« PreviousContinue »
ness, happiness, or salvation. The sentiment ot be construed into a participation of the crime, the whole is, “ when a man is bound and directed then he ought to abstain. See ver. 28. So man by no positive law, his grand rule should be the is at liberty to patronise slavery, sabbath-breakcomfort and salvation of others." This is a / ing, dishonesty, or licentiousness in any form. 'I simple rule; it might be easily applied ; and this Every man can live without doing it; and where wonld be a sort of balance-wheel in the various it can be done, it should be done. And perhaps actions and plans of the world. If every man there will be no other way of breaking up many would adopt this rule, he could not be in much of the crimes and cruelties of the earth, than for danger of going wrong; he would be certain that good men to act conscientiously, and to refuse to '! he would not live in vain.
partake of the avails of sin, and of gain that re-i
sults from oppression and fraud. VER, 25. Whatsoever dis sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake. | VER. 26. For e the earth is the Lord's, and the di Tim. iv. 4.
fulness thereof. Whatsoerer is sold in the shambles.-- In the
e Deut. s. 14. Ps. xxiv. 1; 1. 12. market. The meat of animals offered in sacri
For the earth is the Lord's.- This is quoted fice would be exposed there to sale as well as
from Ps. xxiv. 1. The same sentiment is also other meat. The apostle says that it might be
found in Ps. I. 11, and in Deut. x. 14. It is bere. purchased, since the mere fact that it had been
urged as a reason why it is right to partake of offered in sacrifice could not change its quality,
: | the meat offered in market. It all belongs to the or render it unfit for use. They were to abstain
Lord. It does not really belong to the idol, eren from attending on the feasts of the idols in the
though it has been offered to it. It may, theretemple, from partaking of meat that had been
fore, be partaken of as his gift, and should be reoffered them, and from celebrations observed
ceived with gratitude. And the funces thereof. expressly in honour of idols : but lest they should
-All that the earth produces belongs to him. become too scrupulous, the apostle tells them,
He causes it to grow; and he has given it to be that if the meat was offered indiscriminately in
food for man; and though it may have been des the market with other meat, they were not to
voted to an idol, yet its nature is not changed hesitate to purchase it, or eat it. Asking no
It is still the gift of God; still the production of question for conscience' sake.--Not hesitating or
his hand; still the fruit of his goodness and love. . doubting, as if it might possibly have been offered in sacrifice. Not being scrupulous, as if it were possible that the conscience should be defiled.
Ver. 27. If any of them that believe not bid you This is a good rule still, and may be applied to to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoa great many things. But, (1.) That which is ever I is set before you, eat, asking no question purchased should be in itself lawful and right. It would not be proper for a man to use ardent spi
for conscience' sake. rits, or any other intoxicating drinks, because
| Luke x. 7. they were offered for sale, any more than it would be to commit suicide because men offered
If any of them that believe not.—That are not pistols, and bowie-knives, and halters to sell. Christians; that are still heathens. Bid you to a (2.) There are many things now concerning feast.-Evidently not a feast in the temple of an which similar questions may be asked ; as, e. g. |
idol, but at his own house. If he ask you to par. is it right to use the productions of slave-labour, take of his hospitality. And ye be disposed to go the sugar, cotton, &c. that are the price of blood ? | -Greek, “ And you will to go." It is evidently Is it right to use that which is known to be made implied here, that it would not be improper te on the sabbath ; or that which it is known a man go. The Saviour accepted such invitations to has made by a life of dishonesty and crime? The dine with the Pharisees ; see Note, Luke xi. 37; consciences of many persons are tender on all and Christianity is not designed to abolish the such questions; and the questions are not of courtesies of social life; or to break the bonds of easy solution. Some rules may perhaps be sug intercourse; or to make men misanthropes or gested arising from the case before us. (a) If hermits. It allows and cultivates, under proper the article is exposed indiscriminately with others Christian restraints, the intercourse in society in the market, if it be in itself lawful, if there is which will promote the comfort of men, and es: 1 no ready mark of distinction, then the apostle | pecially that which may extend the usefulness of would direct us not to hesitate. (b) If the use Christians. It does not require, therefore, that and purchase of the article would go directly and we should withdraw from social life, or regard as ! knowingly to countenance the existence of sla improper the courtesies of society. See Note on i very, to encourage a breach of the sabbath, or to chap. v. 10. Whatever is set before you, &c. - 1 the continuance of a course of dishonest living, Whether it has been offered in sacrifice or not; i
en it would seem equally clear that it is not for so the connexion requires us to understand it. right to purchase or to use it. If a man ab-| Eat.-- This should be interpreted strictly. The bors slavery and sabbath-breaking, and disho apostle says “ eat," not "drink ;" and the prinnesty, then how can he knowingly partake of ciple will not authorize us to drink whatever is that which goes to patronize and extend these set before us, asking po questions for conscience' abominations? (c) If the article is expressly sake ; for while it was a matter of indifference, pointed out to him as an article that has been in regard to eating, whether the meat ball been made in this manner, and his partaking of it will sacrificed to idols or not, it is not a matter of in
But if any man
the host w
might be present some ser
difference whether a man may drink intoxicating | tirely contradictory to what the apostle had been
quor. That is a point on which the conscience saying. He had been urging them to have rehorld have much to do ; and on which its honest | spect for other men's consciences, and in some decisions, and the will of the Lord, should be sense to give up their liberty to their opinions faithfully and honestly regarded.
and feelings. Macknight and some others un
derstand it as an objection : " Perhaps you will PER. 28. But if ans man say unto you, This
but if any man say unto you. This is say, But why is my liberty to be ruled by anoffered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not, 6 for
other inan's conscience ?" Doddridge supposes
that this and ver. 30 come in as a kind of parenI his sake that showed it, and for conscience' thesis, to prevent their extending his former cau1 sake: for å the earth is the Lord's, and the ful tion beyond what he designed. “I speak only Diess thereof:
of acts obvious to human observation ; for as to
what immediately lies between God and my own 9 Chap. viii. 10, 12. h Ver. 26.
soul, why is my liberty to be judged, arraigned,
condemned at the bar of another man's conut any man.-If any fellow guest; any science?" But it is probable that this is not an scrupulous feilow Christian who may be present. obiection. The sense may be thus expressed : That
at the word “any" (F15) refers to a fellow “ I am free; I have liberty to partake of that guest scene est scems evident ; for it is not probable that food, if I please ; there is no law against it, and ost would point out any part of the food on it is not morally wrong: but if I do, when it is
table, of the lawfulness of eating which pointed out to me as having been sacrificed to ald suppose there was any doubt. Yet there idols, my liberty—the right which I exercise
De present some scrupulous fellow Chris- | will be misconstrued, misjudged, condemned (for
of partaking of that food, and who would others. The weak and scrupulous believer will
n; do not pain and wound his feelings. toms of idolators; and will suppose that I cannot for conscience sake.-Eat not, out of respect have a good conscience. Under these circumthe conscientious scruples of him that told stances, why should I act so as to expose myself
at it had been offered to idols. The word to this censure and condemnation? It is better ence refers to the conscience of the in- for me to abstain, and not to use this liberty in
", (ver. 29;) still he should make it a mat- the case, but to deny myself for the sake of ter of consci
conscience not to wound his weak brethren, 1 others." or lead them into sin. For the earth is the Lord's, &c.--See ver. 26. These words are wanting in
VER. 30. For if I by grace be a partaker, why many MSS., see Mill's Gr. Tes., and in the am I evil spoken of for that for which I give Yalgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Arabic versions ;
thanks? and are omitted by Griesbach. Grotius says that they should be omitted. There might easily
i Or, thanksgiving.
k Rom. xiv. 6. have been a mistake in transcribing them from Fer. 26. The authority of the MSS., however,
For if I by grace be a partaker.-Or rather, “ If 11 13 in favour of retaining them; and they are
I partake by grace; if by the grace and mercy
of God, I have a right to partake of this ; yet quoted by the Greek fathers and commentators.
why should I so conduct as to expose myself to they are to be retained, they are to be inter
the reproaches and evil surmises of others? Why preted, probably in this sense: “ There is no ne
should I lay myself open to be blamed on the cessity that you should partake of this food. All
subject of eating, when there are so many Things belong to God; and he has made ample
bounties of Providence for which I may be provision for your wants, without subjecting you
thankful, and which I may partake of without I to the necessity of eating this. Since this is the
doing injury, or exposing myself in any manner case, it is best to regard the scruples of those who
to be blamed ?” Why am I evil spoken of:have doubts of the propriety of eating this food, and to abstain."
Why should I pursue such a course as to expose myself to blame or censure? For that for which
I give thanks ? - For my food. The phrase " for F.R. 29. Conscience, I say, not thine own, but
which I give thanks,” seems to be a periphrasis of the other : for why is my liberty judged of for food, or for that of which he partook to another man's conscience ?
nourish life. It is implied that he always gave
thanks for his food ; and that this was with him Conscience, 1 say, not thine own. I know that such a universal custom, that the phrase "for 1. Jou may have no scruples on the subject. I do which I give thanks” might be used as con| not mean that with you this need be a matter of venient and appropriate phraseology to denote
conscience. I do not put it on that ground, as his ordinary food. The idea in the verse, then, man idol were any thing, or as if it were in itself is this : “ By the favour of God, I have a right
Tong, or as if the quality of the meat so offered to partake of this food. But if I did, I should be had been changed; but I put it on the ground of evil spoken of, and do injury. And it is unnot wounding the feelings of those who are scru necessary. God has made ample provision else! pilons, or of leading them into sin. For why is where for my support, for which I may be my liberty, &c.--There is much difficulty in this thankful. I will not therefore expose myself Clause ; for as it now stands, it seems to be en- to calumny and reproach, or be the occasion of
injury to others by partaking of the food offered | strength should not be devoted to purposes of in sacrifice to idols."
sin, and profligacy, and corruption. It is an act
of high dishonour to God, when He gives us Ver. 31. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, I strength, that we should at once devote that or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of strength to pollution and to sin. (5.) This rule
is designed to be one of the chief directors of our
lives. It is to guide all our conduct, and to con. I Col. iii. 17. 1 Pet. iv. 11.
stitute a test by which to try our actions. What. Whether therefore ye eat or drink. This direc- ever can be done to advance the honour of God tion should be strictly and properly applied to is right: whatever cannot be done with that eod the case in hand ; that is, to the question about is wrong. Whatever plan a man ca
is wrong. Whatever plan a man can form that eating and drinking the things that had been will have this end is a good plan ; whatever canoffered in sacrifice to idols. Still, however, it ! not be made to have this tendency, and that contains a general direction that is applicable to cannot be commenced, continued, and ended with eating and drinking at all times; and the phrase a distinct and definite desire to promote his boa. “ whatsoever ye do,” is evidently designed by our, is wrong, and should be forthwith abandonthe apostle to make the direction universal. Or | ed. (6.) What a change would it make in the whatsoever ye do.-- In all the actions and plans of world if this rule were every where folloxed! life; whatever be your schemes, your desires, | Ilow differently would even professing Chris- | your doings, let all be done to the glory of God. tians live! How many of their plans would ther! Do ull to the glory of God.-The phrase "the be constrained at once to abandon! And wha: 1 glory of God” is equivalent to the honour of a mighty revolution would it at once make os God; and the direction is, that we should so act earth should all the actions of men begin to be in all things as to honour him as our Lawgiver, performed to promote the glory of God! (1.): our Creator, our Redeemer; and so as to lead It may be added that sentiments like that of the others by our example to praise him and to em apostle were found among the Jews, and even brace his gospel. A child acts so as to honour among heathens. Thus Maimonides, as cited a father when he always cherishes reverential by Grotius says, “Let every thing be in the and proper thoughts of him ; when he is thank name of Heaven," i. e. in the name of God. ful for his favours ; when he keeps his laws; Capellus cites several of the rabbinical writers when he endeavours to advance his plans and who say that all actions, even eating and drinkhis interests; and when he so acts as to lead all ing, should be done in the name of God. See the around him to cherish elevated opinions of the Critici Sacri. Even the heathen writers hare ; character of a father. He dishonours him when something that resembles this. Thus Arrian he has no respect to his authority; when he (Ep. i. 19) says, “Looking unto God in all things breaks his laws; when he leads others to treat small and great." Epictetus, too, on being asked him with disrespect. In like manner, we live to how any one may eat so as to please God. the glory of God when we honour him in all answered, “By eating justly, temperately, and the relations which he sustains to us; when we thankfully." keep his laws; when we purtake of his favours with thankfulness, and with a deep sense of our
| VER. 32. Given none offence, neither to the dependence; when we pray unto him; and when Jews, nor to the" Gentiles, nor to the church we so live as to lead those around us to cherish of God: elevated conceptions of his goodness, and mercy,
m Rom. xiv. 13. 2 Cor. vi. 3. ^ Greeks. and holiness. Whatever plan or purpose will tend to advance his kingdom, and to make him Give none offence.-Be inoffensive; that is, do better known and loved, will be to his glory. not act so as to lead others into sin. See Note, We may observe in regard to this, (1.) That Rom. xiv. 13. Neither to the Jews, &c.— TO DO the rule is universal. It extends to every thing. one, though they are the foes of God or strangers If in so small matters as eating and drinking we to him. To the Jews be inoffensive, because should seek to honour God, assuredly we should they think that the least approach to idol worin all other things. (2.) It is designed that this ship is to be abhorred. Do not so act as to lead should be the constant rule of conduct, and that them to think that you conuive at or approve we should be often reminded of it. The acts of idol worship, and so as to prejudice them the eating and drinking must be performed often ; | more against the Christian religion, and lead and the command is attached to that which must them more and more to oppose it. In other often occur, that we may be often reminded of it, | words, do not attend the feasts in honour of idols. and that we may be kept from forgetting it. Nor to the Gentiles.-Gr. Grecks. To the pagaas (3.) It is intended that we should honour God in who are unconverted. They are attached to our families and among our friends. We eat idol worship. They seek every way to justify with them ; we share together the bounties of themselves in it. Do not countenance them in it, Providence; and God designs that we should and thus lead them into the sin of idolatry. Ver honour him when we partake of his mercies, and to the church of God.–To Christians. Vlany of that thus our daily enjoyments should be sanc- | them are weak. They may not be as fully intified by a constant effort to glorify him. (4.) structed as you are. Your example would lead We should devote the strength which we derive them into sin. Abstain, therefore, from things from the bounties of his hand to his honour and which, though they are in themselves strictly in his service. He gives us food; he makes it lawful, may yet be the occasion of lending others nourishing; he invigorates our frame; and that into sin, and endangering their salration.
VER, 33. Even as I please all men in all things, sexes, and the same high hopes are held out to not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of both, (ver. 11, 12 ;) and that nature on this sub
ject was a good instructer, and showed that it many, that they may be saved.
was uncomely for a woman to pray with her Eren as I, &c.-Paul here proposes his own head uncovered, that her hair had been given her example as their guide. The example which he for an ornament and for beauty, and that, as it refers to is that which he had exhibited as de- would be as improper for her to remove her veil
scribed in this and the preceding chapters. His | as to cut off her hair, nature itself required that | main object had been to please all men ; i. e, not this symbol of her subordination should not be to alarm their prejudices, or needlessly to excite laid aside in public. (Ver. 13-16.) their opposition, (see Note on chap, ix. 19-23,) II. Next, as to the irregularities in the obserwhile he made known to them the truth, andvance of the Lord's supper, the apostle observes, sought their salvation. It is well when a minis (ver. 17,) that he could not commend them for ter can without ostentation appeal to his own ex- | what he was about to say. There had been and ample, and urge others to a life of self-denial and there were irregularities among them, which it holiness, by his own manner of living, and by was his duty to reprove. In ver. 18—22, he what he is himself in his daily walk and conver states what those irregularities were. He then sation.
(ver. 23—26) states the true nature and design of the Lord's supper, as it was very evident that they had not understood it, but supposed it was
a common feast, such as they had been accusCHAPTER XI.
tomed to observe in honour of idols. In ver.
27—29, he states the consequences of observing VER. 1. Be ye followers a of me, even as I also this ordinance in an improper manner, and the am of Christ.
proper way of approaching it; and in ver. 30
32, observes that their improper mode of observa Eph. v. I. 1 Thess. i. 6.
ing it was the cause of the punishment which The first verse in this chapter properly belongs | many of them had experienced. He then conto the preceding, and is the conclusion of the
cludes by directing them to celebrate the Lord's discussion which the apostle had been carrying supper together; to eat at home when they were on in that and the previous chapters. It has been
hungry; and not to abuse the Lord's supper by improperly separated from that chapter, and in making it an occasion of feasting; and assures reading should be read in connexion with it. The
them that the other matters of irregularity he remainder of the chapter is properly divided into would set in order when he should come among two parts: 1. A discussion respecting the impro
them, priety of a woman's praying or prophesying with Be ye followers of me.--Imitate my example in her head uncovered. (ver. 2-16:) and 2. A re- | the matter now under discussion. As I deny proof of their irregularities in the observance of myself; as I seek to give no offence to any one ; the Lord's supper. (Ver. 17–36.)
as I endeavour not to alarm the prejudices of I. In regard to the first, it seems probable that others, but in all things to seek their salvation, some of the women who, on pretence of being | so do you. This verse belongs to the previous inspired. had prayed or 'prophesied in the Co- chapter, and should not have been separated from rinthian church, had cast off their veils after the it. It is the close of the discussion there. Even manner of the heathen prestesses. This inde- | as I also am of Christ.--I make Christ my examcent and improper custom the apostle reproves. | ple. He is my model in all things ; and if you He observes, therefore, that the pre-eminence be
ence be- | follow him, and follow me as far as I follow him, longs to man over the woman, even as pre-emi- |
p-emi. you will not err. This is the only safe example ; nence belonged to Christ over the man; that it
and if we follow this, we can never go astray. was a dishonour to Christ when a man prayed or prophesied with his head covered, and in like VER. 2. Now I praise you, brethren, that bye manner it was regarded every where as dis
remember me in all things, and keep the orhonourable and improper for a woman to lay aside the appropriate symbol of her sex, and the
dinances, " as I delivered them to you. emblem of subordination, and to be uncovered in 6 Chap. iv. 17. c Luke i. 6. d traditions. the presence of the man, (ver. 3—5;) that if a woman was not veiled, if she laid aside the appro Now I praise you, brethren.--Paul always chose
iate emblem of her sex and of her subordi- | to commend Christians when it could be done, pate condition, she might as well part with her and never seemed to suppose that such praise hair, which all knew would be dishonourable and would be injurious to them. (Note, chap. i. 4, 5.) improper, (ver. 6;) that the woman had been On this occasion he was the more ready to praise created for a subordinate station, and should ob- them as far as it could be done, because there were serve it, (ver. 7-9;) that she should have power some things in regard to them in which he would on her head because of the angels, (ver. 10;) and have occasion to reprove them. That ye rememyet, lest this should depress her, and seem to con | ber me in all things.—That you are disposed to revey the idea of her utter inferiority and unim- | gard my authority and seek my direction in all portance, he adds, that in the plan of salvation matters pertaining to the good order of the church. they are in many respects on an equality with | There can be little doubt that they had consulted the man, that the same plan was adapted to both, him in their letter (chap. vii. 1) about the prothat the same blessings are appointed for both per manner in which a woman ought to demean herself if she was called upon, under the influence The sense is, she is subordinate to him; and in of divine inspiration, to utter any thing in public. all circumstances--in her demeanour, her dress! The question seems to have been, whether, since her conversation, in public, and in the family she was inspired, it was proper for her to retain circle-should recognise her subordination to the marks of her inferiority of rank, and remain him. The particular thing here referred to is, covered; or whether the fact of her inspiration that if the woman is inspired, and speaks or did not release her from that obligation, and prays in public, she should by no means la sede make it proper that she should lay aside her veil, the usual and proper symbols of her subordinaand appear as public speakers did among men. tion. The danger was, that those who were unTo this the apostle refers, probably in the phrase der the influence of inspiration would regard “ all things," that even in matters of this kind, themselves as freed from the necessity of reeng. pertaining to the good order of the church, they nising that, and would lay aside the veil, the were disposed to regard his authority. And usual and appropriate symbol of their occupying keep the ordinances.--- Margin, Traditions, (ràc a rank inferior to the man. This was often dode , mapacórkic.) The word does not refer to any in the temples of the heathen deities by the priestthing that had been delivered down from a for- esses, and it would appear also that it had been mer generation, or from former times, as the done by Christian females in the churcbes. And word tradition now usually signifies; but it means the head of Christ is God.-Christ, as Mediator, that which had been delivered to them, (apaci- has consented to assume a subordinate rank, and owui;) i. e. by the apostles. The apostles had to recognise God the Father as superior in office. delivered to them certain doctrines, or rules, re | Hence he was obedient in all things as a Son; specting the good order and the government of he submitted to the arrangement required in rethe church; and they had in general observed demption ; he always recognised bis subordinate them, and were disposed still to do it. For this rank as Mediator, and always regarded God as disposition to regard his authority, and to keep the supreme Ruler, even in the matter of rewhat he had enjoined, he commends them. He demption. The sense is, that Christ, through. proceeds to specify what would be proper in re- | out his entire work, regarded himself as of gard to the particular subject on which they had cupying a subordinate station to the Father: made inquiry.
and that it was proper, from his example, to
recognise the propriety of rank and station every Ver. 3. But I would have you know, that the where. head of every man is Christ ; and the head
| VER. 4. Every man praying or prophesying. of the woman is the man ; & and the head of
having his head covered, dishonoureth his Christ is God.
head. e Eph. v. 23. f Gen. iii. 16. 1 Pet. iii. 1, 5, 6. 9 John xiv. 28. Chap. xv. 27, 28.
Every man praying or prophesying.– The word!
“ prophesying" here means, evidently, teaching: '1 But I would have you know.-" I invite your or publicly speaking to the people on the subject attention particularly to the following considera- of religion. See Note on Acts ü. 17. See also tions, in order to form a correct opinion on this the subject considered more at length in the ' subject.” Paul does not at once answer the in Notes on chap. xiv. Whether these persons who
uiry, and determine what ought to be done ; but are here said to prophesy were all inspired. Of ' he invites their attention to a series of remarks claimed to be inspired, mav admit of a question ! on the subject, which led them to draw the con | The simple idea here is, that they spoke in the clusion which he wished to establish. The phrase | public assemblies, and professed to be the ex: here is designed to call the attention to the sub pounders of the divine will. Haring his head!! ject, like that used so often in the New Testa covered. With a veil, or turban, or cap, or whatment, “ He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” | ever else is worn on the head. To remove the That the head, &c.-The word “ head,” in the | hat, the turban, or the covering of the head, 15 a Scriptures, is designed often to denote “ master, I mark of respect for a superior when in bus pita ruler, chief.” The word wnt is often thus used | sence. Dishonoureth his head.- Does dishonour in the Old Testament. See Num. xvii. 3 ; xxv. to Christ, as his head, (ver. 2 ;) that is, he does 15. Deut. xxviii. 13, 44. Judg. x. 18; xi. 8, 11. | not, in his presence and in his ervices, obserre 1 Sam. xv. 17. 2 Sam. xxii. 44. In the New | the usual and proper custom by which a subordi. Testament, the word is used in the sense of nate station is recognised, and which indica lord, ruler, chief, in Eph. i. 22; iv. 15 ; v. 23. Col. ii. 10.
respect for a superior. In the presence of a prince Here it means that Christ is the ruler, director, or Lord of the Christian man.
or a nobleman, it would be considered as a mark This truth was to be regarded in all their feelings
of disrespect should the head be covered. So !! and arrangements, and was never to be forgotten.
the presence of Christ, in whose name he me Every Christian should recollect the relation in
pisters, it is a mark of disrespect if the head 15
covered. This illustration is drawn from the cuswhich he stands to him, as one that is fitted to I toms of all times and countries, by which produce the strictest decorum, and a steady for a superior is indicated by removing the sense of subordination. Of every man.-Every I vering from the head. Christian.
This is one reason
hrist as their a man should not cover his head in public was
ship. Another is given in ver. 7. Other
pretations of the passage may be seen i
age may be seen in Bloom