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70Chapter XIII.—Further Objections from St. Paul Answered.

“But again, writing to Timotheus, he ‘wills the very young (women) to marry, bear children, act the housewife.’”669669    1 Tim. v. 14.  He is (here) directing (his speech) to such as he denotes above—“very young widows,” who, after being, “apprehended” in widowhood, and (subsequently) wooed for some length of time, after they have had Christ in their affections, “wish to marry, having judgment, because they have rescinded the first faith,”—that (faith), to wit, by which they were “found” in widowhood, and, after professing it, do not persevere.  For which reason he “wills” them to “marry,” for fear of their subsequently rescinding the first faith of professed widowhood; not to sanction their marrying as often as ever they may refuse to persevere in a widowhood plied with temptation—nay, rather, spent in indulgence.

“We read him withal writing to the Romans:  ‘But the woman who is under an husband, is bound to her husband (while) living; but if he shall have died, she has been emancipated from the law of the husband.’  Doubtless, then, the husband living, she will be thought to commit adultery if she shall have been joined to a second husband.  If, however, the husband shall have died, she has been freed from (his) law, (so) that she is not an adulteress if made (wife) to another husband.”670670    Rom. vii. 2, 3, not exactly rendered.  But read the sequel as well in order that this sense, which flatters you, may evade (your grasp).  “And so,” he says, “my brethren, be ye too made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that ye may be made (subject) to a second,—to Him, namely, who hath risen from the dead, that we may bear fruit to God.  For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sin, which (passions) used to be efficiently caused through the law, (wrought) in our members unto the bearing of fruit to death; but now we have been emancipated from the law, being dead (to that) in which we used to be held,671671    Comp. the marginal reading in the Eng. ver., Rom. vii. 6. unto the serving of God in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of letter.”  Therefore, if he bids us “be made dead to the law through the body of Christ,” (which is the Church,672672    Comp. Eph. i. 23, and the references there. which consists in the spirit of newness,) not “through the letter of oldness,” (that is, of the law,)—taking you away from the law, which does not keep a wife, when her husband is dead, from becoming (wife) to another husband—he reduces you to (subjection to) the contrary condition, that you are not to marry when you have lost your husband; and in as far as you would not be accounted an adulteress if you became (wife) to a second husband after the death of your (first) husband, if you were still bound to act in (subjection to) the law, in so far as a result of the diversity of (your) condition, he does prejudge you (guilty) of adultery if, after the death of your husband, you do marry another:  inasmuch as you have now been made dead to the law, it cannot be lawful for you, now that you have withdrawn from that (law) in the eye of which it was lawful for you.


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