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14

Verse 14

14.Wherefore he saith. Interpreters are at great pains to discover the passage of Scripture which Paul appears to quote, and which is nowhere to be found. I shall state my opinion. He first exhibits Christ as speaking by his ministers; for this is the ordinary message which is every day delivered by preachers of the gospel. What other object do they propose than to raise the dead to life?

“The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live”
(
John 5:25.)

Let us now attend to the context. “Unbelievers,” Paul had said, “must be reproved, that, being brought forth to the light, they may begin to acknowledge their wickedness.” He therefore represents Christ as uttering a voice which is constantly heard in the preaching of the gospel,

Arise, thou that sleepest. The allusion, I have no doubt, is to the prophecies which relate to Christ’s kingdom; such as that of Isaiah,

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah
is risen upon thee” (
Isaiah 60:1.)

Let us therefore endeavor, as far as lies in our power, to rouse the sleeping and dead, that we may bring them to the light of Christ.

And Christ shall give thee light. This does not mean that, when we have risen from death to life, his light begins to shine upon us, as if our performances came before his grace. All that is intended is to show that, when Christ enlightens us, we rise from death to life, — and thus to confirm the former statement, that unbelievers must be recovered from their blindness, in order to be saved. Instead of ἐπιφαύσει, he shall give light, some copies read ἐφάψεται, he shall touch; but this reading is an evident blunder, and may be dismissed without any argument. (159)

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