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sin-both in reference to ourselves as individuals, (h) An effort to withdraw wholly from the
or to the church. (Ver. 6.) The smallest sin in- world injures religion. It conveys the impresi dulged in will spread pollution through the whole sion that religion is morose, severe, misanthropic;
body, as a little leaven will affect the largest and all such impressions do immense injury to mass,
the cause of God and truth. _ith. Christians should be pure. (Ver. 7, 8.) (2.) The principles on which Christians should Their Saviour—their paschal lamb, was pure; regulate their intercourse with the world, are and he died that they might be pure. He gave these :himself that his people might be holy; and by (a) They are not to be conformed to the world ; all the purity of his character ; by all the labours they are not to do any thing that shall counteand self-denials of his life; by all his sufferings nance the views, feelings, principles of the world and groans in our behalf, are we called on to be as such, or as distinguished from religion. They holy,
are not to do any thing that would show that they sth. We are here presented with directions in approve of the peculiar fashions, amusements, regard to our intercourse with those who are not opinions of the people of the world; or to leave members of the church. (Ver. 10.) There is the impression that they belong to the world. nothing that is more difficult to be understood, 1 (6) They are to do justice and righteousness than the duty of Christians respecting such inter- to every man, whatever may be his rank, chacourse. Christians often feel that they are in racter, or views. They are not to do any thing danger from it, and are disposed to withdraw that will be calculated to give an unfavourable almost entirely from the world. And they ask view of the religion which they profess to the with deep solicitude, often, what course they are men of the world. to pursue? Where shall the line be drawn? (c) They are to discharge with fidelity all the How far shall they go ? And where shall they duties of a father, husband, son, brother, friend, deem the intercourse with the world unlawful or benefactor or recipient of favours, towards those dangerous ?-A few remarks here, as rules, may who are out of the church; or with whom they aid ns in answering these questions.
may be connected. (1.) Christians are not wholly to withdraw 1 (d) They are to do good to all men-to the from intercourse with the people of this world. poor, the afflicted, the needy, the widow, the This was the error of the monastic system, and fatherless. this error has been the occasion of innumerable (@) They are to endeavour so to live and act corruptions and abominations in the papal church. -so to converse, and so to form their plans as - They are not to do this, because,
to promote the salvation of all others. They are (a) It is impossible. They must needs, then, to seek their spiritual welfare ; and to endeavour says Paul, go out of the world.
by example, and by conversation ; by exhorta(6) Because religion is not to be regarded as tion, and by all the means in their power to bring dissocial, and gloomy, and unkind.
them to the knowledge of Christ. For this pur(c) Because they have many interests in com pose they are kept on the earth instead of being mon with those who are unconnected with the removed to heaven ; and to this object they church, and they are not to abandon them. The should devote their lives. interests of justice, and liberty, and science, and 9th. We see from this chapter who are not to morals, and public improvements, and education, be regarded as Christians, whatever may be their are all interests in which they share in common professions. (Ver. 11.) A man who is, (1.) a forwith others.
nicator ; or, (2.) COVETOUS; or, (3.) an idolator ; (d) Many of their best friends-a father, a or, (4.) a railer; or, (5.) a drunkard ; or, (6.) an | mother, a son, a daughter, may be out of the extortioner, is not to be owned as a Christian church, and religion does not sever those ties, brother. Paul has placed the covetous man, and but binds them more tenderly and closely.
the railer, and extortioners, in most undesirable (e) Christians are inevitably connected in com- | company. They are ranked with fornicators mercial dealings with those who are not members and drunkards. And yet how many such perof the church; and to cease to have any con- sons there are in the Christian church-and nexion with them, would be to destroy their own many, too, who would regard it as a special inbusiness, and to throw themselves out of employ- sult to be ranked with a drunkard or an adulterer. ment, and to break up society.
But in the eye of God both are alike unfit for his ) It would prevent the possibility of doing kingdom, and are to be regarded as having no much good, either to the bodies or the souls of claims to the character of Christians. men. The poor, the needy, and the afflicted are, 10th. God will judge the world. (Ver. 12, 13.) many of them, out of the church, and they have The world that is without the church-the mass a claim on the friends of Christ, and on their of men that make no profession of piety, must active beneficence.
| give an account to God. They are travelling to 0 It would break up and destroy the church his bar; and judgment in regard to them is taken altogether. Its numbers are to be increased and into God's own hands, and he will pronounce Teplenished from age to age by the efforts of their doom. It is a solemn thing to be judged by Christians; and this demands that Christians / a holy God; and they who have no evidence should have some intercourse with the men of that they are Christians, should tremble at the the world whom they hope to benefit.
| prospect of being soon arraigned at his bar.
is synonymous with unbelievers, as opposed to CHAPTER VI.
believers. And not before the saints.- Betore VER. 1. Dare any of you, having a matter against Christians. Can you not settle your differences another, go to law before the unjust, and not
among yourselves as Christians, by leaving the
cause to your brethren, as arbitrators, instead of before the saints ?
going before heathen magistrates ? The Jews The main design of this chapter is to reprove
would not allow any of their causes to be brought the Corinthians for the practice of going to law
before the Gentile courts. Their rule was this, before heathen courts, or magistrates, instead of
“ He that tries a cause before the judges of the settling their differences among themselves. It gentiles, and before their tribunals, although their seems that after their conversion they were still judgments are as the judgments of the Israelites, in the habit of carrying their causes before hea
so this is an ungodly man," &c.-Maimon, Hilck. then tribunals, and this the apostle regarded as
Sanhedrim, chap. xxvi. $ 7. They even lookeri contrary to the genius and spirit of the Christian
on such an action as as bad as profaning the name religion, and as tending to expose religion to
of God. contempt in the eyes of the men of the world. He therefore, (ver. 1-7,) reproves this practice,
VER. 2. Do ye not know that the saints - shall and shows them that their differences should be judge the world ? and if the world shall be settled among themselves. It seems also that the
judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge spirit of litigation and of covetousness had led
the smallest matters? them in some instances to practise fraud and oppression of each other, and he, therefore, takes
a Dan. vii. 22. Matt. xix. 28. Jude xiv. 15. occasion (ver. 8-11) to show that this was
Rev. XX. 4. wholly inconsistent with the hope of heaven and the nature of Christianity.
Do ye not know, &c.—The object of this verse | It would seem, also, that some at Corinth had is evidently to show that Christians were qualinot only indulged in these and kindred vices, but fied to determine controversies which might had actually defended them. This was done by arise among themselves. This the apostle shows plausible, but sophistical arguments drawn from by reminding them that they shall be engaged in the strong passions of men ; from the fact that determining matters of much more moment than the body was made for eating and drinking, &c. those which could arise among the members of a To these arguments the apostle replies in the church on earth ; and that if qualified for that. close of the chapter, (ver. 12—20,) and especially they must be regarded as qualified to express a considers the sin of fornication, to which they judgment on the questions which might arise were particularly exposed in Corinth, and shows among their brethren in the churches. The the heinousness of it, and its entire repugnance saints.-Christians, for the word is evidently to the pure gospel of Christ.
used in the same sense as in ver. 1. The Darc any of you.-The reasons why the apostle apostle says that they knew this, or that this introduced this subject here may have been, (1.) was so well established a doctrine that none could That he had mentioned the subject of judging doubt it. It was to be admitted on all hands. (chap. v. 13,) and that naturally suggested the Shall judge the world.-A great variety of intertopic which is here introduced ; and, (2.) This pretations has been given to this passage. Gromight have been a prevailing evil in the church tius supposes it means, that they shall be first of Corinth, and demanded correction. The word judged by Christ, and then act as assessors to “ dare” here implies that it was inconsistent with him in the judgment, or join with him in conreligion, and improper. “Can you do it; is it demning the wicked; and he appeals to Matt. proper or right; or do you presume so far to xix. 28 ; Luke xxii. 30, where Christ says, that violate all the principles of Christianity as to do they which have followed him should * sit on it ?” Having a matter.– A subject of litigation; thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." See or a suit. There may be differences between Note on Matt. xix. 28. Whitby supposes that it men in regard to property and right, in which means that Christians are to judge or condemn there shall be no blame on either side. They the world by their example, or that there shall may both be desirous of having it equitably and be Christian magistrates, according to the proamicably adjusted. It is not a difference be phecy of Isaiah (xlix. 23,) and Daniel (vii. 18.) tween men that is in itself wrong, but it is the Rosenmüller supposes it means that Christians spirit with which the difference is adhered to, are to judge the errors and sins of men pertaining , and the unwillingness to have justice done that
unwillingness to have justice done that to religion, as in chap. 11. 13, 16; and that ther it is so often wrong. Against another. - Another ought to be able, therefore, to judge the smaller member of the church. A Christian brother, matters pertaining to this life. Bloomfield, and The apostle here directs his reproof against the the Greek fathers, and commentators, suppose plaintiff, as having the choice of the tribunal be- that this means, that the saints will furnish mat-, fore which he would bring the cause. Before ter to condemn the world ; that is, by their lives the unjust.--The heathen tribunals ; for the word and example they shall be the occasion of the “ unjust" here evidently stands opposed to the greater condemnation of the world. But to this saints. The apostle does not mean that they there are obvious objections. (1.) It is an unwere always unjust in their decisions, or that usual meaning of the word judge. (2.) It does equity could in no case be hoped from them, but not meet the case before us. The apostle is that they were classed in that division of the evidently saying that Christians will occupy so world which was different from the saints, and high and important a station in the work of
judging the world, that they ought to be re- Shall judge angels.-All the angels that shall be garded as qualified to exercise judgment on the judged, good or bad. Probably the reference is things pertaining to this life ; but the fact that to fallen angels, as there is no account that hoły their holy lives shall be the occasion of the angels will then undergo a trial. The sense is, deeper condemnation of the world, does not “ Christians will be qualified to see the justice of seem to furnish any plain reason for this. To even the sentence which is pronounced on fallen I the opinion, also, of Whitby, Lightfoot, Vit angels. They will be able so to embrace and ringa, &c., that it refers to the fact that Chris comprehend the nature of law, and the interests tians would be magistrates, and governors, &c., of justice, as to see the propriety of their conaccording to the predictions of Isaiah and dempation. And if they can so far enter into Daniel, there are obvious objections. (1.) The | these important and eternal relations, assuredly judgment to which Paul in this verse refers is they ought to be regarded as qualified to discern different from that pertaining to things of this the nature of justice among men, and to settle the life, (ver. 3,) but the judgment which Christian | unimportant differences which may arise in the magistrates would exercise, as such, would relate church." Or, perhaps, this may mean that the
to them. (2.) It is not easy to see in this inter- | saints shall in the future world be raised to a rank · pretation how, or in what sense, the saints shall | in some respects more elevated than even the
judge the angels. (Ver. 3.) The common inter- angels in heaven.-Prof. Stuart. In what repretation, that of Grotius. Beza, Calvin, Dod- spects they will be thus elevated, if this is the dndge, &c., is, that it refers to the future judgment, true interpretation, can be only a matter of conand that Christians will in that day be employed jecture. It may be supposed that it will be bein some manner in judging the world. That this cause they have been favoured by being interested is the true interpretation is apparent, for the fol- | in the plan of salvation--a plan that has done so lowing reasons,' (1.) It is the obvious interpre- | much to honour God; and that to have been thus tation - that which will strike the great mass of saved by the immediate and painful intervention men, and is likely, therefore, to be the true one., of the Son of God, will be a higher honour than (2.) It accords with the account in Matt. xix, 28, | all the privileges which beings can enjoy who and Luke xxii. 30. (3.) It is the only one which are innocent themselves. gives a fair interpretation to the declaration that the saints should judge angels in ver. 3. If asked
VER. 4. If then ye have judgments of things in what way this is to be done, it may be answered, pertaining to this life, set them to judge who that it may be meant simply that Christians shall
are least esteemed in the church. be exalted to the right hand of the Judge, and | shall encompass his throne; that they shall assent
Ye have judgments.- Causes, controversies, O, and approve of his judgment, that they shall suits. Things pertaining to this life.- Property, be elevat
elevated to a post of honour and favour, as if &c. Set them to judge, &c.— The verb translated they were associated with him in the judgment. | set (kasi ETE) may be either in the imperative They shall then be regarded as his friends, and mood, as in our translation, and then it will imply express their approbation, and that with a deep a command; or it may be regarded as in the sense of its justice, of the condemnation of the indicative, and to be rendered interrogatively,
cked. Perhaps the idea is, not that they shall “Do ye set or appoint them to judge who are of "Wounce sentence, which will be done by the little repute for the
little repute for their wisdom and equity ?" i. e. wa Jesus, but that they shall then be qualified heathen magistrate
heathen magistrates. The latter is probably the to see the justice of the condemnation which shall correct rendering, as according to the former, no be passed on the wicked; they shall have a clear good reason
good reason can be given why Paul should comdistinct view of the case; they shall even see mand them to select as judges those who had
propriety of their everlasting punishment, little repute for wisdom in the church. Had he and shall not only approve it, but be qualified to designed in
designed this as a command, he would doubtless enter into the subject, and to pronounce upon it
have directed them to choose their most aged, intelligently. And the argument of the apostle
wise and experienced men, instead of those “ least 18, that if they would be qualified to pronounce
esteemed.” It is manifest, therefore, that this is on the eternal doom of men and angels; if they to be read as a question : “Since you are abunhad such views of justice and right, and such
dantly qualified yourselves to settle your own integrity as to form an opinion and express it in
differences, do you employ the heathen magisPegard to the everlasting destiny of an immense trates, in whom the church can have little conhost of immortal beings, assuredly they ought to
fidence for their integrity and justice ?" It is le qualified to express their sense of the smaller
designed, therefore, as a severe reproof for what transactions in this life, and pronounce an opinion
they had been accustomed to do; and an implied Det een man and man. Are ye unworthy. — Are ou disqualified.
injunction that they should do it no more. Who The smallest matters.-Matters
are least esteemed, (Eovjevnuévovç.)– Who are east consequence-matters of little moment, contemned, or regarded as of no value or worth ;
ely worth naming compared with the great in whose judgment and integrity you can have little and important realities of eternity. The “smallest matters" here mean, the causes, suits, and liti
or no confidence. According to the interpretation given above of the previous part of the verse,
this refers to the heathen magistrates—to men in R. 3. Know ye not that we shall judge angels?
whose virtue, piety, and qualifications for just
judgment Christians could have little confidence; life? e things that pertain to this and whose judgment must be regarded as in fact
of very little value, and as very little likely to be
mations relating to property, &c.
how much more things that per
correct. That the heathen magistrates were in permission to have settled their disputes in the 1 general very corrupt, there can be no doubt, same manner.-Credibility, vol. i. p. 165. Many of them were men of abandoned character, of dissipated lives, men who were easily bribed, VER. 7. Now therefore there is utterly a fault" and men, therefore, in whose judgment Chris among you, because ye go to law one with tians could repose little confidence. Paul re
another. Why do ye not rather take. wrong proves the Corinthians for going before them with their disputes when they could better settle
why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be them themselves. Others, however, who regard defrauded ? c this whole passage as an instruction to Christians
6 Prov. xx. 22. Matt. v. 39, 40. Rom. xii. 17-19. to appoint those to determine their controversies
1 Thess. v. 15.
c 1 Thess. iv. 6. who were least esteemed, suppose that this refers to the lowest orders of judges among the Hebrews; | There is utterly a fault. There is altogether a to those who were least esteemed, or who were fault; or you are entirely wrong in this thing.' almost despised ; and that Paul directs them to That ye go to law, &c.--That is, in the sense select even them in preference to the heathen under discussion, or before heathen magistrates. magistrates. See Lightfoot. But the objection | This was the point under discussion, and the ib. 1. to this is obvious and insuperable. Paul would terpretation should be limited to this. Whatnot have recommended this class of men to de- ever may be the propriety or impropriety of cide their causes, but would have recommended going to law before Christian magistrates, yet i the selection of the most wise and virtuous among the point which the apostle refers to was that of them. This is proved by ver. 5, where, in di- going to law before heathens. The passage, recting them to settle their matters among them- therefore, should not be interpreted as referring selves, he asks whether there is not a “ wise to all litigation, but only of that which was the man" among them, clearly proving that he wished subject of discussion. The apostle says that that' their difficulties adjusted, not by the most obscure was wholly wrong ; that they ought by no means and the least respected members of the church, to go with their causes against their fellow Chris but by the most wise and intelligent members. tians before heathen magistrates; that whoewel ! In the church.—By the church. That is, the hea- had the right side of the question, and whatever then magistrates evince such a character as not might be the decision, the thing itself was ueto be worthy of the confidence of the church in christian and wrong; and that rather than dissettling matters of controversy.
honour religion by a trial or suit of this kind
they ought to be willing to take wrong, and to VER. 5. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that suffer any personal and private injustice. The there is not a wise man among you? no, not argument is, that greater evil
argument is, that greater evil would be done to one that shall be able to judge between his
the cause of Christ by the fact of Christians ap
pearing before a heathen tribunal with their dis- i brethren?
putes than could result to either party from the I speak to your shame.—I declare that which is
injury done by the other.—And this is probably a reproach to you, that your matters of dispute
always the case ; so that although the apostle are carried before heathen tribunals. Is it so, &c.
| refers here to heathen tribunals, the same reason-Can it be that in the Christian church-the
ing, on the principle, would apply to Christians church collected in refined and enlightened Co
carrying their causes into the courts at all. I kv rinth-there is not a single member so wise, in
do ye not rather take wrong ?--Why do you dot telligent, and prudent that his brethren may have
suffer yourself to be injured rather than to disconfidence in him, and refer their causes to him?
honour the cause of religion by your litigations: Can this be the case in a church that boasts so
They shall do this, (1.) Because religion requires much of its wisdom, and that prides itself so
its friends to be willing to suffer wrong patiently. much in the number and qualifications of its in
(Prov. xx. 22. Matt. v. 39, 40. Rom. xi. 17– telligent members ?
19. 1 Thess. v. 15.) (2.) Because great injury
results to the cause of religion from such trials. VER. 6. But brother goeth to law with brother, The private wrong which an individual would and that before the unbelievers.
suffer, in perhaps all cases, would be a less evil
on the whole than the public injury which is done But brother, &c.-One Christian goes to law to the cause of piety by the litigations and strifes with another. This is designed as a reproof. of Christian brethren before a civil court. (?! This was wrong, (1.) Because they ought rather | The differences among Christians could be 34" to take wrong and suffer themselves to be injured, justed among themselves, by a reference to their (ver. 7;) (2.) Because they might have chosen l brethren. In ninety-nine cases of a hundheti some persons to settle the matter by arbitration, the decision would be more likely to be just and without a formal trial; and (3.) Because the satisfactory to all parties from an amicable refer civil constitution would have allowed them to
ence, than from the decisions of a civil court. In have settled all their differences without a law- the very few cases where it would be otherwis. zuit. Josephus says that the Romans (who were it would be better for the individual to sutier, now masters of Corinth) permitted the Jews in than for the cause of religion to suffer. Chris foreign countries to decide private affairs, where tians ought to love the cause of their Master mort nothing capital was in question, among them- than their own individual interest. They ong selves. And Dr. Lardner observes, that the to be more afraid that the cause of Jesus Chri Christians might have availed themselves of this would be injured than that they should be a te®
dollars poorer from the conduct of others, or than racter, I may owe it to others as well as to mythat they should individually suffer in their cha- | self, that the law in such a case should be exeracter from the injustice of others. To be de- | cuted, and the rights of others also be secured. frauded ?- Receive injury; or suffer a loss of pro But in all these cases, a Christian should engage perty. Grotius thinks that the word “take | in such prosecutions, not with a desire of rewrong” refers to personal insult; and the word | venge, not with the love of litigation, but with “defrauded” refers to injury in property. To the love of justice, and of God, and with a mild, gether, they are probably designed to refer to all tender, candid, and forgiving temper, with a real kinds of injury and injustice. And the apostle desire that the opponent may be benefited, and means to say, that they had better submit to any that all his rights also should be secured. Comp. kind of injustice than carry the cause against a Notes on Rom. xiii.
Christian brother before a heathen tribunal. The
no means to go to law with each other before a that your brethren. I heathen tribunal; that they ought to be willing
Nay, ye do wrong, &c.—Instead of enduring to suffer any injury from a Christian brother rather than do it. And by implication the same
| wrong patiently and cheerfully, they were themthing is taught in regard to the duty of all Chris
selves guilty of injustice and fraud. And that tians, that they ought to suffer any injury to their
your brethren.—Your fellow Christians. As if persons and property rather than dishonour re
they had injured those of their own familyligion by litigations before civil magistrates. It
those to whom they ought to be attached by most
| tender ties. The offence in such cases is aggramay be asked then, whether law-suits are never
vated, not because it is in itself any worse to proper, or whether courts of justice are never
injure a Christian than another man, but beto be resorted to by Christians to secure their
cause it shows a deeper depravity, when a man rights? To this question we may reply, that the
overcomes all the ties of kindness and love, and discussion of Paul relates only to Christians,
injures those who are near to him, than it does when both parties are Christians, and that it is
where no such ties exist. It is for this reason designed to prohibit such an appeal to courts by
| that parricide, infanticide, &c. are regarded every them. If ever lawful for Christians to depart from this rule, or for Christians to appear before
where as crimes of peculiar atrocity, because a
child or a parent must have sundered all the tena civil tribunal, it is conceived that it can be only in circumstances like the following: (1.) Where
derest cords of virtue before it could be done. two or more Christians may have a difference,
VER. 9. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall and where they know not what is right, and what the law is in a case. In such instances
not inherit the kingdom of God ? Be not dethere may be a reference to a civil court to deter ceived; neither d fornicators, nor idolators mine it-to have what is called an amicable suit, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of to ascertain from the proper authority what the
themselves with mankind, law is, and what is justice in the case. (2.) When there are causes of difference between
d Gal. v. 19-21. Eph. v. 4,5. Heb. xii. 14; xiii. 4.
Rev. xxii. 15. Christians and the men of the world. As the | men of the world do not acknowledge the pro Know ye not, &c.—The apostle introduces the
priety of submitting the matter to the church, it declaration in this verse to show the evil of their may be proper for a Christian to carry the mat- course, and especially of the injustice which they ter before a civil tribunal. Evidently, there is did one to another, and their attempt to enforce no others n such cases, of
and maintain the evil by an appeal to the heathen and this mode may be resorted to. not with a tribunals. He assures them, therefore, that the spirit of revenge, but with a spirit of love and unjust could not be saved. The unrighteous.kindness. Courts are instituted for the settle- | The unjust (áčikou-such as he had just menment of the rights of citizens, and men by be- tioned-they who did injustice to others, and coming Christians do not alienate their rights as attempted to do it under the sanction of the citizens. Even these cases, however, might com- courts. Shall not inherit.-Shall not possess ; monly be adjusted by a reference to impartial shall not enter into. The kingdom of heaven is men, better than by the slow, and expensive, often represented as an inheritance. (Matt. xix. and tedious, and often irritating process of carry- | 29; xxv. 34. Mark x. 17. Luke x. 25; xviii. 18. ing a cause through the courts. (3.) Where a 1 Cor. xv. 50. Eph. i. 11, 14; v. 5.) The kingdom Christian is injured in his person, character, or i of God.-Cannot be saved ; cannot enter into property, he has a right to seek redress. Courts heaven. See Note, Matt, iii, 2. This may refer are instituted for the protection and defence of either to the kingdom of God in heaven, or to the innocent and the peaceable against the frau- | the church on earth- most probably the former. dolent, the wicked, and the violent. And a But the sense is the same essentially, whichever Christian owes it to his country, to his family, is meant. The man who is not fit to enter into and to himself, that the man who has injured him the one, is not fit to enter into the other. The should receive the proper punishment. The man who is fit to enter the kingdom of God on peace and welfare of the community demand it. earth, shall also enter into that in heaven. Be la man murders my wife or child, I owe it to not deceired.-A most important direction to be the laws and to my country, to justice, and to given to all. It implies, (1.) That they were in God, to endeavour to have the law enforced. So danger of being deceived." (a) Their own hearts If a man robs my property, or injures my cha- might have deceived them. (6) They might be
a cause ;