1 Corinthians 2:14-16
14. But the natural man 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.
14. Animalis autem homo non comprehendit quae sunt Spiritus Dei. Sunt enim illi stultitia; nec potest intelligere, quia spiritualiter diiudicantur.
15. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet himself is judged of no man.
15. Spiritualis autem diiudicat omnia, ipsc vero a neminc (vel, nullo) diiudicatur.
16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
16. Quis enim cognovit mentem Domini, qui adjuvet ipsum? nos autem mentem Christi habemus.
He returns to what he had previously touched upon, for his object is to remove a stumblingblock which might stand in the way of the weak -- that there were so many that despised the gospel. He shows that we ought to make no account of a contempt of such a nature as proceeds from ignorance, and that it ought, consequently, to be no hindrance in the way of our going forward in the race of faith, unless perhaps we choose to shut our eyes upon the brightness of the sun, because it. is not seen by the blind. It would, however, argue great ingratitude in any individual, when God bestows upon him a special favor, to reject it, on the ground of its not being common to all, whereas, on the contrary, its very rareness ought to enhance its value.5
But here it may be asked, who is
the spirit of one Prophet is subject to the other Prophets,
(1 Corinthians 14:32,)
is not at all inconsistent with this statement. For what is the design of that subjection, but that each of the Prophets listens to the others, and does not despise or reject their revelations, in order that what is discovered to be the truth of God,15 may at length remain firm, and be received by all? Here, however, he places the science of faith, which has been received from God,16 above the height of heaven and earth, in order that it may not be estimated by the judgment of men. At the same time
Who hath been God's counselor? Who hath weighed his Spirit,18 (Isaiah 40:13,)
or hath aided him both in the creation of the world and in his other works? and, in fine, who hath comprehended the reason of his works? Now, in like manner Paul, by this interrogation, designs to teach, that his secret counsel which is contained in the gospel is far removed from the understanding of men. This then is a confirmation of the preceding statement.
1 "Or l'homme naturel. A le traduire du Grec mot a mot, il y auroit l'homme animal;" -- "But the natural man. Rendering the Greek literally it means the animal man."
2 "Les facultes et graces;" -- "The faculties and gifts."
3 Beza's definition of the term is much similar -- "Homo non alia quam naturali animi luce praeditus;" -- "A man that is not endowed with anything more than the natural light of the mind." -- Ed.
4 "Anima" "the soul" corresponds to the Greek term
5 "D'autant qu'il est fait a peu de gens, d'autant doit-il estre trouue plus excellent;" -- "The fewer it is conferred upon, it ought to be accounted so much the more valuable."
6 "Et n'auoir point de goust;" -- "And has no relish."
7 "O quelle sagesse!" -- "O what wisdom!"
8 "Vn petit goust;" -- "A slight taste."
9 "The reader will find the Apostle's statement respecting the "natural man" commented upon at some length in the Institutes, volume 1. -- Ed.
10 Calvin obviously does not mean to deny that "all indiscriminately" are invited and warranted to "embrace salvation by faith." He says in the Harmony, volume 3, "For since by his word he [God] calls all men indiscriminately to salvation, and since the end of preaching is, that all should betake themselves to his guardianship and protection, it may justly be said that he wills to gather all to himself." His meaning is, that the will requires to be set free by the Spirit of God. -- Ed.
11 "En cest endroit" -- "In this matter."
12 "Pour estre ou n'estre point selon qu'il leur plaira;" -- "So as to be or not to be, according as it shall please them."
13 "Et foy;" -- "And faith."
14 "N'est point suiete au plaisir des hommes, pour estre ou n'estre point, selon qu'ils voudront;" -- "It is not subject to the pleasure of men, so as to be, or not to be, according as they shall choose."
15 "La pure verite du Seigneur;" -- "The pure truth of the Lord."
16 "Mais yci il establit et conferme la science de roy, laquelle les eleus recoyuent de Dieu;" -- "But here he establishes and confirms the science of faith, which the elect have received from God."
17 "Et expresse;" -- "And exact."
18 The expression made use of by Isaiah is, Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord? Our author, quoting from memory, seems to have had in his eye an expression that occurs in a preceding part of the same passage, "and weighed the mountains in scales." -- Ed.
19 Calvin, when alluding to this passage, as he evidently does in his Commentary on Romans 11:34, views the expression, We have the mind of Christ, as applicable to believers universally -- "Nam et Paulus ipso alibi, postquam testatus erat onmia Dei mysteria ingenii nostri captum longe excedere, mox tamen subjicit, fideles tenere mentem Domini: quia non spiritum hujus mundi acceperint, sed a Deo sibi datum, per quem de incomprehensibili alioqui ejus bonitate edocentur;" -- "For even Paul himself, in another place, after testifying that all the mysteries of God far exceed the capacity of our understanding, does nevertheless immediately add, that believers are in possession of the Lord's mind, because they have received not the spirit of this world, but that which has been given them by God, whereby they are instructed as to his otherwise incomprehensible goodness." -- Ed.