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I COR. IV. 5.
Time, until the Lord come, –
HE Church of Corinth
was of St. Paul's own
Planting, which at. the
its Growth and Proficiency, that we find the Apostle (Ch. 1.) thought
he had reason to glory in them, giving Thanks to God on their behalf for v.4.5.7 the Grace of God that was given them by Jesus Christ; that they were enriched by him in every thing; and came behind in no B
Gift. But afterwards, when Apollos and
Cephas, (that is, St. Peter,) had been aCh 3. 6. mongst them, to Water what St. Paul had
Planted there, the Church became Divided into several Factions; each Proselyte sevērally retaining too particular a Refpect and Veneration for the Person from whom they had received their Baptism; as if they had Preached their own Gospel, or Baptised in their own Names? So St. Paul is by his Converts set up against Apollos, and St. Peter by his against them Both; One saith I am of Paul, and another I am of Apollos,&c. And their Divisions,(as it usually happens,) inflam'd their Zeal; which, (as Zeal never fails to do, when it outruns its Guides Knowledge and Charity,) pufft them up with SpiritualPride: And when once they were come to be proud of their own Knowledge and Purity, they became, in Consequence, more sensible of the Interest of a Party, than tender of the Unity and Peace of the Church.
Therefore the Apostles first Care is, to bind up the Church's Wounds, by removing their Publick Disfentions; and afterwards their Uncharitable private Censures, their Unchristian Judging and Condemning each other; and that with Reflections upon each other's FutureState. As for his own Particular, (for
He also was fallen under their Judgment,) he appeals to Him to whom it belongs to Judge, v.4. — He that judgeth me is the Lord; concluding with this general Aphorism,—Therefore fudge nothing before the Time until the Lord come.
I shall not make it any part of my Business to assert the Lawfulness and Authority of Publick Judicatures, whither Ecclesiastical or Civil
, though Anabaptists and some other Sectaries have taken Occasion to cry down Both, as utterly Unlawful, from their unreatonable Ingerpretation of this Prohibition in the Text, and some other parallel Places: But because 'tis plain from the Context, that the Words ought to be understood of Private Judgments, and chiefly of such as reflect Uncharitably upon Mens Future Estates; I shall consider all such Judging,
I. As Oncharitable towards Men: And
I. As Oncharitable towards Men.
There is nothing does so much commend the admirable Oeconomy of the Christian Institution,as that Divine Goodness which does every where discover itself throughout the whole Design of B 2