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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.
and soberly in a state of widowhood, than to
some in such circumstances feel.
11. But and if she she be withdrawn by her own rash and foolish
her side, let her be reconciled to [her | husband,
entirely cease. It shews therefore how un- c To those that are married.] The trans-
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 CORINTHIANS VII. 12.
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
him, notwithstanding the diversity of their reli-
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
otherwise your children, in these mixed cases,
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.
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
in as inoffensive a manner as possible, in all the
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.
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
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,
usefulness in such a calling than another.
instance, called into the church of Christ,
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
him a most implicit and universal obedience.
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