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so much ostentation as use: and yet, behold, I am now, in the sequel, propounding to you a more excellent way than all these, even the way of Charity, which is most worthy of your pursuit.
XIII. 1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Though I speak in never so great variety of languages, though I speak never so excellently and divinely, and have not Charity, the noise that I make is no better than that of a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal, which fills the ear to little purpose.
XIII. 2. And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains.
And, though I have never so strong a faith, so as that I could remove mountains.
XIII. 8. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be, &c.
Charity is a during and perpetual grace; and, where it is truly rooted in the heart, never faileth; whereas other gifts, and tongues, and prophecy, and knowledge, at last vanish
XIII. 9. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. For this knowledge, which we now have, is but weak and imperfect; and our prophesying is, accordingly, full of infirmity.
XIII. 10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
But, when we once attain to that heavenly perfection of knowledge, which we shall once enjoy in heaven, then all these our weak and imperfect apprehensions shall cease, and give
XIII. 11. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Even as it is with us, in our several ages: when I was a child, I spake as a child, and understood as a child, and thought as a child; but now, when that I am become a man, I meddle no more with those childish words, gestures, actions, and they are now to me as if they had never been so shall it be with us, in that our future state of glory, compared with the present: now, we are mere children in our desires and apprehensions; then, we shall be of full and perfect stature: all the thoughts and conceits of this our present childishness shall then be passed and gone; and perfection of all grace and heavenly knowledge shall come in the room of them.
XIII. 12. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then
face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Now, all the knowledge that we have of God is dim and dark, as a man that looks in a glass sees there but the image or resemblance and representation of the thing seen, and not the thing itself; but then, we shall see him clearly and immediately, even as we now see each other in the face, and not in the glass: so shall we see him then: now, I know but in part; but then, I shall know God in the same manner that I am known, fully, according to the capacity of a finite creature, and clearly.
XIII. 13. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
And now, whereas there are three main graces, which we must chiefly labour for in all our lives, Faith, Hope, and Charity, the greatest of them all is Charity.
XIV. 1. Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
Follow then principally after Charity; but yet also desire other spiritual gifts: but, of all the rest, let it be your chief desire, that ye may be enabled by the Spirit of God to teach and declare those things, which may be to the edification of the Church.
XIV. 2. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
The gift of tongues, though it be excellent, yet is not comparable with this: for he, that speaketh in an unknown tongue, only God and himself understands what he saith; and therefore he speaks not to men at all, at least it is all one as if he spake not, but unto God who understands him; although perhaps, in his own sense and understanding, he speaks of deep and high matters, and such as might be well worthy to be understood of others.
XIV. 3. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
But he, that teacheth and explaineth God's will to his people, speaketh unto men; and that to singular purpose, to edify them in knowledge, and to stir them up with exhortation, and to raise them up with comfort.
XIV. 6. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by
Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you? Surely, nothing at all; neither shall ye receive any good at all by my labours, except I speak unto
your understanding by a clear revelation of God's holy mysteries on my part, and by knowledge on yours; except I speak by way of prophesying and exposition on my part, and by learning on yours.
XIV. 10. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them are without signification.
There is a number of several sounds of voices in the world; which are significant to those, which are acquainted with them, but to others seem strange and useless notes; and there is no voice that can be uttered, but it is, somewhere, of some signification.
XIV. 11. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
Therefore, if I hear a man speak such words as whose meaning I do no way understand, I am as a mere Barbarian to him that speaketh them, and he that speaks them is a Barbarian to me; because we understand not each other.
XIV. 12. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
So then, forasmuch as ye Corinthians are zealously desirous of spiritual gifts, labour not so much for those endowments, which may make you admired of men, as for those which may enable you to edify the Church of God.
XIV. 13. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
Wherefore, let him, that hath the supernatural gift of strange tongues, pray to God, that he would give him ability to interpret the Scriptures; so as he may improve his tongues to the good of many.
XIV. 14. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
And, as it is in preaching, so in praying also: if I pray in unknown tongue, my will, in the general drift thereof, is devout; and the extraordinary gift of the Spirit puts words into my tongue; but my understanding is not at all benefited.
XIV. 15. What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with understanding also: I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with understanding also.
What should I do then? I will pray with the general good intention of my will, and the language which the Spirit gives me; and I will pray with the understanding of the words wherein I pray I will sing with general devotion of my will, and I will sing with the understanding also.
XIV. 16. Else when thou shalt bless with the Spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks &c.?
Else, when thou shalt bless in that unknown language which the Spirit speaks by thee, how shall those, that are ignorant and unlearned in that tongue, say Amen to thy prayers or thanksgivings, seeing he understands not what thou sayest?
XIV. 20. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
Brethren, be not children in your judgment and understanding; that you should childishly make ostentation of the gift of those tongues, which others understand not: but, in respect of a harmless simplicity and freedom from malice, be ye as children.
XIV. 21. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
In the Old Testament, God tells his people, by his prophet Isaiah, that he would speak unto them by men of other languages; meaning the Chaldeans, whose different tongue is threatened for a punishment unto the Jews: notwithstanding which judgment, he complains that they would not hear and obey him.
XIV. 22. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
Wherefore this strange tongue was threatened as a plague to his people; there is no reason then, that we should glory in that, which was menaced for a judgment unto our forefathers: and these strange tongues, we know, which are now given, were intended for another use, even to be for a sign of the marvellous power of God's Spirit, for the conviction of those that believe not the Gospel, and not so much for the benefit of those that do believe already; but prophesying, or interpreting of the Scriptures, serves not for infidels, which believe not, but for Christians that are already converted to the faith.
XIV. 24, 25. But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
But if ye all prophesy, and interpret the Scriptures, by course; and there come in one, that believeth not, or is ignorant; he is met with and convinced by every one of you, and finds himself censured by each of you: And, by this means, are the secret wickednesses of his heart discovered; and he, in an humble and earnest remorse on the one side, and admiration of God's gifts on the other, falling down on his face, will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth, and speaks by you.
XIV. 26. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together,
every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
What then, my brethren, is to be done? when ye come together, let every one of you, who is endued with any special gift, make use of it to the benefit of the Church; whether he have some divine hymn or psalm, which he hath composed to stir up the hearts of the people; or whether he have some wholesome doctrine prepared to deliver unto them; or whether a revelation from God, of some future occurrence necessary to be foreknown; or some interpretation of any obscure place of Scripture; let all things be so done, as may most edify.
XIV. 27. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
If, in your meetings, there be occasion of speaking unknown tongues, let only two or three be appointed to speak by course, one after another; and let one be appointed to interpret, and render in a known tongue, what they deliver.
XIV. 29. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
Let those, that preach, and expound the Scriptures, speak two or three, by course one after another, in your public meetings; and let the other preachers judge.
XIV. 32. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
And the spirits of the teachers are subject to the trial and judgment of other teachers; which only can and may examine those points which they deliver, whether they be consonant to the truth of God.
XIV. 33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
All may not take upon them, either to teach or judge: this were to make a confusion in the Church; and God is the author, not of confusion, but of peace; and gives by us these holy and meet orders to be observed, not amongst you only, but in all the Churches every where.
XIV. 35. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
And if they have any doubts or questions to propose, let them not do it publicly, in the congregation; but let them ask their husbands privately, at home: for it doth not agree with the modesty of women, to speak in the public assembly.
XIV. 36. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
It is not for you, Corinthians, to stand stiffly upon your own customs and factions; or to think it fit that others should