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ouyrelow with a dative Case is used by the Septuagint in this sense.
V. 14. But, tho’we preach these Gospel Truths, and tho' the Spirit confirms what we say,by enabling us to work Miracles; yet all Persons do not embrace our Doctrine. For the Natural Man receiveth mos the things of the Spirit of God, or will not affent to those I ruths which the Spirit reveals by us. Nay, he despises our Doctrines, for they are foolishness unto bim; that is, he accounts them foolish, because they are proved by Revelation only, and not by Philosophy, which he takes to be the only Wis dom. And therefore he is, and must be, wholly a stranger to the things of God; neither can be know them, because they are spiritually difcerned, or known by the Revelation of the Spirit. And consequently he that will not admit of the Spirits Te. stimony as fufficient Proof, must needs be ignorant of those Truths which cannot otherwise be learnt.
V. IS: But he that is spiritual, or admits the Testimony of the Spirit as sufficient Proof, and believes what the Spirit teaches ; (ávexeive judgeth, or discerneth and knoweth, all the things of God. But yet, tho' this spiritual Person knows all Gospel Truths, yet he himself (áraxpiretes) 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, discerned and known, by no Man, who does not admit of, and argue upon, the fame Principles.
That the Natural Man in this place does signify such a Person, as believes nothing but what is proved by mere Natural Reason, and therefore will
not afsent to those Truths which the Spirit reveals; I skall make appear by this one short and plain Argument. 'Tis manifest, that the Natural Man in this place, is that Person to whom the Things of God, or the Truths of the Gospel revealed by the Spirit, are foolishness. For the Apostle expresly faies, that the Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him. Now that Man, to whom the Truths of the Gospel are foolishness, is the unbeliever, who will not assent to what the Spirit reveals, and believes nothing but what is proved by mere Natural Reason. For the Apostle tells us, that the preaching of the Cross (or the Gospel) is to them that perish, foolishness, chap. I. v. 18. and unto the Greeks (that is, the unbelieving Greeks) foolishness, v. 23. Since then the Natural Man in this place, is that Person 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 Reason. Because he to whom the Gospel is foolishness, is the Unbelieve er, who will not assent to what the Spirit reveals, and believes nothing but what is proved by mere Natural Reason.
And since the Spiritual Man is here opposed to the Natural Man; therefore, since the Natural Man is the Unbeliever, who will not affent to what the Spirit reveals, and believes ncthing but what is proved by mere Natural Reason; it most plainly follows, that the Spiritual Man is the Believer, who does assent to what the Spirit reveals, and believes more than can be proved by mere Natural Reason.
And since the difference between the Natural and the Spiritual Man, is this, that the one does, and the other does not, know or discern the Things of God, or the Truths of the Gospel; therefore by the Truths of the Gospel being Spiritually dif cerned or known, we must understand their being known or discerned, 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 discern the Truths of the Gospel by the Revelation of the Spirit; because he admits the Spirits Revelation as sufficient Proof: but the other does not know or discern the Truths of the Gospel by the Revelation of the Spirit; because he rejects the Spirits Revelation, and does not regard or believe what the Spirit teaches.
If it be objected, that (vozosòs) the Natural, and (tuowpatxos) the Spiritual Man, do not signifie, as I have explained them, in any other place of the New Testament; I answer, that those words are feldom found in all the New Testament, and that when they are found, they are used in senses manifestly different. Wherefore 'tis no wonder, if that sense of them which I contend for here, cannot be confirmed by a parallel place. But then it must be considered, that the way to ascertain those other significations of them, is by considering the Context; and therefore the Consideration of the Context here is as good an Argument for that sense, which I have here given them; as the Consideration of the Con. text elsewhere is for their signifying otherwise there. And 'tis unreasonable to deny that signification of a word which the Context requires, upon no other pretence, but because it cannot be matched with another instance, I shall add, that it can't be expected, that the
Heathen Authors should acquaint us with this use of those words; but the Ancient Christian Writers frequently do. This appears from the Comments of St. Chryfoftom, Theodoret, Theophylałt 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) Montanists, who assum'd to themselves the title of Spiritual Men, because they received the Revelation of Montanus; and called the Orthodox Na. tural Men, because they rejected it. I confess these Appellations were ill grounded, because the Revelation of Montanus not being Divine, deserved no credit; but yet this instance fully proves what I alledge it to confirm, viz. that the name of a Spiritual or Natural Man did in their opinion denote a Person, who received or rejected a Divine Revelation. And this is that very Notion of a Natural and Spiritual Man, which I am persuaded, the Apostle here intended. And surely, tho' we give no credit to the Doctrine of the Montanists, yet their usage of a Phrase may guide us to the signification of it.
Thus then have I explained that whole Passage, by diverse Expressions of which our Adversaries endevor to prove, that God has resolved, and so disposed matters, that a saving Christian Faith shall be always built upon immediate Revelation. I
(a). Tertullian, when a Montanist, faies, Penes nos autem, quos spirituales merito dici facit agnitio spiritualium charismatum, &c. de Monogamia, cap. 1. p. 670. Colon. Agrip. 1617. Psychicis non recipientibus fpiritum, ea que sunt spiritus (viz. the Contenis of Montanas his Revelation) non placeni, Ibid. which words plainly allude to what St. Paul laies, 1 Cor. 2.14.
shall now consider those Arguments which they build upon some particular Expressions.
In the first place then, they tell us, that the A postle, who had, without all doubt, an immediate Revelation of the things of God, says, God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit, v. 10. And because there is no difference made in the Expression, 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 im. mediate Revelation of the Truths of the Gospel. And if the whole Church of Corinth had an immediate Revelation of the Truths of the Gospel, then every true Christian in these daies must have the same kind of Revelation to build his Faith on, there being as much reason for our enjoying it now, as there was for other Christians enjoying it in former times. Now I Mall not difpute, whether, upon supposition that the Ancient Christians, particularly those at Corinth, did every one of them enjoy immediate Revelation, it will unavoidably follow, that every true Christian in these daies must enjoy the same. This, I say, I shall not dispute, because the supposition is false and groundless.
For St. Paul does not there fpeak of the whole Church of Corinth, much less of all the Ancient Christians, but only of himself, Apollos, &c. who were immediately inspired Persons. 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. These Exprellions do certainly relate only to himself, A. pollos, &c. of whom he saies in the foregoing Chapter, we preach Christ crucifyed, v. 23. and in the following Chapter, we are labourers together