Page images
PDF
EPUB

TEXT. 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice

to devils, and not to God : and I would not that ye should have

fellowship with devils. 21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the сир

of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he ?

PARAPHRASE.

change their nature, and are any thing really different from

what they were before, so as to affect us in our use of them! 20 No: but this I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacri

fice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God; and I would not that you should have fellowship, and be in league with devils,

as they, who by eating of the things offered to them enter into 21 covenant, alliance, and friendship with them. You cannot

eat and drink with God, as friends at his table, in the eucharist, and entertain familiarity and friendship with devils, by eating with them, and partaking of the sacrifices offered to them m: You cannot be Christians and idolaters too : nor, if you should endeavour to join these inconsistent rites, will it avail you any thing. For your partaking in the sacraments of the Christian church will no more exempt you from the anger of God, and punishment due to your idolatry, than the eating of the spiritual food, and drinking of the spiritual rock, kept

the baptised Israelites, who offended God by their idolatry, or 22 other sins, from being destroyed in the wilderness. Dare you,

then, being espoused to Christ, provoke the Lord to jealousy, by idolatry, which is spiritual whoredom? Are you stronger than he, and able to resist him, when he lets loose his fury against you ?

NOTES. 19 ? This is evident from what he says, ver. 25, 27, that things offered to idols may

be eaten as well as any other meat, so it be without partaking in the sacrifice,

and without scandal. 21 m It is plain, by what the apostle says, that the thing he speaks against here is

their assisting at the heathen sacrifices, or at least at the feasts in their temples upon the sacrifice, which was a federal rite.

SECTION VI. NO. 2.

CHAPTER X. 23–XI. 1.

CONTENTS.

We have, here, another of his arguments against things offered to idols, wherein he shows the danger, that might be in it, from the scandal it might give: supposing it a thing lawful in itself. He had formerly treated of this subject, ch. viii. so far as to let them see, that there was no good nor virtue in eating things offered to idols, notwithstanding they knew that idols were nothing, and they might think, that their free eating, without scruple, showed that they knew their freedom in the Gospel, that they knew that idols were in reality nothing; and, therefore, they slighted and disregarded them, and their worship, as nothing; but that there might he evil in eating, by the offence it might give to weak Christians, who had not that knowledge. He here takes up the argument of scandal again, and extends it to Jews and Gentiles; vid. ver. 32, and shows, that it is not enough to justify them, in any action, that the thing they do is in itself lawful, unless they seek in it the glory of God, and the good of others.

TEXT. 23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all

things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. 25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for

conscience sake. 26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. 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.

PARAPHRASE. 23 Farther, supposing it lawful to eat things offered to idols, yet

all things that are lawful are not expedient: things that, in

themselves are lawful for me, may not tend to the edification 24 of others, and so may be fit to be forborn. No one must seek

barely his own private, particular interest alone, but let every 25 one seek the good of others also. Eat whatever is sold in the

shambles, without any inquiry, or scruple, whether it had been 26 offered to any idol, or no. For the earth, and all therein, are

the good creatures of the true God, given by him to men, for 27 their use. If an heathen invite you to an entertainment, and

TEYT. 28 But if any man say unto you, “This is offered in sacrifice unto idols,”

eat not, for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake. For

the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. 29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the others: for why is my

liberty judged of another man's conscience ? 30 For if I, by grace, be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that

for which I give thanks 31 Whether, therefore, ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to

the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to

the church of God : 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. XI, 1. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

PARAPHRASE. you go, eat whatever is set before you, without making any

question or scruple about it, whether it had been offered in sa28 crifice, or no. But if any one say to you,

66 This was offered in sacrifice to an idol,” eat it not, for his sake that mentioned 29 it, and for conscience sakea. Conscience, I say, not thine own,

(for thou knowest thy liberty, and that an idol is nothing) but the conscience of the other. For why should I use my

liberty so, that another man should in conscience think I offend30 ed? "And if I, with thanksgiving, partake of what is lawful

for me to eat, why do I order the matter so, that I am ill31 spoken of, for that which I bless God for? Whether, there

fore, ye eat or drink, or whatever you do, let your care and aim 32 be the glory of God. Give no offence to the Jews, by giving

them occasion to think that Christians are permitted to worship heathen idols ; nor to the Gentiles, by giving them occasion to think that you allow their idolatry, by partaking of their sacrifices ; nor to weak members of the church of God, by drawing them, by your examples, to eat of things offered to

idols, of the lawfulness whereof they are not fully satisfied. 33 As I myself do, who abridge myself of many conveniencies of

life, to comply with the different judgments of men, and gain

the good opinion of others, that I may be instrumental to the XI. 1. salvation of as many as is possible. Imitate herein my ex

NOTE. 28 a The repetition of these words, “ The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness

thereof," does so manifestly disturb the sense, that the Syriac, Arabic, Vulgar, and French translations, have omitted them, and are justified in it by the Alexandrian, and some other Greek copies.

PARAPHRASE. ample, as I do that of our Lord Christ, who neglected himself for the salvation of others b.

NOTE. į Rom. xv, 3. This verse seems to belong to the precedent, wherein he had

proposed himself as an example, and therefore this verse should not be cut off from the former chapter. In what St. Paul says, in this and the preceding verse, taken together, we may suppose, he makes some reflection on the false apostle, whom many of the Corinthians followed, as their leader. At least it is for St. Paul's justification, that he proposes himself to be followed, no farther than as he sought the good of others, and not his own, and had Christ for his patteru. Vid. ch. iv, 16.

SECTION VII.

CHAPTER XI. 2-16.

CONTENTS.

St. Paul commends them for observing the orders he had left with them, and uses arguments to justify the rule he had given them, that women should not pray, or prophesy, in their assemblies, uncovered; which, it seems, there was some contention about, and they had writ to him to be resolved in it.

TEXT. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things,

and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. 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.

PARAPHRASE. % I commend you, brethren, for remembering all my orders, and

for retaining those rules I delivered to you, when I was with you. But for your better understanding what concerns women,

NOTE. 3 a This, about women, seeming as difficult a passage as most in St. Paul's epistles,

I crave leave to premise some few considerations, which I hope may conduce to the clearing of it.

(1.) It is to be observed, that it was the custom for women, who appeared in public, to be veiled, ver. 13-16. Therefore it could be no question at all,

TEXT. 4 Every man praying, or prophesying, having his head covered, dis

honoureth his head.

PARAPHRASE. in your assemblies, you are to take notice, that Christ is the head to which every man is subjected, and the man is the head,

to which every woman is subjected; and that the head, or su4 perior, to Christ himself, is God. Every man, that prayeth,

NOTE. whether they ought to be veiled, when they assisted at the prayers and praises in the public assemblies; or, if that were the thing intended by the apostle, it had been much easier, shorter, and plainer, for him to have said, that “ Women should be covered in the assemblies.”

(2.) It is plain, that this covering the head, in women, is restrained to some particular actions, which they performed in the assembly, expressed by the words,

praying and prophesying,” ver. 4 and 5, which, whatever they signify, must have the same meaning, when applied to the women, in the 5th verse, that they have, when applied to the men in the 4th verse.

It will possibly be objected, “ If women were to be veiled in the assemblies, let those actions be what they will, the women, joining in them, were still to be veiled.

Answ. This would be plainly so, if their interpretation were to be followed, who are of opinion, that by “ praying and prophesying,” here, was meant to be present in the assembly, and joining with the congregation, in the prayers that were made, or hymns that were sung, or in hearing the reading and exposition of the Holy Scriptures there. But against this, that the hearing of preaching, or prophesying, was never called “preaching, or prophesying,” is so unanswerable an objection, that I think there can be no reply to it.

The case, in short, seems to be this : the men prayed and prophesied in the assemblies, and did it with their heads uncovered: the women also, sometimes, prayed and prophesied too in the assemblies, which, when they did, they thought, during their performing that action, they were excused from being veiled, and might be bare-headed, or at least open-faced, as well as the men. This was that which the apostle restrains in them, and directs, that, though they prayed or prophesied, they were still to remain veiled.

(3.) The next thing to be considered is, what is here to be understood by “praying and prophesying.” And that seems to me to be the performing of some particular, public action, in the assembly, by some one person, which was, for that time, peculiar to that person; and, whilst it lasted, the rest of the assembly silently assisted. For it cannot be supposed, that, when the apostle says, a man praying, or prophesying, he means an action, performed in common, by the whole congregation; or, if he did, what pretence could that give the woman to be unveiled, more, during the performance of such an action, than at any other time? A woman must be veiled in the assembly: what pretence then, or claim, could it give her to be unveiled, that she joined with the rest of the assembly in the prayer that some one person made ? Such a praying as this could give no more ground for her being unveiled, than her beiog in the assembly could be thought a reason for her being unveiled. The same may be said of prophesying, when understood to signify a woman's joining with the congregation, in singing the praises of God. But if the woman prayed, as the mouth of the assembly,

« PreviousContinue »