Imágenes de páginas

contain, let them use that remedy of marriage, which God hath ordained: it is better for them to betake themselves to lawful and honest matrimony, than to burn and boil with inordinate lusts and desires.

VII. 10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband, And, as for those that are married persons, I command them, and yet it is not so much my charge, as an Apostle of Christ, as it is God's own command in the Law and Christ's in the Gospel, let not the wife, upon any pretence, voluntarily depart from her husband.

VII. 12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife &c. But, to the rest, that are unequally matched with infidels, I speak, as an Apostle of Christ; having otherwise no express charge for it, either in the law, or in the words of Christ; If any brother, have, &c.

VII. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband : else were your children unclean ; but now are they holy. For, however it might seem, that the infidelity or paganism of the husband makes the marriage utterly unclean ; yet so doth God respect the piety of the believing wife, as that, by virtue thereof, the marriage is to all purposes accounted as holy; and such, as whereto the benefit of the promises and privileges of believing matches doth appertain; and so also is it in the case of an unbelieving wife: else, if the marriage were unholy, the children therein begotten should be unclean also ; but now, they are so far holy, as to be accounted, by virtue of such parentage, within the Church, and those to whom the benefit of the covenant of God belongeth,

VII. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. But if the unbelieving husband or wife will needs depart, and for, sake and renounce communion and matrimonial society with the party believing ; let them depart : do not ye find yourselves perplexed herein, A brother or sister is not hereupon so to be held in bondage to an infidel wife or husband, as that he or she must be forced to abstain from marriage with another : for God's calling doth not enforce upon us any necessary perplexedness, but rather opens us a way to peace of conscience.

VII. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband ? or how knowest thou, 0) man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? But if the unbelieving party will abide, it is fit, by all means, for the Christian busband or wife, to continue their matrimonial conversation : for wbat knowest thou, O man, whether thou mayest not be a means to save thy wife ; or thou, () wife, thy husband?

VII, 17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord

hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. And, now, having only these general rules, let every one apply them to his particular use; and so walk, and behave himself, as God hath distributed his gifts unto him; and according as the Lord hath called him, either to single life or marriage, to sejunction or cohabitation. And this order I give to all Churches.

VII. 18 Is any man called being circumcised ? let him not be come uncircumcised. And, as it is in the cases of marriage, so also in all other regards : Is any man called in the state of circumcision of body ? let him not strive to draw on the foreskin of his flesh so, as that he should seem to be uncircumcised.

VII. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Circumcision is not a thing that God now regards, neither doth he regard uncircumcision : neither of these can either hinder or further us to heaven : but it is the conscionable walking after the commandments of God, that God careth for.

VII. 20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Let every man abide contentedly and quietly in that condition, wherein he was called by God; not striving for a change thereof, as, in hope and desire to be better esteemed of God

VII. 21 Art thou called being a servant ? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. Art thou called a servant ? think not that this is any prejudice to thee, in respect of God's acceptance : but, if thou mayest be made free, make use of this favour of thy liberty, rather.

VII. 23 Ye are bought with a price ; be not ye the servants of


Ye are bought to a holy freedom, by the precious ransom of the blood of Christ ; and, therefore, if ye may be outwardly free, do not sell yourselves to the servitude of men; or, if ye be bondmen or servants, yet be not so the slaves of men, as, for their sakes, to do that, which is unworthy of your Christian profession.

VII. 25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. -Now, as concerning virgins, whether Christian parents ought to keep them at home in an unmarried estate, or place them forth in wedlock, I have no direct command in the Law of God; which hath not seemed to take notice of any such matter, as affectation of virginity : but, as I am an Apostle of Christ, and one that hath obtained this mercy of the Lord, to be faithful in the place wherein he hath set me, I give you this advice.

VII. 26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present dis. tress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. I suppose then, that it is best for a man, considering the present necessity and troublesomeness of the times, to continue in a single estate.

VII. 28 Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh : but I spare you. Nevertheless, such as yield to marriage shall have trouble in the flesh, through the cares of their husbands, or wives, or children; and the many burdens and encumbrances of affairs of their family: but I desire so to favour and ease your infirmity, as that ye may be free from these molestations; neither do I urge the contrary, in case of your disposition to marriage.

VII. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short : it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none. But this I say, brethren, the time, which we have to live here, is but short and momentary; and therefore it is not for us, to suffer ourselves to be entangled or besotted with the cares nor pleasures of this life : let those then, that have wives, not doat upon them, and be carried away with pleasure in them; but be so affected, as if they had none.

VII. 32 He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord. He, that is unmarried, and can contain, hath no secular occasions to distract his thoughts; but hath the more freedom to care for spiritual and heavenly things, how he may be approved to the Lord.

VII. 35 Not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that you may attend upon the Lord without distraction. Not that I would force upon you a necessity of containing, and thereby cast a snare upon your consciences; but I only advise you, what, if ye can be capable of it, is fit and comely, and that estate wherein ye may more freely and without distraction attend upon the Lord.

VIJ. 36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. Biit if any man find it not fit to continue his daughter in the state of virginity, for that, either her age or disposition persuades the contrary; I press him not, but leave him at liberty: let him do what he will; he offendeth not in giving her in marriage.

VII. 37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, hav. ing no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. Nevertheless, he, that is resolved thus to keep his daughter unmarried, finding no necessity either in her disposition or in his own estate, but perceives, after careful deliberation and enquiry, that he hath good ground, and power so to do, he doth well in it.

VII. 39 She is at liberly to be married to whom she will ; only in the Lord. She hath liberty to marry whom she will; but yet not in the flesh,

but in the Lord; having due respect to religion, and addressing herself to this lawful remedy with modesty and the fear of God.

VII, 40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment : and I think also that I have the Spirit of God. But she is happier, if she continue in the state of widowhood, according to my judgment; and I think that I also shall be yielded to have the Spirit of God, as well as your glorious and boasting teacbers,

VIII. 1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. Now, concerning things offered to idols, I do well know the grounds of your practice: upon the invitation of your infidel friends, ye eat of their meat which hath been sacrificed to idols, and pretend your knowledge of the vanity and nullity of their false gods ; so as you need not therefore forbear the meat, which hath been idly and foolishly offered unto them. Let this be yielded to you: we know that we all have knowledge; but what are we the better for that knowledge, which is hurtful to our brethren ? yea, we are the worse ; for we are puffed up with it, and, out of a proud conceit, neglect our weaker brethren : it were well, if our knowledge were less, so that our charity were more: knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

VIII. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him. But, if any man love God, and his brethren in and for God, the same man is approved and dearly respected of God: it is not therefore our knowledge, but our love, for which we are accepted of him. · VIII. 4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one, We know, that an Idol is no such thing as (it is made for) a God: it is nothing, but a false image of that, which is not : if it be materially wood or stone, it is formally nothing in the world : and that there is no other God, but one; the rest are lewd fictions.

VIII. 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him ; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. But to us, there is but one God; even that Eternal Father, of whom and from whom all things, and we amongst the rest, receive their being; and one Lord Jesus Christ, in and by whom all both being and blessings, are derived from God the Father unto us and all creatures.

VIII. 7 Howbeit, there is not in every man that knowledge : for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But, howsoever ye have knowledge to understand this, yet every man hath not: for some ignorant Christians, out of a mis-led conscience, thinking hereupon, that there is some virtue con

ceived to be in the Idol, eat the meat sacrificed thereunto, with some kind of good respect to the Idol; and so their conscience being weak, is, by your example, defiled and drawn into sin.

VIII. 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother peo rish, for whom Christ died? And so, out of the confidence of thy knowledge, this practice of thine shall be an occasion of the perishing of thy weak brother; whose soul should be dear unto thee, as that for which Christ thy Saviour died.

VIII, 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. Wherefore, rather than I would, by occasion of my meat, draw my brother into an offence, I would abstain, not only from meat thus sacrificed, but from eating any fesh whatsoever, so long as I should live.

IX. 1 Am I not an apostle ? am I not free ? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord ? are not ye my work in the Lord ? And if I could be content thus altogether to abridge myself of my liberty, how much more should ye be content to part with a lit. tle! For have not I as good reason to call for my own, and to stand upon the respects due to me, as another man? Am I not an Apostle? am I not a free man, as well as they have I not, though later in time, yet no less truly, seen Jesus Christ, our Lord, in his glorified estate, which is more than they have done, since bis as. cension ? are not ye my converts to God?

IX. 3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this. Mine answer, that I give to those that make question of my calling and Apostleship, is this, which I have now set down ; even the success of my labours amongst you, and your effectual conversion by me.

IX. 4 Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have not we power to eat and drink upon your charge, as well as other teachers ?

IX. 5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas ? Have not we power to lead about with us our wives, at the charge of the Church, as well as other Apostles; and as well as those of them, which were of the kindred of Christ; and as well as Peter? or to take the benefit of the ministration of grave Christian ma. trons, for our tendance and provision in our journey, as well as they?

IX. 6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working ? Or am I only and Barnabas excluded from the common privilege of others; and must be forced to work for our living; not expect. ing maintenance from you, and the rest of our auditors ?

IX. 7 Who gocth a warfare any time at his own charge ? Is there not reason, that we should live upon your cost? Is there

« AnteriorContinuar »