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We must not cause a
weak brother to stumble.
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10 For, if any man see thee which 12 But, "when ye sin so against the 4. M. 408. A. 0.0.80. hast knowledge sit at meat in “ the brethren, and wound their weak con
Anno Imp. Neronis Cæs. 3. idol's temple, shall not "the conscience science, ye sin against Christ. of him which is weak be emboldened to eat 13 Wherefore, 'if meat make my brother to those things which are offered to idols; offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stand
11 And “through thy knowledge shall the eth, lest I make my brother to offend. weak brother perish, for whom Christ died ?
a 1 Mac. 1. 47.ch. 10. 26, 32.
- Gr. edified. Rom. 14. 15, 20.
* Matt. 25. 40, 45.
Rom. 14. 21. 2 Cor. 11. 29.
safety. He is not possessed of your superior information on Verse 12. But, when ye sin so against the brethren] this point, and he eats to the idol, what you take as a com- Against Christians, who are called by the gospel to abhor and mon meal.
detest all such abominations. Verse 10. If any man see thee which hast knowledge] of Ye sin against Christ. By sending to perdition, through the true God, and who art reputed for thy skill in divine | your bad example, a soul for whom he shed his blood ; and things.
so far defeating the gracious intentions of his sacrificial death. Sit at meat in the idol's temple] Is it not strange that any, | This is a farther intimation, that a person for whom Christ professing the knowledge of the true God, should even enter died, may perish ; and this is the drift of the apostle's ar. one of those temples! And is it not more surprising that gument. any Christian should be found to feast there? But by all Verse 13. Wherefore, &c.] Rather than give any occa. this we may see, that the boasted knowledge of the Corinthi- | sion to a Christian to sin against, and so to harden his conans had very little depth in things purely spiritual.
science that he should return to idolatry and perish; I would There are many curious, thin-spun theories in the Rabbin- | not only abstain from all meats offered to idols, but I would ical writings, concerning entering idol-temples and eating eat no flesh, should I exist through the whole course of time, there, and even worshipping there; providing the mind be but live on the herbs of the field, rather than cause my brotowards the true God. Dr. Lightfoot produces several quo-ther to stumble, and thus fall into idolatry and final rain. tations to prove
this. Perhaps the man of knowledge men- The following words of Origen contain a very solemn les. tioned by the apostle, was one of those who, possessing a son and warning—" If we did more diligently attend to these convenient conscience, could accommodate himself to all cir- things, we should avoid sinning against our brethren, and cumstances : be a heathen without, and a Christian within, wounding their weak conscience, that we might not sin and vice versa, as circumstances might require.
against Christ ; our brethren that are among us, for whom Be emboldened to eat] OixoBouybyserdi, be built up, be Christ died, often perishing, not only by our knowledge, confirmed and established in that opinion which before he but by many other ways, and things, in which things, we, doubtingly held, that on seeing you eat, he may be led to sinning against Christ, shall suffer punishment; the souls of think there is no harm in feasting in an idol-temple, nor in them that perish by us, being required of, and avenged upon eating things offered to idols.
See Whitby on this place. Verse 11. Shall the weak brother perish] Being first taught by thy conduct that there was no harm in thus eating, 1. The greater our reputation for knowledge and sanctity, grieves the Spirit of God, becomes again darkened and hard-' the greater mischief we shall do by our influence and er. ened ; and sliding back into idolatry, dies in it, and so fi- ample, if we turn aside from the holy commandment delinally perishes.
vered unto us. Every man should walk so as either to light For whom Christ died] So we learn that a man may pe- or lead his brother to heaven. rish for whom Christ died—This admits of no quibble. If 2. It is the duty of every Christian to watch against apos. a man, for whom Christ died, apostatising from Christianity, tasy in his own case, and to prevent it as much as possible for he is called a brother though reeak, return again to and die in that of others. That a person for whom Christ died may in idolatry, cannot go to heaven ; then a man for whom finally perish, is strongly argued, says Dr. Whitby, from Christ died, may perish everlastingly. And if it were possi- this place, and Rom. xiv. 15. for here the apostle dissuades ble for a believer, whether strong or weak, to retrace his the Corinthians from scandalizing their weak brethren, by steps back to idolatry and die in it, surely it is possible for an argument taken from the irreparable mischiefs they may a man who had escaped the pollutions that are in the world do them, the eternal ruin they may bring upon them by this to return to it, live and die in its spirit, and perish everlast- scandal ; whereas, if it be, as some assert, that all things, ingly also. Let him that readeth understand.
even the sins of the elect, shall work together for their good
Concluding observations on
the preceding chapter.
and that they shall never perish; if the apostle knew, and extensive knowledge is not given to all, yet it is given for taught this doctrine to them, why does he endeavour to af all; and is the public property of the church. He who does fright them from this scandal, by telling them that it might not use it for general edification, robs the public of its right. . have that effect, which he had before told them was impossi- For the misuse and misapplication of this talent, we shall ble? If you interpret his words thus, so shall he perish, || give account to God, as well as of other gifts and graces. for whom in charity, ye ought to judge Christ died. It is 4. Persons of an over-tender and scrupulous conscience, certain, from this doctrine, that they must be assured that may be very troublesome in a Christian society; but as this this judgment of charity must be false; or that their brother excessive scrupulosity comes from want of more light, more could not perish. In the first place, they could not be experience, or more judgment, we should bear with them. obliged to act by it: and in the second, they could not ra. Though such should often run into ridicalous extremes, yet tionally be moved by it to abstain from giving scandal on we must take care that we do not attempt to cure them either that impossible supposition.
with ridicule or wrath. Extremes generally beget exIf you interpret the apostle thus, So shalt thou do that | tremes; and such persons require the most judicious treat. which, in its nature, tends to make thy brother perish; and ment, else they will soon be stumbled and turned out of the might have that effect, had not God determined to preserve way. We should be very careful lest in using what is called all from perishing, for whom Christ died. Since this deter- Christian liberty, we occasion their fall; and for our own mination renders it sure to me, who know it, that they can- sake we must take heed that we do not denominate sinful innot actually perish, it must assure me that there can be no dulgences Christian liberties. cause of abstinency from this scandal, lest they should pe- 5. Though we are bound to take heed that we put not a rish by it.
stumbling block in the way of a weak brother; yet if such Moreover, by thus oflending, saith the apostle, ye sin a brother be stumbled at any part of our conduct which is against Christ; viz. by signing against him whom he has not blameable in itself, but of which he may have taken a purchased by his blood; and destroying them for whose sal. wrong view ; we are not answerable for the consequences. vation he has suffered. If this intent of Christ's death be We are called to walk by the testimony of God; not accorddenied, how can we shew in what Christ has demonstrated
ing to the measure of any man's conscience, how sincere so. his great love to them that perish? Is it possible that they ever he may be. can sin against redeeming love? and how, by thus offend.
6. Many persons cover a spirit of envy and uncharitableing them who neither do nor can belong to him as members ness, with the name of godly zeal, and tender concern for of his mystical body, are we injurious to Christ? See the salvation of others; they find fault with all; their spirit Ithitby on this place.
is a spirit of universal censoriousness ; none can please them; 3. It is natural for man to wish and affect to be wise ; and and every one suffers by them. These destroy more souls by when this desire is cultivated in reference to lawful objects, tything mint, and cummin, than others do by neglecting the it will be an indescribable good: but when, like Eve, we || weightier matters of the law. Such persons have what is see in a prohibition, something to be desired to make one
termed, and very properly too, sour godliness. Both are ex. wise, we are then, like her, on the verge of our fall. Though I tremes, and he who would avoid perdition must avoid them.
St. Paul vindicates his apostleship, and shews that he has equal rights and privileges with Peter and the brethren
of our Lord; and that he is not bound, while doing the work of an apostle, to labour with his hands for his own support, 1–6. He who labours should live by the fruit of his own industry, 7. For the law will not allow even the ox to be muzzled which treads out the corn, 8-10. Those who minister in spiritual things, have a right to a secular support for their work, 11–14. IIe shows the disinterested manner in which he has preached the gospel, 15—18. How he accommodated himself to the prejudices of men, in order to bring about their salvation, 19-23. The way to heaven compared to a race, 24. The qualifications of those who may expect success in the games celebrated at Corinth, and what that success implies, 25. The apostle applies these things spiritually to himself; and states the necessity of keeping his body in subjection, lest after having proclaimed saltation to others, he should become a castaway, 26, 27.
St. Paul vindicates his
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MI not an apostle ? am I not apostleship are in the
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Ando. Imp. Neronis Cas. 3. Christ our Lord ? are not ye my examine me is this,
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4 Have we not power to eat and to drink? 2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet 5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine' wife, as well as other apostles, and as "the
a Acts 9. 15. & 13. 2. & 26. 17. 2 Cor. 12. 12. Gal. 2. 7, 8. 1 Tim. 2. 7. 2 Tim. 1. 11. -) Acts 9. 3, 17. & 18. 9. & 22. 14, 18. & 23. 11. ch. 15. 8.
c Ch. 3. 6. & 4. 15.2 Cor. 3. 2. & 12. 12.-Lever. 14. 1 Thess. 9. 6. . Thess. 3. 9. -- Or, woman.-- Matt. 13.55. Mark 6. 3. Luke 6.15, Gal. l. 19.
NOTES ON CHAP. IX.
rious give ample proof of this; and the moderns contend in Verse 1. Am I not an apostle ?] It is susficiently evident vain to rival the perfection of those ancient masters. that there were persons at Corinth who questioned the apos- In the Lord.] The apostle shews that it was by the grace tleship of St. Paul; and he was obliged to walk very circum- and influence of God alone, that he was an apostle; and spectly, that they might not find any occasion against him. that they were converted to Christianity. It appears also that he had given them all his apostolical la
Verse 3. Mine answer to them] H Eun ATO 20712 TOTS ELS bours gratis; and even this, which was the highest proof of CMAXÇIYOUDIY.
This is my defence against those who examine his disinterested benevolence, was produced by his opposers, me. The words are forensic; and the apostle considers himas an argument against him. “ Prophets, and all divinely self as brought before a legal tribunal; and questioned so, commissioned
men, have a right to their secular support ; as to be obliged to answer as upon oath. His defence thereyou take nothing ;-is this not from a conviction that you fore was this, that they were converted to God by his means : have no apostolical right.2” On this point the apostle im- this verse belongs to the two preceding verses. mediately enters on his own defence.
Verse 4. Have we not power to eat and to drink?] Hare Am I not an apostle.? am I not free?] These questions are we not authority or right, ecouriav, to expect sustinence, all designed as assertions of the affirmative: I am an apostle,
are labouring for your salvation ? Meat and and I am free, possessed of all the rights and privileges of drink, the necessaries, not the superfluities, of life were an apostle.
what those primitive messengers of Christ required; it was Ilave I not seen Jesus Christ] From whom, in his personal just that they who laboured in the gospel, should live by appearance to me, I have received my apostolic commission. the gospel ; they did not wish to make a fortune, or accuThis was judged essentially necessary to constitute an apos mulate wealth ; a living was all they desired. It was protle. See Acts xxii. 14, 15. xxvi. 16.
bably in reference to the same moderate and reasonable de Are ye not my work] Your conversion from heathenism, sire that the provision made for the clergy in this country, is the proof that I have preached with the divine unction and was called a living; and their work for which they got this authority.
living, was called the cure of souls. Whether we derive the Several good MSS. and Versions transpose the two first ques- word cure from curul, care, as signifying that the care of all tions in this verse, thus ; Am I not free? am I not an apos- the souls in a particular parish or place, devolves on the mitle. But I cannot see that either perspicuity or sense gains nister, who is to instruct them in the things of salvation, and any thing by this arrangement. On the contrary, it appears lead them to heaven: or whether we consider the term as to me that his being an apostle gave him the freedom or rights implying that the souls in that district are in a state of spito which he refers, and therefore the common arrangement I ritual disease, and the minister is a spiritual physician to judge to be the best.
whom the cure of these souls is intrusted, still we must con. Verse 2. If I be not an apostle unto others] If there be sider that such a labourer is worthy of his hire; and he that other churches which have been founded by other apostles; preaches the gospel should live by the gospel. yet it is not so with you.
Verse 5. Have we not porcer to lead about a sister, a The scal of mine apostleship are ye] Your conversion to rife] The word egouglay is to be understood here as above Christianity, is God's seal to my apostleship. Had in ver. 4. as implying authority or right; and authority not God sent me, I could not have profited your souls.
merely derived from their offices, but from him who gave The o Oparis, or seal, was a figure cut in a stone, and them that office: from the constitution of nature, and from that set in a ring, by which letters of credence and autho- universal propriety or the fitness of things. rity were stamped. The ancients, particularly the Greeks, When the apostle speaks of leading about a sister, a wife, excelled in this kind of engraving. The cabinets of the cu- he means first that he and all other apostles, and consequent
He that preaches the gospel
should live by the gospel.
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brethren of the Lord, and · Ce- 8 Say I these things as a man? or
saith not the law the same also ? 6 Or I only and Barnabas, have 9 For it is written in the law of ronis Cæs. 3. not we power to forbear working ?
Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of 7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God charges ? who "planteth a vineyard, and eateth take care for oxen? not of the fruit thereof ? or who • feedeth 10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes ? a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that flock ?
5 he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that
a Matt. 8. 14.
ob 2 Thess. 3. 8, 9.-2 Cor. 10. 4. 1 Tim. 1. 18. &
6.12. 2 Tim. 2. 3. & 4. 7.
d Deut. 20. 6. Prov. 27. 18. ch. 3. 6, 7, 8.-- John 21. 15.
25. 4. 1 Tim. 5. 10.- -6 2 Tim. 2. 6.
ly all ministers of the gospel, had a right to marry. For it and propriety of the cases, to be answered in the offirmative, appears that our Lord's brethren James and Jude were mar- tend more forcibly to point out that the common sense of man ried; and we have infallible evidence that Peter was a mar- joins with the providence of God, in shewing the propriety ried man, not only from this verse, but from Matt. viii. 14. of every man living by the fruits of his labour. The first where his mother-in-law is mentioned, as being cured by our question applies particularly to the case of the apostle, TIS Lord of a fever.
τρατευεται ιδιοις οψωνιους: Does a soldier provide his own And, secondly, we find that their wives were persons of victuals 2 Oywvlov, is used to express the military pay or the same faith ; for less can never be implied in the word wages, by the Greek writers; for the Roman soldiers were sister. This is a decisive proof against the papistical celi- | paid not only in money but in victuals ; and hence corn was bacy of the clergy ; and as to their attempts to evade the usually distributed among them. See on Luke iii. 14. force of this text by saying that the apostles had holy women
Verse 8. Say I these things as a man?] Is this only who attended them, and ministered to them in their peregri. human reasoning? or does not God say in effect the same nations, there is no proof of it ; nor could they have suf- things ? See Note on Rom. vi. 19. fered either young women, or other men's wives, to have Verse 9. Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ow] accompanied them in this way, without giving the most pal. See this largely explained in the Note on Deut. xxv. 4. pable occasion of scandal.. And Clemens Alexandrinus has Doth God take care for oxen?] This question is to be particularly remarked that the apostles carried their wives understood thus : Is it likely that God should be solicitous about with them, “ not as wives, but as sisters, that they for the comfort of oxen, and be regardless of the welfare of might minister to those who were mistresses of families; that man? In this divine precept, the kindness and providenso the doctrine of the Lord might, without reprehension or tial care of God are very forcibly pointed out. He takes evil suspicion, enter into the apartments of the women.” care of oxen; he wills them all that happiness of which their And in giving his finished picture of his Gnostic, or perfect nature is susceptible; and can we suppose that he is unChristian, he says ; εσθιει και πινει, και γαμε-εικονας willing that the human soul shall have that happiness which ELE1 TOUS ATOSONOUS, lle eats, and drinks, and marries-- is suited to its spiritual and eternal nature ? having the apostles for his example. Vid. Clem. Alex. Strom. reprobate an ox, because the Lord careth for oren; and lib. yii. c. 12.
surely he cannot reprobate a man. It may be said, the man On the propriety and excellence of marriage, and its su.. has sinned, but the ox cannot. I answer; the decree of re. periority to celibacy, see the notes on chap. vii.
probation is supposed to be from all eternity; and certainly Verse 6. Or I only and Barnabas] Have we alone, of a man can no more sin before he exists, than an ox can when all the apostles, no right to be supported by our converts ? he exists. It appears from this, 1. That the apostles did not generally Verse 10. And he that thresheth in hope, should be partaker support themselves by their own labour. 2. That Paul and of his hope.] Instead of ó anywv TNS ENT@OS AUTO1 pleTEYELV, Ex' Barnabas did thus support themselves. Some of the others cantidig many of the best MSS. and Versions read the passage probably had not a business at which they could conve- thus ο αλοων επ' ελπιδι του μετεχειν" And he scho thresheth, niently work; but Paul and Barnabas had a trade at which in hope of partaking, " The words ins EAT idos, which are they could conveniently labour, wherever they came. omitted by the above, are," says Bp. Pearce, “superfluous,
Verse 7. Who goeth a warfare—at his own charges.?] | if not wrong; for men do not live in hope to partake of These questions, which are all supposed from the necessity ll their hope, but to partake of what was the object and end of
They who minister in holy things,
live of the temple.
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A. M: 4060. he that thresheth in hope should be which preach the gospel should live
of the gospel. 11 'If we have sown unto you spiri- 15 But "I have used none of these ronis Cës, s. tual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap things: neither have I written these things, your carnal things?
that it should be so done unto me: for i it were 12 If others be partakers of this power over better for me to die, than that any man should you, are not we rather ? Nevertheless we make my glorying void. have not used this power ; but suffer all things, 16 For though I preach the gospel, I have • Jest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. nothing to glory of: for knecessity is laid upon
13 ^ Do ye not know that they which minister me: yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the about holy things, live of the things of the gospel ! temple ? and they which wait at the altar, are 17 For if I do this thing willingly, 'I have a partakers with the altar?
reward; but if against my will, "a dispensation 14 Even so 'hath the Lord ordained 5 that they l of the gospel is committed unto me.
a Rom. 15. 97. Gal. 6. 6. - Acts 20. 33. ver. 15, 18. 2 Cor. 11.7, 9. & 12. 13. 1 Thess. 2. 6. .c 2 Cor. 11. 12. Lev. 6. 16, 26. & 7.6, &c. Numb. 5. 9, 10. & 18. 8-20. Deut. 10. 9. & 18. 1.- Or, feed.
p Matt. 10. 10. Luke 10.7.-- Gal. 6. 6. 1 Tim. 5. 17.- ver. 19. Acts 18. 3. & 20. 34. ch. 4. 12. 1 Thess. 2.9. 2 Thess. 3.8.2 Cor. 11. 10. - Rom. 1. 14.4 ch.3.8, 14.- mch.4.1. Gal. 2.7. Phil. 1.17. Col.1.25.
their hope. When these words are left out, the former and Verse 14. Even so hath the Lord ordained] This is latter sentence will be both of a piece, and more resembling evidently a reference to our Lord's ordination, Matt. 1. 10. each other; for Peteyety may be understood after the first | The workman is worthy of his meat. And Luke x. 7. For ET'ENTbos, as well as after the last.” Griesbach has left the the labourer is worthy of his hire. And in both places it is words in question, out of the text.
the preacher of the gospel, of whom he is speaking. It was Verse 11. If we have sown unto you spiritwal things] If a maxim among the Jews, “that the inhabitants of a town we have been the means of bringing you into a state of sal where a wise man had made his abode, should support him ; vation, by the divine doctrines which we have preached unto because he had forsaken the world and its pleasures, to study you : is it too much for us to expect a temporal support, those things by which he might please God, and be useful when we give ourselves up entirely to this work ? Every to men.” See an ordinance to this effect, in the tract man who preaches the gospel, has a right to his own support Shabbath, fol. 114. and that of his family, while thus employed.
Verse 15. Neither have I written, &c.] Though I might Verse 12. If others be partakers of this power] If plead the authority of God in the law, of Christ in the gosthose who in any matter serve you, have a right to a recom- pel, the common consent of our own doctors, and the pense for that service ; surely we, who have served you in usages of civil society, yet I have not availed myself of my the most essential matters, have a right to our support while privileges; nor do I now write with the intention to lay is thus employed in your service.
We have not used this power] Though we had this right, Verse 16. For though I preach the gospel] I have cause we have not availed ourselves of it; but have worked with of glorying that I preach the gospel free of all charges to our hands to bear our own charges, lest any of you should you; but I cannot glory in being a preacher of the gospel; think that we preached the gospel merely to procure a tem- because I am not such either by my own skill or power : I poral support, and so be prejudiced against us; and thus have received both the office, and the grace by which I execute prevent our success in the salvation of your souls.
the office, from God. I have not only his authority to Verse 13. They which minister about holy things] All preach, but that authority obliges me to preach; and if I the officers about the temple, whether priests, Levites, Ne- did not, I should endanger my salvation: yea, woe is unto thinim, &c. had a right to their support while employed in me, if I preach not the gospel. As every genuine preacher its service. The priests partook of the sacrifices; the others receives his commission from God alone; it is God alone who had their maintenance from tythes, first-fruits, and offerings can take it away. Woe to that man who runs when God made to the temple ; for it was not lawful for them to live has not sent him; and woe to him who refuses to run, or who on the sacrifices. Hence the apostle makes the distinction ceases to run, when God has sent him.. between those who minister about holy things, and those who Verse 17. For if I do this thing willingly] If I be : ze ait at the altar.
cordial co-operator with God, I have a reward, ao iacere