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- 1 Corinthians
by Robert Hawker
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS
The city of Corinth, which formed a part of Greece, in the province of Achaia, was a place of great opulence. And from its situation on an isthmus, or neck of land to the sea, opened a large source for trade and commerce; and, as is but too common, where opportunities for the indulgences of corrupt nature are found, Corinth was remarkable for abounding with luxuries, pride, and uncleanness. To this place, however, God the Holy Ghost in his providence sent Paul to preach the Gospel; and the Apostle continued his personal labors in it for about two years. And, as the Lord who sent Paul to Corinth, had a people there to receive him, so a church was formed during his abode there, while the Apostle went in and out among them.
After his departure, as appears from certain parts here and there in his Epistle, some irregularities crept in among the people; which Paul as a watchful minister of Christ set about to reform. But beside this, God the Holy Ghost had other views, when guiding the mind and pen of the Apostle, in dictating this Epistle. The Church of God, in every age, hath found cause to bless the Holy Spirit for so precious ant invaluable a portion of his sacred word. The interesting account the Apostle hath given of the institution of the Lord's Supper, of Spiritual gifts, and of the Resurrection, (not for the present to mention other subjects treated of by Paul in this Epistle,) renders it most blessed indeed!
The time in which the apostle wrote it, and sent it to the Church, is not so clearly known, as to determine with exact precision. Some have supposed that it was in the first year of the reign of the emperor Nero, which corresponded to the year of our Lord God 55. Some place it later. But the chief concern we have, is to know that it was divinely written, under the immediate inspiration of God the Holy Ghost. And this every day's testimony in the hearts of God's people, nourished and refreshed by its gracious contents, abundantly confirm.
I do not think it necessary to detain the Reader with any further preface, but invite him for himself to come and see. Very fully persuaded I am, that, if the Writer of this Poor Man's Commentary, and the Reader of it, are both led by the Lord's hand, while going over this precious book of God in the perusal of it, and the same Almighty Lord which guided Paul's pen to write, shall graciously guide our hearts to read the sacred contents; like the man the Apostle speaks of in one of the Chapters of this epistle, the secrets of our hearts will be made manifest, as we attend to the ministry of this word, and falling down on our face, we shall worship God, and report that God is in it of a truth. The Lord (if it be his holy will,) vouchsafe this mercy for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
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