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TEXT. 36 But if any man think he behaveth himself uncomely towards 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. 37 Nevertheless, he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no

necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart, that he will keep his virgin, doth well.

PARAPHRASE. most suitably, and as best becomes christianity, apply

yourselves to the study and duties of the gospel, without 36 distraction. But, if any one thinks that he carries not

himself as becomes him, to his virgin, if he lets her pass the flower of her age uninarried, and need so requires,

let him do, as he thinks fit; he sins not, if he marry her. 37 But whoever is settled in a firm resolution of mind, and

finds himself under no necessity of marrying, and is master of his own will, or is at his own disposal, and has so determined in his thoughts, that he will keep his virginity',

NOTES. that it is best for a virgin to remain unmarried, yet I bind it not, i.c. I do not declare it to be unlawful to marry.

37 P llapierov seems used here for the virgin state, and not the person of a virgin; wliether there be examples of the like use of it, I know not; and therefore I propose it as my conjecture, upon these grounds: 1. Because the resolution of mind, here spoken of, must be in the person to be married, and not in the father, that has the power over the person concerned : for how will the firmness of mind, of the father, hinder fornication in the child, who has not that firmness? 2. The necessity of marriage can only be judged of by the persons themselves. A father cannot feel the child's fames, which make the need of marriage. The persons themselves only know, whether they burn, or have the gift of continence. 3. 'Exeolær ixen med to idio Denipals, “ hath the power ã over his own will," must either signify, “can govern his own desires, is mas. « ter of his own will:” but this cannot be meant here, hecause it is sufficiently expressed before, by idfare tñ raporta, “ sted fast in heart;" and afterwards too, by zexpixsy iv tñ xapoia, “ decreed in heart;" or must signify, " has the a disposal of himself,” l.e. is free from the father's power, of disposing their children in marriage. For, I think, the words should be translated, “ hath a “ power concerning his own will,”' i.e. concerning what he willeth. For if, by it, St. Paul meant a power over his own will, one might think he would have expressed that thought, as he does chap. ix. 12, and Rom. ix. 21, without epis or by the preposition, ini, as it is Luke ix. 1. 4. Because, if “ keep his vir

gin" had here signified, keep his children from marrying, the expression had been more natural to have used the word TéxvQ, which signifies botlı sexes, than wapbére, which belongs only to the female. If therefore wapbéve. be taken abstractly fer virginity, the precedent verse must be understood thus: “ Buc “ if any one think it a shame to pass the flower of his age unmarried, and " he finds it accessary to marry, let him do as he pleases; he sins not; let such TEXT.

38 So then, he that giveth her in marriage, doth well: but he that

giveth her not in marriage, doth better. 59 Tbe wife is bound by the law, as long as her husband liveth: but,

if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom

she will; only in the Lord. 40 But she is happier, if she so abide, after my judgment: and I

think also that I have the Spirit of God.

PARAPHRASE.

my

38 be chooses the better side! So then he that mar

rieth, doth well; but he that marrieth' not, doth 39 better. It is unlawful for a woman to leave her hus

band, as long as he lives: but, when he is dead, she is at liberty to marry, or not to marry, as she pleases, and to whom she pleases; which virgins cannot do, being

under the disposal of their parents; only she must take 40 care to marry, as a christian, fearing God. But, in

opinion, she is happier, if she remain a widow; and permit me to say, that whatever any among you may think, or say, of me, “ I have the Spirit of God, so " that I may be relied on in this my advice, that I do « not mislead you."

NOTES. " marry." I confess it is hard to bring these two vèrses to the same sense, and both of them to the design of the apostle here, without taking the words in one, or both of them, very figuratively. St. Paul here seems to obviate aa objection, that might be made against his dissuasion from marriage, viz. that it might be an indecency one should be guilty of, if one should live unmarried past one's prime, and afterwards be forced to marry. To which he answers, That no body should abstain upon the account of being a christian, but those, who are of steady resolutions, are at their own disposal, and have fully determined it in their own minds.

37 9 Kadws here, as in ver. 1, 8, and 26, signifies not simply good, but preferable

38' Naptáre being taken in the sense before-mentioned, it is necessary, in this verse, to follow the copies, which read yapítuor“ marrying," for insanikus, “ giving in marriage."

SECT. IV.

CHAP. VIII. 1-13.

CONTENTS.

Tuis section is concerning the eating things offered to idols; wherein one may guess, by St. Paul's answer, that they had writ to him, that they knew their christian liberty herein, that they knew that an idol was nothing; and, therefore, that they did well to show their knowledge of the nullity of the heathen gods, and their disregard of them, by eating promiscuously, and without scruple, things offered to them. Upon which, the design of the apostle here seems to be, to take down their opinion of their knowledge, by showing them, that, notwithstanding all the knowledge they presumed on, and were puffed up with, yet the eating of those sacrifices did not recommend them to God; vid. ver. 8, and that they might sin in their want of charity, by offending their weak brother. This seems plainly, from ver. 1-3, and 11, 12, to be the design of the apostle's answer here, and not to resolve the case, of eating things offered to idols, in its full latitude. For then he would have prosecuted it more at large here, and not have deferred the doing of it to chap. x. where, under another head, he treats of it more particularly

TEXT. 1 NOW as touching things offered unto idols, we kuow that we

all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

PARAPHRASE. As 1 for things offered up unto idols, it must not be

questioned, but that every one of you, who stand so much upon your knowledge, know that the imaginary gods, to whom the gentiles sacrifice, are not in reality gods, but mere fictions; but, with this, pray remember, that such a knowledge, or opinion of their knowledge, swells inen with pride and vanity. But charity it is, that improves

TEXT. .2 (And if any man think, that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth

nothing yet, as he ought to know. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him. 4 As concerning, therefore, the eating of those things, that are of

fered, in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in

the world, and that there is none other God but one. 5 For, though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven, or in earth, as there be gods many, and lords many.

PARAPHRASE. 2 and advances men in christianity". (But, if any one be

conceited of his own knowledge, as if christianity were a

science for speculation and dispute, he knows nothing yet 3 of christianity, as he ought to know it. But if any one

love God, and consequently his neighbour for God's sake,

such an one is made to know, or has got true knowledge 4 from God himself. To the question, then, of eating

things offered to idols, I know, as well as you, that an idol, i.e. that the fictitious gods, whose images are in the

heathen temples, are no real beings in the world: and 5 there is in truth no other but one God. For though there

be many imaginary nominal gods, both in heaven and earth', as are indeed all their many gods, and many lords,

NOTES. 1 1 To continue the thread of the apostle's discourse, the 7th verse must be read as joined to the 1st, and all between looked on as a parenthesis.

3 b Eyrwęczue “ is made to know, or is taught.” The apostle, though writing in greek, yet often uses the greek verbs according to the Hebrew conjugations. So chap. xiii. 12, étuyvócopes, which, according to the greek pro. priety, signifies, “ I shall be known,” is used for," I shall be made to know;" and so, Gil. iv. 9, ywwobertes is put to signify, “ being taught."

5 €“ In heaven and earth.” The heathens had supremne' sovereign gods, whom they supposed eternal, remaining always in the heavens; those were

called 201, gods: they had besides another order of inferior gods, “ gods upon " earth," who, by the will and direction of the heavenly gods, governed terrestrial things, and were the mediators between the supreme, lieavenly gods and men, without whom there could be no communication between them. These were called in scripture, Baalim, i.e. Lords: and by the Greeks, saiyoyes. To this the apostle alludes here, saying, though there be, in the opinion of the heathens, “ gods many," i.e. many celestial, sovereign gods, in heaven : and

lords many, i.e. many baalim," or Lords-agent, and presidents over earthly things; yet to us, christians, there is but one sovereign God, the Father, of whom are all things, and to whom, as supreme, we are to direct all our services : and but one Lord-agent, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, that come from the Father to us, and, through whom alone we find access unto him. Mede's disc, on 2 Pet. ii. 1, or disc, 43, p. 242.

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TEXT. 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.) 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 of

fered unto an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are

we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 9 But take heed, lest, by any means, this liberty of yours become a

stumbling-block to them that are weak.

PARAPHRASE.

6 which are merely titular; Yet to us christians, there is

but one God, the Father and the Author of all things, to whom alone we address all our worship and service; and but one Lord, viz. Jesus Christ, by whom all things come

from God to us, and by whom we have access to the 7 Father.) For notwithstanding all the great pretences to

knowledge, that are amongst you, every one doth not know, that the gods of the heathens are but imaginations of the fancy, mere nothing. Some, to this day, conscious to themselves, that they think those idols to be real deities, eat things sacrificed to them, as sacrificed to real deities; whereby doing that which they, in their consciences,

not yet sufficiently enlightened, think to be unlawful, are 8 guilty of sin. Food, of what kind soever, makes not

God regard us“. For neither, if in knowledge, and full persuasion, that an idol is nothing, we eat things offered to idols, do we thereby add any thing to christianity: or if, not being so well informed, we are scrupulous, and for

bear, are we the worse christians, or are lessened by it. 9 But this you knowing men ought to take especial care of:

that the power of freedom you have to eat, be not made such an use of, as to become a stumbling-block to weaker

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NOTES. 8 d Oj aapisnos, sets us not before God, i.e. to be taken notice of by him.

e It cannot be supposed, that St. Paul, in answer to a letter of the corinthians, should tell them, that, if they eat things offered to idols, they were not the bet ter; or, if they eat not, were not the worse, unless they had expressed some opinion of good in eatings

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