Obrazy na stronie

deavoured to form a useful work; and that he has put into the hands of many hundreds of serious persons the essence of a most valuable book, hitherto confined, in a great measure, to the studies of the learned; and which he humbly hopes will be instrumental of much spiritual information, edification, and comfort to the people of God.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]







Introductory Discourse.

THE apostle Paul, in his first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter the 12th, directs their exercise of SPIRITUAL GIFTS ; of which they had received an abundant measure, and concerning which they had consulted him; for the Lord "having much people in the city of Corinth," whom he intended to call, encouraged the apostle to go and preach there,-gave great success to the word, and furnished the first converts with such eminent and extraordinary gifts, as might be happily instrumental in the conversion of others. In the exercise of these gifts, several persons had conducted themselves improperly, and had abused them to the purposes of emulation and ambition. On the information of some, who, loving truth, peace, and order, were troubled on this account; and, in answer to a letter of the whole church, concerning these and other occurrences, he gives them his advice for the rectifying of such abuses; and to prepare their minds for instruction, by exciting humility and gratitude, he reminds them of their condition before they were converted to Christ.



know that you were Gentiles, carried away with dumb
idols, even as you were led,"-hurried with violent
impressions from the Devil into the service of idols.
This he mentions, not to reproach them, but to let
them know what frame of mind might be expected in
persons who had received such an alteration in their
condition. This alteration he further describes by the
author and effects of it: "Wherefore, I give you to
understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God
calleth Jesus accursed; and that no man can say that
Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." The great
dispute of the day was about Jesus. Unbelievers blas-
phemed, and said "Jesus was anathema." They look-
ed on him as a detestable person. Hence, on the men-
tion of him, they used to say "Jesus anathema !"-be
is, or let him be, accursed, detested! And this was once
the condition of the Corinthians themselves. On the
other hand, believers called Jesus LORD. They owned
him to be JEHOVAH," over all God blessed for ever;"
and they professed him to be their Lord,-the Lord of
their souls and consciences; as Thomas did in his great
confession" My Lord, and my God." Now, this
great change in the Corinthians was effected by the
Holy Ghost; for "
no man can say that Jesus is the
Lord," but by him. This expression includes both our
faith in him, and our profession of that faith; which
two, when sincere, always accompany each other; for
as saying that Jesus was anathema, comprised an open
disclaimure of him,-so the calling him Lord expresses
the profession of our faith in him, and subjection to
him; and that these are the works of the Holy Ghost,
which none of themselves are sufficient for, shall here-
after be fully declared.

Having thus stated the original and foundation of the church, he further informs them that the same Spirit is also the author of those gifts by which it was to be built up and enlarged. "Now, there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit ;" and to denote the unity of their Author, notwithstanding the diversity of the gifts, he calls him "the same Spirit, the same Lord, -the same God." As he is called The Spirit, to de


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »