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Reff the Cross of Christ should have been. of none. Effect : 221

have been the natural Consequence, when Men Sect. 3.
faw.one, who pretended to know so much, and
to have received such extraordinary Discoveries I Cor. I. 17
of the Gospel, and of Christ crucified as its great
Foundation, seeming not so much to trust to the
grand important Facts he averred, as to artifi-
cial Reasonings, or Ornaments of Speech, in his

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-
ness, which leads them to speedy Ruin, think
it a ridiculous and mean Thing, to expect Salva-
tion from one, who seemed unable to save him-
self; and Glory from one that expired in Igno-
miny. But to us, who are saved from the Conta-
gion of so wicked an Age, and are in the Way
to everlasting Salvation, it is a most illustrious

Display of the Power of GOD, to the nobleft
19. For it is written, I Purposes our Minds can conceive.. For it is
will destroy the Wisdom of written, and the Words are remarkably applica-
the Wise, and will bring to
nothing the Understanding

ble to this great Event, (Isai. xxix. 14.) I will of the Prudent.

destroy the Wisdom of the Wife, and abolish the Sa-
gacity of the Prudent ; thus hath God, by this

Dispensation, poured Confusion on human Wit
20. Where is the Wise? and Learning, Eloquence and Philosophy: So 2

that, in Allusion to other Words of the same
Prophet, we may say (c), (Ifai. xxxiii. 18.) Where
[is] the celebrated Sage, whose wise Counsel and

penetrating

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Where

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.

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222 For GOD bath made the Wisdom of this world folyes,
Sect.

penetrating Genius, have been held in greatett Where is the seni
3.
Esteem? Where the learned Scribe ? Where the Where is the Difputer of

this World? Hath not GOD
1 Cor. I. 20. ostentatious Disputer of this World (d), who made foolish the Wisdom

hath been most admired for the Subtilty of his of this World.
Reasoning, and Accuracy of his Distinctions?
As God of Old delivered his People, in Spite of
all the proud Preparations, and insolent Boastings,
of the Assyrians, not by their own Counsels or
Arms, but by his Almighty Power ; ;fo doth he
now Conduct his grand Design for the immortal
Happiness of his Chofen. Look

upon

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
in the Midst of the most stupendous Displays World by Wisdom knew

Wisdom of God, the
of the Divine Wisdom, with which they were
always surrounded, the World, bị all the Improve-
ments of its boasted Wisdom, knew not the living
and true GOD, but run into the wildest and
most abfurd Sentiments that can be imagined
concerning Deity ; (some of them absolutely dem

nying

noz

The Context in Isaiah xxxiii, refers to the Deliverance of 'Yudea from Sennacherib; and the
18th Verse describes the Jezus as reviewing and meditating on the Terror, into which they
had been thrown ; and then crying out in a noble Exultation over all the baffled Schemes of
the Enemy; Where is the Scribe, that mustered the Forces ? Where the Receiver, or Pay-
master, who distributed Money.or Stores among them? Where the Engineer, that counted
the Towers, to determine where the Attack might most conveniently be made ? In a bold
and beautiful Allusion to, and Imitation of these Words, tho' with very different Ideas, the
Apostle proceeds, in the animated Clause that follows, to triumph over the Oppositions of hu-
man Science in its various Forms, then levelled againft GOD's victorious Gospel

(d) Sage, Scribe, Disputer.) Notwithstanding all the learned Pains, which Dr. Fuller,
in his Miscellanies, (Lib. III. Cap. 7.) or Godwin, in his Hebrew Antiquities, (Lib. II. Cap.
6.) have taken to prove, that thefe three Words refer to three Orders of learned Men among
the Jews -- the natural Philosopher, and the Literal, and the Allegorical Interpreter of Scripture;
I rather think the Apostle meant to include Persons most eminent for their Learning and Sa.
gacity, whether among Jews, or Gentiles. The Sages of the latter, and Scribes of the
former, are well known ; and the Difputer of the Age may include such of both, as, proud of
their natural Sagacity, were fond of engaging in Controversies, and fancied they could con-
fure every Adverfary. 'If, as Mr. Locke fupposes, the chief Leader of the Faction against St.
Paul, (whom that learned and ingenious Writer ftiles the falle Apoftle,) called himself

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.

(e) The

EL

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.
that which they have impiously ridiculed as the
most egregious Folly of Preaching, by Preaching,
which is indeed deftitute of all the Wisdom of
which they boast, to save Multitudes : And those,
not such as are the most artful Cavillers, or the
most fagacious Reasoners; but those that with
honest Simplicity and Plainness of Heart, believe
what is credibly testified to them, and taught by

a superior Authority.
22 For the Jews require For whereas the Jews demand a Sign (e) from 22
a Sign, and the Greeks
feek after Wisdom:

Heaven to introduce a Messiah, who shall efta-
blish a temporal Kingdom, victorious over all
their Enemies; and the Greeks seek a Depth of

Wisdom and Philosophy, or the Ornaments of
23. But we preach Christ Eloquence, and Charms of Address ;
crucified, unto the Jews a vertheless

, conscious of our high Commisfion, and
Stumbling-block, and unto
the Greeks Foolishness; faithful to our important Trust, without regard-

ing at all the unreasonable and petulant Demands
of either, go on plainly to preach Christ curcified ;
to the Jews indeed a Štumbling-block (f), being
most directly contrary to all their secular Ex-
pectations; and Foolishness in the Abstract to the
Greeks (8), who treat it as a low and idle Tale,

hardly

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.

(5) The

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
ledged, as the Power of GOD, and the Wisdom
of GOD; to the converted Jews his Miffion is
confirmed by miraculous Evidence, and the Ac-
complishment of Prophecies, far more important
than
any

Event which their carnal Brethren ex-
pect.; and the believing Gentile finds it infinitely
fuller of Divine Wisdom and Goodness to a lost

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

your

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

lar

(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.

5k) Things

225

And 28

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
may, by their heroick Patience under the severest
Sufferings, shame its mighty Things, which have
never been able with all their boasted Fierceness

to equal that meek Fortitude, with which we
28 And base Things of trace the Footsteps of the Lamb of God:
which are despised, hath ignoble Things of the World hath GOD chofen, that
GOD chosen, yea,

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,
as if they had no Being, and were below Con-
tempt itself, hath God chosen, that he

may

abolish and annihilate Things, that are in the highest

Efteem, and make the most illustrious Figure
29. That no Flesh should among the Children of Men;
glory in his Presence.

End of humbling us might be more effectu:lly
secured, and that no Flest might boast of any

Ad-
30 But of him are ye vantages or Distinctions in his Presence.
God is made unto us Wild on the whole, all we have, that is worth men-
dom, and Righteousness, tioning, we receive from Christ; and we receive
and Sanctification, and Re- it from him as the Gift of God, since it is of

him, and his free Mercy and Grace, that ye are
called to share in the Blessings given by Christ
Jesus his Son. He exhibits this blessed Saviour
to us, and disposes our Hearts to accept of him,
who amidst our Ignorance and Folly, is made of
GOD unto us a Source of Wisdom; and through
him, guilty as we are, we receive Righteousness ;
polluted as we are, we obtain Sanctification; and

inslaved

are :

That his great 29

For 30

demption :

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() 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.

Ff

(m) IVifdoin

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