COMMENTARIES ON THE EPISTLES OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS BY JOHN CALVIN TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL LATIN, AND COLLATED WITH THE AUTHOR'S FRENCH VERSION BY THE REV. JOHN PRINGLE VOLUME FIRST CHRISTIAN CLASSICS ETHEREAL LIBRARY GRAND RAPIDS, MI TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY was distinguished by a large and valuable accession of Expositors of the Sacred Volume. Mosheim reckons up not fewer than fifty-five writers, who, in the course of that century, devoted their labors, to a greater or less extent, to the interpretation or illustration of the inspired writings - a circumstance which at once indicated the progress of the principles of the Reformation, and contributed most materially to their diffusion. Nor were exository treatises, in illustrations of the Sacred Scriptures, simply increased in number; they were marked by a decided improvement in point of intrinsic value. It is to the honor of a large proportion of the Interpreters of that age, that, rejecting the practice so well exposed by BISHOP HORSLEY, of "drawing I know not what mystical meanings, by a certain cabalistic alchemy, from the simplest expressions of holy writ," they made it their endeavor, in every case, to ascertain the true meaning of the Spirit of God, by a careful examination of the text and context. In unbending integrity of purpose in the investigation of the Inspired Oracles - which must be regarded as one of the primary excellences of an Expositor - JOHN CALVIN is surpassed by none in his own, or indeed in any age. His readers, even where they may not be prepared to adopt his interpretation of a passage, cannot fail to perceive that it is his sincere desire and honest endeavor to ascertain its true meaning. His uprightness of design is more especially observable in connection with passages bearing on controverted points. In such cases the candid reader will discover no disposition to wrest a single expression for the purpose of enlisting it on the side of a particular system of opinion; but, on the contrary, the utmost fairness of interpretation is uniformly apparent. Every one that is acquainted with CALVIN'S history, and considers the trying scenes through which he was called to pass, must feel astonished that he should have found leisure to prepare, in addition to all his other writings, Commentaries on nearly the whole of the Sacred Scriptures. That he wrote so much, and more especially as an Expositor, appears to have been chiefly owing to the frequent and urgent solicitations of his intimate and beloved FAREL, who "not merely entreated CALVIN, but frequently urged him with great vehemence to write one Commentary after another, from a conviction that he possessed the gifts requisite for exposition in a very extraordinary manner, and that, with the blessing of God, his works of this kind would be extensively useful. 'Being an inconsiderable man myself,' said he, 'I am wont to require very much from those that possess the greatest excellence, and often press them hard to labor beyond their strength.' It was his conviction that every one who had received superior talents was bound to devote them to the advancement of the kingdom of God." f1 THE EPISTLES OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS form a most important part of the Sacred Writings. Though not so systematic as the Epistle to the ROMANS, they contain many passages, bearing directly on the fundamentally important doctrines of the Christian system, while they are of the highest utility in connection with Practical Theology. The disorders that had unhappily crept into the Church at Corinth, gave occasion for the Apostle's handling at greater length than in any of his other Epistles various important points as to doctrine and worship; while the relaxed state of discipline that had begun to prevail among them rendered it necessary to exhibit more fully the principles which ought to regulate the administration of the Christian Church. In this the overruling hand of Him who brings good out of evil is strikingly apparent. While in the selection of the particular places into which the Gospel was first introduced, and in which Christian Churches were first planted, there is a display of Divine sovereignty which it is beyond our power for fathom, this at least is abundantly manifest, that the places selected were not those in which the triumphs of the Gospel were likely to be most easily affected, but quite the reverse. As the skill of the workman appears so much the more strikingly, when the tools employed by him are few and simple, and the materials to be wrought upon are hard and unyielding; so the wonders achieved in the first ages of the Church, through the foolishness of preaching. (<460121>1 Corinthians 1:21) excite so much the more our astonishment, when we take into view the peculiarly formidable obstacles that opposed its progress in the places that were selected as the scenes of its triumphs. Of this the inspired narrative furnished in the Acts of the Apostles presents numerous and striking illustrations; and when we observe the particular Churches to which Paul's Epistles are addressed - in the order in which they are presented to our view in the New Testament - it might almost seem as if the order of arrangement had been designed for the very purpose of calling our particular attention to the fact that the triumphs of the Gospel had been most signal in those places in which its success might have appeared most unlikely. It is a remarkable circumstance, and, assuredly, it is not to be looked upon as merely accidental, that the Christian Church to which the first of Paul's Epistles - in the order in which they stand - is addressed, is one that had been planted, not in some city of secondary importance, but in ROME itself, the metropolis of the then known world; while the second of the Churches to whom Paul's Epistles are addressed is that of CORINTH, a city that was proverbial among Heathens themselves for its extraordinary profligacy, and consequently the most unlikely place of all to be the scene of the triumphs of a religion that will allow of no compromise with iniquity. When PAUL first visited CORINTH, appearances were most unpromising; but, having received special encouragement from his Divine Master, he continued to labor at Corinth for a year and six months, (<441811>Acts 18:11;) and such was the success of his labors in that profligate city, that after enumerating some of the worst descriptions of character, he says to the Corinthian converts, - "And such were some of you," (<460611>1 Corinthians 6:11). While, however, the notorious wickedness that prevailed at Corinth was the occasion of illustrating so much the more clearly the power of Christianity in subduing human depravity, that extreme dissoluteness of manners to which the Corinthian Christians had been addicted previously to their conversion, and which was daily witnessed by them in the unconverted around them, was fitted to exert a most injurious influence; and while the disorders that prevailed in the Corinthians Church after Paul left them, were in part attributable to the insidious efforts of false teachers, there seems every reason to believe that they were, in a very considerable degree, owing to the contagion of corrupt manners around them. It is to this that we must trace their preference of the ornaments of speech to the plain unadorned doctrine of the cross - their party jealousies - their vexatious lawsuits - their unseemly fellowship with heathens in their idol-feasts; and their philosophical speculations, leading them to question the possibility of a resurrection from the dead; while the flagrant case of incest, fallen into by one of their number, and connived at by the others, must still more manifestly be ascribed, in part, to the contagion of evil example. Yet even in this we have occasion still farther to mark the overruling hand of God in making evil subservient to good - the disordered state of the Corinthian Church having given occasion for exhortations and reproofs that are fraught with invaluable instruction to the Church of Christ in every successive age. CALVIN'S Commentary on the FIRST EPISTLE to the Corinthians was first published in the year 1546, and his Commentary on the SECOND EPISTLE was published in the course of the same year. It was a year that was greatly "unfavorable to Calvin's repose. He was obliged to cheer the drooping spirits of the Genevese, whom the designs of CHARLES V. against THE REFORMED RELIGION had alarmed. But, besides the cares which the fear of all these evils occasioned him, he was deeply afflicted at the state of GENEVA, and the general and daring profligacy of its inhabitants." f2 In the course of the same year (as is stated by BEZA) one of the members of the senate, "instigated, it is supposed, by two ministers of the Consistory, both of them given to drunkenness, and not less afraid than others of the rigor of the law, accused CALVIN of preaching false doctrine." It may well appear surprising that in such circumstances he should have found leisure for preparing this valuable portion of his Expository Works. This, however, is not peculiar to this portion of his Commentaries; for the greater part of them were prepared amidst numerous engagements and harassing occurrences. Yet they do not bear the marks of haste, but might seem to have been prepared in quiet retirement. The reader will observe that THE DEDICATION, which is prefixed to the Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians in all the ordinary editions of CALVIN'S works, bears date in 1556. It is however stated, at the same time, by CALVIN in the close of the Dedication, that the Commentary to which it is prefixed had been originally published by him ten years previously. It will father be observed that in the commencement of the Dedication, CALVIN alludes to an individual to whom he had originally dedicated the Commentary, but whose name he had been under the painful necessity - contrary to his usual manner - of erasing from his writings. The individual alluded to is JAMES OF BURGUNDY. The original Dedication, which is exceedingly rare, is contained in "Lettres de Calvin a Jaque de Bourgogne," kindly allowed to the Translator by Mr. Laing, Edinburgh, from the Library of Writers to the Signet. A translation of that Dedication, as well as of the one that was subsequently prefixed by Calvin to this part of his Commentaries, will be found below. The circumstances connected with the case of James of Burgundy, are briefly stated by BAYLE in his Dictionary, (Art. Philip of Burgundy,) in the following terms: - "James of Burgundy, Lord of Fallaix, grandson, I suppose, of Baldwin, another natural son of Duke Philip, professed the Protestant religion, but being scandalized at the disputes which arose at Geneva between BOLSEC and CALVIN in the year 1551, he and his wife turned aside from the doctrine of the Reformed. He had carried it fair in the Church several years. CALVIN dedicated to him his Commentary on the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, but afterwards he suppressed that Dedication, and prefixed another to THE MARQUIS OF VIC." Farther, Bayle, in the Art. Calvin, remarks, when speaking of Beza's Life of CALVIN - "We do not find in the edition of 1564, in 12mo, what I have transcribed from the folio edition of 1565, when I said that the grandson of a bastard of Philip, the good Duke of Burgundy, forsook the Church of Rome." The editor of "Lettres de Calvin," states that, after much fruitless search in many quarters for two documents referred to in CALVIN'S Letters, viz. the Dedication of Calvin's Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians, and an Apology for the Masters of Falais, presented to the Emperor Charles the Fifth, and composed by CALVIN, he had at length obtained them from one of the librarians of Geneva. The Dedication, he states, had been "transcribed from a copy that is at present at Strasburg." "These pieces," he adds, "arrived just in time for being printed in the last sheet of the Letters, to which I have not failed to append them, as being absolutely necessary to render them intelligible. I flatter myself that the public will receive them with delight, as an authentic document, f3 hitherto wanting in the ecclesiastical history of this country. Even those who have neither interest nor inclination for knowing this history to the bottom, will admire the beauty of CALVIN'S genius, the insinuating turns of the Dedication, and the liberty and modesty that reign equally in the Apology; and they will agree with me in thinking, that CALVIN was no less expert, in the art of pleading, than he had been in the art of preaching." JAMES OF BURGUNDY was the grandson of Baldwin, a natural son of Philip, Duke of Burgundy, whom the Emperor Maximilian, in 1501, put in possession of Falais, a "Manor of Brabant, situated on the borders of the county of Namur, upon the river Mohaine, between the towns of Huy and Henneguy." He was "elevated to the court of the Emperor Charles the Fifth. He embraced the views of the Protestants at the age of fifteen. He afterwards married Jolande of Brederode, a descendant of the ancient Counts of Holland, and aunt to Henry of Brederode." "This marriage increased the suspicions that he had conceived as to the religions in which he was brought up, so that he adopted the resolution of leaving his native country, where he reckoned his life no longer safe. His withdrawment led to a law-suit, before the court of Malines, for the confiscation of his lands. During his exile, the Master of Falais changed his abode from time to time, having taken refuge first at Cologne, afterwards at Strasbourg, and at Basle, and, last of all, at Geneva. There is ground to believe that he was a person of merit, upon the testimony of CALVIN himself, who, after pronouncing upon him the highest eulogiums in his Dedication to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, carried on a familiar correspondence with him for nearly ten years, and takes pleasure in subscribing himself vary frequently his friend unreservedly forever. f4 "It is true that this friendship did not always continue, but, on the contrary, changed into irreconcilable aversion. It may at first view be thought, that the fault was altogether on the side of the Master of Falais, and that CALVIN must have had sufficient reasons for carrying matters so far. We must, however, beware of forming a rash judgment. We often see the greatest animosities between the best friends arise out of nothing. Frequently the two parties are equally in the wrong; and in many cases the fault is found to have been on the side of the one that had been least suspected."... The reader who peruses superficially the statement of Beza, quoted by Bayle, might imagine not merely that the Master of Falais had approved of all that Bolsec had done or said, but also that he entirely abandoned the side of the Protestants, and entered again the communion of the Romish Church. He might, therefore, fall into a mistake on all these points. "I do not believe that the Master of Falais ever thought of approving of the conduct of Bolsec, who ventured in a full church to contradict a minister, when preaching the doctrine of predestination. Neither CALVIN nor Beza say so. Besides, the Master of Falais protests in his Apology, that he has no sympathy with those that support their religion in a turbulent and seditious manner. Assuredly he must have been a fanatic, to do what Bolsec did on that occasion; but to say that he had done well, he must have been a downright madman. "Nor is there any better proof that the Master of Falais was of Bolsec's opinion on the subject of predestination. CALVIN, Beza, and Castalio himself, (who would not have failed to mention it,) say no such thing. Besides this, the Confession of the Master of Falais, such as he had published in his Apology, is quite in unison with CALVIN'S sentiments; and it may be presumed that the had not renounced these views in three years afterwards, while experience tells us, that they have once imbibed. What was then, properly, the ground of quarrel between CALVIN and the Master of Falais? In my opinion it was this: After Bolsec had been put in prison, on the 16th October 1551, for having contradicted the doctrine of CALVIN, and given occasion of offense in the Church, CALVIN was disposed to punish him with all possible severity. To accomplish his purpose in accordance with forms, he asked the opinion of the Churches of Switzerland, hinting to them at the same time what he desired from them." "'We are desirous,' says he, 'to clear our Church from this pestilence in such a way that it will not, on being expelled from it, do injury to the neighboring Churches.' meaning, plainly enough, that he must either be put to death, or suffered to remain in prison during his whole life." The Master of Falais was of another mind; whether it was that he was influenced by a regard to his own interest, and that, being sickly, he imagined that his life depended on that of his physician; or whether it was that, from a principle of humanity and Christianity forbearance, he reckoned that Bolsec's imprudence did not merit so severe a punishment, he wrote to the clergy of the Cantons, or to his friends in that quarters, and thereby defeated the design of CALVIN, who received replies less full and distinct, and much more moderate, than he had expected and desired. CALVIN finding himself thwarted by the Master of Falais, got into a passion, broke entirely with him, and roused up against him so many enemies at Geneva, that he was obliged to retire into the district of Vaud. "Judge, now, which of the two was in the right - CALVIN or the Master of Falais." "I do not know what became of the Master of Falais after this time, nor when he died, nor where, nor in what communion. I cannot, however, subscribe to the views of Mr. Bayle, who says that the Master of Falais turned aside from the doctrine of the Reformed, and that he renounced the Reformed Church. I am of opinion that Beza, on whose authority Mr. Bayle proceeds, means nothing more than this, that the Master of Falais left the Church of Geneva, on quarreling with CALVIN. This does not mean that he renounced the Reformed Church, or abandoned the Protestant party. For it was possible to quarrel with Calvin, to reject his views on predestination and on persecution, and spurn the discipline of the Church of Geneva, and yet, after all, be as good a Protestant, and member of the Reformed Church, as CALVIN himself." From the extracts furnished above form an introductory notice by the editor f5 of the work already referred to, ("Lettres de Calvin a Jaque de Bourgogne,") it will abundantly appear that the writer is desirous to present as favorable a view of James of Burgundy as the circumstances of the case will at all admit of. His attempt to show that James of Burgundy may have, after all, remained in connection with the Reformed Church, appears to be more ingenious than solid, and seems directly at variance with a statement by CALVIN in his second Dedication to this part of his Commentaries, to this effect, that the individual to whom the former Dedication was addressed "has intentionally made it his object, not merely to withdraw as much as possible from me personally, but also to have no connection with our Church." f6 This expression naturally conveys the idea that he had not simply left the Church of Geneva, but had withdrawn entirely from the Reformed Church. But however matters may have been as to this, the case, as a whole, was of such a nature as could not fail to be painful in the extreme to the mind of CALVIN. In proportion, however, to the pain excited in his mind by this distressing case, must have been the happiness afforded him by an occurrence of an opposite nature, which took place about the same time. THE CHURCH OF GENEVA, which had suffered from the defection of James of Burgundy, was strengthened by the accession of an Italian nobleman, GALEAZUS CARACCIOLUS, who, having been led to espouse the Protestant faith, took up his residence at Geneva in the year 1551, with a view to enjoy the society of Calvin, and have opportunity of attending upon his ministry. The particulars of his history, and more especially of his conversion from Popery, are interestingly narrated in a work entitled - "THE ITALIAN CONVERT - NEWES FROM ITALY OF A SECOND MOSES - THE LIFE OF GALEACIUS CARACCIOLUS, THE NOBLE MARQUESSE OF VICO," etc. London, 1635. This work was written originally in Italian, "by Nicola Balbani, minister of the Italian Church in Geneva. It was translated into Latin by Beza; into French by Minutoli and by Sieur de Lestan; and into English by William Crashaw." f7 The writer of this work referred to presents, in the dedicatory epistle, the following brief summary of the leading facts of this interesting case: - "I present you with as strange a story as, out of the holy stories, afore it be laid down at large? Thus it is: - Galeacius Caracciolus, son and heir-apparent to Calantonius, Marquesse of Vicum in Naples, bred, borne and brought up in Popery - a courtier to the Emperor Charles the Fifth, nephew to the Pope, Paul the Fourth, being married to the Duke of Nucerne's daughter, and having by her six goodly children, at a sermon of Peter Martyr's was first untouched, - after reading Scripture, and other good means, was fully converted - labored with his lady, but could not persuade her; therefore, that he might enjoy Christ and serve Him with a good conscience, he left his lands, livings and honors of a Marquesdome, the comforts of his lady and children, the pleasures of Italy, his credit with the Emperor, his kindred with the Pope, and forsaking all for the love of Jesus Christ, came to Geneva, and there lived a poor and mean, yet an honorable and a holy life for forty years; and though his father, his lady, his kinsmen, yea, the Emperor and Pope did all they could to reclaim him, yet continued he constant to the end, and lived and died the blessed servant of God, leaving behind him a rare examples to all ages." f8 Caracciolus was born at Naples in January 1517. His father's name was Calantonius, who was descended from the ancient and noble family of the Caracciolies in the district of Capua, and was elevated by Charles the Fifth to the rank of Vico. His mother was descended from the noble family of the Caraffi, and was sister to Pope Paul the Fourth. His wife, Victoria, was daughter to the Duke of Nuceria, one of the principal noblemen of Italy. She brought him a large fortune. He had by her six children - four sons and two daughters. His mind was first influenced in favor of the Protestant religion by repeated conversations held by him with a nobleman nearly related to him, who had, along with various persons of distinction in Italy, been induced to renounce Popery, chiefly through the instrumentality of a Spanish nobleman, who at that time resided at Naples - Joannes Waldesius. The more immediate instrument, however, of his conversion, was the celebrated Peter Martyr Vermilius. Caracciolus having from curiousity gone to hear him, was savingly impressed by what he heard; and it is to be noticed as an interesting coincidence, that the means of his conversion was a discourse on a passage in the First Epistle to the Corinthians. "At that time PETER MARTYR was in hand with Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, and as he was showing the weakness and deceitfulness of the judgment of man's reason in spiritual things, as likewise the power and efficacy of the Word of God in those men in whom the Lord worketh by His Spirit - amongst other things he used this simile or comparison: If a man, walking in a large place, see afar off men and women dancing together, and hear no sound of instrument, he will judge them mad, or at least foolish; but if he come nearer them, and perceive their order and hear their music, and mark their measures and their courses, he will then be of another mind, and not only take delight in seeing them, but feel a desire in himself to bear them company and dance with them. Even the same (said Martyr) betides many men, who, when they behold in others a sudden and great change of their looks, apparel, behavior, and whole course of life, at the first sight they impute to melancholy, or some other foolish humor; but if they look more narrowly into the matter, and begin to hear and perceive the harmony and sweet consent of God's Spirit, and His word in them, by the joint power of which two this change was made and wrought, (which afore they counted folly,) then they change their opinion of them, and first of all begin to like them, and that change in them, and afterwards feel in themselves a motion and desire to imitate them, and to be of the number of such men, who, forsaking the world and his vanities, do think that they ought to reform their lives by the rule of the gospel, that so they may come to true and sound holiness. This comparison, by the grace of God's Spirit, wrought so wonderfully with Galeacius, as himself hath often told more carefully to restrain his affections from following the world and his pleasures, as before they did, and to set his mind about seeking out the truths of religion and the way to true happiness... And thus far, in this short time, had the Lord wrought with him by that sermon: - as first, to consider with himself seriously whether he were right or no: secondly, to take up an exercise continual of reading Scripture: thirdly, to change his former company and make choice of better. And this time was done in the year 1541, and in the four and twentieth year of his age." Caracciolus having thus had his eyes opened to the errors of Popery, and being fully satisfied that it was his duty to embrace the Protestant faith, found himself placed in peculiarly trying circumstances. Even those of his countrymen who were personally inclined towards the Protestant cause could not be persuaded to hold meetings in private for their mutual edification, but were prepared no merely to conceal their real sentiments, but even to practice occasional conformity to the rites of Popery. In these circumstances he was called to consider whether he would be prepared to spend the remainder of his life in daily violation of the dictates of conscience, or forsake all for Christ. "The sacrifice of his secular dignities and possessions did not cost him a sigh, but as often as he reflected on the distress which his departure would inflict on his aged father, who, with parental pride, regarded him as the heir of his titles and the stay of his family, - or his wife whom he loved, and by whom he was loved tenderly, and on the dear pledges of their union, he was thrown into a state of unutterable anguish, and started back with horror from the resolution to which conscience had brought him. At length, by an heroic effort of zeal, which few can imitate and many will condemn, he came to the determination of bursting the tenderest ties which perhaps ever bound man to country and kindred." f9 The reader will observe that the author of the work already referred to - "The Life of Galeacius Caracciolus," etc., entitles it - "The Italian Convert - Newes from Italy of a Second Moses" - and in accordance with this title the writer, in the dedicatory epistle prefixed to the work, institutes a comparison between Moses and the subjects of his narrative in a variety of interesting particulars. "I may say much rather than Jacob - Few and evil have my days been; yet in these few days of mine something have I seen, more have I read, more have I heard; yet never saw I, heard I, or read I any example (all things laid together) more nearly seconding the examples of Moses than this of the most renowned Marquesse Galeacius. Moses was the adopted son of a king's daughter; Galeacius the natural son and heir apparent to a Marquesse; Moses a courtier in the court of Pharoah, Galeacius in the court of the emperor Charles the Fifth; Moses by adoption a kin to a Queen, Galeacius by marriage to a Duke, by blood son to a Marquesse, nephew to a Pope; Moses in possibility of a kingdom, he in possession of a Marquesdome; Moses in his youth brought up in the heathenism of Egypt, Galeacius noozeled in the superstition of Popery; Moses at last saw the truth and embraced it, so did Galeacius; Moses openly fell from the heathenism of Egypt, so did Galeacius from the superstition of Popery. But all this is nothing to that which they both suffered for their conscience. What Moses suffered Saint Paul tells us - 'Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharoah's daughter, and chose rather to suffer adversities with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the rebuke of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.' Nay, Moses had rather be a base brick maker amongst the oppressed Israelites, being true Christians, than to be the son of a king's daughter in the court of Pharaoh amongst idolaters. In like case noble Galeacius, when he was come to years and knowledge of Christ, refused to be called son and heir to a Marquesse, cup-bearer to an Emperor, nephew to a Pope, and chose rather to suffer affliction, persecution, banishment, losse of lands, livings, wife, children, honors and preferments, than to enjoy the sinful pleasures of Italy for a season, esteeming the rebuke of Christ greater riches than the honors of a Marquesdome without Christ, and therefore, seeing he must either want Christ or want them, he despoiled himself of all these to gain Christ. So excellent was the fact of Moses, and so heroical, that the Holy Ghost vouchsafes it remembrance both in the Old and New Testament, that so the Church in all ages might know it and admire it, and doth chronicle it in the epistle to the Hebrews almost two thousand years after it was done. If God himself did so to Moses, shall not God's Church be careful to commend to posterity this second Moses, whose love to Christ Jesus was so zealous, and so inflamed by the heavenly fire of God's Spirit, that no earthly temptations could either quench or abate it; but to win Christ, and to enjoy Him in the liberty of His Word and Sacraments, he delicately contemned the honors and pleasures of the Marquesdome of Vicum - Vicum, one of the paradises of Naples, Naples, the paradise of Italy - Italy of Europe - Europe of the earth; yet all these paradises were nothing to him in comparison of attaining the celestial paradise, there to live with Jesus Christ." "And for my part I freely and truly profess, I have been often ravished with admiration of this noble example - to see an Italian so excellent a Christian - one so near the Pope so near to Jesus Christ, and such blessed fruit to blossom in the Pope's own garden; and to see a nobleman of Italy forsake that for Christ, for which I fear many amongst us would forsake Christ Himself. And surely (I confess truth) the serious consideration of this so late, so true, so strange an example hath been a spur to my slowness, and whetted my dull spirits, and made me to esteem more highly of religion than I did before. I know it is an accusation of myself, and a disclosing of my own shame to confess thus much; but it is a glory to God, an honor to religion, a credit to the truth, and a praise to this noble Marquesse, and therefore I will not hide it. And why should I shame to confess it, when that famous and renowned man of God, holy Calvin, freely confesseth, f10 as in the sequel of this story you shall hear, that this nobleman's example did greatly confirm him in his religion, and did revive and strengthen his faith, and cheer up all the holy graces of God in him." Caracciolus had no sooner left Naples, forsaking country and kindred for the sake of Christ and his gospel, than every possible effort was employed by his family and relatives, and all that were concerned for the credit of the religion that he had abandoned, to induce him to return. On his refusing to do so, "sentence was passed against him, and he was deprived of all the property which he inherited from his mother." "In the following year... an offer was made to him in the name of his uncle now POPE PAUL IV., f11 that he should have a protection against the Inquisition, provided he would take up his residence within the Venetian States; a proposal to which neither his safety nor the dictates of his conscience would permit him to acceded." He went repeatedly to Italy, and had interviews with his aged father, but was refused the privilege of seeing his wife and family, until about six years after he had quitted Naples. His wife, VICTORIA, then wrote to him, earnestly requesting an interview with him, and fixing the place of meeting. This she did on two different occasions, but in both instances, on his arrival at the appointed place, after a fatiguing and dangerous journey, he had the disappointment of finding that she did not make her appearance. At length, impatient of delay, he went once more to Italy, and at his father's house had an interview with Victoria, when he entreated her to accompany him to Geneva, "promising that no restraint should be laid on her conscience, and that she should be at liberty to practice her religion under his roof. After many protestations of affection, she finally replied, that she could not reside out of Italy, nor in a place where any other religion than that of the Church of Rome was professed, and farther, that she could not live with him as her husband so long as he was infected with heresy." The scene at their final parting was peculiarly tender. "Bursting into tears, and embracing her husband, Victoria besought him not to leave her a widow, and her babies fatherless. The children joined in the entreaties of their mother, and the eldest daughter, a fine girl of thirteen, grasping his knees, refused to part with him. How he disengaged himself, he knew not; for the first thing which brought him to recollection was the noise made by the sailors on reaching the opposite shore of the Gulf." (of Venice.) "He used often to relate to his intimate friends, that the parting scene continued long to haunt his mind; and that not only in dreams, but also in reveries into which he fell during the day; he thought he heard the angry voice of his father, saw Victoria in tears, and felt his daughter dragging at his heels." f12 Caracciolus spent the remainder of his days at Geneva, with the exception of five years spent by him at Nion and Lausanne, for the sake of economy in his living, and continued steadfast in his attachment to the Protestant faith. He was on terms of intimate friendship with CALVIN, which continued unbroken until the death of the Reformer in 1564 - thirteen years subsequent to the time when Carcciolus went to reside at Geneva. One step taken by him during his exile must be regarded as (to say the least) of greatly questionable propriety - that of contracting a second marriage, about nine years after he went to reside at Geneva. CALVIN, on being consulted by him as to the propriety of such a step, "felt great scruples as to the expediency" of it, but "ultimately gave his approbation to it, after he had consulted the divines of Switzerland and the Grisons." f13 Accordingly, the courts of Geneva having legally pronounced a sentence of divorce against Victoria, on the ground of her obstinate refusal to live with her husband, he married Anne Fremejere, the widow of a French refugee from Rouen, with whom he continued to live happily in a state of dignified frugality. f14 He was held, deservedly, by the Church of Geneva, and wherever he was known, in the greatest esteem, as one whose piety was of a very high order. Matthew Henry, in one part of his Writings, f15 makes mention of "a noble saying of the Marquis of Vico, 'Let their money perish with them, who esteem all the wealth of this world worth one hour's communion with God in Jesus Christ,'" and assuredly the devotedness manifested by him to the cause of Christ affords ample evidence that the sentiment was deeply inwrought into his mind. He died at Geneva in 1568, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. CALVIN'S Commentary on Paul's Epistles to the CORINTHIANS having, (in common with a large portion of his Commentaries on other parts of the Scriptures) been translated by himself into French for the benefit of his countrymen, the Latin original and French version have been carefully collated, and any additional terms or clauses that occur in the latter, tending to bring out more fully the Author's meaning, will be found given at the bottom of the page. "CALVIN," says Pasquier (Biographia Evangelica) "was a good writer, both in Latin and French, and our French tongue is highly obliged to him for enriching it with so great a number of fine expressions." D'AUBIGNE, when speaking of CALVIN'S early education, states that "he made great progress in Latin literature. He became familiar with Cicero, and learned from this great master to employ the language of the Romans with a facility, purity, and ease that excite the admiration even of his enemies. But at the same time, he found riches in this language which he afterwards transferred to his own." "CALVIN when called upon to discuss and to prove, enriched his mother-tongue with modes of connection and dependence, with shadows, transitions, and dialectic forms, that it did not as yet possess." f16 The OLD ENGLISH TRANSLATION of this part of CALVIN'S Commentaries having been published in black letter in 1573, about thirty years after the Commentary itself was first published by CALVIN, it is not to be wondered that it abounds with obsolete terms and phrases, fitted to render it unpalatable to modern taste. In addition to this, the Author's meaning has, in not a few instances, been manifestly misapprehended, and in almost all cases CALVIN'S critical observations are entirely omitted. The Translator, Mr. Thomas Timme, was the author of various works, one of which more particularly - quaintly entitled "A Silver Bell," appears to have gained much celebrity. It has been thought proper to subjoin to this Preface, a fac-simile of the title-page to this old English version, with a copy of "The Epistle Dedicatorie" to the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. In preparing the present Translation of this part of CALVIN'S COMMENTARIES, care has been taken to bring out as fully as possible the Author's meaning, while the reader will find in a variety of instances in the Notes some additional light thrown on some important but difficult passages - derived chiefly from the labors of interpreters that have appeared subsequently to the times of CALVIN. The Translator is fully persuaded that CALVIN'S Commentaries on both of Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians will be found, in so far at least as the Author's meaning is properly brought out in the Translation, to justify most amply the confident expectation of the Author himself, (as expressed in his first Dedication to the Commentary on the First Epistle) - that it would "furnish no ordinary assistance for thoroughly understanding PAUL'S mind." J.P ELGIN, October 1848. Facsimile of the title page to the 1573 English Translation A COMMENTARY UPON SAINT PAUL'S EPISTLES TO THE CORINTHIANS WRITTEN BY M. JOHN CALVIN; AND TRANSLATED OUT OF LATIN INTO ENGLISH, BY THOMAS TIMME, MINISTER. Imprinted at London, for John Harifon and George Byfhop. 1573. TO THE MOST REVEREND FATHER IN GOD, AND HIS SINGULER GOOD LORD, EDMOND, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURIE, Primate and Metropolitiane of all England, Thomas Timme wisheth the plentifull riches of the Spirite, in Christ Iesu. AFTER long exercise in translating such Latine Commentaries uppon the holy Scriptures, as I though most like to further my country men, which understand not that tongue, to the soud knowledg of true Religion: at last I tooke in hand M. Caluin's exposition upon Saint Paul's Epistles to the Corinthias. And, as in my poor judgment, the writer is a most excellent instrument of God, for the simple setting foorth of his trueth, so in making my choyse ( most reverend Father) I could not devise with my selfe, a more fyt personage, to whom I might dedicate his trauayle, by my willing paynes translated, than to your Grace: So much the rather, for that as your selfe can skillfully iudge, so they, for whom I have taken this labor upon me, by your allowance (whereon they may and will rest) shalbe the more encouraged to lyke, and with greater diligence to reade, and to take the profite ment them thereby. And although my part herein by the least, and in respect thereof, unwoorthye to be presented to your hands, your worthines in eche condition considered: yet calling to mynde the benefites, which long ago in Cambridge, and els where since, I haue receyued by your Graces preferment: I thought it better nowe at the last, to aduenture the offer of this simple gift, being such as I haue, than utterly to shewe myself unthankeful for that I have receyued. Most humbly therefore beseeching your Grace, that as heretofore it hath pleased you to encourage me in this exercise, by licensing the first booke which I translated to passe the Englishe presse, so now you will vouchsafe to take in good part M. Caluin's present, offered you by me. I ceasse to trouble you further, recommending your Grace, and all your godly affayres to almighty God, whom I heartely beseeche to direct in all heauenly wisdome, grace, and knowledge, now and euer. Your Graces most humble at all tymes, to commaunde, Thomas Tymme. THE AUTHOR'S FIRST EPISTLE DEDICATORY TO THAT ILLUSTRIOUS MAN, JAMES OF BURGUNDY, MASTER OF FALAIS AND BREDA WOULD that this my Commentary, in which I have attempted to expound an Epistle not less obscure than useful, published, as it now is, in accordance with the earnest solicitations of many for a long time past, and even reiterated demands, may be correspondingly answerable to the hopes and wishes of all! I say this, not with the view of earning from this work any need of praise - an ambition that ought to be quite away from the minds of Christ's servants - but from a desire that it may do good at all, which it cannot do, if it does meet with acceptance. I have, for my part, labored with the utmost faithfulness, and with no less diligence, that it may, without any show, be of the greatest service to the Church of God. How far I have succeeded, my readers will judge for themselves. This much at least I am confident that I have secured - that it will furnish no ordinary assistance for thoroughly understanding Paul's mind. That it will to you, most illustrious Sir, prove exceedingly acceptable, is so far from appearing to me doubtful, that I find it necessary even to warn you against allowing yourself to be carried beyond due bounds by an undue attachment to me, though, if it should so happen, I shall nevertheless regard your judgment as of so much importance, that I shall reckon myself to have succeeded admirably in my labors, if they have secured your unqualified approbation. In dedicating my Work to you, f17 however, I have not been influenced solely by the hope of its being acceptable to you, but by various other considerations; and more especially this, that your personal character corresponded admirably with the argument of Paul's Epistle. For while too many in the present day convert the Gospel into a cold and shadowy philosophy, imagining that they have sufficiently discharged their duty, if they simply give a nod of assent to what they hear, you, on the other hand, are an illustrious pattern of that living efficacy, f18 which Paul testifies, ought to breathe in the Gospel. This, assuredly, I do not mention on your account, but because I consider it to be of great importance by way of example. It would have been an important point gained, though there had been nothing more than this, that, in the first order of nobility, in the elevated station of honor which you had obtained, and amidst a large abundance of fortune and wealth, (situations in life that are all of them at the present day overrun with so many corruptions,) you have yourself lived moderately and temperately, and have regulated your household in a chaste and honorable discipline. You have done both admirably. For you have conducted yourself in such a manner, as to lead all to perceive, by clear tokens, that you are altogether free from ambition. While retaining your splendor, as was necessary, it has been in such a manner, that, moderate as has been your style of living, no symptom of meanness was to be seen; while, at the same time, it was abundantly apparent that you avoided magnificence rather than courted it. You have shown yourself affable and kind to all, so that all were constrained to commend your moderation, while there was not even the slightest token of haughtiness or insolence to give offense to any one. As to your household, suffice it to say, in one word, that is has been regulated in such a manner, as to reflect the mind and manners of the Lord, as a mirror does the person. Even this would have been an illustrious and rare pattern of virtue for imitation. I reckon it, however, of much greater importance, that while you have been groundlessly charged before the Emperor, through the calumnies of wicked men, and that, too, simply because Christ's kingdom, whenever it begins to flourish in any quarter, drives them to madness and fury, you bear up with unconquerable magnanimity, and are now in exile from your native country, with no less credit than you had when adorning it previously with your presence. Other things I pass over, because it were tedious to enlarge. It ought indeed to be more than simply common and customary among Christians, not merely to leave contentedly behind them estates, castles, and princely domains, for Christ's sake, but even cheerfully and willingly to despise in comparison with Him every thing that is most valued under heaven. In consequence, however, of the backwardness and indifference, too, of almost all of us, as the virtue itself is worthy of special admiration, so when it is seen in you so conspicuously, I do most earnestly desire that it may stir up many to a desire of emulation, that they may not in future be always lurking idly in their nests, but may at length discover openly some spark, if they have any, of Christian spirit. As to your being assaulted from time to time with fresh accusations by those who are manifestly the infuriated enemies of piety, they will gain nothing by this, except to make themselves more and more odious by their gross indulgence in falsehood. At least every man in his senses, perceives that they are mad dogs, that would fain tear you in pieces, and when they cannot bite, take revenge upon themselves by barking. It is well that they do so at a distance, so as to be perfectly harmless. From the injuries of the wicked, however, much as they have diminished your pecuniary resources, there has accrued to you no less glory among the pious. You, however, as becomes a Christian, look beyond this. For you rest satisfied with nothing short of the heavenly glory, which is laid up for us with God, and will be manifested, so soon as "our outward man perishes." - (<470416>2 Corinthians 4:16.) Farewell, most illustrious Sir, with your noble partner. The Lord Jesus long preserve you both in safety for the spread of His kingdom, and always triumph in you over Satan, and the whole band of his troops! GENEVA, 24th January 1546. THE AUTHOR'S SECOND EPISTLE DEDICATORY TO LORD GALLIAZUS CARACCIOLUS: A Nobleman, Distinguished Still More By Eminent Virtues Than By Illustrious Descent, Only Son And Rightful Heir Of The Marquis Of Vico, Health: - WOULD that when this Commentary first saw the light, I had either not known at all, or else had known thoroughly the individual whose name, hitherto inscribed upon this page, I am now under the necessity of erasing! I have, it is true, no fear of his upbraiding me with fickleness, or complaining that I have taken from him what I had previously given, for having intentionally made it his object, not merely to withdraw as much as possible from me personally, but also to have no connection with our Church, he has left himself no just ground of complaint. It is, however, with reluctance that I deviate from my custom, so as to erase any one's name from my writings, and it grieves me that that individual should have quitted the lofty eminence that I had assigned him, f19 so as not to hold out a light to others, as it was my desire that he should. f20 As, however, it is not in my power to remedy this evil, let him, so far as I am concerned, remain buried, as I am desirous even now of sparing his credit by not mentioning his name. To you, however, most illustrious Sir, I should have had to look out for some apology, for now putting you in his place, did I not freely take this liberty, from the confidence that I have in your incredible kindness of disposition, and your affection towards me personally, which is well known to all our friends. To return again to wishes, would that I had known you ten years sooner, for I should not have had occasion at present for making any change. So far as an example to the Church generally is concerned, it is a fortunate circumstance; because there will not only be no loss incurred by burying in oblivion the individual who has withdrawn from us, but in place of him we shall have in you a compensation f21 much more abundant and every way superior. For although you do not court public applause - satisfied to have God alone as your witness - and though it is not my design to herald your praises, yet it were not proper to conceal altogether from my readers what is useful and profitable to be known: - that a man, sprung from a family of the first rank, f22 prosperous in honors and wealth, blest with a spouse of the noblest descent and strictest virtue, a numerous offspring, domestic quiet and harmony, and happy in his entire condition in life, has, of his own accord, with the view of joining the camp of Christ, quitted his native country, has left behind him a fertile and lovely domain, a splendid patrimony, and a residence not less commodious than delightful, has stript himself of domestic splendor, has left father, wife, children, relatives, and connections, and after bidding farewell to so many worldly allurements, satisfied with our mean style, adopts our frugal and homely way of living, just as if he were one of ourselves. f23 I make mention, however, of these things to others, in such a way as not to overlook at the same time my own individual advantage; for if I hold up here, as in a mirror, your virtues before the eyes of my readers, in order that they may set themselves to imitate them, it were a shame if I, who have a nearer view of them, were not more keenly affected by a daily and distinct contemplation of them. As, however, I for my part know by experience the tendency of your example to strengthen my faith and piety, and all the children of God that live here acknowledge, as I do, that they have derived from this source no ordinary advantage, I have thought that it might be of importance, that, by my publishing it, the like benefit were made to flow out to a still greater distance. But for this, f24 it were utter folly to expatiate in the praises of a man, whose nature and disposition are at the farthest distance possible from ostentation, and that, too, before persons who are in foreign and far distant regions. Hence, if any considerable number to whom, in consequence of distance, you have been hitherto unknown, shall, on this admirable example being presented to them, prepare to imitate it, by leaving the nests to which they too fondly cling, I shall have obtained an ample reward for what I have written. It ought, indeed, to have been more than simply common and customary among Christians, not simply to leave contentedly behind them estates, castles, and princely domains, where Christ cannot be followed otherwise, but even cheerfully and willingly to despise, in comparison with Him, everything that is most valued under heaven. f25 Such, however, is the backwardness or rather indifference that pervades all of us, that, while many give a cold assent f26 to the doctrine of the gospel, scarcely one in a hundred will, for the sake of it, if he possesses the most insignificant little farm, allow himself to be torn from it. Scarcely one is induced, without the greatest difficulty, to renounce the smallest conveniences: so very far are they from being prepared to abandon, as were befitting, life itself. f27 Above all things, I should wish that all resembled you in that first of all excellences - self-denial. For you are well prepared to bear witness to me, and I in like manner to you, how little pleasure we feel in cultivating the society of those, who, after leaving their native country, come at length to manifest, that they have not left their old dispositions behind them. As, however, it were better that my readers should revolve in their minds, more than I can express in words, I now turn to entreat, that God, who has encouraged you hitherto by the wonderful efficacy of His Spirit, may furnish you with an unconquerable perseverance unto the end. For I am well aware with what arduous conflicts God has exercised you, and from which, in accordance with your singular prudence, you conclude, that a hard and laborious warfare is still awaiting you. Well knowing, however, from ample experience, how necessary it is for us to have a hand held out to us from heaven, you will, of your own accord, unite with me in imploring from that source the gift of perseverance. As for myself, I will entreat Christ our King, to whom supreme power has been given by the Father, and in whose hands all the treasures of spiritual blessings have been deposited, that He may long preserve you safely to us for the spread of His kingdom; and that He may in you accomplish farther triumphs over Satan and his bands. 24th January 1556, ten years after this Commentary was first published. THE ARGUMENT ON THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS THE advantages of this Epistle are various and manifold; for it contains many special topics, f28 the handling of which successively in their order, will show how necessary they are to be known. Nay, it will appear in part from the argument itself, in the recital of which I shall study to be brief, yet in such a way as to take in the whole, without omitting any of the leading points. Corinth, as every one knows, was a wealthy and celebrated city of Achaia. While it was destroyed by L. Mummius for no other reason than that the advantageousness of its situation excited his suspicions, posterity afterwards rebuilt it for the same reason that Mummius had for destroying it. f29 The convenience of the situation, too, occasioned its being restored again in a short time. For as it had the Aegean Sea contiguous on the one side, and the Ionian on the other, and as it was a thoroughfare between Attica and the Peloponnesus, it was very conveniently situated for imports and exports. Paul, after teaching there for a year and a half, as Luke mentions in the Acts, constrained at length by the wickedness of the Jews, sailed thence into Syria (<441811>Acts 18:11, 18.) During Paul's absence false apostles had crept in, not, in my opinion, to disturb the Church openly with wicked doctrines, or designedly to undermine sound doctrine; but, priding themselves in the splendor and magnificence of their address, or rather, being puffed up with an empty loftiness of speech, they looked upon Paul's simplicity, and even the Gospel itself, with contempt. They afterwards, by their ambition, gave occasion for the Church being split into various parties; and, last of all, reckless as to every thing, provided only they were themselves held in estimation, made it their aim to promote their own honor, rather than Christ's kingdom and the people's welfare. On the other hand, as those vices prevailed at Corinth with which mercantile cities are wont to be particularly infested, - luxury, pride, vanity, effeminacy, insatiable covetousness, and ambition; so they had found their way even into the Church itself, so that discipline was greatly relaxed. Nay more, purity of doctrine had already begun to decline, so that the main article of religion - the resurrection of the dead - was called in question. Yet amidst this great corruption in every department, they were satisfied with themselves, equally as though every thing had been on the best possible footing. Such are Satan's usual artifices. If he cannot prevent the progress of doctrine, he creeps forward secretly to make an attack upon it: if lie cannot by direct falsehoods suppress it, so as to prevent it from coming forth to light, he digs secret mines for its overthrow; and in fine, if he cannot alienate men's minds from it, he leads them by little and little to deviate from it. As to those worthless persons, however, who had disturbed the Corinthian Church, it is not without good ground that I conclude that they were not open enemies of the truth. We see that Paul nowhere else spares false doctrines. The Epistles to the Galatians, to the Colossians, to the Philippians, and to Timothy, are short; yet in all of them lie does not merely censure the false apostles, but also points out at the same time in what respects they injured the Church. Nor is it without good reason; for believers must not merely be admonished as to the persons whom they ought to shun, they must also be shown the evil against which they should be on their guard. I cannot therefore believe that, in this comparatively long Epistle, he was prepared to pass over in silence what he carefully insists upon in others that are much shorter. In addition to this, he makes mention of many faults of the Corinthians, and even some that are apparently trivial, so that he appears to have had no intention of passing over any thing in them that was deserving of reproof. Besides, he must, in any other view, be regarded as wasting many words in disputing against those absurd teachers and prating orators. f30 He censures their ambition; he reproves them for transforming the gospel into human philosophy; he shows that they are destitute of the efficacy of the Spirit, inasmuch as they are taken up with mere ornaments of speech, and seek after a mere dead letter; but not a word is there as to a single false doctrine. Hence I conclude that they were persons who did not openly take away any thing from the substance of the gospel, but, as they burned with a misdirected eagerness for distinction, I am of opinion that, with the view of making themselves admired, they contrived a new method of teaching, at variance with the simplicity of Christ. This must necessarily be the case with all that have not as yet thrown off self, that they may engage unreservedly in the Lord's work. The first step towards serving Christ is to lose sight of ourselves, and think only of the Lord's glory and the salvation of men. Farther, no one will ever be qualified for teaching that has not first himself tasted the influence of the gospel, so as to speak not so much with the mouth, as with the dispositions of the heart. Hence, those that are not regenerated by the Spirit of God - not having felt inwardly the influence of the gospel, and know not what is meant when it is said that we must become new creatures, (<430307>John 3:7) have a dead preaching, whereas it ought to be lively and efficacious; and, with the view of playing off their part, they disfigure the gospel by painting it over, so as to make it a sort of worldly philosophy. Nor was it difficult for those of whom we are now speaking to accomplish this at Corinth. For merchants are usually led away with outward disguises, and they do not merely allow themselves to be imposed upon by the empty show with which they deceive others, but in a manner take delight in this. Besides, as they have delicate ears, so that they cannot bear to be rudely taken to task, so if they meet with teachers of the milder sort, that will handle them gently, they give them, as it were, a reward in turn by caressing them. f31 It is so, I grant, everywhere; but it is more especially common ill wealthy and mercantile cities. Paul, who was in other respects a god-like man, and distinguished by admirable virtues, was, nevertheless, not adorned with outward elegance, and was not puffed up with show, with the view of setting himself off to advantage. In fine, as he was inwardly replenished with the genuine excellence of the Spirit, so he had nothing of outward show. He knew not to flatter, and was not concerned to please men. (<480110>Galatians 1:10.) The one object that he had in view was, that Christ might reign, himself and all others being brought under subjection to him. As the Corinthians were desirous of doctrine that was ingenious, rather than useful, the gospel had no relish for them. As they were eager for new things, Christ had now become stale. Or if they had not as yet fallen into these vices, they were, nevertheless, already of their own accord predisposed to corruptions of that nature. Such were the facilities afforded to the false apostles for adulterating the doctrine of Christ among them; for adulterated it is, when its native simplicity is stained, and in a manner painted over, so as to differ nothing from worldly philosophy. Hence, to suit the taste of the Corinthians, they seasoned their preaching in such a way that the true savor of the gospel was destroyed. We are now in possession of the design that Paul had in view in writing this Epistle. I shall now take in the sum of the argument, by noting down briefly the particular heads of discourse. He begins with an ascription of praise, f32 that is in effect an exhortation, that they should go on as they have begun, and in this way he soothes them beforehand, that he may make them the more docile. Immediately afterwards, however, he proceeds to chide them, making mention of the dissensions with which their Church was infested. Being desirous to cure this evil, he calls upon them to exchange haughtiness for humility. For he overthrows all the wisdom of the world, that the preaching of the Cross may alone be exalted. He also at the same time abases them as individuals, in exhorting them to look around and see what class of persons chiefly the Lord has adopted as members of his flock. In the second chapter he brings forward, by way of example, his own preaching, which, in the account of men, was base and contemptible, but had nevertheless been signalized by the influence of the Spirit. And in the meantime he unfolds at greater length the sentiment, that there is a heavenly and secret wisdom that is contained in the gospel, which cannot be apprehended by any acuteness or perspicacity of intellect, or by any perception of sense, and is not influenced by human reasonings, and needs no meretricious ornament of words or embellishment, but simply by the revelation of the Spirit comes to be known by the understandings of men, and is sealed upon their hearts. He at length comes to this conclusion, that the preaching of the gospel does not merely differ widely from the wisdom of the flesh, and consists in the abasement of the Cross, but cannot be estimated as to its true nature by the judgment of the flesh; and this he does, with the view of drawing them off from a mistaken confidence in their own judgment, by which they measured every thing amiss. The beginning of the third chapter contains the application of this last department of the subject to their case. For Paul complains, that, being carnal, they were scarcely capable of learning the first rudiments of the gospel. He intimates in this way, that the distaste which they had contracted for the word, arose from no fault in the word itself, but from their ignorance; and at the same time he indirectly admonishes them, that they need to have their minds renewed, before they will begin to judge aright. He afterwards shows in what estimation the ministers of the gospel ought to be held - that it ought to be in such a way, that the honor given to them does not in any degree detract from the glory that is due to God - as there is one Lord, and all are his servants: all are mere instruments; he alone imparts efficacy, and from him proceeds the entire result. He shows them, at the same time, what they ought to have as their aim - to build up the Church. He takes occasion from this to point out the true and proper method of building aright. It is to have Christ alone as the foundation, and the entire structure harmonizing with the foundation. And here, having stated in passing that he is a wise master-builder, he admonishes those that come after him to make the end f33 correspond with the beginning. He exhorts also the Corinthians not to allow their souls to be desecrated by corrupt doctrines, inasmuch as they are temples of God. Here he again brings to naught proud fleshly wisdom, that the knowledge of Christ may alone be in estimation among believers. In the beginning of the fourth chapter he points out what is the office of a true apostle. And as it was their corrupt judgment that prevented them from recognizing him as such, putting it aside, he appeals to the day of the Lord. Farther, as he was contemptible in their view from an appearance of abasement, he teaches them that this ought to be regarded as an honor to him rather than a disgrace. He afterwards brings forward tokens, from which it might in reality appear that he had not consulted his own glory, or his own belly (<451618>Romans 16:18), but had with faithfulness devoted himself exclusively to Christ's work. He comes at length to infer what honor is due to him from the Corinthians. In the close of the chapter he recommends Timothy to them, until he shall come to them himself; and at the same time he forewarns them that, on his coming, he will openly discover how little account he makes of those empty boastings by which the false apostles endeavored to recommend themselves. In the fifth chapter he takes them to task, for silently tolerating an incestuous connection between a son-in-law and a mother-in-law, and instructs them that in connection with a crime of such enormity, there was good reason why they should be covered with shame, instead of being elated with pride. From this he passes on to lay down a general doctrine to this effect, that. crimes of that nature ought to be punished with excommunication, that indulgence in sin may be repressed, and that the infection may not spread from one individual to the others. The sixth chapter consists chiefly of two parts. In the first he inveighs against law-suits, with which they harassed one another, before unbelievers, to the great dishonor of the gospel. In the second he reproves indulgence in fornication, which had come to such a pitch, that it was almost looked upon as a lawful thing. He sets out with a heavy threatening, and afterwards enforces that threatening with arguments. The seventh chapter contains a discussion in reference to virginity, marriage, and celibacy. So far as we may conjecture from Paul's words, a superstitious notion had become prevalent among the Corinthians of this nature - that virginity was a distinguished, and in a manner angelic virtue, so that marriage was held by them in contempt, as though it had been a profane thing. With the view of removing this error, he teaches that every one must consider what his gift is, and not strive in this matter beyond his ability, inasmuch as all have not the same calling. Accordingly he shows who they are that may abstain from marriage, and what ought to be the design of abstaining from it; and on the other hand, who they are that ought to enter into the married state, and what is the true principle of Christian marriage. In the eighth chapter he prohibits them from having fellowship with idolaters in their impure sacrifices, or giving countenance to anything of such a nature as might injure weak consciences. And as they excused themselves on this pretext, that they did not by any means connect. themselves with idolaters in any corrupt sentiment, inasmuch as they acknowledged in their heart one God, and regarded idols as empty contrivances, he sets aside this excuse, on this principle that every one ought to have a regard to his brethren, and that there are many weak persons whose faith might be staggered by such dissimulation. In the ninth chapter he shows that he requires from them nothing more than he himself practiced, that he may not be reckoned so unreasonable as to impose upon others a law that he did not himself observe. For he puts them in mind how he had voluntarily refrained from availing himself of the liberty granted him by the Lord, lest he should give occasion of offense to any one, and how he had, in things indifferent, put on as it were various appearances, with the view of accommodating himself to all, that they may learn from his example that no one should be so devoted to self as not to endeavor to accommodate himself to his brethren for their edification. Now as the Corinthians were highly satisfied with themselves, as we said in the outset, in the beginning of the tenth chapter he admonishes them, from the example of the Jews, not to deceive themselves by a mistaken confidence; for if they are puffed up on account of outward things and gifts of God, he shows that the Jews were not without similar ground of glorying, and yet all this availed them nothing, because they abused their privileges. After alarming them by this threatening he returns immediately to the subject on which he had previously entered, and shows how unseemly it is for those who partake of the Lord's Supper to be participants in the "table of devils," that being a shameful and insufferable pollution. He at length draws this conclusion, that all our actions should be regulated in such a manner as not to be an occasion of offense to any one. In the eleventh chapter he clears the public assemblies from certain corrupt observances, which were at variance with Christian decorum and propriety, and shows what gravity and modesty ought to be exercised when we stand in the view of God and angels. He takes them to task, however, chiefly for their corrupt administration of the Supper. He subjoins the method of correcting the abuse that had crept in, which is by calling them back to our Lord's original institution, as the only sure rule and permanent law of right acting. As, however, many abused spiritual gifts for purposes of ambition, he enters into a discussion, in the twelfth chapter, as to the purpose for which they are conferred by God, and also as to what is the proper and genuine use of them, which is, that by contributing mutually to each other's advantage, we may be united together in one body, that of Christ. This doctrine he illustrates by drawing a similitude from the human body, in which, although there are different members and various faculties, there is nevertheless such a symmetry and fellow-feeling, that what has been conferred on the members severally contributes to the advantage of the whole body - and hence love is the best directress in this matter. F34 The subject he follows out at greater length, and illustrates it more fully in the thirteenth chapter. The sum is this - that all things must be viewed in relation to love. He takes occasion from this to make a digression for the purpose of commending that virtue, that he may the more strongly recommend the pursuit of it, and may encourage the Corinthians the more to cultivate it. In the fourteenth chapter he begins to point out more particularly in what respect the Corinthians had erred in the use of spiritual gifts; and as mere show bulked so much in their estimation, he teaches them that in all things edification alone should be looked to. For this reason he prefers prophecy to all other gifts, as being more useful, while the Corinthians set a higher value on tongues, purely from empty show. In addition to this, he lays down the right order of procedure, and at the same time reproves the fault of sounding forth in unknown tongues without any advantage, while in the meantime the doctrine and exhortations, which ought ever to hold the foremost place, were left in the background. He afterwards forbids women to teach publicly, as being a thing unseemly. In the fifteenth chapter he inveighs against a very pernicious error, which, although we can scarcely suppose it to have spread generally among the Corinthians, had nevertheless taken possession of the minds of some of them to such a degree, that it was necessary that a remedy should be openly administered. He appears, however, to have intentionally delayed mentioning this matter until the close of the Epistle, for this reason - that if he had set out with this, or had entered upon it immediately after commencing, they might have thought that they were all reckoned to be in fault. The hope of a resurrection, accordingly, he shows to be so necessary, that, if it is taken away, the whole gospel falls to pieces. Having established the doctrine itself by powerful arguments, he subjoins also the principle and manner of it. In fine, he carefully draws out a full discussion of this point. The sixteenth chapter consists of two parts. In the first of these he exhorts them to relieve the necessity of the brethren at Jerusalem. They were at that time pinched with famine, and they were cruelly treated by the wicked. The apostles had assigned to Paul the charge of stirring up the Churches of the Gentiles to afford them help. He accordingly exharts them to lay up in store whatever they were inclined to contribute, that it might be transmitted to Jerusalem without delay. He at length concludes the Epistle with a friendly exhortation and congratulations. Hence we may gather, as I stated in the outset, that the Epistle is replete with most profitable doctrine, containing, as it does, a variety of discussions on many important topics. COMMENTARY ON THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 1 1 CORINTHIANS 1:1-3 1. Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 1. Paulus, vocatus apostolus Jesu Christi per voluntatem Dei, et Sosthenes frater, 2. Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 2. Ecclesiae Dei quae est Corinthi, sanctificatis in Christo Jesu, vocatis sanctis, una cum omnibus qui invocant nomen Domini nostri Jesu Christi in quovis loco tam sui quam nostri: f35 3. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3. Gratia vobis et pax a Deo Patre nostro, et Domino Jesu Christi. 1. Paul, called to be an Apostle. In this manner does Paul proceed, in almost all the introductions to his Epistles, with the view of procuring for his doctrine authority and favor. The former he secures to himself from the station that had been assigned to him by God, as being an Apostle of Christ sent by God; the latter by testifying his affection towards those to whom he writes. We believe much more readily the man whom we look upon as regarding us with affection, and as faithfully endeavoring to promote our welfare. In this salutation, therefore, he claims for himself authority, when he speaks of himself as an Apostle of Christ, and that, too, as called by God, that is, set apart by the will of God. Now, two things are requisite in any one that would be listened to in the Church, and would occupy the place of a teacher; for he must be called by God to that office, and he must faithfully employ himself in the discharge of its duties. Paul here lays claim to both. For the name, Apostle, implies that the individual conscientiously acts the part of an ambassador for Christ (<470519>2 Corinthians 5:19), and proclaims the pure doctrine of the gospel. But as no one ought to assume this honor to himself, unless he be called to it, he adds, that he had not rashly intruded into it, but had been appointed f36 to it by God. Let us learn, therefore, to take these two things together when we wish to ascertain what kind of persons we ought to esteem as ministers of Christ, - a call to the office, and faithfulness in the discharge of its duties. For as no man can lawfully assume the designation and rank of a minister, unless he be called, so it were not enough for any one to be called, if he does not also fulfill the duties of his office. For the Lord does not choose ministers that they may be dumb idols, or exercise tyranny under pretext of their calling, or make their own caprice their law; but. at the same time marks out what kind of persons they ought to be, and binds them by his laws, and in fine chooses them for the ministry, or, in other words, that in the first place they may not be idle, and, secondly, that they may confine themselves within the limits of their office. Hence, as the apostleship depends on the calling, so the man who would be reckoned an apostle, must show himself to be really such: nay more, so must every one who demands that credit be given him, or that his doctrine be listened to. For since Paul rests on these arguments for establishing his authority, worse than impudent were the conduct of that man who would think to have any standing without such proofs. It ought, however, to be observed, that it is not enough for any one to hold out to view the title to a call to the office, along with faithfulness in discharging its duties, if he does not in reality give proof of both. For it often happens that none boast more haughtily of their titles than those that are destitute of the reality; as of old the false prophets, with lofty disdain, boasted that they had been sent by the Lord. Nay, at the present day, what else do the Romanists make a noise about, but "ordination from God, and an inviolably sacred succession even from the Apostles themselves," f37 while, after all, it appears that they are destitute of those things of which they vaunt? Here, therefore, it is not boasting that is required, but reality. Now, as the name is assumed by good and bad alike, we must come to the test, that we may ascertain who has a right to the name of Apostle, and who has not. As to Paul, God attested his calling by many revelations, and afterwards confirmed it by miracles. The faithfulness must be estimated by this, - whether or not he proclaimed the pure doctrine of Christ. As to the twofold call - that of God and that of the Church - see my Institutes. f38 An Apostle. Though this name, agreeably to its etymology, has a general signification, and is sometimes employed in a general sense, to denote any kind of ministers, f39 yet, as a peculiar designation, it is applicable to those that were set apart by the Lord's appointment to publish the Gospel throughout the whole world. Now, it was of importance that Paul should be reckoned in that number, for two reasons, - first, because much more deference was paid to them than to other ministers of the gospel; and, secondly, because they alone, properly speaking, had authority to instruct all the Churches. By the will of God. While the Apostle is accustomed cheerfully to acknowledge himself indebted to God for whatever he has of good, he does so more especially in reference to his apostleship, that he may free himself from all appearance of presumption. And assuredly as a call to salvation is of grace, so also a call to the office of apostle is of grace, as Christ teaches in these words: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," (<431516>John 15:16.) Paul, however, at the same time indirectly intimates, that all who attempt to undermine his apostleship, or in any way oppose it, contend against an appointment of God. For Paul here makes no useless boast of honorary titles, but designedly vindicates his apostleship from malicious aspersions. For as his authority must have been sufficiently established in the view of the Corinthians, it would have been superfluous to make particular mention of "the will of God," had not wicked men attempted by indirect means to undermine that honorable rank which had been divinely assigned him. And Sosthenes our brother. This is that Sosthenes who was ruler of the Jewish synagogue that was at Corinth, of whom Luke makes mention in <441817>Acts 18:17. His name is added for this reason, that the Corinthians, knowing his ardor and steadfastness in the gospel, could not but hold him in deserved esteem, and hence it is still more to his honor to be made mention of now as Paul's brother, than formerly as ruler of the synagogue. 2. To the Church of God which is at Corinth. It may perhaps appear strange that he should give the name of a Church of God to a multitude of persons that were infested with so many distempers, that Satan might be said to reign among them rather than God. Certain it is, that he did not mean to flatter the Corinthians, for he speaks under the direction of the Spirit of God, who is not accustomed to flatter. But f40 among so many pollutions, what appearance of a Church is any longer presented? I answer, the Lord having said to him, "Fear not: I have much people in this place" (<441809>Acts 18:9, 10;) keeping this promise in mind, he conferred upon a godly few so much honor as to recognize them as a Church amidst a vast multitude of ungodly persons. Farther, notwithstanding that many vices had crept in, and various corruptions both of doctrine and manners, there were, nevertheless, certain tokens still remaining of a true Church. This is a passage that ought to be carefully observed, that we may not require that the Church, while in this world, should be free from every wrinkle and stain, or forthwith pronounce unworthy of such a title every society in which everything is not as we would wish it. For it is a dangerous temptation to think that there is no Church at all where perfect purity is not to be seen. For the man that is prepossessed with this notion, must necessarily in the end withdraw from all others, and look upon himself as the only saint in the world, or set up a peculiar sect in company with a few hypocrites. What ground, then, had Paul for recognizing a Church at Corinth? It was this: that he saw among them the doctrine of the gospel, baptism, the Lord's Supper - tokens by which a Church ought to be judged of. For although some had begun to have doubts as to the resurrection, the error not having spread over the entire body, the name of the Church and its reality are not thereby affected. Some faults had crept in among them in the administration of the Supper, discipline and propriety of conduct had very much declined: despising the simplicity of the gospel, they had given themselves up to show and pomp; and in consequence of the ambition of their ministers, they were split into various parties. Notwithstanding of this, however, inasmuch as they retained fundamental doctrine: as the one God was adored among them, and was invoked in the name of Christ: as they placed their dependence for salvation upon Christ, and, had a ministry not altogether corrupted: there was, on these accounts, a Church still existing among them. Accordingly, wherever the worship of God is preserved uninfringed, and that fundamental doctrine, of which I have spoken, remains, we must without hesitation conclude that in that case a Church exists. Sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints. He makes mention of the blessings with which God had adorned them, as if by way of upbraiding them, at least in the event of their showing no gratitude in return. For what could be more base than to reject an Apostle through whose instrumentality they had been set apart as God's peculiar portion. Meanwhile, by these two epithets, he points out what sort of persons ought to be reckoned among the true members of the Church, and who they are that belong of right to her communion. For if you do not by holiness of life show yourself to be a Christian, you may indeed be in the Church, and pass undetected, f41 but of it you cannot be. Hence all must be sanctified in Christ who would be reckoned among the people of God. Now the term sanctification denotes separation. This takes place in us when we are regenerated by the Spirit to newness of life, that we may serve God and not the world. For while by nature we are unholy, the Spirit consecrates us to God. As, however, this is effected when we are engrafted into the body of Christ, apart from whom there is nothing but pollution, and as it is also by Christ, and not from any other source that the Spirit is conferred, it is with good reason that he says that we are sanctified in Christ, inasmuch as it is by Him that we cleave to God, and in Him become new creatures. What immediately follows - called to be saints - I understand to mean: As ye have been called unto holiness. It may, however, be taken in two senses. Either we may understand Paul to say, that the ground of sanctification is the call of God, inasmuch as God has chosen them; meaning, that this depends on his grace, not on the excellence of men; or we may understand him to mean, that, it accords with our profession that we be holy, this being the design of the doctrine of the gospel. The former interpretation appears to suit better with the context, but it is of no great consequence in which way you understand it, as there is an entire agreement between the two following positions - that our holiness flows from the fountain of divine election, and that it, is the end of our calling. We must, therefore, carefully maintain, that it is not through our own efforts that we are holy, but by the call of God, because He alone sanctifies those who were by nature unclean. And certainly it appears to me probable, that, when Paul has pointed out as it were with his finger the fountain of holiness thrown wide open, he mounts up a step higher, to the good pleasure of God, in which also Christ's mission to us originated. As, however, we are called by the gospel to harmlessness of life (<504415>Philippians 2:15,) it is necessary that this be accomplished in us in reality, in order that our calling may be effectual. It will, however, be objected, that, there were not many such among the Corinthians. I answer, that the weak are not excluded from this number; for here God only begins his work in us, and by little and little carries it forward gradually and by successive steps. I answer farther, that Paul designedly looks rather to the grace of God in them than to their own defects, that he may put them to shame for their negligence, if they do not act a suitable part. With all that call. This, too, is an epithet common to all the pious; for as it is one chief exercise of faith to call upon the name of God, so it is also by this duty chiefly that believers are to be estimated. Observe, also, that he says that Christ is called upon by believers, and this affords a proof of his divinity - invocation being one of the first expressions of Divine homage. Hence invocation here by synecdoche f42 (kata< sunekdoch>n) denotes the entire profession of faith in Christ, as in many passages of Scripture it is taken generally for the whole of Divine worship. Some explain it as denoting mere profession, but this appears to be meager, and at variance with its usual acceptation in Scripture. The little words nostri (ours) and sui (theirs) I have put in the genitive, understanding them as referring to Christ, while others, understanding them as referring to place, render them in the ablative. In doing so I have followed Chrysostom. This will, perhaps, appear harsh, as the expression in every place is introduced in the middle, but in Paul's Greek style there is nothing of harshness in this construction. My reason for preferring this rendering to that of the Vulgate is, that if you understand it as referring to place, the additional clause will be not merely superfluous, but inappropriate. For what place would Paul call his own? Judea they understand him to mean; but on what ground? And then, what place could he refer to as inhabited by others? "All other places of the world" (say they; ) but this, too, does not suit well. On the other hand, the meaning that I have given it suits most admirably; for, after making mention of all that in every place call upon the name of Christ our Lord, he adds, both theirs and ours, manifestly for the purpose of showing that Christ is the one common Lord, without distinction, of all that call upon him, whether they be Jews or Gentiles. In every place. This Paul has added, contrary to his usual manner; for in his other Epistles he makes mention in the salutation of those only for whom they are designed. He seems, however, to have had it in view to anticipate the slanders of wicked men, that they might not have it to allege that, in addressing the Corinthians, he assumed a confident air, and claimed for himself an authority that he would not venture to assert in writing to other Churches. For we shall see by and by, that he was unjustly loaded with this reproach, too, as though he were preparing little nests f43 for himself, with the view of shunning the light, or were withdrawing himself in a clandestine way from the rest of the Apostles. It appears, then, that expressly for the purpose of refuting this falsehood, he places himself in a commanding position, from which he may be heard afar off. 3. Grace be to you and peace. For an exposition of this prayer, let my readers consult the beginning of my Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (<450107>Romans 1:7;) for I do not willingly burden my readers with repetitions. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:4-9 4. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 4. Gratias ago Deo meo semper de vobis propter gratiam Dei, quae data vobis est in Christo Jesu. 5. That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 5. Quia in onmibus ditati estis in ipso, in omni sermone, f44 et in omni cognitione. 6. Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 6. Quemadmodum testimonium Christi confirmatum fuit in vobis. 7. So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 7. Ut nullo in dono destituamini, exspectantes revelationem Domini nostri Jesu Christi. 8. Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8. Qui etiam confirmabit vos usque in finem inculpatos, in diem Domini nostri Jesu Christi. 9. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 9. Fidelis Deus, per quem vocati estis in communionem Filii ipsius Jesu Christi Domini nostri. 4. I give thanks to my God. Having in the salutation secured for himself authority from the station assigned him, he now endeavors to procure favor for his doctrine, by expressing his affection for them. In this way he soothes their minds beforehand, that they may listen patiently to his reproofs. f45 He persuades them of his affection for them by the following tokens - his discovering as much joy in the benefits bestowed upon them, as if they had been conferred upon himself; and his declaring that he entertains a favorable opinion of them, and has good hopes of them as to the future. Farther, he qualifies his congratulations in such a way as to give them no occasion to be puffed up, as he traces up to God all the benefits that they possessed, that the entire praise may redound to him, inasmuch as they are the fruits of his grace. It is as though he had said - "I congratulate you indeed, but it is in such a way as to ascribe the praise to God." His meaning, when he calls God his God, I have explained in my Commentary upon the Epistle to the Romans (<450108>Romans 1:8.) As Paul was not prepared to flatter the Corinthians, so neither has he commended them on false grounds. For although all were not worthy of such commendations, and though they corrupted many excellent gifts of God by ambition, yet the gifts themselves it became him not to despise, because they were, in themselves, deserving of commendation. Farther, as the gifts of the Spirit are conferred for the edification of all, it is with good reason that he enumerates them as gifts common to the whole Church. f46 But let us see what he commends in them. For the grace, etc. This is a general term, for it comprehends blessings of every kind that they had obtained through means of the gospel. For the term grace denotes here not the favor of God, but by metonymy f47 (metwnumikw~v), the gifts that he bestows upon men gratuitously. He immediately proceeds to specify particular instances, when he says that they are enriched in all things, and specifies what those all things are - the doctrine and word of God. For in these riches it becomes Christians to abound; and they ought also to be esteemed by us the more, and regarded by us as so much the more valuable, in proportion as they are ordinarily slighted. The phrase in ipso (in him) I have preferred to retain, rather than render it per ipsum (by him,) because it has in my opinion more expressiveness and force. For we are enriched in Christ, inasmuch as we are members of his body, and are engrafted into him: nay more, being made one with him, he makes us share with him in everything that he has received from the Father. 6. Even as the testimony, etc. Erasmus gives a different rendering, to this effect, "that by these things the testimony of Christ was confirmed in them;" that is, by knowledge and by the word. The words, however, convey another meaning, and if they are not wrested, the meaning is easy - that God has sealed the truth of his gospel among the Corinthians, for the purpose of confirming it. Now, this might be done in two ways, either by miracles, or by the inward testimony of the Holy Spirit. Chrysostom seems to understand it of miracles, but I take it in a larger sense; and, first of all, it is certain, that the gospel is properly confirmed in our experience by faith, because it is only when we receive it by faith that we "set to our seal that God is true" (<430333>John 3:33.) And though I admit that miracles ought to have weight for the confirmation of it, yet we must go higher in search of the origin, namely this, that the Spirit of God is the earnest and seal. Accordingly, I explain these words in this manner - that the Corinthians excelled in knowledge, inasmuch as God had from the beginning given efficacy to his gospel among them, and that not in one way merely, but had done so both by the internal influence of the Spirit, and by excellence and variety of gifts, by miracles, and by all other helps. He calls the gospel the testimony of Christ, or respecting Christ, because the entire sum of it tends to discover Christ to us, "in whom all the treasures of knowledge are hid" (<510203>Colossians 2:3.) If any one prefers to take it in an active sense, on the ground that Christ is the primary author of the gospel, so that the Apostles were nothing but secondary or inferior witnesses, I shall not much oppose it. I feel better satisfied, however, with the former exposition. It is true that a little afterwards (<460201>1 Corinthians 2:1) the testimony of God must, beyond all controversy, be taken in an active sense, as a passive signification would not be at all suitable. Here, however, the case is different, and, what is more, that passage strengthens my view, as he immediately subjoins what it is f48 - to know nothing but Christ. (<460202>1 Corinthians 2:2.) 7. So that ye come behind in no gift. JUstereisqai means to be in want of what you would otherwise stand in need of. f49 He means, therefore, that the Corinthians abound in all the gifts of God, so as not to be in want of anything, as if he had said, "The Lord has not merely honored you with the light of the gospel, but has eminently endowed you with all those graces that may be of service to the saints for helping them forward in the way of salvation." For he gives the name of gifts (cari>smata) to those spiritual graces that are, as it were, means of salvation to the saints. But it is objected, on the other hand, that the saints are never in such abundance as not to feel in want of graces to some extent, so that they must always of necessity be "hungering and thirsting" (<400506>Matthew 5:6.) For where is the man that does not come far short of perfection? I answer, "As they are sufficiently endowed with needful gifts, and are never in such destitution but that the Lord seasonably relieves their need; Paul on this ground ascribes to them such wealth." For the same reason he adds: waiting for the manifestation, meaning, that he does not ascribe to them such abundance as to leave nothing to be desired; but merely as much as will suffice, until they shall have arrived at perfection. The participle waiting I understand in this sense, "In the meantime while you are waiting." Thus the meaning will be, "So that ye are in want of no gift in the meantime while you are waiting for the day of perfected revelation, by which Christ our wisdom (<460130>1 Corinthians 1:30) will be fully manifested." 8. Who will also confirm you. The relative here refers not to Christ, but to God, though the word God is the remoter antecedent. For the Apostle is going on with his congratulation, and as he has told them previously what he thought of them, so he now lets them know what hope he has of them as to the future, and this partly for the purpose of assuring them still farther of his affection for them, and partly that he may exhort them by his own example to cherish the same hope. It is as if he had said - Though the expectation of a salvation to come keeps you still in suspense, you ought nevertheless to feel assured that the Lord will never forsake you, but will on the contrary increase what he has begun in you, that when that day comes on which "we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ," (<470510>2 Corinthians 5:10,) we may be found there blameless. Blameless. In his Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians (<490104>Ephesians 1:4, and <510122>Colossians 1:22) he teaches that this is the end of our calling - that we may appear pure and unreproachable in the presence of Christ. It is, however, to be observed, that this glorious purity is not in the first instance perfected in us; nay, rather, it goes well with us if we are every day making progress in penitence, and are being purged from the sins (<610109>2 Peter 1:9)that expose us to the displeasure of God, until at length we put off, along with the mortal body, all the offscourings of sin. Of the day of the Lord we shall have occasion to speak when we come to the fourth chapter. 9. God is faithful. When the Scripture speaks of God as faithful the meaning in many cases is, that in God there is steadfastness and evenness of tenor, so that what he begins he prosecutes to the end, f50 as Paul himself says elsewhere, that the calling of God is without repentance (<451129>Romans 11:29.) Hence, in my opinion, the meaning of this passage is, that God is steadfast in what he purposes. This being the case, he consequently does not make sport as to his calling, but will unceasingly take care of his work. f51 From God's past benefits we ought always to hope well as to the future. Paul, however, has something higher in view, for he argues that the Corinthians cannot be cast off, having been once, called by the Lord into Christ's fellowship. To apprehend fully, however, the force of this argument, let us observe first of all, that every one ought to regard his calling as a token of his election. Farther, although one cannot judge with the same certainty as to another's election, yet we must always in the judgment of charity conclude that all that are called are called to salvation; I mean efficaciously and fruitfully. Paul, however, directed his discourse to those in whom the word of the Lord had taken root, and in whom some fruits of it had been produced. Should any one object that many who have once received the word afterwards fall away, I answer that the Spirit alone is to every one a faithful and sure witness of his election, upon which perseverance depends. This, however, did not stand in the way of Paul's being persuaded, in the judgment of charity, that the calling of the Corinthians would prove firm and immovable, as being persons in whom he saw the tokens of God's fatherly benevolence. These things, however, do not by any means tend to beget carnal security, to divest us of which the Scriptures frequently remind us of our weakness, but simply to confirm our confidence in the Lord. Now this was needful, in order that their minds might not be disheartened on discovering so many faults, as he comes afterwards to present before their view. The sum of all this may be stated thus, - that it is the part of Christian candor to hope well of all who have entered on the right way of salvation, and are still persevering in that course, notwithstanding that they are at the same time still beset with really distempers. Every one of us, too, from the time of his being illuminated (<581032>Hebrews 10:32) by the Spirit of God in the knowledge of Christ, ought to conclude with certainty from this that he has been adopted by the Lord to an inheritance of eternal life. For effectual calling ought to be to believers an evidence of divine adoption; yet in the meantime we must all walk with fear and trembling (<503512>Philippians 2:12.) On this point I shall touch again to some extent when we come to the tenth chapter. Into the fellowship. Instead of this rendering Erasmus translates it into partnership. The old interpreter renders it society. I have preferred, however, to render it fellowship, as bringing out better the force of the Greek word koinwniav. f52 For this is the design of the gospel, that Christ may become ours, and that we may be engrafted into his body. Now when the Father gives him to us hi possession, he also communicates himself to us in him; and hence arises a participation in every benefit. Paul's argument, then, is this - " Since you have, by means of the gospel which you have received by faith, been called into the fellowship of Christ, you have no reason to dread the danger of death, f53 having been made partakers of him (<580314>Hebrews 3:14) who rose a conqueror over death." In fine, when the Christian looks to himself he finds only occasion for trembling, or rather for despair; but having been called into the fellowship of Christ, he ought, in so far as assurance of salvation is concerned, to think of himself no otherwise than as a member of Christ, so as to reckon all Christ's benefits his own. Thus he will obtain an unwavering hope of final perseverance, (as it is called,) if he reckons himself a member of him who is beyond all hazard of falling away. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:10-13 10. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 10. Observo autem vos, fratres, per nomen Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ut idem loquamini omnes, et non sint inter vos dissidia: sed apte cohaereatis in una mente et in una sententia. f54 11. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 11. Significatum enim mihi de vobis fuit, fratres mei, ab iis qui sunt Chloes, quod contentiones sint inter vos. 12. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 12. Dico autem illud, f55 quod unusquisque vestrum dicat, Ego quidem sum Pauli, ego autem Apollo, ego autem Cephae:, ego autem Christi. 13. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 13. Divisusne est Christus? numquid pro vobis crucifixus est Paulus? aut vos in nomen Pauli baptizati estis? 10. Now I beseech you, brethren. Hitherto he has handled the Corinthians mildly, because he knew that they were much too sensitive. Now, however, after preparing their minds for receiving correction, acting the part of a good and skillful surgeon, who soothes the wound when about to apply a painful remedy, he begins to handle them with more severity. Even here, however, as we shall still farther see, he uses great moderation. The sum is this: "It is my hope that the Lord has not in vain conferred upon you so many gifts, so as not to have it in view to bring you to salvation, but you ought at the same time to take heed lest graces so distinguished be polluted by your vices. See, then, that you be agreed among yourselves; and it is not without good reason that I call for agreement among yourselves, for I have been informed that you are in a state of disagreement, amounting even to hostility, and that there are parties and contentions raging among you, by which true unity of faith is torn asunder." As, however, they might not perhaps be sufficiently aroused by mere exhortation, he uses earnest entreaty, for he adjures them, by the name of Christ, that, as they loved him, they should aim at promoting harmony. That ye all speak the same thing. In exhorting them to harmony, he employs three different forms of expression: for, in the first place, he requires such agreement among them that all shall have one voice; secondly, he takes away the evil by which unity is broken and torn asunder; and, thirdly, he unfolds the nature of true harmony, which is, that they be agreed among themselves in mind and will. What he has placed second is first in order, - that we beware of strifes. For from this a second thing will naturally follow, - that we be in harmony; and then at length a third thing will follow, which is here mentioned first, - that we all speak, as it were, with one mouth; a thing exceedingly desirable as a fruit of Christian harmony. Let us then observe, that nothing is more inconsistent on the part of Christians than to be at variance among themselves, for it is the main article of our religion that we be in harmony among ourselves; and farther, on such agreement the safety of the Church rests and is dependent. But let us see what he requires as to Christian unity. If any one is desirous of nice distinctions - he would have them first of all joined together in one mind; secondly, in one judgment; and, thirdly, he would have them declare in words that agreement. As, however, my rendering differs somewhat from that of Erasmus, I would, in passing, call my readers to observe, that Paul here makes use of a participle, which denotes things that are fitly and suitably joined together. f56 For the verb katartizesqai itself (from which the participle kathrtisme>nov comes) properly signifies, to be fitted and adjusted, just as the members of the human body are connected together by a most admirable symmetry. f57 For sententia (judgment) Paul has gnw>mhn: but I understand it here as denoting the will, so that there is a complete division of the soul, and the first clause refers to faith, the second to love. Then only will there be Christian unity among us, when there is not merely a good agreement as to doctrine, but we are also in harmony in our affections and dispositions, and are thus in all respects of one mind. Thus Luke bears witness to believers in the primitive Church, (<440246>Acts 2:46,) that they had "one heart and one soul." And without doubt this will be found wherever the Spirit of Christ reigns. When, however, he exhorts them to speak the same thing, he intimates still more fully from the effect, how complete the agreement ought to be - so that no diversity may appear even in words. It is difficult, indeed, of attainment, but still it is necessary among Christians, from whom there is required not merely one faith, but also one confession. 11. It has been declared. As general observations have usually little effect, he intimates, that what he had said was more particularly applicable to them. The application, therefore, is designed with the view of leading the Corinthians to perceive, that it was not without good reason that Paul had made mention of harmony. For he shows that they had not merely turned aside from a holy unity, f58 but had even fallen into contentions, which are worse f59 than jarrings of sentiment. And that he may not be charged with believing too readily what was said, f60 as though he lightly lent his ear to false accusations, he speaks with commendation of his informants, who must have been in the highest esteem, as he did not hesitate to adduce them as competent witnesses against an entire Church. It is not indeed altogether certain, whether Chloe is the name of a place or of a woman, but to me it appears more probable that it is the name of a woman. f61 I am of opinion, therefore, that it was a well-regulated household that acquainted Paul with the distempered condition of the Corinthian Church, being desirous that it might be remedied by him. The idea entertained by many, in accordance with Chrysostom's view, that he refrained from mentioning names, lest he should bring odium upon them, appears to me to be absurd. For he does not say that some of the household had reported this to him, but, on the contrary, makes mention of them all, and there is no doubt that they would willingly have allowed their names to be made use of. Farther, that he might not exasperate their minds by undue severity, he has modified the reproof by an engaging form of address; not as though he would make light of the distemper, but with the view of bringing them to a more teachable spirit, for perceiving the severity of the malady. 12. I say then, etc. Some think there is here an instance of mimhsiv, imitation, as if Paul were here repeating their expressions. Now, although the manuscripts differ as to the particle o[ti, I am of opinion that it is the conjunction (because) rather than the relative (which), so that there is simply an explanation of the preceding statement in this sense. "My reason for saying that there are contentions among you is, because every one of you glories in the name of some individual." It will, however, be objected, that in these words there is no appearance as yet of contention. My answer is, that where there are jarrings in religion, it cannot but be that men's minds will soon afterwards burst forth in open strife. For as nothing is more effectual for uniting us, and there is nothing that tends more to draw our minds together, and keep them in a state of peace, than agreement in religion, so, on the other hand, if any disagreement has arisen as to matters of this nature, the effect necessarily is, that men's minds are straightway stirred up for combat, and in no other department are there more fierce contendings. f62 Hence it is with good reason that Paul brings it forward as a sufficient evidence of contention, that the Corinthians were infested with sects and parties. I am of Paul. He makes mention here of Christ's faithful servants - Apollos, who had been his successor at Corinth, and Peter himself too, and then adds himself to their number, that he may appear to plead not so much his own cause as that of Christ. In any other point of view it is not likely that there were any parties that espoused the separate interests of ministers joined together by a sacred agreement. f63 He has, however, as he afterwards mentions, transferred to himself and Apollos what was applicable to others; and this he has done, in order that they might more candidly consider the thing itself, viewing it apart from respect of persons. It will, however, be replied, that he makes mention here even of those who professed that they were of Christ. Was this, too, worthy of blame? I answer, that in this way he shows more fully what unseemly consequences result from those depraved affections, when we give ourselves up to men, as in that case Christ must be acknowledged merely in part, and the pious have no alternative left them, but to separate themselves from others, if they would not renounce Christ. As, however, this passage is wrested in various ways, we must endeavor to ascertain more minutely what Paul intends here. His object is, to maintain Christ's exclusive authority in the Church, so that we may all exercise dependence upon him, that he alone may be recognized among us as Lord and Master, and that the name of no individual be set in opposition to his. Those, therefore, that draw away disciples after them (<442030>Acts 20:30,) with the view of splitting the Church into parties, he condemns as most destructive enemies of our faith. Thus then he does not, suffer men to have such pre-eminence in the Church as to usurp Christ's supremacy. He does not allow them to be held in such honor as to derogate even in the slightest degree from Christ's dignity. There is, it is true, a certain degree of honor that is due to Christ's ministers, and they are also themselves masters in their own place, but this exception must always be kept in view, that Christ must have without any infringement what belongs to him - that. he shall nevertheless be the sole Master, and looked upon as such. Hence the aim of good ministers is this, that they may all in common serve Christ, and claim for him exclusively power, authority, and glory - fight under his banner - obey him alone, and bring others in subjection to his sway. If any one is influenced by ambition, that man gathers disciples, not to Christ, but to himself. This then is the fountain of all evils - this the most hurtful of all plagues - this the deadly poison of all Churches, when ministers seek their own interests rather than those of Christ. In short, the unity of the Church consists more especially in this one thing - that we all depend upon Christ alone, and that men thus occupy an inferior place, so as not to detract in any degree from his pre-eminence. 13. Is Christ divided? This intolerable evil was consequent upon the divisions that prevailed among the Corinthians: for Christ alone must reign in the Church. And as the object of the gospel is, that we be reconciled to God through him, it is necessary, in the first place, that we should all be bound together in him. As, however, only a very few of the Corinthians, who were in a sounder condition than the others, f64 retained Christ as their Master, (while all made it their boast that they were Christians,) Christ was by this means torn asunder. For we must be one body, if we would be kept together under him as our head. If, on the other hand, we are split asunder into different bodies, we start aside from him also. Hence to glory in his name amidst strifes and parties is to tear him in pieces: which indeed is impossible, for never will he depart from unity and concord, because "He cannot deny himself" (<550213>2 Timothy 2:13.) Paul, therefore, by setting before them this absurdity, designs to lead the Corinthians to perceive that they are estranged from Christ, inasmuch as they are divided, for then only does he reign in us, when we have him as the bond of an inviolably sacred unity. Was Paul crucified for you? By two powerful considerations, he shows how base a thing f65 it is to rob Christ of the honor of being the sole Head of the Church - the sole Teacher - the sole Master; or to draw away from him any part of that honor, with the view of transferring it to men. The first is, that we have been redeemed by Christ on this footing, that we are not our own masters. This very argument Paul makes use of in his Epistle to the Romans (<451409>Romans 14:9,) when he says, "For this end Christ died and rose again, that he might be Lord both of the living and the dead." To him, therefore, let us live and die, because we are always his. Also in this same Epistle (<460723>1 Corinthians 7:23,) "Ye are bought with a price: be not ye the servants of men." As the Corinthians, therefore, had been purchased with the blood of Christ, they in a manner renounced the benefit of redemption, when they attached themselves to other leaders. Here is a doctrine that is deserving of special notice - that we are not at liberty to put ourselves under bondage to men, f66 because we are the Lord's heritage. Here, therefore, he accuses the Corinthians of the basest ingratitude, in estranging themselves from that Leader, by whose blood they had been redeemed, however they might have done so unwittingly. Farther, this passage militates against the wicked contrivance of Papists, by which they attempt to bolster up their system of indulgences. For it is from the blood of Christ and the martyrs f67 that they make up that imaginary treasure of the Church, which they tell us is dealt out by means of indulgences. Thus they pretend that the martyrs by their death merited something for us in the sight of God, that we may seek help from this source for obtaining the pardon of our sins. They will deny, indeed, that they are on that account our redeemers; but nothing is more manifest than that the one thing follows from the other. The question is as to the reconciling of sinners to God; the question is as to the obtaining of forgiveness; the question is as to the appeasing of the Lord's anger; the question is as to redemption from our iniquities. This they boast is accomplished partly by the blood of Christ, and partly by that of the martyrs. They make, therefore, the martyrs partners with Christ in procuring our salvation. Here, however, Paul in strong terms denies that any one but Christ has been crucified for us. The martyrs, it is true, died for our benefit, but (as Leo f68 observes) it was to furnish an example of perseverance, not to procure for us the gift of righteousness. Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? Here we have a second argument, which is taken from the profession of baptism; for we enlist ourselves under the banners of him in whose name we are baptized. We are, accordingly, bound f69 to Christ, in whose name our baptism is celebrated. Hence it follows that the Corinthians are chargeable with perfidy and apostasy, if they place themselves under subjection to men. Observe here that the nature of baptism resembles a contract f70 of mutual obligation; for as the Lord by that symbol receives us into his household, and introduces us among his people, so we pledge our fidelity to him, that we will never afterwards have any other spiritual Lord. Hence as it is on God's part a covenant of grace that he contracts with us, in which he promises forgiveness of sins and a new life, so on our part it is an oath of spiritual warfare, in which we promise perpetual subjection to him. The former department Paul does not here touch upon, because the subject did not admit of it; but in treating of baptism it ought not to be omitted. Nor does Paul charge the Corinthians with apostasy simply on the ground of their forsaking Christ and betaking themselves to men; but he declares that if they do not adhere to Christ alone - that very thing would make them covenant-breakers. It is asked, what it is to be baptized in the name of Christ? I answer that by this expression it is not simply intimated that baptism is founded on the authority of Christ, but depends also on his influence, and does in a manner consist in it; and, in fine, that the whole effect of it depends on this - that the name of Christ is therein invoked. It is asked farther, why it is that Paul says that the Corinthians were baptized in the name of Christ, while Christ himself commanded (<402819>Matthew 28:19) the Apostles to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. I answer, that in baptism the first thing to be considered is, that God the Father, by planting us in his Church in unmerited goodness, receives us by adoption into the number of his sons. Secondly, as we cannot have any connection with him except by means of reconciliation, we have need of Christ to restore us to the Father's favor by his blood. Thirdly, as we are by baptism consecrated to God, we need also the interposition of the Holy Spirit, whose office it is to make us new creatures. Nay farther, our being washed in the blood of Christ is peculiarly his work; but as we do not obtain the mercy of the Father, or the grace of the Spirit, otherwise than through Christ alone, it is on good grounds that we speak of him as the peculiar object in view in baptism, and more particularly inscribe his name upon baptism. At the same time this does not by any means exclude the name of the Father and of the Spirit; for when we wish to sum up in short compass the efficacy of baptism, we make mention of Christ alone; but when we are disposed to speak with greater minuteness, the name of the Father and that of the Spirit require to be expressly introduced. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:14-20 14. I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 14. Gratias ago Deo meo, quod neminem baptizaverim vestrum, nisi Crispurn et Gaium: 15. Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. 15. Ne quis dieat, quod in meum nomen baptizaverim. 16. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 16. Baptizavi autem et Stephanae familiam; praeteterea nescio, num quem alium baptizaverim. 17. For Christ sent me not, to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 17. Non enim misit me Christus ut baptizarem, sed ut evangelizarem: non in sapientia sermonis, ne inanis reddatur crux Christi. 18. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 18. Nam sermo erucis iis, qui pereunt, stultitia est; at nobis qui salutem consequimur, potentia Dei est. 19. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 19. Scriptum est enim; (Ies. 29:14): perdam sapientiam sapientum, et intelligentiam intelligentum auferam e medio. 20. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 20. Ubi sapiens? ubi scriba? ubi disputator hujus saeculi? nonne infatuavit Deus sapientiam mundi hujus? 14. I thank my God. In these words he reproves very sharply the perversity of the Corinthians, which made it necessary for him to avoid, in a manner, a thing so sacred and honorable as that of the administration of baptism. Paul, indeed, would have acted with propriety, and in accordance with the nature of his office, though he had baptized ever so many. He rejoices, however, that it had happened otherwise, and acknowledges it as having been so ordered, in the providence of God, that they might not take occasion from that to glory in him, or that he might not bear any resemblance to those ambitious men who endeavored in this way to catch followers. But what if he had baptized many? There would have been no harm in it, but (as I have said) there is couched under this a heavy reproach against the Corinthians and their false apostles, inasmuch as a servant of the Lord found occasion to rejoice that he had refrained from a work, otherwise good and commendable, lest it should become an occasion of harm to them. 17. For Christ sent me not. He anticipates an objection that might, perhaps, be brought against him - that he had not discharged his duty, inasmuch as Christ commands his Apostles to baptize as well as teach. Accordingly he replies, that this was not the principal department of his office, for the duty of teaching had been principally enjoined upon him as that to which he should apply himself. For when Christ says to the Apostles, (<402819>Matthew 28:19, <411615>Mark 16:15,) Go, preach and baptize, he connects baptism with teaching simply as an addition or appendage, so that teaching always holds the first place. Two things, however, must be noticed here. The first is, that the Apostle does not here absolutely deny that he had a command to baptize, for this is applicable to all the Apostles: Go and baptize; and he would have acted rashly in baptizing even one, had he not been furnished with authority, but simply points out what was the chief thing in his calling. The second thing is, that he does not by any means detract here, as some think, from the dignity or utility of the sacrament. For the question here is, not as to the efficacy of baptism, and Paul does not institute this comparison with the view of detracting in any degree from that; but because it was given to few to teach, while many could baptize; and farther, as many could be taught at the same time, while baptism could only be administered to individuals successively, one by one, Paul, who excelled in the gift of teaching, applied himself to the work that was more especially needful for him, and left to others what they could more conveniently accomplish. Nay farther, if the reader considers minutely all the circumstances of the case, he will see that there is irony f71 tacitly conveyed here, dexterously contrived for making those feel acutely, who, under color of administering a ceremony, endeavor to catch a little glory at the expense of another's labor. Paul's labors in building up that Church had been incredible. There had come after him certain effeminate masters, who had drawn over followers to their party by the sprinkling of water; f72 Paul, then, giving up to them the title of honor, declares himself contented with having had the burden. f73 Not with wisdom of words. There is here an instance of anticipation, by which a twofold objection is refuted. For these pretended teachers might reply that it was ludicrous to hear Paul, who was not endowed with eloquence, making it his boast that the department of teaching had been assigned to him. Hence he says, by way of concession, that he had not been formed to be an orator, f74 to set himself off by elegance of speech: but a minister of the Spirit, that he might, by plain and homely speech, bring to nothing the wisdom of the world. Now, lest any one should object that he hunted after glory by his preaching, as much as others did by baptism, he briefly replies, that as the method of teaching that he pursued was the farthest removed from show, and breathed nothing of ambition, it could give no ground of suspicion on that head. Hence, too, if I mistake not, it may readily be inferred what was the chief ground of the controversy that Paul had with the wicked and unfaithful ministers of the Corinthians. It was that, being puffed up with ambition, that they might secure for themselves the admiration of the people, they recommended themselves to them by a show of words and mask of human wisdom. From this main evil two others necessarily followed - that by these disguises (so to speak) the simplicity of the gospel was disfigured, and Christ was, as it were, clothed in a new and foreign garb, so that the pure and unadulterated knowledge of him was not to be found. Farther, as men's minds were turned aside to neatness and elegance of expression, to ingenious speculations, and to an empty show of superior sublimity of doctrine, the efficacy of the Spirit vanished, and nothing remained but the dead letter. The majesty of God, as it shines forth in the gospel, was not to be seen, but mere disguise and useless show. Paul, accordingly, with the view of exposing these corruptions of the gospel, makes a transition here to the manner of his preaching. This he declares to be right and proper, while at the same time it was diametrically opposed to the ambitious ostentation of those men. f75 It is as though he had said - " I am well aware how much your fastidious teachers delight themselves in their high-sounding phrases. As for myself, I do not simply confess that my preaching has been conducted in a rude, coarse, and unpolished style, but I even glory in it. For it. was right that it should be so, and this was the method that was divinely prescribed to me." By the wisdom of words, he does not mean logodaidali>a, f76 which is mere empty talk, but true eloquence, which consists in skillful contrivance of subjects, ingenious arrangement, and elegance of expression. He declares that he had nothing of this: nay more, that it was neither suitable to his preaching nor advantageous. Lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. As he had so often previously presented the name of Christ in contrast with the arrogant wisdom of the flesh, so now, with the view of bringing down thereby all its pride and loftiness, he brings forward to view the cross of Christ. For all the wisdom of believers is comprehended in the cross of Christ, and what more contemptible than a cross? Whoever, therefore, would desire to be truly wise in God's account, must of necessity stoop to this abasement of the cross, and this will not be accomplished otherwise than by his first of all renouncing his own judgment and all the wisdom of the world. Paul, however, shows here not merely what sort of persons Christ's disciples ought to be, and what path of learning they ought to pursue, but also what is the method of teaching in Christ's school. "The cross of Christ (says he) would have been made of none effect, if my preaching had been adorned with eloquence and show." The cross of Christ he has put here for the benefit of redemption, which must be sought from Christ crucified. Now the doctrine of the gospel which calls us to this, should savor of the nature of the Cross, so as to be despised and contemptible, rather than glorious, in the eyes of the world. The meaning, therefore, is, that if Paul had made use of philosophical acuteness and studied address in the presence of the Corinthians, the efficacy of the cross of Christ, in which the salvation of men consists, would have been buried, because it cannot come to us in that way. Here two questions are proposed: first, whether Paul here condemns in every respect the wisdom of words, as opposed to Christ; and secondly, whether he means that eloquence and the doctrine of the gospel are invariably opposed, so they cannot agree together, and that the preaching of the gospel is vitiated, if the slightest tincture of eloquence f77 is made use of for adorning it. To the first of these I answer - that it were quite unreasonable to suppose, that Paul would utterly condemn those arts which, it is manifest, are excellent gifts of God, and which serve as instruments, as it were, to assist men in the accomplishment of important purposes. As for those arts, then, that have nothing of superstition, but contain solid learning, f78 and are founded on just principles, as they are useful and suited to the common transactions of human life, so there can be no doubt that they have come forth from the Holy Spirit; and the advantage which is derived and experienced from them, ought to be ascribed exclusively to God. What Paul says here, therefore, ought not to be taken as throwing any disparagement upon the arts, as if they were unfavorable to piety. The second question is somewhat more difficult, for he says, that the cross of Christ is made of none effect if there be any admixture of the wisdom of words. I answer, that we must consider who they are that Paul here addresses. The ears of the Corinthians were tickled with a silly fondness for high sounding style. f79 Hence they needed more than others to be brought back to the abasement of the cross, that they might learn to embrace Christ as he is, unadorned, and the gospel in its simplicity, without any false ornament. I acknowledge, at the same time, that this sentiment in some respects holds invariably, that the cross of Christ is made of none effect, not merely by the wisdom of the world, but also by elegance of address. For the preaching of Christ crucified is simple and unadorned, and hence it ought not to be obscured by false ornaments of speech. It is the prerogative of the gospel to bring down the wisdom of the world in such a way that, stripped of our own understanding, we show ourselves to be simply docile, and do not think or even desire to know anything, but what the Lord himself teaches. As to the wisdom of the flesh, we shall have occasion to consider more at large ere long, in what respects it is opposed to Christ. As to eloquence, I shall advert to it here in a few words, in so far as the passage calls for. We see that God from the beginning ordered matters so, that, the gospel should be administered in simplicity, without any aid from eloquence. Could not he who fashions the tongues of men for eloquence, be himself eloquent if he chose to be so? While he could be so, he did not choose to be so. Why it was that he did not choose this, I find two reasons more particularly. The first is, that in a plain and unpolished manner of address, the majesty of the truth might shine forth more conspicuously, and the simple efficacy of his Spirit, without external aids, might make its way into the hearts of men. The second is, that he might more effectually try our obedience and docility, and train us at the same time to true humility. For the Lord admits none into his school but little children. f80 Hence those alone are capable of heavenly wisdom who, contenting themselves with the preaching of the cross, however contemptible it may be in appearance, feel no desire whatever to have Christ under a mask. Hence the doctrine of the gospel required to be regulated with this view, that believers should be drawn off from all pride and haughtiness. But what if any one should at the present day, by discoursing with some degree of elegance, adorn the doctrine of the gospel by eloquence? Would he deserve to be on that account rejected, as though he either polluted it or obscured Christ's glory. I answer in the first place, that eloquence is not at all at variance with the simplicity of the gospel, when it does not merely not disdain to give way to it, and be in subjection to it, but also yields service to it, as a handmaid to her mistress. For as Augustine says, "He who gave Peter a fisherman, gave also Cyprian an orator." By this he means, that both are from God, notwithstanding that the one, who is much the superior of the other as to dignity, is utterly devoid of gracefulness of speech; while the other, who sits at his feet, is distinguished by the fame of his eloquence. That eloquence, therefore, is neither to be condemned nor despised, which has no tendency to lead Christians to be taken up with an outward glitter of words, or intoxicate them with empty delight, or tickle their ears with its tinkling sound, or cover over the cross of Christ with its empty show as with a veil; f81 but, on the contrary, tends to call us back to the native simplicity of the gospel, tends to exalt the simple preaching of the cross by voluntarily abasing itself, and, in fine, acts the part of a herald f82 to procure a hearing for those fishermen and illiterate persons, who have nothing to recommend them but the energy of the Spirit. I answer secondly, that the Spirit of God, also, has an eloquence of his own, but of such a nature as to shine forth with a native luster peculiar to itself, or rather (as they say) intrinsic, more than with any adventitious ornaments. Such is the eloquence that the Prophets have, more particularly Isaiah, David, and Solomon. Moses, too, has a sprinkling of it. Nay farther, even in the writings of the Apostles, though they are more unpolished, there are notwithstanding some sparks of it occasionally emitted. Hence the eloquence that is suited to the Spirit of God is of such a nature that it does not swell with empty show, or spend itself in empty sound, but is solid and efficacious, and has more of substance than elegance. 18. For the preaching of the cross, etc. In this first clause a concession is made. For as it might very readily be objected, that the gospel is commonly held in contempt, if it be presented in so bare and abject a form, Paul of his own accord concedes this, but when he adds, that it is so in the estimation of them that perish, he intimates that no regard must be paid to their judgment. For who would choose to despise the gospel at the expense of perishing? This statement, therefore, must be understood in this way: "However the preaching of the cross, as having nothing of human wisdom to recommend it to esteem, is reckoned foolishness by them that perish; in our view, notwithstanding, the wisdom of God clearly shines forth in it." He indirectly reproves, however, the perverted judgment of the Corinthians, who, while they were, through seduction of words, too easily allured by ambitious teachers, regarded with disdain an Apostle who was endowed with the power of God for their salvation, and that simply because he devoted himself to the preaching of Christ. In what way the preaching of the cross is the power of God unto salvation, we have explained in commenting upon <450116>Romans 1:16. 19. For it is written, etc. He shows still farther, from the testimony of Isaiah, how unreasonable a thing it is that the truth of the gospel should be regarded with prejudice on the ground that the wise of this world hold it in contempt, not to say derision. For it is evident from the words of the Prophet, that their opinion is regarded as nothing in the account of God. The passage is taken from <232914>Isaiah 29:14, where the Lord threatens that he will avenge himself upon the hypocrisy of the people by this kind of punishment, that wisdom will perish from the wise, etc. Now the application of this to the subject in hand is this: "It is nothing new or unusual for men to form utterly absurd judgments, who appear in other respects to be distinguished for wisdom. For in this manner the Lord has been wont to punish the arrogance of those who, depending on their own judgment, think to be leaders to themselves and others. In this manner did He, among the Israelitish people of old, destroy the wisdom of those who were the leaders of the people. If this happened among a people, whose wisdom the other nations had occasion to admire, what will become of others?" It is proper, however, to compare the words of the Prophet with those of Paul, and to examine the whole matter still more closely. The Prophet, indeed, makes use of neuter verbs when he says, Wisdom will perish and prudence will vanish, while Paul turns them into the active form, by making them have a reference to God. They are, however, perfectly the same in meaning. For this is a great prodigy which God declares he will exhibit, so that all will be filled with astonishment. Wisdom, therefore, perishes, but it is by the Lord's destroying it: wisdom vanishes, but it is by the Lord's covering it over and effacing it. As to the second term aqetei~n, (which Erasmus renders reject,) as it is ambiguous, and is sometimes taken to mean efface, or expunge, or obliterate, I prefer to understand it in this sense here, so as to correspond with the Prophet's word vanish, or be hid. At the same time, there is another reason that has weighed more with me, f83 - that the word reject was not in accordance with the subject, as will appear ere long. Let us see, then, as to the meaning. The Prophet's meaning, without doubt, is precisely this, that they would no longer have governors that would rule well, because the Lord will deprive them of sound judgment and intelligence. For as he elsewhere threatens to send blindness upon the whole nation (<230610>Isaiah 6:10,) so here, upon the leaders; which is just as though he were plucking the eyes out of the body. However this may be, a great difficulty arises from the circumstance, that the term wisdom or prudence was taken by Isaiah in a good sense, while Paul quotes it for an opposite purpose, as though the wisdom of men were condemned by God, as being perverted, and their prudence set aside as being mere vanity. I confess that it is commonly expounded in this way; but as it is certain that the oracles of the Holy Spirit are not perverted by the Apostles to meanings foreign to their real design, I choose rather to depart from the common opinion of interpreters than to charge Paul with falsehood. In other respects, too, the natural meaning of the Prophet's words accords not ill with Paul's intention; for if even the wisest become fools, when the Lord takes away a right spirit, what confidence is to be placed in the wisdom of men? Farther, as it is God's usual way of punishing, to strike blind those who, following implicitly their own judgment, are wise in their own esteem, it is not to be wondered if carnal men, when they rise up against God, with the view of subjecting His eternal truth to their rashness, are turned into fools, and become vain in their imaginations. We now see with what appropriateness Paul makes use of this testimony. Isaiah declares that the vengeance of God upon all those that served God with their own inventions would be, that wisdom would vanish from their wise men. Paul, with the view of proving that the wisdom of this world is vain and worthless, when it exalts itself against God, adduces this testimony from Isaiah. 20. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? This expression of triumph is added for the purpose of illustrating the Prophet's testimony. Paul has not taken this sentiment from Isaiah, as is commonly thought, but speaks in his own person. For the passage which they point to (<233318>Isaiah 33:18) has nothing corresponding to the subject in hand, or nearly approaching to it. For in that passage, while he promises to the Jews deliverance from the yoke of Sennacherib, that he may magnify the more this great blessing from God, he shows how miserable is the condition of those that are oppressed by the tyranny of foreigners. He says, that they are in a constant fever of anxiety, from thinking themselves beset with scribes or questors, treasurers, and counters of towers. Nay more, he says, that the Jews were involved in such difficulties, that they were stirred up to gratitude by the very remembrance of them. f84 It is a mistake, therefore, to suppose that this sentence is taken from the Prophet. f85 The term world, ought not to be taken in connection with the last term merely, but also with the other two. Now, by the wise of this world, he means those who do not derive their wisdom from illumination by the Spirit through means of the word of God, but, endowed with mere worldly sagacity, rest on the assurance which it affords. It is generally agreed, that by the term scribes is meant teachers. For as rps, saphar, among the Hebrews, means to relate or recount, and the noun derived from it, rps, sepher,, is used by them to signify a book or volume, they employ the term myrpws, sopherim, to denote learned men, and those that are conversant with books; and, for the same reason, too, sopher regis is often used to denote a chancellor or secretary. The Greeks, following the etymology of the Hebrew term, have translated it grammateiv, scribes. f86 He appropriately gives the name of investigators f87 to those that show off their acuteness by starting difficult points and involved questions. Thus in a general way he brings to nothing man's entire intellect, so as to give it no standing in the kingdom of God. Nor is it without good reason that he inveighs so vehemently against the wisdom of men, for it is impossible to express how difficult a thing it is to eradicate from men's minds a misdirected confidence in the flesh, that they may not claim for themselves more than is reasonable. Now there is more than ought to be, if, depending even in the slightest degree upon their own wisdom, they venture of themselves to form a judgment. Hath not God made foolish, etc. By wisdom here he means everything that man can comprehend either by the natural powers of his understanding, or as deriving aid from practice, from learning, or from a knowledge of the arts. For he contrasts the wisdom of the world with the wisdom of the Spirit. Hence, whatever knowledge a man rosy come to have without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, is included in the expression, the wisdom of this world. This he says God has utterly made foolish, that is, He has convicted it of folly. This you may understand to be effected in two ways; for whatever a man knows and understands, is mere vanity, if it is not grounded in true wisdom; and it is in no degree better fitted for the apprehension of spiritual doctrine than the eye of a blind man is for discriminating colors. We must carefully notice these two things - that a knowledge of all the sciences is mere smoke, where the heavenly science of Christ is wanting; and man, with all his acuteness, is as stupid for obtaining of himself a knowledge of the mysteries of God, as an ass is unqualified for understanding musical harmonies. For in this way he reproves the destructive pride of those who glory in the wisdom of the world so as to despise Christ, and the entire doctrine of salvation, thinking themselves happy when they are taken up with creatures; and he beats down the arrogance of those who, trusting to their own understanding, attempt to scale heaven itself. There is also a solution furnished at the same time to the question, how it happens that Paul in this way throws down upon the ground every kind of knowledge that is apart from Christ, and tramples, as it were, under foot what is manifestly one of the chief gifts of God in this world. For what is more noble than man's reason, in which man excels the other animals? How richly deserving of honor are the liberal sciences, which polish man, so as to give him the dignity of true humanity! Besides this, what distinguished and choice fruits they produce! Who would not extol with the highest commendations civil prudence f88 (not to speak of other things,) by which governments, principalities, and kingdoms are maintained? A solution of this question, I say, is opened up to view from the circumstance, that Paul does not expressly condemn either man's natural perspicacity, or wisdom acquired from practice and experience, or cultivation of mind attained by learning; but declares that all this is of no avail for acquiring spiritual wisdom. And, certainly, it is madness for any one, confiding either in his own acuteness, or the assistance of learning, to attempt to fly up to heaven, or, in other words, to judge of the secret mysteries of the kingdom of God, f89 or to break through (<021921>Exodus 19:21) to a discovery of them, for they are hid from human view. Let us, then, take notice, that we must restrict to the specialities of the case in hand what Paul here teaches respecting the vanity of the wisdom of this world - that it rests in the mere elements of the world, and does not reach to heaven. In other respects, too, it holds true, that without Christ sciences in every department are vain, and that the man who knows not God is vain, though he should be conversant with every branch of learning. Nay more, we may affirm this, too, with truth, that these choice gifts of God - expertness of mind, acuteness of judgment, liberal sciences, and acquaintance with languages, are in a manner profaned in every instance in which they fall to the lot of wicked men. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:21-25 21. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 21. Quoniam enim in sapientia Dei non cognovit mundus per sapientiam Deum, placuit Deo per stultitiam praedicationis salvos facere credentes. 22. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 22. Siquidem et Judaei signum petunt et Graeci sapientiam quaerunt. 23. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 23. Nos autem praedicamus Christum crucifixum, Judaeis quidem scandalum, Graecis autem stultitiam: 24. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 24. Ipsis autem vocatis, tam Judaeis, quam Graecis, Christum Dei potentiam, et Dei sapientiara. 25. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 25. Nam stultitia Dei sapientior est hominibus, et infirmitas Dei robustior est hominibus. 21. For since the world knew not. The right order of things was assuredly this, that man, contemplating the wisdom of God in his works, by the light of the understanding furnished him by nature, might arrive at an acquaintance with him. As, however, this order of things has been reversed through man's depravity, God designs in the first place to make us see ourselves to be fools, before he makes us wise unto salvation, (<550315>2 Timothy 3:15;) and secondly, as a token of his wisdom, he presents to us what has some appearance of folly. This inversion of the order of things the ingratitude of mankind deserved. By the wisdom of God he means the workmanship of the whole world, which is an illustrious token and clear manifestation of his wisdom: God therefore presents before us in his creatures a bright mirror of his admirable wisdom, so that every one that looks upon the world, and the other works of God, must of necessity break forth in admiration of him, if he has a single spark of sound judgment. If men were guided to a right knowledge of God by the contemplation of his works, they would know God in the exercise of wisdom, or by a natural and proper method of acquiring wisdom; but as the whole world gained nothing in point of instruction from the circumstance, that God had exhibited his wisdom in his creatures, he then resorted to another method for instructing men. f90 Thus it must be reckoned as our own fault, that we do not attain a saving acquaintance with God, before we have been emptied of our own understanding. He makes a concession when he calls the gospel the foolishness of preaching, having that appearance in the view of those foolish sages (mwroso>foiv) who, intoxicated with false confidence, f91 fear not to subject God's sacred truth to their senseless criticism. And indeed in another point of view nothing is more absurd in the view, of human reason than to hear that God has become mortal - that life has been subjected to death - that righteousness has been veiled under the appearance of sin - and that the source of blessing has been made subject to the curse, that by this means men might be redeemed from death, and become partakers of a blessed immortality - that they might obtain life - that, sin being destroyed, righteousness might reign - and that death and the curse might be swallowed up. We know, nevertheless, in the meantime, that the gospel is the hidden wisdom, (<460207>1 Corinthians 2:7,) which in its height surmounts the heavens, and at which angels themselves stand amazed. Here we have a most beautiful passage, from which we may see how great is the blindness of the human mind, which in the midst of light discerns nothing. For it is true, that this world is like a theater, in which the Lord presents to us a clear manifestation of his glory, and yet, notwithstanding that we have such a spectacle placed before our eyes, we are stone-blind, not because the manifestation is furnished obscurely, but because we are alienated in mind, (<510121>Colossians 1:21,)and for this matter we lack not merely inclination but ability. For notwithstanding that God shows himself openly, it is only with the eye of faith that. we can behold him, save only that we receive a slight perception of his divinity, sufficient to render us inexcusable. Accordingly, when Paul here declares that God is not known through means of his creatures, you must understand him to mean that a pure knowledge of him is not attained. For that none may have any pretext for ignorance, mankind make proficiency in the universal school of nature; so far as to be affected with some perception of deity, but what God is, they know not, nay more, they straightway become vain in their imaginations, (<450121>Romans 1:21.) Thus the light shineth in darkness, (<430105>John 1:5.) It follows, then, that mankind do not err thus far through mere ignorance, so as not to be chargeable with contempt, negligence, and ingratitude. Thus it holds good, that all have known God, and yet have not glorified him, (<450121>Romans 1:21,) and that, on the other hand, no one under the guidance of mere nature ever made such proficiency as to know God. Should any one bring forward the philosophers as exceptions, I answer, that in them more especially there is presented a signal token of this our weakness. For there will not be found one of them, that has not from that first principle of knowledge, which I have mentioned, straightway turned aside into wandering f92 and erroneous speculations, and for the most part they betray a silliness worse than that of old wives. When he says, that those are saved that believe, this corresponds with the foregoing statement - that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Farther, by contrasting believers, whose number is small, with a blind and senseless world, he teaches us that we err if we stumble at the smallness of their number, inasmuch as they have been divinely set apart to salvation. 22. For the Jews require a sign. This is explanatory of the preceding statement - showing in what respects the preaching of the gospel is accounted foolishness. At the same time he does not simply explain, but even goes a step farther, by saying that the Jews do not merely despise the gospel, but even abhor it. "The Jews," says he, "desire through means of miracles to have before their eyes an evidence of divine power: the Greeks are fond of what tends to gratify human intellect by the applause of acuteness. We, on the other hand, preach Christ crucified, wherein there appears at first view nothing but weakness and folly. He is, therefore, a stumblingblock to the Jews, when they see him as it were forsaken by God. To the Greeks it appears like a fable, to be told of such a method of redemption." By the term Greeks here, in my opinion, he does not mean simply Gentiles, but has in view those who had the polish of the liberal sciences, or were distinguished by superior intelligence. At the same time by synecdoche, all the others come in like manner to be included. Between Jews and Greeks, however, he draws this distinction, that the former, striking against Christ by an unreasonable zeal for the law, raged against the gospel with unbounded fury, as hypocrites are wont to do, when contending for their superstitions; while the Greeks, on the other hand, puffed up with pride, regarded him with contempt as insipid. When he ascribes it to the Jews as a fault, that they are eagerly desirous of signs, it is not on the ground of its being wrong in itself to demand signs, but he exposes their baseness in the following respects: - that by an incessant demand for miracles, they in a manner sought to bind God to their laws - that, in accordance with the dullness of their apprehension, they sought as it were to feel him out f93 in manifest miracles - that they were taken up with the miracles themselves, and looked upon them with amazement - and, in fine, that no miracles satisfied them, but instead of this, they every day gaped incessantly for new ones. Hezekiah is not reproved for having of his own accord allowed himself to be confirmed by a sign, (<121929>2 Kings 19:29, and <122008>2 Kings 20:8,) nor even Gideon for asking a two-fold sign, (<070637>Judges 6:37, 39.) Nay, instead of this, Ahaz is condemned for refusing a sign that the Prophet had offered him, (<230712>Isaiah 7:12.) What fault, then, was there on the part of the Jews in asking miracles? It lay in this, that they did not ask them for a good end, set no bounds to their desire, and did not make a right use of them. For while faith ought to be helped by miracles, their only concern was, how long they might persevere in their unbelief. While it is unlawful to prescribe laws to God, they wantoned with inordinate desire. While miracles should conduct us to an acquaintance with Christ, and the spiritual grace of God, they served as a hindrance in their way. On this account, too, Christ upbraids there, (<410812>Mark 8:12.) A perverse generation seeketh after a sign. For there were no bounds to their curiosity and inordinate desire, and for all that they had so often obtained miracles, no advantage appeared to arise from them. 24. Both Greeks and Jews. He shows by this contrast, that the fact that Christ was so unfavorably received, was not owing to any fault on his part, nor to the natural disposition of mankind generally, but arose from the depravity of those who were not enlightened by God, inasmuch as the elect of God, whether Jews or Gentiles, are not hindered by any stumblingblock from coming to Christ, that they may find in him a sure salvation. He contrasts power with the stumblingblock, that was occasioned by abasement, and wisdom he contrasts with folly. The sum, then, is this: - " I am aware that nothing except signs has effect upon the obstinacy of the Jews, and that nothing soothes down the haughtiness of the Greeks, except an empty show of wisdom. We ought, however, to make no account of this; because, however our Christ in connection with the abasement of his cross is a stumblingblock to the Jews, and is derided by the Greeks, he is, notwithstanding, to all the elect, of whatever nation they may be, at once the power of God unto salvation for surmounting these stumblingblocks, and the wisdom of God for throwing off that mask." f94 25. For the foolishness of God. While the Lord deals with us in such a way as to seem to act foolishly, because he does not exhibit his wisdom, what appears foolishness surpasses in wisdom all the ingenuity of men. Farther, while God appears to act with weakness, in consequence of his concealing his power, that weakness, as it is reckoned, is stronger than any power of men. We must, however, always keep it in view, that there is a concession, as I have noticed a little ago. For no one can but perceive, that in strict propriety neither foolishness nor weakness can be ascribed to God, but it was necessary, by such ironical expressions, to beat down the mad presumption of the flesh, which does not scruple to rob God of all his glory. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:26-31 26. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, 26. Videte (vel, videtis) vocationem vestram, fratres, quod non multi f95 sapientes secundum carnem, non multi potentes, non multi nobiles: 27. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise: and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 27. Sed stulta mundi elegit Deus, ut sapientes pudefaciat: et infirma mundi elegit Deus, ut patifaciat fortia: 28. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: 28. Et ignobilia mundi et contempta elegit Deus, et ea quae non erant, ut quae erant aboleret; 29. That no flesh should glory in his presence. 29. Ne glorietur ulla caro coram Deo. 30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 30. Ex ipso vos estis f96 in Christo Jesu, qui factus est nobis sapientia a Deo, et justitia, et sanctificatio, et redemptio. f97 31. That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 31. Ut (quemadmodum scriptum est) Qui gloriatur, in Domino glorietur (<240924>Jeremiah 9:24.) 26. Behold your calling. As the mood of the Greek verb (ble>pete) is doubtful, and the indicative suits the context equally as well as the imperative, I leave it to the reader's choice which of them he may prefer. The meaning is manifestly the same in either case, for supposing it to be the indicative (ye see,) he would in that case summon them as witnesses - as of a thing that is manifest, and call them forward as it were to a thing that is present. On the other hand, understanding it in the imperative, he stirs them up, as it were, from their drowsiness to a consideration of the matter itself. The term calling may be taken in a collective sense to mean the multitude of those that are called - in this sense: "Ye see what description of persons they are among you that the Lord has called." I am, however, rather inclined to think, that he points out the manner of their calling, and it is a most forcible argument, because it follows from this, that, if they despise the abasement of the cross, they in a manner make void their calling, in which God had acted in such a manner, as to take away all merit from human wisdom, and power, and glory. Hence he tacitly accuses them of ingratitude, because, forgetful alike of God's grace and of themselves, they regard the gospel of Christ with disdain. Two things, however, must be observed here - that he was desirous from the example of the Corinthians to confirm the truth of what he had said: and farther, that he designed to admonish them, that they must be entirely divested of pride, if they duly considered the order of things that the Lord had observed in their calling. To put to shame, says he, the wise and noble, and to bring to naught things that are. Both expressions are appropriate, for fortitude and wisdom vanish when they are put to shame, but what has an existence requires to be brought to naught. By the choosing of the poor, and the foolish, and the ignoble, he means, that God has preferred them before the great, and the wise, and the noble. For it would not have sufficed, for beating down the arrogance of the flesh, if God had placed them all upon a level. Hence, those who appeared to excel he put in the background, in order that he might thoroughly abase them. That man, however, were an arrant fool, who would infer from this, that God has in this manner abased the glory of the flesh, in order that the great and noble might be shut out from the hope of salvation. There are some foolish persons that make this a pretext for not merely triumphing over the great, as if God had cast them off, but even despising them as far beneath them. Let us, however, bear in mind, that this is said to the Corinthians, who, though they had no great distinction in the world, were nevertheless, even without any occasion, puffed up. God, therefore, by confounding the mighty, and the wise, and the great, does not design to elate with pride the weak, the illiterate, and the abject, but brings down all of them together to one level. Let those, therefore, that are contemptible in the eyes of the world, think thus with themselves: "What modesty is called for on our part, when even those that have high honor in the view of the world have nothing left them?" f98 If the effulgence of the sun is obscured, what must become of the stars? If the light of the stars is extinguished, what must become of opaque objects?" The design of these observations is, that those who have been called by the Lord, while of no estimation in the view of the world, may not abuse these words of Paul by pluming their crests, but, on the contrary, keeping in mind the exhortation - Thou standest by faith, be not high-minded, but fear, (<451120>Romans 11:20,) may walk thoughtfully in the sight of God with fear and humility. Paul, however, does not say here, that there are none of the noble and mighty that have been called by God, but that there are few. He states the design of this - that the Lord might bring down the glory of the flesh, by preferring the contemptible before the great. God himself, however, by the mouth of David, exhorts kings to embrace Christ, f99 (<190212>Psalm 2:12,) and by the mouth of Paul, too, he declares, that he will have all men to be saved, and that his Christ is offered alike to small and great, alike to kings and their subjects, (<540201>1 Timothy 2:1-4.) He has himself furnished a token of this. Shepherds, in the first place, are called to Christ: then afterwards come philosophers: illiterate and despised fishermen hold the highest rank of honor; yet into their school there are received in process of time kings and their counselors, senators and orators. 28. Things that are not. He makes use of similar terms in <450417>Romans 4:17, but in a different sense. For in that passage, when describing the universal call of the pious, he says, that we are nothing previously to our being called, which must be understood as referring to reality in the sight of God, however we may appear to be something in the eyes of men. Here, the nothingness (oujdeneia) of which he speaks must be viewed as referring to the opinion of men, as is manifest from the corresponding clause, in which he says that this is done in order that the things that are may be brought to naught. For there is nothing except in appearance, because in reality we are all nothing. Things that are, therefore, you must explain to mean things that appear, so that this passage corresponds with such statements as these: - He raiseth up the poor out of the dunghill, (<19B307>Psalm 113:7.) He raiseth up them that are cast down, (<19E608>Psalm 146:8,) and the like. Hence we may clearly see how great is the folly of those who imagine that there is in mankind some degree of merit or worthiness, which would hold a place antecedent to God's choice. 29. That no flesh should glory. Though the term flesh here, and in many passages of Scripture, denotes all mankind, yet in this passage it carries with it a particular idea; for the Spirit, by speaking of mankind in terms of contempt, beats down their pride, as in <233103>Isaiah 31:3 - The Egyptian is flesh and not spirit. It is a sentiment that is worthy to be kept in remembrance - that there is nothing left us in which we may justly glory. With this view he adds the expression in God's presence. For in the presence of the world many delight themselves for the moment in a false glorying, which, however, quickly vanishes like smoke. At the same time, by this expression all mankind are put to silence when they come into the presence of God; as Habakkuk says - Let all flesh keep silence before God, (<350220>Habakkuk 2:20.) Let every thing, therefore, that is at all deserving of praise, be recognized as proceeding from God. 30. Of him are ye. Lest they should think that any of those things that he had said were inapplicable to them, he now shows the application of those things to them, inasmuch as they are not otherwise than of God. For the words ye are are emphatic, as though he had said - "You have your beginning from God, who calleth those things which are not," (<450417>Romans 4:17,) passing by those things that appear to be; and your subsistence is founded upon Christ, and thus you have no occasion to be proud. Nor is it of creation merely that he speaks, but of that spiritual existence, into which we are born again by the grace of God. Who of God is made unto us. As there are many to be found who, while not avowedly inclined to draw back from God, do nevertheless seek something apart from Christ, as if he alone did not contain all things f100 in himself, he reckons up in passing what and how great are the treasures with which Christ is furnished, and in such a way as to intimate at the same time what is the manner of subsistence in Christ. For when he calls Christ our righteousness, a corresponding idea must be understood - that in us there is nothing but sin; and so as to the other terms. Now he ascribes here to Christ four commendatory titles, that include his entire excellence, and every benefit that we receive from him. In the first place, he says that he is made unto us wisdom, by which he means, that we obtain in him an absolute perfection of wisdom, inasmuch as the Father has fully revealed himself to us in him, that we may not desire to know any thing besides him. There is a similar passage in <510203>Colossians 2:3 - In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Of this we shall have occasion to speak afterwards when we come to the next chapter. Secondly, he says that he is made unto us righteousness, by which he means that we are on his account acceptable to God, inasmuch as he expiated our sins by his death, and his obedience is imputed to us for righteousness. For as the righteousness of faith consists in remission of sins and a gracious acceptance, we obtain both through Christ. Thirdly, he calls him our sanctification, by which he means, that we who are otherwise unholy by nature, are by his Spirit renewed unto holiness, that we may serve God. From this, also, we infer, that we cannot be justified freely through faith alone without at the same time living holily. For these fruits of grace are connected together, as it were, by an indissoluble tie,f101 so that he who attempts to sever them does in a manner tear Christ in pieces. Let therefore the man who seeks to be justified through Christ, by God's unmerited goodness, consider that this cannot be attained without his taking him at the same time for sanctification, or, in other words, being renewed to innocence and purity of life. Those, however, that slander us, as if by preaching a free justification through faith we called men off from good works, are amply refuted from this passage, which intimates that faith apprehends in Christ regeneration equally with forgiveness of sins. Observe, on the other hand, that these two offices of Christ are conjoined in such a manner as to be, notwithstanding, distinguished from each other. What, therefore, Paul here expressly distinguishes, it is not allowable mistakenly to confound. Fourthly, he teaches us that he is given to us for redemption, by which he means, that through his goodness we are delivered at once from all bondage to sin, and from all the misery that flows from it. Thus redemption is the first gift of Christ that is begun in us, and the last that is completed. For the commencement of salvation consists in our being drawn out of the labyrinth of sin and death; yet in the meantime, until the final day of the resurrection, we groan with desire for redemption, (as we read in <450823>Romans 8:23.) If it is asked in what way Christ is given to us for redemption, I answer - "Because he made himself a ransom." In fine, of all the blessings that are here enumerated we must seek in Christ not the half, or merely a part, but the entire completion. For Paul does not say that he has been given to us by way of filling up, or eking out righteousness, holiness, wisdom, and redemption, but assigns to him exclusively the entire accomplishment of the whole. Now as you will scarcely meet with another passage of Scripture that more distinctly marks out all the offices of Christ, you may also understand from it very clearly the nature and efficacy of faith. For as Christ is the proper object of faith, every one that knows what are the benefits that Christ confers upon us is at the same time taught to understand what faith is. 31. He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord. Mark the end that God has in view in bestowing all things upon us in Christ - that we may not claim any merit to ourselves, but may give him all the praise. For God does not despoil with the view of leaving us bare, but forthwith clothes us with his glory - yet on this condition, that whenever we would glory we must go out of ourselves. In short, man, brought to nothing in his own estimation, and acknowledging that there is nothing good anywhere but in God alone, must renounce all desire for his own glory, and with all his might aspire and aim at the glory of God exclusively. This is also more clearly apparent from the context in the writings of the Prophet, from whom Paul has borrowed this testimony; for in that passage the Lord, after stripping all mankind of glory in respect of strength, wisdom, and riches, commands us to glory only in knowing him, (<240923>Jeremiah 9:23, 24.) Now he would have us know him in such a way as to know that it is he that exercises judgment, righteousness, and mercy. For this knowledge produces in us at once confidence in him and fear of him. If therefore a man has his mind regulated in such a manner that, claiming no merit to himself, he desires that God alone be exalted; if he rests with satisfaction on his grace, and places his entire happiness in his fatherly love, and, in fine, is satisfied with God alone, that man truly "glories in the Lord." I say truly, for even hypocrites on false grounds glory in him, as Paul declares, (<450217>Romans 2:17,) when being either puffed up with his gifts, or elated with a base confidence in the flesh, or abusing his word, they nevertheless take his name upon them. CHAPTER 2 1 CORINTHIANS 2:1-2 1. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 1. Et ego, quum venissem ad vos, fratres, veni non in excellentia sermonis vel sapientiae, annuntians vobis testimonium Dei. 2. For I determined not to know any thing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified. 2. Non enim eximium duxi, (vel, duxi pro scientia,) scire quicquam inter vos, f102 nisi Iesum Christum, et hunc crucifixum. 1. And I, when I came. Paul having begun to speak of his own method of teaching, had straightway fallen into a discussion as to the nature of gospel preaching generally. Now again he returns to speak of himself, to show that nothing in him was despised but what belonged to the nature of the gospel itself, and did in a manner adhere to it. He allows therefore that he had not had any of the aids of human eloquence or wisdom to qualify him for producing any effect, but while he acknowledges himself to be destitute of such resources, he hints at the inference to be drawn from this - that the power of God shone the more illustriously in his ministry, from its standing in no need of such helps. This latter idea, however, he will be found bringing forward shortly afterwards. For the present he simply grants that he has nothing of human wisdom, and in the meantime reserves to himself this much - that he published the testimony of God. Some interpreters, indeed, explain the testimony of God in a passive sense; but as for myself, I have no doubt that another interpretation is more in accordance with the Apostle's design, so that the testimony of God is that which has come forth from God - the doctrine of the gospel, of which he is the author and witness. He now distinguishes between speech and wisdom (lo>gon ajpo< th~v sofi>av.) Hence what I noticed before f103 is here confirmed - that hitherto he has not been speaking of mere empty prattling, but has included the entire training of human learning. 2. For I did not reckon it desirable. As kri>nein, in Greek, has often the same meaning as eklegein, that is to choose out anything as precious, f104 there is, I think, no person of sound judgment but will allow that the rendering that I have given is a probable one, provided only the construction admits of it. At the same time, if we render it thus - "No kind of knowledge did I hold in esteem," there will be nothing harsh in this rendering. If you understand something to be supplied, the sentence will run smoothly enough in this way - "Nothing did I value myself upon, as worth my knowing, or on the ground of knowledge." At the same time I do not altogether reject a different interpretation - viewing Paul as declaring that he esteemed nothing as knowledge, or as entitled to be called knowledge, except Christ alone. Thus the Greek preposition and, would, as often happens, require to be supplied. But whether the former interpretation is not disapproved of, or whether this latter pleases better, the substance of the passage amounts to this: "As to my wanting the ornaments of speech, and wanting, too, the more elegant refinements of discourse, the reason of this was, that I did not aspire at them, nay rather, I despised them, because there was one thing only that my heart was set upon - that I might preach Christ with simplicity." In adding the word crucified, he does not mean that he preached nothing respecting Christ except the cross; but that, with all the abasement of the cross, he nevertheless preached Christ. It is as though he had said: "The ignominy of the cross will not prevent me from looking up to him f105 from whom salvation comes, or make me ashamed to regard all my wisdom as comprehended in him - in him, I say, whom proud men despise and reject on account of the reproach of the cross." Hence the statement must be explained in this way: "No kind of knowledge was in my view of so much importance as to lead me to desire anything but Christ, crucified though he was." This little clause is added by way of enlargement (au]xhsin,) with the view of galling so much the more those arrogant masters, by whom Christ was next to despised, as they were eager to gain applause by being renowned for a higher kind of wisdom. Here we have a beautiful passage, from which we learn what it is that faithful ministers ought to teach, what it is that we must, during our whole life, be learning, and in comparison with which everything else must be "counted as dung." (<500308>Philippians 3:8.) 1 CORINTHIANS 2:3-5 3. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 3. Et ego in infirmirate, f106 et in timore, et in tremore multo fui apud vos: 4. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 4. Et sermo meus, et praedicatio mea, non in persuasoriis humanae sapientiae sermonibus, sed in demonstratione Spiritus et potentiae: 5. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 5. Ut fides vestra non sit in sapientia hominum, sed in potentia Dei. 3. And I was with you in weakness. He explains at greater length what he had previously touched upon - that he had nothing shining or excellent in him in the eyes of men, to raise him to distinction. He concedes, however, to his adversaries what they desired in such a way as to make those very things which, in their opinion, tended to detract from the credit of his ministry, redound to its highest commendation. If he appeared less worthy of esteem from his being so mean and abject according to the flesh, he shows that the power of God shone out the more conspicuously in this, that he could effect so much, while sustained by no human helps. He has in his eye not merely those foolish boasters f107 who aimed at mere show, with the view of obtaining for themselves a name, but the Corinthians, too, who gazed with astonishment on their empty shows. Accordingly a recital of this kind was fitted to have great weight with them. They were aware that Paul had brought nothing with him in respect of the flesh that was fitted to help him forward, or that might enable him to insinuate himself into the favor of men, and yet they had seen the amazing success which the Lord had vouchsafed to his preaching. Nay more, they had in a manner beheld with their own eyes the Spirit of God present in his doctrine. When, therefore, despising his simplicity, they were tickled with a desire for a kind of wisdom, I know not of what sort, more puffed up and more polished, and were captivated with outward appearance, nay, even with adventitious ornament, rather than with the living efficacy of the Spirit, did they not sufficiently discover their ambitious spirit? It is with good reason, therefore, that Paul puts them in mind of his first entering in among them, (<520201>1 Thessalonians 2:1,) that they may not draw back from that divine efficacy, which they once knew by experience. The term weakness he employs here, and in several instances afterwards, (<471130>2 Corinthians 11:30; <471205>2 Corinthians 12:5, 9, 10,) as including everything that can detract from a person's favor and dignity in the opinion of others. Fear and trembling are the effects of that weakness. There are, however, two ways in which these two terms may be explained by us. Either we may understand him to mean, that when he pondered the magnitude of the office that he sustained, it was tremblingly, and not without great anxiety, that he occupied himself in it; or that, being encompassed with many dangers, he was in constant alarm and incessant anxiety. Either meaning suits the context sufficiently well. The second, however, is, in my opinion, the more simple. Such a spirit of modesty, indeed, becomes the servants of the Lord, that, conscious of their own weakness, and looking, on the other hand, at once to the difficulty and the excellence of so arduous an office, they should enter on the discharge of it with reverence and fear. For those that intrude themselves confidently, and in a spirit much elated, or who discharge the ministry of the word with an easy mind, as though they were fully equal to the task, are ignorant at once of themselves and of the task. f108 As, however, Paul here connects fear with weakness, and as the term weakness denotes everything that was fitted to render him contemptible, it follows necessarily that this fear must relate to dangers and difficulties. It is certain, however, that this fear was of such a nature as did not prevent Paul from engaging in the Lord's work, as facts bear witness. The Lord's servants are neither so senseless as not to perceive impending dangers, nor so devoid of feeling as not to be moved by them. Nay more, it is necessary for them to be seriously afraid on two accounts chiefly - first, that, abased in their own eyes, they may learn wholly to lean and rest upon God alone, and secondly, that they may be trained to a thorough renunciation of self. Paul, therefore, was not devoid of the influence of fear, but that fear he controlled in such a manner as to go forward, notwithstanding, with intrepidity through the midst of dangers, so as to encounter with undaunted firmness and fortitude all the assaults of Satan and of the world; and, in fine, so as to struggle through every impediment. 4. And my preaching was not in the persuasive words. By the persuasive words of man's wisdom he means that exquisite oratory which aims and strives rather by artifice than by truth, and also an appearance of refinement, that allures the minds of men. It is not without good reason, too, that he ascribes persuasiveness (to> piqa>non) f109 to human wisdom. For the word of the Lord constrains us by its majesty, as if by a violent impulse, to yield obedience to it. Human wisdom, on the other hand, has her allurements, by which she insinuates herself f110 and her blandishments, as it were, by which she may conciliate for herself the affections of her hearers. With this he contrasts the demonstration of the Spirit and of power, which most interpreters consider as restricted to miracles; but I take it in a more general sense, as meaning the hand of God powerfully exercised in every way through the instrumentality of the Apostle. Spirit and power he seems to have made use of by hypallage, f111 (kaq j uJpallaghxewv, (demonstration;) for such is our dullness in contemplating the works of God, that when he makes use of inferior instruments, they serve as so many veils to hide from us his influence, so that we do not clearly perceive it. On the other hand, as in the furtherance given to Paul's ministry, there was no aid furnished from the flesh or the world, and as the hand of God was as it were made bare, (<235210>Isaiah 52:10,) his influence was assuredly the more apparent. 5. That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men. To be is used here as meaning to consist. His meaning, then, is, that the Corinthians derived this advantage from his having preached Christ among them without dependence on human wisdom, and relying solely on the Spirit's influence, that their faith was founded not on men but on God. If the Apostle's preaching had rested exclusively on the power of eloquence, it might have been overthrown by superior eloquence, and besides, no one would pronounce that to be solid truth which rests on mere elegance of speech. It may indeed be helped by it, but it ought not to rest upon it. On the other hand, that must have been most powerful which could stand of itself without any foreign aid. Hence it forms a choice commendation of Paul's preaching, that heavenly influence shone forth in it so clearly, that it surmounted so many hindrances, while deriving no assistance from the world. It follows, therefore, that they must not allow themselves to be moved away from his doctrine, which they acknowledge to rest on the authority of God. Paul, however, speaks here of the faith of the Corinthians in such a way as to bring forward this, as a general statement. Let it then be known by us that it is the property of faith to rest upon God alone, without depending on men; for it requires to have so much certainty to go upon, that it will not fail, even when assailed by all the machinations of hell, but will perseveringly endure and sustain every assault. This cannot be accomplished unless we are fully persuaded that God has spoken to us, and that what we have believed is no mere contrivance of men. While faith ought properly to be founded on the word of God alone, there is at the same time no impropriety in adding this second prop, - that believers recognize the word which they hear as having come forth from God, from the effect of its influence. 1 CORINTHIANS 2:6-9 6. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught: 6. Porro sapientiam loquimur inter perfectos: sapientiam quidem non saeculi hujus, neque principum saeculi hujus, qui abolentur: 7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 7. Sed loquimur sapientiam Dei in mysterio, quae est recondita: quam praefinivit Deus ante saecula in gloriam nostram, 8. Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 8. Quam nemo principum saeculi hujus cognovit: si emro cognovissent, nequaquam Dominum gloriae crucifixissent. 9. But, as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 9. Sed quemadmodum Scriptum est (Ies. 64:4.) "Quae oculus non vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascenderunt, quae praeparavit Deus iis, qui ipsum diligunt." 6. We speak wisdom. Lest he should appear to despise wisdom, as unlearned and ignorant men (<440413>Acts 4:13) condemn learning with a sort of barbarian ferocity, he adds, that he is not devoid of that wisdom, which was worthy of the name, but was esteemed as such by none but competent judges. By those that were perfect, he means not those that had attained a wisdom that was full and complete, but those who possess a sound and unbiased judgment. For t, which is always rendered in the Septuagint by teleiov means complete. f112 He twits, however, in passing, those that had no relish for his preaching, and gives them to understand that it was owing to their own fault: "If my doctrine is disrelished by any of you, those persons give sufficient evidence from that very token, that they possess a depraved and vitiated understanding, inasmuch as it will invariably be acknowledged to be the highest wisdom among men of sound intellect and correct judgment." While Paul's preaching was open to the view of all, it was, nevertheless, not always estimated according to its value, and this is the reason why he appeals to sound and unbiased judges, f113 who would declare that doctrine, which the world accounted insipid, to be true wisdom. Meanwhile, by the words we speak, he intimates that he set before them an elegant specimen of admirable wisdom, lest any one should allege that he boasted of a thing unknown. Yet not the wisdom of this world. He again repeats by way of anticipation what he had already conceded - that the gospel was not human wisdom, lest any one should object that there were few supporters of that doctrine; nay more, that it was contemned by all that were most distinguished for intellect. Hence he acknowledges of his own accord what might be brought forward by way of objection, but in such a way as not at all to give up his point. The princes of this world. By the princes of this world he means those that have distinction in the world through means of any endowment, for sometimes there are persons, who, though they are by no means distinguished by acuteness of intellect, are nevertheless held in admiration from the dignity of the station which they hold. That, however, we may not be alarmed by these imposing appearances, the Apostle adds, that they come to nought, or perish. For it were unbefitting, that a thing that is eternal should depend upon the authority of those who are frail, and fading, and cannot give perpetuity even to themselves: "When the kingdom of God is revealed, let the wisdom of this world retire, and what is transient give place to what is eternal; for the princes of this world have their distinction, but it is of such a nature as is in one moment extinguished. What is this in comparison with the heavenly and incorruptible kingdom of God?" 7. The wisdom of God in a mystery. He assigns the reason why the doctrine of the gospel is not held in high esteem by the princes of this world - because it is involved in mysteries, and is consequently hidden. For the gospel so far transcends the perspicacity of human intellect, that to whatever height those who are accounted men of superior intellect may raise their view, they never can reach its elevated height, while in the meantime they despise its meanness, as if it were prostrate at their feet. The consequence is, that the more proudly they contemn it, they are the farther from acquaintance with it - nay more, they are removed to so great a distance as to be prevented from even seeing it. Which God hath ordained. Paul having said that the gospel was a hidden thing, there was a danger lest believers should, on hearing this, be appalled by the difficulty, and retire in despair. Accordingly he meets this danger, and declares that it had notwithstanding been appointed to us, that we might enjoy it. Lest any one, I say, should reckon that he has nothing to do with the hidden wisdom, or should imagine it to be unlawful to direct his eyes towards it, as not being within the reach of human capacity, he teaches that it has been communicated to us in accordance with the eternal counsel of God. At the same time he has something still farther in view, for by an implied comparison he extols that grace which has been opened up by Christ's advent, and distinguishes us above our fathers, who lived under the law. On this point I have spoken more at large in the end of the last chapter of the Romans. First of all then he argues from what God had ordained, for if God has appointed nothing in vain, it follows, that we will be no losers by listening to the gospel which he has appointed for us, for he accommodates himself to our capacity in addressing us. In accordance with this Isaiah (<234519>Isaiah 45:19) says - "I have not spoken in a lurking place, or in a dark corner. f114 I have not in vain said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me." Secondly, with the view of rendering the gospel attractive, and alluring us to a desire of acquaintance with it, he draws an argument still farther from the design that God had in view in giving it to us - "for our glory." In this expression, too, he seems to draw a comparison between us and the fathers, our heavenly Father not having vouchsafed to them that honor which he reserved for the advent of his Son. f115 8. None of the princes of this world knew. If you supply the words by their own discernment, the statement would not be more applicable to them than to the generality of mankind, and the very lowest of the people; for what are the attainments of all of us as to this matter, from the greatest to the least? Only we may perhaps say, that princes, rather than others, are charged with blindness and ignorance - for this reason, that they alone appear in the view of the word clear-sighted and wise. At the same time I should prefer to understand the expression in a more simple way, agreeably to the common usage of Scripture, which is wont to speak in terms of universality of those things that, happen epi to polu, that is commonly, and also to make a negative statement in terms of universality, as to those things that happen only ejpi e]latton, that is very seldom. In this sense there were nothing inconsistent with this statement, though there were found a few men of distinction, and elevated above others in point of dignity, who were at the same time endowed with the pure knowledge of God. For had they known. The wisdom of God shone forth clearly in Christ, and yet there the princes did not perceive it; for those who took the lead in the crucifixion of Christ were on the one hand the chief men of the Jews, high in credit for holiness and wisdom; and on the other hand Pilate and the Roman empire. In this we have a most distinct proof of the utter blindness of all that are wise only according to the flesh. This argument of the Apostle, however, might appear to be weak. "What! do we not every day see persons who, with deliberate malice, fight against the truth of God, as to which they are not ignorant; nay, even if a rebellion so manifest were not to be seen by us with our eyes, what else is the sin against the Holy Ghost than a willful obstinacy against God, when a man knowingly and willingly does not merely oppose his word, but even fights against it. It is on this account, too, that Christ declares that the Pharisees, and others of that description, knew him, (<430728>John 7:28,) while he deprives them of all pretext of ignorance, and accuses them of impious cruelty in persecuting him, the faithful servant of the Father, for no other reason but that they hated the truth." I answer that there are two kinds of ignorance. The one arises from inconsiderate zeal, not expressly rejecting what is good, but from having an impression that it is evil. No one, it is true, sins in ignorance in such a way as not to be chargeable meanwhile in the sight, of God with an evil conscience, there being always a mixture of hypocrisy, or pride, or contempt; but at the same time judgment, and all intelligence in the mind of man, are sometimes so effectually choked, that nothing but bare ignorance is to be seen by others, or even by the individual himself. Such was Paul before he was enlightened; for the reason why he hated Christ and was hostile to his doctrine was, that he was through ignorance hurried away with a preposterous Zeal for the law. f116 Yet he was not devoid of hypocrisy, nor exempt from pride, so as to be free from blame in the sight of God, but those vices were so completely covered over with ignorance and blindness as not to be perceived or felt even by himself. The other kind of ignorance has more of the appearance of insanity and derangement, than of mere ignorance; for those that of their own accord rise up against God, are like persons in a frenzy, who, seeing, see not. (<401313>Matthew 13:13.) It must be looked upon, indeed, as a settled point, that infidelity is always blind; but the difference lies here, that in some cases malice is covered over with blindness to such a degree that the individual, through a kind of stupidity, is without any perception of his own wickedness. This is the case with those who, with a good intention, as they speak, or in other words, a foolish imagination, impose upon themselves. In some cases malice has the ascendancy in such a manner, that in spite of the checks of conscience, the individual rushes forward into wickedness of this sort with a kind of madness. f117 Hence it is not to be wondered, if Paul declares that the princes of this world would not have crucified Christ, had they known the wisdom of God. For the Pharisees and Scribes did not know Christ's doctrine to be true, so as not to be bewildered in their mind, and wander on in their own darkness. 9. As it is written, "What eye hath not seen." All are agreed that this passage is taken from <236404>Isaiah 64:4, and as the meaning is at first view plain and easy, interpreters do not give themselves much trouble in expounding it. On looking, however, more narrowly into it, two very great difficulties present themselves. The first is, that the words that are here quoted by Paul do not correspond with the words of the Prophet. The second is, that it seems as though Paul had perverted the Prophet's declaration to a purpose quite foreign to his design. First then as to the words; and as they may be taken in different senses, they are explained variously by interpreters. Some render the passage thus: "From the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived with their ears, and eye hath not seen any god beside Thee, who doth act in such a manner towards him that waiteth for him." Others understand the discourse as addressed to God, in this manner: "Eye hath not seen, nor hath ear heard, O God, besides thee, the things which thou dost for those that wait for thee." Literally, however, the Prophet's meaning is: "From the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor have they perceived with the ears, hath not seen a god, (or O God,) besides thee, will do (or will prepare) for him that waiteth for him." If we understand yhla (God) to be in the accusative, the relative who must be supplied. This exposition, too, appears, at first view, to suit better with the Prophet's context in respect of the verb that follows being used in the third person; f118 but it is farther removed from Paul's meaning, on which we ought to place more dependence than on any other consideration. For where shall we find a surer or more faithful interpreter than the Spirit of God of this authoritative declaration, which He himself dictated to Isaiah - in the exposition which He has furnished by the mouth of Paul. With the view of obviating, however, the calumnies of the wicked, I observe that the Hebrew idiom admits of our understanding the Prophets true meaning to be this: "O God, neither hath eye seen, nor hath ear heard: but thou alone knowest the things which thou art wont to do to those that wait for thee." The sudden change of person forms no objection, as we know that it is so common in the writings of the Prophets, that it needs not be any hindrance in our way. If any one, however, prefers the former interpretation, he will have no occasion for charging either us or the Apostle with departing from the simple meaning of the words, for we supply less than they do, as they are under the necessity of adding a mark of comparison to the verb, rendering it thus: "who doth act in such a manner." As to what follows respecting the entering of these things into the heart of man, though the expression is not made use of by the Prophet, it does not differ materially from the clause besides thee. For in ascribing this knowledge to God alone, he excludes from it not merely the bodily senses of men, but also the entire faculty of the understanding. While, therefore, the Prophet makes mention only of sight and hearing, he includes at the same time by implication all the faculties of the soul. And without doubt these are the two instruments by which we attain the knowledge of those things that find their way into the understanding. In using the expression them that love him, he has followed the Greek interpreters, who have translated it in this way from having been misled by the resemblance between one letter and another; f119 but as that did not affect the point in hand, he did not choose to depart from the common reading, as we frequently have occasion to observe how closely he follows the received version. Though the words, therefore, are not the same, there is no real difference of meaning. I come now to the subject-matter. The Prophet in that passage, when mentioning how signally God had on all occasions befriended his people in their emergencies, exclaims, that his acts of kindness to the pious surpass the comprehension of human intellect. "But what has this to do," some one will say, "with spiritual doctrine, and the promises of eternal life, as to which Paul is here arguing?" There are three ways in which this question may be answered. There were no inconsistency in affirming that the Prophet, having made mention of earthly blessings, was in consequence of this led on to make a general statement, and even to extol that spiritual blessedness which is laid up in heaven for believers. I prefer, however, to understand him simply as referring to those gifts of God's grace that are daily conferred upon believers. In these it becomes us always to observe their source, and not to confine our views to their present aspect. Now their source is that unmerited goodness of God, by which he has adopted us into the number of his sons. He, therefore, who would estimate these things aright, will not contemplate them in their naked aspect, but will clothe them with God's fatherly love, as with a robe, and will thus be led forward from temporal favors to eternal life. It might also be maintained that the argument is from the less to the greater; for if man's intellect is not competent to measure God's earthly gifts, how much less will it reach the height of heaven? (<430312>John 3:12.) I have, however, already intimated which interpretation prefer. 1 CORINTHIANS 2:10-13 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 10. Nobis autem Deus revelavit per Spiritum suum: Spiritus enim omnia scrutatur, etiam profunditates Dei. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 11. Quis enim hominum novit, quae ad eum pertinent, nisi spiritus hominis, qui est in ipso? Ita et quae Dei sunt, nemo novit, nisi Spiritus Dei. 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 12. Nos autem non spiritum mundi accepimus, seal Spiritum qui est ex Deo: ut sciamus quae a Christo donata sunt nobis: 13. Which flyings also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 13. Quae et loquimur, non in eruditis humanae sapientiae sermonibus, sed Spiritus sancti, spiritualibus spiritualia coaptantes. 10. But God hath revealed them to us. Having shut up all mankind in blindness, and having taken away from the human intellect the power of attaining to a knowledge of God by its own resources, he now shows in what way believers are exempted from this blindness, - by the Lord's honoring them with a special illumination of the Spirit. Hence the greater the bluntness of the human intellect for understanding the mysteries of God, and the greater the uncertainty under which it labors, so much the surer is our faith, which rests for its support on the revelation of God's Spirit. In this, too, we recognize the unbounded goodness of God, who makes our defect contribute to our advantage. For the Spirit searcheth all things. This is added for the consolation of the pious, that they may rest more securely in the revelation which they have from the Spirit of God, as though he had said. "Let it suffice us to have the Spirit of God as a witness, for there is nothing in God that is too profound for him to reach." For such is the import here of the word searcheth. By the deep things you must understand - not secret judgments, which we are forbidden to search into, but the entire doctrine of salvation, which would have been to no purpose set before us in the Scriptures, were it not that God elevates our minds to it by his Spirit. 11. For what man knoweth? Two different things he intends to teach here: first, that the doctrine of the Gospel cannot be understood otherwise than by the testimony of the Holy Spirit; and secondly, that those who have a testimony of this nature from the Holy Spirit, have an assurance as firm and solid, as if they felt with their hands what they believe, for the Spirit is a faithful and indubitable witness. This he proves by a similitude drawn from our own spirit: for every one is conscious of his own thoughts, and on the other hand what lies hid in any man's heart, is unknown to another. In the same way what is the counsel of God, and what his will, is hid from all mankind, for "who hath been his counselor?" (<451134>Romans 11:34.) It is, therefore, a secret recess, inaccessible to mankind; but, if the Spirit of God himself introduces us into it, or in other words, makes us acquainted with those things that are otherwise hid from our view, there will then be no more ground for hesitation, for nothing that is in God escapes the notice of the Spirit of God. This similitude, however, may seem to be not altogether very appropriate, for as the tongue bears an impress of the mind, mankind communicate their dispositions to each other, so that they become acquainted with each other's thoughts. Why then may we not understand from the word of God what is his will? For while mankind by pretenses and falsehoods in many cases conceal their thoughts rather than discover them, this cannot happen with God, whose word is undoubted truth, and his genuine and lively image. We must, however, carefully observe how far Paul designed to extend this comparison. A man's innermost thought, of which others are ignorant, is perceived by himself alone: if he afterwards makes it known to others, this does not hinder but that his spirit alone knows what is in him. For it may happen that he does not persuade: it may even happen that he does not properly express his own meaning; but even if he attains both objects, this statement is not at variance with the other - that his own spirit alone has the true knowledge of it. There is this difference, however, between God's thoughts and those of men, that men mutually understand each other; but the word of God is a kind of hidden wisdom, the loftiness of which is not reached by the weakness of the human intellect. Thus the light shineth in darkness, (<430105>John 1:5,) aye and until the Spirit opens the eyes of the blind. The spirit of a man. Observe, that the spirit of a man is taken here for the soul, in which the intellectual faculty, as it is called, resides. For Paul would have expressed himself inaccurately if he had ascribed this knowledge to man's intellect, or in other words, the faculty itself, and not to the soul, which is endued with the power of understanding. 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world. He heightens by contrast the certainty of which he had made mention. "The Spirit of revelation," says he, "which we have received, is not of the world, so as to be merely creeping upon the ground, so as to be subject to vanity, or be in suspense, or vary or fluctuate, or hold us in doubt and perplexity. On the contrary, it is from God, and hence it is above all heavens, of solid and unvarying truth, and placed above all risk of doubt." It is a passage that is most abundantly clear, for refuting that diabolical doctrine of the Sophists as to a constant hesitancy on the part of believers. For they require all believers to be in doubt, whether they are in the grace of God or not, and allow of no assurance of salvation, but what hangs on moral or probable conjecture. In this, however, they overthrow faith in two respects: for first they would have us be in doubt, whether we are in a state of grace, and then afterwards they suggest a second occasion of doubt - as to final perseverance. f120 Here, however, the Apostle declares in general terms, that the elect have the Spirit given them, by whose testimony they are assured that they have been adopted to the hope of eternal salvation. Undoubtedly, if they would maintain their doctrine, they must of necessity either take away the Spirit of God from the elect, or make even the Spirit himself subject to uncertainty. Both of these things are openly at variance with Paul's doctrine. Hence we may know the nature of faith to be this, that conscience has from the Holy Spirit a sure testimony of the good-will of God towards it, so that, resting upon this, it does not hesitate to invoke God as a Father. Thus Paul lifts up our faith above the world, that it may look down with lofty disdain upon all the pride of the flesh; for otherwise it will be always timid and wavering, because we see how boldly human ingenuity exalts itself, the haughtiness of which requires to be trodden under foot by the sons of God through means of an opposing haughtiness of heroical magnanimity. f121 That we may know the things that are given us by Christ. The word know is made use of to express more fully the assurance of confidence. Let us observe, however, that it is not acquired in a natural way, and is not attained by the mental capacity, but depends entirely on the revelation of the Spirit. The things that he makes mention of as given by Christ are the blessings that we obtain through his death and resurrection - that being reconciled to God, and having obtained remission of sins, we know that we have been adopted to the hope of eternal life, and that, being sanctified by the Spirit of regeneration, we are made new creatures, that we may live to God. In <490118>Ephesians 1:18, he says what amounts to the same thing - "That ye may know what is the hope of your calling." 13. Which things also we speak, not in the learned words, etc. He speaks of himself, for he is still employed in commending his ministry. Now it is a high commendation that he pronounces upon his preaching, when he says of it that it contains a secret revelation of the most important matters - the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the sum of our salvation, and the inestimable treasures of Christ, that the Corinthians may know how highly it ought to be prized. In the meantime he returns to the concession that he had made before - that his preaching had not been adorned with any glitter of words, and had no luster of elegance, but was contented with the simple doctrine of the Holy Spirit. By the learned words of human wisdom f122 he means those that savor of human learning, and are polished according to the rules of the rhetoricians, or blown up with philosophical loftiness, with a view to excite the admiration of the hearers. The words taught by the Spirit, on the other hand, are such as are adapted to a pure and simple style, corresponding to the dignity of the Spirit, rather than to an empty ostentation. For in order that eloquence may not be wanting, we must always take care that the wisdom of God be not polluted with any borrowed and profane luster. Paul's manner of teaching was of such a kind, that the power of the Spirit shone forth in it single and unattired, without any foreign aid. Spiritual things with spiritual. Sugkrinesqai is used here, I have no doubt, in the sense of adapt. This is sometimes the meaning of the word, f123 (as Budaeus shows by a quotation from Aristotle,)and hence sugkrima is used to mean what is knit together or glued together, and certainly it suits much better with Paul's context than compare or liken, as others have rendered it. He says then that he adapts spiritual things to spiritual, in accommodating the words to the subject; f124 that is, he tempers that heavenly wisdom of the Spirit with a simple style of speech, and of such a nature as carries in its front the native energy of the Spirit. In the meantime he reproves others, who, by an affected elegance of expression and show of refinement, endeavor to obtain the applause of men, as persons who are either devoid of solid truth, or, by unbecoming ornaments, corrupt the spiritual doctrine of God. 1 CORINTHIANS 2:14-16 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 14. Animalis autem homo non comprehendit quae sunt Spiritus Dei. Sunt enim illi stultitia; nec potest intelligere, quia spiritualiter diiudicantur. 15. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet himself is judged of no man. 15. Spiritualis autem diiudicat omnia, ipsc vero a neminc (vel, nullo) diiudicatur. 16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 16. Quis enim cognovit mentem Domini, qui adjuvet ipsum? nos autem mentem Christi habemus. 14. But the animal man. f125 By the animal man he does not mean (as is commonly thought) the man that is given up to gross lusts, or, as they say, to his own sensuality, but any man that is endowed with nothing more than the faculties f126 of nature. f127 This appears from the corresponding term, for he draws a comparison between the animal man and the spiritual. As the latter denotes the man whose understanding is regulated by the illumination of the Spirit of God, there can be no doubt that the former denotes the man that is left in a purely natural condition, as they speak. For the soul f128 belongs to nature, but the Spirit is of supernatural communication. He returns to what he had previously touched upon, for his object is to remove a stumblingblock which might stand in the way of the weak - that there were so many that despised the gospel. He shows that we ought to make no account of a contempt of such a nature as proceeds from ignorance, and that it ought, consequently, to be no hindrance in the way of our going forward in the race of faith, unless perhaps we choose to shut our eyes upon the brightness of the sun, because it. is not seen by the blind. It would, however, argue great ingratitude in any individual, when God bestows upon him a special favor, to reject it, on the ground of its not being common to all, whereas, on the contrary, its very rareness ought to enhance its value. f129 For they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them. "The doctrine of the gospel," says he, "is insipid f130 in the view of all that are wise merely in the view of man. But whence comes this? It is from their own blindness. In what respect, then, does this detract from the majesty of the gospel?" In short, while ignorant persons depreciate the gospel, because they measure its value by the estimation in which it is held by men, Paul derives an argument from this for extolling more highly its dignity. For he teaches that the reason why it is contemned is that it is unknown, and that the reason why it is unknown is that it is too profound and sublime to be apprehended by the understanding of man. What a superior wisdom f131 this is, which so far transcends all human understanding, that man cannot have so much as a taste of it! f132 While, however, Paul here tacitly imputes it to the pride of the flesh, that mankind dare to condemn as foolish what. they do not comprehend, he at the same time shows how great is the weakness or rather bluntness of the human understanding, when he declares it to be incapable of spiritual apprehension. For he teaches, that it is not owing simply to the obstinacy of the human will, but to the impotency, also, of the understanding, that man does not attain to the things of the Spirit. Had he said that men are not willing to be wise, that indeed would have been true, but he states farther that they are not able. Hence we infer, that faith is not in one's own power, but is divinely conferred. Because they are spiritually discerned. That is, the Spirit of God, from whom the doctrine of the gospel comes, is its only true interpreter, to open it up to us. Hence in judging of it, men's minds must of necessity be in blindness until they are enlightened by the Spirit of God. f133 Hence infer, that all mankind are by nature destitute of the Spirit of God: otherwise the argument would be inconclusive. It is from the Spirit of God, it is true, that we have that feeble spark of reason which we all enjoy; but at present we are speaking of that special discovery of heavenly wisdom which God vouchsafes to his sons alone. Hence the more insufferable the ignorance of those who imagine that the gospel is offered to mankind in common in such a way that all indiscriminately are free f134 to embrace salvation by faith. 15. But the spiritual man judgeth all things. Having stripped of all authority man's carnal judgment, he now teaches, that the spiritual alone are fit judges as to this matter, inasmuch as God is known only by his Spirit, and it is his peculiar province to distinguish between his own things and those of others, to approve of what is his own, and to make void all things else. The meaning, then, is this: "Away with all the discernment of the flesh as to this matter! It is the spiritual man alone that has such a firm and solid acquaintance with the mysteries of God, as to distinguish without fail between truth and falsehood - between the doctrine of God and the contrivances of man, so as not to fall into mistake. f135 He, on the other hand, is judged by no man, because the assurance of faith is not subject to men, as though they could make it totter at their nod, f136 it being superior even to angels themselves." Observe, that this prerogative is not ascribed to the man as an individual, but to the word of God, which the spiritual follow in judging, and which is truly dictated to them by God with true discernment. Where that is afforded, a man's persuasion f137 is placed beyond the range of human judgment. Observe, farther, the word rendered judged: by which the Apostle intimates, that we are not merely enlightened by the Lord to perceive the truth, but are also endowed with a spirit of discrimination, so as not to hang in doubt between truth and falsehood, but are able to determine what we ought to shun and what to follow. But here it may be asked, who is the spiritual man, and where we may find one that is endowed with so much light as to be prepared to judge of all things, feeling as we do, that we are at all times encompassed with much ignorance, and are in danger of erring: nay more, even those who come nearest to perfection from time to time fall and bruise themselves. The answer is easy: Paul does not extend this faculty to everything, so as to represent all that are renewed by the Spirit of God as exempt from every kind of error, but simply designs to teach, that the wisdom of the flesh is of no avail for judging of the doctrine of piety, and that this right of judgment and authority belong exclusively to the Spirit of God. In so far, therefore, as any one is regenerated, and according to the measure of grace conferred upon him, does he judge with accuracy and certainty, and no farther. He himself is judged by no man. I have already explained on what ground he says that the spiritual man is not subject to the judgment of any man - because the truth of faith, which depends on God alone, and is grounded on his word, does not stand or fall according to the pleasure of men. f138 What he says afterwards, that the spirit of one Prophet is subject to the other Prophets, (<461432>1 Corinthians 14:32,) is not at all inconsistent with this statement. For what is the design of that subjection, but that each of the Prophets listens to the others, and does not despise or reject their revelations, in order that what is discovered to be the truth of God, f139 may at length remain firm, and be received by all? Here, however, he places the science of faith, which has been received from God, f140 above the height of heaven and earth, in order that it may not be estimated by the judgment of men. At the same time, u[p j oujdeno>v may be taken in the neuter gender as meaning - by nothing, understanding it as referring to a thing, and not to a man. In this way the contrast will be more complete, f141 as intimating that the spiritual man, in so far as he is endowed with the Spirit of God, judgeth all things, but is judged by nothing, because he is not subject to any human wisdom or reason. In this way, too, Paul would exempt the consciences of the pious from all decrees, laws, and censures of men. 16. For who hath known? It is probable that Paul had an eye to what we read in the 40th chapter of Isaiah. The Prophet there asks, Who hath been God's counselor? Who hath weighed his Spirit, f142 (<234013>Isaiah 40:13,) or hath aided him both in the creation of the world and in his other works? and, in fine, who hath comprehended the reason of his works? Now, in like manner Paul, by this interrogation, designs to teach, that his secret counsel which is contained in the gospel is far removed from the understanding of men. This then is a confirmation of the preceding statement. But we have the mind of Christ. It is uncertain whether he speaks of believers universally, or of ministers exclusively. Either of these meanings will suit sufficiently well with the context, though I prefer to view it as referring more particularly to himself and other faithful ministers. f143 He says, then, that the servants of the Lord are taught by the paramount authority of the Spirit, what is farthest removed from the judgment of the flesh, that they may speak fearlessly as from the mouth of the Lord, - which gift flows out afterwards by degrees to the whole Church. CHAPTER 3 1 CORINTHIANS 3:1-4 1. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 1. Et ego, fratres, non potui vobis loqui tanquam spiritualibus, sed tanquam carnalibus, tanquam pueris in Christo. f144 2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 2. Lactis potu vos alui, non solido cibo. Nondum enim eratis capaces, ac ne nunc quidem estis: 3. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 3. Siquidem estis adhuc carnales. Postquam enim sunt inter vos aemulatio et contentio, et factioncs; nonne carnales estis, et secundum hominem ambulatis? 4. For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos: are ye not carnal? 4. Quum enim dicat unus, Ego sum Pauli: alter vero, Ego Apollo: nonne carnales estis? 1. And I, brethren. He begins to apply to the Corinthians themselves, that he had said respecting carnal persons, that they may understand that the fault was their own - that the doctrine of the Cross had not more charms for them. It is probable, that in mercantile minds like theirs there was too much confidence and arrogance still lingering, so that it was not without much ado and great difficulty that they could bring themselves to embrace the simplicity of the gospel. Hence it was, that undervaluing the Apostle, and the divine efficacy of his preaching, they were more prepared to listen to those teachers that were subtle and showy, while destitute of the Spirit. f145 Hence, with the view of beating down so much the better their insolence, he declares, that they belong to the company of those who, stupefied by carnal sense, are not prepared to receive the spiritual wisdom of God. He softens down, it is true, the harshness of his reproach by calling them brethren, but at the same time he brings it forward expressly as a matter of reproach against them, that their minds were suffocated with the darkness of the flesh to such a degree that it formed a hindrance to his preaching among them. What sort of sound judgment then must they have, when they are not fit and prepared as yet even for hearing! He does not mean, however, that they were altogether carnal, so as to have not one spark of the Spirit of God - but that they had still greatly too much of carnal sense, so that the flesh prevailed over the Spirit, and did as it were drown out his light. Hence, although they were not altogether destitute of grace, yet, as they had more of the flesh than of the Spirit, they are on that account termed carnal. This sufficiently appears from what he immediately adds - that they were babes in Christ; for they would not have been babes had they not been begotten, and that begetting is from the Spirit of God. Babes in Christ. This term is sometimes taken in a good sense, as it is by Peter, who exhorts us to be like new-born babes, (<600202>1 Peter 2:2,) and in that saying of Christ, Unless ye become as these little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of God, (<421817>Luke 18:17.) Here, however, it is taken in a bad sense, as referring to the understanding. For we must be children in malice, but not in understanding, as he says afterwards in <461420>1 Corinthians 14:20, - a distinction which removes all occasion of doubt as to the meaning. To this also there is a corresponding passage in <490414>Ephesians 4:14. That we be no longer children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, and made the sport f146 of human fallacies, but may day by day grow up, etc. 2. I have fed you with milk. Here it is asked, whether Paul transformed Christ to suit the diversity of his hearers. I answer, that this refers to the manner and form of his instructions, rather than to the substance of the doctrine. For Christ is at once milk to babes, and strong meat to those that are of full age, (<580513>Hebrews 5:13, 14,) the same truth of the gospel is administered to both, but so as to suit their capacity. Hence it is the part of a wise teacher to accommodate himself to the capacity of those whom he has undertaken to instruct, so that in dealing with the weak and ignorant, he begins with first principles, and does not go higher than they are able to follow, (<410433>Mark 4:33,) and so that, in short, he drops in his instructions by little and little, f147 lest it should run over, if poured in more abundantly. At the same time, those first principles will contain everything necessary to be known, no less than the farther advanced lessons that are communicated to those that are stronger. On this point read Augustine's 98th homily on John. This tends to refute the specious pretext of some, who, while they do but mutter out, from fear of danger, something of the gospel in an indistinct manner, f148 pretend to have Paul's example here. Meanwhile, they present Christ at such a distance, and covered over, besides, with so many disguises, that they constantly keep their followers in destructive ignorance. I shall say nothing of their mixing up many corruptions, their presenting Christ not simply in half, but torn to fragments, f149 their not merely concealing such gross idolatry, but confirming it also by their own example, and, if they have said anything that is good, straightway polluting it with numerous falsehoods. How unlike they are to Paul is sufficiently manifest; for milk is nourishment and not poison, and nourishment that is suitable and useful for bringing up children until they are farther advanced. For ye were not yet able to bear it. That they may not flatter themselves too much on their own discernment, he first of all tells them what he had found among them at the beginning, and then adds, what is still more severe, that the same faults remain among them to this day. For they ought at least, in putting on Christ, to have put off the flesh; and thus we see that Paul complains that the success which his doctrine ought to have had was impeded. For if the hearer does not occasion delay by his slowness, it is the part of a good teacher to be always going up higher, f150 till perfection has been attained. 3. For ye are as yet carnal. So long as the flesh, that is to say, natural corruption, prevails in a man, it has so completely possession of the man's mind, that the wisdom of God finds no admittance. Hence, if we would make proficiency in the Lord's school, we must first of all renounce our own judgment and our own will. Now, although among the Corinthians some sparks of piety were emitted, they were kept under by being choked. f151 For since there are among you. The proof is derived from the effects; for as envying, and strifes, and divisions, are the fruits of the flesh, wherever they are seen, it is certain that the root is there in its rigor. Those evils prevailed among the Corinthians; and accordingly he proves from this that they are carnal. He makes use of the same argument, too, in <480525>Galatians 5:25. If ye live in the Spirit, walk also in the Spirit. For while they were desirous to be regarded as spiritual, he calls them to look at their works, by which they denied what with their mouth they professed. (<560116>Titus 1:16.) Observe, however, the elegant arrangement that Paul here pursues: for from envying spring up contentions, and these, when they have once been enkindled, break out into deadly sects: but the mother of all these evils is ambition. Walk as men. From this it is manifest that the term flesh is not restricted to the lower appetites merely, as the Sophists pretend, the seat of which they call sensuality, but is employed to describe man's whole nature. For those that follow the guidance of nature, are not governed by the Spirit of God. These, according to the Apostle's definition, are carnal, so that the flesh and man's natural disposition are quite synonymous, and hence it is not without good reason that he elsewhere requires that we be new creatures in Christ. (<470517>2 Corinthians 5:17.) 4. For while one saith. He now specifies the particular kind of contentions, f152 and he does this by personating the Corinthians, that his description may have more force - that each one gloried in his particular master, as though Christ were not the one Master of all. (<402308>Matthew 23:8.) Now, where such ambition still prevails, the gospel has little or no success. You are not, however, to understand that they declared this openly in express words, but the Apostle reproves those depraved dispositions to which they were given up. At the same time it is likely, that, as a predilection arising from ambition is usually accompanied with an empty talkativeness, f153 they openly discovered by their words the absurd bias of their mind, by extolling their teachers to the skies in magnificent terms, accompanying this at the same time with contempt of Paul and those like him. 1 CORINTHIANS 3:5-9 5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to man? 5. Quis ergo est Paulus, aut quis Apollos, nisi ministri, per quos credidistis, et sicut unicuique Dominus every dedit? 6. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 6. Ego plantavi, Apollos rigavit; at Deus incrementum dedit. 7. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 7. Ergo neque qui plantat aliquid est, neque qui rigat; sed Deus qui dat incrementurn. 8. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one; and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. 8. Qui autem plantat, et qui rigat, unum f154 sunt. Porro quisque propriam mercedem secundum laborem suum recipiet. 9. For we are laborers together with God; ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. 9. Dei enim cooperarii sumus, f155 Dei agricultura, Dei aedificatio estis. 5. Who then is Paul? Here he begins to treat of the estimation in which ministers ought to be held, and the purpose for which they have been set apart by the Lord. He names himself and Apollos rather than others, that he may avoid any appearance of envy. f156 "What else," says he, "are all ministers appointed for, but to bring you to faith through means of their preaching?" From this Paul infers, that no man ought to be gloried in, for faith allows of no glorying except in Christ alone. Hence those that extol men above measure, strip them of their true dignity. For the grand distinction of them all is, that they are ministers of faith, or, in other words, that they gain disciples to Christ, not to themselves. Now, though he appears in this way to depreciate the dignity of ministers, yet he does not assign it a lower place than it ought to hold. For he says much when he says, that we receive faith through their ministry. Nay farther, the efficacy of external doctrine receives here extraordinary commendation, when it is spoken of as the instrument of the Holy Spirit; and pastors are honored with no common title of distinction, when God is said to make use of them as his ministers, for dispensing the inestimable treasure of faith. As the Lord hath given to every man. In the Greek words used by Paul the particle of comparison wJv, as, is placed after eJkastw| - to every man; but the order is inverted. f157 Hence to make the meaning more apparent, I have rendered it "Sicut unicuique," - "as to every man," rather than "Unicuique sicut," - "to every man as." In some manuscripts, however, the particle kai, and, is wanting, and it is all in one connection, thus: Ministers by whom ye believed as the Lord gave to every man. If we read it in this way, the latter clause will be added to explain the former, - so that Paul explains what he meant by the term minister: "Those are ministers whose services God makes use of, not as though they could do anything by their own efforts, but in so far as they are guided by his hand, as instruments." The rendering that I have given, however, is, in my opinion, the more correct one. If we adopt it, the statement will be more complete, for it will consist of two clauses, in this way. In the first place, those are ministers who have devoted their services to Christ, that you might believe in him: farther, they have nothing of their own to pride themselves upon, inasmuch as they do nothing of themselves, and have no power to do anything otherwise than by the gift of God, and every man according to his own measure - which shows, that whatever each individual has, is derived from another. In fine, he unites them all together as by a mutual bond, inasmuch as they require each other's assistance. 6. I have planted, Apollos watered. He unfolds more clearly the nature of that ministry by a similitude, in which the nature of the word and the use of preaching are most appropriately depicted. That the earth may bring forth fruit, there is need of ploughing and sowing, and other means of culture; but after all this has been carefully done, the husbandman's labor would be of no avail, did not the Lord from heaven give the increase, by the breaking forth of the sun, and still more by his wonderful and secret influence. Hence, although the diligence of the husbandman is not in vain, nor the seed that he throws in useless, yet it is only by the blessing of God that they are made to prosper, for what is more wonderful than that the seed, after it has rotted, springs up again! In like manner, the word of the Lord is seed that is in its own nature fruitful: ministers are as it were husbandmen, that plough and sow. Then follow other helps, as for example, irrigation. Ministers, too, act a corresponding part when, after casting the seed into the ground, they give help to the earth as much as is in their power, until it bring forth what it has conceived: but as for making their labor actually productive, that is a miracle of divine grace - not a work of human industry. Observe, however, in this passage, how necessary the preaching of the word is, and how necessary the continuance of it. f158 It were, undoubtedly, as easy a thing for God to bless the earth without diligence on the part of men, so as to make it bring forth fruit of its own accord, as to draw out, or rather press out f159 its increase, at the expense of much assiduity on the part of men, and much sweat and sorrow; but as the Lord hath so ordained (<460914>1 Corinthians 9:14) that man should labor, and that the earth, on its part, yield a return to his culture, let us take care to act accordingly. In like manner, it were perfectly in the power of God, without the aid of men, if it so pleased him, to produce faith in persons while asleep; but he has appointed it otherwise, so that faith is produced by hearing. (<451017>Romans 10:17.) That man, then, who, in the neglect of this means, expects to attain faith, acts just as if the husbandman, throwing aside the plough, taking no care to sow; and leaving off all the labor of husbandry, were to open his mouth, expecting food to drop into it from heaven. As to continuance f160 we see what Paul says here - that it is not enough that the seed be sown, if it is not brought forward from time to time by new helps. He, then, who has already received the seed, has still need of watering, nor must endeavors be left off, until full maturity has been attained, or in other words, till life is ended. Apollos, then, who succeeded Paul in the ministry of the word at Corinth, is said to have watered what he had sown. 7. Neither is he that planteth anything. It appears, nevertheless, from what has been already said, that their labor is of some importance. We must observe, therefore, why it is that Paul thus depreciates it; and first of all, it is proper to notice that he is accustomed to speak in two different ways of ministers, f161 as well as of sacraments. For in some cases he views a minister as one that has been set apart by the Lord for, in the first instance, regenerating souls, and, afterwards, nourishing them up unto eternal life, for remitting sins, (<432023>John 20:23,) for renewing the minds of men, for raising up the kingdom of Christ, and destroying that of Satan. Viewed in that aspect he does not merely assign to him the duty of planting and watering, but furnishes him, besides, with the efficacy of the Holy Spirit, that his labor may not be in vain. Thus f162 in another passage he calls himself a minister of the Spirit, and not of the letter, inasmuch as he writes the word of the Lord on men's hearts. (<470306>2 Corinthians 3:6.) In other cases he views a minister as one that is a servant, not a master - an instrument, not the hand; and in short as man, not God. Viewed in that aspect, he leaves him nothing but his labor, and that, too, dead and powerless, if the Lord does not make it efficacious by his Spirit. The reason is, that when it is simply the ministry that is treated of, we must have an eye not merely to man, but also to God, working in him by the grace of the Spirit - not as though the grace of the Spirit were invariably tied to the word of man, but because Christ puts forth his power in the ministry which he has instituted, in such a manner that it is made evident, that it was not instituted in vain. In this manner he does not take away or diminish anything that belongs to Him, with the view of transferring it to man. For He is not separated from the minister, f163 but on the contrary His power is declared to be efficacious in the minister. But as we sometimes, in so far as our judgment is depraved, take occasion improperly from this to extol men too highly, we require to distinguish for the purpose of correcting this fault, and we must set the Lord on the one side, and the minister on the other, and then it becomes manifest, how indigent man is in himself, and how utterly devoid of efficacy. Let it be known by us, therefore, that in this passage ministers are brought into comparison with the Lord, and the reason of this comparison is - that mankind, while estimating grudgingly the grace of God, are too lavish in their commendations of ministers, and in this manner they snatch away what is God's, with the view of transferring it to themselves. At the same time he always observes a most becoming medium, for when he says, that God giveth the increase, he intimates by this, that the efforts of men themselves are not without success. The case is the same as to the sacraments, as we shall see elsewhere. f164 Hence, although our heavenly Father does not reject our labor in cultivating his field, and does not allow it to be unproductive, yet he will have its success depend exclusively upon his blessing, that he may have the entire praise. Accordingly, if we are desirous to make any progress in laboring, in striving, in pressing forward, let it be known by us, that we will make no progress, unless he prospers our labors, our strivings, and our assiduity, in order that we may commend ourselves, and everything we do to his grace. 8. He that planteth, and he that watereth are one. He shows farther, from another consideration, that the Corinthians are greatly to blame in abusing, with a view to maintain their own sects and parties, the names of their teachers, who in the meantime are, with united efforts, aiming at one and the same thing, and can by no means be separated, or torn asunder, without at the same time leaving off the duties of their office. They are one, says he; in other words, they are so linked together, that their connection does not allow of any separation, because all ought to have one end in view, and they serve one Lord, and are engaged in the same work. Hence, if they employ themselves faithfully in cultivating the Lord's field, they will maintain unity; and, by mutual communication, will help each other - so far from their names serving as standards to stir up contendings. Here we have a beautiful passage for exhorting ministers to concord. Meanwhile, however, he indirectly reproves those ambitious teachers, who, by giving occasion for contentions, discovered thereby that they were not the servants of Christ, but the slaves of vain-glory - that they did not employ themselves in planting and watering, but in rooting up and burning. Every man will receive his own reward. Here he shows what is the end that all ministers should have in view - not to catch the applause of the multitude, but to please the Lord. This, too, he does with the view of calling to the judgment-seat of God those ambitious teachers, who were intoxicated with the glory of the world, and thought of nothing else; and at the same time admonishing the Corinthians, as to the worthlessness of that empty applause which is drawn forth by elegance of expression and vain ostentation. He at the same time discovers in these words the fearlessness of his conscience, inasmuch as he ventures to look forward to the judgment of God without dismay. For the reason why ambitious men recommend themselves to the esteem of the world is, that they have not learned to devote themselves to God, and that they do not set before their eyes Christ's heavenly kingdom. Accordingly, as soon as God comes to be seen, that foolish desire of gaining man's favor disappears. 9. For we are fellow-laborers with God. Here is the best argument. It is the Lord's work that we are employed in, and it is to him that we have devoted our labors: hence, as he is faithful and just, he will not disappoint us of our reward. That man, accordingly, is mistaken who looks to men, or depends merely on their remuneration. Here we have an admirable commendation of the ministry - that while God could accomplish the work entirely himself, he calls us, puny mortals, f165 to be as it were his coadjutors, and makes use of us as instruments. As to the perversion of this statement by the Papists, for supporting their system of free-will, it is beyond measure silly, for Paul shows here, not what men can effect by their natural powers, but what the Lord accomplishes through means of them by his grace. As to the exposition given by some - that Paul, being God's workman, was a fellow-workman with his colleagues, that is, with the other teachers - it appears to me harsh and forced, and there is nothing whatever in the case that shuts us up to have recourse to that refinement. For it corresponds admirably with the Apostle's design to understand him to mean, that, while it is peculiarly the work of God to build his temple, or cultivate his vineyard, he calls forth ministers to be fellow-laborers, by means of whom He alone works; but, at the same time, in such a way, that they in their turn labor in common with him. As to the reward of works, consult my Institutes. f166 God's husbandry, God's building. These expressions may be explained in two ways. They may be taken actively in this sense: "You have been planted in the Lord's field by the labor of men in such a way, that our heavenly Father himself is the true Husbandman, and the Author of this plantation. You have been built up by men in such a way, that he himself is the true Master-builder. f167 Or, it may be taken in a passive sense, thus: "In laboring to till you, and to sow the word of God among you and water it, we have not done this on our own account, or with a view to advantage to accrue to us, but have devoted our service to the Lord. In our endeavors to build you up, we have not been influenced by a view to our own advantage, but with a view to your being God's planting and building. This latter interpretation I rather prefer, for I am of opinion, that Paul meant here to express the idea, that true ministers labor not for themselves, but for the Lord. Hence it follows, that the Corinthians were greatly to blame in devoting themselves to men, f168 while of right they belonged exclusively to God. And, in the first place, he calls them his husbandry, following out the metaphor previously taken up, and then afterwards, with the view of introducing himself to a larger discussion, he makes use of another metaphor, derived from architecture. f169 1 CORINTHIANS 3:10-15 10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 10. Ut saplens architectus, secundum gratiam Dei mihi datam, fundamentum posui, alius autem superaedificat: porro unusquisque videat, quomodo superaedificet. 11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 11. Fundamentum enim aliud nemo potest ponere, praeter id quod positum est, quod est Iesus Christus. 12. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 12. Si quis autem superstruat super fundamentum hoc aurum, argentum, lapides pretiosos, ligna, faenum, stipulam, 13. Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 13. Cuiuscunque opus manifestum fiet: dies enim manifestabit, quia in igne revelabitur, et cuiuscunque opus quale sit, ignis probabit. 14. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 14. Si cuius opus maneat quod superaedificaverit, mercedem accipiet. 15. If anyman's work shall be burnt, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 15. Si cuius opus arserit, jacturam faciet: ipse autem salvus fiet, sic tamen tanquam per ignem. f170 10. As a wise master-builder. It is a most apt similitude, and accordingly it is frequently met with in the Scriptures, as we shall see ere long. Here, however, the Apostle declares his fidelity with great confidence and fearlessness, as it required to be asserted in opposition not merely to the calumnies of the wicked, but also to the pride of the Corinthians, who had already begun to despise his doctrine. The more, therefore, they lowered him, so much the higher does he raise himself up, and speaking as it were from a pulpit of vast height, he declares f171 that he had been the first master-builder of God among them in laying the foundation, and that he had with wisdom executed that department of duty, and that it remained that others should go forward in the same manner, regulating the superstructure in conformity with the rule of the foundation. Let us observe that these things are said by Paul first of all for the purpose of commending his doctrine, which he saw was despised by the Corinthians; and, secondly, for the purpose of repressing the insolence of others, who from a desire for distinction, affected a new method of teaching. These he accordingly admonishes to attempt nothing rashly in God's building. Two things he prohibits them from doing: they must not venture to lay another foundation, and they must not raise a superstructure that will not be answerable to the foundation. According to the grace. He always takes diligent heed not to usurp to himself a single particle of the glory that belongs to God, for he refers all thing's to God, and leaves nothing to himself, except his having been an instrument. While, however, he thus submits himself humbly to God, he indirectly reproves the arrogance of those who thought nothing of throwing the grace of God into the shade, f172 provided only they were themselves held in estimation. He hints, too, that there was nothing of the grace of the Spirit in that empty show, for which they were held in esteem, while on the other hand he clears himself from contempt, on the ground of his having been under divine influence. f173 11. For other foundation can no man lay. This statement consists of two parts; first, that Christ is the only foundation of the Church; and secondly, that the Corinthians had been rightly founded upon Christ through Paul's preaching. For it was necessary that they should be brought back to Christ alone, inasmuch as their ears were tickled with a fondness for novelty. It was, too, of no small importance that Paul should be recognized as the principal, and, so to speak, fundamental master-builder, from whose doctrine they could not draw back, without forsaking Christ himself. The sum is this - that the Church must by all means be founded upon Christ alone, and that Paul had executed this department of duty so faithfully that nothing could be found to be wanting in his ministry. Hence, whoever may come after him, can in no other way serve the Lord with a good conscience, or be listened to as ministers of Christ, than by studying to make their doctrine correspond with his, and retain the foundation which he has laid. Hence we infer, that those are not faithful workmen for building up the Church, but on the contrary are scatterers of it, (<401230>Matthew 12:30,) who succeed faithful ministers, but do not make it their aim to conform themselves to their doctrine, and carry forward what has been well commenced, so as to make it quite manifest f174 that they are attempting no new work. For what can be more pernicious than by a new manner of teaching to harass believers, who have been well instructed in pure doctrine, so that they stagger in uncertainty as to the true foundation. Now the fundamental doctrine, which it were unlawful to undermine, is, that we learn Christ, for Christ is the only foundation of the Church; but there are many who, while they make use of Christ's name in pretense, tear up the whole truth of God by the roots. f175 Let us observe, then, in what way the Church is rightly built upon Christ. It is when he alone is set forth for righteousness, redemption, sanctification, wisdom, satisfaction and cleansing; in short, for life and glory; or if you would have it stated more briefly, when he is proclaimed in such a manner that his office and influence are understood in accordance with what we found stated in the close of the first chapter. (<460130>1 Corinthians 1:30.) If, on the other hand, Christ is only in some degree acknowledged, and is called a Redeemer only in name, while in the meantime recourse is had to some other quarter for righteousness, sanctification and salvation, he is driven off from the foundation, and spurious f176 stones are substituted in his room. It is in this manner that Papists act, who rob him of almost all his ornaments, leaving him scarcely anything but the bare name. Such persons, then, are far from being founded on Christ. For as Christ is the foundation of the Church, because he is the only source of salvation and eternal life - because in him we come to know God the Father - because in him we have the source of every blessing; if he is not acknowledged as such he is no longer regarded as the foundation. But it is asked - "Is Christ only a part, or simply the commencement of the doctrine of salvation, as the foundation is merely a part of the building; for if it were so, believers would have only their commencement in Christ, and would be perfected without him. Now this Paul might seem to intimate." I answer that this is not the meaning of the words; otherwise he would contradict himself when he says elsewhere, that "in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (<510203>Colossians 2:3.) He, then, who has learned Christ, (<490420>Ephesians 4:20,) is already complete in the whole system of heavenly doctrine. But as Paul's ministry had contemplated rather the founding of the Corinthians than the raising up among them of the top-stone of the building, he merely shows here what he had done in respect of his having preached Christ in purity. With respect to himself therefore, he calls him the foundation, while at the same time he does not thereby exclude him from the rest of the building. In fine, Paul does not put any kind of doctrine in opposition to the knowledge of Christ, but on the contrary there is a comparison between himself and the ministers. 12. Now if any man build upon this foundation. He pursues still farther the metaphor. It would not have been enough to have laid the foundation if the entire superstructure did not correspond; for as it were an absurd thing to raise a structure of vile materials on a foundation of gold, so it were greatly criminal to bury Christ under a mass of strange doctrines. f177 By gold, then, and silver, and precious stones, he means doctrine worthy of Christ, and of such a nature as to be a superstructure corresponding to such a foundation. Let us not imagine, however, that this doctrine is apart from Christ, but on the contrary let us understand that we must continue to preach Christ until the very completion of the building. Only we must observe order, so as to begin with general doctrine, and more essential articles, as the foundations, and then go on to admonitions, exhortations, and everything that is requisite for perseverance, confirmation, and advancement. As there is an agreement thus far as to Paul's meaning, without any controversy, it follows on the other hand, that by wood, stubble and hay, is meant doctrine not answering to the foundation, such as is forged in men's brain, and is thrust in upon us as though it were the oracles of God. f178 For God will have his Church trained up by the pure preaching of his own word, not by the contrivances of men, of which sort also is that which has no tendency to edification, as for example curious questions, (<540104>1 Timothy 1:4,) which commonly contribute more to ostentation, or some foolish appetite, than to the salvation of men. He forewarns them that every man's work will one day be made manifest of what sort it is, however it may be for a time concealed, as though he had said: "It may indeed happen, that unprincipled workmen may for a time deceive, so that the world does not perceive how far each one has labored faithfully or fraudulently, but what is now as it were buried in darkness must of necessity come to light, and what is now glorious in the eyes of men, must before the face of God fall down, and be regarded as worthless." 13. For the day will declare it. In the old translation it is the day of the Lord, f179 but it is probable that the words of the Lord were added by some one by way of explanation. The meaning unquestionably is complete without that addition. For with propriety we give the name of day to the time when darkness and obscurity are dispelled, and the truth is brought to light. Hence the Apostle forewarns us, that it cannot always remain a secret who have acted fraudulently in the work of the Lord, or who have conducted themselves with fidelity, as though he had said: "The darkness will not always remain: the light will one day break forth; which will make all things manifest." That day, I own, is God's - not man's, but the metaphor is more elegant if you read simply - the day, because Paul in this way conveys the idea, that the Lord's true servants cannot always be accurately distinguished from false workmen, inasmuch as virtues and vices are concealed by the darkness of the night. That night, however, will not always continue. For ambition is blind - man's favor is blind - the world's applause is blind, but this darkness God afterwards dispels in his own time. Take notice, that he always discovers the assurance of a good conscience, and with an unconquerable magnanimity despises perverse judgments; first, in order that he may call back the Corinthians from popular applause to a right rule of judgment; and secondly, for the purpose of confirming the authority of his ministry. Because it will be revealed by fire. Paul having spoken of doctrine metaphorically, now also applies metaphorically the name of fire to the very touchstone of doctrine, that the corresponding parts of the comparison may harmonize with each other. The fire, then, here meant is the Spirit of the Lord, who tries by his touchstone what doctrine resembles gold and what resembles stubble. The nearer the doctrine of God is brought to this fire, so much the brighter will be its luster. On the other hand, what has had its origin in man's head will quickly vanish, f180 as stubble is consumed in the fire. There seems also to be an allusion to the day of which he makes mention: "Not only will those things which vain ambition, like a dark night, concealed among the Corinthians, be brought to light by the brightness of the sun, but there will also be a strength of heat, not merely for drying up and cleansing away the refuse, but also for burning up everything wrong." For however men may look upon themselves, as forming acute judgments, their discernment, notwithstanding, reaches no farther than appearance, which, for the most part, has no solidity. There is nothing but that day to which the Apostle appeals, that tests everything to the quick, not merely by its brightness, but also by its fiery flame. 14. If any man's work remains, he will receive a reward. His meaning is, that those are fools who depend on man's estimation, so as to reckon it enough to be approved by men, for then only will the work have praise and recompense - when it has stood the test of the day of the Lord. Hence he exhorts His true ministers to have an eye to that day. For by the word remains, he intimates that doctrines fly about as it were in an unsettled state, nay more, like empty bubbles, they glitter for the moment, until they have come to be thoroughly tested. Hence it follows, that we must reckon as nothing all the applauses of the world, the emptiness of which will in a very little be exposed by heaven's judgment. 15. If any man's work shall be burned. It is as though he had said: Let no man flatter himself on the ground that, in the opinion of men, he is reckoned among the most eminent master-builders, for as soon as the day breaks in, his whole work must go utterly to nothing, if it is not approved of by the Lord. This, then, is the rule to which every one's ministry requires to be conformed. Some explain this of doctrine, so that zhmiousqai f181 means simply to perish, and then what immediately follows they view as referring to the foundation, because in the Greek qemeliov (foundation) is in the masculine gender. They do not, however, sufficiently attend to the entire context. For Paul in this passage subjects to trial, not his own doctrine, but that of others. f182 Hence it were out of place to make mention at present of the foundation. He has stated a little before, that every man's work will be tried by fire. He comes afterwards to state an alternative, which ought not to be extended beyond that general observation. Now it is certain that Paul spoke there simply of the structure which had been erected upon the foundation. He has already in the first clause promised a reward to good master-builders, f183 whose labor shall have been approved of. Hence the contrast in the second clause suits admirably well - that those who have mixed stubble, or wood, or straw, will be disappointed of the commendation which they had expected. He himself will be saved, etc. It is certain that Paul speaks of those who, while always retaining the foundations, mix hay with gold, stubble with silver, and wood with precious stones - that is, those who build upon Christ, but in consequence of the weakness of the flesh, admit something that is man's, or through ignorance turn aside to some extent from the strict purity of God's word. Such were many of the saints, Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine, and the like. Add to these, if you choose, from those of later times, Gregory and Bernard, and others of that stamp, who, while they had it as their object to build upon Christ, did nevertheless often deviate from the right system of building. Such persons, Paul says, could be saved, but on this condition - if the Lord wiped away their ignorance, and purged them from all dross. This is the meaning of rim clause so as by fire. He means, therefore, to intimate, that he does not take away from them the hope of salvation, provided they willingly submit to the loss of their labor, and are purged by the mercy of God, as gold is refined in the furnace. Farther, although God sometimes purges his own people by afflictions, yet here by the name of fire, I understand the touchstone of the Spirit, by which the Lord corrects and removes the ignorance of his people, by which they were for a time held captive. I am aware, indeed, that, many refer this to the cross, f184 but I am confident that my interpretation will please all that are of sound judgment. It remains, that we give an answer in passing to the Papists, who endeavor from this passage to prop up Purgatory. "The sinners f185 whom God forgives, pass through the fire, that they may be saved." Hence they in this way suffer punishment in the presence of God, so as to afford satisfaction to his justice I pass over their endless fictions in reference to the measure of punishment, and the means of redemption from them, but I ask, who they are that pass through the fire? Paul assuredly speaks of ministers alone. "There is the same reason," they say, "as to all." It is not for us f186 but for God to judge as to this matter. But even granting them this, how childishly they stumble at the term fire. For to what purpose is this fire, f187 but for burning up the hay and straw, and on the other hand, for proving the gold and silver. Do they mean to say that doctrines are discerned by the fire of their purgatory? Who has ever learned from that, what difference there is between truth and falsehood? Farther, when will that day come that will shine forth so as to discover every one's work? Did it begin at the beginning of the world, and will it continue without interruption to the end? If the terms stubble, hay, gold, and silver are figurative, as they must necessarily allow, what correspondence will there be between the different clauses, if there is nothing figurative in the term fire? Away, then, with such silly trifles, which carry their absurdity in their forehead, for the Apostle's true meaning is, I think, sufficiently manifest. 1 CORINTHIANS 3:16-23 16. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 16. An nescitis, quod templum Dei estis et Spiritus Dei habitat in vobis? 17. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 17. Si quis ternplum Dei corrumpit, f188 hunc perdet Deus. Templum enim Dei sanctum est, quod estis vos. 18. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise, 18. Nemo se decipiat, si quis videtur sapiens esse inter vos: in saeculo hoc stultus fiat, f189 ut fiat sapiens. 19. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is own craftiness. 19. Sapientia enim mundi huius stultitia est apud Deum. Scriptum est enim (<180513>Job 5:13) Deprehendens sapientes in astutia sua. 20. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 20. Et rursum (Psalm 94:11) Dominus novit cogitationes sapientum vanas esse. 21. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 21. Proinde nemo glorietur in hominibus, omnia enim vestra sunt; 22. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 22. Sive Paulus, sive Apollos, sive Cephas, sive mundus, sive vita, sive mors, sive prmsentia, sive futura: omnia vestra sunt, 23. And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. 23. Vos autem Christi; Christus autem Dei. 16. Know ye not, etc. Having admonished the teachers as to their duty, he now addresses himself to the pupils - that they, too, may take heed to themselves. To the teachers he had said, "You are the master-builders of the house of God." He now says to the people, "You are the temples of God. It is your part, therefore, to take care that you be not, in any way defiled." Now, the design f190 is, that they may not prostitute themselves to the service of men. He confers upon them distinguished honor in speaking thus, but it is in order that they may be made the more reprehensible; for, as God has set them apart as a temple to himself, he has at the same time appointed them to be guardians of his temple. It is sacrilege, then, if they give themselves up to the service of men. He speaks of all of them collectively as being one temple of God; for every believer is a living stone, (<600205>1 Peter 2:5,) for the rearing up of the building of God. At the same time they also, in some cases, individually receive the name of temples. We shall find him a little afterwards (<460619>1 Corinthians 6:19) repeating the same sentiment, but for another purpose. For in that passage he treats of chastity; but here, on the other hand, he exhorts them to have their faith resting on the obedience of Christ alone. The interrogation gives additional emphasis; for he indirectly intimates, that he speaks to them of a thing that they knew, while he appeals to them as witnesses. And the Spirit of God. Here we have the reason why they are the temple of God. Hence and must be understood as meaning because. f191 This is customary, as in the words of the poet - "Thou hadst heard it, and it had been reported." "For this reason," says he, "are ye the temples of God, because He dwells in you by his Spirit; for no unclean place can be the habitation of God." In this passage we have an explicit testimony for maintaining the divinity of the Holy Spirit. For if he were a creature, or merely a gift, he would not make us temples of God, by dwelling in us. At the same time we learn, in what manner God communicates himself to us, and by what tie we are bound to him - when he pours down upon us the influence of his Spirit. 17. If any man corrupts the temple of God. He subjoins a dreadful threatening - that, as the temple of God ought to be inviolably sacred, that man, whoever he may be, that corrupts it, will not pass with impunity. The kind of profanation of which he now speaks, is, when men intrude themselves, so as to bear rule in the Church in the place of God. For as that faith, which is devoted to the pure doctrine of Christ, is called elsewhere spiritual chastity, (<471102>2 Corinthians 11:2,)so it also sanctifies our souls for the right and pure worship of God. For as soon as we are tinctured with the contrivances of men, the temple of God is polluted, as it were, with filth, because the sacrifice of faith, which he claims for himself alone, is in that case offered to creatures. 18. Let no man deceive himself. Here he puts his finger upon the true sore, as the whole mischief originated in this - that they were wise in their own conceit. Hence he exhorts them not to deceive themselves with a false impression, by arrogating any wisdom to themselves - by which he means, that all are under a mistake, who depend upon their own judgment. Now, he addresses himself, in my opinion, to hearers as well as teachers. For the former discovered a partiality for those ambitious men, and lent an ear to them, f192 because they had too fastidious a taste, so that the simplicity of the gospel was insipid to their taste; while the latter aimed at nothing but show, that they might be in some estimation. He accordingly admonishes both to this effect - "Let no one rest satisfied with his own wisdom, but let him who thinketh himself to be wise, become a fool in this world," or, "Let him who is distinguished in this world by reputation for wisdom, of his own accord empty himself, f193 and become a fool in his own estimation." Farther, in these words the Apostle does not require, that we should altogether renounce the wisdom that is implanted in us by nature, or acquired by long practice; but simply, that we subject it to the service of God, so as to have no wisdom but through his word. For this is what is meant by becoming a fool in this world, or in our own estimation - when we are prepared to give way to God, and embrace with fear and reverence everything that he teaches us, rather than follow what may appear to us plausible. f194 The meaning of the clause in this world, is as though he had said - "According to the judgment or opinion of the world." For the wisdom of the world is this - if we reckon ourselves sufficient of ourselves for taking counsel as to all matters (<191302>Psalm 13:2) for governing ourselves, and for managing whatever we have to do - if we have no dependence on any other f195 - if we feel no need of the guidance of another, but are competent to govern ourselves. f196 He, therefore, on, the other hand, is a fool in this world, who, renouncing his own understanding, allows himself to be directed by the Lord, as if with his eyes shut - who, distrusting himself, leans wholly upon the Lord, places his whole wisdom in him, and yields himself up to God in docility and submission. It is necessary that our wisdom should in this way vanish, in order that the will of God may have authority over us, and that we be emptied of our own understanding, that we may be filled with the wisdom of God. At the same time, the clause f197 may either be taken in connection with the first part of the verse, or joined with the last, but as the meaning is not much different, I leave every one to choose for himself. 19. For the wisdom of this world. This is an argument taken from things opposite. To maintain the one is to overturn the other. As, therefore, the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, it follows that we cannot be wise in the sight of God, unless we are fools in the view of the world. We have already explained (<460120>1 Corinthians 1:20) what he means by the wisdom of this world; for natural perspicacity is a gift of God, and the liberal arts, and all the sciences by which wisdom is acquired, are gifts of God. They are confined, however, within their own limits; for into God's heavenly kingdom they cannot penetrate. Hence they must occupy the place of handmaid, not of mistress: nay more, they must be looked upon as empty and worthless, until they have become entirely subject to the word and Spirit of God. If, on the other hand, they set themselves in opposition to Christ, they must be looked upon as dangerous pests, and, if they strive to accomplish anything of themselves, as the worst of all hindrances. f198 Hence the wisdom of the world, in Paul's acceptation, is that which assumes to itself authority, and does not allow itself to be regulated by the word of God, or to be subdued, so as to yield itself up in entire subjection to him. Until, therefore, matters have come to this, that the individual acknowledges that he knows nothing but what he has learned from God, and, giving up his own understanding; resigns himself unreservedly to Christ's guidance, he is wise in the world's account, but he is foolish in the estimation of God. For it is written, He taketh the wise. He confirms this from two Scripture proofs, the first of which is taken from <180513>Job 5:13, where the wisdom of God is extolled on this ground, that no wisdom of the world can stand before it. Now it is certain, that the Prophet speaks there of those that are cunning and crafty; but as the wisdom of man is invariably such without God, f199 it is with good reason that Paul applies it in this sense, - that whatever wisdom men have of themselves is reckoned of no account in the sight of God. The second is from <199411>Psalm 94:11, where David, after claiming for God alone the office and authority of the Instructor of all, adds, that He knows the thoughts of all to be vain. Hence, in whatever estimation they are held by us, they are, in the judgment of God, vain. Here we have an admirable passage for bringing down the confidence of the flesh, while God from on high declares that everything that the mind of man conceives and contrives is mere vanity. f200 21. Therefore let no man glory in men. As there is nothing that is more vain than man, how little security there is in leaning upon an evanescent shadow! Hence he infers with propriety from the preceding statement, that we must not glory in men, inasmuch as the Lord thus takes away from mankind universally every ground of glorying. At the same time this inference depends on the whole of the foregoing doctrine, as will appear ere long. For as we belong to Christ alone, it is with good reason that he teaches us, that any supremacy of man, by which the glory of Christ is impaired, involves sacrilege. 22. All things are yours. He proceeds to show what place and station teachers should occupy f201 - such as not to detract in any degree from the authority of Christ, the one Master. As therefore Christ is the Church's sole master, and as he alone without exception is worthy to be listened to, it is necessary to distinguish between him and others, as even Christ himself has testified respecting himself, (<402308>Matthew 23:8,) and no other is recommended to us by the Father with this honorable declaration, f202 "Hear ye him." (<401705>Matthew 17:5.) As, therefore, he alone is endowed with authority to rule us by his word, Paul says that others are ours - meaning, that they are appointed to us by God with the view of our making use of them - not that they should exercise dominion over our consciences. Thus on the one hand, he shows that they are not useless, and, on the other hand, he keeps them in their own place, that they may not exalt themselves in opposition to Christ. What he adds, as to death, life, and the rest, is hyperbolical, so far as concerns the passage before us. He had it in view, however, to reason, as it were, from the greater to the less, in this manner. "Christ having put in subjection to us life and death, and everything, can we doubt, whether he has not also made men subject to us, to help us by their ministrations - not to oppress us by tyranny." Now if any one takes occasion from this to allege, that the writings both of Paul and of Peter are subject to our scrutiny, inasmuch as they were men, and are not exempted from the common lot of others, I answer, that Paul, while he does not by any means spare himself or Peter, admonishes the Corinthians to distinguish between the person of the individual, and the dignity or distinction of office. "As for myself, viewed as a man, I wish to be judged of simply as a man, that Christ alone may have distinction in our ministry." This, however, in a general way, we must hold, f203 that all who discharge the office of the ministry, are ours, from the highest to the lowest, so that we are at liberty to withhold our assent to their doctrine, until they show that it is from Christ. For they must all be tried, (<620401>1 John 4:1,)and we must yield obedience to them, only when they have satisfactorily shown themselves to be faithful servants of Christ. Now as to Peter and Paul, this point being beyond all controversy, and the Lord having furnished us with amply sufficient evidence, that their doctrine has come forth from Him, when we receive as an oracle from heaven, and venerate everything that they have delivered to us, we hear not so much them, as Christ speaking in them. 23. Christ is God's. This subjection relates to Christ's humanity, for by taking upon him our flesh, he assumed "the form" and condition "of a servant," that he might make himself obedient to his Father in all things. (<502007>Philippians 2:7, 8.) And assuredly, that we may cleave to God through him, it is necessary that he have God as his head. (<461103>1 Corinthians 11:3.) We must observe, however, with what intention Paul has added this. For he admonishes us, that the sum of our felicity consists in this, f204 that we are united to God who is the chief good, and this is accomplished when we are gathered together under the head that our heavenly Father has set over us. In the same sense Christ said to his disciples, "Ye ought to rejoice, because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I," (<431428>John 14:28,) for there he set himself forth as the medium, through which believers come to the original source of every blessing. It is certain, that those are left destitute of that signal blessing, who depart from the unity of the Head. f205 Hence this order of things suits the connection of the passage - that those subject themselves to Christ alone, who desire to remain under God's jurisdiction. CHAPTER 4 1 CORINTHIANS 4:1-5 1. Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 1. Sic nos aestimet homo ut ministros Christi, et dispensatores arcanorum Dei. 2. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 2. Caeterum in ministris hoc quaeritur, ut fidelis aliquis reperiatur. 3. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 3. Mihi viro pro minimo est, a vobis diiudicari, aut ab humano die: f206 imo nec me ipsum diiudico. 4. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 4. Nullius enim rei mihi sum conscius: sed non in hoc sum justificatus. Porro qui me diiudicat, Dominus est. 5. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God. 5. Itaque ne ante tempus quicquam iudicetis, donec venerit Dominus, qui et illustrabit abscondita tenebrarum, et manifestabit consilia cordium; et tunc laus erit cuique a Deo. 1. Let a man so account of us. As it was a matter of no little importance to see the Church in this manner torn by corrupt factions, from the likings or dislikings that were entertained towards individuals, he enters into a still more lengthened discussion as to the ministry of the word. Here there are three things to be considered in their order. In the first place, Paul describes the office of a pastor of the Church. Secondly, he shows, that it is not enough for any one to produce a title, or even to undertake the duty - a faithful administration of the office being requisite. Thirdly, as the judgment formed of him by the Corinthians was preposterous, f207 he calls both himself and them to the judgment-seat of Christ. In the first place, then, he teaches in what estimation every teacher in the Church ought to be held. In this department he modifies his discourse in such a manner as neither, on the one hand, to lower the credit of the ministry, nor, on the other, to assign to man more than is expedient. For both of these things are exceedingly dangerous, because, when ministers are lowered, contempt of the word arises, f208 while, on the other hand, if they are extolled beyond measure, they abuse liberty, and become "wanton against the Lord." (<540511>1 Timothy 5:11.) Now the medium observed by Paul consists in this, that he calls them ministers of Christ; by which he intimates, that they ought to apply themselves not to their own work but to that of the Lord, who has hired them as his servants, and that they are not appointed to bear rule in an authoritative manner in the Church, but are subject to Christ's authority f209 - in short, that they are servants, not masters. As to what he adds - stewards of the mysteries of God, he expresses hereby the kind of service. By this he intimates, that their office extends no farther than this, that they are stewards of the mysteries of God. In other words, what the Lord has committed to their charge they deliver over to men from hand to hand - as the expression is f210 - not what they themselves might choose. "For this purpose has God chosen them as ministers of his Son, that he might through them communicate to men his heavenly wisdom, and hence they ought not to move a step beyond this." He appears, at the same time, to give a stroke indirectly to the Corinthians, who, leaving in the background the heavenly mysteries, had begun to hunt with excessive eagerness after strange inventions, and hence they valued their teachers for nothing but profane learning. It is an honorable distinction that he confers upon the gospel when he terms its contents the mysteries of God. But as the sacraments are connected with these mysteries as appendages, it follows, that those who have the charge of administering the word are the authorized stewards of them also. 2. But it is required in ministers. f211 It is as though he had said, it is not enough to be a steward if there be not an upright stewardship. Now the rule of an upright stewardship, is to conduct one's self in it with fidelity. It is a passage that ought to be carefully observed, for we see how haughtily f212 Papists require that everything that they do and teach should have the authority of law, simply on the ground of their being called pastors. On the other hand, Paul is so far from being satisfied with the mere title, that, in his view, it is not even enough that there is a legitimate call, unless the person who is called conducts himself in the office with fidelity. On every occasion, therefore, on which Papists hold up before us the mask of a name, for the purpose of maintaining the tyranny of their idol, let our answer be, that Paul requires more than this from the ministers of Christ, though, at the same time, the Pope and his attendant train are wanting not merely in fidelity in the discharge of the office, but also in the ministry itself, if everything is duly considered. This passage, however, militates, not merely against wicked teachers, but also against all that have any other object in view than the glory of Christ and the edification of the Church. For every one that teaches the truth is not necessarily faithful, but, only he who desires from the heart to serve the Lord and advance Christ's kingdom. Nor is it without good reason that Augustine assigns to hirelings, (<431012>John 10:12,)a middle place between the wolves and the good teachers. As to Christ's requiring wisdom also on the part of the good steward, (<421242>Luke 12:42,) he speaks, it is true, in that passage with greater clearness than Paul, but the meaning is the same. For the faithfulness of which Christ speaks is uprightness of conscience, which must be accompanied with sound and prudent counsel. By a faithful minister Paul means one who, with knowledge as well as uprightness, f213 discharges the office of a good and faithful minister. 3. But with me it is a very small thing. It remained that he should bring before their view his faithfulness, that the Corinthians might judge of him from this, but, as their judgment was corrupted, he throws it aside and appeals to the judgment-seat of Christ. The Corinthians erred in this, that they looked with amazement at foreign masks, and gave no heed to the true and proper marks of distinction. f214 He, accordingly, declares with great confidence, that he despises a perverted and blind judgment of this sort. In this way, too, he, on the one hand, admirably exposes the vanity of the false Apostles who made the mere applause of men their aim, and reckoned themselves happy if they were held in admiration; and, on the other hand, he severely chastises the arrogance f215 of the Corinthians, which was the reason why they were so much blinded in their judgment. But, it is asked, on what ground it was allowable for Paul, not merely to set aside the censure of one Church, but to set himself above the judgment of men? for this is a condition common to all pastors - to be judged of by the Church. I answer, that it is the part of a good pastor to submit both his doctrine and his life for examination to the judgment of the Church, and that it is the sign of a good conscience not to shun the light of careful inspection. In this respect Paul, without doubt, was prepared for submitting himself to the judgment of the Corinthian Church, and for being called to render an account both of his life and of his doctrine, had there been among them a proper scrutiny, f216 as he often assigns them this power, and of his own accord entreats them to be prepared to judge aright. But when a faithful pastor sees that he is borne down by unreasonable and perverse affections, and that justice and truth have no place, he ought to appeal to God, and betake himself to his judgment-seat, regardless of human opinion, especially when he cannot secure that a true and proper knowledge of matters shall be arrived at. If, then, the Lord's servants would bear in mind that they must act in this manner, let them allow their doctrine and life to be brought to the test, nay more, let them voluntarily present themselves for this purpose; and if anything is objected against them, let them not decline to answer. But if they see that they are condemned without being heard in their own defense, and that judgment is passed upon them without their being allowed a hearing, let them raise up their minds to such a pitch of magnanimity, as that, despising the opinions of men, they will fearlessly wait for God as their judge. In this manner the Prophets of old, having to do with refractory persons, f217 and such as had the audacity to despise the word of God in their administration of it, required to raise themselves aloft, in order to tread under foot that diabolical obstinacy, which manifestly tended to overthrow at once the authority of God and the light of truth. Should any one, however, when opportunity is given for defending himself, or at least when he has need to clear himself, appeal to God by way of subterfuge, he will not thereby make good his innocence, but will rather discover his consummate impudence. f218 Or of man's day. While others explain it in another manner, the simpler way, in nay opinion, is to understand the word day as used metaphorically to mean judgment, because there are stated days for administering justice, and the accused are summoned to appear on a certain day. He calls it man's day f219 when judgment is pronounced, not according to truth, or in accordance with the word of the Lord, but according to the humor or rashness of men, f220 and in short, when God does not preside. "Let men," says he, "sit for judgment as they please: it is enough for me that God will annul whatever they have pronounced." Nay, I judge not mine own self. The meaning is: "I do not venture to judge myself, though I know myself best; how then will you judge me, to whom I am less intimately known?" Now he proves that he does not venture to judge himself by this, that though he is not conscious to himself of anything wrong, he is not thereby acquitted in the sight of God. Hence he concludes, that what the Corinthians assume to themselves, belongs exclusively to God. "As for me," says he, "when I have carefully examined myself, I perceive that I am not so clear-sighted as to discern thoroughly my true character; and hence I leave this to the judgment of God, who alone call judge, and to whom this authority exclusively belongs. As for you, then, on what ground will you make pretensions to something more?" As, however, it were very absurd to reject all kinds of judgment, whether of individuals respecting themselves, or of one individual respecting his brother, or of all together respecting their pastor, let it be understood that Paul speaks here not of the actions of men, which may be reckoned good or bad according to the word of the Lord, but of the eminence of each individual, which ought not to be estimated according to men's humors. It belongs to God alone to determine what distinction every one holds, and what honor he deserves. The Corinthians, however, despising Paul, groundlessly extolled others to the skies, as though they had at their command that knowledge which belonged exclusively to God. This is what he previously made mention of as man's day - when men mount the throne of judgment, and, as if they were gods, anticipate the day of Christ, who alone is appointed by the Father as judge, allot to every one his station of honor, assign to some a high place, and degrade others to the lowest seats. But what rule of distinction do they observe? They look merely to what appears openly; and thus what in their view is high and honorable, is in many instances an abomination in the sight of God. (<421615>Luke 16:15.) If any one farther objects, that the ministers of the word may in this world be distinguished by their works, as trees by their fruits, (<400716>Matthew 7:16,) I admit that this is true, but we must consider with whom Paul had to deal. It was with persons who, in judging, looked to nothing but show and pomp, and arrogated to themselves a power which Christ., while in this world, refrained from using - that of assigning to every one his seat in the kingdom of God. (<402023>Matthew 20:23.) He does not, therefore, prohibit us from esteeming those whom we have found to be faithful workmen, and pronouncing them to be such; nor, on the other hand, from judging persons to be bad workmen according to the word of God, but he condemns that rashness which is practiced, when some are preferred above others in a spirit of ambition - not according to their merits, but without examination of the case. f221 4. I am not conscious to myself of anything faulty. Let us observe that Paul speaks here not of his whole life, but simply of the office of apostleship. For if he had been altogether unconscious to himself of anything wrong, f222 that would have been a groundless complaint which he makes in <450715>Romans 7:15, where he laments that the evil which he would not, that he does, and that he is by sin kept back from giving himself up entirely to God. Paul, therefore, felt sin dwelling in him, and confessed it; but as to his apostleship, (which is the subject that is here treated of,) he had conducted himself with so much integrity and fidelity, that his conscience did not accuse him as to anything. This is a protestation of no common character, and of such a nature as clearly shows the piety and sanctity of his breast; f223 and yet he says that he is not thereby justified. that is, pure, and altogether free from guilt in the sight of God. Why? Assuredly, because God sees much more distinctly than we; and hence, what appears to us cleanest, is filthy in his eyes. Here we have a beautiful and singularly profitable admonition, not to measure the strictness of God's judgment by our own opinion; for we are dim-sighted, but God is preeminently discerning. We think of ourselves too indulgently, but God is a judge of the utmost strictness. Hence the truth of what Solomon says - "Every man's ways appear right his own eyes, but the Lord pondereth the hearts." (<202102>Proverbs 21:2.) Papists abuse this passage for the purpose of shaking the assurance of faith, and truly, I confess, that if their doctrine were admitted, we could do nothing but tremble in wretchedness during our whole life. For what tranquillity could our minds enjoy if it were to be determined from our works whether we are well-pleasing to God? I confess, therefore, that from the main foundation of Papists there follows nothing but continual disquietude for consciences; and, accordingly, we teach that we must have recourse to the free promise of mercy, which is offered to us in Christ, that we may be fully assured that we are accounted righteous by God. 5. Therefore judge nothing before the time. From this conclusion it is manifest, that Paul did not mean to reprove every kind of judgment without exception, but only what is hasty and rash, without examination of the case. For the Corinthians did not mark with unjaundiced eye the character of each individual, but, blinded by ambition, groundlessly extolled one and depreciated another, and took upon themselves to mark out the dignity of each individual beyond what is lawful for men. Let us know, then, how much is allowed us, what is now within the sphere of our knowledge, and what is deferred until the day of Christ, and let us not attempt to go beyond these limits. For there are some things that are now seen openly, while there are others that lie buried in obscurity until the day of Christ. Who will bring to light. If this is affirmed truly and properly respecting the day of Christ, it follows that matters are never so well regulated in this world but that many things are involved in darkness, and that there is never so much light, but that many things remain in obscurity. I speak of the life of men, and their actions. He explains in the second clause, what is the cause of the obscurity and confusion, so that all things are not now manifest. It is because there are wonderful recesses and deepest lurking-places in the hearts of men. Hence, until the thoughts of the hearts are brought to light, there will always be darkness. And then shall every one have praise. It is as though he had said, "You now, O Corinthians, as if you had the adjudging of the prizes, f224 crown some, and send away others with disgrace, but this right and office belong exclusively to Christ. You do that before the time - before it has become manifest who is worthy to be crowned, but the Lord has appointed a day on which he will make it manifest." This statement takes its rise from the assurance of a good conscience, which brings us also this advantage, that committing our praises into the hands of God, we disregard the empty breath of human applause. 1 CORINTHIANS 4:6-8 6. And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. 6. Haec autem, fratres, transfiguravi in me ipsum et Apollo propter vos, ut in nobis disceretis, quis supra id quod scriptum est, de se sentiat: ut ne quis pro hoc vel illo infletur adversus alterum. 7. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 7. Quis enim to discernit? quid autem habes, quod non acceperis? si vero etiam acceperis, quid gloriaris tanquam non acceperis? 8. Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings with out us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. 8. Jam saturati estis, jam ditati estis, absque nobis regnum adepti estis; atque utinam sitis adepti ut et nos vobiscum regnemus. 6. I have in a figure transferred. Hence we may infer, that it was not those who were attached to Paul that gave rise to parties, as they, assuredly, had not. been so instructed, but those who had through ambition given themselves up to vain teachers. f225 But as he could more freely and less invidiously bring forward his own name, and that of his brethren, he preferred to point out in his own person the fault that existed in others. At the same time, he strikes a severe blow at the originators of the parties, and points his finger to the sources from which this deadly divorce took its rise. For he shows them, that if they had been satisfied with good teachers, they would have been exempted from this evil. f226 That is us. Some manuscripts have it "that in you." Both readings suit well, and their is no difference of meaning; for what Paul intends is this - "I have, for the sake of example, transferred these things to myself and Apollos, in order that you may transfer this example to yourselves." "Learn then in us," that is, "in that example which I have placed before you in our person as in a mirror;" or, "Learn in you," that is, "apply this example to yourselves." But what does he wish them to learn? That no one be puffed up for his own teacher against another, that is, that they be not lifted up with pride on account of their teachers, and do not abuse their names for the purpose of forming parties, and rending the Church asunder. Observe, too, that pride or haughtiness is the cause and commencement of all contentions, when every one, assuming to himself more than he is entitled to do, is eager to have others in subjection to him. The clause above what is written may be explained in two ways - either as referring to Paul's writings, or to the proofs from Scripture which he has brought forward. As this, however, is a matter of small moment, my readers may be loft at liberty to take whichever they may prefer. 7. For who distinguisheth thee? The meaning is - "Let that man come forward, whosoever he be, that is desirous of distinction, and troubles the Church by his ambition. I will demand of him who it is that makes him superior to others? that is, who it is that has conferred upon him the privilege of being taken out of the rank of the others, and made superior to others?" Now this whole reasoning depends on the order which the Lord has appointed in his Church - that the members of Christ's body may be united together, and that every one of them may rest satisfied with his own place, his own rank, his own office, and his own honor. If one member is desirous to quit his place, that he may leap over into the place of another, and invade his office, what will become of the entire body? Let us know, then, that the Lord has so placed us in the Church, and has in such a manner assigned to every one his own station, that, being under one head, we may be mutually helpful to each other. Let us know, besides, that we have been endowed with a diversity of gifts, in order that we may serve the Lord with modesty and humility, and may endeavor to promote the glory of him who has conferred upon us everything that we have. This, then, was the best remedy for correcting the ambition of those who were desirous of distinction - to call them back to God, in order that they might acknowledge that it was not according to any one's pleasure that he was placed in a high or a low station, but that this belonged to God alone; and farther, that God does not confer so much upon any one as to elevate him to the place of the Head, but distributes his gifts in such a manner, that He alone is glorified in all things. To distinguish here means to render eminent. f227 Augustine, however, does not ineptly make frequent use of this declaration for maintaining, in opposition to the Pelagians, f228 that whatever there is of excellence in mankind, is not implanted in him by nature, so that it could be ascribed either to nature or to descent; and farther, that it is not acquired by free will, so as to bring God under obligation, but flows from his pure and undeserved mercy. For there can be no doubt that Paul here contrasts the grace of God with the merit or worthiness of men. f229 And what hast thou? This is a confirmation of the preceding statement, for that man cannot on good ground extol himself, who has no superiority above others. For what greater vanity is there than that of boasting without any ground for it? Now, there is no man that has anything of excellency from himself; therefore the man that extols himself is a fool and an idiot. The true foundation of Christian modesty is this - not to be self-complacent, as knowing that we are empty and void of everything good - that, if God has implanted in us anything that is good, we are so much the more debtors to his grace; and in fine, that, as Cyprian says, we must glory in nothing, because there is nothing that is our own. Why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? Observe, that there remains no ground for our glorying, inasmuch as it is by the grace of God that we are what we are, (<461510>1 Corinthians 15:10.) And this is what we had in the first chapter, that Christ is the source of all blessings to us, that we may learn to glory in the Lord, (<460130>1 Corinthians 1:30, 31,) and this we do, only when we renounce our own glory. For God does not obtain his due otherwise than by our being emptied, so that it may be seen that everything in us that is worthy of praise is derived. 8. Now ye are full. Having in good earnest, and without the use of any figure, beat down their vain confidence, he now also ridicules it by way of irony, f230 because they are so self-complacent, as if they were the happiest persons in the world. He proceeds, too, step by step, in exposing their insolence. In the first place, he says, that they were full: this refers to the past. He then adds, Ye are rich: this applies to the future. Lastly, he says, that they had reigned as kings this is much more than either of those two. It is as though he had said, "What will you attain to, when you appear to be not merely full for the present, but are also rich for the future - nay more, are kings?" At the same time, he tacitly upbraids them with ingratitude, because they had the audacity to despise him, or rather those, through means of whom they had obtained everything. Without us, says he. "For Apollos and I are now esteemed nothing by you, though it is by our instrumentality that the Lord has conferred everything upon you. What inhumanity there is in resting with self-complacency in the gifts of God, while in the meantime you despise those through whose instrumentality you obtained them!" And I would to God that ye did reign. f231 Here he declares that he does not envy their felicity, (if indeed they have any,) and that from the beginning he has not sought to reign among them, but only to bring them to the kingdom of God. He intimates, however, on the other hand, that the kingdom in which they gloried was merely imaginary, and that their glowing was groundless and pernicious, f232 there being no true glorying but that which is enjoyed by all the sons of God in common, under Christ their Head, and every one of them according to the measure of the grace that has been given him. For by these words that ye also may reign with us, he means this - "You are so renowned in your own opinion that you do not hesitate to despise me, and those like me, but mark, how vain is your glorying. For you can have no glowing before God, in which we have not a share - for if honor redounds to you from having the gospel of God, how much more to us, by whose ministry it was conveyed to you! And assuredly, this is a madness f233 that is common to all the proud, that by drawing everything to themselves, they strip themselves of every blessing - nay more, they renounce the hope of everlasting salvation." 1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-15 9. For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 9. Existimo enim, quod Deus nos postremos Apostolos demonstraverit tanquam morti destinatos: nam theatrum facti sumus mundo,et angelis, et hominibus. 10. We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ: we are nos weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised. 10. Nos stulti propter Christum, vos autem prudentes in Christo: infirmi, vos autem robusti: vos gloriosi, nos autem ignobiles. 11. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place: 11. Ad hanc enim horam usque et sitimus, et esurimus, et nudi sumus, et colaphis caedimur. 12. And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless: being persecuted, we suffer it: 12. Etcircumagimur, et laboramus operantes manibus propriis: maledictis lacessiti benedicimus: persequutionem patientes sustinemus: 13. Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. 13. Conviciis affecti obsecramus: quasi exsecrationes mundi facti sumus, omnium reiectamentum usque ad hunc diem. 14. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 14. Non quo pudorem vobis incutiam, haec scribo: sed ut filios meos dilectos admoneo. 15. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 15. Nam etsi decem millia paedagogorum habueritis in Christo, non tamen multos patres; in Christo enim Iesu par Evangelium ego vos genui. 9. For I think, etc. It is uncertain whether he speaks of himself exclusively, or takes in at the same time Apollos and Silvanus, for he sometimes calls such persons apostles. I prefer, however, to understand it of himself exclusively. Should any one be inclined to extend it farther, I shall have no particular objection, provided only he does not understand it as Chrysostom does, to mean that the apostles were as if for the sake of ignominy reserved to the last place. f234 For there can be no doubt that by the term last, he means those who were admitted to the rank of apostles subsequently to the resurrection of Christ. Now, he admits that he is like those who are exhibited to the people when on the eve of being led forth to death. For such is the meaning of the word exhibited - as those who on occasion of a triumph were led round f235 for the sake of show, and were afterwards hurried away to prison to be strangled. This he expresses more distinctly by adding, that they were made a spectacle. "This," says he, "is my condition, that I exhibit to the world a spectacle of my miseries, like those who having been condemned to fight with wild beasts, f236 or to the games of the gladiators, or to some other mode of punishment, are brought forth to the view of the people, and that not before a few spectators, but before the whole world." Observe here the admirable steadfastness of Paul, who, while he saw himself to be dealt with by God in this manner, was nevertheless not broken or dispirited. For he does not impute it to the wantonness of the wicked, that he was, as it were, led forth with ignominy to the sport of the arena, but ascribes it wholly to the providence of God. The second clause to angels and to men, I take to be expository in this sense - "I am made a sport and spectacle, not merely to earth, but also to heaven." This passage has been commonly explained as referring to devils, from its seeming to be absurd to refer it to good angels. Paul, however, does not mean, that all who are witnesses of this calamity are gratified with such a spectacle. He simply means, that the Lord has so ordered his lot that he seems as though he had been appointed to furnish sport to the whole world. 10. We are fools for Christ's sake. This contrast is throughout ironical, and exceedingly pointed, it being unseemly and absurd that the Corinthians should be in every respect happy and honorable, according to the flesh, while in the meantime they beheld their master and father afflicted with the lowest ignominy, and with miseries of every kind. For those who are of opinion that Paul abases himself in this manner, in order that he may in earnestness ascribe to the Corinthians those things which he acknowledges himself to be in want of, may without any difficulty be refuted from the little clause that he afterwards subjoins. In speaking, therefore, of the Corinthians as wise in Christ, and strong, and honorable, he makes a concession ironically, as though he had said f237 - "You desire, along with the gospel, to retain commendation for wisdom, f238 whereas I have not been able to preach Christ otherwise than by becoming a fool in this world. Now when I have willingly, on your account, submitted to be a fool, or to be reckoned such, consider whether it be reasonable that you should wish to be esteemed wise. How in these flyings consort - that I who have been your master, am a fool for Christ's sake, and you, on the other hand, remain wise!" In this way, being wise in Christ is not taken here in a good sense, for he derides the Corinthians for wishing to mix up together Christ and the wisdom of the flesh, inasmuch as this were to endeavor to unite things directly contrary. The case is the same as to the subsequent clauses - "You are strong says he, and honorable, that is, you glory in the riches and resources of the world, you cannot endure the ignominy of the cross. In the meantime, is it reasonable that I should be on your account f239 mean and contemptible, and exposed to many infirmities? Now the complaint carries with it so much the more reproach f240 on this account, that even among themselves he was weak and contemptible. (<471010>2 Corinthians 10:10.) In fine, he derides their vanity in this respect, that, reversing the order of things, those who were sons and followers were desirous to be esteemed honorable and noble, while their father was in obscurity, and was exposed also to all the reproaches of the world. 11. For to this hour. The Apostle here describes his condition, as if in a picture, that the Corinthians may learn, from his example, to lay aside that loftiness of spirit, and embrace, as he did, the cross of Christ with meekness of spirit. He discovers the utmost dexterity in this respect, that in making mention of those things which had rendered him contemptible, he affords clear proof of his singular fidelity and indefatigable zeal for the advancement of the gospel; and, on the other hand, he tacitly reproves his rivals, who, while they had furnished no such proof, were desirous, nevertheless, to be held in the highest esteem. In the words themselves there is no obscurity, except that we must take notice of the distinction between those two participles - loidoroumenoi kai blasfhmoumenoi (reviled and defamed.) As loidoria means - that harsher sort of raillery, which does not merely give a person a slight touch, but a sharp bite, and blackens his character by open contumely, there can be no doubt that loidorein means - wounding a person with reproach as with a sting. f241 I have accordingly rendered it - harassed with revilings. Blasfhmia signifies a more open reproach, when any one is severely and atrociously slandered. f242 12. When he says that while persecuted he suffers it, and that he prays for his revilers, he intimates that he is not merely afflicted and abased by God, by means of the cross, but is also endowed with a disposition to abase himself willingly. In this, perhaps, he gives a stroke to the false apostles, who were so effeminate and tender, that they could not bear to be touched even with your little finger. In speaking of their laboring he adds - with our own hands, to express more fully the meanness of his employments f243 - "I do not merely gain a livelihood for myself by my own labor, but by mean labor, working with my own hands." 13. As the execrations of the world. He makes use of two terms, the former of which denotes a man who, by public execrations, is devoted, with the view to the cleansing of a city, f244 for such persons, on the ground of their cleansing the rest of the people, by receiving in themselves whatever there is in the city of crimes, and heinous offense, are called by the Greeks sometimes kaqarmoi, but more frequently kaqa>rmata. f245 Paul, in adding the preposition peri< (around) seems to have had an eye to the expiatory rite itself, inasmuch as those unhappy men who were devoted to execrations were led round through the streets, that they might carry away with them whatever there was of evil f246 in any corner, that the cleansing might be the more complete. The plural number might seem to imply that he speaks not of himself exclusively, but also of the others who were his associates, and who were not less held in contempt by the Corinthians. There is, however, no urgent reason for regarding what he says as extending to more than himself. The other term - peri>yhma, (offscouring,) denotes filings or scrapings of any kind, and also the sweepings that are cleared away with a brush. f247 As to both terms consult the annotations of Budaeus. f248 In so far as concerns the meaning of the passage before us, Paul, with the view of expressing his extreme degradation, says that he is held in abomination by the whole world, like a man set apart for expiation, f249 and that, like offscourings, he is nauseous to all. At the same time he does not mean to say by the former comparison that he is all expiatory victim for sins, but simply means, that in respect of disgrace and reproaches he differs nothing from the man on whom the execrations of all are heaped up. 14. I write not these things to shame you. As the foregoing instances of irony were very pointed, so that they might exasperate the minds of the Corinthians, he now obviates that dissatisfaction by declaring, that he had not said these things with a view to cover them with shame, but rather to admonish them with paternal affection. It is indeed certain that this is the nature and tendency of a father's chastisement, to make his son feel ashamed; for the first token of return to a right state of mind is the shame which the son begins to feel on being reproached for his fault. The object, then, which the father has in view when he chastises his son with reproofs, is that he may bring him to be displeased with himself. And we see that the tendency of what Paul has said hitherto, is to make the Corinthians ashamed of themselves. Nay more, we shall find him a little afterwards (<460605>1 Corinthians 6:5) declaring that he made mention of their faults in order that they may begin to be ashamed. Here, however, he simply means to intimate, that it was not his design to heap disgrace upon them, or to expose their sins publicly and openly with a view to their reproach. For he who admonishes in a friendly spirit, makes it his particular care that whatever there is of shame, may remain with the individual whom he admonishes, f250 and may in this manner be buried. On the other hand, the man who reproaches with a malignant disposition, inflicts disgrace upon the man whom he reproves for his fault, in such a manner as to hold him up to the reproach of all. Paul then simply affirms that what he had said, had been said by him, with no disposition to upbraid, or with any view to hurt their reputation, but, on the contrary, with paternal affection he admonished them as to what he saw to be defective in them. But what was the design of this admonition? It was that the Corinthians, who were puffed up with mere empty notions, might learn to glow, as he did, in the abasement of the cross, and might no longer despise him on those grounds on which he was deservedly honorable in the sight of God and angels - in fine, that, laying aside their accustomed haughtiness, they might set a higher value on those marks f251 of Christ (<480617>Galatians 6:17) that were upon him, than on the empty and counterfeit show of the false apostles. Let teachers f252 infer from this, that in reproofs they must always use such moderation as not to wound men's minds with excessive severity, and that, agreeably to the common proverb, they must mix honey or oil with vinegar - that they must above all things take care not to appear to triumph over those whom they reprove, or to take delight in their disgrace - nay more, that they must endeavor to make it understood that they seek nothing but that their welfare may be promoted. For what good will the teacher f253 do by mere bawling, if he does not season the sharpness of his reproof by that moderation of which I have spoken? Hence if we are desirous to do any good by correcting men's faults, we must distinctly give them to know, that our reproofs proceed from a friendly disposition. 15. For though you had ten thousand. He had called himself father, and now he shows that this title belongs to him peculiarly and specially, inasmuch as he alone has begotten them in Christ. In this comparison, however, he has an eye to the false apostles to whom the Corinthians showed all deference, so that Paul was now almost as nothing among them. Accordingly he admonishes them to consider what honor ought to be rendered to a father, and what to a pedagogue. f254 "You entertain respect for those new teachers. To this I have no objection, provided you bear in mind that I am your father, while they are merely pedagogues." Now by claiming for himself authority, he intimates that lie is actuated by a different kind of affection from that of those whom they so highly esteemed. "They take pains in instructing you. Be it so. Very different is the love of a father, very different his anxiety, very different his attachment from those of a pedagogue. What if he should also make an allusion to that imperfection of faith f255 which he had previously found fault with? For while the Corinthians were giants in pride, they were children in faith, and are, therefore, with propriety, sent to pedagogues. f256 He also reproves the absurd and base system of those teachers in keeping their followers in the mere first rudiments, with the view of keeping them always in bonds under their authority. f257 For in Christ. Here we have the reason why he alone ought to be esteemed as the father of the Corinthian Church - because he had begotten it. And truly it is in most appropriate terms that he here describes spiritual generation, when he says that he has begotten them in Christ, who alone is the life of the soul, and makes the gospel the formal cause. f258 Let us observe, then, that we are then in the sight of God truly begotten, when we are engrafted into Christ, out of whom there will be found nothing but death, and that this is effected by means of the gospel, because, while we are by nature flesh and hay, the word of God, as Peter (<600124>1 Peter 1:24, 25) teaches from Isaiah, (<234006>Isaiah 40:6, 7, 8,) is the incorruptible seed by which we are renewed to eternal life. Take away the gospel, and we will all remain accursed and dead in the sight of God. That same word by which we are begotten is afterwards milk to us for nourishing us, and it is also solid food to sustain us for ever. f259 Should any one bring forward this objection, "As new sons are begotten to God in the Church every day, why does Paul say that those who succeeded him were not fathers?" the answer is easy - that he is here speaking of the commencement of the Church. For although many had been begotten by the ministry of others, this honor remained to Paul untouched - that he had founded the Corinthian Church. Should any one, again, ask, "Ought not all pastors to be reckoned fathers, and if so, why does Paul deprive all others of this title, so as to claim it for himself exclusively?" I answer - "He speaks here comparatively." Hence, however the title of fathers might be applicable to them in other respects, yet in respect of Paul, they were merely instructors. We must also keep in mind what I touched upon a little ago, that he is not speaking of all, (for as to those who were like himself, as, for example, Apollos, Silvanus, and Timotheus, who aimed at nothing but the advancement of Christ's kingdom, he would have had no objection to their being so named, and having the highest honor assigned to them,) but is reproving those who, by a misdirected ambition, transferred to themselves the glory that belonged to another. Of this sort were those who robbed Paul of the honor that was due to him, that they might set themselves off in his spoils. And, truly, the condition of the Church universal at this day is the same as that of the Corinthian Church was at that time. For how few are there that love the Churches with a fatherly, that is to say, a disinterested affection, and lay themselves out to promote their welfare! Meanwhile, there are very many pedagogues, who give out their services as hirelings, in such a manner as to discharge as it were a mere temporary office, and in the meantime hold the people in subjection and admiration. f260 At the same time, even in that case it is well when there are many pedagogues, who do good, at least, to some extent by teaching, and do not destroy the Church by the corruptions of false doctrine. For my part, when I complain of the multitude of pedagogues, I do not refer to Popish priests, (for I would not do them the honor of reckoning them in that number,) but those who, while agreeing with us in doctrine, employ themselves in taking care of their own affairs, rather than those of Christ. We all, it is true, wish to be reckoned fathers, and require from others the obedience of sons, but where is the man to be found who acts in such a manner as to show that he is a father? f261 There remains another question of greater difficulty: As Christ forbids us to call any one father upon earth, because we have one Father in heaven, (<402309>Matthew 23:9,) how does Paul dare to take to himself the name of father? I answer, that, properly speaking, God alone is the Father, not merely of our soul, but also of our flesh. As, however, in so far as concerns the body, he communicates the honor of his paternal name to those to whom he gives offspring, while, as to souls, he reserves to himself exclusively the right and title of Father, I confess that, on this account, he is called in a peculiar sense the Father of spirits, and is distinguished from earthly fathers, as the Apostle speaks in <581209>Hebrews 12:9. As, however, notwithstanding that it is he alone who, by his own influence, begets souls, and regenerates and quickens them, he makes use of the ministry of his servants for this purpose, there is no harm in their being called fathers, in respect of this ministry, as this does not in any degree detract from the honor of God. The word, as I have said, is the spiritual seed. God alone by means of it regenerates our souls by his influence, but, at the same time, he does not exclude the efforts of ministers. If, therefore, you attentively consider, what God accomplishes by himself, and what he designs to be accomplished by ministers, you will easily understand in what sense he alone is worthy of the name of Father, and how far this name is applicable to his ministers, without any infringement upon his rights. 1 CORINTHIANS 4:16-21 16. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. 16. Adhortor ergo vos, imitatores mei estote. 17. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. 17. Hac de causa misi ad vos Timotheum, qui est filius meus dilectus et fidelis in Domino: qui vobis in memoriam reducat vias meas, quae sunt in Christo, quemadmodum ubique in omnibus Ecclesiis doceam. 18. Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. 18. Perinde quasi non sum ad vos venturus, inflati sunt quidam: 19. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. 19. Veniam autem brevi ad vos, si Dominus voluerit, et cognoscam non sermonem eorum qui sunt inflati, sed virtutem. 20. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 20. Neque enim in sermone regnum Dei est, sed in virtute. 21. What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness? 21. Quid vultis? in virga veniam ad vos, an in dilectione spirituque mansuetudinis? 16. I exhort you. He now expresses also, in his own words, what he requires from them in his fatherly admonition - that, being his sons, they do not degenerate from their father. For what is more reasonable than that sons endeavor to be as like as possible to their father. f262 At the same time he gives up something in respect of his own right, when he exhorts them to this, by way of entreaty rather than of command. But to what extent he wishes them to be imitators of him, he shows elsewhere, when he adds, as he was of Christ. (<461101>1 Corinthians 11:1.) This limitation must always be observed, so as not to follow any man, except in so far as he leads us to Christ. We know what he is here treating of. The Corinthians did not merely shun the abasement of the cross, but they also regarded their father with contempt, on this account, that, forgetting earthly glow, he gloried rather in reproaches for Christ; and they reckoned themselves and others fortunate in having nothing contemptible according to the flesh. He accordingly admonishes them to devote themselves, after his example, to the service of Christ, so as to endure all things patiently. 17. For this cause. The meaning is: "That you may know what my manner of life is, and whether I am worthy to be imitated, listen to what Timothy has to say, who will be prepared to be a faithful witness of these things. Now as there are two things that secure credit to a man's testimony - a knowledge of the things which he relates, and fidelity - he lets them know that Timothy possesses both of these things. For in calling him his dearly beloved son, he intimates that he knew him intimately, and was acquainted with all his affairs; and farther, he speaks of him as faithful in the Lord. He gives also two things in charge to Timothy - first, to recall to the recollection of the Corinthians those things which they should of themselves have had in remembrance, and in this he tacitly reproves them; and secondly, to testify to them, how uniform and steady his manner of teaching was in every place. Now it is probable that he had been assailed by the calumnies of the false apostles, as though he assumed more authority over the Corinthians than he did over others, or as though he conducted himself in a very different way in other places; for it is not without good reason that he wishes this to be testified to them. It is then the part of a prudent minister so to regulate his procedure, and to observe such a method of instruction, that no such objection may be brought against him, but he shall be prepared to answer on the same ground as Paul does. 18. As though I would not come to you. This is the custom of the false apostles - to take advantage of the absence of the good, that they may triumph and vaunt without any hindrance. Paul, accordingly, with the view of reproving their ill-regulated conscience, and repressing their insolence, tells them, that they cannot endure his presence. It happens sometimes, it is true, that wicked men, on finding opportunity of insulting, rise up openly with an iron front against the servants of Christ, but never do they come forward ingenuously to an equal combat, f263 but on the contrary, by sinister artifices they discover their want of confidence. 19. But I will come shortly. "They are in a mistake," says he, "in raising their crests during my absence, as though this were to be of long duration, for they shall in a short time perceive how vain their confidence has been." He has it not, however, so much in view to terrify them, as though he would on his arrival thunder forth against them, but rather presses and bears down upon their consciences, for, however they might disguise it, they were aware that he was furnished with divine influence. The clause, if the Lord will, intimates, that we ought not to promise anything to others as to the future, or to determine with ourselves, without adding this limitation in so far as the Lord will permit. Hence James with good reason derides the rashness of mankind (<590415>James 4:15) in planning what they are to do ten years afterwards, while they have not security for living even a single hour. We are not, it is true, bound by a constant necessity to the use of such forms of expression, but it is the better way to accustom ourselves carefully to them, that we may exercise our minds from time to time in this consideration - that all our plans must be in subjection to the will of God. And I will know not the speech. By speech you must understand that prating in which the false apostles delighted themselves, for they excelled in a kind of dexterity and gracefulness of speech, while they were destitute of the zeal and efficacy of the Spirit. By the term power, he means that spiritual efficacy, with which those are endowed who dispense the word of the Lord with earnestness. f264 The meaning, therefore, is: "I shall see whether they have so much occasion for being puffed up; and I shall not judge of them by their mere outward talkativeness, in which they place the sum-total f265 of their glory, and on the ground of which they claim for themselves every honor. If they wish to have any honor from me, they must bring forward that power which distinguishes the true servants of Christ from the merely pretended: otherwise I shall despise them, with all their show. It is to no purpose, therefore, that they confide in their eloquence, for I shall reckon it nothing better than smoke." 20. For the kingdom of God is not in word. As the Lord governs the Church by his word, as with a scepter, the administration of the gospel is often called the kingdom of God. Here, then, we are to understand by the kingdom of God whatever tends in this direction, and is appointed for this purpose - that God may reign among us. He says that this kingdom does not consist in word, for how small an affair is it for any one to have skill to prate eloquently, while he has nothing but empty tinkling. f266 Let us know, then, a mere outward gracefulness and dexterity in teaching is like a body that is elegant and of a beautiful color, while the power of which Paul here speaks is like the soul. We have already seen that the preaching of the gospel is of such a nature, that it is inwardly replete with a kind of solid majesty. This majesty shows itself, when a minister strives by means of power rather than of speech - that is, when he does not place confidence in his own intellect, or eloquence, but, furnished with spiritual armor, consisting of zeal for maintaining the Lord's honor - eagerness for the raising up of Christ's kingdom - a desire to edify - the fear of the Lord - an invincible constancy - purity of conscience, and other necessary endowments, he applies himself diligently to the Lord's work. Without this, preaching is dead, and has no strength, with whatever beauty it may be adorned. Hence in his second epistle, he says, that in Christ nothing avails but a new creature (<470517>2 Corinthians 5:17) - a statement which is to the same purpose. For he would have us not rest in outward masks, but depend solely on the internal power of the Holy Spirit. But while in these words he represses the ambition of the false apostles, he at the same time reproves the Corinthians for their perverted judgment, in measuring the servants of Christ by what holds the lowest place among their excellences. Here we have a remarkable statement, and one that is not less applicable to us than to them. As to our gospel, of which we are proud, f267 where is it in most persons except in the tongue? Where is newness of life? Where is spiritual efficacy? Nor is it so among the people merely. f268 On the contrary, how many there are, who, while endeavoring to procure favor and applause from the gospel, as though it were some profane science, aim at nothing else than to speak with elegance and refinement! I do not approve of restricting the term power to miracles, for from the contrast we may readily gather that it has a more extensive import. 21. What will ye? The person who divided the Epistles into chapters ought to have made this the beginning of the fifth chapter. For having hitherto reproved the foolish pride of the Corinthians, their vain confidence, and their judgment as perverted and corrupted by ambition, he now makes mention of the vices with which they were infected, and on account of which they ought to be ashamed - "You are puffed up, as though everything were on the best possible footing among you, but it were better if you did with shame and sighing acknowledge the unhappiness of your condition, for if you persist, I shall be under the necessity of laying aside mildness, and exercising towards you a paternal severity." There is, however, still more of emphasis in this threatening in which he gives them liberty to choose, for he declares that it does not depend upon himself whether he shall show himself agreeable and mild, but that it is their own fault that he is necessitated to use severity. "It is for you," says he, "to choose in what temper you would have me. As for me, I am prepared to be mild, but if you go on as you have done hitherto, I shall be under the necessity of taking up the rod." He thus takes higher ground, after having laid claim to fatherly authority over them, for it would have been absurd to set out with this threatening, without first opening up the way by what he said, and preparing them for entertaining fears. By the term rod, he means that severity with which a pastor ought to correct his people's faults. He places in contrast with this, love, and the spirit of meekness - not, as though the father hated the sons whom he chastises, for on the contrary the chastisement proceeds from love, but because by sadness of countenance and harshness of words, he appears as though he were angry with his son. To express myself more plainly - in one word, a father always, whatever kind of look he may put on, regards his son with affection, but that affection he manifests when he teaches him pleasantly and lovingly; but when, on the other hand, being displeased with his faults, he chastises him in rather sharp terms, or even with the rod, he puts on the appearance of a person in a passion. As then love does not appear when severity of discipline is exercised, it is not without good reason, that Paul here conjoins love with a spirit of meekness. There are some that understand the term rod to mean excommunication - but, for my part, though I grant them that excommunication is a part of that severity with which Paul threatens the Corinthians, I at the same time extend it farther, so as to include all reproofs that are of a harsher kind. Observe here what system a good pastor ought to observe; for he ought of his own accord to be inclined to mildness, with the view of drawing to Christ, rather than driving. This mildness, so far as in him lies, he ought to maintain, and never have recourse to bitterness, unless he be compelled to do so. On the other hand, he must not spare the rod, (<201324>Proverbs 13:24,) when there is need for it, for while those that are teachable and agreeable should be dealt with mildly, sharpness requires to be used in dealing with the refractory and contumacious. We see, too, that the Word of God does not contain mere doctrine, but contains an intermixture of bitter reproofs, so as to supply pastors with a rod. For it often happens, through the obstinacy of the people, that those pastors who are naturally the mildest f269 are constrained to put on, as it were, the countenance of another, and act with rigor and severity. CHAPTER 5 1 CORINTHIANS 5:1-5 1. It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 1. Omnino auditur in vobus scortatio, et talis scortatio, quae ne interGentes quidem nominatur, ut quis as uxorem patris habeat. 2. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 2. Et vos inflati estis, ac non magis luxistis, ut e medio vestri removeretur, qui facinus hoc admisit. 3. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 3. Ego quidem certe tanquam absens corpore, praesens autem spiritu, jam iudicavi tanquam praesens, qui hoc ita designavit, 4. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power our Lord Jesus Christ, 4. In nomine Domini nostri Iesu Christi, congregatis vobis et spiritu meo, cum potentia Domini nostri of Iesu Christi, eiusmodi inquam hominem. 5. To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 5. Tradere Satanae in exitium carnis, ut spiritus salvus fiat in die Domini Iesu. 1. It is generally reported that there is among you. Those contentions having originated, as has been observed, in presumption and excessive confidence, he most appropriately proceeds to make mention of their diseases, the knowledge of which should have the effect of humbling them. First of all, he shows them what enormous wickedness it is to allow one of their society to have an illicit connection with his mother-in-law. It is not certain, whether he had seduced her from his father as a prostitute, or whether he kept her under pretense of marriage. This, however, does not much affect, the subject in hand; for, as in the former case, there would have been an abominable and execrable whoredom, so the latter would have involved an incestuous connection, abhorrent to all propriety and natural decency. Now, that he may not seem to charge them on doubtful suspicions, he says, that the case which he brings forward is well known and in general circulation. For it is in this sense that I take the particle o[lwv (generally) as intimating that it was no vague rumor, but a matter well known, and published everywhere so as to cause great scandal. From his saying that such a kind of whoredom was not named even among the Gentiles, some are of opinion, that he refers to the incest of Reuben, (<013522>Genesis 35:22,) who, in like manner, had an incestuous connection with his mother-in-law. They are accordingly of opinion, that Paul did not make mention of Israel, because a disgraceful instance of this kind had occurred among them, as if the annals of the Gentiles did not record many incestuous connections of that kind! This, then, is an idea that, is quite foreign to Paul's intention; for in making mention of the Gentiles rather than of the Jews, he designed rather to heighten the aggravation of the crime. "You," says he, "permit, as though it were a lawful thing, an enormity, which would not be tolerated even among the Gentiles - nay more, has always been regarded by them with horror, and looked upon as a prodigy of crime." When, therefore, he affirms that it was not named among the Gentiles, he does not mean by this, that no such firing had ever existed among them, or was not recorded in their annals, for even tragedies have been founded upon it; f270 but that it was held in detestation by the Gentiles, as a shameful and abominable monstrosity, for it is a beastly lust, which destroys even natural modesty. Should any one ask, "Is it just to reproach all with the sin of one individual?" I answer, that the Corinthians are accused, not because one of their number has sinned, but because, as is stated afterwards, they encouraged by connivance a crime that was deserving of the severest punishment. 2. And ye are puffed up. "Are ye not ashamed," says he, "to glory in what affords so much occasion for humiliation?" He had observed previously, that even the highest excellence gives no just ground of glorying, inasmuch as mankind have nothing of their own, and it is only through the grace of God that they possess any excellence. (<460407>1 Corinthians 4:7.) Now, however, he attacks them from another quarter. "You are," says he, "covered with disgrace: what ground have you, then, for pride or haughtiness? For there is an amazing blindness in glorying in the midst of disgrace, in spite, as it were of angels and men." When he says, and have not rather mourned, he argues by way of contrast; for where there is grief there is no more glorying. It may be asked: "Why ought they to have mourned over another man's sin?" I answer, for two reasons: first, in consequence of the communion that exists among the members of the Church, it was becoming that all should feel hurt at so deadly a fall on the part of one of their number; and secondly, when such an enormity is perpetrated in a particular Church, the perpetrator of it is all offender in such a way, that the whole society is in a manner polluted. For as God humbles the father of a family in the disgrace of his wife, or of his children, and a whole kindred in the disgrace of one of their number, so every Church ought to consider, that it contracts a stain of disgrace whenever any base crime is perpetrated in it. Nay, farther, we see how the anger of God was kindled against the whole nation of Israel on account of the sacrilege of one individual - Achan. (<060701>Joshua 7:1.) It was not as though God had been so cruel as to take vengeance on the innocent for another man's crime; but, as in every instance in which anything of this nature has occurred among a people, there is already some token of his anger, so by correcting a community for the fault of one individual, he distinctly intimates that the whole body is infected and polluted with the contagion of the offense. Hence we readily infer, that it is the duty of every Church to mourn over the faults of individual members, as domestic calamities belonging to the entire body. And assuredly a pious and dutiful correction takes its rise in our being inflamed with holy zeal through displeasure at the offense; for otherwise severity will be felt to be bitter. f271 That he might be taken away from among you. He now brings out more distinctly what he finds fault with in the Corinthians - remissness, inasmuch as they connived at such an abomination. Hence, too, it appears that Churches are furnished with this power f272 - that, whatever fault there is within them, they can correct or remove it by strictness of discipline, and that those are inexcusable that are not on the alert to have filth cleared away. For Paul here condemns the Corinthians. Why? Because they had been remiss in the punishment of one individual. Now he would have accused them unjustly, if they had not had this power. Hence the power of excommunication is established from this passage. On the other hand, as Churches have this mode of punishment put into their hands, those commit sin, f273 as Paul shows here, that do not make use of it, when it is required; for otherwise he would act unfairly to the Corinthians in charging them with this fault. 3. I truly, etc. As the Corinthians were wanting in their duty, having condemned their negligence, he now shows what ought to be done. In order that this stain may be removed, they must cast out this incestuous person from the society of the faithful. He prescribes, then, as a remedy for the disease, excommunication, which they had sinfully delayed so long. When he says, that he had, while absent in body, already determined this, he severely reproves in this way the remissness of the Corinthians, for there is here all implied contrast. It is as though he had said: "You who are present ought before this time to have applied a remedy to this disease, having it every day before your eyes, and yet you do nothing; f274 while for my part I cannot, even though absent, endure it." Lest any one should allege that he acted rashly in forming a judgment when at so great a distance, he declares himself to be present in spirit, meaning by this, that the line of duty was as plain to him as if he were present, and saw the thing with his eyes. Now it is of importance to observe what he teaches as to the mode of excommunication. 4. When you are gathered together and my spirit - that is, when ye are gathered together with me, but in spirit, for they could not meet together as to bodily presence. He declares, however, that it would be all one as though he were personally present. It is to be carefully observed, that Paul, though an Apostle, does not himself, as an individual, excommunicate according to his own pleasure, but consults with the Church, that the matter may be transacted by common authority. He, it is true, takes the lead, and shows the way, but, in taking others as his associates, he intimates with sufficient plainness, that this authority does not belong to any one individual. As, however, a multitude never accomplishes anything with moderation or seriousness, if not governed by counsel, there was appointed in the ancient Church a Presbytery, f275 that is, an assembly of elders, who, by the consent of all, had the power of first judging in the case. From them the matter was brought before the people, but it was as a thing already judged of. f276 Whatever the matter may be, it is quite contrary to the appointment of Christ and his Apostles - to the order of the Church, and even to equity itself, that this right should be put into the hands of any one man, of excommunicating at his pleasure any that he may choose. Let us take notice, then, that in excommunicating this limitation be observed - that this part of discipline be exercised by the common counsel of the elders, and with the consent of the people, and that this is a remedy in opposition to tyranny. For nothing is more at variance with the discipline of Christ than tyranny, for which you open a wide door, if you give one man the entire power. In the name of our Lord. For it is not enough that we assemble, if it be not in the name of Christ; for even the wicked assemble together for impious and nefarious conspiracies. Now in order that an assembly may be held in Christ's name, two things are requisite: first, that we begin by calling upon his name; and secondly, that nothing is attempted but in conformity with his word. Then only do men make an auspicious commencement of anything that they take in hand to do, when they with their heart call upon the Lord that they may be governed by his Spirit, and that their plans may, by his grace, be directed to a happy issue; and farther, when they ask at his mouth, as the Prophet speaks, (<233002>Isaiah 30:2,) that is to say, when, after consulting his oracles, they surrender themselves and all their designs to his will in unreserved obedience. If this is becoming even in the least of our actions, how much less ought it to be omitted in important and serious matters, and least of all, when we have to do with God's business rather than our own? For example, excommunication is an ordinance of God, and not of men; on any occasion, therefore, on which we are to make use of it, where shall we begin if not with God. f277 In short, when Paul exhorts the Corinthians to assemble in the name of Christ, he does not simply require them to make use of Christ's name, or to confess him with the mouth, (for the wicked themselves can do that,) but to seek him truly and with the heart, and farther, he intimates by this the seriousness and importance of the action. He adds, with the power of our Lord, for if the promise is true, As often as two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in the midst of them, (<401820>Matthew 18:20,) it follows, that whatever is done in such an assembly is a work of Christ. Hence we infer, of what importance excommunication, rightly administered, is in the sight of God, inasmuch as it rests upon the power of God. For that saying, too, must be accomplished, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. (<401818>Matthew 18:18.) As, however, this statement ought to fill despisers f278 with no ordinary alarm, so faithful pastors, as well as the Churches generally, are by this admonished in what a devout spirit f279 they should go to work in a matter of such importance. For it is certain that the power of Christ is not tied to the inclination or opinions of mankind, but is associated with his eternal truth. 5. To deliver to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. As the Apostles had been furnished with this power among others, that they could deliver over to Satan wicked and obstinate persons, and made use of him as a scourge to correct them, Chrysostom, and those that follow him, view these words of Paul as referring to a chastisement of that kind, agreeably to the exposition that is usually given of another passage, in reference to Alexander and Hymeneus, (<540120>1 Timothy 1:20.) To deliver over to Satan, they think, means nothing but the infliction of a severe punishment upon the body. But when I examine the whole context more narrowly, and at the same time compare it with what is stated in the Second Epistle, I give up that interpretation, as forced and at variance with Paul's meaning, and understand it simply of excommunication. For delivering over to Satan is an appropriate expression for denoting excommunication; for as Christ reigns in the Church, so Satan reigns out of the Church, as Augustine, too, has remarked, f280 in his sixty-eighth sermon on the words of the Apostle, where he explains this passage. f281 As, then, we are received into the communion of the Church, and remain in it on this condition, that we are under the protection and guardianship of Christ, I say, that he who is cast out of the Church is in a manner delivered over to the power of Satan, for he becomes an alien, and is cast out of Christ's kingdom. The clause that follows, for the destruction of the flesh, is made use of for the purpose of softening; for Paul's meaning is not that the person who is chastised is given over to Satan to be utterly ruined, or so as to be given up to the devil in perpetual bondage, but that it is a temporary condemnation, and not only so, but of such a nature as will be salutary. For as the salvation equally with the condemnation of the spirit is eternal, he takes the condemnation of the flesh as meaning temporal condemnation. "We will condemn him in this world for a time, that the Lord may preserve him in his kingdom." This furnishes an answer to the objection, by which some endeavor to set aside this exposition, for as the sentence of excommunication is directed rather against the soul than against the outward man, they inquire how it can be called the destruction of the flesh. My answer, then, is, (as I have already in part stated,) that the destruction of the flesh is opposed to the salvation of the spirit, simply because the former is temporal and the latter is eternal. In this sense the Apostle in <580507>Hebrews 5:7, uses the expression the days of Christ's flesh, to mean the course of his mortal life. Now the Church in chastising offenders with severity, spares them not in this world, in order that God may spare them. f282 Should any one wish to have anything farther in reference to the rite of excommunication, its causes, necessity, purposes, and limitation, let him consult my Institutes. f283 1 CORINTHIANS 5:6-8 6. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 6. Non est bona gloriatio vestra: an nescitis, quod exiguum fermentum totam massam fermentat? 7. Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. 7. Expurgate ergo vetus fermentum, ut sitis nova conspersio, sicut estis azymi: nam Pascha nostrum pro nobis immolatum est, Christus. f284 8. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 8. Proinde epulemur non in fermento veteri, neque in fermento malitiae et pravitatis, sed in azymis sinceritatis veritatis. f285 6. Your glorying is not good. He condemns their glorying, not simply because they extolled themselves beyond what is lawful for man, but because they delighted themselves in their faults. He had previously stripped mankind of all glory; for he had shown that, as they have nothing of their own, whatever excellence they may have, they owe the entire praise of it to God alone. (<460407>1 Corinthians 4:7.) What he treats of here, however, is not that, God is defrauded of his right, when mortals arrogate to themselves the praise of their excellences, but that the Corinthians are guilty of arrant folly in extolling themselves without any just ground. For they proudly gloried as if everything had been in a golden style among them, while in the meantime there was so much among them that was wicked and disgraceful. Know ye not. That they might not think that it was a matter of little or no importance that they gave encouragement to so great an evil, he shows the destructive tendency of indulgence and dissimulation in such a case. He makes use of a proverbial saying, by which he intimates that a whole multitude is infected by the contagion of a single individual. For this proverb has in this passage f286 the same meaning as in those expressions of Juvenal: "A whole herd of swine falls down in the fields through disease in one of their number, and one discolored grape infects another." f287 I have said in this passage, because Paul, as we shall see, makes use of it elsewhere (<480509>Galatians 5:9) in another sense. 7. Purge out therefore. Having borrowed a similitude from leaven, he pursues it farther, though he makes a transition from a particular point to a general doctrine. For he is no longer speaking of the case of incest, but exhorts them generally to purity of life, on the ground that we cannot remain in Christ if we are not cleansed. He is accustomed to do this not infrequently. When he has made a particular statement, he takes occasion to pass on to general exhortations. He had made mention of leaven on another account, as we have seen. As this same metaphor suited the general doctrine which he now subjoins, he extends it farther. Our Passover. f288 Before coming to the subject-matter, I shall say a few words in reference to the words. Old leaven receives that name on the same principle as the old man, (<450606>Romans 6:6,) for the corruption of nature takes the precedence in us, previously to our being renewed in Christ. That, therefore, is said to be old which we bring with us from the womb, and must perish when we are renewed by the grace of the Spirit. f289 The verb ejtu>qh, which occurs between the name Christ and the term which denotes a sacrifice, f290 may refer to either. I have taken it as referring to the sacrifice, though this is of no great importance, as the meaning is not affected. The verb eJorta>zwmen, which Erasmus rendered "Let us celebrate the feast," signifies also to partake of the solemn feast which was observed after the sacrifice had been offered up. This interpretation appeared to suit better with the passage before us. I have, accordingly, followed the Vulgate in preference to Erasmus, as this rendering is more in accordance with the mystery of which Paul treats. We come now to the subject-matter. Paul, having it in view to exhort the Corinthians to holiness, shows that what was of old figuratively represented in the passover, ought to be at this day accomplished in us, and explains the correspondence which exists between the figure and the reality. In the first place, as the passover consisted of two parts - a sacrifice and a sacred feast - he makes mention of both. For although some do not reckon the paschal lamb to have been a sacrifice, yet reason shows that it was properly a sacrifice, for in that rite the people were reconciled to God by the sprinkling of blood. Now there is no reconciliation without a sacrifice; and, besides, the Apostle now expressly confirms if, for he makes use of the word qu>esqai, which is applicable to sacrifices, and in other respects, too, the context would not correspond. The lamb, then, was sacrificed yearly; then followed a feast, the celebration of which lasted for seven successive days. Christ, says Paul, is our Passover. f291 He was sacrificed once, and on this condition, that the efficacy of that one oblation should be everlasting. What remains now is, that we eat, f292 not once a-year, but continually. 8. Now, in the solemnity of this sacred feast we must abstain from leaven, as God commanded the fathers to abstain. But from what leaven? As the outward passover was to them a figure of the true passover, so its appendages were figures of the reality which we at this day possess. If, therefore, we would wish to feed on Christ's flesh and blood, let us bring to this feast sincerity and truth. Let these be our loaves of unleavened bread. Away with all malice and wickedness, for it is unlawful to mix up leaven with the passover. In fine, he declares that we shall be members of Christ only when we shall have renounced malice and deceit. In the meantime we must carefully observe this passage, as showing that the ancient passover was not merely mnhmosunon, f293 a memorial of a past benefit, but also a sacrament, representing Christ who was to come, from whom we have this privilege, that we pass from death to life. Otherwise, it would not hold good, that in Christ is the body of the legal shadows. (<510217>Colossians 2:17.) This passage will also be of service for setting aside the sacrilege of the Papal mass. For Paul does not teach that Christ is offered daily, but that the sacrifice having been offered up once for all, it remains that the spiritual feast be celebrated during our whole life. 1 CORINTHIANS 5:9-13 9. I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 9. Scripsi vobis in Epistola, Ne commisceamini scortatoribus: 10.Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 10. Neque in universum scortatoribus mundi hujus, vel avaris, vel rapacibus, vel idololatris: quandoquidem debuissetis ex hoc mundo exire. 11. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 11. Nunc autem scripsi vobis, Ne commisceamini: si is qui frater nominatur, vel scortator sit, vel avarus, vel idololatra, vel maledicus, vel ebriosus, vel rapax: cum tali ne cibum quidem sumatis. 12. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? 12. Quid enim mea refert extraneos iudicare? an non eos qui intus sunt iudicatis? 13. But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. 13. Extraneos vero Deus iudicat: eiicite scelestum ex vobis ipsis. 9. I wrote to you in an epistle. The epistle of which he speaks is not at this day extant. Nor is there any doubt that many others are lost. It is enough, however, that those have been preserved to us which the Lord foresaw would suffice. But this passage, in consequence of its obscurity, has been twisted to a variety of interpretations, which I do not think it necessary for me to take up time in setting aside, but will simply bring forward what appears to me to be its true meaning. He reminds the Corinthians of what he had already enjoined upon them - that they should refrain from intercourse with the wicked. For the word rendered to keep company with, means to be on terms of familiarity with any one, and to be in habits of close intimacy with him. f294 Now, his reminding them of this tends to expose their remissness, inasmuch as they had been admonished, and yet had remained inactive. He adds an exception, that they may the better understand that this refers particularly to those that belong to the Church, as they did not require to be admonished f295 to avoid the society of the world. In short, then, he prohibits the Corinthians from holding intercourse with those who, while professing to be believers, do, nevertheless, live wickedly and to the dishonor of God. "Let all that wish to be reckoned brethren, either live holily and becomingly, or be excommunicated from the society of the pious, and let all the good refrain from intercourse and familiarity with them. It were superfluous to speak as to the openly wicked, for you ought of your own accord to shun them, without any admonition from me." This exception, however, increases the criminality of remissness, inasmuch as they cherished in the bosom of the Church an openly wicked person; for it is more disgraceful to neglect those of your own household than to neglect strangers. 10. Since you would have required. It is as to this clause especially that interpreters are not agreed. For some say, "You must sooner quit Greece." Ambrose, on the other hand, says, "You must rather die." Erasmus turns it into the optative, as if Paul said, "Would that it were allowable for you to leave the world altogether; f296 but as you cannot do this, you must at least quit the society of those who falsely assume the name of Christians, and in the meantime exhibit in their lives the worst example." Chrysostom's exposition has more appearance of truth. According to him, the meaning is this: "When I command you to shun fornicators, I do not mean all such; otherwise you would require to go in quest of another world; for we must live among thorns so long as we sojourn on earth. This only do I require, that you do not keep company with fornicators, who wish to be regarded as brethren, lest you should seem by your sufferance to approve of their wickedness." Thus the term world here, must be taken to mean the present life, as in <431715>John 17:15. I pray not, Father, that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest deliver them from the evil. Against this exposition a question might be proposed by way of objection: "As Paul said this at a time when Christians were as yet mingled with heathens, and dispersed among them, what ought to be done now, when all have given themselves to Christ in name? For even in the present day we must go out of the world, if we would avoid the society of the wicked; and there are none that are strangers, when all take upon themselves Christ's name, and are consecrated to him by baptism." Should any one feel inclined to follow Chrysostom, he will find no difficulty in replying, to this effect: that Paul here took for granted what was true - that, where there is the power of excommunication, there is an easy remedy for effecting a separation between the good and the bad, if Churches do their duty. As to strangers, the Christians at Corinth had no jurisdiction, and they could not restrain their dissolute manner of life. Hence they must of necessity have quitted the world, if they wished to avoid the society of the wicked, whose vices they could not cure. For my own part, as I do not willingly adopt interpretations which cannot be made to suit the words, otherwise than by twisting the words so as to suit them, I prefer one that is different from all these, taking the word rendered to go out as meaning to be separated, and the term world as meaning the pollutions of the world. "What need have you of an injunction as to the children of this world, (<421608>Luke 16:8,) for having once for all renounced the world, it becomes you to stand aloof from their society; for the whole world lieth in the wicked one." f297 (<620519>1 John 5:19.) If any one is not satisfied with this interpretation, here is still another that is probable: "I do not write to you in general terms, that you should shun the society of the fornicators of this world, though that you ought to do, without any admonition from me." I prefer, however, the former; and I am not the first contriver of it, but, while it has been brought forward previously by others, I have adapted it more fully, if I mistake not, to Paul's thread of discourse. There is, then, f298 a sort of intentional omission, when he says that he makes no mention of those that are without, inasmuch as the Corinthians ought to be already separated from them, that they may know that even at home f299 they required to maintain this discipline of avoiding the wicked. 11. If he who is called a brother. In the Greek there is a participle f300 without a verb. f301 Those that view this as referring to what follows, bring out here a forced meaning, and at variance with Paul's intention. I confess, indeed, that that is a just sentiment, f302 and worthy of being particularly noticed - that no one can be punished by the decision of the Church, but one whose sin has become matter of notoriety; but these words of Paul cannot be made to bear that meaning. What he means, then, is this: "If any one is reckoned a brother among you, and at the same time leads a wicked life, and such as is unbecoming a Christian, keep aloof from his society." In short, being called a brother, means here a false profession, which has no corresponding reality. Farther, he does not make a complete enumeration of crimes, but merely mentions five or six by way of example, and then afterwards, under the expression such an one, he sums up the whole; and he does not mention any but what fall under the knowledge of men. For inward impiety, and anything that is secret, does not fall within the judgment of the Church. It is uncertain, however, what he means by an idolater. For how can he be devoted to idolatry who has made a profession of Christ? Some are of opinion that there were among the Corinthians at that time some who received Christ but in half, and in the mean time were involved, nevertheless, in corrupt superstition, as the Israelites of old, and afterwards the Samaritans maintained a kind of worship of God, but at the same time polluted it with wicked superstitions. For my part, I rather understand it of those who, while they held idols in contempt, gave, nevertheless, a pretended homage to the idols, with the view of gratifying the wicked. Paul declares that such persons ought not to be tolerated in the society of Christians; and not without good reason, inasmuch as they made so little account of trampling God's glory under foot. We must, however, observe the circumstances of the case - that, while they had a Church there, in which they might worship God in purity, and have the lawful use of the sacraments, they came into the Church in such a way as not to renounce the profane fellowship of the wicked. I make this observation, in order that no one may think that we ought to employ equally severe measures against those who, while at this day dispersed under the tyranny of the Pope, pollute themselves with many corrupt rites. These indeed, I maintain, sin generally in this respect, and they ought, I acknowledge, to be sharply dealt with, and diligently urged, f303 that they may learn at length to consecrate themselves wholly to Christ; but I dare not go so far as to reckon them worthy of excommunication, for their case is different. f304 With such an one not even to take food. In the first place, we must ascertain whether he addresses here the whole Church, or merely individuals. I answer, that this is said, indeed, to individuals, but, at the same time, it is connected with their discipline in common; for the power of excommunicating is not allowed to any individual member, but to the entire body. When, therefore, the Church has excommunicated any one, no believer ought to receive him into terms of intimacy with him; otherwise the authority of the Church would be brought into contempt, if each individual were at liberty to admit to his table those who have been excluded from the table of the Lord. By partaking of food here, is meant either living together, or familiar association in meals. For if, on going into an inn, I see one who has been excommunicated sitting at table, there is nothing to hinder me from dining with him; for I have not authority to exclude him. What Paul means is, that, in so far as it is in our power, we are to shun the society of those whom the Church has cut off from her communion. The Roman antichrist, not content with this severity, has burst forth into interdicts, prohibiting any one from helping one that has been excommunicated to food, or fuel, or drink, or any other of the supports of life. f305 Now, that is not strictness of discipline, but tyrannical and barbarous cruelty, that is altogether at variance with Paul's intention. For he means not that he should be counted as an enemy, but as a brother, (<530315>2 Thessalonians 3:15;) for in putting this public mark of disgrace upon him, the intention is, that he may be filled with shame, and brought to repentance. And with this dreadful cruelty, if God is pleased to permit, do they rage even against the innocent. f306 Now, granting that there are sometimes those who are not undeserving of this punishment, I affirm, on the other hand, that this kind of interdict f307 is altogether unsuitable to an ecclesiastical court. 12. For what have I to do to judge them that are without? There is nothing to hinder us from judging these also - nay more, even devils themselves are not exempt from the judgment of the word which is committed to us. But Paul is speaking here of the jurisdiction that belongs peculiarly to the Church. "The Lord has furnished us with this power, that we may exercise it upon those who belong to his household. For this chastisement is a part of discipline which is confined to the Church, and does not extend to strangers. We do not therefore pronounce upon them their condemnation, because the Lord has not subjected them to our cognizance and jurisdiction, in so far as that chastisement and censure are concerned. We are, therefore, constrained to leave them to the judgment of God." It is in this sense that Paul says, that God will judge them, because he allows them to wander about f308 unbridled like wild beasts, because there is no one that can restrain their wantonness. 13. Put away that wicked person. This is commonly explained as referring to the person who was guilty of an illicit connection with his mother-in-law. For as to those who understand the expression to mean - "Put away evil or wickedness," they are refuted by the Greek words made use of by Paul, the article (to 1 CORINTHIANS 6:1-8 1. Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 1. Audet aliquis vestrum, negotium habens cum altero, litigare sub iniustis, et non sub sanctis? 2. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 2. An nescitis, quod sancti mundum iudicabunt? quodsi in vobis iudicatur mundus, indigni estis minimis iudiciis? 3. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things pertain to this life? 3. An nescitis, quod angelos iudicabimus, nedum ad victum pertinentia? 4. If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 4. Iudicia ergo de rebus ad victum pertinentibus si habueritis, qui contemptibiles sunt in Ecclesia, f314 eos constituite. 5. I speak to your shame. Is it that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 5. Ad erubescentiam vestram dico: adeo non est inter vos sapiens, ne unus quidem, qui possit iudicare inter fratres? 6. But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 6. Sed frater cum fratre litigat, idque sub infidelibus. 7. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 7. Jam quidera omnino delictum in vobis est, quod iudicia habetis inter vos: cur non potius iniuriam sustinetis? f315 8. Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 8. Sed vos infertis iniuriam, et fraudatis, et quidem fratres. HERE, he begins to reprove another fault among the Corinthians - an excessive fondness for litigation, which took its rise from avarice. Now, this reproof consists of two parts. The first is, that by bringing their disputes before the tribunals of the wicked, they by this means made the gospel contemptible, and exposed it to derision. The second is, that while Christians ought to endure injuries with patience, they inflicted injury on others, rather than allow themselves to be subjected to any inconvenience. Thus, the first part is particular: the other is general. 1. Dare any of you. This is the first statement - that, if any one has a controversy with a brother, it ought to be decided before godly judges, and that it ought not to be before those that are ungodly. If the reason is asked, I have already said, that it is because disgrace is brought upon the gospel, and the name of Christ is held up as it were to the scoffings of the ungodly. For the ungodly, at the instigation of Satan, are always eagerly on the watch f316 for opportunities of finding occasion of calumny against the doctrine of godliness. Now believers, when they make them parties in their disputes, seem as though they did on set purpose furnish them with a handle for reviling. A second reason may be added - that we treat our brethren disdainfully, when we of our own accord subject them to the decisions of unbelievers. But here it may be objected: "As it belongs to the office of the magistrate, and as it is peculiarly his province to administer justice to all, and to decide upon matters in dispute, why should not even unbelievers, who are in the office of magistrate, have this authority, and, if they have it, why are we prevented from maintaining our rights before their tribunals?" I answer, that Paul does not here condemn those who from necessity have a cause before unbelieving judges, f317 as when a person is summoned to a court; but those who, of their own accord, bring their brethren into this situation, and harass them, as it were, through means of unbelievers, while it is in their power to employ another remedy. It is wrong, therefore, to institute of one's own accord a law-suit against brethren before unbelieving judges. If, on the other hand, you are summoned to a court, there is no harm in appearing there and maintaining your cause. 2. Know ye not that the saints. Here we have an argument from the less to the greater; for Paul, being desirous to show that injury is done to the Church of God when judgments on matters of dispute connected with earthly things are carried before unbelievers, as if there were no one in the society of the godly that was qualified to judge, reasons in this strain: "Since God has reckoned the saints worthy of such honor, as to have appointed them to be judges of the whole world, it is unreasonable that they should be shut out from judging as to small matters, as persons not qualified for it." Hence it follows, that the Corinthians inflict injury upon themselves, in resigning into the hands of unbelievers the honor f318 that has been conferred upon them by God. What is said here as to judging the world ought to be viewed as referring to that declaration of Christ: When the Son of Man shall come, ye shall sit, etc. (<401928>Matthew 19:28.) For all power of judgment has been committed to the Son, (<430522>John 5:22,) in such a manner that he will receive his saints into a participation with him in this honor, as assessors. Apart from this, they will judge the world, as indeed they begin already to do, because their piety, faith, fear of the Lord, good conscience, and integrity of life, will make unbelievers altogether inexcusable, as it is said of Noah, that by his faith he condemned all the men of his age. (<581107>Hebrews 11:7.) But the former signification accords better with the Apostle's design, for unless you take the judging here spoken of in its proper acceptation, the reasoning will not hold. But even in this sense f319 it may seem not to have much weight, for it is as if one should say' "The saints are endowed with heavenly wisdom, which immeasurably transcends all human doctrines: therefore they can judge better as to the stars than astrologers." Now this no one will allow, and the ground of objection is obvious - because piety and spiritual doctrine do not confer a knowledge of human arts. My answer here is this, that between expertness in judging and other arts there is this difference, that while the latter are acquired by acuteness of intellect and by study, and are learned from masters, f320 the former depends rather on equity and conscientiousness. But f321 "lawyers will judge better and more confidently than an illiterate Christian: otherwise the knowledge of law is of no advantage." I answer, that their advice is not here excluded, for if the determination of any obscure question is to be sought from a knowledge of the laws, the Apostle does not hinder Christians from applying to lawyers. f322 What he finds fault with in the Corinthians is simply this, that they carry their disputes before unbelieving judges, as if they had none in the Church that were qualified to pass judgment, and farther, he shows how much superior is the judgment that God has assigned to his believing people. The words rendered in you mean here, in my opinion, among you. For whenever believers meet in one place, under the auspices of Christ, f323 there is already in their assembly a sort of image of the future judgment, which will be perfectly brought to light on the last day. Accordingly Paul says, that the world is judged in the Church, because there Christ's tribunal is erected, from which he exercises his authority. f324 3. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? This passage is taken in different ways. Chrysostom states that some understood it as referring to priests, f325 but this is exceedingly far-fetched. Others understand it of the angels in heaven, in this sense - that the angels are subject to the judgment of God's word, and may be judged by us, if need be, by means of that word, as it is said in the Epistle to the Galatians - If an angel from heaven bring any other gospel, let him be accursed. (<480108>Galatians 1:8.) Nor does this exposition appear at first view unsuitable to the thread of Paul's discourse; for if all whom God has enlightened by his word are endowed with such authority, that through means of that word they judge not only men but angels too, how much more will they be prepared to judge of small and trivial matters? As, however, Paul speaks here in the future tense, as referring to the last day, and as his words convey the idea of an actual judgment, (as the common expression is,) it were preferable, in my opinion, to understand him as speaking of apostate f326 angels. For the argument will be not less conclusive in this way: "Devils, who sprang from so illustrious an origin, and even now, when they have fallen from their high estate, are immortal creatures, and superior to this corruptible world, shall be judged by us. What then? Shall those things that are subservient to the belly be exempted from our judgment? 4. If you have judgments then as to things pertaining to this life. We must always keep in view what causes he is treating of; for public trials are beyond our province, and ought not to be transferred to our disposal; but as to private matters it is allowable to determine without the cognizance of the magistrate. As, then, we do not detract in any degree from the authority of the magistrate by having recourse to arbitration, it is not without good reason that the Apostle enjoins it upon Christians to refrain from resorting to profane, that is, unbelieving judges. And lest they should allege that they were deprived of a better remedy, he directs them to choose out of the Church arbiters, who may settle causes agreeably and equitably. Farther, lest they should allege that they have not a sufficient number of qualified persons, he says that the meanest is competent to discharge this office. There is, therefore, no detracting here from the dignity of the office of magistrates, when he gives orders that their office be committed to contemptible persons, for this (as I have already said) is stated by anticipation, as though he had said: "Even the lowest and meanest among you will discharge this office better than those unbelieving judges to whom you have recourse. So far are you from necessity in this way." Chrysostom comes near this interpretation, though he appends to it something additional; for he is of opinion, that the Apostle meant to say, that, even though the Corinthians should find no one among themselves who had sufficient wisdom for judging, they must nevertheless make choice of some, of whatever stamp they were. Ambrose touches neither heaven nor earth. f327 I think I have faithfully brought out the Apostle's intention - that the lowest among believers was preferred by him to unbelievers, as to capacity of judging. There are some that strike out a quite different meaning, for they understand the word kaqizete to be in the present tense - You set them to judge, and by those that are least esteemed in the Church they understand profane persons. f328 This, however, is more ingenious than solid, for that were a poor designation of unbelievers. f329 Besides, the form of expression, if you have, would not suit so well with a reproof, for the expression would have required rather to be while you have, for that condition takes away from the force of it. Hence I am the more inclined to think, that a remedy for the evil is here prescribed. That this statement, however, was taken up wrong by the ancients, appears from a certain passage in Augustine. For in his book - "On the Work of Monks," where he makes mention of his employments, he declares that among his numerous engagements, the most disagreeable of all was, that he was under the necessity of devoting a part of the day to secular affairs, but that he at the same time endured it patiently, because the Apostle f330 had imposed upon him this necessity. From this passage, and from a certain epistle, it appears that the bishops were accustomed to sit at certain hours to settle disputes, as if the Apostle had been referring to them here. As, however, matters always become worse, there sprang from this error, in process of time, that jurisdiction which the officials of the bishops assume to themselves in money matters. In that ancient custom there are two things that are deserving of reproof - that the bishops were involved in matters that were foreign to their office; and that they wronged God in making his authority and command a pretext for turning aside from their proper calling. The evil, however, was in some degree excusable, but as for the profane custom, which has come to prevail in the Papacy, it were the height of baseness to excuse or defend it. 5. I speak to your shame. The meaning is - "If other considerations do not influence you, let it at least be considered by you, how disgraceful it is to you that there is not so much as one among you who is qualified to settle an affair amicably among brethren - an honor which you assign to unbelievers. Now this passage is not inconsistent with the declaration which we met with above, when he stated that he did not make mention of their faults with the view of shaming them, (<460414>1 Corinthians 4:14,) for instead of this, by putting them to shame in this manner, he calls them back from disgrace, f331 and shows that he is desirous to promote their honor. He does not wish them, then, to form so unfavorable an opinion of their society, as to take away from all their brethren an honor which they allow to unbelievers. 7. Now indeed there is utterly a fault. Here we have the second part of the reproof, which contains a general doctrine; for he now reproves them, not on the ground of their exposing the gospel to derision and disgrace, but on the ground of their going to law with each other. This, he says, is a fault. We must, however, observe the propriety of the term which he employs. For h[tthma in Greek signifies weakness of mind, as when one is easily broken down f332 by injuries, and cannot bear anything it comes afterward to be applied to vices of any kind, as they all arise from weakness and deficiency in fortitude. f333 What Paul, then, condemns in the Corinthians is this - that they harassed one another with law-suits. He states the reason of it - that they were not prepared to bear injuries patiently. And, assuredly, as the Lord commands us (<400544>Matthew 5:44; <451221>Romans 12:21) not to be overcome by evils, but on the contrary to overcome injuries by acts of kindness, it is certain, that those who cannot control themselves so as to suffer injuries patiently, commit sin by their impatience. If contention in law-suits among believers is a token of that impatience, it follows that it is faulty. In this way, however, he seems to discard entirely judgments as to the affairs of individuals. "Those are altogether in the wrong who go to law. Hence it will not be allowable in any one to maintain his rights by having recourse to a magistrate." There are some that answer this objection in this way - that the Apostle declares that where there are law-suits there is utterly a fault, because, of necessity, the one or the other has a bad cause. They do not, however, escape by this sophistry, because he says that they are in fault, not merely when they inflict injury, but also when they do not patiently endure it. For my own part, my answer is simply this - having a little before given permission to have recourse to arbiters, he has in this shown, with sufficient clearness, that, Christians are not prohibited from prosecuting their rights moderately, and without any breach of love. Hence we may very readily infer, that his being so severe was owing to his taking particularly into view the circumstances of the case. And, undoubtedly, wherever there is frequent recourse to law-suits, or where the parties contend with each other pertinaciously with rigor of law, f334 it is in that case abundantly plain, that their minds are immoderately inflamed with wrong dispositions, and are not prepared for equity and endurance of wrongs, according to the commandment of Christ. To speak more plainly, the reason why Paul condemns law-suits is, that we ought to suffer injuries with patience. Let us now see whether any one can carry on a law-suit without impatience; for if it is so, to go to law will not be wrong in all cases, but only ejpi< to< polu> - for the most part. I confess, however, that as men's manners are corrupt, impatience, or lack of patience (as they speak) is an almost inseparable attendant on lawsuits. This, however, does not hinder your distinguishing between the thing itself and the improper accompaniment. Let us therefore bear in mind, that Paul does not condemn law-suits on the ground of its being a wrong thing in itself to maintain a good cause by having recourse to a magistrate, but because it is almost invariably accompanied with corrupt dispositions; as, for example, violence, desire of revenge, enmities, obstinacy, and the like. It is surprising that this question has not been more carefully handled by ecclesiastical writers. Augustine has bestowed more pains upon it than the others, and has come nearer the mark; f335 but even he is somewhat obscure, though there is truth in what he states. Those who aim at greater clearness in their statements tell us that we must distinguish between public and private revenge; for while the magistrate's vengeance is appointed by God, those who have recourse to it do not rashly take vengeance at their own hand, but have recourse to God as an Avenger. f336 This, it is true, is said judiciously and appropriately; but we must go a step farther; for if it be not allowable even to desire vengeance from God, then, on the same principle, it were not allowable to have recourse to the magistrate for vengeance. I acknowledge, then, that a Christian man is altogether prohibited from revenge, so that he must not exercise it, either by himself, or by means of the magistrate, nor even desire it. If, therefore, a Christian man wishes to prosecute his rights at law, so as not to offend God, he must, above all things, take heed that he does not bring into court any desire of revenge, any corrupt affection of the mind, or anger, or, in fine, any other poison. In this matter love will be the best regulator. f337 If it is objected, that it very rarely happens that any one carries on a law-suit entirely free and exempt from every corrupt affection, I acknowledge that it is so, and I say farther, that. it is rare to find a single instance of an upright litigant; but it is useful for many reasons to show that the thing is not evil in itself, but is rendered corrupt by abuse: First, that it may not seem as if God had to no purpose appointed courts of justice; Secondly, that the pious may know how far their liberties extend, that they may not take anything in hand against the dictates of conscience. For it is owing to this that many rush on to open contempt of God, when they have once begun to transgress those limits; f338 Thirdly, that they may be admonished, that they must always keep within bounds, so as not to pollute by their own misconduct the remedy which the Lord has permitted them to employ; Lastly, that the audacity of the wicked may be repressed by a pure and uncorrupted zeal, which could not be effected, if we were not allowed to subject them to legal punishments. 8. But ye do injury. Hence we see for what reason he has inveighed against them with so much bitterness - because there prevailed among them such a base desire of gain, that they did not even refrain from injuring one another. He premised a little before, with the view of exposing the magnitude of the evil, that those are not Christians who know not to endure injuries. There is, then, an amplification here, founded on a comparison: for if it is wrong not to bear injuries patiently, how much worse is it to inflict them? And that your brethren. Here is another aggravation of the evil; for if those are doubly culpable who defraud strangers, it is monstrous for brother to be cheated or despoiled by brother. Now all of us are brethren that call upon one Father in heaven. (<402309>Matthew 23:9.) At the same time, if any one acts an unprincipled part towards strangers, Paul does not palliate the crime; but he teaches that the Corinthians were utterly blinded in making sacred brotherhood a matter of no moment. 1 CORINTHIANS 6:9-11 9. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 9. An nescitis, quod iniusti regenum Dei hereditate non obtinebunt? Ne erretis, neque scortatores, neque idololatrae, neque moechi, neque molles, neque paederastse. 10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 10. Neque fures, neque avari, neque ebriosi, neque maledici, neque rapaces regnum Dei hereditate obtinebunt. 11. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 11. Et haec fuistis, f339 sed abluti estis, sed sanctificati estis, sed iustificati estis in nomine Domini Jesu, et in Spiritu Dei nostri. 9. Know ye not, etc. By unrighteousness here you may understand what is opposed to strict integrity. The unrighteous, then, that is, those who inflict injury on their brethren, who defraud or circumvent others, who, in short, are intent upon their own advantage at the expense of injuring others, will not inherit the kingdom of God. That by the unrighteous here, as for example adulterers, and thieves and covetous, and revilers, he means those who do not, repent of their sins, but obstinately persist in them, is too manifest to require that it should be stated. The Apostle himself, too, afterwards expresses this in the words employed by him, when he says that the Corinthians formerly were such. The wicked, then, do inherit the kingdom of God, but it is only in the event of their having been first converted to the Lord in true repentance, and having in this way ceased to be wicked. For although conversion is not the ground of pardon, yet we know that none are reconciled to God but those who repent. The interrogation, however, is emphatic, for it intimates that he states nothing but what they themselves know, and is matter of common remark among all pious persons. Be not deceived. He takes occasion from one vice to speak of many. I am of opinion, however, that he has pointed out those vices chiefly which prevailed among the Corinthians. He makes use of three terms for reproving those lascivious passions which, as all historical accounts testify, reigned, nay raged, to an extraordinary height in that city. For it was a city that abounded in wealth, (as has been stated elsewhere.) It was a celebrated mart, which was frequented by merchants from many nations. Wealth has luxury as its attendant - the mother of unchastity and all kinds of lasciviousness. In addition to this, a nation which was of itself prone to wantonness, was prompted to it by many other corruptions. The difference between fornicators and adulterers is sufficiently well known. By effeminate persons I understand those who, although they do not openly abandon themselves to impurity, discover, nevertheless, their unchastity by blandishments of speech, by lightness of gesture and apparel, and other allurements. The fourth description of crime is the most abominable of all - that monstrous pollution which was but too prevalent in Greece. He employs three terms in reproving injustice and injuries. He gives the name of thieves to those who take the advantage of their brethren by any kind of fraud or secret artifice. By extortioners, he means those that violently seize on another's wealth, or like harpies f340 drew to themselves from every quarter, and devour. With the view of giving his discourse a wider range, he afterwards adds all covetous persons too. Under the term drunkards you are to understand him as including those who go to excess in eating. He more particularly reproves revilers, because, in all probability, that city was full of gossip and slanders. In short, he makes mention chiefly of those vices to which, he saw, that city was addicted. Farther, that his threatening may have more weight, he says, be not deceived; by which expression he admonishes them not to flatter themselves with a vain hope, as persons are accustomed, by extenuating their offenses, to inure themselves to contempt of God. No poison, therefore, is more dangerous than those allurements which encourage us in our sins. Let us, therefore, shun, not as the songs of the Sirens, f341 but as the deadly bites of Satan, the talk of profane persons, when turning the judgment of God and reproofs of sins into matter of jest. Lastly, we must also notice here the propriety of the word klhronomein - to inherit; which shows that the kingdom of heaven is the inheritance of sons, and therefore comes to us through the privilege of adoption. 11. And such were ye. Some add a term of speciality: Such were some of you, as in Greek the word tineRomans 1:21-32) - not that every unbeliever is infected with all these vices, but that all are liable to them, and no one is exempt from them all. For he who is not an adulterer, sins in some other way. So also in the third chapter he brings forward as applicable to the sons of Adam universally those declarations - their throat is an open sepulcher: their feet are swift to shed blood: their tongue is deceitful or poisonous, (<450313>Romans 3:13-15) - not that all are sanguinary and cruel, or that all are treacherous or revilers; but that, previously to our being formed anew by God, one is inclined to cruelty, another to treachery, another to impurity, another to deceit; so that there is no one in whom there does not exist some trace of the corruption common to all; and we are all of us, to a man, by an internal and secret affection of the mind, liable to all diseases, unless in so far as the Lord inwardly restrains them from breaking forth openly. f342 The simple meaning, therefore, is this, that prior to their being regenerated by grace, some of the Corinthians were covetous, others adulterers, others extortioners, others effeminate, others revilers, but now, being made free by Christ, they were such no longer. The design of the Apostle, however, is to humble them, by calling to their remembrance their former condition; and, farther, to stir them up to acknowledge the grace of God towards them. For the greater the misery is acknowledged to be, from which we have escaped through the Lord's kindness, so much the more does the magnitude of his grace shine forth. Now the commendation of grace is a fountain f343 of exhortations, because we ought to take diligent heed, that we may not make void the kindness of God, which ought to be so highly esteemed. It is as though he had said: "It is enough that God has drawn you out of that mire in which you were formerly sunk;" as Peter also says, "The time past is sufficient to have fulfilled the lusts of the Gentiles." (<600403>1 Peter 4:3.) But ye are washed. He makes use of three terms to express one and the same thing, that he may the more effectually deter them from rolling back into the condition from which they had escaped. Hence, though these three terms have the same general meaning, there is, nevertheless, great force in their very variety. For there is an implied contrast between washing and defilement - sanctification and pollution - justification and guilt. His meaning is, that having been once justified, they must not draw down upon themselves a new condemnation - that, having been sanctified, they must not pollute themselves anew - that, having been washed, they must not disgrace themselves with new defilements, but, on the contrary, aim at purity, persevere in true holiness, and abominate their former pollutions. And hence we infer what is the purpose for which God reconciles us to himself by the free pardon of our sins. While I have said that one thing is expressed by three terms, I do not mean that there is no difference whatever in their import, for, properly speaking, God justifies us when he frees us from condemnation, by not imputing to us our sins; he cleanses us, when he blots out the remembrance of our sins. Thus these two terms differ only in this respect, that the one is simple, while the other is figurative; for the term washing is metaphorical, Christ's blood being likened to water. On the other hand, he sanctifies by renewing our depraved nature by his Spirit. Thus sanctification is connected with regeneration. In this passage, however, the Apostle had simply in view to extol, with many commendations, the grace of God, which has delivered us from the bondage of sin, that we may learn from this how much it becomes us to hold in abhorrence everything that stirs up against us God's anger and vengeance. In the name of the Lord Jesus, etc. With propriety and elegance he distinguishes between different offices. For the blood of Christ is the procuring cause of our cleansing: righteousness and sanctification come to us through his death and resurrection. But, as the cleansing effected by Christ, and the attainment of righteousness, are of no avail except to those who have been made partakers of those blessings by the influence of the Holy Spirit, it is with propriety that he makes mention of the Spirit in connection with Christ. Christ, then, is the source of all blessings to us from him we obtain all things; but Christ himself, with all his blessings, is communicated to us by the Spirit. For it is by faith that we receive Christ, and have his graces applied to us. The Author of faith is the Spirit. 1 CORINTHIANS 6:12-20 12. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 12. Omnium mihi est potestas, at non omnia conducunt: omnium mihi est potestas, sed ego sub nullius f344 redigar potestatem. 13. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 13. Escae ventri, et venter escis: Deus vero et has et ilium destruet. Corpus autem non scortationi, sed Domino, et Dominus corpori. 14. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 14. Porro Deus et Dominum suscitavit, et nos suscitabit per potentiam suam. 15. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 15. An nescitis, quod corpora vestra membra sunt Christi? tolthen lens igiturmembra Christi, faclam membra meretricis? Absit. 16. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 16. An nescitis, quod qui adhaeret meretrici, unum corpus est? erunt enim, inquit, duo in carnem unam. 17. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 17. Qui antera Domino adhaeret,unus spiritus est. 18. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 18. Fugite scortationem. Omne peccatum quod commiserit homo, extra corpus est: qui autem scortatur, in proprium corpus peccat. 19. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. 19. An nescitis, quod corpus vestrum templum est Spiritus sancti, qui in vobis est, quem habetis a Deo, et non estis vestri? 20. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 20. Empti enim estis pretio: glorificate iam Deum in corpore vestro et in spiritu vestro, quae Dei sunt. 12. All things are lawful for me. Interpreters labor hard to make out the connection of these things, f345 as they appear to be somewhat foreign to the Apostle's design. For my own part, without mentioning the different interpretations, I shall state what, in my opinion, is the most satisfactory. It is probable, that the Corinthians even up to that time retained much of their former licentiousness, and had still a savor of the morals of their city. Now when vices stalk abroad with impunity, f346 custom is regarded as law, and then afterwards vain pretexts are sought for by way of excuse; an instance of which we have in their resorting to the pretext of Christian liberty, so as to make almost everything allowable for themselves to do. They reveled in excess of luxury. With this there was, as usual, much pride mixed up. As it was an outward thing, they did not think that there was any sin involved in it: nay more, it appears from Paul's words that they abused liberty so much as to extend it even to fornication. Now therefore, most appropriately, after having spoken of their vices, he discusses those base pretexts by which they flattered themselves in outward sins. It is, indeed, certain, that he treats here of outward things, which God has left to the free choice of believers, but by making use of a term expressive of universality, he either indirectly reproves their unbridled licentiousness, or extols God's boundless liberality, which is the best directress to us of moderation. For it is a token of excessive licentiousness, when persons do not, of their own accord, restrict themselves, and set bounds to themselves, amidst such manifold abundance. And in the first place, he limits liberty f347 by two exceptions; and secondly, he warns them, that it does not by any means extend to fornication. These words, All things are lawful for me, must be understood as spoken in name of the Corinthians, kat j ajnqupofora1 Corinthians 10:23, 24,) and as he has already shown in <451413>Romans 14:13, etc., every one has liberty inwardly f349 in the sight of God on this condition, that all must restrict the use of their liberty with a view to mutual edification. I will not be brought under the power of anything. Here we have a second restriction - that we are constituted lords of all things, in such a way, that we ought not to bring ourselves under bondage to anything; as those do who cannot control their appetites. For I understand the word tinov (any) to be in the neuter gender, and I take it as referring, not to persons, but to things, so that the meaning is this: "We are lords of all things; only we must not abuse that lordship in such a way as to drag out a most miserable bondage, being, through intemperance and inordinate lusts, under subjection to outward things, which ought to be under subjection to us." And certainly, the excessive moroseness of those who grudge to yield up anything for the sake of their brethren, has this effect, that they unadvisedly put halters of necessity around their own necks. 13. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats. Here he shows what use ought to be made of outward things - for the necessity of the present life, which passes away quickly as a shadow, agreeably to what, he says afterwards. (<460729>1 Corinthians 7:29.) We must use this world so as not to abuse it. And hence, too, we infer, how improper it is for a Christian man to contend for outward things. f350 When a dispute, therefore, arises respecting corruptible things, a. pious mind will not anxiously dwell upon these things; for liberty is one thing - the use of it is another. This statement accords with another - that The kingdom of God is not meat and drink. (<451417>Romans 14:17.) Now the body is not for fornication. Having mentioned the exceptions, he now states still farther, that our liberty ought not by any means to be extended to fornication. For it was an evil that was so prevalent at that time, that it seemed in a manner as though it had been permitted; as we may see also from the decree of the Apostles, (<441520>Acts 15:20,) where, in prohibiting the Gentiles from fornication, they place it among things indifferent; for there can be no doubt that this was done, because it was very generally looked upon as a lawful thing. Hence Paul says now, There is a difference between fornication and meats, for the Lord has not ordained the body for fornication, as he has the belly for meats. And this he confirms from things contrary or opposite, inasmuch as it is consecrated to Christ, and it is impossible that Christ should be conjoined with fornication. What he adds - and the Lord for the body, is not without weight, for while God the Father has united us to his Son, what wickedness there would be in tearing away our body from that sacred connection, and giving it over to things unworthy of Christ. f351 14. And God hath also raised up the Lord. He shows from Christ's condition how unseemly fornication is for a Christian man; for Christ having been received into the heavenly glow, what has he in common with the pollutions of this world? Two things, however, are contained in these words. The first is, that it is unseemly and unlawful, that our body, which is consecrated to Christ, should be profaned by fornication, inasmuch as Christ himself has been raised up from the dead, that he might enter on the possession of the heavenly glory. The second is, that it is a base thing to prostitute our body f352 to earthly pollutions, while it is destined to be a partaker f353 along with Christ of a blessed immortality and of the heavenly glory. There is a similar statement in <510301>Colossians 3:1, If we have risen with Christ, etc., with this difference, that he speaks here of the last resurrection only, while in that passage he speaks of the first also, or in other words, of the grace of the Holy Spirit, by which we are fashioned again to a new life. As, however, the resurrection is a thing almost incredible (<442608>Acts 26:8) to the human mind, when the Scripture makes mention of it, it reminds us of the power of God, with the view of confirming our faith in it. (<402229>Matthew 22:29.) 15. Know ye not that our bodies are the members, etc. Here we have an explanation, or, if you prefer it, an amplification of the foregoing statement. For that expression, the body is for the Lord, might, owing to its brevity, be somewhat obscure. Hence he says, as if with the view of explaining it, that Christ is joined with us and we with him in such a way, that we become one body with him. Accordingly, if I have connection with an harlot, I tear Christ in pieces, so far as it is in my power to do so; for it is impossible for me to draw Him into fellowship with such pollution. f354 Now as that must be held in abhorrence, f355 he makes use of the expression which he is accustomed to employ in reference to things that are absurd - God forbid. f356 Observe, that the spiritual connection which we have with Christ belongs not merely to the soul, but also to the body, so that we are flesh of his flesh, etc. (<490530>Ephesians 5:30.) Otherwise the hope of a resurrection were weak, if our connection were not of that nature - full and complete. 16. Know ye not that he that is joined to an harlot. He brings out more fully the greatness of the injury that is done to Christ by the man that has intercourse with an harlot; for he becomes one body, and hence he tears away a member from Christ's body. It is not certain in what sense he accommodates to his design the quotation which he subjoins from <010224>Genesis 2:24. For if he quotes it to prove that two persons who commit fornication together become one flesh, he turns it aside from its true meaning to what is quite foreign to it. For Moses speaks there not of a base and prohibited cohabitation of a man and a woman, but of the marriage connection which God blesses. For he shows that that bond is so close and indissoluble, that it surpasses the relationship which subsists between a father and a son, which, assuredly, can have no reference to fornication. This consideration has led me sometimes to think, that this quotation is not brought forward to confirm the immediately preceding statement, but one that is more remote, in this way - "Moses says, that by the marriage connection husband and wife become one flesh, but he that is jointed to the Lord becomes not merely one flesh, but one spirit with him." f357 And in this way the whole of this passage would tend to magnify the efficacy and dignity of the spiritual marriage which subsists between us and Christ. If, however, any one does not altogether approve of this exposition, as being rather forced, I shall bring forward another. For as fornication is the corruption of a divine institution, it has some resemblance to it; and what is affirmed respecting the former, may to some extent be applied to the latter; not that it may be honored with the praises due to the former, f358 but for the purpose of expressing the more fully the heinousness of the sin. The expression, therefore, that they two become one flesh, is applicable in the true and proper sense to married persons only; but it is applied to fornicators, who are joined in a polluted and impure fellowship, meaning that contagion passes from the one to the other. f359 For there is no absurdity in saying that fornication bears some resemblance to the sacred connection of marriage, as being a corruption of it, as I have said; but the former has a curse upon it, and the other a blessing. Such is the correspondence between things that are contrasted in an antithesis. At the same time, I would prefer to understand it, in the first instance, of marriage, and then, in an improper sense, f360 of fornication, in this way - "God pronounces husband and wife to be one flesh, in order that neither of them may have connection with another flesh; so that the adulterer and adulteress do, also, become one flesh, and involve themselves in an accursed connection. And certainly this is more simple, and agrees better with the context. 17. He that is joined to the Lord. He has added this to show that our connection with Christ is closer than that of a husband and wife, and that the former, accordingly, must be greatly preferred before the latter, so that it must be maintained with the utmost chastity and fidelity. For if he who is joined to a woman in marriage ought not to have illicit connection with an harlot, much more heinous were this crime in believers, who are not merely one flesh with Christ, but also one spirit. Thus there is a comparison between greater and less. 18. Flee fornication. Every sin, etc. Having set before us honorable conduct, he now shows how much we ought to abhor fornication, setting before us the enormity of its wickedness and baseness. Now he shows its greatness by comparison - that this sin alone, of all sins, puts a brand of disgrace upon the body. The body, it is true, is defiled also by theft, and murder, and drunkenness, in accordance with those statements - Your hands are defiled with blood. (<230115>Isaiah 1:15.) You have yielded your members instruments of iniquity unto sin, (<450619>Romans 6:19,) and the like. Hence some, in order to avoid this inconsistency, understand the words rendered against his own body, as meaning against us, as being connected with Christ; but this appears to me to be more ingenious than solid. Besides, they do not escape even in this way, because that same thing, too, might be affirmed of idolatry equally with fornication. For he who prostrates himself before an idol, sins against connection with Christ. Hence I explain it in this way, that he does not altogether deny that there are other vices, in like manner, by which our body is dishonored and disgraced, but that his meaning is simply this - that defilement does not attach itself to our body from other vices in the same way f361 as it does from fornication. My hand, it is true, is defiled by theft or murder, my tongue by evil speaking, or perjury, f362 and the whole body by drunkenness; but fornication leaves a stain impressed upon the body, such as is not impressed upon it from other sins. According to this comparison, or, in other words, in the sense of less and more, other sins are said to be without the body - not, however, as though they do not at all affect the body, viewing each one by itself. 19. Know ye not that your body. He makes use of two additional arguments, in order to deter us from this filthiness. First, That our bodies are temples of the Spirit; and, secondly, that the Lord has bought us to himself as his property. There is an emphasis implied in the term temple; for as the Spirit of God cannot take up his abode in a place that is profane, we do not give him a habitation otherwise than by consecrating ourselves to him as temples. It is a great honor that God confers upon us when he desires to dwell in us. (<19D214>Psalm 132:14.) Hence we ought so much the more to fear, lest he should depart from us, offended by our sacrilegious actings. f363 And ye are not your own. Here we have a second argument - that we are not at our own disposal, that we should live according to our own pleasure. He proves this from the fact that the Lord has purchased us for himself, by paying the price of our redemption. There is a similar statement in <451409>Romans 14:9. To this end Christ died and rose again, that he might be Lord of the living and the dead. Now the word rendered price may be taken in two ways; either simply, as we commonly say of anything that it has cost a price, f364 when we mean that it has not been got for nothing; or, as used instead of the adverb timi>wv at a dear rate, as we are accustomed to say of things that have cost us much. This latter view pleases me better. In the same way Peter says, Ye are redeemed, not with gold and silver, but with the precious f365 blood of the Lamb, without spot. (<600118>1 Peter 1:18,19.) The sum is this, f366 that redemption must hold us bound, and with a bridle of obedience restrain the lasciviousness of our flesh. 20. Glorify God. From this conclusion, it appears that the Corinthians took a liberty to themselves in outward things, that it was necessary to restrain and bridle. The reproof therefore is this he allows that the body is subject to God no less than the soul, and that accordingly it is reasonable that both be devoted to his glory. "As it is befitting that the mind of a believer should be pure, so there must be a corresponding outward profession also before men, inasmuch as the power of both is in the hands of God, who has redeemed both." With the same view he declared a little ago, that not only our souls but our bodies also are temples of the Holy Spirit, that we may not think that we discharge our duty to him aright, if we do not devote ourselves wholly and entirely to his service, that he may by his word regulate even the outward actions of our life. CHAPTER 7 1 CORINTHIANS 7:1-2 1. Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 1. Porro, de quibus scripsistis mihi, bonum est viro mulierem non tangere. 2. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 2. Propter fornicationes autem unusquisque uxorem suam habeat, et unaquaeque proprium maritum. As he had spoken of fornication, he now appropriately proceeds to speak of marriage which is the remedy for avoiding fornication. Now it appears, that, notwithstanding the greatly scattered state of the Corinthian Church, they still retained some respect for Paul, inasmuch as they consulted him on doubtful points. What their questions had been is uncertain, except in so far as we may gather them from his reply. This, however, is perfectly well known, that immediately after the first rise of the Church, there crept into it, through Satan's artifice, a superstition of such a kind, that a large proportion of them, through a foolish admiration of celibacy, f367 despised the sacred connection of marriage; nay more, many regarded it with abhorrence, as a profane thing. This contagion had perhaps spread itself among the Corinthians also; or at least there were idly-disposed spirits, who, by immoderately extolling celibacy, endeavored to alienate the minds of the pious from marriage. At the same time, as the Apostle treats of many other subjects, he intimates that he had been consulted on a variety of points. What is chiefly of importance is, that we listen to his doctrine as to each of them. 1. It is good for a man. The answer consists of two parts. In the first, he teaches that it were good for every one to abstain from connection with a woman, provided it was in his power to do so. In the second, he subjoins a correction to this effect, that as many cannot do this, in consequence of the weakness of their flesh, these persons must not neglect the remedy which they have in their power, as appointed for them by the Lord. Now we must observe what he means by the word good, when he declares that it is good to abstain from marriage, that we may not conclude, on the other hand, that the marriage connection is therefore evil - a mistake which Jerome has fallen into, not so much from ignorance, in my opinion, as from the heat of controversy. For though that great man was endowed with distinguished excellences, he labored, at the same time, under one serious defect, that when disputing he allowed himself to be hurried away into great extravagancies, so that he did not keep within the bounds of truth. The inference then which he draws is this "It is good not to touch a woman: it is therefore wrong to do so." f368 Paul, however, does not make use of the word good here in such a signification as to be opposed to what is evil or vicious, but simply points out what is expedient on account of there being so many troubles, vexations, and anxieties that are incident to married persons. Besides, we must always keep in view the limitation which he subjoins. Nothing farther, therefore, can be elicited from Paul's words than this - that it is indeed expedient and profitable for a man not to be bound to a wife, provided he can do otherwise. Let us explain this by a comparison. Should any one speak in this way: "It were good for a man not to eat, or to drink, or to sleep" - he would not thereby condemn eating, or drinking, or sleeping, as things that were wrong - but as the time that is devoted to these things is just so f369 much taken from the soul, his meaning would be, that we would be happier if we could be free from these hindrances, and devote ourselves wholly f370 to meditation on heavenly things. Hence, as there are in married life many impediments which keep a man entangled, it were on that account good not to be connected in marriage. But here another question presents itself, for these words of Paul have some appearance of inconsistency with the words of the Lord, in <010218>Genesis 2:18, where he declares, that it is not good for a man to be without a wife. What the Lord there pronounces to be evil Paul here declares to be good. I answer, that in so far as a wife is a help to her husband, so as to make his life happy, that is in accordance with God's institution; for in the beginning God appointed it so, that the man without the woman was, as it were, but half a man, and felt himself destitute of special and necessary assistance, and the wife is, as it were, the completing of the man. Sin afterwards came in to corrupt that institution of God; for in place of so great a blessing there has been substituted a grievous punishment, so that marriage is the source and occasion of many miseries. Hence, whatever evil or inconvenience there is in marriage, that arises from the corruption of the divine institution. Now, although there are in the meantime some remains still existing of the original blessing, so that a single life is often much more unhappy than the married life; yet, as married persons are involved in many inconveniences, it is with good reason that Paul teaches that it would be good for a man to abstain. In this way, there is no concealment of the troubles that are attendant upon marriage; and yet, in the meantime, there is no countenance given to those profane jests which are commonly in vogue with a view to bring it into discredit, such as the following: that a wife is a necessary evil, and that a wife is one of the greatest evils. For such sayings as these have come from Satan's workshop, and have a direct tendency to brand with disgrace God's holy institution; and farther, to lead men to regard marriage with abhorrence, as though it were a deadly evil and pest. The sum is this, that we must remember to distinguish between the pure ordinance of God and the punishment of sin, which came in subsequently. According to this distinction, it was in the beginning good for a man, without any exception, to be joined to a wife, and even yet, it is good in such a way, that there is in the meantime a mixture of bitter and sweet, in consequence of the curse of God. To those, however, who have not the gift of continency, it is a necessary and salutary remedy in accordance with what follows. 2. But to avoid fornication. He now commands, that those who are liable to the vice of incontinency should have recourse to the remedy. For though it may seem that the statement is universal, it ought, nevertheless, to be restricted to those who feel themselves urged by necessity. As to this, every one must judge for himself. Whatever difficulty, therefore, is perceived to be in marriage, let all that cannot resist the promptings of their flesh, know that this commandment has been enjoined upon them by the Lord. But it is asked - "Is this the only reason for entering into matrimony, that we may cure incontinency?" I answer, that this is not Paul's meaning; for as for those that have the gift of abstinence from marriage, he leaves them at liberty, f371 while he commands others to provide against their infirmity by marrying. The sum is this - that the question is not as to the reasons for which marriage has been instituted, but as to the persons for whom it is necessary. For if we look to the first institution, it could not be a remedy for a disease which had as yet no existence, but was appointed for begetting offspring; but after the fall, this second purpose was added. This passage is also opposed to (tolugami>a) polygamy. For the Apostle desires that every woman have her own husband, intimating that the obligation is mutual. The man, therefore, who has once pledged his fidelity to a woman as his wife, must not separate from her, as is manifestly done in case of a second connection. 1 CORINTHIANS 7:3-5 3. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and like also the wife unto the husband. 3. Uxori vir debitam benevolentiam vicissim praetet, similiter et uxor marito. 4. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 4. Mulier corporis sui potestatem non habet, sed maritus: similiter et maritus corporis sui potestatem non habet, sed uxor. 5. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 5. Ne fraudetis alter alterum, nisi ex mutuo consensu ad tempus, ut vacetis ieiunio et orationi: et rursum in unum redite, ne tentet vos Satanas propter incontinentiam vestram. 3. The husband to the wife. He now prescribes the rules to be observed in the marriage connection, or he teaches what is the duty of husband and wife. And in the first place he lays down a general doctrine as to mutual benevolence - that the husband love his wife, and the wife her husband; for as to the interpretation which others give to the expression due benevolence - duty of marriage - I do not know how far it is suitable. The reason that inclines them to this view is, that it is immediately added, The husband has not power of his own body, etc.; but it will suit better to regard that as an inference drawn from the preceding statement. Husband and wife, therefore, are bound to mutual benevolence: hence it follows, that they have, neither the one nor the other, the power of their own body. But it may be asked, why the Apostle here puts them upon a level, instead of requiring from the wife obedience and subjection. I answer, that it was not his intention to treat of all their duties, but simply of the mutual obligation as to the marriage bed. In other things, therefore, husband and wife differ, both as to duty and as to authority in this respect the condition of both is alike - as to the maintaining of conjugal fidelity. For this reason, also, polygamy (tolugami>a) is again condemned; for if this is an invariable condition of marriage, that the husband surrenders the power of his own body, and gives it up to his wife, how could he afterwards connect himself with another, as if he were free? 5. Defraud ye not one the other. Profane persons might think that Paul does not act with sufficient modesty in discoursing in this manner as to the intercourse of a husband with his wife; or at least that it was unbecoming the dignity of an Apostle. If, however, we consider the reasons that influenced him, we shall find that he was under the necessity of speaking of these things. In the first place, he knew how much influence a false appearance of sanctity has in beguiling devout minds, as we ourselves know by experience. For Satan dazzles us with an appearance of what is right, that we may be led to imagine that we are polluted by intercourse with our wives, and leaving off our calling, may think of pursuing another kind of life. Farther, he knew how prone every one is to self-love, and devoted to his own gratification. From this it comes, that a husband, having had his desire gratified, treats his wife not merely with neglect, but even with disdain; and there are few that do not sometimes feel this disdain of their wives creep in upon them. It is for these reasons that he treats so carefully of the mutual obligations of the married life. "If at any time it comes into the minds of married persons to desire an unmarried life, as though it were holier, or if they are tempted by irregular desires, f372 let them bear in mind that they are bound by a mutual connection." The husband is but the one half of his body, and so is it, also, as to the wife. Hence they have not liberty of choice, but must on the contrary restrain themselves with such thoughts as these: "Because the one needed help from the other, the Lord has connected us together, that we may assist each other." Let each then be helpful to each other's necessity, and neither of them act as if at his or her own disposal. Unless by mutual consent. He requires mutual consent, in the first place, because the question is not as to the continency of one merely, but of two; and besides, he immediately adds two other exceptions. The first is, that it be done only for a time, as perpetual continency is not in their power, lest if they should venture to make an attempt beyond their power, they might fall before Satan's stratagems. The second is, that they do not abstain from conjugal intercourse, on the ground of that abstinence being in itself a good and holy work, or as if it were the worship of God, f373 but that they may be at leisure for better employments. Now though Paul had taken such pains in guarding this, yet Satan prevailed so far as to drive f374 many to unlawful divorce, from a corrupt desire for an unmarried life. The husband, leaving his wife, fled to the desert, that he might please God better by living as a monk. The wife, against her husband's will, put on the veil - the badge of celibacy. Meanwhile they did not consider that by violating their marriage engagement they broke the Lord's covenant, and by loosing the marriage tie, they cast off the Lord's yoke. This vice, it is true, was corrected in some measure by the ancient canons; for they prohibited a husband from leaving his wife against her will, on pretense of continency; and in like manner a wife from refusing to her husband the use of her body. In this, however, they erred - that they permitted both together to live in perpetual celibacy, as if it were lawful for men to decree anything that is contrary to the Spirit of God. Paul expressly commands, that married persons do not defraud each other, except for a time. The bishops give permission to leave off the use of marriage for ever. Who does not see the manifest contrariety? Let no one, therefore, be surprised, that we make free to dissent on this point from the ancients, who, it is evident, deviated from the clear statements of the word of God. That ye may have leisure for fasting and prayer. We must take notice, that Paul does not speak here of every kind of fasting, or every kind of prayer. That sobriety and temperance, which ought to be habitual on the part of Christians, is a kind of fasting. Prayer, too, ought to be not merely daily, but even continual. He speaks, however, of that kind of fasting which is a solemn expression of penitence, with the view of deprecating God's anger, or by which believers prepare themselves for prayer, when they are undertaking some important business. In like manner, the kind of prayer that he speaks of is such as requires a more intense affection of the mind. f375 For it sometimes happens, that. we require (leaving off everything else) to fast and pray; as when any calamity is impending, if it appears to be a visitation of God's wrath; or when we are involved in any difficult matter, or when we have something of great importance to do, as, for example, the ordaining of pastors. f376Now it is with propriety that the Apostle connects these two things, because fasting is a preparation for prayer, as Christ also connects them, when he says, This kind of devils goeth not out but by fasting and prayer. (<401721>Matthew 17:21.) When, therefore, Paul says, that ye may be at leisure, the meaning is, that having freed ourselves from all impediments, we may apply ourselves to this one thing. Now if any one objects, that the use of the marriage bed is an evil thing, inasmuch as it hinders prayer, the answer is easy - that it is not on that account worse than meat and drink, by which fasting is hindered. But it is the part of believers to consider wisely when it is time to eat and drink, and when to fast. It is also the part of the same wisdom to have intercourse with their wives when it is seasonable, and to refrain from that intercourse when they are called to be engaged otherwise. And come together again, that Satan tempt you not. Here he brings forward the reason, from ignorance of which the ancients have fallen into error, in rashly and inconsiderately approving of a vow of perpetual continency. For they reasoned in this manner: "If it is good for married persons sometimes to impose upon themselves for a time a voluntary continency with mutual consent, then, if they impose this upon themselves for ever, it will be so much the better." But then, they did not consider how much danger was involved in this, for we give Satan an occasion for oppressing us, when we attempt anything beyond the measure of our weakness. f377 "But we must resist Satan." f378 What if arms and shield be wanting? "They must be sought from the Lord," say they. But in vain shall we beseech the Lord to assist us in a rash attempt. We must, therefore, carefully observe the clause - for your incontinency: for we are exposed to Satan's temptations in consequence of the infirmity of our flesh. If we wish to shut them out, and keep them back, it becomes us to oppose them by the remedy, with which the Lord has furnished us. Those, therefore, act a rash part, who give up the use of the marriage bed. It is as if they had made an agreement with God as to perpetual strength. f379 1 CORINTHIANS 7:6-9 6. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 6. Hoc autem dico secundum veniam, non secundum praeceptum. 7. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 7. Optarim enim, omnes homines esse sicut me: sed unusquisque proprium donum habet ex Deo, alius sic, alius autem sic. 8. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 8. Dico autem inconiugatis et viduis: bonum ipsis est, si maneant ut ego. 9. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. 9. Si autem non continent, matrimonium contrahant: melius enim est matrimonium contrahere quam uri. 6. By permission. That they might not, by taking their stand upon a precept of the kind that he had prescribed, loosen unduly the restraints of lust, f380 he adds a limitation - that he had written these things on account of their infirmity - that they may bear in mind that marriage is a remedy for unchastity, lest they should inordinately abuse the advantage of it, so as to gratify their desire by every means; nay more, without measure or modesty. He has it also in view to meet the cavils of the wicked, that no one might have it in his power to object in this way: "What! are you afraid that husbands and wives will not of their own accord be sufficiently inclined to carnal delight that you prompt them to it?" For even the Papists, those little saints, f381 are offended with this doctrine, and would gladly have a contest with Paul, on the ground of his keeping married persons in mutual cohabitation, and not allowing them to turn aside to a life of celibacy. He assigns, then, a reason for his doctrine, and declares, that he had not recommended connubial intercourse to married persons with the view of alluring them to delight, or as though he took pleasure in commanding it, but had considered what was required by the infirmity of those that he is addressing. Foolish zealots f382 for celibacy make a wrong use of both clauses of this verse; for as Paul says that he speaks by permission, they infer from this, that there is therefore something wrong in conjugal intercourse, for where there is need of pardon, f383 there must be sin. Farther, from his saying that he speaks not by commandment, they infer, that it is, therefore, a holier thing to leave off the use of marriage and turn to celibacy. To the former, I answer, that as there is, I acknowledge, an inordinate excess in all human affections, I do not deny that there is as to this matter an irregularity, (ajtaxi>a,) f384 which, I allow, is vicious. f385 Nay more, this affection, I allow, is beyond others violent, and next to brutish. But, on the other hand, I also maintain, that whatever there is of vice or baseness, is so covered over by the honorableness of marriage, that it ceases to be a vice, or at least is not reckoned a fault by God, as Augustine elegantly discourses in his book "On the advantage of Marriage," and frequently in other places. You may then take it briefly thus: f386 conjugal intercourse is a thing that is pure, honorable and holy, because it is a pure institution of God: the immoderate desire with which persons burn is a fault arising from the corruption of nature; but in the case of believers marriage is a veil, by which that fault is covered over, so that it no longer appears in the sight of God. To the second I answer: as the term commandment is properly applied to those things which relate to the duties of righteousness, and things in themselves pleasing to God, Paul on this account says that he does not speak by commandment. He has, however, sufficiently shown previously, that the remedy, which he had enjoined, must necessarily be made use of. 7. For I should wish, that all. This is connected with the exposition of the foregoing statement; for he does not fail to intimate, what is the more convenient way, but he wishes every one to consider what has been given him. f387 Why, then, has he, a little before, spoken not by way of commandment? It is for this reason, that he does not willingly constrain them to marry, but rather desires that they may be free from that necessity. As this, however, is not free to all, he has respect to infirmity. If this passage had been duly weighed, that perverse superstition connected with the desire of celibacy, which is the root and cause of great evils, would never have gained a footing in the world. Paul here expressly declares, that every one has not a free choice in this matter, because virginity is a special gift, that is not conferred upon all indiscriminately. Nor does he teach any other doctrine than what Christ himself does, when he says, that all men are not capable of receiving this saying. (<401911>Matthew 19:11.) Paul, therefore, is here an interpreter of our Lord's words, when he says that this power has not been given to all - that of living without marriage. What, in the meantime, has been done? Every one, without having any regard to his power, has, according to his liking, vowed perpetual continency. Nor has the error as to this matter been confined to the common people and illiterate persons; for even the most eminent doctors, devoting themselves unreservedly to the commendation of virginity, and forgetting human infirmity, have overlooked this admonition of Paul - nay rather, of Christ himself. Jerome, blinded by a zeal, I know not of what sort, does not simply fall, but rushes headlong, into false views. Virginity, I acknowledge, is an excellent gift; but keep it in view, that it is a gift. Learn, besides, from the mouth of Christ and of Paul, that it is not common to all, but is given only to a few. Guard, accordingly, against rashly devoting what is not in your own power, and what you will not obtain as a gift, if forgetful of your calling you aspire beyond your limits. At the same time the ancients erred even in their estimate of virginity, for they extol it as if it were the most excellent of all virtues, and wish it to be regarded as the worship of God. f388 Even in this there is a dangerous error; and now follows another - that, after celibacy had begun to be so much esteemed, many, vying with each other, rashly rowed perpetual continency, while scarcely the hundredth part of them were endowed with the power and gift. Hence, too, a third sprung up - that the ministers of the Church were forbidden to enter into marriage, as a kind of life unbecoming the holiness of their order. f389 As for those who, despising marriage, rashly vowed perpetual continency, God punished their presumption, first, by the secret flames of lust; f390 and then afterwards, by horrible acts of filthiness. The ministers of the Churches being prohibited from lawful marriage, the consequence of this tyranny was, that the Church was robbed of very many good and faithful ministers; for pious and prudent men would not ensnare themselves in this way. At length, after a long course of time, lusts, which had been previously kept under, gave forth their abominable odor. It was reckoned a small matter for those, in whom it would have been a capital crime to have a wife, to maintain with impunity concubines, that is, prostitutes; but no house was safe from the impurities of the priests. Even that was reckoned a small matter; for there sprung up monstrous enormities, which it were better to bury in eternal oblivion than to make mention of them by way of example. f391 8. I say, then, to the unmarried. This depends on what goes before, and is a sort of inference from it. He had said that the gifts of God are variously distributed - that continency is not in the power of all, and that those who have it not ought to have recourse to the remedy. He now directs his discourse to virgins, to all that are unmarried, and to widows, and he allows that an unmarried life ought to be desired by them, provided they have the power; but that regard must always be had by each individual to the power that he possesses. The sum is this, that an unmarried life has many advantages, and that these are not to be despised, provided every one measures himself according to his own size and measure. f392 Hence, though virginity should be extolled even to the third heavens, this, at the same time, always remains true - that it does not suit all, but only those who have a special gift from God. For as to the objection that is brought forward by Papists - that in baptism, also, we promise to God purity of life, which it is not in our power to perform, the answer is easy - that in that we promise nothing but what God requires from all his people, but that continency is a special gift, which God has withheld from many. Hence those who make a vow of continency, act precisely as if any unlearned and illiterate person were to set himself off as a prophet, or teacher, or interpreter of languages. We must also notice carefully the word continue; for it is possible for a person to live chastely in a state of celibacy for a time, but there must be in this matter no determination made for tomorrow. Isaac was unmarried until he was thirty years of age, and passed in chastity those years in which the heats of irregular desire are most violent; yet afterwards he is called to enter into the married life. In Jacob we have a still more remarkable instance. Hence the Apostle would wish those who are at present practicing chastity, to continue in it and persevere; but as they have no security for the continuance of the gift, he exhorts all to consider carefully what has been given them. This passage, however, shows that the Apostle was at that time unmarried; for as to the inference drawn by Erasmus, that he was married, because he makes mention of himself in connection with married persons, it is frivolous and silly; for we might, on the same principle, infer that he was a widower, f393 because he speaks of himself in connection with widows. f394 Now the words intimate, that at that time he was unmarried; for I do not give any countenance to the conjecture, that he had put away his wife somewhere, and had of his own accord abandoned the use of the marriage bed. For where, in that case, had been the injunction, f395 Come together again without delay? (<460705>1 Corinthians 7:5.) It would certainly be an absurdity to say, that he did not obey his own precepts, and did not observe the law which he imposed upon others. It is, however, a singular token of modesty, that, while he is himself endowed with the gift of continency, he does not require others to bind themselves to his rule, but allows them that remedy for infirmity which he dispenses with. Let us, then, imitate his example, so that if we excel in any particular gift, we do not rigorously insist upon it on the part of others, who have not as yet reached that height. 9. But if they cannot contain. While he advises to abstain from marriage, he always speaks conditionally - if it can be done, if there is ability; but where the infirmity of the flesh does not allow of that liberty, he expressly enjoins marriage as a thing that is not in the least doubtful. For this is said by way of commandment, that no one may look upon it as mere advice. Nor is it merely fornicators that he restrains, but those also who are defiled in the sight of God by inward lust; and assuredly he that cannot contain tempts God, if he neglects the remedy of marriage. This matter requires - not advice, but strict prohibition. For it is better. There is not strictly a comparison here, inasmuch as lawful marriage is honorable in all things, (<581304>Hebrews 13:4,) but, on the other hand, to burn is a thing that is exceedingly wrong. The Apostle, however, has made use of a customary form of expression, though not strictly accurate, as we commonly say: "It is better to renounce this world that we may, along with Christ, enjoy the inheritance of the heavenly kingdom, than to perish miserably in carnal delights." I mention this, because Jerome constructs upon this passage a childish sophism f396 - that marriage is good, inasmuch as it is not so great an evil as to burn. I would say, if it were a matter of sport, that he foolishly amuses himself, but in a matter so weighty and serious, it is an impious scoff, unworthy of a man of judgment. Let it then be understood, that marriage is a good and salutary remedy, because to burn is a most base abomination in the sight of God. We must, however, define what is meant by burning; for many are stung with fleshly desires, who, nevertheless, do not require forthwith to have recourse to marriage. And to retain Paul's metaphor, it is one thing to burn and another to feel heat. Hence what Paul here calls burning, is not a mere slight feeling, but a boiling with lust, so that you cannot resist. As, however, some flatter themselves in vain, by imagining that they are entirely free from blame, if they do not yield assent to impure desire, observe that there are three successive steps of temptation. For in some cases the assaults of impure desire have so much power that the will is overcome: that is the worst kind of burning, when the heart is inflamed with lust. In some instances, while we are stung with the darts of the flesh, it is in such a manner that we make a stout resistance, and do not allow ourselves to be divested of the true love of chastity, but on the contrary, abhor all base and filthy affections. Hence all must be admonished, but especially the young, that whenever they are assailed by their fleshly inclinations, they should place the fear of God in opposition to a temptation of this sort, cut off all inlets to unchaste thoughts, entreat the Lord to give them strength to resist, and set themselves with all their might to extinguish the flames of lust. If they succeed in this struggle, let them render thanks unto the Lord, for where shall we find the man who does not experience some molestation from his flesh? but if we bridle its violence, before it has acquired the mastery, it is well. For we do not burn, though we should feel a disagreeable heat - not that there is nothing wrong in that feeling of heat, but acknowledging before the Lord, with humility and sighing, f397 our weakness, we are meanwhile, nevertheless, of good courage. To sum up all, so long as we come off victorious in the conflict, through the Lord's grace, and Satan's darts do not make their way within, but are valiantly repelled by us, let us not become weary of the conflict. There is an intermediate kind of temptation f398 - when a man does not indeed admit impure desire with the full assent of his mind, but at the same time is inflamed with a blind impetuosity, and is harassed in such a manner that he cannot with peace of conscience call upon God. A temptation, then, of such a kind as hinders one from calling upon God in purity, and disturbs peace of conscience, is burning, such as cannot be extinguished except by marriage. We now see, that in deliberating as to this, one must not merely consider whether he can preserve his body free from pollution: the mind also must be looked to, as we shall see in a little. 1 CORINTHIANS 7:10-17 10. And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 10. Coniugibus denuntio, non ego, sed Dominus: Uxor a marito ne discedat. 11. But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 11. Quodsi discesserit, maneat innupta, aut viro reconcilietur: et vir uxorem ne dimittat. 12. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 12. Reliquis ego dico, non Dominus: Si quis frater uxorem habet infidelem, et ipsa consentit cum eo habitare, ne dimittat eam: 13. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 13. Et mulier si maritum habet infidelem, et ipse consentit cum ea habitare, ne relinquat eum. 14. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 14. Sanctificatus est enim vir infidelis in uxore: et sanctificata est uxor incredula in viro: alioque liberi vestri immundi essent: nunc autem sancti sunt. 15. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 15. Quod si infidelis discedit, discedat: non enim subiectus est servituti frater ant soror in talibus, in pace autem vocavit nos Deus. 16. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? 16. Quid enim scis, mulier, an maritum servatura sis? ant quid scis, O vir, an uxorem sis servaturus? 17. But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. 17. Nisi unusquisque ut ei gratiam divisit Dominns, sic ambulet: et sic in Ecclesiis omnibus praecipio. 10. To the married I command. He now treats of another condition of marriage - its being an indissoluble tie. Accordingly, he condemns all those divorces that were of daily occurrence among the heathens, and were not punished among the Jews by the law of Moses. Let not, says he, the husband put away his wife, and let not the wife depart from her husband. Why? Because they are joined together by an indissoluble bond. It is surprising, however, that he does not make an exception, at least in case of adultery; for it is not likely that he designed to curtail in anything the doctrine of Christ. To me it appears clear, that the reason why he has made no mention of this f399 is, that as he is discoursing of these things only in passing, he chose rather to send back the Corinthians to the Lord's permission or prohibition, than to go over everything in detail. For when persons intend to teach anything in short compass, they content themselves with a general statement. Exceptions are reserved for a minutcr and more extended and particular discussion. But as to what he subjoins - not I, but the Lord - he intimates by this correction, that what he teaches here is taken from the law of God. For other things that he taught he had also from the revelation of the Spirit; but he declares that God is the author of this, in respect of its being expressly taken from the law of God. If you inquire as to the particular passage, you will nowhere find it in so many words; but as Moses in the beginning testifies, that the connection between a husband and wife is so sacred, that for the sake of it a man ought to leave his father and mother. (<010224>Genesis 2:24.) It is easy to gather from this, how inviolable a connection it is. For by right of nature a son is bound to his father and mother, and cannot shake off that yoke. As the connection of marriage is preferred to that bond, much less ought it to be dissolved. 11. But if she depart. That this is not to be understood of those who have been put away for adultery, is evident from the punishment that followed in that case; for it was a capital crime even by the Roman laws, and almost by the common law of nations. But as husbands frequently divorced their wives, either because their manners were not congenial, or because their personal appearance did not please them, or because of some offense; f400 and as wives, too, sometimes deserted their husbands on account of their cruelty, or excessively harsh and dishonorable treatment, he says that marriage is not dissolved by divorces or dissensions of that nature. For it is an agreement that is consecrated by the name of God, which does not stand or fall according to the inclination of men, so as to be made void whenever we may choose. The sum is this: other contracts, as they depend on the mere inclination of men, are in like manner dissolved by that same inclination; but those who are connected by marriage are no longer free, so as to be at liberty, if they change their mind, to break in pieces the pledge, f401 (as the expression is,) and go each of them elsewhere in quest of a new connection. For if the rights of nature cannot be dissolved, much less can this, which, as we have said already, is preferred before the principal tie of nature. But as to his commanding the wife, who is separated from her husband, to remain unmarried, he does not mean by this that separation is allowable, nor does he give permission to the wife to live apart from her husband; but if she has been expelled from the house, or has been put away, she must not think that even in that case she is set free from his power; for it is not in the power of a husband to dissolve marriage. He does not therefore give permission here to wives to withdraw, of their own accord, from their husbands, or to live away from their husband's establishment, as if they were in a state of widowhood; but declares, that even those who are not received by their husbands, continue to be bound, so that they cannot take other husbands. But what if a wife is wanton, or otherwise incontinent? Would it not be inhuman to refuse her the remedy, when, constantly burning with desire? I answer, that when we are prompted by the infirmity of our flesh, we must have recourse to the remedy; after which it is the Lord's part to bridle and restrain our affections by his Spirit, though matters should not succeed according to our desire. For if a wife should fall into a protracted illness, the husband would, nevertheless, not be justified in going to seek another wife. In like manner, if a husband should, after marriage, begin to labor under some distemper, it would not be allowable for his wife to change her condition of life. The sum is this - God having prescribed lawful marriage as a remedy for our incontinency, let us make use of it, that we may not, by tempting him, pay the penalty of our rashness. Having discharged this duty, let us hope that he will give us aid should matters go contrary to our expectations. 12. To the rest I say. By the rest he means those who are exceptions, so that the law, common to others, is not applicable to them; for an unequal marriage is on a different footing, when married persons differ among themselves in respect of religion; Now this question he solves in two clauses. The first is, that the believing party ought not to withdraw from the unbelieving party, and ought not to seek divorce, unless she is put away. The second is, that if an unbeliever put away his wife on account of religion, a brother or a sister is, by such rejection, freed from the bond of marriage. But why is it that Paul speaks of himself as the author of these regulations, while they appear to be somewhat at variance with what he had, a little before, brought forward, as from the Lord? He does not mean that they are from himself in such a way as not to be derived from the Spirit of God; but, as there was nowhere in the law or in the Prophets any definite or explicit. statement on this subject, he anticipates in this way the calumnies of the wicked, in claiming as his own what he was about to state. At the same time, lest all this should be despised as the offspring of man's brain, we shall find him afterwards declaring, that his statement are not the contrivances of his own understanding. There is, however, nothing inconsistent with what goes before; for as the obligation and sanctity of the marriage engagement depend upon God, what connection can a pious woman any longer maintain with an unbelieving husband, after she has been driven away through hatred of God? 14. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified. He obviates an objection, which might occasion anxiety to believers. The relationship of marriage is singularly close, so that the wife is the half of the man - so that they two are one flesh - (<460616>1 Corinthians 6:16) - so that the husband is the head of the wife; (<490523>Ephesians 5:23;) and she is her husband's partner in everything; hence it seems impossible that a believing husband should live with an ungodly wife, or the converse of this, without being polluted by so close a connection. Paul therefore declares here, that marriage is, nevertheless, sacred and pure, and that we must not be apprehensive of contagion, as if the wife would contaminate the husband. Let us, however, bear in mind, that he speaks here not of contracting marriages, but of maintaining those that have been already contracted; for where the matter under consideration is, whether one should marry an unbelieving wife, or whether one should marry an unbelieving husband, then that exhortation is in point - Be not yoked with unbelievers, for there is no agreement between Christ and Belial. (<470614>2 Corinthians 6:14.) But he that is already bound has no longer liberty of choice; hence the advice given is different. While this sanctification is taken in various senses, I refer it simply to marriage, in this sense - It might seem (judging from appearance) as if a believing wife contracted infection from an unbelieving husband, so as to make the connection unlawful; but it is otherwise, for the piety of the one has more effect in sanctifying marriage than the impiety of the other in polluting it. Hence a believer may, with a pure conscience, live with an unbeliever, for in respect of the use and intercourse of the marriage bed, and of life generally, he is sanctified, so as not to infect the believing party with his impurity. Meanwhile this sanctification is of no benefit to the unbelieving party; it only serves thus far, that the believing party is not contaminated by intercourse with him, and marriage itself is not profaned. But from this a question arises - "If the faith of a husband or wife who is a Christian sanctifies marriage, it follows that all marriages of ungodly persons are. impure, and differ nothing from fornication." I answer, that to the ungodly all things are impure, (<560115>Titus 1:15,) because they pollute by their impurity even the best and choicest of God's creatures. Hence it is that they pollute marriage itself, because they do not acknowledge God as its Author, and therefore they are not capable of true sanctification, and by an evil conscience abuse marriage. It is a mistake, however, to conclude from this that it differs nothing from fornication; for, however impure it is to them, it is nevertheless pure in itself, inasmuch as it is appointed by God, serves to maintain decency among men, and restrains irregular desires; and hence it is for these purposes approved by God, like other parts of political order. We must always, therefore, distinguish between the nature of a thing and the abuse of it. Else were your children. It is an argument taken from the effect - "If your marriage were impure, then the children that are the fruit of it would be impure; but they are holy; hence the marriage also is holy. As, then, the ungodliness of one of the parents does not hinder the children that are born from being holy, so neither does it hinder the marriage from being pure." Some grammarians explain this passage as referring to a civil sanctity, in respect of the children being reckoned legitimate, but in this respect the condition of unbelievers is in no degree worse. That exposition, therefore, cannot stand. Besides, it is certain that Paul designed here to remove scruples of conscience, lest any one should think (as I have said) that he had contracted defilement. The passage, then, is a remarkable one, and drawn from the depths of theology; for it teaches, that the children of the pious are set apart from others by a sort of exclusive privilege, so as to be reckoned holy in the Church. But how will this statement correspond with what he teaches elsewhere - that we are all by nature children of wrath; (<490203>Ephesians 2:3;) or with the statement of David - Behold I was conceived in sin, etc. (Psalms 51:7.) I answer, that there is a universal propagation of sin and damnation throughout the seed of Adam, and all, therefore, to a man, are included in this curse, whether they are the offspring of believers or of the ungodly; for it is not as regenerated by the Spirit, that believers beget children after the flesh. The natural condition, therefore, of all is alike, so that they are liable equally to sin and to eternal death. As to the Apostle's assigning here a peculiar privilege to the children of believers, this flows from the blessing of the covenant, by the intervention of which the curse of nature is removed; and those who were by nature unholy are consecrated to God by grace. Hence Paul argues, in his Epistle to the Romans, (<451116>Romans 11:16,) that the whole of Abraham's posterity are holy, because God had made a covenant. of life with him - If the root be holy, says he, then the branches are holy also. And God calls all that were descended from Israel his sons' now that the partition is broken down, the same covenant of salvation that was entered into with the seed of Abraham f402 is communicated to us. But if the children of believers are exempted from the common lot of mankind, so as to be set apart to the Lord, why should we keep them back from the sign? If the Lord admits them into the Church by his word, why should we refuse them the sign? In what respects the offspring of the pious are holy, while many of them become degenerate, you will find explained in the tenth and eleventh chapters of the Epistle to the Romans; and I have handled this point there. 15. But if an unbeliever depart. This is the second department of his statement, in which he sets at liberty a believing' husband, who is prepared to dwell with an unbelieving wife, but is rejected by her, and in like manner a woman who is, without any fault on her part, repudiated by her husband; for ill that case the unbelieving party makes a divorce with God rather than with his or her partner. There is, therefore, in this case a special reason, inasmuch as the first and chief bond is not merely loosed, but even utterly broken through. While some are of opinion that we are at this day situated ill a much similar way with Papists, f403 we ought to consider wisely what difference there is between the two cases, that we may not attempt anything' rashly. In peace. Here, too, interpreters differ; for some take it in this way - "We are called in peace: let us therefore avoid all ground and occasion of quarrels." I take it in a more simple way: "Let us, so far as we can, cultivate peace with all, to which we have been called. We must not, therefore, rashly separate from unbelievers, unless they first make a divorce. God, therefore, has called us in peace to this end, that we might cultivate peace with all, by acting properly towards cvery one." This, then, belongs to the former department of his statement - that believers ought to remain with unbelievers, if they are p1eased, etc., (<460712>1 Corinthians 7:12 and 13,) because a desire for divorce is at variance with our profession. 16. For what knowest thou, O woman? Those who are of opinion that this observation is a confirmation of the second department of his statement, expound it thus. "An uncertain hope ought not to detain thee," etc. But, in my opinion, the exhortation is taken from the advantage to be derived; for it is a great and distinguished blessing if a wife gain (<460919>1 Corinthians 9:19) her husband. Now, unbelievers are not in so hopeless a condition but that they may be brought to believe. They are dead, it is true, but God can even raise the dead. So long, therefore, as there remains any hope of doing good, and the pious wife knows not but that she may by her holy conversation (<600301>1 Peter 3:1) bring back her husband into the way, f404 she ought to try every means before leaving him; for so long as a man's salvation is doubtful, it becomes us to be prepared rather to hope the best. As to his saying, however, that a husband may be saved by his wife, the expression, it is true, is not strictly accurate, as he ascribes to man what belongs to God; but there is no absurdity in it. For as God acts efficaciously by his instruments which he makes use of, he does, in a manner, communicate his power to them, or, at least, he connects it with their service in such a manner, that what he does he speaks of as being done by them, and hence, too, he sometimes ascribes to them the honor which is due to himself alone. Let us, however, bear in mind, that we have nothing in our power, except in so far as we are directed by him as instruments. 17. Unless every one, according as God has dispensed his grace, etc. Such is the literal meaning: only I have in my rendering made use of the nominative, f305A in order that the connection may be more easy and natural. The meaning is: "What, then, is to be done, unless f306A that every one walk according to the grace given to him, and according to his calling? Let every one, therefore, labor for this, and use his endeavor, that he may do good to his neighbors, and, more especially, when he ought to be excited to it by the particular duty of his calling." He mentions two things - the calling, and the measure of grace. These he desires us to look to in deliberating as to this matter; as it ought to be no small stimulus to us to duty, that God condescends to make us ministers of his grace for the salvation of our brethren; while the calling, on the other hand, should hold us, as it were, under God's yoke, even where an individual feels his situation to be an unpleasant one. And so in all the Churches. I am of opinion that he added this, with the view of obviating the calumnies of some who boasted that he assumed more authority over the Corinthians than he ventured to do over others. At the same time he might have also another end in view - that this doctrine might have the more weight, when the Corinthians understood that it was already published in all the Churches. For we embrace the more readily what we understand that we have in common with all the pious. The Corinthians, on the other hand, would have felt it hateful to be bound more closely than others. 1 CORINTHIANS 7:18-24 18. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 18. Circumcisus aliquis vocatus est? ne arcessat praeputium: in praeputio aliquis vocatus est? ne circumcidatur. 19. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. 19. Circumcisio nihil est, et praeputium nihil est, sed observatio mandatorum Dei. 20. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. 20. Unusquisque in qua vocatione fuit vocatus, maneat. 21. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 21. Servus vocatus es? ne sit tibi curae: at si etiam possis liber fieri, magis utere. 22. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called being free, is Christ's servant. 22. Etenim qui in Domino vocatus est servus, libertus Domini est: similiter et qui liber vocatus est, servus est Christi. 23. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 23. Pretio empti estis: nolite fieri servi hominum. 24. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God. 24. Unusquisque in eo, in quo vocatus est, fratres, maneat apud Deum. 18. Circumcised, etc. As he had made mention of the calling, he takes occasion, from a particular instance, to make a digression for a little into a general exhortation, as he is wont to do in many instances; and, at the same time, he confirms, by different examples, what he had said respecting marriage. The sum is this, that in external things you must not rashly abandon the calling on which you have once entered by the will of God. And he begins with circumcisions, respecting which many at that time disputed. Now, he says that with God it makes no difference whether you are a Gentile or a Jew. Hence he exhorts every one to be contented with his condition. It must always be kept in view, that he treats only of lawful modes of life, which have God as their approver and author. 19. Circumcision is nothing. While this similitude was suited to the subject in hand, it appears to have been designedly made use of with the view of reproving, in passing, the superstition and haughtiness of the Jews. For, as the Jews gloried in circumcision, it was possible that many might feel dissatisfied with the want of it, as if their condition were the worse on that account. Paul, therefore, places both conditions upon a level, lest, through hatred of the one, the other should be foolishly desired. These things, however, must be understood as referring to the time when circumcision was at length abolished; for, if he had had an eye to the covenant of God, and his commandment, he would, without doubt, have estimated it higher. In another passage, it is true, he makes light of the letter of circumcision, (<450227>Romans 2:27,) and declares that it is of no account in the sight of God; but here, as he simply contrasts circumcision with uncircumcision, and makes both alike, it is certain that he speaks of it as a matter of indifference and of no moment. For the abolishing of it has this effect - that the mystery which had been previously conveyed under it, does not now any longer belong to it: nay more, it is now no longer a sign, but a thing of no use. For baptism has come in the place of the symbol used under the law on this footing, that it is enough that we be circumcised by the Spirit of Christ, while our old man is buried with Christ. But the keeping of the commandments. As this was one of the commandments, so long as the Church was bound to legal ceremonies, we see that it is taken for granted, that circumcision had been abolished by the advent of Christ, so that the use of it, indeed, was allowed among the ignorant and weak, but advantage in it - there was none. For Paul speaks of it here as a thing of no moment: "As these are outward things, let them not take up your attention, but devote yourself rather to piety and the duties which God requires, and which are alone precious in his sight." As to the circumstance that Papists bring forward this passage for the purpose of overthrowing justification by faith, it is utterly childish; for Paul is not disputing here as to the ground of justification, or the way in which we obtain it, but simply as to the object to which the aim of believers ought to be directed. "Do not occupy yourselves to no purpose in things of no profit, but, on the contrary, exercise yourselves in duties that are well pleasing to God." 20. Every man in the calling in which. This is the source from which other things are derived, - that every one should be contented with his calling, and pursue it, instead of seeking to betake himself to anything else. A calling in Scripture means a lawful mode of life, for it has a relation to God as calling us, f307A - lest any one should abuse this statement f308A to justify modes of life that are evidently wicked or vicious. But here it is asked, whether Paul means to establish any obligation, f309A for it might seem as though the words conveyed this idea, that every one is bound to his calling, so that he must not abandon it. Now it were a very hard thing if a tailor f310A were not at liberty to learn another trade, or if a merchant were not at liberty to betake himself to farming. I answer, that this is not what the Apostle intends, for he has it simply in view to correct that inconsiderate eagerness, which prompts some to change their condition without any proper reason, whether they do it from superstition, or from any other motive. Farther, he calls every one to this rule also - that they bear in mind what is suitable to their calling. He does not, therefore, impose upon any one the necessity of continuing in the kind of life which he has once taken up, but rather condemns that restlessness, which prevents an individual from remaining in his condition with a peaceable mind f311A and he exhorts, that every one stick by his trade, as the old proverb goes. 21. Art thou called being a servant? We see here that Paul's object f312A is to satisfy their consciences; for he exhorts servants to be of good cheer, and not be cast down, as if servitude were a hinderance in the way of their serving God. Care not for it then, that is to say, be not concerned how you may throw off the yoke, as if it were a condition unbecoming a Christian, but be contented in mind. And hence we infer, not merely that it is owing to the providence of God that there are different ranks and stations in the world, but also, that a regard to them is enjoined by his word. But if thou mayest even be made free. The particle even (in my opinion) has simply this force, - "If, in place of servitude, you could attain even to liberty, it would be more advantageous for you." It is uncertain, however, whether he continues his discourse to servants, or turns to address those that are free. In the latter case, gene>sqai would here mean simply to be. Either meaning suits sufficiently well, and they amount to the same thing. He means to intimate, that liberty is not merely good, but also more advantageous than servitude. If he is speaking to servants, his meaning will be this - While I exhort you to be free from anxiety, I do not hinder you from even availing yourselves of liberty, if an opportunity presents itself to you. If he is addressing himself to those that are free, it will be a kind of concession, as though he had said - I exhort servants to be of good courage, though a state of freedom is preferable, f313A and more to be desired, if one has it in his choice. 22. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant. To be called in the Lord, being a servant, is to be chosen out of the rank of servants, and made a partaker of the grace of Christ. Now this statement is designed to furnish consolation to servants, and, at the same time, to beat down the haughtiness of those that are free-born. As servants feel their situation irksome, in respect of their being mean and despicable, it is of importance that the bitterness of servitude be alleviated by some consolation. Those, on the other hand, that are free, need to be restrained, in order that they may not be unduly elated on account of their more honorable condition, and be lifted up with pride. The Apostle does both; for he teaches, that as the liberty of the spirit is greatly preferable to the liberty of the flesh, servants ought to feel the unpleasantness of their condition the more tolerable, when they take into view that inestimable gift with which they have been endowed; and, on the other hand, that those who are free ought not to be puffed up, inasmuch as their condition in the principal respect is not superior to that of servants. We must not, however, infer from this, that those that are free are made inferior to servants, or that political order is subverted. The Apostle saw what suited both. Those that were free required (as I have said) to be restrained, that they might not in a wanton manner triumph over servants. To servants, on the other hand, some consolation required to be administered, that they might not be disheartened. Now these things tend rather to confirm political order, while he teaches that the inconvenience of the flesh is compensated by a spiritual benefit. 23. Yea are bought with a price. We had these words in the preceding chapter, (<460620>1 Corinthians 6:20,) but for a different purpose. As to the word price, I have stated there, what is my view of it. The sum is this, that he exhorts servants, indeed, not to be anxious as to their condition, but wishes them rather to take heed not to subject themselves to the wicked or depraved inclinations of their masters. "We are holy to the Lord, because he has redeemed us: let us, therefore, not defile ourselves for the sake of men, as we do when we are subject to their corrupt desires." This admonition was very necessary at that time, when servants were driven by threats and stripes, and even fear of death, to obey every kind of command without selection or exception, so that they reckoned the procuring of prostitutes, and other crimes of that nature, to be duties belonging to servants, equally with honorable employment's. It is, therefore, not without reason that Paul makes this exception - that they are not to yield obedience in things base and wicked. Would that this were thoroughly and entirely impressed upon the minds of all! There would not, in that case, be so many that prostitute themselves to the lusts of men, as if exposed for sale. As for us, let us bear in mind, that we belong to him who has redeemed us. 24. Let him abide with God. I have already noticed above, that men are not here bound by a perpetual necessity, so as never to have it in their power to change their condition, if at any time there should be a fit occasion for it; but that he simply represses those thoughtless humors, which hurry men hither and thither, so that they are harassed by a continual restlessness. Hence Paul says, that it is all one in the sight of God what a person's manner of life is in this world, inasmuch as this diversity does not hinder agreement in piety. 1 CORINTHIANS 7:25-28 25. Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hat obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. 25. De virginibus autem praeceptum Domini non habeo: sed consilium do, tanquam misericordiam consequutus a Domino, ut sim fidelis. 26. I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. 26. Arbitror igitur hoc bonum esse propter instantem necessitatem, quod bonum sit homini sic esse. 27. Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 27. Alligatus es uxori? ne quaeras solutionem. Solutus es ab uxore? ne quaeras uxorem 28. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. 28. Quodsi etiam duxeris uxorem,non peccasti: et si nupserit virgo,non peccavit: attamen afflictionem in carne habebunt eiusmodi. Ego autem vobis parco. 25. Concerning virgins. He now returns to treat of marriage, of which he had begun to speak in the commencement of the chapter. What he is now about to state he had previously touched upon, but briefly and somewhat obscurely. He accordingly intimates more explicitly what his views are respecting virginity; but as it is a matter that is liable to be misapprehended, and is full of difficulties, he always speaks, as we shall see, conditionally. Virgins here I understand as meaning virginity. As to this, he says he has no commandment of the Lord; because the Lord does not in any part of the Scriptures declare what persons ought to remain unmarried. Nay, on the contrary, inasmuch as the Scripture says, that male and female were created together, (<010221>Genesis 2:21,) it seems as if it called every one equally and without exception to marriage: f314A at least celibacy is nowhere enjoined upon any one, or commended. He says that he gives advice, not as if there were anything doubtful in it, and had little or no stability, but as being certain, and deserving to be maintained without any controversy. The word, too, that he employs, gnw>mh, signifies not merely advice, but a decisive judgment. f315A Papists, however, rashly infer from this, that it is allowable to go beyond the limits of God's word, since nothing was farther from Paul's intention than to go beyond the limits of God's word for if any one attends more closely, he will see, that Paul here advances nothing but what is included in what Christ says in <400532>Matthew 5:32, and <401905>Matthew 19:5; but in the way of anticipating an objection, he acknowledges that he has no express precept in the law, pointing out who ought to marry, and who not. Having obtained mercy to be faithful. He secures authority for his decision, that no one may think himself at liberty to reject it, if he chooses. For he declares that he does not speak simply as a man, but as a faithful teacher of the Church, and an Apostle of Christ. According to his custom, he declares himself to be indebted for this to the mercy of God, f316A as it was no common honor, nay superior to all human merits. Hence it appears, that whatever things have been introduced into the Church by human authority, f317A have nothing in common with this advice of Paul. But faithful here means truthful - one who does not do what he does merely from pious zeal, but is also endowed with knowledge, so as to teach with purity and faithfulness. For it is not enough for a teacher to be conscientious, if he has not also prudence and acquaintance with the truth. 26. I think therefore that this is good. While I translate this passage of Paul's writings differently from Erasmus or the Vulgate, I at the same time do not differ from them as to its meaning. They divide Paul's words in such a way, that the same thing is repeated twice. I, on the other hand, make it simply one proposition, and not without authority, for I follow ancient and approved manuscripts, which make it all one sentence, with merely a colon between. The meaning is this: "I think it expedient on account of the necessity, with which the saints are always harassed in this life, that all should enjoy the liberty and advantage of celibacy, as this would be of advantage to them." There are some, however, that view the term necessity as referring to the age of the Apostle, which was, undoubtedly, full of trouble to the pious: but he appears to me to have had it rather in view to express the disquietude with which the saints are incessantly harassed in the present life. I view it, therefore, as extending to all ages, and I understand it in this way, that the saints are often, in this world, driven hither and thither, and are exposed to many and various tempests, f318A so that their condition appears to be unsuitable for marriage. The phrase so to be, signifies to remain unmarried, or to abstain from marriage. 27. Art thou bound to a wife? Having stated what would be most advantageous, he adds at the same time, that we ought not to be so much influenced by the advantages of celibacy, that one that is bound by the tie of marriage should shake off the connection. It is therefore a restriction upon the preceding statement, lest any one, influenced by his commendation of celibacy, should turn his thoughts to it, and despise marriage, forgetful of his necessity or of his calling. Now in these words he does not merely forbid the breaking up of the connection of marriage, but also represses the dislikes that are wont to creep in, that every one may continue to live with his wife willingly and cheerfully. Art thou loosed from a wife? This second clause must be taken with a reservation, as is manifest from the entire context. He does not, then, allow to all the choice of perpetual celibacy, but only to those to whom it is given. Let no one, therefore, who is not constrained by any necessity, rashly ensnare himself, for liberty ought not to be lightly thrown away. f319A 28. But if thou shouldest even marry. As there was a danger of one's thinking from the preceding statement, that he tempted God, if he knowingly and willingly bound himself to marriage, (as that would be to renounce his liberty,) he removes this scruple; for he gives liberty to widows to marry, and says, that those that marry do not sin. The word even also seems to be emphatic - to intimate, that even though there be no positive necessity urging to it, the unmarried are not prohibited from marrying whenever they may see fit. And if a virgin marry. Whether this is an amplification, or simply an illustration, this, in the first place, is beyond all controversy, that Paul designed to extend the liberty of marriage to all. Those who think that it is an amplification, are led to think so by this, that it seems to approach nearer to a fault, and is more open to reprehension, or at least has. more occasion of shame, to loose the virgin girdle (as the ancients express themselves) than, upon the death of a husband, to enter into a second marriage. The argument then would be this: "If it is lawful for a virgin to marry, much more may widows." I am rather of opinion, that he makes both equal in this way: "As it is allowable for a virgin, so is it for widows also." For second marriages among the ancients were not without some mark of reproach, as they adorned those matrons, who had contented themselves with one marriage during their whole life, with a chaplet of chastity f320A - an honor that tended to reflect reproach upon those that had married repeatedly. And it is a well known saying of Valerius, f321A that "it betokens a legitimate excess f322A when a second marriage is desired." The Apostle, therefore, makes virgins and widows alike as to liberty of marriage. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh. He frequently repeats the reason why he leans more to the side of celibacy in his exhortations, lest he should seem to prefer the one condition to the other on its own account, rather than on account of its consequences. He says, that there are many troubles that are connected with the married life, and that on that account he wishes all to be free from marriage, who desire to be exempt from troubles. When he says, that they will have trouble of the flesh, or in the flesh, he means, that the anxieties and distresses in which married persons are involved arise from the affairs of the world. The flesh, therefore, is taken here to mean the outward man. To spare means to indulge, or to wish them to be exempted from the troubles that are connected with marriage. "I am desirous to make provision for your infirmity, that you may not have trouble: now marriage brings with it many troubles. This is the reason why I should wish you not to require to marry - that you may be exempt from all its evils." Do not, however, infer from this that Paul reckons marriage to be a necessary evil for those troubles of which he speaks do not arise so much from the nature of marriage, as from the corruption of it, for they are the fruits of original sin. 1 CORINTHIANS 7:29-35 29. But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none: 29. Hoc autem dico, fratres, quia f323A tempus contractum est: reliquum est, ut qui uxores habent, sint tanquam non habentes: 30. And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 30. Et qui flent, tanquam non flentes: et qui gaudent, tanquam non gandentes: et qui emunt, tanquam non possidentes: 31. And they that use this world, as not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away. 31. Et qui utuntur hoc mundo,tanquam non utentes: praeterit enim figura mundi hujus. 32. But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 32. Velim autem vos absque solicitudine esse. Qui coelebs est,curat ea quae sunt Domini, quomodo placiturus sit Domino: 33. But he that is married careth for the things that are of the worlds, how he may please his wife. 33. Coniugatus curat ea quae sunt mundi, qualiter uxori placiturus sit, et divisus est. 34. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 34. Et mulier caelebs, et virgo curat ea quae sunt Domini, ut sancta sit corpore et spiritu: at quae maritum habet, curat ea quae sunt mundi, quomodo placitura sit marito. 35. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. 35. Hoc autem ad utilitatem vestram dico, non ut laqueum vobis iniiciam, sed ad honestatem ac decorum, ut Domino adhaereatis absque ulla distractione. 29. Because the time is short, etc. Again he discourses respecting the holy use of marriage, for the purpose of repressing the wantonness of those who, when they have married, think of nothing but the delights of the flesh. They have no remembrance of God. Hence he exhorts believers not to give way to unbridled desire in such a way, that marriage should have the effect of plunging them into the world. Marriage is a remedy for incontinency. It has really the effect, if it be used with moderation. He therefore exhorts married persons to live together chastely in the fear of the Lord. This will be effected, if marriage is made use of by them, like other helps of this earthly life, having their hearts directed upwards to meditation on the heavenly life. Now, he draws his argument from the shortness of human life: "This life," says he, "which we are now spending is frail, and of short duration. Let us not therefore be held entangled by it. Let those accordingly who have wives, be as though they had none." Every one, it is true, has this philosophy in his mouth, but few have it truly and in good earnest impressed upon their minds. In my first translation, I had followed a manuscript, to which (as I afterwards discovered) not one of the many others gave any countenance. I have accordingly deemed it proper to insert the particle because, to make the meaning more apparent, and in accordance also with the reading in some ancient copies. For as in those cases in which we are deliberating as to anything, we look to the future rather than to the past, he admonishes us as to the shortness of the time that is to come. As though they had none. All things that are connected with the enjoyment of the present life are sacred gifts of God, but we pollute them when we abuse them. If the reason is asked, we shall find it to be this, that we always dream of continuance in the world, for it is owing to this that those things which ought to be helps in passing through it become hindrances to hold us fast. Hence, it is not without good reason, that the Apostle, with the view of arousing us from this stupidity, calls us to consider the shortness of this life, and infers from this, that we ought to use all the things of this world, as if we did not use them. For the man who considers that he is a stranger in the world uses the things of this world as if they were another's - that is, as things that are lent us for a single day. The sum is this, that the mind of a Christian ought not to be taken up with earthly things, or to repose in them; for we ought to live as if we were every moment about to depart from this life. By weeping and rejoicing, he means adversity and prosperity; for it is customary to denote causes by their effects. f324A The Apostle, however, does not here command Christians to part with their possessions, but simply requires that their minds be not engrossed in their possessions. f325A 31. And they that use this world. In the first clause there is the participle crw>menoi (using,) in the second, there is a compound of it - katacrw>menoi (abusing.) Now the preposition kata in a compound state is generally taken in a bad sense, or at least denotes intensity. f326A Paul, therefore, directs us to a sober and frugal use of things, such as may not impede or retard our course, but may allow of our always hastening forward toward the goal. For the fashion of this world passeth away. By the term here used, the Apostle has elegantly expressed the vanity of the world. "There is nothing," says he, "that is firm or solid; f327A for it is a mere show or outward appearance, as they speak." He seems, however, to have had an allusion to theatrical representations, in which, on the curtain being drawn up in a single moment, a new appearance is presented, and those things that held the eyes of the spectators in astonishment, are immediately withdrawn from their view. I do not see why it is that Erasmus has preferred the term habitus (form.) He certainly, in my opinion, obscures Paul's doctrine; for the term fashion is tacitly opposed to substance. f328A 32. But I would wish you. He returns to the advice which he had spoken of, (<460725>1 Corinthians 7:25,) but had not as yet fully explained, and in the outset he pronounces, as he is wont, a commendation upon celibacy, and then afterwards allows every one the liberty of choosing what he may consider to suit him best. It is not, however, without good reason that he returns so frequently to proclaim the advantages of celibacy, for he saw that the burdens of matrimony were far from light. The man who can exempt himself from them, ought not to refuse such a benefit, and it is of advantage for those who resolve to marry, to be forewarned of those inconveniences, that they may not afterwards, on meeting with them unexpectedly, give way to despondency. This we see happens to many, for having promised themselves unmixed honey, on being disappointed in that expectation, they are very readily cast down by the slightest mishap. f329A Let them know, therefore, in good time, what they have to expect, that they may be prepared to endure everything patiently. The meaning is this: "Marriage brings along with it hindrances, from which I should wish you to be free and exempt." As, however, he has previously made use of the term trouble, (<460728>1 Corinthians 7:28,) and now makes mention of cares or anxieties, it may admit of doubt whether they have a different signification, or not. I am of opinion that the trouble referred to is what arises from things of a distressing nature, such as loss of children, widowhood, quarrels, and little differences, (as lawyers speak,) f330A many occasions of dislike, faults of children, difficulty in bringing up a family, and the like. The anxieties, on the other hand, are, in my opinion, connected with things that are joyful, as for example marriage fooleries, jests, and other things with which married persons are taken up. f331A He that is unmarried careth for the things of the Lord. Mark the kind of exemption from anxieties that he desires in behalf of Christians - that they may devote to the Lord all their thoughts and aims. This, he says, belongs to celibacy; and therefore he desires all to enjoy this liberty. He does not mean, however, that it is invariably so in unmarried life, as experience shows it to be quite otherwise in priests, monks, and nuns, than whose celibacy nothing can be conceived to be farther from God. Add to this the many base fornicators who abstain from marriage for the very purpose of having greater liberty for the indulgence of lust, and that their vice may not appear. Where there is burning, (<460709>1 Corinthians 7:9,) no love of God can exist. But Paul's meaning is this - that an unmarried person is free, and is not hindered from thinking of the things of God. The pious make use of this liberty. Others turn everything to their own destruction. 33. He that is married careth for the things of the world. By the things of the world you must understand the things that belong to the present life; for the world is taken here to mean the condition of this earthly life. But from this someone will infer, that all, therefore, who are married are strangers to the kingdom of God, f332A as thinking of nothing but this earth. I answer, that the Apostle speaks only of a portion of the thoughts, as though he had said: "They have one eye directed to the Lord, but in such a way as to have the other directed to their wife; for marriage is like a burden, by which the mind of a pious man is weighed down, so that he does not move God-ward with so much alacrity." Let us always, however, bear in mind, that these evils do not belong to marriage, but proceed from the depravity of men. Hence the calumnies of Jerome, f333A who scrapes together all these things for the purpose of bringing marriages into disrepute, fall. For, were any one to condemn agriculture, merchandise, and other modes of life, on this ground, that amidst so many corruption's of the world, there is not one of them that is exempt from certain evils, who is there that would not smile at his folly? Observe, then, that whatever evil there is in marriage, has its origin somewhere else; for at this day a man would not have been turned away from the Lord by the society of his wife, if he had remained in a state of innocence, and had not corrupted the holy institution of God; but a wife would have been a help-meet to him in everything good, as she was created for that end. (<010218>Genesis 2:18.) But some one will say: "If anxieties that are faulty and blameworthy are invariably connected with marriage, how is it possible for married persons to call upon God, and serve him, with a pure conscience?" I answer, that there are three kinds of anxieties. There are some that are evil and wicked in themselves, because they spring from distrust. Of these Christ speaks in <400625>Matthew 6:25: There are others that are necessary, and are not displeasing to God; as, for example, it becomes the father of a family to be concerned for his wife and children, and God does not mean that we should be mere stumps, so as to have no concern as to ourselves. The third class are a mixture of the two former; when we are anxious respecting those things as to which we ought to feel anxiety, but feel too keenly excited, in consequence of that excess which is natural to us. Such anxieties, therefore, are not by any means wrong in themselves, but they are corrupt, in consequence of ataxia, that is to say, undue excess. And the Apostle did not intend merely to condemn here those vices by which we contract guilt in the sight of God, but he desires in a general way, that we may be freed from all impediments, so as to be wholly at leisure for the service of God. And is divided. It is surprising how there has come to be so much diversity upon this passage. For the common Greek version is so widely different from the old Latin translation, that the diversity cannot be ascribed to mistake or inadvertence, in the way in which a mistake often happens in a single letter or a single word. Now the Greeks commonly read it literally, "He that is married thinks of the things of the world, how he may please his wife: a married woman and a virgin are divided: She that is unmarried, thinketh of the things of the Lord," etc. And being divided they understand as meaning to differ, as if it had been said: "There is a great difference between a married woman and a virgin; for the one is at leisure to attend to the things of God exclusively, while the other is taken up with various matters." But as this interpretation is somewhat at variance with the simple meaning of the word, I do not approve of it, especially as the meaning of the other reading (which is found also in some Greek manuscripts) is more suitable and less forced. We may, accordingly, understand it in this manner - that a man who is married is divided, f334A inasmuch as he devotes himself partly to God and partly to his wife, and is not wholly and exclusively God's. 34. The unmarried woman and the virgin. What he had laid down as to men he now declares in like manner as to women - that virgins and widows are not prevented by earthly things from devoting their whole cares and their whole affections to God. Not that all act this part, but that there is opportunity for it, if the mind is so disposed. When he says, that she may be holy in body and in spirit, he shows what kind of chastity is true and acceptable to God - when the mind is kept unpolluted in the sight of God. Would to God that this were more carefully attended to! As to the body, we see what kind of devotement to the Lord there commonly is on the part of monks, nuns, and the whole scum of the Papistical clergy, than whose celibacy nothing can be imagined that is more obscene. f335A But not to speak at present of chastity of body, where is there one to be found among those that are held in admiration in consequence of their reputation for continency, that does not burn with base lusts? We may, however, infer from this statement of Paul, that no chastity is well pleasing to God that does not extend to the soul as well as to the body. Would to God that those who prate in such haughty terms as to continency, did but understand that they have to do with God! They would not be so confident in their contendings with us. At the same time, there are none in the present day who dispute on the subject of continency in more magnificent style than those who are openly and in the most shameless manner guilty of fornication. But though they should conduct themselves ever so honorably in the sight of men, that is nothing, if they do not keep their minds pure and exempt from all uncleanness. 35. And this for your benefit. Observe the Apostle's moderation. f336A Though he knew the vexations, troubles, and difficulties of the married life, and, on the other hand, the advantages of celibacy, yet he does not venture to prescribe. On the contrary, having commended celibacy, and being afraid that some of his readers might be led away by such commendations, and might straightway say within themselves what the Apostles said in reply to Christ - It is good, therefore, so to be, (<401910>Matthew 19:10) f337A - not in the meantime taking into view their ability, he here declares in express terms, that he points out, indeed, what is most advantageous, but does not wish to impose a necessity upon any one. And here you have two things worthy of observation. The first is, for what purpose celibacy is to be desired - not on its own account, nor on the ground of its being a state that is nearer to perfection, but that we may cleave to God without distraction - that being the one thing that a Christian man ought exclusively to look to during his whole life. The second thing is, that no snare must be put upon men's consciences, so as to keep back any one from marriage, but that every one must have liberty allowed him. It is well known what grievous errors have been fallen into on both these points. As to the second point, those assuredly have been bolder than Paul, who have not shrunk from passing a law respecting celibacy, with the view of prohibiting the whole of the clergy from matrimony. The same may be said of those who have made vows of perpetual continency, which are snares by which not a few myriads of souls have been drawn into endless ruin. Hence, if the Holy Spirit has spoken by the mouth of Paul, Papists cannot clear themselves from the crime of fighting against God, (<440539>Acts 5:39,) while binding men's consciences in a matter in which lie designed that they should remain keep unless, perhaps, He f338A has since that time adopted a new plan, so as to construct a snare, which he had previously disapproved of. 1 CORINTHIANS 7:36-38 36. But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. 36. Si quis autem virgini suae indecorum iudicat, si excedat florem aetatis, et ita fieri debet: quod voluerit faciat, non peccat: nubant. 37. Nevertheless she that standeth steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. 37. Qui autem stat firmus in corde, necessitatem non habens, potestatem vero habens supra sua voluntate, et hoc decrevit in corde suo, servare suam virginem, bene facit. 38. So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. 38. Itaque et qui nuptum collocat, bene facit; et qui non collocat,melius facit. 36. But if any one thinketh that it were unseemly for his virgin. He now directs his discourse to parents, who had children under their authority. For having heard the praises of celibacy, and having heard also of the inconveniences of matrimony, they might be in doubt, whether it were at all a kind thing to involve their children in so many miseries, lest it should seem as if they were to blame for the troubles that might befall them. For the greater their attachment to their children, so much the more anxiously do they exercise fear and caution on their account. f339A Paul, then, with the view of relieving them from this difficulty, teaches that it is their duty to consult their advantage, exactly as one would do for himself when at his own disposal. f340A Now he still keeps up the distinction, which he has made use of all along, so as to commend celibacy, but, at the same time, to leave marriage as a matter of choice; and not simply a matter of choice, but a needful remedy for incontinency, which ought not to be denied to any one. In the first part of the statement he speaks as to the giving of daughters in marriage, and he declares that those do not sin in giving away their daughters in marriage, who are of opinion that an unmarried life is not suitable for them. The word ajschmonei~n (to be unseemly) must be taken as referring to a special propriety, which depends on what is natural to the individual; for there is a general propriety, which philosophers make to be a part of temperance. That belongs equally to all. There is another, that is special, because one thing becomes one individual that would not be seemly in another. Every one therefore should consider (as Cicero observes) what is the part that nature has assigned to him. f341A Celibacy will be seemly for one, but he must not measure all by his own foot; f342A and others should not attempt to imitate him without taking into view their ability; for it is the imitation of the ape - which is at variance with nature. If, therefore, a father, having duly considered his daughter's disposition, is of opinion that she is not prepared for celibacy, let him give her away in marriage. f343A By the flower of her age he means the marriageable age. This lawyers define to be from twelve to twenty years of age. Paul points out, in passing, what equity and humanity ought to be exercised by parents, in applying a remedy in that tender and slippery age, when the force of the disease requires it. And it requires to be so. In this clause I understand him as referring to the girl's infirmity - in the event of her not having the gift of continency; for in that case, necessity constrains her to marry. As to Jerome's making a handle of the expression sinneth not, for reviling marriage, with a view to its disparagement, as if it were not a praiseworthy action to dispose of a daughter in marriage, it is quite childish. f344A For Paul reckoned it enough to exempt fathers from blame, that they might not reckon it a cruel thing to subject their daughters to the vexations connected with marriage. 37. But he who standeth firm in his heart. Here we have the second part of the statement, in which he treats of young women who have the gift of abstaining from marriage. He commends therefore those fathers who make provision for their tranquillity; but let us observe what he requires. In the first place, he makes mention of a steadfast purpose - If any one has fully resolved with himself. You must not, however, understand by this the resolution formed by monks - that is, a voluntary binding over to perpetual servitude - for such is the kind of vow that they make; but he expressly makes mention of this firmness of purpose, because mankind often contrive schemes which they next day regret. As it is a matter of importance, he requires a thoroughly matured purpose. In the second place he speaks of the person as having no necessity; for many, when about to deliberate, bring obstinacy with them rather than reason. And in the present case f345A they do not consider, when they renounce marriage, what is in their power, but reckon it enough to say - "such is my choice." Paul requires them to have power, that they may not decide rashly, but according to the measure of the grace that has been given them. The absence of necessity in the case he appropriately expresses in the following clause, when he says that they have power over their own will. For it is as though he had said - "I would not have them resolve before knowing that they have power to fulfill, for it is rash and ruinous f346A to struggle against an appointment of God." But, "according to this system," some one will say, "vows are not to be condemned, provided these conditions were annexed." I answer that, as to the gift of continency, as we are uncertain respecting the will of God as to the future, we ought not to form any determination for our whole life. Let us make use of the gift as long as it is allowed us. In the meantime, let us commit ourselves to the Lord, prepared to follow whithersoever he may call us. (<661404>Revelation 14:4.) Hath decreed in his heart. Paul seems to have added this to express the idea more fully, that fathers ought to look carefully on all sides, before giving up anxiety and intention as to giving away their daughters in marriage. For they often decline marriage, either from shame or from ignorance of themselves, while, in the meantime, they are not the less wanton, or prone to be led astray f347A Parents must here consider well what is for the interests of their daughters, that by their prudence they may correct their ignorance, or unreasonable desire. Now this passage serves to establish the authority of parents, which ought to be held sacred, as having its origin in the common rights of nature. Now if in other actions of inferior moment no liberty is allowed to children, without the authority of their parents, much less is it reasonable that they should have liberty given them in the contracting of marriage. And that has been carefully enacted by civil law, but more especially by the law of God. So much the more detestable, then, is the wickedness of the Pope, who, laying aside all respect, either for Divine or human laws, has been so daring as to free children from the yoke of subjection to their parents. It is of importance, however, to mark the reason. This, says he, is on account of the dignity of the sacrament. Not to speak of the ignorance of making marriage a sacrament, what honor is there, I beseech you, or what dignity, when, contrary to the general feeling of propriety in all nations, and contrary to God's eternal appointment, they take off all restraints from the lusts of young persons, that they may, without any feeling of shame, sport themselves, f348A under pretense of its being a sacrament? Let us know, therefore, that in disposing of children in marriage, the authority of parents is of first-rate importance, provided they do not tyrannically abuse it, as even the civil laws restrict it. f349A The Apostle, too, in requiring exemption from necessity, f350A intimated that the deliberations of parents ought to be regulated with a view to the advantage of their children. Let us bear in mind, therefore, that this limitation is the proper rule - that children allow themselves to be governed by their parents, and that they, on the other hand, do not drag their children by force to what is against their inclination, and that they have no other object in view, in the exercise of their authority, than the advantage of their children. 38. Therefore he that giveth in marriage. Here we have the conclusion from both parts of the statement, in which he states, in a few words, that parents are free from blame if they give away their daughters in marriage, while he at the same time declares that they do better if they keep them at home unmarried. You are not, however, to understand that celibacy is here preferred to marriage, otherwise than under the exception which was a little before expressed. For if power be wanting on the part of the daughter, f351A the father acts an exceedingly bad part if he endeavors to keep her back from marriage, and would be no longer a father to her, but a cruel tyrant. The sum of the whole discussion amounts to this - that celibacy is better than marriage, because it has more liberty, so that persons can serve God with greater freedom; but at the same time, that no necessity ought to be imposed, so as to make it unlawful for individuals to marry, if they think proper; and farther, that marriage itself is a remedy appointed by God for our infirmity, f352A which all ought to use that are not endowed with the gift of continency. Every person of sound judgment will join with me in acknowledging and confessing, that the whole of Paul's doctrine on this point is comprehended in these three articles. 1 CORINTHIANS 7:39-40 39. The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. 39. Muller alligata est Legi, quamdiu maritus ejus vivit: si auterm dormierit maritus ejus, libera est, ut cui vult nubat, modo in Domino. 40. But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God. 40. Beatior vero est, si sic maneat,secundum meam sententiam: existimo autem, me quoque Spiritum Dei habere. 39. The wife is bound. He had previously spoken indiscriminately of husbands and wives, but as wives, on account of the modesty of their sex, might seem to have less liberty, he has thought it necessary to give in addition some special directions in reference to them. He now, therefore, teaches that women are not less at liberty than men to marry a second time, on their becoming widows. f353A We have already mentioned above, that those who desired a second marriage were branded with the reproach of intemperance, and that, with the view of putting some kind of slight upon them, those who had been contented with being once married, were wont to be presented with the "chaplet of chastity." Nay more, this first opinion had, in course of time, become prevalent among Christians; for second marriages had no blessing pronounced upon them, and some Councils prohibited the clergy from being present on such occasions. The Apostle here condemns tyranny of that sort, and declares, that no hindrance ought to be thrown in the way of widows' marrying, if they think proper. It is of little consequence, and so far as the sense is concerned it matters nothing, whether we say that the wife is bound legi, (to the law,) in the dative, or lege, (by the law,) in the ablative. For it is the law that declares the connection between husband and wife to be indissoluble. If, however, you read it in the dative, the term will convey the idea of authority or obligation. f354A Now he reasons from contraries; for if a woman is bound to her husband for life, she is, then, set at liberty by his death. After she has been set at liberty, let her be married to whom she will. When the verb to sleep means to die, f355A it refers not to the soul, but to the body, as is manifest from its constant use in Scripture. f356A It is a foolish part, therefore, that is acted by certain fanatics, who, from this little word, make it their endeavor to prove that the souls of men, after being separated from their bodies, are destitute of thought and intelligence, or, in other words, of their life. Only in the Lord. This is thought to be added for the purpose of admonishing them in passing, that they ought not to yoke themselves with the irreligious, or to covet their society. This, I acknowledge, is true, but I am of opinion that more is meant that they should do this in a religious way, and in the fear of the Lord, f357A for it is in this manner that marriages are formed auspiciously. 40. But she is happier if she so abide. Why? Is it because widowhood is of itself a virtue? No; but because it will have less to distract, and is more exempt from earthly cares. As to what he adds - according to my judgment, he does not mean by this expression that his opinion was doubtful; but it is as if he had said that such was his decision as to this question; for he immediately adds that he has the Spirit of God, which is sufficient to give full and perfect authority. There appears, at the same time, to be somewhat of irony when he says I think. For as the false apostles were ever and anon boasting in high-sounding terms of their having the Spirit of God, for the purpose of arrogating to themselves authority, and in the meantime endeavored to derogate from that of Paul, he says that he thinks that he is not less a partaker of the Spirit than they. CHAPTER 8 1 CORINTHIANS 8:1-7 1. Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 1. De iis porro quae idolis immolantur, scimus, quod omnes scientiam habemus: scientia inflat, caritas autem aedificat. 2. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth no thing yet as he ought to know. 2. Si quis autem videtur sibi aliquid scire, nondum quicquam scit,qualiter scire oportet. 3. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. 3. At si quis diligit Deum, hie cognitus est ab illo. 4. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 4. De esu ergo eorum quae idolis immolantur, novimus, quod idolum nihil est in mundo, et quod non est alius Deus nisi unus. 5. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 5. Nam etsi sunt qui vocentur dii, sire in coelo sive super terram, quemadmodum sunt dii multi et domini multi: 6. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 6. Nobis tamen unus Deus Pater, ex quo omnia, et nos in ipso: et unus Dominus Iesus Christus, per quem omnia, et nos per ipsum. 7. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 7. At non est in omnibus scientia: quidam autem cum idoli conscientia nunc quoque tanquam idolo immolatum edunt, et conscientia eorum, infirma quum sit, polluitur. He now passes on to another question, which he had merely touched upon in the sixth chapter, without fully discussing. For when he had spoken of the avarice of the Corinthians, and had drawn that discussion to a close with this statement - Neither covetous, nor extortioners, nor fornicators, etc., shall inherit the kingdom of God, he passed on to speak of the liberty of Christians - All things are lawful for me. He had taken occasion from this to speak of fornication, and from that, of marriage. Now, therefore, he at length follows out what he had touched upon as to things intermediate - how we ought to restrain our liberty in intermediate things. By intermediate things, I mean those that are neither good nor bad in themselves, but indifferent, which God has put in our power, but in the use of which we ought to observe moderation, that there may be a difference between liberty and licentiousness. In the outset, he selects one instance, distinguished above all the others, as to which the Corinthians grievously offended - their having been present on occasion of the sacred banquets, which were held by idolaters in honor of their gods, and eating indiscriminately of the meats that were offered to them. As this gave much occasion of offense, the Apostle teaches them that they rashly perverted the liberty granted them by the Lord. 1. Concerning things offered unto idols. He begins with a concession, in which he voluntarily grants and allows to them everything that they were prepared to demand or object. "I see what your pretext is: you make Christian liberty your pretext. You hold out that you have knowledge, and that there is not one of you that is so ignorant as not to know that there is but one God. I grant all this to be true, but of what avail is that knowledge which is ruinous to the brethren?" Thus, then, he grants them what they demand, but it is in such a way as to show that their excuses are empty and of no avail. Knowledge puffeth up. He shows, from the effects, how frivolous a thing it is to boast of knowledge, when love is wanting. "Of what avail is knowledge, that is of such a kind as puffs us up and elates us, while it is the part of love to edify?" This passage, which otherwise is somewhat obscure, in consequence of its brevity, may easily be understood in this way - "Whatever is devoid of love is of no account in the sight of God; nay more, it is displeasing to him, and much more so what is openly at variance with love. Now that, knowledge of which you boast, O ye Corinthians, is altogether opposed to love, for it puffs up men with pride, and leads to contempt of the brethren, while love is concerned for the welfare of brethren, and exhorts us to edify them. Accursed, then, be that knowledge which makes men proud, and is not regulated by a desire of edifying." Paul, however, did not mean, that this is to be reckoned as a fault attributable to learning - that those who are learned are often self-complacent, and have admiration of themselves, accompanied with contempt of others. Nor did he understand this to be the natural tendency of learning - to produce arrogance, but simply meant to show what effect knowledge has in an individual, that has not the fear of God, and love of the brethren; for the wicked abuse all the gifts of God, so as to exalt, themselves. Thus riches, honors, dignities, nobility, beauty, and other things of that nature, puff up; because men, elated through a mistaken confidence in these things, very frequently become insolent. f358A Nor is it always so; for we see that many who are rich and beautiful, and abounding in honors, and distinguished for dignity and nobility, are, nevertheless, of a modest disposition, and not at all tainted with pride. And even when it does happen to be so, it is, nevertheless, not proper that we should put the blame upon what we know to be gifts of God; for in the first place that were unfair and unreasonable; and farther, by putting the blame upon things that are not blameworthy, we would exempt the persons themselves from blame, who alone are in fault. My meaning is this - "If riches naturally tend to make men proud, then a rich man, if proud, is free from blame, for the evil arises from riches." We must, therefore, lay it down as a settled principle, that knowledge is good in itself; but as piety is its only foundation, f359A it; becomes empty and useless in wicked men: as love is its true seasoning, where that is wanting it is tasteless. And truly, where there is not that thorough knowledge of God which humbles us, and teaches us to do good to the brethren, it is not so much knowledge, as an empty notion of it, even in those that are reckoned the most learned. At the same time, knowledge is not by any means to be blamed for this, any more than a sword, if it falls into the hands of a madman. Let this be considered as said f360A with a view to certain fanatics, who furiously declaim against all the liberal arts and sciences, as if their only use were to puff men up, and were not of the greatest advantage as helps in common life. f361A Now those very persons, who defame them in this style, are ready to burst with pride, to such an extent as to verify the old proverb - "Nothing is so arrogant as ignorance." 2. And if any man thinketh. That man thinketh that he knoweth something, who is delighted with the opinion that he entertains of his own knowledge, and despises others, as if he were far above them. For Paul does not here condemn knowledge, but that ambition and haughtiness which ungodly men contract in consequence of it. Otherwise he does not exhort us to be sceptical, so as to be always hesitating and hanging in doubt, and he does not approve of a false and counterfeit modesty, as if it were a good thing to think that we are ignorant of what we do know. That man, therefore, who thinketh that he knoweth something, or, in other words, who is insolent from an empty notion of his own knowledge, so that he prefers himself before others, and is self-conceited, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. For the beginning of all true knowledge is acquaintance with God, which produces in us humility and submission; nay more, it prostrates us entirely instead of elating us. But where pride is, there is ignorance of God f362A - a beautiful passage! Would to God that all knew it aright, so as properly to understand the rule of right knowledge! 3. But if any man loves God. Here we have the conclusion, in which he shows what is especially commendable in Christians, and even renders knowledge, and all other endowments worthy of commendation, if we love God; for if it is so, we will also love our neighbors in him. By this means all our actions will be properly regulated, and consequently approved by God. He shows, therefore, from consequences, that no learning is commendable that is not dipped in the love of God; because that alone secures, that whatever endowments we have are approved by him, as it is said in the second Epistle - If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. (<470517>2 Corinthians 5:17.) By this he intimates, that without the Spirit of regeneration, all things else, whatever they may have of show, are of no value. To be known by God means to be held in any estimation, or to be reckoned among his sons. Thus he erases all proud persons from the book of life, (<500403>Philippians 4:3,) and from the roll of the pious. 4. Concerning, therefore, the eating of those things. He now returns to the statement with which he had set out, and speaks more plainly in reference to the pretext made use of by the Corinthians. For as the whole of the evil took its rise from this root - that they were pleased with themselves, and despised others, he condemns, in general, that contemptuous knowledge which is not seasoned with love. Now, however, he explains particularly, what is the kind of knowledge on which they valued themselves - that an idol is an empty figment of the human brain, and must therefore be reckoned as nothing; and accordingly, that the consecration, that is gone through in name of the idol, is a foolish imagination, and of no importance, and that a Christian man, therefore, is not polluted, who, without reverence for the idol, eats of things offered to idols. This is the sum of the excuse, and it is not set aside by Paul as false, (for it contains excellent doctrine,) but because they abused it, in opposition to love. As to the words, Erasmus reads thus - "An idol has no existence." I prefer the rendering of the old translation - An idol is nothing. For the argument is this - that an idol is nothing, inasmuch as there is but one God; for it follows admirably - "If there is no other God besides our God, then an idol is an empty dream, and mere vanity." When he says - and there is none other God but one, I understand the conjunction and as meaning because. For the reason why an idol is nothing is, that it must be estimated according to the thing that it represents. Now it is appointed for the purpose of representing God: nay more, for the purpose of representing false gods, inasmuch as there is but one God, who is invisible and incomprehensible. The reason, too, must be carefully observed - An idol is nothing because there is no God but one; for he is the invisible God, and cannot be represented by a visible sign, so as to be worshipped through means of it. Whether, therefore, idols are erected to represent the true God, or false gods, it is in all cases a perverse contrivance. Hence Habakkuk calls idols teachers of lies, (<350218>Habakkuk 2:18,) because they deal falsely in pretending to give a figure or image of God, and deceive men under a false title. Hence oujden (nothing) refers not to essence, but to quality - for an idol is made of some substance - either silver, or wood, or stone; but as God does not choose to be represented in this way, it is vanity and nothing as to meaning and use. 5. For though there be that are called. "They have," says he, "the name, but the reality is wanting." He uses the word called here, to mean - renowned in the estimation of men. He has also made use of a general division, when he says in heaven or on earth. The gods that are made mention of as being in heaven, are the heavenly hosts, as the Scripture terms the sun, moon, and the other stars. How very far they are, however, from being entitled to divine honors, Moses shows from this, that they were created for our use. The sun is our servant; the moon is our handmaid. How absurd, therefore, it is to render to them divine honors! By the gods that are on earth, are properly meant, in my opinion, men and women for whom religious worship has been appointed. f363A For, as Pliny observes, those who had deserved well of mankind had their memory consecrated by religion, so as to be worshipped as deities - Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Mercury, and Apollo, who were mortal men, but were, after death, exalted to the rank of deities; and, more recently, Hercules, Romulus, and at length the Cesars - as if it were in the power of mankind to make deities at their pleasure, while they cannot give to themselves either life or immortality. There are also other gods that are terrestrial, taken either from cattle or from brute creatures, as, for example, among the Egyptians, the ox, the serpent, the cat, the onion, the garlic; and, among the Romans, the boundary-stone, f364A and the stone Vesta. They are gods, then, only in name; but Paul says that he does not stop to notice deifications of this sort. f365A 6. But to us there is but one God, the Father. Though Paul says these things by anticipation, he repeats the excuse made by the Corinthians, in such a way as at the same time to convey instruction. For, from what is more especially peculiar to God, he proves that there is but one God: "Whatever has its origin from what is foreign to itself, is not eternal, and, consequently, is not God. All things have their origin from one Being: he alone, therefore, is God." Again - "He is assuredly God who gives existence to all, and from whom all things flow, as from the supreme source; but there is only One, from whom all things flow, and hence there is but one God." When he adds - and we in him, (eijv aujto>n,) he means, that we subsist in God, as it was by him that we were once created. For this clause might, indeed, seem to have another signification - that as we have our beginning from him, so we ought to devote our life to him as its end; and it is used in this sense in <451103>Romans 11:39. Here, however, it is taken for ejn aujtw~|, which is commonly made use of by the Apostles. His meaning, therefore, is, that as we were once created by God, so it is by his power that we are preserved in our present condition. That this is its meaning, is evident from what he affirms respecting Christ immediately afterwards - that we are by him. For he designed to ascribe the same operation to the Father and to the Son, adding, however, the distinction which was suitable to the Persons. He says, then, that we subsist in the Father, and that it is by the Son, because the Father is indeed the foundation of all existence; but, as it is by the Son that we are united to him, so he communicates to us through him the reality of existence. One Lord. These things are affirmed respecting Christ relatively, that is, in relationship to the Father. For all things that are God's are assuredly applicable to Christ, when no mention is made of persons; but as the person of the Father is here brought into comparison with the person of the Son, it is with good reason that the Apostle distinguishes what is peculiar to them. Now the Son of God, after having been manifested in the flesh, received from the Father dominion and power over all things, that he might reign alone in heaven and on earth, and that the Father might exercise his authority through his hands. For this reason our Lord is spoken of as one. f366A But in respect of dominion being ascribed to him alone, this is not to be taken as meaning that worldly distinctions f367A are abolished. For Paul speaks here of spiritual dominion, while the governments of the world are political; as when he said a little before - there are many that are called lords - (<460705>1 Corinthians 7:5) - he meant that, not of kings, or of others who excel in rank and dignity, but of idols or demons, to whom foolish men ascribe superiority and rule. While, therefore, our religion acknowledges but one Lord, this is no hindrance in the way of civil governments having many lords, to whom honor and respect are due in that one Lord. 7. But there is not in all that knowledge. He refutes, in a single word, all that he had previously brought forward in their name, showing that it is not enough that they know that what, they do is right, if they have not at the same time a regard to their brethren. When he said above - We know that we all have knowledge, (<460701>1 Corinthians 7:1,) he referred to those whom he reproved for abusing their liberty. Now, on the other hand, he calls them to consider, that there are many weak and ignorant persons associated with them, to whom they ought to accommodate themselves. "You have, it is true, a correct judgment in the sight of God, and if you were alone in the world, it would be as lawful for you to eat of things offered to idols, as of any other kinds of food. But consider your brethren, to whom you are debtors. You have knowledge; they are ignorant,. Your actions ought to be regulated not merely according to your knowledge, but also according to their ignorance." This reply is particularly deserving of notice; for there is nothing to which we are more prone f368A than this, that every one follows his own advantage, to the neglect of that of others. Hence we feel prepared to rest in our own judgment, and do not consider, that the propriety of those works that we do in the sight of men depends not merely on our own conscience, but also on that of our brethren. Some with conscience of the idol. This is their ignorance, that they were still under the influence of some superstitious notion, as if there were some virtue in the idol, or some virtue in a wicked and idolatrous consecration. Paul, however, does not speak of idolaters, who were entire strangers to pure religion, but of ignorant persons who had not been sufficiently instructed, to understand that an idol is nothing, and therefore that the consecration, which was gone through in name of the idol, is of no importance. Their idea, therefore, was this: "As an idol is something, the consecration which is gone through in its name is not altogether vain, and hence those meats are not pure, that have been once dedicated to idols." Hence they thought, that, if they ate of them, they contracted some degree of pollution, and were, in a manner, partakers with the idol. This is the kind of offense that Paul reproves in the Corinthians - when we induce weak brethren, by our example, to venture upon anything against their conscience. And their conscience. God would have us try or attempt nothing but what we know for certain is agreeable to him. Whatever, therefore, is done with a doubting conscience, is, in consequence of doubts of that kind, faulty in the sight of God. And this is what he says, (<451423>Romans 14:23,) Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Hence the truth of the common saying, that "those build for hell, who build against their conscience." For as the excellence of actions depends on the fear of God and integrity of conscience, so, on the other hand, there is no action, that is so good in appearance, as not to be polluted by a corrupt affection of the mind. For the man, who ventures upon anything in opposition to conscience, does thereby discover some contempt of God; for it is a token that we fear God, when we have respect to his will in all things. Hence you are not without contempt of God, if you so much as move a finger while uncertain, whether it may not be displeasing to him. As to meats, there is another thing to be considered, for they are not sanctified to us otherwise than by the word. (<540405>1 Timothy 4:5.) If that word is wanting, there remains nothing but pollution - not that the creatures of God are polluted, but because man's use of them is impure. In fine, as men's hearts are purified by faith, so without faith there is nothing that is pure in the sight of God. 1 CORINTHIANS 8:8-13 8. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 8. Atqui esca nos non commendat Deo: neque si comedamus, abundamus, neque si non comedamus, deficimur aliquo. 9. But take heed, lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 9. Sed videte, ne quo modo facultas haec vestra offendiculo sit infirmis. 10. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 10. Si quis enim videat to, utcunque scientiam habeas, in epulo simulacrorum accumbentem; nonne conscientia eius, quum tamen infirmus sit, aedificabitur ad edendum quae sunt idolis immolata? 11. And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 11. Et peribit frater, qui infirmus est, in tua scientia, propter quem Christus mortuus est? 12. But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 12. Sic autem peccantes in fratres, et vuluerantes conscientiam illorum infirmam, in Christum peccatis. 13. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. 13. Quapropter si esca offendit fratrem meum, nequaquam vescar carnibus in aeternum, ne fratri meo sim offendiculo. 8. Meat recommendeth us not to God. This was, or may have been, another pretext made use of by the Corinthians - that the worship of God does not consist in meats, as Paul himself teaches in his Epistle to the Romans, (<451417>Romans 14:17,) that the kingdom of God is not meat or drink. Paul answers: "We must at the same time take care that our liberty does not do injury to our neighbors." In this he tacitly acknowledges, that in the sight of God it matters not what kinds of food we partake of, because he allows us the free use of them, so far as conscience is concerned; but that this liberty, as to the external use of it, is made subject to love. The argument of the Corinthians, therefore, was defective, inasmuch as they inferred the whole from a part, for in the use of them a regard to the claims of love is included. It is, therefore, certain, that meat recommendeth us not to God; and Paul acknowledges this, but he states this exception, that love is recommended to us by God, which it were criminal to overlook. Neither if we eat, are we the better. He does not speak of improvement as to the stomach; for the man who has dined has a better filled stomach than the man who goes fasting; but he means, that we have neither more nor less of righteousness from eating or from abstaining. Besides, he does not speak of every kind of abstinence, or of every kind of eating. For excess and luxury are in themselves displeasing to God, while sobriety and moderation are well-pleasing to him. But let it be understood by us, that the kingdom of God, which is spiritual, does not consist in these outward observances, and therefore, that things indifferent are in themselves of no importance in the sight of God. While he brings this forward in the person of others by anthypophora, f369A he at the same time admits that it is true, for it is taken from his own doctrine, which we touched upon a little ago. 9. Take heed that your liberty. He leaves their liberty untouched, but moderates the use of it thus far - that it may not give occasion of stumbling to the weak. And he expressly desires that regard be had to the weak, that is, to those who are not, yet thoroughly confirmed in the doctrine of piety, for as they are wont to be regarded with contempt, it is the will and command of the Lord, that regard should be had to them. In the meantime, he hints that strong giants, who may be desirous tyrannically to subject our liberty to their humor, may safely be let alone, f370A because we need not fear giving offense to those who are not drawn into sin through infirmity, but eagerly catch at something to find fault with. What he means by an occasion, of stumbling we shall see herelong. 10. If any one see thee. From this it appears more clearly, how much liberty the Corinthians allowed themselves; for when the wicked made a kind of sacred banquet for their idols, they did not hesitate f371A to go to it, to eat of the sacrifice along with them. Paul now shows what evil resulted from this. In the first clause, instead of the words who hast knowledge, I have rendered the expression thus - though thou shouldest have; and in the second clause, in the expression who is weak, I have introduced the word notwithstanding. This I found it necessary to do for the clearing up of Paul's meaning. For he makes a concession, as if he had said: "Be it so, that thou hast knowledge; he who seeth thee, though he is not endowed with knowledge, is notwithstanding confirmed by thine example to venture upon the same thing, while he would never have taken such a step if he had not had one to take the lead. Now when he has one to imitate, he thinks that he has a sufficient excuse in the circumstance that he is imitating another, while in the meantime he is acting from an evil conscience." For weakness here means ignorance, or scruple of conscience. I am aware, at the same time, in what way others explain it; for they understand the occasion of stumbling to be this - when ignorant persons, induced by example, imagine that in this way they perform some kind of religious service to God, but this idea is quite foreign to Paul's meaning. For he reproves them, as I have said, f371b because they emboldened the ignorant to hurry on, contrary to conscience, to attempt what they did not think it lawful for them to do. To be built up means here - to be confirmed. f372A Now that is a ruinous kind of building, that is not founded on sound doctrine. 11. And thy brother perish. Mark how serious an evil it is, that mankind commonly think so little of - that of venturing upon anything with a doubtful or opposing conscience. For the object to which our whole life ought to be directed, is the will of the Lord. This, therefore, is the one thing that vitiates all our actions, when we disregard it. f373A This we do, not merely by an outward action, but even by a thought of the mind, when we allow ourselves in anything in opposition to conscience, even though the thing be not evil in itself. Let us bear in mind, therefore, that whenever we take a step in opposition to conscience, we are on the high road to ruin. I read, however, the sentence interrogatively, thus: Shall he perish through thy knowledge? as though he had said: "Is it reasonable that thy knowledge should give occasion of ruin to thy brother? Is it for this reason that thou knowest what is right, that thou mayest cause another's ruin!" He makes use of the term brother, in order to expose their pride as unfeeling, in this way: "It is true that the person whom you despise is weak, but still he is your brother, for God has adopted him. You act a cruel part, therefore, in having no concern for your brother." There is, however, still greater force in what follows - that even those that are ignorant or weak have been redeemed with the blood of Christ; for nothing were more unseemly than this, that while Christ did not hesitate to die, in order that the weak might not perish, we, on the other hand, reckon as nothing the salvation of those who have been redeemed with so great a price. A memorable saying, by which we are taught how precious the salvation of our brethren ought to be in our esteem, and not merely that of all, but of each individual in particular, inasmuch as the blood of Christ was poured out for each individual! 12. When ye sin so against the brethren, etc. For if the soul of every one that is weak is the price of Christ's blood, that man who, for the sake of a very small portion of meat, hurries back again to death the brother who has been redeemed by Christ, shows how contemptible the blood of Christ is in his view. Hence contempt of this kind is an open insult to Christ. In what way a weak conscience may be wounded has been already explained - when it is built up in what is evil (<460710>1 Corinthians 7:10) so as daringly and rashly to rush on farther than the individual thinks to be lawful for him. 13. Wherefore if meat make my brother to offend. With the view of reproving more severely their disdainful liberty, he declares, that we ought not merely to refrain from a single banquet rather than injure a brother, but ought to give up the eating of meats during our whole life. Nor does he merely prescribe what ought to be done, but declares that he would himself act in this way. The expression, it is true, is hyperbolical, as it is scarcely possible that one should refrain from eating flesh during his whole life, if he remain in common life;f374A but his meaning is, that he would rather make no use of his liberty in any instance, than be an occasion of offense to the weak. For participation is in no case lawful, unless it be regulated by the rule of love. Would that this were duly pondered by those who make everything subservient to their own advantage, so that they cannot endure to give up so much as a hair's-breadth of their own right for the sake of their brethren; and that they would attend not merely to what Paul teaches, but also to what he marks out by his own example! How greatly superior he is to us! When he, then, makes no hesitation in subjecting himself thus far to his brethren, which of us would not submit to the same condition? But, however difficult it is to act up to this doctrine, so far as the meaning is concerned, his easy, were it not that some have corrupted it by foolish glosses, and others by wicked calumnies. Both classes err as to the meaning of the word offend. For they understand the word offend to mean, incurring the hatred or displeasure of men, or what is nearly the same thing, doing what displeases them, or is not altogether agreeable to them. But it appears very manifestly from the context, that it means simply to hinder a brother by bad example (as an obstacle thrown in his way) from the right course, or to give him occasion of falling. Paul, therefore, is not here treating of the retaining of the favor of men, but of the assisting of the weak, so as to prevent their falling, and prudently directing them, that they may not turn aside from the right path. But (as I have said) the former class are foolish, while the latter are also wicked and impudent. Those are foolish, who allow Christians scarcely any use of things indifferent, lest they should offend superstitious persons. "Paul," say they, "prohibits here everything that may give occasion of offense. Now to eat flesh on Friday will not fail to give offense, and hence we must abstain from it, not merely when there are some weak persons present, but in every case without exception, for it is possible that they may come to know of it." Not to speak of their misinterpretation of the word rendered occasion of offense, they fall into a grievous blunder in not considering that Paul here inveighs against those who impudently abuse their knowledge in the presence of the weak, whom they take no pains to instruct. Hence there will be no occasion for reproof, if instruction has been previously given. Farther, Paul does not command us to calculate, whether there may be an occasion of offense in what we do, except when the danger is present to our view. I come now to the other class. These are pretended followers of Nicodemus, f375A who under this pretext conform themselves to the wicked by participating in their idolatry, and not contented with justifying what they do amiss, are desirous also to bind others to the same necessity. Nothing could be said with greater plainness to condemn their perverse dissimulation than what Paul here teaches - that all who by their example allure the weak to idolatry, commit a grievous outrage against God as well as men. Yet they eagerly shield themselves from this by endeavoring to show that superstitions ought to be cherished in the hearts of the ignorant, and that we ought to lead the way before them to idolatry, lest a free condemnation of idolatry should offend them. Hence I will not do them the honor of dwelling upon a refutation of their impudence. I simply admonish my readers to compare Paul's times with ours, and judge from this whether it is allowable to be present at mass, and other abominations, giving so much occasion of offense to the weak CHAPTER 9 1 CORINTHIANS 9:1-12 1. Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? 1. Non sum liber? non sum Apostolus? f376A nonne Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum vidi? nonne opus meum vos estis in Domino? 2. If I be not an an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. 2. Si aliis non sum Apostolus, vobis tamen sum: sigillum enim Apostolatus mei vos estis in Domino? 3. Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, 3.Haec mea defensio est apudeos, qui in me inquirunt. 4. Have we not power to eat and to drink? 4. Numquid non habemus potestatem edendi et bibendi? 5. Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 5. Numquid potestatem non habemus circumducendae uxoris sororis,quemadmodum et reliqui Apostoli,et fratres Domini, et Cephas? 6. Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? 6. An ego solus et Barnabas non habemus potestatem hoc agendi? f377a 7. Who goeth a warfare any time own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 7. Quis militavit suo sumptu unquam? quis plantat vitem, et ex fructu ejus non comedit? quis pascit gregem, et lacte gregis non vescitur? 8. Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 8. Num secundum hominem haec dico? 9. For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 9. Numquid lex quoque eadem non dicit? in lege enim Mosis (<052504>Deuteronomy 25:4) scripture est: non obligabis os bovi trituranti: numquid boves curae sunt Deo, 10. Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope: and that he that thrasheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 10. Vel propter nos omnino dicit? Et sane propter nos scripturm est: quoniam debet sub spe, qui arat,arare, et qui triturat, sub spe participandi. (Alias: quia debeat sub spe qui arat, arare, et qui triturat sub spe, spei suae particeps esse debeat.) 11. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 11. Si nos vobis spiritualia seminavimus, magnum, si carnalia vestra metamus? 12. If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ 12. Si alii hanc in vos sumunt potestatem, an non magis nos? atqui non usi sumus facultate hac: sed omnia sufferimus, ut ne quam offensionem demus Evangelio Christi. 1. Am I not free? He confirms by facts what he had stated immediately before, - that he would rather never taste of flesh during his whole life, than give occasion of stumbling to a brother, and, at the same time, he shows that he requires nothing more from them than what he had himself practiced. And, assuredly, natural equity requires that whatever law is imposed by any one upon others, should be submitted to by himself. More especially a Christian teacher should impose upon himself this necessity, that he may have it always in his power to confirm his doctrine by an exemplary life. We know by experience, that it is a very unpleasant thing that Paul required from the Corinthians - to refrain, for the sake of their brethren, from making use of the liberty that was allowed them. He could scarcely have demanded this, if he had not taken the lead and shown them the way. And he had, it is true, promised that he would do this, but, as he might not be believed by all on his simply promising for the future, he makes mention of what he had already done. He brings forward a remarkable instance, in respect of his having denied himself the liberty which he might otherwise have used, purely in order that he might give the false Apostles no occasion for calumniating. He had preferred to earn his food with his own hands, rather than be supported at the expense of the Corinthians, to whom he administered the Gospel. He treats, however, at great length of the right of the Apostles to receive food and clothing. This he does, partly for the purpose of stirring them up the more to forego many things for the sake of their brethren after his example, because they were unduly tenacious in the retaining of their own rights, and partly for the purpose of exposing more fully in view the unreasonableness of calumniators, who took occasion for reviling from what was anything but blameworthy. He speaks, also, interrogatively, in order to press the matter home more closely. The question - Am I not free? is of a general nature. When he adds - Am I not an Apostle? he specifies a particular kind of liberty. "If I am an Apostle of Christ, why should my condition be worse than that of others?" Hence he proves his liberty on the ground of his being an Apostle. Have I not seen Jesus Christ? He expressly adds this, in order that he may not be reckoned inferior in any respect, to the other Apostles, for this one thing the malevolent and envious bawled out on all occasions - that he had received from the hands of men whatever he had of the gospel, inasmuch as he had never seen Christ. And, certainly, he had not had converse with Christ while he was in the world, but Christ had appeared to him after his resurrection. It was not a smaller privilege, however, to have seen Christ in his immortal glory, than to have seen him in the abasement of mortal flesh. He makes mention, also, afterwards of this vision, (<461508>1 Corinthians 15:8,) and mention is made of it twice in the Acts, (<440903>Acts 9:3, and <442206>Acts 22:6.) Hence this passage tends to establish his call, because, although he had not been set apart as one of the twelve, there was no less authority in the appointment which Christ published from heaven. Are not ye my work? He now, in the second place, establishes his Apostleship from the effect of it, because he had gained over the Corinthians to the Lord by the gospel. Now this is a great thing that Paul claims for himself, when he calls their conversion his work, for it is in a manner a new creation of the soul. But how will this correspond with what we had above - that he that planteth is nothing, and he that watereth is nothing? (<460307>1 Corinthians 3:7.) I answer, that as God is the efficient cause, while man, with his preaching, is an instrument that can do nothing of itself, we must always speak of the efficacy of the ministry in such a manner that the entire praise of the work may be reserved for God alone. But in some cases, when the ministry is spoken of, man is compared with God, and then that statement holds good - He that planteth is nothing, and he that watereth is nothing; for what can be left to a man if he is brought into competition with God? Hence Scripture represents ministers as nothing in comparison with God; but when the ministry is simply treated of without any comparison with God, then, as in this passage, its efficacy is honorably made mention of, with signal encomiums. For, in that case, the question is not, what man can do of himself without God, but, on the contrary, God himself, who is the author, is conjoined with the instrument, and the Spirit's influence with man's labor. In other words, the question is not, what man himself accomplishes by his own power, but what God effects through his hands. 2. If I am not an Apostle to others. The sum of this tends to the establishing of his authority among the Corinthians, so as to place it beyond all dispute. "If there are those," says he, "who have doubts as to my Apostleship, to you, at least, it ought to be beyond all doubt, for, as I planted your Church by my ministry, you are either not believers, or you must necessarily recognize me as all Apostle. And that he may not seem to rest in mere words, he states that the reality itself was to be seen, f378A because God had sealed his Apostleship by the faith of the Corinthians. Should any one, however, object, that this suits the false Apostles too, who gather disciples to themselves, I answer, that pure doctrine is above all things required, in order that any one may have a confirmation of his ministry in the sight of God from its effect. There is nothing, therefore, here to furnish impostors with matter of congratulation, if they have deceived any of the populace, nay, even nations and kingdoms, by their falsehoods. Although in some cases persons are the occasion of spreading the kingdom of Christ, who, nevertheless, do not preach the gospel sincerely, as is said in <500116>Philippians 1:16, it is not without good reason that Paul infers from the fruit of his labor, that he is divinely commissioned: for the structure of the Corinthian Church was such, that the blessing of God could easily be seen shining forth in it, which ought to have served as a confirmation of Paul's office. 3. My defense. Apart from the principal matter that he has at present in hand, it appears also to have been his intention to beat down, in passing, the calumnies of those who clamored against his call, as if he had been one of the ordinary class of ministers. "I am accustomed," says he, "to put you forward as my shield, in the event of any one detracting from the honor of my Apostleship." Hence it follows, that the Corinthians are injurious and inimical to themselves, if they do not acknowledge him as such, for if their faith was a solemn attestation of Paul's Apostleship, and his defense, against slanderers, the one could not be invalidated without the other falling along with it. Where others read - those who interrogate me, I have rendered it - those that examine me - for he refers to those who raised a dispute as to his Apostleship. f379A Latin writers, I confess, speak of a criminal being interrogated f380A according to the laws, but the meaning of the word ajnakri>nein which Paul makes use of, seemed to me to be brought out better in this way. 4. Have we not power? lie concludes from what has been already said, that he had a right to receive food and clothing from them, f381A for Paul ate and drank, but not at the expense of the Church. This, then, was one liberty that he dispensed with. The other was, that he had not a wife - to be maintained, also, at the public expense. Eusebius infers from these words that Paul was married, but had left his wife somewhere, that she might not be a burden to the Churches, but there is no foundation for this, for he might bring forward this, even though unmarried. In honoring a Christian wife with the name of sister, he intimates, first of all, by this, how firm and lovely ought to be the connection between a pious pair, being held by a double tie. Farther he hints at the same time what modesty and honorable conduct ought to subsist between them. Hence, too, we may infer, how very far marriage is from being unsuitable to the ministers of the Church. I pass over the fact, that the Apostles made use of it, as to whose example we shall have occasion to speak ere long, but Paul here teaches, in general terms, what is allowable for all. 5. Even as the other Apostles. In addition to the Lord's permission, he mentions the common practice of others. And with the view of bringing out more fully the waiving of his right, he proceeds step by step. In the first place, he brings forward the Apostles. He then adds, "Nay, even the brethren of the Lord themselves also make use of it without hesitation - nay more, Peter himself, to whom the first place is assigned by consent of all, allows himself the same liberty." By the brethren of the Lord, he means John and James, who were accounted pillars, as he states elsewhere. (<480209>Galatians 2:9.) And, agreeably to what is customary in Scripture, he gives the name of brethren to those who were connected with Him by relationship. Now, if any one should think to establish Popery from this, he would act a ridiculous part. We confess that Peter was acknowledged as first among the Apostles, as it is necessary that in every society there should always be some one to preside over the others, and they were of their own accord prepared to respect Peter for the eminent endowments by which he was distinguished, as it is proper to esteem and honor all that excel in the gifts of God's grace. That preeminence, however, was not lordship - nay more, it had nothing resembling lordship. For while he was eminent among the others, still he was subject to them as his colleagues. Farther, it is one thing to have pre-eminence in one Church, and quite another, to claim for one's self a kingdom or dominion over the whole world. But indeed, even though we should concede everything as to Peter, what has this to do with the Pope? For as Matthias succeeded Judas, (<440126>Acts 1:26,) so some Judas might succeed Peter. Nay more, we see that during a period of more than nine hundred years among his successors, or at least among those who boast that they are his successors, there has not been one who was one whit better than Judas. This, however, is not the place to treat of these points. Consult my Institutes. (Volume 3.) One thing farther must here be noticed, that the Apostles had no horror of marriage, which the Papal clergy so much abominate, as unbecoming the sanctity of their order. But it was after their time that that admirable discovery was made, that the priests of the Lord are polluted if they have intercourse with their lawful wives; and, at length matters came to such a pitch, that Pope Syricius did not hesitate to call marriage "a pollution of the flesh, in which no one can please God." What then must become of the poor Apostles, who continued in that pollution until death? Here, however, they have contrived a refined subtilty to effect their escape; for they say that the Apostles gave up the use of the mar-ridge bed, but led about their wives with them, that they might receive the fruits of the gospel, or, in other words, support at the public expense. As if they could not have been maintained by the Churches, unless they wandered about from place to place; and farther, as if it were a likely thing that they would run hither and thither of their own accord, and without any necessity, in order that they might live in idleness at the public expense! For as to the explanation given by Ambrose, as referring to other persons' wives, who followed the Apostles for the purpose of hearing their doctrine, it is exceedingly forced. 7. Who hath gone a warfare at his own charges? It is the present tense that is used f382A as meaning - is accustomed to go a warfare. I have, however, with the view of taking off somewhat of the harshness, rendered it in the pretense. Now, by three comparisons, and these, too, taken from common life, he makes it out that it was allowable for him to live, if he chose, at the public expense of the Church, to show that he assumes nothing to himself but what human nature itself teaches us is reasonable. The first is taken from military law, for soldiers are wont to have their provisions furnished to them at the public expense. The second is taken from vine-dressers, for the husbandman plants a vine - not to throw away his pains, but to gather the fruit. The third is taken from keepers of cattle, for the shepherd does not lay out his labor for nothing, but eats of the milk of the flock - that is, he is supported from the produce. As natural equity points out this as reasonable, who will be so unjust as to refuse sustenance to the pastors of the Church? While it may happen, that some serve as soldiers at their own expense, as, for example, the Romans in ancient times, when no tribute was as yet paid, and there were no taxes, f383A this does not militate against Paul's statement, for he simply takes his argument from common and everywhere received practice. 8. Say I these things as a man? Lest any one should cavil, and say that in the things of the Lord the case is different, and therefore that he had to no purpose brought forward so many comparisons, he now adds, that the very same thing is commanded by the Lord. To speak as a man sometimes means - speaking according to the perverse judgment of the flesh, (as in <450305>Romans 3:5.) Here, however, it means - bringing forward only those things that are in common use among men, and are merely current (as they speak) in a human court. Now, that God himself designed that the labors of men should be remunerated by wages, he proves from this, that he prohibits the muzzling of the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn; and with the view of applying it to the subject in hand, he says, that God was not concerned as to oxen, but rather had regard to men. In the first place, it may be asked, Why has he more particularly selected this proof, while he had in the law passages that were much clearer? as for example, <052415>Deuteronomy 24:15, The wages of the hireling shall not remain with thee over night. If any one, however, will take a nearer view, he will acknowledge that there is more force in this quotation, in which the Lord requires cattle to be taken care of, for from this it is inferred, from the less to the greater, how much equity he requires among men, when he wishes that it should be shown to brute animals. When he says, that God does not take care for oxen, you are not to understand him as meaning to exclude oxen from the care of God's Providence, inasmuch as he does not overlook even the least sparrow. (<400626>Matthew 6:26, and <401029>Matthew 10:29.) Nor is it as if he meant to expound that precept allegorically, as some hair-brained spirits take occasion from this to turn everything into allegories. Thus they turn dogs into men, trees into angels, and turn all scripture into a laughing-stock. Paul's meaning is simple - that, when the Lord enjoins humanity to oxen, he does not do it for the sake of oxen, but rather from a regard to men, on whose account, too, the very oxen were created. That compassion, therefore, towards oxen should be a stimulus to us to stir up to the exercise of humanity among us, as Solomon says, (<201210>Proverbs 12:10,) The righteous man hath a care over his beast, but the bowels of the wicked are cruel. Let it then be understood by you, that God is not so concerned for oxen, as to have had merely a regard to oxen in making that law, for he had mankind in view, and wished to accustom them to equity, that they might not defraud the workman of his hire. For it is not the ox that has the principal part in plowing or treading out the corn, but man, by whose industry the ox himself is set to work. Hence, what he immediately adds - He that ploweth, should plow in hope, etc. is an exposition of the precept, as if he had said, that it extends generally to any kind of recompense for labor. 10. Because he that ploweth ought to plow in hope. There is a twofold reading in this passage, even in the Greek manuscripts, but the one that is more generally received is - He that thrasheth, in hope of partaking of his hope. At the same time, the one that does not repeat the term hope twice in the second clause appears simpler, and more natural. f384A Hence, if I were at liberty to choose, I would prefer to read it thus: He that ploweth should plow in hope, and he that thrasheth in hope of participating. As, however, the most of the Greek manuscripts agree in the former reading, and as the meaning remains the same, I have not ventured to make change upon it. Now he expounds the preceding injunction, and hence he says, that it is an unjust thing that the husbandman should lay out his pains to no purpose in plowing and thrashing, but that the end of his labor is the hope of receiving the fruits. As it is so, we may infer, that this belongs to oxen also, but Paul's intention was to extend it farther, and apply it principally to men. Now, the husbandman is said to be a partaker of his hope, when he enjoys the produce which he has obtained when reaping, but hoped for when plowing. 11. If we have sown unto you spiritual things. There was one cavil remaining - for it might be objected, that labors connected with this life should without doubt have food and clothing as their reward; and that plowing and thrashing yield fruit, of which those that labor in these things are partakers; but that it is otherwise with the gospel, because its fruit is spiritual; and hence the minister of the word, if he would receive fruit corresponding to his labor, ought to demand nothing that is carnal. Lest any one, therefore, should cavil in this manner, he argues from the greater to the less. "Though food and clothing are not of the same nature with a minister's labors, what injury do you sustain, if you recompense what is inestimable with a thing that is small and contemptible? For in proportion to the superiority of the soul above the body, does the word of the Lord excel outward sustenance, f385A inasmuch as it is the food of the soul." 12. If others assume this power over you. Again he establishes his own right from the example of others. For why should he alone be denied what others assumed as their due? For as no one labored more than he among the Corinthians, no one was more deserving of a reward. He does not, however, make mention of what he has done, but of what he would have done in accordance with his right, if he had not of his own accord refrained from using it. But we have not used this power. He returns now to the point on which the matter hinges - that he had of his own accord given up that power which no one could refuse him, and that he was prepared rather to suffer all things, than by the use of his liberty throw any impediment in the way of the progress of the gospel. He wishes, therefore, that the Corinthians should, after his example, keep this end in view - to do nothing that would hinder or retard the progress of the gospel; for what he declares respecting himself it was their duty to perform according to their station; and he confirms here what he had said previously - that we must consider what is expedient. (<460612>1 Corinthians 6:12.) 1 CORINTHIANS 9:13-22 13. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple; and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 13. Nescitis, quod qui sacris operantur, ex sacrario f386A edunt? et qui altari ministrant (ad verbum: adstant) altaris sunt participes? 14. Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 14. Sic et Dominns ordinavit, ut qui Evangelium annuntiant, vivant ex Evangelio. 15. But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. 15. Ego autem nullo horum usus sum: neque vero haec scripsi, ut ita mihi fiat: mihi enim satius est mori, quam ut gloriam meam quis exinaniat. 16. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, iflpreach not the gospel! 16. Nam si evangelizavero, non est quod glorier: quandoquidem necessitas mihi incumbit, ut vae sit mihi, si non evangelizem. 17. For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 17. Si enim volens hoc facio, mercedem habeo: si autem invitus, dispensatio mihi eat credita. 18. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without 18. Quae igitur mihi merces? ut quum evangelizo, gratuitum impendam Evangelium Christi, ut non abutar potestate mea in Evangelio. 19. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 19. Liber enim quum essem ab omnibus, servum me omnibus feci, ut plures lucrifaciam. 20. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 20. Itaque factus sum Iudaeis tanquam Iudaeus, ut Iudaeos lucrifaciam: iis qui sub Lege erant, tanquam Legi subiectus, ut eos qui erant sub Lege lucrifaciam; 21. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 21. his qui sine Lege erant, tanquam exlex, (tametsi non absque Lege, Deo, sed subiectus Legi Christi,) ut eos qui sine Lege erant lucrifaciam. 22. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 22. Factus sum infirmis tanquam infirmus, ut infirmos lucrifaciam: omnibus omnis factus sum, ut omnino aliquos servem. 13. Know ye not, Apart from the question that he discusses, he appears to have dwelt the longer in taking notice of this point, with the view of reproaching the Corinthians indirectly for their malignity in allowing the ministers of Christ to be reviled in a matter that was so justifiable. For if Paul had not of his own accord refrained from using his liberty, there was a risk of the progress of the gospel being obstructed. Never would the false Apostles have gained that point, had not ingratitude, to which the Corinthians were already prone, opened up the way for their calumnies. For they ought to have repelled them sharply; but instead of this they showed themselves excessively credulous, so that they would have been prepared to reject the gospel, if Paul had used his right. Such contempt of the gospel, and such cruelty towards their Apostle, deserved to be more severely reproved; but Paul, having found another occasion, touches upon it indirectly and mildly, with his usual modesty, that he may admonish them without affronting them. Again he makes use of a new comparison, to prove that he had not used the power that he had from the Lord. Nor does he any longer borrow examples from any other source, but shows that this has been appointed by the Lord - that the Churches should provide for the support of their ministers. There are some that think that there are two comparisons in this passage, and they refer the former to the Lord's priests, and the latter to those that acted as priests to the heathen gods. I am, however, rather of opinion that Paul expresses, as he is accustomed, the same thing by different terms. And, truly, it would have been a weak argument that was derived from the practice of the heathens, among whom the revenues of the priesthood were not devoted to food and clothing, but to magnificent dresses, royal splendor, and profuse luxury. These would, therefore, have been things too remote. I do not call it in question, however, that he has pointed out different kinds of ministerial offices; for there were priests of a higher order, and there were afterwards Levites, who were inferior to them, as is well known; but that is not much to the point. The sum is this - "The Levitical priests were ministers of the Israelitish Church; the Lord appointed them sustenance from their ministry; hence in ministers of the Christian Church the same equity must be observed at the present day. Now the ministers of the Christian Church are those that preach the gospel." This passage is quoted by Canonists, when they wish to prove that idle bellies must be fattened up, in order that they may perform their masses; f387A but how absurdly, I leave it to children themselves to judge. Whatever is stated in the Scriptures as to the support to be given to ministers, or the honor that is to be put upon them, they immediately seize hold of it, and twist. it to their own advantage. For my part, however, I simply admonish my readers to consider attentively Paul's words. He argues that pastors, who labor in the preaching of the gospel, ought to be supported, because the Lord in ancient times appointed sustenance for the priests, on the ground of their serving the Church. Hence a distinction must be made between the ancient priesthood and that of the present day. Priests under the law were set apart to preside over the sacrifices, to serve the altar, and to take care of the tabernacle and temple. Those at the present day are set apart to preach the word and to dispense the sacraments. The Lord has appointed no sacrifices for his sacred ministers to be engaged in; f388A there are no altars for them to stand at to offer sacrifices. Hence appears the absurdity of those who apply this comparison, taken from sacrifices, to anything else than to the preaching of the gospel. Nay farther, it may be readily inferred from this passage, that all Popish priests, from the head himself to the lowest member, are guilty of sacrilege, who devour the revenues appointed for true ministers, while they do not in any way discharge their duty. For what ministers does the Apostle order to be maintained? Those that apply themselves to the preaching of the gospel. What right then have they to claim for themselves the revenues of the priesthood? f389A "Because they hum a tune and perform mass." f390A But God has enjoined upon them nothing of that sort. Hence it is evident that they seize upon the reward due to others. When, however, he says that the Levitical priests were partakers with the altar, and that they ate of the things of the Temple, he marks out (metwnumikw~v) by metonymy, the offerings that were presented to God. For they claimed to themselves the sacred victims entire, and of smaller animals they took the right shoulder, and kidneys and tail, and, besides this, tithes, oblations, and first-fruits. The word iJero>n, therefore, in the second instance, f391A is taken to mean the Temple. 15. Nor have I written these things. As he might seem to be making it his aim, that in future a remuneration should be given him by the Corinthians, he removes that suspicion, and declares that, so far from this being his desire, he would rather die than give occasion for his being deprived of this ground of glorying - that he bestowed labor upon the Corinthians without any reward. Nor is it to be wondered that he set so high a value upon this glorying, inasmuch as he saw that the authority of the gospel in some degree depended upon it. For he would in this way have given a handle to the false apostles to triumph over him. Hence there was a danger, lest the Corinthians, despising him, should receive them with great applause. So much did he prefer, even before his own life, the power of advancing the gospel. 16. For if I preach the gospel. To show how very important it was not to deprive himself of that. ground of glorying, he intimates what would have happened, if he had simply discharged his ministry - that he would in this way have done nothing else than what the Lord had enjoined upon him by a strict necessity. By doing that, he says, he would have had no occasion for glorying, as it was not in his power to avoid doing it. f392A It is asked, however, what glorying he here refers to, for he glories elsewhere in his exercising himself in the office of teaching with a pure conscience. (<550103>2 Timothy 1:3.) I answer, that he speaks of a glorying that he could bring forward in opposition to the false apostles, when they endeavored to find a pretext for reviling, as will appear more fully from what follows. This is a remarkable statement, from which we learn, in the first place, what, as to ministers, is the nature, and what the closeness of the tie that is involved in their calling, and farther, what the pastoral office imports and includes. Let not the man, then, who has been once called to it, imagine that he is any longer at liberty to withdraw when he chooses, if, perhaps, he is harassed with vexatious occurrences, or weighed down with misfortunes, for he is devoted to the Lord and to the Church, and bound by a sacred tie, which it were criminal to break asunder. As to the second point, f393A he says that a curse was ready to fall upon him, if he did not preach the gospel. Why? Because he has been called to it, and therefore is constrained by necessity. How, therefore, will any one who succeeds to his office avoid this necessity? What sort of successors, then, have the Apostles in the Pope and the other mitred bishops, who think that there is nothing that is more unbecoming their station, than the duty of teaching! 17. For if I do this thing willingly. By reward here is meant what the Latins term operae pretium, recompense for labor, f394A and what he had previously termed glorying. Others, however, interpret it otherwise - as meaning that a reward is set before all who discharge their duty faithfully and heartily. But, for my part, I understand the man who does this thing willingly, to be the man who acts with such cheerfulness, that, being intent upon edifying, as his one object of desire, he declines nothing that he knows will be profitable to the Church; as, on the other hand, he terms those unwilling, who in their actings submit, indeed, to necessity, but act grudgingly, because it is not from inclination. For it always happens that the man who undertakes any business with zeal, is also prepared of his own accord to submit to everything, which, if left undone, would hinder the accomplishment of the work. Thus Paul, being one that acted willingly, did not teach in a mere perfunctory manner, but left nothing undone that he knew to be fitted to promote and further his doctrine. This then was his recompense for labor, f395A and this his ground of glorying - that he did with readiness of mind forego his right in respect of his applying himself to the discharge of his office willingly and with fervent zeal. But if unwillingly, a dispensation is committed to me. In whatever way others explain these words, the natural meaning, in my opinion, is this - that God does not by any means approve of the service done by the man who performs it grudgingly, and, as it were, with a reluctant mind. Whenever, therefore, God has enjoined anything upon us, we are mistaken, if we think that we have discharged it aright, when we perform it grudgingly; for the Lord requires that his servants be cheerful, (<470907>2 Corinthians 9:7,) so as to delight in obeying him, and manifest their cheerfulness by the promptitude with which they act. In short, Paul means, that he would act in accordance with his calling, only in the event of his performing his duty willingly and cheerfully. 18. What then is my reward? He infers from what goes before, that he has a ground of glorying; in this, that he labored gratuitously in behalf of the Corinthians, because it appears from this, that he applied himself willingly to the office of teaching, inasnmuch as he vigorously set himself to obviate all the hindrances in the way of the gospel; and not satisfied with merely teaching, endeavored to further the doctrine of it by every method. This then is the sum. "I am under the necessity of preaching the gospel: if I do it not, wo is unto me, for I resist God's calling. But it is not enough to preach, unless I do it willingly; for he who fulfils the commandment of God unwillingly, does not act, as becomes him, suitably to his office. But if I obey God willingly, it will in that case be allowable for me to glory. Hence it was necessary for me to make the gospel without charge, that I might glory on good ground." Papists endeavor from this passage to establish their contrivance as to works of supererogation. f396A "Paul," they say, "would have fulfilled the duties of his office by preaching the gospel, but he adds something farther over and above. Hence he does something beyond what he is bound to do, for he distinguishes between what is done willingly and what is done from necessity." I answer, that Paul, it is true, went a greater length than the ordinary calling of pastors required, because he refrained from taking pay, which the Lord allows pastors to take. But as it was a part of his duty to provide against every occasion of offense that he foresaw, and as he saw, that the course of the gospel would be impeded, if he made use of his liberty, though that was out of the ordinary course, yet I maintain that even in that case he rendered to God nothing more than was due. For I ask: "Is it not the part of a good pastor to remove occasions of offense, so far as it is in his power to do so?" I ask again, "Did Paul do anything else than this?" There is no ground, therefore, for imagining that he rendered to God anything that he did not owe to him, inasmuch as he did nothing but what the necessity of his office (though it was an extraordinary necessity) demanded. Away, then, with that wicked imagination, f397A that we compensate for our faults in the sight of God by works of supererogation. f398A Nay more, away with the very term, which is replete with diabolical pride. f399A This passage, assuredly, is mistakingly perverted to bear that meaning. The error of Papists is refuted in a general way in this manner: Whatever works are comprehended under the law, are falsely termed works of supererogation, as is manifest from the words of Christ. (<421710>Luke 17:10.) When ye have done all things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done what we were bound to do. Now we acknowledge that no work is good and acceptable to God, that is not included in God's law. This second statement I prove in this way: There are two classes of good works; for they are all reducible either to the service of God or to love. Now nothing belongs to the service of God that is not included in this summary: Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength. There is also no duty of love that is not required in that precept - Love thy neighbor as thyself. (<411230>Mark 12:30, 31.) But as to the objection that is brought forward by Papists, that it is possible for one to be acceptable, if he devotes the tenth part of his income, and infer from this, that if he goes so far as to devote the fifth part, he does a work of supererogation, it is easy to remove away this subtilty. For that the deeds of the pious are approved, is not by any means owing to their perfection, but it is because the imperfection and deficiency are not reckoned to their account. Hence even if they were doing an hundred-fold more than they do, they would not, even in that case, exceed the limits of the duty that they owe. That I may not abuse my power. From this it appears, that such a use of our liberty as gives occasion of offense, is an uncontrolled liberty and abuse. We must keep, therefore, within bounds, that we may not give occasion of offense. This passage also confirms more fully what I just now touched upon, that Paul did nothing beyond what the duty of his office required, because it was not proper that the liberty, that was allowed him by God, should be in any way abused. 19. Though I was free from all. Ek pa>ntwn, that is, from all, may be taken either in the neuter gender or in the masculine. If in the neuter, it will refer to things; if in the masculine, to persons. I prefer the second. He has as yet shown only by one particular instance how carefully he had accommodated himself to the weak. Now he subjoins a general statement, and afterwards enumerates several instances. The general observation is this - that while he was not under the power of any one, he lived as if he had been subject to the inclination of all, and of his own accord subjected himself to the weak, to whom he was under no subjection. The particular instances are these - that among the Gentiles he lived as if he were a Gentile, and among the Jews he acted as a Jew: that is, while among Jews he carefully observed the ceremonies of the law, he was no less careful not to give occasion of offense to the Gentiles by the observance of them. He adds the particle as, to intimate that his liberty was not at all impaired on that account, for, however he might accommodate himself to men, he nevertheless remained always like himself inwardly in the sight of God. To become all things is to assume all appearances, as the case may require, or to put on different characters, according to the diversity among individuals. As to what he says respecting his being without law and under the law, you must understand it simply in reference to the ceremonial department; for the department connected with morals was common to Jews and Gentiles alike, and it would not have been allowable for Paul to gratify men to that extent. For this doctrine holds good only as to things indifferent, as has been previously remarked. 21. Though not without law to God. He wished by this parenthesis to soften the harshness of the expression, for it might. have seemed harsh at first view to have it stiffed, that he had come to be without law. Hence in order that this might not be taken in a wrong sense, he had added, by way of correction, that he had always kept in view one law - that of subjection to Christ. By this too he hints that odium was excited against him groundlessly and unreasonably, as if he called men to an unbridled licentiousness, while he taught exemption from the bondage of the Mosaic law. Now he calls it expressly the law of Christ, in order to wipe away the groundless reproach, with which the false apostles branded the gospel, for he means, that in the doctrine of Christ nothing is omitted, that might serve to give us a perfect rule of upright. living. 22. To the weak I became as weak. Now again he employs a general statement, in which he shows to what sort of persons he accomodated himself, and with what design. He judaized in the presence of the Jews, but not before them all, for there were many headstrong persons, who, under the influence of Pharisaical pride or malice, would have wished that Christian liberty were altogether taken away. To those persons he would never have been so accommodating, for Christ would not have us care for persons of that sort. Let them alone, (says he,) they are blind, and leaders of the blind. (<401514>Matthew 15:14.) Hence we must accommodate ourselves to the weak, not to the obstinate. f400A Now his design was, that he might bring them to Christ - not that he might promote his own advantage, or retain their good will. To these things a third must be added - that it was only in things indifferent, that are otherwise in our choice, that he accommodated himself to the weak. Now, if we consider how great a man Paul was, who stooped thus far, ought we not to feel ashamed - we who are next to nothing in comparison with him - if, bound up in self, we look with disdain upon the weak, and do not deign to yield up a single point to them? But while it is proper that we should accommodate ourselves to the weak, according to the Apostle's injunction, and that, in things indifferent, and with a view to their edification, those act an improper part, who, with the view of consulting their own ease, avoid those things that would offend men, and the wicked, too, rather than the weak. Those, however, commit a two-fold error, who do not distinguish between things indifferent and things unlawful, and accordingly do not hesitate, for the sake of pleasing men, to engage in things that the Lord has prohibited. The crowning point, however, of the evil is this - that they abuse this statement of Paul to excuse their wicked dissimulation. But if any one will keep in view these three things that I have briefly pointed out, he will have it easily in his power to refute those persons. We must observe, also, the word that he makes use of in the concluding clause; f401A for he shows for what purpose he endeavors to gain all - with a view to their salvation. At the same time, he here at length modifies the general statement, unless perhaps you prefer the rendering of the old translation, which is found even at this day in some Greek manuscripts. f402A For in this place, too, he repeats it - that I may by all means save some. f403A But as the indulgent temper, that Paul speaks of, has sometimes no good effect, this limitation is very suitable - that, although he might not do good to all, he, nevertheless, had never left off consulting the advantage of at least a few. f404A 1 CORINTHIANS 9:23-27 23. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker there of with you. 23. Hoc autem facio propter Evangelium, ut particeps eius fiam. 24. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 24. An nescitis, quod qui in stadium currunt, omnes quidem currunt, sed unus accipit praemium? Sic currite, ut comprehendatis. 25. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 25. Porro quicunque certat, per omnia temperans est: f405 illi quidem igitur, ut perituram coronam accipiant, nos autem, ut aeternam. 26. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 26. Ego itaque sic curro, ut non in incertum: sic pugilem ago, non velut aerem fortens: 27. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 27. Verum subigo corpus meum, et in servitutem redigo, ne quo modo fiat, ut, quum aliis praedicaverim, ipse reprobus f406 efficiar. 23. That I may become a partaker of it. As the Corinthians might think with themselves, that this was a peculiarity in Paul's case on the ground of his office, he argues, from the very design of it, that this is common to all Christians. For when he declares, that his aim had been, that he might become a partaker of the gospel, he indirectly intimates, that all who do not act the same part with him are unworthy of the fellowship of the gospel. To become a partaker of the gospel is to receive the fruit of it. 24. Know ye not, that they who run in a race. He has laid down the doctrine, and now, with the view of impressing it upon the minds of the Corinthians, he adds an exhortation. He states briefly, that what they had hitherto attained was nothing, unless they steadfastly persevered, inasmuch as it is not enough to have once entered on the Lord's way, if they do not strive until they reach the goal, agreeably to that declaration of Christ - He that shall endure unto the end, etc. (<401022>Matthew 10:22.) Now he borrows a similitude from the race-course. f407 For as in that case many descend into the arena, but he alone is crowned who has first reached the goal, so there is no reason why any one should feel satisfied with himself on the ground of his having once entered upon the race prescribed in the gospel, unless he persevere in it until death. There is, however, this difference between our contest and theirs, that among them only one is victorious, and obtains the palm - the man who has got before all the others; f408 but our condition is superior in this respect, that there may be many at the same time. f409 For God requires from us nothing more than that we press on vigorously until we reach the goal. f410 Thus one does not hinder another: nay more, those who run in the Christian race are mutually helpful to each other. He expresses the same sentiment in another form in <550205>2 Timothy 2:5, If any one striveth, he is not crowned, unless he strives lawfully. So run. Here we have the application of the similitude - that it is not enough to have set out, if we do not continue to run during our whole life. For our life is like a race-course. We must not therefore become wearied after a short time, like one that stops short in the middle of the race-course, but instead of this, death alone must put a period to our running. The particle o[utw, (so,) may be taken in two ways. Chrysostom connects it with what goes before, in this manner: as those who run do not stop running until they have reached the goal, so do ye also persevere, and do not stop running so long as you live. It will, however, correspond not inaptly with what follows. "You must not run so as to stop short in the middle of the race-course, but so as to obtain the prize." As to the term stadium, (race-course,) and the different kinds of races, f411 I say nothing, as these things may be obtained from grammarians, and it is generally known that there were some races on horseback, and others on foot. Nor are these things particularly needed for understanding Paul's meaning. 25. Now every one that striveth. As he had exhorted to perseverance, it remained to state in what way they must persevere. This second thing he now sets before them by a comparison taken from pugilists; not indeed in every particular, f412 but in so far as was required by the subject in hand, within which he confines himself - how far they ought to yield to the weakness of the brethren. Now he argues from the less to the greater, that it is an unseemly thing if we grudge to give up our right, inasmuch as the pugilists eating their coliphium, f413 and that sparingly and not to the full, voluntarily deny themselves every delicacy, in order that they may have more agility for the combat, and they do this, too, for the sake of a corruptible crown. But if they value so highly a crown of leaves that quickly fades, what value ought we to set upon a crown of immortality? Let us not, therefore, think it hard to give up a little of our right. It is well known that wrestlers were contented with the most frugal diet, so that their simple fare has become proverbial. 26. I therefore so run. He returns to speak of himself, that his doctrine may have the more weight, on his setting himself forward by way of pattern. What. he says here some refer to assurance of hope - (<580611>Hebrews 6:11) - "I do not run in vain, nor do I run the risk of losing my labor, for I have the Lord's promise, which never deceives." It rather appears to me, however, that his object is to direct the course of believers straight forward toward the goal, that it may not be wavering and devious. "The Lord exercises us here in the way of running and wrestling, but he sets before us the object at which we ought to aim, and prescribes a sure rule for our wrestling, that we may not weary ourselves in vain." Now he takes in both the similitudes that he had employed. "I know," says he, "whither I am running, and, like a skillful wrestler, I am anxious that I may not miss my aim." Those things ought to kindle up and confirm the Christian breast, so as to devote itself with greater alacrity to all the duties of piety; f414 for it is a great matter not to wander in ignorance through uncertain windings. 27. But I keep under my body. f415 Budaeus reads Observo; (I keep a watch over;) but in my opinion the Apostle has employed the word uJpwpia>zein f416 here, to mean treating in a servile manner. f417 For he declares that he does not indulge self, but restrains his inclinations - which cannot be accomplished unless the body is tamed, and, by being held back from its inclinations, is habituated to subjection, like a wild and refractory steed. The ancient monks, with a view to yield obedience to this precept contrived many exercises of discipline, for they slept on benches, they forced themselves to long watchings, and shunned delicacies. The main thing, however, was wanting in them, for they did not apprehend why it was that the Apostle enjoins this, because they lost sight of another injunction - to take no concern for our flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof. (<451314>Romans 13:14.) For what he says elsewhere (<540408>1 Timothy 4:8) always holds good - that bodily exercise profiteth little. Let us, however, treat the body so as to make a slave of it, f418 that it may not, by its wantonness, keep us back from the duties of piety; and farther, that we may not indulge it, so as to occasion injury, or offense, to others. That, when I have preached to others. Some explain these words in this way - "Lest, after having taught others with propriety and faithfulness, I should incur the judgment of condemnation in the sight of God by a wicked life." But it will suit better to view this expression as referring to men, in this way - "My life ought to be a kind of rule to others. Accordingly, I strive to conduct myself in such a manner, that my character and conduct may not be inconsistent with my doctrine, and that thus I may not, with great disgrace to myself, and a grievous occasion of offense to my brethren, neglect those things which I require from others." It may also be taken in connection with a preceding statement, (<460723>1 Corinthians 7:23,) in this way - "Lest I should be defrauded of the gospel, of which others are partakers through means of my labors." CHAPTER 10 1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-5 1. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 1. Nolo autem vos ignorare, fratres, quod partes nostri omnes sub nube fuerunt, et omnes mare transierunt. 2. And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 2. Et omnes in Mose uterunt baptizati in nube et in mari, 3. And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 3. Et omnes eandem escam spiritualem manducarunt, 4. And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 4. Et omnes eundem biberunt spiritualem potum: bibebant autem e spirituali, quae eos censequebatur, petra. Petra, autem, erat Christus. 5. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 5. Verum complures corum grati non fuerant Deo: prostrati enim fuerunt in deserto. What he had previously taught by two similitudes, he now confirms by examples. The Corinthians grew wanton, and gloried, as if they had served out their time, f419 or at least had finished their course, when they had scarcely left the starting-point. This vain exultation and confidence he represses in this manner - "As I see that you are quietly taking your ease at the very outset of your course, I would not have you ignorant of what befell the people of Israel in consequence of this, that their example may arouse you." As, however, on examples being adduced, any point of difference destroys the force of the comparison, Paul premises, that there is no such dissimilarity between us and the Israelites, as to make our condition different from theirs. Having it, therefore, in view to threaten the Corinthians with the same vengeance as had overtaken them, he begins in this manner - "Beware of glorying in any peculiar privilege, as if you were in higher esteem than they were in the sight of God." For they were favored with the same benefits as we at this day enjoy; there was a Church of God among them, as there is at this day among us; they had the same sacraments, to be tokens to them of the grace of God; f420 but, on their abusing their privileges, they did not escape the judgment of God. f421 Be afraid, therefore; for the same thing is impending over you. Jude makes use of the same argument in his Epistle. (<650105>Jude 1:5.) 1. All were under the cloud. The Apostle's object is to show, that the Israelites were no less the people of God than we are, that we may know, that we will not escape with impunity the hand of God, which punished them f422 with so much severity. For the sum is this - "If God spared not them, neither will he spare you, for your condition is similar." That similarity he proves from this - that they had been honored with the same tokens of God's grace, for the sacraments are badges by which the c of God is distinguished. He treats first of baptism, and teaches that the cloud, which protected the Israelites in the desert from the heat of the sun, and directed their course, and also their passage through the sea, was to them as a baptism he says, also, that in the manna, and the water flowing from the rock, there was a sacrament which corresponded with the sacred Supper. They were, says he, baptized in Moses, that is, under the ministry or guidance of Moses. For I take the particle eijv to be used here instead of ejn, agreeably to the common usage of Scripture, because we are assuredly baptized in the name of Christ, and not of any mere man, as he has stated in <460113>1 Corinthians 1:13, and that for two reasons. These are, first, because we are by baptism initiated f423 into the doctrine of Christ alone; and, secondly, because his name alone is invoked, inasmuch as baptism is founded on his influence alone. They were, therefore, baptized in Moses, that is, under his guidance or ministry, as has been already stated. How? In the cloud and in the sea. "They were, then, baptized twice," some one will say. I answer, that there are two signs made mention of, making, however, but one baptism, corresponding to ours. Here, however, a more difficult question presents itself. For it is certain, that the advantage of those gifts, which Paul makes mention of, was temporal. f424 The cloud protected them from the heat of the sun, and showed them the way: these are outward advantages of the present life. In like manner, their passage through the sea was attended with this effect, that they got clear off from Pharaoh's cruelty, and escaped from imminent hazard of death. The advantage of our baptism, on the other hand, is spiritual. Why then does Paul turn earthly benefits into sacraments, and seek to find some spiritual mystery f425 in them? I answer, that it was not without good reason that Paul sought in miracles of this nature something more than the mere outward advantage of the flesh. For, though God designed to promote his people's advantage in respect of the present life, what he had mainly in view was, to declare and manifest himself to be their God, and under that, eternal salvation is comprehended. The cloud, in various instances, f426 is called the symbol of his presence. As, therefore, he declared by means of it, that he was present with them, as his peculiar and chosen people, there can be no doubt that, in addition to an earthly advantage, they had in it, besides, a token of spiritual life. Thus its use was twofold, as was also that of the passage through the sea, for a way was opened up for them through the midst of the sea, that they might escape from the hand of Pharaoh; but to what was this owing, but to the circumstance, that the Lord, having taken them under his guardianship and protection, determined by every means to defend them? Hence, they concluded from this, that they were the objects of God's care, and that he had their salvation in charge. Hence, too, the Passover, which was instituted to celebrate the remembrance of their deliverance, was nevertheless, at the same time, a sacrament of Christ. How so? Because God had, under a temporal benefit, manifested himself as a Savior. Any one that will attentively consider these things, will find that there is no absurdity in Paul's words. Nay more, he will perceive both in the spiritual substance and in the visible sign a most striking correspondence between the baptism of the Jews, and ours. It is however objected again, that we do not find a word of all this. f427 This I admit, but there is no doubt, that God by his Spirit supplied the want of outward preaching, as we may see in the instance of the brazen serpent, which was, as Christ himself testifies, a spiritual sacrament, (<430314>John 3:14,) and yet not a word has come down to us as to this thing, f428 but the Lord revealed to believers of that age, in the manner he thought fit, the secret, which would otherwise have remained hid. 3. The same spiritual meat. He now makes mention of the other sacrament, which corresponds to the Holy Supper of the Lord. "The manna," says he, "and the water that flowed forth from the rock, served not merely for the food of the body, but also for the spiritual nourishment of souls." It is true, that both were means of sustenance for the body, but this does not hinder their serving also another purpose. While, therefore, the Lord relieved the necessities of the body, he, at the same time, provided for the everlasting welfare of souls. These two things would be easily reconciled, were there not a difficulty presented in Christ's words, (<430631>John 6:31,) where he makes the manna the corruptible food of the belly, which he contrasts with the true food of the soul. That statement appears to differ widely from what Paul says here. This knot, too, is easily solved. It is the manner of scripture, when treating of the sacraments, or other things, to speak in some cases according to the capacity of the hearers, and in that case it has respect not to the nature of the thing, but to the mistaken idea of the hearers. Thus, Paul does not always speak of circumcision in the same way, for when he has a view to the appointment of God in it, he says, that it was a seal of the righteousness of the faith, (<450411>Romans 4:11,) but when he is disputing with those who gloried in an outward and bare sign, and reposed in it a mistaken confidence of salvation, he says, that it is a token of condemnation, because men bind themselves by it to keep the whole law. (<480502>Galatians 5:2, 3.) For he takes merely the opinion that the false apostles had of it, because he contends, not against the pure institution of God, but against their mistaken view. In this way, as the carnal multitude preferred Moses to Christ, because he had fed the people in the desert for forty years, and looked to nothing in the manna but the food of the belly, (as indeed they sought nothing else,) Christ in his reply does not explain what was meant by the manna, but, passing over everything else, suits his discourse to the idea entertained by his hearers. "Moses is held by you in the highest esteem, and even in admiration, as a most eminent Prophet, because he filled the bellies of your fathers in the desert. For this one thing you object against me: I am accounted nothing by you, because I do not supply you with food for the belly. But if you reckon corruptible food of so much importance, what ought you to think of the life-giving bread, with which souls are nourished up unto eternal life?." We see then that the Lord speaks there - not according to the nature of the thing, but rather according to the apprehension of his hearers. f429 Paul, on the other hand, looks here - not to the ordinance of God, but to the abuse of it by the wicked. Farther, when he says that the fathers ate the same spiritual meat, he shows, first, what is the virtue and efficacy of the Sacraments, and, secondly, he declares, that the ancient Sacraments of the Law had the same virtue as ours have at this day. For, if the manna was spiritual food, it follows, that it is not bare emblems that are presented to us in the Sacraments, but that the thing represented is at the same time truly imparted, for God is not a deceiver to feed us with empty fancies. f430 A sign, it is true, is a sign, and retains its essence, but, as Papists act a ridiculous part, who dream of transformations, (I know not of what sort,) so it is not for us to separate between the reality and the emblem which God has conjoined. Papists confound the reality and the sign: profane men, as, for example, Suenckfeldius, and the like, separate the signs from the realities. Let us maintain a middle course, f431 or, in other words, let us observe the connection appointed by the Lord, but still keep them distinct, that we may not mistakingly transfer to the one what belongs to the other. It remains that we speak of the second point - the resemblance between the ancient signs and ours. It is a well-known dogma of the schoolmen - that the Sacraments of the ancient law were emblems of grace, but ours confer it. This passage is admirably suited for refuting that error, for it shows that the reality of the Sacrament was presented to the ancient people of God no less than to us. It is therefore a base fancy of the Sorbonists, that the holy fathers under the law had the signs without the reality. I grant, indeed, that the cleftleacy of the signs is furnished to us at once more clearly and more abundantly from the time of Christ's manifestation in the flesh than it was possessed by the fathers. Thus there is a difference between us and them only in degree, or, (as they commonly say,) of "more and less," for we receive more fully what they received in a smaller measure. It is not as if they had had bare emblems, while we enjoy the reality. f432 Some explain it to mean, that they f433 ate the same meat together among themselves, and do not wish us to understand that there is a comparison between us and them; but these do not consider Paul's object. For what does he mean to say here, but that the ancient people of God were honored with the same benefits with us, and were partakers of the same sacraments, that we might not, from confiding in any peculiar privilege, imagine that we would be exempted from the punishment which they endured? At the same time, I should not be prepared to contest the point with any one; I merely state my own opinion. In the meantime, I am well aware, what show of reason is advanced by those who adopt the opposite interpretation - that it suits best with the similitude made use of immediately before - that all the Israelites had the same race-ground marked out for them, and all started from the same point: all entered upon the same course: all were partakers of the same hope, but many were shut out from the reward. When, however, I take everything attentively into consideration, I am not induced by these considerations to give up my opinion; for it is not without good reason that the Apostle makes mention of two sacraments merely, and, more particularly, baptism. For what purpose was this, but to contrast them with us? Unquestionably, if he had restricted his comparison to the body of that people, he would rather have brought forward circumcision, and other sacraments that were better known and more distinguished, but, instead of this, he chose rather those that were more obscure, because they served more as a contrast between us and them. Nor would the application that he subjoins be otherwise so suitable - "All things that happened to them are examples to us, inasmuch as we there see the judgments of God that are impending over us, if we involve ourselves in the same crimes." 4. That rock was Christ. So he absurdly pervert these words of Paul, as if he had said, that Christ was the spiritual rock, and as if he were not speaking of that rock which was a visible sign, for we see that he is expressly treating of outward signs. The objection that they make - that the rock is spoken of as spiritual, is a frivolous one, inasmuch as that epithet is applied to it simply that we may know that it was a token of a spiritual mystery. In the mean time, there is no doubt, that he compares our sacraments with the ancient ones. Their second objection is more foolish and more childish - "How could a rock," say they, "that stood firm in its place, follow the Israelites?" - as if it were not abundantly manifest, that by the word rock is meant the stream of water, which never ceased to accompany the people. For Paul extols f434 the grace of God, on this account, that he commanded the water that was drawn out from the rock to flow forth wherever the people journeyed, as if the rock itself had followed them. Now if Paul's meaning were, that Christ is the spiritual foundation of the Church, what occasion were there for his using the past tense? f435 It is abundantly manifest, that something is here expressed that was peculiar to the fathers. Away, then, with that foolish fancy by which contentious men choose rather to show their impudence, than admit that they are sacramental forms of expression! f436 I have, however, already stated, that the reality of the things signified was exhibited in connection with the ancient sacraments. As, therefore, they were emblems of Christ, it follows, that Christ was connected with them, not locally, nor by a natural or substantial union, but sacramentally. On this principle the Apostle says, that the rock was Christ, for nothing is more common than metonymy in speaking of sacraments. The name of the thing, therefore, is transferred here to the sign - not as if it were strictly applicable, but figuratively, on the ground of that connection which I have mentioned. I touch upon this, however, the more slightly, because it will be more largely treated of when we come to the 11th Chapter. There remains another question. "Seeing that we now in the Supper eat the body of Christ, and drink his blood, how could the Jews be partakers of the same spiritual meat and drink, when there was as yet no flesh of Christ that they could eat?" I answer, that though his flesh did not as yet exist, it was, nevertheless, food for them. Nor is this an empty or sophistical subtilty, for their salvation depended on the benefit of his death and resurrection. Hence, they required to receive the flesh and the blood of Christ, that they might participate in the benefit of redemption. This reception of it was the secret work of the Holy Spirit, who wrought in them in such a manner, that Christ's flesh, though not yet created, was made efficacious in them. He means, however, that they ate in their own way, which was different from ours, f437 and this is what I have previously stated, that Christ is now presented to us more fully, according to the measure of the revelation. For, in the present day, the eating is substantial, which it could not have been then - that is, Christ feeds us with his flesh, which has been sacrificed for us, and appointed as our food, and from this we derive life. 5. But many of them. We have now the reason why the Apostle has premised these things - that we might not claim for ourselves any dignity or excellence above them, but might walk in humility and fear, for thus only shall we secure, that we have not been favored in vain with the light of truth, and with such an abundance of gracious benefits. "God," says he, "had chosen them all as his people, but many of them fell from grace. Let us, therefore, take heed, lest the same thing should happen to us, being admonished by so many examples, for God will not suffer that to go unpunished in us, which he punished so severely in them." Here again it is objected: "If it is true, that hypocrites and wicked persons in that age ate spiritual meat, do unbelievers in the present day partake of the reality in the sacraments?" Some, afraid lest the unbelief of men should seem to detract from the truth of God, teach that the reality is received by the wicked along with the sign. This fear, however, is needless, for the Lord offers, it is true, to the worthy and to the unworthy what he represents, but all are not capable of receiving it. In the meantime, the sacrament does not change its nature, nor does it lose anything of its efficacy. Hence the manna, in relation to God, was spiritual meat even to unbelievers, but because the mouth of unbelievers was but carnal, they did not eat what was given them. The fuller discussion, however, of this question I reserve for the 11th Chapter. For they were overthrown. Proof is here furnished, by adducing a token, that they did not please God - inasmuch as he exercised his wrath upon them with severity, f438 and took vengeance on their ingratitude. Some understand this as referring to the whole of the people that died in the desert, with the exception of only two - Caleb and Joshua. (<041429>Numbers 14:29.) I understand him, however, as referring merely to those, whom he immediately afterwards makes mention of in different classes. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:6-12 6. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 6. Haec autem typi nobis fuerunt, ne simus concupiscentes malorum, sicut illi concupiverunt. 7. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 7. Neque idololatrae sitis, quemadmodum quidam eorum: sicut scriptum est. (<023206>Exodus 32:6.) Sedit populus ad edendum et bibendum, et surrexerunt ad ludendum. 8. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 8. Neque scortemur, quemadmodum et quidam eorum scortati sunt, et ceciderunt uno die viginti tria millia. 9. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 9. Neque tentemus Christum, quemadmodum et quidam eorum tentarunt, et exstincti sunt a serpentibus. 10. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 10. Neque murmuretis, quemadmodum et quidam eorum murmurarant, et perditi ruerunt a vastatore. 11. Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 11. Haec autem omnia typi contigerunt illis: scripta autem sunt ad nostri admonitionem, in quos fines saeculorum inciderunt. 12. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 12. Proinde qui se putat stare, videat ne cadat. 6. Now these things were types to us. He warns us in still more explicit terms, that we have to do with the punishment that was inflicted upon them, so that they are a lesson to us, that we may not provoke the anger of God as they did. "God," says he, "in punishing them has set before us, as in a picture, his severity, that, instructed by their example, we may learn to fear." Of the term type I shall speak presently. Only for the present I should wish my readers to know, that it is not without consideration that I have given a different rendering from that of the old translation, f439 and of Erasmus. For they obscure Paul's meaning, or at least they do not bring out with sufficient clearness this idea - that God has in that people presented a picture for our instruction. That we might not lust after evil things. He now enumerates particular instances, or certain examples, that he may take occasion from this to reprove some vices, as to which it was proper that the Corinthians should be admonished. I am of opinion, that the history that is here referred to is what is recorded in <041104>Numbers 11:4, etc., though others refer it to what is recorded in <042664>Numbers 26:64. The people, after having been for some time fed with manna, at length took a dislike to it, and began to desire other kinds of food, which they had been accustomed to partake of in Egypt. Now they sinned in two ways, for they despised the peculiar gift of God, and they eagerly longed after a variety of meats and delicacies, contrary to the will of God. The Lord, provoked by this lawless appetite, inflicted upon the people a grievous blow. Hence the place was called the graves of lust, f440 because there they buried those whom the Lord had smitten. (<041134>Numbers 11:34.) The Lord by this example testified how much he hates those lusts that arise from dislike of his gifts, and from our lawless appetite, for whatever goes beyond the measure that God has prescribed is justly reckoned evil and unlawful. 7. Neither be ye idolaters. He touches upon the history that is recorded in <023207>Exodus 32:7, etc. For when Moses made a longer stay upon the mountain than the unseemly fickleness of the people could endure, Aaron was constrained to make a calf, and set it up as an object of worship. Not that the people wished to change their God, but rather to have some visible token of God's presence, in accordance with their carnal apprehension. God, in punishing at that time this idolatry with the greatest severity, showed by that example how much he abhors idolatry. As it is written, The people sat down. This passage is rightly interpreted by few, for they understand intemperance among the people to have been the occasion of wantonness, f441 in accordance with the common proverb, "Dancing comes after a full diet." f442 But Moses speaks of a sacred feast, or in other words, what they celebrated in honor of the idol. Hence feasting and play were two appendages of idolatry. For it was customary, both among the people of Israel and among the rotaries of superstition, to have a feast in connection with a sacrifice, as a part of divine worship, at which no profane or unclean persons were allowed to be present. The Gentiles, in addition to this, appointed sacred games in honor of their idols, in conformity with which the Israelites doubtless on that occasion worshipped their calf, f443 for such is the presumption of the human mind, that it ascribes to God whatever pleases itself Hence the Gentiles have fallen into such a depth of infatuation as to believe, that their gods are delighted with the basest spectacles, immodest dances, impurity of speech, and every kind of obscenity. Hence in imitation of them the Israelitish people, having observed their sacred banquet, rose up to celebrate the games, that nothing might be wanting in honor of the idol. This is the true and simple meaning. But here it is asked, why the Apostle makes mention of the feast and the games, rather than of adoration, for this is the chief thing in idolatry, while the other two things were merely appendages. The reason is, that he has selected what best suited the case of the Corinthians. For it is not likely, that they frequented the assemblies of the wicked, for the purpose of prostrating themselves before the idols, but partook of their feasts, held in honor of their deities, and did not keep at a distance from those base ceremonies, which were tokens of idolatry. It is not therefore without good reason that the Apostle declares, that their particular form of offense is expressly condemned by God. He intimates, in short, that no part of idolatry f444 can be touched without contracting pollution, and that those will not escape punishment from the hand of God, who defile themselves with the outward tokens of idolatry. 8. Neither let us commit fornication. Now he speaks of fornication, in respect of which, as appears from historical accounts, great licentiousness prevailed among the Corinthians, and we may readily infer from what goes before, that those who had professed themselves to be Christ's were not yet altogether free from this vice. The punishment of this vice, also, ought to alarm us, and lead us to bear in mind, how loathsome impure lusts are to God, for there perished in one day twenty-three thousand, or as Moses says, twenty-four. Though they differ as to number, it is easy to reconcile them, as it is no unusual thing, when it is not intended to number exactly and minutely each head, f445 to put down a number that comes near it, as among the Romans there were those that received the name of Centumviri, f446 (The Hundred,) while in reality there were two above the hundred. As there were, therefore, about twenty-four thousand that were overthrown by the Lord's hand - that is, above twenty-three, Moses has set down the number above the mark, and Paul, the number below it, and in this way there is in reality no difference. This history is recorded in <042509>Numbers 25:9. There remains, however, one difficulty here - why it is that Paul attributes this punishment to fornication, while Moses relates that the anger of God was aroused against the people on this account - that they had initiated themselves in the sacred rites of Baalpeor. f447 But as the defection began with fornication, and the children of Israel fell into that impiety, not so much from being influenced by religious considerations, f448 as from being allured by the enticements of harlots, everything evil that followed from it ought to be attributed to fornication. For Balaam had given this counsel, that the Midianites should prostitute their daughters to the Israelites, with the view of estranging them from the true worship of God. Nay more, their excessive blindness, in allowing themselves to be drawn into impiety f449 by the enticements of harlots, was the punishment of lust. Let us learn, accordingly, that fornication is no light offense, which was punished on that occasion by God so severely and indeed in a variety of ways. 9. Neither let us tempt Christ. This part of the exhortation refers to the history that is recorded in <042106>Numbers 21:6. For the people, having become weary of the length of time, began to complain of their condition, and to expostulate with God - "Why has God deceived us," etc. This murmuring of the people Paul speaks of as a tempting; and not without good reason, for tempting is opposed to patience. What reason was there at that time why the people should rise up against God, except this - that, under the influence of base desire, f450 they could not wait in patience the arrival of the time appointed by the Lord? Let us, therefore, take notice, that the fountain of that evil against which Paul here warns us is impatience, when we wish to go before God, and do not give ourselves up to be ruled by Him, but rather wish to bind him to our inclination and laws. This evil God severely punished in the Israelitish people. Now he remains always like himself - a just Judge. Let us therefore not tempt him, if we would not have experience of the same punishment. This is a remarkable passage in proof of the eternity of Christ; for the cavil of Erasmus has no force - "Let us not tempt Christ, as some of them tempted God;" for to supply the word God is extremely forced. f451 Nor is it to be wondered that Christ is called the Leader of the Israelitish people. For as God was never propitious to his people except through that Mediator, so he conferred no benefit except through his hand. Farther, the angel who appeared at first to Moses, and was always present with the people during their journeying, is frequently called hwhy, Jehovah. f452 Let us then regard it as a settled point, that that angel was the Son of God, and was even then the guide of the Church of which he was the Head. As to the term Christ, from its having a signification that corresponds with his human nature, it was not as yet applicable to the Son of God, but it is assigned to him by the communication of properties, as we read elsewhere, that the Son of Man came down from heaven. (<430313>John 3:13.) 10. Neither murmur ye. Others understand this to be the murmuring that arose, when the twelve, who had been sent to spy out the land, disheartened, on their return, the minds of the people. But as that murmuring was not punished suddenly by any special chastisement from the Lord, but was simply followed by the infliction of this punishment - that all were excluded from the possession of the land, it is necessary to explain this passage otherwise. It was a most severe punishment, it is true, to be shut out from entering the land, f453 but the words of Paul, when he says that they were destroyed by the destroyer, express another kind of chastisement. I refer it, accordingly, to the history, which is recorded in the sixteenth chapter of Numbers. For when God had punished the pride of Korah and Abiram, the people raised a tumult against Moses and Aaron, as if they had been to blame for the punishment which the Lord had inflicted. This madness of the people God punished by sending down fire from heaven, which swallowed up many of them - upwards of fourteen thousand. It is, therefore, a striking and memorable token of God's wrath against rebels and seditious persons, that murmur against him. Those persons, it is true, murmured against Moses; but as they had no ground for insulting him, and had no occasion for being incensed against him, unless it was that he had faithfully discharged the duty which had been enjoined upon him by God, God himself was assailed by that murmuring. Let us, accordingly, bear in mind that we have to do with God, and not with men, if we rise up against the faithful ministers of God, and let us know that this audacity f454 will not go unpunished. By the destroyer you may understand the Angel, who executed the judgment of God. Now he sometimes employs the ministry of bad angels, sometimes of good, in punishing men, as appears from various passages of Scripture. As Paul here does not make a distinction between the one and the other, you may understand it of either. 11. Now all these things happened as types. He again repeats it - that all these things happened to the Israelites, that they might be types to us - that is, examples, in which God places his judgments before our eyes. I am well aware, that others philosophize on these words with great refinement, but I think that I have fully expressed the Apostle's meaning, when I say, that by these examples, like so many pictures, we are instructed what judgments of God are impending over idolaters, fornicators, and other contemners of God. For they are lively pictures, representing God as angry on account of such sins. This exposition, besides being simple and accurate, has this additional advantage, that it blocks up the path of certain madmen, f455 who wrest this passage for the purpose of proving, that among that ancient people there was nothing done but what was shadowy. First of all, they assume that that people is a figure of the Church. From this they infer, that everything that God promised to them, or accomplished for them - all benefits, all punishments, f456 only prefigured what required to be accomplished in reality after Christ's advent. This is a most pestilential frenzy, which does great injury to the holy fathers, and much greater still to God. For that people was a figure of the Christian Church, in such a manner as to be at the same time a true Church. Their condition represented ours in such a manner that there was at the same time, even then, a proper condition of a Church. The promises given to them shadowed forth the gospel in such a way, that they had it included in them. Their sacraments served to prefigure ours in such a way, that they were nevertheless, even for that period, true sacraments, having a present efficacy. In fine, those who at that time made a right use, both of doctrine, and of signs, were endowed with the same spirit of faith as we are. These madmen, therefore, derive no support from these words of Paul, which do not mean that the things that were done in that age were types, in such a way as to have at that time no reality, but a mere empty show. Nay more, they expressly teach us, (as we have explained,) that those things which may be of use for our admonition, are there set forth before us, as in a picture. They are written for our admonition. This second clause is explanatory of the former; for it was of no importance to the Israelites, but to us exclusively, that these things should be committed to record. f457 It does not, however, follow from this, that these inflictions were not true chastisements from God, suited for their correction at that time, but as God then inflicted his judgments, so he designed that they should be kept everlastingly in remembrance for our instruction. For of what advantage were the history of them to the dead; and as to the living, how would it be of advantage to them, unless they repented, admonished by the examples of others? Now he takes for granted the principle, as to which all pious persons ought to be agreed - that there is nothing revealed in the Scriptures, that is not profitable to be known. Upon whom the ends of the world are come. The word te>lh (ends) sometimes means mysteries; f458 and that signification would not suit in with this passage. I follow, however, the common rendering, as being more simple. He says then, that the ends of all ages hare come upon us, inasmuch as the fullness of all things is suitable to this age, because it is now the last times. For the kingdom of Christ is the main object of the Law and of all the Prophets. But this statement of Paul is at variance with the common opinion - that God, while more severe under the Old Testament, and always ready and armed for the punishment of crimes, has now begun to be exorable, and more ready to forgive. They explain, also, our being under the law of grace, in this sense - that we have God more placable than the ancients had. But what says Paul? If God inflicted punishment upon them, he will not the more spare you. Away, then, with the error, that God is now more remiss in exacting the punishment of crimes! It must, indeed, be acknowledged, that, by the advent of Christ, God's goodness has been more openly and more abundantly poured forth towards men; but what has this to do with impunity for the abandoned, who abuse his grace? f459 This one thing only must be noticed, that in the present day the mode of punishment is different; for as God of old was more prepared to reward the pious with outward tokens of his blessing, that he might testify to them his fatherly love, so he showed his wrath more by corporal punishments. Now, on the other hand, in that fuller revelation which we enjoy, he does not so frequently inflict visible punishments, and does not so frequently inflict corporal punishment even upon the wicked. You will find more on this subject in my Institutes. f460 12. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth. The Apostle concludes from what goes before, that we must not glory in our beginnings or progress, so as to resign ourselves to carelessness and inactivity. f461For the Corinthians gloried in their condition in such a way, that, forgetting their weakness, they fell into many crimes. This was a false confidence of such a kind as the Prophets frequently reprove in the Israelitish people. As, however, Papists wrest this passage for the purpose of maintaining their impious doctrine respecting faith, as having constantly doubt connected with it, f462 let us observe that there are two kinds of assurance. The one is that which rests on the promises of God, because a pious conscience feels assured that God will never be wanting to it; and, relying on this unconquerable persuasion, triumphs boldly and intrepidly over Satan and sin, and yet, nevertheless, keeping in mind its own infirmity, casts itself f463 upon God, and with carefulness and anxiety commits itself to him. This kind of assurance is sacred, and is inseparable from faith, as appears from many passages of Scripture, and especially <450833>Romans 8:33. The other arises from negligence, when men, puffed up with the gifts that they have, give themselves no concern, as if they were beyond the reach of danger, but rest satisfied with their condition. Hence it is that they are exposed to all the assaults of Satan. This is the kind of assurance which Paul would have the Corinthians to abandon, because he saw that they were satisfied with themselves under the influence of a silly conceit. He does not, however, exhort them to be always anxiously in doubt as to the will of God, or to tremble from uncertainty as to their salvation, as Papists dream. f464 In short, let us bear in mind, that Paul is here addressing persons who were puffed up with a base confidence in the flesh, and represses that assurance which is grounded upon men - not upon God. For after commending the Colossians for the solidity or steadfastness of their faith, (<510205>Colossians 2:5,) he exhorts them to be rooted in Christ, to remain firm, and to be built up and confirmed in the faith. (<510207>Colossians 2:7.) 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13-18 13. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 13. Tentatio vos non apprehendit nisi humana. Fidelis autem Deus, qui non sinet vos tentari supra quam potestis: sed dabit una cum tentatione etiam exitum, ut possitis sustinere. 14. Wherefore, my dearly be loved, flee from idolatry. 14. Quapropter, dilecti mei, fu gite ab idololatria. 15. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 15. Tanquam prudentibus loquor: iudicate ipsi quod dico. 16. The cup of blessing, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 16. Calix benedictionis, cui bene dicimus, nonne communicatio est sanguinis Christi? panis, quem fran gimus, nonne communicatio est cor ports Christi? 17. For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 17. Quoniam unus panis, unum corpus multi sumus: omnes enim de uno pane participamus. 18. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 18. Videte Israel secundum car nem: nonne qui edunt hostias, altari communicant? 13. No temptation has taken you. f465 Let others take their own way of interpreting this. For my part, I am of opinion that it was intended for their consolation, lest on hearing of such appalling instances of the wrath of God, as he had previously related, they should feel discouraged, being overpowered with alarm. Hence, in order that his exhortation might be of advantage, he adds, that there is room for repentance. "There is no reason why you should despond; for I have not had it in view to give you occasion for despair, nor has anything happened to you but what is common to men." Others are of opinion that he rather chides their cowardice in giving way, on being so slightly tried; f466 and unquestionably the word rendered human is sometimes taken to mean moderate. f467 The meaning, then, according to them would be this: "Did it become you thus to give way under a slight trial?" But as it agrees better with the context, if we consider it as consolation, I am on this account rather inclined to that view. But God is faithful. As he exhorted them to be of good courage as to the past, in order that he might stir them up to repentance, so he also comforts them as to the future with a sure hope, on the ground that God would not suffer them to be tempted beyond their strength. He exhorts them, however, to look to the Lord, because a temptation, however slight it may be, will straightway overcome us, and all will be over with us, if we rely upon our own strength. He speaks of the Lord, as faithful, not merely as being true to his promises, but as though he had said. The Lord is the sure guardian of his people, under whose protection you are safe, for he never leaves his people destitute. Accordingly, when he has received you under his protection, you have no cause to fear, provided you depend entirely upon him. For certainly this were a species of deception, if he were to withdraw his aid in the time of need, or if he were, on seeing us weak and ready to sink under the load, to lengthen out our trials still farther. f468 Now God helps us in two ways, that we may not be overcome by the temptation; for he supplies us with strength, and he sets limits to the temptation. It is of the second of these ways that the Apostle here chiefly speaks. At the same time, he does not exclude the former - that God alleviates temptations, that they may not overpower us by their weight. For he knows the measure of our power, which he has himself conferred. According to that, he regulates our temptations. The term temptation I take here as denoting, in a general way, everything that allures us. 14. Wherefore, my beloved, flee, etc. The Apostle now returns to the particular question, from which he had for a little digressed, for, lest bare doctrine should have little effect among them, he has introduced those general exhortations that we have read, but now he pursues the discussion on which he had entered - that it is not allowable for a Christian man to connect himself with the superstitions of the wicked, so as to take part in them. Flee, says he, from idolatry. In the first place, let us observe what meaning he attaches to the term Idolatry. He certainly did not suspect the Corinthians of such a degree of ignorance or carelessness f469 as to think, that they worshipped idols in their heart. But as they made no scruple of frequenting the assemblies of the wicked, and observing along with them certain rites instituted in honor of idols, he condemns this liberty taken by them, as being a very bad example. It is certain, then, that when he here makes mention of idolatry, he, speaks of what is outward, or, if you prefer it, of the profession f470 of idolatry. For as God is said to be worshipped by the bending of the knee, and other tokens of reverence, while the principal and genuine worship of him is inward, so is it also as to idols, for the case holds the same in things opposite. It is to no purpose that very many in the present day endeavor to excuse outward actions f471 on this pretext, that the heart is not in them, while Paul convicts of idolatry those very acts, and assuredly with good reason. For, as we owe to God not merely the secret affection of the heart, but also outward adoration, the man who offers to an idol an appearance of adoration takes away so much of the honor due to God. Let him allege as he may that his heart is quite away from it. The action itself is to be seen, in which the honor that is due to God is transferred to an idol. 15. I speak as to wise men. As he was about to take his argument from the mystery of the Supper, he arouses them by this little preface, that they may consider more attentively the magnitude of the thing. f472 "I do not address mere novices. You understand the efficacy of the sacred Supper in it we are ingrafted into the Lord's body. How unseemly a thing is it then, that you should enter into fellowship with the wicked, so as to be united in one body. At the same time, he tacitly reproves their want of consideration in this respect, that, while accurately instructed in the school of Christ, they allowed themselves in gross vice, as to which there was no difficulty in forming an opinion. 16. The cup of blessing. While the sacred Supper of Christ has two elements - bread and wine - he begins with the second. He calls it, the cup of blessing, as having been set apart for a mystical benediction. f473 For I do not agree with those who understand blessing to mean thanksgiving, and interpret the verb to bless, as meaning to give thanks. I acknowledge, indeed, that it is sometimes employed in this sense, but never in the construction that Paul has here made use of, for the idea of Erasmus, as to supplying a preposition, f474 is exceedingly forced. On the other hand, the meaning that I adopt is easy, and has nothing of intricacy. To bless the cup, then, is to set it apart for this purpose, that it may be to us an emblem of the blood of Christ. This is done by the word of promise, when believers meet together according to Christ's appointment to celebrate the remembrance of his death in this Sacrament. The consecration, however, which the Papists make use of, is a kind of sorcery derived from heathens, f475 which has nothing in common with the pure rite observed by Christians. Everything, it is true, that we eat is sanctified by the word of God, as Paul himself elsewhere bears witness, (<540405>1 Timothy 4:5;) but that blessing is for a different purpose - that our use of the gifts of God may be pure, and may tend to the glory of their Author, and to our advantage. On the other hand, the design of the mystical blessing in the Supper is, that the wine may be no longer a common beverage, but set apart for the spiritual nourishment of the soul, while it is an emblem of the blood of Christ. Paul says, that the cup which has been in this manner blessed is koinwni>an - the comnunion of the blood of the Lord. It is asked, in what sense? Let contention be avoided, and there will be nothing of obscurity. It is true, that believers are united together by Christ's blood, so as to become one body. It is also true, that a unity of this kind is with propriety termed koinwni>a (communion.) I make the same acknowledgment as to the bread. Farther, I observe what Paul immediately adds, as it were, by way of explanation - that we all become one body, because we are together partakers of the same bread. But whence, I pray you, comes that koinwni>a (communion) between us, but from this, that we are united to Christ in such a way, that we are flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bones? (<490530>Ephesians 5:30.) For we must first of all be incorporated (so to speak) into Christ, that we may be united to each other. In addition to this, Paul is not disputing at present merely in reference to a mutual fellowship among men, but as to the spiritual union between Christ and believers, with the view of drawing from this, that it is an intolerable sacrilege for them to be polluted by fellowship with idols. From the connection of the passage, therefore, we may conclude, that (koinwni>an) the communion of the blood is that connection which we have with the blood of Christ, when he engrafts all of us together into his body, that he may live in us, and we in him. Now, when the cup is called a participation, the expression, I acknowledge, is figurative, provided that the truth held forth in the figure is not taken away, or, in other words, provided that the reality itself is also present, and that the soul has as truly commununion in the blood, as we drink wine with the mouth. But Papists could not say this, that the cup of blessing is a participation in the blood of Christ, for the Supper that they observe is mutilated and torn: if indeed we can give the name of the Supper to that strange ceremony which is a patchwork of various human contrivances, and scarcely retains the slightest vestige of the institution of our Lord. But, supposing that everything else were as it ought to be, this one thing is at variance with the right use of the Supper - the keeping back of the whole of the people from partaking of the cup, which is the half of the Sacrament. The bread which we break. From this it appears, that it was the custom of the ancient Church to break one loaf, and distribute to every one his own morsel, in order that there might be presented more clearly to the view of all believers their union to the one body of Christ. And that this custom was long kept up appears from the testimony of those who flourished in the three centuries that succeeded the age of the Apostles. Hence arose the superstition, that no one dared to touch the bread with his hand, but each one had it put into his mouth by the priest. 17. For we are one bread. I have already stated above, that it was not Paul's particular design here to exhort us to love, but he mentions this by the way, that the Corinthians may understand that we must, even by external profession, maintain that unity which subsists between us and Christ, inasmuch as we all assemble together to receive the symbol of that sacred unity. In this second part of the statement, he makes mention only of the one part of the Sacrament, and it is the manner of Scripture to describe by Synecdoche f476 the entire Supper by the breaking of bread. It is necessary to warn my readers, in passing, as to this, lest any less experienced person should be put off his guard by the foolish cavil that is brought forward by certain sycophants - as if Paul, by mentioning merely the bread, had it in view to deprive the people of the one half of the Sacrament. 18. Behold Israel after the flesh. He establishes it by another example, that such is the nature of all sacred observances, that they bind us in a kind of fellowship with God. For the law of Moses admits no one to a feast upon a sacrifice, but the man who has duly prepared himself. I speak not of priests merely, but of those among the common people who eat of the remains of the sacrifice. Hence it follows, that all who eat of the flesh of the sacrificed victim, are partakers with the altar, that is, of the sanctification, with which God has set apart his Temple, and the sacred rites that are performed in it. This expression after the flesh, may seem to be added in order that the Corinthians, on comparing the two, might set a higher value on the efficacy of our Supper. "If there was so much virtue in the ancient figures and in those rudiments of youthful education, how much more must we reckon that there is in our mysteries, in which God shines forth much more fully upon us!" At the same time, it is more simple, in my opinion, to say that Paul intended merely by this mark to distinguish the Jews that were still under the law from those that had been converted to Christ. Now there was a contrast that remained to be made - that if the sacred rites appointed by God sanctify those who observe them, pollution, on the other hand, is contracted from the sacred rites rendered to idols. f477 For it is God alone that sanctifies, and hence all strange gods pollute. f478 Again, if mysteries f479 unite and connect believers with God, it follows, that the wicked are in like manner introduced by their superstitious rites into fellowship f480 with idols. But the Apostle, before proceeding to this, answers by an anthypophora f481 (anticipation) a question that might be proposed by way of objection. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:19-24 19. What say then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 19. Quid ergo dieo? idolum, aliquid esse? aut idolo immolatum, aliquid esse? 20. But I say, that the things which the Gentiles saerifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 20. Sed quae immolant Gentes, daemoniis immolant, non Deo: nolo autem vos participes fieri daemoniorum. 21. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 21. Non potestis calicem Domini bibere, et calicem daemoniorum: non potestis mensae Domini communicare, et mensae daemoniorum. 22. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? 22. An provocamus Dominum? numquid fortiores illo sumus? 23. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 23. Omnia mihi licent, sed non omnia conducunt: omnia mihi licent, at non omnia aedificant. 24. Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. 24. Nemo quod suum est quaerat, sed quisque quod alterius est. 19. What do I say then? It might seem at first view as if the Apostle either argued inconclusively, or ascribed to idols something of existence and of power. Now it might readily be objected - "What comparison is there between the living God and idols? God connects us with himself by the sacraments. Be it so. How comes it that idols, which are nothing, (<460804>1 Corinthians 8:4,) have so much power, as to be able to do the like? Do you think that idols are anything, or can do anything?" He answers, that he does not look to the idols themselves; f482 but rather has in view the intention of those who sacrifice to idols. For that was the source of the pollution that he had indirectly pointed out. He confesses, therefore, that an idol is nothing. He confesses that it is a mere delusion when the Gentiles take it upon them to go through solemn rites of dedication, f483 and that the creatures of God are not polluted by such fooleries. But as the design of them is superstitious and condemnable, and as the work is base, he infers, that all who connect themselves with them as associates, are involved in pollution. 20. But the things f484 that the Gentiles sacrifice. To complete the answer, a negative must be understood in this way: "I do not say that an idol is anything, nor do I imagine it to be endued with any virtue, but I say that the Gentiles sacrifice to the devil and not to gods those things which they do sacrifice, and hence I estimate the work by their wicked and impious superstition. For we must always look to the intention with which a thing is done. He, then, who connects himself with them, declares that he has fellowship with them in the same impiety." He proceeds accordingly with what he had commenced: "If we had to do with God only, those things would be nothing, but, in relation to men, they become faulty; because no one sits down to an idol feast, who does not declare himself to be a worshipper of the idol." Some, however, understand the term demons here as meaning the imaginary deities of the Gentiles, agreeably to their common way of speaking of them; for when they speak of demons they meant inferior deities, as, for example, heroes, f485 and thus the term was taken in a good sense. Plato, in a variety of instances, employs the term to denote genii, or angels. f486 That meaning, however, would be quite foreign to Paul's design, for his object is to show that it is no light offense to have to do with actions that have any appearance of putting honor upon idols. Hence it suited his purpose, not to extenuate, but rather to magnify the impiety that is involved in it. How absurd, then, it would have been to select an honorable term to denote the most heinous wickedness! It is certain from the Prophet Baruch, (4:7,) that those things that are sacrificed to idols are sacrificed to devils. (<053217>Deuteronomy 32:17; <199605>Psalm 96:5.) In that passage in the writings of the Prophet, the Greek translation, which was at that time in common use, has daimo>nia - demons, and this is its common use in Scripture. How much more likely is it then, that Paul borrowed what he says from the Prophet, to express the enormity of the evil, than that, speaking after the manner of the heathen, he extenuated what he was desirous to hold up to utter execration! It may seem, however, as if these things were somewhat at variance with what I stated a little ago - that Paul had an eye to the intention of idolaters, for it is not their intention to worship devils, but imaginary deities of their own framing. I answer, that the two things are quite in harmony, for when men become so vain in their imaginations (<450121>Romans 1:21) as to render divine honor to creatures, rather than to the one God, this punishment is in readiness for them - that they serve Satan. For they do not find that "middle place" f487 that they are in search of, but Satan straightway presents himself to them, as an object of adoration, whenever they have turned their back upon the true God. I would not that ye. If the term demon were used in an indifferent sense, how spiritless were Paul's statement here, while, instead of this, it has the greatest weight and severity against idolaters! He subjoins the reason - because no one can have fellowship at the same time with God and with idols. Now, in all sacred observances, there is a profession of fellowship. Let us know, therefore, that we are then, and then only, admitted by Christ to the sacred feast of his body and blood, when we have first of all bid farewell to every thing sacrilegious. f488 For the man who would enjoy the one, must renounce the other. O thrice miserable the condition of those f489 who, from fear of displeasing men, do not hesitate to pollute themselves with unlawful superstitions! For, by acting in this way, they voluntarily renounce fellowship with Christ, and obstruct their approach to his health-giving table. 22. Do we provoke the Lord? Having laid down the doctrine, he assumes a more vehement tone, from observing, that what was a most atrocious offense against God was regarded as nothing, or, at least, was looked upon as a very trivial error. The Corinthians wished the liberty that they took to be reckoned excusable, as there is not one of us that willingly allows himself to be found fault with, but, on the contrary, we seek one subterfuge after another, under which to shelter ourselves. Now Paul says, and not without reason, that in this way we wage war against God; for nothing does God more require from us than this - that we adhere strictly to everything that he declares in his word. Do not those, then, who use subterfuges, f490 in order that they may be at liberty to transgress the commandment of God, arm themselves openly against God? Hence that curse which the Prophet denounces against all those who call evil, good, and darkness, light. (<230520>Isaiah 5:20.) Are we stronger? He warns them how dangerous a thing it is to provoke God - because no one can do this but to his own ruin. f491 Among men the chance of war, as they speak, is doubtful, but to contend with God is nothing short of voluntarily courting destruction. Accordingly, if we fear to have God as an enemy, let us shudder at the thought of framing excuses for manifest sins, that is, whatever stand opposed to his word. Let us, also, shudder at the thought of calling in question those things that he has himself pronounced upon - for this is nothing less than to rise up against heaven after the manner of the giants. f492 (<011104>Genesis 11:4.) 23. All things are lawful for me. Again he returns to the right of Christian liberty, by which the Corinthians defended themselves, and sets aside their objection by giving the same explanation as before. "To eat of meats that were sacrificed, and be present at the banquet, was an outward thing, and therefore was in itself lawful." Paul declares that he does not by any means call this in question, but he replies, that we must have a regard to edification. All things are lawful for me, says he, but all things are not profitable, that is, for our neighbors, for no one, as he immediately adds, ought to seek his own advantage exclusively, and if anything is not profitable to the brethren, it must be abstained from. He, in the next place, expresses the kind of advantage - when it edifies, for we must not have respect merely to the advantage of the flesh. "What then? f493 Does a thing that is in other respects permitted by God, come on this account to be unlawful - if it is not expedient for our neighbor. Then in that case our liberty would be placed under subjection to men." Consider attentively Paul's words, and you will perceive that liberty, nevertheless, remains unimpaired, when you accommodate yourself to your neighbors, and that it is only the use of it that is restricted, for he acknowledges that it is lawful, but says that it ought not to be made use of, if it does not edify. 24. Let no one seek his own. He handles the same subject in the 14th Chapter of the Romans. Let no one please himself, but endeavor to please his brethren for their edification. This is a precept that is very necessary, for we are so corrupted by nature, that every one consults his own interests, regardless of those of his brethren. Now, as the law of love calls upon us to love our neighbors as ourselves, (<402239>Matthew 22:39,) so it requires us to consult their welfare. The Apostle, however, does not expressly forbid individuals to consult their own advantage, but he requires that they should not be so devoted to their own interests, as not to be prepared to forego part of their right, as often as the welfare of their brethren requires this. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:25-33 25. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: 25. Quicquid in macello venditur, edite, nihil disceptantes propter conscientiam. 26. For the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof. 26. Domini enim est terra, et plenitudo eius. (<192401>Psalm 24:1.) 27. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 27. Si quis autem infidelium vos vocat, et vultis ire, quicquid vobis apponitur edite, nihil disceptantes propter conscientiam. 28. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof: 28. Quodsi quis vobis dixerit, Hoc est idolo immolatum: ne edatis propter eum qui indicavit, et propter conscientiam. 29. Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? 29. Conscientiam autem dico, non tuam, sed alterius: utquid enim libertas mea indicatur ab alia conscientia? 30. For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 30. Si ergo per gratiam sum particeps, quid in eo blasphemor, in quo gratias ago? 31. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 31. Sive ergo editis, sive bibitis, sive quid aliud facitis, omnia in gloriam Dei facite. 32. Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 32. Nullis satis offendiculo, sive Iudaeis, sive Graecis, et Ecclesiae Dei: 33. Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. 33. Quemadmodum ego quoque per omnia omnibus placeo, non quaerens quod mihi est utile, sed quod multis, ut salvi fiant. 25. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles. He has spoken above of dissembling in connection with idolatry, or, at least, as to those actions which the Corinthians could not engage in, without professing themselves to be the associates of the wicked in their superstitions. He now requires them, not merely to abstain from all professions of idolatry, but also to avoid carefully all occasions of offense, which are wont to arise from the indiscriminate use of things indifferent. For, although there was but one kind of offense on the part of the Corinthians, f494 there were, at the same time different degrees of it. Now, as to the eating of food, he makes, in the first place, this general statement - that it is lawful to eat, with a safe conscience, any kind of food, because the Lord permits it. In the second place, he restricts this liberty as to the use of it - lest weak consciences should be injured. Thus this conclusion is divided into two parts the first relates to liberty and power as to things indifferent: the second to a limitation of it - that the use of it may be regulated in accordance with the rule of love. Debating nothing. f495 jAnakri>nesqai, the word that Paul makes use of, means to reason on both sides, f496 in such a way, that the person's mind vacillates, inclining now to this side, and then to that. f497 Accordingly, in so far as concerns a distinction of meats, he frees our consciences from all scruple and hesitation; because it is proper that, when we are certain from the word of the Lord that he approves of what we do, we should have ease and tranquillity in our minds. For conscience sake - that is to say, Before the judgment-seat of God - "In so far as you have to do with God, there is no occasion for your disputing with yourself, whether it be lawful or not. For I allow you to eat freely of all kinds of meat, because the Lord allows you everything without exception." 26. The earth is the Lord's. He establishes, from the testimony of David, the liberty which he had allowed. (<192401>Psalm 24:1, and <195012>Psalm 50:12.) But it will be asked by some one, "What has this to do with the point?" I answer, If the fullness of the earth f498 is the Lord's, there is nothing in the world that is not sacred and pure. We must always keep in view, what the question is of which the Apostle treats. It might be doubted, whether the creatures of God were polluted by the sacrifices of the wicked. Paul says they are not, inasmuch as the rule and possession of the whole earth remain always in the hands of God. Now, what things the Lord has in his hands, he preserves by his power, and consequently sanctifies them. The sons of God, therefore, have the pure use of everything, because they receive them no otherwise than from the hand of God. The fullness of the earth, f499 is an expression which is made use of by the Prophet to denote the abundance of blessings, with which the earth is furnished and adorned by the Lord. For if the earth were stripped of trees, herbs, animals, and other things, it would be like a house devoid of furniture and every kind of utensil: nay more, it would be mutilated and disfigured. Should any one object, that the earth is cursed on account of sin, the answer is easy - that he has an eye to its pure and perfect nature, because Paul is speaking of believers, to whom all things are sanctified through Christ. 27. If any one of them that believe not invites you. Here follows an exception, to this effect, that if a believer has been warned, that what is set before him has been offered to an idol, and sees that there is a danger of offense being given, he sins against the brethren if he does not abstain. He shows then, in short, that care must be taken not to hurt weak consciences. When he says - and you are willing to go, he intimates indirectly, that he does not altogether approve of it, and that it would be better if they declined, but as it is a thing indifferent, he does not choose to forbid it absolutely. And, certainly, there could be nothing better than to keep at a distance from such snares - not that those are expressly to be condemned, who accommodate themselves to men only in so far as conscience permits, f500 but because it becomes us to proceed with caution, f501 where we see that we are in danger of falling. 29. Conscience, I say, not thine own. He always carefully takes heed not to diminish liberty, or to appear to take from it in any degree. "Thou oughtest to bear with the weak conscience of thy brother, that thou mayest not abuse thy right, so as to give occasion of offense to him; but in the meantime thy conscience remains, nevertheless, free, because it is exempted from that subjection. Let not, therefore, the restraint which I impose upon thee as to outward use, become by any means a snare to entangle thy conscience." It must be observed here, that the term conscience is taken here in its strict acceptation; for in <451305>Romans 13:5, and <540105>1 Timothy 1:5, it is taken in a larger sense. "We ought, says Paul, to obey princes, not merely for the sake of wrath, but also for that of conscience" - that is, not merely from fear of punishment, but because the Lord orders it so, and it is our duty. Is it not reasonable, too, that we should for the same reason accommodate ourselves to weak brethren - that is, because we are to this extent subject to them in the sight of God? Farther, the end of the commandment is love out of a good conscience. Is not the affection of love included in a good conscience? Hence its meaning here is, as I have already stated, more restricted, inasmuch as the soul of a pious man looks exclusively to the tribunal of God, has no regard to men, is satisfied with the blessing of liberty procured for it by Christ, and is bound to no individuals, and to no circumstances of time or place. Some manuscripts repeat the statement - The earth is the Lord's. But the probability is, that some reader having put it on the margin, it had crept into the text. f502 It is not, however, a matter of great importance. For why is my liberty. It is doubtful, whether Paul speaks in this way of himself, or whether he makes this objection in the name of the Corinthians. If we take it as spoken in his own name, it will be a confirmation of the preceding statement. "In restricting yourself, for the sake of another man's conscience, your liberty is not thereby made subject to him." If in the name of the Corinthians, the meaning will be this: "You impose upon us an unjust law, in requiring that our liberty should stand or fall at the caprice of others." I am of opinion, that Paul says this of himself, but explains it in another way, for hitherto I have been stating the views of others. To be judged, then, I explain here as meaning - to be condemned, agreeably to the common acceptation of the word in Scripture. Paul warns us of the danger that must ensue, if we make use of our liberty unreservedly, so as to give occasion of offense to our neighbors - that they will condemn it. Thus, through our fault, and our unreasonableness, the consequence will be, that this special benefit from God will be condemned. If we do not guard against this danger, we corrupt our liberty by our abuse of it. This consideration, then, tends very much to confirm Paul's exhortation. 30. If therefore by grace. This argument is similar to the preceding one, or nearly so. "As it is owing to the kindness of God that all things are lawful for me, why should I act in such a manner, that it should be reckoned to my account as a vice?" We cannot, it is true, prevent the wicked from reviling, us, nor even the weak from being sometimes displeased with us; but Paul here reproves the forwardness of those, who of their own accord give occasion of offense, and hurt weak consciences, when neither necessity or expediency calls for it. He would have us, then, make a good use of our benefits, f503 that the weak may not have occasion of reviling from our inconsiderate use of liberty. 31. Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink. Lest they should think, that in so small a matter they should not be so careful to avoid blame, he teaches that there is no part of our life, and no action so minute, f504 that it ought not to be directed to the glory of God, and that we must take care that, even in eating and drinking, we may aim at the advancement of it. This statement is connected with what goes before; for if we are eagerly desirous of the glory of God, as it becomes us to be, we will never allow, so far as we can prevent it, his benefits to lie under reproach. It was well expressed anciently in a common proverb, that we must not live to eat; but eat to live. f505 Provided the end of living be at the same time kept in view, the consequence will thus be, that our food will be in a manner sacred to God, inasmuch as it will be set apart for his service. 32. Be not occasions of stumbling to any. This is the second point, which it becomes us to have an eye to - the rule of love. A desire, then, for the glory of God, holds the first place; a regard to our neighbor holds the second. He makes mention of Jews and Gentiles, not merely because the Church of God consisted of those two classes, but to teach us that we are debtors to all, even to strangers, that we may, if possible, gain them. (<460920>1 Corinthians 9:20, 21.) 33. Even as I please all men in all this. As he speaks in a general way, and without exception, some extend it by mistake to things that are unlawful, and at variance with the word of the Lord - as if it were allowable, for the sake of our neighbor, to venture farther than the Lord permits us. It is, however, more than certain, that Paul accommodated himself to men only in things indifferent, and in things lawful in themselves. Farther, the end must be carefully observed - that they may be saved. Hence what is opposed to their salvation ought not to be conceded to them, f506 but we must use prudence, and that of a spiritual kind. f507 CHAPTER 11 1 CORINTHIANS 11:1-16 1. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am, of Christ. 1. Imitatores mei estote, sicut et ego Christi. 2. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. 2. Laudo autem vos, fratres, quod omnia mea meministis et traditiones f508 tenetis, quemadmodum vobis tradidi. 3. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 3. Volo autem vos scire, quod omnis viri caput est Christus, caput autem mulieris, vir: caput autem Christi, Deus. 4. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head. 4. Omnis vir orans aut prophetans velato capite, dedecore afficit caput suum. 5. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 5. Omnis mulier orans aut prophetans aperto capite, dedecore afticit caput suum: perinde enim acsi radatur. 6. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 6. Si enim non velatur mulier, etiam tondeatur: si autem mulieri turpe est tonderi aut radi, veletur. 7. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 7. Vir quidem velato esse capite non debet, quum sit imago et gloria Dei: mulier autem gloria viri est. 8. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 8. Non enim est virex muliere, sed mulier ex viro. 9. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 9. Etenim non est creatus vir mulieris causa, sed mulier causa viri. 10. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 10. Propterea debet mulier potestatem habere super caput suum, propter angelos. 11. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 11. Caeterum neque vir absque muliere, neque mulier absque viro in Domino. 12. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 12. Quemadmodum enim mulier ex viro, sic et vir per mulierem: olnnia autem ex Deo. 13. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 13. In vobis ipsis iudicate, deceatne mulierem retecto capite Deum precari. 14. Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 14. An ne ipsa quidem natura vos docet, quod si vir comam alat, dedecus illi sit? 15. But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. 15. Si vero mulier comam alat, gloria sit illi? quoniam illi coma instar velamenti data est. 16. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the Churches of God. 16. Quodsi quis videtur contentiosus esse, nos talem consuetudinem non habemus, neque Ecclesiae Dei. 1. Imitators of me. From this it appears, how absurdly chapters are divided, inasmuch as this sentence is disjoined from what goes before, with which it ought to have been connected, and is joined to what follows, with which it has no connection. Let us view this, then, as the close of the preceding chapter. Paul had there brought forward his own example in confirmation of his doctrine. Now, in order that the Corinthians may understand that this would be becoming in them, he exhorts them to imitate what he had done, even as he had imitated Christ. Here there are two things to be observed - first, that he prescribes nothing to others that he had not first practiced himself; and, secondly, that he directs himself and others to Christ as the only pattern of right acting. For while it is the part of a good teacher to enjoin nothing in words but what he is prepared to practice in action, he must not, at the same time, be so austere, as straightway to require from others everything that he does himself, as is the manner of the superstitious. For everything that they contract a liking for they impose also upon others, and would have their own example to be held absolutely as a rule. The world is also, of its own accord, inclined to a misdirected imitation, (kakozhli>an) f509 and, after the manner of apes, strive to copy whatever they see done by persons of great influence. We see, however how many evils have been introduced into the Church by this absurd desire of imitating all the actions of the saints, without exception. Let us, therefore, maintain so much the more carefully this doctrine of Paul - that we are to follow men, provided they take Christ as their grand model, (prwto>tupon,) that the examples of the saints may not tend to lead us away from Christ, but rather to direct us to him. 2. Now I praise you. He passes on now to another subject-to instruct the Corinthians, what decorum ought to be observed in the sacred assemblies. For as a man's dress or gesture has in some cases the effect of disfiguring, and in others of adorning him, so all actions are set off to advantage by decorum, and are vitiated by the want of it. Much, therefore, depends upon decorum (to< prepon,) f510 and that not merely for securing for our actions gracefulness and beauty, but also to accustom our minds to propriety. While this is true in a general way as to everything, it holds especially as to sacred things; f511 for what contempt, and, eventually, what barbarism will be incurred, if we do not preserve dignity in the Church, by conducting ourselves honorably and becomingly? Hence he prescribes some things that are connected with public order, by which sacred assemblies are rendered honorable. But in order to prepare them the more for obedience, he commends, in the outset, their obedience in the past, inasmuch as they observed his ordinances; for inasmuch as he had begotten that Church to the Lord, (<460415>1 Corinthians 4:15,) he had delivered to them a certain system, by which it was to be governed. By retaining this, the Corinthians gave reason to hope, that they would also in future be docile. It is surprising, however, that, while he now bestows upon them this commendation, he had previously blamed them for many things. Nay more, if we consider the state of the Church, such as has been previously described, they were far from deserving this praise. I answer, that there were some that were infected with those vices which he had previously reproved, and indeed, some with one, others with another; but, in the meantime, the form which he had prescribed to them had been retained by the entire body. For there is nothing of inconsistency in saying, that very many sins, and of various kinds, prevail among a particular people - some cheating, others plundering - some envying, others quarrelling, and another class guilty of fornication - while, at the same time, in respect of the public form of the Church, the institutions of Christ and his Apostles are maintained. This will appear more clearly when we come to see what Paul means by parado>seiv; (traditions;) f512 and independently of this, it is necessary to speak of this word, for the purpose of replying to Papists, who arm themselves with this passage for the purpose of defending their traditions. It is a common maxim among them, that the doctrine of the Apostles consists partly of writings and partly of traditions. Under this second department they include not merely certain foolish superstitions, and puerile ceremonies, with which they are stuffed, but also all kinds of gross abomination, directly contrary to the plain word of God, and their tyrannical laws, which are mere torments to men's consciences. In this way there is nothing that is so foolish, nothing so absurd - in fine, nothing so monstrous, as not to have shelter under this pretext, and to be painted over with this varnish. As Paul, therefore, makes mention here of traditions, they seize, as they are accustomed to do, upon this little word, with the view of making Paul the author of all those abominations, which we set aside by plain declaration of Scripture. I do not deny, that there were certain traditions f513 of the Apostles that were not committed to writing, but I do not admit that they were parts of doctrine, or related to things necessary for salvation. What then? They were connected with order and government. For we know that every Church has liberty to frame for itself a form of government that is suitable and profitable for it, because the Lord has not prescribed anything definite. Thus Paul, the first founder of the Corinthian Church, had also framed for its regulation pious and seemly enactments - that all things might be done decently and in order, as he afterwards enjoins. (<461440>1 Corinthians 14:40.) But what has this to do with those silly trifles of ceremonies, which are to be seen in Popery? f514 What has it to do with a worse than Jewish superstition? What has it to do with a tyranny worthy of Phalaris, f515 by which they torture miserable consciences? What has it to do with so many monstrous rites of idolatry? For the foundation of all right enactment was this: to observe the moderation that Paul made use of - not to compel persons to follow their enactments, f516 while, in the meantime, contriving everything that might strike their fancy, but to require that they should be imitated, in so far as they are imitators of Christ. But now, after having had the audacity to criticize everything agreeably to their own humor, to demand obedience from all is exceedingly absurd. Farther, we must know that Paul commends their obedience in the past, in order that he may render them docile also for the time to come. 3. But I would have you know. It is an old proverb: "Evil manners beget good laws." f517 As the rite here treated of had not been previously called in question, Paul had given no enactment respecting it. f518 The error of the Corinthians was the occasion of his showing, what part it was becoming to act in this matter. With the view of proving, that it is an unseemly thing for women to appear in a public assembly with their heads uncovered, and, on the other hand, for men to pray or prophesy with their heads covered, he sets out with noticing the arrangements that are divinely established. He says, that as Christ is subject to God as his head, so is the man subject to Christ, and the woman to the man. We shall afterwards see, how he comes to infer from this, that women ought to have their heads covered. Let us, for the present, take notice of those four gradations which he points out. God, then, occupies the first place: Christ holds the second place. How so? Inasmuch as he has in our flesh made himself subject to the Father, for, apart from this, being of one essence with the Father, he is his equal. Let us, therefore, bear it in mind, that this is spoken of Christ as mediator. He is, I say, inferior to the Father, inasmuch as he assumed our nature, that he might be the first-born among many brethren. There is somewhat more of difficulty in what follows. Here the man is placed in an intermediate position between Christ and the woman, so that Christ is not the head of the woman. Yet the same Apostle teaches us elsewhere, (<480328>Galatians 3:28,) that in Christ there is neither male nor female. Why then does he make a distinction here, which in that passage he does away with? I answer, that the solution of this depends on the connection in which the passages occur. When he says that there is no difference between the man and the woman, he is treating of Christ's spiritual kingdom, in which individual distinctions f519 are not regarded, or made any account of; for it has nothing to do with the body, and has nothing to do with the outward relationships of mankind, but has to do solely with the mind - on which account he declares that there is no difference, even between bond and free. In the meantime, however, he does not disturb civil order or honorary distinctions, which cannot be dispensed with in ordinary life. Here, on the other hand, he reasons respecting outward propriety and decorum - which is a part of ecclesiastical polity. Hence, as regards spiritual connection in the sight of God, and inwardly in the conscience, Christ is the head of the man and of the woman without any distinction, because, as to that, there is no regard paid to male or female; but as regards external arrangement and political decorum, the man follows Christ and the woman the man, so that they are not upon the same footing, but, on the contrary, this inequality exists. Should any one ask, what connection marriage has with Christ, I answer, that Paul speaks here of that sacred union of pious persons, of which Christ is the officiating priest, f520 and He in whose name it is consecrated. 4. Every man praying. Here there are two propositions. The first relates to the man, the other to the woman. He says that the man commits an offense against Christ his head, if he prays or prophesies with his head covered. Why so? Because he is subject to Christ, with this understanding, that he is to hold the first place in the government of the house - for the father of the family is like a king in his own house. Hence the glory of God shines forth in him, in consequence of the authority with which he is invested. If he covers his head, he lets himself down from that preeminence which God had assigned to him, so as to be in subjection. Thus the honor of Christ is infringed upon. For example, f521 If the person whom the prince has appointed as his lieutenant, does not. know how to maintain his proper station, f522 and instead of this, exposes his dignity to contempt on the part of persons in the lowest station, does he not bring dishonor upon his prince? In like manner, if the man does not keep his own station - if he is not subject to Christ in such a way as to preside over his own family with authority, he obscures, to that extent, the glory of Christ, which shines forth in the well regulated order of marriage. The covering, as we shall see ere long, is all emblem of authority intermediate and interposed. Prophesying I take here to mean - declaring the mysteries of God for the edification of the hearers, (as afterwards in 1 Corinthians 14.) as praying means preparing a form of prayer, and taking the lead, as it were, of all the people - which is the part of the public teacher, f523 for Paul is not arguing here as to every kind of prayer, but as to solemn prayer in public. Let us, however, bear in mind, that in this matter the error is merely in so far as decorum is violated, and the distinction of rank which God has established, is broken in upon. For we must not be so scrupulous as to look upon it as a criminal thing for a teacher to have a cap on his head, when addressing the people from the pulpit. Paul means nothing more than this - that it should appear that the man has authority, and that the woman is under subjection, and this is secured when the man uncovers his head in the view of the Church, though he should afterwards put on his cap again from fear of catching cold. In fine, the one rule to be observed here is to pre>pon - decorum. If that is secured, Paul requires nothing farther. 5. Every woman praying or prophesying. Here we have the second proposition - that women ought to have their heads covered when they pray or prophesy; otherwise they dishonor their head. For as the man honors his head by showing his liberty, so the woman, by showing her subjection. Hence, on the other hand, if the woman uncovers her head, she shakes off subjection - involving contempt of her husband. It may seem, however, to be superfluous for Paul to forbid the woman to prophesy with her head uncovered, while elsewhere he wholly prohibits women from speaking in the Church. (<540212>1 Timothy 2:12.) It would not, therefore, be allowable for them to prophesy even with a covering upon their head, and hence it follows that it is to no purpose that he argues here as to a covering. It may be replied, that the Apostle, by here condemning the one, does not commend the other. For when he reproves them for prophesying with their head uncovered, he at the same time does not give them permission to prophesy in some other way, but rather delays his condemnation of that vice to another passage, namely in 1 Corinthians 14. In this reply there is nothing amiss, though at the same time it might suit sufficiently well to say, that the Apostle requires women to show their modesty - not merely in a place in which the whole Church is assembled, but also in any more dignified assembly, either of matrons or of men, such as are sometimes convened in private houses. For it is all one as if she were shaven. He now maintains from other considerations, that it is unseemly for women to have their heads bare. Nature itself, says he, abhors it. To see a woman shaven is a spectacle that is disgusting and monstrous. Hence we infer that the woman has her hair given her for a covering. Should any one now object, that her hair is enough, as being a natural covering, Paul says that it is not, for it is such a covering as requires another thing to be made use of for covering it. And hence a conjecture is drawn, with some appearance of probability - that women who had beautiful hair were accustomed to uncover their heads for the purpose of showing off their beauty. It is not, therefore, without good reason that Paul, as a remedy for this vice, sets before them the opposite idea - that they be regarded as remarkable for unseemliness, rather than for what is an incentive to lust. f524 7. The man ought not to cover his head, because he is the image. The same question may now be proposed respecting the image, as formerly respecting the head. For both sexes were created in the image of God, and Paul exhorts women no less than men to be formed anew, according to that image. The image, however, of which he is now speaking, relates to the order of marriage, and hence it belongs to the present life, and is not connected with conscience. The simple solution is this - that he does not treat here of innocence and holiness, which are equally becoming in men and women, but of the distinction, which God has conferred upon the man, so as to have superiority over the woman. In this superior order of dignity the glory of God is seen, as it shines forth in every kind of superiority. The woman is the glory of the man. There is no doubt that the woman is a distinguished ornament of the man; for it is a great honor that God has appointed her to the man as the partner of his life, and a helper to him, f525 and has made her subject to him as the body is to the head. For what Solomon affirms as to a careful wife - that she is a crown to her husband, (<201204>Proverbs 12:4,) is true of the whole sex, if we look to the appointment of God, which Paul here commends, showing that the woman was created for this purpose - that she might be a distinguished ornament of the man. 8. For the man is not from the woman. He establishes by two arguments the pre-eminence, which he had assigned to men above women. The first is, that as the woman derives her origin from the man, she is therefore inferior in rank. The second is, that as the woman was created for the sake of the man, she is therefore subject to him, as the work ultimately produced is to its cause. f526 That the man is the beginning of the woman and the end for which she was made, is evident from the law. (<010218>Genesis 2:18.) It is not good for a man to be alone. Let us make for him, etc. Farther, God took one of Adam's ribs and formed Eve. (<010221>Genesis 2:21, 22.) 10. For this cause ought the woman to have power. f527 From that authority he draws an argument f528 in favor of outward decorum. "She is subject," says he, "let her then wear a token of subjection." In the term power, there is an instance of metonymy, f529 for he means a token by which she declares herself to be under the power of her husband; and it is a covering, whether it be a robe, or a veil, f530 or any other kind of covering. f531 It is asked, whether he speaks of married women exclusively, for there are some that restrict to them what Paul here teaches, on the ground that it does not belong to virgins to be under the authority of a husband. It is however a mistake, for Paul looks beyond this - to God's eternal law, which has made the female sex subject to the authority of men. On this account all women are born, that they may acknowledge themselves inferior in consequence of the superiority of the male sex. Otherwise it were an inconclusive argument that Paul has drawn from nature, in saying that it were not one whit more seemly for a woman to have her head uncovered than to be shaven - this being applicable to virgins also. Because of the angels. This passage is explained in various ways. As the Prophet <390207>Malachi 2:7 calls priests angels of God, some are of opinion that Paul speaks of them; but the ministers of the word have nowhere that term applied to them by itself - that is, without something being added; and the meaning would be too forced. I understand it, therefore, in its proper signification. But it is asked, why it is that he would have women have their heads covered because of the angels - for what has this to do with them? Some answer: "Because they are present on occasion of the prayers of believers, and on this account are spectators of unseemliness, should there be any on such occasions." But what need is there for philosophizing with such refinement? We know that angels are in attendance, also, upon Christ as their head, and minister to him. f532 When, therefore, women venture upon such liberties, as to usurp for themselves the token of authority, they make their baseness manifest to the angels. This, therefore, was said by way of amplifying, as if he had said, "If women uncover their heads, not only Christ, but all the angels too, will be witnesses of the outrage." And this interpretation suits well with the Apostle's design. He is treating here of different ranks. Now he says that, when women assume a higher place than becomes them, they gain this by it - that they discover their impudence in the view of the angels of heaven. 11. But neither is the man without the woman. This is added partly as a check upon men, that they may not insult over women; f533 and partly as a consolation to women, that they may not feel dissatisfied with being under subjection. "The male sex (says he) has a distinction over the female sex, with this understanding, that they ought to be connected together by mutual benevolence, for the one cannot do without the other. If they be separated, they are like the mutilated members of a mangled body. Let them, therefore, be connected with each other by the bond of mutual duty." f534 When he says, in the Lord, he by this expression calls the attention of believers to the appointment of the Lord, while the wicked look to nothing beyond pressing necessity. f535 For profane men, if they can conveniently live unmarried, despise the whole sex, and do not consider that they are under obligations to it by the appointment and decree of God. The pious, on the other hand, acknowledge that the male sex is but the half of the human race. They ponder the meaning of that statement - God created man: male and female created he them. (<010127>Genesis 1:27, and <010502>Genesis 5:2.) Thus they, of their own accord, acknowledge themselves to be debtors to the weaker sex. Pious women, in like manner, reflect upon their obligation. f536 Thus the man has no standing without the woman, for that would be the head severed from the body; nor has the woman without the man, for that were a body without a head. "Let, therefore, the man perform to the woman the office of the head in respect of ruling her, and let the woman perform to the man the office of the body in respect of assisting him, and that not merely in the married state, but also in celibacy; for I do not speak of cohabitation merely, but also of civil offices, for which there is occasion even in the unmarried state." If you are inclined rather to refer this to the whole sex in general, I do not object to this, though, as Paul directs his discourse to individuals, he appears to point out the particular duty of each. 12. As the woman is of the man. If this is one of the reasons, why the man has superiority - that the woman was taken out of him, there will be, in like manner, this motive to friendly connection - that the male sex cannot maintain and preserve itself without the aid of women. For this remains a settled point - that it is not good for man to be alone. (<010218>Genesis 2:18.) This statement of Paul may, it is true, be viewed as referring to propagation, because human beings are propagated not by men alone, but by men and women; but I understand it as meaning this also - that the woman is a needful help to the man, inasmuch as a solitary life is not expedient for man. This decree of God exhorts us to cultivate mutual intercourse. But all things of God. God is the Source of both sexes, and hence both of them ought with humility to accept and maintain the condition which the Lord has assigned to them. Let the man exercise his authority with moderation, and not insult over the woman who has been given him as his partner. Let the woman be satisfied with her state of subjection, and not take it amiss that she is made inferior to the more distinguished sex. Otherwise they will both of them throw off the yoke of God, who has not without good reason appointed this distinction of ranks. Farther, when it is said that the man and the woman, when they are wanting in their duty to each other, are rebels against the authority of God, the statement is a more serious one than if Paul had said, that they do injury to one another. Doth not even nature itself. He again sets forth nature as the mistress of decorum, and what was at that time in common use by universal consent and custom - even among the Greeks - he speaks of as being natural, for it was not always reckoned a disgrace for men to have long hair. f537 Historical records bear, that in all countries in ancient times, that is, in the first ages, men wore long hair. Hence also the poets, in speaking of the ancients, are accustomed to apply to them the common epithet of unshorn. f538 It was not until a late period that barbers began to be employed at Rome - about the time of Africanus the elder. And at the time when Paul wrote these things, the practice of having the hair shorn had not yet come into use in the provinces of Gaul or in Germany. Nay more, it would have been reckoned an unseemly thing for men, no less than for women, to be shorn or shaven; but as in Greece it was reckoned all unbecoming thing for a man to allow his hair to grow long, so that those who did so were remarked as effeminate, he reckons as nature a custom that had come to be confirmed. f539 16. But if any man seem. A contentious person is one whose humor inclines him to stir up disputes, and does not care what becomes of the truth. Of this description are all who, without any necessity, abolish good and useful customs - raise disputes respecting matters that are not doubtful - who do not yield to reasonings - who cannot endure that any one should be above them. Of this description, also, are those (ajkoinw>nhtoi) would be singular persons f540 who, from a foolish affectation, f541 aim at some new and unusual way of acting. Such persons Paul does not reckon worthy of being replied to, inasmuch as contention is a pernicious thing, and ought, therefore, to be banished from the Churches. By this he teaches us, that those that are obstinate and fond of quarrelling, should rather be restrained by authority than confuted by lengthened disputations. For you will never have an end of contentions, if you are disposed to contend with a combative person until you have vanquished him; for though vanquished a hundred times, he would argue still. Let us therefore carefully mark this passage, that we may not allow ourselves to be carried away with needless disputations, provided at the same time we know how to distinguish contentious persons. For we must not always reckon as contentious the man who does not acquiesce in our decisions, or who ventures to contradict us; but when temper and obstinacy show themselves, let us then say with Paul, that contentions are at variance with the custom of the Church. f542 1 CORINTHIANS 11:17-22 17. Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 17. Hoc autem denuntians non laudo, quod non in melius, sed in peius convenitis. 18. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 18. Primum enim, convenientibus vobis in Ecclesiam, audio dissidia inter vos esse: et ex parte credo. 19. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 19. Oportet enim haereses quoque esse in vobis, ut qui probe sunt, manifesti fiant inter vos. 20. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. 20. Convenientibus ergo vobis in unum, non est Dominicam coenamedere. 21. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 21. Unusquisque enim propriam coenam praesumit edendo: atque hic quidem esurit, ille autem ebrius est. 22. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. 22. Numquid domos non habetis, ad edendum et bibendum, aut Ecclesiam Dei contemnitis, et pudore afficitis eos qui non habent? Quid vobis dicam? Laudabo vos in hoc? Non laudo. His reproof of the fault previously noticed was but a mild and gentle admonition, because the Corinthians sinned in ignorance, so that it was proper that they should readily be forgiven. Paul, too, had praised them in the outset, because they had faithfully kept his enactments. (<461102>1 Corinthians 11:2.) Now he begins to reprove them more sharply, because they offended more grievously in some things, and not through ignorance. 17. But, in warning you as to this, I do not praise. f543 For I translate it in this way, because Paul appears to have made the participle and the verb change places. f544 I am also not satisfied with the interpretation of Erasmus, who takes paragge>llein as meaning to command. The verb to warn would suit better, but as to this I do not contend. There is an antithesis between this clause and the beginning of this chapter. "While I have praised you, do not think that it is unqualified commendation; for I have something to find fault with, as it is worthy of severe reproof." This, however, in my opinion, does not refer exclusively to the Lord's Supper, but also to other faults of which he makes mention. Let this then be taken as a general statement, that the Corinthians are reproved, because they came together not for the better but for the worse. Particular effects of this evil will be brought forward afterwards. He finds fault with them, then, in the first place, because they come not together for the better, - and secondly, that they come together for the worse. The second, it is true, is the more serious, but even the first is not to be endured, for if we consider what is transacted in the Church, there ought never to be a coming together without some fruit. There the doctrine of God is listened to, prayers are offered up, the Sacraments are administered. The fruit of the Word is, when confidence in God and fear of him are increased in us - when progress is made in holiness of life - when we put off more and more the old man, (<510309>Colossians 3:9) - when we advance in newness of life, etc. (<450604>Romans 6:4.) The Sacraments have a tendency to exercise us in piety and love. The prayers, too, ought to be of use for promoting all these purposes. In addition to this, the Lord works efficaciously by his Spirit, because he wills not that his ordinances should be vain. Hence if the sacred assemblies are of no benefit to us, and we are not made better by them, it is our ingratitude that is to blame, and therefore we deserve to be reproved. For the effect of our conduct is, that those things, which, from their own nature, and from God's appointment, ought to have been salutary, become unprofitable. Then follows the second fault - that they come together for the worse. This is much more criminal, and yet it almost always follows the other, for if we derive no advantage from God's benefits, he employs this method of punishing our carelessness - that we are made worse by them. It usually happens, too, that negligence gives birth to many corruptions, especially on this account, that those who do not observe the natural use of things usually fall erelong into hurtful inventions. f545 18. When ye come together in the Church, I hear there are divisions. Some take the words divisions and heresies, as referring to that disorder (ajtaxi>an) of which he speaks soon afterwards. I consider them as having a more extensive signification, and certainly it is not likely that he would employ terms so improper and unsuitable for the purpose of exposing that abuse. f546 For as to their alleging that he has expressed himself in more severe terms, with the view of exposing more fully the heinousness of the offense, I would readily grant this, if the meaning corresponded. It is, then, a reproof of a general kind - that they were not of one accord as becomes Christians, but every one was so much taken up with his own interests, that he was not prepared to accommodate himself to others. Hence arose that abuse, as to which we shall see in a little - hence sprung ambition and pride, so that every one exalted himself and despised others - hence sprung carelessness as to edification - hence sprung profanation of the gifts of God. He says that he partly believes it, that they might not think that he charged them all with this heinous crime, and might accordingly complain, that they were groundlessly accused. In the meantime, however, he intimates that this had been brought to him not by mere vague rumor, but by credible information, such as he could not altogether discredit. 19. For there must be also heresies. He had previously spoken of divisions. (<461118>1 Corinthians 11:18.) Now he uses the term heresies, with the view of amplifying the more, as we may infer, too, from the word also, for it is added for the sake of amplification. (prov au]xhsin.) It is well known in what sense the ancients used those two terms, f547 and what distinction they made between Heretics and Schismatics. f548 Heresy they made to consist in disagreement as to doctrine, and schism, on the contrary, in alienation of affection, as when any one withdrew from the Church from envy, or from dislike of the pastors, or from ill nature. It is true, that the Church cannot but be torn asunder by false doctrine, and thus heresy is the root and origin of schism, and it is also true that envy or pride is the mother of almost all heresies, but at the same time it is of advantage to distinguish in this way between these two terms. But let us see in what sense Paul employs them. I have already expressed my disapprobation of those who explain. heresy as meaning the setting up of a separate table, inasmuch as the rich did not partake of their Supper along with the poor; for he had it in view to point out something more hateful. But without mentioning the opinions of others, I take schism and heresy here in the way of less and greater. Schisms, then, are either secret grudges - when we do not see that agreement which ought to subsist among the pious - when inclinations at variance with each other are at work - when every one is mightily pleased with his own way, and finds fault with everything that is done by others. Heresies are when the evil proceeds to such a pitch that open hostility is discovered, and persons deliberately divide themselves into opposite parties. Hence, in order that believers might not feel discouraged on seeing the Corinthians torn with divisions, the Apostle turns round this occasion of offense in an opposite direction, intimating that the Lord does rather by such trials make proof of his people's constancy. A lovely consolation! "So far, says he, should we be from being troubled, or cast down, when we do not see complete unity in the Church, but on the contrary some threatenings of separation from want of proper agreement, that even if sects should start up, f549we ought to remain firm and constant. For in this way hypocrites are detected - in this way, on the other hand, the sincerity of believers is tried. For as this gives occasion for discovering the fickleness of those who were not rooted in the Lord's Word, and the wickedness of those who had assumed the appearance of good men, so the good afford a more signal manifestation of their constancy and sincerity." But observe what Paul says - there must be, for he intimates by this expression, that this state of matters does not happen by chance, but by the sure providence of God, because he has it in view to try his people, as gold in the furnace, and if it is agreeable to the mind of God, it is, consequently, expedient. At the same time, however, we must not enter into thorny disputes, or rather into labyrinths as to a fatal necessity. We know that there never will be a time when there will not be many reprobates. We know that they are governed by the spirit of Satan, and are effectually drawn away to what is evil. We know that Satan, in his activity, leaves no stone unturned with the view of breaking up the unity of the Church. From this - not from fate - comes that necessity of which Paul makes mention. f550 We know, also, that the Lord, by his admirable wisdom, turns Satan's deadly machinations so as to promote the salvation of believers. f551 Hence comes that design of which he speaks - that the good may shine forth more conspicuously; for we ought not to ascribe this advantage to heresies, which, being evil, can produce nothing but what is evil, but to God, who, by his infinite goodness, changes the nature of things, so that those things are salutary to the elect, which Satan had contrived for their ruin. As to Chrysostom's contending that the particle that (i]na) denotes not the cause, but the event, it is of no great moment. For the cause is the secret counsel of God, f552 by which things that are evil are overruled in such a manner, as to have a good issue. We know, in fine, that the wicked are impelled by Satan in such a manner, that they both act and are acted upon with the consent of their wills. f553 Hence they are without excuse. 20. This is not to eat the Lord's supper. He now reproves the abuse that had crept in among the Corinthians as to the Lord's Supper, in respect of their mixing up profane banquets with the sacred and spiritual feast, and that too with contempt of the poor. Paul says, that in this way it is not the Lord's supper that is partaken of - not that a single abuse altogether set aside the sacred institution of Christ, and reduced it to nothing, but that they polluted the sacrament by observing it in a wrong way. For we are accustomed to say, in common conversation, that a thing is not done at all, if it is not done aright. Now this was no trivial abuse, as we shall afterwards see. If you understand the words is not as meaning, is not allowable, f554 the meaning will amount to the same thing - that the Corinthians were not in a state of preparation for partaking of the Lord's supper, as being in so divided a state. What I stated a little ago, however, is more simple - that he condemns that profane admixture, which had nothing in it akin to the Lord's Supper. 21. For every one of you taketh before others his own supper. It is truly wonderful, and next to a miracle, f555 that Satan could have accomplished so much in so short a time. We are, however, admonished by this instance, how much antiquity, without reason on its side, can effect, or, in other words, how much influence a long continued custom has, while not sanctioned by a single declaration of the word of God. This, having become customary, was looked upon as lawful. Paul was then at hand to interfere. What then must have been the state of matters after the death of the Apostles? With what liberty Satan must have sported himself. f556 Yet here is the great strength of Papists: "The thing is ancient - it was done long ago - let it, therefore, have the weight of a revelation from heaven." It is uncertain, however, what was the origin of this abuse, or what was the occasion of its springing up so soon. Chrysostom is of opinion, that it originated in the love-feasts, f557 (ajpo< tw~n ajgapw~n) and that, while the rich had been accustomed f558 to bring with them from their houses the means of feasting with the poor indiscriminately and in common, they afterwards began to exclude the poor, and to guzzle over their delicacies by themselves. And, certainly, it appears from Tertullian, that that custom was a very ancient one. f559 Now they gave the name of Agapae f560 to those common entertainments, which they contrived among themselves, as being tokens of fraternal affection, and consisted of alms. Nor have I any doubt, that it took its rise from sacrificial rites commonly observed both by Jews and Gentiles. For I observe that Christians, for the most part, corrected the faults connected with those rites, in such a manner, as to retain at the same time some resemblance. Hence it is probable, that, on observing that. both Jews and Gentiles added a feast to their sacrifice, as an appendage to it, but that both of them sinned in respect of ambition, luxury, and intemperance, they instituted f561 a kind of banquet, which might accustom them rather to sobriety and frugality, f562 and might, at the same time, be in accordance with a spiritual entertainment in respect of mutual fellowship. For in it the poor were entertained at the expense of the rich, and the table was open to all. But, whether they had from the very first fallen into this profane abuse, or whether an institution, otherwise not so objectionable, had in this way degenerated in process of time, Paul would have them in no way mix up this spiritual banquet with common feasts. "This, indeed, looks well - that the poor along with the rich partake in common of the provisions that have been brought, and that the rich share of their abundance along with the needy, but nothing ought to have such weight with us as to lead us to profane the holy sacrament." F563 And one is hungry. This was one evil in the case, that while the rich indulged themselves sumptuously, they appeared, in a manner, to reproach the poor for their poverty. The inequality he describes hyperbolically, when he says, that some are drunken and others are hungry, for some had the means of stuffing themselves well, while others had slender fare. Thus the poor were exposed to the derision of the rich, or at least they were exposed to shame. It was, therefore, an unseemly spectacle, and not in accordance with the Lord's supper. 22. Have ye not houses? From this we see that the Apostle was utterly dissatisfied with this custom of feasting, even though the abuse formerly mentioned had not existed.: For, though it seems allowable for the whole Church to partake at one common table, yet this, on the other hand, is wrong - to convert a sacred assembly to purposes foreign to its nature. We know for what exercises a Church should assemble - to hear doctrine, to pour forth prayers, and sing hymns to God, to observe the sacraments, f564 to make confession of their faith, and to engage in pious observances, and other exercises of piety. If anything else is done there, it is out of place. Every one has his own house appointed him for eating and drinking, and hence that is an unseemly thing in a sacred assembly. What shall I say to you? Having fitly stated the case, he now calls them to consider, whether they are worthy to be praised, for they could not defend an abuse that was so manifest. He presses them still further, by asking - "What else could I do? Will you say that you are unjustly reproved?" Some manuscripts connect the words in this with the verb that follows - in this way: Shall I praise you? In this I do not praise you. f565 The other reading, however, is the more generally received among the Greeks, and it suits better. 1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-29 23. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 23. Ego enim accepi a Domino, quod etiam tradidi vobis: quod Dominus Iesus nocte qua traditus est, accepit panem: 24. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 24. Et gratiis actis, fregit, et dixit, Accipite, edite: hoc est corpus meum quod pro vobis frangitur: hoc facite in mei memoriam. 25. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 25. Similiter et calicem, postquam vum testamentum est in sanguine meo: hoc facite, quotiescunque biberitis, in mei memoriam. 26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 26. Quotiescumque enim ederitis panem hunc, et biberitis hunc calicem, mortem Domini annuntiabitis, donce veniat. 27. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 27. Itaque quisquis ederit panem hunc, aut biberit calicem Domini indigne, reus erit corporis et sanguinis Domini. 28. But let a man examine him self, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 28. Probet autem homo se ipsum, et sic de pane illo edat, et de calice bibat. 29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 29. Qui enim ederit aut biberit indigne, iudicium sibi edit ac bibit, non discernens corpus Domini. Hitherto he has been exposing the abuse; f566 now he proceeds to show what is the proper method of rectifying it. For the institution of Christ is a sure rule, so that if you turn aside from it but a very little, you are out of the right course. Hence, as the Corinthians had deviated from this rule, he calls them back to it. It is a passage that ought to be carefully observed, as showing that there is no remedy for correcting and purging out abuses, short of a return to God's pure institution. Thus the Lord himself - when he was discoursing respecting marriage, (<401903>Matthew 19:3,) and the Scribes brought forward custom, and also the permission given by Moses - simply brings forward his Father's institution, as being an inviolable law. When we do this at the present day, the Papists cry out, that we are leaving nothing untouched. f567 We openly demonstrate, that it is not in one point merely that they have degenerated from our Lord's first institution, but that they have corrupted it in a thousand ways. Nothing is more manifest than that their Mass is diametrically opposed to the sacred Supper of our Lord. I go farther - we show in the plainest manner, that it is full of wicked abominations: hence there is need of reformation. We demand - what it appears Paul had recourse to - that our Lord's institution be the common rule, to which we agree on both sides to make our appeal. This they oppose with all their might. Mark then the nature of the controversy at this day in reference to the Lord's Supper. 23. I received from the Lord. In these words he intimates, that there is no authority that is of any avail in the Church, but that of the Lord alone. "I have not delivered to you an invention of my own: I had not, when I came to you, contrived a new kind of Supper, according to my own humor, but have Christ as my authority, from whom I received what I have delivered unto you, in the way of handing it over." f568 Return, then, to the original source. Thus, bidding adieu to human laws, the authority of Christ will be maintained in its stability. That night in which he was betrayed. This circumstance as to time instructs us as to the design of the sacrament - that the benefit of Christ's death may be ratified in us. For the Lord might have some time previously committed to the Apostles this covenant-seal, f569 but he waited until the time of his oblation, that the Apostles might see soon after accomplished in reality in his body, what he had represented to them in the bread and the wine. Should any one infer from this,. that the Supper ought, therefore, to be celebrated at night and after a bodily repast, I answer, that, in what our Lord did, we must consider what there is that he would have to be done by us. It is certain, that he did not mean to institute a kind of nightly festival, like that in honor of Ceres, f570 and farther, that it was not his design to invite his people to come to this spiritual banquet with a well-filled stomach. Such actions of Christ as are not intended for our imitation, should not be reckoned as belonging to his institution. f571 In this way, there is no difficulty in setting aside that subtilty of Papists, by which they shift off f572 what I have already stated as to the duty of maintaining and preserving Christ's institution in its simplicity. "We will, therefore," say they, "not receive the Lord's Supper except at night, and we will therefore take it - not when fasting, but after having dined." All this, I say, is mere trifling; for it is easy to distinguish what our Lord did, in order that we might imitate it, or rather what he did with the view of commanding us to do the like. 24. Having given thanks. Paul observes elsewhere, that every gift that we receive from the hand of God is sanctified to us by the word and prayer. (<540405>1 Timothy 4:5.) Accordingly, we nowhere read that the Lord tasted bread along with his disciples, but there is mention made of his giving thanks, (<430623>John 6:23,) by which example he has assuredly instructed us to do the like. This giving of thanks, however, has a reference to something higher, for Christ gives thanks to the Father for his mercy f573 towards the human race, and the inestimable benefit of redemption; and he invites us, by his example, to raise up our minds as often as we approach the sacred table, to an acknowledgment of the boundless love of God towards us, and to have our minds kindled up to true gratitude. f574 Take, eat, this is my body. As Paul designed here to instruct us in a few words as to the right use of the sacrament, it is our duty to consider attentively f575 what he sets before us, and allow nothing to pass unobserved, inasmuch as he says nothing but what is exceedingly necessary to be known, and worthy of the closest attention. In the first place, we must take notice, that Christ here distributes the bread among the Apostles, that all may partake of it in common, and thus every one may receive his portion, that there may be an equal participation among all. Accordingly, when there is not a table in common prepared for all the pious - where they are not invited to the breaking of bread in common, and where, in fine, believers do not mutually participate, it is to no purpose that the name of the Lord's Supper is laid claim to. But for what purpose f576 are the people called to mass, unless it be that they may come away empty from an unmeaning show? f577 It has, therefore, nothing in unison with the supper. Hence, too, we infer that Christ's promise is no more applicable to the mass than to the feast of the Salii; f578 for when Christ promises that he will give us his body, he at the same time commands us to take and eat of the bread. Hence, unless we obey this command, it is to no purpose that we glory in his promise. To explain this more familiarly in other words - the promise is annexed to the commandment in a conditional way, as it were: hence it has its accomplishment only if the condition also is accomplished. For example, it is written, Call upon me; I will answer thee. (<190101>Psalm 1:15.) It is our part to obey the command of God, that he may accomplish for us what he promises; otherwise we shut ourselves out from the accomplishment of it. f579 What do Papists do? They neglect participation, and consecrate the bread for a totally different purpose, and in the meantime they boast that they have the Lord's body. While, by a wicked divorce, they put asunder those things which Christ has joined together, (<401906>Matthew 19:6,) it is manifest that their boasting is vain. Hence, whenever they bring forward the clause - This is my body, we must retort upon them the one that immediately precedes it - Take and eat. For the meaning of the words is: "By participating in the breaking of bread, according to the order and observance which I have prescribed, you shall be participants also in my body." Hence, when an individual eats of it by himself, the promise in that case goes for nothing. Besides, we are taught in these words what the Lord would have us do. Take, says he. Hence those that offer a sacrifice to God have some other than Christ as their authority, for we are not instructed in these words to perform a sacrifice. But what do Papists say as to their mass? At first they were so impudent as to maintain, that it was truly and properly called a sacrifice. Now, however, they admit that it is indeed a commemorative sacrifice, but in such a way, that the benefit of redemption is, through means of their daily oblation, f580 applied to the living and the dead. However that may be, they present the appearance of a sacrifice. f581 In the first place, there is rashness in this, as being without any command from Christ; but there is a still more serious error involved in it - that, while Christ appointed the Supper for this purpose, that we might take and eat, they pervert it to a totally different use. This is my body. I shall not recount the unhappy contests that have tried the Church in our times as to the meaning of these words. Nay rather, would to God that we could bury the remembrance of them in perpetual oblivion! I shall state, first of all, sincerely and without disguise, and then farther, I shall state freely (as I am wont to do) what my views are. Christ calls the bread his body; for I set aside, without any disputation, that absurd contrivance, that our Lord did not exhibit the bread to the Apostles, but his body, which they beheld with their eyes, for it immediately follows - This cup is the New Testament in my blood. Let us regard it then as beyond all controversy that Christ is here speaking of the bread. Now the question is - "In what sense?" That we may elicit the true meaning, we must hold that the expression is figurative; for, assuredly, to deny this is exceedingly dishonest. f582 Why then is the term body applied to the bread? All, I think, will allow that it is for the same reason that John calls the Holy Spirit a dove. (<430132>John 1:32.) Thus far we are agreed. Now the reason why the Spirit was so called was this - that he had appeared in the form of a dove. Hence the name of the Spirit is transferred to the visible sign. Why should we not maintain that there is here a similar instance of metonymy, and that the term body is applied to the bread, as being the sign and symbol of it? If any are of a different opinion they will forgive me; but it appears to me to be an evidence of a contentious spirit, to dispute pertinaciously on this point. I lay it down, then, as a settled point, that there is here a sacramental form of expression, f583 in which the Lord gives to the sign the name of the thing signified. We must now proceed farther, and inquire as to the reason of the metonymy. Here I reply, that the name of the thing signified is not applied to the sign simply as being a representation of it, but rather as being a symbol of it, f584 by which the reality is presented to us. For I do not allow the force of those comparisons which some borrow from profane or earthly things; for there is a material difference between them and the sacraments of our Lord. The statue of Hercules is called Hercules, but what have we there but a bare, empty representation? On the other hand the Spirit is called a dove, as being a sure pledge of the invisible presence of the Spirit. Hence the bread is Christ's body, because it assuredly testifies, that the body which it represents is held forth to us, or because the Lord, by holding out to us that symbol, gives us at the same time his own body; for Christ is not a deceiver, to mock us with empty representations. f585 Hence it is regarded by me as beyond all controversy, that the reality is here conjoined with the sign; or, in other words, that we do not less truly become participants in Christ's body in respect of spiritual efficacy, than we partake of the bread. We must now discuss the manner. Papists hold forth to us their system of transubstantiation: they allege that, when the act of consecration has been gone through, the substance of the bread no longer exists, and that nothing remains but the accidents. f586 To this contrivance we oppose - not merely the plain words of Scripture, but the very nature of the sacraments. For what is the meaning of the supper, if there is no correspondence between the visible sign and the spiritual reality? They would have the sign to be a false and delusive appearance of bread. What then will the thing signified be, but a mere imagination? Hence, if there must be a correspondence between the sign and its reality, it is necessary that the bread be real - not imaginary - to represent Christ's real body. Besides, Christ's body is here given us not simply, but as food. Now it is not by any means the color of the bread that nourishes us, but the substance. In fine, if we would have reality in the thing itself, there must be no deception in the sign. Rejecting then the dream of Papists, let us see in what manner Christ's body is given to us. Some explain, that it is given to us, when we are made partakers of all the blessings which Christ has procured for us in his body - when, I say, we by faith embrace Christ as crucified for us, and raised up from the dead, and in this way are effectually made partakers of all his benefits. As for those who are of this opinion, I have no objection to their holding such a view. As for myself, I acknowledge, that it is only when we obtain Christ himself, that we come to partake of Christ's benefits. He is, however, obtained, I affirm, not only when we believe that he was made an offering for us, but when he dwells in us - when he is one with us - when we are members of his flesh, (<490530>Ephesians 5:30,) - when, in fine, we are incorporated with him (so to speak) into one life and substance. Besides, I attend to the import of the words, for Christ does not simply present to us the benefit of his death and resurrection, but the very body in which he suffered and rose again. I conclude, that Christ's body is really, (as the common expression is,) - that is, truly given to us in the Supper, to be wholesome food for our souls. I use the common form of expression, but my meaning is, that our souls are nourished by the substance of the body, that we may truly be made one with him, or, what amounts to the same thing, that a life-giving virtue from Christ's flesh is poured into us by the Spirit, though it is at a great distance from us, and is not mixed with us. f587 There now remains but one difficulty - how is it possible that his body, which is in heaven, is given to us here upon earth? Some imagine that Christ's body is infinite, and is not confined to any one space, but fills heaven and earth, (<242324>Jeremiah 23:24,) like his Divine essence. This fancy is too absurd to require refutation. The Schoolmen dispute with more refinement as to his glorious body. Their whole doctrine, however, reduces itself to this - that Christ is to be sought after in the bread, as if he were included in it. Hence it comes, that the minds of men behold the bread with wonderment, and adore it in place of Christ. Should any one ask them whether they adore the bread, or the appearance of it, they will confidently agree that they do not, but, in the mean time, when about to adore Christ, they turn to the bread. They turn, I say, not merely with their eyes, and their whole body, but even with the thoughts of the heart. Now what is this but unmixed idolatry? But that participation in the body of Christ, which, I affirm, is presented to us in the Supper, does not require a local presence, nor the descent of Christ, nor infinite extension, f588 nor anything of that nature, for the Supper being a heavenly action, there is no absurdity in saying, that Christ, while remaining in heaven, is received by us. For as to his communicating himself to us, that is effected through the secret virtue of his Holy Spirit, which can not merely bring together, but join in one, things that are separated by distance of place, and far remote. But, in order that we may be capable of this participation, we must rise heavenward. Here, therefore, faith must be our resource, when all the bodily senses have failed. When I speak of faith, I do not mean any sort of opinion, resting on human contrivances, as many, boasting of faith on all occasions, run grievously wild on this point. What then? You see bread - nothing more - but you learn that it is a symbol f589 of Christ's body. Do not doubt that the Lord accomplishes what his words intimate - that the body, which thou dost not at all behold, is given to thee, as a spiritual repast. It seems incredible, that we should be nourished by Christ's flesh, which is at so great a distance from us. Let us bear in mind, that it is a secret and wonderful work of the Holy Spirit, which it were criminal to measure by the standard of our understanding. "In the meantime, however, drive away gross imaginations, which would keep thee from looking beyond the bread. Leave to Christ the true nature of flesh, and do not, by a mistaken apprehension, extend his body over heaven and earth: do not divide him into different parts by thy fancies, and do not adore him in this place and that, according to thy carnal apprehension. Allow him to remain in his heavenly glory, and aspire thou thither, f590 that he may thence communicate himself to thee." These few things will satisfy those that are sound and modest. As for the curious, I would have them look somewhere else for the means of satisfying their appetite. Which is broken for you. Some explain this as referring to the distribution of the bread, because it was necessary that Christ's body should remain entire, as it had been predicted, (<021246>Exodus 12:46,) A bone of him shall not be broken. As for myself - while I acknowledge that Paul makes an allusion to the breaking of bread, yet I understand the word broken as used here for sacrificed - not, indeed, with strict propriety, but at the same time without any absurdity. For although no bone was broken, yet the body itself having been subjected, first of all, to so many tortures and inflictions, and afterwards to the punishment of death in the most cruel form, cannot be said to have been uninjured. This is what Paul means by its being broken. This, however, is the second clause of the promise, which ought not to be passed over slightly. For the Lord does not present his body to us simply, and without any additional consideration, but as having been sacrificed for us. The first clause, then, intimates, that the body is presented to us: this second clause teaches us, what advantage we derive from it - that we are partakers of redemption, and the benefit of his sacrifice is applied to us. Hence the Supper is a mirror which represents to us Christ crucified, so that no one can profitably and advantageously receive the supper, but the man who embraces Christ crucified. Do this in remembrance of me. Hence the Supper is a memorial, (mnhmo>sunon f591) appointed as a help to our weakness; for if we were sufficiently mindful of the death of Christ, this help would be unnecessary. This is common to all sacraments, for they are helps to our weakness. What is the nature of that remembrance which Christ would have us cherish with regard to him, we shall hear presently. As to the inference, however, which some draw from this - that Christ is not present in the Supper, because a remembrance applies to something that is absent; the answer is easy - that Christ is absent from it in the sense in which the Supper is a commemoration. For Christ is not visibly present, and is not beheld with our eyes, as the symbols are which excite our remembrance by representing him. In short, in order that he may be present with us, he does not change his place, but communicates to us from heaven the virtue of his flesh, as though it were present. f592 25. The cup, when he had supped. The Apostle seems to intimate, that there was some interval of time between the distribution of the bread and that of the cup, and it does not quite appear from the Evangelists whether the whole of the transaction was continuous. f593 This, however, is of no great moment, for it may be that the Lord delivered in the meantime some address, after distributing the bread, and before giving the cup. As, however, he did or said nothing that was not in harmony with the sacrament, we need not say that the administration of it was disturbed or interrupted. I would not, however, render it as Erasmus does - supper, being ended, for, in a matter of so great importance, ambiguity ought to be avoided. This cup is the New Testament. What is affirmed as to the cup, is applicable also to the bread; and thus, by this form of expression, he intimates what he had before stated more briefly - that the bread is the body. For it is so to us, that it may be a testament in his body, that is, a covenant, which has been once confirmed by the offering up of his body, and is now confirmed by eating, when believers feast upon that sacrifice. Accordingly, while Paul and Luke use the words - testament in the blood, Matthew and Mark employ the expression - blood of the testament, which amounts to the same thing. For the blood was poured out to reconcile us to God, and now we drink of it in a spiritual sense, that we may be partakers of reconciliation. Hence, in the Supper, we have both a covenant, and a confirmatory pledge of the covenant. I shall speak in the Epistle to the Hebrews, if the Lord shall allow me opportunity, as to the word testament. It is well known, however, that sacraments receive that name, from being testimonies to us of the divine will, to confirm f594 it in our minds. For as a covenant is entered into among men with solemn rites, so it is in the same manner that the Lord deals with us. Nor is it without strict propriety that this term is employed; for in consequence of the connection between the word and the sign, the covenant of the Lord is really included in the sacraments, and the term covenant has a reference or relation to us. This will be of no small importance for understanding the nature of the sacraments; for if they are covenants, then they contain promises, by which consciences may be roused up to an assurance of salvation. Hence it follows, that they are not merely outward signs of profession before men, but are inwardly, too, helps to faith. This do, as often as ye drink. Christ, then, has appointed a two-fold sign in the Supper. What God hath joined together let not man put asunder. (<401906>Matthew 19:6.) To distribute, therefore, the bread without the cup, is to man Christ's institution. f595 For we hear Christ's words. As he commands us to eat of the bread, so he commands us to drink of the cup. To obey the one half of the command and neglect the other half - what is this but to make sport of his commandment? And to keep back the people from that cup, which Christ sets before all, after first drinking of it, as is done under the tyranny of the Pope - who can deny that this is diabolical presumption? As to the cavil that they bring forward - that Christ spoke merely to the Apostles, and not to the common people - it is exceedingly childish, and is easily refuted from this passage - for Paul here addresses himself to men and women indiscriminately, and to the whole body of the Church. He declares that he had delivered this to them agreeably to the commandment of the Lord. (<461123>1 Corinthians 11:23.) By what spirit will those pretend to be actuated, who have dared to set aside this ordinance? Yet even at this day this gross abuse is obstinately defended; and what occasion is there for wonder, if they endeavor impudently to excuse, by words and writings, what they so cruelly maintain by fire and sword? 26. For as often as ye shall eat. Paul now adds what kind of remembrance ought to be cherished - that is, with thanksgiving. not that the remembrance consists wholly in confession with the mouth; for the chief thing is, that the efficacy of Christ's death be scaled in our consciences; but this knowledge should stir us up to a confession in respect of praise, so as to declare before men what we feel inwardly before God. The Supper then is (so to speak)a kind of memorial, which must always remain in the Church, until the last coming of Christ; and it has been appointed for this purpose, that Christ may put us in mind of the benefit of his death, and that we may recognize it f596 before men. Hence it has the name of the Eucharist. f597 If, therefore, you would celebrate the Supper aright, you must bear in mind, that a profession of your faith is required from you. Hence we see how shamelessly those mock God, who boast that they have in the mass something of the nature of the Supper. For what is the mass? They confess (for I am not speaking of Papists, but of the pretended followers of Nicodemus) that it is full of abominable superstitions. By outward gesture they give a pretended approval of them. What kind of showing forth of the death of Christ is this? Do they not rather renounce it? Until he come. As we always need a help of this kind, so long as we are in this world, Paul intimates that this commemoration has been given us in charge, until Christ come to judgment. For as he is not present with us in a visible form, it is necessary for us to have some symbol of his presence, by which our minds may exercise themselves. 27. Therefore he who shall eat this bread unworthily. If the Lord requires gratitude from us in the receiving of this sacrament - if he would have us acknowledge his grace with the heart, and publish it with the mouth - that man will not go unpunished, who has put insult upon him rather than honor; for the Lord will not allow his commandment to be despised. Now, if we would catch the meaning of this declaration, we must know what it is to eat unworthily. Some restrict it to the Corinthians, and the abuse that had crept in among them, but I am of opinion that Paul here, according to his usual manner, passed on from the particular case to a general statement, or from one instance to an entire class. There was one fault that prevailed among the Corinthians. He takes occasion from this to speak of every kind of faulty administration or reception of the Supper. "God," says he, "will not allow this sacrament to be profaned without punishing it severely." To eat unworthily, then, is to pervert the pure and right use of it by our abuse of it. Hence there are various degrees of this unworthiness, so to speak; and some offend more grievously, others less so. Some fornicator, perhaps, or perjurer, or drunkard, or cheat, (<460511>1 Corinthians 5:11,) intrudes himself without repentance. As such downright contempt is a token of wanton insult against Christ, there can be no doubt that such a person, whoever he is, receives the Supper to his own destruction. Another, perhaps, will come forward, who is not addicted to any open or flagrant vice, but at the same time not so prepared in heart as became him. As this carelessness or negligence is a sign of irreverence, it is also deserving of punishment from God. As, then, there are various degrees of unworthy participation, so the Lord punishes some more slightly; on others he inflicts severer punishment. Now this passage gave rise to a question, which some afterwards agitated with too much keenness - whether the unworthy really partake of the Lord's body? For some were led, by the heat of controversy, so far as to say, that it was received indiscriminately by the good and the bad; and many at this day maintain pertinaciously, and most clamorously, that in the first Supper Peter received no more than Judas. It is, indeed, with reluctance, that I dispute keenly with any one on this point, which is (in my opinion) not an essential one; but as others allow themselves, without reason, to pronounce, with a magisterial air, whatever may seem good to them, and to launch out thunderbolts upon every one that mutters anything to the contrary, we will be excused, if we calmly adduce reasons in support of what we reckon to be true. I hold it, then, as a settled point, and will not allow myself to be driven from it, that Christ cannot be disjoined from his Spirit. Hence I maintain, that his body is not received as dead, or even inactive, disjoined from the grace and power of his Spirit. I shall not occupy much time in proving this statement. Now in what way could the man who is altogether destitute of a living faith and repentance, having nothing of the Spirit of Christ, f598 receive Christ himself? Nay more, as he is entirely under the influence of Satan and sin, how will he be capable of receiving Christ? While, therefore, I acknowledge that there are some who receive Christ truly in the Supper, and yet at the same time unworthily, as is the case with many weak persons, yet I do not admit, that those who bring with them a mere historical faith, f599 without a lively feeling of repentance and faith, receive anything but the sign. For I cannot endure to maim Christ, f600 and I shudder at the absurdity of affirming that he gives himself to be eaten by the wicked in a lifeless state, as it were. Nor does Augustine mean anything else when he says, that the wicked receive Christ merely in the sacrament, which he expresses more clearly elsewhere, when he says that the other Apostles ate the bread - the Lord; but Judas only the bread of the Lord. f601 But here it is objected, that the efficacy of the sacraments does not depend upon the worthiness of men, and that nothing is taken away from the promises of God, or falls to the ground, through the wickedness of men. This I acknowledge, and accordingly I add in express terms, that Christ's body is presented to the wicked no less than to the good, and this is enough so far as concerns the efficacy of the sacrament and the faithfulness of God. For God does not there represent in a delusive manner, to the wicked, the body of his Son, but presents it in reality; nor is the bread a bare sign to them, but a faithful pledge. As to their rejection of it, that does not impair or alter anything as to the nature of the sacrament. It remains, that we give a reply to the statement of Paul in this passage. "Paul represents the unworthy as guilty, inasmuch as they do not discern the Lord's body: it follows, that they receive his body." I deny the inference; for though they reject it, yet as they profane it and treat it with dishonor when it is presented to them, they are deservedly held guilty; for they do, as it were, cast it upon the ground, and trample it under their feet. Is such sacrilege trivial? Thus I see no difficulty in Paul's words, provided you keep in view what God presents and holds out to the wicked - not what they receive. 28. But let a man examine himself. An exhortation drawn from the foregoing threatening. "If those that eat unworthily are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, then let no man approach who is not properly and duly prepared. Let every one, therefore, take heed to himself, that he may not fall into this sacrilege through idleness or carelessness." But now it is asked, what sort of examination, that ought to be to which Paul exhorts us. Papists make it consist in auricular confession. They order all that are to receive the Supper, to examine their life carefully and anxiously, that they may unburden all their sins in the ear of the priest. Such is their preparation! f602 I maintain, however, that this holy examination of which Paul speaks, is widely different from torture. Those persons, f603 after having tortured themselves with reflection for a few hours, and making the priest - such as he is - privy to their vileness, f604 imagine that they have done their duty. It is an examination of another sort that Paul here requires - one of such a kind as may accord with the legitimate use of the sacred Supper. You see here a method that is most easily apprehended. If you would wish to use aright the benefit afforded by Christ, bring faith and repentance. As to these two things, therefore, the trial must be made, if you would come duly prepared. Under repentance I include love; for the man who has learned to renounce himself, that he may give himself up wholly to Christ and his service, will also, without doubt, carefully maintain that unity which Christ has enjoined. At the same time, it is not a perfect faith or repentance that is required, as some, by urging beyond due bounds, a perfection that can nowhere be found, would shut out for ever from the Supper every individual of mankind. If, however, thou aspirest after the righteousness of God with the earnest desire of thy mind, and, trembled under a view of thy misery, dost wholly lean upon Christ's grace, and rest upon it, know that thou art a worthy guest to approach the table - worthy I mean in this respect, that the Lord does not exclude thee, though in another point of view there is something in thee that is not as it ought to be. For faith, when it is but begun, makes those worthy who were unworthy. 29. He who shall eat unworthily, eateth judgment to himself. He had previously pointed out in express terms the heinousness of the crime, when he said that those who should eat unworthily would be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Now he alarms them, by denouncing punishment; f605 for there are many that are not affected with the sin itself; unless they are struck down by the judgment of God. This, then, he does, when he declares that this food, otherwise health-giving, will turn out to their destruction, and will be converted into poison to those that eat unworthily. He adds the reasons because they distinguish not the Lord's body, that is, as a sacred thing from a profane. "They handle the sacred body of Christ with unwashed hands, (<410702>Mark 7:2,) f606 nay more, as if it were a thing of nought, they consider not how great is the value of it. f607 They will therefore pay the penalty of so dreadful a profanation." Let my readers keep in mind what I stated a little ago, that the body f608 is presented to them, though their unworthiness deprives them of a participation in it. 1 CORINTHIANS 11:30-34 30. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 30. Propterea inter vos infirmi sunt multi, et aegroti, et dormiunt multi. 31. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 31. Si enim ipsi nos iudicassemus, non iudicaremur. 32. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. 32. Porro quum iudicamur, a Domino corripimur, ne cum hoc mundo damnemur. 33. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 33. Itaque, fratres mei, dum convenitis ad edendum, alii alios ex spectate. 34. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. 34. Si autem quispiam esurit, domi edat, ne in iudicium edatis; caetera autem, quum venero, disponam. 30. For this cause, etc. After having treated in a general way of unworthy eating, and of the kind of punishment that awaits those who pollute this sacrament, he now instructs the Corinthians as to the chastisement which they were at that time enduring. It is not known whether a pestilence was raging there at that time, or whether they were laboring under other kinds of disease. However it may have been as to this, we infer from Paul's words, that the Lord had sent some scourge upon them for their correction. Nor does Paul merely conjecture, that it is on that account that they are punished, but he affirms it as a thing that was perfectly well known by him. He says, then, that many lay sick - that many were kept long in a languishing condition, and that many had died, in consequence of that abuse of the Supper, because they had offended God. By this he intimates, that by diseases and other chastisements from God, we are admonished to think of our sins; for God does not afflict us without good reason, for he takes no pleasure in our afflictions. The subject is a copious and ample one; but let it suffice to advert to it here in a single word. If in Paul's times an ordinary abuse of the Supper f609 could kindle the wrath of God against the Corinthians, so that he punished them thus severely, what ought we to think as to the state of matters at the present day? We see, throughout the whole extent of Popery, not merely horrid profanations of the Supper, but even a sacrilegious abomination set up in its room. In the first place, it is prostituted to filthy lucre (<540308>1 Timothy 3:8) and merchandise. Secondly, it is maimed, by taking away the use of the cup. Thirdly, it is changed into another aspect, f610 by its having become customary for one to partake of his own feast separately, participation being done away. f611 Fourthly, there is there no explanation of the meaning of the sacrament, but a mumbling that would accord better with a magical incantation, or the detestable sacrifices of the Gentiles, than with our Lord's institution. Fifthly, there is an endless number of ceremonies, abounding partly with trifles, partly with superstition, and consequently manifest pollutions. Sixthly, there is the diabolical invention of sacrifice, which contains an impious blasphemy against the death of Christ. Seventhly, it is fitted to intoxicate miserable men with carnal confidence, while they present it to God as if it were an expiation, and think that by this charm they drive off everything hurtful, and that without faith and repentance. Nay more, while they trust that they are armed against the devil and death, and are fortified against God by a sure defense, they venture to sin with much more freedom, f612 and become more obstinate. Eighthly, an idol is there adored in the room of Christ. In short, it is filled with all kinds of abomination. f613 Nay even among ourselves, who have the pure administration of the Supper restored to us, f614 in virtue of a return, as it were, from captivity, f615 how much irreverence! How much hypocrisy on the part of many! What a disgraceful mixture, while, without any discrimination, wicked and openly abandoned persons intrude themselves, such as no man of character and decency would admit to common intercourse! f616 And yet after all, we wonder how it comes that there are so many wars, so many pestilences, so many failures of the crop, so many disasters and calamities - as if the cause were not manifest! And assuredly, we must not expect a termination to our calamities, until we have removed the occasion of them, by correcting our faults. 31. For if we would judge ourselves. Here we have another remarkable statement - that God does not all of a sudden become enraged against us, so as to inflict punishment immediately upon our sinning, but that, for the most part, it is owing to our carelessness, that he is in a manner constrained to punish us, when he sees that we are in a careless and drowsy state, and are flattering ourselves in our sins. f617 Hence we either avert, or mitigate impending punishment, if we first call ourselves to account, and, actuated by a spirit of repentance, deprecate the anger of God by inflicting punishment voluntarily upon ourselves. f618 In short, believers anticipate, by repentance, the judgment of God, and there is no other remedy, by which they may obtain absolution in the sight of God, but by voluntarily condemning themselves. You must not, however, apprehend, as Papists are accustomed to do, that there is here a kind of transaction between us and God, as if, by inflicting punishment upon ourselves of our own accord, we rendered satisfaction to him, and did, in a manner, redeem ourselves from his hand. We do not, therefore, anticipate the judgment of God, on the ground of our bringing any compensation to appease him. The reason is this - because God, when he chastises us, has it in view to shake us out of our drowsiness, and arouse us to repentance. If we do this of our own accord, there is no longer any reason, why he should proceed to inflict his judgment upon us. If, however, any one, after having begun to feel displeased with himself, and meditate repentance, is, nevertheless, still visited with God's chastisements, let us know that his repentance is not so valid or sure, as not to require some chastisement to be sent upon him, by which it may be helped forward to a fuller development. Mark how repentance wards off the judgment of God by a suitable remedy - not, however, by way of compensation. 32. But when we are judged. Here we have a consolation that is exceedingly necessary; for if any one in affliction thinks that God is angry with him, he will rather be discouraged than excited to repentance. Paul, accordingly, says, that God is angry with believers in such a way as not in the meantime to be forgetful of his mercy: nay more, that it is on this account particularly that he punishes them - that he may consult their welfare. It is an inestimable consolation f619 - that the punishments by which our sins are chastened are evidences, not of God's anger for our destruction, but rather of his paternal love, and are at the same time of assistance towards our salvation, for God is angry with us as his sons, whom he will not leave to perish. When he says - that we may not be condemned with the world, he intimates two things. The first is, that the children of this world, while they sleep on quietly and securely in their delights, f620 are fattened up, like hogs, for the day of slaughter. (<241203>Jeremiah 12:3.) For though the Lord sometimes invites the wicked, also, to repentance by his chastisements, yet he often passes them over as strangers, f621 and allows them to rush on with impunity, until they have filled up the measure of their final condemnation. (<011516>Genesis 15:16.) This privilege, therefore, belongs to believers exclusively - that by punishments they are called back from destruction. The second thing is this - that chastisements are necessary remedies for believers, for otherwise they, too, would rush on to everlasting destruction, f622 were they not restrained by temporal punishment. These considerations should lead us not merely to patience, so as to endure with equanimity the troubles that are assigned to us by God, but also to gratitude, that, giving thanks to God our Father, we may resign ourselves f623 to his discipline by a willing subjection. They are also useful to us in various ways; for they cause our afflictions to be salutary to us, while they train us up for mortification of the flesh, and a pious abasement - they accustom us to obedience to God - they convince us of our own weakness, they kindle up in our minds fervency in prayer - they exercise hope, so that at length whatever there is of bitterness in them is all swallowed up in spiritual joy. 33. Wherefore, my brethren. From the discussion of a general doctrine, he returns to the particular subject with which he had set out, and comes to this conclusion, that equality must be observed in the Lord's Supper, that there may be a real participation, as there ought to be, and that they may not celebrate every one his own supper; and farther, that this sacrament ought not to be mixed up with common feasts. 34. The rest I will set in order when I come. It is probable, that there were some things in addition, which it would be of advantage to put into better order, but as they were of less importance, the Apostle delays the correction of them until his coming among them. It may be, at the same time, that there was nothing of this nature; but as one knows better what is necessary when he is present to see, Paul reserves to himself the liberty of arranging matters when present, according as occasion may require. Papists arm themselves against us with this buckler, too, for defending their mass. For they interpret this to be the setting in order which Paul here promises - as if he would have taken the liberty f624 of overturning that eternal appointment of Christ, which he here so distinctly approves of! For what resemblance does the mass bear to Christ's institution? But away with such trifles, as it is certain that Paul speaks only of outward decorum. As this is put in the power of the Church, so it ought to be arranged according to the condition of times, places, and persons. CHAPTER 12 1 CORINTHIANS 12:1-7 1. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 1. Porro de spiritualibus, fratres, nolo vos ignorare. 2. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 2. Scitis, quum Gentes eratis, qualiter simulacra muta, prout ducebamini, sequuti sitis. 3. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 3. Quamobrem notum vobis facio, quod nemo in Spiritu Dei loquens, dicit anathema Iesum: et nemo potest dicere Dominum Iesum, nisi per Spiritum sanctum. 4. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 4. Divisiones autem donorum sunt, sed unus Spiritus. 5. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 5. Et divisiones ministeriorum aunt, sed unus Dominus. 6. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 6. Et divisiones facultatum sunt, sed Deus unus, qui operatur omnia in omnibus. 7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 7. Unicuique autem datur manifestatio Spiritus ad utilitatem. 1. Now concerning spiritual things. He goes on to correct another fault. As the Corinthians abused the gifts of God for ostentation and show, and love was little, if at all, regarded, he shows them for what purpose believers are adorned by God with spiritual gifts - for the edification of their brethren. This proposition, however, he divides into two parts; for, in the first place, he teaches, that God is the author of those gifts, and, secondly, having established this, he reasons as to their design. He proves from their own experience, that those things in which they gloried, are bestowed upon men through the exercise of God's favor; for he reminds them how ignorant they were, and stupid, and destitute of all spiritual light, previously to God's calling them. Hence it appears, that they had been furnished with them - not by nature, but through God's unmerited benignity. As to the words; when he says - I would not that ye should be ignorant, we must supply the expression - as to what is right, or as to what is your duty, or some similar expression; and by spiritual things he means spiritual gifts, as to which we shall have occasion to see afterwards. In what follows there is a twofold reading; for some manuscripts have simply o[ti others add o[te. The former means because - assigning a reason: the latter means when; and this latter reading suits much better. But besides this diversity, the construction is in other respects confused; but still, the meaning is evident. Literally, it is this - Ye know, that when ye were Gentiles, after dumb idols, according as ye were led, following. I have, however, faithfully given Paul's meaning. By dumb idols he means - having neither feeling nor motion. Let us learn from this passage how great is the blindness of the human mind: when it is without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, inasmuch as it stands in amazement at dumb idols, f625 and cannot rise higher in searching after God; nay more, it is led by Satan as if it were a brute. f626 He makes use of the term Gentiles here, in the same sense as in <490212>Ephesians 2:12. Ye were at one time Gentiles, says he, without God, strangers to the hope of salvation, etc. Perhaps, too, he reasons by way of contrast. What if f627 they should now show themselves to be less submissive to God, after his having taken them under his care, to be governed by his word and Spirit, than they formerly discovered themselves to be forward and compliant, in following the suggestions of Satan! 3. Wherefore I give you to know. Having admonished them from their own experience, he sets before them a general doctrine, which he deduces from it; for what the Corinthians had experienced in themselves is common to all mankind - to wander on in error, f628 previously to their being brought back, through the kindness of God, into the way of truth. Hence it is necessary that we should be directed by the Spirit of God, or we shall wander on for ever. From this, too, it follows, that all things that pertain to the true knowledge of God, are the gifts of the Holy Spirit,. He at the same time derives an argument from opposite causes to opposite effects. No one, speaking by the Spirit of God, can revile Christ; so, on the other hand, no one can speak well of Christ, but by the Spirit of Christ. To say that Jesus is accursed is utter blasphemy against him. To say that Jesus is the Lord, is to speak of him in honorable terms and with reverence, and to extol his majesty. Here it is asked - "As the wicked sometimes speak of Christ in honorable and magnificent terms, is this an indication that they have the Spirit of God?" I answer - "They undoubtedly have, so far as that effect is concerned; but the gift of regeneration is one thing, and the gift of bare intelligence, with which Judas himself was endowed, when he preached the gospel, is quite another." Hence, too, we perceive how great our weakness is, as we cannot so much as move our tongue for the celebration of God's praise, unless it be governed by his Spirit. Of this the Scripture, also, frequently reminds us, and the saints everywhere acknowledge that unless the Lord open their mouths, they are not fit to be the heralds of his praise. Among others, Isaiah says - I am a man of unclean lips, etc. (<230605>Isaiah 6:5.) 4. Now there are diversities of gifts. The symmetry of the Church f629 consists, so to speak, of a manifold unity, f630 that is, when the variety of gifts is directed to the same object, as in music there are different sounds, but suited to each other with such an adaptation, as to produce concord. Hence it is befitting that there should be a distinction of gifts as well as of offices, and yet all harmonize in one. Paul, accordingly, in the 12th chapter of Romans, commends this variety, that no one may, by rashly intruding himself into another's place, confound the distinction which the Lord has established. Hence he orders every one to be contented with his own gifts, and cultivate the particular department that has been assigned to him. f631 He prohibits them from going beyond their own limits by a foolish ambition. In fine, he exhorts that every one should consider how much has been given him, what measure has been allotted to him, and to what he has been called. Here, on the other hand, he orders every one to bring what he has to the common heap, and not keep back the gifts of God in the way of enjoying every one his own, apart from the others, f632 but aim unitedly at the edification of all in common. In both passages, he brings forward the similitude of the human body, but, as may be observed, on different accounts. The sum of what he states amounts to this - that gifts are not distributed thus variously among believers, in order that they may be used apart, but that in the division there is a unity, inasmuch as one Spirit is the source of all those gifts, one God is the Lord of all administrations, and the author of all exercises of power. Now God, who is the beginning, ought also to be the end. One Spirit. This passage ought to be carefully observed in opposition to fanatics, f633 who think that the name Spirit means nothing essential, but merely the gifts or actions of divine power. Here, however, Paul plainly testifies, that there is one essential power of God, whence all his works proceed. The term Spirit, it is true, is sometimes transferred by metonymy to the gifts themselves. Hence we read of the Spirit of knowledge - of judgment - of fortitude - of modesty. f634 Paul, however, here plainly testifies that judgment, and knowledge, and gentleness, and all other gifts, proceed from one source. For it is the office of the Holy Spirit to put forth and exercise the power of God by conferring these gifts upon men, and distributing them among them. One Lord. The ancients made use of this testimony in opposition to the Arians, for the purpose of maintaining a Trinity of persons. For there is mention made here of the Spirit, secondly of the Lord, and lastly of God, and to these Three, one and the same operation is ascribed. Thus, by the name Lord, they understood Christ. But for my part, though I have no objection to its being understood in this way, I perceive, at the same time, that it is a weak argument for stopping the mouths of Arians; for there is a correspondence between the word administrations and the word Lord. The administrations, says Paul, are different, but there is only one God whom we must serve, whatever administration we discharge. This antithesis, then, shows what is the simple meaning, so that to confine it to Christ is rather forced. 6. One God that worketh. Where we use the word powers the Greek term is ejnergh>mata, a term which contains an allusion to the verb worketh, as in Latin effectus (an effect) corresponds with the verb effectus (to effect.) Paul's meaning is, that although believers may be endowed with different powers, they all take their rise from one and the same power on the part of God. Hence the expression employed here - worketh all things in all - does not refer to the general providence of God, but to the liberality that he exercises towards us, in bestowing upon every one some gift. The sum is this - that there is nothing in mankind that is good or praiseworthy but what comes from God alone. Hence it is out of place here to agitate the question - in what manner God acts in Satan and in reprobates. 7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man. He now points out the purpose for which God has appointed his gifts, for he does not confer them upon us in vain, nor does he intend that they shall serve the purpose of ostentation. Hence we must inquire as to the purpose for which they are conferred. As to this Paul answers - (with a view to utility) - pro8. To one is given. He now subjoins an enumeration, or, in other words, specifies particular kinds - not indeed all of them, but such as are sufficient for his present purpose. "Believers," says he, "are endowed with different gifts, but let every one acknowledge, that he is indebted for whatever he has to the Spirit of God, for he pours forth his gifts as the sun scatters his rays in every direction. As to the difference between these gifts, knowledge (or understanding) and wisdom are taken in different senses in the Scriptures, but here I take them in the way of less and greater, as in <510203>Colossians 2:3, where they are also joined together, when Paul says, that in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge, therefore, in my opinion, means acquaintance with sacred things - Wisdom, on the other hand, means the perfection of it. Sometimes prudence is put, as it were, in the middle place between these two, and in that case it denotes skill f636 in applying knowledge to some useful purpose. They are, it is true, very nearly allied; but still you observe a difference when they are put together. Let us then take knowledge as meaning ordinary information, and wisdom, as including revelations that are of a more secret and sublime order. f637 The term faith is employed here to mean a special faith, as we shall afterwards see from the context. A special faith is of such a kind as does not apprehend Christ wholly, for redemption, righteousness, and sanctification, but only in so far as miracles are performed in his name. Judas had a faith of this kind, and he wrought miracles too by means of it. Chrysostom distinguishes it in a somewhat different manner, calling it the faith of miracles, not of doctrines. f638 This, however, does not differ much from the interpretation previously mentioned. By the gift of healings f639 every one knows what is meant. As to the workings of powers, or, as some render it, the operations of influences, there is more occasion for doubt. I am inclined, however, to think, that what is meant is the influence which is exercised against devils, and also against hypocrites. When, therefore, Christ and his Apostles by authority restrained devils, or put them to flight, that was ejne>rghma, (powerful working,) and, in like manner, when Paul smote the sorcerer with blindness, (<441311>Acts 13:11,) and when Peter struck Ananias and Sapphira dead upon the spot with a single word. The gifts of healing and of miracles, therefore, serve to manifest the goodness of God, but this last, his severity for the destruction of Satan. f640 By prophecy, I understand the singular and choice endowment of unfolding the secret will of God, so that a Prophet is a messenger, as it were, between God and man. f641 My reason for taking this view will be explained more fully afterwards. The discerning of spirits, was a clearness of perception in forming a judgment as to those who professed to be something. (<440536>Acts 5:36.) I speak not of that natural wisdom, by which we are regulated in judging. It was a special illumination, with which some were endowed by the gift of God. The use of it was this that they might not be imposed upon by masks, of mere pretences, f642 but might by that spiritual judgment distinguish, as by a particular mark, the true ministers of Christ from the false. There was a difference between the knowledge of tongues, and the interpretation of them, for those who were endowed with the former were, in many cases, not acquainted with the language of the nation with which they had to deal. The interpreters f643 rendered foreign tongues into the native language. These endowments they did not at that time acquire by labor or study, but were put in possession of them by a wonderful revelation of the Spirit. f644 11. One and the same spirit distributing. Hence it follows that those act amiss who, having no concern as to participation, break asunder that holy harmony, that is fitly adjusted in all its parts, only when under the guidance of the same Spirit, all conspire toward one and the same object. He again calls the Corinthians to unity, by reminding them that all have derived from one fountain whatever they possess, while he instructs them, at the same time, that no one has so much as to have enough within himself, so as not to require help from others. For this is what he means by these words - distributing to every one severally as he willeth. The Spirit of God, therefore, distributes them among us, in order that we may make all contribute to the common advantage. To no one does he give all, lest any one, satisfied with his particular portion, should separate himself from others, and live solely for himself. The same idea is intended in the adverb severally, as it is of great importance to understand accurately that diversity by which God unites us mutually to one another. f645 Now, when will is ascribed to the Spirit, and that, too, in connection with power, we may conclude from this, that the Spirit is truly and properly God. 12. For as the body is one. He now derives a similitude from the human body, which he makes use of also in <451204>Romans 12:4; but it is for a different purpose, as I have already stated above. In that passage, he exhorts every one to be satisfied with his own calling, and not to invade another's territory; as ambition, curiosity, or some other disposition, induces many to take in hand more than is expedient. Here, however, he exhorts believers to cleave to each other in a mutual distribution of gifts, as they were not conferred upon them by God that every one should enjoy his own separately, but that one should help another. It is usual, however, for any society of men, or congregation, to be called a body, as one city constitutes a body, and so, in like manner, one senate, and one people. Monenius Agrippa, f646 too, in ancient times, when desirous to conciliate the Roman people, when at variance with the senate, made use of an apologue, not very unlike the doctrine of Paul here. f647 Among Christians, however, the case is very different; for they do not constitute a mere political body, but are the spiritual and mystical body of Christ, as Paul himself afterwards adds. (1 Corinthians11:27.) The meaning therefore is - "Though the members of the body are various, and have different functions, they are, nevertheless, linked together in such a manner that they coalesce in one. f648 We, accordingly, who are members of Christ, although we are endowed with various gifts, ought, notwithstanding, to have an eye to that connection which we have in Christ." So also is Christ. The name of Christ is used here instead of the Church, because the similitude was intended to apply not to God's only-begotten Son, but to us. It is a passage that is full of choice consolation, inasmuch as he calls the Church Christ; for Christ f649 confers upon us this honor - that he is willing to be esteemed and recognised, not in himself merely, but also in his members. Hence the same Apostle says elsewhere, (<490123>Ephesians 1:23,) that the Church is his completion, f650 as though he would, if separated from his members, be incomplete. And certainly, as Augustine elegantly expresses himself in one part of his writings - "Since we are in Christ a fruit-bearing vine, what are we out of him but dry twigs?" (<431504>John 15:4.) In this, then, our consolation lies - that, as he and the Father are one, so we are one with him. Hence it is that his name is applied to us. 13. For we are all baptized by one Spirit. Here there is a proof brought forward from the effect of baptism. "We are," says he, "engrafted by baptism into Christ's body, so that we are by a mutual link bound together as members, and live one and the same life. Hence every one, that would remain in the Church of Christ, must necessarily cultivate this fellowship." He speaks, however, of the baptism of believers, which is efficacious through the grace of the Spirit, for, in the case of many, baptism is merely in the letter - the symbol without the reality; but believers, along with the sacrament, receive the reality. Hence, with respect to God, this invariably holds good - that baptism is an engrafting into the body of Christ, for God in that ordinance does not represent anything but what he is prepared to accomplish, provided we are on our part capable of it. The Apostle, also, observes here a most admirable medium, in teaching that the nature of baptism is - to connect us with Christ's body. Lest any one, however, should imagine, that this is effected by the outward symbol, he adds that it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Whether Jews or Greeks. He specifies these instances, to intimate, that no diversity of condition obstructs that holy unity which he recommends. This clause, too, is added suitably and appropriately, for envy might at that time arise from two sources - because the Jews were not willing that the Gentiles should be put upon a level with them; and, where one had some excellence above others, with the view of maintaining his superiority, lie withdrew himself to a distance from his brethren. We have all drunk in one Spirit. It is literally, "We have drunk into one Spirit," but it would seem that, in order that the two words ejn (in) and eJn (one) might not immediately follow each other, Paul intentionally changed ejn (in) into ejiv (into,) as he is accustomed frequently to do. Hence his meaning seems rather to be, that we are made to drink through the influence, as he had said before, of the Spirit of Christ, than that we have drunk into the same Spirit. It is uncertain, however, whether he speaks here of Baptism or of the Supper. I am rather inclined, however, to understand him as referring to the Supper, as he makes mention of drinking, for I have no doubt that he intended to make an allusion to the similitude of the sign. There is, however, no correspondence between drinking and baptism. Now, though the cup forms but the half of the Supper, there is no difficulty arising from that, for it is a common thing in Scripture to speak of the sacraments by synecdoche. f651 Thus he mentioned above in the tenth chapter (1 Corinthians10:17) simply the bread, making no mention of the cup. The meaning, therefore, will be this - that participation in the cup has an eye to this - that we drink, all of us, of the same cup. For in that ordinance we drink of the life-giving blood of Christ, that we may have life in common with him - which we truly have, when he lives in us by his Spirit. He teaches, therefore, that believers, so soon as they are initiated by the baptism of Christ, are already imbued with a desire of cultivating mutual unity, f652 and then afterwards, when they receive the sacred Supper, they are again conducted by degrees to the same unity, as they are all refreshed at the same time with the same drink. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:14-27 14. For the body is not one member, but many. 14. Etenim corpus non est unum membrum, sed multa. 15. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 15. Si dixerit pes: Quoniam non sum manus, non sum ex corpore: an propterea non est ex corpore? 16. And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16. Et si dixerit auris: Quia non sum oculus, non sum ex corpore: an propterea non est ex corpore? 17. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 17. Si toturn corpus oculus, ubi auditus? si totum auditus, ubi olfactus? 18. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 18. Nunc vero Deus posuit merebra, unumquodque ipsorum in corpore prout voluit. 19. And if they were all one member, where were the body? 19. Quodsi essent omnia unum membrum, ubi corpus? 20. But now are they really members, yet but one body. 20. At nunc multa quidem membra, unum autem corpus. 21. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 21. Nec potest oculus dicere manui: Ego to opus non habeo. Nec rursum caput pedibus: Vobis opus non habeo. 22. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 22. Quin potius, quae infirmiora corporis membra videntur esse, necessaria sunt: 23. And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 23. Et quae iudicamus viliora esse in corpore, his abundantiorem honorem circumdamus: et quae minus honesta sunt in nobis, plus decoris habent. 24. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: 24. Quae autem decora sunt in nobis, non habent opus, sed Deus contemperavit corpus, tribuens henorem abundantiorem opus habenti, 25. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 25. Ut ne dissidium esset in corpore, sed ut membra alia pro aliis invicem eandem sollicitudinem ha beant. 26. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. 26. Et sive patitur unum membrum, compatiuntur omnia membra: sive glorificatur unum membrum, congaudent omnia membra. 27. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 27. Vos autem estis corpus Christi, et membra ex parte. 15. This is a bringing out still farther (ejpexergasi>a) of the preceding statement, or in other words, an exposition of it, with some amplification, with the view of placing in a clearer light, what he had previously stated in a few words. Now all this accords with the apologue of Menenius Agrippa. "Should a dissension break out in the body, so that the feet would refuse to discharge their office to the rest of the body, and the belly in like manner, and the eyes, and the hands, what would be the effect? Would not the result be - the destruction of the whole body?" At the same time Paul here insists more particularly on this one point - that each member ought to rest satisfied with its own place and station, and not envy the others, for he institutes a comparison between the more distinguished members, and those that have less dignity. For the eye has a more honorable place in the body than the hand, and the hand than the foot. But if our hands were, from a feeling of envy, to refuse to discharge their office, would nature endure this? Would the hand be listened to, when wishing to be separated from the body? To be not of the body, means here - to have no communication with the other members, but to live for itself, and to seek only its own advantage. "Would it then," says Paul, "be allowable for the hand to refuse to do its once to the other members, on the ground of its bearing envy to the eyes?" These things are said of the natural body, but they must be applied to the members of the Church, lest ambition or misdirected emulation and envy should be the occasion of bad feeling among us, f653 so as to lead one that occupies an inferior station to grudge to afford his services to those above him. 17. If the whole body were an eye. He sets aside a foolish aiming at equality, by showing the impossibility of it. "If all the members," says he, "desire the honor that belongs to the eye, the consequence will be, that the whole body will perish; for it is impossible that the body should remain safe and sound, if the members have not different functions, and a mutual correspondence between them. Hence equality interferes with the welfare of the body, because it produces a confusion that entails present ruin. What madness, then, would it be, should one member, instead of giving way to another, f654 conspire for its own ruin and that of the body!" 18. But now God hath placed. Here we have another argument, taken from the appointment of God. "It has pleased God, that the body should consist of various members, and that the members should be endowed with various offices and gifts. That member, therefore, which will not rest satisfied with its own station, will wage war with God after the manner of the giants. f655 Let us, therefore, be subject to the arrangement which God has appointed, that we may not, to no purpose, resist his will." f656 19. If all were one member. He means, that God has not acted at random, or without good reason, in assigning different gifts to the members of the body; but because it was necessary that it should be so, for the preservation of the body; for if this symmetry were taken away, there would be utter confusion and derangement. Hence we ought to submit ourselves the more carefully to the providence of God, which has so suitably arranged everything for our common advantage. One member is taken here to mean a mass, that is all of one shape, and not distinguished by any variety; for if God were to fashion our body into a mass of this kind, it would be a useless heap. f657 20. Many members - one body. He repeats this the oftener, because the stress of the whole question lies here - that the unity of the body is of such a nature as cannot be maintained but by a diversity of members; and that, while the members differ from each other in offices and functions, it is in such a way as to have a mutual connection with each other for the preservation of the one body. Hence no body can retain its standing without a diversified symmetry of the members, that we may know to consult public as well as private advantage, by discharging, every one, the duty of his own station. 21. And the eye cannot say to the hand. Hitherto he has been showing, what is the office of the less honorable members - to discharge their duty to the body, and not envy the more distinguished members. Now, on the other hand, he enjoins it upon the more honorable members, not to despise the inferior members, which they cannot dispense with. The eye excels the hand, and yet cannot despise it, or insult over it, as though it were useless; and he draws an argument from utility, to show that it ought to be thus - "Those members, that are less esteemed, are the more necessary: hence, with a view to the safety of the body, they must not be despised." He makes use of the term weaker here, to mean despised, as in another passage, when he says that he glories in his infirmities, (<471209>2 Corinthians 12:9,) he expresses, under this term, those things which rendered him contemptible and abject. 23. Which are less honorable. Here we have a second argument - that the dishonor of one member turns out to the common disgrace of the whole body, as appears from the care that we take to cover the parts that are less honorable. "Those parts that are comely," says he, "do not require adventitious ornament; but the parts that involve shame, or are less comely, are cared for by us with greater concern. Why so? but because their shame would be the common disgrace of the whole body." To invest with honor is to put on a covering for the sake of ornament, in order that those members may be honorably concealed, which would involve shame if uncovered. f658 24. But God hath tempered the body together. He again repeats, what he had stated once before, (1 Corinthians11:18,) but more explicitly, - that God has appointed this symmetry, and that with a view to the advantage of the whole body, because it cannot otherwise maintain its standing. "For whence comes it, that all the members are of their own accord concerned for the honor of a less comely member, and agree together to conceal its shame? This inclination has been implanted in them by God, because without this adjustment a schism in the body would quickly break out. Hence it appears that the body is not merely shattered, and the order of nature perverted, but the authority of God is openly set at naught, whenever any one assumes more than belongs to him." f659 26. Whether one in member suffers. "Such a measure of fellow-feeling." (sumpa>qeia,) f660 says he, "is to be seen in the human body, that, if any inconvenience is felt by any member, all the others grieve along with it, and, on the other hand, rejoice along with it, in its prosperity. Hence there is no room there for envy or contempt." To be honored, here, is taken in a large sense, as meaning, to be in prosperity and happiness. Nothing, however, is better fitted to promote harmony than this community of interest, when every one feels that, by the prosperity of others, he is proportionally enriched, and, by their penury, impoverished. 27. But ye are the body of Christ. Hence what has been said respecting the nature and condition of the human body must be applied to us; for we are not a mere civil society, but, being ingrafted into Christ's body, are truly members one of another. Whatever, therefore, any one of us has, let him know that it has been given him for the edification of his brethren in common; and let him, accordingly, bring it forward, and not keep it back - buried, as it were, within himself, or make use of it as his own. Let not the man, who is endowed with superior gifts, be puffed up with pride, and despise others; but let him consider that there is nothing so diminutive as to be of no use - as, in truth, even the least among the pious brings forth fruit, according to his slender capacity, so that there is no useless member in the Church. Let not those who are not endowed with so much honor, envy those above them, or refuse to do their duty to them, but let them maintain the station in which they have been placed. Let there be mutual affection, mutual fellow-feeling, (sumpa>qeia,) mutual concern. Let us have a regard to the common advantage, in order that we may not. destroy the Church by malignity, or envy, or pride, or any disagreement; but may, on the contrary, every one of us, strive to the utmost of his power to preserve it. Here is a large subject, and a magnificent one; f661 but I content myself with having pointed out the way in which the above similitude must be applied to the Church. Members severally. Chrysostom is of opinion, that this clause is added, because the Corinthians were not the universal Church; but this appears to me rather forced. f662 I have sometimes thought that it was expressive of impropriety, as the Latins say Quodammodo, f663(in a manner.) f664 When, however, I view the whole matter more narrowly, I am rather disposed to refer it to that division of members of which he had made mention. They are then members severally, according as each one has had his portion and definite work assigned him. The context itself leads us to this meaning. In this way severally, and as a whole, will be opposite terms. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:28-31 28. And God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 28. Et altos quidera posuit Deus in Ecclesia, primurn apostolos, deinde Prophetas, tertio Doctores, postea Potestates, deinde dona sanationum, opitulationes, gubernationes, genera linguarum. 29. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 29. Numquid omnes Apostoli? numquid omnes Prophetae? numquid omnes Doctores? numquid omnes Potestates? 30. Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 30. Numquid omnes dona habent sanationum? numquid omnes linguis loquuntur? numquid omnes interpretantur? 31. But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. 31. Sectamini autem dona potiora. f665 He has in the beginning of the chapter spoken of gifts: now he begins to treat of offices, and this order it is proper that we should carefully observe, For the Lord did not appoint ministers, without first endowing them with the requisite gifts, and qualifying them for discharging their duty. Hence we must infer, that those are fanatics, and actuated by an evil spirit, who intrude themselves into the Church, while destitute of the necessary qualifications, as many boast that they are under the influence of the Spirit, and glory in a secret call from God, while in the meantime they are unlearned and utterly ignorant. The natural order, on the other hand, is this - that gifts come before the office to be discharged. As, then, he has taught above, that everything that an individual has received from God, should be made subservient to the common good, so now he declares that offices are distributed in such a manner, that all may together, by united efforts, edify the Church, and each individual according to his measure. f666 28. First, Apostles. He does not enumerate all the particular kinds, and there was no need of this, for he merely intended to bring forward some examples. In the fourth Chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians, (<490411>Ephesians 4:11,) there is a fuller enumeration of the offices, that are required for the continued government of the Church. The reason of this I shall assign there, if the Lord shall permit me to advance so far, though even there he does not make mention of them all. As to the passage before us, we must observe, that of the offices which Paul makes mention of, some are perpetual, others temporary. Those that are perpetual, are such as are necessary for the government of the Church; those that are temporary, are such as were appointed at the beginning for the founding of the Church, and the raising up of Christ's kingdom; and these, in a short time afterwards, ceased. To the first class belongs the office of Teacher, to the second the office of Apostle; for the Lord created the Apostles, that they might spread the gospel throughout the whole world, and he did not assign to each of them certain limits or parishes, but would have them, wherever they went, to discharge the office of ambassadors among all nations and languages. In this respect there is a difference between them and Pastors, who are, in a manner, tied to their particular churches. For the Pastor has not a commission to preach the gospel over the whole world, but to take care of the Church that has been committed to his charge. In his Epistle to the Ephesians he places Evangelists after the Apostles, but here he passes them over; for from the highest order, he passes immediately to Prophets. By this term he means, (in my opinion,) not those who were endowed with the gift of prophesying, but those who were endowed with a peculiar gift, not merely for interpreting Scripture, but also for applying it wisely for present use. f667 My reason for thinking so is this, that he prefers prophecy to all other gifts, on the ground of its yielding more edification - a commendation that would not be applicable to the predicting of future events. Farther, when he describes the office of Prophet, or at least treats of what he ought principally to do, he says that he must devote himself to consolation, exhortation, and doctrine. Now these are things that are distinct from prophesyings. f668 Let us, then, by Prophets in this passage understand, first of all, eminent interpreters of Scripture, and farther, persons who are endowed with no common wisdom and dexterity in taking a right view of the present necessity of the Church, that they may speak suitably to it, and in this way be, in a manner, ambassadors to communicate the divine will. Between them and Teachers this difference may be pointed out, that the office of Teacher consists in taking care that sound doctrines be maintained and propagated, in order that the purity of religion may be kept up in the Church. At the same time, even this term is taken in different senses, and here perhaps it is used rather in the sense of Pastor, unless you prefer, it may be, to take it in a general way for all that are endowed with the gift of teaching, as in <441301>Acts 13:1, where also Luke conjoins them with Prophets. My reason for not agreeing with those who make the whole of the office of Prophet consist in the interpretation of Scripture, is this - that Paul restricts the number of those who ought to speak, to two or three; (<461429>1 Corinthians 14:29,) which would not accord with a bare interpretation of Scripture. In fine, my opinion is this - that the Prophets here spoken of are those who make known the will of God, by applying with dexterity and skill prophecies, threatenings, promises, and the whole doctrine of Scripture, to the present use of the Church. If any one is of a different opinion, I have no objection to his being so, and will not raise any quarrel on that account. For it is difficult to form a judgment as to gifts and offices of which the Church has been so long deprived, excepting only that there are some traces, or shadows of them still to be seen. As to powers and gift of healings, I have spoken when commenting on the 12th Chapter of the Romans. Only it must be observed that here he makes mention, not so much of the gifts themselves, as of the administration of them. As the Apostle is here enumerating offices, I do not approve of what Chrysostom says, that ajntilh>yeiv, that is, helps or aids, consist in supporting the weak. What is it then? Undoubtedly, it is either an office, as well as gift, that was exercised in ancient times, but of which we have at this day no knowledge whatever; or it is connected with the office of Deacon, or in other words, the care of the poor; and this latter idea pleases me better. f669 In <451207>Romans 12:7, he makes mention of two kinds of deacons. Of these I have treated when commenting upon that passage. By Governments I understand Elders, who had the charge of discipline. For the primitive Church had its Senate, f670 for the purpose of keeping the people in propriety of deportment, as Paul shows elsewhere, when he makes mention of two kinds of Presbyters. f671 (<540517>1 Timothy 5:17.) Hence government consisted of those Presbyters who excelled others in gravity, experience, and authority. Under different kinds of tongues he comprehends both the knowledge of languages, and the gift of interpretation. They were, however, two distinct gifts; because in some cases an individual spoke in different languages, and yet did not understand the language of the Church with which he had to do. This defect was supplied by interpreters. f672 29. Are all Apostles? It may indeed have happened, that one individual was endowed with many gifts, and sustained two of the offices which he has enumerated; nor was there in this any inconsistency. Paul's object, however, is to show in the first place, that no one has such a fullness in everything as to have a sufficiency within himself, and not require the aid of others; and secondly, that offices as well as gifts are distributed in such a manner that no one member constitutes the whole body, but each contributing his portion to the common advantage, they then altogether constitute an entire and perfect body. For Paul means here to take away every occasion of proud boasting, base envyings, haughtiness, and contempt of the brethren, malignity, ambition, and everything of that nature. 31. Seek after the more excellent gifts. It might also be rendered - Value highly; and it would not suit in with the passage, though it makes little difference as to the meaning; for Paul exhorts the Corinthians to esteem and desire those gifts especially, which are most conducive to edification.: For this fault prevailed among them - that they aimed at show, rather than usefulness. Hence prophecy was neglected, while languages sounded forth among them, with great show, indeed, but with little profit. He does not, however, address individuals, as though he wished that every one should aspire at prophecy, or the office of teacher; but simply recommends to them a desire to promote edification, that they may apply themselves the more diligently to those things that are most conducive to edification. CHAPTER 13 1 CORINTHIANS 13:1-3 1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 1. Et adhuc excellentiorem viam vobis demonstro. Si linguis hominum loquar et Angelorum, caritatem autem non habeam, factus sum tympanum sonans, aut cymbalum tinniens. 2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 2. Et si habeam prophetiam, et noverim mysteria omnia omnemque scientiam, et si habeam omnem fidem, adeo ut montes loco dimoveam, caritatem autem non habeam, nihil sum. 3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 3. Et si insumam in alimoniam omnes facultates meas, et si tradam corpus meum ut comburar, caritatem autem non habeam, nihil mihi prodest. The division of the Chapter being so absurd, I could not refrain from changing it, especially as I could not conveniently interpret it otherwise. For what purpose did it serve to connect with what goes before a detached sentence, which agrees so well with what comes after - nay more, is thereby rendered complete? It is likely, that it happened through a mistake on the part of the transcribers. However it may be as to this, after having commanded that regard should be had chiefly to edification, he now declares that he will show them something of greater importance - that everything be regulated according to the rule of love. This, then, is the most excellent way, when love is the regulating principle of all our actions. And, in the outset, he proceeds upon this - that all excellencies f673 are of no value without love; for nothing is so excellent or estimable as not to be vitiated in the sight of God, if love f674 is wanting. Nor does he teach anything here but what he does elsewhere, when he declares, that it is the end of the law, and the bond of perfection, (<540105>1 Timothy 1:5,) and also when he makes the holiness of the godly consist entirely in this, (Colossians 3:l4,) - for what else does God require from us in the second Table of the Law? It is not then to be wondered, if all our deeds are estimated by this test - their appearing to proceed from love. It is also not to be wondered, if gifts, otherwise excellent, come to have their true value only when they are made subservient to love. 1. If should speak with the tongues of men. He begins with eloquence, which is, it is true, an admirable gift, considered in itself, but, when apart from love, does not recommend a man in the estimation of God. When he speaks of the tongue of angels, he uses a hyperbolical expression to denote what is singular, or distinguished. At the same time, I explain it rather as referring to the diversity of languages, which the Corinthians held in much esteem, measuring everything by ambition - not by fruit. f675 "Make yourself master," says he, "of all the languages, not of men merely, but even of Angels. You have, in that case, no reason to think, that you are of higher estimation in the sight of God than a mere cymbal, if you have not love." 2. And if I should have the gift of prophecy. He brings down to nothing the dignity of even this endowment, f676 which, nevertheless, he had preferred to all others. To know all mysteries, might seem to be added to the term prophecy, by way of explanation, but as the term knowledge is immediately added, of which he had previously made mention by itself, (<461408>1 Corinthians 14:8,) it will deserve your consideration, whether the knowledge of mysteries may not be used here to mean wisdom. As for myself, while I would not venture to affirm that it is so, I am much inclined to that opinion. That faith, of which he speaks, is special, as is evident from the clause that is immediately added - so that I remove mountains. Hence the Sophists accomplish nothing, when they pervert this passage for the purpose of detracting from the excellence of faith. As, therefore, the term faith is (polu>shmon) used in a variety of senses, it is the part of the prudent reader to observe in what signification it is taken. Paul, however, as I have already stated, is his own interpreter, by restricting faith, here, to miracles. It is what Chrysostom calls the "faith of miracles," and what we term a "special faith," because it does not apprehend a whole Christ, but simply his power in working miracles; and hence it may sometimes exist in a man without the Spirit of sanctification, as it did in Judas. f677 3. And if I should expend all my possessions. f678 This, it is true, is worthy of the highest praise, if considered in itself; but as liberality in many cases proceeds from ambition - not from true generosity, or even the man that is liberal is destitute of the other departments of love, (for even liberality, that is inwardly felt, is only one department of love,) it may happen that a work, otherwise so commendable, has, indeed, a fair show in the sight of men, and is applauded by them, and yet is regarded as nothing in the sight of God. And if I should give up my body. He speaks, undoubtedly, of martyrdom, which is an act that is the most lovely and excellent of all; for what is more admirable than that invincible fortitude of mind, which makes a man not hesitate to pour out his life for the testimony of the gospel? Yet even this, too, God regards as nothing, if the mind is destitute of love. The kind of punishment that he makes mention of was not then so common among Christians; for we read that tyrants, at that time, set themselves to destroy the Church, rather by swords than by flames, f679 except that Nero, in his rage, had recourse, also, to burning. The Spirit appears, however, to have predicted here, by Paul's mouth, the persecutions that were coming. But this is a digression. The main truth in the passage is this - that as love is the only rule of our actions, and the only means of regulating the right use of the gifts of God, nothing, in the absence of it, is approved of by God, however magnificent it may be in the estimation of men. For where it is wanting, the beauty of all virtues is mere tinsel - is empty sound - is not worth a straw - nay more, is offensive and disgusting. As for the inference which Papists draw from this - that love is therefore of more avail for our justification than faith, we shall refute it afterwards. At present, we must proceed to notice what follows, 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8 4. Charity suffereth long, and is kind: charity envieth not: charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 4. Caritaspatiens est, benigne agit, caritas non aemulatur, caritas non agit insolenter, non inflatur: 5. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 5. Non agit indecenter, non quaerit sua ipsius, non provocatur, non cogitat malum: 6. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 6. Non gaudet obiniustitiam, con gaudet autem veritati. 7. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 7. Omnia fert, omnia credit, omnia sperat, omnia sustinet. 8. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 8. Caritas nunquam excidit: sive prophetiae abolebuntur, sive linguae cessabunt, sive scientia destruetur. 4. Love is patient. He now commends love from its effects or fruits, though at the same time these eulogiums are not intended merely for its commendation, but to make the Corinthians understand what are its offices, and what is its nature. The object, however, mainly in view, is to show how necessary it is for preserving the unity of the Church. I have also no doubt that he designed indirectly to reprove the Corinthians, by setting before them a contrast, in which they might recognize, by way of contraries, their own vices. The first commendation of love is this - that, by patient endurance of many things, it promotes peace and harmony in the Church. Near akin to this is the second excellence - gentleness and lenity, for such is the meaning of the verb crhsteu>esqai. f680 A third excellence is - that it counteracts emulation, the seed of all contentions. Under emulation he comprehends envy, which is a vice near akin to it, or rather, he means that emulation, which is connected with envy, and frequently springs from it. Hence where envy reigns - where every one is desirous to be the first, or appear so, love there has no place. What I have rendered - does not act insolently - is in the Greek crhsteu>esqai. Erasmus has rendered it, is not froward. f681 It is certain that the word has different significations; but, as it is sometimes taken to mean - being fierce, or insolent, through presumption, this meaning seemed to be more suitable to the passage before us. f682 Paul, therefore, ascribes to love moderation, and declares that it is a bridle to restrain men, that they may not break forth into ferocity, but may live together in a peaceable and orderly manner. He adds, farther, that it has nothing of the nature of pride. f683 That man, then, who is governed by love, is not puffed up with pride, so as to despise others and feel satisfied with himself. f684 5. Doth not behave itself unseemly. Erasmus renders it "Is not disdainful;" but as he quotes no author in support of this interpretation, I have preferred to retain its proper and usual signification. I explain it, however, in this way - that love does not exult in a foolish ostentation, or does not bluster, but observes moderation and propriety. And in this manner, he again reproves the Corinthians indirectly, because they shamefully set at naught all propriety by an unseemly haughtiness. f685 Seeketh not its own. From this we may infer, how very far we are from having love implanted in us by nature; for we are naturally prone to have love and care for ourselves, and aim at our own advantage. Nay, to speak more correct]y, we rush headlong into it. f686 For so perverse an inclination the remedy f687 is love, which leads us to leave off caring for ourselves, and feel concerned for our neighbors, so as to love them and be concerned for their welfare. Farther, to seek one's own things, f688 is to be devoted to self, and to be wholly taken up with concern for one's own advantage. This definition solves the question, whether it is lawful for a Christian to be concerned for his own advantage? for Paul does not here reprove every kind of care or concern for ourselves, but the excess of it, which proceeds from an immoderate and blind attachment to ourselves. Now the excess lies in this - if we think of ourselves so as to neglect others, or if the desire of our own advantage calls us off from that concern, which God commands us to have as to our neighbors. f689 He adds, that love is also a bridle to repress quarrels, and this follows from the first two statements. For where there is gentleness and forbearance, persons in that case do not, on a sudden, become angry, and are not easily stirred up to disputes and contests. f690 7. Beareth all things, etc. By all these statements he intimates, that love is neither impatient nor spiteful. For to bear and endure all things is the part of forbearance to believe and hope all things is the part of candor and kindness. As we are naturally too much devoted to self, this vice renders us morose and peevish. The effect is, that every one wishes that others should carry him upon their shoulders, but refuses for his part to assist others. The remedy for this disease is love, which makes us subject to our brethren, and teaches us to apply our shoulders to their burdens. (<480602>Galatians 6:2.) Farther, as we are naturally spiteful, we are, consequently, suspicious too, and take almost everything amiss. Love, on the other hand, calls us back to kindness, so that we think favorably and candidly of our neighbors. When he says all things, you must understand him as referring to the things that ought to be endured, and in such a manner as is befitting. For we are not to bear with vices, so as to give our sanction to them by flattery, or, by winking at them, encourage them through our supineness. Farther, this endurance does not exclude corrections and just punishments. The case is the same as to kindness in judging of things. Love believeth all things - not that the Christian knowingly and willingly allows himself to be imposed upon - not that he divests himself of prudence and judgment, that he may be the more easily taken advantage of - not that he unlearns the way of distinguishing black from white. What then? He requires here, as I have already said, simplicity and kindness in judging of things; and he declares that these f691 are the invariable accompaniments of love. The consequence will be, that a Christian man will reckon it better to be imposed upon by his own kindness and easy temper, than to wrong his brother by an unfriendly suspicion. 8. Love never faileth. Here we have another excellence of love - that it endures for ever. There is good reason why we should eagerly desire an excellence that will never come to an end. Hence love must be preferred before temporary and perishable gifts. Prophesyings have an end, tongues fail, knowledge ceases. Hence love is more excellent than they on this ground - that, while they fail, it survives. Papists pervert this passage, for the purpose of establishing the doctrine which they have contrived, without any authority from Scripture - that the souls of the deceased pray to God on our behalf. For they reason in this manner: "Prayer is a perpetual office of love - love endures in the souls of departed saints - therefore they pray for us." For my part, although I should not wish to contend too keenly on this point, yet, in order that they may not think that they have gained much by having this conceded to them, I reply to their objection in a few words. In the first place, though love endures for ever, it does not necessarily follow that it is (as the expression is) in constant exercise. For what is there to hinder our maintaining that the saints, being now in the enjoyment of calm repose, do not exercise love in present offices? f692 What absurdity, I pray you, would there be in this? In the second place, were I to maintain, that it is not a perpetual office of love to intercede for the brethren, how would they prove the contrary? That a person may intercede for another, it is necessary that he be acquainted with his necessity. If we may conjecture as to the state of the dead, it is a more probable supposition, that departed saints are ignorant of what is doing here, than that they are aware of our necessities. Papists, it is true, imagine, that they see the whole world in the reflection of light which they enjoy in the vision of God; but it is a profane and altogether heathenish contrivance, which has more of the savor of Egyptian theology, f693 than it has of accordance with Christian philosophy. What, then, if I should maintain that the saints, being ignorant of our condition, are not concerned in reference to us? With what argument will Papists press me, so as to constrain me to hold their opinion? What if I should affirm, that they are so occupied and swallowed up, as it were, in the vision of God, that they think of nothing besides? How will they prove that this is not agreeable to reason? 'What if I should reply, that the perpetuity of love, here mentioned by the Apostle, will be after the last day, and has nothing to do with the time that is intermediate? What if I should say that the office of mutual intercession has been enjoined only upon the living, and those that are sojourning in this world, and consequently does not at all extend to the departed? But I have already said more than enough; for the very point for which they contend I leave undetermined, that I may not raise any contention upon a matter that does not call for it. It was, however, of importance to notice, in passing, how little support is given them from this passage, in which they think they have so strong a bulwark. Let us reckon it enough, that it has no support from any declaration of scripture, and that, consequently, it is maintained by them rashly and inconsiderately. f694 Whether knowledge, it will be destroyed. We have already seen the meaning of these words; but from this arises a question of no small importances whether those who in this world excel either in learning, or in other gifts, will be on a level with idiots in the kingdom of God? In the first place, I should wish to admonish f695 pious readers, not to harass themselves more than is meet in the investigation of these things. Let them rather seek the way by which the kingdom of God is arrived at, than curiously inquire, what is to be our condition there; for the Lord himself has, by his silence, called us back from such curiosity. I now return to the question. So far as I can conjecture, and am able even to gather in part from this passage - inasmuch as learning, knowledge of languages, and similar gifts are subservient to the necessity of this life, I do not think that there will be any of them then remaining. The learned, however, will sustain no loss from the want of them, inasmuch as they will receive the fruit of them, which is greatly to be preferred. f696 1 CORINTHIANS 13:9-13- 9. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part: 9. Ex parte enim cognoscimus, et ex parte prophetamus: 10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 10. At ubi venerit quod perfectum est, tunc, quod ex parte est, abolebitur. 11. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 11. Quum essem puer, ut puer loquebar, ut puer sentiebam, ut puer cogitabam: at postquam factus sum vir, abolevi puerilia. 12. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 12. Cernimus enim nunc per speculum in aenigmate: tunc autem facie ad faciem: nunc cognosco ex parte: tune vero cognoscam, quem admodum et cognitus sum. 13. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the great est of these is charity. 13. Nunc autem manet fides, spes, caritas, tria haec: sed maxima ex his est caritas. He now proves that prophecy, and other gifts of that nature, are done away, f697 because they are conferred upon us to help our infirmity. Now our imperfection will one day have an end. Hence the use, even of those gifts, will, at the same time, be discontinued, for it were absurd that they should remain and be of no use. They will, therefore, perish. This subject he pursues to the end of the chapter. 9. We know in part. This passage is misinterpreted by most persons, as if it meant that our knowledge, and in like manner our prophecy, is not yet perfect, but that we are daily making progress in them. Paul's meaning, however, is - that it is owing to our imperfection that we at present have knowledge and prophecy. Hence the phrase in part means - "Because we are not yet perfect." Knowledge and prophecy, therefore, have place among us so long as that imperfection cleaves to us, to which they are helps. It is true, indeed, that we ought to make progress during our whole life, and that everything that we have is merely begun. Let us observe, however, what Paul designs to prove - that the gifts in question are but temporary. Now he proves this from the circumstance, that the advantage of them is only for a time - so long as we aim at the mark by making progress every day. 10. When that which is perfect is come. "When the goal has been reached, then the helps in the race will be done away." He retains, however, the form of expression that he had already made use of, when he contrasts perfection with what is in part. "Perfection," says he, "when it will arrive, will put an end to everything that aids imperfection." But when will that perfection come? It begins, indeed, at death, for then we put off, along with the body, many infirmities; but it will not be completely manifested until the day of judgment, as we shall hear presently. Hence we infer, that the whole of this discussion is ignorantly applied to the time that is intermediate. 11. When I was a child. He illustrates what he had said, by a similitude. For there are many things that are suitable to children, which are afterwards done away on arriving at maturity. For example, education is necessary for childhood; it does not comport with mature age. f698 So long as we live in this world, we require, in some sense, education. We are far from having attained, as yet, the perfection of wisdom. That perfection, therefore, which will be in a manner a maturity of spiritual age, will put an end to education and its accompaniments. In his Epistle to the Ephesians, (<490414>Ephesians 4:14,) he exhorts us to be no longer children; but he has there another consideration in view, of which we shall speak when we come to that passage. 12. We now see through a glass. Here we have the application of the similitude. "The measure of knowledge, that we now have, is suitable to imperfection and childhood, as it were; for we do not as yet see clearly the mysteries of the heavenly kingdom, and we do not as yet enjoy a distinct view of them." To express this, he makes use of another similitude - that we now see only as in a glass, and therefore but obscurely. This obscurity he expresses by the term enigma. f699 In the first place, there can be no doubt that it is the ministry of the word, and the means that are required for the exercise of it, that he compares to a looking-glass. For God, who is otherwise invisible, has appointed these means for discovering himself to us. At the same time, this may also be viewed as extending to the entire structure of the world, in which the glory of God shines forth to our view, in accordance with what is stated in <450116>Romans 1:16; and <470318>2 Corinthians 3:18. In <450120>Romans 1:20 the Apostle speaks of the creatures as mirrors, f700 in which God's invisible majesty is to be seen; but as he treats here particularly of spiritual gifts, which are subservient to the ministry of the Church, and are its accompaniments, we shall not wander away from our present subject. The ministry of the word, I say, is like a looking-glass. For the angels have no need of preaching, or other inferior helps, nor of sacraments, for they enjoy a vision of God of another kind; f701 and God does not give them a view of his face merely in a mirror, but openly manifests himself as present with them. We, who have not as yet reached that great height, behold the image of God as it is presented before us in the word, in the sacraments, and, in fine, in the whole of the service of the Church. This vision Paul here speaks of as partaking of obscurity - not as though it were doubtful or delusive, but because it is not so distinct as that which will be at last afforded on the final day. He teaches the same thing in other words, in the second Epistle - (<470507>2 Corinthians 5:7) - that, so long as we dwell in the body we are absent from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight. Our faith, therefore, at present beholds God as absent. How so? Because it sees not his face, but rests satisfied with the image in the mirror; but when we shall have left the world, and gone to him, it will behold him as near and before its eyes. Hence we must understand it in this manner - that the knowledge of God, which we now have from his word, is indeed certain and true, and has nothing in it that is confused, or perplexed, or dark, but is spoken of as comparatively obscure, because it comes far short of that clear manifestation to which we look forward; for then we shall see face to face. f702 Thus this passage is not at all at variance with other passages, which speak of the clearness, at one time, of the law, at another time, of the entire Scripture, but more especially of the gospel. For we have in the word (in so far as is expedient for us)a naked and open revelation of God, and it has nothing intricate in it, to hold us in suspense, as wicked persons imagine; f703 but how small a proportion does this bear to that vision, which we have in our eye! Hence it is only in a comparative sense, that it is termed obscure. The adverb then denotes the last day, rather than the time that is immediately subsequent to death. At the same time, although full vision will be deferred until the day of Christ, a nearer view of God will begin to be enjoyed immediately after death, when our souls, set free from the body, will have no more need of the outward ministry, or other inferior helps. Paul, however, as I noticed a little ago, does not enter into any close discussion as to the state of the dead, because the knowledge of that is not particularly serviceable to piety. Now I know in part. That is, the measure of our present knowledge is imperfect, as John says in his Epistle, (<620301>1 John 3:1,2,) that we know, indeed, that we are the sons of God, but that it doth not yet appear, until we shall see God as he is. Then we shall see God - not in his image, but in himself, so that there will be, in a manner, a mutual view. 13. But now remaineth faith, hope, love. This is a conclusion from what goes before - that love is more excellent than other gifts; but in place of the enumeration of gifts that he had previously made, he now puts faith and hope along with love, as all those gifts are comprehended under this summary. For what is the object of the entire ministry, but that we may be instructed as to these things? f704 Hence the term faith has a larger acceptation here, than in previous instances; for it is as though he had said - "There are, it is true, many and various gifts, but they all point to this object, and have an eye to it." To remain, then, conveys the idea, that, as in the reckoning up of an account, when everything has been deducted, this is the sum that remains. For faith does not remain after death, inasmuch as the Apostle elsewhere contrasts it with sight, (<470507>2 Corinthians 5:7,) and declares that it remains only so long as we are absent from the Lord. We are now in possession of what is meant by faith in this passage - that knowledge of God and of the divine will, which we obtain by the ministry of the Church; or, if you prefer it, faith universal, and taken in its proper acceptation. Hope is nothing else than perseverance in faith. For when we have once believed the word of God, it remains that we persevere until the accomplishment of these things. Hence, as faith is the mother of hope, so it is kept up by it, so as not to give way. The greatest of these is love. It is so, if we estimate its excellence by the effects which he has previously enumerated; and farther, if we take into view its perpetuity. For every one derives advantage from his own faith and hope, but love extends its benefits to others. Faith and hope belong to a state of imperfection: love will remain even in a state of perfection. For if we single out the particular effects of faith, and compare them, faith will be found to be in many respects superior. Nay, even love itself, according to the testimony of the same Apostle, (<520103>1 Thessalonians 1:3,) is an effect of faith. Now the effect is, undoubtedly, inferior to its cause. Besides, there is bestowed upon faith a signal commendation, which does not apply to love, when John declares that it is our victory, which overcometh the world. (<620504>1 John 5:4.) In fine, it is by faith that we are born against that we become the sons of God - that we obtain eternal life, and that Christ dwells in us. (<490317>Ephesians 3:17.) Innumerable other things I pass over; but these few are sufficient to prove what I have in view - that faith is, in many of its effects, superior to love. Hence it is evident, that it is declared here to be superior - not in every respect, but inasmuch as it will be perpetual, and holds at present the first place in the preservation of the Church. It is, however, surprising how much pleasure Papists take hi thundering forth these words. "If faith justifies," say they, "then much more does love, which is declared to be greater." A solution of this objection is already furnished from what I have stated, but let us grant that love is in every respect superior; what sort of reasoning is that - that because it is greater, therefore it is of more avail for justifying men! Then a king will plow the ground better than a husbandman, and he will make a shoe better than a shoemaker, because he is more noble than either! Then a man will run faster than a horse, and will carry a heavier burden than an elephant, because he is superior in dignity! Then angels will give light to the earth better than the sun and moon, because they are more excellent! If the power of justifying depended on the dignity or merit of faith they might perhaps be listened to; but we do not teach that faith justifies, on the ground of its having more worthiness, or occupying a higher station of honor, but because it receives the righteousness which is freely offered in the gospel. Greatness or dignity has nothing to do with this. Hence this passage gives Papists no more help, than if the Apostle had given the preference to faith above everything else. CHAPTER 14 1 CORINTHIANS 14:1-6 1. Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 1. Sectamini caritatem: aemulamini spiritualia, magis autem ut prophetetis. 2. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. 2. Nam qui loquitur lingua, non hominibus loquitur sed Deo: nullus enim audit; Spiritu vero loquitur mysteria. 3. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 3. Caeterum qui prophetat, heminibus loquitur ad aedificationem, exhortationem, et consolationem. 4. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 4. Qui loquitur lingua, se ipsum aedificat; at qui prophetat, Ecclesiam aedificat. 5. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesled: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. 5. Volo autem omnes vos loqui linguis, magis tamen ut prophetetis; maior enim qui prophetat, quam qui linguis loquitur; nisi interpretetur, ut Ecclesia aedificationem accipiat. 6. Now brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? 6. Nunc autem, fratres, si venero ad vos linguis loquens, quil vobis prodero, nisi vobis loquar aut per revelationem, aut per scientiam, aut per prophetiam, aut per doctrinam? As he had previously exhorted them to follow after the more excellent gifts, (<461231>1 Corinthians 12:31,) so he exhorts them now to follow after love, f705 for that was the distinguished excellence, f706 which he had promised that he would show them. They will, therefore, regulate themselves with propriety in the use of gifts, if love prevails among them. For he tacitly reproves the want of love, as appearing in this - that they had hitherto abused their gifts, and, inferring from what goes before, that where they do not assign to love the chief place, they do not take the right road to the attaimnent of true excellence, he shows them how foolish their ambition is, which frustrates their hopes and desires. 1. Covet spiritual gifts. Lest the Corinthians should object that they wronged God, if they despised his gifts, the Apostle anticipates this objection by declaring, that it was not his design to draw them away even from those gifts that they had abused - nay rather he commends the pursuit of them, and wishes them to have a place in the Church. And assuredly, as they had been conferred for the advantage of the Church, man's abuse of them ought not to give occasion for their being thrown away as useless or injurious, but in the meantime he commends prophecy above all other gifts, as it was the most useful of them all. He observes, therefore, an admirable medium, by disapproving of nothing that was useful, while at the same time he exhorts them not to prefer, by an absurd zeal, things of less consequence to what was of primary importance. Now he assigns the first place to prophecy. Covet, therefore, spiritual gifts - that is, "Neglect no gift, for I exhort you to seek after them all, provided only prophecy holds the first place." 2. For he that speaketh in another f707 tongue, speaketh, etc. He now shows from the effect, why it was that he preferred prophecy to other gifts, and he compares it with the gift of tongues, in which it is probable the Corinthians exercised themselves the more, because it had more of show connected with it, for when persons hear a man speaking in a foreign tongue, their admiration is commonly excited. He accordingly shows, from principles already assumed, how perverse a thing this is, inasmuch as it does not at all contribute to the edifying of the Church. He says in the outset - He that speaketh in another tongue, speaketh not unto men, but unto God: that is, according to the proverb, "He sings to himself and to the Muses." f708 In the use of the word tongue, there is not a pleonasm, f709 as in those expressions - "She spake thus with her mouth," and "I caught the sound with these ears." The term denotes a foreign language. The reason why he does not speak to men is - because no one heareth, that is, as an articulate voice. For all hear a sound, but they do not understand what is said. He speaketh in the Spirit - that is, "by a spiritual gift, (for in this way I interpret it along with Chrysostom.) He speaketh mysteries and hidden things, and things, therefore, that are of no profit." Chrysostom understands mysteries here in a good sense, as meaning - special revelations from God. I understand the term, however, in a bad sense, as meaning - dark sayings, that are obscure and involved, as if he had said, "He speaks what no one understands." 3. He that prophesieth, speaketh unto men. "Prophecy," says he, "is profitable to all, while a foreign language is a treasure hid in the earth. What great folly, then, it is to spend all one's time in what is useless, and, on the other hand, to neglect what appears to be most useful!" To speak to edification, is to speak what contains doctrine fitted to edify. For I understand this term to mean doctrine, by which we are trained to piety, to faith, to the worship and fear of God, and the duties of holiness and righteousness. As, however, we have for the most part need of goads, while others are pressed down by afflictions, or labor under weakness, he adds to doctrine, exhortation and consolation. It appears from this passage, and from what goes before, that prophecy does not mean the gift of foretelling future events: but as I have said this once before, I do not repeat it. 4. He that speaketh in another tongue, edifieth himself. In place of what he had said before - that he speaketh unto God, he now says - he speaketh to himself. But whatever is done in the Church, ought to be for the common benefit. Away, then, with that misdirected ambition, which gives occasion for the advantage of the people generally being hindered! Besides, Paul speaks by way of concession: for when ambition makes use of such empty vauntings, f710 there is inwardly no desire of doing good; but Paul does, in effect, order away from the common society of believers those men of mere show, who look only to themselves. 5. I would that ye all spake with tongues. Again he declares that he does not give such a preference to prophecy, as not. to leave some place for foreign tongues. This must be carefully observed. For God has conferred nothing upon his Church in vain, and languages were of some benefit. f711 Hence, although the Corinthians, by a misdirected eagerness for show, had rendered that gift partly useless and worthless, and partly even injurious, yet Paul, nevertheless, commends the use of tongues. So far is he from wishing them abolished or thrown away. At the present day, while a knowledge of languages is more than simply necessary, and while God has at this time, in his wonderful kindness, brought them forward from darkness into light, there are at present great theologians, who declaim against them with furious zeal. As it is certain, that the Holy Spirit has here honored the use of tongues with never-dying praise, we may very readily gather, what is the kind of spirit that actuates those reformers, f712 who level as many reproaches as they can against the pursuit of them. At the same time the cases are very different. For Paul takes in languages of any sort - such as served merely for the publication of the gospel among all nations. They, on the other hand, condemn those languages, from which, as fountains, the pure truth of scripture is to be drawn. An exception is added - that we must not be so taken up with the use of languages, as to treat with neglect prophecy, which ought to have the first place. Unless he interpret. For if interpretation is added, there will then be prophecy. You must not, however, understand Paul to give liberty here to any one to take up the time of the Church to no profit by muttering words in a foreign tongue. For how ridiculous it were, to repeat the same thing in a variety of languages without any necessity! But it often happens, that the use of a foreign tongue is seasonable. In short, let us simply have an eye to this as our end - that edification may redound to the Church. 6. Now, brethren, if I should come. He proposes himself as an example, because in his person the case was exhibited more strikingly f713 The Corinthians experienced in themselves abundant fruit from his doctrine. He asks them, then, of what advantage it would be to them, if he were to make use of foreign languages among them. He shows them by this instance, how much better it were to apply their minds to prophesyings. Besides, it was less invidious to reprove this vice in his own person, than in that of another. He mentions, however, four different kinds of edification - revelation, knowledge, prophesying, and doctrine. As there are a variety of opinions among interpreters respecting them, let me be permitted, also, to bring forward my conjecture. As, however, it is but a conjecture, I leave my readers to judge of it. Revelation and prophesying I put in one class, and I am of opinion that the latter is the administration of the former. I am of the same opinion as to knowledge and doctrine. What, therefore, any one has obtained by revelation, he dispenses by prophesying. Doctrine is the way of communicating knowledge. Thus a Prophet will be - one who interprets and administers revelation. This is rather in favor of the definition that I have given above, than at variance with it. For we have said that prophesying does not consist of a simple and bare interpretation of Scripture, but includes also knowledge for applying it to present use - which is obtained only by revelation, and the special inspiration of God. 1 CORINTHIANS 14:7-17 7. And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 7. Quin et inanimia vocem reddentia, sive tibia, sive cithara, nisi distinctionem sonis dederint: quomodo cognoscetur, quod tibia canitur aut cithara? 8. For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 8. Etenim si incertam vocem tuba dederit, quis apparabitur ad bellum? 9. So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 9. Sic et vos per linguam, nisi significantem sermonem dederitis: quomodo intelligetur quod dicitur? eritis enim in aerem loquentes. 10. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 10. Tam multa, verbi gratia, genera vocum sunt in mundo, et nihil horum mutum. 11. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 11. Itaque si nesciero vim voeis, ero ei qui loquitur, barbarus: et qui loquitur, apud me barbarus. 12. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 12. Itaque et vos, quandoquidem sectatores estis spirituum, ad aedificationera Ecclesiae quaeerite, ut excellatis. 13. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. 13. Quapropter qui loquitur lingua, oret ut interpretetur. 14. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 14. Nam si orem lingua, spiritus meus orat, mens autem mea fructu caret. 15. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 15. Quid igitur est? orabo spiritu, sed orabo et mente: canam spiritu, sed canam et mente. 16. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? 16. Alioqui si benedixeris spiritu, is qui implet locum idiotae, quomodo dicturus est Amen ad tuam gratiarum actionem? quandoquidem quid dicas, nescit. 17. For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 17. Nam tu quidem bene gratias agis, sed alius non aedificatur. 7. Nay even things without life. He brings forward similitudes, first from musical instruments, and then afterwards from the nature of things generally, there being no voice that has not some peculiarity, suitable for distinction. f714 "Even things without life," says he, "instruct us." There are, it is true, many random sounds or crashes, without any modulation, f715 but Paul speaks here of voices in which there is something of art, as though he had said - "A man cannot give life to a harp or flute, but he makes it give forth a sound that is regulated in such a manner, that it can be distinguished. How absurd then it is, that even men, endowed with intelligence, should utter a confused, indistinguishable sound!" We must not, however, enter here upon any minute discussion as to musical harmonies, inasmuch as Paul has merely taken what. is commonly understood; as, for example, the sound of the trumpet, f716 of which he speaks shortly afterwards; for it is so much calculated to raise the spirits, that it rouses up - not only men, but even horses. Hence it is related in historical records, that the Lacedemonians, when joining battle, preferred the use of the flute, f717 lest the army should, at the first charge, rush forward upon the enemy with too keen an onset. f718 In fine, we all know by experience what power music has in exciting men's feelings, so that Plato affirms, and not without good reason, that music has very much effect in influencing, in one way or another, the manners of a state. To speak into the air is to beat the air (<460926>1 Corinthians 9:26) to no purpose. "Thy voice will not reach either God or man, but will vanish into air." 10. None of them dumb. f719 He now speaks in a more general way, for he now takes in the natural voices of animals. He uses the term dumb here, to mean confused - as opposed to an articulate voice; for the barking of dogs differs from the neighing of horses, and the roaring of lions from the braying of asses. Every kind of bird, too, has its own particular way of singing and chirping. The whole order of nature, therefore, as appointed by God, invites us to observe a distinction. f720 11. I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian. f721 The tongue ought to be an index of the mind - not merely in the sense of the proverb, but in the sense that is explained by Aristotle in the commencement of his book - "On Interpretation." f722 How foolish then it is and preposterous in a man, to utter in an assembly a voice of which the hearer understands nothing - in which he perceives no token from which he may learn what the person means! It is not without good reason, therefore, that Paul views it as the height of absurdity, that a man should be a barbarian to the hearers, by chattering in an unknown tongue, and at the same time he elegantly treats with derision the foolish ambition of the Corinthians, who were eager to obtain praise and fame by this means. "This reward," says he, "you will earn - that you will be a barbarian." For the term barbarian, whether it be an artificial one, (as Strabo thinks, f723) or derived from some other origin, is taken in a bad sense. Hence the Greeks, who looked upon themselves as the only persons who were good speakers, and had a polished language, gave to all others the name of barbarians, from their rude and rustic dialect. No language, however, is so cultivated as not to be reckoned barbarous, when it is not understood. "He that heareth," says Paul, "will be unto me a barbarian, and I will be so to him in return." By these words he intimates, that to speak in an unknown tongue, is not to hold fellowship with the Church, but rather to keep aloof from it, and that he who will act this part, will be deservedly despised by others, because he first despises them. 12. Since you are in pursuit of spiritual gifts. Paul concludes that the gift of tongues has not been conferred with the view of giving occasion of boasting to a few, without yielding advantage to the Church. "If spiritual gifts," says he, "delight you, let the end be edification. Then only may you reckon, that you have attained an excellence that is true and praiseworthy - when the Church receives advantage from you. Paul, however, does not hereby give permission to any one to cherish an ambition to excel, even to the benefit of the Church, but by correcting the fault, he shows how far short they come of what they are in pursuit of, and at the same time lets them know who they are that should be most highly esteemed. He would have a man to be held in higher estimation, in proportion as he devotes himself with eagerness to promote edification. In the meantime, it is our part to have this one object in view - that the Lord may be exalted, and that his kingdom may be, from day to day, enlarged. The term spirits, f724 he employs here, by metonymy, to denote spiritual gifts, as the spirit of doctrine, or of understanding, or of judgment, is employed to denote spiritual doctrine, or understanding, or judgment. Otherwise we must keep in view what he stated previously, that it is one and the same Spirit, who distributeth to every man various gifts according to his will. (<461201>1 Corinthians 12:1 l.) 13. Wherefore let him that speaketh in another tongue. This is an anticipation, by way of reply to a question which might very readily be proposed to him. "If any one, therefore, is able to speak a foreign language, will the gift be useless? Why should that be kept back, which might be brought out to light, to the glory of God?" He shows the remedy. "Let him," says he, "ask from God the gift of interpretation also. If he is without this, let him abstain in the meantime from ostentation." f725 14. For if I pray in another tongue. f726 While this example, too, serves to confirm what he has previously maintained, it forms, at the same time, in my opinion, an additional particular. For it is probable that the Corinthians had been in fault in this respect also, that, as they discoursed, so they also prayed in foreign tongues. At the same time, both abuses took their rise from the same source, as indeed they were comprehended under one class. What is meant by praying in a tongue, f727 appears from what goes before - to frame a prayer in a foreign language. The meaning of the term spirit, however, is not so easily explained. The idea of Ambrose, who refers it to the Spirit that we receive in baptism, has not only no foundation, but has not even the appearance of it. Augustine takes it in a more refined way, as denoting that apprehension, which conceives ideas and signs of things, so that it is a faculty of the soul that is inferior to the understanding. There is more plausibility in the opinion of those who interpret it as meaning the breathing of the throat - that is, the breath. This interpretation, however, does not accord with the meaning which the term invariably bears in Paul's discussion in this place: nay more, it appears to have been repeated the oftener by way of concession. For they gloried in that honorary distinction, which Paul, it is true, allows them, while, on the other hand, he shows how preposterous it is to abuse f728 a thing that is good and excellent. It is as though he had said - "Thou makest thy boast to me of spirit, but to what purpose, if it is useless?" From this consideration, I am led to agree with Chrysostom, as to the meaning of this term, who explains it, as in the previous instance, (<461412>1 Corinthians 14:12,) to mean a spiritual gift. Thus my spirit will mean - the gift conferred upon me. f729 But here a new question arises; for it is not credible (at least we nowhere read of it) that any spoke under the influence of the Spirit in a language that was to themselves unknown. For the gift of tongues was conferred - not for the mere purpose of uttering a sound, but, on the contrary, with the view of making a communication. For how ridiculous a thing it would be, that the tongue of a Roman should be framed by the Spirit of God to pronounce Greek words, which were altogether unknown to the speaker, as parrots, magpies, and crows, are taught to mimic human voices! If, on the other hand, the man who was endowed with the gift of tongues, did not speak without sense and understanding, Paul would have had no occasion to say, that the spirit prays, but the understanding is unfruitful, for the understanding must have been conjoined with the spirit. I answer, that Paul here, for the sake of illustration, makes a supposition, that had no reality, in this way: "If the gift of tongues be disjoined from the understanding, so that lie who speaks is a barbarian to himself, as well as to others, what good would he do by babbling in this manner?" For it does not, appear that the mind is here said to be unfruitful, (a]karpon) on the ground of no advantage accruing to the Church, inasmuch as Paul is here speaking of the private prayers of an individual. Let us therefore keep it in view, that things that are connected with each other are here disjoined for the sake of illustration - not on the ground that it either can, or usually does, so happen. The meaning is now obvious. "If, therefore, I frame prayers in a language that is not understood by me, and the spirit supplies me with words, the spirit indeed itself, which regulates my tongue, will in that case pray, but my mind will either be wandering somewhere else, or at least will have no part in the prayer." Let us take notice, that Paul reckons it a great fault if the mind is not occupied in prayer. And no wonder; for what else do we in prayer, but pour out our thoughts and desires before God? Farther, as prayer is the spiritual worship of God, what is more at variance with the nature of it, than that it should proceed merely from the lips, and not from the inmost soul? And these things must have been perfectly familiar to every mind, had not the devil besotted the world to such a degree, as to make men believe that they pray aright, when they merely make their lips move. So obstinate, too, are Papists in their madness, that they do not merely justify the making of prayers without understanding, but even prefer that the unlearned should mutter in unknown mumblings. f730 Meanwhile they mock God by an acute sophism f731 - that the final intention is enough, or, in other words, that it is an acceptable service to God, if a Spaniard curses God in the German language, while in his mind he is tossed with various profane cares, provided only he shall, by setting himself to his form of prayer, make up matters with God by means of a thought that quickly vanishes. f732 15. I will pray with the spirit. Lest any one should ask, by way of objection, "Will the spirit then be useless in prayer?" he teaches, that it is lawful, indeed, to pray with the spirit, provided the mind be at the same time employed, that is, the understanding. He allows, therefore, and sanctions the use of a spiritual gift in prayer, but requires, what is the main thing, that the mind be not unemployed. f733 When he says, I will sing Psalms, or, I will sing, he makes use of a particular instance, instead of a general statement. For, as the praises of God were the subject-matter of the Psalms, he means by the singing of Psalms f734 - blessing God, or rendering thanks to him, for in our supplications, we either ask something from God, or we acknowledge some blessing that has been conferred upon us. From this passage, however, we at the same time infer, that the custom of singing was, even at. that time, in use among believers, as appears, also, from Pliny, who, writing at least forty years, or thereabouts, after the death of Paul, mentions, that the Christians were accustomed to sing Psalms to Christ before day-break. f735 I have also no doubt, that, from the very first, they followed the custom of the Jewish Church in singing Psalms. 16. Else, if thou wilt bless with the spirit. Hitherto he has been showing, that the prayers of every one of us will be vain and unfruitful, if the understranding does not go along with the voice. He now comes to speak of public prayers also. "If he that frames or utters forth prayers in the name of the people is not understood by the assembly, how will the common people add an expression of their desires in the close, so as to take part in them? For there is no fellowship in prayer, unless when all with one mind unite in the same desires. The same remark applies to blessing, or giving thanks to God." Paul's expression, however, intimates, f736 that some one of the ministers uttered or pronounced prayers in a distinct voice, and that the whole assembly followed in their minds the words of that one person, until he had come to a close, and then they all said Amen - to intimate, that the prayer offered up by that one person was that of all of them in common. f737 It is known, that Amen is a Hebrew word, derived from the same term from which comes the word that signifies faithfulness or truth. f738 It is, accordingly, a token of confirmation, f739 both in alarming, and in desiring. f740 Farther, as the word was, from long use, familiar among the Jews, it made its way from them to the Gentiles, and the Greeks made use of it as if it had belonged originally to their own language. Hence it came to be a term in common use among all nations. Now Paul says - "If in public prayer thou makest use of a foreign tongue, that is not understood by the unlearned and the common people among whom thou speakest, there will be no fellowship, and thy prayer or blessing will be no longer a public one." "Why?" "No one," says he, "can add his Amen to thy prayer or psalm, if he does not understand it." Papists, on the other hand, reckon that to be a sacred and legitimate observance, which Paul so decidedly rejects. In this they discover an amazing impudence. Nay more, this is a clear token from which we learn how grievously, and with what unbridled liberty, Satan rages in the dogmas of Popery. f741 For what can be clearer than those words of Paul - than an unlearned person cannot take any part in public prayer if he does not understand what is said? What can be plainer than this prohibition - "let not prayers or thanksgivings be offered up in public, except in the vernacular tongue." In doing every day, what Paul says should not, or even cannot, be done, do they not reckon him to be illiterate.? In observing with the utmost strictness what he forbids, do they not deliberately contemn God? We see, then, how Satan sports among them with impunity. Their diabolical obstinacy shows itself in this - that, when admonished, they are so far from repenting, that they defend this gross abuse by fire and sword. 1 CORINTHIANS 14:18-25 18. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: 18. Gratias ago Deo meo, quod magis quam vos omnes linguis loquor: 19. Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. 19. Sed in Ecclesia volo quinque verba mente mea loqui, ut et alios instituam, potius quam decem millia verborum, lingua. 20. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. 20. Fratres, ne sitis pueri sensibus, sed malitia pueri sitis: sensibus vero sitis perfecti. 21. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. 21. In lege scriptum est: (Ies. 28:11,12:) Alienis linguis et labiis alienis loquar populo huic: et ne sic quidem audient me, dicit Dominus. 22. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but propheying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 22. Itaque linguae signi vice sunt, non iis qui credunt, sed ineredulis: contra prophetia non incredulis, sed s credentibus. 23. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 23. Ergo si convenerit Ecclesia tota simul, et omnes linguis loquantur, ingrediantur autem indocti aut increduli, nonne dicent vos insanire? 24. But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 24. Quodsi omnes prophetent, ingrediatur autem ineredulus aut indoctus, coarguitur ab omnibus, diiudieatur ab omnibus, 25. And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. 25. Et sic occulta cordis eius manifesta fiunt; atque ita procidens in faciem, adorabit Deum, renuntians, quod Deus revera in vobis sit. 18. I thank, etc. As there are many that detract from another's excellencies, in which they cannot themselves have distinction, Paul, that he might not seem to depreciate, through malignity or envy, the gift of tongues, anticipates that suspicion, by showing that he is, in this respect, superior to them all. "See," says he, "how little occasion you have to suspect the design of my discourse, as if I depreciated what I myself lacked; for if we were to contend as to tongues, there is not one of you that could bear comparison with me. While, however, I might display myself to advantage in this department., I am more concerned for edification." Paul's doctrine derives no small weight from the circumstance, that he has not an eye to himself. Lest, however, he should appear excessively arrogant, in preferring himself before all others, he ascribes it all to God. Thus he tempers his boasting with modesty. 19. I would rather speak five words. This is spoken hyperbolically, unless you understand five words, as meaning five sentences. Now as Paul, who might otherwise have exulted loftily in his power of speaking with tongues, voluntarily abstains from it, and, without any show, aims at edification exclusively, he reproves, by this means, the empty ambition of those, that are eagerly desirous to show themselves off with empty tinkling. (<461301>1 Corinthians 13:1.) The authority of the Apostle ought, also, to have no little weight in drawing them off from vanity of this kind. 20. Brethren, be not children in understanding. He proceeds a step farther; for he shows that the Corinthians are so infatuated, that they, of their own accord. draw down upon themselves, and eagerly desire, as though it were a singular benefit, what the Lord threatens that he will send, when he designs to inflict upon his people the severest punishment. What dreadful madness is this - to pursue eagerly with their whole desire, what, in the sight of God, is regarded as a curse! That we may, however, understand more accurately Paul's meaning, we must, observe, that this statement is grounded on the testimony of Isaiah, which he immediately afterwards subjoins. (<232811>Isaiah 28:11, 12.) And as interpreters have been misled, from not observing the connection to be of this nature, to prevent all mistake, we shall first explain the passage in Isaiah, and then we shall come to Paul's words. In that chapter the Prophet, inveighs with severity against the ten tribes, which had abandoned themselves to every kind of wickedness. The only consolation is, that God had still a people uncorrupted in the tribe of Judah; but straightway he deplores the corruption of that tribe also; and he does so the more sharply, because there was no hope of amendment. For thus he speaks in the name of God - Whom shall I teach knowledge? those that are weaned from their mother? those that are drawn from the breasts. By this he means, that they are no more capable of instruction than little children but lately weaned. It is added - Precept upon precept, instruction upon instruction, charge upon charge, direction upon direction, here a little, and there a little. In these words he expresses, in the style of a mimic, f742 the slowness and carelessness by which they were kept back. "In teaching them, I lose my labor, for they make no progress, because they are beyond measure uncultivated, and what they had been taught by means of long-continued labor, they in a single moment forget." It is added still farther - He that speaketh to that people is like one that maketh use of stammering lips, and a foreign language. This is the passage that Paul quotes. Now the meaning is, f743 that the people have been visited with such blindness and madness, that they no more understand God when speaking to them, that they would some barbarian or foreigner, stammering in an unknown tongue - which is a dreadful curse. He has not, however, quoted the Prophet's words with exactness, because he reckoned it enough to make a pointed reference to the passage, that the Corinthians, on being admonished, might attentively consider it. As to his saying that it was written in the law, f744 this is not at variance with common usage; for the Prophets had not a ministry distinct from the law, but were the interpreters of the law, and their doctrine is, as it were, a sort of appendage to it; hence the law included the whole body of Scripture, up to the advent of Christ. Now Paul from this infers as follows - "Brethren, it is necessary to guard against that childishness, which is so severely reproved by the Prophet - that the word of God sounds in your ears without any fruit. Now, when you reject prophecy, which is placed within your reach, and prefer to stand amazed at empty sound, is not this voluntarily to incur the curse of God? f745 Farther, lest the Corinthians should say in reply, that to be spiritually children, is elsewhere commended, (<401804>Matthew 18:4,) Paul anticipates this objection, and exhorts them, indeed, to be children in malice, but to beware of being children in understanding. Hence we infer how shameless a part those act, who make Christian simplicity consist in ignorance. Paul would have all believers to be, as far as possible, in full maturity as to understanding. The Pope, inasmuch as it is easier to govern asses than men, gives orders, under pretext of simplicity, that. all under him shall remain uninstructed. f746 Let us from this draw a comparison between the dominion of Popery, and the institution of Christ, and see how far they agree. f747 22. Therefore tongues are for a sign. This passage may be explained in two ways, by considering the word therefore as referring merely to the preceding sentence, or as having a bearing generally on the whole of the foregoing discussion. If it is a particular inference, the meaning will be - "You see, brethren, that what you so eagerly desire is not a blessing bestowed by God upon believers, but a punishment, by which he inflicts vengeance upon unbelievers." In this way, Paul would not be viewed as taking in the use of tongues under all circumstances, but simply as touching upon what had in one instance occurred. Should any one, however, prefer to extend it to the whole discussion, I have no objection, though I do not dislike the former interpretation. Taking it in a general way, the meaning will be "Tongues, in so far as they are given for a sign - that is, for a miracle - are appointed not properly for believers, but for unbelievers." The advantages derived from tongues were various. They provided against necessity - that diversity of tongues might not prevent the Apostles from disseminating the gospel over the whole world: there was, consequently, no nation with which they could not hold fellowship. They served also to move or terrify unbelievers by the sight of a miracle - for the design of this miracle, equally with others, was to prepare those who were as yet at a distance from Christ for rendering obedience to him. Believers, who had already devoted themselves to his doctrine, did not stand so much in need of such preparation. Hence, the Corinthians brought forward that gift improperly and out of its right place, allowing prophecy in the meantime to be neglected, which was peculiarly and specially set apart for believers, and ought, therefore, to be familiar to them, for in tongues they looked to nothing farther than the miracle. 23. If therefore the whole Church come together. As they did not see their fault, in consequence of having their minds pre-occupied with a foolish and depraved desire, he tells them that they will be exposed to the scorn of the wicked or the unlearned, if any, on coming into their assembly, should hear them uttering a sound, but not speaking. For what unlearned person will not reckon those to be out of their right mind, who, in place of speech, utter empty sound, and are taken up with that vanity, while they were gathered together for the purpose of hearing the doctrine of God? This statement has much that is cutting: "You applaud yourselves in your own sleeve; but the wicked and the unlearned laugh at your fooleries. You do not, therefore, see what to the unlearned and unbelieving is perfectly manifest." Here Chrysostom starts a question' "If tongues were given to unbelievers for a sign, why does the Apostle say now, that they will be derided by them?" He answers, that they are for a sign to fill them with astonishment - not to instruct them, or to reform them. At the same time he adds, that it is owing to their wickedness, that they look upon the sign as madness. This explanation does not satisfy me; for however an unbeliever or unlearned person may be affected by a miracle, and may regard with reverence the gift of God, he does not cease on that account to deride and condemn an unseasonable abuse of the gift, f748 and think thus with himself: "What do these men mean, by wearying out themselves and others to no purpose? Of what avail is their speaking, if nothing is to be learned from it?" Paul's meaning, therefore, is - that the Corinthians would be justly convicted of madness by the unbelieving and unlearned, however much they might please themselves. f749 24. But if all prophesy. As he had previously showed them, how much more advantageous prophecy is to those that are of the household of faith (<480610>Galatians 6:10) than the gift of tongues, so he now shows that it would be useful also to those that are without. (<460513>1 Corinthians 5:13.) This is a most powerful consideration for showing the Corinthians their error. For what a base part it is to depreciate a gift that is most useful both within and without, and to be wholly taken up with another gift which is useless to those that are within the house; and, in addition to this, gives occasion of offense to those that are without. He sets before them this advantage of prophecy, that it summons the consciences of the wicked to the tribunal of God, and strikes them with a lively apprehension of divine judgment in such a manner, that he who before in utter regardlessness despised sound doctrine, is constrained to give glory to God. We shall find it, however, much easier to understand this passage, if we compare it with another that occurs in the Epistle to the Hebrews (<580412>Hebrews 4:12.) The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword; piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow - a discerner of the thoughts of the heart. f750 For in both passages, it is the same kind of efficacy of the Word of God that is spoken of: only in that other passage it is spoken of more fully and distinctly. So far as the passage before us is concerned, it is not difficult to understand now, what is meant by being convinced and judged. The consciences of men are in a torpid state, f751 and are not touched with any feeling of dissatisfaction on account of their sins, so long as they are enveloped in the darkness of ignorance. In short, unbelief is like a lethargy that takes away feeling. But the Word of God penetrates even to the farthest recesses of the mind, and by introducing, as it were, a light, dispels darkness, and drives away that deadly torpor. Thus, then, unbelievers are convinced, inasmuch as they are seriously affected and alarmed, on coming to know that they have to do with God; and, in like manner, they are judged in this respect, that whereas they were previously involved in darkness, and did not perceive their own wretchedness and baseness, they are now brought into the light of day, and are constrained to bear witness against themselves. When he says, that they are judged and convinced by all, you must understand him as meaning all that prophesy; for he had said a little before, If ye all prophesy, (<461424>1 Corinthians 14:24.) He has expressly made use of a general term, with the view of removing the dislike that they felt for prophecy. f752 The unbeliever, I say, is convinced - not as if the Prophet pronounced a judgment upon him either silently in the mind, or openly with the mouth, but because the conscience of the hearer apprehends from the doctrine his own judgment. He is judged, inasmuch as he descends into himself, and, after thorough examination, comes to know himself, while previously he was unmindful of himself. To the same purpose, too, is that saying of Christ: The Spirit, when he is come, will convince the world of sin, (<431608>John 16:8;) and this is what he immediately adds - that the secrets of his heart are made manifest. For he does not mean, in my opinion, that it becomes manifest to others what sort of person he is, but rather that his own conscience is aroused, so that he perceives his sins, which previously lay hid from his view. Here again Chrysostom asks, how it comes to pass that prophecy is so effectual for arousing unbelievers, while Paul had said a little before that it was not given to them. He answers, that it was not given to them as a useless sign, but for the purpose of instructing them. For my part, however, I think that it will be simpler, and therefore more suitable, to say that it was not given to unbelievers, who perish, whose hearts Satan has blinded, that they may not see the light which shines forth from it. (<470403>2 Corinthians 4:3, 4.) It will also suit better to connect this statement with the prophecy f753 of Isaiah (<232811>Isaiah 28:11,12,) because the Prophet speaks of unbelievers, among whom prophecy is of no profit or advantage. 25. Falling down on his face, he will worship. For it is only the knowledge of God that can bring down the pride of the flesh. To that, prophecy brings us. Hence, it is its proper effect and nature to bring down men from their loftiness, that they may, with prostrate homage, render worship to God. To many, however, prophecy also is of no benefit - nay more, they are made worse by what they hear. Nor was it even Paul's intention to ascribe this effect to prophecy, as if it were always the result of it. He simply designed to show how much advantage is derived from it, and what is its office. It is therefore a singular commendation, that it extorts from unbelievers this confession - that God is present with his people, and that his majesty shines forth in the midst of their assembly. 1 CORINTHIANS 14:26-33 26. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 26. Quid igitur est, fratres? Quoties convenitis, unusquisque vestrum canticum habet, doctrinam habet, linguam habet, revelationem habet, interpretationem habet: omnia ad aedificationem fiant. 27. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 27. Sive lingua quis loquitur, fiat per duos, aut ad summum tres, idque vicissim, et unus interpretetur. 28. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 28. Quodsi non sit interpres, taceat in Ecclesia: caeterum sibi ipsi loquatur et Deo. 29. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 29. Prophetae autem duo aut tres loquantur, et caeteri diiudicent. 30. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 30. Quodsi alii fuerit revelatum assidenti, prior taceat: 31. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 31. Potestis enim singulatim omnes prophetare, ut omnes discant, et omnes consolationem accipiant. f754 32. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 32. Et spiritus prophetarum prophetis sunt subiecti: 33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 33. Non enim seditionis est Deus, sed pacis, quemadmodum in omnibus Ecclesiis sanctorum. f755 26. What is it then? He now shows the way in which they may remedy those evils. In the first place, each gift must have its place, but in order and in measure. Farther, the Church must not be taken up to no purpose with unprofitable exercises, but must, in whatever is done, have an eye to edification. He speaks, however, in the first place of edification in this way: "Let every one, according as he has been endowed with some particular gift, make it his aim to lay it out for the advantage of all." For it is in this way that we must understand the word rendered every one - that no one may take it as implying universality, as though all to a man were endowed with some such gift. 27. If any one speak in another tongue. He now describes the order and limits the measure. "If you have a mind to speak with other tongues, let only two speak, or, at most, not more than three, and let there be at the same time an interpreter sitting by. Without an interpreter, tongues are of no advantage: let them, therefore be dispensed with." It is to be observed, however, that he does not command, but merely permits; for the Church can, without any inconvenience, dispense with tongues, except in so far as they are helps to prophecy, as the Hebrew and Greek languages are at this day. Paul, however, makes this concession, that he may not seem to deprive the assembly of believers of any gift of the Spirit. At the same time, it might seem as if even this were not agreeable to reason, inasmuch as he said before, (<461422>1 Corinthians 14:22,) that tongues, in so far as they are for a sign, are suited to unbelievers. I answer, that, while a miracle may be performed more particularly with a view to unbelievers, it, nevertheless, does not follow, that it may not be of some advantage to believers also. If you understand, that an unknown tongue is a sign to unbelievers in the sense that Isaiah's words f756 bear, the method of procedure, which Paul here prescribes, is different. For he allows of other tongues in such a way that, interpretation being joined with them, nothing is left obscure. He observes, therefore, a most admirable medium in correcting the fault of the Corinthians. On the one hand, he does not at all set aside any gift of God whatever, f757 in order that all his benefits may be seen among believers. On the other hand he makes a limitation - that ambition do not usurp the place that is due to the glory of God, and that no gift of inferior importance stand in the way of those that are of chief moment; and he adds the sauce f758 - that there be no mere ostentation, devoid of advantage. 28. Let him speak to himself and to God. "Let him enjoy," says he, "his gift in his own conscience, and let him give thanks to God." For in this way I explain the expression to speak to himself and to God, as meaning - to recognize in his own mind with thanksgiving the favor conferred upon him, f759 and to enjoy it as his own, when there is not an opportunity for bringing it forward in a public manner. For he draws a contrast between this secret way of speaking, and speaking publicly in the Church - which he forbids. f760 29. Prophets, two or three. As to prophecy, too, he prescribes limits, because "multitude," as they commonly say, "breeds confusion." This is true, for we know it by every day's experience. He does not, however, restrict the number so definitely, as when he was treating of tongues, for there is less danger, in the event of their applying themselves for a longer time to prophesyings, nay more, continued application would be the most desirable thing of all; but Paul considered what the weakness of men could bear. There still remains, however, a question - why it is that he assigns the like number to prophesyings and to tongues, except that, as to the latter, he adds particularly - at the most, for if tongues are less useful, there ought assuredly to be a more sparing use of them? I answer, that even in tongues, as he takes the term, prophecy is included; for tongues were made use of either for discourses, f761or for prayers. In the former department, the interpreter was in the place of the prophet: thus it was the principal and more frequent exercise of it. Only he limits the measure of it, lest it should fall into contempt through a feeling of disgust, and lest those who were less skillful should prevent those that were better qualified from having time and opportunity of speaking; for he would, undoubtedly, have those to whom he assigns the duty of speaking, to be of the more select class, and appointed by their common suffrages. f762 None, however, are more inclined to push themselves forward, than those who have but a slight smattering of learning, so that the proverb holds good, "Ignorance is pert." f763 Paul had it in view to remedy this evil, by assigning the office of speaking to two or three. Let the others judge. Lest he should give any occasion to the others to complain - as though he were desirous that the gift of God f764 should be suppressed among them and buried, he shows in what way they may lawfully make use of it for the benefit of the Church, even by keeping silence - if they set themselves to judge of what is said by others. For it is of no small advantage, that there should be some that are skillful in judging, who will not allow sound doctrine to be perverted by the impostures of Satan, or to be otherwise corrupted by silly trifles. Paul, accordingly, teaches that the other prophets will be useful to the Church, even by keeping silence. It may seem, however, to be absurd that men should have liberty given them to judge of the doctrine of God, which ought to be placed beyond all controversy. I answer, that the doctrine of God is not subjected to the scrutiny of men, but there is simply permission given them to judge by the Spirit of God, whether it is his word that is set before them, or whether human inventions are, without any authority, set off under this pretext, as we shall have occasion to notice again ere long. 30. But if anything be revealed to another. Here is another advantage - that whenever there will be occasion, the way will also be open to them. f765 Hence they have no longer any occasion to complain, that the Spirit is bound, or that his mouth is shut. For all have opportunity and liberty allowed them of speaking, when there is occasion for it, provided only no one unseasonably intrudes - having it in view to please himself, rather than to serve some useful purpose. Now he requires this modesty on the part of all - that every one in his place shall give way to another that has something better to bring forward. f766 For this only is the true liberty of the Spirit - not that every one be allowed to blab out rashly whatever he pleases, but that all, from the highest to the lowest, voluntarily allow themselves to be under control, and that the one Spirit be listened to, by whatever mouth he speaks. As to the certainty of the revelation, we shall see ere long. 31. You can all, one by one. In the first place, when he says all, he does not include believers universally, but only those that were endowed with this gift. Farther, he does not mean that all ought to have equally their turn, but that, according as it might be for the advantage of the people, each one should come forward to speak either more frequently or more seldom. f767 "No one will remain always unemployed; but an opportunity of speaking will present itself, sometimes to one and at other times to another." He adds, that all may learn. This is applicable, it is true, to the whole of the people, but it is particularly suited to the Prophets, and Paul more especially refers to them. For no one will ever be a good teacher, who does not show himself to be teachable, as no one will ever be found who has, in himself alone, such an overflowing in respect of perfection of doctrine, as not to derive benefit from listening to others. Let all, therefore, undertake the office of teaching on this principle, that they do not refuse or grudge, to be scholars to each other in their turn, whenever there shall be afforded to others the means of edifying the Church. He says, in the second place, that all may receive consolation. Hence we may infer, that the ministers of Christ, so far from envying, should rather rejoice with all their heart, that they are not the only persons that excel, but have fellow-partakers of the same gift - a disposition which Moses discovered, as is related in sacred history. (<041128>Numbers 11:28.) For when his servant, inflamed with a foolish jealousy, was greatly displeased, because the gift of prophecy was conferred upon others also, he reproves him: "Nay," says he, "would that all the people of God were sharers with me in this superior gift!" And, undoubtedly, it is a special consolation for pious ministers, to see the Spirit of God, whose instruments they are, working in others also, and they derive also from this no small confirmation. It is a consolation, too, that it contributes to the spread of the word of God, the more it has of ministers and witnesses. As, however, the word parakalei~sqai, which Paul here employs, is of doubtful signification, f768 it might also be rendered may receive exhortation. f769 Nor would this be unsuitable, for it is sometimes of advantage to listen to others, that we may be more powerfully stirred up to duty. 32. And the spirits of the Prophets. This, too, is one of the reasons, why it is necessary for them to take turns - because it will sometimes happen that, in the doctrine of one Prophet, the others may find something to reprove. "It is not reasonable," says he, "that any one should be beyond the sphere of scrutiny. In this way it will sometimes come to a person's turn to speak, who was among the audience and was sitting silent." This passage has been misunderstood by some, as if Paul had said, that the Lord's Prophets were not like persons taken with a sudden frenzy, who, when a divine impulse (ejnqousiasmo1 Corinthians 2:15.) The sacred word of God, too, retains the respect due to it, so that it is received without any disputation, as soon as it is presented. "What is if, then," you will say, "that is subjected to examination?"' I answer - If any one were furnished with a full revelation, that man would undoubtedly, along with his gift, be above all scrutiny. There is, I say, no subjection, where there is a plenitude of revelation; but as God has distributed his spirit to every one in a certain measure, in such a way that, even amidst the greatest abundance, there is always something wanting, it is not to be wondered, if no one is elevated to such a height, as to look down from aloft upon all others, and have no one to pass judgment upon him. We may now see how it is, that, without any dishonor to the Holy Spirit, his gifts admit of being examined. Nay more, where, after full examination, nothing is found that is worthy of reproof, there will still be something, that stands in need of polishing. The sum of all, therefore, is this - that the gift is subjected to examination in such a way, that whatever is set forth, the Prophets consider as to it - whether it has proceeded from the Spirit of God; for if it shall appear that the Spirit is the author of it, there is no room left for hesitation. It is, however still farther asked - "What rule is to be made use of in examining?" This question is answered in part by the mouth of Paul, who, in <451206>Romans 12:6, requires that prophecy be regulated according to the proportion of faith. As to the passing of judgment, however, there is no doubt, that it ought to be regulated by the word and Spirit of God - that nothing may be approved of, but what is discovered to be from God - that nothing may be found fault with but in accordance with his word - in fine, that God alone may preside in this judgment, and that men may be merely his heralds. From this passage of Paul's writings, we may conjecture how very illustrious that Church was, in respect of an extraordinary abundance and variety of spiritual gifts. There were colleges of Prophets, so that pains had to be taken, that they might have their respective turns. There was so great a diversity of gifts, that there was a superabundance. We now see our leanness, nay, our poverty; but in this we have a just punishment, sent to requite our ingratitude. For neither are the riches of God exhausted, nor is his benignity lessened; but we are neither deserving of his bounty, nor capable of receiving his liberality. Still we have an ample sufficiency of light and doctrine, provided there were no deficiency in respect of the cultivation of piety, and the fruits that spring from it. 33. For God is not of confusion. f772 We must understand the word Author, or some term of that kind. f773 Here we have a most valuable statement, by which we are taught, that we do not serve God unless in the event of our being lovers of peace, and eager to promote it. Whenever, therefore, there is a disposition to quarrel, there, it is certain, God does not reign. And how easy it is to say this! How very generally all have it in their mouths! Yet, in the meantime, the most of persons fly into a rage about nothing, or they trouble the Church, from a desire that they may, by some means, rise into view, and may seem to be somewhat. (<480206>Galatians 2:6.) Let us, therefore, bear in mind, that, in judging as to the servants of Christ, this mark must be kept in view - whether or not they aim at peace and concord, and, by conducting themselves peaceably, avoid contentions to the utmost of their power, provided, however, we understand by this a peace of which the truth of God is the bond. For if we are called to contend against wicked doctrines, even though heaven and earth should come together, we must, nevertheless, persevere in the contest. We must, indeed, in the first place, make it our aim, that the truth of God may, without contention, maintain its ground; but if the wicked resist, we must set our face against them, and have no fear, lest the blame of the disturbances should be laid to our charge. For accursed is that peace of which revolt from God is the bond, and blessed are those contentions by which it is necessary to maintain the kingdom of Christ. As in all the Churches. The comparison f774 does not refer merely to what was said immediately before, but to the whole of the foregoing representation. "I have hitherto enjoined upon you nothing that is not observed in all the Churches, and, in this manner, they are maintained in peace. Let it be your care, therefore, to borrow, what other Churches have found by experience to be salutary, and most profitable for maintaining peace." His explicit mention of the term saints is emphatic - as if with the view of exempting rightly constituted Churches from a mark of disgrace. f775 1 CORINTHIANS 14:34-40 34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 34. Mulieres vestrae in Ecclesiis taceant; non enim permissum est ipsis loqui, sed subiectae sint, quemadmodum et Lex dicit. 35. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 35. Si quid autem velint discere, domi maritos suos interrogent: turpe enim est mulieribus in Ecclesia loqui. 36. What! came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 36. An a vobis sermo Dei profectus est, aut ad vos solos pervenit? 37. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 37. Si quis videtur sibi propheta esse aut spiritualis, agnoscat, quae scribo vobis, Domini esse mandata. 38. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 38. Si quis autem ignorat, ignoret. 39. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak in tongues. 39. Itaque, fratres, aemulamini prophetiam, et linguis loqui ne prohibeatis. 40. Let all things be done decently and in order. 40. Porro onmia decenter et ordine fiant. It appears that the Church of the Corinthians was infected with this fault too, that the talkativeness of women was allowed a place in the sacred assembly, or rather that the fullest liberty was given to it. Hence he forbids them to speak in public, either for the purpose of teaching or of prophesying. This, however, we must understand as referring to ordinary service, or where there is a Church in a regularly constituted state; for a necessity may occur of such a nature as to require that a woman should speak in public; but Paul has merely in view what is becoming in a duly regulated assembly. 34. Let them be in subjection, as also saith the law. What connection has the object that he has in view with the subjection under which the law places women? "For what is there," some one will say, "to hinder their being in subjection, and yet at the same time teaching?" I answer, that the office of teaching f776 is a superiority in the Church, and is, consequently, inconsistent with subjection. For how unseemly a thing it were, that one who is under subjection to one of the members, should preside f777 over the entire body! It is therefore an argument from things inconsistent - If the woman is under subjection, she is, consequently, prohibited from authority to teach in public. f778 And unquestionably, f779 wherever even natural propriety has been maintained, women have in all ages been excluded from the public management of affairs. It is the dictate of common sense, that female government is improper and unseemly. Nay more, while originally they had permission given to them at Rome to plead before a court, f780 the effrontery of Caia Afrania f781 led to their being interdicted, even from this. Paul's reasoning, however, is simple - that authority to teach is not suitable to the station that a woman occupies, because, if she teaches, she presides over all the men, while it becomes her to be under subjection. 35. If they wish to learn any thing. That he may not seem, by this means, to shut out women from opportunities of learning, he desires them, if they are in doubt as to anything, to inquire in private, that they may not stir up any disputation in public. When he says, husbands, he does not prohibit them from consulting the Prophets themselves, if necessary. For all husbands are not competent to give an answer in such a case; but, as he is reasoning here as to external polity, he reckons it sufficient to point out what is unseemly, that the Corinthians may guard against. it. In the meantime, it is the part of the prudent reader to consider, that the things of which he here treats are intermediate and indifferent, in which there is nothing unlawful, but what is at variance with propriety and edification. 36. Did the word of God come out from you? This is a somewhat sharper reproof, but nothing more than was needful for beating down the haughtiness of the Corinthians. They were, beyond measure, self-complacent. They could not endure that either themselves, or what belonged to them, should be found fault with in anything. He asks, accordingly, whether they are the only Christians in the world; nay, farther, whether they are the first, or are to be the last? "Did the word of God," says he, "come out from you?" that is, "Did it originate with you?" "Has it ended with you?" that is, "Will it spread no farther?" The design of the admonition is this - that they may not, without having any regard to others, please themselves in their own contrivances or customs. And this is a doctrine of general application; for no Church should be taken up with itself exclusively, to the neglect of others; but on the contrary, they ought all, in their turn, to hold out the right hand to each other, in the way of cherishing mutual fellowship, and accommodating themselves to each other, in so far as a regard to harmony requires. f782 But here it is asked, whether every Church, according as it has had the precedence of another in the order of time, f783 has it also in its power to bind it to observe its institutions. f784 For Paul seems to intimate this in what he says. For example, Jerusalem was the mother of all the Churches, inasmuch as the word of the Lord had come out from it. Was she then at liberty to assume to herself a superior right, so as to bind all others to follow her? I answer, that Paul here does not employ an argument of universal application, but one that was specially applicable to the Corinthians, as is frequently the case. He had, therefore, an eye to individuals, rather than to the thing itself. Hence it does not necessarily follow, that Churches that are of later origin must be bound to observe, in every point, the institutions of the earlier ones, inasmuch as even Paul himself did not bind himself by this rule, so as to obtrude upon other Churches the customs that were in use at Jerusalem. Let there be nothing of ambition - let there be nothing of obstinacy - let there be nothing of pride and contempt for other Churches - let there be, on the other hand, a desire to edify - let there be moderation and prudence; and in that case, amidst a diversity of observances, there will be nothing that is worthy of reproof. Let us, therefore, bear in mind, that. the haughtiness of the Corinthians is here reproved, who, concerned for themselves exclusively, f785 showed no respect to the Churches of earlier origin, from which they had received the gospel, and did not endeavor to accommodate themselves to other Churches, to which the gospel had flowed out from them. Would to God that there were no Corinth in our times, in respect of this fault, as well as of others! But we see how savage men, who have never tasted the gospel, (<580605>Hebrews 6:5,) trouble the Churches of the saints by a tyrannical enforcement of their own laws. f786 37. If any one thinks himself. Mark here the judgment, which he had previously assigned to the Prophets - that they should receive what they recognised as being from God. He does not, however, desire them to inquire as to his doctrine, as though it were a doubtful matter, but to receive it as the sure word of God, inasmuch as they will recognize it as the word of God, if they judge rightly. Farther, it is in virtue of apostolical authority, that he takes it upon himself to prescribe to them the sentence which they ought to pronounce. f787 There is still greater confidence in what he immediately adds - He that is ignorant, let him be ignorant. This, it is true, was allowable for Paul, who was fully assured as to the revelation that he had received from God, and he ought also to have been well known to the Corinthians, so that they should have looked upon him in no other light, than as an Apostle of the Lord. It is not, however, for every one to advance such a claim for himself, or if he does, he will, by his boasting, throw himself open to merited derision, for then only is there ground for such confidence, when what is affirmed with the mouth shows itself in reality. It was with truth that Paul affirmed, that his precepts were those of the Lord. Many will be prepared to pretend the same thing on false grounds. His great object is this - that it may be clearly perceived, that he who does not allow himself to be under control, speaks as from the Holy Spirit, not from his own brain. That man, therefore, who is no other than a pure organ of the Holy Spirit, will have the courage to declare fearlessly with Paul, that those who shall reject his doctrine, are not Prophets or spiritual persons; and this he will do in virtue of a right that belongs to him, in accordance with what we had in the beginning of the Epistle - he that is spiritual, judgeth all things. (<460215>1 Corinthians 2:15.) But it may be asked here, how it is that Paul declares those things to be commandments of the Lord, as to which no statement is to be found in the Scriptures? Besides this, there is also another difficulty that presents itself - that if they are the commandments of the Lord, they are necessary to be observed, and they bind the conscience, and yet they are rites connected with polity, as to the observance of which no such necessity exists. Paul, however, merely says, that he enjoins nothing, but what is in accordance with the will of God. Now God endowed him with wisdom, that he might recommend this order in external things at Corinth, and in other places - not that it might be an inviolable law, like those that relate to the spiritual worship of God, but that it might be a useful directory to all the sons of God, and not by any means to be despised. 38. But if any man be ignorant. The old translation reads thus: He that knows not this, will be unknown; f788 but this is a mistake. For Paul had it in view to cut off every handle from contentious persons, who make no end of disputing, and that, under the pretense of inquiring - as if the matter were not yet clear; or at least he intimates in general terms, that he regarded as of no account any one that would call in question what he said. "If any one is ignorant, I do not stop to take notice of his doubts, for the certainty of my doctrine is not at all impaired thereby. Let him go then, whoever he may be. As for you, do not the less on that account give credit to Christ, as speaking by me." In fine, he intimates, that sceptics, contentious persons, and subtle disputants; f789 do not by the questions they raise diminish, in any degree, the authority of sound doctrine, and of that truth as to which believers ought to feel assured, and at the same time he admonishes us, not to allow their doubts to be any hindrance in our way. That elevation of mind, however, which despises all human judgments, ought to be founded on ascertained truth. Hence, as it would be the part of perverse rashness, either to maintain pertinaciously, in opposition to the views of all others, an opinion that has once been taken up, or audaciously to cling to it, while others are in doubt, so, on the other hand, when we have felt assured that it is God that speaks, let us fearlessly break through all human impediments and all difficulties. f790 39. Wherefore, brethren. This is the conclusion in connection with the principal question - that prophecy is to be preferred to other gifts, because it is the most useful gift of all, while at the same time other gifts ought not to be despised. We must observe, however, his manner of speaking. For he intimates, that prophecy is worthy of being eagerly and ardently aspired at by all. In the meantime, he exhorts them not to envy others the rarer gift, f791 which is not so much to be desired; nay more, to allow them the praise that is due to them, divesting themselves of all envy. 40. All things decently and in order. Here we have a more general conclusion, which does not merely include, in short compass, the entire case, but also the different parts. Nay farther, it is a rule by which we must regulate f792 everything, that has to do with external polity. As he had discoursed, in various instances, as to rites, he wished to sum up everything here in a brief summary - that decorum should be observed - that confusion should be avoided. This statement shows, that he did not wish to bind consciences by the foregoing precepts, as if they were in themselves necessary, but only in so far as they were subservient to propriety and peace. Hence we gather (as I have said) a doctrine that is always in force, as to the purpose to which the polity of the Church ought to be directed. The Lord has left external rites in our choice with this view - that we may not think that his worship consists wholly in these things. In the meantime, he has not allowed us a rambling and unbridled liberty, but has inclosed it (so to speak) with railings, f793 or at least has laid a restriction upon the liberty granted by him in such a manner, that it is after all only from his word that we can judge as to what is right. This passage, therefore, when duly considered, will show the difference between the tyrannical edicts of the Pope, which oppress men's consciences with a dreadful bondage, and the godly regulations of the Church, by which discipline and order are maintained. Nay farther, we may readily infer from this, that the latter are not to be looked upon as human traditions, inasmuch as they are founded upon this general injunction, and have a manifest approval, as it were, from the mouth of Christ himself. FOOTNOTES ft1 Kirch-hoffer's Life of Farel, pp. 281, 282. ft2 Mackenzie's Life of Calvin, p. 63. ft3 "Un monument authentique;" - "An authentic moment." ft4 "Entier amy a jamais;" - "Thorough friend for ever." ft5 "Avertissement de l'Editeur." ft6 "Nihil haberet cum Ecclesia nostria commune;" - "De n'avoir rien de commun avec nostre Eglise;" - Might have nothing in common with our Church. ft7 M'Crie's History of the Reformation in Spain. - Note. ft8 Baxter, in his "Treatise of Conversion," makes the following interesting allusion to the case of Caracciolus: - "As it was with Carraciolus, the Marquis of Vicum, when his conscience bid him leave his land, and friends, and all for Christ, to forsake Popery, and betake himself to these countries where he might enjoy the gospel, his house and lands then came in his eyes: 'What! must I leave all these for mere conscience, and live I know not how.' His wife hangs upon him, his children with tears do cry after him, 'O father! leave us not.' And many a sob and sigh it costs his heart before he could resolve to get away." - Baxter's Works, volume 7. - Ed. ft9 M'Crie's History of the Reformation in Spain. ft10 The reader will find the statement referred to in the second dedication prefixed by CALVIN to his commentary on 1st Corinthians - "Caeterum quia et ego, quantum ad fidei meae pietatisque confirmationem valeat tuum exemplum experior," etc.; - "As however I, for my part, know by experience the tendencies of your example to strengthen my faith and piety," etc. - Ed. ft11 It is remarked by David Dundas Scott, Esq., Translator of Ranke's History of the Popes of Rome, in connexion with the case of certain relatives of Pope Paul IV. who had incurred his sever displeasure, that "although Paul seems to have relaxed the stern severity of the archinquisitor in regard to his Protestant nephew, [Galeacius Caracciolus,] by permitting him to be dealt with in the way of remonstrance and bribery, when another would have been arrested and put to death, still the compulsory retirement of the latter, after literally leaving 'brethren and sisters, and father and mother, and wife and children, and lands for Christ's sake and the gospel' to Geneva, where he spent the evening of his days as a ruling-elder in the Italian Reformed Church, presented a striking contrast to the brilliant fortunes of his cousins the Caraffas, during their enjoyment of the Papal favor. But when the Pope found these ungrateful, and when that favor was lost, the Genevan exile [Caracciolus] must have felt peculiarly thankful for the deliverance he had had from such tempations and reverses, and one can hardly suppose but that the Pope himself must have been affected by the contrast at all points between his many Roman Catholic and one Reformed relative." - Ranke's History of the Romish Popes,. Note. ft12 M'Crie's History of the Reformation in Spain. ft13 The part which CALVIN acted as to this matter will be found to be in exact accordance with the views expressed by him, when commenting on 1 Corinthians 7:15 - a passage on which opposite opinions have been entertained by eminent interpreters. It may be noticed in connexion with this case, that the United Brethren, when laboring in the West India Islands, near the close of the last century, felt greatly at a loss as to the course proper to be pursued in the case of converted negroes, whose husbands or wives had (as very frequently happened) been purchased by proprietors from other islands, and were, in consequence of this, parted from them for ever. "For some time" they "prohibited the converts from contracting another marriage, apprehending this to be inconsistent with the principles of Christianity." Afterwards, however, in particular cases, they judged it better "not to hinder," though they "did not advise, a regular marriage with another person." - Brown's History of Misssions, volume 1. ft14 M'Crie's History of the Reformation in Spain, ft15 Communicant's Companion. ft16 D'Aubigne's History of the Reformation, (Oliver and Boyd's Edition,) volume 3. ft17 In the interesting volume already referred to - "Lettres de Calvin a Jaque de Bourgogne" - there is preserved the original letter of CALVIN to James of Burgundy, (received on the 6th February 1546,) requesting permission to dedicate to him the Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians. The following translation of such parts of said letter as bear upon this point, will be interesting to the reader: - "Since my letter was written, I have taken another thought as to the Dedicatory Epistle to my Commentary; for as there is much trouble and difficulty in binding one's self to fill up a certain number of pages, and no more, I send it quite complete. At the same time it is with the understanding, that it is not to be printed, except by your order. Accordingly I enclose it in this, in order that Vendelin may not have it otherwise than through your hands. If it does not appear to you expedient that I should address it to you, I shall, on receiving notice to that effect, prepare a new one. "Be not surprised, however, if I speak of you briefly; for I was afraid of coming upon some thorny points by going into more detail. But, according as matters shall turn out, we shall be able, God willing, in the second impression, to present fully in detail everything that will be necessary." In a subsequent letter to James of Burgundy, (received on the 2nd April 1546,) CALVIN expresses in the following terms his high satisfaction on receiving permission to dedicate the Commentary to him: - "I give praise to our Lord, because the present of my Commentary is agreeable to you." (Lettres de Calvin, etc.) - Ed. Ft18 Among other passages in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, which CALVIN may be supposed to have had more particularly in his eye, there are the following, - 1:24; 2:4; and 4:20. In commenting on the last of these passages, he complains, as above, of the very general lack in his times of "spiritualis efficacia," (spiritual efficacy.) - Ed. ft19 "Par mon Epistre;" - "By my Epistle." ft20 "Par bon exemple;" - "By a good example." Ft21 "On aura en vous pour recompense vn exemple;" - "We shall have in you, by way of compensation, an example." Ft22 "Vn homme de maison anciene et grand parentage;" - "A man of an ancient house and great parentage." Ft23 "Vit frugalement et selon la facon du commun peuple, ne plus ne moins qu'un autre d'entre nous le premier qu'on scache prendre;" - "He lives frugally, and after the manner of the common people, neither more nor less than one of ourselves, the first that might be fixed upon." Ft24 "Autrement, si je n'auoye cest esgard;" - "Otherwise, if I had not this in view." Ft25 The reader will observe that CALVIN here repeats, in precisely the same words, a statement which had been made by him in his previous dedication to James of Burgundy, and unquestionably the conduct of Caracciolus still more strikingly exemplified the spirit of self-denial which CALVIN here recommends. - Ed. Ft26 "Consentent a la doctrine de l'Evangile tellement quellement, et comme faisans signe de la teste;" - "They consent to the doctrine of the gospel in some sort of way, and as giving a nod of assent with the head." Ft27 "Pour ceste querelle;" - "In that contest." ft28 "Bonnes matieres, et points de doctrine;" - "Good subjects and points of doctrines." Ft29 Strabo describes Mummius as "megalafrwn mallon hj filotecnov," - "a man of magnanimity rather than a lover of the arts." - Ed. Ft30 "Ces habiles docteurs, et plaisans harangueurs;" - "Those expert teachers and pleasant orators." Ft31 "En flattant et mignardant ces bons maistres;" - "By flattering and caressing these good master." Ft32 "En s'esiouissant de leur avancement en l'Evangile;" - "While exulting in their profiency in the gospel." Ft33 "De leur besongne;" - "Of their work." Ft34 "Ainsi, il conclud, que charite nous seruira d'vne bonne regle pour nous bien gouuerner en cest endroit;" - "Thus, he concludes, that charity will furnish us with a good rule for directing us aright in this matter." ft35 "Le leur et le nostre," ou, "le Seigneur (di-ie) et de eux et de nous;" - "Both theirs and ours," or, "the Lord (I say) both of them and of us." Ft36 "Constitue, ordonne, et establi;" - "Appointed, ordained, and established." Ft37 "Et aujour d'huy, qu'est ce qu'entonnent a plene bouche les Romanisques, sinon cen gros mots, Ordination de Dieu, La sainte et sacree succession depuis le temps mesme des Apostres;" - "And at the present day, what do the Romanists sound forth with open mouth, but those grand terms, Ordination from God, - The holy and sacred succession from the very times of the Apostles." Ft38 Institutes, volume 3. Ft39 Apostolov, (an apostle) derived from apostellein, (to send forth,) signifies literally a messenger. The term is employed by classical writer to denote the commander of an expedition, or a delegate, or ambassador. (See Herodotus, v. 38.) In the New Testament it is in various instances employed in a general sense to denote a messenger. (See <420649>Luke 6:49; <430816>John 8:16; <507425>Philippians 2:25.) In one instance it is applied to Christ himself, (<580301>Hebrews 3:1.) Most frequently, however, it is applied to those extraordinary messengers who were (to use the words of Leigh in his Critics Sacra) Christ's "legates a latere," from his side. - Ed. Ft40 "Mais (dira quelqu'un;)" - "But (some one will say.)" ft41 "Tu te pourras bien entretenir en l'Eglise tellement quellement estant mesle parmi les autres;" - "You may quite well have a standing in the Church in some sort of way, being mixed up among others." Ft42 Synedoche, a figure of speech, by which part is taken for the whole. - Ed. Ft43 "Nids et cachettes;" - "Nests and lurking-holes." Ft44 "Parole," ou "eloquence;" - "Utterance," or "eloquence." Ft45 The same view of Paul's design here is given by Theodoret: "Me>llwn kathgorei~n proqerapeu>ei thn ajkohsqai than;" - "As he is about to censure them, he soothes beforehand the organ of hearing, that the remedy to be applied may be the more favorably received." - Ed. Ft46 "Que chacun ha en son endroit;" - "Which every one has severally." Ft47 A figure of speech, by which one term is put for another - the cause for the effect, the effect for the cause, etc. - Ed. Ft48 "Quel est ce tesmoignage;" - "What this testimony is." Ft49 The word is used in this sense in the following passages: <421515>Luke 15:15; <471108>2 Corinthians 11:8; <500412>Philippians 4:12; and <581137>Hebrews 11:37. The proper meaning is - to come too late for a thing, and so miss of it. Xenophon uses it in this sense. Abroko>mav uJsterhse th~v ma>chv: - "Abrocomas came too late for the battle." The word occurs in the same sense in Hebews 4:1 and Hebews 12:15. - Ed. Ft50 CALVIN probably refers to the following (among other) passagess: - <520524>1 Thessalonians 5:24; <530303>2 Thessalonians 3:3; <581023>Hebrews 10:23. Ft51 "La vocation done qu'il fait d'un chacun des siens, n'est point un jeu, et en les appellant il ne se mocque point, ainsi il entretiendra et pour suyura son ceuvre perpetuellement;" - "The calling, therefore, that he makes of each of his own, is not mere play; and in calling them he does not make sport, but will unceasingly maintain and prosecute his work." Ft52 CALVIN in his Institutes, (volume 2,) after speaking of Christ's being represented by Paul as "offered to us in the gospel with all the abundance of heavenly blessings, with all his merits, all his righteousness, wisdom, and grace, without exception," remarks - "And what is meant by the fellowship koinwnia of Christ, which, according to the same apostle (<460109>1 Corinthians 1:9) is offered to us in the gospel, all believers know." - Ed. Ft53 "La mort et perdition;" - "Death and perdition." Ft54 "Et en une mesme volonte," ou "et mesme avis;" - "And in the same disposition," or "and the same judgement." Ft55 Et ie de ceci," ou "Or ce que ie di c'est qu'un chacun;" - "And this I say," or "Now what I say is this, that every one." Ft56 "Et assembles l'une h l'autre;" - "And associated with each other." Ft57 The verb katartizw properly signifies, to repair, or refit, or restore to its original condition what has been disarranged or broken; and in this sense it is applied to the repairing of nets, ships, walls, etc. (See <400421>Matthew 4:21; <410119>Mark 1:19.) We might with perfect propriety understand the Apostle as alluding here to the repairing of a ship that has been broken or damaged, and as intimating that a Church, when shattered by divisions, is (so to speak) not sea-worthy, and must be carefully repaired, before she can be fit for purposes of commerce, by conveying to the nations of the earth the "true riches." The allusion, however, most probably is, as CALVIN thinks, to the members of the human body, which are so admirably adjusted to each other. It deserves to be noticed, that Paul makes use of a derivative from the same verb (kata>rtisiv) in <471309>2 Corinthians 13:9, on which Beza observes, "that the Apostle's meaning is, that whereas the members of the Church were all (as it were) dislocated and out of joint, they should now again be joined together in love, and they should endeavor to make perfect what was amiss amongst them either in faith or manners." - Ed. Ft58 "La sancte union qui doit estre entre les Chrestiens;" - "That holy unity which ought to be among Christians." Ft59 "Bien plus dangereuses;" - "Much more dangerous." Ft60 It is remarked by Beza that the verb here employed, dhlow, (to declare,)has a stronger signification than shmainw (to intimate,) just as there is a difference of meaning between the Latin words declarare (to declare) and significare (to intimate,) an example of which is furnished in a letter of Cicero to Lucretius, "tibi non significandum solum, sed etiam declarandum arbitror, nihil mihi esse potuisse tuis literis gratius;" "I think it ought to be not merely intimated to you but declared, that nothing could be more agreeable to me than your letters." The emphatic word edhlwqn (it has been declared,) appears to have been made use of by the Apostle to convey more fully to the mind of the Corhlthians, that he had not hastily given heed to a mere report. - Ed. Ft61 Some have thought that by tw~v Clo>hv,(those of Chloe,) the Apostle means persons who were in a flourishing condition in religion; from clo>h, green herbage, (Herodotus, 4:34, Euripides, Hipp. 1124.) One writer supposes Paul to mean seniores, (elders,) deriving the word clo>h from jlk, old age. These conjectures, however, are manifestly more ingenious than solid. It is certain that the name Clo>n (Chloe,) was frequent among the Greeks as the name of a female. It is most natural to understand by twn Clonv those of Chloe, as equivalent to twn Clonv soikeiwv - those of the household of Chloe. - Ed. Ft62 "Et n'y a en chose quelconque debars si grans ni tant a craindre que sent ceux-la;" - "And in no department are there disputes so great, or so much to be dreaded as those:" ft63 "Autrement veu que ces trois estoyent d'un sainct accord ensemble en leur ministere, il n'est point vray-semblable, qu'il y eust aucunes partialitez entre les Corinthiens pour se glorifier en l'un plustost qu'en l'autre;" - "Otherwise, seeing that those three were united in their ministry by a sacred agreement, it is not likely that there were any parties among the Corinthians that were prepared to glory in one of them rather than in another." Ft64 "Mieux avisez que les autres;" - "Better advised than the others." Ft65 "Combien c'est vne chose insupportable;" - "How insufferable a thing it is." Ft66 "Addicere nos hominibus in servitutem" - "de nous assuiettir aux hommes en seruitude;" - "To give ourselves up to men, so as to be in bondage to them." CALVIN very probably had in his eye the celebrated sentiment of Horace, (Epistle 1 50:14,) "Nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri;" - "Bound to swear allegiance to no master," while enforcing the sentiment by a powerful consideration, to which the heathen poet was an entire stranger. - Ed. Ft67 "Du sang de Christ, et des martyrs tous ensemble;" - "From the blood of Christ, and of all the martyrs together." Ft68 Leo, ad Palaestinos, Epistle 81. The passage alluded to above is quoted at large in the Institutes. (Volume 2.) "Although the death of many saints was precious in the sight of the Lord, (<19B615>Psalm 116:15,) yet no innocent man's slaughter was the propitiation of the world. The just received crowns, did not give them; and the fortitude of believers produced examples of patience,not gifts of righteousness; for their deaths were for themselves; and none by his final end paid the debt of another, except Christ our Lord, in whom alone all are crucified, all dead, buried, and raised up." Leo, from whose writings this admirable passage is extracted, was a Roman bishop, who flourished in the fifth century, and was one of the most distinguished men of his age. He was a most zealous defender of the doctrines of grace, in opposition to Pelagianism and other heresies. - Ed. Ft69 "Obligez par serment;" - "Bound by oath." Ft70 "Syngrapha (the term employed by CALVIN) was a contract or bond, formally entered into between two parties, signed and sealed by both, and a copy given to each." Cic. Verr. 1:36. Dio. 48:37. It is derived from a Greek term suggrafh< (a legal instrument or obligation.) Herodotus 1:48; and Demosthenes 268:13. P. stef. - Ed. Ft71 "Ironie, c'est a dire, mocquerie;" - "Irony, that is to say, mockery." Ft72 "Seulement en les arrousant d'eau: c'est a dire, baptizant;" - "Simply by sprinkling them with water, that is to say, baptizing." Ft73 "Toute la charge et la pesanteur du fardeau;" - "The whole charge and weight of the burden." Ft74 "Vn Rhetoricien ou harangueur;" - "A Rhetorician, or declaimer." Ft75 "Ces vaillans docteurs;" - "Those valiant teachers." Ft76 The term logodaidali>a properly denotes speech ingeniously contrived. It is compomlded of logov (speech) and Daidalov (Daedalus,) an ingenious artist of Athens, celebrated for his skill in statuary and architecture. Hence everything that was skilfully contrived was called Daedalean. See Lucr. 4. 555, and 5. 235; Virg. G. 4. 179; and Aen. 7. 282. - Ed. Ft77 "Eloquence et rhetorique;" - "Eloquence and rhetoric." Ft78 "Vne bonne erudition, et scauoir solide;" - "Good learning, and solid wisdom." Ft79 "Les Corinthiens auoyent les oreilles chatouilleuses, et estoyent transportez d'vn fol appetit d'auoir des gens qui eussent vn beau parler;" - "The Corinthians had itching ears, (<550403>2 Timothy 4:3,) and were carried away with a silly eagerness to have persons that had a good manner of address." Ft80 "Les humbles;" - "The humble." Ft81 "Ni a offusquer de sa pompe la croix de Christ, comme qui mettroit vne nuee au denant;" - "Nor to darken the cross of Christ with its empty show, as if one were drawing a cloud over it." Ft82 "Brief, a seruir comme de trompette;" - "In short, to serve as a trumpet." Ft83 "Combien que j'aye vne raison encore plus valable, qui m'a induit a changer ceste translation;" - "At the same time, I have a still more forcible reason, which has induced me to alter this translation." Ft84 The passage referred to in Isaiah is happily rendered by Lowth:-Thine heart shall reflect on the past terror: Where is now the accomptant? where the weigher of tribute? where is he that numbered the towers? The last of these expressions Lowth explains to mean, "the commander of the enemy's forces, who surveyed the fortifications of the city, and took an account of the height, strength, and situation of the walls and towers, that he might know where to make the assault with the greatest advantage." - Ed. Ft85 "The words of Paul, <460120>1 Corinthians 1:20, pou~ sofo>v; pou~ grammateu>v; pou~ suzhththIsaiah 33:18; ) "the only points of agreement between them being merely the occurrence of grammateu2 Kings 12:10. lmh rps (the king's scribe.) It is rendered by the Septuagint, oJ grammateu>v tou~ basile>wv The corresponding Greek term, grammateiv is employed by the classical writers to denote a clerk or secretary, (Demosth. 269.19.) The grammateiv (notaries) "had the custody of the laws and the public records, which it was their business to write, and to repeat to the people and senate when so required." - Potter's Grecian Antiquities, volume 1. - Ed. Ft87 CALVIN, here has manifestly in his eye the original meaning of suzhththv, which is derived from sun and zhtew (to inquire together,) and comes very naturally to mean one that indulges in arguments or disputes. The term was applied to the subtle Sophists, or disputants in the Greek academies. - Ed. Ft88 "La prudence civile, c'est a dire la science des lois;" - "Civil prudence, that is to say, the science of laws." Ft89 See Institutes, volume 1. - Ed. Ft90 The reader will find the same train of thought as above in the Institutes, volume 1. - .Ed. ft91 "Et outrecuidance;" - "And presumption." Ft92 "Extrauagantes;" - "Extravagant." Ft93 There can be no doubt that CALVIN refers here to an expression made use of by Paul in his discourse to the Athenians, <441727>Acts 17:27. Eij a]ra ge yhlafh>seian aujtoColossians 1:19.) ft101 The reader will find the same train of thought as above in the Institutes, volume 2. - Ed. ft102 "Car je n'ay point eu en estime de scauoir aucune chose ou rien deli-ber~ de sqauoir entre vous:" - "I had nothing in esteem as knowledge; or, I determined to know nothing among you." Ft103 CALVIN refers to what he had said when commenting on an expression which occurs in chap. 1:17 - not with wisdom of words. Ft104 Xenophon uses krinw in the sense of choosing out, or prferring: in Mem. 4. 4, sec. 16, ouc oJpwv touv autouv corouv krinwsin oiJ politai - not that the citizens should prefer the dances." See also Menander, prefer the same line 245, edit. Cleric. In the New Testament we find krinw used in the sense of esteeming, in <451405>Romans 14:5. - Ed. Ft105 "Ne fera point que ie n'aye en reuerence et admiration;" - "Will not prevent me from holding in reverence and admiration." Ft106 "En infirmite ou foiblesse;" - "In weakness or feebleness." Ft107 "Thrasones." The appellation is borrowed from Thraso, a foolish captain in Terence (Eun. 3:1.) - Ed. Ft108 "Ne cognoissent ni eux ni la chose qu'ils ont entre mains;" - "They know not either themselves or the thing that they have in hand." Ft109 This passage has largely exercised the ingenuity of critics, from the circumstance that the adjective peiqoi~v, occurring nowhere else in the New Testament, or in any of the writings of classical authors, it is supposed that there has been some corruption of the reading. Some suppose it to be a contraction or corruption of pei>qanoiv or pi>qavoiv, and Chrysostom, in one or two instances, when quoting the passage, uses the adjective pi>qanoiv, while in other cases he has peiqoi~v. It is perhaps in allusion to those instances in which Chrysostom makes use of the adjective pi>qavoiv, that Calvin employs the phrase to pi>qanon (persuasiveness.) Semler, after adducing various authorities, suggests the following reading: - ejn peiqoi~ sofaiv taking peiqoi~; as the dative of hJ peiqw, (persuasion.) Bloomfield considers peiqoi~, to be a highly probable reading, but prefers to retain peiqoi~v. - Ed. Ft110 "Secrettement et doucement;" - "Secretly and softly." Ft111 A figure of speech by which words change their cases with each other. - Ed. Ft112 "Thus we read, (<012527>Genesis 25:27,)that Jacob was t ya, "a perfect man," i.e. without any manifest blemish. See also <180101>Job 1:1, 8. The corresponding word ymt, is frequently applied to the sacrificial victims, to denote their being without blemish. <021205>Exodus 12:5; <030103>Leviticus 1:3. - Ed. Ft113 "Il ne s'en rapporte pas a vn chacvn, mais requiert des luges entiers;" - "He does not submit the case to every one, but appeals to competent judges." Ft114 "In allusion, it is generally thought, to the deep and dark caverns from which the heathen oracles gave forth their responses. Such was the cave (antrum) of the Cumean Sibyl, described by Virgil, AEn. 6:42-44, and also the cavern in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, described by Strabo (lib. 9.) "fasi d j einai to manteion antron koilon meta baqouv, ou mala eurostomon;" - "They say that the oracle is a hollow cavern of considerable depth, but not at all wide in the opening." - Ed. Ft115 Locke, in accordance with CALVIN'S view, understands Paul as if he had said: "Why do you make divisions, by glorying, as you do, in your distinct teachers? The glory that God has ordained us (Christian teachers and professors) to, is to be expounders, preachers, and believers of those revealed truths and purposes of God, which, though contained in the sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament, were not understood in former ages." - Ed. Ft116 "Vne zele de la loy desordonne et real regle;" - "An inordinate and ill regulated zeal for the law." Ft117 The distinction drawn by CALVIN is illustrated by a statement of Solomon in <202127>Proverbs 21:27. "The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more when he bringeth it with a wicked mind." hmzb - "with a wicked design." - Ed. ft118 "Assauoir, Fera, or Preparera;" - "Namely - He will do, or He will prepare." ft119 The word made use of by Isaiah is hkjm, which is a part of the verb hkj, to wait for, and CALVIN'S meaning most probably is, that the "Greek interpreters had (from the resemblance between b and k) been led into the mistake of supposing it to be a part of the verb bbj, to love, while the corresponding part of the latter verb - bbwjm, manifestly differs very widely from the word made use of by the Prophet. There appears, how ever, to have been an oversight, in this instance, on the part of CALVIN, as the word in the Septuagint version is not the word made use of by the Apostle - ajgapw~sin, "them that love" (him,) but (oorresponding to the word made use of bythe Prophet uJpome>nousin, "them that wait for" (him.) It is not a little singular, that Clemens Romanus (Ep. ad Cor. Sect. 34.) quotes the words of Isaiah precisely as Paul quotes them, with the exception of the last clause, which he gives as follows: o[sa hJtoimase toiv uJpome>nousin aujtoRomans 11:34, views the expression, We have the mind of Christ, as applicable to believers universally - "Nam et Paulus ipso alibi, postquam testatus erat onmia Dei mysteria ingenii nostri captum longe excedere, mox tamen subjicit, fideles tenere mentem Domini: quia non spiritum hujus mundi acceperint, sed a Deo sibi datum, per quem de incomprehensibili alioqui ejus bonitate edocentur;" - "For even Paul himself, in another place, after testifying that all the mysteries of God far exceed the capacity of our understanding, does nevertheless immediately add, that believers are in possession of the Lord's mind, because they have received not the spirit of this world, but that which has been given them by God, whereby they are instructed as to his otherwise incomprehensible goodness." - Ed. ft144 "C'est a dire comme a enfans en Christ;" - "That is to say, as to babes in Christ." Ft145 "Combien qu'il n'y eust en eux ancunc efficace de l'Esprit;" - "Though there was in them no efficacy of the Spirit." ft146 Our author gives in this, as in many other instances, the substance of the passage quoted rather than the express words. In the expression "made the sport of human fallacies," he seems to have had in his eye the term kubeia - rendered by our translators sleight (of men,) which, as CALVIN himself remarks when commenting upon the passage, is "translatum ab aleatoribus, quod inter eos multae sint fallendi artes:" borrowed from players at dice, there being many arts of deception practiced among them. - Ed. ft147 "Il leur propose la doctrine petit a petit, et par maniere de dire, la face distiller en eux;" - "He presents instruction to them by little and little, and, so to speak, makes it drop upon them." ft148 "Ne parlans de l'Euangile que quelques mots bleu obscurement, et comme entre les deurs, pour la crainte qu'ils ont de tomber en quelque danger de leurs ersonnes;" - "Speaking merel some words of the gospel very indistinctly, and, as it were, through their teeth, from the fear that they have of incurring some personal danger." ft149 "Par pieces et morceaux;" - "Into pieces and morsels." ft150 "D'avaneer tousiours ses escholiers, et monter plus haut;" - "To be always carrying forward his pupils, and going up higher." ft151 "L'estouffement touteffois venant de leurs affections perverses, surmontoit;" - "The suffocation, nevertheless, proceeding from their perverse affections, prevailed." ft152 "Qui estoyent entr'eux;" - "Which were among them." ft153 "Cette ration de jetter son coeur sur un homme par ambition, est accompagnee d'un sot babil;" - "This way of setting one's heart upon an individual through ambition, is accompanied with a foolish talkativeness." ft154 "Sont un, ou une chose;" - "Are one, or one thing." ft155 "Car nous sommes ouuriers avec Dieu, ou, nous ensemble sommes ouuriers de Dieu;" - "For we are workers with God, or we are together God's workmen." ft156 "Afin que le propos soit moins odieux, et qu'on ne dise qu'il porte enuie aux autres;" - "That the discourse may be less offensive, and that none may say that he bears envy towards others." ft157 An instance of the same kind occurs in <451203>Romans 12:3. eJka>stw| wJv oJ Qeotron pi>stewv - as God hath distributed to every one the measure of faith." CALVIN, when commenting on the passage, observes, that it is an instance of "anastrophe, seu vocum inversio, pro Quemadmodum unicuique;" - "anastrophe, or inversion of words for As to every one." - Ed. ft158 "Combien aussi il est necessaire qu'elle continue et soit tousiours entretenue;" - "How necessary it is also, that it continue and be always kept up." ft159 "Tous les ans;" - "Every year." ft160 Our author refers to what he had, a little before, adverted to, as to the necessity for the word of God continuing to be dispensed. - Ed. ft161 CALVIN will be found adverting to the same subject at considerable length, when commenting on 1 Corinthians 9:1. - Ed. ft162 "Suyuant ceste consideration;" - "In accordance with this view." ft163 "Car en ces facons de parler Christ n'est point separe du ministre;" - "In these modes of expression Christ is not separated (or viewed apart) from the minister." ft164 CALVIN most probably refers here to the statements afterwards made by him, when commenting on Galatians 3:27, to the following effect: "Respondeo, Paulum de Sacramentis bifariam solere loqui. Dum negotium est cum hypocritis, qui nudis signis superbiunt, tum concionatur, quam inanis ac nihili res sit externum signum: et in praeposteram fiduciam fortiter invehitur. Quare? non respicit Dei institutionem, sed impiorum corruptelam. Quum autem fideles alloquitur, qui rite utuntur signis, illa tunc conjungit cum sua veritate, quam figurant. Quare? neque enim fallacem pompam ostentat in Sacramentis, sed quae externa ceremonia figurat, exhibet simul re ipsa. Hinc fit, ut veritas, secundum Dei institutum, conjuncta sit cum signis;" - "I answer, it is customary with Paul to speak of the Sacraments in two different ways. When he has to do with hypocrites, who glory in mere symbols, he in that case proclaims aloud the emptiness and worthlessness of the outward symbol, and denounces in strong terms their absurd confidence. Why so? It is because he has in view, not the ordinance of God, but the corruption of it by wicked men. When, on the other hand, he addresses believers, who make a proper use of the symbols, he in that case views them in connection with the reality which they represent. Why so? It is because he does not make a show of any false splendor as belonging to the Sacraments, but presents before our view in reality what the outward ceremony represents. Hence it comes that, agreeably to the divine appointment, the reality is associated with the symbols." The same subject is touched upon in the Institutes, volume 3. - Ed. ft165 "Poures vers de terre;" - "Mere worms of the dust." ft166 The subject of Rewards is largely treated of in the Institutes, volume 2. The reader will find the expression "laborers together with God" commented upon in the Institutes, volume 1. - Ed. ft167 "Et conducteur de l'oeuvre;" - "And conductor of the work." ft168 "De se rendre suiets aux hommes, et attacher la leurs affections;" - "In making themselves subject to men, and placing their affections there." ft169 "De la massonerie, ou charpenterie;" - "From masonry, or carpentry." ft170 "Par feu, ou parmi le feu;" - "By fire, or amidst the fire." ft171 "I1 leur fait assavoir, et declare fort et ferme:" - "He gives them to know, and declares strongly and firmly." ft172 "Ne faisoyent point de conscience d'amoindrir ou offusquer la grace de Dieu;" - "Made no scruple of disparaging or obscuring the grace of God." ft173 Monstrant, quant a luy qu'il a este pousse et conduit de Dieu, il se defend et maintient contre tout mepris;" - "Showing, as to himself, that he had been led on and conducted by God, he guards and defends himself against all contempt." ft174 "En sorte qu'on puisse voir a l'oeil;" - "So that one may see with the eye." ft175 "Arrachent et renversent entierement;" - "They tear up and entirely overthrow" ft176 "Et non eonvenantes;" - "And not suitable." ft177 "Ce seroit vne chose mal seante que Christ lust suffoque en mettant et meslant auec luy quelques doctrines estranges;" - "It were an unseemly thing that Christ should be choked by placing upon him and mixing up with him some strange doctrines." ft178 "On vent a force faire receuoir pour oracles et reuelations procedees de Dieu;" - "They would force us to receive it as if it were oracles and revelations that have come forth from God." ft179 It is so in two of the old English versions. In Wiclif's version (1380) the rendering is as follows: For the dai of the Lord schal declare. The Rheims version (1582) reads thus: For the day of our Lord will declare. - Ed. ft180 "Celle, qui aura este forgee au cerveau des hommes s'esuanouira tout incontinent, et s'en ira en fumee;" - "That which has been forged in man's brain, will quickly vanish, and go off in smoke." ft181 "Le mot Grec suyuant, qui signifie souffrir perte ou dommage;" - "The Greek word following, which signifies to suffer loss or damage." ft182 "Car ce n'est pas sa doctrine, mais celle des autres que Sainct Paul dit, qui viendra a l'examen;" - "For it is not his own doctrine, but that of others, that St. Paul says will come to be tested." ft183 "Et fideles ouuriers;" - "And faithful workmen." ft184 "Et affliction;" - "And affliction." ft185 "Les pecheurs, (disent-ils);" - "The sinners, (say they)." ft186 "Je respon, que ce n'est pas a nous;" - "I answer, that it is not for us." ft187 Car a quel propos est-il yci parle du feu?" - "For to what purpose does he speak here of fire?" ft188 "Viole destruit;" - "Violates, or destroys." ft189 "Si aucvn entre vous cuide estre sage, qu'il soit fait fol en ce monde, afin qu'il soit sage - ou, sage en ce monde, qu'il soit fait fol, afin, etc.;" - "If any one among you seemeth to be wise, let him become a fool in this world, that he may be wise - or, wise in this world, let him become a fool, that," etc. ft190 "De cest aduertissement;" - "Of this caution." ft191 Audieras, et fama fitit. Virg. Eclog. 9. 11. ft192 "Trop facilement;" - "Too readily." ft193 "Soit fait fol en soy de son bon gre s'abbaissant, et s'aneantissant soymesme;" - "Let him become, of his own accord, a fool in his own estimation, abasing and emptying himself." ft194 "Bon et raisonnable;" - "Good and reasonable." ft195 "Que de nous-mesmes;" - "Than ourselves." ft196 "Nous semble que nous sommes assez suffisans de nous conduire, et gouuerner nous-mesmes;" - "It appears to us, that we are quite competent to conduct and govern ourselves." ft197 "En ce monde;" - "In this world." ft198 "Ce sont de grans empeschemens, et bien a craindre;" - "They are great hindrances, and much to be dreaded." ft199 "Quand la sagesse de Dieu n'y est point;" - "When the wisdom of God is not in it." Ft200 "The humbling tendency ef the statement referred to is well brought out by Fuller of Kettering. (Fuller's Works, volume 4. p. 89.) Ft201 "C'est a dire, quelle estime on en doit auoir;" - "That is to easy, in what esteem they ought to be held." Ft202 "Nul autre ne nous a este donne du Pere authorize de ce titre et commandement;" - "No other has been given to us by the Father, authorized by this distinction and injunction." Ft203 "Pour vne maxime;" - "As a maxim." Ft204 "Car il nous donne a entendre, et remonstre, que le comble et la perfection de nostre felicite consiste la;" - "For he gives us to understand, and shows, that the summit and perfection of our felicity consists in this." Ft205 "Qui ne retienent ce seul Chef;" - "Who do not retain that sole Head." ft206 "De iour humain - c'est a dire, de iugement d'homme;" - "Of man's day - that is to say, of man's judgment." Ft207 "Pource que les Corinthiens iugeoyent de luy d'vne mauuaise sorte, et bien inconsidereement;" - "As the Corinthians judged of him in an unfavorable way, and very rashly." Ft208 "Facilement on viendra a mespriser la parole de Dieu;" - "They will readily come to despise the word of God." Ft209 "Ils sont eux-mesmes comme les autres sous la domination de Christ;" - "They are themselves, in common with others, under the dominion of Christ." Ft210 Our Author makes use of the same expression when commenting on 1 Corinthians 11:23, and 1 Corinthians 15:3. - Ed. Ft211 Entre les dispensateurs;" - "Among stewards." Ft212 "Et d'une facon magistrale;" - "And with a magisterial air." Ft213 "Auec science et bonne discretion, et d'vn coeur droit;" - "With knowledge and good discretion, as well as with an upright heart." Ft214 "Ils estoyent rauis en admiration de ces masques externes, comme gens tout transportez, et ne regardoyent point a discerner vrayement ne proprement;" - "They were ravished with admiration of those foreign masks, as persons quite transported, and were not careful to distinguish truly or properly." Ft215 "Et orgueil;" - "And pride." Ft216 "Si entr'eux fi y eust eu vne legitime et droite facon de iuger;" - "If there had been among them a lawful and right method of judging." Ft217 "Ils auoyent affaire a des gens opiniastres et pleins de rebellion;" - "They had to do with persons that were obstinate, and full of rebellion." Ft218 "Se demonstrera estre merueilleusement impudent;" - "He will show himself to be marvellously impudent." Ft219 The word day, which is the literal rendering of the original word (hJme>rav) is made use of in some of the old English versions. Thus in Wiclif's version, (1380,) the rendering is: "of mannes daie;" in Tyndale's, (1534,) "of man's daye;" and in the Rheims version, (1582,) "of man's day." - Ed. Ft220 "Selon les sottes affections, ou les mouuemens temeraires des hommes;" - "According to the foolish affections, or rash impulses of men." Ft221 "Comme on dit;" - "As they say." Ft222 "Si nihil prorsus sibi consciret;" - our author most probably had in his eye a well-known passage in Horace, (Ep. I. 1. 61,) "Nil conscire sibi;" - "To be conscious to one's self of nothing wrong." - Ed. Ft223 "Combien sa conscience estoit pure et nette;" - "How pure and clean his conscience was." Ft224 "Tanquam agonothetos. The allusion is to the presiding officers or umpires (agwnoqe>tai) who adjudged the prizes in the Grecian games. (See Herod. 6. 127.) - Ed. Ft225 "A ces docteurs pieins d'ostentation;" - "To those teachers, full of ostentation." Ft226 "S'ils se contentent de bons et fideles docteurs, ils seront hors de danger d'vn tel mal;" - "If they had contented themselves with good and faithful teachers, they would have been beyond the risk of such an evil." Ft227 "Rendre excellent, ou mettre en reputation;" - "To render eminent, or exalt to fame." Ft228 The reader will find a variety of passages of this tenor quoted from Augustine in the Institutes, volume 1. - Ed. Ft229 "Comme estans ehoses contraires;" - "As being things opposite." Ft230 "Vsant d'ironie, c'est a dire, d'vne facon de parler qui sonne en mocquerie;" - "Making use of irony, that is to say, a form of speech that has a tone of mockery." Ft231 "A bitter taunt," says Lightfoot, "chastising the boasting of the Corinthians, who had forgot from whom they had first received those evangelical privileges, concerning which they now prided themselves. They were enriched with spiritual gifts; they reigned, themselves being judges, in the very top of the dignity and happiness of the gospel; and that, 'without us,' saith the Apostle, 'as though ye owed nothing to us for these privileges,' and, ' O would to God ye did reign, and that it went so happily and well with you indeed, that we also might reign with you, and that we might partake of some happiness in this your promotion, and might be of some account among you!'" - Ed. Ft232 "Fausse et dangereuse:" - "Groundless and dangerous." Ft233 "C'est vne folie, et bestise;" - "This is a folly and stupidity." Ft234 "Et bien peu estimez;" - "And very little esteemed." Ft235 "On pourmenoit par toute la ville les poures prisonniers;" - "They led the poor prisoners round the whole town." Ft236 "Condamnez a seruir de passe-temps en combatrant contre des bestes;" - "Condemned to serve as a pastime in fighting against wild beasts." Ft237 "C'est une concession ironique, c'est a dire, qu'il accorde ce dont ils se vantoyent, mais c'est par mocquerie, comme s'il disoit;" - "It is an ironical concession; that is to say - he grants what they boast of, but it is in mockery, as though he had said." Ft238 "En faisant profession de l'Euangile, vous voulez auec cela estre estimez prudens;" - "In making a profession of the gospel, you wish, along with that, to be esteemed wise." Ft239 "Pour l'amour de vous;" - "From love to you." Ft240 "Est d'autant plus picquante, et aigre;" - "Is so much the more cutting and severe." Ft241 loidoria, is supposed by Eustathius to be derived from logov, a word, and doru, a spear. A similar figure is employed by the Psalmist, when he speaks of words that are drawn swords. (<195521>Psalm 55:21.) - Ed. Ft242 "Or le premier signifie non seulement se gaudir d'vn homme, mais aussi toucher son honneur comme en le blasonnant, et le naurer en termes picquans: ce que nous disons communement, Mordre en riant. Le second signifie quand on detracte apertement de quelqu'vn sans vser de couuerture de paroles;" - "Now the first means not simply to make one's self merry at another's expense, but also to touch his reputation, as if with the view of blackening it, and wounding it by cutting expressions, as we commonly say - to give a good humored bite. The second means when persons slander any one openly, without using any disguise of words." Ft243 "Que c'estoit vn mestier ville, et mechanique;" - "That it was a mean and mechanical occupation." Ft244 "Comme c'estoit vne chose qui se faisoit anciennement entre les payens;" - "As this was a thing that was practiced anciently among the heathens." Ft245 The Scholiast on Aristophanes, Plut. 454, gives the following explanation of the term ka>qarma: Kaqa>rmata ejle>gonto oJi epi< th~ kaqa>rsei loimou~ tinov h]tinov e[tesou quo>menoi toiv qeoi~v. Tou~to de< e]qov kai< para< Jrwmai>oiv ejpekra>thse. Those were called cleansings who were sacrificed to the gods for the cleansing out of some famine, or some other calamity. This custom prevailed also among the Romans. - Ed. Ft246 "De malediction;" - "Of curse." Ft247 "Les ballieures d'vne maison;" - "The sweepings of a house." Ft248 The view given by Budaeus of the former term (perikaqa>rmata) is stated by Leigh in his Critica Sacra to be the following: That "the Apostle had allusion unto the expiations in use among the heathens, in time of any pestilence or contagious infection; for the removal of such diseases they then sacrificed certain men unto their gods, which men they termed kaqa>rmata. As if the Apostle had said - We are as despicable and as odious in the sight of the people, as much loaded with the revilings and cursings of the multitude, as those condemned persons who were offered up by way of public expiation." The latter term (peri>yhma) Budaeus renders as follows: "Scobem aut ramentum et quicquid limando fleter;" - "Filings or scrapings, or whatever is cleared off by filing." - Ed. Ft249 "Destine a porter toutes les execrations et maudissons du monde;" - "Set apart to bear all the execrations and curses of the world." Ft250 "Tasche sur toutes choses que toute la honte demeure entre lui et celui lequel il admoneste;" - "Endeavors above all things that the shame may remain between him and the person whom he admonishes." Ft251 "Les marques et fietrisseurs de Christ en luy;" - "The marks and brands of Christ in him." The allusion, as our Author himself remarks, when commenting upon Galatians 6:17, is to "the marks with which barbarian slaves, or fugitives, or malefactors were branded." Hence the expression of Juvenal: stigmate dignum credere - "to reckon one worthy of being branded as a slave." (Juv. 10. 183.) - Ed. Ft252 "Les docteurs et ministres;" - "Teachers and ministers." Ft253 "Le ministre:" - "The minister." Ft254 "The Greek word pedagogue," says Calmet, "now carries with it an idea approaching to contempt. With no other word to qualify it, it excites the idea of a pedant, who assumes an air of authority over others, which does not belong to him. But among the ancients a pedagogue was a person to whom they committed the care of their children, to lead them, to observe them, and to instruct them in their first rudiments. Thus the office of a pedagogue nearly answered to that of a governor or tutor, who constantly attends his pupil, teaches him, and forms his manners. Paul (<460413>1 Corinthians 4:13) says: "For though you have ten thousand instructors (pedagogues) in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers' - representing himself as their father in the faith, since he had begotten them in the gospel. The pedagogue, indeed, may have some power and interest in his pupil, but he can never have the natural tenderness of a father for him." - Ed. Ft255 "Quel mal y auroit-il, quand nous dirions, qu'il fait aussi vne allusion a ceste petitesse et enfance en la foy?" - "What harm were there, though we should say that he also makes an allusion to that littleness and childhood in the faith?" Ft256 Our Author evidently alludes to the etymology of the original term paidagwgoucommenting on 1 Corinthians 3:2. Ft260 "Qui se loent, comme ouuriers a la iournee, pour exercer l'office a leur profit, ainsi qu'on feroit vne chose qu'on aura prise pour vn temps certain, et cependant, tenir le peuple en obeissance, et acquerir bruit, ou estre en admiration enuers iceluy;" - "Who hire themselves out, as workmen for the day, in order to exercise the office to their own advantage, as if one were doing a thing that he had taken up for a certain time, and in the meantime to hold the people in subjection, and acquire fame, or be in admiration among them." Ft261 "Combien yen a-t-il qui facent office de pere, et qui demonstrent par effet ce qu'ils vetdent estre appelez?" - "How many are there of them that discharge the office of a father, and show in deeds what they wish to be called?" Ft262 "Taschent a suyure les bonnes moeurs de lears peres;" - "Endeavor to follow the good manners of their fathers." Ft263 "Si est-ce que jamais ils ne vienent a combatre franchement, et s' ils ne voyent leur auantage: mats plustot en vsant de ruses et circuits obliques, ils monstrent leur deffiance, et comment ils sont mal asseurez;" - "So it is, that they never come forward frankly to a combat, and unless they have a view to their own advantage; but on the contrary, by making use of tricks and indirect windings, they show their want of confidence, and how distrustful they are." Ft264 "D'vn bon zele, et pure affection;" - "With a right zeal and a pure affection." Ft265 "Proram et puppim;" - "Prow and stern." Ft266 "Sqaura bien babiller et parler eloquemment, et cependant il n'aura rien qu'vn son retentissant en l'air;" - "Has skill to prate well, and speak eloquently, and in the meantime has nothing but a sound tinkling in the air." Ft267 "Duquel nous nous vantons et glorifions tant;" - "Of which we boast and glory so much." Ft268 "Et ce n'est point au peuple seulement qu'est ce defaut;" - "And it is not among the people merely that this defect exists." Ft269 "Qu'on pourra trouuer;" - "That one could find." ft270 CALVIN probably had in his eye, among other instances, the Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles - Ed. ft271 "Et ne profitera pas;" - "And will do no good." ft272 "Et authorite;" - "And authority." ft273 "Offensent Dieu;" - "Offend God." ft274 "Vous dissimulez;" - "You connive." ft275 "Qu'on appeloit le Presbytere;" - "What they called a Presbytery." ft276 "Puis apres la chose estoit renuoyee au peuple par eux, avec un advertissement touteffois de ce qui leur en sembloit;" - "The matter was afterwards brought by them before the people, with an intimation, however, of their views respecting it." See CALVIN'S Institutes, volume 3. pp. 233-5. - Ed. ft277 "Le nom de Dieu;" - "The name of God." ft278 "Contempteurs de Dieu;" - "Despisers of God." ft279 "En quelle crainte et obeissance: - "With what fear and obedience." ft280 "L'a tres-bien note;" - "Has very well remarked." ft281 "The reader will find the same sentiment quoted in the Institutes, volume 3. - Ed. ft282 "Mais c'est afin que Dieu leur espargne;" - "But it is in order that God may spare them." ft283 See Institutes, volume 3. ft284 "Nostre Pasque, assavoir Christ;" - "Our passover, namely, Christ." ft285 "Avec pains sans leuain, c'est a dire, de syncerite et de verite;" - "With unleavened bread, that is to say, of sincerity and truth." ft286 "Ha en ce passage un mesme sens comme ce qu'on dit communeement, Qu'ilne faut qu'vne brebis rongneuse pour gaster tout le troupeau;" - "Has in this passage the same meaning as what is commonly said: - There needs but one diseased sheep to infect a whole flock." ft287 - grex totus in agris Unius scabie cadit, et porrigine porci: Uvaque conspecta livorem ducit ab uva. Juv. II. 79-81. ft288 "Would any one," asks Hervey, (in his Theroa and Aspasio, volume 1,) "venture to say - 'Paul our passover is sacrificed for us?' Yet this, I think, may be, or rather is in effect said, by the account which some persons give of Christ's satisfaction. The very thought of such a blasphemous absurdity is too painful and offensive for the serious Christian to dwell upon. I would therefore direct his attention to a more pleasing object. Let him observe the exquisite skill which here and everywhere conducts the zeal of our inspired writer. The odes of Pindar are celebrated for their fine transitions, which, though bold and surprising, are perfectly natural. We have in this place," (<460507>1 Corinthians 5:7) "a very masterly stroke of the same beautiful kind. The Apostle, speaking of the incestuous criminal, passes, by a most artful digression, to his daring topic - a crucified Savior. Who would have expected it on such an occasion? Yet, when thus admitted, who does not see and admire both the propriety of the subject and the delicacy of its introduction?" - Ed. ft289 Our Author gives a similar definition of the expression the old man, when commenting on Romans 6:6. "Totam antem naturam significat, quam afterlinus ex utero, quae adeo regni Dei capax non est, ut interire eatenus oporteat, quatenus in veram vitam instauramur;" - "It denotes the whole of that nature which we bring with us from the womb, and is so far from being fit for the kingdom of God, that it must perish, in so far as we are renewed to a true life." - Ed. ft290 "Assauoir, Pasque;" - "Namely, passover." ft291 Charnock makes the following pointed observations on the form of expression here employed: - "Christ the Passover - i.e. the paschal lamb. The lamb was called the passover. The sign for the thing signified by it. <143511>2 Chronicles 35:11. And they killed the passover, i.e. the lamb; for the passover was properly the angel's passing over Israel, when he was sent as an executioner of God's wrath upon the Egyptians. So <402617>Matthew 26:17. Where shall we prepare for thee to eat the passover? i.e. the paschal lamb. Our passover, i.e. our paschal lamb. He is called God's lamb, <430129>John 1:29. God's in regard of the author, ours in regard of the end: God's lamb in regard of designation, ours in regard of acceptation. Our passover, i.e. not only of the Jews, but of the Gentiles. That was restrained to the Israelitish nation, this extends, in the offers of it, to all, and belongs to all that are under the new administration of the covenant of grace. For us, (uJpeExodus 12:14, "And this day shall be unto you for a memorial," etc. The term used in the Septuagint is mnhmosunon, answering to the Hebrew term wrkz. - Ed. ft294 The original word, sunanami>gnusqai, literally means to be mixed up together with. It is the rendering of the Septuagint for the Hebrew word llwbty, in <280708>Hosea 7:8. Ephraim hath mixed himself among the people. - Ed. ft295 "Ce seroit vne chose superflue de les admonester," etc.; - "It were a superfluous thing to admonish them," etc. ft296 "The rendering of Erasmus is as follows: "Alioqui utinam videlicet e mundo exissetis;" - "Otherwise I would, truly, that you had departed out of the world." ft297 "Car tout le monde est mis a mal;" - "For the whole world is addicted to evil." ft298 "En ceste sentence;" - "In this sentence." ft299 "C'est a dire, entr'eux;" - "That is to say, among themselves." Ft300 "Au texte Grec il y a de mot a mot, Si aucun frere nomme," etc.; - "In the Greek text it literally, If any one, called a brother," etc. ft301 It is so according to the common reading, which is as follows: - eja>n tiv, ajdelfomenov, h{ po>rnov, h{ pleone>kthv, k. t. l.." If any one, called a brother - either a fornicator, or covetous," etc.; but, as stated by Bloomfield, "seven MSS., and many versions, and Fathers, the Ed. Princ., and those of Beza, Schmid., and Beng., have h+|, (before po>rnov,) which is approved by Wets., and Matth., and edited by Griesb., Knapp., Vat., and Tittm.;" and, in Bloomfield's opinion, "rightly." - Ed. ft302 "Qu'ils en tirent;" - "Which they draw from it." ft303 "Il les faut redarguer auec seuerite, et les soliciter continuellement par admonitions;" - "They ought to be reproved with severity, and plied perseveringly with admonitions." ft304 "Car leur condition n'est pas telle comme estoit celle des Corinthiens;" - "For their condition is not like that of the Corinthians." ft305 "Est venu furieusement jusques aux defenses et menaces, Que nul ne fust si hardi de donner a boire ou a manger, ou de feu a celuy qui seroit excommunier, ou de luy aider aucunement des choses necessaires a la vie presente;" - "Has in his fury gone so far as to issue forth prohibitions and threatenings - 'Let no one be so daring as to give meat, or drink, or fuel, to the man who has been excommunicated, or to help him in any way with the things necessary for the present life.'" ft306 "Et ces bourreaux encore exercent ceste cruaute extreme, mesme contre les innocens;" - "And these hangmen do, besides, exercise this extreme cruelty even against the innocent." ft307 "Telle facon d'excommunier;" - "Such a method of excommunication." ft308 "Et courir a trauers champs;" - "And run across the fields." ft309 "Quand on supporte un homme meschant et mal-vivant;" - "When a wicked and unprincipled man is allowed to continue." - Ed. ft310 It is well observed by Witsius in his Dissertations on the Lord's Prayer, (Biblical Cabinet, No. 24,) that the appellation of the evil One is properly applied to Satan, "because he does nothing but what is evil - because all the evil that exists in the universe originated with him - because in doing evil, and in persuading others to do evil, he finds his only delight, the wicked and malignant solace of his desperate misery." - Ed. ft311 "Combien il est utile et necessaire;" - "How useful it is and necessary." ft312 "Quand il y a vne license de malfaire, et les meschans sont soufferts;" - "When there is a license to do evil, and the wicked are tolerated." Ft313 "Desnuee de puissance externe;" - "Destitute of external power." ft314 "De moindre estime en l'Eglise, ou, de nulle estime, assauoir au pris des autres;" - "Of least esteem in the Church, or of no esteem; that is, in comparison with others." ft315 "Pourquoy plustost n'endurez-vous l'injure? Pourqaoy plustost ne receuez-vous dommage?" - "Why, do you not rather suffer injury? Why do you not rather submit to loss? ft316 "Espient incessamment et d'vne affection ardente;" - "Watch incessantly and with eager desire." ft317 "Qui sont necessairement contraints de maintenir et plaider leurs causes sous iuges infideles;" - "Who are from necessity shut up to maintain and defend their law-suits before unbelieving judges." ft318 "L'honneur et la prerogatiue;" - "The honor and the prerogative." ft319 "Mais, dira quelqu'vn, encore a le prendre ainsi;" - "But, some one will say, even taking it in this way." ft320 "Sous precepteurs et maistres;" - "Under preceptors and masters." ft321 "Mais, dira quelqu'vn:" - "But, some one will say." ft322 "Ne defend point aux Chrestiens d'aller demander conseil aux Legistes;" - "Does not hinder Christians from going to ask the advice of lawyers." ft323 "Au nom de Christ;" - "In the name of Christ." ft324 "Auquel estant comme assis, il exerce sa iurisdiction;" - "On which being as it were seated, he exercises his authority." ft325 "Des prestres et ministres;" - "Of priests and ministers." ft326 "Apostats et rebelles;" - "Apostate and rebellious." ft327 "Sainct Ambrose ne touche ne ciel ne terre (cornroe on dit) en l'exposition de ces mots;" - "St. Ambrose touches neither heaven nor earth (as the expression is) in the exposition of these words." - Our Author's meaning seems to be that Ambrose hangs in suspense, or gives no decided opinion. - Ed. ft328 "Les gens profanes et infideles;" - "Profane and unbelieving persons." ft329 "Car ce seroit vne facon de parler bien maigre et de peu de grace, d'appeler ainsi les infideles;" - "For it were a very meager and awkward way of speaking, to describe unbelievers in this manner." ft330 "Sainct Paul;" - "Saint Paul." ft331 "Il les garde de tomber en reproche;" - "He guards them against falling into reproach." ft332 "Aiseement abbatu et irrite;" - "Easily hurt and irritated." ft333 The Greek term h[tthma is supposed by some to be derived originally from the Hebrew verb ttj to be broken, (which is rendered by hJttaomai, in various instances in the Septuagint.) Our author had probably an eye to this when stating the original meaning of the term to be "weakness of mind, as when one is easily broken down by injuries." The term properly denotes defect. It is instructive to observe, that a disposition to "go to law with brethren," rather than "suffer wrong," is represented by the Apostle as indicative of a defect, that is, in Christian meekness or brotherly love; while the opposite disposition, recommended by the Apostle, would, according to the standard of the world's morality, discover defect, in respect of want of spirit. - Ed. ft334 "Et qu'ils veulent veoir le bout du proces; (comme on dit;)" - "And are desirous to see the issue of the case, (as the expression is.)" ft335 Our Author, when treating at some length of the same subject in the Institutes, (volume 3. p. 543,) makes a particular reference to Augustine. (Ep. 5. ad Marcell.) - Ed. ft336 "Se retirent a Dieu comme a celuy a qui appartient la vengeance;" - "They have recourse to God, as to him to whom vengeance belongeth." (<199401>Psalm 94:1.) ft337 "Pour estre bien gouuerne en ceci, il faut estre gaeni d'vne vraye charite;" - "To be properly regulated in this, we must be adorned with true love." ft338 "Plusieurs tombent en ceste malediction, de mepriser Dieu ouuertement;" - "Many fall into that curse of openly contemning God." (<191013>Psalm 10:13.) ft339 "Et telles choses auez-vous este," ou "este aucuns;" - "And such things were you," or "were some of you." ft340 "Comme bestes rauissantes;" - "Like ravenous beasts." The harpies, it is well known, were fabulous monsters, proverbial for rapacity. It deserves to be noticed that their name a[rpui>ai, and the term made use of by Paul to denote extortioners, (a[rpagev) are both of them derived from a[rpa>zw, to seize upon, or take by violence. - Ed. ft341 The Sirens were a kind of marine monsters, which were supposed to inhabit certain rocky islands on the south-west coast of Italy, and decoyed, it was alleged, by their enchanting music, mariners to their destruction. Homer in his Odyssey (8. 45) speaks of their melodious song. (ligurh~ ajoidh~.) Our Author, it will be observed, in the connection in which he alludes to "the songs of the Sirens," strongly expresses his belief of the reality of Satanic influence, as contrasted with what is merely fabulous. - Ed. ft342 "Suiets a toutes sortes de vices, sinon entant que le Seigneur les reprime au dedans, afin qu'ils ne sortent dehors, et vienent "a estre mis en effet;" - "Liable to all kinds of vices, unless in so far as the Lord inwardly restrains them, that they may not break forth outwardly, and come to be put in practice." ft343 "Vne fontnine abondante;" - "An abundant fountain." ft344 "D'aucune chose, ou d'aucm;" - "Of anything, or of any one." ft345 "A le conioindre avec ce qui a este dit auparauant;" - "To connect it with what has been said before." ft346 "Or ou on peche a bride auallee, et la ou les vices ne sont point corrigez;" - "Where persons sin with a loose bridle, and where vices are not punished." ft347 "La liberte Chrestienne;" - "Christian liberty." ft348 "L'edification du prochain;" - "The edification of their neighbor." ft349 "En sa conscience;" - "In his conscience." ft350 "Il s'en fant que l'homme Chrestien se doyue soncier ne debatre pour les choses externes;" - "A Christian man ought not to be solicitous, or to contend for outward things." ft351 "Choses du tout indignes de Christ;" - "Things altogether unworthy of Christ." ft352 "C'est vne meschancete d'abandonner nostre corps, et le prostituer;" - "It is wickedness to surrender our body, and prostitute it." ft353 "Estre vn tour participant;" - "To be one day a participant." ft354 "Vne pollution si fade et infame;" - "A pollution so filthy and infamous." ft355 "Pour ce que ceci est vne chose abominable, et que nous deuons auoir en horreur;" - "As that is an abominable thing, and we must hold it in abhorrence." ft356 The original expression, Mh> ge>oito! Away with it! corresponds to the Hebrew term hllj, far be it! Thus in <011825>Genesis 18:25, hzhrbdk tm l hllj, Far be it from thee to act in this manner! Homer makes use of a similar cxpression - mh< tou~to qeov teleseien, forbid that heaven should accomplish that! (Od. 20. 234.) - Ed. ft357 "Mais nous sommes faits non seulement vne mesme chair auec le Seigneur, auquel nous adherons, mais aussi vn mesme esprit;" - "But we have become not merely one flesh with the Lord, to whom we are joined, but also one spirit." ft358 "Non que la paillardise soit digne de estre ornee des louanges qui appartienent a l'ordonnance du marriage;" - "Not that fornication is worthy to be honored with the praises that belong to the ordinance of marriage. ft359 "Pour monstrer que la contagion et vilenie passe de l'vn a l'autre;" - "To show that contagion and pollution pass from the one to the other." ft360 Our Author makes use of the adverb - abusive, (improperly,) referring, it is probable, to the figure of speech called by Quinctilian (8. 6) abusio - the same as catachresis (perversion.) - Ed. ft361 "N'en demeure point tellement imprimee en nostre corps;" - "Does not remain impressed upon our body in the same way." ft362 "Par mesdisance, detraction, et periure;" - "By evil-speaking, detraction, and perjury." ft363 "Par nos vilenies plenes de sacrilege;" - "By our defilements, full of sacrilege." ft364 Thus, ejxeuri>skein, is employed by classical writers to mean - getting a thing at a price, that is, at a high price. See Herod. 7. 119. - Ed. Ft365 Our Author has very manifestly in his eye the epithet timi>ov, (precious,) as made use of by the Apostle Peter, in reference to the blood of Christ - timi>w| aiJmati, wJv ajmnou ajmw>mou k. t. l. - "precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish," etc. - Ed. Ft366 "Le sommaire et la substance du propos revient la;" - "The sum and substance of the discourse amount to this." ft367 "C'est a dire, l'abstinence du mariage;" - "That is to say, abstinence from marriage." ft368 Our Author, when commenting on <401910>Matthew 19:10, animadverts in strong terms on Jerome's manner of handling the subject of marriage, as discovering "a malicious and wicked disposition." Harmony, volume 2 p. 386. - Ed. ft369 "C'est autant de perdu quant aux choses spirituelles;" - "It is so much of loss as to sptritual things." ft370 "Nous employer entierement et incessaumment;" - "Employ ourselves entirely and unceasingly." ft371 "Il laisse la liberte de se marier ou ne se marier point;" - "He gives liberty to marry or not marry." ft372 "Ou qu'ils soyent tentez de se debaucher en pallardises;" - "Or are tempted to defile themselves with whoredoms." ft373 "Un seruice agreable a Dieu;" - "A service agreeable to God." ft374 "Solicite et induit plusieurs;" - "Enticed and induced many." ft375 "L'affection du coeur plus ardente et extraordinaire;" - "A more ardent and extraordinary affection of the mind." See Institutes (volume 3.) ft376 "Comme quand on vent elire ou ordonner des pasteurs et ministres;" - "As when persons wish to elect or ordain pastors and ministers." ft377 "Par dessus nos forces, et la mesure de nostre imbecilite;" - "Beyond our strength, and the measure of our weakness." ft378 "Mais (dira quelqu'vn)il faut resister a Satan;" - "But (some will say) we must resist Satan." ft379 "Qu'il leur donnera tousiours la puissance de s'en passer;" - "That he would give them always the power to do without it." ft380 "Leurs affections desordonnees;" - "Their inordinate affections." ft381 "Les hypocrites qui veulent estre estimez de petis saincts;" - "Hypocrites, who wish to be regarded as little saints." ft382 "Les sots et indiscrets zelateurs;" - "Foolish and inconsiderate zealots." ft383 "Ou permission et pardon ha lieu;" - "Where permission and pardon have place." ft384 The term ajtaxi>a is used by our author in the Harmony (volume 1) to mean disorder, as contrasted with the orderly condition of the kingdom of God. It contains an allusion to the disorderly conduct of soldiers, who quit their ranks. It is used in this sense by Thucydides (7:43.) - Ed. ft385 "Vn appetit desmesure, lequel ie concede estre vicieux;" - "An immoderate desire, which, I allow, is vicious." ft386 "Pour resolution done de ce poinet en peu de paroles, disons en ceste sorte;" - "For a solution, then, of this point in a few words, let us express it in this way." ft387 "Donne de Dieu;" - "Given by God." ft388 "Comme vn service agreable a Dieu;" - "As a service agreeable to God." ft389 "Comme vn estat indigne et non conuenable a la sanctete de l'ordre;" - "As a condition unbefitting, and unsuitable to the holiness of their order." ft390 "De passions et cupiditez desordonnees;" - "Of inordinate passions and lusts." ft391 The reader will find the same subject largely treated of by our author in the Institutes, volume 3. - Ed. ft392 "Se mesure a son aulne (comme on dit) c'est a dire, selon sa faculte;" - "Measures himself by his own ell, (as they say,) that is to say, according to his ability." ft393 "Qu'il estoit sans femme," - "That he was unmarried." ft394 "Entre ceux qui n'estoyent point mariez;" - "Among those that were unmarried." ft395 "Car comment se fust-il done acquitte de ce qu'il commande yci aux gens mariez?" - "For how, in that case, would he have discharged the duty that he enjoins upon married persons?" ft396 "Vn sophisme plus que puerile;" - "A worse than childish sophism." ft397 "Auee pleurs et humilite;" - "With tears and humility." ft398 "Il y a vne autre espece de tentation moyenne entre les deux que i'ay dites;" - "There is another kind of temptation, intermediate between the two, that I have mentioned." ft399 "Il n'a pas voulu toucher ce poinct;" - "He has not chosen to touch upon this point." Ft400 "Pource qu'elles n'estoyent assez belles, ou pour quelque autre despit ou desplaisir;" - "Because they were not handsome enough, or on the ground of some other offense or dislike." Ft401 The phrase used by our Author - frangant tesseram - (break the pledge) contains an allusion to the custom among the Romans of having, on occasion of a league of hospitality being formed, a tally (tessera) or piece of wood cut into two parts, of which each party kept one. If either of the parties acted inconsistently with the engagement, he was said - confregisse resseraph - to have broken the pledge. See Plaut. Cist. 2. 1:27. - Ed. Ft402 "Auec Abraham, et auec la semence;" - "With Abraham and with his seed." Ft403 "Que nous auons auiourd'huy semblable cause de nous departir d'avec les Papistes;" - "That we have at this day similar ground of separation from Papists." Ft404 "Au bon chemin;" - "Into the good way." Ft305A "Our Author refers to the word eJkastov, (every one,) which occurs in the first clause of the verse in the dative case, and in the second clause in the accusative, and in both instances rendered by him in the nominative - unusquisque (every one.) - Ed. Ft306A The particles which occur in the original, eji mh<, (unless,) might in this passage, and in several other instances in the New Testament, (as well as in classical writers,) be rendered only. They correspond to the Hebrew particles alAa. See <012438>Genesis 24:38. - Ed. Ft307A "Car d'autant que ce nom vient d'vn mot qui signifie Appeler, il ha vne correspondance mutuelle a Dieu, qui nous appelle a ceci ou a cela;" - "For as this term comes from a word which signifies to call, it has a mutual relationship to God, who calls us to this or that." Ft308A "Ceque ie di, afinque nul n'abuse ceste sentence;" - "Which thing I say, in order that no one may abuse this statement." Ft309A "Vne obligation et necessite;" - "An obligation and necessity." Ft310A "Vn cordonnier;" - "A shoemaker." Ft311A "Paisiblement, et en repos de conscience;" - "Peaceably, and with quiet of conscience." Ft312A "Tout le but a quoy tend Sainct Paul;" - "The whole object at which St. Paul aims." Ft313A "Soit beaucoup meilleur;" - "Is much better." Ft314A "Appelle indifferemment et sans exception tous hommes et femmes a se marier;" - "Calls all men and women indiscriminately and without exception to marry." Ft315A Such is the view that Bcza takes of the meaning of the term here - "Sententiam in hac re meam dico;" - "I give you nay authoritative decision as to this matter." - Ed. Ft316A The original word, hjlehme>nov, which has occasioned no inconsiderable difficulty to interpreters, is ingeniously supposed by Granville Penn, in his Supplemental Annotations, to be a dialectic variation of hlhmenov, for eilhmenov, bound, (from eilew, to bind,) in which case the meaning would be this: "as one bound by the Lord to be faithful." Taking the word in this light, the expression is much similar to what we find employed by the Apostle in a subsequent chapter of this Epistle - ajna>gkh ga>r moi ejpi>keitai, necessity is laid upon me. (<460916>1 Corinthians 9:16.) - Ed. Ft317A "Du cerueau des hommes;" - "From man's brain." Ft318A "Diuerses afflictions et orages;" - "Various afflictions and tempests." Ft319A "Car il ne faut pas quitter legerement sa liberte sans y bien penser;" - "For he ought not to abandon his liberty lightly, without thinking much as to it." Ft320A In accordance with this, Univira, (the wife of one husband,) is often found in ancient inscriptions as an epithet of honor. - Ed. Ft321A "Autheur aneien;" - "An ancient author." Ft322A "C'est a dire, coloree et reglee par les lois;" - "That is to say, colored over and regulated by the laws." Ft323A "Ou, Mais ie vous di ceci, mes freres, que le temps;" - "Or, But I say this to you, my brethren, that the time." Ft324A "Or de prosperite s'ensuit ioye, comme d'aduersitez pleurs;" - "Now joy is attendant on prosperity, as tears are on adversities." Ft325A "Enterrez en icelles;" - "Buried in them." Ft326A "Tellement que le mot signifie yci, Abusans, ou Vsans trop;" - "So that the word means here abusing, or using too much." The verb katacra>omai, is frequently made use of by classical writers to mean using to the uttermost, using up, or misusing. See Dem. 430, 10, and Lys. 153, 46. - Ed. Ft327A "En ce monde;" - "In this world." Ft328A "Comme s'il disoit, que ce monde n'ha point vn estre, mais seulement vne monstre et vaine apparence;" - "As if he had said, that this world has not an existence, but only a show and mere appearance." Ft329A "Qu'ils puissent rencontrer;" - "That the may meet with." Ft330A "Qui sourdent entre le man et la femme;" - "that arise between a husband and wife." Ft331A Our Author's meaning is, that while qliyiv (trouble) invariably relates to what is of a distressing nature, merimna (care) is applied to anything that takes up the attention of the mind. - Ed. Ft332A "Forclos du royaume de Dieu;" - "Shut out from the kingdom of God." Ft333A See Harmony, volume 2. Ft334A Kypke (in his Observationes Sacrae) renders the original word meme>pistai, as CALVIN does - divided or perplexed, and brings forward a passage from Achilles Tatius, in which ememeristo is used in a similar sense. In the Syriac version, on the other hand, the rendering is as follows: Discrimen autem est inter mulierem et virginem - There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The Greek commentators interpret the clause thus: - Meme>ristai, tout j estin, diaferousin allhlwn, kai ou thn aujthn ecousi frontida< - They differ from one another and have not the same care. Bloomfield considers divided or distracted to be a harsh interpretation, and not agreeable to the context, and renders the clause - "There is a difference between." - Ed. Ft335A "Plus infame et puante;" - "More infamous and abominable." Ft336A "La prudence et moderation de l'Apostre;" - "The prudence and moderation of the Apostle." Ft337A Our author, quoting from memory, gives the substance of the passage referred to, while the words which he employs correspond with what we find in the 26th verse of this chapter. - Ed. Ft338A "Le Sainct Esprit;" - "The Holy Spirit." Ft339A "Tant plus ils craignent qu'il ne leur adviene quelque inconvenient, et tant plus sont ils diligens a se donner garde pour eux;" - "So much the more do they fear lest they should meet with any inconvenience, and so much the more careful are they to use precautions on their account." Ft340A "Quand il n'est point sous la puissance d'autruy;" - "When he is not under the power of another." Ft341A "La condition et propriete que nature luy a donnee;" - "The condition and propriety that nature has assigned to him." See Cic. de Off. 1. 28. - Ed. Ft342A "Comme on dit;" - "As they say." Ft343A CALVIN seems to have understood the verb ajschmonei~n here as meaning to be unseemly. The ordinary meaning of the word is, to act in an unseemly manner. It occurs in this sense in <461305>1 Corinthians 13:5, and in various instances in the Classics, (see Eur. Hec. 407,) and the construction of the passage seems to require that it be understood as meaning, that the father thinks that he acts improperly towards his virgin daughter, or incurs somewhat of disgrace with respect to her. - Ed. Ft344A "C'est vne cauillation puerile;" - "It is a childish cavil." Ft345A "Et mesme quand il est question du propos dont il est yci fait mention;" - "And even when there is a doubt on the subject, of which he has here made mention." Ft346A "Vne arrogance pernicieuse;" - "pernicious arrogance." Ft347A "Elles ne sont de rien moins suiettes a affections desordonnees, ou a estre seduites et abusees;" - "They are not at all the less liable to inordinate affections, or to be seduced and deceived." Ft348A "S'esgayent et desbauchent;" - "Sport and debauch themselves." Ft349A "Comme aussi a ceste fin les loix ciuiles restraigment l'authorite d'iceux;" - "As also for this end civil laws restrict their authority." Ft350A "En requirant yci que les enfans sentent en eux ceste liberte et exemption de la necessite du mariage;" - "In requiring here that children feel in themselves this freedom and exemption from the necessity of marriage." Ft351A "Car quand la puissance defaudra a la fille de s'abstenir de mariage;" - "For when the daughter has not power to abstain from marriage." Ft352A "Pour subuenir a nostre infirmite;" - "To help our infirmity." Ft353A "Apres auoir perdu lears premiers maris;" - "After having lost their first husbands." Ft354A "Authoritc ou puissance et suiection;" - "Authority or power and subjection." Ft355A "Comme en ce passage;" - "As in this passage." Ft356A The original expression is eja"Par une maniere d'anticipation;" - "By way of anticipation." Anthrypophora is a figure of speech which derives its name from the Greek term ajnqupofora>, a reply to an objection. It is used in this sense by Dionysius Halicarnassensis. - Ed. Ft370A "Nous ne nous en devons point soucier, mais les laisser la;" - "We should not concern ourselves as to them, but leave them there." Ft371A "Les Corinthiens n'auoyent point de honte;" - "The Corinthians were not ashamed." Ft371B See commentary on 1 Corinthians 8:7. Ft372A The original word oijkodomhqh>setai, shall be built up, is used here, in the opinion of some learned critics, to mean encouraged or emboldened, and a parallel passage is pointed to in <390315>Malachi 3:15, where the Hebrew word ykbk is rendered in the Septuagint ajnoikodomou~ntai or emboldened. It deserves notice, however, that the Apostle had in the commencement of the chapter spoken of love as edifying, while knowledge putteth up, and it is not improbable that he made use of the same word here ironically, as we would say - "Will not this be edifying the wrong way?" - Ed. Ft373A Quand nous entreprenons quelque chose center ceste saincte volonte;" - "When we attempt anything in opposition to that holy will." Ft374A "S'il demelure en la conuersation et communication auec les autres?" - "If he remains in converse and fellowship with others." Ft375A Our author speaks of the same class of persons when commenting on John 7:50. See CALVIN'S Commentary on John, vol. 1. p. 317. - Ed. ft376A "Ne suis-ie point Apostre? ne suis-ie point en liberte;" - "Am I not an Apostle? Am I not free?" "The order of the words in CALVIN'S Latin version is the order in which they are read in the VAT., Alex., and some other MSS. and ancient versions, and in which they are quoted by Origen, Tertullian and Augustine...The Latin retains the primitive order; we read, therefore, in Wiclif's version - "Whether I am not free? am I not Apostle?" - Penn. Ed. Ft377A "De ne trauailler point;" - "To refrain from working." Ft378A "La verite et l'effet le demonstre;" - "Truth and reality demonstrate it." Ft379A "Ceux qui vouloyent mettre en debat son Apostolat, et le contreroller, comme on dit;" - "Those who were desirous to bring his Apostleship into dispute, and overhale it, as they say." Ft380A The expression is made use of by Suetonius. (Aug. 33.) Reum ita fertur interrogasse. He is said to have interrogated the criminal in such a manner.) - Ed. Ft381A "Combion qu'il n'en air pus use;" - "Though he had not made use of it." Ft382A The verb is strateu>etai, goeth a warfare, or serves as a soldier. - Ed. Ft383A The Roman soldiers received no pay (stipendium) from the public expense until 347 years after the founding of Rome. (See Liv. 4. 59 and 5. 7.) - Ed. Ft384A The common reading is - kai< oJ ajlow~n th~v ejnpi>dov aujtou~ mete>cein ep j elpi>di, and he that thrasheth in hope should be a partaker of his hope. In the other reading, the ep j ejlpi>di (in hope) are omitted. The latter is the reading in five ancient and three later MSS. The common reading is construed by Bloomfield as follows - kai< oJ ajlow~n (ojfei>lei ajloa~|n) ep j ejlpi>di (tou~) mete>cein th~v elpi>dov aujtou~. "And he that thrasheth ought to thrash in hope to partake of (the fruits of) his hope." - Ed. Ft385A "Et le vestement;" - "And clothing." Ft386A "Des choses qui sont sacrifiees;" - "Of the things that are sacrificed." Ft387A "Et autres brimborioas;" - "And other baubles." Ft388A "Auiourd'huy;" - "At the present day." Ft389A "De quel droict s'usurpent ces ventres paresseux le reuenu des benefices, qu'ils appelent?" - "By what right do these lazy bellies claim to themselves the revenue of the benefices, as they call it?" Ft390A "Pource qu'ils gringotent des messes et anniuersaires;" - "Because they hum a tune at masses and anniversaries." Ft391A In the original, the words ta iJera< and tou~ iJerou~, occur in the same clause, and our Author's meaning is, that in the second instance the noun iJeron, denotes the temple. - Ed. Ft392A "Veu qu'il y estoit contraint, et ne pouuoit euiter telle necessite;" - "Inasmuch as he was constrained to it, and could not avoid such a necessity." Ft393A That is, the duty which the pastoral office involves. - Ed. Ft394A "Ce que nous appelons chef-d'oeuvre;" - "What we call a masterpiece." The idiomatic phrase, operae pretium, is ordinarily employed by the classical writers to mean - something of importance, or worthwhile. Thus Livy, in his Preface, says: "facturusne operae pretium sim;" - "whether I am about to do a work of importance," and Cicero (Cat. 4. 8)says: "Operae pretium est;" - "It is worth while." CALVIN, however, seems to make use of the phrase here in a sense more nearly akin to its original and literal signification - recompense for labor - what amply rewarded the self-denial that he had exercised - consisting in the peculiar satisfaction afforded to his mind in reflecting on the part that he had acted. The term made use of by him in his French Translation - chef-d'oeuure (masterpiece) corresponds with the Latin phrase operae pretium in this respect, that a masterpiece is a work, which the successful artist, or workman, sets a value upon, and in which he feels satisfaction, as amply recompensing the pains bestowed. - Ed. Ft395A "Son chef-d'oeuure;" - "His masterpiece." Ft396A "C'est a dire, d'abondant;" - "That is to say, over and above." Ft397A "Ceste perverse et mal-heureuse imagination;" - "That perverse and miserable fancy." Ft398A "C'est a dire, lesquelles nous faisons de superabondant;" - "That is to say, what we do over and above." Ft399A Our Author expresses himself in similar terms elsewhere as to the word merit. See Harmony, vol. 2. p. 197. - Ed. Ft400A The reader will find this sentiment more fully brought out in the Harmony, volume 2. p. 258. - .Ed. Ft401A "Afin que totalement i'en sauue quelques uns;" - "That I may by all means save some." Ft402A The rendering of the Vulgate, referred to by CALVIN, is - Ut omnes servarem, (That I might save all.) Four ancient Greek MSS. have pantav sw>sw, that I might save all. The same rendering is given in the Syriac version, and is embraced by Mill, Benzelius, and Bp. Pearce. In Wiclif's version, (1380,) the rendering is - "To alle men I am made alle things to make alle saaf." In the Rheims version, (1582,) it is rendered - "That I might saue al." - Ed. Ft403A "Afin queie sauue tous;" - "That I may save all." Ft404A "Le profit et salut pour le moths de quelques uns;" - "The profit and welfare of at least some individuals." Ft405 "Il s'abstient en toutes choses, ou - vit entierement par regime;" - "He abstains in all things, or - he lives entirely according to prescribed rule." Ft406 "Reprouue, ou, trouue non rcceuable;" - "Reprobate, or, found not admissible." Ft407 "De ceux qui conrent a la lice pour quelque pris;" - "From those who run in the race-course for some prize." Ft408 "Qui a mieux couru que los antres, et est le premier venu au but;" - "Who has run better than the others, and has come first to the goal." Ft409 "I1 yen pent auoir plusieurs de nons qui soyent couronnez;" - "There may be many of us that are crowned." Ft410 "Que nons ne perdions point courage, mais que perscuerions constamment jusques a la fin;" - "That we do not lose heart, but persevere steadfastly unto the end." Ft411 "Qui estoyent anciennement en vsage;" - "Which were anciently in use." Ft412 "Non pas qu'il vucille appliquer la similitude en tout et par tout;" - "Not that he meant to apply the similitude out and out." Ft413 "C'estoit vnc sorte de pain propre pour entretenir et augmenter la force, duquel vsoyent ordinairement les lutteurs et telles gens. Les Grecs le nonmoyent coliphium;" - "This was a kind of bread that was fitted to maintain and increase strength, which was commonly made use of by wrestlers, and persons of that sort. The Greeks call it coliphium." The term coliphium is supposed to be compounded of kw~lon, a limb, and if, strongly - a means of strengthening the limbs. It is defined by Tymme, in his Translation of CALVIN on the Corinthians, to be "a kinde of breade whereof the Wrastelers did use in tyme past to eate, to be more strong." It is made mention of by Juvenal. (2. 53.) - Ed. Ft414 "Toutes choses concenantes la piete et crainte de Dieu;" - "All things that relate to piety and the fear of God." Ft415 "Mais ie matte et reduy en seruitude mort corps;" - "But I mortify my body, and bring it into servitude." Ft416 Its original meaning is to strike under the eye, being compounded of uJpo>, (under,) and w]y, (the eye,) to beat black and blue, as the wrestlers were accustomed to do with the cestus. (See Arist. Pac. 541.) - Ed. Ft417 "Manier rudement et d'une faqon seruile;" - "To handle roughly, and in a servile manner." Ft418 Our author has evidently in view the literal meaning of the original word here used doulagwgw~, I reduce to slavery. It is used in this sense by Diodorus Siculus. (12. 24.) - Ed. ft419 "Comme feroyent des gendarmes, qui ont desia fidelement serui si long temps, que pour leur faire honneur on les enuoye se reposer le reste de leur vie;" - "After the manner of soldiers, who have already served with fidelity for so long a time, that with the view of putting honor upon them, they were discharged, so as to be exempted from labor during the remainder of their life." Ft420 "Aussi bien qu'a nous;" - "As well as to us." Ft421 "Ils ont senti le jugement de Dieu, et ne l'ont peu euiter;" - "They have felt the judgment of God, and have not beton able to escape it." Ft422 "Eux, qui estoyent son peuple;" - "Those who were his people." Ft423 "Nous nous assuietissons et bisons serment;" - "We submit ourselves, and make oath." Ft424 "Et terrien;" - "And earthly." Ft425 "Mystere et secret;" - "Mystery and secret." Ft426 "Par toute l'Escriture;" - "Throughout the whole of Scriprut. Ft427 "Es Escritures;" - "In the Scriptures." Ft428 "Nous n'en auons maintenant pas un seul mot en'toute l'Escriture;" - "We have not a single word of it in the whole of Scripture." Ft429 See CALVIN on John, vol. 1. p. 247. - Ed. Ft430 "Choses qui ayent apparence sans efibt;" - "Things that have an appearance, without reality." Ft431 "Entre ees deux extremitez;" - "Between these two extremes." Ft432 Our author, having occasion to refer to the same "Scholastic dogma" as to the Sacraments of the Old and New Testaments, (when commenting on Romans 4:12,) says, "Illis enim vim justificandi adimunt, his attribuunt:" - "They deny to the former the power ofjustifying, while they assign it to the latter." - Ed. Ft433 "Les Israelites;" - "The Israelites." Ft434 "Celebre et magnifie;" - "Celebrates and extols." Ft435 Estoit;" - "Was." Ft436 "C'est a dire, lesquelles il ne faut pendre cruement, et a la lettre, comme on dit;" - "That is to say - which must not be taken strictly or according to the letter, as they say." The reader will find this subject handled at some length in the Harmony, vol. 3. pp. 207,208. - Ed. Ft437 "D'vnc autre facon et mesure que nous ne faisons pas;" - "In another way 'and measure than we do." Ft438 "I1 a fait vne horrible vengence sur eux;" - "He inflicted dreadful vengeance upon them." Ft439 The rendering of the Vulgate is - in figura - (in figure.) Wiclif (1380) eads the clause thus: "But these thingis ben don in figure of us." - Ed. Ft440 Our Author gives here the literal meaning of Kibroth-hatta-avah. - Ed. Ft441 "Et esgayement desborde;" - "And unbridled excess." Ft442 Apres la panse vient la danse;" - "After dinner comes the dance." Ft443 Et ne faut point douter que les Israelites n'ayent pour lots adore leur veau auec telle ceremonie et obseruation que les Gentils faisoyent leurs idoles;" - "And we cannot doubt, that the Israelites on that occasion adored their calf with the same ceremony and care as the Gentiles did their idols. Ft444 "Tant petite soit elle;" - "Be it ever so little." Ft445 "De faire vn denombrement entier des personnes par testes, comme on dit;" - "To make a complete enumeration of persons by heads, as they say." Ft446 "Les juges qui estoyent deputez pour cognoistre des matieres ciuiles, estoyent nommez les cent, et toutes lois il yen auoit deux par dessus;" - "The judges who were deputed to take cognizance of civil matters were called The Hundred, and yet there were two above the hundred." As the Centumviri were chosen out of the thirty-five tribes, into which the Roman people were divided, three from each tribe, they consisted properly of 105 persons. - Ed. Ft447 "Auoit sacrifie a Baalpheor;" - "Had sacrificed to Baalpeor." Ft448 "Non pas tant pour affection qu'ils eussent a la fausse religion;" - "Not so much from any attachment that they had to a false religion." Ft449 "Vne impiete si vileine;" - "An impiety so base." Ft450 "Vn desir importun et desordonne;" - "An importunate and inordinate desire." Ft451 Billroth, in his'Commentary on the Epistles to the Corinthians, alleges, that the view that is here taken by CALVIN "could have been suggested only by reasons of a dogmarital character." The objection thus brought forward, however, is satisfactorily set aside in a valuable note by Dr. Alexander, in his translation of Billroth. See Biblical Cabinet, No. 21. pp. 246, 247. See also Henderson on Inspiration, pp. 553, 554. - Ed. Ft452 "C'est a dire, l'Eternel;" - "That is to say, the Eternal." Ft453 "De n'entrer point en la iouissance de la terre promise;" - "Not to enter on the enjoyment of the promised land." Ft454 "Ceste temerite outrecuidee;" - "This presumptuous rashness." Ft455 "Elle ferme la bouche a vn tas d'enragez;" - "It shuts the mouth of a troop of madmen." Ft456 "Qui leur sont aduenues;" - "Which happened to them." Ft457 "Car quant aux Israelites qui viuoyent lors, il n'estoit point requis que ces choses firssent enregistrees et mises par escrit, mais seulement pour nous;" - For in so far as concerned the Israelites who lived at that time, it was not requisite that these things should be recorded and committed to writing, but solely on our account." Ft458 The term is applied in this sense, more especially to the Eleusinian mysteries, which were called ta< mega>la te>lh - the great mysteries. Plat. Rep. 560 E. See also Eurip. Med. 1379. - Ed. Ft459 "Dequoy sert cela pour prouuer que les meschans, et ceux qui abusent de la grace de Dieu demeureront impunis?" - "Of what use is this for proving that the wicked, and those that abuse the grace of God, will go unpunished?" Ft460 Our Author probably refers more particularly to that part of the Institutes in which he states the points of difference between the Old and the New Testaments. See Institutes, volume 1. pp. 525-529. - Ed. Ft461 "Que nous-nous endormions comme gens asseurez, et sans grand soin;" - "That we should resign ourselves to sleep, as persons who are confident, and without much care." Ft462 "Par laquelle ils disent qu'il nous faut tousiours douter de la foy;" - "By which they say that we must always doubt as to faith." Ft463 Se Remet du tout;" - "Commits itself wholly." Ft464 The reader will observe that our Author has already touched upon this subject at some length, when commenting on chapter 2:12. - Ed. Ft465 "Tentation ne vous a point saisis, ou surprins;" - "No temptation has taken, or overtaken you." Ft466 "Pour si petites et legeres tentations;" - "On so small and light trials." Ft467 The word anqrw>pinov (human) may be understood here to mean - proportioneel to man's strength, or suited to, man's weakness. It is rendered hi Tyndalc's version, and also in Cranmer's: "Soche as followeth the nature of man." Most interpreters understand in a similar sense an expression which occurs in <100714>2 Samuel 7:14 - the rod of men, and stripes of the children of men. - Ed. Ft468 Mr. Fuller of Kettering, when comparing <461013>1 Corinthians 10:13, with <470108>2 Corinthians 1:8, justly observes: "The ability in the former of these passages, and the strength in the latter, are far from being the same. The one is expressive of that divine support which the Lord has promised to give to his servants under all their trials: the other, of the power which we possess naturally as creatures. We may be tried beyond this, as all the martyrs have been, and yet not beyond the other. The outward man may perish, while the inward man is renewed day by day." - Fuller's Works, volume 3. p. 609. - Ed. Ft469 "Tant despourueus de sens et cognoissance de Dieu;" - "So devoid of judgment and knowledge of God." Ft470 "La profession et demonstrance;" - "The profession and display." Ft471 "Les actes ou gestes externes d'idolatrie;" - "The outward acts or gestures of idolatry.' Ft472 "L'excellence de ce mystere;" - "The excellence of this mystery." Ft473 "A la consecration mystique" - "For a mystical consecration." Ft474 "Qu'on supplee Pour;" - "That for should be supplied." The original words o[ eujlogou~men, are supposed by many eminent interpreters to be instead of kaq j o[ eujlogou~men tovol. 3. p. 206. - .Ed. Ft476 A figure of speech in which a part is put for the whole. - Ed. Ft477 "Des saerifiees et autres eeremonies des idoles;" - "Sacrifices and other ceremonies rendered to idols." Ft478 "Rendent profanes ceux qui les seruent;" - "Render profane those who serve them." Ft479 "Les sacremens;" - "The sacraments." Ft480 "Vne conionetion et union auec leurs idoles;" - "A connection and union with their idols." Ft481 Anthypophora (ajnqupofora) is a figure of speech, by which a speaker anticipates the objections of his opponent, and answers them. - Ed. Ft482 "Simplement, et en soy;" - "Simply, and in themselves." Ft483 "Les ceremonies des dedicaces et consecrations solemlelles desquelles les Gentils vsent, ne sont que vent, et n'emportent rien;" - "The ceremonies of solemn dedications and consecrations, which the Gentiles make use of, are mere wind, and signify nothing." Ft484 "Mais ie di, que les choses;" - "But I say, that the things." Ft485 "Ils entcndoyent ceux qui estans hornroes de grand renom, auoyent este faits dieux;" - "They meant those, who, being men of great renown, had been made gods." Ft486 The followinginstances may be adduced from Plato (in Sympos.): - Pan to daimonion metaxu esti qeou te kai qnhtou - Every demon holds a middle place between God and mortal man; Qeov anqrwpw| ou mignutai, alla dia daimoniwn pasa estin hJ oJmilia kai hJ dialektov qeoiv prov anqrwpouv - God does not hold direct converse with man, but all intercourse and communication is carried on between gods and men by means of demons; To Daimonion estin ermhneuon kai diaporqmenon qeiov ta par anqrwpwn, kai anqrwpoiv ta para qewn, twn men tav dehseiv kai qusiav, twn de tav epitaxeiv kai amoibav twn qusiwn - a demon is an interpreter and reporter from men to the gods, and from the gods to men - of the prayers and the sacrifices of the one, and the injunctions and rewards of devotion on the part of the other. - Ed. Ft487 CALVIN has very probably in his eye here the sentiment of Plato already quoted - that "every denton holds a middle place between God and mortal man." - Ed. Ft488 "Quand auant que nous y presenter, nous auons renonce a tous sacrileges, c'est a dire a toute impiete et idolatrie;" - "When, before approaching it, we have renounced everything sacrilegious, that is to say, all impiety and idolatry." Ft489 "O plus que miserable la condition de ceux;" - "O more than miserable the condition of those." Ft490 "Qui ne veulent point venir au poinet;" - "Who are not willing to come to the point." Ft491 "Ruine et condemnation;" - "Ruin and condemnation." Ft492 The reader will find the same incident in Sacred History referred to by our Author, and dwelt upon at considerable length, in the Harmony, vol. 1. p. 58. See also CALVIN on Genesis, vol. 1. p. 328. - Ed. Ft493 "Dira quelqu' vn;" - "Some one will say." Ft494 "Car combien que les Corinthiens faissent en cela plusieurs fautes qui estoyent toutes comprises sous vne generalite;" - "For although the Corinthians in this case committed many faults which were all comprehended under one general description." Ft495 "Sans en enquerir rien;" - "Without asking any question as to it." Ft496 "Debatre en son entendement pour et contre, comme on dit;" - "To debate in one's mind for and against, as they say. Ft497 jAnakri>nw, properly means to examine narrowly. It is stated by Bloomfield, that "the best recent Commentators consider the expression mhdenontev, as put for mhdeav (that is, kre>atov ge>nov) ajnakri>nontev, examining no kind of meat, to see whether it be idol-meat or not." This interpretation is natural, and agrees particularly well with the expression, as repeated in the 27th verse. - Ed. Ft498 "C'est 'a dire, le contenu d'icelle;" - "That is to say, what it contains." Ft499 "Lequel mot nous auons traduit, Le contenu de la terre;" - "Which expression we have rendered - What the earth contains." Ft500 "Seulement autant que faire se pent sans offenser Dieu;" - "Only so far as they can do so without offending God." Ft501 "Auec grand auis et prudence;" - "With great care and prudence." Ft502 It is omitted in the Alex., Clermont, and in all of the more ancient MSS.; and in the Syriac, Arabic, and Vulgate versions. - Ed. Ft503 "C'est a dire, de nestre liberte;" - "That is to say, of our liberty." Ft504 "Qu'il n'y a rien en toute nostre vie, tant petit soit-il;" - "That there is nothing in our whole life, be it ever so small." Ft505 The proverbial expression referred to occurs in Auctor. ad Herenn. 4. 28: - "Esse oportet ut vivas, non vivere ut edas;" - "You should eat to live - not live to eat." - Ed. Ft506 "I1 ne leur faut pas accorder, et s'accommoder a eux en cela;" - "It is not proper to concede to them, and to accommodate ourselves to them in that." Ft507 The view here given by CALVIN of the spirit by which Paul was actuated hi this part of his conduct, is most successfully brought out, at greater length, by the Reverend Andrew Fuller, when comparing <461033>1 Corinthians 10:33, with <480110>Galatians 1:10. - "Though both these kinds of action are expressed by one term - to please - yet they are exceedingly diverse; no less so than a conduct which has the glory of God and the good of mankind for its object, and one that originates and terminates in self. The former of these passages should be read in connection with what precedes and follows it, (<461031>1 Corinthians 10:31-33.) Hence it appears plain, that the things in which the Apostle pleased all, men, require to be restricted to such things as tend to their 'profit, that they may be saved.' Whereas the things in which, according to the latter passage, he could not please men, and yet be the servant of Christ, were of a contrary tendency. Such were the objects pursued by the false teachers whom he opposed, and who desired to 'make a fair show in the tlcsh, lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.' (<460612>1 Corinthians 6:12.) The former is that sweet inoffensiveness of spirit which teaches hs to lay aside all selfwill and self-importance, that charity which 'seeketh not her own,' and 'is not easily provoked;' it is that spirit, in short, which the same writer elsewhere recommends from the example of Christ himself: 'We, then, who are strong, ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor, for his good to edification: for even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches cf them that reproached thee fell on me.' But the latter spirit referred to is that sordid compliance with the corruptions of human nature, of which flatterers and deceivers have always availed themselves, not for the glory of God or the good of men, but for the promotion of their own selfish designs." - Fullers Works, volume 3. - Ed. ft508 "Mes ordonnances;" - "My ordinances." ft509 "Kakozhli>a, an absurd invitation. The term is used in this sense by Lucian. (V. 70.) Our author makes use of the same term in the Harmony, vol. 1. p. 209, n. 2. - Ed. ft510 To< pre>pon, may be defined to be the union of propriety and grace. Pre>pon and kalo