xviii. 17, 18, compared with Matt. xvi. 19, and John
xx. 21, 23. “An heretic, after once or twice
admonition, reject,” Tit. iii. 10; i.e
excommunicate, till he repent—Pisc. in
By the lawful judgment of the Church, to
deliver the impenitent to Satan.—Beza
“Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander,
whom I have delivered to Satan, that they may learn
not to blaspheme,” 1 Tim. i. 20. The apostle’s
scope in 1 Cor. v. is to press the church of Corinth
to excommunicate the incestuous person. “Ye
are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he
that hath done this deed may be taken from the midst
of you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present
in spirit, have already as present judged him that
thus wrought this thing. In the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my
spirit with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to
deliver such an one to Satan for the destruction of
the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day
of our Lord Jesus,” 1 Cor. v. 2-5. “Know
ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
Purge out therefore the old leaven,” ver. 7.
“I wrote to you in an epistle, not to be mingled
together with fornicators,” ver. 9, 11; and
explaining what he meant by not being mingled together
saith, “If any named a brother be a fornicator,
or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or drunkard,
or rapacious, with such an one not to eat together,”
ver. 11. “Therefore take away from among
yourselves that wicked person,” ver. 13.
5. Seasonable remitting, receiving, comforting,
and authoritative confirming again in the communion
of the Church those that are penitent. “What
things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed
in heaven,” Matt. xvi. 19, and xviii. 18.
“Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted
unto them,” John xx. 23. This loosing and
remitting is not only doctrinal and declarative in
the preaching of the word, but also juridical and
authoritative in the administration of censures.
This is called, for distinction’s sake, absolution.
After the church of Corinth had excommunicated the
incestuous person, and he thereupon had given sufficient
testimony of his repentance, the apostle directs them
to receive him into church communion again, saying,
“Sufficient to such an one is that rebuke inflicted
of many; so that contrariwise you should rather forgive
and comfort him, lest such an one should be swallowed
up of abundant sorrow. Wherefore I beseech authoritatively
to confirm love unto him: for to this purpose
also I have written unto you, that I may know the
proof of you, if ye be obedient in all things,”
2 Cor. ii. 6-9.
Of the End and Scope of this Government of the