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For he had heard of their Contentions ; : Sect.2. timent (6); waving unnecessary Controversies,
debating those which are necessary with Temper 1 Cor. I. 1o. and Candor, and delighting to speak most con
cerning those great and excellent Things, in
I urge this with the greater Earnestness, because II For it hath been deit bath been certified to me, my Brethren, concerning clared unto me of you, my
Brethren, by them which you, by those of Chloe's (Family] (c), that there are
are of the House of Chloe, some Contentions among you, which by no Means that there are Contentions become the Relation, wherein you stand to each among you. other, and the Regard which you profess to the Gospel of Christ.
Now this I say and mean by the preceding 12 Now this I say, that Charge, that, if
my Information be right, there every one of you saith I am are among you various parties, which avowedly los, and I of Cephas
, and I let themselves up, as under different Heads, tho' of Christ. you are not yet come to an open Separation ; so that every one of you lists himself under one or another of those dividing Names, which are so unhappily used among you on this Decasion. One, for Instance, says, I am for Paul, admiring the Plainness and Purity of his Doctrine; and a Second, I am for Apollos, charmed with the Eloquence and Beauty of his Address ; and a Third, I am for Cepbas, the Apostle of the Circumcision, who may be well called a Foundation-stone in the Church, as he maintains so strict a Regard to the Mosaick Ceremonies, and the peculiar Priviledges of God's ancient People ; while a Fourth says, I am for Chrif (d), whose
(b) In the same Mind and the fame Sentiment.] It was morally impossible, considering the Diversity of their Educations and Capacities, that they should all agree in Opinion ; nor :could he intend that, because he does not urge any Argument to reduce them to such an Agreement, nor so much as declare, what that one Opinion was, in which he would have them agree. The Words mut therefore express that peaceful and unanimous Temper, which Christians of different Opinions may and ought to maintain towards each other ; which will do a much greater Honour to the Gospel, and to human Nature, than the most perfect Uniformity that can be imagined.
(c) Those of Chloe's (Family.] Grotius Lupposes Fortunatus, and Achaicus, (mentioned Chap. xvi. 17.) to have been her Sons. (d) I am for Chris.] They might perhaps, be displeased with Peter, for his .Conde
concerning which he expostulates with them;
217 superior Name, and strict Observation of the Sect. 2. Mosaick Law in his own Person, unanswerably testify its perpetual Obligation; however any of I Cor. I. 1.3.
his Ministers may regard or neglect it. 13 Is Christ divided ? Was Paul crucified for you?
Give me leave now to ask, Is Christ divided into Or were ye baptized in as many Parties, as you are split into, so that the Name of Paul ? each has a distinct Saviour; or is he become only
the Head of one Party of his Followers, that
so much extol, crucified for you (e) ? Or were you baptized into the Name of Paul; that
you should thus affect to wear it as a Mark of
among others, has been made Use of to such a
gogue, and my worthy Friend, the hospitable
Baptism, Waters of Strife ; and had baptized into
of my Brethren, or of the Church in general.
scension to the Uncircumcised at Antioch, (Gal. ii
. 12.) which happened long before the Date of this Epifle ; and might also, as L'Enfant intimates, have valued themselves on having heard Chrif preach in his own Person, during the Time of his Ministration on Earth.
(e) Was Paul crucified for you ?] As if he had said, are your Obligations to me equal, or comparable to those, you are under to our common Master, to him who died for us upon the Cross? He mentions himself, as it was less invidious to do it; tho' the Application was equally just, as to every other Instance. Compare Chap. iii. 6.
(f) Lest any Mould say, I baptized into my own Name.] If any should object, that others might do it for him ; it may be answered, that Paul's Attendants, (who seem to have been Timothy and Silas, Axts xviii. 5. 2. Cor. i. 19.) were Persons of an established Character, so as to be above such Suspicion ; that Baptism was probably adimistered to openly to allow of this ; and that the Apostle herein does, as it were, appeal to the baptized Persons themselves, challenging any one of them all to say, that the Ordinance was administered to him in Paul's Name. () I knor not, whether I have baptized any other.] This Expresfion of Uncertainty as to Vol. IV,
And declares that he had given.na Occasion for their Factions. Sect. 2. And indeed, it might very naturally happen, 17 For Christ fent me that I should baptize: only these few; for Chrif not to baptize, but to
preach the Gospel : 1.Cor. I. 17. fent me not so much to baptize; which was an
Office that others, of a much inferior Rank in
I M P R O V E M E N T.
HI we live in the Midst of so much Darkness, and conti
nue obnoxious to so many Prejudices and Errors, it will be absolutely impossible for us, so to speak the Same Thing, and fo perfectly to be joined in the same Mind and Judgment, as that
there should be no Diversity of Opinion, or Expression. But let us labour to obey the
Apostle's pathetick Exhortation, so far as the Imperfection of this mortal State' may admit. Let us be intreated in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that venerable, that endeared, that sacred Name, that there be ne Schifm. among us, no mutual Hatred or Animosity, no uncharitable Contenfions, no fevere.Censures of each other. And as we defire that there may not, let us take Care, that we do not impose upon our Brethren indifferent Things as necessary; and thereby drive them into a Separation for Conscience Sake; and tempt them," at the same Time, by our ill Usage, to that Bitterness of. Resentment, which would make them, what the mere Separation would not; Transgreffors of this Preçept; and us, Partakers in their Sins.
On the other Hand, let none of us be disposed to dispute merely for the Sake of disputing, nor unnecessarily oppose the Judgment or Taste of
fuch.a Falt, is by no Means inconsistent with Infpiration, in that View and Notion of it, which I have endeavoured to state and vindicate in my Discourse on that Subject, annexed to the Third Volume of this WorkI can by no Means think, with Bipop Burnet, that the Reason, why Paul baptized fo few, was, because Baptism was delayed, till some considerable Tine before Conversion to Christianity, and that the Apoftle did not stay so long in a Place: as to do it; (Burnet on the Articles, Art. xxvik pag. 304. Edit. 1699.) for it does not appear to me, that Baptism in these earliest and purest Ages, was long delayed ; and "tis certains that this Cause could not take place here, as Paul continued at Corinth 18 Months. I rather think, the Office was. generally affigned to Inferiors, as requiring no extraordinary Abilities, and as being attended with some Trouble and Inconvenience, especially where Immerfion was used, as I suppose it often, tho' not constantly, was.
Reflections on our Obligations to avoid a Party-Spirit. 219 Our Brethren, out of an Affectation of Singularity, or Spirit of Conten- Sect. 2. tion. But let us rather labour, so far as with a safe Conscience we can, to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace. And while we do this, if our Brethren will exact such Submissions from us, as they are not warranted by God to require, and as we cannot in Conscience
pay, let us follow Conscience withersoever it leads us; taking all necessary Care, that it be rightly guided : and if in that Circumstance, our Bréthren will cast us out, and say, let the Lord be glorified; and if to the rest of their Unkindness, they will add the farther Injury of branding us with the odious Names of Schismaticks, or of Hereticks ; let it be a light Thing to us, to be judged of Man's Judgment. Let us not render Railing for Railing, nor Injury for Injury, but rather, by our Meekness, endeavour to overcome their Severity; and wait for that happy Time, whem more of the Spirit of Knowledge and of Charity, shall dispose them to throw down those middle Walls of Partition, by which the Temple of GOD is straitned and defaced, and the Convenience, the Symmetry, and Grandeur of its original Plan, so lamentably spoiled. Above all, let us wait that Day, when the Secrets of all Hearts shall be made manifest; and that World, where they, who love the Lord Jesus Christ in Sincerity, shall retain no Remembrance of the Controversies, that once divided them; unless it be to balance the Alienations of Time, with the Endearments of Eternity.
In the mean while, let us avoid, as much as possible, a Party-Spirit ; and not be fond of listing ourselves under the Name of this, or that Man, how wise, how good, how great soever. For furely if the Names of Ver. 12, 13. Peter, or Paul, were in this View to be declined, much more are those, which in these latter Days, have so unhappily crumbled the Christian and Protestant Interest, and have given such fad Occasion to our Enemies to reproach us. Christ is not divided; nor were Lutber, or Calvin, or even Peter, or Paul, crucified for us; nor were we baptized into any of their Names.
Happy Thall that Disciple of our compassionate Lord be, whom he shall most eminently own in healing the Breaches, which the Artifices of the Tempter, too often abetted by the Infirmities of Christ's faithful Servants, have already made in the Church, and which the great Enemy is continually endeavouring to multiply, and to widen! Happy he, who reverencing and loving his Master's Image where-ever he sees it, shall teach others to do so too! And who, being himself an Example of yielding, so far as he conscientiously can, and of not taking upon him to censare others, where he cannot yield to them, Thall do his Part towards cementing, in the Bonds of holy Love, all the Children of God, and the Members of Christ! How unsuccessful soever his Efforts may be, amidst that angry and contentious, that ignorant and bigotted Croud, Ee 2
22,0 St. Paul bad not preached the Gospel with the sidomos Wardes
Sect. 2. who mifcal themselves Chriftians; or by whatever fuspicious and wand proachful Names his Moderation may be stigmatized; his Divine Master
will neither fail to consider it in its true View, nor to honour it with to portionable Tokens of his Acceptance and Favour. Love is the first and greatest of his Commands; and after all the Clamour that has been made about Notions and Forms, he who practises and teaches Love Bent fhall be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Apostfe, knowing that a fond Regard to Eloquence and
Philosophy, to which some of their Teachers: made high Pretenfions, was one great Occasion of their Divisions, sets himself to few, how little Stress was to be laid-upon.them; which be illustrates. by the Choice;' which GOD had made of Gospel-Preachers, quite deftitute of those Accomplishments. 1 Cor., I. 172 to the End.
1 CORINTHIANS I.. 17:
1 CORINTHIANS I. 37JUST now told you, that Chris did not FOB Chrifti fent me not send me to baptize; as my principal Business, preach the Gospel:
Not Cor. I. 17.. but rather to preach the Gospel (a); and now I with Wisdom of Words, must add, that in the Commision which I had left the Cross of Chrif
should be made of none the Honour to receive from him, he did not in-- Effect: struct me to preach it with those philosophical Niceties of Expression, or laboured Rhetorick; which many are so ready to esteem, as the Wif dom of Words ; left if I had attended to these little Things, the Cross of Christ should have been deprived of its juft Honours, and so have been eneryated, and rendered vain (6). For this must
(a) Baptize, but to preach:] As I knew not how to avoid the Repetition of this-Claufa without prolonging the former Section beyond due Rounds, or making an improper Divi. fion; I hope the Reader will excuse it, and a few other Instances, of this Kind which will
(6): Should-have, bren enorvated, or rendered'vain.]. If the.Dectrine of the Crucifixion of tha Sous