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VI. I. Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
Dare any of you, having a suit or quarrel against his fellow Christian, go to law before heathen judges, and not before those of his own holy profession?
VI. 2. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, &c.?
Know ye not, that God's faithful and holy ones, which are his saints here on earth, shall have the honour one day, to be admitted to sit on thrones, in assistance of Christ, to judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, &c.?
VI. 3. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
Know ye not, that we shall sit on judgment upon the very Angels themselves; even upon those evil and apostate spirits, which do now sway so much in the world? how much more should we be thought worthy to pass our judgment upon the trivial and base things, that pertain to this life!
VI. 11. But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
But ye are now cleansed and purged from these your sins, in that ye are both justified and sanctified: justified, by the power and merits of Christ; sanctified, by the Spirit of our God; applying to you the efficacy of his passion and obedience.
VI. 12. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Do not think, that ye may safely take your free scope and liberty in things indifferent: it is true, all things of that nature are lawful to be done, but yet they are not all meet and expedient to be done: we Christians must follow another rule, even of charity also, in the use hereof.
VI. 13. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not fo fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
It is not for you, to strive about matter of meats: meat is ordained for the filling of the belly, and the belly is ordained to be the receptacle of those meats for the nourishing of the body; but they are, both, of a perishing and transitory condition; not worthy to take up our thoughts, and to be the grounds of contention in God's Church. But, as for fornication, that is of another rank: let no man think, that, as the belly is for meat, so also the body is for fornication: howsoever that sin hath, in the time of your inconversion, been but of slight account, yet know now, that it is a heinous offence against God; for the body is not to be prostituted to lust, but to be consecrated to the Lord; and the Lord challenges the
members of the body, to be the propriety of himself, who is their head.
VI. 14. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
And God hath both raised up from the dead the Lord Christ, whose our bodies are; and will also, by his own mighty power, raise up these bodies of ours from corruption and mortality.
VI. 15. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take &c.?
Know ye not, that, by reason of that perfect union which is betwixt Christ and his Church, your bodies are the members of the mystical body of Christ? shall I then take &c.?
VI. 16. What? know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
Know ye not, that he, which is joined with a harlot, in an unclean and unlawful society, becomes, as it were, one body? for that, which was spoken of the lawful copulation of man and wife, That they two shall be one flesh, holds also of the corruption and violation of this holy institution of God: here is an impure and sinful unity, contracted in this unlawful and wicked conjunction.
VI. 17. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. But he, that cleaves to the Lord with all his heart, and is wholly devoted to his service, is, as it were, one spirit with God: not in essence, but in consent of will; in love; in all those graces, that may make him heavenly and divine.
VI. 18. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
Flee fornication. Every sin of a man, though it defile the committer, yet leaves not a direct blemish or taint upon the body; but rather staineth the soul primarily, and the body only by relation: but he, that commits this sin of fornication, doth directly and immediately sin against his own body, in making it one with a harlot.
VII. 1. Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
As concerning those questions, which you propounded to me in your letters, concerning single life and marriage; I answer thus: It were better for a man, if he could contain, not to touch a woman: the single life is very expedient, profitable, commendable to those that are fit for it.
VII. 2. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Nevertheless, because every man is not able to contain; to avoid fornication, let every such man, as cannot attain hereto,
have his own wife; and let every such woman have her own husband.
VII. 3. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
And let every such husband, in a sober and modest manner, render unto his wife those due respects, which pertain to the marriage-bed; and, likewise, the wife unto the husband.
VII. 4. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: &c.
The wife hath not power of her own body, to withhold and deny the lawful use thereof to her husband, or to impart it unto any other; but the husband only, as he is her head, hath power thereof, &c.
VII. 5. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Refuse not to give unto each other those dues of conjugal benevolence, which ye owe one to other, being thereto required; neither do ye estrange yourselves from matrimonial conversation, except it be with consent, for a time; that ye may give yourselves to the solemn exercise of fasting and prayer; and then converse together again, lest Satan take occasion and advantage by over long refraining, to tempt you to incontinency. VII. 6. But I speak this by permission, and not of command
But this, that I have spoken, concerning the speedy return to the use of the marriage-bed, I have not said by way of command; for if any find themselves able, without danger of incontinency, longer to abstain, I impose no necessity upon them of hasting to this remedy; but only, I speak this by way of permission, out of respect to the weakness of those, which are not able to contain.
VII. 7. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God.
For I could wish that all men were even as I myself am; free from these desires, and from these troubles of a married estate: But every man must do as he may; each one hath his proper gift of God.
VII. 8. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
I say then to those that are virgins or widows, It is good for them to continue in the state of single life, as I do; and this is to be laboured for, and carefully endeavoured.
VII. 9. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it. is better to marry than to burn.
But if, after earnest endeavour, they find themselves not able to 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 forsake 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, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
But if the unbelieving party will abide, it is fit, by all means, for the Christian husband or wife, to continue their matrimonial conversation: for what knowest thou, O man, whether
thou mayest not be a means to save thy wife; or thou, O 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 become 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 men.
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