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relinquished his rights, and endeavoured by all means to save some, ch. ix. By this example, he seeks to persuade them to a course of life as far as possible from gluttony, and fornication, and self-indulgence, and to assure them that although they had been highly favoured, as the Jews had been also, yet, like them, they might also fall, ch. x. 1–12. These principles he illustrates by a reference to their joining in feasts, and celebrations with idols, and the dangers to which they would subject themselves by so doing; and concludes that it would be proper in those circumstances wholly to abstain from partaking of the meat offered in sacrifice to idols if it were known to be such. This was to be done on the principle that no offence was to be given. And thus the second question referred to him was disposed of, ch. x. 13–33. In connexion with this, and as an illustration of the principle on which he acted, and on which he wishes them to act—that of promoting mutual edification, and avoiding offence—he refers, ch. xi., to two other subjects, the one, the proper relation of the woman to the man, and the general duty of her being in subjection to him, ch. xi. 1–16; and the other, a far inore important matter, the proper mode of celebrating the Lord's supper, ch. xi. 17–34. He had been led to speak of this probably by the discussion to which he had been invited on the subject of their feasts, and the discussion of that subject naturally led to the consideration of the much more important subject of their mode of celebrating the Lord's supper. "That supper had been greatly abused to purposes of riot and disorder, which had grown directly out of their former views and habits in public festivals. Those views and habits they had transferred to the celebration of the christian feast. It became necessary, therefore, for the apostle to correct those views, to state the true design of the ordinance, to show the consequences of an improper mode of celebration, and to endeavour to reform their mode of observing it, ch. xi. 17–34. c. Another subject which had probably been submitted to him in the letter was, the nature of spiritual gifts, the design of speaking with tongues, and the proper order to be observed in the church on this subject. These powers seem to have been imparted to the Corinthians in a remarkable degree, and, like most other things, had been abused to the promotion of strife and ambition; to pride on account of possessing them, and to irregularity and disorder in their public assemblies. This whole subject the apostle discusses, ch. xii. xiii. xiv. He states the design of this gift, the use which should be made of it in the church, the necessity of due subordination in all the members and officers of the church, and in a chapter unequalled in beauty in any language, ch. xiii., shows the inferiority of the highest of these endowments to a kind, catholic spirit-to the prevalence of charity, thus endeavouring to allay all contentions and

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strifes for ascendancy, by the prevalence of the spirit of love. In connexion with this, ch. xiv., he reproves the abuses which had arisen on this subject, as he had done on others, and seeks to repress all disorders. 8. A very important subject the apostle reserved to the close of the epistle—the resurrection of the dead, ch. xv. Why he chose to discuss it in this place is not known. It is quite probable that he had not been consulted on this subject in the letter which had been sent to him. It is evident, however, that erroneous opinions had been entertained on the subject, and probably inculcated by the religious teachers at Corinth. The philosophic Greeks were much disposed to deride this doctrine, Acts xvii. 32, and in the Corinthian church it had been either called in question, or greatly perverted, ch. xv. 12. That the same body would be raised up had been denied, and the doctrine that came to be believed was, in all likelihood, merely that there would be a future state, and that the only resurrection was the resurrection of the soul from sin, and that this was past. Comp. 2 Tim. ii. 18. This subject the apostle had not before taken up, probably because he had not been consulted on it, and because it would find a more appropriate place after he had reproved their disorders, and answered their questions. After all those discussions, after examining all the opinions and practices that prevailed among them, it was proper to place the great argument for the truth of the religion which they all professed on a permanent foundation, and to close the epistle by reminding them, and proving to them, that the religion which they professed, and which they had so much abused, was from heaven. The proof of this was the resurrection of the Saviour from the dead. It was indispensable to hold that truth in its obvious sense, and holding that, the truth of their own resurrection was demonstrated, and the error of those who denied it was apparent. 9. Having finished this demonstration, the apostle closes the epistle, ch. xvi., with some miscellaneous directions and salutations.

$ 5. Divisions of the epistle. The divisions of this epistle, as of the other books of the Bible, into chapters and verses, is arbitrary, and often not happily made. See the Introduction to the Notes on the Gospels. Various divisions of the epistle have been proposed in order to present a proper analysis to the mind. The division which is submitted here is one that arises from the previous statement of the scope and design of the epistle, and will furnish the basis of my analysis. According to this view, the body of this epistle may be divided into three parts, viz.-I. The discussion of irregularities and abuses prevailing in the

church at Corinth, of which the apostle had incidentally

learned by report, ch. i.-vi. II. The discussion of various subjects which had been submitted

to him in a letter from the church, and of points which

grew out of those inquiries, ch. vii.-xiv. III. The discussion of the great doctrine of the resurrection of

Christ—the foundation of the hope of man—and the demonstration arising from that that the christian religion is true, and the hopes of Christians well founded, ch. xv. (See

the Analysis prefixed to the Notes.) § 6. The messengers by whom this epistle was sent to the church at

Corinth, and its success. It is evident that Paul felt the deepest solicitude in regard to the state of things in the church at Corinth. Apparently as soon as he had heard of their irregularities and disorders through the members of the family of Chloe, ch. i. ii., he had sent Timothy to them, if possible, to repress their growing dissensions and irregularities, ch. iv. 17. In the meantime the church at Corinth wrote to him to ascertain his views on certain matters submitted to him, ch. vii. 1, and the reception of this letter gave him occasion to enter at length into the subject of their disorders and difficulties. Yet he wrote the letter under the deepest solicitude about the manner of its reception, and its effect on the church. 2 Cor. ü. 4. Paul had another object in view which was dear to his heart, and which he was labouring with all diligence to promote. This was the collection which he proposed to take up for the poor

and afflicted saints at Jerusalem. See Notes, Rom. xv. 25, 26. This object he wished to press at this time on the church at Corinth, ch. xvi. 1–4. In order, therefore, to insure the success of his letter, and tu facilitate the collection, he sent Titus with the letter to the church at Corinth, with instructions to have the collection ready. 2 Cor. vii. 7, 8, 13, 15. This collection Titus was requested to finish. 2 Cor. viü. 6. With Titus Paul sent another brother, perhaps a member of the church at Ephesus, 2 Cor. xii. 18, a man whose praise, Paul says, was in all the churches, and who had been already designated by them to bear the contribution to Jerusalem. 2 Cor. viii. 18, 19. By turning to Acts xxi. 29, we find it incidentally mentioned that “Trophimus an Ephesian” was with Paul in Jerusalem, and undoubtedly this was the person here designated. This is one of the undesigned coincidences between Paul's epistle and the Acts of the Apostles, of which Dr Paley has made so much use in his Hore Paulinæ in proving the genuineness of these writings. Paul did not deem it necessary or prudent for him to go himself to Corinth, but chose to remain in Ephesus. The letter to Paul, ch. vii. 1, had been brought to him by Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, ch. xvi. 17, and it is probable that they accompanied Titus and the other brother with him who bore Paul's reply to their inquiries.

The success of this letter was all that Paul could desire. It had the effect of repressing their growing strifes, of restraining their disorders, of producing true repentance, and of removing the person who had been guilty of incest in the church. The whole church was deeply affected with his reproofs, and engaged in hearty zeal in the work of reform. 2 Cor. vii. 9—11. The authority of the apostle was recognised, and his epistle read with fear and trembling. 2 Cor. vi. 15. The act of discipline which he had required on the incestuous person was inflicted by the whole church. 2 Cor. ii. 6. The collection which he had desired, ch. xvi. 144, and in regard to which he had boasted of their liberality to others, and expressed the utmost confidence that it would be liberal, 2 Cor. ix. 2, 3, was taken up agreeably to his wishes, and their disposition on the subject was such as to furnish the highest satisfaction to his mind. 2 Cor. vii. 13, 14. Of the success of his letter, however, and of their disposition to take up the collection, Paul was not apprized until he had gone into Macedonia, where Titus came to him, and gave him information of the happy state of things in the Church at Corinth. 2 Cor. vii. 4–7, 13. Never was a letter more effectual than this was, and never was authority in discipline exercised in a more happy and successful way.

§ 7. General character and structure of the epistle. The general style and character of this epistle is the same as in the other writings of Paul. See Introduction to the Epistle to the Romans. It evinces the same strong and manly style of argument and language, the same structure of sentences, the same rapidity of conception, the same overpowering force of language and thought, and the same characteristics of temper and spirit in the author. The main difference between the style and manner of this epistle, and the other epistles of Paul, arises from the scope and design of the argument. In the epistle to the Romans, his object led him to pursue a close and connected train of argumentation. In this, a large portion of the epistle is occupied with reproof, and it gives occasion for calling into view at once the authority of an apostle, and the spirit and manner in which reproof is to be administered. The reader of this epistle cannot but be struck with the fact, that it was no part of Paul's character to show indulgence to sin; that he had no design to flatter; that he neither “cloaked nor concealed transgressions;" that in the most open, firm, and manly manner possible, it was his

purpose to rebuke disorders, and to repress growing irregularities. At the same

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time, however, there is full opportunity for the display of tenderness, kindness, love, charity, and for christian instruction-an opportunity for pouring forth the deepest feelings of the human heart-an opportunity which Paul never allowed to escape unimprored. Amidst all the severity of reproof, there is the love of friendship; amidst the rebukes of an apostle, the entreaties and tears of a father. And we here contemplate Paul, not merely as the profound reasoner, not simply as a man of high intellectual endowments, but as evincing the feelings of the man, and the sympathies of the Christian.

Perhaps there is less difficulty in understanding this epistle than the epistle to the Romans. A few passages indeed have perplexed all commentators, and are to this day not understood. See ch. v. 9; xi. 10; xv. 29. But the general meaning of the epistle has been much less the subject of difference of interpretation. The reasons have probably been the following :-1. The subjects are more numerous, and the discussions more brief. There is, therefore, less difficulty in following the author than where the discussion is protracted, and the manner of his reasoning more complicated. 2. The subjects themselves are far less abstruse and profound than those introduced into the epistle to the Romans. There is, therefore, less liability to misconception. 3. The epistle has never been made the subject of theological warfare. No system of theology has been built on it, and no attempt made to press it into the service of abstract dogmas. It is mostly of a practical character, and there has been, therefore, less room for contention in regard to its meaning. 4. No false and unfounded theories of philosophy have been attached to this epistle, as have been to the epistle to the Romans. Its simple sense, therefore, has been more obvious, and no small part of the difficulties in the interpretation of that epistle are wanting in this. 5. The apostle's design has somewhat varied his style. There are fewer complicated sentences, and fewer parentheses, less that is abrupt and broken, and elliptical ; less that is rapid, mighty, and overpowering in argument. We see the point of a reproof at once, but we are often greatly embarrassed in a complicated argument. The fifteenth chapter, however, for closeness and strength of argumentation, for beauty of diction, for tenderness of pathos, and for commanding and overpowering eloquence, is probably unsurpassed by any other part of the writings of Paul, and unequalled by any other composition. 6. It may be added, that there is less in this epistle that opposes the native feelings of the human heart, and that humbles the pride of the human intellect, than in the epistle to the Romans. One great difficulty in interpreting that epistle has been that the doctrines relate to those high subjects that rebuke the pride of man, demand prostration before his sovereign, require the submission of

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