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They should defire Spiritual Gifts in order to prophesy; 361 all Languages and Gifts, fo all Knowledge and Faith is vain, if it be sepa- Sect. 25. rate from Love, by which true Faith always operates.
Let us cultivate Love more and more; and so much the rather, as it Ver. I, 3. is a Plant of the celestial Paradise; which will there for ever flourish, Ver. 8,-10. when Tongues shall cease, and that Knowledge, on which Men value themselves highly, Mall utterly vanish. The Ripeness of adult Age, and the Knowledge of the most improved Sciences, human or divine, is but as the Trifling of an Infant, when compared with that manly and perfect Ver. 11. State after which we are aspiring. The dim Mirror of Faith shall then Ver. 12. be laid aside; and the Truth of the Objects, now so imperfectly difcerned, shall in full Lustre be presented to our Eye, purged from every Film, and strengthened for a Brightness which would now overwhelm it. In the mean Time, attending humbly to the narrow Limits, and necefsary Obscurity, of our present Knowledge, let us not be puffed up selves, let us not despise others; but by a modest Estimate, and a faithful Improvement, of such Degrees of Light, as God shall be pleased to afford us, let us preis on towards the Regions of eternal Day; where in bis Light we shall see Light, and where, amidst the fullest Communications of his Love, we shall for ever love him, and each other, with Ardors, which the best Hearts in their best Moments on Earth, can neither attain, nor conceive.
The Apostle cautions the Corinthians against that vain Osten
tation of the Gift of Tongues, which was so prevalent among
(a) Pursue Love.] The Word dowxált, properly signifies « to pursue with an Eagerness like " that with which Hunters follow their Game.” And it may be intended to intimate, how hard it is to obtain, and preserve, such a truly benevolent Spirit, in the main Series of Life ;
And that for the Edification of the Churcb : Sect. 26. tivate it to the utmost of your Power, in your but rather babye may
ye pre own Breasts, and in all around you, not grudging phéfy. 1 Cor, XIV. any Labour necessary to promote so excellent a
Cause. Yet I would not lead you to flight any
Scripture, and publickly to discourse of Di-
2 For be that speaketh unknown to the Auditory to whom he addresses speaketh not unto Men, but
in an unknown Tongue, himself, spraks in Effect not to Men, but to GOD; unto God For no Man for no one else present understands [him ;] and as understandeth him; howbeSud alone knows the Truth and Importance of it in the Spirit he speakech
Whereas be that prophesieth, in the Sense But he that prophesiin which I now use the Word, that is, discourses eth, speaketh unto Men to
Edification, and Exhortaof Divine Things in a known Language, Speaketh tion and Comfort. to Men, and affords 'them Edification, and Exbor
tation, and Comfort, according to the particular 4
Tenor and Contents of what he says. And 4 He that fpeakech in an thus, on the most favourable Conceffions that
unknown Tongue, edifieth
himself: can be made, be that speaketh with a Tongue, edifies himself (c) only, if peradventure his own
considering on the one Hand, how many Provocations we are like to meet with, and on the other, the Force of Self-love, which will in so many Instances be ready to break in up
(6) He that speaketh in a Tongue unknown, &c.] Dr. Whitby thinks, that the Gifts of Languages, and Prophecy, were always to be found in the fame Person ; but that the fisft was permanent, the other tranfient. Yet it seems to me very conceivable, either 'might Be without the other. The miraculous instamping, as it were, on a Man's Mind a new Language, would indeed enable him to speak all he knew in it ; but his Fitness to discourse in Publick, as well as his Capacity of predicting future Events, were Matters quite of another Nature. (c) Edifieth himself.] After all, that is said in the Paraphraf, to prove that this might be
Now Prophecy is preferable to speaking with a Tongue ; 363 himself : But he that pro- good Affections may be awakened by the Truth Sect. 26. pheliegh, edifieth theChurch. he fervently delivers, and the Consciousness of
that miraculous Power which he feels work- 1 Cor. XIV.
rather, that ye might all prophesy; for when we
much more modest and prudent to omit.
6 come unto you speaking with ter by an Example, suppose it were your own
Tongues, Case, Brethren : 'If I came to you, the next Time
poflible, it was much more probable, that a Man might be hurt, than edified, by the Exercise of this Gift, when attended with such oftentatious Circumstances. But the Apostle, according to that happy Address, for which he was so remarkable, makes his Supposition moft honourable and favourable to the Person reproved. As Hector ascribes the Retreat of Paris from the Battle to Resentment against the Trojans, rather than to Cowardice. Horn. Iliad. Lib. vi. Verse 326. and Eustath in Loc.
(d) He that prophesieth, &c.] How happily does the Apostle teach us to estimate the Value of Gifts and Talents, not by their Brilliancy, but usefulness
. Speaking with Tongues, was indeed very serviceable for spreading the Gospel abroad; but for thole who ftaid at Home, it was much more desirable to be able to discourse well on useful Subjects in their own Language; which might ferve more for the Improvement of the Society they belonged to, and the Conviction of such of their unbelieving Neighbours, as might out of Curiosity happen to step into their Assemblics. Compare Verse 23,--25.
Z z 2
Which, if unknown to the Hearer, is speaking to the Sect. 26. with a Variety of unknown Tongues, what shall I Tongues, what Thalí pro
profit you, who are supposed not to understand fit you, except I hal peak I Cor. XIV.
to you either by Revelations, • me, unless I speak not merely in your Hearing, or by Knowledge, or by 6.
but to you, that is, in a Language with 'which Prophefying, or by Doce
- So also inanimate Things which give a Sound, 7 And even Things with whether it be Pipe or Harp, or any other Instru- out Life giving Sound, whement of Musick, unless they give a due Distinction they give a Diftinaion in in the Variety of Sounds proceeding from them, the Sounds, how thall is how can it be known what is piped, or harped? be known what is piped or How should Dancers be directed by Musick, un
Thall prepare himself to the
to retreat, unless the Trumpet's Sound be adjust-
your religious Assemblies, unless ye utter by the ye utter by the Tongue
(e) Revelation, or Knowledge, &c.] I am not certain, how far different Ideas are to be affixed to each of these Words; or supposing that, how far these are the appropriate Ideas intended by eachs but I could think of no more proper Explication, and must number this among the many Texts, which I dare not pretend fully to understand.
And the Speaker and Hearers will be Barbarians to each other. 365
10 There are, it may be, There may be ever so many Sorts of Language Sect. 26. so many kinds of Voices in the World, perhaps as many, as there are Perin the World, and none of them is withoutSignification. sons in your most numerous Assemblies; aud 1 Cor. XIV.
11спе of them is without its proper Signification among those that use it; there are great Numbers that
inhabit the same Region, who perfectly under-
for 1 shall be to him that speaketh a Barbarian, and
to distinguish it from that of the most unpolished
cellence of them, ye seek to abound [in them] for
ther to interpret the Discourse of another, than to
has already received, and with which he is fond 14 For if I pray in an un- of making a vain Parade. For if I pray in a prayeth, but 'my Under- strange and unknown Tongue, without making Itanding is unfruitful. Use of any Explication, my Spirit indeed prays,
and I may have true Devotion of Heart towards
in a 14
(f) Understanding, unfruitful to others.] This I think a more natural Interpretation, than that which supposes the Apostle to suggest a Thought, which the Papists urge to palliate the Absurdity of Prayers in an unknown Tongue, namely, “ there may he fome general good
Affections working, where the Person praying does not particularly uuderstand what he fays.” But this would make it almost impoffible to conceive, how the Gift of Tongues