Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

286

Sect.

13.

The Apostle again fays, that Marriage was then inexpedient. Composure and Satisfaction of our own Spirit now, as well as in these abundant. Rewards, which the Lord hath laid up for them who fear him.

[blocks in formation]

The Apostle treats on the Inexpediency of Marriage, in the

Circumstances of the Church at that Juncture; and inculcates a serious Sense of the Shortness of Time, as the best Remedy against immoderate Attachment to any secular Intereft. 1 Cor. VII. 25, to the End.

26.

1 CorintHIANS VII. 25.

i CORINTHIANS VII. 25. Sec. 14. BUT I have been insensibly led by these ge- NO W concerning vir

neral Views of our Obligations and Hopes, mandment of the Lord : I Cor. VII.

as Christians, to digress from the Subject of Mar. Yet I give my. Judgment as riage, which I had first in View, and to which one that hath obtained Merit is Time I should return. And here, concerning cy of the Lord to be faithful

. the Case of Virgins of either Sex, I have received no express Commandment from the Lord, as I had in the Case handled above; whether by what is transmitted to us in Christ's Discourses, or by any immediate and personal Revelation (a); nevertheless I give my Opinion, as one who hath received Grace and Mercy of the Lord, to be faithful in the great Charge he hath committed to me; and therefore, considering the many Instances, in which I have been enabled to approve my Fide

lity to Christ and his Church, may expect to be 26 heard with some peculiar Regard. I apprebend 26 I suppose therefore that this therefore to be right and good in the present this is good for the present

Distress, Exigency (6) and Extremity of Affairs, while

the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

(a) Or by immediate and perfonal Revelation.) To this, I think, he refers, rather than the former, as he speaks in the fingular Number ; whereas else he might more properly have said, we have received none. (6) Present Exigency.] This must certainly refer to the Prevalency of Perfecution at that

287

27.

Art thou looled

Wife.

He would have them not attached to any fecular Interest; Distress, I say, that it is the Church is in such a State of Persecution, that Sect. 14. good for a Man fo to be.

[it is] best for a single Man to continue as he is. 27. Art thou bound unto Art thou indeed bound to a Wife already? my

Ad- i Cor. VII. a Wife ? Seek not to be vice affects not thee; in that Case bear patiently looled. from a Wife ? Seek not a whatever Burthens may occur, and seek not to be

loosed from her by an irregular and scandalous Di-
vorce or Separation. But, on the other Hand,
art thou loosed from a Wife? Hath Providence ne-
ver led theė into those Engagements, or has it
broken the Bond by the Death of thy former
Companion ? If thou canst conveniently and vir-
tuously continue as thou art, seek not a Wife at
present, till the Storm, which now hovers over

the Church, be a little blown over, and more 28 But and if thou mar- peaceful Times return.

Yet if thou doft marry,

28
Ty, thou hast not finned ; ibou bast not thereby sinned; and if a Virgin
hath not finned : Neverthe- marry, she bath not finned; the Marriage-state is
less, such shall have Trou- no Doubt both lawful and honourable; yet such
ble in the Flesh; but I spare will bave probably, some additional Afliction in.

the Flesh; they will be encumbered with the Bur-
then of many temporal Affairs : And'the Repre-
sentation which I make to you of these Things,
is not out of Severity, but Tenderness; as I would
fain spare you, and speak on the whole, in this
gentle and cautious Manner on the Subject,, to
avoid Extreams either the one Way, or the

other.
29 But this I say, Bre But this I say, Brethren, with great Confi 29;
thren,. the Time is short. dence; and desire you would hear it with due

Attention, that the whole Time of our Abode in.
this World. is. contracted (c) within very narrow

Limits;

you.

It.

Time ;; for nothing can be more absurd, than to imagine, that an inspired' Apostle. would
in the general, discountenance Marriage , considering that it was expressly agreeable to a.
Divine Institution, and of great importance to the Existence and Happiness of all future
Generations.

(c.). Contracted.] The Word: ovvesarijusvas, properly imports this, being,. (as: many have observed,) a Metaphor, taken from furling or gathering up a Sail

. Dr. Hammond, and : some others, would render this, it is but a little while, and they, that have Wives, shall be, as thethey had 'none. That is, “I see those Times of Persecution rising, which will put: “ Men out of a Capacity of enjoying those temporal Delights, which they may now be “ fondést of.”. But this does not seem an exact Translation, tho' L' Enfant mentions it. with considerable Regard.

(1) Fabions:

29.

[ocr errors]

288

That they might without Anxiety serve the Lord...? Sect. 14. Limits; it remains therefore, that we guard It remaineth, that both they

against too fond an Attachment to any Relation that have Wives; be és i Cor. VII:

though they had none ; or Posseffion in Life :- So, that they, who have

Wives, be in a Manner, as if they had none ; 30 And they that weep, as not weeping in Streams of 30 And they that weep, inconsolable Sorrow, tho’ Nature

may be allowed as though they wept noe ; to drop its moderate Tear; and they tbat rejoice, though they rejoiced not; as not rejoicing in diffolute and confident Sallies and they that buy, as tho of Mirth, as if secure from any distressful Re- they possessed not ; volution, and they that purchase, as not polefing by a certain Tenure what they must shortly

And they who use this World, as not 31 And they that use this carrying the Enjoyments of it to an unbridled World, as not abusing it: Excess ; for the whole Scheme and Fashion of this world pafseth away.

For the Fashion of this World passes off (d), and is gone like a Scene in a Theatre that presently shifts; or a Pageant in some publick Procession, which how gawdily soever it be adorned to strike the Eyes of Spectators, is still in Motion, and presently disappears, to Thew itself for a few Moments to others. So transitory are all our Enjoyments, and Afflictions too, and worthy of little Regard, when compared with the folid Realities, which are foon to open upon us, and never to pass away.

But I would have you without Anxiety, while 32 But I would have you you continue here amidst all these Uncertainties; without Carefulness. He and therefore it is, I advise you in present Cir- that is unmarried, careth for cumstances to decline Marriage, if you conveni- the Lord, how he may ently can. For an unmarried Man careth for the please the Lord : Tbings of the Lord Jesus Christ, how he may please the Lord, and is in a great Degree at Leisure to employ his Thoughts and Schemes and Labours, for the Advancement of the Redeemer's Kingdom among Men, and sure there is no other Employment to honourable, so delightful, and when

remote Consequences are taken into the Account, 33

so profitable : Whereas be, who is married, ca 33 But he that is marreth for the Things of the World, how he may main- ried careth for the Things tain his Family, and how he may please (his] Wife, he may please his Wife.

and

32

(d) Fashion of this World palles off.] Exmuce rapageno Compare 1 Fobn ii: 14.

[ocr errors][merged small]

34;.

Now they that are married, care for the World. : 289

and fo accommodate himself to her Temper, as to Sect. 142 34. There is Difference make her easy and happy. On the other Hand; allo between a Wife and a there is just fuch a Difference between the Condi- 1 Cor

. VII

. man careth for the Things tion of a Wife and a Virgin (e). She, who is unof the Lord, that she may married, is careful about the Things of the Lord, be holy, both in Body and that she may be boly both in Body and Spirit. She married, careth for the has Leisure to attend to the higher Improvement Things of the World, how of Religion in her own Soul, by the more abunThe may please her Husband. dant Exercises of Devotion, as well as to do

something more for the Advancement of Reli-
gion among others; whereas the that is married,
careth for the Things of the World, how she may
please [her] Husband (f); and the Diversity of
Humours both in Men and Women, and the Im-
perfection of even the best Tempers, make this
sometimes on both Sides a difficult Task; on
which Account single Persons have always some
considerable Advantages, which are especially ap-

parent in these Times of publick Danger.
35. And this I speak for But all this I say for your own Benefit, with a 35
your own Profit, not that sincere Desire to promote your Happiness; and
But for that which is come not that I may throw a Snare upon you (8), and
ly, and that you may attend bind you from that, which God for wise Rea-
upon the Lord without Di- fons instituted, and allows, and which the
ftraction,

State of human Nature generally requires ;
but out of Regard to what is to be sure very
comely (b) and decent in the Lord, without

any

(e) There is just such a Difference, &c.] Some would corinect the Word letjesfisce with the Close of the preceding Verse, and render it, “ He that is married cares, &C. how he may please his Wife, and is divided in his Thoughts

, or distracted with a Variety of Anxieties." But this would occasion an unnecessary Ellipfis in the Beginning of this Verse, and destroy the Resemblance between the Conclusion of the two Verses, when it is evident the Apolo tle meant to say the same of both the Husband and Wife.

(f) How she may please her Husband.] The Apostle, in this Text, and the Counter-part to it, seems to declare, that single Persons of either Sex, have generally Opportunities for Devotion, beyond those that are married, even in the most peaceful Times of the Church; and that a Diversity of Humours; both in Men and Women, makes it difficult for them to, please each other fo thoroughly, as is neceffary, in order to make a'married Life delightful." So that it intimates a Counsel to single People, to value and improve their Advantages; and to married People, to watch against those Things that would ensilare them, and injure their mutual Peace and Comfort.

(8) Not that I may throw a Snare upon you.) This 'is the most literal Version I could give of Bpozor vasv ertBarw. Mr. Locke thinks the Word Bpoxon, which signifies Cord, alludes to the Jewish Phrase of binding what was declared unlawful. (b) Comely: Evoxmpov.] This seems to intimate, that they were now in a Circumstance, VOL. IV.

Oo

ini

[ocr errors]

35:

36

2go He that gives a young Person in Marriage, does well; Seet. 14. eny violent Constraint (i), by which I might seem

to drag you into a State of Life, which should Cor. VII. make you continually uneasy : For that would

quite spoil its Gracefulness as well as Acceptance,
and might plunge you into much greater Incon-.
veniencies another Way.

But on the other Hand, if any on mature De 36 But if any Man think
liberation apprehend, that be acts an unbecoming that he behaveth himself
Part towards his Virgin Daughter, or any other gin, if the pass the Flower
Maiden, that may fall under his Guardianship and of her Age, and Need to
Care, if she pass the Flower of [ber] Age in a sin- require, let him do what

he will, he sinneth not :: gle State (k); which, I know, is an Opinion. Let them marey : very prevalent among the Jews; and if he think, that it ought to be so, let him do what he will in this Respect; be hath not finned in his Intent of letting her change her present Condition; and therefore

let

in which God did, as it were, exact a peculiar Scverity from all their Thoughts; and that it was a Time to think of the Trials of Martyrdom, rather than the Endearment of human Paffions.

(1) Without any violent. Confiraint.] Awepo wasws, is rendered in our Translation by the Addition of several Words, that ye may attend on the Lord without Distraction. But Sir Norton Knatchbull has convinced me, that the Version here given is much preferable to ours.

(k) Past the Flower of her Age,. &c.] There is hardly any Passage in the Epistle,, about the sense of which I have been more perplexed, than about this; and I am Aill far. from being satisfied concerning it. I had once translated it, “ If any one thinks, that he acts

. an un« becoming Part, by continuing in his fingle State, till he be past the Flower of his Agelet them marry, he that marrieth does well

, &c." and had paraphrased the Words accordingly. And what induced me to this was, that Verse 37. the Apostle puts the Iffue of the Matter on the Stedfastness of his own Mind, the Power he had over his own Will, and his having no Neceflity; whereas if a Daughter, or a Ward, were in Question, her Inclinations, Temper and Conveniency were certainly to be consulted ; and it would be the same, if the Virgin Spoken of, was one, to whom the Man was himself engaged. But it is really doing, such Violence to the Original, to render Irspesy Panu saules rapbeyov, keep himself single, or keep his own Virginity; and to render sxyapigwr, he that.. marries ;. that after long Deliberation I chose to abide by our own Version ; especially since it agrees with most of those I have bad, an Opportunity of consulting., And if this be admitted, I think it must be taken for granted, thar when the Apostle speaks of this Man's having no. Necesity, he means to take in what ever might urge him to dispose of her in Marriage, whether in her Temper and Inclinar tions, or in their domestick Circumstances. As for Heinsius's Opinion, “ that acoy moves sa * Par rapberov, fignifies, to incur Shame by Reason of his Virgin ;. meaning, if a Man apprehend, that his Daughter will dishonour his Family by Fornication, he will do prudently to marry her: I think the above mentioned Objection lies equally against this Interpretation. But if the Alexandrine Reading of yopita, instead of oxyapısw, be admitted, it may deserve Consideration, whether the whole Passage may not refer to the Case of a Contract bep tween a Man and a young Maiden, the

Accomplishment, or Dissolution, of which might, in some imaginable Circumstances, depend very much on the Conduct of the Man, as he feemed to urge, or decline, the bringing it into Effect.

« AnteriorContinuar »