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; 1Co 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
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
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 of sins.
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, 1Cor 11:30. Not distinguishing the sacred tokens of the Lord's body
- From his common food.