Marriage is honorable in all - Let this state be highly esteemed as one of God's own instituting, and as highly calculated to produce the best interests of mankind. This may have been said against the opinions of the Essenes, called Therapeutae, who held marriage in little repute, and totally abstained from it themselves as a state of comparative imperfection. At the same time it shows the absurdity of the popish tenet, that marriage in the clergy is both dishonorable and sinful; which is, in fact, in opposition to the apostle, who says marriage is honorable in All; and to the institution of God, which evidently designed that every male and female should be united in this holy bond; and to nature, which in every part of the habitable world has produced men and women in due proportion to each other.
The bed undefiled - Every man cleaving to his own wife, and every wife cleaving to her own husband, because God will judge, i.e. punish, all fornicators and adulterers.
Instead of δε but, γαρ, for, is the reading of AD*, one other, with the Vulgate, Coptic, and one of the Itala; it more forcibly expresses the reason of the prohibition: Let the bed be undefiled, For whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Marriage is honorable in all - The object here is to state that “honor” is to be shown to the marriage relation. It is not to be undervalued by the pretence of the superior purity of a state of celibacy, as if marriage were improper for any class of people or any condition of life; and it should not be dishonored by any violation of the marriage contract. The course of things has shown that there was abundant reason for the apostle to assert with emphasis, that “marriage was an honorable condition of life.” There has been a constant effort made to show that celibacy was a more holy state; that there was something in marriage that rendered it “dishonorable” for those who are in the ministry, and for those of either sex who would be eminently pure. This sentiment has been the cause of more abomination in the world than any other single opinion claiming to have a religious sanction. It is one of the supports on which the Papal system rests, and has been one of the principal upholders of all the corruptions in monasteries and nunneries. The apostle asserts, without any restriction or qualification, that marriage is honorable in all; and this proves that it is lawful for the ministers of religion to marry, and that the whole doctrine of the superior purity of a state of celibacy is false; see this subject examined in the notes on 1 Corinthians 6:9. The sins here referred to prevailed everywhere, and hence, there was the more propriety for the frequent and solemn injunctions to avoid them which we find in the Scriptures.
After the creation of Adam every living creature was brought before him to receive its name; he saw that to each had been given a companion, but among them “there was not found an help meet for him.” Among all the creatures that God had made on the earth, there was not one equal to man. And God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Man was not made to dwell in solitude; he was to be a social being. Without companionship the beautiful scenes and delightful employments of Eden would have failed to yield perfect happiness. Even communion with angels could not have satisfied his desire for sympathy and companionship. There was none of the same nature to love and to be loved. PP 46.1
God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided “an help meet for him”—a helper corresponding to him—one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” Ephesians 5:29. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one.” PP 46.2
God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. “Marriage is honorable” (Hebrews 13:4); it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the Fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise. When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man's social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature. PP 46.3
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed.” Everything that God had made was the perfection of beauty, and nothing seemed wanting that could contribute to the happiness of the holy pair; yet the Creator gave them still another token of His love, by preparing a garden especially for their home. In this garden were trees of every variety, many of them laden with fragrant and delicious fruit. There were lovely vines, growing upright, yet presenting a most graceful appearance, with their branches drooping under their load of tempting fruit of the richest and most varied hues. It was the work of Adam and Eve to train the branches of the vine to form bowers, thus making for themselves a dwelling from living trees covered with foliage and fruit. There were fragrant flowers of every hue in rich profusion. In the midst of the garden stood the tree of life, surpassing in glory all other trees. Its fruit appeared like apples of gold and silver, and had the power to perpetuate life. PP 46.4Read in context »
Consultation With God—The words of Christ should ever be borne in mind: “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” They married wives, they were given in marriage until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. We see the same infatuation in regard to marriage. Youth, and even men and women, who ought to be wise and discerning, act as if bewitched upon this question. Satanic power seems to take possession of them. Courtship and marriage is the all-absorbing theme. The most indiscreet marriages are formed. God is not consulted. Human feelings, desires, and passions bear down everything before them, until the die is cast. Untold misery is the result of this state of things, and God is dishonored. The marriage bed is not sanctified or holy. Shall there not be a decided change in reference to this important matter?—Letter 6a, 1890. TSB 16.2Read in context »