« AnteriorContinuar »
Reff the Cross of Christ should have been. of none. Effect : 221
have been the natural Consequence, when Men Sect. 3.
Manner of representing them to the World. 18 For the Preaching of I might well be cautious on this Head; for 18. the Cross is to them that the Doctrine of the Cross is indeed Folly, with perilh, Foolishnels : But unto us which are faved, Respect to the
Judgment of them that are periskit is the Power of God. ing ; to.wretched Creatures, who are in the Way
to be for ever undone. They, in that fatal Mad-
Display of the Power of GOD, to the nobleft
ble to this great Event, (Isai. xxix. 14.) I will of the Prudent.
destroy the Wisdom of the Wife, and abolish the Sa-
Dispensation, poured Confusion on human Wit
that, in Allusion to other Words of the same
of GOD for the Sons of Men be indeed true, it is undoubtedly a Truth of the highest Importance, and it might reasonably be expected, that a Person, who had been instructed in it by such extraordinary Methods, should appear to lay the main Stress of his Preaching upon it. The Design of this wonderful Dispensation might therefore have been in a great Measure frustrated, if it had been the Care of the first Preachers of it, and particularly.of
Paul, to study a vain Parade of Words, and to set off their Discourses with those glittering Ornaments which the Greciar Orators so often fought, and which the Corinthians. were so ready to affect. But amidst all the beautiful Simplicity, which a deep Conviction of the Gospel tended to produce, there was Room left for the most manly and noble Kind of Eloquence ; which therefore the Christian Preacher should labour to make habitual to him, and of which this Apoftle himself is a moft illustrious Example.
(c) In Allufron to other Words of the fame Prophet we may say.) I think it would be avea ry unnecessary Labour, to endeavour to prove that these words are an exact Translation of the Passage referred to; or to Mew that Passage to be a Prophecy of the Success of the Gospel.
222 For GOD bath made the Wisdom of this world folyes,
penetrating Genius, have been held in greatett Where is the seni
this World? Hath not GOD
hath been most admired for the Subtilty of his of this World.
the Difpensation of the
Gospel as now administered, and say, bath not GOD made the Wisdom of this World appear to be foolish, and vain, when the highest Results of it are compared with those great Effects which he knows how to produce
without it, and even in Opposition to it all. 21 For it is indeed fo : Since in the Wifdom of GOD,
21 For after that, in the
Wisdom of God, the
The Context in Isaiah xxxiii, refers to the Deliverance of 'Yudea from Sennacherib; and the
(d) Sage, Scribe, Disputer.) Notwithstanding all the learned Pains, which Dr. Fuller,
a Scribe, there will be a peculiar Propriety in the Ufe of the Word here ;, but without that Suppofition, it might easily be 'uaderstood by the Corinthians, who had. fo.considerable a Smagogue of Jerus among them.
by the preaching of Salvation thro' Christ crucified';
223 nok Goo, it pleased God nying it, and others representing it under the Sect. 3. ing to save thein that be moft monstrous Notions and Forms ;) when this lieve,
I say was generally the Case, it pleafed GOD, by 1 Cor. I. 23.
a superior Authority.
Heaven to introduce a Messiah, who shall efta-
Wisdom and Philosophy, or the Ornaments of
, conscious of our high Commisfion, and
ing at all the unreasonable and petulant Demands
We ne- 23
(e) The Jews demand a Sign, &c.] When we consider how many Miracles were continually wrought by, and upon the first Preachers and Converts of Christianity ; this may seem an astonishing Demand; but from a memorable Passage in Josephus, in which he speaks of an Impostor, promising his Followers to thew them a sign of their being set at Liberty from the Roman Yoke, compared with their requiring from Christ, amidst the full Torrent of his Miracles, a Sign from Heaven; I am led to conclude, that the Sense given in the Paraphrase is the genuine Interpretation of this much controverted Passage.
(f) To the Jews indeed a Stumbling-block.] 'Tis well known, that nothing exposed Christianity more to the Contempt of the Jews, than the Doctrine of the Cross; they therefore called Christ , in Derision, 595 Tolvi, the Man that was hanged, that is, on the Cross; and Christians, 9507 gay Abde Tolvi, the Disciples of the crucified Malefactor; and by a Paranomafia, or malignant playing on the Word, they called svayyedsov, 752 798. Aven Gelon, a Revelation of Vanity. See Leigh's Critica Sacra in Loc.
(g) To the Greeks Foolishness.] It is well known, how profanely Lucian insults the Christians, on worshipping a crucified Impostor ; and many of the Fathers speak of the fame Reproach. Archbishop Tillotson appears to have given Credit to the Charge brought against the Jesuits, who, to avoid the like Offence of the Chinese, denied that Christ was crucified, and represented it, as an Invention of the Jews to asperse Christianity. Tillotson's Works, Vol. üi. pag. 284.
224 Which, tho' despised, is the Powerof GOD to them who are called: Sect.
But hardly worth the lealt Degree of Notice:
24 But unto them which 3.
to those wbo-are by Divine Grace effectually called, are called both Jews and 1 Cor. I. 24. botb Feres and Greeks, Christ, amidst all the Dif- of God, and the Wisdom
honours of his Cross, is known and acknow- of God
Event which their carnal Brethren ex-
World, than any System of Philosophy, that 25 was ever invented. And well may they thus 25 Because the Foolith
judge, because what the World profanely censures ness of God is wifer than as a Folly most unworthy of GOD (b), is, and in God'is stronger than Men.
Men; and the Weakness of its Effects appears to be, incomparably wiser, than all the Projects which the Wit of Men can devise; and. what it impioufly insults, as the Weakness of Christian Teachers, which it charges them with falsely ascribing to GOD, being really his ownWork, will be found to be stronger than all the Efforts which Men can make, either to reform the World any other Way, or to obstruct the Prevalency and Success of this : And this is the
necessary Consequence of its being indeed Divine, 26
And for the farther Illustration of this 26 For ye fee your CalThought, let me call you to behold, and seriously ling, Brethren, how that
not many wife Men after the to contemplate, your Calling (i), Brethren; con
Fleth, sider the State of
Fellow-Christians in general, and even of those, who are employed as Ministers of the Gospel, and you will perceive, [there are] not many wife according to the Flesh, according to these Maxims, which a sensual World governs itself by, in its Principles of secu
(b) The Folly of GOD, &c.] As it is absolutely impoffible, that there Thould be either Folly or Weakness in God, so it is certain, that the World did not in general believe that there was ; and consequently these strong Phrases, must be used in a very peculiar Sense, and must mean that Scheme, which was really bis, tho' the World, for Want of understanding åt, represented it as Weakness and Folly unworthy of God.
(i) Your Calling.] L'Enfant renders it, those arnong you, who are called; which, with mapy other Passages of this version, retains the Sense, but departs from the Exactness of St. Paul's Expression.
But not many Mighty, or Noble, or Wife are called; Flesh, not many Mighty, lar Policy, there are nct many mighty Heroes, Sect 3. not many Noble are called.
renowned for their martial Courage, there are 1.ct
many of noble Birth and illustrious Rank among i Cor. I. 27. 27. But God hath cho- Men, to be found on their List. But GOD, balb fen 'the foolish Things of chosen thole, that are reputed the scolif? Things of the Wise ; and God hath the World, that he may hame the wife Men, of chosen the weak Things of whom it is most ready to boast; and the weak the World to confound the Things of the World, who pretend to no extraordiThings which are mighty;
nary Strength or Valour, hath GOD chosen, that he
to equal that meek Fortitude, with which we
and Things most commonly and scornfully set at Things which are not, to nought (k) among Men; yea, and Things, which bring to nought Things that
are not (1) in the least regarded, but overlooked,
abolish and annihilate Things, that are in the highest
Efteem, and make the most illustrious Figure
End of humbling us might be more effectu:lly
him, and his free Mercy and Grace, that ye are
That his great 29
() Things fet at nought.] Agreeable to this, the Danish Missionaries tell us, that most of the Malabarian Converts were the poorest of the People; the Poets and Wits, who valued themselves upon their Genius, Learning, "and Politeness, despising the Gospel, and doing their utmost to oppose its Progress. See Nieuchamp's excellent History of this important Vifion.
(1) Things, which are not.] Dr. Whitby thews here, how well this represents the supreme Contempt, in which the feu's held the Gentiles. Compare Deut. xxxii. 21. Ifai. xl. 17. VOL. IV.