« הקודםהמשך »
• tion of our nature, and the secret influence and conduct of his provi
dence, in the regulation of our respective circumstances and affairs.
The apostle, to reform the scandalous abuses of the Lord's supper, in this
church, leads back their views to the original institution of the ordinance. Chi xi. 17, 8
17 D UT while I am giving you these instructions, (though I have
D on some accounts commended you*] I do not praise [but must
severely reprove you that in your assemblies you come together, 18 not for the better, but for the worse. For first, when ye come to
gether in the church, I hear that there are schisms, uncharitable
disputes and divisions among you, and I do in some respect believe 19 it. For there must be even heresies or separations among you,
that they who are approved may be made manifest among you. 30 † When you come together into one place, under a pretence of : attending this solemnity, it is not really eating the Lord's supper, 21 [but your own]; and that in a very indecent manner : for every one
in eating greedily taketh I before the other his own supper ; and 22 so one is hungry, and another drinketh to excess. What !
have ye not houses to eat and to drink in ? Or do you despise the church of God, and shame those that have not any provision of their own ? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this o I
praise you not, but must blame you, and exhort you to conform to the 23 original institution]. For I received from the Lord, by special reve
lation, that which I also before delivered to you: that the Lord
Jesus Christ, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread; 24 and having given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat ; this is
my body, which is broken for you :: this do in commemoration of 25 me. In like manner also he took the cup after he had supped, say
ing, This cup is the new covenant established in my blood : this 26 do as often as ye drink it in commemoration of me. You therefore,
as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, do shew 27 forth the Lord's death until he come. So that whosoever shall
cat this bread, or drink this cup of the Lord unworthilyll, shall be 28 counted guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. There
fore let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread, 29 and drink of the cup : for he that eateth and drinketh in an un
worthy manner|l, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, er.
posing himself to the judgments of God, not distinguishing the 30 Lord's body from common food. Upon this account inany of you
are already weak, and sick, and some are fallen asleep in death.
* Here seems to be a reference to his commendation v. 2.-His saying he. did not praise them, is equivalent to a severe censure. Ed.
7“ Therefore.” D. “But.” M.
lli.e. Irreverently, and without due regard to the original purpose of the institution.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged : but 32 when we are thus judged, we are only corrected of the Lord, that 33 we may not be condemned with the world. Therefore, my
brethren, when ye come together to eat in those feasts which precede 34 this ordinance, wait one for another. And if any one be hungry,
let him eat at his own house, that you may not come together to condemnation. And what remains, I will regulate when I come 40 Corinth.
REFLECTIONS. What just matter of thankfulness to our blessed Redeemer, floes that account of the institution of the sacred supper afford us, which St. Paul assures us he received immediately from him. Let us often reflect, it was in that very night in which he was betrayed, that his thoughts so compassionately wrought for our comfort and happiness ; when it might have been imagined, that his mind would be entirely possessed with his personal concerns, with the doleful scene of his approaching sufferings. We learn from this account, the perpetuity, as well as the great leading design, of the ordinance. We shew forth the Lord's death, and we shew it forth till he come. If we do indeed desire to preserve the memory of Christ's dying love in the world, if we desire to maintain it in our own souls, let us attend this blessed institution; endeavouring by the lively exercise of faith and love, to discern, and in a spiritual sense to feed upon the Lord's body. Nor let any humblo and upright soul be discouraged, by these threatenings of judgment, to the profane sinners who offered such gross affronts to this holy solemnity; affronts, which none of us are in any danger of repeating.
These scandalous excesses, when they pretended to be worshipping God on this great occasion, might justly provoke the eyes of his holiness, might awaken the arm of his indignatien. Yet even these sinners were chastised, that they might not be finally and for ever condemned.--Let not any then be terrified, as if every soul that approached the ordinance without due preparation, must by necessary consequence, seal its own damnation. Thus to attend the table of the Lord is indeed a sin; but, blessed be God, not a sin too great to be forgiven. Let those therefore, who, though they feel in their hearts a reverential love to Christ, yet have hitherto refrained from attending this feast of love, be engaged to come ; to come with due preparation, and self-examination, as to their repentance and faith, their love and obedience ; then may they, with the most hearty welcome from the great Lord of the feast, eat of this bread, and drink of this cun ; receiving it as the memorial of Christ's body broken, and of his blood shed for the remission of our sins-Through that blood alone, let us seek this invaluable blessing, without which indeed, nothing can be a solid and lasting blessir:g to us : and let us, on every occasion, treat our brethren with a tenderness and respect becoming those who have considered ourselves and them, as redeemed by that precious blood, and indebted to it for the hopes of everlasting salvation. In a word; let us never rest in the external rites or exercises of worship, how decently and regularly soever performed; but look to our inward temper, and to the conduct of our minds, if we desire to maintain their peace, and that our coming together should be for the better, and not for the worse.
On spiritual gifts ; which though various, all proceed from the same Spirit,
and are for the edification of the same body. Ch. xii. 1–14. IN OW concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have 2 I you ignorant. You know that ye were (lately] heathens,
carried after dumb idols, just as you were led by your priests. 3 Therefore you ought not to despise any of your brethren for their
deficiency in these gifts; for I give you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God, calleth Jesus accursed : and no one can
say sincercly, that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but it is the same Spirit, 5 from whom they are all derived. And there are diversities of ad
ministrations, or various distinct services, and the same Lord 6 appoints his ministers to them. And there are diversities of opera
tions and effects, yet it is the same God, who worketh all in all. 7 But to every one is given such a manifestation of the Spirit, as is 8 most profitable. For to one is given by the Spirit, the word of
Wisdom * : to another by the same Spirit, the word of knowledge : 9 to another, an extraordinary Faith, by the same Spirit : to another, 10 the gifts of Healing, by the same Spirit : to another, the working
of Miracles of a different kind : to another, Prophecy : to another,
the Discerning of spirits : to another, various kinds of Tongues : 11 to another, the Interpretation of tongues. But the one and the
same Spirit work.eth all these, dividing unto every one severally as
he thinketh fit. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, but all the mem
bers of that one body, many as they are, constitute but one body : 13 so also is Christ : the whole society of which he is the head. For by
one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether Jews or 14 Greeks, whether slaves or freemen: and we are all made to drink
into one Spirit f. For as it is in the human body, which is not one member but many, so it is in regard to the body of Christ; what is imparted to one, is for the benefit of the whole.
* There are few texts in the N. T. more difficult than some in this and the 14th chapter, relating to the extraordinary gifis then in the church ; which were at that time so well known, as not to need explication. Lord Barrington, and Dr. Benson, have made it highly probable, that the Word of wisdom was that extensive plan of Christianity which was revealed to the apostles by the Holy Spirit. The word of knowledge was probably a lower degree of the same gift. M. Saurin explains it of discerning mysteries.
+ 9. d. As we drink of the same sacramental cup, so, by our communion With Christ, we all imbibe the influences of the same Spirit.
REFLECTIONS. Let us thankfully acknowledge the divine goodness, that we have not been led on after the example of our Pagan ancestors, to the vain worship of dumb and stupid idols ; but have been taught from our infancy, to adore the living Jehovah. May we, in the most solemn and consistent manner, say, that Jesus is the Lord ! And while our actions speak our regard to him as such, may it appear, that our hearts are under the influences of the Spirit of God, by which alone men are brought to that divine temper.
Let us often reflect upon those glorious attestations which were given to the truth of our holy religion, by that diversity of gifts and operations with which its first teachers were furnished and adorned. Let us thankfully receive their testimony, and thereby ect to our seal, that God is true. And let a view to that great design, in which all these wonderful things center, engage us to study more a union of heart, with all who in every place call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In him Greeks and Barbarians, bond and free, are united. His glory therefore let all unanimously seek ; and while his name is blasphemed by the ignorant and malignant, who cannot bear the purity of that religion which he teaches, may it so be defended by us, as at the same time to be exemplified and adorned.
The apostle enforces humility and mutual affection in the use of spiritual gifts, by representing Christians as so united in one body as to have entirely the same interest. Ch. xii. 15, &c.
To illustrate and apply the similitude which I have taken from the 15 l human body: If the foot should say, Because I am not the 16 hand, I am not of the body ; is it for this not of the body ? And if
the ear should say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the 17 body ; is it for this not of the body? If the whole body were an
eye, where were the hearing ? If the whole were hearing, where 18 were the smelling? But now God hath placed the various mem. 19 bers, every one of thein, in the body as he hath seen fit. But if 20 they all were one member, where were the body? But now as there
are many members, there is the union of them all, but yet only one 21 body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee :
and again, the head cannot say to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 But those members of the body which appear to be weaker and 23 more delicate than the rest *, are more abundantly necessary; and
those which seem to be the more dishonourable parts of the body, those we surround with more abundant honour by the dress we put
upon them ; and thus our uncomely parts have more abundant 24 comeliness. For our comely parts (thé face particularly) have
no need of ornament ; but God hath so attempered the several parts of the body together as to give more abundant honour to that which
25 is deficient, that there might be no schism in the body; but that all 26 the members might have the same care of each other. So that if
one member suffer, all the members suffer with it ; or if one mem
ber be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now 10 apply this : you are all the body of Christ, and members 28 cach in particular. God hath placed some in the church in more
eminent ranks: first apostles ; in the second place prophets, who foretel future events, or speak by immediate inspiration ; in the third ordinary teachers; afterwards persons occasionally possessing
miraculous powers ; then the gifts of healing the sick ; helpers ; 29 governments *; different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles ?
Are all prophets ? Are all teachers ? Have all miraculoms powers ? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all
interpret ? [ 11 is fil that there should be this variety of gifts in the 31 church). But instead of altending to this, ye contend earnestly
about the best gifts, envying those that possess them, sor coveting them yourselves) and yet I shew you a way of the highest excellencet.
REFLECTIONS. The wisdom and goodness of God, as displayed in the formation of the human body, is a subject that well deserves our attentive reflection, and humble acknowledgment. All its several parts are useful to the whole ; and the most noble cannot upbraid the mounest as an incumbrance. Each has reason to rejoice in its own situation, as well as in the addition of all the rest ; and were the lowest placed higher than it is, it would become useless, burdensome, and monstrous.--Let us ackr:owledge the same hand in the wise subordination, appointed in civil societies, and in the church of Christ. Let none be discouraged at the low slalion wherein they are fixed, but rather let all acquiesce in the prudent and gracious disposal of the supreme Lord, and apply thcniselves to their proper functions. Let each member consider all the rest with pleasure ; and rejoice with thankfulness, in the health and vigour of the other parts, making the proper use of them, and communicating in return its proper services. If any be weak, let all strengthen it. If there be any blemish and imperfection in any part, let all the rest tenderly cover it ; unless when a regard to the health and happiness of the whole, requires that it should be laid open, and searched in order to its being cured. And upon the whole, so far as we can prevent it, let there be no schism in the body. Alas, that there should be so many breaches and contentions ! Let us lament them ; let each in his place endeavour to heal them; and unite in a sympathizing care of one another. So shall we best express our regard to our common Head; so shall we, in the remotest consequences, best consult our own interest and honour.
* I think we cair only guess at the meaning of these words : perhaps helpers assisted in the management of charities, and governments were persons by whose advice the affairs of socieiies were conducted.
t Or ; Do ye covet the better gifts? I will shew you a still more excellent way, (viz. that of cultivating the Charity described in the next chapter).