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21 Timothy my fellow-labourer,' and Lu 21 Timothy, my assistant in the ministry, and Lucius, and Jucius," and Jason, and Sosipater,' my kinsmen, 801, and Sosipaier, my kinsmen, who are at present with me, salute salute you.
you. 22 i Tertius,' who wrote (rny, 71.) this 22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter from the apostle's autograph, letter, salute you in the Lord.
am permitted by him to salute you as the disciples of Christ. 23 Cairsi mine host, and of the whole 23 Caius, with whom I loilge, and who shows hospitality to all the church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamber- members of the church here, wishes you health. So doth Erastus, lain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus the chamberlain of Corinth, and Quartus, one of your own church, rour brother,
who at present is with me. 24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ BE 24 Loving you affectionately, I give you my apostolical benedicwith you all. Amen.
tion a second time. (See ver. 20.) The favour of our Lord Je8118
Christ be with you all. Amen. 25 (34) Now to him who is able to stablish 25 Now to him who is able to stablish you in the belief, that by you according to my gospell and the preach- faith and not by the law the Gentiles shall be saved, according to my ing of Jesus Christ, (x472) according to the gospel and the preaching concerning Jesus Christ by all the aposrevelation of the mystery2 kept secret in the tles, according to the revelation of the mystery to them, which, though times of the ages.
contained in the covenant with Abraham, was kept secret in the time
of the Mosaic dispensation, 26 (But is now made manifest, and, by the 26 ( But is now fully published to the world, by the preaching of commandment of the eternal God in the pro- the gospel ; and, according to the commandment of the elernal and phetic writings, is made known to all the unchangeable God, contained in the prophetic writings of the Jews, Gentiles, in order to the obedience of faith), is made known to all the Gentiles, in order to produce in them the
obedience of faith), 27 To the wise God alone,' through Jesus 27 To the wise God alone, who possesses all perfection in and of Christ, i Sar, lo him Be the glory for ever.2 himself, through the illumination of Jesus Christ, I say with under. Amen.
standing, to him be the glory of the salvation of the world ascribed
for ever. And for the truth of all that I have written, I appeal to
God, by saying Amen to the whole. Ver. 21.-1. Timothy my fellow-labourer. J-Timothy was convert. and which he had inculcated in this letter; namely, the gratuitous ed by Paul while very young. And being chosen by him as his as. justification of Jews and Geutiles by faith, without works of law; sistant in the ministry, he accompanied him in all his journeys, and and in particular the justification of thic Gentiles, without subjecting shared with him in all his dangers. Hence he styles him his fellow. them to the law of Moses. These doctrines he calls his gospel, or labourer. See Prer to 1 Tim. sect. 1.
good news, not in contradistinction to the good news of ihe other 2 And Lucius.)-There is a person of this name mentioned Acts apostles, as Locke fancies, to the great discredit of the rest, whose xit. I. as one of the prophets of the church at Antioch. But Lucius doctrine was the saine with Paul's, so far as it went; but in opposiof Antioch being nowhere mentioned as Paul's companion in travel, tion to the doctrines taught by the Judaizers and other false ieachOrigen supposed the Lucius, who sent his salutation 10 the church ers, who added the law to the gospel, on pretence that the gospel al llome, as Luke the evangelist, whom the apostle called Lucius, was defective in rites of atonement. after the Roman manner, as he called Silas, Silvanus. But it is not 2. According to the revelation of the mystery. )-The apostle calls certain that Luke was with the apostle in Corinth, when he wrote the admission of the Gentiles to all the privileges of the church and this epistle.
people of God, without subjecting them to the law of Moses, a mys3. And Jason. ]-Ile is thought by many to have been the Jason iery, because it was a doctrine of much greater importance than any with whom the apostle lodged at Thessalonica, Acts xvii
. 7.; and doctrine taught in the hcathen mysteris; and because, like these who, on that account, was accused to the magistrates of harbouring mysteries, it had hitherto been kept secret. See the next note, and seditious persons.
Eph. i. 9. note. 4. And Sosipater.)-This, I suppose, is the person called Sopater 3. Which liath been kept secret in the times of the ages ;)--that is, of Berra, who is said to have accompanied the apostle to Asia, Acts during the dispensation of the law of Moses, which, as Locke ob. xx. 4. lie and Jason are called the apostle's kinsmen, because they serves, is called iww, the age, Luke i. 70. Acts iii. 22.; and 2:00e5 were Jews.
W2065,2 Tim. 1. 9. Tit.l.2.; and in this verse Zeuvons auvions, because, Ver. 22. I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you. )--It seems under the law, time was measured by xoxots, ages or jubilees. Hence Tertius was well known to the Roman brethren. From his name God is called 'the Rock or Ages,' in the same sense ihat he is called le may be supposed to have been a Rorgan. Others think this is 'the Rock of Israel.' He was the strength and support of the people Silas, because his name is of the same signification with Tertius, who lived under the ages, or Mosaic dispensation. Farther, the
Ver. B.-1. Caius mine host.)-He is generally believed to have same author observes, that the reception of the Gentiles into the been Caius of Corinth, whom Paul baptized, 1 Cor. i. 14.; and who, visible church of God could not be called a mystery or secret, till bring a man of wealth, and of a benevolent disposition, entertained there was a church erected, consisting of Abralian and his poste. the apostle in his house at the time this episue was written; and rity, into which they could be received. For till then there were no shewed great hospitality likewise to all the members of the church such names of distinction known among mankind as Jew and Gen. al Corinth. See 3 John, Pref. sect. 2.
tile, to denote those who were in or out of the visible church. Hence 2. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you. }-At Smyrna the propriety of the expression, 'kept secret in the times of the there was an officer of this kind, who is mentioned among the other ages. It is crue, in the covenant by which God separated Abraham magistrates of the city. Marmor. Oxon. p. 265, M:1247851 Onxovo. and his posterity from the rest of mankind, and made them his visi.
Meiletus the younger steward.' In the Vulgate version, ouro. ble church anıt people, the calling of the nations to be the people of +3829; = 1:8; is translated 'Arcarius civitatis--the treasurer of the God was promised, under the idea of blessing them in Abraham's cily.' Erastus being a person of such note, his conversion and salu secd.'. Also it was predicted by the Jewish prophets, as the apostle tation must have occasioned great joy to the brethren in Roine. hath shewn in the preceding chapters. But, as noi the least inti.
3. And Quartus your brother.)-1 have supplied the word your, mation was given, either in the covenant or by the prophets, of the because to call Quirius simply a brother, was no distinction at all, condition on which the Gentiles were to be received as the people unless, as soine conjecture, it iinports that he was a minister of the of God, it never entered into the mind of the Jews, that they could go-pel. Thai Quartus was a native of Rome, or Italy, and a mein become the people of God in any other way than by circumcision ber of the charch at Roine, as well as Terrius, I think probable from and obedience to the law of Moses. Their attaining that honour, thir namnes, which are evidently Latin.
therefore, together with justification and eternal life, merely by Ver. 21. The grace ofour Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. )-This faith is the great secret, said in this verse to be kept hid during the is the conclurinz apostolical benediction, which St. Paul always wrote times ofthe ages, or Mosaical dispensation; but which (ver. 20.) was with his own han], to distinguish his genuine epistes from those made manifest to the apostles by revelation in order to be preachtha: were forseel in his name, 2 Thess. ii. 17. But though he coin ed to all the Gentiles, according to the commandinent of the evermonly en let his letters with that bencdiction, before he quitted the lasting God, recorded in the writings of the Jewish prophets. Others pen, on this occasion he adelnd also, in his own handwriting, that translate zeovov, 20141005 Troynusvcu, 'kept secret in ancient times.' grand doxology, contained ver. 35, 36, 27. in which he offers a so. But this makes no difference in the sense. See Til. i. 2. note 2. lean thanksgiving to God, for the callmg of the Gentiles, by the Ver. 21.-1. To the wise God alone, through Jesus Christ. )-This, apostles preaching Christ to them, according to the revelation of that I think, is the true translation of more to w Gow, both here and in mystery male lo hin, and according to God's express command the doxologies, 1 Tim. i. 17. Jude, ver. 35. For if the translation but in the prophetic writings of the Jews. And as he had ex. were to run in the following manner,'To the only wise God,' it would plained these subjects in the foregoing epistle, this doxology was imply, that there are some Gods who are not wise. On the other placed at the conclusion of it with great propriety, and
could not bul hand, if we render the clause thus, 'To God only wise, the reader be extremely acceptable to all the Gentiles.
might be apt to think, that God hath no periection but wisdom. The Vnr. 35.--I. Nowiolim who is able to stabljxh you, according to translation which I have given above clearly expresses the apostle's my gospel
. What the apostle wished the Romans to be established meaning, which is, that glory ought to be ascribed to God alone in 111, was those essential points of doctrine which he always preached, the highest degree; or, ihat God alone is entitled thereto in and of
himsell: whereas, all others, to whom glory is due, derive their live á, is put for auta, to him : (sce Eph. iii. 21.); unless, with our title to it from the perfection which he has communicated to them, translators, we think it a pleonasm, or adopt the reading of some or the authority which he has bestowed on them.
printed editions, in which w is omitted. 2. 1 say, to biin be the glory for ever. - !,00. Here'the rela
Thus endeth the apostle Paul's Epistle to the Romans; a writing, which, for sublimity and truth of sentiment, for brevity and strength of expression, for regularity in its structure, but, above all, for the unspeakable importance of the discoveries which it contains, stands unrivalled by any mere human composition, and as far exceeds the most celebrated productions of the learned Greeks and Romans, as the shining of the sun exceedeth the twinkling of the stars.
Sect. II.- Of the Character and Manners of the CorinSect. I.-Oj the time of St. Paul's arrival at Corinth.
thians in their heathen State. We are told, Acts xvii. 15. that after Paul was driven, Before Corinth was destroyed by the Romans, it was by the unbelieving Jews, from Thessalonica and Beræa, famous for the magnificence of its buildings, the extent he went to Athens, the most celebrated city in Greece, of its commerce, and the number, the learning, and the intending to make the gospel known to the learned there. ingenuity of its inhabitants, who carried the arts and But the contempt in which the Athenian philosophers sciences to such perfection, that it was called by Cicero, held his doctrine and manner of preaching, convincing totius Græciæ lumen, the light of all Greece; and by Flohim that it would be to no purpose to stay long among rus, Græciæ decus, the ornament of Greece. The lustre, them, he left Athens soon, and went to Corinth, now be- however, which Corinth derived from the number and come the metropolis of the province of Achaia, and of genius of its inhabitants, was tarnished by their debauched equal fame for the sciences and the arts with Athens
manners. Strabo, lib. viii. p. 151. tells us, that in the itself.
temple of Venus at Corinth “ there were more than a On his arrival in Corinth, he found Aquila and his thousand harlots, the slaves of the temple, who, in honour wife Priscilla, two Jewish Christians, who had lately of the goddess, prostituted themselves to all comers for come from Italy, becausc Claudius had commanded all hire, and through these the city was crowded, and beJews to depart from Rome,' Acts xviii. 2. According came wealthy.” From an institution of this kind, which, to the best chronologers, Claudius's edict against the under the pretext of religion, furnished an opportunity Jews was published in the eleventh year of his reign, to the debauched to gratify their lusts, it is easy to see answering to a. 1. 51. Claudius began his reign on the what corruption of manners must have flowed. Accord24th of January. Wherefore, notwithstanding his edict ingly it is known, that lasciviousness was carried to such against the Jews might come forth early in the eleventh a pitch in Corinth, that, in the language of these times, year of his reign, yet, as the Jews would be allowed a the appellation of a Corinthian given to a woman, imreasonable time to settle their affairs, and take themselves ported that she was a prostitute and Kegar face Cav, to beaway, we cannot suppose that Aquila and Priscilla ar have as a Corinthian, spoken of a man, was the same as rived at Corinth sooner than the end of the spring in the Etuigevev, to commit whoredom. year 51. And seeing they were settled in Corinth, and In the Achæan war, Corinth was utterly destroyed by carrying on their business of tent-making, when the the Roman Consul Mummius. But being rebuilt by apostle arrived, his arrival cannot be fixed sooner than Julius Cæsar, and peopled with a Roman colony, it was the summer of that year.—This epoch of St. Paul's arri- made the residence of the Proconsul who governed the val at Corinth merits attention, because it will be of use province of Achaia, see (see 1 Thess. i. 7. note), and soon in fixing the dates of other occurrences, which happened regained its ancient splendour; for its inhabitants inboth before and after that event.
creasing exceedingly, they carried on, by means of its Being come to Corinth, the apostle immediately preach- two sea-ports, an extensive commerce, which brought them ed in the synagogue. But the greatest part of the Jews great wealth. From that time forth, the arts which miopposing themselves and blaspheming, he told them he nister to the conveniences and luxuries of life, were carwould go to the Gentiles, Acts xviii. 6. Knowing, how- ried on at Corinth in as great perfection as formerly : ever, the temper and learning of the Gentiles in Corinth, schools were opened, in which philosophy and rhetoric and their extreme profligacy of manners, he was in great were publicly taught by alle masters; and strangers from fear when he first preached to them, 1 Cor. ii. 3. But all quarters crowded to Corinth, to be instructed in the the Lord Jesus appeared to him in a vision, and bade him sciences and in the arts. So that Corinth, during this not be afraid, but speak boldly, because he had much latter period, was filled with philosophers, rhetoricians, and people in that city,' Acts xviii. 9, 10. In obedience to artists of all kinds, and abounded in wealth. These Christ's command, Paul preached almost two years in advantages, however, were counterbalanced, as before, by Corinth, (ver. 11. 18.), and gathered a very flourishing the effects which wealth and luxury never fail to produce. church, in which there were some Jews of note, ver. 8. In a word, an universal corruption of manners soon prebut the greatest part were idolatrous Gentiles, 1 Cor. vailed; so that Corinth, in its second state, became as xii. 2.-The members of this church being very nume debauched as it had been at any former period whatever. rous, were so much the object of the apostle's attention, The apostle therefore had good reason, in this epistle, to that he wrote to them two long and excellent letters, not exhort the Corinthian brethren to flee fornication :' and only for establishing them in the belief of his apostleship, after giving them a catalogue of the unrighteous who which a false teacher, who came among them after his shall not inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. departure, had presumed to call in question, but to cor- he was well entitled to add, and such were some of rect certain irregularities into which many of them had you.' In short, the Corinthians had carried vice of every falleu in his absence, and for other purposes which shall kind to such a pitch, that their city was more debauched be mentioned in Sect. iv. of this Preface.
than any of the other cities of Greece.
Secr. III.--Of the Conversion of the Corinthians to nauseated whatever was contrary to these principles, the the Christian Faith.
apostle did not, during his first abode in Corinth, attempt
to explain the gospel scheme to the Corinthians in its full After the apostle left the synagogue, he frequented extent; but, after the example of his divine Master, he the house of one Justus, a religious proselyte whom he taught them as they were able to bear :-1 Cor. iii. 1. had converted. Here the idolatrous inhabitants of the "Now I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual, city, prompted by curiosity, came to him from time to but as to fleshly men, even as to babes in Christ. 2. Milk time, in great numbers, to hear his discourses. And I gave you, and not meat: For ye were not then able to having themselves seen, or having been credibly informed receive it. Nay, neither yet now are ye able.' hy others, of the miracles which Paul wrought, and of the spiritual gifts which he conferred on them who be. Sect. IV. Of the Occasion of writing the First Epistle lieved, they were so impressed with his discourses and
to the Corinthians. miracles, that many of them renounced their ancient su
perstition. So Luke tells us, Acts xviii. 8. • And many Though the apostle had taught the word of God at I of the Corinthians, hearing, believed, and were baptized. Corinth during more than a year and six months, the re
Of all the miracles wrought in confirmation of the ligious knowledge of the disciples, for the reasons already gospel, that which seems to have affected the Greeks mentioned, was but imperfect at his departure. They most, was the gift of tongues. For as they esteemed elo were therefore more liable than some others to be dequence more than any other human attainment, that gift, ceived by any imposter who came among them, as the by raising the common people to an equality with the event shewed. For, after the apostle was gone, a false learned, greatly recommended the gospel to persons in teacher, who was a Jew by birth, 2 Cor. xi. 22. came the middle and lower ranks of life. Hence numbers to Corinth with letters of recommendation, 2 Cor. iii. l. of the inhabitants of Corinth, of that description, were probably from the brethren in Judea ; for which reason early converted. But with persons in higher stations, he is called a fulse apostle, 2 Cor. xi. 13. having been the gospel was not so generally successful. By their sent forth by men. This teacher was of the sect of the attachment to some one or other of the schemes of phi- Sadducees, (see 1 Cor. xv. 12.), and of some note on aclosophy which then prevailed, the men of rank and learn. count of his birth (2 Cor. v. 16, 17.) and education ; being had rendered themselves incapable, or at least un- ing perhaps a scribe learned in the law, 1 Cor. i. 20.—He willing, to embrace the gospel. Ai that time, the philo- seems likewise to have been well acquainted with the chasophers were divided into many sects; and each sect racter, manners, and opinions of the Greeks; for he recomhaving nothing in view but to confute the tenets of the mended himself to the Corinthians, not only by affecting, other sects, the disquisitions of philosophy among the in his discourses, that eloquence of which the Greeks Greeks had introduced an universal skepticism, which were so fond, but also by suiting his doctrine to their destroyed all rational belief. This pernicious effect ap- prejudices, and his precepts to their practices. For ex. peared conspicuously in their statesmen, who, through ample, because the learned Greeks regarded the body as their philosophical disputations, having lost all ideas of the prison of the soul, and expected to be delivered from truth and virtue, regarded nothing in their politics but it in the future state, and called the hope of the resurrecuulity. And therefore, in the persuasion that idolatry tion of the flesh, the hope of worms ;--a filthy and abowas the only proper religion for the vulgar, they would minable thing—which God neither will nor can do,' hear nothing that had the least tendency to make the (Celsus ap. Origen, lib. v. p. 240.); and because they people sensible of its absurdity. On persons of this de- ridiculed the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, scription, the arguments in behalf of the gospel, advanced Acts xvii. 32. this new teacher, to render the gospel acby the apostle, made no impression ; as was seen in the ceptable to them, flatly denied it to be a doctrine of the Athenian magistrates and philosophers, before whom gospel, and affirmed that the resurrection of the body was Paul reasoned in the most forcible manner, against the neither desirable nor possible; and argued, that the only reigning idolatry, without effect. The miracles which he resurrection promised by Christ was the resurrection of wrought at Corinth, in confirmation of the gospel, ought the soul from ignorance and error, which the heretics of to have drawn the attention of all ranks of men in that these times said was already passed, 2 Tim. ii. 18. Next, city. But the opinion which the philosophers and states because the Corinthians were addicted to gluttony, drunkmen entertained of their own wisdom was so great, that enness, fornication, and every sort of lewdness, this teachthey despised the gospel as mere foolishness, (1 Cor. i. er derided the apostle's precepts concerning temperance 23.), rejected its evidences, and remained, most of them, and chastity, and reasoned in defence of the licentious in their original ignorance and wickedness.
practices of the Greeks, as we learn from the apostle's conThough, as above observed, the common people at futation of his arguments, 1 Cor. vi. 12, 13. Nay, he Corinth, strongly impressed by the apostle's miracles, went so far as to patronize a person of some note among readily embraced the gospel, it must be acknowledged, the Corinthians, who was living in incest with his fathat they did not seem, at the beginning, to have been ther's wife, 1 Cor. v. 1. ; proposing thereby to gain the much influenced thereby either in their temper or man- good-will, not only of that offender, but of many others ners. In receiving the gospel, they had been moved by also, who wished to retain their ancient debauched manvanity, rather than by the love of truth. And therefore, ner of living. Lastly, to ingratiate himself with the when they found the doctrines of the gospel contrary in Jews, he enjoined obedience to the law of Moses, as abmany things to their most approved maxims, they neither solutely necessary to salvation. relished them, nor the apostle's explications of them. In thus corrupting the gospel, for the sake of renderAnd as to his moral exhortations, because they were not ing it acceptable to the Greeks, the false teacher proposed composed according to the rules of the Grecian rhetoric, to make himself the head of a party in the church at nor delivered with those tones of voice which the Greeks Corinth, and to acquire both power and wealth. Bul admired in their orators, they were not attended to by Paul's authority, as an apostle, standing in the way of many, and had scarce any influence in restraining them his ambition, and hindering him from spreading his errors from their vicious pleasures. Knowing, therefore, the with the success he wished, he endeavoured to lessen bumour of the Greeks, that they sought wisdom, that is, the apostle, by representing him as one who had neither a conformity to their philosophical principles, in every the mental nor the bodily abilities necessary to an apos Dew scheme of doctrine that was proposed to them, and tle. His presence, he said, was mean, and his speech
contemptible, 2 Cor. x. 10. He found fault with his birth The Corinthians, in their letter, having desired the and education, 2 Cor. x. 10. He even affirmed that he apostle's advice concerning marriage, celibacy, and diwas no apostle, because he had not attended Christ during vorce, and concerning the eating of meats which had been his ministry on earth, and boldly said that Paul had ab- sacrificed to idols, he treated of these subjects at great stained from taking maintenance, because he was con- length in this epistle. Also, because the faction had scious he was no apostle. On the other hand, to raise called his apostleship in question, he proved himself an
himself in the eyes of the Corinthians, he praised his own apostle by various undeniable arguments, and confuted - birth and education, boasted of his knowledge and elo- the objection taken from his not demanding maintenance
quence, and laid some stress on his bodily accomplish. from the Corinthians. Then, in the exercise of his aposments ; by all which he gained a number of adherents, tolical authority, he declared it to be sinful, on any preand formed a party at Corinth against the apostle. And, text whatever, to sit down with the heathens in an idol's because there were in that party some teachers endowed temple, to partake of the sacrifices which had been offered with spiritual gifts, the apostle considers them also as there. And, with the same authority, he gave rules for leaders. Hence, he speaks sometimes of one leader of the behaviour of both sexes in the public assemblies; rethe faction, and sometimes of divers, as it suited the buked the whole church for the indecent manner in which purpose of his argument.
they had celebrated the Lord's supper ; and the spiritual While these things were doing at Corinth, Paul re men, for the irregularities which many of them had been turned from Jerusalem to Ephesus, according to his pro- guilty of, in the exercise of their gifts; proved against mise, Acts xviii. 21. During his second abode in that the Greek philosophers and the Jewish Sadducees the city, which was of long continuance, some of the family possibility and certainty of the resurrection of the dead, of Chloe, who were members of the church at Corinth, and exhorted the Corinthians to make collections for the and who adhered to the apostle, happening to come to saints in Judea, who were greatly distressed by the perEphesus, gave him an account of the disorderly practices secution which their unbelieving brethren had raised which many of the Corinthian brethren were following, against them. and of the faction which the false teacher had formed From this short account of Paul's first epistle to the among them in opposition to him, 1 Cor. i. 11. These Corinthians, it is evident, as Locke observes, that the evils requiring a speedy remedy, the apostle immediately apostle's chief design in writing it was to support his own sent Timothy and Erastus to Corinth, Acts xix. 22. 1 authority with the brethren at Corinth, and to vindicate Cor. iv, 17., in hopes that if they did not reclaim the face himself from the calumnies of the party formed by the tion, they might at least be able to confirm the sincere. false teacher in opposition to him, and to lessen the credit For that purpose he ordered his messengers to inform the of the leaders of that party, by shewing the gross errors Corinthians, that he himself was coming to them directly and miscarriages into which they had fallen ; and to put from Ephesus, to increase the spiritual gifts of those who an end to their schism, by uniting them to the sincere adhered to him, 2 Cor. i. 15, and to punish, by his mi. part of the church-that all of them, unanimously sube raculous power, the disobedient, 1 Cor. iv. 18, 19. Such mitting to him as an apostle of Christ, might receive his was the apostle's resolution, when he sent Timothy and doctrines and precepts as of divine authority ; not those Erastus away. But before he had time to put this reso. only which he had formerly delivered, but those also which lution into execution, three persons arrived at Ephesus, he now taught in his answers to the questions which the whom the sincere part of the church had despatched from sincere part of the church had proposed to him. Corinth with a letter to the apostle, wherein they express At the conclusion of this account of the epistle, it may ed their attachment to him, and desired his directions not be improper to observe, that because the unteachableconcerning various matters, which had been the subject of ness of the Greeks, and their aversion to the doctrines of much disputation, not only with the adherents of the the gospel, proceeded from the extreme attachment to false teachers, but among the sincere themselves.
their own false philosophy and rhetoric, the apostle in The coming of these messengers, together with the different passages of this epistle was at great pains to shew extraordinary success which the apostle had about that the vanity of both, together with their pernicious influence time in converting the Ephesians, occasioned an altera- in matters of religion. His reasonings on these topics, tion in his resolution respecting his journey to Corinth. no doubt, were particularly designed for confuting the For instead of setting out directly, he determined to re- pretensions of the Greeks; yet they are not uninteresting main in Ephesus till the following Pentecost, 1 Cor. xvi. to us. They are still of great use in beating down those 8. And then, instead of sailing straightway to Corinth, high ideas of the powers of the human mind, which some he proposed to go first into Macedonia, 1 Cor. xvi. 5, 6. modern pretenders to philosophy are so industrious in - In the mean time, to compensate the loss which the propagating, for the purpose of persuading us that diCorinthians sustained from the deferring of his intended vine revelation is unnecessary in matters of religion. visit, he wrote to them his First Epistle, in which he re. They are of use likewise in showing the falsehood of proved the false teacher and his adherents, for the divi- those philosophical principles, whereby deists have ensions they had occasioned in the church. And because deavoured to disprove the facts recorded in the gospel they ridiculed him as a person rude in speech, he informed history. Lastly, they prove that a studied artificial rhethem, that Christ had ordered him, in preaching the gos- toric is not necessary in communicating to the world the pel, to avoid the enticing words of man's wisdom, lest the revelations of God. doctrine of salvation through the cross of Christ should be rendered ineffectual. Then, addressing the heads of Sect. V.–Of the Time and Place of writing the First the faction, he plainly told them, their luxurious manner
Epistle to the Corinthians. of living was very different from the persecuted lot of the true ministers of Christ. And to put the obedience of Op the place where this epistle was written, there never the sincere part of the church to the trial, he ordered has been any doubt. The mention that is made, chap. them, in a general public meeting called for the purpose, xvi. 8. of the apostle's purpose of remaining in Epheto excommunicate the incestuous person. After which sus till Pentecost,' and the salutation of the churches of he sharply reproved those who had gone into the heathen Asia, ver. 19. shew, that this letter was written, not at courts of judicature with their law-suits, and directed Philippi, as the spurious postscript indicates, but at Ephethem to a better method of settling their claims on each sus, during the apostle's second abode in that city, of other respecting worldly matters.
which we have the account, Acts xix. 1-41.
It is not so generally agreed, at what particular time of tures, that Claudius was then dead, and that the news of the apostle's abode in Ephesus this letter was written. his death, which happened October 13, a. C. 54, had Mill, in his Prolegomena, No. 9. says it was written after reached Ephesus; because, if he had been alive, and his the riot of Demetrius, because the apostle's fighting with edict in force, St. Paul would not have thought of going wild beasts at Ephesus is mentioned in it, chap. xv. 32. to Rome, I add, that before he took such a resolution, which he thinks happened during that riot. But Paul he must have known that Nero was well affected to the did not then go into the theatre, being restrained by the Jews, and that the Christians were re-established at Rome. disciples, and by some of the Asiarchs who were his But as some months must have passed before Nero disfriends, Acts xix. 30, 31. His fighting with wild beasts, covered his sentiments respecting the Jews, and before therefore, at Ephesus, must have happened in some pre- the church was actually re-established in the city, the vious tumult, of which there is no mention in the history apostle could not well be informed of these things before of the Acts.—That the First Epistle to the Corinthians the spring of the year 56, that is, about 18 months after was written a little while before the riot of Demetrius and Claudius's death. the craftsmen, appears to me probable from two circumstances : The first is, the apostle told the Corinthians, Sect. VI.- Of the Messengers by whom the First Epistle chap. xvi. 8, 9. that he resolved to abide in Ephesus till to the Corinthians was sent, and of the Success of Pentecost, on account of the great success with which he that Epistle. was then preaching the gospel. The second circumstance is, that Demetrius, in his speech to the craftsmen, men Ar the time the apostle wrote this letter he was in great tioned the much people whom Paul had turned from the distress, 2 Cor. ii. 4., being afraid that the faction would worship of idols, as a recent event; and by shewing that pay no regard to it. And therefore, instead of sending it Paul's doctrine, concerning the gods who are made with by the messengers who had come from Corinth, he sent it the hands of men, effectually put an end to their occu- by Titus, 2 Cor. vii. 7, 8. 13. 15. that his presence and pation and wealth, he excited the craftsmen to make the exhortations might give it the more effect. And as it conriot. These two circumstances joined, lead us to con tained directions concerning the collections for the saints, clude that the First Epistle to the Corinthians was writ- chap. xvi. the apostle desired Titus to urge the sincere ten a little while before the riot. For if it had been write among the Corinthians to begin that good work, 2 Cor. ten after the riot, the apostle could not have said, “I will viii. 6. With Titus the apostle sent another brother, abide at Ephesus till Pentecost.'
1 Cor. xii. 18., probably an Ephesian, whose name is On supposition that the First Epistle to the Corin- not mentioned, but who no doubt was a person of reputhians was written little while before the riot of Deme- tation, seeing he was appointed to assist 'Titus in healing trius, its date may be fixed to the end of the year 56, or the divisions which had rent the Corinthian church. And the beginning of the year 57, in the following manner : that they might have time to execute their commission, The apostle, as has been shewn, Sect. I. came to Corinth, and return to the apostle at Ephesus, he resolved to rethe first time, about the beginning of summer in the year main there till the ensuing Pentecost. It seems he did 51. On that occasion he abode near two years, Acts xviii. not think it prudent to go himself to Corinth, till he knew 11. 18.; then set out by sea for Syria, with an intention the success of his letter, and how the Corinthians stood to celebrate the ensuing feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem, affected towards him, after they had read and considered it. ver. 21. This was the Pentecost which happened in the As this letter, of which Titus was the bearer, contained year 53. Having celebrated that feast, he went imme- the apostle's answer to the one which the Corinthians had diately to Antioch ; and after he had spent some time sent to him, we may believe the messengers by whom it there, he departed, and went over all the country of Ga was sent, namely, Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, latia and Phrygia in order, ver. 22, 23. and passing I Cor. xvi. 17. would go along with 'litus and the brethrough the upper coasts, he came to Ephesus, Acts xix. 1. thren. Be this, however, as it may, Titus and his comIn this journey, I suppose he spent a year and four months. panions, on their arrival at Corinth, had all the success These, brought into the account after the feast of Pente- in executing their commission which they could desire. cost in the year 53, will make the apostle's second arrival For, on delivering the apostle's letter, the Corinthians reat Ephesus to have happened in the autumn of 54. At ceived them with fear and trembling, 2 Cor. vii. 15., exEphesus he abode two years and three months ; at the end pressed the deepest sorrow for their miscarriages, ver. of which the riot of Demetrius happened. These, added 9-11., and paid a ready obedience to all the apostle's to the autumn of 54, bring us to the end of the year 56, orders, ver. 15, 16. But the news of this happy change or the beginning of the year 57, as the date of ihe riot, in their temper the apostle did not receive, will leaving and of the apostle's First Epistle to the Corinthians. Ac- Ephesus he came into Macedonia, where it seems he wailcordingly Pearson places it in the year 57; and Mill more ed till Titus arrived, and brought him such an account of particularly in the beginning of that year; because it is the greatest part of the church at Corinth, as gave him said, chap. v. 7. •For Christ our passover is sacrificed the highest joy, 2 Cor. vii. 4. 7. 13. for us; 8. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old Because Sosthenes joined the apostle in this letter, Beza leaven,' &c.
thinks he was the apostle's amanuensis in writing it. And Farther, the apostle, a while before the riot of Deme- for the same reason he supposes the Second Epistle to trius, speaking of his going to Jerusalem with the collec- the Corinthians to have been written by Timothy. But tions, said, Acts xix. 21. • After I have been there I must all this is mere conjecture, as is plain from Beza's note on also see Rome.' From this Lightfoot very well conjec. Gal. vi. 11.
CHAPTER I. View and Illustration of the Matters contained in the First Chapter of this Epistle. The teacher who came to Corinth after the apostle's Corinthians his apostolical benediction, mentioned a fact departure with a view to lessen his authority among the well known to them all, by which his title to the apostle. Corinthians, boldly affirmed that he was no apostle. ship was established in the clearest manner. Having Wherefore, to shew the falsehood of that calumny, St. communicated to the Corinthians a variety of spiritual Paul, after asserting his own apostleship, and giving the gifts immediately after their conversion, he thanked God