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The Apostle would not be under the Power even of lawful Things.
Whereas some among the newly converted Corinthians, might
not be sufficiently sensible of the Enormity of the Sin of Fornication, the Apostle, after some useful Refleétions on Things, really indifferent, expresses himself frongly on that Head, and pleads those Views peculiar to Christianity, which efpecially illustrate the Heinousness of it. 1 Cor, VI. 12, to the End.
1 CORINTHIANS VI. 12.
I. CORINTHIANS VI. 12.
KNOW, some of you at Corinth, allow Sect. 11. unto me,
but all Things are not expedient:
to All Things are lawful for and find many Excuses for doing Things, which 1. Cor. VII. me, but I will not be others conscientiously scruple : But as Matters brought under the Power of any.
at present stand, I think it necessary to give you
of you would fain per-
must acknowledge, if you reflect ever so little, that all such Things are not convenient : Circumstances may make it improper for me to do that, which is not absolutely and universally criminal. And though it be allowed, that all Things in Question are lawful for me, nevertheless I will not be brought under the Power of any such Thing. But am folicitous to maintain such a Superiority to Appetite
and Paffion, as becomes a Man, and a Christian,
ble of ministering to our Nourishment, [are] in-
Much less would be allow Fornication: **** Sect. 11.
that the Time will quickly come, when GOD it and them. Now the Body will destroy both it and them; Meats, and the is not for Fornication, but
for the Lord; and the Lord 1 Cor. VI. Organs, by which they have been received, and for the Body.
this animal Frame, which has been nourished by
any Man extend the Maxim, I have
gracious Scheme he hath formed for our Felicity. 14 And this Scheme shall surely be effectual; for
14 And God hath both GOD the Father bath both raised up the Lord Je- allo raise up us by his own
raised the Lord, and will
formity to fo divine and glorious a Hope.
15 Know ye not, that let me expostulate freely with those, who are
your ready to forget it. Know ye not indeed, tbat, as ya Bodies make an essential Part of yourselves,
For our Bodies are the Members of Christ;
273 your Bodies are the Mem- they are to be considered as Members of Christ, Sect. 11. bers of Chrift? Shall I then belonging, as it were, to his Body, and in that and make them the MemView under his Care, as to their final'and everlast- i Cor. VI. bers of an Harlot ? God ing Happiness with him. Shall I then take these, forbid.
which I am taught to look upon, as in an im-
thought of, without the utmost Abhorrence and
Conjunction, which Whoredom prostitutes to the
thať is, the Man and his Wife, shall be one Flesh.
And as the Head and Members of the natural
same Time, one Spirit with the Lord, and one
practises, is without the Body ; its Effects fall not
(a) Every [other] Sin, &c.] It would be unreasonable to insist on the most rigorous Interpretation of these Words; but the general Sense is plain and true, and I suppose, that on the whole, there is no other Sin, by which the Body receives equal Detriment, considering not only its Nature, but how much it has prevailed. (6) He that committeth Whoredom, finneth against his own Body.] This is well illustrated Vol. IV.
And the Temples of the Holy Ghost. Şect. 11. only polluting and debasing it, by making it one
with so infamous a Creature, but perhaps infecting I Cor. VI. and infeebling, wasting and consuming it, which 18,
these Vices, when grown habitual and frequent,
Job xxxvi. 14.) There is also
sequence of your Relation to that blessed Agent,
tized in his Name, and instructed in your Rela- that your Body is the Tem,
you consider yourselves, it will appear,
For the contrary is most apparent; ye are 20 For ye are bought bought with a Price, and that infinitely beyond with a Price : Therefore what
you can pretend to be worth. Therefore, glorify God in your Body: far from doing any Thing to bring a Dishonour
and in your Spirit, which
for his own.
by a fine Passage of Xinophon, produced by Raphelius here, in which Socrates is represented as saying, “ That intemperate Men hurt themselves far more than others; whereas other “ Sinners fecure fome Profit to themselves, tho' they are injurious to others." It is evident, that topita, must here fignify any unlawful Commerce between Persons of different Sexes, fince Whoredom with married Women is as directly contrary both to the Honour and Health of the Body, as with single.
Reflections on our Obligations to Purity, &c.
I M P R O V E M E N 7.
Sect. 11. W péculiar is the Excellence of the Christian Religion ! With
what incomparable Advantages doth it enforce all the Lessons of moral Virtue, which it teaches! With what holy Disdain should we look on the Baits of Sense, and the Pollutions which are in the World through Luft! if we seriously and often reflected on these two Things.That Ver. 15. our Bodies are the Members of Cbrist, and that they are the Temples of the Holy Ver. 19. Ghost! Let it be our Care, that they may not only he nominally, but really so. That we may by a living Faith be united to the Lord, so as · to become one Spirit with him, animated by that Spirit, which resides in Ver. 17. him, and dwells in all who are truly his.
Let us, as often as we are tempted to alienate ourselves from the Service of God, reflect upon the Price, with which we are bought. How Ver. 20. great, how important a Price, which we should never think of but with secret Shame, as well as Admiration and Love! Oh Lord! hast thou paid such a Ransom for me, and shall I act as if I thought even this not enough? as if thou hadst acquired only a partial and imperfect Right to me, and I might divide myself between thee and Strangers, between thee and thine Enemies ? Oh may we be entirely thine! and make it the Business of the latest Day and Hour of our Lives, to glorify GOD with our Bodies, and with our Spirits, which are his.
Under the Influence of this Thought, may we effectually enter into the wife and pious Suggestions of the Apostle; and guard, not only against Things absolutely and universally unlawful, but likewise against Ver. 12. those, which, in present Circumstances, may be inconvenient. May we be ever ready to exert a holy Freedom of Soul, and a Superiority to whatever may ensnare and enslave us : which we shall more easily obtain; if we reflect on the transitory Duration of the Objects of Appetite and Sense : How soon the Things we enjoy, and those Bodies by which Ver. 13. we enjoy them, shall be reduced to the Dust, out of which they were taken. God destroys all that is present and visible, that we may look more intensely for a Kingdom that cannot be moved. He reduces our Bodies to Putrefaction, that we may learn to cultivate with greater
Care the Interest of a never-dying Soul: Which if we faithfully and diligently pursue, GOD who hath raised up his Son as our Surety and Saviour, will Ver. 14. also raise us up by his own Power, to Enjoyments, sublime, incorruptible and eternal. Oh Lord! we would wait for thy Salvation, and in the mean while, would do thy Commandments, and animated by so exalted a Hope, would purify ourselves, even as thou art pure.
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