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The Apostle advises them not to marry &t #haz Seoton
. be deteri mines that in fome Circumstances it fhould be entered into, and continued in, but in others, forbarn; and forbids Wives to depart from their Husbands. 1 Cor. VII. 1 --- 1:1.
I CORINTHIANS VII. i.
r. CORINTHIANS: VII. .. Sect. 12. Now proceed to give you my Opinion concern- Nothing on rest
ye: I Cor. VII.
wrote unto me: It is good: And I begin with that, concerning the Lawful- for a Man not to touch a ness or Expedience of Marriage. And here I Woman. must first observe, that as to its Expedience, [it. is] in present Circumstances good for a Man, where he is entirely Master of himself, to have nothing to do with a Woman ; so many are theConveniencies, which recommend a single Life:
to those, who are Proof against some of its most. 2 obvious Temptations. Nevertheless, as the 2 Nevertheless, to avoid God of Nature has for certain wise Reasons im- have his own Wife, and két
Fomication, let every. Man planted in the Sexes a mutual Inclination to each every Woman have her own. other, in order to prevent Fornication, and every
menced, render all due Benevolence to the Wife, unto the Wife due Benevo-
Perfection in living separate from each other, as if
4 The Wife hath not
Tet Marriage is necessary to prevent Fornication.
277 Power of her own Body, hath not in this Respect Power over her own Body, Sect. 12. but the Husband: And like but hath by the Marriage-covenant transferred it wife also the Husband hath not Power of his own Bo- to the Husband; and in like Manner also, the Huf- 1 Cor
. dy, but, the Wife. band bath not Power over his own Body, but it is,
as it were, the Property of the Wife; their En-
Withdraw not therefore from the Company of 5
casion from the irregular Sallies of animal Na-
intended to remedy.. 6 But I speak this by
But you will observe, that I say this by Per-6
miffion from Chrift; but not by any express Com-
-luch Precautions as these.
after easily bear the Severities of a single Life in pre
sent Circumstances, and exercise as resolute a
(a) By Permision.] I cannot with Mr. Cradock, think, that the Meaning of this Clause, is, " I permit Marriage, but do not enjoin it; and have elsewhere observed, that this Verse, and others in this context, nearly parallel to it
, will be so far from affording, on any Interpretation, an Objection against the general Inspiration of St. Paul's Epiftles, that they will rather strengthen the Proof of it. See Esay on Inspiration in Vol. iii. (b)
' That all Men were even as myself.] Common Sense requires us to limit this Expression, as in the Paraphrase ; for. it would be a most flagrant Absurdity to suppose that St. Paul: wished Marriage might entirely cease. It Thews therefore how unfair and improper it is, in various Cases, to ftrain the Apostle's Words to the utmost Rigour, as if he perpetually used the most critical Exactness ; but indeed Chap. ix. 22. is so full an Instance to the contrary,. that it is not necessary to multiply Remarks of this Kind.
And it is to marry, than to biern.
ther after that.
this Attainment, nor despise those that have it:
8 I say therefore to the
Unmarried and Widows, dows, I say, it is good for them, (if they conve- abide even as I.
niently can,) to continue, as I do, in the widowed 9 State. But if they have not attained to such
9 But if they cannot
For it is better to marry,
10 And unto the Mar-
, ried I command, yet not I, who enjoins, that the Wife should not withdraw Wife depart from her Husu berself from [ber] Husband; But if Ase be with=: band: drawn by her own rash and foolish Act, let her
11 But and if the depart,
let her reniain unmarried,
(c) To those that are married.] The Translation published by the English Jesuits at Bourdeaux, renders it, to those, who are united in the Sacrament of Marriage ; which I mention, as one Instance, selected from a vast Number, of the great Dishonesty of that Translation.
Reflections on the Apostle's Observations about Marriage.
IMPROVE M E N T.
HE Decisions of the holy Apostle are here given with such Gra- Sect. 12.
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 huinbly to adore the Divine Wisdom and Goodness, manifested in the Formation of the first human Pair, and in keeping up the different Sexes thro' all succeeding Ages, in so just a Proportion, that
every Man might have his own Wife, and every Woman her own Huf. Ver. 2. band : That the Instinct of Nature might, so as far it is necessary, be Ver. 4. gratified without Guilt, and an boly: 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 human Creatures Should - fubsist, may be transmitted thro' every Age, and Earth may become a Nursery for Heaven.
With these Views, let Marriages he contracted, when it is proper they should be contracted at all. Lét none imagine the State itself to be impure ; and let it always be preserved undefiled. Let all Occasion of irre- Ver. 5. gula- Desire be prudently guarded against, by those who have entered into
And let all Chriftians, in every Relation, remember that the Obligations of Devotion are common to all; and thạt Cbrift 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 Ardor.
The Apostle exhorts Christians not to breák Marriage an t
count of Difference in Religion; and urges, in the generali Contentment with the Stations in which they were called, and a Concern to serve GOD in their proper Condition, whether inarried or single, bound or free. I Cor. VII. 12,---24...
1 CORINTHIANS "VII. 12.
I CORINTHIANS VII. 12 HAVE reminded you of the Decision of BYT to the Reft speak I Cor. VII.
Christ with Respect to the Affair of Divorce: Brother hath a Wife" that Now as to the Rest of the Persons and Cases to believeth not, and the be which I shall address myself, it is to be observed, pleased tą dwell with him,
let him not put her away. that I speak according to what Duty or Prudence seems on the whole to require ; and it is not to be considered, as if it were immediately spoken by the Lord. If any Chriftian Brotber bath an
unbelieving Wife, and the consent to dwell with
bim, notwithstanding the Diversity of their reli-
which hath an Husband that an unbelieving Husband, and he consent to dwell pleased to dwell with her, with her, let her not dismiss him (a), nor separate let her not leave him.
herself from him, tho' the legal Constitution of -14 the Country, in which she lives, may allow her to do it. For in such a Cafe as this, the unbe
14. For the unbelieving lieving Husband is fo fanétified to the Wife, and Husband is fanctified by the the unbelieving Wife is fo sanctified to the Huf- Wife is fanctified by the band (6), that their matrimonial Converse is as
(a) Let her not dismiss him.] I have elsewhere observed, that in these Countries, in the Apostles Days, the Wives had a Power of Divorce, as well as the Hufhands. See Vol. ii.' pag. 227. Note (8).
(b) is fanctified, &c.]. Some think the Meaning is, “The Chrißian may convert the « Infidel";" as appears, in that the Children of such Marriages are brought up Christians. But this cannot possibly be the Sense; for that they were brought up so, was not to be sure always Fact, and where it was, there was no Need of proving from thence the Conversion of the Parent, which would in itself be much more apparent, than the Education of the Child