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14.

366 The Apostle would pray with the Spirit, and Underfandin Sect. 26. that Prudence and good Sense which ought al

ways to govern in my Addresses to God, and 1 Cor. XIV. act so childish and foolish a Part, that the Reason

of a Man may seem at that Time to have deserted 15 me.

What then is (my Duty] in these Circum 15 What is it then? stances.? Truly it is plain enough; it requires me and I will pray with the

will pray with the Spiric to say, I will pray with the Spirit, exercising the Understanding allo: I will Faculties of my own Soul in Devotion; but I fing with the Spirit, and will pray with the Understanding also (g).' I will will fing with the Unde

standing allo.
fing the Praises of God with the Spirit ; but I
will fing them with Understanding also, and will
take

great Care to mingle no foolish trifling Ac-
tion, unworthy the Dignity of a rational Crea-
ture, with my Prayers or Songs of Praise. And
it becomes you especially to consider this, who
are so proud of your own Wisdom, and yet in

fome Respects act so foolish a Part. 16

Moreover, whoever thou art, who actest in this 16 Else when thou thak oftentatious Manner, consider a little, for the far- bless with the Spirit, how ther Iilustration of this Argument, the Situation Room of the Unlearned,

shall he that occupieth the of one of thine own Hearers. If thou givest say, Amen at thy giving Thanks, for Instance, in the Spirit, in the Man- of Thanks, seeing he un

derstandeth not what thou ner that we now suppose it to be done, that is,

sayest?
in an unknown Tongue ; bow hall be that filleth
up a private Place, and should join with thee in
thy Devotion, say Amen to thy Thanksgiving, see-
ing he knows not what thou sayeft? You know it
is customary for the Audience to pronounce their
Amen : Now it seems a very absurd, not to say,
hazardous Thing, for People to testify in such a

publick and folemn Manner their Consent to, and
17
Concurrence with, they know not what. For 17 For thou verily giveft

Thanks we will grant, that thou indeed givest Thanks well

, and that there is nothing improper either in the

Senti

could be abused, if the Perfon exercising it was under such an extraordinary Impulse of the
Spirit, as to utter sensible Words, which he did not himself understand ; in which Case a
Man must be, in the most extraordinary Sense that can be conceived, the mere Organ of the
Holy Ghost himself.

(a). Pray with Understanding.) Mr. Locke, and most other Commentators, seem here to have lost the Sense and high Spirit of the Apostle in this Clause, when they explains vos, as if it merely signified a Manner intelligible to others. I apprehend, it is designed farther to intimate, what a Want of Manly Sense, and right Understanding it must betray, to talk in a Language the Hearers could not talk in, how.sublime foever the Discourse might be. This the 20th Verse, and especially the Use of Titob, there, strongly suggests.

17.

And speak in Christian Asemblies to Edification. 367 Thanks well, but the other Sentiments or Expressions, if they were under- Sert, 26. is not edified

stood; nevertheless the other is not at all edified, or
improved; in order to which it is absolutely ne- 1 Cor. XIV.

cessary, that he should know what is said.
18 I thank my God, I For my own Part, I thank my GOD, and de- 18
speak with Tongues more fire to mention it entirely to the Glory of that
than you all :

blessed Being, from whom all my Gifts and Ta-
lents are derived, that I speak with Torgues more
tban

you all, even the whole Society taken toge-
ther, and am distinguished from my other Bre-
thren in this Endowment, in Proportion to the
more extensive Commission which I have receiv-
ed, to bring a Variety of Nations to the Know-

ledge of the Gospel, and persuade them to em-
19 Yet in the Church I brace it. But in a Christian Church, when af- 19
had rather speak five Words sembled with them for the Purposes of publick
with my Understanding, Devotion, I bad rather Speak five plain Words
teach others also, than ten with my Understanding, in a rational Manner, that
thousand Words in an un- I might teach others also, and promote the Edifica-
known Tongue.

tion of those who were joining with me, than ten
thousand of the most pompous and elegant Words
in an (unknown] Tongue, tho' uttered with the
greatest Readiness, and expressing Conceptions
ever so excellent; yea I had rather be entirely
silent in an Assembly, than take up

their Time,
and prostitute the extraordinary Gifts of God, to
such vain and foolish Purposes. And I heartily
with, I may be able to bring you to the same rea-
fonable Way of thinking ; which would be much
to the Credit of your own Understanding, as well
as of your Christian Profession.

IM P R O V E M E N T.

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OW weak and poor a Thing is Pride and Oftentation, and how Ver. 27-129

wise and honourable, Charity and Humility! Who that has a right Discernment, would not rather have been the obscurest Christian, that now, almost unseen, joins our Assemblies, and in Heart at least, humbly puts his Amen to the Petitions presented there, than the most Auent Talker at Corintb; abusing the special Gifts of the Spirit, and trifling away, in an unseasonable Display of his own, then unprofitable, Endowments, the precious Moments, which were destined to the highest

Purposes

368

Reflections on the Absurdity of praying in unknown. Zongues. Sect. 26. Purposes of religious Edification! Who must not lament to fee Pride and

Vain-glory, so early insinuating themselves into Christian Societies Who must not, from lo fad an Instance, learn to be greatly watchful over their own Hearts, on a Side where they are subject to such dangerous

Attacks! Ver. 13.-16.

Had the most able and zealous Protestant Divine endeavoured to ex pose the Absurdity of praying in an unknown Tongue, as practised in the Church of Rome; it is difficult to imagine, what he could have writ, more fully to the Purpose, than the Apostle hath here done. And when it is . considered, how perversely the Papists retain the Usage of such Prayers, it will seem no Wonder, they should keep the Scriptures in an unknown Language too. But they proclaim at the same Time, their Superstition and Idolatry in so universal a Language, that even a Barbarian might perceive and learn it in their Affemblies. Let us pity, and pray

for them, that God may give their prejudiced Minds a juster and happier Turn. And since we see, the unreasonable and pernicious Humour of immutably adhering to ancient Customs, prevailing to maintain, in the Church of Rome, fo flagrant an Absurdity, as praying in an unknown Tongue; let it teach us to guard against every Degree of the like Difpofition; and not so much consider, what hath been the Practice of any Church, in which we were educated, or have chosen to worship, as what the Rea

son of Things, and the Authority of Scripture concur to dictate. Ver. 18, 19

Of this wife and benevolent Apostle let us learn, to estimate the Value of Gifts by their Usefulness; and to seek above all Things the Edification of our Brethren ; especially if we are providentially called to minister in Publick. There is perhaps a Manner of speaking in an unknown Tongue, even when the Language of our own Country is used; a Height of Composition, an Abstruseness of Thought, an Obscurity of Phrase, which common Christians cannot understand. Let not the Ministers of the humble Jesus seek such high Things; but in this important Sense of the Exhortation, condescend to Men of low Estate. If the Ignorant may be instructed, if the Careless may be convinced, if the Vicious may be reformed, if the Devotion of our Christian Brethren may be excited, their Love to each other cherilhed, and their holy Resolutions confirmed, the great Ends of Divine Ordinances are answered ; and that Plainness of Speech, which may be most like to promote them, is rather the Glory, than Reproach, of the Christian Orator.

Ver. 3, 4:

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They fould use their Spiritual Gifts with Understanding.

369

SECT.

XXVII.

St. Paul gives proper Advices for preventing that Abuse of

the Gift of Tongues, which he had been reproving in the preceding Section. 1 Cor. XIV. 20, to the End.

MY

20.

CORINTHIANS XIV. 20.

I CORINTHIANS XIV, 20. BRethren, be not Chil Y Brethren, permit me to be the happy Sect. 27.

dren in Understanding : Howbeit, in Malice be ye

Means of forming you to a more noble Children, but in Understand and manly Way of thinking, with Respect to 1 Cor. XIV. ing be Men.

these fpititual Gifts, which are the Occasions of
so many unbecoming Emulations among you.
Do
you

desire to be distinguished in the Church?
Distinguish yourselves by folid Wisdom; and be
not, as this Oftentation of Tongues would shew
you to be, Children in Understanding (a); but in
Malice indeed, be as much as possible, like little
Infants ; have all the Gentleness, Sweetness, and
Innocence of their tender Age : But, as ye have
arrived to Years of Maturity, in Understanding
be perfect (Men ;] for that Religion which the
Gospel hath now taught you, far from impair-

ing any of the natural Faculties, rather exalts and 21 In the Law it is writ- and noblest Use.

improves them, and directs them to the highest ten, With Men of other

To return to the Subject we 21 Tongues and other Lips were upon, you know it is written in the Law,

will that is, in the Old Testament, (Isai. xxviii. 11, 12.

where God had been complaining of the un-
teachable Disposition of the Jews,)

Surely in
foreign Language (6) and with foreign Lips I

" will

(a) Children in Understanding.] This is an admirable Stroke of true Oratory, adapted to strike and bring down the Height of their Spirits, by representing those Things, in which they were most ready to pride themselves, as comparatively childish.

-The Word νηπιαζε refers to Infants, and is not sufficiently expressed by the Word Children, for they are sometimes vain and sometimes malicious too. Tendo fignifies full grown Men ; intimating, it was a Kind of Boyishness, if I may be allowed to use that Word, to emulate and quarrel with one another.

Q) In foreign Language, &c.] Most Criticks refer these Words, as they stand in Isaiah to the Babylonians, who thould come and speak to the Jews in a Language unintelligible to VOL. IV.

them,

А а

a

Sect. 27

21.

!

370 The Confufion attending their Abuse of the.Gift of Tongues,

will speak unto this people; and even so they will I speak unto this p

«« will not bear me, faith the Lord.” which may, they not hear me, faith the 1 Cor. XIV. be considered and interpreted as an Intimation of Lord:

the Purpose God had, of fending one last Mef

sage to them, by his Servants, endued with the 22 Gift of Tongues. So that according to this

22 Wherefore, Tongues Intimation, Tongues are a Sign not to Believers, that believe, but to them

are for a Sign not to them but to Infidels. The Gift was intended to propa- that believe not: Bứt progate the Gospel among those, who were Stran- phesying ferveth not for gers to it, not to edify those that had

already be for chem which believe them that believe not, but

): lieved. Whereas on the contrary, Prophecy [is] designed not for Infidels, but Believers, to edify

Churches already gathered ; in which Respect it 23 is nobler, and more worthy your Pursuit. But 23 If therefore the whole as there is a Manner of using this Gift of Tongues, into one Place, and all speak

Church be come together which would even pervert the original End for with Tongues, and there which it was given, and obstruct, rather than come in those that are unpromote the Conversion of Infidels, I must ob learned, or Unbelievers, will .

they not say that ye are mad! serve therefore, that if the whole Church be come together into one Place, and all speak with a Variety of unknown Tongues, and any of the uninjtructed, or in other Words the Infidels; come in, when they hear such a confused Jargon as this must be, will they not presently fay, that you are distracted, and adopt the Censure which was at first fo rafhly passed in the Day of Pentecost, that

these Men are full of new Wine? (Acts ii. 13.) 24. Whereas if all prophesy, and an Infidel, or ignorant

24 But if all prophely,

; Man; (for I esteem every one ignorant, who is and there come in one that uninstructed in the great Mysteries of the Gospel, ed, he is convinced of all, whatever else he may know,) comes in, he is con- he is judged of.allovicted by all who thus speak; be is judged by all;

every one says something, to which his Con2:5 science bears witness : And so the Secrets of his: 25 And thus are the seHeart are made manifest (c), in a Manner to him. crets- of his Heart made ma

nifeft; very

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them ; in which. Sense the Phrase is used elsewhere, Deut xxviii. 49. Jer. v. 15. Diodati thinks the Meaning is, “ Because they would not attend to.plain Meffages, God would:

speak to them by such as they could not understand :" And then the Apostle's Argument: will be, “Since God threatens this as a Curse, do not voluntarily bring it upon the Church

merely to make Oftentation of your own Gifts.” But perhaps the Apostle in this Application intends to give us the true, tho' not most obvious Interpretation of the Words. (1) Secrets of his Heart are made manifeft.). It is very poslable, that, (as in the known

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