Questions concerning the


state of celibacy considered.

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Tonis Cæs. 3.

ronis Cæs. 3.

23 • Ye are bought with a price; be mercy of the Lord to be faithful. A. 16, 4060.
the servants of men.
26 I suppose, therefore, that this is A. U. c. 809.

Anno Imp.Ne. 24 Brethren, "let every man, where- good for the present' distress, I say, in he is called, therein abide with God.

5 that it is good for a man so to be. 25 Now concerning virgins I have no 27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to commandment of the Lord : yet I give be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife ? seek my judgment, as a that hath obtained not a wife.


a Ch. 6. 20. 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19. See Lev. 25. 42.- ver. 20.- ver. 6,

10, 40. 2 Cor. 8. 8, 10.

• 1 Tim. 1. 16.ch. 4. 2. 1 Tim. 1. 12.

1, 8.

Or, necessity.

-$ ver

slave, is converted to the Christian faith, is the Lord's free- | nify a pure, unmarried young woman; but it is evident that man; his condition as a slave does not vitiate any of the pri- the word, in this place, means young unmarried persons of vileges to which he is entitled as a Christian : on the other | either sex, as appears from verses 26, 27, 32—34. and from hand, all free men, who receive the grace of Christ, must | Rev. xiv. 4. The word Tapieros, virgin, is frequently apconsider themselves the slaves of the Lord, i. e. his real plied to men as well as to women. See Suidas under the property, to be employed and disposed of according to his word Acéa• AUTOS Tapbevos xau ôiraloS UTIYOYE, He (Abel) godly wisdom ; who, notwithstanding his state of subjec- was a virgin, und a righteous man. In ver. 36. the word is tion, will find the service of his Master to be perfect freedom.supposed to mean the state of virginity or celibacyand very

Verse 23. Ye are bought with a price] As truly as your probable reasons are assigned for it; and it is evident that bodies have become the property of your masters, in conse- persons of either sex in a state of celibacy are the persons quence of his paying down a price for you ; so sure you are intended. now the Lord's property in consequence of your being pur- I have no commandment of the Lord] There is nothing in chased by the blood of Christ.

the sacred writings that directly touches this point. Some render this verse interrogatively. Are ye bought Yet I give my judgment] As every way equal to such with a price from your slavery? Du not again become slaves commandments, had there been any ; seeing I have received of men. Never sell yourselves; prefer and retain your the teaching of his own Spirit, and have obtained mercy of tke liberty, now that ye have acquired it.

Lord to be faithful to this heavenly gift, so that it abides In these verses the apostle shews that the Christian reli- with me to lead me into all truth. In this way I think the gion does not abolish our civil connexions :-in reference to apostle's words may be safely understood. them, where it finds us, there it leaves us. In whatever re- Verse 26. This is good for the present distress] There was lation we stood before our embracing Christianity, there we no period in the heathen times, when the church was not stand still ; our secular condition being no farther changed, under persecutions and afflictions; on some occasions, these than as it may be affected by the amelioration of our moral were more oppressive than at others. character.

The word avayan signifies necessity, distress, tribulation, Verse 24. Let every manabide with God.] Let him and calamity, as it does in Luke xxi. 23. 2 Cor. vi. 4. and live to God in whatsoever station he is placed by Providence. | xii. 10. In such times, when the people of God had no cer. If he be a slave, God will be with him even in his slavery ; |tain dwelling place; when they were lying at the mercy

of if he be faithful to the grace which he has received. It is their enemies, without any protection from the state; the very likely that some of the slaves at Corinth, who had been stute itself often among the persecutors; he who had a famiconverted to Christianity, had been led to think that their ly to care for, would find himself in very embarrassed cir. Christian privileges absolved them from the necessity of con- cumstances, as it would be much more easy to provide for tinuing slaves; or, at least, brought them on a level with his personal safety, than to have the care of a wife and their Christian masters. A spirit of this kind might have children. On this account, it was much better for unmar. soon led to confusion and insubordination, and brought ried persons to continue, for the present, in their celibacy. scandals into the church. It was therefore a very proper Verse 27. Art thou bound unto a wife .?] i. e. married; subject for the apostle to interfere in; and to his authority, for the marriage-contract was considered in the light of a the persons concerned would, doubtless, respectfully bow. bond.

Verse 25. Now concerning virgins This was another Seek not to be loosed] Neither regret your circumstances, subject on which the church at Corinth had asked the advice notwithstanding the present distress ; nor seek, on this acof the apostle. The word wapleros, virgin, we take to sig. count, for a dissolution of the marriage-contract. But if

All shoreld live, whether married


or single, in reference to eternity.

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28 But, and if thou marry, thou 30 And they that weep, as though A. M. 4960. A.U. C. 809: hast not sinned; and if a virgin (they wept not; and they that rejoice, AJU.0.0.0 Anno Imp. Ne

marry, she hath not sinned. Never- as though they rejoiced not; and they ronis Caes. 9. theless such shall have trouble in the flesh : but that buy, as though they possessed not; I spare you.

31 And they that use this world, as not 29 But this I say, brethren, the time is abusing it ; for the fashion of this world short: it remaineth, that both they

they that passeth away. have wives be as though they had none; 32 But I would have you without carefulness.

. Rom. 13. 11. 1 Pet. 4.7. 2 Pet. 3. 8,9.ch. 9. 18.

e Ps. 39. 6. Jam. 1. 10. & 4. 14. 1 Pet. 1. 24. & 4.7. 1 John 2. 17.

thou art under no matrimonial engagements, do not, for the

Your pleasing consort must be left, present, enter into any.

And you of house and lands bereft, Verse 28. But, and if thou marry] As there is no law

Must to the shades descend; against this, even in the present distress, thou hast not sin

The Cypress only, hated tree ! ned, because there is no law against this ; and it is only on

Of all thy much loved groves, shall theo account of prudential reasons, that I give this advice.

Its short-lived lord, attend. And, if a virgin marry] Both the man and the woman

Francis. have equal privileges in this case; either of them may marry without sin. It is probable, as there were many sects and Poor Heathenism! thou couldest give but cold comfort in parties in Corinth, that there were among them those who such circumstances as these: and infidelity, thy younger broforbud to marry, 1 Tim. iv. 3. and who might have main- ther, is no better provided than thou. taiued other doctrines of devils besides. These persons, or Verse 30. They that zeep, &c.] There will shortly be such doctrines, the apostle had in view when he says, they such a complete system of distress and confusion, that primay marry, and yet not sin.

vate sorrows and private joys will be absorbed in the weightier Trouble in the flesh] From the simple circumstance of the and more oppressive public evils—yet, let every man still conencumbrance of a family, while under persecution ; because tinue in his calling; let him buy, and sell, and traffic, as of the difficulty of providing for its comfort and safety while usual ; though in a short time, either by the coming persecuflying before the face of persecution,

tion, or the levelling hand of death, he that had earthly But I spare you.] The evil is coming ; but I will not press property, will be brought into the same circumstances with upon you the observance of a prudential caution, which you him who had none. might deem too heavy a cross.

Verse 31. And they that use this world] Let them who Verse 29. The time is short] These persecutions and dis- have earthly property or employments, discharge conscientresses are at the door, and life itself will soon be run out.-- tiously their duties from a conviction of the instability of Even then, Nero was plotting those grievous persecutions with earthly things. Make a right use of every thing, and perwhich he not only afflicted, but devastated the church of vert nothing from its use. To use a thing, is to employ it Christ.

properly, in order to accomplish the end to which it refers. They that hare wires] Let none begin to think of any To abuse a thing, signifies to pervert it from that use. Pass comfortable settlement for his family ; let him sit loose to through things temporal, so as not to lose those which are all earthly concerns, and stand ready prepared to escape for eternal. his life, or meet death, as the Providence of God may per- For the fashion ofilis world] Το σχήμα του κοσμου τουτου, mit. The husband will be dragged from the side of his wife signifies properly the present state or constitution of things; to appear before the magistrates, and be required either to the frame of the world; that is, the world itself. But often abjure Christ or die.

the term xoguos, world, is taken to signify the Jewish state

and polity; the destruction of this was then at hand ; and Linquenda tellus, et domus, et placens

this, the Holy Spirit might then signify to the apostle. Uxor; neque harum, quas colis, arborum

Verse 32. Without carefulness] Though all these things Te, præter invisus cupressos,

will shortly come to pass, yet do not be anxious about them. Ulla brevem dominum sequetur.

Every occurrence is under the direction and management of Hor. Odar. Lib. II. Od. xiv. ver. 22. God. The wrath of man shall praise him, and the remain

The difference of circumstances


of the married and single


A. M. 4060. * He that is unmarried careth for for the things of the Lord, that A..M..4960 A. U.C. 809. the things

things that belong Anno Imp. Neto the she may be holy both in body and A.U.C.09

. ronis Cæs. 3. Lord, how he may please the in spirit : but she that is married rosis Cas. 3. Lord.

careth for the things of the world, how she 33 But he that is 'married careth for the may please her husband. things that are of the world, how he may 35 And this I speak for your own profit; not please his wife.

that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that 34 There is difference also between a wife which is comely, and that ye may attend upon and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth the Lord without distraction.

a 1 Tim. 5. 5.

5 Gr. of the Lord, as ver. 34.

c Luke 10. 40, &c.

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der of it he shall restrain, and none can harm you


be therefore both himself and his state are to be preferred infifollowers of that which is good. We should all take the ad- ' nitely before those of the other. Nor could the apostle have vice of the poet :

meant any thing less; only for the present distress he gave his

opinion that it was best for those who were single to continue 6. With patient mind thy course of duty run;

And who does not see the propriety of the advice! God nothing does, nor suffers to be done,

Verse 31. There is a difference also between a wife and But thou would'st do thyself, could'st thou but see a virgin.] That is, there is this difference between a married The end of all events as well as He.” BYROM. and an unmarried woman. The unmarried carelh (only) for

the things of the Lord, having no domestic duties to perform. Ile that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to That she may be holy; separated to divine employments both the Lord] He has nothing to do with a family, and there in body and spirit. Whereas, she that is married, cureth fore can give his whole time to the service of his Maker ; (also) for the things of the world, how she may please her having him alone to please.

husbund, having many domestic duties to fulfil; her husband Verse 33. But he that is married] He has a family to being obliged to leave to her the care of the family, and all proride for, and his wife to please, as well as to fulfil his other domestic concerns. duty to God, and attend to the concerns of his own soul. On this verse there is a profusion of various readings in The single man has nothing to attend to but what concerns MSS. Versions, and Fathers, for which I must refer to his own salvation ; the married man has all this to attend to, Griesbach, as it would be impossible to introduce them here, and besides, to provide for his wife and family, and take so as to make them look like sense. care of their eternal interests also. The single man has very Verse 35. This I speak for your own profil] The advices little trouble comparatively; the married man has a great belong to yourselves alone, because of the peculiar circumdeal. The single man is an atom in society ; the married stances in which you are placed. Nothing spoken here was man is a small community in himself. The former is the cen- ever designed to be of general application ; it concerned the tre of his wn existence, and lives for himself alone. The church at Corinth alone ; or churches in similar circumlatter is diffused abroad, makes a much more important part Istances. of the body social, and provides both for its support and Not that I

тау cast a snare upon you] Ουχ ινα βρoχoν υμων continuance. The single man lives for, and does good to Tobanw-Ilere is a manifest allusion to the Retiarius among himself only; the murried man lives both for himself and the the Romans, who carried a small casting net, which he enpublic. Both the state and the church of Christ are depend- deavoured to throw over the head of his adversary, and thus ant on the married man; as from him, under God, the one entangle him. Or to a similar custom among the Persians has subjects, the other members ; while the single mun is! who made use of a noose called the diet camand, which but an individual in either; and by and bye will cease from they employed in the same way. One of these lies before both, and having no posterity, is lost to the public for ever. me; it is a strong silken cord, one end of which is a loop to The married man therefore, far from being in a state of in- be held in the hand; and the rest is in the form of a common feriority to the single man, is beyond him out of the limits snare or noose, which, catching hold of any thing, tightens of comparison. He can do all the good the other can do, in proportion as it is pulled by the hand that holds the though perhaps sometimes in a different way, and he can do loop. ten thousand goods that the other cannot possibly do. And The apostle therefore intimates that what he says

was not

In what cases a man may change


his purpose of celibacy.

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36 But if any man think that he his heart, having no necessity, but A M..486.. AO S. behaveth himself uncomely toward hath power over his own will, and A. 0.0.60. ronis Cees. 3. his virgin, if she pass the flower hath so decreed in his heart that he rouis Cæs. 3. of her age, and need so require, let him will keep his virgin, doeth well. do what he will, he sinneth not : a let them 38 "So then he that giveth her in marriage marry.

doeth well ; but he that giveth her not in mar37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in riage doeth better.

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care for.

intended absolutely to bind them, but to shew them the pro- | virgins under the power of parents and guardians, and the priety of following an advice which, in the present case, would ! usual inference is, that children are to be disposed of in marbe helpful to them in their religious connexions, that they riage by the parents, guardians, &c. Now this may be true, might attend upon the Lord without distraction, which they | but it has no foundation in the text, for TY,SELV TYY EQUTCU could not do in times of persecution, when, in addition to Tapbevor is not to keep his daughter's, but his own virginity, or their own personal safety, they had a wife and children to rather his purpose of virginity; for, as Phavorinus says, He

is called a virgin, who freely gives himself up to the Lord, reFor that which is comely, and that yc may attend upon the nouncing matrimony, and preferring a life spent in continenLord without distraction.] The original añia TipoS TO EvoXm-cy. And, that this must be the true import of these words, μον, και ευπροσεδρον τω Κυρίω απερισπασως, of which our appears from this consideration : that this depends upon the version is only a paruphrase, is thus translated by Bishop purpose of his own heart, and the power he has over his oren Pearson, But for the sake of decency, and of attending more will, and the no necessity arising from himself to change this easily upon the Lord without distraction. This is much more purpose. Whereas the keeping a daughter unmarried den literal than ours.

pends not on these conditions on her father's part, but on her Verse 36. Uncomely toward his virgin] Different mean- own : for, let her have a necessity, surely the apostle would ings have been assigned to this verse. I shall mention three not advise the father to keep her a virgin, because he had of the principal. 1.“ In those early times, both among the determined so to do ; nor could there be any doubt whether Ilebrews and Christians, the daughters were wholly in the the father had power over his own will or not, when no nepower of the father, so that he might give or not give them cessity lay upon him to betroth his virgin. The Greek runs in marriage as he chose ; and might bind them to perpetual to this sense : if he had stood already firm in his heart, findcelibacy if he thought proper; and to this case the apostle ing no necessity, viz. to change his purpose; and hath

power alludes. If the father had devoted his daughter to perpetual over his own will, not to marry ; finding himself able to pervirginity; and he afterwards found that she had fixed her affec- sist in the resolution he had made to keep his virginity; tions upon a person whom she was strongly inclined to marry, he docs well to continue a virgin ; and then the phrase, if and was now getting past the prime of life, he, seeing from his any man thinks he behaves himself unseemly towards his daughter's circumstances, that it would be wrong to force virgin, if it be overaged, and thinks he ought rather to join her to continue in her state of celibacy ; though he had de- in marriage ; refers to the opinions both of Jews and Gene termined before to keep her single, yet he might, in this case, tiles that all ought to niarry. The Jews say, that the time alter his purpose without sin, and let her, and her suitor, of marriage is from 16 or 17, to 20; while some of the Genmarry."

tiles specify from 30 to 35. If any think th:18, says the 2. “ The whole verse and its context speaks of young wo: apostle, let them do what they will, they sin not; let them men dedicated to the service of God, who were called tap- marry. And then he concludes with those words applied to beros, virgins, in the primitive church. And a case is put both cases : so then, both he that marries doeth well; and he here, “ that circumstances might occur to render the breach that marries not, doeth better. of even a vow of this kind necessary, and so no sin be com- This last opinion seems to be the true sense of the apostle. mitted."

It may be necessary to make a few general observations 3. “ The apostle by taposvos does not mean a virgin, but on these verses, summing up what has been said. the state of virginity, or celibacy, whether in man or woman.1. Ilaçhevos, here, should be considered as implying not Both Mr. Locke and Dr. Whitby are of this opinion, and the a virgin, but the state of virginity or celibacy. lutter reasons on it thus:

2. Trepaxuos, over-aged: must refer to the passing of It is generally supposed that these three verses relate to that time in which both the laws and customs of Jews and

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If a widow re-marry,


it must be in the Lord.

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39 *The wife is bound by the law as 40 But she is happier if she so AU.C. 80% long as her husband liveth ; but if her abide, after my judgment: and AUC.800. ronis Cæs. 3. husband be dead, she is at liberty to be " I think also that I have the Spirit married to whom she will; only in the Lord. of God.

ronis Cæs. 3.

• Rom. 7.2.2 Cor. 6. 14.

c Ver. 25.

_1 Thess. 4. 8.

Gentiles required men to marry. See above, and see the ligious sentiments; for, in reference to domestic peace, much Note on ver. 6.

depends on this. 3. Και ουτως οφειλει γινεσθαι, αnd need so require ; or Verse 40. But she is happier if she so abide] If she if there appear to be a necessity; is to be understood of any continue in her widowhood, because of the present distress, particular change in his circumstances, or in his feelings; or, | for this must always be taken in, that consistency in the that he finds, from the law and custom in the case, that it is apostle's reasoning may be preserved. If this were not una scandal for him not to marry ; then let him do what he derstood, how could St. Paul tell the widow that it would wills or purposes.

be more happy for her to continue in her widowhood than to 4. Instead of yameitwear, let them marry, I think re-marry? She who had tried both the state of celibacy and yQueitw, let him marry, is the true reading, and agrees the state of marriage, could certainly best tell which was most best with the context. This reading is supported by D*EFG. for her comfort: and he could not tell any thing but by an es. Syriuc, all the Arabic, Sclavonic, one of the Itala ; and St. press revelation from heaven, relative to the future state of Augustin. Si nubat, if he marry, is the reading of the any widow ; it is certain that he can never be understood Vulgate, several copies of the Itala, Ambrose, Jerom, Am- | as speaking in general; as there are multitudes of persons brosiaster, Sedulius and Bede. This reading is nearly of abundantly more bappy in their married than in their single the same import with the other ; let him do what he willeth, state : and there are many widows also much more happy in he sinneth not, let him marry; or, he sinneth not, if he their second marriage than they have been in their first. marry.

After my judgment] According to the view I have of the 5. The whole of the 37th verse relates to the purpose that subject, which view I take by the light of the Divine Spirit, the man has formed ; and the strength that he has to keep who shews me the tribulations which are coming on the his purpose of perpetual celibacy, being under no necessity church. But, says he, ver. 28. 1 spare you, I will not be to change that purpose.

more explicit concerning coming evils, as I wish to save you 6. Instead of ó exyauitur, he who giveth her in marriage, from all fore-bodings which bring torment. I propose to read ó yauitwy he who marrieth, which is the I think-I have the Spirit of God.] Arxw de xa' yw llysvuz reading of the Codex Alexandrinus, the Codex Vaticanus, Osov EXE1%, might be translated I am CERTAIN that I have No. 1209. and of some others: with Clemens, Methodius, and the Spirit of God. This sense of Soxely, (which we translate Basil. TY EAUTOU Tachsyon his own virgin, is added after the to seem, to think, to appear, &c.) I have noticed in another above, by several very ancient and reputable MSS. as also by part of this work. Ulpian

part of this work. Ulpiun on Demosthen. Olynth. 1. says, the Syriac, Armenian, Vulgate, Æthiopic, Clement, Basil, Op. To SOXE IN OU TAVTWS ETIAM 1602 00 TATOVCIY O1 falaitt, tatus, and others; but it seems so much like a gloss, that Gries- αλλα πολλακις και επι του αληθευειν· The word OOXEN bach has not made it even a candidate for a place in the text. is used by the ancients, not always to express what is DOUBTHe then who marrieth, though previously intending perpetual rul, but often to express what is true and certain.See virginity, doeth well; as this is agreeable to laws both divine Bp. Pearce. The apostle cannot be understood as expressing and human : and he who marrieth not, doeth betler ; because any doubt of his being under the inspiration of the Divine of the present distress : see ver. 26.

Spirit; as this would have defeated his object, in giving the Verse 39. The wife is bound by the law] This seems to above advices : for, if they were not dictated by the Spirit be spoken in answer to some other question of the Corin- of God, can it be supposed that, in the face of apparent thians, to this effect : “May a woman re-marry whose hus- self-interest, and the prevalence of strong passions, they band is dead, or who has abandoned her?” To which he could have been expected to have become rules of conduct replies, in general, That as long as her husband is living, the to this people? They must have understood him as assertlaw binds her to him alone; but, if the husband die, she is ing that he had the direction of the Spirit of God in giving free to re-merry; but only in the Lord: that is, she mut those opinions, else they could not be expected to obey. . not marry a heathen, nor an irreligious man: and she should not only marry a genuine Christian, but one of her own re. 1. In the preceding chapter we have met with subjects

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