Page images
PDF
EPUB

The wisdom of this world

CHAP. I.

is foolishness with God.

A. M. 4060. 4. D. 56.

A. D. 56.

b

ronis Cæs. 3.

20 - Where is the wise ? where is world by wisdom knew not God; it 4. M. 4060. A: 0.160.60. the scribe? where is the disputer of pleased God by the foolishness of Ann 6.80%.

Anno Imp. Neronis Cæs. 3. this world ? bath not God made preaching, to save them that believe. foolish the wisdom of this world?

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the 21 °For after that in the wisdom of God, the Greeks seek after wisdom :

* Isai. 33. 18.

& Matt. 12. 38. & 16. 1. Mark 8. 11. Luke 11. 16. John 4. 48.

_ Job 12. 17, 20, 24. Isai. 44. 25. Rom. 1. 22. Rom. 1. 20, 21, 28. See Matt. 11. 25. Luke 10. 21.

very discoveries which are really useful, have been made by 66 There were also two strong men in the world ; one an men who feared God, and conscientiously credited Divine Israelite, Samson; the other a Gentile, Goliah : but they Revelation : witness, Newton, Boyle, Pascal, and many were both miserable in this world.” others. But all the sceptics and deists, by their schemes of “ There were two rich men in the world; one an Israel. natural religion and morality, have not been able to save ite, Korah; the other a Gentile, Haman : but both these one soul! No sinner has ever been converted from the error were miserable in this world. And why ?-Because their of his ways by their preaching or writings.

gifts came not from God.” See Schoettgen. Verse 20. Where is the wisethe scribe-the disputer of In truth, the world has derived very little, if any, moral this world?] These words most manifestly refer to the good, either from the Jewish rabbins, or the Gentile philo. Jews; as the places Isai. xxix. 14. xxxiii. 18. and xliv. 25. sophers. to which he refers, cannot be understood of any but the Verse 21. For after that in the wisdom of God] Dr. Jews.

Lightfoot observes, “that Lopia Tou Ozou the wisdom of God, The wise man, Copos, of the apostle, is the dan chakam of is not to be understood of that wisdom which had God for the prophet, whose office it was to teach others.

its author; but that wisdom which had God for its object. The scribe, ypau Mateus, of the apostle, is the 2010 sopher There was, among the heathen, Lopia TT5 Quoews, wisdom of the prophet; this signifies any man of learning, as distin- about natural things ; that is, philosophy: and Lopic Tou Ozou guished from the common people; especially any master of wisdom about God; that is, divinity. But the world in its the traditions.

divinity, could not, by wisdom, know God.” The plain The disputer, Eufr 79795, answers to the wat derosh, or meaning of this verse is, that the wise men of the world, es2017 derushen, the propounder of questions; the seeker of pecially the Greek philosophers, who possessed every advanallegorical, mystical, and cabalistical senses from the Holy tage that human nature could have, independently of a divine Scriptures. Now, as all these are characters well known revelation, and who had cultivated their minds to the utteramong the Jews; and as the words alwYOS TOUTOU of this most, could never, by their learning, wisdom, and industry, world, are a simple translation of niny obu olam hazzeh, find out God : nor had the most refined philosophers among which is repeatedly used to designate the Jewish republic; them, just and correct views of the Divine Nature; nor of there is no doubt that the apostle has the Jews immediately that in which human happiness consists. The work of Luin view. This wisdom of theirs induced them to seek out CRETIUS, De Natura Rerum ; and the work of Cicero, De of the sacred oracles any sense, but the true one; and they Natur á Deorum, are incontestible proofs of this. Even the made the word of God of none effect, by their traditions. | writings of Plato and Aristotle, have contributed little to After them, and precisely on their model, the school-men remove the veil which clouded the understanding of men. arose ; and they rendered the doctrine of the gospel of no No wisdom but that which came from God, could ever peneeffect, by their hypercritical questions, and endless distinc- trate and illuminate the human mind. tions without differences. By the preaching of Christ cru By the foolishness of preaching] By the preaching of cified, God made foolish the wisdom of the Jewish wise men; Christ crucified, which the Gentiles termed fwpra foolishness, and after that the pure religion of Christ had been cor in opposition to their own doctrines, which they termed rupted by a church that was of this world; God rendered the ropa wisdom. It was not by the foolishness of preaching, wisdom and disputing of the school-men foolishness, by the literally, nor by the foolish preaching, that God saved the revival of pure Christianity, at the reformation. The Jews world; but by that gospel which they called uwpia foolishthemselves allow that nothing is wise, nothing strong, no- ness; which was, in fact, the wisdom of God, and also the thing rich without God.

power of God to the salvation of them that believed. " Our rabbins teach that there were two wise men in this Verse 22. For the Jews require a sign] Instead of world; one was an Israelite, Achitophel ; the other was a cruelov a sign, ABCDEFG. several others; both the Syriuc, Gentile, Balaam : but both were miserable in this world.” Coptic, Vulgate, and Itala, with many of the Fathers, have

Christ crucified is the

1. CORINTHIANS.

power of God lo salvation.

A. M. 4060.

A. D. 56.
A. U. C. 809.
Anno Imp.Ne-

A. M 4060,
A. D. 56.

[ocr errors]

ronis Cæs. S.

23 But we preach Christ crucified, 25 Because the foolishness of God is
unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and wiser than men; and the weakness of A. U. c.809.

Imp. Neronis Cæs. 3. unto the Greeks foolishness; God is stronger than men.

24 But unto them which are called, both Jews 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the not many wise men after the flesh, not many wisdom of God.

mighty, not many noble, are called :

a Isai. 8. 14. Matt. 11. 6. & 19.57. Luke 2. 34. John 6. 60, 66. Rom.

9. 32. Gal. 5. 11. 1 Pet. 2. 8.

+ Ver. 18. ch. 2. 14.-- Rom. 1. 4, 16. ver. 18.

e John 7. 48.

_ Col. 2.3.

verse.

or usia signs ; which reading, as undoubtedly genuine, Justin Martyr's dialogue with Trypho the Jew, we havé Griesbach has admitted into the text. There never was a these remarkable words, which serve to throw light on the people in the universe more difficult to be persuaded of the above. “ Your Jesus,” says Trypho, “having fallen under truth than the Jews: and had not their religion been incon- | the extreme curse of God, we cannot sufficiently admire testibly proved, by the most striking and indubitable miracles, how you can expect any good from God, who place your they never would have received it. This slowness of heart hopes Et' ar5OWTOY Otkuswherra, upon a man that was to believe, added to their fear of being deceived, induced || crucuried.” The same writer adds, “ They count us mad; them to require mirucles to attest every thing that professed that, after the eternal God, the Father of all things, we to come from God. They were a wicked and adulterous ge- | give the second place, avfsw'T CTOUCw92v7h, to a man that neration, continually seeking signs, and never saying, It is was crucificil.“Where is your understanding," said the enough. But the sign which seems particularly referred to | Gentiles, “ who worship for a God, him who was cruci. here, is the assumption of secular power, which they expected fied ?" Thus Christ crucified was, to the Jews, a stumblingin the Messiah : and because this sign did not appear in | block; and to the Greeks, foolishness. See Whilby on this Christ, therefore they rejected him.

And the Greeks seek after wisdom] Such wisdom, or Verse 24. But unto them which are called] T015 X11,5045, philosophy, as they found in the writings of Cicero, Seneca, || Those both of Jews and Greeks, who were, by the preachPlato, &c. which was called philosophy; and which came ing of the gospel, called or invited to the marriage feast; recommended to them in all the beauties and graces of the and have accordingly believed in Christ Jesus : they prore Latin and Greek languages.

this doctrine to be divinely powerful, to enlighten and conVerse 23. But we] Apostles, differing widely from these vert the soul; and to be a proof of God's infinite wisdom, Gentile philosophers

which has found out such an effectual way to glorify both Preach Christ crucified] Call on men, both Jews and his justice and mercy; and save, to the uttermost, all that Gentiles, to believe in Christ ; as having purchased their sal come to him, through Christ Jesus. The called, or invited, vation by shedding his blood for them.

x27706, is a title of genuine Christians; and is frequently Unto the Jews a stumbling-block] Because Jesus came used in the New Testament. 'Aylor saints, is used in the meek, lowly, and impoverished; not seeking worldly glory, || same sense. nor affecting worldly pomp: whereas they expected the Verse 25. The foolishness of God is wiser, &c.] The Messiah to come as a mighty prince and conqueror: because meaning of these strong expressions is, that the things of Christ did not come so, they were offended at him. Out of God's appointment which seem to men foolishness ; are intheir own mouths we may condemo the gain-saying Jews. finitely beyond the highest degree of human wisdom : avd In Sohar Chadash, fol. 26. the following saying is attributed those works of God, which appear to superficial observers, to Moses, relative to the brazen serpent : “Moses said, this weak and contemptible, súrpass all the efforts of human serpent is a stumbling-block to the world. The holy blessed power. The means which God has appointed for the salvaGod answered, Not at all; it shall be for punishment to tion of men, are so wisely imagined, and so energetically sinners; and life to upright men.” This is a proper illus- || powerful, that all who properly use them, shall be infallibly tration of the apostle's words.

brought to the end, final blessedness, which he has promised Unto the Greeks foolishness] Because they could not be to them who believe and obey. lieve that proclaiming supreme happiness, through a man that Verse 26. Ye see your calling] Typ xày cy; the state of was crucified at Judea as a malefactor, could ever comport grace and blessedness to which ye are invited. I thiok with reason and common sense: for both the matter and | BRETETE TOY ranoiy, &c. should be read in the imperative : manner of the preaching, were opposite to every notion they | Take heed to, or consider your calling, brethren; that (0:1) had formed of what was dignified and philosophic. In Il not many of you are wise after the flesh, not many mighly's

God has chosen the foolish and weak,

CHAP. I.

to confound the wise and mighty.

A. M. 4060.
A. D. 56.

ronis Cæs. 3.

27 But "God hath chosen the foolish which are despised, bath God chosen, AM4060. Anno impose things of the world to confound the yea, and things which are not, i to A. U.C. 809.

Anno Imp. Neronis Cies. 3. wise ; and God hath chosen the weak bring to nought things that are ; things of the world to confound the things which 29 That no flesh should glory in his preare mighty ; 28 And base things of the world, and things || 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of

sence.

• Matt. 11. 25. James 2. 5. See Ps. 8. 2. Rom. 4. 11.

e Ch. 9. 6.

d Rom. 3. 27. Eph. 2. 9.

not many noble; men is not in the original, and Paul | Gentiles, and to the Gentile converts, who were considered seems to allude to the Corinthian believers in particular. base and despicable in the eyes of the Jews, who counted This seems to have been said in opposition to the high and them no better than dogs; and who are repeatedly called worldly notions of the Jews, who assert that the Divine the things thut are not. By these very people, converted to Spirit never rests upon any man, unless he be wise, powerful, Christianity, God has brought to nought all the Jewish preand rich. Now, this Divine Spirit did rest upon the Chris- tensions; and, by means of the Gentiles themselves, he tians at Corinth ; and yet these were, in the sense of the has annihilated the whole Jewish polity: so that even Jeru. world, neither wise, rich, nor noble. We spoil, if not cor- salem itself was, soon after this, trodden under foot of the rupt, the apostle's meaning, by adding are called, as if God Gentiles. did not send his gospel to the wise, the powerful, and the Verse 29. That no flesh should glory] God does his noble; or did not will their salvation. The truth is, the mighty works in such a way, as proves, that though he may gospel has an equal call to all classes of men : but the wise, 'condescend to employ men as instruments; yet they have no the mighty, and the noble, are too busy, or too sensual, to pay part either in the contrivance or energy, by which such works any attention to an invitation so spiritual and so divine ; and were performed. therefore, there are few of these in the church of Christ, in Verse 30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus] Even the general.

good which you possess is granted by God; for it is by, and Verse 27. But God hath chosen the foolish things] God through him, that Christ Jesus comes, and all the blessings has chosen, by means of men who are esteemed rude and illi- of the gospel dispensation. terate, to confound the greatest of the Greek philosophers, Who of God is made unto us wisdom] As being the and overturn their systems : and, by means of men weak, author of that evangelical wisdom which far excels the without secular power or authority, to confound the Scribes wisdom of the philosopher and the scribe; and even that and Pharisees ; and in spite of the exertions of the Jewish legal constitution which is called the wisdom of the Jews; sanhedrin, to spread the doctrine of Christ crucified all over Deut. iv. 6. the land of Judea : and by such instruments as these, to con And righteousness) Alxalotum, justification; as procur. vert thousands of souls to the faith of the gospel, who are ing for us that remission of sins, which the law could not ready to lay down their lives for the truth. The Jews have give, Gal. ii. 21. iii. 21. proverbs that express the same sense as these words of the And sanctification] As procuring for, and working in us, apostle. In Shemoth Rabba, sect. 17. fol. 117. it is said, || not only an external and relative holiness, as was that of the 66 There are certain matters which appear little to men, yet Jews; but 0016777Q Trs aarhenas, true and eternal holiness, by them God points out important precepts. Thus hyssop, Eph. iv. 24. wrought in us by the Holy Spirit. in the sight of man, is worth nothing ; but, in the sight of And redemption] He is the author of redemption, not God, its power is great : sometimes he equals it to the cedar, from the Egyptian bondage, or Babylonish captivity, but particularly in the ordinance concerning the lepers; and in from the servitude of Satan, the dominion of sin and death; the burning of the red heifer. Thus, God commanded them and from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty in Egypt, Exod. xii. 22, And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, of the sons of God; or the redemption of the body, Rom. viii. &c. And concerning Solomon, it is said, 1 Kings v. 13, 21. 23. See Whitby. And he discoursed of trees, from the cedur on Lebanon, to The object of the apostle is to shew, that man, of himself, the hyssop, that grows out of the wall. Whence we may learn, possesses no good ; that whatever he has, comes from God; that great and small things are equal in the eyes of the Lord; and from God, only through Christ. For the different ac. and that, even by small things, he can work great miracles.ceptations of the word righteousness, the Reader may con

Verse 28. And base things--and things which are des- sult the Note on Rom. i. 17. where the subject is considered pised] It is very likely that the apostle refers here to the in every point of view.

He that glorieth, should

I. CORINTHIANS.

glory only in the Lord.

A. D. 56.

A. M. 4060. God is made unto us wisdom, and 31 That, according as it is written, A. M. 4060. A. U.C. 809.

brighteousness, and * sanctification, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Annu.com Anno Imp. Neronis Cas. 3. and a redemption :

Lord.

ronis Cæs. 3.

• Ver. 24.-) Jer. 23. 5, 6. Rom. 4. 25. 2 Cor. 5. 21. Phil. 3. 9.

• John 17. 19.- Eph. 1. 7.— Jer. 9. 23, 24. 2 Cor. 10. 17.

Verse 31. According as it is written] In Jerem. ix. 23, people to the divine origin of his mission, that they might 24. Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his acknowledge that the excellency of the power was of God, wisdom ; neither let the mighty man glory in his might ; let and not of man. not the rich man glory in his riches ; but let him that glorieth, 2. It was necessary also, that he should conciliate their glory in thisThat he understandeth and knoweth me, that esteem ; and therefore speak as favourably concerning them, I am the Lord, which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and as truth would allow ; hence he shews them that they were a righteousness in the earth. So then, as all good is of, and church of God, sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be from God, let him that has either wisdom, strength, riches, saints ; that they abounded and even excelled in many excelpardon, holiness, or any other blessing, whether temporal or lent gifts and graces; and that they were not inferior to any spiritual, acknowledge that he has nothing but what he has church of God, in any gift. And he shews them, that they received : and that, as he has cause of glorying, (boasting or received all these through God's confirmation of that testiexultation,) in being made a partaker of these benefits and mony, which he had delivered among them, ver. 4–7. mercies of his Creator and Redeemer, let him boast in God 3. When he had thus prepared their minds to receive and alone, by whom, through Christ Jesus, he has received the profit by his admonitions; he proceeds to their schisms, whole.

which he mentions, and reprehends in the most delicate man

ner; so that the most obstinate and prejudiced could take no 1. This is an admirable chapter, and drawn up with great || offence. skill and address. The divided state of the Corinthian 4. Having gaived this point, he gently leads them to conchurch we have already noticed ; and it appears that in these sider that, as God is the fountain of all good, so their good factions, the apostle's authority had been set at nought by had all come from him ; and that none of them should rest some, and questioned by many. St. Paul begins his letter in the gift, but in the giver : nor should they consider themwith shewing his authority ; he had it immediately through || selves as of particular consequence, on account of possessing Christ Jesus himself, by the will of God. And indeed, the such gifts, because all earthly good was transitory, and those success of his preaching, was a sufficient proof of the divivity who trust in power, wisdom, or wealth, are confounded and of his call. Had not God been with him, he never could have brought to nought; and that they alone are safe who receive successfully opposed the whole system of the national reli- every thing as from the hand of God; and, in the strength gion of the Corinthians; supported as it was by the prejudice of Ilis gifts, glorify him who is the donor of all good.

lle of the people, the authority of the laws, and the eloquence who can read this chapter without getting much profit, bas and learning of their most eminent philosophers. It was very little spirituality in his soul; and must be utterly unnecessary, therefore, that he should call the attention of this acquainted with the work of God in the heart.

CHAPTER II.

The apostle makes an apology for his manner of preaching, 1. And gives the reason why he adopted that man.

ner, 2–5. He shews that this preaching, notwithstanding it was not with excellence of human specch or uis. dom, yet was the mysterious 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. The apostles of Christ know the things of God 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 natural man cannot discern the things of the Spirit, 11. But the spiritual man can discern and teach them, because he has the mind of Christ, 15, 16.

The apostle preached in the demonstration CHAP. II.

and

power of the Spirit.

A. M. 4060.

A. D. 56.
A. U. C. 809.
Anno Imp. Ne

A

to you,

came

[ocr errors]

ronis Cæs. 3.

ND I, brethren, when I came 3 And 'I was with you in weak- A. M. 4060. not withiness, and in fear, and in much 1. U.C. 809.

Anno Imp. Ne ronis Cas. 3. excellency of speech or of wis- trembling. dom, declaring unto you the testimony of 4 And my speech and my preaching 'was God.

not with 5 enticing words of man's wisdom, 2 For I determined not to know any thing but in demonstration of the Spirit and of among you, save Jesus Christ, and him cru- | power : cified.

5 That your faith should not stand in the

• Ch. 1. 17. ver. 4, 13. 2 Cor. 10. 10. & 11. 6.ch. 1. 6. Gal. 6. 14. Phil. 3. 8. La Acts 18. 1, 6, 12. _c 2 Cor. 4. 7. & 10. 1, 10. & 11. 30. & 12. 5, 9. Gal. 4. 13.

| Ver. 1. ch. I. 17. 2 Pet. 1. 16.--- Or, persuasible.- Rotn. 15. 19. 1 Thess. 1. 5. Gr. be.

[ocr errors]

NOTES ON CHAP. II.

ing preached to others, himself should be a castaway. Verse 1. When I came to you] Acting suitably to my | See chap. ix, 27. mission, which was to preach the gospel, but not with human An eminent divine has said, that it requires three things to eloquence, chap. i. 17. I declared to you the testimony,nake a good preacher ; study, temptation, and prayer. The the gospel of God; not with excellency of speech, not with latter no man that lives near to God, can neglect; the arts of rhetoric used by your own philosophers, where the former, no man who endeavours rightly to divide the word excellence of the speech recommends the matter, and com of truth, will neglect; and, with the second, every man will pensates for the want of solidity and truth ; on the con be more or less exercised, whose whole aim is to save souls. trary, the testimony concerning Christ and his salvation, Those of a different cast, the devil permits to pass quietly on, is so supremely excellent, as to dignify any kind of language in their own indolent and prayerless way. by which it may be conveyed. See the Introduction, sect. ii. Verse 4. And my speech] 'O 2070s Mou, my doctrine;

Verse 2. I determined not to know any thing among you] || the matter of my preaching. Satisfied that the gospel of God could alone make you wise And my preaching] To typurua jou my proclamation, unto salvation, I determined to cultivate no other know- my manner of recommending the grand but simple truths of ledge; and to teach nothing but Jesus Christ, and him cru- ll the gospel. cified, as the foundation of all true wisdom, piety, and Was not ieith enticing words of man's wisdom] Ev telbois happiness. No other doctrine shall I proclaim among you. arôowtims copias ngyons, with persuasive doctrines of human

Verse 3. I was with you in weakness] It is very likely wisdom: in every case I left man out, that God might become that St. Paul had not only something in his speech, very un the more evident. I used none of the means of which great farourable to a ready and powerful elocution; but also some orators avail themselves, in order to become popular, and infirmity of body, that was still more disadvantageous to thereby to gain fame. him. A fine appearance, and a fine voice, cover many weak But in demonstration of the Spirit ATGOEIÇer in the mani . nesses and defects, and strongly and forcibly recommend | festation; or as two ancient MSS. have it, amoxarve in what is spoken, though not remarkable for depth of thought, the revelation of the Spirit. The doctrine that he preached or solidity of reasoning. Many popular orators have little was revealed by the Spirit :--that it was a revelation of the besides their persons and their voice to recommend them. | Spirit, the holiness, purity, and usefulness of the doctrine Lewis XIV. stiled Peter du Bosc, le plus beau parleur de son rendered manifest : and the overthrow of idolatry, and the royaume; the finest speaker in his kingdom: and, among conversion of souls, by the power and energy of the preachhis own people, he was stiled l’oruteur parfait ; the perfecting, was the demonstration that all was divine. The greater orator. Look at the works of this French protestant divine, part of the best MSS. Versions and Fathers, leave out the and you find it difficult to subscribe to the above sayings. adjective arbswirions man’s, before coçuas wisdom : it is posThe difficulty is solved, by the information that the person of sible that the word may be a gloss, but it is necessarily imM. Du Bosc was noble and princely ; and his voice, full, har-plied in the clause. Not with the persuasive discourses or monious, and majestic. Paul had none of these advantages, doctrines of wisdom ; i. e. of human philosophy. and yet idolatry and superstition fell before him. Thus God Verse 5. That your faith should not stand] That the illu. was seen in the work, and the man was forgotten.

mination of your souls, and your conversion to God, might In fear, and in much trembling.] This was often the state appear to have nothing human in it: your belief, therefore, of his mind; dreading lest he should at any time be un- ll of the truths which have been proposed to you, is founded, faithful, and so grieve the Spirit of God; or, that after hav- || not in human wisdom, but in divine power; human wisdom

« PreviousContinue »