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4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant


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4. Love is patient. He now commends love from its effects or fruits, though at the same time these eulogiums are not intended merely for its commendation, but to make the Corinthians understand what are its offices, and what is its nature. The object, however, mainly in view, is to show how necessary it is for preserving the unity of the Church. I have also no doubt that he designed indirectly to reprove the Corinthians, by setting before them a contrast, in which they might recognize, by way of contraries, their own vices.

The first commendation of love is this — that, by patient endurance of many things, it promotes peace and harmony in the Church. Near akin to this is the second excellence — gentleness and lenity, for such is the meaning of the verb χρηστεύεσθαι 781781     The distinction between the. first and second of the commendations here bestowed upon love is stated by Bloomfield as follows: Μακροθυμεῖ, “denotes lenity, as opposed to passion and revenge: and χρηστεύεται, gentleness, as opposed to severity and misanthropy.” — Ed A third excellence is — that it counteracts emulation, the seed of all contentions. Under emulation he comprehends envy, which is a vice near akin to it, or rather, he means that emulation, which is connected with envy, and frequently springs from it. Hence where envy reigns — where every one is desirous to be the first, or appear so, love there has no place.

What I have rendered — does not act insolently — is in the Greek χρηστεύεσθαι Erasmus has rendered it, is not froward. 782782     This rendering is followed in two of the old English translations, viz. Tyndale (1534) and Cranmer (1539.) “Love doth not frowardly.” — Ed. It is certain that the word has different significations; but, as it is sometimes taken to meanbeing fierce, or insolent, through presumption, this meaning seemed to be more suitable to the passage before us. 783783     Interpreters are by no means agreed as to the precise import of the original term περπερεύεται. Most ancient and many modern commentators explain it as meaning — “to act precipitately and rashly” — and in accordance with this, is the rendering given by our Translators in the Marginis not rash No single expression, however, appears to bring out more satisfactorily the import of the original word than that which our Translators have inserted in the textvaunteth not itself. Beausobre makes use of two epithets. “N’est point vaine et insolerite;” — “Is not vain and insolent.” — Ed Paul, therefore, ascribes to love moderation, and declares that it is a bridle to restrain men, that they may not break forth into ferocity, but may live together in a peaceable and orderly manner. He adds, farther, that it has nothing of the nature of pride. 784784     “I1 dit consequemment que charite ne s’enfle point;” — “He says consequently, that love is not puffed up.” That man, then, who is governed by love, is not puffed up with pride, so as to despise others and feel satisfied with himself. 785785     Bloomfield considers the distinction between this clause and the preceding one to be this, that the former “refers to pride as shown in words, and the latter to “the carriage and bearing, to denote pride and haughtiness on account of certain external advantages. A similar view is taken by Barnes, who considers the former clause as referring to “the expression of the feelings of pride, vanity,” etc.; and the latter, to “the feeling itself.” — Ed.




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