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must receive their especial attention. If then there were any one who neither regarded the rebuke of the apostle, or reverenced her husband, let her reverence the angels." Solomon, in like manner, takes an argument from the presence of angels when he dissuades from rash and hasty words.” “Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?”
Having corrected this disorder, Paul checks himself, lest he should seem to have done injustice to the woman, and spoken disparagingly of her sex. For in Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female:” there is no inequality in the sight of God; though for order's sake, and the general well-being, one is in subjection to the other.
11. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 13, Judge in yourselves : is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14. Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him 2 15. But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given her for a covering. 16. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
* Chrysostom and Theodoret: “angels having man under their guidance.” He quotes Acts xii. 15, and Matt. xviii. 10. Others have supposed that by dyyeMoi, “the chief ministers of the church” are intended : as Revel. i. 20. * Eccles. v. 6. * Gal. iii. 28.
Should any one still contend and dispute, and justify this disorderly conduct, let him know that he will oppose the general practice of Christians: we have no such custom, neither the churches of God anywhere. The apostle had good reason for prohibiting everything which might tend to distract the mind, and divert it from the proper object of public worship. A woman praying in the church uncovered must have this effect among persons brought up as the Corinthians were, to reckon a veil an essential part of female dress, and who had never seen it laid aside except by persons the very opposite from what a christian female ought to be : or perhaps by those heathen priestesses who departed from national custom on purpose to attract attention, or on pretence of inspiration. And here we may ourselves derive a profitable lesson from what appears peculiar to that day. Under the best circumstances, it is hard to escape distraction; hard to preserve that frame of mind which becomes the sanctuary. Most carefully, therefore, should we avoid all cause of offence: and when we enter into the house of God, guard our appearance from anything that might resemble levity, or excite vanity. We may not have the consciousness, which in those times was familiar, of the presence of angels in the public assemblies. But we never doubt of the presence of Him, before whom the angels vail their faces.” And if in every place, still more especially in the house of God, the “adorning should not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, and of putting on of apparel: * but the hidden man of the heart,” bowed in reverence before the Lord of the temple: the meekness of spirit within should be signified by outward humility and modesty: so that we neither offend ourselves, nor give occasion that others offend.
* See Isa. vi. 2.
ERRORS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
1 CoR. xi. 17—26.
17. Now in this that I declare unto you, I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the QUOrse.
18. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you ; and I partly believe it.
19. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
Paul was not surprised that these things should be. What he knew of the practices which existed amongst the Corinthians, as well as of our common nature, led him at least partly to beliere what he had heard. He knew how the Lord had said, “It must needs be that offences come.” Such divisions or heresies separate the wheat from the chaff. They who are approred are made manifest. God sets before his people the way in which they should go: and permits Satan to open a path to the right hand or to the left, which they will follow if they yield to their own hearts; which they will avoid if they are obedient to God's word. Moses warns the Israelites (Deut. xiii. 1–3) that there might “arise among them a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, who should give a sign or a wonder, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them. Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” And now, when the Corinthians found their church distracted by parties and heresies, they should look upon it as a temptation: the Lord their God was proving them, that they who could not be perverted might be made manifest.
5 l Pet. iii. 3. 1 Matt. xviii. 7.
But not only was this to be blamed, but they had other practices which brought reproach on the most sacred ordinance of their religion. They treated the Lord's supper as an ordinary meal; each taking his own provisions to the common assembly: so that some were insufficiently supplied, and others had too much abundance. With habits such as these, of division on the one hand, and irreverence on the other, there could be no piety, and therefore no blessing. They came together, indeed, and so showed that they were a company who acknowledged and worshipped the Lord Jesus: but they came together not for the better, but for the worse, as far as concerned their souls.
20. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
21. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper; and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
22. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in 2 or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not f What shall I say to you ? shall I praise you in this 2 I praise you not.
23. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken” for you: this do in remembrance of me.
This bread which I break and give you, is the emblem of my body, bruised, and pierced, and broken on the cross: the cross on which I bear your sins, and the “sins of the whole world:” “for the Lord hath laid on one the iniquity of all.” Therefore do this in remembrance of me. Ye have seen me take bread, and break it, and give to each a portion: do this same thing: and when ye do it, let it remind you, that as the bread is broken, so the body of Christ was broken : and as the bread is eaten, so the crucified body of Christ must be fed upon: and as the bread nourishes, so the crucified body of Christ, relied upon and trusted in, nourishes the soul, and supplies it with fresh life and strength.
This was to eat the Lord's supper : this was the purpose of its institution: a purpose entirely frustrated by the habits which they had been indulging.
* Matt. xxvi. 26, Mark xiv. 22, Luke xxii. 19, who, however, writes given for you, where Paul says, broken for you.