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cree? And so it should be. What a place would that bought us ; by the agonies of the cross, and hearen be, if the drunkard, and the adulterer, the bitter pains of the death of God's own Son, and the idolator were there! How impure and we are bound to live to God, and to him alone. unholy would it be! How would it destroy all When we are tempted to sin, let us think of the our hopes, dim all our prospects, mar all our cross. When Satan spreads out his allurements, jors, if we were told that they should sit down let us recall the remembrance of the sufferings of with the just in heaven! Is it not one of our Calvary, and remember that all these sorrows fondest hopes that heaven will be pure, and that were endured that we might be pure. Oh, how all its inhabitants shall be holy? And can God would sin appear were we beneath the cross, and admit to his eternal embrace, and treat as his did we feel the warm blood from the Saviour's
eternal friend, the man who is unholy; whose open veins trickle upon us! Who would dare I life is stained with abomination; who loves to indulge in sin there! Who could do otherwise
corrupt others; and whose happiness is found in than devote himself, body, and soul, and spirit, the sorrows, and the wretchedness, and vices of | unto God ? I others ? No; religion is pure, and heaven is
pure ; and whatever men may think, of one thing they may be assured, that the fornicator, and the drunkard, and the reviler shall not inherit the
CHAPTER VII. kingdom of God.
7th. If none of these can be saved as they are, Ver. 1. Now concerning the things whereof ye what a host are travelling down to hell! How wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to large a part of every community is made up of
touch a woman. such persons ! How vast is the number of drunkards that are known! How vast the host This chapter commences the second part or of extortioners, and of covetous men, and re- division of this epistle, or, the discussion of those vilers of all that is good! How many curse points which had been submitted to the apostle, their God and their fellow men! How difficult in a letter from the church at Corinth, for his to turn the corner of a street without hearing | instruction and advice. See the Introduction to an oath! How necessary to guard against the
the epistle. The letter in which they proposed frauds and deceptions of others ! How many the questions which are here discussed, has been men and women are known to be impure in their lost. It is manifest that, if we now had it, it lives! In all communities how much does this would throw some light on the answers which sin abound ! and how many shall be revealed at Paul has given to their inquiries in this chapter. the great day as impure, who are now udsus The first question which is discussed (ver. 1-9) pected! how many disclosed to the universe as is, whether it were lawful and proper to enter all covered with pollution, who now boast even into the marriage relation. How this question of purity, and who are received into the scciety had arisen, it is not now possible to determine of the virtuous and the lovely! Verily, the broad with certainty. It is probable, however, that it road to hell is thronged! Ănd verily, the earth | arose from disputes between those of Jewish exes pouring into hell a most dense and wretched traction, who held not only the lawfulness, but population, and rolling down a tide of sin and the importance of the marriage relation, accordmisery that shall fill it with groans and gnashing
ing to the doctrines of the Old Testament, and of tecth for ever.
certain followers or friends of some Greek phi8th. It is well for Christians to reflect on their losophers, who might have been the advocates of former course of life, as contrasted with their celibacy. But why they advocated that doctrine present mercies. (Ver. 11.) Such were they, and is unknown. It is known, however, that many such they would still have been but for the mercy even of the Greek philosophers, among whom of God. Such as is the victim of uncleanness were Lycurgus, Thales, Antiphanes, and Soand pollution, such as is the profane man and the crates, (see Grotius,) thought that, considering reviler, such we should have been but for the “the untractable tempers of women, and how mercy of God. That alone has saved us, and troublesome and fraught with danger was the that only can keep us. How should we praise
id we praise
education of ch
education of children,” it was the part of wisdom God for his mercy, and how are we bound to not to enter into the marriage relation. From love and serve him for his amazing compassion them may have been derived the doctrine of cein raising us from our deep pollution, and saving
| libacy in the Christian church; a doctrine that us from hell!
has been the cause of so much corruption in the 9th. Christians should be pure. (Ver. 11-19.) monastic system, and in the celibacy of the clergy They should be above suspicion. They should among the papists. The Jews, however, every avoid the appearance of evil. No Christian can where defended the propriety and duty of marbe too pure; none can feel too much the obliga riage. They regarded it as an ordinance of God. tion to be holy. By every sacred and tender And to this day they hold, that a man who has consideration God urges it on us; and by a re arrived to the age of twenty years, and who has ference to our own happiness, as well as to his not entered into this relation, unless prevented by own glory, he calls on us to be holy in our lives.
natural defects, or by profound study of the law, 10th. May we remember that we are not our
sins against God. Between these two classes, or own. (Ver. 20.) We belong to God. We have those in the church who had been introduced been ransomed by sacred blood. By a reference there from these two classes, the question would to the value of that blood; by all its preciousness be agitated whether marriage was lawful and and worth; by all the sighs, and tears, and groans | advisable.
Another question which, it seems, had arisen in some circumstances, not to enter into the maramong them was, whether it was proper to con- riage relation. See ver. 7, S, 26, 28, 31, 32. Vor tinue in the married state in the existing condi- | to touch a woman.--Not to be connected with her | tion of the church, as exposed to trials and perse-| by marriage. Xenophon (Cyro. b. 1) uses the cutions; or whether it was proper for those who same word (ürtw, to touch) to denote marriage. had become converted, to continue their relations Comp. Gen. xx. 4, 6; xxvi. 11. Prov. vi. 29. in life with those who were unconverted. This the apostle discusses in ver. 10—24. Probably | VER. 2. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let many supposed that it was unlawful to live with
every man have his own wife, and let every those who were not Christians; and they thence inferred, that the relation which subsisted before
woman have her own husband. conversion should be dissolved. And this doc Nevertheless.-But (02). Though this is to be trine they carried to the relation between master admitted as proper where it can be done, when a and servant, as well as between husband and man has entire control of himself and his pas. wife. The general doctrine which Paul states in ) sions, and though in present circumstances it answer to this is, that the wife was not to depart would be expedient, yet it may be proper also to from her husband (ver. 10); but if she did, she enter into the marriage connexion. To avoid was not at liberty to marry again, since her fornication.-Gr. On account of (ii) fornication. former marriage was still binding. (Ver. 11.) | The word fornication is used here in the larze He added, that a believing man, or Christian, sense of licentiousness in general. For the sake should not put away his unbelieving wife, (ver. of the purity of society, and to avoid the evils of 12,) and that the relation should continue, not sensual indulgence, and the corruptions and withstanding a difference of religion; and that if crimes which attend an illicit intercourse, it is a separation ensued, it should be in a peaceful proper that the marriage state should be entered manner, and the parties were not at liberty to To this vice they were particularly exposed in i marry again. (Ver. 13—17.) So, also, in regard | Corinth. See the Introduction. Paal would keep to the relation of master and slave. It was not the church from scandal. How much evil, hori to be violently sundered. The relations of life much deep pollution, how many abominable were not to be broken up by Christianity ; but crimes would have been avoided, which have every man was to remain in that rank of life in since grown out of the monastic system, and the which he was when he was converted, unless it | celibacy of the clergy among the papists, if Paul's could be changed in a peaceful and lawful advice had been followed by all professed Chrismanner. (Ver. 18-24.)
tians! Paul says that marriage is honourable, A third subject submitted to him was, whether and that the relations of domestic life should be it was advisable, in existing circumstances, that formed to avoid the evils which would otherwise the unmarried virgins who were members of the result. The world is the witness of the erils church should enter into the marriage relation. which flow from the neglect of his advice! (Ver. 25-40.) This the apostle answers in the Every community where the marriage tie has remainder of the chapter. The sum of his ad- been lax and feeble, or where it has been dissevice on that question is, that it would be lawful garded or dishonoured, has been full of pollution, for them to marry, but that it was not then ad- and it ever will be. Society is pure and virtuous. visable ; and that, at all events, they should so just as marriage is deemed honourable, and as act as to remember that life was short, and so as its vows are adhered to and preserved. La not to be too much engrossed with the affairs of every man, &c.-Let the marriage row be hothis life, but should live for eternity. He said noured by all. Have his own wife.-And one that though it was lawful, yet, (1.) In their pre- wife, to whom he shall be faithful. Polygamy is sent distress it might be unadvisable. (Ver. 26.) unlawful under the gospel; and divorce is un(2.) That marriage tended to an increase of care lawful. Let every man and woman, therefore, and anxiety, and it might not be proper then to honour the institution of God, and avoid the erik enter into that relation. (Ver. 32-35.) (3.) of illicit indulgence. That they should live to God. (Ver. 29–31.) (4.) That a man should not be oppressive and VER. 3. Let the husband render unto the wife harsh towards his daughter, or towards one under
due benevolence; and likewise also the sife his care; but that, if it would be severe in him to forbid such a marriage, he should allow it.
unto the husband. (Ver. 36.) And, (5.) That on the whole it was
a Exod. xxi. 10. 1 Pet. iii. 7. advisable, under existing circumstances, not to enter into the marriage relation. (Ver. 38–40.) Let the husband, &c.—"Let them not imagine
Now, concerning, &c.-In reply to your in- that there is any virtue in living separate from 1 quiries. The first, it seems, was in regard to the each other, as if they were in a state of celibacy.* propriety of marriage; that is, whether it was – Doddridge. They are bound to each other; lawful and expedient. It is good.-It is well. It in every way they are to evince kindness, and ! is fit, convenient; or, it is suited to the present to seek to promote the happiness and purity of circumstances ; or, the thing itself is well and each other. There is a great deal of delicacy expedient in certain circumstances. The apostle used here by Paul, and his expression is removed did not mean that marriage was unlawful, for he as far as possible from the grossness of heathen says (Heb. xii. 4) that “marriage is honourable writers. His meaning is plain; but instead of in all.” But he here admits, with one of the using a word to express it which would be indeparties in Corinth, that it was well, and properlicate and offensive, he uses one which is not
indelicate in the slightest degree. The word tors, as Macknight and Rosenmüller, however, which he uses (Eivotav, benevolence) denotes suppose it refers to what follows, and appeal to kindness, good-will, affection of mind. And by | similar places in Joel i. 2. Psa. xlix. 2. 1 Cor. the use of the word “due," (doudouévny,) he x. 23. Calvin supposes it refers to what was reminds them of the sacredness of their vow, said in ver. 1. By permission, (ovyyvóunv.) and of the fact that in person, property, and in This word means indulgence or permission, and every respect, they belong to each other. It stands opposed to that which is expressly en
was necessary to give this direction, for the con joined. Comp. ver. 25. “I am allowed to say | trary might have been regarded as proper by this; I have no express command on the submany who would have supposed there was spe ject; I give it as my opinion; I do not speak it cial virtue and merit in living separate from directly under the influence of divine inspiraeach other ;-as facts have shown that many tion." See ver. 10, 25, 40. Paul here does not have imbibed such an idea ;-and it was not claim to be under inspiration in these directions possible to give the rule with more delicacy than which he specifies. But this is no argument Paal has done. Many MSS., however, instead against his inspiration in general, but rather the of "due benevolence,” read óperv, a debt, or contrary. For, (1.) It shows that he was an that which is oured; and this reading has been honest man, and was disposed to state the exact
adopted by Griesbach in the text. Homer, with | truth. An impostor, pretending to inspiration, , a delicacy not unlike the apostle Paul, uses the would have claimed to have been always in
word góryra, friendship, to express the same spired. Who ever heard of a pretender to divine idea.
inspiration admitting that in any thing he was
not under divine guidance? Did Mahomet ever Ver. 4. The wife hath not power of her own | do this? Do impostors now ever do it? (2.) It I body, but the husband : and likewise also the shows that in other cases, where no exception is husband hath not power of his own body, but
made, he claimed to be inspired. These few
exceptions, which he expressly makes, prove the wife.
that in every where else he claimed to be under The rife hath not power, &c.—By the marriage the influence of inspiration. (3.) We are to supcovenant that power, in this respect, is trans pose, therefore, that in all his writings, where ferred to the husband. And likewise, also, the he makes no express exceptions, (and the excephusband. — The equal rights of husband and wife, tions are very few in number,) Paul claimed to in the Scriptures, are every where maintained. | be inspired. Macknight, however, and som They are to regard themselves as united in most others, understand this as mere advice, as an inintimate union, and in most tender ties.
spired man, though not as a command. Not of
commandment.-Not by express instruction from VER. 5. Defraud ye not one another, except it the Lord. See ver. 25. I do not claim in this be with consent for a time, that ye may give to be under the influence of inspiration; and my yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come
counsel here may be regarded or not, as you may together again, that Satan tempt you not for
be able to receive it. I your incontinency.
VER. 7. For I would that all men were even as Joel ii. 16. c 1 Thess. iii. 5.
I myself. But every man hath his proper Defraud ye not, &c.—Of the right mentioned
gift of God, one after this manner, and another above. Withdraw not from the society of each
after that. viber. Ercept it be with consent.-With a mutual
d Matt. xix. 11, 12. understanding, that you may engage in the ex
For I would, &c.—I would prefer. That all traordinary duties of religion. Comp. Exod.
men, &c.—That Paul was unmarried, is evident xix. 15. And come together again, &c.- Even by
from 1 Cor. ix. 5. But he does not refer to this mutual consent: the apostle would not have this
fact here. When he wishes that all men were separation to be perpetual, since it would expose
like himself, he evidently does not intend that then to many of the evils which the marriage
he would prefer that all should be unmarried, for relation was designed to avoid. That Satun, &c. --That Satan take not advantage of you, and
this would be against the divine institution, and
against his own precepts elsewhere. But he throw you into temptation, and fill you with thoughts and passions which the marriage com
would be glad if all men had control over their | pact was designed to remedy.
passious and propensities, as he had ; had the
gift of continence, and could abstain from marVER. 6. But I speak this by permission, and not
riage when circumstances of trial, &c. would of commandment.
make it proper. We may add, that when Paul
wishes to exhort to any thing that is difficult, be But I speak this by permission, &c.— It is not usually adduces his own example, to show that it quite certain whether the word “ this,” (TOūTO,) may be done; an example which it would be well in this verse, refers to what precedes, or to what for all ministers to be able to follow. But every Pollows. On this commentators are divided. The l man huth his proper gift.-Every man has his own more natural and obvious interpretation would I peculiar talent or excellence. One man excels De to refer it to the preceding statement. I am in one thing, and another in another. One may inclined to think that the more natural construc- not have this particular virtue, but he may le I 190 is the true one, and that Paul refers to what distinguished for another virtue quite as valuable.
he had said in ver. 5. Most recent commenta- | The doctrine here is, therefore, that we are not to judge of others by ourselves, or measure their the prey of raging, consuming, and exciting virtue by ours. We may excel in some one passions. thing, they in another. And because they have not our peculiar virtue or capability, we are not
Ver. 10. And unto the married I command, yet to condemn or denounce them. Comp. Matt. not I, but the Lord, Let' not the wife depart xix. 11, 12. Of God.- Bestowed by God, either
from her husband : in the original endowments and faculties of body or mind, or by his grace. In either case, it is
f Mal. ii. 14–16. Matt. xix, 6, 9. the gift of God. The virtue of continence is his And unto the married.—This verse commences gift as well as any other; and Paul had reason. the second subject of inquiry ; to wit, whether it | as any other man must have, to be thankful that was proper, in the existing state of things, for! God had conferred it on him. So if a man is those who were married to continue this relation, naturally amiable, kind, gentle, large-hearted, or whether they ought to separate. The reasons i tender, and affectionate, he should regard it as why any may have supposed that it was best to the gift of God, and be thankful that he has vot separate, may have been, (1.) That their troubles : to contend with the evils of a morose, proud, and persecutions might be such that they might haughty, and severe temper. It is true, how judge it best that families should be broken up;, ever, that all these virtues may be greatly and, (2.) Probably many supposed that it was strengthened by discipline, and that religion unlawful for a Christian wife or husband to be gives vigour and comeliness to them all. Paul's connected at all with a heathen and an idolator. I virtue in this was strengthened by his resolution ; command, yet not I, but the Lord.-Not I so inuch by his manner of life; by his frequent fastings as the Lord. This injunction is not to be underand trials, and by the abundant employment stood as advice merely, but as a solemn, divine which God gave him in the apostleship. And it command, from which you are not at liberty to is true still, that if a man is desirous to overcome depart. Paul here professes to utter the lanthe lusts of the flesh, industry, and hardship, and guage of inspiration, and demands obedience. trial, and self-denial, will enable him, by the The express command of “ the Lord” to which grace of God, to do it. Idleness is the cause of he refers, is probably the precept recorded in no small part of the corrupt desires of men ; and Matt. v. 32, and xix. 3–10. These precepts of God kept Paul from these, (1.) By giving him Christ asserted that the marriage tie was sacred enough to do; and, (2.) By giving him enough and in violable. Let not the wife depart, &c.to suffer.
Let her not prove faithless to her marriage vows; VER. 8. I say therefore to the unmarried and
let her not, on any pretence, desert her husband.
Though she is a Christian, and he is not, yet let widows, It is good for them if they abide even
her not seek, on that account, to be separate as I.
from him. The law of Moses did not permit a wife It is good for them. It may be advisable, in
to divorce herself from her husband, though it was the present circumstances of persecution and dis
sometimes done, (comp. Matt. X. 12:) but the tress, not to be encumbered with the cares and
Greek and Roman laws allowed it.-Grotius. But anxieties of a family. See ver. 26, 32-34. The
Panl here refers to a formal and legal separation word “ unmarried” (ayápouc), may refer either
before the magistrates, and not to a voluntary sepato those who had never been married, or to wi.
ration without intending to be formally divorced. dowers. It here means simply those who were
The reasons for this opinion are, (1.) That such at that time unmarried, and his reasoning applies
divorces were known and practised among both to both classes. And to widows.-The apostle
Jews and heathens. (2.) It was important to specifies these, though he had not specified wi- |
settle the question whether they were to be aldowers particularly.
(3.) The clajin The reason of this distinc
lowed in the Christian church. tion seems to be, that he considers more parti
would be set up, probably, that it might be done. cularly the case of those females who had never
(4.) The question whether a voluntary separabeen married, in the close of the chapter. (Ver.
tion might not be proper, where one party was a 25.) That they abide. That they remain, in
Christian and the other not, he discusses in the the present circumstances, unmarried. See
following verses. (Ver. 12–17.) Here, therever. 26.
fore, he solemnly repeats the law of Christ, that,
divorce, under the Christian economy, was not VER. 9. But if they cannot contain, let e them to be in the power either of the husband of Wife. marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
Ver. 11. But and if she depart, let her reina o e I Tim. v. 14. But if they cannot contain.- If they have not
unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband : the gift of continence ; if they cannot be secure
and let not the husband put away his wife. against temptation ; if they have not strength of But and if she depart.-If she hare withdrawn virtue enough to preserve them from the danger by a rash and foolish act; if she has atteinpred of sin, and of bringing reproach and scandal on the to dissolve the marriage vow, she is to female church. It is better. It is to be preferred. Than to unmarried, or be reconciled. She is not sa burn. -The passion here referred to is often com- liberty to marry another. This may refer, I supa pared to a fire. See Virg. Æn. iv. 68. It is better pose, to instances where wives, ignorant of the to marry, even with all the inconveniences attend- | rule of Christ, and supposing that they had a ing the marriage life, in a time of distress and right to separate themselves from their husban is persecution in the church (ver. 26,) than to be had rashly left them, and had supposed that the
1marriage contract was dissolved. Pau! tells them truth and duty. If any brother.–Any Christian. I that this was impossible ; and that if they had That believeth not. That is not a Christian ; that
so separated from their husbands, the pure laws is a heathen. And if she be pleased. If it seems of Christianity did not recognise this right, and best to her; if she consents; approves of living they must either be reconciled to their husbands, together still. There might be many cases where
or remain alone. The marriage tie was so sa- | the wife or the husband, that was not a Christian. , cred, that it could not be dissolved by the will would be so opposed to Christianity, and so vioof either party. Let her remain unmarried.- lent in their opposition, that they would not be
is. let her not marry another. Or be re- willing to live with a Christian. When this was i conciled to her husband.—Let this be done, if the case, the Christian husband or wife could not
possible : if it cannot be, let her remain unmar- prevent the separation. When this was not the ried. It was a duty to be reconciled, if it was case, they were not to seek a separation them
possible. If not, she should not violate her vows selves. To dwell with him.-To remain in con; to her husband so far as to marry another. It nexion with him as his wife, though they differed
is evident that this rule is still binding, and that on the subject of religion. Let him not put her no one who has separated from her husband, away.--Though she is a heathen, though opposed whateser be the cause, unless there be a regular to his religion, yet the marriage vow is sacred divorce, according to the law of Christ, (Matt. and inviolable. It is not to be sundered by any F. 32,) can be at liberty to marry again. And change which can take place in the opinions of let not the husband.--See Note, Matt. v. 32. This either party. It is evident that if man were at right, granted under the Jewish law, and prac | liberty to dissolve the marriage tie, or to discard tised among all the heathen, was to be taken his wife when his own opinions were changed on away wholly under the gospel. The marriage the subject of religion, that it would at once detie was to be regarded as sacred; and the ty- | stroy all the sacredness of the marriage union, ranny oi man over woman was to cease.
and render it a nullity. Even, therefore, when
there is a difference of opinion on the vital subVER. 12. But to the rest speak I, not 8 the Lord : ject of religion, the tie is not dissolved ; but the
If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, only effect of religion should be, to make the conand she be pleased to dwell with him, let him
verted husband or wife more tender, kind, affec
tionate, and faithful than they were before; and not put her away.
all the more so, as their partners are without the g Ezra x. 11, &c.
hopes of the gospel, and as they may be won to But to the rest.-“ I have spoken in regard to | love the Saviour. (Ver. 16.) the duties of the unmarried, and the question whether it is right and advisable that they should
| VER. 13. And the woman which hath a husband marry. (Ver. 1-G.) I have also uttered the that believeth not, and if he be pleased to command of the Lord in regard to those who are dwell with her, let her not leave him. married, and the question whether separation and divorce were proper. Now, in regard to the rest
Let her not leave him.- A change of phraseoof the persons and cases referred to, I will deliver / logy from the last verse, to suit the circumstanmy opinion.” The rest, or remainder, here re- ces. The wife had not power to put away the ferred to, relates particularly to the cases in which
| husband, and expel him from his own home; but one party was a Christian and the other not. In she might think it her duty to be separated from the previous verses he had delivered the solemn,
him. The apostle counsels her not to do this; and explicit law of Christ, that divorce was to take
this advice should still be followed. She should place on reither side, and in no instance, except
still love her husband, and seek his welfare ; she agreeably to the law of Christ. (Matt. v, 32.)
should be still a kind, affectionate, and faithful That was settled by divine authority. In the
disine authority. In the wife; and all the more so that she may show him subsequent verses he discusses a different ques
the excellence of religion, and win him to love it. tion; whether a voluntary separation was not
She should even bear much, and bear it long; advisable and proper when the one party was a
nor should she leave him, unless her life is renChristian and the other not. The word “rest” | dered miserable, or in danger; or unless he refers to these instances, and the questions which
vections which | wholly neglects to make provision for her, and would arise under this inquiry. Not the Lord. leaves her to suffering, to want, and to tears. In Note, rer. 6. “I do not claim, in this advice, to
such a case, ne precept of religion forbids her to be under the influence of inspiration; I have no
return to her father's house, or to seek a place of express command on the subject from the Lord ;
safety and of comfort. But even then it is not but I deliver my opinion as a servant of the / to be a separation on account of a difference of Lord. (ver. 40.) and as having a right to offer | religious sentiment, but for brutal treatinent. advice, even when I have no express command
command | Even then the marriage tie is not dissolved, and from God, to a church which I have founded, and | neither party are at liberty to marry again. which has consulted me on the subject." This
Ver. 14. For the unbelieving husband is sanctiwas a case in which both he and they were to follow the principles of Christian prudence and
fied by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is propriety, when there was no express com sanctified by the husband; else were your mandment. Many such cases may occur. But
children unclean ; but now are they holy. few, perhaps none, can occur, in which some Christian principle shall not be found, that will
h Mal. ii. 13, 16. be sutlicient to direct the anxious inquirer after For the unbelieving husband. The husband that