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with God, v.9. and whom he plainly distinguishes from the body of the Church, viz. them ihat are called both Jews and Greeks, ch. 1. v. 25. by speaking of himself, Apollos, &c. in the first person, and of the body of the Church, in the second Person, saying, For ye see your calling, brethren, &c. ch. 1. v. 3, 26. When I came to you, ch. 2. V. I. I was with you, v. 3. I have fed you. ch. 3. V.2. Ye are yet carnal, v. 3. Who then iš Paul, and whe is Apollos, but Ministers by whom ye believed, v. s. For we are labourers together with God: ye are Gods husbandry, ye are Gods building, v. 9. And ac. cordingly, when he saies, God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit, he means only himself, Apollos, &c. who were immediately inspired Persons: so that tho' the Revelation here spoken of were an immediate Revelation only; yet it will not follow, that the whole Corinthian Church enjoyed it.
But, say they, the Apostle declares, that we have received the Spirit which is of God, v. 12. that is, we have received Information from, or the Revelation of, the Spirit. And since the Revelation the Apostle received was immediate, therefore, there being no difference in the Expression, they did all receive immediate Revelation from the Spirit; and if they received immediate Revelation, then all true Chrillians, even in these days do receive the same. But I answer, that St. Paul in that place, as I have already thewn, speaks not of the whole Church of Corinth, but only of himself, Apollos, &c. their inspired Guides, who received the truth immediately from Gods mouth. And accordingly it follows, which things also we Speak, v. 13. But who were the speakers? Why, Śt. Parl, Apollos, &c. And whom did they
speak to ? Why, to the Corinthian Church. Wherefore those of whom the Apostle there faies, that they had received the Spirit of God, are those who spake the things of God; and consequently not the whole Church of Corinth, who were not the speakers, but the hearers of the things of God.
Nay, this Text does rather prove, that a saving Christian Faith may be built upon bare mediate Revelation, than that God has resolved, and so difposed Matters, that it shall be always built upon immediate Revelation. For he that receives, and Spiritually discerns, the things of God, is a Spiritual Man, and has a Christian Faith. Now to what end did St. Paul, Apollos, &c. speak the things of God, v.13? Was it not, that Men might receive and spic ritnally difcern the things spoken by them? It lo, then a Man may build a Christian Faith upon the Apostles speaking the things of God, which is most certainly nothing more than a bare mediate Revelation of them. And if a Christian Faith in general may be lo built, then a saving Christian Faith may be fo built also; there being no dif. ference, as to the manner of that Revelation upon which 'tis built, between a Christian Faith in general, and a saving Christian Faith in particular. But to proceed,
The only remaining difficulty is in the 14th. and 15th. verses, wherein the Apostle faies, that the Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness unto him ; neither can be know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual, judgeth all things,
Now 'tis very true, that if the Spiritual Man in this place, who spiritually difcerns the things of
of the Spirit of God, be such a Person only as enjoys the benefit of the Spirit's immediaté Revesation; and by the advantage of immediate Revelation, discerns and knows the Truths of the Gofpel : then such a Person as does not enjoy the benefit of immediate Revelation, and for want of it cannot discern or know the Truths of the Gospel, is the Natural Man here fpoken of. Now the Natural Man here spoken of, or he that cannot discern or know the Truths of the Gospel, cannot have any Christian Faith at all; because the Truths of the Gospel are the Objects of a Christian Faith. And if he that does not enjoy the benefit of immediate Revelation, or the Natural Man here spoken of, cannot have any Christian Faith at all; then God has certainly resolved, and so disposed Matters, that a saving Christian Faith shall be always built upon immediate Revelation.
But, on the other side, if the Spiritual Man in this place, who spiritually discerns the things of the Spirit of God, be not such a Person only as enjoys the benefit of immediate Revelation; then these Words will by no means prove, that God has resolved, and so disposed Matters, that a saving Chri. ftian Faith shall be always built upon immediate Revelation. Because, tho' such a Spiritual Man as is here spoken of, may cnjoy the benefit of immediate Revelation (his admitting the Spirit's Revelation as sufficient proof, being that which denominates him a Spiritual Man; whether the Spirits Revelation which he admits, be mediate
immediate ) I say, tho' such a Spiri. tual Man as is here spoken of, may enjoy the benefit of immediate Revelation ; yet his being a Spiritual Man does not prove, suppose, or imply, that he does enjoy the benefit of immediate Revelati
on; because he may be a Spiritual Man without the Enjoyment of it. The whole Force there. fore of this Argument depends upon the determination of this fingle question, Whether the Spiritual Man here spoken of, be such a person only as enjoys the benefit of immediate Revelation, or no.
And this question has, in my Opinion, been fairly determined already For I have shewn, that the Spiritual Man here spoken of, is one who admits of the Spirit's Revelation, whether mediate or immediate, as sufficient proof of a doctrine, And consequently, 'tis possible for a person to be the Spiritnal Man here spoken of, altho' he do not enjoy the benefit of immediate Revelation.
If it be obje&ted, that the Spiritual Man does elsewhere signify such a Perfon as enjoys the benefit of immediate Revelation, and therefore it muft be so interpreted in this place ; I answer, that the Spiritual Man does indeed sometimes signify such a Person as enjoyes the benefit of immediate Revelation; but yet it does not folļow, that it must be so interpreted in this place. For there are in the Holy Scriptures very different Senses of this Phrase ; and that Sense of it, which fuits one Text, does not suit another. And ac, cordingly, tho' it does sometimes signify such a Person as enjoys the benefit of immediate Revelation, yet it does not follow that it must fo signify here ; not only because no reason can be aligned, why that signification rather than ano. ther, ought to be admitted here, but also because I have already shewn, that the Context requires a very different signification of it,
But farther, 'tis very observable, that whene. ver the Spiritual Man does signify such a Person as enjoys the benefit of immediate Revelation, it
then denotes not every true Christian in general, but some particular true Christians only, whose peculiar priviledge it is to be Spiritual Men in this sense, that is, to enjoy the benefit of immediate Revelation. This will appear very plainly, if we consider that the only Texts, wherein it can be pretended, that the Phrase is so used, are 1 Cor. 12. 1. and 1 Cor. 14. 37:
In the former of these Texts, according to our Translation, the Apostle faies, Now concerning fpiritual gifts, Brethren, I would not have you ignorant. But I had rather translate wei avopatirar, concerning Spiritual men. Because the Apostle begins in this, and continues in the two following Chapters, to treat of Spiritual Men, exhorting them to mutual Lore and Peace, and to the right use of thofe Gifts which the Holy Ghost had bestowed
upon and in the Conclusion of his Discourse concerning them, he delivers the latter of these Texts, saying, If any man think himself to be a prophet or (avou pickexós) Spiritual, let him acknowledge, that the things that I write unto you, are the Commandments of the Lord, that is, the Commandments of the Lord to those Spiritual Men, of whom, and their respective duties, he treats in these Chapters. Now 'tis manifest, that 'tis the very same Word which is used in both these Texts; and that it cannot but be understood of, and applied to, Men, and not Gifts, in the latter of them. And how reasonable is it then to interpret it after the same manner in the former of them ; fince in the one he is most certainly beginning that very Discourse, , which in the other he is concluding? Besides, the Spiritual Men seem to be the main subject of his Discourse in these three whole Chapters. 'Tis reafonable therefore to suppose, that when he solemnly,