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The Apostle proposes a Collečtion for the Saints in Judea.

401

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The Apostle gives. Somė Advices, relating to the proposed Col

leation for the poor Saints in Judea. I Cor. XVI. 1,---12.

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I.

1 CORINTHIANS XVI. r.

I CORINTHIANS XVI. I. NOW concerning the

EFORE I conclude this Epistle, I must Sect. 31. i Collection for the Saints, as I have given Oradd a Word or two concerning the Collection,

i Cor. XVI. der to the Churches of Ga- which you propose making, for the pocr

Saints latia, even so do ye. which are in Judea, who are in such great Straits,

both on Account of the Famine, and the Perse-
cution, to which they are exposed. And here I
would only say this; as I have given it in Charge
to the Churches of Galatia, so also do ye proceed;
for nothing occurs to my Thoughts at present,

which can be more subservient to that generous : 2 Upon the first Day of and good Design.

When you hold your 2
the week, let every one of Christian Affemblies on the first Day of the
you lay by him in Store, as
GOD hath prospered him, Week (a), in Commemoration of the Resurrec-
that there be no Gatherings tion of our Lord, which has made that Day fa-
when I come.

cred amongst us, let every one of you lay something
by, in Proportion to the Degree, in which, by the
Divine Blessing, he hath been profpered in his, Af-
fairs; and let him bring it with him to the Place,
where you meet for your publick Worship; then,
treasuring it up (6) in the common Stock, that so
it may be ready in one Sum, and there

inay

be no Necessity of making any particular Collections, when I come. This will save us some Trouble, at a Time when we shall necessarily have so much important Business on our Hands; and when a

little

(a) On the first Day of the Week.] So salse fascev oeßßalwv signifies. Compare Luke xxiv. 1. John xx. 1. with Mat. xxvii. 1. Mark xvi. 2.

(b) Treasuring it up : erasos næp saule tubelw Inca upotwv.] We render it, let every one of you. lay by him in Store. But the following Words shew, that it was to be put into a common Stock,

The Argument drawn from hence for the religious Observation of the first Day of the Week in these primitive Churches of Corinth, and Galatia, is too obvious to need any. farther Illustration, and yet too important to be pafled by in an intire Silence.

VOL. IV.

Еее

(c) I am

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with me;

me.

402 He would come to them, when be passed thro' Macedonia; . Sect.

little is added to the Stock weekly, it may rise by 31.

almost imperceptible Degrees, to a greater Sum, 1 Cor. XVI. than could perhaps be expected, . if the whole were to be deposited at once. But when I am

3 And when I come, arrived at Corinth, whomsoever ye foall appoint prove by your Letters, them

whomsoever you fall apand recommend by your Letters, signed by the will I send to bring your. Congregation, or its proper Representatives; them Liberality unto Jerufalem. will I send, to carry your Favour to Jerusalem, and thall chearfully entrust them to deliver it

with their own Hands to the poor Christians 4 there.

And if it be thought convenient, that I 4. And if it be meet that should also go up thither myself on this Occasion, I go also, they fhall go wick they shall go

that

every Thing may be conducted in the most open and honourable Manner, and that your Messengers may witness for me, that none of the Money has been employed to any purposes whatsoever, different from

those for which it was given.
:5 This, I hope, will quickly be dispatched ; for 5 Now I will come unto

I will, if Providence permit, come to you, when I you, when I shall pass thro?
bave passed thro
' Macedonia; and I am juft upon through Macedonia)

Macedonia : (for I do pals
6
my Journey thro' Macedonia (c);

6 And it may be that I haps may continue awhile with you, and even spend will abide, yea, and winter the Winter among you; that so, when I have with you, that ye may bring

me on my Journey, whimade you as long a Visit as my Affairs will. ad- therfoever I

go.
mit, you may bring me forward on my Fourney to
Jerusalem, or whithersoever else 1 shall go (d), or
thro' whatever Parts I may pass to it; for that is
a Circumstance, about which I am not yet de-

termined, and in which I refer myself to the fu-
7 ture Direction of Providence.

I speak of my 7 For I will not see you Coming as at some Distance; for tho' from these maritime Parts I might easily come to you by Sea, and fo travel northward, when I have dispatched-

my

And then per

now

(c) I am just upon my Journey thro' Macedonia.] Thus, I think, we may juftly: ronder Maxedomar yap depxopoet

. Macedonia was not the direct Way from Ephesus to Corinth. It seems by his second Epistle to the Corinthians, written a few Months after this, that he was either in Macedonia, or on his Way thither ; (Compare 2 Cor. i. 16.) from whence it appears, that he had a secret Purpose of seeing Corinth in his Way to, as well as from, Macedonia i but he does not express this Purpose here, so that we know not how it was fignified to them, as from the Text last mentioned it seems that it was.

(d) IVhithersoever else I go.] In the forecited-Text Judea is mentioned; but St. Paul does not seem to have fixed his Scheme so particularly, as yet.

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But should tarry at Ephesus till Pentecost. .

403 now by the way, but I my

in Business at Corinth; I will not now see you Sect. trust to tarry a while with this Manner, in my Way; but hope the little Delay,

31. you, if the Lord permit.

which this Scheme may occasion, will be made 1 Cor. XVI.
up to your Satisfaction : For I fully propose to
Spend some Time with you, if the Lord permit;
which the Neceflities of the Churches of Mace-

donia will not at present give me Leave to do.
8 But I will tarry at E. But I fall continue here at Ephesus till about 8
phesus until Pentecost.

Pentecoft (e), reserving the Remainder of the Sum

mer for my Tour thro' Macedonia, and the 9 For a great Door and neighbouring Parts. In the mean Time, tho' 9 effé&tual is opened unto me. I have spent

so many Months here, I am willing are many ries. to make my Stay as long, as with any

tolerable Convenience I can; for a great and effetual Door of Usefulness is opened to me under my apostolical Character, in this populous and celebrated City, and [there are] many Opposers, who

may perhaps take the Advantage of my Absence, to injure this new-planted Church, on which I have bestowed so much Labour, and for the Interest of

which I have the tenderest Concern (f). 10 Now if Timotheus

But if, in the mean Time, my beloved Friend io come, see that he may be with you without Fear: For and Brother Timothy should come to you, see that he worketh the Work of the be be with you without Fear of any

unkind Usage, Lord, as I also do.

or of any Attempt to set him up as the Head of
a Party; as in some Instances you have been rea-
dy to do by others; for as he is a Man of a very
tender and affectionate, so he is likewise of a very
candid and humble Spirit, and he laboureth in
the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ with great Sin-

cerity

(e) I Mall continue at Ephesus till Pentecoft.] I look upon this as a very plain Intimation, that he was now at Ephesus; and consequently, that the Inscription added at the End of this Epistle, which tells us, it was written from Philipi, is very far from being authentick; and I hope it will be remembered, that no Credit is to be given to any of these Additions, which have been very presumptuously made, and I think very imprudently retained.

(f) A great and effectual Door is opened, &c.] Some think, that here is an Allusion to the Door of the Circus, from whence Chariots were let out, when the Races were to begin ; and that the Word avlumayasvot, which I render Opposers, signifies the same with Antagenists, with whom the Apostle was to contend, as in a Course. (Acts xix. 20, &c.) This Opposition rendered his Presence more necessary, to preserve those that were already converted, and to increase the Number, if God should bless his Ministry. Accordingly a celebrated Church was planted at Ephesus; and so far as we can learn from the Tenor of his Epifle to it

, there was less to correct and reprove among them, than in most of the other Churches to which he wrote.

Eee 2

(8) Lex

II.

12

404 He informs them, that Apollos would not come to them now. Sect. 31. cerity and Zeal; as I also [do] : And we are in

all Repects so much in the same Sentiments, that 1 Cor. XVI. I am well assured, the Things which would grieve

me in your Conduct, would be equally disagree-
able to him. And therefore, tho' he be yet

u Let no Man therefore but a young Man, (1 Tim. iv. 12.) let no Man de despise him : But condua

him forth in Peace, that he Spise or make light of him; but on the contrary, may come unto me : For I bring him forward on his journey in Peace, and look for him with the Bre-, do all that..you can to make it commodious and thren. agreeable to him ; that so be may come to me at Ephesus, as foon as possible': For I expect him · here with the other Brethren (8), who are now the Companions of his Journey, and who are all dear to me in the Bonds of Christian Love.

But as for [our] Brother Apollos, who is so 12 As touching our Browell known to you, and for whom

ther Apollos, I greatly demany

of
you

fired him to come unto you, have so high a Regard, I am sorry to tell you, with the Brethren : But his that you are not at present to expect a Visit from Will was not at all to come him. I was indeed very importunate with him to at this Time; but he will

come when he shall have come to you with Timothy, and the other Brethren; convenient Time. as I have an entire Confidence, both in his Friendship and Prudence, and hoped, that whatever improper Use has been made of his Name, in Opposition to mine, (Compare Chap. i. 12. Chap. iii. 4,46.) his Presence among you might have been useful, juft at this Crisis. Nevertheless be was by no Means willing to come now, left any Advantage should be taken from that Circumstance to inflame those Divisions, he would gladly do his utmost to allay : But be will come, when be shall have a convenient Opportunity; and you may assure yourselves, that he retains a most cordial Affection for you, and tender Solicitude for your Peace and Prosperity.

(8) I expect him here with the Brethren.] The original Words are something ambiguous ; but I have taken the Sense, which seemed most natural. Accordingly I think it probable, that he came to Ephesus before St. Paul was driven out of it by the Tumult; and that the Apoftle being obliged to leave that City in fo abrupt a Manner, desired Timothy to stay a. while after him, to settle the Affairs of that important Church more compleadly, than he had an Opportunity of doing it. I Tim. i.

3. '

IMPROVE

Refleétions on the Affair of the Collection.

405

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

LE

ET Ministers, from the Example of the Apostle, learn to be ready Sect. 31.

- to promote charitable Collections for the Relief of poor Christians ; Ver.I. and let them frequently exhort their Hearers to do Good, and to communicate; reminding them, that their Contributions ought to bear a Pro- Ver. 2. portion to the Degree in which GOD has been pleased to prosper them. We see an evident Reference to the stated Afremblies of the Church on the first Day of the Week in this early Age; and it is a proper Duty of that Day to devise and execute liberal Things, according to our respective Abilities.

The prudent Caution of St. Paul, as to the Management of pecuniary Affairs, is worthy the Attention of the Ministers of the Gospel; Ver. 3, 4. and may teach them to take Care, not only that they satisfy their own Consciences, in the Fidelity of their Transactions; but also that they provide Things honest in the Sight of all Men. The Apostle's Courage, in making the Opposition he met with at Ephesus a Reason for his Continuance there, may instruct us not to study our own Ease in the Choice Ver. 8. of our Abode; but rather to prefer those Circumstances, however difagreeable in themselves, wherein we may be providentially led to do most, for the Advancement of Religion in the World.

His Care, that his young Friend Timothy might be as easy as posible, Ver. 10, 11• constitutes likewise a very amiable Part of his Character; and suggests, in a Manner well worthy of Notice, how careful private Christians 1hould be, that they do not terrify and distress

' the Minds of those, who are entering on the Ministerial Office. A faithful Disposition to labour in the Ver. 12. Work of the Lord, ought to command Respect; yet sometimes, as in the Instance of Apollos, even that Diligence may be fo liable to Misrepresentation, that it may be the Wisdom of Ministers to absent themselves from Places, where they have many to caress and admire them. On the whole, the great Business of Life is to glorify GOD, in doing our best for promoting the Happiness of Mankind, and no Self-denial ought to feem hard to us, while we keep that glorious End in View.

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