Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world…
Of the works of a famous alchymist of the thirteenth century, it is said that, "whoever would read his book to find out the secret would employ all his labour in vain." All the gold makers who have written upon their favourite mystery are in the like predicament, no one can comprehend what the secret is which they pretend to divulge. May we not shrewdly guess that if they had any secret to tell they would put it in intelligible language, and that their pompous and involved sentences are only a screen for their utter ignorance of the matter? When we hear preachers talking of Divine things in a style savouring more of metaphysical subtlety than of gospel plainness; when the seeking sinner cannot find out the way of salvation because of their philosophical jargon, may we not with justice suspect that the preacher does not know the gospel, and conceals his culpable ignorance behind the veil of rhetorical magniloquence? Surely if the man understood a matter so important to all his hearers as the way of salvation, he would feel constrained to tell it out in words which all might comprehend.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.