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St. Paul accommodates himself


to all, for their edification.

Vase60' 18 What is my reward then? Verily

Aa'no'lmpJN^ tlmt> "when l Preach the gOSpel, l

roni»c«s.3. may niake the gospel of Christ without charge, that I b abuse not my power in the gospel. ,

19 For though I be cfree from all men, yet have AI made myself servant unto all, e that I might gain the more.

» Ci. 10. 33. 2 Cor. 4. 5. & 11. 7. » ch. 7. 31. • ver. 1. « Gal.

6.18 • Matt. 18.15. 1 Pet 3. 1.

ruptible crown, ver. 25. Or, if I freely preach this gospel without being burthensome to any, I have a special reward; but, if I do not, I have simply an office to fulfil, into which God has put me; and may fulfil it conscientiously, and claim my privileges at the same time; but then I lose that special reward, which I have in view by preaching the gospel without charge to any.

This, and the 18th verse, have been variously translated: Sir Norton Knatchbull, and after him Mr. Wakefield, translate the two passages thus: For, if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if I am entrusted with an office without my consent, what is my reward then? to make the gospel of] Christ, whilst I preach it, without charge, in not using to the j utmost, my privileges in the gospel.

Others render the passage thus: But if I do it merely because lam obliged to it, I only discharge an office that is committed to me, ver. 18. For what then shall I be rewarded? it it for this, that preaching the gospel of Christ, 1 preach it freely, and do not insist on a claim which the gospel itself gives me.

Verse 18. That I abuse not my power] I am inclined to think that ■*.a.ra.yj,rl<ra.<r§7.\ is to be Understood here, not in the sense of abusing, but of using to the uttermost; exacting every thing that a man can claim by law. How many proofs have we of this in preachers of different denominations, who insist so strongly, and so frequently, on their privileges, as they term them; that the people are tempted to believe they seek not their souls' interests, but their secular goods. Such preachers can do the people no good. But the people who are most liable to think thus of their ministers, are those who are unwilling to grant the common necessaries of life to those who watch over them in the Lord. For, there are such people even in the Christian church! If the preachers of the gospel were as parsimonious of the bread of life, as some congregations and Christian societies are of the bread that perislieth; and if the preacher gave them a spiritual nourishment, as base, as mean, and as scanty as the temporal support which they afford him, their souls must, without doubt, have nearly a famine of the bread of life.

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Verse 19. For though I be free'] Although I am under no obligation to any man; yet I act as if every individual had a particular property in me; and as if I were the slave of the public.

Verse 20. Unto the Jews I became as a Jew] In Acts xvi. 3. we find that, for the sake of the unconverted Jews, he circumcised Timothy. See the Note there.

To them that are under the law] To those who considered themselves still under obligation to observe its rites and ceremonies, though they had, in the main, embraced the gospel, he became as if under tho same obligations; and therefore purified himself in the temple, as we find related Acts xx. '21—26. where, also, see the Notes.

After the first clause, To them that are under the law, as under the law; the following words Ju.ij u>v auri{ wo vo'aov not being myself under the law, are added by ABCDEFG. several others; the later Syriac, Sahidic, Armenian, Vulgate, and all the Itala: Cyril, Chrysoslom, Damascenus, and others: and on this evidence Griesbach has received them into the text.

Verse 21. To them thai are without law] The Gentiles who had no written law; though they had the law written in their hearts: see on Rom. ii. 15.

Being not without law to God] Instead of Qeiu To God, and Xpirou To Christ; the most important MSS. and Versions have ©ton Of God, and Xpirou of Christ; being not without the law of God, but under the law of Christ.

Them that are without law.] Dr. Lightfoot thinks the Sadducees may be meant; and that, in certain cases, as far as the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish religion were conconcerned, he might conform himself to them, not observing such rites and ceremonies, as it is well known that they disregarded them: for the Dr. cannot see how the apostle could conform himself in any thing to them that were without law, i. e. the heathen. But, 1st, it is not likely that the apostle would conform himself to the Sadducees; for, what success could he expect among a people who denied the resurrection; and, consequently, & future world, a day of judgment, and all rewards and punishments? 2. lie might among the

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heathen, appear as if he were not a Jew, and discourse with
them on the great principles of that eternal law, the out-
lines of which had been written in their hearts; in order to
shew them the necessity of embracing that gospel, which was
the power of God unto salvation, to every one that be-

Verse 22. To the weak became I as weak] Those who
were conscientiously scrupulous, eveH in respect to lawful

1 am made all things to all men] I assumed every shape
and form consistent with innocency and perfect integrity;
giving up my own will, my own way, my own ease, my own
pleasure, and my own profit, that I might save the souls of
all. Let those who plead for the system of accommodation,
on the example of St. Paul, attend to the end he had in
view; and the manner in which he pursued that end. It
was not to get money, influence or honour, but to save
soyt».' It was not to get ease, bat to increase his labours.
It was not to save his life, but rather that it should be a
sacrifice for the good of immortal souls!

A parallel saying to this of St. Paul, has been quoted from
Achilles Tatius, lib. v. cap. xix. where Clitophon says, on
having received a letter from Leucippe, Tovroi; tvtvyjuv,
ifacvrz fyjyoftijv, 6ixou, avcpXtyaprpt, wyoitov, efavft.a.tyv,
yjTfirow, eyaipov, ij%9op;v "When I read the contents, I
became all things at once: I was inflamed; I grew pale; I
was struck with wonder; I doubted; I rejoiced; I became
sad." The same form of speech is frequent among Greek
writers. I think this casts some light on the apostle's

That I might by all means save some."] On this clause
there are some very important readings found in the MSS.
and Versions. Instead of iravrcof nva; vwvw, that I might
by all means save some; leavra,; O-mvw that I might save all,
is the reading of DEFG. Syriac, Vulgate, JEthiopic, all
the hala, and several of the Fathers. This reading Bishop
Pcarce prefers, because it is more agreeable to St. Paul's
meaning here, and exactly agrees with what he says chap. x.
33. and makes his design more extensive and noble. Wake-
field also prefers this reading.

Verse 23. And this I do for the gaspoVs sake] Instead

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< Gal. 2. 2. & 5. 7. Phil. 2.16. & 3.14. 2 Tim. 4. 7. Hebr. 12.1..
• Eph. 6.12. 1 Tim. 6.12. 2 Tim. 2. 5. & 4. 7.

of roSrc this, iravra all things, (I do all things for the gos-
pel's sake,) is the reading of ABCDEFG. several others,
the Coptic, JEthiopic, Vulgate, Itala, Armenian, and So-
hidic: the two latter reading ra-vra. Ttxvrx, all these things.

Several of the Fathers have the same reading; and ther»
is much reason to believe it to be genuine.

That I might be partaker thereof with you.] That I might
attain to the reward of eternal life, which it sets before roe;
and this is in all probability the meaning of r» evayyiXui,
which we translate the gospel; and which should be ren-
dered here, prize or reward: this is a frequent meaning of the
original word, as may be seen in my Preface to St. Mat-
thew: I do all this for the sake of the prize, that I may par-
take of it with you.

Verse 24. They which run in a race, run all] It is suf*
ficiently evident that the apostle alludes to the athletic
exercises in the games, which were celebrated every fifth
year on the isthmus, or narrow neck of land, which joins
the Peloponnesus, or Morea, to the main land; and were
thence termed the Isthmian Games. The exercises were
running, wrestling, boxing, throwing the discus, or quoit,
Sfc. to the three first of these the apostle especially alludes.

But one receiveth the prize?] The apostle places tie
Christian race in contrast to the Isthmian games; in them,
only one received the prize, though all ran: In this, if
all run, all will receive the prize: therefore, he says, to
run that ye may obtain. Be as much in earnest to get to
heaven as the others are to gain their prize: and, although
only one of them can win, all of you may obtain.

Verse 26. It temperate in all things.] All those who
contended in these exercises, went through a long state and
series of painful preparations. To this exact discipliBe
Epktetus refers, cap. 35. ©sAeif 0\up.nx vixr,<ra.i; Aa»
EuraxTsiy, ayayxorpofiiv, tLTttysvfai «f*j*«ro;v, yau,r*&ti*i
irpof avxyxrp u>pa. Terayitsvy, sv xau,uar», tv -i/vy* /»?
•Jwypov irtveir, Ju.ij oivov u>; troyp' aitXuif, tog larpa-, txpetn-
SwKfva.1 trtavroy rw Wirwv w« ei( rov otytora vaptpyesiu'
x-T'X* "Do you wish to gain the prize at the Olympic
Games ?—Consider the requisite preparations, and the «w-
sequences: You must observe a strict regimen; mast liveoa
food which you dislike : you must abstain from all delicacies;

Qualifications of those who contend


in the Isthmian games.

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tery is temperate in all things. Now Anmit*** tney ^0 it to obtain a corruptible ronis cc9.3. cr0Wn; but we * an incorruptible.

• 2 Tim. 4. 8. Jametl.12. 1 Pet. 1. 4. & 5. 4. Rev. 2.10. & 3.11.

must exercise yourself at the necessary and prescribed times both in heat and in cold; you must drink nothing cooling; take no wine as formerly: in a word, you must put yourself under the directions of a pugilist, as you would under those of a physician; and afterwards enter the lists. Here you may get your arm broken, your foot put out of joint, be obliged to swallow mouthfuls of dust, to receive many stripes; and, after all, be conquered." Thus we find, that these suffered much hardships in order to conquer ; and yet were uncertain of the victory.

Horace speaks of it in nearly the same way—•

Qui sludet opt at am citrsu contingcre metam,
Multa tulit fecitquej?ner: sudavit et alslt,
Abstinuit Venere et Baccho. De Arte Poet, ter.412.

A youth who hopes the Olympic prize to gain,
All arts must try, and every toil sustain;
Th' extremes of heat and cold must often prove;
And shuu the weakening joys of wine and love.


These quotations shew the propriety of the apostle's words: livery man that strioethfor the mastery, itavra, is temperate, or continent, in all things.

They do it to obtain a corruptible crown] The won by the victor in the Olympian games, was made of the ■mild olive; in the Pythian games, of laurel; in the Nemean games, of parsley; and in the Isthmian games, of the pine. These were all corruptible, for they began to wither as soon as they were separated from the trees, or plucked out of the earth. In opposition to these, the apostle says, he contended for an incorruptible crown; the heavenly inheritance. He sought not worldly honour; but that honour which comes from God.

Verse 10. J therefore so run, not as uncertainly] In the foot-course in those games, how many soever ran, only one coaid have the prize, however strenuously they might exert themselves; therefore, all ran uncertainly; but it was widely different in the Christian course; if every one ran as he ought, each would receive the prize.

The word a^Xus, which we translate uncertainly, hat

other meanings. 1. It signifies ignerantly; I do not run

like one ignorant of what he is about; or of the laws of

the course: I know that there is an eternal life: I know the

way that leads to it; and I know and feel the power of it.

2. It signifies without observation; the eyes of all the spec


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tators were fixed on those who ran in these races; and to gain the applause of the multitude, they stretched every nerve: the apostle knew that the eyes of all were fixed upon him—1. His false brethren waited for his halting—1. The persecuting Jews and Gentiles longed for his downfall— 3. The church of Christ looked on him with anxiety—4. And he acted in all things as under the immediate eye of God.

Not as one that beateth the air] Kypke observes, that there are three ways in which persons were suid aspa. Sepetvf to beat the air. 1. When in practising for the combat, they threw their arms and legs about in different ways, thus practising the attitudes of offence and defence. This was termed a-Kia.jj.axia. Jighting with a shadow. To this Virgil alludes when representing Dures swinging his arms about, when he rose to challenge a competitor in the boxing match :*—

Talis prima Dares caput altum inpralia tollit,
Ostenditque humeros lotos, alternaque jactat
Brachiaprotendens, et verberat ictibus auras.

VEu. v. ver. 376.

Thus, glorying in his strength, in open view
His arms around the towering Dares threw;
Stalk'd high, and laid his brawny shoulders bare,
And dealt his whistling blows in empty air. Pitt.

2. Sometimes boxers were to aim blows at their adversaries which they did not intend to take place; and which the others were obliged to exert themselves to prevent as much as if they had been really intended; and, by these means, some dexterous pugilists vanquished their adversaries by mere fatigue, without giving them a single blow. 3. Pugilists were said to beat tlie air when having to contend with a nimble adversary, who, by running from side to side, stooping, and various contortions of the body, eluded the blows of his antagonist; who spent his strength on the a/r, frequently missing his aim, and sometimes overturning himself, in attempting to hit his adversary, when this, by his agility, had been able to elude the blow. We have an example of this in Virgil's account of the boxing match between Entellus and Dares, so well told iEneid. v. ver. 426, &c. and which will give us a proper view of the subject to which the apostle alludes :—viz. boxing at the Isthmian games.

Constitit in digitus cxtemplo arrectus uterque,
Bracltiaque ad ruperas inUrrltut extulit auras.

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Abduxere retro longe capita ardua ab iclu;

Immiscentque manus manibus, pugnamque lac.essunt.

Ille, [Dares] pedum melior motu, fretusquc juvenla;

Hie, [Entellus] membris et mole valens; sed tarda trementi

Genua labant, vastos qualit wger anhelilus artus.

Multa viri nequicquam inter se vulnera jactant,

Mult a cavo lateri ingeminant, etpectore vasto >

Hani sonitus; erratque aures et tempora circum

Crebra manus; duro crepitant sub vulnere malm.

Stat gravis Entellus, nisuque immotus eodem,

Corpore tela mo do atque oculis vigilantibus exit.

Ille, velut celsam oppugnut qui molibus urbem,

Aut montana sedet circum castelia sub armis;

Nunc has, nunc illos adit us, omnemque pererrut

Arte locum, et variis assultibus irritus urget.

Ostendit dextram insurgens Entellus, et altb

Extulil: ille ic/um venientem a verticc velox

Prwvidit, celerique eltqtsus corpore cessit.

Entellus Vires Is Ventvm Effudit; cl ultro

Ipse gravis, gravilerque ad terrain pondere vasto

Concidit: ut quondam cava concidit, aut Erj/manlho,

Aut Ida in magna, radicibus eruta pinus.

Consurgunt studiis Teucri et Trinacria pubes;
It clamor ccelo : primusque accurrit Acestes,
JEquwvumque ab humo miscrans aitollit amicum.
At non tardatus casu, neque territus heros,
Acrior ad pugnam redit, ac vim suscilat ira:
Turn pudor incendit vires, et conscia virtus;
Prwcipitemque Daren ardens agil nyquore toio;
Nunc dextrA ingeminans ictus, nunc ille sinistra.
Nee mora, nee requies: qudm multa grandine nimbi
Culminibus crepitant,• sic densis iclibus heros
Creber uiraque manu pulsat versatque Darcta.

Both on the tiptoe stand, at fall extent;
Their arms aloft, their bodies inly bent;
Their heads from aiming blows, they bear afar,
With clashing gauntlets then provoke the war.
One [Dares j on his youth and pliant limbs relies;
One [Entellus'] on his sinews, and his giant size.
The last is stiff with age, his motions slow;
. He heaves for breath, he staggers to and fro.—
Yet equal in success, they ward, they strike;
Their ways are different, but their art alike.
Before, behind, the blows are dealt; around
Their hollow sides, the rattling thumps resound.

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'Jer. 6. 30. 2 Cor. 13. 5, 6.

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A storm of strokes well meant, with fury flies,
And errs about their temples, ears, and eyes:
Nor always errs; for oft the gauntlet draws
A sweepitig stroke along the crackling jaws.

Hoary with age, Entellus stands his ground;
But with his warping body wards the wound;
His head and watchful eye keep even pace,
While Dares traverses, and shifts his place;
And like a captain who beleaguers round
Some strong built castle, on a rising ground;
Views all the approaches, with observing eyes,]
This, and that other part, in vain he tries;
And more on industry than force relies.
With hands on high, Entellus threats the foe;
But Dares watch'd the motion from below,
And slipp'd aside, and shun'd the long descending blow.
Entellus zcastcs his forces on the zsind;
And thus deluded of the stroke designed,
Headlong, and heavy fell: his ample breast,
And weighty limbs, his ancient mother press'd.
So falls a hollow pine, that long had stood
On Ida's height, or Erymanthus' wood.—
Dauntless he rose, and to the fight returned,
With shame his cheeks, his eyes with fury burn'd:
Disdain and conscious virtue fir'd his breast,
And, with redoubled force, his foe he press'd;
He lays on loads with either hand amain,
Aud headlong drives the Trojan o'er the plain,
Nor stops, nor stays; nor rest, nor breath allows;
But storms of strokes descend about his brows:
A rattling tempest, and a hail of blows.


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To such a combat as this the apostle most manifestly alludes: and, in the above description, the Reader will see the full force and meaning of the words, so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: I have a real and a deadly foe; and, as I light not only for my honour but for my lifey I aim every blow well, and do execution with each.

No man, who had not seen such a fight, could have given such a description as that above: and we may fairly presume that when Virgil was in Greece, he saw such a contest at the Isthmian games; and therefore was enabled to punt from nature.

Homer has the same image of missing the foe and beating the air, when describing Achilles attempting to kill Hector;

General observations


on the preceding chapter.

who, by his agility and skill, (Poetice by Apollo,) eluded

the blow :—

Tpi( Ij.iv tTttir nropouFB trc03.p-x.ris Sto; A%i/.\evs
Ey%ei %a.?Mena, rpi; S" rtepa. Tv^s Sadeiav

Iliad, lib. xx. ver. 415.

Thrice struck Pelides with indignant heart,

Thrice, in impassive air, he plunged the dart. Pope.

Verse 27. But I keep under my body, cj"c] This is an allusion not only to boxers, but also to wrestlers in the same games; as we may learn from the word vitiuTfix^M, which signifies to hit in the eyes; and Zov'/.xyuyw, which signifies to trip, and give the antagonist a fall, and then keep him dozen when he was down; and, having obliged him to acknowledge himself conquered, make him a slave. The apostle considers his body as an enemy with which he must contend; he must mortify it by self-denial, abstinence, and severe labour; it must be the slave of his soul, and not the soul the slave of the body; which, in all unregenerate men, is the case.

Lesthaving preached to others~\ The word xypvfas, which we translate having preached, refers to the office of the xr,pv%, or herald at these games, whose business it was to proclaim the conditions of the games, display the prizes, exhort the combatants, excite the emulation of those who were to contend, declare the terms of each contest, pronounce the name of the victors, and put the crown on their beads. Sec my observations on this office in the Notes at the end of Matth. Hi.

Should be a cast-away.'] The word aSoxtu-o; signifies such a person as the (ipa.Zsvra.i, or judges of the games, reject as not having deserved the prize. So Paul himself might be rejected by the Great Judge; and, to prevent this, he ran, he contended, he denied himself, and brought his body into subjection to his spirit, and had his spirit governed by the Spirit of God. Had this heavenly man lived in our days, he would, by a certain class of people, have been deemed a legalist; a people who widely differ from the practice of the apostle; for they are conformed to the world, ami they feed themselves without fear.

On the various important subjects in this chapter I have already spoken in great detail; not, indeed, all that might be said, but as much as is necessary. A few general observations will serve to recapitulate and impress what has been already said.

1. St. Paul contends that a preacher of the gospel has a right to his support: and he has proved this from the laic, from the gospel, and from the common sense and consent of men. If a man who does not labour, takes his maintenance from the church of God, it is not only a domestic theft, but a sacrilege. He that gives up his time to this labour, has a right to the support of himself and family: he who takes more than is sufficient for this purpose, is a covetous hireling.

lie who does nothing for the cause of God and religion, and yet obliges the church to support him, and minister to his idleness, irregularities, luxury, avarice and ambition, is a monster, for whom human language has not yet got a name.

2. Those who refuse the labourer his hire, are condemned by God, and by good men. How liberal are many to public places of amusement, or to some popular charily, where their names are sure to be published abroad; while the man who watches over their souls, is fed with the most parsimonious hand! Will not God abate this pride, and reprove this hardheartedness?

3. As the husbandman plows and sows in hope, and the God of Providence makes him a partaker of his hope let the upright preachers of God's word take example and encouragement by him. Let them labour in hope; God will not permit them to spend their strength for nought. Though much of their seed, through the fault of the bad ground, may be unfruitful; yet some will spring up unto eternal life.

4. St. Paul became all things to all men, that he might gain all. This was not the effect of a fickle or man-pleasing disposition; no man was ever of a more firm or decided character than St. Paul: but, whenever he could, with a good conscience, yield so as to please his neighbour, for his good to edification, he did so; and his yielding disposition was a proof of the greatness of his soul. The unyielding and obstinate mind, is' always a Utile mind: a want of true greatness always produces obstinacy and peevishness. Such a person as St. Paul is a blessing wherever he goes: on the contrary, the obstinate, hoggish man, is either a general curse, or a goneral cross: and if a preacher of the gospel, his is a burthensomo ministry. Render, let me ask thee a question: If there be no gentleness in thy munners, is there any in thy heart? If there bo little of Christ withoiU, can there be much of Christ within?

5. A few general observations on the Grecian Games may serve to recapitulate the subject in the four last verses.

1. The Isthmian games were celebrated among the Corinthians; and therefore the apostle addresses them, ver. 24. Knoit ye not, Cjfc.

2. Of thence games there used, the apostle speaks only of three, Running, ver. 23. they which run in a race; and ver. 26. / therefore so run, not as uncertainly. Jvrestung, ver. 25. every man that strivelh; i ayuviKopevos, he who wrestleth. Boxing, ver. 26,27. so fight I, not as one that beateth the air; ovru iruxreuu, so fist I, so I hit; but I keep my body under; uiruvtatui, I hit in the eye, I make the face black and blue.

8. He who won the race by running, was to observe the tew of racing; keeping within the white line, which marked out the path or compass in which they ran ; and he was also to outrun the rest, and to come first to the goal: otherwise, he ran uncertainly, ver. 24, 20. and was aSoxipo;, one to whom the prize could not be judged by the judges of the games.

4. The athletic combatants, or wrestlers, observed a set

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