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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 distress, 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
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.
VII. 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
But if any man find it not fit to continue his daughter in the state of virginity, for that, either her age or disposition per
suades 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, having 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 liberty 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 teachers.
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 conceived 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 perish, 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 flesh 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 little! 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 his ascension? 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 matrons, 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 expecting maintenance from you, and the rest of our auditors?
IX. 7. Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charge? Is there not reason, that we should live upon your cost? Is there any reason, that we should labour upon our own? whỏ goeth a warfare &c.?
IX. 9, 10. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
Do ye think, that in that law God's principal aim and drift was to make provision for oxen? and did not rather therein intend to give order for those, which are, typically, the oxen of his spiritual husbandry; even those, which labour in his harvest? and, doubtless, it was meant chiefly to us, and given for our sakes; that we, which take pains in the field and floor of God, might both hope for and receive such recompence as is meet for us.
IX. 11. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
If we have conferred upon you spiritual blessings, and have brought you the knowledge of Christ and salvation by him, do ye think it a great matter, to return unto us some poor temporal provisions of food, raiment, and meet maintenance?
IX. 12. Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
Nevertheless, we have not made use of this power and liberty of taking maintenance from you; but rather take pains, and endure want, lest occasion should be hereupon taken to hinder the passage of the Gospel.
IX. 15. For it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
For it were better for me to die, than to lose this glory of my free and unrecompensed preaching of the Gospel, amongst you; wherein I have both prevented scandal, and outbidden and shamed the false apostles.
IX. 16. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
For preach I must: howsoever, I cannot nor may not glory in this, That I preach the Gospel; for I may not do otherwise: the necessity of my calling lays this duty upon me; and woe be to me, if I preach not the Gospel! so as this is no thank
IX. 17. For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the Gospel is committed unto me.
If I do it willingly, I have my reward with God: but if unwillingly and grudgingly, I lose my reward; because, I am, as it were, forced to my service by command: for this dispensation is committed unto me, howsoever; and I must discharge it upon my peril.
IX. 18. What is my reward then? Verily, that when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
The only thing, therefore, that I can holily glory in, is this, That I have preached the Gospel, cost-free; and have not so abused my power and liberty, as to be a scandal unto any whatsoever.
IX. 19. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
Ye talk of your liberty in these indifferent things: I am as free as you; free from all men; yet have I willingly yielded to make myself a servant to all men, &c.
IX. 21. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
To the Gentiles, that are without the Mosaical Law, I became, in ceremonial matters, as without the Law: (yet let no man tax me for a lawless man; I am not without the Law of God in respect of moral duties, and do willingly subject myself