A New Translation, From The Original Latin, And Collated With  The Author’s French Version.



<461001>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.

<461006>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.)

<461013>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.

<461019>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>niademons, 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.

<461025>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 mans 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 <190101>Psalm 1:12.) 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


<461101>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>pondecorum. 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.


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

<461117>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 Lords 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.

<461123>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 Lords 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, f586 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 Christs 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 wordstestament in the blood, Matthew and Mark employ the expressionblood 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 breadthe 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.

<461130>1 Corinthians 11:30-34

30. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many


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 f619that 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 saysthat 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.


<461201>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 hereworketh 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) — pro<v to< sumferon; that is, that the Church may receive advantage thereby. The manifestation of the Spirit may be taken in a passive as well as in an active sense — in a passive sense, because wherever there is prophecy, or knowledge, or any other gift, the Spirit of God does there manifest himself — in an active sense, because the Spirit of God, when he enriches us with any gift, unlocks his treasures, for the purpose of manifesting to us those things that would otherwise have been concealed and shut up. The second interpretation suits better. The view taken by Chrysostom is rather harsh and forced — that this term is used, f635 because unbelievers do not recognize God, except by visible miracles.

<461208>1 Corinthians 12:8-13

8. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

8. Huic quidem per Spiritum datur sermo sapientiae, alteri datur sermo cognitionis, secundum eundem Spiritum.

9. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

9. Alii fides in eodem Spiritu, alii dona sanationum in codera Spritu.

10. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

10. Alii facultates potentiarum, alii autem prophetia, alii autem discretiones spirituum, alii genera linguarum, alii interpretatio linguarum.

11. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

11. Porroomnia haec efficit unus et idem Spiritus, distribuens seorsum cuique prout vult.

12. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.

12. Quemadmodum enim corpus unum est, et membra habet multa: onmia autem membra corporis unius quum multa sint, corpus autem est unum: ita et Christus.

13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

13. Etenim per unum Spiritum nos omnes in unum corpus baptizati sumus, sive Iudaei, sive Graeci: sive servi, sive liberi: et omnes in uno Spiritu potum hausimus.


8. 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.

<461214>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.

<461228>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.


<461301>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,

<461304>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

<461309>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.


<461401>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 edificationrevelation, 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.

<461407>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 confusedas 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 f734blessing 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.

<461418>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. f753 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.

<461426>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? 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 (ejnqousiasmo<v) had once seized them, f770 were no longer masters of themselves. f771 It is indeed true that God’s Prophets are not disordered in mind; but this has nothing to do with this passage of Paul’s writings. For it means, as I have already stated, that no one is exempted from the scrutiny of others, but that all must be listened to, with this understanding, that their doctrine is, nevertheless, to be subjected to examination. It is not, however, without difficulty, for the Apostle declares that their spirits are subject. Though it is of gifts that he speaks, how can prophecy, which is given by the Holy Spirit, be judged of by men, so that the Spirit himself is not judged by them? In this manner, even the word of God, which is revealed by the Spirit; will be subjected to examination. The unseemliness of this needs not be pointed out, for it is of itself abundantly evident. I maintain, however, that neither the Spirit of God nor his word is restrained by a scrutiny of this kind. The Holy Spirit, I say, retains his majesty unimpaired, so as to

judge all things, while he is judged by no one.
(<460215>1 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

<461434>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.


<461501>1 Corinthians 15:1-10

1. Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

1. Notum autem vobis facio, fra-tres, evangelium quod evangelizavi vobis, quod et recepistis, in quo etiam stetistis.

2. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain:

2. Per quod etiam salutem ha-betis: quo pacto annuntiarim vobis, si tenetis, nisi frustra credidistis.

3. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;

3. Tradidi enim vobis imprimis quod et acceperam, quod Christus mortuus fuerit, pro peccatis nostris secundum Scripturas,

4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:

4. Et quod sepultus sit, et quod resurrexit tertio die, secundum Scripturas.

5. And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

5. Et quod visus fait Cephae, deinde ipsis duodecim:

6. After that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

6. Postea visus fait plus quam qaingentis fratribus simul, ex quibus plures manent f794 adhuc ad hunc usque diem: qaidam autem obdormierunt.

7. After that he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

7. Deinde visus fait Iacobo: post apostolis omnibus:

8. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

8. Postremo vero onmium, velut abortivo, visus fait et mihi.

9. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

9. Ego enim sum minimus apos-tolorum, qui non sum idoneus ut dicar apostolus: quandoquidem persequutus sum ecclesiam Dei.

10. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

10. Sed gratia Dei sum id quod sum: et gratia ejus, quae mihi collata est, non fuit inanis, sed copiosius quam illi omnes laboravi: non ego tamen, sed gratia Dei quae mihi aderat.


1. Now I make known to you. He now enters on another subject — the resurrection — the belief of which among the Corinthians had been shaken by some wicked persons. It .is uncertain, however, whether they doubted merely as to the ultimate resurrection of the body, or as to the immortality of the soul also. It is abundantly well known, that there were a variety of errors as to this point. Some philosophers contended that souls are immortal. As to the resurrection of the body, it never entered into the mind of any one of them. The Sadducees, however, had grosser views; for they thought of nothing but the present life; nay more, they thought that the soul of man was a breath of wind without substance. It is not, therefore, altogether certain (as I have already said) whether the Corinthians had at this time gone to such a height of madness, as to cast off all expectation of a future life, or whether they merely denied the resurrection of the body; for the arguments which Paul makes use of seem to imply, that they were altogether bewitched with the mad dream of the Sadducees.

For example, when he says,

Of what advantage is it to be baptized for the dead?
(<461529>1 Corinthians 15:29.)

Were it not better to eat and to drink?
(<461532>1 Corinthians 15:32.)

Why are we in peril every hour? (<461530>1 Corinthians 15:30,)

and the like, it might very readily be replied, in accordance with the views of the philosophers, “Because after death the soul survives the body.” Hence some apply the whole of Paul’s reasoning contained in this chapter to the immortality of the soul. For my part, while I leave undetermined what the error of the Corinthians was, yet I cannot bring myself to view Paul’s words as referring to anything else than the resurrection of the body. Let it, therefore be regarded as a settled point, that it is of this exclusively that he treats in this chapter. And what if the impiety of Hymeneus and Philetus had extended thus far, f795 who said that the resurrection was already past, (<550218>2 Timothy 2:18,) and that there would be nothing more of it? Similar to these, there are at the present day some madmen, or rather devils, f796 who call themselves Libertines. f797 To me, however, the following conjecture appears more probable — that they were carried away by some delusion, f798 which took away from them the hope of a future resurrection, just as those in the present day, by imagining an allegorical resurrection, f799 take away from us the true resurrection that is pro-raised to us.

However this may be, it is truly a dreadful case, and next to a prodigy, that those who had been instructed by so distinguished a master, should have been capable of falling so quickly f800 into errors of so gross a nature. But what is there that is surprising in this, when in the Israelitish Church the Sadducees had the audacity to declare openly that man differs nothing from a brute, in so far as concerns the essence of the soul, and has no enjoyment but what is common to him with the beasts? Let us observe, however, that blindness of this kind is a just judgment from God, so that those who do not rest satisfied with the truth of God, are tossed hither and thither by the delusions of Satan.

It is asked, however, why it is that he has left off or deferred to the close of the Epistle, what should properly have had the precedence of everything else? Some reply, that this was done for the purpose of impressing it more deeply upon the memory. I am rather of opinion that Paul did not wish to introduce a subject of such importance, until he had asserted his authority, which had been considerably lessened among the Corinthians, and until he had, by repressing their pride, prepared them for listening to him with docility.

I make known to you. To make known here does not mean to teach what was previously unknown to them, but to recall to their recollection what they had heard previously. “Call to your recollection, along with me, that gospel which you had learned, before you were led aside from the right course.” He calls the doctrine of the resurrection the gospel, that they may not imagine that any one is at liberty to form any opinion that he chooses on this point, as on other questions, which bring with them no injury to salvation.

When he adds, which I preached to you, he amplifies what he had said: “If you acknowledge me as an apostle, I have assuredly taught you so.” There is another amplification in the words — which also ye have received, for if they now allow themselves to be persuaded of the contrary, they will be chargeable with fickleness. A third amplification is to this effect, that they had hitherto continued in that belief with a firm and steady resolution, which is somewhat more than that they had once believed. But the most important thing of all is, that he declares that their salva.-tion is involved in this, for it follows from this, that, if the resurrection is taken away, they have no religion left them, no assurance of faith, and in short, have no faith remaining. Others understand in another sense the word stand, as meaning that they are upheld!; but the interpretation that I have given is a more correct one. f801

2. If you keep in memory — unless in vain. f802 These two expressions are very cutting. In the first, he reproves their carelessness or fickleness, because such a sudden fall was an evidence that they had never understood what had been delivered to them, or that their knowledge of it had been loose and floating, inasmuch as it had so quickly vanished. By the second, he warns them that they had needlessly and uselessly professed allegiance to Christ, if they did not hold fast this main doctrine. f803

3. For I delivered to you first of all. He now confirms what he had previously stated, by explaining that the resurrection had been preached by him, and that too as a fundamental doctrine of the gospel. First of all, says he, as it is wont to be with a foundation in the erecting of a house. At the same time he adds to the authority of his preaching, when he subjoins, that he delivered nothing but what he had received, for he does not simply mean that he related what he had from the report of others, but that it was what had been enjoined upon him by the Lord. f804 For the word f805 must be explained in accordance with the connection of the passage. Now it is the duty of an apostle to bring forward nothing but what he has received from the Lord, so as from hand to hand f806 (as they say) to administer to the Church the pure word of God.

That Christ died, etc. See now more clearly whence he received it, for he quotes the Scriptures in proof. In the first place, he makes mention of the death of Christ, nay also of his burial, that we may infer, that, as he was like us in these things, he is so also in his resurrection. He has, therefore, died with us that we may rise with him. In his burial, too, the reality of the death in which he has taken part with us, is made more clearly apparent. Now there are many passages of Scripture in which Christ’s death and resurrection are predicted, but nowhere more plainly f807 than in Isaiah 53, in <270926>Daniel 9:26, and in <192201>Psalm 22.

For our sins. That is, that by taking our curse upon him he might redeem us from it. For what else was Christ’s death, but a sacrifice for expiating our sins — what but a satisfactory penalty, by which we might be reconciled to God — what but the condemnation of one, for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness for us? He speaks also in the same manner in <450425>Romans 4:25, but in that passage, on the other hand, he ascribes it also to the resurrection as its effect — that it confers righteousness upon us; for as sin was done away through the death of Christ, so righteousness is procured through his resurrection. This distinction must be carefully observed, that we may know what we must look for from the death of Christ, and what from his resurrection. When, however, the Scripture in other places makes mention only of his death, let us understand that in those cases his resurrection is included in his death, but when they are mentioned separately, the commencement of our salvation is (as we see) in the one, and the consummation of it in the other.

5. That he was seen by Cephas. He now brings forward eye witnesses, (aujto>ptav) as they are called by Luke, (<420102>Luke 1:2,) who saw the accomplishment of what the Scriptures had foretold would take place. He does not, however, adduce them all, for he makes no mention of women. When, therefore, he says that he appeared first to Peter, you are to understand by this that he is put before all the men, so that there is nothing inconsistent with this in the statement of Mark (<411609>Mark 16:9) that he appeared to Mary.

But how is it that he says, that he appeared to the twelve, when, after the death of Judas, there were only eleven remaining? Chrysostom is of opinion that this took place after Matthias had been chosen in his room. Others have chosen rather to correct the expression, looking upon it as a mistake f808 But as we know, that there were twelve in number that were set apart by Christ’s appointment, though one of them had been expunged from the roll, there is no, absurdity in supposing that the name was retained. On this principle, there was a body of men at Rome that were called Centumviri, f809 while they were in number 102. f810 By the twelve, therefore, you are simply to understand the chosen Apostles.

It does not quite appear when it was that this appearing to more than five hundred took place. Only it is possible that this large multitude assembled at Jerusalem, when he manifested himself to them. For Luke (<422433>Luke 24:33) makes mention in a general way of the disciples who had assembled with the eleven; but how many there were he does not say. Chrysostom refers it to the ascension, and explains the word ejpa>nw to mean, from on high. f811 Unquestionably, as to what he says in reference to his having appeared to James apart, this may have been subsequently to the ascension.

By all the Apostles I understand not merely the twelve, but also those disciples to whom Christ had assigned the office of preaching the gospel. f812 In proportion as our Lord was desirous that there should be many witnesses of his resurrection, and that it should be frequently testified of, let us know that it should be so much the more surely believed among us. (<420101>Luke 1:1.) Farther, inasmuch as the Apostle proves the resurrection of Christ from the fact that be appeared to many, he intimates by this, that it was not figurative but true and natural, for the eyes of the body cannot be witnesses of a spiritual resurrection.

8. Last of all to me, as to one born prematurely, He now introduces himself along with the others, for Christ had manifested himself to him as alive, and invested with glory. f813 As it was no deceptive vision, it was calculated to be of use f814 for establishing a belief in the resurrection, as he also makes use of this argument in <442608>Acts 26:8. But as it was of no small importance that his authority should have the greatest weight and influence among the Corinthians, he introduces, by the way, a commendation of himself personally, but at the same time qualified in such a manner that, while he claims much for himself, he is at the same time exceedingly modest. Lest any one, therefore, should meet him with the objection: “Who art thou that we should give credit to thee?” he, of his own accord, confesses his unworthiness, and, in the first place, indeed he compares himself to one that is born prematurely, and that, in my opinion, with reference to his sudden conversion. For as infants do not come forth from the womb, until they have been there formed and matured during a regular course of time, so the Lord observed a regular period of time in creating, nourishing, and forming his Apostles. Paul, on the other hand, had been cast forth from the womb when he had scarcely received the vital spark. f815 There are some that understand the term rendered abortive as employed to mean posthumous; f816 but the former term is much more suitable, inasmuch as he was in one moment begotten, and born, and a man of full age. Now this premature birth renders the grace of God more illustrious in Paul than if he had by little and little, and by successive steps, grown up to maturity in Christ.

9. For I am the least. It is not certain whether his enemies threw out this for the purpose of detracting from his credit, or whether it was entirely of his own accord, that he made the acknowledgment. For my part, while I have no doubt that, he was at all times voluntarily, and even cheerfully, disposed to abase himself, that he might magnify the grace of God, yet I suspect that in this instance he wished to obviate calumnies. For that there were some at Corinth: that made it their aim to detract from his dignity by malicious slander, may be inferred not only from many foregoing passages, but also from his adding a little afterwards a comparison, which he would assuredly never have touched upon, if he had not been constrained to it by the wickedness of some, “Detract from me as much as you please — I shall suffer myself to be cast down below the ground — I shall suffer myself to be of no account whatever, f817 that the goodness of God towards me may shine forth the more. Let me, therefore, be reckoned the least of the Apostles: nay more, I acknowledge myself to be unworthy of this distinction. For by what merits could I have attained to that honor? When I persecuted the Church of God, what did I merit? But there is no reason why you should judge of me according to my own worth, f818 for the Lord did not look to what I was, but made me by his grace quite another man.” The sum is this, that Paul does not refuse to be the most worthless of all, and next to nothing, provided this contempt does not impede him in any degree in his ministry, and does not at all detract from his doctrine. He is contented that, as to himself, he shall be reckoned unworthy of any honor, provided only he commends his apostleship in respect of the grace conferred upon him. And assuredly God had not adorned him with such distinguished endowments in order that his grace might lie buried or neglected, but he had designed thereby to render his apostleship illustrious and distinguished.

10. And his grace was not vain. Those that set free-will in opposition to the grace of God, that whatever good we do may not be ascribed wholly to Him, wrest these words to suit their own interpretation — as if Paul boasted, that he had by his own industry taken care that God’s grace toward him had not been misdirected. Hence they infer, that God, indeed, offers his grace, but that the right use of it is in man’s own power, and that it is in his own power to prevent its being ineffectual. I maintain, however, that these words of Paul give no support to their error, for he does not here claim anything as his own, as if he had himself, independently of God, done anything praiseworthy. What then? That he might not seem to glory to no purpose in mere words, while devoid of reality, he says, that he affirms nothing that is not openly apparent. Farther, even admitting that these words intimate, that Paul did not abuse the grace of God, and did not render it ineffectual by his negligence, I maintain, nevertheless, that there is no reason on that account, why we should divide between him and God the praise, that ought to be ascribed wholly to God, inasmuch as he confers upon us not merely the power of doing well, but also the inclination and the accomplishment.

But more abundantly. Some refer this to vain-glorious boasters, f819 who, by detracting from Paul, endeavored to set off themselves and their goods to advantage, as, in their opinion at least, it is not likely that he wished to enter upon a contest with the Apostles. When he compares himself, however, with the Apostles, he does so merely for the sake of those wicked persons, who were accustomed to bring them forward for the purpose of detracting from his reputation, as we see in the Epistle to the Galatians (<480111>Galatians 1:11.) Hence the probability is, that it is of the Apostles that he speaks, when he represents his own labors as superior to theirs, and it is quite true, that he was superior to others, not merely in respect of his enduring many hardships, encountering many dangers, abstaining from things lawful, and perseveringly despising all perils; (<471126>2 Corinthians 11:26;) but also because the Lord gave to his labors a much larger measure of success. f820 For I take labor here to mean the fruit of his labor that appeared.

Not I, but the grace. The old translator, by leaving out the article, has given occasion of mistake to those that are not acquainted with the Greek language, for in consequence of his having rendered the words thusnot I, but the grace of God with me, f821 they thought that only the half of the praise is ascribed to God, and that the other half is reserved for man. They, accordingly, understand the meaning to be that Paul labored not alone, inasmuch as he could do nothing without co-operating grace, f822 but at the same time it was under the influence of his own free-will, and by means of his own strength. His words, however, have quite a different meaning, for what he had said was his own, he afterwards, correcting himself, ascribes wholly to the grace of God — wholly, I say, not in part, for whatever he might have seemed to do, was wholly, he declares, the work of grace. A remarkable passage certainly, both for laying low the pride of man, and for magnifying the operation of Divine grace in us. For Paul, as though he had improperly made himself the author of anything good, corrects what he had said, and declares the grace of God ‘to have been the efficient cause of the whole. Let us not think that there is here a mere pretense of humility f823 It is in good earnest that he speaks thus, and from knowing that it is so in truth. Let us learn, therefore, that we have nothing that is good, but what the Lord has graciously given us, that we do nothing good but what he worketh in us, (<503813>Philippians 2:13) — not that we do nothing ourselves, but that we do nothing without being influenced — that is, under the guidance and impulse of the Holy Spirit.

<461511>1 Corinthians 15:11-19

11. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

11. Sire ego igitur, sive illi, ita praedicamus, et ita credidistis.

12. Now, if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

12. Si autem Christus praedica tur excitatus a mortuis, quomodo dicunt quidam, mortuorum resurrec-tionem non esse?

13. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

13. Si autem mortuorum resur-rectio non est, neque Christus re-surrexit.

14. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

14. Quodsi Christus non resur-rexit, inanis igitur est prtaedicatio nostra, inanis et fides vestra.

15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

15. Invenimur etiam falsi testes Dei, quia testati sumus a Deo, quod suscitaverit Christum; quem non suscitavit, siquidem mortui non re-surgunt.

16. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

16.Si enim mortui non resurgunt, neque Christus resurrexit.

17. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

17. Si autem Christus non resur-rexit, vana est fides vestra: adhuc estis in peccatis vestris.

18. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

18. Ergo et qui obdormierunt in Christo perierunt.

19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

19. Quodsi in hac vita solum spe-ramus in Christo, miserrimi sumus omnium hominum.


11. Whether I or they. Having compared himself with the other Apostles, he now associates himself with them, and them with him, in agreement as to their preaching. “I do not now speak of myself, but we have all taught so with one mouth, and still continue to teach so.” For the verb khru>ssomen (we preach) is in the present tense — inti-mating a continued act, or perseverance in teaching. f824 “If, then, it is otherwise, our apostleship is void: nay more — so ye believed: your religion, therefore, goes for nothing.”

12. But of Christ. He now begins to prove the resurrection of all of us from that of Christ. For a mutual and reciprocal inference holds good on the one side and on the other, both affirmatively and negatively — from Christ to us in this way’: If Christ is risen, then we will rise — If Christ is not risen, then we will not rise from us to Christ on the other hand: If we rise, then Christ is risen — If we do not rise, then neither is Christ risen. The ground-work of the argument to be drawn from Christ to us in the former inference is this: “Christ did not die, or rise again for himself, but for us: hence his resurrection is the foundation. f825 of ours, and what was accomplished in him, must be fulfilled in us also.” In the negative form, on the other hand, it is thus: “Otherwise he would have risen again needlessly and to no purpose, because the fruit of it is to be sought, not in his own person, but in his members.”

Observe the ground-work, on the other hand, of the former inference to be deduced from us to him; for the resurrection is not from nature, and comes from no other quarter than from Christ alone. For in Adam we die, and we recover life only in Christ; hence it follows that his resurrection is the foundation of ours, so that if that is taken away, it cannot stand f826 The ground-work of the negative inference has been already stated; for as he could not have risen again but on our account, his resurrection would be null and void, f827 if it were of no advantage to us.

14. Then is our preaching vainnot simply as having some mixture of falsehood, but as being altogether an empty fallacy. For what remains if Christ has been swallowed up by death — if he has become extinct — if he has been overwhelmed by the curse of sin — if, in fine, he has been overcome by Satan? In short, if that fundamental article is subverted, all that remains will be of no moment. For the same reason he adds, that their faith will be vain, for what solidity of faith will there be, where no hope of life is to be seen? But in the death of Christ, considered in itself, f828 there is seen nothing but ground of despair, for he cannot be the author of salvation to others, who has been altogether vanquished by death. Let us therefore bear in mind, that the entire gospel consists mainly in the death and resurrection of Christ, so that we must direct our chief attention to this, if we would desire, in a right and orderly manner, to make progress in the gospel — nay more, if we would not remain barren and unfruitful. (<610108>2 Peter 1:8.)

15. We are also found to be false witnesses. The other disadvantages, it is true, which he has just now recounted, were more serious, as regards us — that faith was made vain — that the whole doctrine of the gospel was useless and worthless, and that we were bereft of all hope of salvation. Yet this also was no trivial absurdity — that the Apostles, who were ordained by God to be the heralds of his eternal truth, were detected as persons who had deceived the world with falsehoods; for this tends to God’s highest dishonor.

The expression, false witnesses of God, we may understand in two ways — either that by lying they used the name of God under a false pretext, or that they were detected as liars, in testifying what they had received from God. The second of these I rather prefer, because it involves a crime that is much more heinous, and he had spoken previously as to men. f829 Now, therefore, he teaches that, if the resurrection of Christ is denied, God is made guilty of falsehood in the witnesses that have been brought forward and hired by him. f830 The reason, too, that is added, corresponds well — because they had declared what was false, not as from themselves, but from God.

I am at the same time well aware that there are some that give another rendering to the particle kata. The old interpreter renders it against. f831 Erasmus, on the other hand — concerning. But, as it has also among the Greeks the force of ajpo>, (from,) this signification appeared to me to be more in accordance with the Apostle’s design For he is not speaking here of the reputation of men, (as I have already stated, f832) but h e declares that God will be exposed to the charge of falsehood, inasmuch as what they publish has come forth from him.

17. Ye are yet in your sins. For although Christ by his death atoned for our sins, that they might no more be imputed to us in the judgment of God, and has

crucified our old man, that its lusts might no longer reign in us, (<450606>Romans 6:6, 12;)

and, in fine, has

by death destroyed the power of death, and the devil himself, (<580214>Hebrews 2:14;)

yet there would have been none of all these things, if he had not, by rising again, come off victorious. Hence, if the resurrection is overthrown, the dominion of sin is set up anew.

18. Then they who are fallen asleep. Having it in view to prove, that if the resurrection of Christ is taken away, faith is useless, and Christianity is a mere deception, he had said that the living remain in their sins; but as there is a clearer illustration of this matter to be seen in the dead, he adduces them as an example. “Of what advantage were it to the dead that they once were Christians? Hence our brethren who are now dead, did to no purpose live in the faith of Christ.” But if it is granted that the essence of the soul is immortal, this argument appears, at first sight, conclusive; for it will very readily be replied, that the dead have not perished, inasmuch as their souls live in a state of separation from their bodies. Hence some fanatics conclude that there is no life in the period intermediate between death and the resurrection; but this frenzy is easily refuted. f834 For although the souls of the dead are now living, and enjoy quiet repose, yet the whole of their felicity and consolation depends exclusively on the resurrection; because it is well with them on this account, and no other, that they wait for that day, on which they shall be called to the possession of the kingdom of God. Hence as to the hope of the dead, all is over, unless that day shall sooner or later arrive.

19. But if in this life. Here is another absurdity — that we do not merely by believing lose our time and pains, inasmuch as the fruit of it perishes at our death, but it were better for us not to believe; for the condition of unbelievers were preferable, and more to be desired. To believe in this life means here to limit the fruit of our faith to this life, so that our faith looks no farther, and does not extend beyond the confines of the present life. This statement shows more deafly that the Corinthians had been imposed upon by some mistaken fancy of a figurative resurrection, such as Hymeneus and Philetus, as though the last fruit of our faith were set before us in this life. (<550217>2 Timothy 2:17, 18.) For as the resurrection is the completion of our salvation, and as to all blessings is, as it were, the farthest goal, f835 the man who says that our resurrection is already past, leaves us nothing better to hope for after death. However this may be, this passage gives at all events no countenance to the frenzy of those who imagine that the soul sleeps as well as the body, until the day of the resurrection. f836 They bring forward, it is true, this objection — that if the soul continued to live when separated from the body, Paul would not have said that, if the resurrection were taken away, we would have hope only in this life, inasmuch as there would still be some felicity remaining for the soul. To this, however, I reply, that Paul’ did not dream of Elysian fields, f837 and foolish fables of that sort, but takes it for granted, that the entire hope of Christians looks forward to the final day of judgment — that pious souls do even at this day rest in the same expectation, and that, consequently, we are bereft of everything, if a confidence of this nature deceives us.

But why does he say that we would be the most miserable of all men, as if the lot of the Christian were worse than that of the wicked? For all things, says Solomon, happen alike to the good and to the bad. (<210902>Ecclesiastes 9:2.) I answer, that all men, it is true, whether good or bad, are liable to distresses in common, and they feel in common the same inconveniences, and the same miseries; but there are two reasons why Christians have in all ages fared worse, in addition to which, there was one that was peculiar to the times of Paul. The first is, that while the Lord frequently chastises the wicked, too, with his lashes, and begins to inflict his judgments upon them, he at the same time peculiarly afflicts his own in various ways; — in the first place, because he chastises those whom he loves, (<581206>Hebrews 12:6;) and secondly, in order that he may train them to patience, that he may try their obedience, and that he may gradually prepare them by the cross for a true renovation. However it may be as to this, that statement always holds good in the case of believers It is time, that judgment should begin at the house of God. (<242529>Jeremiah 25:29; <600417>1 Peter 4:17 f838) Again,

we are reckoned as sheep appointed for slaughter.
(<194423>Psalm 44:23.)


ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
(<510303>Colossians 3:3.)

Meanwhile, the condition of the wicked is for the most part the more desirable, because the Lord feeds them up, as hogs for the day of slaughter.

The second reason is, that believers, even though they should abound in riches and in blessings of every kind, they nevertheless do not go to excess, and do not gormandize at their ease; in fine, they do not enjoy the world, as unbelievers do, but go forward with anxiety, constantly groaning, (<470502>2 Corinthians 5:2,) partly from a consciousness of their weakness, and partly from an eager longing for the future life. Unbelievers, on the other hand, are wholly intent on intoxicating themselves with present delights. f839

The third reason, which was peculiar, as I have said, to the age of the Apostle, is — that at that time the name of Christians was so odious and abominable, that no one could then take upon himself the name of Christ without exposing his life to imminent peril. It is, therefore, not without good reason that he says that Christians would be the most miserable of all men, if their confidence were confined to this world.

<461520>1 Corinthians 15:20-28

20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept,

20. Nunc autem Christus resurrexit a mortuis, primitiae eorum qui domierunt, fuit.

21. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

21. Quandoquidem enim per heminem mors, etiam per hominem resurrectio mortuorum.

22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

22. Quemadmodum enim in Adam omnes moriuutur, ita et in Christo omnes vivificabuntur.

23. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

23. Unusquisque autem in pro-prio ordine. Primitiae Christus, deinde, qui Christi erunt in adventu ipsius.

24. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power.

24. Postea finis, quum tradiderit regnum Deo et Patti, quum abole-verit omnem principatum, et omnem potestatem, et virtutem.

25. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

25. Oportet enim ipsum regnare, donec posuerit omnes inimicos sub pedes suos.

26. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

26. Novissimus destruetur hostis mors.

27. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him.

27. Omnia enim subjecit sub pe-des eius: quum omnia dixerit, cla-rum est, quod omnia sunt subjecta praeter eum, qui omnia illi subjecit.

28. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

28. Quum autem subjecerit illi omnia, tunc et ipse Filius subjicie-tur ei, qui omnia illi subjecit, ut sit Deus omnia in omnibus.


20. But now hath Christ risen. Having shown what dreadful confusion as to everything would follow, if we were to deny that the dead rise again, he now again assumes as certain, what he had sufficiently established previously — that Christ has risen; and he adds that he is the first-fruits, f840 by a similitude taken, as it appears, from the ancient ritual of the law. :For as in the first-fruits the produce of the entire year was consecrated, so the power of Christ’s resurrection is extended to all of us — unless you prefer to take it in a more simple way — that in him the first fruit of the resurrection was gathered. I rather prefer, however, to understand the statement in this sense — that the rest of the dead will follow him, as the entire harvest does the first-fruits; f841 and this is confirmed by the succeeding statement.

21. Since by man came death. The point to be proved is, that Christ is the .first-fruits, and that it was not merely as an individual that he was raised up from the dead. He proves it from contraries, because death is not from nature, but from man’s sin. As, therefore, Adam did not die for himself alone, but for us all, it follows, that Christ in like manner, who is the antitype, f842 did not rise for himself alone; for he came, that he might restore everything that had been ruined in Adam.

We must observe, however, the force of the argument; for he does not contend by similitude, or by example, but has recourse to opposite causes for the purpose of proving’ opposite effects. The cause of death is Adam, and we die in him: hence Christ, Whose office it is to restore to us what we lost in Adam, is the cause of life to us; and his resurrection is the ground-work and pledge of ours. And as the former was the beginning of death, so the latter is of life. In the fifth chapter of the Romans (Romans 5) he follows out the same comparison; but there is this difference, that in that passage he reasons respecting a spiritual life and death, while he treats here of the resurrection of the body, which is the fruit of spiritual life.

23. Every one in his own order. Here we have an anticipation of a question that might be proposed: “If Christ’s life,” some one might say, “draws ours along with it, why does not this appear? Instead of this, while Christ has risen from the grave, we lie rotting there.” Paul’s answer is, that God has appointed another order of things. Let us therefore reckon it enough, that we now have in Christ the first-fruits, f843 and that his coming f844 will be the time of our resurrection. For our life must still be hid with him, because he has not yet appeared. (<510303>Colossians 3:3, 4.) It would therefore be preposterous to wish to anticipate that day of the revelation of Christ.

24. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered. He put a bridle upon the impatience of men, when he forewarned them, that the fit time for the new life f845 would not be before Christ’s coming. But as this world is like a stormy sea, in which we are continually tossed, and our condition is so uncertain, or rather is so full of troubles, and there are in all things such sudden changes, this might be apt to trouble weak minds. Hence he now leads them forward to that day, saying that all things will be set in order. Then, therefore, shall come the end — that is, the goal of our course — a quiet harbour — a condition that will no longer be exposed to changes; and he at the same time admonishes us, that that end must be waited for, because it is not befitting that we should be crowned in the middle of the course. In what respect Christ will deliver up the kingdom to the Father, will be explained in a little. When he says, God and the Father, this may be taken in two senses — either that God the Father is called the God and Father of Christ, or that. the name of Father is added by way of explanation. The conjunction et (and) will in the latter case mean namely. As to the former signification, there is nothing either absurd, or unusual, in the saying, that Christ is inferior to God, in respect of his human nature.

When he shall have abolished all rule. Some understand this as referring to the powers that are opposed to Christ himself; for they have an eye to what immediately follows, until he shall have put all his enemies, etc. This clause, however, corresponds with what goes before, when he said, that Christ would not sooner deliver up the kingdom. Hence there is no reason why we should restrict in such a manner the statement before us. I explain it, accordingly, in a general way, and understand by it — all powers that are lawful and ordained by God. (<451301>Romans 13:1.) In the .first place, what we find in the Prophets (<231310>Isaiah 13:10; <263207>Ezekiel 32:7) as to the darkening of the sun and moon, that God alone may shine forth, while it has begun to be fulfilled under the reign of Christ, will, nevertheless, not be fully accomplished until the last day; but then every height shall be brought low, (<420305>Luke 3:5,) that the glory of God may alone shine forth. Farther, we know that all earthly principalities and honors are connected exclusively with the keeping up of the present life, and, consequently, are a part of the world. Hence it follows that they are temporary.

Hence as the world will have an end, so also will government, and magistracy, and laws, and distinctions of ranks, and different orders of dignities, and everything of that nature. There will be no more any distinction between servant and master, between king and peasant, between magistrate and private citizen. Nay more, there will be then an end put to angelic principalities in heaven, and to ministries and superiorities in the Church, that God may exercise his power and dominion by himself alone, and not by the hands of men or angels. The angels, it is true, will continue to exist, and they will also retain their distinction. The righteous, too, will shine forth, every one according to the measure of his grace; but the angels will have to resign the dominion, which they now exercise in the name and by the commandment of God. Bishops, teachers, and Prophets will cease to hold these distinctions, and will resign the office which they now discharge. Rule, and authority, and power have much the same meaning in this passage; but these three terms are conjoined to bring out the meaning more fully.

25. For he must reign tie proves that the time is not yet come when Christ will deliver up the kingdom to the Father, with the view of showing at the same time that the end has not yet come, when all things will be put into a right and tranquil state, because Christ has not yet ‘subdued all his enemies. Blow that must be brought about, because the Father has placed him at his right hand with this understanding, that he is not to resign the authority that he has received, until they have been subdued under his power. And this is said for the consolation of the pious, that they may not be impatient on account of the long delay of the resurrection. This statement occurs in <19B001>Psalm 110:1.

Paul, however, may seem to refine upon the word until beyond what the simple and natural meaning of the word requires; for the Spirit does not in that passage give intimation of what shall be afterwards, but simply of what must be previously. I answer, that Paul does not conclude that Christ will deliver up the kingdom to the Father, on the ground of its having been so predicted in the Psalm, but he has made use of this quotation from the Psalm, for the purpose of proving that the day of delivering up the kingdom had not yet arrived, because Christ has still to do with his enemies. Paul, however, explains in passing what is meant by Christ’s sitting at the right hand of the Father, when in place of that figurative expression he makes use of the simple word reign.

The last enemydeath. We see that there are still many enemies that resist Christ, and obstinately oppose his reign. But death will be the last enemy f846 that will be destroyed. Hence Christ must still be the administrator of his Father’s kingdom. Let believers, therefore, be of good courage, and not give up hope, until everything that must precede the resurrection be accomplished. It is asked, however, in what sense he affirms that death shall be the last enemy f847 that will be destroyed, when it has been already destroyed by Christ’s death, or at least, by his resurrection, which is the victory over death, and the attainment of life? I answer, that it was destroyed in such a way as to be no longer deadly to believers, but not in such a way as to occasion them no uneasiness. The Spirit of God, it is true, dwelling in us is life; but we still carry about with us a mortal body. (<600124>1 Peter 1:24.) The substance of death in us will one day be drained off, but it has not been so as yet. We are born again of incorruptible seed, (<600123>1 Peter 1:23,) but we ha. re not yet arrived at perfection. Or to sum up the matter briefly in a similitude, the sword of death which could penetrate into our very hearts has been blunted. It wounds nevertheless still, but without any danger; f848 for we die, but by dying we enter into life. In fine, as Paul teaches elsewhere as to sin, (<450612>Romans 6:12,) such must be our view as to death — that it dwells indeed in us, but it does not reign.

27. He hath put all things under his feet. Some think that this quotation is taken from <190807>Psalm 8:7, and I have no objection to this, though there would be nothing out of place in reckoning this statement to be an inference that is drawn by Paul from the nature of Christ’s kingdom. Let us follow, however, the more generally received opinion. Paul shows from that Psalm, that God the Father has conferred upon Christ the power of all things, because it is said, Thou hast put all things under his feet. The words are in themselves plain, were it not that there are two difficulties that present themselves — first, that the Prophet speaks here not of Christ alone, but of the whole human race; and secondly, that by all things he means only those things that have to do with the convenience of the life of the body, as we find in <010219>Genesis 2:19. The solution of the former difficulty is easy; for as Christ is the first-born of every creature, (<510115>Colossians 1:15,) and the heir of all things, (<580102>Hebrews 1:2,) God, the Father, has not conferred upon the human race the use of all creatures in such a way as to hinder that in the mean time the chief power, and, so to speak, the rightful dominion, remain in Christ’s hands. Farther, we know, that Adam lost the right that had been conferred upon him, so that we can no longer call anything our own. For the earth was cursed, (Genesis in. 17,) and everything that it contains; and it is through Christ alone that we recover what has been taken from us. f849 It is with propriety, therefore, that this commendation belongs to Christ personally — that the Father has put all things under his feet, inasmuch as we rightfully possess nothing except in him. For how shall we become heirs of God, if we are not his sons, and by whom are we made his sons but by Christ

The solution of the second difficulty is as follows — that the Prophet, it is true, especially mentions fowls of heaven, fishes of the sea, and beasts of the field, because this kind of dominion is visible, and is more apparent to the eye;but at the same time the general statement reaches much farther — to the heavens and the earth, and everything that they contain. Now the subjection must have a corrrespondence with the character of him who rules — that is, it has a suitable-ness to his condition, so as to correspond with it. Now Christ does not need animals for food, or other creatures for any necessity. He rules, therefore, that all things may be subservient to his glory, inasmuch as he adopts us as participants in his dominion. The fruit of this openly appears in visible creatures; but believers feel in their consciences an inward fruit, which, as I have said, extends farther.

All things put under him, except him who put all things under him. He insists upon two things — first, that all things must be brought under subjection to Christ before he restores to the Father the dominion of the world, and secondly, that the Father has given all things into the hands of his Son in such a way as to retain the principal right in his own hands. From the former of these it follows, that the hour of the last judgment is not yet come — from the second, that Christ is now the medium between us and the Father in such a way as to bring us at length to him. Hence he immediately infers as follows: After he shall have subjected all things to him, then shall the Son subject himself to the Father. “Let us wait patiently until Christ shall vanquish all his enemies, and shall bring us, along with himself, under the dominion of God, that the kingdom of God may in every respect be accomplished in us.

This statement, however, is at first view at variance with what we read in various passages of Scripture respecting the eternity of Christ’s kingdom. For how will these things correspond — Of his kingdom there will be no end, (<270714>Daniel 7:14, 27; <420133>Luke 1:33; <610111>2 Peter 1:11,) and He himself shall be subjected? The solution of this question will open up Paul’s meaning more clearly. In the first place, it must be observed, that all power was delivered over to Christ, inasmuch as he was manifested in the flesh. It is true that such distinguished majesty would not correspond with a mere man, but, notwithstanding, the Father has exalted him in the same nature in which he was abased, and has

given, him a name, before which every knee must bow, etc. (<502609>Philippians 2:9, 10.)

Farther, it must be Observed, that he has been appointed Lord and highest King, so as to be as it were the Father’s Vicegerent in the government of the world — not that he is employed and the Father unemployed (for how could that be, inasmuch as he is the wisdom and counsel of the Father, is of one essence with him, and is therefore himself God?) But the reason why the Scripture testifies, that Christ now holds dominion over the heaven and the earth in the room of the Father is — that we may not think that there is any other governor, lord, protector, or judge of the dead and living, but may fix our contemplation on him alone? We acknowledge, it is true, God as the ruler, but it is in the face of the man Christ. But Christ will then restore the kingdom which he has received, that we may cleave wholly to God? Nor’ will he in this way resign the kingdom, but will transfer it in a manner from his humanity to his glorious divinity, because a way of approach will then be opened up, from which our infirmity now keeps us back. Thus then Christ will be subjected to the Father, because the vail being then removed, we shall openly behold God reigning in his majesty, f852 and Christ’s humanity will then no longer be interposed to keep us back from a closer view of God. f853

28. That God may be all in all. Will it be so in the Devil and wicked men also? By no means — unless perhaps we choose to take the verb to be as meaning, to be known, and openly beheld. In that case the meaning will be: “For the present, as the Devil resists God, as wicked men confound and disturb the order which he has established, and as endless occasions of offense present themselves to our view, it does not distinctly appear that God is all in all; but when Christ will have executed the judgment which has been committed to him by the Father, and will have cast down Satan and all the wicked, the glory of God will be conspicuous in their destruction. The same thing may be said also respecting powers that are sacred and lawful in their kind, for they in a manner hinder God’s being seen aright by us in himself. Then, on the other hand, God, holding the government of the heaven and the earth by himself, and without any medium, will in that respect be all, and will consequently at last be so, not only in all persons, but also in all creatures.”

This is a pious interpretation, f854 and, as it corresponds sufficiently well with the Apostle’s design, I willingly embrace it. There would, however, be nothing out of place in understanding it as referring exclusively to believers, in whom God has now begun his kingdom, and will then perfect it, and in such a way that they shall cleave to him wholly. Both meanings sufficiently refute of themselves the wicked frenzies of some who bring forward this passage in proof of them. Some imagine, that God will be all in all in this respect, that all things will vanish and dissolve into nothing. Paul’s words, however, mean nothing but this, that all things will be brought back to God, as their alone beginning and end, that they may be closely bound to him. Others infer from this that the Devil and all the wicked will be saved — as if God would not altogether be better known in the Devil’s destruction, than if he were to associate the Devil with himself, and make him one with himself. We see then, how impudently madmen of this sort wrest this statement of Paul for maintaining their blasphemies.

<461529>1 Corinthians 15:29-34

29. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

29. Quid alioqui facient qui baptizantur pro mortuis, si omnino mortui non resurgunt? quid etiam baptizantur pro mortuis?

30. And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?

30. Quid etiam nos periclitamur omni hora?

31. I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

31. Quotidie morior per nostram gloriam, fratres, quam habeo in Christo Iesu Domino nostro.

32. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die.

32. Si secundum hominem pugnavi ad bestias Ephesi, quid mihi prodest? edamus et bibamus: eras enim moriemr.

33. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

33. Ne erretis: Mores honestos corrumpunt mala colloquia.

34. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

34. Evigilate juste, et ne peccetis: ignorantiam enim Dei quidam habent: ad pudorem vobis incutiendum dico.


29. Else what shall they do. He resumes his enumeration of the absurdities, which follow from the error under which the Corinthians labored. He had set himself in the outset to do this, but he introduced instruction and consolation, by means of which he interrupted in some degree the thread of his discourse. To this he now returns. In the first place he brings forward this objection — that the baptism which those received who are already regarded as dead, will be of no avail if there is no resurrection. Before expounding this passage, it is of importance to set aside the common exposition, which rests upon the authority of the ancients, and is received with almost universal consent. Chrysostom, therefore, and Ambrose, who are followed by others, are of opinion that the Corinthians were accustomed, when any one had been deprived of :baptism by sudden death, to substitute some living person in the place of the deceased — to be baptized at his grave. They at the same time do not deny that this custom was corrupt, and full of superstition, but they say that Paul, for the purpose of confuting the Corinthians, was contented with this single fact, f856 that while they denied that there was a resurrection, they in the mean time declared in this way that they believed in it. For my part, however, I cannot by any means be persuaded to believe this, f857 for it is not to be credited, that those who denied that there was a resurrection had, along with others, made use of a custom of this sort. Paul then would have had immediately this reply made to him: “Why do you trouble us with that old wives’ superstition, which you do not yourself approve of?” Farther, if they had made use of it, they might very readily have replied: “If this has been hitherto practiced by us through mistake, rather let the mistake be corrected, than that it should have weight attached to it for proving a point of such importance.

Granting, however, that the argument was conclusive, can we suppose that, if such a corruption as this had prevailed among the Corinthians, the Apostle, after reproving almost all their faults, would have been silent as to this one? He has censured above some practices that are not of so great moment. He has not scrupled to give directions as to women’s having’ the head covered, and other things of that nature. Their corrupt administration of the Supper he has not merely reproved, but has inveighed against it with the greatest keenness. Would he in the meantime have uttered not a single word in reference to such a base profanation of baptism, which was a much more grievous fault? He has inveighed with great vehemence against those who, by frequenting the banquets of the Gentiles, silently counte-nanced their superstitions. Would he have suffered this horrible superstition of the Gentiles to be openly carried on in the Church itself under the name of sacred baptism? But granting that he might have been silent, what shall we say when he expressly makes mention of it? Is it, I pray you, a likely thing that the Apostle would bring forward in the shape of an argument a sacrilege f858 by which baptism was polluted, and converted into a mere magical abuse, and yet not say even one word in condemnation of the fault? When he is treating of matters that are not of the highest importance, he introduces nevertheless this parenthesis, that he speaks as a man. (<450305>Romans 3:5; <450619>Romans 6:19; <480315>Galatians 3:15.) Would not this have been a more befitting and suitable place for such a parenthesis? Now from his making mention of such a thing without any word of reproof, who would not understand it to be a thing that was allowed? For my part, I assuredly understand him to speak here of the right, use of baptism, and not of an abuse of it of that nature.

Let us now inquire as to the meaning. At one time I was of opinion, that Paul here pointed out the universal design of baptism, for the advantage of baptism is not confined to this life; but on considering the w6rds afterwards with greater care, I perceived that Paul here points out something peculiar. For he does not speak of all when he says, What shall they do, who are baptized? etc. Besides, I am not fond of interpretations, that are more ingenious than solid. What then? I say, that those are baptized for dead, who are looked upon as already dead, and who have altogether despaired of life; and in this way the particle uJpe>r will have the force of the Latin pro, as when we say, habere pro derelicto; — to reckon as abandoned f859 This signification is not a forced one. Or if you would prefer another signification, to be baptized for the dead will mean — to be baptized so as to profit the dead — not the living, f860 Now it is well known, that from the very commencement of the Church, those who had, while yet catechumens, f861 fallen into disease, f862 if their life was manifestly in danger, were accustomed to ask baptism, that they might not leave this world before they had made a profession of Christianity; and this, in order that they might carry with them the seal of their salvation.

It appears from the writings of the Fathers, that as to this matter, also, there crept in afterwards a superstition, for they inveigh against those who delayed baptism till the time of their death, that, being once for all purged from all their sins, they might in this state meet the judgment of God. f863 A gross error truly, which proceeded partly from great ignorance, and partly from hypocrisy! Paul, however, here simply mentions a custom that was sacred, and in accordance with the Divine institution — that if a catechumen, who had already in his heart embraced the Christian faith, f864 saw that death was impending over him, he asked baptism, partly for his own consolation, and partly with a view to the edification of his brethren. For it is no small consolation to carry the token of his salvation sealed in his body. There is also an edification, not to be lost sight of — that of making a confession of his faith. They were, then, baptized for the dead, inasmuch as it could not be of any service to them in this world, and the very occasion of their asking baptism was that they despaired of life. We now see that it is not without good reason that Paul asks, what they would do if there remained no hope after death? f865 This passage shows us, too, that those impostors who had disturbed the faith of the Corinthians, had contrived a figurative resurrection, making the farthest goal of believers to be in this world, His repeating it a second time, Why are they also baptized for the dead? gives it greater emphasis: “Not only are those baptized who think that they are to live longer, but those too who have death before their eyes; and that, in order that they may in death reap the fruit of their baptism.”

30. Why are we also? “If our resurrection and ultimate felicity are in this world, why do we of our own accord abandon it, and voluntarily encounter death?” The argument might also be unfolded in this manner: “To no purpose would we stand in peril every hour, if we did not look for a better life, after death has been passed through.” He speaks, however, of voluntary dangers, to which believers expose their lives for the purpose of confessing Christ. “This magnanimity of soul, I say, in despising death, would be ascribed to rashness rather than firmness, if the saints perished at death, for it is a diabolical madness to purchase by death an immortal fame.” f866

31. I die daily. Such a contempt of death he declares to be in himself, that he may not seem to talk bravely when beyond the reach of danger. “I am every day,” says he, “incessantly beset with death. What madness were it in me to undergo so much misery, if there were no reward in reserve for me in heaven? Nay more, if my glory and bliss lie in this world, why do I not rather enjoy them, than of my own accord resign them?” He says that he dies daily, because he was constantly beset with dangers so formidable and so imminent, that death in a manner was impending over him. A similar expression occurs in <194422>Psalm 44:22, and we shall, also, find one of the same kind occurring in the second Epistle. (<471123>2 Corinthians 11:23.)

By our glory. The old translation reads propter, (because of,) f867 but it has manifestly arisen from the ignorance of transcribers; for in the Greek particle f868 there is no ambiguity. It is then an oath, by which he wished to arouse the Corinthians, to be more attentive in listening to him, when reasoning as to the matter in hand. f869 “Brethren, I am not some philosopher prattling in the shade. f870 As I expose myself every day to death, it is necessary that I should think in good earnest of the heavenly life. Believe, therefore, a man who is thoroughly experienced.”

It is also a form of oath that is not common, but is suited to the subject in hand. Corresponding to this was that celebrated oath of Demosthenes, which is quoted by Fabius, f871 when he swore by the Shades of those who had met death in the field of Marathon, while his object was to exhort them to defend the Republic. f872 So in like manner Paul here swears by the glory which Christians have in Christ. :Now that glory is in heaven. He shows, then, that what they called in question was a matter of which he was so well assured, that he was prepared to make use of a sacred oath — a display of skill which must be carefully noticed.

32. If according to the manner of men. He brings forward a notable instance of death, from which it might be clearly seen that he would have been worse than a fool, if there were not a better life in reserve for us beyond death; for it was an ignominious kind of death to which he was exposed. “To what purpose were it,” says he, “for me to incur infamy in connection with a most cruel death, if all my hopes were confined to this world?” According to the manner of men, means in this passage, in respect of human life, so that we obtain a reward in this world.

Now by those that fought with beasts, are meant, not those that were thrown to wild beasts, as Erasmus mistakingly imagined, but those that were condemned to be set to fight with wild beasts — to furnish an amusement to the people. There were, then, two kinds of punishment, that were totally different — to be thrown to wild beasts, and to fight with wild beasts. For those that were thrown to wild beasts were straightway torn in pieces; but those that fought with wild beasts went forth armed into the arena, that if they were endued with strength, courage, and agility, they might effect their escape by dispatching the wild beasts. :Nay more, there was a game in which those who fought with wild beasts were trained, like the gladiators f873 Usually, however, very few escaped, because the man who had dispatched one wild beast, was required to fight with a second, f874 until the cruelty of the spectators was satiated, or rather was melted into pity; and yet there were found men so abandoned and desperate, as to hire themselves out for this! f875 And this, I may remark by the way, is that kind of hunting that is punished so severely by the ancient canons, as even civil laws brand it with a mark of infamy. f876

I return to Paul. f877 We see what an extremity God allowed his servant to come to, and how wonderfully, too, he rescued him. Luke, f878 however, makes no mention of this fight. Hence we may infer that he endured many things that have not been committed to writing.

Let us eat and drink. This is a saying of the Epicureans, who reckon man’s highest good as consisting in present enjoyment. Isaiah also testifies that it is a saying made use of by profligate persons, (<232213>Isaiah 22:13,) who, when the Prophets of God threaten them with ruin, f879 with the view of calling them to repentance, making sport of those threatenings, encourage themselves in wantonness and unbridled mirth, and in order to show more openly their obstinacy, say, “Since die we must, let us meanwhile enjoy the time, and not torment ourselves before the time with empty fears.” As to what a certain General said to his army, f880 “My fellowsoldiers, let us dine heartily, for we shall sup to-day in the regions below,” f881 that was an exhortation to meet death with intrepidity, and has nothing to do with this subject. I am of opinion, that Paul made use of a jest in common use among abandoned and desperately wicked persons, or (to express it shortly) a common proverb among the Epicureans to the following purpose: “If death is the end of man, there is nothing better than that he should indulge in pleasure, free from care, so long as life lasts.” Sentiments of this kind are to be met with frequently in Horace. f882

33. Be not deceived. Evil communications corrupt good manners. As nothing is easier than to glide into profane speculation, under the pretext of inquiring, f883 he meets this danger, by warning them that evil communications have more effect than we might suppose, in polluting our minds and cor-rupting our morals. f884 To show this, he makes use of a quotation from the poet Menander, f885 as we are at liberty to borrow from every quarter everything that has come forth from God. And as all truth is from God, there is no doubt that the Lord has put into the mouth of the wicked themselves, whatever contains true and salutary doctrine. I prefer, however, that, for the handling of this subject, recourse should be had to Basil’s Oration to the Young. Paul, then, being aware that this proverb was in common use among the Greeks, chose rather to make use of it, that it might make its way into their minds more readily, than to express the same thing in his own words. For they would more readily receive what they had been accustomed to — as we have experience of in proverbs with which we are familiar.

Now it is a sentiment that is particularly worthy of attention, for Satan, when he cannot make a direct assault upon us, f886 deludes us under this pretext, that there is nothing wrong in our raising any kind of disputation with a view to the investigation of truth. Here, therefore, Paul in opposition to this, warns us that we must guard against evil communications, as we would against the most deadly poison, because, insinuating themselves secretly into our minds, they straightway corrupt our whole life. Let us, then, take notice, that nothing is more pestilential than corrupt doctrine and profane disputations, which draw us off, even in the smallest degree, from a right and simple faith; f887 for it is not without good reason that Paul exhorts us not to be deceived. f888

34. Awake righteously. As he saw that the Corinthians were in a manner intoxicated, f889 through excessive carelessness, he arouses them from their torpor. By adding, however, the adverb righteously, he intimates in what way he would have them wake up For they were sufficiently attentive and clear-sighted as to their own affairs: nay more, there can be no doubt that they congratulated themselves on their acuteness; but in the mean time they were drowsy, where they ought most of all to have been on the watch. He says accordingly, awake righteously that is, “Direct your mind and aim to things that are good and holy.”

He adds at the same time the reason, For some, says he, among you are in ignorance of God. This required to be stated: otherwise they might have thought that the admonition was unnecessary; for they looked upon themselves as marvellously wise. Now he convicts them of ignorance of God, that they may know that the main thing was wanting in them. A useful admonition to those who lay out all their agility in flying through the air, while in the mean time they do not see what is before their feet, and are stupid where they ought, most of all, to have been clear-sighted.

To your shame. Just as fathers, when reproving their children for their faults, put them to shame, in order that they may by that shame cover their shame. When, however, he declared previously that he did not wish to shame them, (<460414>1 Corinthians 4:14,) his meaning was that he did not wish to hold them up to disgrace, by bringing forward their faults to public view in a spirit of enmity and hatred. f890 In the mean time, however, it was of advantage for them to be sharply reproved, as they were still indulging themselves in evils of such magnitude. Now Paul in reproaching them with ignorance of God, strips them entirely of all honor.

<461535>1 Corinthians 15:35-50

35. But some man;will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

35. Sed dicet quispiam: Quomo-do suscitabuntur mortui? quali nu-tem corpore venient?

36. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.

36. Demens, tu quod seminas, non vivificatur nisi mortuum fuerit.

37. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

37. Et quod seminas, non corpus quod nascentur, seminas, sed nudum granum: exempli gratis, tritici, nut alterius cujusvis generis:

38. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

38. Deus autem illi dat corpus, quemadmodum voluerit, et unicui-que seminum proprium corpus.

39. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

39. Non omnis caro, eadem caro: sed alia caro horninum, alia vero cato pecudum, alia volucrum, alia piscium.

40. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

40. Sunt et corpora coelestia, sunt corpora terrestria: quin etiam alia coelestium gloria, alia terrestrium.

41. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory’.

41. Alia gloria solis, alia gloria lunae, alia gloria stellarum: stella a stella differt in gloria:

42. So also is the resurrection of the dead; it is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

42. Sic et resurrectio mortuorum.

43. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power:

43. Seminatur in corruptione, re surgit in incorruptione: seminatur in ignominia, resurgit in gloria: seminatur in infirmitate, resurgit in potentia:

44. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

44. Seminatur corpus animale, resurgit corpus spirituale: est corpus animale, est et corpus spirituale.

45. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit,

45. Quemadmodum et scriptum eat, (Gen 2:7,) Factus eat primus homo Adam in animam viventem, ultimus Adam in spiritum vivificantem.

46. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

46. Sed non primum quod spiri-tuale eat: sed animale, deinde spiri-tuale.

47. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

47. Primus homo ex terra ter-renus, secundus homo, Dominus e coelo.

48. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

48. Qualis terrenus, tales et ter-reni, et qualis coelestis, tales et coe-lestes.

49. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

49. Et quemadmodum portavi-mus imaginem terreni, portabimus et imaginem coelestis.

50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

50. Hoc autem dico, fratres, quod cato et sanguis regnum Dei heredi-tate possidere non possunt, neque corruptio incorruptionem hereditate possidebit.


35. How will they be raised up? There is nothing that is more at variance with human reason than this article of faith. For who but God alone could persuade us that bodies, which are now liable to corruption, will, after having rotted away, or after they have been consumed by fire, or torn in pieces by wild beasts, will not merely be restored entire, but in a greatly better condition. Do not all our apprehensions of things straightway reject this as a thing fabulous, nay, most absurd? f891 Paul, with the view of removing entirely this appearance of absurdity, makes use of an anhypophora, f892 that is, he brings forward by way of objection, in the person of another, what appears at first view to be at variance with the doctrine of a resurrection. For this question is not that of one who inquires doubtingly as to the mode, but of one who argues from impossibility — that is, what is said as to the resurrection is a thing incredible. Hence in his reply he repels such an objection with severity. Let us observe, then, that the persons who are here introduced as speaking, are those who endeavor to disparage, in a way of scoffing, a belief in the resurrection, on the ground of its being a thing that is impossible.

36. Thou fool, that which thou sowest. The Apostle might have replied, that the mode, which is to us incomprehensible, is nevertheless easy with God. Hence, we must not here form our judgment according to our own understanding, but must assign to the stupendous and secret power of God the honor of believing, that it will accomplish what we cannot comprehend. He goes to work, however, in another way. For he shows, that the resurrection is so far from being against nature, that we have every day a clear illustration of it in the course of nature itself — in the growth of the fruits of the earth. For from what but from rottenness spring the fruits that we gather out of the earth? For when the seed has been sown, unless the grains die, there will be no increase. Corruption, then, being the commencement and cause of production, we have in this a sort of picture of the resurrection. Hence it follows, that we are beyond measure spiteful and ungrateful in estimating the power of God, if we take from him what is already manifest before our eyes.

37. Thou sowest not that body that will spring up. This comparison consists of two parts — first, that it is not to be wondered that bodies rise from rottenness, inasmuch as the same thing takes place as to seed; and secondly, that it is not at variance with reason, that our bodies should be restored in another condition, since, from bare grain, God brings forth so many ears of corn, clothed with admirable contrivance, and stored with grains of superior quality. As, however, he might seem to intimate, by speaking in this way, that many bodies will therefore risc out of one, he modifies his discourse in another way, by saying that God forms the body as it pleases him, meaning that in that also there is a difference in respect of quality.

He adds, to every seed its own body. By this clause he restricts what he had said respecting another body; for he says that, while the body is different, it is in such a way as to retain, nevertheless, its particular kind.

39. All flesh is not, etc. Here we have another comparison leading to the same conclusion, though there are some that explain it otherwise. For when he says, that under the name of flesh is comprehended the body of a man as well as of a beast, and yet the flesh in those two cases is different, he means by this that the substance indeed is the same, but there is a difference as to quality. The sum is this — that whatever diversity we see in any particular kind is a sort of prelude of the resurrection, because God clearly shows, that it is no difficult thing with him to renew our bodies by changing the present condition of things. f893

41. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon. Not only is there a difference between heavenly bodies and earthly, but even the heavenly bodies have not all the same glory; for the sun surpasses the moon, and the other stars differ from each other. This dissimilarity, accordingly, appears f894 in the resurrection of the dead. A ntis-take, however, is commonly fallen into in the application; f895 for it is supposed that Paul meant to say, that, after the resurrection, the saints will have different degrees of honor and glory. This, indeed, is perfectly true, and is proved by other declarations of Scripture; but it has nothing to do with Paul’s object. For he is not arguing as to what difference of condition there will be among the saints after the resurrection, but in what respect our bodies at present differ from those that we will one day receive. f896

He removes, then, every idea of absurdity, by instituting this comparison: The substance of the sun and moon is the same, but there is a great difference between them in point of dignity and excellence. Is it to be wondered, then, if our body puts on a more excellent quality? f897 I do not teach that anything will take place at the resurrection but what is already presented before the eyes of all.” That such is the meaning of the words is clear from the context. For whence and for what purpose would Paul make such a transition, were he now comparing them with one another in respect of the difference of their condition, while up to this point he has been comparing the present condition of all with their future condition, and immediately proceeds with that comparison?

43. It is sown in corruption. That there may be no doubt remaining, Paul explains himself, by unfolding the difference between their present condition, and that which will be after the resurrection. What connection, then, would there be in his discourse, if he had intended in the first instance f898 to distinguish between the different degrees of future glory among the saints? There can, therefore, be no doubt, that he has been, up to this point, following out one subject. He now returns to the first similitude that he had made use of, but applies it more closely to his design. Or, if you prefer it, keeping up that similitude, he figuratively compares the time of the present life to the seed-time, and the resurrection to the harvest; and he says, that our body is now, indeed, subject to mortality and ignominy, but will then be glorious and incorruptible. He says the same thing in other words in <500321>Philippians 3:21.

Christ will change our vile body,
that he may make it like to his own glorious body.

44. It, is sown an animal body. As he could not express each particular by enumerating one by one, he sums up all comprehensively in one word, by saying that the body is now animal, f899 but it will then be spiritual. Now that is called animal which is quickened by (anima) the soul: that is spiritual which is quickened by the Spirit  f900 Now it is the soul that quickens the body, so as to keep it from being a dead carcase. Hence it takes its title very properly from it. After the resurrection, on the other hand, that quickening influence, which it will receive from the Spirit, will be more excellent. f901 Let us, however, always bear in mind, what we have seen previously — that the substance of the body is the same, f902 and that it is the quality only that is here treated of. Let the present quality of the body be called, for the sake of greater plainness, animation; f903 let the future receive the name of inspiration. For as to the soul’s now quickening the body, that is effected through the intervention of many helps; for we stand in need of drink, food, clothing, sleep, and other things of a similar nature. Hence the weakness of animation is clearly manifested. The energy of the Spirit, on the other hand, for quickening, will be much more complete, and, consequently, exempted from necessities of that nature. This is the simple and genuine meaning of the Apostle; that no one may, by philosophizing farther, indulge in airy speculations, as those do, who suppose that the substance of the body will be spiritual, while there is no mention made here of substance, and no change will be made upon it.

45. As it is written, The first Adam was made. Lest it should seem to be some new contrivance as to the animal body, f904 he quotes Scripture, which declares that Adam became a living soul, (<010207>Genesis 2:7) — meaning, that his body was quickened by the soul, so that he became a living man. It is asked, what is the meaning of the word soul here? It is well known, that the Hebrew word pn, (nephesh,) which Moses makes use of, is taken in a variety of senses; but in this passage it is taken to mean either vital motion, or the very essence of life itself. The second of these I rather prefer. I observe that the same thing is affirmed as to beasts — that they were made a living soul, (<010120>Genesis 1:20, 24;) but as the soul of every animal must be judged of according to its kind, there is nothing to hinder that a soul, that is to say, vital motion, may be common to all; and yet at the same time the soul of man may have something peculiar and distinguishing, namely, immortal essence, as the light of intelligence and reason.

The last Adam. This expression we do not find anywhere written. f905 Hence the phrase, It is written, must be understood as referring exclusively to the first clause; but after bringing forward this testimony of Scripture, the Apostle now begins in his own person to draw a contrast between Christ and Adam. “Moses relates that Adam was furnished with a living soul Christ, on the other hand, is endowed with a life-giving Spirit. Now it is a much greater thing to be life, or the source of life, than simply to live.” f906 It must be observed, however, that Christ did also, like us, become a living soul; but, besides the soul, the Spirit of the Lord was also poured-out upon him, that by his power he might rise again from the dead, and raise up others, This, therefore, must be observed, in order that no one may imagine, (as Apollinaris f907 did of old,) that the Spirit was. in Christ in place of a soul. And independently of this, the interpretation of this passage may be taken from the eighth chapter of the Romans, where the Apostle declares, that the body, indeed, is dead, on account of sin, and we carry in us the elements of death; but that the Spirit of Christ, who raised him up from the dead, dwelleth also in us, and that he is life, to raise up us also one day from the dead. (<450810>Romans 8:10, 11.) From this you see, that we have living souls, inasmuch as we are men, but that we have the life-giving Spirit of Christ poured out upon us by the grace of regeneration. In short, Paul’s meaning is, that the condition that we obtain through Christ is greatly superior to the lot of the first man, because a living soul was conferred upon Adam in his own name, and in that of his posterity, but Christ has procured for us the Spirit, who is life.

Now as to his calling Christ the last Adam, the reason is this, that as the human race was created in the first man, so it is renewed in Christ. I shall express it again, and more distinctly: All men were created in the first man, because, whatever God designed to give to all, he conferred upon that one man, so that the condition of mankind was settled in his person. He by his fall f908 ruined himself and those that were his, because he drew them all, along with himself, into the same ruin: Christ came to restore our nature from ruin, and raise it up to a better condition than ever. They f909 are then, as it were, two sources, or two roots of the human race. Hence it is not without good reason, that the one is called the first man, and the other the last. This, however, gives no support to those madmen, who make Christ to be one of ourselves, as though there were and always had been only two men, and that this multitude which we behold, were a mere phantom ! A similar comparison occurs in <450512>Romans 5:12.

46. But this is not first, which is spiritual. “It is necessary,” says he, “that before we are restored in Christ, we derive our origin from Adam, and resemble him. Let us, therefore, not wonder, if we begin with the living soul, for as being born precedes in order being born again, so living precedes rising again.”

47. The first Adam was from the earth. The animal life comes first, because the earthy man is first. f910 The spiritual life will come afterwards, as Christ, the heavenly man, came after Adam. Now the Manichees perverted this passage, with the view of proving that Christ brought a body from heaven into the womb of the Virgin. They mistakingly imagined, however, that Paul speaks here of the substance of the body, while he is discoursing rather as to its condition, or quality. Hence, although the first man had an immortal soul, and that too, not taken from the earth, yet he, nevertheless, savoured of the earth, from which his body had sprung, and on which he had been appointed to live. Christ, on the other hand, brought us from heaven a life-giving Spirit, that he might regenerate us into a better life, and elevated above the earth. f911 In fine, we have it from Adam — that we live in this world, as branches from the root: Christ, on the other hand, is the beginning and author of the heavenly life.

But some one will say in reply, Adam is said to be from the earth Christ from heaven; the nature of the comparison f912 requires this much, that Christ have his body from heaven, as the body of Adam was formed from the earth; or, at least, that the origin of man’s soul should be from the earth, but that Christ’s soul had come forth from heaven. I answer, that Paul had not contrasted the two departments of the subject with such refinement and minuteness, (for this was not necessary;) but when treating of the nature of Christ and Adam, he made a passing allusion to the creation of Adam, that he had been formed from the earth,, and at the same time, for the purpose of commending Christ’s excellence, he states, that he is the Son of God, who came down to us from heaven, and brings with him, therefore, a heavenly nature and influence. This is the simple meaning, while the refinement of the Manichees is a mere calumny.

We must, however, reply to another objection still. For Christ, so long as he lived in the world, lived a life similar to ours, and therefore earthly: hence it is not a proper contrast. The solution of this question will serve farther to refute the contrivance f913 of the Manichees. For we know, that the body of Christ was liable to death, and that it was exempted from corruption, not by its essential property, (as they speak,) f914 but solely by the providence of God. Hence Christ was not merely earthy as to the essence of his body, but was also for a time in an earthly condition; for before Christ’s power could show itself in conferring the heavenly life, it was necessary that he should die in the weakness of the flesh, (<471304>2 Corinthians 13:4.) Now this heavenly life appeared first in the resurrection, that he might quicken us also.

49. As we have borne. Some have thought, that there is here an exhortation to a pious and holy life, into which Paul was led by way of digression; and on that account they have changed the verb from the future tense into the horta-tive mood. Nay more, in some Greek manuscripts the reading is fore>swmen (let us bear,) f915 but as that does not suit so well in respect of connection, let us adopt in preference what corresponds better with the object in view and the context. f916 Let us observe, in the first place, that this is not an exhortation, but pure doctrine, and that he is not treating here of newness of life, but pursues, without any interruption, the thread of his discourse respecting the resurrection of the flesh. The meaning accordingly will be this: “As the animal nature, which has the precedency in us, is the image of Adam, so we shall be conformed to Christ in the heavenly nature; and this will be the completion of our restoration. For we now begin to bear the image of Christ, and are every day more and more transformed into it; f917 but that image consists in spiritual regeneration. But then it will be fully restored both in body and in soul, and what is now begun will be perfected, and accordingly we will obtain in reality what we as yet only hope for.” If, however, any one prefers a different reading, this statement will serve to spur forward the Corinthians; and if there had been a lively meditation of sincere piety and a new life, it might have been the means of kindling up in them at the same time the hope of heavenly glory.

50. Now this I say. This clause intimates, that what follows is explanatory of the foregoing statement. “What I have said as to bearing the image of the heavenly Adam means this — that we must be renewed in respect of our bodies, inasmuch as our bodies, being liable to corruption, cannot inherit God’s incorruptible kingdom. Hence there will be no admission for us into the kingdom of Christ, otherwise than by Christ’s renewing us after his own image.” Flesh and blood, however, we must understand, according to the condition in which they at present are, for our flesh will be a participant in the glory of God, but it will be — as renewed and quickened by the Spirit of Christ.

<461551>1 Corinthians 15:51-58

51. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

51. Ecce, mysterium vobis dico: Non omnes quidem dormiemus, omnes tamen immutabimur,

52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

52. In puncto temporis, in nictu oculi, cum extrema tuba, (canet enim tuba,) et mortui resurgent incorrup-tibiles, et nos immutabimur.

53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

53. Oportet enim corruptibile hoc induere immortalitatem.

54. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

54. Quum autem corruptibile hoc induerit incorruptibilitatem, et mortale hoc induerit immortalita-tem: tunc flet sermo qui scriptus est: (Hosea 13, 14, vel les. 25, 8.) Absorpta est mors in victoriam.

55. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

55. Ubi, mors, tuus aculeus? Ubi tua, inferne, victoria?

56. The sting of death/s sin; and the strength of Sin is .the law.

56. Aculeus autem mortis, pecca-tum est: virtus autem peccati, Lex.

57. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

57. Sed Deo gratia, qui dedit nobis victoriam per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum.

58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

58. Itaque, fratres mei dilecti, stabiles sitis, immobiles, abundantes in opere Domini semper, hoc cog-nifo, quod labor vester non sit in-anis in Domino.


Hitherto he has included two things in his reasoning. In the first place, he shows that there will be a resurrection from the dead: secondly, he shows of what nature it will be. Now, however, he enters more thoroughly into a description of the manner of it. This he calls a mystery, because it had not been as yet so clearly unfolded in any statement of revelation; but he does this to make them more attentive. For that wicked doctrine had derived strength from the circumstance, that they disputed as to this matter carelessly and at their ease; f918 as if it were a matter in which they felt no difficulty. Hence by the term mystery, he admonishes them to learn a matter, which was not only as yet unknown to them, but ought to be reckoned among God’s heavenly secrets.

51. We shall not indeed all sleep. Here there is no difference in the Greek manuscripts, but in the Latin versions there are three different readings. The first is, We shall indeed all die, but we shall not all be charged. The second is, We shall indeed all rise again, but we shall not all be changed. f919 The third is, We shall not indeed all sleep, but we shall all be changed. This diversity, I conjecture, had arisen from this — that some readers, who were not the most discerning’, dissatisfied with the true reading, ventured to conjecture a reading which was more approved by them. f920 For it appeared to them, at first view, to be absurd to say, that all would not die, while we read elsewhere, that it is appointed unto all men once to die. (<580927>Hebrews 9:27.) Hence they altered the meaning in this way — All will not be changed, though all will rise again, or will die; and the change they interpret to mean — the glory that the sons of God alone will obtain. The true reading, however, may be judged of from the context.

Paul’s intention is to explain what he had said — that we will be conformed to Christ, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. A question presented itself, f921 what then will become of those who will be still living at the day of the Lord? His answer is, that although all will not die, yet they will be renewed, that mortality and corruption may be done away. It is to be observed, however, that he speaks exclusively of believers; for although the resurrection of the wicked will also involve change, yet as there is no mention made of them here, we must consider everything that is said, as referring exclusively to the elect. We now see, how well this statement corresponds with the preceding one, for as he had said, that we shall bear the image of Christ, he now declares, that this will take place when we shall be changed, so that

mortality may be swallowed up of life, (<470504>2 Corinthians 5:4,)

and that this renovation is not inconsistent with the fact, that Christ’s advent will find some still alive.

We must, however, unravel the difficulty — that it is appointed unto all men once to die; and certainly, it is not difficult to unravel it in this way — that as a change cannot take place without doing away with the previous system, that change is reckoned, with good reason, a kind of death; but, as it is not a separation of the soul from the body, it is not looked upon as an ordinary death. It will then be death, inasmuch as it will be the destruction of corruptible nature: it will not be a sleep, inasmuch as the soul will not quit the body; but there will be a sudden transition from corruptible nature into a blessed immortality.

52. In a moment. This is still of a general nature; that is, it includes all. For in all the change will be sudden and instantaneous, because Christ’s advent will be sudden. And to convey the idea of a moment, he afterwards makes use of the phrase twinkling (or jerk) of the eye, for in the Greek manuscripts there is a twofold, reading — rJoph~| (jerk,) or rJiph~| (twinkling.) f922 It matters nothing, however, as to the sense. Paul has selected a movement of the body, that surpasses all others in quickness; for nothing is more rapid than a movement of the eye, though at the same time he has made an allusion to sleep, with which twinkling of the eye is contrasted. f923

With the last trump. Though the repetition of the term might seem to place it beyond a doubt, that the word trumpet is here taken in its proper acceptation, yet I prefer to understand the expression as metaphorical. In <520416>1 Thessalonians 4:16, he connects together the voice of the archangel and the trump of God: As therefore a commander, with the sound of a trumpet, summons his army to battle, so Christ, by his far sounding proclamation, which will be heard throughout the whole world, will summon all the dead. Moses tells us, (<021916>Exodus 19:16,) what loud and terrible sounds were uttered on occasion of the promulgation of the law. Far different will be the commotion then, when not one people merely, but the whole world will be summoned to the tribunal of God. Nor will the living only be convoked, but even the dead will be called forth from their graves. f924 Nay more, a commandment must be given to dry bones and dust that, resuming their former appearance and reunited to the spirit, they come forth straightway as living men into the presence of Christ.

The dead shall rise. What he had declared generally as to all, he now explains particularly as to the living and the dead. This distinction, therefore, is simply an exposition of the foregoing statement — that all will not die, but all will be changed. “Those who have already died,” says he, “will rise again incorruptible.” See what a change there will be upon the dead! “Those,” says he, “who will be still alive will themselves also be changed.” You see then as to both. f925 You now then perceive how it is, that change will be common to all, but not sleep. f926

When he says, We shall be changed, he includes himself in the number of those, who are to live till the advent of Christ. As it was now the last times, (<620218>1 John 2:18,) that day (<550118>2 Timothy 1:18) was to be looked for by the saints every hour. At the same time, in writing to the Thessalonians, he utters that memorable prediction respecting the scattering f927 that would take place in the Church before Christ’s coming. (<530203>2 Thessalonians 2:3.) This, however, does not hinder that he might, by bringing the Corinthians, as it were, into immediate contact with the event, associate himself and them with those who would at that time be alive.

53. For this corruptible must. Mark, how we shall live in the kingdom of God both in body and in soul, while at the same time flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God — for they shall previously be delivered from corruption. Our nature then, as being now corruptible and mortal, is not admissible into the kingdom of God, but when it shall have put off corruption, and shall have been beautified with in-corruption, it will then make its way into it. This passage, too, distinctly proves, that we shall rise again in that same flesh that we now carry about with us, as the Apostle assigns a new quality to it which will serve as a garment. If he had said, This corruptible must be renewed, the error of those fanatics, who imagine that mankind will be furnished with new bodies, would not have been so plainly or forcibly overthrown. Now, however, when he declares that this corruptible shall be invested with glory, there is no room left for cavil.

54. Then shall be brought to pass the saying. This is not merely an amplification, (ejpexergasi>a,) f928 but a confirmation, too, of the preceding statement. For what was foretold by the Prophets must be fulfilled. Now this prediction will not be fulfilled, until our bodies, laying aside corruption, will put on incorruption. Hence this last result, also, is necessary. To come to pass, is used here in the sense of being fully accomplished, for what Paul quotes is now begun in us, and is daily, too, receiving further accomplishment; but it will not have its complete fulfillment until the last day.

It does not, however, appear quite manifest, from what passage he has taken this quotation, for many statements occur in the Prophets to this effect. Only the probability is, that the first clause is taken either from <232508>Isaiah 25:8, where it is said that death will be for ever destroyed by the Lord, f929 or, (as almost all are rather inclined to think,) from <281314>Hosea 13:14, where the Prophet, bewailing the obstinate wickedness of Israel, complains that he was like an untimely child, that struggles against the efforts of his mother in travail, that he may not come forth from the womb, and from this he concludes, that it was owing entirely to himself, that he was not delivered from death. I will ransom them, says he, from the power of the grave: I will rescue them from death. It matters not, whether you read these words in the future of the indicative, or in the subjunctive f930 for in either way the meaning amounts to this — that God was prepared to confer upon them salvation, if they would have allowed the favor to be conferred upon them, and that, therefore, if they perished, it was their own fault.

He afterwards adds, I will be thy destruction, O death! thy ruin, O grave! In these words God intimates, that he accomplishes the salvation of his people f931 only when death and the grave are reduced to nothing. For no one will deny, that in that passage there is a description of completed salvation. As, therefore, we do not see such a destruction of death, it follows, that we do not yet enjoy that complete salvation, which God promises to his people, and that, consequently, it is delayed until that day. Then, accordingly, will death be swallowed up, that is, it will be reduced to nothing, f932 that we may have manifestly, in every particular, and in every respect, (as they say,) a complete victory over it. f933

As to the second clause, in which he triumphs over death and the grave, it is not certain whether he speaks of himself, or whether he meant there also to quote the words of the Prophet. For where we render it, “I will be thy destruction, O death ! — thy ruin, O grave !” the Greeks have translated it, “Where, O death, is thy suit? f934 where, O grave, thy sting?” Now although this mistake of the Greeks is excusable from the near resemblance of the words, f935 yet if any one will attentively examine the context, he will see that they have gone quite away from the Prophet’s intention. The true meaning, then, will be this — that the Lord will put an end to death, and destroy the grave. It is possible, however, that, as the Greek translation was in common use, Paul alluded to it, and in that there is nothing inconsistent, though he has not quoted literally, for instead of victory he has used the term action, or law-suit. f936 I am certainly of opinion, that the Apostle did not deliberately intend to call in the Prophet as a witness, with the view of making a wrong.use of his authority, but simply accommodated, in passing, to his own use a sentiment that had come into common use, as being, independently of this, of a pious nature. f937A The main thing is this — that Paul, by an exclamation of a spirited nature, designed to rouse up the minds of the Corinthians, and lead them on, as it were, to a near view of the resurrection. Now, although we do not as yet behold the victory with our eyes, and the day of triumph has not yet arrived, (nay more, the dangers of war must every day be encountered,) yet the assurance of faith, as we shall have occasion to observe ere long, is not at all thereby diminished.

56. The sting of death is sin. In other words, “Death has no dart with which to wound us except sin, since death proceeds from the anger of God. Now it is only with our sins that God is angry. Take away sin, therefore, and death will no more be able to harm us.” This agrees with what he said in <450623>Romans 6:23, that the wages of sin is death. Here, however, he makes use of another metaphor, for he compared sin to a sting, with which alone death is armed for inflicting upon us a deadly wound. Let that be taken away, and death is disarmed, so as to be no longer hurtful. Now with what view Paul says this, will be explained by him ere long.

The strength of sin is the law. It is the law of God that imparts to that sting its deadly power, because it does not merely discover our guilt, but even increases it. A clearer exposition of this statement may be found in <450709>Romans 7:9, where Paul teaches us that we are alive, so long as we are without the law, because in our own opinion it is well with us, and we do not feel our own misery, until the law summons us to the judgment of God, and wounds our conscience with an apprehension of eternal death. Farther, he teaches us that sin has been in a manner lulled asleep, but is kindled up by the law, so as to rage furiously. Meanwhile, however, he vindicates the law from calumnies, on the ground that it is holy, and good, and just, and is not of itself the parent of sin or the cause of death. Hence he concludes, that whatever there is of evil is to be reckoned to our own account, inasmuch as it manifestly proceeds from the depravity of our nature. Hence the law is but the occasion of injury. The true cause of ruin is in ourselves. Hence he speaks of the law here as the strength or power of sin, because it executes upon us the judgment of God. In the mean time he does not deny, that sin inflicts death even upon those that know not the law; but he speaks in this manner, because it exercises its tyranny upon them with less violence. For the law came that sin might abound, (<450520>Romans 5:20,) or that it might become beyond measure sinful. (<450713>Romans 7:13.)

57. But thanks be to God. From this it appears, why it it was that he made mention both of sin and of the law, when treating of death. Death has no sting with which to wound except sin, and the law imparts to this sting a deadly power. But Christ has conquered sin, and by conquering it has procured victory for us, and has redeemed us from the curse of the law. (<480313>Galatians 3:13.) Hence it follows, that we are no longer lying under the power of death. Hence, although we have not as yet a full discovery of those benefits, yet we may already with confidence glory in them, because it is necessary that what has been accomplished in the Head should be accomplished, also, in the members. We may, therefore, triumph over death as subdued, because Christ’s victory is ours.

When, therefore, he says, that victory has been given to us, you are to understand by this in the first place, that it is inasmuch as Christ has in his own person abolished sin, has satisfied the law, has endured the curse, has appeased :the anger of God, and has procured life; and farther, because he has already begun to make us partakers of all those benefits. For though we still carry about with us the remains of sin, it, nevertheless, does not reign in us: though it still stings us, it does not do so fatally, because its edge is blunted, so that it does not penetrate into the vitals of the soul. Though the law still threatens, yet there is presented to us on the other hand, the liberty that was procured for us by Christ, which is an antidote to its terrors. Though the remains of sin still dwell in us, yet the Spirit who raised up Christ from the dead is life, because of righteousness. (<450810>Romans 8:10.) Now follows the conclusion.

58. Wherefore, my brethren. Having satisfied himself that he had sufficiently proved the doctrine of the resurrection, he now closes his discussion with an exhortation; and this has much more force, than if he had made use of a simple conclusion with an affirmation. Since your labor, says he, is not in vain in the Lord, be steadfast, and abound in good works. Now he says that their labor is not in vain, for this reason, that there is a reward laid up for them with God. This is that exclusive hope which, in the first instance, encourages believers, and afterwards sustains them, so that they do not stop short in the race. Hence he exhorts them to remain steadfast, because they rest on a firm foundation, as they know that a better life is prepared for them in heaven.

He adds — abounding in the work of the Lord; for the hope of a resurrection makes us not be weary in well:doing, as he teaches in <510110>Colossians 1:10. For amidst so many occasions of offense as constantly present themselves to us, who is there that would not despond, or turn aside from the way, were it not that, by thinking of a better life he is by this means kept in the fear of God? Now, on the other hand, he intimates, that if the hope of a resurrection is taken away, then, the foundation (as it were) being rooted up, the whole structure of piety falls to the ground. f937 Unquestionably, if the hope of reward is taken away and extinguished, alacrity in running will not merely grow cold, but will be altogether destroyed.


<461601>1 Corinthians 16:1-7

1. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the Churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

1. Caeterum de collecta quae fit in sanctos, quemadmodum ordinavi Ecclesiis Galatiae, ita et vos facite.

2. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

2. In una sabbatorum unusquisque vestrum apud se seponat, thesaurizans quod successerit, ne, quum venero, tunc collectae fiant. f938A

3. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

3. Ubi autem affuero, quos probaveritis per epistolas, eos mittam, ut perferant beneficentiam vestram in Ierusalem.

4. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

4. Quodsi fuerit operae pretium me quoque proficisci, mecum proficiscentur.

5. Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia; for I do pass through Macedonia.

5. Veniam autem ad vos, quum Macedoniam transiero: Macedoniam enim pertransiturus sum.

6. And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.

6. Apud vos autem forte permanebo, aut etiam hibernabo, ut vos me deducatis quocunque proficiscar.

7. For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit,

7. Nolo enim vos nunc in transcursu videre: sed spero me ad aliquod tempus mansurum apud vos, si Dominus permiserit.


1. But concerning the collection. Luke relates (<441128>Acts 11:28) that the prediction of Agabus, foretelling that there would be a famine under Claudius Caesar, gave occasion for alms being collected by the saints, with the view of affording help to the brethren in Jerusalem. For though the Prophet had foretold, that this calamity would be generally prevalent almost throughout the world, yet as they were more heavily oppressed with penury at Jerusalem, and as all the Gentile Churches were bound, if they would not be held guilty of very great ingratitude, to afford aid to that place from which they had received the gospel, every one, consequently, forgetful of self, resolved to afford relief to Jerusalem. That the pressure of want was felt heavily at Jerusalem, appears from the Epistle to the Galatians, (<480210>Galatians 2:10,) where Paul relates, that he had been charged by the Apostles to stir up the Gentiles to afford help. f938 Now the Apostles would never have given such a charge, had they not been constrained by necessity. Farther, this passage is an evidence of the truth of what Paul states there also — that he had been careful to exhort the Gentiles to afford help in such a case of necessity. Now, however, he prescribes the method of relief; and that the Corinthians may accede to it the more readily, he mentions that he had already prescribed it to the Churches of Galatia; for they would necessarily be the more influenced by example, as we are wont to feel a natural backwardness to anything that is not ordinarily practiced. Now follows the method — by which he designed to cut off all hinderances and impediments.

2. On one of the Sabbaths. The end is this — that they may have their alms ready in time. He therefore exhorts them not to wait till he came, as anything that is done suddenly, and in a bustle, is not done well, but to contribute on the Sabbath what might seem good, and according as every one’s ability might enable — that is, on the day on which they held their sacred assemblies. The clause rendered on one of the Sabbaths, (kata< mi>an sabba>twn,) Chrysostom explains to mean — the first Sabbath. In this I do not agree with him; for Paul means rather that they should contribute, one on one Sabbath and another on another; or even each of them every Sabbath, if they chose. For he has an eye, first of all, to convenience, and farther, that the sacred assembly, in which the communion of saints is celebrated, might be an additional spur to them. Nor am I more inclined to admit the view taken by Chrysostom — that the term Sabbath is employed here to mean the Lord’s day, (<660110>Revelation 1:10,) for the probability is, that the Apostles, at the beginning, retained the day that was already in use, but that afterwards, constrained by the superstition of the Jews, they set aside that day, and substituted another. Now the Lord’s day was made choice of, chiefly because our Lord’s resurrection put an end to the shadows of the law. Hence the day itself puts us in mind of our Christian liberty. We may, however, very readily infer from this passage, that believers have always had a certain day of rest from labor — not as if the worship of God consisted in idleness, but because it is of importance for the common harmony, that a certain day should be appointed for holding sacred assemblies, as they cannot be held every day. For as to Paul’s forbidding elsewhere (<480410>Galatians 4:10) that any distinction should be made between one day and another, that must be understood to be with a view to religion, f939 and not with a view to polity or external order. f940

Treasuring up. I have preferred to retain the Greek participle, as it appeared to me to be more emphatic. f941 For although qhsanri>zein means to lay up, yet in my opinion, he designed to admonish the Corinthians, that whatever they might contribute for the saints would be their best and safest treasure. For if a heathen poet could say — “What riches you give away, those alone you shall always have, f942 how much more ought that consideration to have influence among us, who are not dependent on the gratitude of men, but have God to look to, who makes himself a debtor in the room of the poor man, to restore to us one day, with large interest, whatever we give away? (<201917>Proverbs 19:17.) Hence this statement of Paul corresponds with that saying of Christ —

Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where it will not be exposed either to thieves, or to moths. (<400620>Matthew 6:20.)

According as he has prospered. Instead of this the old translation has rendered it, What may seem good to him, misled, no doubt, by the resemblance between the word made use of, and another. f943 Erasmus renders it, What will be convenient. Neither the one nor the other pleased me, for this reason — that the proper signification of the word brings out a meaning that is much more suitable; for it means — to go on prosperously. Hence he calls every one to consider his ability — “Let every one, according as God hath blessed him, lay out upon the poor from his increase.”

3. And when I come. As we are cheerful in giving, when we know for certain, that what we give is well laid out, he points out to the Corinthians a method, by which they may be assured of a good and faithful administration — by selecting approved persons, to whom they may intrust the matter. Nay more, he offers his own services, if desired, which is an evidence that he has the matter at heart.

5. When I shall pass through Macedonia. The common opinion is, that this espisle was sent from Philippi. Persons coming thence to Corinth by land, required to pass through Macedonia; for that colony is situated in the farthest extremity, towards the Emathian mountains. Paul, it is true, might, instead of going by land, have gone thither by sea, but he was desirous to visit the Macedonian Churches, that he might confirm them in passing. So much for the common opinion. To me, however, it appears more probable, that the epistle was written at Ephesus; for he says a little afterwards, that he will remain there until Pentecost, (<461608>1 Corinthians 16:8) f945; and he salutes the Corinthians, not in the name of the Philippians, but of the Asiatics. (<461619>1 Corinthians 16:19.) f946 Besides, in the second epistle he explicitly states, that, after he had sent away this epistle, he passed over into Macedonia. (<470213>2 Corinthians 2:13.) Now after passing through Macedonia, he would be at a distance from Ephesus, and in the neighborhood of Achaia. Hence I have no doubt that he was at Ephesus at that time: thence he could sail by a straight course to Achaia. For visiting Macedonia, a long circuit was needed, and a more disagreeable route. Accordingly he lets them know that he will not come to them by a direct course, as he required to go through Macedonia.

To the Corinthians, however, he promises something farther — that he would make a longer stay with them. By this he shows his affection towards them. For what reason had he for delay, except that he was concerned as to their welfare? On the other hand, he lets them know how fully assured he is of their affection towards him in return, by taking it, as it were, for granted that he would be conducted forward by them in the way of kindness; for he says this from confidence in their friendship. f947

After saying everything, however, he subjoins this limitation if the Lord permit. With this reservation, saints ought to follow up all their plans and deliberations; for it is an instance of great rashness to undertake and determine many things for the future, while we have not even a moment in our power. The main thing indeed is, that, in the inward affection of the mind, we submit to God and his providence, whatever we resolve upon; f948 but at the same time, it is becoming that we should accustom ourselves to such forms of expression, that whenever we have to do with what is future we may make everything depend on the divine will. f949

<461608>1 Corinthians 16:8-12

8. But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.

8. Commorabor autem Ephesi usque ad Pentecosten.

9. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

9. Nam ostium milli aperture eat magnum et efficax, et f950 adversarii multi.

10. Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

10. Quodsi venerit Timotheus, videte, ut absque metu sit apud vos: opus enim Domini operatur, quem-admodum et ego.

11. Let no man therefore despise him; but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.

11. Ne quis igitur eum spernat: sed prosequamini eum cum pace, f951 ut veniat ad me: exspecto enim eum cum fratribus.

12. As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.

12. Porro de Apollo fratre, mul-tum hortatus sum illum, ut veniret ad vos cum fratribus, at omnino non fuit voluntas nunc eundi: veniet autem, quam opportunitatem nactus erit.


8. I will remain. From this statement I have argued above, that this epistle was sent from Ephesus, rather than from Philippi. For the probability is, that the Apostle speaks of the place in which he was at the time, and not of a place, in going to which he would require to make a long circuit; and farther, in passing through Macedonia, f952 it would have been necessary to leave Corinth when already in the neighborhood of it, and cross the sea in order to reach Ephesus. He accordingly tells them beforehand that he will remain at Ephesus until Pentecost, adding the reason — in order that they may wait for him the more patiently. Erasmus has preferred to render it — until the fiftieth day, influenced by frivolous conjectures rather than by any solid argument. He objects, that there was as yet no day of Pentecost appointed among Christians, as it is now celebrated; and this I grant. He says, that it ought not to be understood as referring to the Jewish solemnity, because in various instances he annuls and condemns the superstitious observance of days. (<480410>Galatians 4:10; <451405>Romans 14:5; <510216>Colossians 2:16, 17.) I do not concede to him, however, that Paul celebrated that day at Ephesus from being influenced by a superstitious regard to the day, but because there would be a larger assembly at that time, and tie hoped that, in that way, an opportunity would be presented to him of propagating the gospel. Thus, when he was hastening forward to Jerusalem, he assigned as the reason of his haste, that he might arrive there at Pentecost, (<442016>Acts 20:16;) but while others presented themselves there for the purpose of sacrificing according to the ritual of the law, he himself had another object in view — that his ministry might be the more useful in proportion to the largeness of the attendance. It were, however, an excessively poor meaning to understand Paul here as simply specifying fifty days. Besides, when he expressly says th<n penthkosth>n (the Pentecost,) he cannot but be understood as speaking of a particular day. As to this festival, see <032316>Leviticus 23:16.

9. For a great and effectual door is opened to me. He assigns two reasons for remaining for a longer time at Ephesus — lst, Because an opportunity is afforded him there of furthering the gospel; and 2dly, Because, in consequence of the great number of adversaries that were there, his presence was particularly required. “I shall do much good by prolonging my stay here for a little while, and were I absent, Satan would do much injury.” In the first clause, he makes use of a metaphor that is quite in common use, when he employs the term door as meaning an opportunity. For the Lord opened up a way for him for the furtherance of the gospel. He calls this a great door, because he could gain many. He calls it effectual, inasmuch as the Lord blessed his labor, and rendered his doctrine effectual by the power of His Spirit. We see, then, how this holy man f953 sought everywhere Christ’s glory, and did not select a place with a view to his own convenience or his own pleasure; but simply looked to this — where he might do most good, and serve his Lord with most abundant fruit; and in addition to this, he did not merely not shrink back from hardships, but presented himself, of his own accord, where he saw that he would have to contend more keenly, and with greater difficulty. For the reason why he remained f954 was, that many adversaries were at hand; and the better equipped he was for enduring their assault, he required to be so much the better prepared, and the more resolute.

10. But if Timothy come. He speaks as if he were not as yet certain as to his coming. Now he charges them as to Timothy, so that he may be with them in safety — not as though he were in danger of his life among them, but because he would have enemies of Christ f955 to oppose him. He wishes, therefore, that they should carefully take heed that no injury be done to him.

He adds the reason — for he worketh the work of the Lord. Hence we infer, that the Church of Christ ought to be concerned for the preservation of the lives of ministers. And assuredly, it is reasonable, that, in proportion as an individual is endowed with superior gifts for the edification of believers, and applies himself to it the more strenuously, his life ought to be so. much dearer to us.

The clause — as I also do, is made use of, either to express his excellence, or simply to point out the similarity as to office, inasmuch as both labored in the word.

11. Let no man, therefore, despise him. Here we have a second charge, that they may not despise him — perhaps because he was as yet of a youthful age, which usually draws forth less respect. He wishes them, therefore, to take care, that there be no hinderance in the way of this faithful minister of Christ being held in due esteem — unless, perhaps, it be that Paul reckoned this very thing to be an evidence of contempt, if they were not concerned, as it became them to be, in reference to his life. This injunction, however, appears to include something farther, that they should not undervalue Timothy, from ignorance of his worth.

In the third place, he charges them to conduct him forward in peace, or, in other words, safe from all harm, for peace here means safety.

12. As to our brother Apollos. He had succeeded Paul in the work of building up the Corinthians; and hence he has in previous passages ascribed to him the office of watering. (<460306>1 Corinthians 3:6, and <441901>Acts 19:1.) He now states a reason why he does not come with the others, and he states the reason of this, in order that the Corinthians may not suspect that he had been hindered by him. For the better he was known by them, they were so much the more favourably disposed towards him, and they would be the more ready to conjecture, that matters had been designedly contrived, that he should not go to them, in consequence of offense having been taken. f956 They might, at least, be prepared to inquire among themselves: “Why has he sent these persons to us rather than Apollos?” He answers, that it was not owing to him, inasmuch as he entreated him; but he promises that he will come as soon as he has opportunity.

<461613>1 Corinthians 16:13-24

13. Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

13. Vigilate, state in fide, viriliter agite, robusti estote.

14. Let all your things be done with charity.

14. Omnia vestra in caritate fiant.

15. I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first-fruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

15. Hortor autem vos, fratres, nostis domum Stephanae, primitias esse Achaiae, atque ut se in minis-terium sanctorum ordinaverint:

16. That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

16. Ut etiam subiecti sitis tall-bus, et omnibus qui cooperantur et laborant.

17. I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on our part they have supplied.

17. Gaudeo autem de praesentia Stephanie, et Fortunati, et Achaici: quia quod deerat a vobis, ipsi sup-pleverunt.

18. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.

18. Refocillarunt enim spiritum meum et vestrum: agnoscite ergo tales.

19. The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

19. Salutant vos Ecclcsiae Aside: salutant vos multum in Domino Aquila et Priscilla cum domestica eorum Ecclesia.

20. All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

20. Salutant vos fratres omnes: salutate vos invicem in osculo sancto.

21. The salutation of ,me Paul with mine own hand.

21. Salutatio mea manu Pauli.

22. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

22. Si quis non amat Dominum Iesum Christum, sit anathema maranatha.

23. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

23. Gratia Domini Iesu Christi sit vobiscum.

24. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

24. Dilectio mea cum vobis omnibus in Christo Iesu. Amen.

The first epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi by Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus, and Timotheus.

Ad Corinthios prior missa fuit e Philippis per Stephanam, et Fortunatum, et Andronicum, et Timotheum. f957


13. Watch ye. A short exhortation, but of great weight. He exhorts them to watch, in order that Satan may not oppress them, finding them off their guard. For as the warfare is incessant, the watching requires to be incessant too. Now watchfulness of spirit is this — when, free and disentangled from earthly cares, we meditate on the things of God. For as the body is weighed down by surfeiting and drunkenness, (<422134>Luke 21:34,) so as to be fit for nothing, so the cares and lusts of the world, idleness or carelessness, are like a spiritual surfeiting that overpowers the mind. f958

The second thing is that they persevere in the faith, or that they hold fast the faith, so as to stand firm; because that is the foundation on which we rest. It is certain, however, that he points out the means of perseverance — by resting upon God with a firm faith.

In the third exhortation, which is much of the same nature, he stirs them up to manly fortitude. And, as we are naturally weak, he exhorts them fourthly to strengthen themselves, or gather strength. For where we render it be strong, Paul makes use of only one word, which is equivalent to strengthen yourselves.

14. Let all your things be done in love. Again he repeats what is the rule in all those transactions, in which we have dealings with one another. He wishes, then, that love shall be the directress; because the Corinthians erred chiefly in this respect — that every one looked to himself without caring for others.

15. Ye know the house of Stephanas. We know, from daily experience, of what advantage it is, that those should have the highest authority, whom God has adorned with the most distinguished gifts. Accordingly, if we wish to secure the welfare of the Church, let us always take care that honor be conferred upon the good: let their counsels have the greatest weight; let others give way to them, and allow themselves to be governed by their prudence. This Paul does in this instance, when admonishing the Corinthians to show respect to the house of Stephanas. Some manuscripts add, and Fortunatus. f959 For God manifests himself to us when he shows us the gifts of his Spirit. Hence, if we would not appear to be despisers of God, let us voluntarily submit ourselves to those, on whom God has conferred superior gifts.

Now, that they may be the more inclined to put honor upon that house, (for as to the other, it appears to me to be, in this place at least, a spurious addition,) he reminds them that they were the first-fruits of Achaia, that is, that the household of Stephanas were the first that had embraced the gospel. Not indeed as though the first in order of time were in every case superior to the others, but where there is perseverance along with this, it is with good reason, that honor is conferred upon those, who have in a manner paved the way for the gospel by promptitude of faith. It must be observed, however, that he dignifies with this honorable title those, who had consecrated to believers their services and resources. For the same reason, he bestows commenda — tion a little afterwards upon Fortunatus and Achaicus, that, in proportion to a man’s superiority of excellence, f960 he might be held so much the more in esteem, that he might be able to do the more good. Farther, in order that the Corinthians may be the more disposed to love them, he says, that what had been wanting on the part of their entire Church had been compensated for by their vicarious services.

19. With the Church that is in their house. A magnificent eulogium, inasmuch as the name of the Church is applied to a single family! At the same time it is befitting, that all the families of the pious should be regulated in such a manner as to be so many little Churches. As to the term Congregation, which Erasmus has used in preference, it is foreign to Paul’s design; for it was not his intention to designate a crowd of persons by a mere common term, but to speak in honorable terms of the management of a Christian household. His saluting them in the name of Aquila and Priscilla, confirms what I have noticed above — that the Epistle was written at Ephesus, not at Philippi. For Luke informs us, that they remained at Ephesus, when Paul went elsewhere. (<441819>Acts 18:19.)

20. Salute one another with a holy kiss. The practice of kissing was very common among the Jews, as is manifest from the Scriptures. In Greece, though it was not so common and customary, it was by no means unknown; but the probability is, that Paul speaks here of a solemn kiss, with which they saluted each other in the sacred assembly. For I could easily believe, that from the times of the Apostles a kiss was used in connection with the administration of the Supper; f961 in place of which, among nations that were somewhat averse to the practice of kissing, there crept in the custom of kissing the patine. f962 However this may be, as it was a token of mutual love. I have no doubt, that Paul meant to exhort them to the cultivation of good-will among themselves — not merely in their minds f963 and in needful services, but also by that token, provided only it was holy, that is, neither unchaste nor deceitful, f964 — though, at the same time, holy may be taken to mean sacred.

22. If any man love not the Lord Jesus. The close of the Epistle consists of three parts. He entreats the grace of Christ in behalf of the Corinthians: he makes a declaration of his love towards them, and, with the severest threatening, he inveighs against those that falsely took upon themselves the Lord’s name, while not loving him from the heart. For he is not speaking of strangers, who avowedly hated the Christian name, but of pretenders and hypocrites, who troubled the Churches for the sake of their own belly, or from empty boasting. f965 On such persons he denounces an anathema, and he also pronounces a curse upon them. It is not certain, however, whether he desires their destruction in the presence of God, or whether he wishes to render them odious — nay, even execrable, in the view of believers. Thus in <480108>Galatians 1:8, when pronouncing one who corrupts the Gospel accursed, f966 he does not mean that he was rejected or condemned by God, but he declares that he is to be abhorred by us. I expound it in a simple way as follows: “Let them perish and be cut off, as being the pests of the Church.” And truly, there is nothing that is more pernicious, than that class of persons, who prostitute a profession of piety to their own depraved affections. Now he points out the origin of this evil, when he says, that they do not love Christ, for a sincere and earnest love to Christ will not suffer us to give occasion of offense to brethren. f967

What he immediately adds — Maranatha, is somewhat more difficult. Almost all of the ancients are agreed, that they are Syriac terms. f968 Jerome, however, explains it: The Lord cometh; while others render it, At the coming of the Lord, or, Until the Lord comes. Every one, however, I think, must see how silly and puerile is the idea, that the Apostle spoke to Greeks in the Syriac tongue, when meaning to say — The Lord has come. Those who translate it, at the coming of the Lord, do so on mere conjecture; and besides, there is not much plausibility in that interpretation. How much more likely it is, that this was a customary form of expression among the Hebrews, when they wished to excommunicate any one. For the Apostles never speak in foreign tongues, except when they repeat anything in the person of another, as for example, Eli, Eli, lammah sabathani, (<402746>Matthew 27:46,) Talitha cumi, (<410541>Mark 5:41,) and Ephphata, (<410734>Mark 7:34,) or when they make use of a word that has come into common use, as Amen — Hosanna. Let us see, then, whether Maranatha suits with excommunication. Now Bullinger, f969 on the authority of Theodore Bibliander, has affirmed, that, in the Chaldee dialect, Maharamata has the same meaning as the Hebrew term rj, cherem, (accursed,) f970 and I was myself at one time assured of the same thing by Wolfgang Capito, f971 a man of blessed memory. It is nothing unusual, however, for the Apostles to write such terms differently from the way in which they are pronounced in the language from which they are derived; as may be seen even from the instances brought forward above. Paul, then, after pronouncing an anathema on those who do not love Christ, f972 deeply affected with the seriousness of the matter, as if he reckoned that he had not said enough, added a term that was in common use among the Jews, and which they made use of in pronouncing a sentence of anathema — just as if, speaking in Latin, I should say, “I excommunicate thee,” but if I add — “and pronounce thee an anathema,” this would be an expression of more intense feeling. f973


Chapter 10

 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, volume 1. — 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 <450412>Romans 4:12,) says, “Illis enim vim justificandi adimunt, his attribuunt:” — “They deny to the former the power ofjustifi’ing, 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, volume 3. — 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 isin 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>lhthe 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 meanproportioneel 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 to<n Qeo<nfor which we give thanks to God. — Ed.

Ft475 The reader will find this subject more largely dwelt upon in the Harmony, volume 3. — .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 conneetion 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, volume 1. See also Calvin on Genesis, volume 1. — 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 mhde<n ajnakri>nontev, as put for mhde<n kre>av (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 Revelation 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 pleaseyet 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 inofli~nsiveness of spirit which teaches hs to lay aside’all self-will 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.

Chapter 11

 ft508 “Mes ordonnances;” — “My ordinances.”

 ft509Kakozhli>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, volume 1. — Ed.

 ft510 To< pre>pon, may be defined to be the union of propriety and grace. Pre>pon and kalo<n being used among the Greeks and among the Romans, pulchrum and decorum, as synonymous terms. See Cic. de Off. 1. 27. — Ed.

 ft511 “Es choses qui concement le seruice de Dieu;” — “In things that concern the service of God.”

 ft512 “Traditions ou ordonnances;” — “Traditions or ordinances.”

 ft513 “Quelques ordonnances;” — “Certain enactments.”

 ft514 “Les sottes ceremonies et badinages, qu’on voit auiourd’huy en la Papaute;” — “The silly ceremonies and fooleries that are to be seen in Popery at this day.”

 ft515 “Ceste tyrannic plus que barbare;” — “That worse than barbarous cruelty.” Phalaris, the tyrant of Agrigentum in Sicily, was infamous for his cruelty. Cicero on more than one occasion employs the term Phalarismus to denote excessive cruelty. See Cic. Att. 7. 12, and Fam. 7. 11. — Ed.

 ft516 “Leurs arrests et determinations” — “Their decrees and determinations.”

 ft517 Matthew Henry makes use of this proverb in his Commentary, when summing up the contents of Luke 15. — Ed.

 ft518 “N’en auoit rien touche es enseignemens qu’il auoit donnez;” — “Had not touched upon it at all in the instructions which he had given.”

 ft519 “Les qualites externes;” “External qualities.”

 ft520 “Autheur et conducteur;” — “Author and conductor.”

 ft521 “Mais afin de mieux entendre ceci, prenons vn exemple;” — “But, that we may understand this better, let us take an example.”

 ft522 “Se maintenir, et vser de son authorite;” — “To keep his place, and maintain his authority.”

 ft523 Du ministre et docteur de l’Eglise;” — “Of the minister and teacher of the Church.”

 ft524 “Sainct Paul pour remedier a c`e vice, propose tout le contraire de ce qui leur sembloit; disant, que tant s’en faut qu’en cela il y ait vne beaute pour attirer les hommes a connoitise, que plustot c’est vne chose laide et deshonneste;” — “St. Paul, with the view of remedying this vice, sets forward quite the reverse of what appeared to them — saying, that so far from there being a beauty in this to allure men to lust, it is rather a thing that is ugly and unseemly.”

 ft525 “Pour estre compagne a l’homme, pour viure auec luy, et pour luy aider;” — “To be a companion to the man, to live with him, and to aid him.”

 ft526 “Ainsi que l’oeuure tendant a quelque fin est au dessous de sa cause et fin pour laquelle on le fait;” — “As a work fitted for some design is inferior to its cause and the design for which it is made.”

 ft527 “Doit auoir sur la teste vne enseigne qu’elle est sous puissance;” — “She ought to have upon her head a token that she is under authority.”

 ft528 Vn argument et consequence;” — “An argument and inference.”

 ft529 I1 y a de mot a mot au Grec, La femme doit auoir puissance sur la teste. Mais au mot de puissance il y a une figure appellee metonymie;” — “It is literally in the Greek, The woman ought to have power upon her head. But in the word power there is a figure called metonymy.”

 ft530 “C’est la couuerture de teste, soit un chapperon, ou couurechef, ou coiffe, ou chose semblable;” — “It is a covering of the head, whether it be a hood, or a kerchief, or a coif, or anything of that kind.”

 ft531 The term ejxousi>a (exousia) is considered by Bloomfield to be the name of an article of dress of which mention is made in <080315>Ruth 3:15, and <230323>Isaiah 3:23, and consisted of” a piece of cloth of a square form thrown over the head and tied under the chin.” Granville Penn, on the other hand, considers it as nothing more than the (ti) kata kefalhv in the third verse of the chaptersomething on the head, or a covering on the head, and notices it as remarkable, that in Wiclif’s version (1380) the rendering is — “the woman schal have an hilying on hir heed,” which the glossary explains by covering. — Ed.

 ft532 “Et sont tousiours a son commandement et seruice;” — “And are always at his commandment and service.”

 ft533 Qu’ils n’ayent les femmes en desdain et mocquerie;” — “That they may not hold women in disdain and derision.”

 ft534 “Par ce lien d’aide et antitie mutuelle;” — “By this tie of mutual assistance and amity.”

 ft535 “La necessite qui les presse et contraint;” — “The necessity that presses and constrains them.”

 ft536 Pensent a leur deuoir, et que de leur coste elles sont obligees aux hommes;” — “Think of their duty, and of their being under obligation, on their part, to men.”

 ft537 It is remarked by President Edwards, that “the emphasis used, aujth< hJ fu>siv, nature itself, shows that the Apostle does not mean custom, but nature in the proper sense. It is true it was long custom that made having the head covered a token of subjection, and a feminine habit or appearance, as it is custom that makes any outward action or word a sign or signification of anything; but nature itself, nature in its proper sense, teaches that it is a shame for a man to appear with the established signs of the female sex.: Nature itself shows it to be a shame for a father to bow down or kneel to his own child or servant, because bowing down is, by custom, an established token of subjection and submission.” Edwards on Original Sin, part 2, chapter 3, section 3. — Ed.

 ft538 Instances of this occur in Ovid, Fast. 2. 30, and in Hor., Od. 2, 15, 11. Gaul, to the north of the Alps, was called Gallia comata, from the inhabitants wearing their hair long. Homer applies to the Greeks in his time the epithet of karhkomo>wntevlong-haired. Hom. Il., 2. 11. — Ed.

 ft539 I1 appelle Nature ceste coustume desia confermee par vn long temps et vsage commun;” — “He gives the appellation of Nature to this custom, already confirmed by length of time and common use.”

 ft540 “Qui ne se veulent en rien accommoder aux autres;” — “Who are not disposed to accommodate themselves to others in anything.” — The Greek word made use of by Calvin here (akoinwntov) is employed by classical writers to mean — having no intercourse, or not caring to have intercourse with others. See Arist., Top. 3. 2, 8.; Plat. Legg., 774 A. — Ed.

Ft541 “Et appetit sans raison;” — “And unreasonable desire.”

 ft542 “Que ce n’est point la coustume de l’Eglise d’entrer en debats et contentions;” — “That it is not the custom of the Church to enter into strifes and contentions.”

 ft543Or ie vous rememore ceci, non point eu louant. I1 y a au Grec mot; a mot. Or rememorant ie ne loue point;” — “But I put you in, mind of this, not praising you for it. It is literally in the Greek: But putting you in mind I do not praise.”

 ft544 In explanation of this remark, let it be observed that the reading in the Alexandrine MS. is as follows: Tou~to de paragge>llw oujk ejpainw~n — But I warn you as to this, not praising. This reading is followed in the Latin and Syrian versions. In Wiclif (1380) the rendering is: “But this thing I comaunde, not preisynge.” In Rheims (1582) — “And this I commaund; not praising it.” — Ed.

 ft545 “Principalement pource que ceux qui ne regardent pas a tenir le droit et naturel usage des choses, sont suiets a tomber incontinent en beaucoup d’inuentions peruerses et dangereuses;” — “Chiefly because those who do not take care to observe the right and natural use of things, are liable to fall straightway into many perverse and dangerous inventions.”

 ft546 Qu’il leur remonstrera qu’ils fout en la Cene;” — “Which he will show that they have fallen into as to the Supper.”

 ft547 “Schisme et Heresie;” — “Schism and Heresy.”

 ft548 “Voyez l’Institution;” — “See my Institutes,” (volume 3.)

 ft549 “De tous costez;” — “On all sides.”

 ft550 “De la vient ceste necessite de laquelle S. Paul fait mention, et non pas de ce Fatum que les Stoiques ont imagine, que l’on nomme communeement Destinee. Voyez l’ Institution;” — “From this comes that necessity of which St. Paul makes mention, and not from that Fate of which the Stoics have dreamed, and which is commonly called destiny. See the Institutes.” (Volume 1. p. 241.)

 ft551 “Conuertit au profit et salut des fideles les machinations de Satan horribles et pernicieuses;” — “Turns the horrible and pernicious machinations of Satan to the advantage and salvation of believers.”

 ft552 “Car a parlet proprement, la cause de ceci depend du secret conseil de Dieu;” — “For, properly speaking, the cause of this depends on the secret counsel of God.”

 ft553 “Ce qu’ils font, et ce que Satan lear fait faire, ils le font volontairement, et non point par force;” — “What they do, and what Satan makes them do, they do voluntarily, and not from force.”

 ft554 Paraeus and some others take the words ojuk e]sti is not, as used for, ouk e]xesti is not allowable. — Ed.

 ft555 “Quasi incroyable;” — “As it were incredible.”

 ft556 “A ioue ses tours;” — “Have played off his tricks.”

 ft557 “Vne sorte de banquets qui se faisoyent par charite;” — “A kind of banquets that were held, by way of love.”

 ft558 “Premierement;” — “At first.”

 ft559 Pliny is supposed to refer to the Agapa<i (love-feasts) in his 97th letter to Trajan, where he says of the Christians in Blthynia, of which he was governor, that, upon examination, they affirmed, that after having taken their sacramenturn — “morem sibi discedendi fuisse, rursusque coeundi ad capiendum cibum, promiscuum tamen et innoxium;” — “it was customary for them to depart, and come together again for the purpose of taking an innocent repast in common.” — Ed.

 ft560Agapas, c’est a dire Charitez;” — “Agapae, that is to say — Loves.”

 ft561 “Par succession de temps;” — “In process of time.”

 ft562Quautrement;” — “Than otherwise.”

 ft563 Mais il n’y a consideration aucune qui nous doyue tant esmouuoir, que pour cela nous venions a profaner ce sainct mystere;” — “But there is no consideration that should have so much influence over us, that we should come, on that account, to profane this holy sacrament.”

 ft564 “Pour receuoir et administrer los sacrements;” — “To receive and administer the sacraments.”

 ft565 The earlier English versions follow this reading. Thus Wiclif, (1380) — What schal I seie to zou? I preise zou: but hereynne I preise zou not; Tyndale, (1534) — What shall I saye unto you? Shall I prayse you: In this prayse I you not; Cranmer, (1539) — What shall I saye unto you? Shall I prayse you? In this prayse I you, not. — Ed.

 ft566 “Qu’ils commettoyent en la Cene;” — “Which they had fallen into as to the Supper.”

 ft567 “Que nous gastons tout, et ne laissons rien en son entier;” — “That we are destroying everything, and are leaving nothing entire.”

 ft568 Our Author seems to allude here to what he had said previously, when commenting on <460401>1 Corinthians 4:1, as to the duty devolving on stewards of the mysteries of God. — Ed.

 ft569 “Car le Seigneur pouuoit bien quelque temps deuant ordonner a ses Apostres l’obseruation de ce Sacrement;” — “For the Lord might have on some previous occasion appointed to his Apostles the observance of this Sacrament.”

 ft570 “Vne ceremonie, qui ne peust faire que de nuit, comme les Payens auoyent la feste de Ceres;” — “A ceremony which could only be observed at night, as the heathens held the festival of Ceres.” The time when the festival was held, was in accordance with the peculiar secrecy with which its rites were observed. — Ed.

 ft571 “Pour partie, ou de la substance de son institution;” — “As a part of his institution, or of the essence of it.”

 ft572 “Ils se mocquent;” — “They deride.”

 ft573 Sa misericorde infinie;” — “His infinite mercy.”

 ft574 “Et n’en soyons enuers luy ingrats, mats soyons enflambez a vne vraye recognoissance;” — “And may not be ungrateful towards him, but may be kindled up to a true acknowledgment.”

 ft575 “Et bien poiser;” — “And ponder well.”

 ft576 “Mais ie vous prie, a quel propos;” — “But for what purpose, I pray you.”

 ft577 “Comme s’il retournoit de voir vne bastelerie inutile et sotte;” — “As if they were returning from seeing a useless and foolish mountebank scene.”

 ft578 Vn banquet de la confrairie des Sacrificateurs de Mars, lesquels les Romains nommoyent Salii;” — “To the banquet of the fraternity of the priests of Mars, whom the Romans called Salii.” They received this name from their going through the city leaping and dancing. The feast which they partook of, after finishing their procession, was exceedingly sumptuous. Hence the expression — “Epulari Saliarem in modum” — “to feast sumptuously.” Cic. Att. 5. 9. — Ed.

 ft579 “Nous reiettons l’effet, et luy fermons la porte;” — “We reject its accomplishment, and shut the door against it.”

 ft580 “Par leur belle oblation qu’ils font tousles iours;” — “By their admirable oblation, which they make every day.”

 ft581 “Vne apparence et representation de sacrifice;” — “An appearance and representation of a sacrifice.”

 ft582 “Ce seroit vne impudence et opinionastrete trop grande;” — “This were excessive impudence and obstinacy.”

 ft583 “C’est a dire, qui est ordinaire en matiere des Sacremens;” — “That is to say, what is usual in connection with Sacraments.”

 ft584 “Vn gage et tesmoignage externe;” — “An outward token and evidence.”

 ft585 “Pour penser qu’il nous repaisse d’ombres et vaines figures;” — “To think that he would feed us with shadows and empty representations.”

 ft586 By the accidents of the bread are meant its color, taste, smell, and shape. — Ed.

 ft587 In this passage, as, also, in some other parts of his writings, Calvin seems to affirm the real presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, in some mysterious manner, while he was, as is well known, opposed to consubstantiation, as well as to transubstantiation. The late venerable Dr. Dick of Glasgow, while treating of the Lord’s Supper — while he makes mention of Calvin in terms of the highest respect, as “one of the brightest ornaments of the Reformation,” who, “in learning, genius, and zeal, had few equals, and no superior,” — animadverts on some expressions made use of in the Institutes, which seem not altogether in harmony with his general system of views in reference to the presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Supper. Dick’s Lectures on Theology, volume 4. — Ed.

 ft588 “Vne estendue de son corps infinie;” — “An infinite extension of his body.”

 ft589 “Vn signe et tesmoignage;” — “A sign and evidence.”

 ft590 “Esleve ton esprit et ton coeur jusques la;” — “Raise thy mind and heart thither.”

 ft591 It is worthy of notice, that our Author has made use of the same Greek term (when commenting on <460508>1 Corinthians 5:8) in reference to the Passover, which was intended partly as a memorial (mnhmo>sunon). The term is of frequent occurrence in the same sense in Herodious, and occasionally in other Classical authors. — Ed.

 ft592 “Du ciel il fait descouler sur nous la vertu de sa chair presentement et vrayement;” — “He makes the virtue of his flesh pour down upon us from heaven presently and truly.”

 ft593 “Continuel et sans interualle;” — “Continuous, and without an interval.”

 ft594 “Confermer et seeller;” — “Confirm and seal.”

 ft595 “L’institution du Fils de Dieu;” — “The institution of the Son of God.”

 ft596 “Que de nostre part le recognoissions;” — “That we, on our part, may recognise it.”

 ft597 From, eujcaristh>sav, (having given thanks,) which is made use of by Paul, and also by the Evangelists, (see Harmony, volume 3,) in their account of the original appointment of the Supper. The term is at the same time expressive of the spirit of the institution, in respect of thanksgiving. — Ed.

 ft598 “Veu que par consequent il n’ha rien de l’Esprit de Christ;” — “Since he has, consequently, nothing of the Spirit of Christ.”

 ft599 “Vne foy historique qu on appelle; (c est a dire pour consentir simplement a l’histoire de l’Euangile;”) — “An historical faith, as they call it; (that is to say, to give a simple assent to the gospel history.”)

 ft600 “Car ie n’ose proposer et imaginer Christ a demi;” — “For I dare not present and imagine Christ in half.”

 ft601 This celebrated saying of Augustine (which occurs in Hom. in Joann. 62) is quoted also in the Institutes, (volume 3,) where our author handles at great length the subject here adverted to. — Ed.

 ft602 “Voyla lear belle preparation;” — “See their admirable preparation!”

 ft603 “Ces miserables;” — “Those miserable creatures.”

 ft604 “Et qu’ils on debagoule leur turpitude a monsieur le prestre;” — “And when they have blabbed out their baseness to Mr. Priest”

 ft605 “La punition que Dieu en fera;” — “The punishment that God will inflict upon it.”

 ft606 “Ils manient le corps precieux de Christ irreueremment, c’est a dire, sans nettoyer leur conscience;” — “They handle the precious body of Christ irreverently, that is to say, without washing their conscience.”

 ft607 In the Vat. and Alex. MSS. and the Copt. version, the reading is simply mh diakri>nwn to< sw~manot distinguishing the body; while later copies have to< sw~ma tou~ Kuri>onthe body of the Lord. The verb diakri>nw is employed by Herodotus in the sense of distinguishing, in the following expression: diakri>nwn oudenawithout any distinction of persons. (Herod. 3. 39.) It is supposed by some that the word, as employed here, contains an allusion to the distinguishing of meats under the Mosaic law. — Ed.

 ft608 “Le corps de Christ;” — “The body of Christ.”

 ft609 “Vn tel abus de la Cene qui n’estoit pas des plus grans;” — “Such an abuse of the Supper, as was not one of the greatest.”

 ft610 “Vne forme estrange et du tout autre;” — “A strange and quite different form.”

 ft611 “Sans en distribuer ne communiquer aux autres;” — “Without distributing or communicating of it to others.”

 ft612 “Ils pechent plus audacieusement, et a bride auallee;” — “They sin more daringly, and with a loose bridle.”

 ft613 The above paragraph is aptly designated in the old English translation by Thomas Tymme, (1573) “a lyuely description of the Popishe Masse.” — Ed.

 ft614 “Le pur vsage de la Cene en son entier, qui nous a este finalement rendu par la grace de Dieu;” — “The pure use of the Supper in its completeness, which has been at last restored to us by the grace of God.”

 ft615 Calvin here employs the term postliminum, (restoration from captivity,) and most felicitously compares the restorauon of the pure observance of religious ordinances, consequent upon the Reformation from Popery, to the recovery, by a Roman citizen, of his superior privileges, on his return from a state of captivity, during which they had been — not forfeited — but merely suspended. — Ed.

 ft616 “Lesquels vn homme de bien, et qui auroit honnestete en quelque recommendation, ne receuroit iamais a sa table;” — “Whom a man of principle — that had any regard to decency — would never admit to his table.”

 ft617 “Quand il voit que nous ne nous soucions de rien, et que nous-nous endormons en nos pechez, et nous fiattons en nos ordures et vilenies;” — “When he sees that we are quite careless, and are asleep in our sins, and are flattering ourselves in our filthinesses and pollutions.”

 ft618 “Prions nostre bon Dieu d’addoucir la rigueur de sa iustice; par manier de dire nous punissans nous-mesmes sans attendre qu’il y mette la main;” — “We beseech our good God to mitigate the rigour of his justice — punishing ourselves (so to speak) instead of waiting till he put forth his hand to do it.”

 ft619 “Y a-il plus grande consolation pour le Chrestien que ceste-ci?” — “Is there a greater consolation for the Christian than this?”

 ft620 “Sont tout asseurez, et ne se soucians du iugement de Dieu s’endorment en leurs plaisirs et voluptez;” — “Are quite confident, and not concerning themselves as to the judgment of God, sleep on in their pleasures and delights.”

 ft621 “I1 aduient souuent qu’il les met en oubli comme estrangers;” — “It often happens that he overlooks them as strangers.”

 ft622 “Ils tomberoyent aussi bien que les autres en ruine eternelle;” — “They would fall, as well as others, into everlasting destruction.”

 ft623 “Voluntairement, A soustenir tel chastisement qu’il luy plaira nous enuoyer;” — “Willingly to bear such chastisement as he may be pleased to send upon us.”

Ft624 “Mais c’est bien a propos, comme si ce sainct personnage se fust donne ceste license;” — “But this is a likely thing truly! As if that holy personage would have allowed himself this liberty,!”

Chapter 12

 ft625 “I1 demeure la abbruti apres les idoles;” — “It remains there, in a brutish attachment to idols.”

 ft626 This idea is brought out more fully by Bloomfield, who observes that ajpa>gesqai (to be carried away) is”a strong, term, denoting being hurried away by a force which cannot be resisted; and here refers to the blind infatuation by which the heathens were led away into idolatry and vice, like brute beasts that have no understanding. This,”he adds,”is especially alluded to in wJv a]n h]gesqeas ye might be led, viz. by custom, example, or inclination, just as it might happen.” — Ed.

 ft627 “Que ce sera une vilenie a eux s’ils,” etc.; — “It will be a disgrace to them if they,” etc.

 ft628 “D’estre errans et abusez en diuerses sortes;” — “To be wandering and deluded in various ways.”

 ft629 “La proportion et ordre bien compasse qui est en l’Eglise;” — “The proportion and well regulated order that is in the Church.”

 ft630 “Consiste en vne vnite faite de plusieurs parties assemblees;” — “Consists of a unity made up of many parts put together.”

 ft631 “I1 vent donc qu’un chacun se contentant du don qu’il a receu, s’employe a le faire valoir, et s’acquitter de son deuoir;” — “He would, therefore, have every one, contenting himself with the gift that he has received, to employ himself in improving it, and carefully discharge his duty.”

 ft632 “Pour en iouyr a part, sans en communiquer a ses freres;” — “So as to enjoy them apart, without imparting of them to his brethren.”

 ft633 “Vn tas d’esprits enragez;” — “A troop of furious spirits.”

 ft634 “De discretion;” — “Of discretion.”

 ft635 “Que ceci est appele Manifestation:— “That this is termed a Manifestation.”

 ft636 “Le sqauoir et la dexterite;” — “Skill and dexterity.” As to this use of the term prudentia, (prudence,) see Cicero de Officiis, 1. 43. — Ed.

 ft637 One of the most satisfactory views of this subject is that of Dr. Henderson in his Lecture on “Divine Inspiration,” (pp. 193,196,) who understands by sofi>a, (wisdom,) in this passage, “the sublime truths of the gospel, directly revealed to the Apostles, of which the logov (word) was the supernatural ability rightly to communicate them to others;” and by lo>gov gnw>sewv (word of knowledge,) the faculty of “infallibly explaining truths and doctrines which had been previously divulged.” — Ed.

 ft638 Chrysostom’s words are: Pi>stin ouj pau>thn le>gei th<n tw~n dogma>twn ajlla< th<n tw~n shmei>wn. “By this faith he means not that of doctrines, but that of miraeles.” — It was called by the schoolmen fides miractelorum (faith of miracles. ) — Ed.

 ft639 The plural is made use of, it is manifest, to intimate the number and variety of the diseases that were healed — the Apostles having been invested with power to heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease. (<401001>Matthew 10:1.) — Ed.

 ft640 There does not appear to be sufficient ground for understanding the miracles here referred to as necessarily deeds of terror, while the connection in which the expression occurs seems to intimate, that the miracles here meant were more than ordinarily stupendous manifestations of Divine power, such as would powerfully constrain the beholder to exclaim, This is the finger of God! Thus, “the resuscitation of the dead, the innocuous handllng of serpents, or drinking of empoisoned liquor, the dispossession of demons, and the infliction of blindness,” as in the case of Elymas, the sorcerer, and of death itself, as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira,. were mighty deeds — to which “no mere created power could possibly pretend, under any circumstances, or by the application of any means whatever.” See Henderson on Inspiration, pp. 203-206. — Ed.

 ft641 “Apportant la volonte de Dieu aux hommes;” — “Communicating the will of God to men.”

 ft642 “Par la montre et belle apparence que les gens ont aucuneffois;” — “By the show and fair appearance which persons sometimes have.”

 ft643 “Et en tel cas ceux que auoyent le don d’interpretation des langues;” — “And in such a case, those who had the gift of interpreting languages.”

 ft644 The following classification of the, gifts, (cari>smata) here enumerated by the Apostle, is suggested by Dr. Henderson, as tending to show the “beautiful symmetry” of the passage: —

I.  JW me<nlo>gov sofi>av
2.a]llw| de< logov gnw>sev
II.  JETERW de< pi>stiv
1. a]llw| de< cari>smata ijama>twn
2. a]llw| de< ejnergh>mata duma>mewn
3. a]llw| de< profhteia
4. a]llw| de< diacri>seiv pneuma>twn
III.  JETERW de< ge>nh glwssw~n
2. a]llw| de< eJrmhnei>a glwssw~n
(I. To one, the word of wisdom)
(2. to another, the word of knowledge.)
(II. To another, faith,)
(1. to another, gifts of healing,)
(2. to another, working of miracles,)
(3. to another, prophecy,)
(4. to another, discerning of spirits.)
(III. To another, divers kinds of tongues,)
(2. to another, interpretation of tongues.)

Thus the first class includes “the word of wisdom,” and “the word of knowledge. Under the head of faith, that is, the faith of miracles, four kinds of gifts are enumerated — “gifts of healing,” — “working of miracles,” — “prophecy,” and “discerning of spirits;” while the third class includes “divers kinds of tongues,” and “the interpretation of tongues.” See Henderson on Inspiration. — Ed.

Ft645 “Par laquelle Dieu nou conioint et oblige mutuellement les uns aux autres;” — “By which God connects and binds us mutually to one another.”

Ft646 Menenius Agrippa, a Roman consul, on occasion of a rebellion breaking out among the common people against the nobles and senators, whom they represented as useless and cumbersome to the state, was successful in quelling the insurrection, by a happy use of the apologue referred to, founded on the intimate connection and mutual dependence of the different parts of the body. The reader will find this interesting incident related by Livy, Book 2. chapter 32. — Ed.

Ft647 “En remonstrant que les membres du corps ayans conspire contre le ventre, et se voulans separer d’auec luy s’en trouuerent mal les premiers;” — “By showing that the members of the body, having conspired against the belly, and wishing to separate from it, were the first to experience the bad effects of this.”

Ft648 “Ils prenent nourriture et accroissement l’un auec l’autre;” — “They take nourishment and increase, one with another.”

Ft649 Ce bon Seigneur Iesus;” — “This good Lord Jesus.”

Ft650 Calvin, along with some other interpreters, understands the term, plh>rwma, (fullness,) in the passage referred to, in an active sense. Theophylact observes that the Church is the Plh>rwmacompletion of Christ, as the body and limbs are of the head. The term may, however, be taken in a passive sense, as meaning a thing to be.filled or completed. — Ed.

Ft651 A figure of speech, by which a part is put for the whole. See Quinctilian. (lnst. 8. 6, 19.)

Ft652 “Si tost qu’ils sont amenez a Christ par le baptesme, desia leur est donne un goust de l’affection qu’ils doyuent auoir d’entretenir entr’eux unite et conionction naturelie;” — “So soon as they are brought to Christ by baptism, there is already given to them some taste of the disposition which they ought to have, to maintain among themselves a natural unity and connection.”

Ft653 “Nous face restraindre et espargner les vns enuers les autres;” — “Make us restrict and spare ourselves — one towards another.”

Ft654 “De s’accommoder et soumettre a l’un des autres membres;” — To accommodate itself, and submit to one of the other members.”

Ft655 “Comme les poetes ont dit anciennement des geans;” — “As the poets have told of the giants in ancient times.” The fabled war of the giants with the gods is referred to in Homer’s Odyssey, 7, 59, 206; 10, 120. — Ed.

Ft656 “De peur de perdre temps, and nous gaster en resistant a la volonte;” — “Lest we should lose time, and do hurt to ourselves by resisting his will.”

Ft657 “Un amas de chair inutile;” — “A heap of useless flesh.”

Ft658 It is observed by Raphelius, that timh<n peritiqe>nai “signifies, in general, (honorem exhibere,) to give honor; but in this passage, by a metonymy, to cover over with a garment those members of the body which, if seen, would have a disagreeable and unseemly appearance; and this is a kind of honor put upon them.” — Ed.

Ft659 “Et que ne porte sa vocation;” — “And does not keep within his calling.”

Ft660 The term is made use of in this sense by classical authors. Polyb. 22, 11, 12. See Calvin’s Harmony, volume 2. — Ed.

Ft661 “Voyci vne belie matiere riche et abondante;” — “Here is a fine subject, rich and copious.”

Ft662 It is remarked by Billroth, that “the view of Chrysostom is out of place; for such a notion does not pertain to the argumentation of the Apostle.” Biblical Cabinet, No. 22. — Ed.

Ft663 An instance of this will be found in Cicero de Amicitia, 8. — Ed.

Ft664 “Comme nous disons en Langue vulgaire, Aucunement;” — “As we say, in common language — In a manner.”

Ft665 “Ou, Soyez couuoiteux des plus excellens dons, ou, estes-vous enuieux des plus excellens dons?” — “Or, Be ambitious of the most excellent gifts, or, are you envious of the most excellent gifts?”

Ft666 “Selon sa portion et mesure;” — “According to his portion and measure.”

Ft667 “De l’accommoder prudemment, et l’appliquer en vsage selon les personnes et le temps;” — “To make use of it wisely, and apply it to use according to persons and time.”

Ft668 “Et advertissemens des choses a venir;” — “And intimations or things to come.”

Ft669 This view of the import of the term ajntilh>yeiv, (helps,) is generally acquiesced in by modern interpreters. It is remarked by Dr. Dick, (in his Theology, volume iv, p. 390,) that “there are no persons who may be so reasonably supposed to be meant by helps, as deacons;” who “were instituted for the express purpose of helping the Apostles, for the purpose oi relieving them from the care of the poor, that they might devote themselves exclusively to the ministry of the word.” He observes also, (p.389,) that “it does not follow, because some of the offices and ministrations enumerated in this place were miraculous and extraordinary, that they were all of that dcscription.” — Ed.

Ft670 “Auoit comme son Senate, ou Consistoire;” — “Had its Senate, as it were, or Consistory.”

Ft671 “Deux ordres de Prestres: c’est a dire d’Anciens;” — “Two kinds of Presbyters: that is to say, Elders.”

Ft672 Our Author repeats here what he had stated when commenting on verse 10th. — Ed.

Chapter 13

 ft673 “Quelles qu’elles soyent;” — “Whatever they are.”

Ft674 Penn, in his Annotations, gives the following account of the term charity, as made use of in our English translation — “If the Latin version had not rendered agaph, in this place, by ‘charitas,’ instead of ‘amorlove,’ we should not have found the word ‘charity’ in our English version. But Wiclif, who only knew the Latin Scripture, adopted from it that word, and rendered, ‘and I have not charite.’ When the knowledge of the Greek was acquired by our learned Reformers, the first revisers of Wiclif were sensible of the unsuitableness of this translation, and rendered this clause — ‘and yet had no love,’ as it is printed in the ‘Newe Testament in Englishe and Latin, of 1548;’ and they rendered agaph — ‘love,’ throughout this chapter. Our last revisers abandoned this sound correction of their immediate predecessors, and brought back the Latinising ‘charity’ of Wiclif, who was only excusable for employing that word, because he translated from a Latin text, in ignorance of its Greek original.” — Ed.

Ft675 “Par le fruit qui s’en pouuoit ensuyure;” — “By the fruit that might result from it.”

Ft676 “La dignite mesme de la prophetie;” — “The dignity even of prophecy.”

Ft677 The reader will observe, that this is, in substance, what has been stated by Calvin previously, when commenting on 1 Corinthians 12:l0. — Ed.

Ft678 “Et si ie distribue tous mes biens;” — “And if I should distribute all my goods.”

Ft679 “Les tyrans faisoyent plustot traneher la teste aux Chrestiens et vsoyent plustot du glaiue que du feu pour destruire l’Egiise;” — “Tyrants practiced rather the beheading of Christians, and made use of the sword, rather than of fire, for the destruction of the Church.”

Ft680 The distinction between the. first and second of the commendations here bestowed upon love is stated by Bloomfield as follows: Makroqumei~, “denotes lenity, as opposed to passion and revenge: and crhsteu>etai, gentleness, as opposed to severity and misanthropy.” — Ed.

Ft681 This rendering is followed in two of the old English translations, viz. Tyndale (1534) and Cranmer (1539.) “Love doth not frowardly.” — Ed.

Ft682 Interpreters are by no means agreed as to the precise import of the original term perpereu>etai. Most ancient and many modern commentators explain it as meaning — “to act precipitately and rashly” — and in accordance with this, is the rendering given by our Translators in the Marginis not rash. No single expression, however, appears to bring out more satisfactorily the import of the original word than that which our Translators have inserted in the textvaunteth not itself. Beausobre makes use of two epithets. “N’est point vaine et insolerite;” — “Is not vain and insolent.” — Ed.

Ft683 “I1 dit consequemment que charite ne s’enfle point;” — “He says consequently, that love is not puffed up.”

Ft684 Bloomfield considers the distinction between this clause and the preceding one to be this, that the former “refers to pride as shown in words, and the latter to “the carriage and bearing, to denote pride and haughtiness on account of certain external advantages. A similar view is taken by Barnes, who considers the former clause as referring to “the expression of the feelings of pride, vanity,” etc.; and the latter, to “the feeling itself.” — Ed.

Ft685 The proper meaning of the verb asch>monein, is to offend against decorum. See Eurip. Hec 407. — Ed.

Ft686 “Nons sommes transportez-la, et nous-nous y iettons sans moderation aucune;” — “We are hurried into it, and rush into it without any restraint.

Ft687 “Le remede unique,” — “The only remedy.”

Ft688 “Car il y a ainsi a le traduire mot a mot;” — “For that is the literal meaning.”

Ft689 Granville Penn translates the clause as follows: “Seeketh not what is not its own,” — in accordance with the reading of the Vat. MS. Ouj K(p.424) zhtei~ ta< mh< eauth~v (Seeketh not the things that are not its own.) He supposes the mh~ (not) to have “lapsed, or been erroneously rejected from all the later copies.” — Ed.

Ft690 The last clause of the verse, which is in our translation, thinketh no evil, is rendered by Bishop Pearce, “meditateth no mischief” — a sense in which the expression (p.424) logizesqai kakon occurs in the Septuagint, in <193504>Psalm 35:4, and 41:7. It is beautifully rendered by Bloomfield, “does not enter it into a note-book, for future revenge. — Ed.

Ft691 “Ceux deux vertus;” — “These two virtues.”

Ft692 “En secourant et aidant presentement a ceux qui sont en ce monde;” — “In presently succouring and aiding those that are in this world.”

Ft693 “See Institutes, volume 1. — Ed.

Ft694 “C’est folie et presomption grande a eux de l’affermer;” — “It is great folly and presumption in them to affirm it.”

Ft695 “En premier lieu, i’admoneste et prie;” — “In the first place, I admonish and beseech.”

Ft696 “Qui est plus excellent sans comparaison;” — .”Which is, beyond comparison, more excellent.”

Ft697 “Seront un iour abolis;” — “Will one day be done away.”

Ft698 “Elle ne conuient point a ceux qui sont en aage de discretion;” — “It does not become those who are at the age of discretion?’

Ft699 The original term ai]nigma, (enigma,) properly means, a dark saying. It is employed by classical writers in this sense. See Pind. Fr. 165. Aeseh. Pr. 610. The Apostle is generally supposed to have had in his eye <041208>Numbers 12:8, which is rendered in the Septuagint as follows: Sto>ma kata< sto>ma lalh>sw aujtw~ ejn e]idei, kai< ouj di j aijni>gmatwn; — “I will speak to him mouth to mouth in a vision, and not by dark sayings.” — Ed.

Ft700 “Et l’Apostre, en l’onzieme aux Heb., d. 13, nomme les creatures, miroirs;” — “And the Apostle, in <581113>Hebrews 11:13, speaks of the creatures as mirrors.” There is obviously a mistake here in the quotation. Most probably Calvin had in his eye <581103>Hebrews 11:3, as a passage similar in substance to <450120>Romans 1:20, quoted by him in his Latin Commentary. — Ed.

Ft701 “Ils ont vn autre iouissance de la presence de Dieu;” — “They have another enjoyment of the presence of God.”

Ft702 “The blessed God’s manifestation of himself,” say’s Mr. Howe, “is emphatically expressed in <461312>1 Corinthians 13:12 — of seeing face to face, which signifies on his part, gracious vouchsafement, — his offering his blessed face to view, — that he hides it not, nor turns it away, as here sometimes he doth, in just displeasure. And his face means, even his most conspicuous glory, such as, in this state of mortality, it would be mortal to us to behold; for ‘no man,’ not so divine a man as Moses himself, ‘could see his face and live.’ And it signifies, on their part who are thus made perfect, their applying and turning their face towards his, viz., that they see not casually, or by fortuitous glances, but eye to eye, by direct and most voluntary intuition; which, therefore, on their part, implies moral perfection, the will directing and commanding the eye, and upon inexpressible relishes of joy and pleasure, forbidding its diversion, holds it steady and intent.” Howe’s Works, (Lond. 1834,) p. 1016. — Ed.

Ft703 “Comme imaginent les moqueurs et gens profanes;” — “As scoffers and profane persons imagine.”

Ft704 “En ces trois choses;” — “In these three things.”

Chapter 14

 ft705 “The word diw>kete,” says Doddridge, “properly signifies — to pursue with an eagerness like that with which hunters follow their game. And it may be intended to intimate, how hard it is to obtain and preserve such a truly benevolent spirit in the main series of life; considering, on the one hand, how many provocations we are like to meet with, and on the other, the force of self-love, which will in so many instances be ready to break in upon it.” — Ed.

Ft706 “C’estoit ceste voye et vertu excellente;” — “This was that distinguished way and excellence.”

Ft707 It is remarked by Granville Penn, that “the context shows that the Apostle means, a language foreign to that of the auditors, and, therefore,  not known to them” — as “we learn from verse 21 that we are to supply eJtera| — ‘other,’ not agnwsth| — ‘unknown.’ We have,” he adds, “had lamentable proof of the abuse to which the latter injudicious rendering can be perverted in the hands of ignorant or insidious enthusiasm, by assuming the term to mean, ‘a tongue unknown to all mankind;’ and from thence, by an impious inference, supernatural and divine; instead of relatively, ‘unknown to another people.’ And yet, after all, ‘unknown’ is not the Apostle’s word, but only an Italic supplement suggested by the English revisers of the seventeenth century.” — Ed.

Ft708 “Comme on dit en prouerbe — I1 presche a soy-mesme et aux murailles;” — “As they say proverbially — He preaches to himself and the bare walls.” The proverb, “Sibi canit et Musis” — (“He sings to himself and the Muses,”) is believed to have originated in a saying of Antigenides, a celebrated musician of Thebes, who, when his scholar Ismenias sung with good taste, but not so as to gain the applause of the people, exclaimed — “Mihi cane et Musis;” — (“Sing to me and the Muses”) — meaning that it was enough, if he pleased good judges. — Ed.

Ft709 A pleonasm is a figure of speech — involving a redundancy of expression. — Ed.

Ft710 “Iettent ainsi de grandes bouffees et se brauent en leur parler;” — “Make use in this way of great puffings, and boast themselves in their talk.”

Ft711 “Les langues aidoyent lors aucunement a l’auancement des Eglises;” — “Languages, at that time, were of some help for the advancement of the Churches.”

Ft712 “Ces gentils reformateurs;” — “Those pretty reformers.”

Ft713 “Estoit plus propre pour leur imprimer ce qu’il dit;” — “Was the more calculated to impress upon them what he says.”

Ft714 “C’est a dire, pour signifier quelque chose;” — “That is to say, for signifying something.”

Ft715 “Sans mesure ou distinction;” — “Without measure or distinction.”

Ft716 “It is well known that trumpets were exclusively employed in almost all ancient armies, for the purpose of directing the movements of the soldiers, and of informing them what they were to do — as when to attack, advance, or retreat. This was the custom in even the most early Jewish armies, as the Law directed two silver trumpets to be made for the purpose. (<041001>Numbers 10:1, 2, 9.) Of course, a distinction of tones was necessary, to express the various intimations which were in this manner conveyed; and if the trumpeter did not give the proper intonation, the soldiers could not tell how to act, or were in danger, from misconception, of acting wrongly.” Illustrated Commentary. — Ed.

Ft717 “Ils vsoyent plustost de fluste, que de trompette;” — “They used the flute, rather than the trumpet.”

Ft718 The use of the flute on such occasions by the Lacedemonians, is supposed by Valerius Maximus to have “been intended to raise the courage of the soldiers, that they might begin the onset with greater violence and fury;” but the reason stated by Calvin accords with the account given of it by Thucydides (with whom the rest of the ancient historians agree) — that it was designed to “render them cool and sedate — trumpets and other instruments being more proper to inspire with heat and rage;” which passions they thought were “fitted rather to beget disorder and confilsion, than to produce any noble and memorable actions — valor not being the effect of a sudden and vanishing transport, but proceeding from a settled and habitual firmness and constancy of mind.” Potter’s Gr. Ant. volume 2. — Ed.

Ft719 “That in this passage,” says Dr. Henderson, “fwnh<, which properly signifies sound, then voice, must be taken in the sense of language or dialect, is evident: for it would not be true, that there are no sounds or voices in the world (a]fwnwn) without signification, according as these terms are usually understood. The meamng is — very language is intelligible to some nation or other; and it is only to persons who are ignorant of it, that its words are destitute of signification. This the Apostle illustrates in a very forcible manner: ‘Therefore, if I know not the, meaning of the voiee, (th~v fwnh~v, of the language,) I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.’ We shall be like two foreigners, who do not understand each other’s tongue. The very use of the term interpret and interpretation, as applied to this subject, also proves that he could only have intelligent language in view: it being a contradiction in terms to speak of interpreting that which has no meaning.” Henderson on Inspiration. — Ed.

Ft720 “C’est a dire, nous monstre aucunement qu’il faut parler en sorte que nous soyons entendus;” — “That is to say, it shows us, in a manner, that we must speak so as to be understood.”

Ft721 “The Greeks, after the custom of the Egyptians, mentioned by; Herodotus, (lib. 2,)called all those barbarians who did not speak their language. process of time, however, the Romans haaving subdued the Greeks, delivered themselves by the force of arms from that opprobrious appellation; and joined the Greeks in calling all barbarians who did not speak either the Greek or the Latin language. Afterwards, barbarian signified any one who spoke a language which another did not understand. Thus the Scythian philosopher, Anacharsis, said, that among the Athenians the Scythians were barbarians; and among the Scythians the Athenians were barbarians. In like manner Ovid. Trist. 5. 10, ‘Barbarus hic ego sum, quia non intelligor ulli;’ — ‘I am a barbarian here, because I am not understood by any one.’ This is the sense which the Apostle affixes to the word barbarian, in the present passage. MKnight. — Ed.

Ft722 “La langue doit estre comme vn image, pour expimer et representer ce qui est en l’entendement;” — “The tongue should be like an image, to express and represent what is in the understanding.”

Ft723 He considers the term ba>rbarov, (barbarian,) to be a term constructed in imitation of the sense — to connvey the idea of one that speaks with difficulty and harshness. See Strabo, Book 14. Bloomfield considers the term barbarian to be derived — “not” as some think, “from the Arabic berber, to murmur, but from the Punic berber, a shepherd — having been originally appropriated to the ilndigenous and pastoral inhabitants of Africa; who, to their more civilized fellow-men on the other side of the Mediterranean, appeared rustics and barbarians. Hence the term ba>rbarov came at length to mean a rustic or clown.” — Ed.

Ft724Les dons spirituels, il y a mot a mot, les esprits;” — “Spiritual gifts — it is literally, spirits.”

Ft725 “De parler a ostentation;” — “From speaking for ostentation’s sake.”

Ft726 “What is it,” says Witsius, (in his “Sacred Dissertations,”) to pray with the tongue? with the spirit? with the mind? (<461414>1 Corinthians 14:14, 15.) The tongue means here a language unknown to others, and employed by one who is endowed with a supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit. To pray with the tongue, is to pray in a language unknown to others; as, for instance, to pray in the Hebrew language in presence of Greeks. In that sense he had said, (<461402>1 Corinthians 14:2,) ‘He that speaketh with the tongue, speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth him;’ that is, he who speaks in a foreign tongue, the knowledge of which he has acquired by an extraordinary gift of the Spirit, has God only for a witness. He cannot reckon as his witnesses, or as persons aware of what he is doing, those who are ignorant of the language, and to whose edification he has contributed little or nothing. The spirit means here that extraordinary gift, by which a man is led to act in a certain way, accompanied by almost ecstatic emotions, so that sometimes he is neither aware what he says, nor do others understand what he means. To pray with the Spirit, is to pray in such a manner as to show that you feel the presence of an extraordinary gift of the Spirit, which moves and hurries you along, in a powerful manner, to those actions which excite astonishment. Nouv, intelligence, mind, seems here to be chiefly used in a transitive sense, to mean what we give another to understand. Such is the meaning of, hnwbt, to which nouv corresponds. Ytnwbtl ˚nza fj, incline thine ear to my understanding, that is, to those things which I shall give thee to understand. (<200501>Proverbs 5:1.) To pray with the mind, is to pray in such a manner that the prayers which you deliberately conceive, may be conceived and understood by others. Paul, accordingly, proposes himself as an example of the proper manner of conducting prayers. If I pray in a tongue unknown to the assembly in whose presence I pray, but which I have learned by Divine inspiration, my spirit prayeth, I am acting under the influence of that gift, which impels and arouses me to unusual and remarkable proceedings; but my understanding is unfruitful, I do not enable another to understand with advantage the conceptions of my mind. What then? I will pray with the Spirit; when the vehement emotion of the Spirit comes upon me, I will not struggle against it, but I will pray with the understanding also; I will show that I am not mad, but possessed of a sound understanding; and I will endeavor that others, as well as myself, be edified by my prayer.” Biblical Cabinet, volume 24. — Ed.

Ft727 “Que c’est que prier de langue, (car il y a ainsi mot a mot, la ou nous traduisons Prier en langage. incognu);” — “What it is to pray in a tongue, for such is the literal meamng, where we render it — to pray in an unknown language. Wilclif (1380) gives the hteral rendering — For if I preie in tunge. Tyndale, (1534,) If I pray with tonges. Cranmer, (1539,) For if I praye with tongue. Rheims, (1582,) For if I pray with the tongue. — Ed.

Ft728 “Quel danger il y a, quand on abuse;” — “What danger there is, when one abuses.”

Ft729 “What the Apostle means by to< pneu~ma mou, (my spirit,) is, neither the Holy Spirit moving him to speak, nor any spiritual endowment with which he was gifted, but, as the phrase signifies in other passages in which it occurs, (<450109>Romans 1:9; <460503>1 Corinthians 5:3; <550422>2 Timothy 4:22; Phileman 25,) his own mind, with which he engaged in the service. By nou~v, as contrasted with this, it is manifest he cannot mean his faculty of understanding — for it is comprehended under the former. The word must, therefore, signify the meaning or sense which he attached to the language he employed — an acceptation in which he uses the term, ver. 19. So far as he himself was concerned, he derived benefit — connecting, as he did, intelligent ideas with the words to which he gave utterance; but the meaning of what he uttered (a]karpov) produced no fruit in the hearers, inasmuch as they did not understand him. It must be observed, however, that the Apostle is here only supposing a case, such as that which frequently presented itself in the Church at Corinth; not that he would have it to be believed that it ever occurred in his own experience. On the contrary, he avers that, whenever he engaged either in prayer or praise, it was in a way that was intelligible, and consequently profitable both to himself and others, tw~| pneu>mati, — tw~ nwi`>, with the spirit — with the understanding.” Henderson on Inspiration. — Ed.

Ft730 “Mais qui plus est, aiment mieux que les idiots et ignorans barbotent des patinostres en langage qui leur est incognu;” — “But, what is more, they like better that unlearned and ignorant persons should mutter over paternosters in a language which they do not understand.”

Ft731 “Ils ont vne solution bien aigue et peremptoire;” — “They have a very acute and peremptory solution.”

Ft732 “Vne pensee esuanouissante en l’air, qu’ils appellent Intention finale;” — “A thought vanishing into air, which they call final Intention.”

Ft733 “Que ne soit point sans intelligence;” — “That it be not without understanding.”

Ft734 The original word is yalw~I will sing Psalms. It is thesame verb that is made use of by James, (<590513>James 5:13,) eujqumei~ ti>v; yalle>twIs any one cheerful: let him sing Psalms. — Ed.

Ft735 Pliny’s letter, referred to by Calvin, (written A.D. 107,) is given at full length (as translated by Dr. Lardner) in Horne’s Introduction, volume 1. — Ed.

Ft736 “Signifie et presuppose;” — “Intimates and presupposes.”

Ft737 “‘Amen,’ or ‘ So be it,’ was, among the Jews, used by the congregation at the end of a prayer or blessing, to denote their assent to, or appropriation of, that which one person had pronounced. Many instances of this practice occur in the Old Testament. From the Jewish Synagogue this, with many other customs of worship, passed to the Christian Church, in which it is still generally retained. Justin Martyr particularly notices the unanimous and loud ‘Amen’ at the conclusion of the Lord’s Supper, observing, that when the minister had finished the prayer and the thanksgiving, all the people present, with a joyful exclamation, said ‘ Amen.’ — ( Apol. volume 2..)” llustrated Commentary. — Ed.

Ft738 The word to which Calvin. refers is ˆma, (Amen) truth. The term occurs in <236516>Isaiah 65:16, ˆ\ma yjla, (Elohe Amen,) the God of truth.

Ft739 “Confirmation et approbation;” — “Confirmation and approbation.”

Ft740Amen,” says Witsius, in his Dissertations on the Lord’s Prayer, “is a Hebrew particle, expressive both of strong affection and of ardent desire Lutther, with his wonted liveliness of manner, wrote toMelancthon in the following terms: — ‘ I pray for you, I have prayed, and I will pray, and I have no doubt I shall be heard, for I feel the Amen in my heart.’” — Biblical Cabinet, volume 24. — Ed.

Ft741 “Par lequel nous voyons comment Satan a tenu ses rangs, et domine en la Papaute furieusement, et d’une license merueilleusement desbordee;” — “From which we see how Satan has maintained his place, and has ruled in Popery with fury, and with a liberty amazingly reckless.”

Ft742 Mimetice. Our author has here evidently in his eye the Greek adverb,mimhtikw~vimitatively. See Plut. 2.18. B. — Ed.

Ft743 “Or le Prophete signifie;” — “Now the Prophet means.”

Ft744It is written in the law. ‘In the law,’ that is, in the Scripture, in opposition to the words of the Scribes; for that distinction was very usual in the schools. ‘This we learn out of the law, and this from the words of the Scribes. The words of the law (that is, of the Scripture) have no need of confirmation, but the words of the Scribes have need of confirmation.’ The former Prophets, and the latter, and the Hagiographa, are each styled by the name of the law.” Lightjbot. — Ed.

Ft745 Henderson on Isaiah, when commenting on the passage here quoted by the Apostle, (<232809>Isaiah 28:9-11,) observes, that it “contains the taunting language of the drunken priests and judges of the Jews, who repel with scorn the idea that they should require the plain and reiterated lessons which Jehovah taught by his messengers. Such elementary instruction was fit” (in their view) “only for babes: it was an inslilt to their understanding to suppose that they stood in need of itThe language of verse 10” (precept pon, precept, etc.) “more resembles that of inebriated persons, than any used by persons in a state of sobriety. The words are obviously selected to suit the character of those supposed to employ them;  and, by their monosyllabic and repetitious forms, admirably express the initiatory process of tuition which they indignantly despiseThe language they employed in caviling at the Prophetic warnings was all but  barbarous: it consisted of barely intelligible sounds: they should, by way of condign punishment, hear the foreign, and to them apparently mocking accents of the Chaldeans, whom God would employ as the interpreters of his severe but righteous will. The passage is employed by Paul (<461420>1 Corinthians 14:20, 21) quite in the spirit of the connection in which it here stands. He tacitly compares the Corinthian faction, which boasted of the faculty of speaking in unknown tongues, to the puerile characters adverted to, <461409>1 Corinthians 14:9, (paidi>a, nhpa>zete, etc.) and then reminds them, that speaking in such languages had been represented in the Jewish Scriptures — ejn tw~| no>mw| (in the law) as a punishment, or a mark of the Divine displeasure, and not as a matter of desire or envy.” — Ed.

Ft746 “En ignorance et bestise” — “In ignorance and stupidity.”

Ft747 Calvin makes a similar observation when commenting on <490414>Ephesians 4:14. “Nam postquam Christo nati sumus, debemus adolescere, ita ut non simus intelligentia pueri. Hine apparet, qualis sub Papatu sit Christianismus, ubi, quam diligentissime possunt, in hoc laborant pastores, ut plebem in prima infantia detineant;” — “For after being born to Christ, we ought to grow, and not to be children in understanding. (<461420>1 Corinthians 14:20.) Hence it appears what sort of Christianity there is in connection with Popery, in which the pastors labor as strenuously as they can to keep the people in infancy.” — Ed.

Ft748 “Le sot abus de ce don, quand on le met en auant sans raison et consideration;” — “The foolish abuse of this gift, when they bring it forward without, reason and consideration.”

Ft749 “En ceste faqon de faire;” — “In this manner of acting.”

Ft750 “Des pensees et intentions du coeur;” — “Of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Ft751 “Elles sont comme endormies et stupides;” “They are, as it were, drowsy and stupid.”

Ft752 “Afin de monstrer qu’il ne se faut point lasser de la prophetic;” — “In order to show that they ought not to entertain a feeling of dislike for prophecy.”

Ft753 The reader will observe that this is the prophecy to which the Apostle refers in <461402>1 Corinthians 14:2l. — Ed.

Ft754 “Que tous soyent consolez, ou, exhortez;” — “That all may be comforted, or, exhorted.”

Ft755 “Comme en toutes les Eglises des satnets, ou, comme on voit en toutes;” — “As in all the Churches of the saints, or, as one sees in all.”

Ft756 The words referred to are those which Paul had quoted above in <461421>1 Corinthians 14:21. — Ed.

Ft757 “Tant petit soit-il;” — “Be it ever so small.”

Ft758 “Ascauoir l’interpretation;” — “Namely, the interpretation.”

Ft759 “Le benefice et don de Dieu;” — “The kindness and gift of God.”

Ft760 “En ce cas;” — “In this case.”

Ft761 “Pour traiter de quelques matieres de la religion;” — “For treating of some matters of religion.”

Ft762 “Par l’approbation commune de l’Eglise;” — “By the common approbation of the Church.”

Ft763 The Latins have a similar proverb — “Stater in lagena bis bis clamat;” — “A penny in an earthen pot is constantly tinkling.” The Germans say — “The higher the head, the humbler the heart.” — Ed.

Ft764 “Le don de Dieu qu’ils ont receu;” — “The gift of God which they have received.”

Ft765 “Que toutes fois et quantes qu’il sera besoin, eux aussi auront lieu de parler;” — “That as often, and in as far as there will be occasion, they will also have opportunity of speaking.”

Ft766 “But if anything be revealed to another that sitteth by. That is very frequently said of the Jewish doctors, kwy hyh. He sat — which means not barely he was sitting, but he taught out of the seat of the teacher, or he sat teaching, or ready to teach. So that, indeed, he sat and he taught are all one. Examples among the Talmudists are infinite. In the same sense the Apostle: ‘If something be revealed to some minister, who hath a seat among those that teach, etc., not revealed in that very instant: but if he saith that he hath received some revelation from God, then oJ prw~tov siga>twlet the first be silent:, let him be silent who yalmo<n e]ceihath a psalm — and give way to him.’” Lightfoot. — Ed.

Ft767 “Ainsi qu’il sera auise pour le mieux;” — “As it shall be judged for the better.”

Ft768 “Ha double signification;” — “Has a double signification.”

Ft769 Thus in <441532>Acts 15:32, pareka>lesan means exhorted, while the noun paraklh>siv is used in the immediately preceding verse in the sense of consolation. — Ed.

Ft770 “Depuis que leur folie les prenoit, laquelle ils appeloyent vn mouuement Diuin;” — “Whenever their folly seized them, which they called a Divine impulse.”

Ft771 The reference here is manifestly to those who practiced divination, (Qeomantei>a) of whom there were three sorts among the Grecians, distinguished by three distinct ways of receiving the divine afflatus, (ejnqousiasmo<v.) See Potter’s Grecian Antiquities, volume 1. pp. 349-354. Virgil describes in the following terms the frantic state of the Sibyl, when pretending to be under divine impulse: —

“Non comtaee mansere comae; sed pectus anhelum,
Et rabie fera corda tument: majorque videri,
Nee mortale sonans, attlata est numine quando
Jam propiore dei.”

“But when the headstrong god, not yet appeased,
With holy frenzy had the Sibyl seized,
Terror froze up her grisly hair; her breast
Throbbing with holy fury, still expressed
A greater horror, and she bigger seems,
Swoln with the afflatus, whilst in holy screams
She unfolds the hidden mysteries of fate.”

Virg. Aen.VI. 48-51. — Ed.

Ft772 “Car Dieu n’est point Dieu de confusion;” — “For God is not a God of confusion.”

Ft773 Granville Penn reads the verse as follows: For they are not spirits of disorder, but of peace. He thinks it probable, that “the singular, ejsti, has caused a vitiation of this passage, by suggesting the introduction of a singular nominative to agree with it, namely oJ Qeov — , God;’ whereas in the reading of Tertullian, as early as the second or third century, ejsti referred to the neuter plural, pneu>mata: ‘Et spiritus prophetarum prophetis subditi sunt — non enim eversionis sunt, sed pacis.’ (And the spirits of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets — for they are not of disorder but of peace.) The Greek, therefore, stood thus: ouj ga>r ejstin ajkatastasi>av (pneu>mata), all eijrh>nhv. This early external testimony, combined with the internal testimony of the context, is sufficient evidence, that Qeo<v has been unskilfully inserted by philoponists here, as Qeo<v, Ku>riov, Cristo>v, have been intruded into many other passages of the Sacred Text.” — Ed.

Ft774 “Ce mot, Comme;” — “This word, As.”

Ft775 “Comme s’il vouloit dire qu’il n’y auroit point de propos d’auoir quelque souspecon sur les Eglises bien reformees;” — “As if he meant to say, that there was no occasion for having any suspicion as to Churches thoroughly reformed.”

Ft776 “D’enseigner ou de prescher;” — “Of teaching or of preaching.”

Ft777 “Eust preeminence et authorite;” — “Should have pre-eminence and authority.”

Ft778 “Elle ne pent donc auoir authorire publique de prescher ou enseigner;” — “She cannot, therefore, have public authority to preach or teach.”

Ft779 “Entre toutes les nations et peuples;” — “Among all nations and peoples.”

Ft780 “On les souffroit proposer deuant les iuges, et plaider publiquement;” — “They were allowed to make an appearance before the judges, and plead publicly.”’

Ft781 Caia, Afrania was the wife of a senator, Licinius Buccio. The circumstance referred to by Calvin is related by Valerius Maximus, (lib. 8. c. 3. n. 2,)in the following terms: — “Mulicbris verecundiae oblita, suas per se causas agebat, et importunis clamoribus judicibus obstrepebat; non quod advocati ei deessent, sed quia impudentia abundabat. Hinc factum est. ut mulieres perfrictae frontis et matronalis pudoris oblitae, Afraniae per contumeliam dicerentur;” — “Forgetful of the modesty that becomes a femme, she pleaded her own cause in person, and annoyed the judges with a senseless clamouring — not from any want of advocates to take her case in hand, but from excessive impudence. In consequence of this, women that were of bold front, and were forgetful of the modesty that becomes a matron, were, by way of reproach, called Afranias.” — Ed.

Ft782 “Autant qu’il est requis pour nourrir paix et concorde;” — “in so far as it is requisite for maintaining peace and harmony.”

Ft783 “Et est plus ancienne;” — “And is more ancient.”

Ft784 “A ses ordonnances et manieres de faire;” — “To its ordinances and methods of acting.”

Ft785 “Ne regardans qu’a eux mesmes, et se plaisans en leur facons de faire; — “Looking only to themselves, and pleasing themselves in their modes of acting.”

Ft786 “En voulant d’vne faqon tyrannique contraindre tout le monde a receuoir leurs loix;” — “By endeavoring, in a tyrannical way, to constrain every one to receive their laws.”

Ft787 “En cest endroit;” — “In this case.”

Ft788 Beausobre, when adverting to this reading, says: “La Vulgate porte, il sera ignore, Dieu k meconnoitra; ce qui vent dire, le punira. Ce sens est fort bon;” — “The Vulgate renders it: he will be unknownGod will disown him — meaning to say: He will punish him. This is a very good meaning.” In one Greek MS. the reading is ajgnoei~tai, — is unknown. Wiclif, (1380) renders it — And if ony man unknowith: he schal be unknown. The view taken by Calvin, however, is the more generally approved, and seems to accord better with the general strain of the passage. — Ed.

Ft789 “Les sophistes qui ne font iamais que disputer, sans rien resoudre ou accorder, ne les contentieux, et subtils iaseurs;” — “Sophists who are never but disputing, without coming to any solution or agreement, nor contentious persons, and subtile prattlers.”

Ft790 “Sans nous en soucier aucunement;” — “Without giving ourselves any concern as to them.”

Ft791 “Autres, qui ont le don des langues, qui est vn don plus rare;” — “Others, who have the gift of tongues, which is a rarer gift.”

Ft792 “This precept is sometimes applied to support the use of rites and ceremonies in the worship of God, not commanded in Scripture. But any one who considers the place which it holds in this discourse, will be sensible that it hath no relation to rites and ceremonies, but to the decent and orderly exercise of the spiritual gifts. Yet by parity of reasoning, it may be extended even to the rites of worship, provided they are left free to be used by every one as he sees them expedient.” — MKnight. “To adduce this text, as a direct argument about any particular external ceremonies used in divine worship, (which always appear decent and orderly to those who invent, impose, or attached to them, and the contrary to those who dissent from them,) is doubtless wresting it from its proper meaning.”  Scott. — Ed.

Ft793 Cancellos (ut ita loquar) circumdedit. Calvin has here very probably in his eye an expression made use of by Cicero, “Si extra hos cancellos egredi conabor, quos mihi circumdedi;” — “If I shall attempt to go beyond those limits, which I have marked out for myself.” — (Cic. Quint. 10.) — Ed.

Chapter 15

 ft794 “Sont viuans ;” — ” Are alive.”

 ft795Iusques a Corinthe ;” — ” As far as Corinth.”

Ft796 Possedez d’autres diables ;” — ” Possessed by other devils.”

Ft797 “The Libertines of Geneva were rather a cabal of rakes than a set of fanatics; for they made no pretense to any religious system, but only pleaded for the liberty of leading voluptuous ‘and immoral lives. This cabal was composed of a certain number of licentious citizens, who could not bear the severe discipline of Calvin, who punished with rigour, not only dissolute manners, but Also whatever carried the aspect of irreligion and impiety.” — Paterson’s History of the Church, volume 2. — Ed.

Ft798 “Par quelque opinion fantastique;” — ” By some fantastic notion.”

Ft799 “Vne ie ne scay quelle resurrection allegorique;” — ” An allegorical resurrection, I know not of what sort.”

Ft800 “Si soudainement seduits ;” — ” So suddenly seduced.”

 ft801 It is remarked by Bloomfield, that “in ejsth>kate (which means ‘ ye have persevered, and do persevere,’) there is an agonistic metaphor, (as in <490613>Ephesians 6:13,) or an architectural one, like eJdrai~oi gi>nesqe, (be steadfast,) in <461558>1 Corinthians 15:58.” — Ed.

Ft802 “Our version does not express intelligibly the sense of ejkto<v eij mh< eijkh~ ejposteu>sate by rendering it so literally — unless ye have believed in vain. To believe in vain, according to the use of ancient languages, is to believe without just reason and authority, giving credit to idle reports as true and authentic. Thus Plutarch, speaking of some story which passed current, says, tou~to hJmei~v ejji]pomen ejn ti> tw~n eijkh~ pepisteu>menwn”this I said was one of those tales which are believed without any good authority.” (Sympos. lib. 1:quaest. 6.) The Latins used credere frustra — to believe in vain, or temere — (rashly.).... Kypke.... takes notice that ejkto<v eij mh<, for except or unless, which has long been a suspected phrase, is used more than ten times by Lucian. It is also used by Plutarch in the Life of Demosthenes, volume 4.” — Alexander’s Paraphrase on 1 Corinthians 15. (London, 1766,). — Ed.

Ft803Ce principal poinct de la foy ;” This main article of faith.”

Ft804Que le Seigneur mesme luy auoit enseignee et commandee ;” —

What the Lord himself had taught and commanded him.’:

 ft805 “Le mot de receuoir ;” The word receive.

Ft806 The Reader will find our Author making use of the same proverbial expression when commenting on <460401>1 Corinthians 4:1, and <461123>1 Corinthians 11:23. See volume 1:pages 150, 373. — Ed.

 ft807 “I1 n’y en a point de plus expres, et ou il en soit traitte plus apertement;” — “There are none of them that are more explicit, or where it is treated of more plainly”

 ft808 Granville Penn supposes that the common reading ei+ta toi~v dw>deka then to the twelve, is a corruption for ei+ta toi~v de deka — and then to the ten, understanding the Apostle as meaning, that Christ appeared first to Cephas, and then to the other ten. Dr. Adam Clarke, after stating that “instead of dw>deka, twelve, e{ndeka, eleven is the reading of D* E F G, Syriac in the margin, some of the Slavonic, Armenian, Vulgate, Itala, and several of the Fathers,” and that “this reading is supported by <411614>Mark 16:14,” remarks: “Perhaps the term twelve is used here merely to point out the society of the Apostles. who, though at this time they were only eleven, were still called the twelve, because this was their original number, and a number which was afterwards filled up.” “The twelve was a name,not of number, but of office. — M’Knight. — Ed.

Ft809 C’est a dire, les Cents ;” — ” That is to say, the Hundred.”

Ft810 The reader will find the same term referred to by Calvin when commenting on <461008>1 Corinthians 10:8. (See Calvin on the Corinthians, volume) — Ed.

Ft811 “This peculiar use of ejpa>nw for plwi~on, (which seems to have been popular or provincial, not being found in the Classical writers,) occurs also in <411405>Mark 14:5, but with a genitive. Perhaps, however, it has properly no regimen, but :is used parenthetically, like the Latin plus trecentos, 300 and more.” — Bloomfield. The word wjpa>nw is used in a similar way in the Septuagint. Thus in <023014>Exodus 30:14 ajpo< eijkosaetou~v kai ejpa>nw from twenty years old and above, and in <032707>Leviticus 27:7, ajpo< eJxh>konta ejtw~n kai ejpa>nw.from sixty years old and above. — Ed.

 ft812 Calvin’s view accords with that of Chrysostom, who says, h+san ga<r kai< a]lloi ajpo>stoloi wJv oJi eJibdomh>konta “for there were also other Apostles, such as the seventy.” — Ed.

Ft813 “En sa vie et gloire immortelle;” — ” In his life and immortal glory.”

Ft814 “Elle estoit suffisante et receuable;” — ” It was sufficient and admissible.”

Ft815 In accordance with the view taken by Calvin, Bloomfield considers the original term. e]ktrwma to mean, a child born before the due time, (in which sense the term abortivus, is employed by Horace, Sat. 1:3.46,) the Apostle “calling himself so as being an Apostle not formed and matured by previous preparation and instruction.” Penn, after quoting the definition given by Eustathius of the term e]ktrwma to< mh>pw tetupw>menonan unformed foetus, remarks: “To all the other Apostles our Lord appeared after his resurrection, when they had attained their adult form in his ministry; but to St. Paul he appeared at the first moment of his spiritual conception,’ and before he was formed or moulded.” The same view, in substance, is given by M’Knight. “Although he (Paul) “calls himself an abortive Apostle, it was not on account of his being sensible of any imperfection in his commission, or of any weakness in his qualifications as an Apostle; for he affirms, <471105>2 Corinthians 11:5, that he was in nothing behind the very greatest of the Apostles; but he called himself an abortive Apostle, because, as he tells us (<461509>1 Corinthians 15:9,) he had persecuited the Church of God, and because he was made an Apostle without that previous course of instruction and preparation, which the other Apostles enjoyed who had attended Jesus Christ during his ministry on earth; so that, in the proper sense of the word, he was e]ktrwma — born before he was brought to maturity. That want, however, was abundantly supplied by the many revelations which his master gave him after he made him an Apostle.” — Ed.

Ft816 “C’est a dire qui est nay apres la mort de son pete ;” — “That is to say, one that is born after the death of his father.”

 ft817Estre estime moins que rien;” — “To be esteemed less than nothing.”

Ft818 “Par ma petite et basse condition;” — “By my little and low condition.”

 ft819 “Thrusones.” See Calvin on the Corinthians, volume 1.

Ft820 “Dieu donnoit plus heureuse issue a ses labeurs, et les faisoit prou-fiter plus amplement;” — “God gave to his labors a more prosperous issue, and made them much more successful.”

Ft821 In the Alexandrine MS. the reading is: But not I, but the grace of God with me. — Corresponding to this is the rendering of Wiclif, (1380,) — But not I, but the grace of God with me. — Ed.

 ft822 See Institutes, volume 1.

Ft823 Heideggerus seems to have had Calvin’s exposition here in his view in the following observations on the expression made use of by the Apostle: “Non Gratia Dei meoum, uti vetus Itala vertit, quasi effectus inter Gra-tiam Dei, et Pauli arbitrium distribueretur; nihil enim habuit ipse, quod non acceperit; sed Oujk ejgw< de, ajll j hJ ca>riv tou~ Qeou~ su<n ejmoi> mecum, ut totum et in solidum omne gratiae soli acceptum feratur. Neque ita loquitur solius humilitatis et modestiae explieandae ergo, quanquam et hanc testari voluit; sed quia po-tens illa gratia demonstratio et testimonium irrefragabile erat resurrec-tionis Domini.” — “:Not the grace of God with me, as the old Italic version renders it, as though the effect were divided between God’s grace and Paul’s free-will; for he has nothing that he has not received, but hJ su<n ejmoi>, which with me, that every thing may be wholly and entirely ascribed to grace alone. Nor does he speak thus, merely for the purpose of showing humility and modesty, though he had it also in view to testify this, but because that grace was a powerful demonstration and irrefragable testimony of our Lord’s resurrection.” — Heideggeri Labores Exegetici in Cor. (Tiguri. 1700). — Ed.

 ft824 “Perseuerance a enseigner ceste mesme chose;” — “Perseverance in teaching this same thing.”

 ft825 “La substance et le fondement de la nostre;” — ” The substance and foundation of ours.”

Ft826 “Si ce fondement est oste, nostre resurrection ne pourra consister;” — “If this foundation is taken away, our resurrection cannot possibly stand.”

Ft827 Billroth, when quoting the above statement of Calvin, remarks, that “Calvin seems to have deceived himself with the double meaning of the words which he uses — ’nulla ejus resurrectio foret ;’ — these may mean either ‘ejus resurrectio non est,’ or ‘ ejus resurrectio non est vera resurrec-tio,’ his resurrection is no real ressurection, and indeed only the latter suits his view of Paul’s argument.” It is justly observed, however, by Dr. Alexander, in his translation of Billroth, that Calvin may be considered to have “used the word nulla here in the sense of our null, void, useless,” his assertion being to this effect — that “if we rise not, then Christ’s resurrection becomes null.” See Biblical Cabinet, volume 23. — .Ed.

 ft828 “C’est a dire, sans la resurrection ;” — “That is to say, apart from his resurrection.”

 ft829 “Et aussi il auoit desia parle du deshonneur qui en reuindroit aux hommes, c’est a dire aux Apostres et autres prescheurs ;” — “And besides, he had spoken previously of the dishonor that resulted from it to men — that is to say, to the Apostles and other preachers.”

Ft830 “Comme subornez ;” — “As it were hired.”

Ft831 In accordance with this Wiclif (1380) renders the words thus — “We haw seide witnessynge agens God.” — Ed.

 ft832 Raphelius adduces two instances of Tau~ta me<n dh< kata pa>ntwn Persw~n e]comen le>gein — being employed by classical writers in the sense of concerning. “ And these are things that we may affirm concerning all the Persians.” — (Xen. Cyrop., Book 1 page 6, line 33.) ‘  JO kata tw~n tecnw~n kai< ejposthme~n le>gein eijw>qamen tauto<n kai< kata th~v ajreth~v fate>on ejsti>n “What we are accustomed to say in reference to the arts and sciences, may also be said in reference to virtue.” — (Plutarch, chapter 4 .) Bloomfield suggests that the Apostle probably employed kata in the “very rare” sense of concerning, “as wishing to include the sense — to the prejudice of — which falsification would occasion, inasmuch as it would almost imply a want of power in God to raise the dead, for the Gentile philosophers denied it.” — Ed.

Ft833 “La profession de Chrestiente;” — “The profession of Christianity.”

 ft834 It is mentioned by Beza in his life of Calvin, that before leaving France in 1534, he “published his admirable treatise, entitled Psychopannychia, against the error of those who, reviving a doctrine which had been held in the earliest ages, taught that the soul, when separated from the body, falls asleep.” — Calvin’s Tracts, volume 1 page 26. — Ed.

Ft835 This statement as to the resurrection is strikingly in contrast with the celebrated sentiment of Horace. (Epist. 1:16, 79.) “Mors est ultima linea rerum; — “Death is thee ultmate limit of things.” Heathen philosophers denied the possibility of a resurrection. Thus Pliny, Hist. Nat. L. 2:c. 7, says — “Revocare defunctos ne Deus qidem potest ;” — “To call back the dead is what God himself cannot do.”

Ft836 Pareus, in commenting on this passage, adverts in the following terms to the tenet above referred to — “Nequaquam vero hinc sequitur, quod Psychopannychitae finxerunt: animas post mortem dormire, aut in nihilum cum corporibus redigi. Perire enim dicuntur infideles quoad animas, non physice, quod corruptae intercant; sed theologice, quod viventes felicitatern coelestem non consequantur; sed in tartara ad paenas solae vel cum corporibus tandem detrudantur;” — “By no means, however, does it follow from this, according to the contrivance of the soul-sleepers, that souls sleep after death, or are reduced to nothing along with the body. For unbelievers are said to perish as to their souls, not physically, as though they corrupted, and died,, but theologically, because., while living they do not attain heavenly felicity, but are at length thrust down to hell for punishment, alone, or along with the body.” — Ed.

Ft837 Described at great length by Virgil. (AEn. 6, 637-703.) — Ed.

Ft838 Calvin, in commenting on <600417>1 Peter 4:17, when speaking of judgment beginning at the house of God, says: “Ideo dicit Paulus, (<461519>1 Corinthians 15:19,) Christianos sublata fide resurrectionis, omnium hominum miserrimos fore: et merito, quia dum alii absque metu sibi indulgent, assidue ingemiscunt fideles: dum aliorum peccata dissimulat Deus, et altos torpore sinit, suos sub cruets disciplina multo rigidins exercet;” — “Hence Paul says, and justly, (<461519>1 Corinthians 15:19,) that Christians, if the hope of a resurrection were taken away, would be of all men the most miserable, because, while others indulge themselves without fear, believers incessantly groan: while God seems to let the sins of others pass unnoticed, and allows others to be in a torpid state, he exercises his own people more strictly under the discipline of the cross.” — Ed.

Ft839 “Es voluptez et delices de ce monde;” — “With the pleasures and delights of this world.”

 ft840 “Although the resurrection of Christ, compared with first-fruits of any kind, has very good harmony with them, yet it more especially agrees with the offering of the sheaf, commonly called rmw[, omer, not only as the thing itself, but also as to the circumstances of the time. For first there was the passover, and the day following was a sabbatic day, and on the day following that, the first-fruits were offered. So Christ, our passover, was crucified: the day following his crucifixion was the Sabbath, and the day following that, he, the first:fruits of then that slept, rose again, All who died before Christ, and were raised again to life, died afterwards; but Christ is the first-fruits of all who shall be raised from the dead to die no more.” — Lightfoot. — Ed.

 ft841 “The first-fruits were by the command of God presented to him at a stated season, not only as a token of the gratitude of the Israelites for his bounty, but as an earnest of the approaching harvest. In this sense he is called the first-fruits of the dead. He was the first in order of time, for although some were restored to life by the Prophets, and by himself during his personal ministry, none came out of their graves to return to them no more till after his resurrection; and as he was the first in respect of time, so he was the first in order of succession; all the saints following him as the harvest followed the presentation of the first-fruits of the temple. The interval is long, and the dreary sterility of the grave might justify the thought, that the seed committed to it has perished for ever. But our hope rests upon his power, which can make the wilderness blossom as the rose; and we wait till heavenly influences descend as the dew of herbs, when the barren soil shall display all the luxuriance of vegetation, and death itself shall teem with life.” — Dick’s Theology, volume 4. — Ed.

Ft842 “Le premier patron de la resurrection pour opposer a la mort d’ Adam;” — “The first pattern of the resurrection, in opposition to the death of Adam.”

Ft843 “Les premices de la resurrection;” — “The first-fruits of the resurrection.”

Ft844 “Quand il viendra en jugement;” — “When he will come to judgment.”

Ft845 “C’est a dire, de la resurrection;” — “That is to say, of the resurrec. tion.”

 ft846 “It may not be improper to remark that there is an inaccuracy in our common version, which so vitiates its application that it does not seem to sustain the conclusion to which the Apostle had arrived. It was his purpose to establish the perfection of our Savior’s conquest, the advancement of his triumphs, and the prostration of all enemies whatever beneath his power. Now to say that ‘ the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,’ by no means affords a proof of this position. Though death might be destroyed, and be the last enemy that shall be destroyed, it would not thence appear but that other enemies might remain not destroyed. But the proper rendering is, ‘ Death, the last enemy, should be destroyed.’” — R. Hall’s Works, (Loud. 1846,) volume 6. — Ed.

 ft847 “Ultimum vero seu novissimum hostem cur vocat? Chrysostomus putat, quia ultimo accessit. Primus fuit Satan, solicitaris hominem ad pecca-tum. Alter voluntas hominis, sponte se a Deo avertens. Tentius pecca-tum. Quartus denique mors, superveniens peccato. Sed baud dubie Apostolus novissimum vocat duratione, respectu aliorum externorum hos-tium Ecclesiae, quos Christus in fine abolebit omnes. Postremo et mor-tem corporalem pellet, suscitando omnes ex monte: ut hoc mortale induat immortalitatem;” — “But why does he call it (death), the latest or last enemy? Chrysostom thinks, because it came last. The first was Satan tempting man to sin. The second — man’s will, voluntarily turning aside from God. The third — sin. Then at length the fourth — death, following in the train of sin. There can be no doubt, however, that the Apostle calls it the last in respect of duration, in relation to the other external enemies of the Church, all of which Christ will in the end abolish. Last of all, he will drive away the death of the body, by raising up all from death, that this mortal may put on immortality.” Fareus in loc. — Ed.

Ft848 “Mais c’est sans danger de mort;” — “But it is without danger of death.”

 ft849 The reader will find the same difficulties solved by Calvin in his Commentary on the Psalms, volume. — Ed.

 ft850 “Mais que nous fichions les yeux de nostre entendement en luy seul;” — “But that we may fix the eyes of our understanding on him alone.”

Ft851 “The mediatorial kingdom of Christ will end when its design is accomplished; he will cease to exercise an authority which has no longer an object. When all the elect are converted by the truth, and, being collected into one body, are presented to the Father ‘ a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing;’ when idolatry, superstition, and heresy are overthrown, and all evil is expelled from the kingdom of God; when the plans and efforts of wicked spirits are defeated, and they are shut up in their prison, from which there is no escape; when death has yielded up his spoils, and laid his scepter at the feet of his Conqueror; when the grand assize has been held, his impartial sentence has pronounced the doom of the human race, and their everlasting abodes are allotted to the righteous and the ungodly, nothing will remain to be done by the power with which our Savior was invested at his ascension; and his work being finished, his commission will expire. On this subject we cannot speak with certainty, and are in great danger of error, because the event is future, and our information is imperfect. Here analogy fails, and the utmost caution is necessary in borrowing an illustration from human affairs; but without insinuating that the two cases are exactly similar, may we not say, that as a regent or vicegerent of a King to whom the royal authority has been intrusted for a time, resigns it at the close, and the sovereign himself resumes the reins of government; so our Redeemer, who now sways the scepter of the universe, will return his delegated power to him from whom he received it, and a new order of things will commence under which the dependence of men upon the Godhead will be immediate; and Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one in essence, counsel, and operation, will reign for ever over the inhabitants of heaven. This is the probable meaning of the words, Then shall the Son himself be subject unto him that put all things under him.” — DickTheology, volume 3. — Ed.

 ft852 “Nous contemplerons nostre Dieu face a face, regnant en sa maieste;” — “We shall behold our God face to face, reigning in his majesty.”

Ft853 “Pour nous empescher de veoir de pres la maieste de Dieu;” — “To keep us back from a near view of the majesty of God.”

Ft854 “Ce sens contient doctrine saincte;” — “This view contains sacred doctrine.”

 ft855 “This,” it is stated by Barnes, “was the opinion of Grotius, Michaelis, Tertullian, and Ambrose.” — Ed.

 ft856 “De ce seul argument;” — “With this single argument.”

Ft857 “Mats ie ne voy rien qui me puisse amener a suyure ceste coniecture;” — “But I see nothing that could induce me to follow that conjecture.”

 ft858 “Ce sacrilege horrible;” — “This horrible sacrilege.”

Ft859 The form of expression referred to is made use of by Cicero. (Art. 8.1.) — Ed.

Ft860 “Proufite apres la mort, et non pas la vie durant;” — “Profits after death, and not during life.”

Ft861 “Estans encore sur la premiere instruction de la doctrine Chrestienne;” — “Being as yet in the first rudiments of Christian doctrine.”

Ft862 “Quelque maladie dangereuse; — “Some dangerous malady.”

 ft863 Cornelius a Lapide, in his Commentary on the Canonical Epistles, (Paris, 1631,) adverts in the fbllowing terms to the custom referred to by Calvin: “Inter conversos olim multi erant qui Baptismum diu differebant, etiam usque ad mortem, adeoque aegri in lecto baptizabantur, ut per Baptismum expiati ab omni culpa et poena illico puri evolarent in coelum:” — “Among the converted there were anciently many who deferred baptism for a long time, even up to the time of their death, and were accordingly baptized when sick in bed, that cleared by baptism from all fault and punishment, they might fly up to heaven pure.” Milner, in his Church History, (volume 2,) when treating of Gregory Nazianzen, says, “In another discourse, he protests against the too common practice of delaying baptism, which, from the example of Constantine, had grown very. fashionable, for reasons equally corrupt and superstitious. Men lived in sin as long as they thought they could safely, and deferred baptism till their near approach to death, under a groundless hope of washing away all their guilt at once.” See also Turretine’s Theology, (Geneva, 1690,) volume 3. — Ed.

Ft864 “Si celuy qui n’ estoit pas encore parfaitement instruit en la doctrine Chrestienne, et toutesfois auoit desia de vraye affection embrasse la foy;” — ”If one, that had not as yet been fully instructed in Christian doctrine, but yet had already embraced the faith with true affection.”

Ft865 “Baptism,” says Dr. Dick, in his Lectures on Theology, (volume 4) “imports our interest in the resurrection of Christ and its consequences. It was called by the ancients ‘ the earnest of good things to come,’ and ‘the type of the future resurrection.’ May not this be the meaning of that passage in the fifteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, concerning which there has been such a diversity of opinion? ‘ Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not? why are they then baptized for the dead?’ (<461529>1 Corinthians 15:29.) Some of the Fathers understood the expression, uJpe<r tw~n nekrw~n, to mean to be baptized into the hope of the resurrection of the dead; or, what amounts to the same thing, to submit to baptism that they might fill up the places of those who had died, thus declaring their belief that they had not perished, but were alive in a better world, and their hope that, through Jesus Christ, to whom they dedicated themselves in baptism, they also should be raised again to enjoy the same glorious recompense. According to this view of the passage, a resurrection to life is one of the blessings signified and sealed by this institution. It assures us of a triumph over death and the grave, through the redeeming blood of Christ, with which we are sprinkled; and of admission into heaven, for which we are qualified by the washing of regeneration.” — Ed.

Ft866 “Quand quelques fois les mondaines s’exposent a la mort seulement pour acquerir vn bruit immortel;” — “When worldly persons in some cases expose themselves to death, merely to acquire an immortal fame.”

 ft867 The rendering in Wiclif (1380) is — for youre glorie. — Ed.

Ft868 The particle nh<, made use of in solemn protestation. — Ed.

Ft869 “Veu qu’il parloit a bon escient, ayant luy-mesme les mains a la besongne, ainsi qu’ on dit;” — “Inasmuch as he spoke in good earnest, having himself his hands in the work, as they say.”

Ft870 “Quelque Philosophe qui triomphe de dire, estant loin de la prattique;” — “Some Philosopher, that talks loftily, while far from the scene of action.”

Ft871 “Lequel Quintilian allegue;” — “Which Quintilian quotes.”

Ft872 “Quid denique Demosthenes? non illud jusjurandum per caesos in Marathone ac Salamine propugnatores reipublicae, satis manifesto docet, praeceptorem ejus Platonem fuisse?” — “What in fine as to Demosthenes? Does not that celebrated oath by these defenders of the Republic who were slain at Marathon and Salamis, afford ample evidence, that Plato was his preceptor?” Quinctilian, (Edin. 1810,) volume 2. The celebrated oath of the Grecian orator referred to, was in these terms — nh< tou<v ejn Mara>qwni peptwkotav “ By those who fell at Marathon.” — Ed.

 ft873 “Et mesme comme il y auoit le ieu de l’escrime pour duire des gens h combatre les vns contre les nutres, pour donner passetemps au peuple, aussi il y auoit vn ieu auquel on faconnoit des gens a combatre contre les bestes es spectacles publiques;” — “Nay more, as there was a game of fencing for training persons for fighting with each other, to afford ammuse-ment to the people, so there was a game in which they made persons fight with wild beasts in the public shows.”

Ft874 “N’ estoit pas quitte, mais il luy faloit retourner au combat contre la seconde.” — “He was not let go, but had to return to fight with a second.”

 ft875 “Sometimes freemen, of desperate circumstances, sought a precarious subsistence by hazarding their -lives in this profession; but it was chiefly exercised by slaves, and prisoners of war, whom their masters or conquerors devoted to it; or by condemned persons, to whom was thus afforded an uncertain prolongation of existence, dependent upon their own prowess, activity, or skill.” — Illustrated Commentary. — Ed.

Ft876 “What was called venatio,” (hunting,)” or the fighting of wild beasts with one another, or with men called bestiarii, (fighters with wild beasts,) who were either forced to this by way of punishment, as the primitive Christians often were; or fought voluntarily, either from a natural ferocity of disposition, or induced by hire, (auctoramento,) Cic. Tusc. Quaest. it. 17. Faro. 7:1., Off. it. 16., Vat. 17. An incredible number of animals of various kinds were brought from all quarters, for the entertainment of the people, and at an immense expense. Cic. Faro. 8:2, 4, 6. They were kept in inclosures, called vivaria, till the day of exhibition. Pompey in his second consulship exhibited at once 500 lions, who were all dispatched in five days; also 18 elephants. Dio. 39. 38. Plin. 8.7. Adam’s Roman Antiquities, (Edin. 1792,). — Ed.

Ft877 “Ie retourne maintenant a parler de Sainct Paul;” — “I now return to speak of St. Paul.”

Ft878 “Sainct Luc aux Actes;” — “St. Luke in the Acts.”

Ft879 “De ruine et perdition;” — “With ruin and perdition.”

Ft880 “Car quant a ce qui on trouue entre les histoires ancicnnes que quelqu’vn disoit aux soldats;” — “For as to its being recorded in ancient histories, that one said to his soldiers.”

 ft881 The allusion is to Leonidas, king of Sparta, when addressing 300 Spartans, at the Pass of Thermopyhe, who “by an act of intrepidity, rarely paralleled in history, set themselves to defend that Pass, in opposition to 20,000 Persian troops, and during the night spread dreadful havoc and consternation among the Persians, but the morning light at length discovering their small number, they were immediately surrounded and slaughtered.” — Robertson’s History of Greece, page 151. — Ed.

Ft882 The following instances may be quoted as a specimen : —

“O beate Sesti !
Vitae summa brevis nos vetat inchoare longam,
Jam to premet nox, fabulaeque Manes
Et domus exilis Plutonia:

O happy Sestius! the brief span of human life forbids us to indulge a distant hope. Soon will night descend upon thee, and the fabulous Manes, and the shadowy mansion of Pluto.” — Hor. Carm. I. 4, 13-17.

“Sapias, vina liques, et spatio brevi
Spem longam reseces. Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
Aetas. Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

Be wise; rack off your wines; and abridge your distant hopes in adaptation to the brevity of life. While we speak, envious age has been flying. Seize the present day, depending as little as possible on any future one.” — Hor. Carre. I. 11.6-8.

Ft883 “De douter et s’enquerir;” — “Of doubting and inquiring.”

Ft884Les bonnes moeurs;” — “Good manners.”

Ft885Menander was a celebrated comic poet of Athens, educated under Theophrastus. His writings were replete with elegance, refined wit, and judicious observations. Of one hundred and eight comedies which he wrote, nothing remains but a few fragments. He is said to have drowned himself’ in the fifty-second year of his age, B. C. 293, because the compositions of his rival Philemon obtained more applause than his own.” — Barnes. — Ed.

 ft886 “Pour nous seduire;” — “To draw us aside.”

Ft887 “De la simplicite de la foy;” — “From the simplicity of the faith.”

Ft888 “The connection is not that in which we should have expected such a maxim to be inserted. It is in the midst of a very affecting and instructive view of the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting; but the occasion of it was this: the Corinthians had received, from the intrusion of false teachers, principles which militated against that great doctrine. They had been taught to explain it away, and to resolve it merely into a moral process which takes place in the present world’; interpreting what is said of the resurrection of the dead in a mystical and figurative manner. The apostle insinuates, that it was by a mixture of the corrupt comnmnications of these men with the Christian Church, and the intimate contact into which they had permitted themselves to come with them, that they had been led off from the fundamental doctrine of the gospel, and rejected a primary part of the apostolic testimony. ‘For if there be no resurrection of the dead, then,’ as he observed, ‘is Christ not risen, and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain; ye are yet in your sins.’ We see, that notwithstanding the apostle had planted pure Christianity among the Corinthians, and had confirmed it by the most extraordinary miracles and supernatural operations, yet such was the contagion of evil example and corrupt communication, that the members of the Corinthian Church, in a very short time, departed from the fundamental article of the truth as it is in Jesus Christ; and hence we may learn the importance, nay, the necessity, of being on our guard in this respect, and of avoiding such confidence in ourselves as might induce us to neglect the caution here so forcibly expressed — ’ Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt good manners.’” — R. Hall’s Works, (Lond. 1846,) volume 6:pages 273, 274. — Ed.

Ft889 The original word ejknh>yate, properly signifies to awake sober out of a drunken sleepage It is used in this sense in stone instances in the Septuagint. Thus in <290105>Joel 1:5, Eknhyate oiJ mequntev Awake, ye drunkards. See also <010924>Genesis 9:24, and <092537>1 Samuel 25:37. It is used in the same sense by classical writers. “‘ Awake to righteousness and sin not, for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame;’ that is, shake off the mental delusion and stupor in which the intoxication of error has involved you, that, with clear and exerted faculties, you may attend to the most important subject.” — Brown’s Expository Discourses on Peter, volume in. page 8. The expression ejknh>yate dikai>wv , (awake righteously,) is rendered by Luther machet recht aui — ”Wake right up.” It is, however, generally considered to be elliptical. Some supply zhsotev — “Awake, that ye may live righteously. Others understand dikai>wv, as equivalent to wJv dikai>wv dei~ “as it is fit you should.” “Arrian and Menander,” says Parkhurst, “use dikaiwv in this sense, as may be seen in Alberti on the text.” To the two authorities quoted by Alberti, Alexander in his Paraphrase on 1 Corinthians xv., adds one from Ocellus Lucanus —  JO de diamacomenov dikaiwv, but the man who stands up for his own authority as he ought to do.” — Apud Gale, page 533, I. 20. Ed. 1688. — Ed.

 ft890See Calvin on the Corinthians, volume 1.

 ft891“Comme la plus grande absux, dite du monde;” — “As the greatest absurdity in the world.”

Ft892 See Calvin on the Corinthians, volume 1.

 ft893 “Nearly allied to these are the examples of peculiar transformations undergone by various insects, and the state of rest and insensibility which precede those transformations; such as the chrysalis or aurelia state of butterflies, moths, and silkworms. The myrmeleon forniicaleo, of whose larva, and its extraordinary history, Reaumur and Roesel have given accurate descriptions, continues in its insensible or chrysalis state about four weeks. The libellula, or dragon-fly, continues still longer in its state of inaction. Naturalists tell us that the worm repairs to the margin of its pond, in quest of a convenient place of abode, during its insensible state. It attaches itself to a plant, or piece of dry wood, and the skin, which gradually becomes parched and brittle, at last splits opposite to the upper part of the thorax: through this aperture the insect, now become winged, quickly pushes its way, and being thus extricated front confinement, begins to expand its wings, to flutter, and, finally, to launch into the air with that gracefulness and ease which are peculiar to this majestic tribe. Now who that saw, for the first time, the little pendant coffin in which the insect lay entombed, and was ignorant of the transformation of which we are now speaking, would ever predict that, in a few weeks, perhaps in a few days or hours, it would become one of the most elegant and active of winged insects? And who that contemplates, with the mind of a philosopher, this current transformation, and knows that two years before the insect mounts into the air, even while it is living in water, it has the rudiments of wings, can deny that the body of a dead man may, at some future period, be again invested with vigor and activity, and soar to regions for which some latent organization may have peculiarly fitted it?” — Olythus Gregory’s Letters on the Evidences of the Christian Religion, page 225. — Ed.

 ft894“Ceste dinersite de qualite se monstre;” — “This difference of quality shows itself.”

Ft895“ En l’application de ceste similitude;” — “In the application of this similitude.”

Ft896 “Comment different nos corps que nons auons maintenant de ceux que nons aurons apres;” — “In what respect our bodies, which we have now, will differ from those that we shall have afterwards.”

Ft897 “Qu’il n’ha maintenant;” — “Than it has now.”

Ft898 “Au propos precedent;” — “In the foregoing statement.”

 ft899 “It is generally agreed on by the best expositors, that yuciko<v here, as being opposed to peumatiko<v, (spiritual,) especially as the expression is used with a reference to the words of Moses respecting the body of Adam, ejge>neto eijv yuch<n zw~san (became a living soul,) must signify animal, (literally that which draws in the breath of life, necessary to the existence of all animal bodies,) that which is endowed with faculties of sense, and has need of food, drink, and sleep for its support.” — Bloomfield. “‘ Yuciko<n not fusiko<n. (says Granville Penn,) and therefore not ‘ naturale’ but ‘animale,’ as rendered in the Latin. Wiclif,” (he adds,) “strangely rendered, from the Vulg., ‘ a beastli bodi,’ in correcting whom, our revisers would have done well to prefer ‘animal’ to ‘ natural.” — Ed.

Ft900Au reste la ou nous traduisons, Sensuel, il y auroit a le tourner au plus pres du Grec, Animal: c’est a dire, gouuerne et viuifie de l’ame. Voyla donc que signifie Le corps sensuel. Le corps spirituel est celuy qui est viuifie de l’Esprit;” — “But what we translate sensual, might be rendered, more closely to the Greek, animal: that is to say, governed and quickened by the soul. Mark then what is meant by the sensual body. The spiritual body is that which is quickened by the Spirit.”

Ft901Sera vne chose beaucoup plus excellente;” — “Will be a thing much more excellent.”

Ft902 “La substance du corps sera tousiours vne;” — “The substance of the body will always be the same.”

Ft903“Animation, qui est nom descendant de ce mot Ame;” — ”Animation, which is a name derived from this word Soul.”

Ft904 “Vne nouuelle imagination qu’il ait forgee;” — “A new fancy that he had contrived.”

 ft905 “Ceci n’est point trouue en lieu quelconque de l’Escriture;” — “This is not found in any passage of Scripture.”

Ft906 “As it is said, Adam was at first a living soul, (‘ So God breathed into him the breath of life,’ — that pure, divine, and heavenly breath,) ‘ and he became a living soul;’ so, then to have asked the question, ‘ What is man?’ must have been to receive the answer, ‘ He is a living soul: he is all soul, and that soul all life.’ But now is this living soul buried in flesh, a lost thing to all the true, and great, and noble ends and purposes of that life which was at first given it. It is true, indeed, that this is a thing much less than what is said of the second Adam, in <461545>1 Corinthians 15:45. ‘ The first man Adam was made a living soul; the second Adam was a quickening Spirit.’ This latter is a great deal more. A living soul signified him to live himself; but a quickening spirit signifies a power to make others live. That the first Adam could not do; the more excellent kind of life which he had (for there was a complication of lives in the first creation of this man) he could not lose: but he could not give. He could not lose it from himself; but he could never have giver, it, by any power or immediate efficiency of his own, to another. -Here the second Adam — the constitution of the second Adam — was far above that of the first, in that he could quicken others — a quickening spirit, not only quickened passively, but quickened actively, such a spirit as could give spirit, and diffuse life.” — Howe’s Works, (Lond. 1834,) page 1209. — Ed.

Ft907 The views held by Apollinaris were as follows: “Christum corpus assumpsisse sine anima, quod pro anima ei fuerit deitas illudque corpus consubstantiale fuisse deitati, nec ex substantia Martin efformatum;” — ”That Christ assumed a body without a stud, because Deity was to him in place of a stud, and that body was co-essential with Deity, and was not formed from the substance of Mary.” — See Mastrieht’s Theology, (1698,) volume it. page 975. “Apollinaris, or Apollinarius, taught that the Son of God assumed manhood without a soul, (yuchv aneu,) as Socrates relates; but afterwards, changing his mind, he said that he assumed a soul, but that it did not possess the intelligent or rational principle, (noun de ouk exeiv authn) and that the logov (word) was instead of that principle, (antivou)” — Dick’s Lectures on Theology volume in. page 22. — Ed.

Ft908 “Le poure mal-heureux par sa transgression;” — “The poor miserable creature by his transgression.”

Ft909 “Adam done et Christ;” — “Adam and Christ, therefore.”

 ft910 “La vie sensuelle, ou animale, c’est a dire, que nous auons par le moyen de l’ame, precede;” — “The sensual or animal life, that is to say, what we have by means of the soul, comes first.”

Ft911 “Plus haute et excellente que la terre;” — “Higher and more excellent than the earth.”

Ft912 “La nature de l’antithese et comparison;” — “The nature of the contrast and comparison.”

 ft913 “La meschante imagination;” — “The wicked fancy.”

Ft914 “Afin que Fuse du terme commun;” — “To use the common phrase.”

Ft915 “Pourtant en lieu de Nous porterons, aucuns ont traduit Portons. Et mesme aucuns liures Grecs le lisent ainsi;” — “Hence instead of We shall bear, some have rendered it, Let us bear. And even some Greek manuscripts read it thus.”

Ft916 The Alexandrine manuscript, with some others, reads fore>swmen, let us bear. The rendering of the Vulgate is portemus — (let us bear.) Wiclif (1380) following the Vulgate, as he is wont, renders as follows: bere we also the ymage of the heuenli. — Ed.

Ft917 “Car nons ne faisons encore que commencer a porter l’image de Jesus Christ;” — “For as yet we do but begin to bear the image of Jesus Christ.”

 ft918 “Par maniere de passe-temps, et tout a leur aise;” — “By way of pastime, and quite at their ease.”

Ft919 This is the reading of the Vulgate. Wiclif (1380) translates the verse as follows: Lo, I seie to you pryuyte (secret) of holi things, and alle we schulen rise agen, but not alle we schulen be chaungid. — Ed.

 ft920 “Qui leur estoit plus probable;” — “Which appeared to them more probable.”

Ft921 “I1 y auoit sur ceci vne question qu’on prouuolt faire;” — “There was a question as to this, which might be proposed”

 ft922 It is stated by Semlr, that some in the times of Jerome preferred rJoph|, but Jerome himself preferred rJiph| is derived from rJe>pw, to tend or incline to. It means force or impetus. It is used by Thucydides (v. 103) to mean the preponderance of a scale. In connection with ojfqalmou~, (the eye,) it would probably mean, a cast or inclination of the eye.  JRiph|, (the common reading,) is derived from rJi>ptw, to throw.  Jriph| ojfqalmou~ is explained by Nyssenus, (as stated by Parkhurst,) to mean — epimu>siv— the shutting or twinkling of the eyelids.

Ft923 “Pour ce que quand on se resueille, on cleigne ainsi des yeux;” — “Because, when persons awake, the). twinkle in this way with their eyes.”

Ft924The trumpet shall sound, (<461552>1 Corinthians 15:52,) says the prophetic teacher. And how startling, how stupendous the summons! Nothing equal to it, nothing like it, was ever heard through all the regions of the universe, or all the revolutions of time. When conflicting armies have discharged the bellowing artillery of war, or when victorious armies have shouted for joy of the conquest, the seas and shores have rung, the mountains and plains have echoed. But the shout of the archangel, and the trump of God, will resound from pole to poles — will pierce the center and shake the pillars of heaven. Stronger — stronger still — it will penetrate even the deepest recesses of the tomb! It will pour its amazing thunder into all those abodes of silence. The dead, the very dead, shall hear.” — Hervey’s Theron and Aspasio, volume 2:page 66. — Ed.

Ft925 “Voyla donc ques les viuans et les morts;” — .” Mark then how it will be as to the living and the dead.”

Ft926 “Non pus le dormir, c’est a dire la mort;” — “Not sleep, that is to say, death.”

Ft927“La dissipation horrible;” — “The dreadful scattering.”

 ft928 “Vne declaration ou amplification;” — “A declaration or amplification.”

Ft929 “The words, as alleged by Paul,” (from <232508>Isaiah 25:8,) “are found in the version of Theodotion, with. which the Targum and Syriac agree, in reading the verb as a passive, [lk in Piel, as here, commonly signifies to destroy, destroy utterly; in Kal., the more usual signification is that of swallowing, which most of the versions have unhappily adopted, jxnl the Greek translators render by; ijscu>sav, eijv te>lov, eijv ni~kov; attaching to the terra the idea of what is overpowering, durable, complete. The significations of the Hebrew root jxn, used only in Niphal and Piel, are — to shine, lead, lead on, be complete; in Chald. to surpass; excel, vanquish; hence the idea of victory, eternity, etc., attaching to jxn, and of completely, entirely, for ever, etc., to jxn jxnl. The words are therefore equivalent to oJ qa>natov ojuk ejstai ejti — (Death shall be no lounger,) <662104>Revelation 21:4, where there seems to be an evident allusion to our text; and where the subject is, as here, not the millennial state of the Church, but the state of glory after the resurrection of the body. It will be then only, that a period shall be put to the reproachful persecutions of the righteous, which Isaiah likewise predicts.” — Henderson on Isaiah. — Ed.

Ft930“Ie les eusse rachetez — ie les eusse deliurez;” — “I could have ransomed them — I could have rescued them.”

Ft931 “Lors vrayement et a bon escient il sauue les fideles;” — “He then truly and effectually saves believers.”

Ft932 “This victory will not be gradual only, but total and entire. Every thing of mortality, that was hanging about these glorious victors, shall be swallowed up in perfect and endless life. Death is unstung first — disarmed — and then easily overcome. Its sting is said to be sin — the deadliest thing in death. A plata farther proof, by the way, the Apostle in tended death also in the moral sense. And the insulting inquiry, ‘ where is it?’ implies ‘tis not any where to be found; and signifies a total abolition of it, and, by consequence, must infer that every thing of death besides must, as to them, for ever cease and be no more. Which also the phrase of swallowing up doth with great emphasis express.” — Howe’s Works, (Lond. 1834,) page 1035. — Ed.

Ft933 “En sorte que nons aurons plene et parfaite victoire a Pencontre d’elle;” — “So that we shall have a full and complete victory over it.”

Ft934 “Ou est ton plaid, c’est a dire, le proces que tu intentes contre nons, o mort?” — “O death, where is thy suit — that is to say, the process that thou cattiest on against us?”

 ft935 “The passage (says Dr. Bloomfield) is from Hosed 13:14, and the Apostle’s words differ only by the transposition of ni~kov (victory) andke>ntron, (sting,) from the ancient versions; except that for ni~kov the Sept. has di>kn (law-suit.)” It is noticed, however, by Granville Penn, that “in the most ancient of all the existing MSS. (Vat. and Ephr.) there is no transposition of qanatov (death) and kentron, (sting;) and the Apostle’s sentence preserves the same order as in the Greek of Hosea; so that the transposition lies wholly at the door of those MSS. which are more recent than those ancient copies.” The Vat. version has neikov; instead of nikov, but from the circumstance that in that version neikov is used in the 54th verse manifestly instead of nikov, it abundantly appears that it is a mere difference of spelling. The words to which Calvin refers, as having been mistaken for each other from their near resemblance, are, dikh(law-suit) and nikov, (or nikh.) victory. — Ed.

Ft936“Car en lieu du mot diki, qui signifie plaid ou proces, il a mis nicos, qui signifie victoire;” — “For in place of the word di>kh, which signifies an action or law-suit, they have used ni~kov, which signifies victory.”

 ft937A “Bonne et saincte;” — “Good and holy,”

 ft937 “D’autant que ceste esperance enest le fondement;” — “Inasmuch as that hope is the foundation of it.”

Chapter 16

Ft938A “C’est qu’en vn des Sabbaths (ou, que chacun premier iour de la sep maine) chacun de vous metre a part par deueres soy, thesaurizant de ce qu’il aura prospere, afin que (ou, serrant ce qu’il pourra par la benignite de Dieu, afin) lors que ie viendray, les collectes ne se facent point;” — “It is, that on one of the Sabbaths (or, that every first day of the week) every one of you lay apart by himself, treasuring up according as he has prospered, (or, laying up what he shall be able to do through the kindness of God,) that there may be no collections made when I come.”

Ft938 “D’inciter les Gentiles a subuenir a la pourete qui y estoit;” — “To stir up the Gentiles to relieve the poverty that existed there.”

 ft939 See Calvin’s Institutes, volume 1.

Ft940 “Quand on le fait pour deuotion, comme cela estant vn seruice de Dieu, et non pas pour la police externe;” — “When it is done for the sake of devotion, as though it were a service done to God, and not with a view to external polity’.”

Ft941 “On a par ci deuant traduit, amassant; mais i’ay mieux aired retenir la propriete du mot Grec;” — “The word before us has been rendered laying up; but I have preferred to retain the peculiar force of the Greek word.”

Ft942 “Quas dederis, solas semper habebis opes.” (Martial. Epage 5:42.) A similar sentiment occurs in the writings of the poet Rabirius. “Hoc habeo, luodeunque dedi;” — “I have whatever I have given away.” (See Seneca, ib. 6:de Beneft) Alexander the Great, (as stated by ‑Plutarch,) when asked where he had laid up his treasures, answered, “Apud amicos;” — ”Among my friends.” — Ed.

Ft943 “S’abusant a l’affinite des deux mots Grecs;” — “Misled by the resemblance between two Greek words.” Calvin’s meaning seems to be that the verb eujodo>omai, (to be prospered,) made use of here by Paul, had been confounded with eujdoke>w. (to seem good.) Wiclif (1380) in accordance with the Vulgate, renders as follows — Kepynge that that plesith to hym. — Ed.

Ft944“C’est a dire, selon sa commodite;” — “That is to say, according to his convenience.”

Ft945“St. Paul was now at Ephesus; for almost all allow, in opposition to the subscription at the end of this epistle, that states it to have been written from Philippi, that it was written from Ephesus; and this is supported by many. strong arguments; and the 8th verse here seems to put it past all question: I will tarry at Ephesus; i.e., I am in Ephesus, and here I purpose to remain until Pentecost.” — Dr. Adam Clarke.nEd.

 ft946 “The Churches of Asia salute you, i.e., the Churches in Asia Minor. Ephesus was in this Asia, and it is clear from this that the Apostle was not at Philippi. Had he been at Philippi, as the subscription states, he would have said, The Churches of Macedonia, not the Churches of Asia, salute you.” — Dr. Adam Clarke. — Ed.

 ft947 “Ils le conduiront par tout ou il ira;” — “They will conduct him forward wherever he may go.”

Ft948 “Tout ce que nous entreprenons et consultons;” — “Everything that we undertake and resolve upon.”

Ft949 “De remettre a la volonte de Dieu tout ce que nous entreprendrons pour le temps aduenir;” — “So as to give up to the will of God everything that we shall undertake for the time to come.

 ft950 “Et, ou mais, il y a;” — “And, or but, there are.”

Ft951 “En paix (ou, seurete);” — “In peace (or, safety.)”

 ft952 “En passant de Philippes par Macedone;” — “In passing from Philippi through Macedonia.”

 ft953 “Ce sainct Apostre;” — “This holy Apostle.”

Ft954 “En Ephese;” — “In Ephesus.”

 ft955 “Beaucoup d’ennemis de Christ;” — “Many enemies of Christ.”

Ft956 “Que sainct Paul se sentant offense par les Corinthiens, auoit attitre cela tout expres, qu’ Apollos n’allast point vers eux;” — “That St. Paul feeling offended with the Corinthians, had intentionally brought it about, that Apollos should not go to them.”

 ft957 It appears from Hug (in his treatise on the antiquity of the Vatican version) that the subscription to this epistle in that version is as follows — prov Korinqiouv a> enrafh apo Efesou — The first to the Corinthians was written from Ephesus. This, it will be observed, favors the view taken by Calvin of the statement made by Paul in <461608>1 Corinthians 16:8. — Ed.

Ft958 “Sont comme vne yurongnerie spirituelle, qui assopit et estourdit l’entendement;” — “Are like a spiritual drunkenness, which makes the mind drowsy and stupid.”

 ft959 The Alex. and Copt. MSS. read — and Fortunatus. The Vulgate reads — Fortunatum et Achaicum; in accordance with which the rendering in Wiclif (1380) is, Ye knowen the hous of stephart and of fortunati, and acacie. The Rheims version (1582) reads — You know the house of Ste-phanas and of Fortunatus. — Ed.

Ft960 “Selon que chacun estoit plus homme de bien et vertueux;” — “In proportion as an individual was an honorable and virtuous man.”

 ft961 “That the Apostle,” says Dr. Brown in his Commentary on 1st Peter, “meant the members of the Churches, on receiving this Epistle, to salute one another is certain; that he meant, that at all their religious meetings they should do so, is not improbable. That he meant to make this an everlasting ordinance in all Christian Churches, though it has sometimes been asserted, has never been proved, and is by no means likely. That the practice prevailed extensively, perhaps universally, in the earlier ages, is established on satisfactory evidence. ‘After the prayers,’ says Justin Martyr, who lived in the earlier part of the second century, giving an account in his Apology of the religious customs of the Christians — ’ after the prayers, we embrace each other with a kiss.’ Tertullian speaks of it as an ordinary part of the religious services of the Lord’s day; and in the Apostolical Constitutions, as they are termed, the manner in which it was performed is particularly described. ‘ Then let the men apart, and the women apart, salute each other with a kiss in the Lord.’ Origen’s Note on <451616>Romans 16:16, is: ‘From this passage the custom was delivered to the Churches, that, after prayer, the brethren should salute one another with a kiss.’ This token of love was generally given at the Holy Supper. It was likely, from the prevalence of this custom, that the calumny of Christians indulging in licentiousness at their religious meetings originated; and it is not improbable that, in order to remove everything like an occasion to calumniators, the practice which, though in itself innocent, had become not for the use of edifying, was discontinued.” — Brown’s Exposi-tory Discourses on 1st Peter, volume in. pages 309, 310. “It is remarkable that, by the testimony of Suetonius, an edict was published by one of the Roman Emperors, for the abolition of this practice among his subjects, — perhaps in order to check abuses, for the prevention of which our Apostle enjoins that it shall be a holy salutation.” — Chalmers on the Romans, volume in. page 428. — Ed.

Ft962 By the patine or paten, is meant the plate or salver on which the wafer or bread was placed in the observance of the mass. The term is made use of by .Dr. Stillingfleet in his “Preservative from Popery,” (title 7:chapter 5,) in speaking of the practice of the Church of Rome in the adoration of the host: “The priest in every mass, as soon as he has consecrated the bread and wine, with bended knees, he adores the sacrament; that which he has consecrated, that very thing which is before him, upon the patine, and in the chalice; and gives the same worship and subjection, both of body and mind, to it as he could to God or Christ himself.” In Young’s Lectures on Popery, (Loud. 1836,) page 140, the following account is given of the sacrifice of the mass: “Upon the altar is the chalice, or cup, which is to contain the wine, mixed with a little water; and covering the cup is the paten, or plate, intended to hold the cake or wafer. After an almost endless variety of movements, and forms, and prayers, and readings, the priest goes to the altar, and, taking the cup containing wine and water, with the wafer upon the cover, — these having been before consecrated and transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ, — he raises his eyes and says, ‘Take, O Holy Trinity, this oblation, which I, unworthy sinner, offer in honor of thee, of the blessed Virgin Mary, and of all the saints, for the salvation of the living, and for the rest and quiet of all the faithful that are dead.’ Then, setting down the chalice, he says, ‘ Let this sacrifice be acceptable to Almighty God.’“ The name paten is preserved in the English Liturgy to this day. In the prayer of consecration, in the communion service — in connection with the words, “who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread,” it is said, “here the priest is to take the paten into his hands.” Calvin, when commenting upon <451616>Romans 16:16, after having stated that it was customary among the primitive Christians, before partaking of the Lord’s Supper, to kiss each other in token of sacred friendship, and afterwards to give alms, says, “Hinc fluxit ritus ille, qui hodie est apud Papistas, osculandoe patents, et conferendse oblationis. Quorum alterum merae est superstitionis, sine ullo fructu: alterum non alto facit, nisi ad explendam sacerdotum avari-tiam, si tamen expleri posset;” — “From this has sprung that ceremony which is at this day among Papists, of kissing the patine, and making an offering. The former is mere superstition without any advantage: the latter serves no purpose, except to satisfy the greed of the priests, if satisfied it can be.” ‑Poole, in his Annotations on <451616>Romans 16:16, says, “The primitive Christians did use it” (the holy kiss) “in their assemblies; so Tertullian testifieth, (Lib. Dec.,) and they did it especially in receiving the Eucharist. So Chrysostom witnesseth, (Hom. 77 in John 16,) ‘we do well,’ saith he, ‘ to kiss in the mysteries, that we may become one.’ This custom for good reasons is laid down, and the Romanists in room of it, keep up a foolish and superstitious ceremony, which is to kiss the pax in the mass.” — Ed.

Ft963 “Par affection interieure;” — “By inward affection.”

Ft964 “Ou consistast en mine seulement;” — “Or consisted in mere appearance.”

Ft965 “Ne cherehans que le proufit de lents ventres, et leur propre gloire;” . Seeking only the profit of their bellies, and their own glory.”

Ft966 Calvin, when commenting on <480108>Galatians 1:8, remarks that the original term there employed, anathema, denotes cursing, and answers to the Hebrew word rj; and he explains the expression — “let him be accursed,” as meaning, “Let him be held by you as accursed.”

Ft967 “Car si nous aimons Christ purement, et a bon escient, ce nous sera vne bride qui nons retiendra de donner scandale a nos fieres;” — .” For if we love Christ sincerely and in good earnest, this will be a bridle to restrain us from giving offense to our brethren.”

Ft968 “Que ce sont mots empruntez de la langue Syrienne;” — “That they are words borrowed from the Syriac language.”

Ft969 Beza, in his poems, has recorded the following tribute to the memory of this distinguished man —

Henrici Bullingeri, Ecclesiastae Tigurini, spectatisa, doctrine, pictaris, et eximii candoris viri, memoriae;” — (To the memory of HENRY Bullinger, ecclesiastick of Tigurum, a man most distinguished for learning and piety, and extraordinary candour.)

“Doctrina si interire, si Pietas mori,
Occidere si Candor potest:
Doctrina, Pietas, Candor, hoc tumulo iacent,
Henrice, tecum condita.
Mori sed absit ilia posse dixerim;
Quae viuere jubent mortnos,
Immo interire forsan ilia si queant
Subireque tumuli specum,
Tu tu, illa doctis, tu piis, tu candidis,
Et non mori certissimis,
Edaci ab ipsa morte chartis asseras,
Ipso approbante Numine.

Foedus beatum! mortuum ilia to excitant,
Et tu mori ilia non sinis:
At hunc, amici, cur fleamus mortuum,
Qui viuat aliis et sibi?”
“If Learning could expire, if Piety could die,
If Candour could sink down,
Learning, Piety, Candour, are laid in this mound,
O Henry, buried along with thee!
But forbid that I should say that those things could die,
Which command the dead to live.
Nay, if they could possibly expire,
And be entombed,
Thou, by thy writings learned, pious, candid,
And perfectly secured against death,
Wouldst shield them from devouring death,
The Deity himself approving.
Blessed agreement ! They raise thee up from death,
And thou dost not suffer them to die!
But, my friends, why should we weep for him, as dead,
Who lives to others and himself?”
Beza’s “Poemata Varia,” — Ed.

Ft970 Thus in <112042>1 Kings 20:42, we have the expression, ymrjAya, (ish che-remi,) the man of my curse, or the man whom I anathematize. See also <233405>Isaiah 34:5; <381411>Zechariah 14:11. — Ed.

Ft971 Calvin, when commenting on <500305>Philippians 3:5, having occasion to speak of the etymology of the term Pharisees, says that he considered it to be de-rived — not as was commonly supposed, from a word signifying to separate — -but from a term denoting interpretation, this having been the view given of it by Capito — “sanctae memoriae viro,” — “a man of sacred memory.” It is stated by Beza in his life of Calvin, that when at Basle, Calvin lived on intimate terms with those two distinguished men, Simon Grynaeus and Wolfgang Capito, and devoted himself to the study of Hebrew. — Calvin’s Tracts, volume 1. — Ed.

Ft972Ayant excommunie, et declare execrables ceux-la qui n’aiment point Iesus Christ;” — “Having excommunicated, and pronounced execrable those who do not love Jesus Christ.”

 ft973 Mara<n ajqa< (Maran atha) is a Syro-Chaldee expression, signifying ‘ the Lord is to come,’ i.e., will come, to take vengeance on the disobedient and vicious. Hence with the words Anathema Maranatha the Jews began their papers of excomunication.” — Bloomfield.


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