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tinuity of the discourse. But I would observe that, in first studying any of St. Paul's Epistles, it will conduce to a more ready understanding of the subject, to break the text, into separate portions wherever there appears to be the least turn in the course of the argument.

The notes have been made as full and explicit as I could ; perhaps by some they may be thought more copious than was required. If this should be the

may be excused on account of the difficulty there is in knowing how things are seen by different persons, and the wish I have had to render the subject intelligible to all capacities, and thence conducive to the general edification of Christians. To this fulness I have been the more induced as there is much of novelty in some of the interprétations I have given, which would seem therefore to call for a greater detail, in order that the meaning might be rightly apprehended. For this novelty no other reason need be assigned than the obscurity which it will be admitted still envelopes the sacred writings, and the contradictory opinions of different expositors of nearly equal estimation, which things rather imply a necessity of taking new views on the subject. References to other interpretations which give a différent sense have been avoided; not because they have been disregarded-by no means; but because it is wished to remove all appearance of controversy. It will be seen that, in many cases, opposing opinions are either tacitly obviated or openly replied to, but without mention of the quarter from which they This it would appear is the best way of proceeding in the examination of scriptural questions, though there is some difficulty in viewing an opinion thus detached from all consideration of the person who holds it; and though this caution may not be in all cases necessary, yet it is clearly according to the model given us by St. Paul, as may be seen in this epistle. Certainly, had his example been always followed we should not have to lament, as we have now too much cause to do, the bitter personal reflections which have so much disgraced theological discussions, and the cause of truth would have been at least equally promoted. Though some of the notes bear upon subjects which are primary matters of controversy among Christians, yet these subjects are no further treated as such than was necessary to their explanation. It was thought that the first thing to be done is to ascertain the true meaning of the text; after that has been attained, the inferences to be drawn from it, and the special applications to be made, will be comparatively easy. For the same réason it is only occasionally and in cases of importance, that I have made practical remarks. The comments are throughout as plain as the nature of the subject allowed, nothing having been introduced into them in the way of critical discussion that could have been well omitted. They are intended as a full explanation of the meaning of the original text in such a way as to be generally useful to all readers, and which it is hoped they may prove. For those even who may not be equal to consider points re.



lating to the original language, will, I trust, find in them other matter for reflection from which they may derive information and improvement. But I will add that my chief hope is, that I may have been so far successful in the exposition as to have removed, in some measure, the common prejudice against the possibility of an exact interpretation of St. Paul's writings, and that the removal of this notion may lead to their being more generally studied. From this the happiest consequences might be expected ; not only as to the diffusion among us of a just know. ledge of the doctrines of the gospel, but as to what is of even more value, the diffusion among us of practical good sense on the subject of religion, a spirit of true Christian charity, and fervent zeal for the interests of the gospel,—in its exercise subdued to the support of established authority, limited to its proper sphere, guided by sound judgment, and tempered by a due regard to existing circumstances, and the sentiments and feelings of the persons who may be the objects of it. These excellencies could hardly fail to be imbibed, for with them these effu. sions of the Holy Spirit are deeply and specially tinctured. And in the style of these writings there is such a touching eloquence as will be sure to reach the hearts of all who read them with sufficient attention and reflection to catch their meaning and spirit.

Of the Corinthians, to whom this epistle is ada dressed, it is well known that they were alike remarkable for their wealth, their luxurious manners, the pursuits of commerce, and the study of pbilosophy which circumstances will account for the several topics that form the subject of the epistle ; and perhaps these points of resemblance to our own condition may give us a peculiar interest in it. It

appears from the epistle itself that it was written from Ephesus (ch. xvi.), in answer to one which St. Paul had received from them (ch. vii.). Its date is generally reckoned to have been A. D. 56.

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Sec. 1. Ch. I. 10.-Ch. IV. 21.Of their division into
parties, of which he had been privately informed.

Sec. 2. Ch. V. and VI. - The case of a member of that
Church who was living in a state of incest which was notoriously
spoken of, noticed, with general observations, in conclusion, on the
peculiar sinfulness of fornication in Christians.

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