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the idea of a fundamental error in religion, or | The effect of divisions and separations would be some doctrine the holding of which will exclude to show who were the friends of order, and from salvation. But there is no evidence that peace, and truth. It seems to have been assumed the word is used in this signification in the New by Paul, that they who made divisions could not Testament. The only place where it can be be regarded as the friends of order and truth; supposed to be so used, unless this is one, is in or that their course could not be approved by Gal. v. 20, where, however, the word contentions God. The effect of these divisions would be to or divisions would be quite as much in accordance show who they were. So in all divisions, and with the connexion. That the word here all splitting into factions, where the great truths does not denote error in doctrine, but schism, | of Christianity are held, and where the corrupdivision, or sects, as it is translated in the margin, | tion of the mass does not require separation, such is evident from two considerations. (1.) It is | divisions show who are the restless, ambitious, and the proper philological meaning of the word, and | dissatisfied spirits; who they are that are indisits established and common signification in the posed to follow the things that make for peace, Bible. (2.) It is the sense which the connexion and the laws of Christ enjoining union ; and wbo here demands. The apostle had made no refer they are who are gentle and peaceful, and disposed ence to error of doctrine, but is discoursing solely to pursue the way of truth, and love, and order, of irregularity in conduct; and the first thing without contentions and strifes. This is the effect which he mentions, is, that there were schisms, | of schisms in the church ; and the whole strain divisions, strifes. The idea that the word here of the argument of Paul is to reprove and conrefers to doctrines would by no means suit the demo such schisms, and to hold up the authors of connexion, and would indeed make nonsense. It them to reproof and condemnation. See Rom. would then read, “I hear that there are divisions xvi. 17. “Mark them which cause divisions and or parties among you, and this I cannot commend avoid them.” you for. For it must be expected that there would be fundamental errors of doctrine in the VER, 20. When ye come together therefore church.” But Paul did not reason in this man into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's ner. The sense is, “ There are divisions among you. It is to be expected; there are causes for
supper. it; and it cannot be avoided that there should be,
• Or, ye cannot eat. in the present state of human nature, divisions and sects formed in the church ; and this is to When ye come together therefore, &c. - Wheo be expected in order that those who are true | you are assembled as a church. Comp. Heb. I. Christians should be separated from those who 25, and Note on Acts ii. 1. Christians were
i are not.” The foundation of this necessity is | constantly in the habit of assembling for public not in the Christian religion itself, for that is worship. It is probable that at this early period pure, and contemplates and requires union ; but all the Christians in Corinth were accustomed to the existence of sects, and denominations, and meet in the same place. The apostle here par. contentions may be traced to the following canses : ticularly refers to their assembling to observe the (1.) The love of power and popularity. Reli- ordinance of the Lord's supper. At that early gion may be made the means of power; and they | period, it is probable that this was done on every who have the control of the consciences of men, Lord's day. This is not, &c.--Margin, “ Ye canand of their religious feelings and opinions, can
| not eat.” The meaning of this expression seems control them altogether. (2.) Showing more | to be this. “Though you come together profess
espect to a religious teacher than to Christ. See, edly to worship God, and to partake of the Lords Notes on chap. i. 12. (3.) The multiplication of supper, yet this cannot be the real design which tests, and the enlargement of creeds and confes- / you have in view. It cannot be that such prace sions of faith. The consequence is, that every tices as are allowed among you can be a part of new doctrine that is incorporated into a creed the celebration of that supper, or consistent with gives occasion for those to separate who cannot it. Your greediness, (ver. 21 :) your intempeaccord with it. (4.) The passions of men, their rance, (ver. 21 ;) your partaking of the food se pride, and ambition, and bigotry, and unenlight- / parately, and not in common, cannot be a celeened zeal. Christ evidently meant that his church bration of the Lord's supper. Whatever, thereshould be one ; and that all who were his true | fore, you may profess to be engaged in, yet really followers should be admitted to her communion, and truly you are not celebrating the Lords and acknowledged every where as his own friends. | supper. The Lord's supper. That which the And the time may yet come when this union shall | Lord Jesus instituted to commemorate his death. ! be restored to his long distracted church, and It is called “the Lord's,” because it is his an that while there may be an honest difference of pointment, and is in honour of him; it is called opinion maintained and allowed, still the bonds “supper,” (QETT VOV,) because the word denotes of Christian love shall secure union of heart in the evening repast ; it was instituted in the even. all who love the Lord Jesus, and union of effort ing; and it is evidently most proper that it in the grand enterprise in which all can unite
should be observed in the after part of the day. that of making war upon sin, and securing the
With most churches the time is improperly conversion of the whole world to God. That changed to the morning-a custom which has 00 they which are approved. That they who are ap-| sanction in the New Testament; and which is a proved of God, or who are his true friends, and departure from the very idea of a supper. who are disposed to abide by his laws. May be made manifest.- May be known, recognised, seen. Ver. 21. For in eating, every one taketh before
other his own supper; and one is hungry, and is allusion here, doubtless, to what was a custom *another is drunken.
among the Greeks, that when a festival was ce
lebrated, or a feast made, it was common for each w 2 Pet. ii. 13. Jude 12.
person to provide, and carry a part of the things For in eating.–When you eat, having pro- | necessary for the entertainment. These were fessedly come together to observe this ordinance. usually placed in common, and were partaken of
In order to understand this, it seems necessary | alike by all the company. Thus Xenophon (Mem. | to suppose that they had in some way made the lib. iii. cap. xiv.) says of Socrates, that he was
Lord's supper either connected with a common much offended with the Athenians for their confeast, or that they regarded it as a mere common | duct at their common suppers, where some prefestival, to be observed in a way similar to the | pared for themselves in a delicate and sumptuous
festivals among the Greeks. Many have sup manner, while others were poorly provided for. ! posed that this was done by making the observ Socrates endeavoured, he adds, to shame them
ance of the supper follow a festival, or what were out of this indecent custom, by offering his proafterwards called love feasts, ('Ayar al-Agapæ.) | visions to all the company. And one is hungry. Many have supposed that that custom was de - Is deprived of food. It is all monopolized by rived from the fact that the Saviour instituted the others. And another is drunken.- The word here supper after a festival, a feast in which he had used (uesów) means properly to become inebeen engaged with his disciples, and that thence briated, or intoxicated; and there is no reason the early Christians derived the custom of ob for understanding it here in any other sense. serving such a festival, or common meal, before There can be no doubt that the apostle meant to they celebrated the Lord's supper. But it may say, that they ate and drank to excess; and that be observed, that the passover was not a mere their professed celebration of the Lord's supper preliminary festival, or feast. It had no resem became a mere revel. It may seem remarkable blance to the so called love feasts. It was itself that such scenes should ever have occurred in a a religious ordinance; a direct appointment of Christian church, or that there could have been God; and was never regarded as designed to be such an entire perversion of the nature and depreliminary to the observance of the Lord's sign of the Lord's supper. But we are to resupper, but was always understood as designed member the following things : (1.) These persons to be superseded by that. Besides, I know not had recently been heathens, and were grossly igthat there is the slightest evidence, as has been norant of the nature of true religion when the often supposed, that the observance of the Lord's gospel was first preached among them. (2.) They supper was preceded, in the times of the apostles, had been accustoined to such revels in honour of by such a festival as a love feast. There is no idols under their former modes of worship, and it evidence in the passage before us; nor is any is the less surprising that they transferred their adduced from any other part of the New Testa views to Christianity. (3.) When they had once ment. To my mind, it seems altogether im so far misunderstood the nature of Christianity probable that the disorders in Corinth would as as to suppose the Lord's supper to be like the sume this form- that they would first observe a feasts which they had formerly celebrated, all the common feast, and then the Lord's supper in the rest followed as a matter of course. The festival regular manner. The statement before us leads would be observed in the same manner as the to the belief that all was irregular and improper; festivals in honour of idolators; and similar that they had entirely mistaken the nature of the scenes of gluttony and intemperance would naordinance, and had converted it into an occasion turally follow. (4.) We are to bear in mind, of ordinary festivity, and even intemperance; also, that they do not seem to have been favoured that they had come to regard it as a feast in ho- | with pious, wise, and prudent teachers. There nour of the Saviour, on some such principles as were false teachers; and there were those who they observed feasts in honour of idols, and that prided themselves on their wisdom. and who they observed it in some such manner; and that were self-confident, and who doubtless endeaall that was supposed to make it unlike those fes- voured to model the Christian institutions accordtirals was, that it was in honour of Jesus rather | ing to their own views; and they thus brought than an idol, and was to be observed with some them, as far as they could, to a conformity with reference to his authority and name. Every one pagan customs and idolatrous rites. We may retaketh before other his own supper.—That is, each mark here, (1.) We are not to expect perfection one is regardless of the wants of the others; in- | at once among a people recently converted from stead of making even a meal in common, and paganism. (2.) We see how prone men are to when all could partake together, each one ate by abuse even the most holy rites of religion, and himself, and ate that which he had himself | hence how corrupt is human nature. (3.) We brought. They had not only erred, therefore, see that even Christians, recently converted, need oy misunderstanding altogether the nature of the constant guidance and superintendence; and that Lord's supper, and by supposing that it was a | if left to themselves they soon, like others, fall common festival like those which they had been into gross and scandalous offences. accustomed to celebrate; but they had also entirely departed from the idea that it was a festival to be partaken of in common, and at a common
VER. 22. What! have ye not houses to eat and to table. It had become a scene where every man drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and ale by himself; and where the very idea that shame them that i have not ? What shall I there was any thing like a common celebration, of a celebration together, was abandoned. There
* are poor.
say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise ture. They supposed it might be a common fes.
tival. you not.
They had made it the occasion of great
disorder. He therefore adverts to the solemn What !—This whole verse is designed to con circumstances in which it was instituted ; tbe vey the language of severe rebuke for their hav. particular object which it had in vier-the coming so grossly perverted the design of the Lord's memoration of the death of the Redeemer, and supper. Have ye not houses, &c.-Do you not the purpose which it was designed to subserve, know that the church of God is not designed which was not that of a festival, but to keep be, to be a place of feasting and revelry; nor even a fore the church and the world a constant rememplace where to partake of your ordinary meals ? brance of the Lord Jesus until he should again Can it be, that you will come to the places of return. (Ver. 26.) By this means, the apostle public worship, and make them the scenes of evidently hoped to recall them from their irregufeasting and riot ? Even on the supposition that larities, and to bring them to a just mode of there had been no disorder, no revelry, no in- | celebrating this holy ordinance. He did Dot, temperance; yet on every account it was grossly therefore, denounce them either for their irreirregular and disorderly to make the place of gularity and gross disorder ; he did not use harsh, public worship a place for a festival entertain- violent, vituperative language, but he expected ment. Or despise ye the church of God, &c.—The to reform the evil by a mild and tender statephrase “ church of God" Grotius understands of ment of the truth, and by an appeal to their con the place. But the word “ church," (ékrAnoia,) sciences as the followers of the Lord Jesus. I is believed not to be used in that sense in the have received of the Lord.—This cannot refer to New Testament; and it is not necessary to sup- tradition, or mean that it had been communicated pose it here. The sense is, that their conduct to him through the medium of the was such as if they had held in contempt the / but the whole spirit and scope of the passage whole church of God, in all places, with all their seems to mean that he had derived the knowledge views of the sacredness and purity of the Lord's of the institution of the Lord's supper directly! supper. And shame them that have not.--Margin, from the Lord himself. This might have beto “ Are poor.” Something must here be under- | when on the road to Damascus, though that does stood, in order to make out the sense. Probably not seem probable, or it may have been among it meant something like possessions, property, the numerous revelations which at various times conveniences, accommodations. The connexion had been made to him. Comp. 2 Cor. xi. 7. would make it most natural to understand “houses | The reason why he here says that he had reto eat and drink in;" and the sense then would ceived it directly from the Lord is, doubtless, be, “ Do you thus expose to public shame those that he might show them that it was of divide who have no accommodations at home, who are authority. “ The institution to which I refer. destitute and poor? You thus reflect publicly is what I myself received an account of from perupon their poverty and want, while you bring sonal and direct communication with the Lord your own provisions, and fare sumptuously, and Jesus himself, who appointed it. It is not, there's while those who are thus unable to provide for fore, of human authority. It is not of my dethemselves are thus seen to be poor and needy.” | vising, but is of divine warrant, and is holy in It is hard enough, the idea is, to be poor, and to its nature, and is to be observed in the exact be destitute of a home; but it greatly aggravates manner prescribed by the Lord himself." That the matter to be publicly treated in that manner; which also I delivered, &c.-Paul founded the to be exposed publicly to the contempt which church at Corinth, and of course he first instisuch a situation implies. Their treatment of the tuted the observance of the Lord's supper there. poor in this manner would be a public exposing The same night in which he was betrayal.-By them to shame; and the apostle regarded this as Judas. See Matt. xxvi. 23-25, 48-50. Paal particularly dishonourable, and especially in a seems to have mentioned the fact that it was on Christian church, where all were professedly on the very night on which he was betrayed, in 07an equality. What shall I say to you ? &c.—How der to throw around it the idea of greater solem , shall I sufficiently express my surprise at this, nity. He wished evidently to bring before their and my disapprobation at this course? It can- | minds the deeply affecting circumstances of his not be possible that this is right. It is not pos-death; and thus to show them the utter improsible to conceal surprise and amazement that this priety of their celebrating the ordinance with riot custom exists, and is tolerated in a Christian and disorder. The idea is, that in order to cechurch.
lebrate it in a proper manner, it was needful to
tbrow themselves as much as possible into the VER. 23. For y I have received of the Lord that | very circumstances in which it was instituted i which also I delivered unto you, That the
and one of these circumstances most fitted to Lord Jesus, - the same night in which he was
affect the mind deeply, was the fact that he was
betrayed by a professed friend and follower. It betrayed, took bread:
is also a circumstance the memory of which is y Chap. xv. 3. z Matt. xxvi. 26.
eminently fitted to prepare the mind for a proper
celebration of the ordinance now. Took breid.For, &c.-In order most effectually to check Evidently the bread which was used at the celes the evils which existed, and to bring them to bration of the paschal supper. He took the bread a proper mode of observing the Lord's supper, which happened to be before bim--such as was the apostle proceeds to state distinctly and parti commonly used. It was not a wafer, such as the cularly its design. They had mistaken its na- papists now use, but was the ordinary bread:
which was eaten on such occasions. See Note on making with man. The word diaturn, as the Matt. xxvi. 26.
translation of oa (Berith,) occurs more than
two hundred times. (See Trommius' Concord.) VER. 24. And when he had given thanks, he
Now this must have evidently been of design.
What the reason was which induced them to brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body,
adopt this can only be conjectured. It may have which is broken for you: this do in " remem been that as the translation was to be seen by the brance of me.
Gentiles as well as by the Jews, (if it were not a Or, for a.
expressly made, as has been affirmed by Josephus
and others, for the use of Ptolemy,) they were And when he had given thanks, &c.—See Note
unwilling to represent the eternal and infinite on Matt. xxvi. 26. Matthew reads it, “ and
Jehovah as entering into a compact, an agreement blessed it." The words here used are, however,
with his creature man. They, therefore, adopted substantially the same as there ; and this fact
a word which would represent him as expressing shows, that since this was communicated to Paul
| his will to them in a book of revelation. The directly by the Saviour, and in a manner distinct
version by the LXX, was evidently in use by the from that by which Matthew learned the mode
apostles, and by the Jews every where. The of the institution, the Saviour designed that the
writers of the New Testament, therefore, adopted exact form of the words should be used in its ob
the word as they found it; and spoke of the new servance, and should thus be constantly horne in
dispensation as the new testament which God mind by his people. Take, eat; &c.-See Note
made with man. The meaning is, that this was on Matt. xxvi. 26.
the new compact or covenant which God was
to make with man in contradistinction from VER. 25. After the same manner also he took the
that made through Moses. In my blood.cup, when he had supped, saying, This is the Through my blood ; that is, this new compact is new testament in my blood : this do ye, as oft to be sealed with my blood, in allusion to the
ancient custom of sealing an agreement by a as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
sacrifice. See Note, Matt. xxvi. 28. This do After the same manner.-In like manner; like ye.- Partake of this bread and wine; that is, wise. With the same circumstances, and cere celebrate this ordinance. As oft as ye drink it.monies, and designs. The purpose was the same. Not prescribing any time; and not even specifyWhen he had supped. That is, all this occurred | ing the frequency with which it was to be done ; after the observance of the usual paschal supper. | but leaving it to themselves to determine how It could not, therefore, be a part of it, nor could often they would partake of it. The time of the it have been designed to be a festival or feast Passover had been fixed by positive statute; the merely. The apostle introduces this evidently more mild and gentle system of Christianity left in order to show them that it could not be, as it to the followers of the Redeemer themselves to they seemed to have supposed, an occasion of determine how often they would celebrate his feasting. It was after the supper, and was there- death. It was commanded them to do it; it was fore to be observed in a distinct manner. Saying, presumed that their love to him would be so This cup, &c.-See Note, Matt. xxvi. 27, 28. Is strong as to secure a frequent observance; it was the new testament.- The new covenant which God permitted to them, as in prayer, to celebrate it on is about to establish with men. The word “tes. any occasion of affliction, trial, or deep interest, tament” with us properly denotes a will—an when they would feel their need of it, and when instrument by which man disposes of his property they would suppose that its observance would be after his death. This is also the proper classic for the edification of the church. In remembrance meaning of the Greek word here used, cualnkn, of me.--This expresses the whole design of the (dratheke.) But this is evidently not the sense in ordinance. It is a simple memorial, or rememwhich the word is designed to be used in the New brancer; designed to recall in a striking and i Testament. The idea of a will or testament, expressive manner the memory of the Redeemer. ! strictly so called, is not that which the sacred | It does this by a tender appeal to the senses--by
writers intend to convey by the word. The idea the exhibition of the broken bread, and by the is evidently that of a compact, agreement, cove
| wine. The Saviour knew how prone men would Dant, to which there is so frequent reference in be to forget him; and he, therefore, appointed the Old Testament, and which is expressed by | this ordinance as a means by which his memory
the word na (Berith) a compact, a covenant should be kept up in the world. The ordinance 1. Of that word the proper translation in Greek is rightly observed when it recalls the memory I would have been ouvinin, a covenant, agreement. of the Saviour; and when its observance is the
But it is remarkable that that word never is used means of producing a deep, and lively, and vivid by the LXX. to denote the covenant made be- impression on the mind, of his death for sin, tween God and man. That translation uniformly | This expression, at the institution of the supper, employs for this purpose the word diagnkn, a is used by Luke, (chap. xxii. 19 ;) though it does will, or a testament, as a translation of the H
not occur in Matthew, Mark, or John. brew word, where there is a reference to the covenant which God is represented as making | VER. 26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and with men. The word ovvinky is used by them but three times, (Isa. xxviii. 15; xxx. 1; Dan.
drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death xi. 6.) and in neither instance with any reference
till he come. to the covenant which God is represented as
c Rev. xxii. 20.
For as often.—Whenever you do this. Ye eat, into the errors of the papists. Unworthily.-Perthis bread.—This is a direct and positive refuta- haps there is no expression in the Bible that has tion of the doctrine of the papists, that the bread given more trouble to weak and feeble Christians is changed into the real body of the Lord Jesus. than this. It is certain that there is no one that Here it is expressly called bread-bread still has operated to deter so many from the combread after the consecration. Before the Saviour munion; or that is so often made use of as an instituted the ordinance he took “bread”-it was excuse for not making a profession of religioa. bread then; it was “bread” which he “blessed” | The excuse is, “I am unworthy to partake of and “brake;" and it was bread when it was given this holy ordinance. I shall only expose myselt to them; and it was bread when Paul here says to condemnation. I must therefore wait until I they ate. How then can it be pretended that it become more worthy, and better prepared to celeis any thing else but bread? And what an amaz- | brate it.” It is important, therefore, that there ing and astonishing absurdity it is to believe that should be a correct understanding of this passage, that bread is changed into the flesh and blood Most persons interpret it as if it were unworthy. of Jesus Christ! Ye do show the Lord's death., and not unworthily, and seem to suppose that it You set forth, or exhibit in an impressive manner, refers to their personal qualifications, to their unthe fact that he was put to death ; you exhibit fitness to partake of it, rather than to the manner the emblems of his broken body and shed blood, in which it is done. It is to be remembered, and your belief of the fact that he died.-This therefore, that the word here used is an adrerd, shows that the ordinance was to be so far public and not an adjective, and has reference to the manas to be a proper showing forth of their belief inner of observing the ordinance, and not to their the death of the Saviour. It should be public. | personal qualifications or fitness. It is true that It is one mode of professing attachment to the in ourselves we are all unworthy of an approach Redeemer; and its public observance often has to the table of the Lord ; unworthy to be rea most impressive effect on those who witness its garded as his followers; unworthy of a title to observauce. Till he come.-Till he return to everlasting life: but it does not follow that we judge the world. This demonstrates, (1.) That may not partake of this ordinance in a worthy, it was the steady belief of the primitive church i. e. a proper manner, with a deep sense of our that the Lord Jesus would return to judge the | sinfulness, our need of a Saviour, and with some world; and (2.) That it was designed that this just views of the Lord Jesus as our Redeemer. ordinance should be perpetuated, and observed to Whatever may be our consciousness of personal the end of time. In every generation, therefore, | unworthiness and unfitness-and that consciousand in every place where there are Christians, it | ness cannot be too deep-yet we may have such is to be observed, until the Son of God shall love to Christ, and such a desire to be saved by return; and the necessity of its observance shall | him, and such a sense of his worthiness, as to cease only when the whole body of the redeemed make it proper for us to approach and partake of shall be permitted to see their Lord, and there this ordinance. The term unworthily (avačias) shall be no need of those emblems to remind them | means properly in an unworthy or improper manof him, for all shall see him as he is.
ner, in a manner unsuitable to the purposes for
which it was designed or instituted ; and may VER. 27. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this include the following things, viz. (1.) Such an bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unwor
irregular and indecent observance as existed in
the church of Corinth, where even gluttony and thily, « shall be guilty of the body and blood
intemperance prevailed under the professed de of the Lord.
sign of celebrating the supper. (2.) An obd John vi. 63, 64. Chap. x. 21.
servance of the ordinance where there should he
no distinction between it and common meals, Wherefore (@rtk.)—So that; or it follows from (Note on ver. 29 ;) where they did not regard it what has been said. If this be the origin and as designed to show forth the death of the Lord intention of the Lord's supper, then it follows Jesus. It is evident that where such views pre.. that whoever partakes of it in an improper man- vailed, there could be no proper qualification for ner is guilty of his body and blood. The design this observance; and it is equally clear that sucb of Paul is to correct their improper mode of ob- ignorance can hardly be supposed to prevail now serving this ordinance; and having showed them in those lands which are illuminated by Christian the true nature and design of the institution, he truth. (3.) When it is done for the sake of now states the consequences of partaking of it in mockery, and when the purpose is to deride relian improper manner. Shall eat this bread.- gion, and to show a marked contempt for the orSee ver. 26. Paul calls it bread, and shows thus dipances of the gospel. It is a remarkable fact that he was a stranger to the doctrine that the that many infidels have been so full of malignity bread was changed into the very body of the and bitterness against the Christian religion as to Lord Jesus. Had the papal doctrine of transub observe a mock celebration of the Lord's supper. stantiation been true, Paul could not have called There is no profounder depth of depravity than it bread. The Romanists do not believe that it
this : there is nothing that can more conclusively is bread, nor would they call it such ; and this or painfully show the hostility of man to the shows how needful it is for them to keep the Scrip- / gospel of God. It is a remarkable fact, also. tures from the people, and how impossible to ex- | that not a few such persons hare died a most press their dogmas in the language of the Bible. miserable death. Under the horrors of an acLet Christians adhere to the simple language of cusing conscience, and the anticipated destiny of the Bible, and there is no danger of their falling final damnation, they have left the world as