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2: I praise you - The greater part of you.
3: I would have you know - He does not seem to have given
them any order before concerning this. The head of every man
- Particularly every believer. Is Christ, and the head of
Christ is God - Christ, as he is Mediator, acts in all things
subordinately to his Father. But we can no more infer that
they are not of the same divine nature, because God is said to
be the head of Christ, than that man and woman are not of the
same human nature, because the man is said to be the head of
4: Every man praying or prophesying - Speaking by the
immediate power of God. With his head - And face. Covered
- Either with a veil or with long hair. Dishonoureth his
head - St. Paul seems to mean, As in these eastern nations
veiling the head is a badge of subjection, so a man who
prays or prophesies with a veil on his head, reflects a
dishonour on Christ, whose representative he is.
5: But every woman - Who, under an immediate impulse of
the Spirit, (for then only was a woman suffered to speak in
the church,) prays or prophesies without a veil on her face,
as it were disclaims subjection, and reflects dishonour on
man, her head. For it is the same, in effect, as if she cut
her hair short, and wore it in the distinguishing form of the
men. In those ages, men wore their hair exceeding short, as
appears from the ancient statues and pictures.
6: Therefore if a woman is not covered - If she will
throw off the badge of subjection, let her appear with her
hair cut like a man's. But if it be shameful far a woman
to appear thus in public, especially in a religious
assembly, let her, for the same reason, keep on her veil.
7: A man indeed ought not to veil his head, because
he is the image of God - In the dominion he bears over the
creation, representing the supreme dominion of God, which is
his glory. But the woman is only matter of glory to the man,
who has a becoming dominion over her. Therefore she ought not
to appear, but with her head veiled, as a tacit acknowledgment
8: The man is not - In the first production of nature.
10: For this cause also a woman ought to be veiled in
the public assemblies, because of the angels - Who attend there,
and before whom they should be careful not to do anything
indecent or irregular.
11: Nevertheless in the Lord Jesus, there is neither
male nor female - Neither is excluded; neither is preferred
before the other in his kingdom.
12: And as the woman was at first taken out of the man,
so also the man is now, in the ordinary course of nature, by
the woman; but all things are of God - The man, the woman, and
their dependence on each other.
13: Judge of yourselves - For what need of more arguments
if so plain a case? Is it decent for a woman to pray to God
- The Most High, with that bold and undaunted air which she
must have, when, contrary to universal custom, she appears in
public with her head uncovered?
14: For a man to have long hair, carefully adjusted, is
such a mark of effeminacy as is a disgrace to him.
15: Given her - Originally, before the arts of dress were
16: We have no such custom here, nor any of the other
churches of God - The several churches that were in the
apostles' time had different customs in things that were
not essential; and that under one and the same apostle, as
circumstances, in different places, made it convenient. And
in all things merely indifferent the custom of each place was
of sufficient weight to determine prudent and peaceable men.
Yet even this cannot overrule a scrupulous conscience, which
really doubts whether the thing be indifferent or no. But
those who are referred to here by the apostle were
contentious, not conscientious, persons.
18: In the church - In the public assembly. I hear there
are schisms among you; and I partly believe it - That is, I
believe it of some of you. It is plain that by schisms is
not meant any separation from the church, but uncharitable
divisions in it; for the Corinthians continued to be one
church; and, notwithstanding all their strife and contention,
there was no separation of any one party from the rest, with
regard to external communion. And it is in the same sense
that the word is used, (1Co 1:10,12:25); which are the
only places in the New Testament, beside this, where church
schisms are mentioned. Therefore, the indulging any temper
contrary to this tender care of each other is the true
scriptural schism. This is, therefore, a quite different thing
from that orderly separation from corrupt churches which later
ages have stigmatized as schisms; and have made a pretence for
the vilest cruelties, oppressions, and murders, that have
troubled the Christian world. Both heresies and schisms are
here mentioned in very near the same sense; unless by schisms
be meant, rather, those inward animosities which occasion
heresies; that is, outward divisions or parties: so that
whilst one said, "I am of Paul," another, "I am of Apollos,"
this implied both schism and heresy. So wonderfully have
later ages distorted the words heresy and schism from their
scriptural meaning. Heresy is not, in all the Bible, taken
for "an error in fundamentals," or in anything else; nor
schism, for any separation made from the outward communion of
others. Therefore, both heresy and schism, in the modern sense
of the words, are sins that the scripture knows nothing of;
but were invented merely to deprive mankind of the benefit of
private judgment, and liberty of conscience.
19: There must be heresies - Divisions. Among you - In the
ordinary course of things; and God permits them, that it may
appear who among you are, and who are not, upright of heart.
20: Therefore - That is, in consequence of those schisms.
It is not eating the Lord's supper - That solemn memorial of his
death; but quite another thing.
21: For in eating what ye call the Lord's supper,
instead of all partaking of one bread, each person brings his
own supper, and eats it without staying for the rest. And
hereby the poor, who cannot provide for themselves, have
nothing; while the rich eat and drink to the full just as
the heathens use to do at the feasts on their sacrifices.
22: Have ye not houses to eat and drink your common
meals in? or do ye despise the church of God - Of which the
poor are both the larger and the better part. Do ye act
thus in designed contempt of them?
23: I received - By an immediate revelation.
24: This is my body, which is broken for you - That is,
this broken bread is the sign of my body, which is even now
to be pierced and wounded for your iniquities. Take then,
and eat of, this bread, in an humble, thankful, obediential
remembrance of my dying love; of the extremity of my
sufferings on your behalf, of the blessings I have thereby
procured for you, and of the obligations to love and duty
which I have by all this laid upon you.
25: After supper - Therefore ye ought not to confound this
with a common meal. Do this in remembrance of me - The ancient
sacrifices were in remembrance of sin: this sacrifice, once
offered, is still represented in remembrance of the remission
26: Ye show forth the Lord's death - Ye proclaim, as it
were, and openly avow it to God, and to all the world. Till
he come - In glory.
27: Whosoever shall eat this bread unworthily - That is,
in an unworthy, irreverent manner; without regarding either
Him that appointed it, or the design of its appointment.
Shall be guilty of profaning that which represents the body
and blood of the Lord.
28: But let a man examine himself - Whether he know the
nature and the design of the institution, and whether it be
his own desire and purpose throughly to comply therewith.
29: For he that eateth and drinketh so unworthily as those
Corinthians did, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself - Temporal
judgments of various kinds, (1Co 11:30).
Not distinguishing the sacred tokens of the Lord's body - From his
30: For this cause - Which they had not observed. Many
sleep - In death.
31: If we would judge ourselves - As to our knowledge, and
the design with which we approach the Lord's table. We should
not be thus judged - That is, punished by God.
32: When we are thus judged, it is with this merciful
design, that we may not be finally condemned with the world.
33: The rest - The other circumstances relating to the