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The wisdom of this world

I. CORINTHIANS.

is foolishness with God.

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19 For, a the wisdom of this world thoughts of the wise, that they are A. U.C. 809. is foolishness with God. For, it is vain. ronis Cæs. 3. written, "He taketh the wise in their 21 Therefore “let no man glory in ronis Ces. S. own craftiness.

For all things are your's ; 20 And again, • The Lord knoweth the 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or

men.

a Ch. 1. 20. & 2. 6. - Job 5. 13.- Ps. 91. 11.

d Ch. 1. 12. & 4. 6. ver. 4,5,6. - 2 Cor. 4. 5, 15.

thought himself wiser than seven men that could render a and God knows that all this is vain, empty, and unsatisfacreason. Every Christian church has less or more of these. tory; and will stand them in no stead when He comes to

Let him become a fool] Let him divest himself of his take away their souls. This is a quotation from Psal. xciv. worldly wisdom, and be contented to be called a fool, and 11. What is here said of the vanity of human knowledge, esteemed one, that he may become wise unto salvation; by is true of every kind of wisdom that leads not immediately renouncing his own wisdom, and seeking that which comes to God himself. from God. But probably the apostle refers to him who, Verse 21. Let no man glory in men] Let none suppretending to great wisdom and information, taught doctrines pose that he has any cause of exultation in any thing but contrary to the gospel ; endeavouring to shew reasons for God. All are yours; he that has got God for his portion, them, and to support his own opinions with arguments which has every thing that can make him happy and glorious : he thought unanswerable. This man brought his worldly all are his. wisdom to bear against the doctrines of Christ; and pro Verse 22. Whether Paul, or Apollos] As if he had said, bably through such teaching, many of the scandalous things God designs to help you by all things and persons : every which the apostle reprehends among the Corinthians, origi- teacher, sent from him, will become a blessing to you, if you nated.

abide faithful to your calling. God will press every thing Verse 19. The wisdom of this world] Whether it be the pre- | into the service of his followers. The ministers of the church tended deep and occult wisdom of the rabbins ; or the wire- of Christ are appointed for the hearers; not the hearers drawn speculations of the Grecian philosophers ; is foolish for the ministers. In like manner, all the ordinances of ness with God: for, as folly consists in spending time, strength grace and mercy are appointed for them, not they for the orand pains, to no. purpose ; so these may be fitly termed fools dinances. who acquire no saving knowledge by their speculations. And Or the world] The word xooulos, here means rather the is not this the case with the major part of all that is called inhabitants of the world, than what we commonly understand philosophy, even in the present day? Hlas one soul been by the world itself: and this is its meaning in John iii. 16, 17, made wise unto salvation through it? Are our mox eminent vi. 33. xiv. 31. xvii. 21. See particularly John xii. 19. philosophers either pious or useful meu ? Who of them is é moguOS OTVOW QUTOU QTY, AOEY : the world is gone after him : meek, gentle, and humble? Who of them directs his re the great mass of the people believe on him. The Greek searches so as to meliorate the moral condition of his fellow- word has the same meaning in a variety of places, both in creatures ? Pride, insolence, self-conceit, and complacency, the sucred and the profune writers, as le monde, the world with a general forgetfulness of God, contempt for his word, literally, has in French : where it signifies not only the and despite for the poor, are their general characteristics. system of created things, but by metonomy the people; erery

Ile taketh the wise in their own craftiness.] This is a body, the mass, the populace. In the same sense it is often quotation from Job v. 13. and powerfully shews what the found in English. The apostle's meaning evidently is, not wisdom of this world is : it is a sort of craft, a subtle trade, only Paul, Apollos, and Kephas, are yours; appointed for, which they carry on to wrong others, and benefit themselves; and employed in your service; but every person besides, with and they have generally too much cunning to be caught by whom you may have any intercourse or connection; whether men; but God often overthrows them with their own devis- Jew or Greek, whether enemy or friend. God will cause ings. Paganism raised up persecution against the church of every person, as well as every thing, to work for your good, Christ in order to destroy it: this became the very means of while you love, cleave to, and obey Him. quickly spreading it over the earth, and of destroying the Or life] With all its trials and advantages, every hour of whole pagan system. Thus the wise were taken in their own it, every tribulation in it, the whole course of it, as the grand crastiness.

state of your probation, is a general blessing to you : and Verse 20. The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise] you have lise, and that life preserved, in order to prepare They are always full of schemes and plans for earthly good; ; for an eternity of blessedness.

The genuine Christian

CHAP. III.

profits by all things.

A, M. 4060. the world, or life, or death, or things 23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ A. M. 4060. Anno Imp. Ne present, or things to come; "all are is God's.

Anno Imp. Ne your's ;

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a Ch. 6. 2. Rom. 8. 28. 2 Cor. 4. 15. 1 Tim. 4. 8.

b Roin. 14. 8. ch. 11.3. 2 Cor. 10. 7. Gal. 3. 29.

Or death] That solemo hour, so dreadful to the wicked ; and arrange yourselves under different teachers, you will meet and so hateful to those who live without God: that is your's. I with nothing but disappointment, and lose much good If ye Death is your serrant ; he comes a special messenger from will have Paul, Apollos, &c. on your present plan, you God for you: he comes to undo a knot that now connects will have them and nothing else; nor can they do you any body and soul, which it would be unlawful for yourselves to good, for they are only instruments in God's hand at best, untie : he comes to take your souls to glory; and he cannot to communicate good, and he will not use them to help you come before his due time to those who are waiting for the while you act in this unchristian way.

On the contrary, salvation of God. A saint wishes to live only to glorify if you take God as your portion, you shall get these, and God: and he who wishes to live longer than he can get and every good besides. Act as you now do, and you get nodo good, is not worthy of life.

thing, and lose all! Act as I advise you to do, and you Or things present] Every occurrence in Providence, in shall not only lose nothing of the good which you now posthe present life ; for God rules in providence as well as in gruce. sess, but shall have every possible advantage: the men whom

Or things to come] The whole order and economy of the you now wish to make your heads, and who, in that capacity Eternal World, all in heaven and all in earth, are even now cannot profit you, shall become God's instruments of doing working together for your good.

you endless good. Leave your dissensions, by which you Verse 23. And ye are Christ's] You are called by his offend God, and grieve his Christ; and then God, and Christ, name; you have embraced his doctrine ; you depend on him and all, will be yours.” Ilow agitated, convinced, and humfor your salvation ; he is your foundation stone; he has | bled, must they have been when they read the masterly congathered you out of the world, and acknowledges you as his clusion of this chapter ! people and followers. 'Tuels de Xp15ou• Ye are of Christ; all 2. A want of spirituality seems to have been the grand the light and life which ye enjoy, ye have received through fault of the. Corinthians. They regarded outrcard things and from him; and he has bought you with his blood. chiefly; and were carried away with sound and show. They

And Christ is God's.] X21505 DE , And Christ is lost the treasure, while they eagerly held fast the earthen vesof God.

Christ, the Messiah, is the gift of God's eter- || sel that contained it. It is a true saying, that he who lends nal love and mercy to mankind; for God so loved the only the ear of his body to the word of God, will follow that world that he gave his only begotten Son, that they who man most who pleases the ear; and these are the persons believe in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. who generally profit the soul least. Christ, in his humun nature, is as much the property of God, 3. All the ministers of God should consider themselves as any other human being. And as mediator between God as jointly employed by Christ for the salvation of manand man, he must be considered, in a certain way, inferior to kind. It is their interest to serve God, and be faithful to God; but, in his own essential, eternal nature, there is no his calling; but shall they dare to make his church their inequality; he is God over all. Ye, therefore, do not be- || interest ? This is generally the origin of religious dislong to rnen. Why then take Paul, Apollos, Kephas, or putes and schisms. Men will have the church of Christ for any other man for your head? All these are your servants ; \their own property; and Jesus Christ will not trust it with ye are not their property, ye are Christ's property : and, as

any man. he has taken the human nature into Heaven, so will he take 4. Every man employed in the work of God, should take yours; because, he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanc that part only upon himself that God has assigned him. The tified, are all of one : ye are his brethren ; and as his human church and the soul, says pious Quesnel, are a building of nature is eternally safe at the throne of God, so shall your which God is the master and chief architect; Josi's Cunist bodies and souls be, if ye cleave to Him, and be faithful the main foundation; the Apostles the subordinate archiuuto death.

tects; the Bishops the zorkmen; the Priests their helpers;

Good WORK's the main body of the building; Fait a 1. A finer, and more conclusive argument, to correct sort of second foundation ; and Charity the top and perwhat was wrong among this people, could not have been section. Happy is that man who is a living stone in this used than that with which the apostle closes this chapter. It building. appears to stand thus : “ If you continue in these divisions, 5. He who expects any good out of God, is confounded

The ministers of the Gospel are

I. CORINTHIANS,

stewards of divine mysteries.

and disappointed in all things. God alone can content, as he feast : but none can have such a mind who has not taken alone can satisfy the soul. All our restlessness and uneasi. God for his portion. How is it that Christians are continuness, are only proofs that we are endeavouring to live with ally forgetting this most plain and obvious truth? and yet out God in the world. A contented mind is a continual ll wonder how it is that they cannot attain true peace of mind.

CHAPTER IV. Ministers should be esteemed by their flocks as the stewards of God, whose duly and interest it is to be faithful,

1, 2. Precipitate and premature judgments condemned, 3–5. The apostle's caution, to give the Corinthians no offence, 6. We have no good but what we receive from God, 7. The worldly-mindedness of the Corinthians, 8. The enumeration of the hardships, trials, and sufferings of the apostles, 9–13. For what purpose St. Paul mentions these things, 14–16. Ile promises to send Timothy to them, 17. And to come himself shortly, to examine and correct the abuses that had crept in among them, 18—21. ET a

so account of us, 2 Moreover it is required in stew

as of a the ministers of Christ, | ards, that a man be found faithful. Anno Imp. Ne

Anno Imp.Ne band stewards of the mysteries of 3 But with me it is a very small ronis Cas. 3. God.

thing that I should be judged of you, or of

man

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a Matt. 24. 45. ch. 3.5. & 9. 17. 2 Cor. 6. 4. Col. 1. 25.

Luke 12. 42. Tit. 1. 7. 1 Pet. 4. 10.

and in proper

NOTES ON CHAP. IV.

God, relative to the salvation of the world, by the passion Verse 1. Let a man so account of us] This is a continu- || and death of Christ; and the inspiration, illumination, and ation of the subject in the preceding chapter ; and should || purification of the soul by the Spirit of Christ, constituted a not have been divided from it. The fourth chapter would || principal part of the divine treasure entrusted to the hands have begun better at ver. 6. and the third should have ended of the stewards by their heavenly Master; as the food that with the fifth verse.

was to be dispensed at proper times, seasons, As of the ministers of Christ] 25 UTYPETXXp150u• The proportions, to the children and domestics of the church, word Utingetns means an under-rower; or one who in the which is the house of God. Trireme, Quadrireme, or Quinquereme gallies, rowed in one Verse 3. It is a very small thing that I should be judged of the undermost benches : but it means also, as used by the l of you] Those who preferred Apollos or Kephas, before Greek writers, any inferior officer or assistant. By the term St. Paul, would of course give their reasons for this prehere, the apostle shews the Corinthians, that, far from being ference; and these might, in many instances, be very unheads and chiefs, he and his fellow-apostles considered them- favourable to his character as a man, a Christian, or an selves only as inferior officers, employed under Christ; from | apostle ; of this he was regardless, as he sought not his whom alone they received their appointment, their work, own glory, but the glory of God in the salvation of their and their recompence.

souls. Stewards of the mysteries of Go] Και οικονομους μυςη "

Or of man's judgment] 'H UTO arbowtiens vuspas, literpiwv zou: æconomists of the Divine mysteries. See the ex ally, or of man's day: but ar&pwTier iuspa signifies any day planation of the word sleward in the Note on Matt. xxiv. 45. set apart by a judge or magistrate, to try a man on. This is Luke viii. 3. and xii. 42.

the meaning of ruepa, Psal. xxxvii. 13. The Lord shall The steward, or oikonomos, was the master's deputy in laugh at him, for he seeth that his day, y queça auzou his regulating the concerns of the family, providing food for the judgment is coming. Malac. ii. 17. And they shall be mine household, seeing it served out at the proper times and sea in the day, els que par in the judgment, when I make up my sons, and in proper quantities. He received all the cash, ex- | jewels. It has the same meaning in 2 Pet. iï. 10. but the pended what was necessary for the support of the family, || Day, the JUDGMENT of the Lord will come. The word and kept exact accounts, which he was obliged at certain times 6755WTIVOS, (man's,) signifies miserable, wretched, woejul; to lay before the master. The mysteries, the doctrines of il so Jerem. xvii. 16. Neither have I desired, vix or yo

The things of darkness shall be brought . CHAP. IV.

to light in the day of judgment.

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man's “judgment : yea, I judge not 6 And these things, brethren, 'I A.M. 1960. A. U. C. 809. mine own self.

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4 For I know nothing by myself; self and to Apollos for your sakes ; “yet am I not hereby justified: but he thats that ye might learn in us not to think of.. judgeth me is the Lord.

men above that which is written ; that no one 5 * Therefore judge nothing before the time, of you be puffed up for one against another. until the Lord come, "who both will bring to 7 For who 'maketh thee to differ from anolight the hidden things of darkness, and will ther? and what hast thou that thou didst make manifest the counsels of the hearts : not receive? now, if thou didst receive it, and • then shall every man have praise of why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not reGod.

ceived it ?

• Gr. day. ch. 3. 13. Job 9. 2. Ps. 130. 3. & 143. 2. Prov. 21. 2. Rom. 3. 20. & 4. 2. -c Matt. 7. 1. Rom. 2. 1, 16. & 14. 4, 10, 13. Rev. 20. 12. ch. 3. 13.

• Rom. 2. 29. 2 Cor. 5. 10. ch. 1. 12. & 3. 4. Rom. 12.3. 1 ch. 3. 21. & 5. 2, 6 Gr. distinguisheth theo. John 3. 27. Jam. 1. 17. 1 Pet. 4. 10.

enosh, the day of man, but very properly translated in our Verse 6. These things] Which I have written, chap. version, the woeful day. God's days, Job xxiv. I. cer- iii. 5, &c. tainly signify God's JUDGMENTS. And the day of our I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos] Lord Jesus, in this Epistle, chap. i. 8, and v. 5. signifies the I have written as if myself and Apollos were the authors of day in which Christ will judge the world; or rather the the sects which now prevail among you; although others, judgment itself.

without either our consent or knowledge, have proclaimed us I judge not mine own self.] I leave myself entirely to God, heads of parties. Bishop Pearce paraphrases the verse thus : whose I

am,
and whom I serve.

“ I have made use of my own and Apollos' name, in my arVerse 4. For I know nothing by myself ] Dudev yap guments against your divisions, because I would spare to EL-ZUTW OUVOIda I am not conscious that I am guilty of any name those teachers among you, who are guilty of making evil; or have neglected to fulfil faithfully, the duty of a and heading parties : and because I would have you by our steward of Jesus Christ. The import of the verb guveideiv, example, not to value them above what I have said of teachis to be conscious of guilt ; and conscire has the same meaning: / ers in general, in this Epistle : so that none of you ought to so in Horace, Nil conscire sibi ; to know nothing to one's be puffed up for one against another.” Doubtless, there self: is the same as nullá pallescere culpâ, not to grow pale at were persons at Corinth who, taking advantage of this spirit being charged with a crime, through a consciousness of guilt. || of innovation among that people, set themselves up also for

Yet am I not hereby justified] I do not pretend to say teachers; and endeavoured to draw disciples after them. that, though I am not conscious of any offence towards God, || And, perhaps, some even of these were more valued by the I must, therefore, be pronounced innocent; No-I leave fickle multitude, than the very apostles, by whom they had those things to God; he shall pronounce in my favour; not been brought out of heathenish darkness, into the marvellous 1, myself. By these words, the apostle, in a very gentle, light of the gospel. I have already supposed it possible that yet effectmal manner, censures those rash and precipitate | Diotrephes was one of the ring-leaders in these schisms at judgments which the Corinthians were in the habit of pro- Corinth. See on chap. i. 14. nouncing on both men and things : a conduct, than which Verse 7. For who maketh thee to differ] It is likely nothing is more reprehensible and dangerous.

that the apostle is here addressing himself to some one of Verse 5. Judge nothing before the time] God, the those puffed up teachers, who was glorying in his gifts, and in righteous Judge, will determine every thing shortly; it is the knowledge he had of the gospel, &c. As if he had said, His province alone, to search the heart, and bring to light | If thou hast all that knowledge which thou professest to the hidden things of darkness. If you be so pure and up-have, didst thou not receive it from my self, or some other of right in your conduct; if what you have been doing in my fellow-helpers, who first preached the gospel at Corinth? these divisions, &c. be right in his sight; then shall you God never spoke to thee, to make thee an apostle. Hast have praise for the same : if, otherwise, yourselves are thou a particle of light that thou hast not received from our most concerned. Some refer the praise to St. Paul, and preaching? Why then dost thou glory, boast, and exult, as his companions : then shall every one of us apostles, have if God had first spoken by thee, and not by us? praise of God.

This is the most likely meaning of this verse; and a mean.

The afflicted and persecuted

1. CORINTHIANS,

state of the apostles.

a

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8 Now ye are full, now ye are for ^ we are made a spectacle unA.0.0.829rich, ye have reigned as kings with to the world, and to angels, and to Anno ... Anno Imp. Ne

linp. Nie out us :

and I would to God ye men. did reign, that we also might

10 'We are fools for Christ's sake, but

ye you.

are wise in Christ ; "we are weak, but ye ure 9 For I think that God hath set forth us the strong; ye are honourable, but we are deapostles last, as it were appointed to deatli: spised.

reign with

• Rev. 3. 17. Or, us the last apostles, as.--- Ps. 41. 22. Rom. 8.

36. ch. 15. 30, Si. 2 Cor. 4. 11. & 6.9. Heb. 10. 33.

e Gr. theatre.ch. 2.3.- Acts 17. 18. & 26. 24. ch. 1. 18, &c. & 2.

14. & 3. 18. See 2 Kings 9. II. de 2 Cor. 13. 9.

ing that is suitable to the whole of the context. It has been 'l fuquam), xat Moropaguas ar&co¢G"C", that of the Bestiari applied in a more general sense by religious people; and the and the gladiators, where, in the morning, men were brought doctrine they build on it, is true in itself, though it does not upon the theatres to fight with wild beasts ; and to them was appear to me to be any part of the apostle's meaning, in allowed armour to defend themselves, and smite the beasts this place. The doctrine I refer to is this : God is the foun- that assailed them : but in the meridian or noon-day spectadation of all good; no man possesses any good but what he cles, the gladiators were brought forth naketl, and without has derived from God. If any man possess that grace which any thing to defend themselves from the sword of the assailsaves him from scandalous enormities, let him consider that ant; and he that then escaped was only kept for slaughter he has received it as a mere free gift from God's mercy. to another day, so that these men might well be called Let him not despise his neighbour who has it not; there was llavorigi, men appointed for death; and this being the last apa time when he himself did not possess it; and a time may pearance on the theatre, for that day, they are said here to come when the man, whom he now affects to despise, and on be set forth eoyatoi the last. Of these two spectacles, Seneca whose conduct he is unmerciful and severe, may receive it; and speaks thus : Epist. vii. “In the morning, men are exposed probably may make a more evangelical use of it than he is to lions and bears; at mid-day, to their spectators; those now doing. This caution is necessary to many religious that kill, are exposed to one another; the victor is detained people, who imagine that they have been eternal objects of for another slaughter: the conclusion of the fight is deatk. God's favour; and that others have been eternal objects of The former fighting, compared to this, was mercy; now, it his hate, for no reason that they can shew for either the one is mere butchery; they have nothing to cover them, their or the other. He can have little acquaintance with his own whole body is exposed to every blow; and every stroke pro. heart, who is not aware of the possibility of pride larking duces a wound, &c.under the exclamation, Why me! when comparing his own We are made a spectacle] 'Oti beatpor eyevn,Grusy, we are gracious state, with the unregenerate state of another. exhibited on the theatre to the world: weare lawful booty to

Verse 8. Now ye] Corinthians, are full of secular wis all mankind, and particularly to the men of the world; who dom ; now ye are rich, both in wealth and spiritual gifts, have their portion in this life. Angels are astonished at our chap. xiv. 26. Ye have reigned as kings, flourishing in the treatment; and so are the more considerate part of men. enjoyment of these things, in all tranquillity and honour; Who, at that time, would have coveted the apostolate? without

any want of us: and I would to God ye did reign, in Verse 10. We are fools for Christ's sake] Here he still deed, and not in conceit only, that we also, poor, persecuted, carries on the allusion to the public spectacles among the and despised apostles, might reign with you.- Whitby. Romans ; where they were accustomed to hiss, hoot, mock,

Though this paraphrase appears natural, yet I am of op:- and varicusly insult the poor victims. To this, Philo alludes nion that the apostle here intends a strong irony; and one, in his embassy to Caius, speaking of the treatment which the which, when taken in conjunction with what he had said be- Jews received at Rome, wotep pap tv bearow xArquituote fore, must have stung them to the heart. It is not an un- | TóYtwy, xatauwawułwwy, auetçok y m.svačirtwr « For, as it usual thing for many people to forget, if not despise, the exhibited upon a theatre, we are hissed, most outrageously men by whom they were brought to the knowledge of the hooted, and insulted beyond all bounds." Thus, says the truth; and take up with others, to whom, in the things of apostle, we are fools on Christ's account; we walk in a cojGod, they owe nothing. Reader, is this thy case ?

formity to his will, and we bear his cross : and did we walk Verse 9. God hath set forth us the apostles last] This according to the course of this world, or aceording to the whole passage is well explained by Dr. Whitby. “ Here the man-pleusing conduct of some among you, we should bare apostle secms to allude to the Roman spectacles, 775 Twy te- ' no such cross to bear.

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