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SERM. pofe he instanceth in communicating in the christiani ССХ.
facrament, and in the jewish facrifices, ver. 16, 17, 18. “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not “ the communion of the blood of CHRIST? The “ bread which we break, is it not the communion of " the body of Christ ? For we being many are " one bread, and one body : for we are all partakers 66 of that one bread. Behold Israel after the Aeth;" (that is, the Jews) “ are not they which eat of the “ sacrifices, partakers of the altar?” Thus it is in the christian, and the jewish worship. And the case is the same, if any man partake of the idol-feasts in their temples. This he does not express, but takes it for granted they understood what this discourse aimed at.
And then he answers an argument, which it seems was made use of by fome, particularly the Gnofticks, of whom the apostle speaks, chap. viii. and that was this. If an idol be nothing, and consequently things facrificed to idols were not to be considered as facrifices, then it was lawful to partake of the idol-feasts, which were celebrated in their temples. And that the apostle speaks of these, is plain from his discourse against the Gnosticks, who made use of this argument for the lawfulness of communicating at the idolfeasts, chap. viii. ver.4. “ as concerning therefore " the eating of things which are offered in facrifice .“ unto idols ; we know that an idol is nothing in “ the world, &c.” And ver. 10. “ if any man fee “ thee which haft knowledge” (alluding to the very name of Gnosticks) “ if any man see thee which hait “ knowledge, fit at meat in an idol temple."
This then is that partaking of idol-feasts, which the apostle here speaks of, which they pretended to be lawful, because an idol is nothing. This, says the
apostle, apoftle, I know as well as you, that an idol is no SERM.
ССХ. real deity, but for all that the devil is really worshiped and served by this means, ver. 20. “ But I “ say, that the things which the Gentiles facrifice, “ they facrifice to devils, and not to God, and I “ would not that ye should have fellowship with “ devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the LORD, “ and the cup of devils : ye cannot be partakers of " the Lord's table, and the table of devils.”
Having declared this way of partaking of things offered to idols to be unlawful in itself, and a virtual renouncing of christianity; then he proceeds to the consideration of the other case, of eating of things offered to idols out of their temples, which might happen several ways. Sometimes being sold by the priests, they were exposed to sale in the market. Sometimes the heathens carried some remainders of the sacrifices to their houses, and inviting the Chriftians to a feast, might fet these meats before them; what should Christians do in either of these cases?
First, he determines in general, that out of the temples it was lawful to eat these things, because in fo doing they communicated in no act of worship with the heathens; it is lawful, he says, in itself ; but because it might be harmful to others, and give fcandal, in such circumstances it became unlawful by accident. Ver. 23. “ All things are lawful to me, “ but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful “ for me, but all things edify not.” Things which are lawful in themselves, inay in some cases be very dangerous and destructive to others, and we should not only consider our selves, but others also. “ Let no “ man seek his own: but every man another's wel“ fare." And then he comes to the particular cafes. “ Whatever is fold in the shambles, that eat, afk
ing no question for conscience sake: for the earth CCX.
“ is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof." We may take these things from God's hand, who is the true Lord of them and of all creatures. For this reason we may without scrupulous enquiry, use those meats which are publickly exposed to sale.
And so likewise in the other case, if we be invited to the table of an heathen, we may eat what is see before us, without enquiring whether it be part of an idol-sacrifice. But if any man tell us, that this meat was offered in sacrifice to idols, in that cafe we ought to abstain from eating of it, “ for his fake that shew“ ed it, and for conscience sake;" that is, out of re-, gard to the opinion of those, who think these meats unlawful : “ for the earth is the LORD's, and the “ fulness thereof." Also in another sense, God hath made such abundant provision for us, that we may abstrain from this or that meat without any great in-, convenience. “ Conscience, I say, not thine own " but another's.” He had said before, we should “ eat of what was set before us, asking no question « for conscience fake;" that is, not making it a matter of conscience to ourselves : now he says, if we be told it was offered to an idol, we should not eat “ for conscience fake;" that is, not as making a matter of conscience of it to ourselves, but out of regard to “ the conscience of another,” to whom it might be a scandal. “ For why is my liberty judg“ ed of another man's conscience and if I with
thanksgiving be a partaker,why am I evil spoken 6 of for that which I give thanks ?” that is, why should another man's conscience be a prejudice to my liberty? If another makes conscience of it as unlawful,why should his conscience govern mine, and make me think so too; or why should I be evil spoken of,
for thinking it lawful to eat any thing set before me, S E-R M.
ССХ. for which I give thanks ? This is a little obscure ; but, the plain meaning of the apostle's reasoning seems to be this ; though I have that regard to another man's weak conscience, as to abstain from eating what he thinks unlawful, yet am I not therefore bound to be of his opinion, and think it unlawful in itself: I will consider his weakness so far as to forbear that which I am persuaded is lawful to do, but yet I will still preserve the liberty of my own judgment; and as I am content to give no scandal to him, so I expect that he should not censure and condemn me for thinking that lawful, which he believes not to be so: and then from all this discourse, the apostle establisheth this general rule in the text, “Wherefore, whecher ye eat or
drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of “ God." To which is parallel that other text, 1 Pet. iv. 11. “ That God in all things may be glori“ fied ” So that this general rule lays a duty upon all Christians of designing the glory of God in all their actions. All the difficulty is, what is here meant by this of doing all things “ to the glory of “ God.” The Jews have a common saying, which seems to be parallel with this phrase of the apoitle, " that all things should be done in the name of
God.” And this they make so essential to every good action, that it was a received principle among them, that he who obeys any command of God, and not in his name, shall receive no reward. Now that to do things in the name of God, and to do them to his glory, are but several phrases signifying the same thing, is evident from that precept of the apostle, Col. iii. 17. “ And whatsoever ye do in word, or in " deed, do all in the name of the LORD JESUS “ Christ;” that is, to his glory. Now for our Vol. XI.
SER M. clear understanding of the sense of this phrase of glo-
rifying God, or doing thing's to God's glory; we will
“The Glory of GOD” is nothing else but the honour which is given to him by his creatures; and conse-, quently the general notion of glorifying God, or doing any thing to his glory, is to design to honour God by such and such actions: and this phrase is in scripture more especially applied to these following particulars..
1. We are said in scripture to glorify God by a solemn acknowledgment of him and his perfections ; of his goodness and mercy, of his power and wisdom, of his truth and faithfulness; of his sovereign dominions and authority over us. Hence it is that all folemn actions of religion are called the worship of God, which fignifies that honour and glory which is given to-himby his creatures, signified by fome outward expression of reverence and respect. Thus we are said to worship God, when we fall down before hiin, and pray to hiin for mercy and bleslings, or praise him for favours and benefits received from him, or perform any other solemn act of religion. Psal. Ixxxvi. 9. “ All nations ( whom thou hast made, shall come and worship be“ fore thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name."
But especially the duty of praise and thanksgiving is. most frequently in scripture called glorifying of God; or giving glory to him. Pfal. lxxxvi. 14. “ I will
praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart, " and will glorify thy name.” Matth. v. 16. “Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see “ your good works, and glorify your Father which is “ in heaven;" that is, praise him upon that account. Luke v. 25. it is said of the man sick of the palsy, that when he was healed, “ he departed to his own house,