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frame themselves after your example: What! were ye the first Christians? were there none before you? are there none other beside you?
XIV. 37. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you, &c.
If there be any man, which believes that he hath received the Spirit of God, and that he is a true minister of God, he cannot but acknowledge, that the things which I write unto you, are the commandments of the Lord, and needful and requisite to be observed.
XIV. 38. But if any be ignorant, let him be ignorant. But, if any man be willingly and perversely ignorant, I will not stand out in contention with him; let him be ignorant still.
XV. 6. After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, in that mountain of Galilee, where he had appointed to meet his disciples: of whom the greater part remain unto this day, and being yet alive can give ample witness to this truth; but some of them rest in the sleep of death.
XV. 8. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
And, last of all, he was seen of me, as one out of season, after all the rest, called to my apostleship.
XV. 9. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
For, I am the meanest of all the Apostles; and not worthy of that honourable title, because I persecuted the Church of God; although not maliciously, but in an ignorant zeal of the Law.
XV. 10. But by the grace of God I am what I am : and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
But, by the mere grace and mercy of God, contrary to my deservings, I am called to this station of my apostleship, and furnished with gifts and abilities to discharge it: neither was I careless in improving this mercy and goodness of God to me, for I laboured more abundantly than they all; and yet, why do I say, it was I that laboured? rather it was the grace of God, which both enabled me and wrought by me.
XV. 11. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
But, whether it were my labour or theirs, all comes to one:
Christ hath been by us preached, so to have died, and so to have risen; and, accordingly, by you believed.
XV. 17. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
And if Christ be not risen, your faith should be in vain pitched upon a dead and perished Redeemer; and so ye are yet under that woeful condemnation, which is due to your sins; from which only the Resurrection of Christ can acquit and discharge you.
XV. 19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
If the comforts and hopes that we have in Christ were only confined to this present life, and extended not beyond death, we were of all men the most miserable; who do willingly curb and restrain ourselves of those pleasures, which others take full scope unto; and endure those hardnesses and miseries, which others shift off; only, in the expectation of that glory, which we shall once enjoy, with Christ.
XV. 20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.
But now, all our stay, and comfort, is, that Christ is risen from the dead; and is so become the first-fruits of them that sleep in death, as that, the virtue of his Resurrection extends unto all his that lie in their graves, and that they by the power thereof shall necessarily follow him, in rising to life.
XV. 22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
For, as in the first Adam, who was the first-fruits of all his dying generation, we all die; so in the Second Adam, which was the first-fruits of those that rise from the dead, we all shall be made alive: Adam brought death upon mankind; Christ, life and resurrection.
XV. 23. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
So as, all shall rise; but every man in his own order: first, Christ, who is as the first sheaf of this harvest of the resurrection by and from which all the whole crop of the dead saints receive virtue, shall shew himself, as being already risen; afterwards, they that are Christ's, who are found alive at his coming; and they that are dead in him, and in his faith and favour, shall be, upon their happy change, carried up to meet him.
XV. 24. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
Then cometh the end of all this miserable and troublesome world, when he shall have delivered the kingdom of his Mediatorship unto God the Father; and shall have vanquished
and put down all the adversary principalities and powers, both of earth and of hell.
XV. 25. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
For he must, by the interest of his Mediatory power, reign, until he hath fully subdued all the enemies of his Church and children.
XV. 26. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
The last enemy, that shall be subdued and destroyed, shall be death itself, who hath hitherto subdued and destroyed all things. XV. 27. It is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
It is manifest, that herein God the Father excepteth himself, who did put all things under the subjection of his Son.
XV. 28. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
And, when all things shall be thus subdued unto the Son, as the King of his Church, God and Man; then shall the Son also, to whom as Mediator the power and rule of all things is committed and as it were delegated by the Father, resign up this Mediatory rule and government to his Father, who hath committed it unto him: so as, he shall no more reign, now, as Mediator, but as God; and we shall enjoy God immediately, who shall be all in all to us.
XV. 29. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
Else, to what purpose is the usual, but misgrounded, practice of those men, which are baptized for their dead friends, in a conceit of giving aid and refreshment to them, in that common state of death, if they were not fully assured that the dead shall arise again?
XV. 30. And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
And why do we stand in continual jeopardy every hour, for the profession of the Gospel, and particularly of the truth of the Resurrection, if we were not persuaded of a retribution after our departure hence?
XV. 31. I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
For me, I protest, I swear, by that joy, which I take in you, as the dear children and fruit of my Apostleship, which is the greatest comfort that my Lord Jesus Christ hath given unto me; that I am every day dying, ready to be offered up, for the Name of my Lord and Saviour.
XV. 32. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink: for to morrow we die.
If, as it is the manner of men to be put to fight with beasts in their amphitheatres, so I have been put to fight with bestial men at Ephesus, and have with them been exposed to so manifest and great peril of myself, what am I the better, or to what purpose have I done it, if there were no Resurrection? Well might ye, profane men, then take up these atheous words of your lewd predecessors, which the prophet Isaiah set down, Let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall die, and there is no further account to be made.
XV. 33. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good
But for you, O Corinthians, be not ye miscarried with such godless and wicked speeches; remembering that old, but true, verse of the heathen Poet, Evil communications corrupt good
XV. 34. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
Awake ye, from the secure and dangerous estate of your former corruptions, to a life of grace and righteousness; and do not dare to yield yourselves over to your sins; and give not ear to those lewd suggestions of wicked and profane men: for there are some such, even amongst you who profess Christianity, that have not the true knowledge and fear of God: I speak this to your shame, who have had so powerful means to the contrary.
XV. 35. But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
But some man will object, and say, You speak of a Resurrection; but what an impossible thing is this, that you tell us! How can it be, that that body, which is vanished to dust and corruption, should rise again? Tell us then: what body is it, that shall be restored to us? for this cannot possibly be repaired.
XV. 36. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
Thou fool, do but look to the grain, that thou sowest: that, which thou sowest, doth not sprout up again, except it first corrupt and die:
XV. 37. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain.
And, when thou sowest, thou sowest not that ear and that corn which shall be, but bare grain.
XV. 38. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
But God gives it, in the growing up, that body or substance, which it hath, according to his pleasure, and to every seed his own body; not the body of another kind of grain, nor the body of another grain of the same kind, but to every grain his own body.
XV. 39. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
And, as it is in plants, that they have their several bodies and substances, which God gives them at his pleasure; so is it in those creatures, which have sense and motion: there are several kinds of flesh in them: there is one flesh of men, another of beasts, &c. And even so in the Resurrection, God, who hath here given a fleshly body unto men, shall then give them such a body as shall be for glorified persons.
XV. 40. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
There are also celestial bodies or substances, as the heaven itself, the planets, and other stars: and there are terrestrial substances, as these elements of earth and water, and the minerals and metals therein contained; each of these have bodies. of their own differing, in degrees of worth and excellency, one from another.
XV. 41. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
And even so, in the heavenly bodies themselves, there are several degrees of glory: for there is one glory of the sun, which is the great original of light; and another of the moon, which is next to it, in glory and lightsomeness; and another of the stars, which make less shew than it; and, amongst those stars also, one differs from another, in brightness and glory.
XV. 42. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption :
So is it in the state of the Resurrection, compared with the present: the body, as it is now, is a goodly creature; but then, it shall have another manner of lustre upon it: it is laid down in corruption, it is raised again in a state of immortality and incorruption. So also verse 43.
XV. 44. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body, &c.
We lay down in the grave a natural body, such as we took from our parents; earthly, dull, heavy, and such, as when it was at the best, needed the aid of our senses; but it is raised a body quite altered in all the qualities thereof; having put off all the grossness and cloggy substance of it, and become pure, light, and apt to motion, and as near as a body may be to the nature and qualities of a spirit: so, there is a gross and natural body; and there is a body that is pure, agile, and spirit-like.
XV. 45. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. And, so it is written, that the body of the first man, which