“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” [1 Corinthians 1:26-29]
I must not allow the Reader's attention to pass away from this most interesting view, which GOD, by the HOLY GHOST, hath given of the cross of CHRIST, as the power of GOD, and the wisdom of GOD; before that I have first called upon him to remark with me, what is also said of the LORD’S distinguishing grace in the holy calling. Every part of the Bible, indeed, is full to the same, for the whole is of electing love, from beginning to end. But here, the LORD the SPIRIT more especially calls upon the Church to notice it. The brethren, partaker's of the heavenly calling, are directed to behold it. And, while they are commanded to observe, that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called; they are no less taught from their own circumstances, to consider, that in their call, it was grace manifested to the foolish, and to the weak, and to the base things of the world. And, Reader! I beseech you to pause, and pass not away for a moment from the consideration of the Church of Corinth in those days, in which Paul sent this Epistle, and take home the same doctrine now, for it equally holds good in all ages of the Church. We have reason to bless GOD, that while he saith, not many are called from among the great, and noble, and wise men of the earth, that the LORD did not, say, not any. For, though but few, yet there have been some. In the days of CHRIST himself, we find Joseph, an honorable counselor, and Nicodemus among the rulers of the Jews. But, indeed, for the most part, we find the LORD’S people gathered from among the humbler walks in life, poor in worldly circumstances, as well as poor in spirit, made rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom. But it should be observed also, that the expressions here used by the Apostle, when he saith, that not many wise men, and mighty, and noble, are called, he adds to the term, not many wise men after the flesh; and the same after the flesh, is to be subjoined to the mighty and the noble. For their worldly wisdom, and their might, and their nobility, are all earthly. Not that wisdom which maketh wise unto salvation, neither that might which is founded in divine strength, neither that no bleness of soul which distinguisheth the Church of GOD. So, it like manner, the foolish things of the world, and the weak, and the base, which are Chosen, they are in worldly wisdom foolish, and it human policy weak, and in all their own attainments base and despised; but they are in spiritual things, both wise, and strong, and dignified. The HOLY GHOST by Peter, calls them, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people. And the LORD JESUS commended John to write them to the Churches, as made kings and priests unto GOD and his FATHER: 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6. Reader! may it be your happiness and mine; through grace, to be enabled to enter into the proper apprehension of those words by the Apostle, when he saith, For ye see your calling, brethren!