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St. Paul reminds the Corinthians of their prosperous Condition ; 25.1
Let us often recollect the narrow Limits of our own Knowledge, that
To conclude, if it hath pleased God, in any Respect, to distinguish Ver. 7. us from others, by the Gifts or Graces which he hath bestowed upon us, let us humbly trace these Distinctions to their true Source : and, instead of indulging the least Degree of Pride on their Account, let us rather be the more humble. For surely the more we receive from God, the more we are indebted and obliged; and the more we are obliged to the Divine Goodness, the greater ought our Shame and Confusion to be, that we have not answered those Obligations by more faithful Care, and more conftant Gratitude.
The Apostle, in order to gain farther upon their Affections,
represents the many Hardships and Dangers, to which he and his Brethren were exposed, in Comparison of that easy State in which the Corinthians were ; and reminding them at the same Time of their particular Obligations to him, be warns them not to force him on Severities, to the Use of which he was very averse. i Cor. IV. 8, to the End.
I CORINTHIANS IV. 8.
1 Cor. IV.8.
And of the Afiliative Circumstances of the Apostles ; Sect. 8. rather 10 congratulate Christians, whose Ránk reigned as Kings without
new and Figure in the World is so much fuperior to did reign, that we also might 1 Cor. IV.8. that of inany of their Brethren, and even of their reign with you.
first Apostle too ? For now you are full, now you
and partake of your Happiness, in that high Degree, in which, if it were sincere
and solid, our Affection for you would enable us 9 to share it.
And surely we sufficiently need 9 For I think that GOD such. Consolation as this ; for I think GOD hath hath fet forth us the Apolexhibited us, the Apostles of his Son, like those tles laft, as it were appointGladiators, which are brought out on the Stage laft of all, as appointed to certain Death ((), and therefore not furnished with Weapous of De
(a) You have reigned as Kings, &c.] This is a proverbial Expression of the most splendid and plentiful Circumstances, and foine think, when the Apostle adds, I wish ye did reign, he means, “I wish you had the Authority of Princes, that ye might shelter and accom “ modate us amidst all our Distresses and Affli&tions.” But one can hardly think, he did indeed with each of them a Prince, or the civil Power in their Hands. It seems much more probable, that as spiritual Objects were fo familiar to his Mind, he changes the Idea in the Manner the Paraphrafe expresses, in which Sense it seems, that Christians are called Priests and Kings, (Rev. i. 6.) as it is certain, they are called a Royal Priesthood. (1 Pet. ii. 9.) -I cannot think, with Mr. L'Enfant, that this refers peculiarly to the factious Paftors of the Church at Corinth.
(6) Last of all.] I cannot think, as Elfner seems to do, that the Word doxalet, refers to the low. Rank, which the Apostles held in fecular Life; or with Meffieurs Calvin, Locke, and L'Enfant, that St. Paul speaks of himself as the last called Apoftle; but that there is a Reference to the Roman Custom of bringing forth those Persons on the Theatre in the after Part of the Day, either to fight with each other, or with wild Beasts, who were appointed to cero' tain Death, and had not that poor Chance of escaping, which those brought forth in the Morning had. Compare Sen. Epif. Cap. vii. Reeves Apol. Vol. i. pag. 237. Such Kind of Spectacles were so commun in all the Provinces, that 'tis no Wonder we thould find such an Allusion here. The Word a tódes tev, exhibited, and Oscipov, a Spectacle on the Theatre, have in this Connection a beautiful Propriety. The whole Paffage is indeed full of high Eloquence, and finely adapted to move their Compassion in Favour of those, who were so generously exposing and sacrificing themselves for the publick Good.
(a) 4. Speco
Who are made a Spectacle to Angels
' and. Men :
253 ed to Death. For we are fence, nor allowed so much as a Chance of ef- Sect. 8. World, and to Angels, and caping : For we are produced, as it were, on a u to Men.
publick Theatre, and made a Spectacle to the whole 1 Cor. IV.9.
Men (c), who are all held in sollicitous Attention
the more you attend to our Circumstances, the
treated like Fools, Bablers, and Madmen, for the
despised Creatures, treated with Contempt where-
already gained, by the Gospel, we are often ex-
(a) A Spictacle tonen Angels and Men.) This Representation is wonderfully pathetick and
:254 And are reviled and perfecuted, as the Filth of the World. Séct. 8. nished for buying more, that we are often almost and thirst,' and are naked naked (d), not having decent Raiment to wear,
and are bufferted, and have I Cor. IV. tho' we appear so often in publick Assemblies.
nocertain Dwelling-place; And in many Instances, where our-benevolent and i.nportant Message is heard, instead of being received with due Respect, we are insulted, and perhaps buffetted, by the unruly and barbarous Mob; and at best, if we now and then meet with a little more hospitable Usage, it is but for a very little while; for, whereas you dwell in a rich and magni
ficent City, we have no certain Abode, but are conti12 nually removing from one Place to another. And '12 'And labour, working
tho' we are engaged in a Work of so greatImpor- with our own Hands: Betance to the Souls of Men, which might well ing reviled, we bless : Be.
: engross all our Time and Care; yet such are the Circumstances, in which we are often placed, that we are obliged in Duty and Prudence, to labour in fome secular Calling, working with our own Hands, to procure the necessary. Supports of the most frugal and parsimonious Life. Being in the most insolent and provoking Manner reviled to our Faces, and loaded with every opprobrious Name of Contempt, we meekly bless, and pray for our Enemies; being persecuted, we endure.it
patiently, unable to right and help ourselves.
scandalous, and, considering our sacred Character, intreat: We are made as
sublime: While they confidered evil Angels and Men, as beholding them with all the malignant, and good Angels and Men, with all the benevolent Paffions, it must have a great Tendency to inspire their Minds with the
most heroick Sentiments.-Elsner has given an excellent Collection of Passages from Heathen Writers, in which such a Figure is made Ufe- of by them.
(d) Are naked, &cr] Surely one cannot imagine any inore .glorious Triumph of the Truth, than what is gained in these Circumstances, when St. Paul, with an Impediment in his Speech, and a Personage, rather contemptible than graceful, appeared in a mean, and perhaps sometimes tattered Dress, before Persons of the highest Rank, and yet commanded Juch Attention, and made fuch Impreffions.
The Apostle writes these Things for their Warning : 255
upon by the meanest and vilest of Mankind.
Churches, by such a Representation, as if you
onght surely to be the last to increase their Bur-
15 ten thousand Instructors in
spect to myself; for if you have ten thousand Instruc-
I preached it first among you, and was the happy
(e) Filth of the World.] The Word xabaquailc, has a Force and Meaning here, which no one Word in our Language can express; I have given, what I am persuaded is the true Meaning of it in the Paraphrase, and must refer to Dr. Hen. More, (Theol. Works, pag. 63.) and Dr. Whitby in Loc. for the Illustration of this bold and noble Figure. Suidas says, that these wretched Viktims were called xabapuala, as their Death was esteemed an Expiation; and he . tells us, the Word Tepat muualcewhich we render Off-fcouring, was alfo applied to them; and Bos, (Exercit. pag. 125.) illustrates this Sente of the Word by a very large and judicious Collection of Greek Quotations. See also Dr. Ridley's Christian Pasovir, pag.
It appears from some of these Passages, that when the Ashes of these unhappy Men were thrown into the Sea, these very Words were used in the Ceremony ; your Topfmpe, yo xabappeee; but the former of these Titles was given them, in Reference to that original Signification of the Words, which the Paraphrase on the End of the Verse cxpresses. That so wise and ancient a Republick, as that of Marseilles, originally a Greek Colony, should have retained this favage Ulage, is astonishing ; yet Servius expressly allerts it. Serv. in Æneid. Lib. III. Lin. 75.