Page images


themselves, verse 13. This was to be done for the person's good, the destruction or punishment of the flesh, or to bring him to repentance, and that he might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. The first question that arises here is, what day of the Lord Jesus is meant? I answer, that day which our Lord had forewarned his disciples of, and in view of which he exhorted them to be found watchful and faithful. See Matth. 24. Well, what kind of salvation did the apostle mean, when he said, that the spirit or person may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus?" I answer the same kind of salvation enjoyed by all those who endured to the end. Matth. 24: 13. This person was not believing to the salvation of his soul or person, but was drawing back to perdition. He was not looking for his Lord's coming, but was saying by his conduct, my Lord delayeth his coming. Such were the means prescribed for converting this sinner from the error of his way, and saving a soul or person from death, and hiding a multitude of sins. The means proved effectual, as is evident from 2 Cor. 2. where Paul commands the Corinthians to forgive him, and to confirm their love to him; and assigns as a reason why they should do so, lest satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. What satan, pray? The very same satan or the adversaries of the gospel, to whom this person was delivered for the destruction of the flesh."


1 Tim. 1: 20. "Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme." The remarks on the last text are sufficient here.

1 Cor. 7: 5. "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that satan tempt you not for your incontinen

peace bruised the adversary under the feet of Christians.

1 Cor. 5: 5. "To deliver such an one unto satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." I shall here avail myself of some remarks I made on this passage in the Universalist Magazine, vol. vii. No. 33. "1 need not stop to prove, that the term spirit, is often used in Scripture as equivalent to person, or for the person himself. Paul certainly did not mean this person's spirit separate from his body, for it does not appear, that his punishment included such a separation nor that it was to be punished to the end of the world and then saved, for he says nothing about the destruction or punishment of his spirit. Besides, is it not the common belief, that unless persons' spirits are saved before death, they never can be saved after it? If satan was a fallen angel to whom this person was delivered, it is rather strange, that such a being should be in any way the instrument of such a salvation. Besides, if the day of the Lord here means the end of this world, and spirit a part of man which exists separate from the body, why is the salvation of his spirit only mentioned? One should rather think, that it would be the flesh that required salvation from the hands of satan, for he was to destroy the flesh that the spirit might be saved. Was this person's flesh or body not to be saved? But the question is, what is the meaning of this passage? This I shall state briefly, without entering into the detail of the evidence whereby my views may be supported. It is well known, that the term satan signifies an adversary. It is often applied to the adversaries of Christians and Christianity. This person in the church at Corinth was guilty of incest. See verse 1. The apostle commanded them to deliver him over to this satan, or to put him away from among

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

cy." At Corinth, prostitution formed a part of the worship of the gods. To avoid fornication among Christians, the apostle commands that every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband, verse 2. But if the one defrauded the other, the defrauded, in such a place as Corinth, was liable to be tempted by satan, or the adversaries of the gospel, to licentiousness. To guard them against bringing such a reproach on Christ's name, this injunction was delivered. Comp. verse 4. where their mutual rights are stated. But somewhat of a different view may be given of this passage in agreement with the Scripture usage of the term satan. It sometimes designates lust or sinful desire, which might, if the one defrauded the other, prove a satan or adversary to tempt them to licentious indulgence.


2 Cor. 2: 11. "Lest satan should get an advantage of us for we are not ignorant of his devices." See on 1 Cor. 5: 5. above, for the meaning of this text. may just add, that the Scripture usage of the term satan, would warrant us to say, that an unforgiving temper of mind was the satan here referred to. It is surely an adversary to a Christian, and gets an advantage over him if he indulges it.

2 Cor. 11: 14. "And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." The whole context goes to show that the apostle is speaking of human beings. He speaks 1st. Of satan, which simply means an adversary; and we think it indisputable that this term is applied both in the Old and New Testaments to the unbelieving and persecuting Jews. They were transformed into an angel of light, for their opposition was under the pretence of great zeal for God and the law. It is implied, that in reality they were the angel of darkness, considered by Zoroaster the author and director of all evil. This was indeed the case with the Jews, for they were the

authors and directors of all the opposition to Christians and Christianity, as the whole New Testament shows. 2d. The apostle also speaks of the "ministers" of this satan. No one we think can dispute, that the apostle calls the false teachers in the church at rinth the ministers of satan. They were transformed as ministers of righteousness, for under pretence of preaching the gospel they perverted it. See verses 3, 4, 12, 13, 15. They preached another gospel, see Gal. 1: 6-10. Compare Acts 15: 1. &c. Gal. 5:1-7. and many other passages. They were in heart opposed to the Gospel, and were in fact joined with the unbelieving Jews, in opposing the truth and the apostles who preached it. They were the ministers or assistants of the Jews, who were the open and avowed adversaries of Christianity. If satan was transformed into an angel of light, there was no cause to marvel, that his ministers should transform themselves into the apostles of Christ, and as ministers of righteousness. The apostle says concerning them, "whose end shall be according to their works." What end? The apostle tells us that their end "is destruction," Phil. 3: 18, 19. The same destruction which came on the unbelieving Jews whose ministers they were, see' Phil. 1: 28, 29. 1 Peter 4: 17, 18. See particularly on Matth. 24, 25. and 2 Thess. 2. in the Second Part.

2 Cor. 12: 7, "And lest I should be exalted above measure, through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of satan, to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure." The word which is here translated messenger is angelos, and which in other places is rendered angel. It was then "the angel of satan" that buffeted Paul. Well, let us hear Dr. Kennicott. He says, Dissert. i. p. 100.-" For the messenger of satan means here a false teacher, in opposition to a

« PreviousContinue »