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written in the law, * In foreign tongues and with foreign lips will I speak to this people; and neither so will they
22 hear me, saith the Lord. So that tongues are for a sign, not to believers, but to unbelievers; whereas prophecy is
23 not for unbelievers, but for believers. Yet if the whole church be met together, and all speak with unknown tongues, and there come in ignorant persons, or un
24 believers, will they not say, that ye are mad? Whereas if all prophecy, and there come in an unbeliever, or an ignorant person, he is convicted by all, he is judged by
25 all: The secrets of his heart are made manifest, and so falling: down on his face, he will worship God, and declare that God is among you of a truth.
26 What a thing is it, brethren, that when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation!
27 Let all things be done to edification. If any one speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two or three at most,
* Isaiah xxviii. 11.
V. 22. Tongues are intended for a sign to unbelievers—To engage their attention, and convince them the message is of God. Whereas prophecy is not to much for unbelievers, as for the confirmation of them that already believe.
V. 23. Yet sometimes prophecy is of more use, even to unbelievers, than speaking with tongues. For instance: if the whole church he met together— On some extraordinary occasion. It is probable, in so large a city, they ordinarily met in several places: and there come in ignorant persons—Men of learning might have understood the tongues in which they spoke. It is observable, St. Paul says here, ignorant persons, or unbelievers; but in the next verse, an unbeliever, or an ignorant person. Several had men met together, hinder each other by evil discourse. Single persons are more easily gained.
V. 24. He is convicted by all—Who speak in their turns, and speak to the heart of the hearers: he is judged by all—Every one says something to which his conscience bears witness.
V. 25. The secrets of his heart are made manifest—Laid open, clearly described; in a manner which to him is most astonishing, and utterly unaccountable. How many instances of it are seen at this day'. So does God »till point his word.
V. 26. What a thing is it, brethren—This was another disorder among them. Every one hath a psalm—That is, at the same time one begins to sing a psalm; another to deliver a doctrine; another to speak in an unknown tongue; another to declare what has been revealed to him; another to interpret what the former is speaking: every one probably gathering a little company about him, just as they did in the schools of the philosophers. Let all be done to edification—So as to profit the hearers.
V. 27. By two or three at most—Let not above two or three speak at one meeting; and that by course—That is, one after another; and let one interpret —Either himself, ver. 13, or (if he have not the gift,) some other, into the vulgar tongue It seems, the gift of tongues was an instantaneous knowledge of a tongue till then unknown, which he that received it could afterward, speak when he thought fit, without any new miracle.
98 And that by course, let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him be silent in the church, and let him
29 speak to, himself and to God. Let two or three of the
30 prophets speak, and let the rest judge. But if any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first be
31 silent. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all S$ may learn, and all may be comforted. For the spirits of S3 the prophets, are subject to the prophets. For God is
not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the
34 churches of the saints. Let your women be silent in the churches; for it is not permitted them to speak, but to
35 be in subjection, as * the law also sakh. And if they desire to learn any thing, let them ask their own husbands at home: for it is indecent for a woman to speak in the
36 assembly. Did the word of God come out from you? or
37 did it come to you alone? If any one think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge that the things which I write to you, are the commandments of
38 the Lord. But if any one is ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Therefore, brethren, covet to prophesy; yet forbid not to
40 speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.
* Gen. iii. 16.
T. 36. Let him speak that tongue, if he find it profitable to himself in his private devotions.
V. 29. Let two or three of the prophets (not more, at one meeting,) speak— One after another, expounding the Scripture.
V. 31. All—'Who have that gift, that all may horn—Both by speaking and by bearing.
V. 82. For the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets—But what enthusiast considers this? The impulses of the Holy Spirit, even iu men really inspired, so suit themselves to their rational faculties, as not to divest them of the government of themselves, like the heathen priests under their diabolical possessions. Evil spirits threw their prophets into such ungovernable ecstasies, as forced them to speak and act like madmen. But the Spirit of God left his prophets the clear use of their judgment, when and how long it was fit for them to speak, and never hurried them into any improprieties, either as to the matter, manner, or time of their speaking.
V. 34. Let your women be silent in the churches—Unless they have a particular conviction from the Spirit. For—In other cases, it is not permitted them to. speak—By way of teaching in public assemblies; but to be in subjection—Tom B man, whose proper office it is, to lead and to instruct the congregation.
V. 35. Arrd even if they desire to learn any thing—Still they are not to speak in public, but to ask their own husbands at home—That is the place, and those the persons to inquire of.
V. 36. Are ye of Corinth either the first or the only Christians? If not, conform herein to the custom of all the churches.
V. 8T. Or spiritual—Endowed with any extraordinary gift of the Spirit; Wt him prove it, by acknowledging that I now write by the Spirit.
V. 38. Let him be ieuonmt—Be it at his own peril.
V. 39. Therefore—To sum up. the whole.
V. 40. Deceutly—By every individual: in order —By the whole church.
CHAP. XV- 1. Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also ye £ received, and wherein ye stand: By which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast in what manner I preached to you,
3 unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered to you first, that which I also received, That Christ died for our
4 sins, * according to the Scriptures, And that he was buried, and that he was raised the third day, t according
5 to the Scriptures: And that he was seen by Cephas, then
6 by the twelve. Afterwards he was seen by above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part
7 remain until now, but some are fallen asleep. After this
8 he was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Last of
9 all he was seen by me also, as an untimely birth. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain, but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not 1, but the grace of God that
11 was with me. Whether therefore I or they, so we
12 preach, and so ye believed. But if Christ is preached, that he rose from the dead, how say some among you,
13 that there is no resurrection of the dead? For if there
CHAP. XV. Ver. 2. Ye are saved, if ye hold fast—Your salvation is begun, and will be perfected, if ye continue in the faith: unless ye have believed in twin—Unless, indeed, your faith was only a delusion.
V. 3. I received—From Christ himself. It was not a fiction of my own. V. 4. According to the Scriptures—He proves it first from Scripture, then from the testimony of a cloud of witnesses.
V. 5. By the twelve—This was their standing appellation: but their full number was not then present.
V. 6. Above five hundred—Probably in Galilee: a glorious and incontestable proof! The greater part remain—Alive.
V. 7. Then by all the apostles—The twelve were mentioned, ver. 5. This title here, therefore, seems to include the seventy; if not all those likewise, whom God afterwards sent to plant the gospel in heathen nations.
V. 8. An untimely birth— It was impossible to abuse himself more than he does by this single appellation. As an abortion is not worthy the name of a man, so he affirms himself to be not worthy the name of an apostle.
V. 9. I persecuted the church—True believers are humbled all their lives, even for the sins they committed before they believed.
V. 10. I laboured more than they all—That is, more than any of them, from a deep sense of the peculiar love God had shewn me. Yet, to speak more properly, it is not I, but the grace of God that is with me—TMs it is which at first qualified me for the work, and still excites me to zeal and diligence in it. V.ii1. Whether it were I or they, so we preach—All of us speak the same
be no resurrection of the dead, neither is Christ raised.
14 And if Christ be not raised, then is our preaching vain,
15 and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified from God, that he raised up Christ, whom he did not raise, if the
16 dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, neither is Christ
17 raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye
18 are still in your sins. Then also they who sleep in Christ
19 are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ,
20 we are more miserable than all men. But now is Christ risen from the dead, the first-fruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the
22 resurrection of the dead. For as through Adam all die,
23 even so through Christ shall all be made alive. But every one in his own order: Christ the first-fruits, after
24 ward they who are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh
V. 14. Then is our preaching—From a commission supposed to be given after the resurrection, vain—Without any real foundation.
V. I5. If the dead rise not—If the very notion of a resurrection be, as they say, absurd and impossible.
V. 17. Ye are still in your sins—That is, under the guilt of them. So that there needed something more than reformation, (which was plainly wrought,) in order to their being delivered from the guilt of sin; even that atonement, the sufficiency of which God attested, by raising our great Surety from the grave.
V. 18. They who sleep in Christ—Who have died for him, or believing in him, are perished—Have lost their life and being together.
v- 19. V 'n this life only we have hope-—If we look for nothing beyond the grave. But if we have a divine evidence of things not seen, if we have a hope full of immortality, if we now taste of the powers of the world to come, and see the crown that fadeth not away," then, notwithstanding all our present trials, we are more happy than all men.
V. so. But now—St. Paul declares, that Christians have hope, not in this life only. His proof of the resurrection lies in a narrow compass, ver. 12—19. Almost all the rest of the chapter is taken up in illustrating, vindicating, and applying it. The proof is short, but solid and convincing, that which arose from Christ's resurrection. Now this not only proved a resurrection possible, but as it proved him to be a divine teacher, proved the certainty of a general resurrection, which he so expressly taught. The first-fruits of them that slept —The earnest, pledge, and insurance of their resurrection who slept in him: even of all the righteous. It is of the resurrection of these, and these only, that the apostle speaks throughout the chapter.
V. 22. As through Adam all—Even the righteous, die, so through Christ all these shall be made alive—He does not say, shall revive, (as naturally as they die,) but shall be made alive, by a power not their own.
V. 23. Afterward—The whole harvest. At the same time the wicked shall rise also; but they are not here taken into the account.
V. 24. Then—After the resurrection and the general judgment, cometh the end—Of the world; the grand period of all those wonderful scenes that have appeared for so many succeeding generations; when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to the Father, and he (the Father) shall have abolished all adverse rule, authority, and power. Not that the Father will then begin to reign without the Son, nor will the Son then cease to reign. For the divine the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have abolished all
25 rule and all authority and power. For he must reign,
26 * till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last
27 enemy that is destroyed is death. + For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put under him, it is manifest that he who did put all
38 things under him, is excepted. But when all things shall be put under him, then shall the Son himself also be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may
29 be all in all. Else what shall they do, who are baptized for the dead? If the dead rise not at all, why are they
30 then baptized for them? Why are we also in danger ,31 every hour? I protest by your rejoicing, brethren, which
q Psalm ex. l. t Psalm viii. 7.
reign both of the Father and Son is from everlasting to everlasting. But this is spoken of the Son's mediatorial kingdom, which will then be delivered up, and of the immediate kingdom or reign of the Father, which will then commence. Till then the Son transacts the business which the Father hath given him, for those who are his, and by them as well as by the angels, with the Father, and against their enemies. So far as the Father gave the kingdom to the Son, the Son shall deliver it up to the Father, (John xiii. 3.) Nor does the Father cease to reign, when he gives it to the Son; neither the Son, when he delivers it to the Father: but the glory which he had before the world began, (John xvii. 5, Heb. i. 8,) will remain even after that is delivered up. Nor will he cease to be a King even in his human nature, (Luke i. 33.) If the citizens of the New Jerusalem shall reign for ever, (Rev. xxii. 5,) how much more shall he!
V. 25. He must reign—Because so it is written; till he—The Father hath put all his enemies under his feet.
V. 26. The last enemy that is destroyed is death—Namely, after Satan (Heb. ii. 14) and sin (ver. 56) are destroyed. In the same order they prevailed. Satan brought in sin, and sin brought forth death. And Christ, when he of old engaged with these enemies, first conquered Satan, then sin, in his death; and lastly death, in his resurrection. In the same order he delivers all the faithful from them, yea, and destroys these enemies themselves. Death he so destroys, that it shall be no more; sin and Satan, so that they shall so more hurt his people.
V. 27. Under him—Under the Son.
V. 28. The Son also shall be subject—Shall deliver up the Mediatorial kingdom, that the Three-One God may be all in all. All things, (consequently all persons,) without any interruption, without the intervention of any creature, without the opposition of any enemy, shall be subordinate to G id. All shall say, " My God, and my All." Tins is the end. Even an inspired apostle can see nothing beyond this.
V. 29. Who are baptized for the dead—Perhaps baptized in hope of blessings to be received after they are numbered with the dead. Or, Baptized in the room of the dead—Of them that are just fallen in the cause of Christ: like soldiers who advance in the room ,,/'their companions, that fell just before their face.
V. 30. Why are toe—The apostles, also in danger every hour—It is plain we can expect no amends in this life.
V. 31. I protest by your rejoicing, which I have—Which love makes my own: