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ye (g) suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite 21. you on the face. I speak as (b) concerning reproach, as reproach, as though though we had been weak. Howbeit (i) whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham?
take umbrage at my folly in speaking in my own behalf.
g) "Ye suffer," &c. i. e. ye have indeed born with much from these false teachers; ye have suffered them to treat you as bondmen, to prey upon you, to use you contumaciously, &c.
(b) "As concerning reproach, as though," &c. i. e. upon the imputation of my being weak, not having such pretensions to power, &c. as they.
(i) "Whereinsoever," &c.i. e. if others boast on account of their lineage, their exertions and sufferings in the cause, their accommodating themselves to the feelings, &c. of others, to bring them over, I have at least as strong claims on each ground.
(*)" In stripes," &c. St. Paul appeals particularly to his exertions and sufferings: they proved his zeal and sincerity in bearing up against them, and God's grace to him in giving him courage, and afford strong ground for considering his doctrine true, because it gained so much ground, notwithstanding so much opposition. Dr. Paley makes it the great ground upon which he infers the truth of Christianity, that "per
sons, professing to be witnesses of "the Christian miracles, passed their "lives in labours, dangers, and suffer"ings, which they voluntarily under66 went in attestation of the accounts
so am I. Are they ministers of 23. Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in (k) stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times re- 24. ceived I (1) forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, 25. once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in 26. journeyings often, in perils of
men should lay hands on them, should persecute them, delivering them up "to the synagogues," &c. "that some "of them they should cause to be put to "death, and that they should be hated "of all men for his name sake," that is, for embracing Christianity. The suf ferings St. Paul here enumerates were, as to him, a completion of the prophecy; and the Acts, &c. furnish instances of the persecutions of other disciples. Stephen was stoned to death, Acts vii. 59, 60. Herod killed James, the brother of "John, with the sword; and because it "pleased the Jews, he took Peter also, "and put him into prison." Acts xii. 1, 2, 3. St. Paul, before his conversion, "made havock of the Church, entering "into every house, and haling men, women, and children, committed "them to prison." Acts viii. 3. xxvi. 10. The earnest manner, too, in which St. Paul, St. James, and St. Peter, exhort the converts to bear up against persecution, implies pretty strongly that their sufferings were such as to require strong encouragement. See 2 Thess. i. 3 to 6.-James ii. 5 to 7.-1 Pet. iv, 12 to 19. See also Heb. x. 32, 33. Tacitus also mentions the persecutions of the Christians. No impostor would hold out such a prospect to his followers as that which our Saviour held out; and nothing but conviction would induce them to bear the trials.
(1) Forty stripes, save one." They v. 24. were prohibited, by Deut. xxv. 3. from exceeding forty stripes: and they were in the habit of using a scourge with three ends, so as to give three blows at one stroke; and then they never exceeded thirteen strokes, which inflicted thirtynine stripes.
waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils 27. among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and 28. nakedness. Beside those things that (m) are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who (n) is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine (0) 31. infirmities. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
The Gospel. Luke viii. 4. WHEN much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake 5. by a parable: "A sower went
(m) That are without," &c. i. e. my external sufferings, such as he had stated, "that which cometh," &c. i. e. his inward anxiety, &c. for the care of all the churches.
(n) "Who is weak," &c. This perhaps means, that he accommodated himself in innocent points to the tempers and feelings of others, to win them over, and keep them, as he says, 1 Cor. ix. 22. "To the weak became I as weak, that "I might gain the weak. I am made "all things to all men, that I might by "all means save some."
(0) "Mine infirmities," i. e. perhaps, .30. what I have done and suffered, rather than the gifts, &c. conferred upon me.
(p) To you it is given," &c. The reason why the disciples had this privilege, and the others not, may be collected from the parallel passage in Matt. xiii. 12. &c. viz. because the disciples, from following him, had shewn an anxious desire after the truth, and the others,
66 out to sow his seed: and as he "sowed, some fell by the way"side; and it was trodden down, " and the fowls of the air de"voured it. And some fell upon 6. a rock; and as soon as it was "sprung up, it withered away, "because it lacked moisture. "And some fell among thorns; 7. " and the thorns sprang up with "it, and choked it. And other 8. "fell on good ground, and
sprang up, and bare fruit an "hundred-fold." And when he had said these things, he cried, "He that hath ears to hear, let "him hear." And his disciples 9. asked him, saying, "What might "this parable be?" And he said, ro. "Unto (p) you it is given to know "the mysteries of the kingdom "of God: but to others in pa"rables; that seeing they might "not see, and hearing they might "not understand. Now the pa- 11. "rable is this: The seed is the "word of God. Those by the 12.
"way-side are they that hear; "then cometh the devil, and "taketh away the word out of "their hearts, lest they should "believe and be saved. They "on the rock are they, which, "when they hear, receive the "word with joy; and these have "no root, which for a while be"lieve, and in time of tempta"tion fall away. And that which "fell among thorns are they, "which, when they have heard, cc go forth, and are choked with
cares and riches and pleasures "of this life, and bring no fruit 15. to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which, "in an honest and good heart, "having heard the word, keep "it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
QUINQUAGESIMA SUNDAY, or the Sunday next before Lent.
O LORD, who has taught us that all our doings without charity are
(9) "Charity," i. e. "complete good "will to man." St. Paul's object in this chapter is to shew, that such good will for God's sake, upon a principle of duty, is better than all the gifts of the spirit, of which he had been writing in the preceding chapter.
(r) "Sounding brass," &c. i. e. all my pretensions and qualities are vain and empty.
(s)" Could remove mountains." St. Paul was perhaps aware of our Saviour's declaration, Mark xi. 23. "Whosoever
shall say unto this mountain be thou " removed, and be thou cast into the
sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, "but shall believe that those things "which he saith shall come to pass, he "shall have whatsoever he saith." See Matt. xxi. 22.
The Epistle. 1 Cor. xiii. 1. THOUGH I Speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not (q) charity, I am become as (r) sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though 2. 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 (s), and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I (t) 3. 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. 4. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself 5. unseemly (u), seekéth (x) not her
(t) "Bestow," &c. This shews that v. 3. the word "charity" is here used for something far beyond "almsgiving."
(u) "Unseemly," i. e. scornfully, v. 5. contemptuously.
(x) Seeketh not her own," i. e. v. 5. to the prejudice of others; is not so intent upon its own private advantages, as rigorously to insist upon its right, where it will essentially hurt others. In 1 Cor. x. 33. he instances in himself, that he "seeks not his own profit, but the profit "of many, that they may be saved." In Philipp. ii. 21. he complains, that "all "seek their own, not the things which
are Jesus Christ's ;" and in 1 Cor. x. 24. he cautions them, "let no man "seek his own, but every man another's "wealth."
own, is not (y) easily provoked, 6. thinketh (z) no evil; rejoiceth
not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in 7. the truth; beareth all things, be
lieveth all things, hopeth all 8. things, endureth all things. Cha
rity never (a) faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall (b) fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall
9. vanish away. For we (c) know
in part, and we prophesy in part; 10. but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part 11. shall be done away. When (d) I
v. 5. v. 5. v. 8.
(y) "Easily," rather, "highly." (x)" Thinketh," i. e. imputeth to others.
(a) "Never faileth," i. e. is a quality which will always have scope; will never become useless; will continue even in the world to come.
(b) Shall fail," not that any thing foretold under God's inspiration should fail of coming to pass; but that the time should come when the gifts of prophecying, of tongues, that is, of speaking different languages, should be no longer useful; when that time should be is explained by what follows, when that which is perfect should be come, when we should know even as we are known, i.e. probably, in the life to come.
(c) "We know in part," &c. i. e. at present our knowledge is limited, one knowing more than another, and none having perfect knowledge; and therefore the gifts of prophecying, &c. are at present distinctions; but the time shall be when all shall have perfect knowledge, when we shall all know as much as these gifts could communicate, and then they will be wholly useless, of no value.
(d)" When," &c. This illustrates what preceded; as persons when advanced to manhood disregard as of no value what they learnt as mere children, so when perfect knowledge in all things is attained by all, particular steps only leading towards that perfect knowledge will be in no estimation.
(e)" Face to face," i. e. as clearly as one man can see another who is close
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. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then (e) face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, 1 hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
The Gospel. Luke xviii. 31. THEN Jesus took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, "Be"hold (f), we go up to Jerusa
to him. So 2 Cor. iii. 18. in contrasting the glory which was visible under the Gospel, beyond that which was visible under the Mosaic dispensation, when Moses put a veil before his face, to di. minish the light which there might other. wise have been, St. Paul says, 66 we all, "with open face, beholding as in a glass "the glory of the Lord, are changed," &c. So St. John, in speaking of the perfect knowledge he expected afterwards, says, 66 we shall see him as he "is." I John iii. 2. A similar expression occurs, Isaiah lii. 8.
They shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Sion."
Behold," &c. This conver- v.3 sation is also mentioned by St. Matthew, xx. 17. and by St. Mark x. 32. St. Mark's Gospel is generally supposed to have been overlooked by St. Peter: St. Matthew's account, therefore, is from one who was present at it, and who must therefore have known whether such a conversation occurred, and St. Mark's account may be considered as sanctioned by another ear-witness; and if after the resurrection and their subsequent intercourse with our Saviour, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, they could have wanted any thing to confirm their faith, the recollection of this prophetic communication was at least likely to have had that effect. St. John details a very long conversation at the last supper, in which our Saviour speaks repeatedly of his approaching death. See John xiii. to xvii. and post.
❝lem, and all things that are (g) "written by the prophets con"cerning the Son of man shall "be accomplished. For he shall "be (b) delivered unto the (i) "Gentiles, and shall be mocked, " and spitefully entreated, and 33." spitted on: and they shall scourge him, and put him to "death and the (k) third day "he shall rise again." And they (4) understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they
(8) " Written." There are many passages in the Old Testament from which it might be collected that the Messiah was to suffer. See particularly Psalm xxii. 7, 8. 17, 18.-Isaiah liii.
(b) "Delivered." The accounts by St. Matthew and St. Mark differ in some respects from this of St. Luke, but not very materially. St. Matthew says, "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, "and the Son of Man shall be betrayed "unto the chief priests, and unto the <scribes, and they shall condemn him "to death, and shall deliver him to the "Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, "and to crucify him; and the third day "he shall rise again." St. Mark states it thus: "Behold, we go up to Jerusa"lem, and the Son of Man shall be "delivered unto the chief priests, and "unto the scribes; and they shall con"demn him to death, and shall deliver "him to the Gentiles; and they shall "mock him, and shall scourge him, and "shall spit upon, and shall kill him ; " and the third day he shall rise again." This difference in unimportant particu lars, and correspondence in substantials, is a strong confirmation that the conversation really occurred. Fabricated accounts generally agree in particulars as well as substantials.
32. (i)" The Gentiles." Pilate, to whom he was delivered, and from whom the order came for his crucifixion, was a Roman Governor, not a Jew, and the Romans were among those whom the Jews called "Gentiles." The Jews had not, at the time of our Saviour's cruci fixion, the power of awarding a capital punishment.
(k) "The third day," &c. was furnishing a decisive test for trying his pretensions, one that an impostor would never have offered.
It is v. 34.
(1) Understood none," &c. probable the apostles were not yet aware that the Messiah's was to be merely a spiritual kingdom; and they might expect, as the Jews did, that it was to be temporal. In Matt. xvi. 21, 22. when our Saviour began to shew unto his disciples that he should suffer many things, and be killed, Peter said unto him, "Be "it far from thee Lord, this shall not "be unto thee." According to Matt. xvii. 22. when he gave them the same intimation," they were exceeding sorry." When our Saviour charged Peter, James, and John to tell no man what they had seen at the transfiguration till the son of man were risen from the dead, "they
questioned one with another what the "rising from the dead should mean.” Mark ix. 10. Mary Magdalen and the women who went with her to embalm our Saviour's body the third day after his crucifixion, could not have understood that he was to rise on that day, for if they had, they would not have gone to embalm him. See post, note on Luke xxiv. 45. and post, note on John xvi. 6. Even after the resurrection they asked our Saviour, "Lord wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom unto Israel." Acts i. 6.