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The Apostle introduces his Epistle with a most affe&tionate and

suitable Salutation, in which he congratulates the Corinthians on the rich Variety of Gifts and Graces, which GOD had bestowed upon them; and animates their Hope of his continued Favour in the Lord Jesus Christ, even till the Day of his final Appearance

. 1 Cor. Ii 1,---9:

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I CORINTHIANS I. I. AUL, who was in so peculiar a Manner Sect. 1. called [to be] an Apostle (a) of Jesus Christ,

not undertaking that Office of himself, but 1 Cor. I. 1. invested with it by the most express Declaration of the Will of GOD, signified at the Time of

that

(a) Called [to be] an Apostle.) There is great Propriety in every Clause of the Salutation prefixed to this Epistle'; and particularly in this, as there were those in the Church of Corint), who affected to call the Authority of his Mision into Question.

Dd 2

(b) Sosthenes.]

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2 1 2

ther ;

Paul, inscribing this Epistle to the Corinthians, Sect. 1. that miraculous Interpofition, of which you have and Sosthenes our Bro

so often heard ; and Softhenes (6), so well known 1 Cor. I. 1. unto you, whom I esteem as a dear Brother ;

2 concur in writing this Epistle, To the Church 2 Unto the Church of

of GOD, which is in the rich, populous, and God which is at Corinth, learned City of Corinth, whose chief Glory it is in Christ Jesus, called to be that they, (if they are what their Christian Pro- Saints, with all that in evefession speaks them to be,) are fanétified in vital ry Place call upon the Name Union with Christ Jesus (c), as well as called both theirs and ours :

of Jesus Chrift our Lord, with an external Vocation, by which they are separated from the rest of the World (as) the Saints of God. And when we express our affectionate Regard to you, and our good Wishes for your Edification and Comfort, we extend them to all, that in every Place (d) invoke the Name of our Lord Jefus Christ (e), whom we, and all true Chrif

tians, join in acknowledging and adoring as their 3 [Lord] and ours. May you experimentally

3 Grace be unto you, and know more of the Priviledges and Blessings of Peace from God our Fa

ther, and from the Lord Je-
his Gospel; and for that Purpose, [may] Grace fus Chrift?
- and Peace [be] with you, that Abundance of Di-
vine Influence, which

may
establish

your

Peace and multiply your Prosperity; even from GOD the original Fountain of all Blessings, whom we are now taught to look upon as our reconciled and gracious Father, and I from] Jesus Chrif our. Lord, that anointed and exalted Saviour, by whom

we

(5) Softhenes.] This was a Corinthin Minister, who attended Paul in his Travels. Compare Aets xviii. 17. It was both Humility and Prudence in the Apostle thus to join his Name with his own, in an Epifle, in which it was necessary, to deal so plainly with them, and to remonstrate against so many Irregularities.

(c) Sanctified in Christ Jesus.] I cannot agree with Mr. Locke, in concluding, that this must signify only an external Separation to the

Profession of the true Religion, as the Jews were externally a holy People, 1 Pet. ii. 8, 9, 10. It seems rather to intimate the Persuasion, which he had, that notwithstanding some lamented Irregularities among them, which he was faithfully follicitous to reform, they were in the general, a Body of fincere Chriftians, and the Exceptions comparatively few.

(d) With all that in every Place, &c.] Nothing could better fuit the candid and cathu. Jick Views, which Paul was so much concerned to promote in this Epiflle, than this Declaration of his good Wishes for every true Christian upon Earth, whether Jew, or Gentile, Learned, or Unlearned, Greek, or Barbarian. Í o limit it, as Grotius, L'Enfant, and some others, would do, to the Christians in Achaia, is to spoil all the Strength and Beauty of the Sentiment.

(e) Invoke the Name, &c.] This strongly implies, that it might well be taken for granted, that every true Chriftian would often pray to Christ, as well as address the Father in his Name.

() That

213

Behalf for the

6.

congratulates them, that they came behind in no Gift.

we receive the Adoption, and thro' whose Hands Sect. I.

all its Bleffings are communicated to us. 4 I thank my God al

I cannot address you, my dear Brethren, with 1 Cor. I. 4, ways on Grace of God, which is out assuring you in the first place, that I always given you by Jesus Chrift; give humble Thanks to my GOD on your Ac

count, whenever I mention you before him in
Prayer, as I frequently do, for the abundant
Grace of GOD given unto you in Christ Jesus; by
Virtue of which you have been received into the

Christian Church, and are made Ornaments to 5

That in every Thing it. For ever adored be his holy Name, that 5
ye are enriched by him, in in all Things, ye are enriched in him (f), with a
all Utterance, and in all
Knowledge :

Variety of Gifts and Graces, and particularly,
that ye are made copious in all Utterance, and

ready [in] all Knowledge of Spiritual and Divine 6 Even as the Testimo- Things ; As the Testimony which I bore to ny of Chrift was confirmed the Gospel of Christ, when Í. abode so long at

Corinth, was confirmed among you (8) by luch
various Communications of the Spirit, in Con-

sequence of which you became living Witnesses 7 So that ye come be- of it to all, who knew you.

So that you are 7 hind in no Gift; waiting deficient in no Gift, which can render, you

useful
for the Coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ :

in his Church, while you are waiting for the
Glorious Manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in Connection with which, I hope, you will al-
ways consider this extraordinary Furniture for his.

Service, and improve it so, as to advance your
8 Who shall also con- Preparation for that Day: Still keeping up an 8
firm you unto the End, that humble Dependance on him, who, if you

faith-
Je may be blameless in the
Day of our Lord Jesus fully apply to him for the continued Communi-

cation of his Almighty Aid, will confirm you to
the End; [so that] when so many others fall be
condemned, [ye may be] presented blameless and

irreproachable, in the great Day of our Lord Je9 God is faithful, by fus Christ (b). Fear not, my Brethren, but

this

in you.

Chrift.

9.

whom

(f) That ye are enriched, &c.]. These respectful Congratulations, and Acknowledgments, of the Things, in which they did really excel; had a most happy Tendency to soften their Minds; and to dispose them the better, to receive the plain Reproofs he was going to give them, and which, in their Circumstances, faithful Love extorted from him.

(8) Confirmed among you.] As they could not but know they had received these Gifts by the Hand of Paul, this Expression suggests a rational and tender Argument, to reduce them. to their former Affection to him as their spiritual Father. ;

(b) (That ye may be] blameless, &c.] I think, it would make a very low Sense of this,

214 Reflections on the Obligations of the Christian Calling: Sect. I.

this blessed Day will come, and bring with it whom ye were called unto ; those Glories,

which we have so long been taught Jesus Christ our Lord. Cor. I. 9. to expect. Fear not, but Divine Grace will still

be effectual to bear you thro' all Difficulties in
your Way to it: For GOD [is] faithful, by wbom
you were called into the Communion, and Society of
his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, that you may par-
ticipate of the Bleflings he hath purchased; the
grand Promises of whose Kingdom, ye know,
refer to that illustrious Day, of which I have been
speaking. Be therefore courageous and chearful
in the assured Expectation of it.

I M P R O V E M E N T.

Ver. 1.

Ver. 2.

Ver. 3.

L

ET us remember, that we also are san&tified in Christ, and Saints by

our Calling. Tho' we are not enriched with such extraordinarʻy Endowments, as those, which were bestowed upon this Primitive Corinthian Church, we call on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ; and let it be considered, as a Band of Love to all those, who join with us to acknowledge him under the Character of their Lord, and their Saviour. Let it engage us to pray, that the same Grace and Peace

may

be wits them from GOD our Father, and from Christ Jesus our common Lord,

which we wish for ourselves. Ver. 4, &c. : Let our Hearts be ever open to such noble Sentiments of Christian

Love; not envying the Gifts or Endowments of others, but rather re

joicing in them, bleffing God for them, and praying that they may be Ver. 6. largely increased; that fo the Testimony of Christ may be confirmed, by the

flourishing State of Religion among his Followers ; than which no Con-
firmation will probably carry a stronger and more affecting Conviction,
into the Hearts of those who observe it.
- To quicken us to this, let us be continually waiting for the Revelation
of Jesus Christ; thinking seriously, how certainly, and how quickly, he
will be revealed from Heaven, to bring us, and all our Brethren, to an
Account for the Improvement we make of the various Favours he hath
conferred upon us ; of which, surely to be called into the Fellowship of
Christ, and the Participation of Spiritual Blessings by him, is to be reck-
oned among the Chief.

Let

Ver. 7

Ver. 2.

to explain it, as some have done, that they would be preserved, if blameless: The Apostle plainly intends to encourage their Hope in that Grace, which might enable them so to perlevere, that they might be found blameless,

4

Ver. 8.

He exhorts the Corinthians against Schisms ;

215 Let us rejoice in the Fidelity of those Promises, which encourage us Sect. 1. to hope, that he whose Grace hath called us to a Participation of the Gospel, will confirm us blameless, even until the Day of Christ : And, as we have such Prospects of present Support and Comfort, and of final and compleat Salvation from him; let us, like this blessed Apostle, take a Pleasure in founding forth his Name, and in keeping up a most affectionate Remembrance of him, even of Jesus Christ our Lord and our Sa- Ver. 1,-9, viour, in our own Minds, and in those of our Christian Brethren.

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The Apostle expresses his great Concern on Account of the Fac

tions in the Church of Corinth, of which he had been informed; and expostulates with them, as to the Unreasonableness of setting up Christian Ministers at Heads of Parties, when they were under such Atrong Engagements to unite in Christ, as their common Saviour and Master. 1 Cor. I. 10,---16.

NOW

I

1 CORINTHIANS I. 10.

I CORINTHIANS I. 10. OW I beseech you,

NOW hasten to the great Things, which Sect. 2. Brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus I have in View in this Address to you:

1 Cor. I, 10 Christ, that ye all speak the And I must first of all beseech, as well as exsame Thing, and that there hort you, my Brethren, by the venerable and but that ye be perfectly join: endearing Name of our Lord Jesus Christ (a), as ed together in the same you desire, either to secure his Favour, or to adMind, and in the same vance his Cause and Interest in the World, that Judgment.

ye

all endeavour. so far as possible to speak the same Thing, that is, that you do not unnecessarily and unkindly contradict each other, but rather maintain a peaceful unanimous Témper ; [that] there may be no Schifms among you, nor mutual Alienation of Affection ; but [that] ye be all knit together, in the same Mind, and in the same Sen

timent;

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(a) By the venerable and endearing Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.] This is beautifully and properly opposed to the various human Names, under which they were fo ready to lift themselves.

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