The Doctrine of the Same Apostle Concerning Purity.
Now Paul, when summoning all persons to sanctification and purity, in this way referred that which had been spoken concerning the first man and Eve in a secondary sense to Christ and the Church, in order to silence the ignorant, now deprived of all excuse. For men who are incontinent in consequence of the uncontrolled impulses of sensuality in them, dare to force the Scriptures beyond their true meaning, so as to twist into a defence of their incontinence the saying, "Increase and multiply;" [2583] and the other, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother;" [2584] and they are not ashamed to run counter to the Spirit, but, as though born for this purpose, they kindle up the smouldering and lurking passion, fanning and provoking it; and therefore he, cutting off very sharply these dishonest follies and invented excuses, and having arrived at the subject of instructing them how men should behave to their wives, showing that it should be as Christ did to the Church, "who gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing [2585] of water by the Word," [2586] he referred back to Genesis, mentioning the things spoken concerning the first man, and explaining these things as bearing on the subject before him, that he might take away occasion for the abuse of these passages from those who taught the sensual gratification of the body, under the pretext of begetting children.


[2583] Genesis 2:18.

[2584] Genesis 2:24.

[2585] [Laver (Gr. loutron). Compare Titus 3:5 and Calvin's comment, Opp., tom. ii. p. 506, ed. 1667.]

[2586] Ephesians 5:25, 26. [Baptismus = lavacrum animæ.--Calvin, Ib., p. 350.]

chapter ix the dispensation of grace
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