Original Douay Rheims Bible (1582 & 1610)

The First Epistle of Pavl to the Corinthians

The 3. part. Of Mariage and continencie. That married folke may aske their debt, and must pay it, though it be better for them to contein, 8. as also for the vnmarried and widowes to continue single, though they may marrie. 10. That the married may not depart from one another (nor in any case marrie anotherm during the life of the former) 12. vnles it be from one that is vnbaptized, which yet he dissuadeth: 17. counseling also euery one to be content with his state wherein he was Christned. 25. Virginitie is not commanded, but counseled as the better and more meritorious then Marriage. 39. as also widowhood.
1. AND concerning the things whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2. But because of fornication let euery man haue His owne wife.
The Apostle biddeth not al to marrie, but to keep their wiues before married.
He saith not, as the Protestants here pretend to excuse the vnlawful coniunction of Votaries, Let euery one marry: but, let euery one haue, keep, or vse *his owne wife to whom he was married before his conuersion. For the Apostle answereth here to the first question of the Corinthians, which was not, whether it were lawful to marry, but whether they were not bound vpon their conuersion, to abstaine from the company of their wiues married before in their infidelitie, as some did persuade them that they ought to doe. Hiero. li. 1. cont. Iouin. c. 4. Chrys. in locum ho. 19.
*Τὴν ἑαυτοῦ.
his owne wife, & let euery woman haue her owne husband.
3. Let the husband.
These words open the Apostles intention and talke to be only of such as are already married, and to instruct them of the bond and obligation that is between the married couple for rendring of the debt of carnal copulation one to another: declaring that the married persons haue yealded their bodies so one to another that they can not without mutual consent, neither perpetually, nor for a time, defraud one the other.
Let the husband debitum reddat. render his debt to the wife: and the wife also in like manner to her husband.
4. The woman hath not power of her owne body: but her husband. And in like manner the man also hath not power of his owne body; but the woman.
5. Defraud not one another, except perhaps by consent for a time, If the layman can not pray, vnles he abstain from his wife: the Priest that alwaies must offer Sacrifices and alwaies pray, must therfore alwaies be free from matrimonie. Hiero. li. 1. c. 19. aduer. Iouin. that you may Giue your self to praier.
Continencie in married folkes for praier sake.
This time, & the Heretikes doctrine, and high estimation of matrimonial actes, are farre from the puritie of the Apostolike and primitiue Church, when the Christians to make their praiers & fastings more acceptable to God, abstained by mutual consent euen from their lawful wiues: our new Maisters not much absteining (as it may be thought) from their wiues for any such matter. And yet S. Augustine saith, the Prelate should passe other in this case, and think that not to be lawful for him, that may be borne in others, because he must daily supply Christes roome, offer, baptize, and pray for the people. So saith he li. 1. q. ex vtroque test. q. 127. in fine. See S. Hiero. l. 1. c. 19. aduer. Iouin. S. Ambr. li. 1. Offi. c. vlt. But alas for the people, whose married Pastours are in this point farre worse then the vulgar folke, neither teaching continencie, nor giuing good example.
giue your self to to fasting & praier: praier: and returne againe together, lest Satan tempt you for your incontinencie.
6. But I say this By indulgence, not by commandement.
Perpetual continencie, euen in married folkes, better then carnal copulation.
Lest some might miscontrue his former words, as though he had precisely commanded married persons not to abstaine perpetually from carnal copulation, or not to giue their consent one to another of continencie but for a time onely: he declareth plainely that he gaue no rule or precept absolutely therin, but that he spake al the foresaid, condescending to their infirmities onely, insinuating that continencie from carnal copulation is much better, & that himself kept it continually. Aug. de bon. coniug. c. 10. Enchirid. c. 78.
by indulgence, not by commandement.
7. For I would al men to be as my self: but euery one hath A proper guift.
To such as may lawfully marry, or be already married God giueth not alwaies that more high and special guift or grace of continencie, though euery one of them al that duely aske & labour for it, might haue it: but such are not bound to endeauour or seeke for it alwaies, & therfore can not be commanded to abstaine further then they like.
Who are bound to liue continently: & that God giueth this guift to al that aske it.
But whensoeuer a man is bound to abstaine, either by vow or any other necessarie occasion (as if one of the parties be in prison, warre, banishment, sicknes, or absent perpetually by lawful diuorce) the other must needs in paine of damnation abstaine, and can not excuse the want of the guift of chastitie. For *he is bound to aske it & to seeke for it of God by fasting, praying, & chastising his body; & so labouring duely for it, God wil giue the grace of chastitie. So had S. Paul it, & so had al the holy men that euer liued chast. Therfore detest the doctrine of the Protestants in this point, that when they list not fast nor pray for it, say they haue not the guift. And it were a great maruel why so few of the new Sects or rather none now a-daies haue that guift, but that we see it is obtained by those meanes which our Forefathers vsed, & they vse not at al. To liue in marriage continently without the breach of coniugal fidelitie, is a guift of God also; but men must not breake their faith of wedlocke for want of it, but must know that God giueth that guift to such as humbly aske it of him. Aug. de grat. & li. arbitrio c. 4. De continent. c. 1.
*See S. Aug. li. 2. c. 19. 20. de Adult. Coniug. to. 6.
a proper guift of God; one so, and another so.
8. Before he treated of the continencie of such as were married, now he giueth lessons for the vnmarried also. But I say to the vnmarried and to widowes: It is good for them if they so abide euen as I also.
9. But if If they conteine not.
The Apostle permitteth marriage to them that be free, not to vowed persons.
He meaneth of such as be free: for if they marry after thy haue made vow or promise to God of chastitie, they are worthily damned; such being bound to conteine, and so may conteine if they list. Aug. de bono viduit. c. 8. 9. de adult. coniug. li. 1. c. 15. & de fide ad Petrum c. 3. in fine. Ambros. ad virg. lapsam. c. 5.
they doe not conteine themselues, let them marrie. For it is Better to marry.
It is better to marry for the said persons that be free, then to be ouerthrowen and fal into fornication. For, to burne, or, to be burnt, is not to be tempted onely (as the Protestants thinke that picke quarels easily to marry) but it signifieth *to yeald to concupiscence either in mind or external worke. We say also, for such as be free. For concerning others lawfully made Priests, and such as otherwise haue made vow of chastitie, they can not marry at al, and therfore there is no comparison in them betwixt marriage & fornication or burning. For their marriage is but pretensed, and is the worst sort of incontinencie and fornication or burning.
*Theodoret in hun locum.
better to marrie then vri. πυροῦσθαι. to be burnt.
10. But to them that be ioyned in matrimonie, not I giue commandement, but our Lord, Mat. 5,32. 19,9.
Mark 10,9.
Luke 16,18.
that the wife depart not from her husband:
11. and is she depart, To remaine vnmarried.
After diuorce not to marrie.
Neither partie may dimisse the other and marry another for any cause. For though they be separated for fornication, yet neither may marry againe. Aug. de adult. coniug. li. 1. c. 8. 9. and li. 2. c. 5. 19. See Annot. Mat. 19. And S. Augustine in his whole books. de adulter. coniugijs. to. 6.
to remaine vnmarried, or to be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away his wife.
12. For to the rest, I say, not our Lord.
The Apostles precepts.
By this we learne, that there were many matters ouer and aboue the things that Christ taught or prescribed, left to the Apostles order and interpretation: wherin they might, as the case required, either command or counsel; & we bound to obey accordingly.
I say, not our Lord. If any Brother haue a wife an infidel, and she consent to dwel with him; let him not put her away.
13. And if any woman haue a husband an infidel, and he consent to dwel with her; let her not put away her husband.
14. For the man an infidel is Sanctified.
How the infidel or infidel's child, are sanctified by the Christian.
When the infidel partie is said to be cleane or sanctified by the faithful, or the children of their marriage to be cleane, we may not thinke that they be in grace or state of saluation thereby, but onely that the marriage is *an occasion of sanctification to the infidel partie and to the children. For S. Augustine (li. 3. de pec. mer. & remis. c. 12.) concludeth against the Pelagians, as we may doe against the Caluinists, holding Christian mens children to be holy from their mothers womb and not to need be enough to saluation without faith, Baptisme, &c.
*Hiero. li. 1. c. 5. aduer. Iouin.
sanctified by the faithful woman; and the woman an infidel is sanctified by the faithful husband: otherwise your children should be vncleane; but now they are holy.
15. But if the infidel depart, let him depart. For the Brother or Sister is not subiect to seruitude in such. But in peace hath God called vs.
16. For how knowest thou woman, if thou shalt saue thy husband? or how knowest thou man, if thou shalt saue the woman?
17. But to euery one as our Lord hath deuided, as God hath called euery one, so let him walke, and as in al Churches I teach.
18. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not procure prepuce. Is any man called in prepuce? let him not be circumcised.
19. Circumcision is nothing, and prepuce is nothing: But the obseruation.
Neither to be Iew nor Gentil, bond or free, married or single, nor the faith it self which is proper to Christian men, wil serue to saluation, without good works & keeping the commandements. S. Hierom adu. Iouin. l. 1. c. 16.
but the obseruation of the commandments of God.
20. Euery one in the vocation that he was called, in it let him abide.
21. Wast thou called being a bondman? care not for it: but and if thou canst be made free, vse it rather.
22. For he that in our Lord is called, being a bondman, is the liberatus.: franchised of our Lord. Likewise he that is called, being free, is the bondman of Christ.
23. You were bought with price, be not made the You must not serue men so that you obey & please them more then God. bondmen of men.
24. Euery 'one, Brethren,': Brother wherein he was called, in that let him abide before God.
25. The Epistle for holy Virgins not Martyrs. And as concerning virgins, a commandement of our Lord I haue not: but a Counsel I giue.
The difference of counsels and precepts.
A counsel is one thing, a commandement is another. To doe that which is counseled, is not necessarie, because one may be saued notwithstanding. But he that wil doe that which he is counseled vnto, shal haue a higher degree of glorie. He that fulfilleth not a commandement, except he doe penance, can not escape punishment. Aug. li. de virg. c. 13. & 14.
counsel I giue, as hauing obteined mercie of our Lord to be faithful.
26. I thinke therfore that this is good for the present necessitie, because it is good for a man so to be.
27. Art thou tied to a wife? seeke not to be loosed. Art thou loose from a wife? seeke not a wife.
28. But if thou take a wife, Virginitie counseled as the better: Marriage not forbidden, because it is no sinne. thou hast not sinned. And If a virgin marrie.
A professed virgin may not marrie.
He speaketh not of that virgin which hath dedicated her self to God. (for if any such marry she shal be damned for breaking her first vow) but onely of yong maides vnmarried in the world. Hiero. adu. Iouin. li. 1. c. 7. Chrys. ho. 20. Theodorete, Photius, and the other Greek Doctours vpon this place apud Oecum. Epiph. hæres. 61.
if a virgin marrie, she hath not sinned. Neuerthelesse Tribulation of the flesh.
Virginitie counseled as more meritorious.
They are maruelously deceiued (saith S. Augustine li. de virg. c. 13.) that thinke the Apostle counseleth virginitie rather then marriage, onely for that marriage hath many miseries and molestations ioyned vnto it, which by virginitie shal be auoided, & not in respect of the greater reward in Heauen. For the Apostles prouident counseling to virginitie, is for the next life, and he alleageth these troubles of marriage in that sense specially as they be a hindrance from the seruice of God here, & therfore an impediment to vs toward the next life and the more ample ioyes thereof.
tribulation of the flesh shal such haue. But I spare you.
29. This therfore I say, Brethren; the time is short, it remaineth, that they also which haue wiues, be As though they had not.
The continencie of married folke.
He exhorteth that such as haue wiues, should not wholy bestow themselues in the vaine transitorie pleasure and voluptuousnes of their flesh, but liue in such moderation, that their marriage hinder them as litle as may be, from spiritual cogitations.
Their perpetual continencie, best.
Which is best fulfilled of them that by mutual consent doe wholy conteine, whether they haue had children or none, contemning carnal issue for the ioyes of Heauen. And these marriages be more blessed then any other, saith S. Augustine de Ser. Do. in monte li. 1. cap. 14.
as though they had not;
30. and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that reioyce, as though they reioyced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
31. and they that vse this world, as though they vsed it not. For the figure of this world passeth away.
32. But I would haue you to be without carefulnes. He that is without a wife, is Careful for the things of our Lord.
Virginitie preferred, and why.
The Protestants might here learne if they list, first that virginitie is not onely preferred before marriage, for that it is a more quiet state of life in this world, but for that it is more conuenient both of body & soule, which marriage hath not.
Why continencie is required in the Clergie.
Thirdly, they may learne the cause why the Church of God requireth chastitie in the Clergie, and forbiddeth not onely fornication, but al carnal copulation euen in lawful wedlocke. Which is not onely to the end that God's Priests be not diuided from him by the clogges of marriage, but also that they be cleane and pure from the fleshly actes of copulation.
careful for the things that pertaine to our Lord, how he may please God.
33. But he that is with a wife, is careful for the things that pertaine to the world, how he may please his wife: and he is deuided.
34. And the woman vnmarried & the virgin, thinketh on the things that pertaine to our Lord: that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married, thinketh on the things that pertaine to the world, how she may please her husband.
35. And this I speake to your profit: not to cast a snare vpon you, but to that which is honest, & that may giue you power without impediment to attend vpon our Lord.
36. But if any man thinke that he seemeth deshonoured vpon his virgin, for that she is past age, and if it must so be, let him doe that he wil. He sinneth not if she marrie.
37. For he that hath determined in his hart being settled, not hauing necessitie, but hauing power of his owne wil, and hath iudged this in his hart, to keep his virgin, doeth wel.
38. Therfore both he that ioyneth his virgin in matrimonie, doeth wel: and he that ioyneth not, doeth better.
39. Rom. 7,1. A woman is bound to the law so long time as her husband liueth: but if her husband sleep, she is at libertie: let her marrie to whom she wil: only in our Lord.
40. But The state of widowhood more blessed, then the state of matrimonie. more blessed shal she be if she so remaine, according to my counsel. And I thinke that I also haue the Spirit of God.