Page images
PDF
EPUB

TEXT. 15 If any man's work shall be burnt, he shall suffer loss : but he him

self shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of

God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy: for

the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 18 Let no man deceive himself: if any man among you seemeth to be

wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

PARAPHRASE. abide in the fire, he shall be rewarded for his labour in the 15 Gospel. But, if he hath introduced false or unsound doctrines

into Christianity, he shall be like a man, whose building, being of wood, hay, and stubble, is consumed by the fire, all

his pains in building is lost, and his works destroyed and 16

gone, though he himself should escape and be saved. I told

you, that ye are God's building'; yea, more than that, ye are 17 the temple of God, in which his Spirit dwelleth. If any

man, by corrupt doctrine or discipline, defileth m the temple of God, he shall not be saved with loss, as by fire; but him

will God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which 18 temple ye are. Let no man deceive himself, by his success

in carrying his point": if any one seemeth to himself, or others, wise", in worldly wisdom, so as to pride himself in his parts and dexterity, in compassing his ends; let him renounce all his natural and acquired parts, all his knowledge and ability, that he may become truly wise, in embracing

NOTES. 16 1 Vid. ver. 9. 17 m It is not incongruous to think, that by any man, here, St. Paul designs one

particular man, viz. the false apostle, who, it is probable, by the strength of his party, supporting and retaining the fornicator, mentioned ch. v. in the church, had defiled it; which may be the reason, why St. Paul so often mentions fornication, in this epistle, and that, in some places, with particular emphasis, as chap. v. 9, and vi. 13-20. Most of the disorders, in this church, we may look on as owing to this false apostle; which is the reason, why St. Paul sets himself so much against him, in both these epistles, and makes almost the whole business of them, to draw the Corinthians off from their leader, judging, as it is like, that this church could not be reformed, as long as that person was in credit,

and had a party among them. 18 - What it was, wherein the craftiness of the person mentioned had appeared, it

was not necessary for St. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, who knew the matter of fact, to particularize to us : therefore it is left to guess, and possibly we shall not be much out, if we take it to be the keeping the fornicator from censure, so much insisted on by St. Paul, chap. v. • That by codàs, here, the apostle means a cunning man in business, is plain from his quotation in the next verse, where the Wise, spoken of, are the crafty. VOL. VIII.

H н

TEXT.

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is

written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they

are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men: for all things are yours: 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death,

or things present, or things to come; all are yours: 23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. IV. I Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and

stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards,that a man be found faithful, 3 But with me it is a very small thing, that I should be judged of

you, or of man's judgment : yea, I judge not mine own self.

PARAPHRASE.

and owning no other knowledge, but the simplicity of the 19 Gospel. For all other wisdom, all the wisdom of the world,

is foolishness with God. For it is written, “ He taketh the 20 wise in their own craftiness.” And again, “ The Lord

knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain." 21 Therefore, let none of you glory in any of your teachers; 22 for they are but men. For all your teachers, whether Paul,

or Apollos, or Peter, even the apostles themselves, nay, all the world, and even the world to come, all things are yours,

for your sake and use : 23 As you are Christ's, subjects of his kingdom, for his glory;

and Christ, and his kingdom, for the glory of God. Therefore, if all your teachers, and so many other greater things, are for you, and for your sakes, you can have no reason to make it a glory to you, that you belong to this, or that, particular teacher amongst you: your true glory is, that you are Christ's, and Christ and all his are God's; and not that

you are this or that man's scholar or follower. 1 As for me, I pretend not to set up a school amongst you, and

as a master to have my scholars denominated from me; no, let no man have higher thoughts of me, than as a minister of Christ, employed as his steward, to dispense the truths and doctrines of the Gospel, which are the mysteries which God wrapped up, in types and obscure predictions, where they

have lain hid, till by us, his apostles, he now reveals them. 2 Now that, which is principally required and regarded in a

steward, is, that he be fasthful in dispensing what is com3 mitted to his charge. But as for me, I value it not, if I am

censured by some of you, or by any man, as not being a faithful steward: nay, as to this, I pass no judgment on my

TEXT. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but

he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who

both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have

praise of God. 6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself,

and to Apollos, for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be

puffed up for one against another. 7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou

that thou didst not receive? Now, if thou didst receive it, why

dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it ? 8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without

PARAPHRASE.

4 self. For though I can truly say, that I know nothing by my

self, yet am I not hereby justified to you : but the Lord, whose steward I am, at the last day will pronounce sentence on my

behaviour in my stewardship, and then you will know what to 5 think of me. Then judge not either me, or others, before the

time, until the Lord come, who will bring to light the dark and secret counsels of men's hearts, in preaching the Gospel : and then shall every one have that praise, that estimate set upon him, by God himself, which he truly deserves. But

praise ought not to be given them, before the time, by their 6 hearers, who are ignorant, fallible men. On this occasion, I

have named Apollos and myself, as the magnified and opposed heads of distinct factions amongst you; not that we are so, but out of respect to you, that I might offend nobody, by naming them ; and that you might learn by us, of whom I have written”, that we are but planters, waterers, and stewards, not to think of the ministers of the Gospel above what I have written to you of them, that you be not puffed up, each party, in the vain-glory of their own extolled leader, to the crying

down and contempt of any other, who is well esteemed of by my others. For what maketh one to differ from another? or what

gifts of the Spirit, what knowledge of the Gospel has any leader amongst you, which he received not, as intrusted to him of God, and not acquired by his own abilities ? And if he received

it as a steward, why does he glory in that, which is not his 8 own ? However, you are mightily satisfied with your present

state ; you now are full, you now are rich, and abound in

NOTES.

. Vid. chap. iii. 6, 9. chap. iv. I.

6. Vid. chap. iii. 4.

SECTION II. · No. 6.

CHAPTER IV. 21.--VI. 20.

CONTENTS. ANOTHER means, which St. Paul makes use of, to bring off the Corinthians from their false apostle, and to stop their veneration of him, and their glorying in him, is by representing to them the fault and disorder, which was committed in that church, by not judging and expelling the fornicator ; which neglect, as may be guessed, was owing to that faction. 1. Because it is natural for a faction to support and

protect an offender, that is of their side.

2. From the great fear St. Paul was in, whether they would obey him, in censuring the offender, as appears by the second epistle; which he could not fear, but from the opposite faction; they, who had preserved their respect to him, being sure to follow his orders.

3. From what he says, ch. iv. 16, after he had told them, ver. 6, of that chapter, that they should not be puffed up, for any other, against him, (for so the whole scope of his discourse her imports) he beseeches them to be his followers, i. e. leaving their other guides, to follow him, in punishing the offender. For that we may conclude, from his immediately insisting on it so earnestly, he had in his view, when he beseeches them to be followers of him, and consequently that they might join with him, and take him for their leader, chap, v. 3, 4, he makes himself by his spirit, as his proxy, the president of their assembly, to be convened for the punishing that criminal.

4. It may further be suspected, from what St. Paul says, ch. vi. 1, that the opposite party, to stop the church censure, pretended that this was a matter to be judged by the civil magistrate: nay, possibly, from what is said, ver. 6, of that chapter, it may be gathered, that they had got it brought before the heathen judge; or at least from ver. 12, that they pleaded, that what he had done was lawful, and might be justified before the magistrate. For the judging spoken of, chap. vi., must be understood to relate to the same matter it does chap. v., it being a continuation of the same discourse and argument: as is easy to be observed by any one, who will read it without regarding the divisions into chapters and verses, whereby ordinary people (not to say others) are often disturbed in reading the holy Scripture, and hindered from observing the true sense and coherence of it. The whole sixth chapter is spent in prosecuting the business of the fornicator,

begun in the fifth. That this is so, is evident from the latter end as well as beginning of the sixth chapter. And, therefore, what St. Paul says

of lawful, chap. vi. 12, may, without any violence, be supposed to be said in answer to some who might have alleged in favour of the fornicator, that what he had done was lawful, and might be justified by the laws of the country which he was under: why else should St. Paul subjoin so many arguments (wherewith he concludes this sixth chapter, and this subject,) to prove the fornication in question to be, by the law of the Gospel, a great sin, and consequently fit for a Christian church to censure in one of its members, however it might pass for lawful in the esteem and by the laws of Gentiles?

There is one objection, which at first sight seems to be a strong argument against this supposition ; that the fornication, here spoken of, was held lawful by the Gentiles of Corinth, and that, possibly, this very case had been brought before the magistrate there, and not condemned. The objection seems to lie in these words, ch. v. 1 : “There is fornication heard of amongst you, and such fornication as is not heard of amongst the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.” But yet I conceive the words, duly considered, have nothing in them contrary to my supposition.

To clear this, I take liberty to say, it cannot be thought that this man had his father's wife, whilst, by the laws of the place, she actually was his father's wife; for then it had been posgeia and adultery, and so the apostle would have called it, which was a crime in Greece ; nor could it be tolerated in any civil society, that one man should have the use of a woman whilst she was another man's wife, i. e. another man's right and possession.

The case, therefore, here seems to be this: the woman had parted from her husband, which it is plain, from chap. vii. 10, 11, 13, at Corinth, women could do. For if, by the law of that country, a woman could not divorce herself from her husband, the apostle had there in vain bid her not leave her husband.

But, however known and allowed a practice it might be amongst the Corinthians for a woman to part from her husband, yet was the first time it was ever known that her husband's own son should marry her. This is that, which the apostle takes notice of in these words, "Such a fornication, as is not named amongst the Gentiles.” Such a fornication this was, so little known in practice amongst them, that it was not so much as heard, named, or spoken of by any of them. But whether they held it unlawful that a woman so separated should marry her husband's son, when she was looked upon to be at liberty from her former husband, and free to marry whom she pleased, that the apostle says not. This, indeed, he declares, that, by the law of Christ, a woman's leaving her husband, and marrying another, is unlawful, ch. vii. 11; and this woman's marrying her husband's son he declares, ch. v. 1,

this

« PreviousContinue »