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TEXT. 2 And be not conformed to this world ; but be ye transformed by
the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
PARAPHRASE. thereof being mortified, and the body cleansed from the spots and blemishes of sin, will be an acceptable
offering to him, and such a way of worship, as becomes ' a rational creature, which therefore I beseech you, by the mercies of God to you, who has made you his people to present to him. And be not conformed to the fashion of this world *: but be ye transformed, in the renewing of your minds t; that you may, upon examination, find out what is the good, the accept. able and perfect will of God, which now, under the gospel, has shown itself to be in purity and holiness of life: the ritual observances, which he once instituted, not being that, his good, acceptable, and perfect will, which he always intended, they were made only the types and preparatory way to this more per
NOTES. before, especially chap. yii. so much insisted on this, that the body was the great source from wbence sin arose. 2. Because the heathen world, and particularly the Romans, were guilty of those vile affections, which he mentions, chap. i. 24-27.
2 * "To the fashion of this world ; " or, as $t. Peter expresses it, « not “ fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in the times of igpo“ rance," 1 Peter i. 14.
† “ Transformed in the renewing of your minds.” The state of the gentiles is thus described, Eph. iv, 17-19. As walking in the vanity of their minds, having the understanding darkened, " being alienated from the life of God, " through the ignorance that is in thein, because of the blindness of their hearts, “ who, being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, tó or work all uncleanness with greediness, fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, and of " the mind.” And Col. i. 21, “ Alienated and enemies in their minds by " wicked works.” “ The renewing," therefore, “ of their minds," or, as he speaks, Eph. iv. “ in the spirit of their minds," was the getting into an estate, contrary to what they were in before, viz. to take it in the apostle's own words, “ that the eyes of their understandings might be enlightened ;” and that they “ might put on the new man, that is renewed ju knowledge, after the “ image of him that created him; that ye walk as children of the light, prov“ ing what is acceptable to the Lord, having no fellowship with the works of “ darkness :” that they “ be not unwise, but understanding what is the will of “ the Lord : for this is the will of God, even your sanctification. That you “ should abstain from fornication. That every one of you should know how “ to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour, not in the lust of concu.. “ piscence, even as the gentiles that know not God.”
TEXT. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is
among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For, as we have many members in one body, and all members
have not the same office; 5. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one mem*bers one of another. 6 Having then gifts, differing according to the grace that is given to
PARAPHRASE. 3 fect state under the gospel *. For by virtue of that
commission, to be the apostle of the gentiles, which, by the favour of God, is bestowed on me, I bid every one of you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to have sober and modest thoughts of himself, according to that measure of
spiritual gifts t, which God has bestowed upon him. 4 For, as there are many members in one and the same ·body, but all the members are not appointed to the 5 same work; So we, who are many, make all but
one body in Christ, and are all fellow members one 6 of another #. But having, according to the respec
tive favour that is bestowed upon us, every one of us different gifts; whether it be prophecy S, let us prophesy, according to the proportion of faith || ; or gift of interpretation, which is given us,
NOTES. * In these two first verses of this chapter, is shown the preference of the gospel to the gentile state and the jewish institution. * 3 + Métpov WISEWS, “ Measure of faith ; " gome copies read xép1705, “ of is favour, either of them expresses the same thing, i. e. gifts of the spirit.
5. The same simile to the same purpose ; see 1 Cor. xii.
6 § « Prophecy,” is enumerated in the New Testament, among the gifts of the spirit, and means either the interpretation of sacred scripture, and explaining of prophecies already delivered, or forctelling things to come.
il “ According to the proportion of faith.” The context in this and the preceding verses, leads iis, without any difficulty, into the meaning of the apostle, in this expression : 1 Cor. xii. and xiv. show us how apt the new converts were to be puft up with the several gifts that were bestowed on them; and every one, as in like cases is usual, forward to magnify his own, and to carry it farther, than in reality it extended. That it is St. Paul's design here, to prevent, or regulate such disorder, and to keep every one, in the exercising of his particular gift, within its due bounds, is evident, in that exhorting them, ver. 3, to a sober use of their gifts (for it is in reference to their spiritual gifts, he speaks in that verse) he makes the measure of that sobriety, to be that measure of faith, or
TEXT. us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the propor
tion of faith. 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth,
on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation : he that giveth, let him do
it with simplicity: he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with chearfulness.
PARAPHRASE. i, e. as far forth as we are enabled by revelation and
an extraordinary illumination to understand and ex.by pound it, and no farther: Or, if it be ministry, let us
wait on our ministering; he that is a teacher, let him 8 take care to teach. He, whose gift is exhortation,
let him be diligent in exhorting: he that giveth, let him do it liberally, and without the mixture of any
NOTE. spiritual gift which every one in particular enjoyed by the favour of God, i. e. that no one should go beyond that which was given him, and he really had. But besides this, which is very obvious, there is another passage in that verse, which, rightly considered, strongly inclines this way: “ I say through the grace “ that is given unto me,” says St. Paul. He was going to restrain thein, in the exercise of their distinct spiritual gifts, and he could not introduce what he was going to say in the case with a more persuasive argument than his own example: “ I exhort,” says he, “ that every one of you, in the exercise and use of his “ spiritual gift, keep within the bounds and measure of that gift which is “ given him. I myself, in giving you this exhortation, do it by the grace given “ unto me; I do it by the commission and power given me by God, and beyond “ that I do not go." In one, that had before declared himself an apostle, such an expression as this here (if there were not some particular reason for it) might seem superfluous, and to some idle; but, in this view, it has a great grace and energy in it. There wants nothing but the study of St. Paul's writings to give us a just admiration of his great address, and the skill wherewith all that he says is adapted to the argument he has in hand : “ 1,” says he, “ according to the “ grace given me, direct you every one, in the use of your gifts, which, ac. “ cording to the grace given you, are different, whether it be the gift of pro.. phecy, to prophesy according to the proportiou, or measure oi ihat gift, or « revelation that he hath. And let him not think that, because some things « are, therefore every thing is revealed to him.” The same rule, concerning the same matter, St. Paul gives, Eph. iv. 16, that every member should act according to the measure of its own strength, power, and energy ; 1 Cor. xiv. 29–32, may also give light to this place. This, therefore, is far from signifying that a man, in interpreting sacred scripture, should explain the sense, according to the system of his particular sect, which each party is pleased to call the analogy of faith. For this would be to make the apostle to set that, for a rule of interpretation, which had not its being till long after, and is the product of fallible men.
The “ measure of faith,” ver. 3, and “ proportion of faith,” in this verse, signify the same thing, viz. so much of that particular gift, which God was pleased to bestow on any one. VOL. VII.
TEXT. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil,
cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in ho
nour preferring one another. 11 Not slothful in business : fervent in spirit; serving the Lord. 12 Rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation ; continuing instant in
prayer: 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints ; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that
weep. 16 Be of the same mind one towards another. Mind not high
things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in
your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in
the sight of all men.
PARAPHRASE. self-interest: he that presideth *, - let him do it
with diligence: he that showeth mercy, let him do 9 it with chearfulness. Let love be without dissimu
lation. Abhor that which is evil, stick to that 10 which is good. Be kindly affectioned one towards
another, with brotherly love: in honour preferring 1l one another. Not slothful in business; but active
and vigorous in mind, directing all the service of 12 Christ and the gospel, Rejoicing in the hope you
have of heaven and happiness; patient in tribula13 tion; frequent and instant in prayer: Forward to
help christians in want, according to their necessi14 ties; given to hospitality. Bless them who perse. 15 cute you : bless and curse not. Rejoice with them 16 that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of
the same mind one towards another. Do not mind only high things; but suit yourselves to the mean
condition and low concerns of persons beneath you. 17 Be not wise in your own conceits. Render to no
man evil for evil; but take care that your carriage
NOTE. 8 * 'o apocsáuevos. “ He that ruleth,” says our translation; the context inclines to the sense I bave taken it in; see Vitringa de Synagog. I. ii. c. 3.
TEXT. · 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with
all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place
unto wrath ; for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay,
saith the Lord. 20 Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give
him drink, for, in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his
head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good,
PARAPHRASE. 18 be such as may be approved by all men. If it be
possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with 19 all men. Dearly beloved, do not avenge yourselves,
but rather leave that to God. For it is written,
• Vengeance is mine, and I will repay it, saith the 20 “ Lord.” Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed
him; if he thirst, give him drink; if this prevail on him, thou subduest an enemy, and gainest a friend ;: if he persists still in his enmity, in so doing, thou
heapest coals of fire on his head, i. e. exposest him 21 to the wrath of God, who will be thy avenger. Be
not overcome and prevailed on, by the evil thou receivest, to retaliate ; but endeavour to master the malice of an enemy in injuring thee, by a return of kindness and good offices to him.
CHAP. XIII. 1–7.
CONTENTS.. This section contains the duty of christians to the civil magistrate: for the understanding this right, we must consider these two things :
1. That these rules are given to christians, that were members of a heathen commonwealth, to show them that, by being made christians and subjects of Christ's king