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ry sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19 What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God? and ye are not your own,
20 For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. CHAP. VII.*
4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband; and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
5 Defraud ye not one the other,c 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.
6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
7 For I would that all men were even as myself; but every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
81 say, therefore, to the un married and widows, It is good for them that they abide even as I.
a It is good for a person in this state of persecution, not to marry.
b Let every man, &c. i. e. let neither man nor wife put away or forsake the other, as some falsely imagine it a duty.
9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn.
10 And unto the married I
c Defraud ye not one another, &c. Paul here, speaking to the man and wife, says, defraud or forsake ye not one another, except it be by mutual consent for a certain time, when you may wish more particularly to attend to the duties of devotion.
To understand this chapter, it is necessary to know, that the Jews considered matrimony a sacred duty, and that the Grecian philosophers taught, that if a man would be happy, he should not marry. The brethren at Corinth, therefore, wrote to St. Paul, desiring him to inform them whether, in their present state of persecution, they might not without sin, abstain from marriage altogether; and whether such as were already married, might not dissolve their marriage vows on account of the trials, to which they were exposed. Although their letter to the apostle is now lost, its contents are suggested by this chapter, which he wrote in answer, and which contains his advice and direction.
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. 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.)
16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save e thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
17 But as God hath distrib
uted to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk; and so ordain I in all churches.
d If any brother, &c. It was thought by some, that if either of the married party were a Christian and the other not, it was the duty of the Christian to put away the other; but Paul taught otherwise.
• Save or convert thy husband.
18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised; is any called in uncircumcision? let him not become circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
21 Art thou called, being a servant ? care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
22 For he that is called in
tress ;g I say, that it is good for a man so to be.h
31 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
g Distress, persecution.
j But I spare you the pains of farther hearing these remarks.
k As not abusing it, as not using it. I Without carefulness, without anxious care.
36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin,m if she pass the flower of her age.n and need so require,o let him do what he will,p he sinneth not; let them marry.
37 Nevertheless, he that standeth steadfast 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.
38 So then, he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.
39 The wife is bound by m If any man think, he has improperly withheld his virgin daughter from marriage.
n If she pass, &c. If she be of suitable age, and unmarried.
• And need so require, and wishes to marry.
p Let him do what he will, let him, if he will, grant her request; in so doing he does not sin; let such virgin daughters marry.