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IO.

3, 5, 7,)

II

not according to the Spirit of the World, but of GOD; 231 10 But God hath reveal- love binn. Nor had the Generality of Man- Sect.

4. ed them unto us by his Spi- kind, or even the People who enjoyed the Bene-4 rit: For the Spirits searcheth all Things, yea, the deep fit of the Jewish Scripture, any just Conception 1 Cor

. 11. Things of God.

of the Nature of this sublime Plan, and the Me-
thod by which it was to be accomplished. But
GOD hath revealed [them] to us Christians, and
especially. to us his Apostles, by the extraordinary
Inspiration of bis Spirit, who intimately and fully
knows them : For the Spirit searcheth and pene-
trates all Things, even the deep Things of GOD;
the profoundest Mysteries of his Counsels, and

his Gospel, (Compare Rom. xvi. 25. Eph. i.9.
1 For what Man know-
Chap. iii.

And well may he be aceth the Things of a Man, fave the Spirit of Man which quainted with all

these Things ; for who of Man-
is in him? Even so the kind knoweth the Things of a Man, the secret Re-
Things of God knoweth cefses of his Mind, on many Occasions, and in
no Man, but the Spirit of
God.

many Circumstances, unless it be the Spirit of a
Man which is in him (I), which knows it by Con-
sciousness, to a Degree of Certainty which no Ob-
servation or Reasoning, can produce in another ;
so also no one knoweth the Things of GOD, but the
Spirit of GOD himself, who is intimately con-
scious of all, and can conceal, or discover, what-

ever he pleases.
12 Now we have receive
éd, not the Spirit of the

Now this is entirely to the present Purpose ; for 12:
World, but the Spirit which the Spirit which we have received, is not that of
is of God; that we might the World, nor do we govern ourselves by those
know the Things that are carnal Views, which engross and enslave so great
freely given to us of God.

a Part of Mankind; but we have received, in
large and liberal Supplies, that Spirit, which is
fron GOD, and which is the noblest of his Gifts
to the Children of Men, by which their Minds
are both informed and regulated; that so we might
both notionally and experimentally know the

Things which are freely given us by GOD:
13 Which Things. also Which we also make it our Business to speak, and 13

we

to

( The Spirit of a Man.] I do not apprehend, that the Distinction between the Soul and. Spirit, to which some refer these Words, is of great Importance in the Interpretation of them. They must signify the perfect Acquaintance with all the Divine Schemes and Purposes, which the Holy Spirit has, and which the Apostle's Argument directly proves, that no Creature can have: So that it seems a glorious Proof of the Deity of the Spirit, and has accordingly been urged as such, by all who have defended that important Doctrine.

(m) Those

1

.

232

And in Words, dictated by the Holy Spirit ;
Sect. I. to communicate to others, not in Words dictated we speak, not in the Words
Som by.. buman Wisdom, to excite Men's Curiosity, which Man's Wifdom teach-
1 Cor. II. 13. amuse their Imaginations, or gain their Applause; Ghoft teacheth; compating

but in those di&tated by the Holy Spirit (m); and spiritual Things with spirt--
consequently best adapted to convey such Ideas tual.
as he would impart, and to impress the Hearts
and Consciences of Men, with a reverent and
deep Sense of those holy Mysteries : And this
we do with all serious Care and Attention, ex-
plaining such fpiritual and sublime Things by Spiri-

tual (12) (Words], suggested by him as best adapt-
24 ed to them. But in the mean Time, vain

14. But the natural Man and foolish Men find a great deal in our Preach- receiveth, not the Things of iņg to cavil at, and object against. And it is no they are Foolishness unto Wonder, they do; for the animal Man (), who him ; neither can he know continues under the Influence of his Appetites them, because they are fpiand Pations, and is a Stranger to the noble Exercises and Principles of the Divine Life, receiveth not, with any inward Relish or Sense, the Things of the Spirit of GOD, which are too sublime and refined for his low, corrupted, and degenerate Taste : For in Proportion to the Degree in which they are full of Divine Wisdom, they will appear Foolisoness to him ; neither can be rightly know [them,] whilst he continues in his present State, and under such unhappy Prejudices as these: For they are spiritually discerned, and a Man must have a spiritual Taste, formed by the Influences of the Holy Spirit upon his Heart, before he will thoroughly enter into their Excel

But the Spiritual Man, whose Heart, 15 But he that is spiriilluminated and fanctified by the Divine Spirit,

tual,

15 lence.

is

(m) 730fe dictated by the Holy Spirit.] This Expression may certainly convince us, of the great Regard which we ought always to maintain, to the Words of Scripture; and may especially teach Ministers how attentively they should study its Beauties, and how careful they fhould be to make it the Support of their Discourses.

(n) Explaining spiritual Things.] This Sense of ovyspivovlaç occurs, Gen. xl. 8. and Numb. XV. 34. in the Seventy.

10) The animal Man.] Without examining all that the learned and judicious Dr. Owen hath said one Way on this Text, or Dr. Claget, and Dr. Stebbing another, I have taken that which seems to me the due Medium, and for the farther Vindication of this Exposition, must refer to Clifford, in the 2d Volume of the Phænix, pag. 544. and to my third Letter to the Author of Christianity not founde:1 on Argument, pag. 39, 40. only reminding my Readers, that this very Word Lughts is rendered sensual, Fam. iii. 15.' fude, Ver. 19.

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233

Man,

for the Apostles have the Mind of Christ. tual, judgeth all Things, yet is set on spiritual and noble Objects, discerneth Sect. 4. he himself is judged of no all Things about him rightly, while be bimself is discerned by no Man; by none of those who are 1 Cor. 11.

15. most forward and heady in their Censures; but remains like a Man endowed with Sight, among those born blind, who are incapable of apprehending what is clear to him, and amidst their own Darkness cannot participate of, nor understand, those beautiful Ideas, and pleasing Sensa

tions, which Light pours uoon him. 16 For who hath known

And surely, if you consider Matters aright, 16
the Mind of the Lord, that
he may instruct him? But you cannot much wonder at this. For who hath
we have the Mind of Christ. known the Mind of the Lord, or who hath instructed

him (o)? There must undoubtedly be in the
Divine Counsels, many secret and hidden Things,
and a Man must have a Mind, capacious as that
of the blessed God himself, to take upon him to
judge of his Schemes, and arraign his Conduct.
But we, even I Paul, and my Brother-Apostles,
have the Mind of Chrif (9), who is the incarnate
Wisdom of God himself; and therefore we are
not to be called to the Bar of those, who arro-
gantly pretend, merely on the Foot of human
Reason, to censure us, as some of your presump-
tuous Teachers do, to their own Shame, and the
Detriment of those that hearken to their Sug-
gestions.

I M P R O V E M E N T.

L

ET it be the Resolution of every Christian, and especially the De- Ver. 2.

termination of every Minister, with St. Paul, to know nothing but Jesus Christ, even be that he was crucified : To esteem this the most important of all Knowledge, to cultivate it in their own Minds, and endea

vour

(P) Who hath entrusted him.] Some good Interpreters, and particularly Mr. Pyle and Dr. Guise, explain this of the spiritual Man ; but it seems more agreeable to the Construction, and its Connection with what follows, by him, to understand GOD.

(?) We have the Mind of Chrif.] This part of the Epistle is very artificially conducted. He is now aiming at the great Point of establishing his Authority, which had been suspected amongst them ; yet he does not directly propose, but obliquely insinuate, Arguments against such Suspicions ; Arguments which might poffefs their Minds, before they were aware of what he intended to effect by them. This important Remark will often present itself to the attentive Reader of St. Paul's Episles.

VOL. IV.

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234

Sect. 4.

Ver, 1.

Ver. 6.

Ver. 8

Ver. 9.

Reflektions:on the Preaching of Christ by the Power of GOD. vour to propagate it to others.

it to others. With this Divine Science, shall those Ministers of the Gospel, who knew least of the Excellency of Speeek and the enticing Words of Man's Wisdom, do more important Things for the Reformation of the World, and the Salvation of Souls, than without it, the greatest Masters of Language, or Adepts in Philosophy, will ever be able to effect. Let the Princes of this World boast of the Knowledge, and refined Policy, which is so soon to.perish, by which so many of their Subjects perish, and sometimes themselves before their Time. In how many

Instances does it leave them to imitate the destructive Maxims of thosẽ, who, under Pretence of publick Good, but really under the Instigation of the baseft private. Passions, crucified Jesus, the adorable Saviour, the Lord of Glory.

May God teach us more of that hidden Wisdom, which they who are truly initiated into real Cbristianity

. know, and which opens upon us Views and Hopes, beyond what Eye bath seen, or Ear heard, or it bath particularly and fully entered into the Heart of Man to conceive. There is no Need we should distinctly conceive it. It is enough that we know in the general, it is what GOD bath prepared for them that love him which Consideration may surely teach us to trample under our Feet, that which he so often bestows on them who hate him, and are abhorred by him ; on those with whom he is angry every Day.

May that Spirit, which searcheth all Things, even the hidden Things of GOD, give us more deeply and affectionately to know the Things, which are freely given us of GOD, and to adore that free Grace, from which we receive them! These Things we learn with the highest Advantage from the Holy Scriptures, where they are delivered in Words which the Holy Ghost taught; in Words therefore, the most admirably adapted, to express those spiritual and sublime Ideas, they were intended to communicate : In which Words consequently, we learn to speak of the Things of God, with the exactest Propriety and the truest Edification.

May we be enabled spiritually to discern them, with whatever Contempt thoy may be treated by natural, that is, by, animal Men; by those, who; though conceited of their rational Powers, can relish little or nothing but what relates to this low and sensual Life, Conscious of that inward Difcerning, which discovers all Things to us in their true Light, even Things of infinite Importance, may we pity that undiscerning Rashness of blind Arrogance and Pride, with which some, who think themselves the wiseft in Proportion to the Degree, in which they are the more wretched of Mankind, may treat us, and not only us, but that Gospel, which is our Glory and our Joy, We have the Mind of Christ delivered to us by his holy Apoflles, who were intimately and miraculously instructed in it. Let us humbly receive the Oracles they deliver; and whilft others are presuming haughtily to censure them, may we think ourselves

Ver. 12.

Ver. 13

Ver. 14.

Ver. 15.

Ver. 16.

happy

2

He could not Ypeak to the Corinthians, but as to Babes in Christ;

235 happy, if, with meek Subjection to their unerring Authority, we may Sect. 4. fit at the Feet of such Teachers, and regulate our Lives by their Instructions !

SE C T V.

The Apostle reproves the Carnality of the Corinthians, in con

tending about human Teachers, and urges many important Considerations to cure them of so unbecoming a Temper. 1 Cor. III. 1,---9.

A

IH

I CORINTHIANS III. I.

I CORINTHIANS III. I. ND I, Brethren, could

HAVE been speaking of that great Plain- Sect. 5. ,

ness, with which I addressed myself to you, Carnal,"

even as unto Babes when I came to preach the Gospel among you at 1 Cor. III. 1: in Chrift. Corinth; And I hope, my

Brethren, you

will hot despise me for it : For truly, as it became my Character as an Apostle of Christ, so it suited yours, as being under the Power of Prejudices, which so far prevailed, that even when you were converted to the Profession of Christianity, I could not Speak unto you as unto Spiritual Persons, who had made any Attainments in Religion, proportionable to the Illuminations and Influences of the Spirit, which you had received; but was obliged in

many Instances to address you, as those who were still in too great a Measure, carnal in your Temper and Views, and therefore were but as Babes in Christ (a), and Beginners in the Divine Life. I might have said sublimer Things, and in a more elevated Manner ; but found so much Pride and Faction among you, that it was necessary to insist much upon the plain and fundamental Doctrines of the Cross, rather than on Things,

which,

! (a) Babes in Chrif.] By explaining this of Beginners in the Divine Life, or such as had made but little Proficiency in it, we reconcile this with those Passages, which speak of the Eminency of their Gifts. ' 1 Cor. i. 5. 2 Cor. viii. 7.

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