Page images
PDF
EPUB

that for any one to deny it was to deny that which ing, and denotes a strong asseveration. The entered into the very foundation of the Christian subject was important; it deeply interested his faith. If they embraced a different doctrine, if feelings; and he makes in regard to it a strong they denied the doctrine of the resurrection, they protestation. Comp. John iii. 5. “I solemols struck a blow at the very nature of Christianity, affirm, or declare." By your rejoicing.- Mass and dashed all the hopes which had been che- MSS, here read “by our rejoicing." but the cor. rished and expressed at their baptism. And rect reading is doubtless that which is in the what could they do? What would become of present Greek text, by your rejoicing. The them? What would be the destiny of all who meaning of the phrase, which is admitted be a'l were thus baptized ? Was it to be believed that to be obscure, is probably, “I protest, or solenoir all their hopes at baptism were vain, and that declare by the glorying or exultation whiei i they would all perish? As such a belief could have on your account; by all my ground of glonot be entertained, the apostle infers that, if they rying in you ; by all the confident boasting ind held to Christianity at all, they must hold to this expectation which I have of your salvation." He doctrine as a part of their very profession. Ac- | hoped for their salvation. He had laboured fue cording to this view, the phrase "for the dead" | that. He had boasted of it, and confidently be means, with reference to the dead; with direct lieved that they would be saved. Regarding allusion to the condition of the dead, and their that as safe and certain, he says it was just as hopes ; with a belief that the dead will rise. It | certain that he died daily on account of the hope is evident that the passage is elliptical, and this and belief of the resurrection. “By our hopes seems to be as probable as any interpretation and joys as Christians ; by our dearest expertswhich has been suggested. Mr. Locke says, tions and grounds of confidence, I swear, or s frankly, “ What this baptizing for the dead was, lemnly declare, that I die daily.” Men swear of I know not; but it seems, by the following verses, affirm by their objects of dearest affection and to be something wherein they exposed themselves desire; and the meaning here is, “ So certainly to the danger of death.” Tindal translates it, as I confidently expect your salvation, and » “ over the dead.” Doddridge renders it, “in the certainly as we look to eternal life, so certain is room of the dead, who are just fallen in the it that I am constantly exposed to die, and safet cause of Christ, but are yet supported by a suc- that which may be called a daily death." Which cession of new converts, who immediately offer | I have in Christ Jesus.-The rejoicing, boastinz. themselves to fill up their places, as ranks of solo glorying in regard to you which I am permittel diers that advance to the combat in the room of to cherish through the grace and favour of the their companions who have just been slain in Saviour. His boasting, or confident expectation their sight.”

in regard to the Corinthians, he enjoyed only by

the mercy of the Lord Jesus, and he delighted to Ver. 30. And why stand we in 8 jeopardy every trace it to him. I die duily.- Comp. Rom. vü. hour?

36. I endure so many sufferings and persecu. g 2 Cor. xi. 26.

tions, that it may be said to be a daily dying. I

am constantly in danger of my life, and my sufAnd why stand we in jeopardy.- Why do we ferings each day are equal to the pains of death constantly risk our lives, and encounter danger | Probably Paul here referred particularly to the of every kind. This refers particularly to Paul | perils and trials which he then endured at Ears himself and the other apostles, who were con sus; and his object was to impress their mirds stantly exposed to peril by land or by sea in the with the firmness of his belief in the certainty of arduous work of making known the gospel. The

the resurrection, on account of which be suffered argument here is plain. It is, that such efforts so much, and to show them that all their hom would be vain, useless, foolish, unless there was

rested also on this doctrine. to be a glorious resurrection. They had no other object in encountering these dangers than to VER. 32. If lafter the manner of men I bare make known the truths connected with that glo

fought with beasts at Ephesus, what adratrious future state ; and if there were no such future state, it would be wise for them to avoid

tageth it me, if the dead rise not? Let tusta! these dangers. “It would not be supposed that and drink, for to-morrow we die. we would encounter these perils constantly,

1 Or, to speak after. m Eccl. ii. 21. Iss. xii. 1". unless we were sustained with the hope of the resurrection, and unless we had evidence which If after the manner of men.-Marg. To afheils convinced our own minds that there would be l after the manner of men, (kard är owT01.) There such a resurrection." Erery hour.-Constantly. bas been a great difference of opinion in retare Comp. 2 Cor. xv. 26. So numerous were their to the meaning of these words. The following dangers, that they might be said to occur every are some of the interpretations proposed. (1.) hour. This was particularly the case in the in If I have fought after the manner of men, de stance to which he refers in Ephesus. (Ver. 32.) | | act only with reference to this life, and oa the

ordinary principles of human conduct, as meni Ver. 31. I protest by your rejoicing i which I

fought with wild beasts in the amphitheatre. (2.) have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I k die daily.

Or if, humanly speaking, or speaking after the

manner of men, I have fought, referring to the he Some read, our. i Phil. iii, 3. k Rom. viii. 36. fact that he had contended with men who should

be regarded as wild beasts. (3.) Or, that I may I protest (vi).)—This is a particle of swear | speak of myself as men speak, that I may free

I record the events of my life, and speak of what he had sticking in his girdle, and thrust it as far has occurred. (4.) Or, I have fought with wild as possible into the lion's mouth; the lion then

beasts as far as it was possible for man to do it let him go; the man, however, was not idle, but I while life survived. (5.) Or, as much as was in cut the lion almost through with one stroke, and the power of man, who had destined me to this ; after that entirely to pieces. Upon this victory, if, so far as depended on man's will, I fought, sup- the common people began to shout, and call out, posing that the infuriated multitude demanded. Thank God, he has conquered.' But the mogul that I should be thus punished. So Chrysostom said, smiling, to this conqueror, • Thou art a understands it. (6.) Or, that Paul actually | brave warrior, and hast fought admirably! But fought with wild beasts at Ephesus. (7.) Others did I not command to fight honourably only with regard this as a supposable case; on the suppo shield and sword? But, like a thief, thou hast stosition that I had fought with wild beasts at Ephe- len the life of the lion with thy dagger.' And imsus. Amidst this variety of interpretation, it is mediately he ordered two men to rip up his belly, not easy to determine the true sense of this dif- and to place him upon an elephant, and, as an ficult passage. The following thoughts, however, example to others, to lead him about, which was may perhaps make it clear.

done on the spot. Soon after, a tiger was set loose (1.) Paul refers to some real occurrence at against which a tall, powerful man advanced Ephesus. This is manifest from the whole pas with an air of defiance, as if he would cut the sage. It is not a supposable case.

tiger up. The tiger, however, was far too saga(2.) It was some one case when his life was cious and active, for, in the first attack, he seized endangered, and when it was regarded as remark the combatant by the neck, tore his throat, and able that he escaped and survived. Comp. 2 Cor. then his whole body in pieces. This enraged ani 8-10.

other good fellow, but little, and of mean ap(3.) It was common among the Romans, and pearance, from whom one would not have exthe ancients generally, to expose criminals to pected it. He rushed forward like one mad, and fight with wild beasts in the amphitheatre, for the tiger on his part undauntedly flew at his the amusement of the populace. In such cases, enemy; but the man at the first attack cut off it was but another form of dooming them to cer- | his two fore paws, so that he fell, and the man tain death, since there was no human possibility | cut his body to pieces. Upon this, the king cried, of escape. See Adam's Rom. Ant. p. 344. That | • What is your name?' He answered, My this custom prevailed in the East, is apparent | name is Gey by.' Soon after, one of the king's from the following extract from Rosenmüller; | servants came and brought him a piece of gold and there is no improbability in the supposition brocade, and said, “Geyby, receive the robe of

that Paul was exposed to this :-“ The barbar honour which the mogul presents you. He Tous custom of making men combat with wild took the garment with great reverence, kissed it

beasts has prevailed in the East down to the most three times, pressing it each time to his eyes modern times. Jurgen Andersen, who visited and breast, then held it up, and in silence put up the states of the Great Mogul in 1646, gives an a prayer for the health of the mogul; and when account in his Travels of such a combat with ani- | he concluded it, he cried, “May God let him bemals, which he witnessed at Agra, the residence of come as great as Tamerlane, from whom he is the Great Mogul. His description affords a lively descended. May he live seven hundred years, image of those bloody spectacles in which ancient and his house continue to eternity!' Upon this, Rome took so much pleasure, and to which the he was summoned by a chamberlain to go from above words of the apostle refer. Alamardan-the garden up to the king; and when he came to chan, the governor of Cashmire, who sat among the entrance, he was received by two chans, who the chans, stood up, and exclaimed, “ It is the conducted him between them to kiss the mogul's will and desire of the great mogul, Schah Cho- | feet. And when he was going to retire, the king ram, that if there are any valiant heroes who will said to him, · Praised be thou, Gey by-chan, for show their bravery by combating with wild thy valiant deeds, and this name shalt thou keep beasts, armed with shield and sword, let them to eternity. I am your gracious master, and come forward; if they conquer, the mogul will thou art my slave.'”-Bush's Illustrations. load them with great favour, and clothe their (4.) It is the most natural interpretation, to countenance with gladness. Upon this, three suppose that Paul, on some occasion, had such a persons advanced, and offered to undertake the contest with a wild beast at Ephesus. It is that combat. Alamardan-chan again cried aloud, which would occur to the great mass of the

Sone should have any other weapon than a readers of the New Testament, as the obvious shield and a sword; and whosoever has any breast meaning of the passage. plate under his clothes should lay it aside, and (5.) The state of things in Ephesus when Paul fight honourably. Hereupon a powerful lion was there, (Acts xix.,) was such as to make it was let into the garden, and one of the three nowise improbable that he would be subjected to men above mentioned advanced against him; such a trial. the lion, on seeing his enemy, ran violently up (6.) It is no objection to this supposition, that to him; the man, however, defended himself | Luke has not recorded this occurrence in the bravely, and kept off the lion for a good wbile, Acts of the Apostles. No conclusion adverse to tuil bis arms grew tired; the lion then seized the this supposition can be drawn from the mere shield with one paw, and with the other his an- | silence of the historian. Mere silence is not a tagonist's arm, so that he was not able to use his contradiction. There is no reason to suppose Weapon; the latter, seeing his life in danger, that Luke designed to record all the perils which look with his left hand his Indian dagger, which | Paul endured. Indeed, we know from 2 Cor. xi.

24-27, that there must have been many dangers VER. 33. Be not deceived; evil * communications which Paul encountered, which are not referred corrupt good manners. to by Luke. It must have happened, also, that

na Chap. v, 6. many important events must have taken place during Paul's abode at Ephesus, which are not Be not deceived.-By your false teachers, and recorded by Luke. (Acts xix.) Nor is it any ob- | by their smooth and plausible arguments. This jection to this supposition, that Paul does not, in | is an exhortation. He had thus far been en2 Cor. xi. 24–27, mention particularly this cou: gaged in an argument on the subject. He now test with a wild beast at Ephesus. His state- | entreats them to beware lest they be deceivedment there is general : he does not descend into a danger to which they were very liable from particulars. Yet in 2 Cor. xi. 23, he says that their circumstances. There was, doubtless, much he was “ in deaths oft,”—a statement which is in that was plausible in the objections to the docaccordance with the supposition, that in Ephesus trine of the resurrection; there was much subtlety he may have been exposed to death in some and art in their teachers, who denied this doc. cruel manner.

trine; perhaps, there was something in the cha(7.) The phrase karà ävoow TOV, “as a man,” | racter of their own minds, accustomed to subtle may mean, that to human appearance, or so far and abstruse inquiry, rather than to an examinaas man was concerned, had it not been for some tion of simple facts, that exposed them to this 'l divine interposition, he would have been a prey danger. Evil communications. The word rento the wild beasts. Had not God interposed, and dered “ communications” means, properly, a kept him from harm, as in the case of the viper being together; companionship; close interat Melita, (Acts xxviii. 5,) he would have been course ; converse. It refers not to discourse put to death. He was sentenced to this; was only, but to intercourse, or companionship. Paal thrown to the wild beasts; had every human pro- | quotes these words from Mepander, (in Sentent. I spect of dying ; it was done on account of his Comicor. Gr. p. 248, ed. Steph.,) a Greek poel religion ; and but for the interposition of God, He thus shows that he was, in some degree at he would have died. This I take to be the fair least, familiar with the Greek writers. Comp. and obvious meaning of this passage, demanded Note, Acts xvi. 28. Menander was a celebrated alike by the language which is used, and by the comic poet of Athens, educated under Thertenor of the argument in which it is found. phrastus. His writings were replete with ele

What advantageth it me?-What benefit shall gance, refined wit, and judicious observations, I have? Why should I risk my life in this Of one hundred and eight comedies which he manner? See Note on ver. 19. Let us eat and wrote, nothing remains hut a few fragments. He drink.-These words are taken from Isa. xxii. is said to have drowned himself, in the 52nd year 13. In their original application, they refer to of his age, B. C. 293, because the compositions of the Jews when besieged by Sennacherib and the his rival Philemon obtained more applause than army of the Assyrians. The prophet says, that his own. Paul quoted this sentiment from a instead of weeping, and fasting, and humiliation, Greek poet, perhaps, because it might have as became them in such circumstances, they had weight with the Greeks. It was a sentiment of given themselves up to feasting and revelry, and one of their own writers, and here was an occathat their language was, “Let us eat and drink, sion in which it was exactly applicable. It is for to-morrow we shall die;" that is, there is no implied in this, that there were some persons use in offering resistance, or in calling upon God. who were endeavouring to corrupt their minds We must die; and we may as well enjoy life as from the simplicity of the gospel. The sentilong as it lasts, and give ourselves up to unre- | ment of the passage is, that the intercourse strained indulgence. Paul does not quote these of evil-minded men, or that the close friendship words as having any original reference to the and conversation of those who hold erroneous subject of the resurrection, but as language ap opinions, or who are impure in their lives, tends propriately expressing the idea, that if there is to corrupt the morals, the heart, the sentiments no future state ; if no resurrection of the dead ; | of others. The particular thing to which Paol if no happy result of toils and sufferings in the l here applies it is the subiect of the res

here applies it is, the subject of the resurrection. future world, it is vain and foolish to subject Such intercourse would tend to corrupt the simourselves to trials and privations here. We plicity of their faith, and pervert their views of should rather make the most of this life ; enjoy the truth of the gospel, and thus corrupt their all the pleasure we can; and make pleasure our lives. It is always true that such intercourse chief good, rather than look for happiness in a | has a pernicious effect on the mind and the heart future state. This seems to be the language of | It is done, (1.) By their direct effort to corrupt the great mass of the world. They look to no the opinions, and to lead others into sin. (2) future state. They have no prospect, no desire | By the secret, silent influence of their words of heaven ; and they, therefore, seek for happi- , and conversation, and example. We have less ness here, and give themselves up to unrestrained horror at vice by becoming familiar with it ; ye enjoyment in this life. To-morrow,Very soon. look with less alarm on error when we hear it We have no security of life ; and death is so often expressed ; we become less watchful and near, that it may be said we must die to-morrow. cautious when we are constantly with the gay, We die.-- We must die. The idea here is, “ We the worldly, the unprincipled, and the vicious. must die, without the prospect of living again, Hence Christ sought that there should be a pare unless the doctrine of the resurrection be true.” society, and that his people should principally

seek the friendship and conversation of each other, and withdraw from the world. It is in the

way that Paul here refers to, that Christians em- dead will be raised. See the Analysis. That brace false doctrines; that they lose their spi- objections were made to the doctrine is apparent rituality, love of prayer, fervour of piety, and from ver. 12. How are the dead raised up ? (IIūc.) devotion to God. It is in this way that the -In what way or manner; by what means. This simple are beguiled, the young corrupted, and I regard as the first objection which would be that vice, and crime, and infidelity spread over made, or the first inquiry on the subject which the world.

the apostle answers." The question is one which

would be likely to be made by the subtle and VER. 34. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; doubting Greeks. The apostle, indeed, does not for some have not the knowledge of God: I draw it out at length, or state it fully, but it may

be regarded probably as substantially the same Pspeak this to your shame.

as that which had been made in all ages. How o Rom. xiii. 11. Eph. v. 14. p Chap. vi. 4. is it possible that the dead should be raised ?

They return to their native dust. They become Awake to righteousness.—See Note, Rom. xiii. entirely disorganized. Their dust may be scat11. The word here translated "awake” denotes, tered; how shall it be re-collected? Or they properly, to awake up from a deep sleep or may be burned at the stake, and how shall the torpor; and is usually applied to those who particles which composed their bodies be re-col. awake, or become sober after drunkenness. The lected and reorganized? Or they may be devour. phrase “ to righteousness," (kaiwc,) may meaned by the beasts of the field, the fowls of heaven, either “rouse to the ways of righteousness; to a or the fishes of the sea, and their flesh may have holy life; to sound doctrine,” &c.; or it may served to constitute the food of other animals, mean "as it is right and just that you should and to form their bodies; how can it be re-coldo.” Probably the latter is the correct idea, and lected and reorganised? Or it may have been then the sense will be, “ Arouse from stupidity the food of plants, and like other dust have bee on this subject; awaken from your conscious used to constitute the leaves or the flowers of security ; be alarmed, as it is right and proper plants, and the trunks of trees; and how can it that you should do, for you are surrounded by be remoulded into a human frame?” This obdangers, and by those who would lead you intojection the apostle answers in ver. 36–38. And error and vice; rouse from such wild and de- l with what bodu do they come ?_This is the secon lusive opinions as these persons have, and exer- objection or inquiry which he answers. It may cise a constant vigilance, as becomes those who be understood as meaning, “ What will be the are the friends of God and the expectants of a form, the shape, the size, the organization of the blessed resurrection.” And sin not.- Do not err ; | new body? Are we to suppose that all the matdo not depart from the truth and from holiness ; l ter which at any time entered into its composido not embrace a doctrine which is not only tion here is to be re-collected, and to constitute a erroneous, but the tendency of which is to lead colossal frame? Are we to suppose that it will into sin. It is implied here, that if they suffered | be the same as it is here, with the same organithemselves to embrace a doctrine which was a zation, the same necessities, the same wants ? denial of the resurrection, the effect would be, Are we to suppose that the aged will be raised as that they would fall into sin; or that a denial of aged, and the young as young, and that infancy that doctrine led to a life of self-indulgence and will be raised in the same state, and remain such transgression. This truth is every where seen ; 1 for ever? Are we to suppose that the bodies will and against this effect Paul sought to guard them. be gross, material, and needing support and nourHe did not regard the denial of the doctrine of | ishment, or, that there will be a new organizathe resurrection as a harmless speculation, but as tion ?" All these and numerous other questions leading to the most dangerous consequences in have been asked, in regard to the bodies at the regard to their manner of life or their conduct. resurrection; and it is by no means in probable For some have not. Some among you. You are that they were asked by the subtle and philososurrounded by strangers to God; you have those phizing Greeks, and that they constituted a part among you who would lead you into error and of the reasoning of those who denied the docsin. I speak this to your shame.—To your shame trine of the resurrection. This question, or obas a church ; because you have had abundant iection, the apostle answers ver. 39-50. It has opportunities to know the truth, and because it been doubted, indeed, whether he refers in this is a subject of deep disgrace that there are any verse to two inquiries—to the possibility of the in your bosom who deny the doctrine of the resurrection, and to the kind of bodies that should resurrection of the dead, and who are strangers be raised; but it is the most obvious interpretato the grace of God.

tion of the verse, and it is certain that in his ar

gument he discusses both these points. VER. 35. But some man will say, How I are the dead raised up? and with what body do they | VER. 36. Thou fool! that 'which thou sowest is come?

not quickened except it die : q Ezek. xxxvii. 3.

John xii. 24. But some man will say.-An objection will be made to the statement that the dead will be raised. Thou fool.-Foolish, inconsiderate man! The This verse commences the second part of the meaning is, that it was foolish to make this obchapter, in which the apostle meets the objections jection, when the same difficulty existed in an to the argument, and shows in what manner the undeniable fact which fell under daily observation. A man was a fool to urge that as an ob- | it, but the same only in the sense that it will have jection to religion which must exist in the unde sprung up from that; will constitute the same or. niable and every-day facts which they witnessed. der, rank, species of being, and be subject to the The idea is, “ The same dificulty may be started same laws, and deserve the same course of treatabout the growth of grain. Suppose a man who ment as that which died; as the grain produced had never seen it, were to be told that it was to is subject to the same laws, and belongs to the be put into the earth; that it was to die; to be same rank, order, and species as that which is decomposed; and that from the decayed kernel sown. And as the same particles of matter there should be seen to start up first a slender, which are sown do not enter into that which shall green, and tender spire of grass, and that this be in the harvest, so it is taught that the same was to send up a strong stalk, and was to produce particles of matter which constitute the body hundreds of similar kernels at some distant pe. when it dies, do not constitute the new body at riod. These facts would be as improbable to the resurrection. But bare grain.-Mere grain; him as the doctrine of the resurrection of the a mere kernel, without any husk, leaf, blade, or dead. When he saw the kernel laid in the ground; covering of any kind. Those are added in the when he saw it decay; when apparently it was process of reproduction. The design of this is returning to dust, he would ask, How can these to make it appear more remarkable, and to destroy be connected with the production of similar the force of the objection. It was not only dot grain ? Are not all the indications that it will the grain that should be produced, but it was be totally corrupted and destroyed ?" Yet, says without the appendages and ornaments of blade, i Paul, this is connected with the hope of the har and flower, and beard of the new grain. How ! vest, and this fact should remove all the objection could any one tell but what it would be so in the which is derived from the fact that the body re resurrection? How could any one know bat turns to its native dust. The idea is, that there is what there might be appendages and ornaments an analogy, and that the main objection in the there, which were not connected with the body one case, would lie equally well against the ac that died ? It may chance of wheat, &c.--For knowledged and indisputable fact in the other. example; or, suppose it be wheat or any other It is evident, however, that this argument is of a grain. The apostle adduces this merely for an popular character, and is not to be pressed to the example; not to intimate that there is any chance quick ; nor are we to suppose that the resem about it. blance will be in all respects the same. It is to be used as Paul used it. The objection was, that

VER. 38. But God giveth it a body as it hath the body died, and returned to dust, and could pleased him, and to every seed his own : not, therefore, rise again. The reply of Paul is,

body. “ You may make the same objection to grain that

s Gen. i. 11, 12. is sown. That dies also. The main body of the kernel decays. In itself there is no prospect that But God giveth it a body, &c.—God gives to it will spring up. Should it stop here, and had the seed sown its own proper body, formation. you never seen a grain of wheat grow; had you and growth. The word “body” here, as applied only seen it in the earth, as you have seen the to grain, seems to mean the whole system, of body in the grave, there would be the same arrangement of roots, stalks, leaves, flowers, and difficulty as to how it would produce other kernels, that start out of the seed that is sowe, grains, which there is about the resurrection of The meaning is, that such a form is produced the body.” Is not quickened.-Does not become

from the seed sown as God pleases. Paul here alive; does not grow. Ercept it die.—See Note, traces the result to God, to show that there is John xii. 24. The main body of the grain de no chance, and that it did not depend on the cays that it may become food and nourishment to nature of things, but was dependent on the wise the tender germ. Perhaps, it is implied here | arrangement of God. There was nothing in the also, that there was a fitness that men should die decaying kernel itself that would produce this in order to obtain the glorious body of the resur result; but God chose that it should be so. rection, in the same way as it is fit that the ker There is nothing in the decaying body of the nel should die, in order that there may be a new dead which in itself should lead to the resurret. and beautiful harvest.

tion ; but God chose it should be so. As it heuth: VER. 37. And that which thou sowest, thou sow

pleased him.--As he chose. It is by his arrange i

ment and agency. Though it is by regular laws, .' est not that body that shall be, but bare grain, yet it is as God pleases. He acts according to it may chance of wheat, or of some other his own pleasure, in the formation of each root, grain :

and stalk, and kernel of grain. It is, probably,

here intimated that God would give to each one, And that which thou sowest.— The seed which of the dead at the resurrection such a body as he is sown. Not that body that shall be.--You should choose, though it will be, doubtless, in sow one kernel which is to produce many others. | accordance with general laws. And to every setu ] They shall not be the same that is sown. his own body. That which appropriately belongs They will be new kernels raised from that; ofto it; which it is fitted to produce; which is the same kind, indeed, and showing their inti the same kind. He does not cause a stalk of rye mate and necessary connexion with that which to grow from a kernel of wheat ; nor of maze is sown. It is implied here that the body which will be raised will not be the same in the sense

from barley ; nor of hemp from lentiles. He bas that the same particles of matter shall compose

fixed proper laws, and he takes care that they shall be observed. So it will b

be in the resurrec.

« PreviousContinue »