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virtue than they are. As the strain of the argu- | for ever, yet love enters into the very nature of ment requires us to look to another state, to a the kingdom of God; binds society together; world where prophecy shall cease, and knowledge unites the Creator and the creature; and blends shall vanish away, so the same strain of argu- | the interests of all the redeemed, and of the mentation requires us to understand him as saying | angels, and of God into one. that faith, and hope, and love will subsist there; and that there, as here, love will be of more importance than faith and hope. It cannot be objected to this view that there will be no occasion for faith and hope in heaven. That is assumed
CHAPTER XIV. without evidence, and is not affirmed by Paul. He gives no such intimation. Faith is confidence | VER. 1. Follow after charity, and desire spiritual in God and in Christ; and there will be as much gifts; but rather that ye may prophesy. necessity of confidence in heaven as on earth. Indeed, the great design of the plan of salvation
a Eph. i. 13. o restore confidence in God among alienated! This chapter is a continuation of the subject creatures; and heaven could not subsist a moment commenced in chap. xii. and pursued through without confidence; and faith, therefore, must l chap. xiii. In chap. xii. Paul had entered on the be eternal. No society-be it a family, a neigh-discussion of the various endowments which the bourhood, a church, or a nation; be it mercantile, | Holy Spirit confers on Christians, and had shown professional, or a mere association of friendship that these endowments were bestowed in a diffe-can subsist a moment without mutual con- I rent degree on different individuals, and yet so as fidence or faith, and in heaven such confidence to promote in the best way the edification of the is in God must subsist for ever. And so of hope. church. It was proper, he said, (chap. xi. 31,) to It is true that many of the objects of hope will desire the more eniinent of these endowments, then be realized, and will be succeeded by posses and yet there was one gift of the Spirit of more ! sion. But will the Christian have nothing to value than all others, which might be obtained by hope for in heaven? Will it be nothing to expect all, and which should be an object of desire to all. and desire greatly augmented knowledge, eternal That was love; and to show the nature, power, enjoyment; perfect peace in all coming ages, and and value of this, was the design of the thirteenth the happy society of the blessed for ever? All chapter,-certainly one of the most tender and ! heaven cannot be enjoyed at once; and if there beautiful portions of the Bible. In this chapter 1 is any thing future that is an object of desire, the subject is continued with special reference to l there will be hope. Hope is a compound emotion, the subject of prophecy, as being the most valu.' made up of a desire for an object and an expecta able of the miraculous endowments, or the ex. tion of obtaining it. But both these will exist in traordinary gifts of the Spirit. heaven. It is folly to say that a redeemed saint In doing this, it was necessary to correct an will not desire there eternal happiness; it is erroneous estimate which they had placed on the equal folly to say that there will be no strong
power of speaking foreign languages. They expectation of obtaining it. All that is said, had prized this, perhaps, because it gave thera therefore, about faith as about to cease, and hope importance in the eyes of the heathen. And in as not having an existence in heaven, is said
| proportion as they valued this, they undervalued without the authority of the Bible, and in viola
Bible, and in viola- | the gift of being able to edify the church by tion of what must be the truth, and is contrary speaking in a known and intelligible language. to the whole scope of the reasoning of Paul here. | To correct this misapprehension, to show the reBut the greatest of these is charity. -Not because lative value of these endowments, and especially it is to endure the longest, but because it is the to recommend the gift of “ prophecy" as the more more important virtue; it exerts a wider influ- | useful and desirable of the gifts of the Spirit, was ence; it is more necessary to the happiness of the leading design of this chapter. In doing this, society; it overcomes more evils. It is the great Paul first directs them to seek for charity. He principle which is to bind the universe in har also recoinmends to them, as in chap. xii. 31, to mony, which unites God to his creatures, and his desire spiritual endowments, and of these endow. creatures to himself, and which binds and con
imself, and which binds and con- , ments especially to desire prophecy. (Ver. 1.! federates all holy beings with each other. It is, He then proceeds to set forth the advantage of therefore, more important, because it pertains to speaking in intelligible language, or of speaking society, to the great kingdom of which God is the so that the church may be edified, by the follox. head, and because it enters into the very concep- ing considerations, which comprise the chapter :tion of a holy and happy organization. Faith and 1. The advantage of being understood, and of hope rather pertain to individuals; love pertains to speaking for the edification of the church. (Ver. society, and is that without which the kingdom 2-5.) of God cannot stand. Individuals may be saved 2. No man could be useful to the church es. by faith and hope ; but the whole immense king- | cept he delivered that which was understood, any dom of God depends on love. It is, therefore, of more than the sound of a trumpet in times of var more importance than all other graces and endow would be useful, unless it were so sounded as to ments; more important than prophecy and mira | be understood by the army. (Ver. 6-11.) cles, and the gift of tongues and knowledge, | 3. It was the duty of all to seek to edify the because it will survive them all; more important church; and if a man could speak in an unknown than faith and hops, because although it may tongue, it was his duty also to seek to be able to co-exisi with them, and though they all shall live interpret what he said. (Ver. 12–15.)
| 18, 19.)
4. The use of tongues would produce embar- | speak foreign languages or to work miracles ; but rassment and confusion, since those who heard | they were to desire to be qualified to speak in a them speak would be ignorant of what was said, manner that would be edifying to the church. and be unable to join in the devotions. (Ver. 16, They would naturally, perhaps, most highly 17.)
prize the power of working miracles and of 5. Though Paul himself was more signally speaking foreign languages. The object of this endowed than any of them, yet he prized far more | chapter is to show them that the ability to speak highly the power of promoting the edification of in a plain, clear, instructive manner, so as to edify the church, though he attered but five words, if the church and convince sinners, was a more li they were understood, than all the power which valuable endowment than the power of working he possessed of speaking foreign languages. (Ver. | miracles, or the power of speaking foreign lan
guages. On the meaning of the word prophecy, 6. This sentiment illustrated from the Old see Note, Rom. xi. 6. To what is said there on Testament. (Ver. 20, 21.)
the nature of this office, it seems necessary only i. The real use of the power of speaking fo to add an idea suggested by Prof. Robinson, (Gr. reign languages was to be a sign to unbelievers and Eng. Lexicon, Art. II poorns.) that the proan evidence that the religion was from God, and phets were distinguished from the teachers (oicánot to be used among those who were already okalı) “in that, while the latter spoke in a Christians. (Ver. 22.)
calm, connected, didactic discourse, adapted to 8. The effect of their all speaking with tongues instruct and enlighten the hearers, the prophet would be to produce confusion and disorder, and spoke more from the impulse of sudden inspirdisgust among observers, and the conviction that ation, from the light of a sudden revelation at they were deranged; but the effect of order, and the moment, (1 Cor. xiv. 30, á morálvo.n,) and of speaking intelligibly, would be to convince his discourse was probably more adapted, by and convert them. (Ver. 23-25.)
means of powerful exhortation, to awaken the 9. The apostle then gives rules in regard to feelings and conscience of the hearers.” The the proper conduct of those who were able to | idea of speaking from revelation, he adds, seems speak foreign languages. (Ver. 26–32.)
to be fundamental to the correct idea of the na10. The great rule was, that order was to be ture of the prophecy bere referred to. Yet the observed, and that God was the author of peace. communications of the prophets were always in (Ver. 33.)
the vernacular tongue, and were always in intel11. The apostle then gives a positive direction ligible language, and in this respect different from that on no pretence are women to be allowed to the endowments of those who spoke foreign lanspeak in the cburch, even though they should guages. The same truth might be spoken by claim to be inspired. (Ver. 34, 35.)
both; the influence of the Spirit was equally ne12. He then required all to submit to his au cessary in both; both were inspired; and both thority, and to admit that what he had spoken answered important ends in the establishment was from the Lord. (Ver. 36, 37.) And then, and edification of the church. The gift of
13. Concludes with directing them to desire to tongues, however, as it was the most striking and prophesy, and not to forbid speaking with tongues remarkable, and probably the most rare, was most on proper occasions, but to do all things in de highly prized and coveted. The object of Paul cency and order. (Ver. 38–40.)
here is, to show that it was really an endowment Follow after charity.- Pursue love (chap. xiii. of less value, and should be less desired by Chris1;) that is, earnestly desire it; strive to possess tians than the gift of prophetic instruction, or the it; make it the object of your anxious and con ability to edify the church in language intelligible stant solicitude to obtain it, and to be influenced and understood by all, under the immediate inby it always. Cultivate it in your own hearts, fluences of the Holy Spirit. as the richest and best endowment of the Holy Spirit, and endeavour to diffuse its happy influ Ver. 2. For he that speaketh in an unknown euce on all around you. And desire spiritual tongue;' speaketh not unto men, but unto God : gifts.- I do not forbid you, while you make the
foro no man understandeth him; howbeit in possession of love your great object, and while you do not make the desire of spiritual gifts the
the Spirit he speaketh mysteries. occasion of envy or strife, to desire the miracu 6 Acts x. 46. c Acts xxii. 9. d heareth. lous endowments of the Spirit, and to seek to excel in those endowments which he imparts. See For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue.Note, chap. xii. 31. The main thing was to cul- | This verse is designed to show that the faculty tivate a spirit of love. Yet it was not improper of speaking intelligibly, and to the edification of also to desire to be so endowed as to promote the church, is of more value than the power of their highest usefulness in the church. On the speaking a foreign language. The reason is, that phrase " spiritual gifts,” see Note, chap. xii. 1. however valuable may be the endowment in itself, But rather that ye muy prophesy.—But especially, and however important the truth which we may or particularly desire to be qualified for the office utter, yet it is as if he spoke to God only. No of prophesying. The apostle does not mean to one could understand him. Speaketh not unto say that prophecy is to be preferred to love or men.- Does not speak so that men can understand charity; but that, of the spiritual gifts which it was him. His address is really not made to men, proper for them to desire and seek, prophecy was that is, to the church. He might have this faculty the most valuable. That is, they were not most without being able to speak to the edification of earnestly and especially to desire to be able to the church. It is possible that the power of speaking foreign languages and of prophesying | practical duties of religion, and urges motives for s were sometimes united in the same person ; but a holy life. And comfort.- Encouragement. That it is evident that the apostle speaks of them as is, he presents the promises and the hopes of the different endowments, and they probably were gospel; the various considerations adapted to found usually in ditferent individuals. But unto | administer comfort in the time of trial. The God.--It is as if he spoke to God. No one could other might do this, but it would be in a foreign understand him but God. This must evidently language, and would be useless to the church refer to the addresses in the church, when Christians only were present, or when those only were VER. 4. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue , present who spoke the same language, and who
edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifiwere unacquainted with foreign tongues. Paul says that there that faculty would be valueless
eth the church. compared with the power of speaking in a man. Edifieth himself. That is, the truths wbich ner that should edity the church. He did not | are communicated to him by the Spirit, and undervalue the power of speaking foreign lan- which he utters in an unknown language, mas guages when foreigners were present, or when be valuable, and may be the means of strengthen.. they went to preach to foreigners. See ver. 22. ing his faith, and building him up in the hopes of It was only when it was needless, when all present the gospel, but they can be of no use to others. spoke one language, that he speaks of it as of His own holy affections might be excited by the comparatively little value. For no man under- truths which he would deliver, and the conscious standeth him.--That is, no man in the church, ness of possessing miraculous porers might excite since they all spoke the same language, and that his gratitude. And yet, as Doddridge has well language was different from what was spoken by remarked, there might be danger that a mari him who was endowed with the gift of tongues, might be injured by this gift when exercised in, as God only could know the import of what he | this ostentatious manner. said, it would be lost upon the church, and would be useless. Howbeit in the Spirit.-Although by VER, 5. I would that ye all spake with tongies, the aid of the Spirit, he should, in fact, deliver but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is' the most important and sublime truths. This
he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with would doubtless be the case, that those who were thus endowed would deliver most important
tongues, except he interpret, that the church truths, but they would be lost upon those who may receive edifying. heard them, because they could not understand
e Ver. 26. them. The phrase "in the Spirit,” evidently means “ by the Holy Spirit,” i. e. by his aid and I would that ye all spake with tongues. --* It is influence. Though he should be really under | an important endowment, and is not, in its place, the influence of the Holy Spirit, and though the to be undervalued. It may be of great service | important truth which he delivers should be im in the cause of truth, and if properly regulated parted by his aid, yet all would be valueless unless and not abused, I would rejoice if these extraci. it were understood by the church. He speaketh dinary endowments were conferred on all. I mysteries.- For the meaning of the word mystery, have no envy against any who possess it; no see Note, chap. ii. 7. The word here seems to opposition to the endowment; but I wish that be synonymous with sublime and elevated truth; it should not be overvalued ; and would wish to truth that was not before known, and that might exalt into proper estimation the more useful but be of the utmost importance.
humble gift of speaking for the edification of the
church.” Greater is he that prophesieth. - This gift Ver. 3. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto is of more value, and he really occupies a more men to edification, and exhortation, and com
elevated rank in the church. He is more useful.
The idea here is, that talents are not to be estiu! fort.
mated by their brilliancy, but by their usefulaese ! But he that prophesieth.--Note, ver. 1. He that The power of speaking in an unknown tongue speaks under the influence of inspiration in the was certainly a more striking endowment than common language of his hearers. This seems to that of speaking so as simply to be useful, and be the difference between those who spoke in yet the apostle tells us that the latter is the more foreign languages and those who prophesied. / valuable. So it is always. A man who is useful. Both were under the influence of the Holy Spirit; however humble and unknown he may be, really both might speak the same truths; both might occupies a more elevated and venerable rank than occupy an equally important and necessary place a man of most splendid talents and dazzling in the church ; but the language of the one was eloquence, who accomplishes nothing in saving intelligible to the church, the other not; the one the souls of men. Ercept he interpret.-However was designed to edify the church, the other to | important and valuable the truth might be which i address those who spoke foreign tongues, or to / he uttered, it would be useless to the church give demonstration, by the power of speaking | unless he should explain it in language when foreign languages, that the religion was from they could understand. In that case, the apostle God. Specketh unto men.-So as to be understood / does not deny that the power of speaking forein by those who were present. To edification. languages was a higher endowment and more Note, chap. x. 8, 23. Speaks so as to enlightenvaluable than the gift of prophecy. That the and strengthen the church. And erhortation.-See man who spoke foreign languages had the power Note, Rom. xii. 8. He applies and enforces the of interpreting, is evident from this verse. from
ver. 27, it appears that the office of interpreting weighty and important truths, yet, unless he inwas sometimes performed by others.
terpreted what he said, in a manner clear from
obscurity, like revelation, or intelligibly, and so Ver. 6. Now, brethren, if I come unto you
brou as to constitute knowledge; or in the manner
that the prophets spoke, in a plain and intellispeaking with tongues, what shall I profit you,
gible manner; or in the manner usual in simple except I shall speak to you either by revela and plain instruction, it would be useless to them. tion, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or The perplexi:ies of commentators may be seen by doctrine ?
stated in Locke, Bloomfield, and Doddridge. Ver. 26.
VER. 7. And even things without life giving Nou, brethren, if I come unto you, &c.—- The sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give truth which the apostle had been illustrating in
a distinction in the 6 sounds, how shall it be an abstract manner, he proceeds to illustrate by
known what is piped or harped ? applying it to himself. If he should come among thein speaking foreign languages, it could be of
g Or, tunes. no use unless it were interpreted to them. Speaking with tongues.-Speaking foreign languages;
Things without life. - Instruments of music.
Whether pipe.-- This instrument (aŭlòs) was that is, speaking them only, without any interpreter. Paul had the power of speaking foreign
usually made of reeds, and probably had a relanguages, (ver. 18 ;) but he did not use this
semblance to a flageolet. Or harp.—This instru
ment (Kızápa) was a stringed instrument, and was power for ostentation or display, but merely to
made in the same way as a modern harp. communicate the gospel to those who did not un
It derstand his native tongue. Either by revelation.
usually had ten strings, and was struck with the - Vacknight renders this, “ speak intelligibly;"
| plectrum, or with a key. It was commonly emthat is, as he explains it, “ by the revelation pe
| ployed in praise. Except they give a distinction culiar to an apostle.” Doddridge, “ by the re
in the sounds.-Unless they give a difference in relation of some gospel doctrine and mystery."
the tones, such as are indicated in the gamut for
music. How Locke interprets it, “that you might understand
shall it be known, &c.— That is. the revelation, or knowledge,” &c.; but says in
there would be no time, no music. Nothing a note, that we cannot now certainly understand
would be indicated by it. It would not be fitted the difference between the meaning of the four
to excite the emotions of sorrow or of joy. AU words here used. “It is sufficient,” says he,
music is designed to excite emotions ; but if " to know that these terms stand for some intel
there be no difference in the tones, no emotion ligible discourse tending to the edification of the
would be produced. So it would be in words ut
tered. Unless there was something that was church." Rosenmüller supposes the word “revelation" stands for some clear and open know
fitted to excite thought or emotion; unless what ledge of any truth arising from meditation.” It
was spoken was made intelligible, no matter how is probable that the word here does not refer to
important in itself it might be, yet it would be divine inspiration, as it usually does, but that it
useless. stands opposed to that which is unknown and unintelligible, as that which is revealed (à pokalúdic)
VER. 8. For if the trumpet "give an uncertain stands opposed to what is unknown, concealed, sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? hidden, obscure. Here, therefore, it is synony
h Num. X. 9. mous, perhaps, with explained. “ What shall it profit, unless that which I speak be brought out! For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound. of the obscurity and darkness of a foreign lan- | The trumpet was used commonly in war. It is guage, and uncovered or explained ?" The ori- a well-known wind instrument, and was made of final sense of the word “ revelation” here is, I brass, silver, &c. It was used for various pursuppose, intended, (átoralúdic, from å roka- | poses in war-to summon the soldiers; to animate AUTTW, to uncover,) and means that the sense them in their march; to call them forth to should be uncovered, i. e. explained, or what | battle; to sound a retreat; and to signify to was spoken could not be of value. Or by know- them what they were to do in battle, whether to edge.-By making it intelligible. By so explain- charge, advance, or retreat, &c. It therefore ing it as to make it understood. Knowledge employed a language which was intelligible to here stands opposed to the ignorance and obscu- an army. An uncertain sound was one in which nity which would attend a communication in a none of these things were indicated, or in which foreign language. Or by prophesying.-Note, it could not be determined what was required. Ver. 1. That is, unless it be communicated, Who shall prepare himself, &c.—The apostle sethrough interpretation, in the manner in which lects a single instance of what was indicated by the prophetic teachers spoke; that is, made in- | the trumpet, as an illustration of what he meant. telligible, and explained, and actually brought The idea is, that foreign tongues spoken in their down to the usual characteristics of communica- assembly would be just as useless in regard to tions made in their own language. Or by doc their duty, their comfort, and edification, as Inne.--By teaching, (@niax.) By instruction ; would be the sound of a trumpet when it gave in the usual mode of plain and familiar instruc one of the usual and intelligible sounds by which lon. The sense of this passage, therefore, is it was known what the soldiers were required to Clear. Though Paul should utier among them, do. Just as we should say, that the mere beatas he had abundant ability to do, the most ing on a drum would be useless, unless some tune
was played by which it was known that the sol- | VER. 11. Therefore if I know not the meaning diers were summoned to the parade, to advance, of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh or to retreat.
a barbarian : kand he that speaketh shall be a Ver. 9. So likewise ye, except ye utter by the barbarian unto me. tongue words i easy to be understood, how shall
* Rom. i. 14. it be known what is spoken? for ye shall The meaning of the roice.-Of the language speak into the air.
that is uttered, or the sounds that are made. I i Significant.
shall be unto him, &c.- What I say will be unie
telligible to him, and what he says will be unio. So likewise ye, &c.—To apply the case. If
telligible to me. We cannot understand one anyou use a foreign language, how shall it be
other any more than people can who speak diffeknown what is said, or of what use will it be,
rent languages. A burburian. - See Note, Rom, i. unless it is made intelligible by interpretation ?
14. The word means, one who speaks a diffeCtter by the tongue.-Unless you speak. Words
rent or a foreign language easy to be understood.-Significant words, (margin,) words to which your auditors are accus
V'er. 12. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealtomed. For ye shall speak into the air.--You will
ous of 'spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel not speak so as to be understood ; and it will be just the same as if no one was present, and you to the edifying of the church. spoke to the air. We have a proverb that re
Spirits. sembles this : “ You may as well speak to the winds ;" that is, you speak where it would not Eren so ye.—Since you desire spiritual gifts. I be understood, or where the words would have may urge it upon you to seek to be able to speak no effect. It may be observed here, that che in a clear and intelligible manner, that you may practice of the papists accords with what the edify the church. This is one of the most valaapostle here condemns, where worship is con able endowments of the Spirit; and this should ducted in a language not understood by the be earnestly desired. Forasmuch as ye are zelo people; and that there is much of the same kind | ous. Since you earnestly desire. Note, chap. of speaking now, where unintelligible terms are xii. 35. Spiritual gifts. The endowments code used, or words are emploved that are above the | ferred by the Holy Spirit. Note, chap. xii. l. comprehension of the people ; or where doctrines Seek that ye may ercel, &c.—Seek that you may are discussed which are unintelligible, and which be able to convey truth in a clear and plain manare regarded by them without interest. All ner; seek to be distinguished for that. It is one preaching should be plain, simple, perspicuous, / of the most rare and valuable endowments of the and adapted to the capacity of the hearers. Holy Spirit. VER. 10. There are, it may be, so many kinds Ver. 13. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an
of voices in the world, and none of them is unknown tongue, pray that he may interpret. without signification.
Pray that he may interpret.-Let him ask of There are, it may be, &c.- There has been God ability that he may explain it clearly to the considerable variety in the interpretation of this church. It would seem probable that the power : expression. Rosenmüller renders it, “ for the of speaking foreign languages, and the power of sake of example.” Grotius supposes that Paul conveying truth in a clear and distinct manner. | meant to indicate that there were, perhaps, or were not always found in the same person, and might be, as many languages as the Jews sup that the one did not of necessity imply the other. posed, to wit, seventy. Beza and others sup-| The truth seems to have been, that these extrapose it means, that there may be as many lan ordinary endowments of the Holy Spirit were guages as there are nations of men. Bloomfield bestowed on men in some such way as ordinary renders it, “ Let there be as many kinds of lan talents and mental powers are now conferred; guages as you choose." Macknight, “ There and that they became in a similar sense the chaare, no doubt, as many kinds of languages in the racteristic mental endowments of the individual. world as ye speak.” Robinson (Lex.) renders it, and of course were subject to the same laws, and “ If so happen, it may be; perchance, perhaps ;" | liable to the same kinds of abuse, as mental De and says the phrase is equivalent to “ for ex dowments are now. And as it now happens that ample. The sense is, “ There are perhaps, or for example, very many kinds of voices in the
one man may have a peculiar faculty for acquire world; and all are significant. None are used |
ing and expressing himself in a foreign languee by those who speak them without meaning; none
| who may not be by any means distinguished for speak them without designing to convey some ideas in an in
out meaning ; none | clear enunciation, or capable of conveving his
to convey some ideas in an interesting manner to a congregatio, idea to their hearers." The argument so it was then. 18, that as all the languages that are in the world. I such, if any there were, instead of pricing!
The apostle, therefore, directs nowever numerous they are, are for utility, and I selves on their endowments, and instead of as none are used for the sake of mere display, so I speaking in an unknown tongue, wak It should be with those who had the power of useless to the church, to pray for the w
ng in an unknown tongue, which wonld be speaking them in the Christian church. They
to the church, to pray for the more use
ful gift of being able to convey their tholl mem only when and where they , a clear and intelligible manner in their vernac
| lar tongue. This would be useful. The truths,
should speak them only when and where they | a clear al would be understood. Voices.--Languages.