Page images
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

16 Know ye not, that ye, of whom the church is compofed, are the tem ple of God, the building of which I am fpeaking; and that the Spirit of God dwelleth among you, by his gifts and graces, as in his temple?

[ocr errors]

17 If any one, handling the word of God deceitfully, allures wicked men into the church; or if any hy pocrite intrudes himself into it, whofe apoftacy deftroys the temple of God, him will God deftroy: for the temple of God fhould confift of holy perfons, which temple ye are, ver. 16.

18 Let no teacher deceive himself with false notions of prudence. If any teacher among you thinketh to be wife, in this age of spreading the gofpel, by mifrepresenting its dectrines for the purpose of rendering it acceptable to bad men, let him be come a fool in his own eyes by preach. ing the gospel fincerely, that he may be really wife.

19 For the prudence of this world, in concealing or mifrepresenting the gofpel, is foolishness in the eye of God: for it is written, he catcheth the wife, &c. that is, he maketh the craftiness of those who think themfelves wife, the occafion of their destruction.

20 And in another paffage, The Lord knoweth the reasonings, the fubtle contrivances, of the wife, that

gofpel, and by mifreprefenting others of them. But that fort of wif dom the apoftle feverely condemned, because it flood in oppofition to the wifdom of God, who commanded all the preachers of the gospel, to teach its doctrines and precepts fincerely.

Ver. 19. The wifdom of this world is foolishness with God; confe quently will iffue in punishment to thefe worldly wife teachers. That this is the apoftle's meaning, is evident from his adding, For it is spritten, He catcheth the wife in their own craftiness.

E 4

Ver. 20.

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


22 Είτε Παυλος, ATTORλus, EITS Kapas, BITE Απολλως, είτε είτε κόσμος, είτε ζωη, είτε θανατ τος, είτε ενεςωτα, είτε μελα λοντα· παντα ὑμων εςιν

23 Ὑμεῖς δε, Χριςου Χριςος δε, Θεz.

Ver. 20. That they are vain. The fubtle contrivances of men, when opposed to the methods which God's wifdom hath appointed, are vain; are utterly ineffectual for accomplishing what they intend by them. Wherefore those wife teachers, whom the apoftle reproved, laboured to no purpose, when they endeavoured to build the temple of God by methods which God condemned.

Ver. 21. Wherefore let no one boast in men. Befides the general meaning of this verfe, expreffed in the commentary, I think the apoftle infinuated, that the Corinthians in particular, had no reason to boast in the false teacher, who had spoiled the temple of God by building wicked men into it.

Ver. 22. Or things prefent, or things to come, all are yours. The apostle does not mean, as fome fanatics have vainly imagined, that the property of all the things in the world is vefted in believers, by an exclufive title; but that by the direction of the providence of God, all things profperous or adverfe, whether prefent or future, fhall be made fubfervient to the promoting of their virtue in the prefent life, and of their felicity in the life to come. Thus far they may confider themfelves as having an intereft in all things; and may furvey them with pleafure, as making a part of their treasures; and among the reft, death itself is theirs, as it is the appointed means of bringing them to the vifion and enjoyment of God.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the wife, that they are


21 Wherefore, let no one boaft in men:' for all things are yours;

22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things prefent, or things to come; all are


they are vain, when used in oppofition to his purposes.

21 Wherefore, fince we are all joint labourers of God, let no one boaft in men, as if any teacher belonged peculiarly to him; for all the minifters of the gofpel, and all its privileges, and all the bleffings of providence, belong equally to you all:

22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the fabric of the world, or life with its enjoyments, or death with its confequences, or things prefent, or things to come, all belong to you in general, and each fhall receive fuch a fhare of them, as is best for him.

23 And ye ARE 23 And, instead of being the Christ's, and Chrift is difciples of this or that teacher, ye God's.1 are Chrift's difciples, and Chrift is God's difciple.

Ver. 23. And Chrift is God's. As the foregoing expreffion, Ye are Christ's, means that the Corinthians belonged to Chrift as his difciples, this expreffion, Chrift is God's, I think means, that in making the gofpel revelation, Chrift is God's difciple or fervant. So Chrift himfelf fays, John vii. 16. My doctrine is not mine, but his that fent me. viii. 28. As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.-xii. 49. I have not spoken of myself, but the Father who fent me, he gave me commandment what I should fay, and what I should speak.—xiv, 10. The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself. This I fuppofe is the apoftle's meaning, likewife, when he tells us, I Cor. xi. ༣. The head of Chrift is God.-Others understand the paffage thus, All things are appointed for your good, and ye are appointed for Chrift's honour, and Chrift for God's glory.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


View and Illuftration of the Matters handled in this Chapter. EST, from what was faid in the preceding chapters, concerning the inspiration of the apoftles by the Spirit, the Corinthians might have imagined that Paul claimed to himself and to his brethren, an authority not derived from Christ, he began this chapter with telling them, that they were to confider the apoftles only as fervants of Chrift, and as stewards of the myfteries of God, ver. 1.—And, that the thing required of every fuch steward is, that he be faithful in difpenfing these myfteries according as his difciples are able to receive them, ver. 2.Therefore, although the falfe teacher accused Paul of unfaith{fulness, because he had taught the Corinthians the first principles only, and not the deep doctrines of the gospel, he told them, it was a very small matter in his eyes, to be condemned as unfaithful by them, or by any man's judgment, seeing he did not condemn himself, ver. 3.-For he was confcious to himself of no unfaithfulness ; yet by this he was not justified; he meant in the eyes of the faction, who could not fee his heart. At the fame time he told them, that the only perfon who had a right to condemn him if he proved unfaithful, was the Lord his master, ver. 4.—This being the case, he desired the faction not to condemn him, till the Lord fhould come to judgment, who will bring to light every thing moft fecret, and lay open the defigns of the heart, of which they were no judges, ver. 5.

Next, to prevent the Corinthians from mistaking what he had faid, concerning their boafting in himself and Apollos, as the heads of the factions, (chap. i. 12. iii. 4.) he declared, that he had applied these things to himself and Apollos figuratively only, for their fakes, that by disclaiming all pretenfions to be the heads of parties, the Corinthians might learn in them, not to efteem any teacher above what he had written, chap. iii. 5. namely that Paul and Apollos were only fervants of Chrift, by whofe


fo account of us, as of the

[ocr errors]

ftewards of the myfteries of God.


1 Ουτως ἡμας λογιζέσθω ανθρωπος, ὡς ὑπηρετας Χρι

58, mas ornoopers must


Ver. 1. Stewards of the myfteries of God. The apoftle gave to those doctrines which in former ages had been kept fecret, but which were




whofe miniftry the Corinthians had believed; and that none of ' them, on account of any teacher, should be puffed up with envy and anger against another, ver. 6.

In what follows, the apoftle turning his discourse to the false teacher, fays, without naming him, Whó maketh thee to differ in gifts from others? Or what fpiritual gift haft thou, which thou didst not receive from fome apostle? And if thou haft received all thy gifts from the apofties, why doft thou set thyself above them, as if thou hadst not received thy gifts from them, but wert independent of, and fuperior to them? ver. 7— Then to fhew the Corinthians the difference between the false teacher and the true apòftles of Chrift, he contrafted the ease and opulence in which that impoftor and the other leaders of the faction, were living at Corinth, and their imperious conduct towards the church, with the afflicted and perfecuted state of the apostles, ver. 8.-13.-And affured them, that he wrote not these things to shame them, for having increased his sufferings by their calumnious fpeeches, and disrespectful behaviour. But his defign was, affectionately to inftruct them, that they might not be feduced by teachers, whose character and relation to them were fo different from his, ver. 14.-For he told them, though they had ten thousand inftructors in the christian doctrine, yet they had not many fathers. He was their only spiritual father, ver. 15.-And therefore he befought them to imitate him, ver. 16, 17.-To conclude, because the falfe teacher had boafted, that Paul being afraid to encounter fuch learned and eloquent opposers, durft not return to Corinth, he affured the Corinthians that he would come foon, and make trial, not of the speech of that infolent person, but of his fupernatural power, ver. 18, 19. -For faid he, the gospel is not established by the boasting fpeeches of its preachers, but by the miraculous powers which they exercife for its confirmation, ver. 20.-Then to terrify the faction, he asked them, whether they chose that he should come and exercise his fupernatural power in punishing them? Or come in the spirit of peace, on account of their amendment? ver. 21.

NEW TRANSLATION. CHAP. IV. 1 (OUTWS, 266.) So then, let a man confider us as (angeras) fervants ONLY of Chrift, and flewards of the myfteries' of God.


CHAP. IV. I So then, let men confider us apostles in no other light, but as fervants only of Christ, and ftewards appointed by him to difpenfe the doctrines of the gospel, which are the myfteries of God.

now discovered to all through the preaching of the gospel, the appel lation of the mysteries of God, to recommend them to the Corinthians,


« PreviousContinue »