15For some have already turned aside It is certain, that there is no ordinance so holy that some evil may not arise out of it through the wickedness of men. Yet those things which are necessary ought to remain unmoved, whatever may happen to them, although the sky should fall. But when we are at liberty to choose either way, and when this or that has been found by experience to be advantageous, it is a matter of prudence to lay aside what was formerly approved, as in the present case. It was not at all necessary that women, who were still young, should be admitted into the rank of widows; experience shewed that it was dangerous and hurtful; and, therefore, Paul justly advises to take care for the future that nothing of this kind may happen.
If the revolt of some women was regarded by him as a sufficiently strong argument for seeking a universal remedy, how many arguments would the Papists have for abolishing their filthy celibacy, if they had any regard to edification! But they choose rather to strangle millions of souls by the cruel cords of a wicked and diabolical law than to loose a single knot; and this makes it evident how widely their cruelty differs from the holy zeal of Paul.
After Satan The expression is worthy of notice; because no one can turn aside from Christ, in the smallest degree, without following Satan; for he has dominion over all who do not belong to Christ. We learn from this how destructive is turning aside from the right course, since, from being children of God, it makes us slaves of Satan, and, by withdrawing us from the government of Christ, places Satan over us as our guide. (97)
(97) “ the gospel is preached to us, it is Jesus Christ who holds out his scepter, and shews us that he wishes to be our king, and to take us for his people. When we have thus made profession of the gospel, if we do not persevere till the end, if it happen that we debauch ourselves in any way, not only do we refuse to be in obedience to the Son of God, but we give to Satan all mastery over us, and he will seize it, and we must be in his service in spite of our teeth. If this is dreadful and absolutely shocking, ought we not to be better advised than we have been to conceal ourselves under the wings of our God, and to suffer ourselves to be governed by him, till he renew us by his Holy Spirit in such a manner that we shall not be so giddy and foolish as we have been? For that purpose, let us consider that we must have our Lord Jesus Christ for our guide; for if we wish to be truly the people of God, the saying of the Prophet must be fulfilled in us, that the people shall walk, and David their king shall go before them. Let us always have his doctrine before our eyes, and let us follow him step by step, hearing his voice as that of our good Shepherd, (Joh_10:4)” — Fr. Ser.