And if any man hunger - Let him not come to the house of God to eat an ordinary meal, let him eat at home - take that in his own house which is necessary for the support of his body before he comes to that sacred repast, where he should have the feeding of his soul alone in view.
That ye come not together unto condemnation - That ye may avoid the curse that must fall on such worthless communicants as those above mentioned; and that ye may get that especial blessing which every one that discerns the Lord's body in the eucharist must receive.
The rest will I set in order, etc. - All the other matters relative to this business, to which you have referred in your letter, I will regulate when I come to visit you; as, God permitting, I fully design. The apostle did visit them about one year after this, as is generally believed.
I Have already been so very particular in this long and difficult chapter, that I have left neither room nor necessity for many supplementary observations. A few remarks are all that is requisite.
That και, And, is the true reading, and not η, or, both MSS. and versions sufficiently prove: also that et, not vels is the proper reading in the Vulgate, those original editions formed by Roman Catholics, and one of them by the highest authority in the papal Church, fully establish: likewise those MSS., versions, fathers, and original editions, must be allowed to be, not only competent, but also unsuspected and incontrovertible witnesses.
But as this objection to our translation is brought forward to vindicate the withholding the cup from the laity in the Lord's Supper, it may be necessary to show that without the cup there can be no eucharist. With respect to the bread, our Lord had simply said, Take, eat, this is my body; but concerning the cup, he says Drink ye all of this; for as this pointed out the very essence of the institution, viz. the blood of atonement, it was necessary that each should have a particular application of it, therefore he says, Drink ye All of This. By this we are taught that the cup is essential to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper; so that they who deny the cup to the people, sin against God's institution; and they who receive not the cup, are not partakers of the body and blood of Christ. If either could without mortal prejudice be omitted, it might be the bread; but the cup as pointing out the blood poured out, i.e. the life, by which alone the great sacrificial act is performed, and remission of sins procured, is absolutely indispensable. On this ground it is demonstrable, that there is not a popish priest under heaven, who denies the cup to the people, (and they all do this), that can be said to celebrate the Lord's Supper at all; nor is there one of their votaries that ever received the holy sacrament. All pretension to this is an absolute farce so long as the cup, the emblem of the atoning blood, is denied. How strange is it that the very men who plead so much for the bare, literal meaning of this is my body, in the preceding verse, should deny all meaning to drink ye all of this cup, in this verse! And though Christ has, in the most positive manner, enjoined it, they will not permit one of the laity to taste it! See the whole of this argument, at large, in my Discourse on the Nature and Design of the Eucharist.
And if any man hunger - The Lord‘s Supper is not a common feast; it is not designed as a place where a man may gratify his appetite. It is designed as a simple “commemoration,” and not as a “feast.” This remark was designed to correct their views of the supper, and to show them that it was to be distinguished from the ordinary idea of a feast or festival.
That ye come not together unto condemnation - That the effect of your coming together for the observance of the Lord‘s Supper be not to produce condemnation; see the note at 1 Corinthians 11:29.
And the rest will I set in order - Probably he refers here to other matters on which he had been consulted; or other things which he knew required to be adjusted. The other matters pertaining to the order and discipline of the church I will defer until I can come among you, and personally arrange them. It is evident from this, that Paul at this time purposed soon to go to Corinth; see 2 Corinthians 1:15-16. It was doubtless true that there might be many things which it was desirable to adjust in the church there, which could not be so well done by letter. The main things, therefore, which it was needful to correct immediately, he had discussed in this letter; the other matters he reserved to be arranged by himself when he should go among them. Paul was disappointed in his expectations of returning among them as soon as he had intended (see 2 Corinthians 1:17), and under this disappointment he forwarded to them another epistle. If all Christians would follow implicitly his directions here in regard to the Lord‘s Supper, it would be an ordinance full of comfort. May all so understand its nature, and so partake of it, that they shall meet the approbation of their Lord, and so that it may be the means of saving grace to their souls.