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The believing Party may convert the Unbelieving.

281 Husband : Else were your lawful, as if they were both of the fame Faith : Sect. 13. Children unclean ; but now

Otherwise your Children in these mixed Cases are they holy were unclean, and must be looked upon, as un 1 Cor

. VII. fit, to be admitted to those peculiar Ordinances, by which the Seed of God's People are distinguished; but now they are confessedly loly (c), and are as readily admitted to Baptism in all our Churches, as if both the Parents were Chris

tians : So that the Case you see is in Effect deiş But if the Unbe- cided by this prevailing Practice.

However if 15
lieving depart, det him dia the unbelieving Party in such Çircumstances as
ter is not under Bondage in these, be absolutely determined, and will depart,
fuch Cases : But God hath let him, or her depart, and take the Course they
called us to Peace.

think beft; and the Consequence is, that a Bro-
ther, or a Sister, who hath been united to such a
Wife, or Husband, in matrimonial Bonds, is by
such a Conduct of a former Partner, discharged
from future Obligation, and is not in Bondage
in such [Cafes.] But let it be always remembered,
that GOD hath by his Gospel called us to Peace;
and 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 å
Breach, the Blame may not be chargeable upon

the Christian.
16 For what knowest And it is worth your while, to be

very care- 16
thou,

ful in your Behaviour to those, who thus make; as
it were, a Part of yourselves, that you may adorn
the Gospel you profess, by the most amiable and
engaging Conduct : For it is poffible, the Unbe-
liever may be thereby gained to Christianity. Let

each

xxxiii. 3.

(C) Now are they holy.) On the maturest and most impartial Confideration of this Text; I must judge it to refer to Infant Baptism. Nothing can be more apparent, than that the Word holy, signifies Persons, who might be admitted to partake of the distinguishing Rites of God's People. Compare Exod. xix. 6. Deut. vii. 6. Chap. xiv. 2. Chap. xxvi. 19. Chap.

Ezra ix. 2. with Ifai. xxxv. 8. Chap. lii. 1. Aets x. 28, &c. And as for the Interpretation, which so many of our Brethren, the Baptifts, have contended for, that holy signifies legitimate, and unclean, illegitimate ; (not to urge that this feets an unscriptural Sense of the Words) nothing can be more evident, than that the Argument will by no Means bear it ; for it would be proving a Thing by itself, idem per idem, to argue, that the Converse of the Parents was lawful, because the Children were not Bastards, whereas all who thought the Converse of the Parents unlawful, must of Course think, that the Chil

dren were illegitimate.

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Sect. 13:

16.

1

282 In general, as GOD bath called every Max, fo let him walk;

each therefore reflect on his own Concern in this thou, O Wife, whether Observation. For, Huw knowejt tbou, Ob Wife, Or how knowelt thou, o

thou shalt save thy Husband? 1 Cor. VII

. but thou mayest fave [tbine] Husband ? . Or how Man, whether thou shale

knowest thou, os Husband, but thou mayest Save save thy Wife ?
[tby] Wife? And surely the everlasting Happi-
ness of the Person, now the Companion of your
Life, will be more than an Equivalent for all the

Self-denial, to which you may be required at
17 present, to submit.

But if this should not be 17 But as God hath difthe Effect, it still becomes you to do your Duty; tributed to every Man, as and therefore fince the Providence of God is one, fo let him walk: And concerned in all these Rclations, and in the Steps to ordain I in all Churches. by which they were contracted, as GOD bath distributed to every one, and as it were, cast the Paris of Life, let every one fo walk even as the Lord bath called him (d). 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 Leffon of the highest

Importance.
'3:8 Is any one, for Instance, called, being circum 18 Is any Man called
ciled, let bim not becoine, so far as in him lies, being circumcised ? Let him

not become uncircumcised :
uncircumcised (e); nor act, as if he were defirous, Is any called in Uncircum-
as far as pofsible, to undo what was done by his cision? Let him nor become
Jewilh Parents, or Masters, in his Infancy. Is circumcised.
any one called to the Fellowship of Gospel-blel-
Tings in Uncircumcision, let him not be folicitous
to be circumcised, as if that Rite were necessary

to his. Salvation, as the Jews, and some Zealots
1:9: amongst ourselves, have taught.

For to speak

19 Circumcifion is no
the important Truth: in a few plain Words, Cir- is nothing, but the keeping

thing, and Uncircumcision
cumcifion is nothing, and Uncircumcifion is nothing 3. of the Commandmenes. of
the Observation, or Non-observation, of the GoD..
Mosaick Law will neither fecure, nor abstructe
our. Salvation; but all depends upon. keeping the

mi

(d). the Lord hath called hiin.]. This is a:very pectinent-Digreffion; as it fo directly corte tradiás the Notion which prevailed among the Jews, that embracing the true Religion difu folved: all the Relations, which had before been contracted Whereas the Apoftle here de: clares, that the Gospel left them in this respect, just, as it found them ; increasing, instead of lessening, the Obligations they were under to a.faithful and affe&ionate Discharge of their correfpondent Duties.

(2) Become uncircumcised.] The Word towardw, has an evident Relation to Astompisy fike those, referred to i Mac, i. 15, which is not necessary more particularly to illustrate.

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283

19.

21

not affeEting to change his former

. Station. mandments of GOD. An obediential Faith in the Sect. 1g. Lord Jesus Christ, produced by the fanctifying y Influences of his Spirit on the Heart, and bring- 1 Cor. VII. ing 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 misera

ble for ever, as we are careful, or negligent, with
20 Let every Man abide Regard to this. As for other Matters, be not 20
in the same Calling wherein excessively concerned about them; but in what-
he was called.

ever Calling, that is, Profession and Circum-
stance any one of you was called, in tbat let binn
continue : Affect not to change without the clear
and evident Leadings of Providence, as there is
generally greater Reason to expect Comfort and

Usefulness, in fuch a Calling, than another. 21 Art thou called being And I may apply this, not only to the different but if thou mayeft be made Employments, but Relations in Life, as well as free; use it rather, Diversity in religious Professions. Art thou, for

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 obtain-
ing it, be made free, choose it rather; as what is
no Doubt in itself eligible, yet not absolutely.

necessary to the Happiness of a good Man.
22 For he that is called For be that is called by the Lord to the Christian 22
in the Lord, being, a Ser- Faith, [being] a Servant, or Slave, is the Lord's
vant, is the Lord's Free-
man: Likewise also he that Freeman. Christ has made him free indeed, in
is called, being free, is making him Partaker of the glorious Liberties
Chrift's Servant.

of the Children of God (John viii. 36.) : Anet
on the other Hand, be aljo that is called, [being]
free from the Authority of any human Maftcr, is
still the Servant, the Property of Christ, and

owes him a most implicite and universal Obe23 Ye are bought with dience. But

upon

this Head, remember, thats 23 as Christians, . you were all bought with a most invaluable Price (f): Christ hath redeemed

you

a

Ye were bought with a Price, &c.] Dr. Whitby would render it, “ Are ye bought with a Price, that is, redeemed from Servitude ? Becomie ritet Sorvant's of Men; don't fell yourselves for Slaves again.” It is indeed probable, that the Apostle does counsel Chris Nn ?

finns

284 But abide with GOD:inxheState; in:which the Gospekfound him. Sect. 13. you at the Expence of his.own Blood; and there- a Price, be not ye the Sepe

fore, let me caution you out of Regard, to him, vants of Men. i Cor. VII. and from, a Desire to be capable of serving him, 23. as much as possible, that ye

do not, where it may by any lawful Means be avoided, become the Slaves of. Men.; since so many. Evils and Dangers and

Snares are inseparable from such a Situation...) 24 This, Brethren, is the particular Advice, which 24 Brethren, let every I thought proper to give upon this Head.; and the Man wherein he is called,

therein, abide with GORA : general Rule I laid down above, is: of such great Importance, that. I must repeatiit;, In whatever [Condition) a Man'was called at first, by the Golf pel and Grace of Christ, in that let him abide with GOD (8), taking Care to behave in a, prudent . and religious Manner, as under the Divine In: spection; and not changing his Business in Life, if it be in the general. lawful, becaụse he is a Christian ; but endeavouring to pursue it with. . such Integrity, Diligence, and Prudence, as that his great Master and Saviour may be most effec: tually glorified,

.

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I M P R O V E M E N T.

Ver. 14.

[::::: ET uş learn, from the Exhortations and Reasonings of the Apostle;

a becoming Solicitude, to, contribute as much as we: possibly can, to the Christian Edification of each other; and especially let this be

the

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tians against becoming Slaves, if it could be prevented ; and with great Reafon, as it was Circumstance, which seemed less suitable to the Dignity of the Christian Profession,

and mult. expose them tu many Incumbrances and Interruptions in Duty; especially on the Lord's Day, and other Seasons of religious Affemblics ; beldes the Danger of being present at domestick idolatrous Sacrifices, or being ill-used, if they refused their Compliance.. But I cannot thoroughly approve of the Doctor's Version, because the Advice is unneces; farily restrained thereby, to those Slaves who had been redeemed; which plainly, fuited those, who had their Freedom given them, and indeed suited all Christians, who never had been at all. Slaves, and who might more easily have been prevailed upon, by their Poverty, to bring themselves into a Condition, the Evils and Inconveniencies of which they did not. thoroughly know

() Abide with GOD.] L'Enfant explains teepee lw Otw, in the sight of GOD, (Compare 2 Cor. xi. 11. Eph. v. 21.) and thinks, there had been fome Disorders at Corinth, proceeding from some irregular Claim, which Christian Slaves made to Liberty, under Pretence, that, as Christian Brethren, they were equal with their- Masters.

(b) Cart:

285

Reflections on the Improvement of our Relations and Callings. the Care of the nearest Relatives in Life. What can be more desirable, Sect. 13: than that the Husband may be fan&tified by the Wife, and the Wife by the Husvand! May all prudent Care be taken, in contracting Marriages, as to the religious Character of the intended Partner of Life; and in those already contracted, where this Precaution has been neglected, or where the Judgment formed seems to have been mistaken, let all Considerations of Prudence, of Religion, of Affection, concur to animate to a mutual Care of each other's Soul, that most important Effort of Love, that most solid Expression and Demonstration of Friendship. Nor let the Improbability of Success be pleaded in Excuse for Neglect, even where the Attempt must be made by the subordinate Sex. A Possibility Nould be sufficient Encouragemeno; and surely there is Room to say, How Ver. 16. knowejt thou, Oh Wife, but thou mayest save him, whose Salvation, next to thine own, must be most desirable to thee?

Let us all study the Duties of the Relations, in which God hath fixed us; and walk with him in our proper Callings, not defiring so much to Ver. 24; exchange, as to improve them. His wise Providence hath distributed the Part; it is our Wisdom, and will be our Happiness, to act in humble Congruity to that Distribution. Surely the Apostle could not have expressed in stronger Terms, his deep Conviction of the small Importance of human Distinctions, than he here does; when speaking of what seems to great and generous Minds, the most miserable Lot, even that of a Slave, Ver. 21. he says, Gare not for it (h). If Liberty itself, the first of all temporal Blessings, be not of so great Importance, as that a Man, blessed with the high Hopes and glorious Consolations of Christianity, should make himself very solicitous about it, how much less is there in those comparatively trifling Distinctions, on which many lay sodisproportionate, fo extravaganta Stress!

Let Christian Servants, (for blessed be God, amongst us we have no : Slaves,) remember their high Priviledges, as the Lord's Freemen. Let Ver. 22. Christian Masters remember their Restraint, as the Lord's Servants. And let the Benefits of Liberty, especially, when considered in its Aspect upon Religion, be fo far valued, as not to be bartered

away

for which the Enemies of Mankind may offer in Exchange.

But above all, let us remember the infinite Importance of maintaining the Freedom of the Mind from the Bondage of Corruption ; and of keeping, with all humble and chearful Observance, the Commandments GOD. While many express the warmeft Zeal for Circumcision or Uncircumcision, in Defence of, or in Opposition to, this, or that Mode or Form of external Worship, let our Hearts be let on what is most vital and efsential in Religion ; and we shall find the happiest Equivalent, in the

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any Price,

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:(b) Care not for it] This fine Remark, (for such indeed is is,) occurs in Dr. Govincin's Working Vol. i. pag. 50.

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