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ever, and as if they had been acquired independ- | love to exercise it. They are willing to show it ently of God. How prone is the man of talents even by inflicting punishment on others; and, to forget that God has given him his intellect, | “ dressed in a little brief authority," they are and that for its proper use he must give account! constantly seeking occasions to show their conHow prone is the rich man to forget that he must sequence; they magnify trifles; they are undie! How prone the gay and the beautiful to willing to pass by the slightest offences. The forget that they will lie undistinguished in the reason is not that they love the truth, but that grave; and that death will consume them as they love their own consequence, and they seek soon as the most vile and worthless of the every opportunity to show it. species! 3. If we glory, it should be in the 1 3. All Christians, and all Christian ministers, Lord. We should ascribe our talents, wealth, are engaged in a warfare. (Ver. 3.) They are health, strength, salvation to him. We should at war with sin in their own hearts, and with sin rejoice, (1.) That we have such a Lord, so glo- wherever it exists on earth, and with the powers rious, so full of mercy, so powerful, so worthy of of darkness. With foes so numerous and so viconfidence and love. (2.) We should rejoice in gilant, they should not expect to live a life of our endowments and possessions as his gift. We ease or quietness. Peace, perfect peace, they should rejoice that we may come and lay every may expect in heaven, not on earth. Here they thing at his feet, and whatever may be our rank, are to fight the good fight of faith, and thus to or talents, or learning, we should rejoice that we lay hold on eternal life. It has been the common may come with the humblest child of poverty, lot of all the children of God to maintain such a and sorrow, and want, and say, “not unto us, / war, and shall we expect to be exempt ? not upto us, but unto thy name give glory for
Shall I be carried to the skies thy mercy and for thy truth's sake.” (Ps. cxv. 1.)
On flowery beds of ease, See Note on 1 Cor. i. 31.
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas? VER. 18. For not he that commendeth himself is
" Are there no foes for me to face? approved, but " whom the Lord commendeth.
Must I not stem the flood ?
Is this vile world a friend to grace, e Rom. ii. 29.
To help me on to God?" For not he that commendeth himself, &c.-Not 4. The weapons of the Christian are not to be he who boasts of his talents and endowments. carnal, but are to be spiritual. (Ver. 4.) He is He is not to be judged by the estimate which he not to make his way by the exhibition of human shall place on himself, but by the estimate which passion; in bloody strife; and by acting under God shall form and express. Is approved.-By the influence of ambitious feelings. Truth is his God. It is no evidence that we shall be saved, weapon ; and armed with truth, and aided by the that we are prone to commend ourselves. See Spirit of God, he is to expect the victory. How Rom. xvi. 10. But whom the Lord commend different is the Christian warfare from others! eth. - See Note on Rom. ii. 29. The idea | How different is Christianity from other
| How different is Christianity from other systems! here is, that men are to be approved or re | Mahomet made his way by arms, and propagated jected by God. He is to pass judgment on his religion amidst the din of battle. But not so them, and that judgment is to be in accordance Christianity. That is to make its way by the with his estimate of their character, and not ac silent, but mighty operation of truth; and there cording to their own. If he approves them, they is not a rampart of idolatry and sin that is not will be saved ; if he does not, vain will be all yet to fall before it. their empty boasting; vain all their reliance on 5. The Christian should be a man of a pure their wealth, eloquence, learning, or earthly ho spirit. (Ver. 4.) He is to make his way by the nours. None will save them from condemna- truth. He should therefore love the truth, and tion ; not all these things can purchase for them | he should seek to diffuse it as far as possible. In eternal life. Paul thus seriously shows that we propagating or defending it, he should be always should be mainly anxious to obtain the Divine mild, gentle, and kind. Truth is never advanced. favour. It should be the grand aim and purpose and an adversary is never convinced, where pasof our life ; and we should repress all disposition sion is evinced; where there is a haughty manfor vainglory or self-confidence; all reliance on ner, or a belligerent spirit. The apostolic preour talents, attainments, or accomplishments, for cepts are full of wisdom, “ speaking the truth in salvation. Our boast is, that we have such a love,” (Eph. iv. 15,) "in meekness instructing Redeemer; and in that we all may glory. those that oppose themselves ; if God peradven
ture will give them repentance to the acknowledgREMARKS.
ing of the truth.” (2 Tim. ii. 25.) 1. We should have no desire to show off any | 6. In his warfare the Christian shall conquer. peculiar boldness or energy of character which (Ver. 4, 5.) Against the truth of Christianity we may have. (Ver. 1, 2.) We should greatly nothing has been able to stand. It made its way prefer to evince the gentleness and meekness of against the arrayed opposition of priests and emChrist. Such a character is in itself of far more perors ; against customs and laws; against invalue than one that is merely energetic and veterate habits and opinions; against all forms bold ; that is rash, authoritative, and fond of of sin, until it triumphed, and “the banners of
the faith floated from the palaces of the Cesars." 2. They who are officers in the church should So it will be in all the conflicts with evil. Nohave no desire to administer discipline. (Ver. 2.) thing is more certain, than that the powers of Some men are so fond of power, that they always darkness in this world are destined to fall before
the power of Christian truth, and that every This chapter is connected in its general de stronghold of sin shall yet be demolished. So it sign with the preceding. The object of Paul is is in the conflicts of the individual Christian. to vindicate himself from the charges which had He may struggle long and hard. He may have been brought against him, and especially to vinmany foes to contend with. But he shall gain dicate his claims to the apostolic office. It is the victory. His triumph shall be secure; and ironical in its character, and is of course severe he shall yet be enabled to say, “I have fought a upon the false teachers who had accused him in good fight-henceforth there is laid up for me a Corinth. The main purpose is to state his claims crown.
to the office of an apostle, and especially to shov
that when he mentioned those claims, or eren “* The saints in all this glorious war
boasted of his labours, he had ground for doing Shall conquer though they die ; They see the triumph from afar,
so. It would seem that they had charged him And seize it with their eye."
with “ folly” in boasting as he had done. Pro
bably the false teachers were loud in proclaiming 7. Yet all should feel their dependence on their own praise, but represented Paul as guilty God. (Ver. 4.) It is only through him and by
of folly in praising himself. He therefore (rer. his aid that we have any power. Truth itselt
1) asks them if they could bear with him a little has no power, except as it is attended and di
further in his foily, and entreats them to do it. ! rected by God; and we should engage in our
This verse contains the scope of the chapter; conflict, feeling that none but God can give us
and the remainder of the chapter is an enumerathe victory. If forsaken by him we shall fall ;
tion of the causes which he had for this boasting. if supported by him, we may face without fear a
though probably each reason is adapted to some “frowning world,” and all the powers of the form of accusation brought against him. “ dark world of hell.” s. We should not judge by the outward ap- | little farsher, he states the reasons why he was
Having entreated them to bear with him a pearance. (Ver. 7.) It is the heart that deter- disposed to go into this subject at all. (Ver. 2mines the character; and by that God shall
| 4.) It was not because he was disposed to sound judge us, and by that we should judge ourselves.
his own praise, but it was from love to them. 9. We should aim to extend the gospel as far
He had espoused them as a chaste virgin to as possible. (Ver. 14-16.) Paul aimed to go
Christ. He was afraid that their affections would beyond the regions where the gospel had been
be alienated from the Redeemer. He reminded preached, and to extend it to far-distant lands.
them of the manner in which Ere was tempted; So the “ field” still “is the world.” A large
and he reminded them that by the same smooth portion of the earth is yet unevangelized. In
and plausible arts their affections might also be stead, therefore, of sitting down quietly in en
stolen away, and that they might be led into sin. joyment and ease, let us, like him, earnestly
He reminds them that there was danger of their desire to extend the influence of pure religion,
receiving another gospel, and expresses the apand to bring distant nations to the saving know
prehension that they had done it, and that they ledge of the truth.
had embraced a deceiver. (Ver. 4.) 10. Let us not boast in ourselves. (Ver. 17.)
Having made this general statement of his Not of our talents, wealth, learning, or accom
design, Paul now goes more into detail in anplishments let us glory. But let us glory that
swering the objections against him, and in we have such a God as Jehovah. Let us glory
showing the reasons which he had for bossithat we have such a Redeemer as Jesus Christ.
ing as he had done. The statement in answer Let us glory that we have such a sanctifier as
to their objections relates to the following the Holy Spirit. Let us acknowledge God as
points :the source of all our blessings, and to him let us
(1.) He had supposed that he was not behind honestly consecrate our hearts and our lives.
the chiefest of the apostles. He had supposed 11. What a reverse of judgment there will
that he had claims to the apostolic office of as yet be on human character! (Ver. 17, 18.) How
ow high an order as any of them. Called to the many now commend themselves who will be condemned in the last day. How many inen
work as he had been, and labouring as he had
done, he had regarded himself as having an inboast of their talents and morals, and even their religion, who will then be involved in indiscri
!! | disputable claim to the office of an apostle. minate condemnation with the most vile and
True, they had charged him with being rude in worthless of the race. How anxious should we
speech, a charge which he was not disposed to
deny ; but in a far more important point than be, therefore, to secure the approbation of God;
that he had showed that he was not disqualified and whatever our fellow-men may say of us,
for the apostolic office. how infinitely desirable is it to be commended
In knowledge, the main
qualification, he had not been deficient, as prothen by our heavenly Father.
bably even his opponents were disposed to admit. (Ver. 5, 6.)
(2.) He had not deprived himself of the claims
to the office and honours of an apostle by deCHAPTER XI.
clining to receive from them a compensation, VER. 1. Would to God ye could bear with me (Ver. 3--9.)
and by preaching the gospel without charge
Probably they had alleged that a little in my folly : and indeed bear awith this was a proof that he knew that he had no me.
claim to the honours of an apostle. He therea Or, ye do bear.
fore states exactly how this was. He had re
ceived a support, but he had robbed other 'scourges, and imprisonments, and shipwrecks; churches to do it. And even when he was with in hunger and thirst ; in unwearied travelling them, he had received supplies from a distant from place to place; and in the care of all the church, in order that he might not be burden- ! churches, were his claims to their respect and some to them. The charge was, therefore, confidence, and he was willing that any one that groundless, that he knew that he bad no right to chose should make the comparison between the support due to an apostle.
them. Such was his “foolish” boasting; such (3.) He declares it to be his fixed purpose his claims to their confidence and regard. that no one should prevent his boasting in that Would to God.—Greek, “ I would," (Oqedov.) manner. And this he did because he loved | This expresses earnest desire ; but in the Greek them, and because he would save them from the there is no appeal to God. The sense would be snares of those who would destroy them. He well expressed by “() that,” or “I earnestly therefore stated the true character of those who wish.” Ye could bear with me.-That you would attempted to deceive them. They were the bear patiently with me; that you would hear ministers of Satan, appearing as the ministers of me patiently, and suffer me to speak of myself. righteousness, as Satan himself was transformed In my folly.--Folly in boasting. The idea seems into an angel of light. (Ver. 10-15.)
to be, “ I know that boasting is generally foolish, (4.) Paul claims the privilege of boasting as and that it is not to be indulged in. But though a fool a little farther. (Ver. 16.) And he claims it is to be generally regarded as folly, yet cirthat as others boasted, and as they were allowed cumstances compel me to do it, and I ask your to do so by the Corinthians, he had also a right indulgence in it.” It is possible also that his to do the same thing. They suffered them to opponents accused him of folly in boasting so boast; they allowed them to do it even if they much of himself. And indeed bear with me.devoured them, and smote them, and took Marg. “ Ye do bear.” But the text has probably their property. It was but fair, therefore, the correct rendering. It is the expression of that he should be allowed to boast a little of an earnest wish that they would tolerate him a what he was, and of what he had done. (Ver. | little in this. He entreats them to bear with 17-20.)
him because he was constrained to it. (5.) He goes, therefore, into an extended and most tender description of what he had suffered, VER. 2. For I am jealous over you with godly and of his claims to their favourable regard. Ile
jealousy: for I have espoused you to one had all the personal advantages arising from birth which they could pretend to. He was a
husband, that I may present you as a chaste Hebrew, of the seed of Abraham, and a minister virgin 'to Christ. of Christ. (Ver. 21-23.) He had endured far
6 Hos. ii. 19, 20. c Lev. xxi. 13. more labours and dangers than they had done; and in order to set this before them, he enume For I am jealous over you.--This verse exrates the trials through which he had passed, presses the reason why he was disposed to speak and stated the labours which constantly came of his attainments, and of what he had done. upon him. (Ver. 23-30.) Of these things, of It was because he loved them, and because he bis sufferings, and trials, and infirmities, he felt | feared that they were in danger of being seduced that he had a right to speak; and these consti- | from the simplicity of the gospel. The phrase, tuted a far higher claim to the confidence of the “I am jealous,” (
Z w ) means properly, I arChristian church than the endowments of which | dently love you; I am full of tender attachment his adversaries boasted.
to you. The word was usual among the Greeks (6.) As another instance of peril and suffering, to denote an ardent affection of any kind, (from he refers to the fact that his life was endangered | Léw, to boil, to be fervid, or fervent.) The prewhen he was in Damascus, and that he barely | cise meaning is to be determined by the conescaped by being lowered down from the wall of nexion. See Note on 1 Cor. xii. 31. The word the city. (Ver. 31–33.) The conclusion which may denote the jealousy which is felt by an apPaul doubtless intends should be derived from prehension of departure from fidelity on the part all this is, that he had far higher grounds of of those whom we love; or it may denote a ferclaim to the oifice of an apostle than his adver- | vid and glowing attachment. The meaning here saries would admit, or than they could furnish / probably is, that Paul had a strong attachment themselves. He admitted that he was weak and to them. With godly jealousy.-Greek, “with subject to infirmities ; he did not lay claim to the zeal of God," (OcoÙ SVAM.) That is, with the graces of a polished elocution, as they did ; / very great or vehement zeal-in accordance with but if a life of self-denial and toil, of an honest | the Hebrew custom when the name God is used devotion to the cause of truth at imminent and to denote any thing signally great, as the phrase, frequent hazard of life, constituted an evidence “ mountains of God," meaning very elevated or that he was an apostle, he had that evidence. lofty mountains. The mention of this ardent They appealed to their birth, their rank, their attachment suggested what follows. His mind endowments as public speakers. In the quiet reverted to the tenderness of the marriage relaand comfort of a congregation and church es- tion, and to the possibility that in that relation tablished to their hands; in reaping the avails of the affections might be estranged. He makes the labours of others; and in the midst of en- use of this figure, therefore, to apprise them of joyments, they coolly laid claims to the honours the change which he apprehended. For I have of the ministerial office, and denied his claims. | espoused you, &c.— The word here used (àquów) In trial, and peril, and labour, and poverty ; in means properly to adapt, to fit, to join together. Hence to join in wedlock, to marry. Here it serpent beguiled Ere.-See Gen. iii. 1-11. The means to marry to another; and the idea is, that word serpent here refers doubtless to Satan, uho Paul had been the agent employed in forming a was the agent by whom Eve was beguiled. See connexion, similar to the marriage connexion, John viii. 44. i John iii. 8. Rev. xii.9; XX. 2. between them and the Saviour. The allusion | Paul did not mean that they were in danger of here is not certain. It may refer to the custom being corrupted in the same way, but that simni. which prevailed when friends made and procured | lar efforts would be made to seduce them. Satan the marriage for the bridegroom ; or it may refer adapts his temptations to the character and cirto some custom like that which prevailed among cumstances of the tempted. He varios them the Lacedemonians, where persons were em- | from age to age, and applies them in such a way ployed to form the lives and manners of virgins, as best to secure his object. Hence all should and prepare them for the duties of the married | be on their guard. No one knows the mode in life. The sense is clear. Paul claims that it which he will approach him, but all may know | was by his instrumentality that they had been that he will approach them in some pas. : united to the Redeemer. Under him they had | Through his subtilty.-- See Gen. iii. 1. By his been brought into a relation to the Saviour simi- | craft, art, wiles, (iv TŪ Tavou pyíç.) The word lar to that sustained by the bride to her husband; implies that shrewdness, cunning, craft was emand he felt all the interest in them which natu- ployed. A tempter always employs cunning rally grew out of that fact, and from a desire to and art to accomplish his object. The precise present them blameless to the pure Redeemer. mode in which Satan accomplished his object is The relation of the church to Christ is often not certainly known. Perhaps the cunning conrepresented by marriage. See Eph. v. 23-33. | sisted in assuming an attractive form-a fasciRev. xix. 7; xxi. 9. To one husband,- To the nating manner-a manner fitted to charm; per. Redeemer. That I muy present you as a chaste haps in the idea that the eating of the forbidden virgin to Christ.— The allusion here, according | fruit had endowed a serpent with the power of to Doddridge, is to the custom among the Greeks reason and speech above all other animals, and “ of having an officer whose business it was to that it might be expected to produce a similar educate and form young women, especially those transformation in Eve. At all events there were of rank and figure, designed for marriage, and false pretences and appearances, and such Paul then to present them to those who were to be apprehended would be employed by the fa se their husbands; and if this officer through neg- teachers to seduce and allure them. See on ver. ligence permitted them to be corrupted between 13, 14. So your minds should be corrupted.-So the espousals and the consummation of the mar- your thoughts should be perverted. So your riage, great blame would fall upon him.” Such hearts should be alienated. The mind is cora responsibility Paul felt. So anxious was he rupted when the affections are alienated from for the entire purity of that church which was the proper object, and when the soul is filled to constitute “the bride, the Lamb's wife;" so with unholy plans, and purposes, and desires. anxious that all who were connected with that From the simplicity that is in Christ. 1.) From church should be presented pure in heaven, | simple and single-hearted devotedness to bim
from pure and unmixed attachment to him. Ver. 3. But I fear, lest by any means, as the
| The fear was that their affections would be fixed serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so
on other objects, and that the singleness and
unity of their devotedness to him would be your minds should be corrupted from the sim
destroyed. (2.) From his pure doctrines. By plicity that is in Christ.
the admixture of philosophy, by the opinions of
the world, there was danger that their minds But I fear.-Paul had just compared the should be turned away from their hold on the church to a virgin, soon to be presented as a simple truths which Christ had taught. (3.) bride to the Redeemer. The mention of this From that simplicity of mind and heart ; that seems to have suggested to him the fact that the childlike candour and docility ; that freedom first woman was deceived and led astray by the from all guile, dishonesty, and deception which tempter, and that the same thing might occur in so eminently characterized the Redeemer. Christ regard to the church which he was so desirous had a single aim ; was free from all guile; was should be preserved pure. The grounds of his purely honest ; never made use of any improper fear were, (1.) That Satan had seduced the first arts; rever resorted to false appearances, and woman, thus demonstrating that the most holy never deceived. His followers should in like were in danger of being led astray by temptation ; manner be artless and guileless. There should and, (2.) That special efforts were made to be no mere cunning, no trick, no craft in adseduce them from the faith. The persuasive vancirg their purposes. There should be noarts of the false teachers ; the power of philoso- | thing but honesty and truth in all that they say. phy; and the attractive and corrupting influences Paul was afraid ihat they would lose this beauof the world, he had reason to suppose might be tiful simplicity and artlessness of character and employed to seduce them from simple attach manner; and that they would insensibly be led ment to Christ. Lest by any means.-Lest some- | to adopt the maxims of mere cunning, of policy, how, (unt wc.) It is implied that many means of expediency, of seductive arts which prerailed would be used ; that all arts would be tried ; and so much in the world--a danger which was imthat in some way, which perhaps they little sus-minent among the shrewd and cunning people of pected, these arts would be successful, unless Greece; but which is confined to no time and do They were put constantly on their guard. As the place. Christians should be more guileless than
even children are; as pure and free from trick, priety in your receiving him and tolerating his and from art and cunning, as was the Redeemer | doctrines.” If the latter, then the sense will be, himself. (4.) From the simplicity in worship “You cannot well bear with me; but if a man which the Lord Jesus commended and required. comes among you, preaching a false Saviour, and The worship which the Redeemer designed to a false Spirit, and a false doctrine, then you bear establish was simple, unostentatious, and pure with him without any difficulty.' Another instrongly in contrast with the gorgeousness and cor- | terpretation still has been proposed, by supposing ruption of the pagan worship, and even with the that the word “me” is to be supplied at the close imposing splendour of the Jewish temple service. of the verse instead of “him," and then the He intended that it should be adapted to all sense would be, “ If you receive so readily one lands, and such as could be offered by all classes who preaches another gospel, one who comes of men-a pure worship, claiming first the with far less evidence that he is sent from God homage of the heart, and then such simple ex- | than I have, and if you show yourselves thus ternal expressions as should best exhibit the ready to fall in with any kind of teaching that homage of the heart. How easily might this may be brought to you, you might at least bear be corrupted! What temptations were there to with me also.” Amidst this variety it is not easy attempt to corrupt it by those who had been to ascertain the true sense. To me it seems proaccustomed to the magnificence of the temple | bable, however, that Paul spoke seriously, and service, and who would suppose that the reli- | that our translation has expressed the true gion of the Messiah could not be less gorgeous sense. The main idea doubtless is, that Paul than that which was designed to shadow forth felt that there was danger that they would be his coming; and by those who had been accus-corrupted. If they could bring a better gospel, tomed to the splendid rites of the pagan worship, a more perfect system, and proclaim a more perand would suppose that the true religion ought | fect Saviour, there would be no such change. not to be less costly and splendid than the false But that could not be expected. It could not be religion had been. If so much expense had been done. If therefore they preached any other Salavished on false religions, how natural to sup-1 viour or any other gospel; if they departed pose that equal costliness at least should be be- from the truths which he had taught them, it stowed on the true religion! Accordingly the would be for the worse. It could not be otherhistory of the church for a considerable part of wise. The Saviour whom he preached was perits existence has been little more than a record fect, and was able to save. The Spirit which he of the various forms in which the simple worship preached was perfect, and able to sanctify. The instituted by the Redeemer has been corrupted, gospel which he preached was perfect, and there until all that was gorgeous in pagan ceremo- | was no hope that it could be improved. Any nies and splendid in the Jewish ritual has been change must be for the worse ; and as the false introduced as a part of Christian worship. (5.) teachers varied from his instructions, there was From simplicity in dress and manner of living. every reason to apprehend that their minds would The Redeemer's dress was simple. His manner | be corrupted froin the simplicity that was in of living was simple. His requirements demand | Christ. The principal idea, therefore, is, that great simplicity and plainness of apparel and the gospel which he preached was as perfect as manner of life. (1 Pet. iii. 3-6. 1 Tim. ii. 9, it could be, and that any change would be for the 10.) Yet how much proneness is there at all worse. No doctrine which others brought could times to depart from this! What a besetting be recommended because it was better. By the sin has it been in all ages to the church of phrase," he that cometh,” is meant doubtless the Christ! And how much pains should there be | false teacher in Corinth. Preacheth another Jethat the very simplicity that is in Christ should sus.--Proclaims one who is more worthy of your be observed by all who bear the Christian name! love and more able to save. If he that comes
among you and claims your affections can point VER. 4. For if he that cometh preacheth another out another Christ who is more worthy of your
Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye confidence, then I admit that you do well to rereceive another Spirit, which ye have not re
ceive him. It is implied here that this could not
be done. The Lord Jesus in his character and ceived, or another d gospel, which ye have not
work is perfect. No Saviour superior to him accepted, ye might well bear with him.
has been provided ; none but him is necessary. d Gal. i. 7, 8.
Or, with me.
Whom we have not preached.--Let them show, if
they can, that they have any Saviour to tell of For if he that cometh, &c.—There is much dif- whom we have not preached. We have given ficulty in this verse in ascertaining the true sense, all the evidence that we are sent by God, and and expositors have been greatly perplexed and have laid all the claim to your confidence, which divided in opinion, especially with regard to the they can do for having made known the Saviour. true sense of the last clause, “ye might well They with all their pretensions have no Saviour bear with him.” It is difficult to ascertain whe- to tell you of rith whom we have not made you ther Paul meant to speak ironically or seriously ; , acquainted. They have no claims, therefore, and different views will prevail as different views from this quarter which we have not also. Or are taken of the design. If it be supposed that if ye receive another Spirit, &c.-If they can he meant to speak seriously, the sense will be, preach to you another Sanctifier and Comforter ; “ If the false teacher could recommend a better or if, under their ministry you have received Saviour than I have done, or a Spirit better able higher proofs of the power of the Spirit in perto sanctify and save, then there would be a pro- forming miracles ; in the gift of tongues ; in re