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rightful monuments of the justice of God. It tility to the Saviour himself as far as they could s also a fact that not a few infidels who have do, by showing contempt for the memorials of been engaged in such unholy celebrations have his body and blood. The apostle does by no been converted to that very gospel which they means, however, as I understand him, mean to were thus turning into ridicule and scorn. Their say that any of the Corinthians had been thus consciences have been alarmed; they have shud- guilty of his body and blood. He does not charge dered at the remembrance of the crime; they on them this murderous intention. But he states have been overwhelmed with the consciousness what is the fair and obvious construction which of guilt, and have found no peace until they have is to be put on a wanton disrespect for the Lord's found it in that blood whose shedding they were supper. And the design is to guard them, and thus profanely celebrating. Shall be guilty, all others, against this sin. There can be no (ivoyoc.)-This word properly means obnoxious doubt that those who celebrate his death in to punishment for personal crime. It always mockery and derision are held guilty of his body includes the idea of ill-desert, and of exposure to and blood. They show that they have the spirit panishment on account of crime or ill-desert. of his murderers; they evince it in the most aw(Matt. v. 22. Coinp. Ex, xxii. 3 ; xxxiv. 7. Num. | ful way possible; and they who would thus join xiv. 18; xxxv. 27. Lev. xx. 9. See also Deut. in a profane celebration of the Lord's supper xix. 10. Matt. xxvi. 66.) Of the body and blood would have joined in the cry, “Crucify him, of the Lord.—Commentators have not been agreed crucify him.” For it is a most fearful and solemn in regard to the meaning of this expression, act to trifle with sacred things; and especially to | Doddridge renders it, “Shall be counted guilty | hold up to derision and scorn, the bitter sorrows of profaning and affronting in some measure that by which the Son of God accomplished the rewhich is intended to represent the body and blood demption of the world. of the Lord.” Grotius renders it, “He does the same thing as if he should slay Christ." Bret VER. 28. But let a man examine e himself, and schneider (Lex.) renders it, “ Injuring by crime
so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that the body of the Lord.” Locke renders it, “ Shall The guilty of a misuse of the hody and blood of
e 2 Cor. xiii. 5. I John iii. 20, 21. the Lord;" and supposes it means that they should be liable to the punishment due to one who But let a man eramine himself.—Let him search made a wrong use of the sacramental body and see if he have the proper qualifications ; if and blood of Christ in the Lord's supper. - he have knowledge to discern the Lord's body,
Rosenmüller renders it, “ He shall be punished (Note, ver. 29 ;) if he have true repentance for ; for such a deed as if he had affected Christ him- his sins; true faith in the Lord Jesus ; and a sin
self with ignominy.” Bloomfield renders it, cere desire to live the life of a Christian, and to * He shall be guilty respecting the body, i. e. be like the Son of God, and be saved by the merits guilty of profaning the symbols of the body and of his blood. Let him examine himself, and see blood of Christ, and consequently shall be amen-, whether he have the right feelings of a commuable to the punishment due to such an abuse of nicant, and can approach the table in a proper the highest means of grace.” But it seems to manner. In regard to this, we may observe, (1.) me that this does not convey the fulness of the That this examination should include the great meaning of the passage. The obvious and lite question about his personal piety, and about his ral sense is evidently that they should by such particular and special fitness for this observance. conduct be involved in the sin of putting the It should go back into the great inquiry whether Lord Jesus to death. The pbrase " the body he has ever been born again ; and it should also and blood of the Lord,” in this connexion, ob- have special reference to his immediate and diviously, I think, refers to his death,—to the fact rect preparation for the ordinance. He should that his body was broken, and his blood shed, not only be able to say in general that he is a of which the bread and wine were symbols ; and Christian, but he should be able to say that he || that to be guilty of that, means to be guilty of has then a particular preparation for it. He ! putting him to death; that is, to he involved in should be in a suitable frame of mind for it. He the crime, or to do a thing which should involve should have personal evidence that he is a penithe same criminality as that. To see this, we tent; that he has true faith in the Lord Jesus; are to remember, (i.) That the bread and wine that he is depending on him, and is desirous of were symbols or emblems of that event, and de- / being saved by him. (2.) This examination signed to set it forth. (2.) To treat with irre- should be minute and particular : it should exFerence and profaneness the bread which was an tend to the words, the thoughts, the feelings, the emblem of his broken body, was to treat with ir-conduct. We should inquire whether in our fareverence and profaneness the body itself; and in mily and in our business, whether among Chrislike manner the wine, the symbol of his blood. tians, and with the world, we have lived the life (3.) Those, therefore, who treated the symbols of a Christian. We should examine our private of his body and blood with profaneness and con- thoughts, our habits of secret prayer, and of tempt were united in spirit with those who put | searching the Scriptures. Our examination him to death. They evinced the same feelings should be directed to the inquiry whether we towards the Lord Jesus that his murderers did. are gaining the victory over our easily besetting They treated him with scorn, profaneness, and sins, and becoming more and more conformed to derision; and showed that with the same spirit, the Saviour. It should, in short, extend to all they would have joined in the act of murdering | our Christian character; and every thing which the son of God. They would evince their hos- | goes to make up or to mar that character should
be the subject of faithful and honest examina- | punishment or judgment which the apostle im. tion. (3.) It should be done because, (a) It is mediately specifies. (Ver. 30, 32.) It means : well to pause occasionally in life, and take an manifestation of the divine displeasure which account of our standing in the sight of God. might be evinced in this life, and which, in the Men make advances in business and in property case of the Corinthians, was manifested in the only when they often examine their accounts, judgments which God had brought upon them. and know just how they stand. (6) Because the It cannot be denied, however, that a profane and observance of the Lord's supper is a solemn act, | intentionally irreverent manner of observing the and there will be fearful results if it is celebrated | Lord's supper will meet with the divine displeain an improper manner. (c) Because self-ex- sure in the eternal world, and aggravate the amination supposes seriousness and calmness, doom of those who are guilty of it. But it is and prevents precipitation and rashness--states clear that this was not the punishment which the of mind entirely unfavourable to a proper ob- apostle had here in his eye. This is apparent, I servance of the Lord's supper. (d) Because by (.) Because the Corinthians did eat unworthils, self-examination one may search out and remove and yet the judgments inflicted on them were those things that are offensive to God, and the only temporal, that is, weakness, sickness, and sins which so easily beset us may be known and temporal death, (ver. 30;) and, (2.) Because the abandoned. (e) Because the approach to the reason assigned for these judgments is, that they table of the Lord is a solemn approach to the might not be condemned with the wicked; 1 € Lord himself; is a solemn profession of attach-| as the wicked are in hell. (Ver. 32.)-Whitby, ment to him ; is an act of consecration to his Comp. 1 Pet. iv. 17. Not discerning the Lord's service in the presence of angels and of men; body, -Not discriminating (uri otarpivur) beand this should be done in a calm, deliberate, and tween the bread which is used on this occasion, sincere manner-such a manner as may be the and common and ordinary food. Not making result of a prayerful and honest self-examination. the proper difference and distinction between this And so let him eat, &c.—And as the result of and common meals. It is evident that this was such examination, or after such an examination ; the leading offence of the Corinthians, (see that is, let the act of eating that bread be always Notes, ver. 20, 21 ;) and this is the proper idea preceded by a solemn self-examination. Bloom which the original conveys. It does not refer to field renders it," and then,” “then only." The any intellectual or physical power to perceive sense is plain, that the communion should al that that bread represented the body of the ways be preceded by an honest and prayerful Lord; not to any spiritual perception which it is self-examination,
often supposed that piety has to distinguish this ;
not to any view which faith may be supposed to VER. 29. For he that eateth and drinketh un have to discern the body of the Lord through the
worthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to elements; but to the fact that they did not dishimself, not discerning the Lord's body.
tinguish or discriminate between this and com
mon meals. They did not regard it in a proper Judgment. Rom. xiii. 2.
manner, but supposed it to be simply an histori,
cal commemoration of an event, such as they For he that eateth, &c.-In order to excite were in the habit of observing in honour of an them to a deeper reverence to this ordinance, and idol or a hero by a public celebration. They, 1; to a more solemn mode of observing it, Paul, in therefore, are able to “ discern the Lord's body this verse, states another consequence of partak- | in the sense intended here, who with a serious ing of it in an improper and irreverent manner. | mind regard it as an institution appointed by the li Comp. ver. 27. Eateth and drinketh damnation. Lord Jesus to commemorate his death, and who
-This is evidently a figurative expression, distinguish this between this and ordinary meals meaning that by eating and drinking improperly, and all festivals and feasts designed to commemo | he incurs condemnation ; which is here expressed rate other events. In other words, who deem it by eating and drinking coudemnation itself. The to be designed to show forth the fact, that his word “ damnation” we now apply, in common body was broken for sin, and who desire to ob- il language, exclusively to the future and final pu- serve it as such. It is evident that all true Chris- ! nishment of the wicked in hell. But the word tians may have ability of this kind, and deed not here used does not of necessity refer to that ; and ) incur condemnation by any error in regard to according to our use of the word now, there is a this. The humblest and obscurest follower of the harshness and severity in our translation, which Saviour, with the feeblest faith and love, may the Greek does not require, and which probably regard it as designed to set forth the death of his was not conveyed by the word “ damnation" Redeemer; and observing it thus, will meet with when the translation was made. In the margin, the divine approbation. it is correctly rendered “judgment.” The word here used, (kpiua,) properly denotes judgment; | VER. 30. For this cause many are weak and the result of judging, that is, a sentence; then
sickly among you, and many sleep. a sentence by which one is condemned, or condemnation ; and then punishment. See Rom. iii. | For this cause.On account of the improper 8; xiii. 2. It has evidently the sense of judg- | manner of celebrating the Lord's supper. See ment here, and means, that by their improper ver. 21. Many are weak, (àojevic.)-Evidently manner of observing this ordinance, they would referring to prevailing bodily sickness and dis- | expose themselves to the divine displeasure, and ease. This is the natural and obvious interpreto punishment. And it refers, I think, to the tation of this passage. The sense clearly is
that God had sent among them bodily distempers are imparted to those who observe it in a proper as an expression of the divine displeasure and manner. The general principle is, that an imjudgment for their improper mode of celebrating proper discharge of any duty will expose us to the Lord's supper. That it was not uncommon his displeasure, and to the certain loss of all in those times for God in an extraordinary man- | those favours which might have resulted from a ner to visit men with calamity, sickness, or proper discharge of the duty, and to the tokens death for their sips, is evident from the New of the divine displeasure. And this is as true Testament. See Note, chap. v. 5. Acts v. 1- of prayer, or of any other religious duty, as of 10; xiii. 11. 1 Tim. i. 20, and perhaps I John an improper observance of the Lord's supper. v. 16, and James v. 14, 15. It may possibly have been the case that the intemperance and / VER. 31. For if & we would judge ourselves, we gluttony which prevailed on these occasions was should not be judged. the direct cause of no small part of the bodily disease which prevailed, and which in some
g Psa. xxxii. 5. 1 John i. 9. cases terminated in death. And many sleep.-- For if we would iudae ourselvee__If we would Have died. The death of Christians in the
examine ourselves ; (ver. 28 ;) if we would exScriptures is commonly represented under the
ercise a strict scrutiny over our hearts, and feelimage of sleep. (Dan. xii. 2. John xi. 11, 12.
| ings, and conduct, and come to the Lord's table 1 Cor. xv. 51. i Thess. iv. 14; v. 10.) Perhaps
with a proper spirit, we should escape the conit may be implied, by the use of this mild term
demnation to which they are exposed who obhere, instead of the harsher word death, that
serve it in an improper manner. If we would these were true Christians. This sentiment is
exercise proper severity and honesty in deterin accordance with all that Paul states in regard
mining our own character and fitness for the to the church at Corinth. Notwithstanding all
ordinance, we should not expose ourselves to the their irregularities, he does not deny that they | divine displeasure. We should not be judged. were sincere Christians; and all his appeals and
We should not be exposed to the expression of reasonings proceed on that supposition, though
God's disapprobation. He refers here to the there was among them much ignorance and irre
punishment which had come upon the Corinthgularity. God often visits his own people with
ians for their improper manner of observing the trial; and though they are his children, yet this
ordinance; and he says that if they had properly does not exempt them from affliction and disci
examined themselves, and had understood the pline on account of their imperfections, errors,
nature of the ordinance, that they would have and sins. The practical lesson taught by this is,
escaped the judgments that had come upon them. that Christians should serve God with purity ;
This is as true now as it was then. If we wish that they should avoid sin in every form; and
to escape the divine displeasure ; if we wish the that the commission of sin will expose them, as
communion to be followed with joy, and peace, well as others, to the divine displeasure. The
and growth in grace, and not with blighting and reason why this judgment was inflicted on the
spiritual barrenness, we should exercise a severe Corinthians was, that there might be a suitable
judgment on our character, and feelings, and impression made of the holy nature of that ordi
motives; and should come to it with a sincere nance, and that Christians might be led to ob
desire to honour Christ, and to advance in the serve it in a proper manner. If it be asked
divine life. whether God ever visits his people now with his displeasure for their improper manner of obsery VER. 32. But when we are judged, we are ing this ordinance, we may reply, (1.) That we
chastened of the Lord, that we should not be have no reason to suppose that he inflicts bodily diseases and corporeal punishments on account
condemned with the world. of it. But, (2.) There is no reason to doubt
h Psa. cxiv. 12, 13. Heb. xii. 5—11. that the improper observance of the Lord's supper, like the improper observance of any other But when we are judged. This is added, evireligious duty, will be followed with the ex- dently, to console those who had been afflicted pression of God's displeasure, and with a spirit-on account of their improper manner of observual blighting on the soul. This may be evinced | ing the Lord's supper. The sense is, that though in the following modes. (a) In hardening the they were thus afflicted by God; though he had heart by an improper familiarity with the most manifested his displeasure at the manner in sacred and solemn ordinances of religion. (6) which they had observed the ordinance, yet the Increased coldness and deadness in the service divine judgment in the case was not inexorable. of God. If the ordinances of the gospel are not | They were not regarded by God as wholly the means of making us better, they are the strangers to piety, and would not be lost for means of making us worse. (c) The loss of the ever. They should not be alarmed, therefore, favour of God, or of those pure, and spiritual, as if there was no mercy for them ; but they and elevated joys which we might have obtained should rather regard their calamities as the by a proper observance of the ordinance. There chastening of the Lord on his own children, and is no reason to doubt that God may make it the as designed for their salvation. We are chastened occasion of manifesting his displeasure. It may of the Lord. It is his act; and it is not venbe followed by a want of spiritual comfort and geance and wrath, but it is to be regarded as the peace; by a loss of communion with God; and chastisement of a father's hand, in order that we by a withholding of those comforts from the should not be condemned with the wicked. We soul which might have been enjoyed, and which are under the discipline (Talčevójega) of the Lord ; we are dealt with as children, and are adjust in the church there, which could not be corrected as by the hand of a father. Comp. so well done by letter. The main things, thereHeb. xii. 5-10, and 2 Cor. vi, 9. The design fore, which it was needful to correct immediatels, of God's correcting his children is, that they he had discussed in this letter; the other matters should be reclaimed, and not destroyed. That he reserved to be arranged by himself when he we should not be condemned with the world. - It is should go among them. Paul was disappointed implied here, (1.) That the world—those who in his expectations of returning among them as were not Christians, would be condemned ; (2.) | soon as he had intended ; see 2 Cor. i. 17; and That Paul regarded the Corinthians, whom he under this disappointment he forwarded to them addressed, and who had even been guilty of this another epistle. If all Christians would follos improper manner of observing the Lord's supper, implicitly his directions here in regard to the and who had been punished for it, as true Chris- Lord's supper, it would be an ordinance full of tians; and, (3.) That the purpose which God comfort. May all so understand its nature, and had in view in inflicting these judgments on so partake of it, that they shall meet the approthem was, that they might be purified, and en- bation of their Lord, and so that it may be the lightened, and recovered from their errors, and means of saving grace to their souls. saved. This is the design of God in the calamities and judgments which he brings on his own children. And so now, if he afflicts us, or leaves us to darkness, or follows the communion with the tokens of his displeasure, it is that we
CHAPTER XII. may be recovered to a deeper sense of our need of him ; to juster views of the ordinance; and VER. 1. Now concerning spiritual gifls, brethren, to a more earnest wish to obtain his favour. I would not have you ignorant. VER. 33. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come
This chapter commences a new subject, the together to eat, tarry one for another.
discussion of which continues to the close of the
fourteenth chapter. The general subject is that When ye come together to eat.-Professedly to
| of spiritual endowments, or the right mode of eat the Lord's supper. Tarry one for another. exercising their spiritual gifts, and the degree of Do not be guilty of disorder, intemperance, and | honour which was due to those who had been gluttony. See Note, ver. 21. Doddridge under | distinguished by God by the special influences of stands this of the feasts that he supposes to have his Spirit. It is evident that many in the church preceded the Lord's supper. But the more ob at Corinth had been thus favoured ; and it is vious interpretation is, to refer it to the Lord's evident that they had greatly abused these en supper itself; and to enjoin perfect order, respect, dowments, and that those who were thus favoural and sobriety. The idea is, that the table was had claimed a precedency of honour above those common for the rich and the poor; and that the who had been less distinguished. It is not imrich should claim no priority or precedence over probable that they had, in their letter to Paul, the poor.
see Note, chap. vii. I, requested his counsel on
this subject, and asked him to teach them what VER. 34. And if any man hunger, let him eat at
measure of honour should be given to those who home; that ye come not together unto con had been thus endowed. This subject, as it was demnation. And the rest will I set in order of importance not only for them, but for the when I come.
church at large in all future times, he proceeds
to discuss in this and the two following chapi Judgment.
ters ; and this discussion closes the second part And if any man hunger, &c.-- The Lord's sup- of the epistle. See the Introduction. The gene, per is not a common feast ; it is not designed as ral scope of these chapters is this. (1.) He sho ! a place where a man may gratify his appetite. that all those endowments were conferred by the It is designed as a simple commemoration, and Holy Ghost, and were all for the use of the not as a feast. This remark was designed to church; that the church was one, but that there correct their views of the supper, and to show was a necessity for diversified operations in that then that it was to be distinguished from church; and that, therefore, no one should valut the ordinary idea of a feast or festival. That himself on that gift above his brother, and no ye come not together unto condemnation.—That the one should feel himself dishonoured because he effect of your coming together for the observ- | had not been thus favoured. All filled important ance of the Lord's supper be not to produce con- I places in the church, just as the various members demnation. See Note, ver. 29. And the rest and parts of the human system were necessary will I set in order, &c.- Probably he refers here for its symmetry, action, and health; and all, to other matters on which he had been consulted; / therefore, should be willing to occupy the place or other things which he knew required to be which God had assigned them. (Chap. XIL), adjusted. The other matters pertaining to the (2.) In chap. xiii. he recommends love, or cha: :| order and discipline of the church I will defer | rity, as of nuore value than all other spiritual until I can come among you, and personally ar- | gifts put together, and therefore recommends range them. It is evident from this, tbat Paul that that should be especially the object of their at this time purposed soon to go to Corinth. See | desire. (3.) In chap. xiv. he gives particular 2 Cor. i. 15, 16. It was doubtless true that there / rules about the proper exercise of spiritual guns might be many things which it was desirable to in their public assemblies. This chapter, there
| fore, is occupied in stating and illustrating the whole discussion, however, shows that he refers
position that all spiritual gifts are conferred by to the various endowments, gifts, or graces that the Holy Ghost, and that no one should so value had been bestowed in different degrees on the himself on this gift as to despise those who had members of the church-including the distincnot been thus endowed ; and that no one who tions in graces, and in degrees of office and rank, had not thus been favoured should be dejected, which had been made in the Christian church in or regard himself as dishonoured. This state general, (chap. xii.,) as well as the extraordinary ment is illustrated in the following manner. endowments of the gift of tongues which had
(1.) Paul states the importance of the subject. been bestowed upon many. (Chap. xiv.) I would (Ver. 1.)
not have you ignorant.—The subject is of so much (2.) He reminds them that they were for- importance that it demands particular attention merly in a state of ignorance, sin, and idolatry. | and special care. Comp. Note, chap. x. 1. I (Ver. 2.)
would not have you ignorant in regard to the (3.) He states one mark of being under the nature of those endowments; the spirit with influence of the Spirit of God; that is, that it which they should be received ; the rules to which would lead them to acknowledge and honour they who are thus favoured should be subjected; Jesus Christ. If the spirit by which they were and the feelings and views which should be influenced led them to this, it was proof that it cherished in all the members of the church in was the Holy Ghost. (Ver. 3.) If any pretend- | regard to them. Nothing is of more importers to inspiration were in the habit of speaking ance in the church than the doctrine respecting disrespectfully of Jesus Christ, or of calling him the influences and endowments of the Holy * accursed,” it proved that they were not under | Spirit. the influence of the Holy Ghost. (4.) There were diversities in the operations
VER. 2. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried of the Spirit ; but however various were these operations, they all proceeded from the same
away unto these dumb kidols, even as ye were agent. (Ver. 4-11.) All were not, therefore,
led. to expect precisely the same influences or opera
k 1 Thess. i. 9. tions; nor were they to suppose that because there were various operations, that therefore Ye know, &c.—This verse is regarded by many they were not influenced by the Spirit of God. as a parenthesis. But it is not necessary to sup
(5.) Paul states and illustrates the truth that pose that it is so, or that it does not cohere with the church is one. (Ver. 12—27.) As the body that which follows. The design seems to be to is one, yet has many members, so is it with the remind them of their former miserable condition church. (Ver. 12.) The body has many mem- | as idolators, in order to make them more sensible bers, and no members in the body are useless, of their advantages as Christians, and that they but all perform important parts, however unim- might be led more highly to appreciate their portant they may seem to be; and no one mem- | present condition. Paul often refers Christians ber can say that it has no need of the others. to their former condition to excite in them gratiSo it is in the church. (Ver. 13--27.)
tude for the mercies that God has conferred on (6.) This beautiful allegory, drawn from the them in the gospel. See Note, Chap. vi. 11. | functions of the various parts of the human Comp. Rom. vi. 17. Eph. ii. 11, 12. Titus iii. | body, Paul applies now to the church, and shows 3. That ye were Gentiles.-Heathen ; worshippers
(ver. 28-30) that the same thing should be ex- of idols. The idea is, that they were pagans ; pected in the church of Christ. It followed, that they had no knowledge of the true God, therefore, that those who were not as highly but were sunk in miserable superstition and favoured as others should not regard themselves idolatry. Carried away.--Led along; that is, as useless, and decline their station in the church. deluded by your passions, deluded by your It followed, also, that those who were in inferior priests, deluded by your vain and splendid rites stations should not envy those who had been of worship. The whole system made an apmore highly favoured; and that those who were peal to the senses, and bore along its rotaries in more elevated stations, and who had been as if by a foreign and irresistible impulse. The more signally favoured, should not look down word which is used (à rayóuevoi) conveys proon those beneath them with contempt. It fol- | perly the idea of being carried into bondage, or lowed, also, that they should regard themselves being led to punishment, and refers here doubtless as one body; and love and cherish each other to the strong means which had been used by with constant Christian affection.
| crafty politicians and priests in their former state (7.) Paul tells them that it was not improper to to delude and deceive them. Unto these dumb desire the highest endowments, but says that he idols. These idols which could not speak-an will propose an object of desire to be preferred to attribute which is often given to them, to show these gifts--and that is love. (Ver. 31.)
the folly of worshipping them. (Psal. cxv. 5; Now concerning.-It is now time that I should cxxxv. 15. Hab. ii. 18, 19.) The ancient priests speak of spiritual endowments. He had no and politicians deluded the people with the notion doubt been consulted in regard to them, and pro that oracles were uttered by the idols whom they bably various questions had been proposed, which worshipped, and thus they maintained the belief he now proceeded to answer. Spiritual gifts.- in their divinity. The idea of Paul here seems The word “gifts” is not in the original. The to be, (1.) That their idols never could have Greek refers to “ spiritual” things in general, or uttered the oracles which were ascribed to them, to any thing that is of a spiritual nature. The and consequently that they had been deluded.