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yxel with a dative Cafe is used by the Septuagint in this fenfe.
v. 14. But, tho' we preach these Gospel Truths, and tho' the Spirit confirms what we fay,by enabling us to work Miracles; yet all Perfons do not embrace our Doctrine. For the Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, or will not affent to thofe Truths which the Spirit reveals by us. Nay, he defpifes our Doctrines, for they are foolishness unto him; that is, he accounts them foolish, because they are proved by Revelation only, and not by Philofophy, which he takes to be the only Wif dom. And therefore he is, and muft be, wholly a ftranger to the things of God; neither can be know them, because they are spiritually difcerned, or known by the Revelation of the Spirit. And confequently he that will not admit of the Spirits Tcftimony as fufficient Proof, muft needs be ignorant of thofe Truths which cannot otherwise be learnt.
V. 15. But he that is fpiritual, or admits the Teftimony of the Spirit as fufficient Proof, and believes what the Spirit teaches; (vaxeives) judgeth, or difcerneth and knoweth, all the things of God. But yet, tho' this fpiritual Perfon knows all Gospel Truths, yet he himself (åvaxpíveta.) is judged, discerned or known, of no Man; that is, tho' he knows and can prove the truth of the Gofpel Doctrines, because he believes the Spirits Revelation, and deduces the Evidence of them from thence; yet what he believes, can be judged of, difcerned and known, by no Man, who does not admit of, and argue upon, the fame Principles.
That the Natural Man in this place does fignify fuch a Perfon, as believes nothing but what is proved by mere Natural Reason, and therefore will
not affent to thofe Truths which the Spirit reveals; I skall make appear by this one fhort and plain Argument. 'Tis manifeft, that the Natural Man in this place, is that Perfon to whom the Things of God, or the Truths of the Gospel revealed by the Spirit, are foolishness. For the Apoftle exprefly faies, that the Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolifbness unto him. Now that Man, to whom the Truths of the Gofpel are foolishness, is the unbeliever, who will not affent to what the Spirit reveals, and believes nothing but what is proved by mere Natural Reafon. For the Apostle tells us, that the preaching of the Cross (or the Gospel) is to them that perish, foolishness, chap. 1. v. 18. and unto the Greeks (that is, the unbelieving Greeks) foolishness, v. 23. Since then the Natural Man in this place, is that Perfon to whom the Gospel is foolishness; 'tis evident, that the Natural Man is the Unbeliever, who will not affent to what the Spirit reveals, and believes nothing but what is proved by mere Natural Reafon. Because he to whom the Gofpel is foolishness, is the Unbeliever, who will not affent to what the Spirit reveals, and believes nothing but what is proved by mere Natural Reafon.
And fince the Spiritual Man is here opposed to the Natural Man; therefore, fince the Natural Man is the Unbeliever, who will not affent to what the Spirit reveals, and believes nothing but what is proved by mere Natural Reafon; it most plainly follows, that the Spiritual Man is the Believer, who does affent to what the Spirit reveals, and believes more than can be proved by mere Natural Reafon.
And fince the difference between the Natural and the Spiritual Man, is this, that the one does, and the other does not, know or difcern the Things of God, or the Truths of the Gofpel; therefore by the Truths of the Gofpel being Spiritually dif cerned or known, we must understand their being known or difcerned, by the Revelation of the Spirit. Because this is plainly the difference between the Natural and the Spiritual Man, that the one does know or difcern the Truths of the Gospel by the Revelation of the Spirit; because he admits the Spirits Revelation as fufficient Proof: but the other does not know or difcern the Truths of the Gofpel by the Revelation of the Spirit; because he rejects the Spirits Revelation, and does not re gard or believe what the Spirit teaches.
If it be objected, that (is) the Natural, and (das) the Spiritual Man, do not fignifie, as I have explained them, in any other place of the New Teftament; I answer, that thofe words are feldom found in all the New Teftament, and that when they are found, they are used in fenfes manifeftly dif ferent. Wherefore 'tis no wonder, if that fenfe of them which I contend for here, cannot be confirmed by a parallel place. But then it must be confidered, that the way to afcertain thofe other fignifications of them, is by confidering the Context; and therefore the Confideration of the Context here is as good an Argument for that fenfe, which I have here given them; as the Confideration of the Context elsewhere is for their fignifying otherwife there. And 'tis unreafonable to deny that fignification of a word which the Context requires, upon no other pretence, but because it cannot be matched with another inftance,
I fhall add, that it can't be expected, that the E Heathen
Heathen Authors fhould acquaint us with this ufe of those words; but the Ancient Chriftian Writers frequently do. This appears from the Comments of St. Chryfoftom, Theodoret, Theophylact and Oecumenius upon the place; and (not to mention other Authorities which might be alledged) from that account which Antiquity gives us of the (a) Montanifts, who affum'd to themselves the title of Spiritual Men, because they received the Revelation of Montanus; and called the Orthodox Natural Men, because they rejected it. I confefs these Appellations were ill grounded, because the Revelation of Montanus not being Divine, deserved no credit; but yet this inftance fully proves what I alledge it to confirm, viz. that the name of a Spiritual or Natural Man did in their opinion denote a Perfon, who received or rejected a Divine Revelation. And this is that very Notion of a Natural and Spiritual Man, which I am perfuaded, the Apoftle here intended. And furely, tho' we give no credit to the Doctrine of the Montanifts, yet their usage of a Phrase may guide us to the fignification of it.
Thus then have I explained that whole Paffage, by diverse Expreffions of which our Adverfaries endevor to prove, that God has refolved, and fo difpofed matters, that a faving Christian Faith shall be always built upon immediate Revelation.
(a) Tertullian, when a Montanift, faies, Penes nos autem, quos fpirituales merito dicifacit agnitio fpiritualium charifmatum, &c. de Monogamia, cap. 1. p. 670. Colon. Agrip. 1617. Pfychicis non recipientibus fpiritum, ea que funt fpiritus (viz. the Contents of Montanus his Revelation) non placent, Ibid. which words plainly allude to what St. Paul faies, 1 Cor, 2.14.
fhall now confider thofe Arguments which they build upon fome particular Expreffions.
In the first place then, they tell us, that the Apoftle, who had, without all doubt, an immediare Revelation of the things of God, fays, God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit, v. 10. And because there is no difference made in the Expreffion, therefore his words imply, that the whole Church of Corinth, to whom he writes, and of whom he speaks as well as of himself, had an immediate Revelation of the Truths of the Gofpel. And if the whole Church of Corinth had an immediate Revelation of the Truths of the Gofpel, then every true Chriftian in thefe daies must have the fame kind of Revelation to build his Faith on, there being as much reafon for our enjoying it now, as there was for other Chriftians enjoying it in former times. Now I fhall not difpute, whether, upon fuppofition that the Ancient Chriftians, particularly thofe at Corinth, did every one of them enjoy immediate Revelation, it will unavoidably follow, that every true Chriftian in these daies muft enjoy the fame. This, I fay, I fhall not difpute, because the fuppofition is falfe and groundless.
For St. Paul does not there fpeak of the whole. Church of Corinth, much lefs of all the Ancient Chriftians, but only of himfelf, Apollos, &c. who were immediately infpired Perfons. For, faies he, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect, v. 6. and we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, v.7. and which things also we speak, V. 13. Thefe Expreffions do certainly relate only to himself, Apollos, &c. of whom he faies in the foregoing Chapter, we preach Christ crucifyed, v. 23. and in the following Chapter, we are labourers together