Imágenes de páginas


as I.

But 9

And it is better to marry, than to burn. this manner, and ano- every man has his proper gift of God, one in this sect. ther after that.

xii kind, or manner, and another in that. So that though I give the best advice and example I can I Cor. I would not exalt myself on account of this v1.7.

attainment, nor despise those that have it not. 8 I say therefore to But as to unmarried men, who, like me, have s the unmarried and wi- buried their wives, and to the widows, I say, it them ifthey abide even is good for them, (if they conveniently can,) to

continue, as I do, in the widowed state.
9. But if they cannot if they have not attained to such a degree of tem-
ry; for it is better to perance, as to be easy in it, let them by all means
marry than to burn. marry. For though it be better to live calmly

and soberly in a state of widowhood, than to
marry, it is undoubtedly much better to marry
a second time, or a third, than to burn, and to be
tormented with those restless passions which

some in such circumstances feel.
10 And unto the But as to those that are married", [it is) not 10
married command, I (who] command but the Lord Jesus Christ
Let not the wife de himself, who enjoins, that the wife should not
part from her husband : withdraw herself from [her] husband : But if Il

11. But and if she she be withdrawn by her own rash and foolish
no married, or be re- act, let her not by any means contract another
conciled to her hus- marriage ; but remain unmarried, or rather, if
band: and let not the it may be accomplished by any sybinission on
husband pat away his

her side, let her be reconciled to [her | husband,
that they may, if possible, live in such an union
and harmonv as the relation requires. And let
not the husband dismiss this wife on any light
account, or indeed, for any thing short of adul.
tery. For whatever particular reasons Moses
might have, for permitting divorces on some
slighter occasions, Christ our great Legislator,
who may reasonably expect higher degrees of
purity and virtue in his followers, as their
assistances are so much greater, hath seen fit
expressly to probibit such separation, and we,
bis apostles, in our decisions upon this matter,
must guide ourselves by the authority of his de-



entirely cease. It shews therefore how un- c To those that are married.] The trans-
sair and improper it is, in various cases, lation, published by the English Jesuils,
to strain the apostle's words to the utmost at Bourdeaux, renders it, to those who are
rigour, as if he perpetually used the most united in the sacrament of marriage ; which
Critical exactness; but indeed chap. 1x. 22. I mention as one instance, selecied from
is so full an instance to the contrary, that a vast number, of the great dishonesty of
it is not necessary to multiply remarks of that translation.
this kind.

A 2


Reflections on the Apostle's observations about marriage.


The decisions of the holy apostle are here given with such gravity, seriousness and purity, that one would hope, delicate as the subject of them is, they will be received without any of that unbecoming levity which the wantonness of some minds may be ready to excite on such an occasion.

It becomes us humbly to adore the Divine wisdom and goodness

manifested in the formation of the first human pair, and in keeping Ver.

up the different sexes through all succeeding ages, in so just a 4 proportion, that every man might have his own wife, and every

woman her own husband : that the instinct of nature might, so far as it is necessary, be gratified without guilt, and an holy seed be sought, which being trained up under proper discipline and instruction, might supply the wastes that death is continually making, and be accounted to the Lord for a generation : that so virtue and religion, for the sake of which alone it is desirable that buman creatures should subsist, may be transmitted through every age, and earth become a nursery for heaven.

With these views, let marriages be contracted, when it is proper they should be contracted at all. Let none imagine the state itself to be impure ; and let it always be preserved undefiled. Let all occasion of irregular desire be prudently guarded against by those who have entered into it. And let all christians, in every relation, remember that the obligations of devotion are common to all; and that Christ and his apostles seem to take it for granted, that we shall be careful to secure proper seasons for fasting, as well as for prayer, so far as may be needful, in order that the superior authority of the mind over the body may be exercised, and maintained, and that our petitions to the throne of grace may be offered with greater intenseness, copiousness and ardour.


The apostle exhorts Christians not to break marriage on account of

difference in religion ; and urges, in the general, contentment with the stations in which they were called, and a concern to serve God in their proper condition, whether married, or single, bound or free. i Cor. VII. 12—24.



1 Cor. VII. 12. I! HAVE reminded you of the decision of Christ BUT to the rest speak xiii. .

with respect to the affair of divorce: now as If any brother hath a

to the rest of the persons and cases to which I wife that believeth not Cor.

and VII. 12. shall address myself, it is to be observed, that I



Marriage not dissolved by difference in religion.

7 and she be pleased to speak; according to what duty or prudence sect: dwell with him, let liim not put her away. be considered as if it were immediately spoken 1 Cor.

seems on the whole to require ; and it is not to
by the Lord. If any Christian brother hath an VII. 12.
unbelieving wife, and she consent to dwell with

him, notwithstanding the diversity of their reli-
13 And the woman gious persuasions, let him not dismiss her. And 13
which hath an husband

on the other hand, if any Christian wife have that believeth not, and if he be pleased to an unbelieving husband, and he consent to dwell dwell with her, let her with her, let her not dismiss hima, nor separate not leave him.

herself from bim, though the legal constitution

of the country in which she lives may allow
14 For the unbeliev- her to do it. Forin such a case as this, the un- 14
ed by the wife, and the believing husband is so sanctified by the wife, and
unbelieving wife is the unbelieving wife is so sanctified by the hus-
sanctified by the hus. band", that their matrimonial converse is as
band: else were your lawful as if they were both of the same faith :
children unclean; but
now are they holy.

otherwise your children, in these mixed cases,
were unclean, and must be looked upon as unfit
to be admitted to those peculiar ordinances
by which the seed of God's people are distin-
guished; but now they are confessedly holyo,
and are as readily admitted to baptism in all our
churches, as if both the parents were Christians;

so that the case you see, is in effect decided by 15 But if the unbe. this prevailing practice. Tlowever, if the unbe- 15 depart

. A brother ora lieving party, in such circumstances as these, be sister is not under bond- absolutely determined, and will depart, let him, age in such cases: but or her depart, and take the course they think

God best ; and the consequence is, that a brother, or

a sister, who hath been united to such a wife, or busband, in matrimonial bonds, is by such a conduct of a former partner, discharged from


a Let her not dismiss him.] I have else. who might be admitted to partake of the where observed, that in these countries, distinguishing rites of God's people. in the apostle's days the wives had a Compare Exod. xix. 6; Deut. vii. 6; power of divorce as well as the husbands. chap. xiv. 2; chap. xxvi. 19; chap.

b Is sanctified, &c.] Some thick the xxxiii. 3 ; Ezra ix. 2; with Isa. xxxv. 8; meaning is, “ the Christian may con- chap. lii. 1; Acts x. 28, 8c. And as vert the infidel ;” as appears, in that the for the interpretation, which so many of children of such marriages are brought our brethren, the Baptists, have contendup Christians. But this cannot possibly cd for, that holy signifies legitimate, and be the sense ; for that they were brought unclean illegitimate ; (not to urge that this up so, was not to be sure akrays fact, and seems an unscriptural sense of the word) where it was, there was no need of prov- nothing can be more evident, than that ing from thence the conversion of the pa- the argument will by no means bear it; rent, which would in itself be much more for it would be proving a thing by itself, apparent than the education of the child. idem per idem, to argue that the converse

¢ Now are they holy.) On thema of the parents was lawful, because the turest and most impartial consideration of children were not bastards; whereas all this text, I must judge it to refer to infant- who thouglii the converse of the parents baptism. Nothing can be more apparent unlawful, must of course think that the than that the word holy, signifies persons, children were illegitimate.

d As


I Cor.




The believing party may convert the unbelieving. SECT. future obligation, and is not in bondage in such God hath called us to

[cases.] But let it be always remembered, that peace.

God hath by his gospel called us to peace; and
VII. 15. therefore it ought to be our care, to behave

in as inoffensive a manner as possible, in all the
relations of life; that so, if there must be a
breach, the blame may not be chargeable upon

the Christian.
And as it is worth your while, to be very

16 For what kpowest ful in your behaviour to those who thus make, thou, O wife, whether

save thy as it were, a part of yourselves, that you may husband Or adorn the gospel you profess, by the most ami- knowest thou, O man, able and engaging conduct; for it is possible, whether thou shalt save the unbeliever inay be thereby gained to Chrisa thy wife ? tianity. Let each therefore reflect on his own concern in this observation. For how knowest thou, O wife, but thou mayest save (thine] husband? Or how knowest thou, 0 husband, but thou mayest save [thy) wife? And surely the everlasting bappiness of the person, now the companion of your life, will be more than an equiva

lent for all the self-denial to which you may be 17

required at present to submit. But if this should 17 But as God hatli not be the effect, it still becomes you to do your man, as the Lord hath


to every duty; and therefore since the providence of God called every one, so let is concerned in all these relations, and in the him walk : and so orsteps by which they were contracted, as God dain I in all churches. haih distributed to every one, and as it were, cast the parts of life, let every one so walk, even as the Lord hath called himd. This is the lesson I would inculcate on you Corinthians, and thus I command in all the churches, and charge it upon the consciences of men, as a lesson of the bighest

importance. 18 Is any one, for instance, called, being circum- 18 Is any man calcised, let him not become, so far as in him lies, let him not become

led being circumcised? Uncircumciscd e ; nor act, as if he were desirous, uncircumcised; is any as far as possible, to undo what was done by his man called in uncirJewish parents, or masters, in his infancy. Is cumcisiou? Let him

not become circumany one called to the fellowship of gospel-bles- cised. ings in uncircumcision let him not be solicitous to be circumcised, as if that rite were necessary to


d As the Lord hath called him.] This ing, the obligations they were under to a is a very pertinent digression, as it so faithful and affectionate discharge of their directly contradicts the notion which pre- correspondent duties. vailed among the Jews, that embracing e Become uncircumcised ] The word the true religion dissolved all the relations wicwartw, bas an evident relation to atwhich had before been contracted. Where., tempts, like those referred to, 1 Mac. i. 15, as the apostle here declares, that the gos- which it is not necessary more particularly pel left them in this respect, just as it to illustrate. found them ; increasing, instead of lessen.

f You

1 Cor.

In general, as God hath called every man, so let him walk. 9

his salvation, as the Jews, and some zealots sect. 19 Circumcision is amongst ourselves, have taught. For to speak xiit. nothing, and uncir, the important truth in a few plain words, Cirbut the keeping of the cumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is no-v11. 19. commandments of God thing ; the observation, or non-observation, of

the Mosaic law, will neither secure nor obstruct
our salvation ; but all depends upon keeping the
commandments of God. An obediential faith in
the Lord Jesus Christ, produced by the sanctify-
ing influences of bis Spirit on the heart, and
bringing forth the genuine fruits of holiness in
our temper and life, is the great concern: and
whether we be Jews, or Gentiles, circumcised,
or uncircumcised, we shall be happy, or miser-

able for ever, as we are careful or negligent with 20 Let every man regard to this. As for other matters, be not 20 abide in the same calexcessively concerned about them; but in whatcalled,

ever calling, that is, profession and circumstance,
any one of you was called, in that let him con-
tinue ; affect not to change without the clear
and evident leadings of Providence, as there is
generally greater reason to expect comfort and

usefulness in such a calling than another.
21 Art thou, called And I may apply this, not only to the different 21
not for it; but if thou employments, but relations in life, as well as
mayest be made free, diversity in religious professions. Art thou, for
use it rather.

instance, called into the church of Christ,
[being] in the low rank, not only of an hired
servant, but a slave? Do not so much regard it,
as, upon that account, to make thy life uneasy ;
but if thou canst, without any sinful method of
obtaining it, be made free, choose it rather; as
what is no doubt in itself eligible, yet not abso-

lutely necessary to the happiness of a good man. 22 For be that is For he that is called by the Lord to the Christian 22 called in the Lord, faith, [being] a servant or slave, is the Lord's Lord's freeman: like- freeman. Christ has made bim free indeed, in wise also he that is making him partaker of tbe glorious liberties of called, being free, is the children of God; (John viii. 36 ;) and on the Christ's servant.

other hand, he also that is called, [being] free
from the authority of any buman master, is still
the servant, the propertv of Christ, and owes

him a most implicit and universal obedience.
23 Ye are bonght But upon this head, remember, that as Chris- 23
with a price; be not tians, you were all bought with a most invaluable
ye the servants of men.
price: Christ hath redeemed you at the expence


f You were bought with a price. &c.] servitude ? Become not servants of men ; do Dr. Whitby would render it, “ Are ye not sell yourselves for slaves again.” It bought with a price, that is, redeemed from is indeed probable, that the apostle does


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