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TEXT. 38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doth well: but he that
giveth her not in marriage doth better. 39 The 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. 38 side. So then he that marrieth doth well; but he that 39 marrieth" not doth better. It is unlawful for a woman to
leave her husband, 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 care to marry, as 40 a Christian, fearing God. But, in my 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. of himself," i. 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 tepi, or by the preposition én, as it is Luke ix. 1. 4. Because, if “ keep his virgin” had here sig. nified, keep his children from marrying, the expression had been more natural to have used the word téxvd, which signifies both sexes, than wapbévos, which belongs only to the female. If therefore wapbévos be taken abstractly for virginity, the precedent verse must be understood thus: “ But if any one think it a shame to pass the flower of his age unmarried, and he finds it necessary to marry, let him do as he pleases; he sins not: let such marry." I confess it is hard to bring these two verses 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 liere seems to obviate an 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 nobody 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 ? Kahws here, as in ver. 1, 8, and 26, signifies not simply good, but preferable. 38 r llapbévos being taken in the sense beforementioned, it is necessary, in this
verse, to follow the copies, which read yapítwy, “ marrying," for éxyapítwv, “ giving in marriage.”
CHAPTER VIII. 1-13.'
This 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 know that we all have
knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 (And if any man think, that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth
nothing yet, as he ought to know.
1 As 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 men with pride and vanity. But
charity it is, that improves and advances men in Christianity“. 2 (But, if any one be conceited of his own knowledge, as if
Christianity were a science for speculation and dispute, he knows
NOTE. 1 To continue the thread of the apostle's discourse, the 7th versc must be read as
joined to the 1st, and all between looked on as a parenthesis. .
TEXT. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him. 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. 5 For, though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven, or in earth, as there be gods many,
many, 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
3 nothing yet 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 b, or has got true knowledge 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 there is in truth no other 5 but one God. For though there be many imaginary nominal
gods, both in heaven and earth, as are indeed all their many 6 gods, and many lords, 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 Father). For notwithstanding all the great pretences to
NOTES. 3 b "Eyyw'60, " 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, émiyvuoquear, which, according to the Greek propriety, signifies, “ I shall be known,” is used for, “ I shall be made to know;" and so, Gal. iv.
9, ywwolévtes is put to signify, “ being taught." 5 Có In heaven and earth.” The heathens had supreme sovereign gods, whom
they supposed eternal, remaining always in the heavens ; those were called @col, 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, heavenly 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, Aqipoves. 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, Christiaus, 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 Lordagent, 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.
TEXT. conscience of the idol, unto this hour, eat it as a thing offered 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. 10 For, if any man see thee, which hast knowledge, sit at meat in the
idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him, which is weak, be
emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols ? 11 And, through thy knowledge, shall the weak brother perish, for
whom Christ died? 12 But, when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak
conscience, ye sin against Christ.
PARAPHRASE. 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 suffici
ently enlightened, think to be unlawful, are guilty of sin. 8 Food, of what kind soever, makes not God regard usd. 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 forbear, are we the worse Christians, 9 or are lessened by ito. 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 Christians, who are not convinced of that 10 liberty. For if such an one shall see thee, who hast this
knowledge of thy liberty, sit feasting in an idol-temple, shall not his weak conscience, not thoroughly instructed in the matter of idols, be drawn in by thy example to eat what
is offered to idols, though he, in his conscience, doubt of 11 its lawfulness? And thus thy weak brother, for whom Christ
died, is destroyed by thy knowledge, wherewith thou justifiest 12 thy eating. But when you sin thus against your brethren,
and wound their weak consciences, you sin against Christ.
NOTES. 8 + ou wagis non, sets us not before God, i. e. to be taken notice of by him.
li 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 better; or, if they eat not, were not the worse, unless they had expressed some opinion of good in eating.
TEXT. 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.
PARAPHRASE. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother offend, I will never more
eat flesh, to avoid making my brother offend,
CHAPTER IX. 1-27.
St. Paul had preached the Gospel at Corinth about two years, in all which time he had taken nothing of them, 2 Cor. xi. 7-9. This by some of the opposite faction, and particularly, as we may suppose, by their leader, was made use of to call in question his apostleship, 2 Cor. xi. 5,6. For why, if he were an apostle, should he not use the power of an apostle, to demand maintenance where he preached ? "In this section, St. Paul vindicates his apostleship, and, in answer to these inquirers, gives the reason why, though he had a right to maintenance, yet he preached gratis to the Corinthians. My answer, says he to these inquisitors, is, that though, as being an apostle, I know that I have a right to maintenance as well as Peter, or any other of the apostles, who all have a right, as is evident from reason and from Scripture; yet I never have, nor shall make use of my privilege amongst you, for fear that, if it cost you any thing, that should hinder the effect of my preaching: I would neglect nothing that might promote the Gospel. For I do not content myself with doing barely what is my duty ; for, by my extraordinary call and commission, it is now incumbent on me to preach the Gospel ; but I endeavour to excel in my ministry, and not to execute my commission covertly, and just enough to serve the turn. For if those, who, in the Agonistic games, aiming at victory, to obtain only a corruptible crown, deny themselves in eating and drinking and other pleasures, how much more does the eternal crown of glory deserve that we should do our utmost to obtain it? To be as careful in not indulging our bodies, in denying our pleasures, in doing every thing we could in order to get it, as if there were but one that should have it? Wonder not, therefore, if I, having this in view, neglect my