 1 would be mrjself:'] ojf Kai sfiavrov. " I would that all 
men were even as I would have myself continue.'" Bisliop Pearce ; 
who insists that the construction requires ^sXvj sivat to be un- 
derstood after B{j^a.vrov. He adds, that he " supplies the word 
continue; because all allow that St. Paul was an unmarried 
man." This assumption of the learned prelate is not, however, 
universally true. 

^ To widowers:'] rols a/aaoj;. Literally, " to the unmar- 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. 1. 2. 127 

do 4. But if they possess 7iot this self-command, Ch. vii. 
/et them marry ;for it is better to marry than to be ^^^'' ^' 

In my judgement it would be u prudent and 
laudable thing, considering the circumstances of 
the times, if those who, having been married, have 
had the misfortune to lose their partners, would de- 
cline marrying again, and would live as I do without 
encumbering themselves with the cares of a family. 
But if any possess not dominion over their aflec- 
tions, (and it is painful to those who have lived hap- 
pily in the married state to lead a single solitary 
life,) let them by all means marry again : it is a step 
perfectly consistent with Christian purity, and it is 
much better to marry than to pine away in a life of 
solitude and desolation. 

riedj" but here, says Bishop Pearce, the word signifies, not one 
who was never married, but one who is without a wife. In this 
sense it is properly joined with -^ X'OP<^> ^ widow, 

* Js I also do.'] Hence it is generally concluded that the. 
apostle Paul was a widower when he wrote this epistle. There 
are, however, some who argue from Philip, iv. 3, that he had a 
wife living, whom he had left under the care of his friends at 
Philippi while he was engaged in his missionary and apostolic 
labours. It is objected to this, that tru^vys yvr^mi are of the mas- 
culine gender : but it is alleged, that in the Attic construction 
they may be taken as feminines ; and that as the person addressed 
is desired to succour the females, it makes it more probable that 
this person was a female. Clemens Alexandrinus, in a passage 
cited by Eusebius, appeals to this text as a proof that Paul had 
a wife living. See Erasmus^ Castalio^ Clarius, and Zegerus 
in loc. 

*JBe miserable.'] nt;p8(r9a;,burn. " be made uneasy." Pearcej 
who observes, that " this word in. a metaphorical sense signi- 
fies, to be troubled, vexed, or made unea,sy, 2 Cor. xi, 29. 
' Uro liovdncm,' I vex him. Terence." 

128 Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. 1. 3. 

Ch. VII. 3. The apostle, appealing to the authority of 
Christ, peremptorily prohibits in married persons 
separation and divorce, ver. 10, 11. 

Ver. 10. But the married I charge^ yet not /only, hut the 

Lordly Let not the wife separate herself from her 

11. husband; hut if she separate herself let her remain 

unmarried^ or he reconciled to her husband; and 

let not the hushajid put away his wife. 

To married persons I have one direction to give: 
indeed, it is no judgement of my own, it is the ex- 
press command of our Lord and Master Jesus 
Christ, which he solemnly uttered in the course of 
his personal ministry. Matt. v. 32, xix. 9 ; Mark x. 
11, 12 : Let no separation take place between mar- 
ried persons ; let there be no divorce but in case of 
adultery. It may indeed happen, that the overbear- 
ing tyranny and cruelty of the husband may make it 
necessary for^the wife to withdraw from his house 
and from his society. But let her not imagine her- 
self at liberty in this case to marry again while her 
husband is living. On the contrary, let her endea- 
vour if possible to be reconciled to her husband. 

' 'But the Lord.l " It is not only I who command, but the 
Lord." Bishop Pearce ; who remarks in his note, " These words 
seem to allude to what our Saviour himself had delivered when 
upon earth, as it is recorded in Saint Mark x. 11, 12: where 
you will find the same rule given to married people by Christ as 
is given here." — " But the Lord, who randemned divorce, except 
in case of adultery." Matt. v. 32, xix. 9. Archbishop Nev/come. 
Til's interpretation makes the apostle's language easy to be un- 
derstood, without supposing, as some have done, that he claims 
inspiration while he addresses married people, but not when he 
gives advice to widowers and widows. 


Part II. 'I. CORINTHIAN S. Sect J. 4. 129 

and to return to his house aeain, if she can live in Ch.vii. 

^ Ver. 11. 


4. The apostle, in the case of a believer being 
connected in marriage with a heathen, forbids the 
believer to put away the unbeliever ; but if the un- 
believer voluntarily withdraws, the believing party 
is at liberty to marry again, ver. 12 — 16. 

But to others I speak 2, and not the Lord. 

The cases which follow did not occur to our 
Lord's notice during his personal ministry ; no ex- 
press decision of his, therefore, is left upon record. 
But you will do well to attend to my advice, as I am 
acting under his commission in dispensing the go- 

If any brother hath an unbelieving wife, and she 
consenteth to dwell with him, let him not put her 
away. And if any tvoman hath an unbelieving 
husband, and he consenteth to dwell ivith her, let 
not her put him away^. 

- I speak.] " I speak, by the spirit of God : not Christ, who 
has left us no precept upon this subject." Newcome. But upon 
what ground does the learned prelate here attribute inspiration 
to the apostle, who does not himself claim it ? On the contrary, 
he supports his advice^ by sound argument, ver. 16, of which 
there would have been no need had he written by inspiration ; 
nor does he appeal to it in the preceding case, which he enforces 
by the authority of Christ. Why should we hesitate to rest the 
validity of the apostle's advice upon the same ground where he 
himself has placed it, and which is well able to support it — the 
ground of its own merit ? 

^ Let not her put him away.'] " That Jewish and Roman wo- 
men were allowed to divorce their husbands, see Doddridge on 
Mark x. 12." Newcome. See Lardner's Works, vol, i. p. 392, 
Kippis's edition ; Joseph. Antiq. lib. x.\. c, 6, § 3 5 Vit. § 75 j 
Juvenal. Sat. 6, v. 222—230. 


130 Part II. 1. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect..!. 4, 

Ch. VII. Let no one persuade you that the profession of 
Christianity dissolves the bands of civil society. But 
if an unbelieving husband, or wife, is contented to 
live with a believing partner, let not the believer 
dissolve the marriage tie; but on the contrary, by 
meekness, kindness, and a sedulous discharge of 
every duty, let them show how excellent a thing 
the spirit of the gospel is, and how much the heart 
is improved by the religion of Jesus. 
14. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified^ by the 
ivi/e^y and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the 
husband: otherwise, your children would be un- 
clean, but now they are holy ^. 

' Is sanctified^ " The sanctity of the believing party is in 
.some measure imputed to the unbeliever, at least so far as to 
affect their children, because they two are one flesh," Bishop 
Pcarce. — " is sanctified, comes under the denomination of holy 
in the sight of God, so far that the offspring is entitled to Chris- 
tian privileges." Nev^^come, 

® By the wife^ Bishop Pearce adopts the reading of many 
valuable manuscripts, r^ TTirjJ, " the believing wife 3" which 
he thinks preferable, as it preserves the antithesis. And for the 
same reason, upon similar authority, he prefers ahKOw to av^oi 
in the next clause : " the unbelieving wife is sanctiified by the 
believing brother." 

' Otherwise, ijour children, &c.] " immundi : quia educareniur 
in cultuni idolorum Deo displicentem. Mundi, Deo grati: quia 
Dens ad educationem liberum opitulatur parti meliori." Grotius. 
— " Else they were heathen children, not to be owned as a holy 
seed ; and therefore not to be admitted into covenant with God 
as belonging to his holy people. See Isa. xxxv. 8, lii. 1 ; Acts 
X. 28. The argument for infant baptism runs thus : If the holy 
seed among the Jews was therefore to be circumcised and be 
made federally holy by receiving the sign of the covenant, be- 
cause they were born in sanctity, then by like reason the holy 
seed of Christians ought to be admitted to baptism, and receive 
the sign of the Christian covenant, the laver of regeneration ; 
and so be entered into the society of the Christian church. The 

Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. 1. 4. 131 

If one of the parties is a believer in Christ, it is Ch. vii. 
the same with regard to their children as if both ^^'' ^ '' 
were believers. The children are born in a holy 
state ; they are to be regarded as members of the 
visible church, and have a right to be initiated into 
the Christian community. 

But if the unbeliever depart, let such depart ; a 15. 
brother or a sister is not enslaved in such cases : 
hotvever, God hath called us to peace. 

If the unbelieving party absolutely refuses to live 

substance of this argument is in Tertullian de Anima, cap. 39." 
WHiitby. — ^The words sanctified, holy, unclean, says Mr. Locke, 
" are used here in the Jewish sense. The Jews called all that 
were Jews holy, and all others they called unclean. Thus, ' pro- 
les genita extra sanctitatem ' was the child of heathen parents : 
' genita intra sanctitatem' was the child of parents after they 
were proselytes. This way of speaking St. Paul transfers from 
the Jewish into the Christian church, calling all that are of the 
Christian church saints, or holy ; by which reason all that were 
out of it were unclean." — " Unclean, as the Jews say, and out 
of covenant with God ; but by being born of one Christian pa- 
rent they are holy, and qualified for baptism." Bishop Pearce. — 
" Unclean, unfit to be dedicated to God by baptism. That tliis 
is an ancient interpretation, see Wall's Notes." Archbishop 
Newcome. — " Holy, being of holy parents, they are accounted 
as already baptized in their parents' baptism." Emlyn's Works, 
vol. i. p. 404. 

" On the maturest and most impartial consideration of this 
text," says Dr. Doddridge, " I must judge it to refer to infant 
baptism. Nothing can be more apparent than that the word 
holy signifies persons who might be admitted to partake of the 
distinguishing rites of God's people. See Exod. xix. 6 ; Deut. 
vii. 6, xiv. 2, xxvi. 19, xxxiii.3 ; Ezra ix. 2 : compared with Isa. 
XXXV. 8, lii. 1 ; Acts x. 28. And as to the interpretation which 
so many of our brethren the Baptists have contended for, that 
holy signifies legitimate, and unclean, illegitimate, not to urge 
that this seems an unscriptural sense of the word, nothing can 
be more evident than that the argument will by no means bear 
it ; for it would be arguing idem per idem," 


132 Part II, I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. 4. 

Ch. VII. with the believer, and obstinately deserts the be- 
lieving partner, it is the unbeliever who dissolves 
the conjugal connexion : it would be most unrea- 
sonable in this case to consider the believer as bound, 
while the unbeliever is at liberty. The marriage tie 
is loosed, and the parties are released. All that 
the gospel requires is, that the believing party should 
not be the first to begin the separation ; but that 
every means of conciliation should be used to pre- 
serve family concord. 
16. For how knowest thou i, O wife, whether or no ^ 
thou shalt save thy husband ? Or how knoruest 
thou, O husband, ivhether or no thou shalt save 
thy wife 9 

It is far from impossible that a prudent, kind, 
conciliatory conduct on the part of the believer may 
produce a happy effect upon the mind of the unbe- 
liever ; and lead them first to think well of, and ul- 
timately to embrace, the Christian faith : and this 
surely must be a powerful motive to the believer to 
continue to associate in the kindest manner and as 

' How knowest thou, &c.] Mr. Wakefield for the sake of per- 
spicuity transposes the fifteenth and sixteenth verses. 

^ Whether or no.] For si ^fj, if not, at the beginning of the 
succeeding verse in the received text, some copies, but of no 
great note, read ij |u,ij, or no; and some of the ancient writers 
join these v^'ords to the preceding verse : q. d. How knowest 
thou, O husband, whether thou shalt save thy wife or no ? I 
have, though with some hesitation, adopted this reading. See 
Bishop Pearce ; who adds the words or no in Italics, but in his 
notes declares his preference of the received text. It may be 
proper to observe here, that as the apostle appeals to reason in 
favour of the advice he gives, he seems to wave any claim to in- 

PAiirll. I. CORINTHIANS. Skct.1.5. 133 

long as possible with the unbelieving partner, and Ch. vii. 
upon no consideration to be the first to dissolve the ^'"" ' 

5. The apostle advises the converted Jew to ad- 
here to the law ; but the converted Gentile to retain 
his liberty, ver. 17 — 19. 

As God hath assigned^ to every one, as the 17, 

Lord hath called every one, so let him ivalk. And 
thus I appoint in all the churches. 

The doctrine of Christ does not breathe a secta- 
rian spirit, it is simply a rule of life; and its hopes 
and fears have respect to another state of existence. 
It adapts itself to the various circumstances and con- 
ditions of mankind, whether Jew or Gentile. In 
things indifferent, therefore, in rites and ceremo- 
nies, let each follow his own discretion with respect 
to his own innocent customs previously to his con- 
version to the gospel. This is a universal rule, 
which I require to be observed, not only in the 
church at Corinth, but in all the churches of the 
Gentiles, by virtue of that apostolical authority with 
which I am invested by Christ. 

Is any one called, hemg circumcised, let him not 18. 

' As God hath assigned.'] If agreeably to the received text, 
and the generality of expositors, the words £t ju-tj are prefixed, 
it is q. d. If not, if the believer cannot save the unbeliever, 
still it must be remembered that Christianity makes no difference 
in civil relations. For ei arj, see Rom. xiv. 14 j Gal. i. 7. See 
Newcome. — In this passage, though expressed in general terms, 
it is clear that the apostle alludes particularly to the distinction 
of Jew and Gentile. 

134 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.1.5. 

Ch. VII. become nncircimicised^ . Is any one called in un- 
Ver. 19. circumcision, let him not be circumcised. Circum- 
cision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing ; 
but keeping the commandments of God is every 
tiling 2. 

Let not the believing 5e.vj imagine that there is 
any merit in abandoning the rites of the law. On 
the contrary, it better becomes him to adhere to the 
ritual in which he has been educated, provided that 
he does not impose it upon others. And let not 
the believing Gentile be induced to imagine that 
the observation of the Mosaic ritual is obligatory 
upon him, either as being essential to salvation, or 
even as a meritorious act. In truth, neither the ob- 
servation nor the neglect of ceremonial institutions 
is of the least account in the sight of God. All 
that he requires is cheerful, uniform obedience to 
his moral law ; and a heart right in his sight. 

It appears from this advice, that the apostle made 
no objection to a converted Jew's adhering as strictly 
as he pleased to the law of Moses. He continued 
to comply with that ritual himself; and it was right 
to do so, at least while the temple service continued. 
But he utterly condemns the imposition of this yoke 
upon the converted heathen ; and greatly disapproves 
of the Gentile Christians vol untarily s ubjecting them- 

' Become uncircumciscd .-] |u,-)j sTTta-ircarduj. An allusion is here 
made to the attempts of some apostates to obliterate the mark 
of circumcision. See Doddridge. 

* Is every thing.] So Newcome and Wakefield j and it is 
evidently the apostle's meaning. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. 6. 135 

selves to the burdens of the law : as if a compliance Ch. vii. 
with ritual precepts could be any recommendation ^^^' ^^' 
to God, or in the least degree necessary to the per- 
fection of the Christian character. When regarded 
in this light, he pronounces the observance of the 
Jewish ritual to be of no use, and totally destitute 
of all moral value ; and that if it be relied upon as 
a ground of justification, it is even a virtual renun- 
ciation of the gospel of Christ. This is the tenor of 
his argument in the epistle to the Galatians ; and he 
uniformly teaches, that Christianity requires nothing 
as essential but the love of God and our neighbour. 

6. The apostle reminds freemen and slaves, that 
the profession of Christianity makes no change in 
their civil relations or in their social duties, ver. 20 

Let every one cojitimie in the condition in which 
he was called. TVast thou called being a slave? 20, 
Regard it not: hut if thou canst obtain thy free- 21. 

dom, prefer it 3. 

Be it remembered, that the profession of Chris- 

' Prefer i^.] jxaXAov ^prjcrcci, use it rather. Mr. Wakefield 
translates it, " Yea even thou canst be free, continue as thou 
art :" but this seems to be strange counsel, and quite incon- 
sistent with the advice in ver. 23. The construction in the 
original seems defective. Most expositors supply eXzuhpia, 
after %^i3o-a», " if thou canst be free, rather use, or prefer, li- 
berty." But the Arabic and some others supply SsKsia, servitude. 
The Syriac, as translated by Schaaf, is, " Elige tihi potius quam 
ul servias." See Bishop Pearce. Mr. Wakefield supposes that 
" the apostle intends generally to discourage a restless disquie- 
tude to alter a condition which is not peculiarly grievous :" but 
would Mr. W. have admitted that slavery is such a condition ? 

loS Part 11, I. C O R I N T II I A N S, Siicx. I. 6. 

Ch. VII. tianity makes no change whatever in men's civil cir- 
cumstances or social duties. Let every one, there- 
fore, continue to occupy his proper station, and to 
perform the duties of it with increased activity, till 
providence offers a beneficial change. Let not the 
converted slave imagine that Christianity releases 
him from his state of bondage. No : he is a slave 
still ; and the duties of a slave, however burden- 
some, he must faithfully perform, and to the hard- 
ships of his condition he must cheerfully submit. 
But let him not be discouraged : though a slave, he 
is entitled to all the privileges of the gospel. Yet, if 
an opportunity of becoming free should present it- 
self, let him avail himself of it ; for a state of free- 
dom is more honourable and happy. It affords less 
obstruction to Christian duty, and better opportu- 
nities of usefulness. 

From the necessity which the apostle appears to 
have been under of repeating his injunctions to the 
believers at Corinth to continue in the stations which 
they occupied at the time of their conversion to 
Christianity, it seems not improbable that the false 
apostle had taught that all natural and civil relations 
were dissolved by the new birth, by their conversion 
to the faith of Christ ; and in particular, that slaves 
were entitled to immediate emancipation. This 
foolish and dangerous doctrine the apostle warmly 
opposes; and strongly urges the Christian slave to 
adhere to his master, and faithfully to perform the 
duties of his station. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sfxt.I. 6. 137 

For he that is called hy the Lord, being a slave, Ch.yii. 
is the Lord' s freedman ; and in like manner he who 
is called, he'm^fiee, is the slave of Christ. 

The profession of Christianity does not, indeed, 
entitle you to civil liberty; but in the truest and 
noblest sense it sets you free. The Christian slave 
is the freedman of Christ ; redeemed by him from 
idolatry and sin, and death ; rescued from slavery 
to the worst of tyrants ; endued with moral liberty, 
and made free of the community of which Jesus is 
the head. 

And on the other hand, the man who is legally 
free, and who perhaps boasts of hundreds of slaves 
under his controul, when he becomes a Christian, 
binds himself to be a slave : a slave to Christ. He 
has no longer any will of his own ; but he is bound 
to live to him who died for him and rose again. 
And, far from regarding this state of servitude as a 
burden and disgrace, he boasts in it as his pride and 

Ye have been bought with a price ^ : become not 
the slaves of men. 

^ Ye have been bought with a price.'] " Had you bought your 
freedom ? become not slaves to men." Wakefield ; who says 
that " the translation here given is pertinent to the connexion, 
which the former is not." Whitby and Knatchbull understand 
the words in the same sense. But surely there was very little 
occasion to advise slaves who had purchased their liberty, not to 
part with it, and to become slaves again. Wliereas nothing 
could be more natural, or more suitable to the connexion, than 
after having declared one party to be the freedmen, and the 
other the slaves of Christ, that the apostle should remind them, 
that having been purchased by him, it ill became them to yield 
themselves up as slaves to other masters. — " Ye were bought 


138 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. 1. 6. 

Ch.vii. You have been redeemed from moral slavery, 
from your bondage to ignorance, idolatry, vice, and 
misery, at a great price: by the mission of Christ; by 
all that he has taught, and done, and suffered ; by 
his resurrection and ascension ; by the gifts of his 
spirit, and the labours of his apostles : in the noblest 
sense you are free. Be lovers of liberty in every 
form. If you are slaves, and can obtain your free- 
dom, avail yourselves of the opportunity. If you 
are free, do not by indiscretion, and much less by 
immorality, expose yourselves to the danger of 
losing your liberty. 
24. Brethren, let every one abide luith God, in the 
condition in which he ivas called. 

My Christian friends, my parting advice to you, 
whether Jew or Gentile, whether slaves or freemen, 
is this : In your respective stations, in the civil rank 
in which Christianity found you, abide with God ; 
look up to God as the arbiter of your destiny ; be 
satisfied with your lot, as his wise appointment ; 
fulfill the duties of your condition as under his in- 
spection, and as accountable at his tribunal. Apply 
to him under all your difficulties ; and study above 
all things to approve yourselves to him, and to se- 
cure his favour. 

with a pricej even that of Christ's blood : therefore do not make 
yourselves out of choice slaves to men, ye being already in the 
more honourable service of Christ." Pearce, and with him the 
generality of expositors. It is not necessary to limit the price 
of redemption to the death of Christ alone : all the means which 
have been employed by God, and by Jesus as his messenger and 
servant, to recover mankind from idolatry and vice, may be re- 
garded figuratively as the ransom^ or price, of redemption. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. 7. 130 

7. The apostle, resuming the question concern- Ch. vir. 
ing marriage, advises, but does not require, unmar- 
ried persons to remain for the present in a single 
state, ver. 25 — 28. 

Now concerning persons who have not been mar- 25. 
riedy I have no commandment of the Lord-, but I 
give my judgement as one ivho hath obtained mercy 
of the Lord to be faithful. 

With respect to the course to be pursued by un- 
married persons, Christ has neither decided this case 
himself, as he has that concerning adultery and di- 
vorce, nor has he expressly commissioned me to set- 
tle it authoritatively : but I offer my opinion, as a 
faithful friend, and by the mercy of God your fellow 
Christian likewise, and I leave you to judge of the 
propriety and expedience of the advice I propose. 

/ think, then, that it would be commendable^ on 26, 
account of the exigency ^ which is approaching, it 
luould be commendable, I say, for such persons ^ to 
continue as they are. 

It would be better, in my judgement, consider- 
ing the difficulties of the times, and on account of 
the season of persecution which is at hand; it 

* The exigency which is approaching.'] It is asked what this 
exigency was ? Some suppose the destruction of Jerusalem ; but 
this was nothing to the Corinthians. The apostle probably fore- 
saw a storm approaching, which might be limited to Corinth and 
its neighbourhood. It is plain that he had no intention to en- 
courage celibacy in general, Pearce renders the words, "the 
approaching necessity :" i. e. calamity. Lukexxi. 23) 2Thess. 
ii. 2. 

^ For such persons.'] Gr. avQ§anraj, for a man, or rather a per- 
son, as the word includes both sexes. " It is commendable for 
a man or a ivoman so to be." Bishop Pearce. 

140 Fart II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. 7. 

Ch. VII. would, I say, be most expedient for such persons to 
remain as they are, and not to encumber themselves 
with the cares of a family. 

Observe, the apostle is far from advising celibacy 
as a general practice, but confines his recommenda- 
tion of it to the Corinthian church in the peculiar 
crisis of danger which then existed ; and he men- 
tions it merely as his own private advice, without 
any authoritative injunction. 

27. Art thou bound to a wife P seek not to be loosed; 

03. art thou unmarried ^ ? seek not a luife. But if 
thou marry y thou hast not done amiss"^; nor if a 
virgin inarry, has she done amiss: nevertheless, 
such will have trouble in life^ : but I spare you. 

There is nothing criminal in entering upon the 
marriage state ; but in the season of persecution you 
will feel many inconveniences from which I wish to 
save you by the advice I offer. Nevertheless, if you 
are determined upon marrying, I would not alarm 
you by expatiating upon the difficulties you will have 
to encounter: you will meet with them soon enough, 
and I wish they may prove less grievous than I fore- 

' Art thou unmarried,'] XeXv(rc/.i yvvaiKo; ; " art thou loosed 
from a wife?" But, as Bishop Pearce observes, this does not 
fully express the apostle's meaning, who is speaking not of one 
who was a widower, but of one who never was married. The 
Bishop's translation is " art thou without a wife ?" 

* Hast not done amiss.'] So Wakefield. ot;% ijju.aprf ;, " hast 
not sinned." The public version and most of the translators, 
Pearce, Newcome, &c. 

^ Trouble in life.] (rapxi, " in the flesh :" that is, in cxternKl 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. 8. 141 

8. As the season of persecution would soon over- Cit. vn. 
take them, it v/ould be their wisdom to disengage *^''" ' 
themselves as much as possible from temporal con- 
nexions and concerns, ver. 29 — 31. 

However, this I say, brethren, (because the time 29. 
ihat remaineth is short^,) that they who have wives 
may be as those who have none ; and they that tveep, SO. 

as though they wept not ; and they that rejoice as 
thoughthey rejoiced not; and they thatbuyas though 
they possessed not ; and they that use the ivorld as 31. 
not using it to excess ^ : for the fashion of this 
world is passifig away. 

After a very short interval the season of trouble 
will come, and will break up, and go near to over- 
set, all your domestic comfort. And this event I 
announce to you, not to give you uneasiness, and 
to fill your minds with painful anticipations, but as 
a faithful and friendly warning to prepare for the 
event ; and that you may acquire a proper command 
over your affections. That those of you who are 
married may bear in mind that this tender tie must 

* The time that remaineth is short.'] So Pearce. " c-ivsraX- 
ji/isvof, contracted." Doddridge ; who observes, after many others, 
that there is an allusion to the furling of a sail. The words ro 
Xonrov are joined by some to the latter clause of the verse : q. d. 
It remains therefore. See Doddridge and Newcome : Gries- 
bach, Pearce, and Wakefield, connect it with the former clause, 

* Using it to excess :'] ■Kcx.ray^^uiij.svoi. So Wakefield : Gro- 
tius says it is the same as y^puj[/.£voi, " nisi quod videtur plenius 
quiddam significare." — " as if they made no great use of it." 
Bishop Pearce, who objects to the word abuse, " for not to 
abuse is equally a duty, whether the time be long or short." — 
" Use it not." Newcome ; who thinks the antithesis is best pre- 
served by this sense of the word, which is common in Greek 
writers. See 1 Cor. ix, 18. 

142 PartH. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. 1. 9. 

Ch. VII. soon be dissolved, and may fortify their minds with 
the best principles, to prepare them for the painful 
separation : that those who are now suffering under 
the visitations of divine providence may not be too 
much depressed, as though their lot were pecuHarly 
grievous and their sufferings would never end : that 
those who are prosperous in the world may not be 
too much elated, but may be mindful of the precari- 
ous tenure of earthly good : that those who purchase 
houses or estates may recollect the uncertainty of 
the tenure upon which they are held, and may be 
prepared to resign the possession : and finally, that 
those who engage in worldly business of any kind 
may pursue their object with a chastised ardour, as 
all sublunary things are transitory like a pageant, 
and evanescent as a dream. 

9. The apostle recommends a single life, that 
believers may be at liberty to devote themselves en- 
tirely to Christian duties, ver. 32 — 35. 

32. N^ow I wish you to be luithout distracting care. 
The unmarried man is solicitous for the things of 

S3, the Lord, how he may please the Lord: hut he that 
IS married, is solicitous about the things of the 

34, worldy hoiv he may please his wife"^. There is a di- 

* In this text there are many various readings, but the sense 
in all is nearly the same. Griesbach adheres to the received text, 
though he thinks it not improbable that tj itaphvog in ver. 34 is 
an interpolation ; q. d. " There is a distinction also in the case 
of the vi^oman : the unmarried woman," &c. As it now stands, 
the literal translation is, " There is a distinction between the 
woman and the virgin :" i. e. between the married woman and 
the virgin. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. 9. 14.^ 

stmction likewise between the married a7id the un- Ch. vir. 
married woman : the unmarried woman is solicit- ^^^' ^' 
ous about the things of the Lord, that she may be 
holy both in body and spirit ; but the married wo- 
Tnan is solicitous about the things of the luorld, how 
she shall please her husband. Now this I advise, 35. 

as expedient for you, not that I may cast a snare 
upon you, but out of regard to what is becoming 
and for right attendance on the Lord without dis- 
traction 2. 

My reason for recommending a single life in pre- 
sent circumstances is, to preserve you from distract- 
ing care. The unmarried believer has but one main 
object in life, and that is, to serve his Master, Christ; 

^ For right attendance loithout distraction .-I evjrccpsSpov ocTfspitr- 
ifar(^S- So Newcome. This is the sense given by Locke^ Pearce, 
and Wakefield. Dr. Doddridge, after Sir Norton Knatchbull, 
translates aTTspKritas-c^s, "without any violent constraint :" q.d. 
by which I might seem to drag you into a state of life which 
should make you continually uneasy. 

Though the apostle gives no hint of the kind, and the idea 
does not appear to have occurred to any expositor, I cannot but 
think that the advice in this paragraph is intended to be limited 
cfiiefly, if not wholly, to those who sustained offices in the church, 
whether prophets, deacons, almoners, &c. : otherwise surely a 
Christian is as much in the way of his duty, and serving the Lord 
in as acceptable a manner, who is prudently looking after ard 
providing for his family, as one who passes all his time in read- 
ing, meditation, and prayer. But with regard to the officere of 
the church, vvhether male or female, it might in a season of dan- 
ger and persecution be to them peculiarly inconvenient to en- 
cumber themselves with the cares of a family, when their whole 
time and attention might be required for the discharge of the'r 
arduous and perilous duties. The apostle's meaning Vv'ould be 
perfectly understood by the Corinthians, though, from the un- 
avoidable obscurity of the epistolary style, it may not be so in- 
telligible to modern readers. 

144 PartII. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct.1.10. 

Ch. vii. and to this his whole time and all his powers are de- 
"' ' voted. The married believer has a double object in 
view. He wishes to serve Christ : but he has also 
another duty to perform ; to provide for his wife 
and family, that they may live in comfort. Now it 
is evident, that while he is attending to one of 
these duties, he cannot be equally attentive to the 

In the same manner the unmarried woman con- 
secrates her whole self to Christ, and devotes all her 
time to his service. But the married woman is 
bound to her husband, must consult his inclination 
and comfort, and must contribute to provide for her 
family. She cannot, like the unmarried woman, 
give herself wholly to Christ. 

However, after all, I by no means press a reso- 
lution to live unmarried as an indispensable duty. 
You are at perfect liberty to judge for yourselves : 
I would by no means persuade you to a course of 
which you would afterwards repent ; only, if you 
could remain single, you would be at liberty to serve 
Christ with more undivided attention, and conse- 
quently with more consummate propriety and ex- 

10. The apostle advises unmarried persons not to 
enter at present into the married state ; but leaves 
them at full liberty to exercise their discretion with 
respect to the propriety of following his counsel, 
ver. 36—38. 
36. jBut if any one think it unbecoming to remain 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. 1. 10. H5 


ied^y heyondthe flower of Ms age ^ and that Ch.vii. 

it is his duty so to do % let him do what he will; he 

Ver. 36. 

' thihecoming to remain unmarried.'] ao-p^r^/xovgiv sifi tr^v ttap- 
Bsvov avTH' literally, to behave unbecomingly towards his virgin. 
Critics are much divided in opinion with respect to the apostle's 
meaning in this difficult text. I believe that all expositors with- 
out exception before Dr. Whitby, and most even at the present 
day, understand the apostle's advice as relating to the disposal 
of a young virgin in marriage by her parent or guardian. The 
following is Archbishop Newcome's translation of the passage, 
upon this supposition : 

" But if any man think that he behaveth unbecomingly to- 
wards his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and it ought 
so lo be, let him do what he pleaseth, he sinneth not : let such 
virgins marry. But he who standeth firm in his own heart, hav- 
ing no necessity, but hath power over his ovv^n will, and deter- 
niineth thus in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. 
So that he who giveth her in marriage doeth well : but he who 
giveth her not in marriage doeth better." 

Hence, as Dr. Whitby observes, " the usual inference is, that 
children are to be disposed of in marriage by their parents : 
which may be very true, but cannot be proved by this text, which 
has a very different meaning, and which contains the apostle's 
advice to a young person deliberating with himself whether he 
.should marry or not." This interpretation seems first to have 
occurred to Dr. Whitby, and afterwards to Mr. Locke ; and has 
been adopted by Dr. Harwood and Mr. Wakefield. Dr. Dodd- 
ridge ingenuously acknowledges that he once preferred it, but 
afterwards gave it up. The following is Mr. Wakefield's trans- 
lation, and one cannot but regret that this learned critic has not 
supported his version by notes. 

" But if any one apprehend a dishonour from his virginity con- 
tinued beyond the time, it ought so to be, let him do what he 
pleaseth : he doeth not amiss, let such many. But he who 
continueth steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath 
power over his own will, and is determined in his heart to keep 
his virginity, doeth well. So then, even he who giveth it in mar- 
riage doeth well, but he who giveth it not in marriage doeth 

Mr. Locke assigns the following reasons for the interpretation 
which he gives to these verses : 

" HapSfvov," says he, " seems here used for the virgin state, 
and not the person of the virgin. W'hether there be examples 


140 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. 10. 

Ch. VII. doth not act amiss, let him marry 3. Nevertheless^ 
Ver. 37. ^^ ^j^^ ^g steadfast i?i his resolution *, being under 
no necessity, and hath poiver concerning his own 
will, and hath determined this in his own heart to 
38. remain unmarried^, acteth commendably. So that 
even he who juarrieth ^ doth well, but he who mar- 
rieth not doth better. 

However, notwithstanding all that I have ad- 
vanced in favour of celibacy, if a case should occur 
in which a man advancing to the middle age of life 

of the like use of it, I know not ; and therefore propose it as 
my conjecture, I. Because the resolution of mind here spoken 
of must be in the person to be maiTied. 2. The necessity 
of marriage can only be judged of by the persons themselves. 
3 . ' Hath power itspi rei^in ^s\rj[j.aro§ ' should be translated hath 
a power concerning his own will; i. e. concerning what he will- 
eth, is at his own disposal. 4. If *^ keep his virgin' had signified 
keeping his children from marrying, it would have been more 
natural to have used rsKva, which signifies both sexes, thanTrap- 
dsvcts, which only belongs to the female." 

To which I think may be added, that according to this inter- 
pretation the whole passage is clear and intelligible; but upon 
the common hypothesis it is, to say the least, very obscure. 

' It is Ids duty.'] arcoj cipsiXsr " that it is his incumbent 
duty to form the conjugal union." Harwood. — " if he finds it 
necessary to marry." Locke. 

^ Let him marry.'] Many good copies read yaiJi^sitco in the 
singular. See Griesbach. 

* In his re-ioliition.] sv "tr, xap^ia' " in his heart." — "who- 
soever is settled in a firm resolution of mind." Locke. 

^ To remain unmarried!] I'rjpsiv t'vjv kauTS irap^svov " to keep 
his o\Mi virgin :" i. e. " to keep his virginity." Locke, Wakefield. 

" Who viarrieth :] yau.i'C.wv. This is the reading of the Ale.x- 
andrine and other manuscripts, and marked by Griesbach as of 
equal authority with the text ; which is £Kyatj.i^cov, " giveth in 
marriage." And Griesbach himself adopts yaixi^uiv in the se- 
cond clause, which is a presumption that it is the true reading 
in the first. " It is necessary," says Mr. Locke, " to follow tlie 
copies which read ya.aj^wv, marrying, for sKyaj^ili^ooVj giving in 
marriage." So Whitby. 

Part II. J.CORINTHIANS. Sect. I. 11. 147 

should think it disgraceful to remain unmarried, Ch.vii. 
and should regard it as a duty to change his con- 
dition, let him do as he pleases, he is guilty of no 
offence to God or man : let him marry. Neverthe- 
less, if he has a neighbour of a different persuasion, 
one who feels himself under no obligation to marry ; 
who possesses a greater degree of self-controul, who 
is under no external restraint, and who firmly re- 
solves to remain for the present in a single state, I 
cannot but highly commend his prudent and virtu- 
ous resolution . So that upon the whole, both par- 
ties act right, according to their respective views of 
the case. He that marries, because he is so inclined 
and thinks it to be his duty, deserves commenda- 
tion : but he who for the present defers marriage, 
acts more prudently in present circumstances, and 
therefore deserves greater praise. 

1 1 . The apostle concludes by admitting the law- 
fulness of a widow marrying a second husband; 
but giving his judgement against the expedience of 
a second marriage, under existing circumstances, 
ver. 39, 40. 

The wife is bound as long as her husband liveth ; 
but if the husband be dead, she is at libei^ty to be 39, 
married to whom she pleaseth, only in the Lord. 
But in my judgement she is happier if she continue 
as she is, and I also think that J have the spirit of 40. 
God 7. 

' / tlmik I have the spirit of God.'] Jokw — £%e<v, " I also 
seem to have the spirit of God." Newcome j who vemarks in 


1-18 Part 11. I.CORINTHIAN S. Sect. I. 11 . 

Ch. VII. To recur again to the case of the widow. By the 
^ "■ law of Christ a woman is bound to her husband as 
long as he liveth : and as I have stated at large, in 
treating of the odious offence which has disgraced 
your society, she can upon no account, excepting 
adultery, divorce her husband and marry another. 
But after her husband is dead, she is at full liberty 
to marry another ; only she must marry a believer, 
and not a heathen : for connecting herself with an 
unbeliever would be inconvenient, and dangerous 
in the extreme. And indeed, in my own judge- 
ment, it v/ould for the present be very imprudent to 
marry at all ; and she would be much happier and 
more respectable if she were to continue in her wi- 
dowhood. And without pretending to any express 
revelation upon the subject, and leaving the ques- 
tion, after all, to your own determination ; yet, upon 
the whole, I think, that the advice which I have so 
plainly and faithfully given you, though to some 
it may not be altogether palatable, is nevertheless 

his note, that " this is a very usual way in Greek wTiters of ex- 
pressing what really is so. See ch. xi. 16 j Gal. ii. 6, 9 ; Heb. 
iv. 1, xii. 11 ; and Bishop Pearce in loc. and on ch. xi. 16.' 
But though it is very true, as all expositors observe, that Sokcu 
is often an expletive, and does not imply doubt, yet it is not de- 
nied that it doe.s sometimes express hesitation, and here I think 
clearly so. But it is not a doubt concerning his inspiration : 
the apostle means only to express a belief, an opinion, a hope, 
but not amounting to absolute confidence, that the advice he 
had given was agreeable to the will of God, Had he been con- 
scious of his own inspiration, he would not have left an option 
to his readers whether to follow his advice or not. The spirit 
of God is God himself, see ch. iii. 1 1 ; and the apostle believed 
that the advice he had offered was such as God would approve. 

Pakt II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Ssct. I. 1] . 149 

agreeable to the will of God, and pointed out by Ch. vii. 
the dispensations of his providence. ^^^'- '^ ' 

I cannot but observe, how very erroneous the con- 
clusion is that many draw from the distinction which 
the apostle makes in this chapter between what he 
advises and what the Lord directs ; viz. that, where- 
ever he does not expressly deny his inspiration, he 
is to be regarded as inspired : whereas in truth, the 
contrary conclusion would be most agreeable to rea- 
son; viz. that, wherever he does not expressly assert 
his inspiration, he is not to be regarded as inspired. 
For inspiration is a miracle, which is never to be 
admitted but upon the clearest evidence. And the 
apostle no where claims unlimited inspiration. In 
the present case he evidently means to distinguish 
between the doctrine which our Lord had laid down 
during his public ministry concerning adultery and 
divorce, and that which he himself here advances, 
by way of faithful and friendly advice, adapted to 
the peculiar exigency of the circumstances of the 
Corinthian church ; and to this advice he claims no 
farther regard than what was due to his experience, 
his faithfulness, and his tender concern for their 
welfare : and though he thinks the counsel which he 
offers is acceptable to God, and indicated by the 
course of providence, he does not enforce it by apo- 
stolic authority, nor pretend to any particular reve- 
lation upon the question. 

150 PaktII, I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II, 


Cli. VIII. j'j.^^ apostle discusses at large the question which 
had been proposed to him concerning the laiuf ill- 
ness of eating the flesh of animals ivhich had heeri 
offered in sacrifice to idols . Ch. viii. 1 — xi. 1. 

Upon this question the Corinthians appear to 
have been divided in opinion i : the converts from 
Judaism seem to have maintained, that to partici- 

' Divkled in opinion.'] Bishop Pearce supposes, " that the Co- 
rinthian believers, while heathen, had been accustomed to par- 
take of feasts in an idol's temple upon meat which had a little 
before been offered in sacrifice to an idol : that perhaps the poor 
Christians had lived chiefly by this means, and that the rich 
ones were wiUing not to lose the pleasure of feasting and mirth. 
It does not appear from these chapters that any body among 
them thought it unlawful; but that some ate the meat as com- 
mon meat, and without thinlving there was any real divinity in 
the idol ; while others, not yet sound Christians, still retained 
some sense of a kind of divinity in the idol, and ate the meat 
as religiously ofl^ered up to the idol. St. Paul, therefore, being 
to answer this question of theirs about idol meats, answers No." 
But if the Corinthians had no difference of opinion with regard 
to the lawfulness of eating meat offered to idols, why did they 
write to the apostle Ut all about it ? In fact, there appears to 
have existed a very serious diversity of opinion upon the subject 
in the Corinthian church : for, ch. x. 28, the apostle supposes, 
that in a case in which the eating of such meat is by himself de- 
clared to be lawful, that is, at the table of a heathen friend, a 
scrupulous guest might bepresentwho would object to it as un- 
lawful : under which circumstances the apostle advises the 
sounder and stronger Christian, for charity's sake, to abstain 
from eating it. So that it is very plain that there were certain 
persons, in the Corinthian church, who felt very strong objec- 
tions against eating meat which had been offered to idols in any 
circumstances whatever : and these were probably converts from 
the Jewish religion. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 151 

pate in an idol sacrifice, or to eat the flesh of ani- Ch. viii. 
mals which had been offered at the altar of a hea- 
then deity, were universally iinlawful, and prohi- 
bited by the Christian law, whenever or wherever 
such flesh was offered to them. On the other hand, 
the converts from heathenism, professing to be con- 
vinced of the absolute nullity of heathen idols, 
thought it lawfid to eat any kind of food, in any 
place, and at any time ; and did not scruple to par- 
ticipate of the flesh of a victim, even in the temple 
of the idol to which it liad been offered. The 
apostle steers a middle course, and makes a proper 
distinction between the circumstances in which it 
was lawful, and those in which it was unlawful, to 
eat the flesh of a victim which had been offered in 
sacrifice to an idol. 

The question admits of three cases. 1. Whe- 
ther it be lawful to feast upon a victim in the tem- 
ple of tlie idol itself. 2. Whether it be allowed to 
purchase the flesh of such a sacrifice in the public 
market, and to eat it at home. 3. Whether it were 
permitted to a Christian to partake of it at the ta- 
ble of a heathen friend, by whom he might happen 
to be invited. 

The first and the most important case the apostle 
discusses very much at large, ch. viii. 1 — x. 22. 
The other two he dispatches in a few words : the 
second, ch. x. 23 — 26; and the last, ver. 27 — xi. 1. 

The apostle treats upon the first question, viz. 
Whether it be lawful to eat of an idol sacrifice in 
the idol's temple, under three general heads. 1 . He 

152 Part II, I. CORINTHIANS. Skct. II. 

Ch. vi!i. argues, that if the practice could be proved innocent 
in persons well instructed in the Christian doctrine, 
it would nevertheless be inexpedient, as having a 
tendency to ensnare the consciences of less informed 
and weaker Christians, ch. viii. throughout. 2. That 
this practice is inconsistent with that spirit of self- 
denial which the gospel requires : and he here ap- 
peals to his own example, in sacrificing his ow'n con- 
venience and gratification to general utility^ ch. ix. 
3. That, whatever they might think, the participa- 
tion of idol sacrifices in an idol's temple was an act 
of virtual idolatry ; and as such was absolutely un- 
lawful, and highly criminal, ch. x. 1 — 22. 

Case I. 

Whether it were consistent with the principles 
and the spirit of the Christian doctrine, to feast 
upon the flesh of a victim in the temple of the idol 
to which that victim had been offered, ch. viii. — 
X. 22. 

The inexpedience and unlawfulness of this prac- 
tice the apostle argues from various considerations. 

Argument I. 
The eating of idol sacrifices in an idol's temple, 
even if it could be proved innocent in itself, was 
inexpedient and uncharitable ; as it had a tendency 
to ensnare the consciences of weaker Christians, 
ch. viii. throughout. 

This Chapter consists of extracts from the letter 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. II. 153 

of the Corinthians i to the apostle, with the apos- Ch. viii. 
tie's remarks upon them, and objections to them. 
This is evident from the change of persons in the 
1st, the 4th, and the 8th verses, which are quota- 
tions from the Corinthian epistle ; and likewise from 
the express contradiction which the apostle makes 
to some of their assertions : compare ver. 1 and 7 . 
And indeed this distinction Is so obvious, it renders 
the sense so clear, and is so essential to any intelli- 
gible and consistent construction of the passage, that 
it is surprising that any attentive reader should ever 
have entertained a doubt about it, after it had been 
once suggested. 

1 . The apostle, having introduced the subject, 
quotes a passage from the Corinthian letter, in 
which they expi-ess their entire satisfaction in the 
knowledge they possess of the general principles of 
Christianity, ver. 1. 

Now as to the things offered to idols, you say Ver, r, 
" Tf^e are satisfied" that we all have knowledge i!"" 

^ Ex^racfs, &c.] Vide Saurin's Disc, vol. ii. p, 476 — 81 3 and 
Pearce's Commentary, in loc. 

* We are satisfied^ "These words," says Bishop Pearce, 
" and likewise those in ver. 4, 5, 6, 8, seem plainly enough to 
be the words of the Corinthians in their epistle to St. Paul ; to 
which he answers in this and the tvvo following chapters. In 
this view of them, this chapter will appear much more intelligi- 
ble than it is in our English version." 

This distinction between the language of the Corinthians and 
that of the apostle is so obvious, it is so clearly pointed out by 
the change of person, and so essential to the consistency of the 
apostle's declarations, it also makes the whole discourse so very 
plain and intelligible, that it is wonderful that it should have 

154 Part II. 1, C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 

Ch. VIII. You have written to ask my sentiments concern- 
ing the lawfuhiess of eating the flesh of victims 
which have heen offered in sacrifice ; and you begin 
with telHng me that you are well satisfied with your 
own knowledge, and that you are all so well in- 
structed that not one of you is ignorant of the Chris- 
tian doctrine concerning the Almighty Maker of 
the universe, and the infinite difference between the 
true God and senseless idols. 

2. The apostle interrupts the sentence with ani- 
madverting upon their vanity and self-conceit ; and 

been so long overlooked ; and still more surprising, that after it 
had been once suggested, it should fail to be universally adopt- 
ed. Not only did it not occur to the earlier commentators, 
Erasmus, Grotius, Beza, Crellius, &c., but it does not appear 
to have been know^n to Locke or Whitby ; and though it is so 
clearly illustrated by Bishop Pearce, it seems to have been neg- 
lected by all contemporary and subsequent translators and ex- 
positors, such as Doddridge, Harwood, Newcome, Wakefield, 
and Macknight. llosenmuller adopts it, but as the suggestion 
of another German commentator : his words are — " Assentior 
Noesselto, Opusc. fasc. ii. p. 150, qui h(ec verba non Pauli esse 
arbitratur, sed Corlnthiorum , quorum sententiam recitet, atque 
turn contradicat. Paulus enhn, qui infra, com. 7, scrihit hk ev 
iraa-iv -Tj yvwcng, aperte sibi contradixisset, si hoc loco affirmasset, 
on iravrss yvcua-iv s^oi^sv." 

We are satisfied, oiSafjisv " we know that we all have know- 
ledge." Taking these as the words of the Corinthians, which 
vmdoubtedly they are, it shows in what a spirit of vanity and 
self-conceit their epistle was written. This accounts for the 
apostle's appearing to taunt them occasionally with thefr preten- 
sions to knowledge. Perhaps they might have made some pe- 
culiarly improper boast of their knowledge, in the case of the 
incestuous person, and on the subject of appeals to heathen 
courts of judicature ; which might provoke the repeated sar- 
casms of the apostle in the sixth chapter. 

' Conceited of his knowledge. '\ Soksi siSsvai rr *•' pretendeth 
to know any thing." Pearce.— " have the credit of knowing any 
thing." Wakefield. 

- He kiioweih not 7jet.'] The received text reads " he knov/eth 
nothing, &c.:" but the Alexandrine manuscript reads sttw for 
aSsro!- and both that and many other ancient copies drop sSev. 
See Pearce and Griesbach. 

' By him God is known :] srof syvwa-rai vii avfs. " The 
apostle's design," says Bishop Pearce, " is to prove who it is 
that has knowledge, not who it is that is known ; and accordingly 
^to; should be relative with the nearest substantive, which i.s 
here ©sov." See also Doddridge in loc. The common transla- 
tion is, " the same is known of Him," i. e. of God ; who regards 
him with complacency. '"' God will acknowledge him here and 
hereafter." Newcome. Locke gives the verb a hiphil sense, 
«jr. d. he is made to know by him : that is, he is taught by God, 
and refers to Gal. iv. 9. Wakefield, upon the authority of the 
iEthiopic, reads ovrcos for ^ros, and renders the wordsj " But if 
any one love God, he knoweth this matter truly." 

Ver. — 1. 

Part II. I. C O Pv I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. lo5 

represents the true knowledge of God as consisting Ch. viii. 
in suitable regards towards him, ver. 1 — 3. 

Knowledge piiffeth up, hut love edifies. But if 
any one be conceited of his knoiuledge'^, he know- 
eth not yet ~ as he ought to knotv. But if any man 
love God, by fmii God is kjioiun 3. 

If you have the knowledge you pretend to, it is 
very well : but let me remind you, that though true 
knowledge never fails to produce humility, superfi- 
cial knowledge generates self-conceit ; and self-con- 
ceit is an unfavourable symptom where great pre- 
tensions are made to superior wisdom. Indeed, 
the only and true valuable knowledge of God con- 
sists in love to him, in just apprehensions of his ex- 
cellencies, in admiration of his greatness and good- 
ness, gratitude for his mercies, and that devotion of 
spirit towards him which is productive of cheerful 

15G ! 'a.ut II. 1. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 

Ch. VIII. and uniform obedience. Thus to love God is Ho 
know him in the truest 
most important purpose 

know him in the truest sense, and to the best and 

3. The apostle proceeds with the quotation which 
he had begun, in which the Corinthians state their 
firm and unanimous conviction of the nullity of the 
heathen gods, and their fixed belief in the unity of 
God, and in the authority of Christ as their only 
Master, ver. 4 — 6. 

'^ As to the eating, therefore, of th'mgs sacrificed 
to idols, we know ^ that an idol hath no existence in 
the ivorld^, and that there is no God but one^. 

5. For though there be some which are called Gods, 
whether in heaven or on earth ^, as there are many 

6. gods and many lords ^ ; yet to us there is but ojie 

' We know.'] Tliis change of persons plainly indicates that the 
apostle is again making a quotation from the letter of the Corin- 

- yln idol hath no existence.'] " an idol in the world is no- 
thing." Pearce. — " a worldly idol is nothing." Wakefield. — 
Pearce reads shv zs-iv ei$ojXov, and appeals to MSS. from W'et- 
stcin ; but no various reading occurs in Griesbach. 

^ No God but one.'] The received text reads, " there is no 
other Godj" but the word krspos is wanting in the Alexandrine 
and many other copies, and though retained by Griesbach is 
dropped by Pearce. 

■* In heaven or on earth.] "In heaven, as the Dii majores of 
the heathen world. See J. Mede's works fol. p. 242, 627. — On 
earth. As nymphs, fauns, and other inferior deified powers, sup- 
posed to be messengers and mediators between the celestial 
gods and mankind." Newcome. 

* Many gods and many lords.] " In the estimation of the hea- 
then." Newcome : which no doubt is the true interpretation ; 
and not that v,'hich the learned prelate proposes as the better 
sense, viz. angels in heaven, and kings or magistrates on earth,. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. U)? 

Gody even the Father^ of whom are all things, a nd Ch. vni. 

ive for Mm; and one Lord, even Jesus Chr 1st, ^^^' 

through whom are all things, and we throi igh 

You go on to say, We are all convinced th; it a 
heathen idol is a mere nullity, and that there is c mly 
one God. Upon this head we need no instruct! on ; 
for though in the heathen world there are many su- 
perior and inferior, celestial and terrestrial G ods 
and Lords, some of whom are supposed to be ori- 
ginally divine, and others of earthly extraction, v dio, 
for their virtues or their exploits, have been advar iced 
to the rank of heroes and demi-gods ; neverthel ess, 
we, who have embraced the Christian faith, I luve 
learned a different doctrine. To us there is but 
one God, even the father of the whole human r ace, 
the creator of all things, whose creatures, wl lose 
servants, and whose children we are, and to wb icm 
alone all worship and homage is due ; and one 
master, even Jesus Christ, by whom all the glorl cus 
discoveries of the gospel were revealed to the bur. lan 
race, and through whom we have been introdu ced 
into the family of God, and are made heirs of ; im- 

who in the Old Testament are somethnes called Elohim or Gc >ciw ; 
which would have been nothing to the apostle's purpose, and 
of which, possibly, the Corinthians had never heard. — Mr. Lc eke 
explains the text, " To us Christians there is but one soverei ign, 
God the Father, of whom are all things, and to whom, as su- 
])reme, we are to direct all our services ; and but one Lc ird- 
Agent Jesus Christ, by whom are all things that come fi om 
the Father to us, and through whom alone we find access ; to 

158 1 >ART 11. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 

Ch. VIII. Let us observe here the simplicity of this truly 
^'* ■ p rimitive and apostolic symbol ^ of Christian faith. 
1. low clear, how important, how comprehensive the 
p. [inciples which are here avowed, and how widely 
di Ifferent from those mysterious symbols and formu- 
la ries which were devised in after ages by synods, 
ai id councils of fallible, passionate, and ambitious 
m en ; the formation of which was an insult upon 
th je human understanding, and the compulsory im- 
pc Isition of which has proved the bitter source of the 
m ost disgraceful animosities, and bloody persecu- 
ti( ins ! 

4. The apostle, in reply, denies that all the be- 

lit vers at Corinth were so well instructed in the 

C liristian doctrine as their letter pretends, and af- 

iir ms that there were some ill-informed members 

of ' the Corinthian church, who still entertained a 

su perstitious regard for the heathen gods, ver. 7. 

7. Nevertheless 2, all of you have not this know- 

* Apostolic symbol!] " Tliere cannot be (says Dr. Priestley, 

wl 10 understands the text as the language of the apostle,) a 

m 3re decisive evidence of any thing than that which this pas- 

sa ge affords, that in the opinion of the apostle Paul no being 

w pUS to be considered as God, but the Father only ; and that 

C [irist was by no means entitled to that appellation. If Christ 

h; id been justly entitled to the appellation of God, and had been 

a proper object of worship, he could never have said, that there 

is but one God, the Father ; especially as, immediately after, 

h« ; mentions Christ not as God, but only as Lord, or master. 

T his would necessarily have led his reader into a mistake, if 

C hrist had really been God." 

^ Nevertheless.'] " aXKa is here put for aAX' o/a.w;, nevcrthc- 

It iss. See ch. ix. 12 j Phil. ii. 7 ; Rom. v. 14." Pearce j who very 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 159 

ledge; for some being accustomed^ to the idol to Ch. viii. 
this day, eat it as a thing sacrificed to an idol; and ^^' ' ' 
their conscience being weak^ is polluted. 

But allow me to remark, the principles you pro- 
fess are indeed just, and excellent, and it were much 
to be wished that all who embraced the Christian 
faith, possessed these correct and truly Christian 
views of the unity and character of the supreme 
being, and of the divine authority of Jesus, their 
sole master, as well as of the absolute nullity of all 
the heathen gods. But when you say, that all of 
you possess this knowledge, you mis-state the fact: 
for some who have been early habituated to idol 
worship, though much enlightened by Christian 
truth, cannot at once change the current of their 
moral feelings ; and if they eat of an idol sacrifice 
in an idol temple, they will regard it as an act of 

justly observes, that "unless the words, ver. 1, * We know that 
we all have knowledge,' are supposed to be the words of the 
Corinthians, what St. Paul here says will b6 scarcely consistent 
with what he says there, and in ver. 4." 

' Being accustomed to the idol^ a-uv/j^sia is the reading of the 
Alexandrine and some other manuscripts, and of the Coptic and 
Ethiopic Versions j it is adopted by Pearce and Wakefield. The 
received text reads a-vvsiSTjosi, " with consciousness ;'" which 
though Griesbach retains, he nevertheless marks the other read- 
ing as of nearly equal authority, 

* Being weak.'] " being unenlightened and 'scrupulous, is de- 
filed by guilt J they eating contrary to conviction, and to avoid 
the contempt of those Christians who were better informed." 
Newcome. — Bishop Pearce gives a different sense. " By the 
weak, the apostle always means those who thought an idol had 
some divinity in it, and therefore ate idol meats with a religious 
reverence." The bishop supposes they had no scruples upon 
the subject ; but that by this act they joined idolatry with ChrLs- 

160 Paui II. I. CORIN TIIIANS. Skct. II. 

Ch. VIII. worship ; and in them it is indisputably an act of 
"■ " idolatry, whether the act be innocent or not in those 
who are more enlightened. 

5. The Corinthians further state it as their per- 
suasion, that under the Christian dispensation food 
is an article of perfect indifference, and that they are 
at liberty to eat any kind of wholesome meat at any 
time and in any place, ver. 8. 
8. * Hut meat will not bring lis into judgement be- 
fore God ', for neither if we forbear to eat, are 
ive the better; nor if we eat, are ive the worse ^ 

Christianity, you say, is a sublime and spiritual 
doctrine. It lays no stress upon ceremonial distinc- 
tions and matters of indifference ; but solely upon 
duties of moral obligation . In the day of final ac- 
count, no inquiry will be made, what was the kind 
or the quality of the food which we ate, nor when, 
or where, or in what circumstances we partook of 
these animal refreshments. We are therefore con- 

' JBri«» M3 into judgement.'] Pearce and Wakefield, with the 
Alexandrine MS. read 7ra§as'rj<r£i, and /iz-ij is placed before the 
first (pa.yuiij.ev , and omitted before the last : viz. Ours yap sav (xti 
0ayu)[Mv 'jrepKro', sts zav (paywiisv vfepsu^s^a. ITie re- 
ceived text reads Ttapirr^crt, recommendeth : and in the first 
clause eav (paycuy^zv, " ifioe eat, are we the better." " But none 
of the Corinthians could possibly suppose that they would be the 
better for eating, or the worse for not eating. All that they 
imagined was, that there was no harm in eating, and no merit 
in abstaining." Bishop Pearce. The bishop also observes, from 
Ulpian, " that Ttapirocvai is a law term, used in the sense of 
bringing a man before a tribunal." The change of persons 
again indicates that this passage is a quotation from the letter of 
the Corinthians : and with this the citations end. 

PaktII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 161 

vinced, that there is no merit in forbearins; to eat Ch. vnr. 

1 • J f ^ • 1 • • . Ver. 8. 

any kmd ot meat m any place ; nor, any sm m eat- 
ing it. To partake therefore of an idol sacrifice, 
even in an idol temple, is, upon the principles of 
our spiritual institute, a circumstance of absolute 
indifference, and perfectly innocent. 

6. The apostle, for argument's sake, allowing the 
principle, cautions them against making such a use 
of their liberty as would ensnare their weaker bre- 
thren, ver. 9 — 11. 

But see that this liberty of yours be not a stum- 9. 

bling block to the weak. 

Granting your principle to its utmost extent, I 
nevertheless solemnly warn you, that you use not 
this your liberty, whatever it be, however extensive 
you may deem it, in such a manner as to ensnare 
others not so well informed as yourselves, and tempt 
them to do what would in them be a serious offence. • 

For if any one see thee, ivho hast knowledge, sit- lo, 

ting at meat ^ in an idol's temple, will not the con- 

• Sitting at meat.] jcaraxfii/xsvov, lying down : the ancients 
took their food in a recumbent posture. "The gentiles, says 
Josephus, offer hecatombs to their gods, and use their temples 
for their banqueting house. Cont. Apion. 1. ii. So we read Jud. 
X. 27, Amos ii. 27, and in profane authors very frequently. 
When, therefore, says the apostle, the weak Jews who abhorred 
idols, or the gentiles newly converted from the worship of them, 
shall see thee doing the same thing which heathens do in ho- 
nour of their idols, and that in places appropriated to their 
worship, will they not be tempted by the example of such a 
strong and knowing Christian to conclude, that either idolatry 
is by Christians accounted no sin, or, that the idol deserves 
some honour ; and so comply with them, from their erroneous 
principles, in eating things offered to idols ?" Whitby. 

162 Part II. 1. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. II. 

Ch. VIII. science of hhn who is weak, be encouraged to eat 
Ver. 11. things sacrificed to idols? Andivill not the weak 
brother, for ivhom Christ died, perish^ through thy 

knowledge P 

Suppose it to be, as you state, an innocent thing 
for you who are convinced of the perfect nullity of 
the idol, to feast in an idol's temple upon an idol's 
sacrifice, will not the weaker believer, who has not 

' For whom Christ died, perish.'] "From this," says Dr. 
Whitby, " and from Rom. xiv, 15, it is strongly argued, that 
Christ intentionally died for those who may for ever perish. 
For here the apostle dissuades the Corinthians from scandaliz- 
ing their weak brethren, by an argument taken from the eter- 
nal ruin they may bring upon them by this scandal. Whereas, 
if it be, as some assert, that all things, even the sins of the elect, 
shall work together for their good, and that they can never pe- 
rish ; if the apostle knew and taught this doctrine to them, 
why does he go about to fright them from this scandal which 
he before had told them was impossible ?" 

In this way Dr. Whitby argues against the Calvinistic doc- 
trines of election, and particular redemption. And yet it vi'ould 
not have been easy for the learned Theologian to prove, that 
any of those whom God from his foreknowledge has chosen to 
salvation, will eventually fall away. But I believe that the 
apostle had no such doctrines as general or particular redemp- 
tion, election, or perseverance in his view, when he wrote this 
or any other epistle. The true meaning appears to me to be 
this. All who believe in Christ, and who are members of the 
Christian community, are said to be redeemed, and sometimes, 
to be redeemed by the blood of Christ. Because his death was 
the last public act of his ministry : it sealed his mission j it ra- 
tified that new covenant by which Jews and Gentiles believing 
in Christ formed one holy community. For all the members 
of this community, while they continue such, Christ is said to 
have died, because they participate in the benefits of that cove- 
nant of which his death was the seal. When by an act of ido- 
latry they violate and cast themselves out of covenant, they are 
in danger of perishing by relapsing into the errors and vices of 
their heathen state. All this is perfectly plain and intelligible, 
and the apostle probably meant no more. 

PaktII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 163 

overcome his religious reverence for the idol, be in- Ch. V[u. 
duced by your example to eat of the idol sacrifice ^^' 
likewise, which in him will be an act of idolatry, 
that will separate him from the Christian commu- 
nity, and reduce him to his heathen state ? And 
will he not hereby forfeit the privileges of that cove- 
nant, which was ratified with the blood of Christ, 
and of which he enjoys the benefit while he abstains 
from idolatry ? And will not thy weak brother, in 
consequence of this improper use of thy liberty, be 
brought into danger of returning to the superstitions 
and vices of his heathen state, and thus of being 
finally lost ? Can this, think you, be a matter of 
indifference ? Can that conduct be innocent, which 
leads to consequences so pernicious ? 

7. Such behaviour as this is inconsistent with the 
principles and spirit of the gospel, and a gross vio- 
lation of the law of Christ, ver. 12. 

JVow when ye thus sin against your brethren^ i2. 

and wound their weak consciences, ye sin against 
Christ 2. 

Whatever you may think concerning the indif- 
ference of meats, or whatever may be the fact with 
regard to the intrinsic lawfulness or unlawfulness 
of partaking of an idol's sacrifice in an idol temple, 
one thing is most certain, that when you thus by 

* Ye sin against Christ.'] You sin against Christ's mystical 
body, the chuix-h, by the injury you do to its weaker members. 
Or, you offend Christ himself, who takes the injury done to the 
least of his brethren as done to his own person. See Matt, xxv, 
4'>; Acts ix. 4. 


164 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. II, 

Ch. VIII. your conduct lay a snare for weaker Christians, en- 
tangle their consciences, and draw them into ido- 
latry and perdition, you are guilty of a palpable vio- 
lation of the first principles of the law of Christ, 
which requires you to love your neighbour as your- 

8. The apostle finally declares, that for his own 
part he would sooner give up the use of all animal 
food entirely, than be thus guilty of laying a snare 
in the way of weaker Christians, ver. 13. 
13. Therefore, if meat lay a snare in the luay of my 
brother, I would never eat flesh as long as I live ', 
rather than lay a snare in my brother s way. 

If actions the most innocent, if gratifications the 
most lawful, are the accidental means of ensnaring 
others to their destruction, I would rather forbear 
those actions, and for ever deny myself those gra- 
tifications, than lay a snare in the way of others, by 
tempting them to do what in their circumstances 
would be criminal, though perfectly innocent in my 
own. For the Christian doctrine teaches us the 
generous maxim, that we are not to live to our- 

' As long as I live.'] eig rov aiuuva,, for ever, as long as I live. 
See John xiv. 16, and Simpson on the language of Scripture. 
•^•^ during the whole course of my life." Newcome. "I will 
never, as long as I live, eat any such," i. e. meat oftered to idols. 
Pearce. "I will eat no flesh while the world standeth" is the 
.singular phraseology of the public version. It is natural to re- 
mark here, to how short a period the word aiwv is limited j and 
how little reason there is to understand it as uniformly express- 
ing eternal duration, when in the present connexion it can 
mean no longer than the life of an individual. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 165 

selves, but to others, especially to Christ ; and that Ch. viii. 
the governing principle of our conduct should be ^'- • 
the general good. 

Argument II. 

The apostle having introduced the mention of Ch. ix. 
himself, proceeds to the Second Head of his Argu- 
ment 2, and from his ovi^n example of self-denial for 
the general good, from his declining to insist upon 
those privileges to which he had an equitable claim, 
and from his voluntary subjection of himself to the 
caprice and humours of others, in order to promote 

^ The second head of argument.'] This passage is a remark- 
able illustration of that judicious observation of Mr. Locke, that 
" they who accuse St. Paul as a loose writer, prove themselves 
to be loose readers." A superficial reader would naturally con- 
clude, that the apostle having entered upon a discourse con- 
cerning the lawfulness of eating meat which had been offered 
to idols, suddenly digresses to expatiate upon his own and his 
colleagues' right to a maintenance which they had declined} 
after which, he abruptly introduces the case of the idolatry of 
the Israelites in the wilderness ; and then suddenly and with- 
out any apology returns to the case of eating idol sacrifices, 
from which he had so unnecessarily digressed ; thus attributing 
to the apostle the character of a rambling writer, and a man 
of obscure and ill-sorted ideas. Whereas, in fact, and in a 
manner sufficiently obvious to an attentive reader, while he in- 
troduces obliquely a complete justification of himself from the 
charge insinuated by his opponents thai he was a selfish inter- 
ested man, he at the same time keeps his main argument cour 
stantly in vie^v, which was to urge them, from his own example, 
to sacrifice not only their own inclinations, but even their ac- 
knowledged rights, to the advancement of the gospel, and to 
warn them, after the example of the Israelites, to guard against 
idolatrous practices which would be offensive to God, and dan- 
gerous to themselves. And in the conclusion of the tenth chap- 
ter he brings the argument home. 


Ch. IX. the success of the gospel, he strongly insinuates the 
propriety of declining the participation of idol sa- 
crifices in an idol temple, even though it could be 
proved that such conduct were in itself innocent. 
This argument extends through the whole of the 
Ninth Chapter. 

1 . The apostle declares that being a free man, 
an apostle, and more especially their apostle, he 
with his colleagues and family had an equal right 
with other free men and other apostles, to be main- 
" tained by those to whose instruction he gave up his 
time, ver. 1 — 6. 
Ver. I. ^?n I not a free man ^ 9 

And therefore have not I a right to employ my 
time and talents for my own advantage, and to ex- 
pect emolument proportionate to my labour and 
exertions, which, if a slave, I could not pretend to .^ 

Am J not an apostle ? have I not seen Jesus 
Christ our Lord^ ? 

' Am I not a free man ?'] This clause is placed first in order 
in the Alexandrine and many other manuscripts : and in the Sy- 
riac, Coptic, Vulgate, and iEthiopic Versions. Griesbach adopts 
it in his second edition, q. d. " Am I not a free man ? and there- 
fore ought I not to expect a reward of my labour ? Slaves indeed 
have no title to wages, but free men have. And this sense of 
the word," continues Bishop Pearce, " seems to me more natu- 
ral and apposite to this place than the common interpretation, 
viz. Am I not free to do what I j)lease ? In my sense, it relates 
to St. Paul's natural, and not to his Christian liberty: and in 
the order of the verse, as mentioned above, there is a beautiful 
gradation from his right as a man, to his right as an apostle, as 
an apostle favoured with a sight of Christ after his ascension^ 
and lastly, as an apostle who was ^Aeir apostle." 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 167 

Has not the Lord Jesus himself appeared to me ? Ch. ix. 
Has he not invested me with the apostolic office ? 
has he not given me a commission to pi^ach the go- 
spel to the Gentiles, and to bear witness to his re- 
surrection ? 

Are not ye my ivorkmajiship in the Lord? 

Have I not been the instrument of your conver- 
sion to the Christian faith ? 

If J be not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I 2. 

am to you', for ye, in the Lord, are the seal of my 

Whatever pretence others may make to doubt of 
my call, or of my qualifications for the apostolic 
office, you can have none : you have heard my doc- 
trine ; you have been witnesses to my spiritual gifts 
and supernatural powers ; you have been converted 
by my ministry ; you have received the holy spirit 
by the imposition of my hands ; your profession of 
Christianity is an ample testimonial to the genuine- 
ness of my commission. I am your apostle at least, 
if not the apostle of any other church. 

JMy defence to those who examine * me is this. 3. 

If any one please to assume the office of a judge, 
and to demand what my rights and claims as a free 

' Seen Jesus Christ our Lord.'] " And therefore can bear wit- 
ness to his resurrection. Acts i. 22." Archbishop Newcome. 

^ Thesealofimjapostleshlp.'] " Your conversion proves my 
apostlesliip, as a seal authenticates a writing." Newcome. 

* fVho exanmie.'] " avocKpivsiv estforense vocabulum, quod de 
industria usurpavit apostolus, ut ohitei- arrogcmtiam eorum no- 
taret, qui ipsius vocationem in dubium vocabant, quasi judices se- 
derent de hac causa cognituri." RosenmuUer, — "who set up aa 
inquisition upon me." Locke. 

168 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 

Ch. IX. man, an apostle, and as your apostle, are, this is 
my reply. 

Ver. 4. Have we not a right to a maintenance ' ? 

Have not we, who devote our time to public in- 
struction, a right to be supported by those for whose 
advantage we labour ? If our time and industry 
were employed in secular affairs, we might maintain 
ourselves and our families in comfort, perhaps in 
affluence; have we not then a right to a competence, 
when that time and that industry are devoted to 
your improvement .^ 
6. Have lue not a light to lead about with us a he- 
lievi7ig wife ^, as the other apostles, and the bre- 
thren of the Lord^, and as Cephas do ? 

' A right to a mamte.nance?'\ s^scnav (paysiv xai ifivsiv ; "a, 
power to eat and to drink ?" — " Have I not a right to meat and 
drink where I preach?" Locke. — "1 render a^8(na, a right, 
not a power. My translation takes off all ambiguity in this and 
the following verses. See ch. viii. 9 ; Rom. ix. 21 ; Matt. vii. 
29, viii. 9. E^scricx, signifies power in general j sometimes a 
natural power, sometimes an usurped power ; and sometimes a 
power given by human or divine laws, and then it is best ren- 
dered right.'" Bishop Pearce. — " Inter Judccos res erat satis 
usitata, ut Doctores victum acciperent a cimctis qui suppeditare 
et possent, et vellent. Paulus vero ista venia usus non est, sed 
potius vianuum labore victum sibi qiiccsivlt, ut abesset ah omni spe- 
cie alienorum consiliorum." Rosenmuller. 

* A believing wife^ a JeAtpijv yuvaoca, a sister, a wife. "■ A 
Christian woman," says Mr. Locke, " to provide our conve- 
niences and be serviceable to us." He remarks, that " in those 
parts, there were not, as among us, inns, where travellers might 
have their conveniences ; and strangers could not be accommo- 
dated with necessaries, unless they had somebody with them to 
take that care and to provide for them. They who would make 
it their business to preach, and neglect this, must needs suffer 
great hardships." But surely this would hardly be consistent 
with decorum, unless the woman were a wife or some near re- 
lation. — ."Our Bible," .says Bishop Pearce, "renders this to 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS, Skct. II. 1 69 

Are not we entitled to the same privileges as the Ch. ix. 
other apostles ? and have not we an equal right with 
the apostle Peter, or with James, or Jude, the near 
relations of Jesus, to take our wives or sisters with 
us, in our apostolic circuits, and to be maintained 
with them at the public charge.^ 

We cannot from this expression certainly infer, 

lead about a sister, a wife ; but I choose rather to render it a 
Christian wife. It is well known that St. Paul means always, 
by ahK(poi or ahkcpyj, a brother or sister in the Christian reli- 
gion. See ch. i. 1 j Rom. xvi. ] . St. Paul means to say. Have 1 
not a right to marry a wife and to carry her along with me in 
my travels, to be maintained at the charge of those churches 
which I found and establish by my preaching ? It does not, 
therefore, appear from hence that the apostle was married ; he 
only insists upon having a right to marry, and to have his wife 
maintained at the expense of his converts, provided she was a 
Christian wife." — Still, however, it has been thought by some, 
that the apostle would hardly have made the supposition in the 
text, if he had not had a wife to lead about with him. Tliey 
regard this text, therefore, in connexion with Philipp. iv. 3, as 
affording a presumption that the apostle Paul was a married man, 
and that his wife was living. — "A Christian wife." Archbishop 
Newcome, so likewise Bishop Pearce : and Mr. Locke " a Chris- 
tian woman." It cannot be unobserved how cautiously the apos- 
tle avoids using the word Christian. It never once occurs in all 
his writings ; and yet it is impossible that he should not have 
known that it was a title given to the disciples at Antioch. Acts 
xi. 26. A plain proof that this name was not, as some have 
thought, given by divine appointment : for then it would have 
been in universal use. The epithet Christian was probably first 
applied by their adversaries as a term of reproach ; though it was 
eagerly adopted, in a very early age, as a title of honour. This 
however does not appear to have happened while Paul was living. 
It may therefore be questioned, whether it is quite correct to in- 
troduce into a translation of his epistles, a word which the apos- 
tle himself cautiously and purposely avoids ? 

' The brethren of the Lord.'] The general tradition is, that 
our Lord had no brethren, and Mary no other child ; but this 
may be doubted. 

170 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IF. 

Ch. IX. that the apostle had a wife living, though it seems 
not very improbable that he might have one; and 
that while the other apostles took their wives with 
them, to bear them company in the duties of their 
mission, the apostle Paul, though he here strongly 
asserts his equal right to be maintained, with his fa- 
mily, at the public charge, thought it upon the 
whole expedient to leave his wife at Philippi, while 
he encountered the labours and dangers attached to 
his office in foreign countries ; that he might not 
be drawn off from public duties by family cares. It 
is obvious to remark here, how diametrically oppo- 
site the Popish doctrine of the celibacy of the clergy 
is, both to the sentiments and to the practice of the 
apostles of Christ. 

6. Or is it only I and Barnabas^ who have no right 
to abstain from luorking P 

You admit that the apostles at Jerusalem, when 
they take a missionary circuit, have a right to be 
maintained at the public charge, together with their 
families ; and why are not I and Barnabas entitled 
to the same privileges ? why are we to be excepted 
from the general rule, and to be obliged to work 
for our living, when other teachers, who may not 
have equal claims, are supported without the neces- 
sity of pursuing any secular employment ? 

2. The common sense and the general practice 
of mankind warrant the claim of maintenance from 
those who are berefited by public instruction, ver. 7. 

7. If^Ao ever serveth in an army at his oiun ex^ 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 171 

pense 9 who planteth a vineyard, and doth not eat Ch. ix. 
of thefridt of it ? who tcndeth a flock, and doth not '''" '' 
feed upon the milk of the flock ? 

How then can it be expected, that he who takes 
a leading part in the Christian warfare, and occu- 
pies the most laborious and hazardous station, 
should serve without maintenance, at least, at the 
public charge ? how can it be expected, that he who 
plants tlie vineyard of God, who breaks up the fal- 
low ground, and watches, and prunes, and rears the 
tender plants, and guards them from storms and 
blights, should be left without a moderate reward 
for his labours? or. How can it in reason be de- 
sired, that they who tend the sheep and feed the 
lambs of Christ, who lead them into the rich and 
fertile pastures of the gospel, and who guard them 
with vigilant care from the attacks of fierce and ra- 
venous beasts which are ready to worry and devour, 
should devote their whole time and attention to the 
safety and welfare of the flock, without receiving 
that suitable compensation for their labours, which 
their flocks are well able to yield ? 

Observe here, that the apostle does not require 
that the ministers of the gospel should be main- 
tained in splendour ; he only pleads for a decent 
support proportioned to the circumstances of the 
church to which their labours are devoted, and to 
which, upon every principle of reason and justice, 
they are undoubtedly entitled. 

172 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 

Ch. IX. 3. The law of Moses establishes this principle 
of equitable remuneration, ver. 8 — 10. 

Ver. 8. Sai/ I these things upon human authority only i ? 
y. and doth not the law too say the same f For it is 
written in the laiv of Moses, (Deut. xxv. 4,) Thou 
shalt not muzzle the ox while he is treading out 
10. the corn 2. Doth God care for oxen 9 Or doth he 
say this chiefly 3 for our sakes P Yes ; for it was 
written for our sakes^ ; that he ivho ploweth ought 
to plow in hope, and he who thresheth ought to 
thresh in hope of partaking^, 

' Uipon human authority only ?] xara ayOpwirov, " according 
to man." "Say I this on the authority of man ?" Wakefield. 
" Do I say these things and argue thus according to man, and 
upon human authority only ?" Bishop Pearce. 

* Treading out the corn.'] This was the custom in Judea and 
other nations of the East. See RosenmuUer in loc. Bochart, 
Hierozoic, p. i. 1. 2. § 32. 

' Chiefly for our sakes.'] ifavTios, omnino, altogether: but it 
cannot be supposed that the apostle means to say that God has 
no care for the animal creation. This, therefore, is an illus- 
tration of that Jewish idiom, by which preference is expressed 
by a negation of that which is less preferable. So " labour not 
for the meat which perisheth," John vi. 27. See Doddridge : 
and Pearce's note on 1 Cor. i. 17. 

■* Yes ;for it icas written for our sakes.] " I have added yes,'' 
says Bishop Pearce, " (as Diodati adds certe,) at the end of the 
question, by way of answer to it, and to make ycco have a pro- 
per sense here. This way of asking a question, and dropping 
the answer, and yet of going on as if the question was answer- 
ed, is not unusual with St. Paul. See 2 Cor. x. 20, xii. 3 1 j 
Rom. viii. 37." 

* In hope of partaking.] This reading is of very good autho- 
rity. See Griesbach, Pearce, and L'Enfant. The received text 
reads, " that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of 
his hope." Griesbach reads, "he who thresheth ought to par- 
take of his hope." Schulzius renders the passage, " It was al- 
together for our sake that it was written, that the ox which plows 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 173 

The divine directions in the Mosaic law are agree- Ch. ix. 
able to, and confirm the principles of common ^^*' ' 
equity. The law requires that the ox, while he is 
treading out the corn, should not be muzzled, but 
be permitted to eat what he pleased. The imme- 
diate object of this law is, to teach the exercise of 
humanity towards the brute creation. But God, 
who by this beneficent law manifested his kind at- 
tention to inferior animals, had in view a still more 
important object. By this law he meant to incul- 
cate the important duty of justice between man and 
man, and to teach that the labourer has a right to 
be maintained sufficiently from the profits of his la- 
bour. And by parity of reason, that the ministers 
of the gospel, who are labouring for the instruction 
and edification of others, have a right to expect a 
decent support from those who receive the advan- 
tage of their instructions. 

4. He argues the reasonableness of a moderate 
maintenance, from the superior value of the bless- 
ings communicated by the teachers of the gospel, 
ver. 11. 

If we have sown^ among you spiritual things^ 11. 

is it a great matter that we should reap your car- 
nal things 9 

should plow in hope, and that the ox which treadeth out the 
corn should enjoy expected food." Of this interpretation Ro- 
senmuller is disposed to approve. 

^' If we have sown^ " My first argument for my right of 
being maintained is, that labour ought to be rewarded. An- 
other argument is, &c." Bishop Pearce. 

174 Paut II. I. C O R 1 N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 

Ch. IX. If we have introduced the gospel among you with 
all its privileges, promises and blessings, and have 
recovered you from a state of idolatry, of ignorance, 
of sin and death, to wisdom, virtue, and piety, and 
to the glorious hope of immortality, can you grudge 
us that share in your temporal possessions, that is 
necessary for our convenient support ? Is there 
any comparison in the value of the blessings thus 
exchanged ? can there be any doubt on which side 
the advantage lies ? 

5. The apostle and his fellow labourers had a 
better right to a maintenance than some, who were 
actually supported by the Corinthians, though, for 
good reasons, they had waved their claim while they 
resided at Corinth, ver. 12. 
12. If' others' share m ihis right ^ over t/ou, ought 
not lue rather ? Yet, we have not made use of this 
right ; hut we endure 3 all things, that lue may not 
occasion any hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 

There are those among you who claim to be 
maintained, and who exercise authority over you, 

' Oihers!] " He glances at his opponents. Hence they must 
have been teachers agreeably to ch. iv. 15." Newcome, See 
2 Cor. xi. 20. 

' Sliare in this righl.'] Mr. Locke woiild read sffiag, substance, 
instead of right; but Bishop Pearce justly observes, that as 
there is no authority for the change, so the text does not need 
any alteration. 

' But we endure.'] Bishop Pearce thinks that ajji^x, simul, imo, 
in English, withal, yea, shoiild be read in this place instead of 
aKKc/., hut; q. (h we have not used this right, ^jea, we endure all 
things, &c. See Rom. iii. 12. The same error, as he thinks, 
occurs Rom. vi. 5, and certainly Isa. .xliii, 17. LXX, 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 1/5 

who, to say the least, have no better right to it than Ch. ix. 
ourselves, nor yet an equal one ; but while we re- 
sided with you, we waved our claim of a mainte- 
nance, just and equitable as it was ; and, to prevent 
all cavil, as though we acted from sinister motives 
and secular views, we were at the trouble and in- 
convenience of working at our secular employments, 
in order to provide support for ourselves, that ca- 
lumny might have no pretence to injure our charac- 
ters, and obstruct the progress of the gospel. 

6. It is the appointment of Christ that Chris- 
tian teachers shall be supported by those among 
whom they labour, as the Jewish priests and Levites 
were maintained by the revenues of the temple and 
the altar, ver. 13, 14. 

Know ye not, that those who perform the ser- , 13- 
vices of the temple * are maintained from the tem- 
ple^ P and that those who attend at the altar ^ are 
jmrtakers luith the altar ? So also the Lord hath 14. 

* Who perform the services of the temple.'] So Wakefield. " ol 
ra hpcc B^ya^o[jiBvoi, who minister about holy things." Pearce, 
Newcome. — " Another argument arises from the custom pre- 
vailing among the Jews." Pearce 5 who consider this as the 
tliird head of argument in favour of the right of ministers to a 

' Maintained from the temple?~\ £^ ra Upa E(r5i8(nv ; ''eat of 
the things of the temple ?" Pearce. " eat of that which is holy '" 

" f-Vho attend at the altar.'] irpoash^psuovres. " In the original, 
who sit at the altar ; a phrase which denotes continual and per- 
severing service. In the first clause of the verse, the service of 
the Levites is supposed to be alluded to, but in this clause the 
tTvice of the priests." Macknight. 

176 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 

Ch. IX. appointed to those who preach the gospel^ that they 

Ver. 14. ^j^^^ilfl ll^f. Ijy (fj^g gospel. 

As Jewish priests and Levites who are continually 
employed in the temple services, and who devote 
their time and their labours to it, are, by the law 
of Moses, maintained by the gifts, the sacrifices, 
and the established revenues of the temple ; so it 
is the will of Christ, that the teachers of his religion 
should receive a decent support from those who are 
instructed by them. 

Upon this statement of the apostle*s claims, and 
his prudent forbearance in the exercise of his rights, 
we may make the following remarks: 1. That as 
it is the will of Christ, that the teachers of the go- 
spel should be maintained at the charge of those 
by whom they are instructed, there is nothing cri- 
minal or dishonourable in their acceptance of such 
a maintenance, as a compensation for the time and 
pains which they devote to the service of others. 
2. That it is the duty of those who are instructed 
in the Christian religion, to make an equitable re- 
muneration to their teachers in proportion to their 
ability. 3. The apostle does not give the least hint, 
that the ministers of religion should be supported 
in affluence and grandeur ; least of all, that provi- 
sion should be made for their maintenance by the 
civil magistrate, independent of the society with 
which they are connected. The question concern- 
ing the public support of the Christian religion is 
by the first teachers of that religion left wholly at 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 177 

large. Indeed it is reasonable to believe that the Ch. ix. 
idea of it never entered into their thoughts. 4. The 
apostle prescribes nothing Uke tithes, nor any other 
fixed proportion of the hearers' income, as a contri- 
bution due to the teacher. He only establishes the 
fact, that reason and justice, in accordance with 
both the Jewish and Christian revelations, require 
that public teachers should have an equitable pro- 
vision for their support. Lastly, From the apostle's 
example, it appears that Christian teachers should 
not pertinaciously insist upon their right of main- 
tenance, but should be willing to wave the claim, 
however just, and to support themselves and their 
families by some useful and honourable secular em- 
ployment, if the pretexts of calumny may be obvi- 
ated, or the success of their mission promoted, by 
this disinterested conduct. 

7. The right which the apostle had thus indis* 
putably established, he had declined to exercise at 
Corinth, and he was determined still to wave it, 
ver. 15. 

But I have availed myself of none of these rights, 1*3, 

??o?' have I written thus, that it should be so done 
unto me-, for it were better for me to die, than that 
any one should deprive me of this boast. 

When I resided among you, I did not insist upon 
being maintained by you, nor do I in writing this 
mean to claim a pecuniary compensation for my 
labours among you. It is my glory that I have 
preached the gospel to you, without putting you to 


178 Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 

Ch. IX. any expense, by which I have obviated the cavils of 
the enemies of the gospel, and have deprived your 
false teachers of their expected triumph ; and I would 
sooner die with hunger, than I would now accept a 
maintenance from you ; or deprive myself of the sa- 
tisfaction I derive from my conduct in these circum- 

8. In one view, this self-denial was more merito- 
rious than preaching the gospel itself; for to the lat- 
ter he was obliged by an authority that he could not 
resist, whereas the former was his own voluntary act, 
ver. 16—18. 

16. For thoitgh I preach the gospel, I have no 
ground for gloi'i/ing; for a necessity is laid upon 
me; yea^ ivoe unto me if I preach not the gospel. 

17. If indeed, I should do this spontaneously, lam 
entitled to a reward; hut if without my consent, a 
dispensation is intrusted to me, ivhat is my reward 

18. then^ ? That while I pi^each the gospel, I should 
make it 2 uneocpensive, by not using to the utmost 3 
my right through the gospel. 

' What is my reward then ?] " Join this clause to the 1 7th 
verse." Knatchbull, Wakefield. 

* Make it iinexpensite.'] The received text reads, " the gospel 
of Christ," OLC. ; but these words are vi^anting in some of the 
best copies and MSS. Bishop Pearce includes ver. 19 — 22 in 
a parenthesis ; and makes the 23d verse the answer to the ques- 
tion in ver. 18. 

^ Not using to the utmost.'] So Wakefield. xara%f;i;crao-6a<. 
the same word occurs ch. vii. 31, where it signifies, not using 
worldly things to the utmost extent of what is lawful. — " so as 
not to use my right in the gospel." Newcome. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. ]79 

The apostle here supposes a difference between Ch. ix. 
the merit of an action performed by the authority of 
a superior, and that which spontaneously flows from 
a good and generous disposition. 

If preaching the gospel had been his own spon- 
taneous act, it would have been highly meritorious ; 
but it was not so. He had been indeed .a bitter 
enemy to the Christian doctrine^ and a persecutor 
of its teachers and professors. And the commis- 
sion, with which he was now honoured, had been 
conferred not by any solicitation of his own, but by 
the authority of one who had a right to command 
him, and who would severely punish any act of dis- 
obedience. All the merit, therefore, which in this 
instance he claimed, was that of submitting to a 
power which it would be vain and impossible to re- 

Under these circumstances, what room was there 
for merit ? He had only one way left of spontane- 
ous service. It was, by preaching the gospel, free 
of expense to his hearers, and by not insisting upon 
that right to a maintenance .which he possessed by 
the principles of commutative justice, and under the 
authority of Christ. This was a voluntary act, for 
which he might humbly expect a proportionate re- 
ward. What this reward was, he mentions ver. 23; 
it was, that those among whom he preached might 
be disposed to embrace the Christian faith. 

This then may be considered as the import of the 
apostle's language : 

This is my boast, which I am so unwilling to re- 

180 PAhxII. t. CORINTHIANS. Sect. II 

Cb. IX. sign. It is, indeed, but little of which I can boast 
at all. 1 am, it is true, intrusted with a very ho- 
nourable and important commission ; it is that of 
preaching the gospel to the heathen world. And 
to the execution of this commission, my Hfe, my 
powers, and my utmost exertions are wholly de- 
voted. But what of this ? I have no merit in these 
labours, nor any real ground of boasting. And why ? 
Because I act under an overpowering necessity. He 
that furnished me with this commission, has aright 
to enforce it. And he will enforce It.' So that if I 
attempt to withdraw from the service, I shall soon 
discover that I have made an evil choice. If indeed 
I perform the arduous duties of my apostolic mini- 
stry willingly and cheerfully, my gracious master 
will not suffer my faithful services, whatever they 
may be, to go unrewarded. But if, independently 
of my own choice, an office of this kind is commit- 
ted to me, which I am not at liberty and have no 
power to decline, in what way can I gain the merit 
of a free and voluntary service ? In this way, and in 
this alone. I may render the gospel unexpensive ; 
I may decline to insist upon my acknowledged 
rights; I may wave the privileges of a maintenance; 
I may exhibit an example of disinterested zeal by 
working for my support, while I am publishing the 
gospel of salvation. This is something more than 
my commission requires ; and for this I may take 
credit, at least with those to whose benefit my la- 
bours have been dedicated. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. II. 131 

9. With a view to conciliate the attention of his 'Ch. ix. 
hearers, the apostle professes to comply as far as 
he innocently might v,^ith their weaknesses and pre- 
judices, ver. 19 — 23. 

Moreover, being free from allmtu, Iinademy- 19. 

self the slave of all, that I might gain allK 

Though free-born and independent, possessed of 
property, and a Roman citizen, there is no labour 
or drudgery to which I do not voluntarily submit, 
that I may accomplish the purposes of my mission, 
and, if possible, convert all who hear me. 

Accordingly, to the Jews I became as a Jeiu, 20. 
that 1 might gain the Jews ; to those who were un- 
der the law, as under the law, (not being myself tin- 
der the Imv 2,j that I might gain those under the 

To please my countrymen, and to conciliate their 
attention to the doctrine of Christ; whenever I was 
cast into their society, I complied with all their in- 
nocent prejudices and customs. And wherever I 
mixed with those who were strict observers of the 
law of Moses, though I well knew that the gospel 
had set me and all true believers in Christ at liberty 
from the yoke of the law, yet I complied with the 
whole ceremonial as punctually as the strictest of 
my Hebrew brethren, in order to show that there 

' That I might gain all ^ rsg TTXsiova^, the more. Bishop 
Pearce has no doubt, that the apostle here uses this expression 
to signify all, as ol iroXXoi, the mpny, is often used. 

" Not being myself under the law.^ Griesbach inserts this 
rhxuse upon the authority of the Alexandrine, Ephreni, and ?.U 
the principal MSS. and Versions. 

182 Part 11. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.II. 

Ch. IX. was nothing in the profession of Christianity incon- 
^^^' " ' sistent with the requisitions of the Mosaic institute ; 
and in fact, that the gospel was nothing more than 
the fulfilling of the law. And this I did to win over 
those who, having from infancy been educated in 
attachment to the law, could never be induced to 
desert it. 
21 To those luho are without the law^ as without 
the law^ not being without the laiu of God, but un- 
der the law of Christ ', that I might gain those 
who are without the laiv. 

In the society of heathen I relaxed from the ri- 
gour of the Jewish law, without, however, abating 
an iota of that regard to the moral law, which is 
imperatively enjoined by the supreme lawgiver upon 
all his reasonable creatures, and which is indispen- 
sably required by the gospel of Christ. And I was 
as strenuous in maintaining the liberty of the Gen- 
tile converts from the yoke of the Mosaic institute, 
as if I had myself been a Gentile, that they might 
not, by the terrors and the harsh and burdensome 
requisitions of the law, be deterred from embracing 
the faith of the gospel. 
22. To the weak, I became as iveak, that I might 
gain the weak ; to all men / became all things 2, 
that I might save all^. 

' Law of God — law of Christ.'} Bishop Pearce approves of 
©£8, and Xcirs, on the authority of many ancient copies and 
versions. See Griesbach. The' received text reads @£m, X§iru-', 
" not M'ilhout law to God, but under law to Christ." ' 

- To all men I became all things~\ " It is my custom to be- 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 183 

While I asserted the liberty of others, I did not Ch. ix. 
upon all occasions insist upon my own ; but when 
I was in company with those less instructed Chris- 
tians, who were not sufficiently established in Chris- 
tian principles, or, who were strangers to Christian 
liberty, I abstained from those actions, however in- 
nocent in themselves, which might wound their ■• 
feelings, or ensnare their consciences. And, in 
short, there was no sacrifice which I was not willing 
to make, of my own private judgement, feelings, or 
convenience, that I might win my hearers, and, if 
possible, all those without exception with whom I 
conversed, to the knowledge and profession of the 

come all things lawful." Newcome ; who adds, " The precept, 
ch. viii. 9, is illustrated by St. Paul's example, ver. 19, 21 , 22, 
of this chapter." " This (says Dr. Priestley) must not be in- 
terpreted with too much rigour. For otherwise we shall make 
the apostle a most inconsistent and hypocritical character, one 
who had recourse to the most unworthy artifices to gain a good 
end. He was so far from complying improperly with those who 
would have imposed the yoke of the law upon Gentile converts 
on whom it was not obligatory, that he incurred the hatred of 
his nation, and offended many of his Christian brethren, by his 
strenuous contending for the liberty of the gospel with respect 
to them. His meaning, therefore, can only be, that he was will- 
ing to oblige all persons as far as he innocently could, it is pos- 
sible, that he might mean, that in preaching the gospel, he 
availed himself of principles peculiar to the Jews with Jews, and 
of principles allowed by Gentiles with Gentiles." 

^ That I might save all.'] hoc itocvras (Tuktuj. This reading 
rests upon the authority of the Cambridge and three other MSS. 
with the Syriac, Vulgate, and many other versions. See Gries- 
bach. The received text reads haKo.vrujgtivas cwtro;, " that I 
may by all means save some." " Reading Travraj, all,'" says 
Bishop Pearce, " seems more agreeable to St. Paul's meaning 
here ; it exactly agrees with ch. x. 33, and makes his design 
more extensive and noble." 

184 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 

Ch. IX. gospel, and engage them to accept its inestimable 

^'el . 23. Now this I do for the sake of the gospel, that 
others may be partakers of it with me^. 

I through mercy am a partaker of the blessings 
of Christianity, I discern its truth, I feel its power, 
I rest upon its promises, I triumph in its consola-^ 
lions and hopes, and I wish that others may see and 
feel and act as I do; and it is for this reason that I 
spare no pains, and object to no self-denial, that I 
may, if possible, be the means of bringing all with 
whom I converse, and to whom I have an opportu- 
nity of communicating instruction, into the same 
holy and happy state. 

10. In these instances, he resembled the candi- 

• That others may be partakers with me.] |va cvyxoivuvo; av- 
rs yEvuj[Aai, that I may be a joint partaker of it, i. e. that I, who 
am a partaker, may induce others to become fellow-partakeis 
v/ith me ; a mode ol' expression not uncommon with the apostle. 
Vid. Gal. iii. 22 ; Rom. viii. 29. The apostle does not mean that 
he practised all this self-denial, and this compliance with the 
prejudices and humours of others, that he might himself be a 
partaker of the gospel as well as others ; for that he was already ; 
but that he might induce others to participate with him. He be- 
came all things to all men, that so he might save all. Few, if 
any, of the commentators seem to have entered into the spirit 
of the apostle's language in this passage. Even Mr. Locke him- 
self seems to have missed the apostle's meaning, which he ex- 
plains, q. (I. " This I do for the gospel's sake, that I myself may 
share in the benefits of the gospel," which is almost the reverse 
of the apostle's real meaning. Dr. Doddridge, with his usual 
good taste, seems to have given the true sense and spirit of the 
text. q. d. " And this I do for the sake of the gospel, to promote 
its success to the utmost of my ability, that I also may be a 
sharer in the generous pleasure arising from the communication 
of it." ' ■ 

Pakt 11. I. C O RI NTH I AN S. Skct. II. 185 

dates in the Grecian games, who practised tlie same Ch. ix. 
self-denial for a fading garland, to which he sub- 
mitted for an incorruptible crown, ver. 24- — 27, 

Knoiu ye not that of those who run in a race, all Ver. 24. 
indeed run, but one receiveth thepri%e? So run as 
to obtain'^. 

You live in a city, where you have an opportunity 
of seeing the public games ; and have you not ob- 
served the eagerness of the several candidates to ob- 
tain the prize '^ their activity, their resolution, and 
their self-denial, in preparing themselves for the 
contest ? Let their example stimulate your zeal, 
and rouse your energies in a far nobler course, and 
for an infinitely more valuable object. And have 
you not remarked that in these games, there are 
many who enter the lists, and who run the race, 
while it is only one who can win the prize ? the for- 
tunate candidate, who first reaches the goal? The 
rest, tlie great majority, however meritorious their 
preparation, however strenuous their exertion, must 
retire from the field disappointed, if not disgraced. 
Learn from hence to vie with each other in moral 
excellence, and the virtues of the Christian charac- 
ter, as though one candidate only were to gain the 
prize. Recollect, however, for your encouragement, 
that none shall labour in vain. For such is the pri- 

' So run us to obtain.'] The Isthmian games were held in the 
neighbourhood of Corinth. In these, only one candidate could 
gain the prize. Bishop Pearce observes, fi-om Mill, that Cy- 
prian adHs omnes at the end of the sentence, q. d. So run that 
ye may all obtain, which, though unsupported by any manu- 
script, expresses the true meaning of the apostle. 

180 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Siicx.ll. 

Ch. IX. -vilege of the Christian race, that every dihgent and 
Ver. 24. pepgeyering candidate shall obtain a proportionate 
reward ; but let it be your ambition to gain the 
highest prize. 
25. ^ut every one who enter eth the lists is tetnperate 
in all things ' ; thei/y indeed, that they may obtain 
a fading crown 2, but ive, one that will not fade 

The candidates in the Grecian games deny them- 
selves all those indulgencies and gratifications which 
are inconsistent with that muscular vigour and agi- 
lity upon which their success depends ; and they en- 
dure innumerable hardships with the greatest forti- 
tude and cheerfulness, for the sake of momentary 
applause and of a garland of fading leaves. Our 

> Temperate in all things.'] So Horace, Art. Poet. 1. 412. 
Qui studet optatarn cursu contingere metarn, 
Biulta tulit fecitque puer, sudavlt et alsit ; 
Abstinuit venere et vino. 
" Those who taught the gymnastic art (says Dr. Macknight) 
prescribed to their disciples the kind of meat that was proper, 
the quantity they were to eat, and the hours at which they were 
to eat. Tliey prescribed to them, likewise, the hours of exercise 
and rest. This whole course, which lasted for many years, was 
called Aa-KYio-is, exercise. Hence the ancient monks, who imi- 
tated and even outstripped the athleta; in their rules of temper- 
ance and in the laboriousness of their exercises, were called Atr- 
xrjfxi, ascetics." See also ^lian. Var. Hist. xi.3. 

* A fading crown.'] (phaorw s'S'^a.vov, " coronamvioxperitu- 
ram, nempe ex oleastro, aut picea, aut lauro." Rosenmuller. — 
" It is well known, (says Dr. Doddridge,) that the crown in the 
Olympic games, sacred to Jupiter, was of wild-olive 3 in the Py- 
thian, sacred to Apollo, of laurel ; in the Isthmian, or Corin- 
thian, solemnized in honour of Palssmon, of pine-tree ; and in 
the Nemean, of smallage or parsley. Nov/ most of these were 
evergreens, yet they would grow dry. and break to pieces." See 
Eisners Ob'sorv. vol. ii. p. 103. . 

Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. I H7 

contest is equally arduous, and • requires, at least, Ch. ix. 
equal exertions of fortitude and self-denial ; but the 
prize at which we aim is unspeakably more valuable. 
To our view is held up a crown of glory that fadeth 
not away, a reward which merits our highest ambi- 
tion, which will amply compensate the most ardu- 
ous struggle, and richly repay the most costly and 
painful sacrifices. 

/ therefore so run, not as uncertainly 3. I so 26. 
fight, not as one who striketh the air^. But I 27. 
bruise my body^, and bring it into subjection; lest, 

' Not as uncertainly!] ovk a^Xtag- " with respect to the 
event : but with a certain expectation of the Christian prize. 
See Plutarch in Wetstein." Archbishop Newcome. — " not as to 
an uncertain goal." Bishop Pearce ; who appeals to the Syriaa 
and the Vulgate. — " as one not doubtful of the prize." Wake- 
field. — " obscure, incerie. Ex Stadiodromis non nisi unus repor- 
tare poterat victoriam, ergo semper dubia erat spes. Sed (eternam 
illam gloriam etfelicitatem omnespossunt consequi, et certissinih 
sperare, qui rectevirtuti student.'" RosenmuUer. — "not to leave 
it to uncertainty." Locke. Dr. Doddridge gives the word an- 
other sense : " I run not as one who is to pass undistinguished." 
Dr. Priestley renders it, " not obscurely, but as one who wishes 
to distinguish himself, and appear among the foremost in the 

* Who striketh the air^ " In order to attain the greater agi- 
lity and dexterity, it was usual for those who intended to box in 
the games to exercise their arms with the gauntlet on, when 
they had no antagonist near them : this was called (rxioaa;>^(a." 
Doddridge. — " Bos shows that the boxer was said to strike the 
air when he wasted his blow." Newcome. Bos Exercit. p. 138. 

* I bruise my body.l mwrtia^uj' " sugillare, ut sub oculis 
existant vibices et maculrp luridce. Per synecdochen, generatim, 
aliquem vel vulnerare, vel lividum reddere, notat." Schleusner. 
" Bruise as the boxer does his antagonist. Bos has shown, that 
though the Greek word properly signifies, striking under the 
eye, it deviates into the sigaification of striking the face and the 
body." Newcome, 

188 Part II. I. -C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. IL 

Ch. IX. after having served as a herald^ to others^ I myself 
should be disapproved^ . 

What I recommend to you, I practise myself. 
Regarding the prize as inestimable and certain, I 
exert myself in proportion to its worth, and to the 
difficulty of attaining it. And the struggle in which 
I engage is not an exercise for amusement ; it is a 
serious warfare. The adversaries with which I com- 
bat are, the love of ease and pleasure, and other 
temptations incident to the present state. Against 
these I maintain a constant warfare ; and with re- 
peated strokes I beat them down, and chain them 
fast, that they may not obstruct my Christian and 

' Served as a herald :] xrj^v^ag. The apostle retains the ago- 
nistic terms : " At the opening of the games, a herald publickly 
proclaimed the names of the combatants. When the combat- 
ants appeared, they were examined whether they were free men 
and Grecians, and of an unspotted character ; then the herald, 
commanding silence, laid his hand on the head of the combatant, 
and led him in that manner along the stadium, demanding with 
a loud voice of all the assembly. Is there any one who can ac- 
cuse this man of any crime ? " Macknight, from ^Vest's Pindar, 

' Be disapproved.'] ASoxifj^os " signifies one who is disproved 
by the judge of the tames." Doddridge. " This is a happy 
turn," says Dr. Priestley, " to represent the enemy he was to 
contend with to be himself, his own body, his sensual appetites : 
a lesson peculiarly proper for the Corinthians. This does not 
imply that the apostle had any serious apprehension of being 
rejected at last, as one who had not done his duty ; but it cer- 
tainly implies, that without consistency of character and perse- 
verance, he or any person will be rejected at last, how promisr 
ing soever may be his profession or his conduct for a time : and 
if it was necessary in his case, much more might the Corinthians 
infer it was so in theirs." 

Perhaps the apostle uses a prosopopoeia, as in Rom. vii. ; and 
though he speaks in the first person, it is as representing Chris-: 
tians in general, with a particular allusion to the Corinthians, 
who were notorious for voluptuousness. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 189 

apostolic career; lest, after having served as a he- Ch.ix. 
raid, and proclaimed the lists to others, I should ^'"•'• 
myself, when called to the trial, be finally disap- 
proved, and lose the prize. 

These observations bring the apostle to the close 
of the second argument, in which he endeavours to 
dissuade the Corinthians from eating things offered 
to idols in the idol's temple, by exhibiting an ex- 
ample in his own person of relinquishing advan- 
tages to which he had an undoubted right, from a 
benevolent desire to conciliate attention, and to re- 
commend the doctrine of the gospel ; and, for the 
same generous purpose, of submitting voluntarily 
and cheerfully to a degree of self-denial, mortifica- 
tion, and acquiescence in the caprices and prejudices 
of others, which no person living had a right to re- 
quire or expect. He now proceeds to his last and 
most decisive argument, which settles the question 
at once. 

Argument III. 

The apostle cautions the Corinthians against Ch. x. 
partaking of an idol sacrifice in an idol's temple ; 
which he denounces as a direct, criminal, and dan- 
gerous act of idolatry. 


The apostle warns the Corinthians by the exam- 
ple of the Israelites, God's ancient professing peo- 
ple, to guard against apostasy into idolatry, after 

190 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S Skct. II. 

Ch. X. having been instructed in true religion, ch. x. ver. 

1. The ancestors of the Jewish nation, notwith- 
standing all their privileges, their public profession 
of true religion, and the miracles which God had 
wrought for their deliverance from Egypt, relapsed 
into idolatry, and were condemned to die in the wil- 
derness, ver. 1 — 5. 
Ver. 1. Moreover i, brethreji, I would not have you ig- 
norant y that all^ our fathers were under the cloud^, 
and all passed through the sea. 

' Moreover^ The received text reads Js, hut: Griesbach 
adopts yap, for; which Bishop Pearce and Archbishop Newcome 
prefer, as connecting this with the preceding context, q. d. Lest 
1 be disapproved ; for the case of the Israelites show's that men 
may be highly privileged, and yet finally rejected. This agrees 
with Mr. Locke's conjecture, that the Corinthians had told the 
apostle that the inducements they were under to go to their 
neighbours' feasts upon their sacrifices were irresistible j and 
therefore they thought they might go without any offence or 
danger, since they Avere the people of God, purged from sin by 
baptism, and fortified against it by partaking of the Lord's sup- 

fier. To this the apostle replies, that, notwithstanding this, they, 
ike the Jews of old, might sin, and draw upon themselves de- 
struction ; and that eating thus of things offered to idols, was 
partaking in idolatrous worship. — I would not have tjou igno- 
rant. " I wish you to observe." Wakefield. 

* Jll our fathers.'] Mr. Locke observes, that the word all 
occurs five times in these four verses. And, supposing that the 
Corinthians presumed too much upon all of them being bap- 
tized and partaking of the Lord's supper, as if it were enough 
to keep them right in the sight of God, he reminds them, that 
though all the Israelites were baptized and ate of the same spi- 
ritual food, and drank of the same spiritual drink, yet the greater 
part of them perished in their idolatry. 

^ Under the cloud.'] " which miraculously covered and guided 
them." Newcome. Bishop Patrick observes, that there were 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Seot.II. 191 

I am now about to state a case which may per- Ch. x. 
haps alarm you, and put you upon your guard against 
making free with things dubious or unlawful ; and 
especially with idolatrous rites and practices, in de- 
pendence upon your Christian profession and your 
covenant state, as though that would protect you, 
either from moral impurity or from the divine dis- 
pleasure. The whole nation of the Israelites, when 
they left Egypt, were in a state similar to yours : 
great miracles were wrought, to convince them of 
the divine authority of their lawgiver. All of them 
were protected from the assaults of their enemies, 
defended from the fervor of the burning sun, and 
guided in their marches by the miraculous cloud, 
Exod. xiii. 21 ; and all of them by miracle passed 
safely through the midst of the Red Sea, Exod. xiv. 

And were all baptized into Moses '^, in the cloud 2. 
and in the sea. 

three several uses of the cloud : 1 . To guide them in their jour- 
neys ; and this it did as a pillar going before them. 2. To 
preserve them from the heat of the sun in the wilderness 5 and 
then it was spread out as a covering, Ps. cv. 39. 3. To defend 
them from their enemies, that they might not assault them, 
Exod. xiv. 20. 

* Baptized into Moses .•] f <; rov Mwcrrjv " not unto, as our ver- 
sion has it ; but into Moses, i. e. into that covenant which Moses 
delivered to them from God. So, to be baptized sis ^ptrov, is 
to be baptized into the profession of Christ's laws and doctrine. 
Rom. vi.3 ; Gal. iii. 27." Pearce. — " As the phrase 'being bap- 
tized into Moses ' does not imply that Moses was a God, so, be- 
ing baptized into Christ, or in the name of Christ, does not im- 
ply that he is a God, It is a mode of taking upon us the pro- 
fession of that religion of which he is the founder." Priestley. 

192 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IL 

Ch. X. As though immersed in the baptismal stream, 
^'"" they were enveloped by the cloud, and encompassed 
by the sea ; and were convinced of the divine lega-^ 
tion of their illustrious leader. These signal mira- 
cles may therefore be regarded as public symbols of 
their submission to the authority of Moses, as the 
rite of baptism is the symbol of your subjection to 
the authority of Christ. 
3, 4. ^nd they all ate the same spiritual food^, and 
all drank of the same spiritual drink. For they 
drank of the spiritual rock luhich followed them-, 
but that rock was Christ^. 

iZaifriixa.vro , baptized themselves: voluntarily submitted to the 
rite. Perhaps when thousands were baptized in a day, they 
baptized themselves 3 they were not baptized by others. In- 
deed no instance occurs in the Old Testament, of one person 
being plunged under v.atcr by another. 

' Spiritual food.'] Manna : called, bread from heaven, Neh- 
ix. 1.5. " ■itvBvij.airiY.'jg, in distinction from (Sva-iMi, supernatural. 
Comp. Rom. vii. 14." Pcarce ; vvho translates it by the word 
heavenly, as he does not think that the word spiritual sufficiently 
implies that there was a miracle in the case. See Exod. xvi. 14, 
1.5, xvii. 6. 

* The rock which followed them.] . " Here is a metonymy of 
the rock for the water of the rock. See ch. x. 18 5 Heb. xiii. 10 ; 
i Cor. ix. 13, 14. We may therefore fairly apply the epithets 
7r-/aU|ixar<Kryf and a>i&Aoy5&ucr>;f to the water, understood in the 
phrase. They can be in no proper sense applied to the rock; but 
llie water issuing from that rock was the effect of a miracle, and 
some of the water might be carried by the Israelites along with 
them, to supply them in some part of the rest of their journey." 
Bishop Pearce ; who shows that the word ax.oXHSewis sometimes 
used in this sense. After all, this appears to be a very uncom- 
mon and a very harsh sense of the word ; and the more natural 
interpretation is, that the stream which gushed from the rock 
continued for a considerable time to accompany the march of 
the Israelites. Water was twice brought out of the rock by mi- 
racle : once at Re-phidim, from Mount Hortb, in the first year 

lrtII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 193 

They were all fed in a supernatural way with Ch. x, 

manna, which is said to have come down from hea- 
ven ; and they were all miraculously supplied with 
water from the rock which was struck with the rod 
of Moses, the stream flowing from which accom- 
panied them in their progress through the wilder- 
ness. And this rock was a type of Christ, who is 
that spring of living water from which flow those 
vital truths, and those abundant consolations, which 
are the support and refreshment of his true disci- 
ples in their passage through this probationary 
world, John iv. 14. 

Yet, iv'ith the greater part of them, God was not 
pleased*, for they were destroyed in the wilderness^ 

of their march, Exod. xvii.j the second time at Kadesh, in the 
fortieth year. Dr. Wall observes, that the Israelites for the first 
thirty-seven years might have travelled in the direction of this 
brook, Avhich, watering the country, might produce herbage for 
the cattle*y"but after that, turning eastward from Ezion-geber, 
a port upon the Red Sea, Numb, xxxiii. 36, they were again 
distressed for water, with which they were again supplied by 
miracle at Meribah Kadesh, See Macknight and Wall's Criti- 
cal Notes, vol. i. p. 106. 

' That rock was Christ.l i. e. a type of Christ j who repre- 
sents his doctrine as living water, John iv, 10. See also John 
vii. 37, the source of life, health, refreshment, and vigour, Tlie 
apostle probably means nothing more than that the rock might 
be compared to Christ, whose doctrine was a source of life and 
comfort to believers, as the rock had been to the Israelites, by 
the refreshing streams which issued from it ; and so to remind 
the Corinthians that he intended to apply his observations to 
their case : probably nothing mystical was intended. Dr. Whit- 
by cites many passages, where a similar phraseology occurs : 
viz. Gen. xl. 12, the three branches are three days j xliii. 26, 
the seven kine, the seven ears of corn, are seven years j Dan. vii. 
1 7, the four beasts are four kings. See also Ezek, v. 5 ; Dan. 
ii. 38 ; Matt. xiii. 38, 39 ; Luke viii. 11. 

* The greater part :'] sv tois ttXsioa-iv. Comp, ch, ix. 19. It 
VOL. II. , ^ O 

Ver. 4. 

194 PautII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 

Ch. X. Though all the Israelites had been supported and 
protected by miracles the most splendid and illus- 
trious, though all had been distinguished with im- 
portant privileges, though all had been instructed in 
truths of the highest importance, though all had 
made a solemn profession of their allegiance to 
God, and their submission to the authority of his 
servant Moses, though all had entered into covenant 
with Jehovah, and participated in the external sym- 
bols of this honourable relation, yet as to the greater 
part of them, these privileges and professions were 
of no avail ; for by their immorality, idolatry, unbe- 
lief, and disobedience, they provoked God to destroy 
them in the wilderness. And so universal was their 
apostasy and rebellion, that out of the whole num- 
ber who left Egypt, and who were at that time up- 
wards of twenty years of age, only two, Joshua and 
Caleb, were permitted to enter the promised land. 

2. Their example is an awful warning to the 
followers of Christ, not to venture upon lewd and 
idolatrous practices, under a presumption that the 
external symbols of a Christian profession will screen 
them from the divine displeasure, ver. 6 — 10. 
6. Now these things happened ' by way of example 

here signifies all but two, Caleb and Joshua; who were the 
only survivors of the generation who were grown up to matu- 
rity when they left Egypt. See Bishop Pearce. 

' These things happened^ " ravra., referendum est ad pa- 
rtus, quibus Deus affecit veieres illos Isntelitas. Quod Deus illos 
tam severe punivit, id factum est ut nos exempUs istis sapiamus." 
RosenmuUer. " TVffog h. I. denotat exemplar, ut 1 Thess. i. 7 ; 
1 Tim. iv. 12 3 Tit. ii. 7." Id. " It is to be observed," says Mr. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II, 195 

to us, that we should not destine evil things, as they Ch. x. 
also desired. 

Our circumstances as professors of the religion 
of Christ are similar to those of the Israelites when 
departing from Egypt. We have seen great mira- 
cles wrought to convince us of the divine authority 
of the Christian religion. We have renounced the 
state of bondage and idolatry; we have received 
and acknowledged Jesus as our Master ; we have 
been baptized into his name ; we have eaten and 
drunk at his table ; we have been enlightened by his 
doctrine, and consoled by his promises. Let us 
take heed that our fate also be not similar to that 
of our predecessors ; nor let us vainly imagine that 
privileges and professions will protect us from the 
divine displeasure, if we yield to irregular desires 
and pursue criminal gratifications. 

Neither he ye idolaters, as some of them were : 7. 

as it is written (Ex. xxxii. 6), The people sat down 
to eat and to drink, and rose up to play ^. 

Locke, " that all these instances mentioned by the apostle, of 
destruction which came upon the Israelites who were in covenant 
with God, were occasioned by their luxurious appetites about 
meat and drink, by fornication and by idolatry : sins which the 
Corinthians were inclined to, and which he here warns them 

^ To play -.I Ttai^siv. Many expositors suppose that the apos- 
tle means, to commit fornication, which was the usual conco- 
mitant of idolatrous worship* and with these critics Bishop 
Pearce agrees. But Dr. Whitby observes, that though the Is- 
raelites are charged with idolatry, they are never accused of for- 
nication in the affair of the golden calf: also, that the apostle 
makes a distinct charge of this offence in the following verse. 
To which may be added, that the Israelites professed to worship 
Jehovah under the symbol of the golden calf, Exod. xxxii. 5 ; and 



Ch. X. They celebrated a religious festival in honour of 
"' ^' the golden calf, which they worshiped as the sym- 
bol of the God who had brought them out of 
Egypt, though image-worship had but lately been 
distinctly and solemnly prohibited by the voice of 
God ; and they expressed their impious sentiments 
by feasting upon the sacrifice, and dancing in ho- 
nour of their idol, calling it a feast to Jehovah ; 
and probably thinking that there was no more harm 
in it than you apprehend in frequenting an idol's 
temple. But in this they were greatly mistaken ; 
for God was highly displeased with them, and pu- 
nished them severely for it. 
8. Nor let us commit fornication'^ , as some of them 
committed fornication I and there fell in one day 
twenty-three thousand^. 

You have been used to regard fornication as a 
matter of indifference: but be not deceived: the 
Christian law, like that of the Jewish legislator,, 
strictly forbids the illicit commerce of the sexes ; 

it is not at all probable that they would presume to introduce 
lascivious orgies into a festival which they pretended to hold in 
honour of the Supreme Being. 

' Commit fornication.'] This was a vice to which the Corin- 
thians were so notoriously addicted, that KOpiv^ia^siv was pro- 
verbially used as equivalent to scortari. " Strabo says, that 
in one temple of Venus at Corinth there were no less than a 
thousand priestesses, who made prostitution a part of their de- 
votion to the goddess." Lib. ii. cap. 17. See Doddridge. 

'^ Twenty-three thousand.'} In the Pentateuch, Numb. xxv. 
1 — 9, the number is twenty-four thousand. If it be not a slip 
of the apostle's memory, it is usually explained, that twenty- 
three thousand died by the plague under the immediate hand of 
God, and one thousand by the sword. One manuscript and the 
Syriac version read twenty-four. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 197 

and those who are guilty of it shall be severely pu- Ch. x. 
nished, as the Jews were when seduced by the Mi-* ^^'' ' 
dianites to worship Baal-peor, an idol whose rites 
were of the most lascivious nature; and twenty- 
four thousand fell a sacrifice to their crimes. 

Neither let us tempt the Lord^, as some of them 9. 

also tempted him; and ivere destroyed hy serpents. 
Numb. xxi. 5, 6. 

The Israelites were dissatisfied with being con- 
ducted by a circuitous route through the wilderness, 
and with living upon manna; and they spake against 
God, and against Moses, in consequence of which 
they were bitten by venomous serpents, and many 
of them perished in the wilderness. Let us not 
imitate their example, of murmuring either at the 
difficulties we meet with, or the self-denial which 
it is necessary to practise in our Christian course, 
lest we also share their fate. 

' Tempt the Lord?)^ Ku/jiov is the reading of the Vatican 
and Ephrem manuscripts, and of some ancient versions ; ©gov, 
God, is the reading of the Alexandrine : vide Griesbach. If 
X/j<rov, Christ, which is the reading of the received text, be re- 
tained, it signifies the anointed prophet; and applies both to 
Moses and to Christ : vide Grotius and Crellius in loc. Bishop 
Pearce conjectures that Kvpiov- might be the original word, and 
being by some thought to mean Christ, w^as changed into X^i- 
s-ov and by others, who thought it meant God, was changed 
into ©£ov. The learned prelate, however, prefers Qeov. Arch- 
bishop Newcome reads Kvpiov, Lord; though Griesbach, whom 
he commonly professes to follow, does not admit that reading 
into his text, though he marks it as of high authority. Epipha- 
nius accuses Marcion of introducing the word Xpirov into the 
text. — Tempt, " irsi^x^nv i.e.ttsipoiv }\ct.[u^a,-'£iv rivo;, explorare 
aliquem, vires ejus tentare, an hoc vel illud facere possit." Ro- 

198 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect, II. 

Ch. X. Neither murmur ye ^, as some of them murmur- 
* edi and were destroyed by the destroyer. Numb, 
xiv. 29. 

By pestilence or sword, or other instruments of 
death ; which, being the means of fulfilling the di- 
vine purpose of punishing the rebellion of the Israel- 
ites, may justly be represented as destroying angels, 
acting under a commission from God. 

3. The history of the crimes and punishments of 
the Israelites in the wilderness was written for the 
admonition and instruction of succeeding ages, and 
especially of those who live under the dispensation 
of the Messiah, ver. 11, 12. 
11. N'ow all these things happened to them as exam- 
pies to us 2, and they were written for the admoni- 
tion of us, upon wham the last age is come 3. 

' Murmur. " yoyyv^siv, obtnurmurare, ingrati animi et in- 
(lignatmiis est indicium. Num. xiv. 2, 3, 4, xvi. 1. oXoSpsvra, 
Hebr. xi. 28 ; Exod. xii. 23 ; denotare videtur pestem, sub per- 
sona angeli, mortem subito populo inferentis, repreesentatam.'^ 

' As examples^ Tviiixujg, by way of example, is the reading 
of the Alexandrine, Vatican, Ephrem, and several other manu- 
scripts, and of many versions and fathers. " These sins and 
punishments of the Jews in the vi'ilderness did not happen for 
examples to them, but to those who came after them." Bishop 

' The last age is come.'] Ta reXy) foov aiajvuiy, the ends of the 
ages: not, as translated in our bible, " the ends of the world." 
*' The Jews counted three ages of the world : the first was be- 
fore the law given to Moses j the second was under the law; 
and the third was under the Messiah : so that the age of which 
St. Paul here speaks was the last age, or the end of the former 
ages. How long this age was to continue, St. Paul undertakes 
not to teach. Comp. Heb. i. 2, ix. 26." Bishop Pearce. 

PabtII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 199 

One great design of just punishment is, to ad- Ch. x. 
monish others in similar circumstances, that they ^'* ' 
do not fall into the crimes of those unhappy cul- 
prits, lest they should also share in their doom. 
And the crime and consequent punishment of the 
Israelites is recorded for the admonition of us, who 
live under a nobler dispensation, the last that God 
will communicate to mankind; but whose distin- 
guished privileges will be no security against the 
divine displeasure, and will rather aggravate our con- 
demnation, if, notwithstanding all our knowledge 
and our profession, we relapse into idolatry and vice. 

Let hhii, therefore^ who thiuketh that he stand- 12. 

eth "*, take heed lest he fall. 

Let not the most intelligent and best established 
believers imagine that they are perfectly secure, or 
that they can with safety expose themselves with- 
out necessity to strong temptation, or venture with 
impunity upon forbidden ground : the virtue of the 
most approved Christian may give way in circum- 
stances of unusual trial, and the skill and vigour 
that has been most frequently victorious may fail in 
the struggle with a new and untried adversary. The 
truest wisdom, therefore, consists in vigilance and 
caution, and the only safety in fleeing from tempta- 

■* Who thinketh that he standeth.'] 6 Sqkujv kravo-i' or, " who 
seemeth to stand, q. d. wherefore, being taught by these exam- 
ples, let him, &c." Newcome. •—" Lei /u'hi to /to standeth. See 
ch. iii. 18. 9. d. He who trusts that he shall persevere, should 
take heed lest he fall into sin." Bishop Pearce. 

200 Part II. L C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 


Ch. X. The apostle concludes this branch of his subject, 
by seriously urging the Corinthians not to yield to 
the temptation of eating the flesh of a victim in the 
temple of the idol ; for that, whatever might be the 
nature of tlie idol, such a practice was undoubtedly 
an act of idolatry, and highly offensive to God, ver, 
13— '22. 

1 . The apostle asserts that their temptations to 
idolatry hitherto had not been very considerable ; 
nor would they ever be insuperable. He warns the 
Corinthians, therefore, carefully to abstain from it, 
ver. 13, 14. 
Ver. 13. No temptation has yet assailed you but what is 
common to man^. And God may be relied on^, 
that he will not suffer you to be tempted beyond 
your ability I but with the tempttation will also 
make a way out of it 3, that ye may be able to bear 

' Common to man :] av^^wtivos. " The sense is rather what 
is human; i. e. little^ short, or moderate, as Chrysostom ex- 
plains it. See 2 Sam. vii. 14 3 Hos. xi. 4^ Xenoph. Cyrop. lib. iii. 
p. 189, ed. Hutch." Pearce. — " Human, such as human na- 
ture may surmount." Newcome. — " Hitherto the temptations 
you have met with have been light and ordinary." Locke. — 
" Proportionable to human strength, as well as frequent to hu- 
man creatures." Doddridge. 

^ God may be relied o/j.] So Wakefield. Tliro; h o ©soj* 
" God is faithful, may be relied on as a faithful friend." Pearce, 

' A way out of it :] ry sxtaa-iv. " This word signifies an 
end, or a passage out, as the Syriac and Dr. Hammond render 
it here. I prefer either of these versions to that in our bible, 
a way to escape. The sense of the whole verse seems to be this : 
Ceod will not suffer you to be tried by too strong a temptation ; 
but if he does permit a temptation to try you, yet he will put ^r^ 

Part II, I. CORINTHIANS, Sect. II. 201 

it. IVherefore^ my beloved brethren, flee from Ch. x. 

You cannot, in extenuation of an idolatrous act, 
plead that you have ever been under an irresistible 
temptation to it. The inducement, probably, has 
been nothing more than the pressing invitations of 
your friends, or a foolish banter upon what they 
may call your precise and unsocial spirit ; but these 
are temptations vi'hich require no peculiar degree of 
fortitude and strength of mind to overcome. I do 
not deny that you may be exposed to more serious 
trials. Those who now call themselves your friends 
may become your enemies and persecutors, because 
you will not join in their idolatrous revels, and go 
with them into the same excess of riot. But be 
not discouraged : God is your friend and protector. 
If you are true to him and true to yourselves, you 
will assuredly find that he will be faithful to his pro- 
misesj and will not desert you in the hour of trial. 
In the course of his providence, he will either pre- 
vent the occurrence of temptations which would 
overpower your virtue ; or, however new, or dan- 
gerous, or formidable the temptation may be, he 
will either enable you to resist, or will instruct you 
how to evade its force, so that you may escape with- 
out injury to your virtue and your peace : and there- 
fore, my beloved brethren, whatever temptation you 

end to it : so that it will be small in degree and short in dura- 
tion, so that ye maybe the better enabled to bear it." Pearce. 
— " But with the tnal will also give you power to bear its ef. 
fects." \A^xkefield. 

202 Part II. I. C O R 1 N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 

Ch. X. may be under to idolatrous excess, I conjure you 
' as a friend, and I warn you as an apostle, to keep 
at the remotest distance from it. 

2. He appeals to their understanding, whether 
the joint participation of bread and wine at the 
Lord's table be not a joint participation of Chris- 
tian worship, ver. 15 — 17. 

15. I address you as men of understanding^ : do ye 
yourselves judge ofivhat I am about to say 2. 

You value yourselves upon your superior wis- 
dom : as men of understanding I now appeal to you. 
Attend to the argument which I am about to pro- 
pose, and you will be convinced that you cannot 
feast upon an idol's sacrifice in an idol's temple, 
without being guilty of an act of idolatry. 

16. The cup of blessing over ivhich we give thanks 3, 
is it not the participation of the blood of Christ "* ? 

* 1 address you as men of understanding :] cug (ppoviijuois Xeyiv. 
So Pearce. — " You nre satisfied that you want not knowledge ; 
and therefore, as to knowing men, I appeal to you. See ch. 
viii. 1." Locke. 

** Judge of what I am about to saij :] o <pr/[x,i. " of what I am 
going to say, in opposition to this your practice of thus eating 
ilesh offered to idols." Pearce. — " I make you judges of what 
I am going to say in the case." Locke. — " Judge ye what I say. 
All Christian teacliers should thus address men :" — this is the 
excellent comment of that truly venerable prelate. Archbishop 

* The cup of blessing over which we give thanks :] ro ifotv/piov 
Tijf svKoytas o eoAoysuev. " The cup of blessing," says Mr. 
Locke, " was a name given by the Jews to a cup of wine whicfi 
they solemnly drank in the passover with thanksgiving." ft 
seems to be a strange and unwarranted supposition of Bishop 
Pearce, that the apostle does not in this passage allude to the 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 203 

Is not the wine which we receive at the Lord's Ch. x. 
table, over which we give thanks to God for the ^^^^' ' 
gift of his son, for the blessings and promises of 
the gospel, and for our profession of it ; and by 
which we commemorate the blood of that holy vic- 
tim by which the new covenant was ratified, and 
do, as it were, herein feast upon the precious sa- 
crifice ; is it not a virtual participation of the blood 
of Christ, and a symbol of our intimate union with • 

* Participation of the blood of Christ ?] noivujvia rs al[/,a'fos ; 
" The cup of blessing," says Archbishop Newcome, " on which 
we implore God's blessing, is it not a common partaking of that 
wine which represents the blood of Christ ? " But this does 
not appear to me to be the whole of the apostle's meaning. 
The idea in his mind was that of Christ's mystical body, of 
which Christ was the head, and individual believers were the 
members ; and the participation of the eucharistical cup was re- 
ceiving (j. e. symbolically receiving) blood from the head into 
the several limbs ; and partaking of the loaf was (the symbol 
of) being vital parts of the same body : so that partaking of 
the Lord's supper was a symbol that all believers were vital 
parts, were flesh and blood of Christ's mystical body. The 
consequence was, that they could no more become worshipers 
of an idol, than a vital part of one body could at the same time 
become a vital part of another. He uses a similar argument, 
ch. vi. 1.5 — 17. With this idea in view, the apostle's argument 
is perfectly intelligible. Mr. Locke seems to have had a glimpse 
of the apostle's meaning : " They who drink of the cup of bless- 
ing, do they not thereby partake of the benefits purchased by 
Christ's blood, which they here symbolically drink ? " But this 
is not exactly the apostle's idea : believers do not drink the blood, 
but they partake of it as the members do of the blood which flows 
from the head. Mr. Locke is more happy in his exposition of 
the latter clause, viz. "They who eat of the bread broken there, 
do they not partake in the sacrifice of the body of Christ, and 
profess to be members of him? " Upon the whole, the sense is, 
q. d. Is not the wine the blood of Christ ? is not the bread the 
body of Christ ? Is not, then, the participation of both an in- 
dication that those who so participate are vital parts of that body 
of which Christ is the Head ? 

•204 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. II. 

Ch.x. him and with each other as vital parts of his mysti- 
cal body ? 
17. The bread ivhich we break, is it not the parti- 
cipation of the body of Christ 9 Because the loaf 
is one, we all are one body ^ : for lue are all par- 
takers of that one loaf 

The participation of the eiicharistical loaf is an 
act of Christian social worship, by which we com- 
memorate the death of our Master, by which we 
symbolize our union with him our common head, 
as joint members of his mystical body, with which, 
' by this peculiar act of Christian worship, we become 
as it were so thoroughly incorporated, that it is as 
impossible for us to be at the same time worshipers 
of idols, as for the same flesh and the same blood 
to belong to two human bodies. And the one un- 
leavened loaf which we use upon these occasions, 
and of which we all partake, is an emblem of that 
intimate indivisible union which subsists among the 
professors of the Christian religion, with each other, 
and with Jesus their common Master : which union 

' Because the loaf is one.'] This is the rendering of Erasmus, 
Zegerus, Castalio, Grotius, Diodati, Bengelius, Bishop Pearce, 
Wakefield, Dr. Bell, and Dr. Townson. Archbishop Newcome 
gives it in his notes, but does not adopt it in the text. " From 
tlie unity of the bread in the eucharist," says Bishop Pearce, 
" he shows that all Christians have a communion one with an- 
other. That ol KoKXoi is here righ'tly translated fr//, appears 
from the use of iravrsi as a word equivalent to it in the last part 
of the verse 5 and also from Rom. v. 15, J8, viii. 32." — " By 
eating of that bread we, though many in number, are all united, 
and make but one body ; as many grains of corn are united in 
one loaf." Locke, " In partaking of the one loaf," says Dr, 
Priestley, " we acknowledge ourselves to be one body with 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 205 

would be as completely destroyed by an idolatrous Ch. x. 
act, as the integrity of the loaf would be destroyed ^'^^' ^^' 
by breaking off a fragment: and it is as impossible 
that a man should be at the same time an idolater 
and a Christian, as that the same fragment should 
be at once a constituent part of two different loaves. 

In the apostolic age, one loaf of unleavened bread 
was divided and distributed among all the members 
of the assembly who celebrated the Lord's supper ; 
and the apostle here argues from that circumstance 
in particular, as being a symbol of Christian union 
in Christian worship. But this circumstance in 
the celebration of the ordinance has, in process of 
time, undergone a change ; and it is no object with 
Christians now, either that the bread should be un- 
leavened, or that the loaf should be one. It is j ustly 
argued, that to circumstances so trivial the Chris- 
tian religion can attach no importance, and the end 
of the institution is sufficiently answered by eating 
and drinking in commemoration of Christ. 

The scope of the apostle's argument is this : That 
as eating and drinking at the Lord's table was an 
act of Christian worship, a symbol by which they 
professed their allegiance to Christ, so eating and 
drinking at the table of an idol was an act of idola- 
trous worship, and a symbol of their subjection to 
a heathen god ; and that these two characters are 
utterly inconsistent with each other. 

3. Partaking of the Jewish sacrifices is also an 

20G PaktII. I. CORINTHIANS, Sect. II, 

Ch. X. acknowledged participation of Jewish worship, ver. 

Vei. 18, Consider the natural-horn Israelites '. Are not 
they who eat of the sacrifices communicants with 
the altar ^? 

You know, that with respect to the peace-offer- 
ings which are presented in the temple at Jerusa- 
lem, part is consumed on the altar, part is allotted 
to the priest, and the rest is returned to the person 
who brings the sacrifice : to feast upon this sacri- 
fice is regarded as a direct acknowledgement of the 
supreme divinity of Jehovah, and as an act of re- 

^ Natural-born Israelites:'] fov \<xpa.rjX v.cLta ffa'pna,, Israel 
according to thejlesh. i. e. native Israelites who live under the 
law of Moses, " in opposition," says Arclibishop Newcome, "to 
the true Israel, the church of Christ." — " Consider the carnal 
ordinances of Israel." Wakefield. 

' Communicants with the altar:'] mivujvoi ra ^utriar'JfJs, 
communicants of the altar. The apostle's idea seems to be this, 
and it appears to me not to have been sufficiently adverted to, 
if at all, by expositors : All who join in the peculiar rites of 
any worship are considered as forming one community, one 
mystical body. Christians who partake of the eucharistic bread 
and wine, thereby profess themselves, and become, members 
of the body of Christ : they are portions of his flesh and blood. 
They who participate in Jevi'ish sacrifices become ko^vujvoi, com- 
municants of the altar ; i.e. of the Jewish religion. They are 
portions of the body of the Jewish church. And so, ver. 20, 
they who eat of idol sacrifices in an idol's temple are Y.oivwvoi, 
communicants of demons : they are portions of that body of which 
the demon whom they worship is the head : they are members 
of the community of idol worshipers. And the apostle's argu- 
ment is, as was observed before, that they can no longer be con- 
sidered as belonging to the community of which Christ is the 
head, than the same limb can be a vital part of two different 
bodies, or, than the same individual can be at the same time a 
member, and participate in the privileges, of two hostile com- 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect, II. 207 

ligious worship ; and the person offering the victim Ch. x. 
thereby identifies himself with the body of Jewish ' " 
worshipers. And so, by parity of reason, you plainly 
see, that to eat of idol sacrifices in an idol's temple, 
must be considered as a public and avowed act of 
idol worship, and identifying of yourselves with hea- 
then idolaters. 

4. Whatever their conviction might be as to the 
nullity of the heathen gods, to partake of idol sa- 
crifices in an idol's temple was an act of idolatrous 
worship, inconsistent with their Christian profes- 
sion, and highly offensive to God, ver. 19 — 22. 

fVliat, then, do I say ? that an idol is any thing 19. 

in itself .^ or, that an idol sacrifice is any thing ? 

You tell me in your letter, that an idol is nothing 
in the world, and that meat commendeth us not to 
God : nor do I deny the truth of these general prin- 
ciples. I am as well satisfied as you, of the nullity 
of the heathen gods, and of the perfect moral indif- 
ference of all kinds of wholesome food, considered 
in the abstract : nevertheless an action, in its own 
nature indifferent, may contract a moral complexion 
from the circumstances in which it is performed. 
And so it is in the present case. 

But this I say, that the things which the heathe?i 20. 
sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons^, and 7iot to God; 

' Demons:'] Saijjiovioi;, ghosts of heroes. See Farmer 07i 
Miracles, ch. iii. sect. 2. " St. Paul," says Mr. Farmer, " was 
a person of extensive learning, and well acquainted with the 
theology of the Gentiles, which represented human spirits as 
becoming demons after death. He knew that these demons 

208 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 

Ch. X. and I luould not that ye should be communicants 
Ver. 21. with demons i. Ye cannot drink of the cup of tssr 
Lordf and of the cup of demons. Ye cannot par- 
take of the tabled of the Lord, and of the table of 

were the very persons to whom the Gentiles offered their sacri- 
fices. At the same time he was conversant in those writings of 
the inspired prophets which taught, that the heathen gods were 
men and women deceased. Now, if he knew them to belong 
to the human species, would he deny that they had been men, 
and affirm that they were angels ? Besides, this apostle was 
writing to Gentiles, Avho knew, that according to their theology 
human spirits became demons after death ; and v^ho would na^ 
turally understand him as referring to Jupiter, Venus, and other 
men ai^d women whom they had once worshiped under this cha- 
racter. Would not St. Paul, then, use the word demon in th6 
same sense in which he knew it would be understood by those 
Gentiles to whom he was writing ? " The learned and accurate 
writer has taken very great and successful pains to prove, that 
though the word demon is sometimes used by philosophers to 
express a class of intermediate beings who never had been men, 
nevertheless in its most popular and usual sense it signified 
human spirits, who, being presumed to enjoy a separate exist- 
ence, after death, had been deified, and had become the objects 
of popular worship. See his elaborate treatise on the Preva- 
lence of the Worship of Human Spirits. 

" Bv $aiy.ovia here," says Bishop Pearce, " are not meant 
devils, but demons, or the ghosts of deceased men. Mr. Mede, 
in his Disc, on 1 Tim. iv. 1, has fully proved that this must be 
the sense of the word there, and in Acts xvii. 18." — " They 
sacrifice to demons : such spirits as those to whom they address 
their devotions must be wicked spiri,ts, if they exist at all, and 
devils may well be supposed to use their utmost efforts to sup- 
port such worship." Dr. Doddridge. But it Ls plain that the 
apostle has no reference to the devil in this text ; and as to 
more devils than one, the scripture is totally silent. 

' Communicants with demons:'] KOivwvg; rwv Sai[x.ivtujv, sharers 
(f demons, q. d. I would not that you should be portions, vital 
parts, of demons ; members of that body of which a demon is 
the head, i. e. idolaters : as Christians are KOivwvoi r« c-wi^arog 
T8 yLpis-n, are members and vital parts of the mystical body of 
which Christ is the head. 

^ Partake of the table il [x^srsx^tv. You cannot partake of the 
eucharistical bread. Why not ? Because^ ver. 1 6, the bread 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 209 

demons too. Do we provoke the Lord to jea- Ch. x. 
lousy "^9 Are we stronger than he? 

The objects of popular worship among the hea- 

which we break is xoivwvfa, a communion of the body of Christ. 
Partaking, therefore, of this bread, is a symbol of our being parts 
of that mystical body of which Christ is the head : that is, mem- 
bers of the Christian community. By parity of reason, they who 
partake of the table of a demon are xojvwvof, members of that 
body of which a demon is the head, that is, idolaters ; and you 
cannot be both Christians and idolaters. The apostle distin- 
guishes^ in this argument, between (isToy^oi and kOivwvoi. Me- 
TO^oi are receivers of, KOiviovoi are parts united to. The receivers 
qfthe eucharistical bread are united to, and vital portions of, the 
mystical body of Christ. You cannot, ov SvvacrSs. Bishop Pearce 
renders the words, " You must not ;" but the apostle plainly 
means to represent it to be as great an impossibility to be a 
Christian and an idolater, as for the, same limb to be a vital part 
of two living bodies. 

' Provoke the Lord to jealousy^ " Dare you, then, being 
espoused to Christ, provoke the Lord to jealousy ; which is spi- 
ritual whoredom?" Locke. The apostle still adheres to the 
image which he has hitherto kept in view : Christians are one 
person with Christ, as those connected in the conjugal relation 
are said to be one person. But if a Christian becomes an idol- 
ater, he separates himself from the person of Christ ; as one who 
commits adultery breaks the marriage union, and justly becomes 
the object of jealousy and indignation. Mr. Locke in his para- 
phrase well sums up the apostle's argument in this section : 
" You cannot be Christians and idolaters too : nor, if you should 
endeavour to join these inconsistent rites, will it avail you any 
thing ; for your partaking in the sacraments of the Chribtian 
church will no more exempt you from the anger of God, and pu- 
nishment due to your idolatry, than the eating of the spiritual 
food, and drinking of the spiritual rock, kept the baptized Israel- 
ites, who offended God by their idolatry and other sins, from be- 
ing destroyed in the wilderness." When the apostle speaks of 
provoking the Lord to jealousy, he probably refers to Christ, of 
whom he is speaking in the context, and who seems through the 
apostolic age to have exercised a personal and sensible authority 
over the church : though we have no evidence to prove that this 
personal intercourse is still continued, See Matt, xxviii. 20, and 
the note in the Improved Version. 

VOL. II. p. 

210 Part II. 1. C O R 1 N T II 1 A N S. Skct. II. 

Ch. X. then were demons : that is, deified men, and not 
*' devils, as our translators very improperly render it. 
Those imaginary beings which the Jewish mytho- 
logy called devils had no place in the mythology of 
Greece and Rome. Nor were they ever among those 
polished nations the objects of popular worship, nor 
does the apostle ever assert it ; though by a strange 
mistranslation he appears to do so to the English 
reader. This point is so completely settled among 
men of learning and inquiry, that it admits of no 

And the tenor of the apostle's argument is this: 
You cannot be both Christians and idolaters ; you 
cannot feast at the table of the living God and at 
that of demons, or departed men ; you cannot be 
worshipers of God, and at the same time worshipers 
of dead men : for it is notorious that the sacrifices 
which the heathen ofter, they offer to the dead. 
How is it possible that you, who are identified with 
Christ and are members of his mystical body, can 
identify yourselves with the corrupt mass of heathen 
idolaters, and be at the same time Christian wor- 
shipers of the true and living God, and idolatrous 
worshipers of senseless images and dead men ? No- 
thing can be more inconsistent or more intolerable. 
And being thus united to Christ, and, as it were, 
espoused to him, will you dare to violate your so- 
lemn vows, will you presume to provoke him to jea- 
lousy, by admitting a rival in your hearts, and by 
practising idolatrous worship ? Are you sufficiently 
apprized of your danger ? do you not see the infa-r 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 2 ] 1 

tuation of your conduct? will he not resent and Ch. X. 
punish your infidelity and apostasy ? are you pre- 
pared to meet him ? can you endure his indigna- 
tion, or withstand his power ? Beware, then, how 
you provoke his anger by returning to those idola- 
trous and criminal practices from which it was the 
great design of the gospel to rescue and purify its 

Case II. 

The apostle, treating of the lawfulness of eat- 
ing meat which had been offered to an idol, and 
having insisted very much at large upon the First 
and the most important case, namely, that of feast- 
ing upon an idol sacrifice in an idol's temple, now 
proceeds briefly to discuss the other two. The Se- 
cond Question was, concerning the lawfulness of 
eating flesh which had been part of an idol sacrifice, 
and which had afterwards been exposed to sale, and 
purchased in the public market. 

In these circumstances he decides peremptorily, 
that the flesh of the victim may be eaten without 
question and without scruple, ver. 23 — 20. 

*' All things are lawful^.'' Yet all things are 23. 
not expedient. ''All things are laivfuW Yet all 
things do not edify. 

' All things.'] The words iravra s^sriv, all things are law- . 
ful, are probably extracted from the letter of the Corinthians. 
See chap. viii. Vide Bowyer. Moi is omitted. Griesbach. To 
avoid tautology, expedient may be understood as what may be 
beneficial to the agent himself : edification has respect to others. 

212 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 

Ch. X. In the letter which I have received from you, 
^'^' " you assume it as a self-evident principle, that " All 
things are lawful." You tell me that you are per- 
fectly satisfied, that under the Christian dispensa- 
tion there is no distinction of food. This proposi- 
tion is true, indeed, in the abstract ; but the rule 
mav admit of some exceptions. Cases may occur, 
in which an adherence to it may be inexpedient. 
" Jewish distinctions," you say, " are abolished." 
They are so : but circumstances may arise, in which 
the improvement of others may be consulted by 
waving the exercise of your Christian liberty, and 
in which you may do injury to others, and ensnare 
the consciences of weaker Christians, or obstruct 
the progress of Christianity among unbelievers, by 
pertinaciously insisting upon your own right. 
21. Lei no one seek his own good, but every one that 
of another ' . 

' That of another :] " another's wealth." This is the render- 
ing of the public version ; but, as Bishop Pearce truly observes, 
the word ti'ea///i at the time when our translation was made sig- 
nified good, as in commonwealth, but it has now got another sig- 
nification. The Bishop's translation is, "Let no man seek his 
own things only, but every man another's also;" and Archbishop 
Newcome adopts the same construction. Pearce refers to his 
note on ch. i. 17. But the introduction of the restrictive words 
only and also injures the spirit of the maxim which the apostle in- 
troduces in opposition to the loose and selfish principle of the 
Corinthians, " All things are lawful :" a maxim which he disap- 
proves, and which he brands as injurious both to individuals and 
to society ; and recommends to them to substitute in its place 
the beautiful princii)le of disinterested benevolence. Bishop 
Pearce closes the first case with this verse, and adds, " I abso- 
lutely forbid, therefore, your eating in the temples meat offered 
to idols." 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 213 

You have stated your maxim, permit me to offer Ch. x. 
mine ; which you will do well to receive and to act ^^'' ' 
upon, as a modification of your own : Let benevo- 
lence be your ruling principle : forget your own in- 
terest in that of your neighbour. Let every selfish 
affection merge in that of universal good will. This 
is the great law of your profession ; it is the dictate 
of the highest wisdom ; it is the perfect rule of con- 
duct ; it is the great secret of producing universal 
happiness. With this proviso, I now proceed to lay 
down a rule for the Second Case. 

TFhatsoever is sold in the market 2 eat. askinsr 25. 
no questions on accoujit of conscience. For the 2^. 
earth is the Lord's ^ and all that is in it 3. 

Christian liberty must be limited by expedience ; 
but to impose needless restraints is useless and un- 
wise. To feast upon idol victims in an idol's tem- 
ple is an overt act of idolatry, and as such it must 
be sedulously avoided by every one who professes 
subjection to the law of Christ. But upon other 

' Sold in the market.'] MansKKov, shambles, for a carnaria. 
RosenmuUer ; who adds, "nihil inquirentes ne conscientia vestra 
perturhetur y He observes, that the seller might either have 
offered part of the animal at the shrine before he brought the, 
rest to market, or that the priests might sell the part which had 
been allotted to them ; but concerning these circumstances it 
was needless to inquire. God is the sovereign proprietor of all ; 
and what he has given for the use of mankind cannot be in itself 

^ All that is in it.] So Newcome. Gr. "^ and the fulness 
thereof:' Bishop Pearce translates it, " and all that it is full 
of;" adding by way of paraphrase, " all the beasts of the eart,h 
are the Lord's, and he hath given them for the use and service 
of men." 

214 PautII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.II. 

Ch. X. occasions such food may be innocently used. If, 
for example, meat is exposed to sale in the public 
market, you are under no obligation to inquire how 
it came there. The purchase and use of it, in these 
circumstances, can with no appearance of reason be 
interpreted as an act of idolatry. It is the bounty 
of Providence which supplies us with food ; and of 
that bounty we are at full liberty, in the exercise of 
a grateful spirit, to partake, without scrupulously ex- 
amining whether the meat we purchase had or had 
not been offered in an idol's temple. All wholesome 
food in such circumstances is lawful ; and though 
tenderness of conscience should be cherished with 
care, scrupulousness of spirit should by all means be 
avoided, as founded upon a narrowness of mind, 
unworthy of the liberal and manly spirit of Chris- 

Case III. 

The last case which the apostle proposes, is that 
of their being invited to the table of a heathen friend, 
where an idol sacrifice might be supposed to con- 
stitute a part of the entertainment. In this case the 
expedience of partaking of it must depend upon the 
peculiarity of the circumstances, ver. 27 — xi. 1. 

1 . In general, the apostle advises believers to eat 
what is set before them without any scruple, ver. 27. 
27. AlsOy if any unbeliever invite you i to an enter- 

' Invite 2/OM. j " e< r<; naXsi, sc. ad convivium, nam kolXsiv 
est adconviviumvocare." Rosenmuller j who observes^ that the 

Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Ssct. II. 215 

tainmeiit, and ye are disposed to go, eat whatso- Ch. x. 
ever is set before you, askijig no questions on ac- "" 
count of conscience. 

Christianity is no enemy to social enjoyment; nor 
is it at all necessary for you, as believers in the doc- 
trine of Christ, to retire from the world, or to with- 
draw from the society of your heathen friends, if 
their characters be good and their manners amiable: 
innocent and cheerful festivity is perfectly compati- 
ble with Christian sanctity. If, then, a heathen 
friend invite you to an entertainment, and you are 
disposed to accept of it, go without hesitation ; and 
whatsoever is set before you, partake of it without 
scruple within the bounds of temperance and mo- 
deration, even though you may have reason to sus- 
pect that part of the provision may have been first 
offered at the heathen temple. Your feasting upon 
it at the table of a friend is very different from par- 
taking of it in the idol's temple, and cannot in rea- 
son be construed into an act of idolatry. 

2. If, however, any scrupulous guest should be 
present, and suggest an objection, the apostle ad- 
vises the more enlightened believer to wave the ex- 
ercise of his Christian liberty, ver. 28, 29. 

But if any one say to you, This meat hath been 28. 
offered to an idol, eat it not, because of the con- 
science of him who told you 2. Because of the con- 29. 

apostle is not speaking of idol feasts, but of common and pri- 
vate entertainments. 

^ Because of the conscience of him who told you ;] Six tav 

216 Part II. I.CORINTHIAN S. Skct. II, 

Ch. X. science, I say, of the other person, and not becatise 
^^ " ' of thine oiun. 

Christianity does not encourage scrupulosity: 
nevertheless, believers, vi'hose hearts are sincere, 
though their understandings may not be sufficiently 
enlightened, may entertain a notion that partaking, 
upon any occasion, of meat which has been pre- 
sented at the altar of an idol, is an act of idol wor- 
ship ; and if this uninformed Christian sees that 
you eat of it without scruple, it may induce him to 
do that which in him would be an act of idolatry, 
however innocent in you. And therefore, for his 
sake, it will be right for you to abstain ; that you 
may not seduce him into a practice which would be 
contrary to his convictions. Or, if the objector 
should even be an unbelieving Jevr, it might still be 
expedient to wave your privilege, 

3. The apostle states and replies to an objection 

/xTjvuffavT'a, xa< rijv cruvej^'r/O-iV " because of him who told thee, 
and because of conscience." Newcome. — " I have rendered 
these words," says Bishop Pearce, " as a hendiadys : q. d. Sia, 
TTijv a-vvsihjd-iv -fy ^r,vu<ravros. So m Virgil, paterdet auro." See 
ch. ii. 4, and the Bishop's note ; see also Schulzius in Rosen- 
muUer. After the word <ruvEt$riiny, the received text adds, " for 
the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof:" which are 
quite irrelevant to the apostle's argument, and are wanting in 
the most ancient manuscripts and versions. They are left out of 
the text by Griesbach, Pearce, Newcome, and Wakefield, and 
were evidently introduced by some careless transcriber from 
ver.26, where they are very apposite, and where they follow the 
word (Tuv£i^y)Ttv. Bishop Pearce supposes the objector to be a 
Jew ; but this is needless, it might be either a Jew or a scrupu-» 
lous Christian. "Any Christian or Jew." Nevi^come, Certainly 
not the master of the feast^ unless he meant to insult his guest. 

Part II. I. C O R 1 N T H I A N 3. Sect. II. 217 

which the enlightened believer might be supposed Ch. x. 
to offer to his advice, ver. 29 — xi. 1 . 

But why is my liberty to be abridged i by an- Ver. —29. 
others conscience ? If I partake with thankful- 30. 

ness 2, why should I be censured on account of that 
for which I give thanks ? 

I well know that the advice I offer will not be 
palatable to all ; and an objector, more intent upon 
self-gratification than on self-denial, may say, I see 
no reason why I am to be deprived of an agreeable 
and innocent gratification, because of another man's 
ignorance and superstition. Let him gain better 
information ; let him learn the extent of Christian 
liberty, and then his scruples will vanish, and will 
neither incommode himself nor others. The gospel 
has set me free from ceremonial distinctions, and 
the meat which it allows me to partake of, I have 
received with a heart grateful to the God of all for 
his bounty. I know the nullity of heathen deities, 
and the vanity of idol worship. Nor can this par- 
ticipation of food at the table of a friend, though a 
heathen, be justly interpreted as associating myself 
with him in his idolatrous rites. Who, then, has 
a right to censure me for that participation of the 

' To be abridged :] npivsrai. " why should my liberty be 
condemned by another man's conscience ? " Newcome, Wake- 
field, q. d. Why am I to be restrained from an act which my 
conscience approves, merely because another man's conscience 
condemns it ? 

' Partake with thankfulness :] %a^i'i'i. So Wakefield. " with 
thanksgiving." Newcome; and Pearce, who observes^ that this 
.sense of the word, which is common in the apostle's writings, is 
confirmed by gu;)/ao<rw in the latter part of the verse. 

218 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. II. 

Ch. X. bounty of provid'^rc'^, which, being consecrated by 
"' ' a grateful heart, is an act of homage to the true and 
living God ? 

The apostle replies to this plausible but some- 
what captious objection, by offering three consider- 
ations : 

First, The great concern of the practical believer 

is not to gratify appetite, but to glorify God, even 

in the moet common actions of life, ver. 31. 

31. Whether, therefore, ye eat, or whether ye drink y 

or whatsoever else yd? do, do all to the glory of God. 

Your objection has weight, provided that you 
were the only party concerned ; but remember, that 
as disciples of Christ, you are neither to consult your 
own gratification, nor the humours and prejudices 
of others, but to maintain an habitual regard to the 
will and to the glory of God. By your profession 
of the Christian rehgion, you have devoted your- 
selves to the service of God ; and it is your duty to. 
maintain that habitual powerful sense of God upon 
the mind, that in every action of life you may have 
an explicit regard to his authority and submission to 
his will. And, if you are formed to this truly Chris- 
tian spirit, you will not for a moment hesitate to deny 
yourselves any indulgence, if the service of God, the 
welfare of your fellow-creatures, and the general in- 
terest of truth and virtue, which He vouchsafes to re- 
gard as his chief glory, may be promoted by it. 

Secondly, As disciples of Christ, they nmst avoid 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. II. 2 19 

every thing that would obstruct the progress of the ^h. x , 
gospel, ver. 32. 

Put no stumbling block i before the Jews 2, or ver. 32. 
the Greeks, or the church of God. 

Let me remind you, that one important case un- 
der this first and most inviolable of Christian max- 
ims is, that you do not, by the imprudent exercise 
of Christian liberty, tempt others to transgress. Do 
not, then, by continuing to eat of the flesh of a vic- 
tim at the table of a friend, after a caution has been 
suggested, prejudice the Jew against the Christian 
faith as favourable to idol worship, or lead the Gen- 
tile to conclude that you are not averse to pa-tici- 
pate in his idolatrous rites. And, above all, place 
no temptation in the way of weaker and less enlight- 
ened believers to relapse into idolatry ; and thus to 
dishonour their profession, to injure their character, 
and to endanger their final state. If such evil con- 

^ Put no stumbling block :'] A-Ttpoa-xoTfoi yivsar^s. So Wake- 
field. — " Give no cause of offending." Newcome. — " AirpoaKO- 
iroi notat eum qui aliis incedentibus milium objicit offendiculum. 
Hesych. et Suidas a.aKO.vda.Xis'og . Metaphorice is dicitur, qui non 
committit aliquid, ut exinde alter in errorem incidat, aut ad pec- 
catum alliciatur." Schleusner. 

• Before the JewSj or, &c.] This is a confirmation of Bishop 
Pearce's conjecture, that the objection might be supposed to pro- 
ceed from an unbelieving Jew; who might be prejudiced against 
the Christian religion if he saw that the professors of it partook 
without any scruple of meat which, tliough not eaten in the idol's 
temple, was nevertheless apart of the immolated victim. — " The 
Jews or the Gentiles, " xa* EXKrj<n, and theGreeks." The Greeks 
are here substituted for Gentiles in general ; and the word is so 
translated, and perhaps inadvertently, without notice, by Arch- 
bishop Newcome. " And %a.i, following a negative, is here to 
be translated nor. See Rom. iv. 19 j 1 John iii. 10." Mac- 

220 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IL 

Ch. X. sequences follow from your unguarded use of Chris- 
tian liberty, and your refusal occasionally to wave 
your privilege, you sadly deviate from that excellent 
and perfect rule of conduct which I have just re- 

Thirdly, Upon the whole, the apostle recommends 
it to them, in this and in other particulars, to follow 
his own example of accommodation and self-denial; 
as it had been his ambition and endeavour to follow 
that of their common and honoured Master, ver. 
33 — ch. xi. 1. 
^3. And as /, in all things, please all men i, jiot 
seeking my own advantage, but the advantage of 
all^, that they may be saved, so be ye imitator's of 
me^, even as I 2cm. of Christ. 

Ch. xr. 

Ver. 1. 

' Please all men.'] Bishop Pearce remarks here, " A way of 
speaking very common with St. Paul, as with other writers ; by 
expressing the action he means only to express his design. It 
is certain he did not in fact please all ; no, not all the Corin- 
thians : but he endeavoured to please them ; and this, therefore, 
is all the force of apgo-Kco." In confirmation of this remark, he 
refers to Gal. v. 4 ; Heb. ii. 10 3 John xv. 15 ; Rom. ii. 4. — 
" ApBffYM, placere studeo." Rosenmuller. 

* The advantage of all :] rcvv iroXXiuv, the many ; i. e. all men. 
Pearce, Wakefield. See ch. x. 17, and the Bishop's note. 

^ Be ye imitators of rwe.] Locke, Pearce, GricKsbach, New- 
come, Wakefield, Rosenmuller. &c. all agree in joining this 
verse to the last of the preceding chapter, as being evidently 
connected with what he there states concerning his own conduct. 
Mr. Locke supposes some reflection to be intended upon the 
false apostle by the limitations which the apostle sets to their 
imitating his example. — " Hunc versum perperam Latini a supe- 
riore capite absecuerunt, cum quo potius coliceret : ita tamen, ut 
singulari quodam Pauli artificio, sit simul et superioris disputatio- 
nis condusio, et transitio ad ea quaz sequicntur." Rosenmuller. 

Part II. 1. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. II. 22 1 

To conclude : I have related at large to you in Ch. xi. 
what particulars I cheerfully submit to considerable 
privations, and hov/ 1 endeavour upon all occasions 
to accommodate myself to the humours and preju- 
dices of my hearers as far as I innocently can, in 
order to save them from idolatry and vice, and ruin. 
And to speak the truth, and that I may not appear 
to claim greater merit than is due, I frankly own, 
that in this rugged path of self-denial I only follow, 
and that at humble distance, the glorious footsteps 
of our revered Master ; who denied himself every 
gratification, and submitted to the most ignomini- 
ous usage and the most cruel sufferings, that he 
might accomplish the purposes of his heavenly mis- 
sion. Be it thus your honourable ambition, my be- 
loved friends, to imitate good examples, wherever 
you find them ; and in the case I have stated be 
imitators of me, and not of me cmly, but of Jesus 
Christ, who is the perfect pattern of human virtue ; 
who has set us an example which, as it is my desire 
and ambition ever to keep in view, I would also re- 
commend to your habitual and supreme regard, as 
the only safe and infallible rule of conduct. 

222 Part II. I. C O R 1 N T H I A N S. Sjsct. III. 


Ch. xr. The apostle in this section offers advice con- 
cerning decorum in the appearance and dress of 
those persons, whether male or female, who were 
appointed to officiate in their public assemblies, 
ch. xi. 2— 16. 

The subject is attended with some difficulty. As 
the apostle so expressly prohibits women from speak- 
ing in the church ^ at all (ch. xiv. 34, 35), some 

' Prohibits women from speaking in the church ■.'\ viz. 1 Cor. 
xiv. 34, 35, 37 ; " Let your women keep silence in the churches, 
for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. The things 
that I write to you are the commandments of the Lord." Not- 
withstanding this strict prohibition, under the authority of 
Christ himself, the apostle in this chapter supposes that a wo- 
man might pray and prophesy ; that is, speak to others " for 
edification, exhortation, and comfort," 1 Cor. xiv. 3 } and he 
gives direction for the decent performance of this duty. To re- 
concile this apparent inconsistency, Grotius, Locke, and most of 
the commentators, have supposed that women were sometimes 
inspired, either to foretell future events, or to speak for edifi- 
cation. So, it appears, under the Old Testament, that Miriam 
and Deborah were inspired ; and under the new dispensation^ 
the seven daughters of Philip the evangelist were prophet- 
esses. Acts xxi. 9. Compare Joel ii. 28, Acts ii. 17. These ex- 
traordinary cases were of course exceptions to the general rule j 
and it is to such cases that the apostle's directions in this chap- 
ter apply. Dr. Taylor, however, is not satisfied with this inter- 
pretation ; and thinks the rule laid down in the fourteenth chap- 
ter too absolute and imperative, and of too high authority to ad- 
mit of any restrictions. He conjectures, therefore, that as it was 
the custom in Greece for the women to live in a state of separa- 
tion from the men, excepting those of their own family, the wo- 
men might probably have assemblies of their own, distinct from 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. III. 223 

have supposed that he alludes in this passage to Ch. xi. 
their speaking by immediate inspiration, which 
would of course be an excepted case. But it seems 
most probable that the women occasionally held 
separate religious assemblies of their own sex, in 
which it was thought no impropriety for those who 
prayed or taught, to lay aside the veil while they 
were officiating : and this is the practice which the 
apostle here condemns. 

1 . He expresses his satisfaction in the general at- 
tention which the Corinthians had paid to the rules 
which he had prescribed for the conduct of their re- 
ligious assemblies, ver. 2. 

Noiv I commend you, brethren, because ye re- Ver. 1. 
member me in allthinqs'^, andadliere to the rules ^ 
as I delivered them to you. 

those of the men, where they might pray with, and prophesy to, 
that is, instruct and edify each other. These are the assemblies 
to which the apostle refers in this chapter, and for the orderly 
conducting of which he lays down rules. And in confirmation 
of this conjecture he observes, that in this advice there is not one 
word of praying or prophesying in the church : for the apostle 
did not consider those assemblies of women as proper churches. 
Then, at ver. 17 he begins to correct disorders in their proper 
assemblies when they came together in the church, men and 
women. And upon this subject he discourses to the end of the 
fourteenth chapter." See Dr. Taylor's excellent note upon Rom. 
xvi. 1. 

'^ III all things.'] " They remembered most of his instructions 
and regulations." Newcome. Considering, however, the gross 
irregularities upon which the apostle animadverts in this and the 
succeeding chapters, the expression must be understood with 
very great limitations. 

' Adhere to the rules :] rag TrapaSoasis xa.tsx^'^s- Literally, 
" hold fast the things which have been delivered, as I have de- 

224 Pakt II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. III. 

Ch. XI. When I was with you, I prescribed a variety of 
rules for the decent regulation of your rehgious as- 
semblies, whether of a public or private nature ; and 
I am pleased to hear that in general you, or at least 
many of you, have observed them. There are, how- 
ever, some irregularities which duty obliges me to 
notice, and particularly those concerning which you 
have asked my opinion and advice. 

2. The apostle assumes the superior authority of 
the male sex ; and argues from this principle, that 
the man should be uncovered and the woman veiled 
while they were officiating in their respective reli- 
gious assemblies, ver. 3 — 7. 

But Iwishyoti to knoiu, that the head of every 
inan is Christ; and that the head of the woman is 
the man, and that the head of Christ is God^ . 

livered them 5" — " xare^o;, diligenter observo." Schleusner. — 
" Keep my traditions as I delivered them to you." Newcome. 
But the word tradition, in its usual acceptation, does not ex- 
press the apostle's meaning : what the apostle particularly al- 
ludes to in this passage is, certain rules which, while he was! 
with them, he had delivered to them for the support of order and 
decorum in their public meetings, and which they had generally 
observed. Bishop Pearce's translation is, " and keep those 
rules which I delivered unto you, in the same manner as I de- 
livered them." — " Et prcecepta quce ego vohis tradidi retinetis. 
nrapaSoasuj^ nomine vacatur omne id quod docetur : hie autemsig- 
nijicatur, prceceptio deritihus, et morihus publicis, ad ordinem et 
decorum in ecclesiis servandum institutis." Rosenmuller. 

' The head of Christ is God^ Slichtingius well observes from 
this text, that " as the most high God can have no head above 
him, therefore Christ is not the most high God.'^' " To explain 
this mystery, some of the Fathers say, that ' God is here said to 
be the head of Christ as being the Father of the Son, and so 
the cause of him. But yet, as the woman is of the same nature 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. III. 2. 225 

Christ is the Lord and lawgiver of his church, Ch. xi 

and to his authority every man who professes to be 
his disciple owes subjection. In like manner, the 
woman owes subjection to the man ; and Christ 
himself is subject to God, whose servant he is, whose 
commission he bears, and whose will he performs. 

The apostle does not profess upon this occasion 
to speak by inspiration, and his language is formed 
upon the customs and habits of those nations in 
which the man was the despot of the family, and 
the women and children were little better than slaves. 
It is happy for us that we live in a more enlightened 
age, and in a country of more liberal and polished 
manners, in which the claims of the two sexes are 
more equitably adjusted, and each sustains its proper 
part in domestic arrangements and civil society. It 
is obvious, also, to observe, with what unaffected 

with the man who is Tier head, so is Christ of the same nature 
with God the Father.' Others say, that ' the Father is here 
styled the head of Christ, considered as Mediator ; in which re- 
lation he received his kingdom and dominion from him, and ex- 
ercises it wholly to his glory.' " Whitby. But surely this is lit- 
tle better than mere jargon, and substituting words for ideas. 
The moderns do not succeed much better than the ancients 
in their qualifying clauses. " Christ," says Dr. Doddridge, 
" in his mediatorial character acts in subordination to the Fa- 
ther, who rules by him, and hath constituted him sovereign of all 
worlds, visible and invisible." But if Christ was himself the 
Maker of all worlds, how can he be said to be constituted sove- 
reign by the Father? — Dr. Macknight does not explain the 
case much more satisfactorily than Dr. Doddridge : " The head 
of Christ, to whom in saving the world he is subject, is God." 
But how can one omnipotent Being be subject to another om- 
nipotent Being ? Yet these expressions pass, because few read- 
ers will stop to reflect upon their absurdity. 

VOL. II. a 

Ver. 3. 

226 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. III. 2. 

Ch. XT. simplicity the apostle speaks of the subjection of 
^'^* * Christ to God as his Lord and Governor, without 
adding any of those qualifying clauses which many 
of his commentators find necessary, when they 
would reconcile the inferiority of Christ with his 
supreme divinity and full equality with the Father ; 
and which Paul himself would also have found equally 
necessary, in order to guard his readers against dan- 
gerous errors, if he had entertained the same opi- 
nion concerning the person of Christ which his com- 
mentators have embraced. 
4. Every 7nan^ praying or prophesying ^ having 
his head covered^, dishonoureth him who is his 

' Prophesying.'] It cannot be doubted that this word often 
signifies speaking under a divine impulse ; but it is also used 
for teaching in general, and in that sense it seems to me rea- 
sonable to understand it in this passage, 

* Having his head covered.'] " It appears from Theodoret, 
that the men of Corinth, according to the custom of the Greeks, 
both wore longhair, and prayed to God with their heads covered, 
in the public assemblies : so also, saith Plutarch, did the Ro- 
mans; so, saith Lightfoot, did the Jews. But the heathen 
woman paid her devotion to the Gods resoluta comas, with her 
hair loose and hanging down." Whitby. As it is not probable 
that the apostle would advise the Corinthians to worship God 
in a manner which would be regarded as indecorous, it seems 
probable that some Christians, when they spoke or prayed in 
public, were accustomed to wear a veil, which the apostle here 
disapproves, as being properly a part of female dress. On the 
other hand, the women who prayed and taught in their own 
assemblies, which they were not forbidden to do, threw aside 
their veils, probably conceiving that it would be more conve- 
Anient ; or perhaps regarding it as a token of religious respect, 
as the heathen priestesses laid aside their veils when they spoke 
under the impulse of the oracle. This custom is strongly repro- 
bated by the apostle, and strictly forbidden by him, as utterly in- 

Part II. 1. C O R I N T II I A N S, Skct. III. 2. 227 

If a man wear a veil, or any other covering upon Ch. xi. 
his head when he is conducting pubUc worship, or ^^' ' 
instructing his fellow-Christians, it is a retiection 
upon Christ, whose image he bears, and whose com- 
mission he executes : for it would be assuming the 
symbol of subjection, when, in fact, he is invested 
with authority. 

£ut every woman praying or prophesying with 5. 

her head unveiled^ dishonoureth him who is her 
head^ : for that is one and the same as if she were 

The woman, by taking off her veil, virtually re- 
nounces her subjection to the man ; and may with 
equal propriety alter her dress to that style which 
the custom of the country has appropriated to the 
male sex. 

For if the woman he not veiled^ let her also cut 6. 

off her hair^ ; hut fit be disgraceful to a ivoman 
to cut of her hah\ or to shave herself let her wear 
a veil. 

If the woman lay aside her veil in public, let her 
be consistent : let her in other articles assume the 
appearance and attire of the man. But if it be in- 
consistent with public decorum,, and with the delicacy of the fe- 
male sex. See Pearce and Doddridge. 

^ Him who is hxs head.'] i. e. Christ ; which seems to be the 
most important sense of the words, and the most agreeable to 
the connexion. See Whitby, Locke, Doddridge, and Rosenmul- 
ler. Gr. " dishonoureth his head :" i.e. his own head. Pearce, 
Newcome, &c. 

* Him who is her head.'] i. e. the man ; by encroaching upon 
his province, by appearing in his dress. 

* Cut off her hair :] xsipaty^uj. See Wakefield. " let her head 
even be shorn." Newcome. 


228 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. III. 2,3. 

Ch. XI. decorous for the woman to appear in the garb of a 
^^''' man, let her retain that article of dress to which cus- 
tom has annexed the idea of female modesty and 
7. For indeed the man ought not to cover his head, 
being the image and glory ' of God : but the woman 
is the glory o/"the man. 

God created man, as it is said. Gen. i. 27, in his 
own likeness, in intellect, in rectitude, in dignity, 
and in dominion. It becomes him, therefore, to ap- 
pear uncovered, which is the usual symbol of the 
possession of power and the exercise of authority, 
and an emblem of an independent station. But 
the woman was made in the pleasing and softened 
image and likeness of the man : as he derives au- 
thority immediately from God, so she derives her 
authority from him, and governs the family in sub- 
ordination to him. It becomes her, therefore, to 
wear the symbol of subjection and allegiance. 

3. Having further argued the superiority of the 
male sex, the apostle suggests a hint, that as be- 
lievers in Christ, the two sexes are upon an equa- 

' Image and glonj.} '^ A hendiadys for glorious image." 
Wakefield. — " The glorious image of God in his dominion over 
this lower world. Ps. viii. 5, 6." Newcome. Bishop Pearce 
translates $o^a likeness; q. d. he is the image and likeness of 
God : but in this rendering he is singular. " Similitudinem et 
viajestatem Dei referens. Est enim vir in supremo gradu colloca- 
tus in hoc mundo . . . mulier vero mariti auctontatem refert. Im- 
perat enim materfamilias sucefamilice, sed viri nomine" Rosen- 

Part II. L C O R I N T H I A N S, Sect. III. 3. 229 

llty ; and that the authority of the man ought to be Ch. XI. 
exercised with indulgence, ver. 8 — 12. 

Moreover i the man was not tdkex\^ from the ivo- Ver. 8. 
man, but the woman from the man. Neither luas 9. 

the man created for the womati, but the woman for 
the man. 

The account contained in the Book of Genesis 
of the formation of the woman, being taken from 
his side and created for his use, sufficiently indi- 
cates the inferiority of the female sex, and the sub- 
jection of the woman to the man. 

For this reason ought the woman to wear upon 10. 

her head the token of subjection to authority 3, be- 
cause of the messengers^. 

^ The man was not taken from :] sk yvvaiKo;. " the man 
does not belong to the woman." Pearce. But the same expres- 
.sion occurs ver. 1 2, where it must be rendered in its usual sense, 
from the tvoman. The apostle's argument in these verses from 
the Mosaic history, will not bear any great stress to be laid upon 
it. See Priestley. 

^ The token of subjection to authority.'] E^ovcria is univer- 
sally understood as meaning the veil, the emblem of subjection 
to the authority of man . See Whitby. 

■* Because of the messengers :] Six Tag ayy^Xovg, because of 
the angels. " What the meaning of these words is," saith Mr. 
Locke, " I confess I do not understand :" nor indeed is it 
easy to make any sense of them, if by tlie word angels we are to 
understand beings of an order superior to mankind who are sup- 
posed to be present in religious assemblies. But, if we admit 
Dr. Taylor's natural and judicious interpretation of this pas- 
sage, in his note upon Rom. xvi. 1, nothing can be more easy. 
" The men upon sundry occasions," saith this admirable expo- 
.sitor, " sent messengers to these female assemblies ; and these 
messengers, coming in the name of their husbands, brought, in 
a sense, their authority along with them : on which account 
the women ought to observe a just decorum, as if their hus- 
bands were present. The women ought to have power on their 
head, because of the messengers:' Bishop Pearce takes no no- 

230 Part II. I.CORINTHIAN S. Skct. III. 3. 

Ch. xr. You may perhaps think, tliat in the private as- 
semblies of the female sex there would be no im- 
propriety in the woman who prays or teaches laying 

tice of this interpretation of Dr. Taylor's ; perhaps he might 
not know of it. He supposes, that St. Paul speaks according 
to the notion which then prevailed among the Jbm's, whether a 
just one or not, that " the holy angels interested themselves in 
the affairs of men, and particularly were present in their reli- 
gious assemblies." Eccles.v. 6. t)r. Priestley also supposes that 
the apostle alludes to the popular opinion of the presence of an- 
gels in religious assemblies, out of respect to whom women 
should have their heads covered : he does not notice Dr. Tay- 
lor's solution of the difficulty, and probably did not recollect it. 
Archbishop Newcome, after noticing the common hjqjothesis, 
and that of Beza, who supposes it to allude to the presence 
of the inspired teachers, and likewise Dr. Taylor's interpreta- 
tion, gives it as his own opinion, that the words are a gloss, 
inserted in conformity to Jewish notions. This also was the con- 
jecture of Dr. Owen in Bowyer. In fact, the sense and con- 
struction are complete, if this clause should be omitted. See 
Bishop Pearce. "propter exploratoresy Rosenmuller. — " Be- 
ca.use of the evil angels," says Dr. Whitby, after TertuUian : 
" she being tempted by the prince of them to do that which is 
perpetual cause of shame to her, and which increased her sub- 
jection to the man, Gen.iii.26, ought therefore to use this token 
of shamcfacedness and subjection." Macknight adopts the 
same interpretation. But what proof is there that Satan, or 
any other evil angel, had any concern in the fall of man ? Moses 
gives no hint of the intervention of any such malignant being, 
nor is such an extraordinary doctrine any where revealed. And 
if this most incredible hypothesis were allowed, what reason 
would it afford for the woman wearing the veil ? Let it not, how- 
ever, be forgotten, that the learned and venerable writer who 
advances this absurd hypothesis was the author of the work en- 
titled, " 'Tref aJ (ppovtiSss, Last Thoughts;"' in which he gravely 
and candidly retracts the most material of the errors which per- 
vade his learned Commentaries, namely, that of the proper 
deity of Jesus Christ : which he solemnly renounces, and as- 
signs the most unanswerable reasons for his retractation of this 
popular doctrine. Let not blame, then, be imputed to Dr. 
Whitby, if he did not at once see and revoke the whole system 
of erroneous doctrine in which he had been educated. 

Pakt !I. I, CORINTHIANS. Sect. III. 3. 23 1 

aside her veil for the time that she officiates; but Ch. xr. 
when you reflect that men are appointed as visitors ^'* ' 
to those assemblies, or occasionally sent as messen- 
gers there, you must be aware how inconsistent it 
is with the established custom of the country, and 
with the decorum of the female character, that wo- 
men in these circumstances should be seen without 
their veils. Let the women, therefore, whenever 
they pray or teach, even in their own assemblies, 
take heed that they may never be surprised by per- 
sons of the other sex in a sort of dress unbecoming 
the delicacy of the female character. 

Nevertheless,, neither is the woman to he sepa- 1 1. 

rated from the man, nor the man from the woman, 
in the Lord\ 

As professing Christianity, all are upon a level : 

' The woman separated, &c.] In the received text the order 
of these clauses is different ; viz. " Neither is the man to be 
separated," «&c. being the first in order. The order is trans- 
posed, upon very good authority, in the text of Griesbach, and 
it best agrees with that in the succeeding verse. Literally, 
" Nevertheless, neither is the woman without the man, nor the 
man without the woman, in the Lord." In the Lord appears to 
me to mean, under the Christian dispensation ; which, as Bishop 
Pearce observes, is the only sense which the words would bear 
here. This, however, he thinks improper, and prefers the read- 
ing of Theodoret, £VKO(r/xtx;, " in the world:" 9. d. one cannot 
exist without the other in the world. Archbishop Newcome 
says, " This reading is neither necessaiy, nor well supported." 
Mr. Locke renders sv Kvpi-jj, " the Lord so ordering it." I pre- 
fer, however, the interpretation in the paraphmse as the most 
obvious meaning of the phrase sv Kvptcv, and most congenial to 
the apostle's style. Mr. Wakefield's translation is, " But nei- 
ther are men to be separated from women, nor women from men, 
in the Lord ;" which he explains in his note, " one is not regard- 
ed under Christianity to the disparagement of the other, but 
both have their proper estimation. Gal. iii. 28." 

232 Paut II. I.CORINTHIANS, Sect, III. 3, 4. 

Ch.xi. as believers in Christ, there is no distinction of 
sexes ; nor any preference of one above another, 
but in just proportion to the moral value of the cha- 
racter of each. And it is the duty of both sexes to 
afford mutual assistance to each other in the trials 
and duties of the Christian profession. 

12. For as the ivoman wdi^from the tiian^ so also the 
man is by the woman : but all things ^Y^from God. 

According to the Mosaic account, the woman 
w^as originally taken from the man ; and in the na- 
tural course of things the man is born of the wo- 
man. The sexes are mutually dependent upon each 
other, and both are equally and wholly dependent 
upon God. He is the universal Father of the hu- 
man race ; and all his offspring, whether male or 
female, are equally dear to him, and equally the ob- 
jects of his parental providence and care. 

4. He appeals to their own sense of propriety 
whether his observations are not just, and concludes 
with declaring the general custom of the church as 
a reply to any one who was disposed to cavil at the 
regulations he recommends, ver. 13 — 16. 

13. Judge among yourselves. Is it decent for a wo- 

14. mayi to pray to God without a veil P Doth not even 
nature itself teach you, that if a man suffer his hair 

15. to grow long, it is a disgi^ace to him; but that if 
the ivoman have long hair, it is an ornament to her, 
because the hair is given her as a veil ? 

You know that the customs of your country do 
not allow a woman to pray without a veil. I might 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. III. 4. 233 

even appeal to the law of nature, which usually be- Ch. xi. 
stows upon the female a greater proportion of hair 
than it allows to the male. For a man, therefore, 
to be curious in dressing and adorning his hair, is 
disgraceful and effeminate; but for a female to shade 
her countenance with graceful locks is ornamental 
and allowable, for a profusion of these is granted 
to that sex as a natural veil. 

But if any one is disposed to be contentious^, I i6. 

answer, that we have no such custom, nor have any 
of the churches of God^. 

If any one, after all, will persist in recommend- 
ing it to women to pray and teach in their own as- 
semblies without the decent ornament of a veil, I do 
not think it worth while to argue the case any longer. 
It is enough to declare, that whatever may be the 
custom of the heathen priestesses when they feign, 
or fancy themselves to be inspired, no such indeco- 
rous behaviour is admitted in any of the chcrches, 
either of the Hebrew or the Gentile believers, in any 

' Is disposed to be contentious:'] Soxsi — sivai, '' seemeth to 
be contentious ;" i. e. is contentious. Aoksm does not always 
express a doubt. See I Cor. vii. 40 j Gal. iii. 6. 9. " If any 
one, however, love contention." Wakefield. — " If any one set- 
teth up for a contentious man." Pearce ; who in his note ob- 
serves, that SoKsi may be taken as an expletive^ and produces 
examples from Xenophon and Aristophanes. 

* 1 answer, we have no such custom, &c.] " I must tell him 
that we," &c. Pearce ; who understands the word we as appli- 
cable to the Jewish churches : q. d. " I must assure him, that 
neither the Jewish churches, to which we did originally belong, 
nor any of the churches of God, have such a custom as this." 
Archbishop Newcome observes, that " to the contentious he 
speaks with authority, to others with deference^" vcr. 13. ch. 
X. 15. 

234 Part II. I. CORINTHIANS, Skct. IV. 1 . 

Ch. XI. part of the world ; and that if this custom should 

Ver. 16. ^ ., , . .„ . , ,. 

prevail any longer, it will remain as the solitary 
practice and singular disgrace of the church at Co- 
rinth. And so I close what I had to advance upon 
the subject of female decorum, and proceed to no- 
tice some irregularities of a still grosser kind, which 
are at present tolerated among you. 


The apostle animadverts upon those who, bytlicir 
irregularity a7id excess, assimilated the Lord's 
Supper to an idol's feast : he reminds them of 
the evil consequences of their misbehaviour ; re- 
lates the origin of the Institution, and subjoins 
sojne useful IV armngs and advices. Ch. xi. 17 

1. The apostle reproves the Corinthians for di- 
viding themselves into separate parties when they 
were assembled to celebrate the Lord's supper, ver. 

/ am about to give you a charge, without any 
commendation ', because you assemble together, not 
for the better but for the worse. 

■ / am about to give, &c.] With Pearce, I adopt the reading 
of the Alexandrine and some other copies, " TrapayyeXXcij sk 
eicaivwv." Wakefield joins -reto Ttx^a.yyzKK'jo with the preced- 
ing verse, which he concludes with these words, " and such is 
my charge to you." Archbishop Newcome observes, that "Jie 
had praised them ver. 2 ; here he censures their practices with 
his accustomed delicacy." 

Part II. I, C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. IV. 1. 235 

In many particulars you have adhered closely to Ch, xi. 
the rules which I laid down for the decent and or- ^^' 
derly conducting of public worship, and for this I 
have commended you ; but I am now entering upon 
a topic in which your conduct is so generally and 
so grossly irregular, that I can speak of it only in the 
language of unmixed censure : for a religious insti- 
tution, conducted with such disorder, so far from 
promoting your moral improvement, can only be at- 
tended with disgrace and mischief. 

For, in the first placed, I hear that ivhen you 18. 

meet together as a church^, there are divisions 
among you ; and I believe it a^ to apart of you "*. 

The first of those articles which call for severe re- 
buke, relates to the gross indecencies, which take 
place at the celebration of the Lord's supper. I have 
been informed, that when you profess to assemble 
together lo celebrate the Lord's supper, instead of 
sitting down to a common table, and joining toge- 

- In the first place:'] nrpuirov. " First, with respect to the 
disorders at the Lord's Supper ; secondly, with respect to those 
relating to the abuse of the gift of tongues, ch. xii." Pearce ; 
who observes, that no interpreter had taken notice of this di- 

' Js a church :] gy £K>i\y)(na, not sv rv £>c5iXTjcna. See Grics- 
bach. Ey.-/.Xy](na, a religious assembly, not the church or place 
of worship : see ver. 22. " The congregation met in some con- 
venient place, but not always in one fixed place. Acts i. 15, 
ii. 1." Newcome. 

* Divisio)is :] i. e. you separate yourselves into different par- 
ties ((r;^io-ju,ara, not schisms,) to feast together. — I believe it as 
to a part {ix-spog ti), willing not to suppose that all are equally 
guilty. Grotius, Pearce. — " I partly believe it." Newcome j who 
observes, "This is delicate. He' is unwilling to believe every 
circumstance reported to their prejudice." 

236 Part IL I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. IV. 1 . 

Ch. XI. ther in the celebration of the rite, you divide your- 
selves into different companies, and sit down at dif- 
ferent tables. And I fear that the intelligence is but 
too true with regard to the greater part of you ; 
though I trust there are some among you who are 
better informed, and who enter their protest against 
the prevailing irregularities of the church. 

19. For there must indeed he even separations ^ that 
they who are approved among you may he known. 

The irregularities among you are come to such an 
extreme, that, unless they are very speedily rectified, 
it will be necessary for those who desire to appear 
and to approve themselves the faithful disciples of 
Christ, to separate themselves altogether from a 
scene of disorder and riot, utterly inconsistent with 
the decency and purity of Christian worship. 

20. TVhen^ therefore, ye thus assemble together ^, it 
is not eating the Lord's supper. 

You may call such feasting by whatever name 
you please, but it has no right to be considered as 

' Separations.'] The received text adds, sv v^jnv, both here and 
at the end of the verse ; but these words are wanting in some of 
the best copies. AlpsTsis, literally heresies, plainly something- 
more than separations at diflerent tables 5 probably, therefore, 
sepiirations from communion altogether. The apostle was ap- 
prehensive that some would prove so refractory, that the purer 
part must break off all communion with them. " Indeed, there 
must be parties among you." Wakefield. — " divisions and fac- 
tions." Locke. Both Pearce and Newcome translate the word 
" heresies," and interpret it as of false doctrines : erroneously, 
as I think, and unsuitably to the connexion. 

-Assemble together.'] Pearce assigns reasons for joining CTTt 
TO auTQ with (pavfjv in the latter clause of the verse : q. d. it is 
not to eat the Lord's supper at the same time. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 1,2. 237^ 

an institution of Christ. It is no celebration of the Ch. xr. 
Lord's supper ; for to this rite it is essential that all "' " ' 
the professors of the faith of Christ who are present 
should be joint partakers of the holy feast, which 
mutual participation is an emblem of their commu- 
nion with each other, and of their mutual relation 
to Jesus their common head. 

2. He further reproves them, that instead of ce- 
lebrating the Lord's supper as a distinct institution, 
they confounded it with an ordinary meal, or, an 
idol's sacrifice, and made it a scene of riot and in- 
temperance, ver. 21, 22. 

Fo7^ every one taketh first Ms own supper'^, ana 21- 
ojie hath 7iot sufficient to eat, while aiiother indulges 
to excess^. 

' Taketh first Ms own supper.l The indecency here com- 
plained of probably consisted in feasting intemperately previ- 
ously to the celebration of the Lord's supper. " ro iSiov Ssnr- 
vov T(poXa.ix,^a.v£i. Ut hoc recte intelligamus, notandum est, post 
commune conviv'mm, celebratam esse coenam dominicam, quemad- 
vwdum Christus post epulas paschales, instituit hanc sacram cce- 
nam. Fuit auteni moris Athenis Socratis cetate, ut, qui ad canani 
conveniebant , ipsimet singuli aliquid obsonii afferrent quod non 
semper in commune apponebant, sed plerumque quisque sua ve- 
scebatur, Xen. Mem.1.3. Quern morem indicia est hicipse apos- 
toli locus, ilia etiam tempestate, a Corinthiis, jam Christianis 
eatenus serxKitum fuisse, id celebratiiri sanctam ccenam, si non 
alios etiam cibos, panem certe et vinum in ecclesiam afferrent..'' 
RosenmuUer. See also Macknight on the text. 

^ Indulges to excess.'] " is drunken." Wakefield. 'Ms^vstv 
is properly to eat and drink, y.era. rs ^vsiv, after a sacrifice; 
in which the idolater generally ate and drank to excess : but 
the word has not necessarily that sense. See John ii. 10. See 
Pearce and Newcome. Probably, however, the Corinthian epi- 
cures indulged to as great excess in a Christian as in an idol's 
temple ; and doing this as often as they celebrated the Lord's 

238 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 2, 

Ch. xr. You seem to think, that as Christ partook of the 
passover feast before he instituted the commemora- 
tive ordinance of his supper, it is also necessary for 
you to feast before you celebrate this rite. Accord- 
ingly, you bring your provisions upon such occa- 
sions to your religious assemblies ; and some of you 
feast to excess, while others are standing by and 
have nothing to eat. 
22. TFhat ' .' have ye not houses to eat and to drink 
in P or do ye despise the congregation of God"^^ and 
put out of countenance those who have nothing? 
What shall I say to you? shall I praise you^? 
In this I praise you not. 

Do not decency and common sense teach you, 
that you should eat your private meals at your own 
houses ? Do you treat a religious assembly with 
contempt, and degrade a congregation, who are 
meeting together for the worship of the true God, 
to a level with a company of idolaters riotously 
feasting in an idol's temple ? Does it not wear the 
appearance of an ungenerous triumph over your 
poor brother, who perhaps is pining in want and 

.supper, their intemperance had brought on various diseases, see 
ver. 30. " Divites ad temulentiam vino implerentur." Rosen- 

' What! have ye not, &c.] " iji.y) ycKp. Tap is an expletive, 
and U.T) yap is the same with numnavi in Latin : it is thus chiefly 
used in interrogations." Pearce. 

* The congregation of God?^ " do ye this to show your con- 
tempt of the congregation with whom you are assembled for 
worship? " Pearce. 

^ Shall I praiae you? In this, &c.] This is the punctuation 
of the Vulgate : also of Castalio, Pearce, and Griesbach. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. IV. 2, 3. 239 

hunger, while you are rioting in profusion ? Does Ch. XL 
it not tend to excite in his breast uneasy emotions 
of envy and discontent, when he compares the po- 
verty of his condition with the luxury of yours ? 
What can you expect that I should say to such gross 
irregularities as these ? Is it possible to speak in 
commendation of them ? So far from it, I feel it 
to be my duty in the strongest terms to express my 
entire disapprobation of your disorderly conduct. 

3. With a view to assist them in correcting these 
irregularities, the apostle relates the history of the 
institution, as he had received it from Christ him- 
self, ver. 23— 25. 

Fo7' I have received from the Lordly that which 23. 

also I delivered unto you, that the Lord t/esus, 
the night in which he luas betrayed, took breads, 
aiid having given thanks he brake it, and said, 24. 

*' This, ivhich is broken for you ^, is my body : do 
this, as a memorial^ of ineT In like manner he 25. 

^ Received from the Lord :] itapsXatov airo rs Kvpis. This 
phrase does not necessarily express immediate revelation, but 
it is highly probable that this fact was communicated by Christ 
to the apostle, with the other articles of the Christian doctrine- 
Gal. i. 11, 12. 

* Took bread.2 Aprov, a loaf; one of the unleavened cakes, 
which it was easy to break into small pieces. See Wakefield. 

^ This, which is broken for you.'] So Pearce ; who observes, 
that the body of Christ is no where in the New Testament said 
to have been broken. 

' As a memorial :] stg avaijivrjcriv. Not merely an act of re- 
membrance ; as a memorial it may be received by children, 
and even infants, which was the practice of the primitive church. 
See Pierce on Infant Communion. 

240 PaktII. I.CORINTHIANS, Sect.IV.3,4. 

Ch. XL gave 1 the cup also after he had supped, saying, 
er. . «< This cup is the new covenant in my blood: do 
this, as often as ye shall drink it 2, as a memorial 

This plain recital of the history of the institution, 
which had been revealed to him by Christ, effectu- 
ally answered the apostle's purpose, of impressing 
upon the minds of the Corinthians a proper sense 
of their criminal profanation of the ordinance, by 
pointing out its simplicity, its distinction from a 
common meal, its solemnity and importance, its 
perpetuity, its design and tendency to promote bro- 
therly love, and to commemorate an event which, 
though many professing Christians were disposed 
to disavow it, was indeed the glory of the Chris- 
tian cause, and the appointed seal and ratification 
of that new, immutable, and universal dispensation, 
by which Jew and Gentile were emancipated from 
, the yoke of ceremonies, or the bondage of idolatry, 
and elevated to the hope of forgiveness, acceptance, 
and immortal life. 

4. The apostle warns the Corinthians of the dan- 
ger of profaning the Lord's supper by a disorderly 
and unworthy attendance upon it, ver. 26 — 34. 

^ He gave.] " These words are better supplied than ' he 
took.' Our Lord probably pronounced the words, ' This cup,' 
&c, at the time that he gave the cup to his disciples." Pearce. 

' As often as ye shall drink it.] These words are wanting in 
two manuscripts, and in the Ethiopia, and are omitted by 

Part 11. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 4. 24 1 

[ I .] He observes, that the Lord's supper being Ch. xr. 
a commemoration of the death of Christ, to con- 
found it with a common meal, or a riotous feast 
upon an idol sacrifice, was a criminal profanation 
of it, ver. 26, 27. 

For as often as ye cat this bread, and drink this Ver. 26. 
cup, ye make a declaration of the Lord's death 3 
till he come^. 

As the design of the passover, to which the apostle 
here alludes, was to be a standing memorial of the 
escape of the first-born, and as the narrative of that 
memorable event was always rehearsed at the time 
of the feast in order to keep it fresh in the memo- 
ries of the Israelites, so the celebration of the Lord's 
supper is a standing public memorial of the death 
of Christ. It is a formal avowal of it to the world, 
as an event of which his disciples were not ashamed; 
but in which they gloried as an event of high im- 

The apostle plainly intimates that this comme- 
morative rite is to be frequently repeated, and to be 
continued in the church to the end of time. In 

' Ye make a declaration^ v.ot.'ta.yyzX'KzTs. An allusion to 
what was called the Haggitlah at the passover. The youngest 
child asked the father the meaning of the rite : in reply to 
which, the father rose up and related the history of the destruc- 
tion of the first-born. See Ainsworth on Exod. xii. 8. 

* Till he come .-I i.e. To raise the dead, and judge tlieworld^ 
for there is no circumstance which limits the sense to the de- 
struction of Jerusalem j least of all, as the Quakers understand 
it, to the effusion of the spirit, the principal manifestation of 
which, on the day of Pentecost at Jerusalem, had happened 
many years before. " These (says Archbishop Newcome) are 
important words, as they show the perpetuity of the rite." 
VOL. 11. II 

242 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. IV. 4. 

Ch. xr. this way the visibility and unity of the Christian 
church are preserved from age to age. They vi^ho 
attend upon this institution do thereby publicly de- 
clare, that there is a body of men in the \yorld who 
agree in acknowledging Jesus as their master, and 
who glory in their subjection to his authority. And 
the universality and perpetuity of this ordinance 
show, that all who join in it in all places, and in 
all ages, belong to the same body, and have one 
common head. And this consideration may well 
reconcile sincere Christians of various parties and 
denominations to each other, while they recollect 
the great importance of those points in which they 
agree, in comparison with those, whether of doctrine 
or practice, in which they differ '. 

' In which they differ.'] May it not also be observed, that 
they who neglect this institution, neglect the only positive rite 
which was appointed by the great founder of the Christian faith, 
for publicly distinguishing the professors of his religion from 
the mass of the unbelieving world : the ordinance of baptism 
being of a more private nature, and having respect to families 
rather than to churches. This neglect of the Lord's supper, in 
proportion as it prevails, deprives Christianity of its visible 
form, and prevents it from being an object of attention to the 
world ; whereby its progress is obstructed, and Christians lose 
the great advantage which they might otherwise derive from 
social intercourse, for mutual encouragement, and for the in- 
crease of mutual affection. In the primitive church, it is well 
known, that all who were baptized were admitted to commu- 
nion, infants themselves not excepted. See Mr. Peirce's ex- 
cellent Essay on the Eucharist. But in process of time, as the 
purity of the Christian faith became corrupted by human tradi- 
tions, and as the simplicity of Christian institutions was lost 
amidst the unintelligible mysteries and pompous ceremonies in 
which they were involved, the multitude were intimidated from 
attending upon this simple, cheerful, social, rite ; and the be- 
nefit of it was in a great measure lost ; nor will it be perfectly 

PartIJ. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.IV.4. 243 

So that ivhosoever eateth the bread or drinketk Ch. XL 
the cup 2 of the Lord univorthihp, is guilty o/" dis- 
honouring'* the body and blood of the Lord. 

To confound this simple rite with a riotous idol 
festival, is to affront and profane that holy institu- 
tion, in which we commemorate the death of Christ, 
and to pervert that ordinance into an incentive to 
intemperance and vice, which was intended as a 
confirmation of faith, and a motive to virtue. 

[2.] They who confound the Lord's supper with 
a riotous idolatrous feast, expose themselves to the 
punishment due to this criminal indiscretion; ver. 
28, 20. 

Let a man therefore examine himself'^ ^ and accord- 28. 

ingly let him eat of this bread and drink of this cup. 

recovered till Christianity is restored to its primitive simplicity ; 
and the practice of this rite becomes^ as it originally was^ imi- 
versal among its professors. 

' Or drinketh, &c.] rj- hence an argument is drawn that to 
take the communion in one kind, is the same as to take it in 
both ; and the cup has been refused to the laity. How trifling 
this argument is, needs no comment to show. 

^ Unworthily^ " The Corinthians perverted the ends of the 
institution by forming separate companies, and by being guilty 
of excess, or, at least by approaching too near it." Newcome. 

^ Dishonouring.] " will be guilty of an affront to." Pearce. 
— " of profaning." Newcome j who explains, q. d. " will be li- 
able to the punishment due to grossly misusing the sign or sym- 
bol of the Lord's body and blood." 

' Therefore examine himself , and accordingly.'] Ss in this con- 
nexion signifies therefore ; as this sentence is an inference from 
the preceding. See Pearce. The learned prelate also under- 
stands SoKtiMa^Eiv in the sense of Siacxpivsiv, ver. 31 . q. d. " Let 
a man distinguish himself from a guest at a common meal ; let 
liim consider that he is not at his own, but at Christ's table. 
Tliis, he says, Tillotson has proved at large in his sermon on 

R 2 

244 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. IV. 4. 

Ch. xr. Let a person, before he partakes of the Lord's 
supper, consider withhi himself, whether he under- 
stands the account I have given of the institution, 
whether he discerns the difference between this 
Christian rite, and a feast in an idol's temple, and 
let him recollect that he attends not as a guest at 
an entertainment, but as a communicant at the 
Lord's table; and having well settled this distinc- 
tion in his mind, let him so partake of the Lord's 
supper, and commemorate his death. 
29. For he that eateth and dr'iiiketh i without distin- 
guishing the Lord's body, eateth and drinketh pu' 
nishnlent ^ to himself. 

frequent communion." Mr. Locke gives nearly the same sense. 
The apostle had introduced an account of the rite as instituted 
by Christ himself, and he requires them to examine themselves 
by it. " The examination proposed/' says this eminent writer, 
''was no other but an examination of their manner of eating the 
Lord's supper by Christ's institution, to see how their behaviour 
comported with the institution, and the end for which it was in- 
stituted. Ka< srwj-, and so, not, as is commonly understood, 
let examination precede, and eating follow, but let him ex- 
amine, and according to that let him eat ; let him conform the 
manner of his eating to that ;" i. e. to the institution of Christ. 
The examination of what sins they had been guilty of, " such," 
says Bishop Pearce, " as is usually and commendably made 
before we receive the Lord's supper^" is not referred to by the 
apostle in this advice. 

' Eateth and drinketh 7\ Tlie received text adds ava^tws, un- 
worthily, which is wanting in the Alexandrine and Ephrem ma- 
nuscripts, and in the .^thiopic and Sahidic versions. Griesbach 
retains it in the text, but marks it as very doubtful. 

' Punishment.'] x.pifj.a., not damnation, as it is rendered in the 
public version, which Dr.Doddridge "thinks the most unhappy 
mistake in all our version of the Bible." " Kpifj^a here signifies 
temporal punishment, (says Bishop Pearce,) viz. weakness, 
sickness, and death, as is plain from ver. 30: corap. 31, 32, 
and xpi[jLa, in ver. 34. And to this is opposed KaTaHpivsaSai in 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 4. 245 

That person who, professing to acknowledge Ch.xi. 
Christ as his master, celebrates the memorial of 
his death with the riot and intemperance of a hea- 
then sacrifice, and thus makes no distinction be- 
tween a Christian ordinance and an idolatrous rite, 
dishonours his profession, is guilty of a high offence 
against the precepts of the Christian law, and ex- 
poses himself to the just punishment of his folly 
and excess. 

[3.] Mixny of the Corinthians had actually suf- 
fered considerably by their intemperance upon these 
occasions, which ought to be a warning against in- 
dulging these extravagant excesses, ver. 30 — 32. 

I^or this reason 3 many among you are infirm 30. 

and sickly, and several are falling asleep *. 

Many of you, by your gross intemperance upon 
these occasions, have brought upon yourselves pain- 
ful and alarming diseases, to such a degree that some 
of you are even in danger of falling sacrifices to your 
riotous excess. 

ver. 32^ which there signifies final condemnation 3 it is a meto- 
nymy of the cause for the effect." It does not appear from 
Bishop Pearce's expressions, that he considered the sufferings 
of the Corinthians as supernaturally inflicted. 

' For this reason, &c.] This is generally understood of a mi- 
raculous infliction of disease, and even of death. But the apostle 
does not hint at any thing of the kind. And it is not improba- 
ble that their frequent acts of intemperance (the Lord's supper 
being probably celebrated every time they met for public wor- 
ship) injured their health, and endangered their lives. 

* Are falling asleep.'] xoiu^covtai, " not a few arefalling asleep." 
Wakefield : are in imminent danger of death ; otherwise, if they 
were actually dead, the punishment could not be intended for 
their reformation as the apostle says it wa^;, ver. 32. 

246 Tart 11. I. C O II I N T H 1 A N S. Sj:ct. IV. 4. 

Ch. XI. But if we would examine ourselves J, we should 
not be punished. 

If we understood the true nature of this Chris- 
tian rite, if we properly distinguished it from an idol 
sacrifice, if we considered ourselves as guests at the 
Lord's table, and not an idol's feast, and if we did 
not indulge in intemperance and folly, we should 
escape those diseases, which are the natural conse- 
quence and the just punishment of riotous excess. 
32. But ivhen tve are punished by the Lord, we are 
corrected^, that we may not be condemned with the 

The painful and threatening diseases which are 
the effects of intemperance, are the discipline of di- 
vine providence; by which we are warned to forsake 

' ILxamine ourselves'^ Jiexpivo/xsv, "distinguish ourselves." 
Pearce : in the same sense as ^oxfaa^sre, ver. 28, comp. ver. 29. 
Many good copies read £< Is. instead of b\ yap at the beginning 
of the verse. " For if ye yourselves had made a difference, ye 
would not have been so punished." Wakefield. 

' We are corrected.'] itonhvou^e^x' " this punishment from the 
Lord is a lesson to us." Wakefield. Archbishop Newcome ob- 
serves, that " these judicial inflictions of speedy temporal punish- 
ment were peculiar to the apostolic age ; they were unerringly 
proportioned to the guilt incurred, and were designed to preserve 
and establish the purity of Christian worship and practice, as 
well as the authority of the apostles ;" and he refers to Acts v. .5; 
1 Cor. V. 5 ; 2 Cor.'x. 8, xiii. 2 ; 1 Tim. i. 20 ; Rev. ii. 22. All 
this may be very true ; but it does not prove that the distempers 
to which the apostle here alludes were supernatural. The apostle 
does not assert it. Diseases are often described as visitations 
from God. Intemperance naturally entails disease ; and it is 
but too probable that many professing Christians at Corinth 
were very imperfectly recovered from the vices of heathenism. 
See 2 Cor. xii. 20, 2 1 . There does not appear, therefore, to be 
any necessity for believing that the diseases suffered by the Co- 
rinthians were inflicted bv miracle. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 4. 24/ 

those vices, which would expose us to the condem- Ch. XI. 
nation into which the unbeUeving, idolatrous, and ^'* 
guilty world will justly fall. And it will be our wis- 
dom to improve by the salutary, however severe and 
painful ad^ionition. 

[4.] He concludes with exhorting them to make 
their repasts at their own houses, and to celebrate 
the Lord's supper with decency and order, ver. 33, 

JVherefore^ my brethre?i, when ye come together 33. 

to eat the Lord's supper, wait one for another, that 
ye may not come together for your punishment '^. 
But f any one be hungry, let him eat at home ; and ^-l. 
as to other things, I will regulate them iuhc?i I 

Let your assemblies for Christian worship be con- 
ducted with gravity and decorum. Let not the 
Lord's supper be celebrated till the whole congre- 
gation be assembled, and let there be no riot and 
intemperance upon the occasion, that you may not 
expose yourselves to disease and disgrace. Remem- 
ber, that a Christian assembly, meeting together for 
the worship of God, is not a proper place for eating 
a common meal, and much less for a riotous de- 
bauch. Satisfy your hunger in your own houses, 
and let none of these irregularities and indecencies. 

' That ye may not come together for yowr punishment^ This 
clause in the received text is placed after the word "home" in 
the next verse. The transposition here adopted wi:s suggested 
by Bcngcl and Bow yer. 

248 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 4. 

Ch. xr. upon which I have here animadverted, be endured 
any longer in the church. As to lesser improprie- 
ties, which may have inadvertently been admitted 
among you, and which are not inconsistent with 
good morals, and the general order of Christian 
worship; it is needless to swell this epistle with 
particular directions concerning them, but hoping 
' soon to make you a visit,' I will then rectify what- 
ever may still remain amiss. 

It would not be right to conclude this portion of 
the epistle without observing, how little foundation 
there is in the sharp and just rebuke which the 
apostle here administers to the Corinthians on ac- 
count of their intemperance, for any sincere believer 
in Christianity to take alarm, and to be discouraged 
from attending at the Lord's table, as though it 
were an insidious and dangerous rite. The Corin- 
thians confounded this simple salutary institution 
with an idolatrous festival, and celebrated it with 
that gross intemperance with which they had been 
used to feast in the temples of their idols ; so that 
they impaired their health, and endangered their 
lives, by their frequent excess. The apostle justly 
and strongly reprobates this conduct, as utterly in- 
consistent with their Christian character, as a gross 
profanation of the institution, as an insult upon 
common decency, and as dangerous even to their 
health and life. But as no disorders of this kind 
can possibly take place in the present state of things, 
the apostle's reproofs and admonitions apply to mo- 

PaktII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.V. i. I. 249 

dern Christians, no further than as general exhor- Ch. xi. 
tations to decency, and propriety of behaviour in ^^^' ^^* 
this as in every other branch of religious and Chris- 
tian worship. 


The apostle treats of the nature, the origin, and ch. xil. 
the comparative value of spiritual gifts ; he de- 
scribes benevolence as 7)iore excellent than all ; 
he pi'efers the gift of prophecy to the gift of 
tongues, the ostentatious display of which he se- 
verely rebukes, and concludes with various direc- 
tions for the decent and edify i?ig exercise of their 
respective spiritual gifts in their public religious 
assemblies, ch, xii — xiv. 


The apostle introduces the subject of spiritual 
gifts with some general remarks upon their nature, 
origin and use, ch. xii. 1 — 11. 

1. Though they had formerly been idolatrous 
heathen, yet being now converted to the faith of 
Christ, they were all in the most important sense 
endued with the holy spirit, ver. 1 — 3. 

Now concerning spiritual persons'^, brethren, I Ver. 1. 
would not have you ignorant. 

' Spiritual persons.'] Ti'veujxarjxcyy, either gifts or persons. 
Locke understands the latter. Spiritual men are those who are 

250 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. i. 1. 

Ch. XII. You have written to me to inquire what gift^ 
* are most excellent, and what class of spiritual men 

assisted and acted upon by the holy spirit ; and Mr. Locke sup- 
poses the question proposed by the Corinthians, to liave been, 
whether those who had the gift of tongues ought not to take 
precedence over the rest, and whether they ought not to speak 
firstj and to be first heard at their meetings. Pearce adopts the 
same interpretation. 

I hesitate not to say that this Section is one of the most im- 
portant portions of the apostle's writings ; and that it contains 
one of the most irresistible proofs of the truth and divine autho- 
rity of the Christian religion, by establishing the existence of 
those spiritual gifts and miraculous powers, to which it appeals 
and on which it rests. The genuineness of this epistle is un- 
doubted. We are as sure that it was the composition of Paul the 
apostle, as if we had been present when it was written. It is 
addressed to a society of believers, which he had himself in- 
structed and formed ; but which, since he had left them, had 
fallen into many gross irregularities ; and among whom, a power- 
ful party had been raised against himself, at the head of which 
was an artful, eloquent, learned, and probably an opulent leader, 
whose object it was to disparage the apostle, and to bring his 
person and doctrine into contempt. The main design of the 
apostle in this epistle, is to correct the errors and to rectify the 
disorders into which the society had fallen, to recover his own 
credit and authority among them, and to diminish that of his 
opponent. With this view he animadverts upon their schisma- 
tical spirit, he reprimands their misconduct, he corrects their 
mistakes, he answers the questions which they proposed, and 
he solves their doubts. Among other subjects which fall under 
his notice, is the case of Spiritual Gifts and Miraculous Powers. 
The apostle addresses the Corinthians as persons who were fa- 
miliar with these extraordinary powers, who understood their 
several distinctions, who severally possessed them, who disputed 
with each other concerning their relative value and precedence, 
and who were guilty of great indecorum in the exercise of their 
respective gifts in their public assemblies. To correct these 
irregularities, the apostle enters into a brief detail of the nature 
and use of these extraordinary and supernatural gifts ; he as- 
serts, that though all are not equally splendid, yet that all are 
equally necessary in their place ; and that Christian benevo- 
lence is worth them all : he then reproves the indecent perver- 
sion and misapplication of their gifts in their religiou.s asscm- 

Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. V. 1. 1 . 25 1 

should take precedence in the church. The very Ch. xii. 
proposal of such a question proves, that there is 

blies, and gives directions how the gift of tongues, and the gift 
of prophecy, which, though less showy, was more useful, might 
be most effectually exercised for the edification of the church. 
All this is well, supposing these gifts to have existed, these con- 
troversies to have risen, and these irregularities to have prevailed 
in the Corinthian church. But if the contrary were true, if there 
were no holy spirit, no gift of tongues, no spirit of prophecy, 
no miraculous powers, no mutual jealousy about precedence, 
no affectation of display, nothing but what existed in the apostle's 
own imagination, the only alternative is, that the apostle was 
out of his mind ; and his letter, instead of being received with 
the deference due to his apostolic authority, would have been 
rejected with contempt as the ravings of a lunatic. But of in- 
sanity the apostle was never suspected ; with insanity he was 
never charged except by Festus, while he was making his noble 
defence before Agrippa, which charge the apostle at the time 
so gracefully repelled. In the letter to the Corinthians, there 
is not the slightest trace of insanity. Many facts are stated, 
many difficult questions are discussed, much advice is given, 
much reproof is administered, but all in the spirit of candour, 
of delicacy, of kindness, and the most consummate wisdom. 
And as such it was received by the Corinthians to whom it was 
addressed. Of this we have unquestionable information. For 
the apostle having found it advisable to defer his visit for a year, 
writes a second letter to the Corinthians to apologize for his 
delay, and to express the high satisfaction which he felt at the 
intelligence which he had i-eceived from Titus, (whom he had 
sent to Corinth to make inquiries,) of the respect which they 
had shown to his first letter, of the effect which it had produced, 
and the reformation which they had made in consequence of his 
animadversions and advice. 

Hence it follows most evidently and incontestably, that the 
apostle was in his right mind, and, therefore, that these su- 
pernatural GIFTS AND POWERS DID EXIST in the CoHnthian 
church, andby parity of reason in other primitive churches ; and, 
therefore, that the Christian religion, being thus attested and 
supported by miracles, must be a revelation from God. 

It seems extraordinary, and at first view very improbable, 
that miraculous powers should be imparted which might be mis- 
applied. But in fact, it is no greater objection to the wisdom 
of the divine government, than that natural powers, which are 

Ver. 1. 

252 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. V. i. 1. 

Ch. XII. something amiss in your proceedings, and that you 
lie under an error upon this subject. And I now 
write to rectify your judgement and your conduct 
with regard to your false notions of pre-eminence, 
and the exercise of your spiritual gifts. 

Ye know, thai * 2vhe?i rje luere heathen, ye were 
carried away to dumb idols, even as ye luere led. 

equally the gift of God, should be susceptible of misapplication. 
And certainly, if these powers had not been permanently resi- 
dent in the persons to whom they were given, and if they had 
not been as much under the direction of the will, and therefore 
as liable to misapplication, as any other natural powers, we 
should have wanted that species of evidence of the existence of 
these supernatural powers which we now possess, and which 
places them upon a higher and stronger ground of certainty, 
than any other fact recorded in history. So that, in truth, we 
may fairly boast, that the direct evidence is fully equal to the 
antecedent improbability, and that it is much more incredible 
that the testimony should be false, than that the doctrine should 
be true. 

That the apostle is here treating of supernatural gifts and 
powers communicated to the members of the Corinthian church, 
and not of mere natural, or naturally acquired qualities, as 
Eichorn, Paulus, and otheranti-supernaturalists maintain, seems 
to me quite clear from the language which the apostle uses, 
and essential to the validity of his argument. At the same time, 
I am willing to allow in the first place that the exercise of the 
greater part of these gifts was by no means frequent, and se- 
condly, that it was never voluntary excepting in the case of the 
gift or interpretation of tongues, or in the choice of time of 
speaking by the prophets. The " word of wisdom" and the 
" word of knowledge," whatever is meant by those expressions, 
were probably permanent gifts. But no one can suppose that 
the power of working miracles, and healing diseases, was per- 
manent and voluntary. This was a privilege peculiar to him 
to whom the spirit was given without measure. The apostles 
themselves did not possess it. It was a power never exercised 
but under an immediate impulse, and that was very rare. 

' Ye know, that when, &c.] o;d'ar£ In ots. This reading is 
supported by the best authorities^ marked as probable, though 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect, V. i. 1. 253' 

In your unconverted state, you were all worship- Ch. xii. 
ers of idols ; you bowed down to senseless inactive 
blocks of gold and silver, or of wood and stone, 
just as you were led by education, custom, or ex- 
ample. This was a truly carnal state, in which your 
conceptions were generally erroneous, andyour prac- 
tice proportionally corrupt. 

Wherefore^ 1 announce to you, that no 7nan 3. 

speaking by the spirit ^ of God, projiounceth *IeS2is 
accursed, and that no man can say 3, Jesus is Lord, 
hut by the holy spirit. 

Be assured that all unconverted persons, whether 
heathen or Jews, who deny the divine authority of 
Christ, and who revile his person and character, are 
totally destitute of the holy spirit, whatever preten- 
sions any of them may make to it ; they are in a 
carnal and unholy state ; they are in no sense spiri- 
tual persons, because they reject that holy prophet, 
who confirmed his mission by miraculous powers, 
and was declared to be the son of God, by the 
powerful operation of the spirit in raising him from 
the dead. 

not received into the text by Griesbach, but not adopted by any 
translator. To complete the construction, ijrs must be under- 
stood after aTrccyofj.svoi, ye were carried away. 

' Speaking by the spirit.'] Mr. Locke supposes an allusion to 
the Jews, who made pretensions to the holy spirit, and particu- 
larly to the Jewish false apostle. But it does not appear that 
he denied Jesus to be the Christ. 

' Can say Jesus is Lord.'] " can say publickly, constantly, 
and sincerely." Newcome. — " All that own our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and believe in him, can do it upon no other ground but 
revelation, coming from the spirit of God." Locke. 

254 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.V. i.2. 

Ch. XII. But on the contrary; whoever calls Jesus his 
Lord, whoever professes faith in him as his teacher, 
and obedience to him as his master, is truly spiri- 
tual ; because, this faith is founded upon the ope- 
ration of the holy spirit, or, in other words, upon 
the exertion of the divine energy in the miracles 
which Jesus wrought, in his resurrection from the 
grave, in the effusion of the holy spirit upon the 
apostles, and in the communication of miraculous 
gifts and powers to believers. In this most import- 
ant sense, you are all spiritual persons, and no one 
has any precedence over another. 

2. All supernatural gifts are derived from the 
same source, and in this view all who participate 
of them are of equal rank, ver. 4 — 6. 

^- Now there are various distributions of gifts ^ hut 
the spirit is the same. 

Some have the gift of wisdom, some the gift of 
knowledge, and some the gift of prophecy ; but in- 
spiration is the same, it is the same powerful energy, 
which communicates one species or degree of illu- 
mination, or, of power, to one person, and another 
to another. 

5. And there are various distributions of offices, but 
the Lord is the same. 

In the church of Christ, there are various orders 
of ministers ; some are appointed to be apostles, 
some evangelists, some prophets, others teachers, 
and the like ; but there is one master only to whom 
all profess subjection, even Christ, whose servants 

Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect.V.i.S. 255 

they are, from whom they receive their respective Ch. xir. 
commissions, whose work they perform, and to "* * 
whom alone they are accountable. 

And there are various distributions of miraculous 6. 

operations, hut God, who worketh all in all, is the 

One performs miracles of one kind, while another 
performs miracles of a diiferent sort : but whatever 
supernatural powers any may possess and exercise, 
they derive all from one and the same God ; who, 
by his immediate impulse, incites them to the per- 
formance of the miracle, and by his omnipotent 
energy produces the effect. So that, all being in this 
respect passive instruments in the hands of God, 
none has a right to value himself above another. 

3. The apostle enumerates in detail the various 
gifts of the holy spirit, which have been communi- 
cated to individuals for the general advantage of the 
church, ver. 7 — 1 1. 

But this manifestation of the spirit is given to 7- 

every one for the benefit of all i. 

Whatever spiritual gift any Christian may pos- 
sess, however splendid, or however useful, it was 
communicated to him, not for his own sake, that 
he might be the object of wonder and applause, but 
solely for the benefit of the church, for the promul- 
gation of Christian truth, and the establishment of 
the Christian cause. 

' ¥or the benefit of all.] " Not for his private advantage or 
honour, but for the good and advantage of the church." Locke. 
See Rom. xii. 3 — 8. 

256 PaiitII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.V.i.3. 

Ch. XII. For to one is given by the spirit^ the word of 
wisdom 1 . 

For the accomplishment of this important design, 
to one is communicated by divine inspiration a com- 
plete and comprehensive view of the Christian doc- 
trine, which is the sublimest wisdom. 

To another, the word of knowledge according to 
the same spirit. 

Extraordinary sagacity to understand, and skill to 
Interpret the scriptures 2. 
9. To another, faith by the same spirit. 

That firm confidence in the truth 3 and import- 

' The word of wisdom.'] In the explanation of these terms, I 
have chiefly followed Chandler and Benson. But the truth is, 
that though the existence of these supernatural gifts and powers 
is unquestionable, and the terms by which they are distinguished 
were familiar, and no doubt perfectly intelligible, to the Corin- 
thians, the nature of them cannot now be distinctly ascertained. 
" The doctrine of the gospel (says Mr. Locke) is more than once, 
in the beginning of this epistle, called the wisdom of God." See 
upon the subject of Miraculous Gifts and Powers, Lord Barring- 
ton's Miscellanea Sacra, Essay i. 11. Benson's Propagat. of 
Christ, vol. i. and Chandler on Joel, p. 133, &c. " Some sup- 
pose that this gift, the word of wisdom, was peculiar to the 
apostles, according to the supposed corresponding enumera- 
tion, ver. 28 : compare ch. ii. 7, 10, Eph. iii. 10 ; 2 Pet. iii. 
15." Newcome. 

- Interpret the scriptures.'] This is the sense in which the word 
of knowledge is explained by Mr. Locke and Bishop Pearce. 
Others understand it of an inferior degree of the word of wis- 
dom. " Perhaps (says Archbishop Newcome) the knowledge 
of those Christian doctrines which were most opposite to Jew- 
ish prejudices." 

^ Confidence in the truth.] This is the sense which Dr. Dodd- 
ridge gives the word in his paraphrase, though he explains it 
otherwise in the notes. To understand this gift, as the genera- 
lity of interpreters do, of what is called miraculous faith, or su- 
pernatural assurance that a miracle was to be wrought, appears 
to me, to confound it with the two following distributions. But 
upon a subject so obscure, it is right not to be confident. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. i. 3. 257 

ance of the Christian religion, and in the protection Ch. xir. 
of divine providence, that will lead him with un- '^'' * 
daunted spirit to exert every faculty, to brave all 
opposition, and to endure all sufferings in the pro- 
pagation of Christian truth. 

And to another^ gifts of healing by the same spirit. 10. 

And to another^ the power '^ of working miracles. 
And to another, prophecy. 

Or, the power of predicting occasionally future 
events, and a capacity of instructing ^ and edifying 
a Christian assembly by grave and useful discourse 
and prayer. 

And to another y the power of discerning the gifts 
of the spirit 6. 

Of distinguishing those who were really inspired 
from those who made false pretences to inspiration. 

■• Power, &c.] svspysia, is the reading of some good copies, 
and adopted by Bishop Pearce : svBpyrjjji.arc(, expresses the effect 
rather than the operative. 

' Capacity, &c.] It is in this latter sense that the apostle 
chiefly uses the word prophecy in this portion of the epistle. See 
ch. xiv. 3, 24, 29, 30. " The power of teaching, and showing 
things before unknown." Pearce. 

* Discerning the gifts of the spirit.'} SiaKotast; itvsvu.aru.'V 
so Bishop Pearce translates ; with whom, in sense. Archbishop 
Newcome agrees, who explains this gift as " distinguishing 
such as were divinely inspired from pretenders to inspiration. 
See Heb. iv. 1 2." — " The discerning by what spirit men did any 
extraordinary operation." Locke. — " Discerning of spirits, so 
as authoritatively to determine by what impulse any one speaks, 
who pretends to inspiration." Doddridge, and so far well. But 
he adds, what is less probable, though approved by many, " or, 
to be capable of pronouncing on the sincerity of men's profes- 
sions, or their fitness for any public work." The power of dis- 
cerning the heart was never claimed by the apostles ; and be- 
longeth only to Him who searcheth the heart and who knoweth 
the thoughts. 


Zl»8 PAni II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. i. 3. 

Ch. XII, And to another', different kinds of languages. 

Tlie power of speaking languages which they had 
never learned. 

And to another, the interpretation of languages'^ . 

A power of translating into the common tongue, 
a discourse delivered in a foreign language. 
11. But that one and the same spirit worketh in 
you 2 all these operations according to his plea- 
sure 3, distributing to every 7nan his proper gifts *. 

All these gifts and powers, distributed as they 

' Interpretation of languoges.'] " This was sometimes a distinct 
gift, tliat different persons might receive diiTerent spiritual en- 
dowments 5 and sometimes it was joined with the gift of tongues ; 
ch. xiv. 5, 13. The end of using unknown tongues was the 
instruction of foreign converts who were present j and the end 
of interpreting them was the instruction of natives, who of course 
formed the mass of the assembly." Newcome. It is possible 
that the two gifts might subsist together ; it is even difficult to 
conceive how the gift of tongues could exist without that of 
interpretation ; but the texts appealed to by the learned prelate 
do not prove it, as will appear hereafter. 

' Worketh in you.] Gr. ira.vrcc rauTa ivspysi to — itvev^i.a,, " all 
these worketh that one and the same spirit." Omnia autem hcec 
dona largitur unus idemque Spiritits ; i. e. Dens. Sic vertenda 
sunt hccc verba." RosenmuUer. 

^ According to his pleasure^ xaQcuj /SovXerai. A memorable 
text with those who maintain the personality of the Spirit ; but 
of no real value in the controversy. Qui ex verbis istis colligunt 
Spiritum Sanctum personam esse divinam, haud considerant non 
ex verbis istis colUgendam esse Spiritns Sancti natiiram, sed ex 
Spiritvs Sancti natura verhorum istorum intellectum petendum 
esse. Quoties per prosopopwiam loquimur, toties voluntatem tri- 
buere possumus iis quce personce non sunt." Slichtingius. No- 
thing is more common than the personification of abstract quali- 

•* His proper gifts.] Bishop Pearce ; who reads iJia for iSiac 
upon the authority of St. Augustin and Jerome ; but he doubts 
whether i$ia be not a marginal gloss which has slipped into the 
text. " ISia deest in nonnullis, sed ad sensnm recte pertlnet, valet 
seorsim, speciuliter." RosenmuUer. 


1. CORINTHIANS. Skot. V. i. 3. 259 

are to different persons in different degrees, are com- Ch. xil. 
municated by the supreme being according to his 
own good pleasure, and sometimes even to those who 
might seem least worthy of them, and who are dis- 
posed to make an improper use of them. But all 
is ordered with consummate wisdom, and contrived 
in the best manner to propagate and establish the 
Christian cause. 

It is proper to observe, that the nature of the 
gifts and powers, which the apostle here enumerates, 
cannot at this distance of time be perfectly ascer- 
tained. The terms he uses were familiar to the 
Corinthians, to whom he writes, and the existence 
of the miraculous powers to Vv'hich he alludes, was 

It may also be remarked, that the apostle in this 
passage applies personal terms and characters to the 
holy spirit. So likewise did our Lord, when dis- 
coursing upon those miraculous gifts and powers, 
which his apostles should receive. But we are not 
to infer from this language of personification, that 
the holy spirit is an intelligent agent, distinct from 
God himself. It is the power of God personified. 
And when the apostle saith, that the holy spirit dis- 
tributes his gifts as he will, he no more intends to 
assert the personality of the holy spirit, than our 
Lord means to assert the personality of the wind, 
when he says, " The wind bloweth where it willeth." 
John iii. 8. Or the apostle the personal existence 
of charity, when he says, " Charity hopeth all 

260 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. ii. 1. 

Ch.xil. things," 1 Cor. xiii. 7. If we would exercise the 
same sound discretion in interpreting the sacred 
writers, which we feel to be necessary in forming 
a judgement of profane authors, we should enter 
with more facility into their sense and spirit, we 
should be less liable to fall into those gross miscon- 
ceptions, which result from a slavish adherence to 
the literal meaning of words, and should derive un- 
speakably more satisfaction and improvement from 
the perusal of their invaluable writings. 


The apostle argues that all the gifts of the spirit 
without exception, the moat unostentatious equally 
with the most splendid, were in their respective 
places alike essential to the harmony and perfection 
of the Christian church. 

1 . He compares the church of Christ, consisting 
of many members endued with various spiritual 
gifts and powers, to the human body, made up of 
various parts and limbs, each having its proper of- 
fice, and all combining to constitute one complete 
whole, ver. 12 — 14. 
12. For as the body is one, and hath many members, 
and all the members of that body ', though many, 
constitute but one body, so also is Christ. 

' Of that body.'] The received text reads, ra tnuiuaros I's 
kvos, "of that one body;" but ra kvog is omitted in the best 
and most ancient copies, and is evidently redundant. See Pearce 
and Gricsbach. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. V.n. 1. 261 

The Christian church is a mystical body, which, Ch. xii. 
like the natural body, consists of various parts, of 
which Christ is the head ; and all who profess the 
Christian doctrine are members of this body, each 
fixed in its proper place, and to each is assigned 
its peculiar office. 

This is a similitude, to which the apostle Paul is 
particularly partial, and the allusions to it in his 
writings are so frequent, so familiar, and so peculiar 
to himself, that they constitute no contemptible in- 
ternal evidence of the genuineness of his epistles. 

/or, indeed'^, through one spirit, ive have all been 13. 

baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or 
Greeks, whether v*'e be slaves or free, and we have 
all been made to drink into one spirit^. And in- 14. 

deed the body is not one member, but many. 

Convinced of the truth of the Christian religion 
by the display of miraculous operations in the teach- 
ers of it, we have by baptism been united to Christ, 

' For, indeed.'] kcki yap. See Macknigirit, who renders the 
same words by " since therefore," in the succeeding verse, 
which he understands as the foundation of an inference in the 
two verses which follow. 

' We have been made to drink.'] sis sv Tfvsu^aa siroriffSrj^sv. 
Bishop Pearce drops the preposition £<;, and renders e-Trorjo-Sij- 
|u,ev, we have been filled with. See ch. iii. 2. The word £<f is 
omitted in the Cambridge and some other manuscripts. The 
apostle's ic^a seems to be this : Through the operations of the 
spiritj that is, the supernatural powers of the first teachers of 
Christianity, we were originally converted to the truth. By the 
profession of baptism we become members of the visible church, 
Christ's mystical body ; and by the infusion of the holy spirit 
we are become living members, every one in our respective sta- 
tion, like the living members of the natural body. 

262 Paht II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. V. n. 2. 

Ch. XII. as parts of his mystical body ; and whatever civil or 
rehgious distinctions may have previously subsisted 
between any of us, they are all absorbed in our com- 
mon profession of the gospel, and in our joint par- 
ticipation of its inestimable blessings. And from 
Christ as the head of the body, and the source of 
vital influence, we are all in our respective stations 
supplied with the holy spirit, whether in his en- 
lightening, purifying, or active energies. Thus the 
Christian church may fitly be compared to the hu- 
man body, the various parts of which are supplied 
with vital energy by their connexion with the head. 
And like the body, it is made up of many members. 

2. Pursuing this favourite allegory, the apostle 
remarks upon the absurdity of the inferior mem- 
bers, and senses, repining at the place and office as- 
signed them in the general system, and upon the 
great inconvenience which would accrue, if all oc- 
cupied the superior stations, ver. 15 — 20. 
15. If the foot should say. Because I am 7iot the 
hand, I am no part of the body, it does not there- 
in fore cease to he a part of the body ' . And if the 
ear should say. Because I am not the eye, I am no 
part of the body, it does not therefore cease to be a 
17. part of the body. If the whole body were eye. 

* It does not therefore cease, 8:c.] Bishop Pearce, Bowycr, 
and others, observe, that an interrogation is not necessary. 
Pearce's translation is, " it doth not, therefore, not belong lo 
the body." Mr. Wakefield translates^ " it is by no means on 
this account not of the bodv." 

Part II. I. C O R 1 N T HI A N 3. Sect. V. ii. 3. 263 

vjhere would be the hearing P if the whole were Ch. xii. 
hearing, where would be the sense of smell ? But Ver. 18. 
now God has 2)laced the members, every one of them 
in the body, as it hath pleased him. But if all 19. 

the members ivere one, where would the body be ? 
Whereas, now, though the parts are many, the 20. 
body is one. 

The senses and the limbs are, by the wisdom and 
power of God, arranged with such perfect symmetry 
in the human body, as to form one complete and 
harmonious system, in which nothing is wanting, 
and nothing redundant. 

3. All the parts are equally essential to the beauty 
and perfection of the whole ; and where there is an 
apparent defect, either of vigour or of beauty, com- 
pensation is commonly made by artificial ornament 
and superior usefulness, ver. 21 — 26. 

llie eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need 21. 
of thee ; nor again, the head to the feet, I have no 
need of you. 

The eye and the head have no right to quarrel 
with the hands and the feet, and to assume a cha- 
racter of superiority and independence. For these 
parts, though inferior and less beautiful, are abso- 
lutely necessary to support the upper and the more 
honourable portions of the system, and particularly 
to carry into effect the volitions of the intelligent 

Nay, those parts of the body which are the most 22. 

264 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Siu/r. V. ii. 4. 

Ch.yni. feeble, are nevertheless rtiuch more jiccessary ^, 

Ver. 23. And as to what we esteem less honourable parts of 

the body, upon these tve put more abundant honour, 

and the least ornamental parts are the most adorned. 

24. For the ornamental parts need it not ; but God 
hath so tempered the body, as to impart the most 

25. honour to that which was most deficient. That 
there might be no schism in the body, but that the 

26. members might mutually care for each other. So 
that if one member suffer, all the members suffer 
with it ; and if one be honoured, all the rest share 
in its joy. 

In this way, beauty and utility are diffused in just 
proportion through the whole human frame ; where 
one is deficient, the want is generally compensated 
by a greater abundance of the other, so that the 
body subsists complete in all its parts and perfec- 
tions, and the several members constitute one beau- 
tiful and harmonious whole ; if any part is weak, it 
is better protected ; if any is deficient in beauty, it 
is graced with external ornament; and upon the 
balance, no part of the body has any just reason to 

4. Similar to this is the state of the Christian 
church, which is Christ's mystical body ; in which 
different officers are appointed for different pur- 

' Much more necessary.'] With Bishop Pearce and others, I 
join itoXX(jo j«,aAX(iv to a^ayyiona.. " are much more necessaiy to 
life than the limbs, or eye, or ear^ or smelling." Newcomc. 

Paut II. 1. C O R I N T H I A N S. Si:ct. V. n. 4. 265 

poses, all equally necessary, and furnished with their Ch. xn. 
respective gifts and powers suitably to the stations "'" ' 
which they are called to occupy, ver. 27 — 3 1 . 

A^ow ye are the body of Christ, and severally 27. 
jnembers of it 2. 

What I have said of the symmetry and order of 
the natural body, may with strict propriety be ap- 
plied to the church of Christ, which is his mystical 
body, and to every individual in the church, as to 
the several members of this body. All in your re- 
spective places are equally essential to the welfare 
and perfection of the whole. 

And God hath placed in the church, first apos- 28. 
tles^ secondly prophets, thirdly teachers , then mira- 
cles, then the gifts of healing, assistants, mana- 
gers^, different kinds of tongues, interpretation of 

* And severally members of it.] jueA>j ex u.ep8S. So Wakefield 
— " members in part." Pearce ; " That is, some of his mem- 
bers. Other Christians being membev.s as well as yourselves." 
Nevvcome, Dr. Priestley well observes, that " the whole of 
this representation furnishes an excellent argument for mutual 
love and affection. We are all members of the same body, and 
should therefore feel for each other." 

'^ Assistants, managers.'] avtiXrj^/sis, Ku^epvr^trsi;. In the pub- 
lic version, " helps, governments.". Bishop Pearce observes, 
that he does not understand the expressions, that they occur 
no where else as descriptive of gifts of the spirit, and he suspects 
them to have been a marginal gloss, which has slipped into the 
text. " Helps and governments" are omitted by the apostle 
in his repetition of the catalogue, ver. 30. 

■• " Interpretation of tongues."] These words, though want- 
ing in the received text and in all MSS., are added in the Sy- 
riac and Vulgate Versions ; they seem necessary to complete 
the catalogue, and arc admilted'into the text by Bisho]) Pearic. 
Sec ver. 30. Gricsbach. 

266 Paut II. I. C O U I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. u. 4. 

Ch. XII. The Christian community, under the direction 
of divine providence, is wisely organized and sup- 
plied with various officers, who, in their respective 
stations, are necessary to the symmetry and welfare 
of the whole. 

In the first rank stand the apostles, who derived 
their commission from Christ himself, and whose 
office it is to bear witness to his resurrection. 

Next in order, though too little esteemed by you, 
are the prophets, who foretell future events, or, who 
instruct and edify the church by their inspired dis- 

To them succeed the ordinary teachers, those 
grave and experienced men, who, in the absence of 
apostles and prophets, are appointed to conduct re- 
ligious worship and instruction in Christian socie- 

In the next place stand those Christians, who 
occasionally perform miracles, and likewise those 
who,- in particular cases, are empowered to heal the 
sick by supernatural means. 

After them come assistants and managers, who 
are employed in superintending the secular affairs of 
the church, and in providing for the poor. In the 
last and lowest rank are those gifts, which, though 
very useful, you are too ready erroneously to regard 
as of the first importance; the faculty of speaking 
divers languages, and of interpreting from a foreign 
language into the native tongue. 

By thus placing the gifts which they valued most 
in the lowest order, the apostle plainly shows his 

Paht II. I. C OR IN T H I A N S. Sj^ct. V. n. 4. 26/ 

own judgement of their comparative excellence, and Ch. xii. 
prepares their minds for what he intended further 
to say upon the subject. 

Are all apostles? are alljyropheis? are all teach- 29. 
ers 9 do all work miracles ? Have all the gifts of 30. 
healing? do all speak divers la?)guages? do all 
interpret ? 

Does every member of the Christian society pos- 
sess every gift, and every office "^ Flow absurd would 
such an arrangement be ! how inconsistent with de- 
corum ! how subversive of utility ! Since then there 
must be a variety of offices, and of gifts correspond- 
ing with them, let each be satisfied with his own 
share, let none be vain of what he possesses, and 
none murmur that others are honoured with gifts 
more splendid than his own. 

Now ye are contentious ' for the greater gifts ^ ; 31. 

' Now Tje are contentious.'] "Ye contest one with another, 
whose ])articular gift is best." Locke ; who remarks, " That 
this Ls the apostle's meaning here is plain, in that there was an 
emulation among them, and a strife for precedency, on account 
of the several gifts they had, which made them in their assem- 
blies desire to be heard first. This was the fault the apostle 
was here correcting : and it ir; not likely he should exhort them 
all proraiscviously to seek the principal and most eminent gifts, 
at the end of a discourse wherein he had been demonstrating to 
them, by the example of the human body, that there ought to 
be diversity of gifts and functions in the church ; but, that there 
ought to be no schism, emulation, or contest among them on 
account of the exercise of those gifts ; that they were all use- 
ful in their places ; and no member was at all to be the less 
honoured or valued for the gift he had, though it were not one 
of the first rank. And in this sense the word ^rjAav is taken, 
ch. xiii. 4. Besides, to v^'hat purpose should he exhort them to 
covet earnestly the best gifts, when the obtaining of this or that 
gift did nut at all lie in their desires or endeavours, the apos- 

•26S Part II. 1. C O R I N T II I A N S. Sect. V. ii. 4. 

Ch. XII. / iviil show you, therefore, a far more excellent 

Ver.31. ^ J J 


I lament to hear, that the church at Corinth, so 
richly endowed with spiritual gifts, so highly fa- 
voured with Christian instructors, so loud in its pre- 
tensions to superior knowledge, should debase itself 
so far as to encourage unbecoming emulation and 
strife with respect to pre-eminence of spiritual gifts ; 
and that instead of thankfully enjoying and harmo- 
niously exercising these great privileges for the edi- 
fication of the church and the extension of the go- 
spel, they are engaged in public contests concerning 
precedence, to the injury of individuals, and the dis- 
grace of the society. But if you will indulge this 
ambitious spirit, if you will maintain a contest for 
pre-eminence, I will point out a far more worthy ob- 
ject of your ambition ; and a contest far more ho- 

tle having just before told them, ver. 1 1 , that the spirit divides 
those gifts to every man severally as he wnll j and those he writ 
to had their allotment already ? He might as reasonably, ac- 
cording to his own doctrine, in this very chapter, bid the foot 
covet to be the hand, or^ the ear to be the eye. St. Paul doe.s 
not use to cross his own design, nor contradict his own reason- 

Such are the pertinent and judicious remarks of that great 
master of reasoning, Mr. Locke, and they are abundantly suffi- 
cient to invalidate the conclusion of those who would argue from 
this text, that the gifts treated of in this chapter, were natural 
acquisitions and not supernatural endowments. And this ex- 
planation of the text is much preferable to that of ]3ibhop Pearce 
and others, viz. q. d. Seek earnestly and pray for the best gifts ; 
which, as Mr. Locke has shown, is quite inconsistent witl; the 
apostle's reasoning in the context. 

* Greater gifts.'] The received text has -/.psirrova better, but 
the Alexandrine and some other .MSS. read u-si^ovx, greater ^ 
which Bishop Pearce i)refcrs. 

PaiitII. I.CORINTHIANS. Sr.cT. V. ni. 1. 2(59 

nourable and more consistent with your character 
as disciples of the holy and benevolent Jesus. 


The apostle digresses into an eloquent eulogiuni cl;. xni. 
upon Christian benevolence, which he represents as 
greatly superior to all spiritual gifts, and as taking 
the lead of all Christian virtues. Ch. xiii. tliroitgh- 

I. Neither spiritual gifts, nor miraculous pow- 
ers, nor charitable actions, nor martyrdom itself, 
are of any value, where true benevolence is want- 
ing, ver. 1 — 3. 

If I speak 1 in the languages of men and of an- Ver. I . 
gels, and have not love, I arn like sounding brass 
or the noisy cymbal-. 

The most splendid of these gifts, which you so 
earnestly covet in its most perfect degree, the power 
of speaking all languages both in heaven and earth, 
would be of no use to me, or to any one else, if I 
were destitute of Christian benevolence. Talking 
with the greatest fluency in different languages, 
would be of no more value than the noisy and in- 

' If I speak.'] Vide Whitby, who observes, that " what the 
apostle here enumerates, viz. languages, almsgiving, martyr- 
dom, were objects upon which the Jews set the highest value. 
One of their Rabbis is said to have understood the language of 
angels." Let it be observed, that this allusion of the apostle to 
the mythology of angels, is no proof of the actual existence of 
any such beings as angels are supposed to be. 

^ Noisy cymbal.'] Two pieces of hollow brass, struck one 
against another. 

2/0 Paut II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. V. ml. 

Ch. XIII. sipid clank of two hollow plates of brass grating 

upon the ear with a harsh and unmeaning sound. 
Ver. 2. And if I possess the gift of prophecy ^ and un- 
dei'stand all mysteries^ and all knowledge^ and if 
I have faith in the highest degree^ so as to remove 
mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 

To be qualified, by the inspiration of the holy 
spirit, to 'be instructors of the church, is a most 
valuable, though an unostentatious gift. But the 
possession of this extraordinary power in its ut- 
most extent, a complete discernment of the true 
meaning of the Old Testament prophecies, of the 
glorious purpose of God to extend the blessings of 
the gospel to all mankind, and of the true spirit and 
design of the Christian revelation, and a capacity of 
teaching them all in the most impressive manner, 
with the addition of that miraculous faith which 
qualifies its possessor to perform works the most 
extraordinary and stupendous ; all these gifts would 
add nothing to the moral worth or to the happiness 
of the possessor, if that active benevolence were 
wanting which would lead him to employ his know- 
ledge and his power for the instruction and benefit 
of his fellow-creatures. 

' Propheaj :'] i.e. teaching by inspiration : compare xiv. 3. 
Vide Pearce. llie gift of prophecy, according to Mr. Locke, is 
to see in the law and the prophets, all the mysteries contained 
in them, and to comprehend all the knowledge they teach. Any 
predictions relating to our Saviour and his doctrine, or to the 
dispensation of the gospel, which are contained in the Old Tes- 
tament in types and figures, not understood before the advent 
of Christ, are called mysteries by the apostle. See Locke in loc. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T II I A N S. Skct. V. iii. 1. 27 1 

And if I should distribute all I have in alms^, Ch.xiii. 
and if from a desire of glory ^ I should deliver up 
my own person^ hut have not love, I am benefited 

It is motive only which gives character to the ac- 
tion ; and the most brilliant actions lose all their 
value if they are prompted by unworthy motives. 
So that if I distribute all my property to the poor, 
to supply them with bread when they are perishing 
Vv'ith hunger, and if I even deliver up myself to be 
imprisoned, and tortured, and slain ; yet if vanity, if 
ostentation, if the love of applause are the moving 
causes of these actions, without any real philan- 
thropy, without any sympathetic concern for the 
sufferings of others, or desire to relieve their wants, 
and without any explicit design to promote know- 
ledge, virtue, and happiness, the action is destitute 
of all moral worth, and the performance of it will 
neither meet with approbation, nor be entitled to 

* Distribute in alms.l " ^!ju[ji.t^u), to feed by morsels, as a 
nurse a child." Schleusner. " If I give all my substance to be 
eaten." Pearce. The bishop suspects roi^ i:rw/oi^, the poor, 
to have been lost out of the original. " Though I give in por- 
tions all my substance to nourish others." Wakefield. 

^ From a desire of glory.'] Kau;^ijcra;jU,aj. This is the reading 
of the Alexandrine and another manuscript, and of the Coptic 
and -■Ethiopic versions : vide Griesbach. This reading is ap- 
proved by i3eza : vide Bowyer. Mr. Wakefield observes, that 
" burning was a punishment not then in use." Perhaps not ; 
but certainly it was introduced soon afterwards, when Nero il- 
luminated his gardens by burning the Christians in cloths 
smeared with pitch. The received text reads, if I give my body 
to be burned, jtaySr^o-wu-ai, which Mr. Wakefield says is no Greek 

2/2 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. iii.2. 

Ch. XIII. 2. The apostle enumerates the excellencies of 

Christian benevolence, ver. 4 — 7. 
Vcr. 4. Love IS long suffering ', is gentle^ ; love envieth 
not 3 ; love is not inconstant \ is not pyffed up ; 

5. <loth not behave itself with indecorum^ seeketh not 
her own interest^, is 7iot exasperated^^ imputeth 

6. 7iot evill ; rejoiccth Jiot in iniquity^ hut rejoiceth 

7. together ivith truth ^ ; covereth all things 9, believ- 

' Long suffering!] ix,aKpo^viJi£i, " v/ith respect to provoca- 
tions and injuries, without being stirred up to passion and re- 
venge." Newcome. 

'^ Is gentle.'] " of a good, courteous, sweet disposition." 
Bishop Pearce. 

' Envieth not.] " This love quarrels not," 8 i'^i>^'^i- Wake- 
field ; who observes in the note, that the cause, ambition, or 
rivalry, is put ibr the etFcct. 

• is not inconstant.] TrspTtspevsrai. Pearce prefers this sense, 
upon the authority of Marcus Antoninus and Theophylact. — 
" love is not rash." Wakefield. — " The English translation, 
vaunteth not itself, may be justified by the authority of Hesy- 
chius, but then it coincides with what follows." Pearce. 

•■* Oicn interest^ " Its own good things only." Pearce. 

" Is not exasperated^ " 8 Traoo^uygra;, though angry upon 
just occasion, never outrageously angry, never in paroxysms of 
anger." Pearce, Hammond. 

^ Imputeth not evil^ s Xoyi^srai. Doddridge and Wetstein, 
which may be justified by the sense of the word in Gal. iii. fi. 
— "it meditateth no mischief." Pearce; which better agrees 
with the connexion and the sense of the word, ver. 1 1 . — " de- 
viseth not evil." Newcome. 

® Rejoiceth not, &c.] " rejoiceth not over wickedness, but re- 
joiceth together with righteousness." Bishop Pearce ; who ob- 
serves, that whatever aSiKia signifies, aAr;9e(a must signify what 
is opposite to it, 2Thess. ii. 12 ; Luke xvi. 9. — Mr. Wakefield 
renders it, "nor rejoiceth in falsehood, but rejoiceth in truth." 
— " rejoiceth not when men debase their own character, and 
that of religion, by acts of wickedness ; but rejoiceth toge- 
ther with those who walk in the truth. Or, rejoiceth with 
others when truth and righteousness flourish." Newcome. 

" Covereth all things.] So Pearce and Newcome ; i. e. this 

Part 11. 

etli all things ^^, hopeth all things^^, endtit-eih all Ch.xm. 
things^^. ^''" ^' 

It would have been injustice to the apostle, to 
have defaced the beauty of this eloquent period by- 
intermixing explanation ; and, indeed, his meaning 
is, in general, sufficiently obvious. 

Christian benevolence is long suffering, and does 
not easily take offence. It is gentle and courteous 
in its demeanour, not haughty and supercilious. It 
admits no jealousy or envy against those who pos- 
sess superior talents, or who are placed in situations 
of superior acceptance and usefulness. It is not rash 
and inconstant in its behaviour, sometimes hot, and 
sometimes cold, but a calm uniform principle of ac- 
tion. It is not elated by any advantages which it 

is the primary signification of reyw, q.d. it concealeth all fail- 
ings, the faults and infirmities of others. In the public version, 
"^it beareth all things 5" but this coincides with the last clause, 
'•^it endureth all things." Mr. Wakefield reads rspysi, which 
seems to have been the reading of the iEthiopic, and supposes 
^povov to be understood. He renders the verse, " is contented 
at all times, full of trust at all times, full of hope at all times, 
patient at all times." 

*° Believeth all things.'] " it candidly supposes probity and 
benevolence in others ; believes what tends to alleviate their 
faults, and assigns the best motives to their actions." Newcome. 

" Hopeth all thmgs.'] "as to their improvement in goodness, 
or the reformation of their vicious lives." Newcome. 

" Endureth all things.'] " endures reproaches and wrongs 
with patience and resignation." Newcome ; who very properly 
adds, " The word tavra,, ' all things,' in this verse, must be re- 
strained to reasonable cases," and who thinks with Locke, that 
" in this description of love, Paul obliquely censures the emula- 
tions and contests of the Corinthians, both with respect to their 
factious leaders and their spiritual endowments." " It hopeth 
always for the best, and bears all the malice and impertinence 
of men." Bishop Pearce. 


2/4 PahtII. 1. CORINTHIANS. Sf.ct.V. m.3. 

Ch. XHI. may possess over others. It never violates the rules 
^'^' *' of decorum, but upon all occasions maintains pro- 
priety of behaviour. It is not self-interested, but 
always active in promoting the good of others. If 
at any time anger is permitted to rise in the breast. 
it is never carried to excess, nor suffered to express 
itself in harsh and intemperate language and unbe- 
coming action. It is not prone to ascribe to others 
improper motives, which they disavow. It takes no 
pleasure in seeing or hearing of the bad conduct of 
others, nor in the mischief which ensues from it ; 
but it dehghts in the progress of truth and virtue, 
and sincerely shares in the joy of those who are ho- 
noured as the instruments of diffusing these inesti- 
mable blessings. It kindly conceals the errors and 
the faults of others, where public justice does not 
require that they should be brought to light. Con- 
scious of its own sincerity, it is disposed to place an 
unsuspicious confidence in that of others. It hopes 
the best of every one ; and endures insults and in- 
juries with meekness and fortitude, and harbours no 
disposition to revenge. 

3. Benevolence is more permanent than miracu- 
lous gifts and powers, and will flourish when they 
have ceased, ver. 8 — 12. 
8. Love never faileth ; whereas, whether there be 
prophetic teachings, they shall come to an end; 
ivhether there be languages, they shall cease ; whe- 
ther there be knowledge, it shall come to an end\ 

* Knowledge shall come to an end.'] i.e. as the apostle ex- 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. V. in. 3. 2/5 

The most splendid and the most useful of those Ch. xiil. 
spiritual gifts, in which we are now so apt to pride 
ourselves, shall cease. The gift of tongues, the gift 
of prophetic instruction, the gift of understanding 
the whole plan of the gospel dispensation, and the 
prophetic scriptures, shall come to an end. But be- 
nevolence is a permanent principle, and shall never 
fail as long as virtuous creatures exist. 

For our knowledge is imperfect^ and our prophe- 9. 

tic teaching is imperfect '^. But ivhen perfection lo. 

Cometh s, that which is imperfect shall come to an 

In this world, our knowledge of the divine dispen- 
sations is limited, both in its extent and in its de- 
gree, and our qualifications for teaching must be 
proportionably contracted. But when we are intro- 
duced into that state which the gospel reveals, our 
knowledge will be perfect, and the power of commu- 
nicating our ideas to each other will be improved to 
the highest degree of which our renovated minds 
will be capable, and in this exalted state imperfec- 
tion will cease. 

While I IV as a child, I spake like a child, I ivas 11. 

plains himself, ver. 10, imperfect knowledge shall be superseded 
by perfect. xarapyi^STjcrgraj, " come to an end." Pearce. 

* Is imperfect^ Vide Wakefield ; Gr. " we know in part, 
and we prophesy in part." So Newcome and the public ver- 
sion. Bishop Pearce renders it, " we know in part only ; but 
this addition takes from the spirit of the sentence without add- 
ing to its perspicuity." 

^ Cometh^ The received text adds, " then that which is iii 
part," &c. But many of the best copies omit the word then, 
which is indeed redundant. 


276 Paut II. I.CORINTHIANS, Sect. V. iii. 3. 

Ch. XIII. affected i like a child, I reasoned like a child : hut 
luhen I became a man, I put an end to these child- 
ish things. 

Here we are in a state of childhood ; and that 
state of knowledge, virtue, usefulness, and happi- 
ness, which is promised by the gospel, and for which 
we are trained up by the discipline of the present 
life, will be as much superior to the present, as the 
intellect, the feelings, the employment, and the gra- 
tifications of the man, are to those of a child. And 
as the man of mature age despises and throws aside 
the manners, the toys, and the habits of the child, 
so will the renovated and exalted man of the future 
world disdain and despise the puerile affections and 
employments of the present preparatory state. 
12- Ahiv we see as through a medium 2, indistinctly; 
but then we shall ?!,Qeface to face. Now I know in 
part, but then shall I knoiv even as I am knoivn 3. 

^ I was affected.'] £(ppov8V literally, " I had the mind," i.e. 
" the disposition of a child " Wakefield. 

* Through amediwn.'] Si.' stroirrpn. 1 prefer the word medium 
to glass, because the apostle probably meant some much less 
perfect medium, such as horn, or talc, of which windows were 
made, and by which external objects were discerned with great 
indistinctness, and confusion : vide the excellent note of Pearce. 
" Nos in prcesenti videmus, tanquam per lapidem specularem, h. e. 
obscure." Schleusner. Dr. Priestley understands it as an allu- 
sion to an imperfect mirror, which is indeed the primary sense 
of sa-oirtpov. — " with an obscure representation of objects." 

'" Even as I am known. 1 " In the manner that God knows me, 
and all my thoughts, words, and actions." Pearce. But this 
surely cannot be the apostle's meaning. He may, perhaps, al- 
lude to the notion which the Jews entertained, of the great sa- 
gacity and intuitive knowledge of angels, " We shall see one 
another by direct intuition." Priestley. 

Part II. I, C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. in. 4- 277 

In the present state, we view objects through a Ch. xiir. 
clouded and imperfect medium, which does not per- ^ ^' " * 
mit us to attain a correct and distinct view of their 
magnitude, form, colour, or other sensible proper- 
ties, so that we necessarily form a confused and un- 
certain conception of them ; but hereafter this coarse 
medium shall be removed, and we shall see objects 
in their proper form, as clearly and distinctly as we 
see a friend with whom we are conversing. Thus, 
at present, our knowledge is imperfect, but hereaf- 
ter it will be clear, distinct, intuitive, and compre- 
hensive. We shall know each other much more in- 
timately than we do at present, and shall possess far 
better means of communicating our ideas than we 
can now conceive. 

4. Christian benevolence is a quality superior to 
all other Christian virtues, ver. 13, xiv. 1. 

But now, these three, faith, hope, and love, are 13 

permanent^; but the greatest of these is love; fol- 
low after \\\\^ love^. 

The gift of knowledge, the gift of languages, and 
the gift of prophetic instruction, are all, as I have 
just observed, fleeting and evanescent. They will 
not long remain in the church, and the individuals 
who now possess them may soon be deprived of 
them. But there are three virtues of distinguished 

Ch. XIV. 
Ver. 1. 

^ Are permanent?^ " The received text begins with Nyv<, 
now ; but this is left out in some MSS. If retained, it signifies 
at vero." Pearce. - 

* Follow after.'] ]NIr. Wakefield joins the first clause of the 
next chapter with the close of this. 

278 Paiit li. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N 8. V. iv. 1. 

Ch. XIV. excellence, and of permanent value ; which will abide 
in the church to the end of time, long after spiritual 
gifts have ceased, and miraculous powers are with- 
drawn ; and which will never be lost to the posses- 
sor, but by his own fault. These are, faith, hope, 
and love; steadfast faith in the truth of divine reve- 
lation, delightful hope of the accomplishment of the 
divine promises, and warm, active, disinterested be- 
nevolence. But of these, the last is the chief ; it is 
that which is most honourable to its possessors, 
most useful to others, and most acceptable to God. 
Therefore, my Christian friends, whatever differ- 
ences of opinion may prevail among you with regard 
to the comparative value of spiritual gifts, upon this 
subject be of one mind, and let your main and 
united efforts be directed with unremitting ardour, 
and persevering zeal, to the attainment of this most 
useful and most essential virtue. For by this only 
will it be known that you are the disciples of Jesus, 
if ye love one another. 


The apostle shows, from a variety of considera- 
tions, the great superiority of the gift of prophetic 
instruction, to that of speaking foreign languages. 

1. The apostle exhorts them to prefer the gift of 
prophetic teaching to all others, ver. 1 . 
—1- Moreover^ he earnestly desirous ^ of spiritual 
' g^f^^i ^^^ especially that ye may prophesy ". 

' Be earnesthj desirous.'] ^r^hsre, " or emulous." Wakefield. 

Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Skct. V. iv. I. 279 

Tliougli I recommend Christian benevolence as Ch. XIV. 
the main object of your attention, to the attainment 
and improvement of which your principal exertions 
should be habitually directed, I do not mean to dis- 
parage those spiritual gifts u'hich God has been 
pleased to communicate for the proniulgation of the 
Christian religion, and for the establishment of the 
church in its infant state, and the possession of which 
is a real honour. Value them highly, and use tlie 
proper means of obtaining them^; but let it be your 

''ambitious of spiritual gifts ;" compare xii. 31. Charity is the 
main object. Pursue charity with eagerness. Spiritual gifts 
may be innocently, nay, emulously desired, but let emulation be 
rightly directed ; not to the gift of tongues, but of prophecy. — 
" Zi^Xav," says Locke, " does not .signify to desire, nor can it be 
so understood in this place. See ver. 39 : the meaning evidently 
is, that they should not neglect the use of their spiritual gifts. 
He having by way of reproof told them that they did ^r^Kav, emu- 
late spiritual gifts ; to avoid offending them, he here takes up 
the word again, and uses it more than once in a way that ap- 
proves and advises that they should ^r^Xev irvsvix-aTiKo. ; whereby, 
yet, he means no more than that they should not neglect their 
spiritual gifts ; he would have them use them in their assemblies, 
but yet in such method and order as he directs." Locke. 

* Prophesy.'] That is, teaching by inspiration ; compare ver. 
3, 30 3 vide also Locke, Pearce, &c. This is universally allowed 
to be the sense of the word in this place. Pearce and Wakefield 
translate teaching. 1 prefer propliesy, which is more usual, and 
which expresses, what the apostle certainly included, superna- 
tural instruction, which the word "teach" does not. 

3 Use the means.'] This seems to be implied by the word ^r}- 
Xsre. It seems as if there were some option respecting them, 
and some means to be used for attaining them. But what, we 
cannot tell. We know too little, either of the nature of the 
gifts, of the means of acquiring them, or, of the manner of exer- 
cising them. It is sufficient for the establishment of the divine 
authority of Christianity, that we have ample evidence of their 
existence. Perhaps, after all, the apostle means only to advise 
them to be ever prompt to exercise their gifts upon proper oc^ 
casionSj and in a proper manner. 

280 Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. V. iv. 2. 

Ch. XIV. chief concern to obtain the capacity of instructing 
your fellow Christians in the truths and duties of our 
holy religion ; for this, though one of the least splen- 
did, is nevertheless one of the most useful of all 

2. Prophecy is an instructive gift, but talking in 
a foreign language is of use to no one, ver. 2 — 6. 
2. For he who speaketh in a foreign language ^^ 
speaketh not to men, but to God: for no one under- 
standeth 2 him, and he speaketh mysteries to hiiri- 
self only ^. 

A person speaking in a foreign language may un- 
derstand himself, and may express those truths of 
the Christian revelation which were formerly un- 
known, and are therefore called mysteries. And his 
gratitude for these discoveries may with propriety 
be addressed to an omniscient God in any language. 

■ Foreign language^ yXu:<T(Tri, tongue. The connexion proves, 
and all the critics agree, that an unknown tongue is intended. 

' Under standeth7\ anszi. Newcome, who refers to Kypke, 
Obs. Sacr. Mr. Locke observes, " that it was those who had the 
gift of tongues, who caused the disorder in the church at Co- 
rinth, by their forwardness to speak, and striving to be heard 
first ; and this gift is the only one that the apostle restrains and 

^ To himself only .1 ntvBviixn. See Wakefield. Some copies 
read Ttvsvif.a., which Pearce prefers ; and would render " his 
mind speaketh mysteries." He observes, that " 7rv£U|U,a does 
not here signify the holy spirit, but the spirit that is in man, or 
his mind." " In his spirit : it may be that in his own mind, as 
he understands himself, he speaks some of the great doctrines 
of the gospel." NewTome. See ver. 14, 15, where itvsvu.a and 
vug are opposed ; one signifying a man's understanding himself j 
the other, his being understood by others. 

PartII, I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.V.iv.2. 281 

But to men, who do not understand the language, Ch. xiv. 
the discourse, however just and important in itself, 
can be of no use ; and so far as men are concerned, 
he can only be considered as talking to himself. 

Whereas^ he whoprophesieth, speaketh to others *, 3. 

edification and exhortation and consolation. 

He who is qualified by the spirit to be a Christian 
teacher, either instructs his fellow Christians in some 
revealed truth, or exhorts them to the performance 
of some important duty, or under the troubles of 
life, and the dangers of their profession, he admini- 
sters that comfort, which the promises and hopes of 
Christianity are calculated to afford. 

He IV ho speaketh in a foreign language, edifieth ^• 

himself only ; hut he who prophesiethy edifieth the 

The best that can be said in favour of speaking 
in a foreign language is, that the speaker may im- 
prove himself, but which, indeed, in the circum- 
stances supposed, is not very probable; whereas, he 
that teaches by inspiration, instructs, animates, and 
comforts the whole congregation, 

/ ivishy indeed, that ye all spake in foreign Ian- ^^ 

gzcageSy but rather that ye prophesied ; for he who 
prophesieth is more excellent than he who speaketh 
in foreign tongues, unless there be an interpreter 5, 
that the church may receive edification. 

* To others.'] Gr. to men, " to their edification in faith, to 
exhortation in duty, and to comfort in distress." Pearce. 

' Be an interpreter.'] $i£pij,y^vEvujv -ri, is the reading of some 
goodMSS. See Griesbach. The apostle could hardly mean, that 
the man who spoke in unknown language should be his own in- 
terpreter. See Pcarcc. 

282 Part II. I.CORINTHIAN S. Sect. V. iv. 2. 

Ch. xiY. You are all ambitious of the gift of tongues. I 
'^^' '^' wish you all possessed it ; but I much more ear- 
nestly wish that you were all qualified, by the gift 
of the spirit, to communicate instruction to Chris- 
tian assemblies. For the inspired prophet is far 
more useful than the person who speaks a foreign 
language, how excellent soever his doctrine may be, 
unless there be an interpreter present to explain his 
meaning to the congregation, that all may be im- 
proved by it. 
6. And now y brethren^ if I come to you speaking in 
foreign languages, what shall I projit you, 2inlcss 
I speak to you intelligibly, cither by revelation ', or 
by knowledge, or by prophecy, or by doctrine. 

^ Either by revelation.'] It is useless to guess, and impossible 
to ascertain, the distinction between these four different kinds 
of instruction. To the Corinthians the terms were no doubt fa- 
miliar. This obscurity is the necessary consequence of episto- 
lary writing-, and a presumption in favour of the genuineness of 
these epistles. 

" It is not to be doubted, (says Locke,) but these four di- 
stinct terms had each its distinct signification ; whether what 
may be collected from these epistles may sufficiently warrant us 
to understand them in the following significations, I leave to the 
judgement of others. 1 . aT:oxa?.v\/'.g, revelation, something re- 
vealed by God immediately to the person, vid. ver.30. 2. yvco- 
<ns, knowledge, the understanding the mystical and evangelical 
sense of ])assages in the Old Testament, relating to our Saviour 
and the gospel. 3. Tr^oOi^rsia, prophecy; an inspired hymn, 
vid. ver. 26. 4. ciox-xtj, doctrine, any truth of the gosjiel con- 
cerning faith and manners. But whether this or any other pre- 
cise meaning of these Avords can be certainly made out now, it 
is of no great necessity to be over curious ; it being enough, for 
the understanding the sense and argument of the apostle here, 
to know that these terms stand for some intelligible discourse, 
tending to the edification of the church, though of what kind each 
of them was in particular, we know not." 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Si::cT. V. iv. 4. 283 

Whatever I may have to coiiunuiucate can be of Ch.xiv. 
no use to you, if I speak in a language which you 
do not understand. 

3. The apostle illustrates his observations by a 
similitude taken from instruments of music, ver. 

In like manner inanimate things which give 
sounds whether pipe or harp, unless they give a 
distinction of iiotes, hoiv shall it be known ivhat 
melody is piped or harped ? Moreover^ if the trum- 
pet give an uncertain sound, ivho will prepare him- 
self for battle P 

The use of nmsical instruments is, to excite the 
emotions of joy, or grief, or military ardour, or some 
other mechanical feeling ; but in order to this, the 
performance must not be a confusion of sounds 
without any meaning, but the different melodies 
must be adapted to the different feelings and pas- 
sions they are intended to rouse. 

So, likewise, ye who speak ivith tongues *, unless 
ye utter an intelligible sound, how can your speech 
be understood, for ye ivill be talking to the wind ? 

If you continue talking in a foreign language, you 
may as well talk to the winds, for no one can under- 
stand you. 

4. As inhabitants of different countries cannot un- 

' Ye who speak voitii ton^ues'^^ Tliis is the turn Mr. Wakefield 
gives to uagjf Jia yAwfro-^jj , which, saith he, " seems to have 
escaped all my ijredecessors, whether critics, translators, or in- 
terpreters." He contirnls it by referring to Kom. ii. 27. 

284 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Siscr. V. iv. 4. 

Ch.xiv. derstand each other, till they have acquued a know- 
ledge of each other's language, so the members of 
Christian societies cannot edify each other, while 
they continue to speak in unknown languages, ver. 

10. There are I know not how many kinds of lan- 
guages ' in the worlds ana no nation is ivithoiit a 

11. language. But, unless I know the force of the 
language, I shall be to him who speaketh a barba- 
rian, and he luho speaketh will be a barbarian to 
me^. So likewise will ye 3. 

If we are strangers to each other's language, we 
must be barbarians to each other; the most polished 
language will sound like an unintelligible jargon. 
We can hold no conversation with each other, and 
can maintain no social intercourse. If we would be 
of any use to each other, we must first learn the 
same language. So likewise it will happen to you, 
if you persist in the senseless practice of uttering 
effusions in a foreign language ; your mutual inter- 
course will be unmeaning and unprofitable. 

' / knom not hoiv many kinds of languages.'] So Wakefield and 
Newcome ; roa-avra, si rnyjn, yEvi} (pwvcuv, or, " there is a cer- 
tain number of languages." Newcome. — " as many kinds of 
languages as nations." Pearce ; who, with the Alexandrine and 
other copies, leaves out autwv in the next clause, where he sup- 
plies sQvos, " no nation is without a language." 

^ A barbarian to me.'] " Barbaras hie ego sum, quianon intel- 
Ugorulli." Ovid. Trist. v. 10. 

' So likewise will ye.] " Quidam hccc conneclnnt cum prcEce- 
dentibus, ut sit, Ita et vos ; sic vobis etiam eveniet." Rosen- 
muller. Bishop Pearce in his paraphrase adopts the same punc- 
tuation : "and the very same thing will happen to you ; it will 
be just your case." 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. iv.5. 285 

Since you are emulous of spiritual gifts'^, seek Ch. xiv. 
that ye may eoccell to the edification of the church. 

If you will contend for superiority, let the contest 
be, who shall exercise his spiritual gift so that the 
congregation of believers when assembled for divine 
worship may be most effectually edified. 

Therefore^ let him who speaketh^ in a foreign '3. 

language, so pray, as that some one may inter- 
pret ^. 

To speak plainly, let no one pray at all in the 
Christian assembly in a foreign language, unless 
some one is present who may interpret the prayer, 
so that the congregation may join in it, and be edi- 
fied by it. 

.5. Whatever be the intrinsic excellence of the 
offices performed, they can be of no use to an au- 
dience who cannot understand the language, ver. 

For if I pray in a foreign language, 1 pray in- ^^' 

deed my self l, but my meaniiig is unprofitable 8. 

* Spiritual gifts.'] Gr. itvevixxra., spirits, " ahstracto posito 
proconcreto." Rosenmuller. 

^ Speaketh.'] 6 XaXcuv," whoprnyeth. That this is the apostle's 
meaning, is evident from the following clause." Macknight. 

" That some one may interpret.'] Ttpdo'&uy^sa^uj Ivx ^ispiJ^r^vsuyi, 
supply ris. Not pray to God that he may have the gift of inter- 
pretation 5 but let him pray at such times and in such a manner 
that some one present may interpret his prayer. See Pearce, 
Wakefield, and Macknight. Hence it appears, that primitive 
Christians when assembled together united in social prayer ; 
and that one person led the devotions as the organ of the con- 

l I pray indeed myself^ ro itvsv^a [lO'j Tfpo<rsvx''^^''> " ^Y 

286 Part II. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. V. iv. 5. 

Ch. XIV. I may be very earnest, and may pffer an excellent 
"■ ' prayer; but if I use an unknown tongue, as my 
meaning is not understood, my prayer can be of no 
service to those who hear me. 

15. IVhat then is to be done ' ? / will pray with 
my 7iiiniL and I will pray so as to be understood ; 
I will sing with my mind, and I will sing so as to 

16. he understood'^ . Otherwise, if thou givest thanks 
with thy 7nind only 3, how shall the unlearned 

mind prayeth." Pearce. Compare ver. 2 : Ttvsuixa is the same 
as U7Di, a person's self. " Thou wilt not leave my soul, i. e. me, 
in hell." Ps. xvi. 10. " The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spi- 
rit, i. e. with thee." 2 Tim. iv. 22. 

* Mt/ meaning is unprofiiahle.'] 6 vay jt/.8 a'Aapntog. Pearce and 
Locke both observe the great difficulty of this passage, which, 
indeed, consists wholly in the peculiar sense in which the apostle 
uses the words Trvgyaa and vovg. "To solve this difficulty," says 
Bishop Pearce, " I observe, lirst, that St. Paul himself in ver. 
19 explains XaXsiv ruj voi, by IvxaXXovs ■Karriy^r^c-iv, so that the 
sense of va; seems to be that understanding which I'm hearer 
has of v^hat is said. I observe, secondly, that itvev^.a. and ves 
have a sense opposite the one to the other, so that ttvsv^a must 
signify a man's own mind ; i. e. his own understanding of what 
he himself speaks." Mr. Locke has given the same interpreta- 
tion, which is no doubt the true one, and which makes the 
apostle's meaning both intelligible and pertinent. 

' To be done.] ti sv ss'i ; sc. Trpaxrg^v " quid igititr est quod 
faciendum sit P'" RosenmuUer. 

' So as to be understood.'] So Bishop Pearce ; ruj vfA, with 
the understanding. — " I will pray v.'ith meaning." Archbishop 
Newcome ; not so intelligible as the version of Pearce. See 
note ^. " Operam dabo ut non solum animo et mente, sed etiam 
ita ut ab aliis intelUgar precesfundam." RosenmuUer. Mr. Locke 
seems to mistake the meaning of the word itvtvij.a., which he ex- 
plains, " I will, when moved by the spirit, pray, &c." In a note, 
he observes, that " as in their public prayers, one prayed and 
the others held their peace, so it was in their singing, at least 
in that singing which was of extempore hymns by the impulse 
of the spirit." 

=• Thy viind only.] " If thou bless God to thyself only." 
Wakefield. The rest of the verse is his translation. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS, Sect. V. iv. o. 287 

hearei"* say, Amen^, after thy thanksgiving, when Ch. XI v. 
he understandeth not what thou art saying? For Ver. 17. 
thoK,, indeed, givest thanks well, hut the other is not 

It is plain, that the apostle means to reprove the 
absurd and childish abuse which some of the Corin- 
thians made of the gift of tongues, by attempting 
to conduct public worship in the church in a foreign 
language, and several of them talking at once. They 
were no doubt influenced by the most puerile va- 
nity; and it can hardly be supposed that a service 
so conducted, could be edifying either to the per- 
former himself or to any one else. But the apostle, 
who was desirous of convincing them of the folly of 
this practice, and inducing them to lay it aside, uses 
the most gentle language, and makes the most cha- 
ritable supposition, q. d. Let your discourses, your 
prayers, your thanksgiving, be ever so excellent, ever 
so instructive, ever so edifying to yourselves, or ever 
so acceptable to God ; yet in a Christian assembly, 
if they are clothed in a foreign language, they are 
ill-timed and ill-judged ; for as none but yourselves 
can understand the language, none but yourselves 
can be edified thereby, and the time of your fellow- 

* Unlearned hearer.] avocTrXrjpujv rov roTtov rs loicorov, " he 
who filleth the place of the unlearned." Pearce and Newcome. 
" The place of the private person." Macknight. 

* Say, Amen.'} " The apostle's question implies, that it was 
the custom in the Christian church from the beginning, for all the 
people, in imitation of the ancient worship, to signify their assent 
to the public prayers, by saying Amen at the conclusion of them." 
Sec Deut. xxvii' 15 ; 1 E.sdras, ix. 7 3 Neh. viii. G. Macknight. 

288 Part II. I. C R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. iv. 6. 

Ch. XIV, worshipers is lost, while you occupy the interval 
which ought to be left for the prophets, who are di- 
vinely commissioned to speak in the common lan- 
guage those discourses which are calculated to in- 
struct, console, and edify the assembled congre- 

6. The apostle declares, that as to himself, how- 
ever he might excell in speaking foreign languages, 
he would much rather utter a few sentences which 
were intelligible and useful, than deliver the most 
eloquent harangue in an unknown tongue, ver. 
18, 19. 

18. 1 give thanks to God^, speaking in a gi'eaier 

19. number of languages than any of you. But in the 
congregation t I would rather speak five sentences 2 
so as to be understood, that I may instruct others 
also, than ten thousand sentences in a foreign lan- 
guage 3. 

' I give thanks to God^ q. d. " I conduct the worship of God 
in a greater variety of languages than any of you." The apostle 
does not thank God that he is a better linguist than any of the 
Corinthians. "QvA giving thanks is used in the sense in which 
it occurs in the two preceding verses for Christian worship. See 
Pearce, Macknight, and Newcome. /xs is omitted after &suj in 
the Alexandrine and other MSS., and the Syriac, iEthiopic/and 
Coptic versions. 

' Sentences.'] Xoyng. Macknight. ^.vpias signifies any number 
indefinitely great, like the Latin sexcenti. — So as to be under- 
stood. For Siars voog jxs, Bishop Pearce, with the Alexandrine, 
Clermont, and many other copies and \'ersions, reads sv voi'^s, 
so as to be understood. Griesbach also approves this reading. 

^ In a foreign language.'] " Had the most able and zealous 
protestant divine, (says Dr. Doddridge,) in his reflections upon 
this passage, endeavoured to expose the absurdity of praying in 

Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. V. iv. 7. 289 

As the apostle of the Gentiles, I have been fa- Ch. xiv. 
voured with the gift of tongues in a very high de- 
gree ; and in the various places in which I intro- 
duce the gospel, I speak in the language of the 
country in which my mission is exercised ; so that 
there is none of you, who has been accustomed to 
conduct Christian worship in a greater variety of 
languages than myself. But upon this gift I lay 
little stress, any further than as it is the means of 
promulgating the gospel in foreign countries : but 
as to the mere reputation of speaking in a foreign 
language, I profess that I would rather speak five 
sentences which might be inteUigible and useful to 
those that heard me, than deliver the most laboured 
and eloquent harangue to an audience that could 
not comprehend my meaning, or be instructed by 
my discourse. 

7 . The apostle intimates, that it was a very child- 
ish thing to amuse themselves with talking a lan- 
guage which none of their hearers could understand, 
ver. 20. 

an unknown tongue as practised in the church of Rome, it is 
difficult to imagine what he could have written more fully to 
the purpose than the apostle hath here done ; and when it is 
considered how perversely the Papists retain the usage of such 
prayers, it will seem no wonder that they should keep the scrip- 
tures in an unknown tongue too." The pious writer adds, as 
a warning to those who are called to minister in public, " There 
is, perhaps, a manner of speaking in an unknown tongue, even 
when the language of our own country is used, a height of com- 
position, an abstruseness of thought, an obscurity of phrase, 
which common Christians cannot understand." 


290 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect, V. iv. 8. 

Ch. XIV. Brethren, he not children in understanding ; yet 
"■ * in evil ^ be even babes ^^ but in understanding be 
perfect men. 

Do not, by a childish use of the gift of tongues^ 
give occasion to reflections upon your understand- 
ing. In every thing maUcious or immoral, be ig- 
norant and innocent as babes ; but let your general 
conduct be manly and wise, such as may attract the 
esteem and respect of all who know you. 

8. The gift of tongues being intended for the 
conversion of unbelievers, is not to be used in a 
Christian assembly, but that of prophecy is intend- 
ed to edify the church, ver. 21, 22. 
21. It is written in thelaw^ (Isa. xxvili. 11), Surely 
with a foreign language * and with for'eign lips 

' In evil7\ ■x.a.y.ia, " not malice, but those evil dispositions 
which are contrary to the gentleness and innocence of children j 
particularly envy, anger, strife." Macknight. 

• Be even babes.'] So Wakefield ; vrjiria^srs, " in evil be in- 
fants." Pearce. The apostle rises in his language ; and the 
same w^ord should not be used in both clauses of the sentence, 

' In the law.'] " The books of sacred scripture which we now 
call the Old Testament, are in the writings of the New Testa- 
ment sometimes called the law, the prophets, and the psalms ; 
as Luke xxiv. 44 ; sometimes the law and the prophets, as Acts 
xxiv. 14 ; and sometimes they are all comprehended under this 
one name, the law, as here ; iot the passage cited is Isa. xxviii. 
11." Locke. See Rom. ii. 12, 2.5 ; and Macknight's notes. 

•* With a foreign language.] This passage, as cited by the 
apostle, from Isaiah xxviii. J 1 , does not agree entirely either 
with the Hebrew or the LXX. It is translated by Bishop 
Lowth, " Yea, verily, with a stammering lip, and a strange 
tongue, he .shall speak unto this people." 

Mr. Dodson makes some ingenious conjectural emendations 
of the text, and having adopted the last clause (which he sup- 
poses to have been lost from the original) upon the authority 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. iv. S. 291 

will I speak to this people, nor even thmy will they Ch. xiv. 
hearken to me, saith the Lord. So,'that foreign Ver. 22. 
languages are for a sign, not so mueh^ to believers 
as to unbelievers ; whereas, prophecy is Jiot so much 
for unbelievers as for believers. 
- God declares, by the prophet Isaiah, that he will 
address his disobedient people by prophets and mes- 
sengers, who should speak to them in foreign and 
unknown languages ; the consequence of which 
would be, that not being generally understood, their 
teaching and admonitions would excite little atten- 
tion, and their mission \vould be fruitless. From 
this prophecy, therefore, ,if you will receive it as 
such, you may learn that the gift of tongues is com- 

of the apostle, he translates the passage thus : " Yea, veiiiy, 
with foreign lips and strange tongues I will speak to this peo- 
ple, and even then they will not hear me, saith Jehovah." 

Bishop Lowth conceives that the text is a reply to the taunt- 
ing language of the unbelieving Israelites in the preceding 
verses, and that it foretells that they should be carried into 
captivity by a nation wliose language they would not under- 
stand, and which, like children, they would be obliged to learn 
gradually and with difficulty. It is universally, or at least very 
generally, allowed, that the passage is cited by the apostle by 
way of accommodation only, and by no means as a direct pro- 
phecy. Dr. Macknight indeed says, that " Isaiah evidently 
foretells the methods which God in future times would use for 
converting- the unbelieving Jews ; and among others, that he 
would speak to them in foreign languages, that is, in the lan- 
guages of the nations among which they were dispersed. The 
passage, therefore, is a prediction of the gift of speaking fo- 
reign languages, to be bestowed upon the first preachers of the 
gospel. From the prophecy thus understood, the apostle's con- 
clusion is clear and pertinent." But as the learned expositor 
assigns no reason for departing so widely from Bishop Lowth's 
interpretation, his assertion probably will have little vv^eight. . 

* Not so much.'] Vide Pearce. Gr. " not to the believers," &c, 
Wakefield, Newcome, &c. 

u 2 

292 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. V. iv. 8. 

Ch. XIV. municated for the purpose of addressing unbeliever.s 
Ver. 22. ^^^^^ -^ order to impart the gospel revelation to 
every one in his own language ; whereas, the gift of 
prophetic teaching is communicated not so much 
for the conversion of unbelievers as for the improve- 
ment of those who are already converted. The pro- 
phets, therefore, ought not to be interrupted in the 
discharge of their office by the confused, unintelli- 
gible jargon of those who for very different pur- 
poses were endued with the gift of tongues. 

It is observable that the word Imv in this place is 
used as a general term to express the whole of the 
Old Testament Scriptures ; for the quotation is made 
from Isa. xxviii. 11. And this appears to be one 
instance among many, in which the apostle argues 
more from the sound of the words, than from the 
true meaning of the text. In the original, the pro- 
phet in the name of God threatens, that the Jews 
for their disobedience shall be oppressed by a people 
whose language they do not understand : but in the 
citation the apostle accommodates the words to a 
sense very different from that which the prophet 
contemplated, and to which they do not properly 
apply. All that the apostle can rationally be under- 
stood to mean is this, q. d. The prophet Isaiah 
somewhere speaks of God himself as addressing his 
people in a foreign language without effect ; from 
which we may conclude that foreign languages are 
only to be used to foreigners who understand them, 
and who may possibly be converted by being thus 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. iv. 9. 293 

addressed in their native tongue. In a congregation Ch. xiv. 
of believers, therefore, it is irregular and inexcusa- ^^'" ^^' 
ble to interrupt a public teacher by an ostentatious 
display of unintelligible sounds. 

9. The apostle further shows the absurdity of 
discoursing in an unknown tongue, and the import- 
ance of prophetic teaching, from the different effect 
which they would respectively produce upon an un- 
learned stranger who might happen to visit their as- 
sembly, ver. 23 — 25. 

If\ therefore^ the whole congregation he assem- 23. 
bled together, and all be speaking in foreign lan- 
guages, and if unbelievers who are unlea7med * 
should come in, will they not say that ye are mad P 

If unlearned unbelievers, who know nothing of 
the subject of discourse, and who are ignorant of 
every language but their own, should come into the 
assembly while you are talking in different languages, 
none understanding and none hearing, will they not 
suppose that they are in an assembly of lunatics.'* 

JBut if all prophesy^, and an unbeliever who is 24. 
unlearned come in, he is convinced"^ by all, he is 

^ Unbelievers who are unlearned.~\ SoPearce. t^iurairj aitifoi, 
unlearned or unbelievers. The Vatican leaves out tj in this verse, 
and the ^thiopic version both in this and the succeeding verse ; 
and the sense seems to require these omissions. See Bishop 
Pearce's note. 

* If all prophesy ."] "nempeunuspost alteruvi." Rosenmuller. 

' He is convinced.'] sXsy^stcci, "he is convicted." Newcome, 
— " he is led by all to conviction." " He is discovered btj all: 
what manner of man he is. See John iii. 20. The word 'ifpo<prj- 
rsitx. signifying not only foretelling things to come, but teach- 
ing by inspiration, and telling hidden things of a man's heart. 

294 Part II. I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. V. iv. 9. 

Gh. XIV. excited to examination ^ by all. The thovghta of 
^^' ' his hearts are made manifest ; and so, falling upon 
his face, he will woi'ship God, reportijig that God 
is indeed in you 3. 

If an unbeliever enter your assembly who under- 
stands no language but his native tongue, and if 
the prophets one after another rise, and by the as- 
sistance of the holy spirit declare something that 
comes home to his heart and conscience, something 
which proves that they have been made acquainted 
with actions and thoughts which he had concealed 
most carefully from the world, the unbeliever will 
be struck with amazement and contrition : he will 
acknowledge the God of the Christians to be the 
only true God. And when he departs he will make 
it known that you have been indeed favoured with 
divine inspiration, without which it would have been 
impossible to have described with such exactness 
his case and character. Let prophecy, therefore, in 

it is properly said, that if all prophesy, unbeiiever.s who entered 

the assembly would be discovered and judged of by all." Bishop 


. ^ Excited to examination.'] avxKpivBtaA, " he is led by all to 

an examination of himself." Wakefield. — " he is searched out 

by all." Newcome. — " he is judged of by all." Bishop Pearce ; 

who refers to his note upon ch. ii. 14. 

' The thoughts, &c.] The words koli arcw, and so, at the be- 
ginning of this verse, are wanting in the best copies, and are 
dropped by Griesbach, Pearce, and Newcome. They occur in 
the next clause, v/hich probably occasioned the mistake. 

^ God is in yuii.'j o ©so; — sv v^iv, " God is in you of a 
truth." Newcome. — " God is among you." Pearce, Wakefield. 
Archbishop Newcome observes, " Hence we learn, that the pro- 
phets, like our Lord, sometimes spoke to the thoughts of their 
hearers. See Heb.iv. 12." 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Secx.V.v. 1. 295 

your public assemblies, always take precedence of Ch. xiv. 
the gift of tongues, and be valued by you in pro- 
portion to its superior excellence. 


The apostle closes this portion of the epistle with 
directions for the orderly exercise of spiritual gifts . 
Ch. xiv. 26—40. 

1 . They must not all talk together in their public 
assemblies, but each in his proper turn deliver what 
he hath to say, ver. 26. 

How is it then^ brethren P when ye 7neet toge- 26. 

ther hath every one of you '^ a psalm? hath he a 
doctrine ? hath he a revelation ? hath he a foreign 
language ? hath he an interpretation ? Let all be 
done to edification. 

When you assemble for public worship, are you 
eager to exercise your different gifts "^ has one some- 
thing to sing, another something to teach, either 
in the regular course or by immediate impulse ^ 
Hath one something to deliver in a foreign lan- 
guage ? and is another ready to interpret what is so 
delivered .^ and are you all ready to begin at once, 
without any regard to order, to decorum, to im- 
provement .'^ What unbecoming conduct is this! 
how remote from Christian humility and Christian 

* Hath every one of 7J0U.'] Grotius, Pearce, Newcome, and 
Wakefield, read these clauses interrogatively. Some copies 
place aTfOKaXv^iv sy^si before yXcoa-arav £%si, which Bishop 
Pearce prefers, as the more natural and more usual order. 

29G Pari II. I.CORINTHIANS. SKcr.V.v.2. 

Ch XIV. love ! how disgraceful to your profession ! What- 
ever your talents or your gifts may be, remember 
they are imparted for the general good, and let 
them always be so exercised that others may im- 
prove thereby. 

2. He gives particular directions to those who 
were endued with the gift of speaking foreign lan- 
guages, ver. 27, 28. 
27. Although 1 any man speak in a foreign language , 
let him speak only two or at most three sentences at 
a time 2, and separately ; and let one interpret 3. 

' Although.'] See Locke, q. d. Though you speak in a foreign 
language, it must be to edification. 

* Two or three sentences at a time :] yiata ho r, rpBi{. This 
phrase properly expresses two or three at a time, and not in 
succession. So, ver. 3 1 , it is said, ye may all prophesy xaS' kvx, 
one by one, or one at a time ; and when the apostle means to 
say that they might speak in succession, he uses a different 
phraseology : ver. 29, " Upo(pyj'r'ai Svo rj rpsi; Xa?y£itai(rav, Let 
two or three prophets speak." The question then is, of whom or 
what is the apostle speaking ? Some have understood him, q. d. 
Let those who possess the gift of tongues speak two or three at 
a time ; and, ava [J^epog, separately, in separate parts of the room : 
which, though not agreeable to modern customs, and held by us 
as indecorous, would not be so esteemed by those who were ac- 
customed to the synagogue service, to the public meetings of 
the Greeks, or to the mode of worship in the heathen temples • 
nor is it unusual in the Catholic churches abroad even in the 
present age. It is also plain, from the animadvervsions of the 
apostle in this epistle, that the Corinthians when they assem- 
bled for public worship, and even for receiving the Lord's supper, 
divided themselves into separate parties. It is not, therefore, 
improbable, that the apostle might indulge those who were de- 
sirous of displaying their gift of tongues so far as to allow tv/o 
or three of them to speak at a time to different parties in difl'er- 
ent parts of the place of meeting, that so the speakers might 
be gratified, and this, the least edifying part of the service, 
might be the sooner over, and more time be left for the pro^ 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.V.v,2. 297 

But if there be no interpreter^ let the speaker he Ch. xiv. 
silent in the con^ 
wardly to God^. 

silent in the congregation^ and let him speak in ^^' 

phetic teachers, who were to speak one by one for the benefit 
of the whole cliurch. But, even in this case the apostle strictly 
prohibits those who possessed the gift of tongues to speak at 
all unless an interpreter were present. This indeed appears to 
me to be far from being an improbable interpretation, though 
it is hardly alluded to by any expositor, excepting Grotius, who 
nevertheless discards it at once. It is, however, I think, greatly 
preferable to the common interpretation, that two or three might 
speak in succession ; a sense which the apostle's phraseology 
will hardly admit. 

Upon the whole, however, I think that Dr. Macknight's in- 
terpretation is the most eligible, and have given it in the expo- 
sition. The apostle evidently speaks only of one who possesses 
the gift of tongues, " sira ris XaKsi, if any one speaks ;"' and 
this one individual he exhorts to speak " Kara ovo vj rpsi;." 
This, as Dr. M. observes, cannot mean persoiis : he therefore 
supplies Mysg, sentences, and he requires it should be done se-. 
parately, to allow time to the interpreter to explain. The apos- 
tle also requires that there should be one interpreter, elj ^ispixri- 
ysvsro- whereas, if two or three were speaking at a time, two 
or three interpreters would be wanted, " The rule of the syna- 
gogue," says Mr. Locke, was " in the laio, Let one read, and 
one interpret ; in ihe prophets. Let one read^ and two interpret : 
in Esther, Ten may read, and ten interpret. It is not improba- 
ble that some such disorder had been introduced into the church 
of Corinth by the judaizing false apostle, which St. Paul would 
here put an end to." 

This passage is an additional example of the unavoidable ob- 
scurity of epistolary writing : the Corinthians would at once and 
perfectly understand the apostle's meaning, which at this di- 
stance of time and place can perhaps never be fully cleared up, 

' Let one interpret.'] Qu. Why not interpret the ' 
himself ? Some reply that it would be trifling and improper to 
interpret his own discourse ; as he might at once have used the 
language which was most intelligible. If, however, the con- 
gi'egation consisted partly of foreigners and partly of natives, 
it would not be at all improper for the person speaking to trans- 
late his discourse as he delivered it. Dr. Doddridge suppose.s 
that there might be a number of persons in the assembly who 
jnight use a language unknown to the speaker himself. But 

298 Part II. 1. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. V. v. 3. 

Ch. xrv. If any one in the congregation possess the gift 
of tongues, and feel himself inclined to use his gift, 
I forbid him not : only, let him adhere to the rule 
of exercising his gift for the edification of his bre- 
thren. And I will tell him how it may be done. 
Let him speak two, or at most three, sentences at 
a time. Then let the interpreter translate what he 
has said into language which is intelligible to the 
hearers. After this, the speaker may add two or 
three sentences more, which the interpreter may 
again translate : and in this way a whole discourse 
may be delivered, by which every person present 
may be instructed and edified. But if no one be 
present to interpret what the speaker may utter, I 
require the person who possesses the gift of tongues 
to keep silence; and not to interrupt the proceed- 
ings, and to disturb the devotions of the assembly, 
by uttering an unmeaning jargon v/hich nobody can 
understand. But, if he will use the unknown lan- 
guage, let him use it in mental addresses to the 
Supreme Being, who knows all languages and reads 
all hearts. 

3. He gives directions to the prophetic teachers, 
ver. 29—33. 

this would not happen often ; and the apostle lays down a ge- 
neral rule. It seems as though the person who spoke in a fo- 
reign language could not deliver adiscoursc in his native tongue : 
this is possible, but not very probable. It may, however, again 
be remarked, that what is inextricably obscure to the modern 
reader must have been perfectly clear and intelligible to the Co- 
rinthians ; and these obscurities form a presumption in favour, 
rather than otherwise, of the genuineness of the epistle itself. 
* Inwardly to God.] Gr. " to himself and to God." 

Paet II. L C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. v. 3. 299 

But as to the prophetic teachers, let two or three Ch. xiv. 
of them speak, and let the others disecrn '. er. . 

Let two or three prophets deliver their exhorta- 
tions at one meeting, and let the rest sit still and 
judge whether what is delivered be a real revelation 
or not ; for those prophets who are themselves in- 
spired have the gift of discerning whether the pre- 
tensions of others to inspiration be true or false. 

But if a revelation he made'^ to another who is 30. 
sitting by, let the first firiish his discourse"^. For 31. 
ye 7nay all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, 
mid all may be admonished^. And the inspira- 32. 
tio7i 5 of the prophets is subject to the prophets ; 
for God is not the God of confusion, hut of peace. 33. 

If a revelation occurs to a second teacher while 
the first is speaking, let him not think himself au- 

' Discern :] Siay.^ivsrujc-av. Discernment of spirits was one 
of the spiritual gifts. " Let them discern whether what is spoken 
be doctrine suggested by the spirit. Ch. xii. 10." Newcorae. — 
"Js to the teachers," kc. Pearce. 

* A revelation be made.'] Bishop Pearce observes-, that the 
word aitoxaKv^fjr, is here used impersonally : see ch. vi, 16. He 
also remarks, that what is here called having a revelation, is, 
ver. 31 , called ir^o^ritcvstv, and that the end of both is, that all 
may learn, and all be comforted. He adds, that " here is an- 
other proof that prophenj signifies, teaching by revelation." 

'^ Finish his disconrse.'] Gr. "let the first be silent:" that 
is, let the other wait till the first has finished, " Let the first 
have done speaking before the other begins." Pearce. 

* Admonished :'] tiapa.y.aXojvra.i. So Wakefield, "comforted," 
Pearce ; " exhorted," Newcome. 

' The inspiration :] 7rv£yf/,ara, spirits. Some good copies read 
itv£vy.%, which Pearce prefers, and renders, " the spiritual gift of 
the teachers." The meaning, sa3-she, is, "that the true prophets 
were not so violently moved and agrtated, but that they had it 
in their power to preserve order and decency ; whereas the 
transports which the false prophets counterfeited were extrava- 

300 Pakt II. I. C O R 1 N T H 1 A N S. Sect. V. v. 3. 

Ch. XIV. thorized to rise immediately and interrupt the for- 
^'' ■ mer, but let the first finish what he had to deliver 
before the second begins to speak. 

For I do not permit the prophets to interrupt 
each other, and so to violate the decorum of public 
worship. What the inspired teachers have to deli- 
ver is for the benefit of the whole church. It is 
necessary, therefore, that all should hear and all 
receive instruction, admonition, and consolation, 
as the case may require ; and therefore the mem- 
bers who are invested with the honourable office of 
inspired teachers must speak one at a time, till each 
has communicated to the whole congregation the 
whole message which he has in charge. Nor can 
it be urged that, like the impostors who pretend to 
deliver oracles from the heathen gods, you are com- 
pelled to speak whether you will or not ; for Chris- 
tian teachers, whatever be the importance of their 
doctrine, are left to their own discretion to judge 
concerning the proper time of delivery : for God is 
the God of order and harmony, not of confusion 
and discord, and it would be unworthy the charac- 
ter of the Supreme Being to permit his prophets to 
throw an assembly of worshipers into confusion by 
the violent distortions, the loud screams, or the 


gnnt to such a degree, as that they seemed to think their vio- 
lence would be a mark of their truth." 

" subito non vultus, non color unus, 

Nan comptce mansere comce : sed pectus anhelum, 
Et rabiefera corda tument ; major que videri, 
Non mortale sonans: afftata est numine quando 
Jam propiore Dei." Virgil. Mn. VI. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. v. 4. 301 

frantic gestures, of the pretended missionaries of ch. xiv. 
the heathen gods. ^"■•^^• 

4. The apostle forbids women to speak, or to 
ask questions in a mixed assembly, ver. 33—35. 

As in all the churches ^ of the samts, so let your —33, 34. 
women be silent in the church : for it is not per- 
mitted^ to them to speak, but they ought to be in 
subjection^, as the law also requires (Gen. iii. 16). 

' As in all the churches.'] " Connectenda sunt hcRc verba cum 
commate sequente." Rosenmuller. I adopt the punctuation of 
Pearce and Rosenmuller ; and, with Pearce, supply srca; before 
ai yvvaiKss, and read rri £HKXY)(Tia. instead of raff sKxXrjcnaii : 
viz. So let your women be silent in the church, or congregation, 
there being but one congregation of believers at Corinth. 

By the churches of the saints Dr. Macknight understands the 
churches in Judea ; but this is unnecessary. The public speak- 
ing of the women was probably a peculiarity of the church of 
Corinth. At any rate, it was strictly prohibited in all the 
churches under the apostle's direction. Nor is it probable that 
he would have referred to the discipline of the churches in Judea 
as the standard of excellence, where Jewish prejudices so much 
prevailed. Mr. Locke, referring to chap, xi,, supposes the pro- 
hibition here to extend only to those women who were not in- 
spired. But Dr. Taylor, in his excellent note upon Rom. xvi. 1 , 
seems to have cleared up the difficulty. The women are ex- 
pressly forbidden by the commandment of the Lord, to speak in 
the church, gxjtXryo-ia, the public congregation ; but were al- 
lowed, under certain restrictions, to teach and pray in their own 
private assemblies. To suppose, as some do, that the apostle 
finst gives directions for their decent behaviour while speaking in 
public, ch. xi., and that in this passage he absolutely forbids their 
speaking in public at all, is imputing to him the must egregious 

^ It is not permitted?^ " The Alexandrine and the Vatican, 
and many other manuscripts, read iinrpETraTai."" Pearce. 

' Ought to be, &c.] The Alexandrine, Vatican, and some 
other copies, read virciTaa-asa-Scva-av, subjectce shit, " let them be 
subject." Pearce retains the common reading, and supplies, 
"but it is commanded them to be subject." 

302 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. V. v. 5. 

Ch. XIV. Bzit if they desire to learn any thing, let them ask 
their own husbands at home, for it is unbecoming 
for the woman"^ to speak in the congregation. 

In all other congregations of believers, it is usual 
for the women to be silent, and though a different 
custom prevails at Corinth, It should be laid aside. 
In their own assemblies, indeed, where none but 
women are present, they may with propriety pray 
and teach ; and for this purpose I have already given 
sufficient directions (ch. xi.). But in the public 
congregation, where men and women are assembled 
together, silence and submission become the mo- 
desty of the female ; and the law of God requires this 
deference to the stronger sex. And if difficulties 
occur, it is more advisable to propose them to their 
husbands at home, than to hold a conversation upon 
them and to provoke discussion at the public meet" 

5. The apostle challenges submission to his au- 
thority from all who are themselves truly authorized 
teachers, ver. 36 — 38. 
36. What! did the word of God" proceed from you, 
or hath it reached you only 3 ? 

Is the church at Corinth the metropolitan church, 
from which the gospel proceeded to other countries ? 

» The woman.'} This is the reading of the Alexandrine and 
Vatican copies. 

» Did the word of God.} Dr. Macknight understands this as 
an address to the women. 

' You only.} " that you thus differ from all other churches ?" 
Pearce, Newcome. 

Part II. ' I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. V. v. 5. 303 

or is it the only church in the world where the Chris- Ch. XIV. 
tian revelation has been taught ? Is there any rea- 
son why you should deviate from the established 
customs of other churches, and introduce manners 
and customs of yoiu* own that are inconsistent with 
true decorum, with Christian simplicity, and with 
general edification ? You will not pretend to it. 
Then, in all things decent and edifying let your con- 
duct be conformable to the regulations which have 
been established by the advice and authority of the 
apostles, and first teachers of the gospel, in other 

If any one he a prophet *, or endued with spirt' 37. 
t2ial gifts, let him acknoivledge that the things I 
write to you are the commandments of the Lord, 

Let every true prophet, every one who has been 
favoured with spiritual gifts, every one who even 
sets himself up as a teacher, submit to these regu- 
lations : let him bow to my authority, and acknow- 
ledge that I am an apostle of Christ, and am autho- 
rized to institute rules for the decent government of 
the churches that I have planted. Tor this is a fact, 
and you know it to be so ; for you have been wit- 
nesses to the proofs of my apostolic mission among 

But if any ojie be ignorant, let him be ignorant ^. 33. 

• * If any one be :~\ hKsi Tf§0(pr]T'r}s sivai, ihinketh that he is, or 
seems to be, a prophet. " setteth himself i?}3 to be a teacher." 
Pearce. — "have the character of a teacher." Wakefield. The 
verb iJoxew does not always imply a doubt. See 1 Cor. vii. 40 ; 
Gal. ii. G, 9. " If any one be really a prophet." Macknight. 
* Let him be ignorant.'] " But if any man is ignorant^ and 

304 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. v. 6, 

Ch. XIV, If any one pretends that he is not satisfied con- 
cerning my apostohc authority, and that he sees no 
obligation to submit to my decisions, after all the 
proofs which I have alleged of the commission under 
which I act, I shall take no further pains to con- 
Tince him : his ignorance is wilful. Let him and his 
associates take the consequences of their voluntary 

The apostle here undoubtedly glances at his op- 
ponent the false apostle, though he does not choose 
expressly to name him. 

6. The apostle concludes the discourse with re- 
commending a preference of the gift of prophecy, a 
moderate use of foreign languages, and a decent 
edifying manner of conducting public administra- 
tions, ver. 39 — 40. 

3'j. TVIierefore, brethren^ he desirous to prophesy^ ^ 
und hinder not from speaking in foreign languages; 

40. d?it let all things 2 he done decently^ and in order, 

.says he does not knpw whether I speak by divine command, let 
him be ignorant still j he is wilfully so, and therefore I shall not 
go about to convince him." Pearce. — " Let him reap the con- 
sequence of persisting in this pretended ignorance. Rev. xxii. 
11. This authoritative language is addressed to his oppo- 
nents." Newcome. Some copies read o-yyosirai, and the Vul- 
gate ignoruhitur. This reading Mr. Wakefield prefers, and 
translates, " let him be unknown as a spiritual •person.'" 

' Desirous to prophesi).'] " Let prophecy have the preference 
in the exercise of it." Locke ; who observes, in his very judici- 
ous note, that " g'ljAay in this'whole discourse of St. Paul, taken 
to refer to the exercise, and not to the obtaining, of the gifts to 
v;hich it is joined, will direct us right in understanding St. Paul, 
and make his meaning very easy and intelligible." 

* Bui let all things •] Tta-vra. 'Sa. " Tliis (but) is1he reading 

Part II I, C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. v. 6. 305 

And now, my brethren, to conclude this head of Ch. xiv. 
discourse, the sum of my advice is this : Let the ^^' ' 
gift of teaching by inspiration for the benefit of the 
church be most highly valued, most diligently 
sought after, and most frequently exercised. For 
this, though not the most splendid, is unquestion- 
ably the most useful of all spiritual gifts. Nor yet 
would I disparage the gift of speaking foreign lan- 
guages : this also hath its use ; and in a moderate 
degi'ee upon proper occasions, and under proper 
restrictions, it may be profitably exercised. But 
whatever doctrine you teach, and whatever gifts you 
exercise, remember this rule : Let all your proceed- 
ings be regular, orderly, and decorous, and then all 
will tend to the edification of individuals, and to 
the peace and credit of the society. 

I cannot conclude this section without recalling ^ 
your attention 3 to the irresistible evidence which 
this portion of the epistle affords of the truth and 
divine authority of the Christian religion. 

The genuineness of this epistle has never been 
called in question by any writer, ancient or mo- 
dern. It was addressed to a society of Christians, 
who had been converted by the apostle himself, 
but whose affections had been alienated from him 

of several manuscripts, of all the versions j and the sense re- 
quires it." Bishop Pearcfe. 

^ Recalling your attention.'] See the note at the beginning of 
this section ; but the argument appears of such peculiar impor- 
tance, that I hope I shall be excused for exhibiting a brief sum- 
mary of it at the end of the exposition. 


306 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Srxx. V. v. 6. 

Ch. XIV. by the artifice of an eloquent and subtle opponent ; 
'by whose influence great irregularities had been in- 
troduced into the church. The apostle's design is, 
to recover their esteem and affection, and to rectify 
these disorders. In order to this, among other 
things he corrects their error concerning the pro- 
portionate value of different spiiitual gifts, and par- 
ticularly the gift of speaking foreign languages, and 
that of teaching by inspiration. He severely repri- 
mands the indecent use which the speakers of fo- 
reign languages made of their gift ; and in a tone 
of authority he gives directions for the proper use 
and exercise of each. What conclusion may we 
draw from hence ? Certainly this : that such gifts 
existed in the church. Suppose the contrary, and 
you must suppose the writer to have been a luna- 
tic ; and this epistle could have produced no effect 
but that of compassion or derision. But no one 
who reads and understands this epistle, will pre- 
sume to charge the author with hallucination of 
intellect. And from the second epistle, which was 
written some months afterwards, it plainly appears 
that the former letter had produced the effect which 
the apostle desired. Therefore, these spiritual gifts 
must have existed in all the variety which the 
apostle states. And consequently, the Christian 
religion thus attested and sealed, must be of divine 
origin. No external evidence can be more satis- 
factory than this ; no conclusion can be more ob- 
vious : and I think that no impartial person who 
attentively considers it can resist its farce. 

ART 11. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. I. . 30/ 


The apostle^ in opposition to the Sadducean doc- Ch. XV. 
trine i luhich had been introduced at Corinth^ as- 
serts, in the 7nost peremptory language, the doc- 
trine of the resurrection of the dead. He an- 
nounces it as a primary article of the Christian 
faith ; he declares its inseparable connexion with 
the resurrection of Christ, and its unspeakable 
importance. He enlarges upon the solemnity 
and grandeur of that awful event : he triumphs 
in the glorious anticipation ; and concludes with 
an earnest exhortation to the practice of unimr- 
sal virtue. Ch. xv. throughout ^. 


The apostle Introduces the Important subject, by 
a summary recapitulation of the evidences of the re- 
surrection of Christ from the dead, ver. 1 — 11. 

' " This chapter/' says Dr. Priestley, " is one of the most im- 
portant parts of the New Testament, and indeed of the scrip- 
tures in general, as we learn from it so particular an account of 
the greatest article of Christian faith, and the foundation of all 
our hopes, viz. the doctrine of the resurrection. This doctrine 
the new teachers at Corinth explained away, saying that what 
the apostle called a resurrection was something that took place 
in this life : meaning probably that life of righteousness which 
follows what the apostle sometimes calls the death unto sin, 
taking advantage of his figurative language. The doctrine of the 
resurrection appeared so extraordinary to the heathen who had 
never heard of such a thing before, that it was generally laughed 
at by them, as by Paul's audience at Athens ; and therefore phi- 


308 Part II, I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. i. 1. 

Ch. XV. 1 . He solemnly announces the essential impor- 
tance of the subject of which he was now about to 
treat, ver. 1, 2. 
Ver. I. Andrnpiv^ brethren, I declare to yon the gospel 
which I formerly preached to you, which ye also 
2. received, in which ye have also continued-, by which 
also ye are saved, if ye retain the doctrine as I 
preached it to you ' , otherwise ye have believed in 

losophical persons would naturally give any other meaning ra- 
ther than the literal one. It is remarkable, however, that these 
Christians at Corinth who denied the general resurrection, did 
not deny the resurrection of Christ, for the apostle argues from 
this fact in proof of a general resurrection. The resurrection 
of Christ they might consider as a miracle respecting himself 
personally^ and a proof of his own divine mission." 

" That any Christian should deny the resurrection would 
hardly be credited by us now, if it had not been well known 
that there were great numbers of Christians after the apostolical 
age, who denied it likewise : they were afterwards called Gnos- 
tics. It was a fundamental principle with them, that all evil 
arose from matter ; they therefore thought it an advantage to 
the soul to be freed from the clog of the body ; and many of 
them thought that Christ himself had no body like ours, but 
only the appearance of one. This opinion the apostle John 
strongly reprobates . ' ' 

It seems probable that the error of the Corinthians was the 
same with that of Hymenseus and Philetus, condemned by the 
apostle, 2 Tim. ii. 18, who said the resurrection is passed al- 
ready : meaning, probably, their conversion to Christianity, 
which is described as a new creation, a new birth, a resurrec- 
tion from death to life. 

« The doctrine as I preached it :] rivi Xoyw sv-tiyytXi^eiwr^v. 
Bowyer says this is not Greek ; but Kypke, Wetstein, and Ro- 
senmuUer produce authorities for the phrase. Some understand 
it interrogatively. " rivi Xoyuj, qua ratione" Vulgate. — " Ttvi 
X(tyw, subintellecto siti ante nvi, si tenetis hanc meam doctrinam 
ita ut earn vobis tradidi:' RosenmuUer. — " if ye keep in memory 
[with] what doctrine I preached to you." Pearce, Newcome. 
— "with what design it was preached to you." Alexander, 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. i. 1 , 309 

I now enter upon a very interesting subject : I Ch. xv. 
announce a doctrine which contains in it all that is ^** ' 
valuable in Christianity — the glorious doctrine of a 
resurrection to immortal life ; which, when I resided 
at Corinth, I made the constant subject of my pub- 
lic instructions. It is a doctrine which, whatever 
change may now have taken place in your views 
concerning it, you then received with delight ; in 
the faith of which you remained for some time un- 
shaken; the belief of which induced you to re- 
nounce the idolatry and vice in which you had been 
educated ; by the reception of which you have been 
saved from the darkness, the pollution, and the 
danger of your heathen state ; and which, if you 
retain it in your mind, and persevere in your ad- 
herence to it, will continue to produce the same 
salutary effects. Whereas, if you now renounce 
this important doctrine, you will in eifect renounce 
Christianity itself. All your past faith and all your 
valuable privileges will be of no avail, and you will 
probably soon return to the vices and follies of your 
heathen state. 

* Otherwise ye have believed in vain.'] " sy.roi si jtx.^, nisi 
forte temere credidistis." RosenmuUer. — " Unless indeed ye 
have believed in vain." Macknight. — I have adopted otherwise, 
as more intelligible. Mr. Wakefield, upon the authority of the 
Ethiopic version, of which, however, there is no intimation in 
Mill, Wetstein, or Griesbach, inserts ixij before xxre-z^srs, 
which makes every thing in this text clear and satisfactory. 
His version is as follows : " Now I wish you to consider, 
brethren, to what purpose I preached these glad tidings which I 
did preach unto you (which also ye received, and on which ye 
stand, and by which you must be saved), if ye maintain them 
iiotj for then ye have believedjn vain." 

310 Part II. I. C O R I N T II I A N S. Sect. VI. i. 2. 

Ch, XV. 2. The apostle reminds the Corinthians, that he 
had himself instructed them in the death and the 
resurrection of Jesus, agreeably to the prophetic 
scriptures, as the leading facts of the gospel dispen- 
sation, ver. 3, 4. 
Ver. 3. For I delivered to you among the first princi' 
pies 1 that ivhich I also received, that Christ died 
4. for our sins^, according to the scriptures: and that 
he was buried, and that he was iriised on the third 
day, according to the scriptures^. 

' Among the first principles:'} £v itpwroi^. " Inter prcecipnn 
qucB credere dehebatis." Grotius. — " Among the chief things." 
Newcome. — " av Trpicroi; relate to the importance of the things 
which the apostle delivered^ not to the order in which he deli- 
vered them." Bishop Pearce. 

" Christ died for our sins.'] vtso rujv dixocpricuv riiJ.ujv q. d. " for 
us sinners," that is. Gentiles; that we might be admitted into 
the new covenant ratified in his blood. " For our sins. In 
about thirty passages of the New Testament (says the late 
learned andjudicious Mr. Alexander, in his excellent Exposition 
of this chapter), Christ is said to die /or vs : in about half-a- 
dozen more he is said to die /or our sins. As the first of these 
representations perfectly expresses the benevolence of the Sa- 
viour, and his great friendship to the race of men, so the latter 
seems intended to exhibit besides, the spotless innocence and 
integrity of his whole character, who did no evil, neither was 
guile found in his mouth. The phrase of suffering for the sins 
of men, as it necessarily implies the innocence of the sufferer, 
so it does not necessarily imply any thing further." — "The 
great fundamental doctrine of Christianity is, that Christ died in 
consequence of the sins of others, and not his own." Dr. Priest- 
ley. There may be, and is, a great deal of truth in the observa- 
tions of both these eminent critics and expositors. Still, however, 
it appears to me probable, that when it is said, Christ died for 
sinners, the more usual meaning is, that he died for the Gen- 
tiles, familiarly called sinners, see ver. 1 7, note : that is, to ra- 
tify that new covenant under which believing Gentiles are ad- 
mitted to equal privileges with God's ancient people the Jews. 

^ According to the scriptures.'] Pearce refers to Mark and 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.VI.i. 2. 311 

When I taught you the doctrine of Jesus, I be- Ch. xv. 
gan with instructing you in those important facts 
which, how much soever they may be the object of 
popular odium, and of philosophic contempt, lie at 
the foundation of the faith of the gospel, and in 
which I was originally instructed by Jesus Christ 
himselfj when he appeared to me in the way to Da- 
mascus. Being determined to know nothing among 
you but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, my first 
object was to state plainly and without disguise that 
obnoxious fact, that the founder of our religion died 
upon the cross as a malefactor ; and by his death 
ratified the covenant which admits us sinners of the 
Gentiles into the community of saints, and to all 
the privileges of the people of God. And I further 
stated that this event, offensive as it was to Jew and 
Gentile, was a plain accomplishment of recorded 
prophecy, Isa. liii. 9, that for the transgression of 
men he was smitten to death. I also informed you, 
that he was buried, and continued so long in the 
grave as to preclude all suspicion of collusion. 
This also was foretold in the same prophecy. I 
added, finally, as the glorious sequel to this melan- 
choly scene, that Jesus Christ, our honoured Master, 
was raised from the dead by the power of his A\-. 

Luke, whose histories were extant when Paul wrote, as the 
scriptures to which the apostle allude;i, Doddridge, Newcome, 
and others, with more probability refer to the Old Testament 
prophecies, and particularly to Ps. xvi. 10, compared with John 
xi. 39, where being dead four days is mentioned as a proof 
that the corpse had begun to putrify. Some include the words 
" on the third day," iu a parenthesis. See also Isa. liii. 9—123 
Psalm ii. 7. ' 

U2 Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. i. 3. 

Ch. XV. mighty Father on the third day ; and that this great 
and ever memorable event was also an accomplish- 
ment of those remarkable prophecies which foretell 
that he should not be suffered to see corruption, 
Ps. xvi. 10 ; and which describe him as exalted to 
universal dominion as a reward of his preceding 

3. He states the evidence of these important 
facts, and enlarges particularly on the great mercy 
shown to himself in appointing him one of the wit- 
nesses of the resurrection of Christ, ver. 5 — 11. 

And that he ivas seeii by Cephas ^, then by the 
twelve 2. 

You cannot have forgotten the evidence which I 
communicated of this interesting fact, namely, that 
he appeared to Peter first of the apostles, to comfort 
him under the remorse he so justly and severely felt 
for the late shameful instance of his base cowardice 
and falsehood, and to ass,ure him of his forgiveness; 
and the same evening he appeared to the apostles, 
when they were assembled together, with the ex- 

' Seen by Cephas.'] He was first seen by Mary Magdalene ; 
but Macknight justly remarks, that this is not noticed by the 
apostle, as no woman was employed to testify his resurrection 
to the world. See also Rosenmuller in loc. 

^ The twelve.'] The general name of the apostles, though 
two were absent, and perhaps three. The Clermont and some 
other copies read sySsKoc, eleven, and Beza conjectures hKo,, 
ten. Doddridge observes, that Chrj^sostom assigns reasons why 
they should be called the Twelve : a proof that twelve was the 
reading of his copy. " The greater customary number," says 
Archbishop Newcome, " is put for a part. So John xx. 24. The 
appearance referred tais related, Mark xvi. 14 3 John xx. 19." 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. VI, i. 3. 313 

ception of Judas who was dead, and of Thomas who Ch. xv. 
was absent. 

After that, he was seen by above five hundred Ver. 6. 
brethren at once^, of whom the greater jjart remain 
until now, but some are fallen asleep. 

Soon after his resurrection, our Lord went down 
into GaHlee, which had been the principal scene of 
his pubHc ministry, and where the greater number 
of his disciples resided ; and there, upon a moun- 
tain which he had appointed, he appeared to up- 
wards of five hundred of his disciples at once : and 
though some of them at first doubted whether a 
fact so amazing and so desirable could indeed be 
real, they had sufficient evidence to dispel their 
doubts, and the greater part of them are now living, 
to bear their joyful testimony to the resurrection of 
their Master; while some, indeed, in the faith of 
this great event, have fallen asleep, in the cheerful 
hope of awaking again on the glorious morning of 
the resurrection, by the power and in the image of 
their risen and exalted Saviour. 

Afterivards he luas seen by James ^, and then 7. 

by all the apostles 5. 

^ Five hundred brethren^ Of this fact no express mention is 
made in the Evangelists. It happened probably in Galilee. The 
number at Jerusalem was one hundred and twenty, Acts i. 15, 
It is very possible that there might be more than four times that 
number in Galilee, which was the principal seat of our Lord's 
ministry and miracles. " Every body must dbserve," says Mr. 
Wakefield, " what an air of sincerity ttys appeal to livin-g wit- 
nesses carries with it." Theological Repository, vol. vi. p. 85. 

* Seen bij James!] Tradition saith, James the Just, the bro- 
ther of our Lord, the author of the epistle ; which Macknight 

314 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS, Skct. VI. i. 3. 

Ch. xy. I further informed you, that our Lord appeared 
to James, who has since suffered martyrdom in the 
cause of Christian truth, perhaps to estabhsh his 
faith more particularly in the fact of his resurrec- 
tion, and to suggest those considerations which 
might prepare and fortify his mind for his ap- 
proaching trial. After this, he appeared at various 
times to all the apostles, and afforded them the most 
substantial and satisfactory proofs of his resurrec- 
tion from the dead ; and particularly at the Mount 
of Olives, from which in their presence he ascended 
into heaven. 
^' And, last of all, he ivas seen even by me, as by 
the one born out of due time i. 

thinks most probable, because, at the time when the apostle 
wrote, he was alive to bear witness t© the fact. Vide Whitby ; 
and Jerome's Catalogue. I have interpreted it of James, the 
brother of John. The evidence is of little weight on either side, 
as this appearance is not recorded in the gospels. 

^ Bij all the apostles.'] This expression being so different 
from that used at the end of the fifth verse, has led some to 
conjecture that James, as well as Thomas, might have been ab- 
sent at Christ's first appearance to the Twelve ; which might 
be the reason of his appearing separately to James, to put him 
upon an equality with the rest. See Doddridge in loc. 

' The one horn out of due time :] rw sxtpcoyMTi. Alexander 
observes, that " the word denotes those births which come be- 
fore their proper time ; and which, if they live at all, are gene- 
rally weak, deformed, and below the usual stature : to which 
the apostle alludes, when he says, ' I am the least of all the 
apostles,' &c. It is a term of diminution and contempt which 
the apostle applies to himself, not because he was converted 
after the rest, but solely on account of his former conduct as a 
persecutor of the church." — Dr. Priestley observes, " this was an 
appearance to an enemy, the man whom his enemies in general 
v/ould have pitched upon, if they had the choice of the person 
given thera. But it could not be expected that after such an 

PautII. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct.VI.i.3. 315 

Finally, I informed you, that after our Lord had Ch. xv. 
disappeared from this world, he condescended to 
reveal himself last of all even unto me, as to one 
born out of the due course of nature : to one who 
at a very late hour, and in a very unexpected man- 
ner, was converted to the faith, and called to the 
apostolic office ; who was indeed the last person 
who had a right to expect so distinguished a fa- 
vour. Notwithstanding my great demerits, he re- 
vealed himself to me, as I was travelling to Damas- 
cus with authority to persecute and imprison the 
professors of his religion^ and by the most sensible 
and commanding evidence he convinced me of his 
resurrection from the grave, and his exaltation to 
universal dominion. 

For I am the least of the apostles, who am not 9. 

worthy to be called an apostle, because I persC' 
cuted the church of God. 

I cannot recollect the employment in which I 
was engaged, when Jesus appeared to me, and 
stopped me on the road, without astonishment and 
horror. I was a blind, furious, malignant persecu- 
tor of that church which God acknowledged as his 
own, and which he honoured with his peculiar pro- 
tection. And when I call to mind the crimes of my 

appearance he would remain an enemy. Had he appeared in 
this manner to all his enemies, and in consequence of it the 
Jews in general had become Christians, the history would not 
have been so credible as it is at this day." See Priestley's Notes 
on Scripture. The one horn out of due time: q. d. the abortive 
apostle 5 the last, the least, the meanest, the most unworthy, 
yet an apostle. 

316 Part II. I. C O II I N T H I A N S, Sect. VI. i. 3. 

Ch. XV. unconverted state, I feel myself utterly undeserving 
of the apostlesliip, and unfit to be admitted as an 
associate with those who are honoured with a com- 
mission to publish the gospel, and to bear testimony 
to the resurrection of Jesus. 
10. • But by the favour of God^ I am ivhat I ami 
and this his favour towards 7ne ivas not in vain : 
but I laboured more abundavitly than they all'^: yet 
not /, but the favour of God that was with me^. 

That I am a Christian, and that I am an apostle, 
is owing, not to any merit nor to any powers or 
efforts of my own, but to the great favour and 
mercy of God, who in so extraordinary a manner 
converted me to the faith, called me to the aposto- 
lic office, and qualified me for it. Yet, unworthy as 
I am, I must do myself the justice to add, that 
since my conversion to Christianity, and my ap- 
pointment to the apostolic mission, I have not been 
a faithless or an indolent servant ; and I may truly 
say that I have equalled, if not exceeded, the rest 
of my colleagues in zeal, in labour, in suffering, 

' Bxj the favour of God7\ xa.pirt ©eou, "by extraordinary fa- 
vour." Wakefield 5 who justifies this translation by the geniuiS 
of the language. But the apostle evidently alludes to the sig- 
nal interposition of God for his conversion on his way to Da- 
mascus ; and to his gifts and qualifications as an apostle^ in re- 
ference to which he often describes his apostolic office as %ao(f , 
a gift. Rom. i. 5, xii. 3. 

* More abundantly?^ Locke observes^ that the apostle" drops 
in this commendation of himself to keep up his credit in the 
church of Corinth, where there was a faction labouring to dis- 
credit him." 

^ Yet not I, &c.] " not so much I as the grace of God, which 
was with me." Bishop Pearce ; v/ho refers to his note on ch. i. 

Part 11. I. CORINTHIANS, Sect.VI. ii. 1. 317 

and in success. But God forbid that I should at- Ch.xv. 
tribute this to my own ability, or take the credit to 
myself. It was not I, it was God who was with me; 
it was his favour, and his assistance, which carried 
me through all, and to Him be the praise. 

TVhether, therefore, I or they were the labour- 1 1 . 

ers, such is our preaching, and such was your he- 

To return from the digression to which the sense 
of my unworthiness has carried me, I again repeat, 
that whoever were your instructors in the Christian 
faith, the doctrine which they taught and which we 
all still continue to teach, and the doctrine which 
you once steadfastly believed, with all its momen- 
tous appendages and inferences, even that impor- 
tant doctrine which lies at the foundation of the 
faith and hope of Christians, was this. That Jesus 
died and rose again. 


The apostle, in contradiction to the false teach- 
er, who corrupted the doctrine of the Corinthian 
churches with regard to the important article of the 
resurrection of the dead, represents the resurrection 
of Jesus as a direct proof both of the possibility of 
the fact and of the final resurrection of all mankind, 
ver. 12—20. 

1 . The apostle expresses his astonishment that 

■* Siuch \s our preaching, &c.] See Wakefield. '' Nos omnes 
in hoc doctrince capite consentinms." Rosenmuller. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. ii. 1 . 

any professing Christian should deny the possibility 
of a resurrection of the dead, which would necessa- 
rily infer a denial of the resurrection and of the 
doctrine of Christ, ver. 12 — 14. 

A'otv if Christ be preached, that he hath been 
raised from the dead, how say some among you, 
that a resurrection of the dead is impossible * ? 

I have just stated the evidence of the resurrection 
of Christ. I often stated it to you during my per- 
sonal residence among you : other preachers of the 
gospel have declared the same. It has been, and 
still is, the main article of our preaching, the ground 
of your conversion to the Christian faith : I myself 
have been an eye-witness of the fact, that Christ, 
though crucified, is now living. And we have ap- 

* Is impossible :] avasra.o'if vsKpcuv bk sriv. " sk sriv, imper- 
sonaliter, non licet, non datur." Constantine, Schleasnerj Si- 
rach xiv. 17 ; Heb. ix. 5. — "an £r*v i. e. esserwv dirXojs ah'vva.- 
Twv, qua? sunt ov/. ovta, sk £v$£^0[/.£va." Grotius. — " ovk ss'iv 
i. e. ahvaros sri' i- c. esse plane impossihilem , qua ne concipi 
quidem animo possit. Verisimile est hos Pseudapostotos a Saddu- 
cceorum schola prodiisse. Sadduca;t enim, teste Josepho (de B. 
Jud. 1.2,c.8, § 14), hominis animum corpori superstitcni esse ne- 
garunt: omninoque e corpore diversain mentem non agnovenmt. 
Act. xxiii. 8." RoscnmuUer. — " That there is no resurrection of 
the dead. That the resurrection of the dead is an impossibility." 
Newcome. I agree with Mr. Locke that the apostle here alludes 
to the false teaclier, who was probably a Sadducee who treated 
the doctrine of the resurrection with contempt and scorn, as 
an impossibility and absurdity : in reply to whom the apostle 
first argues the j)ossibility of a resurrection from the resurreo 
tion of Jesus, ver. 12 — 15 ; and then shows that the resurrec- 
tion of Jesus proves the final universal resurrection of mankind j 
which he insists upon as a doctrine of supreme importance, upon 
which depends all ho})e of future existence and felicity, ver. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. ii. 1, 319 

pealed to the authentic testimony of hundreds nniore : Ch. xy, 
it is a fact established beyond all contradiction. 
But if this be the true state of the case, how hap- 
pens it that some among you, who profess to be 
wise men and acute philosophers, and who set 
themselves up as teachers of the gospel, presume 
to affirm that a resurrection of the dead is an ab- 
surdity, an impossibility, out of the reach of divine 
power, a fact utterly unworthy of credit ? How can 
any man, who professes to believe in Christ, deny 
the possibility of a resurrection? 

For if^ a resurrection of the dead be impossible, ^■^■ 

neither hath Christ been raised^. 

If the resurrection of a dead man be in itself an 
absurd and incredible thing : if it be a natural im- 
possibility, the argument must hold good with re- 
gard to the resurrection of Christ himself. That 
is also impossible ; and Christ was never raised to 

But if Christ hath not been raised up, then is 14. 

our preaching vain, and your belief also is vain'^. 

' For if.] For e< h Bishop Pearce reads ei yoip, which bet- 
ter suits the connexion j and which reading, the Bishop says, 
is supported by some of Mills's manuscripts. But there is no 
authority for it in Griesbach. 

^ Neither hath Christ, &c.] "To say there can be no resurrec- 
tion, and yet to hold that Christ is actually risen, is a contra- 
diction." Pyle. 

* /'(/j«.] " then is our preaching vain, because we preach a 
falsehood ; and your faith is vain, because you believe in what 
did not really happen." Pearce. — " False, certainly, is our 
preaching, and false also is your faith." Macknight. — " Then is 
this our preaching vain, and this your faith is also vain." Wake- 
field, op. Th. Rep. 

320 Part II, I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. ii. 2. 

Ch. XV. If Christ was not raised from the dead, he was an 

Ver 14 . 

impostor, our testimony is untrue, his gospel is a 
fable, and your belief in it is unfounded and unpro- 

2. If Christ be not raised, the apostles are con- 
victed of charging God with giving countenance to 
an imposture, ver. 15. • 

15. Yea, andiue are also detected as false witnesses 
concerning God, because ive have testified, in the 
name of God^, that he raised up Christ, whom he 
hath not raised up ^. 

If Christ has not been raised from the dead, we 
his apostles, who constantly affirm the fact, and who 
aver ourselves to have been eye-witnesses of his re- 
surrection, are gross and infamous falsifiers of facts; 
and by these false assertions we stigmatize the cha- 
racter of the God of truth, whose missionaries we 
profess to be, and whom we represent as giving coun- 
tenance to a pernicious imposture, by raising the 
first teacher of it from the grave : knowing, at the 
same time, that what we thus affirm is a palpable 

* In the name of GodJ] " and as by commission from him." 
Alexander ; who remarks, that " the words Kara ©£« may be 
rendered concerning God, or, against God ; but that Dr. Whitby's 
version, in the name of God, is not only agreeable to the truth 
of the case, but furnishes a circumstance which greatly aggra- 
vates the guilt of the apostles, upon a supposition that they were 
found false witnesses ; which could hardly escape the attention 
of the writer." — " evpiaKsa^ai pro eivoci." RosenmuUer. 

* IVhom he hath not raised up-l The received text adds, " if 
the dead rise not." Thi.s clause is wanting in the Clermont and 
other manuscripts, and in the Syriac Version ; and^ as Bishop 
Pearce observes, it is in this place superfluous. See Griesbach. 

Part II, I, C O II I N T II I A N S. SncT. VI. ii. 3. 32 1 

untruth. And in this way we not only prove our- Ch.xv. 
selves guilty of a wicked and impious fraud, in as- ^''' ^^' 
serting the resurrection of Christ, but we blaspheme 
the Supreme Being himself, by falsely representing 
him as an accomplice in the fraudulent transac- 

3. To deny the resurrection of the dead is to 
deny the resurrection of Christ, the truth of his 
religion, the doctrine of a future life, and all its 
important and consolatory consequences, ver. 16 — 

Moreover, if the dead are not to be raised vp^, IG. 

neither hath Christ been raised up. 

Your new instructors have taught you, that the 
resurrection of the dead is neither possible nor de- 
sirable; and consequently that it is vain and use- 
less to expect it. I have already reduced the first of 
these assertions to an absurdity, by stating that the 
impossibility of a resurrection infers that Christ has 
not been raised: a conclusion from which I am per- 
suaded that you would recoil with horror. I now 
advance a step further : I assert the expedience and 
absolute necessity of a resurrection of the dead. I 
contend, that if there is not to be a general resur- 

' Moreover :] yao, an additional argument : he had before 
proved the possibility, he now shows the expedience, and indis- 
pensable necessity, of the resurrection of the dead; without which 
all hope of a future state of existence is vain and nugatory. — 
" if the dead are not to be raised up." So Pearce. — " if the 
dead rise not." Newcome. — " if the dead be not raised up, nei- 
ther hath Christ been raised." Wakefield. 


322 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. n. 3. 

Ch. XV. rection of all mankind, Christ is not raised from 
the dead: for his resurrection would be of no use, 
if it were not to substantiate that important and 
awful fact, and God would not work a miracle so 
splendid to produce a trivial effect. And though 
your conceited teachers may represent the resurrec- 
tion of the dead as an absurd and a useless thing, 
yet let me assure you that the whole of your future 
existence depends upon it ; for, if there be no resur- 
rection of the dead, there will be no life to come. 
17. Aiid if Christ hath not been raised up^ your 
faith is vain : ye are still in your sins > . 

If the resurrection of Christ is a fable, there Is 
no truth in the gospel ; and you, who have em- 
braced his doctrine upon the evidence of his resur- 
rection, are in a situation in no respect better than 
your heathen neighbours : your belief is of no avail. 
Instead of being a chosen and a holy people, you 
are still aliens and enemies, in an unprivileged and 

' Ye are still in your sins.'] " no ransom or atonement is made 
for them, but ye are liable to God's wrath on their account." 
Bishop Pearce. Tliis is adding a great deal to the brief de- 
claration of the apostle, which the learned prelate would find it 
very difficult to prove, if the scripture only were to be his guide. 
— "You are yet under the condemnation and power of sin, hav- 
ing no hope of being freed from death, since he whom we testi- 
fied to have been exalted to be the prince and saviour of men, 
is still holden in the bonds of the grave, and unable to deliver 
himself or others." Alexander. — " Ye are still in your sins, sub- 
ject to death, which was the punishment of sin, without any 
hope of a resurrection." Dr. Priestley. In your sins. q. d. You 
are now in a state as disadvantageous as you were before your 
conversion : you are still heathen, aliens from God, and with- 
out the covenant of promise. Sinners and heathen are convert- 
ible terms. See Gal. ii. 15 3 Luke vi. 32--34 ; vii. 37, 39. 

Pakt II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. ii.3. 323 

imcovenanted state ; and you have no better ground Ch. XV. 
than others, to expect a future life: you might as 
well be heathen still. 

Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ 18. 

we lost ". 

^ Are lost :] aitwXovro. What can be a stronger proof that 
the apostle knew of no intermediate state, of no conscious im- 
material spirit which survived the body, and might enjoy or suf- 
fer, while the body was mouldering in the grave ? If there be no 
resurrection, there is no hope. They who died in the expecta- 
tion of it will be disappointed, and will utterly perish. " By 
the apostle speaking of the dead as perished," says Dr. Priest- 
ley in his excellent note, " on the supposition of there being no 
resurrection, it is evident that he had no idea of the separate 
existence of the soul independently of the body : for then death 
•would only have been a dismission of the immortal spirit, which 
would subsist, and according to the common opinion be more 
free and more happy without the body than with it." " It fol- 
lows, likewise, as a necessary consequence, that those who have 
already resigned their breath in the faith of Jesus, and with the 
expectation of his second appearance, are totally perished. Nay, 
the martyrs, who have borne a pubUc testimony to the truth of 
the gospel and sealed it with their blood, instead of exchang- 
ing a temporary being for honour and immortality, have sold 
their lives for nought. And all who henceforth go down to the 
grave before the coming of the Lord, whether in the ordinary 
course of nature, or through the violence of evil men, are sink- 
ing in like manner into remediless destruction, if there be no 
resurrection, nor return from the house of everlasting silence 
and oblivion." Alexander. " They who have fallen asleep sv 
Xpirufffor Christ. Comp. Matt. vi. 7 ; Rom. iii. 25 ; Eph. iii. 
13, iv. 1 ; 2 Tim. ii. 9 ; 2 Pet. i. 1. — are perished. They have 
lost their existence here for a known falsehood, and shall either 
have no existence, or a miserable existence hereafter." Mac- 
knight. But the apostle indicates no such alternative as the 
learned writer expresses : this is rather making scripture than 
interpreting it. " They who sleep in Christ have perished, even 
all deceased Christians ; not excepting the most excellent of 
them, who have died for their religion. They have lost their 
life and being together, on this supposition, in the cause of one 
who, if still among the dead, must have been an impostor and 
ftilse prophet." Doddridge. 


524 Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. n.. -J. 

Ch. XV. The necessary consequence from these principles 
would be, that they who having been converted to 
the Christian religion, have died in the faith of 
Christ, who have expired triumphing in the disco- 
veries of the gospel, confiding in its promises, and 
rejoicing in the glorious expectation of a future ex- 
istence, yea, even they who have sacrificed their 
lives in the cause of truth, are all lost and annihi- 
lated. It is in vain that the heathen philosophers 
prate of the gross and sluggish nature of matter, 
and of the subtle and ethereal essence of the soul; 
which, as they teach, is capable of subsisting in a 
conscious state, and of exerting its faculties with 
increased vigour, when delivered from the incum- 
brance of the body. The gospel revelation teaches 
no such thing. The Christian philosophy places 
all hope of future life in the resurrection of the 
dead ; and if there be no resurrection, Christ is not 
raised, Christianity is false, and all who have died 
in the belief of it are totally and for ever lost, with- 
out help and without hope. 
19. ^nd since in this life we have no hope bvt in 
Christy we are of all men the most to be pitied^. 

• And since, &c.] Pearce begins the verse with koli or ii os, 
which he thinks makes the sense easier ; and supports by some 
authorities. He well observes, that [xoviv ought to be taken in 
connexion with Xpiru}, not with TavTr\. It is absurd to say, "if 
in this life only we have hope in Christ." The construction and 
sense require, " if in this life we have hoped in Christ only ;' 
which he explains thus : " Upon the supposition that Christ is 
dead, then those Christians who are in the grave are perished, 
and those who are now living are more to be pitied than all men, 
because all their hope is placed in Christ only ; and yet he, oi> 

Pakt II. I, C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. ii. 4, >')2iJ 

And not only are they lost for ever who expired Ch. xv. 
in the expectation of the promises of the gospel, but ^ " ' ' ^' 
we who survive are in a worse situation still. For, 
since we who profess the doctrine of Christ, and 
especially those of us who are teachers of his reli- 
gion, the missionaries and apostles of Jesus : since 
we, who are exposed daily to reproach, persecution, 
and sufferings of every kind, for the sake of Christ 
and his cause, have no hope of remuneration or re- 
lief but that which we derive from faith in Christ, 
and from the promises of the gospel: if these should 
tail us at last, if it should prove after all that Jesus 
is an impostor, and his gospel a fable, we are then 
the most pitiable, the most unfortunate of man- 
kind : because we have sacrificed our health, our 
peace, our character, our comfort, every thing which 
makes life worth enjoying, and in return we receive 
nothing but disappointment, disgrace, and ruin. 

4. Happily for Christian believers, the reverse of 
all this is the truth : Christ is raised, and his resur- 
rection is the pledge of the future resurrection of 
all mankind, ver. 20. 

J3ui indeed^ Christ hath been raised from among 20 

whom all their hope is placed, is not in being, but is dead, and 
unable to help them. It is q. d. We are sadly deceived, we have 
denied ourselves, and been denied by others, have mortified our- 
selves, and been persecuted by our fellovi^-creatures, upon the 
ac-count of our belief and hope in one who is not existing, and 
therefore can neither succour us here nor reward us hereafter." 
M Wakefield adopts a similar translation. 

- But indeed :'\ vyyj ^e. " But now." Newcome. — " But on 

?26 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. VI. ii. 4. 

Ch. XV. the dead^ being the first fruits i of them who are 

^^'^■"*^' asleep. 

Happily these melancholy suppositions have no 
just foundation. The resurrection of Christ is a 
fact, established upon evidence which no reasonable 
man can invalidate or dispute. And his resurrec- 

the contrary." Pearce. From among the dead. " From the 
dead " is not sense, either in Greek or English." Wakefield, 
Theol. Rep. 

' Being the first fruits -^ The received text reads fyevsro, is 
become. This word is omitted by Griesbach. The first fruits. 
" See Lev. xxiii. 1 0. As the offering of the first fruits derived 
a blessing on the rest, so Christ's resurrection secures the future 
harvest of the dead." Newcome. The first fruits were the ear- 
nest and pledge of the future harvest, and w-ere oflered to God 
in grateful acknowledgement of his providential goodness. Dr. 
Macknight remarks, that the sheaf of the first fruits was to be 
waved before the Lord on the morrow after the sabbath with 
which the passover began ; and supposes, that the season of 
the year when the apostle wrote might suggest the allusion. 
See chap. v. 7. Dr. Priestley observes, in his excellent note 
upon this passage, that " it is evident from this, that the resur- 
rection of Christ is not merely to be considered as a miracle in 
proof of his doctrine, the principal article of which was the re- 
surrection of all the dead, but a specimen, as it were, of the ge- 
neral resurrection: he being the first fruits of a general harvest, 
the first who, after having been dead, rose again to immortal 
life. But Christ could not properly be called the first fruits of 
those who are to rise from the dead, if he was not of the same 
nature with those of whom the general harvest is to consist. In 
the law of Moses, the first fruits was only the first ripe corn ga- 
thered before the rest : Christ, therefore, must be of the same 
nature with us, in order to be the first fruits from the dead, and 
that his resurrection may be a proper encouragement to us to 
expect the like. Had he been of a nature considerably different 
from ours, especially much superior to us, as he must have been 
if he had been the Creator of the world and of man, his rising 
again would be no proper specimen of a resurrection in which 
we might hope to partake ; for there might be veiy good reasons 
why so great a Being as he was could not be holden of death, 
which would not at all extend to us." 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. m. 1. 327 

tion is a pledge of the future resurrection of all man- Ch. xv. . 
kind; for he, being the first of the sons of Adam ^^*' ^^' 
who was raised from the grave to an immortal life, 
thereby demonstrated the truth of his doctrine, and 
exhibited a pattern of what the benevolent father of 
the human race intends in due time for all his ra- 
tional offspring. All who sleep in the dust of the 
earth shall in due time awake. Christ is the first 
fruits of that glorious harvest, which, in the fulness 
of time, shall be gathered in without the loss of a 
single grain. Because he lives, we shall live also. 


The apostle announces some very important 
circumstances, which will attend the resurrection of 
all mankind; and dwells upon the final restoration 
of all to virtue and happiness, as the great and glo- 
rious completion of the Christian dispensation, ch. 
XV. 21—28. ' 

1. It is the appointment of God, that as death 
was introduced by one man, a resurrection from 
the grave should be introduced by another, ver. 21. 

For since through man came death, through man 21. 

also will come a resurrection of the dead, 

Adam was the father of all mankind ; and he, by 
his fall, was the means of entailing death upon his 
offspring. Adam was a man like ourselves ; and it 
is the pleasure of God that a resurrection to life 
should also be introduced by another man, a man 
like ourselves, one who was as truly and properly a 

328 Part II. 1. C O K I N T II 1 A N S. Six r. VI. iii. I. 

.Ch. XV. man as Adam himself : even Jesus of Nazareth, 
^^' ' who authoritatively taught, and in his own person 
exemplified, a resurrection to life, honour, and im- 

We may here remark, that the apostle assumes 
as the foundation of his analogy, the account of the 
fall of man as recorded in the book of Genesis, and 
argues upon it as literally true. Whether literal or 
figurative, whether history or fable, whether he did 
or did not admit it in the strict literal sense, it 
equally well serves the purpose of his argument. 
The Mosaic history teaches, that the fall of one 
man introduced death ; the gospel teaches, that the 
death and resurrection of another man introduces 

Observe, likewise, the pointed manner in which 
the apostle here asserts the proper humanity of 
Christ. If Christ was not a man, a mere man, a 
man in the very same sense as Adam, then the 
:ipostle's assertion is untrue. If Jesus be, as many 
Christians believe, a superior being, the true state 
of the case would be, That although by man came 
death, the resurrection from the dead came by one 
who is greater than man. But the apostle's doc- 
trine is the direct contrary of this : "As by man 
came death, so by man will also come a resurrec- 
tion of the dead." It is impossible for language to 
express in a more explicit manner that Jesus of 
Nazareth is a man, a human being in all respects 
constituted like other men. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. VI. iii. 2, 329 

2. The extent of the benefit by Christ is as uni- Ch. xv. 
versal as the fatal consequences of the Fall, ver. 

Moreover, as in Adam all men die^, so like- Vcr. 22. 
wise in Christ shall all men be restored to life. 

All the posterity of Adam, the whole human race 
without exception, were victims to mortality, in 
consequence of the fall of their first parent in Para- 
dise; but as all are sufferers through him, so all shall 
be raised to life by Jesus Christ, and restored to that 
state of dignity and happiness from which Adam 
unhappily fell. Thus Christ shall amply repair the 
ruins of the Fall ; and the second Adam shall com- 

' As in Adam.'] " Tlie apostle suggests a remarkable ana- 
logy between the two dispensations of death and life, with re- 
spect to the nature of the persons by whom they were introduced. 
The fact which this analogy supposes, and upon which it is 
built, seems to be no other than this, that Chi ist as to his na- 
ture was in no respect different from Adam, For the proof that 
lis by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of 
the dead, is this : that as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all 
be made alive. He was a man in the same sense of the word 
in which it was applied by St. Paul to Adam. . . . We may rea- 
sonably presume that the apostle, in speaking of Adam and 
Christ with respect to their natures, if he had known of any ma- 
terial distinction between them, would have been no less atten- 
tive to the circumstances of opposition than to those of resem- 
blance. That, instead of saying. As by man came death, by 
man came also the resurrection of the dead ; he would have 
said. Although by man came death, the resurrection of the dead 
came by a person of a nature superior to that of man : and 
since no opposition of this sort appears, are we not at liberty to 
believe, nay, are we not obliged to acknowledge, that God has 
magnified his power by making him who sanctifies, and them 
who are sanctified, of one nature ; by raising up the author of 
life and salvation from among the descendants of him who 
brought death into the world " Tyrwhitq). Comment, and Ei- 
says on SS. vol. ii. p. 15 et scq. 

330 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS, Skct. VI. in. 2. 

Ch. XV. pletely efface the dishonour and misery entailed by 

^"•^^- the first. 

In this instance, as in the foregoing, the apostle 
argues upon the supposition of the Mosaic account 
of the Fall ; and whether that history be real or fic- 
titious, the analogy is the same. Nevertheless, our 
belief and expectation of a future life are not found- 
ed upon the accuracy of the apostle's reasoning, 
much less upon the truth of the Mosaic history, but 
upon the authority of the apostle's declaration, and 
that of his great Master, confirmed by his resuiTec- 
tion from the grave. 

And it is also very plain, that the resurrection of 
which the apostle treats in this celebrated chapter, 
is the resurrection, not of a chosen few, of a select 
number, whether greater or less, but that of the 
whole human race. The apostle's language is so 
clear and full with respect to the final happiness of 
those who are thus raised, and that their resurrec- 
tion to life will be ultimately a blessing, that the 
generality of Christians have supposed that he is 
here treating of the resurrection of the virtuous 
only. But that is not the fact : he evidently speaks 
of the restoration of the whole human race. All 
who die by Adam shall be raised by Christ : other- 
wise the apostle's assertion would be untrue. The 
case then would have been this. As in Adam all 
die, so in Christ shall a select number, a small pro- 
portion, be made alive. But this is not the apostle's 
doctrine. His expressions are equally universal in 
each clause : all die in Adam. The same all. 

Part II, I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI, iii.S. 331 

without any exception, without any restriction, shall Ch. xv. 
by Christ be restored to life, and ultimately to holi- 
ness and everlasting happiness. And to guard 
against the abuse of this doctrine, he proceeds to 
declare, that all will not be admitted at the same 
time to the participation of final happiness ; for, 

3. Though all men will be restored to life, and 
raised to happiness, all will not be made happy at 
once, but each will be advanced as he becomes qua- 
lified for his reward; till, in the end, the enemies of 
Christ shall be all subdued, and his authority shall 
be universally acknowledged and obeyed, ver. 23 — 

But every one in his proper class ^. 23. 

Not all at once : there will be a gradation in the 
introduction to final blessedness, depending upon 
the characters of those who are to partake of it. 

Christ the first fruits . 

He is already raised to life ; and his virtues, his 

* In his proper class :] ev tcv iSicv tayaafi, " in his own band." 
Macknight ; who observes that ra^is, not rayua, signifies or- 
der. I agree with this learned expositor, and with Dr. Chancy, 
(Univ. Salv. p. 197,) in thinking that three different periods are 
here referred to by the apostle : 1 . The resurrection of Jesus 
himself J 2. The resurrection of the virtuous at Christ's second 
appearance ; 3. The grand consummation of all things, when 
the wicked, after having passed through the necessary state of 
discipline and purification, shall be restored to virtue and to 
happiness, and all the captives of death shall be rescued from 
his grasp. This appears to me to be the true key to the inter- 
pretation of the passage : of which, however, probably nothing 
but the event can give the true solution. In this interpretation 
1 agree with Dr. Chancy. Dr. Macknight only conjectures 
that the wicked will be raised after the righteous. 

3o2 Paht II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. Yl. m. 3. 

Ch. xy. labours, and his sufferings, have received their re- 
ward. He is the glorious first fruits, the specimen 
and the pledge of the final and universal harvest. 

Afterwards they who are Ch'isCs at his coining. 

The true disciples and community of Jesus, all 
the upright and virtuous in every age and country, 
will next be raised to life and happiness ; and this 
joyful event will take place at that long expected 
period when Jesus shall appear again in his own 
and in his Father's glory, invested with the high 
commission to raise the dead and to judge the 
world ; when the dead in Christ shall rise first, and, 
being acknowledged by him as his friends and fol- 
lowers, shall be transformed into the likeness of 
his glorious person, and shall enter with him into 
the joy of their Lord. 
21. Then cometh the end^, when he shall deliver vp 
the kingdom to him ivho is God and Father 2, when 

' Then cometh the end^ eira ro reXog, the grand consumma- 
tion of all things ; when the purposes of the gospel dispensation 
shall be accomplished, and the design of the wise and righteous 
government of God shall be complete. 

* To him who is God and Father.'] tuj Qsiv xai icatpi, to God, 
even the Father. Tliisis the common version, which Archbishop 
Newoome adopts : I follow that of Bishop Pearce. " Qu. What 
is that kingdom which Christ is then to deliver up to the Fa- 
ther ? Ans. That governing power which he now exercises over 
the world." Pearce. — " The mediatorial kingdom, Avhich he 
shall publicly and solemnly deliver up to God, even the Father ; 
by whose commission he has held it, and to whose glory he has 
always administered it." Doddridge. — " Delivering up the king- 
dom to the Father does not imply any cessation of his own 
power. He will deliver the kingdom to the Father, not by lay- 
ing down his mediatorial authority, but by establishing it in its 
fullest extent, because he will take the government out of the 
hands of weak and fallible princes, and set up a kingdom of 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S, Skct. VI. iii. 3. 333 

he shall have abolished all rule and all authority ch. xv. 
and power^. For he imist reign^, till God shall ^^^- -^' 
have put all enemies under his feet i Ps. ex. 1. 

righteousness and glory, which shall endure for ever under the 
Father as Supreme, and under the Messiah as his vicegerent." 
Alexander. — " his mediatorial kingdom. This kingdom our Lord 
received in his human nature, as the reward of his humiliation ; 
and was solemnly installed in it after his resurrection, when he 
ascended into heaven. Further, it is believed fi-om Col. i. 17, 
Heb. i. 3, that beside the mediatorial kingdom which the Son 
administered in his human nature, and which he will deliver up 
to the Father, he possessed the government of the universe from 
the beginning, in his character as Creator." Macknight. What 
jargon do some systems make of the plain language of scrip- 
ture ! While the gospel is in progress through the world, the 
Christian community is figuratively described as the kingdom of 
Christ. As the gospel spreads, the kingdom of Christ extends 
itself; and when it is diffused through the world, the kingdom of 
Christ will be complete, and the gospel dispensation will at the 
appointed time close. Mr. Wakefield gives a very peculiar trans- 
lation, founded upon the iEthiopic Version, viz. " Then will the 
end be, when God the Father delivereth up the kingdom to him." 
Neither Pearce nor Griesbach takes any notice of this remark- 
able reading in the iEthiopic Version, nor does it appear that 
this reading is confirmed by any of the ancient ecclesiastical 

' Abolished all rule, &c.] " all empire, dominion, and autho- 
rity which now subsists throughout the world, and remove every 
thing out of the way which opposes itself to his greatness. 
Christ, by triumphing over the powers of the world, and sub- 
duing all things to himself, introduces that state which is called 
the kingdom of God." Alexander. — " By rule, authority, and 
power, in this place," says Bishop Pearce, " I understand not 
human rule and government, as most commentators do, for that 
is no enemy to Christ, it being God's own institution ; but it 
means sin^ the devil, and death, see ver. 2o, 26. These exercise 
power and authority over men, to the prejudice of Christ's go- 
vernment here upon earth, Heb. ii. 14." 

In proportion as the principles of the Christian religion pre- 
vail, governments will become milder, more equitable, and 
move favourable to liberty ; and in this sense Christ may be 
said to put down all unjust rule and authority : but that all civil 
autliority is to be overthrown by the prevalence of the Christian 

334 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VL.iii. S. 

C h XV. At some fixed but unknown period, after the re- 
surrection of the just, the termination of the present 
system of things will take place, and a new and 
happy state will be introduced. At that time Jesus 
having accomplished all the great and benevolent 
f purposes of his delegated power, will resign his au- 
thority into the hands of the wise and gracious Pa- 
rent and Sovereign of all, from whom he received 
it ; and who will no doubt express his high appro- 
bation of the conduct of his honoured minister, and 
will crown his faithful services with their due re- 
ward. In other words, at the period in question, 
all the glorious purposes of the gospel dispensation 
shall be complete, in the virtue and happiness of 
the whole human race. For, till this great event 
takes place, the plan of infinite mercy will be im- 
perfect, and the dominion and conquests of the go- 
spel will be unfinished. The government of Christ, 
therefore, must continue till He who gave him his 

doctrine, and that Christ is to appear in person to administer 
universal government, does not appear to me to be clearly- 
proved. I am inclined to understand the v^^ords in a sense si- 
milar to that of Bishop Pearce and Archbishop Newcome. The 
povi^ers opposed to Christ are, idolatry and vice and misery, and 
he shall reign till he has exterminated them all ; and vv^hen vice 
is exterminated, death, the first and second death, which are the 
punishment of sin, will be exterminated likewise. 

* He must reign^ His kingdom, the doctrine and power of 
his gospel, must advance, till his enemies, sin and misery, arc 
finally exterminated. The expressions seem to imply some per- 
sonal authority and exertion of Christ himself: which, indeed, 
is more than probable, as we cannot suppose him to be a mere 
inactive spectator of passing events ; but of what nature this 
interposition may be, and to what extent it may be carried^ it 
is impossible to know and useless to conjecture. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. m. 4. 335 

commission has fully established his authority, and Ch. xv. 
till the triumph of the Redeemer is universal and 
complete. And that not only in the ultimate sub- 
jection of all mankind to the doctrine and spirit of 
the gospel, and the final overthrow of all tyranny 
civil and religious, of all usurpation over the rights 
of conscience, of all idolatry, false doctrine, and 
immoral practice, and in the universal prevalence of 
truth and goodness in the world, but in the glori- 
ous rescue of the whole human race from the domi- 
nion of the grave, and the restoration of every indi- 
vidual of mankind to virtue, to happiness, and to 

4. When this is the case, death itself sliall be 
exterminated, ver. 26. 

The last enemy shall he utterly abolished, even 26. 


' The last enemy :] Ea-^aro; ^x^^og '/.araaysirai 6 ^avaTog. 
See Doddridge. The common translation. The last enemy which 
shall be destroyed is death, qnite loses the spirit of the passage : 
for of what consequence is it to know whether death be the first 
or the last enemy ? but to be assured that death itself, the 
wages of sin, will be ultimately abolished and utterly done away, 
by the resurrection and ultimate restitution of all mankind to 
virtue and happiness, is a most important discovery indeed, for 
which we are wholly indebted to the Christian revelation. — 
" KarapysM. I.) otiosum reddo. 2.) cessarefacio. 3.) abrogo, 
de legibus. 4.) neco, destruo, Rom. vi. 6. 5.) ahjieio, 1 Cor. 
xiii. 11. 6.) vinco, vim el polestatem infringo. Admodum raro 
occurrit hcec vox apud exteros scriptores." Schleusner. " It sig- 
nifies," says Doddridge, " divesting a thing of some power, 
\\'liether lawful or usurped, which it formerly had, and reducing 
it to an incapacity for exerting that energy any more : viz. Sa- 
tan, Heb. ii. 14 ; Death, 2 Tim, i. 10 j temporal princes, 1 Cor. 
i. 28 J tlielavv, Eph. ii. Ij." 

33G Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. M. hi. C>. 

cii. XV. When vice is completely subdued, and all the ra- 
tional creatures of God, in consequence of the pro- 
cess of discipline through which they have passed, 
shall have become virtuous and happy, the empire 
of death will come to a perpetual close. Natural 
death shall be abolished by the resurrection of all 
mankind to a new and immortal life ; and that death 
also which is denounced as the punishment of sin, 
that second death, which is the consummation of 
human misery and the bitter consequence of hu- 
man guilt, those unutterable pains which may here- 
after be necessary to cleanse the mind from the pol- 
lution of unrepented vice, shall likewise be utterly 
abolished by the restoration of all, even the most 
vicious and profligate of mankind, to virtue and 
happiness unchangeable and everlasting. Death, in 
this most formidable sense, is the last enemy of the 
government of Christ : but even this enemy shall be 
totally destroyed, nor shall our victorious Leader 
resign the reins of empire till this dreaded tyrant, 
this king of terrors, shall be subdued at his feet, to 
rise no more. 

5. When every thing is thus subdued to Christ, 
Christ will himself be subject to God, ver. 27, 28. 
27. For God hath subjected all things under his feet ' , 
Ps. viii. 6. 

' For God hath subjected.'] Tliis passage from the 8th Psalm 
is quoted by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in the 
same sense, and argued upon in a similar manner, Heb. ii. 8. 
This is a presumption that the Epistle to the Hebrews was die- 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. iii. 5. 337 

For in this sense, this glorious sense only, can Ch. xv. 
those words of the Psalmist be literally fulfilled, that 
God has made all things subject to Christ ; when, 
by the utter extinction of death, all that were in 
bondage to that remorseless tyrant and conqueror 
shall be set at liberty from their chains, and shall 
have become the willing and joyful subjects of their 
great deliverer in the day of his power. And though 
I will not say that this is the direct meaning of the 
Psalmist's language, or that this glorious issue of 
the divine administration was in his immediate pur- 
view, it is nevertheless true that no words can more 
aptly express the interesting event. 

But ivhen the scripture saith. All things are sub- 
jected \o him, it is evident that it is with the excep- 
tion of him who subjected all things to him. 

No person can be so thoughtless as to imagine, 
that the infinite God, the God and Father of the 
universe, can ever become subject to his own crea- 
ture, to the very person whom he has invested with 
all the authority he possesses. Though, therefore, 
the terms are universal, common sense leads us to 
understand them with this restriction. 

tated by Paul, or written by one whose habits of thinking and 
reasoning had been formed under his instruction. No person 
who attentively reads the Psalm from which the words are taken, 
can suppose that it is intended as a prophecy of Christ. In the 
eighth Psalm, the words undoubtedly express the dominion of 
man over the inferior creatures, itayra, uirera^as viroKaruj ra>v 
iroSwv aurs. But in Psalm ex. 1, a similar expression is used, 
which may, for any thing I see to the contrary, be properly ap- 
plicable to the Messiah : Sit thou at my right hand, ku.>5 av ^w 
rras syjpov? era viroirooiov rwy iroSwv era, tintil J make thine ene- 
mies thy footstool. 



338 Paut II. I. C O 111 N T H 1 A N S. Sect. VI. in. 5. 

CI). XV. We see here how peremptorily the apostle rejects 
^^'' the supposition of the equahty of Christ to the Fa- 
ther ; from whom he received all the authority 
which he now exercises, and to whom he is ulti- 
mately to resign it again. He appears to regard it 
as a notion which could never for a moment be ad- 
mitted into the mind of a person of common under- 
standing. How little did the apostle suspect what 
the doctrine of future generations of professing 
Christians upon this subject would be ! and how, 
indeed, can it be accounted for, that any persons 
with the scriptures in their hand should ascribe to 
Jesus, a human being, the greatest and best, but 
the humblest and the most unambitious of mankind, 
a full equality with the almighty Father.^ The fact, 
if it were not notorious, would be regarded as incre- 
dible and impossible. 
23. And ivhen all things shall be subjected to hhn, 
then will the Son * himself also be made subject to 

' Tlie Son himself also be made subject.'] The word Cio; is omit- 
ted in the citation of Irenieus, Tertulliau, and others : q. d. he 
shall himself be made subject, &c. Of this difficult passage, 
which perhaps nothing but the great event can fully explain, I 
have given what ajjpears to me to be the most probable inter- 
pretation. It may possibly mean nothing more than to express 
in highly figurative language the glorious and happy termina- 
tion of the gospel dispensation, in the ultimate restoration of all 
manlvind to virtue imd to ha])piness ; for, if the kinf^dom of 
C/n'isi expresses notliing personal, but merely that state of vir- 
tue and peace which tiie gospel introduces wherever it prevails, 
the resignation of that kingdom may mean nothing more than 
that, the end being accomplished, the means are no longer ne- 
cessaiy, and that tlie gospel dispensation is closed. But it is 
also possible that a more literal interpretation may be true, and 
that, aa Christ was jjersonally cxjncerned in the introduction of 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. in. 5. 339 

Hiin who subjected all things to him, that God may Ch. xv. 
be all in all'^. 

the gospel dispensation into the world, so he may since his as- 
cension be personally instrumental, in some unknown manner, 
in promoting the success of the gospel ; and may hereafter per- 
sonally appear, to raise the dead, to judge the world, to reward 
the righteous, and to give effect to the painful process of penal 
discipline to which the wicked will be condemned ; till, in the 
end, each in his own order will be restored to virtue and hap- 
piness, death itself will be abolished, and the gracious purpose 
o\ God will be fulfilled. After which, the official character of the 
Redeemer will terminate ; he will, as it were, retire into the 
ranks of the blessed, to enjoy the fruits of his labours and suf- 
ferings, and God will be all in all : all admiration, gratitude, 
love, and all other holy affections will be absorbed in God : God 
will be every thing, and every thing else as nothing. All tliis 
may be true 3 but of this we can know nothing certain till the 
grand consummation arrives. 

Dr. Doddridge thinks, that the kingdom to be given up is, the 
rule of this lower world, which is then to be consumed. Many 
interpreters agree with Pyle, that "Christ's mediatorial govern- 
ment shall then cease, and that he will resign himself, his church, 
and all its members, to God the Father ; who shall then, either 
himself be for ever the immediate Governor, Lord and Disposer 
of all things, or else will continue Christ his Son the glorious 
and triumphant Lord over the church he has so graciously re- 
deemed." For this last supposition, however, the apostle's lan- 
guage affords no proper warrant. It is a miserable expedient, 
to which some have recourse who understand the apostle a.s 
teaching that the human nature of Christ will -then become 
subject to the divine. See Macknight. " When all the dispen- 
sations of God with respect to mankind," says Dr. Priestley, 
" shall be terminated at the general resurrection, the office of 
Christ will expire, nothing that we know of remaining for him, 
as the Messiah, to do. But whether this be so or not, it is evi- 
dent that, as the kingdom of Christ was given him by God, who 
put all things under him, so it is always subordinate to him. 
God therefore is supreme, and Christ only his servant and the 
instrument in his hands." 

* God all in all.'] 6 Qsog ra ifavrx sv ifaffi. " omnipotent 
and all-governing." Pearce. — " all among all. The disciples 
of Christ will then have immediate access to the Father, will 
immediately -^erve him, and be immediately governed by him." 

z 2 

340 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. iii. 5. 

ch. XV. When Christ is thus become Lord of all, his do- 
^'"^" minion complete, his enemies vanquished, atid his 
authority universally acknowledged and obeyed, hav- 
ing accomplished all the wise and benevolent pur- 
poses for which he was invested with universal rule, 
he will then most wiUingly resign the sceptre into 
the hands of Him from whom he received it, con- 
tent to take his rank among the most loyal and du- 
tiful of his subjects : ascribing to God all the ho- 
nour and glory of his success, and exhibiting to his 
holy and happy followers an example of the most 
devoted submission to the divine wilL In other 
words, and to drop the metaphor, the gospel dispen- 
sation, having completed its grand and benevolent 
design of recovering all mankind from sin and death 
to virtue, life, and everlasting happiness, shall ter- 
minate ; and whatever character Jesus may have 
sustained, whatever part he may have been com- 
missioned to act, as the Founder of that dispensa- 
tion and the prince and leader of life, will now cease 
and determine, and God will be all in all. All his 
virtuous and happy creatures, redeemed from vice 
and death and misery, will see and joyfully ac- 
knowledge, that all they are, and have, and hope 
for, the support of their existence, the improve- 

Ncwcome. — " over all things in all places." Maclcnight. — 
*' that God may immediately govern and influence all." Locke, 

All ill all. He will be all-sufficient, at all times, for the hap- 
piness of all J and in his presence will be fullness of joy. " Ilav- 
ra sivoci, alicui, dicitur is, qui omnia apud eum potest, a quo hie 
omnia expeclat, et in quo omnes suas spes opesque sitas esse exis- 
tbnat.'" Liv. xi. 11 3 Velleius Patcrc. ii. 103. Rosenmuller. 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. iv. 1, 34 I 

ment of their nature, the stability of their virtue, Ch. xv. 
and the security of their happiness, depend on 
him : and God and his goodness will be the de- 
lightful subject of everlasting admiration, gratitude, 
and praise. 


The apostle, resuming the subject of the resur- 
rection of the dead, argues the extreme folly of 
men's exposing themselves to danger and persecu- 
tion for the profession of Christianity, if, after all, 
the dead are not to be raised up, ver. 29 — 34. 

1. To profess Christianity in these circumstances 
would be attended with no advantage, ver. 29. 

Otherwise, what advantage will they ivho are 2 . 

baptized have above the other dead i P if the dead 

* Otherwise, ivhat advantage, &c.] Calmet reckons up twenty- 
four senses which have been given of this verse : I have adopted 
Mr. Wakefield's translation of the first clause. The apostle, 
yer. 21, 22, had asserted the universal resurrection of all man- 
kind 5 ver. 23, 24, he declares that they are to rise, not all at 
once, but in their several divisions and classes : first, Christ 
himself, secondly, virtuous believers, thirdly, the rest of man- 
kind, at the great consummation of all things ; ver. 24 — 28, 
the apostle treats of the latter description of persons, asserting 
their ultimate restitution to virtue and happiness, after which 
the kingdom of Christ shall close, and he shall resign his de- 
legated authority ; ver. 29, he returns to the second class, viz. 
that of virtuous believers, and puts the question. What advan- 
tage have they above the rest, if there is to be no resurrection ? 
Baptism was the symbol of the public profession of Christi- 
anity ; and, to be baptized, in this connexion, means to profess, 
and perhaps, as Mr. Wakefield understands it, to suffer for the 
Christian religion. — Mr. Locke acknowledges that he does not 
\inderstand the phrase, being baptized for the dead ; but sup- 

342 Part II, I. C O R I N T H I A N S, Sect. VI. iv. I. 

Ch. XV. (^^^^ ^^ot to be raised at all, luhy are they then bap^ 
^''■'^^'' tized? 

poses "" it meant something by Avhich they exposed themselves 
to danger." The ancients understood the expression to sig- 
nify, professing Christianity with a view to the resurrection of 
the dead ; which makes an excellent sense, and perhaps the true 
one. The absurd custom of baptizing a living man as a proxy 
for one dead, practised by the Montanists, and mentioned by 
Tertullian and other ancient w^riters, probably did not exist so 
early. Bishop Pearce understands the phrase, ' baptized with 
regard to the dead,' as signifying, " .such as have been put to 
death for their belief in Christy" which coincides nearly with 
Mr. Wakefield's interpretation. Le Clerc, Ellis, Doddridge, 
and Newcome, render it, " What shall they do who are baptized 
in the place of the dead, q. d. to supply the place of those who 
suffer in the cause of Christian truth r" which makes a very ex- 
cellent sense. Whitby translates it, " ' What shall they do, 
who are baptized in the name of a dead man ? ' the plural, ve- 
xpwv, being used forthr singular, as in Luke vii. 15, 22." Mac- 
knight explains the text, q. d. " who are immersed in sufferings 
for testifying the resurrection of the dead." 

Ti 'TiOi-qcrsa-iv, what shall they do? what advantage shall they 
gain? Compare Matt. xxv. 18. Bowyer, Markland. sttsi refers 
to ver. 22, and supersedes sj oXcvg, %. r. X. v/hich, therefore, is 
properly joined to the succeeding clause. Griesbach, Pearce. 

Mr. Wakefield rejects the words virsp rcuv vekowv from the 
last clause of verse 29 : vi^hich omission is supported by the 
@optic and iEthiopic versions. Griesbach gives as the most au- 
thentic reading, VTtzp oi.vri'jv,for them; which Bishop Pearce ap- 

Mr. Alexander's interpretation is, q.d. "What shall they do. 
how miserable is their case, who, if there be no resurrection, 
may by their profession of Christianity be considered as bap- 
tized for the dead ; as acting the most foolish part imaginable, as 
devoting themselves to destruction?" Mr. A. entirely disap- 
proves the supposition that the expression is elliptical, and that 
avas-oLffsws is to be understood after uVep, q.d. What shall they 
do who are baptized for a resurrection of the dead ? this he re- 
presents as quite arbitrary and unfounded, and inconsi'^t-nt with 
all the rules and pririciples of criticism. — Pyle's explana- 
tion is, " Who would be so weak as to be baptized int.. rhe faith 
of a resurrection, that give themselves up for etjrrally dead 
after this life ? This," says he, (perhaps too confidently) " is 
the undoubted sense and design of the phrase ; but hovv' the 

Part II. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. iv. 1 . o4; 

But to return to the subject from which I di- Ch. XV. 
gressed : you have been taught as a doctrine of the ^'^'" " ' 
Christian religion, that virtuous believers, those 
especially who have suffered for the profession of 
Christian truth, will be raised from the dead, and 
restored to life and happiness many years and ages 
before the rest of mankind ; and admitted to the fe- 
licity which the goodness of God has destined for 
them, perhaps, even before others will be allowed to 
resume their existence. And you have been taught 
to triumph in the expectation of a part in this first 
resurrection, as a glorious privilege, and a blessed 
and consolatory hope. But if it is certain, as some 
among you seem to maintain, that there is to be no 
resurrection at all, and that such an event is even 
impossible, what advantage will they, who by bap- 
tism publicly profess the Christian faith, and who 
are even sufferers in the cause, enjoy over heathen 
and others, who know not God, and who are with- 
out hope ? What should induce them to advocate 
so forlorn and desperate a cause ? They might as 
well have remained in their original state of idolatry 
and vice. 

This appears to me to be the most probable 
meaning of a passage, the true sense of which 
must, perhaps, always remain doubtful. And this 
is one instance among many, of the unavoidable 

Greek of it is precisely to be construed, must still be left to the 
critics." — " Quid volunt, qui maximis vitce periculis se exponunt 
utmoriuntur {necimquani in vitam redeant)?" RosenmuUer, 
after Zeiglcr. 

J44 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. iv.2. 

Ch.xv. inconvenience of epistolary writing, in which allu- 
^"' ^ ■ sions and hints are often introduced, which to the 
correspondents themselves are perfectly intelligible, 
and need no explanation, but which are exceedingly 
difficult, if not wholly inexplicable, to others who 
are strangers to their views and circumstances. 

2. It would be still greater folly in the teachers 
of the gospel to expose themselves as distinguished 
marks for persecution, if there be no resurrection of 
the dead, ver. 30. 
30.. And luhy do we expose ourselves to danger every, 
hour 1 ? 

If the gospel be true, and if there be a resurrec- 
tion of the dead, the teachers of the Christian reli- 
gion are acting a wise and a laudable part in zea- 
lously proclaiming the doctrine of eternal life, and 
in exposing themselves to daily hazard for the sake 
of diffusing Christian truth ; for they are serving 
their fellow-creatures in their most essential inter- 
est, and their labour shall not be finally in vain, 
even with regard to themselves. But if there be no 
resurrection of the dead, it would be the excess of 
folly to persist in an office of so great hazard and so 
little use. 

' Danger every hour.'] The following is Mr. Wakefield's trans- 
lation of ver. 29, -30: " Besides, what advantage above the 
other dead will they have, who are submitting constantly to 
baptism ? Why, indeed, are they thus baptized, if the dead will 
certainly live no more ? \^'hy should we, too, expose ourselves 
to the da'Tger of this bnptism every hour ? " Mr. W. takes bap- 
tism in the sense oi suffering, and refers to Mark xx. 22 j Luke 
Tcii. 50. See also Noesseltus, apud Rosenmuller. 

Part II. 1. C O II I N T H I A N S. Si^cx. VI. iv. 3. 345 

3. The apostle protests, that he is himself con- Ch.xv. 
tinually exposed to the most imminent danger; 
whereas, if no resurrection is to be expected, it 
would be far better to adopt the Epicurean maxim, 
and to enjoy the present hour, ver. 31, 32. 

I protest, by our boasting which I have ofyoii^ Ver. 31. 
in Christ Jesus our Lord, that I die daily. 

You were converted by me to the Christian faith, 
and I esteem it my highest honour to have been 
employed in so important a service. I glory in 
you, as having by my instrumentality become the 
disciples of our Master Jesus Christ. And I can 
assure you, that as certainly as I was the means of 
your conversion to Christianity, and as surely as I 
triumph in the reflection of the benefit which you 
derive from your relation to Christ, so true is it 
that in the exercise of my ministry I am every day 
exposed to danger and to death. 

If, to speak after the manner of men^, I have 32. 

^ Our boasting which I have of you.'] vr, rr^v riiisrspx"^, by ovr 
boasting. This reading is supported by the Alexandrine and 
other copies, and is adopted by Pearce. The received text reads 
vixerspay, which the public version renders, " I protest by yov.r 
rejoicing v\'hich I have in Christ Jesus." Archbishop Newcome 
translates, " I protest, by my glorying on your account which I 
have in Christ Jesus :" and in his note he cites Dr. Wall as 
rightly explaining vij^srspav, which I have on your account. 
Thus Estius, " qua de vobis glorior, tanquam vieis in Christof- 
His." Some MSS. and versions add, "my brethren." 

Mr. Wakefield, upon the authority of the ^Ethiopic and Cop- 
tic versions, substitutes Sioc for vij, and thus translates the verse, 
" I die daily on account of the boastful confidence which I have 
in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

' Jfter the manner of meji :] v.a.ta, avSpanrov. " I take the 
force of these words," says Bishop Pearce, " to refer to the word 

346 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. iv. S. 

Ch. XV. been fighting with beasts i at Ephesiis, of what ad- 
^' ■ ■ vantage is it to 7ne^P If the dead are not to be raised 
vp, let us eat and drink^yfor to-morrow we die^. 

gQijf JO/Aa;^r,a-a, which being a harsh metaphor, St. Paul softens 
it with an if 1 may so speak, as other men do, or, if I maij use a 
common expressio:i. Scaliger would read yMra, avSpujircoy, '^' fought 
against men j" v/hich, though not supported by any manuscript, 
the Bishop thinks defensible, from the frequent substitution of 
omicron for omega in very ancient copies. 

' / have been fighting with beasts.'] " fought and struggled 
with men as fierce as beasts." Bishop Pearce 3 who refers to 
a passage in Ignatius's epistle, M'here he says, aito l.upia; (J^sxP^ 
'Pwu^rig ^ri^io^7,y(to , i. e. " I fight with wild beasts : I have been 
persecuted by a savage mob from Syria to Rome." The epistle 
was vn-itten at Ephesus, where the apostle proposed to remain 
some time longer, ch. xvi. 8 ; so that he cannot here refer to the 
tumult raised by Demetrius and the artists, which compelled 
him to leave the city. Acts xx. 1 . But it is not to be doubted 
that the apostle met with much opposition from these and otliei* 
violent men, before it broke out into a public uproar. Bishop 
Pearce supposes it may relate to what is recorded. Acts xix. 9. 

There was an old tradition alluded to by Nicephorus Hist. 
Eccl. 1. 2, and Theodoret in loc. that the apostle Paul when at 
Ephesus v/as exposed to the lions, but that the wild beasts, re- 
strained by miracle, refused to touch him. Upon this authority. 
Dr. Whitby considers the apostle as referring to what had actu- 
ally taken place. But it is not probable that they would have 
ventured to expose the apostle to this ignominious punishment, 
he being a Roman citizen : still less probable is it that Luke in 
his history would have omitted so remarkable an occurrence ; 
and least of all, that the apostle, in the detail which he makes 
of his hardships and sufferings, 2 Cor. xi. 23, should have neg- 
lected to mention his figiiting with v,-iid beasts. 

* Of what advantage ?] With Griesbach and Pearce, and, as 
the Bishop states, with almost all the old Greek commentators, 
I. put the note of interrogation after ctpsXo;. Mr. Wakefield's 
translation is, " And though 1 fought as far as a man could with 
beasts at Ephesus, what advantage shall I have ? If the dead 
will not be raised, let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." 
— " Cum bestiis proprie sic dictis eum pugndsse vix credibile est, 
i/tiod civem aliquem Romanum unqnam fecisse non constat." 
RosenmuUer. Alexander, Macknight^ and Schleusner, think 
that the apostle alludes to a real fact. 

Part II. I. G O R I N T H I A N S, Skct. VI. iv. 3. 347 

If, during the whole of my stay at Ephesus, I 
have encountered the most savage treatment from ^^^- ^^• 
wicked and interested men, who were ready to de- 
vour me like beasts of prey, this conflict, as well as 
many others, I have endured with resolution and 
cheerfulness, animated by the hope of a recompense 
at the resurrection of the just. But, upon the prin- 
ciples that some among you adopt, what have I to 
expect ? It were better for us all, if there be no re- 
surrection, and no future life, (for without a resur- 
rection there can be no life to come,) to renounce 
the Christian religion, which requires temperance, 
self-denial, and self-government, and to adopt at 
once the licentious maxims of the Epicurean phi- 

^ Let us eat and drink.'] " Depingit Apostolus Epicureos, ct 
ejus generis alios ipsorum verbis." Rosenmuller. 

" Heu, lieu! nos miseros ! quam totus homuncio nil est ! 
Sic erimus cuncti, postquam nos auferet Orcus. 
Ergo vivamus, dum licet esse bene." Petronius, 34. 

— "Conviv(JE certe tui dicunt : Bibamus, moriendum est." Seneca. 
Alexander denies that the apostle means to apply an Epicurean 
maxim : it is a c{uotation from Isa. xxii. \3 , q. d. Let mc eat 
my bread in quiet, rather than expose myself to danger in pro- 
pagating a false religion. 

* To-morrow we rfie.] " It is evident from this passage," 
says Dr. Priestley in his note, " that the apostle had no idea of 
any hope after death but upon the doctrine of a resurrection. 
In all his writings he never mentions, nor alludes to, any state 
of consciousness between death and the resurrection ; not even 
when he is comforting Christians on the death of their deceased 
friends, on which occasion it was in a manner unavoidable, and 
indeed it never was or could be overlooked by any person who 
really believed it. Here he says. If the dead rise not, all ends 
with this life, and therefore we may as well make the most of it. 
But this inference would be by no means just, if happiness or 
misery awaited the souls of men after death, though there should 
be no resurrection of the body." 

348 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. iv. 4- 

Ch.xv. losophy : As life is short, and we have nothing to 
^^' "' expect hereafter, let ns make the most of it while 
we live, and indulge ourselves without restraint in 
the gratifications of sense and appetite. 

Observe here, the great stress which the apostle 
lays upon the doctrine of a resurrection of the dead. 
The whole expectation of a future life rests upon 
this fact. If there be no resurrection, there is no 
life to come : otherwise the apostle's argument is of 
no weight. If the dead rise not, saith the apostle, 
let us indulge as we please, for we shall not be ac- 
countable. No ; might an objector say, if there be 
a state of separate existence for the soul, though 
the body may not rise, yet the spirit will live, and 
will meet with reward or punishment according to 
its deserts. It is evident, therefore, that to render 
the apostle's argument conclusive, the expectation 
of a future life must rest wholly upon the doctrine 
of a resurrection of the dead ' . 

4. The apostle cautions the Corinthians against 
being deluded by the principles of a false and liber- 
tine philosophy, and infected by the company of 
those who hold and avow them ; and reproves the 

' Resurrection of the dead ^ " Had any person," says Dr. 
Priestley, " the most incredulous in the world, been asked 
what proof he would require of a resurrection, he could only 
say to the preacher of the doctrine. Let me see you raise some 
person from the dead, and do you die yourself and rise again, 
and then we will believe you. Now this very thing has been 
done, and the history of it is as credible as any ancient history 
whatsoever." Priestley, on ver. 34. 

Part II. 1. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. iv. 4. 349 

ignorance and immorality of some who ought to Ch. xv, 
know and to behave better, ver. 33, 34. 

Do not deceive yourselves : bad company coV' Ver. 33. 
rupts good moi^als 2. 

Do not suffer yourselves to be imposed upon by 
this plausible and dangerous maxim, and do not as- 
sociate with those who would inculcate such perni- 
cious advice. You may think yourselves sufficiently 
fortified by Christian principles ; but the society of 
bad men is a dangerous snare, and you may be 
talked or laughed out of the best principles before 
you are aware, and seduced into error and vice and 
misery. If you would maintain your virtue, your 
good principles, your peace of mind, your hope of 
immortality, you must keep out of the way of bad 
companions. You must renounce the society of 
the unprincipled and immoral. 

Awake from your intoxication^ as ye ought 3, 34. 

' Bad cnmpamj^ This is supposed to be a quotation from 
Menander ; but Macknight thinks it to have been a common 
proverb. Dr. Doddridge translates the line poetically : 
" Good manners are debauched, by talk profane." 
— " Tangit apostolus improbos aliquos vif(B magistros, aut ni- 
miam Corinthiorum cum Grcccis quihusdum consuetudinem." 

^ Awake from intoxication.'] " E>cv7;(pa) signifies properly, so- 
brius sum post crapulamy Pearce ; who renders the vi^ord. Awake 
out of this sottishness — as ye ought to do, StKcacvs. " It can- 
not," says the Bishop, '*' signify ' Awake to righteousness ! ' 
which is the common translation ; but it may signify, rite, de- 
hite, rightly, as ye ought to do. See Luke xxiii. 41. Castalio 
and render Sixxicog, ut cequum est.'' — " Be sober unto 
righteousness, and mistake not," Wakefield. — " Awake to right 
reason, and do not so grossly mistake." Pyle. — " Do not err 
any longer in a matter of so much consequence to your virtue 
and peace." Alexander. 

350 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. VI. iv. 4. 

eh. XV. and err not: for some of you are ignorant of God^. 

Ver. 34. y^ y^^^^ shame'^ ^ ^^^y i^^^^- 

Some of you are strangely besotted with the no- 
tions you have acquired of the impcssiblhty of the 
resurrection of the dead, by which principle you to- 
tally destroy the credit and the value of the Chris- 
tian revelation; and whether you mean it or not, 
you in fact annihilate all reasonable expectation of 
a future life. From this stupor it is your duty to 
awake, to come to your senses, to abandon this dan- 
gerous delusion, to learn and to obey the truth, as it 
is in Jesus. For some of you at present are very 
ignorant. If you deny the doctrine of a resurrec- 
tion, and the hope of a future life, you know no- 
thing of the character of God, as the moral gover- 
nor of his creatures, who has solemnly declared, 
that he will reward all of them according to their 
works. To your disgrace I mention it; for, as 
Christians, you ought to know better, and you pos- 
sess the means of better information. And my rea- 
son for thus animadverting upon your inexcusable 
ignorance is, in part to guard you against the ma- 

' fiome are ignorant of God.'] " There are some atheistical 
people among you : this I say to make you ashamed." Locke ; 
who in his note puts the question, " May not this be said, to 
make them ashamed of their leader, whom they were so for-.vard 
to glory in } For it is not unlikely that their questioning and 
denying the resurrection came from their new apostle, who 
raised such opposition against St. Paul." 

• To your shame ] " trpos svrpcjrriV, to put you to shame- ; and 
by that to bring you to amendment." Pearce. — "to shame, or 
perhaps more properly your amendment and reformation." 
Wakefield : see ch. vi. 5. 

Part II, I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. v. 1. 351 

chinations of some who affect to be your leaders and Ch. xv. 
instructors ; but chiefly to induce you to use the 
means which you possess of rectifying your views 
of the character and government of God, and to pre- 
pare for the awful season when he will judge the 
world in righteousness by the man whom he hath 

In reply to some hypothetical questions, the 
apostle shows the necessity of a resurrection to life, 
and illustrates the splendid superiority of the future 
exalted condition of man, to the mean and humble 
state in which he now appears, ver. 35 — 49. 

1. The apostle supposes two objections to be 
stated against the doctrine of the resurrection of 
the dead, ver. 35. 

But some one ivill say. Why 3 are the dead to be ib. 

' Why are the dead to he raised?} itcn's, "qua ratione, Matt. 
xvi. II ; Mark iv. 40." Schleusner. q. d. " How is it ? why r" 
see ver. 12. Wakefield. " How comes it to pass that dead men 
•are raised?" Locke j who in his note observes, that "if we will 
allow St. Paid to know what he says, it is plain from what he 
answers, that he understands these words to contain two ques- 
tions : First, How comes it to pass that dead men are raised 
to life again ? Would it not be better they should live on ? 
Why do they die to live again ? Secondly, With what bodies 
shall they return to life ? To both these he distinctly answers, 
viz. That those who are raised to a heavenly state shall have 
other bodies ; and next, that it is fit that men should die, death 
being no improper way to the attaining other bodies. This, he 
shows, there is so plain and common an instance of in the sow- 
ing of all seeds, that he thinks it a foolish thing to make a dif- 
ficulty of it ; and then proceeds to declare, that as they shall 

352 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.VI. v. 2. 

Ch. XV. raised? and. With what kind of body are they to 

Ver. oo, ct 

come Y 

It may possibly be asked by some among'^ii 
who dislike the doctrine ', What is the use of a re- 
surrection ? Why should men die at all ? Would 
it not have been much better to have made them 
immortal at once ? But supposing this question to 
be decided, and that a resurrection will actually take 
place, What will be the form and condition of the 
restored man .^ Will he be raised to life precisely in 
the same state, and with the same individual body, 
with the same external appearance and qualities 
with which he descended to the tomb ? or, Will his 
person undergo any material change ? 

2. The apostle, in reply to the first question, 
briefly refers to the case of vegetables, as indicat- 
ing, that dissolution is a necessary step in the pro- 
gress to a higher state of existence. 
36. ThoKghtless man ! that which thou soiuest is not 
brought to life, unless it die 2. 

have other, so they shall have better bodies than they had be- 
fore ; viz. spiritual and incorruptible." 

The question proposed, therefore, is not, as it is commonly 
understood, an ol)jection to the possibility, but to the expedi- 
ency of the resurrection j as supposing a chasm in existence. 
The apostle replies to it not by assigning the reasons which 
were demanded, but merely by showing from the analogy of 
vegetables that it appears to be a general law of existence, that 
the transition to a superior state of being, must be preceded by 
a state similar to that of death. 

' Who dislike the doctrine.'] Mr. Alexander supposes it not 
improbable that the apostle may use the very words of their new 

PaktII. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. v. 2. 353 

Unthinking caviller ! Being driven from your fa- Ch. xv. 
vourite maxim that a resurrection is impossible, you 
now object to the expedience of the doctrine. You 
say. What need is there of a resurrection ? why do 
men die at all ? why do they pass through the dis- 
graceful process of dissolution ? Thus you incon- 
siderately ai-raign those measures of the divine go- 
vernment which you do not comprehend. Be con- 
tent to know that it is the law of nature, that a pro- 
cess similar to that of death should precede the 
transition to a better state of being. The seed will 
never become a beautiful and fruitful plant till after 
it has been cast into the ground, and has been de- 
composed in the earth, ^nd if this be the law and 
condition of our passage to a more exalted state, 
what right have we to complain, or to require of 
our Maker to give an account of his conduct, which, 
however incomprehensible by us, we know to be 
good and wise ? 

• Unless it die:'] i. e. unless it appear to die. '^tTie compa- 
rison," says Dr. Priestley, " is not to be supposed to apply 
throughout, as if the apostle intended to say, that by a law of 
nature similar to that of the re -production of seeds from seeds, 
a dead man should produce a living one : for the cases are re- 
markably different ; there being an apparent living principle or 
germ in every seed, the expansion of which makes the future 
plant ; so that if the whole seed should ever become putrid, 
and the parts of which it consists be dispersed, no other plant 
or seed could be produced from it. But as antecedent to ex- 
perience we could not have known this, but should rather have 
imagined that a seed buried in the ground would be absolutely 
lost ; so, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary, a simi- 
lar event may take place with respect to a man ; so that, though 
he be buried, the time may come when he will appear again." 
VOL. li. 2 A 

J54 Paki II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI, v. 3. 

Ch. XV. 3. In reply to the second question, he reminds 
them of the great change which takes place in the 
seed which is sown, and of its obvious difference 
from the plant produced, ver. 37, 38. 

37. And as to that which thou sowest, thou sowest 
not that body which ivill be, but a bare grain ' ; for 
instance ^y of wheat, or of one of the other kinds. 

38. And God giveth it a body as he pleased, and to 
each of these seeds its own body. 

You again hope to create difficulties, and to get 
rid of the doctrine by subtle questions concerning 
the identity of the resurrection body. But here, 
likewise, you betray your ignorance; for the same 
analogy will show that identity may remain in a very 
important sense under a great difference in form. 
When you put a grain of wheat, or any other seed, 
into the ground, you do not expect the very same 
grain in the very same form to appear again ; but 
according to the established laws of the vegetable 
world, and the wise appointment of divine provi- 
dence, £^ beautiful plant grows up from the seed 
which was sown, which, though very different from 
the grain itself, is nevertheless, so appropriated to it, 
and derived from it, as to be in a sort identified with 
it, so that no other grain could have produced the 
same plant. Not only does wheat produce wheat, 
and barley, barley ; but each single seed produces 

* A bare grain.'] yu^vov xoxkqv ; so Wakefield, — "A bare 
seedj without either stalk, blade, or ear." Pearce. 

* For instance.'] si tijyju. So Alexander. Ivyyl iiev, si 
'T't/%01, MiXcuv, in strength, for instance, Milo. Hieroc, Fragm. 
p. 258. 


rARTlI. I. CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. v. 5. 355 

Its own numerical plant, and thus, under a change Ch. XV. 
of form, it in a manner retains its proper identity. 

4. The subject may be further illustrated by the 
consideration of the specific difference of substance 
in the bodies of different kinds of animals, ver. 39. 

All flesh is not the same kind oi flesh ; but there 39. 
is one kind of flesh ofmen^ and another of beasts y 
and another offlshes, and another of birds. 

The substance of all animal bodies is called by 
the general name of flesh, and the flesh of all ani- 
mals has a general similarity, and possesses similar 
properties which distinguish animal from vegetable 
substance ; but with this general resemblance, there 
is also a specific difference, so that the flesh of the 
different kinds of animals which inhabit the earth, 
the air, or the water, are easily distinguished from 
each other. Hence we may infer that the resur- 
rection body, though of the same general nature, 
may possess very different properties. 

5. The case may be further illustrated by the 
visible dissimilarity in the beauty and splendour of 
natural bodies, ver. 40, 41. 

There are also bodies celestial^ and bodies terreS' 40. 
trial; but the brightness of the celestial is one, and 
the brightness of the terrestrial is another. 

There are great varieties of natural bodies, each 
having its peculiar beauty and lustre. Some are on 
the earth, others are in the heavens, both are re- 
splendent, but each has a splendour peculiar to it- 

300 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. v. 6. 

Ch. XV. self. Gold is refulgent, and gems are bright, but 
the brilliancy of gold is very different from that of 
light, and the sparkling of a diamond bears little 
affinity to that of the stars. 

41. There is one brightness of the su7i, and another 
brightness of the moon^ and another brightjiess of 
the stars. Moreover, one star excelleth ' another 
star in brightness. 

There is also a difference of splendour among 
the heavenly luminaries themselves. The stars are 
bright, but their lustre is inferior to that of the 
moon, which rules the night ; and the splendour of 
the moon disappears in comparison with that of the 
sun, which is appointed the regent of the day. Also, 
the stars are of different apparent magnitudes, and 
shine with different degrees of comparative lustre. 

6. Changes similar to these will take place in the 
form and appearance of mankind at the resurrection 
of the dead, ver. 42. 

42. So will the resurrection of the dead also be 2. 

' For one star excelleth, &c.] Or, " for one heavenly body 
excelleth another heavenly body in glory." Wakefield, Theol. 

' So will the resurrection of the dead also be.] Here the 
verse should end. Vide Bowyer, Wakefield. " The resurrec- 
tion of the dead here spoken of," says Mr. Locke, " is not 
the resurrection of all mankind in common, but only the resur- 
rection of the just. This will be evident to any one who ob- 
serves, that St. Paul having, ver. 22, declared that all men 
shall be made alive again, tells the Corinthians, ver. 23, that it 
shall not be all at once,^but at several distances of time. First 
of all Christ rose ; afterwards, next in order to him, the saints 
should all be raised, which resurrection of the just is that which 
he treats and gives an account of, to the end of this discourse 

Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. VI. v. 6. 35/ 

Though all language and all similitude must fail Ch. xv. 

to convey a just conception of that happy state to ^^^' '*"" 
which the race of man will eventually be raised, yet 

and chapter ; and so never comes to the resurrection of the 
wicked, which was to be the third and last in order j so that to 
the end of the chapter all that he says of the resurrection, is a 
description only of the resurrection of the just, though he calls 
it here by the general name of the resurrection of the dead." 

And surely then the presumption is, that the apostle means 
what his language expresses ; especially as it would have been 
so easy for him to have made himself perfectly intelligible, if he 
had intended to be understood in the restricted sense which 
Mr. Locke and the generality of readers apprehend. But if we 
agree with Dr. Chancy and others, that the apostle actually does 
notice and insist upon three distinct periods of resurrection, and 
that the third and last, ver. 24 — 28, treats of the resurrection of 
the wicked, and of their eventual restoration to virtue and hap- 
piness, when death shall be abolished, and the Christian dis- 
pensation shall have fully answered its benevolent design, when 
Christ having subdued all things to himself, shall have resigned 
the kingdom to the Father, and God shall be all in all ; if, I say, 
we admit of the correctness of this interpretation, we may then 
fiiirly conclude that the apostle in the remainder of his discourse 
keeps in view this glorious and happy period ; and that when 
he speaks of the resurrection of the dead, he means, what his 
words express, the resurrection of all mankind, and not, as he is 
commonly understood, that of a very small proportion only. So 
that the apostle in imagination passes over the state of future 
discipline, the process of which, though it may last for ages, 
will be as nothing in comparison with the eternity which suc- 
ceeds J and dwells with triumph upon that glorious state and 
order of things, when all that have died in Adam shall be made 
alive in Christ, and the whole race of mankind, each in his own 
order, shall have been introduced into a state of unmixed and 
everlasting rectitude and felicity : not indeed into a state of 
perfect and universal equality, but differing from each other in 
dignity and felicity, in proportion to their different attainments 
in virtue and holiness, as one star difiereth from another star in 
glory. I submit to the serious, intelligent, and candid reader, 
whether this interpretation does not best agree with the apos- 
tle's language, and mukc the writer most consistent with him- 

558 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. VI. v. 6. 

Ch. XV. the analogies which I have suggested may in some 
"' ' degi'ee assist the imagination. 

As grain cast into the earth produces its appro- 
priate plant, so the man of the resurrection, after 
passing through the purifying process of the grave, 
will appear in a much fairer and nobler form than 
in the present state ; and yet by the wise providence 
of God his identity will be so preserved, that he will 
be in a true and proper sense the same person that 
was deposited in the tomb. 

This similitude seems to imply, that a vivifying 
principle ' will still remain ; some stamina, which 
retaining the dormant principle of life, and perci- 
piency, shall preserve a strict identity of person in 
every change of state. But perhaps this supposi- 
tion may strain the apostle's meaning further than 
he intended. 

The sentient principle after the resurrection will, 
as it now does, reside in a corporeal form ; but the 
body will differ from the gross matter of which our 
present bodies are composed, as widely, and more 
so than the different kinds of animal substances now 
differ from each other. 

The human race will all be raised to glory in 
their respective order and felicity, but not all to 

' A vivifying principle.'] " Sicuti tritici in agro sati germen 
servatur integrum ac vivljicum : ita etiam facile servari potest 
aliqua corporis nostri particula essentialis quae novarum partium 
accessione, in renovatum corpus crescat, eidemque animo juncta 
hominem partim eundem, partim novum efficiat." Rosenmuller, 
in ver.38. 

Part II. I. CORINTHIANS, Sect. VI. v. 7. 359 

equal degrees of happiness. As the lustre of celes- ch. xv. 
tial objects differs from, and is superior to, the most 
brilliant of terrestrial substances, as the sun and 
moon transcend in brightness the stars, which in a 
clear and serene night adorn the firmament of hea- 
ven, and as the stars themselves differ from each 
other in magnitude and brilliancy, such likewise 
shall be the state of man after the resurrection. 
All shall be glorious, and all shall be happy; but 
all shall not be equally resplendent, nor shall all be 
admitted at once to equal degrees of honour and fe- 
licity. Rewards shall be distributed in exact pro- 
portion to the real value of the moral character ; and 
while all that are truly wise shall shine with the 
brightness of the firmament, they who have been 
most active in doing good, and in promoting the in- 
terest of truth and virtue, of freedom and happiness, 
shall be distinguished with the superior brilliancy 
of stars for ever and ever, Dan. xii. 3. 

7. The apostle describes the difference between 
man in his present state, and that which shall take 
place after the resurrection, ver. 43, 44. 

It is soivn 2 in corruption, it is raised in incor- 43. 

' It is sown?!^ Gr. (nrsicerat. " Literally, the sowing is, Of 
whom, or what ? Ans. Of mankind." Wakefield. Bishop Pearce 
substitutes <rujiJi,ara, as the nominative case. 9. d. " So also is 
the resurrection of the dead bodies. They are sown in corrup- 
tion." Archbishop Newcome renders it, " the body is sown in 
corruption," meaning the dead body. So also Pyle, Doddridge, 
Macknight, and Harwood. But Mr. Locke well observes, that 
" The time the man is in this world, affixed to this earth, is his 
being sown, and not when being dead he is put into the grave. 

360 Part II. I. C O lU N T H I A N 3. Sect. VI. v. 7 

cii. XV. ruption ' ; it is sown hi dishonour, it is raised in 

Ver 43 / « 

glory ^. 

Observe here, that the comparison is not between 
the dead body, as it is consigned to the grave, and 
the resurrection body, but between man in his pre- 
sent state of animal existence, which is represented 
as the seed time of his being, and the same man 
at the resurrection, when he shall be raised up in 
beauty and perfection fit to be gathered into the gra- 
nary of God. 

Man in the present state is born liable to death 
and dissolution ; he shall rise hereafter to an incor- 
ruptible and immortal state of existence. He exists 
at present in a state of humiliation, exposed to vicis- 
situdes of the most afflicting kind, from youth and 
beauty, health and vigour, to age and deformity, 
disease and death : but in that into which he will 
be hereafter introduced, all will be glorious and 

as is evident from St. Paul's own words. For dead things are 
not sown. Seeds are sown, being alive, and die not till after 
ttiey are sown. Besides, he that will attentively consider vvhat 
follows, will find reason from Sj^^iul's arguing to understand 
him so." I think with Newcon1%, that auj^jM is understood ; 
and with Locke, that a-Trsiparai expresses the state of the living- 
body in this w^oi-ld, not of the dead body when deposited in the 

' Sotvn in corruption, raised in incorrKption.'] " That which 
is sown in this world and comes to die, is a poor, weak, con- 
temptible, corruptible thing ; when it is raised again, it shall 
be powerful, glorious, and incorruptible." Locke. " Seritur, 
i. e. sepelitur corpus corruptioni olmoxinm, resurget ab oinni cor- 
rupiione alienum. sv (pSopa, i. e. <pQaprov hebraico more, sv a^Oscp- 
o'la, sen apSa^-ftv." Rosenmuller. 

* Sown in dishonour, raised iji glory."] ari^j^ov, vile, parvi pretii. 
" Sic vacatur corpus, quia interire potest, tv So^r;, corpus excel- 
IsKs, et magni pretii., quod corpus interire nequit." Rosenmuller. 

Paut II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.VI.v.7. 361 

happy : and there will be no change but from good ^^' xv. 
to better, and from glory to glory. 

// is sown in weakness, it is raised in power 3. 

Man in this infancy of his being is frail and fee- 
ble like a child, unable to help himself, and depend- 
ent upon every thing and every being around him ; 
to renewed existence he shall rise in immortal vi- 
gour, with all the energies of body and mind in 
their highest perfection, and probably with addi- 
tional faculties which shall open new scenes of per- 
ception, action, and enjoyment, of which he had pre- 
viously no idea. 

It is sown an animal body, it is raised a spiritual 44. 
body ^ ; i/, there be an animal body 5, there is also 

' Sown in weakness, raised in power ^ sv ao-^svsia- " corpus 
infirmum, i. e. variis morbis et pericuUs obnoxium. £v ^uvaju-er 
corpus validuiTij robustum, longe majoribiis facuUatibus pra'di- 
tum. Grotius acidity cum sensibus multis, quos nunc non intelli^ 
glmusS' Rosenmuller. It is observable, that all the critics in 
their exposition interpret the apostle's language in the sense of 
Mr. Locke, as expressing the state of the body or the human 
being as living in this world, though most of them render 
cnrsiperai us describing the state of the body when it is put into 
the grave, after it is dead. 

■• Sown an animal body , raised a spiritual bodij .1 croj^a, \J'y%J- 
xov, "translated in the Bible &. natural body, should, I think, be 
translated an animal body. St. Paul means to show, that as 
we have animal bodies now, which, unless supported with a 
constant supply of food and air, will fail and perish, and at last, 
do what we can, will dissolve and come to an end, so, at the 
resurrection we shall have from Christ the second Adam, spiri- 
tual bodies, which shall have an essential, natural, and insepa- 
rable life in them, which shall continue and subsist perpetually, 
of itself, without the help of meat, or drink, or air, or any such 
foreign support, without decay, or any tendency to dissolution. 
See Luke xx. 35." Locke, " Est noiione spiriius Hind com- 

362 Paht II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. v.. 8. 

Ch. XV. In the present state, man is subject to animal 
wants and desires, and he needs animal refresh- 
ments and support ; but in that glorious state of 
existence into which he will hereafter be introduced, 
he will no longer be subject to animal infirmities. 
The gross sensual affections having answered the 
purposes for which they were designed, shall be ex- 
tinguished. All the feelings shall be spiritual and 
refined, and the constitution of the renovated man 
will no longer need those animal supports which 
are now essential to animal existence. For as cer- 
tainly as the body, which is now the medium of 
communication with the external world, is of a gross 
texture, and susceptible of low and animal gratifi- 
cations, so surely shall the renovated body be ex- 
empt from all the grossness of animal senses, wants, 
and gratifications, and be perfectly adapted to the 
pure and refined perceptions, occupations, and en- 
joyments of a new and intellectual state of existence. 

8. Mankind in their renovated and exalted state 

prehensum, eum causam vivendi, agendi, movendi, habere in se; 
non. suspensam aliunde. Sic ergo ^v^ixov est, quod aliunde ha- 
bct, cur vivat, moveaturque ; 7rv£U|!AaT<>coy_, quod in se habet vuh 
Vivendi." Rosenmuller. 

* If there be an animal body.'] si ssrt trcu[x,a. This is the 
reading of the Alexandrine and many other MSS., and of the 
Coptic, Ethiopia, and Vulgate Versions. It is marked as not 
improlxible by Griesbach, and is adopted by Pearce. " We can 
have no other idea," says Mr. Alexander, " of a spiritual body, 
than that it is of a more noble and durable constitution than 
the bodies we have at present. Hence we conclude, that spi- 
rit and spiritual do not always denote strictly immaterial sub- 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect.VI.v.8. 363 

shall resemble the second Adam, as completely as, ch. xv. 
in the present state of humiliation and degradation, ^^^"" '^^' 
they have borne the image of the first, ver. 45 — 49. 

y^nd thus saith the scripture. The first man, 45. 
Adam, became a living animal^, the last Adam^ 
is a life-giving spirit. 

' Became a living animal.'] Eyevsto si; ^vxtjV ^ixirrxv, was 
made for a living animal. " In animam viventem. Jam puto 
lector agnoscis, elocutionis idioma, toties admonitus, sic dictum 
factus est in animam viventem, pro eo quod erat, factus est 
anima vivens." Erasmus. — Ma7i became a living soul. "I have 
followed our English translation, though it does not give the 
exact sense of the Greek words, because our language has 
hardly any words that can do it. Perhaps it might be rendered 
a living being. By soul, we are apt to understand that part of 
us that is distinct from the body ; but this is not the sense here, 
for ^u^r) ^wara, is opposed to irvavfji.a, ^coOTfotovv, a spirit that 
giveth life : ^f'y%5J ^uito. is frequently applied by the LXX. to 
beasts. Gen. i. 20, 21, 24. In ver. 44, (ru}iji.a \J/u5(;<>cov is not a 
body that has a soul, but an animal body, or a body that has 
merely life in it." Bishop Pearce. Dr. Priestley in his note 
remarks, that " it is evident, that the apostle here speaks of 
the life of which Adam became possessed in consequence of 
God's breathing into him, what Moses calls, the breath of life, 
as nothing more than what we call animal life, such as brutes 
are possessed of, who are likewise said to have living souls, that 
is, it was such a life as should have an end. It is evident, there- 
fore, that he had no view to any immaterial principle infused into 
man, for then brutes must be possessed of an immaterial princi- 
ple too. But Christ, who is here called the last Adam, being 
originally as much a man as the first Adam, became after his 
resurrection a being no more liable to corruption or death. This 
the apostle, not knowing how else to characterize it, calls, in 
opposition to the present animal body, a spirit endued with a 
principle of immortal life, and moreover, as the words literally 
imply, having a power of imparting it to others." 

'* The lust Adam.'] 6 Bo-^ocrog AiJajW., " Of the second, the 
sp'iritual body, we have an example in the great restorer of the 
human race, who is become a quickening spirit, not only raised 
to this most perfect life in his own person, but invested with 
the power and office of conferring it upon others." Alexander. 
" The last Adam" is almost universally understood by divines 

364 Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Skct. VI. v. 8. 

Ch. XV. The writings of Moses support the doctrine which 
I have laid down. The account given in the Old 
Testament of the formation of Adam, Gen. ii. 7, 
after the Lord had breathed into his nostrils the 
breath of life, adds, that " he became a living ani- 
mal," an animal of a superior kind indeed to the 
brute creation, but possessed of animal powers and 
feelings, and subject to animal wants and infirmities. 
But Christ, who since his resurrection is become the 
second Adam, the new head and representative of 
the human race, is now advanced to a more exalted 
state, from which all animal imperfections and wants 
are excluded. His substance is refined and incor- 
poreal, and the mode of his existence is spiritual 
and intellectual ; and not only does he himself pos- 
sess and enjoy this high rank in the scale of exist- 
ence, but in due time he will be commissioned to 

to mean Jesus Christ, who is regarded as the great federal 
Head of mankind in restoring them to life, as Adam was in in- 
troducing death by the fall. But Rosenmuller mentions some 
commentators, Harduinus, Jehnius, Krausius and others, vvho 
deny that Jesus is ever called Adam in the writings of Paul, and 
who refer to Rom. v. \5, 17,21, where an antithesis is kept up 
between the benefits derived to mankind through Christ, and 
the loss sustained by Adam's fall, but in which Christ is not 
spoken^ of as the second Adam. By this phrase, therefore, 
these writers understand either Adam himself after his resur- 
rection, who will then be a model for all his posterity ; or ra- 
ther, in the abstract, man himself, after he has been restored 
to life ; the risen and glorified human being. Viz. 'flic second 
Adam is a quickening spirit, " ideo appellari dicunt, quoniam 
splritum censemus causavi v'lvendi, ugendi, movendi, in se habere, 
nee aliunde petere,'" because a spirit is supposed to have a prin- 
ciple of life and motion in itself, independent of any thing ex- 

Part II. L C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. v. 8. 365 

raise all mankind to a state of dignity and glory si- Ch. XV. 
milar to his own. 

However y that which is spiritual was not first ', Ver. 46. 
hut that luhich is animal, and afterward came that 
tvhich is spirituaL 

Adam in the order of time was many years ante- 
cedent to Christ ; so likewise the inferior imperfect 
animal and mortal state precedes the state of life, 
glory, and immortality. 

The first man vj^sfroju the ground, earthy ; the 47. 
second man will hefroin heaven, heavenly^. 

' Not first.'] " As therefore the first man, Adam, was made 
before Christ was sent to be our Saviour, so must we, in order 
of time, be clothed with our animal and mortal bodies derived 
from the one, before we can be invested with our spiritual and 
immortal ones from the other." Pyle. TTveyftar/xov, sc. cm^o,. 
" Deus nempe in omnibus operibus siiis hunc ordinem tenet, ut 
prcemittat imperfectiora , sequi jubeat pcrfectiora. Quare quum 
Deus homini duplicem tribuere vellet naturani, mortalem alteram, 
alteram immortalem, non erat consentaneum,pr(jestantiorem hanc 
indolem ei prinnim tribuere, eumque facere ruentem quasi in pe- 
jus, atque deterius." Rosenmuller. q. d. It being the will of 
God to give to mankind two states of existence, one spiritual, 
i.e. intellectual and refined, the other animal, i.e. gross and 
sensual, it was his pleasure that the inferior should be antece- 
dent to the superior, and that his works should improve and 
not deteriorate. — "What becomes," says Mr. Alexander, "^ of 
that assertion that Adam was created immortal ? and how will 
it be made to consist with the apostle's decision in this place ? 
It will not be sufficient to allege that he was created immortal, 
but that he lost this privilege by his oifence ; for the apostle is 
evidently speaking of his formation, and refers to his being taken 
out of the ground, for which reason he calls him earthy. Adam 
then had an animal body before the fall, a body composed of 
fl'?sh and blood, and of consequence mortal and corruptible." 

But perhaps this is straining the apostle's language too far ; 
lie alludes to the history of the fall, to illustrate the doctrine of 
the resurrection, and probably knew no more of the constitu- 
tion of men before the fall, than any of his readers. 

Ver. 47. 

366 Part II. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. v. 8. 

Ch. XV. We are told that the Lord God made Adam of 
the dust of the ground, (Gen. ii. 7,) an emblem 
of his frail, mortal, suffering state ; but the second 
Adam will in due time appear from heaven, from 
that state of bliss and glory, wherever it be, in 
which he now resides, and in a form of dignity and 
majesty becoming his present glorified and exalted 
48. ^s was the earthy, such are they also that arc 
earthy ; and, as is the heavenly, such also will be 
the heavenly. 

Men in the present state are like their original 
ancestor, formed of the dust of the earth, animals 
of a superior kind, subject to all the wants, the in- 
firmities, and inconveniences of an animal state, 
and liable to death. But they who will hereafter 
be raised by Christ, and who will be acknowledged 
as his disciples and subjects, will be advanced to a 

* The second matt will be from heaven, heavenly. 1 The re- 
ceived text reads Kvpios s^ Bpava. But the Vatican, Ephrem, 
Clermont, and other manuscripts, the Coptic, JEthiopic, Vul- 
gate, the old Italic, and other Versions, and many of the old ec- 
clesiastical writers, leave out the word Kvpios, which, it is said 
by TertuUian, was introduced by Marcion ; and which is pro- 
bably a marginal gloss. See Griesbach : upon these authori- 
ties Bishop Pearce and Mr. Wakefield omit the word Lord in 
their translations , And upon the authority of two Uncial manu- 
scripts, and of the ^Ethiopic and Vulgate Versions, and from 
the analogy of the construction, they add spaviog at the end of 
the verse. The Vulgate reads, " Secundtis homo, de ccelo, cceles- 
tis." The bishop's version is, " The first man was of the earth, 
created out of dust 5 the second man is of heaven, being hea- 
venly." — "Primus homo, Adamus, qualis erat in his terris vi- 
vens, erat terrenus, caducus : secundus autem homo, idem ille, 
Adamus, in alterd vitd est vel erit, ccclestis, excellentior." Rosen- 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. v. 8. 36/ 

State of dignity and glory, similar to that in which Ch. xv. 
he now is, free from all the inconveniences of the ^"' ^ * 
earthly and animal state, and delivered from the 
dominion of sorrow, pain, and death. 

And as we have borne i the image of the earthy, 49. 
we shall also bear the image of the heavenly man. 

We, who are the descendants of the first Adam, 
who was formed from the dust of the ground, in 
the present state, in this humble commencement 
of existence, bear the image of our original ances- 
tor ; we are subject to animal wants and infirmities, 
to frailty, suffering and death ; but in due time 
we shall all be advanced to a state of consummate 
felicity and glory, similar to that of our present ex- 
alted head and representative, Jesus Christ. And 
of this happy change in our condition, we are as 
certain as that we are now in a frail and mortal 
state. For it was the great purpose of our Lord's 
mission, to teach this glorious and important truth : 
and his own resurrection and exaltation to immor- 
tal life and happiness are a pledge, and an earnest of 
that dignity and bhss, which will be the final por- 
tion of his true and faithful disciples. 

' And as we have borne, &c.] " Qui de solo Adamo, prima 
homine, sermonem esse put ant, illi hcec duo commata ita expli- 
cant. Qualis, ille primus conditus homo, terreus et caducus, 
tales etiam caduci; qualis e materia ccelesti reparatus, tales etiam 
€ materia ccelesti reparati. Et quemadmodum retulimus imagi- 
nem illius terrei, ita quoque, ca;lestis hujus referemus imaginem, 
i. e. sicut similes eramus mortuli, ita quoque similes erimus im- 
mortaliy Rosenmuller. As we resemble our first ancestor in 
his first and feeble state of animal existence, we shall also re- 
semble him in that renovated and glorious form in which he 
\v\\\ be invested in a future and more exalted state of being. 



Ch. XV. The apostle, having announced the necessity 
' of a great and radical change in the present con- 
stitution of human nature, in order to prepare and 
quaUfy it for a future, glorious, and immortal exist- 
ence, concludes his discourse with a burst of thanks- 
giving and triumph, and with an earnest exhorta- 
tion to the expectants of this all-important change, 
to live in a manner becoming their exalted hopes, 
ch. XV. ver. 50 — 58. 

1. The apostle declares that human nature, in 
its present frail condition, is utterly incapable of 
immortal life and happiness, ver. 50. 
50. Now this I sa?/, brethren, that flesh and blood 
shall not inherit * the kingdom of God, neither shall 
corruption 2 inherit incorruption. 

In the present frail and mortal state, we resemble 
our frail and mortal ancestor. But it is impossible 

' Shall not inherit.'] ou •>iXrjpovoi;.rjiT8<nv this is the reading 
of some good manuscripts, and of the Coptic and other ver- 
sions ; and it is confirmed by the reading of KXyjpovoi^T,(rei in 
many of the best copies in the latter clause. See Griesbach, 
These readings are adopted by Bishop Pearce. The received 
text reads " flesh and blood cannot (a iuvavfai) inherit the 
kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit {KKrjpovaiJ,si) 
incorruption." " Jl kingdom of God: i.e. in Hebrew phra- 
seology, a divine and heavenly state of things," Wakefield, 
Theol. Rep. 

' Corruption inherit incorruption.'] " Nor v^^ill this corruption 
inherit the incorruption thereof." Wakefield. " tj (pkpa, ahs- 
tractum pro concreto. Sensus est: quod natura sua hoc ha- 
beat, ut interire possit, idem non habere hoc posse, utinterire ne- 
queat" Rosenmuller. 

Part II. I, C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. vi. 2. 369 

under these circumstances to gain admission into Ch. xv. 
that state, which is the final portion of the righte- ^"' ^^* 
ous ; and which may in a peculiar and appropriate 
sense be called the kingdom of God, being that 
state of glory and felicity, which he has promised as 
the reward of persevering virtue, and where God 
himself will be all in all. The frail animal system 
which lives and acts in the present state would find 
nothing there, either to gratify its desires, or to sup- 
port its existence; and that which is corruptible and 
perishable, can have no participation with that which 
is incorruptible and indissoluble. 

2. The apostle declares, as a doctrine of imme- 
diate revelation, that a sudden and glorious change 
shall take place in the persons of the virtuous, who 
shall be alive at the time when Christ shall appear 
to raise the dead, ver. 51 — 54. 

Behold, I declare to you a mystery'^. 51. 

I am now about to announce something that has 
been hitherto unknown, something that was com- 
municated to me by immediate revelation, some- 
thing that will surprise and astonish you, and to 
which I demand your serious and devout attention. 

We shall not all sleep, hut we shall all he 

' A mijstery.] " A doctrine of Christianity hitherto unknown. 
Rem arcanam, et aclhuc occuUam, ideoqiie dignisshnain quant at- 
tenti audiatis." Beza. " What God purposed to do, but his pur- 
pose was not till then declared. Dr. Wall." Newcome. " The 
word mystery only means something new, which was not un- 
derstood before it was discovered, and by no means a thing that 
could not be comprehended when it was revealed." Priestley. 

VOL. II. 2 B 

370 Pakt II. 1. C R I N T H I a N S. Sect. VI. vi. 2. 

Ch. XV. changed^. In a moment'^ ^ in the glance of an eye^ 
at the last trumpet (for the trumpet will sounds, ) 
both the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we 
shall be changed. 

' We shall not all sleep, &c.] Many copies read, "We shall 
all sleep, but we shall not all be changed ;" which Griesbach 
notices as a reading of considerable authority, but it is not easy 
to understand the meaning. " We shall all be changed. By we, 
he means the whole body of Christians who shall be alive at that 
day. So Deut. xxvi. 6, we is used for the Jewish people in all 
ages." NeWcome. 'H/xe<j-, nempe quos vivos illic Deus de- 
prehenderit, inter quos Paiilus putavit fieri posse ut et ipse esset, 
et alii multi qui cum ipso vivebant. 1 Thess. iv. 15. Id eo evenit, 
quia de die ultimo, quando isfuturus esset, nihil Christus suis re- 
velaverat, ut semper expectaretur." Rosenmuller. 

* Iti a moment, &c. both, &c.] This punctuation and transla- 
tion I adopt from Bishop Pearce. — " in the glance of an eve." 

^ The trumpet will sound^ craXTiiffsi yo-p, " for a trumpet shall 
be sounded." Bishop Pearce, who refers to his notes on ch. vi. 
] 6, and xiv. 30, for examples of similar construction. Archbi- 
shop Newcome refers to Xen. Anab. p. 16, Ed. 4, Hutchinson, 
Y,c/t,i ZTtsi scraXitiy^s, as a parallel instance. Mr. Evanson sup- 
poses that the apostle Paul here alludes to the seventh trumpet 
in the Apocalypse, and explains it thus : " The seventh pre- 
dicted war shall assuredly take place ; at which period those 
faithful followers of Christ who are dead, will be raised as fore- 
told by John, bodies incorruptible ; and they who are alive, 
will be so changed as to fit them to live for ever whh the Lord. 
1 Thess. iv. 17." This the learned writer calls " a testimony to 
the antiquity and authenticity of the Apocalypse, infinitely 
stronger than can be produced in favour of any other book of 
the received canon." Everybody, perhaps, will not be quite 
.so well satisfied with the conclusiveness of his argument as the 
learned and pious writer himself undoubtedly was. But it is 
not absolutely necessary, as he seems to insinuate, for those who 
do not agree in his explanation of the trumpet, to maintain that 
trumpets " are used in heaven," or that " the dead will be raised 
to tlie sound of any musical instrument." The expression may 
probably allude to some solemn and public prelude which will 
excite the general attention of mankind to the stupendous event 
which is approaching ; though, of what nature that awful warn- 

Part 11, I.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. vi. 2. 3/ 1 

Though It is quite impossible that this mortal Ch. xv, 
frame should sustain the glories of an immortal ^^^' *^^* 
state, yet it will not be necessary for all to pass 
through the pains of death. From this calamity, 
the righteous who are living when the season of the 
universal resurrection arrives, shall be happily ex- 
empt. When the awful signal shall be given, for 
it will be given, to awaken those who are asleep, 
and to summon to life all the generations of man- 
kind, a wonderful change shall instantaneously take 
place in the persons of the virtuous who shall then 
be living. The same omnipotent energy which re- 
animates the deiad, will in a moment transform their 
frail and perishable systems into spiritual, immor^ 
tal, incorruptible bodies ; and being thus made fit 
to join the innumerable host of the righteous who 
will be raised to life, they will with them be pro- 
nounced blessed, and will enter upon their glorious 
and everlasting reward. 

It is observable, that the apostle here speaks in 
the first person, and it seems doubtful, whether he 
might not himself hope to see this wonderful event, 
and to participate in this glorious immunity. It is 
certain from the second epistle to the Thessalonians, 
2 Thess. ii. 1, that he did not, when that epistle was 

ing will be, must baffle all conjecture. " Describitur solennis 
adventus Christi, imagin^hus vel signi^, e regis humani, regnum 
armatarnanu occupantis, triurnphante ingressu, repetitis." Ro- 
senmuUer. Evanson's Reflections on the State of Religion, &c, 
p. 39, 40. 

2 B 2 

372 Part II. J.CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. vi. 2. 

Ch. XV. written, expect the immediate appearance of Christ. 
^'' ■ But it does not follow that he and the other apostles 
might not conceive that it would happen before the 
end of the age. Some expressions which the apostle 
uses, both in this epistle and in that to the Thessa- 
lonians, seem to favour this supposition ; and if 
such were the fact, it appears that the revelations 
made to the apostles were similar to those made to 
the ancient prophets, who, being ignorant of the 
purport of their own prophecies concerning a suf- 
fering Messiah, searched diligently to discover their 
meaning. The fact, that those who shall be living, 
when Christ shall appear to raise the dead, will, by a 
sudden and glorious transformation, be exempted 
from death, was revealed to the apostles. But the 
particular time and season when this grand consum- 
mation would take place, it pleased God, as in other 
instances, to reserve in his own power. 
53. For this corruptible must put on incorruptioiiy 
and this mortal viwx^Xput on immortality '. 

' Must put on immortaUttf.'] " It is plain," says Dr. Priest- 
ley, " that in the idea of the apostle, it is virtually the same 
body that rises, though with some different properties. And 
as in every seed there is a part that does not perish in the 
ground, but appears again in the future plant, so some have 
supposed that in the human body there may be a similar germ 
or stamen that never perishes, but becomes the principle or 
foundation of a new life. This, hovi'ever, is a speculation with 
which, as Christians, we have no concern. It is enough for us 
to be informed by the Great Being who made us, that whether 
our future bodies contain any of the particles of which they now 
consist, or not, we shall be so far the same, that we shall have 
a perfect recollection of our present consciousness, and a per- 
fect recollection of our present friends and acquaintance." 

Part II, I. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. VI. vi. 2. 373 

It is quite necessary that this dissoluble corrup- Ch.xv. 
tible system should put on the robe of incorrupti- 
bility, and that this frail mortal body should be ar- 
rayed in the garments of immortality, in order to 
strengthen and qualify it for the nature, the occu- 
pations, and the blessedness of a new and happier 
state of being, by the glories of which it would 
otherwise be oppressed and overwhelmed. 

And when this corruptible shall have put on in- 54. 
corruption, and this mortal shall have put on im- 
mortality, then luill that scripture be fulfilled. 
Death is swallowed up for ever"^. 

When the faithful and happy servants of God, 
redeemed from sin, suffering, and death, shall have 
exchanged the garments of mortality and corrup- 
tion for robes of Hfe and immortality, and when 
they shall thus be fully introduced in to that state of 
glory and blessedness, which the goodness of their 
heavenly father has prepared for them, then shall 
that illustrious prophecy receive its full accomplish- 
ment. Death is subdued and swallowed up, com^ 
pletely, and for ever. The tyrant is vanquished, and 
cast into the unfathomable abyss, never to appear 

^ For ever.'] sig vmo;, quoted from Isa. xxv. 8. "It is in this 
sense only, that the phrase is used in the LXX. 2 Sam. ii. 26, 
Shall the sword devour, ei; vixoi, for fever? See also Job xxxvi. 
7 ; Jer. iii. 5 ; Lam. iii. 20 3 Amos i. 11, viii. 7." Whitby. — 
Pearce and Macknight adopt the same translation for the same 
retison. The apostle in this instance quotes Isa. xxv. 8, not 
from the version of the LXX. but from Theodotion. " The pro- 
phet there declares in a figurative manner that God would never 
more utterly di.sperse or destroy his people, but that they would 
ct)ntinue in their own land to the end of time." Dr. Priestley. 

374 Part H. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. vi.3. 

Ch. XV. again to ravage and lay waste the beautiful creation 
of God. All that remains will be righteousness, 
and truth, and happiness, unalloyed and everlast- 
ing ; so that the time may possibly come when it 
shall even be forgotten that so great a calamity as 
death ever existed ; the very remembrance of it 
shall be absorbed and lost. 

3. The apostle, after this representation of the 
case, bursts into an exclamation of joy, gratitude, 
and triumph, ver. 55 — 57. 

55. O death! where is thy sting '^? O grave.' 

56. where is thy victory ? The sting of death indeed 
hi. is siji, and the power of sin is the law 2. Bnt 

' death ! where is thy sting .?] This i.s supposed to be an 
allusion to Hos. xiii. 14, thus translated from the Hebrew by 
Archbishop Newcome. " Yet, I will redeem them from the 
grave, I will deliver them from death. O death ! where is thine 
overthrow ? O grave i where is thy victory ?" " St. Paul," he 
observes, "^ naturally applies to the resurrection, what the pro- 
phet says of future national happiness." The LXX. reado, 
" Where is thy punishment, O death ? Where is thy sting, O 
grave ?" So that, as Dr. Doddridge observes, it is by no mean.^, 
certain that the apostle intended any quotation at all. That 
learned expositor also remarks, that " the original has a kind 
of poetical turn, which seems in some measure to suit the sub- 
limity of the sentiment ; for the first of the clauses is an Ionic, 
and the second a Trochaic verse." Mr. Alexander thinks, that 
the three verse.s contain an anthem or song of victory. But I 
can by no means accede to his supposition, that it is intended 
to be put into the mouths of those who shall finally escape from 
death. To me it rather appears to be a burst of admiration, 
joy, and gratitude, to which the apostle is naturally led by the 
contemplation of the glorious and happy termination of all the 
dispensations of God to mankind, in the total and everlasting 
abolition of sin and death, of vice and misery, and of all evil, nai 
tural and moral. 

Part II. I.CORINTHIANS. Sf.ct. VI. vi. 4, 3/5 

thanks be to God who giveth us the victory, through Ch. xv. 
our Lord ^lesus Christ. ^•^'•- ^^' 

O death, king of terrors, irresistible conqueror 
of tlie human race, where is now thy dreaded wea- 
pon ? where is thy power to excite dismay ? O 
grave, insatiable devourer of mankind, where are 
now thy helpless captives ? what is become of thy 
boasted prey ? Sin, which entailed destruction and 
misery, and which distilled venom into the sting of 
death, is slain ; and the righteous and avenging 
law of God, which passed the irrevocable sentence, 
and which transferred to sin its deadly power, is su- 
perseded by unbounded mercy. Grace reigns tri- 
umphant. Captivity is led captive. Death and the 
grave are compelled to restore their victims, and are 
themselves cast headlong into the gulf of perdition. 
They are swallowed up in victory, and, for ever. 
Thanks, everlasting thanks, be to God, who giveth 
us the victory, and who, by the mission, the doc- 
trine, the death, and above all by the resurrection, 
of Jesus, hath abolished death, and opened the gates 
of life and immortality. 

4. The apostle concludes the discourse with an 

' The power of sin is the law.'] " The apostle," says Mr. Alex- 
ander, " here represents all who come under the pov/er of death, 
as dying in consequence of a judicial process. The Law is seated 
upon the bench, and passes sentence upon them as transgressors. 
Hence, it is the strength and authority of sin, or the judge who 
gives death his legal warrant to destroy. Sin in this figurative 
representation holds the place of a sting or dart in the hand of 
death, with which he, as the attendant or servant of the judge, 
executes the sentence that is passed upon u&." 


V6 Paht II. I.CORINTHIANS. Siicr. VI. vi. 4. 

Ch. XV. earnest exhortation to his brethren in the faith of 

Ver. bT. 

the gospel, to act up to these glorious and animatr 
ing expectations, ver. 58. 

TV/ierefore, my beloved brethren^ be ye stedfast^ 
immoveable^ always excelling ^ in the work of the 
Lord, knowing that this your labour in the Lord^ 
ivill not be vain. 

To conclude ; as one who is an associate with 
you in this glorious hope, as one of the same family 
of which Jesus is the head, and as one who is ten- 
derly concerned for your true interest, I earnestly 
exhort you, be steady to your Christian principles, 
let nothing move you from your faith in Christ, nor 
induce you to corrupt his religion by the mixture of 
heathen fable and philosophy; and especially, let 
nothing shake your faith in the momentous doctrine 
concerning the resurrection of the dead, upon which 
all hope depends. Be active in the duties of life, be 
ever diligent, ever abounding, ever aiming at the 
highest excellence ; act upon Christian principles, 
and with Christian views. Be not sparing in your 
exertions ; you are not called to labour without hope 
of reward; you cannot eventually be losers by the 
utmost activity in doing good. You serve a righte- 

' 'Excelling'^ Trspitxa-Euovtss' " for the use of the word in this 
sense, see ch. viii. 8, and the examples referred to there." Bishop 

* Labour in the Lorcl^ " ev KvptM, the same as Sia Kvpia, 
through the Lord, because, by his resurrection he hath obtained 
a resurrection for us. See ch. i. 4 ; 2 Tim. i. 13." Pearce. — 
" 'O xotfoj, £v Kvpiu), labor secundum dominum, secundum Christi 
prrpceptum; virtufis ChristiancE indefcssum studium." Rosen- 
muller, — " This your labour." Wakefield, Tlieol. Rep. 

Conclusion. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. I. 1. 377 

ous and a kind master : who knows all that you do, Ch. xv. 
and all that you desire to do in his service; and who 
will hereafter compensate your faithful exertions 
beyond all your expectations, and your thoughts. 
Persevere therefore to the end; and be assured that 
your Christian labours shall not finally be in vain. 


The apostle concludes his epistle with some di- Ch. XVI. 
rections concerning a collection for the Hebrew 
Christiajis, ivith a biief account of his oiun views 
and designs^ with some miscellaneous hints of in- 
formation and advice, and with the apostolical 
benediction. Ch. xvi. throughout. 


The apostle offers his advice upon the subject 
of the collection for the Hebrew Christians, requests 
that they would treat Timothy with kindness, and 
expresses his own intention of speedily making them 
a visit, and his unavailing recommendation to Apol- 
los to visit them also, ver. 1 — 12. 

1 . He offers his advice with respect to a collec- 
tion, which was to be made for the relief of the be- 
lievers in Judea, ver. 1 — 4. 

N^ow concerning the collection^ for the saints^, ver. 1. 

The collection.'] T>jf Xoyias' this word occurs in the New 

378 Conclusion. I. C O R I iN T H I A N S. I. 1. 

Ch. XVI. tts I have given directions to the churchesAn Gala" 
^^^' titty SO also do ye. 

I am very desirous of softening the prejudices of 
the believing Hebrews against the Gentile converts; 
and in order to this, I have recommended it to the 
Gentile churches, many of the members of which 
are in opulent circumstances, to make a contribu- 
tion for the relief of the believers in Judea, most of 
whom are persons of inferior rank, and in indigent 
circumstances, and whose little property, which they 
possess in common, is exposed to the depredations 
of their oppressors. I have already given my ad-> 
vice to the churches of Galatia, as to the manner in 
which I desire the collection should be made, and I 
will now repeat the same directions to you. 
2. Upon the first day of each week ', let every one 
of you lay something by, treasuring up^ according 

Testament only in this and the next verse j and in the unusual 
sense of a collection or contribution : Vitringa understands it 
in the sense of computation, but Bishop Pera-ce thinks that the 
common rendering may be justified. 

^ Samts?\ That is, the Hebrew Christians, v/ho were generally 
poor, and often persecuted 3 many of the Gentile Christians 
were rich, and the apostle was always desirous of promoting 
contributions for the relief of the Jewish Christians, in order to 
f^often their prejudices against the Gentiles. Dr. Macknight 
supposes he gave the directions to the churches in Galatia when 
he made the journey, Acts xvi. 6, and received the contribu- 
tions when he passed through the churches of Galatia and Phry- 
gla in order, xviii. 23. 

' Upon the first day, &c.] ■Kccra. [ji.iav <xa^ta.rwv. The word 
c-a.t^a.fojv here signifies a week. See Luke xviii. 12. Pearcc, 
Wakefield, and others join this clause with the preceding verse, 
ij. d. Do ye also follow, on the first day of the week, my orders 
to the churches in Galatia, 

° Treasuring up.'] d-jcrat'pj^wy. But the apostle advises that 

Conclusion, I.CORINTHIANS. I. 1. 379 

as he prosper eth^, that no collections may be made Ch. xvi. 
whe7t I come. 

On the Lord's day, having first settled your ac- 
counts, and ascertained the profits of the preceding 
week, deduct from them whatever portion your own 
liberal spirit may suggest, more or less, in propor- 
tion to your gains ; and bringing the amount with 

what is intended for the poor, should be laid up at home, liccp 
ioLvro), that there might be no collection when he came. 

Mr. Locke's exposition is, " Let every one of you, according 
as he thrives in his calling, lay aside some part of his gain by it- 
self, which the first day of the week let him put into the common 
treasury of the church." Bishop Pearce for ^vja-avpt^uiv would 
read 3->i trauffo-wy, and translate thus, "Let everyone of you lay 
up at home, that he may bring info the treasury what he hath been 
blessed with, i. e. that at some other time, he does not say when, 
they were to carry what they had thus laid by them weekly, into 
the common treasury of the church, that it might be there ready 
against his coming." Archbishop Newcome's note is, " By him, 
with himself, or, at home; first treasuring up in his own house, 
in proportion as he prosperously possesseth, and afterward deli- 
vering the whole to such deacons as may be appointed before I 
come." He adds, " it might be required that this appropriation 
might be statedly made on the Lord's day, because the mind 
was disposed to benevolence by the Avorship of God." 

^ According as he prospereth.'] Bishop Pearce's words are, '' I 
suppose St. Paul to mean that upon every Sunday they were to 
reckon up the gains of the last week, and lay by them at home 
a proportion towards this charity." Mr. Evanson cites this text 
as a signal proof, that the Lord's day was not observed sabba- 
tically by the apostle Paul. He speaks of it as " a very rational 
provision for regulating and preparing every person's quota of 
the charitable collection, which the persecuted state of the Jew- 
ish converts made necessary, but which is so far from insinuat- 
ing any peculiar sanctity ascribed by the apostles to that day of 
the week, that it implies in it a direction to every disciple of 
those times to settle his accounts on that day for the preceding 
week, that he might proportion his contribution to the state of 
his circumstances ; a business quite incompatible with the idea 
of a sabbath day." Theological Repository, vol. 5. p. 346. 

380 Conclusion. I.CORINTHIANS. I.I. 

Ch. XVI. you to public worship, put it into the common trea- 
sury of the church, that when I come, the money 
may be ready, and no time may be lost in making 
the collection. 

Two things are here observable ; First, that the 
first day of the week was a day of religious worship, 
a day when Christians usually assembled together 
for the purpose, no doubt, of commemorating the 
death, and celebrating the resurrection, of their 
great Master, and for confirming themselves and 
each other in their Christian faith and practice. 
Secondly, that this day was also a day of secular 
business, hi which the apostle recommends it to the 
Corinthians to settle their accounts and strike the 
balance of their profits, that they may be able to 
judge what they can with convenience and pro- 
priety contribute to the relief of the poor. True 
religion and honourable industry can never be in- 
consistent with each other. It may, however, be 
remarked, that the apostle, being a Jew, began to 
reckon the day from sunset ; and as public worship 
began very early on the Lord's day morning, his 
idea probably was, that their accounts being settled 
on, what we call, Saturday evening, they might bring 
their contributions with them the next morning. 
3. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve, 
them J will send with letters i to carry your bounty 
to Jerusalem. 

' With letters.'] Si eiriraXu}-/, " brevis est locutio, q. d. mittens 
per Uterus eos commendabo ; testimonio meo eosprosequar." Gro- 

Conclusion. I.CORINTHIANS, I. 1. 381 

Whatsoever persons are recommended by you as Ch. xvr. 
properly qualified to be the messengers of your be- **' ' 
neficence, I will give them letters of introduction 
to the apostles and other leading members of the 
church at Jerusalem. 

But if It he worthy of my going also, they shall '*• 

go with me. 

If your contribution should, as perhaps it may, 
be so liberal as to authorize me to take the charge 
of it myself, I shall willingly undertake it in con- 
junction with the persons whom you may appoint ; 
and they shall accompany me to Jerusalem, and be 
witnesses to the proper distribution of your bounty; 
as I would by no means be the sole agent in a trust, 
the administration of which I might be suspected 
as undertaking with selfish and mercenary views. 

We may observe here, the oblique and delicate, 
but strong and persuasive manner, in which the 
apostle endeavours to excite their liberality in a 
caus6 which he was very desirous of encouraging. 

tins. This translation is favoured by Rom. xiv. 20. Bishop 
Pearce doubts whether hex. ever signifies with, and translates, 
" those whom xjou shall have approved by your letters, I will 
send/' &:c. Macknight also disapproves of Grotius's inter- 
pretation, and gives this translation : " Whomsoever ye shall 
approve by letters, [i. e. of recommendation to the brethren at 
Jerusalem,] them I will send." Mr. Locke and Archbishop 
Newcome put the comma after (5'i5>ci|, " as the opposition 
is between sending others with letters and going himself:" and 
Wakefield says, that all the Oriental versions with evident pro- 
priety adopt this punctuation, q. d. " whomsoever ye shall ap- 
urove, them will I send with letters," &c. 

382 Conclusion. I.CORINTHIANS. 1.2. 

Ch. XVI- He suffers no opportunity to pass by of urging 
Christians in opulent circumstances to be liberal to 
the poor, and especially where, as in the present 
case, it would have a direct tendency to promote a 
spirit of candour and affection among Christians of 
different sects and parties, who might be inclined to 
think and speak ill of each other. 

2. He promises to visit, and to spend some time 

with the Corinthians on his return from Macedonia, 

before the winter, ver. 5 — 7. 

6. Now I will come to you when I have passed 

through Macedonia^ for I mean to pass through 

6. Macedonia. Aiid perhaps I shall continue and 
even winter with you^ that ye may conduct me for- 
ward on my journey whithersoever I may go. 

7. For I do not desire to see you noiu in passing only, 
but I hope to stay some time with you, if the Lord 

In the beginning of the summer, I intend to 
make a missionary progress through Macedonia. 
I do not however mean to call upon you in my 
way, as I formerly led you to expect, 2 Cor. i. 15, 
for I should have but little time to spend with you, 
and it will be more convenient to make you a longer 
visit upon my return, at the latter end of the year. 
At that time, I hope that, in consequence of the 
advice which I have given in this epistle, and which 
has been dictated by the purest friendship for you, 
I shall find party spirit so much abated, and the 
present irregularities so much checked and reform- 


CORINTHIANS. 1.3. 383 

ed, that I shall be able to spend the winter with Ch. xvi. 

.... Ver. 7. 

you with mutual satisfaction, if Christ, whose ser- 
vant I am, and under v/hose direction I act, should 
not order me to some other district, and find em- 
ployment for me elsewhere. 

This is plainly the apostle's meaning ; and when 
he wrote the epistle, he no doubt intended to visit 
them before the close of the year. But it appears 
from the second epistle, that in this respect he was 
disappointed; for having received an account of the 
state of the church perhaps from Timothy, comp. 
ver. 10, with 2 Cor. i. 1, and certainly from Titus, 
2 Cor. vii. 6, which, though upon the whole encou- 
raging, was not altogether satisfactory, he deter- 
mined to defer his promised visit to another year, 
the reasons of which change of purpose he explains 
in his second epistle. 

3. The apostle expresses his intention to conti- 
nue till Pentecost at Ephesus, where he was very 
useful, though he met with great opposition, ver. 

But I shall remain at Ephesus until Pentecost, 8. 

for a great door of employment ' is opened to me, 0. 

and there are many opposers. 

' A great door of emplotjment.'] @vpoc /x.£yaA-)j xcx.i svspyrj^, 
" a great door and full of labour." Pearce. " a wide door for 
my employment." Symonds. " a great door of employment." 
Wakefield, " He seems plainly to allude," says Pyle, " to the 
Ostia Circi Maxhni, from whence the race-horses and chariots 
were wont to be started. And this is very much countenanced 

384 Conclusion, I. C O R I N T H I A N S. . 1, 4. 

Ch. XVI. Amidst great opposition from wicked and inter- 
ested men, I am making many converts at Ephe- 
sus, where I now am, and where I propose to con- 
tinue till late in the spring, when I shall set out 
upon my journey to Macedonia. 

Here we may observe, 1 . That when the apostle 
wrote this epistle, he was certainly at Ephesus ; and 
consequently that the postscript which says that the 
epistle was written from Philippi, is erroneous. 
2. That the apostle did not continue at Ephesus so 
long as he intended, being driven away by the tu- 
mult which was raised by Demetrius and the artists, 
whose trade was injured by the progress of the 
Christian doctrine. It is probable, however, that 
this was not long before he meant to depart, as it 
is supposed that the letter itself was written about 
the time of the Passover. 

4. He recommends Timothy to their attention 
and respect, and informs them that Apollos de- 
clined visiting them for the present, ver. 10 — 12. 
10. Noiu if Timothy come ', see that he be among 

by the phrase avrixei/xevoj, those adversaries answering to the 
antagonists in the races, against whom the apostle was to run 
as it were, and strive to outdo." 

' If Timothy cornel] The more I consider the subject, the 
more I am inclined to believe that the first epistle to Timothy 
was not written by the apostle upon the occasion of his leaving 
Ephesus after the tumult of Demetrius ; but rather when he left 
Ephesus to preach the gospel in Crete, or possibly after his se- 
cond imprisonment, on his return to Rome. When the apostle 
wrote this epistle to the Corinthians, Timothy was upon a mis- 
sionary progress ; the apostle expected him to visit Corinth, 
and to make some little stay there ; and he means to give the 

CoxcLL-siox. I.CORINTHIANS. 1.4. 385 

you without fear, for he is employed in the luorh Ch. xvr. 
of the Lord, as I also am. Therefore, let no one Ver. 11. 
despise hinn, but conduct him forward on his jour- 
ney that he may come to me in peace 2, for I and 
the brethren expect him 3. 

Timothy, though a young man, is a diligent and 
faithful fellow-labourer with me in the gospel. I 
have desired him to call at Corinth in the course of 
his present mission, and 1 and the brethren with 
me expect him to return before I leave Ephesus. 

Corinthians notice of his visit, and to rerommend him to their 
favour. He expected, therefore, that his letter would arrive at 
Corinth before Timothy. But if it was written at the season 
of the Passover, there would hardly be time enough, before 
the Pentecost, which was only six Aveeks, for the epistle to 
reach Corinth, and for Timothy to make a short visit there and 
to arrive at Ephesus, not at the Pentecost, but at the time of 
Demetrius's riot, which happened before that festival. It is pro- 
bable, therefore, that Timothy was not at Ephesus when the 
apostle left the city, but that he met Paul in Macedonia. Yet 
it is also possible that Timothy in his progress might have de- 
clined making the intended visit to Corinth, and might have 
returned to Ephesus sooner than the apostle expected, and be- 
fore he left it. And this supposition is favoured by the consider- 
ation that the apostle in his second epistle acknowledges having 
received good accounts from Corinth by Titus, but saith nothing 
of any tidings received through Timothy. 

' That he maij come to me in peace.] This punctuation is re- 
commended by Bishop Pearce as the most natural ; sipy^vyi, 
peace, he translates safety : he justifies the transposition of hx 
sXSri, by referring to 1 Cor. ix. la ; Rom. xi. 31. The com- 
mon version is, " conduct him forth in peace, that he may come 
to me.'- 

' I and the brethren expect him^ sK^^^Ofi.a.i avTov j^sra, twv 
ahX(pujv. " Our English version renders these words, 'for 
I hole for him with the brethren,' which may signify that St. 
Paul expected the brethren as well as Timothy j but this is 
not the The brethren were present with St. Paul, as 
appears from the next verse, and therefore Paul and the bre« 
thren looked for Timothy." Bishop Pearce. 
VOL. II. 2 C 

386 Conclusion. I. C O R I N T II I A xN S. I. 4. 

Ch.'XVi. I hope he will bring me a good account of your state. 
Despise him not on account of his youth, but let 
the dignity of his character and the importance of 
his mission compensate for the tenderness of his 
years. Discourage him not by cold, harsh, con- 
temptuous behaviour, but pay him the respect due 
to his character and mission, and help him forward 
in his journey. 
12. Now concerning our brother Apollos ', / and 
the brethren were very importu7iate with him to go 
to you ; however, he was by no means willing to 
go now, but he will go at a convenient season. 

I hoped that the presence of Apollos, in the pre- 
sent distracted state of your society, might have 
been of singular use, and that his knowledge and 
piety, his eloquence and zeal, might have contri- 
buted to silence faction, and to put a stop to the 
disorders of the church. For which reason, I and 
the brethren here earnestly importuned him to ac- 
company the messengers, who are the bearers of 
this epistle to Corinth. We have not however 
been able to succeed, for at present he is disinclined 
to take the journey ; but that you may not think 
that this delay arises from want of affection to you, 
he promises to make you a visit by the first conve- 
nient opportunity. 

' Apollos^ Some persons think it was a matter of delicacy 
in Apollos not to go to Corinth at this time, because his name 
had been mentioned in opposition to St. Paul : but it seems clear 
from 1 Cor. iv. 6, that he only used the names of Cephas and 
Apollos for convenience, because he did not choose to mention 
the name of his opponent. " / and the brethren."'' Pearce. 

Conclusion-. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. II. 1, 2. 387 

The apostle exhorts to Christian duties, recom- Ch. xvi. 
mends respect to faithful ministers, expresses his 
satisfaction in the visit of the Corinthian messen- 
gers, sends the salutation of the churches, and closes 
with his own salutation and the apostolical bene- 
diction. Ch. xvi. 13, to the end. 

1 . The apostle exhorts to watchfulness, stedfast- 
ness, and mutual affection, ver. 13, 14. 

Be vigilant, stand firm in thefaith^ acquit your- 13. 

selves like men, be strong. 

Keep a strict guard against every thing, and every 
person, that would corrupt your faith, or seduce you 
into practices unbecoming your profession. Ad- 
here firmly to the doctrine which you were taught 
by me. Behave with the dignity and steadiness of 
men, and not with the inconsistency and caprice 
of children, and be resolute in your opposition to 
error and vice. 

Let all your concerns he transacted in love. 1 4. 

In all your intercourse with each other, be soli- 
citous to promote each other's welfare, both temporal 
and spiritual, and let benevolence govern your con- 
duct. Where love is the ruling principle, party spirit 
will vanish, and divisions will soon be healed. 

2. He recommends to them to treat the family 
of Stephanas, and all other ministers and teachers, 
with due respect, and expresses great satisfaction 


388 Conclusion. I.CORINTHIANS. II. 2. 

Ch. XVI. in his interview with the Corinthian messengers, 
ver. 15—18. 

Ver. 15. Brethren^ ye knoiv^ the fmmly of Stephanas y 
that they are the first fruits of Achaia, and that 
they have devoted themselves to minister to the 
16. saints; I beseech you, submit yourselves to such 
persons, and to every associate in their work and 

My brethren, you know the highly respectable 
character of Stephanas and his family ; you recol- 
lect that they were the first converts to the Chris- 
tian religion at Corinth, and therefore that they 
possess greater knowledge and experience than many 
others. You also know that this whole family in 
their several stations have devoted themselves to the 
service of the church, some being employed in pub- 
lic instruction, others, in supplying the wants of the 
stranger and the poor; let such be treated with due 
respect, and let all who. have imbibed the same spi- 
rit, and w^ho in one way or another lay themselves 
out to promote the welfare of the society, either by 
public or private instruction, or by acts of hospi- 
tality and charity, meet with the deference and the 
gratitude due to superior wisdom, experience, and 
^7. And I rejoice at the arrival of Stephanas, and 

' ,Jirethren, ye know.'] Bishop Pearce translates otSars impe- 
ratively. " I beseech you, bretliren, have regard to the family 
of Stephanas," &c. The bishop also observes, that this verse 
proves, that in Rom. xvi. 5, in the received text, where Epae- 
uetus is called the first fruits of Achaia, there is an error, of 
Achaia instead of Asia. See Griesbach. 

Conclusion. I.CORINTHIANS. II. 2, 3. 389 

Fortunatus 2, and Achaicus ; for, what remained Ch. XVI. 
to be done^ on your part, they have supplied, for Ver. 18. 
they have refreshed'^ my spirit, and yours. Ac- 
knoivledge therefore such men 5. 

I am much pleased with the visit, which I have 
received from those eminent persons who brought 
your letter. Their kind attention has in some de- 
gree compensated for the want of your company. 
And they have executed their commission with so 
much affection and friendship as gave me great 
pleasure to witness, and will give you equal plea- 
sure to hear. Such men are highly valuable mem- 
bers of a Christian society. I charge you to es- 
teem and love them according to their worth. 

3. The apostle transmits the general salutations 

^ FortunatusI] This excellent man outlived the apostle some 
years, and was the bearer of Clement's letter from Rome to the 

' What remained to he done, &c.] "ro vy.u}v uVsfij/xa, they 
have supplied me with what you suffered me to vmnt." Bishop 
Pearce ; who observes that the word JrffiijW-a in the apostle's 
writings, almost uniformly signifies want of money. See 2 Cor. 
viii. 14, ix. 12, xi. 9, and would have been so understood in 
this place, had not the apostle so frequently and expressly de- 
clared that he would accept of no supply from the Corinthians. 
Yet still the learned prelate thinks it not improbable that they 
might have brought a supply from some of the counti-ies through 
which they passed. Archbishop Newcome, with most expositors, 
understands the apostle, q. d. " services, which you if present 
would have performed • my want of you ; your absence." 

'' They have refreshed my spirit, and yours.'] q. d. Both my- 
self and you. " My spirit, and therefore yours ; he means that 
his refreshment ^vas theirs." Newcome and Pearce. 

* Acknowledge such men.] Wakefield. sinyivwo'KeTS, " es- 
teem such men as these.' Pearce. 

390 Conclusion, L C O R I N T H I A N S. II. 3. 

Ch. XVI. of the Asiatic churches, and particularly of the 
friends who were with him, and exhorts them to 
observe the common forms of kindness to each 
other, ver. 19, 20. 

19- The churches of Asia salute you. Apollos^, 
and Aquila and PriscUlay with whom I lodge ^, 
and the church in their house, salute you in the 

20, Lord. All the brethren salute you. Salute one 
another with a holy kiss^. 

My fellow-labourers at Ephesus, the friends with 
whom I lodge, the society of believers which resides 
under the same roof, or which from time to time 
assemble there for religious worship, and in gene- 
ral all the brethren who dwell in this city, and the 
churches in its vicinity, send their kind salutations 
to you. And be not you deficient in the common 

' Apollos7\ One manuscript reads Ait&XXws v.a.1. See Gries- 
bach. And Bishop Pearce suspects this to be the true reading, 
dropping itoXKa., (salute ycu much,) as the apostle no where 
else joins an adverb with afrma^ovrai. Apollos was at Ephesus 
when the apostle wrote j and from Acts xviii 26, it appears 
that he lived in the same house with Aquila and Priscilla. 

^ With whom, or at whose house, I lodge.'] ifap oiV xa< Jewfo- 
[jLai. This is the reading of the Clermont and three other un- 
cial MSS., and of the Vulgate, the Italic, and other versions. 
See Griesbach. 

' A holy kiss.'] See Rom. xvi. 16, and the note there, Dr, 
Doddridge on that text observes, that " the custom of thus sa- 
luting each other was borrowed from the Jewish synagogue, 
and as chastely and pnidently as it was managed, it seems to 
have been the occasion of those false and scandalous reports, 
which were so industriously propagated among the heathen, 
of the adulterous and incestuous practices in Christian assem- 
blies, on which account it seems to have been laid aside very- 

Conclusion. T. C O R I N T H I A N S, II. 4. 39 1 

and decent expressions of civility and affection to Ch. xvi. 
each other. 

4. The apostle with his own hand writes the sa- 
lutation, denounces an anathema upon the enemies 
of the gospel, and concludes the epistle with a be- 
nediction, ver. 21 — 24. 

The salutation is written hy the hand of me Paul. 21. 

To save myself the trouble of writing, I employ 
an amanuensis ; but to authenticate the epistle, I 
write the salutation with my own hand. 

JJ any one love not the Lord^^ let him be ana- 22. 
ihema ^' ; the Lord is coming. 

If any person professing the Christian religion, 
is so entire a stranger to the doctrine and spirit of 
the gospel as to propagate dangerous errors, to sow 
dissention in the church, to set himself up as the 
head of a party in opposition to the apostles of 
Christ, and the authorized teachers of the Chris- 

* The Lord?^ The words "Jesus Christ" in the received 
text, are wanting in the Alexandrine, Vatican, Ephrem, and 
other manuscripts, and in the Coptic and .^thiopic Versions. 
Griesbach also marks them as of very dubious authority. 

* Let him be anathema^ Maran-atha, two Syriac words 
which signify, "The Lord is coming." See Philip, iv. 5. Some 
think the anathema unworthy of the apostle, and would expunge 
it. Vid. Bowyer. But it is similar to Gal. i. 8, 9. Mr. Wake- 
field understands it of excommunication, q.d. Let him be sepa- 
rated from you. Archbishop Newcorae says, he has his oppo- 
nents in view. " This being so different a sentence," .says 
Mr. Locke, " from any of those writ with St. Paul's own hand 
in any of his other epistles, may it not with probability be un- 
derstood to mean the false apostle, to whom St. Paul imputes 
all the disorders in this church, and of whom he speaks not 
much less severely 2 Cor. xi, 13 — 15 •" 

392 CoNCLUsiox. I. CORINTHIANS. II. 4. 

Ch. XVI. tian religion, and thus to manifest his utter disre- 
gard to the person and authority of our common 
Lord ; let that man know that in due time he will 
receive the reward of his deeds. It may not be in 
your power, or in mine, to treat such an offender 
according to his deserts ; but the day is coming, 
when the judge will appear, and when all shall be 
judged according to their true characters. Let such 
an one tremble at the prospect of it. 

The apostle is here supposed to allude to the su- 
perstitious notion which then prevailed among the 
Jews ; who, when deprived of the power of life and 
death, devoted to destruction those who by their 
law had forfeited their lives, expecting that God 
would interpose in some miraculous manner to in- 
flict a just punishment upon them. 

Unless it be admitted that the apostle here speaks 
under the influence of the spirit of prophecy, and 
not of resentment, and that his words are a decla- 
ration of the punishment that will certainly be in- 
flicted, rather than a wish that it might come to 
pass, we shall hardly be able to clear him of a de- 
gree of infirmity inconsistent with the general ex- 
cellence of his character. But be that as it may, 
let no person from the apostle's example think him- 
self authorized to denounce anathemas upon those 
whom he may ignorantly fancy to be the enemies 
of Christ; but let each, in the faithful discharge of 
his own duty, await the just award of that day, 
when every work shall be tried of what sort it is, 

CoxcLusio.v. I. C O R I N T H I A N S. II. 4. 393 

The favour of our Lord Jesus Christ be with Ch. xvi. 
you; may the love of God^ be with you all in Christ ^' ' 24". 
tXesus '. 

May you enjoy in abundance all the blessings of 
the gospel, in its privileges, in its spirit, and in its 
consolations, and having been converted to the 
knowledge of truth, and the practice of virtue, by 
the gospel of Christ, may you be enriched with the 
favour and love of God, which is the great source 
of happiness both here and hereafter. Amen. 

' The love of God.'] The received text reads "my love (ij 
ayxTTTi jw,8) be with you." The Alexandrine and another manu- 
script omit U3 ; Bishop Pearce thinks it would be very strange 
if the apostle had prayed, or wished, that his love might be with 
the Corinthians, in the same form of expression in which he 
prays, or wishes, that the grace of Christ may be with them : 
he approves Le Clerc's conjecture, that SvjOV is a mistake for 
OOY, and reads "the love of God as it occurs in 2 Cor. xiii. 
14." The bishop remarks, "that in no part of his writings 
does the 'apostle pray that his love may be with them." See 
Griesbach and the improved Version in he. Note. 

* The postscript Avhich dates this epistle from Philippi, is evi- 
dentlv erroneous. It was written from Ephesus, See ch. xvi. 





While the apostle Paul resided at Ephesus he 
formed a purpose of visiting Corinth in his way tp 
Macedonia, (2 Cor. i. 15, 16,) and of spending 
some time there in his return from Macedonia, on 
his way to Jerusalem, of which intention he had pro- 
bably by some means apprized the Corinthians. In 
consequence, however, of hearing of the disorderly 
state of the Corinthian church, he laid aside this de- 
sign previous to his writing his first epistle \ and 
having sent Timothy and Erastus into Macedonia, 
(Acts xix. 21,) he meant, when he left Ephesus at 

' Previojts to his writing his first epittle.'] Vide Paley's Ilor. 
Paul. ; 2 Cor. No. 4. 


Pentecost, A. D. 56, to follow them thither, and he 
wrote word to the Corinthians that lie would pass 
the winter of that year at Corinth, 1 Cor. xvi. 5, 

The fact however was, that he again postponed 
his journey for another year \ and instead of visit- 
ing them at the time he proposed and promised, 
he went to Macedonia, and probably from thence 
to Illyricum ^, and having returned to Philippi, per- 
haps about the middle of A.D. 57, he there wrote 
this epistle to the Corinthians to assign the rea- 
sons for his delay, and to prepare them for the 
visit which he was now determined to make them 
in a short time. 

The apostle, in consequence of the riot occa- 
sioned by Demetrius, (Acts xix. 19,) was probably 
obliged to leave Ephesus sooner than he originally 
intended. (Acts xx. 1.) He went to Troas, where 
he expected to have found Titus, whom he had sent 
with his first letter to Corinth, and from whom he 
expected an account of the impression which it had 
made, and the effect it had produced upon the Co- 
rinthians. For much as he wished to visit Co- 
rinth, he did not choose to go thither till he was 
informed of the state of the Corinthian church, 

' Another j/e«r.] Otherwise he could not have botisted to 
the Mcicedonians, that Achaia had been ready with her contri- 
bution a year ago. Vide 2 Cor. viii. 10. 

' To I'lhjricnm.'] Rom. xv. 19; compare ver. 25, 26, from 
whence it appears, that the apostle mast have accomplished this 
mission before he went from Corinth to Jerusalem. 


and of the reception he was likely to meet with 
among them. 

Not finding Titus at Troas, and being impatient 
to hear tidings from Corinth, the apostle gave up a 
flattering prospect of great usefulness at Troas, and 
leaving that city, he crossed the sea to Macedonia. 
In that province he met with Titus ; but at what 
particular place does not appear either from Paul's 
epistle, or from Luke's history, for the narrative of 
Luke is in this instance very brief, and it is observ- 
able that he never mentions the name of Titus. 

From Titus, the apostle received an account of 
the state of things at Corinth, which, though in the 
main favourable, (2 Cor. vii. 6,) v/as not altoge- 
ther satisfactory. Indeed, it should seem from 
some passages in this epistle, that the false apos- 
tle and his adherents, finding their interest upon 
the decline in consequence of the apostle's letter, 
became more malignant, and more abusive in their 
opposition to the apostle than before ; representing 
him as an unauthorized and mercenary teacher, 
upon whose purposes and promises no dependance 
could be placed ; and who, though he blustered at a 
distance, would be very tame and gentle when he 
came among them. And upon the whole, though 
much had been reformed, so many irregularities 
still remained, that to avoid the necessity of using 
the rod of apostolic correction, he determined to 
postpone his visit for a year, hoping in the mean 
time that the advice given in his former epistle 


would continue to operate upon their minds, and 
gradually produce a still further reformation. 

Upon his return to Macedonia, he wrote this 
second epistle, to prepare the minds of the Corin- 
thians for the visit which he intended shortly to 
make them. The postscript says, it was written 
from PhiHppi, and sent to Corinth by Titus and 
Luke, and this account is in part confirmed by the 
epistle itself, ch. viii. 16 — 18. 

The apostle soon followed them to Corinth, and 
continued there three months (Acts xx. 3). By 
his personal presence, authority, and counsel, he 
probably completed the reformation which his epis- 
tles had begun ; the abuses and disorders against 
which he so earnestly remonstrates were corrected; 
the factious and obstinate were excluded from the 
society ; and the false apostle was either humbled 
or disowned: after which, as we learn from the epis- 
tle of Clement, (the companion of Paul,) written to 
the same church many years afterwards, the Corin- 
thian believers as a body continued for a long time 
equally distinguished by their faith, their piety, their 
active zeal, and general good conduct. 

This is one of those epistles, the genuineness 
and authenticity of which have never been called in 
question by any writer, ancient or modern. It has 
been acknowledged and quoted as the composition 
of the apostle from the earliest age of Christianity 
to the present time ; and the many allusions to 


facts and persons, the undesigned coincidences with 
Luke's history, and the occasional variations from 
it ; the general purpose of the epistle, and the ex- 
cellent temper and spirit which it breathes, consti- 
tute a body of presumptive evidence in its favour, 
which cannot but be satisfactory to an inquisitive 
and candid reader i. 

The main design of the apostle in this epistle 
is, to assert his claim as an authorized teacher of 
the gospel, in no respect inferior to any of the other 
apostles ; and to manifest his decided superiority 
to his factious and boastful opponent; to defend 
his character from the imputation of inconsistency, 
of selfishness, of timidity, and imposture ; and to 
warn his opposers, not to compel him, by their ob- 
stinacy, to proceed to measures of severity against 

The apostle having introduced the epistle with 
the usual salutation, in which he joins the name of 
Timothy with his own, ch. i. 1, 2, proceeds, in 


to clear his character from the imputation of incon- 
sistency, and to assert the purity of his motives, and 
the propriety of his conduct in the discharge of his 

' This argument is illustrated with his usual perspicuity and 
force by the late acute and learned Archdeacon Paley, in his 
celebrated Horn Paulina. 


ministry, and especially in his transactions with 
the Corinthians themselves. He also appeals to his 
integrity, his disinterestedness, his activity and zeal, 
his fortitude, his sufferings, and his distinguished 
success, especially in his ministrations among them, 
as clear testimonials to his divine mission, which 
he trusts that they will be ready to acknowledge 
and allow. Ch. i. 3. — vii. 

1 . He expresses his gratitude to God for his de- 
liverance from the imminent danger which threat- 
ened him in Asia, alluding probably, to the tumult 
excited at Ephesus by Demetrius and the artists, 
ver. 3—14. 

2. He apologizes for not having yet visited them 
according to his repeated promise, which was entirely 
owing to tenderness for- them, and not to any ca- 
price or inconsistency in him, ver. 15 — Ch. ii. 3. 

3. He advises them to forgive the incestuous of- 
fender, upon whose conduct he had severely ani- 
madverted in his former epistle, and who had be- 
come a real and nmch humbled penitent, ver. 4 — 

4. He relates, that in his anxiety to obtain tidings 
of them, he had sacrificed a great prospect of use- 
fulness at Troas, and had passed over to Macedo- 
nia to meet Titus ; and he breaks out into an ani- 
mated expression of gratitude to God for the tri- 
umph and progress of the gospel which he was com- 
missioned to preach, ver. 1 2 to the end. 

5. The apostle appeals to their public and ho- 
nourable profession of Christianity as superseding 


all Other letters of recommendation, and as abun- 
dantly establishing his claim as an authorized mis- 
sionary of the gospel dispensation; the superior 
glory of which to that of Moses he illustrates at 
large, and infers the superior obligation which its 
ministers are under to sincerity and zeal. Ch. iii. 
1.— iv. 6. 

6. The ability of himself and of his fellow-labour- 
ers to support the hardships and the sufferings which 
they endured in the discharge of their ministry, ex- 
hibited a further proof of divine assistance and pro- 
tection, and consequently of a divine mission ; as no 
assignable motive could animate their activity and 
zeal, short of a firm conviction of the truth of their 
doctrine, and a lively expectation of the promised 
rewards, ver. 7 — 10. 

7. As a further evidence of their divine legation, 
the apostle states, that from devotedness to Christ 
who died for all, and from duty to God who is the 
origin of all, they, as ambassadors of Christ, and co- 
operating with God, are continually employed in 
imploring men to accept the offers of the gospel. 
Ch.v. 11.— vi. 2. 

8. By their inoffensive conduct, their integrity, 
their suffering fortitude, their persevering zeal, and 
their extraordinary success, they still further approve 
the validity of their claim, ver. 3 — 10. 

9. The apostle requests a reciprocal share in the 
affection of the Corinthians, and warns them against 
imprudent and dangerous connexions with heathen 
idolaters. Ch. vi. 11. — vii. 1. 

VOL. II. 2d 


10. The apostle pleads his continued disinterested 
affection for them, and expresses his confidence that 
they will admit his claim ; he repeats the acknow- 
ledgement of his great satisfaction with the report of 
Titus, and particularly in his account of their con- 
duct towards the incestuous person, and of the af- 
fection which they had shown to that evangelist, who 
was highly gratified by the reception he had met 
with. Ch. vii. 2 to the end. 


The apostle urges the Corinthians, after the ex- 
ample of the churches in Macedonia, to be liberal 
in their contributions to the relief of their indigent 
brethren in Judea, and informs them that he had 
sent Titus and others to complete the collection 
before he came. This subject occupies the eighth 
and the ninth chapters. 

1 . The apostle informs them of the extraordinary 
generosity of the churches in Macedonia, and urges 
various considerations to induce the Corinthians to 
exercise a similar liberality in contributing to the 
relief of their necessitous brethren in Judea, in pro- 
portion to their ability. Ch. viii. 1 — 15. 

2. He informs them, that in order to forward the 
contribution, he had sent Titus with two other di- 
stinguished brethren, who had with great cheerful- 
ness accepted the commission, and who, by their 
virtue and their zeal, were eminently qualified to be 


intrusted with the distribution of the public charity, 
ver. 16—24. 

3. He was the more anxious that the collection 
should be ready and liberal, because he had boasted 
of their generosity to the Macedonians ; and though 
he is unwilling to prescribe minutely, he assures 
them in general that pure disinterested liberality 
would be highly acceptable to God, and would not 
fail to ensure an abundant blessing. Ch. ix. 1—9. 

4. He concludes this portion of the epistle with 
prayer to God that their liberality may turn to the 
best account to themselves and others. Ch. ix. 10 — 


The APOSTLE, changing his tone, establishes his 
claim to a divine commission in opposition to the 
allegations of the false apostle; he vindicates himself 
and his companions from the charges and calum- 
nies of this impostor and his adherents ; and threat- 
ens to animadvert severely upon them if they do not 
repent and alter their conduct before his arrival at 
Corinth. He then concludes his epistle with the 
usual salutations and benediction. Ch. xi. — xiii. 

1 . The apostle requests the Corinthians that they 
would not compel him to use severity; he assures 
them that whatever they might think, or whatever 
his opponents might insinuate, he was armed with 
full powers to vindicate his apostolic authority, and 
to punish those who were contumacious, and that be 
2d 2 


did not, like some others, boast without reason. 
Ch. X. 1— II. 

2. The apostle makes some sarcastic remarks 
upon the self-conceit of his opponent, and upon his 
officious interference'^in the concerns of the church 
at Corinth, which had been planted by the apostle, 
ver. 12—18. 

3. The apostle, after apologizing for his self-com- 
mendation, asserts his complete equality with the 
other apostles, and vindicates himself from the ca- 
lumnies which had been propagated against him by 
the false apostle and his associates, upon whom he 
animadverts with great freedom and severity. Ch. 
xi. 1—15. 

4. The apostle again apologizing for the self- 
commendation to which in self-defence he had been 
compelled to resort, asserts, that in external advan- 
tages he was equal to any of his competitors ; but 
that in labours and sufferings as a minister of the 
gospel, he was far superior to them all. Ch. xi. 16 

5. Being against his will compelled to speak in 
his own commendation, the apostle with great mo- 
desty touches upon the revelations and visions with 
which he had been favoured; but expresses still 
greater satisfaction in alluding to some consequent 
bodily infirmities, which, while they appeared almost 
to incapacitate him for active duty, so much the 
more illustrated the power of Christ, in the great 
success which attended his ministrations. Ch. xii. 
1— 10. 


6. The apostle demonstrates his authority by an 
appeal to his miraculous powers, apologizes for not 
having accepted a maintenance from them, repels 
the calumnious insinuations of his adversaries, as- 
signs the true reason of postponing his visits, and 
expresses his apprehensions concerning the charac- 
ters of some who made profession of the Christian 
faith. Ch.xii. 11—21. 

7. The apostle threatens to inflict condign pu- 
nishment upon the refractory and contumacious, but 
at the same time expresses his earnest wish that they 
would disarm him by repentance, even though it 
should be at the expense of this proof of his aposto- 
lical authority; after which, he concludes his epistle 
with good wishes, salutations, and a solemn bene- 
diction. Ch. xiii. tkrougliout. 

Upon this general review of the epistle, it is im- 
possible not to remark the very different tone and 
temper of the former and of the latter part of the 
composition. In the former part, including the first 
seven chapters, the apostle, addressing the great 
body of the Corinthian believers whom he knew to 
be well-affected towards him, expresses himself in 
the mild language of affectionate expostulation, con- 
juring them by his love, his zeal, his sufferings, and 
his success in publishing the gospel, to adhere sted- 
fastly to their regard to his person, to their acknow- 
ledgement of his authority, to their profession of his 
doctrine, and to the practice of duty. In the latter 
part of his epistle, in the three last chapters, he as- 



sumes a higher tone, and expresses himself in more 
dignified language. While he apologizes for his 
self-commendation by the necessity of self-defence, 
he at the same time substantiates his claim to the 
authority of the apostleship by an appeal to miracles 
and revelations, to his labours, his sufferings, and 
his success. He publicly arraigns his opponent as 
an impostor and an incendiary ; he challenges him 
to competition, and assumes a superiority over him 
in the very articles in which he most prided him- 
self; he charges him with exciting contentions and 
fomenting parties in the church, in order to gratify 
his ambition, and to glut his avarice ; he denounces 
him as the base calumniator of himself and his fel- 
low-labourers, and threatens that, in his approach- 
ing visit to Corinth, he will chastise him as he de- 
serves ; at the same time expressing his kind wish 
that his adversary would disarm him by timely and 
sincere repentance. 

The apostle could not have expressed himself in 
this triumphant manner if he had not been informed 
that his first epistle had produced a great effect, and 
that a very general reformation had taken place. Of 
the impression made by this second epistle, and par* 
ticularly upon the mind of .the false apostle, we are 
not distinctly informed. Possibly, he might improve 
by the apostle's friendly admonition, and might make 
the requisite confession and submission to him when 
he came to Corinth. More probably, he continued 
hardened against reproof: and finding his influence 
at an end, he might either renounce Christianity, 


or might make his escape before the apostle's arrival. 
At any rate, we know that the epistles and the per- 
sonal instructions and advice of the apostle, were 
productive of the best effects. For in the epistle of 
Clement, which was written some years afterwards 
to the same church, the venerable writer speaks in 
the highest terms of the purity of faith and morals, 
and of the order and discipline which then prevailed 
in the Corinthian church. Such was the happy ef- 
fFect of seasonable instruction, and of mild and ju- 
dicious reproof. 

" Who that visited Corinth (says Clement in his 
admirable epistle) did not applaud your steady and 
exemplary profession of the gospel ? Who did not 
admire your calm and rational piety as Christians ? 
Who did not celebrate your amiable and generous 
hospitality ? Who did not bestow the highest eu- 
logies on your perfect and accurate knowledge of 
Christianity ? In every instance of duty your cha- 
racter was irreproachable. In the commandments 
of God you walked ; to your pastors you yielded obe- 
dience ; to your aged you paid due honour ; youth 
you carefully trained up in piety and virtue. You 
were, moreover, humble ; in nothing elated ; more 
delighted in giving than receiving ; perfectly satis- 
-fied with the divine allotments ; and diligently at- 
tending to his word, you treasured it up in your 
minds, and kept the divine instructions before your 
eyes. In this profound and happy tranquillity you 
all lived, cherishing an insatiable ardour to do good, 
and mutually enjoying the ample endowments of the 



holy spirit. Full of holy desires and benevolent dis- 
positions, you stretched out your hands with devout 
confidence to God, the universal governor, implor- 
ing his pardoning mercy if you had fallen into any 
involuntary errors. You were distinguished for sin- 
cerity and simplicity, and the mutual forgiveness of 
injuries. All discord, all dissension you regarded 
with horror. You mourned over the sins of your 
neighbours; their deficiencies you esteemed your 
own. You rejoiced in every opportunity to do a 
beneficent action ; you were prompt to every good 
work ; your minds were adorned with universal vir- 
tue ; and the whole tenor of your religious conver- 
sation was governed by the fear of God. The sta- 
tutes and ordinances of the Lord were engraven on 
the tablet of your heart •." 

This epistle was written before the destruction of 
Jerusalem and the Temple^, that is, before A.D. 70. 
Probably three or four years after the death of the 
apostle; and ten or twelve years after the date of the 
second epistle to the Corinthians, and of the apostle's 
last visit at Corinth. It describes a state of things 
in the church at Corinth very different from that 
which the apostle exhibits in his first or even in his 
second epistle ; and contains an unexceptionable tes- 
timony to the great and good effect which was pro- 
duced almost immediately by the apostle's instruc- 
tions, admonitions, and reproofs. Unfortunately, 

' Clement's Epistle to the Church at Corinth, sect. 1^ 2. Har- 
wood's Translation. 
Mbid. sect. 40, 41. 


this good effect did not continue long. In about 
ten years, and very soon after the martyrdom of the 
apostle, the same spirit of rivalry and insubordina- 
tion broke out again, and produced the same evil 
effects upon the peace and discipline of the Corin- 
thian church ; to remedy which, this eminent and 
venerable Christian, the friend and companion of 
Paul, and at that time bishop of the Roman church, 
wrote this celebrated epistle, the effect of which upon 
the mind and conduct of those to whom it was ad- 
dressed is not recorded in history. 



JlHE apostle greets the church of Corinth in the Ch. i. 
usual form, joining the name of Timothy with his 
own. Ch. i. J, 2. 

JPAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christy by the will Ver. I. 
of God, and Timothy our brother J, to the church 
of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints that 
are in the whole region of Achaia 2, favour be to 2. 

' Timothy our brother.'] i. e. " either in the common faith, see 
Rom. i. 13, or, in the work of the ministry, see Rom. xvi. 21 j 
1 Cor. xvi. 1 2. St. Paul may be supposed to have given Timothy 
the title of brother here, for dignity's sake, to give him a repu- 
tation above his age, amongst the Corinthians to whom he had 
before sent him with some kind of authority, to rectify their dis- 
orders. Timothy was but a young man when St, Paul writ his 
first epistle to him, 1 Tim. iv. 12. Which epistle, by the consent 
of all, was wTitten to Timothy after he had been at Corinth, and 
in the opinion of some very learned men, not less than eight 
years after ; and therefore his calling him brother here, and join- 
ing hira with himself in writing this epistle, may be, to let the 
Corinthians see that though he were so young, he was one whom 
St. Paul thought fit to treat very much as an equal." Locke. 

" Achaia^ " The country wherein Corinth stood." Locke. — 
" Voluit igitur Paulus ut exempla hujus epistolce ad alias in 
Achaia ecdesias mitlerenlur, ut turn fieri solebat." Rosenmuller. 


ch. I. i^oif, and peace Jrom God, our Father, and froih 
the Lord Jesus Christ ^ . 

I Paul, who have been chosen by the free good- 
ness of God to be a messenger of Jesus Christ, a 
teacher of his gospel, and a witness of his resurrec- 
tion, together with Timothy my brother in the com- 
mon faith, and my fellow-labourer in planting the 
gospel at Corinth, unite in the most affectionate sa- 
lutations to the church, which is associated for the 
worship of the true God at Corinth, and to all the 
believers in the gospel in the neighbouring regions. 
It is our earnest desire and prayer that you may all 
participate in the blessings of that gospel, which is 
the free gift of God, which is the source of all true 
comfort and felicity here and hereafter, which enti- 
tles you, though heathen, to look up to God as yoi r 
father, and to expect an everlasting inheritance from 
him ; and which was revealed to us by Jesus Christ, 
whom we regard as the holy prophet of God, and 
whom we acknowledge and revere as our Lord and 

After this introduction, the apostle proceeds to 
the main business of the first part of his epistle. 

' And from the Lord Jesus Christ.'] This is not to be under- 
stood as a direct prayer to Christ, but as a devout M'ish that the 
blessing of God by Jesus Christ, which brings peace, i. e. the 
, gospel, which is the way to happiness here, and hereafter, may 
be communicated to them and remain with them j 7. d. " wish- 
ing you all divine favours and blessings from God our Father, 
and Jesus Christ our Loid and Saviour." Pyle. 

PabtI. II. CORINTH lANS. Sect.1.1. 413 



MISSION. 2 Cor. ch. i. 3, to ch. vii. 


The APOSTLE expresses his gratitude to God for 
his deliverance from the imminent danger with 
which he had been threatened in Asia, alluding 
probably to the tumult atEphesus which had been 
occasioned by the clamours of Demetrius and the 
artists, ch. i. 3 — 12. 

1 . He gives thanks to God for the abundant con- 
solations which had been imparted to himself, and 
by which he was qualified from his own experience 
to administer consolation to others, ver. 3 — 5. 

Blessed be the God and Father 2 of our Lord ver. 3. 

• Blessedhe the GodJ] " It is very observable," says Dr.Dodd- 

414 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect.I.I. 

Ch. I. Jesus Christ », the Father of tender mercies, and 
the God of all consolation. TVho comforteth us in 
all our trouble, that we may be able to con fort those 
who are in any trouble, by the consolations with 
which we ourselves have been comforted by God. 

The God whom we worship and adore, the God 
and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who derived 
his existence, his power and his commission from 
him, and who, in the whole course of his ministry, 
acted in subservience to him ; the God and father 
of tender mercies, who pities his dutiful children 
under their distresses ; the God of all consolation, 
who alone can administer those supports, which en- 
able us to triumph in the midst of suffering and per- 
secution : this good and merciful God is the worthy 
object of our most exalted praise. And blessed be 
his name for the consolation which he has admini- 
stered to me and to my companions in labour and 
in suffering, under the various afflictions and per- 
secutions which we have endured, and which both 

ridge, " that eleven of St. Paul's thirteen epistles begin with ex- 
clamations of joy, praise, and thanksgiving. As soon as he 
thought of a Christian church planted in one place or another, 
there seems to have been a flow of most lively affection accom- 
panying the idea, in which all sensibility of his temporal affliction 
01 theirs was swallowed up, and the fullness of his heart must 
vent itself in such cheerful and devout language." 

* The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.'] aito bse Ka.- 
Tpos Tj/A wv, HCci Kvpis Irjas Xpirs. " That this is the right trans- 
lation," says Mr. Locke, " see Eph. i. 3, 1 Pet. i. 3 5 and that it 
agrees with St. Paul's sense, see Eph. i. 17." — ^The public ver- 
sion renders the clause, " from God our Father, and from the 
Lord Jesus Christ." The literal translation is, " from God the 
Father of us, and of the Lord Jesus Christ ;" and this perhaps 
is the most correct. 

PahtI. II. CORINTHIANS. Ssct.I. 1,2. 415 

dispose us to sympathize with those of our brethren, Ch. r. 

who are under similar trials, and to administer to 
them the consolations with which our own hearts 
have been cheered, and our strength supported. 

For as suffermgs for the sake of Christ 2 abound 
in us, so doth our consolation by Christ also abound. 

I thankfully acknowledge that our consolations 
have ever been in proportion to our sufferings. For 
as the sufferings we endure for the sake of Christian 
truth are various and severe, so the consolation which 
we derive from Christian principles, and Christian 
hopes, have been and are proportionably great, and 
amply compensate all we feel, and all we fear. 

2. The apostle and his brethren were the more 
reconciled to their sufferings, as being persuaded 
that the converts to the Christian doctrine, and par- 
ticularly the believers at Corinth, were greatly bene- 
fited by them, ver. 6, 7. 

But ifive are afflicted^ it is^br your consolation 
and reliefs I or if we be comforted, it \% for your con- 

Ver. 4. 

^ Sufferings for the sake of Christ.'] Literally '* the sufferings 
of Christ." "That is/' says Archbishop Newcome, " such suf- 
ferings as Christ underwent ; or, sufferings for the cause of 
Christ." " As we resemble Christ in our sufferings," says Dr. 
Priestley, " so we partake with him likewise in our consolations. 
We see here that the sufferings of Christ are placed in the very 
same light with those of other good men, his fbllowers. As he 
laid down his life for the brethren, we also are exhorted to do the 
same if we are called to it j which shows that there was nothing 
peculiar in the sufferings of Christ, as making atonement for the 
sins of men. He suffered in the cause of truth and virtue, and 
his example should encourage us to do the same." 

^ And relief.'] <rwrripia.s, " final salvation, which is promoted 

416 PartT. II. CORINTH I ANS. Sect.1.2. 

Gh. I. solatioTiy which consolation is wrought in you by 
your patience under the same sufferings which we 
also endure '. 

And we are the better reconciled to our lot, as 
we trust that you and others are greatly benefited 
by our example. For whether we suffer persecution 
it is for your benefit, that you may be more con- 
firmed in your adherence to the Christian faith, when 
you see with what cheerfulness and resolution the 
teachers of it, inspired by its hopes and animated by 
its spirit, suffer in the good cause in which they are 
embarked ; and if, under affliction and persecution, 
we are enabled to rejoice in the consolations of the 
gospel, this likewise is for your benefit ; as it is an 
implicit assurance, that if you suffer with the same 
fortitude and patience, you shall be supported by the 
same consolations. 
7. And our hope concerning you is firm^ knowing, 
that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so also 
will ye he of the consolation. 

From the knowledge which I have of your cha- 
racter, I have no doubt that your experience will cor- 
respond with my hopes and declarations. Knowing, 

by patience. Rom. v. 3 — 5." Newcome. " Relief, rather than 
salvation, which is understood of deliverance from death and 
hell ; but here it signifies only deliverance from their present 
sorrow." Locke. 

' Which we also endure^ This is the reading of Griesbach's 
text upon the authority of the Alexandrine and Clermont manu- 
scripts. The received text reads, " But if we are afflicted, it is 
for your consolation and relief which is wrought in you by your 
patience under the same sufferings which we also endure j or if 
we be comforted, it is for your consolation and relief." 

PartI. II. CORI nth I ANS. Sect.I.2,3. 417 

as I do, that many of you are exposed to the scorn, Ch. i. 
the insults, and the persecutions of your heathen ^'' 
neighbours as we have been at Ephesus, and as you 
have borne these taunts and sufferings with that 
spirit of fortitude and magnanimity which the go- 
spel inspires, I cannot doubt that you have already 
experienced and will still continue to experience the 
same consolation that we have enjoyed ; and that 
you will ever have reason to acknowledge that what- 
ever you lose in external enjoyment, is abundantly 
made up to you in inward peace and triumphant ex- 

3. The apostle informs them of the extreme dan- 
ger to which he had been exposed at Ephesus, and 
from which he had been extricated by the prayers 
of his friends, ver. 8 — 1 1. 

For, brethren, we would not have you ignorant K 

concerning the trouble which happened to 2is in 
Asia^, that we were p^'cssed exceedingly , above our 
strength, so that we despaired^ even of life. 

^ In Jsia.'] There can be little doubt that the apostle refers 
principally to the tumult at Ephesus raised by Demetrius and 
the artists (Acts xix.), in which his life was exposed to imminent 
danger, and after which he probably found it necessary to leave 
the city. It is possible that he might also allude to other perse- 
cutions not mentioned in the history of Luke. See llosenmuUer, 
This epistle was written more than a year after the apostle had 
left Ephesus ; and yet we see how deep an impression still re- 
mained upon his mind of the- danger which he had escaped, and 
in what strong and affecting language he describes it. It is 
hardly possible, therefore, that he should have written, the first 
epistle to Timothy almost immediately after the event, without 
mentioning it, or making the least allusion to it. 

' H^e dcspuirecl.'] Qu. who despaired ? It is usually under- 
VOL. II. 2 E 

18 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. 3. 

ch. I. I do not. my brethren, affect concealment. You 

Vf>i- s 

have a right to be informed of the reasons of my 
change of purpose. Know, then, that since I last 
wrote to you, I have been in the utmost danger 
of losing my life in a tumult excited at Ephesus by 
Demetrius and others, who, fearing that their craft 
was in danger, by their wicked clamours raised a 
ferocious and sanguinary mob against me and my 
fellow-labourers, so that my friends entertained the 
greatest apprehensions on my account, audit was with 
much difficulty that I escaped and fled to Troas. 

9. Yea, we had the sentence of death i?i ourselves ', 
that we might not trust 2 m ourselves, but i?i that 

10. God, who raiseth the dead. Who rescued us from 
so great a death, and doth rescue 3, in whom we 
trust that he will still rescue. 

I knew that the object of this savage iimltitude 

stood of Paul himself. Others interpret the words imperson- 
ally, q. d. life itself was despaired of i. e. by his friends. Ro- 
senmuUer thinks that this sense best suits the context. 

• Yea, we had the sentence of death.'] " aX\a, quinetiam ego 
ipse mortem quasi jam certamformidavi." RosenmuUer. — " Se7i- 
tence of death, q. d. death itself had pronounced judgement upon 
me." Idem. The apostle, perhaps, alludes to his purpose of 
going out to the populace, which he could not have done but at 
the utmost hazard of his life, and from which his friends re- 
strained him. Acts xix. 30, 31. 

^ That we might not trust.l ha, adeo ut, so that we put no 
confidence in ourselves, " ita ut perspicerem me nonnisi mira- 
eulosa Dei potentia e ianto vitce periculo eripi posse.'' Rosen- 
muUer 3 who observes, that the Hebrew writers sometimes speak 
of men as dead, who are in imminent danger of death, and as 
raised to life, when they are delivered. 

* And doth rescue^ xai pvsTar these words are wanting fn 
the Alexandrine and Clermont copies, and in the Syriac ver- 
sion. See Griesbach. 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S, Sect. I. 3. 4l! 

was to destroy me ; and hoping that my blood cii. r 
would satiate then- fury, and save my friends, I will- ^^' ^' 
ingly and cheerfully disregarded my own safety, and 
was very earnest to go out and appear among them, 
believing, that, though I exposed myself to certain 
death, yet that God, if he pleased to employ me in 
further services, would either raise me from the 
grave, or interpose miraculously for my protection, 
as he had repeatedly ^one before. And from this 
danger he did indeed release me, by putting it into 
the heart of my friends to restrain my impetuosity, 
and to compel me to remain in a place of retirement 
and safety, till the prudence of the chief magistrate 
had calmed the uproar ; after which, I took leave of 
them, and departed elsewhere in prosecution of my 
apostolic mission. And as the God, whom I serve, 
preserved me in this imminent peril, and has also 
continued to protect me in the dangers to which I 
have been since exposed, and is now protecting me 
from the idolatrous heathen and unbelieving Jews 
who oppose the gospel in Macedonia, I am per- 
suaded that the same guardian providence will still 
protect me, and continue my life and mission as 
long as the interest of the gospel and the religion 
of Jesus may be promoted by my apostolic labours. 

You, also, assisting' us hy prayer for us, that so ii. 

the fajvour obtained ybr us'^ hy means of many 

* The favour ohtsdned for us.'] y^apia-ixa, *^'' or, gracious de- 
liverance," Newcome. " The gift bestowed/' says Dr. Priest- 
ley, " was probably his deliverance which he thought to be mi- 
ruculousj and obtained by the prayers of his Christian friends." 
2 E 2 The 

120 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. Z, 4. 

Ch. I. persons, may be thankfully acknowledged hy many 
'on our account. 

I ascribe my present safety in a great measure to 
the prayers of you, my friends at Corinth, and to 
those which have been offered on my account in 
other places. And as this favour has been obtained 
in answer to the prayers of many, I trust that many 
will unite with me in thanksgiving to a merciful and 
protecting God. For what can be more reasonable, 
than that mercies granted in answer to prayer, should 
be acknowledgedinacorrespondingtribute of thanks- 
giving from an affectionate and grateful spirit .^ 

4. The apostle expresses in the strongest terms 
the simplicity and integrity of his character, and es- 
pecially of his conduct towards the Corinthians, 
ver. 12. 
12. For this is our boast ', even the testimony of our 
conscietice, that with godly simplicity and sincerity'^ ^ 

The apostle upon all occasions appears to have entertained a 
high idea of the efficacy of prayer. 

' This is our boast.] " From what St. Paul says in this sec- 
tion/' says Mr. Locke, " which, if read with attention, will ap- 
pear to be writ with a turn of great insinuation, it may be gather- 
ed that the opposite faction endeavoured to evade the force of 
the former epistle, by suggesting that, whatever he might pre- 
tend. St. Paul was a cunning, artificial, self-interested man, 
and had some hidden design in it." 

^ Godly simpUcify and sincerity .1 aVXoT'ijrj. The Alexandrine 
and Ephrem, and some other copies and versions, read dyior-i^Ti, 
holiness : diTKorrjs, " candor animi et sinceritas, bonus et sincerus 
animus." Schleusner. — "plainness of heart." Locke. ei>.iKpivTjs, 
" de mercibus usurpatur quarum puritas ad solis splendorem ex- 
igitur. Ab siavj solis splendor, et xpivou judico. siKixcivsta, sin- 
ceritas, puritas et candor rei, quae, ad solis splendorem spectata, 
examen fort." Schleusner, Sincerity, such as will bear the 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. 4. 421 

not with carnal wisdom'^ ^ hut according to the fa- Ch. r. 
vour of God ^, we have behaved oin^selves in the 
world, and especially towards you. 

The sincerity of my cliaracter, my faithful zeal, 
and laborious exertions in your service, entitle me 
to this return of affection from you. I know indeed, 
by the information of Titus and others, that I am 
represented by some as insincere in my professions, 
as a man who says one thing and means another, 
and whose word is not to be depended upon. This 

light j which may be tried by a sunbeam : godly sincerity ; such 
as the omniscient God will approve. 

It is well known that the term God is one way of expressing 
the Hebrew superlative 3 upon this principle, Mr. Walcefiekl 
thus translates the passage : " For we boast in this testimony 
of our conscience, that with the greatest simplicity and purity, 
not in fleshly wisdom, but with the utmost kindness of beha- 
viour, we have demeaned ourselves in the world, and more par- 
ticularly to you." 

^ Carnal wisdom.'] " secular wisdon), the selfish wisdom of 
this world." Newcome. 

"^According to the favour of God.] yonpii has so many signifi- 
cations in the apostle's writings, that it is impossible always to 
translate it by the same word. In this place it is understood by 
some to express divine assistance. See Newcome. Mr. Wake- 
field renders it, " the utmost kindness." The apostle here pro- 
bably refers to his apostolical office, which in other passages 
he calls %af'i^. Rom. i. 5, xii. 3, and his meaning is, that in- 
stead of being influenced by secular motives, his only concern 
had been to discharge faithfully the duties of the mission with 
which he had been honoured by God. 

Ev %a.p\,ri ©gy, " that is, says Chrysostom, £v o-ij/xsJOJf v.a.i 
rsfcio-iv, by signs and miracles, which are the gifts of God. Ac- 
cording to the wisdom of the spirit and the miraculous power 
given us by the grace of God for the propagation of the gospel." 
See Whitby. " By the grace of God, that is, by exercising his 
spiritual gifts without any mixture of ostentation or human ar- 
tifices to set them off." Pyle ; who cites a passage from Theo* 
phylact in support of his interpretation. 

422 Part I. II, C O R 1 N T H I A N S. Sect. I. 4, 5. 

Ch. I. charge I assure you is absolutely false. I am proud 
to affirm, and my own conscience is witness, that 
in the whole of my apostolic mission, and especially 
in the discharge of my ministry among you, I have 
been uniformly actuated by the best motives ; in no 
case have I been influenced by worldly considera- 
tions, and by a regard to secular interest. Having 
been highly favoured by God, and intrusted with 
the apostolic mission, I am conscious that, in the 
discharge of it, I have continually acted as under 
the eye of God with perfect simplicity, and with 
undisguised sincerity. I am influenced by no mo- 
tives but those which I pubHcly avow, nor am I un- 
willing that my character and conduct should be ex- 
amined by the strongest light, being confident they 
will stand the severest test. 

5. The apostle professes that he is as sincere 
and undisguised in his writing as in his teaching ; 
he expresses his satisfaction in the confidence which 
they place in him, and hopes that their mutual affec- 
tion will continue, ver. 13, 14. 
13. For we write no other things ' to you than what 

' We write no other things.'] Newcome translates, "we do 
not write different things to you, but only what ye read or even 
acknowledge." Which he explains in his note, " I am really 
plain and sincere. I do not write sometimes one doctrine and 
sometimes another. Gal. i. 7, but only such doctrines as ye now 
read, and acknowledge also, as to the sound and the greater part 
of you." " Eandem animi integritatem, quam in vita mea ex~ 
primcre soleo, etiam in epistolis meis agnoscetis. Non opus est 
'Htihi occulta et ancipiti scrihendi genere ; non scribo aliu, vel di- 
versa ah lis quce animo cogito; sed aperte scriho ; ut quivis epis- 
iolam legens statim intelligere possit." Rosenmuller. 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sk.ct. I. 5. 423 

ye read and even acknowledge, and I hope that ye Ch. i. 
ivtll acknoiuledge even to the end. As part of Ver. 14. 
you^ have acknowledged us that we are your glory^, 
as ye also will be ours in the day of the Lord 

And however I may be calumniated by some, I 
assure you that I am as sincere and as undisguised 
in what I write as in my teaching, and in the rest 
of my conduct. There is nothing mysterious or 
equivocal in my last letter. What I write I mean 
to be understood in its plain literal sense, in which 
sense, as I am informed, you have understood me, 
and have acknowledged the justice and expedience 
of my counsels, and have followed my directions, as 
I hope you always will. 

It is indeed with much pleasure that I hear, that 
though some are refractory, and will pay no regard 
to my advice, nor any deference to my authority, 
the majority are of a better spirit ; that they glory 
in having been converted by me, and in having re- 
ceived their doctrine and their discipline from my 

- As fart of you!] aito {i^ipsg. Vid. Acts xxv. 5 ; Gal. i. 1 1 j 
Mark xii. 34. See Locke, "Nan sine causa apostolus dicit, 
aito [/^spas. QucB enim de se scripserat, ver. 12, ea quidem no- 
verant Corinthii omnes, sed non omnes perpendebant et seque- 
hantur ; multis, contra veritatem quam testari potuissent si vo- 
luissent, repugnantibus. Act. xxvi. 5, et rectiorem cognitionem 
ac sensum, per cupiditatem etpravum affectum reprimentibus at- 
quepervertentibus." Rosenmuller. 

' That we are your glortj J] " Whereby he signifies that part 
of them which stuck to him, and owned him as their teacher. 
In which sense glorying is much used in these epistles to the 
(.'orinthians, upon occasion of the several partisans boasting, 
some that they were of Paul, and others of ApoUos." Locke. 

424 Part I. II, C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. II. I. 

Ch. I. instructions : and in return, I solemnly assure you, 
that I regard my relation to you as my highest ho- 
nour and joy, and that it will be the consumma- 
tion of my felicity to meet you, and all my other 
brethren and converts, those whom I have been the 
honoured instrument of introducing into the know- 
ledge, the faith, the hope, and practice of the go- 
spel, at the tribunal of our common Master Jesus 
Christ, in that day when he shall come to be glori- 
fied in all them that believe, when all shall be re- 
warded according to their works, and when we who 
have served him faithfully and have suffered for 
him, shall be put into possession of that prize which 
is the glorious and ample reward of all our labours, 
our reproach, and our suffering. 


The apostle apologizes for not having yet visit- 
ed the Corinthians according to his repeated pro^ 
mise^ which he assures them was not owing to 
fickleness of temper ^ hut to his tenderness for 

L The apostle states to the Corinthians what his 
original design had been, ver. 15, 16. 
1 5^ And in this persuasion, 1 was intending to come 
to you before^, that ye might receive a second gr a- 

* To come to you before^ See Paley's Horce PaulbKp, p. 1 1 G 
— 124, where tliat sagacious and learned writer proves that 

PautI. II. CORINTHIANS. Skct. II. 1. 425 

tification ^, and to pass by you iJito Macedonia, and Ch. i. 
to return again to yoiijrom Macedonia, and to he 
conducted by you on my ivay toward Judea. 

I frankly acknowledge that my conduct has some 
appearance of inconsistency ; for being persuaded 
of your attachment to me, and desire of my com- 
pany and advice, it was my original design, upon 
leaving Ephesus, to have spent a short time with 
you in my way to Macedonia, and in my return 
from Macedonia to have visited you again, and to 
have passed the last winter with you. And I ex- 
pected that when I left you, some of your society 
would have been delegated to accompany me to Ju- 
(Ipa with the contribution that was to be made for 
the relief of the indigent Christians there ; and I 
flattered myself that you would have been improved 
and gratified by this renewed visit. I have, how- 
ever, been prevented from coming, and I find that 
my opponents have taken advantage of my absence, 
to represent me as a capricious irresolute man, who 
do not know my own mind, and who am not to be 
depended upon for any thing. 

Paul's intention to pass through Corinth to Macedonia had 
been formed and laid aside previous to his writing the first epistle. 
" A second gratijication.'] " By the word ■)(aLp'.'/ ,"' says Mr, 
Locke, " which our Bibles translate benefit or grace, it is plain 
the apostle means, his being present among them a second time, 
without giving them any grief or displeasure. He had been 
with them before almost two years together, with satisfaction 
and kindness. He intended them another visit ; but it was, he 
says, that they might have the like gratification 3 i. e. the like 
satisfaction in his company a second time.' 

426 Pakt I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 2. 

Ch. I. 2. He assures them, that the delay of his visit 
was by no means owing to fickleness or instability 
of mind, ver. 17. 
Ver. 17. Noiv ivhen I purposed this, did I use any levity i ? 
or what I purpose, do I purpose from carnal mo- 
tives 2 9 that my Yea yea should he Nay nay^ ? 

Am I a man of a frivolous and inconstant mind ? 
Have you any reason to believe that I was capricious 
either in the design I formed of making you a visit, 
or in laying that purpose aside ? Am I governed in 
my removes from place to place by fancy, or incli- 
nation, or interest, or any other secular consider- 
ation that should lead you to believe, as some are 
pleased to insinuate, that I mean the contrary to 

^ Use levity.^ r^ eXa^pia,, " levitas animi, inconstantia qua 
aliquis subito sine justa causa consilium suum mutat : ab sXa- 
<ppos, levis pondere^ Ha ut gravis et ponderoso, opponatur.'' 
Schleusner. " He changed his design with good reasons. See 
ver, 23, ch. ii. 13, vii. Q, 7 . Titus having brought him infor- 
mation what the state of the Corinthian church was, he de- 
ferred going, lest he should be necessitated to punish his oppo- 
nents." Newcome. 

^ Carnal viotkie.s7\ Gr. " according to the flesh." '' with 
worldly views. See ver, 12." Newcome. 

^ That my Yea yea should be Nay nay.'] Ivcx, j! "Jfocp e[j.oi fa 
voci vcci, Kcci TO 8 8, that when I say Yes, I should mean No, 
that I should be fickle and false, so that no dependence could be 
placed upon my word. " Ut unum idemque codem tempore affir- 
memetnegem? Kcci verti debet, etiam. Ad verbimi, utro va,i 
yoLi apud me etiam sit ro a s, ut affirmatio et negaiio ejusdem ret 
apud me idem valeat. Adversarii Pauliforsan exinde, quod pro- 
posito non steterat, occasionem arripiebant eum accusandi etiam 
levitatis et inconstantia in doctrina." Rosenmuller. The Vul- 
gate and one Greek manuscript read only one yea and nay. See 
Griesbach. Some have conjectured that the true reading is, 
that my yea should be nay, and my nay, yea. But this emen- 
dation is needless, and destitute of authority. 

Pakt 1. II. C O R I N T H I A N S, Sect. II. 3. 42/ 

what I say ; that my promise is not to be trusted ? Ch. i. 
and that I vary my plans and purposes without any 
substantial reason ? 

Ver. 17. 

3. The apostle solemnly asserts and proves the 
uniformity and consistency of the doctrine which 
he had taught, ver. 18 — 22. 

But as God 'rs, faithful, our doctrine'^ among you ,18. 
was not yea and nay ^. 

Some among you are pleased to insinuate, that as 
my purpose is not to be depended upon, so neither 
is my doctrine. This is a calumny which I must 
not suffer to pass without contradiction ; and I now 
solemnly declare, in the presence of the God of truth, 
that the doctrine v.'hich I taught at Corinth was 
not sometimes one thing and sometimes another, 
but that it was uniform and invariable, and strictly 
conformable to the instructions which I had re- 

For the son of God, Jesus Christ, ivho was 19. 
preached among you by us, even by me, and Silas ^ 

^ Our doctrine.'] Xoyos, " doctrina, ut alibi." RoKsenmuller. 
It had probably been insinuated that his doctrine was as uncer- 
tain as his promise ; sometimes one thing, sometimes another. 
This charge the apostle first rebuts with great solemnity and 
earnestness ; and afterwards explains the cause of delaying his 

' Was not yea and nay!] " There is neither levity of purpose 
in me nor uncertainty of doctrine." Archbishop Newcorac ; 
who thinks that the objection to St. Paul's behaviour was made 
in this very language ; that with him was Yes yes. No no, and 
that he vindicates himself by talcing the expression in move 
senses than one." 

^' Sllas^ Silvanus his Latin name. " He was a chief man 
among the brethren at Jerusalem, and one of the Christian pro- 

428 Pakt I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. II. 3. 

Ch. I. and Timothy^ was not yea and nay, but through 
him was yea \ 

The doctrine I taught was uniform and consis- 
tent ; for the important truth which I am commis- 
sioned to preach, and which, in conjunction with 
Silas and Timothy, I did preach at Corinth, viz. 
that Jesus is the Christ, the holy and anointed pro- 
phet, and the son of God by his resurrection from 
the dead, is a uniform and consistent doctrine ; it 
is the substance of the Christian revelation, and the 
only foundation of Christian hope. It is what w€ 
always teach every where, and to the pronmlgation 
of which my whole life is devoted. It is not, there- 
fore, probable, that I should capriciously alter the 
tenor of my doctrine, especially as my brethren and 
fellow-labourers, whose characters areunimpeached, 
would soon have detected and exposed the impos- 
ture. This sacred doctrine, therefore, as taught 
by him to me, and by me to you, is uniform ami 
20. For all the promises of God which were preached 

phets. Acts XV. 32. After the council of Jerusalem, he accom- 
panied Paul in those journeys through the Lesser Asia, and 
Greece, which he undertook for spreading- the light of the go- 
spel. St. Paul inserted his name in tlie inscriptions to several 

■ Of the epistles. By him, or by a person of the same name, 
the apostle Peter sent his first epistle, I Pet. v. J2." See 

' Macknight. Silas is supposed to have been employed by the 
apostle as his amanuensis. See Rom. xvi. 22. Doddridge. 

• Through hbii was yeo.] The doctrine which was preached 
through him, by his authority and direction, was always uni- 
form and consistent. " I did not advance affirmations and de- 
nials of the same doctrines concerning Jesus Christ ; but al- 
ways gave his faithful disciples positive assurances of eternal 

• life through him." Newcome, 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sfxt. II. 3. 42^ 

by lis, were through him yea, and tkrough him Ch. i. 
Amen ^, to the glory of God. ^^' • ~^" 

Ail the promises of God to believers in Christ, 
those promises of reconciliation and everlasting life, 
which we are authorized to proclaim, all of them, 
I say, without exception, are immutably established 
in Jesus Christ, by whom they were first announced, 
and by whose death and resurrection they are abun- 
dantly confirmed. And they will all receive their 
complete accomplishment in their proper season, 
when the power, wisdom, and goodness of God 
shall be equally and gloriously displayed in the final 
triumph of all the virtuous disciples of Christ. 

A^ow he who estahlisheth our authority luith you 3 21 . 

in Christ, and who hath anointed us, is God; who 22. 

® Through him yea and'] q. d. are immutably confirmed. 
See Macknight. Yea is the Greek, and Amen the Hebrew 
form of affirmation. The repetition is one form of the Hebrew 
superlative. So Abba father expresses, that God is the truest 
kindest Father. He is a father in the best sense of the word. 
" Promissiones certce et indabitatce. l^ai et AjW,ryV idem vcdent, ideo- 
qiie conjungi Solent. Altera vox Graeca est, altera Hebraica," 

^ fVho establisheth our authority with you.l " Now he who 
establisheth my authority with you as an apostle of Christ, and 
who hath consecrated me to that high office by the gifts of the 
spirit, is God ; who, to show that I am an apostle, and to fit me 
for that office, hath also sealed me, and given me the earnest 
ef the spirit in my heart, the spiritual gifts abiding in me." 
Macknight. — " For he that gave us authority with you in 
Christ." Wakefield. 

I have adopted this interpretation as best suiting the con - 
nexion -. not, however, v/ithout some hesitation. The com- 
mon interpretation is that which is given by Archbishop New- 
come and others : " He that establisheth us together with you in 
Christ, is God ; q.d. God establishes both me and you with re- 
.?:]ject to Christ, as disciples of Christ," 

430 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. II. 3. 

Ch. I. also hath himself sealed us, and hath sriveti the 

Ver 22. ... 

earnest of the spirit i in our hearts. 

We instructed you in the doctrine of Christ, and 
communicated to you the blessings of the gospel ; 
and we gave you abundant evidence that we are duly 
authorized to preach these glad tidings concerning 
Christ among you. From God we received our ap- 
pointment : by him we were chosen and consecrated 
to this high and honourable office ; he sealed our 
commission, he ratified the doctrine we taught by 
the miracles which he enabled us to perform ; and 
he gave us the holy spirit as an abiding principle 
within us, for our consolation and encouragement : 
a proof that we are already adopted into his family, 
and a glorious earnest and pledge of the eventual 
acccmplishment of all his promises, and the com- 
pletion of all our hopes. And being thus publicly 
announced and approved as the messengers of these 
glorious tidings, we dare not tamper with the doc- 
trine of the gospel ; nor are we at liberty to vary our 
schemes according to the caprice of fancy, but are 
constrained always to act in subservience to the 
great end we have in view, and to go whithersoever 

' Earnest of the spirit.'} " Servants being hired by giving 
them earnest money, the apostle in allusion to that custom 
saith, God hath given us the earnest of the Spirit : he hath hired 
us to be the apostles of his Son by giving us the Spirit, or spi- 
ritual gifts, 1 Cor. xiv. 32. These gifts are called the earnest, 
because they were to them a sure proof of those far greater 
blessings which God will bestow on them in the life to come." 
Macknight. The Spirit in our hearts ; that is, to reside in 
us as an abiding principle. The apostles were never destitute 
of the holy spirit; though they did not, like their Master Jesus, 
poasess it without measure. 

' / call God to be my witness:'] eiruaXsiMai srfi I'rjv SjU-iji' 
rj/o^ij^, " I call God for a record upon my soul." Public Ver- 
sion. — " I call upon God as a witness against my life." New- 
come. — " I call God to witness, and may I die if it is not so." 
Locke. — " And I'call upon God as a witness to myself." Wake- 
field ; who says in his note, " I consider rvjv ejw,ijv ^v^r^v as the 
customary oriental phrase for sfji^auTov i. e. " 1 call upon God to 
add his testimony to mine," This appears to me a judicious ob- 

' Out of tenderness to you.'] <pBiSoiJ,svog . See Wakefield, " to 
spare you I came not as yet to Corinth." Public Version, and 
Newcome, See verses It), 16, and Paley Hor. Paul. 2 Cor. 
No. 4, .'>. 


Part I. II. CORINTHIANS. Sect.11,4. 431 

our presence may be most necessary for the advance- Ch. i. 
ment of the Christian cause. And I can assure you, 
that it is under the influence of those motives only 
that I have postponed my visit to Corinth. 

4. Returning from his digression, he justifies his 
conduct in delaying his visit, ver. 23, 24. 

A^oiu I call God to be my witness 2, that out of 
tenderness to you 3 / have not as yet come to Co- 

Having, I trust, cleared myself to your satisfac- 
tion of the graver charge insinuated by some, of 
inconsistency in doctrine, I now proceed to explain 
the reason why I did not fulfill the intention which 
I had formed, and which I had communicated to 
you, of visiting Corinth in my way to Macedonia. 
The truth is, and T appeal to the heart-searching 
God for the veracity of my declaration, that having 
determined to call at Corinth in my way to Ma- 
cedonia, and to pass some months there upon my 
return, and having actually sent Timothy and Eras- 

432 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N 3. Sect. II. 4. 

Ch. I. tiis as my harbingers to Macedonia, I afterwards re- 
ceived from your Letter, and from other quarters, 
such disagreeable tidings of the state of things among 
you, that I was sure that if I visited you at the time 
that I proposed, I should be under the necessity of 
using very severe measures, to chastise the bad spirit 
and to correct the numerous irregularities and dis- 
orders which prevailed in the church ; I rather chose, 
therefore, to write to you, hoping that you would 
profit by my admonition and advice. I was glad 
to hear by Tilus that you had done so, and that you 
were greatly reformed: still, however, there was 
room for improvement ; and in order to allow time 
to complete the work of reformation, I deferred my 
visit a year longer. But all these delays arose not 
from caprice in myself, but from tenderness to you, 
that I might not be compelled to use the apostolic 
24 JVot that ive lord it over you on account of your 
faith ' , hut we are fellow labourers for your joy ; 
for m the faith ye starid free 2. 

^ On account of your faith :'] Kvpisvoi/^sv vixouv rrji Tftssu:;. Dr. 
. Macknight justly observes, that the construction requires Sia or 
k'/sxx to be supplied after vfxujy, and that " the apo.stle could 
not say with truth that he and his brother apostles had not do- 
minion over the faith of all who professed to believe the gospel. 
By the inspiration of the spirit they were authorized to direct 
the faith of all the people of God. But they had no dominion 
given them over the persons and goods of those who believed." 
— Storrius ap. RosenmuUer : " Non modo nan dominamur in vos 
credentes, sed vestrcc etiom icetitice adjutores sumns. Bespicere 
videtur Paulus ad Corinthienses pcedagogos, qui ei crimini dede- 
ront quod in eos, qui doctrince ipsius fdem habuerint, dominari 

•' In the faith ye stand free.] " that is^ in the gospel. Your 

Ver. 2i. 

PaktI. II, C O RI nth I ANS. Sect. II. 4. 433 

Not, indeed, that I pretend to any secular autho- Ch. i 
rity over you because you are believers in Christ and 
members of that community of which he is the head. 
For though I am invested with powers which, un- 
der his direction, I am occasionally required to ex- 
ercise for the correction of refractory members while 
they continue in communion with us, I possess no 
civil power whatever over life or property, and claim 
no right of compelling any against their will to con- 
tinue in our society, or to prevent them from with- 
drawing from us. I have no power but what I am 
bound to exercise in concurrence with my brethren 
for the benefit of the community in general, and of 
every individual member in particular. The profes- 
sion of the gospel does not abridge your civil rights, 
nor subject you to the rule of domineering ecclesi- 
astics. The Christian religion is a law of liberty; 
the officers of the church, with the exception of that 
corrective rod which is sometimes placed in the 
hands of the apostles, and is exercised under the 
immediate direction of Christ, are armed with no 
secular power for the support of discipline, and pos- 
sess no authority but that which they derive from 
superior wisdom, and experience. 

teachers have no dominion either over your persons or goods, 
on account of your being Christians." Macknight. — " Fideenim 
{ad quam perducti estis a me) heati evasistis, etfiondstis. Srij- 
xeiv enim interdum significat absolvi, servari, salvum esse : mi 
op^onitur tmrsiv, damnari. Rom. xiv. 3, 4." 

VOL. II. 2 F 

434 I'.urr J. 11. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. III. 1- 


Ch. II. The apostle advises the Corinthians to restore 
to the communioji of the church that great of- 
fender whose misconduct had been one principal 
cause of keeping him away, but whose sincere 
and deep repentance now moved his compassion, 
and induced him to advise them to receive him 
again into Christian fellowship . Ch. ii. 1 — 11. 

1. The apostle could not prevail upon himself to 
visit Corinth a second time, till every cause of un- 
easiness was removed, ver. 1 — 3. 
Ver. 1. But I determined this with myself that I would 
not come i again to you in grief 

I formed this resolution in my mind, that as our 
first interview had been a source of mutual satisfac- 
tion, my second visit should not be the occasion of 
uneasiness either to you or to myself : but that I 
would absent myself from you till every cause of 
trouble should be removed. 
2. For if I occasion grief to you, who then is to 
gladdeji me 2 but he who is grieved by me 9 

' Come again in grief.} The apostle had not visited them in 
grief the first time : he means, therefore, that having visited 
them with satisfaction at first, he was resolved not to visit them 
with dissatisfaction the second time. Vide Locke. 

- IVho then is to gladden?'] >cai ri;. " And had I done it, 
what comfort could I have had among people I so much love, 
and yet am forced to punish in so severe a degree ? " Pyle. — 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. III. 1. 4o5 

If I should be under the necessity of exercising Ch. ir. 
severity when I come among you, my visit would be 
as painful to myself as it would be to you ; for I 
could derive no comfort or satisfaction from any 
thing during my residence with you, but from the 
contrition and restoration of the offender whom it 
would be my painful duty to chastise. 

^nd I wrote this very thing to you'^^ that when 3. 

/ came I might not be grieved by those in ivhom I 
ought to rejoice. Having this confidence in you all^ 
that my joy is the joy of you all. 

The reason why, instead of coming among you, 
I wrote to you, and that v/ith some degree of aspe- 
rity, was this : That I might excite you to reform 
those lamentable irregularities which prevailed 
among you, that when I came I might not be un- 
der the necessity of exercising that discipline which 
would be equally distressing both to myself and 
you. And the more so as considering the earnest- 
ness and faithfulness with which I laboured among 
you for two years and upwards, I had a right to ex- 
pect that your conduct would have been so correct 
and exemplary as to have afforded me the most pure 

" Nisi vos — acproinde nemo. Quomodo enirn tristis alium exhila- 
rabitP" Rosenmuller. 

^ 1 wrote this very thing.'] " That is, in the first epistle. See 
ver. 9. He wrote to them to punish the fornicator. See ver. 1 1 . 
Comp. 1 Cor. iv. 21, v. 8 : — but now that he knows the Corin- 
thians had punished him, in compliance with his Letter, and he 
had had this trial of their obedience, he is so far from continuing 
the severity, that he writes to them to forgive him and take him 
again into their affection." Locke. 
2 f2 

436 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. III. 2. 

Ch. II. and unmixed satisfaction. And notwithstanding all 
that has passed, I know you so well, that I am very 
coniident, if the aflfairs of your society were restored 
to such a state as to give satisfaction to me, that it 
would afford equal satisfaction to you all. In short, 
I am confident that such is your affection for me, 
you would all be gratified with seeing that I was 

2. He assures them that the painful rebuke which 
he had administered was the result, not of personal 
animosity, but of affectionate regard to their inter- 
est, ver. 4, 5. 
4i For out of much affliction and anguish of heart 
1 wrote to you with many tears ; not that ye might 
be uneasy, hut that ye might know the love ivith 
which I abound towards yoit. 

The severity which was manifest in my late epis- 
tle was not the dictate of resentment against an in- 
dividual, but of tender affection for you. I felt the 
deepest concern at the state of things at Corinth, 
and at the irregularities and crimes by which your 
society was disgraced. I wrote with many tears; 
and though I knew that you would feel great unea- 
siness at the strong expressions of disapprobation 
which I introduced, I trusted that you would see that 
my intention was kind, and that my only object was, 
the repentance and reformation of those who had 
done amiss. Nothing but the truest regard for you 
could have induced me to have performed so pain- 
ful a task. 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. III. 2. 437 

N^oiv, if a certain person ' hath caused uneasi- Ch. ii. 
ness, he hath not caused uneasiness to me, but in 
some degree ^ {that 1 may not bear 3 too heavily 
upon hiJii) to you all. 

If a certain person, whom I need not name, has 
created much uneasiness, which cannot be denied, 
it is not to me that he has given pain. All that I 
have felt and suffered on account of his misbeha- 
viour I reckon as nothing : I forgive it all. But you 
are the parties more immediately concerned ; your 

^ If a certain person^ Every one observes the delicacy and 
tenderness of the apostle in not mentioning the name of the pe- 
nitent offender, nor using any harsh language in describing the 

'^ III some degree?^ So Locke, aifoixspsg. " This phrase," says 
Mr. Wakefield, " here and in ch.i. 14, I apprehend to be equi- 
valent to ev jU,£oe<." His translation is, "this uneasiness is not 
mine only, but the mutual uneasiness of us all." " airo (j.spsg, 
ex parte uliquatenus, quodammodoy Schleusner. Ch. i. 14, the 
phrase seems to express a certain portion of the Corinthian con- 
gregation : here it is understood of a limited degree of uneasi- 
ness. So, Rom. xi.25, it expresses a certain portion, meaning 
a large majority, of Jevv's who are at present blind to the evi- 
dence of the go.spel. Rom. xv. 24, the same phrase expresses 
the degree of satisfaction which the apostle hoped to enjoy in 
the society of his friends at Rome. " St. Paul being satisfied 
with the Corinthians for their ready compliance with his orders 
in his former letter to punish the fornicator, intercedes to have 
him restored ; and to that end lessens his fault, and declares, 
however he might have caused grief to the Corinthians, yet he 
had caused none to him." Locke. — " Quodammodo vos omnes ille 
trisjitia affecit. Facinus enim ab illo commissum tantum est et 
tarn grave, ut ejus turpitudo ad iiniversam societatem vestram re- 
dundare videatur." RcsenmuUer. 

^ That Imaxj not bear, &c.] Ivx [j^Yi sintocpw " parenthesi in- 
dudenda sunt licec verba, et reddcnda, ne quid gravius dicam." 
Rosenmuller. The Syriac Version places these words after 
■ita\iTci.i, all; Mr. Wakefield begins the next sentence with 

438 Part I. II. CORINTHIANS. Sect. III. 3. 

Ch. II. moral feelings have been wounded, your character 

Ver 6 . 

" ' as a society has been disgraced. But I Avill not ag- 
gravate the case, nor bear too hard upon a penitent 

3. The offender being now brought to a proper 
sense of his guilt, he advises the Corinthians to re- 
store him to the communion of the church, ver. 

Svfficient for such a man is the censure which 
hath been passed upon him by the majority. 

The public solemn expulsion of this offender from 
your society has brought him to his right mind. It 
has convinced him of his misconduct, and there- 
fore it has answered its end. 

So that on the contrary ^ ye ought rather to for- 
give and comfort him, lest such a man should be 
swalloiued up by excessive sorrow. Wherefore, I 
beseech you publicly to confirm "^ your love to him. 

' On the co?itrary^ " This," says Mr. Locke, " has nothing 
to refer to but sin'^afw, overcharge, in ver. 5, vi^hich makes that 
verse refer to the fornicator." 

' Publicly to confirm^ This is Dr. Macknight's judiciou,'; 
translation : he remarks, that " the original word, Kvpwcrai, docs 
not signify to confirm simply, but to confirm or appoint with au- 
thority; consequently the apostle's meaning was, that the re- 
ception of this offender into the church was to be accomplished, 
as his expulsion had been, by a public act of the brethren assem- 
bled for that purpose." 

It may be thought extraordinary that an offender so atrocious 
should be so soon forgiven, and received again into communion 
with the church : but the Corinthians were lately converted from 
heathenism, and had not that sense of the enormity of vices of 
this kind which belongs to those who have been educated in 
Christian principles and habits. Many of them had been re- 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect.IIII. 4. 439 

I hear that this unhappy offender entertains so CSi. ii. 
just a sense of the heinousness of his crime, and is 
so much affected at the censure of the society, that 
he is almost overwhelmed with grief. It becomes 
you, therefore, to forgive and to comfort him, in- 
stead of persisting in your severity against him;; 
and I request that, being perfectly satisfied as to his 
repentance, you would receive him again into your 
communion, in as public and as solemn a manner 
as you expelled him from your society. 

4. As he was satisfied with their deference to his 
authority, which was one occasion of his writing, the 
apostle further recommends that they should act in 
unison with him in forgiving as well as in censuring 
offenders, that the adversary might not take advan- 
tage of their dissentions, ver. 9 — 1 i. 

Moreover, I wrote for this purpose also, that I 9. 

might have proof of you whether you luould be obe- 
dient in every thing, 

I had heard such an alarming account of the dis- 
orderly state of your society, and of the hostility of 
opposing factions, that I entertained doubts whether 
my influence among you were not entirely lost. To 
satisfy my mind upon this subject, I wrote to you, 
requiring the immediate excommunication of the 
offending party, to try whether you would obey me 
or not. And I am happy to see, by your ready corn- 

claimed from the most odious vices j and this offender, having 
bex?n made sensible of his fault, was now resolved to renounce 
his crime. 

440 Part I. II. C O R I N T H lA N S. Sect. III. 4. 

Ch. II. pliance with my direction, that I still retain that re- 
^^' ' spect and deference among you which you had for- 
merly shown. 
10. N^oiv to whom ye forgive any thing I also forgive 
it, and indeed whatever I have forgivan, if I have 
forgiven any thing in the perso7i of Christ J, it has 
been ybr your sakes. 

As we have agreed in censure, let us now agree 
in forgiveness. If you forgive any offender, I for- 
give him too : and as I, in virtue of my apostolic 
authority, in the name and as the representative of 
Christ, have forgiven this penitent offender, I have 
done it for your sakes, to set you an example of 
Christian charity and meekness, and to point out 
your duty upon similar occasions. Join with me, 
therefore, in forgiving this penitent, and in restoring 
him to Christian communion. 
H. That we may not he over -reached^ by the adver- 
sary^, for we are not ignorant of his wiles. 

^ In the person of Christ.'] " in the name and by the authority 
of Christ." Macknight. 

• Over-reached7\ " U\sove>irBiv properly signifies plus jnsto 
possidere, to possess more than one is entitled to : but because 
persons of this description are commonly fraudulent and unjust, 
and sometimes violent in their conduct, the word signifies, to 
act fraudulently, unjustly, violently, ch. vii. 2, xii. 17." Mac- 

' The adversary.'] Satan, the opposer ; i.e. not an evil spirit, 
but their unbelieving neighbours, Jews and heathens, who would 
take advantage of their intestine divisions to disparage the 
Christian religion. Bishop Newcome explains it of wicked men, 
the instruments of Satan. " By Satan, or adversary, the apostle 
means the civil abettors of the Pagan superstition." Harwood. 

" By Satan," says Dr. Priestley, " we are to understand any 
adversary j and Christianity had many of them in that and in- 

Part I. IL C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. III. 4. 441 

Your unconverted neighbours will be upon the C*^' "" 
watch to take advantage of any dissentions which 
may take place between you and me, or in the body 
of your society, and will be glad to widen the breach, 
in order to injure the Christian cause. Be aware 
of their malicious purpose, and stand upon your 
guard. Let us ever act in union and harmony. Let 
us act with united vigour in excluding every mem- 
ber whose moral conduct would disgrace the society; 
and let us act with united sympathy and tenderness 
in restoring to their places in the church those un- 
happy persons who, having by irregular conduct ex- 
posed themselves to public censure, have been re- 
claimed to true repentance, and are desirous of be- 
ing again admitted to the privileges of the Christian 

deed in every age : and whatever man or thing has a tendency 
to obstruct a good design is called Satan, or something equiva- 
lent to it, in the Scriptures. Thus, our Lord called Peter Satan, 
when he would have diverted him from his resolution to die at 
Jerusalem. We are not, therefore, to infer from such passages 
as these, that there is in the universe a great evil spirit, the ri- 
val of the Supreme Being, and continually thwarting him in his 
designs ; more especially prompting men to all vice and wicked- 
ness here, in order to be the instrument of their punishment 
hereafter. The vices of mankind are not to be excused in this 
manner : as if they were drawn into sin by some invisible agent, 
to whose powers their own were by no means equal. Men's 
own depraved appetites are sufficient to account for all the wic- 
kedness there is in the world," 

442 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 1 , 


Ch. II. The apostle assures the Corinthians, that in his 
great anxiety to hear tidings concerning them, 
he had given up a fair prospect of usefulness at 
Troas, and had crossed over into Macedonia to 
meet Titus. And he bursts into an exclamation 
of gratitude and praise for the glorious success 
which attended the faithful preaching of the go- 
spel. Ch. li. 12—17. 

1 . The apostle, disappointed in his expectation 
of meeting with Titus at Troas, and being anxious 
to hear concerning the state of things at Corinth, 
abruptly quitted a situation which promised consi- 
derable usefulness, and hastened into Macedonia, 
ver. 12, 13. 
Ver. 12. Ahw, when I was come to Troas, to preach the 
gospel of Christ, and a door was opened for me in 
13. the Lord ', / had no rest in my mind; because I 
found not Titus my brother. But, taking leave of 
them, I departed into Macedonia. 

When I was driven from Ephesus by the tumult 
excited by Demetrius, I fled to Troas, where I had 

* In the Lord,'] " or, hy the Lord : that is, to spread his go- 
spel." Newcome. An opportunity offered of preaching the go- 
spel with great probability of success ; not by the immediate di- 
rection of Christ, for then the apostle, however anxious he might 
be to receive tidings of the Corinthians, would not have felt him- 
self at liberty to depart from Troas, 

Part 1. II. C O R 1 N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 2. 443 

directed Titus, who was one of the bearers of my Ch. n. 
last epistle, to meet me, and to inform me of the 
state of things with you. At Troas I found that 
many were disposed to hear the gospel, and that 
there was a great prospect of converting many to 
the Christian faith. But I could not make myself 
easy till I gained satisfactory information of the 
success of my advice to you ; and therefore, taking- 
leave abruptly of my friends at Troas, I went away 
to Macedonia, hoping there to find, as indeed I ac- 
tually did find, that faithful companion of my la- 
bours, Titus, from whom I received the intelligence 
I desired. 

2. At the mention of his success, the apostle 
bursts into an affectionate exclamation of gratitude 
to God for the triumphs of the gospel, and for the 
gracious acceptance of his services, whatever might 
be the effect of his preaching upon different classes 
of his hearers, ver. 14 — 16. 

Noiv thanks be to God, ivho always leadeth us 
in triumph by Christ '^^ and maketh manifest the 

' Leadeth us in triumph.'] " ^pioniX&vsiv, in triumpho circumdn- 
cere."" Wetstein. — " Triuinphum ago, triumpho de aliqito, ali- 
quern in triumpho captivum circumduco." Schleusner. " In ailu- 
sion," says Dr. Macknight, " to the method of triumph, the 
apostle represents Christ as a victorious general riding in a tri- 
umphal procession through the world, attended by his apostles, 
prophets, evangelists, and other ministers of the gospel, and fol- 
lowed by all the idolatrous nations as his captives." Dr. Dodd- 
ridge, after mentioning Witsius's explanation of the passage, as 
expressing '•' the joy with which the apostle reflected on tho 
powerful and sovereign grace which had led him in triumph who 
was once so insolent an enemy to the gospel," adds, " 1 rather 

444 Part I. 11. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 2. 

Ver. 14- odour of the knowledge of hhiiself by us in every 
' ' place. 

Nor can I recollect the success of the gospel, of 
which I have in so many places been the honoured 
instrument, without expressing the affectionate gra- 
titude I feel to God, who in his great mercy put a 
stop to the mad career of hostility and rebellion, and^ 
who stationed me as a willing captive at the car of 
Jesus, to grace the triumphal procession of the go- 
spel : not indeed as a helpless prisoner doomed to 
destruction, but as one permitted to enlist in the 
victorious army, and employed to scatter the per- 
fume of the Christian doctrine concerning God and 
his plans of mercy to mankind, among the multitude 

think the apostle represents himself as triumphing through the 
divine power. And as in triumphal processions, especially in 
the, fragrant odours and incense were burned near the con- 
querors, so he seems beautifully to allude to that circumstance 
in what he says of the odour of the gospel in the following- 
verses. And he seems further to allude to the different effects of 
strong perfumes to cheer some, and to throw others into violent 
disorders, according to the different dispositions they are in to 
receive them." 

Perhaps the apostle's idea may be, that having been subdued 
and taken captive, they are led in triumph by Christ to grace 
the victories of the gospel : but not as prisoners bound in chains 
and doomed to destruction, but as pardoned rebels received 
into favour, and as employed by the conqueror to scatter per- 
fumes among the multitude, some of whom are revived and 
cheered by the gratefvd fragrance, while others, overpowered by 
the strength of the odour, faint and die ; while the officers so 
employed are equally performing their duty, and equally accept- 
able to their sovereign, whatever be the result. Mr. Loc'ke 
supposes that the apostle alludes to his victory over his oppo- 
nents at Corinth. But this is too mean a sense, and unworthy 
of the apostle. 

Part I. II. CORINTHIANS. Sect. IV. 2. 445 

in every region through which the magnificent pro- Ch. ir. 
cession passes in its progress. 

For lue are to God a sweet perfume of Christ, in Ver. 15. 
respect to them that are saved and in respect to 
them that perish^. 

Our labours as ministers of Christ are attended 
with various success. Some of our hearers receive 
our doctrine, and gladly accept the blessings and 
privileges of the gospel ; others despise and reject 
our important message, and choose rather to remain 
and perish in ignorance, idolatry, and vice, than to 
embrace the glad tidings of salvation ; but, whatever 
be the effect of our doctrine upon our hearers, our 
fidelity and zeal in all cases are equally exerted, and 
equally acceptable to God, in whose estimation they 
are as the fragrant incense of a costly sacrifice. 

To the 07ie we are a deadly odour unto death 2, 16. 

' In respect to them that perish^ " If we be faithful, we are 
equally approved by Christ, under whose commission we act, 
whatever be the success of our preaching, whether it be pro- 
perly received or not : whether men secure their future happi- 
ness by their obedience, or aggravate their condemnation by 
their disobedience." Dr. Priestley. 

' A deadly odour unto death.'] Gr. " an odour of death unto 
death :" q. d. Upon some, the perfume which we dispense has 
a noxious and even fatal effect j it paralyses the nervous sy- 
stem, and produces death. To others it is an odour of life unto 
Ife, " a living savour unto life." Wakefield. The very same 
perfume which overpowers and oppresses some, is to others a 
delightful, refreshing, reviving fragrance, which'cheers the senses 
and invigorates the powers. "' Dantur odores, qui alios rejiciunt 
et recreant, alios enecant ." Rosenmuller. " An odour of death : 
the fragrancy so rich in itself, instead of reviving, destroys them, 
and is efficacious to bring on death in its most dreadful forn^s." 

456 Part I. 11. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IV. 2. 

Ch. II. but to the other a living odour unto life; and who 
is sufficient for these things ' 9 

Upon the surrounding multitudes the perfumes 
v/hich we dispense produce different effects^ accord- 
ing to the different constitutions and dispositions of 
those who are exposed to their influence. To some 
the odour is destructive; it is disgusting, overpower- 
ing, and dangerous. They labour either to resist 
or to escape from it, and are sometimes destroyed 
by it. To others, differently constituted and dis- 
posed, the very same odour is a refreshing balm, 
a reviving cordial : they inhale it with delight, and 
feel that it infuses into their spirits, animation, vi- 
gour, activity, and joy. Thus, to some, the doc- 
trine of the gospel is a fatal venom : it excites con- 
tempt and hatred, malice and rage ; they oppose it 
to the utmost ; their guilt and misery are aggra- 
vated, and their ruin is sealed : so that the gospel, 
which should have been their salvation, becomes 
their bane. Upon others the effect is widely differ- 
ent. The doctrine of the gospel, approved by the 

' Who is sufficient] " for this preaching of Christ to all ? 
None is sufficient of himself, ch. iii. 5." Nevvcome. — "When 
we consider all these awful consequences which one way or other 
attend our ministry, we may truly say. Who is sufficient for 
these things?" Doddridge. — "Here (says Dr. \Vhitby) the 
Vulgate ridiculously reads, ' et ad hcec quis tarn idoneus,' i. e. 
qvain ego ? and this reading is defended by Dr. Mills, against 
all the Greek Scholia," &c. — Mr. Wakefield's version is, " ac- 
cording to the suitableness of each ;" which, he says, " is the 
acceptation of the Ethiopic, but is not certain whether it fol- 
loAved the present reading, or whether the passage be clearly 
.susceptible of this sense as it now stands." Griesbach notes the 
variation in the Vulgate, but not in the Ethiopic. 

Part I. II. CORINTHIANS. Sect. IV. 3. 44/ 

understanding and cherished in the heart, becomes Ch. ir. 
a reviving, invigorating, exhilaratingprinciple, which ^^^' '*** 
dispels their darkness, which soothes their sorrows, 
which animates their hope, which governs their Uves, 
which prepares them for, and will in due time ad- 
vance them to, a happy and immortal state of being. 
And when I consider the nature of the message with 
which I am intrusted, and the infinitely momentous 
consequences of its admission or rejection by those 
to whom it is addressed, and likewise reflect upon 
my own inability, and the frailty of human nature, 
I am constrained to say. Who is equal to the im- 
portant task ? and I most readily acknowledge, that 
I have no hope of success but in God. Comp. iii. 5. 

3. He has no merit to plead but that of his dis- 
interestedness and his sincerity, ver. 17. 

For we are not as others ^ who adulterate the 17. 
word of God^ : but as in sincerity'^, but as from 

* We are not as others.'] The received text reads d ifoXXoi, 
the many, or, most ; but ol Mnroi, others, is the reading of the 
Clermont and three other ancient manuscripts, and of the Sy- 
riac and other versions. It is hardly to be imagined that the 
majority of the preachers of the gospel^ o« itoXMi, adulterated 
the word of God. 

^ Who adulterate :] KaifrjXsvovi's?. A metaphor, taken from 
vintners who adulterate pure wine with foreign mixtures. The 
apostle is supposed to allude to the false teacher, who corrupted 
the doctrine of Christ to adapt it to the learned Greeks. " The 
apostle used this metaphor to show that he did not, like the fiilse 
teacher, mix falsehoods with the gospel for the purpose of pleas- 
ing the vitiated taste of his hearers." Macknight. — " xairriXevcvv 
{(1 xccrrrjXos institor,propola, caupo) non solum signifcatvendere 
aliquid, scdet adulterare, artificiose fucare, et exornare." 

•• In sincerity.'] at ukitcpimas. See ch. i. 12. "This word is 

448 Pakt L II, C O R 1 N T H I a N S. Sect. IV. 3. 

Ch. II. God^, in the sight of God lue speak concernhtg 

If we are honoured with distinguished success in 
dispensing the grateful and reviving odour of the 
gospel, it is because we acquit ourseh'es with inte- 
grity and faithfulness in the work assigned us. We 
do not, as some that might be named, and who may 
not be unknown to you, adulterate the pure word of 
God with unwholesome mixtures, in order to win 
applause, and to gain an ascendancy over the minds 
of our hearers ; but on the contrary, with the most 
uncorrupted sincerity, mindful of our sacred charac- 
ter and awful responsibility as messengers from God, 
we teach the doctrine of the gospel as in his pre- 
sence, and as those who are shortly to be summoned 
to his tribunal to give an account of their mission 
and to receive the reward of their works. 

elegantly opposed to the impure and gainful mixture mentioned 
before." Newcome. 

' As from. GodS\ " I preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in 
sincerity : I speak as from God himself, and I deliver it as in 
the presence of God." Locke. — " 0:5 Ix Qsov ut a Deojussus, 
ut a Deo per spiritum edoctus sum. xatsvcvTriov rs ©£8" Deuin 
prce oculis liahens. av Xcirou' nomine Christi : tanquam legatus 
ipsius, ch. V. 20. Vel eticim', plane idem doceo, quod Chrishis de 
se docuit." RosenmuUer. 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 1. 449 


The apostle appeals to the conversion of the Co- ch. ill, 
rinthians to the Christian faith, and to their re- 
putable prof ession of it, as the best testimonial to 
his apostolic inission ; and from the superior 
glory of the new to the old dispensation, he en- 
forces the superior obligation of the ministers 
of Christ to sincerity, fortitude, and %eal. Ch. 
iii. 1 — iv. 6. 

1 . The conversion and exemplary conduct of the 
Corinthians themselves supersedes the necessity of 
all letters of recommendation, either to them or 
from them, ver. 1 — 3. 

Are ive begirming to recmnmendourselves again ^ ? Ver, 1 . 
or, do we need^, as some do'*, letters of recommen- 
dation either to you or from you ^ P 

^ Recommend ourselves.'] "S-vvtrocvsiv must mean, not com- 
mend, but recommend. " It would seem that the faction had pre- 
tended that he had not proved liimself an apostle by the things 
written in his former epistle." Macknight. 

^ Or, do ive need :] -/j /xtj ^prj^oiJi,Bv. This is the reading of 
the Clermont and otlier copies, also the Vulgate and Syriac 
versions, and adopted by Griesbach. The received text reads, 
£1 pt,-)j, q. d. unless tjou think that I want letters. Newcome 
says SI [j,yj is used interrogatively, as Gen. iii. 11. 

'* As some do.] The false apostle had probably been intro- 
duced among them by letters of recommendation, perhaps from 
the Judaizing Christians at Jerusalem. See Macknight. 

* To you or from you,.'] The received text reads, or letters of 
• recommendat'ion from you ; but the word (TV5-ariKUJV, recommen- 
datory, is wanting in the Alexandrine and Ephrem manuscripts^ 

VOL. II. 2 G 

450 PahtI. II. CORI NTHI ANS. Sect.V. 1. 

Ch. III. I have been enlarging upon the honour which has 

Ver. 1 

been conferred upon me and my colleagues, in being 
permitted to accompany the triumphal procession 
of the gospel, and to diffuse the odour of its salu- 
tary doctrine; and I have asserted the faithfulness 
with which we exercise our ministry. But do you 
imagine, as my enemies may possibly insinuate, that 
by this I mean to establish my apostolic authority 
among you, as though it were not already suffi- 
ciently proved ? or can you suppose that I need, 
like others who might be named, letters of intro- 
duction to you, or of recommendation from you ? 
Does my authority with you, and other churches, 
rest upon so precarious and unsatisfactory a basis as 
a mere letter of recommendation ? 

Ye are yourselves our letter, written in your 
hearts i, understood and read by all men. 

If I am asked for a letter of recommendation, I 
appeal to the church at Corinth. The existence 
of a body of professing Christians at Corinth, and 
their general exemplary conduct, is such an evi- 
dence of my apostleship as every one may read and 
understand : it is a matter of public notoriety. 

Since ye are manifestly 2 the epistle of Christ 

and in the Coptic and Vulgate versions. Mr. Wakefield ren- 
ders, " unless we want, as some do, letters of recommendation 
to you (jw-aAAov ij) rather than letters of recommendation from 

' Your hearts.'] Tlie received text reads i;'juwv, ovr hearts : 
Jjawv is the reading of one manuscript, and of the Ethiopia ver- 
sion. The connexion seems to require it, Mr. M'akefield pro- 
nounces it to be undoubtedly genuine, and Dr. Doddridge 
adopts it. 

Ver. 3. 

Part I. 11 CORINTHIANS. Sect. V.I. 451 

ihrough our ministration^ : ivritten, not with ink, Ch. in. 
but by the spirit of the living God ; not on tablets 
of stone, but on the fieshlij tablets of the heart. 

Yes, my brethren, ye are yourselves my public 
letter of recommendation from Christ : who by you 
attests the authority with which I am endued to 
preach his doctrine, and the power with which I am 
invested for ensuring its success. This epistle he 
has written through my instrumentality, I having 
been the bearer of it ; or, if I may so express it, the 
amanuensis that he has employed to write. And 
this epistle is written, not with ink in the ordinary 
way, but in characters inscribed by the spirit and 
power of God himself; and that not like the Mo- 
saic decalogue, which was written by the finger of 
God upon tablets of stone, but upon the soft and 

' Since ye are manifestly.'] "The sense of St. Paul/' says 
Mr. Locke, " in this third verse, is plainly this : That he needed 
no letters of commendation to them : but that their conver- 
sion to the gospel^ written not with ink, but with the spirit of 
God in the tables of their hearts, and not in tables of stone, by 
his ministry, was as clear an evidence and testimony to them 
of his mission from Christ, as the law vi^rit in tables of stone 
was an evidence of Moses's mission : so that he, St. Paul, need- 
ed no other recommendation. Tiiis is what is to be understood 
by this verse, unless we will make the tables of stone to have no 
signification here. But to say, as he does, that the Corinthians 
being writ upon in their hearts, not with ink but with the spirit 
of God by the hand of St. Pavil, was Christ's commendatory let- 
ter of him, being a pretty bold expression, liable to the excep- 
tion of the captious part of the Corinthians, he, to obviate all 
imputation of vanity or vain -glory, immediately subjoins what 
follows in the next verse." 

^ Through our ministration :'] StaMVTjhKTCc v(p r/ixcvv. "deli- 
vered by us, of which we had the charge and management." 
Wakefield. — " Ministerio meo scriptus : Christus, in scribenda 
hac epistolu, meo ministerio iisus est." Ro.senmuUer. 


452 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 2. 

Ch. III. tender tablet of the heart of all of you who have 
^^' ■ been converted from a heathen state to the public 
profession of the Christian religion. In plain lan- 
guage, your conversion to the Christian religion in 
consequence of my preaching the gospel to you, 
and exercising miraculous powers among you, your 
abandoning the gross vices of your heathen state, 
and your present love and practice of virtue in obe- 
dience to the law of Christ, and from regard to the 
discoveries of the Christian revelation, is a plain 
and public proof that I have a commission from 
God to preach his gospel in the world. There is 
no other way of accounting for the great success 
of my labours at Corinth ; and the wonderful change 
which has been wrought in your minds, in your 
hearts and lives, is a more satisfactory evidence of 
my apostolic mission, than the miraculous engrav- 
ing of the ten commandments upon tablets of stone 
by the finger of God, was, of the divine legation of 

2. The apostle, to avoid all appearance of osten- 
tation, ascribes all his ability and his success to the 
power of God, who by his spirit qualified him to 
be the publisher of a new, a better, and a life-giving 
dispensation, ver. 4 — 6. 
4. Ahw we have this persuasion ^ ihroiigh Christ 

' This persuasion :] TrsTfoiSrjo-iv. " a milder term for boasting." 
Loclve. See chap x. 7. — " certa apostoli persuasio dcfructu mu- 
neris sui apud Corinthios." Rosenmuller. — "As if he had said. 
But mistake me not as if I boasted of myself. This so great 
boasting that I use is only my confidence in God through 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 2. 453 

towards God: not that we are sufficient of ourselves Ch. in. 

' n J Vcr. 5. 

to place any t/ung to account ^ as jrom ourselves, 
but our sufficiency/ isfrojn God. 

Though I assert with so much confidence my 
commission from God, which was communicated 
to me by Christ, I am far from arrogating to my- 
self any superior merit on this account, and least 
of all from ascribing the success of my ministry 
to my own power or wisdom. I am well apprized, 
that of myself I can do nothing. I cannot calcu- 
late upon the least success from any powers of rea- 
soning or talent of eloquence that I possess, or upon 
which I might value myself. No argument nor 
persuasion of mine would ever have induced any 
one of you to have renounced the idolatry in which 
you had been educated, or the vices to which you 
were habituated, and to have become the true wor- 
shipers of God, and the virtuous disciples of Jesus. 
Whatever ability I possess, whatever success I have 
met with, all is the work of God. 

fVho hath even qualified us^ as ministers of (J. 

Christ : for it was God that made me minister of the gospel, 
that bestowed on me the ability for \t, and whatever I perform 
in it is wholly from him." Locke. 

' To place any thing to account :] XoyjiracrSat rt. So New- 
come. — "to reckon upon anything as from ourselves." Dod- 
dridge. — " to reason any thing ; q. d. we are unable by any rea- 
soning of our own to brina; men to conversion." Whitby. See 
Acts xix. 27 3 Rom. iv. 3, 6, 11, ch. viii. 18, ZQ; I Cor. iv. 1 : 
in all which places Xoyi^oiicJ signifies, to reckon, ov, place to 

" Who hath even qualified us :] kavwcrsj/. " who hath even 
made us sufficient ministers." Newcome. — "who indeed hath 
fitted us to be ministers." Macknight.— "who hath also thought 

454 Part I. II. CORINTHIAN S. Skct. V. 2. 

Ch. HI. the new coveimnt i, not of the letter, hut of the 
' spirit 2 ; for the letter killeth 3, hut the spirit giveth 

I am one of the last men who would have thought 
of engaging in the Christian ministry and apostle- 
ship, or who would have been selected by others. 
I was once a bitter enemy to the Christian name : 
but even me has God chosen and qualified for this 
high and honourable office. He subdued my pre- 
judices, he brought me to the knowledge of the 
truth, he inspired my heart with gratitude and zeal, 

us worthy to be ministers." W^akefield. — " who hath made us 
able ministers." Public Version, and Doddridge. The apostle 
takes up the preceding word, "our sufficiency," J)cavoTTjf, " is 
from God who hath made us sufficient," hcLvwasv. 

' The new covenant^ Kccivri; hahjXfji, new coveimnt, as it is 
rendered in the Public Version. The Mosaic dispensation was 
a covenant made by God with the Israelites, through the instru- 
mentality of Moses ; the Christian dispensation is the new co- 
venant through the mediation of Jesus Christ. — " who hath even 
made us sufficient ministers of the new covenant." Newcome. 

* Not of the letter, hut of the spirit.] " the letter, the law 
of Moses, which was writteii on tables of stone — the spirit, the 
Christian covenant, the true spiritual religion, vi'ritten on the 
heart by the power of the spirit. Rom. vii. 6." Newcome. — 
" St. Paul may be understood to intimate that the new cove- 
nant was also, though obscurely, held forth in the law. For he 
says, he was constituted a minister of the spirit, or spiritual 
meaning of the law, which was Christ. But both letter and spi- 
rit must be understood of the same thing: the letter of the law, 
and the spirit of the law. And in his epistle to the Hebrews 
he shows what a spiritual sense ran through the Mosaical in- 
stitutions and writings." Locke. 

^ The letter killeth, &c.] i. e. " Pronouncing death without 
any way of remission on all transgressors, leaves them under an 
irrevocable sentence of death ; but the Spirit, i. e. Christ, ver. 
17, who is a quickening spirit, 1 Cor. xv. 45, giveth life." Locke. 
— " The end of the gospel is to give life. John x. 10 j Rom. vi. 
23." Newcome. 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 2. 455 

with benevolence and courage ; he instructed me in cii. in. 
the Christian doctrine in its fullest extent, and gave *■''' ^" 
me a particular commission to preach the gospel to 
the Gentiles: and to this he superadded those mi- 
raculous gifts and powers, which were so clearly ex- 
hibited among you, and which alone could, in the 
present state of things, have excited that attention 
to the doctrine and to the evidences of the gospel, 
which would overcome inveterate prejudices, and 
would make a powerful and abiding impression upon 
the heart. 

Thus were I and my fellow-labourers amply quali- 
fied to dispense the blessings, not of the old dispen- 
sation, but of the new ; not of that covenant which 
imposed rites and ceremonies, and which consisted 
in types and figures, but of that new and better co- 
venant which was the completion of the Mosaic pe- 
culiarity, and which was the hidden spiritual* mean- 
ing of all its pompous external symbols. And what- 
ever may be affirmed by some who wish to hold you 
in bondage to the old dispensation, I can assure 
you that there is nothing in it which ought to at- 
tract your regard, or to alienate your affections from 
the Christian faith ; for the law is a dispensation of 
death, as it passes a sentence of death upon every 
offence, and makes no provision for the pardon of 
the penitent. But the gospel is a life-giving spirit : 
it proclaims pardon to the penitent, and everlast- 
ing life to all who accept its offers and comply with 
its requisitions. 

456 Part I. 11. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V, 3. 

Ch. III. 3. The apostle argues the superiority of the go- 
spel ministry to that of the law, from the superior 
excellence and permanency of its object, ver. 7— 

The apostle through this whole paragraph alludes 
to the history which is given, Exod. xxxiv. of the 
shining of the face of Moses, after he had passed 
forty days upon the mount in communion with God, 
and receiving the law from him. The historian, 
ver. 29, there relates, that when Moses came down 
from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony 
in his hand, he was not aware that his face shone. 
But when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw 
Moses, and beheld the lustre of his countenance, 
they were afraid to come near him. And Moses 
called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the 
congregation returned unto him, and Moses talked 
with them. And afterwards all the children of 
Israel came near, and he gave them in command- 
ment all that the Lord had spoken with them in 
Mount Sinai, and till he had done speaking with 
them he put a veil on his face. But when Moses 
went to Jehovah to speak with him, he took the 
veil off until he came out. And the children of 
Israel saw the face of Moses that it shone, and 
Mcses put the veil upon his face again. 

In allusion to this incident, the apostle declares, 
1. That though the lustre upon the countenance of 
the Jewish legislator was glorious, and the honour 
thereby cpnferred on him was great, nevertheless it 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 3. 457 

was evanescent, and greatly exceeded by the spiii- Ch. in. 
tual and far more permanent glory which attended 
the pubHshers of the Christian dispensation : and, 
2. That the Jewish lawgiver covering his face with 
a veil was an emblem of the dark and figurative ge- 
nius of the Mosaic dispensation ; whereas the first 
teachers of Christianity publicly exhibited the lustre 
with which they were dignified, and were bound in 
duty to state the great doctrines of Christianity in 
the plainest and the clearest light. 

But if the ministration of the law of death, en- 7. 

graven in letters upon stones, was so glorious that 
the children of Israel could not stedfastly look upon 
the face of Moses, because of that lustre of his 
countenance, which lustre was to be abolished, how 8. 

much more glorious must this ministration of the 
spirit be ' .' 

I have just been speaking of myself and my bre- 
thren who are commissioned to teach the gospel, 
as ministers, not of that old covenant which was 
written on tables of stone, and which denounced 
death upon the transgressor, but of that new dispen- 
sation, which is the scope and end of the first cove- 
nant, which was confirmed by the gifts of the spirit, 
and which contains the promise of life. I do not, 

' How much more glorious^ Mr. Wakefield renders the clause, 
" must not this spiritual ministration be much more glorious ? " 
literally, " how shall not the ministration of the spirit be more 
glorious?" Perhaps the best translation may be, " how is it 
possible that the ministration of the spirit (or spiritual dispen- 
sation) should not exceed in glory?" How can it be other- 
wise, than that the ministry of the spirit which giveth life should 
confer more glory and lustre on those who are employed in it ? 

458 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 3. 

Ch.ili. indeed, deny that the first dispensation was of di- 
vine authority, and that it was a great honour to 
Moses to be chosen to the office of communicating 
the will of God to the Israelites, by means of the 
' law written by the finger of God on the tables of 
stone. And the dignity conferred upon him in be- 
ing admitted to communion v/ith God was marked 
by that lustre of his countenance which struck the 
beholders with awe, and made them afraid of ap- 
proaching him. This lustre, however, was but tem- 
porary, an emblem of the limited duration of the 
dispensation which he introduced. But if the mi- 
nistry of a dispensation which entailed death was 
honoured with a brightness which dazzled the eyes 
of the spectators, is it not reasonable to believe, 
may we not naturally expect, that the ministiy of 
the dispensation of life will exhibit a still greater 
brightness ; that the gospel, which is the soul and 
spirit of the law, will irradiate its officers with a 
greater and a more permanent glory ? 
<x For if' the ministry of condemnation were glo- 
rious^ much more doth the ministration of justifi- 
cation exceed in glory. 

That the glory which attends the preaching of 
the gospel should greatly exceed that which accom- 
panied the preaching of the law, is not at all won- 
derful, when we consider the nature and genius of 
the two dispensations ; the law of Moses being a 
dispensation of condemnation only, requiring that 
imiform obedience which few or none could yield, 
and making no provision for repentance ; whereas 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. V. 3. 459 

the gospel is a dispensation of peace and reconcili- ch. iir. 
ation, and restores the penitent behever to a state ^^*- *'^' 
of friendship with God. Being so much superior 
in its object, it is entitled to be introduced with su- 
perior magnificence. 

And indeed that which was then made glorious i iq. 

veaseth in this respect to be glorious^ because of the 
glory that surpasseth it. 

The lustre which attended the introduction of the 
Mosaic dispensation is completely eclipsed by the 
superior lustre of the gospel ; so that the honour 
conferred upon Moses by the lustre of his counte- 
nance was nothing in comparison with that which 
is conferred upon the apostles of Christ, by the su- 
perior knowledge of the gracious purposes of God 
to man, with which they are inspired, by the spiri- 
tual gifts and powers with which they are favoured, 
and by the abiUty which they possess of communi- 
cating those gifts and powers to their respective con- 
verts : a power which Moses either did not possess 
at all, or possessed in a very limited degree. 

' That which was made glorious :] " sh Sa^o^arai to $sSo- 
^aa-fji^svov. Munus Mosis quodfuii splendidum, ne excellens qui- 
dem nominari potest, ey tsriy tuj [J.s§si, hac ratione, hoc nomine, 
ivsKsv, respectu hujus eminentioris dignitatis: i. e. comparata ad 
hanc excellentiorem dignitatem, qiicn inest nostra ministerio." Ro- 
senmuller. " For indeed that glory is no glory, with respect to 
the excessive glory of the other." Wakelield. Mr. Locke puts 
the question, " whether in thus industriously placing the mini- 
stry of the gospel in honour above that of Moses, the a])ostle may 
not possibly have an eye to the Judaizing false apostle of the 
('orinthians, to let them see what little regard was to be hud to 
that ministration, in comparison with the ministry of the go- 

460 PaktI. II. CO RINTHI ANS. Sect.V.3. 

Ch. III. 7/,' then^ that which is abolished was abolished 
^' ^y S^^'^'y ^ "fi^uch more doth that ivhich remaineth re- 
main in glory. 

The lustre of Moses is eclipsed by the superior 
lustre of the apostles of Christ. Thus the law of 
Moses is wholly superseded by the gospel of Christ, 
and its ritual impositions are no longer obligatory 
upon the believing Gentiles ; and as the knowledge 
with which the apostles are inspired, and the pow- 
ers with which they are endued, are not momentary 
and occasional, but constantly inherent in them, so 
shall that glorious dispensation of which they are the 
ministers, remain in the world as a permanent and 

' By glory — in glory :] 5'ja ^o^fjg — sv So^ri. The translation 
given in the text is that of Hallet and Macknight, and best suits 
the construction and the connexion. The glory of the ministry 
of the law was eciijosed by the superior glory of that of the go- 
spel : how reasonable, then, is it to expect, that the glory which 
obscured the other shall remain complete or unabated after the 
first has vanished 1 As, therefore, the glory of the gospel mini- 
stry will be more permanent than that which it displaces, so the 
gospel dispensation itself also will be more permanent than the 
law. The apostle's language, however, is elliptical, and admits 
of a different construction and interpretation : 7. d. If that dis- 
pensation which was to be abolished was introduced with glory, 
much more will that which remains remain in glory. This was 
Mr. Locke's interpretation, and Archbishop Newcome's, who 
translates the words thus, " for if that which shall be done away 
was glorious, much more must that which remaineth be glori- 
ous;" and Mr. Wakefield, " for if that which is no more were 
with glory, much more must that which continueth be in glory." 

The apostle's idea seems to be this : that as the lustre of the 
ministry of the law was obscured by the superior lustre of that 
of the gospel, it is highly reasonable to expect that the lustre 
which superseded the other will also be more lasting : insinu- 
ating, by this imagery, that the gospel was both a more splen- 
did and a more permanent dispensation than the law. 

Part 1. 11. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. V. 4. 46 1 

extensive blessing, and shall never be superseded to Ch. irr. 
the end of time. V"- ^^• 

4. The apostle argues the indispensable duty of 
the ministers of the new and superior dispensation, 
to teach its doctrines with the utmost freedom and 
simplicity, ver. 12, 13. 

Having therefore this persuasion ^, we use great 12. 

freedom of speech. 

Being fully convinced that the dispensation of 
the gospel is in its nature and tendency greatly su- - 
perior to that of the law, that it is better adapted 
to human frailty, and intended to continue to the 
end of time, and consequently that the ministry of 
the gospel is beyond comparison more honourable 
than that of the law, we who are intrusted with this 
honourable service, feel it to be our duty to rise su- 
perior to all mean and secular considerations, and 

^ This persuasion:'] sXifiScc. See Macknight, who refers to 
2 Cor. i. 7 ; Philip, i. 20 j Titus i. 2, for this sense of the word. 

" That Paul by these words (says Mr. Locke, who has given 
a just and beautiful illustration of this portion of the epistle,) 
means the honourable employment of a minister of the gospel, 
or the glory belonging to his ministry, is evident by the whole 
foregoing comparison which he has made between the viinistry 
of the law and of the gospel, and not between the law and the 
gospel themselves. The calling it hope instead of glory here, is 
the language of modesty : it is, q.d. Having, therefore, so ho- 
nourable an employment as the ministry of the gospel, which 
far exceeds tlie ministry of the law in glory, though even that 
gave so great a lustre to Moses's face that the children of Israel 
could not with fixed eyes look upon him, I, as becomes one of 
such hopes, in such a post as sets me above all mean consider- 
ations and compliances, use great freedom and plainness of 
speech in all things that concern my ministry." 

4G2 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. .'5. 

Ch. III. to speak the truth with the utmost plainness, fidelity 
and courage, not taking into consideration either the 
offence which it may give, or the personal inconve- 
nience with which it may be attended. 

13. And we are not as Moses, who put a veil upon 
his face, that the children of Israel may not see * 
distinctly the end o/^the dispensation which is about 
to he abolished. 

Moses put a veil upon his face to conceal its lus- 
tre ; but this is not the practice of us, the apostles 
and ministers of Christ. It is not owing to any act 
of ours, nor to any obscurity in the delivery of the 
important message we have in charge, that the Jews 
remain ignorant of the true nature and design of 
that oeconomy which, having answered its purpose, 
is just about to be repealed. 

5. The ignorance and unbelief of the Jews are 
owing to their own prejudices and vices, which pre- 
vent them from seeing the true design of the cere- 
monial law, ver. 14 — 17. 

14. But their understandings were blinded" ; for to 

• That the children of Israel may not see."] "These words 
must be understood, not of Moses, but the ministers of the go- 
spel. It is not their fault that the Jews do not understand the 
.scope of the law ; but it is owing to the blindness of their minds, 
which shall be taken away when they return to Christ." Locke. 

• Their understandings were blinded.'} q.d. " We, the mini- 
sters of the gospel, speak plainly and openly, and put no veil 
upon ourselves as Moses did, whereby to hinder the Jews from 
seeing Christ in the law ; but that which hinders them is a blind- 
ness on their minds, which has been always on them, and re- 
mains to this day. This seems to be obviating an objection, 
viz. If you preach the gospel and Christ contained in the law 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V, 5. 463 

this day the same veil rcmaineth during the read- Ch. in. 
ing of the old Testament"^, it not being discovered^ 
that it is abolished by Christ. 

-And to dwell a little upon this unhappy state of 
my mistaken countrymen : in justice to the preach- 
ers of the gospel I am constrained to say, that it is 
not owing to any defect of candour or simplicity in 
us, but to their own inveterate prepossessions that 
they remain so grossly ignorant of the true design 
of the law. Their prejudices render their minds 
callous to the impression of the clearest evidence. 
And even to this day, while they attend the reading 
of the scriptures of the Old Testament in their syn- 
agogues, the true sense of it is veiled from their 
sight. They continue to dream of the perfection 
and perpetuity of their dispensation, being totally 
ignorant that its purposes being fulfilled in Christ, 
the Mosaic ceconomy is now about to be entirely 
set aside. 

with such a shining clearness and evidence, how comes it tliat 
the Jews are not converted to it? His reply is. Their unbe- 
lief comes not from any obscurity in our preaching, but from a 
blindness which rests upon their minds to this day : which shall 
be taken away when they turn to the Lord." Locke. 

3 The old Testament f\ Gr. "the old covenant." But the 
words Old Testament being used familiarly to express the sa- 
cred books of the Jews, without any reference to the signification 
of the words, the phrase is retained in the translation, as exactly 
expressing the apostle's idea. 

^ It not being discovered :] i^yi avaxa.Xvritoij.svov or<. Bengel 
and Griesbach put a comma after jw,£vej, and read on as one 
word. This punctuation is adopted by Newcome, Wakefield, 
and Macknight. The public version is, " for until this day re- 
maineth the same veil, untaken aw&y in the reading of the old 
Testament : which veil is done away in Christ. 

464 Part I. 11. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. V. 5. 

Ch. III. Yea, even to this day, when Moses is read a veil 
cover eth their heart ^. 

Though they listen to the v/ord of the law, its 
true and spiritual meaning is completely concealed 
from them. 

16. But when it shall turrt^ to the Lord, the veil 
shall he taken away. 

There is a time coming, when the whole Jewish 
nation shall be converted to the Christian religion ; 
and, when this auspicious event takes place, the veil 
which now envelopes and darkens their understand- 
ings shall be withdrawn, all their prejudices shall 
be removed, and they shall see the true design of 
the ceremonial law, which was to prepare the way 
for a more liberal and more perfect dispensation, 
and to make it more welcome. 

1 7. But the Lord is that spirit 3 ; a?id luhere the 
spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty *. 

I have been speaking of the spirit as opposed to 

' A veil covereth, &c.] It is thought that the apostle here 
alludes to a custom of the Jews, which continues still in the syn- 
agogue, of wearing a veil when the law is read. See Locke, 
Macknight, &c. 

^ When it, &c.] " But when their heart shall turn to the 
Lord, and laying by prejudice and aversion shall be willing to 
receive the truth, the veil shall be taken away, and they shall 
plainly see him to be the person spoken of and intended. When 
this shall be, see Rom. xi. 25 — 27." Locke. 

^ The Lord is that spirit.'} These words relate to ver. 6, where 
he says that he is a minister not of the letter of the law, nor of 
the outside and literal sense, but of the mystical and spiritual 
meaning of it, which, he here tells us, is Christ. 

^ There is liberty :] " because the spirit is given only to 
sons, or to those that are" free. This is the liberty of speech 
mentioned, ver. 12. See the next chapter." Locke. 

Part I. II. C O R I .N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 6. 465 

the letter, and of the ministration of the spirit as Ch. in. 
opposed to the ministration of death and condem- 
nation. I now tell you very plainly, that by the 
spirit I mean Christ; that is, the doctrine of Christ, 
the dispensation of the gospel. To this great ob- 
ject all the types and sacrifices of the ceremonial In- 
stitution pointed ; in this dispensation all its pro- 
phecies were accomplished, and all its promises ful- 
filled. And for this law of liberty all who groaned 
under the yoke of Moses panted with earnest desire. 
The legal dispensation introduced by Moses had its 
use, but it was limited and temporary : the spirit of 
the law was a spirit of bondage ; its prevailing mo- 
tive was terror. The obedience which it produced 
was a servile homage. Not so the spirit of the go- 
spel. Believers in Christ are rescued from the ter- 
rors of the law ; they become sons of God ; their 
spirit is the spirit of adoption ; their obedience is 
the fruit of faith, and hope, and love. They are no 
longer slaves, but sons : they have nothing to con- 
ceal ; they no longer deal in types and mysteries, 
but they declare the important truths and the pre- 
cious promises of the gospel with the greatest sim- 
plicity and plainness of language. 

6. The apostle, in allusion to the case of Moses, 
represents the ministers of the gospel as diffusing 
every where around them the radiance which they 
derive from Christ, ver. 18. 

But we all^, with unveiled face, reflecting as 18. 

^ But we fl«.] Mr. Locke observes, " that ver. 14 — 1 7 is a pa- 
VOL. II. 2 H 

466 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 6. 

Ch. in. miiTors^ the glory of the Lord, are transformed 
into the same image 2 from glory to glory 3, even 
as proceeding y/'ow« the Lord, the spirit ^. 

To return from my digression : I was observing 

renthesis, which being laid aside^ the comparison between the 
ministers of the gospel and Moses stands clear. Moses with a 
veil covered the brightness and glory of God which shone in his 
countenance ; but we, the ministers of the gospel, with open 
countenances reflect as mirrors the glory of the Lord." Gries- 
bach, Newcome, and Macknight all include these verses in a 

' Reflecting as mirrors.'] " KccroitT'pi^uj, reprcesento aliquid. 
tanquam in speculo alteri, a Katoitrpov speculum. Medium, xaro- 
'T^rpi^oy.oci, meipsum intueor in speculo." Schleusner 5 who pro- 
duces examples from Artemidorus, iElian, and Diogenes Laer- 
tius. " Supposing xaroitr^i^oi^ai to be in the middle voice," 
says Dr. Macknight, " I have translated it actively, in which I 
am supported by Estius and the Greek commentators, who ex- 
plain it thus, ' Instar speculi suscipientes atque reddentes. Re- 
ceiving and reflecting in the manner of a mirror the glory of the 
Lord.'" — "'Reflecting as mirrors,' so (says Mr. Locke) the 
word must signify here, and not ' beholding as in a mirror :' be- 
cause the comparison is between the ministers of the gospel and 
Moses, and not between the ministers of the gospel and the 
children of Israel. Now the action of beholding, was the action 
of the children of Israel ; but of shining, or reflecting the glory 
received in the mount, was the action of Moses : and therefore 
it must be something answering that, in the ministers of the go- 
spel, wherein the comparison is made : as is further manifest in 
another express part of the comparison, between the veiled face 
of Moses, ver. 13, and the open face of the ministers of the go- 
spel in this verse. The face of Moses was veiled, that the bright 
shining, or glory of God remaining on it, might not be seen ; 
and the faces of the ministers of the gospel are open, that the 
bright shining of the gospel, or the glory of Christ, may be seen. 
Thus the justness of the comparison stands fair, and has an easy 
sense 5 which is hard to be made out, if KatOTttpi^oiievoi be 
translated ' beholding as in a glass.' " 

" The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ shines as in a 
glass which reflects the image upon us, so that we all are trans- 
formed into the same image, deriving the gifts and graces of 
the spirit from Christ, the Lord and great distributor of them : 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 6. 467 

(ver. 13) that Moses veiled his face to conceal its Ch.iii. 
lustre, and that this was a symbol of the obscurity ^^' ' 
of that dispensation which he introduced. But the 
case is widely different with us, the apostles of Christ 
and teachers of the Christian doctrine. The glory 
of Christ shines full upon us, and we, like polished 
mirrors, reflect its beams : so that they who see us, 
do in a sense see him from whom our brightness is 

and so the glory which the Father gave to him he hath given us," 
John xvii. 22. Whitby. 

" KxroKTpi^oi/.svoi, illuminati glorid Domini, tanquam specula 
quce lumen accipiunt. Sic enim Greed intelligunt." Valla. — 
" speculantes, Vulg. hoc loco a speculo ductum est, non a specula. 
Ut intelUgas Dei gloriam a purgatis animis, ceu speculo, excipi ac 
reddi. Ad hunc enim sensum exponunt Grceca scholia, ut koctq- 
TtT^iX.oiuBvoi sit veluti speculo exprimentes ac referentes." Erasmus. 
— " xar. attente spectantes : qui speculum consulunt omnia sin- 
gulatim intuentur." Grotius. 

As it is plain from the Greek scholiasts, that the original word 
will bear the sense of reflecting as a mirror, though this may not 
be its usual classical sense, and as the connexion appears so 
plainly to require it, I have adopted it in the text, though with 
some little hesitation. Perhaps the apostle's idea may be this : 
Christ as a mirror reflects the image of God, and the apostles 
gazing at this mirror are illuminated by its reflected rays, and 
themselves reflect the image of Christ. 

' Into the same image :'] rijv uvty/V sikovcx.. " that very image: 
that of Moses was but a faint reflection of the glory which he 
saw." Locke. 

' From glory to glory ^ " with a continued influx and renew- 
ing of glory, in opposition to the shining of Moses's face, which 
decayed and disappeared in a little while," ver. 7. Locke. 

^ From the Lord, the spirit^] " as if this irradiation of light 
and glory came immediately from the source of it, the Lord 
himself, who is that spirit whereof we are the ministers," ver. 6. 
Locke. — " The Lord of the spirit." Macknight. q. d. In diffus- 
ing the knowledge of God and religion through the world, we 
are the images or representatives of Christ, by the power of an 
abiding inspiration from him who is the Lord, or author, of the 
covenant of the spirit. 

2 II 2 

468 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S, Skct. V. 7- 

Ch. in. borrowed. And as we are continually receiving 
fresh streams of glory from our Lord and Master, 
who is the spirit and end of the Mosaic dispensa- 
tion, so we likewise, with correspondent effulgence, 
diffuse fresh lustre around us ; till we at length be- 
come the perfect image of him whose glory we thus 
reflect. In plain language, we are all enlightened 
by Jesus Christ, in the knowledge of the nature and 
design of the gospel dispensation, which knowledge 
abides with us. And we are so far from endea- 
vouring to conceal it, that we think it our duty to 
publish the whole of it every where in the plainest 
language. So that they who listen to our instruc- 
tion gain as distinct and comprehensive a view of 
the doctrine of the gospel as we ourselves possess, 
and as if, like us, they had been taught by Christ 

7. Invested with this honourable ministry, the 
teachers of the gospel fulfill their commission with 
zeal and fidelity, ch. iv. ver. 1,2. 

Ch. IV. Therefore^ as we have through mercy ^ obtained 

^^'■* '• this ministry, ive faint 9iot^, 

' Through mercy.'] "as we have been graciously intrusted." 
Wakefield. Gr. " having this ministry according as we hare 
received mercy." Newcome ; who refers to ch. iii. 6 — 9. q. d. 
" according as God has had compassion on me, who was a per- 
secutor, and has intrusted me with it." 

• We faint «oL] 8k sKxaxBiiEv. "we flag not." Macknight. — 
" snxaKeu}. Proprie, cedo et succumbo lahorihus, segnesco: meta- 
phor ice, desum officio meo, negligens et ignavus sum. Sic miles 
qui arma abjicit, et signa militaria deserit etfugit, sxkolksiv dici- 
tur." Schleusner.— " I do not fail nor flag ; I do not behave my- 

Pakt I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 7. 469 

Having, by the unmerited goodness and the trans- Ch. iv. 
cendent mercy of God, been appointed to the high 
and honourable office of teachers of the gospel, we 
do not shrink either from toil or danger, but endea- 
vour to discharge the duties of our station with cou- 
rage and fidelity. 

But have reriounced the hidden things of shame^; 2. 

not walking in craftiness, nor fraudulently cor- 
rupting the word of God, but by manifestation of 
the truth recommending ourselves * to every maiis 
co7iscience in the sight of God. 

Whatever some may insinuate concerning us, I 
solemnly and confidently assure you, that we are 
not in tl.e number of those who connive at the dis- 
solute practices in secret which they condemn in 
public ; or who suffer the disgraceful rites of hea^ 

self unworthily in it, nor misbecoming the honour and dignity 
of such an employment." Locke. 

' We have renounced the hidden things of shame,'] " in which 
the priests of paganism deal so much, in order to impose on the 
people, practising in their mysteries so many impure and so 
many foolish rites." Doddridge ; who well observes in his note, 
that the word a.7esnfa[j.sSa, which we render renounce, does not 
imply that they ever had any thing to do with such things ; and 
that the words " set them at defiance" seem more literally to 
express the original. Dr. Macknight renders it, " we have com- 
manded away." "The expression (he says) is emphatical and 
picturesque : it represents the hidden things of shame as offer- 
ing their service to the apostle, who rejected their offer with 
disdain, and bid them be gone." — " The whole business of the 
first part of the epistle (says Mr. Locke) is to justify to the Co- 
rinthians his behaviour in the ministry, and to convince them 
that in preaching the gospel he has been plain, clear, open, and 
candid, without any hidden design or concealed secular inter- 

'* Recommeiuling ourselves.'] " not requiring cpmm.enda,tion 
from others, ch. iii. 1 ." Newcome, 

470 Part 1. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 8. 

Ch. IV. thenism to pollute the purity of the gospel. We 
have no sinister designs, nor any selfish and secular 
ends to answer, while we profess to teach the truth ; 
nor do we presume to debase the pure word of God 
by human mixture, Jewish or heathen, in order to 
render the gospel more palatable, and less obnoxious 
to the prejudices of our hearers. Truth is our sole 
object ; and to prove our fidelity to the consciences 
of our hearers and to the eye of God, is the great 
scope of our ambition. 

8. Hence it follows, that if the gospel doctrine re- 
mains concealed from any, the fault lies wholly with 
themselves, ver. 3, 4. 

3. But if our gospel be also veiled, it is veiled only 

4. among those who destroy themselves ^ among those 
unbelievers'^ ivhose minds the God of this worlds 

* Who destroy themselves.'] So Macknight. rois aito7\Kv^£voii, 
" those who are lost : if our gospel, like the law, ch. iii. 13, 14, 
be veiled, it is veiled among those who perish through vice and 
infidelity." Newcome. 

* Among those unbelievers^ Newcome 5 who appeals to Gro- 
tius for the construction of this verse, as given in the transla- 
tion. Gr. " among whom the God of this world hath blinded the 
understandings of unbelievers." See also Rosenrauller. 

3 The God of this world ?^ That is, Mammon, or self-interest j 
or rather perhaps Satan, the opposing power, the supposed 
leader and head of the unbelieving and idolatrous world, in op- 
position to Christ, who is lord and chief of the community of be- 
lievers, the ruler of the kingdom of light, as Satan is the ruler 
and prince of the kingdom of darkness. He is represented as 
blinding the minds of his subjects, who are prevented by their 
inveterate prejudices and vices from seeing the light of truth 
in the gospel. See 1 Cor. v. 5 3 1 Tim. i. 20 ; Eph. vi. 12 ; Col. 
i. 16. 

The generality of commentators^ assuming the existence of 

Part I. II. CORINTHIANS. Sect. V. 9. 4/1 

hath blinded, so thai the lustre of the glorious go- Ch. iv. 
spel of Christ, who is the image of God *, doth not 
shine upon them. 

I deny not that there are some to whom the na- 
ture and design of the gospel are as much under a 
veil as the dispensation of Moses was to the Jews: 
but who are the persons in this situation ? They 
are men who are working out their own ruin : they 
are blind, and cannot see the light; the God of this 
world has deprived them of their mental eye, so that 
they cannot discern in the gospel the glory of 
Christ; who is the image of God, as we are the 
images of him. Their prejudices, their vices, and 
their attachment to worldly interest, prevent them 
from discerning, or from being properly impressed 
by, the evidence of the gospel, so that they either 
cannot or will not learn the will of God, as revealed 
by Christ. Their ignorance is not owing to the mi- 
nisters of the gospel : it is owing to the blindness 
of their understandings, and to the badness of their 
hearts, and they must abide by the consequences of 
this wilful and criminal unbelief. 

0. The apostle renounces all pretensions to spiri- 
tual authority, and ascribes the success of the gospel 
ministry wholly to the power of God, ver. 5, 6. 

such a being as the devil;, of course apply the apostle's language 
to him. 

•* Christ, the image of GodP\ " Christ is represented as the 
mirror from which the glory of God is reflected upon us, by such 
an image of the sun as we have in a mirror. This is reflected 
upon us from Christ. But all the light comes originally from 
God, the father of lights." Priestley. 

Vei. 5. 

472 Part I, II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skcx. V. 9. 

Ch. IV, For we p^'each not ourselves, but Christ Jesus 
as the Lord^, and ourselves as your servants for 
the sake of Jesus. 

I have been speaking in very high terms of the mi- 
nisterial office; but do not mistake me, or imagine 
that it is my desire to domineer over you. The go- 
spel of which vi^e are ministers I have stated to be, 
not our gospel, but the glorious gospel of Christ. 
We are only his servants in common with yourselves 
and the universal community of believers. We are 
his missionaries ; from him we derive all our in- 
struction, he gives us our commission, and his name 
we bear. Nay, so far are we from pretending to go- 
vern you, that from love to Christ and zeal for his 
cause, we profess ourselves to be, not only his ser- 
vants, but yours also: your very slaves. Nor is 
there any labour or drudgery to which we would 
not cheerfully submit, so that we may succeed in 
winning you over to the doctrine and service of Je- 
sus Christ. 

For God, ivho commanded light to shine out of 
darkness, hath shone into our hearts, that we might 
diffuse the lustre^ of his glorious knowledge^, 
which shines in the face of Jesus Christ. 

' Christ Jesus as the Lord.'] " We preach not ourselves, i. e. 
not ourselves as Lords, aAXa Xpirov Itjo-sv Kvp^ov, but Christ 
Jesus as the Lord 3 q. d. I have not given the least occasion to 
any to suspect I set myself up for the head of a party for any 
private advantage^ but preach Jesus Christ as the common Lord 
and Head of all Christians." Pyle. See also Macknight. 

* Diffuse the lustre.'} " that I might communicate the know-p 
ledge and light of the glory of God, which shines in the face of 
Jesus Christ." Locke 5 who observes in his note^ that this is a 

Part I. II. C O R 1 N T H I A N S. Sect. V. 9. 4/3 

That almighty Being who said " Let there be Ch. iv. 
light," and there was light, has mercifully vouch- 
safed to shine upon our dark and benighted minds, 
which were once as remote from the light of the 
gospel, as blind, as ignorant, as strongly prejudiced, 
as any of its most inveterate opposers now are. 
And the reason why this holy and cheering light 
was imparted to us is, that we might diffuse it 
among the heathen : that so the lustre which beams 
from the countenance of our glorious Lord, and 
which is by him reflected from the Father of light 
and wisdom, might shine through the world ; and 
the doctrine of the gospel might be manifest to all 
mankind. Not to ourselves, therefore, but to the 
mercy of God be the praise of that success with 
which the ministration of the gospel has been every 
where attended. 

continuation still of the allegory of Moses, and the shining of 
his face, &c. so much insisted upon in the foregoing chapter." 

It cannot be doubted that the apostle in the whole of this dis- 
course, though he uses the plural number, chiefly refers to him- 
self, and means to vindicate his own character 5 and in this sense 
he would be understood by the Corinthians. For this reason 
Mr. Locke and most other expositors use the singular number 
in their expositions. But as the apostle out of modesty com- 
monly uses the plural number, including Timothy, whose name 
is joined with his own in the salutation, and the other apostles 
and ministers of the gospel, and as it is certainly a more grace- 
ful manner of address where he is speaking in his own praise, I 
have for this reason generally retained the plural number in the 
paraphrase, though with an allusion and leaning to the apostle's 
own particular case. 

^ His glorious knowledge.'] The received text reads " the glo- 
rious knowledge of God." See Griesbach. 

474 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. 1. 


Ch. IV. The apostle refers to the svpport which he arid 
his fellow -labourers experienced under perseai- 
tions and sufferings, as an additional proof of 
their commission from God; and professes that 
nothing but the consciousness of their integrity , 
the assurance of success, and the hope of a future 
everlastirig reward, could induce them to perse- 
vere in their laborious and hazardous enterprise. 
Ch.iv. 7.— V. 10. 

1 . The frailty of their nature, and the danger of 
their situation and office, demonstrate that nothing 
less than a divine power could be effectual for their 
support, ver. 7 — 9. 
Ver. 7. Moreover, we have this treasure in earthen ves- 
sels ^, that the exceeding greatness of the poiver 
may be of God, and not of us. 

The treasure which we dispense is of inestimable 
value ; and the success of our mission is great and 

1 In earthen vessels.'] " We who preach the gospel, are frail 
and feeble. St. Paul repeatedly alludes to his bodily infirmi- 
ties." Newcome. " The treasure of the gospel was committed 
to earthen vessels, that is, to persons of low birth, destitute of 
literature, and of every thing which could give them influence 
with mankind, and utterly unable by their own power to defend 
themselves against their enemies, on purpose that the excellency 
of the power by which the gospel was contrived, and the world 
was persuaded to embrace it, might plainly appear to belong to 
God and not to them." Macknight, 

Part I. IL C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. 1. 475 

wonderful. But we who are employed in diffusing Ch. iv. 
the blessings of the gospel, are feeble, frail, and ^^' '" 
dying creatures ; utterly insufficient for our own 
preservation, and still more incompetent to com- 
mand success. It is evident, therefore, that no 
power less than divine is adequate to the accom- 
plishment of such extraordinary effects by such fee- 
ble and contemptible means. 

We 2iYe pressed on all sides, but not crushed'^. 8. 

We encounter all kinds of difficulties and suffer- 
ings ; but though severely pressed by them on every 
side, we are not totally disabled, nor so overpowered 
as to be compelled to yield. 

Dubious 3, but not in despair. 

We are doubtful, whether we shall survive the 
persecutions we meet with, but we do not abandon 
our confidence in God. We are apprehensive that 
we shall meet with no success in our exertions, yet 
trusting in the power of God, we do not relax from 
our labours. 

" Pressed — hut not crushed.'] " An allusion probably to wrest- 
Jing at the Isthmian games." Macknight. " Qxitsiv dicitur 
athleta quum adversarii corpus lacertis implicat, tamque arete 
comprimit, ut spiritus coarctetur. rsvo^wpBia-Sai dicuntur, quo- 
rum fauces, aliaque animce trahendce instrumenta ita coarctata et 
compressa sunt ut spiritus trahendi meatibus omnis fere aditus 
praclusus sit." RosenmuUer. " afflicted^ but not utterly ovet- 
pressed." Doddridge. 

' Dubious.] a7rop8jw.evc<, perplexed, "So rendered/' says 
Macknight, " it signifies persons involved in evils from whicji 
they know not how to extricate themselves. If the apostle bad 
the combat of boxing in his eye, the word would signify being 
stunned with the blows of the adversary." 

476 Part I. II. C O R 1 N T H 1 A N S. Skct. VI. 2. 

Ch. IV. Persecuted, hut not forsaken'^ ; thrown doiviii 
but not killed'^. 

We are bunted down by our enemies, and aban- 
doned by tbe world ; but God does not forsake us. 
He supports and delivers us. We are sometinnes 
even overtaken and struck down by those who wish 
to destroy us and our cause; but when we seem 
wholly in the power of our enemies, and at the very 
last gasp, to our own astonishment and theirs, we 
are wonderfully rescued from destruction. What 
can afford a more striking proof that we are the 
faithful messengers of God, and under the protec- 
tion of his providence .^ 

2. They, like Christ, are continually exposed to 
death, in order to give evidence of his resurrection, 
to the end that their hearers may participate in the 
life that he enjoys, ver. 10 — 12. 

Ahvays hearing about in our persoti 3 the dying 
of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus ^ may be made 
manifest in our persons. 


* Persecuted, &c.] "The critics who think the apostle alludes 
to the combat of the race, translate the clause, ' pursued, but 
not left behind.' " Macknight. 

* Thrown down, but not killed.'} Locke, Wakefield, and Mac- 
knight, q. d. " Though they were thrown down by their adver- 
saries, they were not, by the fall, either killed or disabled from 
rising and continuing the combat. This is supposed to be an al- 
lusion to the Pancratium." 

^ In our person.l Gr. " our bodyj" and so in the last clause of 
the verse. the dying of Jesus. The received text reads " the 
Lord Jesus ;" but the word Lord is wanting in the best copies, 
and is omitted by Griesbach. 

^ Tfie life of Jesus made manifest.'] " Bearing about the dying 

Part (. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. VI. 2. ^11 

Like our Master Jesus, we are continually ex- Ch. iv. 
posed to suffering and death, in order that we may 
prove to our hearers, that Christ is now living. For, 
certainly, no one can believe, that we would undergo 
these dreadful persecutions if we had not sufficient 
evidence of the truth of the fact for which we suf- 
fer, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. 

For tve, though living ^, are continually delivered l ! . 
over to death for the sake of Jesus, that the life also 
of Jesus ^ may he manifested in our mortal flesh. 

We, the apostles of Jesus, and preachers of the 
gospel, are as capable of enjoying the comforts of 

of Jesus, that is, a representation of his death, that at the resur- 
rection we may also represent his glorious life. Dying like him, 
to live like him." Newcome. "That the life of Jesus now tri- 
umphant above all hostile power, may be manifested in the pre- 
servation of our feeble body." Doddridge. 

* We, though living'^ " We who survive persecution." New- 
come. '' As long as I live I shall be exposed to the danger of 
death." Locke. 

° That the life of Jesus.'] The sense of this passage seems to 
me generally misunderstood. Some suppose that the apostle 
means, that the life of Christ is exhibited by his power being 
shown in their protection ; but it is plain, that he ascribes their 
protection to the power of God, not of Christ, Others under- 
stand it of the life of Christ being exemplified in their future 
resurrection, as his sufferings are now exemplified in their pre- 
sent persecution : vide Newcome, But this seems foreign to 
the argument. The apostle's reasoning appears to be this : We 
are continually suffering like Christ ; we who live, and who love, 
and can enjoy life as well as any other men, nevertheless, vo- 
luntarily submit to the most severe privations and persecution. 
The design of this is, to prove that Christ is now living ; so that 
while we suffer the pains of death, you in consequence of it en- 
joy the hope of life by the conviction you gain of the resurrec- 
tion of Jesus, which is the foundation of your hope. To live, 
signifies to enjoy life, 1 Thess. iii. 8 : Now toe live if ye stand 
fast in the Lord, i. e. we enjoy life. 

478 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct.VI.3. 

Ch. IV. life, and are as much attached to life and its bless- 

Ver 1 1 

ings, as others are; yet we suffer ourselves every day 
to be exposed to death for the sake of Christ, to the 
end that we may by our sufferings demonstrate his 
resurrection, and thus diffuse among our hearers the 
hope of life. 

12. So then death worketh i7i us, but life in you ^. 
The consequence of this zeal and fortitude in us 

is, that we are daily exposed to sufferings and death, 
to the end that you, our hearers, our converts, may 
be advanced by the resurrection of Jesus to the hope 
of a new and glorious life; which is the most power- 
ful incentive to the practice of virtue. 

3. The only consideration which inspired their 
fortitude and zeal was, the firm persuasion of the 
truth of their doctrine, and the hope of saving 
themselves and others, ver. 13 — 15. 

13. Yet having the same spirit of faithy tvhich the 
scripture describeth (Ps. cxvi. 10), " / believed^ 
therefore have I spoken^'' we also believe, and 
therefore speak. 

As David, when almost overwhelmed with dis- 
tress, still retained his confidence in God, and still 
bore testimony to his goodness and faithfulness, 
so we, animated by a similar spirit, in the midst of 
trouble and persecution, retain a joyful confidence 
in the truth of the gospel, and therefore continue 
to preach it with resolute perseverance. 

* Death worketh, &c.] " So that we die to Christ, and ye 
live to him ; persecution has not reached you." Newcome. 

Part I. II. C O R 1 N T H I A N 3. Sect. VI. 3. 479 

Knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus y Ch. IV. 
will raise up us also 2 by Jesus, and will present us 
together with you 3. 

Assured of the important fact, that Jesus our 
great master has, by the almighty power of his Fa- 
ther, been raised from among the dead, we are also 
assured that the same power will be exerted in the 
person of Christ to raise up both us and you, and 
all the faithful disciples of Jesus in all ages, and to 
unite us all into one glorious assembly in his bliss- 
ful presence. 

For all things 2Lvefor your sakes, that the abound- 15. 
ing grace ^ might, through the thanksgiving of 
many, overflow to the glory of God. 

All our labours and our sufferings, and all that 
God himself has done in raising up Jesus from the 
dead, and in authorizing and qualifying the apostles 
to preach the gospel, is for the benefit of you and 
others, who are sincere believers in the truth, that 
the blessings of the gospel might be extended to, 
and accepted by multitudes, and that God might be 
glorified by the gratitude and obedience of those 
who will be saved by it. 

' Will raise up!] Newcome observes, that " this explains how 
the life of Jesus was to be manifested in his body or mortal 
flesh, ver. 10, 11." 

' Present us.] Newcome renders it, ''will place us before 
himself. See Eph. v. 27, God will admit us into his presence, 
and will favourably regard us." 

■• That the abounding grace.'] Or favour, that is, the gift of 
tlie gospel which abounds to multitudes. Mr. Wakefield says, 
the sense of this verse is clearer than the phraseology. I have 
adopted what appears to be the construction of Newcome and 

480 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S, Sect. VI. 4. 

Ch. IV. 4. The joyful expectation of a future, everlasting 
recompense cheered and animated the apostles, and 
almost over-ruled the sense of present sufferings, 
ver. 16—18. 

Ver. 16. Therefore ', we faint not ; but even though our 
outward man is peiishing, nevertheless the inward 
man is renewed daily. 

Taking into consideration the glorious and bene- 
volent object of our mission, we resolutely perse- 
vere; persecuted as we are, and almost overwhelmed 
with toil and suffering, we shrink not from the ar- 
duous struggle ; but on the contrary, the more we 
labour, the more we suffer, and the more we are op- 
pressed and overpowered by fatigues and persecution, 
the more earnest are we to persevere in our labours, 
and to spend all the little strength that remains in 
the same honourable and important cause. 
17. Moreover^ the momentary lightness^ of our af- 
fliction is luorking out for us an uiimeasurahle 3, 

' Therefore.'] " For which cause. Since we know that we shall 
be raised up to everlasting life." Newcome. Rather, since all 
we do is for your sakes and for the glory of God, ver. 15. 

* The momentary lightness.'] irapavtiKCX, eXcappov. See Beza 
and Macknight. "Ad momentum, etiam, in prasenti." Schleus- 
ner. q.d. the momentary light affliction of the present state. — 
" Our present light affliction, q. d. when compared with the 
weight of glory which will follow." Newcome. 

^ An unmeasurable.'] xafi' vTrspSoXrjv eif vitsptoXfjV , a very ex- 
ceeding. Newcome ; who remarks, that " the Greek word sig- 
nifies in excess to excess. See Rom. i. 17, vii. 13." "A most 
excessively immense and eternal weight of unutterable felicity." 

" This sentence," says Dr. Doddridge, " is one of the most 
eraphatical in all St. Paul'.s writings, in which he speaks as much 
Jiiie an orator as an apostle. The lightness of the trial is ex- 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI, 4. " 481 

everlasting weight of glory ^, while we aim^ not at Cb. IV. 
the things ivhich are visible, hut at those which are ' 
invisible ; for the things which are visible, are tern- 
porary i but the things which are invisible, are 

If our views were limited to the present state, 
our afflictions and persecutions might well be re- 
garded as both heavy and tedious. But compared 
with that inexpressible, incomprehensible, immea- 
surable mass of glory and happiness which the go- 
spel reveals, for which these sufferings are preparing 
and qualifying us, and to which by the mei'cy of 
God they entitle us, all these troubles ar« as dust 
in the balance, not deserving the least attention. 
And this is the true cause of that habitual cheer- 
fulness which we maintain under the pressure of 
severe tribulation ; our regards and best affections 

.pressed by ro sXa(ppw ryjs ^Xi^sw;, as if he had said, It is even 
levity itself in the comparison. On the other hand, the xaS' 
vifsptoXr/V SIS virsp'SoXvjv is, says Mr. Blackwall, infinitely em- 
phatical, and cannot be expressed by any translation. It sig- 
nifies, that all hyperboles fall short of describing that weighty 
eternal glory^ so solid and lasting that you may pass from one 
hyperbole to another, and yet, when you have gained the last, 
are infinitely below it." Plackwall's Sacred Classics, vol. i. 
p. 332. 

* Weight of glory."] An allusion to the word 11'D, which in 
Hebrew signifies both weight and glory. Macknight observes, 
that the apostle joins the two significations in one phrase, 
which is not unusual in his writings. See Philip, ii. 1 ; Eph. i. 
.8, 19. He adds, that " it is hardly possible in any translation 
to express the force of this passage as it stands in the original. 
Stephen says of it. Nothing greater can be said or imagined." 

* We aim.'] " The word o-jtOTTsiv," says Macknight, " properly 
signifies to look at a mark which we intend to hit, an object 
.which we wish to lay hold on." 

yoL. n- 2 I 

482 Part I. II. CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. 5. 

Ch. IV. being fixed not upon visible and sublunary objects, 
Ver. 18. ^^^ ypQj^ those which are invisible and permanent. 
The things of time and sense are light, transitory, 
and evanescent, they are not worth a thought ; but 
the invisible objects of faith have a most serious and 
important reality ; they are subject to no interrup- 
tion or vicissitude, and when once possessed, they 
will be ours for ever. 

Ch. V. 5. The apostle declares, that he and his fellow- 
labourers had a well grounded confidence, that when 
the present frail and dying state was past, it would 
be succeeded by a glorious and immortal state now 
reserved in heaven. Ch. v. ver. 1. 

Ver. 1 . ^07' we know 1 that if this tabernacle, wherein 
lue dwell, which is fixed on the ground, he taken 
to pieces, lue have a building from God, a house 
not made with hands^ eternal, in the heavens. 

The apostle here appears to be speaking not as 
he is generally understood of the human body, but 
of the state of man in the present life, which he 
contrasts with the state which will take place after 
the resurrection. The present state of man he com- 
pares to a residence in a low and crazy tabernacle, 
which is fixed upon the ground, and will be shortly 
taken to pieces. The state of man in a future life 
he compares to a residence in a magnificent build- 
ing, such as no human hands can form, and which 
will last for ever without being liable to ruin or de- 

* For we know, &c.] This beautiful translation is taken from 
Mr. Wakefield. 

Pakt I. II, C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. 6. 483 

cay, a building of which God is the architect, and Ch, v. 
which he reserves at present in heaven, from whence, ®^* 
at the proper season, he will let it down into this 
world. And here it is proper to observe, that the 
apostle does not affirm that the virtuous in a future 
life will dwell in heaven, but only that the house, 
which is hereafter intended for them, is noiv in hea- 
ven, and will at the proper time descend into this 
world^, which he more explicitly asserts in the next 
verse. The meaning, therefore, of the apostle's de- 
claration, stripped of its metaphorical dress, is this ; 
We know that when the present frail and mortal 
state is passed, it will be succeeded by a state of 
everlasting glory and felicity, which God has pre-' 
pared for all his faithful servants. 

6. In the mean time, under the pressure of pre- 
sent sufferings, they look with earnest desire, not 
after an extinction of being, but after this happy 
change of state, ver. 2 — 4. 

For truly in this tabernacle zue groan, earnestly 2, 

desiring to be covered^ with our habitation which 
is to come from heaven ^. 

' Descend into this world.'] Thus, in Revelation xx'i. 2, the 
new Jerusalem is to descend from heaven to earth ; the virtuous 
are not to ascend into heaven to inhabit it there. 

^ To be covered.] 6TrsvSu(ra,(rOar literally to be clothed upon : 
to be clothed with a habitation does not sound well. But the 
apostle does not always guard against mixing his metaphors. 
See ver. 4. 

* From heaven.] The habitation is said to be at present sv Toi; 
spavois' but when it is to become the residence of the virtuous, 
it is to descend e^ upava. The expression countenances tlie snp- 

*? T 9 

484 Part 1. II. C O R 1 N T H 1 A N S. Skct . VI. 6. 

Ch. V. Under the labours and sufferings of the present 

Ver. 2. jjf^^ ^,g cannot but look and sigh for that glorious 

and happy state which God has prepared for us, 

3 and into which he will in due time introduce us. 

Seeitig thaty though unclothed ', lue shall not be 

found naked. 

Our desires, however, are founded upon the ex- 
pectation and hope that when we are removed from 

position, that ttie earth is the place in which the virtuous are to 
reside hereafter. 

' Seeing that, though unclothed.'] The received text reads 
sv$'j(ra[/,£voi, clothed, of which it is difficult to make tolerable 
sense. The Clermont and some other manuscripts and ver- 
sions read sK^va-ffMevoi, unclothed ; and this reading, though not 
received into the text by Griesbach, is marked by him as of good 
authority. Erasmus is inclined to this latter reading. Grotius, 
Castalio, Locke and others, who adopt the received text, sup- 
pose that the apostle might expect to live till the appearance of 
Christ to raise the dead, and so be exempted from dying." 
" Desiring," as Mr. Locke explains it, " without putting off 
this mortal earthly body by death, to have that celestial body 
superinduced ; if so be the coming of Christ shall overtake me 
in this life, before I put off this body." Mr. Locke acknow- 
ledges that " this passage is not very easy;" but he understands 
*'yo|w,voj, naked, of the state of the dead, unclothed with mortal 
bodies until the resurrection." See 1 Cor. xv.37. Pyle reads 
exfJuo-ajt^gvoj, q. d. If so be, or, since that being unclothed, i. e. 
of this body, we shall not remain naked, but shall have a hea- 
venly one in its room, which he says is a much clearer construc- 
tion than the common reading. 

It is plain that what the apostle desires, is a change from the 
present state of labour, danger, and trial, to that state of glory 
and happiness which will take place at the appearance of Christ. 
But he deprecates the condition of mankind in the interval be- 
tween death and the resurrection, which he calls being naked ; 
being dislodged from the old habitation, and not yet admitted 
into the new. And it is evident, that notwithstanding all the 
burdens and sufferings of the present state, he by no means 
wishes to exchange it for the insensibility of the grave. This 
he expresses more clearly in the following verse. 

pAK'fl. II. C O RINTH I ANS. Sect. VI. 6. 485 

the present state, we shall immediately, or at least Ch. v. 
in a very short time, enter upon our new habita- ^'^'* '^' 
tion ; for it is not at all our wish to be excluded 
both from the state of trial and that of recompense, 
and to lie as it were unsheltered and without a 
home, in the silence and inactivity of the tomb. 

^ncl, indeed, we ivho are in this tabernacle groan, 4, 

beiiig burdened; for which reason 2 we are desirous, 
not to be unclothed, but to be clothed upon^, that 
mortality may be swallowed up of life. 

In this state of frailty and suffering, we who are 
the heirs of the promised inheritance often groan 
under the pressure of affliction, fatigue, and persecu- 
tion, and earnestly desire to be released from the 
burden. Not indeed that we desire death for its 
own sake, and much less do we covet that state of 
insensibility to which death for a time reduces us : 

• For which reason.'] £0 uj, " upon which," " in consequence 
of which." Compare Rom. v. 12 : vide Chancey on Universal 
Salvation, p. 43. " groan with the weight thereof; not that we 
wish," &c. Wakefield. 

^ To be clothed upon'] The apostle's wish seems to be, that 
the heavenly house might be let down, so as to cover the earthly 
tabernacle, and to conceal it entirely from sight. And his mean- 
ing is, that he was desirous, that the happy state which God 
intended should take place immediately without the intervention 
of natural dissolution, and of the season of insensibility in the 
grave, which, however, he probably expected to be very short. 
Dr. Doddridge renders and explains the passage thus : " Ne- 
vertheless, we would not be unclothed, or stript of the body, 
for that is what we cannot consider as in itself desirable." This 
is unquestionably the apostle's meaning ; but it is difficult to 
.see how the learned e.xpositor could reconcile this passage to 
the doctrine of an intermediate state of happiness for the soul, 
while separated from the body between death and the resurrec- 

486 Part I. ll. C R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. 7,8. 

Ch. V. the object of our desire is, to enter upon a new and 
"' ■ happy state of existence, and, if possible, to escape 
the pains of dying, and the disgrace of the tomb, 
so that this frail mortal condition might be imme- 
diately and at once absorbed and lost in a state of 
immortality and blessedness. 

7 . Of this desire of immortality, God is the au- 
thor, and the gift of the holy spirit is a pledge of 
his design to gratify it in due season, ver. 5. 

5. Noiu he who hath wrought us to this very state ' 
is God, who hath also given us the spirit as the 
earnest of it 2. 

It is God himself who has excited in our breasts 
these holy and ardent breathings after immortality; 
it is God that has so clearly revealed, and so ex- 
plicitly promised eternal rewards to virtue in the go- 
spel of his son ; and as a further proof of his mer- 
ciful design, he has communicated the gifts of the 
spirit to his apostles, and through them to others, 
as a pledge of our adoption into his family, and of 
our title to the heavenly inheritance. 

8. Desirous, as they might be, to enter upon a 
better and happier state, in which they should dwell 

' Wrought us to this venj state.] " to these noble views and 
sublime desires." Doddridge. ^' that hath frepared us for this 
very purpose, q. d. framed, fitted us by calling us to preach the 
gospel." NewCome. " who will accomplish for us this very 
thing." Wakefield ; who observes, that the ^thiopic appears 
to have read the verb in the future tense. 

' The earnest of it.] Gr. the earnest of the spirit, i. e. " the 
spirit af5 the pledge of future acceptance." Newcome. 

Part I. II. CORINTHIANS. Skct. VI. 8. 487 

with their beloved Master, they were still more so- ch. V. 
licitous to approve their fidelity to him, whether liv- 
ing or dying, ver. 6 — 9. 

Therefore^ we are always of good courage 3, Ver. 6. 
knowing, that while lue are present in the body, lue 
are absent from the Lord. For ive walk by faith, 7. 

not by sight. We are, I say, of good courage, 8. 

and are better * pleased to be absent frorn the body, 
and present ivith the Lord^. So then lue are am^ 9 

^ We are of good courugei] ©af f svrej" It is observed by New- 
come and others, that agreeably to the Hebrew idiom, the par- 
ticiple is here used for the present indicative. See Rom. v. 11, 
and 2 Cor. v. 12. Mr, Locke observes, that the " Vi^ord ^apps- 
f/.sv. we are confident, here signifies the same as hk sxxaKsi^sv, 
we faint not. Ch. iv. 1, 16. 7. d. I go on undauntedly, without 
flagging, preaching the gospel with sincerity and great plainness 
of speech." 

* Are better pleased.'] suSokbimsv [f.a\Xov put a stop after /xaX- 
Aov. Bengelius, Bowyer. 

* Absent from the body, and present with the Lord^ That is, 
to quit the present state, and to enter upon that state of recom- 
pence and happiness which we are to enjoy with Christ. This 
text is usually understood as expressing the apostle's persua- 
sion, that death is a separation of the soul from the body, and 
his expectation that the separate spirit would be introduced 
into a state of glory and happiness in the presence of Christ, 
while the body is perishing in the grave. But it is quite im- 
possible that this shoidd be the apostle's meaning, as he had 
expressly declared in his former epistle, 1 Cor. xv. 18, that if 
there be no resurrection of the dead, all who have fallen asleep 
in Christ have perished ; which is palpably inconsistent with 
their possessing life and happiness in a separate state 5 and the 
apostle cannot be supposed to contradict himself, x^nd in truth, 
the apostle's language in this passage will not bear the construc- 
tion which is usually given to it ; and gives no countenance to 
the doctrine of an intermediate state of perception, activity, 
and enjoyment between death and the resurrection. He is here 
only contrasting the present state of trial and suffering with the 
future promised state of happy existence in the presence of 
Christ, He never once mentions or even glances at an inter- 

Ver. 9, 

488 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. 8. 

Ch. V, Mtious, whether present m or absent fro7)i the body, 
to he well pleasing to him ' . 

Animated by the prospect oi immortality, we 
keep up our spirits, and persevere in our labours 
with undaunted fortitude and resolution. While 
we dwell in the present state, we cannot indeed en- 
joy the society of the Master whom we serve and 
love. Our conduct in life, and in the discharge of 
our ministry, must be governed by faith in the great 

Inediate state in which the spirit will be happy, when separate 
from the body. On the contrary, he represents the state which 
immediately succeeds to death, as a state of nakedness, ver. 3, 
which was so far from being the object of his wish, that l>e ex- 
presses hia earnest desire to be exempted from it by being per- 
mitted to continue in the world till the appearance of Christ. 
That the apostle regarded the season of rest in the grave as 
an evanescent point, hardly worthy of notice tvhen compared 
with the glory which was to succeed, cannot reasonably be 
doubted. See Phil. i. 23. But this is to be attributed to a pre- 
vailing but erroneous opinion, that Christ would appear to 
judgement before the generation which then existed should tH* 
pire, rather than to the speculative, however correct opinion, 
that the idea of duration ceases while thought is suspended. 
We have no reason to believe that the apostle was a profound 
metaphysician. See 2 ii. 1, 2, and the note. 

' To be well pleasing to himS\ " Whether staying in the body 
or going out of it, i. e. w^hether I am to stay longer here, or sud- 
denly to depart. This sense the foregoing verse leads us to. 
And what he stvys in this verse, that he endeavours, whether pre- 
sent or absent, to be well pleasing to the Lord, i. e. to do what 
is well pleasing to him, shows, that neither of these words can 
signify herje, his being with Christ in heaven. For, wlien he is 
there, the time for endeavouring to approve himself is over." 
Locke. I think with Mr. Locke, that the apo.stle's general mean- 
ing is, that he was desirous to approve himself the faithful ser- 
vant of Christ both living and dying. See Rom. xiv. 7, 8. But 
at the same time it appears to me undeniable, that by the 
phrase " present with the Lord," the apostle means to describe 
that future state of existence in which the virtuous shall be happy 
in the presence of Christ 

Part I, II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VI. 9. 489 

truths of the gospel revelation, and not by an ac- ch. v. 
tual perception of those glorious scenes, to the par^ *'* " 
ticipation of which we shall hereafter be admitted- 
Nevertheless, although we derive so much satisfac- 
tion from the exercise of faith, we cannot but ear- 
nestly desire to be actually in the presence of him, 
whom, though unseen we love, and to share in his 
glory and felicity. But the desire that lies nearest 
our heartj and which has the greatest and most ha- 
bitual influence upon our conduct, the object of our 
best and highest ambition, is, that whether living 
or dying, we may approve ourselves his faithful ser- 
vants, and may obtain his approbation. 

9. The ruling motive in all cases is, the certain 
and awful expectation of a future judgement, ver. 

For we must all appear'^ before the tribunal of if*' 
Christ, that every one may receive for the things 
done in the body, according to what he hath done, 
whether it be good or evil^. 

' We must all appear^ " This," says Dr. Priestley, " clearly 
shows that the views of the apostle were not directed to any 
thing short of the resurrection of the dead and the future 
judgement ; and that he had no prospect of any reward before 
that time. This, therefore, is the key by which we must inter- 
pret all that precedes this verse." 

' Whether it be good or eml?\ " That each may receive either 
good Of evil according to his deeds in the body." Wakefield. 
Whether this appearance at the tribunal of Christ is to be un- 
derstood in a literal or in a figurative sense, as meaning no- 
thing more than that the final state of all shall be decided ac- 
cording to the principles and declarations of the gospel, must 
be left to time to unfold. See Rom. xiv. 10. 

490 Part I. II. CORINTHIANS. Sect. VI. 9. 

Ch. V. And we have good reason for this anxiety to ap- 
Ver. 10. pj.Qyg ourselves to the Master vi^hom we serve. It 
is the great design of the gospel revelation to teach 
us, that there is a day appointed, when all the fa- 
milies of the earth, and every individual of the hu- 
man race will be summoned to the tribunal of Jesus 
Christ, who will be delegated by the Father to this 
important office, and who, as the son of man, is 
peculiarly well qualified for it, John v. 27, though 
it be not in our power to comprehend either the na- 
ture of the office, or the reason of his appointment 
to it. But the fact is so ; at his tribunal we must 
appear; and whatever may have been our character, 
or our conduct in this state of probation, exactly 
corresponding to this will be the just and impartial 
sentence, which will then be pronounced. It can- 
not, therefore, be matter of surprise, that it should 
be the object of our supreme and habitual concern 
to secure a favourable audit, and that every consi- 
deration in comparison with this should be esteemed 
of no account. 

Part I. II, C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VII. 1. 491 


The apostle avers that, whatever ungenerous Ch. v. 
insinuations were thrown out to the contrary, the 
preachers of the gospel were conscious that they 
acted with the soundest discretion, and from the 
purest motives I and upon these grounds they 
press upon their hearers the immediate acceptance 
of the offers of salvation. Ch. v. 1 1 . — vi. 2. 

1 . Under a deep impression of the final account, 
the authorized preachers of the gospel discharge 
their ministry with the most solicitous concern to 
approve themselves both to God and man, ver. 1 1 . 

Knoiving, therefore, the terror of the Lord^, we Ver. II, 
persuade men. To God indeed we are manifest, 
and I trust that we are also ?nanifest to your con- 

Being fully apprized how terrible it will be to falj 
under a sentence of condemnation at the tribunal of 
Christ, we are solicitous, both upon our own ac- 
count and that of our hearers, to prevail upon them 
to accept the gospel, and to obey its laws. Of my 
sincerity, faithfulness, and zeal in this important 

• The terror of the Lord^ or, " how fearful the Lord is." 
Newcome ; who explains, q. d. Knowing, therefore, how fear- 
ful this judgement will be to me if I discharge not my duty as 
an apostle, and to others if they persist in their sins ; we per- 
suade men to obey the gospel, and so act that our integTity is 
manifested to God. 

492 Part I. II. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. VII. 2. 

Ch. V. work, God is witness, who knows my heart ; and I 
^^" ^'* trust that I have given sufficient evidence to you at 
Corinth, among whom I have laboured, how much 
I am in earnest to establish your faith and to pro- 
mote your edification. 

2. What he declares upon this subject, is not 
from vainglory, but to satisfy his friends with re- 
gard both to his character and qualifications for the 
apostolic office, which his opponents appear to have 
called in question, ver. 12, 13. 
12. For IV e are not again recommending ourselves to 
7/ou, but are giving you an opportunity to boast con- 
cerning us, that you may have something to answer 
those vjho glory in appearance i, but not in heart. 

I do not speak thus of myself from a vainglorious 
spirit, as some insinuate, who wish to injure me in 

' Who glory in appearance^ Macknight renders it, " who 
boast on account of appearance, not of heart." He understands 
it of those superficial, outward qualities of which the false 
teacher boasted, while he was deficient in the virtues of the heart. 
But the sense given in the commentary is the most generally re- 
ceived, and appears to me the most eligible. Locke and most 
other critics suppose that his opponent had charged him with 
vanity, and had even insinuated insanity. " In these epistles 
to the Corinthians," says Dr. Priestley, "there are many con- 
cealed allusions to the state of things at Corinth, and especially 
to the apostle's enemies there, and their objections to him, 
which make them exceedingly difficult to he understood at this 
distance of time. It is probable that the apostle among other 
things was charged with a wild enthusiasm, and affecting to be 
more disinterested than was necessary. This he here seems 
to say arose from his zeal for the honour of God, and that of 
this God was judge ; but that in the rest of his conduct, they 
themselves might perceive that he was in his sober senses, and 
that he had most earnestly devoted himself to their service." 

PautI. II. CORINTHIANS. Sect. VII. 3. 493 

your esteem, but from a desire to afford satisfac- ch. v. 
tion to my friends and converts, that you may be ^'^'- '"• 
assured that you have been converted to the Chris- 
tian rehgion, and instructed in it by one who was 
fully authorized to do it, and amply qualified for it. 
And this will furnish a sufficient reply to those who 
endeavour to depreciate me, and to exalt themselves 
while they are at the same time conscious of their 
own incapacity and deficiency, both in Christian 
knowledge and a Christian spirit, and cannot but be 
apprized that I have given ample proof of my apos- 
tolic commission. 

For ifive were beside ourselves'^, it luasfor God; \x 

or if we are of a sound mind, it is for you. 

If, as some are pleased to represent me, I was out 
of my senses, it was owing to my zeal for God, to 
my activity in his service : or, if, as the truth is, I 
am in my right mind, and have said no more in 
my own commendation than what you know and 
acknowledge to be true ; in this case, whatever gifts, 
or powers, or capacity I possess, all are devoted to 
your service and edification. 

3. The love of Christ in dying for them animates 
all who believe in him, and especially the apostles 

* Beside ourselves.l i. e. " in speaking well of myself in my 
own justification." Locke ; who adds, " He that observes 
what St. Paul says, ch. xi. 1, 16 — 21, xii. 6, 11, will scarce 
doubt but that the sjieaking of himself as he did, was by his 
■enemies called glorying, and imputed to him as folly and mad- 

49 i Part I. 11. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VII. 3. 

Ch, V. and preachers of the gospel, to devote their lives to 
his service, ver. 14, 15. 

Ver. 14. For the love of Christ bears us away ^ ; while 
we thus judge, that if one died for all, then all iv ere 
16. in a state of death 2. And that he died for ally 
that they who live ^ might no longer live to them-' 
selves, but to him who died and was raised to life 
for them. 

We, the apostles of Christ and teachers of the go- 
spel, are borne on as with a delightful and irresisti- 
ble force, in the discharge of our ministry, by a grate- 
ful sense of the great love of Christ in dying for 

' Bears us aivay,'] " like a strong and resistless torrent." 
Doddridge ; who observes in his note, " that this is the beau- 
tiful import of (ruvByrei, which suggests a noble simile which few 
translations preserve. See Phil. i. 23." " is urgent upon us." 

* In a state of death.'] " had forfeited life by their trans- 
gressions." Newcome. " were obnoxious to death, and con- 
demned to it for their transgressions." Whitby. 

The doctrine which the apostle here briefly asserts is the same 
which he has largely explained in the first five chapters of the 
epistle to the Romans. AH mankind, whether Jews or Gentiles, 
were under a sentence of death, whether by the law of nature 
or by the law of Moses j and Christ was sent to publish the 
new covenant of pardon and reconciliation, and to ratify it by 
his death. In this sense he died for all. 

^ Thexj who live.'] That is, they who by entering into the go- 
spel covenant are recovered from the sentence of condemnation. 
" Might no longer live to themselves," &c. ; might consecrate 
their renewed powers to the service of Christ, and in obedience 
to his gospel. See Rom. xiv. 7 — 9. " If he died for all, his in- 
tention was, that they who by him have attained to a state of 
life, should not any longer live to themselves alone, seeking 
only their own private advantage, but should employ their lives 
in promoting the doctrine and kingdom of Christ, who for thein 
died and rose again." Locke. 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VII. 4. 495 

us. For this is the way in which we reason, and Ch v. 
the conclusion we form upon the case : if one died 
for the sake of all, then all were in a state of death. 
The Jews had violated the law of Moses, and were 
exposed to its condemning sentence. The Gen- 
tiles had broken the law of nature, and could there- 
fore have no claim to life. A sentence of death was 
passed upon all. But Jesus died for the benefit 
of all, and by his death ratified that new and gra- 
cious covenant, by which Jew and Gentile were 
again advanced to the hope of life upon the reason- 
able terms of faith and repentance. And the de- 
sign of God in bringing us into this new and pri- 
vileged state, was, that we might live not to our- 
selves but to Christ, that we might fulfil not our 
own pleasure, but that of our Master, whose will it 
is that we should co-operate with him in that great 
undertaking, for the accomplishment of which he 
died and rose again ; that being ourselves put into 
possession of the invaluable blessings of the gospel, 
we should devote our lives to the promulgation of 
them through the world. 

4. Governed by this principle, they renounced all 
former connexions in life, how dear and honourable 
soever, and acted as if they had entered into a new 
state of being, ver. 16, 17. 

So that from henceforth ^ we know no man after 16. 

* So that from henceforth. Sec.'] q.d. So that from henceforth 
we renounce all former connexions, and part with our dearest 
friends ; yea, even if Cluist were now upon earth, and if we 

49t> Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VII. 4. 

Ch. V. the flesh ; yea, though we had known even Christ 
er. 16. Qjigy the flesh, yet now we know him no longer. 

had the honour of being numbered amongst his chosen friends 
aod companions, we must for the sake of duty, and of advancing 
the cause for which he suffered and died, resign his society, and 
all the blessings and delights of his personal friendship. We 
must relinquish the familiarity of Christ to promote the cause 
of Christ. 

No one who is conversant with the phraseology of Scripture 
will hesitate to admit that this is a natural interpretation, and 
even the most obvious sense of the words. Kara (rapxa, ''^ac- 
cording to the flesh," is frequently used to express what is 
natural, in contradistinction to what is spiritual, see Acts ii. 
30. — Christ was the seed of David, xara a-apyta,, according to 
the flesh, Rom. i. 3 : but the Son of God, according to the 
spirit of holiness ; i. e. by natural descent, the son of David ; 
by the holy spirit, the son of God. — I Cor. x. 18, Behold Israel 
** after the fiesh," that is, the natural, as distinguished from 
the spiritual Israel. — Eph. v. 6, your masters " according to the 
flesh," i. e. those who in a natural and civil sense are your mas- 
ters. — To know Christ ''after the flesh," therefore, is to have 
a personal acquaintance with him ; to know him as a friend 
and a companion. And the apostle, to show how completely 
detached the ministers of the gospel were from the world, put.«i 
the strongest possible case ; and argues that if Christ were still 
living in the world, and they were honoured with his intimate 
friendship, they must break from his society in order to pro-- 
mote his cause. The harshness of the supposition of abandon- 
ing the company, even of Christ himself, has probably induced 
expositors, for I find hardly any exception, to overlook the ob- 
vious sense of the words. But they forget that Christ requires 
:not personal affection, but obedience to his gospel, as the test 
of true love to him, John xiv. 21. 

Mr. Locke's interpretation is, " so that from henceforth I 
have no regard to any one according to the flesh, that is, for 
being circumcised, or a Jew. For if I myself have gloried in 
this, that Christ himself was circumcised, as I am, and was of 
my blood and nation, I do so now no more any longer." And 
he adds in his note, " This may be supposed to be said with re- 
flection on their Jewish false apostle, who gloried in circumci- 
sion, and perhaps, that he had seen Christ in the flesh, or, was 
some way related to him." Most other expositors and critics 
agree in the main with Mr. Locke. " Etiamsi vero CImstwu 

Paut I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect, VII. 4. 49/ 

Being thus made partakers of the blessings of the Ch. V. 
new covenant, being appointed to publish the glad ^,'* 
tidings through the world, and animated by the 
love of Christ to support his cause and devote our 
lives to the same benevolent work, we in a manner 
renounce all our former friends and connexions, 
however honourable, useful, or dear. We regard 
them all with a holy indifference, as obstructions 
rather than helps in the great business which we are 
now carrying on. And to show how entirely we 
are abstracted from all former connexions, I will ven- 
ture to put the strongest possible case. If Christ 
himself were now upon earth, and we were person- 
ally connected with him, and attached to him, we 
must for the sake of Christ himself, and in order to 
promote the great cause he has at heart, renounce 
this dearest connexion, and must tear ourselves even 
from the personal friendship and society of Jesus, 
that we may go where duty calls, to publish the tid- 
ings of eternal life, and to advocate the cause of 
truth and goodness, for which he laboured and suf- 

So that if any man be 171 Christ, there is a new 17. 

creation ' . Old things are passed away "; behold, 
all things^ are become new. 

ipsum in came famiUariter cognitum habuissemus, nunc tamen 
euin non ut talem consider amus et colimits." RosenmuUer ; who 
gives the true sense. 

■ A new creation^ " So that if any one be in Christ, it is as 
if he were in a new creation, wherein all former mundane rela- 
tions, considerations, and interests are ceased, and at an endj 
all things in that state are new to him." Locke. 

« Old things, .Src] "The old things of this world. Jewish 

VOL. II. 2 K 

498 Part I. il. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VH. 5.. 

Ch. V. By our conversion to the Christian religion, and 
^^' especially being invested with the Christian mini- 
stry and apostleship, xve are, as it were, introduced 
into a new world. We have new perceptions, new 
habits of thinking, new expectations, new hopes and 
fears, new principles of action, and new courses of 
conduct; so that we are no longer influenced by the 
motives which had formerly the greatest effect upon 
us, and are no longer attached to those connexions 
which were formerly the most dear. We are go- 
verned by one principle alone, viz, obedience to the 
commands of God by Christ, in publishing the go- 
spel faithfully and assiduously in the world. 

5. Of this new order of things God is the imme- 
diate author, who having first brought them into a 
state of reconciliation, now employs them as the mi- 
nisters of reconciliation to the world, ver. 18, 19, 
18. A^ow ail things are of' God, who hath reconciled 
us to himself^ by Jesus Christ, and hath given to 

ordinances, and heathen ignorance and guilt, are passed away ; 
and new instructions, new obligations, new motives, and new 
hopes succeed." Newcome. 

* All things.'] TO. Tfavta. These words are wanting in the 
Ephrem, Clermont, and other manuscripts ; and in the Coptic, 
Italic, iEthiopic, and other versions. Archbishop Newcome con- 
siders it as a marginal gloss ; and Mr. Wakefield drops it from 
the text. He translates thus, " the old things are passed away 3 
behold all things are become new from God, who reconciled 
us," &c. 

' Reconciled ws.] who has changed our state ; who has cre- 
ated us anew ; who has transferred us from a state of enmity to 
a state of peace. " ycaraXaa-a-cu, 1 .) proprie commuto, permu- 
to ; 2.) reconcilio partes a se invicem dissidentes, nam tunc aui~ 
mi viutantur.'' SclUeusner, 

Ver. ly. 

Part 1. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. VII. 5. 499 

7is the mimstry of reconciliation. Namely, tltat Ch. v 
God^ by Christ was reconciling the luorld"^ to him- 
self, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and 
hath committed to us the doctri7ie of reconciliation. 

Of this new creation, as of the old, God himself 
is the original author. We are his workmanship. 
It is he, who by the gospel of Jesus Christ hath so 
enlightened our minds, and renovated our hearts, 
and subdued our prejudices, that we are, as it were, 
transformed into new beings, and introduced into a 
new state of existence. And having been thus 
brought out of a state of enmity into a state of peace 
and favour with God, he has graciously vouchsafed 
to honour us with a commission, to publish the joy- 
ful tidings of peace and reconciHation to others ; 
and to invite sinners to repentance. And this is the 
gracious tenor of the message. That the gospel of 
Christ is now to be made known to the whole world, 
without distinction of Jew or Gentile, as a dispen- 
sation of pardon and of peace. It is a covenant of 
mercy, by which all past transgressions are freely 
forgiven, and provision is made for the restoration 
of offending creatures to virtue, life, and happiness. 
This is the true doctrine of reconciliation by Christ. 

* Namely, that God^ cog cri- that this is equivalent to on, 
see ch. xi. 21 j 2 Thess. ii. 2. Newcome and Wetstein. 

' The worldli " all who receive the gospel." Newcome. — 
" It is to be observed," says Dr. Priestley, " that it is here said, 
that God was reconciling the world to himself by Christ. There 
was no occasion to reconcile God to the world. He was always 
disposed to be at peace with men, whenever they should repent 
and turn to him. All that was wanting, therefore^ was to bring 
men to repentance and reformation bv preaching the gospel." 

2k2 ' 

500 Part I. II. C O 11 I N T H I A N S. Sect. VII. G. 

Ch. V. And I repeat it again as a fact upon which you may 
safely depend, and as a privilege in which we make 
our greatest boast, tliat we, notwithstanding all our 
unworthiness, have been selected by God for the 
high and honourable office of communicating this 
doctrine to mankind. 

6. In conformity to this commission, the apos- 
tles and authorized ministers of the gospel, as am- 
bassadors in the place of Christ, entreat and urge 
their hearers to accept and to improve the invi- 
tations and privileges of the gospel, ver. 20. — 
vi. 2. 

20. TVe, therefore, are ambassadors %n Chrisis stead, 
as though God entreated by us : we, i?i Christ's 
stead, implore. Be ye reconciled to God. 

In the execution of this high commission, we are 
the representatives of Jesus Christ. Christ was 
once the great ambassador of peace ; but he has 
now ascended to the Father, and has ceased to ex- 
ercise this honourable office. We, the apostles of 
Christ and preachers of the gospel, succeed to the 
same important task ; we are now the ambassadors 
of God and the representatives of Christ, and as 
such, we urge and exhort you, yea, we entreat and 
implore all that hear us. Embrace the offers of the 
gospel, comply with its terms, accept its blessings, 
believe and obey, make yoiu* peace with God, and 
thus ensure your present and your everlasting feli- 

21. For God hath appointed him luho knew no sin. 

Part I. II. C O R i N T H 1 A N S. Skct.. VII. 6. 501 

to be a A'm- offering/or us >, that lue by him juight ch. v. 

be justified before God^. 

As tlie sin-offering under the law, was the sym- 
bol of the restoration of the person who had com- 
mitted an involuntary trespass to the privileges of 
the Mosaic covenant, so God has, in a figurative 
sense, appointed Jesus Christ as a lamb without 
blemish and without spot, to be the sin-offering for 
the whole world, ratifying by his death that new and 
gracious covenant by which all, whether Jew or hea- 
then, who believe, are admitted into the community 
of the justified; and all who improve their privileges 
and obey the gospel, are entitled to everlasting life. 

' ^sm-offering/orws.] Gr. sm, i.e. sin-offering. See Hosea 
iv. 8 ; Heb. ix. 2G, 28. Sin-ofterings were appointed for sins of 
ignorance only. See Lev. iv. and Jennings's Jewish Antiqirities, 
vol. i. p. 328. This shows how little foundation this text affords 
for the wild supposition that Jesus upon the cross was regarded 
as a sinner, and bore the punishment due to the sins of men. 
" The Rabbis limit the law to those sins o^ ignorance, which, 
if they had been committed knowingly and wilfully, would have 
incurred the penalty oi cutting off." The offering, therefore, of 
the victim was a symbol of restoration to communion, and to 
covenant with God. So the death of Christ may be considered 
figuratively, as the ratification of the new covenant by the go- 
spel. The sin-offering for a ruler was a kid vv'ithout blemish. 
So Christ was a lamb without blemish and vv'ithout spot. He 
knew no sin ; he had committed no transgression by which his 
covenant privileges had been forfeited. " Christ was made sin, 
that sinners miglit become righteousness." Macknight. 

^ Justified before God.'] So Newcome ; $iKaiO(rvvrj ©ss, the 
righteousness ox justificaiion of God. The apostle here alludes to 
the subject of which he treats at large in tlie epistle to the Ro- 
mans. All men are shiners, without hope of relief antecedently 
to the gospel dispensation. By faith in Christ, who published 
and whose blood ratifies the new covenant, men are justified in 
the sight of God, and admitted into a state of reconciliation and 

Ver. 21. 

502 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VII. 6 

Ch. VI. Therefore^ 2& fellow -labourers , we also entreat » 
^^'"' ^' you, that ye receive not this favour of God in vain. 
As fellow-labourers in the same glorious cause, 
as successors of our Master Jesus Christ in the em- 
bassy of reconciliation, and as humbly co-operating 
with God himself, whose servants and messengers 
we are, we earnestly exhort and entreat you, not to 
make light of and to neglect the mercy of God in 
the gospel dispensation; but having received the 
grace of God, and having professed your acceptance 
of the blessings of the gospel, we press it upon you 
to make the best improvement of your privileges, 
to live under the influence of Christian principles, 
and not to forfeit your interest in the promises by a 
conduct unworthy of your character and profession. 
2. For the scripture saith 2, (Isa. xlix, 8,) In an ac- 
ceptable time have I heard thee, and in the day of 
salvation have I succoured thee. Behold, noiu is 

^ ^s fellow-labourers, Sicl Working together wii/i Gor/. New- 
come, W^akefield. See ch. V. 20. God entreats by us. 1. 
We, as workers together, also entreat j i. e. as working toge- 
ther with God. " As an apostle of Christ and a minister under 
him." Pyle. " I and my fellow-labourer Timothy." Dr. Taylor. 
" Now fellow-labourers in the ministry of reconciliation at Co- 
rinth," Dr. Macknight ; who understands the succeeding dis- 
course as an address from the apostle to the ministers of the 
gospel at Corinth. 

'^ The scripture saith.'] This quotation is made from Isaiah 
xii.K. 8, which Bishop Lowth applies to the Messiah, and trans- 
lates thus : " In the season of acceptance have I heard thee, 
and in the day of salvation have I helped thee." Mr. Dodson, 
adopting the bishop's translation, adds in his note, " It is cer- 
tain that by thee is here intended Israel." The apostle applies 
this promise to those who live under the gospel dispensation. 
Behold, Now is the accepted time, &c. 7. d. This is the hajjpy 
season to which the prophecy refers, and in which God promises 

2*ART I. II. CORINTHIANS. Skct. VII. 6. 503 

ihe most acceptable time; behold, now is the day of Ch. vr. 
salvation. ^'^' "' 

to hear and succour his people -, and he presses it as a motive 
upon the Corinthians to improve their privileges, that they may 
not receive tlie grace of God in vain. 

Dr. Taylor (see Taylor's Key, sect. 185,) conceives, that the 
apostle in this passage means to give a specimen of his address 
to unconverted Gentiles, and to those who had embraced Chris- 

1 . " To unconverted Gentiles, ch. v. 20, 21 . He speaks, ver, 
19, of God's reconciling the world to himself. By the world he 
commonly means unconverted heathen, and reconciling signifies 
-changing men from heathenism to the faith of the gospel, Rom. 
V. 10, Our translators have inserted ?/om twice in ver. 20, very 
improperly ; for the apostle could not address the Corinthians 
as unconverted heathen ; but he gives a specimen of the man- 
ner of his address to unconverted Gentiles. Now then we are 
ambassadors on the behalf of Christ as though God did entreat 
by us, we beg on behalf of Christ, Be ye reconciled (changed 
from your enmity or idolatry) unto God. In such language the 
apostle addressed the Gentile world. He adds, ver. 21, the 
grand argument which they used to enforce this entreaty : For 
he has made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might 
be made the righteousness of God in him." 

2, " He gives a specimen of his address to those who had 
already embraced Christianity, ch. vi. 1 , 2. And working toge- 
ther, (I and my fellow-labourer Timothy, ch.i. 1,) we moreover 
entreat, that You receive not the grace of God in vain. The 
Corinthians had received the grace of God, and therefore the 
apostle did not exhort thera to be reconciled, but, not to receive 
it in vain. He subjoins the grand argument to persuade Chris- 
tians to make a right improvement of grace and privileges re- 
ceived. For he saith, (explaining the blessed state of the church 
or people of God,) I have heard thee in a time accepted, !kc. 
Behold, (take good notice. Christians,) now is the accepted 
time, &c. q. d. You are in the happy state of pardon, in which 
God has promised to hear your prayers, and to supply you with 
all needful succour and strength. Therefore make due improve- 
ment. Thus the apostles and ministers preached to such as had 
embraced Christianity. And it is evident they considered ail 
professed Christians as in a state of grace, they have received 
the grace of God ; but this will not absolutely secure their final 
salvation. For the grace of God is a motive to virtue ; and if 

504 Part I. II. C R I N T H I A N S. Skct.VII. 6. 

Ch. VI. The language addressed by God to the Messiah 
in the visions of Isaiah for his encouragement and 
consolation, may in a somewhat different sense be 
appUed to those, to whom the blessings of the go^ 
spel are now offered, and its invitations addressed. 
If they apply to God while the offers of reconcilia- 
tion are continued, he will hear and answer their 
prayers ; if they will improve the season allowed 
them to work out their salvation, God will grant 
them all needful aid. And let it be deeply impressed 
upon your minds, that now is the most acceptable 
time, that now is the day of salvation. Not only is 
it Now^ the present time, under the gospel dispen- 
sation, that these promises of attention and succour 
are exhibited as powerful motives to faith and holi- 
ness ; but it is Now^ the present hour, in which it 
behoves you to pay the most earnest attention to 
them, and to make the best use of your privileges 
while you have it in your power. The present is 
the only season that you can call your own ; and if 
you now neglect to comply with the invitations of 
the gospel, the offers may never be repeated, and 
the door may be for ever barred against you. You 
may be cut off unexpectedly in the midst of life, 
you may never have another opportunity of hearing 
the glad tidings of salvation, or your prejudices may 

tliey do not so improve it, they receive it in vain and shall pe- 
rish for ever." 

lliese remaiks are ingenious, even if they should not be al- 
lowed to be completely satisfactory. Mr. Dodson, in his note 
on the text in Isaiah, expresses his approbation of them ; and 
Dr. Macknight adopts the interpretation of ch. v. 20, 21. 

Part I, II. C O R I N T II I A N S. Sect. VIII. 1 . 505 

become more and more riveted, so that your under- Ch. vi. 
standings may be incapable of discerning the evi- ^'' 
dence, or your hearts of feehng the power, of the 
gospel ; and with the offers of life and invitations of 
mercy sounding in your ears, you may obstinately 
pursue the road to destruction, and may never be 
apprehensive of your danger till it is too late to 
make your escape. 


The apostle, in pursuance of his main design of 
satisfying the Corinthians with regard to the 
authenticity of his commission, and to preserve 
or recover their affection, alleges, that he and his 
fellow-labourers had given ample proof of their 
character and mission by the inoffensiveness of 
their conduct, by their patience and fortitude 
under persecution, by the integrity of their cha- 
racter, by the gifts of the spirit, and by their 
great success. Ch . vi . 3 — 15. 

1. They avoided giving unnecessary offence, 
ver. 3. 

Tf^e give to none offence ' in any things that the 
inifiistry be not blamed. 

' IFe give to none offence^ SiSovi'ss, in apposition with cuv-, 
ipyouvTcs, ver. I, or by a usual hebraism putting the participle 
ior the indicative. 

§06 Paut I. 11. CORINTHIAN S. Skct. V1TI.2. 

Ch. VI. Anxious for the success of our sacred embassy, 
we carefully adhere to the rules of prudence. If we 
perform our duty faithfully, we know that many will 
take offence. But we avoid rendering the gospel 
more offensive, by unnecessarily wounding the in- 
nocent prejudices of others; or imprudently tempt- 
ing those who are less informed, to do that which 
in their consciences they disapprove. In all things 
we endeavour to act with great caution and circum- 
spection, so that no person may take occasion from 
our conduct to cast any reflection upon the Chris- 
tian ministry in general, or to call in question our 
own authority in particular. 

2. They further approved their ministry by pa- 
tience and fortitude under tribulation and persecu- 
tion, ver. 4, 5. 

4. But in every respect lue approve ourselves mini' 
sters of God, by much patience ' in afflictions, in 

5. necessities, in streights, in stripes, in imprison- 
Tnents, in tumults ^, in labours, in ivatchings, in 

' Bij much patience.'] " by patiently enduring much." Walce- 
fiel'l. Then follows a long detail of distressing circumstances by 
wiiich their patience and fortitude were exercised. — "Magna to- 
lerantia, quum demonstramus in cakunitatibus, S<;c. Fox oVo/i/gv/j 
construenda est cum sequentibus, usque ad vucem vrjf stuns." Ro- 

'^ In tumults :] ev ay.a.T'a.s'a.oriaig. " in disturbances, as at 
Ephesus." Newcome. F.xagitationibus, Beza ; " who interprets 
this (' and I think,' says Dr. Doddridge, ' no man seems belter 
to have understood the propriety of Greek words:') of such 
attacks as a man cannot stand jigainst, but which bear him hi- 
ther and thither by violence." — " In being tossed up and down." 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. VIII. 3. 50/ 

In the exercise of our ministry, I and my compa- Ch. vi. 
nions have endured great persecutions ; we have ^^^' ^' 
suffered oppression ; we have been often in v/ant of 
common necessaries; we have been in difficulties 
and dangers almost inextricable ; we have been 
beaten with stripes; we have been cast into prisons; 
we have been in danger of losing our lives by the 
violence of lawless mobs ; we have laboured inces- 
santly in our ministry, and have often maintained 
Ourselves by our own industry ; we have added the 
toils of the night to those of the day, and in dis- 
charging the duties of our profes:-ion we have not 
unfrequently denied ourselves the refreshment of 
sleep ; we have sometimes been destitute even of 
necessary food : yet in all these troubles, amidst all 
these dangers, under all these sufferings, we have 
shown no resentment, we have uttered no com- 
plaint, nor have we been deterred by them from the 
vigorous and persevering prosecution of our sacred 
work, and the discharge of our divine embassy. 

3. They had further approved their ministry by 
the exemplary virtues of their character, as well as 
by the extraordinary powers with which they had 
been invested, ver. 6, 7. 

By puriti/, by knowledge^ by long-suffering, by 6. 

kindness, by a holy spirit 3, by love unfeigned, by 7. 

^ By a holy spirit.'] " by holy affections." Wakefield. — " by 
the gifts of the holy ghost." Locke. — " by a well-regulated spi- 
rit." Macknight; who observes, that the power of God, which 
signifies the power of miracles, is mentioned separately : and a 
holy spirit is here placed among good dispositions of mind. 

Ver. 7. 

508 Part I. II, C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. VIII. 3. 

Ch, VI. the ivord of inithy hy the poiver of God, through the 
armour of righteousness i 07i the right hand and on 
the left. 

We approve our ministry, not only by the exer- 
cise of patience under suffering, but by the practice 
of every other virtue, v^'hich our state and circum- 
stances may require : particularly by simplicity of 
motive and integrity of heart ; by a comprehensive 
knowledge of Christian doctrine, and of the best 
means of promoting it; by meekly enduring the 
injuries and insults which we daily receive ; by a 
spirit of kindness and good-will ; by a temper and 
conduct worthy of our Christian profession, and 
which becomes those who are admitted into the 
community of believers ; by ardent, diffusive, disin- 
terested benevolence; by faithfully and fearlessly 
publishing the truth ; by those signal interpositions 
of Almighty power, which attest the divine autho- 
rity of the doctrine we deliver, and which impart ir- 

' Through the armour of righteousness :] hia. The npostlc 
changes the preposition from £v to ^<a, q. d. the power of God 
is manifested in giving efficacy to the means which we use to 
defend and propagate the gospel of Christ : these he calls the 
armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left. The 
buckler was carried in the left hand, and the sword and spear 
in the right : it is the offensive and defensive armour of righte- 
ousness. AiKaioa-vvYj; perhaps signifies the gospel, the divine 
method of justification, see Rom. i. \7 ; and probably the sense 
of the passage is, " We approve ourselves servants of God by 
the use of that armour which the gospel provides, to ensure our 
triumph : the ofi^'ensive armour of miracles and gifts accompany- 
ing and succeeding the preaching of the gospel, and the defcn- 
.sive armour of meekness, faith, patience, and universal virtue. 
These are the weapons which effectually pull down tlie strong- 
holds of idolatry, error, prejudice, and vice. 

Part I. 11. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. VIII. 4, 509 

resistible efficacy to the humblest instruments ; Ch. vi. 
which enable us, impotent as we are in ourselves, 
successfully to wield the whole armour of the go- 
spel, and to subdue the opposition of ignorance and 
prejudice, either by a direct attack upon the strong 
holds of Satan, demonstrating the absurdity and 
wickedness of the popular superstitions, or by de- 
fending the Christian faith against the assaults of 
unbeliever^, and establishing its truth upon the 
clearest evidence ; or, finally, in recommending it 
to the acceptance of mankind by exemplifying its 
beneficial influence upon the heart and life. Thus 
it is, that in the whole of our character and con- 
'^uct, whether as men, as Christians, as ministers 
cf the gospel, or as apostles of Christ, we are soli- 
citous to approve ourselves faithful to our import- 
ant trust; to secure the approbation of God and 
man, and to advance the cause of evangelical truth. 

4. The apostle and his brethren in the ministiy 
further approved their character by the simplicity of 
their conduct in the various scenes of prosperity and 
adversity through which they passed, and by the di- 
vine protection which they experienced amidst diffi- 
culties and dangers, ver. 8 — 10. 

Through honour and disgrace ; through evil re- 8. 

port and good report ; as deceivers^^ and yet true; 

' As deceivers.'] Mr. Locke supposes that some of the oppo- 
site faction had called him a deceiver. Compare xii. 16. "as 
deceivers, in the opinion of some, and yet in reality true." 

5 1 Part I. II. C O R 1 N T H I A N S. Skct. VIII. 4, 

Ch. Vf. as unknown^ and yet well known ',• as dying, and 
^''^' 10 lieholdwe live^; as chastened, yet not killed; as sor- 
rowing, yet always rejoicing ; as poor, yet making 
many rich ^ ; as having nothing, yet possessing all 

V/e pass through various scenes prosperous and 
adverse, and we meet with various treatment, yet in 
every situation our character is uniform ; we con- 
stantly act as the messengers of God, * as ambas- 

' As unknown^ " as an obscure unknown man, but yet 
known and owned." Locke. — Wakefield, upon the authority of 
the/Ethiopic version, renders the clause, " as ignorant^ but full 
of knowledge." 

* Behold we livel] " He expresses himself as if this were 
wonderful, considering the many and great dangers to which he 
was exposed." Newcome. 

^ Making many rich,'] " in spiritual gifts, in good works^ and 
in future hopes." Newcome. 

■* Possessing all things.'] " This," says Dr. Doddridge, " is 
certainly one of the sublimest passages that was ever writ." 
Comp. "Phil. iv. 18 ; 1 Tim. vi. \7 ; Eph. i. 3 ; Rev. xxi. 7 } 
1 Cor. iii. 21—23. 

" ITiis," says Dr. Priestley, " was a noble appeal to the 
apostle's conduct, and especially to his daily sufferings in the 
cause 0: truth, for his sincerity and disinterested zeal in the 
service of the gospel, and of his Christian converts ; and should 
serve to encourage others, in all ages, who suffer from calumny 
while they are strenuously labouring to promote the cause of 
truth. If the zeal of this apostle, his unwearied labours, his pa- 
tient sufferings, and prudent conduct, could not save him from 
continual opposition, and even from those who professed the 
same gospel with himself, why should we wonder at the like 
happening at this day, when Christians are much more divided 
among themselves, and when there are consequently many more 
occasions of ofienee ? It ought to satif^fy every man, as it did 
the apostle Paul, ihat he can acquit himself to his own con- 
science, and to God, who knows the heart. Whatever we suffer 
from friends or enemies, while we act in this manner we shall 
be abundantly recompensed at a future day." 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. VIII. 4. 511 

sadors in Christ's stead. When we are honoured Ch. VI. 
beyond what is our due, we disavow improper marks 
of respect, and declare ourselves to be men* of like 
passions with others. When treated with contempt 
and exposed to disgrace, we are willing to be de- 
spised by men, if we can secure the praise of God. 
If we are loaded with calumny and unjust reproach, 
we content ourselves with the testimony of con- 
science and the approbation of God. If we are 
treated with respect, and held in reputation, while 
we readily disclaim all unmerited praise, we are 
cheered by the approbation of the wise and good, 
and stimulated to persevere in the discharge of duty. 
There are some who represent us as deceivers, who 
have no authority from Christ, and who wilfully 
teach erroneous doctrine for Christian truth ; but 
let such be assured that we little deserve the im- 
putation which they cast upon us, and that if they 
will allow themselves impartially to examine, they 
will find that we profess nothing which we cannot 
prove, and assume no character which we cannot 
establish. There are some who affect to speak of 
us as persons of no consequence, who are not 
known to the apostles nor acknowledged by the 
apostolic churches, and whose cliaracter and doc- 
trine are disavowed by the approved disciples and 
messengers of Christ, and the churches under their 
care: whereas the truth is, that these venerable 
founders of the church willingly give us the right 
hand of fellowship, acknowledge our claim and sanc- 
tion our doctrine, though our commission is made 

512 PartI. II. CORI NTHIANS. Sect.VIII.4. 

Oh. vj. out with greater latitude, and we are particularly 
. * ' commanded to teach the gospel to the Gentiles. 
We have often been in circumstances in which it 
seemed impossible to escape from death, yet to our 
own amazement, and that of others, we are still 
alive ; and whether living or dying, our only solici- 
tude is to discharge our office with faithfulness, and 
to be approved by him who sent us. We have un- 
dergone a severe discipline of persecution, but hi- 
therto we have been saved from death. 

To the eye of sense our condition is most wretch- 
ed, continually exposed to insult, to want, to suffer- 
ing, to danger ; but such is our confidence in the 
goodness of the cause for which we suffer^ and such 
our expectation of an exceeding great reward, that 
the consolation we feel abundantly overbalances all 
the sufferings we endure, and fills us with habitual 
and inexhaustible delight. 

We, like the Master whom we serve during his 
personal, ministry, are poor and dependent, without' 
money, and without a home ; yet are we authorized 
to dispense those spiritual blessings which are true 
opulence, and are daily enriching many with those 
, consolations and hopes which they justly value be- 
yond all the treasures of the earth. In this world 
we have nothing that we can call our own, we are 
destitute even of common necessaries : yet in truth 
we possess those inexhaustible stores of spiritual 
riches, both for our own use and for the use of 
others, that earthly treasures are of no value in our 
account ; and in the possession of the spirit, the 

Part I. II. CORINTHIANS. Skct.IX.1. 513 

blessings, and the hopes of the gospel, we enjoy far Ch. vi. 
more than earth can give, and everything which a ^^^' ^^' 
wise and good man can desire. 

And with all these credentials of a divine commis- 
sion, we trust that all who sincerely profess the faith 
of the gospel at Corinth, and who have been con- 
verted by our doctrine, will be fully satisfied, and that 
our enemies will be put to silence and to shamti. 


The apostle requests- to be admitted to a recijyro- 
cal share in the affection of the Corinthians, and 
warns them against forming imprudent connex- 
ions with unbelievers, and joining in their idola- 
trous worship. Ch. vi. 11 — vii, 1. 

1 . In return for his affection towards them, he 
claims from them reciprocal regard, ver. II — 13. 

Our mouth is opened to you ', O ye Corinthians t \\, 
our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened^ in \2. 

' Our mouth is opened to you.'] " I freely mention in what I 
glory : and I use this language for your benefit. See ch. v. 12. 
It is dictated by a heart which expands itself in love towards 
you." Newcome ; who adds, that Mr. Locke observes, that St. 
Paul here expresses his affection for the Corinthians in a very pa- 
thetic manner. " Aperte et Uhere vobiscum loquor. Sine ullo 
timore, tanquani familiarihus Icetus loquor." Rosenmuller. 

* Ye are not straitened:'] « r^vo^ujpsiaQs. " q. d. Vos in am- 
ino meo quasi domicilio quodani estis, eoque minime angusto. 
Sed vos mihi non pariier locum facitis in anbnis vestris" Rosen- 

VOL. II. 2 L 

d 14 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IX. 2. 

Ch. VI. US, but ye are straitened i?i 11 our own bowels'^, 
^^ 13 ^^oiv, as a 7^ecompence^for this, I speak as to my 
children 3, be ye also enlarged. 

We feel the warmest affection for you all, and as 
a proof of it we express our mind to you with the 
utmost freedom. There is no want of kindness on 
our part, but you are deficient in your regard to us. 
You do not feel that love for us, nor that respect to 
our authority, to which we are justly entitled. To 
this reciprocal affection we put in our claim. As to 
myself, I speak to you as a father : you are my chil- 
dren in the gospel. I feel the affection, and I ad- 
dress you with the authority, of a parent. Let my 
love to you be the measure of yours to me : enlarge 
your affection to an equality with mine. I shall 
then have no reason and no disposition to complain 
of the want either of filial gratitude or filial duty. 

2. The apostle dissuades them from forming in- 
timate connexions with unbelievers, and particularly 

' Your own bowels.'] "to, tnt'ka.y'/ya, viscera vocat, Hehrce- 
orum more, teneriores illos affectus intimo cordi insidentes." Ro- 
sen muUer, 

^ As a recompcnce.'] "tyjv Ss' i. e. xa.'ta. tijv avrr^v avfiijua-diav. 
Vicissim et vos, nam utfiliis loquor, dilatate vos : q. d. ad vicem 
rependendam. rr^v avrnjv, eandem, i. e.parem offectuimeo." Ro- 
senmuller. — " As a proper return for my afl"ection, give me as 
your father the same room in your affections that you as my chil- 
dren have in mine." Priestley. 

^ As to my children.'] The apostle, to avoid the appearance 
of egotism, commonly uses the plural number, including Ti- 
mothy, though it is plain that he chiefly means himself. But as 
Timothy was a young man, and had no pretence to the charac- 
ter of a fatlier, the apostle speaking under this character adopts 
the singular number. 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IX. 2. 515 

warns tliem against every approximation to idol wor- Ch. vr. 
ship, ver. 14 — 16. 

Be not unsmtahly associated^ ivlth unbelievers i Ver. 14. 
for ivhat participation hath righteousness^ ivith ini- 
qidty ? or ivhat communion hath light with dark- 
ness? or what concord hath Christ with Belial^? 35. 
or what portion hath a believer ivith an unbeliever? 

Form no connexions with idolaters. Do not as- 
sociate with them more than is absolutely necessary, 
even in business, and in the common intercourses 
of society : contract no family alliances with them : 
and above all, do not unite with them in their acts 

■* Unsuitably associated :] stBpo^vysvrcg. This word occurs 
only once in the New Testament^ and is variously explained. 
Some understand it eodeinjugojunctum esse : so Mr, Wakefield 
translates it. " Be not yoke-fellows with unbelievers." Schleu- 
.sner, with Hesychius and Kypkius, considers krspot^uysiv as op- 
posed to (Tv^vysiv, the latter being understood de animaUbus pa- 
ribus, and the former de animaUbus disparibusjugo junctis. And 
he renders the text, " Nolite societatem inire cum paganis, vobis 
plane imparibus, eorumque mores imitari, et ita consortia vobis iw- 
digno uti." The public version is, " Be ye not unequally yoked 
with unbelievers ;" and with this most other versions agree. — 
Archbishop Newcome remarks, after Bowyer, that there is a beau- 
tiful allusion to the idolatrous rite forbidden, Deut. xxii. 10: 
" Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together." All agree 
that the apostle means to dissuade the Corinthians from partak- 
ing in the rites of idolatrous worship. The expression is general : 
perhaps he means to prohibit all intimate connexions with idola- 
ters, whether by friendship, marriage, or religion. See ver. 16, 

' Righteousness :] Sixaiocrvvrj. Perhaps justification, the state 
of privilege and acceptance into which we are introduced by the 
gospel ; in opposition to a,vo[J4a,, the state of outlawry in which 
the gospel found us. 

' Belial.'] " A common name for the false Gods worshiped by 
idolatrous Gentiles." Locke. — " ' The false God who profitetii 
not :' as the etymology of the word imports." Newcome. 

516 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. IX. 2. 

Ch.vr. of idol worship, and in celebrating their idolatrous 
Ver. 15. £g5|.jyj^ig^ That the disciples of Jesus and worship- 
ers of the one true God should form alliances with 
idolaters, and join in their worship, is absurd and 
dangerous in the extreme. It is aiming to join 
things which are in their nature the most discordant. 
It is attempting to reconcile a state of friendship 
with God, with a state of alienation from him ; to 
combine light with darkness; and to unite the king- 
dom of Christ with that of the idolatrous power, 
which it was his express commission, and the de- 
sign of his advent, to overthrow. It is to confound 
the character, the state, and the final portion of the 
believer v/ith that of the unbeliever; and thus to re- 
present the Christian doctrine as nugatory and use- 
less, and therefore unworthy of God. 
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God 
with idols ^? For ye are the temple of the living 
God-: as Godhaih said^, I will dwell among them^ 
and walk among them, and I ivill be their God^ 
and. they shall he my people. 

' IMiat ogreeynent.'] Dr. Doddridge Avell observes, " There 
seems a peculiar strength in this interrogation. If God would 
not endure idols in any part of the land in which he dwelt, how 
much less would he endure them under his own roof ? " 

* Ye are the temple.'] " This (says Dr. Priestley) is a noble 
image, by which evei-y Christian is taught to consider himself as 
the temple of God, and should therefore keep himself holy and 
undefiled." — " the living God, in opposition to the dead heroes 
and benefactors whom the heathen worshiped." Newcome. 

^ God hath said.'] In the promise made to the Israelites, if 
they would continue to obey his laws, Levit. xxvi. 11, 12: 
" And I will set my tabernacle among you, and my soul shall 
not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your 
God, and ye shall be my people," 

Part I. II. C O RI N T H I A N S. Sect. IX. 3. 517 

Can the same building serve as a temple of the Ch. vi. 
living God, and a place for the lewd and cruel rites * '^' 
of a heathen idol ? No more can you be at the same 
time the servants of God and the associates of idola- 
ters : for you, by assuming the Christian profession, 
are become temples of the living God, as the Israel- 
ites were of old; concerning whom God himself de- 
clares, that he will take up his residence with them, 
and will walk among them, that is, that he will ho- 
nour them with the manifestation of his glory, and 
that he will take them under his protection ; that 
he will sustain the character of their God, the ob- 
ject of their veneration, confidence, and love; and 
that they shall be his people, whom he will guide 
and teach, preserve and bless. — These are the pri- 
vileges to which all who believe in Jesus are enti- 
tled : they cannot, therefore, without the most glar- 
ing inconsistency, contract habits of intimacy with 
those whose ignorance and whose vices keep them 
at a distance from God ; who are aliens from that 
community which he calls his own, who abhor 
his worship, and are enemies to him by wicked 

3. He urges them, by their relation to God as 
their Father, to separate themselves from idolaters, 
and to abstain from every connexion and from every 
practice which would pollute their minds, and in- 
fringe upon the sanctity of the Christian character, 
ver. 17 — vii. 1. 

Therefore, come out from the midst of them, mid 17. 

5 1 8 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. IX, 3. 

Ch. vr. separate yourselves^ saith the Lord i, and touch not 
^^' ] 3 the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and I 
ivill he a father to you, and ye shall be to me for 
sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty 2. 

The exhortation which is addressed by the pro- 
phet to the Israelites at Babylon, urging them to 
join the pious band who were about to return to 
their own country, rebuild their temple, and rein- 
state the worship of the true God, and calling upon 
them to embrace the opportunity which then offered 
of quitting the land of their captivity and the me- 
tropolis of heathen idolatry, utterly renouncing all 
connexion with idolatrous persons and idolatrous 
practices, may be considered as addressed to all who 
have embraced the Christian faith. Separate your- 
selves immediately, entirely, and for ever, from ido- 
laters and from their works; and if, in obedience to 
this injunction, you will be compelled to renounce 
some of the dearest connexions and the most inti- 
mate friends, remember that you can make no sa- 
crifice of this nature, which God cannot and will not 
amply compensate ; for the almighty, immutable 

' Saith the Lord,'] Isaiah lii. 1 1 , addressed to the captives in 
Babylon : " Depart yc, depart ye ! go ye out from thence : 
touch no unclean thing : go ye out of the midst of her : be ye 
clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." 

* Saith the Lord yllmighty.'] It is asked where this promise is 
made ? and some refer, erroneously I think, to 2 Sam. vii. 14, 
which is a promise to David and his family. Perhaps the text is 
lost from our copies. Perhaps the apostle only meant to give the 
general sense of the promises of God to liis people. Perhaps he 
declares upon his own authority, that if they separated themselves 
from the society, the practice, the rites, and the vices of idolatry, 
God would be a father to them. 

Part L //.CORINTHIANS. Sect. IX. 3. 519 

God has promised to be a father to you, and to re- Ch. vr. 
gard you as his children, if you are faithful and obe- 
dient. And if God is your father, he will most cer- 
tainly and amply fulfill all the obligations of this 
endearing relation : he will provide a rich and per- 
petual inheritance for you, and will use all proper 
means to train you for the possession and enjoyment 
of it ; and he will supply you with every thing need- 
ful during the present state of minority and pupil- 
age. Surely this consideration may well induce you 
cheerfully to comply with these injunctions which 
he lays upon you, which are intended for your ulti- 
mate advantage; though, perhaps, that compliance 
may at present require the exercise of much resolu- 
tion and painful self-denial. 

Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us 
purify ourselves from all pollution of flesh and spi- 
rit 3, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 

As the Almighty God has promised to be a fa- 
ther to us, and to treat us as his children, let it be 
our concern to behave in a manner suitable to this 
glorious and honourable relation ; let us carefully 
abstain from those vices which idolaters practise, 
and in which they glory, but which are strictly for- 
bidden by the Christian law, which are absolutely 
inconsistent with the duty which we owe to God, 
and which will inevitably exclude us from his pre- 
sence and favour, and from all the privileges of his 

Ch. vri. 

Vev. 1. 

^ Flesh and spirit^ " all impure actions and desires. The 
precept is well adapted to the dissolute manners of Corinth." 
Nevvcome. — " of body and mind." Wakefield. 

520 Part 1. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. X. 1 . 

Ch. vn. children and servants. Dreading, therefore, his dis- 
Ver. I. pleasure as the worst of evils, let us not rest satis- 
fied till we have attained that perfection of charac- 
ter to which, as the professors of Christianity, it is 
our duty to aspire ; which will assimilate us most 
nearly to the divine being, and recommend us to 
his favour, and which can only be attained by keep- 
ing out of the way of temptation, by renouncing con- 
nexions, however dear, which would ensnare our 
minds and seduce us into idolatry and vice ; and by 
the diligent use of all the means which will conduce 
to our improvement in knowledge and in virtue. 


The apostle, to recover the affections of the Co- 
rinthians, pleads his own earnest and disinter- 
ested attachment to them : he renews the decla- 
ration of his great satisfaction at the report of 
Titus, and particularly concerning their treat- 
ment of the great offender, and their kind beha- 
viour to the evangelist himself, who ivas highly 
gratified by the reception ivhich he experienced 
at Corinth. Ch. vii. 2 — 16. 

1 . The apostle requests a share in their affection 
and friendship, which he had done nothing to for- 
feit, and pleads his own disinterested affection for 
them, and his jay in their good conduct, ver. 2 — 4. 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. Sect. X. 1. 521 

Make room for us ' : we have injured no man, ive Ch. vil. 
have corrupted no man, we have taken undue ad- 
vantage of no man. 

Open your hearts to admit us ; receive me into 
your affection, and yield to my authority. I have 
done nothing to forfeit your kindness and confi- 
dence. Whatever imputations may have been cast 
upon my character, or in whatever manner others 
may have acted, I can with confidence declare, and 
appeal to you for the truth of the declaration, that 
I have injured no man in his property, that I have 
corrupted no man by false and immoral doctrine, 
and that I have not taken advantage of any person's 
ignorance or credulity, to subserve any sinister pur- 

/ do not mention this to condemn you, for I have 3- 

already told you 2 that ye are in our heart, to die 
together and to live together. 

I do not mean to blame you, but only to express 
my earnest desire of an interest in your affections, 
and to clear my character from all unworthy impu- 
tations: my affection to you is unalterable, and 
what I have before said I now repeat. My earnest 

' Make room for usl] " Receive us with enlarged affection, 
ch. vi. 11, 12. We are unlike yonr factious leaders. We have 
openly injured no man ; we have corrupted no man by false 
doctrines, we have artfully circumvented no man." Newcome. 
" This seems to insinuate the contrary behaviour of their false 
apostle." Locke. 

• I have already told you.'] " I do not mean to condemn your 
conduct. I have said before, that I have a deep affection for you, 
ch. vi. 11,12. He refers to the sense, and not to the very words : 
which is- his manner." Newcome. 

522 Part I. II, C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. X. 1. 

Ch VII. desire is, that the most perfect harmony may sub- 
sist between us, both hving and dying. 

Ver. 4. Great is my freedom of speech ' towards you, 
great my boasting concerning you. I am full of 
comfort, I exceedingly abound in joy'^ under all our 

I open my whole soul to you with the utmost 
freedom, both in animadverting upon your faults, 
and in expressing my solicitude for your welfare. 
And having heard of your reformation, I mention 
it upon all occasions with delight and triumph. 

' Freedom of speech^ " Respecting my own conduct, and my 
enlargement of heart towards you." Newcome. 

- 1 exceedingly abound in joy.'] vtspvspKrasuoiJiXi, " superabun- 
do supra modum, velvehementer exubero : q. d. Abundo Icetitia in 
omnihus yniseriis meis, ita, ut gaudium illud summum, quo me 
affectum sentio, omnem tristitiam et dolorum sensum removeat." 
Schleusner. " Tliis word," says Dr. Doddridge, " has an inex- 
pressible energy, and is, if I mistake not, a word of the apos^ 
tie's own making." It occurs but twice in the New Testament, 
here and Rom. v. 20, " where sin abounded, grace did much 
more abound." — " 'Ttt. verbum rarum. Non solum tranquilla 
mihi mens rediit, sed et eximii gaudii sensum percipio." Rosen- 

" The apostle's success in preaching the gospel at Corinth 
(says Dr. Priestley in his admirable note), after spending a con- 
siderable time to very little purpose at Athens, gave him great 
joy ; and it appears tliat, next to Antioch and Ephesus, the 
Christian church at Corinth was the largest of any out of Judea, 
The anxiety which the apostle had on his mind about the state of 
this church, we clearly see in every part of both these epistles. 
They discover the most genuine strong feelings, such as no for- 
ger or inventor of letters could have assumed. Every paragraph 
speaks the genuineness of these epistles ; and the genuineness 
of them is one of the strongest internal marks of the truth of 
the Christian religion. For, as I have often observed, if the 
principal facts of the gospel history were not true, the existence 
of these epistles, written as they are, cannot be accounted for.'* 

Part I. II. C O R 1 N T H I A N S. Sect.X.2. 523 

My heart overflows with joy which I cannot express ; Ch. vii. 

and all my labours and sufferings are abundantly 
repaid by the satisfaction which I feel in your good 

2. He expresses the extreme gratification which, 
in the midst of his cares and troubles, he had de- 
rived from the pleasing intelligence which Titus 
brought of the state of things in the church at Co- 
rinth, ver. 5 — 7 . 

For indeed luhen lue were come to Macedonia our 
flesh had no respite^ hut we were afflicted on every 
side : without were oppositions^ ivithin alarms^. 

When, being desirous of hearing tidings con- 
cerning you, I had crossed the sea from Troas into 
Macedonia, where I preached the gospel while I 
waited for the arrival of Titus, I met with the same 
harsh treatment which usually attends me in the 
exercise of my mission. Bodily refreshment and 
comfort I had none : I was harassed on all sides, 
with persecutions from without, with anxiety and 

Ver. 4. 

' Within alarms.'] (prXoi^ fears lest faction should prevail among 
you, ch. xi. 3. " 1 lay under the utmost uneasiness, partly from 
the opposition I met with against my doctrine, and more espe- 
cially from the dread I had that your false teachers should still 
pervert you and gain credit in your church." Pyle. — " lest the 
false apostle, continuing his credit and faction among you, 
should pervert you from the simplicity of the gospel." Locke. — 
It cannot well be doubted that these learned expositors are right 
in supposing the apostle to allude to his insidious opponent, 
both here and elsewhere ; but it is observable, that in this part 
of his epistle the apostle does not expressly point to him. He 
only marks him out by innuendoes, which bis readers would 
easily understand. 

524 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Skct. X. 2. 

Ch. VII. fear within. The opposition I met with in my at- 
^'^^'' ^' tempt to propagate the gospel was greatly aggravat- 
ed by the anxiety that I felt on your account, lest 
any of you should be tempted to apostatize from 
the faith, or to disgrace your profession by an un- 
* worthy conduct. 

6. £ut that God luho comforteth those who are 
hroitght low^ comforted us by the coming of Titus ; 

7. and not only by his coming, but especially by the 
consolation with which he had been comforted con- 
cerning you, reporting to us your eccrnest desire, 
your lamentation, your zeal for 7ne ^ . 

When I was ready to sink under the pressure of 
outward troubles and inward conflicts, that merciful 
and compassionate Being, whose gracious attribute 
it is to comfort the dejected, administered the most 
reviving consolation to my spirit by the seasonable 
arrival of Titus, whom I had sent to inquire into 
the state of your society. I rejoiced in his arrival, 
as in that of an affectionate faithful friend, and an 
able assistant in my apostolic labours; but I was 
more especially delighted to hear how much he had 
been pleased and edified by your friendship and your 
Christian conduct, and to be informed by him how 
earnestly you desired to rectify every thing that was 
amiss ; how sincerely you lamented your past mis- 
conduct, how much warmth of affection you ex- 

' Your earnest desire'] " to rectify every thing agreeably to 
my first epistle : your lamentation for past misconduct, your 
fervent spirit to obey me." Newcome. Your zeal. " Ardorem 
vestrum in perjiciendis lis rebus, de quibus scripseram." Rosen- 

Part I. II. CORINTHIAN S. Sect. X. 3. 525 

pressed for my person, and how much deference to Ch. Vil. 
my authority and instructions. 

3. The apostle expresses his satisfaction that the 
severe epistle he had written to them, and which had 
been the occasion of so much uneasiness both to 
himself and to them, had nevertheless been attended 
with such beneficial consequences, ver. 8, 9. 

So that I urns the more glad^ on seehig no rea- Ver. 3. 
son to repent of the uneasiness which I gave you 
by that letter : though I did repent^. For I see'^ 
that the epistle grieved you, for a short time only. 
JVoiv I rejoice ; not that ye were grieved, biit that 9. 

ye were grieved to repentance : for ye were grieved 
with regaled to God^, so that ye receive damage by 
us in nothing^. 

* So that I was the more glad.'] This is Mr. Wakefield's 
translation, and appears to me to give a just idea of the apostle's 

' / did repenf] " when I reflected on the agitation of mind 
which I had occasioned among you." Newcome. — " Non doleo 
quanquam doliiitmihi" Grotius. — " He was sorry that he found 
himself obliged to write that letter." Maclcnight. " We see by 
this circumstance," says Dr. Priestley, " that the apostle wrote 
from the feelings of his own heart, and from no immediate inspi- 
ration of the spirit of God, which was indeed altogether unne- 
cessary ; for he could never have repented, or been inclined to 
repent, of what he had written by the suggestion of the holy spi- 
rit. But it was quite natural for him to suspect, that writing 
from his own quick feelings, he might have expressed himself 
too strongly, so as to have done more harm than good by his 

* For I see.'] The Vulgate reads fiXsirwv, which Mr. Wakefield 
approves, and renders it. For perceiving, &c. I now rejoice. 

' With regard to God.] " with a penitential and humble re- 
gard to the honour of the blessed God, which is so immediately 

526 Pau* I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Ssct. X. 3. 

Ch. VII. I sent you an epistle, which, though dictated by 
the truest friendship and Christian affection for you, 
contained much severe animadversion, much harsh 
reproof, many unpalatable injunctions. I knew that 
to some it would give offence, and that to many it 
would occasion grief; and after I had written it, I 
almost repented of the strong language which I had 
used, and was grieved at tlie thought of the great 
uneasiness which it would occasion. But now I no 
longer regret what I have done, because I see that 
the uneasiness which I apprehended was transient, 
and that it operated in a right direction. I am even 
glad that the epistle, severe as it was, was sent to 
you. I rejoice, not that you were made uneasy, but 
that the uneasiness occasioned by my letter took a 
proper turn, and produced that change of mind and 
conduct which it was my desire and intention to ac- 
complish. The epistle, indeed, gave you pain, as 
I intended it should ; but that pain arose from a 
just sense of your guilt, and of the greatness of your 
offence in the sight of God ; and this produced that 
change of conduct which Titus has reported to me, 
and which has given me so much satisfaction ; so 

and peculiarly afl^cted by the irregularities of those who profess 
themselves his people." Doddridge. xccra, Osov. " Talienim 
tristitia estis affecti, cujus Deus auctor et suasorfuit. Alii : con- 
tristati estis convenienter divines voluntati. InteUigitur tristitia 
quce oritur ex causls, e quihus Deus vidt oriri tristitiam, et quee 
habet eos affedus, quos habere Deus vult." Rosenmuller. — ** In 
a godly manner, or, according to God." Newcome. 

^ In nothing.'] " For this proved a beneficial sorrow, accep- 
table to God, that in nothing you might have cause to complaire 
that you were damaged by me." Locke. — " Ita utnullaperme 
pcena, nulla damno afficer^mini : ha, pro uis'z.'" Rosenmuller. 

Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. X. 4. 527 

that, upon the whole, you have been benefited, and Ch. vil. 

in no respect mjured by the severity of my faithful 

4. The apostle represents the happy effect of 
their godly sorrow, which had completely answered 
the purpose for which he had written to them, par- 
ticularly in the case of the incestuous person, ver. 

For grief iv'ith 7'egard to God luorketh repent- 
ance to salvation, never to be repented of; but the 
grief of the ivorld ivorketh death. 

Sorrow for sin, which arises from a regard to the 
omniscience, the purity, the justice, and the power, 
but especially to the goodness of God, produces 
that thorough change in the affections, views, and 
principles, which is the source of holy and virtuous 
practice ; of which a man will never have any rea- 
son or any wish to repent, but, persevering in it to 
the end of life, will ultimately obtain that everlast- 
ing recompense which the gospel promises to those 
who continue patient in well-doing. But that sor- 
row for sin which arises solely from low and worldly 
motives, from the experience of evil consequences 
as to bodily health or secular interest, or, perhaps, 
from shame and regret because their follies and 
vices have attracted the notice, and exposed them 
to the contempt and the condemnation of the world, 
produces no good moral effect, lays no effectual re- 
straint upon vicious passions, and will eventually 
terminate in destruction. 

Ver. 9. 

528 Part I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S, Sect. X. 4, 

Ch. VII. For behold ', this very thing that ye grieved with 

^'^' ' regard to God^ what earnestness^ it produced in 

you; yea, what excusing of yourselves^; yea, what 

indignation'^; yea, whaty^^^r^; yea, vj\i^\. ear7iest 

' For behold.'] " The first clause in the preceding verse is 
here proved." Newcome. — Dr. Doddridge observes, from Gata- 
ker, that " Calvin and Reynolds, and some other divines of note, 
have been misled by taking it for granted that these verses con- 
tain seven distinct marks of true repentance, to be found in every 
sincere penitent ; whereas indeed these are not characters of the 
temper of each, but of different persons in different circum- 
stances, according to the part they respectively acted in the af- 
fair in question." 

" St. Paul (says Mr. Locke), writing to those who knew the 
temper they were in, and wliat were the objects of the several 
passions which were raised in them, doth both here and in the 
seventh verse forbear to mention by and to what they were 
moved, out of modesty and respect to them. This is necessary 
to be supjjlied, as can be best collected from the main design of 
the apostle in these epistles, and from several passages giving 
us light into it." 

* Earnestness :] trTi'sJijy " diligence to obey me." Newcome. 
*' what carefulness it wrought in you to conform yourselves to 
my orders." Locke, Macknight. — " what diligence to reform 
what had been amiss." Doddridge. — " Studium et industria in 
corrigenda ilia vitiositate, qnum antea levitas plerorumque ani- 
mum corrupisset.'" Rosenmuller. 

^ Yea, what excusing of yourselves.'] " aXXa hie valet imo et." 
Rosenmuller. AiroXoyiav i. e. " excusalionem suce negligenVm 
apud Titiim, unde culpa tantuni ad paucos rediit, vnoquoque dili- 
genter proferente, quod antea ignorabatur." Idem. — " what clear- 
ing of yourselves from your former miscarriages." Locke. — 
" what defence of yourselves." Newcome. — " what excuses." 
Wakefield. — " what a solicitous care to make the best apology 
you could for what you had done ; and of the sounder part to 
make their innocence appear." Doddridge. 

* What indignation :] ayayay.tYia-iv " displeasure, dissatis- 
faction with yourselves for being so foolish." Macknight ; who 
observes, that " the word properly denotes pain, the cause of 
which is in one's self." The primaiy signification of the word is, 
bodily pain : in its secondary sense it e.xpresses pain of mind and 
indignation in general. See Matt. xxi. li, xxvi. 8, Mark x. 14, 

Part I. 11. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. X. 4. 529 

desire^; yea, what zeal 7 ; yea, what revenge^. In ch. Vii. 

all things ye have proved yourselves to be clear in ^'' ' 
this matter 9. 

and Schleusner. In this connexion it is understood by most 
expositors as expressing indignation against offenders. So 
Locke : "what indignation against those who led you into them." 
And Newcome : " indignation against the incestuous person 
and my opponents." 

* WhatfearP^ ^o^ov. 'Mvhat reverence." Wakefield. — "what 
fear to offend me." See ver, 15. Locke, Newcome. — " what 
fear lest any thing of that sort should be encouraged and re- 
peated." Doddridge. — " fear of the displeasure of God." Mac- 
knight. — " Cautam providentiam, ut omnia corrigerentur." Ro- 

" What earnest desire,'] siriifo^rjO-iv, "of satisfying me." Locke, 
Newcome, Macknight.— " what fond affections." Wakefield. — 
" what earnest desire of seeing me again, and confirming our 
friendship in surer bonds." Doddridge. — " Desiderium, sive 
Pauli videndi, et ejusfavorefruendi, sive per severiorum morum 
ordinem, Pauli placendi." RosenmuUer. 

' What zeaLI ^>jAov. "what zeal for me." Locke. — " what 
zeal in every method that could be subservient to these views." 
Doddridge. — " zeal for my honour." Macknight. — " vehemens 
sfudiiirn, sive recte agendi, sive pro Pauli bona existi7natione." 

* IVhat revenge :] eKSiKrjo-iv. " revenge against yourselves for 
having been so misled." Locke, Doddridge, Harv/ood. — " pu- 
nishment in your animadversion on the impure offender." New- 
come, Macknight. See 1 Pet. ii. 14. — " uliio, sive animadver do 
severa in malos" RosenmuUer. This great diversity of opinions 
among expositors confirms Mr. Locke's observation, and shows 
how difficult it is to ascertain the true meaning of the apostle, 
though probably sufficiently obvious to the Corinthians, 

^ Clear in this ynatter.'] dyvovs iv rw " You have 
shown yourselves to be set right, and to be as you should be in 
every thing by this carriage of yours." Locke j who remarks, 
that the apostle could not mean that they were not guilty, be- 
cause he had charged them with misbehaviour ; but his meaning 
is, that they were now set right, and had resolved on a contrary 
course. Nor could he, by the words rui irfayf^ati, mean to li- 
mit his observations to the case of the fornicator ; for thai was 
«ot the subject upon which be had been speaking, but the Co- 

VOL. II, 2 M 

530 Part I, , II, C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. X. 4, 

Ch. VII. With great satisfaction I can add, that in your 
own case yon may see the excellent effect of that 
godly sorrow of which I have been speaking. With 
regard to the irregularities upon which I animad- 
verted in my former epistle, such as that spirit of 
faction and dissention, that alienation from me, that 
disregard to my authority, that attachment to a false 
teacher, and especially the toleration of the incestu- 
ous offender : your sorrow for these offences has 
been of the most ingenuous kind, and has origi- 
nated in the best principles. And its effects have 
been correspondent. What earnestness has it ex- 
cited in you all to bring things into a better state ; 
what apologies from some of you for past miscon- 
duct, and what solicitude in others to clear your- 
selves from any concern in the charge ; what indig- 
nation against those who have seduced you from 
your duty ; what fear of the consequences of your 
fault ; what earnest desire to be reconciled to me, 
and to recover my friendship ; what zeal to rectify 
every thing that has been amiss : and in order to 
this, how solicitous have you been to inflict that pu- 

rinthians siding with the false apostle against him. This lay- 
nearest his heart, and is the subject of the preceding chapters. 
He would therefore translate zv rev vpa,y[ji.ari, " in fact;" i. e. by 
your sorrow, your fear, &c. In the following verse he mentions 
his having written to them concerning the fornicator, but this is 
only as an argument of his affection to them. The great cause 
of his rejoicing was the breaking of the faction : his mind was 
now at rest, and he doubted not that all would go well. Agree- 
ably to this view of Mr. Locke, Archbishop Newcome explains 
the text, "clear at present : in the matter of fomenting divisions, 
of opposing me^ of encouraging him who committed incest." 

PaktI. II. cor I nth I ANS. Sect.X. 4. 531 

Ch. VII. 
Ver. U. 

nishment upon the principal offender which might 
clear the character of the Christian society, and 
might bring him to a due sense of the enormity of 
his guilt. You have omitted nothing that could be 
done, to testify the sincerity of your repentance, in 
the whole business concerning which I wrote to 

Wherefore, though 1 wrote to you, I did it not 12, 

so much for the sake of him who had committed, 
or of him tvho had sustained the injury \ hit for 
the sake of manifesting even to yourselves your ear- 
nest regard to us'^ in the sight of God. 

I was desirous that the person who had been so 
grievously injured in his honour and his peace might 

' Who had sustained the injury.'] Hence it appears that the 
father of the incestuous person was still living; which, as has 
been justly observed, must be a great aggravation of his crime. 
See Doddridge and Macknight. 

^ Your earnest regard to us :] tyjV (TTfsSriV the same word 
which occurs ver. 1 1 , and is there translated earnestness. The 
received text reads rjiAuiv rr^v virsp !J[/,wv, our earnest regard to 
you. This reading is followed by Locke : " that my care and 
concern for you might be made known to you." Doddridge and 
Macknight also adopt the same reading. But the Ephrem, Cler- 
mont, and many other manuscripts, and the Syriac, Coptic, and 
iEthiopic versions read o'/xcyv rijv ui!sp -^ijmv, tjour earnest regard 
to us. Griesbach marks it as of good authority, though he does 
not receive it into the text. Newcome, who seldom deviates 
from Griesbach, and Wakefield adopt this reading. " That your 
care for us might be made manifest to you in the sight of God." 
Newcome 3 who explains it, " Wlierefore, in the wise providence 
of God the result of all is this : It appears by the event as if I 
had written to you, not for the sake of reclaiming the incestuous 
son, or of doing justice to the injured father, but to manifest 
among you your care for me in the sight of an approving God." 
This sense is agreeable to the plain scope of the passage, as Mr. 
Wakefield observes. 


532 Part I. II. C R I N T H I A N S, Sect. X. 5. 

Ch.vii. have his injury redressed. I was anxious that the 
Ver. 12. i^g^j^Q^g offender might by just animadversion be 
brought to a due sense of his guilt, and that the re- 
putation of the society might be cleared. And this 
was my intention in writing to you. But a still fur- 
ther end has been answered by my epistle, and that 
an end of great importance. It has been a means 
of proving, even to yourselves as well as to the world, 
the great esteem and affection which you entertain 
for me, and the high value which you set upon the 
instructions which I have communicated to you in 
the name and under the authority of God, by a 
practical regard to which you will secure your final 

5. The apostle assures them that he was much 
pleased with their behaviour to Titus, who was also 
himself highly gratified by it; and he concludes 
this part of his epistle with expressing his entire 
confidence in their present good dispositions, 
' ver. 13 — 16. 

13. Therefore^ we ivere comforted; and in addition^ 
to this our comfort, me rejoiced still more exceed- 
ingly 2 in the joy of Titus, because his spirit was 

14. refreshed"^ by you all. So that, if I had boasted 

* And in addition, &c.] With Mr. Wakefield I adopt the read- 
ing of the Ephrem, Clermont, and many other copies and ver- 
sions. The received text, retained by Griesbach and Archbishop 
Newcome, reads, " We vvere therefore comforted by reason of 
your (oju-wv) comfort. And we rejoiced," &c. 

^ Still more exceedingly.'] " TTspKrtxorspuJs [jiaXXov, duplex cQm^ 
parativus, ut Marc. vii. 36." See Rosenmuller and Grotius. 

3 His spirit was refreshed.'] q. d. he M\as refreshed. See Phi- 

ART I. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sacr. X. 5. 533 

at all concerning you to hhuy I have not been made ch. Vii. 
ashamed. But as we have spoken all things to you ^'^"'" ^'^' 
i?i truth, so this our boasting concerning you to 
Titus 4 has likewise proved true. 

The information I received concerning your pe- 
nitence and reformation afforded me great satisfac- 
tion. This satisfaction was exceedingly increased 
by the intelHgence which I obtained from Titus, of 
your kind and friendly behaviour to him while he 
resided with you. I was pleased to hear that he had 
been made so happy among you ; and I was the more 
pleased with it, because before he set out I had as- 
sured him that he would be treated with great kind- 
ness by you, and your conduct has verified the good 
opinion which I entertained of you. And it now 
appears, that as the doctrine which I taught you has 
always been founded in truth, whatever my adver- 
sary may have insinuated to the contrary, so like- 
wise my favourable representation of you to Titus 
proved to be correct, though it is possible that some 
of your enemies might have alarmed his apprehen- 
sions by giving him a different account of your cha- . 

And his tender affection is more abundant to- 15. 

ivards you, ivhen he calls to mind the obedience of 
you all, with how much fear and trembling'^ ye re^ 
ceived him. 

lera. V. 25. " Refreshed by your becoming reception of him, and 
by the good disposition which prevailed among you." Newcome. 

* To Titus.'] "apud Tihim." Rosenmuller. " which I made 
before Titus." Newcome. — Some good copies read ttoos T;rov. 

^ With fear and trembling.'] " with anxious attention and re- 

534 Part I, II, C O R 1 N T H I A N S. Sect. X. 5. 

ch. VII. Titus never thinks of you but with the kindest and 
tenderest emotions, when he recollects the great 
concern which you expressed when you read the let- 
ter which he brought, and heard what he had further 
to impart to you from me; also the readiness with 
which you yielded to the advice and to the animad- 
versions which the letter contained, and the zeal 
with which you hastened to reform the abuses of 
which I complained. 
IG. / rejoice that in every respect I have confidence 
in you ' . 

To conclude, therefore, I cheerfully embrace this 
opportunity of declaring my entire confidence in 
you, that you will go on to rectify every thing that 
is still amiss ; that you will persevere in faith and 
holiness ; and that you will continue to cherish an 
affectionate regard to me, and to pay a just deference 
to my apostolic authority. 

verence." Nevvcome. — " Quod cum summa reverentia eum ex- 
ceperitis : i. e. ejus auctoritatem omnino sitis reveriti. Si enim 
eum reverenter exceperunt, obedlverunt ei in omnibus, quicquid 
sua(leret,mo}ieret,institueret. Vid. 1 Cor. ii. 3 3 Eph. vi. 5j Phil, 
ii. 12." Rosenmuller. Fear and trembling seems to have been 
a customary phrase with the apostle to express reverence and 
respect. See Eph. vi. 5. 

' I have confidence in yoM.] " The address of all this part of 
the epistle," says Dr. Doddridge, " is wonderful. This, in parti- 
cular, finely introduces what he had to say in the following chap- 
ter, and is strongly illustrated by ch. ix. 2 — 4." It is observable, 
that through the greater part of this chapter and the remainder 
of the epistle, the apostle drops the plural number and speaks 
in his own person, as he discourses upon subjects upon which 
Timothy could not with propriety be supposed to join him. 

Part II. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. 1. I. 535 


The apostle exhorts the Corinthians, after ch. viii. 

to make a liberal contribution FOR THE RE- 
FORE HE CAME. Ch. viii., ix. 


The apostle informs them of the generous libe- 
ralky of the churches in Macedonia^ and urges 
a variety of considerations to induce the believers 
at Corinth to follow their example. Ch. viii. 1 — 

1. He communicates to the Corinthians the ge- 
nerous zeal of the believers in Macedonia ; which 
induced him to send Titus to Corinth, to finish the 
collection there, ver. 1 — 6. 

Now, brethren^ we inform you of the extraordi- ver. 1. 
nary generosity 2 which hath been displayed by the 

• Extraordinary generosity.'] So Wakefield. " rijv %a^<y rs ©es* 
literally, the gift of God, or the godly gift, or the godlike gift." 
Newcomc ; who renders it •' the very liberal gift. See 2 Sam. 

536 PAiir II, 11. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. I. 1. 

Ch. VIII. churches of Macedonia; that vnder a great trial of 
^^'■- 2- affliction, the overfloiving oj their joy ' and the depth 
of their poverty have eminently displayed"^ the riches 
of their bounty"^. 

The apostles at Jerusalem, when they gave the 
right hand of fellowship to Paul and Barnabas, ear- 

ix. .3 ; Psalm Ixxx. 10 ; Acts vii. 20." — " I think it proper to ac- 
quaint you with the great and exemplary liberality lately shown 
by the Christians in Macedonia." Pyle. In his note he remarks, 
that " the name of God joined to any thing in the Hebrew lan- 
guage, is put to magnify it to the highest degree." — " More- 
over, brethren, I make known to you the gift which by the grace 
of God is given in the churches of Macedonia." Locke ; who adds 
in his note, " %«/"? is here used by St. Paul for gift, or liberality ; 
and is so used, ver. 4, 6, 7, 9, 1 9, and 1 Cor. xvi. 3. It is called, 
also, the gift of God -, because God is the author and procurer of 
it, moving tlieir hearts to it." 

' Of their joy :] %apaf. " in their Christian privileges." New- 
corae ; who observes, that Dr. Mangey and Mr. Wakefield con - 
jecture yjsia;, " of their necessity." Mr. Wakefield says, " It 
is an indubitable emendation, though not authorized, it seems, 
by any manuscript or version now existing." 

* Have eminently displayed^ " airspio-a'sucrsv, hath abounded 
to the riches of their liberality." Newcome. — " The abundance 
of their want, and their deep poverty were rich and plenteous \n 
liberality." Wakefield. 

' Bounty :] " liberality. So the word ditXorrjg usually signi- 
fies, both in the Old Testament and the New. Prov. xi. 25; Rom. 
xii. 8 ; 2 Cor. ix. 11, 13 ; James i. 5." Whitby. 

" The general poverty of the Jewish Christians," says Dr. 
Priestley in his introduction to this chapter, " from whom the 
gospel was propagated, is a circum.stance highly favourable to 
Christianity, as it clearly shows that they with whom the gospel 
originated had neither power nor wealth to procure it any credit ; 
so that there was nothing but its own proper evidence in its fa- 
vour, and this proved to be sufficient to ensure its success. — 
What could induce the learned and the wealthy in all the consi- 
derable cities of Greece to become Christians, when the head of 
the religion was regarded as a crucified malefactor, and most of 
his followers in Judeawere in poor and distressed circumstances ? 
Had the first Christians been the great and the wealthy of a 

Part II. II. CORINTHIANS, Sect. 1. 1. 53/ 

nestly recommended to them to remember the poor, Ch. viii. 
which the apostle Paul declares, they were by no ' 
means backward to do ; and upon various occasions 
he encouraged contributions among the opulent 
Gentile converts, for the relief of the indigent be- 
lievers in Judea; expecting, no doubt, that this libe- 
rality of the Gentiles would gradually soften the pre- 
judices of the Jewish believers, and dispose them to 
regard with complacency their Gentile brethren, al- 
though they decHned to submit to the yoke of the 
ceremonial institution. The apostle v/as now en- 
gaged in promoting a very considerable contribu- 
tion in Greece for the relief of the Jewish Christians, 
which he had himself undertaken to carry to Jeru- 
salem, in company with other deputies appointed 
by the respective churches. In his first letter to the 
Corinthians, written from Ephesus a year before, he 
had recommended the case; and in his progress 
through Macedonia he had collected contributions, 
which had surpassed his most sanguine expecta- 
tions ; and which he here announces to the Corin- 
thians, to excite their emulation. 

Having thus given vent to the fullness of my heart, 
and the joy I felt at the report of Titus, I now pro- 
ceed to inform you, my brethren, of the extraordi- 

country, what a handle would that have furnished the unbeliev- 
ers of this age for surmise and suspicion, even without any pro- 
per evidence of fraud ! because the rich and the grea: are alwaj's 
known to have the means of imposing upon the vulgar ; but the 
poor and ignorant vulgar have it not equally in their power to 
deceive the learned and the rich." 

538 Part II. II. C O R I N T H I A N S. Sect. 1. 1. 

^v' ^1>"* "^^7 liberality displayed by the churches of Mace- 
donia. For under much experience of tribulation, 
in the midst of persecution and bereavement, their 
abundant joy in the discoveries and the promises of 
the gospel, and their deep poverty, occasioned by 
the spoiling of their goods by their unjust persecu- 
tors (see Acts xvi. xvii.), have magnified and set 
off to great advantage their extraordinary liberality 
in the contributions they have made for the relief of 
the necessitous brethren in Judea. 

3- For to their ability I hear them witnesSy and be- 
yond tlieir ability they contributed of their own ac- 

4. cord^; entreating us with much importunity con- 
cer?iing this liberal contribution^ to accept the mini' 

Having voluntarily contributed beyond their due 
proportion, and so as to put themselves to consider- 
able inconvenience by their generosity, they ear- 

' They contributed of their own accord.'] " Sensus est, Provi- 
ribus, quodvere testari possum, imo supra vires suas ipsi, nondum 
rogati, contulerunt" Rosenmuller. — vtsp Sway^tv, beyond their 
ability.. For similar expressions in classical writers, see Whitby, 
Doddridge, and Rosenmuller. 

' To accept the ministration:'] ^B^aa-Qui rj[i(X,s. These words 
are wanting in copies and versions of the best authority, and are 
left out in the text of Griesbach ; they were probably a marginal 
gloss, they, or some words to the same purport, being necessary 
to complete the sentence. Archbishop Newcome translates thus, 
from the Griesbach text : " beseeching us with much entreaty 
concerning their gift, and the joint ministration of it to the 
saints, or to the wants of the saints." With Mr. Wakefield 
" I express in our idiom the hendiadys of ver. 4." He translates 
in the following manner : " For I declare, according to their abi- 
lity, and above their ability they besought us of their own accord, 
with much entreaty, to accept this liberal communication of their 
relief to the saints." 

Part II. II. C O R I N T H 1 A N S. • Sect. I. 1. 539 

nestly requested that I with others would undertake ch. viir. 
the office of carrying their Uberal contribution to the ^"'' '^' 
Christians at Jerusalem. 

^nd what was beyond our expectation^^ they 5- 

first gave themselves up to the Lord, and then to 
us, according to the will of God. 

As they exceeded our expectation in the extent 
of their liberality, so likewise in the purity and sub- 
limity of their motive : for, previous to the con- 
tribution, they avowed their entire subjection to the 
gospel of Christ ; and, in obedience to the will of 
God, they gave themselves up to the service of 
Christ, agreeably to the instructions which they re- 
ceived from us ; so that their generosity was of the 
most exalted kind, flowing wholly from Christian 
principles and from a pious and truly Christian 

Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had 6. 

already begun, he would also finish this contribu- 
tion 4 among you. 

When I observed this generous spirit in the Ma- 
cedonians, I was anxious that you, my brethren, 
with whose kindness of heart I was well acquainted, 

' Beyond our expectation :] a Koi,bu)s, " and this they 
did not as we expected." Newcome. — " In this they outdid my 
expectation." Locke. — " The word is used by the Attics, say 
grammarians, not only touching good things, but simply touch- 
ing the event of what is future. See Suidas. It has the sense 
of expect, see Hesychius and Phavorinus ; and, according to Eu- 
stachius, of conjecture." Whitby. — " gave themselves to me to 
dispose of what they had as God should direct." Locke, 

^ Contribution.'} yjxpiv. See Wakefield. " this work of libe- 
rality." Newcome. Sccvcr, 1. 

540 Part II. II. C O R 1 N T H 1 A N S. Sect. I. 2. 

eh.vili. might not be behind the believers in Macedonia in 
"'■ ' any virtuous and laudable exertion ; and for this rea- 
son I have requested Titus to return to Corinth, 
and to finish the collection which he began vt'hen he 
was with you before. 

2. He stimulates their liberality, by praising their 
excellence in other Christian virtues, and by the 
zeal of others, ver. 7, 8. 
7. Noiu, as ye abound in every other good quality, 
in faith, and i?i doctrine ', and in knowledge^ and 
in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye 
abound in this virtue of liberality also. 

I need not say much to press upon you a duty to 
which you are already so well inclined : permit me, 
however, to hint, that as you excell so much in 
other Christian virtues, and particularly in the sted- 
fastness of your faith, in the purity of your doctrine, 
in your comprehensive knowledge of the nature and 
the grounds of revealed truth, in your earnest zeal 
for the performance of every duty, and in your af- 
fectionate attachment to me who am your first in- 
structor in the Christian religion, it becomes you to 
be consistent throughout, and complete in every 
branch of duty. Excell, then, I entreat you, in this 
virtue of liberality, as much as you excell in other 
virtues, and contribute handsomely to this collec- 
tion for the necessitous brethren in Judea, and you 

' In doctrine.'] sv Xoycv. Wakefield. See Eph. i. 13, Col. i. 5. 
— " in utterance, or ability to instruct others." Doddridge, New- 

PartII. II. CORINTHIANS. Sect.1.3, 541 

will then fill up the circle of Christian duties, and ch. vili. 
will be deficient in no branch of the Christian cha- ^""" ^' 

I speak not by way of comrnand: but by the dili- 8. 

gence of others, approving^ also the genuineness of 
your love. 

I do not pretend to direct you in the disposal of 
your property, but I mention the liberality of others, 
in order to give you an opportunity of manifesting 
to the world that you are influenced by the genuine 
spirit of Christianity, and that you are not inferior 
to any in active benevolence, and m generous sym- 

3. He recommends liberality, from the example 
of Christ, ver. 9. 

For ye know the munificence'^ of our Lord Jesus 9, 

Christy hoWy ivhile he was rich^,for your sakes he 

* Approving also^ Soxi^a.^u)V " showing the world a proof of 
the genuineness of your love." — " Thus (says Mr. Locke) I think 
it should be rendered. St. Paul, who is so careful to show his 
esteem and good opinion of the Corinthians, could not in this 
place so far forget his design as to tell them that he sent Titus 
to make a trial of the sincerity of their love. This had been an 
ill expression of that confidence which he tells them he has in 
them in all things : taking, therefore, Soxi[/.a^wv for drawing out 
a proof, it is, q. d. This I urge, not as a command from God ; 
but, upon occasion of others' liberality, lay before you an oppor- 
tunity of giving the world a proof of the genuine temper of your 
charity, which, like that of your other virtues, loves not to come 
behind that of others." 

^ Munificence^ Locke ; who observes that " this is the sig- 
nification in which St. Paul uses %aj3<5' over and over again in 
this chapter." 

* While Ite was rich.'] s'rrtu}')(sv(rE, irKovcriog coy. See Wake- 
field. The construction requires it to be understood, not of a 

542 PahtII. II. CORINTHIANS. Skct.1.3, 

Ch. VIII. lived in poverty y that ye hy his poverty might he en- 
*' riched. 

You know the kindness of our great Master Jesus 
Christ, who, though he was endowed with miracu- 
lous powers, by which he could at pleasure have sup- 

passage from a preceding state of wealth to a succeeding state 
of poverty, bat of two contemporary states. He was rich and 
poor at the same time. " Ilrw^eucy, mendicus sum, mendicus 
zjjuo. Steph. Thesaur. — inopsdego. Constantin.Lex. ewrw^eocre, 
pauper fuit, sive potius, mendicavit." Erasmus. The word pro- 
perly signifies an actual state, not a change of state. Literally, 
he was poor, or he was a beggar. See Odyss. O. 1. 308. Our 
■ Lord was rich in miraculous powers, which he could employ, if 
he pleased, for his own advantage. But for the benefit of his 
followers he chose to lead a life of poverty and dependence, to 
deny himself the comforts and the luxuries of life for the good 
of others. See Grotius. This was a very proper example to the 
Corinthians, which they might feel and imitate. It was cer- 
tainly much more pertinent and applicable than a supposed de- 
scent from a prior state of existence and happiness ; to which 
there could be nothing analogous in the case of the Corinthians, 
and to which the apostle cannot in reason, or in consistence with 
grammatical construction, be understood as making the least al- 
lusion. Improv