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one that hath, shall be given, and he 66 shall have abundance : but from him " that hath not, shall be taken
away “ even that which he seemeth to havek."
k Matth. xiii. 12. XXV. 29. and Luke viii. 18.
Comparing spiritual things with spiritual. THE farther we advance in the investigation of Scripture truth, the more clearly shall we perceive that a right interpretation of it depends principally upon a due reverence for Scripture itself, as the work of Divine Inspiration.
Whatever aids we may collect from other sources, they are subordinate, in point of authority, to the work on which they are employed. Hence arises, independently of other considerations, the importance of the rule given in the text, that of “ “ paring spiritual things with spiritual.”
The design of the Apostle in laying down this maxim, is discoverable from the context. Throughout the chapter he la
bours to convince the Corinthians, that if they would rightly appreciate his doctrine, they must not judge of it by “ the spirit “ of the world," nor reduce it to the standard of " man's wisdom:"—that is, they were not to suppose the extent of Divine Revelation to be limited by what the mind of man is naturally able to discern ;-but were to regard what was preached, as proceeding from the Fountain of infinite Wisdom, and relating to truths, which could not “ have entered “ into the heart of man,” unless supernaturally imparted to him. Hence he infers, that whatever difficulties might .present themselves respecting detached parts of this Divine system, they were to be obviated, not so much by reference to what is known independently of Revelation, as by what may be collected from the Sacred Word. - The natural man,” says he, 6 receiveth not the things of the Spirit of “ God; for they are foolishness unto him: " neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned !.” Not that the mind of man is physically incapable of apprehending such truths, when propounded to him; nor that it requires some special illumination of the understanding to enable him to discern the terms of the propositions laid before him in Holy Writ; -but that these truths are not naturally to be discovered, even by the greatest exertion of his intellectual faculties. They cannot be known until revealed by the Spirit of God: nor will they perhaps even then be fully and readily received, but by the effect of the same Spirit in subduing the pride and the corrupt affections of the human heart.
bi Cor. ii. 13.
a I Cor. ii. 12. c1 Cor. ii. 9.
Upon the same grounds, we may also argue, that the full and clear Interpretation of these truths does not so much depend upon principles unconnected with the subjects of Revealed Religion, or not recognized in Sacred Writ, as upon reasoning from Scripture itself, the prime source of intelligence respecting the matters of which it treats. It is to be ob