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The Knowledge of Jesus Christ Preferable to All Others

The Knowledge of Jesus Christ Preferable to All Others

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV.WILLIAM BEVERIDGE, D.D.


1 COR. ii. 2.

" For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus
Christ, and him crucified."
BY REV.WILLIAM BEVERIDGE, D.D.


1 COR. ii. 2.

" For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus
Christ, and him crucified."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 06, 2014
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THE KOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST PREFERABLE TO ALL OTHER. BY REV.WILLIAM BEVERIDGE, D.D. 1 COR. ii. 2. " For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." IT having pleased our great Creator to endue us with such principles of reason and understanding, whereby we are capable of knowing himself, his will, his works, and all things necessary to our serving and enjoying him, and likewise to fill us at first with such knowledge, as much as we could hold ; although by the fall of our first parents our brains are shattered, and all our facul ties so disordered and out of tune, that now we actually know but very little, if any thing at all, as we ought ; yet, our capacities still remaining, we cannot but long to have them filled again. And hence it is, that all men naturally desire knowledge; and how much soever a man knows, he still desires to know more. And seeing no one man can possibly attain the knowledge of all things that are to be known, men seem to offer at making up that defect, by undertaking them seve rally ; some to find out one thing, and some another, according to their several tempers, inclinations, and circumstances ; and then to communicate their inven tions, for the increase of each other s knowledge. As 96 THE KOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST [SEEM. some are only for observing the phenomena, or outward appearance ; others are for prying into the secrets of nature, and the first principles by which every thing in its place acteth under God : some are for taking the
 
dimensions of the earth, and particular places in it ; others are for calculating the motions of the heavens, and those immense bodies that move or seem to move there. This man keeps close to his plain mathematical demonstrations ; another soars aloft among high meta physical notions and subtle speculations. One man is for searching into the mysteries of several arts, that have been invented and practised in the world; a second is for understanding the languages that are spoken in several nations ; a third is for learning how to put words and sentences so neatly or so cunningly together, as to make them the more pleasing to the ears, or more for cible upon the minds, of those who hear them. Thus I might instance in every thing that mankind is capable of knowing ; for, whatsoever it is, some or other are always employing their thoughts about it. And if a man finds out any thing which he did not know before, or if he doth but think he doth so, it is a mighty pleasure and satisfaction to his mind, because it tends towards the filling up that vacuum which was there, by reason of his not knowing so much as he was capable of. But there is one sort of knowledge which few people endeavour after, although it would do them more good, and therefore ought to be preferred before all the lan guages, arts, and sciences in the world besides, howso ever useful they may be in their respective places. What that is, I shall not undertake to determine, but leave that to one, whom we cannot but acknowledge to have known more than any one, or all of us here present put together; to one who had learned so much, that Festus thought " much learning had made him mad ." I mean St. Paul, who, by the inspiration and command of God himself, here tells the Corinthians, that he "determined not to know any thing among them, save 1 Acts xxvi. 24.
 
V.] PREFERABLE TO ALL OTHER. 97 Jesus Christ, and him crucified." Whereby he hath certified all men that, in his divinely-inspired judgment, this kind of knowledge so far exceeds all other, that none else deserves to be named with it. The occasion of the words was this : St. Paul having been some time before at Corinth, and there planted the Gospel among the inhabitants of that city, in the verse before my text he tells them what arts he had used, or rather what he had not used, in the doing it. "And I," saith he, "brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, de claring unto you the testimony of God." He had used neither rhetoric nor logic, neither elegancy of speech nor subtlety of argument, to persuade them to embrace the faith of Christ, but had only in plain terms declared to them the testimony which God had given of him. And having told them this, he acquaints them in my text with the reason why he took this course ; " For," saith he, " I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." This is the reason why he dealt so plainly with them, because he did not think it necessary, or intend, either to know himself, or to make known any thing else to them. The words may be understood both ways; but they both meet at last in this, that the knowledge of "Jesus Christ, and him crucified," is of itself sufficient to direct a man in the way to eternal life, and, there fore, is preferable to all other knowledge ; there being no other knowledge whatsoever that can do it without this ; but this will do it without any other : not that the knoM ledge of other things is altogether useless ; but that this only is necessary both for ministers to teach, and Christians, as such, to learn ; as comprising under it all things that can any way conduce to their being holy here, and happy for ever. Wherefore ye have no cause to complain when we

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