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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 12 - Verse 22

Verse 22. Which seem to be more feeble. Weaker than the rest; which seem less able to bear fatigue and to encounter difficulties; which are more easily injured, and which become more easily affected with disease. It is possible that Paul may here refer to the brain, the lungs, the heart, etc., as more feeble in their structure, and more liable to disease, than the hands and the feet, etc., and in reference to which disease is more dangerous and fatal.

Are necessary. The sense seems to be this: A man can live though the parts and members of his body which are more strong were removed; but not if those parts which are more feeble. A man can live if his arm or leg be amputated; but not if his brain, his lungs, or his heart be removed. So that, although these parts are more feeble, and more easily injured, they are really more necessary to life, and therefore more useful, than the more vigorous portions of the frame. Perhaps the idea is—and it is a beautiful thought—that those members of the church which are most retiring and feeble apparently; which are concealed from public view, unnoticed and unknown—the humble, the meek, the peaceful, and the prayerful—are often more necessary to the true welfare of the church than those who are eminent for their talent and learning. And it is so. The church can better spare many a man, even in the ministry, who is learned, and eloquent, and popular, than some obscure and humble Christian, that is to the church what the heart and the lungs are to the life. The one is strong, vigorous, active, like the hands or the feet, and the church often depends on them; the other is feeble, concealed, yet vital, like the heart or the lungs. The vitality of the church could be continued though the man of talent and learning should be removed—as the body may live when the arm or the leg is amputated; but that vitality could not continue, if the saint of humble and retiring piety and of fervent prayerfulness were removed, any more than the body can live when there is no heart and no lungs.

{e} "those members" Ec 4:9-12; 9:14,15

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