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TEXT. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, “ I have no need of thee :".

nor, again, the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more

feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honoura

ble, upon these we bestow more abundant honour, and our uncomely

parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need : but God hath tempered the body

together, having given more abundant honour to that part which

lacked : 25 That there should be no schism in the body ; but that the members

should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it: or

one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now, ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily

prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

PARAPHRASE. body, wherein the most eminent member cannot despise the 21 meanest. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need

of thee;" nor the head to the feet, “ I have no need of you.” 22 It is so far from being so, that the parts of the body, that

seem in themselves weak, are nevertheless of absolute neces23 sity. And those parts, which are thought least honourable,

we take care always to cover with the more respect; and our

least graceful parts have thereby a more studied and adventi24 tious comeliness. For our comely parts have no need of any

borrowed helps, or ornaments: but God hath so contrived the

symmetry of the body, that he hath added honour to those 25 parts, that might seem naturally to want it: That there might

be no disunion, no schism in the body, but that the members

should all have the same care and concern one for another ; 26 And all equally partake and share in the harm, or honour, that 27 is done to any of them in particular. Now, in like manner,

you are, by your particular gifts, each of you, in his peculiar

station and aptitude, members of the body of Christ, which is 28 the church: Wherein God hath set, first some apostles,

secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, next workers of miracles, then those who have the gift of healing, helpers", governors ,

NOTES. 28 b 'Aytiahbris, “Helps,” Dr. Lightfoot takes to be those who accompanied the

apostles, were sent up and down by them in the service of the Gospel, and baptized those that were converted by them.

Kiespunsuis, to be the same with discerning of spirits, ver. 10.

TEXT. 29 Are all apostles ? Are all prophets ? Are all teachers ? Are all

workers of miracles ? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all

interpret ? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more

excellent way.

PARAPHRASE. 29 and such as are able to speak diversity of tongues. Are all

apostles ? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers 30 of miracles? Have all the gift of healing? Do all speak di31 versity of tongues? Are all interpreters of tongues? But ye

contest one with another, whose particular gift is best, and most preferabled; but I will show you a more excellent way, viz. mutual good-will, affection, and charity.

NOTE. # That this is the apostle's meaning here is plain, in that there was an emulation amongst them, and a strife for precedency, on account of the several gifts they had, (as we have already observed from several passages in this section) which made them in their assemblies desire to be heard first. This was the fault the apostle was here correcting; and it is not likely he should exhort them all, promiscuously, to seek the principal and most eminent gists, at the end of a discourse wherein he had been demonstrating to them, by the example of the human body, that there ought to be diversity of gifts and functions of the church, but that there ought to be no schism, emulation, or contest amongst them, upon the account of the exercise of those gifts; that they were all useful in their places, and no member was at all to be the less honoured or valued for the gift he had, though it were not one of the first rank. And in this sense the word indov is taken in the next chapter, ver. 4, where St. Paul, pursuing the same argument, exhorts them to mutual charity, good-will, and affection, which he assures them is preferable to any gifts whatsoever. Besides, to what purpose should he exhort them “ to covet earnestly the best gifts," when the obtaining of this or that gift did not at all lie in their desires or endeavours, the apostle having just before told them, ver. 11, that “the Spirit divides those gifts to every man severally as he will," and those he writ to had their allotment already? He might as reasonably, according to his own doctrine in this very chapter, bid the foot covet to be the hand, or the ear to be the eye. Let it be remembered, therefore, to rectify this, that St. Paul says, ver. 17 of this chapter : “If the whole body were the eye, where were the hearing,” &c. St. Paul does not use to cross his own design, nor contradict his own reasoning.




St. Paul having told the Corinthians, in the last words of the preoeding chapter, that he would show them a more excellent way, than the emulous producing of their gifts in the assembly, he, in this chapter, tells them, that this more excellent way is charity, which he at large explains, and shows the excellency of.

TEXT. 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have

not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though 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, and have not charity, I am nothing.


1 If I speak all the languages of men and angels, and yet

have not charity, to make use of them entirely for the good and benefit of others, I am no better than a sounding brass, or

noisy cymbal, which fills the ears of others, without any 2 advantage to itself, by the sound it makes. And if I have the

gift of prophecy, and see, in the law and the prophets, all the mysteries e contained in them, and comprehend all the knowledge they teach ; and if I have faith to the highest degree, and


1 • “Tongues of angels” are mentioned here, according to the conception of the

Jews. 1. A cymbal consisted of two large hollowed plates of brass, with broad brims, which were struck one against another, to fill up the symphony in great concerts of music; they made a great deep sound, but had scarce any variety of musical


2 ° Any predictions, relating to our Saviour or his doctrine, or the times of the

Gospel, contained in the Old Testament, in types, or figurative and obscure expressions, not understood before his coming, and being revealed to the world, St. Paul calls “ mystery,” as may be seen all through his writings. So that “mystery and knowledge” are terms here used by St. Paul, to signify truths concerning Christ to come, contained in the Old Testament; and “prophecy," the understanding of the types and prophecies containing those truths, so as to be able to explain them to others.

TEXT. 3 And though I 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 ; 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily

provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth : 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth

all things. S Charity never faileth : but whether there be prophecies, they shall

fail ; whether there be tongues, they shall cease ; whether there be

knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part

shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child ; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

PARAPHRASE. power of miracles, so as to be able to remove mountains, and 3 have not charity, I am nothing, I am of no value. And if

I bestow all I have in relief of the poor, and give myself to 4 be burnt, and have not charity, it profits me nothing.. Charity

is long-suffering, is gentle and benign, without emulation, in5 solence, or being puffed up; Is not ambitious, nor at all self

interested, is not sharp upon others' failings, or inclined to ill 6 interpretations: Charity rejoices with others, when they do

well; and, when any thing is amiss, is troubled, and covers 7 their failings : Charity believes well, hopes well of every one, 8 and patiently bears with every thing®: Charity will never

cease, as a thing out of use; but the gifts of prophecy, and tongues, and the knowledge whereby men look into, and ex

plain the meaning of the Scriptures, the time will be, when 9 they will be laid aside, as no longer of any use.

For the knowledge we have now in this state, and the explication we 10 give of Scripture, is short, partial, and defective. "But when,

hereafter, we shall be got into the state of accomplishment and perfection, wherein we are to remain in the other world, there will no longer be any need of these imperfecter ways of

information, whereby we arrive at but a partial knowledge 11 here. Thus, when I was in the imperfect state of childhood,

NOTES. d“ To remove mountains,” is to do what is next to impossible. 7 € May we not suppose, that, in this description of charity, St. Paul intimates,

and tacitly reproves their contrary carriage, in their emulation and contests about the diguity and preference of their spiritual gifts ?

TEXT. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly ; but then face to face : now

I know in part ; but then shall I know, even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three: but the greatest

of these is charity.

I talked, I understood, I reasoned after the imperfect manner

of a child: but, when I came to the state and perfection of 12 manhood, I laid aside those childish ways. Now we see but

by reflection, the dim, and, as it were, enigmatical representation of things : but then we shall see things directly, and as they are in themselves, as a man sees another, when they are face to face. Now I have but a superficial, partial knowledge of things; but then I shall have an intuitive, comprehensive knowledge of them, as I myself am known, and lie open to the

view of superior, seraphic beings, not by the obscure and im13 perfect way of deductions and reasoning. But then, even in

that state, faith, hope, and charity, will remain : but the greatest of the three is charity.



CONTENTS. St. Paul, in this chapter, concludes his answer to the Corinthians, concerning spiritual men, and their gifts; and having told them that those were most preferable that tended most to edification, and particularly shown that prophecy was to be preferred to tongues, he gives them directions for the decent, orderly, and profitable exercise of their gifts, in their assemblies.

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