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they have not continence, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. And to the 10 married I command, yet not I only, but the Lord, that the wife depart not from her husband: ye
1 Now concerning those things about which wrote to me: It is good for a man not to take 2 a wife. Nevertheless, to avoid fornications, let every man have his own wife, and let every 3 woman have her own husband. Let the husband render what is due to the wife and in 4 like manner the wife also to the husband. The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband; and in like manner the husband also hath not power over his own body, but the 5 wife. Deprive not one another of what is due, unless by consent for a short time, that ye may have leisure for prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not through 6 your incontinence. But this I speak by way of permission, and not by way of commandment. 7 For I would that all men were even as I myself But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
8. Now I say to widowers and to widows: It is 9 good for them if they remain even as I. But if
the name of the Lord Jesus, and the Spirit of our God. May we be the subjects of this grace, and eternal monuments of its saving efficacy.
3. We are taught by the example of Paul to maintain our christian freedom; but yet to walk charitably, and not by our food offend a weak brother. A christian should not live in the indulgences of appetite, and much less in fornication and impurity. To avoid such improper conduct let us remember, that our bodies are the members
(But if she depart, let her remain 11 unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband :) and that the husband put not away his wife.
But to the rest I speak, not the Lord: If 12 any brother have an unbelieving wife, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And if a woman have an unbelieving 13 husband, and he choose to dwell with her, let her not put him away. For the unbelieving 14 husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: otherwise your children would be unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving 15 person depart, let such depart. A brother or a sister is not enslaved in such cases. God however hath called us to peace. For how 16 knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O husband, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
However as God hath distributed to every 17 one, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And thus I appoint in all the
5. fasting and. Mss. vers. fathers.
of Christ, and the temples of the Holy Spirit. May they be really so; and may we be united to him by a living faith, so as to be one spirit with him. Nor should we forget that we are not our own, but bought with the price of a Saviour's blood. O what a price has been paid for our deliverance! Not gold or silver, not corruptible things; but the precious blood of Christ. How reasonable, then, how necessary that we should glorify God, with our bodies and souls which are his!
stein and Griesbach, and are wanting in all the best mss. some versions, and fathers.
CHAP. VII. 1. Not to take a wife. In present times and circumstances, when individuals are exposed to so many trials and sufferings. I have given the sense of the text.
2. To avoid fornications, &c. We have here the moral end of marriage, and a strong argument against polygamy. See verse 9.
3. Render what is due. Treat her in all respects as a wife; and let her in return treat him as her husband. For the wife hath not power over, &c. 5. Unless by consent, &c. In such times of persecution married persons might agree to exercise self-denial and mortification for the purpose of devotion; but they are to guard against their spiritual enemy, who might avail himself of this, to tempt them.
6. This I speak, &c. I speak this concerning marriage, and some duties arising from it, by way of permission, but not as enjoining them. For I would that all, &c. See the reason of this wish, verses 26, 28.
8. To widowers. To those who now have no wives. See Pearce. In this sense there is an agreement with the next term, "widows." 10, 11.
But the Lord. Who condemned divorce, except in case of adultery. Mark x. 11, 12.- -But if she depart, &c. Having either quarrelled with him, or he, for some trifling cause, having given her a bill of divorce, let her remain unmarried, &c. See Matt. xix. 9.
12. I speak, not the Lord. I speak as an inspired apostle; not the Lord Jesus, who has left us no precept on this subject. Our Lord, during his ministry, delivered many precepts to his disciples; and what he did not deliver in person, he promised to reveal to them by his Spirit, after his deparHence there is a just foundation for distinguishing the commands which our Lord gave in his ministry, from those which were revealed to the apostles by the Spirit. Comp. 2 Pet. iii. 2. Jude verse 17.
13. Let her not put him, &c. See Mark x. 12, and Doddridge. 14. By the wife. The believing wife, as the structure of the passage evidently suggests; and so by the husband," must be meant the believing
Servants and freemen.
I CORINTHIANS VII.
18 churches. Hath any man been called, being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Hath any man been called in uncircumci19 sion? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God is 20 necessary. Let every man remain in the same 21 calling wherein he was called. Wast thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if 22 thou canst be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the freeman of the Lord: in like manner also he that is called, being a freeman, is the ser23 vant of Christ. Ye were bought with a price; 24 become not ye servants to men. Brethren, let every man remain with God, in that state wherein he was called.
25 Now concerning single persons I have no commandment of the Lord; but I give my judgment, as having obtained mercy of the Lord to be 26 faithful. I judge therefore that this is good because of the present distress; I say, that it 27 is good for a man to continue as he is. Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 28 But if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Never
Liberty of single persons..
theless, such will have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. However this I say, brethren, 29 the time is short. It remaineth, that they that have wives be as though they had none; And 30 they that weep, as though they wept not; and : they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as though 31 they used it not for the fashion of this world passeth away. But I would have you without 32 anxious care. He that is unmarried careth for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the 33 things of the world, how he may please his wife. There is a difference also between a wife 34 and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak 35 for your own advantage; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is becoming, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
But if any man think that he behaveth him- 36 self unbecomingly towards his virgin-daughter, if she pass the flower of her age, and it ought
husband. Sanctified, so far by this relation to a believer, that their children were admitted to the rite of christian baptism, and other privileges as they grew up; and were thus regarded as relatively holy, being dedicated to the true God.
16. For how knowest, &c. It must often occur in those times that a wife or husband must have been instrumental in promoting the knowledge of their ignorant partners, and in the end, the means of their conversion.
18. Become uncircumcised. Let him make use of no method to appear so. See 1 Macc. i. 15.—Not be circumcised. The Judaizing teachers urged this; but the apostle condemned it. Gal. v. 2, 3.; vi. 12-15. In short, this was going back to the beggarly elements of the world.
20. Remain in the same, &c. And not think that christianity affects his civil state; but let him improve his condition in life, if he can do it by lawful means.
22. The freeman of the Lord. Made free from the slavery of idols and of sin, and ought to think honourably of himself.- -Called, being a free, &c. Is bound to Christ as a servant, and should think and act humbly. 23, 24. Ye were brought, &c. Those who were freemen should regard themselves as the property of Christ, and not sell themselves to heathens, as this would be attended with many difficulties respecting their christian duties. -Let every man, &c. This precept is mentioned twice before, verses 17, 20, and now again, which shows that the apostle conceived it necessary to the peace of society, and to the honour and interest of the church.
25. Single persons. The original term denotes persons of either sex, who are unmarried; and for this reason I adopt the rendering given.—— --No commandment of, &c. None delivered by him when on earth; but I give my
judgment as having obtained mercy-called to the apostolic office, and inspired to preach and make known the will of God; and through grace I am enabled to be faithful. He refers to his inspiration in the words, I give my judg ment, &c.
26-28. To continue us he is. This is confined to a season of persecu tion. -But I spare you. Not speaking more fully concerning the persecutions, which you will soon have to endure. I only hint that the time of life itself is short, and as to many who will have to suffer, very short.
29-31. It remaineth, &c. Owing to our circumstances we should pot be too much attached to one another, nor indulge immoderate grief for any bereavement; or be elated with joy on account of our prosperity or possessions, and other worldly comforts, "for the fashion of this world," the persons and things of it are ever changing and passing away.
32-35. Without anxious care. In married life there are many cares from which single persons are free; and if single persons be serious, they have more leisure for devotion, and for labours of love and kindness.—————Attend upon the Lord, &c. All I have said is for this end, that you conduct yourselves în a proper manner, and be enabled to serve the Lord with an undivided mind. 36-38. Towards his virgin-daughter. Daughters were under the absolute power of parents, and it was at their option to give them in marriage or not. But if a father thought he acted with too much rigour, when his daughter had become marriageable, and even past the age when others married, in not giving her in marriage; "aud it ought so to be" from the inclination of his daughter or other circumstances; let him do as it pleaseth him by giving her in marriage, nor would he sin by so doing.—But he that, &c. Having firmly resolved to keep her unmarried, and “having no necessity" from her
A wife is bound, &c.
I CORINTHIANS VIII.
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER VII. 1. The decisions of the apostles, on subjects of great delicacy, are given with gravity, seriousness and purity. And when necessity so requires, let us be thankful that we are allowed to marry in the Lord. Let none imagine the state itself to be impure; and let it always be preserved undefiled. Every occasion of irregular desire should be avoided, and all the duties of the marriage relation cheerfully and constantly fulfilled. And especially let married as well as unmarried professors remember, that proper times and seasons should be sacred to devotion. They should daily give themselves to prayer, and maintain holy communion with God. It is only in this way that the life, power, and comfort of religion can be preserved.
2. We are taught by the exhortations and reasonings of the apostle, that kindred and relatives should endeavour to promote each others edification; and that persons in servitude, should conduct themselves with seriousness and fidelity. Those united by marriage may be instrumental in turning one another to Christ, and thus saving each other from death and misery. And how solicitous should the believing husband or wife be that their children may be hallowed to God, and educated in the principles of truth and grace? Surely they cannot see objects so dear to them, abiding in destructive error and sinful prac
A. D. 57. On things offered to idols; we ought not to offend a weak brother, but if we have knowledge we should join to it brotherly affection.
Now concerning idol-sacrifices, we know (for 1 we all have knowledge: Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth. And if any man think 2 that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love 3 God, such an one is made to know by him. Concerning therefore the eating of idol-sacri- 4 fices, we know) that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, 5 whether in heaven or on earth (as there are
tices, without admonishing them, and endeavouring to reclaim them. In this life we are placed in different circumstances. One is free, another is bound; one enjoys rank and is a master, while another is a servant. In every situation let us walk with God, not desiring so much to change our callings and circumstances, as to improve them, remembering that this life, and all which belongs to it, will soon terminate, and these differences will then cease for ever. Believers are now brethren, and as such will enjoy the same inheritance.
3. We are admonished to reflect on the advantages and snares of our respective conditions in life, that we may improve the one and escape the other. Let those who are single, employ their leisure in the service of God; in the study of his word, prayer, and christian conversation, that they may be enriched with knowledge, faith, hope and charity, and may have the means of support, amidst the duties and difficulties, cares and sorrows of future life. And let the married, while they aim to please each other, still cast their cares upon God, and faithfully serve him. And in disposing of their children in marriage, let them pay respect to their inclinations, and not force them to abide in a state which is not agreeable to them. Nothing can be wiser or better than the advice of the apostle; and may we like him "obtain mercy of the Lord to be faithful.”
expressed desire, nor being compelled by any law, hath power over his own will, &c. From this we may conclude, that in the present state of the church, he that giveth her in marriage, doth well; but he that giveth, &c.
39-40. The wife is bound, &c. See Rom. vii. 2.- -Only in the Lord. She must marry a believer, one who is in Christ by faith and profession. See Rom. xvi. 11. Also have the Spirit, &c. I consider dox as pleonastic, and in a version may be properly omitted. The learned reader may consult Matt. iii. 9. Mark x. 42. 1 Cor. x. 12.; xi. 16.; xiv. 37.; and for authorities among the Greek writers, see the quotations in Schleusner. It cannot be imagined that Paul, if he had not been inspired, would have referred to it at all; and if he were, he would state it in a proper manner. For to say, "I think that I have," or I seem to have the "Spirit of God," to an English reader, conveys doubt, whether he had or not.
CHAP. VIII. 1-4. We know, &c. Idol-sacrifices were partly eaten in the idol's temple, and partly sold in the shambles.For we all have knowledge. The Corinthians prided themselves in their knowledge; and hence the VOL. III. PART XXII. PP
-Think that he, &c.
apostle adds the remarks included in the parenthesis.Here the idiom noticed verse 40, Ch. vii., does not obtain. Such a person does not know the end and design of the knowledge he possesses. Is made to know, &c. Or "taught by him." See Pearce's note. Newcome, "is known by him," which is the more usual sense, but does not suit the connexion so well. See Gal. iv. 9.- We know, &c. This resumption of the same words points out the parenthesis, and is in the apostle's manner. That an idol is nothing, &c. Represents what has no existence, much less dignity.
5. In heaven. As those called the greater gods, such as Jupiter, &c. -On earth. Various deified powers, supposed to be messengers and media. tors between the celestial gods and mankind, such as nymphs, the penates, &c.
6. But to us there, &c. Christians, who own and worship one only and true God, "of whom are all things, and we for him," for his service and glory; and we are brought to this knowledge and the privileges of it by the Lord Jesus, as the visible agent of all things.
6 gods many and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 7 But all have not this knowledge: for some with a consciousness of the idol, unto this hour eat as of an idol-sacrifice; and their conscience, 8 being weak, is defiled. But food recommendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we better than others: nor, if we eat not, are we 9 worse. But take heed lest by any means this your liberty become a stumbling-block to those 10 that are weak. For if any man see thee who hast knowledge, placed at meat in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be enboldened to eat of those idol-sa11 crifices? And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother's peace perish, for whom 12 Christ died? But when ye sin thus against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, sin against Christ. Wherefore, if food cause my brother to offend, I will never more eat flesh, lest I cause my brother to offend.
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER VIII. 1. Let us learn to estimate the true value of knowledge, and to see how worthless and dangerous it is, when, instead of discovering to us our own ignorance and weakness, it serves only to puff up the mind. True christian knowledge is under the government of love to God, and our brethren for his sake; and is far more exellent than the finest speculations. that is wise in his own conceit, and thinks he needs no more instruction, assuredly knows nothing as he ought. Love to God is the test of knowledge; it is the proof that such an one is made to know by him, the things that belong to his peace and comfort, and which will tend to the edification of others. May this knowledge be increased, and its humbling, sanctifying tendency and influence, be felt on all our hearts.
2. While we are taught the vanity of idols, let us adore the divine
Rights of ministers.
A. D. 57. Paul mentions his own conduct and practice as a proof of his desire not to offend any; but if possible to win them to Christ.
AM I not a free-man? am I not an apostle? 1 have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an 2 apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for ye are the seal of mine apostleship in the Lord. My defence to those that examine me 3 is this, Have we not a right to eat and to 4 drink? Have we not a right to lead about a 5 christian wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Peter? Or 6 have I and Barnabas only no right, to forbear working? Whoever serveth in war at his 7 own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of its fruit? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say 8 I these things after the manner of men? or doth not the law also say the same? For it is 9 written in the law of Moses, "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out
mercy, that we are instructed in the unity of God, and in that charity which leads to the exercise of self-denial, rather than offend one of the weakest of our christian brethren. We profess to believe in the Father, Son, and Spirit, who, though personally distinct, are yet but One God, of whom are all things, and to whom are all things; and let us remember that the great end of our christian calling is, that we should be for him, for his service and glory. Those weak converts, who had not just conceptions of this subject, were indeed objects of pity. They could not divest their minds of the opinion, that idols were something more than mere names; and therefore when they partook of meat offered to them, did it with a consciousness of the idol. Towards these what noble condescension did the apostle exercise and recommend! May we imbibe his spirit, and instead of causing a brother to offend, may we ever instruct, encourage, and confirm him in the faith.
7. With a consciousness of, &c. With a persuasion that the idol is a real superior being; and in this view, partaking of it they sin against their own conscience, because they act contrary to what they perceive.
10. In an idol's temple. Where the feasts or sacrifices were made, on which many of the poor were accustomed to eat.- -Will not the, &c. Will not weak and uninformed brethren be induced to eat after your example. 11. Weak brother's peace, &c. See Rom. xiv. 15, and note; and consider the next verse, where they are said to "wound their weak consciences."
13. I will never more, &c. How noble this resolution! Paul would do nothing to ensnare, but would exercise any self-denial to promote the peace and comfort of the weakest brothers.
CHAP. IX. 1, 2. Am I not a free-mun? These questions not only bear on the subject which occupied the apostle's mind; but were cutting to
those who had called his authority in question.Have I not seen, &c. And can therefore bear witness of his resurrection. Acts i. 22.--Ye are the seal, &c. Your conversion from idolatry and vice proves my apostleship as a seal authenticates a writing.
3—6. To those that examine me, &c. Why I do not receive a stipend from you, as if I were not an apostle on this account.-To eat and to drink, At the charge of our converts; or "to lead about a christian wife" as well as other apostles? Have not I and Barnabas the same right to forbear working for our maintenance, if we chose to use it?
7-14. Who ever serveth in war, &c. These questions amount to this, that the labourer is worthy of his hire.——After the manner, &c. According to their customs. Does not the law teach the same? See Deuter. xxv. 4. Worldly things. The discourse limits axa to this sense. -Live of the
the corn." Doth God take care for oxen? | gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ 10 Or doth he say this altogether for our sakes? without charge, so as not to use my right in For our sakes, no doubt, this was written: for the gospel. he that ploweth ought to plow in hope: and he that thresheth should do it in hope of par11 taking. If we have sown to you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your 12 worldly things? If others be partakers of If others be partakers of this right over you, ought not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this right; but endure all things, that we may not give any 13 hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Know ye not that they who minister about holy things, live of the things of the temple? and they who attend at the altar are partakers with the 14 altar? So likewise hath the Lord appointed that the preachers of the gospel should live by the gospel.
But I have used none of these things. Nor do I write these things, that it should be thus done to me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying 16 void. For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, wo to me, if I preach not the gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, the dispensation 18 of the gospel is committed to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER IX. 1. We learn that the ministers of the gospel have a just and equitable claim on the people to
For though I be free from all men, yet 19 have I made myself a servant to all, that I might gain the more. And to the Jews I be- 20 came as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; even to those that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those that are under the law; To those that are without 21 the law, as without the law, (being not without law to God, but under law to Christ,) that I might gain those that are without the law. To the weak 1 became as weak, that I 22 might gain the weak: I become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And this I do for the sake of the gospel, that 23 I may be a joint-partaker of its reward.
Know ye not that those who run in a race, 21 run all, but one only receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain. And every man who 25 contendeth in the games, is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible, but we an incorruptible crown. I therefore so 26 run, as not uncertainly; I so fight, as not 27 striking the air: but I bruise my body, and bring it into subjection; lest by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be disapproved.
whom they minister; and that they ought cheerfully to afford them a decent maintenance. Nor are they to be debarred the privilege of
things, &c. He alludes to the Jewish and heathen priests, who had a portion of the offerings made for their own support.
15. I have used none, &c. I have not claimed the rights and privileges of my office.My glorying void. Paul gloried in preaching the gospel without offence to man, which proved both his sincerity and his anxious wish to prevent any objections being made on that point.
16. Have nothing to glory of. In preaching it as others do, and living by it; "for necessity is laid, &c." by the Lord Jesus, who called me so miraculously to this work; and wo to me, if I should be unfaithful and negligent. 17. This thing willingly, &c. With zeal and perseverance I shall receive a proportionate reward; but if reluctantly, still the dispensation of the gospel is committed to me, and I must be accountable for the trust.
Without charge, so as not, &c See Pearce's note. That this is the sense appears from verse 12. If Paul had received support he would not have "abused his right," but have simply exercised it as others did.
19. A servant to all. In the gospel, being desirous to gain men to the knowledge of it, and to the enjoyment of its blessings.
20. To the Jews, &c. When living with them, observing the customs as to meats and other indifferent things; and going so far as to circumcise Pp3
Timothy, &c. Paul did not teach that it was sinful in the Jews observing the law, when they believed, but he taught that it was unnecessary, and might be dangerous, as leading them to trust in it instead of Christ.
21. To those without law, &c. To the Gentiles, who were without the law of Moses, without any revelation. Being not without, &c. I follow, with Pearce, some of the best mss. in reading 9 and The apostle, χριστο. while he did not observe the ceremonial law, regarded the moral law of God, while he lived under the law of Christ, or the gospel.
22. I become all things, &c. As far as they are lawful. The precept, Ch. viii. 9, is forcibly illustrated by what Paul says, verses 19-22.
23. That I may be a joint, &c. With other Christians, may attain the prize of my high calling of God, future happiness.
24. Know ye not, &c. The Istmean games, so famous in Greece, were celebrated near Corinth; and to these the apostle beautifully alludes. 26. As not uncertainly. With respect to the event; but with a full assurance of obtaining the prize set before me. As not striking the air. Wasting my strength and my labour, by missing any aim as the boxer sometimes
27. 1 bruise my body, &c. As the boxer did that of his antagonist, aud 299