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The apostle had baptized


few persons at Corinth. 13 Is Christ divided 1 was Paul crucified for you? or were | pel: d not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ ye baptized in the name of Paul?

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own


16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gos 12 Cor. 14 Eph.4.5.-8 Acta 19 8-b Rom. 16.23.- Ch.16. 15,17.-₫ Ch.2.1, 4, 2 Pet. 1.16-e Ùr, speech.

lustead of Xpisov, Christ, some have conjectured that we should read Konov, of Crispus; who is mentioned ver. 14. And some think that Xpisov, of Christ, is an interpolation, as it is not likely that Christ, in any sense of the word, could be said to be the head of a sect or party in his own church: as all those parties held that Gospel, of which himself was both the author and the subject. But it is very easy to con. ceive that, in a church so divided, a party might be found, who, dividing Christ from his ministers, might be led to say, "We will have nothing to do with your parties; nor with your party-spirit, we are the disciples of Christ, and will have nothing to do with Paulians, Apollonians, or Kephians, as contra-distinguished from Christ." The reading Kotnov for Xotsov, is not acknowledged by any MS. or Version. 13. Is Christ divided?] Can he be split into different sects and parties? Has he different and opposing systems? Or, is the Messiah to appear under different persons?

Was Paul crucified for you?] As the Gospel proclaims salvation through the crucified only; has Paul poured out his blood as an atonement for you? This is impossible, and therefore your being called by my name is absurd: for his disciples you should be alone, who has bought you by his blood. Were ye baptized in the name of Paul] To be baptized in, or into the name of one, implied that the baptized was to be the disciple of him into whose name, religion, &c. he was baptized. As if he had said, Did I ever attempt to set up a new religion, one founded on my own authority, and coming from myself? On the contrary, have I not preached Christ crucified for the sin of the world, and called upon all mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, to believe on him ↑

should be made of none effect.

18 For the preaching of the cross is to f them that perish, foolishness; but unto us h which are saved, it is the power of God.

19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

201 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the f2 Cor 2.15.-g Acts 17.18 Ch.2.14.-h Co. 15.2-i Rom.1.16. Ver.24.-k Job 5. 12,13. Isa. 99.14. Jer. 9-1 Isa. 33, 18.

was not sent at all to baptize, he baptized without a commission: but if he was sent, not only to baptize, but to preach also; or to preach rather than baptize, he did in fact dis. charge his duty aright." It appears sufficiently evident that baptizing was considered to be an inferior office; and, though every minister of Christ might administer it, yet apostles had more important work. Preparing these adult heathens for baptism, by the continual preaching of the word, was of much greater consequence than baptizing them when thus prepared to receive and profit by it.

Not with wisdom of words] Ovx ev σwḍia λoyov. In several places in the New Testament, the term Xoyos is taken not only to express a word, a speech, a saying, &c. but doctrine, or the matter of teaching. Here, and in 1 Thess. i. 5. and in several other places, it seems to signify reason, or that mode of rhetorical argumentation so highly prized among the Greeks. The apostle was sent not to pursue this mode of conduct, but simply to announce the truth; to proclaim Christ crucified for the sin of the world; and to do this in the plainest and simplest manner possible, lest the numerous conver sions which followed, might be attributed to the power of the apostle's eloquence, and not to the demonstration of the Spirit of God. It is worthy of remark, that in all the revi vals of religion with which we are acquainted, God appears to have made very little use of human eloquence, even when possessed by pious men. His own nervous truths, announced by plain common sense, though in homely phrase, have been the general means of the conviction and conversion of sinners. Human eloquence and learning have often been suc cessfully employed in defending the out-works of Christiani ty; but simplicity and truth have preserved the citadel.

14. I thank God that I baptized none of you,] None of those who now live in Corinth, except Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, Acts xviii. 8. And Gaius, the same person probably with whom Paul lodged, Rom. xvi. 23. where see the notes. Dr. Lightfoot observes, "If this be Gains, or Caius,ment in his speech, so that Aaron his brother was obliged to to whom the third Epistle of John was written, which is very probable, when the first verse of that epistle is compared with Rom. xvi. 23. then, it will appear probable, that John wrote h's first Epistle to the Corinthians. I wrote, says he, unto the church-What church? Certainly it must have been some particular church which the apostle has in view; and the church where Gaius himself resided. And if this be true, we may look for Diotrephes, 3 John ver. 9. in the Corinthian church; and the author of the schism of which the apostle complains. See the Introduction, sect. viii.

It is farther worthy of remark, that when God was about to promulgate his laws, he chose Moses as the instrument, who appears to have laboured under some natural impedi be his spokesman to Pharaoh; and that, when God had purpo sed to publish the Gospel to the Gentile world-To Athens, Ephesus, Corinth, and Rome, he was pleased to use Saul of Tursus, as the principal instrument; a man whose bodily presence was weak, and his speech contemptible, 2 Cor. x. I, 10. And thus it was proved that God sent him to preach not with human eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect; but with the demonstration and power of his own Spirit; and thus the excellence of the power ap. peared to be of God, and not of man.

15. Lest any should say, &c.] He was careful not to bap- 18. For the preaching of the cross] 'O λoyos yap & TOU tize, lest it should be supposed that he wished to make a par-σravpov, the doctrine of the cross; or that doctrine that is of ty for himself; because superficial observers might imagine, or concerning the cross; that is, the doctrine that proclaims Lat be baptized them into his own name, to be his followers, salvation to a lost world, through the crucifirion of Christ. though he baptized them into the name of Christ only. Is to them that perish foolishness] There are, properly Instead of Barrica, I have baptized, the Codex Aleran- speaking, but two classes of men known where the Gospel is drinus, the Codex Ephraim, and several others, with the preached, aroλλvμcrot, the unbelievers and gain-sayers, who Coptic, Sahidic, latter Syriac in the margin, Armenian, Vul-are perishing: and owtopevor, the obedient believers, who are gate, some copies of the Itala, and several of the Fathers, in a state of salvation. To those who will continue in the first read Barrisonte, ye were baptized. And if we read iva, state, the preaching of salvation through the merit of a cruso that, instead of lest, the sentence will stand thus: so cified Saviour is folly. To those who believe, this doctrine of that no one can say, that ye were baptized into my name. Christ crucified is the power of God to their salvation; it is This appears to be the true reading: and for it Bp. Pearce of divinely efficacious to deliver them from all the power, guilt, fers several strong arguments. and pollution of sin.

16. The household of Stephanas] From chap. xvi. 15. we learn that the family of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia; probably converted and baptized by the apostle himself Epenetus is supposed to be one of this family; see the note on Rom. chap. xvi. 5.

I know not whether I baptized any other] I do not recollect that there is any person now residing in Corinth or Achaia besides the above-mentioned, whom I have baptized. It is strange that the doubt here expressed by the apostle should be constrned so as to affect his inspiration! What, does the inspiration of prophet or apostle, necessarily imply that he must understand the geography of the universe, and have an intuiuve knowledge of all the inhabitants of the earth, and how often, and where, they may have changed their residence! Nor, was that inspiration ever given, so to work on a man's mory, that he could not forget any of the acts which he had performed during life. Inspiration was given to the holy wen of old, that they might be able to write and proclaim the wind of God, in the things which concern the salvation of inen. 17. For Christ sent me not to baptize] Bp. Pearce translates thus, For Christ sent me, not so much to baptize as to preach the Gospel; and he supports his version thus-" The writers of the Old and New Testaments do, almost every where, (agreeably to their Hebrew idiom,) express a preference given to one thing beyond another, by an affirmation of that which is preferred, and a negation of that which is conLary to it: and so it must be understood here, for, if St. Paul

19. For it is written] The place referred to is, Isa. xxix. 14. I will destroy the wisdom of the wise] Twv codov, of wise men; of the philosophers; who, in their investigations, seek nothing less than God; and whose highest discoveries amount to nothing in comparison of the grand truths relative to God, the invisible world, and the true end of man, which the Gos pel has brought to light. Let me add that the very discoveries which are really useful, have been made by men who feared God, and conscientiously credited Divine Revelation: witness Newton, Boyle, Pascal, and many others. But all the skep. tics, and deists, by their schemes of natural religion and morality, have not been able to save one soul! No sinner has ever been converted from the error of his ways by their preaching or writings.

20. Where is the wise-the scribe-the disputer of this world?] These words most manifestly refer to the Jews; as the places Isa. xxix. 14. xxxiii. 18. and xliv. 25. to which he refers, cannot be understood of any but the Jews.

The wise man, rodos, of the apostle, is the on chukam of the prophet, whose office it was to teach others.

The scribe, ypapparevs, of the apostle, is the sopher of the prophet; this signifies any man of learning, as distin guished from the common people; especially any master of the traditions.

The disputer, Evnrnrns, answers to the derosh, or derushen, the propounder of questions; the seeker of allegorical, mystical and cabalistical senses froin the Holy

Christ crucified is the

1. CORINTHIANS. disputer of this world?m hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world!

21 For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God; it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 But we preach Christ crucified, Punto the Jews a stum bling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

m Job 19.17,20,24. Is.44 25. Rom, 1.22.-no.1.20,21, 8 See Matt. 11.25. Lk. 10.21 — o Matt. 19.34 & 16.1. Mk 8.11. Lk.11.16 Jn 4 45-p Isa. 8. 14. Matt.11.6.& 13.07. Scriptures. Now, as all these are characters well known among the Jews; and as the words atvos Tavrov, of this world, are a simple translation of ma by blum hazzeh, which is repeatedly used to designate the Jewish republic; there is no doubt that the apostle has the Jews immediately in view. This wisdom of theirs induced them to seek out of the sacred oracles any sense, but the true one; and they made the word of God of none effect, by their traditions. After them, and precisely on their model, the school men arose; and they ren dered the doctrine of the Gospel of no effect, by their hypercritical questions, and endless distinctions without differences. By the preaching of Christ crucified, God made foolish the wisdom of the Jewish wise men; and after that the pure religion of Christ had been corrupted by a church that was of this world; God rendered the wisdom and disputing of the school-men foolishness, by the revival of pure Christianity, at the reformation. The Jews themselves allow that nothing is wise, nothing strong, nothing rich, without God.

"Our rabbins teach that there were two wise men in this world; one was an Israelite, Achitophel; the other was a Gentile. Balaam: but both were iniserable in this world." "There were also two strong men in the world; one an Israelite, Samson; the other a Gentile, Goliah: but they were both miserable in this world."

"There were two rich men in the world; one an Israelite, Korah; the other a Gentile, Haman: but both these were miserable in this world. And why ?-Because their gifts came not from God." See Schoettgen.

In truth, the world has derived very little, if any, moral good, either from the Jewish rabbins, or the Gentile philosophers.

power of God to salvation,

24 But nnto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and
the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise
men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to
confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of
the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Lk 2.34. Jn 6.60,6. Rom.9.2 Gal.5.11. 1 Pet.2.8-g Ver. 18 Ch 2.14-Rom 1. 4,16. Ver. 18.-≈ Col. 2.3 — John 7.48.-u Matt 11.05. James 25. See Pos. 8. 2

tiles, to believe in Christ; as having purchased their salvation by shedding his blood for them.

Unto the Jews a stumbling-block] Because Jesus came meek, lowly, and impoverished; not seeking worldly glory, nor affecting worldly pomp; whereas they expected the Messial to come as a mighty prince and conqueror: because Christ did not come so, they were offended at him. Out of their own mouths we may condemn the gain-saying Jews. In Sohar Chadash, fol. 26. the following saying is attributed to Moses, relative to the brazen serpent: "Moses said, this serpent is a stumbling-block to the world. The holy blessed God answered, Not at all; it shall be for punishment to sinners; and life to upright men." This is a proper illustration of the apostle's words. Unto the Greeks foolishness] Because they could not be lieve that proclaiming supreme happiness, through a man that was crucified at Judea as a malefactor, could ever comport with reason and common sense: for both the matter and man. ner of the preaching, were opposite to every notion they had formed of what was dignified and philosophic. In Justin Martyr's dialogue with Trypho the Jew, we have these remarkable words, which serve to throw light on the above. "Your Jesus," says Trypho, "having fallen under the extreme curse of God, we cannot sufficiently admire how you can expect any good from God, who place your hopes, E av@pwлov σravрwoεvтa, upon a man that was CRUCIFIED." sanie writer adds, "They count us mad; that, after the eter nal God, the Father of all things, we give the second place, av@pwnw σravρo›bevri, to a man that was crucified" "Where is your understanding," said the Gentiles, "who worship for a God, him who was crucified ?" Thus Christ crucified was, to the Jews, a stumbling-block; and to the Greeks, foolishness. See Whitby on this verse.


21. For after that in the wisdom of God] Dr. Lightfoot observes, "that opta rov Ocov, the wisdom of God, is not to be understood of that wisdom which had God for its author; 24. But unto them which are called] Tois kλntois. Those but that wisdom which had God for its object. There was, both of Jews and Greeks, who were, by the preaching of the among the heathen, Zopia rns ovoɛws, wisdom about natural Gospel, called or invited to the marriage feast; and have things: that is, philosophy: and Zopia Toy Gɛov, risdom accordingly believed in Christ Jesus: they prove this doctrine about God; that is, divinity. But the world in its divinity, to be divinely powerful, to enlighten and convert the soul; could not, by wisdom, know God." The plain meaning of and to be a proof of God's infinite wisdom, which has found this verse is, that the wise men of the world, especially the out such an effectual way to glorify both his justice and merGreek philosophers, who possessed every advantage that lacy; and save to the uttermost, all that come to him, through man nature could have, independently of a divine revelation, Christ Jesus. The called, or invited, kλnto, is a title of and who had cultivated their minds to the uttermost, could genuine Christians; and is frequently used in the New Tes never, by their learning, wisdom, and industry, find out God: tament. 'Aytot, saints, is used in the same sense. nor had the most refined philosophers among them, just and correct views of the Divine Nature: nor of that in which human happiness consists. The work of LUCRETIUS, De NaAura Rerum; and the work of CICERO, De Naturâ Deorum, are incontestable proofs of this. Even the writings of Plato and Aristotle, have contributed little to remove the vail which clouded the understanding of men. No wisdom but that which came from God, could ever penetrate and illuminate the human mind.

By the foolishness of preaching] By the preaching of Christ crucified, which the Gentiles termed popia, foolishness, in opposition to their own doctrines, which they termed copia, wisdom. It was not by the foolishness of preaching, literally, nor by the foolish preaching, that God saved the world; but by that Gospel which they called popia, foolishness; which was, in fact, the wisdom of God, and also the power of God to the salvation of them that believed.

22. For the Jews require a sign] Instead of onpetov, a sign, ABCDEFG., several others: both the Syriac, Coptic, Vulgate, and Itala, with many of the Fathers, have onunia, signs; which reading, as undoubtedly genuine, Griesbach has admitted into the text. There never was a people in the universe more difficult to be persuaded of the truth than the Jews; and had not their religion been incontestably proved, by the most striking and indubitable miracles, they never would have received it. The slowness of heart to believe, added to their fear of being deceived, induced them to require miracles to attest every thing that professed to come from God. They were a wicked and adulterous generation, continually seeking signs, and never saying, It is enough. But the sign which seems particularly referred to here, is the assumption of secular power, which they expected in the Messiah: and because this sign did not appear in Christ, therefore they rejected him.

And the Greeks seek after wisdom] Such wisdom, or philosophy, as they found in the writings of Cicero, Seneca, Plato, &e. which was called philosophy; and which came recommended to them in all the beauties and graces of the Latin and Greek languages

23. But tre] Apostles, differing widely from these Gentile philosophers

Preach Christ crucified] Call on men, both Jews and Gen

25. The foolishness of God is wiser, &c.] The meaning of these strong expressions is, that the things of God's appointment which seem to men foolishness; are infinitely beyond the highest degree of human wisdom: and those works of God, which appear to superficial observers, weak and contemptible, surpass all the efforts of human power. The means which God has appointed for the salvation of men, are so wisely imagined, and so energetically powerful, that all who properly use them, shall be infallibly brought to the end, final blessedness, which he has promised to them who believe and obey.

26. Ye see your calling] Tev kλnow; the state of grace and blessedness to which ye are invited. I think BETE rny kλnow, &c. should be read in the imperative: Take heed to, or consider your calling, brethren; that (bri) not many of you are rise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; men is not in the original, and Paul seems to allude to the Corinthian believers in particular. This seems to have been said in opposition to the high and worldly notions of the Jews, who assert that the Divine Spirit never rests upon any man, unless he be wise, powerful, and rich. Now, this Divine Spirit did rest upon the Christians at Corinth; and yet these were, in the sense of the world, neither wise, rich, nor noble. We spoil, if not corrupt, the apostle's meaning, by adding are called, as if God did not send his Gospel to the wise, the powerful, and the noble: or did not will their salvation. The truth is, the Gospel has an equal call to all classof men: but the wise, the mighty, and the noble, are too busy. or too sensual, to pay any attention to an invitation so spiritu and so divine; and therefore, there are few of these in the church of Christ, in general.

27. But God hath chosen the foolish things] God has chosen, by means of men, who are esteemed rude and illiterate, to confound the greatest of the Greek philosophers, and overturn their systems: and, by means of men weak, without seenla power or authority, to confound the scribes and Pharisees and in spite of the exertions of the Jewish sanhedrine, tô spread the doctrine of Christ crucified all over the land of Ja dea and by such instruments as these, to convert thousands of souls to the faith of the Gospel, who are ready to lay down their lives for the truth. The Jews have proverbs that press the same sense as these words of the apostle lo Sze

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The apostle preached in


28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are;

29That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Rom. 4.17.- Ch, 2.6.-x Rom.3.27. Eph.2.9.-y Ver. 24. Jer. 23.5,6. Rom.4. moth Rabba, sect. 17. fol. 117. it is said, "There are certain matters which appear little to men, yet by them God points out important precepts. Thus hyssop, in the sight of man is worth nothing; but in the sight of God, its power is great: sometimes he equals it to the cedar, particularly in the ordinance concerning the lepers; and in the burning of the red heifer. Thus, God cominanded them in Egypt, Exod. xii. 22. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, &c. And concerning Solomon, it is said, 1 Kings v. 13. And he discoursed of trees, from the cedur of Lebanon, to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. Whence we may learn, that great and small things are equal in the eyes of the Lord; and that, even by small things, he can work great miracles."

And base things-and things which are despised] It is very likely that the apostle refers here to the Gentiles, and to the Gentile converts, who were considered base and despicable in the eyes of the Jews, who counted them no better than dogs; and who are repeatedly called the things that are not. By these very people, converted to Christianity, God has brought to nought all the Jewish pretensions; and, by means of the Gentiles themselves, he has annihilated the whole Jewish polity: so that even Jerusalem itself was, soon after .his, trodden under foot of the Gentiles.

29. That no flesh should glory] God does his mighty works n such a way, as proves, that though he may condescend to mploy men as instruments; yet, they have no part either in he contrivance or energy, by which such works were perormed.

30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus] Even the good which you possess is granted by God; for it is by, and through him, that Christ Jesus comes, and all the blessings of the Gospel dispensation.

Who of God is made unto us wisdom] As being the author of that evangelical wisdom which far excels the wisdom of the philosopher and the scribe; and even that legal constitution which is called the wisdom of the Jews: Deut. iv. 6. And righteousness] Aikaιoovvn, justification; as procaring for us that remission of sins, which the law could not give, Gal. ii. 21. iii. 21.

And sanctification] As procuring for, and working in us, not only an external and relative holiness as was that of the Jews; but occorra ins aλndeias, true and eternal holiness, Eph. iv. 24. wrought in us by the Holy Spirit.

And redemption]. He is the author of redemption, not from the Egyptian bondage, or Babylonish captivity, but from the servitude of Satan, the dominion of sin and death; and from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God; or the redemption of the body, Rom. viii. 21, 23. See Whitby.

The object of the apostle is to show, that man, of himself, possesses no good; that whatever he has, comes from God; and from God only through Christ. For the different acceptations of the word righteousness, the reader may consult the note on Rom. i. 17. where the subject is considered in every point of view.

31. According as it is written] In Jerem. ix. 23, 24. Thus

the power of the Spirit.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
glory in the Lord.

25. 2 Cor.5.21. Phil.3.9 John. 17.19. Eph.1.7.- Jer. 9.23, 24, 2 Cor. 10.17.
saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom;
neither let the mighty man glory in his might; let not the rich
man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth, glory in
this-That he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the
Lord, which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and right-
eousness, in the earth. So then, as all good is of, and from
God, let him that has either wisdom, strength, riches, par.
don, holiness, or any other blessing, whether temporal or
spiritual, acknowledge that he has nothing but what he has
received: and that, as he has cause of glorying (boasting or
exultation) in being made a partaker of these benefits and
alone, by whom, through Christ Jesus, he has received the
mercies of his Creator and Redeemer, let him boast in God
1. This is an admirable chapter, and drawn up with great
skill and address. The divided state of the Corinthian church
we have already noticed; and it appears that in these fac-
tions, the apostle's authority had been set at nought by some,
and questioned by many. St. Paul begins his letter with
showing his authority; he had it immediately through Christ
Jesus himself, by the will of God. And indeed, the success
call. Had not God been with him, he never could have suc-
of his preaching, was a sufficient proof of the divinity of his
cessfully opposed the whole system of the national religion of
the Corinthians; supported as it was by the prejudice of the
people, the authority of the laws, and the eloquence and learn-
therefore, that he should call the attention of this people to
ing of their most eminent philosophers. It was necessary,
the divine origin of his mission, that they might acknowledge
2. It was necessary also, that he should conciliate their es-
that the excellency of the power was of God, and not of man.
teem; and therefore speak as favourably concerning them, as
truth would allow; hence he shows them that they were a
church of God, sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be the
saints; that they abounded and even excelled in many excel-
lent gifts and graces; and that they were not inferior to any
church of God, in any gift. And he shows them, that they re-
which he had delivered among them, ver. 4-7.
ceived all these through God's confirmation of that testimony,

3. When he had thus prepared their minds to receive and
profit by his admonitions; he proceeds to their schisms, which
so that the most obstinate and prejudiced could take no offence.
he mentions, and reprehends in the most delicate manner;

4. Having gained this point, he gently leads them to consider that, as God is the fountain of all good, so their good had all come from him; and that none of them should rest in the gift, but in the giver; nor should they consider themselves as of because all earthly good was transitory, and those who trust particular consequence, on account of possessing such gifts, in power, wisdom, or wealth, are confounded and brought to nought; and that they alone are safe who receive every thing as from the hand of God: and, in the strength of His gifts, glorify him who is the donor of all good. He who can read uality in his soul; and must be utterly unacquainted with the this chapter without getting much profit, has very little spiritwork of God in the heart.


The apostle makes an apology for his manner of preaching, 1. And gives the reason why he adopted that manner, 2-5.
The apostles of Christ know the things of God
He shows that this preaching, notwithstanding it was not with excellence of human speech or wisdom, yet was the mys
terious wisdom of God, which the princes of this world did not know, and which the Spirit of God alone could reveal, 6-
10. It is the Spirit of God only, that can reveal the things of God, 11.
But the spiritual man can discern and teach them, because he has
by the Spirit of God, and teach them, not in the words of man's wisdom, but in the words of that Spirit, 12, 13. The natu
A. U. C. 809. An. Imp. Neronis Cæs. 3.]
ral man cannot discern the things of the Spirit, 14.
the mind of Christ, 15, 16. [A. M. 4060. A. D. 56.

AND I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with ex-
cellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the
testimony of God.


2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save
Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Chap. 1.17. Ver. 4. 13. 2 Cor. 10. 10.& 11.6-b Chap. 1.6.-e Gal.6.14. Phil.3.8.-
4 Acta 11, 6, 12.

NOTES-Verse 1. When I came to you] Acting suitably to my mission, which was to preach the Gospel, but not with human eloquence, chap. i. 17. I declared to you the testimony, the Gospel of God: not with excellency of speech, not with arts of rhetoric used by your own philosophers, where the excellence of the speech recommends the matter, and compensates for the want of solidity and truth; on the contrary, the testimony concerning Christ and his salvation, is so supremely excellent, as to dignify any kind of language by which it may be conveyed. See the Introduction, sect. ii.

2. fdetermined not to know any thing among you] Satisfied that the Gospel of God could alone make you wise unto salvation, I determined to cultivate no other knowledge; and to teach nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, as the foundation of all true wisdom, piety, and happiness. No other doctrine shall I proclaim among you.

3. I was with you in weakness] It is very likely that St. Paul had not only something in his speech very unfavourable

3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing
much trembling.
and of power:
words of man's wisdom, h but in demonstration of the Spirit

e2 Cor. 4.7.& 10.1, 10. & 11.30, & 12.5, 9. Gal.4.13.-fVer.1. Ch.1.17. 2 Pet. 1. 16. —— g Or, persuasible.-h Rom. 15.19. 1 Thess. 1.5.

to a ready and powerful elocution; but also some infirmity of
body, that was still more disadvantageous to him. A fine ap.
pearance, and a fine voice, cover many weaknesses and de-
Many popular orators have little besides their
fects, and strongly and forcibly recommend what is spoken,
though not remarkable for depth of thought, or solidity of
persons and their voice to recommend them. Lewis XIV.
styled Peter du Bosc, le plus beau parleur de son royaume;
ple, he was styled l'orateur parfait; the perfect orator. Look
the finest speaker in his kingdom: and, among his own peo-
at the works of this French Protestant divine, and you find it
difficult to subscribe to the above sayings. The difficulty is
solved, by the information that the person of M. Du Bosc was
noble and princely; and his voice, full, harmonious, and ma-
and superstition fell before him. Thus God was seen in the
jestic. Paul had none of these advantages, and yet idolatry
In fear, and in much trembling] This was often the state
work, and the man was forgotten.

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The Gospel is a revelation of


5 That your faith should not i stand in the wisdom of men,
but k in the power of God.

6 Howbeit, we speak wisdom among them I that are perfect:
yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this
world," that come to nought:

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the
hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto
our glory:

3 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for 4 had 2 Cor. 4.7.& 6.7.-1 Ch. 14.20. Eph.4. 13. Phil.3. 15. Heb.5.14.-m Ch.
20.& 3.19. Ver.1, 13. 2 Cor.1.12. James 3. 15-n Ch. 1. 28o Rom. 16. 25, 26.
Eph. 3.5, 9. Col.1.25. 2 Tim. 1.9.

o his mind; dreading lest he should at any time be unfaith-
fil, and so grieve the Spirit of God; or, that after having
preached to others, himself should be a castaway. See chap.
Ix. 27.

An eminent divine has said, that it requires three things to make a good preacher; study, temptation, and prayer. The latter no man that lives near to God, can neglect; the former, no man who endeavours rightly to divide the word of truth, will neglect; and, with the second, every man will be more or less exercised, whose whole aim is to save souls. Those of a different cast, the devil permits to pass quietly on, in their own indolent and prayerless way.

4. And my speech] 'O λoyos pov, my doctrine, the matter of my preaching."

And my preaching] To кnpvyμa pov, my proclamation, my manner of recommending the grand but simple truths of the Gospel.

Was not with enticing words of man's wisdom] E TELOots avoρwins copias doyous, with persuasive doctrines of hu. man wisdom: in every case I left man out, that God might become the more evident. I used none of the means of which great orators avail themselves, in order to become popular, and thereby to gain fame.

they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory ther have entered into the heart of man, the things which God 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nei. hath prepared for them that love him.

the hidden wisdom of God.

the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spi
eth no man, but the Spirit of God.
rit of man which is in him?" even so the things of God know.

p Matt. 11.23. John 7 48. Acta 13 27. 2 Cor. 3. 14.-q Luke 23.34. Acte 2.17. Sea John 16.3-r Isa.64.4-s Mart. 13. 11. & 16.17. John 14.26. 16.13. 1 John 2.7t Prev 20.27. & 27. 19. Jer. 17.9-u Rom. 11.33,34.

apostle. These rulers came to naught; for they, their wis dom, and their government, were shortly after overturned in the destruction of Jerusalem. This declaration of the apos followed. tle is prophetic. The ruin of the Grecian superstition soon Christ, which had been comparatively hidden from the foun 7. The wisdom of God in a mystery] The GOSPEL of Jesus dation of the world, (the settling of the Jewish economy, as this phrase often means,) though appointed from the beginning, to be revealed in the fulness of time. For though this Gospel was, in a certain sense, announced by the prophets, and telligent of the Jewish rulers, their doctors, scribes, and Phaprefigured by the law; yet it is certain that even the most instill a mystery to them and others; till it was so gloriously risees, had no adequate knowledge of it; therefore it was revealed by the preaching of the apostles.

it is evident, that this world refers to the Jewish state, and to 8. Which none of the princes of this world knew] Here, the degree of knowledge in that state: and the rulers, the priests, rabbins, &c. who were principally concerned in the crucifixion of our Lord.

The Lord of glory] Or the glorious Lord: infinitely tranBut in demonstration of the Spirit] Amodeitet, in the ma- glory; who gave that glorious Gospel in which his followers scending all the rulers of the universe; whose is, eternal nifestation; or as two ancient MSS. have it, anоkaλvet, in may glory, as it affords them such cause of triumph as the the revelation of the Spirit. The doctrine that he preached heathens had not, who gloried in their philosophers. Here is was revealed by the Spirit :-that it was a revelation of the Spirit, the holiness, purity, and usefulness of the doctrine glorious truths which it is possible for the soul of man to a teacher who has come from God, who has taught the most rendered manifest: and the overthrow of idolatry and the conceive; and has promised to lead all the followers of his conversion of souls, by the power and energy of the preach-crucified master, to that state of glory which is ineffable and ing, was the demonstration that all was divine. The greater eternal. part of the best MSS., Versions, and Fathers, leave out the adjective ar@pwmvns, man's, before copias, wisdom: it is possible that the word may be a gloss, but it is necessarily implied in the clause. Not with the persuasive discourses or doctrines of wisdom: i. e. of human philosophy.

5. That your faith should not stand] That the illumination of your souls, and your conversion to God, might appear to have nothing human in it: your belief, therefore, of the truths which have been proposed to you, is founded, not in human wisdom, but in divine power; human wisdom was not employed: and human power, if it had been employed, could not have produced the change.

6. We speak wisdom among them that are perfect] By the EV TOLS TEXELOIS, among those that are perfect, we are to understand Christians of the highest knowledge and attain ments: those who were fully instructed in the knowledge of God through Christ Jesus. Nothing, in the judgment of St. Paul, deserved the name of wisdom but this. And though he apologizes for his not coming to them with excellency of speech or wisdom, yet he means what was reputed wisdom among the Greeks; and which, in the sight of God, was mere folly when compared with that wisdom that came from above, Dr. Lightfoot thinks, that the apostle mentions a four-fold wisdom. 1. Heathen wisdom, or that of the Gentile philoso. phers, chap. i. 22. which was termed by the Jews no Chokmah yonith, Grecian wisdom; and which was so undervalued, by them, that they joined these two under the same curse; cursed is he that breeds hogs; and cursed is he who teaches his son Grecian wisdom. Bava Kama, fol. 82.

2. Jewish wisdom; that of the scribes and Pharisees, who crucified our Lord, ver. 7.

3. The Gospel, which is called the wisdom of God in a mystery, ver. 7.

Ixiv. 4. The sense is continued here from verse the seventh and λadoyer, we speak, is understood. We do not speak or 9. But as it is written] The quotation is taken from Isa preach the wisdom of this world; but that mysterious wisdom of God, of which the prophet said, Eye hath not seen, things which God has prepared for them that love him. These nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the words have been applied to the state of glory in a future world; but they certainly belong to the present state; and express merely the wondrous light, life, and liberty, which the Gospel communicates to them that believe in the Lord Jesus the prophet himself refers; and, it is evident from the follow Christ, in that way which the Gospel itself requires. To this ing verse, that the apostle also refers to the same thing. Such a scheme of salvation, in which God's glory, and man's felicity, should be equally secured, had never been seen, never heard of, nor could any mind but that of God, have conceived the idea of so vast a project: nor could any power, but his own, have brought it to effect.

10. But God had revealed them unto us] A manifest proof not of the glories of the future world. that the apostle speaks here of the glories of the Gospel, and

God which spoke by the prophets; and has now given to the apostles the fulness of that heavenly truth of which he gave For the Spirit searcheth all things] This is the Spirit of to the former only the outlines.

which can reveal the councils of God; these are the purposes Yea, the deep things of God] It is only the Spirit of God, eternity; and particularly what refers to creation, providence, which have existed in his infinite wisdom and goodness from concerned in these purposes. The apostles were so fully conredemption, and eternal glory; as far as inen and angels are Gospel was divine, that they boldly asserted that these things vinced that the scheme of redemption proclaimed by the God was now, in a certain way, become manifest: many attributes of his, which to the heathen world would have for but illustrated by the gracious displays which he had made God,) were now, not only brought to light as existing in him; ever lain in obscurity, (for the world by wisdom knew not of himself. It was the Spirit of God alone that could reveal these things; and it was the energy of that Spirit alone that could bring them all into effect; stamp and seal them as attributes and works of God for ever. The apostles were as truly conscious of their own inspiration, as they were that they had consciousness at all; and what they spoke, they spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

4. The wisdom, Tov alvos TOUтov, of this world; that sys. tem of knowledge which the Jews made up out of the wri-infinitely surpassed the wisdom and comprehension of man. tings of their scribes and doctors. This state is called by haolam hazzeh; this, or the present world; to distinguish it from Nan byn haolam haba, the world to come; i. e. the days of the Messiah. this world, either as relating to the state of the Gentiles, culWhether we understand the term tivated to the uttermost in philosophical learning: or the then state of the Jews, who had made the word of God of no effect by their traditions, which contained a sort of learning of which they were very fond and very proud; yet, by this Grecian and Jewish wisdom, no soul ever could have arrived at any such knowledge or wisdom as that communicated by the revelation of Christ. This was perfect wisdom; and they who were thoroughly instructed in it, and had received the grace of the Gospel, were termed reλsiot, the perfect. This, says the apostle, is not the wisdom of this world, for that has not the manifested Messiah in it; nor the wisdom of the rulers of this world. The chief men. whether philosophers among the Greeks, or rabbins among the Jers; for those we are to understand as implied in the term rulers, used here by the 104

av@porov in the first clause, is omitted by the Coder Aleran
drinus, and one other; and by Athanasius, Cyril, and Vigil
11. For what man knoweth the things of a man] The word
of Tapsum. Bishop Pearce contends strongly against the
authenticity of the word, and reads the passage thus: "For
what is there that knoweth the things of a man except the
spirit of a inan that is in him?" "I leave out," says the learned

The natural man cannot


apprehend spiritual things.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but | Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: nei, the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things ther can he know them, because they are spiritually dis that are freely given to ns of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; Comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the

Ro10.15-w 2 Pet. 1.15. See Ch. 1 17. Ver 4 Mar 16 -y Ch. 1. 18, 23.— •Rom. 14,7. Jude 19-a Prov. 8.3. 1 Thess.5, 19. 1 Jhn 4.1.

bishop, "ar@porov, with the Alexandrian MSS, and read ris yap oldey Ta Ton avtporov; because I conceive that the comnon reading is wide of St. Paul's meaning; for to say, What man except the spirit of a man, is (I think) to speak improperly; and to suppose that the spirit of a man is a man; but it is very proper to say, What except the spirit of a man: ris, is feminine as well as masculine, and therefore may be supplied with ovata, or some such word, as well as with avopo. s." Though the authority for omitting this word, is comparatively slender, yet it must be owned that its omission renders the text much more intelligible. But even one MS. may preserve the true reading.

The spirit of a man knows the things of a man: that is, a man is conscious of all the schemes, plans, and purposes, that pass in his own mind; and no man can know these things but himself. So, the Spirit of God, He who we call the third person of the glorious TRINITY, knows all the counsels and determinations of the Supreme Being. As the Spirit is here represented to live in God, as the soul lives in the body of a man and as this Spirit knows all the things of God, and had revealed those to the apostles, which concern the salvation of the world: therefore, what they spoke and preached was true, and men may implicitly depend upon it. The miracles which they did, in the name of Christ, was the proof that they had that Spirit and spoke the truth of God.

12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world] We, who are the genuine apostles of Christ, have received this Spirit of God, by which we know the deep things of God; and through the teaching of that Spirit, we preach Christ crucified. We have not therefore, received the spirit of the world, of the Jewish teachers, who are all looking for a worldly kingdom, and a worldly Messiah; and interpret all the scriptures of the Old Testament, which relate to him, in a carnut and worldly


That we might know the things] We receive this teaching that we may know what those super-eminently excellent things are which God has purposed freely to give to mankind. It is evident that, as the apostle means by princes of the world, the rulers of the Jews, ver. 6-8. so, by spirit of the world, he here means Jewish wisdom, or their carnal mode of interpret. ing the sacred oracles; and their carnal expectation of a worldly kingdom under the Messiah.

13. Which things also we speak] We dare no more use the language of the Jews and the Gentiles, in speaking of those glorious things, than we can indulge their spirit. The Greek orators affected a high and florid language, full of tropes and figures, which dazzled more than it enlightened. The rabbins affected obscurity, and were studious to find out cabalistical meanings, which had no tendency to make the people wise anto salvation. The apostles could not follow any of these; they spoke the things of God in the words of God: every thing is plain and intelligible; every word well placed, clear, and nervous. He who has a spiritual mind, will easily comprehend an apostle's preaching.

Comparing spiritual things with spiritual This is com only understood to mean, comparing the spiritual things under the Old Testament, with the spiritual things under the New: but this does not appear to be the apostle's meaning. The word avykOLVOVTES, which we translate comparing, rather signifies conferring, discussing, or explaining; and the Word #PENBUTIKots, should be rendered to spiritual men, and not be referred to spiritual things. The passage, therefore, should be thus translated; explaining spiritual things to spiritual persons. And this sense the following verse absolutely requires.


15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he him self is judged of no man.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

b Or, discerneth -e Or, discerned.-d Job 15.8. Isa. 40. 13. Jer. 23.18. Wisd. 9. 13. Rom 34.- Gr.shall-f John 15.15.

receiveth not the things of the Spirit; neither apprehends nor
comprehends them: he has no relish for them; he considers
it the highest wisdom to live for this world. Therefore, these
spiritual things are foolishness to him; for, while he is in his
animal state, he cannot see their excellency, because they are
spiritually discerned, and he has no spirituel mind.
15. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things] He who has
the mind of Christ, discerns and judges of all things spiritual;
yet he himself is not discerned by the mere animal man.
Soine suppose that the word avaxpirerat should be understood
thus: he examines, scrutinizes, convinces, reproves, which
it appears to have in ch. xiv. 24. and they read the verse thus:
the spiritual man, the well taught Christian, convinces, i. e.
can easily convict all men, (Tavra, accus. sing.) every animal
man, of error and vice. Yet he himself is convicted of no
man; his mind is enlightened and his life is holy; and there.
fore the animal man cannot convict him of sin. This is a good
sense, but the first appears the most natural. See Pearce and

16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord] Who that is still an animal man, can know the mind of God, so as to instruct him, viz. the spiritual man, the same that is spoken of, ver. 15. But the words may be better understood thus: How can the animal man know the mind of the Lord; and how can any man communicate that knowledge which he has never acquired; and which is foolishness to him, because it is spi ritual, and he is animal? This quotation is made from Isa. xl. 13.

But we have the mind of Christ] He has endowed us with the same disposition, being born again by his Spirit; therefore, we are capable of knowing his mind, and receiving the teachings of his Spirit. These teachings we do receive, and therefore, are well qualified to convey them to others.

The words that he may instruct him, ος συμβιβάσει αυτόν, should be translated that he may teach IT: that is, the mind of God; not instruct God, but teach his mind to others. And this interpretation the Hebrew will also bear.

Bishop Pearce observes, "the principal questions here, are, what cupßißact signifies; and what aurov is relative to? The Hebrew word, which the Septuagint translate by these two is pm yodiênnu: now, since yr yodia signifies as well to make known as to know, (and indeed this is the most frequent sense of it in the Old Testament,) the suffix, (postfix) » nu, may relate to a thing, as well as to a person; and therefore it may be rendered not by him, but by it, i. e. the mind of the Lord. And in this sense the apostle seems to have used the words of the Seventy; for if we understand avrov here to be the relative to Kyptov, Lord, this verse contains no reason for what went before; whereas, if it be a relative to vovv, mind, it affords a reason for what had been said before, ver. 14." The true translation of the passage, as used by the apos tle, appears to be this: For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he should TEACH IT? And this translation agrees with every part of the context, and particularly with what follows.

1. This chapter might be considered a good model for a Christian minister to regulate his conduct by, or is public ministry; because it points out the mode of preaching used by St. Paul and the apostles in general. This great apostle came not to the people with excellency of speech and of wis dom, when he declared unto them the counsel of God. They know little either of the spirit of St. Paul, or the design of the Gospel, who inake the chief excellence of their preaching to consist in the eloquence of language, or depth of human reasoning. That may be their testimony; but it is not God's. 14. But the natural man] Vvxikos, the animal man; the The enticing words of men's wisdom, are seldom accompaman who is in a mere state of nature, and lives under the in-nied by the demonstration and power of the Holy Spirit. fluence of his animal passions: for the word xn, which we often translate soul, means the lower and sensitive part of man, in opposition to vous, the understanding, or rational part. The Latins use anima, to signify these lower passions; and anigus to signify the higher. The person in question, is not only one who either has had no spiritual teaching, or has not profited by it; but one who lives for the present world, having no respect to spiritual or eternal things. This is a depth and height of wisdom and knowledge in that book Kos, or animal man, is opposed to the vεuparikos, or spirit val man; and, as this latter is one who is under the influence of the Spirit of God; so the former is one who is without that influence.

The apostle did speak of those high and sublime spiritual things to these animal men; but he explained them to those which were spiritual. He uses this word in this sense, chap. iii. 1. ix. 11. and particularly in ver. 15. of the present chapter: He that is spiritual judgeth all things.

But the natural man-The apostle appears to give this as a reason why he explained those deep spiritual things to spiritual men; because the animal man, the man who is in a state :f nature, without the regenerating grace of the Spirit of God; VOL. VI.

2. One justly remarks, that the foolishness of preaching has its wisdom, loftiness, and eloquence; but this consists in the sublimity of its truths, the depths of its mysteries, and the ardour of the Spirit of God." In this respect Paul may be said to have preached wisdom among those which were per fect. The wisest and most learned men in the world, who have seriously read the Bible, have acknowledged that there of God, which are sought in vain any where else; and indeed it would not be a revelation from God were it not so. The men who can despise and ridicule this sacred book, are those who are too blind to discover the objects presented to them by this brilliant light; and are too sensual to feel and relish spiritual things. They, above all others, are incapable of judging; and should be no more regarded, when employed in talking against the sacred writings, than an ignorant peasant should be, who, not knowing his alphabet, pretends to decry mathe. matical learning.

3. A new mode of preaching has been diligently recom. mended-"Scriptural phraseology should be generally avoided where it is antiquated, or conveys ideas inconsistent with 105


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