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The church Christ's body.

ther faith by the same Spirit; to another the 10 gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another the discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; to 11 another the interpretation of languages. But all these things worketh that one and the same Spirit, distributing to every man severally as he pleaseth.


For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, though many, are one body; so is the 13 body of Christ also. For by one Spirit we have been all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one 14 Spirit. For the body is not one member, but 15 many. If the foot shall say, "Because I am

not the hand, I am not of the body;" is it 16 therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, "Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body;" is it therefore not of the 17 body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God hath disposed every one of the

I CORINTHIANS XII. It is formed of many members.
members in the body, as it hath pleased him.
And if they were all one member, where would 19
be the body?
be the body? But now there are many mem- 20
bers, yet only one body. The eye cannot say to 21
the hand, "I have no need of thee;" nor again
the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
Nay, those members of the body, which seem 22
to be more feeble, are much more necessary:
And those members of the body which we 23
think to be less honourable, upon these we
bestow more abundant honour; and our un-
comely members obtain more abundant come-
liness. For our comely members have no 24'
need but God hath tempered the body to-
gether, having given to the member which
wanted it, more abundant honour; That there 25
should be no division in the body; but that the
members should have the same care for one
another. And thus if one member suffer, all 26
the members suffer with it; or if one member
be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members 27
in part. And God hath set some in the church, 28
first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teach-
ers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
governments, different kinds of languages. Are 29

with former dispensations. Some think this was peculiar to the apostles. Eph. iii. 10, and 2 Pet. iii. 15.- Word of knowledge. To explain the types aud prophecies of the Old Testament, and how they were fulfilled in Jesus. See Ch. xiii. 2, 8. Faith. Such an assurance or full conviction of the truth of the gospel as enabled him to preach it with boldness, courage, and perseverance-Gifts of healing. These were promised, Mark xvi. 28, and many possessed and exercised them under the direction of the Spirit.Working of miracles. Of various other and stupendous ones, for the confirmation of the gospel, restoring cripples, raising the dead, &c. or of punishing obstinate men by inflicting diseases or even death. Macknight renders, "the in-workings of powers," and refers it to the power which he supposes the apostles had of communicating these gifts. I prefer the usual version and sense. Prophecy See Ch. xiv. 3, 24, 29, 30.-Discerning of spirits. So as to know whether those who prophesied, were inspired or not. Heb. iv. 12.-Different languages-interpretation. The former was given to spread the gospel, or to edify any foreign convert who might be present in some religious assembly; and the latter to edify the great body of the people, who would not otherwise have understood what had been said.But all these, &c. Here what is said of God, verse 6, is said of the Spirit.

12. So is Christ also. As to the church, which is frequently called the body of Christ. Pearce ingeniously supposes that Paul wrote to rò ru Xgioty. So also is that of Christ.

13. Into one body. Into one body, so as to form one society. Hence they should endeavour to preserve christian union and fellowship.--To drink into, &c. Locke supposes that Paul alludes to the sacramental cup, which was the symbol of the blood of Christ, by which sin was expiated, and the Spirit in consequence given. As ig is omitted in many mss, and some fathers, Pearce renders, “have been all filled with one Spirit." VOL. III. PART XXII.



14-22. The body is not, &c. As the natural body hath many members, and each member in its own place useful and beautiful; but if separated, or occupying a different place, would be neither useful or beautiful, so also is the body of Christ the church, consisting of many members, occupying different stations, possessed of different talents, and performing different fune tions, and every one useful and beautiful in its own place, One member should not desire the place and office of another; the more honourable should not despise the inferior, nor the inferior members envy the more honourable. They are all necessary to the perfection of the body, and have need of each


22–26. Are much more necessary. To abate the pride of superiority in station or gifts, the apostle makes these pertinent remarks, that inferior or less honourable members do receive more abundant honour, because they need it; and that such should be the union of all, that there may be a common sympathy and joy.



27. Members in part. That is, some of them. For those at Corinth, were but a few in comparison of those who then believed.

28-30. First apostles. Those who had received their commission immediately from Christ, and had seen him after his resurrection. Prophets -teachers. The former may denote such as possessed "the word of knowledge" as well as the gift of prophecy, verses 8, 10.; the latter, those who had faith, so as to teach by preaching with uncommon boldness and success. Miracles. Persons who were enabled to do them.Helps. Persons who assisted the apostles in administering baptism, praying with the sick, &c Governments. Persons who presided in christian assemblies, and regulated them. Rom. xii. S.--Kinds of languages. These are placed last, because the Corinthians were elated with this gift. Ch. xiii. 1.; xiv. 1.

31. Now ye earnestly, &c. The apostle knew that they were very de305

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Gifts are nothing

all apostles ? are all prophets? are all teachers? 30 are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak in different languages? do all interpret?


A, D. 57. Gifts, however excellent, are nothing without love; the nature of it; its preference to faith and hope.


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REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XII. 1. While we are reminded of our past state of ignorance and sin, we should be thankful for the gospel, and for the glorious manner in which it was originally confirmed. Our ancestors, like the Corinthians, were carried away after dumb idols; and but for the blessed gospel we should have been worshipping them too. We have been favoured with its instructions, and taught to believe and confess that Jesus is the Lord. And he deserves to be so honoured, as he fulfilled his own promise, and when he ascended on high he gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to men. How abundantly were the first heralds of truth and mercy furnished for their sacred and important labours. While we admire that diversity of gifts and ope rations here recorded, let us receive the testimony of men so endowed, and set to our seal that God is true. And though these miraculous gifts are no longer vouchsafed to believers, because not necessary, the Holy Spirit still gives to all the members of Christ, such talents and graces, as by their exercise may edify his body the church.

2. From the wisdom and goodness of God in the formation of the

sirous of excelling in these wonderful gifts of the Spirit; and to show them that there was something more essential to their own happiness both here and hereafter, he points out what it is.


CHAP. XIII. 1. And of angels. Were it possible for men to speak or convey their sentiments as they do.Have not love. The term is generally thus rendered in other places, and was so here in the versions which preceded the common one.

without christian love.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the 3 poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love is long-suffering and kind; love envieth 4 not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unbecomingly, seeketh 5 not its own, is not easily provoked, deviseth not evil, Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the 6 truth; Covereth all things, believeth all things, 7 hopeth all things, endureth all things, Love & never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be languages, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. For we 9 know in part, and we prophesy in part: But 10 when that which is perfect cometh, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I II


2. All mysteries. Such as the calling of the Gentiles, and the change of their bodies who shall be alive at the last day. Ch. xv. 51. Eph. iii. 3; or any other thing as yet not made known to the church of Christ.. -Faith to remove, &c. See Mark xi. 23, and comp. Matt. vii. 22, 23.

3. Bestow all my, &c. Here bestowing goods is opposed to christian love, but it is in fact the same thing as the word charity now signifies.

4-7. Love is long-suffering, &c. The apostle personifies christian love; and by its properties, shows that he meant by it such a love as is the fruit of the Spirit, and arising from the love of God.—Long-suffering under provocations-kind in its attentions to all-envieth not the attainments or possessions of others -vaunteth not, is not puffed up, on accou of any spiritual gifts

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human body, the apostle argues the union, mutual usefulness, and sympathy of all the members of Christ. As in the natural body one member cannot say to another, "I have no need of thee," and as all the members contribute to the beauty and perfection of the body, so it is in the church of Christ. Whatever be the station which an individual occupies, in that let him glorify God. One believer is as much a mem ber of Christ as another, however inferior he may be in gifts, in offices, or in circumstances; and as all do but constitute one body, how should love and sympathy prevail! They should joy and grieve in each others prosperity and affliction. They should all be esteemed and honoured as being dear to the Saviour, and in their different places useful to one another. There should be no envy on the one hand, or contempt and disdain on the other; but they should be thankful for each others gifts and usefulness. O that christians of every name may learn to regard themselves as members of the same body, and be more cordially united to each other; and experience how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in peace, love, and unity!

behave, &c. towards any one-seeketh, &c. but regardeth the advantage of others-not easily, &c. so as to speak and act in an injurious manner-deviseth no, &c. against others-rejoicethnot, &c. in the practice of it, or in the persons who do it, but in those who walk in the truth-covereth, &c. biding rather than exposing the infirmities of others—believeth, &c. as far as evidence will permit-hopeth, &c. as to the sincerity and virtues of others—endureth all reproaches and wrongs with patient submission. What a noble principle is christian love, and how excellent its effects!

8. Never faileth. In the mind where it is; nor will it ever fail in the church. This will exist when prophecies, languages, and knowledge of extraordinary kinds have failed.

9, 10. We know in part, &c. We inspired apostles and teachers do but know and prophesy in part in this imperfect state; but when we attain perfection in heaven, that which is in part will be done away.

11. When I was a child, &c. The apostle illustrates what he had said, by comparing this state as to our knowledge to that of childhood; and the future to that of manhood, when childish notions and pursuits are put away as altogether unsuitable.

Christian love abideth.

was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I 12 became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see as through a dim glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part: but then I shall fully know even as I also am fully 13 known. And now remaineth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.



A. D: 57. Prophesy commended as more useful than other gifts; edification should be considered as the great end of all; the abuse of gifts reproved. 1 FOLLOW after love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts; but rather that ye may pro2 phesy. For he that speaketh in a different language, speaketh not to men, but to God: for no one understandeth him; however in 3 spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh to men to edification, 4 and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in a different language edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 5 I wish that ye all spoke in different languages, but rather that ye prophesied for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh

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REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XIII. 1. How ambitious should we be of abounding in the exercise of so amiable a grace, as brotherly christian love, which results from faith in Christ, and from love to him. What are all the miraculous gifts of languages, prophecy, knowledge, the power of working wonders, of uprooting and removing mountains? And what are all the most generous acts to the poor, and even the suffering of martyrdom itself in the cause of religion, if we are destitute of that love in the heart, which cau alone prove the nature of our faith, and which is the grand criterion of our real piety? It is this which will animate, and spiritualize, and direct all our powers and graces in the service and to the glory of God. Without this every other attainment, will be of no saving advantage to us, but will leave us disappointed and miserable for ever.

2. We learn the character and fruits of this genuine christian love.

12. A dim glass. The ancients used horn, talc, and sometimes transparent stones for their windows, through which objects would be seen darkly; and so only do the wisest christians see spiritual things in this life; but in the future they will see face to face, &c.

13. Remaineth, &c. See verses 8, 10. These now remain in us and in the church; but love has the pre-eminence, as it will abide for ever in heaven. CHAP. XIV. 2. In spirit he, &c. He may in his own mind, and as he understands the language, speak some of the mysteries of the kingdom.

3. He that prophesieth, &c. With Macknight, I consider prophesying as a general naine for any inspired truth delivered in a known language; or ૧ ૧ ૩

·Gift of prophesying.

in different languages, unless he interpret, that the church may receive edification.

Now, brethren, if I come unto you speak- 6 ing in different languages, what shall I profit you, unless I shall speak intelligibly to you either by a revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? In like manner 7 if things without life, which give a sound, whether pipe or harp, give no distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give 8 an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle? So likewise ye, unless ye utter 9 by the tongue words which can be understood, how shall it be known: what is spoken? for ye will speak to the air. There are I know 10 not how many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without signification. If therefore I know not the meaning 11 of the language, I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh will be a barbarian to me. So likewise, since 12 ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may abound in them to the edification of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh 13


It appears in its benevolent temper and behaviour, meekness, patience, humility, and forbearance; in its candour and willingness to believe and hope the best; in its sympathy, disinterestedness, and generosity; and in its tender and affectionate care for the welfare of others. This grace is like the vine loaded with its own generous produce. And what adds to its excellence is its continuance and duration. The most splendid gifts may be lost, and will most certainly cease with life; even faith and hope will in some respects fail; but genuine christian love will never fail. After having blossomed and borne some fruit in this unfriendly soil, it will be transplanted to one more genial, where it will flourish for ever. How ardently should we desire that state, where our vision of spiritual things shall be no longer obscure and indistinct ; where we shall attain to the manhood of our faculties and enjoyments, and where we shall be made perfect in love.

for prayers and psalms inspired on any particular occasion, in which the church joined, and by which it was edified.

5. Unless he interpret. This might be, and sometimes was, done by the same person. See verse 13.

6. By a revelation, &c. Of some new and interesting truth as an apostle; or by "the word of knowledge," in explaining the types, (see Ch. xii. 10.); or "by prophesying," delivering any inspired truth; or "by doctrine,” inculcating any doctrine of faith.

7-11. If the trumpet, &c. The sounds of instruments must be understood that they may become useful; and so must languages. They differ 307

Languages are for a sign.

in an unknown language pray that he may 14 interpret. For if I pray in an unknown language, my spirit prayeth, but not being under15 stood is without fruit. What then is to be done? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray so as to be understood also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing so as to be as to be 16 understood also. Otherwise when thou shalt bless God with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the place of the unlearned say Amen, at thy thanksgiving, since he under17 standeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well; but the other is 18 not edified. I thank my God, I speak in 19 more languages than ye all: Yet I had rather speak five words in the church so as to be understood, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand in an unknown language.

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Brethren, be not children in understanding: yet in malice be ye even babes, but in un21 derstanding men. It is written in the law, "With men of other languages and other lips will I speak to this people; yet not even then will they hearken to me saith the Lord." 22 Wherefore different languages are for a sign, not to those that believe, but to those that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for those that believe not, but for those that do 23 believe. If therefore the whole church come together into one place, and all speak in un

greatly in sound, and yet to those who understand they convey a proper meaning; but to those ignorant of them they appear barbarous.

14-19. Not being understood, &c. The sense of as is not in these verses the understanding as a faculty, but the meaning, the import of what was said in prayer, as perceived or understood by others. See Pearce's excellent note. Though he who prayed in a language unknown to others, understood in his own mind, yet he edified not others, but his prayers were without fruit as to them. To give the sense clearly, I have been obliged to depart more widely from a literal version than I could wish. The 16th and 19th verses prove that the rendering adopted is the true one.

20-22. Be not children, &c. As such are who speak in unknown languages. And other lips, &c. See Is. xxviii, 11, 12.-Languages are. Here the apostle states the design of the gift of languages, and of prophesying. The former were for a sign to unbelievers, to convince them of the truth of christianity; and the latter for the edification of the church or body of believers,


Proper exercise of gifts. known languages, and those that are learned, or unbelievers come in, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, 24 and an unbeliever, or one unlearned come in, he is convicted by all, he is judged by all. The secrets of his heart are made manifest; 25 and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and declare that God is indeed among you.

23. The whole church, &c. Nothing can be more evident than that the "whole church" means here "the whole brotherhood, or assembly of believers."Unlearned among the members of the church; or "unbelievers," unconverted heathens, willthey not say that ye are mad?

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How is it then, brethren? when ye come 26 together, hath each of you a psalm, hath he a doctrine, hath he an unknown language, hath he a revelation, hath he an interpretation? Let all things be done to edification. If any man 27 speak in an unknown language, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that in succession; and let one interpret. But if there 28 be no interpreter, let such keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and 29 let the others judge. If any thing be revealed 30. to another that sitteth by, let the first be silent, For ye may all prophesy one by one; that all 31 may learn, and all may be comforted. Now 32 the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets; (For God is not the author of dis- 33order, but of peace ;) as in all the churches of the saints.

Let your women be silent in the churches: 31 for they are not permitted to speak; but are commanded to be under obedience, as the law

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Order to be maintained.

35 also saith. And if they desire to learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is unbecoming for women to speak in the church.


...Christ died for our sins.

which I preached unto you, which ye have
received also, and in which ye stand; By 2
which ye are saved also, if ye keep in memory
what I preached unto you, unless ye have be-:
lieved in vain. For I delivered to you among 3
the chief things, what I received also, how that
Christ died for our sins according to the scrip-
tures; And that he was buried, and that he 4
rose again the third day according to the scrip-
tures: And that he was seen by Peter, then 5
by the twelve. After that, he was seen by 6
above five hundred brethren at once; of whom
the greater part remain until now,
are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen by 7
James: then by all the apostles. And, last of 8
all, he was seen by me also, as by one born out
of due time. For I am the least of the apos- 9
tles, and not worthy to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God. But 10

but some

Now I declare to you, brethren, the gospel by the grace of God I am what I am: and his

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What? did the word of God come out from 37 you? or hath it reached to you only? If any man seem to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write to you 38 are the commandments of the Lord. But if any one be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Wherefore, brethren, earnestly desire to prophesy, yet forbid not to speak in different 40 languages. But let all things be done decently and in order.


A. D. 57. By Christ's resurrection he proves that of the saints; answers objections, and shows the manner of it; those alive at the last day will be


REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XIV. 1. We may learn how different the present state of the church is from what it was at first, and what the nature of things required it to be, in respect to immediate revelations, and speaking various languages by the Holy Spirit. Though these gifts are no longer bestowed, let us earnestly desire those which are far more valuable, the ordinary graces, which like 'prophecy and love,' are of the greatest advantage to our own souls, and secure the edification of others. Every gift should be improved for general usefulness. How unprofitable must it be to preach or pray in such a style, that the ignorant cannot understand; and much more to keep the word of God locked up in an unknown language? It is a subject of gratitude to the giver of all good, that his blessed word has been translated into our own language, and that of so many others; and that this work is now so rapidly advancing, that the time does not seem far distant, when men of every nation may read the wonderful works of God, each in his own mother's tongue, Send out thy light and truth, O God; let thy word have free course and be glorified.

practice of females in the Corinthian church, without considering the right to
do so; and that here he forbids them to do it under any circumstances.
36. What? did the, &c. Are you the first, the mother church? Or
hath the word of God reached to you only as a church, that ye should act
differently from the rest?

38. Be ignorant, let him, &c. Be ignorant of my commission as an apostle. Some of the teachers at Corinth pretended to doubt it; and to them Paul speaks in this authoritative manner.-Let him be ignorant. Let him reap the consequence of pretending to be ignorant on this point. For a simi lar mode of speaking, see Rev. xxii. 11.

CHAP. XV. 1, 2. Now I declare, &c. We have a summary of the gospel, from verses 3-8. This he had preached to them, and this they had professedly received.—Unless ye have believed, &c. Unless you have believed, only from the influence of passion, and not cordially and sincerely

2. We are taught both the duty of christian ministers and people. The former should state divine truth with plainness and in simplicity, so that while it may be understood, it may reach and impress the heart, awaken the slumbering conscience to perform its office, and bring sins, whether open or secret, to remembrance; and may even constrain men to give their assent to what is said, and to acknowledge that God is truly among his people.. Let those who teach, do it with diligence; and those who are taught hear with meekness, receiving the truth in the love of it. What commanding influence must religion have, when all its ordinances are celebrated with due decorum and seriousness, according to the unerring word of God, who is not the author of confusion, but of peace and order, in the churches. How happy had it been for the christian world had the advice of the apostle, or rather the authority of God, been invariably acknowledged and followed. Let all professed followers of Christ adhere both as to doctrine and practice, and as far as possible as to the minutest circumstances of worship, to the rules of the holy scriptures,

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3, 4. Among the chief things, &c. This rendering ( #gwrɑ;) seems more suitable than the common one, as referring to the importance, and not to the order of the things delivered. According to the scriptures. See Is. liii. 9 —12. Ps. xxii.; xvi. 10, as well as what he had said during his own ministry.

5. By Peter. See Luke xxiv. 34.Then by the twelve. So they are called, though Judas was not among them. Mark xvi. 14. John xx. 19; **

6. Five hundred, &c. This appearance was on some mountain in Galilee. Matt. xxviii. 16, 17. Most of these were still living to attest the truth of his resurrection

7. By James. None of the Evangelists record this appearance; so that Paul had it probably by revelation.Then by all, c. John xx. 26.

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